Tag Archives: health

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 . . .

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. . . 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.

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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!

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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 . . .

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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”.

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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”! 🙂

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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!

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

A Follow Up To An Earlier Post . . .

Today I am updating a post I made a few weeks back . . .

In today’s edition of the ABQJournal, columnist Joline Gutierrez-Krueger published this column.

The third portion of this column is written about a family that we in OUR family hold dear. We have, and would again, trust these parents with the lives of our own children.

We, like them, are raising a child adopted from foster care who, as a result of reactive attachment disorder along with other things, has harmed himself, at least one sibling, and me, his mother, during the first two and a half years he was with us. He is a different child now, but during that time, he repeatedly, if he did not get his way, deliberately harmed himself, while saying he would then go tell others that we had done it. We were lucky in that we had a number of mandatory reporters as part of our circle of family and friends who had witnessed this behavior, or we would have been in the same boat as the Kuckartz family.

They do NOT deserve what is being done to them! They did every single thing asked of them by CYFD. Their children were returned to them long ago. It is my understanding that some CYFD workers involved in the case have even come and apologized for what they put the family through.

They are now stalked and harassed by strangers. They have had horrible things painted on their vehicle while it was in a parking area during errands. They are losing their home as a result of mounting legal bills. And they are facing 18 years of prison, because a DA wants to build a reputation on the backs of people who have taken on children who have serious problems that were created by the true abusers, their birth parents.

I implore you to check out the articles, and facebook.com/seekingjusticenow, and please, help this family. Sign the petition. Pray for their protection from this “prosecutorial vindictiveness”, which is exactly what it is. Stop this DA from continuing to harass and terrorize this family.

I said this in my previous post, and I will say it again . . .

this needs to stop . . . NOW!

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I did it!!!

My surgeon at Henry Ford Hospital told me I had to lose 15 – 20 pounds before my surgery was scheduled, and I did it! Today was the day I went back for my second consult to schedule my surgery, and I had lost 20.2 pounds, plus my a1c blood test went from 11.2 down to 7.4, so he is very pleased that my diabetes is becoming better controlled, something that was necessary before scheduling. I do intend to lose some extra over the next few months just so I can have a “little bit” of leeway over Thanksgiving, though.

Of course, we knew that it would be scheduled for after the first of the year, because my husband has no more paid benefit days until then, but even if we didn’t have to consider that, the first opening the surgeon had was not until December anyway. So, I will be having my mandatory pre-surgery weigh in on Wednesday January 26, 2011, and my surgery on Thursday January 27, 2011.

There are so many things I’m looking forward to! I’m looking forward to having my diabetes be in remission. I’m looking forward to being able to stop taking all of my meds except for my thyroid medication (that won’t change). I’m looking forward to not needing the a/c to be kept as low as it is because the heat won’t bother me as much and I’ll be able to breathe better. I’m looking forward to being able to buy clothing in a regular size store instead of plus size. I’m looking forward to seeing a pretty crochet sweater pattern and realizing I can make it for myself and it will fit.

Things I will not miss…I will not miss giving myself a shot of insulin four times a day. I will not miss feeling exhausted from walking a short distance. I will not miss having my priority in clothing purchases be that they are big enough, regardless of style. I will not miss needing a seat belt extender whenever I wear a coat. There are so many things that I can’t even think of them all right now!

So, this is the next step to my new, healthy me, and I’m starting to realize I can do this, one step at a time. 🙂

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Medical Clearance

So Tuesday was my medical clearance appointment at Henry Ford Hospital. The doctor cleared me, but did say I need to get another A1c test before my scheduling appointment, because she said that Dr. Carlin will want to see that my blood sugar levels are coming down. I am confident that my A1c will show that they are, because when I check my blood I an see the results are so much lower now that I’m not drinking pop anymore, plus have cut way back on fast food. I’ve lost about 8 pounds, 12 more to reach the goal the surgeon set for me to lose before scheduling surgery.  Then I just have to keep it off until surgery, because if I gain it back they will postpone my surgery. My scheduling appointment is August 13, so I anticipate the surgery being scheduled for sometime after the first of the year, since they are already scheduling months ahead.  When I was there for my consult on April 28th, they were scheduling October surgeries! This isn’t a bad thing though, because my husband has no more paid days for this year other than the one he’s taking for my scheduling day. He’s going to stay at the hospital for the two nights I’ll be there, plus be home for at least a few days after, so it’s for the best that it won’t be until then, we really can’t afford for him to just take a week off with no pay.

So, I finally found a protein bar I don’t hate, Pure Protein bars, which I can buy at Sam’s Club. Now I have to decide on a protein powder, because I will be on that mixed into liquids, etc for a while before and after surgery. I’m currently testing the different flavors from www.unjury.com, and so far they are OK. At least I don’t have to force them down like the stuff I bought from GNC, that was HORRIBLE!!!  I tried the vanilla flavor with orange Crystal Lite last night. I’m thinking if I get a blender and add ice they might be even better.

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Found Fun Exercise!

It really hurts when I go walking. REALLY hurts. So today, I decided to check an exercise DVD out from the library, and got one of the Sweatin’ to the Oldies tapes re-done onto DVD.  It is as much of a workout as I remember from all those years ago! I managed to do the entire 45 minutes, and had fun doing it, too!  I did need to modify some of the stuff to accomodate my lack of fitness and my pain, but still, it was a workout. One of my kids actually did almost the whole thing with me, too.  So, since I can keep a DVD for 7 days from the library, I will do that, and then check out one of the other DVD’s in the series, until I go through all of them, then start again, until I have the money to order all of them for myself.  I see no reason at all why exercise shouldn’t be fun, if it isn’t, I won’t do as much of it as I need to do.  I also bought a pedometer, and with the help of Richard Simmons and his DVD, my step count so far today is over 4100!  Now to learn how to use my new food scale, and figure out calories and protein in meals cooked at home.

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Another day in Detroit…

I was just too tired to do this last night when we got home, instead, I put my feet up and fell asleep! So, here’s what we did yesterday.

We got up WAY earlier than usual, the alarm was set for 5:30 am.  Mike (my husband) got up to have the first shower, then got all the kids up and downstairs for breakfast, and to get dressed in the clothes I’d had them put downstairs Tuesday night before bed. When they headed downstairs, I was able to go get my shower and get dressed, then downstairs to check my blood (159, best morning reading in a LONG time) and have my breakfast.

We left the house at about 7:40 to go drop the kids off with wonderful friends who have been helping with child care when I have appointments, and got to their house just on time for the kids to help collect the morning eggs from their chickens!  Then, we got going to Detroit for my first appointment for the day, the initial consult with my surgeon, Dr. Carlin. Commuter rush traffic is SOOOO fun!

My appointment with Dr. Carlin (this was the appointment that I was required to bring my husband to) was for 10:30, I actually signed in a little before 10:00, I think, and actually was able to have my appointment begin a little early as a result. I had to go with a nurse to be weight, blood pressure checked, height checked, and answer questions. Then I was taken to an exam room and saw Dr. Carlin’s P.A., who asked many questions, measured me, checked to make sure I’d brought and handed in to the nurse my lab reports, my letter of intent, and my 11 page questionnaire.

I Finally saw Dr. Carlin after that. We talked about the surgery and the hospital stay, and he gave me my weight loss goal that must be met before the surgery, which is 15 – 20 pounds.  The reason for this is that it will shrink the liver, making it easier to do laproscopic surgery, as opposed to open.

After Dr. Carlin, Wanda (the nurse who is the coordinator for the bariatric progam at HFH) came and took us to her office for scheduling.

Wanda & Me

The surgeons have very busy schedules this time of year. My medical clearance appointment will be June 1, and my appointment to schedule surgery is August 13, unless there’s a cancellation before then. This will be a four hour appointment, because I have to be seen by three or four different people.

Once we were done with this appointment, we went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch, then on to my other appointment, the mandatory class with the exercise people.  We had a one hour presentation, then on to exercise machines. I was able to do 15 minutes on treadmill set to 1 mile per hour, I did a quarter of a mile. The treadmill is very hard on my back.

Then I did 15 minutes on a recumbant bike, which is more of a workout than I would have guessed! I did two miles in that 15 minutes. 

After that, the specialist spoke with me about what I should do to build up strength and ability to exercise.  To begin, I’ll walk the length of my block, because that way if I get out of breath or hurt, I can stop at my porch to sit long enough to drink some water. I’ll do that until I can walk long enough without a break that I won’t need to have something close by for a sit down.  I want to get to where I can go down the street and walk the track at the high school. I’m also going to dust off the wii fit and get back to using it, especially when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor exercise.

When we left there, it was time for commuter rush traffic again, so we decided to go have dinner before coming home. We went to Big Boy, knowing I’d be working hard on changes starting today, and I had things I probably won’t have again, some for a long time, some forever. I had chicken parmesan with salad bar, and an ice cream sundae for dessert. No pop, I quit pop already. I had water.

Then we got on the freeway in time for just the tail end of the rush traffic, went back to Port Huron, and went and got our kids, picking them up about a quarter to nine. I was in bed by 11:30, which is early for me, because I’m generally up until at least 1:00 or 2:00 am.

Today, I had a breakfast hotpocket and some strawberries for breakfast, a cracker, ham & cheese lunchable for lunch (Thursday is the day my kids have their home-school gym & swim program at the YMCA, I do a lunchable or the asian chicken salad from Wendy’s), 2 slices of swiss cheese for snack,  a small piece of boneless pork chop roasted with garlic and rosemary seasoning and a serving of mashed potatoes with margarine for supper. I will probably have a small amount of deli sliced ham and cheese for a snack later.

While dinner was cooking, I went out and walked. I walked the length of my block 6 times.  I need to find out how long it actually is so that I know how far I actually walk.

I washed the dishes, folded some laundry to be put away, and did my piano practice.

I’ve decided that since I’m going on a journey to a healthy me, I may as well take care of all the things my doctors have been nagging me about, so a couple weeks ago I had my mammogram, which came back normal, then this past Monday I went to the gynocologist for my yearly (it’s been two years sice the last one, and I’m supposed to see her every six months because of having had cancer), and set up my appointment for the “you’re over 50” colonoscopy, which will be on May 11. So, I am truly working on a healthier me.

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Filed under Bariatric Surgery, changes, exercise, family, food, health, just me, Kids, weight loss

Paperwork, paperwork!

I’ve begun working on the questionnaires I have to fill out and have with me next Wednesday when I see the surgeon and the cardio exercise specialist for the first time, and have been considering what I want to put into my “letter of intent” that I also have to have written before my appointment. I’m thinking that a lot of things I’ve written here in this blog will be good for the letter.  I have read the book the surgeon required (“Weight Loss Surgery, finding the thin person hiding inside you” by Barbara Thompson), and have read (and re-read!) the huge binder full of information given to me at the orientation. I have given up drinking pop (as of March 31). I feel so ready to move on with this, but realize that they have their timeline and steps for a reason. I do hope that when I see the surgeon the goal he gives me for pre-surgical weight loss is an amount I’ll be able to do quickly, because they won’t schedule the surgery until I meet it, and I am really hoping to have it sometime this summer. I want to get on with the business of living a healthier, longer life. I am totally at peace with the decision I’ve made to have gastric bypass. I’ve received no negative feedback from anyone in my life, only positive and supportive, which shows me that my friends and famly are much more open minded than I realized.

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Discouragement

When I attended the 6 hour orientation for surgery, Wanda (the nurse who presented) said surgery would be about three months out from then, so I’ve been thinking in terms of end of July or so.  However, I asked on the yahoo group support list for Henry Ford Bariatric patients if that meant three months from orientation, or three months from the date of the surgical consult, and am being told it’ll be way longer, like eight months or so! I hope that doesn’t turn out to be the case for me….. Once I’ve committed to something I really need to just move along and do it.  The waiting is not good. I’m anxious about the time between now and then. I am committed to doing what the doctor wants me to do, but fearful of having to do it for too long.  That’s how we get to this point in the weight issues, we can lose weight for sure but keeping it off for a long time, or even continuing a weight loss diet long term, is where we become failures.  If my wait time for surgery is a long time away, am I just setting myself up to fail again bfore the surgery even happens? I hope not.  I need the help that surgery will bring, the tool to help me stick to a new way of eatimg. It’s already been proven I can’t do it on my own for any extended length of time.

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Loving friends & family……..

When I went to the 6 hour orientation, and also when I read the book we were required to purchase and read, the question of how to handle those who would say I am taking the easy way out was addressed.  I admit, this is something I did fret about, having had people comment that they had their children “the hard way”, as if adoption was the “easy way out”.  I’m so happy that this has not happened so far.  I’ve told just about everyone who is important to me, and received wonderful support from each one so far. You never know how good your friends are, or your family either, until you need to count on them for support ad non-judgement.  I’m luckier than I realized.

Just a little discouraged though, which I’ll address in another post……..

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