Broken Legs, Laundry, Christmas Trees, and Puppies

So sorry that we haven’t managed to pop back on before now with an update. It’s been pretty much as hard as we expected it to be since Erin’s fall and surgery.

We are all busy trying to keep our normal Christmas traditions intact as much as possible while caring for Erin, and in the midst of everything, we are so very aware of all of our blessings this Christmas season.

Erin is continuing to heal. She came through surgery well, then returned a week or so after that to have a cast change. She is still not allowed to put any weight on that leg, and because of the aspects of her disability that affect her balance and coordination, crutches aren’t a safe option for her. So she is still using a wheelchair and help from others to get around the house during the day. The plan is to move her to a walking cast early in January, and if so, we are hoping that she will be able to manage getting around more independently then.

On the first day that Erin fell, Meghan and Robyn insisted on sleeping on Erin’s floor in shifts to help care for her during the night. Scott and I were so touched by their hearts and their love for Erin. They have continued taking turns with this night-time duty, and although they are growing weary, they remain cheerful and positive through each day and night. Even the younger kids are anxious to help bring her drinks during the day, take her little maltese Teddy out to potty when needed (although they have to pry him away from Erin’s side to do that), and just generally find ways to help everyone out during Erin’s recovery.

Teddy with Erin, peeking out from under her needlework project

Teddy with Erin, peeking out from under her needlework project

God sent us incredible help through our dear friends, Mick and Betty. This selfless couple has been doing a large chunk of our laundry for us every week since Erin’s fall, and honestly, we would not be getting through this without that help. They used to run a dry cleaning business before they retired, and they know laundry. 😊 Now they spend their days helping others in a variety of ways, serving as great examples of how followers of Christ should live their lives. We so blessed to have them as friends.

Mick and Betty with Roslyn, Jaden, and Lilyan

Mick and Betty with Roslyn, Jaden, and Lilyan

Outings as a family are very challenging right now, but we have managed two of those.

To cut our Christmas tree. . .

Heading out to find the perfect tree

Heading out to find the perfect tree

Cutting the Tree #3

Bringing up the rear

Decorating this year's tree

Decorating this year’s tree

And then last week, we took the kids to see Santa. This is Lilyan’s first Christmas in a family, and she is just drinking it all in with such excitement. Roslyn and Jaden were also much more into everything this year, and couldn’t wait to sit in Santa’s lap. Roslyn even threw her arms around his neck and gave him a huge hug. This was a little different from last year when she took one look at him and declared, “I no yike San Cau!”  I wish we had managed to get better quality pictures of this, but I’m sharing what we have anyway.

Posing with Santa

Posing with Santa

Jaden and some one-on-one with the big guy

Jaden and some one-on-one with the big guy

Roslyn hugging "San Caus"

Roslyn hugging “San Caus”

Lilyan's first Christmas -- and she's loving it!!

Lilyan’s first Christmas — and she’s loving it!

Stockings all hung and waiting

Stockings all hung and waiting

Lil's Stocking in Group

Such an incredible blessing to see Lilyan’s stocking hung among the other kids’ stockings this year

One sad development and one happy one: as our little dachshund aged, she began snapping at the children, and we had to make the very tough decision to find a new home for her. This was so hard, but God sent us a new puppy, much more equipped to handle a house full of children whose disabilities make their movements a little uncertain — one who will grow big enough to handle being fallen on and hugged to death by kids who love to love their dogs. So . .  meet Murray – our new family member. He’s a four month old Goldendoodle and seems to be a perfect fit.

Murray - loving the attention and snuggles. The hat? Not so much.

Murray – loving the attention and snuggles. The big, red bow? Not so much.

We hope that you all have a beautiful and blessed Christmas. Thank you for the cards some of you have been sending to Erin. She is very touched by your concern. Thank you for the prayers and all of the ways in which you encourage us continually. We are blessed to have each of you in our lives.

Merry Christmas!

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