Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ode to the fairy garden!

Acilia is my only girl. She is not very girly. She doesn't care much about dolls or barbies or babies. She hates shopping, doesn't tolerate accessories (though she has them, she tries to wear them, then ends up taking them off, I think they get in her way! Ha!) She is more of a "farm girl" at heart. She is most comfortable with animals, she can keep up with the boys when it comes to sports or play. So when she went to a birthday party two weeks ago that took place at a florist to make Fairy Gardens, I was curious to know what she thought. I loved the idea, but I am much more girly that my little girl! I went to pick Acilia up after the party was over, she came out with a basic start to a fairy garden and she met me at the door and dragged me back in begging for me to buy some more supplies for the garden! She was so excited!! We bought a few little things (expensive!!) and headed home. The fairy garden was placed in her room and we've been building on it ever since!! My very girly niece came over, she was smitten with the garden. I had to giggle at the comment she made "Acilia, I didn't think a fairy garden would be your thing". I love the thoughts of 9 year olds! So beyond their years with their words sometimes! My niece also spent some time drawing a fairy garden that she would like to have!! I think they will be making one soon too! :)

This is a whimisal little project that's been introduced to us and I took some pictures of the garden so far. It's been so much fun!! (I am half thinking of making a bigger one for outside, because Acilia recently asked me if she could add something to it, and I found myself second guessing whether to tell her yes. It IS her garden and I had to remind myself that, so it may be time for me to make my own! Ha!!)

Friday, June 29, 2012

SUYL kid's rooms

My kid's room have the most of my artistic touch in them. The rest of the house I have decorated to be respected of the age of the home (100 years old) the kid's rooms though, they were fun! It's where I took the most risks and it's where the risks pay off!

Acilia's room is first:
I had a vision, people laughed at my color choice, said they needed sunglasses to enter, but now that it's decorated, the color is toned down!
I had a hard time finding a something to go above Acilia's bed, I freehand painted this butterfly. It was a big risk, never  made artwork that size! But I was relieved it turned out ok :)

Her dresser seems to be the catch all for her stuff. 

The book shelf houses books AND she uses it for some of her horses. :) I was showing full disclosure when I didn't put the laundry away that is on top of her book shelf! Tsk tsk!

On to Miles room! This used to be the "play room" pre Miles days. When he was born, we kept him in our room, I didn't view this room as a suitable bedroom, I believe it was an addition at one point, therefore it is not insulated and does not have a closet, though there is storage behind both walls. Weird little room, but we make it work ;)
Sort of a "patriotic/transportation theme. The little red chair is a new addition, Miles loves to sit in it and read! 

The ceiling is vaulted, and I painted clouds on it to make it look like the sky :) Hard to see in this pic, but they are there, and I do love it!

The train table is quite large, but it fits and Miles loves it!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our mirror couple

I thought Al and I were unique and special. No one else like us, our story is one that has inspired countless lives and that feels great to be a part of. (Thank you God for making this my journey! I appreciate every moment! Amen) It came to my attention there is another couple out there that has an almost identical path! While listening to the radio the other day I heard Amanda Carroll talking about a couple.

Here's their story:

     No matter what happens to you in a relationship, or what has happened, you still want to believe in true love.  

I found a real one.  
When Jonathan was 18 he had lupus and he had to have a kidney transplant, his mother was his donor.
Last year, his kidney was failing again hand the prognosis was not good, this was really rare and the doctors said because of all his past blood transfusions it would be virtually impossible to find a suitable match. He had a 15 chance of finding his perfect match.
At the same time he thought he'd met the "One" while in seminary school. Despite his failing health they chose love and got married. A month after their wedding Jonathan got on the transplant list, even though 
the odds were like winning the lottery.This week he went into surgery, 
turns out he really did find "The One," his perfect match ended 
up being his new bride, Caitlin. 

I couldn't help but phone in and talk about how my story mirrored Jonathan and Caitlin's story. I wasn't sure it was going to air, we had a little bit of a bad signal. The next day a friend of mine wrote on my facebook wall, she said she recognized my laugh and knew it was me! HA! God never ceases to amaze me! He gave Al and I our very own miracle, he did the same for this couple. I was able to find them on Facebook, I sent a quick little message, though I must admit, it was kind of awkward!! Organ donors UNITE! :)

Me and hubs sharin' a little love :) I look a little bit like a bird, but I love the look on his face :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


June is on it's way to a rapid close. A month of summer gone in a flash! We have settled so nicely in to summer schedule which as I've mentioned before, means having no "schedule" we are sleeping later these days, praise God! Miles actually slept in until 8 this morning! Nice difference compared to school days when he's my alarm clock at 6! I started a new class on the 11th. What a crazy experience that day was! I was under the impression that I started on the 20th. I went online on a whim at 12:50 on the 11th of June and found that I was wrong, class does NOT start on the 20th, it started on the 11th! At 1 PM! Needless to say, I dropped everything, rushed my kids to my mom's who is keeping them while I am in class, and made it to class 45 minutes late for the first day! I felt like a failure to say the least! My next goof was having Acilia's birthday party planned for the 13th, which happened to be my second day of class! Yup! You guess it, was late to that class too, since her party was scheduled to end when the class starts!! I did mention it to the instructor, even though it was completely out of my control! Again, failure of a student! Thankfully she was very understanding, even called me "cute" for being so concerned with my time in class :) Off to a rocky start, but I am glad to report it's all behind me now and I am enjoying the class tremendously! It's Basic Nutrition for healthcare and the instructor is a dietitian. Not a rigid dietitian, though I think I would be a little fearful of her if I was her patient, she has such a great perspective and is quite funny when she shares some of the things she tells her patients! We have midterm coming up in about a week or two and it feels like we just started! I love 8 week classes!!

As for other summer related activities, I am enjoying the open schedule. We get out each day, but don't have big things planned. Just keeping it simple. We are spending a lot of time at my moms because she watches my brother's 4 kids, which are practically inseparable from my kids and vice versa. I picked up a "passport to adventure" book that has some local places in it that I would like to try visiting. Summer is well on it's way, but I still feel confident we can get some fun things in and I keep fantasizing about taking a little family road trip to Niagara Falls. I am shock that we could technically get there by car, since it's in Canada. So cool! We've never done a car ride longer than a few hours, part of me is not crazy about the idea, the other,  the more adventurous side of me says it would be fun!

The last few days (since the 21st) I've been reminiscing the Dude Ranch trip Acilia and I took last year. (June 21-28). We journaled our trip each day. It was so fun and I really hoped to make it back there this year, though that wasn't too realistic considering trips are expensive and Al isn't on board with going. Maybe we could make it back in a few years! If you missed the journal entries, you can read them here:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8

AND if you would like to see some pictures, I put those up at my photo blog when we got home :) Needless to say, it was a huge trip for Acilia and I!
Silhouette Pictures from the ranch
Sled dogs at the ranch
Our room at the ranch
The horses at the ranch
Artistic shots at the ranch
Animals at the ranch
Sports at the ranch

There you have it, a walk down memory lane! I hope I didn't overload you with links! I happen to think they are all worth reading ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


He Guides Me is acquainting itself with Facebook! Come find me! :) Share your blogs with me!! Say Hello!! Share inspiring stories! Anything you like!! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A note on respect

Men need respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. 

That much I know. My dad demanded it, and I rebelliously didn't give it. My opinion was and I think deep down still is, "if you want respect, you darn well be giving it!". That opinion didn't get me very far in the "daddy's little girl" department and it certainly is not getting me anywhere in the marriage department. So, I've been enlightened. Men need respect, I have guilt for not respecting my dad when I was a little girl and that guilt runs over into the marriage department when it comes to my husband's need for respect. It is here and now, that I admit, I think I really suck at being respectful. Exhibit A comes when I work my booty off to be a respectful wife and my husband's number 2 complaint is "I get no respect around here". (number 1 complaint is still the budget, ugh! Another failure on my lap because I am working hard to be within budget yet, still not keeping him happy with my money management, another story for another day!)  Pardon me?! How is it that you don't feel respected in your home where your wife has made it a priority to respect you? What the H___ am I doing wrong?! I am at a loss. My idea of respect is listening to what a man has to say and validating his words. I do that. And then I share my opinion. Which quite often is a disagreement. Hubby and I are VERY different. We have differing opinions on many many MANY topics, but does disagreeing with someone mean I am disrespectful? 

Another form of respect is teaching my children to listen to daddy. This is a tricky one because I do the majority of the parenting around here. It's my field, being the stay at home mom, I am the one that is with the kiddos countless hours and I rule the roost around here, when dad is not around. When dad is around, I bend over backwards to ensure my kids are not pushing his buttons and are listening to his commands. They are not fools though, they do see him calling for my help when he is attempting discipline and then it starts to go south. If mom gets called in to help, guess what, mom's rules apply then. End of story. Except, then I have a husband that feels disrespected AGAIN. Double edge sword anyone?

I am in a predicament. I've been walking around with the burden of confusion for far too long. I am getting mixed signals from my husband, the only clear signal is that I am not living up to his standards as a wife, and that's a tough pill to swallow, considering I try my best and my best is not enough. The man is never happy and he looks to me to make him happy. That's a lot of pressure. I feel like I may crack under all this pressure. This here post was a little vent and though it doesn't feel any better to get the words out, especially in a public way, it certainly helps me to clear my thoughts and see them written. Writing is my therapy. I borrowed a book from the library last week, it's a fabulous book, one that was recommended by my Pastor a few years ago, yes, I am a little late with taking his advice to read this book, but I am glad I did finally start reading it. It's got great perspective. The book is called "Boundaries in Marriage" by Henry Cloud. If you haven't read it, I suggest it! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear 9 year old

My 9 year old daughter, you made me a mother. You are the little girl I always wanted. You are my little clone. You are 9 today, yesterday you were 8, time sure is flying. I am enjoying watching you grow up. Each time I look at you, I see your personality growing and your confidence building. It makes my mom heart beat with happiness. You are sunshine, you are a great little girl. You are eager to grow up but have the innocence of a young child. You are sweet to your core. You are becoming your own as you grow up. My prayer for you is you always choose the right path. If you don't though, I am your mom and I will always love you and be there for you. We can get through anything together. I am your mom, but I pray that as you grow you can see me and trust me as a friend as well. I have always dreamed of having a daughter. Having you, has far surpassed my dreams. I have grown as a woman because I am your mother. Your presence created a desire in my heart to get to know the Lord on a much deeper level. Your sweet nature and love for Jesus reminds me how blessed I am to have you. Happy birthday baby girl!

In honor of Acilia's birthday, I've spent the day thinking back to the day she was born. June 20th, 2003 at 1:08 in the morning. Acilia came out with "revlon model" lips as noted by one of the nurses. My labor and delivery was smooth sailing. I prayed my water would break, but it didn't. I was left in the guessing game because I had been dilating the weeks before. At the check up 4 days prior to delivery day, I was 5 cm's dilated and 80% effaced. I felt literally like a walking time bomb. I didn't have contractions, I had NO IDEA when I should make my way to the hospital. A Thursday came up and I had decided by the end of the day if nothing happened, I would go to the hospital anyway. I figured if I was that far dilated, they wouldn't send me away. I started with a low back ache that was quite uncomfortable so I took that as my cue to go in. I walked in to the hospital in my pre-pregnancy jeans, yes, you read that right, the jeans I wore before I was pregnant were the jeans I wore into the hospital to give birth. I was tiny, I gained 11 pounds and my belly looked like I was about 5 months along. I had so many people telling me my baby would be tiny. I knew differently. I have said my whole life I have "triplet bearing hips" and I believed my little girl was just tucked deep inside my large hips :)

I walked in to the hospital got checked and was 6.5 cm's dilated. Clearly I was staying to have this baby. The nurses came in, suggested I get my epidural because my doctor would be coming in to start pitocin and they commented I would want it by the time the pitocin kicked in. I took their advice and even though I didn't feel like I *needed* the epidural, I was fearful of what was to come, so I took it! My anesthesiologist commented about how cheerful I was during the procedure and I couldn't help but giggle. Labor was quite easy and I wasn't sure what was to come, but I was enjoying what I was experiencing so far. I remember being absolutely miserable about the catheter that is standard protocol when you have an epidural. Infact, that was the most discomfort I had felt up to that point! I believe I slept off the discomfort and when I awoke it was time to push! I pushed for 40 minutes, Acilia came into the world and we instantly fell in love! I was embracing my new role as mom and as quickly as it came, things started going wrong. I was bleeding, it was heavy and the mood in the room shifted from joy to alarm. I kept bleeding, I bled a lot, so much so that I was feeling my life drain from me. Everything after that point is foggy but I do recall the "mashing" of my abdomen to be so painful, the pain made me vomit. It was like an out of body experience. Before I knew it, I was in the OR being prepped for an emergency D&C. (I was later told I was very close to having a hysterectomy if the bleeding could not be controlled.) I threw up again in the OR and then the lights went out. I awoke alone in a room. It was mother/baby, but I was not with my baby, I was completely alone. I called my parents house, my brother answered, they had all been worried sick, but apparently my parents were still at the hospital and so was Al. I was brought back to Labor and Delivery, apparently I was delivered to Mother Baby before I was supposed to be there and my whole family was waiting for me in the room I had left. Who knew? It was 7 am when I was finally settled in to the room again and was finally able to see my baby girl. She was almost 6 hours old and I hadn't much time to bond with her. I was still half out of it, but I knew I wanted a breastfeeding bond with her, so I asked if she was ready to eat. She sure was! She latched perfectly right away and I was blissed out again. Until I noticed Acilia's coloring was a little bit blue. I mentioned something to the nurse, I was informed that was not normal and she was whisked away to the NICU. I was finally with my daughter and we were torn apart again!

I was bedridden and still quite of it from the medications/surgery/etc. I don't recall much of the day but that night came around and I still hadn't seen my baby! I demanded someone wheel my bed down to the NICU so I could be with my baby! I was wheeled to the hall outside of her little NICU room, they brought her out to me and set her on my chest. It was then that she took all of the strength her little body could handle and she literally wiggled her way up to my cheek where she nuzzled in and began to suck. It was a moment I will remember forever. My baby and I were meant to be together!

Acilia was probably about 6 weeks in this picture. She was resting comfortably on my bed when she yawned big like a little bird! I happened to catch this moment and I am glad I did! I adore this picture! (The picture was taken of the actual picture so the quality is not great!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You know you have a horse lover when....

You know you have a horse loving daughter when she decides to trade in the pool parties (I can't lie, we've only had one! But isn't that what June birthday's are all about?) for a birthday part at the BARN! Acilia has been riding at a local barn for almost a year now and when we saw on one of the brochures that they do birthday parties, it was set. Last Wednesday we celebrated Acilia's 9th birthday with a small group of kids. 3 were cousins, 3 were friends from school and 1 was her bestie from our last school. I had in mind to keep it "simple". The barn owner actually laughed at me when I said that, she knows I can't keep things simple, my old email was "Little Miss Planner" :) Jokes aside, that was my mission. As a previous wedding planner, I know the joys of details, but I also know the details go unnoticed when it comes to kids, if you have good food and activities to combat boredom, you have a success! We had food, I was thrilled to find a party tray at Jewel that had triangle cut PB&J sandwiches with bite sized brownies and gummy worms in the middle. Sign me up!

I kept with the "horse" theme and got apples and carrots to bring some "healthy eating" to the mix. Then we rounded out with pretzels and water bottles. Simple simple! :)
The bonus was towards the end of the party, we had enough carrots to go feed them to the horses in the barn!
You may notice my color scheme is not "typical" for a barn party, my justification is this, when you have a daughter who's been having horse themed birthdays for the past 7 years, you would break away from the browns and reds too!
Color scheme was blue and purple. Blue is Acilia's favorite color and purple compliments it quite well!

Favors worked out great! I happened to be at a Scholastic warehouse sale where if you could fill a box, you paid $12.50 for whatever was in it! I found Ponylicious books there, that retail for $11 each, put 9 of them in the box and still had room for other items! SCORE!! I went to Celebrate Express where they had the napkins I chose and saw they had a bag of 24 mini horses for a few bucks per bag. I ordered one bag and was able to give the party attendees 3 horses a piece! I went to Oriental Trading where I found multicolored cowboy/cowgirl hats for a great price! Favors complete and they didn't break the bank!!

The birthday girl and her best friend Maddie

We filled our free time with drawing pictures!  I bought brand new markers and sparkle crayons and just brought some computer paper.

The 30 minute horse back riding lesson was the highlight of the party! All of the kids LOVED the experience and I've been told by their parents they are still talking about it :)

Acilia rode Jetta. You can see her shirt in this pic, I made it, it says "Birthday cowgirl" :) 

The kids played games on horse back, this was when they were asked to walked their horse to the cone and put a ring on it.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I have new readers, and I am blissfully thankful :) Writing a blog is something I truly enjoy. I want to personally welcome those that have recently found this little blog.

I tend to write when inspired, I talk a lot about God here, "HE Guides Me" afterall, is just that, me eagerly following the Lord and the guidance He bestows upon me. God has led me down a beautiful journey and I am thrilled to have lived what I have been through, the good, the bad and the downright ugly! :)

I would love to open up the floor and offer to listen to topic suggestions. If you have anything you would like me to write about, here is the place to ask! Comment below or write me, I will be happy to write about anything you want to know!

Have a great day :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer rain

The nightfall breeze of cool summer rain
falls upon us like an inconsolable weep
the raindrops drip through my hair
the sweet earthy smell is in the air.
Raindrops of many different sizes
water the flowers it emphasizes.
I love a summer night's rain
no sun to fight
no fun to interrupted
The raindrops fall hard on the streets lit by pole lights
the glowing raindrops dance in the moonlight
puddles it makes, cars drive through
splashing the world with freshness anew.
I can't help but smile as I gaze out the window
My head rests heavily on my pillow
Lightning brightens the sky from afar
a soft thunder rumble and out peaks a star
the storm clouds have moved on
to share their presence in a new location
my flowers thank you, until we meet again.

Photo courtesy of google images

Shows us your life-master bedroom

I am linking up at Kelly's Korner and so excited to share my master bedroom pics. I love this room, the only thing missing is a master bath, but since the house is over 100 years old, I realize "master" bathrooms were not the priority back then :) I do believe this room at one point was two bedrooms, it has two closets and it's a large room for an old house. Just a theory, no factual basis :)

When we bought the house, there were drop ceilings on the second floor. My husband took those ceilings out and put in vaulted ceilings, something I adore! He also crafted a "plant shelf" which we do not store anything but dust up there, but I do still love the look of the darker walls (newly painted) with the lighter crown molding and borders in the room!

P.S. I readily admit the comforter on the bed no longer looks that great with the room, but it works for now ;)

Looking in from the door way

My nightstand corner and hubby's closet.

Hubby's nightstand corner

Standing in hubby's nightstand corner. PS. The TV is NOT my preference, hubby insisted we buy it when the black Friday sales were going on...I insisted he buy me new furniture that will work with the TV :) That, ladies and gentlemen is compromise!! :)
PPS: See my lonely cross? I used to have a whole wall of crossed prior to painting the walls, now that we want to sell the house, I have to live with just one cross until we have "new walls" to decorate :) :) :)

The vaulted ceilings and plant shelf.
Another compromise was having a ceiling fan, hubby loves them, I grew up without them...we were able to find one we both like and I do admit it comes in handy (see it spinning? It's been a hot few days!!) 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why does God allow bad things to happen?

This is the question I often read or hear, and because of that, I have pondered the same. Not because I personally am curious, but moreso because I desire an intelligent response to that question. I've been inspired through the Holy Spirit to dive into this subject and I am praying the Holy Spirit leads me through this post. I don't feel at all qualified to talk about God, I too am just on a journey and with that journey is my growing connection to Him. I'm not a Pastor, I'm not a Spiritual leader or counselor, nope, nothing, no qualifications. What I am though, is what God leads me to believe, I am called to share inspiration through my experiences and with that, I can talk today about what's coming to me in relation to the question "Why does God allow bad things to happen?" I've heard the old Satan involvement answer. Satan is in charge of all the bad in the world. All the bad things that happen, are satan's hold on your life. If that's something you believe, I may not be able to change your mind with my words, but read on. Read a different perspective? I like to live as if satan is not welcome in my life, and when bad things happen to me, I don't even give satan a thought, want to know why? I don't want to give him that much power. I trust God in His fight against satan and therefore, I work hard not to even allow him to be a thought in my mind. Now that's out, you won't read another word about the dark side. I am talking today about our Trust in the Lord. The Lord so deeply desires a commitment in our hearts to trust Him at all times. Good and bad times. My current favorite Bible verse is : Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own undertanding." Proverbs 3:5. I've used this as my mantra in my ways, it's written on a post it note and sticks on my dashboard. I find so much hope and promise and a sense of "take the burden off my shoulders" when I read it. Often times when God is trying to share His message with me, I tend to find "clues" that lead to the bigger picture. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time, but then the light bulbs start going off and it all just clicks. That happened to me yesterday. As I was sitting in church, I was feverishly taking notes during the sermon. It solidified the devotion I read just the night before and it was all about the same topic. Trusting the Lord. The Lord makes his promises and the Lord delivers his promises. "The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done." Genesis 8:21. This promise allows me to believe that the "end of the world" talk is simply...T A L K. God states he will not "wipe away" the land, and I believe Him. Noah was obedient to God; but also thought of by others as crazy. He was simply trusting the Lord's message and He was obeying the Lord. I found so much peace in this revelation. I often times find the "ideas" I have to be out of the box. So much so that others tend to think I am a little or possibly a lot of crazy going on :) I struggled with that, until yesterday. It was clear to me that I am to follow the leadership of the Lord and turn away my reliance on caring what others think. Each one of us has our own journey and each one of us have works to do for the Lord. I know wholeheartedly I am here to do the work of the Lord and I am thrilled for Him to reveal to me His plans for me! I trust Him.

In closing, I mentioned a devotion I read, you can read it below, it's from "One Year Women's Devotional" by Kathy Ferguson Litton (unable to locate's showing up as a Kindle edition, I am reading the print version...)

                              A Sacred Exchange of Trust
                                                     Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
     For believers suffering is a sacred place. It's certainly not always the sacred experience we would choose for ourselves or loved ones, yet it's a place God has chosen for us. The landscape of our suffering may be a life altering accident, a wound from a trust friend, and injustice, or a long term battle with cancer. In that hazy, unwanted, and perhaps mysterious circumstance God creates space for the sacred in our lives. In our unique pathway He calls for us to trust Him and He demonstrates trust in us. Suffering becomes an exchange of trust.
     The exchange of trust begins as He calls for us to trust Him. Faith and trust may be hard to find in our dark hours. In the unexpected or unwanted, trust is not always our first response to God. And yet genuine faith as referred to in 1 Peter 1:7 is a faith that is proved in a crucible of a real experience. We may have willingness or readiness to trust, but the surprise visit of suffering gives us a real playing field to demonstrate the trust we claim to have.
     Hardships provide us the sacred opportunity to trust God in circumstances in which He may be not clear or understandable. Our trust is tried and purified in hospital waiting rooms, at gravesides, through infertility tests, injustices, or difficult callings, all sites of raw emotions and fears. The stakes are high in these scenarios of trust. It is far easier to trust God in the safe, sanitized church pew agreeing with the often-quoted verses about trust. Yet it is at the scene of car accidents or a bad prognosis from a doctor where trust must emerge. While we may be disoriented, our hearts must find their way to trust the God who loves us faithfully.
     God is not always as clear as we need Him to be. God does not always work as we would like Him to work. Fear and mistrust battle in our hearts. Corrie ten Boom has said it well: "When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer." Sit still. Even in a dark tunnel, trust the Engineer.
Dear Father, my faith seems fragile. And yet I know You are still on the throne. Quiet my fears and confusion. In this dark place let me sit still and know that You are God. Amen.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


It's been 2.5 years since Al had his kidney transplant. 2.5 years of taking medications, 2.5 years of us being spoiled by having a life away from dialysis, 2.5 years and the man is a ticking time bomb. Every single time he is feeling under the weather, I wonder if it's his kidney going into failure. He has been getting a lot of side effects from his medications lately, I believe it's because of the new dosing since his acute failure a few months back. He feels exhausted, his appetite isn't that great, he's anxious at times, he belly never seems to be happy, he even got up in the middle of the night the other night to vomit. We called the doctor to discuss his side effects and he will be seen on Monday. My prayerful hope is that we can change the meds or maybe add a supplement that eases his discomfort. Nothing is like his dialysis days, I think he tries not to complain about how he feels because he knows he's blessed to have a working kidney, but in the meantime, I stress over how he's feeling and why he's feeling the way he does. I worry that his kidney isn't going to last much longer and we just aren't ready to give up the freedom of normalcy in our lives. I pray all the time that his kidney will just last and last and last, but the truth is, we don't know when it will expire. I am praying for good insight on Monday when we see the doctor for a check up and we also have an appointment with a natural doctor the following week. That doctor requested that Al fill out an 11 page questionnaire, it was very thorough and I am hopeful that doctor will be able to give us some ideas. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Show us your life Link up

I love home tours, Kelly's Korner blog is doing a "show us your life" link up for homes, this week's is "kitchens" I have my new phone that loves to snap pics that I love to play around with, therefore, I did a little "snapping away" in my kitchen. I am detached from our home, ready to move, outta here as soon as we can be, but I will admit, there are elements of this house that I know I need to soak up now, because we won't find it anywhere else! Our kitchen was completely gutted and we remodeled to our liking. I do still love the kitchen, however it is missing the "eat in" part that I so desperately desire in a kitchen. Aside from that, it's pretty useful!

My kitchen tour

Little bit of decor in the corner. 

Looking in from the dining room

The computer and little "mess" on the island is my "office" I can cook, be on the computer and have the TV on all at the same time ;)

Back door entrance

I just added this bulletin board to house Acilia's chore chart. I am in love with it!
Simple pleasure, only $9.99!!

We have a bathroom in the kitchen. All of the shelving leads me to believe it was a walk in pantry at one point?

View from the bathroom

Other side

Looking from the other side. Door on the left is the bathroom, door on the right is the back entrance

Magnetic tin ceiling, original to the house! Definitely cool!

Our "TV corner" :) I have my calendar and a dry erase board that I can write our weekly schedule :) 

A week already!?

Today is Friday. Last Friday was the first day of summer break for us. A whole week of summer break has passed as quickly as I feared time would go. I find myself so happy, we have settled in to the summer schedule which means sleeping later and pretty much doing all we can to enjoy every minute! The kids are outside, we have more baths than normal because they are getting dirty (ick! I hate dirt, but they are so happy!!) we finally convinced Miles it's "cool" and "fun" to go for bike rides! He doesn't know how to pedal, last year he was in the trailer attached to my bike and now he's riding on a big boy bike tag along and though he refuses to pedal or even keep his feet on the pedals, he's attached to me, and he can ride along like a big kid! So thrilling, I feel more free now! Now we just need to get Al a bike! I got mine last summer, Acilia is a little pro and now Miles has something he can use for a few years, it's Al's turn. Family bike rides can be crossed off the list soon! I can feel it :)
Tonight we are going to Tastee Freeze. It's a local ice cream shop built on memories! It's walking distance to our house which could be very dangerous for my waistline, but I've managed to only plant the idea in the kids heads once in a while, I believe it's been a few weeks since we went last, so it's time :)
Tastee Freeze

My niece is here, she was here last night too. That's a sure sign of summer. We tell the kids all school year, it's a school night, no playdates with cousins, but, now it's summer and we have less rules! Less scheduling, less of everything, except fun! Lot's MORE fun!! I am so enjoying it!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A new spin on the stereotypes

As I was on Facebook today, I was faced with the inevitable "bash" to those that don't use the system according to the way the public expects them to. This tag is just one of many out there, that are funny (yes) but could be hurtful. There are without a doubt people out there that abuse the system and it's frustrating to those that most definitely work hard to pay their dues to help, when it's not necessarily deserved, but until some laws change, this is the way it is. I just ask you to be mindful as I share a few words below. They were written from my heart in response to this post on Facebook:
As a woman who has had to be "in the system" for many years due to Al's kidney failure, I can easily fall into that "stereotype" everytime I pull out the medicaid card to pay for our family's health check ups, I mentally run up and down my outfit reminding myself, my pants are from before dialysis, my purse was on sale, my shoes were clearance....etc. We qualified for food stamps, but I could NOT bring myself to use them, because of the unavoidable judgement from the bystanders nearby. I am thankful for the government help we've received because with 1,000's of dollars spent on medical bills and anti-rejection meds for Al, we surely would have been bankrupt by now. Now especially with so many middle class people out of work, it seems *I* am not the minority on government help, which hopefully will open the eyes of those that believe what you see is what you get. So this tag is a "funny" spin on those that abuse the system, but it also belittles those that do NOT abuse the system and are embarrassed to be "in the system". Just a point to ponder.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The matter of the list

This summer I will be noting "the list" of things we want to do as the days fly by. I am happy to report we have officially checked off : (but not crossed off, because we will be doing these things more than once!)

Play in the jumpy (yesterday, I was planning to be out all afternoon, daddy would be home with the kids, so I figured I would get them set up to play in the yard!) Acilia noted how it was soooo not appropriate for Miles as it was HER jumpy from little toddlerhood days, picture a mini sized (compared to today's proportions) princess castle jumpy and you've got the idea. The kids DID have a blast though, they jumped on and off throughout the day, they even turned it into a cozy little tent. With a blanket over the top and pillows and blankets inside. Yeah, insert new rule, blankets and pillows from inside DO NOT belong outside, EWWW! 

Play with the water table: we did get to pull this one out of mothballs about a week ago, am I totally cheating by putting this on here? Either way, Miles had a blast, he was quite content to play with it for a while on a hot day. Then when I wasn't looking he decided to add some mud water to it. Have I ever mentioned how different boys and girls are? Yes, it's true! Mud?? In the water table, well, he sure thought it was a good idea! HA!

I took the kids to Cantigny today. Miles was thrilled about the idea first. Then he literally shifted like a light switch and decided he didn't want to go. I had already called my mom who had my niece there too and invited them to meet us, so I wasn't going to change plans. I will admit I was a little apprehensive though, Miles is working through a phase that can end anytime as far as I am concerned, he is the kind of the "tricky to please" type at the moment and it's sorta, kinda, well, impossible to deal with! Thankfully he cheered up after a little bit of crabbiness and we had a great time. The kids climbed on the tanks, then we went inside and viewed the model below the ground, basically it's a big area of glass you can walk on, about 2 feet below it, is an aerial view of the whole park made out of model size proportions. It's pretty cool, Miles loves to lay on it and just peer through the glass :) We found the parking lot that we parked at, the tanks we visited, the building we were inside of and all sorts of other little things.
We then visited the gift shop and picked up a little something for each of the kids. We spent some time outside, it's just beautiful no matter where you are as you enjoy the park, we found a bench (Miles played at the bench with his new army toys) the girls ran around on the grass, Mom and I sat in the rocking chairs smelling the air that was sweet with flowers, enjoyed the chime of a wind chime and watched sparrows interact with one another above us. I was such a priss for so many years, and I am so grateful I have changed my ways and that I am able to experience the sheer bliss while outside enjoying whatever my senses can pick up! It was Heaven!

So....three days in to summer (HOLY COW! Three days already!?!?) and we've officially done three things on our summer list! Not bad, not bad at all :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

And just like that, it's over

3rd grade that is, over. Past us, on to 4th grade. As I sat in the closing chapel service, the principal of Acilia's school declared the 2011-2012 school year officially closed. Before he did that, he recalled the pleasure of declaring the 2011-2012 officially OPEN, that was in August, this is June, almost a full year later and it went by in the blink of an eye. Summer is here, I wait as patiently as I can through the cold winter months for summer to appear and then, it just so happened to sneak up on me. It's here. Doesn't feel like it though, it's June first, we barely hit 60 degrees today! My teeth were actually chattering as I stood outside of school awaiting the exit of my now 4th grader. She moves "upstairs" next year, she can take part in a few more extracurricular activities, she will be going into her 3rd year at the "new school" and she is blossoming daily! I really enjoy watching my kids grow up, sure it goes fast, but I've always noted the rewards of new milestones, they far outweigh the bittersweet essence of saying good bye to the past, and hello to the future. Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen! We have big plans for summer!!
Here is a list of "Hopes and dreams" we have for this summer, let's see just how many things I can cross off the list!!:

Al's requests:
Daddy wants to take the kid's for a motorcycle ride (Mom is not sure about this one!)
Rowboats on Herrick Lake

Acilia's requests:
Go riding on lots and lot's and lot's and lot's of horses!
Go to Texas
Sleep in the backyard

Miles' requests:
Play in the jumpy, use the slip and slide and the water table
Go to Cantigny (a beautiful local park)

My requests:
Go downtown to Millenium Park
Go to a baseball game
Willowbrook Wildlife (a beautiful local sanctuary)
Anniversary trip with the hubby

All of us:
County Fair! (It's the collective highlight of summer for all of us!)
Family bike rides (need to get daddy a bike)
Miniature golf
Ignite Concert (Put on by KLOVE)

And I do happen to have free admission tickets to Brookfiled Zoo (Be jealous!!)

The last day of school pics:
Acilia was the photographer on this one :)
Walking in to the last day of 3rd grade!

Cya took a picture of Miles as we walked in :)

Acilia with her third grade teacher Mrs. Fontana

With the third grade teacher's aide Mrs. Milas, sweetest lady ever!

Acilia with her 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Anderson who officially retired today after 31 years of teaching!
Not a dry eye in the house when we all said goodbye!!

Officially a 4th grader! WOWZA!

Summer is sure to fly by as it always does, but my sincere hope is that I am able to savor each and every moment of each and every day!