Back in the Game

Well, we broke the internet.  Twice, as it turns out.

The blog got so much traffic that the servers crashed, which is crazy because the company that hosts us is a really big company that can handle a lot of traffic.  They were taken by surprise, and said we got more traffic than their New York newspaper.  I told them it’s because we have a New York lyricist in the house, and song and dance numbers always stop traffic.

They got the blog content back up yesterday, but I wasn’t supposed to post anything until they could confirm it was up and going smoothly with new servers or more servers or greater bandwidth or something.  I don’t actually know what I am talking about.  I just write, and post a lot of pictures, ramble most of the time, and sometimes share insights that may or may not be useful but often make me feel better, anyway.

Sometimes I get anxious, though, when I realize people actually read what I write.  I am very intimidated by Bartlesville, and I don’t know why.  I have not made good friends – or rather, have not been a good friend – and am always surprised when I look up from my world of oxygen tubes and chemo bones to discover kind people still smiling at me so friend-like.  I am humbled, and grateful.

Our biggest drama in the last twenty-four hours was the “coincidence” of discovering Baby Girl’s travel concentrator on sale for half price:

 

We opened a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the concentrator and other supplies we desperately need to keep her alive, and were shocked to wake up this morning to find more than half the money already donated.  I cried like a girl, seriously.

We were in awe of the generosity of so many – those who shared our link for us, and those who gave.  Many remained anonymous, many gave tiny bits of what they could, and many were people who had not helped before but did now because of the shared link.  It was truly a community effort.  The experience of this baby – her crises, her needs, the challenge of getting help to meet her needs, and the response of the community has changed our focus on what we are called to do in the world, and what we are called to give.  We are better understanding how our unique gifts can be used for the good that we want to do, and we are able to see more clearly how to put that vision into a good use for our community.  We are excited to share details of that very soon.

In the meantime, it was laundry day:

A week’s worth of clothes for six kids is a lot, as any large family can tell you.

Our kids are big enough to be carrying and sorting, so they bring it all to the living room, where we work on sorting it first into boys’ clothes and girls’ clothes, and then big boy pants and little boy pants and big girl pants and little girl pants.  The game goes on, and we get the work finished together.  Usually things go pretty smoothly, because we have such smooth system that works for our particular kids.  Today was a disaster, though, and I was barking and they were not responding, and at one point the preschoolers actually took all the sorted clothes and threw them all over the furniture so we had to start over completely!  I was so exasperated!  I realized too late that it was my fault, as I had turned up Christmas music because I thought they would think it was fun to work while we listened and danced to Christmas music, but I think it entirely overstimulated them until they just stopped functioning.  I learned a good lesson, and once again the big drama turned out to be a parent fail.  It’s such hard work to parent well, we are learning!

Speaking of learning and working hard and working hard to learn and learning to work hard, we are going to be having a spelling bee in January!  The kids are so excited!  They are working very hard, and we are practicing a lot.  Kirk won the family bee last night, but we will have another one next week!  It’s going to be so fun!  Please message me if you know any other homeschool families who would like to join us for the experience.

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To work that hard, you also have to play hard!  We went on a family hike today, best we all could!
  

We have just finished talking about rivers, lakes, and oceans in social studies and science, so I thought it would be good to see a waterfall while we could!  We also have started a unit on the sun, moon, and earth, and I wanted them to see the layers in these rocks and the changes in the shadows as the sun sets.  We have started a fun project about the sun and moon that we will share soon!

That was all exciting enough to build up an appetite, which we fed with a Christmas gift card!



  

They did not finish all those amazing desserts, but we rarely have such treats so it was fun for them.

When they were finally finished eating, we drove the cemetery to leave some “chillie” for my father, an idea which they had after me telling them stories about him judging chili in contests in Kansas City and other places.  It was very sweet of them, and I was glad to know they have stories of my parents in their little hearts, even as I miss them so much every day.

Our big activity of the night, though, was going to the nursing home where great-grandad is staying, and singing to the residents there.  Nathan played violin, and the children sang Christmas songs, and the residents there were delighted with the children and glad to have their smiles.  The kids were so patient, and so kind, and so loving toward everyone, and it made me so happy to see them share their little spirits and love so well.

Even Anber, who does not like to talk outside of our house, and who is so very shy of new people, and who really does not like hospital settings since mommy and the baby went away last summer, even she was so very brave and good.  She used her words when she was afraid, and we helped her find a safe place to sit where she was comfortable, and gave her the special job of guarding the violin while we visited.  She was very proud of this, and kept giving me a “thumbs up” to let me know she was doing well.  This is huge, and I was so proud of her!

When we finished caroling and left the nursing home, we checked on the fundraiser while the kids worked on seat belts.  Loading up all the kids into their seat belts can sometimes take up to 45 minutes!  It’s hilarity if there ever was, and always a comedy of errors.  Rather than fussing at them, and because they don’t want our help and want to do it themselves, we just usually cozy up and wait and distract ourselves so we don’t get in the way of their independence.  Tonight our distraction was checking on the fundraiser, and we could not believe the goal had been met in less than twenty-four hours.  We are so grateful, so very grateful!  Look at this happy girl!


We made it home safely, and have one more trip – the most important trip – that we have to make before the whole family enters medical isolation again in preparation for the baby’s surgeries in January.

I am so excited for tomorrow’s outing that I almost cannot sleep, which made it very convenient for the blog to be up and working and for me to get a message asking me to post something to be sure the app was working again also.

It’s a whole season of Christmas miracles!

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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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