Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Day, Another year

In some families birthdays are like national holidays. Everyone gets together to celebrate and gifts are always given. In my family, growing up, birthdays were never something extraordinary, but rather kind of ordinary. Mom would make us a cake, that would be served after dinner, a card, a simple gift given from mom and dad, and the day was over, very simple.

I'm not complaining!! Just making an observation that I've noticed through the years, lots of families go all out on birthdays. Thankfully, Mike's family was much like mine when it came to birthdays. In fact he can recall one year he had to remind his mother it even was his birthday. Yesterday was my birthday, and it passed without any big blow outs. And you know what? That's okay!

21 years ago, on my 21st birthday we buried my father-in-law. Turning 21 is suppose to be a really big event. Mine was, but for all the wrong reasons. I'm thankful however because I will always remember the date of the death of a man that meant a lot to me! I truly believe that because my expectations on birthday celebrations is so low that it made that particular one passing without celebration bearable. Part of God's great plan? Maybe.

This was my first birthday without my own father, having lost him June 28, 2009. This year has been a many of firsts without him, and I did notice my birthday. Couldn't quite put my finger on what had been eating away at me for the entire day, but later it hit me, dad wasn't here to give me the happy birthday phone call.

I prayed to God yesterday that he would embrace dad for me on my birthday, and to be sure he knew how much he is loved, and missed.

Thank you Lord for another day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

What is making all that noise?

On Monday while the dishwasher was running, the kids I couldn't help but be stopped in our tracks. All of a sudden the dishwasher started making a horrible sound. After several attempts of opening the door and trying to figure out where it was coming from, I had to allow the cycle to finish and go on with the day. When Mike got home I mentioned it to him, but there wasn't too much he could do about it until he heard it for himself.

Now the appliances in our kitchen are only about 2 years old, so it would really burn my butt if we would have to sink any money into a new dishwasher!! Of course the warranty is only good for the first year. Thoughts ran through my head that night of how I could manage washing dishes by hand for a while, just hated the thought of spending any money on a dishwasher!!

On Tuesday I started the dishwasher, having forgotten about the "sound", as soon as it started again I called Mike in from working in the yard so he could hear it for himself. Being a machine mechanic, who fixes these kinds of problems for a living, he went right to work. But, he decided he really couldn't fix it then he would probably have to pull the unit out. He would deal with it when it was empty. Empty? In our house? Doubtful! He went back to work outside.

Then Wednesday when I started the dishwasher, the "sound" was still there. Mike happened to be inside and realized there was no way to put this problem off any longer. He was going to have to pull the dishwasher out! This normally wouldn't be a big deal, but he had realized the day before when the contractor put the floor in for our kitchen he did so after the dishwasher was in place. Making it lower than the flooring!! Not an easy slide it in and out.

Having been married to my wonderful husband for nearly 23 years, I've learned LONG ago to leave him alone when he is trying to solve such an issue. Being left alone to peruse the manual, and think things through, he decided to attack the issue from the inside first. Here he is working on the washer.
And this is what he found trapped in the oscillator. There was no way this was going to be shredded any time soon. Good thing he found it! No idea how it got in there!! Especially since we haven't bought store bought bread in several weeks.

Now we are up and running again! No need for hand washing dishes! My life is back on easy street!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This and That

In the Oven
Tried a new bagel recipe for whole wheat bagels. They were a big hit! These will be part of the regular bread baking routine for sure!

In the Knitting Bag
Finished the first sock that I started a couple weeks ago. Socks are always on the needles and in the pocket book ready to go. I've only been working on these on the go, so they are taking longer than the usual pair that gets dedicated knitting time.

Casted on a sweater this week. The pattern is Summer's End, that I've had in the queue for some time. Not so sure I like this yarn, but I'm continuing with it regardless. The yarn is Tweed by Plymouth Yarn. A very rustic feel to it. May not have been the best choice for this pattern because it isn't delicate enough. This sweater is for me, and because I'm not the most delicate flower in the bunch, I think it will be a good fit. Will keep you posted!!

Finished the cashmere scarf I started back in January. There may be a cool day this spring I can find an opportunity to try it out. If not, it will work out nice for the fall.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

Eating healthy is a process, and something of a balancing act. Balancing the busy schedule of 3 home schooled kids with convenience of packaged food! Add to that a single income budget, eating healthy isn't always the cheapest choice. Before moving to Virginia, eating healthy was a little more accessible too.

Sporadically I've tried to get us back on track living in Virginia, but it is very easy to slip into another path of less resistance. Here I could list several reasons why the path of less resistance is just that, but I'm sure you can figure most of them out on your own. With Faith's recent digestive issues I'm bound and determined to be more successful this time.

One of the things I do to help us eat more healthy is home made bread. This takes getting into a routine, but once the routine is established it is pretty easy. However, making the bread isn't the biggest stumbling block. It's the kids!

Being able to grab a slice of bread out of a bag and make themselves something to eat is easy! Even though I buy wheat bread in the store the flavor of the processed, high fructose corn syrup, and preservative rich variety that comes from the store is so much more appealing.

Here is a picture of the 2 loaves I recently made.

Here is a sandwich I made for Faith this morning. I'd like to note that in the time of taking the picture and blogging about it, she has eaten almost all of it.

This time I'm determined to stand firm! I'm trying different recipes and rating them, to help me find the one that is most appealing to the family. Mike is behind me too, maybe not 100%, but he is backing me. If that is all there is to make a sandwich with you'll learn to like it? That's my hope.

I suspect when the warm weather really hits and summer fun is in full swing, I'll have my moments of weakness. All I can do is set out on the right path and pray for the best results.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quick Update

Faith's Health
Faith is feeling better. Her body aches are gone, her belly aches are almost totally gone, and she is nearly totally herself. We are continuing to hydrate her and keep her on a high fiber diet.

There seems to be another symptom that has appeared, she wakes up dizzy and complains sometimes during the day that she feels dizzy. In fact yesterday, while standing there watching her father dig a hole, she fell over on to her face. She said she felt dizzy right before. Crazy!!

Mike and I are thinking she may have something going on with her inner ear. A residual effect from the virus she had a few weeks ago. However, we can't know for sure. We no longer have any confidence in the doctor we were using so, we are in the process of switching to a new doctor for the kids. Then we will get her an appointment there and see if we can get some definite answers.

My awesome husband recently won a $40 gift card. He handed it to me and said, "Thought you may want to buy some yarn with this." I ask, is he not the best?

Put a call immediately in to my favorite yarn shop on earth Woolworks, Ltd. Jen, the store owner, asked, "Gee Michelle are there any books you've been wanting?" Oh my gosh, great idea!! Yeah!!

Then to go with it she suggested a new sock yarn she carries from a local vendor. Can't wait to try it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just want my kid back!!

It has been too long now since I've seen my little Faith be her regular happy go lucky 5 year old self! She fought a really tough battle with bronchitis and a sinus infection for about 13 days. She never really perked up when that battle was over, she continued to be very fatigued.

Then she began to complain of back aches intermittently, and double vision started on Monday night this week. On Tuesday morning when she woke with the double vision still happening Mike and I took her to the doctor who told us he didn't see any lazy eye, like we saw, but he "believed us". He made her an appointment with a pediatric eye doctor for Friday and sent us home.

Her eye improved after about 36 hours, Wednesday afternoon, so we were relieved with that, but she was still not herself and obviously still fatigued. Privately, as couples do, Mike and I were discussing different things that could be going on with her. We were racking our brains. We did conclude that maybe she hadn't gone to the bathroom in about a week. However, it is hard to tell with a child that age, it isn't like they tell you. But why would that make her legs hurt or her back ache and most certainly would not give her double vision.

Then on Wednesday night while she slept she began waking up and moaning in pain whenever she moved. She vomited a couple times early Thursday morning, nothing significant, and she wasn't running a fever. In the morning however, Mike and I decided to take her to the doctor again. We told him about her rough night. He looked her over, a little, gave us a cup for a urine specimen, drew some blood and sent us home. He was thinking she may have a urinary track infection and if we could get a urine sample he could check that out. He was checking her kidney, and liver function with the blood sample and would have results on Friday.

At home she was now afraid to urinate because we wanted to collect it and just exhausted. She napped again for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which has become her routine, and we pumped her with fluids. She finally peed in the afternoon only after we told her we wouldn't collect it. Mike and I were back to discussing what to do and what may be wrong.

After some serious deliberation and discussion over our frustration with our doctor and his lack of interest or concern we decided to take her to the emergency room at about 5:30 Thursday evening. We wanted answers and we couldn't stand to see her upset and not herself any longer!

The doctor there got her to tell him where the pain was and he poked her and felt her belly. He felt it wasn't her appendix or liver. Phew! They took some urine and it looked normal. Again Phew! He decided she was constipated. Really? All this because she hadn't pooped? Not that we weren't relieved to know it was so simple, but we were baffled that something so simple could cause all this!! Wow!! He gave us some Merilax to help the process and we came home.

The eye doctor appt. had to be canceled on Friday morning and rescheduled to the 16th, for fear of her having an accident while we were out. We weren't sure how well or fast the merilax would work. The lab results came back from the doctors office as all normal. This I guess can confirm that it must be she just needs a good poop.

Now we are pumping her full of fruit, nuts, plum juice and merilax. Still no "movement", well not anything significant. She is still very fatigued and moaning a lot about body aches and pains. Here she is this morning enjoying some strawberries. We do see some glimpses of our sweet 5 yo, but she isn't skipping and running all over the house like usual, and is very much fatigued.
I'm bearing my burden, Lord! I'm being patient, Lord! I'm praying to you, Lord! I just want my kid back, Lord!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring and the Thoughts it Brings

Who doesn't love spring? It is such a wondrous time of year!

Mike and I are looking through numerous seed catalogs with the anticipation of the summer garden. Planning where the garden will be, what will be planted and where. The hopes of the harvest and the prospect of that harvest getting the family through the winter months. All these things are enough to warm the soul as the weather is still a little too cold to be outside.

Wonder if this is how God may feel as he plans each of our paths. Does God have anticipation for each of our souls and what "fruit" we may bear? Will we each give glory to God?

During spring we also celebrate Lent. A time for us to examine our conscience. Make adjustments in ourselves that are happy and pleasing to God. A rebirth! As the earth is being reborn our souls too are going through a process of change and growth.

Honestly, I struggle with Lent. Self deprivation has never been my strong suite. So I try to focus on the season of spring to get me through. Reminding myself of just as the bulbs are starting to sprout through the hard ground, I too must push through with the same strength. In the end my prayer is that I've done something that is pleasing to God and maybe my soul has grown just a little.