Monday, May 3, 2010

My Kamden is graduating from K-5 at Spearman Elementary in a few weeks and we couldn't be more proud. She has learned so much this year! We are amazed by how hard she works and how determined she is (when she is not tired). She has toughed out having homework every night after such a long day of learning. Guess this will make her more prepared for the first grade. Learning new lightening words has become a daily task . . . and she is mastering it. Creative spelling is questionable to me, but according to the learning professionals this is the best way to learn correct spelling. The jury is still out on that one! Hopefully "real" spelling will click soon, because the crazy, creative stuff is killing us all!

This picture kind of gives me chills. It is almost like a flash forward! Merely a blink and she will be graduating from high school and our flock will have left the nest. Oh, my . . . don't even want to think about that or I will cry. We have many more school years, full of challenges, successes, accomplishments, and maybe a couple of small failures to keep her humble, but I am sure s
he will go through it all with that big smile on her face. Kamden is our rising 1st grader and we love her with all of our hearts!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Angel & the Rice family are in China with ANDREW!

The Rice family of 7!

Angel (my sista' from another mother) and her family have made it to China safely and are enjoying a lot of sight seeing and bonding with the newest member to their family, Andrew. On Monday I helped her pack a few small bags and load her car with all the suitcases for their trip. On Tuesday they were on their way to Chicago and then to Beijing, China (13 hour flight). It was Wednesday evening when they landed in China. They had dinner and settled into their hotel room and tried to sleep for a few hours before meeting Andrew Thursday morning. It was still Wednesday night here and my favorite show "American Idol" was on at the same time as the Rice family was meeting Andrew. I sat at the computer with headphones on my head, cell phone in my hand and "American Idol" on the TV. I was so stressed out for them as the time ticked away! Thank goodness for some comic relief from the horrible singers who were trying out! Lord, what are some people thinking? Laughing is good for the soul and I quite enjoyed laughing while waiting to hear any news from them. Finally, the phone rang and I was given the ok to get on Skype and there they were! I could see Andrew, Angel and Hal and the other kids were bouncing with joy on the hotel bed in the background.
I am so very happy for them! Andrew is fitting in just fine. Loves to eat and belly laughs. He is such a blessed child to be coming home to the good ol' USA with the Rice family who will love him unconditionally for the rest of his life! I have only gotten to talk to Angel twice on SKYPE, but it was great and I almost felt like I was there. By the way I regret not going. If only money grew on trees and my kids were self sufficient - then I could have gone! Being the realist I am I figured I would be good support on the home front - not to mention I feel very needed here!

I am getting emails everyday giving me post to add to Angel's blog and loads of great pictures. I am spending hours trying to get everything updated, complete with pictures, including her FaceBook. Seems like time actually flies when I am on the computer. So much for getting anything done around here. My family thinks I have become addicted to the computer over the past few days and possibly need an intervention. They are just going to have to get used to this until our dear friends arrive safely home and plant their feet on South Carolina soil. February 5th is the date they will be coming home and we plan on making it quite the big deal at the Greenville / Spartanburg airport! I am going to try to get FOX News to come out to use the Rice family as a human interest story like I did with Anna Grace's arrival. Keeping my fingers crossed that works out.
Angel's mom (Anita a/k/a Nana) and I have talked several times everyday exchanging information. She has talked to Angel a lot more than I have so she has loads to share. She has been working on a scrapbook for them to occupy her time. She also wishes she had gone with them, but if she had I wouldn't have her to talk to, so selfishly I am so glad she stayed home. I got some large poster boards from her to make "Welcome Home" signs for the family's return. Gotta' get to work on those because she keeps asking me if I have them done. Feb. 5th just seems so far away right now!
It is Saturday, so I better get busy doing something other than sitting at this computer. My house full is feeling a bit rejected! I think the Jolly Green Giant creeped in and shook the house, so I have got to do something productive or it will self-destruct! Lovely laundry is always calling if nothing or no one else is!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm Back in 2010!


My, my, my! It has been quite a while since I posted! I am such a procrastinator! First of all we are all doing great, including my Daddy! He has been home for a few months now and continues to heal. My Mother has taken great care of him and has become an unregistered, totally unofficial, but wonderful NURSE! Daddy is still not fully healed on his chest or belly, but in time Doctor Fowler believes that he will. We really don't want him to have to go back in the hospital, so slow healing works for us.

Christmas was wonderful this year (thank the LORD!). My parents came over on Christmas morning and had breakfast with us like all Christmases before (except 2008 of course!), and looked at all the toys and games Santa dumped down our chimney! We all realized how normal Christmas felt and appreciated the entire day even more. I couldn't help thinking back to last year and how horrible the holidays were for all of us . . . especially my sweet parents. Being in the hospital during Christmas was simply SAD! I can remember tears rolling down my cheeks Christmas Eve while walking into the lonely, peaceful, heavily decorated entryway at the hospital. I tried to gather myself and my emotions together and walk into my Daddy's room without looking like I had just had a meltdown, but I knew they could see it written all over my bulging, watery eyes and cherry red nose. I left that night crying as I numbly walked through the lobby and continued sobbing the entire way home. Thankfully that time is behind us and Christmas 2009 was a wonderful celebration of family togetherness and blessing! We were truly thankful and very blessed to all be here!

My children are growing so quickly! Kamden is enjoying her K-5 class and is learning so much this year! She is discovering so many new things and thinking in such a mature "little mommie" way! The way she views the world (and those in it) and the things that come out of her mouth is comic relief for the entire family. Cole is in sixth grade at Wren Middle and is putting forth so much effort. It makes my heart feel good to see how much he cares about learning. He has been willing to stay after school to do extra work in math and it is really paying off. Cole can't help but sing songs from the 80's with the radio and it makes me smile! Max is a ninth grader and is doing the Virtual Charter School from the computer at home. He seems quite satisfied with his current situation as compared to the high school setting. He is able to take Spanish and a couple of other classes that were not offered at Wren High for ninth graders, so that will give him a head start! I will have to admit that it has all been an adjustment for me! Actually, I have felt a lot closer to Max and we talk quite a bit more. This is a wonderful age to bond more with a growing teenager and I feel lucky to have this time with him! Anyway, life has been good for the Davenports and we are working together to continue on our path.

Now that we have officially entered a new year, I figured this was as good a time as any to get back into the swing of blogging. My best friend, Angel, is getting ready to venture to China in a few short weeks to adopt a special little boy named Andrew. We are all very excited and look forward to watching and reading all about it through the magic of the Internet! I will be heavy into the blog world because of this adoption, and need to catch up with my own blogging anyway. So here goes the Funny Farm again . . . up and running! Oh, and yes . . . I still have my chickens and sing in the barnyard everyday! Haven't quite taught those birds how to clap yet, but they lay blue eggs, so I don't complain!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Well this past week has been a very eventful one for my family! Max is officially finished with middle school and Cole is finished with elementary school. Yep, they graduated 8th and 5th grade with wonderful grades, I might add. I am so very proud of both of my boys. They are going to have such an exciting school year ahead of them in the fall.
To add to those fabulous events, my Daddy began his (experimental) hyperbaric treatments on Tuesday and completed a four day week. I hope and pray that these treatments will be the magic miracle that he is needing. At first Dr. Fowler said that he didn't think that Daddy would be a candidate, but after evaluations from around eight other doctors they arrived at the fact that he would be a perfect candidate. Greenville Memorial has never had an open chest wound patient go through the hyperbaric treatment, so Daddy will be their "guinea pig". He has been a bit scared over the possible negative side effects, but I have been urging him to take the plunge and go for it. Honestly, what does he have to loose? We have to do something that is going to progress his healing at lightening speed because his wound was not improving and he just couldn't live in the condition he was "treading water" in .
One of the scary parts of all of this for me is that this is my bright "googling" idea. Therefore, if it works - yeah me! If it doesn't work, or worse causes a problem - booo me in the worst way! I have accepted these possibilities, because I want my Daddy well and home. So far, he has been aggravated by the 2 hour chamber stay and can't seem to sleep while trapped. What! You can hang my Daddy on a hook and he can saw some logs! He feels really cold and can't get his feet warm after the treatments, but other than that he seems fine.
On Friday the wound nurse Mary Ann, Dr. Fowler and a few other ogling guests observed his vac changing and measured his progress and praise the LORD there was progress. His body is healing from the inside out and there is "granulation" (that's when the tissue starts rebuilding itself to fill in the gap) throughout his chest cavity. The progress seems to be advancing at an unusually rapid rate - thanks to the hyperbaric chamber I say! The 100 percent oxygen level causes the body to heal much more quickly - that's the plan. Daddy has the weekend off from the treatments and is excited about his "freedom". He will go through the next week starting on Monday and after his tenth treatment they will do an official observation and calculate his progress. Then they will decide if he should continue with treatments.
Let's just hope and pray that this is the final thing that will actually encourage his healing at an amazing rate of speed. I believe it will work with all of my heart. I keep telling Daddy to claim it! This is going to work because we have FAITH! I will be adding pics soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daddy hasn't had a very productive few days. He has once again spiked a fever and feels lousy! Sunday he also had a fever with no reason. They truly are clueless. The fluid coming from his chest into the wound vac turned that brown color again on Sunday and Dr. Fowler decided to remove the wound vac and go back to wet to dry packing in his chest cavity. Thankfully his recent chest x-ray looked great. Lord, I have just been so frustrated and disappointed by the lack of progress.

This morning I sat at the computer and started doing a little investigation myself on open sternal wound infection and found that there is a therapy using a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. I thought it sounded like a real possibility and called Mother to tell her what I found. When Dr. Fowler came by to see Daddy she mentioned the treatment. He said he didn't think Daddy would be a candidate for that type of therapy (didn't really give a reason why), but would have the doctor who is over the Hyperbaric Chamber (who is also at Greenville Memorial) to come by and talk to them. So far, they haven't heard from him, but I remain hopeful. We have got to find some kind of different approach, or we are going to watch my Daddy slowly fall apart - further. I just can't stand playing this waiting game any longer. I feel so, so, so sorry for him and for my Mother too. She is at her wits end. I don't know how she has kept herself going! I know she would do anything to make all of this go away!

Yesterday Kamden and I went by to visit and take all of their clean clothes to them and they were so happy. We still couldn't get Kamden to give him a kissy on the cheek, but she did hug him. I think seeing his "big sore" on his belly a while back has just about done her in on getting too close to him. We stayed long enough for Kamden to curl up on his bed and take a long nap. They shared their supper with me, which sounds crazy, but they really had plenty thanks to the huge sandwich that Mother had saved from the Memorial Day celebration at Roger C. Peace. I sure did enjoy spending some time with them and not being rushed out the door to pick kids up from school.

We remain hopeful and Daddy is fighting hard!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Mother and Daddy at the beach summer 2006
I am so thankful to have my Daddy and that he is willing to fight the battle of his life. Today was just not a good day at all for him, and I have to add for me either. I watched the wound nurse Mary Ann unpack his chest dressings and reattach the wound vac for the first time since he has become wide open again. I missed six entire days of seeing Daddy because Kamden had been running a fever of 103.3 and I couldn't visit until she was well and able to go back to school for her last week of K-4. It was a horrible sight to behold and I am baffled by the reasons he has had such an impossible time healing. All of the pain from having is stomach muscle transplanted to his chest opening was a waist of time! It is more than half undone and the rest seems to be on it's way to separating also. I hate to sound so negative, but Lord knows this is just the truth. Daddy looks so helpless and it has just ripped my heart out. I was in shock at the deterioration of his chest. How much more could he stand? Mary Ann was addled by the way his chest looked. I asked her if it looked like it was healing any and she said, "Not at this time." Not at all what I wanted to hear by a long shot. What do we do from here? I honestly don't know what other options there are!

Well, they moved my parents to Roger C. Peace Sub-Acute (they needed the hospital bed for "really" sick people - you know!) and this is where they will continue their 5 week stay to receive the complete round of antibiotics while hooked up to the wound vac. They have been in this room (2807) two times before this, so they are quite at home. All of the nurses and physical therapist love Daddy and feel so sorry for them both. Dr. Fowler agreed that Daddy could do some exercises to get his strength up a little. Bless his heart, he can't lie down on the bed nor get up without a lot of help. They plan to get him at least to the point of doing this. I honestly don't know how on earth he feels like doing anything, but there is one thing for certain about my Daddy HE IS A FIGHTER and he loves all of us dearly!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ever get the feeling that you are so blessed and you don't take the time to appreciate the big and the little things in life? Ever get to thinking about how every choice has a lasting effect on your world and the world of your loved ones? Ever think that you are right were you are supposed to be?

OK, I am getting into deep territory, I know, but I am feeling guilty about complaining so often. I am feeling guilty about not appreciating the water that has flowed so effortlessly under my bridge and that I never took the moment it would have taken to appreciate and drink it up.

I looked at old cell phone pictures the other day and thought to myself - "Wow this was before we had a clue what was ahead with my Daddy. We truly didn't have a care in the world - but goodness knows we thought we did!" I am so glad we don't know the future. Daddy is right where he is supposed to be because of choices made that we can't change.

He is slowly improving, but thankfully he is improving. He is going to have to go back to Roger C. Peace Sub. Acute within the next few days to continue his four to six week round of antibiotics and that is OK. It really is! It is a step in the right direction! He is a strong man with the tenacity of a stubborn mule. Yes, this is a bump in the road of our lives, but this will NOT take the blue out of the sky or the joy out of our hearts.

We are beyond blessed and I am a thankful woman all the way down to every single dirty sock!