Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Memorial Weekend Adventure

We decided to go up to the cabin for Memorial Day weekend. Once again, we were packed to the gills. Jonalyn was literally wedged into her seat. The dog came with us and sat where my feet were supposed to go so I sat Indian style/pretzel style/criss-cross applesauce style the entire way.

The girls didn’t have a bed in their bedroom at the cabin, so we were hauling a mattress set and bed frame in our utility trailer.

Traffic was unbelievable. There was an accident on the interstate and we got caught in the gaper’s block. Yes, we gaped as we went past – a large boat had slid off its trailer.

We saw more flat tires than we could count – mostly trailers. Doug started laughing at all the ones we passed.

I don’t believe in Karma. At least, I didn’t. We were in between two towns when Brian called out that our trailer had a flat. Sure enough, the trailer listed toward the passenger side.

We pulled off the road. Even on this two-lane state highway, traffic was crazy. Large RVs whipped past us. We girls stayed in the truck, and I was nervous for the boys changing the tire.

The trouble was, our little jack wasn’t doing the job and the boys didn’t have the right tools to get off the lug nuts. Thankfully we have roadside assistance, so at last the guys admitted defeat and had me call them. That’s what we pay all that money for anyway.

The woman at the assistance center contacted a tow truck. She asked the color of our vehicle and told me the truck driver could see us. He’d just gone past and it took a few minutes to turn around and come to us, but he arrived shortly and in no time had the tire changed.

The trip, which should take about 2 ¼ hours, took almost 4 ½. No sooner had we pulled into the driveway then it started to rain. The story of our day!

Have you ever had an adventure on the road? Do share!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wonderful Words - Contentment

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:11, 12

Today's Wonderful Word is contentment.

When I think of contentment, I think of perfect peace. No anxious thoughts. No trouble. No discord. It's a feeling of joy deep down.

The dictionary defines it as feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation.

Contentment can be difficult to come by, especially in today's materialistic society. The bigger house, the better car, the latest electronics - all are touted to us as things we must have. We strive and work and put possessions above all else. Children, spouses and God take a back seat to the drive for more.

Over and over again, I've had to remind myself to be content. When you travel to a third world country and see people living in squalor, you appreciate so much more the things you have.

Even a friend of ours from Germany commented on our large house and big piece of land. They don't have that in Europe.

We have been so blessed, yet we lack contentment. Paul's words from Ephesians are striking. Even in want and poverty, we need to be content.

God has provided all we need. Provided more than we need. I constantly have to remember how He has blessed me and my family. It's something I have to remember every day. In all circumstances. Dependence on God is the secret to contentment. So hard, but critical. Only achieved through prayer.

How do you practice contentment?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

Thank you isn't enough to express my feelings of gratitude to those families who made the ultimate sacrifice so that I could live in peace and safety.

As I've done research on my family and my husband's family, I realize they came to this country to find the freedom they didn't have in the land of their birth. So much blood was spilled to ensure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As my son prepares to enter the military, this holiday becomes more meaningful to me. Technically, the United States is at war. Our soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives so my children can live in peace.

Thank you, again, to the families who lost a son or daughter, a husband or wife, a sister or brother, so that I can worship as I choose, that I can educate my children as I choose, so that I can work at a profession that I choose.

God bless America.

Friday, May 25, 2012

In the Kitchen

I've been having some fun in the kitchen and experimenting with new recipes. This one isn't a new recipe, but it's a new technique.

For years I've hated making pie crusts because they never turned out. And I don't like the taste of store bought crust. As a result, I never made pies very often.

Over time, I've gotten better at making the crust. I've learned to add the right amount of water and have learned how to roll it out and transfer it to a pie plate. For inquiring minds, I use a pastry cloth dusted with flour to roll it out. I then gently roll the crust around my rolling pin to transfer it.

Getting a nice edge on the crust was another story. No matter what I tried, it didn't turn out nice. Ever. Then on Pinterest, I saw this great idea. Braid the crust! I trimmed the edges, rolled that into a ball, cut it into three pieces and rolled those into snakes, just like we did with Play-doh when we were little. Then I braided it. What do you think?

That's blueberry pie, in case you were wondering. I need a touch more practice to make the crust perfect, but it's the best I've ever done.

What new kitchen techniques have you learned? Please share!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Having Fun

A couple of weeks ago, my dad hosted his annual plant sale. Sales were slower than in years past, but we still made out fine. I even got to have some fun. A man came who knew nothing about perennials. He wanted one kind of plant for his 6 foot by 2 foot space that would bloom all year long. I explained to him that you couldn't get just one plant. He looked bewildered, so I had him mark off a 6X2 section of the driveway. I then grabbed a spring bloomer, a summer bloomer and a fall bloomer along with some ground cover. He bought it all. Now I can landscape architect to my credentials.

Doug spent his time installing an awning over my dad's patio. When he was finished with the tube the awning came in, he had a little fun with Jonalyn.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fibromyalgia Continued

Thank you all for your kind comments on yesterday's post. Living with a chronic condition can be lonely at times and it's good to hear I'm not alone.

Felicity, I understand your reluctance about medication. I'm the same way. For years, I went against the notion of adding another pill to my daily routine, but at last it came down to a quality of life issue. I'll deal with and work through whatever side effects there may be if it means that I can have a better life now. With Jonalyn's surgery approaching, I need to be clear-headed to understand the doctors and strong enough to take care of her. For three weeks she won't be able to put weight on her legs. And because it's summer, I want to have the energy to enjoy the nice weather and outdoor activities.

I will be starting a new vitamin regimen. It's a special B12 formulation. Apparently there are some who cannot metabolize regular vitamin B. We'll see how it works. My doctor gave me the go-ahead to give it a try. I'm also increasing my vitamin D intake and my iron. Spinach salad, anyone??

So that's where all that stands. Thank you for all of your prayers. You are in mine as well. Christian sisters, even those who live far away, are precious.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Living with Fibromyalgia

Some of you may or may not know that I, like millions of others, suffer from fibromyalgia. It's been called arthritis of the muscles and that describes it pretty well. Fatigue from poor sleep is another component. "Fibro fog" is yet another symptom and what I've been dealing with lately. I feel like I'm walking around inside a cloud, or like I'm floating. Very disconnected from things around me. There is a constant buzzing in my ears and I can't remember a thing. Not. A. Thing. My arms and legs feel like they are weighted down with concrete blocks, so bad is my fatigue.

I've debated writing this post for a while. Sympathy isn't my goal here, explanation is. It's been hard to write blog posts along with my other commitments as author, wife, mother and church secretary. Many days I've had things to write about but haven't had the energy to execute them.

After months of this, I broke down last week and went to my doctor. I love him, by the way. He understands fibromyalgia very well. He put me on new medication that should help with the fatigue and cognitive deficits. I'm praying it will work and I'll soon be my old self again. I miss her!

Thank you all for your understanding.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wonderful words - gadgets

I'm not a huge techno geek. Probably not one at all, but some things are cool. Since our second computer died, it's been tough to do anything on it at night or on the weekend. Sometimes I'm waiting for an email or need to write an email or blog post. Sometimes I want to read a book on my kindle for pc. Sometimes i want to watch a show online. No luck because either Brian needs the computer for school or Doug needs it to pay bills. I had determined to ask for an ereader for Christmas. Much to my surprise, i got one for Mother's Day. I love my new gadget! I have a few free ebooks on it, have set it up for email and imternet, and have typed this post on it! Can you tell??

Gadgets can be great fun. Every once in a while, I'll get a dud, but my new ereader isn'nt going to be one of them. My biggest flop (and there have been many) might have been my sweater shaver. It was supposed to shave the pills off your sweater. That didn't work so well. Neither did the razor that was supposed to keep your hair from growing back for a few weeks. That one plain old hurt. Do you have a favorite gadget? Any flops? Do tell!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Update on Jonalyn

Last week, Jonalyn had an appointment with her CP/orthopedic doctor. For two years, we have been wrapping these straps around her legs to try to turn out her femur bones, thus turning out her feet. She intoes so badly. You can see it in this picture.

Lately we've noticed that she's been intoeing even worse. She's been tripping over her own feet and falling more. As she grows, this is becoming more dangerous. It's only a matter of time before she breaks a limb.

Strapping her was a long shot. This manipulative procedure works with smaller children whose bones are more flexible. Jonalyn's bones didn't turn.

I'm waiting for the nurse to return my call, because we have decided to schedule surgery for Jonalyn. Hopefully in August, she will have a femoral derotation osteotomy. The surgeon will cut her femurs - yup, right through the bone - then will turn the bone and secure it all with screws and plates. Sounds fun, right??

They will also do a procedure to help her with her fallen arches on her right foot.

It's hard as a parent to purposely inflict pain on your child. We didn't want it to come to this, but we have run out of options. She will be in a wheelchair for about three weeks. Her foot surgery will require a cast for six weeks. She will need a good deal of physical therapy. The total recovery time is three to six months.

Is it a blessing that she doesn't understand this? I'm not sure.

I'll keep regular updates coming as we near surgery time. Right now we covet your prayers as we make the preliminary appointments and as we prepare Jonalyn for this procedure.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wonderful Words - Euphorbia

This week's Wonderful Word is...

EUPHORBIA is a species of perennials, which is appropriate for this week, because this is our annual plant sale week. My dad is nearing 600 plants, and I bet we have at least 150. Among them is EUPHORBIA.

According to the dictionary, the plants got their name from a Greek doctor. I like it because it's related to the word EUPHORIA. Makes me think happy thoughts. And these colorful plants sure do fit that bill.

We have this kind in our main garden. It's doing quite well there. The flowers are bright yellow this time of year. Later on, they fade to a rusty color and remain pretty most of the growing season. Because the summer is so short here, we have to enjoy every little bit we can.

We have this variety in the front of our house. We got it from my dad last year. Doug really likes it, but it died on him. Thankfully it spreads, so this year we have all kinds of little plants coming up. By next year we may be selling this one ourselves.

The common name of the plant is spurge. It makes me think of scourge. Yuck. EUPHORBIA is much nicer.

What are some of your favorite garden plants? Why?

Choose your own wonderful word (or use mine), write a post, and please link back here. Thanks! (And if you're in the neighborhood Thursday, Friday or Saturday, stop by and say hi!)