Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tea Party

Today the girl cousins, Rebekah, Abigail, Liliana, Claudia and Natalia had a tea party at Lili, Claudia and Tali's grandma's house (Grammy). This was an especially important party since these 3 girls leave on Thursday to go back to Peru. The 5 of them are quite close and won't be together again until August when we get back to Peru. Looks like they had fun.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cousin watching time

Watching "Looney Tunes" together.

Natalia and Uncle David watch Looney Tunes

The Girl Cousins

The six of us are spending the evening with the cousins Lili, Claudia, Tali and Caleb while their mom and dad, Steve and Molly went to a Purdue Basketball game and out to supper. It has been a nice afternoon and evening with the cousins. It has been very good for our girls to be with the girl cousins since they leave on Thursday to go back to Peru. They are going to miss each other very much.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A New Look

Abigail took the big plunge today, she got a haircut. She had the goal of growing her hair to waist length. She reached that goal and decided to get it cut. It was difficult for her to brush, put up and maintain. She looks so good in her new cut. She brought the ponytail home. Rebekah also got her hair trimmed. They both look very nice, and a lot more alike.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pictures in front of the tree

As you can see there are no pictures of the boys, they had already changed by the time I thought of taking pictures. They weren't too excited about pictures anyway :) Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Living Nativity

Benjamin plays the role of Jesus at the resurrection of Lazarus

Abigail and Rebekah, Kiersten Boyer and Michelle Toth wait their turn to go outside.

David plays the role of a soldier.

Abigail, Jacob, Rebekah and Alison Grass are shepherds.
This weekend our family it taking part in our church's yearly living nativity. It is a great time to serve our Saviour and be with friends. It wasn't too cold last night but it will be tonight. Benjamin was supposed to be a disciple in the boat on the water, then they moved him to play the role of one of Noah's sons, then they changed him to be Jesus at the resurrection of Lazarus. Good thing he is flexible. We are thankful that Abigail and Jacob are healthy enough to participate. For now we are all Stilwell!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just keep walking...

Decorating the tree!

Our pediatrician things that Abigail and Jacob may have walking pneumonia. Yuk! They will start their antibiotics soon. I can't get Abigail fever free. It hovers between 101-102. Neither child will get to go to school this week. Abigail will miss taking all her finals at school. It seems that her teachers will let her take them at home, what a blessing! There are times when she feels up to studying and testing. Jacob is bummed he will miss his Prairie Christmas party tomorrow. They have been studying Indiana history this semester and that is how they will wrap it all up. I was supposed to go help but that won't happen either.
We have enjoyed playing some games together and just snuggling (we have done a lot of that).
They (and me) aren't getting a lot of sleep with all the coughing.
We should be on the road to recovery soon! We would like to be "Stilwell" before Christmas. :) We would like for the walking pneumonia to just walk right on out of here!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Household of sickies

Well...here we go. Jacob has his croup variant asthma and is on inhalers and steroids. He should go back to school tomorrow. Abigail has a fever between 101-102, I am having trouble getting it and keeping it down. Ibuprofen isn't working, we'll see what Tylenol does. She is droopy and has an itchy/coughy throat. Her lungs are clear and so are her ears. It is a wait and see if anything else develops game. She and Jacob did see the pediatrician today. She is concerned about her finals, but she isn't well enough to study or take them at this point. We'll work out all those details later. My dad is still having headaches but each day he seems a little better. My foot is still aching me, it is a long process getting this tendon healed. I see the doctor tomorrow but I don't feel ready to get rid of this big boot I am wearing. Oh brother. Our bathroom looks like a pharmacy! Unfortunately we didn't get to celebrate my nephews 1st birthday today because of the sickies at our house and theirs. Thankfully we aren't traveling these days!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

He's Home

Dad arrived home and looks great! His gait was steady and he had a big smile. First thing he did was to rip off all those heart monitor patches. It is good to have him home. His head still hurts pretty bad but he is happy to be home.

Update on dad

This morning both doctors have seen dad. No surgery is required for the broken shoulder blade. He just needs to wear a sling when he is up and about. When he is sitting he is to take the sling off to exercise the arm a bit. He isn't vomiting anymore and is now on oral pain medication. He is still in a lot of pain. The top of his head is very tender, that is where he hit the ground first. His elbow is also quite painful so they are going to xray that today also. His jaw is sore but not broken. I am sure he will be black and blue today. He should come home today where he will rest better. He still doesn't want to eat but needs to in order to begin the healing process. I don't know how mom slept last night but I know I had a difficult time getting to sleep, I just kept seeing my dad lying unresponsive on the garage floor. At the time the nurse in me just took over and handled it but it was more difficult when I got to bed last night. God answered prayers in taking those thoughts away and allowing me to go to sleep. Thanks for praying. He doesn't remember anything, that is also a wonderful blessing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pray for my dad

That is my dad, Kenny, in the red shirt

This morning Dad and David put up the big Christmas tree and the lights and got various boxes out of the attic of the garage. Mom wanted one more box brought down, a light box filled with bows for wrapping gifts. Dad, not thinking mom could reach the box, stretched down to give it to her and slipped right out of the attic and hit the cement floor in the garage. Mom ran in to call me out to help. Dad was unconscious for about 30 seconds, when he came to he was groggy but was eventually able to answer my questions and grip my fingers. He could also move his legs without difficulty. In the meantime I had mom call 911 and within 5 minutes the volunteer team from the Battle Ground area was here evaluating dad. Dad insisted on sitting up and then insisted on walking to the living room before the medics arrived. His walk was very unsteady therefore David aided him to a seat. He complained of his shoulder hurting. When the medics arrived Dad began trying to vomit. They checked his blood pressure and checked him over. The put a cervical collar on him and strapped him to the back board and off he went in the ambulance to the emergency room. Mom rode with him and I followed in mom's car. David stayed home to take care of things left there. At the emergency room he had an IV put in and had a cat scan. The cat scan showed a broken scapula (shoulder blade), a skull fracture and damage to the shoulder. At first we were told broken collar bone but that isn't correct. His jaw is also very sore so they are keeping an eye on that. They didn't want to do any more xrays since he had already received enough radiation for one day. He is still having trouble keeping anything down and they may start an IV if he isn't able to keep liquids down. They said the nausea could be related to the pain medication he was receiving or the head injury or both. We called at 9:30 PM and he was sleeping. Mom is home but plans to be back at the hospital by 6:30 to talk to the doctor (who is a great friend of ours from church). The orthopedic doc should also see him tomorrow to talk about his shoulder injury. Dad is bummed that he won't be able to shoot his bows for quite a while (he is an archer on the professional level and does some coaching as well). We would appreciate your prayers over the next days and weeks. One for dad's healing and also for his patience in this lengthy healing process. He has never been down for a long time so he will get restless. For those of you who know him you know he likes to stay busy, he won't want to be sitting around letting others do things for him.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Here We Go Again

For those of you who follow us, you know that Rebekah is to have more surgery this year while we are stateside. In January she will have a skin expander inserted into her left forearm so that in March they can cut out the large scar on her forearm and close it up with the skin they have stretched. During that surgery they will also thin out the graft on her hand. We are so thankful for our surgeon and he is THRILLED with Rebekah's progress. The bones in her index finger are more knit together than they were in July. We have much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Photobook of snow fun pics

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Last Day of November Snow Fall

What a great way to start a Sunday morning! The snowfall was absolutely beautiful. Large flakes drifting to the ground. The snow heavy on the trees and evergreens as we headed into town, totally awesome. Pastor Viars said, from the pulpit, that the snowfall is thrilling the Stilwell children and that the congregation would gladly endure foot after foot of it for us. When he asked them if that was right many said, "no." Ha! I cracked up laughing. Of course in that service there are several senior citizens who don't really want any snow. As you can see the children took advantage of the snow this afternoon. It is a very wet snow so it made great snowmen. I think we are going to have to invest in snowpants for them. My mom had 2 pairs of boots so the girls each had a pair on. They, Ben, nor I have boots yet. That will be a need to fulfill this week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snow, Sledding, Sore

First time to touch snow in 5 years!

What goes down must come back up again.

Benjamin tries out the snowboard, pretty cool!

Jacob absolutely loves the snow and sledding.

It isn't ice cream but it is cold!

I know for many of you, snow is the last thing you want; in our case we are more than anxiously awaiting it. We had our wish come true this past weekend. We were ecstatic to arrive at Hills Corners Bible Baptist Church in Buchanan, MI and find about 6 inches of snow on the ground. An early snow for them? Yes, but what a blessing for us. Another huge blessing was the wonderful family we stayed with. They have 3 young girls and 2 older sons still at home. Their girls were wonderful in getting my children outfitted for sledding. Sledding!!! Yes!!!! The children spent about an hour on Saturday night and about 2 hours on Sunday afternoon sledding til their hearts content. Yes, they came in cold and sore but quite happy. We can't wait for more. Last night on our drive home from there we did drive through some heavy snowfall, that wasn't as fun but the children said it was like Star Wars and going into "hyperspeed." Now to invest in some snow boots!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One Foot to Stand On

For those of you that follow us, you know that I have an ongoing saga with my feet. My feet were not shaped right at birth. During my early childhood years I wore corrective casts, braces, etc. but to no avail. In 4th grade they did corrective surgery to straighten my left foot. The right foot needed to be done but the surgery was so painful that I refused to have it done. I have had various injuries and problems over the years. Over the past 2 years I have had pain in my right heel and arch. I have very high arches as well. Finally after various steroid injections, corrective boots, ice, etc. I, yesterday, had plantar fascitis surgery. I am so excited to be able, hopefully, walk without pain. I am on crutches for 2 weeks then back in the boot for another 2 weeks. I may have the other foot done before we go back to Peru in July since it also is bothering me. The bummer of it all is that I can't be in the kitchen working on Thanksgiving goodies.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rebekah's 14th Birthday

Happy Birthday Rebekah Jo! We love you!!
Rebekah and her Grandma Johnston

Wow, it has been quite a long year for Rebekah and she is looking forward to a new year. It is hard to believe she is 14 today. It was definitely a different birthday for her. At school signs were put up all over the place (it had a picture on it from when she was 3), she received balloons during her study hall (from her mom), they sang to her at lunch, and everywhere she went someone was telling her happy birthday. Pretty cool, I think! After school we went to the community center and swam then headed to Subway, her favorite restaurant, for supper. After supper we headed back to the school for the Marroon and Gold games where the men teachers played the varsity guys basketball team, the lady teachers played the varsity girls. Other teachers were cheerleaders while the real cheerleaders were also present. Since Steve and Molly and the cousins joined us that made the time extra special. The girls spent a lot of time running on the walk/run tract up above the basketball court. After the games we headed out for ice cream. We closed that place down! Then, we took Rebekah and Abigail to Uncle Steve's house where they had a sleep over with their cousins. It was a full, great day for her. She received nice gifts, more grown up gifts too. She is a wonderful daughter who loves her Lord very much. Please continue to pray for her, she sees the hand surgeon again on December 1 when a plan for surgeries will be made. She is ready to have her hand look as normal as possible again. Oh, her nickname at school is...JH or Jelly Hand. Now don't be shocked. One friend asked her why the graft side was so squishy and she told him it was filled with blueberry jelly, hence jelly hand which has been shortened to JH. Soon that JH should be going away.
Krispy Kremes donuts for breakfast

Her birthday balloons

My beautiful girl
The new FCS cheerleaders

Rebekah, Abigail, and Lili with the Eagle

Ice Cream, yes, even when it is COLD outside

Ben and Tali are always hangin' together. Here she confiscated his fruit drink :)
Even Caleb woke up for ice cream!

Jacob doesn't usually hang with the girls :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Craft fun

It has been pretty crazy around here lately. We have been traveling a lot and Rebekah especially has had lots of homework. We decided that today would be a fun day. We would do some crafts. Since David and Benjamin traveled it would be an even better day for crafts. Rebekah made an elegant Christmas wreath, Jacob made a fun Christmas wreath and Abigail made a Thanksgiving wreath. It did take as long as I had hoped but they enjoyed it none the less.

Football fan

Jacob is big time lovin' football these days. He has quite a good throwing arm. Thanks to a gift from one of our supporting churches he was able to buy this outfit. Go Colts!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall leaves

Wow, the changing of the seasons is just awesome. God's color scheme is incredible. We are truly enjoying each day. Jacob, since he is experiencing the first fall he really remembers wanted to rake the leaves in his grandparents yard. Now my parents purposefully don't have leafy trees so that they don't have to rake. Jacob raked up the leaves that blew into the yard. It was something he had never done. He was SO excited, he got one grocery bag of leaves.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Missions Conference

The kids try to spin the top, they don't know you need a string...yet

David is so great with the children

Wow, Mr. Stilwell is spinning the top in his hand!

We are enjoying the missions conference here at Martinsville Baptist Tabernacle in Martinsville, IN. It began on Saturday and will end tomorrow (Wednesday). We have been in many different classrooms at the school and Sunday school classes. I attended a ladies missionary tea with an oriental theme. Tomorrow I speak at their ladies Bible study. David will preach tomorrow night. They are a VERY generous church to their missionaries. Since I am on the old laptop I can't upload the pictures so I will do that later. You will enjoy them. David uses a top from Peru to do an object lesson. The children (and adults) LOVE to watch him spin his top. I never tire of it after all these years.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Most Improved

The team around the fire. They were crazy and wild tonight! :)

Abigail and Mrs. Heusigner (the coach) when she received her award.

Abi shows off her plaque. Way to go girl!!

Surprises of surprises. This afternoon and evening the jr. high volleyball team had their party. They played games, had pizza, smores and awards. Each girl got a certificate and heard comments that their team mates wrote about them. That was fun. Then during the awards ceremony Abigail was given the plaque for most improved player. She was so surprised! The girls had voted for who they thought should have the award and they all chose Abi. We are very proud of her. We did she great improvement in her volleyball skills over the course of the season. She is disappointed she won't be able to continue playing next year. The team finished the year 12-2. Not bad!!