Tag Archives: God

The Week That Was

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Wow, the first week of the year was a busy one!!!!  So busy in fact, all the planned blog posts fell into the polar vortex that was a big part of last week.  We literally dove right in to the week with an out of the house activity everyday.  So, yes, even on those frigid days – we left the house.  This is far from typical – on average we do leave the house 3 days out of the week .  So, what were we doing, you might ask…….let me tell you.

Monday – our speech club resumed from holiday break.  So, we schooled in the morning and then speech club for the afternoon.  I teach the juniors and being our second semester – we gently introduce them to speech categories like extemporaneous and apologetics.  We also delve into debate as the semester continues.  For many, this is their first introduction to these categories, so we aren’t hard and fast with the rules like NCFCA is for the competitors.

Tuesday – this was a c-o-l-d day but piano practice beckoned.  I dropped the kids off and did some grocery shopping since I was already out of the house.  Returning home and sitting in front of the fire was a treat.

Wednesday – this is our co-op day.  We started our winter session so that meant new classes.  I am teaching a math class based on Math Counts and I still have the little ones for PE/Health.  I knew that I wasn’t scheduled for anything for our 3rd hour so I thought it was nap free time.  This is one of the reasons reading is important boys and girls….once I finally read the entire class schedule, I realized I was scheduled for Moms in Prayer.  I had no idea what this was but went off to meet up with the 2 other moms.  God knows what we need and this hour spend in prayer for our children, the children of the other moms, our co-op, and others was truly a blessing.  I am excited that this session, I can stand in the gap with the other moms. (If you have never heard of this group, it is international, click the link to learn more.  We adapted it for homeschool purposes)

Thursday – this was our first meeting day for our 4-H Trailblazers club.  It is a homeschool club and we are excited about the opportunities ahead.  There were a few other new members that were welcomed and the installation of new officers.  The kids participated in a geospatial teach back done by the older kids and engaged in planning for this year.  I continue to pray that this will be a nice fit for our family.

Friday – we headed off to the Microsoft store for another class via the 4-H program.  It was a movie making class and the kids had a great time.  They allowed them to take the Surface tablets and go around the store and take pics or video and they used MovieMaker to edit the movie, add special effects, music and more.  All of the kids did a great job and were given flash drives to put their movies on and take home.  We played ours on the tv for hubby when we returned home.  He was amazed at what they had done.  🙂
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Whew!  The weekend had more to-do items and Friday night included dropping off/picking up the Princess at a birthday party.  All in all, I am thankful and grateful for the opportunities, safe traveling mercies and the relationships that were nurtured during the course of the week.  Hopefully, I can adjust to our new schedule quickly and develop a nice rhythm for our family.

I’ve also been reading up more on my thyroid condition – more to come on that later.

Happy Monday!!!

2014 – One Word

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My word for 2014 is resolute! It means very determined: having or showing a lot of determination. Synonyms are faithful, bound, purposeful, resolved, set, and single-minded. Antonyms are faltering, hesitant, indecisive, week-kneed and vacillating.

For the past few years, I have chosen a word for the year. These words have played out in different ways over the course of a year, but focusing on a word has helped me say yes to some things and no to others. This year there are a few things that I aim to be resolute about but the main thing is my relationship with Christ. I have seen the difference in my life, marriage, family, etc. when I spend quality time with The Lord, preferably in the morning. Being that I have seen the positives and negatives that come from my spending or not spending time in His Word, I know that this must be what I am single-minded about for 2014.

If you have chosen a word for 2014, I’d love to hear it.

A Time of Real Refreshment

Over the weekend, I was blessed to attend the Real Refreshment homeschool mom’s retreat in Baltimore. This event is sponsored by Apologia, yes the makers of some awesome curricula, BUT it is not about hawking their wares – it is about equipping moms with the spiritual tools needed for homeschooling. Women travel from Massachusetts, New York, West Virginia, there was even a lady I met from South Dakota to attend this retreat as they are primarily held in Baltimore and Atlanta. Knowing of the large contingent of Christian homeschoolers just in the Maryland, DC, Virginia area, I am surprised that the event is not bursting at the seams. In the end, the women that were present were the women that God intended to be there and being one of them, I can say it was fantastic!

This is my second year attending and when I went last year, I was in a desperate place. I have homeschooled from the beginning but some things were not working with my then 3rd and 4th graders. Despite realizing that they weren’t working there was a part of me holding on to these not working items for.dear.life. Just like a kid trying to put a square peg in a round hole, I was forcing myself and my kids to suffer through some bad times. There was little to no joy in our homeschool and momma was m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e and we all know that old saying……suffice it to say, things weren’t pretty. When I read about the retreat, I quickly sent hubby an email, saying momma needs to go to this and he so quickly responded with “yes, please register”. Yes, he was desperate as well for some change. On the first day of the retreat, the truths shared shed light into the dark places and just broke me down. On the second day, the truths served to build me back up but in a better way and when I left, I was free of some of those things that had me shackled. Hallelujah!!

Fast forward to this year and I was in a different place. I wasn’t desperate and at my wit’s end. I had seen how God had been changing me over the past year but I knew I wasn’t where He would have me to be. I didn’t know what to expect this year but I expected to be changed, in a good way. I arrived Friday morning, bright-eyed and bushy tailed for the Nuts & Bolts section. I sat with some amazing women and bumped into a friend from the previous year. For the break-out sessions, I listened to Debra Bell. I absolutely adore this woman. She is so practical and shares insights that always speak to me. Her planners revolutionized things in our house after the last retreat. :). By the time evening rolled around for our main sessions, I was amped even though I knew there was going to be a time of soul searching and probably tears. At least this year, they included packets of tissues in the goody bag. I was right, the prayer session did lead to tears and became a serious point of reflection for me. As I drove home, I was deep in thought about a lot of things not just homeschool related but also friendships with other women related due to a talk by Deb Bell.

Saturday was another day full of God’s new mercies and grace and as I kissed hubby goodbye (kids were at my parents) and headed back to the retreat, I was ready for more. Saturday’s speakers didn’t disappoint! However, the last speaker, Heidi St. John, really cut to the core about the state of Christianity and how easily some of us are being deceived. I know not exactly homeschool related but it was in that as moms we are shepherdesses of the next generation. Not only our own children, but even their friends. We must always be on guard to the ways of the devil because he is out to kill, steal and destroy our marriages, our children, our families, and more. She showed a beautiful painting of a shepherdess and her sheep and the image really hit home for me.

At the end of those two days, I came home renewed, refreshed, and reinvigorated. It was a blessed time and I look forward to next year. If you are a homeschooling mom, I encourage you to seek out this retreat or another because we all need to be poured into so that we can continue pouring out.

Biopsy went well!

As I type this, I am sitting in the recovery room as our daughter watches tv. Our day started out super early as we stirred from our beds, it was still dark. I must say it gave me a greater appreciation for the hour in which my husband rises daily to head off to work. We headed off to Delaware and left a few minutes earlier since everyone was ready. The traffic was lighter than we had anticipated so those prayers offered for traveling mercies were greatly appreciated. 🙂

Being early, I didn’t think they would call us as soon as they did but we were thankful. As Alex and I headed back for her ultrasound, my parents and my son headed to the cafeteria since none of us ate prior to leaving in order to support Alex as she couldn’t eat. The ultrasound tech (Ann) was very nice and Alex enjoyed looking at her insides via the screen and thought the whole process was cool. Her doctor marked the point of entry and it is freaky to see a mark on the outside that you know is going to be used as the point that a needle is going to enter your child, travel between 2 rib bones and enter her liver to extract a really small section of it for evaluation.

As the sedation doctor explained to us that he was going to use nitrous oxide and shared with Alex how the mask would be over her mouth and nose, my main concern was whether or not that was enough sedation. He assured us that she wouldn’t remember anything and the local anesthesia would allow her not to feel anything. As an added bonus, she would be coherent and back to normal within a few mintutes. I am glad to say that he was right because once it was over, she said that she didn’t remember anything and that she felt like she was in la-la land. Mom was thinking she needed some of that stuff. 😉

The biopsy needle was looooooong!! Of course, she requested that I stay in the room so I put on my brave mommy face and stayed. The whole procedure was pretty quick and now we will have to wait a few days for the results and it is our prayer that the biopsy results will line up with her blood draws and that her liver is still enjoying a peaceful coexistence with the other organs in her body. However, now we are at the hard part because she has to lay on her side for 4 hours. Thankfully being a great children’s hospital, they have bedside tv’s that are touch screen operated with tv, games, and movies. We have watched Alphas & Omegas and are now watching the Karate Kid with Jaden Smith. This entertainment has proved to occupy both kids as her brother is now in the recovering room with us watching the movie.

Now it is just a waiting game. Waiting for time to pass until we can get our last blood draw to check her blood count and then we will be given the green light to head home. Based on our day, I think some will be napping on the way home.

As always, coming here is a humbling experience because there are kids that are here and not able to travel home today and we can continue to pray for those kids and their families.

The Liver Biopsy

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My daughter’s transplant nurse has been prepping me for almost a year of the prospect of a liver biopsy being in our future.  But like any good mom, I just nodded my head as I got dizzy with thoughts of a time and place that I didn’t want to revisit.  You see, we found out when she was 3 1/2 months of age that she had a liver disease – biliary atresia and needed a transplant.  She received a transplant at 7 1/2 months of age and the details of that time and after can still be found here.  She is now 9 and we have had no issues with her liver and are very thankful and grateful.  (the pic is from when she was 7, don’t tell her as she may get me.) 🙂

Nonetheless, her dear sweet transplant doctor wants to check her actual liver to make sure that her every 2 month lab draws are providing an accurate picture of what is going on inside of her liver.  We believe that her body and her liver have formed a happy partnership because she is on a very low dose of her anti-rejection meds and she still has perfect labs.  I am all for being sure but of course I wish there was some other way to give me that surety.

Alas, there isn’t, so in the month of October, she will have a biopsy.  It is scheduled as in/out and my prayer is that we are indeed in/out.  I don’t want to stay overnight.  Yes, I said I because I probably have more anxiety about this than my lovely daughter.  Trust me, she doesn’t want to go but she understands that she has to go.  She has no memory of the 5 weeks spent in the hospital.  No memory of receiving a blood transfusion to boost her numbers that caused a blockage in her hepatic artery that caused them to relist her as a status 1 patient which translates to get a liver soon or die.  She has no memory of her mom being in the room after the 2nd transfusion that made her heart rate fall to in the 40’s and the staff flooded the room with a defibrillator as she was crashing.  I have those memories and they are vivid.

So, the nervous Nelly in me kicks into overdrive to make sure the staff has washed blood on hand in her blood type just in case she is not clotting as she needs to after the biopsy.  The Nelly in me is like a serious boss lady trying to think of each and every possible scenario and then making sure there is a solution to it.  Trust me, nobody messes with Nelly, she is like an amped up momma grizzly protecting her babes from a male on the prowl.

However, in all of my Nelliness, I am reminded of how faithful God has been to our Princess and how I must give this biopsy over to Him because Nelly can’t think of everything no matter how hard she tries.  I have to rely on Him to deal with my anxious heart and mind so that I don’t transfer my anxieties to my daughter.  I have to trust Him that His will W-I-L-L be done before and after this biopsy.  It’s not easy but He has gotten us through worst, so I continue to trust.  In my trusting, I do ask for the prayers of my fellow Christian brothers and sisters.  Prayers for the biopsy, the doctor, the nurses, the equipment, my daughter, my anxieties, the results  will show no signs of rejection, that afterwards her blood will clot and she won’t need a transfusion, and that we will not have to stay overnight.  Thank you!