Tuesday, September 30, 2008


No, I am not referring to those little wooden squares we nail to the top of our dwellings, though I wish I could chat it up about wood versus asphalt versus tile. If only my life were that simple. No, instead what I must vent that my precious little nine year old has come down with one of the most horrific cases of shingles one has ever encountered.

Fitting as it may seem, this latest Welch catastrophe dawned just before Jeremy left for 5 weeks in Arizona. So here I sit, playing Nurse Nancy for my sweet baby.

The story goes as follows:

Friday morn Bekah begins complaining of back pain. After a quick check for redness, bumps, and bruising she was sent packing and hops the bus at 7:22 sharp.

The day continues with frequent flyer miles to the school nurse. The complaints are all generated toward that pesky back. Even Sherlock Nurse cannot see any sign of trauma.

Mom to the rescue at 2:15. The public library is having an American Girl event and Bekah is on her way to the fun with a friend. She shows me a small red rash on her shoulder blade, but it is nothing to get worked up about. Friday night it looks a little like poison ivy, so we treat it with a Benadryl and a couple of Tylenol.

Saturday hosts a waffle catastrophe, bacon, and our neighborly doctor visit just to be on the safe side. It's beginning to look a lot like shingles...la la la.

Sunday after church and a work picnic it's time for a call to Dr Pediatrician-on-call. Codeine for pain is the response to my complaints. PS our local Walgreens is NOT 24 hours, so we tough out the night on more Tylenol.

Monday at 4 am we are all in the dark place. Daddy in the cab, Bek in the fetal position, Mom searching for a Prozac sandwich and a stiff drink. The afternoon is a series of repeated visits to our not-24-hour-Walgreens and a trip to the Urgent Care Center. Doctors are stunned and concerned. It seems we represent a bit of a medical mystery.

Tuesday night...more of the same but only worse. Why does this always happen to us?! Today we saw the nurse practitioner, the pediatrician, and the lab tech. The pricks were buy one get one free...poor kid. The greatest concern is that the medical team suspects something less obvious has triggered our obscene case of shingles. The word "Leukemia" was mentioned and that is all it took to have me in a bit of a panic. This was not an official diagnosis but just a thought. It seems this type of display has everyone on high alert. We will be back in two weeks for extensive blood work. Hopefully the shingles will be packed up and moved out. So pictures for you to get an idea of what I am talking about...

WARNING: These are not for those with weak stomachs!

Please pray for us as we sift through the madness and await future test results. It's been one heck of a week already!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Prince and Princess at the MI Ball

So this weekend marked another most momentous occasion for all the Welch's. Jeremy and I were kid free! I know, this is rather unbelievable to the two of us as well. You see, Jeremy had a Military Intelligence Ball to attend this weekend, so after much discussion, we decided to meet my precious parents half-way in Salina, Kansas...for a weekend without our offspring. I must admit I was a little unsure of just how to handle myself! Super Grandmommy and Papa had big weekend plans for their darling little duo. They visited a pumpkin patch, made fall cookies, performed a talent show, read books, battled in Nintendo, attended the "covered-dish" luncheon after church, learned some piano, and then played some killer Hangman. The girls had so much fun! Savannah Kay was actually crying when they loaded up to meet us back in Salina on Sunday night.

While the kiddies are away, the Momma and Daddy will play! I had some homework to finish up, so we hung around the house until around 9:30 p.m. Then I remembered we had a movie due so we freshened up and headed out. After a quick-drop, we wandered to Aggieville. For those of you unfamiliar with the metropolis of Manhattan...that is our local college district. There are a couple of streets where you can hear live music and enjoy a cool drink. After peeking in the windows of several local stops, we stopped in at the Blue Ribbon BBQ. We heard this man...a "one man band" of sorts. We were pleasantly entertained! At midnight our truck would turn back into a pumpkin, so we loaded up and headed out. The impromptu evening was a welcomed change to our normal Friday night routine.

On Saturday, we prepared for our big event...the MI Ball. I have a few pictures for you to see!

The tradition of these type of functions is always fun to be a part of. We toasted the Army and all the parties within. We remembered those deployed and those who have not returned from overseas. We visited with our peers, and cheered Knowlton Award recipients. Then Ali Jalili, the former Interior Minister of Afghanistan, was our guest speaker. I asked him for a photo after his speech! After wining and dining, we did a little dancing. You know me...I like to shake a tail feather! And before that magical midnight hour we were showered and in bed!

It was a wonderful weekend for all the Welch's!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Barbies, Bread and Bliss

Our Friday morn began with the pitter-patter of large rain drops and the rivers of water near the gutter. A rainy day was cause for a great movie. I ran Savannah Kay to school and then floated down stream to the dentist. Turns out I have sparkling teeth and healthy gums, but should floss more often. I picked up Savannah Kay and we stopped by the local Blockbuster for a weekend flick. She has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the latest Barbie movie...and with Daddy away and no chance for a romp on the trampoline, we settled in for couple hours with Barbie.
Today, after church I returned my neighbor's table and folding chairs. We have a sweet family of 6 that we have come to know and love. Preston, Amy and their kids are delightful neighbors and great playmates for the girls. Amy was making a surplus of zucchini bread when we stopped by. A few moments later she appeared at the back door with a plate of bread for the Welch's to sample. Sweet neighbor! Her little gift made my day extra special!
And finally, I must say that we are most thrilled to have welcomed our sweet Daddio home with open arms! It was a whirlwind of a week, but somehow we managed to survive! The girls were so excited when Daddy presented them each with a snow globe from Washington DC. I was given a darling pink and white scarf! Jeremy is so great about remembering special treats to award when he returns. With the man of the house back, we are off and running for the week to come!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Loving on the little guys

So...the first couple of days of school have been a bit of a trial and error process. I must say that children are God's greatest creation. I am amazed at each little set of hands and eyes. I love seeing their faces light up when you teach them something new or when they admire their own art. I rejoice in their accomplishments and desire their affection as much as they desire mine!

The first day was a little...okay a LOT chaotic! The mothers and siblings were a bit like herding cattle. Children were everywhere! I did not even see, let alone MEET each parent! I had some children that had not ever been in the care of anyone other than Mommy...so those children were not too thrilled to be on their own. The screaming was contagious, so one set of hysterics prompted another. I was having hot flashes! I had one little convict make a jail break! It is a good thing I have some running experience, although this was not mentioned in my job description! My stellar sprint was in full stride as I scooped him from the double doors that lead outside. That little guy knew how to open the child lock on the door and was outta there! Thank heaven I packed my A-game with my lesson plans!

Today was much more calm. I adjusted my welcome strategy. The sign-in sheet and podium blocked the door, and each child entered one at a time. I think this is the way to go until we get a regular routine. Thanks Aunt Sally for suggesting the lunch bin sit outside the door!

The week has been a blur, but my new buddies in my new church Small Group were a welcomed re-charge tonight. Only a couple more days 'til Daddy Welch is home! Won't he be proud of us?! Six whole days, and we're all still smiling! Miracles never cease!

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's Harvest Time

So while I am bachelorette-ing it this week, the temperature has dropped significantly outdoors! I love the crisp in the air!

I recently decorated my porch and my home with my favorite fall things, and thought that I would post them for you to see. Grandma Dorothy...this one is for you! Thanks to my sweet Daddy for the wheat straw from Iowa.

More to come...I start teaching tomorrow. Wish me luck!!!

Here are a few pictures of our house, our decorations, and my little girls' favorite fall treats!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Leavin' on a jet plane

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go
I'm standin here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin'
It's early morn'
The taxis' waitin'
He's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome I could die....

~John Denver

A little dramatic, I know. However, I must admit I am a little spoiled...so saying goodbye to my mister was harder than I would have thought. Jeremy will only be gone for the week, then it's home for three more before another trip...courtesy of Uncle Sam. Three years on an Air Force base, two years in training, and 4 months of settling has kept us out of the regular Army lifestyle. Not that Jeremy was home a great deal during out time in Georgia...but there is comforting familiarity when we hear the word "post" and go to bed listening to the light boom of artillery from the range.

I have a big week ahead of me, so I feel like our "Daddy" will be back before I can blink. I consulted the calendar and we have dentist visits for both Bek and me; I finish up one class and start another; Savannah is in preschool everyday; I start my new job this week; I have a stamping party scheduled for Thursday night; and then it's the weekend!

To get me back in the Army-wife mentality, and multi-tasking on my own, I have decided my motivational word for the week is:

For those of you who are not familiar with the word, I shall provide a definition...compliments of cavhooah.com:

(who-a) adj. (slang used by soldiers) Referring to or meaning anything and everything except "no".

1. What to say when at a loss for words.

2. Good copy, solid copy, Roger, good, great, Message received, understood.

3. Glad to meet you, welcome.

4. I don't know the answer, but I'll check on it. I haven't the vaguest idea.

5. I am not listening.

6. That's enough of your dribble...SIT DOWN!

7. Stop sniveling.

8. Oh, Lawd! You've got to be kidding!

9. Yes

10. Thank you.

11. Go to the next briefing slide.

12. You've taken the correct action.

13. I don't know what that means, and I'm too embarrassed to ask for clarification.

14. AMEN!

What's good for the gander can be implemented by the goose, right? We're back to real Army life again...so bring it on Uncle Sam! So, here's looking at a action packed, testosterone-free, seven days. I am full of anticipation as we embark on a week that is sure to be adventurous! Hooah!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Savannah's big day...read all about it!

...in true Savannah style...on the way to school
Savannah Kay and the best Daddy in the world!
...finding her hook and hanging her bag
Mrs. Hinkle and Savannah Kay
...on her mat in circle time

Today marked the first day of school for Savannah Kay! She requested happy-face pancakes for breakfast, so that is what she received. We all enjoyed her choice this morning!

Bekah hit the bus at 7:22 sharp. Bus driver Jerry is a punctual fella!

Jeremy was able to join Savannah Kay and I for her first Pre-K drop-off of the year. Her teacher is Mrs. Hinkle. Savannah gets a kick out of her name! Her Assistant Teacher is Mrs. Grogan...not featured in this episode! She hung her bag on her hook, and found her mat in the circle. All things seemed to go as planned, and she reported a great first day!

On a side note...I begin teaching next week, so add that to the prayer list. Nine 2-3 year olds in my small room on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Jerm swears I must be crazy! Aren't we all?! Here's to what lies ahead!

Laboring with the fam...

This past weekend included the Labor Day holiday. Now what is a holiday without family, I ask? I was fortunate enough to have both of my sisters, my new brother-in-law, my baby nephew, and my parents in my home to celebrate! We grilled burgers for lunch and then dined on fried catfish at supper, compliments of chef Dad donning my apron! I made my first batch of hush puppies...which was a trial and error process. Aunt Haley did some tramping on the trampoline. Jerm amazed us with his flips and then almost lost a toe to the trampoline net. Needless to say his show ended abruptly. Remember the days when there was no net, and if you fell off, you just hoped for the best?! Jeremy thinks the net is safer for the kids and more dangerous for adults! My Daddy played some Mario in the basement with the girls. Then the gaming continued in the Living Room with some PS3 ATV racing and Tiger Woods golf. It was time for Haley and her family to head home. So after many smoochies, they were on the road. Mom, Dad, Jerm, Rachel and I played some Catan, and I was victorious! If you are not a Catan player, you should be. We love that game!

Monday morning dawned with sticky rolls and donuts. Dad and the girls amused the rest of us with a fashion show of sorts! That man is a saint! Lunch was a melting pot of leftovers. After lunch we loaded up in the van for a sight-seeing outing. Note to self...when travelling in the back of the van, with Jerm behind the wheel, take along a plastic bag. After an hour, both of my girls were snoozing, Rachel was keepin' cold air in the face, and Mom and I were ready to wrap it up! After a quick trip for happy hour Sonic drinks for everyone, we were on our way home.

I am so blessed to have my family living so close to me!

Jeremy did get a bit of bad news over the weekend. John (his dad) is in the hospital after receiving stem-cells on Monday. This was expected, but the pain from shingles was not. The cancer battle continues, and the patience of the patient is wearing thin. Please continue praying for our dear "Grandpa John." In a couple of weeks we should know if the stem cell transplant was successful. In the mean time, Grandma Dorothy and the gang in Amarillo need Godly reinforcement from each of you!

Well wishes to each of you and yours~

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