Monday, October 30, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Just a quick update before I go get the kids ready for bed---
Larry has had a rough day. He's pretty stiff & sore. I'm not sure if it's because he over-did it yesterday or if it's because he had a bad night last night or what. He didn't sleep a lot last night because he kept getting uncomfortable & without anyone there to help, he was stuck trying to get situated in the bed by himself. He said there were a couple of times when he called for the nurse but it took them 20 minutes to get there & by the time they arrived, he was so exhausted from trying to get settled that he was hurting more than he was when he called. I'm not sure if it was REALLY 20 minutes or if it just felt like 20 minutes to him. Whatever the case, he had a bad night. Tonight I really felt AWFUL leaving him alone again because I sooo wanted to stay with him, but I know that there are nurses there & they are capable of taking care of him. While I was there today, he got up & went for a walk twice and I took him for a "roll" in the wheelchair outside. He's struggling to get comfortable & stay that way today, so I hope that he rests well tonight & tomorrow is better. He is ready to come home & be uncomfortable here....and I'm ready for him to be here. They took out his drain, IV and pain pump today, so he's really on his own now. I will get the kids to school in the morning & then head back up there for the day, and hopefully will bring him home.
The kids are all home now. Everyone is playing & giggling & enjoying each other, but I've already broken up a couple of arguments...and it's only been a couple hours. Whew....back to the grind.
One biggie----Andrew called me "mommy" today. Right after he got home, the phone rang & he was closest, so he answered it. I guess whoever it was (can't remember now) asked if Larry was home & he said "No, but my mommy is here". I just about broke down in tears right then! I got on the phone & answered the question of whoever it was....but was totally stunned the whole time. Wow.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Larry's surgery was yesterday morning about 8:20. It went smooth & quick. By 9:35, I was in a family consult room w/ the doc. He said there were no surprises & that everything went great. (Thank you, Lord!)
Larry woke up from the anesthesia fine (which was a concern of his, as he's been nauseated by anesthesia in the past). He woke up from the sleepy-part of the anesthesia & felt pretty alert & was cracking jokes when they rolled him into the room. When the pain-part of the anesthesia wore off, though, he wasn't so happy. He had a hard time getting on top of the pain at first, but since then it's been manageable w/ the Demerol PC pump. He hits the happy button faithfully every 10 minutes. :)
By bedtime last night, they had him getting up to walk to the bathroom. Today he got up 2x w/ the physical therapist & then another 2x just b/c he wanted to get up & move. Although it's GREATTTTTT that he's up & moving so much, I'm afraid it may be TOO much. I hope he's not horribly sore tomorrow after all the movement today. I guess we'll see!
I'm home for the night to pack up Avon orders and get some real sleep. The fold-out uncomfortable bed at the hospital is ok, but nothing is quite like sleeping in your own bed!
Thanks for the continued prayers & support. We love you all!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Tomorrow morning at 5:30am, Larry & I will be checking into the Texas Spine & Joint Hospital in Tyler. (If you'd like to see the place, the website is: http://www.tsjh.org/. At about 8:00am, he will have surgery. He will be there for 2-3 days before coming home.
We are incredibly blessed in that we have a friend coming here to spend the night tonight so that she'll be here in the morning to wake up the kids & get them off to school. THANK YOU CINDY!! We have friends from church coming to pray with us before the surgery. We have friends from church bringing meals over after it's over. Wow....we're blessed.
For those of you who don't know the details of this, here ya go. Larry broke his back when he was 13. Ever since he's lived with all sorts of back problems (spasms, severe pain in the break area, etc.). About a year ago, he aggrivated it somehow (we still really don't know what happened) & he's been taking pain med's ever since. We found out a few weeks ago that he has a tear in one of the discs. Every time he strains or stretches the wrong way, the fluid in the disc is squeezed out & causes a muscle spasm. This surgery will remove that disc & replace it with a titanium cage filled with his own blood & marrow, which will in time harden, creating a new bone & fusing the vertabra above & below it together permanently. (There will also be some screws in there holding the cage in place.) We are really anxious to get this over & done with!!
Please say a prayer for us. If you don't hear from me (on the journal) for a few days, this is why!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
And then on Thursday, the news came that the DA renegotiated a new deal & he took it. He will be officially sentenced on this coming Wednesday (25th). He is accepting a 10 year sentence, which means that he will be eligible for parole in 2 1/2 years. He's already served 8 months, so I'm sure they will apply that to his prison time, which means that he'll be eligible to parole in about 18-20 months.
In a lot of ways, I'm nervous about the future. I guess one thing this whole saga has taught me is to be calm, rely on God's promises and just relax. If I try to take this in big gulps, I'm bound to choke. Going one day at a time is best. It makes me nervous for the kids. Unfortunately G & Kelly were not responsible parents and I fear what the future holds for the kids. I'm certain that G will want to get the kids back once he's out. There will be a tall & treacherous mountain for him to climb before that can occur. I suppose if he's able to climb that mountain successfully, it won't be as hard to slowly let the kids go....but I am beginning NOW to pray for that time as I know it will be *EXTREMELY* difficult for all of us. The emotions involved with all of that threaten to overwhelm me if I think on it too long, so onto something else!
On Friday, Larry is having a Lower Lumbar Interbody Fusion surgery. I think that's the right name anyway! It's a lower back fusion if you're like me & don't know all the medical terms. A friend from church is going to take care of getting all the kids up & to school that morning (THANK YOU CINDY!!!!) so that Larry & I can get to the hospital at 5:30am. :::yawn::: Surgery is scheduled for 8:00 & is supposed to last a couple of hours. He & I are both anxious for this time to arrive & be done. He's ready & feels very much at peace about it all...just ready to get it done! He will be in the hospital at least through the weekend, possibly into Mon or Tues. We have a lot of friends planning to come pray with us prior to the surgery, help with the kids all weekend, and meals coming in for that first week. We are blessed!!!!! Please join a great army of friends & family who will be praying for a successful surgery, quick healing and a smooth recovery time. After he's released from the hospital, Larry will not be able to drive for 2 weeks and will be required to spend most of that time resting & recovering at home. The doc wants him to get up & walk as much as possible, but not to push himself too far either. After those first couple of weeks, he's free to slowly ease back into regular life as he feels up to it. The story we get is that by 6 weeks, he'll be "back to normal" (whatever normal is!). :::GRIN:::
THanks for your continued prayers & support through this great journey of our lives.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
This morning at 9:00, Andrew had a soccer game. When we got done, we planned to go pick up Larry's glasses and get Sarah & Kourtney's hair cut. It turns out that the glasses place had about a million people waiting in line at the time, so I left Larry there & took the kids to the hair place. When we got back, he was done. I needed to go to the bathroom, so we pulled up at Ken's Pizza & I was going to run in to use their restroom when Larry announced "Let's just stay & have lunch." Everyone let out a big 'hooray!' since this was a nice surprise! While we were eating, Larry got on the phone & called someone. I wondered who he'd dialed b/c he'd been sitting quietly listening the entire time...never speaking. When he hung up, curiosity was killing me, so I asked who he called. He was calling to check the time for a movie!! When we left the pizza place, we surprised the kids for a 2nd time today by going to see "Open Season". We all enjoyed it. It's rated PG & I can see why...there are quite a few questionable jokes, but luckily they went right over the kids' heads and the storyline to the movie was very sweet, so it was a good movie for all of us. I think it would've been equally great if they'd taken out the questionable stuff & given it a G rating though!
When we got home, we were all sleepy, so we took an hour's down time & we all took a nap, then it was back to work! :) We're trying to get all the laundry & daily housework caught up so that we won't have anything waiting for me after Larry's surgery.
Tonight I made this soup for supper & it was SOOOO good. Only Andrew & Savannah really liked it (of the kids, that is), but if your family likes Mexican food, they'll enjoy it!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Today was nice. After work/school, we met Andrew & Kourtney's aunt for a little visit. I'm sorry that we didn't have longer to spend, but it was really neat to see the kids' reaction to her. They were excited to see her & ran to hug her when we walked in. :) Savannah was at art class, but the rest of the kids were with me. I'm not too fond of how it turned out, but here's a pic (above) of the kids & I right before we left. Pardon the sunbeam at the top right & the side of Sarah's head....LOL
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
If you're not here in E. Texas, you may not know about our weather. It's crazy. A few years ago we had snow on Valentine's Day. It was on a Friday that year. By Sunday, the snow was gone & we were running the A/C. Yes....crazy weather, I tell ya! Due to the weird weather, last week when a cold front came through, we all expected that it was finally going to be Fall-ish weather. Hooray! Nope, within 24 hours, we were in the 90s again. Back & forth it's gone ever since, mostly staying warmer. With the crazy up & down of the thermometer, 3 out of our 5 kids are coughing. I'm positive it's all allergy-related stuff, but none the less, they're coughing. I've been giving everyone some OTC cough/cold medicine. Yesterday afternoon, Samuel said that his throat hurt "a lot". Now, Samuel has well....his dad's pain tolerance, which isn't much. :) So a "really" sore throat on him might not be so horrific. Then again, he's had ear infections before where the goo was running from his ears & down his neck before he ever mentioned that they were sore. So ya just don't know with this kid. I gave him some Tylenol last night & that seemed to fix it.
This morning, he got up & was real lethargic. He whined & fussed about getting dressed (I ended up dressing him like an infant while he lay lifeless in my lap!). He barely touched breakfast. He said his throat hurt worse than it had yesterday. When it was time to leave, we found him---back in bed, under his covers. :( Poor baby... So I let him stay home. I told him that we'd go to the doctor & see what was wrong.
This is what I wrote this afternoon when we got home from the doctor's office:
Friday, October 13, 2006
On Saturday of last week, Andrew had a 9:00 soccer game & then we left for Elkhart. We visited with Larry's parents and then made a trip to the jail to visit G. We took in the camera & took a pic of the kids with G before the guard came in to tell us that we had to put away the camera (oops!). Want to see? Email me!
Sunday was a regular busy day---church much of the day.
On Monday, Larry had an appointment with a neurosurgeon for his back. After many years (about 20!) of struggling with back problems, it's finally reached the point of him needing surgery. Dr. G is touted to be "the" doctor in this area if you have to have back surgery. We were blessed that we were able to get in so quickly as most people have to wait much longer to get in. We were told by several people that Dr. G would NOT recommend surgery if he didn't *really* believe that you need it. When he walked in, he explained to Larry that he'd extensively reviewed his records & he believed that surgery would help him most of all. And so, on Oct 27th, Larry will have a lower lumbar disc fusion. Of the 3 surgical options available to him, this one carries the fewest risks, has the best recovery & success rate and seems to be the one that will help him most. We're not sure of the surgery time yet, but I will update the journal when we know. That weekend, the kids will stay with all the grandparents so that I can be available to Larry there at the hospital for the longest period of time possible. Heck, it'll be like a date for us! :) LOL! Seriously, though, your prayers for a smooth surgery & quick recovery is appreciated.
Tuesday afternoon....oh....that's my crazy afternoon over here. With all 5 having homework on Tuesdays, it's a hectic few hours. We pushed through homework time & just got everyone in bed!
Wednesday I had lunch with a good friend (Hi Stacey!) & was thoroughly stuffed until late that evening. Yum! TGI Friday's has awesome food! That evening, the singles group went to play Bingo with the people at a retirement home. It is really a lot of fun because the group there makes it so enjoyable for us. One sweet man, Red, holds a sweet spot in my heart. He's a diabetic veteran who's had both legs amputated at the knee. I'm not sure if it was the diabetes or war that did that...but anyway.... He is a jokester & reminds me so much of my dad. Always making us laugh, telling funny stories about his life. Thank you, Red, for sharing your kindness with us!
I worked on Thursday & spent the greatest part of the evening bringing in & sorting through all of the kids' winter clothes. We have got 7 giant storage tubs in our bedroom at this moment, piled high with all of the clothes that will fit the kids this winter. Aside from a few gaps, they've got their fall/winter wardrobes all ready! I'm going to spend much of the day tomorrow going through their drawers & closets getting out all the super-summery stuff. I know that we will still have warm weather off & on through mid-November, but since we're having some cooler mornings & a cold front here & there, I think it's time to get this stuff out & available. Sigh....that'll be a big job!!
Today was Kourtney & Sarah's field trip to the zoo. I went as a chaperone & had such a fun time. It's interesting to watch your own children interacting with other kids & parents. I love seeing how they behave when I'm not there (because sooner or later, they all forget that I'm watching & start being silly with the rest of their class!). I have lots of pictures of Sarah's group. Kourtney's class had plenty of parents there, so I stayed with Sarah's group. We only had about 5 parents with us. If you want to see those pictures, email me!
Here's a sweet story....on Thursday night when I was getting out all the winter clothes, Andrew watched, wide-eyed as I opened his box. When they moved in last February, we had a ton of clothing donations from friends & family who wanted to do something tangible to help. His box was filled nearly to the top with clothes for him to grow into & the off-season stuff we packed away in the spring. As he watched me pull out armfulls of clothes for him, he grinned from ear to ear, shocked at how much he had. He'd squeal like a girl every time I pulled out something he had forgotten from last spring or something that he thought was new. He finally spoke & said "So....when I was born, you & Uncle Larry bought me all these clothes for when I was 8 & stored them for me all this time???" He was dead serious. I giggled at the idea of us buying an entire winter wardrobe for him at birth & storing it til now....but I had to hug him too. I figure he's never had this many clothes at one time before & is just astounded at the piles. Honestly, his pile was the smallest of all the kids', but he was amazed none the less. These clothes were a double blessing---once back in February when we got them & again last night when he "discovered" them for the first time. To all of you who donated clothes for the kids, thank you!! We appreciate everything you gave!
Halloween is coming up, quickly followed by Kourtney's birthday! She says she wants to have a party at McDonald's, so I guess that's what we'll be doing this year. I am ready! Time to buy some party invitations & get that planned, I guess. Want to come eat bad cake & listen to a bunch of 5 & 6 yr old's scream? :)
For Halloween, we've got all the costumes bought & ready. Savannah is going to be a Barbie pumpkin fairy/princess. (No, I didn't know there was such a thing either. Here, this is it: BARBIE~PUMPKIN FAIRY~Halloween COSTUME~M 8/10~Cute!) Andrew is going to be The Thing from the Fantastic 4. Samuel will be the Hulk. (Just typing that makes me giggle...you'll see why when I share the pictures of them in their costumes!!) Kourtney is going to be a lady bug & Sarah is going to be Strawberry Shortcake. I can't wait to take them to the carnival & get lots of candy!!! It'll be fun!!!!
I better run. Please email & update me on you and yours.
Friday, October 6, 2006
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
I may never climb a mountain so I can see the world from there
I may never ride the waves and taste the salty ocean air
Or build a bridge, that would last a hundred years
But no matter where the road leads
One thing is always clear
I am blessed, I am blessed
From when I rise up in the morning
Til I lay my head to rest
I feel You near me
You sooth me when I'm weary
Oh Lord, for all the worst and all the best
I am blessed
All along the road less traveled, I have crawled and I have run
I have wandered through the wind and rain until I found the Son
The watching eyes asked me why, I walked this narrow way
I will gladly give the reason
For the hope I have today
You've given me joy
You've given me love
You give me strength when I want to give up
You came from Heaven to rescue my soul
This is the reason I know