york swirls

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Krissy is holding her own

Now that the lumbar drain is in place, they are draining fluid off once every hour.  It has relieved the pressure in Krissy's head, but she still has a little bit of a headache that can be controlled with pain meds.  They will keep draining the fluid every hour until she has surgery on Wednesday to put the shunt in place.  Please pray that there will be no infection in the lumbar drain up until surgery time and that the surgery will be a success.  The chance of infection when they put the shunt in is 5%.  The chance of failure of the shunt is 20-25%.

Food Failures

While we've been in the hospital, we haven't had very good luck with meals.  Before we headed down to the hospital on Wednesday, we ate a quick, light lunch at 11:00.  We spent so long waiting in ER that we still hadn't had anything to eat by 9:00 that night.  The nurse brought Krissy a box lunch that we split.  We each had 1/2 of a soggy turkey sandwich and 1/2 of a small bag of pretzels.  Krissy ate the applesauce.  By the time we got settled upstairs in her room, we were still starving.  The nurse brought us each our own box lunch about midnight.....so we got to eat a whole soggy turkey sandwich and a whole bag of pretzels.  

On Thursday, no one seemed to know what the plans were, so we were afraid to let Krissy eat in case they were going to do a procedure that would require her to be put under.  So we didn't eat any breakfast...just in case.  They finally decided that Krissy could eat, so we ordered lunch.  Krissy ordered a big, delicious cheese burger with all the trimmings, baked potato with butter and sour cream, and garden salad.  I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and french fries.  Krissy's meal was very good.  Mine, on the other hand, left a little to be desired.  The bottom piece of bread on the sandwich was all soggy and so were the fries.  Soggy fries with no salt are nasty!  For supper that night, I ordered Pizza Hut and Gary & Meagan stopped and picked that up for us.  That wasn't too bad.

On Friday morning, I called and ordered Krissy's breakfast.  I didn't want any breakfast because it was getting close enough to lunch time that I figured I'd just have a good lunch.  Krissy said I needed to eat something, so I ordered a blueberry muffin on her tray for myself.  Well, you can see how that turned out in the picture above.  When Krissy handed me that muffin off her tray, I just laughed and laughed and laughed.  It looked like a muffin top, not a muffin.  I was expecting one of those jumbo muffins.  Talk about disappointed! 

Well, I've got it covered for when I go back down to the hospital.  I've got Special K breakfast bars, Wheat Thins, Flipside pretzel/crackers, and some peanut M&Ms, among other things.  I won't starve this time!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Update on Krissy

We saw the neurosurgeon this morning, and we really like him.  They are going to put a shunt in Krissy's brain next Wednesday.  They will have to shave a small patch of her beautiful hair and drill through her skull.  They will also have to make an incision in her abdomen to complete the drain down there.  Then the fluid will drain from around her brain into her abdominal cavity.  Until then, the fluid needs to be drained and kept down, so they are putting a temporary drain in her spine at this very minute.  This should make her more comfortable and keep the headaches away.  Then it's just a matter of sitting in the hospital, watching TV until surgery on Wednesday.  I know she'd appreciate a call or visit.  The direct number to her room is 317-338-0607.  She is in Room 5227 in St. Vincent's Hospital, Indianapolis.

Please pray for Krissy

I haven't posted anything on here in a few days because we've been at the hospital since Wednesday.  Krissy has had a constant migraine since September 15.  At first her vision was blurry at times.  For the past week, she has had large blind spots in her vision.  After many doctors visits and ER visits, we came to the ER at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis to try to get something done.  It's very frustrating to try to get help.

Krissy has Pseudotumor Cerebri.  In other words, a fake tumor in her brain.  She has a build-up of fluid around her brain pressing on her optic nerves.  Her optic nerves are extremely swollen causing the loss of vision.  They drained the fluid from her spine yesterday afternoon.  The measurement of pressure was 46.  The top end of normal is 18.  They expect the fluid to come back.  Krissy thinks it has because the headache is back.

The neurologist wants to place a shunt in her brain or her spine to drain the fluid because he feels her sight is at risk.  We are waiting for the neurosurgeon to come by and talk to us about that.  Obviously, we are worried and scared.  Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Harvest Fare

It's that time of year again.  Gary, Meagan, and Nathan are working long hours in the field, and Autumn is working long hours at the elevator.  Since Autumn is 7 months pregnant and spending long hours on her feet, she's pretty tired by the time she gets home about 7:30 at night.  I've been cooking enough for supper to feed all of us.  I decided to make chicken and noodles today and a peach cobbler, along with some of the green beans we canned this year.
 4 eggs-worth of noodle dough
 Noodles left to dry
Peach cobbler....recipe follows

Easy Berry Cobbler

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups fruit (peaches, apples, cherries, blueberries)
1/4 to 1 cup sugar, depending on fruit used

Melt butter in 8"x8" pan.  Mix milk, sugar, flour, and baking powder.  Pour over melted butter.  Do not stir.  Pour on fresh fruit.  Sprinkle sugar on top depending on fruit used.  Drain fruit if using canned fruit.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I used a large can (30 oz.) of peaches tonight.  I have also used blueberries.  This literally takes less than 10 minutes to mix up.  And so good!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet Murphy

 I think Murphy loves Leah.
 And Leah loves Murphy.
 Murphy shopping for his new collar at Tractor Supply.
 Murphy with the girls in Tractor Supply...kissing Leah again.
 Murphy's tired after his shopping trip.  Auntie Meagan carried him to the van.
 Murphy gets a bath.
Murphy is a 15-week-old blue Great Dane puppy.  He's the newest addition to our family.  I guess you could say we kind of bought him as a "therapy dog."  Leah has been having nightmares and "meltdowns" ever since Gunner was killed.  I keep thinking it will get better, but it hasn't.  She went out to Gunner's grave on Friday and sobbed her heart out. He was her closest friend and her companion, the one she shared secrets with, the one that comforted her when she was sad.  Leah lost her best friend, Gunner, on January 24th.  Then her big sister, Autumn, got married and moved out on February 10th.  Then her big sister, Krissy, went in the hospital on February 29th.  Krissy (and Mom) spent 10 days in the hospital.  When Krissy and Ryan were dismissed from the hospital, they came home to our house and took over Leah's bedroom.   That was a lot of changes and trauma for a little girl to deal with.  We are hoping this puppy will help heal her broken heart and fill the part of the void our Gunnerman left.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time for School

We're in the middle of our second week of school.  Things are finally starting to smooth out a little as we all get used to our books and figure out what is required of us.  I have 6 students this year...kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 6th grade, 7th, grade, and 8th grade.  That's quite a spread....just like the old one-room schoolhouse.

We've started something new this year...something we've never done in the 17 years or so that I've been homeschooling.  It's something I've thought about doing many times but have never known exactly how to go about it.  I purchased the Trail Guide to Learning series this year.  It is a unit study that encompasses the subjects of history, geography, science, language, spelling, and art.  It has different levels of difficulty and slightly different pages in their folders for different grade levels.  It is actually only written for 3 grade levels, but we are adapting it and everyone is picking up something from what we've been reading.  The curriculum uses regular books (such as biographies from the Sowers Series and Childhood of Famous Americans) to teach all the subjects.  We are reading about Christopher Columbus right now.  We are getting used to the new curriculum and enjoying it.

We are also using our regular math curriculum (some Bob Jones and some Saxon) and A Beka's language program.  I'm very pleased with our school program this year and feel like the girls are getting a well-rounded education.  I know there is no other teacher they could have that would care as much as their mother whether they are "getting it".  There is no other teacher that would spend the amount of time it sometimes takes to make sure they "got it"....to try more than one angle until it "clicks". 

I am very thankful that God has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom and to homeschool our girls.  It has always been our conviction that God would have us to homeschool.  I could never bear the thought of sending my girls to a place where God is not allowed, where foul language is used regularly, where drugs are a problem, where evolution & humanism are taught...  I could go on, but I won't.  Thank you, Lord, for the freedom to homeschool.  I pray that it will not be taken away.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Williamsburg, Kentucky

This is the only picture I took all weekend....Nanna in her Patriot hat.  

We left Saturday morning at 6:30 for Williamsburg, Kentucky, where they were celebrating Old Fashioned Trading Days.  The whole afternoon and evening were filled with Gospel singing by The Whisnants, Jeff & Sheri Easter, and The Primitives.  Following the singing, we ate at El Dorado with the Whisnants and the Easters.  Saturday was Susan Whisnant's birthday, so we had cake and sang "Happy Birthday."  We attended church where the Whisnants were singing on Sunday morning.  Then we ate lunch with them at the Cumberland Inn.  The little girls ordered chicken strips with french fries that came in these hats.  After a delicious lunch, we headed back home and the Whisnants headed to the National Quartet Convention in Louisville.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Remember Fred MacMurray in The Absent Minded Professor and Son of Flubber?  Erin helped the girls make flubber today while I went to the eye doctor.  It has such a cool consistency and is so much fun to play with!!  Here's the recipe:

In a large bowl, combine 2 tsp. Borax and 1 1/2 cups of very warm water.  Mix.  In smaller bowl, combine 2 cups of Elmer's school glue and 1 1/2 cups of very warm water.  Mix.  Poor Elmer's glue mixture into the large bowl of Borax.  Mix with hands and dump out extra liquid.  Then divide between your kids and add whatever color of food coloring they like.

"Our" Place

 Gary and I made a little get-away to our favorite place....The Essenhaus Inn in Middlebury, Indiana, after the Blueberry Festival on Labor Day.  We love this place.  It's so clean and so quiet.
 This is the view from our patio.  Too hot & humid to sit out there after spending the whole day outside though.
 The whole hotel is furnished with Amish-made furniture.
 It's all so beautifully decorated.
This sitting area was just outside our door in the hallway.  Every little ways down the hallway was a comfy setting like this, just inviting you to sit down and enjoy a good book.  The lobby and the common area on the second floor are full of comfy couches and chairs grouped around a fireplace.  I love this place!

On Tuesday, we did some shopping in Shipshewana at a few of our favorite stores.  Then we headed home and back to reality.  We really need to do this more often!!

Labor Day

 We went to the Blueberry Festival in Plymouth, Indiana, on Labor Day where we enjoyed a free day of Southern Gospel music.  The first group to sing was The Taylors.  Monday ended a 6-day stint of Gary driving their bus.  They headed back to their home in Lillington, North Carolina, after the concert in Plymouth.  Gary was glad to be able to help them out by driving them to Branson, Missouri; Lebanon, Pennsylvania; Bristol, Indiana; and Plymouth, Indiana.  He enjoyed spending time with these fine young people.  We enjoyed listening to their music twice in less than two weeks and having them in our home for a couple of days.
 Pat Barker and Ryan listening to the Taylors sing.
I didn't get a picture of the Down East Boys, the second group on the program.  We enjoyed their music too.  To finish up the day, the Mark Trammell Quartet sang.  Of course, they are just like family to us, so we felt right at home listening to them.  When the singing was over, we took the girls to Pizza Hut for supper before sending them home in the van while Gary & I headed to Shipshewana.