Monday, December 29, 2008


Yes, we still have them. Come this Thursday it will be two months that we have been dealing with bed bugs. I am really unsure how much longer I can deal. During the past two months I have been searching the Internet for answers. One website that has been helpful has been There are forums that you can sign onto and ask questions and read responses to others questions. That is where I have found most of my information. One name that has been consistently popping up to help people with their problem has been KillerQueen. He is a pest control operator in NY. All he deals with are bed bugs and he has had tremendous success in dealing with them. He has been toted as being extremely thorough and willing to spend whatever amount of time to help deal with the situation and get it resolved. I sent him a personal message and told him about our situation. He messaged me back with his phone number to call him at so we could discuss things more thoroughly. He talked with me for almost an hour tonight. He was a great wealth of information. He gave us helpful ideas to deal with it on our end, but is very concerned about the empty house next door. He honestly doesn't know how to handle that situation as there is no absolute way of determining the level of activity. If the exterminators have gone crazy and laid too much pesticide, then the bugs will hide until the level goes down and then find a way to get to a host. This makes sense to me as we have seen a cycle. We won't see some for a few days and then we get an onslaught again. The guy I talked with, KillerQueen, is very concerned for our situation as it is difficult to determine whether or not they will truly be gone. All I can do is pray. I know we have many prayer warriors out there. I know God is hearing our prayers. He will answer them in His time. KillerQueen seemed to think we were going to be dealing with this for several more months. I can only pray we will not. I am praying fervently that it will be done MUCH sooner.

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

Sleep Tight...Don't Let the....

Well, apparently bed bugs don't take Christmas Day off. Instead of waking up to the voices of excited children anticipating the opening of presents, I opened my eyes only to see a bed bug trying to make a quick escape after having his Christmas breakfast of ME! It must have just fed as it was FAT! I didn't freak as I thought I would. I simply sighed, said "Andy!" and got up. I think my mind is slowly getting used to the fact that these bugs are here and we may be dealing with them for the rest of our lives. The frustrating thing is that Andy and I had stripped the bed and checked every crevice to make sure there were none on the bed last night. Then to find one walking across the sheets, not good. I have no idea where it came from. I called Ehrlich even before allowing the kids to open their presents. Hopefully, they will come out Monday and do a fourth treatment. Looks like this weekend will be spent going through more stuff and packing it up and treating the bookshelves.

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!

Yes, it's 3:17 am....

and I am blogging. Why? Because my husband is tearing out the ceiling in the entryway. Why is he doing it at this hour? Because on his "tour" tonight he found FIVE live bedbugs and three dead ones. All in our bedroom. One had even made it onto our box spring. He believes that they are still coming in through the wall and since he has blocked their entrance into the living room, thinks they are going up into our bedroom. There are some significant gaps between the baseboard and the wall. The majority of what we are finding are on the bookcases that line the wall butting up against the infested house. At least we are hoping and praying that that is indeed the correct scenario. I guess bedbugs have no respect for the holidays. We were starting to get really comfortable and even started thinking that this thing might be over....but I guess it is not. It is still a waiting game. I will be calling Ehrlich later today (yes, on Christmas) to hopefully set up an appointment for Monday, the 29th. Please pray that these terrible beasts would be gone by the New Year. I would REALLY like to go into the New Year bed bug free.

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

Alive and Well

Yes, we are, and so are the bed bugs apparently. I returned home Thursday night and did a "tour" around 1:00 am Friday, only to be disappointed by finding not just one BUT TWO bedbugs in our bedroom. The most discouraging part of it was that I found on ON the bookshelf. I had never found one there before. Today, I decided to take some of the few things that are left on the bookshelf off and I found another live one in a plastic container. I continued looking and found another dead one. I came downstairs to talk with Andy and then found ANOTHER one crawling on the baseboard by the stairs. UGH!!!! We have found far fewer since the last extermination, but I was REALLY hoping not to find ANY! It looks as if we will be calling Ehrlich to come out on the 29th to do a fourth treatment. Maybe that one will be the charm.

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

Do I Have To?

That is a question I often get from my kids. Do I have to do math? Do I have to clean my room? Now I find myself asking that same question....Do I have to go home to Philly? Every fiber of my being is screaming NOOOOO!!!! I really have absolutely no desire to return. But Andy will be driving up this afternoon and then we will all be heading back to Philly. (I think he realizes if he isn't here to take us home we may never come home!!) We are to return up here for Christmas, but not until next Friday. And then it is likely only for one night. Bummer.

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

My dream day...

I cannot begin to tell you how much I am enjoying my time here at the in-laws. Yes, I REALLY miss Andy, but I REALLY don't miss the stress of bedbugs and the constant search for them. I REALLY am not missing the loudness of the neighbors and their constant music. I REALLY am not missing the divided focus I have had to live with since dealing with the bedbugs. I was able to give my children my undivided attention with homeschooling...AND IT FELT SOOOO GOOD! I am so enjoying talking with my in-laws and just having fun. OH!! It is going to be EXTREMELY difficult to go home on Thursday. If it were up to me I would stay here right through the New Year.

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

Third time a charm?

Today was our third extermination. They found nothing. No eggs, no harbors, no bugs in our house. But there is still activity in the house next door. These creatures sure are a determined lot! Since Andy has bricked and sealed the wall, we have only found a few, and only one of them was slightly alive. We are really praying that this is the end of the entire deal. They will come back in two weeks to inspect the house next door and, hopefully, declare it bed bug free. There will be great rejoicing in all the land! We are hoping that by February 9, 2009 we can start putting our house back together and live a "normal" life. I don't know exactly what that looks like, but I am hoping! I know that I will still be on the lookout for bedbugs, no matter where I go. But I guess an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If I can prevent an infestation, then life will be that much easier.

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

Pennsbury Manor Christmas and other thoughts....

On our first day of school, way back in August, we went to Pennsbury Manor, the home of William Penn. It was/is beautiful. I would LOVE to live there! We found out that they had a Christmas program. Since August I have been planning on attending. Last night was that night! It was so much fun! We got there around 5:30 pm and didn't leave until 8:30 pm! They had candle luminaries all along the paths, a Mummers Play (a traditional play done on New Year's Eve), craftsman showing their trade,and tours of the manor. The kids had a great time asking tons of questions and learning all kinds of new things. Things like William Penn's favorite drink was hot chocolate - though it was probably tons richer than our version of it, that they loved sugar and made things like plates and mugs out of sugar and used them to entertain people of significance,
Everything on this table is made of sugar, including the white plate. The little white pill looking things in the center are caraway seeds. They have 25-30 coats of sugar on them!!!

and that Hannah Penn was quite a business woman, running the mansion like clockwork. I love history. I especially love living history. It's so much fun to observe.
Matt and Sarah making clover and orange balls, often carried by Hannah to not only make herself smell good, but so she wouldn't have to smell others around her!

After Pennsbury Manor we ate dinner (I really didn't think we would be there as long as we were) and finished up a bit of Christmas shopping. It was so nice to go out and enjoy ourselves. But as soon as we got home we did a tour and found one bedbug crawling around on the floor under the boys bunk beds. We only found one, though. We have noticed a pattern, however. When the temperature gets warmer, we see more. As soon as it gets cold again, we see less. We believe that the temperature of the house next door must be set pretty low. When the house next door warms up because the temperature outside gets warmer the bugs wake-up and are hungry and search for food. One of the people from COMHAR called to let us know the exterminators would be coming again on Monday. We asked him if the heater was on in the other house. He assured us it was, but we asked if he could turn it up to at least 68-70 as anything below that triggers bedbugs to go into hibernation. I doubt anyone even checked, but when the exterminators come over I am going to ask them to check the temp and raise it up if it's set low. I haven't seen anyone from COMHAR even come and look at the house since this whole ordeal began.

As a result of all this bug business Andy decided to start tearing out the living room ceiling last night. He couldn't believe what he found. Two huge holes in the brick. He could see completely into the other house! There were two huge sections of brick missing out of the wall. It was unbelievable! The bugs really didn't have to work too hard at getting over here. He filled in the holes with brick, bought expanding foam filler, and started filling away. We haven't seen any bugs today. We are really hoping that this is an answer to our prayers. Now Andy will have to tear out the ceiling in the entryway to see if there are any gaps in the brick along that part of the wall. I also wonder what the common wall along Sarah's bedroom and the other house looks like. I don't know the bugs have been entering through the wall of her room or coming up the stairs into her room. I don't know what we'll be doing about that. I guess we'll wait and see what we find.

God is good. I know there have been many days in which doubt has reigned in my mind, but God loves me anyway. I just have to determine in my mind and heart that God is in control and will get rid of the bugs when He is ready and feels that I have learned what I needed to learn. I thank God that these bugs are not life threatening. Yes, we may itch, but we will not be harmed by them. They have caused me to get less sleep than I desire, but I have learned that we can live with less clothing and that laundry is SO much easier to keep up with when you have less! I have learned that my kids have a ton of faith and have not been traumatically upset by this whole incident. They have gone with the flow, for the most part, and have also realized they don't need all the things they thought they needed. We all need trials in our lives to grow. This could have been a lot worse (from stories I have read and heard), but God knew (knows) what I can handle and hasn't given me more than that (though on certain days it sure FELT like I couldn't handle it!). I thank God for loving me despite my weaknesses and doubts. I thank God for teaching me many lessons through this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lessons far :)

1. I am not in control, nor will I ever be (Been learning this lesson for quite sometime now).
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.

We're All Tired!

This morning Matt and Sarah both slept until 9:00 am and Daniel didn't wake up until 9:30 am!!! I think everything is starting to catch up with them. I have decided to take today a little easy in that we won't do science, but will do reading, math, spelling, English, Writing, silent reading, and music. Sarah will also do handwriting and PA History (a fourth grade requirement). Still a full day, but it's good to keep busy on a rainy dreary day like today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


As of late I have been reading and thinking on the book of Philippians. Specifically, chapter 4. My life verse is Phil. 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." I have been trying to hang onto this verse throughout my life, but especially these last few months. The last month has been particularly difficult. Every day I doubt whether or not I can do this. I am tired. So tired of cleaning everything. So tired of living out of Ziploc bags. So tired of looking (and finding) these horrible little beasts.

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?

Preteen Christmas Party 2008

Another year has come and gone and Andy did his usual incredible job with the Preteen Christmas Party. This was Matt's first year as a preteen and in his words "It was great! The best party ever!" It was a great party as we had many helpers, most from Trinity United Methodist Church from Mullica Hills, NJ. We had over 50 kids attend the party this year. Each kid was given a Christian t-shirt. Matt was thrilled to finally get a "grown-up" t-shirt! Andy did a nice job picking the color and decal. Each kid was also able to choose a gift - and there were tons to choose from. Usually the boys pick out something sports related and the girls pick out something crafty. There were some really neat ideas in gifts this year, like girls purses filled with girly things (lip gloss, notepad, hair things, etc.). The girls swiped them up right quick! It was a lot of fun to see the excitement of the kids as they took their gifts away. As they left the stage (that's where we put the gifts) they then received a hat and gloves, and new school supplies. All in all, it was well organized, the preteens handled themselves well and we all had a good time. Thanks to all who donated toys, hats/ gloves, school supplies or financially. You really brightened the kids lives with your generosity.

Monday, December 8, 2008

UGH! Again!

The above picture is Matt's arm. The red spots are bites. UGH! Somewhere a bedbug found him. So tonight Andy and I tore his bed apart. We found two! A really tiny one and an adult one. I am freaking out. I am so fed up with this whole situation. We are definitely calling Ehrlich and requesting a third treatment for Monday, December 15th. Wednesday, Andy and I will strip the beds down and steam everything. I really wish we could have done this tonight or tomorrow, but it was late when we found them and Daniel isn't feeling well (a cold). Tomorrow is the preteen Christmas party and there is no way Andy will have time to help me. I, in fact, will be helping him set up. This whole situation is incredibly frustrating. I really thought things were starting to look up. The exterminators treated the beds the last time they were here, and yet these dreadful bugs took up residence in the boys bunk, anyway. Is there nothing that will rid these bugs from our house? I am beginning to believe that these wicked beasts will be with us until we die. Andy is going to be gutting the living room next week and the kids and I are scheduled to go up to his parents house while the job is being done. It is going to be incredibly hard to ever come back home. I just want a peaceful home again. I fear that will never be the case while we live here in Philly. I am struggling, once again, with what our future holds. Something has to give. I can't go on much longer like this.

Sarah had her Kids Club Christmas Party tonight. She had a blast. She was able to choose a gift and picked out a pink volleyball and a pink baseball glove. Such a girl! She was so excited. I am glad she chose things to keep her active, and not more toys. While she was at her party, Daniel and I made cookies (just the Pillsbury snowman ones). He remembered us doing the same thing last year and kept begging to do it again. His favorite part was eating them! He really is a funny little guy. He has a terrible cold right now. Please pray that he would heal quickly. The poor kid is upstairs coughing and I can't give him more medicine for a couple more hours. I need to find a medicine that actually works. Any ideas?
After cookies we watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Daniel felt the need to hold the cat while watching the show. See how thrilled she is?!?! This cat has never clawed or bit Daniel with all he does with (and to) her. She really is an amazing cat with kids!

Did you see it?

This morning we got a phone call from Frank saying the Today Show was going to be doing a piece about bedbugs, if we wanted to watch it. (As if I need to see one more of those dreadful things!) So we turned on the TV and all sat on our sofa and watched it. It was funny, because as Meredith Veira said bedbugs Daniel chirps "We have bedbugs!!!" It was funny, but depressing at the same time. Who wants there three year old to even know about bedbugs! I certainly hadn't planned on him knowing what to look for or even know what they were! If you didn't see it you can click on the video below.

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

They're Still Here

Yes, we are still finding the little beasts. But what concerns me is that we are finding tiny ones. I mean really tiny. That means they are young. I am beginning to wonder if we missed eggs or if little ones from next door are moving in. They need to eat to molt into the next stage. I am unsure how long young stages can live without eating. I know adult females can live up to 18 months without eating, but I think I read that young ones can only live a couple of months. The house next door has been vacant for more than a month, now. So maybe the little ones are on the hunt. I am just choosing to continue to pray and trust that God is doing what is best for us and will allow these beasts to leave when He is ready. I keep praying that that is soon.

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

Another Day as a Schultz

When I was engaged to be married to Andy I remember the family (John, Lois, and Andy) telling me about the Schultz curse. It was nothing horrible, just a type of Murphy's Law thing. For example, I can remember we were sitting in a restaurant and nobody came to wait on us, for like 30 minutes!!! Since then, whenever things like that happen it's known as the Schultz curse! They are often overlooked. I suspect it is because they are all so sweet (until I entered the picture!!!! Me and my red-headed sassy-ness!) I was warned before I married into the family that it does extend itself to the spouses!

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

Growing Up!

Daniel is growing up! For quite some time I have wanted to potty train him. I know he has the ability, it's just being consistent. A few weeks ago he developed a rash in the diaper area. I knew it was from wearing the diapers and that the only thing that was going to get rid of it was no diapers. So yesterday we started going diaperless. I have found it much easier to train if I just let them run around with any bottoms for a few days. It worked for both Matt and Sarah. Looks like it will work for Daniel as well. He stayed dry and went to the potty each time he had to go. What shocked me today, however, was that he went in all by himself and went poo!!!! I was amazed!!!! He was so proud of himself. As he should be! So we will continue this journey to the end and hopefully by the time we go on vacation in May he will have it down pat!

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

Beautiful Sleep!

Last night I went to bed before midnight! I have not done that since this whole ordeal began. Before the ordeal I was making myself go to bed by 11:30 pm so that I would be better rested for the school day. Then the bugs came and I have been staying up as late as 3:00 am. Most days I have been functioning on four hours or less of sleep. I believe this is one of the main causes of my crazy emotions. I decided last night that I just needed to go to bed and let the pesticides do their work, hopefully. I thought I would twist and turn for a few hours, but I laid down and don't remember anything until about 8:00 am! I purposely didn't set the alarm clock so as to sleep as long as I could. It felt good! Even the kids slept in until 8:00 am.

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


Did you ever notice that in the word Proverbs is the word verb. The definition of a verb is "A verb is a word that does an action, shows a state of being, links two words together or helps another verb." (Can you tell I drill this into my children's heads?) Did you ever notice in the book of Proverbs there are a lot of actions we should be taking or a lot of state of beings we should be in? For the month of December I have taken to trying to read a chapter a day from Proverbs. Today was chapter 3. It was a difficult passage to get through. There are a lot of verbs....keep, bind, trust, acknowledge, fear, honor, etc. The most well known verses from this chapter are verses 5 & 6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." The whole trust thing is a little tough right now. I have no idea what God is doing. Why is He allowing these pests to invade our home? Why is He taking so long to get rid of them? Why all this expense? I don't even want to see the water, gas and electric bills this month. I don't understand. I am trying to acknowledge Him. Trying to trust that this is all for something.

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

How do you know?

I completely lost it today. By 2:00 pm the bug count was up to 10. I am tired of the disruption this is causing. I am tired of doing at least 6 loads of laundry a day, tired of cleaning everything everyday, tired of inspecting everything I or my kids touch, tired of going on "tours" (as we have affectionately started to call them) to see if there are any bugs around the house. At the finding of the tenth bug, the neighbors starting to blare their music, and telling Matt for the hundredth time to his math, I lost it. I could not hold back the tears any longer. I called Laurie in total frustration. My question to her? How do you know when it is time to quit? Maybe God is telling us our time in Philly is up. Maybe all that we are going through is a sign that it's time to leave. The diabetes would be easier to handle with proper room to exercise and eat better. The stress level would drop dramatically if we were to leave the city. The kids would have the room to run around and get the exercise they need so that they would go to sleep better. Best of all, the bedbugs would not be there.

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'm starting to...

lose it. I just found two more. I am unsure of how long I can keep going. I just want life back to the way it was, where I could focus on homeschooling, normal house cleaning, and the kids. I am so tired....

I am starting to look at single dwelling houses.

The Total is...

up to four already. I found another in our bedroom and the fourth I just found this morning in a plastic WalMart bag!!!! I am beginning to get discouraged. These things can hide ANYWHERE and I am so afraid I am going to miss one. If I miss one I'm afraid well be done. I have absolutely no confidence in this pesticide that they have been using. We have only seen a few dead ones - MANY more live ones. I feel like we will be dealing with these dreadful things for the rest of our lives. One disturbing thing I read in an article about bedbugs is that if you haven't delt with them yet, you will within the next five years. They are becoming that prevelent. Our exterminator says he is dealing with more bedbug infestations than ever before. He had another customer this week a few blocks away. They really aught to have support groups for bedbuggers. Of course, then you risk spreading/ catching the bugs. Oh, well. I am hoping someday I can look back on this experience and laugh....though I don't expect that to be anytime soon. I read a comment on-line yesterday that someone wished we could black market DDT as that was the only thing that was actually killing bedbugs back in the 40's. Bedbugs were almost irradicated back then. I had to laugh at that comment because I have thought the same thing!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's not over...

UGH!! I just went on a "tour" and found two bed bugs, one in the boys room and one under our bed. I am really trying to not let Satan get a foothold on my thinking and emotions. It is really difficult to not start thinking that this will never be over, that I will live in torment with these dreadful creatures, that I will be spending all my waking hours (which are many right now!) hunting down bugs so that they don't over take the house and eat us alive. Please pray that I will think positively and that I will trust God for this whole situation.

Extermination Day

Today was the second treatment. It is hard to express how I feel. I am on pins and needles. I am afraid to hope. It's like I can't breathe for fear that this will all come crashing in like a huge wave. I know the minute I see one, I am going to lose it. This is so hard. I am really trying to trust God in this whole thing. This is His house. He can do with it what he wants. He knows what I am going through and He does care. I am trying to put all my cares on Him and not worry about the outcome. If this is what we are to deal with He will give us the strength to do it. When He is ready, this trial will be lifted. I continue to pray that it will be over soon.

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.