Thursday, December 20, 2007

Post-Paradise Pandemonium and Poinsettias

Keeping in the Hawaiian mode, my desk looked like a volcano ready to erupt when I walked in to my office Tuesday morning. Fortunately, we have a student working for us this week, so she saved my sanity by opening all the mail and setting up application packets for me. This is the early deadline, so apps are pouring in (Barb's son-in-law was in this mode a year ago. I think he likes this year better!) By the time I answered all of my e-mails and voice mails, the work study student had my snail mail all in order. What a blessing.

Then we found out that Kristen had to go on bed rest. It means just what it says - she needs to be lying down or reclining unless she's taking a shower (short) or eating a meal (quick). Since her house is full of steps, and her little ones cannot quite understand that Mommy can't run for them as they are used to, she will be spending a lot of the time down here at my house (just 3 doors down). The kids can't figure out why they have to be here in the afternoon when her car is at their house. Here at my house, she'll be able to be on one level for all the necessities, and I might even let her use my computer to keep in touch with the world! She will be in this mode for at least two weeks, when they will re-evaluate the growth of the girls and decide what is next. In a test taken today, it was determined that the babies are in no distress, so that is really great news. To be in no distress, and to be so tiny, they can create a bit of stress for the rest of the world! Little Squirt, as she's called, was so active that it took over 3 hours to get the test accomplished.

Feisty will probably grow up to be a doctor or nurse. Besides her incredibly soft heart, she is a natural. Today she was making sure her mommy was covered and comfortable. Kristen thanked her and she said, "It's my pleasure to serve you!"

Christmas will be interesting this year. Kristen was supposed to sing with the band for the Christmas Eve service. We're trying to figure out where and when to meet for all of the various family gatherings. I really need to get something bought and wrapped, but I always have the kids with me when I'm not at work, and I don't think I want them with me when I'm shopping for them!

Well, back to a bit of paradise. I have so much more I want to share. I'll start with this - one of the most amazing sights on the island at this time of year:

Poinsettias grow in profusion and are just glorious. They are a bit different from the ones we get for our homes at Christmastime.
"Most Christmas greenery reflects European traditions. But one colorful plant, which looks like a flaming star, the poinsettia, is a native to the American continent. It was named after Dr. Joel Robert Poinset, an ambassador to Mexico who first introduced it to the United States in 1828. The people of Mexico and Central America call the brilliant tropical plant the "Flower of the Holy Night." The poinsettia is a many-pointed star that has become a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem." (Dennis Bratcher).

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of PCness on the island. Everywhere we went, we saw signs of the real, true Christmas. One store had a lovely painting of the wisemen coming to greet Jesus. The faces of the wise men were very Asian in appearance - appropriate, don't you think?? Several other business has "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" signs displayed. Mele Kalekemaka!

Believe it or not, when I got back to work, I was pleasantly surprised to find two large, beautiful poinsettia plants in our main office - at least a bit of Christmas. White, of course.


dcrmom said...

Oh how lovely. I'm so jealous. I've never been to Hawaii.

PEA said...

Welcome home dear Dawn:-) I can now say that I'm completely read for Christmas so from now until Christmas Day I can relax and get back to my bad habit of blogging too much! lol I can well imagine how hard it was to go back to work after being in paradise! Poor Kristen, she certainly has had quite a time of it with this pregnancy so far...thank God she has you there to help her. I so love the pictures of all the poinsettias, how beautiful they are! I truly enjoyed reading your 12 Christmas facts about you. xox

Barb @ A Chelsea Morning said...

Somhow, I knew that the poinsettia plant was introduced to our country by a man from Mexico. I've seen so many different colors this year, including one I thought was beautiful, a kind of soft mauve, but still it seems to me they should be red.

I can imagine how hectic things are around there right now. First you're gone for a week and then you come home to needing to take good care of Kristen. Still, I'll bet come Christmas morning, all will be done and you'll have gifts for the little ones.

We ended up having to go out into the madness tomorrow (Saturday) to finish up. I only have a couple of gift cards to get so it shouldn't be too bad. But I also need to shop for Christmas dinner. Ugh. Half the shelves in the grocery store were empty a week ago. I hope they've restocked!

Like you, my plans got changed when it turned out I'd have Cameron here every day. I'd rather shop the Saturday before Christmas than take him out in this cold, cold weather when he has such a nasty cold. Sigh.

Plans. I don't know why we bother to even make them. LOL

Becky said...

Oh, my! Poor Kristen. That is stressful for you, but imagine how stressful it must be for her. I am sorry to hear that.

But we will pray for healthy, happy babies and mama.

Christmas will come. Celebrations can be put off though. Perhaps yours is best rescheduled for after the first of the year.

Linds said...

Thank heavens you are close by to help Kristen, Dawn. And it will do her and her babes so much good fior her to just relax and do nothing.
I am free! I cannot tell you how tired I am, but I have a house to clean now and my kids will be here soon. The photos are beautiful. I am sure you have many more for us to see too!

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Dawn,
I will continue to pray for Kristen and her babies. I know she feels so much better with you being so close and able to help her out. You are a wonderful Mother and Grand-Mother. Everyone must concentrate on Kristen's health for now. I love the Poinsetta's. They are just beautiful. I never knew where they came from tho. I have seen many colors of Poinsetta's, but like Barb, I love the Red ones better. I have one that my youngest Daughter got when we went to my Father's Retired Firemen's Christmas Dinner a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea how to take care of it. It is looking a little punny right now. LOL. I'm sure you will find the time to do your shopping. I'm sure your DH will tend to the kids so you can take care of what you need to. If not, Christmas can be celebrated when Kristen is doing better. CHRISTmas is everyday. Not just one day a year. "Thank You" so much for sharing some more of your Hawaiin Adventure with us. You know me, I am always glad to read about it. Take care my friend and have a great Friday. May God Bless You and Yours. Just in case I don't hear from you or I don't get to post, "MERRY CHRISTMAS" to you and yours.

Love & Hugs,
Karen H.

Diane J. said...

Sounds like you have everything under control, although it may not seem like it to you. You may have to make a shopping run in the evening after Kristen's hubby gets home from work. Be sure to wear your full body armor if you do, and your best Christian attitude. You'll need both!

Good news that the babies are not in any distress! Praise the Lord for answered prayers!

I was born and raised and still go to church in Poinsett County, Arkansas. It's named after the same guy, but the details of his ties to this area escape me right now.

The plants and flowers are one of the most fascinating things about Hawaii to me. Gorgeous!

Have a blessed and joyous Christmas, dear Dawn. Considering the early reports on the babies, this Christmas could have had a much different "feel" to it and I'm thankful for health and happiness for y'all.

Love and hugs,


Sherry said...

Wow. You have your hands full. Kristen would be lost without you! If we were in town, I'd be more than happy to take the girls for awhile to let you get somethings done. We'll be back in a couple of weeks, I know Christmas will be done, but still. Hope you have a great weekend!

Mary said...


I'm glad to know you returned home safely, but sorry to hear that Kristen is on bed rest. Please let her know that I mailed her book yesterday morning but it won't reach her before Christmas.

I'm sure the children are a bit confused about what is going on, but they will be fine. Children are so adaptable.

The photos of Hawaii are all wonderful. I so enjoyed visiting the Islands with you.

Thanks for leaving such a nice comment on my angel/snowman post. May your family be richly blessed this Christmas season and throughout 2008.


Tammy said...

OK, Dawn...I'm officially caught up! LOL I just spent the last 15 min. reading all of your Hawaii posts, along with this one...
What a miracle that your foot and knee improved so quickly...and that He blessed you with good weather after the monsoons!

I just loved all the breathtaking with each kind of scenery.

It's true about the diversity of land...not just sandy beaches and palm trees, but all beautiful.

I love that there isn't much PC over there! So encouraging to hear!

Thank you so very much for sharing your amazing trip with us like this. I know it was so refreshing to get away with your husband and just see and enjoy!

I will say a prayer for Kristen...I can imagine how challenging that is to do bed rest with small children...and at Christmastime! I'll pray for strength for you too, as you help out!

Come over and see the Nativity drawing my 5 yr old little Cherub drew this week...(not that I'm a proud mommy or anything...) ;)

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas, dear Dawn!

nancygrayce said...

What gorgeous pictures! You will enjoy those and remember the trip just by looking at them from time to time....I will pray for Kristin and the twins.....bedrest is really hard on everyone concerned! But the end result is so wonderful. Bless you for being such a great mother! and grandmother!

Please continue to keep Paul in your prayers, he is spiraling down so fast it is horribly scary. I don't even have the words to pray, so I'm counting on others to pray in my stead! Thanks in advance. I know He is in charge and His perfect will will be done, but man my heart is breaking. Thanks

Nadine said...

I'll keep Kristen in prayer.

The picture is so colorful and rich. What a great shot you got.

Have a very Merry Christmas with your family this year.

Jungle Mom said...

I do love your fotos!!!

Nancy said...

It's great to have you back and what a beautiful vacation you had. My prayers for Kristen will continue- bed rest will be tough on all of you. Enjoy the season! You are a blessing to me.

Maine Mom said...

I'm glad you have help at work to help you get caught up. I'm sure you have been working non-stop! My Mom works at the University near here and she is ALWAYS busy.

I hope Kristen is getting the rest she needs. I'm sure it's hard for her to lay around when little ones need to be cared for and there is so much to do.

Feisty is so sweet. She definitely has a care taking personality.

Those poinsettias are beautiful! I'm glad you had a nice Christmas. :-)