01 August 2010

Called to Serve

I typed a bunch of text in Word to paste in right here and it won't do it. Before I type it all out again, I'm going to see if anyone has any better ideas! Just know that there is a story that is supposed to go here, as soon as I can figure out why copy/paste isn't working!

06 June 2010

Deep Thoughts

This week, Glenn Beck (yes, I am obsessed with his radio show) has been talking about James A. Garfield’s quote, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” I have experienced this in my life. Almost 20 years ago, I had to make an excruciating decision. One that I read, studied and prayed about for months before I finally acted upon my final choice. I knew what I needed to do, but I knew the pain that choice would cause many in my life. So, I agonized, caught between what I knew I had to do and preserving the feelings of those I loved. The moment I acted upon my choice, the most liberating, refreshing, feeling of freedom and comfort washed over me. I felt a weight remove from me. I understood at that moment what Jesus meant when he said “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me….for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30) I cried at the sudden relief that had been given to me. Since that day, I have been truly free.

Our Sunday school lesson today touched on a similar note. We discussed how making the decision to follow God and the commandments might at first be hard, but in the end it makes our lives so much easier and happier. Those who do not follow the strait and narrow path, for them, life seems so easy because they can do whatever in the world they might want. Later, however, the find themselves in bondage to sin, or in some way suffering for the consequences of their choices.

In our church, we teach our children to CTR: Choose the Right. It really is just that easy. It might make you miserable in the moment not to get or do whatever you want to do. But the Lord has promised us the richness of his blessings both here on earth and eternally if we do so. Sure makes the little things we “miss out on” seem quite insignificant!

I often reflect in that time 20 years ago, the years that lead up to them to prepare me to endure the pain, and the 20 years since in which the seed that I planted has indeed produced a tree ripe with good fruit. I have never once regretted my decision and have been truly blessed over and over and over again.

The decision to move to Houston has been one of those decisions that has made me a little miserable. Brian and I dreamed of California for over ten years; choosing Houston felt like abdicating a dream. We just got back from picking out a house to live in, and it is a GREAT house! We will be close to family and live in a conservative state! Suddenly, I am able to see more about what I’m gaining that what I’ve given up. It will be exciting to see what the next 20 years brings into our lives. Whatever it is, the Lord’s hand guides my path and I will continue to listen to his voice.

20 May 2010

The Coolest Thing about Turning 12

In our faith, when a boy turns 12, he is eligible to receive the Aaronic priesthood, which gives him responsibilities to help maintain the church grounds, look after the poor and needy, to administer in some ordinances and prepare for greater responsibilities to come. Grandma and Grandpa McMullin were able to come and be a part of this special day. Tyler received the priesthood from Brian, who received it from his dad, Tom.

We were proud of Tyler for being worthy of this honor, for being willing to serve and for his good example to us all. He is also not able to participate in the Young Mens program which alternates weeks with religious instruction/community service and Scouting. Once a month, they participate in Mutual activites with the Young Women.

Have You Ever Taken a Cat on a Picnic?

We had an open house one afternoon and we thought it would be best to get Skyler out of the the way. We bought a collar and a leash and took him to the state park! We got lots of strange looks but we tried to act like we do this all the time! Skyler wandered a bit but decided that he preferred to observe the world from the safety of the pet carrier!

Tyler's Clean Room

For anyone who has been to visit us in the past five years, you know that Tyler's room has been a dangerous place. As we prepared to put the house on the market, we did a lot of excavating in there. We took out a bookshelf, the loft for his bed and the desk as well as about 6 boxes of things. It looks amazing.

Tyler's Birthday-the Big 12

As every kid does, Tyler has been asking for a cell phone for a while. I kept telling him that when he got old enough to go places alone and I couldn't contact him easily, they we'd consider it. Well, the time has come. Sometimes Tyler rides his bike to a friend's house, rides up to the gas station for a snack, or hangs out at the park with pals. He was excited and shocked at his present. Before he knew what it was, he was a little disappointed with the quantity of presents, but I assured him that the quality would be worth it!

Tyler made his first call on his phone to Grandma Z. I have to admit that I've enjoyed him having the phone and the texts that he sends me during his lunch break at school. The phone has made it easier to communicate with him.

Last year's party was so much fun (video games with friends and an ice cream cake) were so much fun that Tyler decided to do a repeat. He invited his best friends, Alex, Zane and Keegan.

12 April 2010

Yeah, and you should see the OTHER guy!

So, I'm beginning to realize that our blog, in addition to a family history, is also becoming a medical record! The Saturday night before Easter, I was walking down the basement stairs carrying some stuff, and I missed a step, heard a loud crunch, and I was on the floor in pain! But I've been able to count many blessings through the process:
  • My brilliant surgeon husband was home and I only had to scream at the top of my lungs 3 times to get his attention over the game he was playing. When he came to my rescue, he knew just what to do, what to look for to make sure no bones were broken and how to take care of me.
  • When I went to work Easter morning (bummer! But I was not calling in sick, either, since the girl I knew would have to come in my place also had small children and Easter plans.), I was assigned to work on the orthopaedic floor. A doctor checked me out and the nurses wrapped and iced me, and Physical Therapy loaned me a crutch for a couple of days.
  • The weather was warm enough for me to wear crocks and sandles. Not sure what I would have done if I'd had to trudge through snow without real shoes!

A week later, the color from that big bruise around my ankle has slid down to my toes. The toes don't hurt, but they look nasty! Another orthopaedic surgeon on Friday recommended a compression stocking. I picked one up on the way home that afternoon and it has made a world of difference. I'm walking pretty well and it doesn't hurt to walk in a straight line (although I am pretty gimpy). It really hurts, though, when I try to make circles with my ankle. Hopefully time, compression and chocolate will take care of it within 4-5 more weeks.

Funny Kid!

One evening, with an order of Arby's curly fries, Claire realized that the fry was in the shape of a C. Then she spelled out her whole name.

04 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter just isn't Easter unless you color eggs. Tyler wasn't into it this year, but Claire and Rylie had fun with it.

The night before Easter, I sprained my ankle, so Tyler hid eggs for his sisters. Isn't he the best brother ever?

Since it is our last Easter with daffodils, we had to take our annual Easter pictures. Oh, and because the kids hate it and I do so love to torture them!

I know, Mom. You want copies of these. I'll get to them when I do the Christmas pictures. In other words, when we get to Houston, bring over your thumb drive and download them yourself off my computer! ;-)
I love the Easter season and have loved these 5 Springs in Wisconsin. Never has the Resurrection meant so much to me as it has here. When the weather is warm, we plant beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees. When the winter comes, everthing dies. Sticks. Down to the dirt. Gone. Dead. No way they are ever coming back. Then, in the spring, even before all the snow melts, daffodils and tulips begin to arise. Other greenery follows suit. Before your eyes, the winter is gone and the world is green again. It is truly a miracle. There are types and shadows of Christ all around us. Our loving Heavenly Father makes sure that we always remember Him, His Son, and the blessing of eternal life.

28 March 2010

There is a Sign in Front of OUR House

The sign finally went up yesterday. We will be listed on the MLS tomorrow and we have our fingers crossed for Big Thing$ and a quick sale. I'd be so happy to be in the middle of a bidding war! Our realtor tells us that people are looking in our area and that there haven't been any new listings in a while, so the market is kind of stale. Which hopefully means that people are ready for some fresh meat. She will host a realtor tour on Tuesday and an open house in two weeks (oh, why does Easter have to be next weekend?).

21 March 2010

Sell This House!

Well, Brian finished his Texas Jurisprudence exam and did well. Now the final push to finish up (at least the major projects) chores to get the house ready to put on the market...hopefully by the end of the week. One thing we had done recently is to have the carpet taken up in the living room and refinish the original wood floors:
For what its worth, I wanted to do this from the time we moved in, but nooooo. We are finally going to put up towel racks in the bathroom, too. There is no way the next occupant will be able to appreciate all that we have done! But, who cares, so long as they just buy it!

16 March 2010

Climate Shock

It is nice and warm today so we are going to the park in a few minutes. Rylie asked, "Mom, it is so hot. Can I take a bottle of water to the park?" It is 57 degrees...farenheit. These girls are going to melt like ice cubes when we get out of the car in Houston in late June! And for you thin blooded Texans, they are wearing short sleeves and are perfectly comfortable. I, myself, am wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and a jacket!

15 March 2010

Claire's Visit to the Hospital

Well, this all started a few weeks ago when everyone caught a nasty cold. At the downward side of it, everyone recovered, but Claire kept coughing and coughing. One day, Brian heard her really wheezing and suggested that I call the pediatrician, Dr. Esser. His associate, Dr. Kane saw Claire that day and gave her an albuterol treatment, sent her for an xray and sent her home on an inhaler to use every 4 hours until the cough cleared up, which it did within about 3 days.

About 2-3 weeks later, she started coughing again. So we pulled out the inhaler again. Tuesday night, she was up at 4 and 6 am coughing.

When it was time to go to school, she was coughing quite a bit, but otherwise feeling okay so I sent the inhaler with her to school. That afternoon, the school nurse called to say that Claire seemed to be really working hard at breathing, was wheezing significantly and suggested that I call the doctor. I called and, Dr. Esser was on vacation, so we saw Dr. Kane again. She gave Claire 2 treatments, oral prednisone (steroid) and instructions to call later in the evening if Claire worsened or didn't get better. About bedtime, Claire was right back in the same place as she was earlier in the day: coughing and wheezing. I knew we would both be up all night with her coughing. We called Dr. Kane who suggested albuterol every 2 hours with the revelation that we were trying to buy time until the oral steroid could kick in within 24 hours. Brian gave her a blessing and she slept beautifully until I woke her up at 6:30 to get her ready so that she could come to school with me.

She decided she wanted to stay home, so she stayed with the sitter while I went to school until I got back home at 10 am. Dr. Kane called about 11 to check on her and said to continue the albuterol and call the if she hadn't improved by about 1 pm. I called the office about 1.30. After a few minutes on hold, a third partner from the group, Dr. Wegner (Esser was on vacation all week and it was Kane's day off, which made it feel so nice to know that she checked in on us from home) said that they would not be able to do anything more in the office than they had already done. She instructed us to go to the Children's ER. I called Brian, picked up Rylie, left a note for Tyler and we went to the hospital.

We walked in and were seen right away. Here we were in a little triage room where we registered and Claire was seen by a nurse. Within 10 minutes of walking in, we were taken to a room.

I paged Brian to let him know we were there, checked in and had a room. They took Claire for an xray, then started albuterol and atrovent treatments.

Brian arrived and started causing trouble; whenever a nurse or someone started in, they saw him in this pesky white coat and thought they were interrupting the doctor. We had to let people know he was there in his role as Dad, not doctor! Rylie was so happy he was there! After 2 treatments, Claire's wheezing was not significantly better, so they decided to admit her. Brian took Rylie, picked up Tyler and they went out for dinner. Claire got another hour long albuterol treatment.

When this treatment was over, her room was ready, and so was her princess coach. Despite the look on her face, she thought this was pretty cool. She really wanted to stay the night, because she thought it would be fun!

Right after we got up to our room (about 7 or 8 pm), Brian, Tyler and Rylie came back from dinner. We got oriented to our room, nurse and ordered Claire some dinner. About the time it arrived, the visitors left. Rylie was a mess. She was so upset about leaving me and Claire. Tyler really stepped up in his role as Big Brother. He told her he would sleep with her in her room, that they could make Claire a card, etc. It was so sweet.

It was a terrible night. Claire insisted that I sleep with her and she coughed and tossed all night. They were going to do breathing treatments every 2 hours which they did at 9pm, 11pm and 1am. When she woke about 3, I assured her they would be in soon for another one. She coughed and dosed, but whenever she would go to sleep, the alarm would go off that her oxygen saturation would drop into the mid-80s (should be in the high 90s-100) which would wake us up again. Around 5, the nurse finally came and I asked why no one came at 3. Respiratory therapy had decided to go to every 4 hours instead of every 2. Wish they would have told me sooner. (This is my only irk about the entire stay.) The nurse gave her a treatment and started on oxygen.
Here is Claire with the penguin oxygen mask. She didn't really need in while awake anymore, but we didn't know that yet. She colored while we waited for her breakfast.

Soon after eating breakfast, Birdie the therapy dog came by to visit. Claire loved it! What a great service these sweet volunteers provide.

The 4 of us (not Brian) had dentist appointments Friday morning. Andrea the sitter took Tyler and Rylie so we didn't have to completely waste the dentists time. I had her bring Rylie so I could watch her during the day till Brian got off. In retrospect, this wasn't the best idea as Claire and I were so tired from our sleepless night and Rylie didn't provide an atmosphere conducive to rest. The hospital has a great Child Life service where they have a playroom full of games, toys and crafts. Claire couldn't leave the room to play there because of the risk that she might have pneumonia (she didn't). I went back and forth checking out games and toys. At one point a lady came by and brough beads, elastic string, crafts and fuzzy posters to occupy the girls. It was great! Claire's one desire in life was to get to go to the playroom herself.

Friday night, Claire agreed to sleep by herself. Bedtime at home is about 7.30, so at that time, we turned out all the lights and she went right to sleep. Her oxygen saturation kept dropping to the mid to high 80s so I stood vigil by the monitor to shut it up so it wouldn't wake her. At 9, the nurse came in for vitals and breathing treatment. Claire didn't even wake up for the vitals and roused partially for the breathing treatments. She was so mad and crying through the whole thing (which actually probably helped get the medicine deeper into her lungs and she didn't remember this at all the next morning). When it was over, she fell right back to sleep and again slept peacefully without coughing.

She woke up just before 3 am so rested and feeling well. By now, the treatments were every 6 hours, so it was perfect timing for the next treatment. Every 6 hours was the goal...she needed to be able to tolerate going without meds for 6 hours before they would let her go home. Afterwards, we dozed a bit until about 6.30, at which time she was ready to get up and color. She had also figured out that she could have popsicles on demand.
So, after a couple, she then ordered breakfast at 7. A resident came by about that time and let us know that she would be going home today. Dr. Wegner, the pediatrician from our doctor's group that sent us here on Thurday rounded on us with the same news. Claire got special permission to go to the playroom, FINALLY, if she would wash her hands and wear a mask!

The paperwork was taking a while, so she ordered lunch, played, we received discharge instructions and some teaching from the nurse and respiratory therapy about asthma and peak flow monitoring. It appears that she may have had a viral induced asthma attack. We will have her evaluated when she gets completely well to see if she needs to be formally diagnosed with asthma or if we just need to figure out if she has specific triggers such as change of season, upper respiratory infection, or unpleasant chores ;-) that cause her to flare up.
Rylie was so happy to have Claire home. Claire still misses the hospital. It was such a fun experience for her. I am so grateful that we weren't there for any of the other dreadful, painful ailments that afflict other children. To her, it is a happy place of popsicles, Disney channel, bead necklaces and foam crafts!
We will follow up with Dr. Esser on Thursday, since he is now back from vacation and missed all the fun!

01 January 2010

Improve Thyself

This is Rylie's new year resolution as declared during Primary last Sunday. We are so proud of her lofty goals and ambition. Skyler is, too!