Saturday, February 28, 2009


That is what I have felt this week. I can't explain it. But ever since we found the bed bug on the boys bunk bed I have felt peace. It was like God was saying to me "You have made it. I have carried you through and you are almost at the end." Does that sound crazy? I have only experienced that type of "God talk" a handful of times, but each time it has been an incredible experience. It is this "God talk" that helps me through each trial I face. I KNOW He is there and will take me through any valley I face. Thank you Father for loving me so much!

The exterminator, John, came by yesterday to see how we were doing. He seemed concerned that we still found 25 in the last month. But the majority of them were found before construction began. He is concerned that maybe eggs have been laid in the pile of the carpet, though I am not. We don't have a deep piled carpet and from talking with other bed bug experts the likelihood of bed bugs doing that are slim. They want to be close to a host and the carpet is not close. Plus, with all the inspections we have been doing and the constant vacuuming, I think we would see something. He is going to talk with COMHAR and ask to give one more treatment. We'll see what they say. I am not hopeful that that will actually happen. I think COMHAR is tired of dealing with us and just want to be done with us. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to figure out how to handle COMHAR and our expectations of them for the future.

Last night was our first official "family movie night" since October! With the stress of bed bugs, the hunting and worrying about where they were, we wouldn't even let the kids play or sit on the floor as we were finding a number of them in the living room. We started off our evening by going to IKEA to think about what we need to save up for to put our house back together. It was fun to dream about it all going back to where it belongs. We hadn't let ourselves do it before last night. We are planning on putting the rooms back together in June. That will be more than seven months since the bed bug problem began. (It will be four months tomorrow since we were overrun with the dreadful little creatures.) It was fun to eat pizza and relax with the kids. We laughed and had a good time together. I pray that we have many more times like this and that the bed bugs are truly gone from our house FOREVER!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Good News

For the past eight months we have been without our car. Last July it started giving us grief and had been in and out of the shop until September when the mechanic had it for all of September until the end of November. When we did finally get it back in November, thinking it had been healed, it lasted five days before it was broken down again. Our mechanic had no clue as to what it could be and he had given it to the Chrysler dealer he works with and he, too, had no clue as to what it's problem was. So we gave it to our friend Chris who does amazing work with anything. He thought he figured it out, but didn't in the end. He then gave it to a guy in Quakertown who is a professional with Chrysler's. He called Andy and asked him several questions, thinking he knew what it was - but his hunch was wrong as well. So we waited. Our car is fickle and only does it's bad behavior on occasion - for me on more occasions than anyone else! (It doesn't like me!) It FINALLY did it's think, not starting, for this man and he was able to diagnose it's problem!!!!! YEAH!!!!! I can't believe it!!!! It is a short in the dashboard. It took EIGHT months and at least four men, but hopefully it is solved and we can get our van back soon. Our friend Chris is on the lookout for a dashboard so pray he finds one soon and that it doesn't cost a fortune! It seems things are starting to turn around. I continue to pray that that is indeed the case!

Monday, February 23, 2009

We found it!!!!

For the past week I have suspected that there was a bed bug on the boys bunk bed. Last Monday (a week ago tonight), I was bathing Daniel and found he had been bitten. Matt also had a bite on his finger. Last Tuesday we tore the bed apart and searched to no avail. Yesterday, in church, Matt showed me his earlobe and sure enough there was a bite. We looked over the bed again, and still found nothing. Andy was doing a major search tonight before heading off to God Squad. While doing his search on the bunk bed he found it!!!! The suspected bed bug! It is now DEAD!!!!! It was the one biting as it was elongated instead of round. They get longer after a feeding. The good news is I believe it was a young one morphing into an adult. It still had a bit of white on it. (They are white when they are born.) If it was a young one then it couldn't have laid eggs. Also, if it is a female, it needs a mate to lay eggs. I believe there was only one on the bed as there were very few bites. I know I am sounding ridiculous at being happy over finding a bed bug. But it was driving me crazy believing there was one on the bed and not being able to find it! It's a pretty sad commentary on where our lives are at this point when we get excited about finding one particular bed bug!!!! I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Please pray that this is THE LAST BED BUG I will ever see in this house again!!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wrong again!

Not 30 minutes after hitting the enter button on the computer to upload the last post, I found one of the little devils on the stairs. This morning Matt complained that his earlobe itched and I believe it is a bite. It seems God has more lessons for me to learn - I think the top one is to stop saying I haven't found any until 55 days is up - even then I am unsure I will write about it because I will likely find one that very day!!!!! This is so frustrating!!!!!! Please continue to pray that this trial will be over SOON!!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

God's Amazing Grace!

The past 3 1/2 months have been some of the most difficult I have ever encountered in my walk with God. Who would have thought that a 1/8 inch bed bug (well a few hundred) could have reeked so much havoc in my personal life. Never have so many tears been shed, my faith tested, or my physical and mental abilities been stretched than in these past few months. But God, in His amazing way, has been faithful. Even in my doubt. He has cared for me and my family, loved me when I questioned Him in anger, and brought about many blessings that I never would have dreamed of. One example is our finances. I am humbled by His constant way of taking care of the smallest details. This past week I have been praying about our finances. In this month alone Andy has had to charge a little over $1200 on the credit card to put our house back together. Our savings have dwindled, from previous bed bug expenses, and I was beginning to wonder how I could pay off the credit card. (We pay the credit card off every month and do not carry a balance). I have never had a credit card balance but was beginning to think that this would be the first time we would have to. I began to pray. In one week I received to letters and a phone call. The first letter contained a check for $200 from a woman we have only met a couple of times but heard of our need and wanted to help. The phone call was from a small church that has a huge heart and also heard about our need and wanted to let us know they were sending a check for $500 to be used toward our expenses. The second letter was from our dear aunt who heard we were incurring a lot of expenses and wanted to help offset them and sent a check for $500. AMAZING!!!!! $1200 in one week - almost the exact amount needed to pay off the extra expenses on the credit card! Is God cool, or what? I am humbled that He loves me the way he does and provides for even the smallest of needs.

I have been asked by some if I would trade having bed bugs with never having learned the lessons I have these past three months. With the difficulty still fresh in my mind, I am eager to say "Yes. I would rather have NOT had bed bugs than learned the great lessons and given the blessings I have been." But since I did have to go through this and as each day goes by without finding one of the little devils I thank God for the lessons learned. I am also incredibly thankful for his provision in the financial department. I am extremely humbled that people would think to love us in that way during these times. I am also thankful for the blessings God has chosen to bestow upon me - like having my washer and dryer moved up to the second floor from the basement! It has always been a dream of mine and it would have NEVER happened if our bedroom and upstairs hallway wouldn't have had to have been torn out. I know, for sure and for certain, that God is faithful and loving and that I CAN DO ALL THINGS through Him because of His strength. Please continue to pray that we do not find anymore of the dreadful creatures. We haven't found any since Monday, February 16th and there have been no more bites since that day as well. Please pray that they are gone FOREVER and never to return. Thank you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Back to Tot School!

With the whole bed bug thingy, poor Daniel has suffered the most with the lack of individual school attention. I decided that today we were going to change that....and BOY was he excited! He loved everything and begged to do more. I need to increase our activities and start doing more purposeful planning. He's ready to do things and is learning his letters amazingly fast!

Today we did a bead activity. I got the idea from my friend, Carisa (who ALWAYS has such amazing ideas!). He LOVED this activity and sat for more than 30 minutes doing it! Who knew a pipe cleaner and letter beads could last so long! He really got into it. He had to put every bead onto a pipe cleaner. We counted the beads on each pipe cleaner, looked at the letters, and hung them on the chair. Towards the end we added a little flare and talked about warm colors and cool colors. It was a lot of fun!

He then wanted to do his Kumon Coloring Book. I really like this book for discussing colors and the fact that there is only a small space for coloring - not too much he will get overwhelmed. He likes the maze on the back of each page - though his reason for liking it isn't necessary a good thing! He likes to torcher me with it. He can do this activity very well - surprised me the first time he ever did it! He is supposed to draw a path from the circle at the top of the page to the star at the bottom of the page without touching the object on the page. He LOVES to pretend he is going to hit the objects. The little booger!!!!
After coloring we played "Who Lives Where?". This is a great game! He's pretty good at it too!! It has so many things that it teaches while playing, shape, memory, puzzle skills, order, etc. It is a lot of fun.

Our final activity of the day was a great tool Carisa gave to him a couple months ago called "Bottle Top Names". He loves this activity. He is really learning his letters with this activity. But to show you all how so in trouble I am this was a conversation we had while doing this activity:
Daniel: (Looking at bottle cap letters) "There is no circle letter."
Me: "Yes, there is an O. It's at this end" (pointing to the right side of lined up letters)
Daniel: "No, there isn't." (He points to the letter printed on the card and says) "This is a circle." (Now picking up the O bottle cap) "And this is an oval!"

He is an amazing kid - specific - but amazing! I just love spending time with this kid!

I tried to be brave.....

Though Matt and Sarah would NOT consider our trip to PopPop and Grammy's a vacation (they still had to do school everyday), I definitely counted it as a vacation. I slept, relaxed, enjoyed my in-laws company, and get the picture! I really miss it. Especially tonight. I really tried to be brave, but in the end failed and desperately tried NOT to have a panic attack. Monday night is God Squad and it is Andy's job to teach and lead it. When it started up the end of January he got people to cover for him so he could stay home with me as I was just not up to dealing with the bed bugs on my own. While I was gone, he attended the different evening clubs and I was fine with that as I wasn't home. Tonight was the first night I was home and he asked if he should stay home or go. I thought about it and was feeling good about things so I told him to go with the knowledge he wouldn't be staying late and would get someone to drive the kids home. Well, bath time did me. I was bathing Daniel and found he had a suspicious mark on his shin. It looks to be a bed bug bite. UGH!!!! Matt said he also has a suspicious mark on his finger (yeah, they bite ANYWHERE!). It looks as though there may be one on the boys bed. Tomorrow we will be taking the bed apart, spraying it, and praying that the little devil is a male and can't lay eggs. It looks like Andy will stay home a few more weeks. I hate what this is doing to me. I hate feeling so completely wimpy. I just mentally am having a terrible time handling even looking at a bed bug. The idea of searching for them starts my heart beating incredibly fast and I feel like I'm going to get sick to my stomach. It's insane. I really need this to be over soon. Please, Lord, release us from these bed bugs!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Poor Boy!

Well, we are home. I have mixed feelings about it. I am glad to be home to see my husband, but am back to not sleeping well. But not sleeping well last night wasn't all due to the bed bug problem. Last night our poor boy, Daniel, came down with the stomach bug. Earlier in the week, Grammy came down with the dreaded bug and as hard as we all tried it looks like Daniel was the one to get it. We all have to get sick sometime and this time it was Daniel's turn. He really doesn't get sick all that often and he was so sweet. It was like having a newborn as he either slept on me or Andy on the sofas all night. I have never been so thankful for the channel Noggin as at one point he woke up around 3:30 am and not wanting to sleep. We put the channel on and he rested on Daddy until he fell asleep again. He got sick again at 5:00 am and then slept until about 9:00 am. He seems to be on the rebound and is jumping up and down, singing, and playing his guitar. So far the other two haven't come down with anything and hopefully that will continue.

Our bedroom looks great! Better than I imagined! When I got home I looked at the paint color we had chosen, "Comforting", and decided it wasn't that comforting! It had too much pink in it for my liking. So I ran to Lowe's and picked out "Kitchen Twine". I really like it. It has much more brown in it. There is more work to do. Our one closet is a built in and needs the paint to be stripped before we can repaint it. It has about 30 coats of paint on it already! But that will be a project for May. We also need new carpet, but that will have to wait until next year. We already have far too many expenses to pay for this year. God has been good in covering our expenses. A church called Andy today to let him know that they are sending a check to help with the extra expenses incurred by this dreaded bed bug situation. God is good. He knows our needs and meets them. I am so thankful I don't have to worry. I will post pictures next week to show what our bedroom looked like and what it looks like now. You will be amazed!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Andy found one this morning. The anxiety is starting to set in. It really has been a wonderful 13 days. I can only pray that the one he found this morning will be the last one. Please pray that they would die - FAST!!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Roasting hot dogs on an open fire!!!!

Yup! It's February 11th and we roasted hot dogs on a campfire! How cool are the grands?!?! PopPop suggested the idea this morning, knowing it was going to be a nice day. The kids were so excited. I went into town and picked up marshmallows to complete the night. It was great. It was such a beautiful night. We saw Venus bright in the sky as well as a million stars - so many more than we see in the city. Oh, it is going to be so hard to go home. I have so thoroughly enjoyed my time here, but I am afraid it is coming to an end. Andy told me today that it looks like the kids and I will be able to come home Friday morning. We picked out a paint color for our bedroom (it's called "Comforting", doesn't that sound great?). Andy is planning on painting Thursday night and he wants me to come and see if I like the color in the morning light. So, we head home Friday morning. Matt and Sarah are excited. Daniel and I, not so much!!! Daniel has really enjoyed daily walks with PopPop. They walk to the next farm and look at the horses, cats, goats, and peacocks. Then they walk back home and swing outside for a while. This has been so great for him and his excess energy. I really wish we could live here so he could experience these kinds of things everyday. The city gets really confining as there is really no place for him (or Matt and Sarah) to run. He will have a difficult time adjusting back to city life.

As far as the bed bugs go, Andy has been searching. He has found a few. The last one he found was last Saturday. We are taking it one day at a time. I am REALLY praying that we are at the end of this whole ordeal. I am praying that I never see another bed bug for as long as I live. I am, however, seeing some of the blessings that have come from this. We never had any plans on renovating our bedroom. Because of the bed bugs, we had to tear out the ceiling. Andy just decided it would be easier to completely gut the room. As a result he ended up taking out my small useless closet and the old chimney that was hidden behind a wall. This has opened up space so that we can fit our IKEA Expedit Shelf that we have been using as our clothes storage. It will make the room feel bigger. Another blessing, that was TOTALLY unexpected, is the prospect that my washer and dryer will be moved up from the basement to the second floor! We had a small hall closet and when it was taken out, Andy measured the space and discovered that our washer and dryer will fit there perfectly!!! It won't happen right away as plumbing and a gas line have to be installed, but the thought that is going to happen makes me down right giddy!!! No more basement! The kids are excited because now the basement can be totally theirs. They can leave Lego's out and I won't be upset from stepping on them to get to the washer and dryer. So, the good things have come from having bed bugs. I have really de-cluttered the house, the house is getting totally renovated, and I am getting something I never thought was even an option - an upstairs laundry area! God is good - all the time!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Where in the World Are We?

Yes, I have been MIA this past week and it has been dreadfully painful to be away from blogging! The kids and I are staying with my in-laws while my incredibly wonderful husband guts our bedroom and the upstairs hallway in our continued efforts to rid the house of bed bugs. I have been enjoying my time up here immensely, though missing my husband tremendously!!! I even went to bed at 10:30 pm last night!!!! For those of you who know me - that is an incredibly early hour for me! But it felt so good to turn out the light, knowing I wouldn't have to worry about any bed bugs biting!!!!

My reason for not blogging too much is that my in-laws live in no man's land! They live on a 30 acre farm and about 1/2 mile from the nearest neighbor. I LOVE it here, but one of the downsides, really the only downside, is that they still only have dial-up Internet. No high-speed is available here in the sticks. It will be at least another two years before they can even get high-speed. I feel sorry for them. They spend so much time just waiting for things to load. Reading my blog can be quite the challenge with the photos that have to be loaded at times! So there will be no photos posted until I am at home and can recap the events of the week!

We have been having a wonderful time here in the country. I always feel so relaxed here. Andy's parents are great and just go with the flow. Three kids can get a bit noisy. But they have been soaking up the time with their grandkids. It even snowed here earlier in the week and the grands took the kids out to play in it - I like to look at snow, but not play in it so much!!! We have been doing school and playing a lot of Wii. Tonight we are headed out to Dairy Queen for dinner and then coming home to watch a movie. A nice relaxing evening!!!

From what Andy has been telling me, he and the two guys working with him have been making good progress. Our bedroom is totally gutted as is the upstairs hallway. Today they were insulating and then starting to rebuild the walls with drywall. Since he has torn everything out he has only found two bed bugs. I find that discouraging as I have no idea where they coming from since the entire room is gutted. I am hoping they were just hiding in the ceiling rafters and after Andy sprayed they fell down. Please keep praying that Andy's efforts will be blessed the the bed bugs will be gone. I don't believe I can go home and deal with them again. It has been too wonderful to not have to deal with them!!! It is going to be incredibly difficult to go home knowing they could still be there!