Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hard Week

Our 3 youngest are having a hard week.

I am tired.

A friend of mine named Debbie has given me so much good advice but one of the best things she ever said was, "Don't expect to always 'enjoy' your children."

I adore my children, love them, like being with them. Usually.

BUT there are phases which are not much fun.

Rose has been crabby.  Daniel has been crabby. Sarah has been crabby.

Crabby X 3 is exhausting!

I have been busy with 2 afternoons of work and 2 trips to take Lydia to her college class each week. It may be that the busyness is stressing out Rose, in particular.

In other news, it has been insanely hot for this time of year, but tomorrow the temps will finally fall.  I'm looking forward to fall weather.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tired Rose

Rose very very rarely takes a nap anymore, but she was clingy and whiny this morning so after lunch I put her in her room, thinking she might fall asleep.

After an hour, it was very quiet. I poked my head in and looked around.

Where was Rose?

Ah, there is a Rosie foot!

She woke up and heard me.

But decided she wasn't ready to get up yet :-).

Cute girl!

Friday, September 22, 2017

I'm Thankful It Is Friday

Busy week!  Still sick off and on, though improving. My tailbone is better after a trip to the chiropractor on Monday. That actually helped a lot, and I'm thankful.

It has been a very busy week.  Chiro appointment on Monday, dental appointment for Sarah on Wednesday, normal work 2 afternoons a week and then Lydia has a class Monday and Wednesday afternoons for an hour, but she drives me here and there to get driving time in.

So yeah, I feel stretched.

Kids went crazy checking things out on the microscope one day this week.  It was homeschooling on the porch!  It was great.  I think that was one of my "not feeling well" days so it was terrific they were excited about learning when I was just in survival mode.

(To be totally clear, I am NOT PREGNANT!  I know that sick Laraba makes people think that but dudes, I'm almost 48. No more babies!)

Mocha, the kitten, is still timid and nervous and living in our shed, but she is warming up to us.  Lydia touched her for the first time today.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Still a Little Sick

And I'm getting tired of it.  Sigh. I think I am improving but this morning hasn't been good.  I'm functional but not happy. Nausea, fatigue, aches and pains.

Kevin has had it, some other kids have had it, Kevin's mom has it.  It is just taking a while to get through the system.

And when I am tempted to be whiny, I'm reminded of Nabeel Qureshi, who did pass away yesterday from cancer.  While I rejoice that he is with Jesus, free from his pain, I grieve intensely for his wife, his daughter, his extended family, and his friends.

Not that I know the man. I just know his books. His story is being repeated all over in other families losing loved ones far too young.  But for some reason his life resonates because his books have meant so much to me.

This is Mocha.  She is a small calico kitten (we presume female) who showed up a few days ago.  She is super skittish and won't let anyone touch her, though she is friendly with our cats.  We tried to capture her in the garage and she sank sharp teeth into Lydia's finger, then hid in the underside of Kevin's car, before fleeing into the back 3 acres.

But she was back the next morning, and is getting to the point that we can get within a few feet of her.  We're feeding her and hope she'll get comfortable enough soon that we can touch her.

We don't know her story, but she is small and needs care, so we've adopted her.  Or she's adopted us. Not that we need another cat, in any way, but...we're cat lovers and we aren't going to turn her away.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Weird Week

Let's start with the new car.  In the picture above you can clearly see the front bumper on the passenger side.  Looks pretty good, doesn't it?  Well, the second day we had it, I bumped the minivan into a pole!  It made a big dent in it.  Kevin has been toiling for a couple of weeks to get the bump out and paint on and it looks terrific now.  Thank you sweetie!


Rose asleep on her bed.

More chess on the computer.

Our cold pool. It was a fairly short swim season due to a cooler summer than usual.  Kevin will be closing it soon.

I am sick this week. Last week was of course the great tailbone catastrophe, and it still hurts.  Now I have a virus on top of it.  It takes a lot to put me off my food, but this virus is doing it.  However, it really is just a virus and I really will only be nauseous for a few days. Compared to 3 months of early pregnancy, this is (sort of) a breeze.

I'm thankful for big kids who have been so helpful with the littles.  We did school this week and when the children weren't doing work, they were often helping.  And playing chess for fun.  I am not good at chess so it is wonderful we have several kids who enjoy it.

Naomi is doing very well with her college classes. She is taking 4 and that requires a fair amount of organization. So far she is getting high A's in 3 classes and a high C in the fourth; the last is due to some confusion on one of her assignments so I am sure she will bring it up.  I am so proud of her!

Lydia is toiling away in her class. She is doing well though she is shy so not looking forward to an upcoming group presentation, but I know she'll do fine.

In the middle of irritation over tailbones and viruses, I am both counting my personal blessings and grieving over Nabeel Qureshi.  He is former Muslim turned Christian evangelist and his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is a favorite of mine.  He combines excellent apologetics with respect for those of the Islamic faith and lifestyle and a big dose of humor as well.

He is dying of stomach cancer.  Like, last few days dying, probably.  It is heart breaking. He is only 34 with a wife and one child.  

Breaks my heart.  He'll be with Jesus but his family and friends will miss him so much!  Of course God can heal him and I do pray He will, but I really don't expect it for some reason. But maybe that is lack of faith on my part. Well, it isn't. I have faith the Lord can heal him. But I have a sense that this is one of those "I don't get it God, so I'm giving it to you" situations which happens all too often in life.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Gift of Pain

A totally fascinating doctor named Paul Brand, and a well known Christian author named Philip Yancey, wrote a book called The Gift of Pain.

The basic idea is that pain is a gift from God, because pain helps us figure out that we are hurt and therefore that we need to protect ourselves.

Paul Brand did groundbreaking work with people afflicted with leprosy. He discovered that the leprosy bacterium destroys pain sensors, and people with advanced leprosy stop feeling pain. They don't take care of themselves and their bodies are badly damaged.

As a simple example, many will stop blinking because their eyes don't register discomfort from getting too dry. And some go blind.

Diabetics have similar problems, especially in their feet.  High blood sugars can cause long term damage including the inability to feel pain in the feet.

Anyhoo, I'm in pain, and I'm trying to be thankful for the gift of pain.

I'm not in pain all the time, just when I sit wrong :-).  Wow, I walloped myself when I fell a week and a day ago!  I'm sure it is just bruised but it is taking its sweet time to heal.

But I have a nice doughnut pillow to sit on, and the pain tells me to sit "just so" to prevent a flare up.

Here's an interesting story.  Paul Brand did a test where he had people walk long distances in specially prepared shoes that had small blue gel balls under the foot.  As the people walked, the gel balls broke.  The result was that he was able to see the major pressure points during walking.

People without pain impairment will constantly shift their pressure around to prevent sores in the feet.  Leprosy patients will walk exactly the same way all the time unless taught not to.  Thus, even with good shoes leprosy patients will tend to damage their feet because they don't shift around to prevent blisters.

True for diabetics too, I believe.

Anyway, my tailbone is recovering slowly but I'm still not a totally happy camper.

But I am thankful for pain to tell me when I need to shift my position to take pressure off that sensitive area!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Our Precious Adorable Terror

I truly adore this kid!  She is so bright and energetic and amazing. But she's also a TERROR!

Today we had some guests who were buying our old minivan (yes, it is sold!  We pray it is a good vehicle for the gentleman who bought it.)  Rose had just had a bath and was wrapped up in a big towel in my lap.  She actually sat quietly on my lap due to shyness for, I don't know, 3 or 4 minutes!  It was amazing.

Because she usually will not cuddle with me. She is way too busy running around, throwing water on the floor, and writing on the walls (thankfully, usually in pencil.)

We are not lax parents. We have lots of experience. We discipline her.  We are working with her on self control and obedience.

And she is still a ton of work.  A TON!

We are very thankful for her. But if you happen to see a kid throwing a tantrum in Kroger, that might be our kid. And give us grace.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


I don't think I've mentioned our garden this year.

Cucumbers have been great.  Beans Ok but not terrific.  And the tomatoes, oh, the tomatoes!

Kevin has been toiling away and we have 41 quarts of tomatoes!

Stay tuned for our sweet potato crop.  (Which Kevin thinks won't be wonderful.)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Thankful We Started School in August...

  I am not feeling too terrific today.  In addition to a sore bum, I have aching arms and legs and I'm tired. So I almost certainly have a virus. What fun.

However, one of the many joys of starting school early (in early August) is that I feel at peace about taking a week mostly off from school.  Naomi is full time at Clark State so of course she is working away. Lydia has her college class.  Most of the kids are doing math. But other than that, we're taking time for me to recover and the other sickies as well.

I don't think I mentioned that I had a minor bump in the new van the DAY after we got it.  Combination of distraction from a loud child and confusion about the way the car worked. Kevin has spent hours and hours learning how to fix it, and he mostly succeeded. It looks almost as good as new.  We have some paint on order to cover up a few scratches and then it really will be as good as new.

I am grateful, not for the first time, for a talented husband.

Right now, Hurricane Irma is sweeping through the Caribbean, heading toward Florida. It is scary.  It seems strange sometimes to be in a safe place when I know people in our country are dealing with floods and wildfires and hurricanes.  And in other parts of the world, very hard things are happening with natural disasters and wars and political craziness.

So in spite of not feeling well and being frustrated by not feeling well, I am grateful for what we have, and am praying for those suffering far more seriously than I am.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Hard Fall

  So I took quite the fall yesterday.

Rose likes to watch Sunny Bunnies and Monica Toy on Youtube. Don't ask. It's for little kids. But it keeps her quiet and less inclined to climb on the fans in the ceiling, so indulge her.

She was wiggling, as usual, and I was adjusting my arm around her, and I lifted her toward me, and I sat down on the computer chair...

Except I didn't.  Said chair, which has new castors, had drifted deliberately away from the computer desk and I instead fell hard on my keister.

And then Rosie, to finish the deed, fell hard on me and drove me further into the floor.

Major major ouch.  I was like, crying, literally, it hurt so much.

I have this vague memory of Rose either saying something encouraging or annoying, but I don't know which. I was in too much pain to respond.

Lydia asked if she should Kevin (who wasn't up yet) but I wasn't that far gone.

So, bruised tailbone. I was afraid it was broken but I'm nearly sure, now, that it is merely a bruised and/or swollen tailbone.

Kevin drove me off to CVS and we got a blow up pillow for me to sit on.

I rested a lot yesterday and today I feel somewhat better.

And I am realizing again the true blessing of older kids. It has been a hard day as I have a sore posterior and Sarah and Daniel and Lydia are not feeling well.  But Naomi and Isaac and Joseph and Miriam and Angela are doing a lot to keep the house in reasonable shape.