Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Where on earth are we?

That is a very valid question. 

It is also one I find challenging to answer. Of course, I know where we are. But it is not exactly where we expected to be when we packed up eight people, a dog, and a cat. 

We've spent the last seven months living in my in-laws' partially finished basement. They have been so gracious to allow us to stay with them while we wrestled with housing. 

Housing is rather difficult for a family of eight, apparently. We initially planned on buying a house. But all of the houses that were large enough (meaning they had four bedrooms where at least three could fit two twin beds) had no yard whatsoever. We finally came to the conclusion that it would be best to build a new house. With that in mind, we purchased 35 acres east of Denver. The location is ideal for Mark's commute and we'll be part of an established community who have already been so neighborly when we've been out to play on our land. 

And then we hit a roadblock. 

We did not purchase land until we had done due diligence as much as possible. We found a builder we liked, drew up plans with an architect, and made sure building would be within our budget based on estimates from our builder. After we purchased our land, our builder came back with a firm bid that was $100k higher than the initial estimates. That was a no-go. 

We've since found another builder whose firm bid is in line with our budget but there are still several obstacles. In the meantime, we've moved into a four-bedroom apartment on the southeast side of Denver. It's great to have our own space again and to have the kids in their own beds (most of them have been sleeping on the floor the last several months!). The kids are excited because the complex has a pool and playground and they've rediscovered all of the toys that have been packed away. 

Overall it's been a good summer. We've celebrated four birthdays here and already fit in a visit back to Missouri for camp, doctor appointments, and visits with friends and family. Alex has started growth hormone, Emily has started her palate expansion, and we've joined a homeschool group in south Denver. Here are a few pictures from the last few months (and yes, that's Emily with coffee!). 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Heading west

The big news of the new year for us is that we are moving to Colorado!

Mark has accepted a job in Denver and will start in early February. The kids and I will move when our house sells (so if you know of anyone looking for a 6-bedroom, 3-bath house send them our way!). Our Colorado family is super excited to have us closer and our Missouri family is a little sad. We have lots of mixed emotions too!

We've been busy cleaning house and getting it ready to go on the market. I'm working hard to trust God with all of these changes and the crazy chaos of trying to sell a house and move with six kids. Prayers are always treasured and appreciated!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy new year!

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."

--Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings

Monday, December 29, 2014

Post-op yet again

Well we made it about a year. Emily had surgery this morning to do some scar tissue repair from her previous surgeries. Her orthodontist needed the extra tissue removed before we can start her palate expansion. Surgery was supposed to be in January but I asked to be put on a cancellation list so we could get it in under this years' deductible. I'd say that's a bad reason, but if we have to do it anyway better do it economically! 

Sleeping off the meds...

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Emily's prayer

We have prayer at the end of our morning reading and it's always insightful.

Emily: "God, please help mama's cold to go away so she doesn't cough or sneeze or blow her nose...and the snot running down her nose should probably stop..."

It continued for a few more minutes and I wish I'd had an audio recording (as I usually wish with Emily's prayers!) but after that phrase I had such a hard time not laughing that I stopped listening closely. Laughing would have caused me to cough and need to blow my nose...and apparently have snot running down my nose.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What exactly does "hip" taste like?

Quite frequently, finding humor is the only thing that keeps me from breaking down during the day. Sometimes our multitude of special needs and appointments (current and future) get a little overwhelming.

Today, Emily had an appointment with her plastic surgeon. This was just a basic follow up but I wanted to ask him some detailed questions as her orthodontist is wanting to start her palate expansion in the next few months. This will make the hole in her palate bigger and I wanted to make sure I understand how all of this will work before we start the expansion.

While we were discussing the expansion, Emily's future bone graft came up. This will be a bone graft to fill in the missing bone in her jaw where her cleft is (left front of her mouth). This is something they will plan on doing around age 10, so in the next year or so. 

And it's a surgery...which is still a huge trauma trigger word for Emily so as soon as she heard that we couldn't discuss anything else. In the process of explaining it to her she asked where the bone would come from and we told her her hip. 

To which she replied: "Ewww, my mouth will taste like my hip!"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

An day unexpected

Today Alex was being tested for growth hormone. We were told it would be a 1.5 hour test, but when we got here we found out it would actually be 5.5 hours! 

I am so grateful to Mark (and his coworkers) for him being able to have the morning off because three of the girls also had speech and occupational therapy this morning.

Oh, and the plumber came for the finish plumbing as we were leaving--while Mark  was at a dentist appointment. Does it seem like we're in a few too many places at one time? Kind of felt that way, too. 

So there was a little rearranging sine I wasn't planning on being at the hospital past lunch. Mark made lunch and brought it up and then went back to work. The other kids have been in the lobby while Alex did this:

The test made him really tired and he slept through most of it. It's almost 2 now and he's eating lunch. The test had the potential to make him sick to his stomach  and I am so grateful it didn't. Yay for being headed home!