Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just a Few More Days

Before the $5 Dinner giveaway will be All Gone

Erin Chase the $5 Dinner Mom has been giving away 10 copies a day of her new Frugal cookbook for nearly 2 weeks now, but the offer is almost up.

Her recipes are simple and a lot on her website cater to allergy friendly folks. I found her website while looking up Chiari, of all things, her boys have it. I am not a fan of cooking and Love the simplicity of her meals, the price breakdowns are great, and I can often get the meals for less than her typical $5 price point just by keeping my pantry stocked with sales.

Check her out and good Luck.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A happy Lauren

Holidays are very different around our house compared to most homes this time of year.

We do not put up a tree, but try to have some of our own traditions.
Christmas is a very challenging time for my husband and the longer we are married the more I understand of why he is so adamantly opposed to it…We do not do a lot of it for good sound reasons and some of it we are starting to do in bits and pieces but more towards well. I really struggle with explaining it…

Our biggest dilemma happens to be that we celebrate the birth and death of Christ year round, and we give year round, both to Charities and to each other…so we struggle with the more pagan traditions that surround the holidays, BUT…that being said, I grew up celebrating, and I still like the surprises, and certain family members (including some that didn't start giving until they found out that others were around—exchange gifts every year)

So tonight we gave Lauren One gift…Oh my goodness, you would think that child NEVER gets anything EVER, LOL.

She was SO thrilled, she had No idea it was coming, Not a single solitary clue, it was TOO funny, she was just beyond herself…a simple Kitty in my Pocket, And she was quiet for HOURS…If Only it worked that well ALL year.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Angel at Church

S0mehow I guess I wasn't meant to know until now… a couple weeks ago maybe three? I slipped it in my Bible to open at home so I wasn't distracted during service. Well I got home took care of business and I fed Chris We had been having lots of struggles in our marriage, finances, and well just altogether, God had been providing so I didn't think much of it, He always provides and he NEVER fails to come through.


Well, somehow, I had gotten a card from my secret sister in there too and I thought I had opened the other card, I didn't realize that it wasn't the same card, I was getting the paper out to fill out for the 2010 Secret Sisters, and saw the card, I figured it had just resealed itself (that happens in my stuff a lot) I open it up, An Emerald Green Thinking of You Card with no signature at all, I open it up, and out falls a $50 bill) Hmmm, Must be heaven sent, God knew we were going to be really tight this week, While we don't celebrate Christmas with all the trimmings like normal people, we do celebrate New Years and do like to give Lauren a gift or two, this year, she is getting a homemade Tutu and a single toy (and hopefully a Cookbook for kids, since she is learning to cook with REAL foods)


I do not know who gave the card, but I am grateful, I can't say thank you, but chances are, if they wanted me to know, they would have put their name on it.

I have done that before too…when I had money…Its always nice to bless someone secretly, I hope the gifter is as blessed as I feel right now…I feel kind of silly about it sitting in my bible for almost a full month, but it was a pay week it got here, and I almost wonder if I wouldn't have had the full appreciation then since we had the two checks deposited then…today we are approaching the end of the month where finances are the tightest and the need is the greatest (I get my disability

on the 3rd) so the last two weeks are always the toughest since all of our bills come out the 15-25th

I am so glad God provides how he does, even when it's sitting there waiting for us.


This week has provided a lot on my mind, a professor of mine from my first time in college passed away this week of Pancreatic Cancer, Penny Mauldin was a very sweet lady who I had for Chemistry back in 1996 at Lee University. Both her and her husband were professors at the school, friends of mine had Dr. Walt Mauldin for Music classes, if I read correctly he is now in a very High role possibly Vice President, I read it at about 2-3 this morning, that is a great loss for the school and the entire community of Cleveland has suffered a great loss losing her, but this gift I received reminded me of a much smaller gift, but just as perfectly timed and Just as secretive.

It was 1995, I was a college student FAR far from home, 12 hours away to be exact, I was 19 years old, I had NO clean clothes, Laundry soap, but no quarters or money to change into quarters for the machines downstairs. I was so stressed. I lived on the third floor of the dorms and would not be going home for another month and really could not afford to hand wash for another month (I walked down for the millionth time, no that's not an exaggeration, to check the mail, I was lonely and I really just wanted to go home…and in my mail box was a letter from my pastors wife…I had grown up in this church, she had known me since the early 80's The note just read that someone wanted to make sure I had enough to meet my needs, it was the first of many gifts I received throughout my stay away from home, I received a laundry allowance when I wrote my thank you back explaining how it was such an answer to prayer, it seems funny now, but I had NEVER heard of George Mueller back then, and now, I read about him and have studied him and his faith and our family has kind of adopted the do not ask, but pray mentality…If God believes we should have it HE will provide…and he Always has.

Move Mountains for Millions


This morning I received this email from the Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation, I was elated that they won one of the small grants, but more excited that they now have a chance to win one of the larger ones I will Repost my Face Book Plea on January 15th to remind people…but above all, this is one of two conditions making my life a challenge EVERY day. I affect Chris and Lauren because while they do not suffer, they see me suffering. They know my limitations…now I was blessed with the complications, and am one of the people whom weight change doesn't seem to make a difference (not stopping me from trying though but I do it for ME, not for a disease)

 We did it!

Thanks to your heartfelt words and votes, IHRF was selected as one of the 100 top charities that will each receive a $25,000 grant from Chase and now has a chance to receive a Million Dollar Grant, following Facebook users' voting in Round One of Chase Community Giving.

In Round One, more than 1 million Facebook fans signed up for Chase Community Giving program to support over 500,000 organizations. Eligible charities included 501(c)(3) charities with an operating budget of $10 million or less, serving the general public in designated areas. Round One ended at midnight on Dec. 12 and culminated with a surge of voting in the last week

Voting for the Million Dollar Grant in Round Two begins January 15, 2010 and will last until 11:59:59 p.m. ET on January 22, 2010.

One organization will receive $1 million. Five additional organizations will receive $100,000 each. And the Advisory Board will select additional nominated charities from either round to share in another $1million!

We are so excited and hope you are, too. Thank you for your support and please help us continue to spread the word about IH and IHRF. Together, we can move mountains

Sunday, December 6, 2009

When Life Becomes Truly Complicated

Today was not as bad as the rest of the week has been…my head has been worse than ever this week, no way around that... and I don't expect a change throughout the winter. I am more concerned for a few friends going through this than about myself with the PTC because this has been my life for so long, I know I will survive, but one, her daughter was recently diagnosed, and while she is in remission, no mom wants to see their child suffer the same thing they have, and the other is really just struggling to keep it together while her family suffers from her health... both of these families truly understand what I go through on a daily basis, while I have never met either of them personally, both are Christians and know that without faith this journey would be truly impossible.


Church today was really amazing, in the past I would completely skip the month of December because of the complications the Holidays cause in our family... I am starting to wonder if as Lauren grows that might not be a good idea anyhow.

While service was truly amazing, the message touched neither right where I needed it most, nothing holiday related, I got out to discover stuff that I really do not want nor need to deal with. Lauren and her closest friend are not in agreement about Christmas, because obviously we are not in the majority that does not put up a tree, I do not know if there are others who don't, but we have NEVER put up a tree in her lifetime, or in our marriage.

In our studies this year we were learning where the tree came from, and we studied the Ten Commandments, and well, The two intertwined and it really boiled down and equated to idol worship, needless to say, she is a logical child, and when asked why we do not have a tree, she answered that we do not put up idols in our house. OUCH..., I did not think about it deeply, because we were here last year and no one asked HER why we don't do it... so I didn't think she would be asked this year either. I figured they all knew, most of the parents were aware of the facts that we didn't celebrate, so I basically didn't push it… Lauren does not bring up the topic, she used to ask for a tree and was taught about it because the in-laws keep pushing that our beliefs are wrong... while Boniface claimed the tree as a symbol of Christ, we don't believe that Christ needs a symbol, it replaced a Tree with another tree, and basically, any symbol for Christ is a replacement for him and a stand in instead of worshipping him. I grew up in a church which had a really hard time with people following a man instead of God, many people left the church when the pastor did things that they did not like, because they were following him and he had become their idol. My in-laws spend more time decorating for the holidays and it brings them nothing, there is no joy in their home... If Christ is the reason for the Season, then why, WHY, are people penniless because they overspent?

Why are children busy thinking about what they want? Isn't it supposed to be a season of giving, not of getting?

I am sorry, I may sound very judgmental, but so often, when I see December roll around, I actually regret it, because it brings a lot of sadness to my heart. I Love November, Thanksgiving is my All Time Favorite Holiday, Followed by Independence Day (Which Happens to Be Chris's Birthday) and Memorial Day (our Anniversary many years) and Then Labor Day because it's the start of fall in my mind... religious holidays followed by the church don't serve much meaning because they should be respected and remembered year round.


We teach Lauren about Jesus Birth and Death Together. They are a summary of events that all work together and while they happened 30 years apart the lesson of salvation and who he is comes together best when you connect his birth with his death.

Monday, November 30, 2009

An Interesting Day

Yesterday we came home from Church and Lauren wasn't acting right, she took a nap that lasted nearly all day… a low grade fever but No other symptoms, slept all night, still no real sick symptoms says she feels fine, she is just tired…Hmm, Mama doesn't buy that, but I will let her sleep until she FEELS better anyhow.


Today I get up, follow my routine, she gets up, and by noon she is napping again, and she slept until after 5, yea, at 8 she is still up, but guess what, she is going to bed within the hour, and she will be ok. The low-grade temp has broken; she is sipping chamomile tea and is feeling a bit better.


On the other hand of the day I checked my face-book I catch up with a few friends on there and got a scare of my life, my darling cousin posts that she will miss an aunt on there…Hmm, I call family, I knew she was in hospice (she is significantly older, mid 90's but, I had spoken to her grandson earlier this week, and was positive I would have gotten a call if she had passed, NOT read it online…anyhow, when I called my parents, no one knew what was going on, and an aunt had asked in reply to her post…so a lot of mess had to be cleaned up… It made me grateful I used common sense and called my family instead of sending a sympathetic email to my cousin (her grandson whom I talk to) The cousin who posted that she would be missed was not close to her or her family, I on the other hand talk to her children and grandchildren and was practically raised with them…so I really needed to step back and pray for a lot of wisdom on how to handle the situation today.


I was extremely stressed out…I know the 6 degrees of separation seems to really show a lot of things for a lot of people, but for me it hit home a lot, I easily could have read that, my grandmothers sister had died, and sent sympathies to two people whom I am close to, Her daughter (whom is already under a lot of stress (her husband just had Heart Bypass surgery a couple weeks ago and has recently lost part of a foot or maybe both feet (I don't recall since the story that has been passed on has been complicated by getting the info from 3 different people and she has been at the hospital and nursing home with him) and her Grandson, my cousin... I talk to my cousin periodically, I don't talk to his mom as often, but his mom is who led my dad to the Lord, who introduced me to Church, and really helped make me who I am.

This very sweet woman is still alive; her children are with her, hospice is there, I pray she has come to know true salvation, beyond religion. Her husband passed about 5-6 years ago, so she is definitely ready to go, I just found the face book post offensive since it was tacky and even more so when I discovered trying to hunt down when she died….that she was STILL alive…I am so GLAD I did not wish her child (fortunately, I am not close to her other children or I might not have had some forethought) or grandchildren


Well In other thoughts,
After having a VERY rough morning, I had a good afternoon, got some stuff accomplished, and now my evening is running on empty I am tired and worn out, I did A LOT of stuff while I felt good and dummy me forgot that my body can only do so much….so when I uhm uhm finished my projects…I started HURTING, lol…Oh well…I will survive.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bed-ridden? Maybe that should say Couch-ridden?

For the first time in about 5 weeks I have only left the couch about 4 times today. Usually my pain follows this wonderful little tool on under the aches and pains tabs for arthritis and other ailments that normal people have, but for some reason, this month…well, it hasn't.

Almost daily I have struggled through the pain, but I keep trying to do what needs to be done.

We have started our winter break from school, Lauren is helping with Thanksgiving preparations, we are having a small Family only Thanksgiving, and by family only I mean just the 3 of us…my in-laws want to get together on Saturday or Sunday, Sunday is off limits (I can't handle multiple things in a day) and I am not holding my breath on Saturday since it will all be hinged on how I feel after Thursday (and I am not depriving my family of Thanksgiving dinner ON Thanksgiving)

We will be having a simple healthy Thanksgiving this year, in the past I went all out and made the FULL meal, but this year we are incorporating parts of it into our education and this will be Home-economics for Bug, she will be helping make the meals and will be learning How to stretch Tom as in "Toy Story" from so many years ago "to Infinity and beyond" lol.

Our dinner Thursday will consist of Tom the Turkey, a 21lb bird, purchased for $2 after all discounts were applied from Meijer, Real Mashed Potatoes for Chris, and Jarred Gravy (Since I want stuffing and he does not, I am only mashing 2 potatoes, saves waste, AND temptation) I cheat on stuffing, I doctor stovetop Sage by adding Celery and Onion and use Broth instead of water and bake it, I have been making it this way for 5 years, since Bug and I are the only stuffing eaters, and we only eat it with turkey, I don't mind using the boxed stuff (it's the same as jarred gravy, we don't use gravy with mashed potatoes the rest of the year, but I do have a recipe for Cider au jus that I want to try next time I get some GOOD cider)

For Veggies, We have our Garlic Green Beans, I will also make cranberry relish (Sugar free raspberry jell-o added to Canned Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, Walnuts, celery and a Whole seeded apple (recipe calls for pineapple, but that's higher in sugar, so I substitute) I freeze all leftovers

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I’d Rather Have the Flu

Ok, frankly I am getting tired of feeling sick and whiny, I do not remember the last day I felt good, and Honestly, if I wasn't married to the most wonderful husband God had picked out for me (isn't it great when you have to quantify that statement because your readers would argue the best man in the world statement because they all have wonderful husbands too?) I wouldn't be able to smile, it makes my head hurt worse.


I do not remember the pain being this relentless for this long since I was in my early teens perhaps about 14ish maybe 15 right about the time I had my first Spinal Tap, so right about the time my pressures started going haywire…just a hypothetical here, but my guess, that's probably about the time the Chiari started acting up but it was likely just a Chiari Zero then, and NEVER would have been caught all those years ago, so the PTC literally may have saved my life…either way, I am getting tired of being miserable and cranky all the time… All I want is a HUG and a Pillow and a shoulder to cry on, someone who understands…I have prayed, I have cried out and I have begged and PLEADED with God to take this away, OH Please, I am so sick and tired of People being Cliché, God will never give you more than you can handle, HA, yes he does, if he didn't, you would NEVER call on him…HE never said he wouldn't give you more than you could handle…He said "My Grace is Sufficient" He Said " Take Joy in your Suffering" HE SAYS, " I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me Strength" Ok, that one is the closest one I can fall back on during my trials and actually say Hey it's in the word…But I can't find a verse that says You won't give me more than I can handle… at least not in my King James Bible…I have looked… I believe he allows us to go through those trials as far as we can trust him to lead us, for him to strengthen us….when we have learned to lean FULLY on him, those trials, stay put or stop for a while, when we are ready, they begin or new ones begin again….without tests, there is no testimony.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Changes are Coming

Lauren is going to be thrilled to death… For the first time in our 5 year homeschooling history she will get a 6 week bookwork break for the Holidays—

We do not celebrate the holidays like normal people do, so we are going to be doing some major Holiday oriented Unit studies on why we do not celebrate them the way others do. We will be going over quite the variety of materials for Christmas, including the Ultimate gift.


We will also be limiting the number of TEXT books we will be using for her spring semester, I have NEVER liked using books, but this year was different and while we will finish the curriculum we have purchased, I do not think we will buy most of it again, we are not a text book family, and I can see its really held her learning back this year as I have been evaluating where she is and has been.

We started off this year supposed to be starting Second Grade, I did a placement test because we were starting a new curriculum and I wanted to place her in the appropriate level for their curriculum…Lo and Behold, she placed in 3rd grade and a little higher in some subjects…I was a very happy mom. Unfortunately, while she started off gung ho and worked really efficiently in August, September moved a bit slower, by October I was hearing almost every day, This is boring and I don't like this work… before I get slammed with "you're the boss" comments or emails, remember, I know my child best, and I have looked at her work, I have looked at this work she is doing She is VERY justified in being bored with it and it's just not at her level in any way, even though the book says 3rd grade some of them even as far as the 4th month of 3rd grade, they just do not hold her interest because they are mostly reading, she has been reading for 4 and a half years, I figured since these were 3rd grade books there would be grammar and stuff in them by now, but this has barely covered nouns and she is bored to tears with basics still.

We will be switching gears to Note booking and using the resources in our text books for this next semester (and eliminating a lot of useless information that she already grasps…so, I will be doing A LOT of hands on work with her, but that's fine with me…it will be fun for us both) We will be doing ONE 2" Binder for 3rd grade and I will decide if we will do a new one for each grade or what we will do, it will depend on how I like note booking and how it works for us basically, its lap booking simplified, so we will be taking a bit of time to work through a portfolio of sorts…if you read my earlier post, I feel God is leading my heart to prepare, for some reason I also feel at some time in the future he may be moving us and I am not sure where, but if he moves us to a not so home school friendly state, I need a portfolio ready to go, because those records need to be kept for them…yes, Michigan does not require them, but not every state is as blessed as we are.


So, Unit Studies, here we come, Math and Language Arts, Back to the Basics, Here we come, Everything else, can be covered in a unit study, I am not going to try to cover things in individual books, it's too much work and I felt we lost a lot of ground and school became a war, and Frankly, I prefer not fighting a war not worth fighting…She is a smart kid, VERY Smart, so why am I losing the battle here?


Friday, November 13, 2009

Prepare for the future

Frugal Bloggers Beware...

Ok, a lot has been on my mind, God has been once again laying preparedness on my heart.

The one thing that keeps coming back to my mind though is that my family is not that of just 3, but we have 2 feline companions and I do not feel we are to forget them in our preparing.

I read numerous weblogs that show frugal families monthly budgets which include pet food, but when you look at their stock ups, there is not a single months worth of surplus for their pets... and their oldest children are the age of my only child. This week then, I read this fabulous blog on living off her surplus for 2 full years (mind you this blogger does NOT claim to have pets, but still, they had to live off their food storage for two years, not a few extra weeks here or there)

So I have been thinking, Perhaps, while I am stocking my pantry, maybe we should put up an extra bag of food (we buy a 3 month supply for Zeke and Ebony to begin with) just in case, yes, much more than that would go rancid, but we do keep an extra case of litter so an extra container of food would make sense too…

I would love to learn to live entirely off of storage and am going to start planning meals using my stored food before grocery shopping and using the store to fill in gaps; fortunately I shop sales, use coupons and shop in unexpected places; Dollar General has awesome steals in their Non Perishable foods as do some of the dollar stores... at this point in our lives we have not used food pantries because we have not needed them as of yet. God has provided meat when there was no money, (free Buffalo came when finances didn't) I have always stocked sales when we had money, so even if it wasn't favorite veggies, they were there… (Green beans and broccoli run out before corn and mixed veggies) and I stock and rotate beans like there is no tomorrow and ROTEL tomatoes what I have is not nearly what most families even consider to be enough, but, it's a start. There is always something on hand to make Chili and various other concoctions but, sometimes you have to accept that it may not be what you are in the mood for.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The bad day that WILL NOT end

I am tired, I am crabby…and my day just does not seem to want to end today, or is it yesterday?


I have had the same headache that won't let up now for going on about 2 weeks (we won't get technical and call it as it REALLY is and say it's been over hum, almost 5 straight years, but we will just give since the last reprieve when I had a drop in level and had a good day slide in, with pain levels evening out, I think it was about 2 weeks ago…anyhow, I am not happy about the pain levels I have been in…its stressing my family to ridiculous levels.

Add in to that today I decided it would be fun to fall through the hole in the floor, mind you, that hole was not there BEFORE I decided it was time to take my shower and get ready for class today, I put it there by walking across the heat vent (which now needs replaced since I fell THROUGH it) Apparently in my graceful lack of balance my heel caught the edge of the vent, I broke about 6 of the slats that protect the vent (from what I am suddenly unsure of, since they certainly didn't protect it from me, nor me from it and now it is a danger to everyone who has to cross it, and wouldn't you know it's the one in the smack center of the house)

Anyhow, after 15 minutes of Chris trying to help me up and stepping on my foot to keep me from falling in the vent AGAIN, Loving husband he is he did' NOT want to see me fall in again…for that I am extremely grateful. I took my shower and headed to class, now, my bad leg has an added limp and is very sore, but I can't tell if I caused more damage or if I reinjured an old injury…needless to say, unless it becomes unbearable to walk on, I am NOT going to get it checked on, and if I do, it will just be the PCP, he will decide if I need to call my neuro and my rehab docs…Gotta love when I lose MY balance…funny thing, I stepped OVER stuff so I wouldn't fall and fell anyhow. I am so worn out from trying to stay healthy I think it's killing me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


As I sit here with my pounding headache thinking about today, I checked my email and became very frustrated.


I have come to the conclusion that I do NOT want a shunt regardless of what the recommendation comes at this point. I have done my homework. I have done the Long term research, Angela, an acquaintance in Columbus via a friend I have been praying for her daughter for more than 3 years now (since during her pregnancy) has PTC and has had multiple shunt surgeries LP and VP and the BEST hospital in the Midwest OSU Columbus, by the Best Surgeons, to remain nameless on this blog for personal reasons due to potential readership. Anyhow…Her headaches are back full force WITH a functioning shunt, My pressures went up to 38 with a functioning shunt… if the vision is intact, a shunt may not do any good at all and remission is totally possible without surgical intervention, I and MANY others have experienced it, in fact, my shunt was after having PTC for uhm 3 full years, yes, I had to treat my vision first, but the headaches I learned to live with…just like I am now. The Topamax relieves them somewhat, ya, I know, I am on disability, but get real, I have Chiari, and I have a partially paralyzed leg, It works when it wants to, and that's intermittent at best.


Today, did you wallow in the self pity of your pain or did you do something for someone else?

I know what I did… Do you want to know what I did?

I went and helped teach Children's Church like I do when necessary. We are working on the Beatitudes with our class of 7-9 year olds, they are making Memory cross Lap books and they are coming together nicely.

The lead teacher was getting a gift (just because she is a good friend, and to illustrate the concept of Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness sake, for they shall be filled. I made a smelly Jelly jar…

We started with the Pre-fragranced smelly seeds (too much work to add fragrance there or later) and I added the little bit of seeds to the Pint Jar, and asked if it filled the jar, the kids all said NO!

Put a Tiny bit of water in and asked if God could fill us with that little bit? The seeds grew a little…, should have colored and taken pictures, but it was kinda improvised, not really planned ahead

Then we filled the jar with water and finished most of our crossed and looked at the jar before we left, the crystals had completely filled the jar in less than a half hour, the children were amazed that it took almost no time, and we explained that God fills us as completely as we let him too.


We can't wallow in whatever life throws at us, we have to move on and take what life gives us and move on. God can use whatever he blesses us with.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I don’t feel good

With the flu going around I had some second guessing to do, I thought that’s what was wrong with me, but alas, nope, just more side effects of my meds…I almost wish it was the flu, at least that…I know will come to an end.
I have felt pretty crappy for a while now, and its sometimes kinda depressing, today though, I was reading my emails, I am on a PTC support group, its not very supportive for me, afterall I have had this disease for more than 5x as long as most of the people on this list, and well, I know that from research these people with shunts are in the Honeymoon stage, the average shunt fails within the first 6-18 months, and most of them have not had them in for 6 months total (and many have had repeated failures already…no comment there) ANYHOW…its not a very good place for me to get support anyhow.

Knowing what I know about PTC, Knowing what I know about Chiari, Knowing what I know about shunts, and Praying God will allow me to get the decompression done sooner rather than later, yes, I know its in his timing, but I know the visions said the headaches would stop after the brain surgery, and I have suffered almost endlessly for nearly 20 years now….

So, Here I sit, I read her hopeless, helpless email and I was taken aback, GOD in his amazing way brought me back to his reality for my life RIGHT NOW…Where I am Right now.
I have been at the new church for almost a year, as a matter of fact in just two Sundays it will be a full year.
There is but one thing I miss from living down south…Current contemporary music…I have no musical talent, and have no idea where the music pastors at those churches get the current stuff, but these 3 songs I am about to put on here, REALLY helped me get through the first 5 weeks especially, when I couldn’t get out of the house on my own, let alone go to church or anywhere… NOW, when I feel down, I still go back to them, I rely on their words to bring me back to Gods promises, since often its music, like the Psalms that bring us closest to him when we need it most.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


The Topamax seems to be working to help limit the intensity of the headaches, from a 12 to about a 9 most of the time, on a 10 scale…I know it doesn't sound like much, but it's a big deal to me, I haven't been headache free in more than 5 years, and before that it was only for 3 years and then it had been what, 9+ years before that? Oh, I can't do the math anymore, either way, it has been LONG time that I have had a headache and the last time I was headache free Lauren was less than 2.

Topamax has a few side effects, one of which is weight loss, likely caused by nausea and upset stomach… ok, I think that may have something to do with intolerance of certain foods, I started back on it on October 7, 2009 at night, 100mg 2x a day, I LOVE chocolate, I LOVE carbs, I LOVE certain foods, I LOVED drinking Pop, All of those things have become virtually intolerable to me over the last few weeks.

When I eat chocolate even in small amounts, I feel deathly ill, My stomach just aches and while I don't feel guilty in the sense that I did something wrong, because I know I should never deprive myself of something because I will over indulge if I think it is to be totally off limits, it's ok to have it in moderation… but my stomach seems do disagree.

Carbs, in LOW moderation, VERY low, amounts I can somewhat handle, but they seem to make their exit faster than their entrance, Pop, tastes like I am drinking metal.

My discoveries…Meijer Fruitsations water, Generic version of Fruit2o, about $3 cheaper (frugal me on cheap income and water refusal, I do not like the taste of water unless it's REALLY cold, and even then, it's not my thing, only during the summer, I don't like it most of the time…just when I am thirsty for it…a weird thing, I do like it when I am out, and over juice or pop, but I do not like it over these flavored waters at all) However, this stuff can NOT be frozen like normal bottled water, it concentrates the sweeteners making it TOO sweet when you get to the bottom, so I invested in a water bottle I will load with Ice and top with a water bottle, 24 oz overall, it will stretch and thin, and I am hoping it will help raise my consumption a bit…and I supported Breast cancer, by buying my choice water bottle (it's a pink Breast cancer awareness bottle, with a straw)

I am also aiming for one protein shake a day at least…they are super sweet so I think I am going to try to thin them out a bit too (maybe I will use Milk Ice Cubes, or Ice milk)



Monday, October 19, 2009

Failed Chili and other mealy things

I have been making Chili since I was a little girl, it's a household favorite, I decided to try a new recipe though since we have become fond of Wendy's chili, NEVER AGAIN, it was so bland, I think Ketchup has more flavor, this tasted like Tomato soup with beans and hamburger, it was BLAND…


To salvage, I will package the soupy mess into quart bags, I should get maybe 8 bags, I will freeze them, when I pull them out, I will add a can of tomato w/green chilis , THANK You Aldi, 45 cents a can to salvage a meal I can afford, and more cumin and chili powder, I won't need to add anything else, there is lots of beans, meat, and saucy tomatoes, just no spice…

For a long time I made detailed recipes for chili and it took forever, It was good, but too much work, a few years ago before my surgery, I canned chili tomatoes, that year we had the BEST chili ever, I had tried canning salsa, but they came out chili tomatoes instead, it was too watery to be salsa, and thickened nicely in chili and all my recipes I use rotels in…and that's just about anything that's not spaghetti sauce.

We like Mexican cooking.

Two days ago, I made a Tortilla soup that I goofed on too, but that came out to die for, I forgot to add the carrots, lowered the carb count, when all was said and done, when I plugged the whole recipe into sparkpeople, the entire recipe had 308 calories, and that didn't count that it made an entire crock pot full. We skipped the tortillas, and used healthier choices…it all worked out much better, was flavorful spicy and delicious.


A week from today I have a Dessert to bring to a church dinner, I chose dessert because I can control what I am making carb wise, I have to watch what I am eating, and its hard to do when others are preparing, and its fall and Chris doesn't like my pumpkin mousse/cheesecake, I am not sure what it is… the recipe says its cheesecake, but I have edited it so much, its not really a cheesecake anymore, its more of a mousse, and I serve the crust on the side…For a dessert, an entire recipe that serves 16 only has 2,219 calories, 374 carbs, 45 grams of fat, and 71 grams of protein…now its not HEALTHY, per se, but if I had to choose, this is definitely a better choice, unfortunately most of its fat comes from cool whip, if only there were a healthy substitute for that texture…Hmm, now to think.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Just HAVE to Share

I was thumbing through looking for some copy work for Lauren for this week and next, a dear friend of mine introduced us to Handwriting Without Tears, it's been a great help for us, BUT, it's not really enough writing that's not school related…she has her school work, and that's ok, but I wanted her to have something that was specifically more Handwriting for now, so I was looking for Copy work… but, most of the copy work I found was quotes from secularists, which I guess can be ok, if the child is older and doesn't ask who this is, or what this means, right now my 7 year old does not need to know what some of those quotes really mean…more importantly I can't explain them in a way that she can understand at this point in her life or mine…Ethics messes with the mind and confuses is…J

So Anyhow, I was looking for something that was Exclusively Bible verses…and I found this… The ABC's of the Bible, so Starting on Monday, We are Putting away our Handwriting Without Tears for a Month, and doing Copy Work, 26 Bible Verses worth.

This includes some verses she already knows, some she will be learning this month in Children's church, and some she recently learned in school and was Thrilled beyond thrilled to hear pastor mention in church this past Sunday…Being 7, her attention span is relatively short, I have always wondered how much she gets out of the service since the main question I get is…is it over yet…but this week I got the elbow in the hip, and she was so excited, I hushed her and she looks all dejected, and looks up at me, but mom, I KNOW that verse!, my heart melted, she had done it in school the week before in her bible book for class, and actually REMEMBERED.

So now our new Goal is 26 verses in 26 days, She will earn a reward if she can tell me all 26 verses and their locations at the end of the 26 days SHHH that's a secret, I want her to Hide God's word in her heart, so I may make this a monthly challenge, I liked memory verse challenges when I was a kid, and I always won them, although we had them in church against the other kids, we also had sword searches, which I would fail miserably now with my bible, parallel bibles don't work well for sword searches, two versions side by side make it so much harder, and Bible Trivia games, I knew God's word Backwards, Forwards and Inside out, unfortunately, it took going away to learn exactly what all that meant…I knew what I believed, but I didn't know why til I went to a school whose beliefs were different…not significantly different, but different enough that I had to learn where I stood…Now, I want Lauren to know not only WHAT she believes, But Why, I want her to Know the word Inside Out, backwards, Forwards, and I want her to be able to have that Faith that is unshakable, that I had just a year older than she is now.

Wow, I just realized, I have been a Christian since I was 6 years old, 1 year younger than she is now, my faith was firmed just one year older at 8, when my family became Christians, somehow its easier when you are not living a faith alone…Lauren has asked Jesus in her heart, But I do not think it's that firm faith, kind of like mine was not a firm faith at 6 years old, my actions did not prove I was a Christian at 6, but by 8 it was showing…, I was growing in God's word, I am hoping the same will come for her too. It's been 24 years. Amazing, and to think, all this changed because my dad did something wrong and my aunt took me to church, dad got arrested, and from that God got a hold of him and our WHOLE family dynamic changed.

He pulls us from the muck and the Mire, and molds us into the most beautiful pieces of pottery.

I love the story of the silversmith, when asked how you know how long to keep the silver in the fire, its right when you can see your reflection in it, God is that silversmith, and when he sees his reflection in us, Only then will we be taken from the fire… Lord, help him to see his reflection fast. This fire hurts.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thanks for all the prayers

Today is much much better than yesterday was, I do not feel half dead today, and I actually have a little strength, not much but a little.

We worked on copy work for school, I need to find some good notebooking sheets for Lauren so that's my afternoon project, Chris's Tuesday/Thursday class has moved buildings, I do not particularly care for the location but the new parking location gives us a beautiful view to study fall and winter weather for science.

Lauren is not good at sentence writing, she just started writing full sentences recently, so we are going to use copy work and sentence starters to get her wheels turning.

I just read my favorite Blog Dishpan Dribble and today she has a post on cleaning house like a 12 year old, here I am doing exactly like she says, I get so easily distracted and have struggled with this all my life in so many ways and she posted this as if talking right to me, I felt so uhm, guilty, lol, I needed it.

I have never been taught how to clean, I do not even like having my in-laws in my home, my immediate family doesn't bother me, I have tried Flylady, I have tried Messy's Anonymous, I have tried numerous other methods of getting my house clean, I have had people come help me clean. It is an embarrassment.


I grew up in a home significantly worse than mine, we are talking, and my parent's house took nearly 3 days to prepare for even family to come visit. My parents even lost my sister and I due to the fact that they could not keep the house clean while we were growing up.


When I met Chris in 2000, his mom did not keep home either, she still doesn't, while I was not a great keeper of the home, she also did not keep her home well and he was not taught to keep up after himself either, so neither of us had good habits instilled in us at any point in our childhoods. When Lauren was born….Her house was so filthy he was not allowed to take her out of her car seat and place her anywhere but his lap, there was dog crap on the floor, not safe for babies, cats use litter boxes.

Now, 9 years later, I still haven't mastered keeping the home, I still am afraid to have people over, my house is still a struggle to maintain, I can never get it clean enough to make it presentable, and its shrunk over the years, over and over and over again.

I think reading that post really brought some light to my eyes, I have no structure to my schedule, with Lauren I do, I give her specific steps, ONE step at a time, at least with her, I do set certain steps and organize it one part at a time, I do not allow her to get distracted, NOW I have to teach ME not to get distracted. I am ashamed to admit, I still get distracted with all the things like that, But hopefully, thanks to Mrs. Darling, a wonderful Mom who has been a mentor in more ways than one to me, I have learned a lot from this wonderful woman, whom I have been reading for years all the way across the country, I hope I can continue to learn from her wisdom, She is the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman as the older women teaching the younger to be what God has called them to be.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Homeschooling Comfortably from the couch

Lauren is enjoying her day doing school while I am recovering from the massive affects of the nasty Topamax, gosh, I thought since we are on day 5 and the affects had been so mild up to this point, unlike last February, that I was going to have it easy this time, boy was I mistaken, ugh…today, I got lost 4 times in my own neighborhood, once heading home from the bank, once I missed a main street that I take to get to where we were going, then I missed the main road to head home, we stopped to grab some lunch and I nearly ended up on the expressway, after three bouts of getting lost, I was not about to risk missing my exit and ending up in Timbuktu.

This is nerve wracking, Chris and I are both stressed out, I am supposed to have class tonight, but I am staying home, my driving skills with the headaches being this bad are just not safe, I will email the instructor and let him know, he is cool, I will ask him to email the questions for next week and be praying that the affects level off by next week.

I will be upping my fluid intake by eating more soups this week, tomorrow I am making Chicken tortilla soup, minus the tortillas, basically a spicy Chicken soup, I will add lots of Peppers and Veggies, the spicy Peppers tend to help with the headaches some, not sure why, but they seem to. I think part of the reactions may be from dehydration as dehydration also seems to increase my pressures as well. It's a catch 22 and I lose either way.

I am so grateful for the ability to home school that I do not need to send Lauren off to someone else to educate her, when I am sick, no one needs to stand at a bus stop and wait for her, no one needs to make sure she is ready at the crack of dawn (noon is a wonderful time to start a day when things need to be done in the mornings, and 8 am is great other days, I love being able to be flexible)

I love how if we have things going on, we can school in the evening, instead of during the day, and when we go up north we can do school on vacation and never miss a beat, we can make a vacation of the lighthouses in Michigan (our plan is to eventually take a trip to every lighthouse in the state, maybe by the time she graduates, we will accomplish that mission.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2 days til my Half Way Point

Oh goodness, its been a Busy 8 weeks, In 2 days My Marketing class will be over, and I will be SO happy, did I ever mention I do NOT like Marketing AT ALL? I took this class online because I knew how hard it would be on me because I am not easy to be marketed to, I did not realize just how hard I am to be marketed to.

With the exception of the Homeschool stores Gizmos and Lakeshore (which are actually teacher stores not homeschool stores, but since I shop there and I homeschool, they became homeschool stores to me :-D or craft stores, I rarely ever buy anything specifically brand name, and this year was the first time I have EVER bought expensive curriculum for Lauren...EVER, up til this point, I had spent maybe $100 total all together in about 5 years of homeschooling, this year, because I did not know if I have an upcoming brain surgery or not, and I still don't know what Gods plans are, or when they will happen, I wanted to be prepared and bought full years, I will be doing this until I have the decompression and do not have to worry about recovering from traumatic surgery and I can work with at least some planning with her.

This project has been so hard, my brain is just so tired, they put me back on Topamax this week, the side effects haven't been half as bad as last time, I think the reason I got so sick last time is they upped my CPAP pressure from 10-17 the same Friday as they upped my Topamax from 50mg daily to 200mgs daily. I am also trying the Protein shakes at least once a day...
I did some research since all the docs want me to at least consider gastric bypass, I do NOT want to go that route, I just don't feel thats what I want to do at this point, but I will try the diet that goes with it and the combination of the protein heavy diet (basically the pre-op diet) and Topamax, which has the side effect of weight loss, partly cause you can't drink pop, lol and are always nauseas and light headed, but I can live with those this time, I can sit up and I don't feel like death warmed over this time around, we are on day 3, by day 3 last time, I wanted to just have God take me home.

So far, 3 days in, I have lost 6lbs, not bad for someone who struggles to walk down the steps to get out of the house, I miss having good balance, Hopefully when the medicare kicks in I can start Physical therapy again and work on some balance issues again...I think its the Chiari messing with my equilibrium.

The Bypass Diet recommends Flavored waters like Fruit2O, Thats stupid expensive, so I found Meijer and Aldi carry store brands, in Varied flavors, Lemon tastes OK over Ice, but Kinda like Glucose tollerance test drink without it, YUCK, the others aren't bad, 0 carbs, 0 calories, and I am actually getting in about 64 ounces a day, now 64 ounces is not much, but when you figure I was doing good to get in 16 before, thats doing REALLLY good for short term goal is to drink 6-12 bottles a day. I have roughly 225 lbs I want off, so its a long road and in February I will see the endocrinologist and we will see what she thinks we need to do, we will also decide then who the next specialist we will see about my head...since at that point we will have insurance.

My next Dr Appointment is November 4th with Dr. Turner the Neurologist to see how the Topamax is working...Hopefully we will at that point be upping to 400mg daily,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Headaches Out of Control

School is overwhelming, but I am happy to be there, I had an ethics exam on Wednesday and a Marketing project due Monday, but whats getting the better of me, MY HEAD...I have not had a break from the headaches since mid August when school started...I am trying to do things regardless of the pain but I am finding more often than not I just want to sleep.

Poor Chris will rub out my neck muscles nightly but by morning they are right back where they started, sometimes worse than the evening before, no matter how much we try to relieve the pain it just keeps getting worse.

I do NOT want to go to the ER, but at the same time, I am running out of patience for dealing with constant pain and suffering.

Brings new light to what Christ went through on the cross, He suffered for us, and died, sometimes I wish that this was a terminal illness that it had an end sometime, because at least that way I would know there was an ending coming...right now I do not see an end, and that part scares me to death.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Ok, I have had 3 Ethics classes, Love the teacher, but my body HATES the class...I don't know if its this class in particular or if I have gotten that much worse over the summer....I do not spend much time upright since I feel so run down ALL the time lately, so sitting upright for 3 hours listening to a semi interesting lecture/discussion...which I do participate in, by the not so fun.

I have not felt well since day one, but I am feeling worse and worse as the days was REALLY rough, Chris and I fought ALOT this morning, to the point I nearly left him at Arby's...I do most of the driving. I just went and sat in the car and, he needs a job, or was too much...he has been nitpicking at EVERYTHING, and I don't feel well enough for him to be nitpicking...then we fought about going out to eat, then about money, on and on it went ALL day long.

Then I went to class...and let him know I made it, then texted him at our break, and well he asked for Ice Cream, I am 45 minutes away at class and he can't make ice cream for him and Lauren???? He says he breaks the spoons, Like I care, I am not home make it yourself...he actually LET Lauren stay up so I could make them ice cream when I got home, I was beyond furious, so I really didn't talk to him much....He needs to GROW UP and grow up now.

So, My pain is compounded with the pain I am married to, the daughter who is insistant that she knows more than ANY and Every Adult in existance and well I am just tired of it all....

I need a few days off...and if I don't get them, I will likely wind up in the ER because my body will FORCE me to get that it often does. Grr....GRRR

Friday, September 4, 2009

I feel like death warmed over

Ok, Ok, I know its been a week and last week was really busy, but I slept when I wasn't running Napping alot and I feel so sick its rediculous.
I just want to crawl under the covers and just not wake up anymore. Its TOO much.

Friday, August 28, 2009

And so it begins

Well with the first day of classes came the first day of Pain, ok not really, but I am miserable, I haven't felt this bad in a while, but we trudged on getting lots of done over the last two days...Now...I am ready for BED.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School Starts Tomorrow

Ugh, Fall Semester at school starts tomorrow. Somehow after last semester I am not looking forward to it nearly as much as I was in the Winter. I think part of me just thinks its going to be VERY hard on my system. I was doing so-so before I started school and went downhill rapidly after I started in January.

This semester, I am taking one online and one on campus class...Both start tomorrow. Ethics and Marketing. Ethics is on its a bit more stressful. We are homeschooling full time, we started 2 weeks ago and she is on her first break this week...til Thursday, but Thursday we are picking up some homeschool books (molly from the American Girls collection, or any other american girl...we will likely read through the whole series this semester and next)

Monday through Thursday for Lauren, and I will keep one day free from here on out. We may pick up a PE at the Y from Port Huron. I will talk to a friend and learn more about it....we will also be incorporating field trips....busy busy busy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh Gee, Where do I start

...pain has been out of control in the heat, stress is abundant, but all in all God is Good, he has made things happen that didn't think were possible.

Monday we are going to can peaches with a friend. She has never canned before so I am going to have fun showing her and letting her taste the results. We will only do one or two canner loads.

School has kept us busy, although I think Lauren is going to be doing way more than a book a month if I don't find a way to slow her down...I don't really want to do that, so we will likely be adding in more stuff. She did a whole weeks worth of work almost again and its only Tuesday.

This week I hope to get to the fair too, I love the Armada country fair. I love seeing the animals and exhibits.

Tired now, my head is getting worse I think I am gonna head to bed early tonight.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Joys of Homeschooling

Just to get a good laugh I went to the local schools school supply request list.
Hmm, If I have to buy THAT for public schools what do they provide? Dh reminded me a seat, but even that requires fundraisers.

Lauren would technically be in 2nd grade this year, so This is what she would NEED for school.
Pencils (no mechanical pencils) (I bought 30 pencils for 30cents at Office max for our Homeschool, this should last us about 3 years, we also splurged and bought an ever sharp liquid graphite pencil becuase someone is obscessed with pencil sharpeners)
Large box of Crayons (Define Large, 24 is more than sufficient but most schools require 48, no more no less, 48 is $3.99, 96ct (our splurge this year) was $4.99, but a 24 ct, is all of 20 cents a box, I have a nice stash of those (about 8 boxes)
2-3 erasers 99cents
Ruler $1.00 I bought later several 10cent ones that are actually higher quality
Scissors (1.79 for 2 pair)
1-2 Glue Sticks (we do not use glue sticks, but I did pick up regular glue clearanced out from last year for 20cents a bottle at Meijer, Glue sticks are too messy and wasteful)
Pencil box or bag for materials (39 cents I bought 3, but Lauren only gets 1, they aren't for pencils though, they are for index card games)
4 Pocket folders (10cents each except we ONLY get the pronged kind since the other is a waste of money)
4 Pocket folders with clasps
Highlighters What does a 2nd grader need High lighters for?
Spiral notebook 5-15 cents depending on where you get them, we have a stock from several years ago when they were a nickel a piece, but we use them for way more than school
3 Boxes of Kleenex for the classroom we rarely go through 3 boxes of kleenex a YEAR in our home, so what on earth does the classroom need with about 90 boxes of tissue thats 10 per month they are there??? and what does our tax money buy, in MI its certainly not toilet paper, last year some company had to donate that to schools....where does is all go?
A pair of shoes to be left at school for gym class Do I look like I am made of money, that would mean I would have to purchase TWO pair of tennis shoes? or send her to school in dress shoes daily, which wouldn't be a big deal if a Uniform was in place, but its not, so I have to get clothes, and a minimum of 4 pair of shoes for my child for school, 2 pair dress (cause Black and white don't go together) and 2 pair of tennis shoes one to be used for MAYBE one hour per week? Hmm, I don't get it, thats about $40-$80 just in shoes.
Sanitizing wipes (once again where are my tax dollars going? I use good ole vinegar to sanitize at home or lysol, and one can can last me up to 3 months, so 3 cans should last a class room 9 months, why does my child have to provide wipes, which are such a waste of money to begin with? when a $1 roll of paper towels (which the school should provide) and a Spray bottle of cleaner which they should also provide) should clean the desks and surfaces in the classrooms for at least a month, 30 kids, uhm, less than HALF of them should need to provide this...thats almost 3 years worth of cleaning stuff or am I crazy. Cleaner concentrate from my local GFS is about $10, but makes about 10 gallons of sanitizing spray...should last them a while, and they also have the bathrooms for WASHIN their hands, the sanitizer is not healthy on the skin too much.
Box of Ziploc bags (ok, I use ziplocs for toys and such, I also use them for COOKING, but what are they going to use them for in school?)

Needless to say if I have to buy all this for PUBLIC school, why not homeschool, the money I save in buying multiple outfits of clothes (a minimum of 7, so they are not wearing the same thing every day) The stuff I have to buy ANYHOW to send them to school, and the cost of having to pay for field trips and the like...well that just paid for my curriculum (a grand whole $230 for the year, and thats my highest year thus far...we are doing 3rd grade instead of 2nd, and our fieldtrips are mostly free or miniscule in cost, because we are not coming in large groups.

Plus she won't be bored waiting for the teacher to catch up to where she is, she wont have to relearn what she has already learned while she waits for others to catch up...

Someone on my support group asked why we homeschool, lots of people answered, but I guess, I don't have an answer that is clear like others...I homeschool because its what we feel is best....It started me not being ready to give up my baby, then somewhere along the line I realized that God gave me the right and PRIVILEGE to TRAIN my children in his ways, not someone else.
I have had to protect my baby from lots of things, but right now, I am just happy she is mine and we are gifted with being able to teach her anything.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What a week

Lets see, Last Saturday we brought home a sweet kitten, she isn't so sweet anymore, she is full of mischief but we still love her and she is growing on Zeke too, the 9 year old catten of the house.

Tuesday we had our new fridge delivered, LOVE IT!! it beeps when its not shut all the way and so filling it was kinda annoying because it took a while to transfer everything. THe freezer is wonderful, its packs alot and is actually a little larger than my chest freezer, go figure. Its 6.3 cubic feet and the chest is 5 cubic feet.

Friday we went shoppin to really fill it, I haven't done shoppin like that in a while since my old fridge FROZE things and the freezer couldn't keep things frozen.

I am still recovering from that. Saturday they came and picked up the old fridge, the cash for clunkers cars program has a similar program for fridges and air conditioners...needless to say we were happy to see them come get this beast, the $50 will be directly applied to our electric bill.

I was even able to cook at home last night.
Today its hotter than all get out, feels like temp was 108 after church and actual was about 98...too hot for me.

My pain levels have been extremely rediculously our of contorl. I guess thats what its going to be like til I get in to see a surgeon that wants to FIX these problems.

The kittens are now getting along pretty good, They play and sleep together now, they are very sweet together. Ebony is full of energy though and today has not been good to her.

Overall, I am tired and life has been hectic.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rearranging while handicapped

Ok, its been 18 months and the bug has bit me to CHANGE things in our house, A few weeks ago I bought Easy Sliders furniture movers, Hmm, they will get a work out as I make room for everythin to have a home once again.

DTE will be collecting my old fridge on Saturday and we think we may have figured out how to hook up our icemaker without drilling into the water pipe (a trip to HD is in order)

So far though I LOVE my new fridge, tomorrow though, it will get the true test as it gets stocked with Food for our family.

I haven't had that urge to grocery shop in ages, it just takes too muchout of me. I have many things I need though, and a meal plan of sorts in the making, we are trying a Bariatric surgery post op diet until I can schedule my appt with the endocrinologist.

I have my scale now, my measuring cups, and now its time to start cooking agian...Wish me luck, my body has not liked being upright for long.

I have to find foods I can cook in bulk for the week...but not beyond that. I usually have the energy to cook one day a week the rest of the week I struggle like mad to get anything at all done.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Family Grew

I went to get a fridge and brought home an adorable 11 week old kitten....The Pet Rescue was at ABC warehouse/Gordons, along with many other companies a big affair, anyhow two kittens were on the euthanize board, and We brought one of the two left so now there is only one, hopefully he will find a home too....Ebony (our 11 week old black princess) is getting along with everyone, except Zeke my 9 year old cat...he is keeping his distance but TRYIng to get used to her.

MY new Fridge will be delivered Tuesday, A french door bottom freezer with ICE maker...I am so excited to have an Ice Maker, we go through a ton of ice in this house.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

He Is Still God in the Fire

Ok, I know I just posted, and its rare to get a double post, but I just keep thinking about this, I am still in prayer mode, its been a really hard few months, and I am playing my favorite tunes....

Even when things seem out of control to us, they are never out of control to him. ALWAYS in control of whatever comes my way, I feel taken back to camp meeting days, Winterfest, youth camp and prayer meetings in college, where the Holy Spirit fell and the anointing of Gods presence was too much to contain.

I am overwhelmed to see whats coming next, God is in total control, and I look into the scriptures to see that if WE, his people, Pray, HE will do great things...


A few thoughts, but I know the Master of the Wind

Today has been emotionally draining, so, when I am having a rough day, I spend alot of time in Prayer...

I have a few verses that really come to heart when I am struggling 1 Peter 5:7 and James 1:3, and Romans 8:28....God really is in this even when it doesn't look like it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I am so tired of being sick

Today I went to church, lunch, then slept ALL afternoon, grabbed some light dinner, feel incredibly nauseas, and feel like death warmed over.

I am trying to watch some tv and going to down about a quart of Crystal Light, but my goodness it seems to be killing me slowly...

I don't want to give up, but I am really feeling worn down.

PTC and Chiari really kill the head. I want insurance so I can get the endocrinologist app scheduled.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

still struggling

Well, I am worn down. My head is not cooperating, I am exhausted. My brain is killing me slowly.

Its been a rough week, and I don't know how much more I can take...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just OFF

Ok, I am tired of whining, but since its my personal journal, if you don't like it tough.

I am freaking out, my balance has been off on and off for a few months now, but this week its been so bad that Chris has mentioned it. I wobbled with my cane a few times today and that always poses concern..

I have had at least one near fall every week for the last 5-6 weeks. I don't want to go back to the doc til I have insurance (or my next appointment if that comes first) Its just scary to think of what might be happening. My nerve damage seems to be stablizing itself, I am not getting as many shooting pains, but my balance is shot and even sitting up is often a challenge. I am also struggling while driving, I am noticing even my vision seems to go one sided. I will call if it continues, or head to the ER, but I don't really want to do either since there isn't much anyone can do without the insurance.

My new social worker is very nice, she is going back over what the old worker didn't take care of and getting my medical bills taken care of...better late than never. She is also very respectful so that gives me extra confidence in her (and they paid my back gas bill, which wasn't much, but it helped ALOT)

Anyway TRYING to get to sleep not having much luck.
Good Night

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Still in extreme pain

Its gotten so bad I don't remember the last good day I had, I used to get a few here and there, but not lately.

Every muscle and joint and nerve hurts so badly its rediculous.

I want to get something for the pain, but it makes no sense with no costs too much.

I am having trouble focussing and thinking straight, my head hurts so bad all day and I am constantly nauseas. I am just scared this is never going to get better.

I think I am going to try drinking more this weekend to see if that helps...starting tomorrow I think I am going to eat less and drink more...lets see if I am dehydrated and thats my issue.

Friday, July 10, 2009

cant catch a break

Ok this is getting rediculous, I have been drinking, trying to stay hydrated in hopes to kill this darn headache, NOT WORKING....Its starting in my neck and going around BOTH eyes, I get so nauseas and sick I just want to puke.

My balance has been off more than on and yesterday I got lost drivin roads I drive routinely, Frankly I am getting scared. I can't concentrate and am struggling to do ANYTHING at all. I do not like feelin this way, I do not nor will I ever be able to accept this new way of life, this is no life, and no I do not plan on ending it....I get so sick of people asking if I am depressed...NO, I am in pain, and while the two can go hand in hand, I do not feel depressed, I feel frustrated that I can Not do ANYTHING without causing my brain to rebel.

I am tired and going to bed early tonight, I can barely see, actually as I type this I can't make out the letters on my screen, I just know where they are and can feel that I hit too many keys, trying to focus it in is killing me Good Night, praying for some relief tomorrow

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pain Out of my Mind

Ok, I am tired of this, all afternoon I have been battling a HORRID headache that started at the base of my neck and creeped its way across my face, down my shoulder and its just getting worse, I just took a couple of flexeril in hopes of relaxing the muscles so that it will ease a bit.

I am totally nausesas and really just feel sick. I haven't been like this hardly at all since my tap in April, May and June I had one REALLY bad day each month, so far this is the 2nd one in July, and its only the 8th.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Family is Better, and Much needed Relief

Yes, Yes, we worked everythin out, I knew we would but I really REALLY needed to vent the other day.

I have been a part of a PTC support group since my last MAJOR flare (after my post-op complications I felt very alone in the journey) Anyhow...
I know my problems are not mostly PTC related, I have done quite a bit of research on lots of it and with the diagnosis of the Chiari last year I started doing even more research....well I am seeing that its more the Chiari issues that I am dealing with, not a huge deal, its life....but my docs all wanted me to get a VP shunt placed last year and needless to say I was not looking very highly into it since its major brain surgery....don't ask why the potential of decompression scares me less, it doesn't make sense to me either.

Anyhoo...On our PTC support group recently we have had Several people get VP shunts, NONE have had truly positive results. One has been hospitalized for a small bowel obstruction (a mere 3 weeks post-op, they claim is unrelated) a second one wound up with a major infection and was basically told to stay away from everything for another month, and a 3rd wound up in more pain from the shunt, headaches worse than before and basically just majorly regretted these decisions.

My docs said unless it started affecting my eyesight they would not consider a VP at this time, the risk outweighed the potential benefits....I was questioning that since I have had very little quality of life ever since the flare in 2007 and, Since none of these people had major vision problems and all had the VP shunt put in with all of its complications, I am seriously grateful for MY doctors who said NO, its not worth the risk at this time.

Ya, I will get sick over and over again and it will cycle, I get about 2 good days a week or so and try to do SOMETHING every day, even if its just to go out, and when my body says enough, I rest and recover....its a cycle I have been living with for many years. I would rather get sick over and over again and have a few good days here and there then suffer not knowing when or where I was going to get sick because of the shunt. I know their failure rates and they are HIGH. If it starts to REALLY affect my vision again, I may consider a shunt, but I will literally have to be going blind as fast as I was when I had my Optic Nerve Sheath Fenestration done in 1998 to consider the VP shunt.

Ok, so now you ask why do I not feel at all stressed about a possible decompression surgery, much much riskier than a shunt, much much more painful, and overall just a harder surgery? Well for some reason, I know its not the time for it right now, and I know the time is coming, I am having drop attacks at least once or twice a week, I still can't navigate the stairs, my balance is still way off, and I am having problems swallowing my meds including the CHEWABLES. I know when the time is right, I will have complete peace over it, like I did when I had my ONSF and shunt put IN, I had a weird sense about the revision, something just seemed very uhm....lets just say I knew in December that something more was goin to happen and the surgery wasn't even scheduled til January 2nd for February 1st.
I am glad God did not tell me what was going to happen, I wouldn't have gone through with it and I would have never found out about the Chiari, probably making it much worse in the process since the shunt would have continued draining even at its slow pace.
I know God protected me then and he holds me now through this and will protect me in the future as we go through this WILL be ok, GOd is in control.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Chris and I are fighting AGAIN, he is getting on my last nerve, ok, he got on that a long time ago, but its just getting worse and worse.

My headaches are through the roof today because of the stress of dealing with him. All he does is play games and eat. Oh ya, and complain about Lauren or I doing this or that.

Well today he got mad because I said something the first time Lauren kicked her feet, all he does is yell at her, no other discipline at all, and he expects me to "fix" the issues....I can't fix her, half of this is just him being around her so much.

Then while she was being read to tonight she contorted herself to kick me in the face...while that upset him, it made him madder that I yelled at her after the 7th time of her kickin me (I never yell at the first or second incident)
He tells me I am over reacting, the only time he spends with her is when I am asleep or at a doctors appointment and I am over reacting? She may kick him under the table, but I am tired of it all. He is ignoring her whining over not getting to see fireworks, it was her choice, since she got sent to bed for misbehaving, but is he making an effort to support in discipline, NOT ONE.

I am so annoyed right now, ya, its his birthday, but he and her faught on mine too, all day they bickered and over half of our plans blew up in my face. I am just tired of dealing with his crap....HE NEEDS to get a job and get out of the house some. Sitting in front of that game all day is just too much for me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Busy very busy

What a week it has been.

On top of being very sick many of the last 10 days we have had a gazillion things going on.

I had a birthday, not a good day. Lauren had a birthday, a bit better day, We rearranged two rooms (flip flopped them)Lauren got a new bedroom, when it is Finished being put together, I will post pictures.

Chris has a birthday Saturday.

I had a doctors appointment, she is sending me to an endocrinologist and gave me a new inhaler.

I had a DHS Appointment, that went well considering their roof caved in this past Thursday.

We will do a phone interview instead, but I think I am gonna like this worker.

A good friends mother in law needs prayer, she had a stroke.

My health has been declining, but I keep trudging along.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

HAPPY Fathers day

What a week its been.

We visited friends yesterday, a long day indeed, but much needed, my head and leg did NOT appreciate it though.

Then today, we went to my inlaws.
when we got home I took my vicodin and got ready for a nap, never got it, and Lauren threw a KING SIZE tantrum, but its over and I am tired...

I can't wait til school restarts for her in July, she tested into 3rd grade in all but Math so she is doing that this summer so we can start full 3rd grade in September.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Feeling MUCH MUCH worse today

Ok, I knew working out even with something as simple as a video game would have repricussions, but WOAH, My head has been KILLING me all day, I did play more today though even though I was hurting, I felt it was best to try anyhow, I am looking forward to other games in hopes that I can see some results....even the limits of my disability, being active even a little has benefits.

My pain level on the 10 scale is about a 12 and NOTHING has penetrated it today not even sleep...I will give it a few more days before I call and ask for something to kill it....I know there isn't much they can give me since the pain meds do not help much if any.

I will always work through the pain til I can't take it anymore....tomorrow we find out whats up with Chris's unemployment and that will make a difference in what we do next.

I NEED him to get a job even if its part time... because right now we are over the cap for SSI, and I still can't get insurance coverage.
Grr. At least they will cover the back stuff for the last 3 months when I was in the hospital, I have to call the hospitals and my social worker, PRAYING like all get out that I have a new worker, the last one was not very good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We Got a Wii

Ok, I feel like crap, but I worked hard today.
I got a Wii today and played hard....remember I can't be on my feet for long periods of time due to pain, I Bowled a game, then I played a game of Tennis, then I did the stamina challenge (I came out at a 54 year old, not bad when you figure I am on disability from being sick and I actually did this without breaking inbetween times)

My head, neck, and Shoulders hurt REALLY bad, plus I am tired.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Not sleeping well

Ok, I have had it up past my eyeballs, which I wish were closed right now.

I was having issues with the headaches, but now I am on meds that are supposed to help me sleep...the problem? Well they get caught in my throat as I try to swallow them...we are not talking horse pills either we are talking oh 1mg pills, little itty bitty things.

I am SO frustrated.

My neck and shoulders are killing me too, its like my head is too heavy to sit on my neck...
I am afraid to cry, because while emotionally I am ready to...well, LOL, it hurts worse when I cry. I want to close my eyes and my eyelids hurt...I am so tired of fighting this, I am praying that Chris gets a part time job so that I can get SSI, oh they will pay my medical bills for April when I went to the ER twice, which is SO cool...but I desparately need insurance and to seek another surgeons opinion.

If I get insurance, I will ask Dr. Turner for a referral in October...I will wait that long, I think I can handle the wait...but I will have to mention the swallowing issues, it seems like more and more food is getting stuck too...but Chiari while it has swallowing issues, this almost seems like a gag reflex in overdrive, but maybe I am overthinking things so I don't put myself in a panic noticing yet another symptom related to Chiari, the bladder issues totally freaked me out....Dizziness and headaches I have had for so long they dont worry me, but my arm and leg numbness made sense...I don't need to fear, but at the same time, if its progressing...well, I don't want anything permanent to happen.

Tired, goin to try my meds and get some sleep, have to go to SSA tomorrow to drop off paperwork, then going to Thrift store to get Lauren clothes, I HOPE, then I am going to come home, go drop off paperwork for MI Works, and go grocery shopping, I hope I can stay awake through the hockey game.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stress and dissappointment

Well, I had my neuro follow up this past week.

I was not prepared for what he had to say "my hands are tied"

I will be seeing a Bariatric Surgeon in February when medicare kicks in along with an see if we cant figure out WHY I can't lose weight and hope that does SOMETHING, at the very least it should reverse the Diabetes.

I am feeling more and more run down. Daily headaches, and I can't count the number of other things going on right now....

God is provident though and he will work this out, even though at this point I don't see how.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Long Week

I feel as if I am fighting a losing battle right now.

I am having reflux like symptoms, no clue whats causing them, but its nasty.
I have had numerous accidents this week, I need to drink less or live in bathroom one of the two.

We finished off a semester of Homeschool and I am going to do the unthinkable and test Lauren, if she is ready, we are going to just start her on 2nd grade when the books come in.

My pain has been out of control for too long...but I will have insurance in February...progress?

Tired and hurting. Listening to music, going to sleep

Monday, May 25, 2009

8th Anniversary

WOW, I have been married 8 years.
We have had a major event or more every year and our love has grown stronger through them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another week gone by

This has been a very eventful week.

Today we filled out Laurens SS app, she won't get anything yet, but will be eligible based off of cost of living til she is 18 so long as I am still disabled.

Overall, things are ok, my head has been constant pain for what feels like FOREVER. Its extremely weather oriented, yesterday it was 80 and I was sick enough to take my med trio, usually I stick with JUST my Klonopin, but last night I added a flexeril and a vicodin just to sleep, still took me almost 3 hours, grr.

Today is much cooler (about 20 degrees) and I needed that to break the pain cycle again.

I am seriously thinking of adding Central AC to the house.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And so Ends the Semester

This has been a whirlwind of a 2009

I have been sick and in constant pain for more than a year

I decided I was going to TRY to live life anyhow, and for me, I saw huge successes amongst the struggles.

In January I started school again, College was not easy for me since my pain does not allow me to sit or stand for long periods of time without movement.

I took 3 classes, Anatomy and Physiology (the school I went does this as one class most universities do it in 2-3 semesters)
I struggled like crazy to pass this class, missing a week from my Emergency Room run did not help in any way, but I got a 2 week reprieve since Easter was around the corner...nice recovery time, but missing that one class hurt big time.
I wound up struggling to carry a C- all semester, then at the end, Wowzers, I did it, I only needed to average a 70 on the final two tests to get a C without the minus...but I was thrilled when I checked grades, I got a C PLUS, yes, I did, I screamed, raised my pressure and made my self sick, but it was good to be sick cause I was happy not cause I had some stress that set my system off.

I was perfectly happy to go rest, I had NO plans on the agenda, we were done and it was ok to feel weak and worn down I had done it, I passed A&P in ONE class...yes, I am proud, with the fact that my memory has been getting significantly worse as my pain increases my brain power seems to be decreasing...hopefully we will be able to see pain management soon though.

I passed my other two classes with A's I had Medical Terminology (kinda an easy class for someone with all my medical problems), there were only 2 chapters where I did not see the specialist that was covered, that made me sad, but still, it was an easy A.
The other class I took was Business Communications, a required class for most majors...I learned alot, mostly confidence from this class.
I thought at first it was going to be AWFUL, it was speeches and papers, neither of which I like...but I made it.
I got a great teacher who really felt that the learning was more about the experience than the assignment, it was a practice class for the real world, by doing the work, and having perfect attendance, I got an A there too, if I had missed a class I would have had an A-
It was in this class that I went to class so sick I could not function and went to the hospital AFTER class, that day I got my spinal tap and have been functioning about 20-30% better ever since.

Also during this semester, I applied for and was approved for disability. PTC is very damaging to the medical resistant patient, my neurologist wants me to have surgery but the surgeons say I am too high risk and so we wait.
Currently, I am doing my follow up and maintaining a minor drug regimen ( I have muscle relaxants and pain meds that I take when the pain is unbearable, and an anti anxiety muscle relaxant that I take nightly to help me sleep through the pain, plus my B12)

I am still planning on staying in school, I will be taking 3-4 classes next semester depending on how I feel when registration rolls around. My goal is to get enough pain relief where I can get through my certificate program, but if I can't pass the physical, I will switch back to HHIT which I could then potentially do from home or part time or if I improve enough, full time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Today I finished up classes for the semester, my pain levels have been through the roof this semester. I am proud to say I made it through with at least a 3.0 gpa but I have suffered alot too.

My head pain is averaging an 8 most days and I sleep almost more than I am awake.
My leg is improving SLOWLY, but when my head gets bad it quits entirely.

I see Dr. Turner in just over 2 weeks, and am hoping he can give me some sense of what to do next.
My medicare will kick in in February or March I believe, at that point I am sure he is going to send me to see a neurosurgeon. Either way I am struggling to have confidence in much of anything.

I did make it through the semester with only 2 ER runs, but I am fearing more may be on the way.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Disability Stage 2 complete

Well I received documentation today, I will start receiving payments for May, first deposit will be in June, I will be evaluated every 3 years, hopefully this does not last that long, I am hoping to see another surgeon when I get insurance and HOPEFULLY, that will help ME get better, instead of keep on fighting this.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Disability Stage 1 complete

Today I received the letter, I met the medical requirements for disability.

According to research that is a very good thing, I move on to stage 2, deciding if I am capable of working.

My disability date was actually September 1, 2007, which tentatively gives me 15 months back pay as of RIGHT NOW.

Praying hard that we get through the next step as easily since I need medicare, it will kick in effective February 1, 2010, once I make stage 2.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No Nap, and Pain returned

Ugh, I was doing so well, Tonight my back, neck, and shoulders feel like I don't know what Hurts like all get out.

I am nearly in tears if I move my head at all...

My leg, My goodness, Uhm, I am tired of this, VERY tired.

Go figure, most of my day is great so my pain decides that its goin to RUIN my day.

Heading to bed, and I am prayin for some GOOD hard sleep.


This has been a rollercoaster of a week, and its only Tuesday...yesterday I finished my Medical Terminology class, YAY Me.

My head can't make up its mind and has been floating around a 6 for so long its gettin annoying.

I feel like its stuck.

Lauren has been better the last couple days, I think its cause she konws I am tottally serious and wont be puttin up with her crap.

I am worn out though I have to go pick up a script and some groceries this afternoon but I need a nap first.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Thats how long it has been since I have taken a bath, walked without pain, played on the FLOOR with my daughter, or played with her in any truly effective way.

Thats how long it has been since I have known that My PTC won't be going away anytime soon, and if you take away 3.5 months away from how long I have known about the Chiari, and the road that I have been living learning about why I feel the way I feel.

Its amazing how much I have grown in these 15 months, I trust God more, I lean on him more. My husband and daughter...well they have come quite a ways too, this has been emotionally harder on them as they don't understand how I feel or what to do to make it better.

Laurens maturity has gone the wrong direction, she is growing down instead of up...its too stressful on a baby girl.

I have applied for disability, I have had more medical appointments that I ever thought was possible. Ironically, this all started TEN years after diagnosis.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thank Goodness for Packaged Curriculum

Oh MY goodness, life is KILLING me.
I am so worn out ALL the time, I average a nap a day and my headaches have not been letting up.

My leg is swollen beyond belief and I don't know what to do to fix it.

I know God has a plan, BUT I want to know what it is...I WANT TO UNDERSTAND.

I am not handling this very graciously this week.