Thursday, January 13, 2011

life with sick children

 We have been sharing the influenza 
with each other this past week. 
It is working, slowly making it's way through the family.
I thought it might be helpful to a young mama out there 
to share how we are managing.
Rose, Joe, Jim and Ben have been sick,
and, yesterday, our toddler, Gabe, and the baby, Olivia,
became ill with a fever and aches. 
What can you do when the baby has a fever
and is only comforted by being held?

The first thing to do, is pray.  
Our heavenly Father knows, and is interested in,
even the smallest details of our lives. 
He cares that you are overwhelmed 
and need another set of hands. 
Pray for wisdom and strength. 
Give thanks that you have sick ones to care for. 
Because of sin, we have sickness. 
Because of Christ, we have restoration;
physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Praise the LORD!

Secondly, mentally plan what can be done,
so that when you have an opportunity, you can jump to it.
  Plan what you can throw in the oven or crock pot for dinner.  Something easy and quick. 
Like a chicken with salt and pepper. 
Next time you have 5 minutes, 
toss together a salad or side dish, 
so that when it is time to eat,
you have some good food to strengthen you, 
body and soul.

As you hold your little sick one,
be thankful for whatever you can think of.
Your sweet disposition will go along ways in helping you
and your family cope through the illness.
My friend, Enola Gay at Paratus Familia,
gave us they idea of hot water bottles.
So as soon as the illness first began,
we zipped into town and bought the only one we could find. 
It has been in constant use ever since, 
and is a great comfort to the aches and pains of the ill. 
 Unlike a heating pad, there are really no worries with
small children using it, and, it works for our off grid life.

Other comforts to children who are sick:
 drip a bit of warm olive oil in the ear for an earache
Gargle salt water for a sore throat, or sip honey-lemon tea 
(simply hot water with a bit of lemon juice and honey)
push fluids to avoid dehydration when your child has a fever, is vomiting or has diarrhea.

With the snow thickly falling, 
I spent hours holding Olivia in my rocker near the window,
  nursing in an effort to keep her hydrated. 
 From the window in the living room, here is what we saw,
definitely a highlight of our very quiet day:

Gabe was so lethargic that he was content to sit on the day bed
in the living room with his dinosaurs, a color book,
and some juice in between frequent naps.  Poor little fellow, my heart goes out to him for being such a good little patient.

My older children were also sick or working,
so I had no helpers save Joe, 
who had been sick first and was just starting to mend.
To occupy the other young children, 
as I had my hands full with the two littlest ones,
 I set out old magazines, scissors, and glue. 
They were happily amused to cut and paste pictures in notebooks for well over an hour. 
I kept an eye on them from my rocking chair.
  Jim and Joe tackled a bit of Math 
and did their reading on their own.

Today, I knew how it would be,
so when I had a chance, I threw in a load of laundry, 
 set a chicken  on to cook for soup later,
and washed a bit of dishes, all in about 15 minutes. 
Because I had premeditated my free moments,
I am able to keep everything running amidst several ill children sprawled all over in various levels of getting sick,
being sick, and on the mend.

Now that my chicken is cooked,  
and I have a few older helpers around, 
I am making stock for soup. 
Stock made this way gets all the good stuff from the bones and actually does help a sick person get well. 
It is also really yummy.  Here's how:

Removing the meat from the carcass, add1/2 an onion,
a head of garlic -peeled, and water to the pot. 
Simmer for another 2 hours. 
Drain the liquid into another pot. 
Add cubed chicken. Season to taste. Add noodles. 
Continue to cook on medium heat until noodles are soft.

Homemade noodles are easy to make, and oh so very good!
The children will love helping. 
The first time we made noodles, we had flour all over the place, 
and the children walking through it left floured footprints all through the house, but we had a great time! 
When I do it by myself, it takes less than 10 minutes.

Homemade Noodles
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
3 eggs
2 tsp olive oil
Mix by hand.  Roll out on floured surface.
Roll thinly.  
Cut with a pizza cutter or knife into long noodles. 
Drop into hot soup.  Cook 2 to 5 minutes. 


  1. My heart goes out to you. I will pray for healing for all soon. You were so caring to post for those who are or may go through this. I remember times when my boys were young and loved to be held and comforted. And then sometimes that did not work. I pray for your added strength during these days.
    Just wish I could bring some comfort food to you & yours. (That's what we like to do in the South.)
    IN HIM,

  2. Julianne, praying for your sick little ones. Praying for strength for you and health for you as well, having mama get sick is hard on everyone. :)

    Enjoy your snow, slower days and loving on those little ones. :)


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