Monday, June 26, 2017

Catching Up--Ohio Visit

 Two Fridays ago, we woke up early and drove up to WSS to see the girls on the zipline.  We picked them up and then continued on to Ohio, where everyone was happily reunited!
 We did lots of fun things, like play in this sprinkler that Uncle Jim bought to save Grandpa's grass from the blow-up pool!
 Grandpa drove people around in the Model A.
Uncle Jim grilled him famous flank steak for Father's Day with Grandpa.
Many chalk art masterpieces were drawn on the driveway.  Aren't Faith and Elia cute in their matching dresses?  The dresses are their "Grandma/Grandpa camp" matching dresses!
We made delicious shaved ices with Grandpa's new shaved ice machine, a Father's Day present from Bob.
We made the obligatory trip to Youngs.  The girls played miniature golf, and then I met them with the littles for lunch and ice cream.

Micah enjoyed watching funny golf videos with Uncle Jim!
Gymnastics happened, as usual.
All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to Emily and Elia, Aunt Claire and Uncle Jim, who all flew out last Wednesday.
We had such a fun time together!

After they left, we were able to meet friends at a park for a play date (and mom chat date!), and then we all went over to Amy's house for the afternoon.  It was a great visit, but much too short, as usual.

The trip was only marred by me hobbling around like a little old woman, having seriously strained my back/knocked my hips out of whack the Wednesday before we left.  I spent more time stretching in the week we were in Ohio than I have probably all year!  Growing old is not for wimps!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Nasal Mystery

For some reason, once our formal school year is over, everything seems to fall apart for us, health-wise, and we end up making a ton of trips to Bethesda, even though we've hardly made any the whole rest of the year.  Last year is was Jonathan's big lump of infection on his head after camping, and then his Lyme disease.  This year we've had the bout with strep, as well as Jonathan's reaction to the antibiotics, and Drew's infected finger.

I thought we were out of the woods, but then another . . . issue . . . came to our attention.  Micah smelled funny.  When we were packing up from camping, I noticed that his pillow (a penguin Pillowpet) smelled bad.  Well, I couldn't remember the last time I washed it, and we had just been camping, so it got washed.  But it still smelled, so it got washed a second time.

Eventually we noticed that it was more than his pillow.  Micah himself just sort of smelled off.  We couldn't pinpoint exactly where it came from, but I encouraged more showers, better potty hygiene, better teeth brushing, more use of mouthwash, etc.  Yesterday we were swimming in the pool, and Micah was around me.  I could smell this smell, and I realized that we were in a pool, for Pete's sake--all I should have been able to smell was chlorine!  What on earth was causing this smell?!?  As I was helping him brush his teeth, it finally dawned on me that the smell was actually coming from his nose--every time he exhaled, it smelled so foul. It had definitely gotten worse over the past 3 weeks, and now you couldn't avoid noticing the smell if you were anywhere near him, and he breathed out!

I googled "bad smell from nose", and the main thing that came up was a sinus infection.  But Micah wasn't running a fever, or having copious amounts of nasty green snot, or any other symptom of any sinus infection I've ever known.  I went ahead and made an appointment for 11:00 this morning.

The pediatrician was pretty sure Micah had a "foreign object" in his left nostril.  She couldn't clear out the nostril to see better, so she sent us over to ENT.  After waiting quite awhile, a resident called us back.
She set Micah up in this fancy chair, inserted a "nasal speculum" into his nostril (did you even know there was such a thing?), put on a head lamp, and peered inside.  She felt like there was something in there as well, so she got this suction tube.  First she put on a small nozzle thing, but that didn't work, so she went to the larger nozzle.  That also didn't work, so she asked for these long "nasal tweezers".  Then she pulled out this . . . thing:
It was a piece of foam, about 1 1/2 inches long!  It looked like delivering a small baby from his nose, lol.  Micah was remarkably cooperative during this whole procedure, but after she pulled it out, his nose started bleeding, which freaked him out, although we got it stopped quickly.  

So as we were making our follow-up appointment for 2 weeks from now, Micah asked me, "Mom, how did that big piece of foam get all the way up into my nose?"  Ummm, yes--that is the question of the hour!  I guess it will remain a mystery, because if Micah himself has no clue, then I doubt anyone else will be able to figure it out either!  I can't believe he didn't feel that something was up there, but he never once complained about anything.  He did tell the doctor that he had been having headaches kind of above his nose.  Also, we had noticed that he had started snoring.  Well, no wonder, with his left nostril almost clogged by a huge piece of foam!  I've been wracking my brain for where whitish foam is.  Caleb mentioned the foam pit at gymnastics, but Micah hasn't been to a foam pit for a long time--months, for sure.  I do think he must have fallen into foam, though.  Micah has never been one to stick things up his nose deliberately, and if he had noticed something go up his nose, I think he would have been alarmed and told me!  But I guess it will remain unsolvable.  I will say, regardless of where the foam came from, I am SO GLAD that it is out!  Micah already smells way better!  I will be quite happy if I never have to smell that particular smell again.  It reminded me of what I smelled like when I had my uterine infection after Drew's birth.  Learn something new every day, that's for sure.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Scattered in All Directions

Sunday morning we all scattered in different directions!  Luke and Bob were the first to leave.  They flew out at 8:15 for Luke's college orientation Sunday afternoon and Monday.  Nathan got up early to drive them to the airport, which was nice.

The rest of us got ready to leave around 8:30 to drive up to WSS, and, for my parents, Aunt Claire, Uncle Jim, Faith, and Elia, on to Ohio as well!  The youngers and I drove up there for the day so we could drop off Anna, Grace, and Emily to Camp Caleb, but then we came back.  Caleb, Jonathan, and Nathan stayed back here to hold down the fort and go to church.

My mom had this great idea of having us all stop at WSS and eating Sunday dinner there.  Aunt Claire had been to the old hotel, but not Uncle Jim, and neither one had ever been to the new hotel.  Emily and Elia had never been either, but Dan also worked here during the summers, and it's a special place to him.
Faith and Elia rode with the 3 littles and me up there, and as we were getting close, Elia said, "My dad talks about White Sulphur Springs, but I don't even know what it looks like!"  Well, now she and Emily can't say that anymore!  We stopped at the old hotel first, and we got the obligatory picture of the kids on the wagon.  The counselors for Camp Caleb were all at Harrison House, waiting to be taken up to Camp Caleb with their gear, and I heard one of them say, "My family has SO MANY family pictures taken on that wagon!"  Us too!
Then we headed up to Heritage House, where we had lunch.  Mom and Dad were borne off by friends they hadn't seen in years, along with Aunt Claire and Uncle Jim, to sit at one table, and all the kids sat at another table--so that left me to sit with Amanda L., who is up working in the nursery all summer!  We had a lovely visit, only interrupted a few times by spills and the need for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the kids table.
The crew heading to Ohio pulled out after lunch, but the rest of us had a few hours before we needed to check in the girls.  I perused the bookstore, and I found this amazing drawing of Harrison House, which I absolutely loved.  There were a few other scenes around WSS that were also drawn like this, but this one was the only one of the old hotel, so I snatched it up.  It's a 4x6, and it came framed for $15!  Susanne at the desk told me that a 15 year old boy had painted it and the other scenes!  I was so amazed!  Then she pointed me toward another painting he had done.
This one is much bigger, and it hangs in the handicapped stall of the ladies' restroom on the first floor, of all places, lol.  It's seven of Mrs. Kent's tea cups lined up.  It's really detailed and pretty.  Anyway, I was quite impressed by this 15 year old's talent!
Then it was finally time to drop off Anna, Grace, and Emily.  They look excited here--hopefully they are having fun now!  I guess we'll get the full report on Friday.
They're sitting on Emily's and Anna's bunk beds--Emily on top, and Anna on bottom, if they stay the way they set it up originally.

Then Micah, Drew, Verity, and drove back home, with Micah and Drew bickering away until they fell asleep, lol.  It was quite a change to just have them, the 3 older boys, and me to cook for, since I'd been cooking for 18 the previous week!

Luke and Bob got back technically Tuesday morning--12:30 AM is when their plane landed.  They had a good time, although Bob came back a bit under the weather with the virus that had passed through our house the week before.  Luke said orientation was pretty much what he had expected.
I didn't have too much time to get details from him because we left at 7:30 Tuesday morning to drive to Bethesda for Luke to get his wisdom teeth extracted!  It turns out his wisdom teeth on the bottom had come in sideways, so we were not sure how complicated the surgery would be.  He just had his consult last Monday on June 5, and I was pretty worried that we weren't going to be able to schedule the extraction this summer, because Luke is hardly home after this week.  After Nathan's consult, he didn't get scheduled until probably 2 months later, which is pretty normal for them.  But shockingly, the doctor said they had cancellations *this week*, and the surgeries then were going to be performed in the regular main operating suite because of some random reasons I totally can't remember, so an actual anesthesiologist would be doing the anesthesia.  Wow!  So we were able to get the surgery scheduled for Tuesday, and we had to be there at 9:00!
The surgery went well, and it only took an hour, so there weren't any complications.  Contrary to what it looks like here, Luke has healed really well, with very little swelling or pain.  He even went to a Nationals game this afternoon with Bob, Nathan, Jonathan, and Bob's office!  

It's been quiet here without the 3 girls, for sure.  I'm looking forward to hearing the fun the older ones had at Camp Caleb, and I know the younger ones are having a grand time at Grandma/Grandpa camp!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Graduation Party For Luke!

Today we officially celebrated Luke's high school graduation!

It was so special to have both my parents as well as my Aunt Claire and Uncle Jim here to celebrate with us!
We also had my brother Dan's girls.  Elia wrote in Luke's graduation book that he was her "favorite boy cousin".  So sweet!!
We had an incredibly brief ceremony where Bob and I presented the diploma (which I had a hard time printing off because our black ink cartridge has randomly started spewing black ink all over everything, grrr), and then Bob prayed for Luke.

After that, we opened up the ice cream sundae bar, like we had for Nathan.  It's a nice thing to have in the middle of the day, and well, I love ice cream, especially with crushed Oreos, strawberries, M&Ms, chocolate sauce, etc. . . . Yum!  We also had some other munchies, like grapes and some really good roasted red pepper hummus from Sams with pita chips and pretzel thins.  Uncle Jim, Anna, and I had gone shopping at Sams on Thursday, and this was a free sample.  It was soooo good, and we pretty much polished off the entire big tub!
It was great to see so many of Luke's friends again, from so many different parts of his life!
These are some pretty special guys right here.  When we started Rivendell, our goal was that the boys would make the kind of Proverbs 27:17 friends:  "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." I am so thankful for these guys who have provided that encouragement and motivation over the past years!
Verity was so cute with her play phone.  Here she and Aunt Claire are having a deep phone conversation.

I made a board for Luke too, like I did for Nathan.  I had so much fun going through pictures and memories!  I actually used the same board, lol--I left the verses on, but I did take all of Nathan's pictures off.  But then several of the pictures I had used for Nathan also featured Luke, so those went back up again.  Double duty!  I did print out a ton more pictures of Luke, and I had a hard time deciding which pictures to use.  The other people enjoyed looking at all the pictures, I think.  Lots of fun memories!

And here is one last bonus picture:  Faith decided to separate the M&Ms in the bowl by color. I was quite surprised to find out it was her, because she is not what I would term "OCD" or anything remotely related to that, lol.   

Friday, June 09, 2017

Busy Week

 1.  A week ago today, Jonathan turned 14!  He wanted powdered sugar donuts because apparently he loves them but never gets them.  Who knew?  So we remedied that, and on National Donut Day, at that!
 We took a chocolate cake to Bible study that Anna decorated really quickly but was still delicious.
 Saturday morning he got to open his presents, which included a new backpack, headphones, a selection of candy, some fidget spinners he picked out himself, and an amazon gift card from Grandma and Grandpa.
 2.  The reason we couldn't spend too much time decorating a cake on Friday was because we were frantically preparing for a very exciting event:  the arrival of the cousins!  The girls flew in Saturday, and everyone was so excited!
 The girls have been having a fun time all together.  One thing they've done pretty much every day is make breakfast for all of us!  This is a pretty big group, because on Sunday evening, my parents drove in, and on Tuesday evening my Aunt Claire and Uncle Jim also flew in.  SO much fun!!
 3.  Last Friday we also received word that our neighborhood was getting repaved--and we had to have all our cars off the street starting on Tuesday.  Ack!  I panicked there at first because I wasn't at all sure how that was going to work with all our company, plus Luke's graduation party coming up on Saturday.  In fact, it was a flashback to a few weeks before our wedding when all of a sudden (to us) the powers-that-be decided to replace a bunch of underground pipes, including one that ran right in front of the chapel front door.  So next thing we knew, there was a twelve foot moat such that no one could use the chapel front door.  We had to go in and out for our wedding through a tiny side door, which was not ideal.  Oh well.

Anyway, Nathan and I did a herculean amount of garage cleaning and organization so that we could move his CR-V in there.  We parked the big van in front of the L's house.  The street guys milled up our street on Wednesday, and who knows when they'll come back to repave it.  Hopefully not tomorrow during the party, lol.
 4.  We went out to Olive Garden to celebrate my mom's birthday!  We had a really nice dinner.  The L's came too.
 Then we came back home for dessert (I made a nutella cheesecake, chocolate cake, and lemon bars for those who don't like chocolate) and presents.
 Anna, Uncle Jim, and I had gone to Walmart earlier in the day, and I had restocked my wrapping paper selection.  I bought a "Happy Birthday" roll, a generic cupcake roll, and a"Baby" roll, thinking that should cover me for the whole year of present-giving opportunities.  But when I got home and wrapped my mom's present, I literally paid no attention to the roll I was grabbing (???), and I wrapped the present in the "Baby" wrapping paper.  AND I DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE IT UNTIL MOM WAS GETTING READY TO OPEN HER PRESENT!!  LOL!  Not sure what happened there, but we all got a good laugh at it!
5.  We've been dealing with a quick-moving stomach bug here, to add to the excitement.  Elia and a few of our kids have been sick, and it hit me early this morning.  It's not been fun, but at least it's been relatively quick.  Drew and Verity had the hardest time getting over it, but I think they both were a little dehydrated.

So that was our week.  Lots going on, and lots of fun with extended family!