Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sunshine and Shadows

 Maybe I've mentioned that I have a soft spot for quilts?   I also have a love-hate relationship with doing them.  When it's going well I love it; that may be half the time.  When it's not going well or I have to do the binding I detest it!

This one was a long dreamed of project.  I've always loved the Mariner's Compass pattern but knew it was WAY beyond my piecing skills.  Lo and behold I found it in an easier pattern and did the dance of joy all the way to the register.

I've been working on this comforter for Kaitlyn's bed for quite awhile.  It needs the binding stitched on two sides.  Have I mentioned that I hate binding?  Butterflies and pastels were the girls' choice by the way.

The Helping Hands group at church usually uses the Trip Around the World pattern for the comforters it does for auction.

Sometimes the pattern is known as Sunshine and Shadows.

(Note: Found this one on the internet)

Notice it's the darks against the lights that define this pattern.

It seems that this is the pattern God has for us now.  The sunshine of being together with everyone well set against the shadows of sickness and separation and difficulty.  I know the Master Quilter has a plan for the quilt of our lives that is good.
"For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."    Jeremiah 29:11

I will choose to trust Him.   

 Soli Deo gloria

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Emily came home around 8:30 tonight.  Her progress was not particularly satisfying or "normal".  I find the situation very frustrating.  If she continues to vomit, back she'll go.

When she woke up this morning I was sure we were good to go.  Usually once she's well she self-regulates food intake just fine.  Unfortunately, I think she overate and was vomiting and miserable the rest of the day.   Several times she took a sip of water, set down the cup, and vomited.   I think we're seeing a switch where I'll have to guess the appropriate amount.  I've never been particularly good at guessing games.  Fortunately, the staff know us and Emily and let us bring her home.
She came home, demanded green beans, and has avoided any "emesis" so far.

(The first time Emily said "cheese" and smiled on demand.)

A kidney doctor looked at her this morning and ordered some tests.  If something shows up, we'll go from there.  If not, it looks like WVU will have exhausted their resources.  Next time, she may get sent to Columbus which apparently has a pediatric GI TEAM and specializes in cyclic vomiting.

(Enjoying the chaos)

Unless the kidney specialist finds something, this will be the second time Emily's been passed on.  It's hard to hear this.  But we already knew that she's one in a million.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back In

Warning: Family diary - not going to try to be interesting.

Emily got sick last Wednesday, just in time to rearrange all the holiday plans.  Thursday morning she and I arrived back in ER.  The LOVELY (read dripping with sarcasm) resident informed me that the 30-40 times she vomited were impossible since her throat looked fine.  He was sure that what I was actually seeing was her just spitting.  He said that the physician in charge would check her out and send her home.  Five minutes later she started throwing up blood.  We've been in the peds ward since. 
She missed "Christmas" with Kenton's family, Paul and Bonnie and their kids stayed with Wayne's, and she missed the Mast get-together on Sunday.  Kenton came Saturday afternoon so I could go home, see kids, and be at the Mast get-together.
The other kids weren't overjoyed to be taken away from Grandma and cousins, but fought over who got to sit next to mom while we watched a movie...and all four slept in our room.  I guess they must miss me afterall.
The Mast get-together is always special.  I love that family.  It was hard, though, to be there without Emily.  I wanted so much to share my new baby with the family, to celebrate with them the joy she brings us.

Emily had another endoscopy on Friday.  She is not improving as rapidly as anyone hoped or expected.   Her pediatric GI mentioned that he may have to send her to Columbus, Ohio where they have a lot of experience with cyclic vomiting. 

I feel like I'm hitting a new low.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Last night while grating potatoes I sprinkled a bit of salt on a bite.  It tasted a little...sweet.  Glancing at the salt shaker I noticed a suspicious sprinkle on the counter and that the salt shaker was mysteriously full to the brim.

Yep, sugar.

I chuckled with Kenton over the downfall of their prank while I dumped the sugar bowl out into the sugar container (just refilled with 10# of sugar)  and waited eagerly this morning for the first prankster to add a bit of salt to his/her cereal.  Strangely not a single kid took a helping, but I was generously offered some.

Doom! They'd hit the sugar bowl, too.

I had just added a sugar bowl full of salt to my sugar container.  


Then I promptly forgot in the busyness of getting the big three to chorus practice, running errands, and shopping.  


I added that sugar/salt mixture to a batch of Russian Tea.  

The perfect prank: one that just keeps on giving.

Subtle Campaign

Davis still insists that he wants another brother.  He loves Emily, but the "girls always have her" and "Jamison is always helping dad" so he wants "Alex".  (Never mind that that type of logic could keep us adopting forever.)

He's changing his tactics.  Apparently he's realized that reminding me weekly that he hasn't changed his mind wasn't getting him anywhere.

Today he started on his dad.

Davis:  Dad, I'm so disappointed that those waterwheels weren't working when we visited the Yellow River.

Dad:  Yeah, I am, too.  I wish we could have seen that.

Davis: Maybe they'll be working when we go back next year.  


Dad isn't changing his mind either.  In two words, "No way!"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Chain Gang

The Chain Gang hanging out behind bars.

(Okay, they decided to watch a movie on the stairs while eating contraband Halloween suckers.)

The Chain Gang on work release cleaning up after Sandy.

Alright, I admit that putting my little slaves to work and expecting an immaculate house in three hours was akin to expecting ME to create the world in six days, but I did dust for the first time in...well, waaaaay too long.  So we're making progress.  Of course, the mess is still three feet deep in our room but I guess I can only blame half of that on the cherubs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Emily is so much fun.

  • In an ironic twist of fate, her all-time favorite food, chosen over any other, is green beans.  
  • Her paperwork told us that she is quiet.  I wonder if they were just seeing a lot of our sick little ghost or if she's come out of her shell a lot being surrounded by a family.  She's loud, joyful, and exuberant.
  • She's learning new tricks all the time.  Today she got ALL the motions of patty-cake right.  Not on the video, of course.  :-P
  • Her language is expanding although most of her words are unintelligible.  She understands WAY more than she is able to verbalize.  She is a very able communicator without words.
  • She's playing more all the time.  Of course, this is mostly in ten second snatches of destruction before she moves on to the next demolition site.  
  • Everything goes in the mouth.
  • The cereal cupboard is a favorite hangout.  

  • She is a too early riser.  Mostly sleeps well at night.  
  • She loves to be out and about, waving, blowing kisses, and being quite a charmer.  
  • She loves being outside, tolerates cats, and is scared to death of even the life-sized stuffed dog at the library.

If you haven't met our Miss Em yet, we can't wait to share her with you.

By the way, the chain gang is "working out" quite well, thank you.  :-P

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quitting My Part-time Job

Some of you may not know that I've been working a part-time job.  It's exhausting, I hate it, and the pay is lousy.  It's also been moving closer to full-time all the time.

So I've decided to quit. 

I will no longer play almost full-time referee for the adorable cherubs pictured below. 

I'm moving right into slave management.  

From this day forward, anyone in this household caught bickering, hitting, spitting, biting, hair-pulling, or otherwise deliberately annoying their siblings will be shanghaied into slave labor.  

It's brilliant!

Why didn't I think of this before?  

I will have an immaculate house in less than three hours and be able to retire from my part-time job. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Catching Up Again

  Sandy took awhile to recover from.  We finally got power back on Thursday and phone/internet on Friday.  It was a loooong time of running the generator.  Ugh!  The farm had power....hmm, maybe Saturday?  I'll admit being on a dead end road has its disadvantages.

(Wow! That's a lot of kids.  No wonder that couch looks like it's been through a war.)

Since my time is currently at a premium and hair care is down toward the bottom of my survival list, I talked Kaitlyn into letting me bob her hair.  If Megan doesn't start taking care of her own mop, I'm going to give her the same 'do.

The kids talked me into three adorable kittens.  Currently outside-would prefer to be inside and work toward that goal every time the door opens.

If you haven't seen our beautiful willow tree this probably doesn't mean much to you, but this tree took a beating during Sandy.  It wiped out the phone line in the process of its hair cut.

This goofy clematis waited until October/November to bloom.   Who knew the goofy thing would still bloom in the snow?

Sandy also finished off this grain bin.  Since I've never been wild about it I'm not exactly heartbroken.  

Our kids are really growing.  I love my stairsteps...even though they're aging me ahead of my time.

Emily saw two specialists this week.  The pediatric GI, Dr. Riedel thinks that SIADH is responsible for the vomiting.  The pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Jones thinks the cyclic vomiting is responsible for what "may" be SIADH.  More bloodwork and urine collection from our darling.
Both doctors are very nice but as much as I LOVE Dr. Riedel, my money is on Dr. Jones with this one.  Time will tell...or maybe it won't.
She also had testing from the Early Intervention team.  She's behind, but considering everything that's gone on in her little life, that's not terribly surprising.  She's around 18-20 months in much of her development.

So now you're up-to-date on our personal soap opera.  Stay tuned as the world turns for the next twist of drama from the days of our lives.  :-P

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Mom: Davis, GET A KLEENEX!

Davis: I already got it out! (Shows me on the end of his finger)   (GAG!)

Mom:  Well, now what are you going to do with it?

Davis: (Shrugging) Put it back?


Emily came home on Thursday still puking.  Yesterday afternoon she finally seemed to start feeling like herself again.  We think she had a bug that made things worse.  Davis, Kaitlyn, and I have all not been feeling 100%. 

Lots of snow, still no power, looks like it will be a bit yet. 


Looks like the situation with Emily may be part of our new normal.  Starting to think about how to make this work better.