Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Words to live by...

My friend Holly posted this on her blog, and I've read it before, think it's wonderful and bears repeating.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my
first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately
wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a
stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind
to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make my
favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little
things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a
prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always
talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a
meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I
learned that we all have to help take care of each

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of
your time and money to help people who had nothing,
and I learned that those who have something should
give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care
of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have
to take care of what we are given.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you
handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't
feel good, and I learned that I would have to be
responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come
from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things
hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw that you
cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking I learned most of
life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and
productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and
wanted to say,’ Thanks for all the things I saw when
you thought I wasn't looking.'

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008


Christmas was wonderful! Marie did great on Christmas Eve with the evening service, and she really got excited about opening gifts which completely filled my heart up to overflowing. If anyone ever wondered about this, our girls are so very spoiled. But, they were wonderful, had fun and their little eyes were shining.

We've been dealing with cold still, Josie is better, Marie's well on the mend, though I got it on Christmas day and felt really nasty the rest of the week. I'm finally feeling human again but Luke's a little under the weather. Oh well, you can't have everything, at least everyone is happy if not feeling great.

I have tons of pictures, and I'm going to try to share the best of them this coming week. I just wanted to pop in and let everyone know we're doing well, feeling blessed, and enjoying each other. We had a wonderful Christmas and are doing well! Hoping everyone else had a special a holiday as we did!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Doing a little better!

This morning I took Marie for her monthly RSV shot. She did great, and when they weighed her we got some happy news. Miss Marie is now 20.2 lbs! That's really wonderful news because at the moment her weight is more stable than it has been in a long time!

Her hospice nurse was also here and Marie's lungs were a bit wheezy, though after she coughed the did sound better. We're still finishing this run of antibiotics and are going to keep a close eye on her. Hopefully by next Saturday she's well on the mend. We're probably going to meet up with our sweet nurse on our way down to Goodland, and I think she's also going to come out on Friday to check her again. As of now, our Christmas plans are still on.

Josie is doing much, much better. She's taken afternoon naps the last three days in a row and I have to be honest, I could soooo get used to that! The downside is that she doesn't want to go to bed and if we let her she'd be the life of the part well into the late night hours. She's taken to reading several books after we put her to bed and that's okay for now. When kinder garden starts next year it will be a habit we'll have to break though.

All in all, we're well and ready for Christmas here at our house. Thank you all for the prayers, we are so grateful for everyone who prays on our behalf, and all of you who walk our little journey with us!

Merry, merry Christmas everyone!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Long week

The last week has flown by! With getting ready for Christmas and keeping up with the girls I'm not entirely sure where the time has gone.

On Monday evening we began treating Marie's cold with antibiotics, she improved and by Wednesday she wasn't coughing anymore and her head congestion had cleared up. Wednesday Josie came home from preschool very hoarse and it was worse on Thursday morning. About lunchtime I noticed Jo was running a slight fever, so I gave her some Tylenol and didn't think much of it. She had failed her hearing screening (again) at preschool the day before so I was actually thinking she possibly had another ear infection.

Friday Marie woke up stuffy again, she and Josie both didn't seem to be feeling entirely wonderful. Saturday Marie seemed to be doing well but after lunch she had a fever of 102. We dosed her with Tylenol and Motrin, she went down for her nap and seemed okay when she woke up. Josie also ran a fever sometimes on Saturday and definitely has a nasty head cold. Last night, Marie just could not go to sleep, it was midnight before I gave up and brought her to bed awake. She fussed and struggled until sometime after one, but at 1:30 I was woken by Luke getting up to give Josie more cold medicine. I checked Marie and she had a fever of 101+ again. We gave Tylenol and Motrin, and ended up giving her another dose of Diazepam to keep her movement disorder under control. She gets really jerky and her body just won't stop moving and it keeps her awake.

She's been okay today, no real appetite (either that or she's being incredibly picky) and she's napping right now. We're praying that fever doesn't come back and that both girls sleep well tonight. It's just the pits having them both sick, really scary for Marie to be running fevers (102 is the highest she's ever had and they just wear her out completely) and to top it off, with temperatures in the teens it's not exactly nice out.

Please pray for Marie to get better, and for Josie to kick her cold quickly. So far Luke and I haven't gotten it, but their sweet cousin Nicole has and she's having a rough time with it too.

Thank you in advance for praying! I'll update soon:)

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Monday, December 15, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday

"Not Me!" Monday:)

  • I am not exhausted.
  • I would never act live a 3 year old and throw a fit about taking a nap because I have other things I would rather do.
  • I was not cranky like a 3 year old when I did it.
  • I did not read almost and entire trashy novel while I was up with Marie last night. It was not because I 1. did not want to fall asleep on the couch, and 2. was afraid to move without waking her up thus trapped prisoner on above mentioned couch.
  • I did not make Josie and I wear uggy boots to church and change into our dress shoes when we got there. I disliked it very much when my own mother did something like that to me, so there's no way I'd do it to her (even though those uggy boots are wayyyy more comfortable than heels any day).
  • I am not regretting my wish for snow on Friday. Bring it blizzard, bring it.
  • It's not 9 degree's here. Probably colder wind chill because that's what the wind does here. It blows.
  • Seriously, it's 9 degrees! It's a little ridiculous!
  • I do not get this irrational craving to bake just because it's cold outside.
  • I did not confess that I have a trashy novel reading problem on my blog. I don't. If I did though, I'd recommend reading anything by Jennifer Cruise, or Rachel Gibson. :)
Sidenote: The Christmas pagaent was wonderful, Josie was just beautiful! I have pictures, and I'll probably post them sometime this week. I'm going to try to take some pics at Tree of Lights tonight also!

Marie update: we're thinking sinus infection at this point. She's still coughing but it's because you can hear all that junk getting caught in the back of her throat. We're going to try some antibiotics and are praying that she kicks it this week!

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Good News!

Hospice came today and checked Marie's vitals. Her lungs are clear!!! Thank you, Jesus!

She has a lot of congestion in her head, we're actually leaning toward sinus infection now, and if she's not better by Monday I'll bring her in to the clinic. She's a little dull in her eyes, but the cold medicine is still working well. She's only coughing when she wakes up, or when she's due for a dose of medicine so that's a blessing. The episodes of coughing still last 20-30 minuets and it's likely that her congestion is so thick that she really can't bring it up as she's not great at coughing. So, until she gets her throat cleared she struggles.

We're still praying that she kicks this cold quickly! Unfortunately, her immune system is down as she's fighting this, so please, if you are sick or have been around anyone sick do not visit the house. We will have to take Marie out a few times in the coming days (Josie's Christmas pageant at church, and the Tree of Lights), and she'll wear a mask to try to lessen her risk of catching anything. If you see us out and about with it on, that's why.

Thank you all for the prayers this last week, and all the kind words! They mean a lot:) I think it's deceiving because when I'm out and about I'm usually very busy and thinking about other things, so I look like I'm doing a lot better than I actually am. Marie's health is a weight on our hearts, and though we put it in God's hands, it's a worry that cannot be shaken. When she's sick I realize just how quickly I could loose her and it terrifies me. It means so much to Luke and I to know what a support base we have. We love reading through the comments (Luke reads them too) and when we're feeling that we're reaching our breaking point it means a lot to know just how many think of us, and pray for us. That said, please don't be afraid to comment and let us know you were here!

Much love-

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Tree of Lights

Tree of Lights Pictures, Images and Photos

I am excited. This year we were asked if Marie could be honored on the Tree of Lights. This is a fund raising project for Hospice of the Plains. During the Christmas band concert they will light a tree covered with ornaments. For every donation they place an ornament on the tree in honor of a current or past hospice patient. This year they have chosen an angel ornament, they are just beautiful and we feel very honored that they will be recognizing Marie at this fundraiser.

Hospice of the Plains is a fabulous service, I honestly don't know where we'd be without them. I truly believe that our nurse is a gift, and that all who are called to serve in this profession really are angels in disguise.

If you feel compelled, please consider making a donation to Hospice of the Plains in honor of Marie (or any of your loved ones that are currently, or have been under a hospices care) so that they can continue providing health care, support, and strength to families like ours. In our rural area they provide a much needed service, and we are blessed to have them be part of our journey. For every donation made, they will put an angel on the tree. Wouldn't it be something to see that tree covered from top to bottom, even better, so many angels that they won't all fit on the tree?

You can send your donations to:

HOSPICE OF THE PLAINS INC, attn Tree of Lights
125 W 5TH ST
WRAY, CO 80758

If you're here in H-town the Tree of Lights ceremony will take place on Monday, December 15 in the High School Auditorium at 7pm. We'll be there, as will some close friends, some of Marie's team, and some family. We'd love to see you!

On a side note, Marie has come down with a slight cold. Our hospice nurse checked her today and for the first time, she heard congestion or a rattling in Marie's lungs. I'm so trying not to completely freak out. We're currently treating with decongestants and she's doing well. Please pray that this passes quickly with no lasting damage, and that it doesn't get any worse! Chest congestion scares me! Thank you all!!!

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"Not Me!" Monday

It's that time again... For full rules and regulations please see here. It's been a crazy week here at our house!

  • I did not nearly loose my temper while trying to take Christmas photos. I did not need Luke to sweep in like prince charming and save the day.
  • This morning, I did not learn that Josie has a for-real crush on a boy. I am in no way freaked out by this new development.
  • I would never buy a new box of candy canes just because I feel like eating them sometimes.
  • I am not frustrated with the fact that the weather has been so up and down that everyone has been wearing two different coats, and my rug by the back door is littered with three pairs of shoes for each person depending on the weather. I mean come on, we have plenty of room for that!
  • I did not get emotional taking summer dresses out of Marie's closet that no longer fit her.
  • No one would ever see me running to the mailbox barefoot in December just because I'm too lazy to put on shoes.
Anyone else have week like that one?

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Saturday, December 06, 2008


I'm getting very close to sending out cards. Very, very close. That said, we have made so many new and wonderful friends this year and for many of you I do not have mailing addresses. So, if you are friend or family, and have not received a card in the past please email me your mailing address! shanschlachter@hotmail.com

I'm updating Marie's CaringBridge site regarding the neurologist appointment so head over here for that!

Much love-

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Firstly, is it December already? I have been so busy the last few days, I'm not really sure where all my time has gone because the laundry still needs folded and I have that everlasting stack of dishes needing washed! I fully intended to do "Not Me!" Monday, but before I knew it, it was Wednesday!

Both girls are doing great, Josie is going to be a ball in the Christmas pageant, and she's busy with preschool and being a handful. Marie is still wanting to be upside down all the time, and you're right Tiff, I'll go with answered prayer. She is just a miracle. We have an appointment with the neurologist tomorrow and I'm looking forward to showing him her PROGRESS! That is something that we really weren't sure we'd every be able to say. For so long she was slipping backwards, now, defying medical logic she is exploding with new things. She's so much more vocal, though still no crying, she wiggles all over, and she's rolled over to her side multiple times. She gets excited to look at books, she has a wicked sense of humor (smiling and squealing while Josie is in time out), it is so nice to see her just acting like a kid! Being squirmy, a little naughty, filled with joy, I couldn't ask for more. We are feeling blessed this season!

  • So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. Ezra 8:23 NIV

So much so, that we really feel strongly that we want to make Our Lord's birth the forefront of this holiday, more so than in years past. While Jesus' birth has been the reason for our celebration, sometimes I think despite best intentions it just isn't celebrated with the glory that it should be. This year we are going into it just to praise Him. It is so obvious how God's hands have touched our life this year.

Josie and I are excited to make Christmas cookies, and I think we've finalized our plans for the holiday. We'll do Christmas Eve and morning here, and then on Christmas day we'll head south to Luke's sisters house. Busy, but as long as Marie's doing well it should be lots of fun!

All in all, busy, silly, crazy, happy days in our house. Marie's doing so well we find ourselves dealing with other emotions and stresses that we had put on the back burner. Happily though, none of these is major.

Well, I'm off to finish that laundry, earlier I asked Josie to help me fold it, and she told me "I'm a big fan of washcloth's!". At least one of us is!

My silly girls the other day, bunny ears in December? Why not!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

A different perspective!

Marie is not supposed to see well, or have a much motor control. Extreme things are not supposed to be pleasant experiences for her. Too much heat, too much cold, situations where her body is forced to adjust to extremes are supposed to be uncomfortable or difficult, or so they tell us. That said, apparently she's not listening!

Happy, happy, happy to be upside down!

Again Mommy! Every time we do this, when I put her upright again she arches her back and straightens her legs and will attempt to put herself back upside down if I'm not fast enough for her!

Josie and I worked for hours this afternoon on our gingerbread house. There was some candy leftover.... until we ate it!

It is getting to be that season, can't you just feel it?!!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Thankful For...

This year, we are feeling very thankful. Sometimes I feel like I've had my eyes opened for the first time, that now I know what it's all about. I'm grateful for that clarity, our lives have changed in the last year. At first glance you'd think it would be terrible, but really, life is far richer than it's ever been before.

This year, I'm thankful for...

  • My Josie, my light. She keeps me going, pushes me to be better. She's upfront, independent and a handful. She is fierce, sensitive, and a constant amazement. Where did this child come from? I'm thankful for her, she brought Luke and I together, she made us grow up. She is a streak of light.
  • My Marie. I have learned more from her than anyone else in my life. Josie made me a mother but Marie made me complete. She shook up my life and made me consider my soul. She brought me closer to my faith, she taught me about courage. She makes me better everyday and I am so grateful just to be around her. To hold her in my arms is the sweetest gift, I could not ask for more.
  • Smiles. Just the act of a grin. Until it was missing I did not realize how big it really was. I am grateful and PRAISING GOD for those smiles.
  • My Luke. He gets me. I have a huge crush on that man.
  • Prayers. All the prayers said for us, thought for us, screamed silently. I am grateful for everyone who supports us, lets us now they're praying. I'm grateful for everyone who prays silently. For the people I have no idea about. For every prayer uttered, I am grateful.
  • For my old friends, new friends. All the people that put up with my craziness and tell me that I'm doing okay when I really need it. For those who have taken my kids at the last second, for friends who are there in the moment I need them most. For old friends I've reconnected with, for new friends I've made. For the friends that have been there the whole time.
  • For my church. What a rock. We could not have made it through the last year without Zion. I'm so Thankful for all of them, and everything they've done.
  • For good harvests, for rain. For snow, and sunshine.
  • For coffee.
  • I'm thankful we live in a small town. Everyone looks at us and knows our story. That can be a double edged sword, but it's been almost nothing but good. We've felt rallied around, and we're thankful we live where we do.
  • I'm thankful for nurses, therapists, doctors. Not all, but among the masses are shining gems. I'm thankful that these are the people that have come into our lives. Nurses with compassion, therapists with understands, doctors who care.
  • Family. The support we've found there is something we draw strength from all the time. For all of you who've watched the girls, made a meal, or called just to cry with us, you are priceless.
  • For every day. It's cliche, but every day is such a gift. I don't think I could ever look at them the same again.
Amazing girl.

For every one of those smiles. I could spend the day just trying to see that grin.

Fancy toenails. She's growing up so fast, who'd have ever thought that 4 meant she'd be such a big girl?
New shoes. She's growing and thriving, Praise God! This is all due to Him, he answers prayers. A year ago, we had no idea we would be in a place as good as we are now.

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1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal

2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing3. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,

10. but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

12. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.