Monday, October 19, 2015

Whirlwind Graduation

Storm #2 hit hard on the heels of Storm #1.  As we celebrated Emma
 Lettering in track- With her hurdle coach
and Max
Last game and awards ceremony for soccer
and Sam
Soccer with an award for keeping all A's throughout the season.
and their various accomplishments and got ready for Prom and graduation, we took a slam to the mid section- or at least Rob did as he gave birth to grains of sand in a German hospital.
Rob getting ready to come home.
German hospitals are unique in that they don't believe you need to eat or have pain meds while in their abode and that carbonated water is great for the sick.
I awoke one morning to Robert pacing like an animal around our room.  He told me that something was wrong and then described his symptoms.  He then went to take a shower so I could take him into the hospital.  I got up and dressed.  He got out of the shower, fell to the floor in pain and said, "I might have a kidney stone."  I said, "no duh, Sherlock, let's go."  (He holds that against me to this day.  "There I was writhing in pain and she said, 'get up!'")  He was absolutely amazed that I had deduced this before him.  I don't think he yet realizes what I do for a living!  Either that or the stereotype of the the nurse that just does what the doctor says and never thinks on her own might be alive and well in our home- thoughts for a different discussion.  I used my broken German with the help of Google translate to translate testicles- that's not a word I have learned in German yet- to get me through a road block (they didn't need to hear about testicles, only that we were on the way to the hospital.  Rob obliged and threw up at this point, so it helped our argument), and into the Emergency department.  They at first thought I was talking about spinal type pain.  They informed me that I should have said flank instead.  I use flank in my charting, but I don't use it in general conversations with patients.  Obviously in Germany patients are a little more knowledgeable of their own anatomy.  They understood however after I mentioned pain in the testicles.  Google translate saves the day!  We learned that throwing up gets you immediate attention in a German Emergency room.  Pain- not so much.  They were all about treating Rob's nausea, but since his nausea was due to his pain, it didn't help.  I kept trying to get them to give him something stronger for pain, but never could get them to listen.  They had protocols after all that they had to follow.  They wanted to remind me that things were different in Germany than in the United States.  I said, "I know.  In the United States we don't like people to be in pain."  They were offend by that and said that they didn't either.  I said, "really?" and then motioned to Robert.  It was all to no avail.  He got to be in pain until he passed his stones close to 2 days later.  We never saw anything definite to say that he had passed them, but the pain stopped.

We had no time to dwell on that first gut punch, we had to get back in the ring and deal with Prom and Graduation. I had unwisely and totally by accident said that I would host the party for all those who graduated from High school this year.  It started out as a party for Emma.  The kind they do in Ohio.  I invited two of her friends whose family were moving the very next day and therefore would have no way of throwing a party for their graduate to be part of our party.  One of them must have said something, because I got an email from one more graduate's mother asking to tag along on this party as she wasn't a great party planner.  By this time, I  had over half of the graduates and so I thought I better invite the other half to join.  Some of them graciously accept and said they would bring things.  One did and with quite the flourish!  Everyone adored her cupcakes!

The other sent their daughter over to drop off one thing I didn't need and none of what I did the day of the party.  Another was none too gracious.  In the end we had plenty of food and lots of fun thanks in part to the family we had in town.
Cake (Red velvet on bottom- Emma's favorite!) made by my friend Crystal 
Cute little graduation hats made by my good friend Christa 
Graduation scroll made by me
It was a good day!
I was also stupid enough to say that I would host the dinner for Prom.

Luckily, that same family was pressed into working for us again, and a friend was induced to make me a boutonniere as a trade for a wrist corsage band.  

The very next day was Max's birthday

where we introduced Rob's Mom and Step-dad, Sister and brother-in-law to our tradition of eating no bake cookies straight out of the pan.

The next day started graduation activities from the BBQ where I worked as a nurse for the red cross (no injuries occurred on my watch),

 to the rehearsals, the scholarship awards ceremony

 and the actual Graduation day!

Emma and friend Calin 

Emma's Young Women's President Maryann Tingey 
Emma, Calin and Taylor Lenhart who was a junior 
Christa Lenhart- Part of the Young Women's leadership and friend
Congratulations to Emma!  
Somewhere in there we also added in some strawberry picking

and planting of our garden.

I haven't the foggiest when we had time, though!  You would think with all that over we could finally relax.  Well you would be wrong.  Storm #3 was just about to hit our shores!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tropical Storm Eagle makes an Impression

Life was moving at a brisk pace that spring of 2015.  Being a 4 sport family always keeps us busily swimming along.  On top of that our daughter was graduating that year, keeping us with our head just barely above water.  Since we hadn't drowned yet, though, we thought, 'what a great time to start an Eagle Scout Project.'  Of course, it had actually been started in February.  The problem was we couldn't get ahold of the guy in charge to give us the thumbs up on turning up the dirt and creating gardens on our base.  It turns out he had a very good reason for not answer repeated attempts to get a hold of him.  He had died.  Yep, died!  Of course he was brought back to life and given a quadruple bypass and was recovering in a hospital, but that was none of our business, so nobody would tell us that.  They just kept telling me to leave messages, and try calling and then try coming by and then email and then come by and so on.  Sam and I made so many attempts to get ahold of the guy that we almost gave up in despair. Finally someone told us that he would be back the next day.  We arrived and asked about creating gardens for Sam's Eagle scout project.  It was now the beginning of May.  The waves were already thrashing us, but we persisted, now that we had put so much effort into it.  And to our amazement he readily agreed, took us out soon after to see the plots, and to see what supplies he could give us.

We settled on a date and got to work on the proposal. 

That is where things got all kinds of crazy!  Pretty soon we were threatened with drowning.  If we didn't get a garden going by the end of May there was no point in it.  We only had 2 weeks to do that in and nobody seemed to be in a hurry to help us except  the base contractor who was ready and willing to supply everything immediately.  Finally desperate calls and meetings took place in an effort to save us, but it seemed all would be lost.  We had already advertised that there would be community gardens and had people signed up for plots.  We were going to have to put these gardens in one way or another, but it might not count for anything towards an Eagle.  I wrung my hands up until Wednesday the 20th, fearing all was lost, when suddenly I got a call that help was on the way, just hold out a little longer.  And then miraculously it came, Roger Carbajal had swooped in and made the rescue.  The project was a go.  The day of the project went smoothly with lots of helpers

and we now have two beautiful community gardens that serve our base.

But as you can imagine with all that,
a visit from Mom and Dad, 
 Frühlingsfest (spring festival)
 Hohenzollern Castle

making two quilts,
 Hand binding- first time for that!
 T-shirt quilt- my first time making such a thing.
I combined two images I saw for quilts to make this one up in my head.  I hand quilted it- yep, first time hand quilting too!
and doing graduation announcements

all at the same time, emotions, tension and exhaustion was running high.  At times like those, I am so grateful for thoughtful friends!  Dear Candace Adair came to my rescue and brought dinner for the family one day, just because!

For just a tropical storm there seemed a lot of rescue work going on, don't you think? We just might need to upgrade this storm!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Lull before the Storm

Just before our life went crazy, we only had 4 different sports to deal with.  2 parents, 4 kids going in 4 different directions- piece of cake!
This spring we had one in track- nope not Samuel- Emma.  She refused to play for a team that had cut her after she had made three goals in her try-outs.  The coach had allowed the captains to pick who was on the team the year before and they didn't know her.  They came and talked to her this year and said, "hey, why didn't you come try out?  You were really good at the try-outs last year."  She just said, "I know I was" and walked away.  Instead she ran track.  She ran different races each time for the meets, but the one she kept trying over and over was the 300 meter hurdles.

The 300 meter hurdlers
She got really bad shin splints working over and over again on it, but she kept working at it until they finally let her run it.

She always texted me to tell me that she "wasn't last!"
We had two playing soccer- nope, not one of them was Emma- Samuel and Maxwell.  Samuel decided he didn't want to run track.  He was afraid they would make him do the 800 again and he didn't want to run that race ever again.  It didn't matter that he won it every time he ran!  Instead he decided to try out for soccer- something he hadn't played for years.  He actually made the High school team, mostly based on his speed.

He practiced as a midfielder, but usually played defender in the games.
Maxwell actually found that he was a pretty good goalie and so he was played in goal most of the season.

And we had one, reluctantly, in Tennis- Joseph.  Joseph was actually not half bad at tennis considering he had never played before.  He only had two matches and he won at least the first one (can't remember about the other.)

I should have enjoyed the lull a little more than I did.  I actually thought we were kind of busy- ha ha!