Tuesday, March 31, 2009

JOSHUA’S SURGERY

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

“Well,” thought Alice to herself, “after a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs.”
Alice in Wonderland


It has been two weeks since Joshua broke his arm, so we got an x-ray to make sure it was healing properly. The x-ray showed that the bone had not only moved, but was now angling upwards. We came in to Asuncion and met with a traumatologist. He cut Joshua’s cast off, took a higher quality x-ray, and immediately decided that Joshua needed surgery. That was at noon.

A few hours later, I dropped Jeff and a very scared Joshua at the hospital. While Joshua was under anesthesia the doctor tried to set the fracture externally but couldn’t, so he made an incision and went in. He drilled a pin into the bone to keep it in place and then re-casted it.

I saw Joshua as soon as he got out of surgery. He was pretty uncomfortable and inconsolable. I hated seeing him crying out in pain! I also brought Tyler up to visit Jeff because while Joshua was in surgery Tyler fell with a q-tip in his ear (not his smartest move). His ear was bleeding and he was writhing in pain (doesn’t that make you cringe?). Sure enough, Tyler had a (q-tip sized) hole in his eardrum. Tyler’s pain didn’t last long, thank goodness.

Joshua spent the night in the hospital with daddy. This morning when I went to visit he was clean, happy, and moving around. Kids are so resilient! He is “home” (we’re still in Asuncion) now and doing well.


About an hour after surgery


Joshua with his Get Well cards

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pictures

I have February pictures posted here.
And some January pictures here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Update on KIDS and MEDICINE

March 23, 2009


KIDS


I felt so badly for JOSHUA the first couple days after getting his cast on. He was so helpless and had a moping look. He moved very slowly and protected his casted arm. Praise God, his arm never hurt, but his fingers were sore and swollen. The cast was pretty heavy at first for him and he didn’t realize he could lift it on his own. He was uncomfortable sleeping and had to call my in the morning to help him up. It was very hard to see him non-active, wandering around the hose watching his sibling ride bikes, building towers and wrestling. Have no experience with broken limbs I thought, “How can he survive 6 weeks of this?”

Well, I shouldn’t have worried because after a few days Joshua was showing off all the things he can do with one arm – get dressed, climb the bunk bed ladder, ride his bike, and color with his left hand. Joshua seems to actually enjoy his cast and is often seen using it as a gun...of course boys will be boys. The casting material here is the pits and Joshua is “shedding” over everything. Jeff put another layer yesterday on the cast because it was getting soft. Homeschool has become more challenging and time consuming for me because everything he does now has to be oral….all his math problems and spelling tests.

The tree where Joshua fell


Ginny being the first to sign Joshua's cast




I cannot believe how easy potty training MICAH has been! He has basically potty trained himself because I refused to get my hopes up. Can you call it “potty” trained when he makes his steam more often off the front porch than in the potty?

I think every kid has a picture like this!



Ginny, at 7 years old, has her first loose tooth. She has been carrying a mirror around looking at it, wiggling it, and talking about it.


Yesterday we were talking about the Passover and the death angle who killed the first born sons of the Egyptians. Ryan said, “I bet that angel went to hell for murdering.”

As I was reading a paper Ryan wrote for an assignment, I felt that he had left out information. It read, “Walking home, Jason tripped and broke his leg. He went home and got a cast on. The next day….” I felt it was choppy and he left out a hospital scene. I said to Ryan, “How can he just go home and put a cast on?” Ryan replied, “Well, of course his dad helped him.” Now I understood. I had to explain that what dad did for Joshua wasn’t the normal procedure when kids break bones.


MEDICAL HAPPENINGS
MEDICAL HAPPENINGS

Lesson: Don’t let anything “fall in your ear”
Jeff fished for two hours in an 8 years old ear for a BB that he said “just fell in”. It was very deep and Jeff tried everything (lavage, suction, magnets) without success. He tried numerous times to pull it out but it was like trying to grab a basketball with salad tongs. At Jeff’s request he came back the following morning. Jeff first tried to use our teammate’s long powerful magnet but it was too wide to fit in the now swollen ear canal. So Jeff stuck a smaller cylinder shaped magnet in the kid’s ear and watched it disappear. The long magnet was able to stick to the cylinder shaped magnet which was stuck to the BB.

Lesson: Don’t run in the dark
Jeff sewed up our teammate’s son eye lid after he ran into a barbed wire fence while playing hide-and-go-seek in the dark.

Lesson: wear flip flops when farming
A man came to the house after having his toe nearing completely torn off by a farming machine. After numbing the toe and hosing off the affected area, Jeff pulled back the hanging skin and looked inside. It was still so dirty, especially in the joint. Jeff explained that he could sew it up if it was a simple case, but he needed to be in an OR and have his toe scrubbed clean. Plus the tendon was affected and joint were affected. I guess the man didn’t quite grasp the severity of the situation because he asked, “Can’t you just do an average job here?” Jeff replied, “If I do an average job, you will lose your toe.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MARCH MOBILE CLINIC

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We want to start a bible study in the San Blas neighborhood (here in San Francisco) and decided to kick it off with a mobile clinic. We parked the van in a family’s front yard. It was a very relaxing morning. Jeff saw just a handful of people and by 10:30 was able to sit and enjoy time of fellowship and sharing about Jesus as we passed tererĂ©.

Mobile Clinic


Jeff in action


Talking about Jesus while relaxing under a shade tree drinking terere


Nilsa sharing about Jesus through The Wordless Book

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Friends, a workshop and a pig

March 14, 2009

We are so thankful that Chris and Vicki Fry (and their kids), missionaries living in Asuncion, were able to come visit us. Chris taught a financial workshop Friday night for our community. During the week as Jeff and I taped fliers to the windows of tiendas I was a little stressed thinking that possibly no one would come. Our small back-woods town doesn’t have workshops or guest speakers, so I wasn’t sure if the people would recognize how helpful a “How to Manage Your Finances” class would be. We were thrilled that 25 people showed up and listened intently. Then two people signed up for further counseling on financial matters.

Friday our Saturday lunch was delivered – a pig. It came (as we suspected) dead and gutted only. Jeff attended to patients at the house that afternoon, so after he’d see a few people, he’d change gloves and start hacking/sawing/chopping up the pig. When more patients came, he’d change gloves again and attend to their needs….then back to the pig…..this routine continued all afternoon.

Our guests left Saturday afternoon and I quickly changed the sheets in the guest room because we have another house guest tonight (Saturday). Elion is a short term missionary from Switzerland. She will be in Paraguay a total of five months but she will be interning in San Francisco for a month only. She is a nurse and will be volunteering at the health outpost. Tomorrow we will introduce her to her Paraguayan host family.

Chris sharing with the community about finances


Doctor and butcher


Just one kiss....


Micah picking the pig's nose.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

CONFESSIONS FROM A BLONDE

March

Ginny confessed, “Ryan, when you had your retainer, I used to sneak into the bathroom where you kept it during meals and would secretly wear it.”

After a raining night we woke up to a green garden. Ginny exclaimed happily, “Who planted all those carrots in our garden?” she was disappointed when I told her they were weeds.

Ginny proudly to her dad, “Today I learned about odd and evil numbers.’ (even)

When Ginny’s rabbits were doing “it” she looked at me and said, “They are always mating! Aren’t you glad humans don’t mate?” I quickly changed the subject. The birds and the bees lecture will have to wait a few years.

After Joshua broke his right arm, I was commenting about how difficult it will be for Joshua to do his school work. Ginny piped us (and she wasn’t kidding), “I only want to do his handwriting for him because that is my favorite subject.”

Ginny and Joshua were talking about life in the 1500BC Assyrian Empire in school this week. I told them that their literature was stored on clay tablets and I showed a picture of their “rock” library. Obviously having no concept of time, Ginny said, “If I become a missionary to those people, I would bring them paper too.”


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MY MONKEY

Monday, March 16, 2008

Yesterday Joshua, my 5 year old monkey fell out of a tree and broke his arm. We were sitting outside with a friend drinking terere around 4:30. The kids were running and climbing and having a great time together. Joshua lost his footing in the tree and fell flat like a pancake with his wrist folded under his body. Ginny said she heard a popping sound. I am so thankful for my husband who remains calm and knows exactly what to do. Seeing Joshua in that much pain made me physically sick. I felt so bad for him and even now as I write this my eyes are tearing up. He is such a trooper though! Jeff was able to reset the fracture with a lot of twisting and pushing and pulling and then he casted it past the elbow.

Jeff called a clinic in Caazapa (45 minutes on a bumpy road) and they said they’d hold the office open for us. As I was packing the other kids to stay at our team mates house Joshua began to cry. I sympathetically said, “Are you hurting a lot?” Joshua replied, “No. I want to go to the Floyd’s house too.” Luckily I had a Curious George monkey just waiting to be given to a cute little boy. Joshua loves anything “Monkey George” and I thought it was a very appropriate gift.
Praise God, the x-ray in Caazapa looked great. My hubby did an excellent job of setting the bones (yes, both bones) correctly.

Joshua slept fitfully last night and is moping around today trying to get used to the heavy plaster cast. Thanks for your prayers.

Sorry if any of you are squeamish...


Jeff putting the cast on


Monkey boy with Monkey George

Saturday, March 14, 2009

TEXAS!

March 2, 2009

I have to brag on my kids…and my state. Our home school co-op decided to have each of the kids do a presentation on where they spend furlough. It fit right into Ryan’s 4th grade curriculum as he was already scheduled to study Texas history. I have considered Texas my home state since 6th grade and took 7th grade Texas history but I am a bit embarrasses to admit that there was so much I didn’t know (or remember).

Ryan did a fantastic job of researching and writing his 9 paragraph paper (it was a 5 week project). On the day of the presentation he read with confidence. As a display, Ryan drew the state of Texas on a board and labeled various famous cities. Ginny participated by decorating a board with the various state symbols she had drawn. She too was very confident telling the group about the state flower and the state dinosaur, etc. When Joshua learned that we were preparing something about Texas he did not want to be left out, so he drew the Texas flag. He shared with the group about the significance of the colors and the lone star. One of the other home schoolers commentated after Joshua was done, “That was short but he was really good.”
Texas really has a cool history….no wonder Texans are notorious for bragging about their state.

Ryan sharing about Texas history


Ginny talking about Texas


Joshua sharing about the Texas flag


a million Texas cookies


Texas flag cake

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

THE GREEN MONSTER STRIKES AGAIN!

Tuesday March 3, 2009

Sunday we spent the night at our missionary friend’s house in Villarrica. Monday morning we had a SIM meeting in that town followed by fellowship and listening to home school presentations. Late afternoon we ran a few errands, went grocery shopping and headed home. We stopped in Caazapa for what we thought was going to be a quick dinner. “Shrek” (aka the green monster) had other plans and refused to turn over its engine once we were all piled in again. Thinking it was the battery, Jeff called one of our friends to jump us….but even then the car would not start. It was dark and too late to do anything. We were pulled to our team mates house who work in Caazapa. They were so gracious to welcome us into their home at such short notice (Like 5 minutes before we arrive at their doorstep).

I am not even going to pretend to know what transpired car-wise. Sarah and I spend much needed time together and our kids played as Jeff made decisions about the car. All of our car problems, replacement parts, and tow truck experiences tend to blend together in my mind. All I know is that I was glad to not be broken down in the middle of nowhere this time AND that we have 4 ½ more months before we can wash our hands of that car! It wasn’t the battery because that would be way too easy to diagnose and fix. The mechanic was able to do a make-shift repair job on the starter and suggested we head to Asuncion for a proper fix. We opted to go home to San Francisco since we were not prepared to spend a week in Asuncion and pray that our car would hold up. At 6:00 we arrived home…well, we arrived in San Francisco. We actually went directly to our team mates house for dinner because we had visitors visiting from the city. They were just going to stay in our house without us but I am glad we made it back to spend some time with them.

We pray our car makes it to the end of this month whoen we plan to go to Asuncion.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Church, a wedding, and 3 baptisms!

March 8, 2009

Wow is the first word that comes to mind when I think of how awesome today was. The 85 degree weather was such wonderful welcome after a week of sweltering heat. There was a nice breeze and it was overcast the entire day as we met for our once a month outdoor “celebration service”. We had record attendance too – almost 100 people! God is so good and we are seeing lives changed.

We had three baptisms! One was a lady named Zulma. Zulma has an incredible testimony that dates way back to when she would come lying and begging to our teammate’s house. God has the ability to change the most unlikely hearts. Now she has been faithfully attending church, has a bible study meeting weekly at her home, and has been the catalyst for much of her neighborhood coming to the Lord and being baptized. Pray that she will continue to set an example with her life. Pray especially for her husband, Pedro, who is not a believer- yet.

We also had two weddings! Rosarina and Alcides have 4 children (they baptized two of them just today) and have been married in a civil service only. They recently made Jesus their Lord and were baptized just last month. Next, they wanted a church wedding. Eugenia (Rosarina’s sister) and Demesio talked about marriage and baptism months ago when they first gave their lives to Jesus. They were both baptized but moved away before they could get married. Now they and their two small children have moved back to San Francisco. The request of these two couples to become married is incredibly exciting because marriage is just not done around here. They have set an example for their children, the (non married “couples”) in our church, and for the community. This was the first “evangelical” wedding in our community. Some of their family had walked 2 hours to come to the event.

Do not think North American wedding! You know the American wedding chant – Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue. The two couples are poor and cannot afford rings, so they both used rings borrowed from other church members. Under Eugenia’s wedding dress (something new) I noticed she wore her same chunky, red-dirt stained tennis shoes (something old)….actually, very practical here. As for the something blue…their children. Tony, our teammate, did a wonderful job officiating the wedding. He had to talk loud over all the babies (mainly their own children) crying and wanting to be picked up by mommy.
Jeff played a waltz on the keyboard and the couples danced. Then we offered congratulations, drank terere, ate delicious grilled chicken, rice salad and mandioca, and had the Lord’s Supper. As we were packing up, a pig (dinner) was tied to the back of our mobile clinic and we drove the couples back home. That evening, Ginny and I (the others stayed at home) helped them eat that pork as we continued celebrating the marriages.

Watching a baptism in a cattle trough


Exchanging borrowed wedding rings


Just married!


I love this! The bride enjoys terere just after the ceremony. Terere is such a custom here, but marriage isn't.


Groom and family tying dinner to the back of the mobile clinic...something Jeff has not transported before!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The End of Summer

Sunday we change our clocks back an hour and into Fall. It’s hard to believe since it is still so hot here (in the upper 90s). There have been several days that have been unbearably hot and with no air-conditioning, sometimes my house is as hot as it is outside.

The school year here is from February to November. Last week the Paraguayan kids started back. We have always put our kids in Paraguayan school and home schooled them, but this year we decided only to home school them in hopes of saving our sanity. It became just too for me to try to home school three kids for just a few hours in the morning, cook lunch by 12:00 and send them off to afternoon classes. Ginny and Joshua don’t really mind, but Ryan says he misses being able to play with his school buddies.

Remember when I wrote about clocking 24 hours of standing in government building lines and signing official papers on one trip into Asuncion? Well, it paid off because we now have our Paraguayan cedula. This is kind of like a social security number in the US. This means that we are as much a Paraguayan citizen as a foreigner can get. We all received them except Joshua. They said his fingerprints were smudged and he needs to repeat the process….another time and another trip to Asuncion. Ug!

Jeff, proud to be holding up our cedulas


Tryingto stay cool.


Nothing better than relaxing in a hammock


It is nothard to tell why this called "sheep caterpillar" He acts just as nasty as he looks too. If he strikes, he will send what feels like pins through your body followed by severe pain.



co Amy McKissick 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

KIDZ

Today, Tyler was complaining that he had a sun burn to which Joshua kept replying, “No.” And Tyler kept shouting, “Yes, I do.” Finally Joshua yelled, “You can’t have a sun burn because you are brown. Only white people like me can get burned!” Tyler seemed to be satisfied with that logic.

We are reading a book about missionary heroes and we read about Nate Saint. We asked the kids, “What is a cannibal?” Ginny piped up, “I know! It’s the animals with two bumps on their back.”

Tyler announced he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up. I asked Joshua if he still wanted to be doctor and he replied, “I want to be a no body.” Ginny, always the sympathetic one said, “You could be a human.”


In practicing for his oral book report on Helen Keller, Ryan kept pronouncing her name, Ellen Keller. Finally, after being corrected numerous times he said, “I forget what language you don’t pronounce the H.

Ginny says, “I like the handstand on my bike.” (kick stand)


I guess I took for granted that everyone knew about paper dolls. Ginny was given a book with two paper dollies, several clothing options and a thousand tiny accessory pieces for Christmas but never played with it. I was busy in the kitchen when I saw her get down the book and head for my bed room. She busied herself for an hour at least with the dolls. Finally she came out and showed me all her “craft projects”. She had punched out the two paper doll girls and, because she had no idea what the tabs were for, she glued the clothes, shoes, purses and crowns on the bodies. With the left over clothes she glued them onto paper and drew bodies around them. I said, “Honey, did you not wonder what the white tabs were for?” She replied, “Yes. So I cut a lot of them off.”


Potty training has begun with Micah. I absolutely hate potty training days….weeks…..months. To me, nothing can be more of a test on my (lack of) patience….drop everything you are doing to stand in the bathroom to wait for a kid who may or may not decide that this time they will poop in the potty or a test of my (lack of) organization/schedule household….. there are days when I forget to get him dressed or put on his shoes before leaving the house, and now I have to remember to say, “Let’s go potty” too. Potty training did not go any smoother the 4th time around with Tyler, so we will see how it goes this time.

I love how our kids can sleep pretty much anywhere. At a recent stay in a hotel Ginny and Joshua were arguing because they both wanted to sleep in the 2x3 foot closet.

The bible studies hold everyone accountable to the story by making the participants memorize a verse and a theme each week. Our neighbor, who wears an afro-ish hair do, always has such a hard time. One night she was especially slow at catching on and she said, “I have a big head for nothing.”

Tonight I was admiring my all my boys’ haircuts…until I go to Joshua and noticed the front was a bit odd looking. I asked Jeff (the barber) why he messed up so badly on Joshua’s hair. As we looked closer, we realize that Joshua had cut his own hair in front. He is 5 years old. Isn’t he supposed to be out of that stage?


potty training stage...ug!


Joshua after his hair cut