Saturday, July 31, 2010


This morning, I went to a charity event...more about that in a moment.  The afternoon and evening were pretty uneventful, though we did enjoy dinner with some good friends...very low-key.  The kids napped on different schedules, so no nap for this tired mommy.

The charity event that I went to was for Carpenter Place.  It is a children's home, of sorts.  It is for kids and teens from troubled homes.  They come and live with house parents in a family setting in a home.  It is a wonderful place and I was glad to be able to attend the event.  My dad used to be on the board there and it has helped thousands of kids (and families) in the past 40-50 years.

Mark is having a hard time adjusting to single life, dingy apartment living life, and loneliness.  Prayers for him would be appreciated.  I hope and pray that things will be better after his first day of work Monday.  I also hope and pray that he'll get himself up to go to church tomorrow.  I have a feeling that he won't since he's having a hard time.  Please say extra prayers for him.

The kids are doing well.  Cassie asked how many days until Daddy comes home.  She didn't like the answer of 7 flashes of 10 fingers, though I hope that it really won't be that long.  She got to talk to him on the phone today and I think that that helped.

Well, that's all, folks.  I hope you all have a great night and a great Sunday worshipping!

Friday, July 30, 2010

And then we were

There is no continuation of that sentence.  Life didn't end.  Life didn't crumble.  Life didn't screech to a halt.  We just kept living today.  It was an ordinary day except for the fact that I had to put the kids to bed by myself and I had to pawn them off on others at Chuck E Cheese so as not to feel overwhelmed.

If anything breaks me in this whole thing, though, it is going to be Miss Cassie Leigh.  Oh, that girl!  She bawled her eyes out this morning.  It was rough.  Then, later in the day, she said, "I'm so excited to show my new toy to Daddy!"  I gently reminded her and her eyes fell.  "Oh, yeah.  I forgot."  Later, she said asked if Daddy would stay right by her at Chuck E Cheese the whole time because she's deathly afraid of Chuck E.  I glanced at her sweet face in the rearview mirror and after a moment of thought she said, "Oh, I forgot again.........."  How do I help that sweet, innocent girl understand that this is best for the future of our family...her future?  That it killed her Daddy to leave and not see her beautiful smile every day?  That it is the greatest sacrifice he's ever had to make in his whole life...possibly missing the birth of his own child?  So heartbreaking.  I just want to make good and sure that she doesn't think that it is anything to do with her in a negative sense. 

When I look at the sadness in those eyes, it about breaks me.  However, God's strength is unbreakable and that is the strength that I'm dwelling in, so I will not break.  Thank you, Dear Lord, for getting Mark there safely and please guard, protect, and comfort all of us.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The day we knew would come

Mark leaves...tomorrow.  I'm a huge mix of emotions.  I've done well today, though the tears have fallen a time or two (or maybe even three).  He's not going to Iraq.  He's not going to Alaska.  Still, 9 hours is far enough.  Today, in the car, Cassie gave him the best gift she could.  She said, "Mommy, we're sure gonna miss Daddy, huh?"  It let him know that she was thinking of him and was going to miss him when he sometimes wonders if they'll even notice he's gone.  He's getting phone call after phone call of well-wishers and I'm doing my best to not be irritated.  He has 9-10 hours of uninterrupted (except for that darn driving) time tomorrow when he could talk to these people, but they're taking up our time.  Kel--this is in no way directed at you and B...he was quite ecstatic.  :)  I appreciate people thinking of him, but I'm wishing that they would call tomorrow.  I obviously don't want to ruin our last night together, so I'm just biting my tongue, taking a deep breath, and counting to 10 again and again.  He was on the phone throughout half of our dinner together as a family.  Counting.....

Half of my life is loaded up in a truck ready to leave tomorrow morning.  I'm not talking about the "stuff."  I'm talking about the fact that it will be carrying half of myself far away.

We'll wake up tomorrow.  I'll kiss him good-bye.  He'll be gone.  I will see him in 2 or 3 months.

Lord, make it go quickly.......

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


So, I'm the snack coordinator for VBS.  I have 4th, 5th, and 6th graders first.  Then, 5-y-olds through 1st grade.  Finally, 2nd and 3rd graders.  It's been fun, but my mom told me that I'm a drill sargent with the kids.  Niiiice.  I just don't have much time to get snacks done!  :) 

Anyway, last night with my 4, 5, and 6th graders, I had quite the rowdy bunch.  They were kind of all over the place and quite loud, though they were the smallest group of the night.  One kid said, "HEY!  Are you pregnant?"

I quickly said, "No...I just have a fat belly..." 

I grinned as he looked sheepish, but a kid that had his back to me said, "I TOLD YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I laughed and laughed and laughed!  Oh, my goodness!  I was so tickled by that!  I quickly said, "No, I AM pregnant!  I do have a big baby growing in here!" 

The second kid said, "Oh, sorry....."  I assured him that it was okay and had a night full of chuckles whenever I remembered the exchange.  I needed a good laugh!

Monday, July 26, 2010

THE week

It has come and I think that it kind of snuck up on me.  This is the week that Mark leaves for Nebraska.  It will be until the baby is born that I will see him again we think.  That is, if he makes it back in time for the baby's birth.

When we first started looking into the railroad, we knew that it typically takes months and months to get in.  We also knew, however, that we were most definitely being lead this route and that God was looking out for us in this situation.  We knew that we were on HIS timetable and not ours.  Of course, we know that we always are on His timetable, but we like to pretend that we're on our own most of the time.

I told him that I was more than willing to move anywhere that he wanted to move in order for him to be fulfilled and to have a future.  HOWEVER, I told him that I would NOT have this baby without him and we fought and argued one night over it.

Through much prayer, much self discovery, I began to find strength and confidence that I didn't know was in there.  God began changing my heart and molding it to His will and not my own and I really and truly began, better than okay...I became content and at peace with the thought of having to have this baby by myself if that was what God required of us in this time.  I mean, seriously...until what, like 30 or 35 years ago, you were in there by yourself anyway with just the dr and nurse(s).  There are hundreds of military wives that make the sacrifice to have babies without their husbands not knowing whether their husband will EVER make it back to meet the baby.  In tribal areas of the world, the woman goes into the woods and comes out (hopefully) with a baby.  I realized that my strength in this situation didn't come directly from my husband, but rather from God.  He had used Mark as my source of strength through my last 2 deliveries, but He is able to show me His power however He chooses and I am fully confident that this situation will be no different.

However, I am QUITE human, and as the looming deadline approaches, I feel moments of panic.  I feel moments of despair.  I have to continually remind myself of the post referenced below and have been "re-recording" the tape that keeps TRYING to play in my head.  I refuse to let it.  I refuse to be weak when I don't have to be.  I refuse to psych myself out and be an emotional wreck during the time that we have left together that is so precious.  I refuse to let SATAN control our week, or even a moment of it.

I know, full well, that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengths me (Phil 4:13).  This doesn't exclude giving birth without my husband beside me.  This doesn't exclude caring for 2 kids (and then 3) by myself for 2 months.  This doesn't exclude keeping the house "show ready."  This doesn't exclude being a happy, caring, loving, nurturing mother to my children when the monster wants to well up and come clawing out.  I can do ALL things.

So, I will be tearful at times this week.  I will be sad.  I will be brave.  I will break down.  I will recover.  I will persevere until God brings my husband back to me or me to him in Nebraska...whichever comes first.  But, through all of it, I will be resting in His peace, His hope, and His strength in the shadow of His wing.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Hope my dear friend doesn't mind that I'm sharing her post with you all.  If you do, friend, just tell me and I'll take the link down.  I thought that it was something that every weary mom, daughter, friend, sister, woman should read.  Thanks for your honesty,  Kel!

The Dr's Appointment

WELL, we had quite the day yesterday.  We went to the 8:30 a.m. dr's appt.  Can I just say that I already have a 14-year-old daughter.  She does NOT do well being woken up.  She was a grump-o from the start, but was in a better humor by the time we got to the dr's and she got excited about her red cast.  We had agreed on red, finally.  She had been asking for black or white by this point and I had brought up various reasons why those were not good options.

Anyway, we get to the office and back to the treatment room.  The doctor comes in and says, "The official radiology report from the hospital lists the findings as no fracture."  We were surprised, but not entirely, as this had been my prayer...if you'll reference my previous posts.  He said that he wanted to re-x-ray it to make sure that nothing was showing up now.  For those of you that aren't anatomy people, fractures can show up more clearly 5-7 days later when the calcium has depleted between the 2 pieces of bone that are separated.  This causes a bigger black gap to show up on the x-rays.

Anyway, we re-x-rayed, which went much better than the ER x-rays.  He came back and said, "I don't see anything at all."

I then began questioning her elbow.  You see, when the injury FIRST occured, it was her elbow that she was complaining of.  By the time we went to my dad's office and then the hospital, she was holding her wrist and complaining of that area.  The ER dr was not interested in listening to me about this, though, and it was ignored until the second splint where they incorporated her elbow to support it.  I asked why they would need to support the elbow if the problem was in the wrist and if it was possible that the elbow was dislocated.  They kind of blew me off.  That had been my dad's very first thought, but he didn't think that he could do the awful manuever on his special girl to put it back in place.

Anyway, the dr's eyes lit up hearing that that was her first complaint and he said that that was probably exactly what was going on.  He had Mark hold Cassie tightly on his lap (which made her start to panic).  He then did a twist, pull, pop manuever...actually, he had to do it twice.  It was AWFUL to watch and to hear the accompanying screams, but it was brief.  With both manuevers, it was probably 10-15 seconds total before it was all said and done.  She calmed down fairly quickly and seemed relieved when it was finished.

He wrapped her arm in an ACE bandage explaining that it was really more cosmetic to make her feel better about the arm.  He said that it could be left off whenever she was comfortable with it and if she was having trouble with the arm by Monday, to come back in, but he thought that it should all be over and done with.

We went up to the church to work on VBS stuff then and I saw her using it throughout the day without thinking about it.  I inwardly gasped when I saw her trip, fall, and catch herself with the arm.  I kept my face completely neutral and she got up, said oops, and kept going.  *WHEW*

Later, at Dad's office, I convinced her to let me "re-wrap" 10th attempt to get her to take it off to see that it was A-OK.  I took it off, she whimpered as I got to the last wrap around, and she looked up with me in surprise and said, "HEY!  It doesn't hurt at all!"  I told her that I knew that it wouldn't and maybe we should give the wrap to Grandpa to help another kid with a hurt arm.  She immediately took it to him and told him that she was giving it to him.

It has been sore off and on since then, but she uses it fully when she isn't thinking and babies it when she is, which is fine with me.  After all, it has been casted since Monday, so it probably is a tad bit weak.  She will do something that she hasn't been able to do this week by herself and then come find me to marvel at how she can now do it.

When we found out that we weren't getting a cast, I was worried that she would be upset, so I REALLY played up the fact that she doesn't have to give up swimming for the rest of the summer.  That took any disappointment and threw it straight out the window.  She was thrilled to think of that point!

So, we have no cast.  We have no lingering injury.  God is good...all the time.  He never fails us and never ceases to amaze us in His providence.  We could have managed with a broken doubt about it.  BUT, He was gracious to my baby girl and kept her from having to go through that.  He always protects us and we know that He will continue to do so in the days, weeks, and months ahead when our family is separated. 

She's a pretty special little thing (even if she is a Sass!) and I am thankful beyond words that she is not in pain and can go about normal 4-year-old life!  THANK YOU, DEAR LORD, for taking care of my baby, who I know is really yours and, as hard as it is for me to imagine, you love her infinitely more than I do.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Arm Update

Cassie is doing fabulously with her arm.  She hasn't been in pain.  She hasn't complained about it.  She has just done great!  The only thing is that she acts helpless at times, which I think is just a ploy to get mommy to do EVERYTHING for her.  We've been exploring what things she CAN actually do and she's becoming a teeny bit more independent once again.  It's been a looong week for momma feeling like I have 2 toddlers having to do every single thing for her.

We go in the morning to get it checked out, re-x-rayed, and casted with a real cast.  I am kind of hoping that they'll x-ray it and say, "There's no break!  She doesn't need a cast!"  It just seems strange to me that she's had no pain, though I am EXTREMELY thankful for such a blessing!

Well, that's the update.  VBS is in full swing and I'm the head of the snack department.  Of course, I didn't know that I would have an injured child and a husband moving away during VBS week when I signed up for the job, but we're going to make it all work out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cancel That

A favorite past time of the kids and I when driving is singing.  We sing everything from the ABCs to Holy, Holy, Holy to silly songs that we make up.  I especially turn to singing when it's approaching naptime and I don't want Conrey to fall asleep.  That was the case today.  After Twinkle, Twinkle and a song about self-control, I said, "How about 'If You're Happy and You Know It?'"  I started singing and Cassie, from the back, said, "WAIT!"  I paused.  She said, "Wait, CANCEL that song for the next 4 weeks..."  My mind went spinning and I realized that I was about to say 'clap your hands.'  She said, "I can't clap..."  I burst out laughing.  She then proceeded to try clapping, realized that she could, and started the song over so that she wouldn't be left out.  I guess we don't have to cancel it afterall...

I intended to have a picture to go with this post, but I wanted to wait until she has a real cast.  She's doing well and said tonight that her arm is no ouch and all good.  Glad to hear that from her sweet little voice.  They sometimes say day 3 is worst, so I'm praying for a comfortable day tomorrow with little to no need for drugs.

When a Mother's Heart Breaks

Well, let's see...Cassie and Conrey were really wound up this morning. I kept telling them to not run. About 3 minutes before I heard a thud, I said, "Someone's going to get hurt!!!" What I've FINALLY understood after lots of questioning with wishy-washy answers is that they were then playing tag in Cassie's room so that they wouldn't get in trouble. Tag + Small Space = BAD IDEA!!!! She was dodging him, dancing around, and fell onto her outstretched hand, bent it weird, and landed on it.  She was crying a bunch and even shaking a bit, but with a 4-year-old drama queen (don't know where she gets that...), I am never sure how bad something really is.

Anyway, we went to my dad's office and he was concerned.  If you don't know, my dad is a chiropractor.  On the way there, she said, "But how will I eat candy at Grandpa's work?  This is the hand that I use!!!" She has her priorities straight, I tell 'ya!

So, the slightest movement set her off, so he splinted it with a ruler and ace bandage, as he didn't have any teeny tiny splints. He thought that we should take her in to the hospital.  He was afraid of fracture or dislocation with how tender it was and how scared she was of any movement/touching.

The x-ray process at the hospital was AWFUL. I couldn't be in there with her since I'm pregnant and she was screaming for me the whole time. Mom was with her (Mark had taken Conrey to eat, because it was getting late and he was starving. We knew that he would be a pest at the hospital.  I think that it would have been even harder on Daddy to see his little girl go through all of this anyway.). They had to bend, turn, and rotate her arm to get the right views. I was rather irritated. Pretty much I was bawling my eyes out as I stood out in the hall listening to her scream for mommy.

Long story short, she landed just wrong to where it broke the bigger of the 2 bones in her arm, just past the wrist...if you look down at your arm, it's the one on the thumb side. It is a break straight across the bone.
She did really good the rest of the time just resting until it was time to splint. That was bad. More bending, turning, moving. As she's crying, she starts screaming...SCREAMING...that she needs to potty and she needs to potty NOW. Oh, my. They get it set and we run to the bathroom. We come back and they say that they are concerned that she was so tender to elbow movement so they want to take that temp cast off and put a different one on that goes past her elbow. Oh. my. lanta. Not only does all of the movement, pushing, etc. KILL her, but they force her elbow to bend in, which she screamed bloody murder at. Now, she is permanently bent at a 90 degree angle and it is wrapped from just above the elbow to her hand.

Wanna know the BEST part? They gave her the END right before we left! I was sooooo mad that they wouldn't give it to her earlier. They gave her 2 popcicles throughout, but no drugs and she was screaming and crying. Talk about killing a mommy!  I would have thought that they would drug her up before they did all of that so that it wasn't so agonizing to her.  I'm not sure the reasoning for it, but it was bad.

Oh, we are cuddling and icing still at home (the fact that she was letting me ice it was proof to me that it was badly hurt), the Super Why episode that we watched was about not running, going slowly, and the secret message at the end was BE CAREFUL! I thought that that was ironic.
So, that has been our day.  She will go Friday for a real cast, which she'll wear for 4 weeks or so.  Everyone was saying, "Are you going to get a pink cast or purple.....?"  Nope.  Not my daughter.  She wants red or black.  Lovely.  :)  She has been so brave and strong all day long and I am so, so proud of her!  It has been tough and overwhelming for a little 4-year-old, but I am just thankful that it was a teeny break and that it should heal up with no other problems.  Thank you, Lord, for that blessing in the midst of this poopy experience.  Am I allowed to say poopy to God?  Well, I guess I did....
On a different note, my iron is a bit low.  They want it above 12 and it was 10.7.  Now, when you compare that to the 4 that it was at when I had iron and blood transfusions with Conrey, it's not so bad, but we need to get it up.  I started supplements today and we're going to watch it closely.
Seeing as how it is 12:40 a.m., I am beyond exhausted, and I know that I'll have 2 hoodlums up bright and early in the morning, I am going to end this and say goodnight.  I am praying that Cassie sleeps peacefully all night long and that her pain stays at bay while she sleeps.  I'll let ya know how she's doing in a day or 2...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

There's no place like home!

We are GLAD to be back home with our kiddos!  Four days away was a loooong time!

Wednesday, I had an OB appointment complete with the delightful glucose test.  Hopefully, I passed.  Then, we left straight from there to head up to our new town in Nebraska.  We had dropped of the kids, the kid couch/bed, and a ton of stuff at my parents' house before my appointment.  After the 9-hour plus stops drive, we made it about 10:20ish that night, checked into our hotel, and I crashed.  I slept horribly that night and was not overly refreshed when I got out of bed at 7:30 after tossing and turning most of the night.  What is up with that?  I had no kids and I couldn't sleep.  Stupid hotel beds and FREEZING air conditioner.

We love our new little town.  There is a ton of charm and you can sense the pride of the people in their multitude of parks, playgrounds, the fountain that is over 100 years old that was recently restored, the shops, and just the way people help you out.  It is DEFINITELY not like anything either of us has ever experienced in our entire lives, but we're excited anyway.  The majority of the houses were built in the 1920s with another round built when the railroad boomed in the 1970s.  There are very few newer homes than that.  There WERE, however, about 7 or so retirement/assisted living centers.  We kept thinking that they were nice looking apartment complexes, only to find out that no, they were senior centers.  The apartment buildings are mostly the OLD retirement centers converted.  Apparently, they take good care of their seniors.

We had a great realtor that toured the city for us.  She has lived there her entire life and was full of great info and tips for us. 

We finally, our last day there, found a suitable, though somewhat expensive, 1-bedroom apartment for Mark to rent while he's there by himself, but we came up empty-handed in terms of a place for the family.  We hope and pray that somewhere opens up between the time he gets there and the time we need to join him. 

So, he leaves the 30th.  We're dreading it.  We have so much to do between now and then.  Do you even realize how many things a person needs to live for 3-4 months?  I'm talking things like cooking equipment to a trashcan to cleaning supplies.  We want to send him with as much as possible, as things are more expensive there.  For example, he wanted some watermelon one evening so we went to the grocery store.  A bowl of watermelon (already cut up, obviously) was $8!!!!!  I'm not sure how much it actually was, but I'd say that the same size would be more like $3-4 here.  The only whole watermelons that they had were the teeny tiny kind and they were $4.99.  Oh my!  Produce is apparently a rare thing to have there.  We might have to start up gardening.  :)

Well, that's the excitement for now.  Keep the prayers a-comin' and we'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


SOMEBODY out there in bloggy land must have been praying a little extra for us!  :)  I know that many of you have been praying HARD and we truly, deeply appreciate it!

Why the Woo-hoo?  We have a start date!  Mark starts up with the railroad on August 2nd!  That means that we have to find him somewhere to live, get our house sold, get this baby here safe and sound, and then start out life out in the middle of nowhere!  :) 

The other day, we were in a little, old-timey, sort of run-down cafe with "small town folk" as I like to refer to them.  I said to Mark, "Look around, honey...this is our new life once we get to Nebraska!"  The town we're moving to is definitely a railroadin' town w/ lots of cowboy-type folks.  We're sure to stick out like sore thumb being city folk, but we'll hopefully settle least before it's time to move on!  :)

Well, I have a TON to do tonight and tomorrow (with my glucose OB appt...what fun), so I'm going to end this.  Thank you, thank you, thank you once again for the prayers, dear friends.  You all are a blessing no matter how near or how far you are at any given point!  Thank You!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Changes Goin' On Around Here

Lots going on around the Vickers' house.  Some of the changes are more concrete than others.  Some are vague and frustrating.

First of all, the biggest news is that our house is now listed for sale on the 'ol housing market.  Big applause followed by silence.  No showings yet.  We know that God's timing is perfect and that all will go according to His plan, as it has all along.  We believe this full well.  WE'RE hoping that it will sell quickly, though, so prayers would be appreciated for patience and understanding of things no matter how they go.

A follow-up to my last post, Mark's blood pressure is under control and he has officially passed the medical half of the conditional offer.  Now, we're just waiting for the background check to be completed.  There should be no issues there whatsoever, it just takes forever.  I asked him if he had killed anyone, but never told me about it.  He has assured me that he hasn't.  :)

The more frustrating part of things is that we still don't know when he is supposed to start due to the background check.  It is really difficult to plan our lives when we don't have this information.  As SOON as we know his start date, we will take a trip up to our new town to scope things out, find a place for him to live, etc.  We can't very well do that until then.  We had planned to go this Wednesday, but we don't want to go up until we have a date that he would need to move in. 

Today, Cassie asked where we were going for lunch.  I told her home.  She said, "But your kitchen is all nice and clean!  You don't want to mess it up for people to come see it!"  Silly girl!  We can't eat out forever!

Well, that's about all of the excitement I've got for now.  No news on when Mark's going.  No showings.  Yeah, it's pretty exciting...

Thanks for stopping by and I'll update again when I have some INFO!

Friday, July 2, 2010

It's the little things

Mark had his physical, his hearing test, his vision test, his color vision test, and his strength test all this week.  Luckily, it wasn't the type of physical he thought it would be.  He thought that it would be the all-invasive type, but it wasn't and he was THANKFUL!

He was worried about his hearing test.  If you didn't know, Mark was a drummer in jumior high, high school, and pretty much up until we had kids.  Because of a lack of time, the issue of how loud the drums were with small children, and changes in priorities, his drumming sessions have all but disappeared.  Anyway, we've always thought that his hearing was bad because of this and a love for insanely loud music.  He's one of THOSE guys when you're driving down the street and you hear the music even with the windows up.  It's not pounding bass, rap, or cussing, but it's LOUD!  Anyway, I now have proof that his hearing is fine and he just doesn't listen to me!

He was worried about the vision test because he hasn't been to the doctor in many years since having LASIK.  It checked out A-OK.

He was worried about the color test because some lady told him that he might be color blind based on a test she did, which she wasn't sure of how to do and didn't know really what the results were.

All of that worry was for nothing. 

The actual hitch in our road right now is a little number: 160/108.  High blood pressure.  Now, if he can't get it consistently under 140/90, he will be rejected by the railroad.  Lovely.  HBP meds are not the greatest meds to take.  They have lots of side effects...some are not so great.  So, if you would all be praying for Mark's blood pressure to just be from him being anxious, nervous, etc. and for it to drop and stay down that would be a huge blessing to us.  If he needs the meds, he needs the meds, but a 31-year-old should NOT have high blood pressure! 

Thanks all for your continued prayers!