Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Mom's gotta brag....

My son, Austin, took a test in January for the GATE (gifted and talented educational program) and we got the letter today saying that he qualifies! I talked to him about being involved in it and he said he wants to! He won't start until the fall (August) but he's quite proud of himself. I can't believe he will be in 6th grade already! Fortunately our elementary school now offers 6th grade and he will be staying there one more year.

This picture is of Austin and our cat, Charlie.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A conversation I heard as the family was gathering together for dinner:

Austin says to Brandon: "Your mom is so cool!"

Brandon replies back to Austin: "So is your mom!"

What more could a mom ask for? (Just for the record, I wasn't even in the room AND they didn't even want anything from me. So how cool is that?)

Contest for free blog template

I hope I win! I have seen several of the designs that Lindsey from Splat Designs has done. They are awesome!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My 3 Songs If All Other Music DIED

I was tagged by Jennyhaha with her post My 3 Songs If All Other Music DIED.

Here's the rules: If you had to pick three songs to listen to--before never being able to listen to music ever again--what would you pick? Please note - you’re not dying or going deaf or anything like that.. you can just never listen to music ever again. It can be anything you like. For any reason.

Jenny tagged me back in February so you know I've been thinking long and hard about this. Hey, I take my homework assignments seriously! I had one song picked out like that *snapping fingers* but the other two took some time.

The first song is One More Day by Diamond Rio and features the poem: The Last Time. In some ways I am fortunate enough to have a daughter who has almost lost her life numerous times and is considered terminally ill because it causes me to pause and think "what if this is the last day I have with her here on earth?" My husband's job is a dangerous one and he has come home many times and has said, "God protected me today". We should all live life as if it is our last - smell the flowers, enjoy the beauty in nature, spend time with our loved ones, smile more and say "I love you" as often as we can.

The next song is You Raised Me Up. I love this song - it not only reminds me of my family but of my faith in Christ. He raises me up whenever I feel overwhelmed. He has comforted me during the darkest times when my daughter has been fighting for her life and He has assured me that even if she does pass on, she will be in a wonderful, peaceful place and He will sustain me.

And lastly, this song could have been written specifically for Jessica and me. I sang this song to her at a church talent show several years ago and dedicated it to her on our family website. JENSENLAND- Jessica's journey with CHD "

Jessica has taught many people many things. As her mother, I have learned the true meaning of unconditional love. Jessica taught me to never give up and that God is truly in charge. Have faith in HIM and you can see miracles. I want to dedicate the song "BECAUSE YOU LOVED ME" sung by Celine Dion. Jessica may have needed my strength when she was weak, my voice when she couldn't speak, me to be her eyes when she couldn't see, but I'm everything I am because she loved me."

Jessica goes to school!

This post will be quick since it's late and we have a doctor's appointment in the morning, but JESSICA WENT TO SCHOOL TODAY!!!! It's true! She rode the bus and stayed for 3 hours. The poor kid was exhausted when she got home. She just can't take much activity anymore. I got her off the bus and helped her drive her wheelchair into the house and she was saying "I'm hot and I don't feel well." It took her a little while to cool off and relax - she took about a 10 minute nap and then was ready to tell me about her day. She was so happy that she got to see her friends and teachers again. Jessica's home health aide came and I rushed out the door to get Brandon from school. When I got back Jess was doing homework! She had taken a spelling test at school (now remember, she's working at a beginning 3rd grade level) and she had gotten 2 wrong out of 10. Not too bad considering she hasn't felt up to going to school for 3 months straight! Her homework was to write each word she got wrong 10 times every day and one sentence with each misspelled word. (too bad she doesn't have spellcheck at school. lol) She was so tired when she got home from school that I told her that she didn't need to worry about homework until later. She was so determined to do it that she didn't even wait long. She actually called me on my cell phone while I was out picking up Brandon to ask me a question about her homework. I reminded her that she didn't have to do it while she was so tired. She said, "Mom, how come they want me to write each word 10 times? It's hard!" I could hear a crack in her voice. I told her again that she didn't need to worry about it right now. But she insisted on doing it NOW.

Brandon asked me who was on the phone and I explained to him that his sister had gone to school was now exhausted and wasn't feeling well but she was still determined to do her homework. I could tell that he was touched. He is very proud of his sister.

I am still learning from her strong spirit.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Visions of dead flowers, broken chocolate and a handmade card

This post is so good I had to put it on both of my blogs - this one is the shorter version.

My dear cyber-friend, Mary, had a vision that dead flowers, broken chocolate and a handmade card were in my future. How right she was!

Here are the dead flowers and broken chocolate. The dead flowers are much more beautiful (and functional) than I would have envisioned!

The flowers are PENS! How clever is that?!

Only the chocolate wasn't broken when it arrived, it was melted! So I put it into the fridge and I brought it out later. Of course I couldn't let the chocolate just sit there, it could melt again! There were starving wolves children laying prey so I had to throw them little pieces of chocolate to keep them from attacking me... so after a few minutes, the chocolate really was broken:

But like I told Mary, I love chocolate in any shape... and it was good.

Here are the dead flowers with the beautiful handmade card:

Thanks Mary, you really made my day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reports of a missing Dan

For more details please go to my other blog,

much adieu about nothing

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away!!!

Ok, it's not REAL rain I'm talking about, it's the metaphorical rain as in: "When it rains, it pours" type of rain. Here is the short version of what is going on here today:

Jessica not only has strep but is coughing and congested. She has a low-grade fever and sounds like she is talking while holding her nose. She is quite miserable and has been feeling nauseated but I finally got her to drink some sprite and take a couple of popcicles. Once the fever came down a bit she was able to eat some soup. She is now playing her gamecube. She didn't get to sleep last night until 4am.

Austin and Brandon have been coughing too. Austin had an asthma attack on his way home from school today and could hardly breathe and was gasping for air while holding his head because it hurt so much. I gave him a breathing treatment, tylenol and a cool washcloth. He is breathing ok now and resting.

It's HOT here in Southern Arizona. It was 86° yesterday and expected to be into the 90's by Monday. That's actually 20° above normal for this time of year. We are sick, sweaty and grumpy. Stay clear of our house if you can! LOL! I may have to have Karl shut down the heater so he can hook up the cooler this weekend. We don't usually have to do that until late April. Just watch... as soon as we do it, the weather will turn again and it will get cold and we'll freeze. Ah, well... such is life.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A day in the jungle

Where to start? I know I'm long past due for an update so here is an update about my adventures of just today:

Jessica has strep. Poor kid is miserable but is on antibiotics so hopefully she will get to feeling a bit better soon. She had a hard time getting to sleep last night and we both ended up in tears. Jess finally got settled in at about 4am and then Justen's alarm went off at 4:30. Thank goodness Jess didn't wake up but Karl and I did! I don't think I got to sleep until after 5am. I was a freaking lunatic when I woke up. I have got to get in to see my doctor... the antidepressant is NOT working and my anxiety is way up. After sobbing for a few minutes I pulled myself together and called my doc and set up an appointment but I can't get in until the 23rd. Great. BUT the gal I talked to told me that if things get worse then I can call her sooner. My doctor doesn't work every day - only M, W & F and I found out that she is leaving the area. Double great. I had to really pull myself together and get ready for the day.

I had to wake Jess up at noon to give her the Carafate (otherwise known as IHATEcarafate around here). She was not feeling very well but she ate some of her lunch an hour later and took her antibiotics along with her other 2039485747 meds. Jess told me, "something feels weird right here" and pointed to the space between her two front top teeth. Her gums there are red dark purple and her two teeth are a little bit loose. I wanted to cry (again). This poor kid goes through so much every single day - why can't just ONE THING be easy? Her diuretics are making her mouth very dry and causing gingivitis. (We can't take her off her diuretics because she is in congestive heart failure and her lungs and body will fill with fluid.) Anyway, I told her to try not to pick at her teeth and to try to bite things with her other teeth. I also reminded her that she needs to brush her teeth every day. She said OK.

Karl came home early and brought us some lunch. I had to wolf down my hamburger and rush off to the dentist. First thing I did was mention Jessica's gum/front teeth problem to the dentist and he said to get an appointment - he should see her. This dentist we go to volunteers at a clinic for children with congenital defects/problems and that's where we first met him. He was so good with Jessica that we found out what insurance he accepted and then during our next open enrollment with Karl's job, we switched and we've taken the whole family to him ever since. He's a good guy and his whole staff - and his dental partner - are awesome. So... I need to get her an appointment at the clinic - hopefully next week.

Anyway... I had to have a crown placed on the lower left side of my mouth (I already had a temp crown on there) and I had to have a cavity filled on the lower right side of my mouth. An old filling had broken off and I needed to have it fixed. The crown went on without a hitch and we didn't even need to numb the area. *whew* I told the dentist to not hurt me - I was not in the mood to be hurt after not getting much sleep with Jess being ill. Well.... I've never had this happen before, but as he was numbing the area on the right side of my mouth, the needle touched a nerve - it felt like my jaw exploded! I apparently jolted and remember seeing something squirting out of my mouth - it was the last of the stuff from the needle - I had jumped so bad it popped out of my mouth! The dentist said, "oh no.. where did you feel it?" I was still stunned, I guess, and I just made the motion with my hand like and explosion. He said that he must have touched a nerve. He tried to explain how the nerves spread out and are invisible... blah, blah, blah... as I was trying to regain my whereabouts. He said I probably had enough of the medicine to numb the area and I thought, "there's no way in hell you are putting that thing back in my mouth, buddy!" He told me to relax and get numb. Relax? I was fighting back the tears again. Crap! Why did this have to happen today? I was already an emotional basket case. *deep breath* Fortunately the dental assistant got me a cup of water when I asked for it and we joked that it was a test. If I couldn't drink the water without spilling it all over then I was numb enough for them to do the filling. The rest of the filling was uneventful - thank goodness! My jaw, tongue and lip were tingly for quite some time and it was quite amusing for me to try to talk to Karl and Jess on the cell phone.

Then it was time for me to go pick up Brandon from school. Karl had taken the truck to go to the city to get a permit for us to enclose our carport and Jessica had an aide at home with her. On the way to get Brandon I was thinking about how desperately he needed shoes. He had shown me a huge gash in his shoes and said that it gets filled with dirt every day that he has to run in PE. I also had promised Justen to buy him some clothes for church and work as his birthday gift (last month!)... Justen had just gotten off of work and didn't have anything (productive) planned for the rest of the day. I remembered that Austin needed shoes too. So after picking up Brandon I went home and gathered up the other two boys and we all went to Walmart. I'm sure some people there may have thought I was either drunk or mentally challenged since my speech was slurred and I kept dabbing up the drool from the right side of my mouth. (Although most people probably would have been right about the mentally challenged part - who in their right mind would take 3 boys young men to go shopping after having such a bad night and then horrible dental appointment?) Do you want to know the best part? We had a good time! It was nice to get out with my sons and they joked around and got a long really well! I think the last time I took all 3 of my boys out shopping together was when either one or two of them were in carseats! I try to spend time with them either one or two at a time but it was fun taking all 3. We bought a dvd and a coloring book for Jessica so she was pretty happy too. We brought home McDonalds for everyone and when Karl got home he said we have been approved for the permit and we can FINALLY START WORKING ON THE CRAFTROOM!!!!