30 September 2007

Water that smells & tastes like dirt

That's right folks our water smells and tastes like dirt. Apparently the two lakes from where all our water comes from "turn over" twice a year, and that causes all the water to smell and taste like dirt. It is quite gross. You turn the shower on and the water smells like dirt, you start the washing machine and the water smells like dirt, you flush the toilet and you smell dirt. The worst is when you forget, and use tap water to take a medication. It about makes you puke. I am not sure we'll ever adjust to Oklahoma.

28 September 2007

hurry up November...

Am I turning into a fuddy-duddy? One of those freaky overly conservative prudes?

I am having a real hard time with Halloween this year. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE fall, but I like the "Harvest" part of it. And, of course, all of the candy associated with Halloween. I grew up trick-or-treating; Brad grew up trick-or-treating. I always assumed our kids would. But, wow, its getting heavy around here.

First, Wilson wanted to be a ghost. Ok, easy, put a white sheet on his head. But Wilson is one of those kids that asks questions and you can't just gloss over the surface. So we explain what a ghost is and maybe that wouldn't be 'good thing.' Then looking through my Family Fun magazine, everything is a witch, a ghost, or a mummy...or Satan. Its not like I subscribe to some weirdo Halloween-Lovers club, its Family Fun for crying out loud. How about a trip to Wal-Mart; some of that stuff is just plain creepy. It really is evil when you are honest with yourself.

I don't know if its getting worse or if its just hard to see through the eyes of my very inquisitive, take-it-to-heart, four year old. How do you explain, as a parent, as a Christ-follower, that a lot of these things are not pleasing to God BUT its a-OK to participate anyway???? Tough one...

Brad is absolutely fine with forgetting the whole trick-or-treating thing and just doing the family night at our church; I am a little hesitant to 'miss out' on all the candy. I don't think that is a good reason to throw our convictions out the window though...hmmm...integrity or candy? Then there is always the fun-walking-around-on-a-cool-night-with-half-the-town, and nobody is really being evil out there on the streets, right? I never thought we would be "those" parents...

The other day (pre-hospital) Walker bit TWO kids at Bible Study and I jokingly told my sister, "Well that will make his Halloween costume easy, I guess he can be a vampire." And my little Wilson from across the room shouts, "I don't think Jesus likes vampires, Mom!" He is right, isn't he?

Bring on Thanksgiving, its a much more wonderful holiday. I am surprised there isn't an imaginary gift-bringing turkey yet...that would be a marketers dream...

27 September 2007

he's home!

Here's the big man himself. Trying to take it easy for the next few days. In this pic you can see the remote control vehicle that Brad's section chief brought over last night for Wilson. Apparently Wilson was attaching some of his other cars to it, etc. Its kind of nice because it has a cord so it can't get too far, so Wilson can't go chasing after it, etc.

Its wonderful to all be home together! Thankfully it was only a couple of nights, but, they were rough. Even Muskoka had a hard time with it. Here she is napping on Brad's shoes. Probably wondering where he is and what has happened to her big man.

We are blessed immensely by our loving Father. He has met our needs even in the midst of this struggle. I could probably blog for pages about all the lessons learned in the last couple of days, but I do better chatting vs. typing. I am sure you are all greatly disappointed. You can always call if you want the details! By the way, I read up on mono and can pretty much answer any questions you have... and then some. (I had to know what questions to ask the Doctor before they released Wilson... false positives, future implications and the like.)

Thanks again for the prayers, we can't say that enough!

25 September 2007

mononucleosis...

Wilson tested positive for mono. We found out this afternoon. He is still in the hospital, and Brad is with him tonight. He has been eating a bit and drinking as well. So, we are hoping that they will release him tomorrow. They had wanted to keep him because of the fever, but now that they know the cause, he will hopefully come home.

He is uncomfortable, his poor arm is wrapped into a splint to protect the IV site. But, he is a trooper. He was happy to see Walker briefly this evening. It was so sad to see him wave good-bye to his brother while he was sitting on his hospital bed. I tried really hard not to cry so Brad wouldn't have to console me before I left. (And I was successful, so unusual for me!) It was just one of those moments. I kind of flashed back to when Walker was born and Wilson was totally fine leaving him at the hospital but didn't understand why I would stay.

Well, its late, I am tired and my job tonight is to rest well so I can take over for Brad at the hospital in the morning. We are hoping, hoping, hoping for an early release. I know I am a bit relieved about the Mono diagnosis. It was so eerily similar to when Walker was sick in July and the doctor said that could be what Walker had as well (and one doc that we saw the week after Walker was sick thought that might have been what it was...we just haven't seen the tests or results from his visit--don't get me started on that one--

Our friends have been fantastic and we are so thankful for all the prayers and the phone calls this week. Someone is bringing dinner tomorrow so its nice to NOT have to think about that...

good night and thanks again for praying for all of us, we appreciate it deeply

Wilson in Hospital

We took Wilson to the ER on Saturday and they sent us off-post to an after hours clinic. he was diagnosed with tonsillitis, and was sent home with an antibiotic. He continued to get worse over the weekend and present the same symptoms that Walker had in July. We took him in for a follow up at 8:40am, and were there all day while they ran tests, drew blood and gave him an I.V.. The poor little guy was so dehydrated that he got stuck 10-12 times before they got a line on him. They ended up admitting him to the hospital at 4:30pm. They don't have a ped's wing, so he was sent to ICU. Amanda is there with him now. I stayed at home with Walker. We will be trading in a little while, and will keep you posted. The below picture is of Wilson getting to C.T. Scan to make sure he didn't have an abscess behind his tonsils.
UPDATE: Tuesday am. Brad is at the hospital with Wil and I am home with Walker. Wilson had a rough night; uncomfortable from the IV site and trying to pull the probes off, etc. He slept about one hour uninterrupted. He is feeling better this morning though, and was excited that the nurse brought him some eggs. They said his tonsils are still swollen, though not as badly. He still had a low-grade fever. He was given a steroid through the IV every 4 hours. They came and drew blood at 5 am.
Brad just called, they are moving Wil from ICU to another part of the hospital. They are going to cut the IV fluids in half and see how he does taking liquids orally. They said he probably won't come home until tomorrow because he was still running a fever late last night.
I am going to go lay Walker down for a morning nap and hope for one myself. Will continue to update...Thanks for the prayers!

23 September 2007

a new toy for Walker?

Here is Walker exploring Muskoka's new food/water stand. We knew he was going to think it was for him!
By the way, there was water in the water bowl...the side his little booty is sitting in...he was dripping when I picked him up!
I had to do it...I put one of my t-shirts on her the other day as a joke, and then I remembered I had this one. This dog likes all of us, but she LOVES Brad! When he gets home from PT in the morning, she almost knocks us out of her way so she can get some attention from him! Of course, Brad loves her too, and wouldn't leave the shirt on her for more than 5 minutes when he got home. (you can see her new bell in the pic, the one she rings to go outside. we can hear this one throughout the house, so it works great! Poor Walker doesn't understand why he doesn't get to go out when he rings it!)
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22 September 2007

Africa or bust

Well we finally got official orders, and I will be deploying to the Horn of Africa (HOA from here on out) sometime next spring. I am not very excited about being away for 15 months; however, there will be some awesome opportunities that I will be able to take advantage of. It is a humanitarian mission, and I will be doing a lot of medical care for the local nationals. I can't get to specific on the blog for security reasons, so if you have any questions feel free to e-mail us or call.

Here is the public website for the command we will be falling under.

www.hoa.centcom.mil

Brad

20 September 2007

19 September 2007

good news...

Walker is scheduled to see an ENT specialist next Monday! Woohoo. Quite honestly, I thought it would be late November. I may try to reschedule so Brad can go with me, we'll see if that works.

I am going to try to chronicle his day (Walker's) in photos as he ventures from place to place wreaking havoc on all in his path. I have that sweet cutie to thank for dropping the 'baby weight" so quickly...he's always going... and then silently stopping somewhere and you know...ooops gotta run

17 September 2007

mocked while mowing...

Ok, most of you know by now that this is my "rookie season" of mowing the lawn. At times, I am a bit insecure; thinking 'maybe the neighbors are laughing because my lines are crooked or because I have mowed over the same section three times.' Then I tell myself (silently) "Don't be ridiculous, nobody cares." I refocus my thoughts, thinking about how nice I am to be mowing so my husband doesn't have an asthma attack and die, then I wonder how many people driving by think my husband is deployed, and think again, how happy I am that he is just inside the house.

Anyway, you remember the allergies are TERRIBLE at this time of year. So my sweet husband bought me a mask to wear while mowing. (He did suggest paying someone to do it, but as you recall we are on our way OUT of debt and $30 a pop would not be worth it.) So, my insecurities about mowing were a little on high-alert what with the mask on and all...

As I mowed the back yard our neighbor's daughter came out and mowed one strip --
one
single
pass
with a real genuine US Army gas mask on.
I tried to tell myself maybe they weren't mocking me, but all the self-talk in the world wasn't going to convince me... Que sera sera

14 September 2007

Dance Party



Wilson and Olivia getting there dance groove on!

play "date"

Wilson was thrilled to have his pal, Olivia, over this week. (Her dad is the one in San Antonio that is letting us use the Egg.) I told her mom to pick a day each week to drop her off and go get some stuff done. So, hopefully, she'll take me up on it and Olivia will be over every Monday for awhile. She and Wilson have a lot of fun together and you can see, Walker wants in on the action too. Brad has a video of Wilson and Olivia dancing after dinner. Maybe it will make it to the blog this weekend. They are "painting."


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pray for wisdom

Walker is sick again. Brad and I are asking for wisdom in determining what areas we need to "push" and what areas we need to "let go."

He had an infection almost two weeks ago now. We took him in a week ago Wed and got a prescription for ear infection. The PA said we will have to watch his ears (for possibly needing tubes) and his tonsils (for removal because they are big.) We went back in Friday for a re-check and she said his ears were looking pretty good. Bad diarrhea set in over the weekend and we discontinued the prescribed antibiotic. Tuesday we went back for a re-check, the new Doc said one ear looked bad and prescribed Zithromax. (I also discussed EVERY time Walker has been sick since birth, and the doc said most of it sounded 'normal,' except for the tonsils. Frankly, I was relieved.) Yesterday when I picked him up from childcare at my Bible study, I knew he was sick. When we got home, he had a fever of 103.4. He had rapid, shallow-breathing--he took 57 breaths in a minute. The Pediatric Clinic had no appointments available so they sent me off post. This doc said both ears were infected as well as his tonsils. He is now on a steroid, some sort of antihistamine and another antibiotic.

The off-post doc requested a follow-up appointment in two weeks (which I don't know how to get approval for) and also requested that I get a referral for an ENT (ears, nose & throat)specialist. She also sent for his records from OU medical center regarding his admission in July. She is supposed to call me when she gets those...as we still have no idea what tests were run, what the results were, etc.

You know there is always red tape in the health insurance world. And there is always red tape when dealing with the government. Put them together and you have a razor wire fence. Thankfully, our God is bigger than all of this and all we have to do is ask...and wait. We appreciate your prayers, the fever has been low today, his breathing and appetite are normal.

13 September 2007

this should give you a laugh...

Wilson had a BREAKTHROUGH at his "Talk" class this week. His teacher met me in the driveway of the school to tell me that he said the /k/ sound (as in cat, cow, etc). We high-fived and talked about how I can work with Wilson to reproduce the sound again at home. It had been a long week of practice without much success at home, so I was very thrilled, as was Wilson. At lunch we told Daddy all about it too. He congratulated Wilson.

I thought I would ask Wilson about how things work at school, just to get a sense of how he pracitices his sounds. Wilson and I practice daily at home, but he gets pretty frustrated with me. So I asked him, "Do you get mad at Mrs. Gable too, like when I practice with you?"

He replies,"No, I love Mrs. Gable!"

Brad and I chuckled and Wilson was a little embarassed...

12 September 2007

A History Lesson

I try to remain political free on the blog, but sometimes my passion over takes my reason. I am a tremendous Ronald Reagen buff (as most of you already know from Wilson's name), and I absolutely love his speeches. I am placing two links to his D-D Memorial Speech from 6 JUN 1984 (the first is text and the second is audio). It reminded me that many of today's arguments about the Global War on Terror (GWOT) are many that were argued prior to us declaring war on the Nazi and Japan.

Please take time to listen and read this speech. The audio is 12:59 long, but very powerful.

Brad

http://www.reaganfoundation.org/reagan/speeches/dday_pdh.asp

http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/reagan-d-day.htm

10 September 2007

Tuesday, September 11

This is the first Tuesday since that one... Strange to think about all that has changed since then; and all that hasn't.



I remember sending my students out to recess only to have them all come trampling back in. What on earth? The other teacher mumbled something about the Palestinians bombing New York. I initially remember thinking, "now what?" I had planned on getting some things done during recess. I don't think that thought lasted long once I turned on the TV. Yes, I was a teacher of fourth graders and I let them watch the news that day. And while I didn't really think about the impact at the time, I still don't regret that decision.



I remember wanting to call all of our family members that night, even though we all lived in the same state.



I remember when the personal interviews started coming on TV...people holding pictures of their loved ones, hoping to find them, walking around aimlessly, clutching those photos. Families talking about their last converstaions with sons, daughters, spouses on hijacked airplanes -- hijacked airplanes in America.



I remember thinking that I didn't want to have children in this kind of a world. I remember feeling a sorrow like I hadn't before. I had trouble sleeping for quite a few days that week. I had even more trouble explaining what a "terrorist" was to my fourth graders.



Slowly we got back to life. Except for one thing. My husband has never been the same. He had always been interested in history, and politics; but now he was really drawn to military documentaries. He watched each political speech more fervently. He prayed more specifically about the direction of his life. And God answered...I think more times than either of us would admit. I think pretty clearly, God answered both of us. We hestitated quite some time, enough time so that most people would think it best if Brad NOT join the military, what with a small son and all. But God had answered, and neither of us really felt peace until Brad agreed.



Our lives changed on Tuesday, September 11. Like so many other military families, we might not be here if it hadn't been for that day. But, again, like so many other military families, we are proud to be here. We are thrilled to be a part of this much bigger picture. Not only defending our Nation, but Freedom as God intended. Sure, America has its faults, but folks it is still a Christian Nation. If you don't think so, count the churches you pass as you run errands today, flip through your radio stations, and for that matter your cable tv stations, take note of the Christian book stores in town. (I know, these things do not make Christians, but they are signs of life, a reminder that we live in a place that allows us to choose and practice as we wish. It certainly is not "America's" fault if we have become lukewarm in defense of our beliefs...that is our individual responsibilty.)



I'm sure today will be a day we will always be able to remember "what we were doing when..." And it should be. Many people were utterly shattered that day, the love of their life was gone in an instant; their parent(s) would never again read them a bedtime book. Remember them today, and remember your own emotions and thoughts. What has changed, what hasn't?
This is right after Brad said the "Oath" just hours before he left for Basic Combat Training...
This is the "family reunion" after he graduated from Basic Combat Training...
And this is the day he left for Afghanistan last November.

09 September 2007

Happy Grandparents' Day!

Yeah, did you even know it was Grandparents' Day today? Its got to be one of the least advertised holidays in our society. Honestly, the only reason I remembered it this year is because it fell on my dad's birthday (happy bday dad!)

But all that is beside the point. Brad and I have been greatly blessed by our grandparents in many, many ways. And now what a joy it is to be parents and watch our grandparents be "great grandparents" to our kids. Not only that, but I have to admit I think one of the great thrills of parenthood is seeing our parents as grandparents. (Although sometimes I still wonder if we have all really gotten "old" enough for those roles!)

So, if you have time today, call your grandparents and tell them how special they are! I am sure they will appreciate it...Wilson has some calls to make after his nap =) And your cards are in the mail...as always a day late...or so.

07 September 2007

EWWWWWWWWW

So we came home from the doctor and this thing was waiting by the front door. I thought for sure it was dead because it had the curled up leg look about it (anyone that has ever sprayed a spider with poison and then waited to know for sure that it was dead knows exactly what I am talking about). BUT, just to be safe I sprayed him...and it moved A LOT. So I sprayed it again...and again...
I decided to take a picture of it because it was so big, and then I kind of wanted to put it in a bag to show Brad to see if it is a brown recluse or not. But, when I touched it with the dust pan it stretched its legs again EWWWWW... You can see how far it moved from one pic to the next. I then covered it with more poison, hence the freshly-fallen-snow-look. As I type, I feel like there are spiders on my toes...
Perhaps the worst part about it is that I had a nightmare about a HUGE spider jumping out of a lamp at Muskoka. It was the kind of startling turn of events that wakes you from sleep and prevents you from rolling over and falling back to sleep quickly. But, then when you do fall asleep, you find yourself back in the dream. Good grief! In my dream, my great Uncle Dick was trying to kill the spider, so if he shows up sometime, I am really going to freak out. (I told Wilson, Brad and my mom about this dream prior to the arrival of the spider above.)
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finally done...for now...

here are some pics of the final "projects"... We hung a corkboard in the boys' room that is covered with the Cars fabric, now we just need some coloring pages for it..hint hint Aunt Jacq and Uncle Colson... This is "Cars Corner" although I think Wilson would prefer to call it Radiator Springs. This is at the foot of Wil's bed under the corkboard above. A favorite play place for sure!
I was most excited to get this project done. I can FINALLY hang up some of Wilson's artwork in the dining room. A friend gave me the four frames shortly after we moved in. I painted them to match the dining room table legs and then took forever to figure out how to actually use them to display the artwork. It suddenly hit me when Yaya was here (and my creativity was flowing freely), so I attached a ribbon about an inch below the top in each opening. The artwork is then hung on tiny clothespins. Super easy to change out, which is good because we get a lot of artwork round these parts!
Next up, the $1 shelf I bought at a garage sale. We needed a place to 'display' stuff that we don't want Walker, or anyone for that matter, to destroy. Wilson added his 2nd place ribbon from the watermelon-seed-spitting contest. (He's very proud of it.) I hear we have a Walker train coming soon for his side of the shelf. Yippee!
And, I moved some things around so the storm shelter is also the "Reading Room." I love the idea of having a place to go 'read.' I hung up the US and World map again finally and also the boys' growth chart. (Maybe this will be where Brad records his next series of bedtime stories prior to his next deployment.) There is still plenty of floor space in case of tornado and our emergency supplies still fit on the top shelves. I guess if necessary, we may have to move the sleeping bags elsewhere when/if the library expands.
After 6 months, most of my projects for this place are done. Although, that just makes room for my new ideas. Yeah! We still don't have many pics on the walls, but I'm not great at figuring out how to hang them so they look nice...any tips? Its fun making a house a home, even if it takes 6 months or so...really you're never done, are you?

05 September 2007

You can make $$$$ from home...

Sound like an infomercial?

I know, I don't really care much for the "home-based business" or most of the products, but out of goodwill for my friends, I did go to two parties last week and was impressed by both companies for different reasons. I thought I would pass along the info, just in case some of you are interested. (This is the cue for all the guys to stop reading.)

The first was Arbonne International. My friend is actually becoming a consultant so I am hosting a party for her toward the end of this month (Brad can't wait!). Those of you who know me, know that I am not that into the cosmetics and/or skincare stuff. And really I could care less about whether that stuff is "pure,safe, and beneficial." (Supposedly there is bat poo in my mascara and horse fat in my lipstick, but if I have been using it this long with no adverse effects, why switch now?) So you wonder, with this attitude why take the time to pass on the info? The products are expensive, but they seem good. When we are out of debt and Brad is an officer, I might actually consider purchasing a number of things. So those of you that do already spend some money on this stuff might look into it. The benefits for selling it are incredible. And there is no minimum monthly purchase requirement or anything. You pay $29 to become a "consultant" and then you get 35% off of everything. You can sell to others (and make 35% off their purchases) or just buy for yourself. You also make a percentage off of your retail volume sales. I think its called multi-level marketing (you know what I mean by that). Anyway, if you are interested, let me know...

Are you still with me? The second party was Homemade Gourmet and their mission is to get families back to the dinner table. The thing I liked best about this party is that you can purchase a "Pantry Staple" and get 15 recipes that use the same seasoning blend. I am in a bit of a rut with what I make for dinner. We rarely eat out, so this wouldn't be saving us money in that arena, but it might give me more options besides: tacos, fajitas, spagetti, lasagna, or stir-fry. I think I am going to have one of these parties next month. Plus, they did this demo called 4 meals in 4 minutes. Which basically you put your meat (pork, chicken, or beef) in a Zip-loc when you get home from the grocery store, throw in 2 scoops of your seasoning and a canned item (cream soup, broth, diced tomatoes) and put it in the freezer. You can either use this in the crock pot, the oven or the grill. SERIOUSLY, could it get any easier???????? Here is the website of the consultant www.homemadegourmet.com/regan7533. Also, Regan is originally from Michigan! I don't know what kind of benefit there is for selling this product, but it seems to sell itself, I think most moms/wives want to make good food for their families without spending days in the kitchen. If you have more questions, let me know...

I know this was sort of a weird post, but I thought that I would pass on some info to you all, just in case one of you (or someone you know) is looking for an extra income or a time filler....