Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hippotherapy

I realized I've never posted pictures of Jonalyn at hippotherapy, so here are some taken this summer. Daddy got to be a sidewalker. Notice the huge smiles on both of their faces.

Mounting up. Yes, these pictures are from a long time ago. She has her casts on in them!

And away we go! She is using her hands to direct the horse.

Doing our exercises. I realize they are all looking away. I'm not a very good photographer.

Then they do fun things like play with noodles and rings.

And the horse gets a treat afterwards.

We're taking a break during the holiday season and are sad to not be going for a while, but after the first of the year, we'll be back. We're convinced it's doing great things for Jonalyn both physically and cognitively. You should hear her speech!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a2z 4 u & me - letter W

This week's letter is W and...
WISCONSIN
Look at these pictures and tell me you'd rather live anywhere else than here. I have no desire to ever take up residence in another place.

Spring and the crops are just beginning to sprout. I believe this is corn in this field.


Summer. Don't you want to sit on that dock forever?


Winter. It may be cold, but it's beautiful and I love it.


And my favorite season in Wisconsin - fall. Taken about 1/2 mile from our house.

Spectacular. And it looks like these colors are just peaking.

That is a little glimpse into what makes Wisconsin so special. What about your state?
To read other a2z posts, hop on over to Patty's blog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fiction Friday - Book Signing

A couple of weeks ago I had a book signing - a real book signing - at a local church. They have a huge women's ministry, and the book store thought this would be a great place to capture our target audience. They did a great job of advertising. At first it was slow, but I put away my shyness, and talked to people! I learned how to catch their eye as they walked past and strike up a conversation. I think we did a fair amount of business. I was there with 2 other authors, both self-published.

How I set up my table. For my next signings I need to find something to make the table look even more "Christmasy". Any thoughts? You can hardly see it, but there is a sleigh filled with chocolate on the right end.

Signing away!

The big banner advertising all three of us.

The flyer on the book store door. How cool!
I have a bunch more signings and appearances coming up. Actually starting to look forward to them, but I need your help. What would attract you to an author at a book signing and make you buy the book?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a2z 4 u & me - letter V

Wow – we’re up to the letter V already! And V is for…

VASES

We still have some decorating to do in our remodeled first floor. The process has been slow. And it’s expensive to buy all those things. So, I set out to do it without spending a ton of money.

My first find found me. At my dad’s plant/rummage sale in the spring, he had these metal vases. I don’t know where he got them, but he was selling them for 50 cents. How could I pass them up? They were bare metal – silver – and not perfect. But I saw the potential in them.

My new favorite thing is spray paint. Did you know it comes in hammered metal colors? (Stone, too. How cool is that? And oil rubbed bronze - I have a project in mind for that!) I just about skipped home with my purchase and got to work.

This is the result. Ignore the mess behind them as they are in the garage drying.

The texture doesn't show up too well in the picture, but they look great. They have character – some of the scallops are a little bent – but I think that adds to their charm. I’m so pleased with how they turned out. With some of those long branches with orange berries in them, they’ll look perfect in our T.V. room. It needed a burst of color.

Then I took a trip to Goodwill the other day. I’ll admit to being a bit of a snob when it comes to thrift stores, but I found some great deals there. One of them was this blue glass vase.

I LOVE blue glass and couldn’t pass up this vase. It’s perfect. Do you think it needs something in it?

What are some of your favorite, inexpensive d├ęcor finds?

To see more V posts, please go to Patty’s blog.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

a2z 4 u & me - letter U

Another one I didn't have to think too hard or long about :) Of course, U is for...
UNDER HIS WINGS

This is the title of my story in A Log Cabin Christmas.

Why did I choose this title?

At our Sunday evening services, we always have a hymn sing. Members of the congregation are invited to choose a song from the hymnal. We were still living in Florida, so I was younger than 9, but I remember my grandmother choosing the hymn Under the Care of My God. As she did so, she announced this was my grandfather's favorite hymn. This was probably shortly after his passing. To this day, that hymn holds special meaning for me.

1 Under the care of my God, the Almighty,
Safe in the secret place of the Most High!
He is my Refuge, the Lord is my Fortress,
Him I am trusting when trouble is nigh.

Refrain:
Under his wings, under his wings,
Safe in the refuge hide thee;
Trusting his truth and faithfulness,
No evil can betide thee.

2 Be not afraid for the terror of midnight,
Nor for the arrow that hasteth to slay;
Fear not the pestilence walking in darkness,
Nor the destroyer that wasteth by day. (Refrain)

3 Seek the Most High for thy sure habitation,
Unto Jehovah for refuge now fly;
There shall no evil befall thee nor harm thee,
Unto thy dwelling no plague shall come nigh. (Refrain)

4 Love thou the Lord, surely he will deliver;
He will exalt thee and answer thy prayer;
He will be with thee to honor and give thee
Life without end, his salvation to share. (Refrain)

Here is the link to the tune, if you'd like that.

As I grew and struggled with fear, I memorized Psalm 91, which is the Scriptural reference for the hymn. Those words from our Lord have brought me great comfort and strength over the years.

When I began to write a story about a woman who felt alone, adrift, abandon by God, and about how she learns of the care of our Heavenly Father, the title Under His Wings was a natural choice. The image of God as a hen, hiding her chicks under her wings, protecting them from the rain, the cold, and predators is a powerful and reassuring image.


Under His Wings may not be a Christmas title like most of the other stories in the book, but for me, the meaning is deep and personal. Now - as a famous radio personality would say - you know the rest of the story. Thanks for letting me share!

To read more U stories, please visit Patty's blog.

Link

Monday, October 10, 2011

Housekeeping

No, not that kind, though it desperately needs to be done. I'm behind on absolutely everything.

Anyway, I need to announce the winner of our last giveaway. That is Treva!!!

Congratulations. I'll get the two copies of the book off to you. Soon, I hope. Please be patient with me. Poor Marji's box just got sent. Yes, it's on it's way.

We'll save the next contest for a little closer to Christmas.

Other matters: Jonalyn continues to do well. She had a follow-up appointment with her pediatrician on Thursday, and he didn't hear any pneumonia in her lungs, so praise the Lord for that. She is tolerating the medication well, which is another praise.

Well, I have a ton a paperwork and other things waiting for me, so I'd better go. Fun, fun, fun ;)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

a2z 4 u & me - letter T

This week the letter T is for...
THANK YOU.

Thank you to my husband, for cradling our daughter and holding her, comforting her until the ambulance arrived, for being with us, for loving us, for taking care of me when I wouldn't have taken care of myself. I couldn't ask for better.

Thank you to the paramedics that took such good, gentle care of Jonalyn and were able to stop her seizure on the way to the hospital.

Thank you to the nurses in the emergency room who cleaned her up when she got sick and watched over her with such diligence and patience.

Thank you to my parents - to my mom for coming to the hospital right away to be with us, to my dad for letting people know and asking them to pray, for both of them for coming to visit and bringing a smile to Jonalyn's face.

Thank you to the ER doctor who discovered her pneumonia and admitted her.

Thank you to the nurses on the epilepsy floor of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. You ladies are awesome. Thank you for being kind and helpful, for answering my "stupid" questions, for taking Jonalyn to the bathroom during the night so I could sleep.

Thank you to the neurologist and the pediatricians who planned Jonalyn's course of care. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me, to explain things to me, to reassure me. You are rock stars in my book.

Thank you to all of you who prayed for us, whether you found out about our situation through email, Facebook, Twitter or the church prayer loop. We felt each and every one of those prayers. I know it's only because you all were praying that I was able to stay calm throughout the entire ordeal. I'm not usually a calm person in a crisis! I praise the Lord for friends like you.

Finally, thank you, Father, for watching over my baby, for sparing her life, for erasing all after effects, for sustaining us and bringing us to the other side. You brought all the above mentioned people into our lives and planned things for our good. All praise to you.

To see other "T" posts, visit Patty's blog.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Seizure Update

We spoke with the neurologist on Saturday afternoon. He believes that this wasn't Jonalyn's first seizure. The post-seizure symptoms we saw on Friday were consistent with other symptoms we've seen from her. This is just the first seizure we've caught. We were sent home with Keppra, an anti-seizure medication. We were also given some emergency medication in case of another prolonged seizure (one lasting more than 3-5 minutes, much less than the hour one from Friday!). We are supposed to call 911 if she has another extended grande mal seizure as her oxygen levels were low during & after her seizure on Friday.

She perked up when her siblings and her dad came on Saturday afternoon. That and getting some food in her stomach helped her. She was happy when the time came for her IV line to be removed. She hated that thing in her hand.

A wonderful lady from our church visited on Saturday afternoon and brought a coloring book and a "magic" marker for her. She happily played with that the rest of the day. By the time we arrived home after getting all her medication and stopping at the grocery store for something to eat, she was pretty exhausted. Doug gave her a much needed bath. She had a little supper and fell asleep against her daddy's shoulder.

By Sunday morning, she was her usual, chipper self. We are thankful that her Sunday school teacher also has seizures, so knows what to do.

Thank you all for your prayers. We felt each and every one of them. Please continue praying for us. This is a scary new world. It is so good for us to see no real obvious effects of the seizure. It is good to hear her chatter and see her go bouncing off to school.

God is good.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Seizure

Yesterday was quite the day. I got up at 5:30 to work. Sometime after that, Doug heard Jonalyn whimpering and went to her room. He thought she might have to use the restroom, so he took her. I heard them and went up to see what was going on. When I put her back to bed, she felt a little warm, but I thought it might be from all her covers.

At 6:30 I went to wake her for school and she was seizing. Her eyelids were flickering, her eyeballs in the corners of her eyes, her mouth twitching, along with her right hand and some movement in her right leg. The rest of her was rigid. At one point, the seizure slowed, but started right back up again. She drooled. A. Lot.

After trying to reach the on-call doctor without success, we called 911. Never had to do that before. I forced myself to remain calm so they could understand me. Doug brought her downstairs to be ready for the paramedics and I started gathering things we would need. She continued to seize.

Because we live in the country, it took a little time for them to respond. The first two people to come were paramedics who lived close to us, but they couldn't do much without the ambulance. Then the sheriff deputy showed up and while I was answering his questions, the ambulance arrived.

I went with her to the hospital, but before we even left the driveway, the paramedics gave her some Valium, which stopped the arm from twitching, but her eyes continued to flicker and she wasn't responsive. She continued to be rigid. They gave her more Valium, and that finally stopped the seizure. All totaled, Jonalyn seized for at least an hour.

Scariest thing of my life. Bar none.

They took a chest X-ray and found she has pneumonia. She had zero symptoms. Her fever was normal when we got to the hospital. No coughing. No lethargy. Could it be from aspirating saliva when she was seizing? The doctors are baffled, but she's on antibiotics and in isolation.

When we arrived she had another of her vomiting episodes & diarrhea. Sorry to be graphic, but I'm being honest about life here. We wonder if this is related to her previous vomiting episodes. Has she been having seizures we've never caught before? Her behavior is exactly like with those other episodes.

Doug & my mom arrived and then they admitted her. We finally got to our room about 1:00 pm. She was very tired and still not herself, but responsive, so I left to wash up and get some clean clothes and my medication. The neurologist came in while I was gone, but didn't say much.

The did an EEG, and as of writing this, we don't have the results. They drew blood which didn't show a raised white cell count, further baffling us as to the pneumonia.

They let her eat a late, light dinner of some noodles and teddy grahams. Doug left to be with Alyssa for a while. Brian had gone to a friend's house. Sleeping in a hospital is a unique experience, especially with a cranky baby next door and nurses who check in every 2 hours.

And that's about where we stand. They thought they would do an MRI this morning, but decided against it. They were hesitant to sedate her with her pneumonia. We're waiting for another consult with the neurologist regarding seizure meds and waiting for training with the seizure kit they'll send home with us. They are switching her to oral antibiotics, so depending on the outcome of all of this, she may get to go home later today. She shows no lingering effects of the seizure except for fatigue.

We covet your prayers. This has been so frightening, but God has been gracious. Last weekend I would have been out of town and so would my parents. Doug was supposed to be visiting his grandmother this weekend, which would have left me alone, but she isn't well and they decided to postpone the visit. This happened on a Friday morning when both Doug & I were home. Through it all, we can clearly see God's sustaining and providential hand. We praise him for his care for our daughter and pray this was an isolated incident.