We finally made it up to see Rob's family in the Kent area on Saturday. Suzy and I drove up with all the kids after a lunch stop in St. Helens (thanks uncle Steve for fixing my head-light and brake light!). We made it to Kent that evening and Rob joined us on Monday afternoon. We've been enjoying time with Rob's family, and the kids are having so much fun I virtually haven't seen them in days!
Seriously, Leeann's been sleeping in Ashly and Amanda's room (they're 10), and Titus has been sleeping in Joshua's room (he's 13). They wake up in their cousins rooms and pounce on them and play with them and aunt Shelly gets them breakfast and we get to sleep in until ridiculously late hours... I even slept in until 10:30 one day! It's been beautiful! Of course, we also stay up extra late hanging out with Chuck and Shelly, but that doesn't stop them from getting up at a normal hour!
The cousins are all worn out from all of their chasing of my kiddos. They are all so good with them! Josh even has the energy to chase Titus around all day and he's LOVING it. It's crazy that the cousins keep getting older and older (KayLee is 15), as I still think of them as young. I feel like Ashly and Amanda should be Leeann's age and KayLee and Josh should be about the age of the girls. Rob and I were talking about what it would be like to be here 5 years from now when Titus is 8, Leeann is 10, the girls are 15, Josh is 18 and KayLee is 20. Now, that will be a whole different ball-game. Before too long the cousins might start having families of their own adding more kids and a whole new generation to the mix. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves though... for now we're just having tons of fun together as a family. In fact, tonight we'll do our Buhl family Christmas. I can already smell the turkey!
On a not as happy note, Rob's mom has been in the hospital since the Tuesday before Christmas. She's been having some trouble with her liver for a long time and something happened with her kidney's where they've started to have problems too. I don't really understand it all, but I know that she's in the hospital and until she's able to get a liver transplant she'll continue to have significant health problems. So, we've gone to visit her and just spend some time with her every day we've been here. We bring by some grand kids and to fill her room with happy sounds, and we wear her out! The grand kids have plastered her wall with colored pictures and snap shots in attempts to help her keep her hopes up.
Leeann left her Disneyland flip book (with the pictures and signatures of the princess and other characters) with MeeMaw to give her something to look at and hope for. We keep telling her to get better so she can go to Disneyland with us at the end of 2009. We had so much fun with her when we got to go in 2007. Leeann politely asked her not to get anything on it because that book is very special to her. It was perfect, because it was actually MeeMaw who insisted that it was the one thing that she needed when we went to Disneyland. We weren't inclined to spend the money on it but MeeMaw bought it at the first stand she found in Disneyland. And, I admit, she was right... it was probably the best purchase of the whole trip! Now it's in MeeMaw's possession, helping keep her spirits up while she's in the hospital.
Carmin (Rob's step-dad) is taking great care of her, and the kids and grand kids are trying to visit as often as we can. It will be hard to go back to Albany, leaving her here. I went stir-crazy in the hospital for only 2 days even though I had a brand new baby, lots of visitors and my husband by my side the entire time. Oh, and I was recovering from a major surgery. I can't imagine what it must feel for her to be there. We appreciate your prayers for a quick and perfect liver match, and for the ability to fight to get healthy enough to have the transplant in the mean-time.
Anyway, I should probably go, but I wanted to get an update off to you since I've been terrible at keeping up lately. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year, and thanks for reading in 2008!