February 21, 2011

A Modern Day Piano Lesson

We had to most wonderful piano teacher last year from March-June. Both Madeline and Jack were learning by leaps and bounds. The sad news.....she moved back to the states to attend college. After spending the last 6 months trying to find a suitable replacement, we came up with an idea! Why not try piano lessons via Skype 5,000 miles away. Jerin seemed up to the challenge! Thanks to her willingness to see Madeline succeed (Jack is on hold for now), she is conducting our lesson 7am ET and 1pm CET. Amazing - her willingness and dedication, we certainly appreciate it!

I thought I give you a glimpse of our set-up. Remember that our wi-fi doesn't exactly work in our house due to the concrete walls in which you'll see in the photos below! So we must run an ether-net cable from upstairs to downstairs!

Step 1 - running the lovely blue ether-net cable from the classroom upstairs

through the classroom, out the door.....

....down the hall (gotta love the color of our 1970's tile).....

...through the banister (notice the securing mechanism used around the spindle!)...

...across the ceiling in the mail hall downstairs, and through the door to the family room.....

....then comes the computer positioned on a step stool, Rubermaid tote & 3 dining room chairs!

All this for one amazing lesson and the joy of seeing your child excel in piano! Madeline has also had the opportunity to play as the main pianist for several of our church services! It's been an awesome opportunity for her!

Crazy Weather

For a moment, I thought winter was over and perhaps, spring had come to stay. Well, waking up this morning to the ground covered with snow, sure was a surprise for us all. So, we took advantage of the recent snow and spent the day skiing in the Bavarian Alps!

We are thankful; however, that we've had several weeks of dry, dare I say Sunny, warming weather! Here's just a few photos of how our landscaping is confused during this temperature swing!

Our hazelnut tree in full bloom - while a shrub is covered with ice from freezing rain. Do you notice the bright green stem growing in the middle? Well that's an over ambitious rose bush - crazy.

February 20, 2011

Root canal, Root Canal.....Root Canal!

Okay, funny title, I know! Lets rewind to our ski trip to Soelden, Austria in early November 2010. You'll notice if you glance back, in the archives, at the amazing photos from our trip you'll not read anything about tooth problems! I thought it was a temporary toothache, nothing worth adding to the trip's notes. Well.....nearly 4 months later - the tooth is still a work in progress.

My simple (or so I thought) toothache turned BAD. After dealing with the excruciating pains in my jaw and ear for 2 days at an altitude of 3,250 meters (10,662 ft), I knew it must be something bad. I thought a sinus infection and once we cleared the altitude, things would get better. Well the 4 hour drive home, seemed never ending.

The next morning I tried tackling the mountain of stinky, ski laundry, tried getting the kids back on track with school and running Madeline and Jack this way and that for soccer training. By the end of the day, I was in agony wanting to find a pair of pliers and yank this tooth. So early the next morning, 6:00am, I went to the base dental clinic for something....anything that would help this pain. The Dr. said that the nerve of the tooth was dying and that is why I had so much pain. After being made to wait until 8:30am (when family members can be seen) this Dr. proceeded to do an "emergency" root canal.....or so he said.

Notice the book....this was the military dentist's plan - learn on the go! Yikes!

After every possible "test" they could do to this tooth, each increasing in pain, they finally numbed me up; that is after I stopped sobbing uncontrollably. Did I mention I had Madeline without an epidural? Yes, the worse pain you can imagine. Long story short, this Dr. opened the top of the tooth, drilled out the denta (the flesh of the tooth), sealed it and sent me on my way with heavy narcotics. I was under the impression that the "root canal" was complete and I should be feeling better. WRONG. On Monday, I was able to get in to see my regular German dentist on the economy. He took an x-ray and said that a root canal hadn't been preformed. So the base dentist actually sealed up the tooth with high infection in the tooth and bone. This had the potential to get ugly.

My dentist promptly reopened the tooth preformed the proper root canal, made 5 injections down in the canals of the tooh (OUCH) and filled the entire tooth cavity with liquid antibiotics then sent me home on oral antibiotics for 10 days. "Come see me in 10 days and we'll finish," he said.

Pictures always help to understand the process - I have had steps 2 & 3 preformed 8 times with 4 canals!

Ten days later - still infection in the bone. Repeat the same procedure as mentioned in the above paragraph - oh, but no need for being numbed this time! Crazy, yes, I know. I have gotten very good at quoting comforting scriptures and reminding myself that this awful pain I was experiencing each and every visit was nothing compared to that of the Lord's death!

So fast forward to today, nearly 4 months later. After 8 trips to the dentist, each one repeating the above steps - the tooth was finally healthy enough to receive the permanent filling! YIPPEE! I have never been happier. It was this happiness that made the last appointment's pain bearable. Now what? So I have to wait 6 weeks to make sure there isn't an adverse reaction to the filing and then.....a new crown. Well, that's to bring some pains - but I have a six week break! By the way, I do love my dentist, he's been great through the whole thing.

February 08, 2011

We're still here

Wow! Has it really been since last year that I've blogged? Things here are well, just a bit busy as usual. I hope to be able to update some photos, etc. later in the week. Thanks.