Category Archives: health

Preparing for Surgery and hosting an online benefit . . .

I’ve been working a bit each day at getting things in order around here, because one week from today I will be having surgery on both of my feet, and would really prefer not to have to worry about keeping up with tons of work after that. My theory is that if we can get things in order now, it will be easier for my kids to keep up with it until I’m “back on my feet”, lol!

I have extremely bad hammertoes, three on one foot, two on the other, and they will all be dealt with in one surgery, so as to avoid going under anesthesia twice, or having two surgical and two hospital co-pays.

I’m also working ahead on making cards. I have a little ministry in which I make a card every week for some ladies at church who need encouragement for one reason or another. So far, I have five ladies. I do a card for them each week, and I pray for them every day. We also have three kids at church graduating this weekend, so last night I got one of their cards done, and today I’ll work on the other two. We have one other graduation coming up, but that isn’t until the beginning of June, which is good, because I have to go buy more grad themed paper for her card. 🙂

Another thing I’m working on: for those of you who don’t know, I am a consultant for Close To My Heart (, a company that produces BEAUTIFUL, high quality, easy to use products for scrapbooking and card making. I am currently hosting an online party as a benefit for Bernalillo County, NM Sheriff’s Deputy Shannon Key. He is a deacon in our church (, and is going through his second battle with brain cancer. Because it is so bad this time, it is inoperable, so the only treatment available is mostly experimental, done at Cedars-Sinei Medical Center in Los Angeles, and not covered by insurance. You can read more about Deputy Key at .

To help build the Shannon Key fund, I am, as I said, hosting an online Close To My Heart party. 100% of my commission from this party will go to the Key family. Some incentives for you: if your order reaches $50.00, you are eligible to purchase the May Stamp of the Month set for only $5.00. This will also make you eligible for the exclusive, only available this month, special paper pack called Dream Pop, which was created especially for National Scrapbooking Month. But wait, there’s even more! Every order that is at least $25.00 will be entered into a drawing for a set of notecards handmade by me. For every $25.00 you order, you will get one entry. If, in addition to your order, you book a party of your own, I will give you an extra entry. When the party closes, I will ask one of Deputy Key’s children to draw the winner. At that time I’ll consult the winner for their favorite colors before making their cards. 🙂 If you’d like to participate in this very worthy cause, you may order anytime between now and May 26, 2013, when the party will close. When you order from my website your order will ship directly to you, and you don’t have to wait until the party closes to receive your order. I hope many of you will choose to help. Even if you aren’t a scrapbooker or card maker, I bet you know someone who is, who would LOVE to receive a gift of products to use in their hobby. Close To My Heart products are top quality, beautiful, and very easy to use. Even *I* can’t mess up when using them, lol!

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Filed under card making, Close to My Heart, health, stamping

Bibles and Boys and Balloons, Oh My!

This is day 2 of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge,

and I’m touching on several “B” words. First, an update on yesterday’s word “agony”, because of my “Back” injury. It’s no better at all, in fact my husband took me to a work in appointment at our doctor, who gave me a prescription for a very strong pain medication. I took the first one 15 minutes ago, and it’s definitely working, so . . . YAY! Along with that, the doctor told me to go ahead and take my prescription muscle relaxer. My back is now feeling MUCH better, at least until the meds wear off, but the hope is that it will allow me to relax enough to actually sleep tonight, and that it will help my back recover from whatever happened when I was cleaning off the ottoman yesterday. Unfortunately, because of this, I was unable to attend Ladies Bible Study at church tonight :-(, but it is absolutely my intention to go to church tomorrow night. After all, I won’t have to drive, Mike can do that! 🙂 Which brings me to my next “B” word . . .

. . . “Bible”. As a matter of faith and practice, our family, and our church, uses only the KJV Bible. We believe it to be God’s preserved word for English speaking people. My Bible . . .


. . . which of course, anyone who knows me well would immediately know it was mine even if it didn’t have my name on the cover, given that it is purple, is extremely important to me. My Bible reminds me that no matter what happens in my life, the Lord is still in charge, and even if for some reason I get to feeling that He doesn’t care, well, He really does, and everything, even things I may think are bad at the time, will work to God’s glory at some point. My Bible can answer any spiritual questions I really need answered. The words contained within are at times a comfort, at times an encouragement, at times they are instruction, and always there to show me God’s love. My Bible is the manual for the human race, and it is God’s love letter to us.

“Boys” . . . of which my husband and I have four, four boys who we love beyond reason, and would willingly give our lives for, if necessary.


This was taken right before we left Michigan, on our big move across the country to New Mexico. The boys (“The Batman”, “Mr. Loquacious”, “The Artist”, and “The Puzzler”) are playing in Torch Lake, which is between Kalkaska and Traverse City, Michigan, a lake I grew up going to, and where we wanted to go one last time before moving away. Our boys are very much the joy of our lives, second only to God. We home-school, so I get to spend LOTS of time with them. I have known lots of moms who say they couldn’t stand to spend so much time with their kids. Sometimes I feel sorry for those moms . . .

Having moved to Albuquerque, NM, we see a LOT of my next “B” word, “balloons”, as in hot air balloons!


This picture was taken from right outside out front door, after my youngest came running to get me after going out to bring in the newspaper one morning. Aren’t they beautiful? We often see several hot air balloons when we have errands to run in the morning, as early morning is when they generally take off. Our city is home to the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which we were fortunate enough to get to attend for the first time last October. It is awesome, seeing so many hot air balloons all at once! Until we moved here, I had never seen one in real life, only in pictures, movies and TV shows.

Another “B” word, “Bed”. Doesn’t go with the other words, but I’m proud to say that for the most part, I’ve gotten into the good habit of making ours look pretty every day . . .


Our bedroom furniture was a gift from my mother before she passed away, and we purchased it at Emory’s Furniture in Port Huron, MI, in their used furniture department. Isn’t it pretty? I just love it! As you can see once again, proof that my favorite color is purple, LOL!

One final “B” word for the day, “Baptism”.


Here is “The Puzzler” being baptized in our church back in Michigan, shortly before we moved to New Mexico. He asked the Lord for salvation on the final day of VBS, and was baptized the Sunday right after that. I’m so grateful that he finally understood what salvation was, and that now I can know for sure that all four of our kids will be with us in Heaven when the time comes. 🙂

So, there you have it, just some of the words which begin with the letter “B”, that have importance in my life for one reason or another.

See you tomorrow, with the letter “C”! 🙂


Filed under Christian faith, family, health, home education, homeschooling, Hot Air Balloons, Kids

Another Day In The Life . . .

Today, we did laundry. Yes, laundry can be part of a homeschooling day . . . I do want my kids to learn how to be part of maintaining our home and family. We also worked on some upcoming review products, a lapbook about the Earth (you all know how much the boys enjoy doing lapbooks!), “The Artist” worked on 3 lessons in his A+ TutorSoft math (and the other 4 grade levels we ordered with their 50% off discount which expires at the end of this month arrived today in the mail, yay). All four of the kids did a read aloud of part of an ebook we’re reviewing about Sacagawea, and in between, they watched a few educational programs. Right now, they are watching the last half hour of Disney’s Earth on DVD before they all go to bed.

Because we’ve had a stomach virus going through the house (“The Batman” got it first, and got hit the hardest Monday night a week ago), and “The Artist” is still suffering some of the effects slightly, we will be waiting until next Thursday to attempt resuming our weekly home school park day. I HOPE everyone is all better by then, the kids miss going, and I miss it, too, because I get to spend the time visiting with other moms!

So, tomorrow, we’ll finish the laundry I didn’t get to today, and work some more in our educational projects, and then some errands with my husband.

G’nite, all!


Filed under education, family, health, home education, homeschooling, Kids

Latest happenings…

I am LOVING New Mexico weather! I have friends from back in Michigan telling me how they got dumped on with snow today, like 8 – 10 inches worth, in the case of one family we are close to . . . While *I* was out running errand with no coat, rather, I was wearing an open sweatshirt hoodie, lol!

Other happenings . . . It is becoming so apparent that being a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew is a tremendous blessing. So far, each and every product I’ve been given to review has been perfect for at least one of our kids, and some work well with more than one of them. Be watching for a BUNCH of upcoming reviews, starting about two weeks from now.

My husband is now recovering from his second back surgery over a six week period, and is hoping to be back to work in the next few weeks. At least this time around, the incision appears to be closed up, and he got his stitches out yesterday, so he feels like it may have worked better this time. I hope so . . .

We have been enjoying getting to know the taste of foods that we’ve never had before, I have now had pizza with green chili peppers on it! And I liked it! 🙂

We’ve finally managed to connect up with the family who adopted the biological siblings of our two youngest children, so we will be trying to maintain contact via email, phone, snail mail, and hopefully Skype if they can get that going on their end. Our boys are excited at the prospect! 🙂


Filed under adoption, education, family, health, home education, homeschool products, Kids


I’m working on adding some structure back into our home education. Being totally unstructured has worked for a while, but not as well as we had hoped it would. It has allowed the boys to learn many things on their own, according to their interests, but they really, really like doing things like lapbooks and unit studies, so even though there are some naysayers who believe that using any curriculum or structured assignments is not “real” Unschooling, it’s what we’re going to do.

We’ve begun easing back in with some things that I will be reviewing for the schoolhouse review crew, for example, a Spanish program (which I too, am doing!), because with our move to NM, we feel Spanish is a good choice for foreign language.

I have my stepson working with a CD curriculum for math that is an upcoming review. Last year, when he was being diagnosed with several things, the psychologist did a number of educational tests as well, and although he was seen as quite high in just about everything else, he needs to get caught up in math.

My eldest, who is actually 20, is going to be working with the 3rd grade cursive Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. We had tried an earlier, printing version of it when he was very young, but he just couldn’t do it, due to his disabilities, but I think this version may be a good one for him. I’ll let you know how it went when I write the review! 🙂

I am pulling out the kindergarten and then the first grade Abeka phonics and numbers books for my twins. It is an excellent foundation in phonics, but when the twins first came to us they just couldn’t handle it. Now, though, they are asking to do it.

We will also be starting to build up a supply of educational games, and using them for a regularly scheduled family game night.

I have a gazillian things saved on my computer that over the years I’ve collected free from the Internet, worksheets, unit studies, coloring pages, all things the boys are now asking to do, so I plan over the next week or so to go through and see what I have and kind of rough out a plan.

For each subject, unit study, or whatever the item is, I’m (for now) making a file folder to keep it in as they do it, so I have a running record of what they are doing.

We’re Just going to kind of ease into this for now, as we’re also dealing with a husband/father recovering from two spinal surgeries within the past six weeks, and still settling into living here, but I think this will be a good decision in the long run.

Do be watching, because over the next few months I will have several reviews here for a number of different educational products, plus I’ve just been given three single products to review for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine website. I’m very excited and blessed to have this opportunity, and to be given the products at no cost to me, to use and review. It will certainly help us with homeschooling on a very tight budget! 🙂


Filed under education, family, health, home education, homeschooling, Kids, unschooling

Life’s Little (or big!) Speed Bumps!

So…this past Few days have been very busy! On Tuesday, my husband had a follow up appointment with his surgeon (he had spinal surgery last month). After he went to shower and change in the early afternoon, so as to have time to rest before the appointment, we discovered that his almost closed incision had completely opened back up, was deep, bleeding and seeping. Took him to the surgeon’s office right away at their direction, of course, and they scheduled him for surgery the next morning. So… Now we’re waiting to discover what kind of infection is in there, so they can treat it. Meanwhile, he is in the hospital at LEAST through this weekend, and we’ll see after that. 😦 He’s not having a fun time at all, with all of this mess. I think he originally thought he’d be back to work long before this…

We are discovering more and more what a wonderful church family we’ve become part of out here, two lovely ladies from church came (very early in the morning) yesterday and stayed with the kids, taking them to church last night. I made it to church too, as my husband wanted me to go, and took the kids home after.

Today, I took the kids for flu shots, then to see their dad for a bit, as they were very anxious about him. We didn’t stay too long, because my husband wanted to get his pain med and rest, but at least he was able to see them and reassure them.

Came home and began working on laundry (which never seems to end), and our assistant pastor brought over a couple of meals that ladies had made and taken to the church for us (we live a ways from our church, so it was easier to do it that way). We are now warming a lasagna and a vegetable dish in the oven for tonight’s supper, and my house smells WONDERFUL! 🙂

When my husband is finally better from all of this, I intend to become involved in that ministry, as I have been in previous churches. For any of you considering where you can minister, it is a very important ministry, too. You never know how much it means until you are the recipient of caring people who take the time out of their busy schedule to fix and bring your family a meal when life is a bit overwhelming, whether because you’ve just had a baby, or just come home from the hospital, or you have a husband in the hospital and a bunch of kids to manage at the same time. Ever since the first time I was on the receiving end of this ministry I’ve known what a blessing it is, and always tried to be involved in the giving end of it, too, and I always will!

Right now, I have one child reading one of the new Hardy Boys books he got for his birthday, and the other three are playing and watching Veggie Tales, which allowed me time between laundry loads to write this. As you can see, I meant it when I said I intended to be more intentional and frequent with my blog writing! I’m trying to average at least once a week and go up from there.

Have a good evening, everyone, and remember to see the blessings more than you see the troubles! 🙂

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Filed under Christian faith, family, health, Kids

Fret not…

As my closest friends already know, my biggest spiritual struggle is with worry. An old friend back home in MI used to regularly quote the words “fret not” at me…unfortunately, it’s still a major struggle for me.

My husband is struggling to recover from major spinal surgery, and instead of concentrating on his recovery is having to spend much time on the phone with both the surgeon’s office and the administrator of his medical leave. The surgeon wants him to be recovered more before he goes back to work (his incision isn’t even healed shut yet, and it’s only been one month, today, since his surgery), and the administrating company at this point has only agreed to extend his paid leave through tomorrow. So, I am worried primarily about his recovery, because if they make him go back too soon, I don’t believe he will completely recover, making the surgery a waste. I hate bureaucracy so very, very much…

We’ve been trying ever since we moved here to NM to find out how to transfer our guardianship of our adult, developmentally disabled son to a judge here. I made a call this morning to an organization I was referred to by a lady I met at a Scrapbooking day, but the person I need to speak to is out of the office until next week, so I left a voice mail with our phone numbers, and information about what we need. Hoping they can help, worrying, because we are now running out of time to get this done within the timeframe the original judge gave us.

I miss my best friend. I haven’t seen her since May, when my kids and I visited her for a few days before we left MI, and had three birthday parties in three days, for my twins and two of her kids. I miss getting to spend time with my best friend. I know it will never again be like it was, being able to see each other fairly often, even though we lived 2 1/2 hours apart. Now, it’s about 1700 miles, and several states. I miss having someone to talk with, who understands my life. I miss my other friends, the ones who were there to get together with me for just fun get togethers, even if just to go out for girl’s time… I’m lonely, and I feel like maybe I’m just being selfish.

I miss taking piano lessons, but I had to leave my piano behind when we moved, and we haven’t been able to replace it. I even miss practicing!

I am weary.

Lately, I’ve been very stressed and anxious, and am trying to give it to the Lord, but I have such a hard time leaving it with Him!

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7

This is SO hard for me, the whole “fret not” thing! I do not do well with the whole “just in time delivery” concept, it makes me very anxious. I guess the only thing I can do is keep trying, but it’s just so hard…


Filed under Birthdays, Christian faith, family, health, scrapbooking