Thursday, March 19, 2015

Saint Patricks Day Crop - 3/14/15

Spent the day with Marian, Kathy and Marie  cropping.  It had been a long time since I have done this.  It was a very enjoyable time.  Though I left about 9:00 - I actually stayed all day.  I worked on my Heidi Swap binders and continued on my Year 51 Project Life Album

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My New Normal......................

Shortly after returning home from Inspiration Unlimited in 2013, things began to change in our household and no one was ready.   In November, 2013 began the sequence of my biggest fears.  I was rushing my mom to the hospital with excruciating pains on her right side.   Because it was Veterans Day, Jodi did not have her work program - so I had no other choice but to drop off my mom at the ER and go home with Jodi.
The day was so long, my brother went to the hospital but I needed to be with my sister - that is what was going to matter most to my mom.  I had a feeling that she would be admitted and she was.  In fact she would be having surgery in the morning.  I began to see my life, how this was going to be for me and for Jodi.  We were alone and though immediate family knew what was happening, no one felt the need to come by and sit with Jo so that I could go the hospital.  It was very eye opening and I realized that I need to be ready.  Mom came home the next day after surgery and we knew that February there would be another surgery and we were getting ready for that.
In the meantime Jodi started having medical issues. She was falling a lot and was losing her strength.  Dr's could not figure out what was going on so we pressed on.   Mom had her procedure in February which led to an averse reaction and a whole new set of problems arose.  Jodi continued to get worse.  Mom got better and Jodi got worse.
Easter Sunday 2014,  we cancelled our dinner plans.  We cancelled everything!!!  Actually Jodi's Easter Basket is still sitting in the garage - unopened :(   Jodi was unstable, not able to walk without assistance and she was not doing well so off we went to the emergency room.   Trying to convey to Dr's what is wrong when she can't tell you is difficult.  We had the first Dr and he was great, he heard everything we said and knew what to do but he went off shift and we got a new Dr.  She undid the previous Dr's orders and changed everything.   We didn't realize it till it was too late and ugh what a mess.   They admitted Jodi for further tests.  So here is another worst fear, we didn't ever want to be in this position and this is where we were.  Tests were inconclusive and on Monday night my sweet baby sister became afraid, anytime any medical staff would approach her, she would sob.   I have never seen her do that - she just sobbed.   Well big sister mode kicked into high gear and I held onto her and we left the hospital that night because of the Dr who went in her own direction we knew that they weren't hearing us and we would follow up with her Dr.
We got Jo home and in the house - which was difficult because she was still a bit drugged.   Because the stairs were such an issue and her foot was still turned in, we chose to set her up on the couch.   A couple days later she was able to go upstairs to bed but only a couple more days because we were too afraid she was going to fall.   I was impressed she sat down and scooted on her butt, she figured that all out on her own.
We went to her Dr and they did x-rays.  No one can figure out why her foot is turning the reality is she needed surgery to fix it.   But before that she took a turn for the worse and we are heading back to the hospital - this time in an ambulance. Eight days in the hospital followed by 8 days in rehab hospital - she came home.  Unfortunately she was in worse shape then when we started this mess.  Now this girl is in a wheelchair and losing strength along with muscle mass and no one knows why.   We moved things around downstairs and moved her bedroom down.
She had surgery on Achilles Tendon.   We had hoped that strengthening her tendon would make her foot straight and then her mobility would improve. Though she can stand for short periods of time, she can't walk.  We are trying to get her moving but it is not easy.  Her Dr's are OK if she stays in the wheelchair.
We went through so many of our worst fears this last year and we have survived them.  Our new normal isn't anything like it was a year ago.  Jodi is in a wheelchair and 100% dependent on mom and I.   One of us is with her always.  Unfortunately my time has diminished.   I don't have the time to craft and create like I used to.   I am no longer teaching and miss it.  Each day things are handled in order of importance  or urgency and that means that fun things are done later or never.   It is what it is.   God put Jodi in our lives for a reason and He knows that to the best of our being we will always take care of her.   I just have to trust in Him and know that He will make this journey as easy as possible..
Though we have had each other, there have been a few friends who have offered support/ help and we appreciate all the offers, other family members have not been there to give a hand.   It has been very sad for us to watch and realize this.   It has shown me that when mom is gone that it will be just Jodi and I.  That scares me because I know that she needs me to care for her.   This past year has taught me a lot and with knowledge comes power.   So this is our new normal - time to adjust!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Creating Custom Canvas'

This past year, I have had a great time working with canvas' to create special treats for my family and friends.   Here a few that I have done so far and I am just getting started.

Creating with Project Life

After losing everything that I thought mattered, getting divorced and so on, I decided that I needed to focus on good things and document my new life.   So on my 51st birthday I began a Project Life Album to document Year 51.   Though I am only half done with it, I have all the journal notes and photos ready to go to finish the album.   I made a record on my IPhone and documented each week / day.    It was a great way to document my new world and not dwell on my old world.
Here is a sample of my "Year 51" Project Life Album

With this album ending in May, I started a mini album to go through the summer till the day I left on a plane for Las Vegas for Inspiration Unlimited.   It made a great difference for me to find something each day to be happy for.

I am really enjoying the process in creating these albums.  They make me see all the great things in my life and I am so thankful for them all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Not Strong Enough

Tonight as I sit here, I wonder what this world would be like without me.  Would it be all that different.  What impact have I made?   The reality is, I don't know but I am beyond tired.   I have to admit I have pleaded with God to let me die.   There was a point in the journey with Lupus that the pain was so excruciating that I wanted to just give up.
Now please realize that I am not going to end my life.   I needed to step back and think about how much I am needed and valued. 
With that said :  I AM TIRED AND WEAK!!!   I feel like I am fighting daily to just keep my family going.   The issues with Jodi have worn us all to a frazzle and we are far from done getting her back on her feet.   Now mom is experiencing some pain issues and I feel so alone in trying to deal with it all.   Mom sees me as the rock that holds it all together, frankly this rock has crumbled and is far from steady.
I am trying to understand why my life is always challenging, seems like nothing can go easy and it makes me very sad.  Financially we are a mess which isn't helping.  Try to get some assistance and we make too much money,  it just goes on and on and on. Not sure where the grocery money or gas money will come from this week - I keep praying for a miracle.
I hate that I got sick and only can contribute my disability money to the budget.   Because we were struggling so, I used 2 pay day loan places and created another set of nightmares that I am still trying to fix.
I keep looking for what it is that God is trying to teach me and I don't understand why things have to be a struggle.  Why can't something for once go easy.   God I am listening, please show me what to do cause I know this can't be what you want for our lives.  There has to be a way for me to pull us out of this hole,  have mom quit working per diem and have our family survive all of this.
I have to admit also that I am freaking out that something could happen to mom and then it is just me and Jodi.   The selfish part of me wants to still do somethings and see some sites before that happens, I have a bucket list.   But you need money to go places and as you can tell from the jest of this note - money is missing. If I owe you money, please know that I am working on it. 
OK this isn't a note about how poor I am, I am just making broad statements I just need someone to say - it is going to be OK.  So friends I am tired, I am not strong and for the most part I am feel like a failure. I want to just give up but I have a mom and a sister who need me to be strong. We still have a long long road ahead of us.   
I know that God is watching over me and He sees the big picture, as I try to trust in Him and lean on Him - I start to panic that things are not going well.   I don't see how all this is going to make me a better, stronger person when actually I just want to fall asleep and wake up in Heaven.   Is it OK to say that?  
I want to matter to someone, I want someone to want to take care of me,  I need to know that I have people in my corner and most of all I need God to show me what I need to work on to be a person and christian, that He knows I can be.   I am failing on many levels but somehow, some way everything will work out.  I hope in a a month or a year that I can look back on this post and have the big picture - what did God teach me through this time.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:10
This verse speaks to me cause right now God has to be my refuge - I truly need Him.  Please pray that the pain in mom's leg goes away, for Jodi's surgery on the 26th and that things work out.  Pray for opportunities for me to earn extra money will come along to help my famly.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Little Missy Mouse

About a month ago, one of my scrapping buddies Lisa Ritchie asked me to be on her business' creative team. Lisa loves Disney and she has created a business for digital scrapbooking. The things she has made are absolutely fabulous. You can use them to create digital items or print them up to add to layouts or want ever you would like. So this begins my journey into digital scrapbooking. I have to admit that I was very nervous and still have lots to learn. The release this month is Little Missy Mouse - so here are my layouts. I still need to design a Freebie to give away but still learning the ropes. Lisa's company is : Go check it out, you won't be disappointed:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Opportunity for me

You got to check this out. I have the pleasure of designing for this company and all the goodies are so much fun. Will show you my creations tomorrow after the release so check back often, you don't want to miss this one. OH by the way for those of you who are uncertain about digital scrapbooking - I am a total novice at this. If I can do it, so can you!!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What I learned this week..............

There was this girl I once knew who loved serving God, was very involved in whatever church she attended and loved helping others.   Though she wasn't rich, she always managed to pay her bills and she tried to help others when she could.   She had a big heart and really enjoyed life. 
Well that girl got herself in a situation that she had to withdraw from those around her.  She was not as involved and worked hard to not allow some situations to happen.  She thought she was doing what God wanted her to do but it was at great expense.   Don't feel sorry for her because sometimes you have give up a lot or sacrifice some freedoms to do what you think God  wants you to do.
Well that girl was me and for the last 20 years have not been easy and I kept withdrawing so that I could protect those who I thought needed it.  When you find yourself running interference at every turn, you get lost in the mix.
This week, I  sent a group of friends who have prayed me through the past couple years an email expressing a need.   A need that God knew that I had but still a need.   I have awesome friends and they prayed for this need.   But it was my dear friend Janet who put it all in perspective and reminded me of that girl from my past.   God knows our needs, we don't need to broadcast them. (Janet I am paraphrasing).   We need to be less about what I need God to do for me and more about what can I do for God.   That is so true.  When you are giving God your best in all aspects of your life, not only do you find joy but you find success.
My word for this year is rejuvenation.   I need this, I need to find that joy and begin living the life I know that God wants for me.   Not that there won't be hurdles because there will be for sure.
I have been trying to find a new church but nothing felt right, I didn't feel comfortable.  You should always feel comfortable in God's house.   I made a comment to my friend Marian on Tuesday about having no hard  feelings about  what happened at my old church and she stated that you do have hard feelings - oops.   I realized that I was still upset so I needed to resolve that.   I sent out 2 emails apologizing to 2  people for being upset and asked their forgiveness because I was hurt and angry. Both graciously accepted my apology and so I move forward.   I needed to let go of the hurt and it felt really good.   I don't need to carry that burden any longer.
I was upset with my life,  I am 51, I shouldn't be in this position.   I should be looking forward to my golden years but instead I am scared to death.   I have a special needs sister who depends on me and our mom and I worry about her and who will provide for her if something happens to me or mom.   I was dwelling on all the bad things.   When you are doing that you don't function well.   God doesn't want us to be in a constant sense of turmoil - He just doesn't
So this week, I learned a great deal.  I realize that I need to lay all my concerns at God's feet and let Him handle them - because He is fully capable of doing so.   I need to let go of all the past hurts, failures and losses.   I can learn from them but I don't need to dwell on them.   They are in the past - leave them there.  
When I surround myself with family and friends who love me I can only succeed.  It is time to rejoice in what's ahead and know that God will take care of me and my family.   Forgiveness is liberating, saying I was sorry was the best thing I could have done this week.   It really is important to not carry a grudge. 
I now think church will be a much better place for me.  I wanted to feel safe, but it was I who was causing the inner turmoil.   It is time to get involved and serve God again freely.   No limitations. 
This week has been so important to me because by stating one need, I got so much more then I could expect.   I needed to let go and move forward.   None of what happened the last few years is what God wanted for me - none of it but regardless it did happen and now it is time to look forward with my eyes planted on God and know that He has this covered.
So Janet, Marian and  my other dear friends, thank you for turning me around and refocusing me.  You will never know how much that meant because now I feel like there is nothing I can't conquer.  It is kind of nice to see glimpses of that girl again.  
My old roommate and still good friend Tina gave me some ideas I can do to help with the family income and reminded me not to be so worried about what I can't do but focus on what I can . I end with this : )  II Corinthians 5:7  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here

Friday, December 6, 2013

Vintage Christmas Album

This was my last class using 7Gypsies paper.  It was lots of fun!!!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Christmas Creations

Classes and other fun things I created to celebrate Christmas
Exploding Present Box

Joy Boxes

HO HO HO Banner

Present Topiary

Wreath made with paper rosettes

Unusual Travel Mini Albums

Had a great time creating these classes.  First one is made from a folded map.  Lots of great places for pictures and stashing those fun travel treats.

This album is an accordian file made with envelopes - lots of room to add momentos