Friday, January 30, 2009

Warm Day

Here are my boys taking a break from their studies and having a popsicle in the backyard. With temps in the 80's a popsicle hits the spot. When I saw them, I just had to take their picture. It reminds me of when they were little.

This is our rabbit, her name is Bun. The boys got her from a neighbor almost 3 years ago now. It really has been fun to have a rabbit as a pet. She has a really good personality and she has been very loving. Below everyone is posing for a picture together.

Health-wise, I haven't been doing well. It all started with roast beef. Wednesday I went to the market and the fresh roast beef at the deli was $4.99 a pound. It looked and smelled so good, plus my son Eric wanted it. So I bought it. Thursday we made roast beef sandwiches for lunch. I made my sandwich and went light on the beef. It was delicious! In fact the beef was so good, Eric ate two sandwiches. Unfortunately for me, an hour after I ate my sandwich, my intestinal pain began and did not let up for hours. I was up till 2 AM with pain. This morning I woke up exhausted, but treated the boys to muffins at Paradise Cafe. The boys had fun, but eating those muffins caused me pain. Not as bad as the sandwich, but enough that I was uncomfortable. Even so, it was worth it to see the boys have fun. I skipped lunch because I did not want to endure the pain of another meal. The boys do not like it when I do that. I got hungry about 3:30 pm so I had an apple, so far so good. I am hungry for dinner, and we are having my favorite, Spinach Casserole. Wish me well!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Praise Report

Amazingly, I had a very good day today. I had very little pain with eating and very little pain period. I think this is the best day I have had in many weeks (months). My only complaint is that my muscles ache, but I do not mind, I think it is because my body has relaxed. I have been tense with pain for so long. Thanks be to God for this wonderful day and thanks to you my dearest friends for your prayers. The love of our Lord shines brightly through you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Today I found out about an inspiring young man named Nick Vujicic. Watch this video on You Tube and be blessed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weary Traveler

I am thinking of the economy of our country. All the people without jobs, or people that have lost savings, etc. Stores that have been around since I was a child are no longer. Circuit City, where Mark and I bought our first microwave oven, is liquidating. Home Depot and Sprint have announced they are going to be letting people go. I know our friend who got laid off in October 2008, still has not found a job. In the paper I saw the headline "State jobless rate hits 15 year high". As I drive around town I drive by empty stores and empty houses. We are hit ourselves, especially when the gas prices were so high. And then no longer being able to afford private school. These are definitely hard times and I wonder how much worse it will get.

On top of that, I continue to struggle with my health. Last week when I did the fasting for the barium enema x-ray I noticed that it felt better not to eat. My pain level went way down and I actually relaxed and was sleeping more. Now that I am back eating I am miserable. Constant pain. Last night I had another one of my episodes where I bloated up and started retaining water. Those episodes scare me. I get thristy and drink, but I retain all the water. I could not sleep and was feeling ill. I got up and took a laxative and thankfully that helped relieve the pressure, but then I eat and it comes back. And I am only eating mostly soup and salad. My husband is afraid for me not to eat, especially since I am so skinny. He says I need to keep eating to be healthy. I know he is right so I keep eating despite the pain of it all. I see my doctor next week, but right now it feels like an eternity to wait.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday with my niece

Today I went to see my niece play soccer. Unfortunately, the game was called off due to rain. They called the game off as I was on my way over. My sister was at the park with my niece so I decided to take some pictures. I asked my niece to pick where she wanted me to take her picture and she picked the goal. She is a very good soccer player and this is her 3rd year playing. I am proud of her. My other sister came for the game also, so we decided we would all go out to lunch. Even though I was in pain most of the visit, I really enjoyed myself, especially the special time I had with my niece.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Finally some rain...

Tonight we have this beautiful sunset, isn't it gorgeous? Finally some rain moved in creating cooler temperatures. So thankful to have moisture in the air, it feels wonderful after the warm, dry spell we endured. I am having homemade soup for dinner and I baked a pumpkin pie for dessert. Yum! As I type this, my men are getting their hiking gear together for a day hike tomorrow. They will be traveling to the local mountains. Since it rained here they may encounter some snow on their hike. The boys will love that.

I had my barium enema x-ray on Thursday. Unfortunately, the cleanse was harsh on me, I got lightheaded and weak. My weight dropped down to 99 lbs. I am eating again, but having a lot of pain with it, so I am not eating much. The enema was a bit painful at times, but I made it through (thanks to God). I had a wonderful nurse, he was so kind. He told me that I did very well and he wished all his patients did as well as me. That was so sweet of him to say. I got to see my colon on the screen. Wow! I do not have a textbook colon, mine is all over the place, probably due to scar tissue. He did get a good close up picture of the reconnection. Now I just have to wait and see what my doctor says on February 3rd.

There was a parent meeting at the school. It was regarding registration for next year. The prices have gone up which I was afraid they would. With the price increase there is no way we can sign up for next year. So we are praying for doors to open. I pray we can get into the schools we desire. It is in God's hands.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weather, phone & diet

Today it was tough to keep the boys on track with their studies. The sunshine and warm temps (in the 80's) makes a person want to go outside and play. It is like spring in January! Our plum tree has decided it is warm enough to sprout new leaves and my narcissus are coming up. You think I would enjoy this weather with other parts of the county freezing, but we had summer-like weather that lasted into early November. I look forward to the cooler temps and this year has been disappointing. The blessing is that we have not had to run the heater much, just a bit in the morning. That definitely helps our financial situation.

Our phone went on the fritz. It would ring, but only once or twice and then it would hang up automatically. We could call out fine, which was odd. Our phone is pretty old and was having other problems, so Mark bought a new phone for $40. He brought it home at lunch time, hoping that would fix the problem. Well, the new phone did the same thing. We were rather worried that we were going to have to call the phone company which we did not want to do. Calling them out would be $55 and then the cost of any repairs. In the afternoon I noticed that the phone kept ringing from time to time, but when I would pick it up it had a weird noise. Then magically the problem was corrected. Praise God!!!

I spent the day eating as much as I could since I will be on a liquid diet for the next two days. Amazingly, I had little pain with eating today so I was able to eat quite a lot. Tonight my stomach is a bit sore, but not too bad. The thing that has been bad is the pressure in my upper tummy & ribs. While I cooked dinner I made up a batch of jello for Tuesday. I have chicken broth, popsicles, apple juice, tonic water and of course plenty of herbal tea and water. I am not looking forward to being on liquids for two days, but with Mark joining me (he wants to lose weight) I won't feel so lonely. The worst part will be taking the laxative on Wednesday...yuck! And of course getting the barium Thursday morning will not be fun either.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thank you notes

Above are thank you notes I received from my nieces. They are so precious, I had to take a picture and share them. I have six nieces and all of them are so talented. Four of them play the piano and two of them play soccer.

Tonight I witnessed an amazing feat performed by my oldest son, Eric. He ironed his scout uniform all by himself and did a wonderful job! This coming Tuesday he is going to be having a Board of Review for the rank of Life Scout. He has to wear a full uniform and look extra special nice. I am so proud that he took responsibility and got his uniform all ready.

On the health front, my pain level is still down from what it was. Something happened last weekend. I had gotten in the habit of massaging my tummy on the side that hurt so much. Well, last weekend while I was massaging I felt a pop and something moved. It felt like something released. Afterward, I experienced a burning sensation for about two days. Then I had two days of bad pain before it slowly settled down. I am thinking that part of my bowel was hung up in some scar tissue and when I massaged it broke free. Praise God! However, I am not out of the woods yet. I still experience pressure in the evenings up in my ribs, and I still am having some problems with eating. It feels like a piece of my intestine is kinked or narrowed. Certain foods go through okay, but other ones don't. When the food does not go through well, pressure builds up and it hurts. Then I start burping a lot and sometimes some of the food comes up. Hopefully, the kink will work its way out just as the other one has.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good Day

Today I spent special time with my son Brandon. Above is a Christmas picture of us from a couple years ago. Mark and Eric left in the morning to help a fellow Boy Scout member with his Eagle project. Brandon stayed home with me because he had school work to do. It was a quiet, warm, sunny day for us. I helped Brandon with his work a bit before going out front to work on my flower beds. I have neglected them and there was plenty of weeding to do. As I worked I left the front door open for the kitties to venture out. They came to see what I was doing and then went right back in the house. After getting a good amount of weeding done, I made lunch for Brandon and me. We had quesadillas, one of Brandon's favorite meals. I could only eat half of a whole one along with a salad. Brandon ate one and a half. After our lunch we went back to work, but I got tired so I had to take a nap. After my nap we had some popcorn and a drink while we watched a movie. Then we decided to go for a walk, so we jumped into the car and drove over to the walking trail. We always enjoy the trail because almost everyone we meet has a smile or says hello. And we see some of the cutest dogs too. On the way home from our walk we stopped at the market to pick up fresh veggies for Ham Vegetable Soup. Yum! Brandon let me know he enjoyed his day with me, I enjoyed it too. This special time with Brandon worked a miracle as tonight I am not in as much pain as I have been.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I am longing for home tonight. I want to sit at His feet knowing I am sheltered by His awesome love. With Him is peace, rest for my soul and healing for my body. My heart longs for Him.

"Let heaven fill your thoughts, don't spend your time worrying about things down here. You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God." Colossians 3:2-3

But, He wants to use me, a weak vessel, that His glory might shine. I am blessed in the midst of trials and tribulations. When I look at my trial I cry, but when I look upon Him, my heart bursts with joy. People have told me that I am a strong woman in light of what all I have been through. All they are seeing is Him, His power. For when I am weak, then He is strong.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Monday, January 12, 2009

Trying to be Thrifty

We are continuing to pray about our financial situation. We have clued the boys in on our situation. I like doing things as a family and we prayed together about it. I want the boys to help make a difference. Turn off lights when not in the room, don't let the water run full blast while rinsing dishes or brushing teeth, etc. Taking care of the little things helps.

Over the weekend I completed my new wardrobe. I scored some good deals. I got a pair of $30 pants for $10. And then I found some plain long sleeve cotton tops on sale for $3.59! Now I am all set on clothes. In addition to finding some good deals on clothing I am trying to work wonders with meals in the kitchen. I have got a big pot of beans soaking on the stove. They are always a healthy cheap meal. Have you noticed the price of laundry detergent? I cannot believe how expensive it has gotten. I mostly use vinegar for fabric softener now. Besides being cheap and helping to neutralize odors, it helps keep the drain clear.

We watched two movies over the weekend. I saw them in's catalog and then went looking for them at Blockbuster. One is called the "Sin Eater" and the other one was "The Note". Both are good movies.

From the Charm of Simple Things:

Delight in Simple Things

Learn to like what does not cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like people, even those who may be very different from you.
Learn to shelter your family with love, comfort and peace.
Learn to keep your wants simple.
Refuse to be owned and anchored by things and the opinions of others.
Learn to like the sunrise and the sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, the gentle fall of snow in winter.
Learn to hold heaven near and dear.
Learn to love God, for He surely loves you.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

By Faith

I had been feeling nausea off and on for a couple of weeks, but today I noticed I have not been having nausea. Mark tells me not to get too excited because it may come back. I know he is right, but I am thankful for the break. Brandon was complaining of having nausea, then one night he got very ill and vomited. Thankfully he was better the next day. I still have a cold in my head and trouble with my throat. Along with that, I have been adding more fiber to my diet as my doctor asked me to do. I had half a bowl of steamed veggies for lunch on Friday and had pain. Today I tried Benefiber. It went down okay, but tonight I am having troubles.

Mark called and made the appointment for the Barium enema test. I have to fast on a liquid diet for 2 days and take a special laxative. I am not looking forward to it, especially with me weighing only 102 to 104 lbs. Mostly worry about the pain of it all. Mark said he will go on a liquid diet too (he needs to lose weight). I am so thankful that he is willing to do that for me.

We talked about our finances, we usually do after the holidays. We are hanging on for now, but private school is expensive (even when it is half homeschooling). I am wondering how long we can hang on. It is going to be more expensive for us next year due to how many classes Eric will be taking. Plus, Christmas left us with a deficit due to hospital bills. We remain prayerful.

Emotionally, I am having difficulty. It is humbling to admit it. I worry that I am not a good Christian because I am struggling. It has been a very long journey with my health and I am growing weary. Simply said, I want to be well for my family, I don't want to burden them anymore. I am much better as far as endometriosis goes, which I praise God for, but the bowel issues are hard especially since last year with the colostomy my bowels were working great. Better than they had in many years and it was a blessing I wanted to keep. I did not want to submit to reconnection surgery because I knew there was a chance it would cause me some new issues. But I sought the Lord's will and I believe it pointed to reconnection. So I laid down my gem for Him. Because there is so much scar tissue inside my body from all the sepsis, peritonitis, endometriosis and surgeries there may be no way to make it better. But then God has done miracles in my life before and I have to remember that. I just keep trying to follow Him.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.

~Von Schlegel

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thank You!

Friends, I humbly thank you for your prayers. I can see the Lord's great love through your posts. I wanted to let you know how much your prayers have made a difference. Amazingly, when Mark called on Monday morning we got an appointment for the next day (Tuesday, Jan. 6). Mark said he was completely surprised and he decided to take a day off from work so he could come to the appointment. My doctor is a very good man. I told him my symptoms and he said they sound more associated with my large bowel than the small. He has been concerned about my small bowel ever since I had the blockage. He did an exam and told me that the site of the reconnection is open. More so than he expected. That was excellent news and helped put me at ease. He said that there could possibly be a kink above the site, so he wants me to get a barium x-ray just to make sure. Wouldn't you know, for the first time in weeks, I had a normal movement this morning. It was a blessing, but with how things have been it could change back tomorrow. Oh, yes, my doctor also said he wants me to increase my fiber intake. I have been lax in that area because last time I did I experienced the intestinal blockage. I am sure it is just a mental block at this point. Even so, when I told Eric I was going to start eating my steamed veggies again he was not too keen on the idea.

Between my bowel, having a cold, home schooling and trying to keep up our home, I have been quite overwhelmed. Sometimes I fall asleep holding my Bible close to me. The boys have so much work I can barely keep up. Trying to keep the both of them focused and organized is tough especially when they both have ADD (I don't believe in medicating - I pray). Since we are coming up on finals for the semester, there are reports and presentations on top of the daily work. Plus, I am teaching Eric history at home so I have all the grading of his papers, planning assignments, etc. Sometimes the clothes pile up or there are dust bunnies on the floor as some things have to wait when others cannot.

Even when things are overwhelming, there are the little joys. Like a homemade ham salad sandwich for lunch, a cold glass of apple cider, or the smell of an eggnog scented candle burning on the table. Here is another quote from "The Charm of Simple Things":

"When we forget the obvious, the little joys, the meals together,
the birthday celebrations, the weeping together in time of pain,
the wonder of the sunset or the daffodil peeping through the snow,
we become less human."

Madeleine L'Engle

Whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen. 1 Peter 4:11.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Feeling Afraid

I have been feeling afraid lately. I know things are not right with my bowel. I am digesting my food better, but my colon is not working correctly. I am still skinny, weighing in at 103. I get worried that if I have to have more surgery, how much more weight will I lose? I get a touch of nausea off and on everyday now as well as pain. I also experience bloating and water retention. When I get that my body starts feeling sick. Thankfully, taking a laxative has helped when I can't push it out. But then I worry, what if one day the laxative doesn't work? Once things move I feel much better, but then it starts all over again. I have always been one to go every morning like clock-work, but that isn't happening anymore. To be honest, my colon is not working as good as when I was first put back together. I just do not know what to expect day to day. On top of all of this I have caught a virus that is hanging out in my throat. I am just feeling down and out right now. All I can do is keep plodding along waiting on the Lord to bring healing. Mark is going to call the doctor's office and see if I can get in this month rather than waiting till February. I pray that something opens up.

"The good man does not escape all troubles - he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one." Psalm34:19

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winter at the Cottage

Happy winter! I view Jaunuary as a quiet month. The holidays are over and it is a time to rest and reflect. Cold winter days tend to force us inside. Today was a cold, gloomy day for us and it rained in the afternoon. I have not felt well, so I have stayed in. Eric has been sick with a bad chest cold so he has been staying in as well. Tomorrow is our last day of vacation. I am not looking forward to the stress of starting school up again. The end of the semester is coming and there are projects to finish and reports to write.

Above is a picture of my winter decorations. I found the blue dish and the snowflake at my favorite antique mall called "Country Roads". I also have glass birds on the shelf that were my Grandmother's, but they are not easily seen in the picture. Below is a picture of a winter arrangement I made for the living room.

I changed the look of the guest bed for winter, where Dusty is enjoying an afternoon nap.

On another note, since I have lost so much weight, my clothes are too big, so I have been putting them into storage. There is not much left to wear and I have had to go buy some clothes. I shop at the discount stores so it can be hit and miss. I get what I can. I am finding that I rather enjoy having less in the closet. Here are a few excerpts from "The Charm of Simple Things" that express what I am meaning to say:

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach.
One can collect only a few and they are more beautiful if they are few.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We can choose to be rich by making our wants few.
Alexandra Stoddard

I hope that having less will help me to enjoy more fully the clothes I do have and stir a greater attitude of thankfulness in my heart.

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's the Bits & Pieces

Hello everyone! Thanks so much for all the lovely comments. I am sincerely grateful for all your kind and uplifting words. Today I wanted to post a little something that might be uplifting to you. I found this in my book called "The Charm of Simple Things".

It's the Bits & Pieces that Count

"Women would like to make one big spiritual sacrafice. We would like to do one grand thing and be assured everything will work out well. But we can't. It's the bits and pieces put together year after year that count. Sometimes we don't see meaning in the little things and we are not conscious of how it all works together to create a powerful image. The little things we do at home, like putting wildflowers in a vase, are invisible medicine for all the bumps and bruises of family life. The connections we make in our daily rounds, an old photograph tucked into a frame, a lullaby each evening by the bedside, a hug among fresh clean linens, are the putty that holds the mosaic together."

Written by: Ingrid Trobish ~ Keeper of the Springs

This is just what I needed to hear as I start 2009. It is daily work in the little things that hold everything together. I know when I was in the hospital for a month in 2007, one of the things God impressed on me was the importance of serving my family. Doing the laundry and cleaning the bathroom is not glamorous work, my flesh desires to do something more grand, but then I think of Jesus, who bowed down and washed the disciples' feet. He asked us to follow His example. Being humble, being a servant, this is the pathway to show God's love.

I will continue to share excerpts from this book that inspire me with hope that they will also inspire and uplift you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Blessed 2009 to All!!!

Wishing all happiness, health and spiritual growth in 2009. We rang in the new year at my brother's house. Today we are relaxing at home. In other news we discovered that an on-line newspaper article had been written about the Rubik's Cube competition that Eric was in. Below is a quote from the article that mentions Eric.

"10:45 a.m. Eric Finley, 15, of Santa Ana, finishes his first official competition scamble in 1 min, 38 seconds, far off his personal best. “I’m just happy to be solving one of the toughest puzzles in the world,” he says, disappearing into a crowd of teenagers in jeans and very dark shirts."