Saturday, June 30, 2007

I'm sooooo glad THAT's over!

Well, today was the wedding. You all remember don't you? The wedding for the girl whose wedding shower date changed without my knowledge and therefore shower time arrived with NO cake in sight! Yes, THAT wedding. Now I did end up making the cake for her after all for a later shower, and no one was angry with me at all, but still....I have been anxious about this wedding for two weeks. I just so wanted every little thing to be perfect. Apparently, perfect isn't in God's plans for my life any time soon....

We had some cake issues. I think they were resolved to everyone's satisfaction, and she seemed pleased with the cake when she stopped by before the wedding and I was still putting it all together. She did ask for a few changes, and wanted to make sure that everything was going to be done -- right.

I made the changes, I got good responses from others walking by, and her dad said that he liked it and that was really all that counted anyway, wasn't it? I really like her dad! In fact I like both her parents, her sister and the whole family. They are really nice people. Yet another reason why I wanted to deliver a perfect cake.

I don't know if she will email, or call, or find some way to let me know if she was happy with the final result or not. It's a very few people that respond after they get their cake and let you know that they liked it. I usually hear from other people who were there as to the general population's opinion of the cake. I don't know anyone who was attending however.

Anyway, it was kind of a different cake. Not exactly my style, but hopefully it was what she wanted. And she DID say that the groom's cake came out beautifully...Ya-Hoo! Anyway, here are the pictures. And yes, I believe that would be my favorite groom's cake ever! LOL!

And here's the wedding cake...
It's a little difficult to see the details on the top layer and on the second layer from the bottom because of the backlighting from those windows right there next to the cake, but if you look carefully, you will see that the top layer has only a capital "V" written in script. (This is the happy couple's initial.) The second from the bottom is covered in swirl designs of different sizes.

So, my man just got home...a day early mind you...from his trip, and I need to get a few more things done on the homefront tonight, so I'll be signing off for now. Hopefully, I'll be around to catch up with all of you this week. I feel so cut off from everyone since the computer crashed. It's good to be back up and visiting again!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oh Where Oh Where Have I Been???

Well, for those who noticed that I was gone....I'm back! My computer totally crashed and wouldn't even turn on. Well, 6 days and almost $200 later, all is fixed...sigh.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to write a post right now, but I will be back soon with wedding cake updates and pictures. I just wanted to let those who may have been concerned know that I am still alive and well...still feeling pretty good (YA-HOO!!!)....and ready to get back to blogging soon!

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Mostly Successful Day

Okay, here's my first try at a quick post! We'll see how fast I am. It is now 10:11pm here in the Central Time Zone, we'll compare that to the actual time this thing posts and see how well I did!

I did manage to cook two meals today. Yea! I made pancakes from scratch for breakfast this morning. I added instant potato flakes to the batter and they were so filling that I could only eat two of them myself and each of the kids could only manage one. So, I put the remaining batter in the fridge and voila, breakfast tomorrow is already taken care of!

For supper I made pasta with smoked chicken and tomato sauce. Since I can't eat smoked meats or regular spaghetti sauce on my diet, I had to use my crockpot barbecued chicken and I had to make my own sauce. Yes, everyone else could have eaten my kind, but they don't like it as well without the salt, and I have a bunch of smoked chicken and sausage left over from the graduation party in Magnolia last month that needs to be used. We used the Seal-a-Meal and vacuum sealed it all so it will be good for a while yet, but with the wedding cake coming up next week, I need the freezer/fridge room to store cake! Making a separate sauce is not a big deal and the chicken was already made, so not as big of a pain as making two separate meals like I have had to do on many previous occasions.

I also managed to get out and walk/jog tonight!!! I put on my "Mio" heart monitor/watch and took off after I had everyone fed. I was determined to walk enough to burn 500 calories so I could come home and have a bowl of that "Island Bread Pudding" I mentioned in the previous post. I'm on a mission to lose a pound a week and the program I am on regulates the number of calories I can have in a day and still lose that pound each week. If I stay on course, I will be down to "fighting weight" in 12-15 weeks. I'll keep you posted...unless I fail miserably, in which case I'll drop the subject entirely and not bring it up again. :)

Finally, I returned from my hour and a half walk, (that's how long it took to reach 500 calories burned--I'm so glad my MP3 player holds 900+ songs, or I would have never made it!) I loaded the dishwasher and washed all the pots and pans from dinner and shined my sink! The Flylady would be so proud!!

So all-in-all it was a pretty successful day. We got some housecleaning and some de-cluttering done although we have a l-o-n-g way to go on that front. The one thing that kind of fell through the cracks was schoolwork. We didn't get everything done that needed to be done today. Maybe I'll crack the whip and make them do it tomorrow. Perhaps losing free time on a Saturday will help them to step it up a little during the week. Of course, then I, lose free time on Saturday as well...sigh.

Okay, so that's it for today. I've gotten all of my ramblings and updates out of my system. It probably would have been more interesting with pictures and such, but I just didn't take the time to snap any. Maybe when I get caught up around here a bit, I'll be able to post recipes and step by step photos ala Barb. I wish I could get her to bite me and see if her DNA would merge with mine kinda like Peter Parker being bit by that radioactive you think it would work? I'd sure give it a try!

Good night everyone, and thanks for stopping by.

Catching Up

Wow, what a busy week we've had around here. On the bright side, I've been feeling MUCH better the past week or so. But, because of that, I've been busy here around the house, and haven't stopped to write a real post in forever! I've been reading a couple of blogs each day, but that's about it. So, if you've missed me over at your place, I'm sorry, and I'll be back soon.

I was inspired by Bev over at "Scratching the Surface" (formerly "Blessed Beyond Measure") to start cleaning out all the junk around here and try to fix the place up a little. More news on that front will be coming in future posts...

And then I was inspired by Sarah at "In the Midst of It" to cook at least two meals each day for my family. So, I've been cooking breakfast rather than doling out cereal and frozen waffles in the mornings, and I've been cooking dinners with all four food groups! It's really nice to be feeling well enough to do all this, but man it's a lot of work! It hasn't left much time for blogging and tv watching! But since all of the shows I regularly watch are off now for the summer, there isn't much to watch anyway. I did succomb to my curiosity and I rented the first DVD from the first season of LOST. The video store has all seven of them, except for the 2nd one, so I'm waiting on that before I can continue to catch up with the rest of the known world on this one. I must say, it has me intrigued and curious to find out the answers to about a million questions....but I've read enough other blogs to know that I'll probably be getting no answers and a ton more questions in the weeks to come!

I have also discovered reruns of "The Biggest Loser" and now I am just so concerned for these people and their weight loss goals that I cry with them when they lose another 6 pounds in a week. They have also inspired me to get up and get back on the exercise train myself. I stopped my daily exercise when the kidney pain and swelling started. Now that I'm better, I need to get back to it. I've put on another 4 pounds through this mess....sigh.

My new habit of cooking more hasn't helped the whole weight thing either. I was browsing around the "Food Network" website looking for recipes that the kids would like and I could eat, because I get really tired of cooking two different things for dinner every night. Anyway, I found this recipe for Island Bread Pudding and oh. my. word. it was good!! And since we had just watched an episode of "Home Cooking" in which Paula Deen had both of her boys cooking in the kitchen with her, I was in the mood to cook with my boy, and he was in the mood to cook with me, so we made it together. It is made in the crockpot, and there really wasn't anything that an 11 year old boy couldn't do. I helped with cutting up the bread, and mixing everything up really good, but he did most of it himself. Anyway, I highly recommend it for any of you who are not participating in the "Tales of the Scales". If you are on the losing weight voyage...check it out when you are all done and are allowed to splurge a little. It is to die for!

And, since I've been gone from bloggy land, I've had to purchase a new purse.... I know, it was a sad day, but my beloved baseball purse finally bit the dust. It got to the point where the strap would come off while I was wearing it on my shoulder, and that tear in the lining kept swallowing important stuff. So the next time I was near the store that carries all those really cute "Texas Longhorn" purses that I've been eyeing, I stopped to take a look. Would you believe they were having a 40% off sale on all purses and wallets??? I walked out of there with this...

I didn't get a matching wallet, because my baseball wallet that matched my baseball purse is still in great shape, and being black and all, it matches the new purse just fine.

And on a final, "catching up" note...I did bake a cake while I was gone! If you've been reading here long, you will remember The Great Cake Catastrophe of 2007. Well, if you recall, when I heard from them again...they weren't angry with me at all, and asked me to make the cake for another shower in June. Let me tell you, I was so nervous about making this cake! But, I think it came out well.

Next up is the wedding cake and groom's cake for this same couple. I am still nervous, and will be so relieved to get this one out of the way and in the books! And that is where I will be this coming week. I'll try to get in here and post throughout the process. I think Barb has the right idea. She has been posting every day during all the preparations for her daughter's wedding. She says it doesn't take her long to write a post. I am the opposite. It takes me forever to write a post! But I think it's because I wait until I have a block of time to sit down and do it. By that time, I have a million things to "catch up" on. If I just wrote a few minutes each day, it probably wouldn't take me so long. So, I'm going to try it this week and see how it goes.

So, until next time...thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

****UPDATE***The two-year-old girl has a broken arm and broken pelvic bone, but no internal injuries. She will remain in the hospital for now as she needs to be immobilized. The boy had scrapes on his back but no other injuries and will probably be released today. Thank you everyone for praying with us on this!***UPDATE***

I just got a call from my friend, Denise, and a mutual friend of ours is in the middle of a nightmare. Her husband was backing the car out of the driveway and didn't know that two of his kids were behind the car. I don't have all the details yet other than that they were both taken by Star Flight to the Children's Hospital here in town although I don't think that they both needed to be. I believe the 2 year old girl was the most critical, but since they were taking her, they took the older boy as well. My understanding was that the little girl's head was not hurt. (Thank you, Jesus!) She was hit in the side and was unable to move her arm. I'm not sure about the boy yet.

Anyway, when Denise called, she said she was calling everyone she knew to start praying for this I, of course, thought of all of you out there in bloggy land! Please lift up this family today as it comes to your mind, and I'll post updates as I get them.

Thank you everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Praise God!!!

I have been checking Little Ethan's Website off and on all day for updates. I just left there, and had to share the latest update with you all!


BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!

Isn't God good? The last few times they have tried this test, his leukemia cells were too high for transplant. This was their last chance before being told to take him home to die. AND I just read recently on the website that last Father's Day was supposed to be the due date of another baby that I'm guessing they miscarried. So, they went through a miscarriage, then had this beautiful boy just before Christmas, and by Valentine's Day, they were at St. Jude fighting for the life of this precious little boy. It just makes their faith even more amazing doesn't it?

Don't forget to keep praying for Little Ethan. He isn't out of the woods yet, and his next treatment is experimental, but we all know that God can work His miracles regardless of our limits. And don't forget to thank Him and praise Him for the miracles he's already done in Little Ethan!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Because BooMama has made it fashionable....'s A LIST!!!

I have been running through all the different things I've been wanting to post throughout the day, and I just couldn't seem to pull together an entire post on any of 'em. SO....I decided to post a list a'la BooMama!

1. The kids and I listen to audiobooks when we are driving around running our errands and things because it is so hard to find time at the house to sit down and read aloud. Well, this week we've been listening to "Deliver Us From Normal". I can't remember the author's name right now, and since it's raining outside, I'm not going to go to the van to look for you. :) (Also, I will neither recommend nor discourage the reading of this book yet because I'm not far enough into it to know if it's going to be good or not. It is entertaining so far, however!) Anyway, the point of all of this was to tell you my latest favorite quote. The mom in the story, after hanging up the phone with some cranky person, says to the kids, "Some people were just born on the wrong side of the bed!" I just love that! And I know a few of those people too :)

2. Lately, I have been searching out some products to help with different issues I have around here, and I have been thrilled with a couple of them, and wanted to pass on the info.! I have a friend who came to help clean my house one time while I was in the hospital, and she yelled at me for using "Mr. Clean Magic Erasers" and never telling her about them! She loved using it at my house and told me I should be sharing when I found something that worked so here it goes.

I was having issues with my hands getting really dry when I made cakes. I have to wash my hands constantly and didn't want my icing to taste like lotion, so I was waiting until I was finished with the cake to put lotion on. Then, while I was ordering my chef's coat online, I found this lotion which is made for chefs to use when cooking! It just takes a tiny bit, and though it does take a few minutes to rub it in good, it lasts through at least a couple quick hand-washings. It is also anti-microbial, so you aren't transferring any germs from one food to another and the best part? I bought a 32 oz. pump bottle for $13.00! It's going to last forever since I use so little at a time, and although it doesn't have a pretty smell, (we have to avoid perfumes in the icing, LOL!) it works great and I love it!

And secondly, here in central Texas, we have a real problem with hard water. My nice new dishwasher was having troubles lately with leaving a film on all the dishes and, of course, white spots everywhere! I use a "Jet-Dry" dishwasher cleaner once a month to clean all the build-up from inside the dishwasher, which would make it work better for one or two loads before it started to build-up again. Well, recently I found this stuff called "Lemi-Shine" in the same area as the "Jet-Dry" in my grocery store. It said that it was for hard water problems in the dishwasher. So, I read the label and it said that you add this stuff in with your dishwasher soap and it helps keep the hard water buildup off of your dishes! It also said that you could mix up a solution of the Lemi-Shine and water to make a spray to clean showers etc. It sounded good to me, so I bought it, and after I did my usual monthly "Jet-Dry" cleaner, I ran a load of dishes adding the Lemi-Shine in with the soap. I also made up the solution with water, and I added it to the little Rinse Aid compartment in my dishwasher. It worked great! I have been doing it for a week now and I still don't have that film or those annoying spots on my dishes, AND the inside of my dishwasher, which is all stainless steel, is shiny and spot free as well! And it's one of those all natural, good-for-the-environment cleaners, so it's a winner all around!

So those are my latest "can't live without" finds that I wanted to pass on to you!

3. I have the power to make it rain, oh yes ma'am I do. At the beginning of spring, the girl and I planted flowers in big pots at the front of the house. The first day I went out and watered said flowers, it rained within the hour and rained everyday for 4 or 5 days Texas, mind you. I stopped watering the flowers. Then one day I realized that it hadn't rained in awhile and the flowers were looking pretty sad, so I watered them. It rained within the hour and rained every day for 4 or 5 days straight....still in Texas mind you. This past Thursday, I realized that it hadn't rained in awhile and the flowers were looking sad. It was 95+ degrees outside, not a cloud in site, and I thought to myself, well it's definitely not going to rain today, so I watered the flowers. Within the hour, dark clouds appeared and it rained and has rained every day since....and yes, we're still in Texas...I'm just saying.

4. And now, I know some of you have been asking for a post-surgery report on the kidney front...well, at my post-op appointment this week, I learned that there was a large stone in my left kidney that they broke up and then dragged out the pieces with a little basket thingy. He also said that the kidney tissue was filled with tiny pieces of stone but there was no way to go after them without seriously damaging the kidneys. Therefore, they are still there. He said they may grow into larger, free-floating stones that will need to be removed later, or they may stay stuck there. He said it was completely possible that just having all that in the kidney tissue could be causing my symptoms. But just to cover all our bases, he wants me to see an internist to make sure that we aren't missing anything. He said he didn't just want to assume that it was all kidney related when there might be some other problem that was totally unrelated....sigh. So, I guess I'll be setting that up soon as well. I do have another kidney function test scheduled in a week that will let us know if my symptoms are at all caused by decreased kidney function. My last test showed my function at 67 (normal is 88-124). I have always hovered around 65, so 67 is okay for me. If that number starts to drop, that's when it will be a problem. I would have to drop to 10 before they would put me on dialysis. So the goal is just to keep me from losing the function I have now. It isn't great, but it isn't critical either. I can live a long time with my levels at 65 and that is the goal at this point.

5. Finally, yes, I'm feeling better these days. This past week I've had more good days than bad and yesterday, we actually did school with everyone, I baked a cake for a bridal shower today, I did ALL the dishes and cleaned the counters, AND I did 3 loads of laundry. So, I actually took care of the "Kids, Cakes, Dishes, AND Laundry" yesterday! And yes, I did it in that order! LOL!

So, today, I'm decorating the cake, doing more laundry, more dishes (cause they are never-ending you know), and hopefully, I'm cleaning out and re-arranging my bedroom to make room for a new cabinet that I got from my parents that will either house the T.V. and various electronics, movies, cds, etc. all in one convenient location, OR it will hold all of the books and various other school items that live in my bedroom on ugly plastic shelves for lack of a better place to put them! Either way, the room will be much neater when I'm done! I've been inspired by Bev and am determined to catch up on some much needed organizing and tossing of junk over the summer! I'll post pictures of the results as they happen. I may post some "in progress" pictures as well, but there will be no "before" pictures posted anywhere...I value the friendships I've made here in bloggy land, and wouldn't want to lose any of them! Hee-hee!

Oh, I almost forgot! Monday, June 18th is the big day for Little Ethan Powell so please be praying for him this weekend and on Monday. The leukemia needs to be almost non-existent in his little system in order for him to receive either a bone marrow, or a stem-cell transplant. His dad donated all the stem-cells, but I don't think they have found a bone-marrow match yet, so that is another thing to pray for. I believe the bone marrow transplant is his best shot at remission. This last round of chemo was his last chance. If it didn't work, they will be looking at "quality of life" options from here on out. PLEASE, PLEASE, pray with the family for a full recovery for baby Ethan.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

You Scratch My Back....I'll Scratch Yours...

Okay, so I know you are all dying to see the hair...well unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble getting a picture of myself that shows all those lovely platinum streaks. Also, washing it a few times has kind of calmed it down a bit...thank goodness! Anyway, I took a picture in my bathroom mirror, but it comes out a little fuzzy and fades those streaks right out, plus I look like I have one too many chins because the camera is down low, and pointed up at my face. I tried setting up the camera and hitting the timer, and it worked okay in my white chef's coat, but with my red shirt, it just came out blurry. My camera is awesome for sports shots and other outdoor activities, but it doesn't like inside shots too much....sigh. So, anyway, here is a blurry, slightly disproportionate picture of me with the new hair...

And here is my new profile picture in my chef's coat. Since I always have to wear my hair up, when I'm working, I thought I'd wear it up for the picture as well. :)

Now that I've satisfied your curiosity...well at least as well as I can until my sister comes back from her trip to Hawaii...and no, I'm not jealous at all, ahem... here's where you can do a little something for me. I'm going to give another quick little lesson in how to leave comments without starting a google account for those of you who I know are just dying to let me know that you are out there reading, but don't know how to do it without filling out all those forms to start a google account. :)

All you have to do is click on the word "comments" at the bottom of the post you wish to comment on. Then, you type in your comment, fill in that annoying word verification thingy that keeps spammers from being able to leave comments, and then click on "anonymous". That will post your comment without you having to have a google account. Now, isn't that easy? So, now I expect to be seeing more than 2 and 3 comments on my posts folks....I had 12 comments on the recent meme, and I was just so excited, that now I want more, more, more!!!

And now, I must leave you so I can fix dinner for the kids, and get ready to go spend the evening making "Stampin' Up" cards with my buddy D. I haven't seen her in a l-o-n-g time, so I'm really looking forward to it! And now, she knows how to leave comments, so I expect to hear from her a LOT more often! LOL!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Way TOO Funny!

I know, I know, two posts in one day!!! But my forever friend C, just emailed this to me, and really, I just had to share...

Not What I was Expecting...AT ALL!!!

Okay, I did this, just because I naively think "medication" when I hear the word "drugs". Seriously, when I saw this little "fun things to put on your blog" entitled "What drug is your personality like?" I was thinking, *Tylenol*, *Robitussin*, probably *Vicodin* (You know since it probably makes up about 5% of my blood volume by now.) I was completely unprepared for this:
Your Personality Is Like Cocaine

You're dynamic, brilliant, and alluring to those who don't know you.
Hyper and full of energy, you're usually the last one to leave a party.
Sometimes your sharp mind gets the better of you... you're a bit paranoid!

Now seriously, besides the totally freaky picture that accompanied my result, *Cocaine*? I'm like *cocaine*???? This can't be good, just can't. So, I read the reasons why my personality is so lethal and could cause some serious nosebleeds if not a full on sinus infection, and you know, DEATH! So, let's break this down, shall we?

"You're dynamic, brilliant, and alluring (well, that's not so bad now, is it?) to those who don't know you (Well, allrighty then!)

"You're hyper and full of energy, and usually the last one to leave the party" Does laying on the couch, on a heating pad (the man calls it my heat rock...mmm hmm)with a Diet Coke in one hand and the tv remote in the other, constitute "hyper and full of energy"? 'Cause if it does, oh yes ma'am, THAT is me! And yes, I WAS the last one to leave the party last night, but that's just cause I went to the bathroom, and when I came out, everyone was heading out the door! (I knew I should have brought margaritas instead of a stupid strawberry cake!)

"Sometimes your sharp mind gets the better of're a bit paranoid." Seriously, paranoid, me? I'm as cool and calm as they come...really.

You know, I was really expecting something more along the lines of:

"You are *Pepto-Bismol* -- You bring comfort and relief to all who meet you."
"You are *Nyquil* -- You relax those around you, and bring rest to tired souls."
Or even "You are *Midol* -- You make the worst days better for all who know you!"

Oh well, live and learn...and by all means, JUST SAY NO!!!!

And for those of you who have been emailing me, sorry for not responding. The computer had it's first official crash two days ago, and I just got it back up and blogging today. I still can't use the wireless, so I have to type in the kitchen, at the table where I can be plugged in which is seriously interfering with my heat rock time! Anyway, I haven't been able to answer email or anything for a couple of days...I'm not sure how I'm still breathing, really. But I'm feeling okay for those who asked (Kelli :). Yesterday was a really good day, and I got a ton of housework done and even made a cake (the aforementioned strawberry one). Today, I'm still not in any pain, but my feet are swollen, and I've felt nauseated on and off all day...mostly when I eat. Oh well, I could stand to lose 5 or 12 pounds anyway! BUT, I do go back to Mr. Doctor Man tomorrow for my post-surgery appointment. If he tells me anything new, I'll let you know. :) Thanks for asking!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

How did you start blogging?

I was on Lisa Whelchel's site, and she sent us all to Sarah's Blog and I read a really, really great post there. I bookmarked the site, and came back a few times and read about Sarah's family and her kids and realized that this was such a great way to chronicle my children's lives and fulfill my desire to write at the same time. I have started books for my children, but never seemed to keep up with them for long. With the blog, it was so easy to type in the memories and things I wanted to say at the end of the day, that I decided to go ahead and start one of my own.

Did you intend to be a blog w/a following? If so, how did you go about it?

I had really started writing just to keep a chronicle of the kids, but I did kind of hope that maybe some people would come by and want to read what I had to say. I've always wanted to be a published writer of one kind or another, and you know every writer likes to have an audience! But all I really did, was visit other blogs and leave occasional comments. Some of those people came by my place to check out who was leaving the comment, and slowly but surely, I started to get a couple of people that checked in on me regularly, and I checked in on them as well. The Preacher's Wife was the first one to add my link to her site, and I added hers to mine. From her site I found Real Estate Girl and we linked each other as well. As far as I know those are the only two who link to me on their sites, but the site meter shows that about 20-30 people check in here every day, so I guess the word got out somehow!

• What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?

I'm pretty happy with the way the blog is going. I have been able to record memories of and for my kids and share them with friends and family all over the world (literally). The only thing I wish is that people would leave more comments....ahem! I have found out that several family members, and friends read here, but I never knew it because they never left a comment...ahem, ahem!! Seriously, any blogger knows that they live for the comments, but just knowing they are out there reading, makes me happy, and thanks to SiteMeter, I am aware of just how many are out there reading every day. :)

• Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?

My focus has changed just a bit. One comment asked for pictures of the cakes and cookies, so I decided to post some. Once I did, it became part of the daily postings to include chronicles of my cake and cookie life as well as life with the kids.

• What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?

HTML codes!!! Learning how to link within text, and make pictures into buttons, has been a blast! I still don't know much, but I'm trying to learn as fast as I can!

• Do you make money with your blog?

Nope. But I'm not opposed to it! :)

• Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?

As stated above, there are members of my family who read but don't tell me that they read. Then there are some that I sent the link to who may or may not read. And then there is my husband who thinks the whole thing is silly and has never even wanted to know the site address! He keeps asking me, "Who are you even writing to anyway?" Trying to explain why I was taking pictures of my purse and its contents for the purse meme was a real challenge! LOL!!

• What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?

First of all, just start writing. After a few weeks, you'll kind of find your little niche that is different from other bloggers and you'll find that your blog will take on its own personality and will draw its own type of reader. I learned this from Barb's blog where I go to learn how to be a better homemaker and wife to my man. She comes by here to learn how to paint cookies! Which leads me to my second piece of advice...if you want to draw readers to your blog, host a bloggy event! I got the idea from BooMama and I hosted "A Bloggy Cookie Exchange" back in March. We all baked cookies and posted pictures and recipes on our blogs. I made painted cookies and posted video how-to's on how to make them...that's how Barb found me and started painting cookies herself!

So that's it. That's my bloggy story! So head on over to Chilihead's place and read everyone else's story! And if you haven't done it yet, post your own bloggy story at your place and sign the Mr. Linky at Chilihead's so we can all come and check it out!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's Exponential, Ya'll

Math was never my best subject. I did okay with Algebra, because it MAKES SENSE. It is just formulas that you plug numbers into and it is LOGICAL. Geometry, and Trigonometry...not so much. I never got as far as Calculus. I wanted to be an elementary school teacher people, Calculus was not required.

However, there is this thing I like to call "Mommy Math". Like the fact that when you have had 1 child and then you have another, the workload doesn't multiplies! And it multiplies exponentially with each additional child. So if you had 2 kids, and you add a third, instead of having 50% more work, you now have 8 times as much work! (Figure 2 to the 3rd power, and you'll see what I mean.)

All that to say that it is taking me a whole lot longer to catch up around here since my trip to Magnolia, my surgery, and our trip to the Dude Ranch. It seems that just like kids, housework multiplies exponentially as well when you miss a day, or two...or 7!

On Friday, I FINALLY made it to the grocery store...I had to, we were slowly starving to death from lack of food. Yes, I had all four of the kids...yes I was completely exhausted....BUT I did fine and wasn't in any pain...ya-hoo! Then yesterday, I thought I would tackle the dishes and the laundry and try to get those things caught up. I obviously didn't have any cakes to do. (I'm taking a two week break after surgery and not taking any new orders.) And the man was going to take the three biggest kids to the Indy Car race in Dallas, so it was just going to be me and the Little Man. So, no Kids (well, just one little one), and no Cakes, so it was going to be Dishes and Laundry this time. I had BIG plans, people...BIG.

However, as it turned out, the race wasn't until 8:30pm and even with a 3 hour drive, they still spent most of the day at home....with me.

So, I wasn't able to work all day like I wanted to. There were too many interruptions: "Mom, I'm hungry"; "Mom, can you help me?", "Mom, come see this", etc., etc., etc... By the time they left, it was dinner time for the Little Man. So, I fixed his dinner, and while he was tied down in his highchair happily enjoying his ravioli and bananas, I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, (I told you I was behind!) and then I fixed myself something to eat. There was still about an hour and a half until the Little Man's bedtime, and with no brothers or sister around, I had to provide the entertainment for the evening. Which means, there were still no dishes or laundry getting done! I had managed to do 3 or 4 loads of laundry throughout the day in between all the "Mom!" calls, but I still had a TON more. Finally, I got the Little Man to bed, and finished loading up the dishwasher and at least cleaning up the mess I made from my own dinner. :) I finished folding the two loads of clothes that were waiting for me in the living room, I transferred the stuff from the washer to the dryer and started one last load for the day, and that was it. I was toast, and my big plans for finishing ALL the laundry and ALL the dishes were thrown out the window!

I am consoling myself with the thoughts that when my kids grow up and look back on their childhood, it won't be the messy house, the mountains of dirty laundry, or the constant search for a clean spoon that they will remember, but the fact that when they called "Mom! Can you come and video tape me doing this?" This mom said, "Yes, I can!" and she did... And besides, I still have today to catch up on all that laundry!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Doing The Happy Dance....although slowly and with no sudden movements!

The Doctor Man gave me permission to remove my stent today...YEE-HAW!!! SOOOOO glad to have that thing out! However, it will take a little while for the feeling of it to go away. It still feels like it's in there, but I know that will go away soon. Until then, I'm going to stay here in my spot on the couch where I have lived for the past week and do things I can do while sitting! But just knowing that by the time I wake up tomorrow, I should feel a LOT better, has me doing the happy dance....from a sitting position of course!

Now, for a little bit of Bloggy Business...Chilihead has started a little Bloggy Carnival of sorts and we are all invited to participate! She has posted on her blog some questions regarding our blogging histories and such, and the plan is for everyone to answer those questions in a post on Monday, June 11th. After you've published your post, go to Chilihead's site and sign the Mr. Linky linking back to your post. Then run around and read everyone else's answers! Doesn't that sound like fun? Okay, so get out of here and go get started! You can go here for all the details as well as the questions you need to answer. I have been on this couch for quite some time, so I am looking forward to getting out to the Carnival, and it will be soooo much more fun if we all go together!

Well, I have some laundry to fold (unfortunately I can fold laundry from my spot here on the couch...sigh.) I'll post on our weekend at the Dude Ranch soon, I promise!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Baby Ethan Needs Prayers....NOW!

Baby Ethan has suffered another leukemia attack. After watching his blasts go down with the chemo, they have jumped back up again which means he can't get his bone marrow or stem cell transplant. The doctors have put him on one last type of chemo which is usually only used on older children and adults in a final attempt to kill all of the leukemia so that Ethan can have his transplant. If this doesn't work, they will simply look at ways to make him comfortable. We are still believing in healing for little Ethan! Please continue to pray, and if you could go to YouTube and rate this video, it will help to get the word out to more people to pray. The higher the rating, the more people will watch it, and the more people will be praying. So, please pray for this little guy, and rate the video if you can.

Thanks everybody!

Monday, June 4, 2007

I'm baaack.....sort of....

Well, I'm back from surgery, and back from our trip to the Dude Ranch, but I'm not quite back to myself yet. The pain has greatly reduced, in fact, I'm back to merely my "pre-surgery" other words, we didn't find the problem....sigh. I still have the stent and that is uncomfortable, but not so bad that I'm wanting to rip it out. It was really bad at first, but I'm starting to get used to much as you can get used to a rubber tube in your kidney...

So, for those who asked...because I was having pain in my kidneys, swelling in my feet, and numbness in my hands, it was suspected that I had a stone or some other kind of blockage in the tubes coming out of my kidneys. Although the only stones that showed up on the CT scan were actually still inside the kidneys, it was still suspected that there must be some sort of blockage: a small stone, scar tissue, swelling....something. So, the surgery was to look inside both of the tubes and clear out or repair whatever was causing the trouble. Both tubes, however, looked fine. So, Mr. Doctor-man went on up and looked into the kidneys themselves. He found a pretty good sized stone, and broke it up and removed it. He also said there were several imbedded in the kidneys that he couldn't get out. So, he left the stent in the kidney to allow any missed pieces of that broken stone to come out easily, and to keep the tube open in case there was any post-surgery swelling, etc.

Now, in the past when I have had a stent, aside from the discomfort of the stent itself, I felt immediate relief. This time I actually felt worse. The pain in my kidneys was incredible and the stent was sooooo uncomfortable. I am assuming that because we were actually digging around in the kidneys perhaps there was some post-op swelling that I didn't have before when they stayed in the tubes themselves and didn't go into the actual kidneys. That's my guess anyway...I have no medical knowledge or explanation for it.

So, now we will need to find out why my kidneys are hurting if they aren't, in fact, blocked. I have a kidney function test scheduled toward the end of the month, so that will tell us if I've lost any function in the past 6 months. That would be another explanation for the symptoms I'm afraid. It could also be from the calcifications that have essentially caused my kidneys to harden. The doctor said he really couldn't tell if the hardening had changed at all, or not, but the medicine I'm on should be keeping it from any worse. So, now it's just wait and see I guess, on if the pain continues to subside as I recover from the surgery, or if it remains the way it was pre-op.

I truly appreciate all the prayers on my behalf. And yes, I had to fork out the $1236.98 when I got there, but they promised to keep trying to run the insurance card and then cancel my other payment if it went through. So far, that first payment hasn't been cancelled, so I guess I have to contact the insurance company...again, and find out what's going on....sigh.

So, I'm off to insurance land now, and then a little rest before my little man comes back from his exile at grandma's house. I just wasn't able to take care of him at the Dude Ranch, so he's been spoiled at grandma's for 5 days now, and I don't care how I feel, I WANT HIM BACK!!! I need those chubby little arms squeezing tight around my neck, 'cause really, that is the best medicine in the whole world!