Monday, December 31, 2007


Yikes! I have worked 7 days in the past 11 days. Sigh... what happened to my part-time job? T would say that I volunteered and he is right. He is off for a week and a half at Christmas and I chose to work extra. Hopefully the extra will go to the house savings account and not to pay for things. Time will tell. I always spend more than I intend to and end up saving less than I want as a result.

I just wanted to share my tiredness today. =)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lovely Christmas

Christmas has come and gone this year. We had a lovely time visiting with the grandparents in Dallas. I worked all weekend and Christmas Eve. We had the beginning morning at home, had a stocking with small toys and ate breakfast. We had a marvelous

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Christmas is here! I *love*love*love* Christmas time. I love getting to celebrate Jesus birthday. I love it finally getting cool/cold. I love getting to look for presents for each of my loved ones. I don't just go and buy things or gift cards. I spend hours looking for gifts that suit each person.

H and I were going to make necklaces for the grandmothers and my sister. I thought that I would let her string beads and be a part of the creative process. That was before my OCD nature took over and I hijacked the whole project. LOL We did make three necklaces and they all look beautiful, IMHO. ;) But I made them all, picked out the beads, spent hours stringing and re-stringing to get the look just right. It also made me realize that maybe I could do this from home and make a bit of money on it. I can't get it all together for this year (2007) but hope to take pictures of the necklaces and use them as a starter gallery. I don't want anything big and elaborate, just something little on the side to eliminate a shift from working outside the house. The problem is that I make a nice living outside the house so earning enough from a few necklaces will be nearly impossible. Sigh... a girl can dream!

We are going to see the grandparents tomorrow for Christmas and H is more excited about that than getting presents. She has a bike, helmet and pads in the garage (from Gran and Poppy) as well as Playmobil stuff from us. Gran and Poppy also got T and I a Wii for Christmas so she will get such a kick out of that. I just got her some playsilks, doll diapers and the Playmobil stuff since she will get such big things from other people. She is so easily overwhelmed that I would prefer to keep it simple from us. We will probably even wait until we return home to open many of the presents. Certainly will wait on the bike and the Wii! Who could open those and then leave them at home to go to the grandparents. We will just have stockings in the morning and then hit the road. She is so excited to see Nana and PawPaw. I also plan on reading the Christmas story before we leave. I really want to keep our hearts in the right place in what we choose celebrate.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Lights

Our neighbors across the street have had their lights up for about 3 weeks. They put them up every year and they are nice, just some net lights on the bushes, candles in the windows and wreaths. Nothing overdone or overwhelming just simple and beautiful. Our house has no electrical outlets on the outside of the house... NOT A ONE! We do have a pair of outlets in the garage that we could use one of to have lights but it would be pitiful as I shouldn't overwhelm one outlet with 16 strands of lights. So, needless to say, we have never used lights outside. This year H is wanting to decorate... she is old enough, understands and wants to participate. So I broke down and went to Walmart at 530am one morning before work to check out the selection of Christmas decorations. I bought plastic (shatterproof) *big* ornaments and some big candy canes to stick in the grass. We had such a marvelous time decorating the yard on Monday. =D H even said that she liked our tree ornaments and the candy canes better than lights. LOL It also gave us a chance to talk about what a candy cane means (origins) and that I think the lights symbolize Jesus coming to be the light of our world.

We went looking at Christmas lights last night. T wasn't playing on-line and H and I wanted to go with him and not just by ourselves. T and I decided that we like all white lights better than a bunch of multi-colors. Hannah got tired earlier than we thought she would. We ended up coming home at about 740p. All through the shower and she collapsed in sleep on me about 2 minutes after I got out of the shower. T and I finished watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir special that was on. It was lovely to listen to and H even enjoyed it too. She watched about 30 minutes of it before she fell asleep. It was a nice evening.

I am attempting to wash and soak the doll diapers that I got for her as well as our new Christmas stockings. We also had to go to Whole Foods and so between the grocery store, playgroup, the light looking and the soaking and washing stuff... she has had a tough couple days. I am attempting to lay low today to give her a chance to detox in case we have playgroup tomorrow. Hopefully all will go well and safely today!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A cold and misty day in December

Well, today is 42 degrees and wet. Not really raining, just misting enough to make your hair and clothes damp when you walk the dog. =) Amy enjoyed the walk though. H & I needed to get out of the house. It has been such a lovely fall that we spend most afternoons outside all afternoon. I have gotten spoiled.

We went with T yesterday to pick up the ground beef and steaks, then drove over to Whole Foods and picked up more food and came home. It is easy enough to buy meat for several weeks but the veggies just don't last that long. I end up having to go to WF again or order from Diamond Organics. The ordering costs more (I think) 'cause I have to pay FedEx charges but it keeps us out of the car and the store.

Just another day in the life!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random Thoughts from November 28

Well, I tried to cut my finger off again but was unsuccessful. Thank Goodness!!! I have a really sharp knife and this is the second time that I have cut a finger and nearly needed stitches. I probably could still use them but I refuse to need them. It will heal just fine, not very deep at all but fingertip lacs just bleed like crazy. Then it doesn't take much pressure and they open up again for a couple days until they are good and stuck shut.

H and I finished the female Christmas presents today, more me than her. I feel slightly guilty that I intended for us to make the presents together and I have hijacked the projects. I told her that we would do something just from her with the extra beads. She is looking forward to working on Gran's something tomorrow. I will have to get beads together so that she can just pick randomly. T approved the necklaces tonight so I am good to put the magnetic clasps on tomorrow. They all turned out well and hopefully the ladies will like them.

The weather has been much cooler this week than last but still nice enough outside today. We spent the whole afternoon outside and it was lovely. Yesterday we visited Gran and Poppy and it was chilly 'cause the wind was blowing. Tomorrow is the Friday playgroup and we are looking forward to it. We love to get to play with other kids!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Our Thanksgiving 2007

God is so good! I always have so much to be thankful for but yesterday was super great!

Since I am working this weekend, T took Wednesday off and we had a family outing to the Zoo. Since H is big enough to walk around and she is doing well, we decided to do it. We had such a great time. Her favorites were "the elephant, the rhinos and the giraffes." We also saw the tigers, the monkeys, owls, lots of snakes and lizards, bison... well, I could go on. We walked and walked and H did great. The gibbons are first in the gate and they were howling like crazy when we got there. Evidently gibbons do this every morning to mark/defend their territory. It was great and T got some great pictures of them howling. =D

I am working the 4 days over Thanksgiving but am thankful to be working days instead of evenings. It messes less with my body clock to get up a couple hours early than to stay up 4-5 hours later than I usually go to bed. But it does make for a more tired mama. Lots of cereal/granola in the 'fridge so that we can eat this weekend.

We had a lovely meal of bison steak and summer squash tonight. LOTS to be thankful for... wonderful family, warm house, good food, good job. Thank you God!

Monday, November 19, 2007

More about Squash!

Well, butternut squash is too closely related to pumpkin... H and I both had many IgG allergies. H has 73 positive results out of 96 and I had close to 40 positives. There are so many foods that we can't even try due to this. But evidently summer squash is far enough from pumpkin to try. And it seems to be going decently enough. H had leftover squash from supper last night for lunch today.

We spent the weekend in Dallas with Nana and Pawpaw. I had several things on my list: going to Whole Foods, getting new stainless steel pots/pans and just being out. I will remember for a long time that "just being out" makes me terribly sick now. Being in the mall for 45 minutes has been enough to make me feel awful and exhausted for 2 days now. No wonder work just puts me under the weather! On a good note though, T and I picked out 2 stainless steel All-Clad pans. I am excited. I have been wanting to get rid of my non-stick ones for a while but needed to research. At all the opinion pages, many stainless sets were rated decently but All-Clad were rated as "the last cookware I will have to buy!" That is what I want. I don't want the thrill of new cookware, I want to buy the best and never buy again. =D

H is clamoring to watch a "Murder, She Wrote" so I must go and be a mom. I love every bit of her, except when she wakes up in the night multiple times...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Just a quick note --

We tried butternut squash tonight and I love love love it again! I miss food so much and am just going slowly. H did take 2 bites, her usual requirement for new foods. After supper was done, she announced "I like squash!" Time will tell how we will do but I would dearly love to have another veggie to add to our list.

Something else to be thankful for!

Monday, October 29, 2007

First Field Trip

Hooray! H and I went on our first field trip on Friday. We visited Silo Christmas Tree Farm and experienced their pumpkin harvest. We had a lot of fun and H was exhausted. =D We took a nature walk and looked at different trees and grasses, we rode in the hay wagon around the farm, we played pasture games. H liked ladder golf, bean bag tossing and washers. The farm had a lovely old silo and I got some good pictures of it all. It was a lovely fall day and we just totally enjoyed being mostly normal and enjoying God's creation and our friends.

If I can figure out how to post a pic or two, I will do so.

On other subjects, I have decided that I cannot continue to work this much. I was off for about 6 days and it was great. I got to where I wasn't tired constantly and there was food available. I worked this last weekend and got so frustrated. T didn't even take H outside on Saturday. We have been spending most of our days outside since the weather is so nice. AmyDog gets to go for walks, we enjoy the weather, each other and our dog. =)

Though today, I am frustrated cause the house is a mess. The floor was nasty, the cabinets were grunchy and I am tired from working. Thank goodness I don't have to go to work tonight. I do have to work evenings for three days next weekend and Monday. I am totally not looking forward to that right now. Evenings working until 1am just throws my body clock for a huge loop. And daylight savings time is next weekend too. So it will be an hour later still to my old body. I am praying that I will make it through without too much fussing at H.

October is almost gone and I am amazed at how the year has flown by.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Eternal Perspective

Well, fall finally arrived in Central Texas on the day we were to go on our first field trip. Rain, cold wind and a high of 55 degrees. Our pumpkin harvest field trip was cancelled. =( H and I were so disappointed. But we are going to try and reschedule as a group. I sure hope that my work schedule will allow us to go.

We went to Whole Foods instead and looked at all the lovely veggies. They even had okra but it was all moldy and nasty. The chicken was on sale and I was so excited to save $1 per pound. LOL

Yesterday we went up to church and had the elders pray over us and H. I feel so alone with not being able to socialize much and not being able to fellowship at church. It was both wonderful and bittersweet to go back. We have been out of that life for 5+ years now and most people that we used to know just think that we have moved away. The sad thing is that we are still here and very alone sometimes. I want to have enough faith to trust that God can heal H and I but it has been a long lonely road. I can honestly say that he has never left me on the road though. And many times, I truly think that Christ alone sustains me. I miss the encouragement of corporate worship but I know that God has used this part of my life (both forward and backward) to teach me of his justice, sovereignty and love. Through H, I can get a glimpse of how dearly God treasures me and how frustrating and child-like that I am to him. I have such a finite perspective and I crave the eternal perspective of Almighty God. I get bogged down in the day-to-day and forget to be thankful for all those moments with H and how wonderful she is right now.

Change my heart, O God!

Our Improvement on GF/DF++ Dietary Change

An update on our progress for my journal...

H is doing well, though still affected by chemicals. Perfumes and printing ink are particularly bad but we try to avoid most chemical exposures. Prior to the program, H could only go outside 2-3 times weekly. If we went out more, she would start with subtle symptoms of an amine reaction and night waking was first to occur. She would also be defiant, argumenative and grouchy, not very obedient, and she usually is obedient. Also, with the least chemical exposure, she would drastically reduce her limited food intake and struggle greatly with reflux symptoms, waking at night screaming and gulping and miserable. She and I had such horrid gut reactions that we had to be inside our home for several hours before we could eat... otherwise we would experience diarrhea, horrid gas, those reflux symptoms.

Since the program, we are out every day, multiple times daily. We walk the dog, play outside all afternoon, attend park days with the local homeschool group, etc. We also can picnic and take our food with us. This is absolutely miraculous in my humble opinion. We are not limited to hiding indoors and away from people all the time. I still must be careful with the chemical exposures for her as she then can only nibble at her food and refuses some things all together. We can now tolerate some meats from the organic grocery (chicken with quick turnover) and that makes life so much easier for me.

We are going on a field trip with our homeschool friends to a pumpkin patch 1.5 hours drive away on Monday! It is H's first field trip, made possible by PF and God's grace! I think I am more excited right now than she is because I know how far we have come.

I truly was prepared for the worst when it came to starting the program and was terrified of the effect on H. She is slowly healing, each day/week brings improvement as I look back. We are still on our original list of foods but have recently grown mung bean sprouts and tried turnips. I love having tea every 2nd day (WHOOOOO) and salad is marvelous. Crunchy cereal is our favorite and we live on it!

I am not an adventerous cook so our diet is not as exciting as some but H doesn't like exciting things! =) Maybe dh and I will branch out as we start adding more things in. He is picky about his veggies and we are all sad that okra is out of season here.

Our results are far beyond what I could have hoped for as I was totally afraid to hope after 5 years of disappointment. We have been in the kingdom for 3 months and I daily look back in wonder at our healing, no short of a miracle!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Making food - no one eating it...

Well, I am getting better at pasta making. The bad news is I made pasta with chick pea flour only and H says "Mommy, it tastes funny" and puts it down. Refuses, point blank, to eat it due to "tasting funny." So it will end up in the bin and I will have to make combo pasta.

The first time we made pasta, it took forever. Today was easy and she played with it like clay as well. Good OT for her! We will try again tomorrow. I am making more crunchy cereal as she and I have been living on that. She is refusing to eat muffins since last week. Sigh...

It is still hot here... mid 90's in the afternoons. We went outside this morning to get away from the heat but I still only lasted 1.5 hours. Someone down the street was mowing and I was reacting... she is difficult again today. But nothing unusual, unfortunately. The last several weeks she is clingy and needy much of the time. I would like a way to teach her to play and not just need to be right with me. So we spend time cooking so that I am getting something done and she is getting attention.

Schooling is becoming more laid back. She is not wanting to practice anything so I am attempting to become creative. ;) Sure wish we could do books and numbers things but I will just have to keep thinking outside the box. God sure has grand plans for growing my creativity! =D I think he has more confidence in me than I do... but I guess He would as he did the creating!

I am tired lately... will see what turns out with that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another Year

Well, I have successfully become another year older. Much to my chagrin! We spent last week out of town because I had a CE conference to attend. It sure feels busy when I go to a conference and then still work the weekend. Sigh... was away from my girl for 4 days! I love being home... sometimes I need to remind myself of that though.

H is doing well, still eating muffins, cereal, pasta, meat and veggies. Fiona's program and diet/lifestyle change has been good for us. T has lost about 25 pounds and looks as slim and trim as he can be. =) He and I both feel better though he is not fond of navy bean and chickpea flours. ROFL

H and I are still reading books, doing word math problems and working on reading flash cards. She is reading but doesn't like trying the new blends and things, gets frustrated easily.

Today, I was able to take some Sweet Streets dollhouse people out of the garage and she has 6 new people and 2 dogs to play with. She has been playing and playing all afternoon! Finally... I need to order more new stuff and have it airing out in the garage. I did order Christmas for her this week and that way it has hope of airing prior to December this year. She loves playing and pretending and I love enabling her to do so. It is just so hard with her chemical sensitivities.

We are just working and trying to keep up with H. I am so thankful that we can both manage to work and still be able to keep her home and not out in the world! God provides for us and we are proof of that daily.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Well, if I thought we would never get to summer (in June I posted that), we are now in those dog days of summer. August is hot, muggy but no rain and typical for Texas weather. Our grass is drying out... had to start watering the yard last week. I probably should have been watering at the beginning of August but I just didn't.

School starts for all the "normal" kids in 2 days. I am so thankful that H is not marching off to kindergarden this year! She is reading simple words, sounding out lots of things on her own and reading from her word charts that I had laminated. She is also doing simple addition and subtraction both with real objects as well as in her head. Someone should tell her that 5 year olds don't do addition and subtraction, especially "air" math, but I sure am not. I am willing to let her run with things and see just how far she gets. She counted to 100 by 10's the other day when I came home from work. Says "my daddy taught me that!" very proudly. =D

We have started Princess Fiona's gluten free/dairy free lifestyle change in July and are actually still eating! H eats muffins, crunchy cereal, chicken, beef, fish, rutabaga and is trying bits of lettuce and such when she is brave. She even tried bamboo shoot yesterday but it was canned and didn't taste very good. She is still terribly chemically sensitive so we still struggle with being around people, scents, paper and printing ink. So we are still not very social and still can't go into places but at least she is eating some things.

I have ACLS this afternoon and am still not ready for it so I have to go prepare. Maybe someday I will get the hang of keeping up with this thing. I have always wanted a diary or journal... practice makes perfect?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sliding downhill

Boy, I sure am not keeping up here. I had wanted to use this as a journal or running commentary on my thoughts but... who can keep track of thoughts when one doesn't write them down? Maybe if I bookmark the site it will prompt me to write. Maybe I just don't have any coherent thoughts? ROFL

It is now summer in Texas. We have had more rain this year than I ever remember in my life! Hard to believe it is June when we keep getting rain! But the grass and the weeds sure are growing .

H is growing too. She has turned 5 and is actually a decent help. =) Guess that I what I have worked and prayed for the past 5 years. She grudgingly swiffers the living room floor to "earn commission" to put into her money jars. Only does it about 2 times weekly as that is all that I have the energy to argue and corral her into doing. And she doesn't really have anything to spend her money on... maybe that is what the game CD's are for in the garage? Good thought there Ellen!

We have slacked off on school this spring, much to my chagrin. I am struggling so much with working, chemicals and allergies that I hardly have the energy to play and read. We are doing lots of exploring outside in the yard with our time outside. We love to take Amy for walks and watch the creek and discuss gravity or water drainage. She also was comparing leaf symmetry today! She loves to watch Cyberchase and they had talked about symmetry in nature last week. Amazing what she can pick up and retain! I am trying to just allow her to learn with day-to-day discussions instead of forcing schooling down her throat. Also helps that she is just now 5 and I feel that we have breathing room. Another HSing friend sent me a link to the 10 things to teach your children before they are 10 years old. The link is I haven't fully explored the page but I liked the idea of simple focus for the beginning years. But the page is anything but simple as it details the 10 areas to teach your child!

Enough for now... perhaps more thoughts later this week?