Monday, February 25, 2008

Avoiding the Appearance of Evil--Oops!

We broke the rules and had an awesome Casino Night! Can you think of a better way to celebrate a 30th birthday! Jake invited all of his dentist buddies and wives and Steph pulled off an awesome party. She did all the decorations and party planning. I just made sure my house was clean.
Emily even got dressed up for the big party-then we sent her and her siblings into the bedroom to watch a movie.
Not really sure what these guys are playing but I know it involved betting and I'm sure they are having fun. No worries, noone had to shell out any money. We stuck to chips.
Steph even rented a Roulette wheel. How fun is that?

Jaxon joined in on craps. He had as much fun as the adults.
Wouldn't be a perfect casino party without the "beer".
Here's the happy couple that made it all possible. Notice the cute decoration hanging from the ceiling. They were all over.
Happy Birthday Jake! Thanks for the fun weekend.
Bud-it made me excited for another poker night. Those were fun times!

Friday, February 22, 2008

When Your Heart Speaks Take Good Notes

That was one of the many lessons I learned from the book "Three Cups of Tea". I've been reading it the past few weeks and just recently finished it. There were so many inspiring things in it that I wanted to share just a few! More than anything I am so glad to have a better understanding of the people in Pakistan. What good people. Part of me wishes I could go and meet the men and women mentioned in the book. The book is about the desire of one man, Greg Mortenson, who wanted to bring education to children in Pakistan and did everything in his power to make it happen. It was facinating and inspiring to see how one person could make such a huge difference.

If you haven't read it yet, you need to! It's very inspiring. Here are a few of my favorite lessons learned.

The title comes from an experience that Greg had building a school in a small Pakistan village. He was frantically trying to get the school finished on his agenda and was frustrated that it wasn't going as he wanted it to. The village leader, Haji Ali, decided it was time to teach him valuable lesson. He told him, "Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated but we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time." Greg goes on to say, "That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned in my life. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly...Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them."

I love this! What a great reminder that we need to slow down and work on developing relationships. Greg says the following about Haji Ali, "Here was this illiterate man, who'd hardly ever left his little village in the Karakoram. Yet he was the wisest man I've ever met."

I also loved reading about the compassion and love that was shown to Greg after 9/11. A Muslim leader in Pakistan gave a talk just days after in which he said, "I request America to look into our hearts and see that the great majority of us are not terrorists, but good and simple people...Protect and embrace this American in our midst. Let no harm come to him." The women in the village pressed eggs, a token of grief, into his hands and told him to take them to the "faraway sisters they longed to comfort themselves, the widows of New York village." There was so much hatred after 9/11 in the American hearts and so much love in the Pakistans heart. We have so much we can learn from them!

Ok, just one more thing. At a lecture given by Mortensen he told us to find a way to make a difference. He suggested simple things like writing a letter or saving just a few dollars to give to someone in need. Sometimes we might feel like we have to do great things like go to Pakistan ourselves and build a school. In reality there are so many little things we can do. The kids and I wrote letters to some of the kids Heather knows from Africa. It didn't take us long and wasn't fancy but I was glad to connect with other people in this world and hopefully in some small way make a difference in their lives. Learning about them, and about the people in Pakistan, has certainly made a difference in mine.
Check out the website

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sun, Swings, and Smiles

The sun shone all day long today. It was heavenly and even a bit warm. I took my kids and the Andrus kids to the park. We all had so much fun. They all wanted to push Holly on the swing. That was the best part. Her laugh was contagious.

I went to the park so I could soak in as many rays as possible. Unfortunately, the park was almost completely in shade because of all the tall beautiful trees around. Sunshine is hard to come by in these parts. It's usually covered by the trees or the clouds. I ended up coming home and sitting in the driveway to get that much needed sun. It was good for my soul.

I love the bare feet!!

Catching Up on Fun

I have to blog about the fun things we did the past week-mostly because I have such cute pics to go along with it. We loved eating candy on Valentines and had a surprise fancy dinner for Heather when she showed up to watch the kids. Each of the kids gave her a few flowers and told her why they love her. Abbie and Connor were excellent servers for dinner. Steph and I dressed exactly the same that day but didn't even plan it. We must think alike!

The next day I went with Abbie on a field trip to OMSI. It was my very first time and I loved it! Doesn't she look cute in those glasses!

I love the pic on the right with the thought bubble coming out of her head. What do you think she was thinking?

On Saturday Uncle Jake took us fishing at Hornings Hideout. Lots of fun and lots of fish. Connor caught his first fish and Holly took her first ride on a swing. Thanks Jake!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Babes

I decided I wanted the world (or at least the few people who read my blog) to know how much I love my Valentine!Thanks Rick for being so good to me. I treasure the memories that we have made over the past 10 years. And love the life we have made for ourselves. You are an amazing man and I am so blessed to be your valentine.

Love you Rick.

Happy Valentines!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Running Group

When I first started my blog, I decided that running group would need to be one of my posts. Mostly becuase of how crazy it is to watch over 10 kids at one time, 4 of which are 1 or under. However, when your addicted to something, you'll do whatever it takes to make it happen. So, even though it might sound crazy here are the many reasons I love running group, as well as some cute pics from the last time the kids came to my house. 10 of the 13 kids were there-we missed your kids Nichole and hope you're feeling better soon.

#1-(This is the main reason) I get to run on the days I'm not watching!

#2-I run with awesome people and get to have adult conversations. We sometimes have up to 8 people running on a day!

#3-Emily gets to have playdates almost every morning.

#4-As you can see, all of these kids are extra cute. It's fun having little people in every nook and cranny of the house (only for an hour though).

#5-It gets me going in the morning and I feel great the rest of the day.

#6-It hardly ever rains on us. I'm not kidding. The rain seems to always stop for the hour we go out. Maybe we're just having too much fun to notice it.

#7-I get to be outside. It's fun to see the seasons change and to look for flowers that are coming up. Can you tell I'm very excited for spring!

#8-Did I already mention all the awesome people I get to run with? They even let me take a picture of them right after they got back from running (actually they didn't have much choice).

#9-I love to run!

Thanks so much to Tami, Heidi, Jean, Sarah, Becky, Nichole, Jane, Brittany and all your adorable children for helping me start my day off right. You guys are awesome!

Monday, February 4, 2008

3Trips to the ER in 3 Days

Rick and I made our first trip as a married couple to the ER. We had so much fun we decided to do it again the next 2 days! Here's the story. Within the last few weeks all of my kids have had that yucky stomach virus. Abbie, Connor and Emily had already had different variations of it and starting on Tuesday Holly was filling her diaper more than usual and had a low fever. By Wednesday night she was throwing up and by Thursday night she had a high fever and looked miserable. She woke up during the night and our thermometer read 105 and I started to wonder how high a fever has to get before the body just shuts down all together. We called the advice nurse and they said to take her to the ER right away. That didn't sound fun to me so I asked if we could wait it out till morning. She said we should bring her in immediately. So we did. Heather was our angel, as always, and came right over at 1:00 in the morning and slept at our home while Rick and I took Holly in. I was so grateful to have Rick there. I don't do these things well on my own.

We got right in and the doctor was very thorough. He did blood work, chest x-rays, urine samples and had the nurse attempt to get an IV in her to give her fluids. Holly hadn't kept anything down for a few days and they were concerned she was dehydrated. After 3 very stressful, sad attempts they gave up on giving her an IV and have her an anti-nausea pill instead and then a few ounces of pedialyte. They thought she should feel much better and sent us on our way. I didn't think we had accomplished much. They just told us what we already knew, that she had a stomach virus. We went about the next day as normal and didn't tell anyone about our crazy evening because at the time it really wasn't a big deal and I assumed life would be back to normal.

However, Holly continued to have a fever and continued to vomit. Holly's doctor was good to keep in touch and by Saturday morning when she still couldn't keep anything down and wasn't having any wet diapers she insisted that we bring her in again. This time they went straight for her scalp to put the IV in. The nurse did an awesome job. It was fast and they were able to start getting fluids into her very dehydrated body. We were there from 11 am-5 pm and then sent home again with the promise that she should be feeling better but if she threw up again that we were to bring her back. Here's a pic of her after we got home. You can see where the IV had been in her head. She was even more miserable then she looks. She hadn't smiled for days.
We assumed we were in the clear this time but by that night she had thrown everything up once again. The doctor told us we should come in again but I was so sick of going and coming home that we asked if we could just wait it out during the night so that we could all get some sleep. She slept great but threw up as soon as she woke up and we knew we needed to take her in. As with the other two times they got us right in and did what they could to help her. This time around they tried three times to get the IV in and failed each time. She was dehydrated so her veins were smaller, plus each time they tried a vein it made it so the vein couldn't be used again. Their options were being limited. It didn't help that she has such a chubby body, making it hard to get to the veins.

They admitted us this time around and took us to the pediatric floor. The nurses there took her to a special room with lights that would help them find the vein. I couldn't handle being in there watching them poke at her. Unfortunately the room was across the hall so I could hear scream for the 15-20 minutes they tried to find a vein. They came out of the room without an IV in her.
They tried again about an hour later. By this time I had been at the hospital for almost 5 hours. Rick was at home with the kids. I was worried about her not having an fluids in her. I had tried nursing her at one point but she threw it all up an hour later.

They took her to the special IV room one more time and were finally able to get the IV in her scalp once again. As much as I hated seeing the IV in her it was such a relief knowing they wouldn't have to torture her anymore and that she would finally be getting fluids in.
Luckily she didn't grab at it too much but it did stress me out a bit. Her little 1-year-old cousin Sage was disturbed by it the most. When she first saw her she kept patting her own head. It was almost like she was aware that her little cousin was in pain and it was her way of sympathizing. Very cute.

Holly continued to be miserable and didn't show much improvement. However, she hadn't thrown up for awhile and was having some wet diapers.

We both slept fairly well and Holly continued to recover. By the time Steph brought Emily, Jaxon and Sage to visit the next morning she was on the mend. I think she was glad to have the two little clowns to entertain her.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to finally see her smile again and was happy to bring her home. Let's hope we don't have to make yet another trip to the ER!

I always wondered what it would be like to bring my child to the ER. I imagined a lot more blood or a broken bone at least. More than anything I was so grateful for hospitals to help take care of my little baby. I spent the majority of the time reading the book "Three Cups of Tea". It's about a man who helped remote villages in Pakistan. In one village only 1 in 3 children made it past their 2nd birthday. Who knows what would have happened if I wasn't able to get Holly the help she needed. What a blessing! It also made me grateful for the health we enjoy. I hurt for those moms out there who deal with much more serious issues. What a hard thing to see your child suffer.
You would have to rely so heavily on the Lord to make it through.

Thanks to everyone who helped out-especially my awesome sisters who spent many hours with my kids and thanks to my hubby who is an amazing support. You guys are the best