Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a talk with the doc

I saw my family doctor today, you know, good ole Doc Godfrey (he's not really old, actually quite young....scary~) Anyway, he and I had a little chat about lupus. Nothing too important especially since he doesn't know that much about it (except that he did say not to take ibuprofen since it can cause stomach bleeding and reduce platelets ...and I don't have any of those to spare!), but I told him that I had been reading some blogs written by people with lupus. Most of those people...SCARE ME! Seriously, they are not happy, AT ALL.  I certainly don't want to feel like that. 

But, we did talk about the fact that lupus is many different things and looks differently on everyone. It's like a BIG mystery since some people have major problems, and some just a rash. I have experienced what some of them spoke of because I am asked all the time if I am feeling better. I don't know.....I never really felt BAD per se....just VERY, VERY TIRED much of the time. I mean a bone-weary tired. So, it's kinda hard for me to answer that question. I may feel up to going  all day one day, and the next be exhausted and in pain. So, while I don't look sick, I am. While I try not to act sick, I am. I am seriously trying to stop thinking about it...I just want to LIVE WELL and enjoy my life. I have no intention of letting this beat me. Hence, the following song.....I will not be lupus! I may put up with, but God will continue to design my life and define who I am.

I will change your name.
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast, lonely or afraid.

I will change your name.
Your new name will be
Confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one,
Faithfulness, friend of God, one who seeks my face.
Not sure who to credit for the song, so if you know...let me know!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter pics

He is Risen!

Easter...what exactly does it mean? It means that Christ, perfect in every sense of the word, loved me. The important part about Easter is not his horrific death or the injustice of it all, it's that HE IS RISEN! He did what NO man before or since has ever done. He conquered death. and why? For me. Simple. But this fact isn't just important on Easter, it's important every day. Do you love Him? I know of a lot of you would say yes, but your lives reflect a very different answer. Think about it.

If  you can watch this video and not tear up because you know the truth, then either 1) you have moved so far away from God that you no longer understand His significance in your life or 2) you simply don't know Him. However, the wonderful part is that He is not hard to find. The Bible says "to knock and the door shall be opened unto you....seek and you will find." If you've lost that joy you once felt or if you have NO idea what kind of peace and joy of which I speak, just knock....He'll answer because,

He is Risen!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lupus awareness

In order to raise awareness for lupus, a disease that is rarely understood and often misdiagnosed, I have decided to participate in the Walk for lupus now event on April 30. Since I decided so late to participate (I only found it tonight!), my goal is just $100. Let's meet and exceed that, you guys! I need a cure, and so do the many many others who suffer with this disease. Just click the thermometer and it will take you to my page to donate.


more mountain pics

This was the name of our cabin
the view from the front porch

exactly what Steve calls a vacation

my new car

front of the cabin

Monday, April 18, 2011

ideas for saving money

I am all about saving some money and finding deals, and thought I'd share some of them with you. If you have used these, let me know how you liked them or if they worked for you!

The first thing I found was a website called Mr. Rebates. I have started shopping online more lately, and if I can find what I'm looking for or the store I'm looking for through Mr. Rebates, then I link to it through there. Then, simply by making purchases, I earn rebates. Each store is different in the amount that you can earn, and I haven't requested my check yet so we shall see. I plan to let my account build up and closer to Christmas request my check. So far, I am up to like $15. You get $5 just for joining.

The next several all of you have probably already heard of, but I did learn something about one of them today. Groupon: Love this one, it's been all over facebook, so I am sure you've heard about it. BUT, I just found out that you can get to Groupon through Mr. Rebates so you can not only get a deal, you can earn money on it too!

Living Social is just like Groupon only they also do getaways. They have had some great deals on their getaway page, and if I could just talk Steve into staying at a B&B, we might take advantage of some of them.

My City Mommy puts all kinds of deals in one spot! If you are a couponer (which I am about to have to be!), then this is definitely the place for you. Each week, this site takes the weekly ads and pairs them with the coupons available and tells you where to get the coupons. I like the ones you can just print off of the internet. I am starting to get a little more interested in the coupons, but they take a lot of time if you want to do it right. However, this site takes a lot of the work out of it for you! The site also tells you where to find restaurant deals, retail deals, and freebies.

Daily Steals gives several deals a day that are generally great prices. Fridays are free shipping days, but of course, I haven't found a thing on their site on a Friday that I wanted! I have ordered from them several times and have been VERY pleased with their customer service and the quality of the products. For example, I got a watch that sells in stores for $15-$25 for $2.99 plus shipping and it was EXACTLY like the one I wanted.

Restaurant.com Have you tried this site? I have used it several times. When Steve and I went to the mountains last week, I ordered a gift certificate (they are all electronic) from here for a restaurant in Gatlinburg. I got a $25 gc for $5, and the food was TERRIFIC. Honestly, if the food had been horrible, we'd been out $5 so it wasn't a huge risk to try it! There are conditions...like they add the gratuity to the bill and you generally have to spend a minimum. The gc cannot be reused so you have to use it all. We got so much food that we both ate and then Steve had leftovers for dinner that night. Best thing? Link to them through Mr. Rebates, and get a 25% rebate on your purchase. My city mommy always has the latest code you need to get the gc for the best price!

Cardpool  I've only used these guys one time, and I found them through...you guessed it.....Mr. Rebates! They sell gc at discounted rates. They also buy gc that you may not want. For example, I purchased a $25 Gamestop gc for $22.50 so I saved 10%. I also will be getting a 1% rebate (which is not that great!), but I'll take it. I was curious about their buying program, so I did an experiment to see what you get for selling a gc to them. You can sell them for three different options of payment....cash, amazon gc, or cardpool gc. They were willing to purchase a $25 American Eagle gc for 19.29 for cash and 19.95 for amazon. I didn't try the other option because I didn't really have anything to sell. I believe that their inventory was low because it seemed as though the selection was low. Some of the "gift cards" are actually merchandise credits so you couldn't use those for gifts, but if you were going to shop somewhere, you could save some money.

Homeaway is the last one for now. If you like accommodations that are not the typical hotel room, you can rent from owners and save some of the ridiculous middle-man fees. We did this when we went to the mountains, and saved a ton of money.

Hope these help, and if you have others, please share!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nick Vujicic

We had the privilege of hearing Nick speak at a youth conference last year. His story is amazing, and the strength and grace with which he lives his life is inspiring. As I listened to him talk, I thought about how incredible his parents were to raise a child with such adversity who believes in himself.

Life Without Limits is Nick's story. He tells it using humor and interesting antidotes. I enjoyed reading his story and looking at the pictures included. This book is fairly well-written, and gives the reader the sense that Nick really has something special about him.

This book is a good read for anyone caught in struggles that they can't see a way out of. His words will give encouragement to the down-trodden, and will give a lift to those who don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Nick uses common sense allowing for the fact that sometimes life is simply not fair, but that circumstances can be overcome.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

3 words

So, the bully strikes again....only this time he brought my hubby into it (via email and some not so great word choices), and that is just not good. So, I decided that he needs some advice! And, I feel the need to give him some----all with three words!
  1. Get a job!
  2. Get a hobby
  3. stop smoking weed
  4. leave us alone
  5. buy a dictionary
Now, originally I had about 10 pieces of advice to give him, but some late-breaking developments have caused me to shorten the list. Read the last one carefully, and see if you can figure it out.....it's a funny!

#6-10:  orange jumpsuits are not a good look for anyone

Monday, April 11, 2011

is there a post in here?

I swear I have so many things going on in my mind right now that if I tried (and believe me, I have tried!) to put just one thing down on the screen in the hopes of composing a coherent post, the result would be you gouging your eyes out! I have formed many posts in my mind over the past couple of days.....but, people, MY MIND IS A SCARY AND DARK PLACE right now!

I thank the Lord for laughter, and that He provided it through a phone call tonight! Whew....Tracy, I needed that!

I am ready to be at home with my kiddos. I didn't get to see them nearly long enough before we left, and I am missing them! I am ready to go back to work, too. We are headed home tomorrow with the probability that Steve at least will be back down here next week. We  did find a rehab facility for his mom today. It's very nice, but she can basically only stay 20 days. After that? Who knows. Medicare pays 80% starting on the 21st day and the balance is 141 dollars a day up to 100 days. HMMMMMMM............so, in doing the math, I suggest she get well and FAST! Not sure yet what we will do with his dad since he really is not able to stay alone. So many decisions.....we need to spend a great deal of time in prayer!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

cabin in the mts

Steve and I took advantage of the kids going to Orlando, and came up to the TN mountains for a little R&R. With everything that we've had going on lately with my lupus, we felt like we needed some time to reconnect. The cabin is wonderful! Pics of the outside tomorrow!!

children say the darndest things! and other updates

Here's a conversation that I had in children's church on Sunday. We are talking about Moses, and the sheet they were coloring said, "I am the I am." Of course, we know that "I am" is God, BUT.....

Me: "Our sheet says, "I am the I am". Does anyone know who that is?

Olivia: Sam! (you know, like Sam, I am! in Dr. Seuss)


doctor update:

went to see Dr, Neimer in Charleston Friday and he

1) upped my lupus meds
2) took some blood work which I haven't heard back from
3) had me buy some over the counter stuff called CoQ10 which is for pain, looks like huge termites, and I have to take 3 of them
4) took me off the effexior which helps with hot flashes, but was compounding the exhaustion problem
5) gave me an anti-depressant/chronic pain med which was to help me sleep and Oh, boy....won't be taking those when I need to work or do anything else productive the next day!!

I did feel NORMAL for the first time in months today. We'll see about tomorrow when it comes!

update on bully problem:

Our band director was re-instated (long story...won't bore you with details) and we haven't heard from the bully. We are wondering if his head exploded! hahaha....I know, I shouldn't make fun!

Friday, April 1, 2011


bullying.....it's becoming or actually, has already become, a buzzword in the media and at schools. All one has to do is just mention that their child is being bullying and everyone stands to attention. Now, nobody wants any child to be picked on, mind you.....especially not me, but a lot of times the one crying foul is the one who instigates the trouble!

We've all encountered bullies......at school, at work, at church, in the store.....they're everywhere. They want their way, RIGHT NOW, and they try to intimidate those around them to get it. They all share one common trait, though, and that is they generally back down when confronted.

In our lives, right now, we have a bully in our midst. He wants what he wants and doesn't care who he hurts in the process. Unfortunately, he's hurt a lot of people, most of them kids....even his own.....with his intimidation tactics and unwillingness to try to cooperate. It's really a shame.

We've tried praying for him, being nice to him, and trying to rationalize with him to no avail. We are at our wits end. There seems to be no easy way to deal with him, and the sad thing is that "bullying" is the word he started crying when he set out on this path of destruction. His kid was being "bullied". HA!

I am not a patient person, and my patience has run out. So, my question is....how can we avoid destructive speech and how can we work together to ward off those who want to tear apart a group? I went to the Bible to look for answers, and this is what I found:

  • In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant. Ps. 143:12
  • But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matt. 5:44
  • "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, Luke 6:27
  • But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35
 Now, let me tell ya! When I read that first verse, I thought, Yeah! destroy him!! BUT, then I read the rest of the verses and especially the last part of Luke 6:35 which truly spoke to me. Jesus Christ is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. We can't stop praying and loving just because this guy doesn't take to our ideas. I can't expect my son who has been hurt throughout this process to love this kid if I don't love his father (and right now, I'm still working on it!).

Oh...even after reading and contemplating, I am still angry. I will have to allow the Lord to take the anger from me.....but I won't stop praying for this guy and his family (who probably need our prayers) just because he continues on his path of destruction. I've said all year that I'd love to see a miracle happen and this family come to know the ONE TRUE GOD. But, how will they ever, if we don't show them?

Funny how I started this post expecting it to be a complete rant about someone who makes me ANGRY....and am ending it no longer that upset. God sees the future. He knows what is best for Luke and his musical conquests....so I know that if Steve and I continue to seek the face of God in this matter, that He will guide us through. One man, especially not a servant of Satan (because if we are not for God, we are against Him), can come between God's plan and His people. And, if you don't believe me just ask Pilate or Pharaoh!