Monthly Archives: October 2014

Few! A good work day!

All day at the same facility, with the same patients, minus the discharges and plus the fresh delivery, and it was my favorite one too.  Ahhhh.  So nice to come home smiling and glad to be a nurse.

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Pajama Day

After an all too hairy day yesterday, I am getting to the point of counting down the number of shifts I have left until our next adventure (22).  I feel bad for even having those feelings.  I wish I could pin point what it is about this assignment that has me wanting to run for the hills.  I know I’m not the only one, since the staff nurses are dropping like flies.  For a unit that delivers 100 babies a month, it feels at least twice as busy as Silverton.  Crazy shifts happen but should’nt be every day.  Yesterday four nurses were forced to stay over an extra four hours.  Inductions are never postponed for lack of staff so staff are forced to work extra for elective (provider encouraged ) 39 week inductions.  Needless to say after only working one shift I was needing a break.  Today we slept in until 7:30 and I stayed in my pajamas all day. Eve and I worked for most of the morning on her letters, and Hannah and I read about the Louisiana Purchase this afternoon.
The book quoted Jefferson’s motto, “It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.” This totally convicted me.  I think I deserve my rests, but really I’m just shooting myself in the foot.

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How we road trip/ entertain the kids/ keep it affordable

Road trips are just as expensive as you make them.  That being said, with gas prices the way they are, depending on the distance, that is one expense that will be consistent no matter how you do the math.  The other three big things are food, lodging, and activities.  These are the three big ones we will discuss here.
Food: wow food can get expensive quick.  We brought our cooler even though space was limited thinking we would use it for day trips, and the first few months we pretty much didn’t use it for anything besides an extra chair in the dining room.  (We still use it for that).  Before long Chad was telling me we either can’t do that activity or we have to pack a lunch. With eating out running us about $50 a meal it was adding up quick.  We might go an hours drive (or four) to do a free day long outing, but if we ended up paying for two meals at restaurants it was an expensive day.  So we started packing a lunch, and in typical camping style, it was cheaper but not much.  We had to decide if we really want to go out and do these outings, or eat well, and it wasn’t going to be both all the time.  So we eat mostly out of the cooler now.  If we have a four day trip, we will stay somewhere with a continental breakfast so we don’t have to worry about that meal, and we pack our lunches and dinners.  We don’t really eat snacks, but really, do we need to be snacking all the time? Lunches are usually peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches and fruit.  Dinner is usually baked sweet potatoes and more recently cold chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and occasionally hot dogs.  I won’t be able to tell you that this is healthy, plant strong, non GMO, or organic.  We will eat out of the cooler for the whole time besides one meal, and we will pick one meal and eat out as a special treat.  In this way the cost of travel food is already part of our weekly food budget, and not an added expense.
Lodging: We are headed into winter now, which limits the amount of camping we will be doing, but camping, if food is kept to a necessity not buying all of the traditional camping food for a single trip (I’m not saying don’t buy marshmallows, just don’t buy six kinds of chips, boxes of bottled root beer and ribs to grill on the fire all for one trip) can significantly cut our lodging costs from $100 a night to $30 a night.  KOA campgrounds are not usually the most forested or out door adventure type campgrounds, but they are everywhere and even close to big cities if you are trying to stay fairly close to where you will be doing your scheduled activities.
Hotels also come in a wide range of costs.  People are funny about their preferred hotel chains and you are right, there are often big and noticeable differences from one chain to another,  but if you want to travel and make those family memories just figure out what is important for you. This is just one area where there is some flexibility and the choices you make can give you more wiggle room and the opportunity to get out more. We usually opt for La Quinta, mostly because they allow pets to stay for no additional charge, they have a nice continental breakfast, frequently have a pool, are reasonably priced and have a membership type thing that has a stay 10 nights get one free deal, (it’s actually a points system) but if we are staying in a hotel as much as we do, we might as well be earning a free night’s stay.  As soon as the summer weather comes again, we will be out taking advantage of the opportunity to tent it, and be in nature. Oatmeal in the woods is just as good or better than any continental breakfast.
Activities: So far everywhere we have been has touted an large variety of activities.  We could take Moab Utah for example, but really, you will find this anywhere.  You can fill your time with the most expensive forms of entertainment paying out big bucks for jeep rides, hot air balloons, and an endless list of $12 a person museums.  It is sometimes so hard to choose since unless you just fell into some kind of lottery winnings, inheritance, or you are Bill Gates, you aren’t going to be able to do everything that piques your interest.  We have picked three favorite activities which are most often free.  They are: touring the Capitol buildings of the states we visit, hiking, and visiting national parks and monuments. (this one is not truly free but with the America the Beautiful pass that we were given by the Silverton FBC as a going away gift, they are free to us.  The pass is about $80-$85 a year.) We save the activities that cost money for a special occasion.  We plan ahead for them, and look for coupons online that help with the cost.  It also puts it in a different perspective if you think, it will cost our family $50 to do this activity.  We would think nothing about paying that much for a dinner out, so let’s not go out and do this activity instead.  Knowing that we can’t do everything allows us to do our research and narrow the list down to the activities that are truly worth the time and money.  Things like zoos and amusement parks are mostly all the same, we want do the things that are unique and only experienced at this location.
Entertaining the kids in the car: we want the kids to be looking out the windows a lot and we also want them to learn how to entertain themselves.  Chad would say that Audible has been a life saver.  We do listen to a lot of audio books. The kids also have their kindles and they read.  Another big entertainer is their notebooks where they draw and write stories.  We watch for cool new license plates, and which house we would want to live in when we grow up.  That is pretty much the extent of it.  The kids would tell you that they like their long car drives because it is uninterrupted reading time that they wouldn’t get at home.  There are times though, when it is particularly scenic that we make them put their books down and look out the windows.

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Back to the Grind

Sometimes it’s such a drag being a grown up. If only it was always the “weekend” and never the work week. We have been having so much fun with our family that no one wanted to leave. Hannah informed me that when we meet new cousins that we should get to be with them for at least a week. (Some unwritten rule I didn’t know about.) We all ate breakfast together and filled the entire dining room at the hotel with one person standing. The kids were chatty and lively and for the most part well behaved. Eve’s volume is rarely in check we are working on that one. She remembers faces, not names and knows no strangers. She informed the clerk at the front desk that she loved the pool in our room (the hot tub) as she was the same person who checked us in and gave us that room. We tried to take one last group shot but didn’t fit everyone into the frame. I should have thought about a panoramic photo but it didn’t cross my mind until later.

GPS told us it was 7 1/2 hour drive back to Neenah and we were gaining an hour, so even though we didn’t get that early of a start we made good time. We stopped at a rest stop for lunch and as I walked Myra to give her a chance to use the bathroom I noticed some movement in the grass and was pleasantly surprised to see a garter snake slithering through the grass. I quickly grabbed it up with Myra’s poo bag and showed it to the kids. After a few minutes of captivity it took its opportunity for freedom giving us all a short lived fright.

We didn’t run into bad traffic in Indianapolis, Chicago, or Milwaukee area and are pleased to be getting home well before dark. A friend texted and asked if I was ready to go back to work and my answer was no, absolutely not, I don’t plan on ever going back to work, but of course I will bright (dark actually) and early tomorrow morning. What really sounds good is a girls weekend to Seattle, hmmm yep that sounds good. Or, a full weekend of crocheting or knitting at the Best Western Suites in Lincoln City just watching the surf come in.
We miss you all and really truly are so thankful for this opportunity to travel and yes, this opportunity to work too.

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One Wet Nature Hike

The weather report for Madison Indiana stated clouds all day maybe some lightning and thunder but there was no little raindrops coming down from the clouds and it was supposed to be warmer than yesterday. That was good, we had planned for a cold windy hike on Friday with Mary Beth but had left most of our coldest weather clothes at home. We ate our breakfast, packed our lunch, dressed in several layers and headed down to the car. There was a sprinkle trickling down from the sky which surprised me we weren’t exactly dressed waterproof. I was a little scared of being cold and wet all day. We planted a car at the beginning and end of the trail because it wasn’t a round trip or big-circle hike, and then we headed down to the river. Not too far down the trail was a watch tower where we got a glimpse of the Ohio River and Kentucky.




The excited kids (except Eve) kept pretty far ahead of us until we got to the creek bed. Most of the hike was meandering back and forth across the creek bed.




The kids found so many fossils and cool rocks.







They also found clay that they were working over in their hands.

It never did stop raining and throughout the hike the rain gradually picked up. We were all pretty soaked but as long as we were moving we were warm enough.












It was only three miles but with the rain and very slippery rocks that required careful steps as well as the multiple times we crossed the stream the kids were quite tired our progress had been slow. There was even a few tears about being cold. We finished right about lunch time which was perfect and shortly after we made it to shelter the raining stopped. Although we were freezing we shed our wettest layers Which helped a lot. After the hike and lunch we checked out the Nature Center. The kids loved it and I snuck in a few pictures.




I had received a text from Stephanie about an Ultrasound with heartbreaking news her little sprout #5 has gone to heaven. We do not understand why all of this is happening (4 losses in a row all from very different reasons) we would appreciate prayer for her and her family.
We got done at the Nature center at 4:00pm and decided to cross over into Kentucky before heading to our hotel. It didn’t seem right to look at it across the river then not go there. We didn’t stay long but we have been to Kentucky now.


We got back to our hotel. We could smell the crockpot lasagna as we came up the stairs. We peeled off our wet clothes and climbed into nice warm, dry clothes. Then enjoyed the old fall Zim’s Hotsprings special.

We ate until we were full then pulled out the flux deck. Chad attempted to teach us flux. With 5 new players and only one who knew what he was doing it was slow paced and not as fun as it could have been but by the third game we were getting it.
We kind of said good bye to Michael and Kristen tonight but we are hoping to go to breakfast with them in the morning before setting in for the 7 1/2 hour drive back to Neenah.
This six days off has gone by too fast. We will be quite sad to leave.

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To Clifty Falls State Park

Sunday morning with 11 people in a house with one shower went surprisingly smooth. We managed to get everyone ready and to church a whole 15 minutes early. Most of the kids had showered the night before which was a big help. Church was good and confirmed what had been on my heart lately…we love praise and want to be acknowledged for a job well done and I think that often we forget that God has called us to be a servant, and that we should be satisfied with performing the function he has called us to do with out seeking praise, recognition, or status. Some times I have those feelings that no one recognizes the hard work that I do, I am working to remind myself that when I am seeking praise I am not having a servants heart. I am doing the good thing for what it will get me not because I love and want to serve God and others. I do not have this down it is definitely a work in progress which leads me to the next thing that the mark of a true believer is a changed life, we have all seen and witnessed this in people we know. What does our lives say about our relationship with God, is he alive in us. Do we reflect that or our own selfish desires. I know the answers to these questions and it is a reminder that I often rob God of having all of me as I continually take back control and keep him from seeing and working in different parts of my life. Man these reminders that I am so far from a finished product are humbling.
After church we had lunch and packed the car. The kids almost finished a Narnia movie that they had started before church. They play so well together and seem to have similar interests.

We got out of the house and headed south to Clifty Falls State Park the scenery was awesome (I love corn fields and old farm houses). But soon fell asleep so didn’t see as much as I wanted.

We stopped at the hotel to check in then headed out to the park to enjoy the outdoors and make hobo stew for dinner.


There was a persimmon tree next to the dining shelter that was loaded with delicious ripe fruit.


They were small but yummy, Eve kept bringing them to me to peel off the skin for her. They tasted like candy, very unlike the ones I have previously eaten from Walmart.



We cooked our dinner and ate it. The Hobo stew made by Kristen was a big hit and everyone polished theirs off with the only evidence being the charred tin foil and plastic forks. The kids played some more and hunted around for good roasting sticks for Chad to sharpen to a point for marshmallow and doughboy roasting. We took a little but gorgeous hike to work up an appetite for dessert.
















The weather was perfect for a hike and the kids were in a jolly mood playing a game as they hiked…Eve was pokey but that is not new. After the hike we roasted our marshmallows and wrapped the marshmallows in the Pillsbury croissant dough and roasted them in the fire.





It was dark when we got back to the hotel, they had no more rooms with two beds so they gave us the suite with a hot tub instead. So we had a little mini hot tub party with all the kids enjoying a swim of sorts and lots of laughter before crashing for the night. I better crash too because the morning will come early and going to be filled with energetic kids and a lot more fun memories made.

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Good Bye Already

We got up early this morning and packed for Indiana, so glad that our route overlapped Mary Beth’s to Chicago so we could squeeze in three more hours of time together. The time passed quickly and before we knew it it was time to shuffle car seats and say goodbye. When we were on the road again Eve asked if we were going home to Oregon, she has been asking about that more frequently lately. She must be feeling a little homesick although I think she is still having fun, Oregon is definitely not off her radar. After Chicago we made a grocery/lunch stop where I made some sandwiches and Chad ran into the store to get some groceries for our upcoming hiking trip with family. We pulled into Knightstown and all the kids dove out they were so eager to play with there cousins. It was so fun to see them playing together and enjoying each other’s company that we didn’t end up getting them in bed until after 9:00pm. I’m super excited about hiking, but being with family is the best part. I’m so glad that this assignment has brought us so close to family that we previously had not gotten the opportunity to get to know.

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Washington Island

Mary Beth made it in last night in perfect time to catch up a little with out staying up way late which was good because our plans today required an early start. We drove up the east side of Door County to the ferry….our favorite part was the zigzag road, we have no theories as to why the road was made to zigzag but it is definitely memorable.

From there we boarded a ferry to Washington Island.






The ferry charged a pretty high rate for people and a pretty high rate for cars, you would think that the car rate included the people but it didn’t. We knew that before we went and we also knew if we were going to go the car route that we would have to pay to take two cars across and that just wasn’t going to happen. So we had a packed lunch, rain ponchos, and had dressed for cold weather. With the fall colors it was quite beautiful.






It was a three mile walk to town and a five mile walk to school house beach one of five round rock beaches in the world. As much as I would have liked to make it to Rock Island or schoolhouse beach by the time we got to town we knew we weren’t going to make it all the way.




The walk was beautiful, the colors amazing, the slight breeze was heavenly, and the dry skies were a heart warming gift from above.
















The kids got tired but they kept walking, Eve was slow but we were making it.




We stopped at the market in town and bought Chicago made root beer and cheese curds.

At a good six miles round trip and carrying Eve off and on when a very kind stranger stopped and said I have seen you walking all day as I have driven around, would you like a ride back to the ferry? We took him up on it at least for Chad and Eve. We were about a mile out or so, it felt like more than that but I think that is what the map said, and we caught up with Chad and Eve 25 minutes later.








Before we got back to the ferry my phone died so there were no more pictures to be had until I could plug in in the car. Half or more of the ferry ride was spent enjoying the breeze and rocking, excitedly, boat. The kids were practicing their sea legs but the water was quite rough so it was hard to stay standing. The other half we spent in the warmed cabin watching Eve make, “best friends” of all the old ladies who were on the ferry with a tour. There were quite entertained by her. After the ferry we went to Sister Bay and walked through the shops we got a fig and almond goat milk gelato that was fabulous.

We enjoyed the pretty flowers and then headed on to fish creek and Egg Harbor as we made our way down the west side of the peninsula. We stopped at Mr. Helsinky’s for dinner but it would be an hour and a half wait and plan B Wild Tomato had no parking in the lot or on either side of the road. It seemed that all the restaurants we were seeing were bustling. We finally stopped for dinner in Green Bay at Red Robin, I don’t know that I have ever had such yummy food. The kids were good mostly because they had been sleeping in the car and were still quite tired, we all checked Facebook really quick and I had to share some of the beautiful things we had seen that day. We all agreed that Washing ton Island was not at all what we had imagined. Way less touristy all though we did see two tour busses there were only a few shops and a few restaurants and a grocery store that reminded me of city market it had been in business since 1906 and looked it and the friendly faces coming in and out of there you could tell were not tourists. All in all it had been a great day sill. We made it home around 10:00pm and we quickly crashed. I could not stay awake to type this blog so you can try to guess where I kept falling asleep and resumed this morning. It was a short visit so today we better get up and moving so we can enjoy what time we have left with Mary Beth before she heads back to the airport. Hope you all have a fabulous day!

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Our Homeschool Day in a Nutshell

Chad and I probably have different things to add on this as we have a different perspective and things are done differently when I’m at work then when I’m home mostly because we take advantage of those days to take field trips and just be together as a family.

There are three main things that get worked into each day the rest is just gravy on the top. Those three things are CC review. In our CC (Classical Conversations) Foundations handbook we learn things from each subject and memorize what we learn. They cover: History Time Line-an order of important events in history by dates from creation to present day, History Sentence-which is a sentence that sums up the period we are studying and usually includes some important dates (this week we learned about Washington becoming the first president of the United States next week it is the Louisiana Purchase), Science-right now we are learning about the human body and this week was the five senses, Geography-right now the kids are memorizing the states and capitols and later they will learn geographic features of the United States, English-in English the kids learn definitions for things like infinitives and present participles, Art and Music are in six week units that alternate, Math-which is skip counting and measurements that the kids memorize, and a science experiment that truthfully we have not been doing both of the older kids have been through this cycle before so they are picking up the memory work pretty quick and Eve is surprising us mostly because she really likes the songs that we use to memorize all the information. All though that sounds like a lot, when you review it each day and listen to the songs in the car (and we are in the car a lot) review is pretty quick probably less than a half hour a day most of the week. An hour or two the first day of the week as you have new info to introduce. The second thing is Math, I know we memorize skip counting and measurements in CC but that is not application. We do Horizon Math which are two workbooks that take the whole year to work through. The kids do four pages out of their math book a day (this is very portable and is frequently done in the car on our field trip days). The last thing is really two things Reading and Writing for these subjects the kids go to the library weekly and check out several books one is on their history subject, one is on their science subject and the rest are of their choosing but they have to pick books in specific page ranges dependent on their age (Eve doesn’t read yet but we do read to her) the kids write their history sentence three times daily for handwriting practice and to help them memorize it and they write an outline then a rough draft and final paper that summarizes their reading of the history book that they chose. The books are what makes learning fun, they draw the kids in the kids are so excited to go to the library each week and pick out new and exciting books where they can learn more. This sounds like a lot but really it takes about two hours a day and the next best part is that it is 100% portable the kids can grab their history book and math book and jump in the car and they are pretty set. We always have notebooks handy and our CC review is already in the CD player in the car. Two hours isn’t a lot are they getting enough? I think they are, state testing says they are, our field trips allow so much hands on, we are constantly discussing topics of current events and issues as well as historical issues and how they were worked out and all sides. They play with other kids at church, in the back yard and at parks and socialize easily with all adults. At the Oshkosh Saturday market Eve had to stop and talk to every booth. They have a friend everywhere we go with in minutes of getting there we probably need to work a little more on stranger danger with Eve but she is fun to watch because she is so lively and makes everyone around her smile. But most of all the reason I am so glad we are able to homeschool and travel is that I feel it is giving the kids a much more grounded and accurate world view than one would have if they never moved much from the area they were born.


I agree for the most part with Sarah. It is fun and engaging for the kids and while we do not spend a lot of time ‘in a classroom setting’ we do spend close to 3-4 hours a day doing our work. I feel that the hands on exposure they are getting through our weekly outing is so much more valuable to their education than the book work done in the classroom setting. It makes for a nice balance when they can get both. I feel that our kids really are getting the best of both worlds.






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Done with my 5/6

I got my labor back, I really thought she would have been delivered by one track or another but when they had tried to do a c/s she cried so they didn’t. She was given more time and by the change over to day shift she had made progress. So we took advantage of the extra time to change positions, frequently. Baby showed signs of distress so pit was turned off and didn’t like the right side either so we went from hands and knees to left exaggerated sims to left lateral with a peanut ball to semifowlers with a left tilt (babies favorite position) and repeated. Hand holding the monitor as baby was difficult to trace the parents felt bad about the work I was doing. We joked that with 12 hour shifts and three little kids there’s not much time for a visit to the gym so it’s a good thing I have this opportunity to work on my arm muscles. The one I felt bad for was them. They were told they needed to be induced by their due date because the baby had no more room (baby was small). They were doing everything right, they labored naturally for so long before taking the epidural and with the epidural they had tried every position still many times over. Mommy had spent so much time in hands and knees and getting to hands and knees that she is going to be quite sore. With the pit off we made more change than with it on and eventually got to a stretchy anterior lip that reduced with pushing but came right back and baby didn’t bounce back so easily. The c/section was called hours after it had originally been pursued, but this time we all felt like we had tried everything. Baby was born facing up and head tilted sideways a little bit. It was one of the most moulded heads I had ever seen. The eyelids and lips were quite swollen and the moulding started at the eyebrows and went back and to the right then up. It looked like a little alien something you would have seen on Star Treck. Before recovery was even done a cute less pointed head with less swollen lips and eyelids allowed baby to really open their eyes and look around. By four hours you would not have been able to convince me that it was the same baby. At the end of recovery (one hour out) I got a call that I was getting a GYN patient from the main OR and there was no one else to take her. It was really kind of fun taking care of her and doing her initial assessment and vitals and as soon as she was settled they called and said I had another one coming up in 20 min. She was a lot more painful and less fun but still reminiscent of my Ortho days and I kind of miss older people and the cut and dry of routine post op patients. (Although I don’t see myself going back because I feel like my OB patients are my calling we never know what the future holds). Well by the time I got the second GYN admitted it was change of shift and I had hours of MVUs and hand holding/position changing to chart on as it is impossible to keep up on it with one hand on the monitor and the other not able to reach the computer. With no lunch and two and half hours of charting after change of shift everyone was in bed when I got home. I sat down and ate some ice cream, a little one serving container that totally hit the spot, while chatting with Stephanie about her day. Chad must have heard me because he came down stairs and heated up some fried rice from dinner, I polished that off too. Then I crashed. Today is going to be a good day, a friend is coming to visit and we have fun plans, I can’t wait.

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