Friday, March 31, 2017

Five on Friday (March 31, 2017) is it Friday already? I had such good intentions of posting on Monday and I blinked and it's the end of the week. Seriously, life just gets so busy some weeks that they are whizzing by too quickly. Here is a recap of our week:

1. Today was all about Spanish. Ella had a field trip at the Mercado Central on Lake Street in Minneapolis. It was for her Spanish class at West. Jason and I took her so we got to enjoy some latino culture as well. The kids all took part in a scavenger hunt which involved going around the various businesses hunting for their objects. The only rule was that they could only speak Spanish...
in espanol, por favor. :) We also got to have some authentic Mexican food and wowza, it was delicious. I completely enjoyed the eating. It was a lot of fun to be a part of her world and do this field trip with her.

2. Hattie had her follow-up appointment with Metabolic yesterday. We drove down to Children's to meet with Dr. Vargas and get labs done. It was a hard appointment in some respects and yet wonderful in others. I always feel like a pretzel when I go to these. My emotions get all twisted up and I get so lost in thought. Being there brings me back to a point two years ago when all of this began. It reminds me of the horrors we have endured and both the physical and emotion toll it took. My eyes flooded with tears as my heart ached in the memory of just how hard this has been and how much I wish I could take it all away for Hattie. The toll has been very high. And then suddenly, I'm twisted, and I force myself to look just how far we have come. Out of the depths of sadness, heartache, and pain we have climbed. I've researched so much and fought so hard for my girlie. And God has done immeasurably good things for us. He has brought us to a place where things are stable in certain regards and for that I am humbled and so incredibly grateful. The Dr. (whom I can't say enough good things about) gently laid out a realistic outlook. It was a little hard to hear since some of my fears were put into words and confirmed, but I can't lose hope and I can't disregard how God has taken care of Hattie. I'm done with talking about this for now.

3. Wednesday brought the long awaited Awana Grand Prix. The kids raced their cars and we were proud parents watching as they zoomed down the track. Some faster than others and some more like a turtle...but proud of them and their efforts irregardless. It's just so much fun to be your children's biggest fans. Even Hattie got in on the action. Her car was made from leftover wood from Ben's pine wood block. She painted it up herself and Jason and Papa put on leftover water bottle caps for the wheels. Once the official race was done, the commander let her put hers on the track. It zoomed down and amazingly was the second fastest car out of the Hubler submissions. She was so proud.

4. Tomorrow Ella and I are headed to church to make shoes for kids in Uganda. So many children who live there walk barefoot and end up with chiggers in their feet which can hurt so much. In fact, it can be so painful, that they can end up losing the ability to walk. To take care of the problem, an adult literally takes a safety pin and digs the little bugs out. Unsanitary. And to top it off, they use the same pin on multiple children, spreading the blood and along with it disease. A simple cure is a pair of shoes. We are working with an organization called Sole Hope. We cut plastic from milk jugs that serve as the sole, and denim from old jeans for the rest of the shoes. Those cut-to-size materials are sent over to Uganda where they sew them up and attach them to pieces of rubber tires for the bottom. And more chiggers and no more threat of spreading lethal diseases. An opportunity to teach my children how to serve and that the world is so much bigger than their little bubble is an opportunity I'm so grateful for.

5. Cora was showcased this week on our friend's facebook site. His name is Nick NickCantRun and he is undertaking a serious pledge. He's training for an ironman in order to raise funds (a very large amount) to provide water for people living in Africa through Compassion International. Cora has been learning in Awana that Jesus wants us to care for and serve others. She decided that after hearing what Nick was trying to do, that she wanted to do extra chores around the house to earn money to donate to him. He was so touched by her heart, that she became his first "donor spotlight". I couldn't be more proud of this girl and her heart. I just know that God is going to do big things with her.

I'm speechless. 6 short weeks after launching Nick Can't Run I'm excited to announce we've hit $10,000 in fundraising. 🙌🏻🙏🏻🙌🏻
I thought it would be great to celebrate this milestone with my first donor spotlight: Cora Hubler.
Cora's donation of $20 is in my top 3 all-time inspiring donations in my 5-years raising money for @worldvisionusa
Her precious note said this: "In AWANA, I am learning that we need to help others. My mom told me about you and we watched a video about what you are doing. I also saw how much work you are doing to give them clean water. I decided to earn money to donate to you. I think you are really strong for doing this."
Wow...All the feels. Thank you Cora! ❤️

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Finding My Bearings

We returned from Florida around 11pm on Tuesday night...

Since this was our first major vacation with 5 kids ever, I didn't realize what a task it is to try and get back into routine, unpack suitcases, wash laundry, grocery shop, and teach school.

I'm just trying to find my bearings again.

I may feel like I need a vacation after my vacation.

Luckily, we have a three day weekend starting and I'm confident we can all catch up on some rest as well as other household things that need our attention. By Monday, I hope to be back at it...

In the meantime, I thought a few pics would be nice.

A little teaser from Florida.

Banana River...which is really a lagoon. We hoped to see some manatees, but it was not to be.

View out our 4th floor condo of Cocoa Beach. We were soooo close to the ocean.

One of the seven people who were unhappy about leaving the warm, sunny state.

The "cool kids" look...

Some very tired sisters.

Ella and I at the Cocoa Beach Pier around dusk
The Zoo Crew

Our first day at the ocean. It was still a little chilly, but the warm-up was coming soon.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Five on Friday (March 3, 2017)

1. How is it Friday already?!? It seems some weeks just drag on and others zoom on past. Can't say that I'm sad to see it's Friday. I love a good Friday...and this one hasn't disappointed. The day has gone really well: the kids have played good, I've gotten lots accomplished, and Jason and I are going on a date tonight! Yes, you read that right. Grammie and Papa are coming over to watch the kidlets so the hubby and I can get away for a few hours. He has been so incredibly busy with work these past few weeks I feel like we have been two ships passing in the night. I can't wait to reconnect with him and spend some time without kid interruptions.

2. This week has included dr. visits via mychart. I am so impressed so far with how quick of a response I am getting from the CVS Specialist at Wisconsin Children's Hospital. I can ask her any question and she personally gets back to me within a day or so. I had to take Hattie in for a few more lab tests that were ordered. 2 of the 3 have come back so far and they have shown to be within range so that is a huge blessing to see her numbers return to normal. Secondly, I had to collect a "stool" sample. I've found it not a particularly pleasant job as a mother, but one has to do what one has to do. Thank goodness they provide a very large popsicle stick and rubber gloves.

3. Ella has been invited by one of her friends from West to take part in Girl's Time held in Maple Grove. It also happens to be that her friend's mom is Ella's Spanish teacher. :) She is going to be learning how to do some sewing tonight and she's pretty excited. I'm hoping her sewing skills will one day surpass mine...which really shouldn't take too long.

4. Lily said 17 verses at Awana this week. To say I'm proud is an understatement. That's a lot of verses and she put in a lot of time this week working on them. I love celebrating her accomplishments and this is one for the records.

5. This weekend will include packing for vacation since we leave in only 9 days. It's getting down to the last week and I have a million things still to do. I spent the better part of today researching kayaking adventures for us to do while in Cocoa Beach as well as some fun excursions in Orlando. Although this week has been pretty chilly as far as temps go (snow made a reappearance), Sunday is supposed to be a record-setting 61 so I am planning on taking that day off and getting outside with the kids.

6. Just since I can, I'm doing one more...Pippin is here spending the better part of a week with us. Between you and me, it's nice to have an animal in the house again. I forgot how therapeutic it is to just sit and pet them, have them want to lay next to you, and look into their expressive eyes.