If you had told me our family would have such a hard time with health when we arrived here in Germany, I would have seriously doubted you. I mean, Kate had a few croup episodes and one ER visit after the unfortunate accident in the fountain, but they don't get SICK. This month, however, they were. I feel like we're still just getting on our feet because we don't know what "normal" life will be here yet. Hopefully, it won't be like this past month!
Here's our sweet Ellie, the day she was admitted for her pneumonia.
Afternoons at the hospital became routine for Kate, and when Ellie was feeling better, they liked to watch movies in her crib together.
The day she was released was the day Gram came to help us out. (see previous post) What a blessing she is to us!! A million thanks to Pops (and Great Gramie and Great Papa) for loaning her to us. Ellie was released on a Sunday. Our household goods were delivered the following Wednesday, and a whirlwind of unpacking and setting up began. We worked hard the rest of that week (and were completely blessed by two meals brough to us from our sponsors and Jon's boss. It was awesome!). So that weekend we decided we'd have some fun. We headed out onto the autobahn (yes, there really is no speed limit in parts) and drove to the Black Forest. It's only 1 1/2 hrs away, so the trip was nice. We went to Triberg (pronounced Tree-berg), the town famous for making cuckoo clocks. What a fun day!
On the main street, at the cuckoo stores. The entrance to the waterfall hike is just at the end of the street, on the right.
Here we are at the waterfall. It was amazing because it had just rained. I was a bit nervous about the lack of safety rails/guards on the sloping trail that drops off near the plunging waterfall, but the kids didn't seem to mind. :)
A view of the town as we hiked down from the waterfall.
Enjoying lunch. I ordered a salad and got potato salad underneath my green salad. Interesting. Yummy and interesting. Gram got a very German lunch--two sausages and a load of potatoes. Way to go local, Gram!
One neat thing about the towns in Germany is they are connected by large, open fields. It's no the sprawl you see in the states from one populated area to another. I don't know how they keep the land open for fields, but it looks wonderful. And thus, there are lots of walking paths around these fields. We went to check ours out after Jon told us there were sheep nearby. And he is right--only about five minutes' walk away are sheep.
Here are the girls enjoying their snack and watching the sheep. We heard some indignant bleating once the sheep realized the girls weren't sharing.
Indicative of car size around here, Ellie is standing in front of the "baby car" as we call it to show actual size. Driving our minivan around here is like driving a tank. But we manage. I don't know how the Germans function with no trunk space.
As invaluable as Gram is, she was to head home on Saturday. Of course, true to form, someone got sick. On Friday morning, Kate came down with a high fever and congestion. Jon was scheduled to go out of town for work on Sunday. We didn't know if Kate's fever was a short-lived thing or what, so Gram (and Pops) graciously changed Gram's ticket so she stayed with us until Wednesday morning. What a blessing that was, too, as Kate's fever didn't break until Sunday morning. We were all prepared to take her to the ER Sunday morning (as the post clinic is closed on the weekends and we're very familiar with the hospital!) and Jon was prepared to cancel his trip. (He had cancelled his first trip when Ellie went into the hospital.) Praise God, her fever broke. With Kate obviously better and Gram here with me, Jon went on his trip. On Sunday, Kate had a terrible night. (Not that she had slept well during her fever--but this was different.) She was screaming about her ears and couldn't sleep. As soon as the clinic opened on Monday morning, I called and praise the Lord, they had an open appt. We saw the dr and started her on four medications for her congestion, slight fever, cough, and double ear infection.
In the midst of this, our internet was to be activated (finally) on the 19th. I can't tell you the depth of our disappointment when the tech arrived and told us sorry, no internet, there's a problem with your line. I'll have to tell your provider and they'll have to set up another appt for a different tech to come check it out. (Talk about a low point--after all the sickness and loss of sleep and not being able to talk to our family and friends for so long--we really had our hopes pinned on it working that day.) But, Jon worked his magic from his TDY and I spent about 40 min on the phone with an English-speaking tech (it's amazing how we take for granted the ability to be understood in the language that we speak). And the phone and internet finally worked late Monday afternoon. Only two days later when we had already waited 20 days for activation! We were afraid to learn when the "next available appt" would be and lo and behold, activaction so soon. Yet another reason to be thankful!
And now, Gram left this morning. Kate's ears are much better, she's sleeping in her own room again (she had taken up residence in my bed, as Jon's place was empty). Currently, we are laying low until Daddy comes home on Friday. It's been crazy, but the Lord has definitely provided for us and on those mornings when one (or the other) of the children hadn't slept well and I felt exhausted before the day even began, He provided Gram to lighten the load. Thank you so much, Gram! Your generous nature and servant's heart are always an incredible testimony to me. We'll miss you--but are glad you'll be able to get home to that lonely Pops. :)
The adventure continues--and we've only been here two months!