Well, better late than never at all! I am back and determined to bring you up to date, in a few posts, with what’s new in the The Lowell Schaper’s life.
Backing up to February now…
We celebrated Faith’s 5th birthday with a little get together at my parents house. She requested tacos for dinner and we made her cupcakes with purple icing. We bought vanilla icing with plans to dye it with food coloring, but she couldn’t grasp the idea (I don’t ever use food coloring so she had no clue what we were telling her!). So, my sister, Veronica, took a purple pen and colored the picture on the little can a little more everyday before her birthday and told her it was magic frosting. Faith LOVED this idea! Her big day came and she got lots of fun presents, her favorite dinner ever, AND cupcakes with her favorite color purple frosting.
Two days later, Lowell graduated Steam Plant Maintenence School and is now a Steam Plant Operator on top of all of his many other jobs and skills. We stayed on in So Cal until the weekend that followed, packing and getting things squared away. We went to our final Sunday morning Mass at Guasti and went to our last family breakfast with the whole gang and then some at Farmer Brother’s up the road. To say that it wasn’t emotional is pretty much a bold face lie! We were all a bunch of blubbering idiots and I say that with the most sincerity! ;) After 4+ months of my family taking us in, helping us out in SO many ways, and getting to spend time with my younger siblings that I didn’t really know all that well as they were so young (or not even born!) when I moved away from home in 2005, it was beyond hard. It is part of life, but saying farewell is never easy, especially this time. Now, we have four kids and Lowell is stationed on a carrier. Our flexibility and ability to just fly home for a few weeks once a year isn’t going to pan out very easily.
We drove to San Jose and stayed with Lowell’s cousin, Lucy, and her adorable little family. We stayed there for 4 days catching up with all the Schaper uncles, aunts, and cousins and had the time of our life. Lowell’s parents were in town as well and they hopped in the suburban with us to help as we headed east with our four little people.
(Now, I would like to mention that Phillip was an AWFUL baby. He cried every. minute. he. was. awake. He started out as my best baby, but around the time he was 4 weeks, things changed big time. His symptoms were similar to a colicky baby, but that was not his problem; He was very easily over stimulated so everything made him upset. I put him on some herbal supplements and that took the edge off, but it didn’t cure him. Then, I got to thinking that he probably needed a chiropractor. I mean he was 10 pounds, 10 ounces squished up inside of me and then he had to be born… There were no complications at birth, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t out of whack. I took him to his first few visits in San Jose. The doctor told me all but 3 of his vertabrae were out, his lower back was especially bad, his neck not so much, and his jaw was slightly off. She fixed him right up and saw us the next day before we left town. She said he was holding for the most part but that he was going to need more care as soon as we got back east.)
We drove 4 hours from San Jose the first day and stopped in Reno to see my cousin, Bridget and her family. She was good enough to feed us and let us relax some while my kids played with her kids. After a few hours, we had to hit the road. It was SO wonderful to see her and I was emotional saying goodbye (again!). We drove a few more hours and stopped for the night in Wyoming. We got up the next morning and drove to Colorado Springs and saw Lowell’s Aunt Theresa and her family. When we got there, she had gotten the kids all a little gift and was finishing up on adorable Minnie Mouse dresses she made for Faith & Felicity. They feed us lunch and we were on our way after a short little visit with them. We drove however many more hours to Hays, Kansas where we stopped for the night. It seemed like all our days were cut short because during these long hauls, Phillip just cried and cried and cried. It was miserable. I was miserable. Everybody else seemed to be holding up fairly well, but I am sure they were ripping their hair out mentally. We got up the next morning and went to Mass. After Mass, we booked me a flight out of St Louis, MO because I wasn’t going to make it to Virginia and remain mentally intact with my terribly upset baby. After Mass, we rove 4 hours to Atchison to see my brother, James, and his girlfriend, Becca, at Benedictine College. We got a little tour of town and the school grounds. I just loved it there! I loved being able to stop and see James as well, ofcourse. :) After we left James, we drove in to Florissant, MO to see Grandma Basler. We hadn’t been to see her since Grandpa Basler’s funeral over 3 years ago. We spent all of the next day with her, visiting and telling stories. The next afternoon, Phillip and I flew to Baltimore while the rest of my little fam stayed on to take their time getting back. Ray picked us up and Phillip already was an improved baby being in a stable, quiet place aka Papaw and Gramma’s house. The rest of the family rolled in very late, or early, the next day, driving straight through from Missouri home.
We stayed with Lowell’s family for about a month while we house hunted, found a house, had a 30 day escrow turn into 14 (THANK YOU, ST JOSEPH! it closed on his feast day!), did demo on the kitchen, turning the 3 cabinet, 2 drawer kitchen into … well here is a before and after: (we still need to paint…)
My ultra amazing husband and father-in-law worked tirelessly and turned my kitchen into something more than I could have asked for in about 2 weeks. It was usable and workable in 5 days, but the counters we had to wait to have delivered and Lowell put those in and his dad did the floor. And that window opening in the one wall? Yeah, they did that too! This last weekend, Lowell installed a fence around our yard in a day (I did say he is ultra amazing!), so now the kids can play outside without running full speed into the street so now I really feel like we are settled. As far as the inside goes, we just need to paint, I think I already mentioned that. So, I plan to do that while Lowell is away. That is for another post: Lowell’s comings and goings in preparation for his LONG going next year… :/
I will write a post specifically about the kids and whatnot real soon. Bring you up to date on my transformed, happy baby and fill you in on the spills and thrills of our ever busy, but not busy, life ;)