Lit'l bit of this, lit'l bit of that

Oh how crazy this winter has been! We've broken the record for the snowiest February on record for Columbus -- over 29 inches! I am SO ready for spring, I can hardly stand it! There's been one or two days when I've walked outside, saw that we had gotten even MORE snow, and literally had to choke back the tears. Yesterday was one of those days....Anyway, we've had some ups and downs lately, nothing too exciting but for the sake of long-distance friends and family, here's some updates.

The kids finished the half-way mark of their school year. Nathan got in trouble at school for something he truly shouldn't have done. Unfortunately, although he meant no harm, he still ended up with 1 day of out-of-school suspension. :( With his mid-term test grades, he's moved up from group 2 to group 1 on his team of 5th graders. That's causing some heartache right now...some of his friends didn't move or else moved to a different team (as opposed to a different group where they would still have been with Nathan during different parts of the school day, now they're not together at all) and with the pressure of harder work, I've heard "Do I have to go to school?" more times than I care to count from him lately. His parent-teacher conference is this Tuesday night and we hope to get to the bottom of some things and see what we can do to help him. Speaking of parent-teacher conferences, we had ours for Caleb & Eilzabeth last week. Caleb is soaring on through and is on target for the big move to 1st grade! Elizabeth, not so much! While her teacher says that she's never retained a kindergartner before, Elizabeth isn't on target for where she should be and we've got a tough job ahead of us to get her ready to move on. A friend of ours has offered to help us with her on Saturdays for a little bit to give her some much-needed one-on-one time to see if that can help her catch up. Isn't it sad we live in a world where a KINDERGARTNER needs tutoring? Unfortunately, it's not just about learning your letters and shapes anymore. It's about counting to 100, writing all the numbers to 20, writing and naming all the letters and their letter sounds, and reading! Yes, they must be reading before they can be passed onto first grade! Wasn't first grade all about learning to read?!?! Okay, I'll get off that soap box and move on to something else but pray for Elizabeth as we dig our heels in!

After some concern at her 9 month check-up, we finally got Lydia into an eye doctor yesterday. The great news is that she was "diagnosed" with pseudostrabismus. The bottom line is there's absolutely NOTHING wrong with her eyes, praise the Lord! But because of the way her nasal bridge and her eyes are formed, her eyes do appear to drift from time to time. However, when they did at the doctors office yesterday, he could clearly show me that her pupils were still exactly the same and still had the reflection of his light in the exact same place which confirms for certain that her eyes are perfectly aligned. As she grows and her face changes, we'll stop thinking that her eyes are drifting but, if we ever reach a point where we think her eyes are really drifting, we'll be able to put ourselves at ease by catching the reflection of a small flashlight in her eyes. Try it sometime -- shine a small light towards someone's eyes. You should see a tiny reflection of that light in about the same place in each of their pupils no matter which way they look/move their eyes. It was neat to see but of course, we're relieved that her eyes are okay!

And last but not least, yesterday was a couples banquet at church for our Sunday School class. Talk about a sigh of relief! I was so worried that the other couples in our class wouldn't like the activities I had planned or that someone would be offended in some way (I tried to keep the questions clean and fair) and, much to my relief, everyone truly seemed to have a good time. Many, many, many thanks to Candace and her "team" (her mom, Paula, and her grandma, Sue) for the 24+ hours of cooking they did. We had beef stroganoff (sp?) and chicken parmesean, a ceasar salad, bread, and pan-fried broccoli for dinner and wonderful lemon tarts, cheesecake, and a carmel brownie for dessert! And even more thanks to the team of sitters who gave up their Saturday evening to watch the 15+ kids we had! We played a few games, laughed a lot, and took a walk down memory lane by looking at pictures of each of the couples throughout their years together. Fun!

We're making our way through cold & flu season fairly well this year and hope that you are, too! Come back Tuesday for a BIG post celebrating something exciting!


Burn, suspension, laceration, ear infection, & RSV

What do all those have in common? They all have occurred to the Clan since last Sunday morning! It started the day of the family picture (see last post) with Timothy burning his hand on the iron. He's healing nicely.... Monday we get a call from Nathan's school because he was in trouble for "disruption of school" (he was goofing off, not meaning to be malicious, but stupidly poked a kid in the glasses with is pencils). Tuesday and Wednesday, while not knowing Nathan's "fate", other than he would face some sort of out-of-school suspension, we spent the days cooped in with snow days. Thursday, everyone went back to school and we went to Nathan's "suspension hearing" at 1:30. Thankfully, since Nathan isn't a "problem kid" and since he didn't mean to hurt that boy, they gave him just that one day. Friday he went back to school but while waiting to leave to go to Jonathan's parents for a visit on Friday evening, Timothy fell off the cedar chest and bit his tongue. He has about a 1/4" laceration across his tongue from his teeth. Talk about blood! It was nasty! That's healing nicely as well.... Saturday was just absolutely insane. Jonathan was out running errands Saturday morning, I went baby shopping and to a baby shower in the afternoon while Jonathan left the babies with his dad and took the oldest 4 snow sledding. Picked up the babies, ran more errands, and came home. Lydia went to bed normally but was up around 10:30 that night with a fever. Since we had children's church on Sunday, we decided to take her with us but while we were getting her ready on Sunday morning, we noticed that a lymph node in her neck was drastically swollen (looked like a quarter stuck under her skin). When that happened 2 weeks ago, it was because of an ear infection. So, Sunday afternoon, I took her to the urgent care. Sure enough, another ear infection. 4th one since December so now we're scheduled for a consultation with the ENT & she'll likely have tubes put in soon. That takes me to today -- we were snowed in again today but Lydia woke up with breathing problems. Turns out she has RSV on top of the ear infection and is now on breathing treatments and steroids. Crazy, right?

Upcoming things to note:

* February 27th, Lydia has a consultation with the eye doctor 'cause we're concerned she has a lazy and/or wandering eye.
* March 2nd, Lydia turns 1!!!
* March 8th, Lydia has her one-year check-up.
* March 29th is not only Lydia's ENT consultation but also the first day of spring break for the kiddos. We plan on taking the kids on a mini-vacation to Cleveland that Thursday and Friday to see this one science center (where we get in free with our COSI membership), take them to the Cleveland zoo (50% off with our Columbus zoo membership), and spend the night in a hotel with a pool (something these kids think is just the most fabulous thing!).

Ah, life in the Clan! But we're surviving! :)


Well, we tried....

....to get a decent family picture for the church's directory. What can we say? Timothy was having a very bad day having burned his hand on the iron that morning. Caleb & John look about like this all the time so that's not too bad. Elizabeth's smiling which is great but I really wish I had pulled her bangs back (we're letting them grow but I like the her new hair length, don't you?). Nathan? I don't pretend to even THINK I know what he's thinking.... And Lydia, dear Lydia, is just too distracted with what's going on. Oh well! Better luck next year, right?