Monday, December 27, 2010

Mixed Media Textured Collage Background Tutorial Video

This is a fun technique. Be sure to use school glue and not any type of double glue... i.e. glue that when dry stays tacky. You want the glue to dry clear and hard. I can share this video I made for another site because I own the rights to all of my videos.

Mixed Media Textured Collage Background from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Pretty Blackout Painting Tutorial Video

This is a fun technique for cards AND packages. I made this video for a website, but I can share because I own the rights to all of my videos. Enjoy!

Pretty Blackout Painting from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Art Easel Card Tutorial Video

Here is another sneak peek at a video I made for a website. I can share because I own the rights.

Art Easel Card from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Gorgeous Paper Flowers Tutorial Video

Want to make these gorgeous paper roses? I show you how in this video I made for a website (I can share because I own the rights!)

Paper Flowers from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Faux Silk Tutorial Video

This is a video I made for a website... (I can share because I own the rights!) Have fun creating, y'all!

Faux Silk from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Monochrome Stamping Tutorial Video

I made this video for a website and since I own the rights to the video, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek here! Have fun stamping!

Monochrome Stamping from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shimmer Paint Paper Tutorial Video

You can make GORGEOUS Christmas cards by creating your own shimmer paint paper and creating ornaments using punches and die cuts. This is a simple WOW technique that I did last year for Christmas on a website. Lucky for you, I retain all rights to my videos and creations, so I can share it here on my blog. Have fun creating!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Portland Head Light Gingerbread

This year, we made Portland Head Light our of gingerbread.  Here is the final product.  If I get a chance, I will upload pictures of the entire process.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Crazies?

Every year, I have to remind my hubby that the children will not die and Christmas will not be ruined if the they only get one gift.  Jesus was God and He only received 3 gifts.   That aside, if they got nothing, they would be okay.  Are you caught up in the Christmas Crazies? 

Christmas can be difficult for many folks. Often times we put ourselves through unnecessary stress over gift giving.  I am guilty of it, as well.  It is difficult not to get caught up in the Christmas hullabaloo.  So-in-so is getting you a gift, so you feel compelled to return the favor.  We've had to learn to be frugal and give handmade gifts.  This year, I have made altered notebooks and hand-stamped cards for people on our gift list.  I also give small scrapbooks and baked goods.  Of course, at some point, your list could just continue into infinity--- We have so many people that we'd like to give a gift, but we simply cannot afford it.

A friend told me about writing IOUs for gifts.  What a neat idea!  Kids can write things such as, "IOU an hour of quiet"  "I will empty the dishwasher without complaining", so forth and so on.

As we are in the last week of Advent, we are trying to focus on the true meaning of Christmas- the birth of Christ.  Sometimes, we have to step away from the Christmas craziness to find Him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Batik Cards

I had so much fun creating cards  handmade cards using the Batik technique.  This is one of my favorite creations.

To see a tutorial video on how to create using Batik, it will be my video next week (December 14, 2010) on Tuesday's Techniques.

Writing Real Letters

Emphasis on REAL.  Yesterday, as I was carting the kids hither and yon, I heard a news blurb on the radio.  Kids at a local college were being taught to write REAL letters.  They interviewed one of the professors and she was discussing a few recent surveys about the lack of letter writing skills among college age adults. Absolutely amazing.   She went on to say that many universities are finding their students lack the ability to write letters at all-- formal or informal -- because they only know how to text and certainly don't know how to email a proper letter, either. 

"Wow," I thought as I was driving, "I am certainly glad that I homeschool!"  We began teaching the children to write proper letters at an early age.  headings, salutations, body, complimentary close and the signature.  I consider not being able to write a proper letter by the time you go off to college as being functionally illiterate.  It is mind boggling that schools are not teaching students how to write a proper letter. 

When is the last time you wrote a REAL letter to a friend.  Not an email, but a real letter.  Is letter writing a lost art?  I make hand-stamped cards and love to send them to friends and family.  Try to make a point of writing a letter to a friend today....... a REAL letter!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Wishes

Every year, as Christmas rolls around people start asking, "What do you want for Christmas?"  Truthfully, what I want isn't something that anyone can give. Well, other than God Himself.  I want a cure for Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome and Mitochondrial Disease.  I want to never bring my children to the hospital for medical tests and procedures.  I want my children to be healthy and not have daily health problems that impact their lives.  Sounds like I'm asking for a normal life, doesn't it?

Over the last several years, we've had to make 15 out of state hospital trips and every fall, we end up having several surgeries-- this on top of the routine bone marrow biopsies and other testing.  This fall was the first fall in 5 years that we didn't have an extra surgery scheduled.  That certainly doesn't push us into that elusive land called normal.  We've had high blood pressure (one child, not mine!), dizzy spells, severe migraines, and lots of their continuing pain issues over the last six months.  I wish that we knew there would be an end--- if this next battery of tests were the end and we could fix it, then we could fix it and get on to regulalry scheduled life. That would be a gift-- fix it-- find a cure! 

Yesterday, I was thinking about our oldest son.  He is "normal" and healthy.  I was wondering if, perhaps, the problems my other two have on a daily basis might be in the realm of normal.  Our oldest rarely, if ever, complains of pain, headaches or anything.  He has never had trouble walking -- except for the time he sliced his leg open when running into a metal bleacher.  His blood pressure is normal.  He is rarely sick...and when he is, it never gets too bad.  Just small colds.  When I do this, I realize there REALLY is something wrong with my other two boys.  Sigh. 

All I want for Christmas is a little slice of health!  If the tilt-table test isn't normal, then we won't have to repeat the MRI (he has a small lesion -left temporal lobe) and we will have an answer.  I don't think the lesion is an issue-- we found it in 2006, repepated MRIs with and w/o contrast and an MRA tat same month, then repeated the MRI the following year (2007) and the lesion showed no change at all.  His headaches have gotten worse and the dizzy spells seem more frequent, but that really could be any number of things.  We are trying to get the youngest in to see the MDA clinic PTs.  We've heard they had experiecne with Mito.  The last time he went to PT, the PT made the pain worse.  Here's praying the MDA clinic PTs know how to help him. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome Fundraiser

I haven't done much fundraising for Shwachman-Diamond America this past year, so I've decided to donate all the proceeds from sales through my Stampin up! website from now through Christmas to Shwachman-Diamond America.  Shwachman-Diamond America has done great things this year.  SDA supported the North American Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome Registry whose website went live this year, they supported Camp Sunshine with a small donation, paid expenses for Dr. Harris to present grand rounds at Wake Forest, just approved an $8,000 USD research grant and approved a minimum of $8,000 USD to support the Sixth International Congress on Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome in NYC next year. 

SDA would love to donate more to the Congress, but in order to do that, SDA needs to raise more money.

Please consider helping the cause.  Stampin Up! Sells great scrapbooking, card making and crafting items.  Their products make wonderful Christmas gifts, too!  No special promotion code needed.....  I will donate all proceeds from on-line sales now through Christmas Day to Shwachman-Diamond America.  Just visit   Here's a picture of a card and matching luminary I made over Thanksgiving.  I gave a set like this to a friend as a small gift and she loved it! 

Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas and LSU

I don't just do crafts, manage medical care and homeschool.  I'm an LSU fan.  Yesterday, I temporarily became an Alabama fan because their winning against Auburn would be better for LSU.  When it comes to the national Championships...... if LSU isn't in the game, then I will cheer for any SEC team.  SEC rules.   Today, I am decked out in my finest LSU gear. LSU T-shirt, LSU sweatshirt, LSU sweat pants, LSU socks and LSU Crocs.  I told my husband today that all I needed was an LSU headband to complete the outfit.  I even have a special LSU bowl to serve the chips in. 

Today, LSU is going to beat Arkansas.  Or so I hope!

Something I don't do:  Black Friday.  We had some friends cme over last night, they had a successful Black Friday.  This is a tradition for their family.  They enjoy it.  I'm too scared to brave the crowds and crazy people. ~smile~

We had a great Thanksgiving with friends.  All the guys and kids played football in the front yard.  A traditional Thanksgiving event.  I created Christmas luminaries and matching cards.  Really cute.  In fact, I like them so much, I want to make more! 

A peaceful day for me?  A wonderful day for me?  A day where I can craft or scrapbook while watching football.  It just doesn't get any better than that! Well, it does get better than that if LSU or Green bay wins! 

Altered Notebooks Again

Here are a few more altered notebooks that I made this past week.  I have a tutorial video on my tutorial video website Twosday's Techniques A friend's teenage daughter had a blast making notebooks with me.  Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of her notebooks!  They were very cute, too! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tie Dye Paper

I had so much fun with this technique that I wanted to share it here.  In a few weeks, the video tutorial will be posted on Twosday's Techniques I am having a blast coming up with new techniques and making tutorial videos with my creative ideas. 

Here is the paper I made while shooting the video:

I created a few cards and an altered notebook with some of the other papers I created.  Such Groovy fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! In the words of George Washington, I, too, am thankful "for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors he hath been pleased to confer upon us."

Read the full text of George Washington's first Thanksgiving Proclamation:
On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation for our new country.  Congress had issued them prior to the founding of our new nation, but this proclamation of Washington's set aside Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a day of Thanksgiving.  Later, on October 3, 1863, President Lincoln issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving setting the last Thursday of November as a national holiday -- a day of Thanksgiving.  I don;t think it was a coincidence that Lincoln dated his proclamation the same day as Washington's.  Amazing, isn't it?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Election wows......

Did you have an Election Party? We did! WOW! What an historic night! America is a right of center country and we saw them rebel against Obama's policies on election night. After 112 years, Republicans now have control of the General Assembly here in North CArolina...... THAT is history making! Now we can get our bills introduced on the floor! Our pro-life bills such as pro-life license plates that the Democrats have blocked for many years. WHY!? Why are they opposed to having a pro-life license plate? Afraid people might respect life or something? We can also get the fetal homicide bill introduced....and also get spending under control and lower taxes.

The American people have spoken and taken back the house. Whose house IS it? The people's house! We made gains in the Senate, too. We can now keep the leftist agenda from taking over our country-- we can hopefully keep the federal government from overstepping its bounds!

Along with the electuion excitement, we've had lots of dental work, headaches and pain issues... sinus infections, etc. Hopefully, the second round of antibiotics and the new migraine meds will get those under control.

I've had some technical difficulty with my videos for Twosday's Techniques. One True Media had been down and has really bad customer service. I tried out Vimeo, but they don;t have the editing capabilities that One Trie Media has.

Pray for me on Saturday-- I need to make money on my cards. I am selling them at a Bazaar. We are going into debt paying for the Mito cocktail and it would be nice to be able to pay some on the credit card! :-) Also pray that we get a grant to help pay the costs-- it is a long shot, but we are trying anyway. The boys' doctor wrote a letter for each of them and we have to submit financial info, etc. Here's praying!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cool Apps for iTouch, iPhone and iPad

I have already told you about the St. Josemaria App for the iTouch-- it is AWESOME! J recently saved up to purchase a new iTouch-- the fancy one with video and a camera. The rest of us upgraded to the new operating system.

I LOVE iBooks! So many FREE books to be had on iBooks. I am currently reading the books the boys are doing for reports and essays on there and I got them FREE.

Now for the Catholic Apps. I downloaded the Mother Teresa App. It is nice-- it has a quote of hers every day. The Saint a Day App is great-- it tells you about the Saint of the Day and you can even email the information to a friend! I had already downloaded Magnificat and iMissal. The iMissal is great-- just love it. We actually used it at Mass this week. I had been feeling weird about bringing it to Mass, btu got over it. It is awesome.

I also brought my iTouch to Confession. The St. Josemaria App has a place for a general and and particular examination. You can type in your examinations and your answers if you like! I like to write things down.

Lastly, I downloaded Mobile Apostle. It is a neat way to find out about recent Catholic blogs and news, videos, etc.

Some other Catholic Apps that I have (my kids, too!) : iRosary, AllPopes The Catholic Directory (Mass Times) -- this one is great-- you can find Mass times at churches al over the country, Catholic TV and Catholic Bible. Catholic TV isn;t one I have looked at-- my oldest son downloaded it.

I also downloaded the Fox News App. :-)

Have a great day! I hope you can find faith filled fun on your iTouch, too!

Baseball Season is Over! Life is Semi-Normal Again!

I know I can't be the only mom who feels like a crazy woman when sports seasons are in full swing! S finished his baseball season with his team only having lost one game! They brought home championship trophies that are very cute! Each trophy has a spinning baseball on it. I'm a mom, so I think it is cute. I am sure that S thinks it is "cool".

Last week, he had this really awesome play. His coach called for a fake bunt and S did that, then quickly swung the bat back and hit the ball into outfield between 2nd and 3rd bases. He got a single. It was great. More stolen bases and a few runs.

J's football team didn't win any games this season, but he had a great time and learned a lot. The boys on the team are great. One night, his friend, N, came to eat with us and they were making faces. I said they looked like they could be brothers and N replied, "We are brothers in Christ!" Where else but a homeschool football league would you hear that!? Then, when we said the blessing before our meal, we made the sign of the cross and prayed. N replied, "I'm sorry I am not Catholic!' We laughed and told him he didn't need to be sorry! Too cute!

M's team won the playoff game Saturday and will be advancing to the State Championship game this next Saturday. He was sick all last week, started feeling better Friday. After the first quarter, he was feeling so bad that he sat out the rest of the game. He was upset about it, though.

We had several appointments last week... for sinus infections and migraines and teeth. School is going well. Week 8 and so far, we are still on track!

We are planning an election party on November 2nd. How many of you are planning parties? Red, white and blue will be the theme! Never have I ever been so concerned about the outcome of an election. I am hopeful that this election will turn us back in the right direction.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hero for Life

Next Thursday, M will be accepting his first college scholarship award. He won the Hero for Life Award! We are so proud of him! His first scholarship-- $2,000.  Way to go!

Life has been buzzing by at the speed of light.  S had a great baseball game the other night!   He had a base hit and made it home when his teammates also made great hits.  The play of the game was when the pitcher hit S with the ball.  Sgot to first, then was able to steal second,  steal third and finally stole home!  How awesome is that?  He's really had a great baseball season.  He's given up trying to be a switch hitter.  This current coach told him the same thing that Alec told him at NC Baseball Academy about that, and he was right on the money when he also added, "What good is it if you do hit more batting left handed if all the left handed balls stay in the infield!? Stick with the right!'  Awesome response, coach!  And look at him now-- he's gotten on base.  Consistency and practice are important either way-- left or right.

J had some great tackles this last football game.  He's really turning into a great little football player.  M had some great plays, too.  M is going to miss his first football game in years-- because he is on the Diocesan Youth Advisory Council and has a meeting.  We are proud of all his accomplishments.

Open Letter to Sen Kay Hagan (D - NC)

An open letter to Senator Kay Hagan

October 7, 2010

Dear Senator Hagan,

Seven weeks ago, you promised that you would get back to me with answers. I asked questions about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on August 18, 2010. You assured me that you would get back to me. I know your office has my contact information, because I received a letter thanking me for attending “Conversations with Kay in Kernersville, North Carolina on August 18, 2010”. You had a non-response for Fox News on this matter and still have yet to respond – not even through your staff.

I have called your offices in DC and Greensboro in the last several weeks in search of a response. All I am ever told is that I will not hear back from you personally, but that Jason, who is in charge of the healthcare issues in your office, will get back in touch with me. He has not.

Why did you vote for a bill that did not fix the privacy violations in HIPAA and that created far worse privacy violations? What will you do to fix these problems? How will you ensure that the government will not have access to our private health information and the ability to use our private health information for research? HIPAA and Obamacare give the government and over 600,000 health-related organizations access to our private health information, including genetic information, without patient consent. The modifications proposed (Sept 2010) will NOT fix these privacy violations. Senator, what is your answer?

At Conversations with Kay, on camera, you said in response to my wanting the same healthcare you have, “That’s exactly what this will do.” You also said on camera, “We will have the same healthcare that is available to the public.” Please explain how Obamacare gives us the same healthcare that you are afforded. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in ten years there will still be 21 million uninsured Americans. If you say all Americans will have the same benefits you have under this new healthcare law, then why would the CBO report this statistic?

How will you insure that the American people will have recourse to fire the unelected officials the Obama administration will place to head all of the departments created in this new healthcare law? This law gives WE THE PEOPLE no recourse to vote those appointed officials out of office when we decide we do not like the policies they dictate. This open-ended piece of legislation gives these unelected officials the power to shape our healthcare policies WITHOUT the consent of the governed (We the People).

Senator, nothing you have said adds up. I believe you have avoided answering my questions because you do not have any answers or proposed solutions. You know Obamacare does not give the American people the same benefits you are afforded, and you are trying to hide from me and other Americans who ask the tough questions. We the People want to know what you propose in order to fix these problems and return power back to the people of the United States.


Pattie Curran

Kernersville, NC

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Football Season!

We love football!  Matthew and Joseph are playing for the Greensboro Panthers, a wonderful Christ-centered tackle football league for homeschoolers. I was able to get some great photos of the youth adn JV games, but the Varisty played under the stadium lights and my camera and lens just doesn;t work very well.  It was a great day!  The Varsity team won and continues to have a great season -- not allowing any other team to score points yet this season. 

Here are a few shots from the weekend games:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Constitution Day!

To get a free pocket Constitution and Declaration of Independence :

I hope everyone took some time to read the Constitution today!  An experiment in government that has lasted over 200 years...... and lead to the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth.

God Bless America!

We the People: Honoring Constitution Day

Friday, September 10, 2010

Our friend, Twiggy & Bugs in 3-D Book

We've had this book for so many years.  My boys LOVE it.  We found a Praying Mantis last night and this morning we took this book out.  Bugs in 3-D   We were taking J to get ice cream for his birthday when he discovered a Praying Mantis on the car.  He worried about the guy not getting back to his family.  We put him in a container and brought him back home.  He's a cute little guy.  J immediately looked up what a Praying Matis eats.  I like them!  They eat cock roaches, flies, spiders and wasps, to name a few!  J named him Twiggy. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

We Lost Another Shwachman-Diamond Friend Today

David Smyth passed away today.  He developed leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant.  Unfortunately, there was not a bone marrow donor match in any of the marrow donor registries around the world. Saving David Smyth was a website set up to help find a match and keep people updated on his condition.

It is always a shock to lose another Shwachman-Diamond friend.  We know all too well that it could be us losing a child one day.  Back in 2006, early 2007, they felt Joseph may need a transplant.  We were close enough that they ran him through the registry (Prelim search) and found that he had no matches.  I cannot imagine the pain that David's family is going through....but I can really appreciate the statement, "There but for the grace of God go I," today. 

If you have not registered to be a bone marrow donor, please consider joining the registry.  You could Be the Match and be the one to save a life.

We received the bone marrow biopsy results back this week and things look okay for another year.  We're the lucky ones right now.  I cannot imagine losing a child.  Please keep the Smyth family in your prayers.

Doctors Asking Patients To Vote Against Democrats!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Randolph County TEA Party

What an amazing group of people!  I was humbled to speak to them.  When I was asked to speak, I couldn't help but think, "Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say!?"  I am still amazed by the response to my confronting Kay Hagan.  I'm just an average American homeschooling mom with two sick kids.  To be honest, it realy wasn;t that hard to confront Senator Hagan.  Maybe my Army background had something to do with that.  My love for my kids and my passion for America made it just happen.  Other than some of the questions I wanted answered on a notecard, I was not prepared to speak to hagan that day.

In fact, I almost did not go because, as I told a friend that morning, "I really don't like her and I am not sure if I can be nice.'  I don't like ANYTHING that Kay Hagan stands for.  She is pro-choice, pro- big government and pro-Obamacare.  She doesn't value life and gives absolutely no thought to the dignity of each human person! 

Here is an article on the TEA Party meeting last night:  Curran Speaks at Randolph County Tea Party

I'm really not as funny as the reporter makes me sound!  I think she did a great job on the article.  THANK YOU! I am just so amazed.  Great things are happening in this country.  WE THE PEOPLE are standing up for liberty.  Like Virginia Foxx said when she spoke to Triad Students for Life a few weeks ago, "The three most important words outside the Bible are: WE THE PEOPLE."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Randolph Tea Party Meeting Tonight

I was invited to speak at the Randolph Tea party Meeting tonight. I am honored that they asked me. I am certainly no expert on the healthcare bill.... I'd like to think I am an informed citizen. I read the bill and don;t pretend to understand half of it. What I can understand is that it sets up committees with secretaries that make policies based on the information gathered by said committees. We must also look at this bill in light of the appointees to Barack Obama's administration.  Berwick as head of CMS who espouses rationed healthcare and Dr. Ezeikel Emmanuel who also supports the rationing of care.  Berwick goes so far as to say "the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80% of the total healthcare out there," and then continues to say, "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."

Here are a few of my beefs with the bill (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act):

  • It sets up secretaries and chiefs that WE THE PEOPLE cannot fire or vote out. These unelected officials will be making the policy! This is an open ended piece of legislation that will be completed by individuals that WE THE PEOPLE have not elected to represent us.
  • This bill did not fix the privacy violations in HIPAA, but instead made them worse.
  • It is unconstitutional for the government to force Americans to purchase ANYTHING, including government approved  insurance.
  • Government control of insurance IS government healthcare (the left would ave you believe otherwise, but son the government will be telling your insurance companies what they can and cannot cover)
  • This bill doesn't give everyone access to healthcare! The Congressional Budget Office Estimates that in 10 years, there will still be 21 million uninsured Americans.
I'm just a Catholic Homeschooling mom of 3 boys, but I can read.  Two of my boys have chronic illnesses and this bill, coupled with Obama's appointments scares the beejeebees out of me!

Primary immune deficiencies Radio

You can listen to the podcast of my radio interview at the link below, Joanna interviewed me and we spoke about Obamacare.

Primary immune deficiencies

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Primary immune deficiencies

Primary immune deficiencies

I'm going to be on PIDD radio tonight at 9:30 pm EST. Check it out.

Health reform and rare diseases. An interview with Pattie Curran. Living with PIDD? I'd love to hear from you. My listener dial-in number is (347) 934-0024 Host ID: 81784

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wet Paper Stamping Tutorial Video

Create GORGEOUS cards using this wet paper stamping technique. I just love this technique! This is a video I created last year and I can share it with you since I retain all rights to my videos and creations! I hope you enjoy this stamping technique as much as I do!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Irate Mom Gives Senator an Earful

Got a Letter in the Mail

 form letter, of course..... there is absolutely no way that Kay Hagan was thankful that I attended her "Conversations with Kay" meetings.  She should have saved tax payer money and not sent this out.  Again, none of my concerns is addressed in this letter.

Back to Regularly Scheduled Life

This morning I appeared on FOX and Friends and now it is back to regularly scheduled life.  Laundry awaits, packing awaits... I head out with two of the boys for Cincy tomorrow morning.  Not looking forward to the week ahead, but it will be done soon enough and we'll once again begin our school year and hope for the best. 

As for Kay Hagan's Response on the show today, she doesn't care about my children or children like mine. She knows that this healthcare bill doesn't give us the same healthcare that she has. She lied.  End of Story.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What a week!

This has been a wild week.  Who knew that my confronting Senator Kay Hagan would turn into anything at all. For almost two years, I have written letters, faxed, emailed and called her office too many times to count.  I am quite sure I am on a watch list somewhere.  Tomorrow morning, I will be on FOX and Friends.  How absolutely amazing is that?  I still cannot believe that anyone at FOX News would want to speak to me....  We all have a story to tell, I suppose.  Mine is that I have two kids with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome and Mitochondrial Disease.    In between all of this, I spent time fighting to keep the healthcare bill from passing..... so Wednesday morning was almost two years of pent up frustration.

I don't have a clue what will happen tomorrow morning.  I don't know what questions will be asked of me.  What I do know is that God will provide the words.  I have been praying that the Holy Spirit will help me articulate what needs to be said.

Something I have been thinking about tonight as tomorrow fast approaches.  The unborn, the elderly and the chronically ill are targeted in this bill.  But what is scarier than that is the July 7th appointment by Obama.  This is the icing on the cake for those of us with sick kids.  Berwick was appointed  to head the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and he is quoted as saying, "The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80% of the total health care bill out there. There is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open." 

With Berwick in charge of CMS and this exponentially flawed healthcare bill, Americans should be scared about what is to come.  Especially those of us with kids that have special healthcare needs.

Only in America! Thank you Neil Cavuto!

I am humbled that God chose me to speak out and that Neil Cavuto interviewed me on his show. It isn't always easy being a conservative-- especialy in the medical world we live in. I have stated over and over again that this healthcare bill comes at the cost of freedom. We the People lose freedom of choice and at the same time, we have guns put to our heads to pay higher taxes. It is not the government's responsibility to take care of my children and the government doesn't have the right to force American citizens to pay for my children. That being said, it isn't the place of the government. What I am called to do as a Catholic and a follower of Jesus Christ is a different story.

This link will take you to see most of the interview yesterday on Your World with Neil Cavuto.

Finally got my Chance to Speak to Kay Hagan!

For the last few years, I have written, emailed and called her office, only to receive trite responses. Yesterday, I was able to speak with her face to face.,0,7065005.story

Neither shows the entire event... after this I was able to ask once again about the privacy violations and the Senator had no answers. She did say that she would get back to me. I told her point blank, "I doubt that. You'll probably send me another one of your trite letters."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sibling Challenges with Chronic Illness

I published a new article:  Sibling Challenges with Chronic Illness

We recently returned from Camp Sunshine in Maine where we participated in Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome week.  We had a great time!  During some of the sessions at camp, we discussed sibling issues and it got me to thinking and I wrote the article above. 

Less than a month until we start back to school.  We already have our curriculum for the next year.  I just have to organize and get the lesson plans separated.  Here are our favorite pictures from Camp Sunshine :

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tonight, I made $2 for filling out a simple survey that took only a few minutes. Survey Savvy is a survey site that sends surveys based on your profile, then pays you when you complete a survey. Once you get money in your account, you simply go in and request payment & they mail you a check.  You won't get blasted with emails.....  I receive maybe 2 emails a week, if that. 

If you make handmade items, you can sell them at for FREE. Shop Handmade doesn't charge you a penny to sell your items. It is all paid for by advertisers.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


We're so excited about our pumpkins this year.  We have about 5 pumpkins like these growing!  These are Sugar Pie pumpkins and very easy to grow in containers.  If you look among the vines, you'll see my trellis.  If you'd like more information on how to grow pumpkins in a container, you can read my article here: How to Grow Pumpkins in a Container

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Free Printable paper Site

More than 740 papers you can download and print for free. We've got graph paper, lined paper, financial paper, music paper, and more.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dove Deterrent

A friend of mine told me that I needed to post these pictures to my blog.  With so many things stressing each of us out in life, it was nice to get a good belly laugh one night as they were leaving our house.  This is a friend whose husband passed away on Christmas Eve last year..... and who has a fourteen year old daughter who will grow up without her dad.  None of us lives in the elusive land called "perfect".  We all need to laugh about the crazy things in life or else the bad things will REALLY get to us.

A bit of background on this dove deterrent of mine.  Every year, the doves like to nest in my hanging baskets.  They kill my flowers.  Once they lay eggs, I can't exactly kick them out.  After 5 years of this, I set out to keep them away BEFORE they laid their eggs.  After many atempts, this is what finally worked-- a big green plastic pipe and a cone I made from cardstock.  After a few weeks, I removed the green pipe, and the dove came back to try and build a nest!  I put it back ....and she has not returned.

We have a yard full of trees and even have bird houses and feeders all around.... no need to use my hanging baskets!  What would St. Francis do? 

Baseball, bunnies and boys

Sean had so much fun at baseball camp!  He learned so much this past week.  A lot can be said from getting different perspectives and techniques on baseball.  Somewhere in the middle, Sean will perfect his own style and become a great ball player.  His piano teacher is such an excellent example for our family.  She will have other instructors instruct Sean just before competitions so that he can get another perspective on his competition pieces.  I think this is a good thing in all areas of life-- even baseball.

Sean has been practicing with the pitching machine his grandparents bought him for his birthday.  Every day he goes out and hits the wiffle balls for hours!  I think his practicing paid off-- we think he did a great job at the tryouts Thursday night.  It wasn't a full tryout because he was the only boy to show up that evening, but what he did do, he did well (at least WE think so! ~smile~). Matthew decided not to tryout for the team.  He wasn't willing to give in based on principle.  He doesn't think men should yell at women and treat them the way the coach treated me that night.  He refuses to play for a coach who would behave that way and has been very verbal about it.  He had friends with him the night of the incident, unfortunately. We were all saddened that so many had to witness everything that happened.  I am proud of him for sticking to his guns, though.  While he wants to help his brother and the team, he won't cave.  I am also thankful to the parents and boys who came up to me at the next game to say they were sorry about what happened.  We DO have parents raising young men with Christian character. 

Not to say Sean is not of good Christian character!  He has spoken and he knows it is wrong.  Sean has been looking forward to the high school team with this guy for over a year.  I think he was shocked, but because of his having more at stake in the game, he was more willing to be forgiving.  Even without an apology to me (yes, I am working on my pride!  Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has held my mouth shut because I have a lot I would LOVE to say, as you can see here!).   A friend made a god point one day.  The coach should apologize to me, personally, as loudly as he yelled at me both times at the game AND in front of all the people who witnessed it.  It could never happen exactly that way, though....but it makes sense.  Just as the Church teaches us that when we sin, we affect the entire body of Christ, the entire Church, this also affected many other people.

This is a lesson I often try to get across to my boys.  Our actions and words affect more than we often realize.  Witnesses are also affected.  We must also count the total effect-- when we say false things, yell or demean someone's character in front of people, we not only damage the person, but we damage their reputation and our own reputation.  As adults, our actions also teach the children. 

We've made it through and I won;t bring it up here again!  It was difficult, but we are through it.  If the team moves forward, we will see what life brings then.

I was unable to get pictures of camp this week.  I was there the entire day Monday and read an entire book as I sat and watched the boys have fun and learn.  By the end of the week, I was making vet runs!  Henry is sick again.  Oh My!  He had been on oral antibiotics for a month and, while he improved a bit in the beginning, he began getting worse again.  The vet did a chest x-ray to rule out fungal infections and cancer.  We are now (read: mom, me-I) giving Henry antibiotic injections and he is getting nebulizer treatments twice a day!  We rigged up a special device for Henry.  Here is a picture of Henry getting his nebulizer treatment:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Opened Shop!

Not sure how successful this will be...but I opened shop!  I am selling my hand stamped cards at Shop   Check out Pattie's Cards if you are interested.  We've come to a point where we have to do something, so I decided to see if my hand-stamped cards might sell!  The Mito Cocktail costs a fortune, and I figured I might be able to help out a bit! 

I'd love to know what you think!

Baseball, Baseball, Baseball

It is the theme of the week: BASEBALL!  Sean has been going to baseball camp every day this week! On Monday, a friend went with him.  As Chris described it, "It's the year of the Sean."  Not really, but he enters high school next year and like Matthew before him, that is when they get more interested in their sports!

Still have not figured out the coach issue.  Excuses were plentiful when hubby spoke with him about his inappropriate behavior (yelling at me in front of players and parents!).  No matter how angry we become, yelling at someone just isn't acceptable. I certainly did not do anything worthy of being yelled at (two different times that night!).  Speaking up about unsportsmanlike conduct does not justify such craziness!  Of course, I just took it as a sign that I was right on the money in bringing up the bad behavior on all fronts, right?

At the last game, while I hated that it all had happened, it felt good to know others had witnessed the entire night's events and knew word for word what was said.....  and that my words and actions were kind and appropriate.  Holy Spirit, thank you for holding my tongue!

St. Josemaria has several writings on this very subject that I have been reading and praying over in the last few weeks. 

"Yes, that abuse can be eradicated. It shows lack of character to let it continue as something hopeless, with no possible remedy. Don't shirk your duty. Carry it out conscientiously, even though others neglect theirs."

"As long as you are so afraid of the truth you will never be a man of sound judgement, a man of worth."

"Excuses. You will always find plenty if you want to avoid your obligations. What a profusion of well-thought-out nonsense!"

""You will gain more by one friendly word than by a three-hour quarrel. Control your temper."

"Say what you have just said, but in a different tone, without anger, and your argument will gain strength and above all, you won't offend God." 

Aren't these great?  Quotes that we can all use in our daily lives.  I love St. Josemaria Escriva -- what a holy example for us all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We are Children of God

Today, I am reminding myself that we ARE children of God.  We deserve respect and do not need to settle.  Over the last week, my middle son has been especially heartbroken over events he witnessed Monday night after his baseball game. My other two boys and their friend are not as affected, but they weren't in the center of the whole ordeal.

This week, we have prayed and tried to make sense of  events.  In the end, we will never know what makes some folks angry when we, as parents, take on the role of primary educators of our children. Pope John Paull II, spoke of this often.....and he wasn't referring to academics alone, but education in the Catholic faith and in everything our children do.  We, as parents, are the primary educators!  When coaches or other outside influences become upset that we are coaching, teaching and training our childen, there is nothing that we can do about it.  God has entrusted these children to US and not to anyone else!

It still hurts.  The anger and yelling, the craziness over a game -- the game of baseball.  Last I looked, baseball doesn't get you to heaven.  In our world, baseball and sports really are not that important.  When we juggle cathing, bone marrow biopsies, infusing blood products weekly and the lot, sports just aren't that important.  While we want our children to strive to do well in sports and all of their activities, a season like this where they have only won one game, it just is not a big deal. 

As we head out to the field for the last game of the season (there is talk they may have two more games next week), we hope that all will be well, adults will behave as adults and that we can move forward from this life lesson with clarity of heart and mind, knowing that we ARE children of God and do not need to settle -- that we do not need to allow ourselves to be spoken to in a manner that is not fitting for a child of God.

Hold tight to your faith and your children!  Do not let distractions keep you from your role as primary educator!  God is with you on this journey and He will never lead you.  I believe that satan wants us to give up our God-given parental duties -- it would make it easier for satan to slip in the door!

May the Holy Spirit guide me in word and deed today and always!

Free History DVD Set!

Get a free 12-DVD set "The History of US."

They really are free to all schools including homeschools ! You do have to list school name, principal name

etc. but it says homeschools are eligible for the free DVD set.

From the site:

America The Story of US – premiering on HISTORY™ April 25 at 9pm/8c – is a six week event that provides a fascinating look at the stories of the people, events, and innovations that forged our nation. It will provide you with an unprecedented opportunity to bring our nation's history to life for your students. This 12-hour series will be supported by educational materials tied to curriculum standards and is copyright cleared for Fair Use in the classroom by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities.

* HISTORY is offering America The Story of US on DVD to every school in the United States. School must be an accredited public, private or home school, grades K-12 and college. In order to receive your school's DVD, your school principal (grades K-12) or Dean of Students (college) should fill out the request form below. HISTORY strictly limits each school to one request. DVD requests must be made prior to July 1, 2010. DVDs will be mailed around August 2010, and free shipping is included in this offer.

After you fill out your request form, you get this message:

You're all set!

Thank you for registering. Make sure to watch America The Story of US on Sunday, April 18th. You will receive your free AMERICA DVD later this summer in time for your fall semester.

- The History Classroom Team

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sean Pitching

The last game of the season and the coach let Sean pitch for the first time.  We think he did a great job for the first and only time he pitched the entire season!  Great job Sean!   No one scored!  He pitched an inning and a half -- the inning he pitched was the only inning that the other team did not score.  Below the video clip are a few still pictures of him pitching.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baseball- Our Switch Hitter

Sean hit a nice line drive as a left-handed batter tonight00 I caught it on camera... love that you can see the ball just before he hits it. 

Broken, broken, broken.

Over the last six weeks both air conditioners have gone out.  We had one is currently broken again. We waited about 4 weeks to get it fixed!    Our gas gauge broke on the old truck I tootle around in--I ran out of gas because I wasn't used to keep track of mileage! Sean was a trooper and didn't complain as we sat in the hot truck and waited for a friend to rescue us!  A large tree split in two-- had to have it removed.  Our septic had problems and our oven died two weeks ago.  We got our new oven delivered here today.  Hoping we have no issues with hubby installing it.  OH...and our printer broke last night!  Kodak is sending us a new one-- Kodak is great!

How do we deal with chaos and brokenness in our lives?  I just have to laugh when things break.  God certainly has a sense of humor, that is for sure.  Between all the medical issues we deal with daily, there are far too many more important things to deal with. I think God has been trying to teach me a lesson...not to worry about the unimportant things in life.  I have to say, the new oven is awesome, but when replacing a 24 year old oven, it would be pretty hard not to be AWESOME when in the running, right? As St. Julian of Norwich says, "all will be well."  These annoying things are only a blink of an eye compared to all we just have to laugh and keep plodding onward! I was thinking about all these broken things and it is kind of like us --- we are broken. When we get to heaven we'll be upgraded to a new model! For all eternity-- no more brokenness!  Alleluia!

Two pictures for today-- our house with the missing tree-- it completely changes the landscape--still not used to the tree being gone! The tree blocked the view of our house from the street...... thankfully, nothing was damaged.  And a pic of the new oven.  I love to cook and it has been two long weeks waiting!    I have what some would call a boring life.  I like my garden and I really like my new oven!

Art Camp

Tomorrow is the last day of Sean's art camp.... he's painting oil on canvas.  He even learned how to stretch canvas!  Here are a few pictures from when I picked him up today. The top picture is him with hsi art teacher and his completed oil paintings.... the bottom is the one he is still working on.