As many of you noticed, we have had a pretty big lapse in posting this year. Thank you all for all the emails and comments, checking in with us. We appreciate the kind words and prayers that have been offered for us and our families.
As most of you know, I moved at the end of 2011. While we moved, we had a total renovation of the house we purchased going on. The house had been abandoned for a couple of years and had extensive repairs needed just to make it liveable. Pretty much the only thing we still have are the kitchen cabinets and the walls. Everything else has been replaced. Subfloors, sinks, toilets, flooring, plumbing, electrical, you name it..Well, the major work was supposed to be completed prior to moving in. Halfway through the process our original contractor decided he wasn't going to complete the work, so we had to stop everything, and deal with the legal issues surrounding that. As anyone can attest, moving in itself is stressful. Couple that with moving into an incomplete house, with 4 kids, and being unable to do anything to complete the work ourselves until the legal mess was straightened out was literally a nightmare. We had to wait 3 months, through the holidays, before we could finally get a new contractor to start fixing the mess left behind. After 4 weeks of intense long days, the rest of the work was completed and 6 months after moving in, I was finally able to hang a picture on the walls. We've lived with most of our stuff in storage (including my entire sewing studio) for months and months, so now we are in the midst of finally getting settled into the house, and making it "home". Throw in that we homeschool, and you can only imagine the chaos. Needless to say, we'll be doing school through the summer to help make up lost days due to all the upheaval.
Well, that takes care of me, but mom has had her own chaos of her own. Both her and my step-dad have had a few medical issues in the last few months, but those appear to be winding down. The biggest issue now, is with my older sister. For those who do not know, in May 1991, my then, 22 yr old sister was involved in a major car accident. The car she was riding in was hit by a drunk driver, and my sister sustained a traumatic brain injury. At the time we had no idea what the outcome would be. After about a year in the hospital and various therapy programs, Lara was able to speak and walk again, but she has massive damage that has never recovered. She has little to no short term memory. She cannot read and comprehend. She cannot carry on a conversation. She cannot care for herself at all. It's sort of like having a toddler in an adult body. She cannot do most things for herself without some form of assistance. She requires 24/7 care and monitoring. In January, Lara was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. February was spent meeting with a myriad of doctors. March brought a mastectomy. Since Lara is not a typical patient, there is more to weigh than just physical treatment. We had to consider how she might handle and react to treatments, and try to see things not only from our standpoint, but from that of someone who might not understand why she is being poked and prodded, and be unable to communicate properly to us if she is in pain, sick, or if something is wrong. We consulted with a handful of doctors, and we also reached out to people we know who have gone through the surgeries, chemo, etc. to try and figure out what the best plan of action might be for my sister. While her quality of life has certainly not been all that wonderful since her accident, we still hold out some hope that something might be discovered in her lifetime that might restore some of what she has lost. Lara has 2 children who were just toddlers at the time of her accident, and they've never really had the chance to know who their mom really was, because they were too young to really remember her. Anyway, mom is her legal guardian so all of this has really taken a toll on her in many ways. During this time we've been battling with the facility that cares for my sister, about inadequate care and several other issues. Finally, just a couple of weeks ago, the powers that be came in and "cleaned house", and the director, and staff that we were having issues with were all removed, and Lara was moved to a higher care level, where we are now confident that she will be properly monitored and cared for through this ordeal. Chemo is scheduled to begin in a couple of weeks, so we will keep everyone informed of the progress.
Aside from all of that, we have taken in a childhood friend of my husband to live with us, and will have his 2 children with us soon. He is disabled, and we are his "representatives" for Social Security, Medicaid, etc....a nightmare all its own to deal with. I now fully see why these government programs are so rampantly wasting money. They are all bureaucratic nightmares. It took 3 months and 4 visits in person, and countless phone calls-just to change a mailing address for him.
So...all that said...its chaos as usual around here! Yesterday I finally decided that I wasn't going to do anything...so I sat down with one of my cross stitch projects and thats the only thing that I accomplished. (Ok that and dinner...) It was wonderful!