"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Out In a Blaze

This Monday our hearts were full of enthusiasm. Katya was home from school due to MLK day but we were going to go and reward the cavity-free club at our house with a much desired trip to Menchies for sorbet. And Paul had the best load he'd found since starting to haul vehicles in 2016, so things were looking great!

We went off to Menchies and enjoyed, and then shopped at a thrift store. Found a few necessary things we were happy about and came home to fix a simple supper of burgers and fries. Around 8:00 pm I did briefly think about the fact that Paul had not called the house around 7:30 or so as he typically does if he is away from home. He usually calls around then so he can talk to the children before they go to bed. But that is all it was . . . a passing thought. Ever since praying earlier in the day with the kids, specifically for Paul and his equipment to be safe and work well, I'd felt at peace, and I thought nothing more about it until the phone rang around 8:30 pm and I saw it was Paul calling. I was surprised to have him say, "Well, it looks like my car hauling days are over at least for a few weeks!"

"Why ever?!" I asked, instantly alert.

"My truck burned up!"

While going through the hills in PA he had sensed that the truck didn't seem to be running very good and had started looking for a pull-over area. He found a scenic look-over, pulled in and got out to check under the hood and was met with flames! He dashed for the fire extinguisher and discharged it and thought at first all had gone out. But about that fast, WHOMP. It came back with force and fury and he knew then that his only hope was a fast call to 911 and he called them and then began throwing out of the cab what he could. He only got some items out such as his business brief case,  pillow, duffle bag, ice chest and some tools before he had to retreat. He lost many tools, his insulated coveralls, his sleeping bag and many other items.

Fortunately, the fire trucks arrived in time to get the fire out and save the vehicles he was hauling--just barely. A few more minutes and they would have been badly damaged, if not completely ruined.

The pictures the next day were rather sickening to behold.

We are grateful he got out safely and that the timing was such that he was able to pull into the scenic overlook, rather than block the road, which would have prevented the fire fighters from being able to get up out of the valley to him in a timely manner. We are grateful that there were no accidents or injuries to others!

So now we sit and wait to try to get all this sorted out . . .  We appreciate prayers for the process.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!!!

A few quick facts about 2016

* I tore my rotator cuff in Jan and spent several weeks in agony and holding still, trying to heal without surgery. Thankfully, that paid off and I'm now healthy and whole again and ALMOST "as good as new" finally. All of this was only able to be accomplished with a LOT of help and support from my family!

* Katya had the healthiest year she has ever had with us! YAY!!

* Charity and Kristina found seasonal work at a pumpkin farm in the fall.

* Charity traveled to England AND Japan.

* Chad was able to travel for a week with his Dad on a job and very much enjoyed his trip to Texas, with a stop in OK to see relatives there briefly.

* Katya has continued to expand her world, getting braver about various things. She has welcomed our guinea pigs into heart and enjoys even letting them nibble and sniff at her fingers now!

* We went through some hard things in 2016. The "purging process" of finding out who is a true friend and what are safe groups, when you have a child with a high level of special needs, continues. However, with the purging process, we have also been blessed to find some new and healthy options for our family. Good people are out there--they just have to be found and the process to find them can be long.

* The same good Father who helped us get Katya home continues to be our God and Father. No matter what happens, He is good and faithful! And that makes us happy, and thankful.

What does 2017 hold for our family? We are not entirely sure. What is sure is that there is likely to be a handful of change ahead. We have two adult children who are moving forward with their lives, and that looks to be bringing changes. Our other children are getting older and things are changing. We really no longer have "little children". Even Katya is now enjoying her last year before she becomes a TEEN (gasp!). Paul and I continue to pray about what God has in store for our family. We'd appreciate your prayers if you think of it too. ;-)

Happy, Happy New Year to you!