Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Hits (literally) Just Keep On Coming

I've got a new ride now. A 2004 Nissan Quest. Eric flew to Orlando and drove it home last Friday. It was a grueling day for him but he got home in the wee hours of Sat. morning. I really like the new van. The kids REALLY like it; it has a DVD player. Everyone is happy.

Eric is also selling his car and so it is on Craig's list and he's had a few bites already. But (and here' s where the 'hits' part of the title comes in) this morning, I was taking Isaac to school and--somehow--swerved too close to the curb and took out a neighbor's mailbox and busted the windshield. This is my first ever 'accident'. Eric says this is the kind to have, one not involving any people, and involving his old car and not the one we've only had for a few days. But still, I feel terrible about it. A new windshield will be put in tomorrow and he will re-install the folk's mailbox sometime this week (it appears largely undamaged, it just needs to be set back in with concrete). So anyway, this has not been a good day for me because of all that.

Yesterday Ethan caught his first frog. He held it in his hand for the longest time. I guess the frog was too scared to try to get away because he just sat there. Ethan was very pleased with himself. I'll add pictures later.

Isaac got to participate in a chess tournament last week and had a lot of fun. He won some matches and he some but he got out of school for this so it was a great day for him.

I thought I'd share this. At our church, when they pass the juice during the Communion, you take the cup and then return it to a little spot on the pew, you don't put it back in the tray. Anyway, Jaylie always takes my little cup after I've put it away and licks every drop out. I know she doesn't have any deep meaning associated with this but I just had the thought of her getting every drop of Communion with the Lord. I wish I was always like that and not preoccupied with other demands on my time. Why am I always in a hurry?

I hope the week is great for each of you. I am so glad March is going away and that April is right here. We've had about 9 1/2 inches of rain this month. I'm pretty tired of it. My flowers are going to be beautiful. I'll take pictures and post them next time.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quick Update

Lots going on right now but thought I'd stop in to let everyone in on it.

1: We are thanking God for Ethan's clean bill of health. Well, mostly clean. His ears are completely healed. His cough is almost completely gone and his dr. said that he doesn't want to diagnose him with asthma just yet. Right now he's calling it Reactive Airway Disease which create asthmatic symptoms but they are triggered my something (yellow dust, perhaps?) instead of being constantly present like normal asthma. So he's on his nebulizer medicine 2 times a day until the summer when the pollen count goes down and then he'll probably have to go back on in the fall when more allergens re-emerge. Still, no fever or infections, no up-coming trips to the ENT, so we are grateful.

2: On Saturday night, our van died. This is our 1998 Toyota Sienna that we bought in 2004 off ebay. We thought we had a few more years in it but, alas, the engine is fried. We are not going to replace an engine on a car this old and so will be getting rid of it and getting something else. We've already got our eye on another ebay car so Eric may be making a trip to Florida to pick it up this weekend. We'll see.

3: My Grandmother is selling her house in Beeville. It went on the market today, She has decided to purchase a little house in a retirement community in San Antonio. This will be about 5 minutes from my uncle and right in the medical center area which is real convenient. Also easier to fly into San Antonio than Corpus and diving to Beeville. We are real excited for her.

4: My Pawpaw, (Daddy's Dad) is in the hospital in Beaumont. He is facing surgery to remove his gallbladder which is causing him all sorts of trouble. Please pray for his recovery. He'll be 80 this year.

That's all folks. Hope your week is going well.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Camping trip take 2

We woke up Monday morning to a steady mist (despite being promised by the weather people that it would be clear...grr) and took our time getting ready. Jaylie actually didn't get up til 9 or after. We made it back to the campsite around noon and were just hoping that our things were still in the tent and not horribly soaked. The mist had stopped and we were pleased to find that everything was there; the tent was still standing. It was clear as we went in, though, that had we stayed the night, we'd have been very wet. So, we took the top sheets and blankets off the beds and went to the bath house to put them in the dryer. Of course lots of other people had things to dry also so we didn't wind up getting all our stuff dry til around supper time. We took care of getting things rearranged and then had a sandwich lunch and settled down to rest; it was about 2:30 or so. After about an hour of virtual silence, we got up and played for a bit. Since Eric had brought dry firewood getting a fire started wasn't that hard. We decided to have our s'mores first; I think we had earned it. Eric got a good fire going for the burgers and we had a pretty good supper that night. All our bedding was dry, our tummies were full and we settled down to a fairly good night's sleep. The kids all did good. I felt like I heard dogs barking (there were surprisingly a lot of folks who bring their dogs camping) and geese honking all night. (Do geese not sleep?) Morning broke cold and foggy...disappointing me yet again. Even more disappointing was that Ethan woke up with a fever and a barky cough. Right then, over breakfast, we decided we would not spend another night (we had reserved the campsite an extra night so that the kids wouldn't feel cheated...) but would spend the day out there and then head home. We got ready and went fishing at the lake...to no success. However, the sun decided to come out towards the end of that event. Finally, blue sky was everywhere and our spirits began to lift...at least mine did. So we went down to the lodge place where you sign in and everything and played a few games in the gameroom, then we asked about the tower we had seen and the lady at the desk said,"Sure, go on down and climb it." We got to the foot of the tower (which is like a lookout tower. Not quite as tall as the one that they watch for forest fires in but it still was tall and situated on a bluff that would allow for a great panoramic view) to discover that the gate was locked and we couldn't get to the steps. So we drove back down the hill to ask what is up. The lady radios a man and asks him to meet us up there to unlock the steps. He does this rather quickly, and apologetically "I just forgot to unlock it, sorry about that. Watch out for the wasps." As we head up the steps, we noticed more and more of the wasps and by the time we reach the top were telling the kids,"OK here's the top, look at all the trees, lets go!" We hurried back down and went back to camp for lunch. As we were walking back to the tent, Eric remarked,"Now it's not foggy but still hazy from the pollen." As if on cue, my eyes started itching. The fog had lifted and it took about an hour and a half or so to dry the trees out sufficiently to allow the pollen to blow. We took a walk to a slide and swing set, with me tearing up and itching furiously, then back to camp for lunch and rest. We were trying to decide if we would stay and play and eat supper before going home or if we would pack up and leave and eat supper at home. After an hour of rest with me rubbing my eyes to the point that one seemed dangerously red and puffy and gunky, we decided to pack up and go. We were glad we did with how long it took to pack up. We got home around 6. We ate McDonald's, showered and went to bed.
What I gathered is that I really need running water and a sink. I really don't mind camping in cabins, or even popups or RVs but I think tent camping is just not for me. People who do it, and enjoy it, are made of much stronger stuff than I am. The kids say they had a good time, which, I guess, is all that matters. I'm glad I tried it, but don't really want to do it again. Eric says he thinks that the conditions have to be exactly perfect for it to be enjoyable. It just seems like a whole lot of work for very little payoff...especially with rain and fever and pollen.

An update on Ethan, I had him to the dr. yesterday where he was diagnosed with croup and reflux. He is now on steroids for the croup, since he has breathing difficulties anyway, and previcid for the reflux. We'll see how he is in a few days. He seems pretty sick still.

So now you know how our Great Family Camp Out went. I'm still trying to decide how to sum it up...memorable, that's for sure.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Maybe Poker Just Ain't Your Game

The movie Tombstone is one of my favorites. A little odd, now, I guess, but when it came out I LOVED that movie. Eric and I have watched it countless times. It is violent and has its share of bad language (although not as bad as more recent movies) but it is an old west movies, and apparently, that's how old west folks talked. At least that's what Hollywood thinks. It also has tons of great one-liners, which brings me to the title of my post. There's a scene when Doc Holliday is playing poker with Ike somebody, who's not all that smart, and Doc keeps winning and Ike keeps getting more and more upset. Then Doc says, "Why Ike, maybe poker just ain't your game. I know, let's have a spelling contest!"

This quote came to mind as I was pondering what I would write about our weekend camping trip. It became clear to me that camping, in a tent, is NOT for me. To explain everything in one post would take way too much time so I'll break it up for you into camping trip #1 and camping trip #2 because we did try, twice, to have a good time.

Camping trip#1:

We left after nap time on Sunday and headed for Roosevelt State park which is just 45 minutes away (this became the saving grace of the whole experience). Let me back up a tiny bit by saying it had been raining for about 3 days prior and the forecast kept saying it would clear up Sunday and be pretty for our trip, which was to end on Tuesday afternoon. We had the reservation and the stuff and felt like things may be wet and drippy, but the kids were excited and we would press on. Jaylie began running fever Saturday night, but was good to go on Sunday. We got there and got the tent set up with no incidents. We were feeling pretty confident. Eric and Isaac began to make a fire to fix burgers on while I prepared the bedding and everything like that. As soon as he put the burgers on, it started to rain, just a little, and then harder and harder. We begin quickly getting the rest of the stuff in so it wouldn't get soaked. Eric determined to fix the supper in the rain, which wound up not working. The kids and I huddled in the tent, listening to the downpour and they were hungry. It was about 7:45 and it had been raining almost an hour. I decided to just make sandwiches and then discovered that I hadn't put the lunch meat in! Well, we had peanut butter, but I forgot the jelly! Eric tramped around outside getting things settled and then came in, soaked to the bone, toweled off and changed into dry clothes. Then we sat down to a meal of chips, Cheetos, crackers and cheese, carrots, apples and chocolate chip cookies. I took Jaylie and Ethan to the potty (luckily we were right by the bath house and I had an umbrella) and on the way back, my chest began to tighten up. I have never had an asthma attack before, since I don't have asthma, but I began to have a real hard time breathing. So we got everyone changed and in the bed and then discovered that there were raindrops coming in in several places. After some readjustments of the beds we settle in. The boys dropped right off, wet places not withstanding, Jaylie got in bed with us since her bed had too many wet places and we tried with all our might to rest. But I continued to cough and wheeze. Finally after trying, and failing to get it under control, Eric decided that we would go home, hauled the kids to the car (still pouring down rain, mind you) and home we went, trusting all our things to God that they would not be ruined in the morning. It was about 10:00
I called my mom on the way home because she had been using our nebulizer (she has bad asthma and the yellow dust {see previous post} hasn't been doing her any favors) as I thought I'd need it. We swung by their house and picked it up, ran the kids to bed and I settled down with my first ever breathing treatment. We got a dry night's sleep and woke up Monday, ready to re-evaluate. I'll pick up there tomorrow. After reading this much, it probably sounds like a National Lampoon's vacation or something. That first attempt was crazy.

I hope your weekend was much better than this:)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yellow Dust and Air Conditioning

Those of you in South Texas or other real dry areas might not understand this post but if you've ever lived in the Southeast, you know about the horrors of pine tree pollen. Every spring, pine trees put out this yellow pollen. You can see the clusters gathering on the ends of all the branches, and then, it lets go and covers EVERYTHING in yellow powder. The only relief is found in rain that comes. The first 2 springs we were here I was unaffected. Last spring, it got me pretty bad with sneezing fits and watery eyes. Well, the pollen started blowing last Sunday afternoon. I had one Zyrtec and took it right away. The temps have been so mild that I've had the windows as much as possible. Monday, Eric was off and was playing in the back yard with the kids. I went to the store for more Zyrtec and went outside to join them. Eric asked,"Is something on fire?" while looking over the fence. No, it was the clouds of yellow stuff. He said,"you may want to close all the windows..." Sure enough, the window sills, table, counters in the kitchen...every horizontal surface were covered with a fine layer of the stuff. So, now we're shut up tight with the A/C running in March (we've had highs in the 80s this week) but no pollen in the house...at least none I can see, I'm sure it's coming in somehow. I am on Zyrtec and Flonase and the sneezing has subsided, but my eyes itch like crazy. Hopefully the rain that's predicted will take care of a lot of the problem, otherwise it will be a few weeks of this. YUK

On the up side, Spring around here is beautiful. My irises and hyacinths are blooming. The pear trees all have new leaves and white blossoms on them. My rose bushes are getting ready to bud...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Adios Facebook

I know, 2 posts in 2 days!!!
I just thought I'd declare my independence to the world: I have deactivated my facebook account. Look out. I'll be accomplishing a lot now...I just know it...either that or I'll be reading more blogs or browsing Eric's page. I'll let you know how it goes.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wedding dress

It is nice to know that even though my kids aren't infants anymore and changing everyday, they still do new things. In the past month or so Jaylie has become a panties-wearing girl instead of a pull-up wearing one, Isaac actually pulled a top tooth by himself instead of having to go to the dentist, and just today, Ethan learned how to swing by himself, he was very proud.

Jaylie was helping me put away the dishes out of the dishwasher this evening and noticed, in the knife slot, the pearly handled ones that we used to cut our wedding cake. She of course thought they were pretty and wanted to get them out to play with. I told her,'No, they're sharp. Those are the knives we used to cut our wedding cake.' I had shown her a picture of it just the other day. She asked me if I wore a pretty white dress at my wedding and I said yes and offered to get it out to show her. I realized this week that she's never looked at our wedding album. It is, after all, an actual album that you have to get out instead of click through on the computer like 95% of the other pictures she's ever seen. So she, of course, wanted to see it. Eric was walking in the house from work right about the time I was pulling it out of the closet. I don't know when the last time I saw it was but it is so beautiful. Jaylie was in a daze over it. To her, it must seem like the ultimate dress-up dress. I can't imagine that she'd ever want to wear it, I know it's already out of style (even though I don't know why---it's so pretty!) but it was neat to see her take in the whole thing. She wanted me to put it on...and I did, even though I knew it wouldn't zip in the back, but I felt pretty nonetheless. Which leads me to my question: Who out there can still fit into their wedding dress? And if you can, I want to know how long you've been married and how many kids you've had!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Coming around again

About the pictures: The top one was the other day when Jaylie and Ethan went to mom and dad's for the morning. At lunch time, I'm told, Jaylie complained of being cold and so Daddy covered her up with his shirt and unbuttoned a place so she could continue to eat! You can tell they practice tough love over there, huh.
The next picture is of Ethan and Gretchen sharing the beanbag. I just thought it was cute.
The last one is of Isaac at his first basketball game. Yes, he really is that much taller than all the other kids.

In other news, I feel like I am coming around again. I have had some significant pain in one of the places where I used to have a wisdom tooth. Don't know if it is the dreaded 'Dry Socket' as I wasn't prostrated by the pain but it was uncomfortable. I went back to see Steve (friend at church who is also the oral surgeon who did the extraction last week) and he said they were healing nicely but did put some goop in the painful place. Now, he jokingly (I think) called it chewing tobacco, and that is what it looks like, but it has oil of clove in it. So now I have a foul clove-y taste in my mouth, but no pain. I'd say that is a huge improvement.

Eric got me a 'read the bible in a year' kind of bible at the New Year. It is chronological so that also helps. I'd like to be able to say that I have been reading it every day but I do stay caught up by reading 2 or 3 days at a time if need be. I've even read ahead a time or two. Right now I am in Numbers. UGH! is all I can say. I haven't read Leviticus and Numbers in quite some time and now am left very dumbfounded by what I've read. It seems just a little shy of ridiculous, if that's not too strong a term. All of the rules and regulations about various--seemingly trivial--sorts of things. When left feeling this way about scripture I rely on a few things to keep me centered. 1: Look for the over-arching theme. In this case, God, for the first time is coming to live AMONG his people and so therefore they must be holy, and doing all of these things was to help them be holy. He says several times that He makes them holy and they must be set apart. I really can accept that. He is holy, I must try to be. But now His Spirit lives IN me, not just among, and He does continue to make my holy by the grace of Jesus' blood. 2: Try to apply it to my life practically. I see all these laws and regulations and ceremonies as so terribly tedious. But I am a mom and have small children. The parallel I see is that these children of Israel were young children and as any parent of young children can tell you, parenting them is tedious. It involves the dictation of every small task so that, eventually, hopefully, these tasks become habit...this is called maturity. God is the ultimate parent and he definitely had his work cut out for him (as if our generation would have been so much more obedient) They stayed there at the mountain of Sinai for about a year, receiving these words from the Lord and then putting them into practice. Finally, He decided they were ready to go and be among outsiders and attempt to take the promised land. However, at the very first test, they fail miserably to have faith in the Almighty and believe that he can deliver the residents of the land into their hands. Punishment? 40 more years of wandering. Wow. 3: Always, reading the old testament leaves me so grateful for the new. So grateful that I know God this side of the cross. Job wished for an advocate, for someone to go between him and the Lord, and I have that in Jesus. I know that He is the same as he was then and will be forever, but Jesus softens Him for me, somehow. I know why, because in Jesus, God became human and I understand humanness. It's the divine I can't grasp.

Enough preaching. I will say, however, that because I am reading the bible much more regularly, I will most likely be posting scriptures that move me or interesting tidbits of info. Please comment on those. I'd love to hear what you think.

Have a great week.