Friday, August 29, 2008

3 came, 3 went and 30 others came!

Hello all!
Ahhh…Less pressure. The five townhouses we needed to get done, are now occupied by 30 Moody Bible Institute Spokane female students- mostly freshmen. Last week there were parents everywhere, arriving from all over the country and helping their daughters set up their apartments. I have been there- last year actually- with my own, so it was exciting to watch them in full swing. We received lots of thank you’s from the parents and girls. Greg was told by 3 parents, that if it weren’t for our housing option, they wouldn’t have let their daughter come to the school. Generally, students here just live in miscellaneous apartments around town. And the girls are sweet and kind and cute. But if you know me lately, with chemo brain, Crestor brain (short term memory issues), and age memory challenges on top of that, I was just like Dorrie in Finding Nemo! I am slowly learning their names. They are giving me hugs since I am missing my own girls. There is one unit that still has a woman and her 2 children in it. The kids are really bonding with some of the Moody girls, and the whole family came to the barbeque we gave there Sunday night. We dedicated the townhouses to the Lord and had a worship time. I am happy that Lena and her children get to be around these amazing Christian girls. I know they haven't ever experienced anything like it before. She plans to move at the end of October and we have a waiting list of Moody girls who want to move in. So that 'flip' will probably happen in early November. We would appreciate your prayers for Lena, Freddy and Taylor.

Our own kids came and we had 5 days together. We had fun as fast as we could. Tubing and swimming in the river, picking berries at a farm, the girls and I went for “tea” at Mad Hatties, Laura and I went to the gardens on the South Hill (new picture on my blog!). We took walks, went downtown and watched a movie at the IMAX Theater, the kids tubed some more, church, and we talked and laughed a lot! On Sunday evening we went with one of our Moody girls who is a photographer and had family pictures taken. You will be seeing those as time goes by. It was a wonderful time and I thank you for praying. There was some townhouse work in there too, but we were able to do all this besides.

Allison’s paperwork from Footprints, the international teacher recruiting company, came at 5:30 last Tuesday afternoon-10 days ago. On Wednesday morning, Jesse, Jenni and Allison drove to Seattle to the Korean embassy and at 3:30 that afternoon, they were handed her visa and drove back home. The lady at the embassy who processed her paperwork told her that her own daughter had left for Korea the day before to work for the same company! And she knew Allison was late for the training. She expedited things and even gave Allison her daughter’s name. Allison flew out early on Friday morning and after loosing a day in travel, got to Seoul on Saturday evening their time. She is in traing this week and goes to Olson, near Busan, soon to teach English in a public elementary school.

Jenni left for Grove City that night, and after spending the night at Denver airport for 6 hours, got to Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon where Uncle Fred met her and took her to college. Thank you Uncle Fred! She lost her phone on the way from Seattle to Denver, but the man who found it has contacted us and mailed it to her. I had to FedEx her new guitar to her. It was the first time they wouldn't let her take it on with her. She has a retreat this weekend that she is leading music for, so I hope it got there in time. She doesn't have her phone yet, so I can't call and ask!

Now, a note about Allison and Jenni’s Denver parents- Sean and Janet…I was told when they got here, that the entire time they were with them, there was a container of quartered strawberries in the fridge for them at all times, so Jenni taught me how to be like her other mother! They told many fun stories of their time with the Willcoxes. We enjoyed those stories immensely and laughed a lot! Thank you for the home away from home you provided for our daughters this summer! And Caleb is a ‘precious dew drop’ according to my girls! They love, love, love your grandson!

We are still working on my Coumadin levels. It was low yesterday- 1.8. It is supposed to be between 2 and 3 and the best would be 2.5. So I am wearing my compression knee socks and trusting God to take care of all that. My other blood work from my oncologist was all normal, and my recent cholesterol test showed that the Crestor 5mg I am taking has worked well. I have a little more to do on one of my levels, but the rest are coming down. 5mg is half the regular dose, but my naturopath doctor wanted to try the lower dose first and it worked.

I am feeling very achy and have had 3 headaches in the last month that have lead to nausea. I don’t get them that badly very often. All the meds for treating those interfere with the Coumadin, so we picked the least threatening one, so if I have to use it I can just call and let them know I am using it so we can adjust my Coumadin. I seem to be getting arthritis in my right had, so my naturopath also has me doing condroitin as that can help prevent the tissue from deteriorating more. We are trying some ideas for the aches and pains I have been having all over also. I am able to do things, but more slowly and with some growning.

Greg, Jesse and I are going camping this afternoon where they plan to go hunting later in the fall. I don’t think I have camped for 2 years! Last year we were moving and this year it was townhouses. We are going for 2 nights. Jesse starts school on Tuesday and will be going ½ days and working the other half at Starbucks. We met with our friends the other night about Jesse and their son going to Africa in January-May. The boys now have a plan for their preparation. Jesse graduates January 23rd, and plans to go ASAP after that.

And Sunday night Mary, my best friend from college, is coming for 4 ½ days. We are excited to be together and relaxation is the main goal. She has been working hard as a hospital chaplain and I get to pamper her! She hasn’t taken a trip like this for 5 years, so we are excited.

Well, I need to finish up the food preparation for camping, so I will let you go. Thank you for your love and prayers for me, and as always, your hard work reading all this! Blessings- Nancy Fritz

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Extreme Townhouse Makeovers!

Well, it has surely been too long since I have written. My computer has been broken for 2 weeks and it is only tentatively working right now. I was told to back it up this week and then the IT guys are going to clean it and reset it after they get back next week. So here is a catch up on my life. On Tuesday I pictured myself being on a beach with a hurricane blowing, with me holding onto a palm tree with my body suspended straight out by the blowing wind. That is how stressed I felt. Why? you might ask...

Here were my pressure points:
We were cleaning one of the townhouses we had had trouble getting the last renter out of. It was so filthy, the painters said they had never seen anything like it. Animal and human filth and it was so bad I didn't even go in until the carpet guys put an enzyme treatment down to kill the smell before laying the carpet. Greg went in with a shovel and just shuddered when telling me about it. (He is doing this in the evenings while working at Partners all day.) Greg had to fix all the holes in the walls including the results of an apparent paint ball game and knife throwing contest. Almost every door had holes kicked into it and had to be replaced. The tenant walked out with our washer and dryer too. So we had to get new ones (referbished). BUT they got out and we had until this last Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. to get it ready for the first girl to arrive.

So on Tuesday I called a friend who agreed to come and help me on Wednesday to do the final cleaning before the girl showed up with her family at 6 p.m. on Wed. We worked hard and fast and finshed the last touches right before they got there. So that pressure was on. That day the next unit emptied out, which meant we had to start all over again, but fortunately it was much less dirty. And we only have 5 days to get that one ready!

So when Lauren, a Moody Bible Institute freshman, arrived from Kansas City with her mom and sisters, she came in and exclaimed that the townhouse was fantastic! She loved it! It made us feel like it was all worthwhile.

Now 4 out of 30 have arrived and we expect 3 or 4 in the next few days. That includes one moving into the 4th townhouse which is getting carpeted on Monday. I have college and high school kids recruited to help Monday evening and a friend on Tuesday. Basicially, we are wiping down and cleaning every surface in the place. So we think by God's grace, we will be able to get it done in time.

Meanwhile, Allison came home on Wed night and she has been getting things done so she will be ready to leave on the 19th or 20th for Busan, South Korea. Orientation begins on the 22nd. They are asking her to get there on the 21st, but she looses a day traveling. She should get her school posting on Monday and then has to send off her passport for her visa. So lots of details still to take care of, and the mom always has to help! Right?

Jesse flew to Denver on early Tuesday morning, so it was some work to help him get ready.

And I saw the chiropractor 2 times this week since my neck and back was hurting so much from all the bending and muscle work of cleaning the townhouses. My left arm has gotten a little more swollen from all the exercise also. So I wore my arm sleeve this week. So, another alert that I need to be careful to not over do it with my body. The pain in my right leg where the clot supposedly was from what the tests showed, finally stopped hurting a week ago. I get my INR number checked at the anticoagulation clinic on Monday morning. I will see how I have done in keeping my number in the mid 2's for the last 2 weeks. The number tells how much Coumadin is in my ststem. That is another pressure point, along with writing a newsletter for the women's ministry at church this week.

So, Jenni and Jesse drive back to Spokane on Monday and Tuesday, and Laura comes Wednesday afternoon. We had hoped to camp, but there is still so much to do on the last townhouse which will be empty on Tuesday. So we will see how the week goes. We would love to take some days for focusing on time together as a family. But the Moody students are arriving and we have to be ready for them when they come. Please pray for us as we make daily decisions about how to spend our time together this coming week. We have 5 days with Laura here.

I will sign off as I need to get to bed. I will tell you more next time. God bless you for you interest and prayers. Blessings- Nancy Fritz