Thursday, July 30, 2009

quick update on Makenzie

Real quick -- today Makenzie saw the periodontist for a follow-up check. He said that it looks even better than it did last week and that she WON'T have to have any more surgeries!!!!!! YAY!!!! I'm so glad I misunderstood his comments last week -- sometimes it's just GREAT to be wrong! (I thought that he was implying last week that the surgery worked ok for now, but that sometime she'd have to have another one.) I'll put a before and after shot on here after we get her teeth a little whiter -- she couldn't brush for awhile, so they're not looking too pretty right now.

been a while

I have to apologize to my mom since I haven't written anything on here in quite a while. Moms are funny, you know -- always hoping to find out what their kids and grandkids are up to :-) The reason I haven't written, though, is that nothing blog-worthy has been happening most of the time and so I forget to turn this thing on. Or maybe there are things happening, but I'm in a kind of "fog" almost all day every day, hoping I can make it through the day full of laundry, food, and children's arguments and get BACK IN BED!!!! All at one time, I want to make my kids' summer vacation a GREAT memory, full of adventures and good times BUT I'm so tired, stressed, and sick to death of their whining and fighting. The "tired" part keeps me from being creative or energetic enough to make any real plans for them.

Anyway -- a few things have happened in the past few days.
1. Joel and Luke went to a track meet with their PopPop and did VERY well. They competed in several different events, and Joel placed in a few and even won one (the high jump). He hasn't even really been trained how to high jump, but there were only a few kids at the track meet, so I guess the competition wasn't too much. It made him feel very good about himself, though, to do so well.
2. Makenzie's mouth is healing pretty well. She can now eat most things that are not in any way crunchy. She still can't bite into anything -- everything has to be cut up so that she can put the bites in the back of her mouth. We go in today to see what the doctor thinks.
3. Last night, we went to a picnic for the early intervention services organization that Seth used to go to. It was SO very exciting for me!!!! I have REALLY missed his physical therapist and the therapists involved in his playgroup therapy! I got to see all of them, chat a little bit, show them how CUTE Seth still is, and even get a few tips about getting Seth to walk without stomping or slapping his feet with each step. The kids ALL FOUR behaved beautifully -- miracle in itself right there!

It's been cloudy for a couple weeks now, and it's even been raining! Real rain sometimes, not just the normal Anchorage "dripping" that we usually get. It's nice to get rain. Some sun and less humidity would be nice, too, but we definitely can't complain about getting rain in a place where wildfires are such a concern!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

broccoli salad and jewelry

I've mentioned many times, I'm sure, that I do NOT like to cook. Actually, I don't like to do any kitchen-type activity. But today I cranked up some Third Day, making the chopping and mixing tolerable. I really wanted some broccoli salad, so I had to make it since no one has answered my plea to hire on here as our cook (apparently people don't work for hugs and kisses these days). I had never made broccoli salad before, but it turned out GREAT -- almost definitely because of the background music I was working to :-)

After lunch, I made Makenzie and me matching bracelets. We went to Walmart this morning and saw these gorgeous beads that matched her shirt, so I put together two bracelets for us to wear to Makenzie's periodontist checkup this afternoon. The doctor even mentioned that he liked her bracelet and how it matched her shirt so nicely!!

According to the doctor, Makenzie's mouth is healing perfectly. According to Makenzie, though, it's going more slowly than we'd like. This morning, she was still able to eat yogurt only -- and not even "eat" that, but lick tiny little bits off the spoon. The doctor said that Makenzie should be able to eat more than yogurt now, so she had a couple doughnuts when she got home and then mac-n-cheese for dinner. She didn't complain at all, so I'm guessing she just needed to hear the doctor tell her that she should be able to eat more to give her the courage to try it. From the way the doctor talked, I think she's going to have more done on that bottom section. He didn't say anything definite, but that's just the impression I got. I do NOT know how people can stomach jobs like his -- I got a little dizzy and queasy just looking at the almost-healed version of the surgery! I guess that's why I'm a mom and not a surgeon ;-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Glory Revealed (2)

The second song on the Glory Revealed cd is "By His Wounds" from Isaiah 53:5 (NIV). "He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed." This is the verse right before a verse that all little Baptist kids learn in Sunday School: "All we, like sheep, have gone astray . . ." This Scripture is difficult for us prideful human beings to accept sometimes. A perfect God, our sinless Lord, was tortured and killed to pay for all our sins. Doesn't seem fair, but He did it anyway so that we could be restored to Him in spite of our sins and in spite of the fact that we are like brainless sheep who have to be led by someone else because they can't take care of themselves. Quite humbling.

Monday, July 20, 2009

leave Luke in the van?

When I raised the idea of Luke and Joel staying in the van on Thursday when Makenzie goes to the periodontist for her checkup, Luke was NOT happy:
"If you leave me in the van, I'll make more trouble than you can think of!"

I guess I'd better not leave him in the van.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Glory Revealed (1)

I recently bought the cd Glory Revealed, and I LOVE it! It has a country-ish sound (I like country sometimes), is a little "praise and worship-ish" (because it's Scripture put to song), and was produced by Mac Powell (doesn't get any better than hearing his voice now and then). I decided to study the verses that these people picked out as important enough to create new songs and share with all of us. The first song on the cd is "He Will Rejoice" taken from Zephaniah 3:17. Zephaniah warned of God's coming wrathful destruction, but warned the meek, the ones who had "upheld His justice" to seek the Lord, to seek righteousness, to seek humility so that maybe they would be hidden from His anger. The end of the book tells about God establishing a "remnant" -- people who call on His name, worship Him alone, are meek and humble, trust in His name, do no unrighteousness, and speak no lies. The verse that this song is based on says, "The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Although the "remnant" in this book is made up of the nation of Israel, I take this whole idea to my own heart since I've been adopted into His family. After all the mistakes that the nation of Israel has made throughout history, God still promises to love them. After all the mistakes that I have made and will make in my lifetime, God still promises to love me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Makenzie's second surgery

Makenzie had her second periodontal surgery today. The doctor said that it went just as well as the last one, but I don't think that Makenzie would agree. This time he had to do a skin graft; he took a piece of skin from the roof of her mouth and attached it to her front bottom gum (which had receded down too close to the tooth's root). Makenzie was strong and brave about the medication, the needle for anesthesia, and the gloved hands messing around in her mouth with tools; but touching the roof of her mouth went past her "limit" and made her gag, scaring her pretty badly. The doctor made a little soft plastic thing to fit over the place on the roof of her mouth where he had taken the piece of skin. It's supposed to fit on like a retainer, but Makenzie couldn't handle having it in there at all. So that spot is pretty sore, and she can't eat anything with a spoon even. I let her ice cream melt until I could stir it enough to be able to drink, and she liked that. So I guess her nourishment for the next few days is going to be melted rainbow sherbet. We're both VERY glad that this was her final surgery!!!

parks again :-)

The weather has been so nice that we've either been outside in the sprinklers or pools or at a park or playground.

Here are my two half-naked little cuties :-)

Seth found this umbrella and thought he was big stuff!

Wednesday we went to Valley of the Moon Park with some friends. We all had fun! Seth occupied himself the entire time by climbing up and down the play structure. He wouldn't slide down any of the three slides unless someone made him, but he loved playing on the stairs.

Joel and his friend went bike riding all around the bike trails. Joel found lots of flowers and made this beautiful bouquet for me :-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

eight months on one book

This is embarrassing to admit, but I just finished the book of Genesis last night. It took me EIGHT MONTHS to read ONE book of the Bible. Reading through the Bible one chapter at a time is my evening Bible project. I have a great Bible commentary that explains the Bible one section at a time. What I should be doing is reading all of the chapters that the book suggests and then reading the commentary on that section. I'm not going to "beat myself up" about this, but I just haven't been able to make myself sit down to that much Bible reading at one time. I can read a novel for about a half-hour at one time before I have to get up and do something else, but reading the Bible for more than a few minutes fries my brain a little. I've kept up with my morning Bible reading, though -- I'm taking notes and everything! I'm hoping that when the kids are older and I have more time to myself, I'll want to spend more concentrated time in Bible reading. Right now, though, I have to give up sleep to do anything at all for myself. The kids are in bed from about 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. during the summer. That means I have those twelve hours to do whatever I want to do -- sleep, walk, read the Bible, read a book, do beadwork, etc. Someday, this whole concept will change and I'll have a regular adult schedule instead of a mommy schedule. I'm enjoying time with my kids while I can and squeezing in some of my own interests when I can.

Yesterday, we picked up one of Luke's friends and went to the school playground for about an hour. Some of the daycare kids were out there, so Joel and Makenzie found friends to play with, too. Today we're going to a park with my friend and her son, Joel's friend. Tomorrow, we're picking up one of Joel's friends and one of Makenzie's friends and meeting one of my friends and her son, Luke's friend, at another park. Then the "friend time" will have to go on hold for Makenzie's surgery and recovery. I'm afraid we might get "rained out" today and tomorrow (or should I say "drizzled out" -- it just doesn't rain here!), but we're going to give it a try anyway -- maybe take umbrellas :-)

Monday, July 13, 2009

baby moose twins

Yesterday I told the kids that I'd take them one at a time (special attention time) to Starbucks for smoothies or whatever they wanted (I had about five gift cards in my purse -- one of them only had $0.08, but I found one that had $15). So Joel and I went first, timing how long it takes to walk from our house to Carrs going the "Northern Lights route." We got our drinks (YUMM!!!) and then timed how long it takes to walk from Carrs to our house going the "Muldoon route." The Northern Lights route was a nicer walk, by the way, just in case anyone cares about that. We had a very nice walk, some nice conversation -- it's always a hoot to talk with an imaginative ten-year-old!

Then it was Luke's turn. I knew we were "in for it" when a block down the road he asked me if Joel's feet had hurt on this "long" walk. Oh dear!!! I asked him if his feet hurt, and he said just a little -- mostly shin splints caused by the difficulty he has raising his feet up to start each step on his heel. So we slowed down the pace quite a bit to make him more comfortable. The real excitement came, though, when we walked down the street that connects to Northern Lights and saw two moose babies crossing the street, heading for a nearby yard full of flowers. Luke started to flip out, but I reminded him that they were just babies. We didn't need to be afraid of babies, we only needed to be afraid if we saw their momma -- OH NO!! There's the mother across the road! Someone had told me a long time ago to NEVER get between a mother and baby moose! So we waited a couple minutes, but then the mother started to cross the street, too. We turned around and started to walk back home, but then saw that the mother moose was going to her babies. The baby moose were SO funny when their mother got over to them. They started playing -- jumping around just like little kids. So Luke and I went ahead and walked to Starbucks and got him a treat -- which he took about three drinks of and decided he was full and didn't really like anyway. What a waste! Next time, he'll have to get something that I like -- he ordered a strawberry-banana smoothie. I HATE banana drinks -- they taste like vomit to me (I'm sure everyone is thrilled to know that little tidbit).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Luke's hilarious answer

After dinner tonight, we decided to play "Family Feud." One of the questions was, "What do you need to have a sleigh ride?" Luke is QUITE obviously an Alaska boy because his answer was "DOGS!"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

another book in less than a week

Apparently, I'm spending A LOT of time reading lately. Yesterday, I finished reading Queen of Broken Hearts by Cassandra King. This story was about a woman, Clare, whose husband died several years earlier in a gun accident. She is a divorce counselor, helping mostly women get over the trauma of getting a divorce and sometimes abuse. Again, I had to wade through the bad language to find a great story, and I also had to be careful to discern between worldly philosophies that I wanted to ignore and some good life lessons. One of the lessons was about maintaining a good relationship with someone who is close to someone else that I might not like. Clare's best friend was married to a real jerk, but Clare had to keep her feelings about him to herself in order to stay on good terms with her best friend. This is quite a difficult task, but necessary, I'm sure. Another good lesson was about letting go of things that are never going to change. Clare's husband was dead, and she had to accept that and move on because it wasn't going to change. She had to let go of the guilt of not helping him one more time with his alcohol problem because the guilt was ruining her life, she couldn't go back and change it anyway, and he was gone. This also is quite a difficult task.

Yesterday was "Makenzie's Day," so she got to pick out my next book to read and the bookmark I use has her picture on it. Makenzie was born on an even-numbered day, so on even-numbered days she gets to make any decision that I might have for one of the children to make (pick my next book, what movie to watch during dinner, what kind of ice cream to buy, etc.). Joel was born on an odd-numbered day, so "Joel's Day" is the odd-numbered days. Luke was born on the 30th, so "Luke's Day" is the multiples of three. The "Whichever Child's Day" thing was easy for two kids, but I had to get creative with the third child. It's almost a relief that Seth will probably never understand the concept of "whose day it is" because I don't know where I'd put him into that schedule. Last night, the kids came up with the solution to when to use the bookmark with Seth's picture on it since there is no "Seth's Day": If I finish a book on Makenzie's Day, for example, two times in a row, she gets to pick the book, but I'll use Seth's bookmark the second time. I know -- WAY too much detail-thinking there, but everyone wants to try to make life fair.

Makenzie had her follow-up appointment with the periodontist yesterday. He said that her mouth is healing VERY nicely and that we COULD do the second surgery TOMORROW if there were an opening in his schedule. Makenzie and I were both a little thankful that there WASN'T an opening that soon, but they did move up the second surgery (originally scheduled for the middle of August) to next Thursday (July 16). Again, this is perfect timing since Jason had already planned on taking that Thursday and Friday off work. The only negative to this new surgery date is that Friday night, Jason's leaving the state for eleven days. I'm hoping the boys cooperate with the "stay away from whichever room Makenzie's in" rule. But at least I'll be able to focus on just Makenzie for the first two days of her recovery!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We've been playing in the SUN!!!

We have been REALLY enjoying the weather lately!! I put up three baby pools in the back yard, filling them with cool -- NOT cold -- water from the kitchen faucet (that little faucet-to-hose adapter thingy is the BEST $5 I've ever spent, I think). I also put a sprinkler in the front yard and another one in the back yard. Since water conservation isn't something I know too much about, we play in the water for hours every day. It's actually hot in the sun, and we're all toasting to a nice golden brown.

The sprinklers are running with completely cold water -- BRRRRR! It would have to be hotter than it'll ever get here for me to enjoy that, but the kids love it. I recently found out that if you click on each picture on here, they blow up to fill the entire screen. Sprinkler-running kids have GREAT facial expressions!!

Seth LOVES to run around free in the back yard. He has taught himself to climb the ladders on the swingset, and he doesn't even get stuck because he taught himself to only go up as many rungs as he can also climb back down. Smart little guy!

Joel is one of Seth's favorites during pool time! This is their jumping in with a splash game, "1 - 2 - 3 - COWABUNGA!" Pretty funny to watch :-)

Seth hates the sprinkler. It's just too cold for him.

And here's an example of my professional photography skills -- I caught a mid-air shot:

Since it's been so warm and we don't have air conditioning, I've been cooking on the grill mostly. I think maybe it's time to clean the thing, though. Tonight, I put burgers on the grill and went back in the house to do something. When I went back out to check on the burgers, I could see a LOT of flames through the side of the grill. I don't think I've ever mentioned on here before my intense fear of fire. I LOVE fire, but I'm deathly afraid of it (surely a lot of people feel the same, right?). Despite my fear, I stayed calm, opened the grill cover carefully, turned off all four burners, shut off the propane, and waited for the flames to die down a little before I flipped the burgers. More grease falling on the flames created bigger flames, of course, but I figured the fire was contained in the grill and decided to use the flames to finish cooking the meat. I guess I should've been cleaning the grease-catching pans a little more often (or at least once), huh?

This next picture has nothing to do with what I've been writing about, but Luke is just so stinking cute that I had to share it :-)

Friday, July 3, 2009

book and track meet

Last night, I stayed up until midnight finishing the book Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. The story is about dealing with amnesia, and I REALLY enjoyed it!!! A twenty-something-year-old girl wakes up in the hospital and finds out she can't remember anything from the past three years. The whole topic of amnesia is fascinating to me -- how can the brain just hide or even erase memory?! And how would I handle life not being able to remember things? It's just a very interesting topic, so I loved the book (except for the outrageous amount of bad language -- I don't think I've ever read or heard the f-bomb THAT many times before! And I HATE it when people use my Saviour's name as a slang/curse word!!).

Yesterday evening, Jason took Joel and Luke to another track meet. Joel competed in FIVE events, four races (one of them was pretty long for a kid who prefers sitting in the recliner playing the wii) and the high jump -- I was SO very impressed by that!! Luke did two races and the high jump, also impressive for a little kid born with a leg/foot deformity!! Makenzie couldn't go, of course, but she's having a VERY fast recovery. She's enjoying the "no brothers" rule, though, so I'm wondering when she'll start faking some pain to prolong the "recovery" time.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

update on Makenzie

I'm REALLY pleasantly surprised by Makenzie's fast recovery. She only asked for pain medicine three times all day, and was perfectly content with one teaspoon or less each time. She's been noticing that she's a little dizzy, so she'll be taking plain children's Tylenol next time she needs anything for pain. The prescription pain killer has codeine in it, so that's making her feel strange. She's been eating pudding, jello, chicken noodle soup (mostly the broth), yogurt, and ice cream all day.

We got to do a FUN thing today, too (well, she got to watch movies all day, which was fun for her -- but I mean fun for both of us). We played Monopoly! I haven't played that game since I was a little kid, and I'm not sure that I ever played it all the way till someone went bankrupt. I didn't realize it, but we didn't even have that game. We have Star Wars Monopoly, but I DETEST Star Wars. So I asked Jason to add "Monopoly" to the Walmart list today. I'm sorry to say that I kicked the poor little princess's tail, but we're hoping that she wins next time we play. I just can't LET someone win at anything, but I always HOPE that my opponent wins -- not by a landslide or anything. It's no fun to not even have a chance, but it's also not too fun to see someone get upset about losing.

And what did all the boys do all day? Here's the list: Walmart, Carrs, McDonald's, grandmother's house to play on the slip-n-slide, home for dinner, and finally a track meet. After the track meet, it'll be time for bed. Jason did a pretty great job of keeping the boys occupied, entertained, and away from Makenzie all day. And that's why I asked the periodontist to move up the surgery date. This experience could've been a nightmare with three boys in the house the whole time!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

first surgery is over

Makenzie had her first surgery this afternoon, and the doctor said that it went even better than he'd expected. She's in some pain right now because the numbing medicine has worn off, and she can't take any pain meds for another hour. She has to stay quiet for the rest of today and tomorrow, but she might be able to go to the cabin with the rest of the family (except Seth and me -- we don't go to the cabin) on Friday and Saturday. It depends on how she's feeling. She has to eat soft things like pudding, scrambled eggs, yogurt, ice cream, etc. for at least a week. We went to Walmart this morning and bought some new movies to entertain her while she has to lie still in bed for a day or two. She's being very brave and not whining or complaining at all!

The Hofacker Family 2008