Friday, June 27, 2008

Motorcycle Accident

Many of you have already heard about this (and thank you for your prayers and support!) My parents were in a motorcycle accident on Monday night. Garr and I were at camp in Denton MD (about 45 minutes away). We had taken the two older girls to Children's Camp that afternoon. We had Danny, Olivia, and Livy's friend, Sammi, at the camper with us. We had put on a movie for the girls, Daniel was sleeping soundly, and Garr and I were just snuggling in for a movie too. My cell phone rang. At first I was going to ignore it, but I remembered that I had left a message for my mom and knew she would want to hear how the kids were doing. It was an odd number when I went to pick it up, but I answered anyways.

The lady on the phone told me she was calling from KG Hospital and my parents had been in a motorcycle accident. She proceeded to tell me that my mom had asked her to call me and they were getting ready to take her in for a CAT Scan. Then she told me that my dad had been airlifted to a hospital 40 minutes north of Smyrna (about an hour from my mom.) My knees buckled and I began to cry. I asked her to ask my mom who she wanted us to go to. Of course, we wanted to be with both of them, but I was so scared, esp for my dad, as we had no idea what his injuries were. My mom said she wanted us with her but my dad needed us and to go there. We proceeded to throw whatever I thought we might need into a bag and load the kids into the truck. I started making phone calls and trying to figure out what was happening. I called a friend to go and be with my mom at the hospital and I had her call our church secretary to get people praying. Garr drove like a madman, excuse me, like a very well trained police officer! He was amazing, I was a mess. We drove the 45 minutes to Smyrna (Although I think it only took 30), dropped the girls off, and headed north 45 minutes to the hospital. I thought we would never get there. On the way, just about 15 minutes from the hospital, my phone rang and it was my dad. He told us he was beat up, but ok and to "drive safe!" (Just like a dad!) When we got to the hospital, he looked awful, but his spirits were up. He was telling us what happened, and making jokes. A good friend of ours was already there (he worked nearby) and I was so blessed to see him there with my dad. Although dad seemed ok, I think it was because they had finally given him a large dose of pain meds
(and maybe the adrenaline of being alive!). We found out that his shoulder is broken, his eye was swollen shut, and he has road rash all over. My mom has a lacerated liver. They told us at first that it was a grade 4, superficial cut that would just require some bed rest. We found out yesterday that grade 4 is actually very serious (grade 5 and you are dead) and she will be on complete bed rest for 4-6 weeks. My dad has been in terrible pain and received terrible care at the hospital. I have felt so bad for him. Both of my parents were released yesterday and are home in our care. Neither can do anything for themselves. My mom is allowed to use the bathroom and then must get back in bed. My dad cannot roll over, or even take a deep breath, without groaning in intense pain. He also has many broken or fractured ribs - they didn't tell us which.

What happened is their tire blew out on the back of the bike. They were leaving IHOP and someone told them their tire was low on air. Dad took a look at it and saw that it was indeed low and also looked quite bald. He thought this was strange since it had just passed state inspection. He decided that if they took it easy, they should make it home and then they would have to replace the tire before they could drive it again. Unfortunately, they didn't make it. They were maybe 5 miles from home when it blew out. Thankfully they were on a back road and the truck that was following them was keeping his distance. Dad was going pretty slow, but after fishtailing for a while, he couldn't keep the bike in check any longer and it spun out from underneath them, throwing them to the side of the road. (Garr thinks it's amazing that he was able to keep the 800 lb bike under control for as long as he did!) They landed close to one another and mom remembers reaching out and holding my dad's hand as he yelled for her, and then when he began screaming in pain. He couldn't see anything (his good eye was the one that was injured, although it is getting better every day now), and didn't know where she was.

At this point, we are all quite exhausted, but also very thankful that although they are injured, they are alive. Many of our friends, family, and church family have been calling and offering to help and it has been a blessing. We are amazed at how the word has spread so quickly and we can't even figure out how some of you have found out already! There are so many people praying for us and we appreciate it! Don't stop please! I really need to get to bed (although I should probably wait b/c Dad is due for some more pain meds in 20 minutes! =]). I just wanted to let everyone know what is going on. I may not have much time to blog or email in the weeks ahead, but I will try to keep you all updated on our progress.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Camp and Clutter

So Garr is working another long weekend of nights and of course, it is almost 10 o'clock and I don't want to go to bed. You would think I would be used to going to bed alone, but I'm not, and I still don't like it!

The girls (well, Eme and Abby) are going away to their first sleep-away camp on Monday. They will be staying there through Friday. I'm not sure if this will be harder on them or on Garr and I. (especially Garr!- he hates having the kids away from us) The girls are vascilating between excitement and being nervous. I'm sure, though, that they will not want to return home on Friday! They will be having too much fun! It brings back a lot of memories for me, having grown up spending 3-4 weeks each summer at our church camp. There were many times that I thought of Chambers Camp as my home. We moved so often, but every summer I could return there and it would be the same. It was a steadfast part of my childhood. It was also a very special place for me to grow closer to Christ. I'm excited for the chance my girls have - for the wonderful experiences they will have at camp. I hope it is wonderful for them and I can't wait to see if God touches them in a special way while they are there.

In the meantime, (while they are gone) I have a goal of getting the basement cleaned up and organized (well, as much as possible anyways!) Anyone else feel overrun by toys and stuff? I feel like my kids have so much stuff, and yet I continue to buy them more! I was very proud of myself today. I stopped at a yard sale and they had a Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo (EC) for only $35. These are $90 new. But I resisted! Daniel already has a jumperoo, an older style, but it works just as well. I have struggled over the years with the issue of clutter. I want my kids to have everything, but so many of their toys just sit! So often I see them using their imaginations and making things from boxes and ropes and blankets. The more stuff we have, the more time it takes away from us - working to buy it, working to maintain it, working to organize it. Is it really worth it? I'm hoping to sell some things in a yard sale or on craigslist. And the rest I am thinking of just packing it up, hiding it away, and seeing if the kids even notice. Anything they ask for, I'll take out and anything else, after a certain amount of time, will move on to someone else's house! Anyone who wants to comment on how they deal with toys and clutter, feel free!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A little spotlight on my heart...

I feel like I have begun to use this blog just to post daily pictures and happenings. Which is partly what the purpose of this blog is, but I also wanted to use it to share my thoughts, feelings, etc. So today, I am posting with no pictures. I might relate some events, but I'm hoping that what you will read in this blog will be what is on my heart and my family's.

Our life is busy. Garr has been working pretty much night and day this week (really, literally). I have been working for my mom (she is in PA visiting family). So I bring the kids here with me (that is a blessing - most of the time). They like playing here. I don't know how other mothers who work outside the home find the time to clean and do laundry! It's only been 3 days and I can hardly keep up. Mom will be back tonight, thank goodness!

We bought a new vehicle! We now have a 2001 Ford Expedition. It is roomy and oh, so nice! Driving the van (while the Ford is having some work done at the dealer) has completely stunk! The truck spoils us. We are very thankful to God for providing us with this new vehicle. Our van is slowly falling apart and Garr was starting to worry about me going places in it with the kids - what if we got stranded somewhere? A guy Garr takes jiu-jitsu with owns a car dealership here in town and gave us a great deal. Then we got an awesome interest rate from a local credit union. And when I called on the insurance, the lady put us in with a new company and we are paying way less (for more coverage!)! We just see God's hand in all of this. Many of you may know that we have been through some financial struggles the past few years. We have learned a lot and are striving to be faithful with the money God gives us. I was reminded of the verse in the Bible where God tells us that those who are faithful with little will be given more. Garr and I feel like God is blessing us for being faithful and also giving us the chance to be faithful with a little more - working our way up the ladder, so to speak. Eme was funny the other night. We went camping last weekend, and had a great time around the campfire one evening. We told the kids how we felt God had blessed us with the truck and we wanted to take time as a family to thank Him for it. She asked us if that was ok - because we weren't supposed to have idols - other gods. I thought this was so insightful of her! We explained that we don't love the truck more than we love God - that it is simply a good gift He gave us and we just want to be thankful to Him for it - the way she would be thankful to us if we gave her a special gift. That night, we took turns praying and I was so blessed to hear Eme join in, without prompting, thanking God for our friends.

Which brings me to another subject - God has blessed us with so many friends over the past years. I am so thankful that He knows our loneliness and wants us to have friends. We have made some good ones here in DE and still miss our friends in Baltimore (as well as those in NY!) It is hard sometimes to be so spread out. Our hearts want to be in many places at once.

I recently found out about some aquaintances from college. They are only a year or two older than us but have been through some really traumatic experiences. They lost their infant daughter and then he was in an accident and is now paralyzed, in a wheelchair. They have 3 other children. This has really put my life in perspective. Especially after I listened to them say that they are still serving God and trusting in His will for their lives. I keep being brought back to the story of the mosaic. How each piece of a mosaic is important to the whole, but sometimes we are so close to the mosaic that we can't see the bigger, more beautiful picture. So sometimes we wonder why God allows awful things to happen. We may never know, but we need to trust the Artist, trust His unfailing love and all-encompassing plan for His kingdom. I just read an excellent book that really brought this point home to me. It is called "Wings of Refuge" by Lynn Austin. It is a story of 3 women at different points in history and how their stories affect one another. I have to remember that God's plan supercedes mine and I can trust His love for me and my family.