Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Contest Reminder

I am posting way too much today!! But click on the square to check out a great contest.
Ultimate Fluff Friday

The Saga Continues

The cardiologist this AM (Wednesday). This is the first time I have actually gotten to talk to him since our office visit. I have talked to his nurses and gotten many messages from him, but this was the first time I could ask him questions.

As of right now, the blood test will be done after Thanksgiving, but I wanted to talk to the cardiologist to see why it needed to be done. Well, he said that the 24 hr ECG did come back normal. Meaning, no irregular heartbeats, BUT it does not accurately measure the QT interval (which is the problem). So, they go by what was done in the office for that. And that showed his QT interval to be long, but still in the normal range. Since he is on the border, he needs the blood test. But since the test costs so much money, the Dr said that we should do anther ECG just to make sure A needs the blood test. SO, next week, baby A will have another ECG.

My emotions are so mixed about this. I have gone from worried, to at peace, to, now, ? I do not know how I feel right now. All I know is that baby A seems so healthy and I do not want him to have long QT syndrome.

Thanksgiving Preparation


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am hosting again this year. It will just be my hubby's parents and my parents and us, so not a big crowd, but I manage into making it a lot of work.

For the last week I have been cleaning. You know, the areas of the house that no guest will see, but that you HAVE TO HAVE CLEAN. The drawer under the oven where I keep all bake ware. The Tupperware cabinet (that was horrible . . . every time I opened it a new piece to tupperware fell out onto the floor, but not anymore). My largest cleaning project is our back room. It was our office, but since we have moved the computer to the living room, that room has been horribly neglected and a MESS). I have spent a great deal of time in there, throwing things out, organizing them. Again, no one will go into it, but my goal was to have it clean for Thanksgiving, so it is getting done.

Other cleaning projects will have to wait till tomorrow morning. I have a 2 yr old and a 5 yr old, so it does not make sense for me to make the kitchen floor sparkle today when we still have several more meals that will get spilled on the floor before our guests arrive. Also, I live in a house of men, so cleaning the main bathroom will be a waste today. These will have to wait till tomorrow.

This morning, I started cooking for tomorrow. I made the cranberry sauce. The sweet potatoes are currently baking, so they are ready for the sweet potato casserole tomorrow. I have pulled out all the bread for the stuffing and, once I am done with this post, will start cooking the sausage and celery and onions for the stuffing. I am trying to do as much as I can today, so I am not stressed tomorrow.

I love Thanksgiving. I would like to say it is not about the food and only about family, but, for me the food is so important too. I have fond memories of amazing Thanksgivings at my Grandparent's house that my Grandmother used to cook. Everything was made from scratch. One year, after K was born, I really did not want to cook. So, my mother in law said that if we had everyone over to our house for Thanksgiving, she would buy one of those prepackaged dinners from the local grocery store. Ir sounded like a good idea. But, after that dinner, I thought to my self, never again. It just did not seem like Thanksgiving. So, in my small and imperfect way, I try to recreate the Thanksgiving meal I remember from growing up. For me, cooking this meal helps me to remember my grandmother. And again, I feel closer to her. Gosh, I miss her.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Hubby!!

Yes, I am a day late posting this!! I hope you had a wonderful birthday with us yesterday. We love you so much and are so thankful that many years ago, God Blessed the world with you!! You are such a wonderful man. You are kind, sweet, generous and loving. I cannot wait for the many more birthdays to come.




Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One of those days

Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind where you fall more and more in love with your kids and realize that you are so blessed to have them.

I had one of those days today.

There was nothing special or out of the ordinary today. Today we had some errands to run. Sunday is my hubby's birthday and we wanted to get him a gift. So the boys and I headed out. We went to our favorite thrift store (yes, for anyone who does not know, we do shop at thrift stores!!! We are on a budget, and you would be amazed at the great things you can find.) Anyways, the boys were little angels there. They did not beg for toys. They did not complain. They were so good. We were there for about an hour. We got a present for my husband and few other things.

Since it was passed lunchtime (and passed Caleb's nap time) and we were so close to Ikea, I asked the boys if they wanted to go there for lunch. We LOVE Ikea . . . . great places for the boys to play and inexpensive, good food. So we went. J, K and A were so good. J and K were patient in the family bathroom as I sat in the chair to nurse A. J dutifully pushed the food tray cart to the table so I could push the stroller. They ate well. They played well. And when I told then it was time to go, they didn't complain. As I was driving home, I realized I really do have great kids.

Then, tonight, after I got home from a mom's night out, their bedroom door opened and J said "I want to hug you." I took them both back into bed and sang "Jesus" to them. K held my hand the whole time.

It wasn't because they were so good that I love them. But a day like today helped me realize how much I do love them and how blessed I am to have these little men in my life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All I want for Christmas . . .

. . . is to know that baby A is OK . . . allow me to "vent" a bit . . .

It has been a little over a month now that we have been waiting to hear from insurance as to whether they will cover A's blood test and how much of it. After talking to the rep from the company that does the test two weeks ago, I felt pretty confident that the insurance would cover 90% of the test and our deductible would be covered, so when all was done, the test would cost us around $600.

We finally got word at the beginning of this week. Insurance will cover only 60% of the test and because it has taken so long our deductible went up from $0 to $500 (because it will not get billed until to 2009). So, when the bill comes in, it will be over $2,000.

When I heard this, I was upset. That is a lot of money for a blood test that, according to all other results, did not even seem necessary. Before I would agree to the test, I called our cardiologist to see why it is essential that A have this test done. After two days, I still had not heard anything back from the cardiologist.

Today, I was determined to get this done and get the answers I needed. For over two hours, I was on the phone with:

1. A nurse in our cardiologist's office (he, of course, is on vacation)
2. The rep from the company that does the test (spoke with her 3 times this AM)
3. Our insurance company (to see if they would consider this test "in network" and cover 90 % of the test (the lab that is doing the test is the ONLY ONE IN THE NATION THAT DOES THIS TEST, so we could not get anyone in network if we tried)

Anyways, after all of that, i am a bit frustrated and sad. frustrated because I heard different answers from 2 people at our insurance company and something different from the rep at the lab. I honestly do not know who to believe. The insurance company wants to pay as little as possible, I am sure. And the lab, wants us to get the test done. Each may bend the truth to get what they want.

I am sad because the nurse at the cardiologist's office made me nervous for the first time since A's 24 hr EKG that he could have long QT syndrome. After his EKG came back good, I was pretty confident that he would not have it, but now, the nurse made it seem that there is a good possibility that he may have it. I wish I could talk to the Dr. I wish I knew for certain that A was OK. I wish the blood test was already done.

After all the conversations were over, we were still in the place we were before I made the calls. Insurance will not cover anymore than already stated. I made one final call to the lab to proceed with the test.

Shorty after Christmas, I will get the results and, hopefully get "all I want for Christmas".

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Am I the only one??

I promise I will get off politics as a topic, but when I see things like this, I just have to share.

The following is a quote from the Washington Times. The article was concerning appointment of judges. Read this quote, which includes something that that our president-elect said, and tell me if something just "doesn't seem right."

Mr. Obama put conservatives on guard with a 2001 radio interview, while still a member of the Illinois State state Senate, in which he complained that Chief Justice Earl Warren's court - one of the most liberal in the Supreme Court history -'didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution' in order to bring about 'redistribution of wealth.' (emphasis mine)

Now here is the Oath Of Office he will take in January:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. (emphasis mine)

It baffles my mind . . . I have nothing else to say.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Prayer


Dear Lord Jesus, we come before you today and intercede for Barack Obama. Lord, may you guide him and give him clear knowledge of you and the principles that this great nation was founded upon. Just as the founding fathers looked to you for guidance to rule this nation, may Barack Obama come to know you and desire to govern this Nation, as You want him to. May he protect the sovereignty of this nation and fight for the rights of each citizen, born and unborn.


Amen

Books I like


Since the feast of All Saints was Nov 1st, I thought I would share my favorite saint books.
Saints :Lives and Illuminations and More Saints: Lives and Illuminations are beautiful books. The pictures of the saints are beautifully done and the stories are well complied to keep children interested.
We have enjoyed reading them in our house!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Proud Mama


Today I am so proud of J and I just want to share . . . he is really reading!!!!! Today seemed to be a breakthrough.

I have had difficulty finding the right reading program for him. A popular one, that many people I know used for their kids, failed miserably for us. We could not even get through one of the sub-lessons of the "100 easy lessons". Another one: Explode the Code . . . which he loves (and I really like too . . . we still use as a supplement), has so much handwriting intermixed with the phonics, that often the pages were a struggle for him. Plus, although it has great pictures, he would often look to the pictures to figure out what the word is instead of relying on his own knowledge of the written word (even if I covered the picture, he would try to see through the paper to see what the picture was!).

About a month ago I read about Alpha-phonics. I researched it and decided to try it out. It is very simple. There are no pictures, only sounds and word groups based on those sounds. The lessons are short. Today, we completed Lesson 8. There were about 10 sentences in the lesson based on the previous lessons. Because there were no pictures, Joshua would just look at the word and sound it out. Today was the first time he did not try to guess or just say whatever word would come to his mind. He actually read the words and knew them!!

The most beautiful thing was when he was done with a sentence; he smiled so big and his face just lit up. I could see how proud he was of himself.

I think he is on the road to reading!! I am so proud of him and so excited for him!!

Rosaries for Life

Someone sent me an email about this. This is a great way to pray for our nation, our president-elect and for the culture of life. Click here to sign up and for more details. It starts today, so go now!! Rosaries for Life also has a blog that is updated daily. Click here for that.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A fun book and some honesty


While in Williamsburg last week, we met a great family. After seeing them at Colonial Williamsburg for three days, Pete wanted to get a photo of our two boys, who were dressed in Colonial garb, with their three kids, who were also dressed up. After the photo was taken, the mom, out of the blue asked if we homeschool. I thought it was a little strange that she ask. She did not know us, and Joshua does not necessarily look like he is of school age yet. But she asked anyways and I answered "Yes." She smiled and made some comment on how she thought so because homeschoolers "look alike."

Anyways, we talked for a while and the kids played together. Her kids were 13, 11 and 9, so she had a great deal more experience than I. She readily gave advice, which was great to hear (maybe I will share in another post). Pete, who is much better at asking questions than I am, asked if there was any website, blog etc she recommended. She said the Familyman. She then mentioned that the Familyman, Todd Wilson, had written a great book called Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe . She said it was great, funny and true!!

So, when we got home, I popped online and ordered it. It came in the mail yesterday and, now, I am about 1/2 way through it. It is a short book and a quick read. It is very good. It verbalizes all of the fears, the lies, I often believe about myself, homeschooling, and others. He goes through several lies that homeschooling moms fall prey to. He also mentions that it is important to be REAL to yourself and to others about your house, your homeschooling, and yourself.

Now, I am not one, usually, for self disclosure (Right now you are probably wondering, how can that be, she does have a BLOG). I have never been. But, to be REAL, one Lie in the book stood out for me today. And it was: You are falling apart and you feel everyone else has got it together.

Since baby A has been born (6 months), I have not gotten a good night sleep. He wakes up about 3 times a night and nurses every time. I stumble out of bed when Caleb comes in the bedroom demanding breakfast, and I am not usually functional until 15 min after I have finished my cup of coffee. I look in the mirror and notice I look exhausted. I hope no one else notices, but they probably do. When I go out in public with the boys, I think I look like I am falling apart . . . K and J usually getting into something and baby A is strapped to me in a carrier. My lack of sleep affects my desire to exercise, pray, clean the house, make dinner, homeschool . . . yes, this list could go on and on. So the house is messy and school lessons are sometimes as simple as me quizzing Joshua on his math as I get ready for the day and sitting in front of the refrigerator with the Leapfrog Wordwhammer!!

The perfectionist in me HATES this! Yet, I think this is all a part of God's plan. When Pete and I decided to homeschool, we had a list of reasons why we believed it would be better for Joshua. I still believe it is better for him, but I was not quite expecting the growth process it has started in me. So maybe the exhaustion, the messiness, etc is all a part of His plan, so that I can let go of my own unrealistic expectations and just allow this year to unfold as He wants it to.

Prayer for the President-Elect


Dear Lord Jesus, we come before you today and intercede for Barack Obama. We ask that You be with him and guide him and his presidency. May he come to know the sanctity of Life from conception to natural death. We ask Lord that you guide him in his selection of his Cabinet. As he chooses the men and women that will help him to run our nation, may he chose men and women that respect life and will uphold the Constitution.

Lord bless him and his family. Protect them and draw them closer to you.

Amen

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election

You cannot get away from it . . . the election . . . we have elected a new president.

I stayed up late last night, watching the results come in. Listening to McCain's speech. Listening to Obama's speech. As the night went on, my emotions changed from hope to anger to peace. This morning, the peace is still there, but I am so sad. I am at peace because I ultimately know that God is in charge and His Will Be Done. Christ, not man, is my Hope. And I trust that no matter what comes, He is faithful to the end.

I am saddened about the disregard for life that our president-elect seems to have and what effect that will have on all parts of his presidency. I am saddened that people today do not seem to remember the Constitution of the United States of America and the principles on which this country was founded. I am saddened too, because I feel as if I did not do enough.

Since reading Chaput's Render Unto Caesar and just being in Colonial Williamsburg, I have been reminded about how those in the past were bold in their convictions. At times, these men were extremely unpopular, but it was not about popularity. It was about doing what was right. It was about following God and morality, and building a nation that protected every one's rights to LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

And now the questions I ask myself: What is God calling us (me and my family) to do to make this a better country? What are we doing to be bold and be involved in political life? I am blessed to have been born in a country where we can be VERY involved in the running of the government. What am I doing with that great blessing?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Little Soldier

J, I guess, is like any boy. He loves to play soldier. He particularly likes to pretend he is a Colonial Soldier in the Revolutionary War. I think that is part of the reason we go to Williamsburg on vacation. He loves going there. Eventhough we had planned to do other things on this vacation, we ended up going to Colonial Williamsburg everyday. Both J and K would ask to, so off we went.

J has a Colonial hat, a rifle, and a coat that looks like a solider coat. He dutifully wore his hat and coat every day while we were there and carried his gun with him wherever he went. He would march behind the fife and drum band as they marched down the street. I must admit, I would start to get teary eyed when he did. I guess I am just a dorky mom that way. It was so cute to see him march so well behind the band. He would remain serious and never break out of character or falter with his gun. There were so many people that took his photo too . . . I think others took more photos of him than we did!!

J says he is practicing for when he becomes a real soldier.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Everything Old is New Again

We have been struggling with discipline lately. Timeouts just do not seem to be working like they used to. Luckily, our trip to Colonial Williamsburg gave us some new ideas . . .