If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ~Matthew 17:20

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day Quatro of Isolation

Today's post will be very short because there is not much to tell:

1.  Spencer is feeling VERY good!

2.  Spencer is absolutely stir crazy because he feels so good.

3.  Spencer is still not able to leave his hospital room and is still in isolation.

4.  He will have a chest x-ray tomorrow and after that, Dr. Com will make a determination on the plan of action.

5.  Cole is doing great in LA and in between classes today, he Skyped with Spencer which made both of them happy.

6.  We are so blessed.

"Nothing in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
~Romans 8:39

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day #3 of Isolation

Have you ever seen a caged Tiger pace every corner of his cage, trying to figure out a way to escape?  Well then, you have seen exactly how Spencer was in his hospital room today.  He walked and paced all day and although I am so glad he felt well enough to be up and moving, I sure did feel sorry for him.

Today was his best day since he got sick.  He had color in his cheeks, no fever and a spring in his step.  I love that he has so many friends here at ACH that come by to visit and cheer him up.  Esther came by and played Connect Four and Sorry!, Noah came by to talk football and Alex came tonight and got creamed lost at too many games of Connect Four to count!

We are hopeful that after 24 to 36 hours of being fever free, Dr. Com will consider lifting the isolation orders but we're not holding our breath.  As long as he is able to celebrate the Super Bowl on Sunday with friends, I think he will be happy with anything.

We Skyped three times with Cole today and it was so nice to see his sweet face.  Depending on how long Spencer is in the hospital, we will have to make some decisions on how long Cole will be in LA without us.  I think he is enjoying his independence because he doesn't seem to worried about when I will return. ;)

Looks good, doesn't he?!

Thank you so much for all your prayers!

"Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
~Hebrews 11:6

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day #2 of Isolation

I could tell by the look on Spencer's face first thing this morning that he thinks he is well enough to have visitors and he is not happy with being in isolation.   Even though he cannot have visitors, even hospital personnel who enter the room have to gown up and don a mask and gloves, both for his safety and theirs.  The docs don't want him exposed to any more germs and they certainly don't want him sharing his with anyone.

The cultures today showed he is cooking some nasty stuff in those lungs of his, so our stay is probably going to be longer than we expected.  We were originally thinking at least a week but now I'm scared that we are in for the long haul.  I'm just hoping that he will be off isolation by Sunday because how am I going to sneak his friends in to celebrate the Super Bowl?!

Our day has been pretty low key...television, walking around the room to try and keep his strength up and, of course, a competitive game of Connect Four.  How can he be so sick and still beat me at that game!  Ugh!

I am so missing having Cole's smiling face here to make Spencer laugh and keep him entertained.  No one can do that except for his bro bro.  Cole called me at 9:55 this morning (7:55 California time) and he had already showered, knew what he needed to do for school and was getting ready to go hiking.  We are so proud of him for being so responsible!

 I know I have said this before but once again, thank you so much for all your prayers.  We know we could not do this without God and you all lifting us up every day.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?"
~Romans 8:31

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hello Arkansas Children's Hospital

Holy smokes, we're tired and if I am tired, then I know Spencer is exhausted.  We finally made it to a room last night at 8:15 p.m. after five hours in the ER and we had a very rough night but we totally expected that to be the case.  After 14 years of doing this, there are some things that never change.

Before I jump into the nitty gritty, I'll tell you about some "funny" things that happened on our trip from Los Angeles to Little Rock.  If you know me at all then you know there is always something going on!

Our flight left LA at 7:55 a.m.  Our roommate, Vickey, was gracious enough to get up at the ghastly hour of 5:30 a.m. to take us to the airport.  I just love her and her crazy Texan way of driving.  She really should give out crash helmets to all of her passengers. ;)

We arrived at LAX in plenty of time and even made it through security without a "personal pat down" by a friendly female TSA Agent (I mean, who doesn't enjoy a good early morning cavity check, right?!).   Our gate was adjacent to the bird sanctuary (oh, joy) and these crazy birds were flying everywhere!  Seriously?  As a practicing bird-a-phobia, I take umbrage with people who feel that these cutesy animals are harmless.  Honestly, I like birds at a distance and even have feeders for them in the winter time but do I want them flying around my head as they bare their fangs?  No thank you.  By the time we boarded the plane, my blood pressure was sky high.

Spencer was in a wheelchair so we were one of the first ones to board.  We got settled in to the second row and all was good until some wiseguy three rows behind us made a threat to the guy next to us wearing a White Sox hat (really?).  It went downhill from there and the plane, which was waiting in line to turn on the runway, ended up returning to the terminal and Mr. Wiseguy and his brother were removed from the plane by the police.  I am so thankful the flight attendants have our safety in mind.

By that time, the plane was running 40 minutes behind schedule and we only had a 45 minute layover in Las Vegas but that was no problem because Marilyn Ewing a/k/a Usain Bolt was pushing Spencer in the wheelchair like it was on fire and we made it to the connecting flight right before they closed the door.  Whew!  Unfortunately, our suitcases were not so lucky but Southwest did deliver them to the hospital this morning!  I just love them!

Mom met us in baggage claim and I was sooooo incredibly happy to see her.  How come seeing your mom automatically makes everything better.

We have seen all the Pulmonary doctors this morning and, unfortunately, it was not great news.  Spencer has a plural effusion (fluid in his left lung), pneumonia and he tested positive for the flu!  If you are walking around hacking and coughing and you think you are not contagious to other people, think again.  Go get checked people, good grief.

Looks like our stay will be a lot longer than we were hoping but at least we know we are in the BEST place possible.  And, Cole is in good hands in California so that makes this mom feel much better.  We will take it one day at a time and see what happens.

Thank you so much for all your prayers!  We can feel them working.  I will keep you all updated.

Hanging out watching the Australian Open.

"Always be joyful.  Keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, January 25, 2013

Definitely NOT Our Plan

Do you ever have a plan and that plan is coordinated down to the smallest detail and you just know that it is going to rock?  And in your mind you can see that plan as it plays out and it is so awesome that you just can't stand it?  And, then, in an instant, that plan is shoved by the wayside because all heck breaks loose?  Yep, I just described my week to a tee.

Spencer started feeling bad Monday night and even though we made a little visit to the Rapid Care clinic on Wednesday, by this morning we knew that we had to get him back to Little Rock to Children's Hospital.  Gone were the plans for a surprise birthday gift for Spencer and the hotel room for one night for Brad and me.  All that matters now is getting him home and getting him checked out by the doctors and staff that know him inside and out.

We are so blessed that we know that Cole will be well taken care of by Coppelia, Vickey, Kari and Miss Katrina.  Thank you ladies so much!

We're praying that we have a smooth flight and we know we will be in good hands as soon as we step foot into ACH.

"And this is the confidence that we have before him; that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
~1 John 5:14 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Spencer!

In the Ewing family, we believe in celebrating birthday's for weeks at a time instead of just the one appointed day.  We celebrate as we lead up to the day, on the actual day and then any day afterwards that we feel the urge.  

For Spencer's birthday, you know the celebration included all things sportsy!  On Friday, Spencer, Cole, Slade, Karlee Rae and I headed to Castle Park to play a little competitive putt putt.
These guys played a tough game but guess who won....ME!  Woohoo, yes I am still celebrating because I never win at anything.

Love these two boys so much.

On Saturday, we all went bowling.  It was parents (Coppelia, Vickey and me) vs. the kids (Spencer, Slade, Cole, Karlee Rae and Freya).  I'm SURE the parents won but the kids seem to think otherwise.  However, we did have a blast!

Brad is flying to LA on Thursday and we have another surprise in store for Spencer so stay tuned for pictures!

"Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm."
~Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Ewing Travel Curse

I am a slow learner.  Could it be that I was dropped on my head as a child?  Or maybe that my brother got all the brains and I got the "fun" gene?  Or, maybe, I am an optimist and think that even though previous trips have had "complications", that couldn't possibly happen on this time.

Whatever the reason, I should not ever be surprised when our trips go awry.  As I look back on all the trips that Brad and I have taken over the years, I can count on one hand the trips that have happened with NO problems.  How about the first camping trip that Brad and I ever took and overnight there came a toad strangler (for you non-Southern folks that means there was a torrential downpour akin to a monsoon) and our tent was set up right in the middle of the runoff from the mountain.  Or the time we were heading to Florida, with Brad's mom in tow, and stopped in Hattiesburg, MS because she was complaining of her knee hurting.  After a quick trip to the Emergen-Care clinic, we realized her knee cap was broken (!) and we had to return home.  Just a few of many cancelled or rescheduled trips.

This scheduled trip to California began like all other trips with the planning, the packing, etc.  Somehow, Cole and I talked Spencer into going with us and then flying back with Brad at the end of the month.  So, on Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. we loaded up and headed out.  We stopped at Kroger to top off the gas tank and get Red Box movies and then hit the road.  As I was exiting onto I-430 (approximately 8 miles from our house), I heard a beeping sound coming from the back seat.  Spencer's feed pump.  Not just one beep but a constant beep beep beeping.  Uh oh.  As I listen to him working with it, I know I need to pull over.  I exit the freeway and pull into McDonald's.  After working with the pump for 10 minutes, I decide to head home to see if I can fix it there.

However, once at home, we realize that this problem is not fixable.  It's not the bag or the food....it's the pump itself, which means it's a Defcon 5 emergency.  No pump equals no food.

Spencer called the equipment company and found out that someone will be out to the house to bring a replacement one or try to fix this one.  Always being the wise and realistic young man that he is, Spencer is sure that the pump will not be an easy fix and that we should go to California without him.  Insert devastation here.  I was crushed that we had to leave him.  The thought of him being with us for two weeks had made me giddy and now all I could think about was 24 hours in the car without him.

After many tears, Cole and I left.  Not a word was spoken by either one of us for the next hour.  Cole was as sad as me.  To add to my sour disposition, it was foggy, cold and raining.  It seemed as if the weather was mimicking the feeling in my heart.

As we neared Russellville (about 100 miles from our house), my phone rang and it was Spencer.  The equipment company found a replacement pump and Tammy had delivered it to the house personally so he was all set!  I could hear the excitement in his voice and I KNEW that I had to turn around.  

An hour and a half later, I pulled into our driveway with a smile on my face to match the one on Spencer's face.  

Our departure on Sunday was not marred by any unforeseen event.  I must admit that I held my breath when Spencer started his pump but my ears were met with silence.  Whew!

Twenty-four hours and 1,681 miles later, I don't think I have ever been so happy to see that LA skyline.  Two miles from the apartment as I was honking and yelling at the car next to me, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the smiles on my boys' faces and was reminded how blessed I am, Ewing travel curse and all.

Snow everywhere we looked on our drive.

"But each has his own gift from God, one this way, another that."
~1 Corinthians 7:7

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Birthday Celebrations & a Plan to Return to Cali

Tuesday was my Grandmother's (Gigi) 89th birthday and we went out to lunch to celebrate.  
Me, Mom, my cousin James, his daughter Alexia, Gigi and Aunt Martha.

I am constantly amazed at how healthy and vibrant Gigi is and how she celebrates life every day.  She is always busy helping others.  My boys have asked me if I have ever seen Gigi mad and I can honestly say that in all of my 45 years, I have never seen or heard her say a cross word to anyone.  We are thankful to God every day for blessing us with an amazing Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma.  Happy Birthday, Gigi.

Wednesday was my brother, Dwayne's, birthday.  He has always been  "my little baby" since I was four years old when he was born.  Guess I still think of him that way even though he is grown, has two beautiful children and runs a successful business.
Weren't we adorable?

Will, Dwayne and Allie.

I have loved, loved, loved being home with my family but it's time to start planning our return trip to California.  The plan as of today is to leave early Saturday morning and arrive back in Los Angeles Sunday night.  Cole has finals this Friday and next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so I want to make this trip as quick as possible.  At least he will have plenty of time in the car to study World History, Computer Literacy, Algebra and English Lit.  Yuck!

Thank you for my e-mails and phone calls regarding my previous Top Ten list...so glad y'all enjoyed them.  As a follow up, I have a ton of scrapes and bruises and poison ivy on my arms, legs and neck!  It's always something.

Have you had a good week so far?

"Carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
~Galatians 6:2

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Blizzard and Top Ten List

I would like to go ahead and apologize now to my fellow Arkansans because Cole and I were the ones who wished for a white Christmas and boy oh boy, did our wish come true!

It started sleeting Christmas afternoon and snowing Christmas evening and by the time we awoke on the 26th, we had no electricity and a total of 11 inches of snow!  It was insanely beautiful and treacherous all rolled into one.
This is a view of our driveway and road.  We had over 50 downed trees between our house and the pond.

We were pleasantly surprised this portion of the road was clear.

Spencer double-dog-dared Cole to run around in his boxers and, of course, Cole obliged.

This is a picture our neighbor took of Kanis Road, two days after the storm.  Needless to say, it was a mess.

Today, we spent the entire day clearing debris from our road.  In honor of my manual labor, below is my Top Ten List of why I would never have made it as a Pre-Twenty-First Century Girl:

#1.  I have always known the luxury of electricity, running water and a potty that flushes when you push down the handle so when I have to go without these amenities, I get cranky.

#2.  I realized today that I do not own a pair of jeans that are not bedazzled in some way or another, which is usually fine but not when the hubby says to don my dungarees and meet him out front with the chainsaw.

#3.  Blisters on my feet from my cutsie rain boots do not go well with my Terrific Teal nail polish.

#4.  I have discovered that I may tend to voice my opinion of all parts of my body that are aching while I am hauling off debris.  I think that back in the "olden" days, if you complained, they took you behind the chicken house and shot you.

#5.  Fallen trees trump nice fingers nails every time.

#6.  I am pretty sure Laura Ingalls didn't have Advil.  I am glad I do.

#7.  I bet even pioneer people knew NOT to let your Lab out of the house while you are trying to clear limbs because every limb you throw over the edge of the mountain is then returned with great enthusiasm and the insistence from said dog to throw it again.  Can you say "losing battle"?

#8.  I dreamed of Starbucks, Sonic and a margarita bar to encourage my body to keep clearing the downed trees.  Do you think the colonial people dreamed of such decadence?  I think not.

#9.  I am so thankful that the clearing was done with a chainsaw instead of an ax.

#10.  Ending the day with a scalding hot shower, pajamas and a glass of wine is way better than heating water on the stove, pouring it into a galvanized tub and being the last one to bathe after everyone else has used the same water.

Did you have any adventures during the holidays?

"For the one who enters God's rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works.
~Hebrews 4:10