Monday, October 31, 2011

Unity Stamp Challenge

Here is a card I designed for the Unity Stamp Challenge. They wanted a fall themed card, but I don't really have any Unity Stamps with a fall theme, so I just went with this and used fall colors! 

CPS Card Sketch Challenge

Here is another one I entered today..... The CPS Sketch Challenge .This really is addicting.  With only one appointment scheduled this week (unless the brewing toe infection gets worse) -- I can craft my heart out. Teacher work day!  Just kidding... homeschool moms never get a "teacher work day" - I made this card while fielding questions and getting kids back on task:

This is the sketch template we had to use to make our submission:

Happy Halloween, y'all!

The House that Stamps Built Challenge

Yes, I am on quite a roll here with these challenges. Surprisingly, the boys are doing their school work QUIETLY and I'm sitting here next to them crafting. Isn't life grand? This is the card I made for The House that Stamps Built What if Wednesday sketch challenge I included the sketch design we used in the challenge. I may never win any of these challenges, but it sure has been fun creating cards!

Here is the template we used for the challenge:

The Sweet Shop Sketch Challenge

Here's what I came up with for The October 29, 2011 Sweet Shop Sketch Challenge SSS132
Here is the sketch we were asked to use for this challenge:

Creative Sketches Holiday Sketch Challenge

Here is a card that I created for the Creative Sketches Holiday Sketch Challenge
I think it turned out really cute!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Critter Sketch Challenge #88 Patterned Paper Challenge

This is a card I made for the Critter Sketch Challenge #88, Patterned Paper Challenge.  The challenge was to use 3 different patterned papers in making something.. card, scrapbook page, etc. This is the second time I've entered a challenge.  This is fun and I might become addicted to these sketch challenges. I'm already working on two more!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book of Sayings

Do you have a book of sayings? I've treasured each of the cute, innocent things my kids have said over the years. I wrote them down in a book, when I have remembered.  Tonight at dinner, we pulled the book out and read through them.  It is a priceless treasure!

This one of from 2001. Sean and Joseph were having a conversation.  A 5 year old Sean asked, "Is your soul in your body? Jesus is in your heart."  A 4 year old Joseph replied, "Jesus IS in your heart except at church 'cause then He's out there until you eat Him, then He gets into your heart."

In 2002, an 8 year old Matthew in front of the White House: "Why is there a fence around the White House? Is it to keep Al Gore out?" 

A 6 year old Joseph asked on the way to IVIG, "Did God make grass so we don't step in the mud?"

10 year old Matthew on Easter Sunday, "I don't like jelly beans, but Ronald Reagan kept a big bowl of them on his desk."

8 year old Sean and an almost 7 year old Joseph were discussing whether they were Republicans or Democrats. Joseph said to Sean, "Sean, you really should be a Republican because they are nice, they want to lower taxes."

I told the boys they had to stay in the classroom while the plumber was working. 7 year old Joseph replied, "But I want to see the plumber plumb!"

A 12 year old Joseph told me, "You can't blame stuff I did on me!"

Card Sketch Challenge - Mito Awareness

This is the first time I have ever participated in a card making challenge! I never have time to do these things! LSU is on a Bye, the Packers are on a BYE and the boys' football games were cancelled because of field conditions.  So what does a mom do without football?  She crafts, of course!

Here is the card I designed for the Unity Stamp KOM Sketch Challenge. I enjoy making cards that bring awareness to Mitochondrial Disease!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On a Roll with Crafts

Can you imagine what I could do if I had more days without doctor or hospital visits? I've only had to make one medical related phone call today! The rest? I'm ignoring la la la....   I could take over the world! It has been a quiet, lazy day around here. Two of the boys served at a funeral Mass this morning and they have been working on school the rest of the day.  Tonight we are going to Student Night at the Opera.... can't wait.

Here is a card I made using emboss resist: 

Here is another card I made today. This has been a therapeutic day for me!

Last night I started this scarf and I'm halfway finished.......

Christmas Card

Here is the last card I made for my class at the Senior Center on November 7th.  I hope the seniors like it!
I love the embossed "Joy" over the verses of Joy to the World in the shape of a star..... I think I love making Christmas cards more than any other cards! 

Thanksgiving Card, Fall Card, Winter Card

Here's a card I'll be making with the seniors at the Senior Center on November 7th. It's a Thanksgiving card I thought they'd like to make:

Here is a fall birthday card I made a few weeks ago (I'm on a roll posting pictures of cards I've made):

This is one I made for no particular reason-- just a winter themed card:

Christmas Cards

I've already started making Christmas cards.  This first one is my favorite. I will be making this one with the seniors at the Senior Center on November 7th. 

Here are a few others that I have made. Not sure if I like them all.... but here's what I created:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CoRDS Rare Disease Registry

Coordination of Rare Diseases at Stanford (CoRDS) registry.  This registry is for patients with rare diseases. Click on the links below for more information on what the rare Diseases Registry is, how to participate and how to contact the registry. 

The purpose of the Rare Diseases Registry is to facilitate research on rare diseases by providing a resource through which researchers can screen for prospective study participants.

CoRDS Cover Letter


Cords Registry The Power of Hope Flyer

Bone Marrow Biopsy Day

Many years ago, I wrote a book called Bone Marrow Biopsy Day. Amazon picked it up two or three years ago. Very exciting stuff. Have you ever wanted to know what a BMB looks like?

Recently, someone in England contacted me about using pictures from the Shwachman-Diamond America website for a nursing article to teach nurses about the bone marrow aspiration and biopsy procedure. We are always eager to help teaching efforts!

Blast from the past- Joseph has always wanted pictures of all his medical procedures. This one bone marrow biopsy day in 2007, Dr. Harris brought our camera into the OR with the boys and captured great photos. We made a photo book to bring with us on subsequent hospital visits. At the urging of Dr. Harris and the nurses, I created the book -- we've donated these to CCHMC and our local Hem/onc clinic.Joseph had the nurses sign his book and had Dr. Harris sign it as photographer.  Too cute.

Here are a few pictures from Bone Marrow Biopsy Day 2007:


Biopsy tool poking out


In the OR

Joseph in the OR

Dr. Harris took pictures of Petty and Bengal

The boys with Dad and Dr. Harris

The Anesthesiologist trying to get a line in.... they tried before going under, but failed

Trying to get a line in

Pitiful Joseph lets them try to get a line in

Sean in OR

Sean's aspiration

Sean's BMB

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Consoling the Heart of Jesus

I just started reading Consoling the Heart of Jesus

It is a wonderful way to learn about and incorporate the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius into your life. It is set up to be read in a weekend, but can be read over the course of a month or two, as well. It is a do-it-yourself retreat. So far, I love this book!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Fulfillment of All Desire

It's a book, but the title really fits our last week, too. I'm only on the first chapter, but after reading the introduction, how to use the book and half of the first chapter, I am hooked. The Fulfillment of All Desire is amazing.  It is a spiritual retreat that one can take alone or with a group.  I think it will be a great addition to my spiritual journal, too. Fr. Groeshel gives the book amazing reviews. It starts off the same way as Opus Dei. We are all called to holiness. Through these readings and reflection questions, I hope to come closer to God.

Here is a quote from the book that I found helpful:  "...ultimately, it's not up to us to become saints. We don't make ourselves holy. God makes us holy. It is His work, not ours. All we have to do is ask for His help, be open to His help, and cooperate with Him as that help is given." 

For a few years now, I've felt like all I do is go through the motions. Not always... but it certainly isn't what it used to be. I BELIEVE everything the Church teaches and have faith that His will is perfect. I just don't always feel like He is working in my life.  Amid what I call "medical chaos", I've always been able to feel something or at least have inner peace. I feel like I've lost anything I ever had. Don't know where it went, of course.

I talked to a priest friend yesterday for spiritual direction. He used the analogy of an [old] golf ball. When you cut it open, there is a core covered in what looks like rubber bands. If you cut one of the rubber bands, then the entire thing unravels.  That pretty much sums up my life, except I have many things trying to cut those rubber bands simultaneously!  He suggested that I need to find out how to keep my inner core at peace even when the rubber bands are unraveling. Then suggested this book.  Aren't we all trying to do the same thing each day? Sometimes, I wonder if I'm trying too hard to feel something.  I don't think I do, but you know when we try too hard, we somehow miss things that are right in front of us.  I always say that God picked the wrong person for my life, that I'm not a saint and that I won't become a saint. I fail miserably at carrying my cross. Not for lack of trying, but rather I don't feel I do it well!

Matthew is back to normal and hopes to play in his games this Saturday (his team plays two games). Joseph is in a lot of pain. Bad headache Sunday and knee pain the last two days. He's had a difficult time getting around. Even Matthew felt sorry for him, so you know the pain is bad.  We've been battling with starting Neurotin, but God always makes things clear.  Thankfully so! I need to figure out how Baclofen fits into the picture, which will come soon enough.I know that God will make it clear.

We received a huge blessing last week.  Our pastor purchased a few of the boys' prescriptions.  We also had a few friends who wanted to help.  God really does provide for our every need. I know that He does. $359 in prescriptions this week!   Seeing the tangible evidence of it in our daily lives increases our faith and trust in Him.  When Chris was laid off for 9 months (many years ago), my mantra was, "God is preparing a better place for us." We continued to see God at work and providing for our every need.  It was amazing, Chris would get a contract flight and get paid just as our COBRA (insurance) was due.  God provided a better place for us-- he moved us closer to the boys' core group of doctors. We'd been driving a 3 hour round trip 3 plus times a week to see them, and God moved us 20 minutes away.  He moved us right where we needed to be.

You'd think that this would be enough for me, right?  Most days, it really is.  Other days, not so much.  I'm only human, you know.  Living with the boys constant medical issues can sometimes blind us to our many blessings. We do worry about how we will pay for medical bills,  prescriptions and trips to the specialists in other states. We probably shouldn't, but at the same time, God wants us working to take care of them, right?

In other news, I've almost finished creating our shirts for the Energy Walk for Life this Saturday in Charlotte.  Our team has raised $495 for the UMDF.  It will be a busy day. Up early, drive to Charlotte for the walk, then home for football games. One of the event coordinators asked me to donate a few cards to give to the doctors attending. I made five of my Mito Awareness cards.  I was honored that she asked me to make them!  It is going to be a great day!  We'll get to meet other Mito families and work with them to fund a cure!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Geaux Tigers!

Anyone who knows our family knows we are huge LSU Tiger fans.  Our neighbors get to see pretty funny sights around here. Sometimes the boys run victory laps in our yard with the LSU flag and we always have a CD in the player for blasting the LSU band throughout the house when we score, too.  I'm sure our neighbors appreciate that. Luckily, the lots are big enough they don't hear much. We've got one neighbor that is a  Gator fan.  He razzes us and we razz him.  I'm leaving the picture of the day on his door.  Poor Gator fan.

Here is the picture of the day.

SEC football is the best!  Geaux Tigers!