Tow Mater {Today's POTD}

"Mater" is parked in an empty parking lot on the way out to base. Whenever we drive out there Isaac gets excited to see him. Today we drove out to have lunch with Cameron on base. I just happened to have my point and shoot in the car with me so I stopped to take a picture of Isaac with "Tow Mater."
As I was taking the picture with Issac standing on the side that says "Radiator Springs" I had to laugh because this post popped into my mind. See? We really do live in "Hillbillie Hell"!

Gotta say, though, for the record; I still do not love it here. These past couple years have been some of the loneliest of my life, BUT, I've accepted Mountain Home for what it is: the place we lived when Landon got his very first real best friend, where he was baptized, and where he discovered his love of football. It's the place where Austin grew from little boy to big boy and where we finally got the most help for his allergies. It's the place where Isaac went to preschool and where I didn't really worry about him riding his bike in the street in front of our house. It's the place that was Ella's first home. It's a place where my kids discovered how to entertain themselves and find adventures in their own backyard. It's a place that I've learned to find joy in the journey. It's the place where my family is now. And just like Lightening McQueen discovered sometimes "Hillbillie Hell" isn't so bad!


Pumpkin Patch 2011

We made our annual trek to "Quey's Maze" last night. It's a cute little farm 20 min. out of Mountain Home. This is our third year going there. We picked pumpkins, played on the giant hay mountain, Ella LOVED the sandbox filled with corn and wheat, the kids jumped on the "hay trampoline" (a pile of mattresses covered in hay - surprisingly pretty bouncy - I took one jump), and then we got lost in the corn maze for a while (Landon was bummed we didn't get really really lost!).

I had to get a picture of the kids. I love the flowers and pumpkins together. And I love all their little personalities smiling at the camera!

Isaac gives the best faces for pictures. It was either this, or his "Spider Man mean" face and web blaster...

Mountain Home is NOT the prettiest place on Earth. But there is beauty everywhere. It makes me happy when I find some around here!

We played until the nasty mosquitos kicked us out! The kids could've stayed all night.

Ella is definitely keeping up with her brothers these days. She's also in love with her "Da-eee"! She was either running to keep up with everyone or saying, "hand, Da-ee, hand!!" She did hold my hand for a while, but she prefers her dad's hand , for sure.

We went to this pumpkin patch with Isaac's preschool earlier in the week and he wanted to go "through the corn". I wouldn't take him in the maze because it's a little known fact that I am actually afraid of corn mazes...I won't go in without Cameron...and my blood pressure rises, I'm sure, if I loose sight of him while we're in the maze. I blame it on getting caught in a "haunted maze" by myself in Jr High. I had to beg one of the workers to let me out - not a happy memory! Anyway, I told him he'd have to wait until we came back with Cameron. And he loved it! He pretended to be his favorite scary story character (he made him up), called "Silly Silly Gumbo". In his spookiest voice he'd say "I'm the Silly Silly Gumbo who liiiiives in the wooooooooods." and then jump out of the corn at us. So funny.


I believe in miracles

This is the story a simple, seemingly small, but very BIG miracle. It's a post that might seem a bit cheesy to some but one I want to put in because when I print my blog at the end of the year I want my kids to be able to read it and know that I do, indeed, believe in miracles...tender mercies...the hand of God...that He knows us and cares about us.

I've had a headache for over three weeks. Seriously. A bad, bad headache. I thought it was due to tension in my muscles...and some of it is. I thought it would go away with time. I thought it would go away after I saw a chiropractor a few times. I thought it would go away with {leftover from my labor with Ella} Percicet. NOTHING has made it go away. Without meds it ranges from 5-10 on the pain scale. With meds it ranges from 5-10 on the pain scale. Every day, all night. I wake up in pain, I can't sleep because of the pain, I (at times) can't function because of the pain. At it's worst I have to stop myself (in public - at home I just grab my head and scream!) from holding my head and crying, my vision gets blurry and my ears start ringing. At it's best, it's a nuisance I can ignore for a while until I have to take a 5 min. timeout in a dark, quiet spot. One thing I have going for me is a very strong threshold for pain. I can handle physical pain pretty well if I have to. (In fact I almost couldn't get the anesthesiologist to up my epidural when I was in labor with Ella. She said, "you're talking fine and you look okay." When I started crying she finally believed me that it really was hurting. That has nothing to do with this, but really, I can handle pain pretty well - especially when I can't let it get in the way of being a mom.)

Last night I went into the urgent care, thinking that if I could get a muscle relaxer the tension in my neck and shoulders would go away and then so would the headache. After a lengthy discussion the doctor helped me realize that I actually have 3 headaches going on right now. One is definitely a tension headache caused by muscle pain - the chiropractor should be able to help with that in time (luckily the doc was a D.O. so I got a mini adjustment that helped A LOT). Another headache is actually sinus pain - pain under and behind my eyes and in the bony part of the back of my head. I'm going to be tested for allergies for that, since other than the fact my ear drums are retracted (which is also very painful, by the way) I have no other symptoms of infection. But the WORST pain is this weird headache. I can trace a line around my head where the pain is. It is somewhat consistent with migraines, except that it's been continuous for three weeks and the migraine medication I've tried (Fioricet and Toradadol) doesn't do much to dull the pain. In fact the pain shot they gave me at the hospital really didn't do much at all. Because of that I was sent home with an MRI referral and a muscle relaxer but no pain meds because the doctor said I had already tried everything there was to try without being admitted to the hospital. (I have a couple other symptoms that, along with the headache, could mean something...but I'm not even going to type what because I'd rather not worry unless I have to. I'll just think I'm fine unless the MRI proves I'm not; and even then, I'm sure it can be corrected.)

By about 2:30 this morning I was ready to admit myself to the hospital and demand an MRI and morphine right there. I was crying, hurting, tired, and tired of having a headache.
I decided I would say a little prayer first. I pray everyday. Sometimes, though, I feel like I want to "save my blessings" for the things I really need... like knowing how to handle Isaac when he's screaming at me that he doesn't love me (at the library - loud - with every one watching :) ) or how to give each one of my kids the attention they need and deserve or how to have patience .... and the list could go on and on. Anyway, I hadn't prayed for my headache to resolve.
So, I stopped crying and got on my knees and prayed - no pleaded, begged, even. I told God I had faith that He can heal. I told Him I knew He could help me if it was His will. I prayed to be able to sleep. I prayed that I would get in quickly for the MRI and that nothing serious would be wrong.

The pain in my head was still a 10 when I laid back down. But I had a thought to get a heating pad. I didn't think it would help and I didn't want to get out of bed to find it. But then it occurred to me that I had just prayed for help. I went and got the heating pad.
I just can't describe the feeling of relief and gratitude as the pain kind of melted away and I fell into the deepest sleep I've had in such a long time. I woke up this morning, for the first time in weeks, with only a 3 on the pain scale.

I know it was an answer to my prayer. I am grateful, so grateful that the Lord cares about me enough to help me feel better, even for a night. The pain has steadily increased all day, again, but the fiorecet and Ibprofin are keeping it at a manageable level. I have faith that as soon as I can figure out if I do have allergies and get in for the MRI and see my primary care doc (it could take some time - the Air Force hospital here is notoriously slow...) we can figure out how to get me completely pain free. Until then, I will take 3-5 on the pain scale over 5-10 any day. I feel blessed.