Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A million pieces….

Today while I was waiting for Marcia to be done “radiating”, I was praying that the laser beams would destroy all the cancer cells and that she would feel good this afternoon. But a part of me was again questioning “why her Lord??” 

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As I sit in the waiting area and look around it is all “old people”…..people AT LEAST 20 years older then us.

So why has my friends life been thrown into a million little pieces??

That’s what it can feel like….life was going along just fine and then BAM! You get some health news that you just don’t expect and your whole schedule changes on a dime.

Its like someone shook up the box full of puzzle pieces and threw them out all over the table. A huge messy, unclear picture. 

But one by one they get put back into a whole picture again.

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But as she was in the room I looked closer at the puzzle and realized that when all the pieces are put back together it will be a rock.

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Rocks are solid, strong and able to anchor anything that comes their way.

Just like God is our rock and the One that we cling to through this journey.

Week 2 radiation

Marcia is feeling amazingly well, considering!  In fact she walks faster then I do and I think feels better then I do.  (Really, with my history of having celiac and how I feel everyday with my pain, I should be the one with cancer!)

(And yes, of course I automatically assume that I have a tumor somewhere! lol  Don’t we all do that??  When someone close to us has a “big” diagnosis we think we have something major! Ok, so I’m probably the only one who does that….my dear husband just laughs at me.)

Marcia has been a bit nausea and tired but she feels like the prayers of many is what is keeping the “nastier” symptoms away. So please continue to pray that she will be spared from the nastier side effects from the chemo and radiation treatments! And that the nausea feelings will go away too!

We are polar opposites though. I’m much more “the realist” and she is always the optimistic one.  For instance: She had pictures taken today.  I asked her what they were for…..she didn’t ask!!?!? lol  She is just so trusting and figures she will find out eventually….where I need to know the who, the what, the why and ALL  the nitty-gritty’s details.

She promises she will ask tomorrow when she goes…for her friends sake! lol

I don’t trust doctors.  You have to be your own advocate.  I’ve learned that the “hard way” unfortunately and I guess I just want to protect her and make sure she is getting the care that she needs and deserves.

I kidded her that if I had cancer I’d have like 5 people lining up to help me!  Whereas she has an army. She is so loved and is always so kind that she never makes anyone upset. (Unlike myself…..who annoys people at least once a day! Winking smile)

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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It is a blessing to have that many people who love her so much as she has all her appointments covered for transportation and meals are rolling in.  She feels so loved and cared for and for that I’m happy!

I love her to pieces and am so thankful that God has just opened up my schedule so I can truly focus on her and what her family needs during these next 6 months.

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I think we will both be changed and stretched, for the better, through this journey.

what cancer cannot do quote

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Enjoying….

time with the cousins!

(And the Aunts and Uncles too!)

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Uncle Persy and Aunt Joy were “in charge” of the Easter activities this year….a bit early, I realize.  But it is when it suited everyone to get together to celebrate that He has Risen!

They did a really neat Easter Bingo while reading the Easter story.

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We got a kick out of seeing how each of the girls personality came out by the way they “organized” their jellybeans.

Miss “tow the line” girl.

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Miss “raise your hand, I know the answer” girl

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Miss “everything needs to be separate” girl

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And then you have Miss “anything goes” girl.

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There was lots of sugar and lots of laughter tonight.

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And don’t forget Grandma’s special Easter baskets….full of lots of fun goodies! <3

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It was a laid back, simple meal. Just perfect. Smile

It seemed a bit strange to be celebrating Easter with the coal stove still burning and having to wear winter coats! Will Spring ever get here?!!?!?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sometimes….

I amaze myself. 

And I crack myself up.

So I signed up for a field trip months ago.

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I thought I was going to the “basic” Turkey Hill Experience just at a homeschooling discount.

But when I got there I was told we were to hurry to the lab upstairs as we get to make our own ice-cream!!?!?!?

Score Mama points! (I had NO idea what I was signing up for….I just knew it was a great deal ($20.00 for the 3 of us) and it sounded like a fun afternoon with the girls!

We have done the Turkey Hill Experience once before….but I guess today was “homeschool day” and it was SO MUCH cooler! They had so many more different displays and samples than normal. (We got way more for our money this time!)

Even the president of Turkey Hill was there to sign a really nice book about the history of Turkey Hill Diary for free!

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So we got there just in time to make our own ice-cream flavor.

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Each “family” group got their own panel of flavors to use.  And we each got a pint of vanilla ice-cream.

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Then we were given instructions on how many drops to use for the flavoring and how to mix it. (There is a technique!)

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Ava mixed mint and chocolate flavoring together…but it doesn’t change the ice-cream color.  But the flavor is sooo good. The lady told us that Turkey Hill actually made mint chocolate chip without the green food coloring and people complained saying that it didn’t taste like mint anymore.  She said that we eat so much with our eyes, that even though it had the same amount of mint flavoring in it people “couldn’t” taste it becuz it had a vanilla look to it.  So they changed it back to making it green again!

She suggested we close our eyes to taste our ice cream so we can truly taste the flavors and not be thrown off by the ice-cream still looking like plain old vanilla.

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Lena made chocolate strawberry flavored ice cream.

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At this point the homeschool mom in me is geekin’ out at our “extra” unplanned educational fun that I was clueless that I signed up for! lol

Then we moved on to adding the “goodies.”  We could go and put whatever yummy additions we wanted into our ice cream.  So Ava chose Andes candy and chocolate chips.  Lena chose strawberries, chocolate chips and sprinkles.

Then as we ate our concoctions while we learned more about Turkey Hill Diary and what goes into making ice cream.

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Did you know that Butter Pecan is the best selling flavor!?!?

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Turkey Hill Diary uses 30,000 gallons of milk A DAY for their ice cream. They have over 100 flavors and make almost 1,000 containers of ice-cream every 5 minutes!  That’s a whole lot of ice cream!

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To get 30,000 gallons of milk a day you need to milk 4,000 cows, 2 x’s a day! (And all their milk comes from our local cows within a 20 mile radius of the Turkey Hill Dairy.)

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Thankfully they don’t have to do it the old fashioned way anymore!

Ava thought it was a hoot to “milk a cow.”

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Then we moved onto the butter making station where we got containers of cream and were told to shake them.

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And so we shook….and shook….

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and shook as we walked around doing the other stations.

(As you can tell the girls are no longer shaking….so guess who is?!!?! Yup….these Mama’s arms will be sore tomorrow! lol)

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Still shaking…..

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And FINALLY we got butter!! Smile

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The girls can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow for buttered toast!

It really was a great afternoon and was so nice to get out and do something fun with the girls.  I’m so glad I signed up! Winking smilelol. I will certainly look out for this deal next year and take the boys….they would have loved it!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Josie update

Josie has always been determined.

She wants to walk in such a bad way that she will hurt herself trying.

She always does what the therapists asks of her….and she always does it with a “can do” attitude.

But she has had a callus on her heel for at least 2 years now.  And recently it had opened up.

But she wouldn’t tell us it hurt. 

And today she kept doing therapy, even after her (awesome) PT therapist kept asking her why she wanted to sit and rest.

Josie wouldn’t admit that her foot hurt.

So we have had to make the decision that since it isn’t getting any better, she is totally off walking and doing therapy until this heals.

It has to be TOTALLY healed in order for her doctor to do the foot surgery that is needed….which we now have a date for.

June 16th.

It is a bit sooner then I was expecting but a spot opened up in the operating room and Dr. Fortuna called to “talk” on Friday.

She really feels it needs done asap.  Josie can’t wear her dafo’s anymore until it is fixed.  And since this OR spot just happened to open up I felt like God was directing us to take it.

Now….it still all hinges on insurance approving the rehab time. 

I’m trying to be hopeful that they will approve it but realistic too. It will be a fight with the insurance company.  But the doctor is on our side and that is the most important.

So they will start the approval process this week and we will see what happens.

But something needs to be done…..as you can see in the video how bad her foot is turned out now and how much she struggles to walk. Sad smile And this was taken probably 3 weeks ago….she is much weaker now.

We go back to Dr. Fortuna sometime before the surgery to do x-rays but she is thinking she is going to do the left foot at the same time.  It isn’t as bad as the right but if she is going to be laid up for 3 months and rehab for 3 months we might as well do it all now. Her left foot isn’t as turned out but it turns inward and she walks on the inside of her arch

Josie has been asking a lot of questions about the future. (She doesn’t know about the surgery)

She was talking to Nurse Amanda last Sunday and was upset that she can’t do a lot of things like everyone else can do. She also was upset that she didn’t know what kind of job she can do when she grows up. She was wondering who would take care of her when she is a grown up. She wondered if she could ever get married.

She understands enough to know that she can’t care for herself and she wonders what that means for her future.

Nurse Amanda is so caring and compassionate  She listened and let Josie talk.

And then she asked Josie what she thinks she could do. To which Josie responded, “I just need to keep trying and God will help me.”

Then this  past Sunday Amanda came ready with an inspirational Youtube video to show Josie kids who have CP and what they can do.

And then they made this chart together.

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(You bet we LOVE our Nurse Amanda! lol)

This really helped give Josie some encouragement and she was so happy when we got home.

I’m not sure when I’ll tell her about the surgery…..having to be in rehab for 6 months is going to be really hard.

But I’m praying and believing that God will work it all out.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

She found her….

prince.

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She calls him Daddy. <3

I had heard that the new live action Cinderella movie was very well done.  It was clean.  It talks about forgiveness and the costumes are just over the top beautiful.  And since we can’t take her to Disney World to see Cinderella in person, we can create special memories that she will (hopefully) remember for a long time.

(and if she doesn’t I can “refresh” her memory via the blog! ha ha)

So Steve was very happy to take his little girl out for a special dinner and movie date.

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(Now the prince had even ordered a special costume to wear for this special date….but said prince must have eaten too much pie on Pi day and the prince costume didn’t quite fit! lol….oh well.  The sash still fit….and it’s the thought that counts I guess.  If anyone is in need of an adult prince costume we have one!)

So many times these types of movies are hard for kiddos to watch, those who have come from hard places.(aka: former orphans) The “trauma” and heartache that is portrayed is a bit too close to “real life” for them.

So we are careful on what we let them watch.  And when things come up we make sure to talk about it openly.

Take  Anne (with an E!) of Green Gables for example.

Some of our youth were in the musical and I took some of the youth to see the show on Friday night.

It was sooo well done and we laughed a lot!

(But no one told me that Matthew dies?!?!? I had never read the book or seen the movie so it was all new to me!)

The basis of the story is about Matthew and his sister, Marilla, who felt they needed a boy to help around the farm.  So they sent word to the orphanage that they want a boy. 

The townspeople warn them about stories they heard about orphans who set the house on fire, trying to kill their new parents. And in the book they talk about how an orphan poisoned the well water when they lived with their new family…..

But instead of getting a boy Matthew and his sister get a girl.

And then they try and send the girl back.

Now to be fair, Matthew does have a soft spot for the girl from the beginning, it is more his sister who has the “issues” with getting “stuck” with a girl.

Now of course in the end they end up realizing what a blessing this little girl is to them….even if she is naughty, outspoken and full of life.  They do end up showing love to her and are very proud of her.

So I downloaded the 8 book set from Amazon last night for .99 cents and started reading them as I was curious if the books were “ok” for the girls.

But I think I will have to wait a good long time to read these out loud to the girls….they aren’t ready for this kind of content just yet. As I’m sure questions would arise like: Why wouldn’t they want a girl? Why would they want to send her back?

I realize it was written in 1909 but unfortunately there is still the same attitude towards adopted kids in entertainment now a days. Unfortunately a lot of times the orphan/adopted child is portrayed as the trouble maker, the unwanted child, the bad child….even if it is said in a “comical” way.

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Questions can be good….they just aren’t ready for this classic book yet. And honestly they don’t ever have to read it.  Not all books are for all people.  There are plenty of other good books out there to read! Smile

I am protective of what our girls hear about how and what is portrayed when it comes to the orphan/adoption/parents dying, kind of entertainment.

I was glad to see a happy ending for Anne of Green Gables.  It was a fun musical to watch.  It is funny and for most people you wouldn’t even think twice about the content. Anne did find her prince in tender hearted Matthew.

Just like Lena has found hers.

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And she will call him Daddy….forever.