Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Check out what's happening at my store....

I wanted to share with all of you what is happening at my shop, and invite you to participate in the contest :)

If I can help you with ANYTHING please let me know :)

Check out the Sale and Contest

Sunday, August 22, 2010

PSC on the news!!!

I am so far behind the 8 ball right now....

I have so much to share and so little time...

And tons of fabulous pictures too...

But for now I am just going to share this AWESOME news and clip...

Check it out... Nat and Audrey all all through it :)

We are SO EXCITED to be part such an amazing group as Project Surf Camp, such a blessing to our lives and I am so excited that this award will allow PSC to bless so many more families!

As far as that 8 ball goes.... I HOPE to sprinkle some blogging into the canning, cooking, cleaning, sorting and unpacking that I have to do today... I miss sharing our lives and my heart with you!

A Little Something...

 Sometimes it's the little things in life that we have to remember to take the time to do.....

When life is super busy, and you are running from task to task just trying to get it all done, the little things get forgotten... 

Like the really, super horrible, gross curtain that has been hanging on my front door since we moved in.

I have the skills to make a new one.
I have the tools  to make a new one.
I even had the fabric that matches the rest of my living room to make a new one.
I just never found the time to make it!

But admits all of the chaos of yesterday I took 15 minutes....

 And made a new, pretty curtain!

And it sure lifted my spirits up to see something pretty as I go in an out of my house.

And all it took was 15 minutes!

We can do it!
We CAN make time for ourselves.
We CAN do the little things that take so little, but make us feel so good.

I dare you....
I dare you to take a moment for yourself today and do something just for YOU!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Day in the Life.....

Ever feel like an alien in a a foreign land??
A circle in a room full of squares?
A splash of color in a black and white world?
Like NO ONE gets you, or your life, or your reality?

I don't say this to be mean.
Or to make people feel bad.
And not even because I am complaining.

I just wonder sometimes.....

Do people REALLY have a clue what life looks like for some of us?
Does anyone get it?

So for those who care....
Here is what a "typical" day in our life looks like!

5:00 am
I get up. This is MY time.... the only MY time I will get for a LONG time. I exercise (in the privacy of my own very chilly garage) with my music blasting (in headphones of course) and try to pretend that I don't see any critters sharing the space with me.

5:30 am
Give Nathaniel his bowel medicine to start his bowel routine.
Head to the yard (weather permitting) to have a cup of coffee, a cigarette (yes, dang it, I smoke!) and read my bible. This is my grounding time where I get right with my day and my Lord.

6:15 am
Give Nathaniel his morning meds. This means I wake the kid up enough to stuff a bunch of pills in his mouth and force him to drink enough to wash them down, then cover him back up to "plan his day" in his books, "wait for the meds to kick in" in my books. Then I jump in the shower, get dressed and basically try to look human. This is also the 45 minute window when I try to get dinner started for the day. (yes, dinner before 7 am in the morning... but you will see why soon!)

6:45 am
Morning stretches and yoga with Nathaniel

7:00 am
The first In Home Behavior Counselor of the day arrives. This begins our "morning routine" which consists of teaching Nathaniel, through constant repetition and behavior modification programs, basic daily living skills like dressing, tooth care, catheterization and simple house keeping tasks (like making his bed and emptying the garbage). This routine should take about 20 minutes.... but thanks to various neurological issues, ODD and OCD we are LUCKY to get it done in an hour. He has a two tiered token chart where he attempts to beat the clock to earn time AND score points to buy privileges. On a good day we get through the morning routine in 30 minutes and earn time (Wii, for completion in less than 30 minutes), on an average day we get through the morning routine in 45 minutes or less, with one or less tantrums (full blown, raging tantrums involving violence of some sort) and earn time (DS time for completion in 31-45 minutes) and on a bad day we have various tantrum and leave the house without some of these things done. (And yes, dressing is the one he hates most, so we often leave the house without him in clothes!)

Also during this time I am supporting Audrey in getting her morning routine done and making sure that she gets a bit of attention too.

AND start a load of laundry because a load a day keeps the laundry monsters away from my house!

AND make sure dinner is either started or ready to pop in the oven the second we hit the door in the afternoon.

8:30 am
In Home Counselor leaves.
We leave for the day.
 Going with the school schedule, we would be leaving to take the kids to school.

8:30 am to 2:30 pm
Kids are in school.
 I work.
2 days a week I work at an Air Analytical Lab as a client service representative and 3 days a week I run my shop.

2:30 to 4:30 pm
Appointment time.
Seriously, like everyday we have one or two appointments.
OT or PT once a week,
WRAP meeting once a week,
Behavior Consultation once a week,
DV therapy for each of us once a week (that means 3 therapy appointments each week),
and at least once a week we have a doctor's appointment, or a dentist appointment, or an appointment with the brace maker (and we have been seeing him like 3 times a week recently!).
Yes, appointments galore!

Squeeze in here 3:00 pm meds for Nathaniel

4:30 pm
Second In Home Counselor of the day arrives.
Put dinner in oven if cooking that way that day (the crock pot is seriously my best friend!)
Homework time and family "pick up" time. (FPT is when we work together as a team to clean up the house and try to make it look somewhat cared for!) Homework is another fun time around here. The lessons that Nathaniel's teacher tells me should take 20 minutes usually takes us anywhere from an hour on up. We have a very structured token plan just for homework, and it takes me and the IHC to be sitting right there with the kids to get the work done. On a good day we get done WITHOUT any tantrums.

6:00 pm
More meds for Nathaniel (including his sleeping pills)
Dinner time.
Family conversation time.
On a good night we will get 2 family questions answered, everyone with use utensils to eat with, no one will chock and therefore I will not have to practice my Heimlich maneuvers and no food will fly. We MIGHT have one good night a week..... MIGHT, sigh. More often than not, at least one if not more of the above mentioned things will happen.

6:45 pm
Night time routine begins. Night time routine is similar to morning routine..."night routine" consists of teaching Nathaniel, through constant repetition and behavior modification programs, basic daily living skills like un-dressing, bathing, tooth care, catheterization and simple house keeping tasks (like cleaning his bedroom and clearing the kitchen table of dishes). This routine should take about 20 minutes.... but thanks to various neurological issues, ODD and OCD we are LUCKY to get it done in an hour. He again uses his two tiered token chart where he attempts to beat the clock to earn time AND score points to buy privileges. On a good day we get through the night in 30 minutes and earn time (Wii, for completion in less than 30 minutes), on an average day we get through the night routine in 45 minutes or less, with one or less tantrums (full blown, raging tantrums involving violence of some sort) and earn time (DS time for completion in 31-45 minutes) and on a bad day we have various tantrum and end up falling asleep before the routine is done.

7:30 or 7:45 pm
On a good or average night, this is when we get earned time. As a family we play on either the DS or the Wii depending on what each child earned.

8:00 pm
Kids in bed.
Each night the kids get read to for about 30 minutes.
Also this is when Nathaniel FINALLY gets hungry (did I mention that his day meds have the side effect that makes him not eat? I am lucky to get 25 bites of food down this child between the time he gets up and 7:30 at night!) A typical night snack for Nathaniel will be 2 hard boiled eggs, a cup of nuts, a piece of sliced fruit, a carton of yogurt and 4 cups of water.

8:30 pm
Nathaniel gets a movie on the TV in his room and Audrey heads to bed.
I do 30 to 45 minutes of stretches with Nathaniel in his bed.

9:00 pm
On a good night Audrey is asleep.
Nathaniel gets his nightly cough drop (its an OCD thing, he WILL NOT go to sleep without it.)

9:30 pm
On a good night Nathaniel will be asleep and mommy time begins.

This is when I blog, catch up on my friend's blogs, work on my crafts, work on my websites, pay bills, do paperwork, read, do my homework, etc.

11:00 pm
Most nights this is when I go to sleep after a brief time in the Lord's word again.

On a typical day .....
I pray without ceasing.
We will have 3-5 tantrums and at least 1 rage.
Mommy will cry at least 3 times.
Audrey will cry at least 5 times.
 Nathaniel will turn "off" at least twice.
And doors will be slammed multiple times.

In a typical week.....
 I will have to use some sort of CIT hold on Nathaniel at least 3 times.
Someone will get hurt on at least 3 days.
I will have to call the On Call Worker at least once.
Some sort of medical "thing" will happen.
And I will cry myself to sleep more often than not.

This is my normal.
And I am ok with that most days.
But then there are times that I want to throw up my hands and scream.
I want to shake someone and say "do you KNOW what I deal with ALL THE TIME???"
Or I just want to look at someone and say ....
I am thankful I got through another day in the grace of God.

And that is my reality.
Each day I wake up and beg God for the strength to do what I must that day.
And I am thankful He is with me every step of the way.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jean Pocket Pot Holder Tutorial

Remember that tutorial I promised you.... well I am finally getting around to writing it for you :) So grab your supplies and get ready for a simple, fun and useful project!

You will need:
1 pair used jeans
cotton batting (is best, but not essential)
contrasting fabric
measuring straight edge
sewing supplies (thread, scissors, pins, machine, ect.)
Step 1
Using the straight edge, draw around the pocket of the jeans. I try to make the finished square a "normal" size, I don't like thinking too hard while sewing, so I stay to whole or 1/4 inches..

Step 2
Now we are going to cut those pockets out on the line. Just like in grade school!

Step 3
Time to size out the contrasting fabric. You are going to cut a piece of the contrasting fabric the same width, but add 4 inches to the length.

Step 4
With the right sides together, pin the edge of the contrasting fabric to the top edge of the pocket (where the opening is).

Step 5
Now you are going to stitch right NEXT to the opening of the pocket. I use my zipper foot to get right up there NEXT to the opening WITHOUT stitching it shut. Don't forget to back stitch on both sides.

Step 6
After pressing the seam you just stitched flat, you are going to match up the bottom edges of the contrasting fabric and the pocket with the RIGHT sides together. This will give you a nice boarder across the top edge.

Step 7
(Okay, I did forget the detailed picture of this step... sorry!)
In this step we are going to create the insulation to protect your hands while using these pot holders. I like to lay the folded piece from step 6 on the extra denim. My favorite combo is 2 pieces of denim with a piece of cotton batting in the middle, but you can use 4 layers of denim instead of the cotton batting. (NEVER use polyester batting, it melts!)

Next we are going to make a pot holder sandwich. On the table top you lay one piece of denim insulation, with one piece of cotton batting on top of it, then another piece of denim, topped by the contrast/pocket piece with the contrast fabric facing down. Pin a few spots to hold together.

Step 8
Next you are going to sew around the edge of the sandwich. Again, I like to use my zipper foot to get nice and close to the edge and have a nice finish. Start at the top folded edge, sew down the whole side, across the bottom and about half way up the other side. Make sure you leave yourself enough room to turn the whole thing right side out, these are thick fabrics!

Once you finish stitching this is what it should look like.

Step 9
Trim the seam allowance down to about 1/4 inch all the way around.

Step 10
Turn right side out.
Step 11
(This is Faline's torture step! Every joint project with her has one of those. A great concept idea that is hell to execute! But it's cute..) You pick off one of the belt loops from the jeans and sew it on the corner of the pot holder for a hanging loop.

Step 12
Finally, you hand sew the turning point shut for a nice finished look.

Tada!! Super cute, super easy Jean Pocket Pot Holders!

Have so much fun!!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Camera Fun

Not long ago I needed a little break and went on a little picture pretty walk around one of the ranches my brother was on.... I thought some of the pictures came out fun and wanted to share. I really loved the colors and textures that I found. I also loved the natural work environment that shows that hard work goes on here. Hope you enjoy :)

HOT Cars!

I think it is confession time.....

I LOVE HOT Cars!!!!

Seriously, when I was younger and feeling down I would head down to a dealership just to test drive hot cars. A guaranteed pick me up! These days that is a bit harder to do with two kids in tow (not to mention way harder to flirt my way behind the wheel in the full mommy mode :( )

Sliding into the drivers seat to one of my favorite cars gives me serious butterflies in the tummy. There are FEW things in this world that give me as yummy butterflies.....
Firing up the engine of one of these babies and listening to it purr makes me warm and fuzzy all over.....

And taking one of these babies out on the road??? A fun racy road??? Oh man......

Ok, this is a family blog so I can't tell you haw fabulous THAT makes me feel! But let's just say that there are FEW things I have even experienced that makes me fly as high!

So it was with absolute DISGUST that I followed this today....

One of my FAVORITE (yes, the ones pictured previously are my current top 4 picks!) Hot cars driven like a freaking old (read dead!) lady was driving it!

We headed North on Highway 1, which is a BLAST to drive, and I would have LOVED to be driving it in one of those fun cars, but I had my mommy car since I had all the kids with me. But don't feel too bad, I still had fun! But the funniest thing was that we passed SO MANY Chargers today! Seriously, it was HILARIOUS!! We had to have seen at least 30 of them today! I was drooling at first. Then I was thinking that there must have been some convention or something. Then it was just like God was teasing me. But the funniest thing was that for every Charger (my hot car top pick) we passed, we passed a Mustang Convertible (Faline's hot car top pick... yea, yea she is much more down home than I am!)... God was so teasing both of us, and man were we having fun with it!!
The other funny story of the drive was our music. We started with the kids belting out worship songs (Every Move I make, Victory Chant, Lord, I Lift Your Name On High, ect.), then we moved onto Mommy Music (Toby Keith Unleashed, Lady Gaga, funky rock, ect), then out of the backseat my cry baby says "I want HAPPY music!" Wanting to please her and get her over the crying she had been doing I asked what she wanted. The answer??? QUEEN! I love my kids!!! We Will Rock You BLASTING out the stereo, 4 kids clapping their hands and stomping there feet and all 6 of us singing our hearts out. My kids rock it and make road trips so much fun!

So the lesson of the day? Mommy LOVES hot cars and funky music!

Sunday, August 1, 2010



Stupid Blogger!!!!

NO MATTER WHAT I did, I could NOT get the last post to space and size right.... Stupid Blogger!

So instead of continuing to argue with it here are the last few lines!

"The bad news is that Tead, the brace maker is on vacation now!
What is it? Summer or something?

But he KNOWS we would like them as soon as he is humanly able to finish them, so we are praying for a miracle and less than 4-6 weeks :)

And Nat did get to pick out his new plastic.... SPORTS BALLS of course :)"

The brace saga

So you read here... therefore you must know that Nathaniel has Spina Bifida, right?

Well, he does. And part of what that looks like to us is that Nathaniel has to wear braces on his feet to walk. He wears and SMO on one leg and a DAFO on the other side. These are custom made, EXPENSIVE braces and not long ago we had a TRAGIC accident with the one of Nathaniel's braces.
It IS supposed to be one solid piece, it is NOT supposed to spread apart like that...

But recently it has taken on a very broken form. One Friday after surfing I asked one of the older kids to take all of the wet things out of the car and wash out the wet suits and stuff. In my brain "stuff" meant the braces and water shoes, but I must have not communicated that well. The older kid took everything out of the trunk of the car and washed out the wet suits.... but she left the braces and water shoes right outside of the the trunk of the car. Fast forward a bit after we all had naps and we needed to run a quick errand. I rushed the kids to the car, got everyone buckled in and jumped in the car to take off.

I never walked BEHIND the car.....

So of course as I was backing up out of the driveway I heard a loud CRUNCH....

Looking in the rear view mirror I saw a horrible look on the older child's face and tears in her eyes....

I said "That was what I think it was wasn't it?"

Horrible ACCIDENT.

One of those things that none of us planned, no one wanted to happen and no one was at fault. Just an accident. But something that would have to be dealt with.

Never in a million years did I think it would be such a NIGHTMARE to deal with! First there was the therapist that was on vacation so she couldn't make the recommendation on what KIND on braces to order him (we have recently been discussing different options). Then there was the doctor that was on vacation so he couldn't sign the new prescription. Then there was the insurance supervisor who didn't think that she should approve the insurance coverage for them. UGH!

The therapist I get. Although I do wish that the agency would have people to cover for them when they are gone (it happens A LOT!).

The doctor I get. He is fabulous and hardly ever takes any time off.

But the insurance company??? Give me a break! First off the braces that got broke were over 3.5 years old and really were worn out. Secondly, it was an ACCIDENT! We didn't plan it. Thirdly, in the 9+ years that Nathaniel has worn braces this is the first time EVER that we have broken ANY THING on them! And fourthly, darned it, the kid needs them to walk 12+ hours every single day! Get off your duff and approve them!

We FINALLY got a phone call saying that the new braces were approved when we were on our way to the brace makers for yet another adjustment to the 5+ year old braces that Nat is wearing while all of this gets sorted out. (He has grown A LOT in those 5 years and those braces are really too small for him and making lots of marks, but it is better than nothing at this point.) I was so excited that we could get casted while we were there and the brace maker could get started on the braces that usually take 4-6 weeks to have made.

But we get to the office and he tells me that he can't cast without a signed order in hand. If he casts before he won't get paid by the insurance company. I told him that they just called me to say it was all good, but that wasn't enough for him.

Man did I pitch a fit at this point! Serious tears of frustration.

I called the insurance company and offered to drive over to pick it up to drive it back to the brace makers and be done with it, but was told that the nurse had to process the paperwork and that could take up to 3 days.

More tears of frustration!

About two minutes latter the supervisor at the insurance company called me back. This was our conversation:

S: "My assistant said it sounded like you were at the brace makers on your last call. Is that correct?"

Me: "Yes, we had an appointment already scheduled this morning."

S: "So have him cast you while you are there."

Me: "He won't. He says you won't pay without him having the paper in his hand."

S: "Tell him you spoke to me."

Me: "I already tried that."

S: "Well for heavens sake!" And she hangs up.

About two minutes latter the office manager walks in and hands me a paper....

"Give that to Tead when he comes back in"


Somehow it was the authorization and we could cast right away!!!!!

Great news, right?

Answered prayers, right?

Yes on both accounts....

But there was bad news too....

The brace maker was leaving for vacation two days latter!!!

But at least we got casted, and Tead KNOWS we are praying for them fast.

AND Nat got to pick out his new plastic.....

Sports balls of course!

Here's praying that all of the stressful and hard to take news is DONE in this saga and somehow we get new braces that fit VERY SOON!!!!

Can I just say... some nights I HATE blogger and it's spacing/sizing issues!!!! UGH!