Monday, August 31, 2009

Thank you

I'm feeling quite a bit better. Thanks for your sweet comments, emails, and phone calls. :-)

I have to admit that I was a bit embarrassed by the outpouring of love, though. I wanted to get my thoughts down and use the blog as a sounding board, but once my thoughts were out I felt like I did in those dreams as a kid where I went to school in my pajamas. I don't like attention, good or bad. I'm the proverbial wall flower. Thanks for accepting me even when I'm a mess.

I did something I haven't done for months: I did the animal chores this morning. Taking care of the animals is therapeutic for me. I think I'll do it every morning! :-)

My garden isn't growing well this year, thank heavens. I can't imagine being as busy as I am and have been and then the extra guilt of having produce go bad. I prayed over my garden this spring and ask the Lord to bless me with all of the produce I could care for. And He did.

I'm off to do laundry, homeschool, take care of my mother's mail and laundry. Thanks for being here for me. :-)


Friday, August 28, 2009

Best Buddies

Remember these guys?

They've grown up!

Pouncing, tumbling, jumping, and cuddling. That's what these little guys are all about!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Depression: a New Frontier

(cont. from "The Set Up")

I don't think I've ever suffered depression as an adult aside from post partum stuff and after my 25 week gestation age baby died. But I think that it is different.

Over the past week I have found myself feeling down a lot. Not just sad, but paralysed. I will sit in front of the computer trying to figure out what the most important tasks for the day is, but not wanting to do the wrong one. So I get nothing done and I feel like a failure.

Amber has been down because of some love trouble. (I don't mean to be light, just be concise.) So she has been touchy. And I've been like a dormant volcano. And an active volcano. Dormant. Active. She has reacted to me, which makes me spiral more.

My little children just "are". They cause trouble, make messes, create havoc, fight and bicker. But they don't bother me as much. Typically I can handle their kind of trouble. However, this week I've had to use a lot of self control to not shout at them constantly. I yell when I get mad, so I've been yelling. A lot. Because it seems that everything pushes me over the edge.

Now in my defense I have to say that I haven't been abusive. No hitting. No calling names. Just talking very loudly without being very friendly. And I try to keep calm. I try not to get angry. But I get angry anyway.

Jared's blood sugar has been crazy; so has he when it is high. It just feeds my anger. It is something else out of my control.

Someone bugs me and I get mad. Someone ignores me and I get mad. Someone tells me that I'm not being nice and I get mad. Then I cry. And when I try to think of their side I feel like a loser. A waste of space. One night I carried that thought through very dark places. That nothing really mattered. I envisioned blackness, nothingness. It was a scary place to go.

On Saturday Steve and I went away for the day. We drove. We ended up an hour and a half away from home in a distant town. We went to a dinosaur museum that was awesome. We went to a sweet little store where I bought Emily and Amber Christmas presents. We ate at a place that had great food and wonderful chocolate cake. It was a great day.

But I couldn't feel it.

Imagine, if you will, a chart. At the top are ranges of good feelings. At the bottom are ranges of bad feelings. And there is, right in the middle, neutral.

I have been living at neutral and below with brief moments of getting above the surface occasionally before something made me go under again.

On that trip with Steve, I was at neutral. A very calm neutral. No shouting. No anger. I thought I was doing well. But it was a great day; I should have felt happy and joyful.

We got home. Amber had done some laundry and left it on my bed and I shouted at her. I made her feel badly. Steve stood up for her and said she was just trying to be helpful. I plunged.

Every move he made in my mind was hinged on whether he loved me or not. After that moment I told myself yet again that see, I knew he didn't love me.

I went to sleep and got up. Steve offered to go for a ride with me. Spend the day with me. I told him that he didn't need to. He should get some work done that he needed to for Monday since he'd been sick on Friday and had to leave early.

Something happened that I don't remember. I flipped. I grabbed my purse, keys and cell phone and went to the car. Steve came out to tell me something, but I locked the doors and drove off.

I circled around downtown so that he wouldn't know that I was headed up the canyon. I didn't want him to come and look for me. He didn't love me anyway.

There is a road up the canyon that I won't go up. It is really only big enough for one vehicle to pass over it. It scares me when we go up it. Steve has to drive and I have to close my eyes. But Sunday I didn't care. I wasn't going to kill myself, but I wasn't going to great lengths to preserve myself either. At one moment, as the road turned to the left, there was a parked truck in the crook of the turn. I tried to manuver around it. It was against the mountain on one side of the narrow road, and the cliff was bordering the other side of the road. As I as slowly going around, down came a truck. I had to back up. That would have freaked me out if I would have been myself, but as it was it made me jsut a bit nervous.

When I got to the top I decided to pull into a camping spot just to think awhile. I heard bubbling and realized that my car was overheating. I wasn't scared. I just thought things through and decided that there was a sleeping bag in the trunk and I had water, so I'd be fine. I didn't even think about Steve worrying about me. I didn't much care and I didn't think he or the kids would either.

I did get down off the mountain, stopping at rest areas to cool off the car. I took a hike for a little while to let it cool at one point. It was nice to be by myself with natures beauty around me: the smell of the pine trees, dirt, and water; the sight of the green trees, brown dirt, flowing water; the sound of other people passing by talking and the bubbling brook. It seemed to restore my soul.

After the canyon I went to my mom's nursing home. I visited with her for a nice long time. Then I got a call from Steve. He'd been worried and was glad I was ok. But even though he said it, I still didn't feel that he loved me.

I went through Monday much the same as the others: becoming angry often, not feeling loved, and feeling very, very tired.

Yesterday I felt like I emerged from the depths. I was *happy*. I could laugh. I found that the little irritations didn't require me to try to muster all of my self control so that I didn't yell. The day was the same as the others, but *I* felt different.

Never in my life have I experienced this before. Feeling under water, out of control, unloved one day and perfectly normal the next. I don't understand. I don't know if I'll suddenly sink again at some brief moment and not be able to emerge for days or weeks. It is uncertain. I've felt at many times in the past little bit that I'm fine and then some little thing will set me back.

I feel like I was able to enter a dimension I've never been in before. I went there without asking for it and I returned without reason.

I had to get this "down on paper". This blog is a kind of sounding board for me. It is where I come with my problems and my successes.

I've heard that depression comes when your reserves are low. After the past year I think mine are non-existant. I have had blow after blow to my psyche. The past few days I've really tried to do things to naturally build my seratonin levels. I don't know if that's why I've emerged or if it was dumb luck.

I'll most likely follow up in the next little while, but I will warn you in the title. That way if you are here for the warm fuzzy stuff or the entertaining stuff you will know to stay away for a day or two until I can move on.

The Set Up

I know that depression is not a fun subject, but sometimes life itself is simply not fun.

If I can write about my experience and have even one person feel validated and understood, I will be happy.

If depression depresses you, you'll probably want to skip today's post. Thanks for understanding.

I was going to make this be one post, but I realize that just the set up is a very long blog post, so it will be in pieces. This is just the set up for my depression: the stage will be set so that you can understand my theory and solutions may be sought.

Over the past few months I've been given bad news on top of traumatic news, on top of devastatingly scary news. Let me recap:

May 2008 - Jared cuts his eye, the eye itself is bleeding. We go to the ER and then make several doctor's visits until they determine he is healing well w/o complications.

August 2008 - Amber plays basketball w/ Josh in the backyard to cheer him up after a bad day. As she shoots the ball she lands in a hole the dog dug. A crack is heard as her ankle bone breaks. For the next several weeks we visit two different docs, finally the swelling goes down sufficiently and we are told she won't need surgery. More visits to the doc until she is finally better.

September 2008 - I have pain in my abdomen. Upon close inspection it is determined that I have esophageal ulcers. If the ulcers don't heal and continue to be irritated by stomach acid, there is a chance of getting Barret esophagus which could lead to cancer. Because I hate medicine, this is a big deal to me. The doc tells me that my ulcers will not go away without the meds. A naturopath tells me that if I take the meds it will make my overall body unhealthy. Who's right? So I stress and pray everything goes well and that I won't get cancer.

All is calm until I go in for another EGD to see if the ulcers are gone. I'm fully expecting that they are not because I haven't followed the doctor's plan of action.
March 2009 - EGD results are that the ulcers are *healed* not healing, but healed! I'm excited and think that this is the beginning of a great year with less problems than the last.

April 2009 - Jared is diagnosed with type I diabetes. He is in the hospital over Easter weekend, and I'm right there with him, learning all about diabetes and getting his bloodsugar under control. We still haven't figured it all out, and his bloodsugars are still crazy most of the time.

May 2009 - Josh calls and midnight telling me that Karen is pregnant. Being unwed, yet engaged at the time, they both are scared and wish they would have been married first. I want to help them and so I start helping them make wedding plans. Because Karen's mom is sick and can't help as much as she'd like, and because Karen and her dad are a bit estranged at this point, much of the preparations fall on me. Thankfully, her mom goes above and beyond what she thought she could do to help, and her dad really steps in and with the help of his wife, Karen's stepmom, they make the load a lot lighter.

July 2009 - the wedding is upon us. On the 13th, my mom has been admitted to the hospital for abdominal pain. They recognize a kidney infection might be playing a part, but there is more. A CT scan confirms ischemic bowel: the bowel is dying in places. Her doctors consult.

Typically with ischemic bowel, surgeons would remove the dead tissue and life would resume. In my mom's situation where her kidneys have failed and she is on dialysis, her docs decide that she is no longer a surgical candidate. She must heal herself to survive, yet she has diabetes, which makes healing take a lot more time.

My sister explains all of this to me on Wednesday afternoon. She calls me while I'm shopping yet again for flower girl dresses because we've decided that M needs to be a flower girl too. Another dress like we'd previously bought for Emily's isn't available, so the shopping is resumed on a more frantic level this time. And I find out that my mother could be dying. This could be it.

When I was about four years old I used to talk to my next door neighbor Kurt through the fence in our backyards. He was way older than me: seven! One day he asked me if I still "like that Mike guy". Mike was cute and he worked for my dad. An older man. He was 18. I had such a crush on him! I tell Kurt that I do. He asks if I'm going to marry him. I tell him I will. He asks where we will live. I tell him with my mom, of course. He asks where we'll live when my mom dies. I shout: "My mom's not gonna die!" and he tells me that yes she will someday. I tear into the house, tears streaming down my face. "Mom! Are you gonna die?" I frantically ask her. "I have no intentions of it sweetie, why do you ask?" I explain what had happened and she consoles me.

Now here I am 35 years later, but this time it is my sister who is telling me that yes, someday my mom is going to die. And it probably isn't going to be very long until she does.

I muddle through the rest of the day. I buy the dresses, come home, get dinner, get the kids to bed, and then the realization hits me hard. I cry. Deep sobs coming from the depths of my soul. My head is killing me. I feel like I'm going to puke, and I do. I hurt. Everywhere. I've never drank, but now seems like a good time to start. The only setback is I know tomorrow I'll have a headache and puke. I don't want a repeat. I ask Steve for a sleeping pill, totally unsure that I'll be able to sleep on my own. I ask Steve for a blessing. My sobs fade and I sleep.

Tears come easily, but not the sobbing of that night.

The week after the wedding my mom is seeing and hearing non-existent children playing in her room. She calls my sister at three in the morning and tells her that she doesn't know where she is. Another week, more problems.

She is moved to a hospital further away. It is hard to go visit her. When I do go she is rude to me. When my time is up and I need to go she cries and tells me that she's sorry. My heart breaks and I'm an emotional wreck; I don't want to go and I don't want to stay.

Her breathing is worse. She can't talk for longer than a couple of minutes or she loses her breath. She can't breath without the aid of cpap. She is getting worse every day. I mention diuretics. The doctor doesn't think they'll work, but gives her some along with asking the dialysis guys to take more fluid off each time. In time, she can breath easier and can get off of cpap for a few minutes here and there.

I have a conversation with the doctor on the phone. Eventually the conversation gets around to more uncomfortable information: he doesn't know if she'll ever regain her strength and go back to her home. He tells me that she'll never truly get better: her heart is enlarged and doesn't pump well; the diabetes has already taken one foot and several toes; her circulation is pretty non existent below the waist; her kidneys have already failed; her lungs fill with fluid because of the heart problems. Another doc at the other hospital tells my sister that he expects my mom to not survive past 6 months.

My brother and sister agree that we need to push her to sign an advanced directive. No one wants to get left holding the plug. More emotion wells up inside of me and I can't imagine sitting in her room talking to her about her demise.

The day before the scheduled signing comes. I'm supposed to shadow a midwife friend the next morning. I've been looking forward to that day for months. When it comes right down to it though, I can't imagine adding one more thing into the day. I'm a basket case: crying at every opportune minute. I call and cancel, explaining the circumstances. And I wait.

The day of the signing I go to my peaceful place. I pray and meditate. Answers and peace comes. The signing goes pretty well. Some things are established, others still up in the air.

The next week she is moved to a skilled nursing facility/nursing home.

Another living will/advanced directive needs to be filled out, since the old one was never signed. This one is simpler: DNR or resuscitate. No other choices.

My moms bones are brittle. Her spine has a degenerative disease that has progressively taken her from a 5'10" woman to a 5'6" woman.

We decide that if they tried to do chest compressions she'd break into many little pieces. She is scared. She doesn't want to think about it. She says that she wants to check the DNR box and not talk about it any more. So we don't.

She is in better spirits. She is trying to regain her strength, though I think that she is trying to prepare *me* for the worst. The worst to her is having to stay in a nursing home for all time. And/or dying in pain. If the Lord is kind and willing, he will let her pass easily while asleep. or drugged.

In addition to all of these events there are the little parts of life that don't just lie dormant until you can get to them:

Jared's diabetes has been out of control lately. I have been afraid to let him out of my sight, but school started and so he is.

The tone (muscle contracture) in Michael's leg and arm is worse. I feel so drained that I haven't worked with him like I should. I feel like a failure for not doing better. The therapists are worried about him too. So there is a nagging feeling way back in my mind that we might need to start shots to loosen him. The shots are temporary and have side effects. Botax will be an allergen at some point when the body has had enough. Surgery is an option, but with side effects of making him not have enough strength. He might have to learn to walk all over again with it. He is my baby!

And the other stuff: kids yelling "I hate you!". Tifs between Steve and me. A couple of friends acting different and less supportive than normal. A messy house that keeps getting worse as less time can be spent on it. Supper that is very late because I get home very late because I am so busy with everything else. and the list goes on, and on, and on, and on.

The depression has waxed and waned. Off and on. I think I'm ok, and then something else comes up and plunges me downward.

This past week though has been something I've never experience before and is the entire reason for this post. I realize that this is such a long and arduous post that if there is anyone still reading you are to be applauded! I will continue in another post.

Friday, August 21, 2009


A interesting question came to mind this morning: Do you pay as much attention to your successes as you do your failures?

The answer was no.

I was meditating in the wilderness when the enlightenment came. Okay, I was really playing spider solitair, but same dif. ;-)

As the little cards went fluttering away and I'd finished a column (success!!), instead of watching the little cards float away and gloating in my accomplishment my attention was turned instead to the undone columns. I quickly disregarded my success and instead looked for the next thing I needed to do to not fail. That was the moment that the question came.

I have been battling depression for the past several weeks; actually, I could pinpoint the day it started: it was the Wednesday before Josh's wedding. That was the day that I asked for your prayers on my mom's behalf.

This isn't just a surface sadness, but goes right to core of my soul. It has been getting worse as my reserves are being used up daily.

Steve has prayed with me and for me several times. Yesterday he gave me a blessing - a special prayer on my behalf. He reminded me to look to the Lord for strength. I prayed in my heart all day yesterday, but by the end of day I felt just as bad, or worse, than I had been feeling previously.

Today great insight came in that simple question: "Do you pay as much attention to your successes as you do your failures?" I feel that this is what the Lord wants me to ponder. He wants me to be happy.

Today I'm going to take this important question and remind myself all through the day to bask in my successes. I believe that it will foster gratitude for all the good that happens throughout the day and will build the hope in my life that I seem to be lacking.

I'm glad for that quiet moment in my day when I could listen to that still small voice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Day of School Pics

Steve was a good sport and let me take a picture of him too!

I was so excited when Karen and Josh came over today! My picture taking is now complete!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I survived yesterday!

I survived yesterday! Yay! Hurray!

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was afraid of lots of tears, but it didn't happen. Maybe it was because I was busy with the paperwork. Steve, on the other hand, came home emotionally exhausted because he had been trying to keep my mom's spirits up and keep her from feeling overwhelmed and depressed with the topic. That is one of the many reasons I love the man!

Anyway, I gave my mom the letter I wrote and talked to her about it a bit. I was about an hour early, so there was no rush or hurry. Then Steve came in, then Debbie, my sister, followed by the case worker. The case worker explained the form, dropped it off with my mom along with a pen, and then left us to work out the details.

The details were the hard part: do you want a feeding tube? the choices were never. of course. for a limited time. .... my mom chose for a limited time. My sister jumped on that, because her bias is against feeding tubes. She was a home heath care nurse for a lot of years and in her experience most people wished they wouldn't have gotten them after the fact. On the other hand, because Michael has one and has had it for 7 years, I have absolutely no hang ups about them and I'm fine. To me it is just another way to eat, so I resisted and asked if my mom understood the consequences of no feeding tube. *That* was the hard part: making sure she understood the consequences of using or not using a certain thing, and also preparing for the worst of life's circumstances, "Okay, if you are like grandma and have alzheimers or dementia, do you want...." Very uncomfortable.

Of course *she* didn't want to think about it and tried to change the subject and talk about her bills instead. Boy that says a lot about how much she *didn't* want to talk about her advanced directive choices! *Bills* were the wished for topic!

We got out of her that she doesn't want them to just keep her alive if her living situation would be awful. She doesn't want a ventilator. She doesn't want any extras (antibiotics, dialysis, etc.) if she gets where she doesn't recognise friends and family or is in a vegetative state. Very uncomfortable stuff.

I was put in charge of documenting her wishes. So I was hell-bent that *she* say exactly what she wanted and that she totally understood what the consequences are. Like when she said that she wouldn't mind a feeding tube for a limited time. I made sure that she understood that if that is what she chose she knew it meant that she would probably die from lack of food and water when they take it out...who wants to think about that?

I encourage all of us, while we are healthy, to sit down and look at the questions on an advanced directive / living will and at least start thinking about what we want and to *make our wishes known*. Because of that paper, we will be in charge of our life even when we *can't* be in charge of our life, because our coherent, conscious self now can take care of our incoherent, unconscious self later. And we won't have to take a good, hard look at death's face when its standing too close already.

ON A MORE HAPPY NOTE! Over at i have to say..., she is giving away remnants from bolts of fabric she sells on Etsy. She has some adorable prints, so go stick in an entry!

Take care of yourselves!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dark and Twisted; Things to Do Today

This morning I was talking to Steve about my mother, when to show up at the hospital so that we can help her with her living will, etc. etc. etc.

I then said, "You know, someday I'll be going through all of this again with *your* parents." To which he replied, "Well, just don't get so attached this time." then he laughed. And I retorted that *that* is going to be my new attitude with our kids. Them: "Mom, I love you." Me: "Don't get too attached! I'm going to die someday."

Okay, so we are a little dark and twisted in our humor occasionally, but at least we try to find something to laugh about.

I decided to write my mom a note, explaining how I feel about things since I'm afraid I'll cry if I try to tell her in words. Anyway, here is the note:


I want to always be here for you, no matter what. And I want to be just what you need at the time: giving different things at different times.

This living will thing is different than anything I’ve ever done before. I want you to know that I love you, and when you are gone I will miss you deeply, but that I don’t want you to prolong your life just to keep from feeling guilty about moving on and leaving me and the rest behind.

I want you to answer the questions honestly. I want you to live the life you want to live, not the life that you think I want you to live. So while I’ll help you think over anything you need to, I want the decision to ultimately be yours, because you will be living it and I don’t want you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, physically, mentally, or emotionally.

I had to write it down rather than say it because I didn’t know if I could get it out without tears, but it is truly how I feel.

I love you!

So this will be my day today. Not exactly what I'd like to be doing. I've got on my big girl panties though, and I'll try to be strong. Talk to you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bummer. Follow up to: Today while the sun shines

P.S. They must have cancelled the class. No one was there. :-(

Today while the sun shines...

So today is the day! I'm finally going to go to a Tai Chi class that I've been wanting to go to for over a year! I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

My mom was off of her CPAP yesterday, just using an oxygen canula. It is the first time in a week that she has been able to breathe well enough on her own. When I talked to the doc yesterday, he said that the diuretic wouldn't help too much because her kidneys are able to process out excess fluid anymore and that the fluid just has to be taken off during dialysis, BUT, she was able to breathe better yesterday, which tells me that the diuretic *is* helping a bit.

The doc didn't seem very sure she would ever go back to her own home. He is concerned about her pain in her spine and hips. Her spine is deteriorating, so the pain might be from that, and if so it won't ever heal, it'll just get worse. He is also concerned that in the next few months she will get weaker and weaker as her body loses more of its functioning. We'll see. I won't give up hope until *she* tells me that she won't be going home. Until then, they will be sending her to a skilled nursing facility/nursing home.

I'm trying to stay positive. Doctors don't always know everything. When Michael was in the hospital the doctors tried to prepare us for the worst, telling us the worst case scenario for his condition. He beat those odds, thank heavens, and perhaps my mom will too. Perhaps not, and I need to just trust God to make the best decision for her.

Well, I'm off to Tai Chi! Afterwards I need to call the social worker about helping write up my mom's wishes in her living will. And amid it all I need to care for my little ones (and not so little ones!).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Caution: Busy Week Ahead!

This week has the potential to be a busy one! But, busy in a direction that, for the most part, I want it to go.

Tomorrow I am going to do what I've wanted for at least a year: go visit a dojo for tai chi. It is only offered once a week, but I'd really like to learn a kata or two and then practice at home. I've had good intentions in the past, but, well, you know the saying that the pathway to hell is paved with good intentions? Let's just say that my pathway is paved in gold! It is a difficult thing to do anything in the mornings w/o children when I'm homeschooling, and especially difficult when I don't have someone to watch Michael. This is the final week to do this before school starts, so wish me luck!

Then on Wednesday I'm going to shadow a friend of mine who is a midwife. Did I ever tell you that when asked as a teen the "what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up" question I'd say I wanted to be an Ob/Gyn? I did. But because as an adult I was always on the other side of the forceps and stirrups, I never persued this dream. But now, I have a friend who is a midwife who delivers at home births who offered for me to shadow her sometime if I'd like. And I would! I would like to very much, so, on Wednesday I will be shadowing her in the clinic to get a feel for whether or not I'd like to pursue the dream any further.

I also need to send my letter of intent to homeschool to the school district and set up some kind of guardianship for M so that while she is here I can take her to the doc, and heaven forbid, the ER if it comes to it.

Jared has PE this semester at school, which will be lots of fun trying to figure out his diabetes plan since exercise sets him on a low most of the time. Throw us in the deep end and we have to come through somehow, sink or swim. So, since next Monday is the first day of school, a game plan is in order for this week.

School clothes shopping has to fit its way in somehow, as does paying my mom's bills and watching out for her while she is in the hospital.

Speaking of my mom, why wouldn't the doctors have been aware that she needs a diaretic for her congestive heart? Especially while her lungs were filling with fluid more and more every day, to the point that she was wearing her CPAP every moment of the day minus mealtimes? Thankfully I discovered it (with much help from the Lord, I'm sure), the doctor was called by the nurse, and a prescription was ordered and filled. I hate to think of what state she would've been in by next weekend if it hadn't been caught. I can't help but think she would have been intubated, which would have brought a lot of questions for the family as to what to do with her then. So next thing on the list.... help her with a living will so that *she* can answer the hard questions about how she wants her life to go so that we, as her children, don't have to guess.

Okay, so much of this *isn't* stuff I want to do, but at least some of it is! And that little bit of the good stuff should tide me over a bit while I do the jobs I *don't* want to do. *And* we get paid this week! Maybe dinner and a movie with my Honey on Friday will make everything all better!

Wish me luck with my week! And for sure, good luck with yours as well!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Finally Friday!

Have you got any plans for the weekend?

Tonight, Steve's & my date will be us going to his Aunt & Uncle's 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration. 50 years! I hope that Steve & I can both be around to celebrate our 50th. I'll be 75, he'll be 74. It is an excellent goal! I just hope we'll both be in good health and not sitting in a hospital with pneumonia... but I digress.

Saturday holds no plans yet. I'd love to get some jobs done around the house that need to get done, but I'd also love to just go have some fun. We'll see.

Sundays are for church, family, and to rest a bit. By then I'm always ready to start the weekend all over again.

Oh! Before I forget: Josh, Karen, Amber & I went and looked at the wedding pics yesterday and I found out that some of them are up on our photographer's website already! Take a look at Laura's website, Matchless Memories and take a look at our pics...and some other's too. I'll have wedding pics here on my blog as soon as I get them from her, I promise!

So adios amigos! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday (also an update): Aug 6th

Tammy asked for an update the other day and I was kind of surprised. I feel like I'm whining sometimes and that you all just patiently wait for the whining to pass, but when she *asked* for an update, I felt warm and fuzzy inside to think that she cares about me and how I am.

So here is my update.

My mom is still in the hospital, though she is getting better. She knows where she is and her thinking doesn't seem to be fuzzy anymore. I don't know if her bowel has been checked by a CT past the week after Josh's wedding when they said that it looked the same as the week before when it was healing. I'm unsure if she is over the pneumonia, I'll have to check, but I do know that the new hospital that she got transferred to last week checks on her and gives her breathing treatments every few hours, which is something that the other hospital didn't do.

The new hospital is privately owned and is amazing! They strip and wax the floor in between patients, for heaven sake! Their care is sensational! This hospital is called a "specialty hospital" and specializes in the care of those who aren't acute enough to be in the hospital but who aren't quite ready to go home or to a skilled nursing facility. With skilled nursing facilities, you only have a limited number of days your insurance will pay, so the specialty hospital preserves those days until you are truly ready for them.

Josh and Karen are working and getting ready for the baby. Since they don't have insurance, they will be applying for Medicaid, which is really a pain! They are trying to get through the process, though. Karen is feeling better, though she has moments where she has morning sickness, though not as bad as she once did. She is starting to get a little baby bump, and we are all excited to see her grow! Josh has gotten another promotion, he works at a pizza place, and is hoping for assistant manager soon.

I am feeling much better since my exposure to the mold and sewer water. I am convinced it was/is the mold making me sick. The effects of the sewer water are more instant, the mold more long lasting. The bummer is that there is no "cure" for getting the mold out of your system. I think it just takes time.

I will be homeschooling my ex-husband's daughter this year. I am excited about this. Years ago, when he lived in our town and I still homeschooled Josh I also homeschooled M. Then they moved away, Josh dropped out and M would go to school here and there for a little while at a time, but nothing lasting. She doesn't have a mom in the house, and I've been wishing she could spend more time here. When we were getting ready for the wedding she told me that she thinks of me as a second mom and then a little while later asked if I could homeschool her. I prayed for a way for this to happen, so I'm so glad that the opportunity presented itself. Steve and I prayed about it, and she will be homeschooling with my kids this year. The only way it will work is if she boards with us for the school week, so I will be gaining an extra kid. I hope M's will enjoy homeschooling with us and that we can make a difference for good for her.

Other than that, I'm just trying to get organized: making schedules and chore charts, trying to get our house back in order since it was neglected during the wedding planning.

I'm so thankful that Josh and Karen are doing well and trying to make a good life for themselves. I'm thankful that my mom is doing so well and seems to be making a good recovery. I'm thankful that I seem to be getting better, myself. And I'm thankful for the opportunity to help M to grow into a lovely young woman.

Life is good! Thanks for asking, Tammy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Saturday fun

Our town's festivities were going on last week. On Tuesday, while Emily was at church girls' camp, Matt was part of the Talent Show, singing and dancing with his dance group.

Then on Saturday there was a parade in the morning, with entertainment, food, craft shops, and face painting booths, and an antique car show going on in the park.

Waiting for the parade to start, Michael loved playing, spinning, and twirling Emily's parasol.

This is the moment we've been waiting for! Emily and Matt on their dance group's float.

Later on in the park, Emily & Matt join with their group to provide entertainment.

Emily singing "My Boyfriend's Back" with her group.

Matt sang "You're in the Army Mr. Jones" and danced with his group.

We had a great time, even though the heat was melting us all! Afterwards we went to the local museum that is only open during our town's festivities, visited an old time cabin, and played, ate, and visited in the park. Life's simple pleasures are often the best!

Monday, August 3, 2009

When we moved to Tennessee...

When we first moved to Tennessee, we lived in a mobile home that had been moved onto a piece of Steve's mom and dad's 120 acres in the woods. Well, let's back up a little. Because really, at first we lived with Steve's mom and dad. All six of us: Steve, me, and four kids. And our cat. For a month. Now even though they were wonderful about it, I was really looking forward to being in our own place again (and I bet, though they wouldn't ever say it, they were looking forward to it too). So once that mobile home was moved on, leveled, and secured, we moved in ... without electricity... in July.

I wanted electricity, mind you. I wanted it badly. I kept pestering the electrical company, but they were booked solid for a month. So we waited, not so patiently, while we lived in the mobile home. In July. In Tennessee.

It was soooo hot! If you've ever visited or lived in Tennessee in July, you'll know that the heat and humidity are overwhelming. We combatted the heat using a window fan, running an electrical cord from the chicken coop. We could choose to have one thing on at a time, so either the fan or a lamp, our choice.

Before moving in, I spent hours washing walls, cleaning the bathrooms, wiping down the cabinets, washing out the fridge that came with the mobile home. I wanted everything clean for my little children before we moved in. I also wanted the carpets cleaned and had learned from a friend that the best way to clean carpets is to hire someone who uses a process that kind of dry cleans them. She explained that when you put all of that water onto the carpet, the carpet acts as a wick and brings up all of the dirt way down in the carpet pad, so your carpet never gets clean. I had heard from another friend that having a carpet cleaner with the suction in the truck is better than the do-it-yourself carpet cleaners that leave a lot of the water behind. So armed with information, I opened up the yellow pages and searched for carpet cleaners, convinced that I needed someone else with better equipment or at least better suction, to make my little nest as clean as it could be.

I called one that looked decent and the conversation went something like this:

Carpet cleaning guy: Hello this is the carpet cleaning guy.

Me: Hi, I really need to have my carpet cleaned. But, will you be needing electricity for your machines, because we don't have electricity yet.

Carpet cleaning guy: (silence, then finally) You don't have electricity hooked up to your home?

Me: No, not yet, the electrical company is booked up and can't come out for a bit, but we do have a cord that we run from the chicken coop.

Carpet cleaning guy: Um, just call me when you get electricity. (click)

Right then and there I knew that I was no longer in Kansas, I mean the city, and it was the first time (though not the last) that someone could write a really good redneck joke about me. You know, something like:
You might be a redneck if.... your chickens have electricity, but you don't!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Stillness - Aug 2nd

These were taken a couple of Sundays ago when we took a ride up a small canyon. Taking a ride on Sunday is my favorite thing to do!