Friday, March 31, 2017

What We Are Reading

This month we finished reading Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright which we loved. I have read it so many times and still love it every single time I read it. Then we read Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright which is the sequel to Gone Away Lake. We all liked this book but not nearly as much as Gone Away. Then we read Primrose Day by Carolyn Haywood. This book was originally published in 1942 and was about an English child that was evacuated to America dring World War II. Bethany loved this book and Tess told me it was really good. Then we read Away Went the Balloons by Carolyn Haywood and next The Doll People by Ann M. Martin & Laura Godwin. Several of the kids loved this book. I had seen it mentioned on another blog and bought it. After I got it I kind of regretted buying it. It just didn't look that good to me, but it was actually a really cute book and some of the kids begged and begged for another chapter. I read 16 chapters in one day. I don't usually do that, but with so much begging and begging I gave in and did. 

This month our mark-my-time read 20 hours and 24 minutes. Not too bad considering I was in the hospital with Piper for surgery and when she came home we had so many appointments and she really needed a lot of one on one care. I would like to be reading more like 25-30 hours a month. 

Tess says she wants to take piano lessons so we may check out lessons for next fall.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Another One Home

Another one of our children is moving back home - John. He is on his way -- driving across country right now. One of our daughters left last Friday and flew to Washington to pick up his two children and fly back home with them. That way he doesn't have to drive 4 days with two young children in the car. He thought it would just be easier on them. So, the kids arrived on Monday and John should be here late Thursday night. That means that all of our children except two live within 25 minutes of our house. It is good to have them all close by. 

I had John's kids today - William (Liam) and Evelyn. The last time I saw them was Christmas and I am pretty sure Evelyn didn't even remember me as she is only 18 months old. But, she was fine and warmed up to me very quickly. I think William remembered us and was ready to play as soon as he got here. It was nice as it was warm and the kids could play outside some. 

This post will probably end up being pretty picture heavy as I took a lot of pictures today. I will try to not go overboard.

William playing in the family room with some cars we had here for him. 

Evelyn -- it didn't take her much time at all to warm up to everyone and start playing. She is terrified of Bethany's vest, though. I heard her screaming and ran because I thought something terrible had happened and it was just that Evelyn walked into the room where Bethany was doing her treatment. The vest and mask scared Evelyn. 

Liam found Piper's camera that she got when she was in the hospital and loved it. He would not put it down for a long time. I told my kids -- finally, somebody else in the family that likes to take pictures!

Piper is making some progress. She is actually standing and hopping on one foot and using the toe of her other foot a tiny bit. She can get around by scooting on her bottom or by hopping. My son, Michael, got her up on it by promising Happy Meals. He actually promised her three as she just wasn't willing to try for less. She was too scared as it hurt. He brought her a Happy Meal on Monday and Tuesday but she asked today where her Happy Meal was -- hmm, it didn't arrive. She expects it tomorrow for sure. 

Her doctors said she will have to get some physical therapy to help get her walking again. 

Caroline made lunch for everyone today as I was busy and she loves to make lunch. She made chocolate chip pancakes.

Sophia has started to pull herself up more and more. She will sometimes go days and days and maybe even a week without trying, but if she is interested enough then she will pull up on our sofa. When I think how long she had physical therapy and would not cooperate at all, it is nothing short of amazing. There was almost never a week she would even try. They used to put her in a harness and pull her up to her feet so she could stand and she would just let her legs go and wouldn't even put a tiny bit of pressure on her feet. Never. It didn't seem like she would ever even try. She hasn't had therapy for awhile as her therapist had a baby and took time off. Then when we finally got the call to start back up, the time they had available would not work for us at all. So, we had to wait. Well, while we were waiting, Sophia just got up one day and stood. Just like that. She didn't do it again for a long time and then she did it again. Now it is becoming more frequent. She only does it maybe once a day but she does it on her own totally and can even ease herself back down now. 

Andrew and Claire made cake pops today and then took them outside to Bethany, Bella and a couple of friends that were playing in the outdoor kitchen.

A few extra pictures I thought I would throw in. This certainly did end up being picture heavy.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Not sure if Luke likes this duck or not. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Their Outdoor Kitchen

Yesterday and today the girls worked in their outdoor kitchen to get it cleaned up and ready to use again this spring. It was in pretty bad shape and so they spent several hours cleaning up and making their oven and whatever else they wanted. I went down after a few hours and they were busy making green tea they told me -- water and green leaves off the trees. 

Tess was having so much fun. She was cleaning and cooking and mixing up all kinds of stuff. She definitely loves this kitchen and now she and Bethany are talking about a table and chairs. They wanted to get logs off our pile of old logs at the back of our yard, but I was a little worried about spiders so I asked them to wait. 

They spent the entire afternoon outside in their kitchen. I watched and took pictures and just enjoyed watching their enthusiasm. I know that too soon for me they will no longer want to play in their kitchen so I enjoy these moments as long as I can. 

Piper is still unable to get up and out. She props her leg up as much as possible and is still drinking and drinking. We have another doctor appointment on Monday plus a lab appointment, too. We are hoping this is the week she starts to improve.

Meredith brought Reagan over for a little while so she came down to the kitchen to play, too. 

Abgail came home and brought her duck outside. Reagan was thrilled to see him and chased him all over the yard trying to pick him up. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another Machine Gone

Today Bethany's vest machine died. She had just started her nebs and I had just turned on the machine that runs her vest and it ran one minute and cut off. I unplugged it and waited a few minutes and then turned it back on. It ran one minute and then shut off with a code in the window and a message to call for service. So, I called and unfortunately it has to be sent back and a new machine sent to us. That meant hand PT for Bethany today. Since having the vest I have been spoiled and doing PT by hand seemed long and actually made my arm ache. This is our second machine to die on us since she got her vest in 2012. Considering how much she uses it I guess it is to be expected. I decided to check out some of the numbers on her machine before I sent it back and I realized that Bethany has done 2,477.4 hours of vest time on this machine. That is a lot of hours for a kid -- she got this machine in August of 2014 so has had it about 2 years and 7 months. I have no idea how many hours she did on the one before this one but probably a little less. But, the bottom line is that when I look at those numbers it hits me just how much time she spends doing her treatments - a lot. 

Piper is doing ok, but still can't walk or put any weight on that leg. Other than the leg she feels pretty good. If this injury hadn't happened I think she would be up and running around. She is definitely getting pretty bored cause just how long can a kid as hyper as she is be content on the sofa? She has played paper dolls and games and watched Veggie Tales and talked and talked and talked. There was one interesting and good thing that happened while she spent her days on the sofa -- I heard her talking and looked over and she was actually pretending with her paper dolls. Unheard of for her. One doll was telling the other one that she had to go away -- far, far, away. The other doll was begging her to stay. This is the first time I think she has actually played like that on her own. I was very pleasantly surprised. 

Piper's numbers continue to go down and that is good. We continue to give her drink after drink after drink to help. We go back to the lab for another check on Monday - nice to have a small break. 

Bethany's machine with the number of hours she was on it. New machine will be here tomorrow afternoon. 

Where Piper spends her days lately.

Have no idea what Sarah and Caroline are doing. When I asked them, Sarah just said - we are playing a game. I have no idea what game but they spend a lot of time playing whatever it is.

Bella just has to bring me my phone no matter where I am or what I am doing.