Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Anti Procrastination Wedesday

According to Flylady, Wednesday is the day to get things done that otherwise do not get done. Its the day to cross off those horrible items off your to-do list that you have been dreading for months.

Today, I tackled a couple of these items on my list. I finally got around to taking James birthday package to the post office. I don't know why I procrastinate on mailing packages, but I do. It something about gathering up all the supplies necessary to wrap the box, address the box and get it into the car. I just don't do it. Anyways, that item bears a line through it. Done!

Zone-cleaning. I don't relish this chore either. For some reason, I just don't get around to zone cleaning. I hate the dirty smell of my house though, so this week I have re-started the zone cleaning. Today I cleaned the crumbs from inside the cushions and behind the couches.

Ironing. I save up my ironing for about 2-3 months (on average) and once I realize where on earth all my skirts have gone, I get out the old ironing board and spend about an hour ironing clothes. I am working on this habit. I currently have 3 items in the ironing pile that have been there for about 2 weeks. Today I will tackle that pile.

Gardening. While I love the idea of gardening, actually getting out there and caring for my plants is another matter entirely. I have yet to prune my rose bushes this year. I am at a loss for what to do with my purple clematis or the bunch of black eyed Susans which are no longer blooming. The front garden needs to be totally cleared out and replanted from scratch. I really should draw it out on graph paper and plant things that harmonize well together. Also, the weeds are beginning to take over what brown spots remain in the soil. I really must weed these and spread a thick layer of mulch down soon. Maybe I will get to this today.

Winter clothes. Somewhere in my house or shed hides a box of winter clothes and coats. I need to find this box and sort through the items to figure out what I need to replace, purchase or clean for winter. Tomorrow is errand day so if anything needs taken to the cleaners, I need to get it there tomorrow. I also need to make a list of what Chloe will need this winter. I don't know if her coat from last year will still fit. I hope to get to this item on my list today too, but if my energy fails me, I will get to it tomorrow.

What are you all going to stop procrastinating on today?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Sugar-fied, Girl-ified Weekend

Saturday marked 11 years for James and my marriage. What a life we have lived and I can't imagine living it with anyone else. This man truly remains my best friend. He indulges me. He pampers me. He provides amply for me. He listens to me. He allows me to dream my crazy, far-fetched dreams while tethering me to earth (on a rather long string) so I don't float away into fairyland forever.

While I enjoy celebrating this 11 year mark of marriage, it came with some sadness this year. This happens to be the second year in a row that James was deployed for our wedding anniversary.

Because I knew I shouldn't give myself over to a gallon of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, Oreos and numerous boxes of Kleenex, I invited my best friend over for the weekend. No, not James...my girl version best friend. Miss Karen arrived Friday ad I must tell you that, aside from seeing James walk through my door, this was the next best way to spend my wedding anniversary.

We drove to a city near us to poke around for the day. We perused a couple of antique stores, ate at the amish market and even found a tiny tea shop to check out.

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(Chloe and some new friends)

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(This place reminded me so much of Ely, England. I loved it. I MUST go back when its not raining and poke around a bit more. Up for it Miss Karen?)


The entire rest of our weekend was spent baking delicious goodies and watching musicals. I think we made it through Singing in the Rain, Bye Bye Birdie and Shall We Dance. We also watched the rest of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. For the sugar portion, we baked White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Scones and the best Cream Puffs we've ever made.

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We even found a new bakery up the street from my house where I forced coerced advised Karen to pick out an eclair (her doughnut did NOT count, although the title claimed it an eclair.) I feel that because Miss Karen asked for her picture to be taken in such a manner, she deserves to have it appear on this blog. She KNOWS I blog and she only reads my blog to see her name and picture appear on it. So, dear Karen? This one is for you.

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I had such a fun weekend! I didn't even cry on my anniversary! Thank you Karen, for coming to keep this poor, lonely military wife company. I think I will drop from the sugar high sometime Thursday afternoon.

Seizure Number Four

My first update of the day must be to tell you all that Chloe suffered another seizure this morning at 7:04. Again, she slept and her body convulsed while asleep and she exhibited all that other jazz that goes along with her seizures.

This is getting extremely difficult for me to handle. I could really use all your prayers through this time.

No matter how many times the doctor tells me that seizures do not cause death, I always feel like my little girl is passing from this earth while she is seizing. Her lips turn blue. She sounds like she is choking for air. Her eyes roll back in her head. Her eyes dilate but she cannot see, feel or hear me. And there is absolutely nothing I can do aside from laying my hands on her back and praying.

I pray that my eyes stay focused on my Lord Jesus Christ who walks with me through this life. He loves me more than I could ever know. He loves my little Chloe more than I could ever know. I can't quite imagine what goes through His heart as he watches her convulse and seize, but I know He has a greater love for her than I can comprehend. He has our best interest at heart. As I fumble through this day, I allow my Savior to hold me in His arms and comfort me. He wants me in His arms. He wants to be my everything. He wants that precious time with me to hold me, just like I yearn for those times with Chloe.

May God be glorified through my trials, through my life. May His name be lifted high. May someone catch a glimpse of the heart of God through my time on this earth and enter into that same sweet, sweet fellowship with my wonderful God and Savior.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The EEG!

Not to be confused with an egg, which is the white, roundish thing that chickens lay.

I apologize for not posting an update sooner than this morning. You see...we've been ill this week on top of everything else going on lately. The fog in my brain finally cleared enough Thursday and Friday so I could prepare for my best friend to spend the weekend with me. I will attempt to update you quickly this morning before we head out the door in search of the best loose leaf tea distributor in our area. (On a side note...we have yet to find such a place.)

Sunday evening, I sneezed. 20 minutes later, my head was congested and I suffered a headache. Yup. You got it. I contracted a cold. To make matters worse, Chloe woke up every 20-30 minutes all night long with night terrors. This experience with night terrors was the worst I've ever had with her. Needless to say, I slept only about 3 hours the entire night. Not enough to keep me up all night Monday night, which is what was required of us in preparation for Chloe's EEG Tuesday morning.

Thankfully, a girlfriend from church stopped by for the evening to keep us awake. After a few cans of rootbeer, a large Dr. Pepper from Burger King (because Chick-Fil-A closed at 10:00) and a couple of chocolate cupcakes, we were able to keep Chloe awake until 3:15 am. We would have had to resort to torture to keep the poor thing awake any longer.

Our efforts paid off big time. Chloe slept for the EEG test. The technician claimed Chloe was one of her best patients ever. She hooked up several little metal cup-like things all over Chloe's head. These were attached to colored wires, two of which were PINK, that traveled to a box which monitored the electrical activity in her brain. I laid down beside her and cuddled her to my hearts content.

We received the results from the test the next day. The test came back normal! While at first, I imagined this as bad because we don't know anything more than before the test, I soon found out that a normal EEG is actually a good thing. It rules out the serious stuff. Here are a few more things I learned about seizures.

~ 1 in 100 people have seizures (that's a lot of people)
~ Seizures do not cause brain damamge
~ Most children who have seizures grow out of them (which is another good reason for the EEG to come back clean)

All in all, its been a good week. Chloe is doing great. I am doing great, aside from a wet cough which still lingers. James received an email from the car dealership where our car spent the past week and they have approved our warranty and will be installing a new engine in her shortly. PRAISE THE LORD! We will basically have a brand new car...in an old body.

I must be off now to dress for our adventures today. I will try to remember to snap some pictures to show you all our fun. I need some fun. Its been a long couple of weeks. Have a great weekend everyone! Talk at you soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bedtime Prayer

Chloe's bedtime prayer tonight:

"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for my Mama and my Daddy. Thank you for my new kitties. Be with Daddy. Keep him strong, Lord...(long pause)...so he can work and be strong and so he can eat...so he can grow strong."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Choosing Joy

In the midst of our trials, God asks us to choose joy, keeping our eyes focused on Him.

James 1:2
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,"


and

Romans 12:12
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer."


Yes, sirree. I would consider that to be what God asks of me. Last night, I stretched across my bed with Chloe lying next to me. I placed my hand on her back and prayed for my dear little one. I prayed for healing. I prayed for peace. I prayed for wisdom. But most of all, I prayed for joy through this time. I picked up my Bible and God led me to Psalm 98.

"Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.

The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.

He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;

make music to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,

with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn—
shout for joy before the LORD, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.

Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity."


Oh how great is our God that He gives us the very words we need to hear when we need to hear them most. I sang a couple of praise songs to Him. (I wanted to shout but felt that Chloe might startle if my voice rose above a loud whisper, so I kept the shouting inside my heart.)

Even still, sleep eluded me. I eased myself off the bed and headed to the sewing/craft room to feel inspired. That's when it hit me. I need a laugh. A good, tummy-rumbling, body-shaking laugh. I searched for a certain crochet pattern I recently purchased and the yarn to complete the project I had in mind. Yes, this project would bring laughter to my lips. Just peeking at the pattern brought forth a couple of chuckles.

How can you not laugh when you see a rubber chicken?

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Just to bring a smile to my face, this rubber chicken might find himself located in such places as the lampshade...

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...the teapot...

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...or the curtain where he now rests.

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In spite of the hardships I face, I am choosing joy. I am choosing to laugh. Sometimes that laughter comes in the form of comedy. I about died laughing when I watched this video my husband sent me this morning.



How priceless after I crocheted a rubber chicken for myself. Yes, laughter. Sheer laughter, rumbling in my belly. Enough to keep my mind off my troubles for a few moments.

But let's not forget the real joy. The joy that stems from salvation! God offered His salvation to me and nothing, nothing, NOTHING replaces or takes away the joy of that salvation. It is time for me to tickle the tummy of a little one who also could use a bit of joy in her life. Have a great day and don't forget to Be Joyful!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Striving for the Gold

I strive to keep my blog upbeat and uplifting. I strongly desire to be an encouragement to women. But sometimes, its during the rough times and the hard spots that we encounter when we can honestly be the biggest source of inspiration and encouragement to others. With this in mind, I write to you today, tears at the brink, in hopes that through my trials, each person who reads this blog may see the awesome power and glory of God.

Once again, I awakened early to the sound of my precious daughter jerk hard and gasp. I immediately knew the sound. The dreadful sound which announces a seizure. I found it difficult to watch for the second time in a two week time span.

I cried.

45 seconds later her body visibly relaxed, her eyes rolled back in her head a couple of times and then it was over. She lay next to me peacefully sleeping, while I was left with a pounding heart and a racing mind. I scrambled through my brain, trying to remember what the neurologist told me I should do if she seized again before the scheduled EEG. Do I take her to the emergency? Do I call her pediatrician? Can I give her Motrin for her headache?

I cried.

I prayed.

Why didn't I feel the peace I felt two weeks ago? I prayed again. And again. I continued to pray throughout the day. I called the neurologist office after they opened only to be informed that our neurologist stepped out for a meeting and would call me back later in the day.

Time to wait. "Give me patience, Oh Lord."

About an hour later, the phone rang. I picked it up, thinking it was the neurologist. Wrong. The mechanic answered my hello with a downtrodden voice. Yesterday, he called with an estimate to fix our car. It appeared that we would be able to fix it relatively cheap and she would be up and running for us, able to give us a few more years of trustworthy service. Today, the pensive voice on the other end of the phone informed me that they dug a little deeper into why our front main seal broke. They actually googled the situation on the internet and found a common issue with our car year/make/model. After digging underneath our car, they found that yes, our car did, indeed, suffer this same affliction. There is no way we could afford to fix it and, quite frankly, it wouldn't be worth it. She needs a new transmission which would cost us $6,000. I needed to speak to James.

Time to wait again.

Once I got a hold of James, he remembered that the transmission warranty runs longer than the regular warranty and so he called a dealership and found out we are still under warranty. We had the car towed to the dealership so they could replace our tranny/engine for free. Now they are trying to say that we need to pay them to find out what is wrong with the car before they can tell us if we are covered by this warranty. Okay. Major frustration on my part. They assured us on the phone that it was, indeed, covered or we would not have paid to tow it to them in the first place.

Today was almost more than I could bear. I stayed in my pajamas (James pajama pants and his yankee t-shirt) until about 1:00 in the afternoon. I didn't even drink my first cup of coffee until about 11:00. I decided to take some time this afternoon and rest in the Word of God. I started out in Matthew reading about Jesus calming the storm. I prayed for a calming of the storm raging in my heart (and brain.) After a few minutes of meditation and reflection, I remembered the song "Refiner's Fire" and I immediately looked up a Bible verse pertaining to this.

Malachi 3:2-4
"But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years."


I long to be refined. I long to be pure gold before my Lord. These trials have come into my life to deepen my relationship with Christ. They have come that my character may be built and shaped to reflect Christ's character within me. They have come that I might be used to draw others to my Lord Jesus through my witness. How can I say no? How can I say I cannot bear them? Jesus will carry my load for me if I but hand it over to Him and trust Him with it.



Come what may, I point to Christ. In good times, I point to Him and rejoice. In hard times, I point to Him and rejoice. I pray that God's character be built in me and His fire refines me so I can present myself before His throne someday as pure gold. It is not easy, this striving for gold. There are moments and times when I wish I could just give up. Throw in the towel. Settle for bronze or even copper. But, Jesus always lifts my face back into His gaze and my eyes catch His and I understand that I really do long to be pure gold before Him. He deserves the gold! So I am handing over my baton, too heavy for me to carry any longer, and I am resting in Him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baby Bear Finger Puppet

So, the story goes that once upon a time, a little lady tried to sew herself a skirt. The pattern appeared simple enough. The fabric divine. Finished, it would be the most wonderful skirt in the ladies wardrobe. A simple, black skirt with two pockets on the front and extremely wearable for those days around the house when she sits on the floor to waltz through Candy Land or puts Micky Mouse together or adds a funny face to Mr. Potato Man.

But when it came time to sew in the zipper, the instructions baffled the poor lady. Invisible zipper? What's that? "Oh well," she thought. "It can't be that much different than a regular zipper. I'll just insert the zipper with the method I know best."

That poor, dear lady didn't have a clue.

The skirt will not quite zip up the entire way and somehow there is a fold at the top of the waistband where there should not be which covers about an inch of the zipper. This may or may not be what prevents the zipper from zipping the entire way up. (It could also be that little roll of extra padding on the waist of the lady, but we shan't mention such a thing, for that would certainly humiliate the poor dear.)

As the befuddled lady prepared for an evening of quiet last night after her darling daughter fell fast asleep, her first thought was to sit in front of a movie and seam rip the entire skirt apart to begin anew. Her plan was to sew 1/2" seam allowances instead of 5/8", but then she recalled the fact that she doubled sewed her seams, trimmed them, and then zig zagged over the edge. A very nice seam, mind you, and sturdy. That thought alone prompted the poor, dear lady to get out her knitting and a puppet book she obtained from the library and just knit. This is what she came up with. (She requested I show it to you for she wishes to remain anonymous in light of all she's been forced to endure.)

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Beware. Sometimes mother's are correct in their admonishments. Remember the one you always got whenever you played with something not intended for children? "Be careful with that. You could poke you eye out." This particular admonishment floated about in my brain all last evening. Its a good thing I remembered it too for working with dpns can do just that very thing. I am proud to say that I have both eyes in tact, although we had a few close calls. So, knitting with dpns can be quite challenging, yet very rewarding. I might have to make a few more of these puppets this week.

Well, now...its time for school and we have some fabulous projects we are working on this week. I really must update the homeschool blog today. We have much to talk about. Have a gloriously happy day and I will chat at you again soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Perfect Present

While working on this next dress for Chloe, I realized it would be quite a special dress. I paid attention to all the little details on this dress and boy oh boy, did it turn out splendid. Its hard to believe I used the same exact pattern as the polka dot dress in my last post. As I created this dress I thought how it would make a wonderful gift for my dear little sweets. I even have enough fabric left over to make a matching purse and doll dress. Oh yes, the perfect Christmas present.

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I found this fabric in an amish fabric store out in Ohio last September while visiting a dear friend of mine, Melanie. She too purchased some of the same fabric and made a jumper for her daughter. It only took me a year to get around to finally making Chloe's matching dress.

I used the same Simplicity 5827 for the dress as I did for my polka dot dress but with a couple modifications. First, I opted for the black trim around the bottom instead of the same fabric straight down. The advantage to this technique is that I don't have to bother hemming the dress by hand...which can be such a bugger for me to get around to doing. I added a bit of lace to the dress which was gifted to me a couple of years ago by none other than...yep...Melanie. (Thanks so much, dear. I am glad I finally found the perfect project for the lace.) Even the pocket adds that touch of "special" which the first dress just doesn't have. I adore how this one turned out.

I do have word of warning to all you fabric shoppers out there who scrounge around in bins for fabric without content labels attached. Before you press the fabric with the iron for longer than 5 seconds, make sure your fabric will not melt. That's right. Some fabric will, indeed, melt onto the bottom of your iron. Just a cautionary statement. Not like I have tried that or anything...ahem...but you could end up with quite a mess.

It is now time for the little one to get to bed and then I have some remedial work to be done on a skirt gone wrong. Have a great night.

Winter Approacheth

Cooler weather has begun settling in around us and do you know what that means? Fall waits on the horizon and winter just beyond that. It is now time to start thinking about winter clothing.

Proverbs 31:21
"When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet."


My sewing leaves something to be desired, but at least I got them done. I can't decide with these first two dresses just exactly where the problem occurred. (I cannot seem to find the pattern number for this dress at this time. I will continue looking for it until I can locate it.)

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This first one...hmmm...well...the fabric was cute. I don't think I like it quite as well in this style of dress though. I don't know. It just doesn't do it for me.

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I love this fabric much better. Such a darling print too. And a little girl cannot have too much pink. Okay. So the armholes look horrendous. Absolutely awful.

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The seams are perfectly flat. There was no trouble there. They also went together fairly easily too. I can't, for the life of me, figure out why they appear puckered like that. I don't know if its the pattern or possibly the corduroy fabric? It doesn't make sense to me. I plan on trying the pattern out one more time with a nice cotton to see if I have the same trouble.

Next up is a fun dress. I used a cotton polka dot print for this one. I love the peter pan collar.

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Simplicity 5827

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The photos do absolutely NO justice for this dress. It is simply adorable in person. I have yet to try it on Chloe. Maybe one day soon. (And you long time readers are bound to see her in it one of these cool, winter days ahead.) I still need to attach zippers and buttons and hand stitch the hem but other than that, they are done. I am off to complete another post for the day and then update the sadly neglected homeschool blog.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rain Walk

"Raindrops are falling on my head" and a little bit of "Singing in the Rain". A few splish splashes and throw in a couple of deep puddles for extra measure. Glorious fun for a four year old.

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I think we need some rainboots (her shoes got soaked)!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Little Girl, Big Ride

Today marks 30 years on the wall for James. Yes, that's right. My dear man turned 30 today. Wooo Hoooo! You have no idea how ecstatic I am regarding this moment. You see...I am 6 months older than him. And he has made it very clear how he feels about turning 30 by the jokes he made when I straggled across that very mark 6 months ago. Oh yes. I am rubbing it in...good and hard!

In other news, Chloe visited her neurologist yesterday. The actual visit went very well. I suppose that because we now have a neurologist the appointments will come much quicker and easier. The hardest part is getting in...and we did that in a week. (I guess the waiting lists can be 6 months sometimes.)

I am now quite educated in seizures. Here are some interesting bits I learned yesterday.

~ Stress does NOT cause seizures (or children would be dropping like flies).
~ Seizures do NOT indicate a brain tumor, meningitis or other issues of that nature.
~ The brain runs on electricity (how I wish I could harness some of that for my house so I could cut down on our electric bill). A seizure is an electrical problem in the brain.
~ Seizures are triggered by many different things. One idea with Chloe could be that she is under a large amount stress with her Daddy being deployed which, therefore, is causing her to suffer sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can trigger seizures in one prone to have them in the first place.
~ One seizure is called a seizure. More than one seizure is called Epilepsy. Chloe is now diagnosed as having Epilepsy.

I found peace in alot of what the doctor told me. My heart can rest at ease. He did say that walking out of his office today he is 70% sure she will have more seizures. We scheduled the EEG for two weeks and once he sees those results and if there is anything on them, that percentage will rise to 90%. Basically, I have a child with epilepsy and she will have more seizures in her lifetime. Now whether she will grow out of this, we don't know yet. I guess the EEG will answer quite a few questions like that for us.

Now you all know we had another major issue this week and that would be our dear little car. She still sits in the church parking lot, waiting to be towed to the mechanic. And she does wait patiently too...I saw her the other night and patted her lovingly. I almost felt like it was a goodbye of sorts...oh no...ack...I feel like I could cry right now. I will miss that dear little car. She was such a good girl.

Okay, so our dear friends returned James truck to us the night before last. I have to be honest. I've had my misgivings about driving that thing around for the next 5 months. I don't feel safe in it. I figured I would feel worse with Chloe sitting in it. But we put on our brave faces and drove it to ballet last night. (Actually, I was the one with the brave face and Chloe was the one with the excited grin stretched across hers.)

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This adventure proved quite thrilling for a little four year old girl. She loved sitting next to me, and to be honest, I adored having my mini best friend sitting next to me. Oh, how we rocked out to such tunes as "Jesus Loves Me" and "This is the Day the Lord has Made" together. The acoustics are far better when we sit side by side. A girl could get used to this. I loved the fact that I could see her face while she belted out "Rejoice in the Lord Always!" This truck driving might not be so bad after all.

And now, I leave you with a couple of pictures of Chloe from the neurologist office. It is time for school and then we have some major chores to get done. I hope to have a couple of pictures of dresses for you later today and possibly a funny story about a particular Christmas present.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Message Board

I finally began marking projects off my to-do list again. Yay! Here is one such project. I wanted to have a place in Chloe's room for her to hang pictures of James, letters, postcards and anything else her little heart desires. So I bought the supplies to make the board and then let it sit in my craft room for 6 months. Isn't that the proper way to do things? Oh, no??? Hmmm...

Well anyways, I finally pulled it out the other night and finished it.

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I stapled a piece of purple/lavender fabric with butterflies all over it around the framed cork board (lucky for me it was already a framed piece for the wall so I didn't have much work to do there). I lined the ribbon up by lying it on the board where I wanted it. I hot-glued the ribbon on the back of the frame and then at the junctions in the middle. I brought down my vintage button stash and waited for Chloe to choose the perfect buttons for her board. This can be quite the process for a four year old. The buttons have to be just right, you know.

In the end we have something we both are happy with.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sweet Peace

I've been blessed with one more day. I made many mistakes today, but God still loves me and continues to pour blessings on me. I thank God for the big blessings and I thank Him for the small ones too.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

We Are In!

God is amazing! He works in ways we would never come up with if left to work things out on our own.

Today I received a phone call from a lovely lady in my Sunday School class. She gave me a phone number of a neurologist for me to try to call to book an appointment for Chloe. I called but soon found out they only see adult patients. Uggg. More of that jazz.

The receptionist transferred me to the "pediatric" section and also gave me the phone number to write down. Shoot! It was the same phone number of a neurologist I called last week, one of the ones who couldn't see her until next year. When the pediatric receptionist answered the line, I simply stated what I was calling for in hopes something had changed.

It had! She informed me that a cancellation had just occurred and could I come in Thursday at 2:30 pm. "When?" I questioned. "Thursday, Sept 10", she replied. I immediately said yes, without so much as a glimpse at my calendar. Whatever was on there could wait.

Tonight I celebrated with two chocolate brownies.

I ate both!

I leave you with a few pictures of Chloe taken on the day of her seizure. (It was also her first day of ballet.)

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(She slept directly after the seizure for a few minutes. She looked so peaceful, I had to get her picture)

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(She was quite excited to start ballet, although she doesn't look it in the photo. She seemed a little nervous about changing in the dressing room. Next time I will put her leotard on under her dress.)

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(dancing for me around the dressing room before class began)

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(Showing me what she learned after we arrived home. This is "sleeping on my feet".)


Have a wonderful night everyone! I am off to bed so I can spend tomorrow sewing. I have a few items to show you at some point tomorrow. I've definitely been working on things the past week, even though I have not shown you one single scrap. Its time I got a post full of project pictures, just for you. Good night.

Chocolate Saves the Day!

No...seriously. Chocolate really saved my day! 30th anniversary Chocolate Cake Cheesecake to be precise. From the Cheesecake Factory.

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My day lay in ruins around my feet yesterday afternoon as I slept on my couch, willing away the months until James returns home. It didn't work. I woke up and found only a couple hours had slowly passed. 4:00 pm finally rolled around and I hastily jumped off the couch and made my split second decision to head to The Cheesecake Factory with a group of ladies from our church.

A night surrounded by friends and chocolate sure lifted my spirits.

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So chocolate (and friendship) saved my day.

Monday, September 07, 2009

I Have Friends!

I was reminded of a song this weekend. Not the most godly song there is, but true for me none-the-less.



It took almost every ounce of strength I had to get myself out of bed Sunday morning and into the shower. I did NOT want to attend church. I felt a bit sorry for myself dealing with Chloe's seizure and struggling just to get her seen by a neurologist (which we have yet to find anyone who can get her in) and I really just did not want to see people and have to smile. You know those times? When the smile plastered on your face is simply there to hold back the floodgate of tears? Yes, this is how I felt and I just didn't feel I could hold up all morning.

But I knew I needed church. I needed fellowship. So, I showered and dressed and fed Chloe and headed out the door.

I drove down the freeway and found myself one exit before my church exit when I noticed a large mass of smoke behind my car. I looked around to see which car on the large freeway was creating such billows of smoke. They needed to get off the road immediately. Uh-oh. Not a single car around me. I was driving that vast expanse by myself. Could that smoke really be coming from my own car?

Yes.

It was. By this time, I was almost to my exit and the clouds of smoke subsided a bit. I breathed a teensy sigh of relief but as soon as the air exited my lungs, my eyes traveled to the dash and that is when I noticed the bright red oil can light which warned that something terrible was happening. That can not be good!

What was I to do? In my high heels with a four year old in the car. If I pulled over to call someone, no one would answer for cells phones are normally turned off during church. All I could think was I needed to get to church. I prayed. I believe what I said went something like this...

"Just get me to church. Please. I just gotta get to church where someone can help me."

God did. My car made it to church. But that is as far as she made it. She will sit in the parking lot until I can find a mechanic to tow her to tomorrow. (I believe we have one picked out.) It appears, to a mechanic sort of person I know, that the front main seal broke and I ran out of oil completely in a two mile span of freeway. I then drove another two miles or so with absolutely NO oil in the car which has probably caused some damage to my engine.

The outlook is not wonderful. I must now wait until we know if we have orders overseas or not. Why? If we have orders overseas, I am allowed to sell James truck and use that money to put down on a car. I can save up my money in the next two months and we would then not have to finance a new car. If we don't have orders, it looks like I will be stuck driving the truck for the next 5 months until James returns so we can save up the cash to purchase a new car. (He loves that truck.)

So...what does this have to do with the song I posted above? Well, let me tell you. I can surely relate to the broken down car bit, right? Although my car sits in the parking lot and not on the side of the road. But its during these times that you really find out who your friends are. I have been blessed to be a part of the family of God. A family who takes care of their own. Numerous men from our church got under my car while another took Chloe's car seat out and put it in his own van, informing me he would "take me wherever I wanted to go". Another friend said for me to come to their house so I could pick up their spare car while yet another family came up and asked me if I wanted to come spend the afternoon at their house and eat with them.

I also have a few friends who know pediatricians or neurologists they are going to try to get in contact with to see if we can get dear little Chloe in sooner than next year. I even have a friend who has offered to drive me to the BIG city if that is the only location I can get her in. I didn't even call them because I don't drive in the BIG city! I've had two other families invite me for dinner sometime. I've had even more say they would love to go car shopping with me.

This is the family of God people! This is what it is supposed to look like! I am so blessed to have such a loving heavenly Father who takes care of his children. I have found this weekend that I have many friends, many friends indeed. These trials are not over yet, but I know who holds tomorrow in His hands...and He cares for me.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friendship Baking

I love my best friend. I love baking. What could be better? Baking with your best friend.

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Oh yes. Add a cup of tea afterward and you have the makings of an almost perfect day. (it would have been absolutely perfect if James had been in attendance to keep poor Kevin entertained.)

I took my all time best tea cookbook with me on my visit to Miss Karen's house this week. I just knew we would have opportunity to use it while I was there. We first settled on baking Cream Puffs but after browsing through the rest of the book before jumping in, we changed our minds. We figured maybe we should try 1/4 of the recipe for Cream Puffs (it didn't call for any sugar so we were a little skeptic of the recipe) and then bake a batch of Mini Eclairs. A very wise decision on our parts.

The cream puffs tasted nothing like cream puffs.

We nicknamed them egg puffs.
(who makes cream puffs without sugar OR cream, I would like to know?)

The mini eclairs, on the other hand, tasted very sugarful and delicious. We even let poor, lonely Kevin try one.

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I think he enjoyed it.

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So, our eclairs fell flat in the middle when Karen poked them with a fork. After googling "fallen eclairs" I came to the conclusion we didn't bake them long enough. Kevin also pointed out that they tasted slightly "salty". We noticed it too once he mentioned it. We plan on trying the eclairs again in the future. We MUST fix this and get the recipe right this time. We will reduce the salt by half and bake them for a tad bit longer.

We drank some "natural" rootbeer with our eclairs and finished the night off with some BBC Pride and Prejudice (the most authentic version, by the way). What a lovely evening.

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P.S. Hey Karen...I forgot my clotted cream on your bookshelf. I would like that back when you get the chance.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It Is Well With My Soul



I awakened this morning to a smallish sort of person climbing into my bed with me. Groggily, I rolled over, patted her on the arm and drifted back to sleep. I was much too tired to enforce the "stay in your room until 7:30" rule we have in effect.

About an hour later, I thanked the Lord that I did not enforce that rule today. God purposed Chloe into my room and into my bed so that I would hear her.

Chloe suffered her second seizure this morning.

Amazingly enough, I tended to her without an ounce of fear. Somehow, our experience last year taught me what I needed to know and I was able to roll her onto her side so she wouldn't choke on her tongue and 10-15 seconds later it was over...for the most part. When the doctor's office opened, I called and booked her for an appointment. By this time Chloe had eaten breakfast and was chasing the kittens across the living room floor.

We didn't see our regular doctor today. The new one we saw did NOT like the fact that this was Chloe's second seizure and informed me that we needed to take her into a neurologist for testing. Unfortunately, no one can get us in until next year and the doctor wanted us in this week. Please pray that we can get her in just as soon as possible...even this week.

The doctor also ordered some lab work to see if anything was going on there. The results came back tonight negative (which is a good thing).

I was not afraid today. I know God has Chloe's best interest at heart. I know God has my best interest at heart. I know it is well with my soul. Jesus walked with me today. His hand rested on Chloe's back next to mine as I held her during her seizure. He sat next to me as we waited for the doctor in the examination room. He drove with me across town to the lab for the tests. Jesus stayed with me every single moment of the day and carried me through it. God is faithful. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. It is well with my soul.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Little Tea Lovelies

I've been asked to hostess a table this year at our church's Ladies Fall Tea. I thrilled at the chance. What a lovely opportunity to use my spiritual gift of hospitality and minister to other ladies. I am quite excited about this adventure.

As a table hostess, I am responsible for supplying china, silverware, water goblets and tea sets for 6 ladies (myself included in that 6). I also get to frill the table however I fancy and then gift each lovely lady at my table with a small token of friendship.

Now, yesterday I drove the hour to my best friend's house to spend the night with the hopes of sojourning some antique stores around her new location. We, unfortunately, discovered that the only strip of antique stores she knows of happened to be closed every Tuesday and Wednesday, the two days I was visiting. My goal had been to secure some china plates, silverware, sugar tongs and teaspoons at these stores, but no such luck. We shall just to have plan another girl's day out and visit some local antique stores near my house. (where I KNOW I can find some lovely tea things.)

It was time to revisit our plan of attack. We headed to Home Goods to see about the china there and also a possible centerpiece idea. Now hear me out. This tea is in the Fall and it is a Tea. My lofty idea? Why don't I combine "Fall" and "Tea" into my centerpeice!!! (novel idea, really) Now how to do that...

We found some worthwhile treasures and have formulated a schematic for their use. I will not, however, reveal the plan to you at this juncture. What I will do for you all though, is grant you a glimpse of the pieces I have obtained so far.

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While out, we found the perfect birthday gift for a friend's little girl whose party we shall be attending next weekend.

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I've had my eye on this little teapot and teacup set for a few weeks now...so I finally bought it for myself. (with the idea that if I needed to, I could use it at the church tea)

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My next post shall most likely cause you to drool all over your keyboard so I will leave it until tomorrow morning, just so you should have ample time to find yourself a cloth of some sort to wipe the drool from your chin. Good night everyone! Sweet dreams.

What is that?

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Chloe (pointing to Miss Karen's chair pictured above): "This is a chair!"

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Chloe (touching Miss Karen's couch pictured above): "This is a couch!" and then she grinned.

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Chloe (after a long pause and a slightly puzzled look upon her face points to Miss Karen's chaise across the room): "What's that?"

Miss Karen: "That's a chaise."

Chloe: "Who's running on it?"