SLOW and STEADY

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Weight Loss
I have to say that I hate the phrase "Slow and Steady" but, I shouldn't.  I weighed in again today, and had a loss of 1 lb.  All in all, not to bad for Christmas weigh-in.  I tracked everything I ate, and stayed within my points........so I should be proud of myself.  (I am not, but trying to change my thinking).  I have a two goals for the week ahead.  The first is to get breakfast in every day for seven days~I am NOT a breakfast eater, and this means that I am eating the majority of my points late in the day.  Second, I want to excercise all seven days this week.  I am hoping between the two different goals, I will hit my first 5lb benchmark this next weigh in.

My big concern this week is New Years Eve.  I am going to a party at some friends.  The invite said bring finger foods and goodies, so already I know there will be lots of things I can get myself into trouble on.  I need to formulate a plan before I go!!

Stitching
I have made a new friend through our church.  She is new to the church, and we have found a lot of things we share in common.  Yesterday, she informed me that she had done some pre-printed cross-stitch but had never attempted counted cross-stitch.  Well, of course, I had to share my love with her :)  I went through my stuff, found a pattern for her, a q-snap, some thread and even some fabric.  She is doing a bookmark for her first project.  I got her going, and could hardly pull her attention away from it to visit :).  Anyway, she called me this morning to inform me that she was 1/2 way done, and had already made her first trip to Hobby Lobby for her next project!  I am so proud of myself for sharing my addiction LOL. 

As for my stitching, I am still working on Artecy's "Old Barn In Storm".  I have 1/2 of the second page done (will post when I have finished the page).  I also pulled out some smaller works that I would like to work on here and there.  This is the year of me, and the majority of the projects I work on will be ones that I wanted to do for my house!  Of course, I won't be able to help myself if here and there I have to throw in something I see that just "HAS TO BE" done for a friend/family!

Christmas Day

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Today is Christmas Day, and what a beautiful, peaceful day it has been.  We started celebrating last evening (Christmas Eve) with a Vespers service at the church, followed by communion and a church wide lighting ceremony.  It really helps put the right perspective on the holidays, and turns our eyes to the One for whom we celebrate!  During communion our Pastor was speaking of why we share communion on Christmas Eve.  First it is to celebrate the initial coming of the Christ Child, then to celebrate His triumphant return and our home-going.  Following church service the kids and I came home to eat Pizza and have a few hours of relaxation before picking Tim up from work.  We picked Tim up and then hurried home for the kids to unwrap their presents.  Unlike other years, it took less then 15 minutes, and the kids feigned suprise (they all already knew what they were getting).  This morning we awoke to snow falling slowing from the sky, great food (and yes I stayed under my points), and fun company.

All the gifts open, company gone, and Tim headed off to work.  It is now time for me to celebrate the day with the quietness of a cozy blanket, some soft tunes, a good book, and some cross-stitch!  I sincerely hope that all my friends, family and extended stitching family had as great of a day as I.  I look forward to the coming year and all the fantastic things I believe God has in store for my family and our surrounding family!

Check-in

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Today was Weight Watchers check-in.  Actually for me, Monday nights are, but I had a conflict, so I went to tonights meeting.  I had trully expected a rather large gain.  I did great the first few days then kind of crashed.  It is such a busy time of the year.  However, I had a loss (YAY ME!)  I have doubled up my efforts for this week and will try much harder to count every bite and excercise every day.  As an incentive, hubby is going to buy me an IPOD after 30 straight days of excercise.  I have made a chart with a picture of my ipod below it, and am taping it somewhere (not sure where yet) to remind me of my goals!  I know that today I will never be this heavy again, and that feels great :)

Weight Watchers Here I Come

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So, last night was my first official night of WW.  I was all ready to go, book in hand, weighed in, meeting attended and then............  I got up this morning and forgot (Yes I really did forget) that I was on WW and went out to lunch with hubby and family friend.  Ordered my usual at Steak N Shake (a double with ketchup and fries and coke) and ate till my hearts content!  Got home and realized my grievous error.  I had eaten 29 points in ONE MEAL (I only get 27 for the whole day)!  However, in the past I would quit immediately!  This time, I came home and put everything on my journal, and decided I can't do anything about what has been done but I can go forward from here.  SOOOO long story short, that is exactly what I am doing.  I went to church to my "Biggest Winners" excercise class and walked 2 miles!!!!  That is huge for me.  Tomorrow is a new day, and another chance to get it better (notice I didn't say get it right, just better).

Christmas, Cross-stitch, and stuff

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Spending the afternoon relaxing after having performed our Christmas program this morning.  I had a very small solo in it, and am glad to have that done.  Robert showed up for church this morning "to hear mom sing", which was nice, but so many emotions were running through me when I saw him that I had a hard time keeping it together for the performance.  He is still acting as if he did nothing wrong.  Told us he had a job.  I told him I loved and missed him, and hoped he was able to get his life in order.  Neither Tim nor I gave him any reason to think that he could come home just because he has a job.  We have both re-read the parable of the prodigal son in the bible.  We feel that we will only be able to bring Robert back into the fold after he returns as the prodigal son did, contright, trully sorry and wanting nothing more then to merely "work as a slave".  Obviously we don't want him back as a slave LOL, but the attitude of knowing we don't "owe" him anything.  I have to go back to church in a few minutes.  I am starting today to sing with the Worship team on Sunday nights.  I am nervous, but also glad that God is allowing me the opportunity to serve.


I am so proud of myself, for once not sticking a project away when I got bored with it. I realized that I could work through it :) I have been working on page 1 of the "Old Barn in a Storm" by Artecy pattern.  Here is page 1 completed.  I love how when you work on these projects it doesn't look like much as your doing it, but as I hold it back (or in this case look at the picture) it really comes out.  It is very exciting to see how it will turn out.  I had such a fascination with several of these old barns that Terrena had done for Artecy, that I have decided to as many as I can, just for myself.  I believe I am going to take the year off from making gifts for others, and concentrate on some of the ones I wanted to do just for me.  By the way, if you see the strings all at the bottom and are wondering why, I will explain.  For this project I did a park and stitch.  I stitch in squares of 10.  When I am done with that color in that square, I "park it" or bring it up through its corresponding symbol in the square of 10 below.  I finish the whole page in columns of 10.  Now I will pick back up on the first row of page 5 (the page that goes below this) where the threads are.  I will do the same thing finishing the color in the block of 10 and then parking, all the way down the page.  When all the pages are done in this first column, then I will go on to page 2 (which will go to the right) and do the same again.  Hope this explanation made sense.

First COLD day of winter

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Winter is finally hear, along with the cold and snow.  We did not get the monster of the storm that just west of us did, as far as the snow, but what we are getting is more then enough for me!  Today the temp. is steadly falling.  Right now it is 19 degrees out, for those on the other side of the world that equates to about 7!  The temperature is to continue dropping through the night, with a high tomorrow of 4!  What is making it worse is that our wind is blowing about 29mph with gust of up to 50mph.  That drops the temp fast!  Most church services have been cancelled for the night (not ours yet, but fully expect it to happen at any moment).  I am having a very difficult time not knowing where Robert is at this moment.  The thought of him outside on a day like this is almost to much to bare, so I have tried to keep my mind busy on other things.

My stitching has gone okay so far.  I am just about to complete page one of Artecy's "Old Barn in a Storm", at which point I will post a picture.  I think with this particular pattern, I will post a picture per page finished.  My plans are to do one page, then work on another project.  I would like to do a page a week, probably won't happen, so maybe a page every two weeks.

I had started another blog for my weight loss journey, but have decided it is just to much to keep up with two blogs, so I have combined the two to this one.  At the top of my blog now is a ticker that shows how much weight I have lost, along with my weigh-ins in the column to the right.  I have given up on PRISM as it was way to restrictive, and thus to easy for me to give up.  I will be joining the online version of Weight Watchers tomorrow (payday), and then attending meetings locally on Monday evenings with a friend.  I am really looking forward to getting some excess weight off with the coming of the new year.  I think my birthday (and turning 40) has something to do with the urgency I feel about losing weight and getting healthy.

Well I best end this and go get my kiddos.  Certainly do not want them walking home in this weather, they will look like frozen popsicles by the time they get home.

A FINAL FINISH

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After 5 years, blood, sweat and tears, 2 restarts, and many many many hour, I can say IT IS DONE!

Here is a picture of my Civil War Soldiers I did for my husband.



Now I can work on something else that I Want to do LOL

Wed. Dec. 2nd

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Wow, isn't it weird to be already into December? What a crazy fast time the year has been. I have been working really hard on getting my husbands Christmas present done. I had planned on having it finished last weekend but with all the excitement it just didn't get done. I am well within about 500 or less stitches, so it is really close. I hope to have it done by Sunday. We will see if this goal is met :)

Tomorrow I start my new way of eating. I have chosen a diet plan called PRISM (which my husband and kids fondly call Prison). I have another lady at church who will be joining me, which I think will make it easier. It is a rather intense way to go, but it needs to be done so that I can feel healthier. Also the last time I did this particular diet, my symptoms went into complete remission (which is of course what I am hoping for). I have made my husband promise not to sabotage me, and to push me forward every step of the way. I am also hoping that by not buying all the garbage, he too will lose weight.

I have already started walking. A mile yesterday, a half mile today. I put my treadmill up in the spare bedroom, with a tv facing it. I hope to get to a point where I spend an hour each afternoon walking on it. And then do my Biggest Winner class at the church twice a week.

Back to Reality

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I have had a day or two to digest everything that has happened in our house, and while I am not happy about the choices the Robert has made (and the consequences of making him move out) I can not any longer hold myself hostage over it. I was up all night wondering where he was, who he was with, if he was sleeping out in the cold. What good am I going to be to any one of my children if I get sick from not sleeping. And am I really showing faith and trust in God if I am constantly worrying...ummm no. Ultimately Robert is in God's hands and I have to let God move and bend Robert as he will. Unfortunately sometimes we learn the hard way instead of the easy way.

So, I am giving up my worry (or at least trying to) to God. I am going to work on the things I can fix. I need to give more quality time to both Josh and Allyssa. I need to do a better job of being a good wife to my husband~and this means doing those things I was put here to do (like cleaning, cooking, laundry etc). I need to do a better job of getting into the word. And I need to make sure that I spend time for myself. Not feeling guilty if I want to stitch, because I have the other things in my home done. I absolutely need to go back to flylady (www.flylady.net) and get my routines in order so that I have that time for me, scheduled time for devotions, scheduled time to spend with the kids building relationships, etc. I also am really going to work on strengthening my relationship with my husband by being more appreciative of what he does, by telling him that, by making his lunches, or any other thing I can do to make him feel loved. The last thing I am going to work on is my health. I am going to get my treadmill set back up and walk every day (even if it is just for 15 minutes) and I am going to start eating the way I know I need to eat for my body to be at its best. I am also going to make the appointments I have put off, take the tests that I haven't wanted to take, and get refills of the medication that I stopped taking when I started neglecting myself for everyone else.

As for Robert, I am going to pray for him and love him. Knowing what I know now, there is no way I can have him back in my house. I hope he does well, I hope he gets the lessons learned that God wants to teach him (that I couldn't) and I hope he stays safe in the process. Most of all I will pray that someday he will forgive me and know that we did what we thought was best in all the decisions we made.

Things are not always as they seem

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Well, things are not always as they seem, and I really don't have it all together. This has been an extremely difficult few months. The first major thing that happened is that my husband and I refused to leave our church home. Because of this I have lost my best friend who feels I am settling for a "dead church". I believe that both myself and my husband received direct confirmation from God that we are where we are supposed to be. I also believe that not only is our church not dead, it is growing leaps and bounds. Never the less, I have lost my friend, my confidant, my sister. It has deeply hurt me, and I am not sure I will ever be able to trust someone to be that close to me again. So since I don't have her to talk to, I guess I will just use my blog as my way to express where I am at.

My MS has come back in full force. The pain is unbearable at times...yet I don't want to complain, in fact I don't want anyone to know because I don't want to be treated any differently. So I paste on a happy smile, and pretend that everything is fine. But its not. Each day I find a little more of my strength is zapped.

Robert has pushed me so far over the edge that honestly I don't even like him any more. He has had many opportunities for getting a job, but has for whatever reason not followed through on them. To this point he has only worked for 2 weeks since moving in with us at the beginning of Sept. He says he can not get a job, but when told to come back and talk to a manager, or to be somewhere at 8 am, there are always excuses why he can't or doesn't. This morning he was to be at a job interview at 7:45. He did not even get out of bed until 10:30. To that end I drew up a contract that basically says he either has a full time job by Dec. 31st or he is kicked out. Friday he had an "audition" with a band and was excepted as their lead singer. He thinks he will make enough singing a few times a month to be able to pay his bills. He has no problems getting up to go out with friends, spending the weekend with friends, using friends for stuff.....but when it comes to being home and doing what he is supposed to it has become a battle. His attitude of entitlement has just completely worn on me. To add to all of this, we have begun to question because he has been spending the night at another kids house who is openly gay. I don't want my mind to go there, but it does, and it scares me.

Zech has had a difficult few weeks in his placement. While for the most part I think it is good, he is having a problem controlling his anger. He has actually hit a brick wall (instead of his roommate) twice in less then a month. This last time being on Saturday, caused him to have whats called a Boxer's Compound Fracture. Basically his knuckles are broken. He is in a cast and will have to go see a hand specialist.

To top all this off, the stress within our house has caused the younger two to really act up. They have been fighting tooth and nail over nothing in particular. I just can't seem to deal with them on the level I know I should. They are both "good" kids, doing what it takes in school, they don't lie, they don't really get in trouble, they do their chores etc.....but the bickering is just too much. So I end up yelling at the two that so don't deserve it...which just makes me feel like a horrible mom.

The icing on the cake...I am turning 40 in just over a month and I am having a major midlife crisis. I am scared of what this disease is doing to my body, I feel very alone as I no longer have the friend who I thought would be here forever, I feel very ugly and unloved (not that my husband isn't trying), and I feel like a terrible mother. Basically I feel like I have done nothing right. I also feel like a liar, because some think I have it so together, and obviously I am so not even close to that.

Nov. 23rd 2009

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Wow, where does time fly, honestly? Thanksgiving is almost here, and I feel like I just got done setting my New Years goals for the year! Talking about goals, here is what I wrote at the beginning of the year...
  • eat healthier (trying to keep to around 1700 calories a day)
  • Be nicer to people
  • Read my bible more often (I am going to strive for once a day, but I am going to remember that perfection isn't achievable)
  • Spend more time with my friends
  • Be more consistent with my church time
  • Spend time every day stitching
  • Update my photos weekly
  • Most importantly get back to FLYING.

Okay so, the healthier eating went out the window probably before I ever hit the send button on that particular post LOL. I do feel as if I have achieved a few things. I have been nicer to people, I am spending more time with my friends and with my Bible (although NOT perfect). I have been much more consistent with my church time, and have even added a few extra services to the mix (Oh and I joined Choir for Christmas too). As for the last three, well not so much! I went through a spell where I just didn't want to stitch~that thankfully has gone away and I am back with a vengeance. My photos haven't been updated in I don't know how long (will try to do that by the end of the week). As for Flying, I have definitely falling off the wagon, but I am back on it again. Why I walk away from something that so obviously works for me, amazes me.

I will have to really consider the goals I am going to set for myself this year. Again I want to make them realistic goals!

Will post again soon with what I am thankful for. Since it is almost Thanksgiving, I think it is high time I stop looking at negatives, and look at all the things I have to be Thankful for. It will help me be in the right frame of mind going into the holidays. I so want to remember, during this time of year especially, that my goals in life ought to be those of the eternal nature NOT the earthly one~for the earthly things will surely not fulfill me.

Old barn and other things

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HI! I know I have so neglected my postings lately. I have finally "recovered" (at least mostly) from having the dreaded flu. I still have a cough, but at least I can get out of bed. House is cleaned and disinfected, kids are all back in school, and I have a new lease on life. I will be turning the dreaded 40 this Jan. so I decided it was a good time to lose some weight, try a different hair style, new makeup, etc. On Friday I will be starting a new blog that talks about my weight loss journey with PRISM. My husband will also be going on a diet, but his is much more extreme and is a last ditch effort before he ends up having surgery.

As for stitching, I have completed a second project of "His Name". I have started on a third rendition of the same project. I have two columns of the "Old Barn" project done, although it is not holding my attention very well. I kitted up a new HEAD pattern that I want to do, but I think I will add it to my list of projects to start after the first of the year. I still have my husbands "Civil War Soldiers" wanting my attention, and to possibly be finished for Christmas. And I have another project that is all but done, save for the back stitching (which I hate to do). I also have the "Sistine Chapel" project that is crying out to be worked on. So many projects, so little time :)

My writing has taken a hiatus for a few weeks while I recovered from the flu. Now that it is so close to Christmas, I believe it will continue to be on a hiatus until after the holidays so that I can concentrate on stitching projects. Soccer season has once again begun, so I will have to really use my time wisely to get things done!

New Project

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Well after finishing the Artecy pattern of the Mom and Baby, I thought I could step back into some of my WIPS, but found that I really didn't want to work on them. So what a better reason than that to start a new project, right? Okay so I have decided to do one for myself. It is the Artecy "Old Barn in a Storm" The picture is to the right. I am going to keep a running photo diary on this particular project. I thought it would be interesting to see the project grow. I have decided at the end of each column I will take a picture, until the project is done. Here are some stats about this particular project:

Old Barn in Storm has 38,410 stitches. The pattern takes up a total of 8 pages. It uses 52 DMC colors. I have decided to do my project on 28 count linen, over one thread, with one thread of floss.

I started the project yesterday, Oct. 1st. I am excited to watch it come to fruition. I will not be working on only it, but my goal is to try to get several columns a week done. I have tried to be relatively smart about my deadline, and have given myself until Oct. 1st of 2010 to finish it. I hope it is done much sooner, but I know how I can sometimes move to other projects, and set things aside.

Back to "Normal"

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Okay not sure that we have ever been 'normal' but, I am feeling much more centered and calm. I spent the day getting my house clean, laundry done, etc. Then I worked on Gettysburg for quite awhile. I also spent some time updating my pictures. Some of them had not been updated since January! I am looking forward to spending more time doing the things I love, and not being so stressed all the time!!!!

Update

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Well, things happened very quick around here. We got the call that our placement and financing came through on Thursday. On Friday morning at 6:30 am, I boarded the train with Zech, and off to Chicago we went. 4 hours and two trains later we ended up at his new house (for the time being). The ride there was good, however, when we got to his placement Zech started back peddling. He began talking back to everyone. Before I left he was crying uncontrollably begging me to not leave him. He said he would do anything I asked if I just took him home. I rode the train back home, and arrived about 10:30 last night. Cried myself to sleep, and have spent most of the day crying off and on. The rest of the day I have cleaned ferociously. Now tonight, I have actually done some stitching, dyed my greys away, and taken a bubble bath. I know that we made the right decision, but......as a mom it hurts. I guess I thought after four placements, I would be over that. But I don't think I will ever be "over it". I know he will be okay, once the get him settled and stable. I have to remind myself constantly that sometimes the best decisions are also the hardest!

News

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I have an update! We have found a placement for Zech. After over 7 months of the unknown, confusion, hurt, and trial it looks like things will be settling rather quickly. the placement has an opening immediately. In fact, the bed is waiting for him! All we are waiting for now is the final paperwork to be done, and a verbal okay to be given. It is very likely that he will be in his new home by the end of next week. The facility is not the one we originally were thinking of, and is a bit further away. However, after doing some review, Tim and I feel it is the best placement for him. They are an extremely recomended facility for dealing with children with multiple disorders. They also have fantastic workings with children who have Autism spectrum disorders. On top of the psychiatric and disabilities workings, the facility is set on 100 acres, with a huge lake on it. They are very big into doing not only traditional therapy, but also some of the other therapies we have had luck with. All in all, I think all is good. Our only hope right now is that this last week moves quickly.

I do not have an update concerning Robert. In fact I have not heard from him since the last time I talked and he said he would be home before last weekend. We have a friend who is "connected" who is going to try to find out some information for us, if we still hear nothing by Sunday.

Relief and Reality

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Today I got relief and reality in one fare swoop. We had a meeting with our local school this morning concerning Zech and his needs. It wasn't long into the meeting before everyone at the table was in agreement that his needs are rather severe. There were many discussions about was/wasn't accomplished this summer with the school, the teachers and there therapist. It seems in many ways, he has stopped at about the level of a 5 year old. The relief came with the suggestion that the school could not provide the services that Zech required, and they agreed to place him back into residential! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Lord!!!!

The Reality struck as we were leaving the meeting. We have all realized that this is as good as it gets for him. He will never be able to live on his own, get married, have children, etc. The reality is that in many ways he will always be a 5 year old kid. Even though I KNOW I have done everything as his mother to help him, I still feel on some level that I have failed. I feel guilty for the relief that I feel knowing that soon he will be living elsewhere (ANYWHERE but here). I feel guilty for my other two at home who have had to endure 6 months of utter chaos, and have lost the little bit of summer that they would normally have. There are feelings of anger, resentment, fear, hurt, grief and so on....that I am sure it will take awhile to figure them all out. But in the mean time, what I really feel is RELIEF!

So, as soon as the school can get a placement lined up, and the paperwork is done, he will be moving. We are hoping (as is the school) that all this will be taking place in the next 30 days!

Purpose

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I have found myself wondering lately what my purpose is here at this time. This all came about after reading a dear friends blog, who also was questioning along the same lines. I think for anyone who has, what they see as limitations, the questioning comes more frequent. So I posed the question to my husband. Exactly what is my purpose right now? He stopped and thought (which is unusual for him). Then he looked at me and said, exactly what you are doing. Being here for the kids, providing safety and comfort in a world that is anything but safe and comforting. But I wanted more, so I began to pray!

Stitching has always been an outlet for me. When I make a particular project, I pray for the person that I am making it for as I work on it. Sometimes I am led to a small project, one that can be done quickly and one that I can work on intensely for a short period of time. I have just such project going right now for a friend of mine. A small token of my appreciation of our friendship. I started it when I knew there was a very real need in her life (a job). And now even before I have completed it, God seems to have answered the prayers! Other projects are long drawn out ones. The "freedom" project I was doing for Robert, has been side lined since he will be coming home for awhile before going back to the Army. That is okay, because I know when he goes again I will be able to pull it back out and continue my prayers for him in the direction.

And yet, I still want more...so I continue to pray!

I have always had a desire to write. I won my first contest when I was like 8 years old. A poem I had written was picked from all the poems that Easter. I won a certificate, and was asked to read my poem on a radio program from an auditorium at the local college. My grandfather and grandmother both were writers. My grandfather published many books of poetry before he died. Both my love of writing and reading have mixed many times over the last few years. I have begun many ventures, but have never been able to finish. Now I am hearing God's voice tell me it's time. But what am I to write, I ask. My husband has great insights and tells me to write about how I kept my faith in God given the circumstances of my life.

And yet, I want more...so I continue to pray!

Last Wednesday night in the church service, our Pastor was talking about our life and how what we spill out is a direct correlation to what is inside. His example was, if you bump a glass of water, water is going to spill over the side of the glass. The question was then when we receive the bumps of life (and boy have I had a lot lately), what do we spill out. Well I didn't like what I saw! And so I began to pray about how I reacted to the things that push into me, and pray about what spills out of my life. In the midst of pain and grief, I have missed opportunities that I could have poured out God. Instead I poured out me.

And finally I have seen. All this is my purpose! I am here to provide comfort and security for my children and my husband. Even if I can not clean, or do dishes, or cook that day, I still have a purpose in being here for them. I have a purpose of being here to listen to them, to encourage them, to give them wise counsel, and to hold them when they are hurt. I am here to pray for those in my life. I have all this extra time that most people don't have, and during it I can spend time in concentrated prayer for the needs of those I care about (and those I don't know yet). God has given me words, and the ability to write, so that I may encourage and uplift others! I need to not worry about "what" I am to write but allow God to move through my fingers, and just WRITE! And last, I have this amazing opportunity to grow myself! How many others can say that they have long periods of time each day in which they can spend reading God's word, praying, learning, and changing! Oh, and I have the added bonus/benefit of getting to do some of the very things that I love to do (Stitching, Writing, Creating).

Changes

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Seems like the only time I get a chance to write is in very limited times in which life allows me a spare second to update! How annoying LOL. So, my friends, here is an update of what is going on in our house.

We will be meeting with the school district this coming Thursday at 10am. Our hopes is to be able to bring enough evidence to the table as to convince the school that they can not provide the services that Zech needs. And because of the inability of the school to provide an appropriate education that they will need to place him residentially. We are hopeful that not only will this be able to be done, but that the school will move quickly to accomplish this goal! I will update as time becomes available.

Robert is returning home. Right now it looks as if he will be home for a 6 month period before he can re-enlist in the Army. The story is long and complicated. But the gist of it is that Robert was "caught" with cigarettes which is illegal at Basic Training. Because of his previous restart with his ankle, he must now come home for 6 months. We are hoping that he will stay with us, get some money saved up (and some debts paid off), work a job and get himself together so that when he goes back in 6 months that he will be prepared for it!

The kids start school this coming Wednesday. I am really sad as I feel that summer vacation was waisted in so many ways. There was so much chaos and disruption that I feel I missed out on an essential part of the younger kids lives. I hope to make up for that when their Christmas break comes around.

I fell last week, again emphasizing that my body is not going to "forget" that it is still afflicted with MS. I seriously need to begin to change the way I look at things and find new ways to cope with the changes that are happening to my body. My pride needs to take a back seat to my needs.

My plans for the school year are simple. I need to spend more time working on things that I believe I have been given charge to do. My writing is at the top of my list! In fact, I plan on taking at least one day a week and leaving the house for the soul purpose of writing.

Only other new things is Josh will be turning 15 on Tuesday and Allyssa turns 12 on Saturday! Life continues, and we continue. Who would want off this merry-go-round anyway?? LOL :)

Parenthood

9:26 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Sooooo ever have something that so shakes your world as a parent, that it crumbles the very ground you walk on? Well my life has been full of stress filled days lately. I have been having great difficulty with Zech, as everyone knows. I lost my ability to "walk" without a walker in the last few days. But in all of this, I still had the knowledge that one of my children was doing well. Off and following his dream. Tonight all that came crashing down. I received a very cryptic call. Mainly what was said was...Mom I am coming home. I was kicked out for misconduct. That's all I can say right now, will call you later...... And that was it. I am left reeling. First because he isn't going to be successful in this area, second because I can't honestly have him return home with all the turmoil that I already live in, and three because somehow I feel I failed.

I have always relied on my belief in God and my faith in something better that held me together. I always believed that God would not give me more then I could bare. I believed that even in the midst of the storm, there was a lifeboat! I am lost! There is no life boat, no silver linings, no outpouring of grace from above...only silence!

I am so angry, and hurt, and I don't know what else. I told my husband I quit. But the more I think about it, the more it occurs to me that maybe that is exactly what I am supposed to do...QUIT. Quit trying to control life, QUIT trying to make myself accountable for everyone Else's mistakes...QUIT blaming myself for what my body is unable to do. Maybe I am just supposed to QUIT.

One of my favorite verses in the bible says "Be still and Know that I am God".. This is NOT my normal life...I like to be right in the middle of everything, controlling, managing, directing, etc. maybe it is time to QUIT and be still...???

WOW

10:37 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Did I ever sound sorry for myself! I wish I could take back my last post, but in all honesty, that's how I felt. While the situation has not changed today, I do feel more like myself. I don't know that there is a silver lining in all of this, but I am bound to try to find one, somewhere! Zech has given up! He refuses to try at all, and I have come to the realization that this may be "as good as it gets" with him. It is hard to look at your almost 18 year old son and realize that he will never be able to achieve the things in life that your kids are supposed to achieve (driving, going to college, having a job, kids...). We are actively looking for a placement for him when he turns 18. There are several houses in the area that take on mentally ill or mentally handicapped. Unfortunately, they don't fit his needs. His I.Q. is 70 putting him just on the verge of being mentally handicapped. His processing speed is that of a 3-4 year old, which affects the outcome of his IQ. Unfortunately for him, he has a very high verbal IQ up towards his normal age. All this makes it very difficult to find a place that can work with his needs, while not dumbing everything down completely! Couple this with his mental illness diagnosis's and we have even less places. A lot of the placements that we could look at for his developmental needs will not take him because of his mental needs. All we know is that we MUST find him a placement! We thought at one time that we could care for him ourselves. But we were wrong. I am still very angry with the state for kicking him out of his residential placement. He had made more progress, and now we have gone backward by several years. However, I need to move on from anger to action.

I went out and bought myself a treadmil at a garage sale. I have decided that I have to do something for me, at least once a day, so I am trying to walk for 20 minutes (no easy feat with my own health issues). I am going to attempt to lose some weight (although I am not going to make myself crazy with set ideas about this). I am going to spend some time every day working on my cross-stitch, praying and reading my bible. I may not find any silver linings in the clouds hanging over my head right now, but I know enough to realize that God will see me through. I am going to keep plugging through. At some point I will be able to give the life back to my two younger children. I know I am doing the best that I can, and that HAS to be good enough!

Thanks to all of my friends who responded yesterday and encouraged me. I couldn't ask for a better group of friends. Please know that my comments in my post were not directed toward those who read and responded to me. Rather it was directed at people who are presently involved in the situation we find ourselves in...in the person so to speak.

MIA

3:16 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay I have been MIA...Would love to say I fell off the face of the earth, but I could not get quite that lucky. Life in our house has been extremely chaotic and very troublesome lately. My son has decided not to try anymore and has made living with him a rather big chore. He is still doing what he must to stay in our house (go to school, take meds, and go to counseling appts), but he has told counselor that he does not need therapy...and so they sit for an hour once a week staring at each other. WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME!!! My daughter and other son have "run away from home" so to speak. My daughter has been at her best friends house this whole week, and has called begging me not to make her come home! What a very sad existence we have to lead right now.

I am trying to be mindful that, this too shall pass, but seeing no end in sight it becomes rather bleak at times. Honestly, I am in such a state right now, that I don't want to get online and chat, or play games, or pretty much anything. I have worked off and on with my cross-stitching, and have read a lot as an escape. I just feel so overwhelmed and alone in this struggle. I am most of all tired, but I am also angry that so much has had to change because some bureaucrat somewhere saw fit that he would be ultimately better off at home. On the plus side, even now the school is beginning to really have problems with him and his attitude. I no longer feel as though I am swimming in a sea alone. I spent almost an hour talking to Zech's social worker at school this morning, who all but admitted that when we first began working with her she did not see a problem, but has now...and is beginning to understand what we must be going through. Ahh vindication at last! Its not that I really want vindication, cause after all that means he is acting up for someone else, but at the same time, I want people to understand, TO REALLY UNDERSTAND, what we go through on an every day basis. Just getting him up and out of bed is a 45 minute process every morning, and that is before we begin the day doing things like brushing teeth and washing face. I have to constantly clean up after him, much like I did when my kids were two, only now the messes are much bigger, cause he is much bigger!

And then there is the guilt and anger. The guilt at being angry with him for changing our lives so dramatically, the anger at my ex for nearly killing me and causing the brain trauma to my son, the anger at the bureaucracy, the guilt for wanting him to just go somewhere else...when he is my flesh and blood, the anger over what it is doing to my other children and my husband and I's relationship. The complete and utter frustration over what this is doing to my health! Oh and the anger over the friends who have the pat answers, but no real solutions for me. I know they care, I know they want to say something to make it better, but there isn't anything!!!! The thing is I really don't blame my friends. I know they try to understand, and lend a sympathetic ear, and I know that they are stuck as much as I am in this.

Anyways, I guess I will stop my ranting for today. Just please understand that I just don't want to post about my life right now. I can think of no positives among these clouds, and that is just not who I am. I don't like who I am becoming, and I refuse to make my posts to be a constant barrage of negative! I will write again when I have found the silver lining, or at least I am able to see some sunlight gleam through the thick canopy of trees! Thanks all for understanding!

Status Quo...at least for some things

2:59 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Again I thought I would update on my life.

Stitching~well I was going right along on the "Freedom" pattern that I was doing, and then got sidetracked by a bad wrist. Seems I did something to a tendon or something like that, so the stitching got set aside for a tiny bit. I hope to try to do some tonight, but will have to limit the amount of time I spend on it.

Zech~is still living at home. We have run all our appeals, and today we received word back on our newest grant application. It has been denied. This means that from this moment on, we are on our own. We have very little options for help. Yesterday the police were nearly called to our house. We have come to believe that things will probably not end well in this particular situation, and we will either have to ask Zech to leave our home (because of non-compliance issues) or the police will have to remove him after an episode. He has become increasingly more comfortable and as such has chosen to push further. Once he finds out that we no longer have an option of placing him, I believe he will become terribly difficult to deal with due to his belief that there is nothing we can do. Unfortuantely he is wrong, and while I would hate to kick him out on the streeets and have him fend for himself, I have realized that I just may not have any other choice in the matter.

Robert~We got a letter, actually I should say Tim got a letter, for father's day. Robert says he is doing well, keeping his spirits up, and staying out of trouble. He asked how we liked the 90+ degree days here in Illinois, then informed us that it was "hotter then hell" in Georgia, where they haven't been below 100 in about a week now. I feel for him, I really do. But I guess the training in all weather types will be invaluable. I look forward to hearing from him again soon, perhaps even this Sunday.

Today I had a doctors appointment. To say that I am a bit upset, would be putting it lightly. But the basic jist of the appointment was that the medicine that they could give me to help with certain things, my body will not tolerate. So my options? Deal with the pain, lose some weight, get in the pool....and my all time favorite. DESTRESS!!!!! Yeah Right!!!! I don't know what world the doctor lives in, but it is certainly not mine!

I have started PRISM today (basically lean meats, fruits and veges and little else). I know from doing this before that it helped immensly with my pain but it is very difficult to do when I am not stressed. Since I am a stress eater, it will be even harder to follow. But I have to control something, and this is something I can control.

Anyways, there is my update. Will try to get back more often. Only thing I seem to be doing a lot of, besides PRAYING, is reading. It is so nice to escape into a good book. Too bad I have to come out of it.

20 Days Out

2:50 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Is that really all it has been since Robert has left home? Haven't heard from him since his "cryptic" call last week telling me he had injured his ankle and might have to come home, or start back at the beginning. I am assuming no news, is good news....however, as a mother, a little news would be a bit comforting. I know that I have a lot to get used to with him being an adult and out on his own. I also know that when he serves his time overseas, I will hear from him very sparingly. But knowing, and getting that through to the "mama's apron strings" are two different things!!

Zech is still struggling with being home, and all the changes that had to take place. We lost our appeal for the grant that paid for his placement, and so at the end of this month we will lose all our respite services as well. Essentially it will be all in our laps at that point, and we will have no extra help with his needs. The thought terrifies me!! I have found that each day my energy level is lower than the day before, and it seems as if I can barely get the "little" things done. Tim has really tried to pick up the slack and help around the house....and that is so appreciated. I think right now, our hope is to make it through the summer. At least when school starts, even though it is chaotic in its own way, it is a scheduled chaotic.

Stitching is actually something I have been able to do quite a bit lately. Since my new situation requires being centrally located in the house, I have been sitting in the living room and stitching, reading and playing Farm Town on Face Book. I needed to do something that would help me deal with the time I am away from Robert, so I begun working on a new project called Freedom (Stoney Creek pattern). I am done with one of the four pages. I finished all of the back stitch on page one before moving on to the next page, simply because there is a lot of back stitch on dark colors, and figured it would be easier to do it that way.

Josh and Allyssa are spending quite a bit of time away from home so far this summer. Seems that either or both are gone nearly every night. It is their way of coping with the new situations.

Tim is still working. Right now, he is actually working a lot~48 hours or more. That helps with the extra financial worries that came along with moving Zech home. The job is still tenuous at best, as they have to prove that they can and are making a profit within a specific amount of time. Time will only tell on that end, but at least for now he is working, and I am very grateful for that fact.

Well thats about all of my update. Will try to update again in the near future.

Wow where to start

10:23 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
It has been crazy here with Zech having moved home again. Seems like I have precious little time for much of anything, except maybe a lot of PRAYING. I have had two phone calls from Robert. The first one was last Tuesday evening to tell me that he was still stuck in reception (apparently very common for new enlisted) and that he would be shipping to basic training in the morning. The next phone call was tonight. I did not catch the phone in time, so he left me a message. Apparently he has injured his ankle. Not sure how badly. He said they would be making a decision in the next few days as to whether he can go back and start his basic over, or he has to come home for 30 days to heal. I am praying that he gets a rapid and full recovery. I think it would hurt him immensely having to come home and start this all over again.

As for stitching, when I get a chance, I have been working on a Freedom piece. I needed to do something that represented Robert as I prayed for him...and that is what I chose. I will try to put a picture online sometime this week. Zech starts summer school on Wed. and I am hopeful that will free up a bit of my time. Thanks to all my friends who I know are praying!!!!!

Losing my baby, gaining a Man

9:54 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Today was a bitter sweet day in so many ways. First it was Memorial Day, and we are so thankful for the men and women who have served our country! Second it was Robert's going away party. We will be taking him to leave for Basic Training in the morning. I never knew how badly it would hurt to say goodbye, or how my heart would tear apart for him as I watched him struggle to say goodbye to those he loves tonight! This by far is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, and yet I know it is part of the life cycle that must go on. I think back over the years, all the times I joked about when the kids left home. I wish I could take it all back. I wish I could have a few more weeks/months with him. And yet, I also know that he is not gone forever. I will see him in August. I am sending him away as a teen, but I know I will be getting him back as a full fledged man. It amazes me how quickly time flies. What a realization that time is so short, and we need to cherish each and every moment of it. I wish I had learned that lesson earlier in life, rather then being so intent on moving my kids on.

Quick Update

3:48 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I thought I would just post a quick update. Today starts our home tournament in Morton. Our weekend is full of five soccer games, Josh is reffing five additional games, plus I have to work at some point since I was on the tournament committee. Its pure craziness! Last night was Robert's Open House for his graduation. He had several friends show up, which was really nice. I was glad that he got to spend some time with the people who have been part of his life the last few years. Monday afternoon (Memorial Day) we will be getting together with family and close friends for a cook out. It is a sending away party for Robert, but also a good reason to get together with those we care about. Robert will then board a bus at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon and head up to MEPS in Chicago. He will board a plane on Wed. for Georgia. The recruiters told us we would not see him again until Christmas (Unless I am able to figure a way to get down to his basic graduation). I really was holding up fairly well, that is until last night. I woke up several times with nightmares, crying, and praying for him. It was the first time it really struck about all the "What ifs"... I try not to think about those things. Being a parent and letting go of your children is not an easy task. Mine is compounded I believe by the quickness of his departure after graduation. Oh well, I will get through this too. God will take care of all, and that is what I have to keep telling myself!

Graduation Day

10:14 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Woke up this morning, unable to attend Josh's soccer game, so I sent Tim and here I sit in bed contemplating today. The first thought in my head is all the stuff that still needs to be done this week. Then I realized that today...TODAY... my baby is graduating from High School. A feat we thought nearly impossible just a few short months ago. A year ago he nearly died, and we never thought we would see this day. Now yes, as you expect, I am sitting here tears rolling down my checks, for my baby is graduating from High School. Then I begin to think....WOW where in the world did the time go??? Life is so short, time spent with your children even shorter! I could spend all day telling myself about all the things I did wrong as a mother. Instead, I am choosing to look at my son today, and realize all the things I did RIGHT! After all, he is graduating. He has a career that he will be starting in 9 days, and he is healthy and happy. What more could a mother want for her son?

So, off I go to watch my "baby" graduate! And YES I packed plenty of kleenex!

One Point for the "Bad Guys"

3:40 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Today we had a meeting with our school district concerning Zech and his placement. We went into the meeting asking that the school place him in a residential facility because we believed that the school could not offer him the services he required to succeed. The school district decided that they would not place him into a residential placement, and in turn told us that they could provide him with the services "required by law". This means that barring a reversal on the denial of our ICG grant, the worst scenario has now happened. Zech will be home with us long term. Honestly I can not begin to tell you how I am grieving. I am absolutely beside myself right now. I CAN NOT maintain him in my home. Even Zech has told me he can't maintain at home. I just am at a total loss as to which way to turn to next. My hopes were high this morning that I had enough evidence to prove the need for the school to pay for a residential placement. Apparently the man on the moon wouldn't have enough evidence! So here I am now, living out the nightmare. Our services that we did qualify for will end on June 1st. Meaning that whatever the school gives him will be the only services he receives!

OFFICIAL

6:28 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Officially Robert Has Graduated!!!! THANK THE GOOD LORD ABOVE!

I can't believe that my baby will be walking across that stage and receiving his diploma in just a few days. So many times we questioned this day would ever happen. Most especially last year when he took an overdose and nearly died. I am thankful that God held on to him, and used that experience to shape his life! I am SO proud of my son, the man he has become, and the decisions he has made in his life. My heart aches at the knowledge that he is no longer my "little boy" and that he now will enter into adulthood and all that comes with it. I pray as he goes that he stays safe, that God has a 'perfect' match for his future, and that he finds satisfaction in the job he has chosen, to be a United States military man.

His Name Is Jesus

7:59 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

This is a picture of the project I am working on...His Name Is Jesus. It is a free chart and can be found HERE!

Will my blog ever....

7:49 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I began to wonder if I will ever be able to post an update to my cross-stitch on my blog again. Things have been so chaotic and crazy here, that even if I did have time to pick up a needle and my stitching, I couldn't concentrate on it anyway. I am looking forward to Wednesday though. I will be taking Zech back to the hospital for some testing (between 6 and 8 hours worth). There are nice comfy chairs in the waiting area, so I am thinking I shall just camp out with a diet coke, my stitching and a good book. The lady at the hospital was concerned about me sitting there, and I said...Oh no, I look forward to having some quiet time all to myself...No worries LOL. I am hopeful to finish by "Names for Jesus" then. I am about 3/4 of the way done. I will take it and another project and see how far I can get!

As for the other things, well life is still very difficult. Even Tim is starting to really have trouble with Zech. We are on our fifth full day with him home. This is the longest he has been home in almost three years. He is struggling, we are struggling, the other two kids are really struggling. It is such a challenge on the household, and since everything has to be so structured, it is really tiring to make sure he is getting what he needs. I haven't had a full night sleep since he has been home. Even with Tim home at night, every time Zech is up, I am awake. Last night that meant between midnight and 6 am being woke up five different times. While mostly I can go back to sleep fairly quickly~ once I know he went back to sleep, it means that I am sleeping really lightly.

My health is suffering now. I noticed today that I am having to really push myself just to walk, even with my cane. My legs are exhausted, and my body feels like I have run several marathons. Unfortunately I can't slow down for at least another week. I just pray God keeps me healthy until the first week of June.

Well off to Tim's baseball game. We weren't going to go, because it is a 9pm game, but I don't want to be left home alone with Zech, so we are all going, even if it means Allyssa is out late on a school night.

Mother's Day 2009

4:46 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
For the first time in 7 years, I had all four of my children home for Mother's Day. It has been an extremely emotional day, as I realize that it may be many years again before they are all home once more. Robert and I had a good talk this afternoon. I told him how proud I am of him, and what a mature wonderful man he has become. The thought of him leaving in just over two weeks is overwhelming at times, and I find myself crying at the drop of a hat. For that I am glad that the next few weeks are filled with multiple tasks, and very busy! I always joked that I couldn't wait until they left home, but I am finding it much harder then I expected it to be.

Hope all my friends had a happy mother's day today, and have a year full of many blessings~

Games, Games and More Games

2:39 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay, if you just read the title it kind of sounds fun. But it is anything but fun. Life has really been to hectic for me to update, other then very briefly, all that has been going on. So here goes!

The end of March I received a letter from the Illinois Care Grant Program Collaborative stating that my son, who is mentally ill, no longer qualifies for the grant they had been providing for his care in a residential placement facility. We submitted an appeal to this denial which is in review right now. In addition I am applying for a new grant, which of course means lots of paperwork and lots of time.

On April 20th, I received a phone call from my sons school social worker stating that he had sought her ought and told her he had been hallucinating and was very depressed, and that he had told us that past weekend the same thing. I happened to have been in the car while talking with her on the phone, traveling with my attorney to Springfield to a news conference. That conversation in turn, began the wheels turning which eventually landed my son hospitalized at a lock down facility. In the process of all of this, it came to light that my son had mentioned to multiple staff members his depression and the auditory and visual hallucinations and was told such things as, "Your lying," "Your being manipulative", "Go take a shower it will all be better", "Your faking" and etc.

In the interim, while my son was placed in the hospital, I continued to work on finding a placement that was more suitable for him. I went to the house that he had been placed and picked up his clothes and other items. Upon getting them home, there was not one piece of clothing or bedding that was soaked with urine. They had not returned all of his personal items, and dirty dishes were thrown in the boxes with other stuff. Some of his bedding was actually still wet, and this was several days after his initial hospitalization. At this time none of his money, his food cards or his medications were allowed to come with me.

Yesterday I had an IEP meeting with the school district. This did not get completed and so we will have to meet again next week. We have asked the school district to pay for sons residential placement in the event that we do not win the appeal with the ICG, not sure what they are going to do.

Now today, son was discharged from Hospital with the recomendation that he attend a theraputic day school in the interim. I went to fill his meds that he was discharged with, and of course our insurance and the state will not fill them because that has already been done! We called the house to have the meds released, and they refuse to do so until tomorrow when he is officially discharged, even though if he were home for a visit they could send meds with him. So I have a child, just released from the hospital, with no meds!!!!

this is just a very brief over view of what has happend. It is a lot more complicated and involved. In the midst of all of this, I have had to continue to push myself far past the "limits" I know I have to have in place. And since he is home for at the very least 3 weeks, I will have to continue to push myself. The only question is how long before my body says no more and shuts completely down.

MEcation~Weekend Outlook

6:17 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I am so excited that it is Friday! This week has seemed to just drain every little ounce out of me. When I got up this morning, I had the shakes really bad, and had a very difficult time standing! Found out last night that sons soccer tournament for this weekend was cancelled, so I have decided to take a MEcation this weekend. I went and rented five movies, found a good book, and I am going to camp out in bed all weekend. I will spend some time stitching, watching movies, reading, taking naps...whatever I need to recharge and get ready for next week. You know sometimes I really resent have an illness that can strip so much from me, but I have decided that I am looking at this all wrong. How many people can seriously take a MEcation for a whole weekend? It is only because of the MS that I am able to do this, and for that I guess I am thankful (strange huh?)

I hope to spend a fair amount of time stitching this weekend! I miss the quietness and the comfort that comes from doing the same thing over and over again <-only a stitcher understands this. It is calming, settling, rhythmic, and soothing to my soul~something I desperately need right now.

Update on son, he is still in the hospital. They are looking at a possible release next Wednesday. We still have not heard back on our appeal, we don't have a place for him to go when discharged, and a lot of other things are up in the air. However, this weekend, I have decided NOT to worry about this! I will go full force again on Monday. Until then time for MECATION!!!!

Puzzle Pieces

1:15 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Have you ever put a puzzle together? The more pieces you have in it, the longer it takes for the picture to form on the table in front of you. God does the same thing in our lives. I look at our lives as one big gigantic puzzle with millions of pieces. We often don't see the whole picture until the puzzle is put together (at the end of our life). Along with putting a huge puzzle together comes all those emotions that we go through in life. Thankfulness at getting the piece to fit, pain or anger when we can't find a piece, frustration when we think things are going to slow, or not our way, etc. Sometimes we even try to force the pieces to fit by making decisions that we know we shouldn't, just so we can have a certain outcome. And at the end of the puzzle a sense of accomplishment or completion. I know in my own life all these things are true. What I have missed in my puzzle a lot lately is the Joy! When I sit down to do a puzzle, it is for the joy of doing a puzzle. Very rarely do I think about how hard it will be, how much work it might take, what frustrations lay on the horizon. It is the Joy of Completion. This is what I want for me life. Not that I will always be smiling and light, but the purpose for my very existence shines out in everything I do. That the joy of the Lord and my salvation sustains me. And that I remember that my time on this earth is so short, the bible says its but a vapor.

Joy.....Joy Unspeakable -> because in humanity it is not understood!

Life Is a Bowl of.........

2:08 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
HA HA HA...You thought I was going to say the old adage of "Life is a bowl of cherries, and I am down with the pits" (or however that goes). Well You are WRONG! I am not going to say that, simply because no matter how bad things may seem in my little world, I can always find someone who has a far more difficult struggle in their lives.

I have learned a few things in the past few weeks, that I thought I would share.
  1. I simply do not have enough time in each of my days. No matter how hard I try to add an extra hour, or two, or ten (by not sleeping), it just simply is never enough.
  2. I have got to learn to prioritize every portion of my life. Things have an evil way of sneaking in and taking away from you the very things you love and make you happy~like reading my bible, praying and cross-stitch.
  3. No matter how weak I am through my struggles, God will make me strong enough to endure. Just when I think I am at the very end of what I can handle (and believe me there has been a multitude of times in the last few weeks that I have been there) God comes along through a word from a friend, a card in the mail, an unexpected email, or just in the rare quietness of a moment and picks me back up again.
Through all circumstances, God truly does sustain me. Now if I could just convince Him to add a few more hours to my day so I could stitch, life would be grand :) (just kidding of course......well kind of).

"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD" PSALMS 46:10

Quiet

3:04 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay if there was one thing I could ask for today, it would be QUIET! Its not the "noise" of the world, but more the static of my brain, as I try to get all things done. I have been working diligently (from sun up to sunset) on a new placement for my son after he leaves the hospital. Because of the problems we are having with the grant that pays for his placement, it seems most placements won't consider him. We have to have something in place by Friday morning-when we are going to court.

I also found out on Sunday that we are closing down our youth center. Of course Robert is graduating and leaving the end of May. I had already scheduled his party at the youth center, but it will be closed. Now with just 3 weeks or so left, I have to scramble and deal with finding a new place. I have yet to do the invitations and so forth. That all has to be done by Friday as well.

On top of all of this, I am in charge of Cookie Dough orders (that are delivered on April 30th) and can't get out of my commitments. And I am on the committee to do our home tournament on Memorial Day weekend. There are lots of small details that need to be taken care of here and there with that.

The only thing keeping me going is knowing I have lots of prayer support, and a God who heaps His love on me. Honestly moving moment by moment right now, attempting to keep my own sanity, and praying for the night when the quiet can come (if only for a few hours).

Our Crazy Life

3:39 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Well for those of you have followed my blog, for any amount of time, this will come of no shock~! Our life has once again been turned UPSIDE Down! Yesterday I drove down to our states capital and testified about the need for more mental health funds, correct procedures and the what not. After, I was interviewed by one of the local television anchors out of Decatur, and I just a minute ago watched my interview on Television. That was interesting to say the least!

I spent the evening with my severe needs son, getting him hospitalized after what we feel is a complete breakdown in his care.

Today I have spent the day taking phone calls, spending time getting things in order, going to appointments etc. I got my "bad" test results back from my doctor this afternoon and was told I had very high numbers in my RF numbers, indicating an advanced case of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I will be following up with a Rheumotologist asap. Honestly in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn't seem like that big of a deal!

So here is the latest update of our crazy life!!!

Food Poisoning

9:56 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Tim and I celebrated our 16th year anniversary yesterday, by both being in bed (not what you are thinking) by 8pm! I had managed to send the kids off their varies ways, and we decided to go window shopping and then have an early dinner. Tim has been dealing with a horrible cold all week, so we thought that we would come home, snuggle up and watch a little TV just the two of us. Well, he spent the evening on the couch coughing and hacking and being outright miserable. I spent the evening and subsequently most of the night in the bathroom throwing up whatever I had that made me sick.

The funny thing is, on our very first anniversary, we spent the day very much the same. After attempting to go fishing with my husband in 30 degree weather while it was snowing, I spent the entire time huddled under two jackets and a sleeping bag, completely miserable (and NOT fishing). After a few hours, I told him that I was going to go home, and I would see him later. By the time I had gotten home, I had the chills and was running 103 temp. Straight to bed I went. Several hours went by, and home came my husband with the same affliction. He slept on the couch and took over the bed. There we stayed for the remainder of our anniversary night.

Good Times I tell ya! All in all, I am so very glad to have the man I do in my life, and am looking forward to the next 16 years and more!

Things are not always as they seem

10:24 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Despite my rant on Sunday, I really am in good spirits (thanks to all my friends who emailed me support, love and hugs). The dryer is still really broke, but we have a nice man in the basement right now trying to fix it. Tim and I decided rather then buy a used appliance with no warranty, we would fix this one, one more time, and then save for a new set. Our hopes is to get a nice set that can eventually go in our kitchen, so it is more accessible for me to do laundry. The window on the van is still broke, but what do I need all the drive through McDonald's for anyway??? Maybe God is trying to get me to go on a diet! As for the freezer/fridge? Well the darn thing isn't leaking, and all we can figure out is someone (NOT NAMING NAMES) dropped an ice cube on the floor, which then melted and went under the fridge!

So on to nicer things! Allyssa had her second class of Tae Kwon Do last night (for those not familiar, it is a form of martial arts). I was very impressed by how gentle the teacher was with the instructions to her. It was if he understood her before he really even got to know her. He would say things like, Allyssa you are doing really well for your second time in class and one time she did something right that others had not, he really doted and praised her. The smile on her face told me everything! It is the first time I have seen her actually "love" something like that, and I am so glad that she has found her niche'!

Joshua has started soccer practices. We practice four days a week. It has been an incredible opportunity for him, as our club team has hired coaches from the Chicago Fire MLS (Major league soccer) Team. I am hopeful that the extra training and expertise will help the kids, and Josh step up to that next level! I remind myself, while in the midst of the drudgery of driving too and from soccer practice, that in the end it will pay off....:)

Zech is still living in his placement for the time being. We are working with several individuals to make sure we make the best decisions on his behalf, and that we fight for everything he needs. We are on a very tight time line, and so, we are working diligently to get things done.

Robert is almost graduated! We are down to the wire now, and there are very few days left for things to be done. He is now beginning to prepare for the various things he will need once he leaves for Basic Training. Of course, he thinks he needs more then he does, and so we are battling with that. I have decided to talk strait to the Sgts. in charge of him and get the truth right from their mouths, rather then get a second hand account from my son.

My health, I am afraid has begun to really suffer from the impacts of the stress in our lives right now. I am trying to be very careful to get lots of sleep, and pay attention to what is going on around me. I have tried to reduce as much stress as I can~but honestly lets face it, we all have stressors in our lives no matter how hard we try. I have to learn how not to let that stress affect me. My biggest issue is when things affect my kids. But I am learning.

Tim's job is still open. That is all I am going to say on that point, because honestly we know nothing else about it. Could be another few months before we really know the extent of everything.

This week is special for us, as Tim and I will be celebrating 16 years of marriage on Friday. Wow has time flown by. Well my loving husband is forcing me off the computer, so I will type more later!

Threes

3:38 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Have you ever heard the saying, "Things come in threes"? Okay so maybe it only applies to celebrity deaths, that is unless of course you are me! So here is my run down of the week. The first thing to break was the drivers side window on our mini-van. No big deal, right?! That is until you try to go through the drive through of your local bank, or to get a "fix" at the local McDonald's. Still, all and all, not disastrous. Then yesterday, the dryer broke. And I mean COMPLETELY broke! After 7 hours of "air" dry, my load of clothes was still wet. So off I went to my local Menards (for those of you in other countries, that is our chain hardware store). There I bought two clotheslines, clothes pins etc. And at 10:30 last night, Tim and I hung clothes lines in the dark. Then this morning, Very early~thanks to the neighbors who are putting a new roof on the house, and insist on starting at the crack of dawn~ I was out hanging clothes on the new clothes line so they wouldn't get mildewy. The third thing, well I came inside from hanging up the clothes, and noticed a nice size puddle under my freezer door. Not sure yet where the water is leaking from, but my guess is that either the water in the door, or the ice maker has sprung a leak. Ugghhh!!! So, that is my threes, and I should be good for the rest of the year, right?!

At least my hubby still has a job, for the time being!!! Hopefully we will be able to find a used dryer tomorrow. I can do without water and ice in the door, and the drivers side window not working..........but I can not deal with not having a dryer. I don't mind hanging clothes, but with it being spring, and the weather so unpredictable, one never knows if the clothes will have a chance to dry. And I wash every day to stay on top of it.

Craziness

2:13 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
HI! Yes, I have went absolutely crazy! Okay well maybe I was already there, but anyway :). Left on Monday morning with my best friend, my youngest two (Josh and Allyssa) and my best friends daughter Emily. We had filled the back of Mary's little SUV with a bunch of food and goodies to munch on, as well as all the clothes we could possibly need for an overnight trip~Remember there were FOUR of us "women" in the car!!! Josh brought one very small bag, carrying all his essentials, and we filled the rest of the car LOL. Our plans were to drive the hour and a half to a small town called Utica Illinois, where we would play for a blissful 48 hours in the indoor water park. Wanna see what it was? CLICK HERE

Okay, so we got lost going up. My fault. I of course thought I had been to the area enough times to know the way, without looking at a map. (Tim and I go up every year for our anniversary). Well, I was wrong LOL. It all ended up good, as we just took a minor detour and spent some time looking at historic Peru. Finally, upon getting to the waterpark, the girls (younger ones) could hardly contain themselves to get into the pool. So we checked in, rushed into our swimsuits, and headed off to the pool, where the girls played blissfully for about an hour before getting bored LOL. We did have lots of fun (although the food and the prices of said food was outrageous...food being bad, prices being extremely HIGH). Tuesday morning we got up early, headed back to the pool and such, then went into to town to eat..>Gee why didn't we think of this the night before??!! Oh well. After lunch, and ice cream, we departed and headed home, stopping off at some beautiful canyons to see some waterfalls, and nature.

Tuesday evening began Soccer practice, and wouldn't you know the temperature was a balmy 38?! We arrived at 6:15pm (a full 45 minutes early since Josh was so excited to start). We sat there watching Josh do his various training until almost 9pm...and then took our frozen bodies back home.

This morning, began the fun and excitement of the unknown finally becoming a reality. As of this a.m., Tim's company has officially filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. There was also an email circulated that there may be a delay, at the very least, of the employee's wages. Everything else is up in the air, and we will continue to trust that God has it all under control. I continually remind myself of the saying that, "Worry is like a rocking chair, you can rock and rock and never get anywhere." I will place it in God's hands, and then continue on, however with the knowledge that there may need to be some real changes in our very near future!

Another day....

9:14 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
The saying goes another day..another dollar, but in our life lately it is another day....another miracle. We have actually had two miracles in two days. The first came in the form of another parent with a child with disabilities pointing out a rule that we were unaware and not informed about. This rule allows Zech to say where he is right now, until we have run through the entire appeal process (which could take up to 90 days). At the very least this would get him through to the end of school. Of course we are still hoping for a miracle in that we get his funding reinstated totally.

The second miracle came today. Last week Tim had to take a night off of work to stay home and take care of me. This was a night off without pay, and we were really sweating how we were going to pay the bills having lost the pay. Well we sat down today, and even though the check was smaller then normal we were still able to pay the bills needed and our tithe this week. God multiplyed the money that came in!!! I am so thankful that God's miracles still happen today. All in all was a great day!

What MS Means To Me

9:16 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I received this today, and had to pass it on in whatever way I could, because what it says is so true!

Having MS means many things change, and a lot of them are invisible. Unlike having cancer or being hurt in an accident, most people do not understand even a little about MS and it's effects on us; and many of those who think they do know
are actually misinformed. In the spirit of informing those who wish to understand...

These are the things that I would like you to understand
about me before you judge me:

Please understand that being sick does not mean I'm no longer a human being. I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion and if you visit I probably don't seem like much fun to be with, but I'm still me stuck inside this body. I still worry about
school, and work, and my family and friends, and most of the time I'd still like to hear you
talk about yours too.

Please understand the difference between "happy" and "healthy". When you've got the flu you probably feel miserable with it for a week or two, but I've been sick for years. I can't be miserable all the time, in fact, I work hard at not being miserable. So if you're
talking to me and I sound happy, it means I'm happy, that's all. It doesn't mean that I'm still not in a lot of pain, or extremely tired, or that I'm getting better, or any of those things. Please, don't say "Oh, you are sounding better!" I am not sounding
better, I am sounding happy. If you want to comment on that, you are welcome to.


Please understand that being able to stand for 10 minutes doesn't necessarily mean that I can stand for 20 minutes or an hour. Just because I was able to stand up for 30 minutes yesterday doesn't mean I can do the same today.
With a lot of diseases and disorders one is either paralyzed, or they can move. With MS it's far more confusing: one hour or day or week or year we may have normal - or almost normal - mobility; the next hour or day or week or year we
may be unable to sit, stand, walk, think, remember, or even get out of bed, we may be unsociable or depressed, and almost assuredly we are in pain. We have good days and bad, and during our good days we may truly not "look sick", but we
are.

Please understand that making plans other than immediate ones is a crap shoot at best, because we can't know how we will feel or what our physical, mental or emotional condition will be. If we seem to hedge about making plans with you, please understand it's because we truly don't know if we will be able to honor them. The same applies if we have to cancel plans previously made or invitations, even at the last minute - it is not personal, and it makes us as frustrated and sad as it does you! That is what MS does to us, and it's how we
must live our lives. It is not just a matter of sucking it in, or bucking up, or psyching ourselves up; believe me if we could, we would!

Please understand that MS is variable - with each person and from person to person. It is quite possible and often all too common, that one day I can walk to the park and back, or bicycle 2-4 miles, or swim 12 laps, or even run with my dog; while the next day I may have great difficulty getting out of bed,
walking to the kitchen, or be unable to walk at all without a cane, walker or other mobility aid. Please don't attack me when I can't do today what I did before by saying
"but you did it yesterday!" or "you did it before!" Your frustration can not begin to compare to our own frustration. The very act of planning while not knowing what condition we will be in is stressful and tiring in itself. If you
want me to do something with you, or go someplace with you... ASK if I can. I may well dearly want to go, but simply be physically unable to do so. Understand if I have to say no today, but please ask me again soon.

Please understand that "getting out and doing things" does not make me feel better and can often make me seriously worse. Telling me that I need a treadmill, or that I
just need to lose (or gain) weight, get this
exercise machine, join this gym, try these classes, take these vitamins, herbs, tonics and snake-oil cures will
frustrate me to tears and is totally incorrect. If I was capable of doing things, don't you think I would? And when I am capable, I DO! I work with my doctors and physical therapists and follow the
exercise and diet plans they
prescribe.

Another statement that hurts: "You just need to push yourself more..." Obviously, MS directly impacts muscles and ours do not regenerate as quickly as yours do. Pushing ourselves beyond comfortable physical limits can be dangerous and cause a severe relapse. On the other hand, doing what we can when
we can is excellent therapy both physically and mentally... and we do! If I work at a part-time job for 4 hours one day, my fatigue level is greater than yours if you worked a 12 hour day. Many days I can still do anything I ever did as
well as I ever did ... but only one thing per day or week or month. Everything drains us and exhausts us exponentially more than a normal, healthy person our age (whatever age that is); our recovery time is also exponentially greater. If
I go to a party or dinner and show tonight for several hours and have a wonderful time, I do so knowing with 99% certainty that tomorrow I will need all day to rest and recover, much of it spent lying down. MS causes secondary depression in and of itself; our depression may escalate when dealing with days on end of constant pain and limited mobility or cognitive function. We are NOT tired because we are depressed! We are depressed because we are so tired.


When I say I can't do something because I am so fatigued, please don't say "Oh I know what you mean! I am worn out too, but..." because you don't. MS fatigue is not like any tiredness you have ever experienced, nor has anyone who
does not have MS or other fatigue-producing disorder. I know you mean well, but it's irritating to hear because it tells me you don't understand me or my MS at all. I may well be just plain tired - we get normally tired during remission
phases just as any normal person does - but trust me: we know the difference, and it's huge.

When we are together, please understand when I say I have
to sit down, lie down, get a drink, take these pills, or get into a cool place that I have to do it and do it now! No, I can't walk another 5 blocks to the car, or walk back down the hill I just climbed up. Don't baby me, don't hover
over me, don't do things for me unless I ask - we are very proud and never want to be a burden. Our independence, or what we can retain of it, is of paramount importance to us! Please help by
listening to and believing what we say we need and act upon it accordingly and as quickly as possible. You wouldn't question a known diabetics request for orange juice or insulin, so please don't question us or urge us to 'keep on... we are almost there!' Not unless you are prepared to
a) carry us the rest of the way or b) call 911. MS does not wait, nor does it forgive... when we say "please ... now!" it means now.

If you want to suggest a cure to me, don't. It's not because I don't appreciate the thought, and it's not because I don't want to get well. It's because I have had almost
every single one of my family and friends suggest something at one point or another. At first I tried them all, but then I realized that I was using up so much energy trying things that I was making myself sicker, not better. If there
was something that cured, or even markedly helped, all forms of MS the world would know about it. If you still insist on promoting 'cures' to me or giving me 'this will make you better' advice, do so; but understand I won't rush out and
try it though I may well continue to
research it on my own and discuss those findings with my doctors.

In many ways I depend on you... people who are not sick... I need you to visit with me when I am unable to go out; sometimes I may need you to help me with shopping, cooking or cleaning; sometimes I may even need you to do those things for me. I may need you to go with me to my doctor
appointments to help me remember and understand their direction, or I may just need a ride. I need you on so many different levels... as much as possible, treat me as normally as possible, enjoy me and allow me to enjoy you as much as
possible, and.... as much as it's possible...I Need you to Understand Me.
Posted on 03/31/09, 04:03 pm on DS http://dailystrength.org/c/Multiple_Sclerosis_MS/forum/6688302-having-ms-means/lastpage