Monday, March 01, 2010

Sick Days, Birthdays, Happy Days, Sad Days

After our Crazy Dance Party a few Friday nights ago, we got strep in the house. The whole works (except for Trina and I) had to go to the doctor and get meds. THEN, Tommy couldn't breathe one night, so we went to the ER with him and he got a steroid shot, with the lovely info that the doctor thought he must have croup. Really? Croup (virus) AND strep (bacteria)? How lucky can one family get? Everyone else got the virus too, including Trina.

It took three weeks and finally, today, everyone sounds and feels a whole lot better.

On Wed. we celebrated Tommy's 2nd birthday (he was sick and miserable, I don't have any pictures of that day, but here's a shot of him at that dance party the Friday before. He danced so much he collapsed on the floor...several times...especially when he saw the camera was on!)
We then celebrated Mari's 4th birthday on Friday. She went to a pre-school screening (I don't intend to send her to school, but I just like the screening and the people who do it in this town. They're very supportive of homeschoolers in this district.)
She wanted to wear her crown and bring her purse along for the screening. It was pretty obvious that it was her birthday, since she wore this special collar that said "Happy Birthday" that she'd been saving ALL year, just for the occasion. They sung "Happy Birthday" to her at the school. She was so pleased. She also said goodbye to the neighbor as he took his kids (that we babysit) off to see their grandma. Mari hollered across the street, "Bye! Hey, did you know today's my birthday?" The neighbor said, "Oh yeah! That's right!". Mari hollered again, "You forgot to say 'happy birthday'!". He thought it was funny...I thought she was getting a little to into the princess thing.
That girl's got some MAJOR sass going for her. I have a feeling she's going to work it until she figures out some other thing that will work for her to get out of doing chores and taking naps.

Saturday morning, Butch's parents took the birthday kids (including Butch) out to their breakfast/shopping for birthday gift/shopping for cake, tradition that we started a few years ago. It makes the birthday kid feel really special but we figured three birds with one stone was the way to go this year! Butch reported that this exchange happened at Perkin's:
Server: Do you want pie, or ice cream?
(she got a choice for her birthday)
Mari: Ummm, I think because I'm FOUR, I should have cake and ice cream.

She got ice cream. Butch put the brakes on the princess complex there, but she handled it just fine!
Saturday night, we had my side of the family over to celebrate the birthdays in our house (Butch's was Sunday!) and my twin niece and nephew (birthday today) and my other nephew who will be 4 this Saturday. It was super funny to sing happy birthday for 3 cakes (two names on each) and it ended up being a total blast. We had a couple other people over, too. Our neighbors (who are like family since we have their children over every week for babysitting)and Tommy's godparents, Rachie and Billy. Even Matt and Anna got to come from Menomonie with their dog, Jake. A good time was had by all!

The "sad days" in the title only refers to the illnesses...but there is some sadness in that the worry of an unstable economy is threatening Butch's job. He has been laid off (this will be the third week) for the first time in years and years. His company is very stable, one of the only companies that does what they do, and THEY are feeling the pinch...I can't imagine how the rest of the construction/industrial world is doing right now and for the past two years. I don't know how people live on just unemployment, but I know we can't. We can NOT sustain this for very long. I don't know what we would do if he were laid off for more than 5 or 6 weeks. We have to make some tough choices, I know that, but with 7 kids, there are certain things that pass the "want" category and really are the NEEDS. We need a roof over our heads, clothing on our bodies, food in our bellies, and transportation. What can we let go? Not much. We have come to depend on the internet for communication, education, and bill paying...although, the thought just occurred to me that if I can't pay bills, what's the point of paying them online? Just (mostly) kidding! I'm cracking up a bit here. This is all a lot of worry that a LOT of people are going through, I know that. It does make things a little easier, knowing that there are a whole lot of people in this sinking boat with us. Misery loves company, right? Ugh. How about misery can take a hike. I wish misery would leave people alone once in a dang while. Misery stinks on ice.

Well, the ONE good thing that comes from having Butch here is that he is helping with school. Math is hard (said in my best Barbie voice) and Butch does it so much better than I do! He gets to see how schooling works for each child, which is something he misses out on while he's working. He has also gotten to take them ice fishing a few times (something he's never really done before) with one of his retired co-workers (a great friend of the family). That's been great bonding time with the kids, too. Butch and the kids also primed and painted the entire basement. We had all of the equipment and paint but hadn't had the time to finish that job until now. If we only had money, as well as time, we could put in carpet and trim things up...but that might have to wait for a while. We haven't driven each other crazy quite yet, but I'm sure that day is coming.

Oh well, I guess we'll just have to gear up...

Find the strength to push each other to not give up...

Remember to lean on God, who will help us when we feel like falling...

And when we fall...

And get discouraged...

We can know that all of that prayer and love will carry us through...

And help us (however shakily) get to our feet...

Until we rise again!

Triumphantly calling from the highest mountaintop!

"Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. For in his hand are all the ends of the earth: and the heights of the mountains are his. For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us. For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts..."