Posted in Essential Oils, Everyday, Health, Organization, Recipes

DIY Essential Oils Cleaners

Carpet Deodorizer

Empty container (I used an empty parmesan container…washed/dried well)

Baking Soda

10-15 drops of essential oil of your choice (I use purify cause it knocks out the smell of boy)

Mix well.  Shake on carpet before you go to bed to absorb the most smell.  Vacuum in the morning.

 

Room Deodorizer (think Febreze)

Spray bottle (I use those little ones from the travel section at walmart)

10-15 drops of essential oil (again, I use purify.  Be cautious of using lemon oil in a plastic bottle…it should really only be put in a glass or metal bottle)

1/4 c. witch hazel

Water

Pour in your witch hazel.  Fill to almost the top with water.  Add essential oil of your choice.  Shake before using.

 

Furniture Cleaner

Spray bottle

10-15 drops essential oil

1/4 c. vinegar

Water

Pour in your vinegar.  Add water to almost the top.  Add essential oils.  Shake before use.

 

Everyday Cleaner

Large spray bottle

Vinegar

Water

20 drops Essential oils (purify, Frankincense, tea tree, pepperment, etc)

Onguard Concentrate (optional but worth it as an added protection for fighting germs)

Pour 1/2 the bottle with vinegar, add a good squirt (about 2 T. Onguard Concentrate), fill up with water and essential oils (if you have a glass bottle you can use lemon).

 

Posted in Essential Oils, Health, Organization, Recipes, Saving Money

Buy TEA TREE OIL Get PURIFY Free!

Tea Tree retails at $25.33 and Purify retails for $24. Get BOTH for $21.14 (this includes shipping and handling.

Tea Tree: gets rid of zits, stops itching of bug bites, repels bugs and mice, helps with ear pain, also good for cleaning house.

Purify: smells good, eliminates odors (I use it in the kids bathrooms and the boys bedroom), it helps.with ear pain, and I use it in my cleaner.

If you are interested….comment below. Please feel free to share.

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Posted in Everyday, Health, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Once a Month Cooking, Organization, Truth and Honesty

Motivation Monday

This funk has GOT to go….so go it will.  As my Lady always says “pull yourself up and get outta that pit.”  With that being said….I’ve got things to do, places to go, and people to see!

  • Get thank you cards mailed
  • Email G her letter from the kids
  • Make a dentist appt for me and Noah
  • Make dentist appts for the three younger boys
  • Reschedule eye appt.
  • Schedule ACT for Noah
  • Let him drive (insert me vomiting)
  • Pack for Lville and our next drs appt
  • Call dr with update on Hunter
  • Wear makeup
  • Work on Family calendar
  • Pull some homeschooling stuff together
  • Get my letter of intent finished
  • Call OT to cancel appt
  • Reschedule said appt
  • Clean my bedroom
  • Go through and super clean the boys’ rooms cause there is a nasty smell that, frankly, scares me.
  • Call my mama
  • Go see V’s new apartment
  • Set my month’s goals (yes, we are 1/2 way into July but why wait)
  • Start my Bible reading again
  • Clean of and prepare homeschool computers and tablets
  • Read to my baby
  • Finish Freezer cooking
  • Baseball……….Baseball………….and more baseball
  • Go and see my Lady.

This season has sucked.  This year has sucked.  I have not enjoyed any of 2017 and not a whole heck of a lot of enjoyment was had in 2016 LOL.  What holds me together is knowing that known of this surprises Jesus.  He has got all of this.  He has my family.  He knows the beginning from the end.  I just have to buckle in and deal with the twists and turns of the rollercoaster I have been living on for the last year or so.

Time to live.  Time to breathe.  Time for a new season of life.  Time for new beginnings…..this is where Eccl. 3 comes into play.

Ecclesiastes 3 (NLT)

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. 15 What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

Posted in Adoption, Health, Inspirational Thoughts, Medical, Truth and Honesty

The Rogue Zebra Has Been Caught and Named

After almost 2 weeks of being in the hospital and having every single test run on him, we were beginning to feel the effects.  I was blessed by so much.  We had great nurses, attentive doctors…my sister arranged for her friends to bring us food and snacks.   My niece came visited, gave me breaks, brought food and toys.  My daughter came up and brought me coke and toys for the baby.  My uncle’s wife came bearing TONS of food and toys for Hunter.  I was blessed.  We continue to be blessed BUT we wanted a diagnosis.  We wanted answers.

Why was he shaking so violently?

Why were his eyes twitching all over?

Why is he sleeping so much/not sleeping at all?

Why couldn’t he walk?

Why did he scream when I stood him up?

Was he in pain?

Why couldn’t he sit up?

Why did he lean to the left, so bad, that I had to barricade him in?

Why couldn’t he chew/swallow?

Why?  Why?  Why?

I got him in the floor and we went for our daily “let’s make our legs work” walks around the nurses station.  While we were walking, we saw Dr. Sweeney and his team powwowing about our case.  I told them all not to talk to him or make direct eye contact because now, he was terrified of all people in scrubs, with white coats, or stethoscopes.  Everyone just kept on talking and while they were talking, they were watching. We had to walk in between the doctors to get through, so it gave everyone a great idea of who he is progressing or regressing.

Hunter noticed Dr. Sweeney and he stopped and spoke to him.  He told him that he liked him and he needed to come and visit him sometime (cue heart melting)….it took him a while to get that sentence out because his voice quivers and he has to really think about his words before they come out of his mouth.  Dr. Sweeney said that he was on the way and by the time we got to our room, he would be right behind us.

So, we headed back to our room.  We made it to the chairs outside of our room because when we approached our door…he began to cry saying he wanted to go home and not go in there anymore.  Broke my heart.  I didn’t know what to tell him.  We parked outside the room and watched the people walk by to help ease him.

Dr. Sweeney and his crew came up and I told him of his regressions and that by the third high dose steroid, he had stopped tremor-ing so badly, but that he is sort of stalled.  He still struggles with walking and his eyes were everywhere.  With his symptoms list, with his regressions, with his body’s response to the steroids…Dr. Sweeney was completely confidant in diagnosing him.  He said that the entire neuro team had gotten together, that morning, and reviewed everything, and collectively, they came up with this diagnosis.

Hunter has Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome or Dancing Eyes Dancing Feet Syndrome. These are a good set of videos as to how Hunter is right now.  It documents the truncal ataxia, the walking, the rages, fine and gross motor skills.  Click HERE to view them all, if you are interested.  It is INCREDIBLY rare.  There is not enough known about it to have a cure, so this is something he will have for the rest of his life.

3 Ways OMS Can Occur

  • It could have been caused by a neuroblastoma (cancer) that his body recognized.  Once it is recognized as being “foreign”, the body produces B-cells that violently attack the cancer so that it is reabsorbed in the body.  Those “aggressive” B-cells do not just die off after the cancer is reabsorbed…it begins attacking the brain at the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls your body movement) and the frontal lobe (which controls your moods).
  • Idiopathic (meaning it came from a virus)
  • It is a precursor to neuroblastoma (cancer) that can show up with the next few years.

We will be doing MRIs, CT scans, blood work, PET scans and urinalysis often to make sure there is not minute cancer hanging out.  We have had 8 rounds of high dose steroids, 1 round of IVIg immunotherapy, and will have a total of 3 rounds of Rituximab.

So far…we have seen little change.  We have good days and bad days.  We are all adjusting to our new normal and learning life.  I’m thankful to the doctors who heard me and were proactive in finding his diagnosis.  My prayer, of course, is for complete healing.

We are going to try and raise money, at some point, for a therapy dog for him.  We are wanting one for his walker/wheelchair needs and for his anxiety and PTSD in regards to doctors and hospitals.

If you have any questions, or if you child suffers from OMS, do not hesitate to comment here, or you can find me on facebook, instagram, twitter, and pinterest (all links are on the side bar).

Prayers are appreciated.  Fundraiser ideas are appreciated.  Thank you all for hanging in there and keeping up with this little series.  I will post more about this in the future.

 

 

Posted in Everyday, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Truth and Honesty

Happy 83rd Birthday to My Lady

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This is my FAVORITE picture of My Lady.  It was taken 2 years ago after she made a miraculous recovery from her TIAs and her stroke.  She is wearing my absolutely favorite shirt that she owns.  I love her in the color red.

My Lady captured my heart so many years ago.  Her presence is one that demands acknowledgement, in my opinion.  She is tall, regal, beautiful, honest, and she has a smile that lights up any dark spots.  Little did I know that underneath all those worldly attributes was a deep love for her Jesus, her hero (Jerome), her children, her grandchildren, her church, and her community.  She knows everyone and who is related to whom and how to get to, not only their childhood homes, but to every home every person has ever lived in and what job that they held.

She is a master cook of things like Poke Salad, Cornbread, white beans and ham…she knows everything to know about everything in the kitchen and how it relates to health.  She has taught me how to love more deeply.  How to sacrifice without complaining.  How to make decisions when I am confused.  She has held my head in her hands as I have cried over my marriage, my children, and my family.  She prays for me faithfully.  I cannot fully put into words what she means to me and how she has affected me and my life.

I am better for knowing her and being loved by her.  She is my dearest friend, mentor, and confidante.  I wish her circumstances, today, were different than what they are, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she *feels* the love and prayers from everyone around her.

Happy Birthday, my Lady……………

Posted in Adoption, Health, Inspirational Thoughts, Medical, Truth and Honesty

Our Family, Friends, Church, and Community

During the last few weeks…we have seen our family, friends, church body, and community come together to bless our family in a very difficult time.  There is no way I can express how loved we feel and how blessed we are to have complete strangers stand in the gap for us through prayer, financial donations, building a ramp, providing suppers, providing groceries, carting kids around, buying necessities, and so much more.

We are, generally, the givers and doers…the hands and feet of Jesus…so this is all new to us.  This is not the path we would have chosen for our family, but it is what it is and I will not love Jesus any less for this trial we are walking through.  I do not say “why us”…I say “why not us.”   Who better to walk this path than our family.  We are being taught great things.  We are being blessed right and left.

We are humbled by the graciousness and love.  We would love for this illness to just be a season of our lives, but it may be our new way of normal.  We hope that, one day, when we get used to our new life, that we will be able to serve others in the way we have been served.

 

Here is part of the Marshall County Ramp Ministry Team.  What a blessing.

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And here is Ms. Marcella founder of Marcella’s Kitchen.  She and her team of volunteers are an amazing blessing to our family.

Posted in Everyday

Soups Galore

Yes, it is summer.  Yes, it is hotter than Hades.  No, I really do not care.  Soup is my comfort food and I make it all year around.  Now, because of my enormous crew of 7 kids and Big Daddy, I usually always make 2 soups for one night.  Whatever leftovers we have, if we have them, is lunch for the next day.

Green Pepper Soup (can replace the rice with cauliflower rice to make it low carb)

Chicken Noodle Soup (I am making this twice)

Chili (I am making this three times….also I add a 1/2 a block of velveeta cause I can)

Beef Stew

Zuppa Toscana

Tomato, Bacon, and Spinach Soup

Vegetable Soup

Cheeseburger Soup

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Enchilada Soup

Brown up a couple of pounds of ground beef, a green pepper, and an onion.  Season with seasoning mix.  Drain, if needed.  Once drained, add in 10 oz. enchilada sauce, 1 can drained (and rinsed) black beans, 1 can whole kernel corn (drained), 14 oz. diced tomatoes, a block of cream cheese, 2 c. chicken broth (may need to add more water if you think it is too thick), 2 green onions and a slew of cheddar (2 good handfuls).

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I take about 6 potatoes and wash them thoroughly (you can peel them but the nutrients are actually in the skin, so I don’t).  Put them in the pot with about 3 c. of water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes.  Also add seasoning and minced onions.  While I am doing that, I fry up a package (or 2) of bacon OR you can use REAL bacon bits.  Once your potatoes are fork tender, add about a cup of heavy cream (or milk), 1/4 c. sour cream, chopped green onions, crumbled bacon and a splash of that bacon grease.  I also add a can of cream of mushroom soup.  Next, add 2 big handfuls of cheddar.  Taste to see if you need to add anymore seasoning.

Cheese Tortellini and Kielbasa Soup

In 1/2 stick of butter, cut up your kielbasa into bite sized pieces.  Add 1 onion and some minced garlic.  Once that is done, drain if necessary.  Then add about 3 c. of water, 4 chicken bouillon cubes, and some seasoning.  Add in a can of cream of mushroom, 2 c. chopped spinach (or kale), Fresh mushrooms, bacon bits (if desired), 1 c. of heavy cream (or milk), a block of cream cheese, 1/4 c. sour cream, 2 large handfuls of cheddar and your tortellini.  Cook until the tortellini is fork tender.

 

*****This is 7 full meals and a 1/2 a meal*****

Posted in Adoption, Everyday, Medical

Spotting the Zebra Pt 3

Dr. Ehert has been so good to us.  So thorough and she even fielded questions from my sister, Hunter’s grandma.  She really wants us to be discharged to Frazier Rehab, across the street, for an indefinite amount of time.  I just want to go home…even for just a night.  I needed to see my kids, my kids needed to see me and Hunter.  I needed my shower, my bed…just for a few hours.  I declined the offer to go to Frazier and I set up Speech (he had lost some of his speech), Occupational therapy, and physical therapy.  If the doctors were not satisfied with his progress, then we would go.

The Hospitalist said that there were really no more tests to run and that we could go home because A) they had no clue what he had B) there were literally no more tests to run C) I begged.  So, without a diagnosis…..we hustled and got out of the that hospital.  We drove for about 3 hrs and then my phone rang. It was Dr. Ehert.  She said that we left without seeing her.  I explained that we saw Dr. Bhalla (her fellow) and that she cleared us to go.

Then….there was a pause……………

She asked me how far out of Louisville we were.  I told her that I was about 3 hrs from there and a 1/2 hour from home.  She explained to me, so gingerly, that one of his test (1 of about 200) came back positive and that we needed to turn around and get back up there to start steriods.  I asked her how urgent it was and if I could just go home for a bit and she was hesitant.  She said the sooner they start it, the sooner he could get better.  The treatment was to last for 5 days.  She never mentioned a diagnosis but there was definite concern in her voice.  I told her that I was going home, getting a shower, seeing my kids and sleeping in my own bed. I would be happy to leave in the morning and as long as his life was not in danger…that is what I was going to do.  I had to mentally prepare myself to be up there for that long, again.

We got home and it was sweet.  He was so excited to see everyone and everyone was excited to see him.  I jumped in the shower and blew off all that nasty hospital funk.  It was glorious.  I slept so well that night.  About 9 am the next morning, we headed out again.  I felt more prepared.  I knew what to pack and was mentally ready.  We got up there and we were able to bypass the ER and go to quick admitting.  They were expecting us.  We met up with the beloved IV team again and we got an IV started for him and for Superman 🙂  They told me that they were going to give him high doses of steroids for the next 5 days.

Steroids is supposed to make you eat and make you a bit grouchy….I could not get this child to eat anything.  He wouldn’t even eat a cookie.  He did sleep some but it was restless.  After 3 doses of steroids, he was able to stand on his own and  maybe take a step or two.  His tremors lessened.  He voice was not as shaky, but his eyes were everywhere!

Early the next morning, at 1 am, I had finally shut my eyes for a moment and in comes the nurse.  She said that I had a phone call.  My thoughts are “who on earth is calling me, on a nurses cellphone, at 1 am in the morning.”  It was Dr. Puri.  He is a pediatric neurologist and he was calling me from Myrtle Beach.  I asked him why he was calling me while he was on vacation and he said that he wanted to ease my nerves.  He is a phenomenal doctor.  He is well loved, well educated, and he has seen some bizarre things.  He said that there was no worry of MS, which is what I thought he might have (in my medical mind LOL).  He had all the symptoms of that.  He said because no lesions were found, anywhere, that it is highly unlikely that he has this.  He said he believed it to be another autoimmune disease and he assured me that they, as a team, would figure it out.

In comes Dr. Sweeney.  I came close to dismissing him because he looked the age of my son, so I thought that he was a youth volunteer.  He said that the team had assembled and discussed our case.  They wanted to run more tests, but felt pretty confident in the diagnosis.  He basically kicked every other doctor off the case because this was strictly a neuro case and there was no need for a bunch of drs telling me their opinions and interrupting our day when they didn’t need too.  We did another MRI of his brain and spine (with contrast) and another CT scan of his chest, abdomen, and pelvic region.  They knew what they were looking for.  We did a follow up urine test and they “attempted” to draw blood while he was asleep…6 sticks later, they still could not get enough blood.  I put my foot down, at that point and told them that if ANY IVs or blood draws were necessary….ONLY the IV team would do this for me.

Once all these tests came back (normal, I might add)…Dr. Sweeney stopped the steroids (he had had 8 doses of it) and he started him on IVIg (immunotherapy) for about 6 1/2 hrs.  He said when that was finished we could go home.  There was nothing else for them to do or anymore tests, at the moment, that they could do.  I could do the same thing here as they could there.  They did want me to take him to Frazier for a couple of weeks.  I explained that we already had therapy and equipment in place and they were satisfied with that, for now.  We would readdress it when we came back for our follow up appointment.

Dr. Sweeney captured the rogue zebra…..in Pt 4.