Monday, December 15, 2008

The Fumbly Bumbly Angels!



Our second Christmas performance for the year was as good as the first! I was so impressed by our church's children's Christmas Musical, "The Fumbly, Bumbly Angels"! They did a terrific job!


CandyMan played a lead part - George, the angel. Missy Prissy played one of the three kings. They both did wonderful! I was so proud of them!




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Guitar Hero is playing the trombone!


I have to say that no one has ever thought that Guitar Hero had any musical talent. He really hasn't had much rythym in the past. He can't carry a tune very well (neither can his mom). He does come from a musical family though - my whole family played musical instruments and had a love for music! He has shown no interest in learning to read music, play an instrument, or sing in a group before. Then the Wii "Guitar Hero" game came out. He has loved that game! A love for music has been born out of that! He wanted an electric guitar for his birthday in May and spent the summer teaching himself to play it. He's REALLY good at it too! When his mom, grandparents, brother and sister would spend summer afternoons in the pool, he'd be indoors practicing his grandfather's acoustic guitar. We enjoyed our mini-concerts when we got out to dry off!
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Seeing this love for music develop and when an opportunity to join a band presented itself and since I loved playing in the band so much, it was natural for me to encourage him to join in! We met with the director who helped him in choosing his instrument - trombone. Grandma and Grandpa have helped with the rental of the trombone (thank you!). And off he went!
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I am talking about a child who generally prefers to stay home and not be involved in anything - church, school or social. I have to make him leave the house. Not for band! He hasn't wanted to quit once. He hasn't gotten frustrated (unless you count the times when I made him stop practicing to go to bed!). He is very serious about it! He has practiced every day in the past week in preparation for the concert - somedays even before school!
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Well, with all of that said...I am one proud Mama Duck! I am thankful that he has something in his life right now that brings him some success and pleasure!



video

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I've lost Candy Man!

Candy Man went to the doctor 2 weeks ago and was weighed. I had just weighed that morning myself. He weighed exactly what I had lost - 75 lbs! He wanted to see it, so I showed him that evening exactly what that looked like! Guitar Hero couldn't help but snap a picture of us!!


Here we are in my pre-weight loss jammies...



Silly, I know. But fun - and so exciting for me!

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's Been Four Months

I've been on this journey for 4 months now. I am amazed at God's grace to free me from the obsession of food. Eating has become so unimportant to me now. Food is a means of survival. Truly. Occasionally I have a desire for something, but I know it won't satisfy. Eating is not fun. I take no enjoyment from it. That may sound sad to some of you, but trust me when I say that it is a blessing for me!! Food and eating was just way too important to me before. Now, it is purely to be healthy. I eat my protein, my fruit and veggies. I take lots of vitamins. And that is it. I eat only what I must eat to survive - to be healthy. I am 80 pounds less than I was - and still losing! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The time spent with my family was terrific. I didn't eat stuffing, or potatoes, or pie. I don't care either! I don't feel deprived. I feel blessed!! I am free!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another year older...

My sweet CandyMan celebrated his 8th birthday yesterday! The memories of "eight years ago today" were so great this weekend. He was born on Thanksgiving morning and I am so truly thankful for him!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Life Verse

I'm reading a book right now called "Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time" in preparation for co-leading my single women's group. It is a 30 day journey to discover radical intimacy with God. She says to have a life verse. I think this may be mine - my verse and my prayer:


"I waited patiently for the Lord:

he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear

and put their trust in the LORD."

-- Psalm 40:1-3

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Top of the Mountain!


I achieved something this weekend that I thought I'd NEVER be able to achieve! It was a huge accomplishment for me! I am thrilled (even if I am paying the consequences for it).

It all started in small group ("Daughters of the King" - for single women). One of the ladies in the group announced that there was a hike coming up on Saturday. I (accidently out loud) said, "I'd love to be able to do that!" Well, immediately my good friend Kendra said, "I'd be glad to keep your kids for you so that you can go."

Oh. Well. What excuse could I come up with not to do it now? I asked lots of questions to the man who was planning the hike. Yes, it was a hard trail. Yes, it was all up hill. Sure, he thought I could do it.

I knew it'd be a challenge, but I have been walking 2-3 miles 3-4 days a week for the last month. The hike was 2 miles up the mountain and 2 miles back down. How hard could it be??

So, with the children all settled, I met at the church a group of people (most in their young 20's, I might add). I volunteered to drive, since I had a van and could carry more people. So, off we went! It was a beautiful trip up past Gatlinburg. We drove through Townsend (the peaceful side of the Smokies). It was gorgeous! Breath-taking.

We arrived at the trailhead excited! A few of us were a little nervous, but mostly pumped about the day and the beautiful weather. As we headed off, we saw a few people completing the hike - huffing and puffing. (I'm thinking, they just did the easy part of the hike - coming DOWN the mountain!???) A young guy on the trip commented, "Uh-oh. She's out of breath. I'm in trouble." I stay brave...

It was hard. As in the sign said "strenuous". It wasn't kidding. The first mile was all uphill. Pretty steep at some points. The second mile was almost all STEPS. And I don't mean paved steps (somehow that sounds easier to me, I don't know why!). It was jagged rock steps. My legs would just go numb/weak at some points and I couldn't take another step up. I wasn't alone with this struggle (thankfully). We had to stop and take recovery breaks. But I was determine to get to the top! And so I pushed on.

Finally, we made it to the top of the mountain and what was before us? A huge rock wall! I had seen pictures of this wall online and decided that I wasn't going to climb that part. But once I got there, I let myself feel some pressure to do it. After all, the group's plan was to climb to the top and eat lunch up there! So I started climbing...

Now I have to add right here that I am TERRIFIED of heights. Like, I can't go past the 2nd step on a ladder. Like, my boys had a loft in the room in our last house and I never went up there (couldn't - it was too high). So, this was yet another challenge to overcome my fear of heights. And yet I climbed...

I climbed over halfway up the wall and realized something. I had accomplished my goal to get to the top of the mountain. This wall thing was only a dangerous feat for me to attempt. I wouldn't regret finishing the climb. I'd be proud of myself for making a wise decision to protect myself for my family's sake. And so, I backed down the cliff and waited at the bottom with some other people who were waiting too.

I thought the worst part was over and the going down the mountain would be a breeze. It was easier, I will say that. But it was hard on my sore legs too. They felt like spaghetti that would give out at any moment. But they didn't. And I made it back to the car.

I made new friends that day. I got to know old friends better. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery and weather. I praised my God. And I accomplished a dream.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Enough of that - Look at me!

Okay, enough grumpy already. GuitarHero just took my 3 month picture. The biggest change I see this month is in my face!! Here are the "before" face picture and the "3 month" face picture. I think it says everything!


BEFORE:---------------------------------------------------------


























-----------------------------------------------AFTER:

I admit it - I'm grumpy!

Okay, I admit it. I am grumpy! I realized it this morning when GuitarHero and I were have a word battle this morning (that is a nice way to say "yelling at each other"). I've just been mad the last few days. I can't even really tell you why. It's not like there's been one thing that made me mad. It is silly, really.

Oh! I know what it is! Selfishness. I haven't gotten my way. Things keep happening that change my plans. I don't like that. I don't handle that very well. It is one of the things in the past that would've pushed me to eat. I can't eat anymore. Maybe that makes me mad too.

My dishwasher has been broken for a month. The guy finally came to look at it on Monday and said he'd order the part and be back in a couple of WEEKS to fix it. I'm tired of washing dishes. (Like I don't have anything else to do!)

I was stuck at home 2 days last week with sick children. Now CandyMan has been home every day this week. Yep, he's still home today. After a doctor's visit this morning I found out that really he is all better. His current symptoms are due to introducing milk products too soon during the stomach virus. I thought it was the BRATY (banana, rice, applesauce, toast, yogurt) diet I was suppose to give him. Apparently it is the BRAT diet. Yogurt wasn't a good choice... I'll leave you to your imagination.

I haven't been able to exercise for 2 1/2 weeks. I was so sick coughing and couldn't breath enough to walk and now that I'm better, I have a 7 year old home sick and still can't go. I need the exercise - trust me. It'd do the stress good. It'd make me feel better too. (On a brighter note, I've been lifting weights from home and am getting some arm muscles!)

Monday was the monthly Prayer Walk at the kid's school. I really enjoy this each month as I get to walk through the entire school and pray at each classroom door. It is something I look forward to. Didn't get to do it this month.

I have really wanted to help in GuitarHero's class this week with a project they are doing. His teacher asked my help on Friday and I've postponed it every day. It is due Friday...she found someone else to do it. I was really looking forward to it!

Worst of all, GuitarHero's teacher sent a note home yesterday saying he had 2 assignments that he had known about for 1-2 weeks, but had not begun. He also had not told me about either one! He continues to have late assignments and I don't know how to handle it anymore. I've prayed and asked for God's guidance, but don't have an answer yet. I'm definitely frustrated in this situation. It is so hard being a single parent and not having someone to at least "think out loud" through things.

I have been on my knees 3 times in the last 24 hours. My mood is irritable. I can usually handle these little things at this point in my life. I thought maybe my blood pressure was back up, but it isn't. I need an attitude check!

Now I've been on hold for 30 minutes to get through to our insurance company and just got hung up on!!
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Lately I have been talking about being real with others - telling it like it is - good or bad. So...there it is! My reality today. Nobody is perfect...

Monday, November 03, 2008

What a Treat!

Halloween was so much more fun this year for me! I will never forget last year - getting off work late, trying to dress my kids so quickly and rushing, rushing (and crying the whole time). Things are so much better this year! For starters, we arrived home much earlier with time for dinner and taking our time getting costumes on. Much more fun!


We visited three local churches for the Trunk and Treats. Most of the cars were decorated in biblical themes. That was really neat. They got so much candy, we won't need any more until next year! They ran into some of last year's school friends. They ate lots of junk (hot dogs, chips, hot chocolate and of course, candy). We all laughed and played around. It was just pure fun!


My little Missy Prissy was Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. Well, she was "Dorofy" if you asked her! Her costume was beautiful. She won the costume contest at our church's fall festival on Wednesday night!


CandyMan was a cow! If you knew him as a younger thing, you know that his security item was a stuffed Chick-Fil-A cow. He still collects them and loves them.


GuitarHero was indecisive this year. He's in middle school now. He knows that dressing up is fun, but maybe he's too old? I don't think so, of course! I don't think you are ever too old to dress up!! So at the last minute he chose to wear a "graduation" gown that I had to sell in my eBay store. He played the part of a Judge! I think he is glad he dressed up!


Well, despite having a busy day of plans today, I am home working instead. CandyMan finally got the stomach virus that the other two had last week! He's feeling a little better this morning, but is going to rest today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Respect


Guitar Hero was given an essay to write about the person he respects the most. Here is his paper:


“My Mom”
By Guitar Hero


If I could pick one person that I respect most it would be my mom. I would pick my mom because she is good at cooking, sewing, and spending.

She is amazing at cooking. She could cook anything as long as you gave her the recipe for it.

She is also good at sewing. She has sewed just about every costume that we have had. That is good because Halloween is coming up soon. It is also good because she can fix a lot of our clothes back together, which is helpful if our uniform breaks.

She is also good at spending. You have to know a lot about prices to be a good spender. Being a good spender means we get a lot more money.

She is also good at other things like caring, loving and being healthy. My mom is great and I hope you think she is too. Maybe if you get to know her you would like her just as much.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I've made another goal!!

The main reason that I started this weight loss journey was to get healthy. I was taking a handful of medications every day and hated that! I wanted to be off of the medicines that I could get off of. And now I officially have.



I went off of blood pressure medication immediately after surgery and haven't needed it since. (My BP today at the doctor was 119/80) The next medication I was able to quit was Singulair - for allergies/breathing. The last medication I wanted off of was for high cholesterol. I was retested last week and got those results back today. I've never heard of anyone's cholesterol being this low!! I'm free from another pill! Yay!







My results compared to a year ago (both on the same medication):

Cholesterol 9/07 (185) now (85) (ideal is <200)

LDL (bad cholesterol) 9/07 (102) now (39) (ideal is <130)

Triglycerides 9/07 (252) now (63) (ideal is <150)



Wooo-hooooo!! Here is my picture from last week. I'll be taking a new one this week since it will be my 3 month anniversary!





Now if I can just get rid of this laryngitis!

Friday, October 24, 2008

We should just call it "Sick Break"


CandyMan was sick for Spring Break. Now I am sick for Fall Break. No fun!


I've been fighting a cold all week. On Wednesday I went to the doctor to have my cholesterol rechecked and was offered a flu shot. Well, sure! Let's go ahead with that while I'm here. I was planning on taking the kids to the health department when I got home to get all of our shots there anyway.


When I arrived home CandyMan had a low grade fever and wasn't feeling well. I realized that he shouldn't have the flu shot since he wasn't feeling well. That was when I realized that maybe I shouldn't have had the shot either, since I hadn't been feeling great. Too late. I was sick by that evening.


Last night, I got to go sit in the hot tub with Lisa for a couple hours! It seems like so long since we've gotten to talk. It was so good to see her! I was hoping the steam effect would help my sinuses too. I think it did. And the whole experience enabled me to have a good night sleep.


But this morning I woke up completely unable to talk. And I do mean completely. I can whisper. But that is all. It is pitiful. I also have felt terrible. I get dizzy when I stand up. No fever though (thankfully!). So I've pretty much laid around on the couch watching TV all day. If you know me at all, you know that this is very rare for me - and that I have NOT enjoyed it. TV is so stupid (that is probably why I get dizzy when I stand up! ha!).


Well, I'm going to tough it out and go to The Well tonight anyway. I'm just going to go armed with plenty of liquids and maybe a sign that says "I can't talk, but I do love you". I'll just be a good listener tonight...


Hopefully I'll be feeling a lot better tomorrow! We have some fun plans for the next 2 days and I want to enjoy them! CandyMan has a football game in the morning. We are going to Lisa's family's annual Haunted Forest Party tomorrow night. I'm leading Daughters of the King small group on Sunday morning, church, then a birthday party for a special lady Sunday night. Fun stuff! I hope...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I know something you don't know!

Since Monday I've been telling my kids, "I know something you don't know!" Princess' teacher shared with me on Sunday that she was going to receive an award this week at school. The award is given every 9 weeks to one child in each class and she'd chosen Kennedy. It is called "Pastor's Partners". It is given to the child who shows outstanding Christian character. I was so excited for my little one to receive this award - since she's always seeing her brothers do things (inevitable for the youngest, I suppose).

So I've been telling the kids that one of them had been chose as a "Pastor's Partner". They've begged me to tell them which one it was. I wanted to make sure that Princess knew what the award was so that when she received it, she'd know what an honor it was!

The awards were given out at chapel this afternoon. Sure enough, Princess' name was called for the kindergarten class and she went forward to accept her award and stand with the pastor. All three of my children were beaming smiles at me!

Well!! I did know something that they didn't know - that she was getting the award - but I didn't know ALL of it! The surprise was on me! When they announced that the second grade award went to CandyMan my eyeballs about popped out of their sockets! He smiled so big - it was so cute to see him so proud of himself!!

And then... you guessed it! The sixth grade award went to GuitarHero. By this point I was crying! Many teachers were turning to look at me to see my reaction. I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open quite widely.

I am amazed at how blessed I am. I have three of the most wonderful children. I am so proud of them! I know I've said it before, but we are so blessed to be at this school where they pray and learn about Jesus and the Bible every day. I am so thankful! Despite having no (earthly) father in their lives right now, God is filling their needs. My children are overcoming their difficult circumstances. It is all because of God's grace and amazing love!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Two Months



My friend and accountability partner Kendra has been on me wanting me to post my two month picture. I'm doing really good - feeling great! I have more energy than I did before. I'm walking at least 3 days a week - almost 3 miles each day. On the other days, I'm lifting weights - doing resistance training to try to fill that excess skin. I had a personal goal that I hoped to lose by Christmas and I've already lost that (in 2 1/2 months).




On Saturday, I bagged up all of my clothes that previously fit - 4 lawn trash bags full!! I'm going to donate them to a homeless ministry. I am not ready to buy a new wardrobe, since I plan to lose even more. I've been so blessed to have a couple friends who've given and loaned me some of their clothes to wear during this transition period. Otherwise, I'd really have NOTHING to wear!!




The coolest (and strangest - for me) part is that I really don't enjoy food anymore. Frequently it is an inconvienence to have to eat. I know I have to eat to get some protein and nutrition - and that is the only reason I eat now. I sure wouldn't have thought that God could work this change in my heart and lifestyle! Of course, He can do anything!!




I want to recommend a book to you. It is the book that began this change in my heart. It isn't a diet. It is a change of heart. Go here and check it out.




Okay, so here is my "before" picture that was taken at the end of July this year:
And here is the picture that was taken 2 months later:


In just 2 more weeks I'll be taking another picture and I'll post it then - that will be my 3 month anniversary on the "Loser's Bench"!

Welcome Kendra and Essie!

I'm so excited to introduce you to two of my sweet sisters in Daughters of the King. They've jumped on the blog-wagon. Go see them and welcome Kendra and Essie!

I'll try to blog more later today, sweet Essie! I love you two!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Life's Themes

I haven't updated lately. Sorry. I've just been living life. That was my goal this year - to live. Last year's theme was "survive". I did that...even though there were days when it felt like I wouldn't. This year I wanted to do more than survive. I wanted to LIVE! Last year, life was running me. This year, I wanted to be more aware and be able to make choices about my life - to let God run my life, but be okay with that. Does that make sense? I just wanted to enjoy this year more! And I am!


My days are very, very full. Some days I don't even get any work done. Sometimes that worries me, since I'm already on a very low income! But I've been determined to do exactly and only what God wants me to be doing each day. And I am. And He is providing everything we need. Some months it is so very close, but it is all there. I trust Him. I have every reason to. He is faithful.


And it isn't all about finances. As a single mother, it has been hard not to make money my primary focus for providing for my kids. Once I was able to put that aside and trust God for that I was able to provide so much more for them! They needed me in so many other ways. I am so thankful that I can focus on their spiritual and emotional needs and not ALL on their physical needs. It allows me to really feel like their mom again (and not just their caretaker). I can meet thier needs of providing a home, clothes, meals, etc... But I can also spend my time raising them and teaching them and playing with them.


I'm amazed at what God has done in my family. He has been so good to me.


I wonder what next year's theme will be? Maybe LOVE! Crazy Love!

Monday, September 15, 2008

CandyMan was baptized yesterday!


It was a really sweet service. I will always remember it.

Toward the end of the service, CandyMan asked if he could go up to the altar to pray. He knew he was being baptized that morning. As he walked up there, I noticed that he was barefoot (he'd left his flipflops under his chair beside me). Almost immediately, GuitarHero followed him. As CandyMan knelt at the altar and bowed his face to the ground, GuitarHero bowed over him. Then "Mr. Dentist" and his son came and laid his hands on them both and prayed over them. And I cried. It was so sweet to watch a brother and men praying over my sons. I was so blessed.

Then to stand and watch my sweet boy be baptized and my church family cheer for him! It was so sweet. So precious.

CandyMan had asked "Mr. Dentist" to baptize him. He is the husband of my small group leader (the one for single women). He watches our children during our group time. He has become a very special man in my children's lives. He blesses them (and thus me) so much! I am so thankful for him!




It was a beautiful Sunday and a blessed day for me as a mother! I have prayed for this child since before he was born. I am so honored to be his mom.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Praying for Texans

I'm sure you are all praying for those in the path of Hurricane Ike. Please pray specifically for my brother and his wife, Brian and Wendy. They live in Houston, TX and have stayed there to try and stick it out. It's going to be bad. They've already been told to expect to be without power for a week or more. My family appreciates your prayers.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Some family pictures



I am pretty bad about not taking pictures of my children anymore. I'm so far behind in scrapbooking and besides the lack of time, I dread starting where I left off (pre-seperation/divorce). I'm afraid it will be painful...
*
Anyway - even when I take pictures of the kids - I am never in them! So it was great when mom offered to take our picture on Sunday when we arrived at their house after church. I probably shouldn't be posting this, since you'll probably all get them in my Christmas cards (if I get around to sending them!!).
*
On another note, CandyMan got his first pair of glasses this evening. He was really nervous about it, but after putting them on and seeing how much better he can see - he is thrilled! Here is my smart boy:



Thursday, September 04, 2008

One month can make a big difference!

I haven't blogged much lately because summer break is over and life is up and running again! Crazy busy!! A few friends have asked me how I am doing since my surgery though, so I thought it might be time for a quick update.


I am really doing great! I have completely healed from the surgery and have been released to normal activities. I'm having no problem what-so-ever with my eating, drinking, vitamins, or exercise. I don't have many clothes that fit. I'm having more energy than I've had in a long, long time. I can't tell you how great that I feel!


Most importantly, my relationship with God has strengthened so much as a result of this! I have been able to really let go of my love for food and put that focus on Him. Food is truly for nourishment now. I feel more free than I've ever felt!!


Of course you are wondering about "the number". How much have I lost? Well, sure that is important to me - in that the less that I weigh, the better I'll feel and the healthier I'll be. It is a good number that I'm very surprised and pleased by. But it isn't all about the number for me. So, after one month... I'll give you the pictures:



Before the surgery and One month after the surgery:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Summer Bible Study is over!

I got to be apart of an incredible Bible Study this summer. My friend Lisa and I decided to do something together this summer to keep us in the Word and not get too lazy. We thought it'd be fun to do this study and get together every other week for lunch at her house and discuss it. My friend Jen (in Ohio) told me about the study and invited me to do it. Lisa had seen it on the web and thought about it already. So - there you go! We decided to do it.



I had NO idea how it would change my life! I always expect to be challenged when I do a Bible Study, but I never saw this coming!



The study was introduced on Beth Moore's blog. She challenged women to join her in doing a study over the summer. She put a video on the blog every other week to watch and discuss with your group. Women from all 50 states proceeded to sign up! I know that over 500 finished it - the count is still rising. Then Lisa's sister-in-law Beth joined in and the three of us spent the summer doing the "No Other Gods" study by Kelly Minter.



I had been "jumping through all of the hoops" to get my surgery approved and scheduled since January. I had been praying about it all along the way. I had been asking God for the strength to go through with it. The surgery is not easy. And it is just a tool. It still takes great discipline and restraint!



This study really made me aware of how much my love for food and eating was a sin. It became so apparent that it was an idol in my life. I was challenged to give it up as an offering to God. This process brought me to the point of being so willing to make right eating choices for God. I even lost 10 pounds before the surgery. It has had a great impact on my heart. I am thankful! I feel like I've been set free!



Here are my Summer Siestas!

Monday, August 11, 2008

And...they're off!

Well, today is the day. It's been much anticipated and a little dreaded. My little ducklings are all at school.

Yes, I am excited about the new school and so, so thankful for God's gift that they can all three attend. I am sure that it will be a better year. I just wish that I could homeschool them.

They all handled it like pros. I'm so proud of them. Missy Prissy did ask me three times, "Mommy, what if I'm not brave and I'm shy?" She is such an outgoing child - after she gets to know you. She is VERY shy at first and it is so hard for her to get past it. Now, once she's past it, look out!

I walked them in to the morning assembly (they start everyday all together in assembly for prayer and devotion!!). After each class was dismissed and went to their classrooms, I went down to Missy's room to carry the rest of her stuff down to her. She had big tears in her eyes (before she even saw me). When she saw me, she started bawling! I took her into the hall and held her for a few minutes. Her teacher was taking the class to show them where the bathrooms were, so she went with them bravely.

Letting go... again...

Friday, August 08, 2008

This ain't no public school!

I'm so excited! We went to the kid's new school Open House last night. It was so amazingly different than public school! I'm so excited!


To hear that my children's teachers have been praying for them by name every day this summer and will continue to do so every day this year! To begin the assembly with prayer! To end the assembly with laying hands on each teacher and praying for them!! I was so ecstatic and had to be glowing!! I can't tell you what it felt like to put my hand on Guitar Hero's teacher and pray for her and to look her in the eyes afterwards and see her tears and hug her!! Wow!! How powerful!


School starts on Monday. I know most moms are so ready for school to start by this point. I'm not. Sorry, but I'm not! I love having my kids at home! I do! I love having lazy evenings with them, staying up with them, sleeping in. I love being able to go and do as we please! I love their relaxed attitudes that no school allows. I love their hugs throughout the day as I'm working. I even love their interruptions and opportunities to spend time one on one with each child! But it is almost over...


Back to hurry, hurry. Back to schedules, homework, agendas, studying, mealtimes, bedtimes, and all the emotions and upsets that go with all of that structure!! Still, maybe it will be better with all the additional prayer from the school. Do you know that everyday at school will begin with an assembly where they will pray and have a devotion? How very different from public school. What a great tone to start the day! Oh, how I pray it will make the difference in my children too!

Monday, August 04, 2008

I guess it's no secret...

Well, it's been a little while since I've blogged. It feels longer than it's actually been!! There is a reason for this. I've had a major life changing event take place and I wasn't ready to share yet. I think most of you know now though. So here I go...

I had surgery on Tuesday. Yes, one week ago tomorrow. I was in the hospital for 2 nights. It was planned surgery. I knew it was coming (for a couple of months actually). It was just something I had prayed about a great deal and needed as few distractions as possible before doing. Most people have their opinions about this surgery and won't hesitate to tell you (or bombard you, in some cases!). I needed to stay on track with the research that I had gathered, as well as the preparation that needed to be done without having to reassure too many people.

Do I have your curiosity peaked enough yet? Are you thinking I had breast enhancement? No, of course you aren't. You know me way better than that!! I had gastric bypass surgery. It was a huge decision for me. It was not considered lightly. Much research and prayer went into it. I feel really good about it.

It has been a hard week, but not too hard. I've had a great support system of close friends. I can't help but sing Lisa's praises at this point. What a friend! She stayed in the hospital with me all but one night shift. She is the one who pushed me to do every single thing the doctor wanted me to do (so lovingly). I couldn't have done it without her. I didn't know I'd need the help. God did. He sent Lisa. I'm so grateful.

Also, my sweet friend Kendra. She kept my Missy Prissy. She's arranged meals to be brought to my children for the first week (can't tell you how thoughtful that is, since I can't eat!!). Many others have helped too. Thanks so much!

Where am I at now? I am drinking 64 ounces of fluid every day - approx. 60 grams of which is protein. Every day I feel a little better. I drove to Food City for a quick trip yesterday. I worked half a day today and rested before driving to a support group meeting tonight. It was good to be with other people who've had the surgery.

So, here is my "before picture". Enjoy, since I will be changing rapidly (10.5 pounds less already).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Breakfast with a childhood friend!



I have recently reconnected with a childhood friend. It's been amazing! We were friends from the time I was 9 yrs until 15 yrs old. We were neighbors actually - on a great street full of kids our age. We haven't seen or spoken to each other since early high school!
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We met yesterday morning and had a quick breakfast together! She was in town visiting her mom. We hope to do it again sometime!
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The coolest thing is this - she is a Christian. She became a Christian just a few years ago. We have a lot in common too!
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Anyway, it was really neat to get caught up with her. I look forward to building that friendship again!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Guitar Hero Answers!

Finally we have some answers about some of Guitar Hero's weird symptoms! It all adds up! But it took a very scary event for us to get there.


Remember - since January he's called me from school several times saying that he's had an episode where he can't see and everything turns green. He was also sent home at least 3 days after vomiting at school - and then seemed fine soon after coming home. I was really getting to the point of thinking it was psychosomatic - brought on by stress. It was really frustrating how many days this child didn't feel well.


I thought once school was over, he'd improve drastically. Well, he hasn't really. He has days when he doesn't feel like doing anything but sitting still and watching TV. He just honestly doesn't feel well, but can't really tell me what feels bad. But if I try to push him to play or go somewhere, it isn't pretty.


Last week we were running a few errands (me and three little ducklings). Guitar Hero was in one of his really cranky moods and was complaining that his head hurt. He was very irritable with all of us.


The last stop was at the grocery store. We were done shopping and in the check out line. All of a sudden, he reaches his hands out and says, "Mom, it's happening again! I can't see anything! Everything is green!" He's swaying around like he might fall and I get close to him to hold him. About that time, he starts to go down. He had no control of his body - he was passing out on me! I held him up and kept saying his name. Several Food City employees came over to help. Then he said, "Mom, I think I'm going to throw up." I grabbed a bag and held it for him while he heaved. It was all I could do to keep him on his feet. His face was white! It was so scary! One employee wheeled up a wheelchair so he could sit down. Another one came running from the deli with a cup of ice. His face then turned green.


It was so terrifying! He got to feeling better after a few minutes. Food City was so great to help! CandyMan helped the man get our groceries into the car. I wheeled Guitar Hero to the car and helped him in. I got him a banana to eat right away.


We went on home, but scheduled an appointment with his doctor for first thing in the morning. His pediatricians (have I said before how great they are!?) both examined him thoroughly. It was determined that he is having migraine headaches with auras. I hate to hear this for him, but I am glad to know what has been going on with him!


We are keeping a "headache journal". This will be helpful to the doctors in determining what kind of treatment he needs. We have been warned to expect some problems once school starts in the fall, due to stress.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

What a great summer day!

We've had a great Independence Day weekend, for the most part. The only bad part about it is that Guitar Hero has been feeling poorly. He was diagnosed with migraines on Wednesday (after having a terrifying episode in Food City on Tuesday). He's been coughing and tired ever since. So, I don't think his weekend was very good!
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We spent the 4th (Friday) in the pool at my parents. We celebrated the holiday with a fun street party cook out with fireworks. Half the neighborhood was there. Very fun! It was a great day. Then we went back again today. Sometimes you just want to do it all. Today was one of those days!
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We began the day with a boat ride. Mom and Dad traded their fish-n-ski boat for a pontoon boat last summer. It is great for taking rides in. I keep trying to talk them into getting a tube to pull the kids behind the boat. I don't know why they haven't?? Guitar Hero went with us for this excursion, but he fell asleep on my shoulder. CandyMan and Missy Prissy took turns driving (with Grandpa's help, of course).
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Then we came in for a picnic. Mom cut open a watermelon and it turned out to be one of those newer yellow watermelons. She was so disappointed - she'd been looking forward to a juicy red watermelon all weekend. So she closed her eyes and ate it (pretending it was red). It was actually very good! CandyMan has twice had an allergic reaction to watermelon (last summer). He ate this watermelon and had no reaction! Interesting, huh? He was thrilled, since it was so good!
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Then we spent the afternoon in the pool. It was a very hot day which makes a perfect day to lay in the water all afternoon! It was relaxing and refreshing! Mom always stocks the outside fridge with popsicles and various ice cream treats - and NEVER says no if you ask for one. CandyMan had 2 popsicles and 3 ice cream sandwiches, Missy Prissy had 4 popsicles and 1 ice cream sandwich. Of course, that doesn't include the cokes and sprites they were freely given! They love it!
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Now we are home. Two children are whipped by all the fun and sun. One is just whipped from being ill (poor guy). It was a great 3 day weekend! Hope yours was too!