Thursday, March 31, 2011

Checking In

Today has been my best day so far!

I am feeling so much better.  I went to the Dr. today.

I want to give a quick Thank You! to my sweet father in love.  He volunteered to come sit with the kids while I went.  The boys did school, he laid sis down for her nap, and even did my dishes.  What a man!  I think we'll keep him.

My Doc said things look so much better.  He grinned when he walked into the room and said, "You're feeling better."  I'm guessing he was referencing the lack of the, "death warmed over" look I've had for over a week.

Last night I slept 11 hours and I've pretty much decided that fixes most things.

Thank you so much for all your concern!  God Bless!
Me Blowing You Kisses, Thanks for all the love!

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Personal

I tried to have discretion.

I decided to keep something somewhat private and to myself...then I contracted a severe staph infection and everyone is left bewildered.

So, this is what happened...

Jared and I planned for me to go into surgery for hernia/abdominal repair on March 18th.  There were two hernias; one small, one rather large. 

Since it was located near my "girl area" and same day surgery, we decided to just let a few people know if it would affect them.  Like my volleyball team, the Y, our families (to help with the kids) etc. Otherwise, it just seemed personal.

The procedure went great.  I was home within a few hours sound asleep in my bed.  No worries.

Monday, Jared and I took the kids to the Legends.  Tuesday and Wednesday we met the Coker's at the park.  While out, I did my required 20 minutes of walking and then just sat and enjoyed the warm weather.  I felt really good and had no signs of what was to come.

Wednesday night at church I was feeling really run down.  I assumed it was due to going to the park, Goodwill, then church.  I planned an early bedtime and dismissed it.

Right before class started, I went into the restroom to check my site.  I had a small hole that I was to keep antibiotic ointment on.  It had looked fine for days, but all of a sudden it was red, warm, and oozing (I know, ewww.  Sorry).

I went home and decided to lay down.  I fell fast asleep in a chilled haze.  Jared came home a hour later and I was on fire.  I don't really recollect the next few days.  In fact I thought I went into the hospital on Thurs, but Jared told me today that it was Fri.  Thursday I had an appointment, they agreed it was infected and they gave me oral antibiotics.  If I wasn't better by morning they would reevaluate.

The infection had spread and my fevers were very high.  They admitted me Friday around 11:30 but there was not a room for me until 6pm.  We waited...and waited...and waited...  I was very sick and crying...a lot...

Over the next 72 hours I had IV antibiotics in both arms around the clock.  In the first 24 hours with the IV's I was still getting worse.

I have never been so sick, so scared, and so out of control of a situation.  Praise God, the doctors flushed my wounds (my most painful event to date) and between this and the antibiotics I finally started improving. 

I finally came home today.  I am so thankful to be feeling better and away from the danger of the infection.  I want to thank everyone for their kind words, prayers, food, emails, and Facebook comments.

If it weren't for our parents we wouldn't have made it through this.  Thank you so much for all your help with the kids and the laundry.  My house was clean when I arrived home!

Job Security?

This morning I am feeling spry. Well, I no longer feel near death. I ventured down to visit the gift shop.

I found lots of appropriate gift shop trinkets.

In the back corner I saw some thing peculiar.



I stepped closer to get a better glimpse.



Yep folks, that is a Voo Doo Doll. Of course it is! All the local shops carry them! They have little boys with soccer balls, little girls with dolls. There are men with glasses and sports coats, pretty ladies in dresses. All your Voo Doo needs can be met in the back corner of the gift shop.

Pins not included.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break!



First day of spring break!

I'm up, showered and dressed! I'm about to make a cup of coffee and then sit on the porch swing and wait for Wendy to get here!  She's headed this way for the afternoon.  I'm so excited!

It's a beautiful day!

Brennan and Tanner kicked off their Spring break by staying over with Corbin last night. I pray they had a great time and hopefully some sleep.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Do You Believe?

I woke up this morning with Olivia Newton John's song Majic running through my mind. Where in the world did that come from? It's technically not before my time, although I was about Anneliese's age when it came out.

If I have to think/sing it all day, I figured you could too. Here's a blast from the past :)


Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Favorite Weirdo

Anita sent me some pictures of Graham's trip to T-Rex yesterday. I really felt like they showed his goofy self and would allow some of you out in internet land to catch a glimpse of his personality. There wasn't one "normal" pic in the whole bunch.

This is my favorite!



  
Just a silly little boy
Actually, now that I think about it...these are perfectly normal for Graham :) Love his funny, quirky, sweet little self.

The other day I received a necklace in the mail that Jared had purchased for my birthday. The kids were super eager to bring it to work for me. As soon as I had it on, Graham wrapped his arms around my leg and said, "It looks beautiful wiff your eyes momma!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Cinco Grahamalama

Sweet tiny Graham is 5!  I can't hardly believe it. 

He's already had his cake:
And today, he gets to "eat it too."

Grandma and Papa are taking him to T-Rex so he can build a dinosaur.  He informed us a few days back that he really wanted to do that.  I asked him if he wanted to go to Build a Bear and he said, "No, I don't want a beer (sic) I want a dinosaur for my birfday (sic)."

Fortunately for us, that works out great!  Build a Bear is clear over at Oak Park and T-Rex is only 2 miles away. 

It's amazing how fast time flies:

May I have them just a touch longer Lord?  They're growing too fast...

We love you sweet Grahamalama.  You make us smile everyday and you have blessed our lives.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break!

3 more days and then we are taking a week off.

No work, no school.

Just me and my babies home doing a whole lotta Spring stuff...

Like this:
And a touch of this:

I'm sure there's no way to get a round a little of this:
or this:
Especially when you have a family like this:


But, have no worries, there will be lots of this:

and last, but definitely not least, tons of this:


Happy Spring Break everyone!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Graham and Anneliese's Party

Graham's goofy shyness and his James cake
Anneliese and her cake
Graham eating James' face
Anneliese enjoying her cake
Graham opening
Anneliese opening

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Anneliese!

Here are a few of my favorites.  My precious little girl is 2 today.  I never thought I'd be able to say, "I have a daughter." 

Not only can I say it, but I say it with pride.  Have you seen the precious bundle God granted?

Thank you Lord for the gift of my babies.  They are such a blessing!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Discretion!

I noticed I haven't posted as regularly as I would like.  I try to post every other day or more.

That doesn't mean that I'm not writing.  I have a new habit.  I write blogs and never publish them.

There is a growing list of articles that will never see blog light (vs daylight, hee hee I'm witty).  It's surprising how cathartic it is just to write out my feelings or latest issues.  Not everything is for public consumption.

It has been a goal/mission of mine to be honest.  As a young girl I struggled with lying and making my own reality.  After being confronted and recognizing that God calls us to honesty and truth, I made it my mission to remove half truths, deception, and lies from my life.

It may seem to some that I share more than I should, that I lack discretion.  My sweet friend said to me, "I think that in your desire for honesty you feel you have to give full disclosure."  She was spot on!  I don't want to ever feel like I'm withholding information or being deceptive in anyway.

Now, in my mid 30's, I'm learning the art of discretion.  Being fully honest, all while allowing private things to remain private.

Writing is a blessing in my life.  I love being able to express myself in this way and work through the wide range of emotions I face as a woman.  Jared encouraged me to write to work through losing my dad.  Little did I know it would become a vice for all life's trials and triumphs.

Thank you all for reading my ramblings!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What A Pain...

I debated whether or not to blog about my most recent...issue.  The doctor said, "I wouldn't tell too many people you have this because most people aren't very educated about it and don't understand it."  Taking her advice I decided to wait until I was all healed before blogging it :)

I wanted to blog it sooner because I was in pain and I needed sympathy.  I'm a bit of a whiner if you haven't noticed (I'm working on that, He's not finished with me yet!)  And I figured if people aren't very educated about it, I can help!

About a 2 weeks ago I started having pain in my right hip.  This is reminiscent of my pregnancies.  I had sacroiliitis with each pregnancy and after Anneliese it hung around.  While it was uncomfortable, I just went on with life thinking it would subside eventually. 

Within a week a sore began to develop directly over my painful joint.  I asked a few people what they thought it might be.  No one really knew and as each day passed it became more and more painful.  The following Sunday night I could hardly sleep.

I made an appointment Monday morning and while my sweet mother sat in the car with all 5 kids and ate lunch, I found out my painful bump is shingles.

This is the best definition I found online at Badspiderbites.com

"What is shingles?
About 2 out of every 10 people experience severe pain that may last even after the rash clears up and is referred to as post-herpetic neuralgia.
Shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Only someone who has had a case of chickenpox or gotten chickenpox vaccine, can get shingles. The virus stays in your body. It can reappear many years later to cause a case of shingles.
You can’t catch shingles from other people that have shingles. However, in rare cases, an individual who has never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, may contract it from someone who has shingles.
Shingles is far more common in people 50 and older than in younger people. It is also more common in people whose immune systems are weakened because of a disease such as cancer, or drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy. At least 1 million people a year in the United States get shingles."

The doctor explained while it's rare for someone my age to get them, it's obviously completely possible.  She also said that while they can't say for sure what causes the flare ups, it's likely a reaction to stress.

I received a normal sized bottle of an anti-viral to prevent more sores and a bucket of pain medicine.  When I filled the scripts the pharmacist gave me that, "oh, honey" look.

For the most part I just had an, "icky I don't feel so hot," feeling and a bit of an upset belly.  The pain from the shingle is by far the worst part.  I had difficulty sleeping because it was hurting so bad.

Thankfully I'm recovered and finished my anti-viral.

Now I need to start doing Yoga and spending more time dwelling on God's promises in order to manage my stress.  Internalizing has become a painful hobby of mine, between the shingles and peptic ulcers it's time for something new!

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Mom Was in Pain 34 Years Ago

I don't have to work today!

Yesterday I only worked for a couple hours in the morning. Since I was home I decided to clean my nasty house and get caught up on all things mundane. Anita stopped by last night and helped me fold and put away countless loads of laundry.

While the boys finished school, I started on a birthday cake.  I decided that I would really like to try to make the Matterhorn cake.  I googled until I found a recipe:

Crisco No-Stick Cooking Spray with Flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
2-1/2 cups Softasilk Cake Flour
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (alkalized) -or-
unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups buttermilk
Chocolate curls, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray three 9-inch round cake pans generously with no-stick cooking spray with flour.

Beat sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 teaspoon clear vanilla and 3/4 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Mix cake flour, cocoa powder,
baking soda and salt; beat into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk on medium speed. Beat 1 minute longer. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 26 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely.



Buttercream
Frosting:

1-1/4 cup (2-1/2 sticks) butter,
room temperature
2 teaspoons clear vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
8-9 tablespoons milk
7-1/2 cups (2 pounds) powdered sugar

Beat 1-1/4 cups butter, 2 teaspoons clear vanilla and 1 teaspoon almond extract in a medium bowl at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add milk and powdered sugar, scraping bowl as needed. Beat on high speed adding additional milk by the tablespoon until desired spreading consistency is achieved. Brush any loose crumbs from cooled layers.

Place first layer, rounded side down, on plate. Spread with Buttercream Frosting to within 1/4-inch of edge. Level off top of second layer. Top with second layer, topside down. Spread with frosting. Top with third layer, top side up. Coat side of cake with thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs. Frost side and top of cake. If desired, draw cake comb through frosting to make decorative designs and top with shaved chocolate curls.

Refrigerate cake to set the frosting; allow cake to stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.


Makes 16 servings.


High Altitude (Above 3500 Ft.): Heat oven to 375°F. Generously grease and flour pans. Decrease sugar in cake to 1-3/4 c. and baking soda to 1-1/2 tsp. Increase cake flour to 2-3/4 c.


Since Aunt Judy was so generous to donate a ton of cake pans to the Altics, I happened to have 3, 9" cake pans.

I made the cake according to the recipe, but the icing I changed a bit.  In the interview with Giada she specifically mentioned the cream cheese in the icing and this recipe doesn't have cream cheese listed.  I added a block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese but otherwise followed the recipe.

Sweet Tanner really thought it was wrong that I was making my own cake.  He kept saying, "Is it normal to have to make your own cake when you're older?  Why are you making it?  Would you like to tell me how and let me make it for you?"

Such a precious thought.  Honestly, I wanted to make it!  I really wanted to try it and typically I wouldn't make such a decadent dessert to have in the house.  My birthday was the perfect excuse to indulge a bit. 

It weighs 8 lbs completed.  This is it chillin in the fridge:

 When Anita came by last night she assumed she couldn't have any until today.  I chuckled, and cut into it.  Are you kidding me?  It's 8 lbs of cake!  If you want some, come by and I'll give you a slice.  It's extremely rich and such a treat!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hold Me

I love love love this new song. It makes me smile.

For your listening pleasure, Jamie Grace featuring TobyMac.

I'm so grateful and thankful for all you've done...

...you have my heart! I love the way you hold me!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Courtney!

It's my sister's birthday. This is a picture of her and I when we were around 7 and 2 I would guess. This was at our house in Nortonville. I have this image framed and sitting on top of my china cabinet. It's one of my very favorites.


I love you lady!