Monday, December 29, 2008
I have plans to call COMHAR tomorrow about the situation. They are the owners of the house next door. I am frustrated because the exterminators are only treating our house tomorrow, not the COMHAR house. I know there must be activity over there if we are still seeing activity over here. I know they are going to listen to the exterminator when he says the house is all clear, but they won't be sure. I am going to express my frustration and request that they come over and see my house. See the bites on my boys. See our house torn apart. I am going to start calling them and visiting their offices until this gets resolved. One option is to have them buy our house and everything in it outright. Then we can leave a get a new start. I would willingly leave it all behind to be able to relax and sleep. It would be hard, especially on the kids, but we could get through it. But I feel that is probably never going to happen. So fight we must. Please pray we will win this battle soon. I just want life back to normal.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
The kids had a great morning. They were all so sweet as they patiently waited to open their gifts. Daniel was a riot as after each gift he said, "Thank you mommy! I always wanted that!" Even despite the lack of Christmas decorations, they had fun tearing into the paper and oohing and aahing over everything. They are currently downstairs playing a Wii game Daniel got, "Wii Music". Daniel so loved playing instruments that I thought this game would be a good fit for him. I wasn't wrong! He's a natural.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas Day. We will...despite the bed bugs! We aren't going to let them get us down!
It's off to bed. The kids will be up bright and early wanting to open gifts. I can't wait to see their faces! I'll have to remember that thought when I am dead tired and they are waking me to go downstairs and open gifts!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Life has been busy since returning home last Thursday. Friday we celebrated Christmas with my mom and step-dad, Bruce. We had dinner together and then had the mad opening of gifts! Thought this year I slowed it down so we could all see what everyone was getting. It was fun, though I think my mom bought out the Lego store! Matt and Sam came away with quite a few sets. Daniel was thrilled with his new remote control car and new Duplo set (Police station). He has to play Lego's with his siblings. Sarah even got a Lego set. She really likes the City series and received the Service Station. I got two new pair of pj's (since my old ones are getting WAY TOO big!) and Andy got his usual Sears gift card.
Saturday was a day at home! We had nowhere we needed to go. That evening we hit Target and Home Depot to get a few last minute things and also things to work on the living room. Tomorrow I'll have to post what our living room looks like right now. It will be nice when it is all done, but I think that will be quite a while.
Today, I took a nap! I can't remember the last time I took a nap on a Sunday! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! I really miss Sunday afternoon naps! Sarah and I then attended the Prayer Pals Christmas Party. I will have to post some pictures when I can get a hold of them. It was great and the Pals were so generous. The kids really enjoyed all that they got. A new thing we are doing this year is canceling Prayer Pals until Kids Club starts up again the end of January! I can't tell you how thankful I am for this! It is a true break from ministry and it means that Andy and I will be home, together, for 6 out of 7 nights! What a change. Carisa and Trish both decided that they needed the breaks as Trish will be traveling a lot in the coming month and Carisa needs to be at home helping with the kids while Frank still recovers from his cancer surgery. I just need the time to keep up with the house and rid it of bed bugs! As of now, our declaration day is February 14th! Wouldn't that be great? I would LOVE it if we could declare ourselves bed bug free on Valentine's Day! Please be in prayer that these bed bugs would go away and that we would be able to fix up the house so as to prevent this from ever happening again. Thanks!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
It has been a wonderful retreat. I can't remember sleeping so well in the last few months. Maybe, someday, I'll sleep that well in Philly. Until then I will be counting the days until our return to "our little piece of heaven on earth".
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
What also made today so wonderful was the picturesque beauty of the snow gently falling outside. I was sitting in the dinning room with Sarah going over some school and we both looked out the window and just enjoyed the scene. Of course the kids wanted to go out in it, but I did not watch the weather report and brought no snow gear along. Poor guys. They did get to go with PopPop to feed the horses at the next farm and LOVED that. They (including Daniel) were all able to ride in the back of the truck. Daniel thought this was GREAT! They love the horses and especially spending time with PopPop and Grammy. We are all going to hate going back to Philly.
I have talked with Andy several times and he has found three bugs since we were last exterminated. One was dead under the boys bunk beds, one was half alive in our room and the third was quite well on the steps. The one on the steps is frustrating as we thought with plugging up the holes in the wall to the connecting house that would limit the bugs we would find on the steps. We have no idea where it came from. I am still trusting that they will go away. One day they will be gone. I am gaining more peace about the whole situation. These things happen, and they eventually get resolved. Until that day comes I will continue to look and go about life as I need to.
An update on my friends Jeff and Jen. They are dealing with the situation well and trusting God for His wisdom and strength. Jen is healthy and the miscarriage was complete, requiring no other medical intervention. This is an answer to their prayers as they were nervous about procedure needing to be done if it was necessary. Please continue to pray for them as some days will be harder then others. Please also pray with us that God would bless them with another child someday soon.
Monday, December 15, 2008
On a sad note, friends and co-workers here in Philly, Jeff and Jen, have just suffered a miscarriage. She was not far along in her pregnancy, but far enough to already become attached and love this little gift from God. Please pray for them as they go through the next few days, weeks, and months. God is certainly challenging many of our staff in different areas, but in the end He is asking us to all rely on His strength and knowledge in knowing what is best for us. Please pray for our staff as a whole. That there would be unity and that many of us would take the next weeks ahead and use them as a time of resting in Him.
I may not be blogging for the next few days as I am headed up to my in-laws while Andy tears the living room ceiling out. I am hoping to return home on Thursday. Maybe earlier if he gets through it faster. Please pray that he will have the strength and time he needs to complete the project. Once ministry starts up the end of January, life doesn't slow down until May. I would love for the project to be on the tail end of done rather than in it's beginning stages. Thanks!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
2. We have far too much stuff.
3. I can ask WHY, cry, and doubt and God still loves me.
4. There is nowhere that is a safe zone, except in God's loving care.
5. My kids have more faith than I do.
6. You can celebrate Christmas without a tree and all the trimmings.
7. I have incredible friends, in-laws, and parents who care and pray for us.
8. I need to train my kids better in keeping a house.
9. God's timing is not my timing and I need to be okay with that.
10. He has plans for me, ones to help, not harm.
11. I need to trust and be content in ALL situations.
12. I still have SO MUCH to learn.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
But today as I was reading chapter 4, verses 11 and 12 spoke to me. "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Did Paul deal with bedbugs? I am SO not content in this entire situation. I am confused, angry, hurt, frustrated...everything but content. And I certainly haven't learned the secret to being content in this situation. How does one do that? What does being content look like in a situation like this? Am I suppose to merrily smile and cheerfully look for bedbugs and praise God for them? I am so confused. I dread each day. I know I am suppose to "rejoice and be glad in it" (Ps. 118:24), but how do I do that?
We have now been dealing with bedbugs for 36 days. Each day the doubt gets stronger. Doubt that this situation will ever get better. Doubt that the bugs will one day be gone. Doubt that God is even hearing my plea for relief. Everyday I cry out and yet the answer (the one I want) does not come. Tonight we found four more bugs. One was on a Home Depot apron that Daniel was wearing at the time. WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END? I know Satan is attacking. I know he desires this doubt. He wants me to doubt that God can do anything about this situation. My head knows, but my heart is hurting and wanting desperately wanting relief. I need sleep. I need exercise. I need our normal life back. I want to be able to concentrate on ministry without wondering how many creatures are getting through because I am not there to catch them. I want homeschooling to be fun again and not stressed because we have missed so many days and maybe won't complete 180 days by June 30th. How do I walk in faith, without doubt? How did Paul do it?
Monday, December 8, 2008
I really felt for this poor woman who has spent over $6000 dollars to get rid of these pests and still isn't sure they are completely gone. That is why she is hiring bedbug dogs to come inspect her home. I have heard of these dogs and even checked to see if Philly had any. They do!!! I am sorely tempted to hire them myself, except that it costs a pretty penny. But is we do not get rid of them soon, I am going to be shelling out the big bucks to have them come. They have a 98% accuracy rating compared to 30% of a human exterminator. I would really love COMHAR to hire them for the house next door since there is no one living there. It would be really helpful to truly riding the houses of this problem. I'll continue to pray and see where God leads!
While Andy was talking with Frank, he shared some great news! All the pathology reports have come back CANCER FREE! They are through with this journey. He will be monitored monthly for a while, but for now he can heal and get back to a normal life, enjoying his family and anticipating the birth of their new child come May. Praise God!
Now if we could only surgically remove bedbugs, life would be so much easier.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Today, I went into the schoolroom. I haven't been in the schoolroom to work since this whole ordeal began a month ago. It has been a storage facility for all the stuff we weren't sure what to do with. Since I have not seen any bedbugs in the schoolroom we, and the exterminators, felt it was probably a safe room. The room is not attached to the other house and has three exposed walls, making it quite chilly. Bedbugs don't like chilly. If they were in the boxes, the exterminator said they would crawl out in search for food. I spent the day going through the boxes, which are mostly books. I sorted them into give-a-way and keep boxes. I am a book-aholic and really needed to go through them and get rid of a lot. I kept my favorites or those I haven't read yet, but a good many will be going to the used book sale this coming summer. I figure if I ever want to read them again, I will look for them either through friends or the library. I also made the decision, that when I finish with a book, I need to get rid of it. Unless it is an incredibly good one! But if I buy or am given another book, another one must leave the house. It's book control!
An update on the Hinsons: Frank comes home from the hospital tomorrow! He is still in pain, but the doctors have said he is healing nicely. Please continue to pray for Carisa as she has decided to stay with the boys in NC. They need the stability. She will be driving up with her father next weekend. Pray for that trip as it can get uncomfortable driving so long while being almost five months pregnant. Pray for both Frank and Carisa as they both long to be together. Pray that this week will bring continued healing and that by the time the boys and Carisa arrive home Frank will have healed well enough that the boys won't hurt him when they bump or sit with him.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Well, poor Andy experienced a Schultz curse day. This week are the Kids Club Christmas Parties. At each of the parties each kid receives a Christian sweatshirt or t-shirt. This responsibility has seemed to fallen upon Andy. He orders the shirts, gets the church name silk screened and then presses each decal. It comes to about 12 dozen sweatshirts and 28 dozen t-shirts. It takes a lot of time. Andy decided to stay home from some activities we had planned today to complete the project. He had done some shirts yesterday before going down to visit Frank in the hospital. He wasn't worried as he knew he could get the rest of them done today. That is until he went up to the church, plugged in the press and the press wouldn't heat up. You can't press decals without heat. He was beside himself. How was he ever going to get all the shirts done by Monday? He called around and found he could use a press Monday morning, but that would have been cutting it close and placed a ton of stress on him. He finally resorted to shaking and pounding on the thing (and praying a ton!) when it finally decided to cooperate and heat up. It was at that point he decided that he wasn't going to turn it off until all the shirts were done. He pressed all day and then another gentleman from the church came and relieved him of the last 5 dozen t-shirts. So, Praise God, they are done! Now it's on to seeing whether or not we need to do any last minute shopping for gifts for the kids. Tuesday is our big night! Please pray for Andy as this is one of the most stressful times of the year for him. I can't wait until Friday! Then my husband will be home in the evenings. I like it better when he is home. He hasn't been home much the past month. It will be good to see his face and his helping hands!
With being gone all day, I don't know if any bedbugs infiltrated our house. I am really trying not to think about it. Since being home, I haven't found any. I am trying to think positively. Sooner or later (hopefully, sooner!) they will be gone. I don't think I'll ever stop looking for them, but I hope to never find them again!
Friday, December 5, 2008
We are still finding bugs. We saw John, our exterminator, today as he dropped off bed encasement's that we ordered from Ehrlich. By ordering from them we were able to save over $200! I can't wait to get them on! It will help with the peace of mind thing. While John was here he was telling us he just came from a home that had to have four treatments to get rid of their bedbugs. They were finally cleared today. They were pretty infested. He said we caught our much earlier and that will be to our benefit. It is next door we need to be concerned about. He did assure us that he would be going over and inspecting the neighbors house to give it the all clear. I have to trust that he will do a thorough job. I am praying extremely hard that these little devils will die, never to return! I know I am driving Andy crazy trying to figure out how to seal our house from next door, but I guess it's impossible to completely seal row homes. I hate the feeling that I will never truly feel comfortable in this house again. I feel like I will always be looking for something. I dread when the new neighbors move in. I can only hope it is quite a while before that happens.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
We haven't seen any bugs today. I am not even going to begin to get my hopes up. I'll keep looking, keep cleaning, and keep the clothes in plastic bags probably at least through mid-January. It will take a lot of convincing that these beasts are gone. I am systematically going through things to make sure there are none hiding. Yesterday, the kids and I went through all their stuffed animals and I made them get rid of a good number of them. The only ones they were really allowed to keep were their Webkinz. Don't feel bad for them, they each (Matt and Sarah) have at least 20 of them. Of the other stuffed animals they were only able to keep about 10. They got rid of a lot! They have become stuffed animal junkies. No More!!! From now on the rule is if one comes in, another goes out. We have to have some animal control around here!
Tonight is Andy's second to last Teen Club. The club Christmas parties are all next week. Monday is Kids Club 7-10's, Tuesday is Preteens, Wednesday is 5&6's, and Thursday is Teen Club with a Christmas Theme and all the regulars get t-shirts. I will be glad when next week is done and my husband will be home more. It is in the talks to start gutting the living room. Andy was thinking of doing it the week of the 14th. If that is what we decide to do, the kids and I will go live with Andy's parents for a few days. It gets to be a terrible mess with the gutting. There is dust in the walls that's almost 100 years old! We weren't planning on doing this until next year, but with the bug situation we have been thinking it would be better to do it sooner rather than later. Our exterminator said that whenever you seal the walls it's best for pest control. The joists of these houses are all connected together, making it easy for critters to travel from one place to another. Andy is hoping to cement the common wall and seal it to try to prevent bugs from coming over. Of course, the whole wall, from basement to top floor is a common wall, so it's a little hard to make sure it is entirely sealed. He has already done the wall in the dining room. Of course, these bugs are incredibly small, so if there is the slightest opening, they will find it and come in. He is trying to be super meticulous. I guess every little bit helps.
I just wanted to thank everyone for praying. It has been a tremendous help. Please continue to pray that these dreadful beasts will be gone forever, never to return!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Two verses that really spoke to me, however, were verses 24 and 25 "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." Right now, my sleep is anything but sweet. I suspect that is due to my lack of trust and huge fear of sudden disaster. I need to trust God. That He knows what He is doing, that He has my best interests in mind, and that He will give me the strength to do this. I am far from doing this. Please pray that I would find the confidence in the Lord that I need to finish this task.
I already woke up this morning with tears in my eyes, dreading this day. I dread all the days. I dread all the work that is involved, the feeling of being held hostage in my own home, and the feeling of no end in sight. I dread that there is no escape. It will be a month on Friday that we have been dealing with this problem. How much longer will this go on? I need to trust. I am trying.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Needless to say, Laurie talked me through it with her wise words. She understands. She knows how hard it is to live here. She understands the desire to leave the stress and chaos of this life. She was so helpful, like always. She doesn't believe that God is telling us to leave. When rationality set in I believed she was right. It doesn't make any of this easier, but I have to trust that God knows what He is doing and isn't giving more than I can handle, though it sure feels like I am slowly drowning. This is much easier said than done.
On a good note, Frank made it through the 5 hour surgery. They found no physical presence of cancer and the lymph nodes they removed looked good. They were also taking care of a bladder problem, but found none to take care of. He is in a lot of pain, however. Please pray that he would heal quickly and that they would be able to regulate his meds so the pain can be alleviated.
I am starting to look at single dwelling houses.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I really like the exterminators that have come, John and Micah. They have been honest with us and haven't tried to give us false hope. They said that our bugs aren't "typical". They aren't behaving properly. That's what I said in my last post...they aren't following the rules! With this, however, John believes that they are all migrating from next door. Typical behavior would be that they would find a comfortable place to live, stay there, feed, and be easy to find. Ours are everywhere...the stairs, all three bedrooms, living room, upstairs bathroom, and upstairs hallway. John believes we have been aggressive in not allowing them to find safe harbor. I sure hope that is true. In the meantime, John says we will probably still see some and that if by December 10th we are still seeing them we are to call and they will do a third treatment December 15th when they do the house next door.
On the plus side, my entire house is CLEAN! I mean deep clean! (Except for the basement - that's going to be done when this whole ordeal is over!) I am planning on making an eight week rotation in which every room gets a deep clean. I am also making lists of jobs for the kids to help me out. I have realized that I can not do this by myself and I need to train them to be helpful. They will not like this, but they will learn to do it. I have been horrible about keeping up my house and am determined to do better. It helps that there is less stuff here. I am looking at what else I can get rid of! I am on a mission!
I know this is a long post, but just one more thing. Frank, our co-worker and friend, goes in for surgery tomorrow. He is having half of his abdominal lymph nodes removed as a preventative measure against the cancer. Please pray for the 4-6 hour surgery and mostly that they will not find anything unexpected. Pray for Carisa as she was asked by Frank to stay in NC with her parents and the boys. This is going to be tough for her, not being at his side. Frank's dad came home with him and will be helping him through the surgery and hospital stay. Pray also for quick healing as he will have a 16 in scar.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Yesterday and today I have been deep cleaning the kitchen. I have pulled everything out of the cupboards, all the baskets down, and pulled everything off the shelves and cleaned. I also decided which Longaberger baskets I will be getting rid of and thinking of how to scale our personal inventory down. I am REALLY trying to become a minimalist! Not such an easy task. I didn't even go out for Black Friday. I am trying so hard not to buy things that we just don't need. I double and triple think on every purchase. I am also hoping that this will help with our bottom line. Not that we were very frivolous, but I wouldn't think twice about purchasing a book for the kids, or an educational toy. But now I am taking advantage of the library more and seeing if friends have the educational item to borrow. I think the scaling down will take quite a while, but I feel good with what I've accomplished today. The only reason I am thankful for bedbugs is the whole push to down-size life!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We decided not to risk our house, or Andy's parents, to bugs. So we will be heading up to Schultz farm in the morning and enjoying a Thanksgiving lunch and then we will head to my folks to have a Thanksgiving dinner. I am trying to plan what I will eat ahead of time so as not to overdue it! I was disappointed this week as I gained 2 pounds. Not planning meals and lack of exercise has done it's damage. I am back on the horse and am writing everything down and will get back to exercising this Saturday. I am done focusing my life around 1/4 inch bugs. I need to get back into a normal routine and life as it once was.
Now it's off to make pumpkin pies! I so love pumpkin pie! So do Matt and Sarah! I hope and pray everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
I was really looking forward to getting a good nights sleep tonight. But I guess that will have to wait for another time. Someday this WILL be over. Someday my house will be back in order. Someday
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Please continue to pray for the Hinson family. Frank is scheduled for surgery December 2, 2008. It is a 6-12 hour surgery. Please pray for the kids, especially, as this is proving to be a bit difficult for them, being shuffled from caregiver to caregiver. Kids thrive on routine and their lives have been anything but routine as of late. Please pray for Frank and Carisa as they make some other decisions about their family and the surgery.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The message in church today was one I really needed to hear. The title of the sermon was "Ungrateful". It really got me thinking about my ungratefulness. I was/am incredibly ungrateful about this entire situation, not really even thanking God for the fact that we caught it early. I just didn't want to deal with the trial at all. How selfish of me to think I should be spared trials that are hard! I was humbled today to be thankful for trials that stretch me to the point of submission to God's will, not my own. This whole experience has opened my eyes to the fact that I still struggle with being here in Philly. I thought I had gotten past that. I thought I had given myself fully to being apart of this ministry and supporting Andy in all he is doing here. I was wrong. I am still fighting God's will for me and my family. I have no desire to be here, but I am thankful that God is still working in my heart and life. I am also thankful for the bugs as it has allowed me to evaluate life here in Philly and what needs to change in my life and how to go about changing.
Tomorrow Andy is speaking at Salem Christian School's chapel. We will all be heading up there with him. We will then visit with Andy's parents for a short time and head home. I had really wanted to get back into the swing of things this week, but it looks like that will have to wait until December 1st. We aren't as far behind as I thought we were, so I think we'll be okay. Yes, we'll still have school to finish when we get back from vacation in May (I had planned it so we would be completed), but we have until June 30th to finish the year. Life happens! We will get through.
Thanks for praying for our situation. Please continue to pray as we are still a bit on edge and trying not to get too hopeful, too fast! Please pray that we will be patient and wait for God's timing for the whole situation.
I didn't sleep well at all last night, maybe getting two hours of sleep. Between being anxious about the bugs as well as my husband at the all-niter, proved more than my brain could handle. I then got up early to take the kids out to breakfast with my mom so that Andy could have some peace and get some much needed sleep. We then went to the King of Prussia Mall. The kids were thrilled as they have just opened a new Lego store. It was pretty cool - so many different Lego sets. The kids each had money saved and they each purchased a new Lego set. They should keep them occupied for a couple of hours anyway. I was able to finish up some Christmas shopping and enjoy a great day with my mom. It felt good to relax and not stress over these ridiculous bugs.
Andy had a great all-niter. A total of 64 people ended up going. The kids had a great time bowling from 12-3 am and then they all went back to the church and played either "Extreme Dodge ball" or watched a movie, "Prince of Egypt". Andy had fun, and slept until 2:00pm! Tomorrow will be my nap time!
Friday, November 21, 2008
We called the exterminator and asked why were finding so many. He explained the stuff they use is something that the bedbugs take back to their nest and infect the nest, hopefully rendering them all incapacitated. This was not something I had read about. I am going to research some more and see if they can't just lay down the poison that kills. He said it would be normal to see activity for up to 10 days after the treatment. They will come December 1st and do the entire treatment again. As far as a third treatment, if they see any activity next door they will come over and treat our house automatically. If they don't but we see bugs, we are to call them and they will come and do a third treatment.
Last night was horrible as I confused my poor husband out of his mind. I had gone to bed thinking about these wicked creatures and inevitably dreamed about them. Sarah had come in and woke me up enough so that I was in the in-between state of dream and awake. I started hitting Andy and telling him there was a bug under the bed. I was panicked and he went to get the flashlight to look under the bed, all the time thinking "How can she see under the bed?" I finally realized that I was dreaming. Daniel then came in and decided that he needed to sleep in our bed. It was an interesting night. Poor Andy though. He has a nutcase for a wife!
Andy has his Teen Club All-Nighter tonight. Who knows how much sleep I'll get. If I'm not sleeping well with the bugs, I know I won't sleep well without him here. He'll be home at about 5:30 am. I guess I'll be pulling an all-nighter as well! Pray for their safety.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Andy ran up to his parents house today to spray their house for bedbugs, as a safety precaution. I am not sure we have infested them, but we are taking no chances. I have no idea how we will handle Thanksgiving. We usually sleep over, but I am a bit freaked out that there may be a chance of having a hitchhiker. Yesterday, I caught eight of the little beasts. Today it is four (so far). I am so ready for these beasts to be gone. Can you tell I'm tired of the little devils?
I am not the only one dealing with desiring life to go back to the way it was. I would really appreciate it if you could pray for the Hinson family. Frank and Carisa moved here to Philly on March 5, 2002. They have been an incredible asset to our team, not to mention a great source of joy to Andy and I. They are great friends and really help us in so many ways. November 3rd, Frank went to the hospital in pain. He had surgery November 4th, in which they removed a kiwi sized tumor. He has since been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He is currently awaiting blood test results to see if the cancer has spread to his abdominal lymph nodes. If it hasn't invaded he will likely have surgery to remove the lymph nodes. If it has invaded he will have to undergo chemotherapy. Something he does not desire to do. Please pray with us that it will not have spread and he can remove the lymph nodes before they become infected. Please pray for the whole family as they deal with this horrible disease. Their boys are 6 and 2 years old and don't fully comprehend everything that is going on. They just want their daddy to be like he was. Thanks for praying.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I know it seems crazy, but after I purchased these (over $100.00!) I felt like I had a plan of attack. Before, everything seemed so overwhelming. I now know what I have to do and follow the plan until we are completely sure we are bug free. How long is that? From what I have read I can't be sure until 55 days after the last bite or sighting. Females can live up to and sometime over 18 months, but if there is a food source, they will come out and eat. They prefer to eat every three to five days. I am praying that we can begin counting around December 1st as that is the second date of extermination.
I have been learning many lessons through this. Namely, I don't need things. I like things, but the things were starting to make me weary. They were taking a lot of time to keep up. I didn't realize how much time, until now. Time I should have been spending with my family, and more importantly, with my Father. I am feeling much better about this trial. Please pray with me that I will continue to put into practice all those things that I have learned and not get lazy and fall back into old habits.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Pray for the kids as they are starting to feel the effects of mommy's craziness. I have not been able to truly focus on their education or spend any quality time with Daniel. Please pray that life would be able to return to normal in the next few weeks.
I am desperately trying to be thankful in all things. There are many times throughout the day in which depression and discouragement settle in and start taking over my thinking. But I am trying to think positively - that one day these bugs will be gone and I will sleep again.
Extermination is set for Monday. COMAR wants us to sign a wavier form before they give the go ahead. We are uncomfortable with signing it as everything I have read says it takes 2-4 exterminations to rid a residence of these bugs. Andy talked with a laywer and wrote up something he is comfortable signing, but we haven't heard whether or not they are going to accept it or not. Please pray that we have caught the bugs early enough that the first extermination with get rid of them all! Otherwise I guess we'll be paying for a 2nd, and possibly third or fourth extermination.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Apparently, he had a guest during nap time and this is what he was left with. I changed his sheets, steamed his bed frame again, and made sure everything was sealed. It is so frustrating. I feel so bad for my boy and his itchy body. The good news from today, however, is that COMAR has agreed to pay for our house to be fumigated along with their house. Hopefully this will take place sometime this week. Please pray that this will be the end. I have been reading horror stories on line of people dealing with these dreadful creatures for up to three years!!!! I will not do that. I will toss everything into a pile and burn it before I deal with them that long. Well, it's off to pack more things away.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Last night was unbelievable, unless you were living through it. As I was getting ready to go upstairs to head to bed after a VERY long day dealing with bed bugs, I happened to look at the entertainment center a certain way and spied a bed bug. It was definitely God showing me this bug because they are almost the same exact coloring of the entertainment center (reddish-brown). There was also a white plastic bin sitting on top of the stereo speaker that holds Daniel's V-smile game. I found SIX in that bin! I then pulled the speaker away from the wall and found several more along the baseboard, wall, and carpet. We thought they were coming from the baseboard. As we looked up towards the drop ceiling, however, that is where we found MORE!!!! They are coming in through some kind of hole between our house the house next door in the ceiling. I was up until 4:15 am spying them and trapping them with tape. We are keeping them as evidence that we are getting them. We must have caught about 40 of them. And that is only what we saw. I can't even begin to imagine what the house will look like in just a week or so if something is not done.
As I suspected, they are migrating. I am not up for the task tonight. If more come how are we ever going to get rid of them? What about Christmas decorating? I can't pull things out knowing they may get packed up again with bugs on them. We have plans to call the health department tomorrow as COMAR is a business and has a responsibility to keep their facilities clean and bug free. I have no idea what they will do. As of right now I am going through each item we have and packing it away. We will be taking it out of the house. We are going bear bones. The entertainment center is getting tossed in the trash tomorrow. The fireplace will not get put in until this issue is resolved. Thankfully our house is still a comfortable 72 degrees and we haven't had to turn the oil heat on. This whole thing has just been such a mess. I am still struggling, but know that it was God that pointed out what we thing is the entry point to these little beasts. PLEASE PRAY that we will be able to eradicate them QUICKLY. Before they start laying eggs.
Homeschooling has already suffered greatly this past week with Matt only getting 5 math lessons and 1 English lesson completed. With all that has been going on his focus has been completely lost. Thankfully, Sarah has managed to keep up. I am at a loss as how to handle everything. I understand God is in control and has a purpose and a plan for all things, but I honestly cannot fathom what purpose and plan there is in having bed bugs. So, there is my life. I keep thinking that many of the above issues would never had happened had we not lived here. I know that my thinking should not be following this path. I know that Satan is getting a good stronghold on my emotions and thinking. I am struggling. I don't know how to pray as I just really want to go home and Philly currently does not feel like home. Please pray for us all as we deal with things. Pray specifically that my heart would be changed and I will once again feel the love and desire to live where God has called us to live.
Friday, October 24, 2008
After dinner we went to the Neshaminy Mall AMC Theater which is one of the few theaters still showing "Fireproof". Let me just say that it is THE BEST movie I have seen! I LOVED it! It was such a perfect movie to see for our anniversary. The company that made the movie is the same one that produced "Flywheel" and "Facing the Giants". But this movie has outdone them all! It really should be a required movie for all engaged and married couples. It really got me thinking about my relationship with Andy and how we can improve our communication and marriage. Go see it if you haven't!
Tomorrow is the first Saturday in months that we have absolutely NOTHING to do! I am making my checklist of things I want to get done. The first thing on the list is to get summer clothes put away and winter ones out! My poor kids have been living in the same two shirts and jeans for a couple of weeks! It's just been so crazy and with having to turn over THREE children, the task gets daunting sometimes. I am recruiting both Matt and Sarah to do their own turnover this year in hopes that they will be trained to it in the future. I believe Andy is going to get the dining room ceiling up! YEAH!!! It will be 6 months on Monday since we have started this project and we are both anxious for it to be DONE! Hopefully by Thanksgiving. Hopefully...
Thursday, October 23, 2008
So how will we be spending our anniversary? I am taking all three kids to the doctor for their flu shots (actually flu mist!). I also have a doctors appointment. A follow up to my diabetes diagnosis. (I have since returned and according to his scale I have lost 13 pounds since 9/25/08!). Andy will be spending his evening with the teens at Teen Club. Such is the life of a youth worker! We are planning on going out to dinner tomorrow night. It will be fun, though the kids can't understand why we aren't taking them! We seldom go out without them. This will be good for them to see!
So thank God with me today for such a special guy!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As of late, however, I haven't been feeling as if I can do anything. I am really amazed at how this whole diabetes thing has hit me. I am usually not one to dwell on things and just try to push through them. But just the word makes me cringe. Everything has changed. From how we eat to what I do with my time. I think the biggest challenge has been cooking. I have NO IDEA what to make. I like the food I make now! It's very hard for me to change my diet or add variety. I didn't have the greatest diet growing up. But when I had kids I started realizing we needed more nutrition. I have changed as the years have gone by, wheat bread instead of white, more chicken instead of beef, 1% milk instead of whole, etc. Now the big change is adding more fruits and veggies. The fruit isn't hard, but the veggies......that's a whole different world! I did add asparagus this past week. So we now eat broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, and asparagus. Thankfully the kids love salads, especially with spinach. But what else is there? I refuse to make brussel sprouts, YUCK! I think I need to figure out how to cook squash. But I am at a loss as to what other things to add to our menu.
I know God is teaching me. It's just that I really hate change! It seems too hard. I like comfortable. This is not comfortable. But I know that with His help, I can do this. It may take a while, but I can do this. A result of my diet change has been a loss of 10.6 pounds since September 25th. He is showing me that this is possible everyday. Please pray for Matt and Sarah as they are finding this a bit difficult. I have removed almost all of the candy in the house and am replacing things with fruits and veggies and more healthy snacks. They will get use to it. I will get use to it! Soon, we hope!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Since it is only ten weeks until Christmas, that means it is only EIGHT weeks until the Preteen Christmas Party. You will notice I have placed a Candy Cane link on the right side of my blog. Every year we host a party for at least 50 preteens. Each child receives a Christian t-shirt and a gift. If you are interested in donating a gift, you can click the link and get some ideas of what we think are appropriate gifts. The link will list gifts in all age categories as we host three parties: 5&6's, 7-10's, and preteens. Any gift would be appreciated! If you have any questions you can leave a comment at the bottom or e-mail us. Please pray that we would be able raise the necessary funds for the party. Many families are struggling this year and are seeking help where they can to help make Christmas a special time for their kids. Please pray that we would be able to reach many of them for Christ in the coming weeks, as attendance is a big factor in being invited to the Christmas party.
Monday, October 13, 2008
After the doctor we went to the movies and saw "Beverly Hills Chihuahua". It was just as silly as I thought it would be. Sarah and Matt loved it. They giggled and laughed and had a great time. It was a nice diversion from Andy's absence. The rest of the day was spent running errands and coming home, eating dinner, and off to bed. Andy came home around 9:00 pm and of course, Matt and Sarah were still up listening for the door. They were excited to see him. It's good he's home. I really hate being a single mom - even for 24 hours! It is just so much easier with two! I thank God everyday for such a wonderful husband and father.