Vacation Part 3-- Interrupted

DSCN0846 I was getting ready to blog more about our vacation, until this happened--life. This picture was taken after paramedics had some of the swelling down.


Stafan was at his Aunt Becki's yesterday when she called and said he was stung by a bee. She said he was having trouble breathing, but Mike and I didn't take it too serious. I mean just the day before Stafan was complaining about a little dog scratch from Jeeves (our puppy). But Mike and I headed over to Becki's just to make sure Stafan was OK. We were almost there when we heard an ambulance coming up right behind us. That was when I began to panic! The paramedics arrived about the same time we did. When we went in Stafan's eyes and mouth were swollen. He had hives all over his body. The paramedics asked, "where do you want us to take him?" I told them Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, and they didn't waste any time. The paramedics scooped Stafan up and threw him in the ambulance. I jumped in the back with them. Once inside the ambulance, the paramedics told me it was affecting Stafan's lungs. They drove 80 miles an hour with their sirens blaring--with two paramedics working on him the entire time. Mike followed in his car. He said several cars didn't bother to get out of the way of the ambulance or even slow down. Anyone who thinks they are in too big a hurry to get out of the way of an ambulance needs to ride in one with their child.

Stafan is doing great now, but he spent the night in the intensive care unit. Needless, to say I'm thanking God he is OK--especially when we were so uneducated about this. When I say I'm thankful to God I mean God, as in the one and only true living God--Jesus Christ.

Now Stafan will always have to have a syringe of epinephrine (an "EpiPen") on hand. The doctor said they usually give one dose of epinephrine, but Stafan had to have two. We also found out that Riley is one of the few hospitals that has allergy desensitization treatments for bee stings. So hopefully someday Stafan (and I) can not have to worry about him getting stung. In the meantime, we'll have EpiPens stashed everywhere.

DSCN0841 This is Stafan's Uncle Mike (my sister Becki's husband). He had taken Stafan and his two sons that afternoon to see Captain America. He helps us out a lot. Just earlier this week, he came to the rescue when I locked my keys in my car.

DSCN0861 Well, what can I say--Stafan is all boy. He had been playing hard outside all day. This was still in the emergency room. After we knew Stafan was in the clear, I asked if he could have a shower when he got to his room in the ICU. The nurse told me the rooms in ICU don't have showers. So when they left I started going through drawers. There was a sink in the room, and I found some baby cloth diapers and a little plastic tub. I went to work cleaning him up. He was dirty from head to toe.

DSCN0867 He was moved to his room. Only one parent can stay in ICU, so Mike went home and took a shower and then came back to spend the night. When he came back, he brought Arden with him. I've said many times Mike is a GREAT daddy. He has spent many nights at Riley and slept in the most uncomfortable chair known to man. I'm convinced Riley has those chairs in the room for a reason. They want to give you every incentive to leave. But I couldn't imagine letting Stafan stay there by himself after the scare he just had.

DSCN0871 By the next morning Stafan was close to being bright eyed and bushy tailed.

DSCN0878 He got dressed and the nurse was very impressed how much time he spent brushing his teeth. Aahhh... Stafan is such a good boy. : - )

DSCN0884 On the way home we stopped and ate breakfast. Stafan was on his second (they fed him at the hospital), so he didn't eat much. But Mike and I HAD to have some real coffee..

DSCN0945 Back at home.

I spent most of my summers as a kid barefoot and was constantly getting stung by bees. We obviously got an education on how dangerous bee stings can be. We're learning allergies to everyday items (like peanut butter, latex, etc.) are a lot more common than we realized. The severity of an allergic reaction varies from person to person. There are three types of reactions -- normal, localized, and allergic. Severe allergic reactions are not that common, but they can lead to shock, cardiac arrest, and unconsciousness in ten minutes or less. Allergic reactions can occur within minutes after being exposed to the thing you or your child is allergic to (like a bee sting) and can be fatal. We'll be getting Stafan and the rest of the kids tested to make sure we know what they should avoid.

Vaction Part 2

Santa Fe was founded by a small group of European settlers in 1607, thirteen years before the Mayflower Pilgrims settled the Plymouth Colony, and is the oldest European community west of the Mississippi.

For the next 70 years, the Spanish soldiers and Franciscan missionaries tried to convert the 100,00 Pueblo Indians of the region. In 1680, the Pueblo Indians revolted against the 2400 Spanish colonists, killing 400 of them and driving the rest south to Mexico.

Long story short the Catholics tried to get the Indians to stop their dancing and customs. Eventually, a treaty was signed and the Catholics agreed to leave the Indians alone and let them keep their traditions.



I really liked Santa Fe. It didn't come close to beating our trip to Boston and getting to stand in Paul Revere's house, but I would definitely return. Places I don't want to go back to would be Vail and Las Vegas.

Santa Fe is rich in history and legends! Starting with the Miraculous Staircase. This church was a few feet outside our hotel we stayed at.

Santa Fe  Loretto Chapel (1873)  Miraculous Stairway

The centerpiece of this historic site is the spiral staircase located in the back of the chapel. Upon the completion of the chapel’s construction in 1878, it became apparent that there was no way to access the choir loft. As the story goes, several carpenters were called on to address the problem and they all had concluded that a ladder was the only option as building a staircase would interfere with the interior of the chapel. The sisters of the chapel would not accept this and made a novena (prayers for nine straight days) to St. Joseph the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the chapel and offered to take on the project. It was built and the man disappeared without any notice and without receiving any pay or thanks. The sisters launched a search to find him, but when he never turned up, it was decided that it must have been St. Joseph himself coming to the chapel’s rescue. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. The legend suggests that only wooden pegs were used to secure the structure.

This is the outside of the church.

Outside the church stands a wooden statue of Jesus.


This was our hotel and if you look behind it you can see the church that has the miraculous stairs. Now the story of the Miraculous stairs was good, but the story teller that came and talked to us during breakfast was even better. She told us the the real reason the nuns needed to find a carpenter to build the staircase: the first one was shot, because he was having an affair with the contractor's wife.

This was the story teller that spoke to us during breakfast. She also told us how and where to shop. One thing that really spiked my interest was a local thrift shop she told us about. It sold used cowboys boots. I'm not into buying used boots, but she said even movie stars not only live here, but come to shop for boots in Santa Fe! Cool! Hmm... maybe I could get a really nice pair cheap.

The pictures I took of her doesn't do her justice. She was wearing gorgeous western silver jewelry and some white cowboy boots that I loved.

So this is how much smelly, beat up, used cowboy boots cost? I don't even know if I would pay this if Julia Roberts handed them over herself.


Oh well, this is the kids listening to the story teller.

While we were out shopping we got really thirsty. This is Lyric with watermelon juice.

Another thing the story teller/shopper told us about was buying off the Indians. Every day they line up on one side of the main square. They lay down blankets and put all their goods neatly on top. She told us you can go from $10,000 to $2,000 quickly if you know how to negotiate. I did see one silver necklace and heard the Indian say the price was $10,000 Now this necklace was so big you could wear it as armor and I would rather be dead than seen wearing it. She said if the price is under $100 she does not try and negotiate since this is how the Indians make their living.

Every day about 300 Indians line up on the square to sell their goods. They have to get a permit for the day. However, the city usually only gives out about 70 permits per day. She said the if the Indians say they are selling real silver, it will be. If the Indians get caught passing off fake silver as real, they will lose their licenses to sell at this primo spot.

Notice I am saying Indian and not native Indian. The shopper/storyteller lady told us if you call an Indian "Native" they will say, "We have been here for hundreds of years. We already know we are native." As you know, everyone has the recently-discovered Constitutional Right not to be offended. Well, not everyone. There is an exception for Christians, Jews and White Males. You can still use your formerly-unrestricted right of free speech to offend them as much as you’d like. : - )

These are all around the square.




BTW, even though Santa Fe is the capitol of New Mexico, it is not like a big city. There are lots of restaurants, shopping etc.. but no skyscrapers. Virtually all of the buildings are brown adobe. It is a very "artsy" town, and I wish I had taken pictures inside of some of the art studios. We did have dinner in one.


Santa Fe is the most dog friendly place I've ever seen. Maybe a little too friendly. Dogs were in restaurants, shops and even the hotel. The sign on this door said the dog was not aloud outside. The kids had to go in the store to pet him. The dog did like their attention once they went in.


Mike and I headed out west with the four youngest for our summer vacation. Bret and Remi chose Camp Allendale, a Christian camp. Lael and Arden chose two weeks at Summit Ministries in TN. Camp Allendale is a week-long church camp for 1st - 6th graders near our home. All our kids have went there and loved it. Summit is a ministry that trains people of all ages in "worldview" analysis. Lael and Arden attended a two-week conference with 350 teenagers (mostly high school, some college age). And for any skeptics who think we sent our kids off to be brainwashed, let me assure you--it is the opposite. Summit teaches kids to reason and think for themselves. They tell their students that they have to study and understand other worldviews if they want to have a true faith. In other words, Lael and Arden spent two weeks learning how to love God with all their mind (one part of what Jesus said was the greatest commandment - Matthew 22:37). I think I posted before that Michelle Bachman attended Summit when she was young! Lael and Arden both thought it was life changing in their walk with Christ. Whitney attended Summit in Colorado when she was their age and now all 3 say they would like to go back. This time Mike drove Lael and Arden down to TN a couple days before we headed out West. We were home one day when Mike had to drive back to TN to pick them up. Something else happened at Summit that makes me want to cry when I think about it. One day during the second week, 3 bus loads and a couple vans full of the kids headed further up the the mountain (they were staying in the Smokies) for a day of fun. On the way back down the mountain a semi behind the buses lost his brakes. The driver passed a couple of the buses, but realized he was not going to get the semi under control. He made a conscience decision that he was going to make sure no one died with him when his semi crashed, so he intentionally steered his semi off the road into a ravine. Lael said she was sleeping and never saw anything, but Arden did see the semi down the side of the mountain. The buses that were behind the semi when he crashed stopped, and the students inside cut the trucker out of his semi and saved the his life. The last we heard the man is still in the hospital. All these Christian kids were saved. I have to wonder if this wasn't an attack from the evil one? I don't have to wonder why they were protected--lots of people praying for these kids at Summit. Thank you God for hearing our prayers and protecting my kids.

St Louis. We got a late start because Mike just had to go to one more meeting. : - ) We kept driving though and got out of Missouri.


If you've driven west on I-70 through Illinois, you probably remember this cross. It is quite a sight.


Lyric on her way far away.


Plenty to look at (I'm no PETA member, but have to admit feeling a little sorry for these poor chickens)!


Ready to get back on the road.




I had to laugh when I realized people knew how much I like Starbucks just by reading my blog. Well, this is Panera and Mike likes their coffee better. We sometimes argue about where we are going.


This was actually several hours down the road.




Lots of pit stops.



Things start to change. Look at the old cowboys behind Stafan. By this time we were in Oklahoma.


Check Mike out. He was saying something like "Sir do you know where we could tour a ranch? My son wants to see uhh younger cowboys." No, he didn't say that, but I was saying, "Mike I would like to get to a aaah resort and away from these cheap hotels." Seriously, the McDonald's cowboys were cool!


Check out the hood of that car. This was Amarillo where we spent the next night. We did stay at a nicer hotel than the night before. It was a Courtyard by Marriott. Mike had carried in luggage with all the kids except Shepard. Shepard stayed to help me. I was at the end of the car and a little junky car pulled up. It was a younger man and woman in it. They both looked poor and well--not super bright. The woman was crying and the man started talking. He said "Please don't cuss me out. I've been cussed out all night. We are homeless and broke. Do you have any money?" I was standing there holding my purse. I was nervous, because I actually had quite bit of money for once. Truthfully, I am not the type to just shell out money to the homeless, but this time it did seem different. Who knows if I was scammed or not, but I couldn't not give them money and have a clear conscience. I was thinking something like--there but for the grace of God go I. I was hoping I was a little smarter looking and classier--kidding. I fished out $20 and was praying that more bucks didn't fall out when I took that one out. Shepard's eyes got big. He still isn't used to not being poor and hungry himself and $20 is a big deal. After fishing out the $20, I was afraid to go near the man's car. I was thinking how shall I give him the money? This isn't like if you see a mouse and make your boy go get it. So I sucked it up and walked over to the car and handed it to him. I think he said thank you and sped off! I was relieved he was gone as quickly as he appeared. I couldn't get the couple out of mind for quite awhile. I was putting myself in their shoes and that isn't a good place.


Moving on down the road. The temperature in Oklahoma was 109 degrees when we were driving through. About now you're thinking that you hope you don't have car trouble and wish you had taken some bottled water.




It really wasn't that bad, because the kids had TVs and DSIs.


Never saw so much brown in my life, but the skies were bluer than I ever saw! Now this is one more reason I know there IS a God!



When you get bored enough you teach the kids to do this. Lyric was totally freaked out by getting the truckers to honk. She kept asking things like, "How did you ever learn this?! How do the truck drivers know what to do?!"

The kids fought for the alone seat in back.



Hours passed and then we saw signs of life. I'm not kidding!




Thank you Jesus. Only a few more hours.


We decided to have lunch since this place looked like a cool and trendy place.




It looked great until they told us they had community seating. It isn't our thing to sit randomly with people we don't know. Mike got a buffalo burger and asked me to split it with him.


I said yes, but when it came down to it I could not take a bite.



Well, it is all I can blog tonight. Lyric has to have a cavity filled at 7:30 am! Stafan was mad and told her it was her fault he has to get up early. She said it wasn't and it was genetics. Actually, the dentist told her that she has an extra tooth and that could be genetics.