It all started back at the beginning of May when our van windows shattered. Then Drew got sick in the convent where St. Bernadette died and was buried. Next was a terrible run in with a weed whacker.
The boys were jumping on the trampoline while Brian was mowing and doing yard work. I was down in the school room doing some work on the computer when I heard hysterical screaming from Drew and Judah. They've been fighting a lot, so I waited a moment giving Brian time to turn off the weed whacker and deal with it. Screaming and weed whacker sounds continued so I headed upstairs and outside. The girls come flying down the stairs asking what happened. They had seen Drew holding his arm from their windows. By this time the weed whacker had stopped. When I got out there, Brian saw me and turned to go back to his yard work. Drew is still crying and holding his arm. He told me he was hit by a weed whacker string and lifted his arm to reveal a good cut across his arm. I won't to into all the hairy details, but it took me a minute to even see his precious face that was all cut up too. Judah was still crying and holding his head. Turned out he did get nicked just inside his hair line so we couldn't see it at first. When I was cleaning Drew up, he started saying his eye was hurting. Turned out he had a pretty bad corneal abrasion. Luckily those heal quickly. Children are no longer allowed to be outside at all when Brian is weed whacking. The ridiculous machine flings broken plastic string pieces left and right.
Next up was the return of he stomach bug. Hannah and I felt really nauseated and lost our appetite fr a couple of days, but when Genna said she didn't feel good and her tummy hurt. I knew what was coming. She threw up for around 8 hours. She ended up sleeping in between on the floor of the bathroom. After the worst was over, I made her a bed on our floor with an extra mattress.
The next day when I was reading Judah his nap time story he told me his mouth hurt. Not two seconds later he turned and threw up all over the floor in his room. He only felt miserable for about 3 hours. After the last time he puked (in his hair) I put him in the bath and he started to play and tell me he was better...and so he appeared to be. That was two days before we were supposed to fly out. That was a tough decision to make. I was so afraid someone else would get sick on the plane or at our friend's house. It ended up being fine and that was the end of that bug.
Just wait. There's more! We were blessed that we were able to go to our old homeschooling field day and see many people we might otherwise not have been ale to see. However, as we were leaving in the rental van, I was backing out so slowly thinking about all the kids around and the fact that I didn't have a back up camera in the van. I am rolling backwards when I hear a thump. I hit the brakes hard. I say a prayer that I didn't just hit a child and look out my driver's side window. A lady I know has her hand out to tell me to stop and her eyes wide with fear. I get out of the van and run around the back of it to see our stroller on the ground with two wheels snapped off. Phew!
I was so happy that I didn't hit a kid or a car that I didn't even care about the stroller. The witness said something along the lines of, "Oh no! Your stroller!" when I was thinking, "I'm so glad it was just the stroller."
And so it continues...
Isaac had to go to the emergency room while in Maryland because I was unsure if his arm was broken or not after he fell out of the swing and landed on it funny. It turned out to be just a sprain, but still a trip to the ER makes the cut for the bad luck streak.
And finally, or at least I hope it is finally, on our attempt to fly space available on the way back to Germany we were waiting to decide which air base to drive to and try when three flights to Germany opened up on one day in Dover. There were two flights with 53 seats firm released and one unknown. I thought it was a sure thing. I rented an expensive one way mini van there. We said our good byes and we got on the last flight of the day...taking 7 of the last 8 seats on the plane. We were on the bus next to the plane when they pulled us and our luggage back into the airport sending the cargo flight on ahead due to a computer issue without the 53 passengers hopping on. That was the end of all hope getting out of Dover.
It was after 11pm. We had no transportation of any kind. We had no hotel room booked. We spent the night in a private lounge in the airport sponsored by a very nice family. We had two wing back chairs and two couches. We had no pillows, blankets, or anything more than a sweater a piece. I made a pallet on the floor for Judah with my sweater. Drew and Isaac both took a chair. Hannah and Genna shared a couch and I had the other couch. Bobby's makeshift crib was the funny part. I used the wall and our bags to form a crib, albeit shallow, with the one baby blanket that I brought on the floor. We turned out the lights and Bobby and I were up with the sun since the room had a wall of windows. The rest of the kids slept in though. Drew slept all the way until 9am with all of us awake and moving around in the room.
There were two flights scheduled the next day. One was cancelled early on and the other had only 19 tentative seats. Guess who was never going to get those seats. The last 7 people on the flight from the night before with about 45 people ahead of me who also did not fly out the day before. I hung out anyway because you just never know for sure until you try. I didn't get on the flight and was trying to figure out what to do since the on base lodging was full, the hotels off base required a taxi or rental van that was going to cost a minimum of $70 just to get to the hotel, not to mention the cost of an extra big room for us. Just when I had resigned myself to spending the night in the not so private "kid's room" where there were cribs and couches, the Holy Spirit stopped me as a walked past this mom who was playing a board game with her son. I asked if she got on the flight, and she said that they did. I was just telling her that we had no where to stay and that we stayed in the airport the night before. She said she had a hotel room on base that she could give us since they were flying out. It was 15 minutes until the shuttle stopped running to the hotel. I caught the last shuttle and her husband even drove over to the hotel, taking some of my bags that wouldn't fit in the shuttle, and personally handed the room over to me at the front desk. Then he even offered to leave the keys to his van with me, to which I refused politely. A total stranger! We slept in the cheapest nicest lodging ever. I had run out of diapers and was able to walk to get some more. Plus, we ordered pizza. There was screaming from the two and four year old...a lot, but we had a place to sleep and food to eat. It was a blessing. It was the next morning that I found out that Brian had found cheap one way tickets back for us. I went ahead and tried for the one more flight to Germany out of Dover that day, but knew it would take a miracle. We didn't get on, more and more people (in a higher category than us) were showing up coming from other air bases that had been cancelling flights due to the computer issues. He booked the tickets and we headed to the rental car place again to pay an insane amount of money to drive a one way rental mini van back to whence we had come just three painful days earlier.
Even through all our "bad luck," you could see the good that came out of it and in spite of it. I am thankful that none of these things were actually catastrophic. We survived and hopefully will be better persons for all our experiences.
I have been loving this quote lately by St. Sebastian. "At the end you will not regret having suffered, but having suffered so little, and having suffered that so badly." Amen to that!