Sunday, August 31, 2014

End of Summer/Beginning of School

We finished up our summer break with a quick trip to Pennsylvania. After an exhaustive search of probably 30 car lots here in WV and OH for a car to replace our Camry I did what any daughter of a mechanic would do. I called my dad! 

Jeremy had been looking online in western PA and found one. I called my dad late one Sunday night and pathetically begged asked if he would go to a nearby lot and look at a car that Jeremy found on the website. Not surprisingly, my parents dropped any plans they had for Monday morning and went car shopping. He drove these cars on some of the toughest hills in western PA (the traffic light on the hill in Apollo). 

They put money down on a car for us and we finally felt good about it! But we had to manage with one car for a few days. That was tricky as we had a couple of appointments with the kids. We needed that car! 

Dad refused to allow us to come home without changing the timing belt, thermostat, and water pump. We are now the owners of a 2004 Hyundai Elantra.

Mariah woke up with a slight fever. For her that always means stress dosing her hydrocortisone every three hours. While mom and I took Ben and Mariah to Pittsburgh, Jeremy bought the car and began helping my dad work. Dad's garage is not open to the public yet but again.....I pulled a few strings. Basically, I was born into this family and the rest is history!

Mariah's fever got worse as the day progressed. After her nap she felt very warm to me. Grandma took her temperature and it read 103.2. She was miserable.
Jeremy's parents take our family to Kennywood every year as a treat. We had planned on all of us going however, Mariah changed those plans. She only wanted mama. I was torn. I wanted to watch Selah at her first American amusement park but I also knew I needed to be with my sick little one. She had gone so long without having a mama. My place was at my parents' home with her.

Soon she was bouncing back and happy. Ibuprofen is a wonderful thing!
The rest of my family had a blast at Kennywood! Grandma and Pap are no exception to that fun. The meteorologists were calling for high winds and rain that day but it turned out beautiful! 
They were excited to ride the water rides. I prefer to stay dry! Evidently Grandma and Pap loved getting wet too!
Can you see how they are literally dripping wet? 

Maybe this is why.......
 Ben got it too thanks to the Raging Rapids.
Grandma too! Well, except for her hair.
First coaster with her big brother, The Racer. Although the next ride she asked if she could ride with a "big person".

Daddy and his big girls.
Dad, Ben, Micah, and Kyle on the Jack Rabbit. This is one of my favorites!

That marked the end of our summer. 

I needed to get home and get ready for my first day of school with the kids. I was not prepared AT ALL!!!!!

I had to get busy cleaning up from last year. Yep! I still had not packed everything away yet. I somehow managed to get the room pulled together. This year I added a computer center in the back of the room.
Don't be too impressed with this. I plan to write a post about how we homeschool. I promise I am not that impressive as a teacher. Ben's desk will never be that neat EVER again! EVER!

Front row with the pink chair is Selah, Ben, and Mariah with the small wooden desk. Back row from the bookcases is Kyle (red organizer), Micah (green organizer) and Rebecca (pink organizer).

They were met with my typical "Welcome" message.
And I snapped a photo once they were at their desks.
For our first day we did a little bit of work and then had lunch at Wendy's in an attempt to start out slowly and happily!
Added this one for good measure. I think Ben looks so cute here. Ignore the laundry baskets behind him. At least they were empty, right?
This past Friday was Mariah's first day of speech this school year. Once again we have a sweet SLP. Ironically, she also lives in our neighborhood. How neat that Mariah's two speech therapists live in our small neighborhood of 102 houses!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

VBS and "The Accident"

It wouldn't be summer with VBS. As our kids are getting older many have transitioned to "helpers" instead of students. We encouraged Selah to help out this year. I know she was apprehensive. I believe after the first day she seemed to enjoy her responsibilities. 

We had morning VBS and Jeremy took the kids with him when he drove in each day. They were over an hour early but to save on gas it worked beautifully. And I did enjoy the time with Mariah.

I would then come with Mariah to pick up the older kids. Mariah was too young to attend. So I had some special time with her.

We made chocolate chip cookies.
Just a few. And yes........we ate them all!
Mariah literally sat on the edge of her seat as we watched the closing program for each day.
As we sat in the back I watched Selah as she helped with the Ben's class. My heart was full. She has her hands lifted.
Jeremy took a few photos during VBS. The theme was "ElectriCity". The workers were encouraged to dress in the time period of the 1920s. 

Kyle as the banker.
Selah helping the teacher.
Micah on the ladder helping with games.
Rebecca playing games.
Ben during his craft time.
It was a great week of VBS!

Kyle also has been hired to cut grass at the church. He goes to work with Jeremy on Thursday and starts with the extensive weed-eating.
Then as our week was busy with VBS, Jeremy also wanted to get work done on his car for it to pass inspection. So we dealt with one car for a few days. That was challenging as Jeremy took the kids to church with him then drove them back home for lunch and I had to drive him back to work. Then I came home and drove back to get him a few hours later. Those 20 minute drives ate up the time in our days! 

Jeremy had a new rack and pinion put in his car. On Tuesday, Jeremy paid $500 for the repairs. He planned to get the car inspected on his way home from work the next day. Kyle had worked cutting grass Wednesday instead of Thursday due to doctor appointments. So Kyle was in the car with him.

At 4 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon I was on the telephone with my sister. Jeremy called in and I tried to answer the call-waiting and Jeremy was not there. Then he called my cell phone moments later and this was my conversation with him:

Me: "Hello. What's up?"

Jeremy: "Jeanine, I'm in an accident."

Me: "Are you behind an accident?"

Jeremy: "No! We ARE the accident!"

Then I heard fire sirens. And I was really upset.

Me: "Jeremy, are you okay?"

Jeremy: "I don't know."

Me: "Is Kyle okay?"

Jeremy: "I don't know."

Me: "Tell me where you are."

Jeremy: "In front of Advance Auto."


A million thoughts went through my head. Like......WHICH ADVANCE? I honestly didn't know what to do. He was not answering his phone.

I had a sleeping child upstairs and four kids outside playing. I called everyone inside and called our parents.

As we waited Jeremy finally called me back about 30 minutes later. The longest 30 minutes of my life!

They appeared ok but Jeremy told me that Kyle may have a broken nose and concussion. Jeremy's wrist and knee were killing him. He asked me to come get them at Advance in front of Kroger and hung up. 

I got in the car and headed to where he was. When I got there the toe truck was taking the other person's car. Jeremy, Kyle, and the other driver were sitting on the curb. 

As Kyle saw me he hugged me and cried. 

I also cried.

I got them loaded in the van and headed to the ER. Kyle had blood all over his face. Poor kid was miserable. He couldn't hear us very well and had horrible ringing in his ears.

Jeremy's left arm didn't look right. 

I dropped them off and had Micah stay with them while I drove home to wait for a friend to come and stay with the kids. Ben was in the van with me and when I turned around I noticed Ben crying. He was scared.

Jeremy showed me some photos of his car. I gasped. He has the black car.
Obviously Kyle's side of the car took most of the damage.
Heather came to the house as my girls were fixing some supper. I decided easy was best. So pasta it was. But Heather showed up at the door with pizza. So.....pasta and pizza!
I went down to the ER. Kyle ended up with a concussion. His nose was fine.

Jeremy had a sprained wrist and bruised knee. Personally.....something neurologically was not right with him either. He just was not able to think straight.

We headed to the lot where his car was towed and gathered our belongings. It was obvious to us the car was a total loss. Not to mention that Kyle needed his inhaler as his asthma was flared and the ER did not get him anything after we asked twice. That is another story!

I had some hurting guys on my hands. I was concerned about Kyle. 
He was pretty beat up. The airbags ripped his glasses off his face and they ended up under the driver's seat. I am so thankful no one was hurt worse.

I guess we didn't have to worry about getting the car inspected, right?

Thursday morning the police report was ready and it was determined that Jeremy did nothing wrong. He was in the left lane of the highway. The other driver was trying to cross traffic in front of Jeremy and head back the opposite way. He never saw Jeremy. Jeremy was driving the speed limit 40 mph and could not avoid hitting the other driver.

Jeremy and Kyle went to the doctor for a follow-up and they are healing. Kyle has to limit his activity for another week. Today he seemed to finally be feeling better. He had not been feeling well all week.

Jeremy, me, and Selah headed to Indianapolis on Thursday for some doctor appointments on Friday. My mom came to stay with the other kids. We had to take her car. I drove. Jeremy was sore and not able to drive. 

Notice how happy and relaxed Selah seemed as we checked in to our hotel? I love this photo of her!
Here she was getting her height and weight checked. Such a cute expression!
We are amazed that she has gained 7 pounds since she joined our family! That seems to be negated by the fact that she has grown almost 3 inches. She is now 5 feet 2 3/4 inches but only 79 pounds! Still not heavy enough to activate the air bags. 

I'm not very good at transparency. But I'll share here so that you can watch how God works in our lives. Honestly we are overwhelmed. We feel that every single aspect of our lives is being challenged. We know that Satan is working hard. 

We have had to fight for absolutely, health insurance, citizenship papers, tax returns, landscaping, prescription coverage, 30% utility rate increases, etc. We are tired of the fight. We are tired of being treated as though we are not worth people's time. We are tired of asking for supervisors then having the supervisor hang up on us.

We are discouraged and worn.

I feel that the weight of it all can be seen physically on my husband. Even though he will not admit it I can see it.

My husband works so hard for our family. Then we had this car accident.

We know that we may one day look back and see why God allowed this to happen. Right now we stay the course. We love God and know that none of this took Him by surprise. We rest in that assurance.

Your continued prayers are much appreciated as Jeremy and I seek wisdom in making some important decisions. 

A sweet friend, Kari, knew we were going through a lot and sweetly offered encouragement to me. She shared with me that she often reads verses from the Bible and if she sees it applies, she writes the name of one of her children beside a specific verse. She said this verse was underlined but nothing was written beside it. She wrote my name.

Isaiah 41:10 Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.