Thursday, April 27, 2017

He Loves Us More

At the tail end of summer and right before our youngest daughter was to start kindergarten she got a really bad cold.  We tried all the at home remedies and over the counter medications but she just couldn't shake it.  After about three of four days of her being sick enough to stay inside and not want to play I thought it best to take her to our doctor.  We made an appointment with the only available physician's assistant in the office at the time.  He wasn't my favorite, but he was still very good.  He did all the things we expected him to do like checked her ears, checked her throat, and then he listened to her lungs and her heart.  After listening to her heart he then asked me a question a doctor has never asked us before.  He said, "How long has she had that heart murmur?"  That question caught me off guard.  I replied, "What heart murmur?"  He said, "Yeah, your daughter has a heart murmur.  Let's get her over this cold and then bring her back and we will check her again, and we will give her the shot she still needs for school.  We are out of stock right now.  You can also call us in a couple of days if you want to see if the shot is in stock and just bring her back, you don't need another appointment, and we will give it to her even if the cold is not completely cleared up."  

I left our doctor's office a bit puzzled and I remember thinking this guy is off his rocker.  Well, about two weeks later I caught the same cold our daughter had and ended up making an appointment for myself.  This time at another location for our doctor.  When I made the appointment I mentioned that I would also like to get my daughter in for the shot she still needed while we are in the office.  The physician's assistant checked me over and gave me the same kind of medication he had given my daughter.  Once he we done checking me out, he asked a question that I thought was a bit odd about our daughter.  I explained that we needed to get the shot she still needed for school and the other office was out of stock when she was in two weeks ago, and he said, "How did that appointment go?"  That question surprised me because I remembered thinking, funny you should ask.  I then explained that Lexi had the same cold I had and while Dale was checking her over he asked how long she had had her heart murmur.  I then explained that we had no idea she had one.  The Physician's Assistant, Nathan, said, "Well, do you mind if I take a listen?"  He listened to her heart and said, "Yeah, she has a murmur."  And then he said, "We just happen to have a cardiologist in the office right now, do you mind if he listens to her heart?"  The cardiologist came into the room and listened to her heart and then he said, "She definitely has a murmur and it isn't an emergency right now, but she really needs to see a pediatric cardiologist."  When they were both done examining Lexi they left the room for a few minutes.  When Nathan came back into the room he asked if he could make the appointment for Lexi and he wanted to make sure I would get her there no matter the day or time.  I agreed and the appointment was made for about a month later.  Which was the soonest they could get us in.

As we waiting the long month for our daughter's appointment with the specialist my husband and I were concerned but not too worried.  The day of the appointment I took the day off work and took our daughter to the appointment.  My husband wasn't feeling well so he stayed home.  When Lexi and I arrived at the doctor's office the waiting room was empty.  The doctor was busy with his first appointment for the day and eventually this little girl just a year or two older came out with her mother to wait for a test to be done.  The little girl was wearing a hospital gown with the ties in the front instead of in the back.  The little girl sat in a chair next to her mother and then began to play with one of the toys sitting on a table in the waiting room.  The little girl had a long thick scar that ran right down the middle of her chest.  Lexi of course noticed the scar and seemed to really pay close attention to this little girl.  While we waited for our appointment I commented to the Mom of the little girl that by the looks of things their family had been through a lot.  As I made that comment I was silently thanking my Heavenly Father that we did not have that trial to go through.  The mother agreed that they had indeed been through a lot.  In fact, the mother proceeded to tell me that her little girl had to have open heart surgery twice and that was why her scar was so dark red and thick.  She said they were there for an echo cardiogram to make sure everything was good.  

After waiting for what seemed to be an eternity our name was called.  The nurse took us into a room and proceeded to take Lexi's vitals and then explained that they needed to do an EKG.  They explained everything quite well to Lexi and I was impressed that she wasn't scared at all.  Once the test was complete the printout was taken to the doctor who reviewed it.  When he was done reviewing the test he came into the examination room we were in and he talked with Lexi for a moment and then he looked at me and said he was going to explain to me what was going on with our daughter in a way as not to upset her.  He then asked me if I would be able to not react so she didn't get scared.  He then pulled out a piece of paper with a picture of a heart on it.  For the next ten minutes he walked me through what that little EKG machine had revealed. Our daughter had a hole between the two chambers in her heart that was causing the oxygenated blood to mix with the other blood.  He then explained that she also had a heart murmur and that her mitral valve was in need of repair as well.  He said they would need to do an Echo cardiogram on Lexi and would like to set it up for the next day to confirm and get a good look at what needed to be done, but that all of this would require our daughter to have open heart surgery.  

I got through the doctor's explanation just fine without breaking down and crying.  In fact, I didn't say much, but asked one or two questions as he drew on the piece of paper with blue and red colored pencils to illustrate everything.  The doctor was pretty amazing.  When he got up to leave the room and as he was standing in the hallway and looking into the exam room I must of had a deer in the headlights look on my face because the doctor then asked me, "Are you okay?"  I burst out and just started to cry.  I held it together until he asked me if I was okay.  I got my daughter dressed and then we both went out to the front desk to set up the test for the next day.  

The doctor's office was clear across town and as I walked, holding my daughter's hand, down the walkway to the elevator and then to the parking garage I was still crying pretty hard, but Lexi was surprisingly calm.  In fact, I remember telling her how sorry I was and she looked up at me and said, "Mom, I'm gonna be okay."  I knew at that moment that those words were placed in my little five year old daughter's mouth by the Holy Ghost for my benefit.  When we got to the car it took me a moment to wipe the tears from my eyes so I could actually see well enough to drive us home. We had to take the freeway to get to our home and I still don't know how I was able to do that without completely losing it, but I did.  

When I got home my husband met us at the door to our kitchen and he could tell something was very wrong when he saw my face.  He then asked how everything went and I broke down and started to cry again.  I could barely get the words out and I pulled out the piece of paper the doctor gave me with all of his writing and drawings.  I then proceeded to explain to my husband in the best way I knew how what was happening with our daughter's heart.  I then explained that all of this would require open heart surgery to repair everything.  By the time I was finished explaining everything my husband was crying just as hard as I was.  I explained that the doctor's office would work with our insurance to receive authorization for the referral to the cardiac surgeon, but we would have to travel to the Children's Hospital to see him.  

We had to wait another month to get in to see the cardiac surgeon.  By now, the company I was working for and the one our insurance was through was about to close their doors in our city so time was running out.  At the time I didn't know exactly what that meant.  As we were getting ready to meet with the cardiac surgeon my head was spinning.  I kept thinking about everything they were going to do to our little girl and I was terrified for her.  I kept thinking about the what ifs.  You know, what if something goes wrong?  What if some fluke accident happens and we lose her?  What if when they turn off all the machines they have to use to keep her body working, while they literally stop the blood from pumping through her heart, and she doesn't wake up?  What about them having to crack her rib cage to to get to her little heart?  The what ifs had me totally freaked out and I spent many nights crying and in a panicked state.  My husband thought I was more concerned with how this whole thing was effecting me, but I wasn't thinking of myself.  I was only thinking of our little girl.  Kevin and I are rarely on the same page.  We tend to compliment each other. This time I did the freak out before. Kevin's freak out would come later on the day of the surgery and after.

About a week before the big day Kevin gave Lexi a blessing.  That blessing was for her and her alone. Then a long time family friend, who also happened to be the man that sealed Kevin and I together in the temple, insisted on giving her a blessing himself.  He wouldn't take no for an answer and Kevin couldn't bring himself to tell this good man that we had already given our sweet little girl a blessing. We agreed to meet with our good friend at our church building one evening.  We gathered together as a family in chairs in a half circle. Our friend said a few words and then asked for Lexi to come sit in the chair in front of him. Our friend gave an amazing blessing, but this blessing was not intended for our daughter. His blessing was for our family and we all felt this incredible sense of peace come over us from that blessing on, and right up until her follow up appointment after her surgery.  That sense of peace carried me through and I remember actually being able to fall asleep without shedding tears on my pillow at night. That sense of peace also carried me through the next Sunday at church when our dear Bishop stood at the pulpit, in tears and barely able to speak, and asked that our ward come together for a fast for our little girl and our family. Hearing our Bishop and seeing him physically moved to the point of not being able to speak as he stood there at the pulpit and asked for a fast for our daughter and family was very humbling.  Normally I would have cried as soon as he spoke and asked the ward to help in such a profound way, but I didn't cry. I didn't even go running from the building because I couldn't stand it.  I just sat there and listened and felt that sweet spirit in that room as we felt the love of everyone around us fill that room. It was something I myself had never experienced in such a profound way probably because I had never been through something quite like this before.

The big day arrived and we sent our other three children to school or to a friends house who agreed to take and pick up up all three of our children from school. The ward was amazing and they took over and picked up and brought our kids down to the hospital along with food for everyone that came down to the hospital with us.  We had all the grandparents and extended family there with us and we had several friends there as well.  One friend happened to have a teenage daughter go through a heart transplant with the exact same group of doctors that were operating on our daughter.  We didn't learn that until after the surgery had started.  As it turned out the group of doctor's that were operating on our daughter happened to be the best in the Southwest.  We learned that bit of information from our friend as well. The mother of our teenage friend and I decided to walk around the hospital a bit because she could tell I just needed to get away and keep busy.  As we were walking past the admitting department out came a doctor from what seemed like a back door.  When he saw this Mom, he immediately asked, "Where is Katie, and is everything okay?"  The Mom assured the doctor that all was well with her daughter and then proceeded to tell the doctor that she was only there to be with us as our daughter was having surgery that day.  The doctor then asked me for my daughter's name and then he said he just left our little girl and she was doing great and they were just bringing her out of the recovery room now and she will be in her hospital room very soon. I could have kissed that doctor right there in that hallway. Lucky for him I refrained from doing that, but I did race back to my husband to let him know the good news.  

Lexi was taken to her hospital room and there she stayed for the next four days.  After some time the pace maker that was used as a precaution was removed from her and the lead wires were pulled out of her chest.  That was a rough and painful day for our little girl.  The physician's assistant forgot to have pain medications given to Lexi about an hour before she pulled that little stunt.  Luckily the attending nurse let the Physician's Assistant know she shouldn't have done that before speaking with her first.  Like I said before Lexi was only in the hospital for four days after her surgery and on the fourth day she was able to come home and wear a Eeyore costume to go to the ward Halloween party that night and collect some candy with the other kids as they went trunk or treating.  She really wanted to go and we only let her stay out for a few minutes and then we brought her home to rest.  I was only home with Lexi for about a week before I received a telephone call from my employer letting me know that they were closing their doors and were letting everyone go.  They wanted me to come and clean out my desk.  Then about a week after that Lexi had her follow up appointment with the pediatric cardiologist she saw in the very beginning.  She was given another echo cardiogram and everything checked out great.  The surgeons patched up the hole in her heart and repaired the mitral valve.  Now she only goes in for check ups every few years just to make sure everything is a-okay.  Lexi is now 17 and will be turning 18 on about a month and a half.  


Just a little background information....the mother of the teenage girl that had a heart transplant, she later died of a heart condition most of their family had.  The same heart condition that required their daughter to have a heart transplant, and the same heart condition that took their first born son at a very young age. After this surgery we didn't see this sweet family that went out of their way to have their daughter talk to our daughter, and to be there for us while our little girl went through her surgery. They were there through it all and we never had to ask them to be there, they were just there, but I was so grateful that they were.  Well, the day this dear woman died, and before anyone ever informed me that she had passed, I could not get this dear lady out of my mind. I thought about her all day.  This woman's name kept coming to mind over and over again it just kept coming up.  So I tried to call her home, but I couldn't get through. 

The promptings I received that day were very specific and I was informed that my dear friend had passed before anyone called to let me know.  I wasn't the only one that had received these kinds of promptings that day. After my friends passing I recalled a few comments her family made about how the Lord loved their wife and mother and that He knew them, because He prompted myself and three other women in their ward to reach out to her that day in various ways. This family was so grateful for these women for following those promptings. I knew what they said was true because I had experienced it myself.

The Lord did indeed know my sweet friends name. I know this because He whispered it to me over and over again until I got the message. He wanted me (and others) to go show His love for this woman and her family. Because I know He knows her name, I know without a doubt that He knows mine too. And because I witnessed His making things happen for my little girl and one of His older daughter's (my friend), I know that He was in every single detail, right down to having a cardiologist in our Primary Care doctor's office that day to listen to our daughter's heart, that He had our friend insist on giving our little girl another blessing that calmed my troubled mind and heart, as well as the mind and heart of my husband and our children, that He made sure our medical coverage was intact right up until after everything was complete for the surgery.  There are so many ways we were made aware that our Heavenly Father was there and very much involved in every single detail of our lives through this entire experience.  We truly are very blessed.  Sometimes the Lord saves us from hard things, sometimes He allows us to experience the hard things, because He knows the end from the beginning.  There are reasons we experience hard things.  It doesn't mean He loves us any less because He allows us to go through hard, even heartbreaking things.  Quite the opposite.  It means He loves us more, and trusts us enough to be able to handle those experiences and become better for having gone through them.  
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Meme, and other Rambling Thoughts

Sorry it's been such a long time since my last post.  It's taken me several days to put this post together.  One day I could only jot down a few thoughts and then other days I could finish one thought, it seems it took forever to come to this.  First a Meme, and then a few rambling thoughts.....

1.  Tell us about a time you felt like you were "flying by the seat of your pants".  

It's hard to thing of a specific example, but I do know I feel this way pretty often....ha!!  One instance that comes immediately to mind was when Lexi had open heart surgery and with Kevin's spinal cord injury.  OR anytime I was asked to sub a Primary class just minutes before the class was about to start.  

2.  When or where would you most like to be "a fly on the wall"?

In the minds of some of the people that post on Facebook.  Some people really think a lot of themselves!  

3.  "Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."  -Henry David Thoreau.   Would you agree?  Why or why not?

I have always liked this quote ever since I first heard it way back in Junior High.  BUT, I have come to realize that although there are certain times when this may be true, we do need to stop and smell the roses sometimes, and in the slowing down we will sometimes find happiness had been sitting on our own front doorstep all along.  It's surprising.

Also, there are times when the chase itself makes me happy.  

4.  Share a favorite movie, book, or song with flying in it's title, lyrics, or theme somewhere.

I'd have to say, "Let's Go Fly a Kite"  from Mary Poppins.  (Now I can't get the words out of my head.)  It's such a happy song.  

5.  What is one task or chore you tend to do "on the fly"?  Is this something that really needs to be done another way?

Cleaning out the fridge.  I hate it!  AND it always seems to happen at the very last minute late on Thursday evenings which is the night before the garbage man comes to collect the garbage from our cans.  

6.  What was happening the last time you thought to yourself or said aloud, "Wow, time flies when you're having fun", and you meant it.

While Curtis was away on his mission.  It went by so fast!  

7.  Today is National Garlic Day.  Will you add garlic to your menu on Thursday?  Do you like garlic?  What's your favorite dish made with garlic?

I love garlic and cook with it fairly often.  As I type this I remember the tossed salad we had with our meal on Easter.  Everyone LOVED the garlic salad.  It's become my favorite!  

8.  Insert your own random thought here...OR should I say, in other news.......


***We did something we haven't done in a while and called in an order to our favorite Mexican Restaurant so we could pick it up through their drive through pick-up window. We opted to bring it home since no one was up for going out to eat.  We aren't celebrating anything special.  I wish we were celebrating my hives going away, but we aren't.  I'm so over it.  I went back to the doctor and she did a blood test to check my histamine levels and gave me another medication to take that should help, but last night I started getting more hives.  This time they were blotchy and all were bigger than a quarter on both arms and my chest.  So, the food was just because we all needed a "pick-me-up" and Matta's always makes us happy.  

The photo below is the location we visit the most.  There are now four locations in the valley.  Three in Mesa and one in Queen Creek.  We miss their old location in down town Mesa before the original owner's retired. 


***It's official!  My cell phone has kicked the bucket.  I can't answer calls, make calls, text, or access any of the apps on it.  So, I ordered a new phone and it will be in tomorrow.  I decided to go with an Android phone.  We have always had Straightalk service for pretty much as long as we have had cell service.  We tried Verizon for a while years ago, but went back to Straightalk.  Back then you use to pay for all of your minutes and we didn't want to risk having a super huge bill when our kids started sending messages.  The service we have is a pre-paid service and it has saved us tons of money over the years I'm sure of it!  We could make the switch now to Verizon, but it hasn't been an issue until my phone bit the dust.  Now, I'm wishing we had Verizon for their replacement plan.  Oh well.  We may think of switching in a few months.  My options with Straightalk were to buy another iPhone with 16 GB of memory or switch to the Android and have 32 GB of memory.  So, since I use my phone for everything and need the extra memory, I went with the Android.  I can't wait to get it.  I was able to access my phone last night and get all my notes and contacts written down.  I started to move my photos as well and will continue to do that over the weekend.  I have LOTS of photos to move.  So, by this time Monday I will have a brand new phone.  I am so excited!!

***Like I mentioned before, I had another doctor's appointment this week.  They gave me a new medication for the hives I've been having.  I explained that I needed something that wouldn't make me sleepy, but when I picked up the medication from the pharmacy the notification on the side of the bottle indicated that the new medication could cause drowsiness and dizziness as well.  So, I checked into that with the pharmacist.  It sounds like I should be fine with it, but I should stick close to home until I know for sure that it does not cause dizziness or drowsiness for me.  From what I understand, some people have side effects.

This is just one of the blotches or hives I've had.  It's a big giant oblong circle on my shoulder.  The others are in places I'd rather not show you.  This particular blotch started out about the size of one of those plastic Easter eggs you see in bags at the stores.  It seems to be growing larger and larger.  

***When I got home from the doctor I realized I never completed our taxes.  Months ago I entered all of the information into the Turbo Tax website, but I never completed everything and finalized things.  I had to locate couple things for medical expenses before I could finish them.  Well, at 8PM on Tuesday night it dawned on me that we needed to get those done.  So, I logged into their website and proceeded to double and triple check all of our entries.  When I got to the end and was ready to e-file both our Federal and our State taxes I realized I didn't have our AIG from the previous year ready and available, so I had to actually print and mail the forms.  Well, my printer has been acting up and does not print dark enough.  I don't know what the issue is but I can't just turn up the darkness with the touch of a button like you can on most printers.  I need to read up on how to fix the problem.  The other issue I was having is that when I hit print I could only get a blank Federal form and the State form couldn't be seen at all.  So, I called my Dad and he agreed to print out a couple blank State forms for me.  All I had to do was fill both forms in and get them in the mail.  I was so glad it wasn't any more intense than that, otherwise I would have tried for extensions for sure, even though we are getting money back for both State and Federal.  I should have filed months ago, but with me being sick, Kevin being in the hospital a few times, and Curtis coming home it totally slipped my mind.  I'm starting to learn the hard way that I can't leave things for the last minute anymore.  Things like, I can't whip the house into shape in one day anymore, especially after my family has hit it hard.  I can't stay up late making 12 gingerbread houses for centerpieces for a work Christmas party the next day like I did years ago for Kevin's work.  I can't sew a dress in one day for my daughter.  I can't wash all the clothes, fold, hang up, and put them all away in one day when my kids decided to pull everything out of their drawers and closet so they have something to land on when they jump off their dressers.  Not that my kids are pulling everything out of the drawers and closets anymore, but they sure can produce a lot of laundry in a short amount of time.  There's just too many clothes now.  I can't crochet a detailed baby blanket with different cross stitched animals on several of the blocks for my new nephew in two days anymore.  These are just a few examples of the things I use to do all the time.  When they say "fly by the seat of my pants"  I did that a lot more when I was younger.  Now a days, it takes a little longer and with all that has happened in our lives, I have to be a little more organized and plan things out a little better.  It hasn't been easy, let me tell you.  I'm learning though.  I'm not liking this sudden change in how we use to do things at all.  I've had to learn a few things the hard way when I can't get something accomplished at the last minute.  It's frustrating.  ~wink~wink~

***I am so grateful that I can pay most of my bills online and then the ones that can't be paid online can be paid over the phone.  That is so convenient.  I love it!  I'm still waiting for payments from my work for the time I've been out.  I can't believe it is taking so long.  Sheesh!   Once that comes I plan to pay for our car tags.  It's been a rough month.  I was beginning to think we would never make it, but my parents helped out quite a bit and we were able to get through it.  I am so grateful to my parents and that I was able to pay them back, pay rent, the electric, the water, phone service, medical bills, car insurance, Internet service, and get my back off my back for my small balance too.  The only thing left are the tags on my car and once that's done I can breathe a sigh of relief until next month.

***Danielle gave us some good news this weekend.  Some time ago you may remember me mentioning that she has decided to change her career goals.  Since she was in Junior High she has always wanted to be a High School English teacher until she ran into a few roadblocks with the teaching program and decided to rethink her major.  At first she thought she would become an English major but that didn't feel completely right.  Well, since she has been married she has been working as like a respite care provider for two autistic boys (twins) and she absolutely LOVES it!  While working with these two boys she has had the chance to talk with a few of their therapists, one being an occupational therapist.  Well, the occupational therapist mentioned to Danielle that all the work she was doing with the boys basically was exactly the kinds of things an occupational therapist does and they wanted to know if she had ever considered becoming one??..  Danielle thought about it and then started to look into it.  In fact, she took all the tests required at one school and was all set to start their program until another occupational therapist suggested that she go back to ASU and take the couple of classes to complete her degree and then get into the Masters program to become an occupational therapist.  They also suggested that she make sure she gets trained in a certain thing, and I can't remember what that was right now, but this would ensure she always had work because everyone needs this kind of therapist.  So, Danielle starts classes soon and once she is done and through the Masters program she could start making a six figure salary.  That's a huge jump from a teacher's salary for sure and she will still be doing something she loves, teaching and working with kids.  

***My new purse came today.  I was so happy and it came so quickly!  As I mentioned before, my purse was out of stock in all the online stores, believe me I checked, even Nordstrom's and Macy's was sold out of it.  So, on a whim, I decided to reach out to the designer and low and behold they happened to have it.  Not only did they sell it to me for a considerable discount (only $29.99) they included a free key chain as well with my order.  How cool is that?  I am one happy lady!  Especially because I didn't think I'd ever find a purse I liked as much as this one and I was sad it was out of stock everywhere.  From now on I'm going to check with this designer and her website first before I go any other place.  I can't get over how fast they responded and how fast my new bag was sent to me.  Love that!! It pays to do a little research and send an email to big companies.  They really do car about their products and their customers.  

***It's been pretty quiet on our street this past week.  The city resurfaced the streets with new black tar.  It looks so nice now.  It needed to be done.  It was so weird not hearing any cars race down our street the day they came to do the resurfacing.  It was nice and quiet.  I secretly wish they'd block off the street every single day.  
We were suppose to have the missionaries over for dinner this weekend, but I think we are going to have to have the boys drop food off to them instead.  I'm still not completely better and Kevin hasn't been feeling well and he can't be up and about a lot when he isn't well.  So, I'll have to call them later tonight to set up that up.  

***We received a voicemail message the other day telling us they received the approval for Kevin's MRI.  He called and scheduled it yesterday.  They can't get him in until the end of May.  His MRI has to be done with sedation and they only do that kind of MRI on Mondays and I guess those appointments fill up quickly.  Kevin really needs to get in as quickly as possible so we can get a move on with his pain doctor and Ortho rehab doctor as well.  I'm hoping for a cancellation in the next few days so Kevin can get in sooner.  

***Lexi has decided to take a couple tests at the local community college to get a jump on school.  She was able to get signed up and she is now ready to start those tests next week.  She's excited and nervous at the same time, but most of all anxious to get all of this done so she can move on to the next step.  College.  Kevin and I are excited for her to move on.  Kevin reminded both Lexi and Curtis that they will be freshman in college together since Curtis didn't start school before his mission.  It will be good for Lexi to have her big brother around for a little bit anyway.  It's hard to believe she will be in college soon.  My baby is all grown up.  I'm getting old.  ~smile~smile~

***Curtis came home from work today with brand new work shirts that had his name on them.  Before, he was wearing old shirts with the name Dave or Service technician on them.  So Kyle and Kevin kept calling Curtis by whatever name was on his shirt that day.  Silly family.  Curtis seems to really like his new job.  That's always half the battle.  It's weird thinking of my son with his own work truck, company credit card, and a company cell phone.  It seems like just yesterday we sent him out on his mission as a boy and he came home a man.  It's so strange and I'm having to stop myself from holding him back by putting any restrictions on him in anyway.  He asked me the other night how late he could stay out.  I told him he didn't have a set time to be home, but we do expect a courtesy call if he is going to be out super late.  Well, that night he was home 15 minutes before midnight, which surprised me.  When he asked me that question, I was expecting one or two in the morning.  Curtis has always been pretty respectful and has never advantage of his freedom.  In fact, none of our kids have.  Sure, they have been out late, but we usually always got a phone call and an explanation.  Kevin has always had this keen sense for knowing when our kids are trying to pull a fast one on us.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure our kids have some stories to tell.  I'm not trying to tell you they are perfect children because they are not, but they have never taken advantage.  We could trust our kids and that has always been a comfort to Kevin and I.  

***We've decided that we won't be buying anymore movies now that we can access digital movies on VUDU and Amazon.  Frankly it will save us a ton of space here in the house so I'm okay with that.  (I'm taking this idea with a grain of salt, until we actually try the digital options out for a while.)  I'm sure there will be something we will want our own copy of eventually.  Time will tell.  Have you had the chance to see that movie, Hidden Figures, yet?  It's really good.  I reserved a copy and it was delivered to the house the other day.  I loved it!  I'm glad I bought a copy because that is a movie we will watch over and over again.  Plus it's all about the space program and Kevin loves that kind of thing.  So, he liked the movie too.  

Tonight I'm still scratching my hives, watching TV, and typing trying to keep my hands busy with other things.  So frustrating!  Even after I've taken all the medication the doc gave me.  Lexi is snapping pictures of various books to share, and concerned about the bands on her braces.  Let's hope we don't have to go in for another emergency visit to the dentist.  Kevin is resting in the bedroom and watching TV.  He's pretty worn out and hurting a lot, I seriously doubt he will be going to church tomorrow, but he might surprise me.  (I'm hoping to get there if I can.)  Kyle is working.  We usually hear something from him at some point during the night.  So far, nothing. AND Curtis just got back from a Young Single Adult Luau and is out with friends now.  That kid never stops.  

Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.


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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter

Kevin and Curtis were the only ones that ended up going to church yesterday.  I spent the day home suffering with more hives and a few other side effects that we won't go into detail about here.  Kevin was determined to get to church no matter what anyway.  He said he was glad he went because he really needed to hear the talks that were shared.  I'm glad he went and I'm glad he heard the words that were spoken and felt that Spirit shared.  If nothing but Kevin getting to church yesterday was all that happened all day then I can say it was well worth it and it was a great day.  He needed to hear what was said.  

I spent the morning reflecting on my Savior, his time spent in Gethsemane, his crucification on the cross at Calvary, his ressurection, and ultimately his life and the blessings of the Atonement in my life.  It was something I could do to keep my mind off of my rash.   

Later we had Chance and Danielle over for dinner yesterday afternoon.  We had a nice dinner with ham and all the trimmings.  I was grateful the meal pretty much prepared itself.  As it turns out Curtis was a huge help with getting things prepared.  I put the ham in the crock pot.  Kevin and Curtis did everything else.  Lexi set the table, she asked questions about placement of certain things, but she did it all.  Take a look below.  I think she did a pretty great job.  









I'm back at the doctor today.  I'm so done with all of this!  Most of all, the itching.  I know this is nothing compared to some of the things others I know are dealing with and I really have a lot to be grateful for.  I just can't stand the itching or the hives that others can see on my face or arms if I'm wearing short sleeves.  It's easier to suffer in silence if I'm not scratching and itching like a crazy person.  AND I can't stay on Benadryl forever.  It makes me to sleepy.  I need to be able to function and take care of my family.  (I'm sitting here in my doctor's waiting room with an itch in a place I can't scratch in public).  

My doctor reviewed my hives, prescribed a new medication that should allow me to function and work, then she ordered some lab work to check a few things.  She said my histamine levels could be higher than normal.  While I'm not sure whst they do for that, I guess we'll find out.  

I did the lab work right after my appointment and came home to scan and download a document to my employer.  When I logged on I found that they had FINALLY approved my time off and issued two checks today.  I was happy to see that.  My cell phone (an iPhone 6 Plus) has pretty much become a brick.  I can't access anything, it sends text messages on its own, calls people on its own, and accesses apps and websites all by itself.  It's possessed!  I looked up the prices for a replacement and the Android is $50.00 cheaper and I think I'm gonna make the leap to an Android phone.  Kevin, Danielle, and Kyle all have them and seem to love them.  I'm also going to back up all my contacts and notes with paper records as well.  You should have saw me stressing out trying to figure out how to contact work this morning.  Holy cow!  I have been using Kevin's phone temporarily until I figure out what to do about my phone and I feel crippled without "my" phone.  It's driving me nuts!  I will say this, texting and calling on the Android has been awesome.  I've loved it.  So, I think I might be sold.  😀 

Well, I've gotta run to go pick up my new medications.  They are re-paving our street in the next day or two.  Time to make sure  I all the errands are taken care  I of until after that's done.  Take care my friends and we'll talk again soon.  
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Purses, Easter, and other ramblings

Today it's all about purses.  Why you say?  Because my purse has been a hot topic for me over the past several months.  I found this purse that I absolutely LOVE!  It's soft, big enough to carry what I need, and I really like the bling on the outside.  Here is a photo of my purse.


Only.....mine is in black like the photo below.

I've had this purse now for over two years I believe.  (Since Kevin was in the hospital for his eight week stay after his spinal cord injury).  As you can imagine it's pretty worn out and I could really use a new one.  Well, I've searched high and low for this bag and haven't been able to find it anywhere.  It's out of stock everywhere.  On a whim I decided to take a look at the company website and low and behold there was some contact information so I sent them an email today.  They responded right back to me and told me they did happen to have this bag in stock in their warehouse and would gladly send me one at a discount.  I was thrilled!!!  They sent me a form and agreed to ship it to me as well.  So, that will be something I do next week.  I can't get over how quickly they got back to me and that they even had one in stock.  Not to mention a lot cheaper than I would have found it at a retail store.  Love it!  

While we are on the subject of purses, and I'll bet this will turn out to be an interesting topic for sure!  Especially after we hear what everyone has to say.  The topic is:

10 items in your purse right now.

My family calls my purse my ""suitcase" because it is always packed and weighs a ton.  Until about three months ago when I decluttered the purse and pulled pretty much anything that was non-essential out of it.  Now the things you see on my list below are pretty much the only things in my purse anymore.  Now it's nice and lightweight and I can see everything I have.  No more having to shuffle through things to get to what I'm looking for anymore.  Love it!  

Here is my list......

#1....My wallet.


It's not my favorite wallet ever, but it works for now.  I don't even keep any cash in it and most of the time my debit card isn't even in my wallet.  I keep those things elsewhere just because when I load this wallet up with too much it won't close.  Not that I have a lot of bills I carry.  Change tends to accumulate very quickly so as a general rule I try to get rid of it as quickly as I can.  I have a little coin purse for the little bit of change I do get.  Here is my coin purse.  Nice and small.  


#2.  My lipstick.
I always have my lipstick with me.  This one is my "go to" shade.  It's made by Maybelline and the color is called "Nearly There".  It's a shimmery mauve color and I love it. 


#3.  My mirror.
This little mirror is small enough to sit in a pocket of my purse and comes in handy for those quick checks of the hair and make-up.  It's only 2 inches by 2 inches square and one side is magnified while the other is just a regular mirror.  It's especially great for those quick make-up touch ups and hair checks before presentations or meetings.


#4.  My Perfume.
My Mom turned me on to a Bath and Bodyworks fragrance called Country Chic.  Well, it's a scent that is no longer in stock in stores so we order it from their website and when I order I usually order quite a few of their large bottles so I have plenty and get the best price possible.  I don't spent more than about $10.00 per bottle and then I have lots and can put it in my travel bottle to take with me as well.  It's a roll on bottle so all I have to do is snap out the ball at the top of the bottle and fill it up.  I love it.  


#5.  My badge for work.
Don't you just love that photo?!  It's an old picture that was taken about 12 years ago when I was first hired.  I've had a couple replacements from time to time when it's gotten worn down or broken, but the picture remains the same.  ~smile~smile.


#6.  My glasses.
I've had these for about two years.  I like them and wear them more when my eyes get worn out and tired.  I should wear them more often to prevent my eyes for getting that way but I don't.  Wearing a headset and glasses at the same time makes me feel claustrophobic.  So, since my headset can't go, the glasses are the thing I forgo.


#7.  My phone charger and headphones.
What can I say about these things?  I use them all the time.  My charger is a ten foot cord so it can still use my phone when it's charging.  Love it!  


#8.  Paperwork.
This is paperwork I picked up from my doctor.  They were dragging their feet in filling it out and I had to send it in myself.  Come to find out, the doctor's office had a computer issue.  Their systems were down for a couple of days and they were backlogged.  Thankfully they were able to get his taken care of for me in time.  


#9.  My medications.
My two inhalers and everything else in the little container behind.  I'm so happy about the changes that have been made to my meds.  They have made a huge difference!  


#10.  My latest receipt for tires.
I had this in my purse because I was working on a rebate they gave me.  Time to put this back where it belongs and get it out of my purse. 



#11.  Gum!!!
I try to always have a little gum in my purse.  It just happens to be Doublemint right now.  Not my favorite kind, but it does the job.  At least when my kids don't find it.  


#12.  My keys.
The only thing missing from this list is a photo of my keys but they are usually in my purse as well.  Curtis met his brother someplace so they could do something together.  So, I can't take a photo of my keys right now.  

In other new.....

Kevin was back in the hospital.  He is home now.  He had fallen a couple of times and after the last fall he couldn't get himself up very well on his own, so we knew something else was happening.  Eventually he did get himself up and in his wheelchair, then with a little help from my boys he was able to get back into bed.  About ten minutes after he was in bed he wanted to get back up and go to the bathroom again.  This time he got back into his chair and by the time he was near the bathroom he was really weak and no one could make out the words he was speaking so off the the Emergency Room he went.  They ran all the normal tests and did a CT Scan of his head.  The CT Scan came back fine but the lab work wasn't.  They admitted him shortly there after and he stayed for IV fluids and antibiotics.  They even gave him a shot in the stomach to prevent blood clots this time.  He wasn't happy about that, but I totally understand why they did it and frankly I don't blame them for doing it.  So, we will schedule an appointment with our doctor to follow up with Kevin next week.  We also are waiting for authorization for another MRI for Kevin too.  He needs it for his pain doctor and his SCI injury doctor.  They are checking a few things.  Kevin will also schedule an appointment to be fitted for a new wheelchair as well.  One that will let him get around a little easier.   

I came home from work last night and I was covered in hives again.  Or should I say, after work and after I ran to two banks and to pick up the ham I ordered for our meal on Sunday.  I didn't make it to my door until after seven.  This time the rash was in big red blotches instead of a million little red bumps.  I had them on my arms, my stomach, my sides, on the backs of both upper legs, and on the bottoms of my feet...the balls of my feet.  It's crazy!  I was freezing cold too, which I'm sure was part of the allergic reaction I was having.  So, I wrapped up in a warm blanket and tried to rest a bit.  I must of fallen asleep for about an hour, but once I woke up I was so itchy.  I couldn't stand it, so I ran to the store with Kyle to pick up some Benadryl ointment.  I went with the gel kind and I can't get over how well that works to take away the itch.  It's Saturday now and I still have the big blotches (and a few on my face) but the itch is gone.  Thank goodness.  We also picked up all the other stuff we needed to go with the ham on Sunday too.  So, we are all set.  I made sure we had everything we needed so we do not shop on Sunday and so we can spend this Easter here at the house with our family and hopefully relax and enjoy each other's company.  

Curtis started his new job this past week.  He was so excited.  That boy was offered four jobs within the first week of being home from his mission.  I can't get over that!  I'm just glad he found something that will challenge him and help him learn something new.  He will be working full time and eventually will get his own truck once he becomes certified.  He is so very grateful for this opportunity and excited about his new job.  Curtis text me yesterday to tell me he has figured out what he wants to go to school for.  He is determined to get to school as soon as he can as well.  He is following in his Great-Grandpa Meyers footsteps.  Curtis was surprised to find out that his Great-Grandpa worked in the same field Curtis wants to work in.  My Grandfather, Curtis' Great-Grandfather, use to design tractors for a company called Massey Ferguson back in Michigan, and he traveled the world in the companies International markets as well.  Curtis doesn't want to design tractors but he does want to do something very similar to that.  He just needs to find his niche and I'm sure he will in time.  

Kyle went through a long test and a panel review board style interview for a supervisory position last week.  He said there were about 5 other people who were testing and interviewing for the position with him.  One of the other guys has been there a lot longer than he has.  Kyle said he has worked with a few of the people on the board and they even came out to talk to him before his interview, so he is hopeful.  He said they all liked working with him and were even trying to get him back to the same shift with them.  Kyle says if he gets the new position it will be great, but if he doesn't he will just keep working and will keep trying.  This promotion would be good for him.  It would mean a lot more money and he would learn a lot more too.  Time will tell.

Lexi had a few meeting for Girl's Camp this week.  This will be her last Girl's Camp.  She went to the one meeting yesterday, but woke me up around six this morning to tell me she wasn't feeling well and had cancelled her ride for her meeting today.  When I came home from work yesterday she was asleep and didn't wake up until after 9pm.  Then after her brothers got home from their night out she stayed up and talked to them for a bit and was back down and sleeping again right after midnight.  She slept all night until she woke me up and then went back to bed and slept until 3:30pm today.  So I know she wasn't feeling well because she doesn't normally sleep that long.  She ran out to the store with me this afternoon. We went to find a T-shirt that would match her skirt she plans to wear to church tomorrow.  I love that Walmart has so many different colors for less than $3.00 a piece.  

Last week we received a few things in the mail from Kevin's Aunts.  They sent us cookies from Cheryl's and popcorn from the Popcorn Factory.  I just love the box the cookies came in.  It says, "You've Been EGGED" in bright spring colors.  


Aren't the cookies just the cutest!  
The Popcorn tin was huge!  This is a photo of what our tin looks like, but ours is double this size.  I laugh every time the kids pick it up because it's so big.  It's actually perfect for us.  This way we have popcorn for a while and not just a day or two.  

I'm excited to set a nice table and have the kids over for dinner tomorrow.  I got a ham at the Honey Baked Ham Company so all I will need to do is warm it up.  The crock pot should work well for that.  Then I debated in making the "Funeral Potatoes" to go with it, but Lexi insisted on Au Gratin potatoes instead.  So, I bought several boxes to pop in the oven.  Then I bought fresh green beans that I will sautte in a little oil with a little red pepper, slivered almonds, bacon, and a little salt and pepper.  Homemade rolls with real butter because it's a special day so why not use the good stuff, right?  I also plan to make a nice fruit salad a veggie tray, and a toss salad.  Of course, we will also make deviled eggs later tonight.  It isn't Easter without them.  I have a nice blue gingham table cloth and bright linen napkins, to go with my dishes and I even bought some tulips in bright yellow for the center of our table.  I also plan to place my egg tree in the middle as well.  Then I have little tiny bright boxes that are small enough to fit on the small plates I will have out at each place setting that I will add some Easter grass to and then a few yummy treats will go inside for each person at the table.  I'm excited to set the table.  I'll snap a few pictures once I get it all set and ready tomorrow.  The toss salad is a recipe I just received from a friend at work yesterday.  It is so good!!  She brought it for a potluck we had for someone who was leaving our team and moving to another department.  Then for dessert I have a Chocolate Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Brownies for those that want something different.  I think the only thing that will require any kind of real cooking will be the green beans tomorrow.  Everything else will be super easy.  What more could a girl ask for?  

Here is that recipe for the salad.  

Garlic Salad


Dressing:
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Mayo (I use Hellman's)
Squeeze of fresh lemon
sea salt and pepper to taste

Salad:
1 head of Romaine lettuce 
8 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, and cut up into small pieces
1 package of croutons

Blend in a food processor all ingredients for the dressing.  Pour over fresh romaine lettuce, add real bacon pieces and croutons.  Toss to make sure all lettuce is coated with the dressing and then it is ready to serve.

**Optional - add 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard.  (I don't use this in my salad)
You can also add grilled chicken and any kind of nuts like walnuts, slivered almonds, or anything you would like.  Just keep in mind, if you add to much you may need to make a little more dressing to covers everything.

I have some cleaning to do and some clothes to get ready for church in the morning.  Kevin is determined to get to church tomorrow as well which always makes me happy.  I love it when he comes with us.  It just doesn't feel right going to church without him when he can't make it.  I should get going.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.

Ever since Bro. Gaylord, a member of our Bishopric, bore his testimony last week I have not been able to get this song out of my mind.  I've been singing it ever since, so I think it's only right that I leave you will this quote.....
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