When my Tim was in the academy, the cadets learned the importance of the nine core values. I would wager a bet that my Tim lived by those core values before he entered the academy, but having them drilled into his head and tying every action he took to one of those core values really drove home the importance for him.

And we still live by those core values today. Sure, our lives have been turned upside down a lot by the special needs of each of our children–especially in the last seven months–but one thing is for sure, we all still live by those core values.

Sense of Urgency
Attention to Detail
Team Oriented
Performance Driven
Officer Safety

With the exception of one or two of these, I would say most of my friends live by the same set of core values. Especially my friends who were blessed with children who have special needs.

I think I’ve never been so urgent in my life. Or team and detail oriented.

Or adaptable.

So far, 2010 has been a difficult year at the HennHouse. With some days and weeks worse than others. But yesterday, as we have been doing for months, we adapted.

We’re nothing if not adaptable at the HennHouse.

My mom called about an hour after I settled in at work. She was in tears. Dad was being taken (again) from the nursing home to the ER. At some point during the night, the tube in his kidney broke off and came out. Mom, watching a very old movie with three of her grandkids, needed to get the hospital quickly.

I tried to reach my sister–to no avail. I went to visit my boss. If there were a way to nominate your boss for some kind of award, I would nominate her a dozen times over. Something about the look on my face must have triggered that bad things were happening again. She offered me a tissue before I even started to explain.

I met my mom at the hospital to retrieve those three grandkids (one of which was mine), I backtracked to the daycare to get Esther-Faith, then I headed home. I was at a loss of what to do with four kids on a stormy day and still get my work done.

But we’re nothing if not adaptable at the HennHouse.

I inflated the queen-size “vacation” bed. Each child grabbed a pillow, a stuffed animal, and a blanket from Esther-Faith’s closet. And they settled in for a movie. The girls wanted to be next to each other. The boys wanted to be beside their sisters.


After the movie, we all helped make waffles. Learning to cook is also a great way to learn about fractions, measuring, and textures (i.e. sugar feels different than flour).

Once lunchtime was over, and we realized the rain had not yet subsided, we decided naps would be a good idea. All four headed back to the “vacation” bed. Although, only two of them slept.


Once naptime was over, we raced cars, had tea parties, and our afternoon snack was popsicles!




By the end of the day, Dad (a.k.a. Papa) had surgery to replace the tube, and was back at the nursing home in time for dinner. We all (four grownups, five children) piled into two cars and went to visit Papa. Nine of us in his small room was a lot. But we got to sing “Happy Birthday” to his roommate, and my mom said he seemed happier than he has in ages. Which is saying a lot since he’s been fighting this battle since the beginning of April.

It wasn’t what any of us planned for Friday.

But we’re nothing if not adaptable at the HennHouse.

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