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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Please send Stanley home.......

Erika Anslow is desperately searching for her missing dog Stanley. Stanley went missing from her Qualicum home. Qualicum is located on Vancouver Island in BC, Canada. It's believed Stanley has been stolen. Stanley is Erika's therapy dog. He is a brown labradoodle. Stanley went missing around September 18, 2015. Stanley has many distinguishing features, including a large cyst on his left eye, a back left paw with only three pads and a scar on his left shoulder from a cancer operation. Please keep your eyes open as Stanley can be anywhere. This beloved family member needs to be returned to his rightful owner. If by chance you know where Stanley is, or by chance you are the one housing Stanley, please do what's right and return him home, no questions asked. We have dogs of our own, they're a part of our family. I know Stanley would love to be reunited back with his momma. Please send him home...... 





Monday, December 28, 2015

Goodbye 2015 - we won't miss you"

January 2015 was our littlest daughter's dual hip and groin surgeries. It was a rough two week hospital stay after our daughter contracted the super bug and developed a controlled blood infection. For me as her mother it was very difficult to witness while my daughter suffered immensely. Recovery went well and by the Spring, our daughter was almost back to normal! 
 Here is our daughter at our friend's birthday party dedicated for Emily. Judy dedicated her 70th birthday to Emily to help fund raise for an all terrain jogging stroller. It's been purchased and it's used all the time! Thank you Judy! We will always remember and be forever grateful! We love you!
In March I went over and spent the day with my oldest daughter. It was a great day together. My oldest showed me everywhere she hangs out, we tried the Brewery and we had a great day together. I really enjoy hanging out with my adult children. It's on a completely different level.  
 April was a busy but fun month. We had many birthdays, different outdoor family outings and celebrated Easter. This picture below I made for my granddaughter's second birthday. April is always a great month for everything - including weather!
 In May I started running with Emily. My plan was to run a half marathon pushing Emily with her all new terrain jogging stroller! It's still a plan eventually!
 At the end of May my husband started complaining of a sore neck. From there.....after four emergency visits with no success, he was finally assessed at the third hospital in Comox a week later. Diagnosed being severely septic throughout his whole body due to a fast spreading infection called MRSA. The picture below was my husband's condition when I wheeled him out of Victoria General's Emergency because they would not admit nor properly assess him due to our previous emergency visits to the Nanaimo hospital (three times) We were told we had two many fish in the sea, and go home and take his pain management. From Comox he was air lifted back to Victoria where he remained in ICU for three weeks, then released after two and a half months. The MRSA spread throughout his body and he needed a chest operation to drain infection pockets around his heart. The day of discharge was an emotional one however upon returning home, my husband was septic once again. He then was transported to Nanaimo, where he remained another two weeks. 

 July and August became a blur. It was back and forth traveling from our home to Victoria. We had family arrive from up north. We had family and friends help support and look after our children while I was away. We lost a season completely and the stress of being told (a few times) I was going to loose my husband was becoming unbearable. Not many know...but during this time I had to get power of attorney over everything. I was preparing for the worst while remaining hopeful that one day he would come home. Finally when that second attempt of coming home was successful, we learned to administer is iv medication. Nightly by gravity flow until late October we never missed a treatment. 
 During October and November we started to venture out more. We would take short day trips with our children, and tried to find normalcy while still worrying with my husband's diagnoses of MRSA and the high chance of relapsing.  
 My husband and I started going out together more. We have always dedicated ourselves to our family. Our children. Now, we are taking more time for ourselves. Seen below, we went to a little town called Chemainus twice. In October and November. We watched two live theater performances. 
 This is how we live.....
We were so happy to continue our annual Christmas party!   
This Christmas was special for several reasons. Not only did we survive 2015, for the first time, we spent Christmas with more family members. Seen below is my Brother, myself and my father! 
 For the first time ever, we had Christmas with my oldest sister and her family!
 AND my oldest daughter surprised us on Christmas eve knocking at our door at 8 pm. She flew across the Country to spend Christmas with us!
 This picture below is not all of us. We are missing five of our children, plus the rest of our family however it's a cute Christmas photo saying, "Good bye 2015 from our family to yours!" 

Now that 2016 is here I feel ready to move on from 2015. It's a reflection that I hope to let go. Normally I love our experiences. Normally I write more posts. 2015 was very difficult for us. The lack of posts proved that my mindset wasn't into sharing how I was feeling. The exhaustion. The stress. The worry. The stigma even against us was at times overwhelming. Sometimes the support was overwhelming. We were definitely lost emotionally in 2015. To update, Gerald has gained strength and weight however has chronic spinal pain which results in several ongoing pain in his body including his hips, back and knees. He has hypertension frequently but his TIA's (mini-strokes) seems to have subsided. The specialist says it's unfortunate and that recovery will take a long time and chances for relapse is unknown. Gerald can't work due to his spinal injuries from the MRSA. We are taking it day by day in hopes for a full recovery and 100% health in our future! 

I'm personally looking forward to a brand New Year with many exciting experiences, memories and insights to share! I want to take this time to thank everyone that supported us, believed in us and most importantly was a listening ear. For the first time in a long time, I needed to be at that other end. To conclude, it was so amazing being a part of a community coming together. I appreciate every one. The list is too long. Love to each and every one of you. 

"Goodbye 2015 - we won't miss you"  

"Hello 2016 - you are even, and you have that sweet sixteen number inside you - you are our year!"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dec 14th - some words and reflection!

I will admit that we have been busy! Slightly hectic around here juggling December! To the point where it doesn't matter if I'm driving around like this!
 However, sometimes the hectic lifestyle all folds into place! Three of our girls were ready for our Christmas party and anxiously waiting for our departure!
 Then we have a few of our boys that are calm, cool and all together collected!
 Family is so important. Seen below is our two older sons (brothers) forever into adulthood!
 Santa is always a great surprise! Seen below is our youngest daughter ecstatic with his arrival! 
 And seen below is our youngest son listening to Santa's story. Our Santa is a long time family friend, he has known me since I was born. Now he remains in our family as this magical special Santa. Our elf this year was a beautiful friend inside and out. She's also an amazing friend on whom our children call, "Aunty Kelly"
 Once again, my sister (Aunty Laura) made a cake for our party! A cute snowman!
 Seen below is my brother in law, myself, our elf  and my sister!
 We managed to supply more then enough prizes! And thank you to a few friends that donated, and helped during this process! I appreciate absolutely everything. Making children smile during a magical evening is an event I hope and wish to continue!
 The talent show was fun. Thank you to my mother (Verna) for continuing to support her grandson with his love for music, and all our amazing beautiful teachers that support our family too! 
 Me - "I've learned to love myself first, then I can take better care of every one else second"
 Seen below is one of our sons (Austin) With perseverance, and a lot of persuading, nudging, semi-arguing through the duration - he has a great job and now is his own driver! Proud of him, because after all....we know our children have what it takes to succeed! They just need to go out there and get it! 

 The glue!
You know....we have had many serious challenges in our marriage. And now while still fighting illness we have come closer together then ever. My message is; if we can survive, you can! Life isn't meant to be easy. It's a rocky road, and it's a road worth fighting for. Remember, you are stronger together. Relationships are work, and at the end of raising children, we are left with each other. I've learned my husband is my best friend. 

 Merry Christmas and wishing every one a healthy 2016! 

"Live & Love"



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Join us for a Christmas party!



It's that time of year again! Dec 12th is our annual Christmas Party! 

Please bring a labelled present with your child's first and last name on it for Santa's bag. 

It's a potluck, please bring something to share to the dinner table!

There will be a talent show! Practice your talent and sign up! We are! We will be singing as a group and our one son will be signing up doing a solo on his guitar! Talents not to be missed! 



 AND there will be prizes!

A craft table!

And dancing! 

It's a casual party but you're more then welcome to wear your Christmas ugly sweaters! We are! 

Hope to see you there! And if not, "Merry Christmas" to your family from ours!

PS - if you need any more details and location, please feel free to email me at hohnstein@shaw.ca