Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

This would be the first Christmas to host the Zander family at our house!  I was excited and nervous.  We have been having it at a community center for the last 4-5 years and people just want to be in a home for Christmas, so we volunteered.  Brave of us, right!  I had a wonderful "12 days of Christmas" plan for getting the house ready by December 25.  (I decided not to post it because I knew I couldn't really do it!)  I have been busy, but by December 23, we were still pretty much a wreck!  I wanted to do a really good, thorough job before Christmas so that after Christmas we could relax and do fun things like spend Mom's 85th birthday with her, go to the Science Center, have friends over and visit friends.  Have a sledding party... the list goes on and on!

On Thursday, Joseph complained of a headache.  He later had a fever of 101.  By evening I had decided maybe it is sinus infection?  In the night he had vomited a couple times, I'm sure its just from all that conjestion. 

Christmas Eve morning I called the doctor and got a script for antibiotic.  He will be fine by tomorrow.  I will just keep plugging away.  Today was to day to make goodies!  Yeah!!  But he didn't stop puking.  All day, he couldn't keep anything down.  In my denial state, I kept making goodies, planning on having everyone come the next day.  By evening, I had to call the relatives.  They actually weren't too concerned about it and said they would still come, depending on how he was in the morning.  By morning he was the same.  Poor kid!  He didn't even want to open presents with everyone else on Christmas Eve!  He wanted everyone else to, and wanted to watch them, but had NO interest in his own presents!  Wow!  That is sick.  So I am handing out presents with teary eyes.  That night was the same, vomiting.

Christmas morning, I was so sad to find out he was still sick!  Sicker and weaker than ever! Couldn't even keep water down!  Oh, my poor baby!  What an awful Christmas for him! *TEARS*  Since we weren't having all that company, I sort-of shut down.  I went back to bed.  Though I didn't sleep, it sure felt good!  I had been getting 6-7 hours or sometimes less all week.  Staying up late working on stuff.  Getting up early working on stuff.  I was worn out!  I moved to the couch and laid around watching movies all morning, drifting off here and there.  I finally got my shower at 1:30 and started lunch at about 2:30!  Tyler and his girlfriend Mandie came.  We had the lasagna dinner as planned for the Zander Christmas, and watched more movies.  (We watched movies all day Friday and Saturday!)  We had a nice time playing Monopoly and Sequence. (Girls against boys- girls WON at Sequence!)  By this time Joe is actually wanting Chocolate milk.  He had asked for some soup earlier but never ate it.  The only chocolate milk I had was some Swiss Miss packets so I made it then put ice cubes in, he liked it.

Today, Sunday, I stayed home with him and he is very chatty, "Mommy" this and "Mommy" that.  I made him take a bath. (Though he NEVER needs one!)  Again, watching a lot of movies, but from an upright position this time.  He had more chocolate milk and guzzled some lemon water.  He isn't hungry, but is working hard on hydration.  Praise the Lord!!!  He has lost some weight, he looked anorexic when I helped him out of the tub.  He still has dark circles under his eyes, his whole face has unusual coloring.  But I am so happy to hear him talk and ask for things! 

Sigh... what we mothers go through when our little ones are sick.  It just does something to a mother's heartstrings.  I prayed and prayed over him.  Why is it any little illness makes me think they are going to die?  I think of the olden days when any fever meant the possibility of death and many families often lost more children than survived.  How heartbreaking that must have been.  My heart goes out to anyone who has lost children... of any age.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dogs Update

Remember when Daddy said "NO" to the dogs?  Well, since we had fallen in love with them so quickly, we decided to give them some more time, you know, to see if they were going to 'work out'.  They were working out  pretty well!  They are so friendly and loving!  I named the big male "Jack". The female puppy still has several names, as we haven't settled on one yet, it might be "Kate".  They moved into Molly's doghouse which she never uses any more.  They would go in there and cuddle and keep each other warm.  On Wednesday, we were in our school room, which is in the basement with a glass walk-out door and we can see the doghouse from inside.  All of a sudden, Corah said, "Mom, Jack just fell!"  Strange, huh?  I went outside to him and he collapsed again... AND DIED!!!  Aaahhhhh!!!!  Needless to say, our school day ended right then and there!  We spent the rest of the day mourning the dog we had known for a whole 6 days.  I was afraid he would get frozen to the ground and be there until spring so I threw the dog blanket over him, also, so we didn't have to look at him!  Dallas was very busy when he got off work that day and could not "take care of" the body, so he was still there Thursday when we tried to do school.  Yuck.  Thursday evening he "took care of it."   (But there is a melted spot in the snow in the shape of the dog!)

We feel so bad we couldn't have done something to help poor Jack.  He was so thin.  I thought he was starving and Dallas thought he was sick.  I guess he was right.  We decided he died happy because he had a family to love him once again.  He was trying to come and be with us because he knew he was dying.  Poor Jack.  Rest in Peace!
This is Peter and Jack notice his ribs showing.  This picture is a perfect example of what a people lover he was.  This was taken last Friday, the first day he came!
 Puppy (Kate?)

What is that noise? .... Dallas is home early today!  YIPPEEEE!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Family Fun Weekend!

Friday night we headed to Osceola to my sister Becky's for the annual family hunting weekend.  I had originally planned to go down Saturday, but I am so glad the kids' excitement pursuaded me to go down Friday night because we woke up to ice-covered roads and I never would have risked that! 

Saturday the guys headed out to the farm where I grew up at about 6:30 (after waking up every single one of my kids!).  We all got up around 8, had breakfast and spent the day playing with my nephew Nathan's kids (Archer 6, Riley 4, Lawson 8 months).  The boys were warriors, running around the house, shirtless, with guns and making a lot of noise.  Mary & Riley had plenty of "babies" to take care of, including strollers, a rocking chair and a high chair!  Leah was busy exploring the three floor of Aunt Becky's house.  More than once I lost that girl!  She could get from the basement to the second story before I noticed she was missing!  Grandma & Grandpa came for lunch and to see all those grandkids, too.  While the guys were hunting and the kids were playing and I finally caught Leah and got her to fall asleep on me, Jen (nephew Nathan's wife) made candy with their daughter Riley, and Becky.   The guys shot four deer and came home drinched with sweat (even though the temperature was in the teens) and stories of their adventures.  Finally, my nephew Landry, his friend he brought, and Nathan's family headed up to Nathan's to butcher deer.  Brave souls, it was a white-out that night.  We stayed nice and toasty warm in Becky & Marty's basement, surrounded by our beautiful children by the warm glow of the corn-burner.  Ahhh!

Sunday, churches were cancelled.  After breakfast in the basement and coffee upstairs with Becky, we had our own little worship service.  The children prayed, Dallas read the first 4 chapters of Matthew and we sang Christmas carols.  It was nice!  We had a relaxing day.  So relaxing we didn't want to go out into the cold to visit Grandma & Grandpa and go home!  Finally at about 4:00, Landry came back, he and Dallas headed back for the woods, and the kids and I went over to G & G's before heading home.  It was 9* when we got to their house and 4* when we got home! 

No pictures, I forgot my camera in the van.  Besides, things seemed to move so quickly, I wouldn't have remembered to take pictures, anyway!

It was such a great weekend.  It is so relaxing to just get away every now and then.  Visiting family is such a rare thing these past few years, it seems.  I miss my farm.  Everyone would come to our house, and sleep in the extra beds in the basement and spare bedroom.  We would eat ice cream for supper on Saturday night and Mom would make roast beef for Sunday dinner.  You could look out any window in the house and see our land.  Dallas comes home and tells me about the changes that have been made and it makes me cry.  I really wanted to buy it from Dad, but Dallas didn't think I could farm it myself since he is gone so much.... hmmm I wonder why?

Well, that was my weekend.  The long, boring, drawn-out version!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Its Crazy Hair Day!

The kids had such a fun day at Acts Academy, I just had to share!  Today was crazy hair day, and we had a lot of fun deciding what to do, and doing it.
 Peter wanted to look like our black & white tom cat, Oreo; Corah wore a lovely floral arrangement (I think it was supposed to be jungle-like); and Joseph's head resembled a candy cane.  Don't I have such creative children?
                            All the students wore crazy hair or hats, then the 4-12 graders went to a nursing home, craziness and all, and sang the songs they will be performing in Tuesday night's Christmas concert!  The older generation got a blessing from the music, and a chuckle, too, at the fun hair and hats.

There is great anticipation in the air tonight, as we plan to visit our Osceola relatives all weekend long for the annual Dale/Zander/Ogbourne hunting trip on the farm where I grew up.  (We haven't owned it since 2002, but have lifetime hunting and fishing rights.)  I am looking forward to visiting my "home church" down at Murray.  I can't remember the last time I visited a service there.  I know there are a lot of new people now, but still some of the same.  It will be so nice to have a relaxing visit without being rushed as usual.  The kids can't wait to play at Aunt Becky & Uncle Marty's house with their cousins.

To add to the "zoo" theme, when we got home from academy late this afternoon, we were sursrised to find 2 black stray dogs.  One was a puppy that looks almost exactly like our puppy that died this summer!  The other is a mature male black lab, with every rib showing, he is so thin.  We believe they were house dogs that were abandoned.  They didn't hesitate to come in the garage, and the big one planned on going right on into the house!  It took some coaxing to get him outside.  Molly was not the least bit welcoming of the pair, and when our neighbors who have been feeding them for two days came home, they left.  When I talked to the neighbors, she (Laura) said they were probably taking them to a rescue this weekend.  Corah and I were ready to keep them, but Daddy said NO!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What seemed like a "normal" trip to the orthodontist...

Over a year and a half ago we started taking Corah to an orthodontist in Newton.  They did all the x-rays and molds and everything and told me she would need about 1-1/2 years of preliminary work done before they would even put braces on her, not to mention the estimate brought  sad tears to my eyes!.  So I decided I wanted a second opinion.  I had all of her information transfered to a doctor in Pella, had an appointment set up well before Leah was due and, wouldn't you know?  I was in the hospital that day, recovering from my emergency c-section and never made it there!  After all the stress that goes along with a preemie, and me health failing, too... I forgot all about the orthodontist!  So I decided to get the appointment set up and take her today.

Today was also the big day for Mama Kitty to go to the vet and have her " special" surgery.  (She has survived for two years- a record for one of our cats-  and she has had 27 kittens in 4 litters!  We thought she deserved a trip to the vet!) I would drop her off in Monroe on the way to Pella, have about an hour and a half to kill at Walmart before the orthodontist appointment, go to the appointment, grab Arby's or something and get Corah to Acts academy.  Well, Mama Kitty made a "mess" in her kennel and I had to clean that up before we could go. Now 15 minutes late for her surgery appointment.

Next we went to the Pella Walmart.  It wasn't very busy so it was easy to find everything we needed and had plenty of time to check out..... until I realized I left my wallet at home!!!  After panicing for a while and sending Corah to the van to look for it, then going myself to look for it, I called Jordyn and she told me the credit card numbers over the phone and I was able to pay, anyway!  Way to go, Jordyn!  I never would have thought of that! (Though I feel really bad for that poor cashier!)  Then we would barely make it to the appointment on time, but we were OK.         

The GREAT news is, that BECAUSE we waited that year and a half to start Corah's orthodontic treatments, she no longer needs all that preliminary work and that will save us $1700!!  Wow!  Only God can get credit for that one!! "Thank You!"

Such is a day in the life (actually only a half of a day) of the Zander Zoo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

OK, I finally got brave and started a blog page!

What more can I say?  It is getting late and Corah & I are having a little "sleepover" so we are staying up late and starting a blog page!  Dallas is working overnight this week and whenever that happens, the kids all take turns sleeping with Mommy, as if I am so special or something!  So I will send this out to a few close friends, and see if I get any followers....