Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Answers

Test results showed that the tumors were benign.

Praise the Lord!

Instead of cancer, I have Hashimoto's Disease. Which basically means that my thyroid is attacking itself and will eventually stop working. I meet with an Endocrinologist in 4 weeks and we'll go from there.

I love how the Lord works. Yesterday morning sitting in lecture at BSF I felt like every word she said was meant just for me. With tears streaming down my face, I furiously took notes. I was convinced this message was preparing me to hear that I had cancer that afternoon.

from my notes...
~God puts strength in our hearts so we can triumph over trials
~God permits trials to come
~never think that trouble is an accident
~he is in control of all trials
~first he shows us how weak we are in ourselves
~when we feel strong enough, we fail miserably
~don't do "nothing" - pray, search scriptures, seek godly counsel
~God does not deliver us immediately (or even in this lifetime), or in the same way for everyone
~God is glorified through our trials
~one reason for our trials is that you and I would be channels of blessings to others (my favorite)
~no matter what the trial, God's grace is sufficient for you
~suffering can keep us transforming and perfect our character
~God has to work in us before he can work through us
~as suffering increases, God's grace increases equally
~if we could store up God's grace for emergency use we would tend to trust ourselves
~sanctification - being transformed into the likeness of Christ
~we are Jars of Clay - the cracks in the jar are what makes the treasure inside (Christ's Salvation) shine
~pride will cover up our cracks and prevent Christ from being honored
~God's competence is our confidence
~Love that leads to reconciliation produces joy that knows no bounds

For the past year, and 6 months in particular I have been overwhelmed with depression and anger. My own inner turmoil. Not a pretty site around here. To the point of seeking medical help soon, but still feeling like everything was circumstantial. I prayed that God would give me a desire for his word. And he did! In a way I never thought possible. I have been reading like there is no tomorrow and am in the middle of Job already (1/3 of the way through the Bible!). He has been changing and molding me and I feel very different. Than even just four weeks ago.

Thank you Lord for trials that bring us closer to you.
There is no where else I'd rather be.

And thank you to everyone that was praying for me. It means more than you'll know.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More stockings and some crud.

How's that for a title? ;)

Thankfully, sitting and stitching requires little effort and was one of the ways I kept my mind busy these past two weeks. I'm almost done with the next two stockings. After these are done, just two more to go!

*More stocking details at the end of this post...if you are here for just the creative fun stuff, feel free to skip the middle.

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Today was my first day driving the kids to and from school and grocery shopping. I haven't done that in over two weeks. Thanks to my lovely mom, who has been with me most every day. She's been holding down the fort, doing laundry and dishes and taking the kids out to lunch for a little fun.

I was hit hard by a massive sinus infection. It almost landed me in the ER last week, and required a shot of Torodal at the doctors office and now 14 days of a strong antibiotic (that I don't think is doing it's job) and 14 days of Prednisone. It should be another week or two before I'm back to normal.

I swear the head and eye pain I've had rivals the Optic Neuritis I had 5 years ago. It's the most excruciating pain I've ever had. Thankfully my Dr. was able to rule that out right away last Friday. He did say that I should have gone to the ER the night before but we had opted to not have to wake anyone in the middle of the night for childcare and for a smaller medical bill. Thankfully I was able to get an 8am appointment with the best doctor I have ever seen. If you are local, I will gladly give you his info. I never want to see anyone ever again! He was incredibly thorough and very compassionate.

It hit me right away when he also found a 1" solid mass on my thyroid, that it would likely have been overlooked at the ER. Hopefully it's brand new since I didn't notice it either. He sent me for an ultrasound right away. You know it's not good when the ultrasound tech (who knows I know what I'm seeing on his monitor) tells you more than once "Don't freak out, these are usually benign." We waited just 30 minutes for my Dr. to call us in the waiting room and explain what he knew, taking the time to tell us each separately on the phone. He even called us at 9pm that night with my bloodwork results and to see how I was doing. He got me in to see a surgeon first thing Monday morning, saying that she would likely want to just remove it right away. But how refreshing that a surgeon's first words were "Let's not rush into surgery until we know what we are dealing with." Tomorrow I have an appointment for a needle biopsy. The toughest part is that I won't get the results until next Wednesday since the surgeon won't be back in the office until then, though they'll have the results by this Friday. Ugh! Patience has never been my strong-suit, but one that God is definitely helping me with right now. I have felt very calm about things most of the time and that is not my usual inclination.

The reality is, the numbers are on my side. Ninety percent of these are benign. But then I also think about how we only had a 6% chance of having twins and well...we have twins. It is also not lost on me that 31 years ago this month I lost my mother to breast cancer. I was in kindergarten. It was February. My girls are in kindergaten. It's February. It's hard not to go there in my mind. I've only had 2 full nights of sleep in the last 9 days. Most nights getting only 1-2 hours of sleep. Last night I found myself lying in bed, fighting back tears and praying over and over again "I trust you Lord...I trust you Lord..."

God is always in the details. My dear friend Kim told me she woke up Friday morning just knowing that a friend was in trouble. She immediately started cooking. God put my name on her heart and a short time later I was e-mailing our Bible study with my prayer request. Before we even got home that day, she had already delivered two casseroles, an awesome fruit salad, lettuce salad, chocolate and muffins for breakfast. Wow! Gave me the Holy Goosebumps when she told me later.

If you think of it, please pray that tomorrow would hold minimal pain for me, as I've reached my max lately. And that next Wednesday would come soon.

Now...on to the fun stuff, the stockings!

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When I ordered these, they seemed to coordinate a little better on paper than they actually do in person. Their sizes and shapes are a bit all over the map for the OCD crafter that I am. But I'm ok with that. I have a clever way to hang them next year and some coordinating finishing touches to each one should make them perfect.

I do love this Santa I made for David. I love the white background and the pops of aqua. One thing about buying vintage is you never know the condition something is really in. Turns out this one had a bottle of perfume spill into it. Thankfully only one small piece was discolored and I was just able to cut a new one out. But the directions had wet ring marks on them and they wreaked! Also, the blue felt it came with was rather dull in color. The photo on the packagewas very misleading as far as colors went. But I was able to cut out new shapes from the left-over aqua felt that was used for the background on the gingerbread house stocking. I also added more sequins than it called for, using some blue ones from the snowman kit I had. I ran out of aqua thread to cover those last white lines on his boots, but after I match that up, he will be done for now. I think on our stockings, I'll just use the names Mom and Dad (or Mother and Father, I'm undecided) so our kids or grandkids can someday use them for themselves if they like.

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Here is Emily's. The next step is to draw a third girl with brown hair (representing Emily) sitting and playing with the puppy. I'm thinking she should have a matching nightgown to her sister's. There should be enough room, I just hope it works out as well as I'd like it to. The little leaf background on the wallpaper is supposed to have dark green leaves with red sequins (think holly), but I'd like to change the thread color to aqua (that matches Santa's boots, when I pick it out) and still use the red sequins. I'm loving all of the blue pink and red on this one and that these colors are repeated on the rest of my collection.

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Sam loves that he's sliding down the banister. I am worried that he'll try it at home though. We've already had talks about why we don't do that.

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So, that's it for now. Part of me wants to set these aside for a while and focus on something else. Not sure what just yet...

I am also happy to say that I have now made it one third of the way through the Bible. In just 8 weeks! And that was with me slacking for a couple weeks a bit ago. I'm just starting 2 Chronicles now and can't get enough. I'm already thinking about how I'll read it differently the next time around.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The year of the crayon

I had big plans for Valentine's day this year. Thanks to Pinterest, I had my heart set on these fun Valentines for the girls' classrooms. But this probably wasn't the best year to make a craft that took multiple days. Plus, I had only bought one heart mold that makes 6 at a time, so it was slow going.

I've been incredibly sick for almost two weeks (will explain later) and should have just scrapped it. But in the end, it all came together and the girls enjoyed it. But I'm done for the day. No fancy meal or heart shaped homemade cake. David is working late and my mom will help me take the girls to ballet in just a couple hours. With uniforms these days, we didn't even break out our Valentine tees from last yeart that still fit. But none of that matters. My family knows they are loved and I feel incredibly loved right now myself. I hope you do too.

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We made 60 Valentine's over the past 3 days.

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And the girls got to practice their handwriting.
As well as their reading to remember who went with which name.

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I decided bows weren't necessary. Maybe if we were just making a few I would have done it, but then I would have felt the need to heat seal all those ends too and I was just plum tuckered out.

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I did manage to take a few minutes today and put together some treats for the kids to come home from school to. Last year I didn't make a box for Sam and when the girls got home with all of their Valentines he was beside himself.

This year he kept asking why he had a Kleenex box. You can't fool this kid. ;)

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Allison lost her 8th tooth this week-end.

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And I couldn't resist a snap of these cute little super hero's that came home with Emily today.

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Hope you are all having a wonderful Valentine's day!

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Friday, February 3, 2012

What I've been up to...

1. I printed {this}. Now I just need to decide where to hang it.

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2. Our old dining room table got a new life as the craft table downstairs. I stapled a cherry printed oilcloth to the top to add some cheeriness to the room and cover the stained light oak top. The old shelf from the kitchen added some needed storage and a wire curtain rod from Ikea became a fun place to hang kids art work (we just need to go through the art bucket or make some new art). I also found a mug rack at Goodwill for $3 that will get spray painted this spring and become a holder for all the fancy scrapping scissors I have.

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3. I have finished the fronts of 2 out of 6 Christmas stockings for next year. In case you are wondering, the 6th is for my mom. :) Every year I think "Oh, yeah. We don't have cute stockings for everyone that match, I should get on that." We've been using cheap $1 stockings for 3 of us for the past 2 years. Since we don't have a mantel to hang them on I didn't really care. Every year I find that October is too late to be starting this project. Ya think? But it's hard (at least for me) to work on Christmas projects in the summer. So this year I'm starting early. Only 4 more to go!

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The snowman is mine because it reminds me of the little guy on the tree skirt my mother made years ago. I'm waiting to add names and hanging loops until they are all finished and I decide what to use for a lining. I plan to make all those finishing details match.

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The gingerbread house is Allison's. She loves, loves, loves candy!

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I had bought our stocking kits last year {search Bucilla on eBay} and then decided that they weren't vintage enough and they had too much navy blue in them. So this year I found even older ones and I'm much happier about their look. I'll share the rest as they are completed.

These are quite simple to make, just time consuming. The snowman took 15 hours and I stopped counting the hours for Allison's after I hit 20 and still had a ways to go. And these aren't even done yet! So if you ever contemplate buying an already completed stocking on Etsy, just know you are getting a good deal. *wink*

4. I made 14 tea towels for Christmas gifts this year (various designs). But this little birdie was one of my faves. She's the first in a set of 7. The rest will be coming to those same friends at other times throughout the next year or two. So that's one of my projects to work on after the stockings are finished.

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5. And I love these little birdies carrying the "joy" banner. Inspired by my friend {Amber}, who sent me this word on an adorable mug rug last year. I think these would make cute teacher gifts at the end of the year. I'm going to teach my girls how to embroider this spring.

This one in particular, I made for David's grandma Sofie. It's already made it's way back to me. Just 3 weeks ago she was put on hospice back home in Big Fork (4 hours north of us), only to find that the Dr. had misread her scan. She is now off of hospice and moved to a nursing home down here. But in the meantime her belongings have been sorted/packed and divided and her apartment let go. We hope to visit her again soon, but have all been sick this week (as in no school since Tuesday).

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6. I placed my first Matilda Jane order this week. I've only ordered for myself in the past. Now that TaDa! is closed (yep, I'm done for good *sniff*sniff*). I've had a difficult time motivating myself to sew clothing. I'm sure it will come back once these beautiful pieces arrive though. Especially since I found {this} pattern to make some cute coordinating dresses with. Oh and while I'm on the subject of patterns, here are two more seriously cute dresses I may have to invest in quickly since they only go to size 6.

Here are the five pieces we've got coming...

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I think those red striped shorties are adorable with that sweet top. The lilac dress is a favorite with both my girls. I have one more dress and a pair of leggings to order with their 2nd launch next month. It will be fun to have adorable clothing this spring and summer, that I didn't have to make. Yay! I'm also thinking that these will last us two years because of their easy fit.

7. We are signing the girls up for both softball and soccer this spring. I think we are a little crazy. We will have games Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat. Oh and dance is still on Tuesdays and church on Wednesday too. Yikes! We'll do it again in the fall and then they need to decide which sport they prefer. It will be an adventure, that's for sure.

8. On a more personal level, my mom and I both joined a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) group and are loving it. I've also been reading through the Bible from front to back. I've never actually done that and I finally figured out why. Until last year I always had a study Bible. Those are much thicker than just the text. And to look at it, it's pretty daunting to think of reading the whole thing. Well, I recently purchased a smaller Bible so I cold have one to fit in my purse to bring to church. I looked at it one day and thought "Hmmm, there's no reason I can't read that one cover to cover." I'm halfway through Judges right now, which is the 7th book in the Old Testament. In the past I've always given up somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd. So, if you've always wanted to but it felt like it was too big a task, just get yourself a smaller bible. It makes a difference! Who knew?

9. I highly recommend the site myfitnesspal.com. I wouldn't track calories any other way. They have a seriously huge database of everything you would ever eat, including restaurants. And if you have a fancy phone it would be even easier for you. Totally free, just need to create a user id and you are good to go. It tells you how many calories to eat to loose weight at the rate you would like. My husband has already lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks. I've only lost 3, but it's a start.

10. David just walked in the door so I'm going to take Nyquil, hibernate under the electric blanket and fall asleep reading. I neeeeeed this sore throat to go away now. Hope you have a great week-end.