Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AGAIN???

I shared about our Easter weekend over on my stroke blog. I'll let you catch up with the details there. In other news, it has already been an eventful Resurrection Week in our home...
 


Yesterday afternoon I posted to Facebook:
I'm just home from the emergency room. Our daughter, already in a cast and on crutches for a broken foot, fell at school first thing this morning. She landed on her wrist and either sprained in badly and/or broke it. All the medical staff to examine her today indicated their belief it was broken, but x-rays came back with no obvious break, so she is in a cast-like splint, sling, and in a wheel chair since she still can't put weight on her broken foot and can no longer manage crutches with her wrist! This is a big testing week at school but she can't even hold a pencil right now! We have another round of x-rays in a week! (I promise, I'm not that good (or crazy!) of a fiction writer, so this is real!!!)

Just since my strokes, she has had 2 confirmed breaks (feet, both times, though she has previously broken each arm and had a couple of really bad sprains as well), her foot in a walking boot for another near-break, bad sprain, and now whatever this turns out to be! *sigh* Pictures coming if I can figure out how to get them off my phone. Tomorrow will hopefully be spent caring for emergency testing intervention with the school as she only has 10 more days to make up this week's testing!

 
As a fun side note, I found 2 hats within the past couple weeks, including one on an after-Easter Target clearance today, and spent a total of $2.50 for both of them! :D


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Q and A


My friend Kendra (I don't remember if I ever knew you lived in the Philippines. Seems like new information to me! I lived there from 18 months to 3 years and I don't remember much, but is my very first memory too!) gave me a blogger award with these rules:
 
    1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and answer the questions they presented.
    2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
    3. Copy & paste the pink Liebster Award logo to your blog.
    4. Nominate 5 blogs to receive the award who have less than 3,000 followers. Create a new list of 11 questions for them.
    5. Inform them of their nomination.
    So here goes.
     The questions I answered:
     
    1- If you were a food, what would you be? - probably fajitas, maybe chow mein or cinnamon rolls
     
    2- What breed of dog do you love most, if at all? - cat person here ;)
     
    3- When pressed, what is your go-to meal? - grilled chicken
     
    4- What was the last book you read? - currently reading "Queen Esther's Secrets to Womanhood" by Ginger Garrett, last finished book, Amish novel "The Promise Box" by Tricia Goyer
     
    5- Have you ever "put a sock" on your dominant hand and tried to live a day using only your non dominant hand? - no sock, since my non-dominate hand is my primarily stroked one, so I would be totally helpless if I "socked" my "good" hand too!
     
    6- If you could take a dream vacation, where would it be? - Probably Ireland (just with hubby) or Disneyworld (with family), but I would love to make it to Israel someday too!
     
    7- What is your favorite tv show? - Was Home Makeover
     
    8- What do you think of eating Moose!? - Bet it taste good, I think the closest I've ever come is Elk
     
    9- Have you ever been to Disneyworld? - nope, Land yes, World no
     
    10- Who is your favorite cartoon character? Pooh Bear, Dorie the fish, minions
     
    11- Coffee or Tea? tea, please!
Now onto the steps, nominations and new questions:

-2 Thank you, Kendra! Her blog is http://queenofbrusselsprouts.blogspot.com/ and I just love her to pieces (and know you will love her fantastic food ideas too).
 
3-

4- 5
 
My nominations are:
Lynn at Let All Creation Sing
Andrea from Persist Without Exception (neat interview about the author here)
(Denise, you were originally on my list too, but I guess Kendra beat me to you!)
 
My questions for these ladies:
1 Favorite book (and why)?
2 Any pets?
3 Biggest blessing? Biggest challenge?
4 Favorite desert?
5 Most interesting travels?
6 Greatest dream?
7 Favorite color and why?
8 What would you change about where you live? (i.e., more mountains, closer to the beach, more rural, etc.)
9 Are you a keeper/collector/clutter gal, or is simple sweeter?
10 Favorite Bible verse(s) and why?
11 Besides Jesus, who, living or dead, that you don't usually spend time with, would you like to spend an hour talking to (and why)?
 
-----------------------
I've been pretty dizzy this week, but tonight is the last dose of the medication I think is responsible, so hopefully soon I'll become more functional again!

Last night was a rough night for the family, homework wise. Rick was at a meeting and I'm at about 2nd grade level, academically, so there at least half a dozen different times when I had a child in tears. We ended sending everyone to bed around 10 PM, two still without having finished today's assignments. For the most part, this charter school thing has really been the best option for our family this year, but days like these I feel my losses and deficits so very profoundly!

A few more current updates are at Stroke Of Grace if you care to read more news. :) 
 
 
 
One more question I have? What exactly IS a Liebster award? I'm guessing maybe it was started by a woman named Libby??? Anyone know?
(Edited to add that Lynn researched for me. This is all that was found. Basically it just sounds like a fun way to let your readers know of other great blogs you read.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

give-away time!

 
So yes, I really am asking for shares! (OK, I'll take lots of hugs too, if you insist.) If you could please pass around my Stroke Of Grace blog and help people find me, I'm really working hard to expand my audience before I start presenting book proposals to publishes again, so it would help me a ton if you click on the blue "Join This Site" button (Google Friend Connect) on the right side bar, of that page. Thanks! You might even win these earrings (pictured below) if you join my membership drive contest this week. :)
 
http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2014/02/28-month-giveaway.html
 

Monday, January 27, 2014

World A-spinnin' So Fast!

It's been a busy birthday month at our house. Our oldest turned 14 a few days before Christmas (my mom had a birthday and kidney stone emergency room trip a few days before that), my mom had surgery in early January (yes, I just had 3 emergency room trips and the same emergency surgery in November and earlier in December!), then our Little Bear turned 8 last week and his sister turned 11 this weekend.


Now we seem to be passing a tummy bug around the family. I just rescheduled today's MRI for Valentine's Day because I told them they don't want me bringing these germs to their office. Thankfully, this just seems to be a 12-24 hour thing, so I am hopeful that tomorrow will remain as currently scheduled. (One can dream anyway, right?) So much for my neurologist's warning to avoid illness at all costs because it might set me back so hard. :(



Looking back through the past few months of posts, the most widely read one has been my thoughts on Christian women and head coverings. Our infertility and pregnancy / adoption loss story, The Family That God Built, also has had a bit of traffic (though not as much as I expected for such an amazing, shout-it-from-the-rooftops God story)! My one word for 2014 seemed to get a few people thinking. My 2 year, 3 month stroke update has had a few reads but not many comments. I love comments! *hint - hint* ;)


The main reason I'm posting today is to tell you about an exciting Facebook group Shelly Hendricks and I get to host today through this April. We feel so blessed to have been members of various (in)courager groups (an outreach of DaySpring) over the past months (that's pretty much how we met, or at least how a brief acquaintance and casual interaction turned into deep friendship). This season we can't wait to have you join us in community and belonging and friendship as well! Come on over and be encouraged.

Whether your need is a small group of women seeking God through chronic illness. Shelly and I be thrilled to welcome you into the HOPE group, but maybe you would feel more comfortable in any of the other small families such as infertility, adoption, special needs, any stage of motherhood (including prodigal and adult children as well as brand new and all stages in between), singleness, marriage, professional, stay-at-home, structured Bible study, just hang out, teachers (at home or in a classroom), writers, artists and more! Basically, if you are a woman, with an interest in knowing God more, there is a group for you! My biggest problem was choosing just one part of my life to focus on right now, as there are so many, many amazing choices!

The online support culminates the last weekend of April with a chance (no one will twist your arm to try to make you attend, but you may realize you really want to by then!) to attend a local get together of the (in)RealLife conference, thousands of women, around the globe, gathering 2, 3, 10, 12 at a time, and getting to watch a few short videos with other local Christian woman from all walks of life. Tearing down the denominational, social and other barriers that keep us apart and simply learning to love one another.

We need the blessing of you in community with us. And even if you don't know it yet, even if you are an introverted personality and the idea of sharing in someone else's journey terrifies or intimidates you and you can't imagine (*gasp*) sharing any piece of your own heart, you need community more than you realize. Please at least give us a try. We don't bite (too hard, anyway ;) ), I promise!



Taking an abrupt turn in subject matter, may I bother you once again to ask for your support? I have been nominated as a WEGO  Health Activist (a pretty big deal, actually) and am humbled and thrilled by the initial nomination. However, they are asking for additional endorsements (think website "votes") of my nomination. You may vote daily. The highest three number of endorsements in each category are then considered for final winner selection, so any further progress I make is up to you all here. To vote, go to https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/jenni-767 then down arrow to the purple "endorse" button on the right, below my picture. Click the button. They may ask for your email address and that will be it. You may come again tomorrow (and the day after that, and the day after that...) if you really want to help my numbers. :) Thanks so much! You are also welcome to click on the blue button on the left side of the screen if you want to leave a comment about your reason for nomination.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year

I survived my kidney stone and life is returning to a somewhat normal routine, other than the fact that my mom now has 3 kidney stones and is scheduled for surgery on the 9th! Life is never dull!
 
 
A new year ahead of us. This is my new word of the year and why.
 
 
  
I'm running a Pampered Chef party for the next week, to help a friend. Please feel free to join us!
 


A dear friend of mine, Holley Gerth, is launching a new blogging challenge every Wednesday this year called Coffee for Your Heart. I don't want to make this a priority over the book I hope to submit to a publisher this year, but I am hoping to do a few of these, probably mostly here at InfertilityMom but maybe a few over on Stroke of Grace.

 
As we close out one year and head into the next, I want to say that the biggest blessing, thus far, to come from these strokes has been some beautiful friendships, both brand new and deepened ones. At first it seemed the strokes had taken away or weakened a lot of close relationships in my life. This week I've been reflecting on new and deeper friendships God has blessed me with since and directly because of the strokes! To so many, thank you!!!


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Family That God Built

I wrote up this little re-introduction for an infertility support group I used to be involved with (if you were ever part of Ladies In Waiting before the merger with Hannah's Prayer and the message boards, we would be delighted to have you join our reunion group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/29821283957/ ) too! I wanted to share it herel, but first, since nearly everyone that has posted there so far, are also now "InfertilityMom"s, I recently shared,

"Praise the Lord to see how many children he has added to so many families here, by births, adoptions, or some combination. What a testimony from this infertile flock to attest to God's overwhelming grace! But what of the equally amazing grace stories that haven't really been told yet here? Any old LIWs willing to share if you are still waiting or God has closed the doors??? We would love to celebrate with you God's sustaining grace and how He has uniquely woven your story and continues to walk with you. Please share!"

Without further ado, here's our family's miracle story:

Julie Donahue started LIW (online) about the time I started HP (offline). In 1996 I began venturing more into the online world, via my husband's encouragement. Julie, who had pretty much just been only on AOL, found me on a (non-AOL) public infertility message board, we got to know each other, realized were lived only a few hours apart, John and Julie drove up to meet us, I joined LIW, Julie eventually suggested a ministry merge (HP had the legal structure and LIW had the multi-issue vision and network). A couple years later that what God led us to do!

Rick and I got married in 1992 and started TTC pretty much right away. Within that first year I was already seeing an "infertility specialist" (ob/gyn with an interest in infertility, I didn't even know what an RE was!) and was on Clomid. After about 18 months of progressively stronger doses of Clomid, (yes, 3 times more than they now suggest as a lifetime cap for number of cycles on this medication!) we stopped the drug because insurance wouldn't go any further and we were told I was allergic to Rick's sperm so would never get pregnant without at least IUI.
In a rebound effect after stopping all that Clomid (even though I rarely ever ovulated on it), I ovulated and got pregnant in early December, 1994. I miscarried just after Christmas day (first negative test on the 24th, so went through Christmas suspecting trouble). Noel Alexis, our Christmas Minister of Needs, because she addressed the need to become parents, even though she did not stay here.

 "Big J." was conceived on injectables, Metformin and via IUI after our first try resulted in hyperstimulation and a forced cycle sidelined while I recovered. He was born, full term, but tiny (4 pounds 13 ounces) just before Christmas, 1999, coming home on Christmas Eve! Early testing indicated that he was likely a twin, but I cannot let my heart go there.

Seven serious adoption leads (never a bring-home child for us), prior to J., but as far as we know, there were no more pregnancies over the next 4+ years prior to his birth (between him and Noel). Two more (natural conception!) pregnancies/miscarriages around his first birthday (Joel Samuel, then Hannah Rose who was due on J's second birthday) then no pregnancies again for over a year. We were working with an agency about adopting a daughter from China at this point and I was daily praying for "Ruth and her birthmom." Little did we know how God was already planning to answer those prayers...

"Princess R." was born (after high risk pregnancy and bedrest starting at 25 weeks) in January, 2003, after I had been told I could not ever get pregnant again (less than 5% chance even with medical aid) and if I somehow managed, I would absolutely NOT carry another baby to live birth. I was on Metformin when we conceived her a few months after the 3 1/2 hour laparoscopy that had delivered this news just a few months before! Otherwise, it was "natural" conception and she was my biggest (6 pounds, 5 ounces) and longest carried baby.

After two year of pretty brutal post partum depression (in part triggered by God's redirection from adoption to another bio baby when I had done so much to relinquish the dream of pregnancy to God), I started getting a baby itch again. Rick was not interested because he had seen how hard the last pregnancy had been on me, both physically and emotionally, so we were actually trying to prevent pregnancy for the first season in our entire marriage. Once again, our plans must have made God laugh, because Little J. (who put me on bedrest at just 19 weeks!) came a month early, January 2006, and came home on R's 3rd birthday! It is then that I really realized how much PPD had impacted my first 2 years with R., as God very much used J. to restore joy and laughter to our home. God's surprises are amazing. I joyfully call J. our "bonus baby."

When I had a semi-emergency hysterectomy the fall before J.'s3rd birthday, I knew God was absolutely closing the door to more biological children, but I held onto the dream/hope that we still might adopt some day. After my strokes, 2 years ago, this door is firmly closed as well. I still have twinges of desire and "could-have-been" moments, but overall I am content with the knowledge that we are truly finished. It was a long road, but after 7 years of no bring home babies, I'm still in awe that we are blessed with THREE today. They are "perfectly spaced" at almost exactly 3 years apart each time and I laugh and frequently comment, even still, that no one would ever guess we were infertile just by looking at our family!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reformed Heart

From Facebook
Two years ago I was in the hospital, not even aware of October passing into November.

Last year I was home but don't really remember the date (other than to tell you that my creative kids came up with the idea of doing black eyes with make up and wearing white t-shirts with the letter P on them, so they were 3 "black-eyed peas").  It was probably a pretty normal homeschool day otherwise. I would guess we spent that evening with my parents since this is the general tradition for our family.

This year my kids are in public school for the first time and Oct. 31 is a BIG deal there, with parties and a festival to plan and costumes and all. Last night I tried to curl our daughter's hair to go with her Merida (from Brave) dress we had been given. We watch a tutorial on using drinking straws to make Merida's wild ringlets. I was frustrated that I didn't have the hand dexterity to even do one last night, so my husband stepped in. Looks adorable though! Our little guy has a thrift store muscle costume and is going as batman. We will spend the evening playing games with Nana and Grandpa tonight. :)

Facebook
Halloween has always been my least favorite day of the year (other than that it was my childhood best friend's birthday). Much to my surprise, I'm finding that it no longer bothers me much because it is so fake compared to the truth of God' glory! I even carved a pumpkin this year. I couldn't seem to get a creative image (right side, artistic, brain damage) but carved the word "LIGHT" in block letters (and did a great job, if I do say so myself!) and told my husband, "Light shines in darkness." He smiled, looked a little in awe, and nodded, "Yes. Yes it does."

So today I celebrate this day the Lord has made and instead of hiding and wishing for the day to pass quickly, I rejoice in how the day was redeemed for His glory when Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the door of the church establishment that was getting too caught up in "earning" salvation rather than grace and Christ alone. Happy Reformation Day!

From Facebook