Archive for the 'Answered Prayers' Category

Promises Whispered

So this year’s theme at church is “Launch Out”. I first got the inkling of just what God was pulling me towards in terms of launching out several months ago, but it just seemed so unreal, so unlikely. Turns out… not so much. The coincidences (both musical and otherwise) speak for themselves, or rather for God. I never thought I’d be led back around to considering, let alone deciding on, divorce by God of all people. By my ‘worldly’ friends, sure. By my ‘unspiritual’ family, maybe. But by Jesus Himself? WHAT?! And yet that is exactly what happened. It wasn’t some booming, thundering voice from the sky, no. It was a still, small voice that said “just open your mind and heart to the idea that maybe the act of divorce might not not frowned upon by God in certain situations”. It started small, it did, and to be sure it came through His chosen vessel. I had my eyes (and my mind!) clenched so tightly shut it hurt. Hurt to keep them closed, but hurt to open them, too. Like when you’ve been squeezing your eyes shut to keep out the light that was suddenly turned on in the midst of the thick dark. It was painful, so very painful, to keep forcibly shutting that light out, but just opening my eyes wide open all at once hurt, too. I’d pop them open, be blinded, and go back to squinting….but that light…even though it was bright and seemed painful at first glance seemed to offer something more. Warmth for a shivering soul for a start. Light to see things clearly, instead of having to plod about in uncertainty. And hope. For the first time in over 15yr I really felt the golden fingers of hope coming through. It reminded me of the poem I wrote in high school with the same title as this post…

Golden Fingers reaching through the clear pane,
Silently touching the sleeping form.
Lingering for a moment to whisper promises of a new beginning;
Slowly they pass — leaving behind shadowy fingerprints.

I’m older now, though, and I like to think a little wiser. Without question I’m more knowledgeable, especially in regards to Truth. Whereas at 17yo I let those Fingers float right on by…whether because of fear or stubbornness to follow along a prescribed or expected path or some other reason that I don’t even remember now…at almost 36yo I refuse to let them pass me by. I don’t want shadowy fingerprints. I want the Fingers that created them. I don’t want to resist the pulling anymore. I don’t want, scratch that, I WON’T lie still and watch them drift away. I refuse. I’m waking up, launching out, and hanging on to those promises. To not do so is to not breathe. My kids deserve so much better than what they’ve had. Not because they’re so great, but because they are children of God. They, as well as myself, were precious enough to Jesus that He willingly held out His hands and even thanked the Father for the opportunity to have nails driven through them, to take on all of our sins and pay for them so that we could be made whole and be free. Jesus gave up everything to save us from a life of pain, misery, defeat, and rejection. There’s been a myriad of reasons, excuses even, why I haven’t allowed myself to live that life, but I’m choosing it now. I’m launching out of the bed of self-punishment-through-others and trying-to-save-others-at-the-expense-of-myself and breaking through the clear pane to go live in the Sonshine…not just a quiet, sedate, ordinary life, either.  No. I’ve been trying to contain myself inside of propriety and calmness and convention for too long. I’m tired of trying to fit into a mold that I was never designed to fit in. I want to be comfortable in my own skin finally. I’m not there yet, not by a long shot, but I WANT to get there…and I will. As long as I do all things decently and in order, it will come. That’s decently and in order according to GOD, not man (including myself!), though. Sometimes there is a big difference.

I’ve written about storms and rainbows before. Not all storms are bad. Some rainstorms are VERY necessary. Sometimes our lives are suffering from drought and we desperately need rain to quench our thirst and heal our parched hearts. Sometimes we even recognize it and pray for something to revive us, to heal us, to satisfy us. Why do we act so surprised, then, when it starts raining? Sometimes we think the rain is nothing but cold, but what if it’s not? What if we’re missing a piece of it and it’s not a ‘c’, but a ‘g’. What if the rain is nothing but gold. Rain is cleansing. It washes away the dust and the heat. Sure, absolutely in the midst of the storm it can be dark and scary and threatening…but on the other side? What awaits us? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… the longer, more frightening, more intense the storm the sweeter, more beautiful, and more precious the rainbow. Rainbows are symbols of promise…promises whispered. And now the circle of coincidentiality is complete. Thank you, Lord. I love you too! =)

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When it rains, it pours! BUSY day today!

Ok, so my best friend’s mother was admitted to the hospital last night after having a mild heart attack. This is the friend that I work for, so I knew today would be somewhat hectic since I would need to get orders packed up for her and then tonight Meagan was having her Un-birthday party. I did not expect it to be SO busy, though. LOL  We’ve had a veritable downpour of difficulties in the last 24hr!

This morning I needed to take Matt to get bloodwork done before his endo appt next week. Since he was staying the night with my mom last night, and I knew I needed to go in and pack orders today, I arranged for my dad to drive Matt back into town today. That didn’t go as planned. My mom called and said that my grandfather (dad’s dad) was in the hospital with what they thought was a ruptured gall bladder. Dad and my youngest brother were on their way to the hospital. Mom was staying behind because she’s been having some dizziness the last few days. Probably her Lyme flaring up after a very stressful week last week when their one and only car broke down and she had to hurry and find a new car to buy.

So Meagan and I went to my mom’s to pick Matt up around 9:30am or so. We still had several things we needed to do to get ready for her party tonight and of course I was going to have to get the bloodwork done, and go in to work, and go to the store! On the way, we prayed and asked the Lord to please help us to get done everything we needed to get done.

It’s been a loooooong day, but God is faithful! =)

First of all, my grandfather is doing great and should be able to go home tomorrow. Turns out his gall bladder had NOT ruptured, but was severely infected. They were able to remove it laprascopically so the recovery time should be very short as the incisions are only about an inch long.

Mike took Matthew and got his bloodwork done. I was able to get all the orders packaged up, AND was there to accept a new delivery of product, AND got that delivery documented, AND got a ton of other work-related stuff done (invoicing, etc).

A young lady from our church (actually, our church pianist) was such a blessing to me today! She took both my kids after Matt’s bloodwork was done and went shopping for me for the party. She also baked Meg’s cake for me, and then she came over and set up the decorations, too!

As for my best friend’s mom… the scheduled heart catherization this morning revealed she needed a triple, and possibly a quadruple bypass. =(  For awhile we thought they were going to be doing the surgery this afternoon, but finally they decided to schedule it for Monday at noon. While we are all glad that her situation has turned out to NOT be an immediately dire, life-threatening one requiring emergency surgery, we regret that now she will have the whole weekend to be worrying about this surgery. =/

In between about a jillion different work-related things popping up all day long, I was babysitting my best friend’s youngest until her other grandma could get off work and pick her up. My phone jangled more than a dozen times with additional prayer requests, as well. At least 3 other members of our small church’s congregation are also in the hospital today, and a couple more are sick and needing prayer as well.

Things are finally quieting down and I’m able to take a deep breath for the first time in about 15hr. LOL Meagan has two overnight guests and the three of them are in the living room watching  movie. I’ve made a batch of cookies for them, and there are chips and sodas and ice cream. What more do three teen girls need, right? LOL

I’m so looking forward to taking some Benadryl to get rid of my allergy-laden nose and climbing into bed!

This coming week will be busy, busy too with tdoc appt on Tues, an endo appt on Wed, Mission Conference Sun-Wed with meals Mon-Wed, FBI class on Thurs, and a bunch of burp cloths needing to be made for my new little nephew.

Even in the midst of the storm, though, life is good because God is good! =)

Crazy, not lazy, May!

So it’s been a crazy busy May this year. Praise the Lord I’ve been healthy enough to handle it!! Last May I was doing good if I could get two or three chores done a week and was hoping beyond hope that I’d be able to survive our upcoming trip to Arkansas.

This May was so different. Granted the last 5 or 6 days of the month I spent doing a lot of sleeping, but nothing compared to last year or the 2-3 years before, for sure! I think I was just zapped because it’s been SO crazy busy…and it was ‘my time of the month’. Blech!

So what’ve we been up the last few weeks? Well, I got the new (temporary) floor down in the kitchen, three shelves hung in there, and a new cabinet/countertop installed. Of course, the icky old red laminate countertop from the 70s was replaced with white stone tile and the shallow sink replaced with a deep one, but props for those have to go to Mom and Dad. Actually, everything but the floor needs to, really. LOL I just helped hold boards in place for the shelving. I know. Hard work there, right?

Then there was the biggest cleaning the house has had since I first crashed with the Lyme. I don’t mean cleaning like scrubbing walls, baseboards, ceiling fans, and the like, though. Nope. I just mean getting STUFF put away and trash OUT. Oh, and laundry either washed or put in hampers. Yes it was that bad. No I am not proud of that fact. =/ So while the house did get “tidied”, it wasn’t really a “cleaning”. That is still to come. Soon, I hope.

Then there were the doctor appointments. We had 4 dr appts in 4wks! Matthew had a routine follow-up with the endocrinologist, and two visits to the pediatrician to try and get his bipolar meds adjusted. Then Meagan had to go and get strep throat again…. which she gave to me. Nice. Then I got a cold just as I was getting over the strep. Nice again.

My best friend/adopted sister has started a new business. Quite the entrepreneur she is. This is not her first endeavor at being her own boss and bringing in extra income for the family; just the first one since SHE crashed with Lyme. What’s she doing? Selling high-end cosmetics…wholesale. Selling LOTS of it. LOTS and LOTS. Like 5-figure orders, we’re talking! How does that have anything to do with me? Simple. She got in over her head because the business didn’t just bloom, it BURST almost over night. She needed an extra set of hands to help count, sort, package, and tend to her youngest (just turned 5yo). She was doing all that *and* all the emails (tons) and phone calls (even more tons) and overseeing another daughter’s homebound school and trying to get all the regular mom stuff done, too. Overwhelmed much? YES! lol

We’ve just about got her set up and ready to go, though. Well, I say that. I haven’t actually even started getting her new software set up yet, but at least I’ve got her convinced she has GOT to get some. (Seriously. Trying to keep track of thousands of dollars worth of orders on pieces of scratch paper and post-its just is NOT efficient!) I’m also getting a website set up for her to direct her customers to in order to see what she has available.

In the meantime, I also helped…or rather TRIED to help my older ‘niece’ with her Algebra. I was all like “Oh sure, I’ll help her. No problem!” And then I was all like “ummm I have NO idea how to do this”. We did, however, have an absolute BALL trying to figure the problems out. To our credit, between the two of us we DID get things figured out. It just took hours and enough laughter that we were seriously sore at the end of the day. We had fun, but I’m not so sure I should be ‘tutoring’ in Algebra anymore. LOL

After that adventure, we had the end-of-the-school-year awards ceremony for Meagan’s school. This kid makes me so proud! She comes home with handfuls of ribbons and other awards every year. Of course I’d be proud of her even if she didn’t, but it’s a Mom’s job to brag on the kids! =) She made mostly As with a couple of Bs all year long. Silly girl got a paper report of all the awards she had already received throughout the year and was shocked and excited when she saw that the tea towel she embroidered for my birthday won first place. She couldn’t remember bringing home the blue ribbon, so it was like winning all over again! LOL

After that I spent several days making a kitchen ‘unit’ for a ‘niece’s birthday present. It has a sink, cabinet under the sink, and then a dishwasher (with countertop). I had all the plastic canvas and almost all the yarn I needed, so aside from time the only cost for this bday gift was 50 cents for a clearanced set of dishes approximately Barbie sized, $1 for a gift bag, and the $2.58 I spent on a skein of gray yarn (of which I have almost the whole thing left). Not bad at all!

The last few days I’ve been busy doing some research. Matthew had an interesting ‘episode’ last week in which he had MAJOR problems getting to sleep 3 nights in a row. Why? Because his “toe felt funny”. Yes, seriously. The first night he was at my mom’s and I only heard about it in passing the next day. I picked up on the fact that he had cried some, but it sounded more like he missed me than anything else. At least that’s what my mom insinuated. I stayed at her place that night and he said it felt funny again. No tears and he didn’t seem to be in real distress, so I chalked it up to him being overtired and/or trying to stall. The third night we were back home and it happened again. This time he did cry. A lot. Also he admitted that it took everything he had to NOT cry the night before. There was nothing wrong with his toe physically. It just felt “funny”. It didn’t hurt, it wasn’t red or itchy, nothing like that. Just the way his toes were touching each other “felt funny” and it bothered him so much he literally was in tears because of it. Then the light bulb went on! He was fixating on the ‘funny feeling’ because of his OCD. We’ve known for years that he has OCD tendencies, and have joked that he has OCD many, many times. Never before, though, had his quirks interfered in his life in a major way. I explained to him what I thought was going on and he asked what to do about it. I told him there were medicines that could help. (I highly suspect that one of the meds he was recently taken off of had been treating the OCD to a degree…and now that the med is gone the OCD is coming on full force.) He was oh-so-ready to go to the ER. Right then! That’s how upset he was over this. He did NOT want to think about his toe, he did NOT want it to feel funny, he was tired (and admittedly so) and just wanted to go to sleep but he couldn’t quit thinking about it. The “funny feeling” was driving him crazy. Really.

After explaining that the medicine isn’t a ‘rescue’ med like his asthma inhaler, but a ‘maintenance’ med like his Singulair, I took him into my room and we laid in my bed while I read to him. I really was wishing I had some Ativan to give him, but since I didn’t (and I was certainly NOT taking him to the ER for an OCD ‘attack’) I thought trying to get his focus off the funny feeling toe and onto ANYTHING else was about the best thing I could do. Thankfully it worked. I can’t remember now what search terms I thought of while laying there holding my breath that the poor kid had finally managed to fall asleep, but I got up and came in here to the computer.

Whatever it was I looked up, it led me to a series of workbooks written by a psychiatrist. I ordered three of them on the spot. The names of them are: “What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming OCD”, “What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger”, and “What to Do When You Grumble Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Negativity” I have no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit led me to these books. Matthew needs these SO much! I pray that he will cooperate with me in working through them and that he will actually put into practice some of the technigues they teach him. From what I gather they are all based on cognitive-behavior therapy techniques that he would get if he were to see a psychiatrist or therapist for these challenges of his. Since he is NOT willing to go to someone else, this is truly a God-sent alternative. There is even a workbook for anxiety. I thought about buying that one, but really his horrific anxiety (disabling in all seriousness) is a thing of the past thanks to antibiotic treatment for the Lyme. There are a few others in the series as well, but for now I’m uber excited to see how these can help him.

All that research also led me (later, after I’d already purchased the 3 workbooks above) to a book/workbook set similar to this series only written specifically for bipolar! It’s in my shopping cart at Amazon waiting for the next payday!! The name of it is “My Bipolar, Roller Coaster Feelings Book”. PERFECT! If I had any question about sending Matthew to school versus keeping him here at home, the Lord just answered them clear as a bell! My only ‘regret’ is that Meagan will be home during the day for the next couple of months so finding “Mom and Matt Therapy Time” will be a bit more difficult… just as we’re getting started. Go figure! LOL

I’ve also been putting together a unit study on Isaac Newton for Matt. He took an interest in the laws of motion and wanted to know who figured them out. Not so ‘coincidentally’ Isaac Newton was a Christian who had bipolar disorder! Brilliant! I haven’t spent a lot of time on putting the unit together, but I did just order a biography from the Sower Series (Christian based) on Newton. That led me to looking at other science stuff since he doesn’t have a formal science curriculum this year. I found a couple of things I want to get, but not a huge hurry on those. THAT led me to researching English curriculum.

The English curriculum we’ve been using the last couple of years is really frustrating for Matt. It spends a lot of time on diagramming (which I can’t help him with because I never learned how to and it makes NO sense to me whatsoever), and just is so technical! He really struggles with it, which has been confusing for me because Matt is me ‘language’ kid. He has always been super fascinated with words and phrases and languages. He likes to know where the words/phrases came from, and just goes giddy over puns of any kind. He likes playing with words and even with accents. When he was little bitty and first started getting interested in words and what-not and then picked up reading and spelling almost instinctively I felt sure I had a writer in the making. Sadly he hates writing for now, and as I said he struggles in grammar, usage, and mechanics.

I think I may have found some answers to these problems, though. I’ve learned that the area of the brain affected by bipolar includes the area responsible for executive functioning. Long story short this makes writing difficult for him. He might have tons of ideas in his head (and he does) but getting them out onto paper is more difficult. I’ve found a curriculum for grammar, usage, and mechanics that does NOT use diagramming at all, and I’ve also found a writing curriculum that looks very promising given his unique challenges. These too are in my shopping cart awaiting next payday. LOL

On top of all that, Mike’s 64th birthday was yesterday, though honestly we didn’t ‘do’ much to celebrate. I sent him to the chiropractor and then stuffed his belly full of pork chops, fried eggs, and cheesecake. Fix ‘im up and then clog ‘im up. haha The rest of this week is busy with getting Meagan ready for teen church camp… that is provided she gets her chores caught up and we can find the funds to send her! Then next week (with Meg at camp…?) we’ll be getting Matt ready for church junior camp the following week. And sometime in the next two paydays we have to buy Meg some new uniform shirts for school.

We had to replace a tire on the van in amongst all this, too. Oh, and we also bought a new auto-injection device for Matt’s shots. I still need to purchase the rest of the fabric for the kitchen cabinet curtains, too. Lots of ‘extra’ expenses the last few and next few weeks!

At least we won’t have to buy 3 more tires for the van. My best friend’s dad (and Mike’s high school classmate) just gave us two nearly-new tires that will fit the van. That gets 3 of 4 replaced, and I’m pretty sure that one of the existing ones is still in pretty good shape. =)  I’m constantly being surprised by the ways in which the Lord provides for us!!

Back-To-School (and other stuff)

It’s Back to School time here. At least, for the females in the house! Meagan’s school (through the church) starts tomorrow. Matthew (homeschooled) won’t start until after Labor Day.

Something new this year, though. *I’m* going back to school, too! Not just as a teacher, which wouldn’t be anything new, but as a student!  I’ve enrolled in a 3yr bible college, taking 1.5 credit hours a semester. It’s called Faith Baptist Institute, and you can learn all about it here. It’s administered via DVD through our church. There are 12 students in our class. =) *We* went back to school last Monday, the 16th! 

There’s something really cool about that date… I remember when I first started high school, as a freshman, school started on the 16th. I remember because that was the year my brother, James, was born and he was exactly 4 days old when we snapped a polaroid of his chunky little cheeks for me to take to school to show him off to my friends. So I started high school on Aug 16, 1992 as a 13yo and now here I am FINALLY starting college on Aug 16, 2010 as a 31yo. How cool is that?

I’ve actually been preparing for ‘back-to-school’ for lots of girls this summer. First I made a bunch of new culottes for Autumn and Ashlin (my adopted nieces) before we left for Arkansas. Then I bought school supplies and got my registration taken care of. Last week, of course, I went back to school, and then the rest of the week I spent making and mending culottes for Kylie (another adopted niece) and letting out uniforms for both her and Meagan.

You’d think that would’ve been the end of it, but nooooo…. Our bible class (actually 3 classes, but we only meet 1x week, and do all 3 in one night) met again tonight and then AFTER that (and we don’t get out till 9:30pm) I had to mess with MORE uniforms. Not for any nieces or nephews or even Meagan, but for Meagan’s DOLL – Samantha! LOL

Ok, so I didn’t HAVE to, but I had promised Meagan I would make her a uniform skirt back several months ago, and she really wanted it for the first day of school. I just finished it before I sat down to type this post up, and when I snipped the last threads and looked at it, I realized I messed up the pleating HORRIBLY!! =*(

Not in the pressing of them. That I could’ve fixed. In the sewing. I don’t know how I managed to do it, but the front pleats are not quite centered correctly (well, neither are the back ones…they are actually worse), and then on top of that the front and back pleats don’t even come close to matching!

The design of the skirt is such that it has a center solid ‘flap’ with 2 pleats on either side. Well, in the front the center piece is the correct size, and the pleats are just fine, except the whole thing is off-center. In the back, though….!!! The center section is at LEAST half again as wide as it is supposed to be, if not double! I don’t have a clue how I managed that, since I marked the pleats on both the front and back at the exact same time and in the exact same places (I marked one off the other, so I know they matched).

I feel like such a dunce and am so totally NOT happy at ALL with the final product, obviously, BUT it is going to remain the way it is. I can’t stand even thinking that, but it’s got to. For one thing, to undo all the stitching it would require to get back to the point at which I could rearrange the pleating, would take a couple of hours at least (which I don’t have). It would actually be much simpler and quicker to just start over from scratch. Problem with that is I have no more fabric! Last year she switched to wearing just skirts for her school uniform, so I just took the top of the jumpers off instead of buying new skirts. That’s how I had the fabric. She only had two jumpers, and it took almost every bit of both pieces to make the skirt for the doll. All that’s left is the skinny bits that came down from the shoulders and met in the front at the waist to make a V.

So, Samantha will just have to live with a VERY asymmetrical (and not in a fashionable way, either) school uniform skirt. Somebody doesn’t like it, they’ll just have to learn to deal, ’cause I’m not spending any more time or effort on a skirt for a DOLL! lol

I’m still not even done with the back-to-school sewing, though, believe it or not. Tomorrow I need to make said doll a blue uniform shirt! Plus, I think all but *maybe* one pair of Meagan’s 458 pairs of culottes need mending. *sigh* If I’m feeling real frisky or insane, I’ll probably end up making Meagan and her doll hair scrunchies out of the scraps I have left.

In other news… =)   Mike went to church with us last Sunday am. He came to Sunday School with me, and left towards the end to come home and get the Strong’s Concordance. He tried to start/have a conversation/question with my SS teacher between SS and worship service. It didn’t work out so well, though, since my SS teacher is also the music director and he was already running late getting up to the podium! LOL

So, instead, he agreed to let him come by Thurs eve (before he had to leave for work) and answer his questions and talk then. Marcy, my best friend (and adopted sis!), came by and picked the kids and I up and we went to her place while her hubby came over and talked with Mike! This was so totally a work of God. Not even 6mo ago when Marcy and I brought up the idea of David coming over and talking with him, Mike had said there was no point, it wouldn’t do any good, he wouldn’t do it.

Then, THIS week, Mike came to Sun pm service with us! =) He’d actually told me last week (before the first time he came) that he would attend with us on Sun am for 2-3mo to see if it would make any kind of difference or help at all with Matthew’s attitude/respectfulness/discipline. So this week was sorta kinda a cheat. lol In the morning when it was time to leave he bailed saying he was just too tired and not up to it, but that he would go with us that night (which, of course, he did).

When he told me he’d start coming to church with us, I almost fainted! When he said he’d KEEP coming, I thought for sure I would have a heart attack! I didn’t get my hopes up, though, because… well… this was MIKE coming to a BAPTIST church we were talking about.  I wasn’t going to hold my breath, ya know. Nor was I going to truly believe it until I saw it… which, praise the Lord, I did!

I thank the Lord that Mike is giving this a go! It’s a HUGE blessing and borders on being miraculous, really. I’m so proud of him for following through thus far! =)

Speaking of being proud of him… I’m also one proud puppy over the way (and the length of time it took) he got our busted hot water heater replaced with a brand new one. Especially since it required running a new electric line (it’s direct wired to a breaker, not plugged into an outlet). We were only without hot water for about a week and a half. MAJOR improvement over the 2 years it took to fix the ginormous holes in the floors so the bathtub could be put back in the bathroom! LOL

In other, other news… I am officially without a Lyme doctor again. Mine retired the end of last month. =(  I’ve already started running out of different meds, which is not cool. It is totally not cool, because running out of them, is leading to symptoms flaring back up. =(  First I ran out of Mepron, right about a month ago. Within a week, I was having bad headaches again, as well as night sweats and muscle cramps and bone and joint pain. Prior to running out I had NONE of those except some mild joint aches in the morning when I first woke up. After he added the Plaquenil to my mix, I was feeling almost human again. Well, really MOSTLY human. I did great on vacation and was doing just as well until the Mepron ran out.

We took a weekend trip down to Austin a couple of weeks back (after I ran out of the Mepron) to see my very talented cousin, Scott, perform in the Zilker Musical. This year’s presentation was Annie, and Scott got to shave his head bald and play Daddy Warbucks! LOL The play was GREAT, but *I* was not.

We left Friday and were supposed to camp. We didn’t, though. When we got to the campsite (around 12am) it was soooo covered in brush that Mike decided it would be far too dangerous. So off we went to find another campsite. We drove around Lake Travis on back roads that went UP and DOWN and curved around so much they literally had switchbacks in several places for like 3hr! Then we drove around some more for another several hours. All the campsites were either full or locked, so we ended up parking at a WalMart at about 5am to try and catch a couple of hours of sleep before the campgrounds opened back up.

The driving seriously MESSED ME UP! It wreaked absolute havoc on my central nervous system. I was sooo dizzy and off balance and edgy and I don’t even know what all. My CNS was just so irritated!! When we got to the campground, I could barely walk. I was soooo sick and weak! Then after we pitched the tent, we attempted to sleep until time for the play. I couldn’t. The heat was unbearable.

My muscles in my leg and back were cramped up so bad by the time we got home that I couldn’t straighten my leg at all. I was stuck in bed for 3 days! This after a 2 night trip. We were gone for 10 nights when we went to Arkansas and I didn’t have any problems at all and didn’t need any recovery time!

Then last week, after church on Sun and class on Monday night, I was stuck in bed all day Tues. Too sick to move. I’m backsliding, or relapsing, or whatever you want to call it so quick it’s not even funny. =(

I don’t know what I’m going to do. Hopefully I won’t get too much worse before we can figure out what to do about a doctor.

YIKES! It’s almost 3am now. I guess I’d better go take my meds and climb in the bed!

Updates, a surprise, and some great shopping deals!

Thought I’d give an update of both how Rachel (the new bunny) and our cats Samson and Delilah were getting along, as well as an update on Mom and Dad’s new house. Oh and some other stuff, too. lol

Yes, it’s another one of those mixed posts with a little bit about a lot. Some sort of planned randomness, I suppose. hehe

The three animals are all doing just fine. Well better than fine, actually. We put the rabbit cage on the floor in the living room temporarily. We can leave the cage door open all night while we sleep or all day while we’re gone. The cats watch the bunny and LOVE to lay right up as close as they can get to her in the cage, but they don’t ever actually go up TO her. Rachel, on the other hand, will go up and sniff the kitties if she wants (and if they don’t jump backwards which is the norm), but mostly she just completely ignores the kitties. She (Rachel) is loving being able to explore instead of being in that little cage 24/7 and she’s also quite pleased with the first change we’ve made to her diet/litter/habitat/etc. In this case it was making timothy grass available to her at all times. Oh boy does she love that stuff. And of course she gets a chunk of carrot or apple once a day, too.

Mom and Dad were finally able to close on their house last week. They got the keys either Wed or Thurs, I can’t remember. On Friday she got hold of the city to turn the power and water on and was told they couldn’t because their meter base was not in the proper position. It was ‘red-tagged’ and they were going to have to get and electrician (licensed and registered to work in the city) to put in a new meter base and weatherhead and whatever else that stuff requires.

Since then we’ve been working, working, working on all the different little projects (and 1 big) that Mom and her crew wanted to get done before they move in, as well as trying to get hold of an electrian. We’ve just about finished painting both boys rooms. J’s is in gray with black trim and 2 big horizontal black stripes all the way round, and R’s in a butternut squash soup/puree color with gold glaze on top and American barn red trim. Both are looking really, really good!

We’ve also been painting the pantry. It somehow got missed when they whitewashed EVERYTHING when they put the house on the market. It was pretty icky! =( So, we’re painting. Right now it is a very light shade of tan, actually closer to coffee with a LOT of cream in it, and the shelves are the palest of pale blues. It is so pale it is almost white. Her pantry is a big pantry, but it’s not walk-in and there’s not a light, so she wanted light colors. Tomorrow we’ll be texturing the walls with the blue, a hot pink, and a hot orange; and the shelves with the ecru(?), the hot pink, and the hot orange.

Also we’ve done things like install a carbon monoxide detector (haven’t gotten the smoke alarms up yet), replaced all the locks, put up the American flag, installed a new shower head and toilet seat, and tried to get all the windows open after having been painted shut with the white paint, and who knows what else. My brother M (28) got one to open but his elbows popped the glass and shattered it. Praise the Lord he had only 3 teensy, teensy little nicks! Last time one of my brothers broke a window (J) he fell through and got cut up bad. I think he had 22 staples altogether.

So the window was replaced. The big project is getting Mom’s new kitchen flooring in. It’s a roll-out vinyl. Well, she went to putty up the slight cracks and holes and what-not in the existing flooring so they wouldn’t transfer through to the vinyl and she discovered the old self-adhesive tiles were actually peeling up. So we had to take that layer off. A friend came over to help and she started scraping stuff up and didn’t stop with the first layer. She pulled up ALL the layers down to the plywood subfloor (now covered in icky, tarry glue). Now it’s all gotta come up to make stuff even… which means there’s been a LOT of floor scraping/tearing out. =)

Today an electrician came out (in answer to Mom’s and my own prayers) that was able to get the job done today in like 1hr. He had originally thought it would take 4-6hr! All that’s left before we can have light to work with in there is for the inspector to come out in the morning and then the electrician to connect something or another; it’s supposed to take like 5min.

Now, another topic. J is turning 17 tomorrow (Wed), and I decided since his room is kinda car garage themed to get him a garage nuts/bolts/etc holder. One of those with like 5 million little drawers. All they had was metallic blue so I just got through painting it gloss black. Then I went to Tractor Supply and bought a bunch of weird little hardware things. Then I went to WalMart grocery shopping (more on that in a min) and got him some Snickers bars and a Bag of chicken nuggets jerky (though that won’t fit…). Everything will be stuck in one of the drawers. I’ll probably throw some things in from around here, too. Mom’s getting him a peg board. How cool is that?!

Matt was going to go shopping with me tonight. On the way out, he spotted a kitty on our porch. I stepped out and it started coming towards us. It came right up to me and rubbed and asked to be petted. She was soooo skinny. =(   No collar of course. She had to be starved, but we’d been out of cat food for 3 days! =( Go figure! The twins ate up a big ol’ can of pink salmon until I could get to the store (tonight) but now there was nothing. She was sooo pretty and sooo loving and sooo hungry, I begged Mike to let me keep her.

He said yes!! =) She’s  gray and white. She has a white face, chest, belly, and both her front legs and the most of her back legs are white. She has the the gray back end and a little on the top of the back legs, back, tail, and the top of her head and ears. She has a very light pink nose and the prettiest pale green eyes ever. Also, she has like a thin line of black outlining her eyes so she looks like she’s wearing make-up! LOL We brought her in and the kids fed her some lunch meat until I could get back from the store with kitty num-nums.

She’s in my room for now. I got her a small litter box and a pink collar when we went shopping. We put food and water in there and the poor thing keeps eating. She’s still a kitten, old enough to be weaned, but not grown yet. I’d guess probably about 3-4mo old. She’s in my room for now because Lilah was hissing at her. Not Samson so much. I figure we’ll introduce them all slowly and so she is locked IN my room and the twins are locked OUT. I’m not overly worried about Lilah. She hissed at Samson for a couple of days after he got back from the vets. Of course this is a new kitty altogether, but I think they’ll all get along great.

At Wal-Mart I shopped and shopped. I’d worked hard at planning this trip (about 3hr worth)  because I was going to get some GREAT deals. Here’s my break down…

*Savings due to price matching with other stores – approx. $28.60 (I don’t remember the original price on a couple of things, so I estimated them)
*Savings due to coupons$36.55

Total savings – $65.15 !!

Here are a few of my favorites…

  • Ziploc container packs – on sale at IGA for $1. I had 5 cpns for $1.50/2 and 2 cpns for 55c/1.  So I paid 25 cents ea. for 10 packs, and 45 cents ea. for 2 of them.
  • 1 subject spiral notebooks – on sale for 1 cent (limit 3) at either Office Max or Depot. So I got 3 for a total of 3 cents.
  • Candy bars (Snickers, Twix, Dove, 3 Musketeers) – on sale for 2/$1 at CVS. I had 4 cpns for $1/2 and 1 cpn for BIGI. That gave me 8 free, and I paid 25 cents ea. for 2 of them.
  • Luzianne Tea – on sale for $1 at Diamonds and I had 2 cpns for 60c/1. I paid 40 cents ea. for 2.

Talk about GREAT deals! Woohoo! I was so excited. I did got over the groc budget for this week by $19, but I’m going to take it out of next weeks. I could NOT pass up deals like this! lol

A couple of big ALIVE blessings!

I wish I could come up with titles that are *actually* cool.   Oh well.

A few days ago, a good friend of mine and her husband offered me their old computer. Everything on it worked, they just got a new one. Of course I said yes, please! and thank you so much! =)

It works great and in fact is what I am typing on right now. It’s going to be SO much more convenient for me to use this one during school and other times, also, than the one in the bedroom!

Samson has taken to climbing up on the desk when I’m sitting here and snuggling. He climbed up just a minute ago and is now laying on arm as I type. LOL

So there’s the first alive blessing. It’s an alive computer, vs. my dead computer. LOL

The second blessing is also alive, but in a different sense. This blessing doesn’t cost as much as a computer, nor is it as big. However, it does eat, poop, and sleep!

It is a sweet little brown and white lop-eared bunny! =) This blessing is why I have this post listed under “God’s Guiding Hand”…

See, with Matthew homeschooling again, I was wanting to get him involved in something outside of the house and also outside of the church school. I know he can go up for P.E., and I think it’d be wonderful if we could go up for chapel, as well. The two of us could/can even go along on the field trips for school events, too. The things like mini-golf, tennis, music festival, etc. Only problem is, he can’t compete. Last year he took 1st place in a lot of the singing events, as well as bible memory verses, woodworking, and I think tennis, too!

So for this year I was looking at getting involved with one of the local homeschool groups or the co-op or something. Granted they all cost an arm and a leg, but still… I wanted him to be IN something, and he is definitely NOT a sports kid. (The medical problems make it pretty rough on him that way. I mean, he’s still the size of a 6yo for one thing.) Boy scouts was also a given NO! They’ve changed the way they do things so much in the last 2 or 3 decades, and not for the good if you ask me.

Today I got a phone call from a woman at church. Her granddaughter stayed with her last year (and was one of Meg’s good friends) and they had put her in 4-H and bought her a rabbit. The granddaughter had to move back to her mother’s this summer, and the mom said no to the rabbit. Well, the grandmother kept the bunny for awhile (for the other, much younger, grandchildren), but decided that it was just a little much for her, and also not so good for the bunny as she wasn’t getting the attention and play she needed.  She said she’d tried to offer it to some of the elementary teachers for a class pet, but no one was interested.

Then she thought of Meagan. She and her husband decided that they would really like to give it to Meagan (and Matt, too) and so she called me. At first I was going to politely decline, but as she told me the story of this rabbit and how they came to have her, I became convinced that not only did I want to take the bunny (I knew the kids would want to, of course), but that I SHOULD take the bunny. As she talked more and more about 4-H and this bunny (registered, ready to breed, they had a cage and had just bought a 6mo supply of food for her, and it was all coming with Miss Rachel) I became more and more convinced that this was of the Lord.

I just kept thinking about what all the kids do in 4-H and how PERFECT it was for Matt – the great animal lover. I thought to myself  “WHY didn’t I think of this myself?”  Of course the answer to that is simple… I did, years and years ago back when Matthew was way to young to join. As he grew older and it became apparent how painfully shy… paralyzed with anxiety, actually… I knew there would be no sports, no scouts, no clubs, no co-op or summer classes, no anything. I never gave any of those a second thought for him. For Meagan, yes. We tried girl scouts and got a lousy troop, and as it was the only one she could join, we quit.  I started to have her be a Juliette and do the scouting ourselves, but she didn’t want that, she wanted PEOPLE! LOL

Anyway. I really got the impression that this phone call, this suggestion, this offer was from God. So I said yes and we made arrangements for the bunny to be brought over this evening. After I hung up the phone, I called Matthew in to the computer and we looked up the 4-H online and I tried to explain to him a little of what they do. At first he kept telling me he was not interested, no thanks, etc. – even though he totally loves animals, and had already asked me if we could study/do woodworking and electronics (which 4-H also offers) this year in school. I kept talking, though, and once he realized that #1 it is not just for homeschoolers, #2 ALL the kids (incl. the teens) do not get together for a meeting, they’re broken up into groups, and #3 that if he raised, showed, and SOLD an animal, he would get to keep the $$…. he immediately changed his tune. LOL

He said, “I’m in. Sign me up. I wanna raise a calf!” and when I told him no, we couldn’t do that. At least not this year, since we live in the city and can’t keep one here, he asked, “Well can we move to the country then?” HAHA

Then I had to go through all the explanations and so-forth again, because Meagan wanted to know so she could see if she also wanted to join. The selling point for her was being in a parade. LOL

So both kids decided they wanted to join. I’d already decided it was something we should do; as I said the timing and ‘perfectness’ of the phone call and idea was very clearly the work of God’s guiding hand.

Next thing I did was to call the local 4-H office (actually our local Ag Extension office, but I didn’t realize that at first) to get info on the program… how to sign up, what it costs, etc. The woman I spoke to, there, was SO kind and helpful. She knew exactly what I needed to know and she guided me through to find the online registration form, and gave me phone #s of the women who run 2 of the clubs, as well as date and time and location of the first meeting for each. The only other thing I needed to know was cost, not that I was worried, because by this point I was sure that this was something God wanted for the kids, so I knew He would provide, but I still needed to know so I would know how much to bring to the first meeting.

Well, before I could even ask, the woman on the other end of the phone said something like, “And everything is free, there’s no charge for any of the meetings, so you can go to as many meetings and clubs as you want…”

I was so shocked! I had no idea 4-H was FREE! I mean, I realize there is cost involved if you’re raising an animal or doing a project or need to bring supplies, but that is the same with ANY club, organization, etc. This is GREAT!! Absolutely perfect! Not only is the club geared more towards things my two are interested in than any other, but it’s also cheaper than the other things I was considering.

I wasn’t just completely settled or sure about the other options. I knew they would work, but none of them really said THIS IS IT! to me, if you know what I mean. 4-H, however, does. It did even before I knew what it would cost, that’s like a big ol’ bonus to me. =)

Thank You, Father, for answering my prayers. I’d prayed that You would help me to know what to do with this school year and that if there was something You wanted for Matthew (or Meagan, too!) to have for this school year that I didn’t know about, that You would show me and then provide a way for them to have it, and You did just exactly that. I had not even thought of another computer, much less joining 4-H and having another animal, but You had. You wanted this for the kids, and You showed me and provided a way. Thank You, Father, for this wonderful gift You’ve given the children (and myself)!


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