4th try is the charm

It’s out and we hold the evidence in a pee cup. ūüėÉ

Fourth time is the charm! After so many people looking and probing in his ear this last week (after-hours doctor, ER doctor, ENT) he completely bawled when they wanted to take his temp via ear this morning.

But, it’s out now!

He went under–came out of–anesthesia really well. Better than we’d hoped. We sensed prayers on our behalf. Thank you!

A bead in the ear

You’d think that was an Aussie colloquialism for something. But…it’s not.¬†Joshua really has a bead in his ear.

He and Lizzy were cleaning up the play area Saturday arvo (afternoon) when (she says) she put the small, plastic craft bead in his right ear. He took it out, then put it back in. And it stuck. Stuck far enough down we couldn’t get to it. Nor could the after-hours doctor nor the ER doctor at the children’s hospital. Even after 3 attempts, including a bit of gas (in hopes he’d calm down enough for her to have one more go), the bead is still there.

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Pray for him? In a few hours, at 11pm¬†(Central time) Thursday, he sees an ear/nose/throat doctor to see if they can get it out. If not, he’ll have to go under general anesthesia and have surgery.¬†

Thankfully since Saturday, he hasn’t complained of any pain, nor had any temperature spike or hearing loss.

Saturday night’s plans changed with The Bead. We’d planned a date night to see a footy game¬† with a sweet girl from church to watch the kids. In some ways it worked well to have Caley here to watch Lizzy so both Scott and I could go to the ER with him, since we didn’t know how long we’d be there.

An unexpected gift was my good friend’s–near Aussie sister–offering for us to do a date re-do (sans footy) on Tuesday night. Thank you, Alyssa!

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I never thought I’d have to tell kids this age to not put things up their nose or ears, but…I think I may need to rethink my assumptions of¬†my 3- and 5-year olds.

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Highs and Lows (both diabetic and life)

One week. Four major events.

Monday: Lizzy jumped into her inaugural swim lessons.

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Tuesday: Joshua turned 3.

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Thursday: Lizzy ended up in the ER after a (likely?) febrile seizure¬†that afternoon¬†from quickly-spiked 104 fever.¬†The children’s hospital nearby is renown and we’re so grateful for her good care. She was dismissed at midnight and she’s completely back to herself except for an upper respiratory infection.

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Saturday: I joined Lizzy in the white wristband club.

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[I’m writing this for any fellow diabetics to say, this is a humbling, hard, and at-times-not-scientific road we walk. But, how Jesus has met me on it these 17 years and I pray He is meeting you, too.]

My blood sugar reading at noon was a scary-high of 514. About an hour into trying to get it down, I discovered that the tubing on my insulin pump was faulty and hadn’t been allowing insulin to pass through to my body. My blood sugar was only creeping down the scale, so I gave myself a manual injection in addition to changing my infusion set on my pump.

My protective¬†husband was rightfully concerned and wanted to take me to the ER. I asked for an hour more before we went. I really wanted–and believed–that I was better able to handle my diabetes.

In that hour, my numbers started to drop. At first, I was thrilled to see a drop to 371. Then, I started to panic. 7 minutes later I tested and I was 276.

I’d never experienced anything like that kind of plummet. And I got really scared. I looked at Scott who’d looked at my blood sugar meter and we both knew. He swept up the kids and a few things and I grabbed the orange juice container from the fridge and started to drink my first of what I knew would be several glasses of juice, as an quick means of getting sugar (carbs) in my system quickly.

The ER was 8 minutes away in the opposite direction as we’d gone for Lizzy 2 days ago. Was that only just 2 days ago?

By the time we arrive, my blood sugar cliff-dive seems to have been reduced to more of a trickle. The relief is similar to two days ago when Lizzy’s temperature started dropping and chirpy Lizzy returned to us.

After being observed for about 3 hours, my blood sugar hit the sweet spot of 100. Goodbye, they said.

And I see that it’s only God’s grace. Today. This week. This year.

God’s grace that we both came home from the ER.

God’s grace that I have a little boy who lives to laugh loudly and has celebrated lots of days around the sun.

God’s grace that I have a little girl who has a strong body to splash in the water.

God’s grace that a little life once tucked inside of me is not in my arms, born to me this week, but rather worshipping the One Good and Gracious God who holds everything together.

Oh, how I want to know and love and trust that One more and more.

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.¬†He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians, chapter 1, verses 16 & 17.

A shout out to our stand-in Aussie grandparents, Wes & Judy, for caring for our kids today. I think the kids got the better end of the today’s stick, for sure. ūüôā

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Lizzy’s tubes in/adenoids out surgery tomorrow :: Joshua’s speech update

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Our dancer and dump-truck-loving guy who thinks a tiara is some kind of hat, I think.


After going dairy-free for Lizzy for a month (with a new appreciation for people with food allergies!), chiropractor appointments, etc. we feel like we’ve checked off our list of all possible causes before we headed into surgery.

Although Lizzy’s ENT dr. is confident her small ear tubes and inflamed adenoids¬†are¬†the root cause, I knew I’d kick myself if we did the surgery and the reason behind the poor sleep, constant cough, at-times hearing loss was really milk or something.

That said, her surgery will be in a few hours —¬†Thursday 9am-ish (Wed 7pm EST).¬†She’ll get grommet (tubes) and, while she’s under, Dr. Matthew will look at her adenoids and, very likely, remove.

Scott and I will both be with Lizzy and we’re grateful for our beloved babysitter, Hannah, staying overnight who will wake with Joshua (we have to be at the hospital at 7am) and then my good friend, Alyssa, who will come get Joshua and take him home with her until we get him about lunchtime.

I’ll update on the blog about how surgery went.


His speech is slowly moving forward, but not caught up yet for a 2-1/2-year-old. We see a speech therapist fortnightly (meaning bi-weekly, isn’t that such a great British/Aussie word?). We’re encouraged by the progress, albeit slow. There are times when I remember the early days of being here with his almost-constant screaming and I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness for how far God’s brought him to be able to communicate.

Joshua turns 2 and Angie turns less perfectionistic

Joshua loves trains. I mean loves trains. So to celebrate his birthday on 05 January (being in the Southern Hemisphere, we even flip dates), we went to have a BBQ (grilled-out) lunch and watch trains.

So, with Thomas the Train clenched in his hands, we drove 30 minutes to see Puffing Billy.

Watching and waiting.
Watching and waiting.


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Enough to make a risk management person in America cringe — riders can hang legs and arms out the side.
I tell you, the birds here are unlike anything I've seen before. Exhibit A here. (Kelly Barden, John Thompton and all other bird lovers--you'd love this country!)
I tell you, the birds here are unlike anything I’ve seen before. Exhibit A here. (Kelly Barden, John Thompton and all other bird lovers–you’d love this country!)

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Happy 2nd birthday to my favorite little man!

[Some kind of transition needed here but it’s bedtime for Bonzo, as we’d say in the Bring household growing up.]

So…I’ve decided that there’s nothing like a big move to bring out–and then kill–my perfectionistic tendencies. You might not remember since it was¬†two-and-a-half months ago but I’d started a project and asked if anyone had a guess about what I was making. It was, indeed, a headboard.

But it took about as long to get from dream stage to reality as it took to build the Opera House in Sydney.


I’d wanted to make a headboard (thought the creative outlet would be healthy), so I set off for Pinterest at 3am one night when I couldn’t sleep. I was looking for an¬†option for a headboard that could be held up without nails–solely by Command Tape.

I found this, below, and loved it. How hard can it be?

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Have you heard of PinterestFail.com? If you’re ever wide awake at 3am, it’s worth your time. Well, thankfully, my end product disqualifies for entrance on the site, but just by a…sliver.

I mis-measured the space between
I mis-measured the space between the slats and, then, one end’s side’s Command Tape said “no more” and the slat fell. Thankfully, not on us during the night. So, here it rested like this. For about 3 weeks until I fixed it. I think I missed calculating how this wouldn’t be a 1-person, 30-minute job with all the painting, drying, touch-up painting,¬†measuring, hanging, pushing against the wall, making sure level, removing, starting over, measuring, waiting, pushing more, praying it’d stay, hoping it wouldn’t fall on our heads. Rejoicing that it turned out.
So, here’s a peek. And, yes, that’s yummy black carpet. Promise me that if you buy a place to rent, you won’t gift them with black carpet? Promise? Unless the renters will be looking for Hansel & Gretel and need an easy way to find them.

Next, in similar suit, I humbly offer you a glimpse into our living room.¬†You’ll notice a¬†raised-relief map that wasn’t sold to me as a relief map. Mountain ranges seem strange in the Midwest. Hope that’s not prophetic.


After getting it cut at Bunnings (Home Depot here), I paid for it at the checkout and confessed to the clerk, "I'm not sure this will fit in my car. If it doesn't [it was 4 minutes before close] what do I do?"
After getting it cut at Bunnings (Home Depot here), I paid for it at the checkout and confessed to the clerk, “I’m not sure this will fit in my car. If it doesn’t [it was 4 minutes before close] what do I do?” Barely fit.
Still not sure what happened. We spray-glued it well and carefully squigied (sp?) it to get the bubbles out. We put heavy things on it overnight in the garage to allow it to dry well.
Still not sure what happened. We spray-glued it well and carefully squigied (sp?) it to get the bubbles out. We put heavy things on it overnight in the garage to allow it to dry well.

I’m not getting any Martha Stewart award for sure. But I’ve learned to laugh a little bit more at myself these days through projects gone awry. (Both Scott and my father-in-love, Dean, are very good at this and I’d like to be more like them in this way.)

It's not perfect, nor should it be. But...I sure want our home to be a soft place for our family to land amidst our journey here.
A few years ago I stumbled on a site called “A Soft Place to Land” and it stirred something in me. When I found this pillow at a local store (totally overpriced, don’t even ask how much I paid for it), I had to buy it. A little daily reminder that my home’s focus is about loving and nurturing and serving well. (Not necessarily Martha-Stewart-made furniture and perfectly-vacuumed black carpet and Pottery-Barn-creative maps.)

I sure want our home to be a soft place for our family to rest before taking flight again.

Perfectionism be gone.

furniture pictures & unexpected therapy

In writing that subject line, I suddenly thought it sounds like we found out we have were bequeathed a fainting couch and I’m going to use it for therapy sessions.

Tonight that might have been just what I needed. I got a bit I-might-rock-in-a-corner-we-have-so-much-to-do emotional and, sadly, Scott became my emotional punching bag about it all. Ugh. After a walk around the block, the Holy Spirit was nudging me to talk to him and apologize. A good man, he just embraced me as tears welled up in my eyes.

Afterwards, Scott asked if I wanted to see pictures of our furniture. Um, yes please!

Thinking this coffee table has great potential…


So, Here’s the latest in entertainment. Join Scott and I for the pilot episode of¬†What Do You Think is In This Box? (There are about 6 boxes of kitchen items like this.)IMG_0539

Sippy cups, schmippy cups. Goblets are making a comeback.

And Because homes don’t come with refrigerators, you bring your own. And we’ve been given two. Woo hoo–party at the Bentleys’!


A fun Retro table and chairs for many how-do-I-translate-a-recipe-into-metric-cooking adventure meals.

IMG_0541Other pictures are to come, our friends say, but we’re just thankful to get a taste of what “home” might include. We’re still amazed at how God’s provided home items for us…all the while we’re half a world away.

So, about therapy. It’s for Joshua.

Unexpected because, before his 18-month well visit last week, we¬†hadn’t really considered that his speech was delayed. That he didn’t have 10 words he way saying and our wonderful pediatrician saw the red flag.

This morning, thanks to a cancellation, we got in to see the speech therapist a week early. So thankful because she confirmed that he has weakness in his jaw and tongue that’s contributing to him having a hard time with words. (And alleviated some mama guilt I was having.¬†Do I not talk to him enough? Do I not “teach” him enough?)

So, here’s our new chewing toy for his 5-times-daily jaw exercises.

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Dr. Beckman¬†is a forerunner, I believe, in this area of oral motor therapy. We’ve actually benefitted from her expertise when we took Lizzy to the practice when she was a month old and having trouble nursing. Many of the exercises I did with Lizzy to strengthen her mouth I’ll be doing with Joshua. We’ll see Dr. Beckman weekly until we move, and even then, she said she’d be happy to have Skype appointments with us.

As we drove away, Scott and I were processing the evaluation and were struck at how, if we’d left for Australia when we’d planned, we’re not sure if we would’ve caught Joshua’s need for some extra help/intervention. Maybe we would’ve–Australia has great doctors, but maybe it’s just another kind way that Jesus is showing us that His time frame for moving is perfect and that He has great care for our kids, too.

Introducing Joshua Christopher Bentley!

IMG_0543We are rejoicing in our newest edition to the Bentley family! Joshua Christopher Bentley was born at 1:59pm today. He is 6 lbs 10 oz and 18 ¬ĺ inches long. Both Angie and the Joshua are doing great, even with him being born 4 weeks early. He is going to be under observation for the next 48 hours, then we get to take him home. It was 42 hours from the time Angie’s water broke until Joshua’s birth. Angie was a total champ and I’m so very, very proud of her.