Monday, October 24, 2011

Little Trooper

Our Little Trooper-

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

During August, while playing at the Cress’ house, Nate was called to the truck. He came running at full canter down a slope in the yard toward his daddy’s awaiting arms. Unfortunately, his legs got ahead of him and he slipped on the grass. His body turned sideways and his downhill leg went out from under him, while the up-hill leg pronated inward and rotated. The effect was a loud, sickening “pop” that resulted in all the parents present to run to his aid. Later after some late night x-rays we found out that he had a double break with a spiral fracture of the left femur. The on-call ER doctor splinted his leg and told us the orthopedist would be there to see him first thing in the morning. Since I was weeks away from delivering and having contractions, Jeff stayed the night with Nate while I returned home with Leif for a few hours of sleep.

As I lay awake in the wee hours of that night, I replayed the incident trying to figure out how it all could have turned out differently. I also agonized over the initial prognosis. Even though my body needed the rest, my mind couldn’t escape the pain I had left my little boy enduring. Every time he would drift off to sleep those first few nights he would jerk awake and shriek in pain due to his muscles twitching as they relaxed.

Nate was placed in a hip-spica cast, which runs the length of the broken leg, to the knee on the opposite leg, up to the middle of the chest and held together by a 1 inch dowel across his thighs. He was in the cast for six weeks. Three and half weeks into his casting I delivered our third Kathryn via c-section. Thankfully, both of our moms came from Texas to help for nearly a month. If they hadn’t come to Alaska, I might have been committed to the loony bin.

On the night he first figured out how to "scoot"...

Three weeks “post-cast” Nate and I walked out to the storage cabin behind our house to retrieve some toys. Nate had been walking about ten days and was still a little shaky. He clung tightly to my hand as we painstakingly traversed the uneven, muddy ground. Normally, our trek would have taken about ten minutes; this day it took a little under an hour. As we slowly walked I admired the Alaskan fall beauty that surrounded us and tried not to cry over my son’s struggle. His broken leg had healed nearly a half inch shorter and I wondered if his severe limp would ever go away. My mind worried ahead to possible future athletic disappointments, lifelong physical pain, and social stigma. As if he was reading my mind, Nate said, “Momma, I want to run.”

“Okay, let’s give it a try…” I replied uncertainly.

“Not yet, not today…I can’t…but I will run, momma. I will,” he emphatically stated as he trudged ever so slowly onward.

His “declaration of overcoming” hit me squarely between the eyes. No matter the outcome of his accident, God was already training his heart and mine.

The passage in John 4 encourages us to be aware of false prophesies, but can also stand as a reminder to be aware of Satan’s schemes. He wants nothing more than for God’s children to worry about tomorrow and to doubt the power of Him who resides in us. Satan and his workers are also seeking to make us forget that God has already overcome our greatest problem (death) and through him WE are OVERCOMERS as well. God is bigger than any problem we might face in this world, even the gut-wrenching, heart-rending pain of seeing your child suffer. In fact, he understands better than anyone.

Friday, July 01, 2011

May and June Happenings...

In mid-May, Jeff was looking out the window above the kitchen sink when a beautiful, white pigeon flew into the yard looking somewhat injured. He went outside and the bird didn't fly off.

Pigeons are very rare in Alaska, if ever seen at all. So, we assumed the bird was a domesticated carrier pigeon. We figured out the bird wasn't injured, just exhausted. It allowed Jeff to catch it, so we put it into a dog kennel outside with some food and water. Initially, it enjoyed tortillas. Locally, we have a daily radio program that advertises lost pets called, "Dog Gone News". Jeff called and advertised the bird to no avail. After a few days of feeding and obvious recuperation, we figured it was time to let the bird go.

Jeff opened the door to the kennel and the bird flew out, landing nearby on the roof of the station, and then off into the "wild blue yonder". We assumed that was the last we would see of "Polly". We took the kennel out of the boy's play house and refilled the water and food. Later that day Jeff was preparing the garden and Polly showed up again, roosted in the boy's play house and officially adopted Jeff.

This bird is crazy! It follows him work in the morning, back home, on walks with the boys. If it could stay on top of the car when he leaves the house, it would. Just like the dog, Polly cheerfully greets us when we get home.

The other day I looked outside as Jeff was grinding and welding and the bird was just a few feet away from him watching his every move. Polly is here to stay. Funny thing is, Jeff is just as attached to her as she is to him. We wonder if she will migrate in the fall.


At the beginning of June we had a great visit from an old friend and coworker, Erin (Baldwin) Day, her husband Heath and their precious kids.

Leif and Nate loved making friends with Charyse and Trace.

I love the progression of these photos...

....and they're done.

Later in June we loaded up the new 5th wheel, the canoe and kayak for a family camping trip with the Cress clan.

Post camping stop at a cafe in Kasilof...we had fun fishing for lake trout, canoeing , kayaking, and playing in the water at Centennial Lake.

I love how Leif and Auden are wearing the same expression.

I think they're a little "fried".

Best Buddies...

We completed the month with Leif's first visit to the dentist. He did a great job having his teeth cleaned and x-rayed. He had a good report and has become a fanatical 2:00 minute brusher (complete with a timer).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter '11

This year's Easter egg hunt was a little on the muddy side.

All the kids really enjoyed themselves especially with all the puddles around.

Nate kept finding the eggs and then asking his daddy to get them for him.

They are the sweetest boys....

Our Leif. He is a great big brother.

Nate is growing up to be such a big boy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Best Ski Ever!

Today was a gorgeous 38 degrees with warm sun and no, we went out for a family cross-country ski.

Jeff pulled Nate and I had Leif for a while...

Then because of this growing bump ;) and my lack of stamina; Daddy made the 'Kidlet Train' and pulled both of the boys.

Overall, it was a gorgeous day! Thank you, God for such beautiful weather.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Been Too Long...

After a rather long hiatus from the ol' blog I thought I might begin anew. A run down of the last year seems rather necessary:

The boys are doing great and enjoying the sunshine and snow of Alaska. Nate just celebrated his second birthday and astounds us daily with new verbal revelations. Leif is a great big brother and enjoys his role of protector and chief fun organizer. They really do play well together (for the most part).

However, I came in today to break up a skirmish when I realized Nate was screaming, "Let me kiss you, PLEASE!!!" Leif was nursing a wounded forehead that he explained was inflicted on him by Nate "running him over and hitting his head on the train track." I asked Nate if he ran over his brother on purpose and he said, "Yeah, but I want to kiss it." What are you gonna do?!!

Jeff and I celebrated our 11th anniversary in January and found out we were expecting again. Lord willing we will meet this new little one the first of September. I am still working at the Bay Club teaching water aerobics and swimming lessons. I also began coaching for the Kachemak Swim Club this last fall and loooove it!

Jeff is both working for World Christian Broadcasting and preaching at our local congregation; and enjoying the outdoors every chance he gets.