Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thinking About the New Year

I am looking down the road at 2009 and I know some of what it holds for me. More trips to the doctor for my bowel and more procedures. I decided it is time to go back to my doctor. Unfortunately for me, he is booked all of January. My appointment is for February 3rd, 2009. I will call in January if things get worse. I am having difficulty eliminating and it is not due to constipation. Something is restricted. I did not notice this problem when I saw the doctor on December 9th, 2008. In the weeks since the appointment, things have gotten worse. These symptoms are the same ones I experienced prior to my surgery in August 2007. Back then they found that my colon was folded, thus the problems with eliminating. Now I am back where I started minus the endometriosis. I decided that I am not going to ask God why. No more whys. It is all about trusting and loving Him. Am I willing to follow where He leads? Am I willing to sacrafice? Definitely, I will see the Lord do wonderful works in 2009.

O my soul, why be so gloomy and discouraged? Trust in God! I shall again praise Him for His wondrous help; He will make me smile again, for He is my God! Psalm 43:5

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Family Day Trip

It was a gorgeous day today so we decided to get out of the house and take a trip up to Oak Glen where the apple orchards are. Oak Glen is up in the mountains and there was snow on the ground. The boys had a great time throwing snowballs at each other and their Dad. We went to the ranch and took a hike up the nature trail. The above picture is a view from the trail. After our hike we went to the ranch cafe and had lunch. We ate pulled pork sandwiches, beans, potato salad and sipped on hot apple cider. For a snack we had mini hot donuts. Yum! We all had a fantastic time, it sure was nice to get out. Here is a picture with Mark and the boys.

Eric is nearly 6 ft. tall. Brandon is as tall as me now. Time seems to be going faster now that they are older.

On the health front, I am still having issues with my bowel. Keep getting touches of nausea and pressure in the bowel. Will need to go back and see my doctor. Pain-wise I did really well on our day trip. Last time we went to Oak Glen was in 2006 and we all remembered how much pain I was in back then. Thank God all the endometriosis is gone. It was wonderful to travel in the car without pain.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Brandon's Birthday

Here are some pictures from Brandon's birthday.
He is 14 years old now.

Happy Birthday Brandon!

Christmas Memories

This one of my favorite pictures. This is from Christmas 2000, when the boys were 6 and 7. They gave me their Christmas cards and a big hug.

Christmas 2002
Eric is 9 yrs. old and Brandon is 8 yrs. old.

Christmas 2005
Eric is 12 and Brandon is 11.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas is Coming

Here is a daytime picture of our Christmas tree this year. My oldest son Eric put on a combo of white & red lights. He put the skirt down and set his Christmas train up underneath. We decorated the tree together. Grandma and Grandpa from Arizona visited with us this weekend. We all had a wonderful visit. Friday night I made a dinner of meatballs in mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, cranberry/walnut green salad and rolls. For dessert we had a blueberry triamisu. We ate dinner in the sunroom next to the Christmas tree. It was a wonderful evening. Saturday Mark took Eric over to the Discovery Science museum to participate in a Rubic's Cube competition, while Brandon spent special alone time with his grandparents. It was Eric's first competition and he placed 49th out of 56 contestants. I think he did great for his first time. In the evening the boys spent more time with their grandparents and Mark & I went out for a romantic dinner. Then later we all met back at the house and enjoyed watching a Christmas movie. The next morning we had breakfast together and then we said our goodbyes. In the afternoon Eric met with his merit badge counselor and completed all his work to get the rank of Life Scout. I am so proud and happy for him. After Life Scout is Eagle, I hope he can make it to the top.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Caught It

Hello all, I was finally knocked flat by the nasty virus. Ugh! So were the boys and we had to cancel their party. Eric came down sick on Thursday last week and Brandon on Friday. Saturday the both of them were laying around which for two active boys they have got to be sick doing that. ;-) I myself was not feeling so great, I did not feel like cleaning or fixing food, so Mark called our invited guests and let them know we were all sick. So glad he did because I just kept getting sicker. Sunday evening it hit me hard. Monday morning I woke sick, but I had to take Eric to the orthodontist, then I took him out to get his birthday gift. I did not want to let him down since we already had to cancel the party. I also managed to make his birthday dinner with Mark's help. This morning I awoke feeling so horrible I parked myself on the sofa and did nothing except rest, which has helped.

My stomach is still giving me trouble. The pain is not nearly as bad as it was in early November, but it is still there and causes me not to eat much. Sometimes I wonder if it is viral as Mark and Brandon have complained of stomach trouble. My trouble seems to be worse than what they have though. I am just waiting things out. I have gotten skinny, I usually wear a 8 or 10 in GV jeans, but now wear a 4. I am trying to enjoy the new slender me. I do not know what is ahead, I have been seeking the Lord and found this verse today in my devotional which spoke to me.

"He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Too Much

The pain I was feeling in my tummy yesterday finally left and I was able to eat pretty well today. We took the boys out for hamburgers tonight. I ate my first hamburger since the surgery and it went down alright. Unfortunately, my throat hurts. It has felt a bit scratchy for days, but today it feels sore. Mark says that I probably have his virus. So far I am not as sick as he has been and I hope it stays that way because I am hosting a birthday party for my sons on Sunday afternoon. Eric has been complaining that he has a headache and feels lousy. Brandon has been having tummy troubles. Even so they are full of energy and excited about their birthdays & Christmas. I have been trying to finish up my Christmas cards, plus working on my Christmas lists. I am so not done! Plus, I have to get everything set for the party. My "To Do" list is too long.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CT Scan Results

Hey everyone, just an update on the scan. I do not even know where to begin. I will start with my doctor I guess. I go to a university medical center. My doctor is a professor, so he has student doctors that come in and talk to me first. Then he will come in and talk to me. Well, the student doctor came in and told me that everything with the CT scan was normal. He had the attitude that most doctors have: you are fine...now go home. I expected to hear that every thing was fine with the scan.

Okay, my doctor, he is really good at seeing things on CT scans. Even so, I did not expect to hear what he said, that he found a narrow section of my bowel in the area that I am complaining there is pain. He said it could be that it was just a contraction of my bowel, but if it is a narrow spot it will need to be repaired. I pretty much went into shock when he told me this and became dumb and I sat there stupidly. I just told him that I have been feeling better lately. He asked if I was all better and I hung my head and said "no" not yet. Since I told him I am feeling better he said he will consider it to be a contraction of my bowel. He said I do not need to come back only if I feel I need to. I kept thinking about what he said all day and night. I prayed seeking God's guidance. God tells me He loves me and He will take care of me. I am trying to rest in that, but I am having a lot of trouble. I keep looking at the waves and not my Lord.

I am having pain today so that has my emotions all worked up. After thinking for so long I came up with some questions. I called to see if I could talk to my doctor, but I met up with a big intimidating computerized phone barrier. After pushing a bunch of buttons and listening to recording after recording I gave up. I will have to schedule an appointment if I want to talk to him again. I am not sure how to handle the emotions I have.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Lift

In the waiting room at my doctor's office there was a bulletin board with some health tips for the holidays. There were several lists, I copied down the list below which not only applies to the holidays, but to everyday life. Here are five things we can do to help lift our mood.

1. List 5 things you enjoy
2. Consider 5 things that make you thankful
3. Get up and walk - fresh air & sunshine release hormones that lift our mood.
4. Do something nice for someone.
5. Take time to do something you enjoy.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Expelled - The Movie

Have you seen the movie "Expelled" by Ben Stein? I never saw it in the theater, but I eagerly awaited the DVD. We rented it this weekend. I highly recommend moms letting their teenagers watch this documentary movie.

Not much on the home front besides me being too busy. I have all my regular housework to do with Christmas, birthdays and sick people duties on top. It is very overwhelming for me at this time of year. It is bad enough having one child's birthday at Christmas time, but two? Please! And this is the time of year when viruses come around which only adds to the drama. Right now my dear husband is lying on the couch with his virus, he has been there all weekend while I have been running around getting shopping done, cooking meals, doing laundry and cleaning. Now mind you, I am not in tip top shape myself. I do have a bit of the cold my husband has. Plus, I just got over a bladder infection which the antibiotics gave me a problem with yeast. Then on top of that I am still healing from surgery! Why is it that I am doing it all and my husband is lounging on the couch asking me what is for dinner? The world may never know.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Saturday

Today I took a bit of time for me in the morning. All my men were sleeping, so the house was nice and quiet. The kitties could hardly wait to have their breakfast. They always come and bug me till I get up to feed them. After I fed them, I turned the heater on and put the tea kettle on the burner. I made myself a cup of hot tea and some oatmeal. Then I heated a cranberry roll and slathered it with butter. I put a blanket down on the sofa and sat in its warmth while I ate my breakfast and watched a Christmas cooking show. My youngest son is always an early riser. We cuddled on the couch for awhile and he fell asleep with his head in my lap. It was a very nice morning.

My "To Do" list included Christmas shopping, so I went to the mall. I tackled getting gifts for my 6 nieces. I went to Macy's and they had the prettiest Christmas jewelry on sale for $6. I did not get any, I resisted the temptation. I wound up at Bath & Body Works and I bought "Twisted Peppermint" bubble bath for my nieces. This soap smells so good with a combination of mint, sugar and vanilla. I love the smell so much that I bought some bubble bath for myself. ;-)

I also got myself a pair of brown leather pumps today. I have been searching for just the right pair and I finally found them. The extra special treat was that I got them for $26!! DSW sent me a coupon in the mail for $20 off a pair of shoes. It was a deal I could not pass by.

Then it was home to have some lunch, do some laundry, wrap presents and help my son with his report for history. Then I made dinner, which was pasta. For the sauce, I sauteed some spinach with olive oil, garlic, basil and a sprinkle of onion salt. I added a jar of spaghetti sauce and heated it all through. I served it sprinkled with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. It is a good way to get my boys to eat spinach.

In the mail I received a package from my friend Kathy. She sent me homemade fudge. Yum! I think my Saturday has been very blessed, except for my husband being sick with a cold. I hope my turn to catch the cold can stay away until after my doctor appointment on Tuesday. That is the day I will get the results of my CT scan.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Present

I got an early Christmas present this week. When you have children, you always have to be prepared for the unexpected, but sometimes we just are not. Wednesday morning I needed to go over to the medical center to pick up my packet of contrast for my CT scan. It was a home school day for my sons, so they were home. Being teenagers they do not like to go with Mom anywhere unless they absolutely have to. They wanted to stay home and continue working on their studies. Well, I was not going to be gone long, so I let them stay home. My oldest son was on "my" computer writing an essay for English class. I asked him to behave himself and not go on the internet. He promised he would be good.

Okay, I got over to the medical center, picked up my packet and was on my way home when I got a call on my cell phone. It was my son and he told me the computer crashed. I knew immediately that he had broken his promise. I hoped that it would be simple to remedy, but unfortunately it was not. Even my husband, who works in computers, could not get our computer running properly again. Our son had a computer of his own at one time, but he crashed it. Motherly love let him use mine.

With things being so bad, my husband decided to buy me a new computer...my Christmas present. He has been working diligently getting it all set up for me. He is such a wonderful man! He is also going to work on my old computer (it is only 4 years old) and try to get it running enough that both boys can use it for typing school papers. No internet! I talked to another mother who has 2 sons, all grown now. She said that when her sons were teenagers they would come home from school and get on her computer while she was a work. She said they crashed her computer about 3 times. As grown adults, her sons are very successful and they work with computers. ;-)

Okay, back to my doctor appointment stuff. I went to my GP and my bladder infection is gone. Yeah! My eating is still improving and I really have much to praise God for. The CT scan went well, except for my age old problem of them having difficulty finding a vein. The dear nurses were so sweet, I did not have any reason to complain. However, I will complain about the contrast because it has upset my tummy. And my poor husband who just got over being sick, has caught another bug. Ugh!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas at the Cottage

Merry December greetings to all! Here is a little bit of Christmas at my cottage. I made the wreath years ago. The pink cranberry vase is an antique from my grandmother. I love it so much. Then I have pretty gold angels and then the one with a pink cloth backing.

This is another of my grandmother's vases graced with red flowers and a Christmas doily underneath. We do not have our tree up yet. We usually get that up closer to Christmas because we always get a live tree. Mark cannot stand the artificial trees, he has to have a live one. The fresh pine scent is always wonderful.

Today I was blessed with helping a new homeschooling mom. Her son is new to our school and has made friends with my son, Eric. She had her son in a public school, but he was being persecuted by fellow students for being a Christian. It was so bad that she had to take him out of school and the Lord led her to our school. I am very happy that they have come because Eric likes her son very much, they hit it off immediately.

On the health front, I am not having anymore terrible stomach aches like I was. I am very much amazed by this. I am having some trouble with bloating and things are still not quite to my liking yet, but I am improving. Thursday I have an appointment with my GP to check if the infection is gone from my bladder. Then on Friday I am set to have a CT scan on my bowel. Mark is going to take that day off from work. It will be very nice to have his company. I do not want to do the scan, but Mark says I should. He wants to make sure I am going to be alright. I will be glad when it is over with.