Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Live Nativity

A local Camel Farm and a local church host this each year.  We went for the first time this year.  Beautiful!!  We were able to view from a loft in the camel barn.

He FINALLY made the big 4-0!

On December 22, 2016, Mike turned 40.  Mike never had birthday parties as a kid and as a result I tried throwing him one when he turned 22 or 23.  It was a disaster with the family members who were not invited (as it was a friend and brother party) and I promised myself I would never throw him one again.  Sad . . . I know.  When you turn 40 someone needs to do something to commemorate it!!  Since I was not going to do anything with family and end up offending someone, I decided to do something with his work shift.  I contacted Carmen who is one of his shift guys.  Carmen is awesome!  He talked to all of the shift and told them about it.  I told Mike that I was having a company dinner that night (which we were, but not at that location) and we got him!!  Totally surprised him!  The guys on his shift all came, some brought their wives and some brought their kids.  It was great!!  We were in a back room to ourselves and it was a great success!!  This also gave his shift a fun time together and they had been wanting to do that for a while.  He works with some great guys!!!  And they seem to respect and like Mike!!

Picture that Carmen took when Mike walked in.  This was the first point that he realized what was happening and that we were there for him and not for me.

When they brought him the birthday hat!

Front Row  L to R-Carroll, Brandon, Joe, Donald.  Back Row L to R-LaRon, Mike, Patrick "Tate", Carmen
  It was a fun time!!!  Hopefully a fun memory for Mike!!

All in the Family???

The band director at Elkton Middle School is so amazing!  He has worked so hard to build the music program at EMS and now works with the ERHS director and they collectively attempt to grow the program in both schools.  It is working!  The middle school director went to the different elementary feeder schools last year to work with the 5th graders.  This was in hopes that they would decide to join band.  The kids who were a little uncertain if they wanted to be in band, but knew they didn't want to have it as their elective, he offers a primetime class (all students have a primetime during the lunch shifts) where the students could do a little playing of an instrument and get a taste of it.

Emily and Lydia decided to take Mr. Todd's primetime this year, but for some reason Lydia didn't end up with it.  I never understood that, but Lydia ended up being ok with it so I didn't rock the boat and try to move her. As a result of the Primetime class, Emily participated in the winter concert this year.  It was Mid-December 2016.  She just played one song and she only played two notes on her trombone, but she was in it.  Mr. Todd used some 8th graders to help with this particular band as there was not a tremendous amount of experience.  So, Ryan and Emily ended up being on the stage at the same time.  I was not fortunate enough to be able to get them in a picture together (on stage), but a picture of each one of them.  I wondered, as I sat there watching them, if Emily realizes how good Ryan actually is.  I don't know that Ryan realizes his potential either.

 I think this is Ryan during the 7th and 8th grade portion of the concert and not the 6th grade one with Emily.  Below is a picture of Ryan and Tim. Tim is our neighbor and we carpool with his family from band practices.  He is also part of the ERHS Marching Band and his sister was part of the Color Guard.

Emily is still undecided on band.  She likes it, but it is not a strength.  She didn't catch on quickly like her brother.  Part of it is simply she doesn't get the playing time he did his first year, but part of it is there are other electives she wants to do a little more.  Who knows, maybe she will spread her musical wings again sometime.

The day before Ryan had his brace removed, Emily's fake tooth came off in her apple.  Don't know if you remember a post way back.  The kids all received rollerblades for Christmas.  The day she received hers, she was skating in my parents garage and fell.  Her front tooth (which was one of her only two permanent teeth) broke her fall.  After three or four tries from several dentists and technicians, they were able to apply a fake tooth that would stay on.  She has favored it ever since.  She can't have a permanent fake tooth until all of her teeth have completely grown in. 

So, the apple took the fake tooth out on a Monday night.  This was devastating to her.  When this happened the first time she was in 1st or 2nd grade and it was during winter break.  This was a school night and she had to go to school the next day.  Not good for a middle school kid to go to school with a snaggle tooth!!  :)  Ryan's bone doctor and our dentist are very close to each other.  I called the dentist when we arrived at the bone doctor at 8 to see if I could bring Emily there to have her tooth repaired.  Sure enough, they were able to squeeze her in so I left Ryan, drove her down, left her there and came back up to Ryan.  Once he was finished, we went back to the dentist.  Mike was working and was not able to help.  Lydia had been put on the bus at 7 and was at school thank goodness.  When Ryan and I arrived, this is what we found when went into the room where they had taken her. 

I am happy to announce that they were successful in giving her another fake tooth.  Again, not a permanent one, but I think stronger than the other one was.  And it lasted for several years.  So, hopefully we will have no more chipped teeth.  For some reason, each of my children have a chipped tooth.  Ryan's and Lydia's are not as severe as this one of Emily's so we didn't attempt to fix them, but just strange how this has happened. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ride 'em Cowboy!!

Ryan was able to try his hand at horseback riding while at Camp Brethren Woods this past summer.  He loved it and has been asking to take lessons ever since.  All three kids are now interested and I have debated on looking into lessons, but wanted them to get a feel for riding before sinking money into something they may not like.  Horseback riding lessons are not cheap!!  I work with a guy who's wife has horses.  As a result, his kids (from a previous relationship) have gotten into horseback riding and his daughter Hailey was willing to help the kids ride one afternoon.  Hailey goes to school Ryan, Lydia and Emily, but is in 7th grade and they are in the grades around her.  She was great!  Ryan even had his busted knee and she helped him get around without having his knee get jarred or anything.  They all decided they wanted to take lessons.  Now I have to see if I can find a three for one deal.  :)  Wish Hailey's dad (Chad--co-worker) would let her teach them.  He says she's not experienced enough.  :(

Lydia and Hailey riding . . . what was the name of the horse?  I can't remember!

Lydia felt more comfortable with Hailey guiding the horse around the field.  Hailey was happy to help.

Ryan was wearing his brace at this point.  He needed help getting on the horse and I asked Hailey to stay close to him since the horse couldn't feel the kicking commands on one side.  As he couldn't move his leg correctly. 

 Emily enjoyed the riding better than Lydia.  Lydia enjoyed it, but was a little timid.  Emily was very comfortable and didn't want to leave.  It was a fun morning!!  Just too short lived.

Hopefully I will eventually remember the name of this horse and can add it later.  I will have to ask Chad.

Friday, February 3, 2017

ALERT! Weak Stomach Alert! Exposin' bones

On Tuesday, November 15, I get a phone call at work.  It is about 4:00 and that is when I typically leave work.  It is Ryan.  He is in hysterics and is telling me that he wrecked his bike.  "It's really bad mom!!"  He is clearly upset and I try to calm him.  Wrecked his bike I thought . . . how many times has he done that?  He is fine, just being dramatic.  I told him to calm down and that I would be there in just a minute.  I finished up what I was doing (took an extra 5 to 10 minutes probably--parent fail) and headed home.  I knew where he would be and drove to that location.  I saw him sitting on the rock wall with a woman, who I didn't know, standing beside him.  Her vehicle was there as well. 

I walked over to where they were, expecting to see a pretty bad scrape.  I figured we would go home and clean it up really well and everything would be fine.  Nope!  That's not what happened at all!!  As I bent down to look at his knee, amongst all the blood, I could actually see his knee bone.  The bone!  In my state of feeling surreal, I looked at the woman (who had so kindly come back (after driving past him) to make sure Ryan was ok when she passed him.  Her name is Jessie and she lives in our neighborhood.  Just on a different street.  She had not lived there long at the time and we had not had the pleasure of meeting her.  We know her now!) and said "Do you think we should go to the hospital?"  I am sure she thought "What an amazing mother this is!  You can see your child's bone and are debating on whether or not to go to the hospital?!" 

This is what I saw when I got to him.

Except his knee was bent so you could see the bone even better than you can here.  I drove to our house to tell the girls we were heading to the hospital. Jessie was kind enough to pack Ryan's bike up in her vehicle and bring it to our house.  I ran in, told the girls (would have taken them with me, but they both had stuff going on that evening and I needed to try to call parent friends who could come get them and take them to the places they needed to go) and we headed to the hospital.  Mike was working and ended up meeting us there about an hour after we arrived at the hospital.  The technicians needed to get his knee cleaned out.  This was very painful for him.  They used bottles of saline that they sprayed directly on his bone and it was cold and burning.  They did 5 large bottles and he dealt with the pain as well as he could.  It broke my heart!!  His eyes got watery, but he really never cried.  So proud of how tough he was!!
This is what his knee looked like after it was cleaned.  You can see the bone even better now.  We waited a little while for the Doctor to arrive, but when we arrived in the building, we were taken back very quickly.  We ran into an old friend who works in the ER.  She had seen a picture (similar to these) that was up in their breakroom (weird, I know).  She explained that they have these tv screens in their breakroom that have pictures of patients who are waiting in the "severe" rooms.  That way people can discuss things while they are getting their food or doing whatever things they need to do.  Anyway, she saw his leg, but didn't realize it belonged to Ryan until she ventured over to see who belonged to it.  :) 

Mike arrived along with one of his shift guys.  That made it where there were two deputies in the room.  An EMT who recognized them stopped by and asked if this was a dog bite.  He didn't realize one of the Deputies was the dad and thought there was a law issue with this one.  It is funny now, but we were in the throws of bad at that time.  Once the doctor arrived (Dr. Kime) he cleaned the opening even more.  Caused even more pain.  He came to us with options.  He could clean Ryan's busted leg right there in the ER or we could take him to the OR and he could put Ryan to sleep, clean and sew him up.  We struggled with what we should do.  If the OR was the route we went, Ryan would have to spend the night there and he really wanted to just go home.  He kept looking at me and telling me that and pleading to let him go home.  Dr. Kime told him it may be a little painful down in the ER where he wouldn't feel anything in the OR as he would be asleep.  One of the nurses told us (when the doctor was out) that if it were their child they would go to the OR.  Mike really wanted to go to the OR as he felt Ryan would be more comfortable.  Dr. Kime said he would numb him and everything and felt he could handle it in the ER.  Told Ryan how much pain he had seen him already withstand and didn't see why he couldn't handle this too.  Ryan was ultimately the person who decided and he decided that he wanted to have this done in the ER so he could go home that night.  Poor kid!!  Dr. Kime also told us that if he got started and Ryan just couldn't handle it, we could move to the OR.
Doctor cleaning out the area with more saline. 

Doctor stitching up the opening

 Mike took these pictures as I couldn't leave Ryan's head and he was holding my hand as well as one of the technicians hands.  Bad thing was, his hand was busted up too from falling.  I am pretty sure I was holding tighter than he was most of the time.  :) 

After 5 hours and 24 stitches, he was able to come home.  Was able to eat something since he missed dinner and his sisters were there to make over him.  They had gone with friend's parents and I am so thankful they were there to help me out!!!  Both girls had places to go that night and my fantastic friends really came through!!  I have some great friends!!  In addition to his stitches and brace, he also had a drainage tube sewn into his knee.  This had to be monitored and emptied if it got too full.  He missed three days of school because the doctor didn't want him going to school with the drainage tube and bulb with blood.  Didn't want people to hit it by accident or anything.  We didn't manage to get a picture of the tube.

After arriving at home.
This is one of my favorite pictures.  This was one of the days that he was out of school with his drainage tube.  Mike took him to wal mart and he was able to ride in one of these carts.  All three of my children dream of riding on one of these as they paroose the store.  I have no idea why!!  I never let them ride them as I don't feel they are toys.  Well, Ryan got to use one.  He really didn't have a really hard time walking, but it was nicer if he didn't have to.  He also used a crutch.  Just one.  It made it easier to move his straight leg--that couldn't bend.

Sleeping that first night was difficult. He had to go back every two weeks to see Dr. Kime at his office.  They took x-rays each time.  At the first visit, we discovered that there was still a small rock that ended up further down his leg than Dr. Kime had been able to flush out.  Just a small piece.  Dr. Kime put him on an antibiotic to take care of any infection it might cause and said that it will most likely surface years from now and remove itself.  Also possible it will pass in another way or may just stay in there for the remainder of Ryan's life.  Doesn't seem to bother him at this point.

The little speck on his bone that is just above the ? top.  It is just above and to the left.  White speck is the rock.  I am pretty confident it should be ok. 

Both x-rays show where Ryan's knee cap was chipped, but sadly I can't tell where this was.  The doctor showed me, but just don't know enough about bones to know.  I like that you can see his name up at the top of the x-ray.  The rock can still be seen in this one at the very bottom of the x-ray.
 His stitches came out after about 2 or 3 weeks.  It was much faster than I thought.  Apparently if you leave stitches in too long, your skin will begin to grow into the stitches and then you have to cut out the stitches.  Yuck.  So, we panicked for several days that the opening was going to open up again.  I am happy to say that it didn't open back up.  :)  The glue strips lasted about a week and then he was able to take a complete/real shower again!!  It is really hard to shower when you can't get your knee wet!!!
 In December, he was in two Christmas Parades with the marching band.  He would never have been able to keep up with everyone and as bummed as he was to be riding in the parade, he rode in both parades.  Not a happy camper, but knew that was the only way he could participate this year.  One of the adults that help with the band took this for me.

He was released from coming to the doctor anymore on December 20.  No more brace to wear!!  YEA!!  He was not able to participate in PE or wrestling or any real activity until January 2.  It was a long 7 weeks for him!  He was so glad to get back to working on walking and running again.  It came to him pretty easily, but was weird for a while.

This is what his knee looks like today.  It has healed very nicely.  Several people have told us about different creams to use to make the scar less noticeable.  As a 13 year old boy, he is pretty excited about having this scar. :)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Coaching Basketball

Who ever thought I would coach a basketball team?  NOT ME!  I offered to help coach a team and ended up getting roped into coaching it all together.  Emily wanted to give basketball a try this year.  I thought it would be fun to help out her team.  I don't know much about basketball and I know NOTHING about coaching!  So, I begged my friend Holly to come help me.  She did!!  Love her!  She even brought her daughter Emily along with her.  Our team didn't do too well as we were given the less skilled players--on purpose.  We had only two girls who had played before and only two, three at best, who even knew what they were doing--or were even the least bit athletic.  They all had so much spirit and while our team didn't win too many times, Emily really enjoyed it and is planning on trying out for the 7th grade girls basketball team next year.  Now, that should be a better experience.  I know she could do well if she had some guidance.  :)  She was even asked, by two mothers, to join a travel basketball team during the experience.  She must have something there.  :)

Holly coaching the girls for the next play.  L to R - Emily Sponagule (Holly's daughter), Ashley Hammer, Maryahanna Rothgeb, Allie Simmons, Ellie Benson, Emily Washington
I have decided coaching is not for me.  Will stick to volunteering in other ways.  :)  The kids deserve someone who knows what they are doing!

This is not a good picture because it was taken through a frame and I had to reach up to take it.  However, you can see our team.  One girl was missing that night, but she ended up leaving the team anyway.  Irritating.  Front Row-LtoR-______Hensley, Maryahanna Rothgeb  Back Row-L to R-Me, Ellie Benson, Emily Sponagule, Emily Washington, Allie Simmons, Holly Sander.
Hopefully the next basketball pictures I post will be of Emily on her school team next year!!  She played in November and December 2016.