Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here at Last

Aaaaaaaaaaand we're back. Whew.

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!


b.niel said...

wow, what a crazy time! I hope everything settles down soon and the girls adapt to all those German Germs! Cute pic of Kate and Ellie in the hospital crib, Ellie has so many teeth! Thanks for the post, love the new background and family picture!

Anonymous said...

The BLOG is back!! Love the pictures and so glad to hear K and E are doing better. Life is going to calm down and you can start to enjoy your new home (I am sure of it)! I know Grams was so happy to be able to be there and help. That is such a cute pic of her and the girls with the sheep.
Please take care - we love you all,
Al and JoAnn

Shari Baker said...

That picture of Ellie in the hospital crib makes me feel so sad, I know how worried you must have felt, and how exhausted all the sickness has made you and your family. Get some rest and lay low for a while! :)

Nana said...

Hurray, it's so wonderful to see your faces again and to know that Kate and Ellie are getting better and will be all better soon. My how we've missed you and keeping up with life. Although your life has been centered around health. What a beautiful part of the world you got to visit! Grandma Minnery brought us a cuckoo clock from Triberg. The countryside and farms remind me of Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am now now back home again after my busy, joyous and blessed adventure in Germany. Seeing your home and the beautiful little village where you live was a great blessing to me. So glad that the girls are finally both on the mend! Whew! The unpacking was a whirlwind, but we made it. All who visit you will be in for a MARVELOUS treat. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your settling in. (I did miss my partner, though, your Mom, Jen.) God was so close to us all during these days. Love to all, Mom/Gram