Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Making a costume for Bethany that has required much gathering & sewing & some ripping (as you sew, so shall you rip).
Middle school cooking class made about 40 sandwiches today to serve: grilled cheese & Paninis. What's a panini you ask? Why, I'm glad you did! A Panini is a squished together glorified grilled cheese sandwich with "real" cheeses & meats & veggies if you like. My gluten free bread was mushy though so even toasted mine was kind of icky. Everyone else seemed to like theirs!
Now to bed. I think!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Jeff & Joanna also have a daughter Corinna who is, I believe, about 2.
Today we got a letter from Tommy & Sue that is just heart wrenching. This baby's heart has stopped and she's been revived multiple times. They wrote that Lori says it's like watching her die over and over. I'm sure every day is a battle for life. Please keep this precious family in your prayers.
Bethany, ever known for saying the funniest things, tonight said, "I could have worn the crown with my mermaid costumes, but how many mermaids where crowns?" I laughed & asked how many she knew! She added, "Well, since they are just make-believe, I guess they could wear whatever you want them to."
What's a mom to do with an Aspie girl who thinks we have to save EVERYTHING????
Now, I HOPE I can get to bed without causing any more calamities.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Yesterday Phil wanted to take the girls to Fiesta Texas (6 flags) for one last "hoorah" before the park closed. Apparently, so did every other ticket holder in San Antonio. The park was SO packed that they rode 3 rides in about 3 hours. Yep, just 3 rides. I didn't ride any. I was feeling a bit like it would make me sick if I rode anything. Hmmm, I had forgotten that I felt bad early on at the park. More on that later. It was a gorgeous day to be outside. The girls had a great time. We bought a bucket of cotton candy (we rarely buy food at the park) and I let Natalie play a game (it costs extra to do that), so it was a big blowout event for ending the season!
Bethany wants to be a Mermaid for Halloween. We aren't big Halloween fans & don't do any of the witch or things related to death (ie skeletons, gravestones). We do let the girls dress up & go out for candy (then they end up not eating most of it!). Years ago a lady told me she & her husband decided to not give the day over to the devil because everyday is the day the Lord has made. Yes, I do know the origins of Halloween, but I also know the word is Hallow e'en---Holy evening. We take it and celebrate Life and the Lord! So, Bethany has this outfit picked out. Actually a pattern and fabric. I have had it for weeks. Last night I sat & cut out all the pieces except some lining that I need to get. I hope I can finish it by Wednesday!
On the way home I started feeling sick to my stomach. I felt bad after I ate part of my meal, too. I overslept because I wasn't feeling great. Now I have a low grade fever & rumbling in my tummy. Yikes! I haven't been sick since June! For me that is a record. I'm hoping this shall pass quickly.
The girls are getting ready to leave for AWANA, a church program for kids to help them learn Bible Verses. Today is "dress like one of God's creations" so they did. Natalie is a bunny & Bethany is a TREE! Creativity is her strong suit! They're taking some friends along today.
That is about all the excitement I have to post this week. Phew. No ER runs!
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
"Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7
The other day some gals were chatting about feet & hand sizes online. I was goofy & took some pics of my feet & hands. Several months ago I had my wedding ring cut off, and someone asked for an update on how my finger is doing. Here are the pics of when I had it cut off & now. I took one of my finger where it was cut & glued, too, but it was hard to see in the picture. Then, I took some of my feet with my freakishly long toes. We ALL 4 have long toes. We pick things up with our toes. Bethany even played her keyboard with her toes the other day. I told her she could play a duet with herself! But, what crossed my mind was the passage above. My feet are just feet. But God says my feet are beautiful if they are carrying the good news of His Gospel. I want to have beautiful feet. I want to carry good news on the mountains, and in my city, and in my home. I want to proclaim peace, bring good tidings, and proclaim salvation. And with feet as big as mine, I hope I am able to do that abundantly in my life!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I-slice. Yes, apparently I had my own version of an I-slice. You see, I decided that our green "fun and trendy" santoku knife (or is it santuko? the Rachel Ray style knife) would be great because it is REALLY SHARP. I told them about our cute knives & that they are REALLY SHARP. Then I demonstrated it. Right into my index finger on my left hand. I was fast & no blood got on the knife or the cake mix! I said, "I think I need a bandaid." Then I heard ladies saying, "Get some paper towels," and suddenly I had a new friend holding my finger wrapped in paper towels. And another new friend going for her first aid kit. And yet another new friend finding me a chair & telling me to hold up my finger above my heart. The host moved away from me immediately & said, "I don't do blood!" I thought she might pass out!
So, there I sat, with one guest holding my finger tight as I then continued the show telling the guests what to do to finish the recipe! I think I must have told them 10 times, "I have insurance for this" because of my PC insurance. The ladies were finally able to wrap gauze & about 3 bandaids around it. By the time I left, the bleeding had stopped, or at least we not oozing. Sorry, am I making you feel faint?
I stopped at CVS to pick up some new bandaids & something called "Liquid bandage." I called Phil & told him what happened and to be prepared to take off the bandaids to check it & put this stuff on when I got home. We had to cut off the bandaids (with a VERY dull pair of tiny scissors). As soon as we pulled them off we had a bloody geyser on our hands, or more specifically, on my hand. There was no stopping the blood, so Phil wrapped several bandaids on my finger to keep it under control until I could get to the ER. Of course, the girls were still up (who could miss this excitement) and we had to decide what to do with them. I knew my friend Kathy would still be up. Remember the post about my friend cleaning up Natalie's throw-up? Yep, that friend. Phil called her & while I'm standing there bleeding to death (okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration), they discuss that the cadette Girl Scouts are going to get to fly on Saturday & Phil wants to hear all about it. We dropped the girls at Kathy's house. She told us just leave them overnight and that we come up with the best excuses to be alone! LOL! Off we went to the ER.
We got to the ER about 11:30. Around midnight we went in & gave all the info & got a pretty bracelet with my name on it. The nurse told us it would be awhile. So, Phil went to the van & brought in his computer (yes, really). There was no internet connection, but he did have some videos recorded, so he plugged in the ear buds & we each had one in an ear. We watched almost all of a video about Global Warming not really being caused by CO2. It was interesting to a point, but it wasn't stamping or cooking.
At 2:00 a.m. we got into a room. About 30 min. later we saw the dr. Of course, by then, the bleeding had finally slowed almost completely. He said we could leave it & just put a band aid on it, or he could glue it. He said stitches weren't an option b/c it was so small. He put the fancy super glue on my finger, the nurse put the $1000 band aid on top of it (her words, which we laughed at---um, we met our deductible before our LAST ER visit---we can laugh now!), and sent us on our merry way.
By 4 a.m. I was in bed. I'm rather woozy today, but I'm awake. The girls have a birthday party this evening, so I'll have to have some caffeine to make it through to that.
And lest you think I am the only one with bad jokes and puns in our family, Phil, my quiet husband, told each person along the way, from check-in to doctor, that I was serving "finger food" at the party. Wanna know the funny part? It was finger food!
And that, boys and girls, is what NOT to do at a Pampered Chef party.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Phil's parents drive each week that there is an appointment for his dad from Marble Falls, Texas to Temple, Texas. I think it is a 2 hour drive both ways. It's about 2.5 or so from here when one of us goes. Phil has gone more often, but not each time they go.
Please pray for healing, for stamina, for wisdom from the doctors, and for safety as they make these trips. Thank you.
Monday, October 15, 2007
I live with an Aspie girl. She appears to be normal. She appears to be quite shy (which she is, though not all "Aspies" are shy), but fairly normal. You could not walk into a room and point to her as the one with Asperger Syndrome, as you might someone in a wheelchair, with a disability that is more noticeable. Yet, she isn't "normal." She is repetitive. And, quite frankly, there are times when that it downright irritating. Have you ever heard either "This is the song that never ends" or "This is a song that gets on everybody nerves?" These are favorites of kids bound & determined to find every last nerve any adult around them ever had. And they sing these with just that intent. My child will sing the same song, or more accurately, the same portion of a song, over & over. She does not intend to be annoying. She may also find a noise she likes to make and make that noise over & over. She does voices, too. She'll find a voice she likes and speak in that voice for weeks, but praise the Lord, she will stop momentarily when I tell her it is irritating. Some of the voices are downright funny, like her latest Australian voice where she announces, "The great hound dog went over the mountain." Most of these things, though, are just irritating. I saw a shirt once that said, "I had one last nerve, but you found it." I think I need that.
This weekend while camping, her bunkmates came to get me because Bethany would not go to sleep. She would sing, and hum, and talk to an imaginary friend she apparently created (funny since she never did that when she was younger), and brush her hair. These poor girls were trying to sleep and Bethany was not tired. Oh, yes, another typical feature of autism is the inability to get adequate sleep, or specifically to fall asleep. I asked Bethany what was wrong & she told me one of the girls was being mean. I asked what she meant by that. She said, "She keeps telling me to be quiet." Um, well, it IS almost midnight and they ARE trying to sleep, and WHY CAN'T YOU JUST BE QUIET & GO TO SLEEP???" I didn't say that, but thought it. If these things are irritants during the day, how much more so when we are tired and ready for bed. It's no wonder Natalie is always getting angry with Bethany!
Bethany does not like to be told not to do something. Okay, most kids don't like this, but she has it in her head that if I tell her not to do something, usually, she will accept that. If anyone else tells her, ESPECIALLY another child, she thinks they are being "mean." I told her that night that the other girl was NOT being mean, but trying to get to sleep. Tonight I asked her again what she was doing that night, and why she would not stop. She said, "I was humming and they told me to stop singing. I wasn't singing, I was humming." You or I would know this meant stop making the noise that is coming out of your mouth. You or I would think she was being a smart alek (is that a real word?) by saying this. But, she seriously thinks if you say to stop singing and she is humming, she does not need to stop humming. She is very specific. I tried to explain to her again tonight that they wanted her to stop making any noises. I asked how she thought they felt when they were trying to sleep and she was making all those noises. "Irritated."
"Do you think it was a good choice to keep making noises?"
"How do you think it made them feel when you said they were mean?"
She didn't know. I asked, "Do you think it hurt their feelings?"
"Maybe" (Maybe means yes, when she doesn't really want to admit yes)
Some days I feel she has made such progress, and other days I scratch my head & wonder how to get through to her or if certain concepts will ever get through to her. I scratch my head & wonder how to get through to her. I scratch my head & wonder how to get through to her.
hee-hee. I thought you might like a taste of this irritating quirky disorder we call autism!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Hobo Popcorn: put some popcorn kernels and a bit of oil on a foil sheet, fold closed, sealing well, but leaving plenty of space for the popcorn to pop. Tie to a stick and hold over hot coals til popcorn is done. Works best if you leave LOTS of room for air, and don't have 10 girls trying to crowd into one space. Also, if you have one catch on fire, it's good to know the hose is right by you before this happens. (not that we'd know---ahem)
Brownie stew was made while 3 of the girls were with me at canoing, so I'll have to find out how they did that.
Chicken packet. Oh, wow! The girls devoured these, except for those who got a little too much of the spicy seasoning. That would be my fault, since I was the sprinkler. Lay out 2 foil sheets. Put chicken breast (boneless) on this with whatever vegetables you like. We used thinly sliced potatoes, chopped carrots, onions, and even frozen green beans, peas and corn. Then, there was leftover bits from breakfast so we added mushrooms, bell peppers, ham & cheese! Sprinkle on any seasonings you like. Cover with 2 more pieces of foil & seal WELL. Lay these directly on top of hot coals (we had outdoor grills for this) and cook til done. I think it was about 20 minutes. It was so juicy & tender!
Omelettes in a bag: Crack as many eggs as you have people (or more) in a large bowl & scramble together (or just crack eggs into bag if you want & shake them around). Scoop eggs into baggie and zip tight! Add anything you'd put in an omelette: cheese, chopped ham, bell pepper, mushrooms, etc. Drop into pot of boiling water and let cook til done. I just had to watch them to be sure they were done. Lesson learned on this: do NOT let baggies hang over the edge of the pot or they will melt! oops.
Banana boats: While banana is still in the peel, slit the banana, peel & all along one edge. Stuff chocolate chips and mini marshmallows into the banana. Wrap tightly in foil. Place on top of hot coals & cook til marhmallows are melted.
All of these are gluten free if using gf seasonings.
There was a shower in the leader cabin, and there were showers for the girls. They even had hot water valves. The only problem was there was NO hot water! So, a few brave girls took a shower, and a few moms splashed off some dirt. It was quite warm this weekend, but the nights cooled down greatly (well, you know it is still South Texas; cooling down greatly means it was bearable). We cooked most meals on the campfire. My favorite part was the extra chocolate chips that I snagged before they made it to the Banana boats! Yes, I will tell you how to make a banana boat, too, but not tonight.
The highlight for some girls was a funny thing that happened last night at supper. We were feeding the girls supper about 10:00 (um, yeah, the day kind of got away from us), when I heard them singing, and then quiet, then giggling. It turned out that the camp right next to us (the grouping of cabins with a different troop) was responding to our girls' singing. So, it turned into a big competition of who could be louder. The song was "I know a song that gets on everybody's nerves". I realized what was happening and told the girls to come out of the dining cabin & sing outside to them, then another mom took the lead & we started walking towards them. They got up & came towards us. We met in the middle where all the girls were bouncing up & down like jackrabbits & singing at full volume! The other group gave up on trying to outsing us on that song (we had 16 girls, I think, and they had about 8!) and broke into "Jingle Bells!" Then they ALL sang together. It was so funny and quite spontaneous.
For my friend Danette & I, the highlight was getting to Sabinal Texas and pulling up to Dairy Queen where we both got fully caffeinated Cokes! Though, I went to pay & they didn't take debit cards. They did tell me where an ATM was, so I drove 2 buildings away & got cash. I also got tickled watching people come into the DQ in this small town. The young gals behind the counter knew EACH customer's name. They'd all been to church & it was like a reunion in there. I suppose DQ is the only open restaurant in Sabinal Texas on Sundays. Though, the Buckhorn Saloon is there & Phil & I had a delicious dinner there one night many moons ago.
Thanks so much to my friends Kathy & Lisa for heading up this trip. And to Charron (who is named after a "regular person" in a movie about a Leprechaun---hee, hee! The things you learn while camping!) for being our first aid mom. I enjoyed visiting with another of our homeschool moms, Nancy, and was glad to have a nurse amongst us when we had a bloody nose at camp. Danette was my riding buddy up there & she holds the official record for highest number of jumps in the jumping rope competition! Woo-hoo! I suspect they are all also very thankful for hot showers tonight.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I am tagging along as a special needs mom. I'll also be accompanying the few junior girl scouts who are old enough to be part of a canoing badge event. They'll be canoing in a pool! I hope it's a big pool! I'll be there for moral support, not actually getting in & out of a canoe. I don't think my knees would let me get in & out of a canoe, actually. Apart from that our troop is doing our very own camp trooping with lots of fun activities planned, I hear! I'm just excited that I don't have to walk a mile to the bathroom during the night. This camp has indoor plumbing in the grown-up cabin! Woo-hoo! Funny how priorities change as you age!
Tonight I had the opportunity to help a 4H club use Pampered Chef tools to make 3 different recipes. I found recipes for 3 different age groups & had some of the moms help me work with the different groups. The littlest ones cut up fruit for a fruit pizza. The middle schoolers made an apple crisp. The high school students created paninis. Boy, did everything sound & look yummy! And it all had gluten in it! When we get back from camp, I am going to have to convert the apple crisp to gluten free.
I'll be back in a few days with news of our trip!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Gorp Trail Mix - $10 – has peanuts, raisins, chocolate chips, and candy-coated chocolate pieces (30 oz)
Whole Cashews - $6 – gourmet cashews delicately roasted and lightly salted to perfection (8 oz)
Honey Roasted Peanuts - $4 – honey roasted peanuts (9 oz)
Chocolate Covered Almonds - $6 – Roasted almonds smothered in a rich creamy chocolate – (10 oz)
Spicy Cajun Mix - $4 – A spicy kick of barbecued peanuts, hot Cajun sesame sticks, barbecued corn sticks, mini sesame chips, and taco sesame sticks (7 oz)
Sugar Free Chocolate Toffee Bits – Delicious crunchy bite sized sugar free toffee bits smothered in a rich and creamy sugar free chocolate. An excellent treat for a low carb lifestyle (10 oz)
Payment isn't due til they come in, the first week of November. Hmmm, is it okay to tell people about this on the Internet? Well, I just did. What can I say? I'm a nut!
And to my allergic friends, of course these have nuts. I've not seen a list of ingredients yet, which is making me a bit antsy about ordering myself.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
So, today's adventure. I worked to get lots of paperwork stuff ready to mail out, but didn't quite finish. Then, I took Natalie shopping while Phil & Bethany stayed here, then later left to drive to a town about an hour or so away (I think) named Comfort. When Phil was riding his motorcycle he stumbled upon a bat cave where they have seats you can pay to sit in & watch the bats fly out. I am a bargain hunter & it takes me SO long to shop because I am comparing prices. Not because I'm super cheap or thrifty or really good at saving money, but because we no longer own credit cards & I absolutely HAVE to be careful! Thus, it took us nearly 2 hrs. to shop 2 stores. Bethany would have been bonkers by then. We pulled out of the Target parking lot & drove down a bit, then I stopped at Party City, on a whim. Not really a total whim, but kind of a surprise to Natalie. I wanted to see if they had a certain kind of kid's wig that she could use as a costume. Good thing she didn't really like them because I THEN looked at the price: $20! I can buy a can of hair coloring spray for less than that & save us big bucks! She decided she'd just wear a poodle skirt we already had & just needed a white shirt that fit. Phew. $4.00 at Wal-Mart is way better! This is for a costume party they are going to tomorrow.
On the way to Party City (which is very close to Target), it sounded like I had a low tire. I knew the passenger side rear tire had a slow leak, so I went to look, but no, it didn't look THAT low. I'd felt this a tiny bit yesterday, too, but decided I just needed to air up the tire & hadn't had time to do that. So, I pulled out of that parking lot & headed to a nearby restaurant. I could tell something was really wrong, and was driving very slowly. Another driver started pointing to me to let me know something was wrong with my tired. I waved & pulled into the restaurant. I looked again & that back tire wasn't flat. Then I looked at the FRONT! It was FLAT! TOTALLY FLAT!
I haven't changed a tire since I was 17 years old. (Don't ask, the math isn't worth it). As God would have it, this restaurant was right next to a National Tire & Battery store! We prefer Discount Tire Store, but beggars can't be choosers! I called Phil while we ate to ask for advice. Oh, if you haven't heard, he won't let the girls ride in the van on a daily basis. They trashed it out with their food & toys, so he said we have to use the old car. Yeah, go figure. So HE drives the big van with just one person in it, while we use the Buick, which is 12 years old. After this incident, I am about to have a custody battle over cars! Phil said to see if we had a can of fix a flat in the trunk & if not, to see if NTB would fill it for us. We finished eating in record time, then crept down the hill to the store next door. I got in about 15 minutes before closing. The guy said he'd see what they could do. I watched them take the tire off & look. They said the side part (is that firewall? I'm getting confused with computer lingo!) was worn out & couldn't be fixed. So, Natalie & I sat down in the waiting area while they put on a new tire.
The benefit to this was that there was a TV with a remote & I found Food Network! Paula's Party was on (Paula Dean who has those handsome sons---LOL!) & she was making Fair Food. She made apples dipped in chocolate! Oh, yum! Natalie & I decided right then at our next stop, we'd pick up apples & chocolate!
We did get to Wal-Mart where we found a $4 shirt & paid far too much for groceries (I hate grocery shopping at W-M except that they are good about having gluten-free on labels & that I like). We made it home with the car only dying once on the way home. Oh, didn't I mention it does that? It starts right back up.
Other than the flat tire incident, and the fact that I ate bad eggs today, it was a pretty normal day. HA! HA! If you made it this far, you must be crazier than I am! Gotta love my friends who put up with my ramblings!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Today my throat started hurting & my head aches. Sigh. I do NOT have to get up early tomorrow. We don't need to be anywhere until 3:00 pm. Hmmm, if Phil is home in time & I feel icky, he could take the girls to their appointment! I hope to get a good night's sleep. I do have 2 girls in my bed. It's a "Girls' Night Out" and we have sleepovers in my bed when Daddy is gone!
This morning we went to the Symphony for kids. It was very interesting. They related it all really well to kids. Natalie however, was super fidgety, and kept saying, "This is boring!" Then, once she was sitting by a friend, she pretended to sing opera while they played. It was quite humorous to see her with mouth fully open (no sound) and great expressions. Bethany thought it would be boring, but seemed to be paying attention. She loves to play instruments (well, play at them, she only plays piano for real), so I thought it would be fascinating to her. They both said, "I didn't really like it" to me. Then we talked to Phil & they said, "It was okay." The conductor told us that the symphony will be showing Wizard of Oz on a large screen & the symphony will be performing the music live at the Majestic Theater later in October! Here's a link to the theater: http://www.majesticempire.com/ This theater is incredible. I can't even describe it, so you'll have to do the virtual tour if you've never seen it. I've been to some concerts, a couple of musicals (back in my single days), and most recently (about 5 years ago) to see Dora the Explorer Live. Dora didn't really match the scenery, other than the fact that she is Hispanic & the building makes you feel like you're in Mexico! Dora just isn't quite the glamor girl for the theater. I'll have to check on pricing for that performance.
Now that it is very late, I must get to bed & try to get well! Have a wonderful day!
Today the doctor did some scans and has determined that the cancer cells have not grown at all, or spread. In fact, he thinks some may be shrinking. It was too hard to tell for sure today. Bill (my father-in-law, or FIL) will take a couple more rounds of chemo, then go back for a check again at the end of the month.
We attribute his success so far to the grace of God! So many people are praying and God is answering with a resounding YES to this. I know there are times when God chooses not to heal physically, but we are rejoicing that this time He is saying yes. Please continue to keep Bill & Ruth (FIL and MIL) in your prayers.
Phil (my husband) went to be with them at the appointment today. He's staying overnight at their house & is taking a few days off this week. Hopefully on Friday we'll get to do something fun as a family!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
We finally got into the car. I had to stop at the store for a few items for class. Then, down the road, I realized I'd left something at home & had to stop at yet another store for items.
We breezed into co-op with a few minutes to spare. I was setting up for the first class and my precious friend Kathy came in to help me. I'm the helper in that class, but the teacher was gone today, so I was the teacher. No sooner had we had all the kids wash hands (it's a cooking class) than Natalie threw up all over the floor. That explained why she'd been so cranky!
Now let me tell you that I HATE throw up. I hate doing it, I hate smelling it, I just HATE IT! I gag when anyone else throws up. But kids throw up. Here is the cool way God provides. I can think of ONE time in the past 11 years of being a mom that I have been alone with a child when she threw up. Every other time, someone else, who doesn't gag, has cleaned it up for me! Phil, my parents, once at a friend's house sleeping over, and today Kathy. She didn't even blink an eyelash. She said, "You do apples, I'll do this." And, she was more than a helper I was feeling quite unsure of what to do. She stepped in when I was lost for words or actions. She was a GREAT teacher! I love my friend Kathy! And I love my friend Linda who cleaned up Bethany's throw up once when I wasn't even there. And I love my parents who've cleaned up the girls' throw up more than once. And I love Phil who not only cleans up the girls' throw up, but cleans up MINE!
If you ever doubt God's provision, just come throw up & we'll see whom He sends to clean it up! LOL!