Happy New Year!
It was an early morning for us today. We woke up at 6:00 am to watch the 59th Presidential Inauguration. What an amazing opportunity for our little kindergartener and first grader to learn about leadership and government!
We watched former presidents, special guests and the elected candidates arrive. We sang the National Anthem and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. We listened to the President and Vice-President take their oaths to serve the country in accordance with the Constitution. We sang America, the Beautiful, This Land is Your Land, and Amazing Grace. We listened to the Inauguration Poem. We were full of respect for all those in the inaugural parade. We admired the amazing gifts given to 46th President Biden and Vice-President Harris.
Throughout the day, we colored pictures of President Biden, the White House, the USA Flag and completed a wordsearch along with other fun worksheets. We talked about God and what he says about government.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. – 1 Peter 2: 13-14
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. – Romans 13:1-6
Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! – Acts 5:29
At the end of the day, I asked our children, “What did you learn?”
First grader: “It is important and good that the President believes in God.“
Kindergartner: “Many people were presidents of the United States and came together to help each other.”
It was a good day to learn what inauguration is all about and what God says about our governing authorites.
Here is a great resource for kids (and adults) about the U.S. Presidential Inauguration:
What happened to 2020?
Celebrate the beginning of a new decade.
Congregation decides to close elementary school. Take husband to hospital with chest pains with lots of testing and probing. He receives a clean bill of health after two nights’ stay at the hospital. Big brother celebrates 6th birthday with friends and dinosaurs. Close on a new house. Corona virus sneaks in during spring break. Move to our new home (4th move in AK). Future kindergartener and first grader are selected for French Immersion Program at Elementary School through lottery. Mandates settle in. Take on many remodel projects in our new home. School is at home. Worship remotely online. Celebrate Holy Week and Easter at home. Cancel summer camps. Meet wonderful neighbors/new friends on our street. Take expected trip to WI to visit Gaga and Papa. Papa has successful medical procedure. Spend time on cousin’s farm. Quarantine for two weeks after travel. Go dipnetting with fellow pastors and teachers. Papa W visits. Hike K’esugi Ken Mountain. Visit to Denali National Park. Pick blueberries. Little ones learn to ride balance bikes. Begin first day of school online via Zoom. Mama teaches Spanish to preschoolers at congregation’s preschool. Covid cases rise in Alaska, mandates increase, school remains online (throughout first semester.) Decide to withdraw from French Immersion Program (a decision made with extremely heavy hearts) due to high volume of screen time. Begin to homeschool our 5- & 6-year-olds. Spend much time together outside and as a family. Attend pastor & teacher conference in Fairbanks. Enjoy time with fellow called worker families. Search for Northern Lights. Visit the North Pole. Celebrate Sweet Pea’s 6th birthday with unicorns. Celebrate the birth of the Savior with congregation members at church, mandate allows church at 50% capacity. Ring in new year at church and ready to move forward in God’s grace in 2021.
Autumn… Fall… Sweater Weather… I love this time of the year in Alaska. The warm colors, falling leaves, chill in the air, random snow flurries, lattes and hot cocoa fill me up with cozy sights and thoughts.
This season also brings wonderful celebrations, but there is one holiday I’d love to skip, Halloween.
Why? Our little Sweet Pea is filled with fear as the skeletons, ghosts, spiders, vampires, witches, gravestones, terror-filled masks and everything in between appear. It is the type of fear that’s connected to trauma, initiating a fight or flight response.
In Texas, our neighbors hung a gigantic spider web from the corner of their house to the edge of their driveaway, covering the majority of the front of their property. Every time we left or came home, our lil’ sweet pea screamed endlessly even after explaining that it was pretend. When we went for a walk, we had to avoid that side of the entire street.
Proactively, I try to avoid going into stores with her during the months of mid-August til mid-November to prevent a traumatic experience for her. Last week, we had a quick stop at a local shop. As soon as we crossed the parking lot and made it to the sidewalk, I could see we would be greeted by a life-size witch manniquin, positioned in the middle of the entrance. I did my best to prepare her and held her hand tight. As soon as her eyes gazed upon this scary creature, she screamed louder than I ever heard and ran away so fast. I ran as fast as I could and caught her before heading into traffic. Adrenalin was pumping in both of us; she was trembling. I tried to console her tears. We hesitantly entered the store, she was in my arms with her hood up and looking the other direction. We left immediately as scary decor filled much of the store, but after sharing our experience with the store manager.
On our way to pick up big brother from school yesterday, I heard “Mommy, Halloween is not good for little girls” from the backseat. Followed by, “Halloween is not my favorite.”
I know that many people enjoy Halloween, but I would be okay skipping the entire thing. Our family celebrates fall with leaves, pumpkins and favorite dress up costumes.
Today is special in so many ways! For many, October 18th is observed as Alaska’s birthday.
Alaska Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Alaska, observed on October 18. It is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States, which occurred on Friday, October 18, 1867.WIKIPEDIA
For our family, today is our one year anniversary with Alaska. The day we arrived in Alaska, 365 days ago. It is incredible to believe that one year has passed since we set foot (or tire) in the Last Frontier. Each day has brought the unexpected in different ways, which continues to keep us on our toes.
Three moves in five months was a bit chaotic, knowing that our plans include to move once more in several months — hoping for a more permanent residence. The Lord has blessed us every step of the way with love and encouragement from family and both new and old friends.
I am not sure to call it culture shock, repatriation, life in Alaska, ministry in a congregation rather than a world mission or a combination of all of the above… took a stronger toll on me than I ever anticipated. I am endlessly thankful for the unchanging grace and Word of God that led me through these unchartered waters.
I hope to share all our spring and summer adventures in the upcoming weeks! Stay tuned!
Two weeks ago, I felt a pain on the inner corner of my left knee. I monitored it daily as the pain grew and the area became red and warm to touch. The symptoms were similar to the initial blood clot that formed on the inner thigh of my right knee. I continue to take blood thinner daily, so the formation of a blood clot would be unlikely, possible. I made appointment at the laser vein clinic to get it checked out.
My clinic visit began with an in-depth consultation, measurements and photos followed by an ultrasound on both legs. The results were fantastic! Double and triple checked-no blood clots! The procedure was a success and everything is healing. The pain and redness in my leg is from the ablation and my body is absorbing the man made clot.
My legs feel amazing, No more aches, pains or cramps. My current treatment is blood thinner and compression stockings until my next check up in a month. God be praised for healing!
In May, I had successful treatment procedures for venous insufficiency or venous reflux in the greater saphenous vein. The first day, the doctor performed Radiofrequency Ablation and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy on my left leg and on the right leg the following the day.
Follow-up treatment included 30 minutes on the treadmill immediately following each procedure and wearing thigh high compression stockings for 36 hours (yes, that included overnight) and then a minimum of 8 hours each day for two weeks.
My additional treatment included a continued prescription of blood thinner medication to prevent future blood clots and physical activity of a minimum of walking an hour a day.
Due to the combination of the procedure and blood thinner, my legs were extremely bruised. The day after the procedure, I felt fantastic! The aching and throbbing in my legs disappeared along with the swelling in my ankles. It is amazing! I do often feel a ‘pulling’ and “tingling” sensation in my legs which are expected.
Last week, I went to the clinic for my follow-up ultrasound. Everything is healing properly and there was no sign of any blood clots. Praising the Lord for the diagnosis, the excellent medical team and successful procedures!
My next appointment is in three months.
Shortly after we arrived in Alaska, I began to feel pain in my right leg. As the days passed, the pain increased. When I couldn’t bend my leg, I discovered a hard lump behind my knee. My concern grew as I have Factor V Leiden which is an inherited blood-clotting disorder due to a mutation of the blood’s factor V protein. My mom also has it and survived a puliminary embolism.
After more research and a long search for a local preferred physcian, I had my first doctor’s visit in November as the clot had grown into a hard cord. We began the appointment with an hour consultation and exam, followed by a duplex ultrasound. The doctor’s office is located in the hospital which made it conveinient and possible to do immediately. The results confirmed that I had a blood clot and began immediate treatment with a prescribed blood thinner medication and thigh high compression stockings.
A week later, I began follow up treatment at a Laser Vein Clinic. We started with a thorough exam and duplex ultrasound on both legs. They discovered the exact placement of the clot, along with additional clots in my lower calf. The results also revealed that the great saphenous veins in both legs have reflux. These veins carry the blood upward to the heart, but mine have a gap in their flap that allows some of the blood to travel down and pool at my ankles due to gravity. It also causes cramps, aches and pains in my legs and feet.
For three months, I continued taking daily blood thinner medication, wearing the compression stockings and going to the clinic for regular ultrasounds. In April, the ultrasound indicated that my blood clot dissolved enough to move forward with part two of my treatment to remove the “bad” reflux veins. Today is the day… for the left leg and tomorrow the right.
May the Lord guide the medical team and my recovery.