Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Spring Day

Spring is here!  Everyone has told me I will LOVE a Tennessee spring and so far they are right.  All that rain is bringing the most beautiful flowers.  One of my favorite plants in my yard was our hydrangea bush by my front porch.  I was pretty sad to leave it behind.  Happily, we have a climbing hydrangea bush in the backyard and a couple of bushes along the fence.  They are not ready to bloom yet but I can see the smallest buds popping out.  I also see buds on the rose bushes in the backyard and a couple of other bushes.  My backyard is going to be amazing in a couple of weeks!  In the meantime, I love walking out of my door and seeing this beautiful tree.  It pretty much has a swarm of bees around it all afternoon but I can't help but think of the song "Popcorn Popping" every time I see it.  
 When we moved here there was this great big area right by the front door with big bushes of beautiful blue flowers.  When winter came we were left with a bunch of bare sticks and one day I looked over to see this white clump among all the sticks.  I thought it was litter and went to inspect only to find this funny little sculpture hiding among the bushes!  It has been hiding all summer and fall and I never saw it until the leaves and flowers fell off.  I tried cleaning the area up a bit and had to grab a picture of my little sculpture!
 I snapped a couple more pictures of the pretty spring flowers in my yard

 Pretty much every tree and bush in my yard has a bird's nest. You an barely see the nest in this picture
Eli and Piper have been making beautiful artwork on my front steps.  I love Eli's drawing lately.  
 Piper, Mike and I went for a walk this morning because the weather was gorgeous.  Piper had to wear her tutu, her blue polka dot socks, sparkly red shoes, and winter hat.  She is such a princess.  I love it.
 We regularly see snails on our walks.  This particular one is double the size of the ones we usually see.  They are usually so tiny.

 I love all the snail paths that shimmer in the morning sun.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

She is loved

The most tender thing for me to see is Piper being loved by her brothers.  Each of these boys love Piper so much and tenderly take care of her when she is sick or sad.  Some days I cry about Laila being gone and Piper not having a sister.  It makes me feel so sad for her that she will never know what it's like to have a sister relationship.  I worry that because the boys are so much older than her she will be lonely and feel like an only child.  Just when I begin to feel really sorrowful about what we are lacking the Lord blesses me to witness these tender interactions between Piper and her brothers.  I feel comforted that even if our family isn't the way I had envisioned, it is beautiful and joyful and He will provide opportunities for me to see that we are taken care of and loved.  
Eli gives Piper her breathing treatment

Will plays starfall with Piper

Isaac reads to Piper and sings to her

Spring Break was not a break from germs but it was still fun

We hung out at home all of Wednesday.  Isaac threw up throughout the night on Tuesday and Piper needing breathing treatments and we started her on her antibiotics.  We thought we better steer clear of people and just get better at home.  The boys played at home and Mike made cheese and actually Isaac acted fine once he got all the throw up out.  Wednesday was a pretty restful day for us.  By Thursday we had had no throw up for 24 hours and Piper seemed to be doing much better--less boogers, less coughing, and no fever since Monday--so we decided to go to Gatlinburg to a museum the boys have been aching to go to.  Wonderworks was a pretty fun museum, kind of like a science museum/indoor amusement park.  

 They were super excited to go on the ropes course way up in the air.  It looked pretty scary to me but the boys and Mike were ready to go.  I think it took them about an hour to stand in line and complete the course.  Piper and I checked out some other things while they did the course.  Mike said it was "terrifying."  I love the picture below with the random old guy photobomming.  It looks like he's got a floating head.

 Everyone liked the bubble station.
 Piper stomped on aliens
 and they all wanted to lay on a bed of nails

 Will was pretty bummed that none of the other brothers wanted to go on the rides and Mike and I don't do well on rides either and the lines were pretty long.  They all wanted to try out the rock wall though.  I was amazed at how fast Isaac climbed the wall.

 The following day we had a play day at our house.  Will's friends weren't able to come over on his birthday so we decided to wait until Friday.  They came over and had an ice cream cake and played for hours.  I think heard a lot of Minecraft and Pokeman talk going on.  The friends came over at 10 and I think it was 5 before they were all gone.  They all had a great time.  Once all the kids were gone we hurried and got dressed in church clothes and went to a baptism for another friend who wasn't able to come to the "party."

Saturday we had planned on going on a walk by the river but we had some things to do and Piper was starting to feel sick again.  We had promised the boys we would take them out to eat so we went for lunch at Texas Roadhouse--their pick.  Piper went down for a nap in good spirits and feeling well but woke up with another fever.  I held her for about an hour before she started to perk up a little.  We sent her to bed early and she woke up in the middle of the night with the same fever.  This morning she is pretty miserable.  I am sick myself with whatever respiratory junk she has.  I held it off as long as I could but finally succumbed to it. We are hanging out at home again while Mike and the boys head to Stake Conference.  I think I'm going to have to take Piper back to the doctor this week to see what is going on.  The breathing treatments don't seem to be doing much and I'm surprised she is still getting fevers.  It has been three weeks now of off and on fevers.

I admit that I am pretty discouraged about the sickness that has hit our home this winter.  I can't believe we are still battling so many different germs.  The one week all the kids were healthy was the week Mike had all the respiratory junk.  That was three weeks ago and someone has been sick since then.  I have a counter full of meds that are taken daily.

 I've loaded us up with vitamins, probiotics, airborne, etc.  I've washed down the walls and door knobs and cleaned sheets and blankets.  I've encouraged everyone to be outside every day the weather permits, and even on days when it doesn't.  Still, we are just a germ infested home.  I am not a germaphobe.  I am also not a disregarder of germs and I generally don't let my kids walk around sick getting everyone else sick but I also am to the point where I feel like we are never going to get better.  Just when I think we are turning a corner, we go do something fun in public and then the following day someone is acting sick again.  It is by far our worse winter for sickness.  It's really getting me down and discouraged.  Anyway, it's been a rough couple of months for our family in the health department.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Break--hiking in the Smokeys

Today was our second day of Spring Break.  I woke up early and took Piper to her doctor's appointment.  It was the very first appointment of the day so we were in and out pretty quickly.  Because her boogers and coughing and off and on fever has lasted for so long they put her on an antibiotic.  They also said she was wheezing so we need to give her breathing treatments.  When I got home the kids and Mike were up and getting ready for the day.  Mike was making them green pancakes for breakfast.  After breakfast we ran to Target to drop of Piper's prescriptions and grab some water and snacks for our hike.  

We drove to the Smokey's for a gorgeous hike in the mountains.  It was the perfect day for hiking.  The hike was not a long one but it had parts where it was steep and I think it was the perfect hike for the kids.  Once we got to the falls we stopped to eat our snacks and the boys and Piper played in the freezing water.  

Our plan was to go out to eat tonight as a family but when it came down to it Piper had missed her nap and she was falling apart.  When she threw the tantrum of the century over wanting to change her clothes (again) into some polka dot undies and a sleeveless jacket, I told Mike that we probably would not have an enjoyable time at dinner and we should come up with something else to do.  The boys settled on going to get ice cream and eating at home with the promise of going out to eat on Saturday.

Piper went to bed.  Isaac started throwing up and Mike and the other two boys went to get ice cream, where they got attacked by mosquitoes.  Now, what I want to know is, why do we live in a place where mosquitoes are present for eight months of the year?!  And also, can someone please tell me why my family has not had one single week since the beginning of December where we have all be healthy.  Not one.  I really thought that after the two boys had finished their puking on Sunday afternoon that we were going to be clear of the pukies.  Also, I'm starting to get Piper's ickies.  Sore throat, sinus pressure, and drainage.  My have been taking Airborne and doing a nasal irrigating thingy for the last couple of days in hopes that I won't get worse.  We have a lot of fun things still planned for our Spring Break so I really hope the sickness can stop!!

First Day of Spring Break

Our first day of Spring Break was great.  Saturday and Sunday we had puking kids and Piper has been sick for over a week so I was worried our Spring Break was just going to be a bunch of suffering and sad kiddos.  Monday morning they all seemed better.  Will and Eli were done puking but Sunday afternoon and Piper was stuffy but seemed happy.  We headed to the Knoxville Zoo for our first time.  It is a great little zoo, super close to our house.  The kids all loved it.  After about an hour and a half though Piper ended up getting pretty sad.  She fell asleep in the stroller which never happens and I knew she must be feeling miserable again.  I called the doctor to set up an appointment on our way home from the zoo.  They said they could get her in early the next day.  

 After coming home and having lunch the boys cleaned more of the yard from their fort mess while Piper slept.  It wasn't long before they were in swimming trunks and spraying each other down with the hose.  When Piper woke up and saw them all in their swimming trunks she got jealous and insisted on getting in her swimming suit.  As a side note, it really wasn't warm enough for swimming garb in my opinion.  It was a super nice day--75--and felt nice and warm but that is not warm enough in my opinion for playing in the water.  Crazy kids.  I HAD to take this picture of Eli and Piper sharing the hose for a drink though.  I love how these boys love their little sister.
After dinner we got the fire pit set up and roasted marshmallows.  Once the kids went to bed and it was dark, Mike and I sat outside by the still burning embers and read scriptures.  It was a perfect ending to the day.