Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Updates On The Kiddos

I feel like I have been neglecting my kids in my last few posts. Please don't misunderstand me though because LOTS has been happening here I have just been to sick to keep up with any of it.

Morgan had her piano debut in a little garden area with her fellow music students. Dan taped it so I could watch it when they got home. It's super fast and short so don't blink or you might miss it. She was really nervous but in true Morgan fashion she pushed through that and never missed a note. Before she left the house I told her,"Morgan have fun and even if you mess up smile cause your so cute nobody will even notice when you are smiling through the entire song."

Morgan also officially wrapped up her first year of home schooling and is now a third grader *gulp* I feel myself gasping for air at the very thought that I could possible have a child old enough to be in the third grade. Ugh! Seriously though, we LOVED home schooling and can't wait to bring Ryanne into the fold next year for Kindergarten. We are in the process of tearing down the classroom and revamping it over the summer with new colors and lots of fun stuff. (pictures to follow)

Last but not least Morgan had her swim athon and swam 105 laps earning more than $200 for her team. Whew! So proud of you baby. Sorry I missed it, I know you were grand.

Ryanne is wrapping up pre-k and loving it. She has grown so much and loves her teacher Mrs. Kidd. It's a good thing they go to our church and we are friends or I would be more of a mess than I already will be on the last day of school. It's just hard that we are officially leaving Redlands Christian. We have grown to love that place and what it stands for. Mr. Leenstras love for the kids and his passion to see the school and families there flourish in their daily walks has blessed our family.

Ryanne is also started back up on the starfish swim team again this year and doing great. No screaming and crying like last year. Just smiles and lots of launching off the side to her teachers. :) She is as wild as ever and very much a daddy's girl right now. As I have been on the mend she will stop what she is doing and pray over me to be healed; ahhh my sweet babe. Thank you Lord for a heart that desires to serve you even at the tender age of 4.

Well, that's about it for my updates. Did I mention I can't have corn or orange juice either? If my posts start to get a little testy please let me know as I am sure the detoxing mood swings will show. I mean no tomatoes or any night shade plant. I am Mexican people so you know that means NO Mexican food. I'm protesting as of this very minute. My blog may change from Life Is Good to Living without mexican food and the affects it has on your mood! Any other suggestions for my new blog title are welcome! :) He,heee!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Last three weeks.....................................

Wheeeeewwww.....................................I have wanted to sit and share about my last three weeks but man o' man what a month May has been. I have been sicker than I have EVER been in my entire life. I think it is safe to finally sit and post an update as it's very possible that I am FINALLY on the mend.

The last round of chemo I got was Monday April 27th and lets just say EVERYTHING changed after that day. My body just didn't recover. I kept getting sicker and sicker. I usually feel badly for about 48 hours or so but this was something different. I kept trying to black out, (see previous 911 post) my blood pressure was all over the place, I was running a fever, I was super dehydrated and kept needing bags of IV fluids. I kept getting bladder infections and was so weak I literally couldn't sit at the table to even eat dinner. I was short of breath and having horrible stomach pain. It was like my body was just D-O-N-E! I was so sick of being poked and tested and peeing in cups and having hands and fingers stuck everywhere and yes I mean EVERYWHERE that we (Dan and myself) got desperate and called the Holistic Dr./Nutritionist in Loma Linda that I used to see. Our insurance doesn't cover her and it's very expensive but I was certain if I didn't get help detoxing my body I was going to die. I was really, really scared. I couldn't even stand long enough to make the kids breakfast or drive Ryanne to school or anything. Even showering took to much energy and that's supposed to feel good. I went to see Dr. Wellhausen who now has me on a VERY strict food "lifestyle" and some supplements to clear out the chemo. I am feeling much better although still weak and I have lost some weight from not being able to eat for so long, but am definitely feeling like their is light at the end of the tunnel.

I have made the decision to not go back on the drugs at all and do it all with nutrition and natural things. It's really very difficult to do it this way and takes LOTS of discipline but pray for me cause I know it works if I can keep up with it. Dan and the girls are in huge support and are doing it with me. So here it goes if you want to get really healthy, trim and fit. Oh and its a sure fire way to get to your ideal dress size. :) NO wheat, NO gluten, NO dairy. ALL organic, NO high fructose corn syrup, and NO life. Just kidding about the last one. Well, sort of. I know it sounds crazy but we did it for 2 years faithfully before I fell off the wagon so to speak. If you want more info on this "food life style" let me know and I can help you out; oh I can see the hundreds of comments coming in now dying to join me. I have a feeling it's going to be a long lonely road. :)
Before I log off I want to tell you one other thing I learned this past month; it REALLY does take a village to raise kids. If you don't have one go find one cause one day you will need them.

Thanks to my mom and mother in law for taking turns staying with me so Dan could go back to work.

Thank you Marianne for being such a great friend and neighbor and taking the girls out of the house so much so I could sleep.

Thank you Andrea for taking Ryanne to and from school.

Thank you Bridgette for bringing by the sweet card and book to keep me occupied.

Thank you Joanna, Stacy and Juanita for checking in on me so often and reminding me that you are praying for me and offering to take kiddos and help out.

Thank you Allie for coming by and staying with me and cleaning the kitchen so Dan could get a break.

Thank you to everyone who called, text, stopped by, prayed, added me to prayer chains etc.

Thank you Donna for driving me to the Dr.'s appointments, urgent care etc.

If I missed you I apologize and please know that you are appreciated and part of the "village" that has helped me get back on my feet.

Last but not least thank you Dan for doing the dishes, laundry, making all the healthy meals, driving the girls to piano, swim practice, music recitals, swim-athons, park day, school, for calling Dr's to get answers, driving me to appointments, following the ambulance to the ER, tucking in kiddos, grocery shopping, vacuuming, praying for me, making me laugh when it really wasn't funny and listening to me cry and freak out all the while going to your stressful job that requires so much of you. I Love you!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Please pray.............

Good morning, I am posting to ask that you pray for my friend Aldeana's family this weekend. Aldeana passed away this morning after being unconscious for 4 weeks following surgery. Aldeana was much older than me but played an important role in my life during a difficult season of my life. Aldeana was the wife of a local pastor here who's church hosted the MOPS program I was first part of when Morgan was born. I met Aldeana because she came to every meeting and loved on all us moms who were pulling our hair out with our little ones. She had funny stories, words of encouragement in regards to staying married and also the best hugs. A year or so later I ended up being on the leadership team with her and that proved to be a very important thing for me because that is when my health first started going down hill and Aldeana understood. She had also been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at a young age and was at most times using a walker. She understood my fear, my pain and my freak out moments every time I went to the Dr. and new drugs were introduced. She understood when I felt the need to step down from leadership and hide for a time. Even when we didn't see each other often she would ask others about my health and pray for me. When we did see each other she always asked me about my disease and how I was doing even though she was in obvious pain. She never complained and always had good advice on how to deal with RA all the while being married, raising kids, and working through the Dr's. I know her family will need prayer this weekend as there is going to be a huge void and light missing from their home. Please lift up her husband pastor Don, their kids and the congregation at Yucaipa Christian Church as they have lost a dear friend and mentor. Thank you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Why I Love Living In California...................

Well, for starters I can drive North about 30 minutes or so and be knee deep in thick snow and lush forest ooooorrrrrr I can drive about 45 minutes South and be laying on the beach digging my toes into the warm sand and watching the waves crash. A little to the East? Palm Springs and who doesn't love a little girls shopping trip? Head West up the coast and you are in old farm/wine country. Had I felt better on the drive home last week Dan would have been stopping every mile or so but hence it wasn't to be. Instead I made him stop at these two spots shown below. Now to some it may seem funny to take pictures of mail boxes but to me it was so fun to see 20 mail boxes at the end of this long country road with no homes in sight. Not like the 50 houses you see in the city all piled in top of each other with a big metal box at the end of the road that serves as the mail box. People whizzing by in their cars after work, throwing their key in the lock and grabbing their mail and running off to their homes. In my mind I can so see old men standing at these in their work overalls talking for hours about the weather and their aches and pains. :) Can you see it?

I bet this old barn was something to be reckon with when it was all new and shiny. I just was thinking that I bet it would have lots of stories to tell if the walls could talk. I loved driving through the hills on our way home and not seeing anyone on the roads for miles. I loved all the winery's that were along the road and the smell of the fruit trees growing. So these are just some of the reasons I LOVE California because I can drive a few hours this way or 30 miles that way and feel like I am in a whole new world. Lots to see if you slow down long enough.
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your
steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
Psalm 138:1-3

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Three numbers you NEVER call as a Firemans wife.........

OK so being married to a fireman for the last what? 12 years (not including dating time) I have learned a few things here and there.
For starters:
Your children's injury's are NEVER as bad as they appear so stick a Band-Aid on it and call it a day.

Oh and just because you see cars mangled on the side of the free way it does NOT mean anyone was actually hurt and I quote,"Honey, you would be surprised at what people walk away from."

VERY important next one; when you see the mangled mess of a wreck on the side of the highway DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT rubber neck it and cause another accident, slow down traffic or take out the emergency workers.

Last but not least, DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless you or someone else is dead. That's right, no toothache, my baby won't quit crying, my neighbor just mooned me in his front yard or I can't get the BBQ to light up. (Please remember the city my husband works in when considering these)

So all this is to tell you about my week. It was a a bad week. A rough week. A really scary week, a stressful, anxiety filled week. I started feeling badly last week at the Iron Man race but didn't want to go to a Dr. or ER I didn't know. So Monday as Dan went back to work he asked me to go down to my Dr. to make sure I was OK. I had been feeling light headed and not able to eat for days. I got as far as the check in counter and started to pass out. Oh yes, so graceful. They put me in the urgent care, called Dan and I spent the next 6 hours getting tests run only to be told I was getting an ulcer from the chemo I am on. (Thanks Joanna for picking Ryanne up and taking the girls home with you & mom for coming out and helping for 2 days) I took the Zantac and felt some relief but something still wasn't right. I felt sick every time I took my medications or ate anything. I had a REALLY busy week with no complete relief of pain. Friday Dan took Ryanne to school for me and I took Morgan to run a couple errands for my mom's birthday. It was so God that we ran into Dan in town because after he took Morgan and I started to drive on the freeway I started to black out again. Ohhhhhhhhhhh yeeesssss, 70 miles an hour in the fast lane and then the dreaded 9-1-1 call came into play. I couldn't breath, I was sweaty and weak, and getting blurred vision. I was out of my husbands area but low and behold one of the firemen knew Dan. Great! You gotta' love my train of thinking, who cares about clean underwear when they are working on you I just don't want any of the firemen to know me. UGH! So on the side of the freeway I sat as they got me all hooked up to an IV and in the ambulance. I was so disoriented I don't remember much except that my training as a fireman's wife did come in handy once again because I thought enough to unlock my car doors before they got there so they could get to me when I was found dead! :) After 6 hours in the ER and every test you can think of they are thinking it's the chemo I get every 4 weeks. Poison being pumped into my body? You think!

I can see Gods hand in the entire day and how he blessed me. I had an amazing fire crew who knew Dan and loved their fellow firefighters wife. They even took my car for me so it wouldn't get ripped off on the freeway. I ran into Dan just 30 minutes before all this happened otherwise I would have had kiddos in the car. Very scary! Dan had just bought me a book on celiac disease by Elizabeth Hasselhoff (Christian anchor on the VIEW, also on survivor season 2) we had been talking about going back to all natural foods again with no wheat or dairy and try to ditch the chemo. It so happens Elizabeth has celiac and when Dan gave me the book on Saturday I looked and I have every single symptom so now we are going to request the right blood work for that tomorrow. I had an AMAZING nurse in the ER and the Dr. knew Dan. They took me to the hospital I go to instead of the closest one and they rarely drive 40 minutes to take you where you want in an emergency. My friend Marianne was able to track Dan down and take our girls so he could race down the hill. (thank you my sweet friend) You see the list goes on and on in the ways God had his hand on me that day. I got up this morning encouraged that I have good Dr.'s who will get to the bottom of this and also a family who will eat healthy and give things up for my healths sake. Its a big sacrifice to eat raw, whole foods, no dairy, no wheat no gluten! I prayed today that as long as I am here God would use me and make me a living, joyful testimony to his grace and mercy. Have a blessed mother's day and remember NO rubber necking it could be me on the side of the road! :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We loaded the kids up in the motor home and headed up to central California so Dan and his friend could compete in the Wild Flower half Iron Man. It was their first and they finished and did great. We spent four days with the girls in pouring rain, hot sun and at the beach. Good times! After all the sore muscles have healed and the bikes are fixed back up I have a feeling we are heading to Utah for the Iron Man next year. I'll keep you posted. Good job Dan and Joey, we are all proud of you and loved tagging along to cheer you on.

Here is a quick video of our four days. I am still figuring it all out so forgive the random order of it all. ;)