Sunday, October 31, 2010


trick or treating 2

trick or treating 5

They had fun.  Logan thinks Jake Locker is the greatest, so he wore his Jake Locker jersey and went trick or treating as a UW Husky football player.  Ryan couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be a soccer player or a basketball player, so his costume covered both—soccer shorts and shinguards, basketball shirt.  Good compromise.

And their pumpkins?  Well, Ryan chose a new idea for pumpkins around here.  His is the Washington pumpkin with eyes.  Logan went traditional…


All in all, a good night.  It was the first time I’ve taken kids out trick or treating in probably 12 years; it’s usually Jim’s job but he’s home sick.  I enjoyed walking through the neighborhood with Victoria and the boys but I’m not in a hurry to do it again any time soon.  Jim can be healthy next year and I’d be fine with staying home again. :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

not as nice as last year

But incredibly gorgeous anyway!  The beauty of God’s creation (even in the rain) brings such peace.


The weather was not nice on Thursday on the ferry but I loved it nonetheless.  The boys had to wear warmer gear to ride up front (see these pictures of last year’s trip) but the excitement in their eyes was so much fun! 





As a bonus, our girls team beat Vashon Island!  They qualified for post-season play, so the season goes on.  Way to go, Warriors!! 

My girl




The ferry ride home gave me an opportunity to visit a bit with Victoria’s coach.  Amy is a great coach and an impressive young lady.  It was such fun to just chat!    I look forward to getting to know her better next year.

All in all, it was a perfect end for Thursday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

a little slice of heaven

Today’s my very favorite ‘away game’ location:  Vashon Island.  We leave here in a couple of hours to head to the ferry terminal, then we’ll board the ferry.  Even though it’s cold and drizzly, you’ll find me in the bow of the boat enjoying the view and the breeze.  It’s probably one of my favorite places ever.  Here are some pictures from our trip last year…

ferry ride and volleyball 006

ferry ride and volleyball 017

ferry ride and volleyball 014

Today’s pictures will not be as pretty, but I will still have a wonderful time.

Friday, October 22, 2010

a first for our house

This child…DSC_0014

…has strep throat.  He’s the very first child here to ever have it.  He might be the first person in our 24 year marriage to have it.  That would be amazing.

I’m certainly not complaining!  I feel quite bad for the little guy, actually.  He’s been whiny and tired and sounding sore throat-ish for nearly 2 weeks, and I finally took him in this morning.  If only I had gone sooner!  He’s on an antibiotic and should be on the mend soon.  In the meantime, if this is as bad as he gets, we’re in pretty good shape.  The pediatrician said to let him know if anyone else has symptoms, that he’d just call in prescriptions for them. I was almost all the way home before it dawned on me that the beginnings of a sore throat I’ve had for several days could be the same thing.  I’m still banking on the fact that mine is caused from simple exhaustion.  I hope the antibiotics kick in quickly—I’d love to have a full night’s sleep sometime soon!  Then maybe I won’t get it.  This is one thing he most definitely does NOT need to share!! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a possible answer, and an observation

Yesterday was ‘clinic day’ for Logan, his annual visit to the Craniofacial Clinic.  The visit went exceedingly well—the speech therapist was quite pleased with his progress, and both the developmental pediatrician and the plastic surgeon noted the significant improvement in his speech.  He needs to go back sometime reasonably soon for an orthodontic work-up, but that wasn’t on the schedule for this visit and there wasn’t an orthodontist available to do a quick look so we’ll be making yet another trip to Children’s in the relatively near future.

The big news, though, came in a discussion with both the speech therapist and the developmental pediatrician.  They both talked about his motor planning issues and his apraxia of speech and used a term we hadn’t heard before:  global apraxia.  It fits.  Global apraxia (or the other commonly used term, developmental coordination disorder--DCD) pretty nearly defines Logan to a T.  It has been fascinating this morning to do a little research, and to learn some things about how to help make a difference for him.  The road is still long, but this opens some new doors for us.  A definitive diagnosis of DCD would mean much more help available to him since DCD is a recognized disorder with an associated ‘diagnostic code,’ the codes the insurance companies require to make payments.  Yahoo!!  Finally…we might just be able to get Logan the full therapy help he needs!!

We stopped in to say hello to Nick and had fun seeing him.  He still looks awesome, and he and Ryan played together for a bit while we were upstairs at clinics.  Ryan had a blast with Nick and Nick looked pretty excited to have someone his own size to play with.  We’ll stop in again tomorrow to see him (Logan has his FM system appointment at Children’s tomorrow) and see him once more for sure next week when Logan goes to the audiologist.  Good thing Children’s is fairly close…

And the observation:

I would MUCH prefer to get up early and make a 600 mile round trip to Pullman in a single day than leave at 3pm to make the 200 mile round trip to Port Townsend.  The drive to Pullman was peaceful and beautiful; the early rush hour drive to Port Townsend was stressful and exhausting.  Give me open roads with gorgeous scenery any day!    I guess I am much more a country girl at heart than I ever thought.

Friday, October 15, 2010

didn’t expect THAT!

Glorious weather…beautiful drive…awesome company…lush green fields…

Wait!  Lush green fields?  Isn’t this October??  I really didn’t think about it much, just expected to see harvested fields and dirt on this trip.  But I was surprised. 

As always, it was beautiful in Pullman.  The drive was great.  The boys were delightful and I had lots of time to think.  Lots of time to be awed by the beauty of God’s creation.  Lots of time to adjust my focus. 

Things aren’t perfect, but I sure feel refreshed.  LOVED driving back with Emily.  It has been great to catch up with her!  Her stay won’t be long enough, but we had such great conversation on the way home. 

Next time I head to Pullman, though, I”m taking my camera.  It’s just too gorgeous to skip pictures.  I learned that lesson today…

on the road again


This is what we’ll see later this morning.  And again this afternoon too.  The boys and I are headed to Pullman to bring our Emily home for the weekend.  Can’t wait to see her…the boys are excited to see her dorm room and eat ice cream at the WSU creamery.   We’ll be back later tonight.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Today at school Ryan had to identify a picture and write the word on the line provided.  This was the picture:


and he correctly identified it.  When I asked him to spell it, he gave me a HUGE grin and said, “One zero Mom.  Duh.”

Goofy boy. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a Nick update and some reflections

Thank you for your prayers!! Nick is doing exceptionally well today.  He was moved to PICU on Friday night and spent the weekend on dialysis and oxygen.  Yesterday, they saw enough improvement to take him off dialysis and off oxygen to see how he would do.  He’s blowing them away!  All the catheters have been removed, oxygen—even at night—is no longer necessary, and Nick is smiling and laughing and playing hide and seek with his PICU nurse.  All signs indicate that he’ll be moved back to his ‘palace’ on the oncology wing sometime tomorrow!  Not bad, especially when you consider that the doctors told Pam to expect a 2 to 3 week stay in PICU!  We’ll take 5 days…


Fall.  It’s a time that I love, with its glorious days and crisp nights, the renewing of friendships (on the bleachers at volleyball and in committee meetings) and settling in to a routine.  This fall, however, has been a bit unusual.  The weather has been just plain strange—as it’s been all year this year—and there’s not much of a routine going on here.  Sure, the little guys do school every morning and I teach preschool every Tuesday and little Emily comes to play every Wednesday and Thursday.  We go to volleyball on Mondays and Wednesdays and speech therapy on Mondays and Tuesdays.  And all that sounds routine, but for some reason it doesn’t feel that way.  I suspect it has very little to do with what we actually do and everything to do with the fact that all around us chaos, confusion, and hurt seem to reign. 

I tend to process the hard stuff by thinking.  I want…or maybe need…time to work things through in my mind.  This fall there’s so much going on that it’s hard to stay on top of it.  My nephew’s illness is hard.  Nowhere near as hard for the rest of us as it is for my sister and her family, to be sure, but wanting to help, trying to ‘be there’ for her without interfering, and helping my crew work through their feelings and emotions is a challenge.  Ryan, especially, has been hard hit by Nick’s hospitalization.  For some reason, seeing Nick in the hospital this time has awakened many of his abandonment fears, and it’s terribly painful to watch him return to nightmares and night terrors and abject fear when I don’t respond instantly.  I know it will pass, but in the meantime we’re tired.  Some of my children are walking difficult, painful paths, and it’s so hard as a mom to have to stand on the sidelines and watch.  My heart breaks for one, yet there’s simply nothing I can do.  My only option is prayer, and some days it doesn’t feel like enough.  I know it is, but it sure doesn’t feel that way!  A family close to us is dealing with the pain of loss.  A family in our small group is dealing with cancer.   All around is hurt and pain…and nothing seems to help.  It can start to feel a bit overwhelming at times.

So overwhelming, in fact, that on Monday night I put a VERY important piece of paper in the washing machine…and toasted it.  Totally destroyed it.  I had to email Jim on Tuesday morning and say, “Okay, just shoot me.  Clearly I have too much on my mind.  I’ve ruined our pass.  Do you think there’s any chance we can get a new one?”  Fortunately those in charge were gracious and that particular piece of paper has been replaced.  But I keep doing things like that.  And that’s NOT me.  Not usually anyway. 

In a perfect world none of this stuff would be happening.  In a less than perfect world, there would be time for me to process, to regain perspective.  I am so grateful for the little guys—they keep me occupied when I would instead be worrying.  But I’m still restless and out of sorts.  One of these days it will all get sorted out.  Know that in the meantime I’m still here even if I don’t post, trying to get enough quiet time to process everything, and working on keeping my focus in the right place.  It helps tremendously to keep some of these verses in mind.  Right now they’re written out in my journal and posted in my kitchen so that I can keep them in the forefront.

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed……  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Cor 4: 7-10; 16-18

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Oh yeah, the Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch ice cream helped last week too.  Now, if I could get another pint or two and a good backrub to go with it…that sounds heavenly!  :) 

And because it’s been an absolutely beautiful day with a fun trip to the pumpkin patch, I’ll leave you with some fun pictures of my favorite little people.



Friday, October 8, 2010

drowning my sorrows

Can I just get some Ben and Jerry’s and eat it from the carton?   Definitely the drug of choice for bad days and excess stress.  :) 

Nick’s holding his own, but things are still pretty rough.   I spent the morning at the hospital with Pam and Nick, and had some fun with Nick’s big brother Ted.  It was hard but good, and I’m glad I got to go.  Now there are at least 2 people at my house not feeling well, which makes visits much more difficult.

So, ice cream anyone?  I’m happy to share…

Nick update 10-8-10

Things are tough.  He’s in some pain and there have been some significant (but normal and expected) complications post transplant.   I am heading to the hospital pretty soon—Jim is coming home from work to stay with my boys since Ryan has a sore throat and a temperature.

Please keep praying…

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Dewy mornings…


and a trip to the fish hatchery







So much for trying to get a picture with all 3 of them looking and smiling at the same time…

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nick update

Nick’s doing pretty well.  He had a bad first night, but keeping him on 2 anti-nausea meds around the clock seems to be helping.  His blood pressure stabilized and his pulse rate came up overnight after the transplant, which is very good.  I didn’t talk to my sister today, but when I talked to her yesterday Nick was up playing Wii in his room.  He’s not eating, and they expect a rough few days with the mouth sores that will likely kick in soon.  He’ll be on basal morphine for those, with ‘boosts’ from the pump available to him.  He has an NG (nasogastric) tube for his TPN (total parenteral nutrition) feedings, I think.  They don’t expect him to be eating by mouth for at least a while.  And, it will be a bit before he can take in enough calories on his own so he’ll remain on NG feedings for a while even after he’s eating.

Because it takes a few weeks for the marrow to engraft and start producing cells, Nick will likely be at the hospital until late October at least.  We’re all hoping and praying he’s released by Oct 21, his big brother Ted’s 11th birthday.  In the meantime, he needs to rest up and get ready—my sister Chris and her family fly out from Chicago on Friday to visit!  Hopefully Brent will also be home for the weekend, and we’ll have a ‘party’ visit to the hospital and spend some time together…if Nick’s up for us all.  We will definitely miss Hailey (work) and Emily (in Pullman) while Chris, Frank, Alec, and Sam are here.  :(

Feel free to check Nick’s Caring Bridge site for more updates!