Friday, December 24, 2010

What a Vacation!

It has been three years since we've visited my family in Ohio for Christmas, so we checked into plane tickets in August, they were reasonably affordable, and our trip was planned!

We decided last week that it would be better to drive down to the Cities (where we were flying out, four hours away) the day before and stay over night, not worrying about potential bad weather (we ARE in Minnesota!), by staying at a hotel and paying just a bit extra to leave our car there, we actually saved a good amount on parking. It was a good thing we did. We had a winter storm roll in on our way to the Cities on Monday, delaying our arrival by a good 90 minutes. Then, the next morning, I had a notification voice mail on my cell phone reminding me about our flight departure....almost two hours before it originally was supposed to leave! Turns out, they'd rescheduled our flight, but I wasn't observant enough when looking at the email reminder to notice it. We got to the airport in plenty of time, I showed security my new fancy card that indicated I was the recipient of a joint replacement so that there would be no problems getting thru. Ha! I was still thoroughly patted down....and was informed I will be every time I go thru airport security from now on. Yay.

From there, we went to our gate and waited. And waited. And waited. Our flight finally boarded, and by the time we taxied off, it was just about the original time we were supposed to leave. We arrived at Milwaukee with a few hours to spare between flights; however, we were there for about 30 minutes when I got another voice mail notification that our flight was cancelled. Not rescheduled. Cancelled. Nothing further. I high tailed it to the nearest airline employee and asked what was going on and how we were going to get to Akron, Ohio, that day. They had no clue our flight was cancelled yet! They got on the phone, talked with a supervisor, and told me that our flight WAS cancelled, that they were going to put us on another east-bound flight, and that they'd make a stop in Akron to drop off those passengers. However, the flight wouldn't be leaving until after it was supposed to arrive in Ohio originally. Oh, we would get compensation in the form of a free airline ticket for each of us, yay! No problems, the flight boarded on time and pulled away from the gate...and taxied, and taxied, and taxied. We were then informed that because the winds had changed, they had to move all the de-icing equipment from the other side of the airport, and until it got there and our plane was de-iced, they were shutting down the circulating air inside the would be about 10 minutes. Well, it was longer, probably about 30 minutes. Not really that bad. Luke kept occupied by playing tic-tac-toe and other games with the young man sitting beside him while Susi was busy drawing, and across the aisle, Tony and I talked and snuggled. Then we were off!

About ten minutes into our 54 minute flight, Luke started complaining that his head hurt. He soon started hitting it with his head, then putting his head down on his tray. Having dealt with some probable migraines before, I suggested to Tony that he trade places with Susi to make sure Luke was okay (my leg would have been uncomfortable in that I had a feeling it was leading to something I don't like to deal with.....). I suggested again to Tony that he grab a barf bag and keep it handy, explaining to Luke what to do, if it was needed. Just a few minutes later, barf bag in hand, Luke showed how bad his aim really is. ALL over the place, well, at least on him, the seat, the tray, and the floor in front of him (bulk head row). Tony got things cleaned up as much as possible, while I wiped him down in the bathroom, just in time for us to land in Akron. I grabbed an extra bag as we were leaving, and after our luggage came off, Luke got changed before we piled into my parents' van. He promptly made use of the new bag several times before dozing off on our hour-long trip to my parents'. Once more when we got in the house....and the poor kid was wiped out.

The next morning, Luke was almost as good as new, but my tummy was a bit upset....and Tony was really wiped out. By the evening, Luke and I were feeling better, but Tony had slept most of the day. We were supposed to all drive to PA the following day to share a meal with my youngest brother, but Tony felt it best that our family just stay back, rest, and recuperate. He slept almost the entire day, while Susanna started with a deep cough.

Today, Christmas Eve, everyone seems relatively back to normal. Luke, however, is understandably nervous about flying back to Minnesota then the long drive back from the Cities. He doesn't want to stay in Ohio, though, especially without Daddy and Mama, so he'll be making the trip back with us come Monday morning. I did call my doctor and got a prescription for him for Zofran, a great anti-nausea medicine that he's used before. We don't know if it was from the travel (there are times that even driving home five miles from town he asks me to pull over because he feels "travel sick") or if it was a bug (there is something going around at home affecting the tummy without a fever) or if it was something we ate (Tony thought the chips and salsa we snacked on in Milwaukee tasted a bit off, and Susi is the only one who didn't eat any...and the only one who didn't have queasiness).

Needless to say, our plans for our trip changed some...but we've still been enjoying ourselves. It's been very low-keyed and has involved lots of time with "the cousins" -- my brother, his wife, and their nine children -- as well as my parents...and at times just us. Our plans tomorrow include caroling at a local nursing home...and not much beyond that. Sunday after services, we're headed to my uncle's home in Akron for a big get together, before headed back to my brother's for the night...then the airport Monday morning.

Please pray that our flights are on time, are uneventful, and that all tummies, heads, and everything else have no problems. Please also pray that Luke is courageous during this time as he really is nervous....

Merry Christmas, everyone! Thru this all, we've also kept the focus where it should be...on that tiny Baby born so long ago to bring hope eternal to a lost and dying world. Happy birthday, Jesus!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wow! It's Been Awhile!

Okay, so I've not been keeping up with my blog. I've got countless excuses, but I won't go into them...except to tell you I've been trying to do alot of catching up now that I'm moving around easier!

I still have therapy three times a will pay as long as I am showing improvement, and I'm definitely noticing improvement! I use a stationary bike as well as this leg press machine then another weight machine where I pull weights with my new knee. No big amount of weight, only about 16 pounds, but it's amazing how even that small amount wears me out! My knee really is healing well, and I am so thankful for that. When I'm on it for long periods of time, it starts swelling, but that's still normal....and can happen for at least a year, although most swelling should stop within then next month or so. I still get stiff towards the end of the day and first thing in the morning before I get moving, but that's lessening, too. I still wear out pretty fast, too, but again, the doctor and therapist keep telling me not to expect to be near normal for at least a year.

In other news...we had our third annual Christmas Showcase this past Saturday. Fourteen different home-based party-type vendors participated with lots of goodies -- everything from make up to jewelery, chocolate to alfredo sauce, cleaning clothes and supplements, essential oils and cookware, and of course, Watkins! Our local Kinship Chapter also had a bake sale. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate that well and left the roads pretty snowy in the morning...roads were just getting easier to drive mid afternoon when we were shutting down. Sales were still good, though. So mark your calendars for next year -- the first Saturday in December, St. Peter's Parish here in Park Rapids!

Tony continues to stay busy. He still has baby leaf lettuce growing in one of the green houses! And tomatoes are still producing, just as beautiful as they were this summer! He's also been doing some machinery repair as well as general repairs around the house and farm along with winterizing everything. We hope to start moving into the farm house shortly after the new year perhaps.

And Luke and Susanna -- growing like weeds! Susi is wearing a 6x most of the time, and even those are sometimes small on her. She's getting to be a tall girl. Luke wears about a 6 or 7...or whatever he wants to wear! He's got a flat backside, so he sometimes has problems keeping his pants or jeans up, especially when he runs around, silly boy! We continue to home school, and I'm thankful they are quick learners as this fall has not been on a regular schedule for home schooling. Now that I'm functioning better, we'll be going full force after the holidays are over. We do participate in our local home school co-op, and I love watching what they learn. They'll sit down with paints and combine colors to make other colors, talking about hues and tints and primary and secondary colors. They talk about textures and shading and all kinds of things that, as a non "artsy" person, I never fully grasped (or cared about). They'll talk quite a bit about drama and inflection and pantomime and all of that kind of stuff. Then the science stuff kicks in....last week, Luke looked at Susanna and said "My hypothesis is that Daddy kisses Mama on the lips all the time." Quick as a wink, Susi came back with "That CAN'T be your hypothesis because here is no way you can prove that happens all the time!" Okay.....Then there was the whole conversation about Peter and the Wolf and the different instruments and who they represented from the musical drama.

Luke is reading books by himself now and loves to sit and just read Peanuts cartoons. He'll read Susanna's AWANA book to her and work with her on her verses for the week. He's starting to add multiple numbers now and is slowly figuring out how to tell time...the one thing he's realized he isn't good at. And Susanna was thrilled to have read her first book all by herself last week! We've really struggled trying to remember the different letters in the alphabet and the sounds they make....until I started her on Hooked on Phonics. Wow, did she really take off then! And while she still doesn't remember all of the sounds without prompting, she'll sit down with her alphabet "cheat sheet" to remember what sounds each letter makes, then read thru the included books. She still insists she never wants to grow up, though.

We're also working on our Christmas program for this year, Dr. Newheart's Christmas Cure. The kids are doing wonderful, and we're looking forward to performing Sunday, December 19, during our second morning service. There are 44 kids this year! And at least 1/3 of them are first graders! This is also the last year our family is involved with the tiny Nativity, as Susanna is in kindergarten. She was thrilled to get the part of Mary, until she realized she has EIGHT lines to learn!

Well, that's what's going on around here...what's up with you?