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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Is it FRIDAY Yet?

This has been quite the week in our house and I do believe that there has never been a Friday that I won't be more thankful to have made it to in my entire life! And it is these three who have allowed us to experience a whole new dynamic in the house. Three people taking the AP Human Geography test at the same time. The struggle has been real folks!

They have one book and multiple online resources. One of my responsible ones has made up 40+ flash cards and so someone is usually going through those. The tension is building as Friday becomes closer and to help, this mom has been doing most of their chores in the evenings so they can study.

I asked the most obvious question a mom of triplet teenagers may ask "why don't you all sit down and study together?" Three almost simultaneously gasp "MOM...we don't study the same AT ALL!" So not even two of you? I am thinking? No...resounding.

One is a little grouchy to everyone as the stress builds through the week, one is physically not feeling that well (which this non-doctor mother would
attribute to the stress building...but what do I know?) and the other is walking around like "test? what test?"

This is a new and exciting experience for me. I keep thinking "and we spent money for this?" Yes, to watch our kids not share and snip at each other all week. Some think that how the others are acting means they don't care or they aren't taking things seriously. I literally don't have to mother them at all this week because they are mothering each other "you shouldn't study that", "you need to share that book, Mom bought it for all of us!, "why are you just sitting there watching tv when there is a HUGE test coming up on Friday?"

I hang back in the other parts of the house doing their chores and listening to the sounds of studying, three different kids, three different ways, three different amazing minds doing their thing. I am not at all worried. Just counting the hours til they go off to school on Friday. They are blessed with great minds. I often wonder how that happened. I did marry up where intellegence is concerned and maybe along with all of those long eyelashes that they didn't get from me, they also got a brain that soaks in knowledge and spits it back out again in a way that is favorable to a good grade.

Whatever it is you can know this...I will be SO glad when it is Friday!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Stupid Feet!

I can hardly walk these days! Plantar Fasciitis is really no joke! The pain in the morning walked off pretty easily at first but it is the all day pain that is getting the best of me. Thankfully as a substitute teacher on my feet there is little discomfort (especially when I wear my shoes with good arch support) but when I am around home there is a lot of sit down time.

Sit down time means that I have to get up and walk many times a day. THAT is when it is excruciating. It eventually walks off but the pain when you try to stand up from a chair and haven't used those muscles is bad, even after just ten minutes. Pain shoots up through my heal too and so from the knees down it is crazy pain. If you want to see this "old lady" all you have to do is stick around until I have to get up and walk around.

I was told that it could have been exacerbated by the chemo and my body is reacting to that in my feet. It definitely started right as I got into a great walking schedule last spring much to my disappointment. I have gained weight and that extra weight could cause irritation. Which is a catch 22 because I can't exercise my favorite way (walking) if I am supposed to rest. The fact that I am writing this now proves also that I have not been faithful to my elliptical all winter which would probably be a good alternative exercise without the stress on my feet. Doctor said that rest would help and maybe that is true, but the rest is not helping my stamina and all around well being. As my children (who obviously watch too much television) will quote for me "a body in motion will stay in motion" from one of the many annoying pharmaceutical commercials!

So recently I did what any normal thinking person would do and I googled it. I have exercises and have been able to put to use my elastic band. I spent one morning for thirty minutes on each side stretching slowly those muscles to try to get the inflammation down. It seemed to help that day but it is probably going to work best once I get into the routine of doing it daily. Following the directions I pushed up and held, and then twisted a bit out on the inside of my foot and held and last twisted a bit on the outside and down and held. It hurts when you first position but as it stretches it really felt good. I also have a water bottle full of water in the freezer to roll when I am at my desk, and golf balls...I never thought I would EVER own golf balls, but rolling them in the arch of my foot feels dreamy! Now I just need to do it every day. Stay tuned, I may report back on how it is going.

Oh...and a public apology to anyone who has told me they have Plantar Fasciitis in the past and I didn't understand how debilitating it can be. I can truly say now that "I feel your pain"!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Squeaky Wheel

First ice the area
I guess if you complain enough about something someone will hear. I don't think anyone heard me at the oncology office as of late, but when I got there yesterday morning, I was greeted with a exam room and some papers to sign. Huh? I thought.  It is my new "that time of the month" where I go into the fast track room, get a shot in my behind and head back out the door for the rest of my day.

Not this time. Some who are connected to me on Facebook have probably seen more than once my complaints about a $1,200 shot each month that I get of Lupron. My forced menopause drug of choice (or doctors choice as the case may be). Seems as though I am not the only one who thinks that the cost of Lupron is outrageous.

My dear nurse who greets me with a friendly smile each month went on to explain that they are switching all of their Lupron patients to a new drug...funny, I don't remember the name off the top of my head...and now I am thinking, "hmm, maybe I should have asked for the fact sheet to have as a reference"...oops. The reason for this change is because the cost of the Lupron shot is getting too high.

She then went on to explain that this new drug that I will be getting isn't a shot in the behind but instead, goes into the belly right under the skin. The needle goes in and it will be "wiggled around" to form a tunnel, pulled out just a bit and then a pellet will be injected into the tunnel right under the skin. Would I like an ice pack to numb the area first?

Hmmm...I don't know, sure we will try it this time. So I iced the area right beside my belly button. After she left I found myself wondering "beside my new belly button, or down two inches where my old belly button was? Or, perhaps it doesn't matter that much. She came in about five minutes later with another nurse who is learning how to give this injection. She assured me that she has done it many times. I wasn't too concerned. As she prepared the syringe I noticed the large needle unlike others I have used to give myself shots "just under the skin" in my belly in the past. Before I knew it the needle was in, the "wiggling" was done and the pellet was under my skin. It is one of the bigger holes I have been left with after an injection but hey...it isn't going to cost me $1,200 a month!

All of this to say I am thankful for a doctor who recognizes the ridiculousness of the drug costs for their patients. It may take a little more time in the office on injection days, but that is all right by me. Next month I am going to skip the ice. From waist to neck I am pretty much numb since my mastectomy reconstruction anyway. That will shave about five minutes off of the visit!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday From the Heart: We are the Speck!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how difficult it is at times to just praise. Not asking God for anything, not being thankful for anything He has done for me, but instead to just praise Him because of who He is! David in the Psalms has such a wonderful way of doing this. I find myself starting in any number of the praise Psalms if I haven't the words myself.

Being a substitute teacher, I am in a number of classrooms. I was thinking this morning about Horton. Yes, the Dr. Seuss Horton. He hears a who. I have seen that book in at least three different classrooms these past couple of weeks. When we first saw that movie it was so moving to me because of the fact that as most of us have heard it said "a person's a person, no matter how small". When I grieve for my miscarried child and keep that to myself because, "well, she was only a 11 week old fetus". Obviously when the movie came out that was still a raw grief...no matter how small. That child who is in the arms of Jesus matters to Him.

Is anyone else with me when they saw that movie? I mean, that we are the Hortons of the world and there are little people or maybe your take is "less fortunate" people that need to be kept safe and helped? Just a thought. As I have been seeking to better praise Him just because He is God, He has brought small glimpses to me in the things I have been doing. I already mentioned the many copies of "Horton Hears a Who" books in classrooms I have been in. Then there are all of the glimpses lately I have been given into the universe itself. A few weeks ago Matthew and I went to the observatory here about 30 minutes away and got the reminder of the teenie tiny-ness of us. And we so often think we are "all that".

I pondered this morning when I drank coffee on the back step as the sun came up...my God could at anytime take that sun into His hand and fling it across the galaxy sending us to our demise spinning into space. He really doesn't even have to do that at all really. Just a small tip with a finger for Him to throw off the suns position and send us into a random orbit. Too close to the sun, too far from the sun and we are no longer "all that".

We really are "the speck". The beautiful thing about real life though is that our God is not Horton. He is not a bumbling elephant who is trying as hard as He can to keep us safe. We live in His Will. Not always an easy place to be but we have a guarantee that He will not lose us in a huge field of pink puff flowers! I got to share the story of Abraham's almost sacrifice of Isaac to my Good News club kids. How sobering it is to think that God could ask for our most prized possession as a sacrifice. Abraham knew beyond a shadow of a doubt God's character would not renig on His promise. That is why he truly is the "father of the faithful" and has so much of Hebrews 11 dedicated to his example.

Yes, we are the speck. And we can be sure that the One who holds us is not going to let go, or lose us along the way. In fact, there is only one enemy of our God and he holds no candle to the One who created him! I am going to stay fixed on Him. I am going to be a better praiser of Him. NOT because I have to be a "good enough" praiser but because I am the speck. If I learn to praise Him well, I will be able to help those who need someone to speak for them in His name.

I have been blessed to have spent the last seven months in the book of Hebrews with some awesome women of God. There was so much to learn but one of the things again, recently that connects to my desire to praise God for being God is Hebrews 13:15 "Therefore, by Him, let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." Praise as a sacrifice. During the times I am grieving, sorrowful or even depressed, it IS a sacrifice of my own state of mind to say "Lord, I praise You in this storm". Sacrifice...it is easy to praise God when things are going well, it is when we have to hoist our own grief onto the altar of His praise that we sacrifice. We are the speck and He is our God. Our God who hears every word whispered or shouted. Without our saying, He knows "we are here".

Having trouble praising? Here is a place to start...open the Word to Psalms and take your pick: 33, 63, 84, 92, 93, 95, 96, 100, 111, 113, 117, 136, 139, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150.

Psalm 63:1-3 "O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You."

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sweet Stacey Time

Stacey had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning. When she and I are together, there usually is a trip to the coffee shop for coffee or tea. Yesterday was another one of those days where winter tried to keep its hold on us. We opted for warm beverages.

There is usually a quick stop at the closest Goodwill or Salvation Army too. She has a project that she wants to tackle with me in the next couple weeks and it involved upcycling three sweatshirts. The new huge Salvation Army was right on our way home so that is where we stopped.

As always, even after pledging to each other in the car that we will ONLY look as sweatshirts, we end up looking at other things too. So, Matt got a new pair of Crocs and we picked up a cute new pair of brown dressy shoes for Dawn and a sweater that just "looks like Dawn" even still just hanging on the hanger.

I also eyed up a super cozy gray long pullover fleece sweatshirt with the tags still on. I found two other shirts I loved. They were both half price with green tags so they went right in the cart. The pullover fleece was full price so I debated a little. Still, who could pass up a great fleece for the full price of $3.50? Apparently, not me! We got confirmation on the way home that it was a good purchase. In the sky we saw some plane lines in the shape of an XL! My fleece is an XL and we joked that it was meant to be. Today I am enjoying my XL fleece pullover because even though the calendar says April, it is still cold around here!

I will be honest, I have a draft post full of all of my frustrations in my house this week. I will never post it because it is not nice to complain about our blessings even if they are having trouble remember or maybe selectively remembering their chores. I haven't been a model mom. But, I appreciate God giving Stacey and I a time to reconnect. It is just what we needed. I need to do that with all of my kids which is great because that is my favorite part of being a mom...tapping into their heartbeats and cheering them on.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Little Crochet Gingham

When I started this project, I thought it was cool to be able to make a gingham look with yarn. As I got into it though, I started hating the process. You have to bring the color that you are not using along with you when you work so I spent most of the time trying to either keep the yarn untangled or I would have to stop and untangle if I let it go too long.

Here is the funny thing, as I read the finishing details in the pattern there was a link at the very bottom that connected to a YouTube video that showed how to work and keep the yarn straight! Yes, I am one of those who is notorious for not reading the pattern or instructions all the way through before starting. That tendency has come back to bite me many times…you would think I would learn.

As I worked in my tangled mess of yarn (caused by my own neglect to read through the pattern), I wasn’t sure even as I came closer to the end that I would love it as much as I hoped I would. But, with the squares all done and the hanging yarn weaved in, I was getting my hopes up. I thought I would look to find different edges for blankets and came upon the ruffling effect. Yes…that is what I wanted to do. You do three double crochet stitches in every stitch around. It took a while but I am so glad that I chose that one because once it was all done I was in love with it!

Of course choosing this edging used more yarn than I had purchased but I was still hoping to finish with the yarn I had bought to start with. Of course, you could guess what happened...I had about eight-ten inches to finish when I ran out of yarn. It is a common brand and type so I was able to get the rest quickly. Now I have some hot pink yarn to use on a small little project. Either that or some more granny squares. I am getting the granny square bug again since winter seems to be lingering here in Iowa this year. Looking at the completed project and now knowing that there is a way to keep the yard from tangling, I will keep this pattern for another day. I do like how it turned out!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Little Pinterest Inspiration

The boys tackled their room this weekend. There will still be piles of things to go through and things to move into the room once the proper place is determined. Last summer we had moved the furniture around to see if a new view would give them more motivation to keep the place clean. Well, it actually made things worse. So, David had them in there working on Saturday morning and they got the furniture moved back to the way it was before.

One problem that they have always had is the overabundance of stuffed animals. I had pinned a project to help that problem awhile back and as I was going through fabric in my new sewing space, I found my red and gold fleece. Not having a large enough amount of any other fabric that would be comfortable, I used the fleece.

They now have a stuffed animal "bean bag" chair. It has a zippered bottom where the animals can come and go as they play. When they aren't playing with them, they are tucked away in the cushion. They were surprised at how many fit inside and then again when we tried to lift it. It is pretty heavy! I think it will be a great addition to their room and hopefully an even better tool to keep their things tidy!

My favorite part of the project is that everything that I used, I already had, including the zipper.

The lining on the inside is some hot pink leftovers from curtains that my mom gave me. I didn't have a clue what I would use the fabric for but it worked very well for this project. As you can see, when it is zipped up you can't see the pink at all. I had only one zipper that was long enough and it just happened to be gray to match the front panel. I loved the way it turned out!

I used two links to find the instructions for this project. I did a couple of things differently but overall you can get this with these two links if you are interested. It has been awhile since I have tackled a Pinterest project. I messed up a bit on the lining but fortunately you can't see that can you?

Thread Riding Hood
Googie Momma