Sunday, February 28, 2016

Let's Be Thankful

Since Thursday I have been in Johns Hopkins hospital with Taylor as she was admitted because the meds she was getting at home for her intestinal infection weren't cutting it. She was extremely nauseous 24/7 for weeks along with other symptoms that are not fit for description on here. My heart aches for this kid who doesn't deserve to go through all this!

While we are here they are doing IV fluids, meds, and tests to hopefully find out more about her condition. At least if she had to be here she is in a place that is world renowned for there expertise in rare diseases and diagnosis. Not to mention the place is like a 5 star hotel with a full menu for her and me. There are Xboxes in every room with keyboards with internet that hooks up to the TV and Netflix! The rooms are all big and hers has two big windows with a great view of Baltimore City. So although it sucks to be here at least we are here!!! 

This place also makes you incredibly thankful for your families health! The kids you see here are usually the worst or most unusual cases so it's incredibly sad, If you remember, she was here back at the beginning of January. Well, some of the same patients are still here from then, Their rooms are decorated like they are at home. It's a different world and it makes me thankful that overall my kids have been fairly healthy and none have had to be here for months at a time.

I guess in life when things get sucky we need to remember that it could be worse and that life continues to go on regardless, so take one day at a time and be thankful!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The unfortunate part of being a chronically sick teen

Image result for shit we go through makes us stronger
As I'm sure you have read in some of my posts, my daughter Taylor has a lot of pretty serious medical problems with her GI tract. We still, after almost 4 years haven't nailed down an exact diagnoses despite seeing the head pediatric GI doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital and consulting with The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. We do know what she has is an array of problems that resemble many other serious GI diagnoses that don't fit 100% in any one category.  Quite honestly it is extremely frustrating and scary knowing your child has a condition that doesn't fit any one criteria, therefore its tough to manage her.

Whats even harder is seeing the toll it takes on her trying to be a normal teenager. Relationships are hard for her because many teens don't understand what she goes through everyday and why she misses so much school and why her weight goes up and down so much. The latest rumor, that she claimed she didn't care about, is that she is anorexic or bulimic because she recently has lost over 10 pounds in less than two months. She has had an intestinal infection that has really reeked havoc on her body as the antibiotics have not been super helpful as of yet.

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Last year her best friend turned her back on her because Taylor had to be cyber-schooled for several months and I guess she just didn't see any benefit in keeping her as a friend. The situation was unbelievable and without going into lots of detail lets just say Taylor has learned the hard way how cruel people can be including adults. And me, well I have never felt such animosity and hate towards any three people,( the friend and the parents). The mom instinct was in full swing!!!

Image result for mothers instinct quotes eecards

Luckily her school is very understanding with her situation and works with her and us to keep her up to date on what shes missed if she is out.

We know that next year will be different because the real world is not as understanding when time is missed.

I continue to remind Taylor that she is not alone. There are so many kids who have it very rough and that she is blessed we live in this country where we can get good medical care. I also remind her that all that she goes through will make her a more empathic, understanding and compassionate person which the world needs more of.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A day in a life...

Having six kids has been quite an adventure and certainly way more of a challenge than Jim and I bargained for when we decided to have a large family.

Having four kids in five years was challenging but nothing like having six at different stages. I was potty training Mitchell while visiting colleges with Jessica. Taylor was in elementary school, Savanna in middle school and Cory and Kaylee were in high school. Our lives were moving at 1000 miles per hour and learning to micro manage and adjust to change was a must for survival.

steve martin get to know me meme hilary duff tom welling piper perabo

When Jessica was in kindergarten she came home with the chicken pox ( pre vaccine times). Well wouldn't you know it...within a week we had four kids with the chicken pox despite the doctor telling us that Savanna, our 5 month old, wouldn't get it because she was too young!!!  It was insane! Not only did they ALL have it but they were covered in them!!! Needless to say that week was full of many oatmeal baths, sleepless nights and lots of stress! Jim was working a full time job and going to school for his masters degree so I had to manage most of it on my own as he wasn't there all day and most nights till late. 

Another time my mom came over to watch three of the kids while I took Kaylee to the doctors for a fever and strep throat. While I was there the secretary came to me and said I had a phone call. Seems while home Cory had an accident on his bike and needed stitches. So after the doctor saw Kaylee we rushed home to get Cory. When I walked in to get him my mom calmly explained that Savanna had been vomiting and Jessica was now complaining of a sore throat and felt warm!  Talk about your life getting crazy fast!!!

As the kids got older and I was pregnant with Mitchell I was put on hospital bed rest as my Water broke way too early. While I was there poor Jim had his hands full. Cory managed to break his collarbone, Taylor had several ear infections, he had to take the kids back to school shopping ( he hates shopping) and get through Homecoming with a 15 year old!  The winner of the most stress was when Jim had taken Cory to a cool nature camp on a Saturday. Seems Cory stumbled upon a bees nest while on a nature walk and was stung by 20+ bees and was sent via ambulance to the hospital. Imagine that call while at home with four of the other kids, not to mention it was the day they were having a baby shower at the hospital! Hours later they all made it to the shower with just a little swelling on Cory although Jim was a bit frazzled!

But there was one more thing the very day that really took the cake! Jim was driving down a major highway, 95, on his way to work when an 18 wheeler decided to run him off the road and total his car. The policeman who came to the seen said Jim was lucky he survived the accident let along not even have a scratch or bruise on him. I believe he had an angel on his shoulder that day!!!

That poor man is truly a saint for getting through those couple of months outnumbered 5 to 1 without me. Not to mention the stress of work and having your wife and unborn baby in the hospital.

Six kids...what the heck were we thinking!? 

There's never a dull moment but I love it,  as long as we make it out alive!!!!

Have a great week!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Marriage 101 ( 29 years and counting)

Whoever says marriage was easy is either lying or living in a fantasy world. Jim and I will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary on Sunday, February 21. It's crazy to think that we have been married that long as I can still remember celebrating my parents 25th anniversary and thinking how old they were!

 It's crazy how time is, sometimes it seems a lifetime ago and sometimes it seems like yesterday we walked down the isle. I had just turned 19 two months before and I thought I knew everything there was to know about marriage, how hard could it be right?! 

Well, the truth is it is hard! Very hard!!! When they say through sickness and in health through good and bad till death do us part they are not kidding.  It takes a lot of work, dedication, selflessness, understanding and most of all love to make it through the ups and downs of life together.

Image result for UPS AND DOWNS OF MARRIAGE ecards

Being married 29 years we have been through most everything there is to go through. Buying a house, selling a house, getting jobs, loosing jobs, money problems, the birth of babies, and the losses too. We have held each other in sickness's and stayed up talking all night when we couldn't sleep. We have had major heartaches with our kids and shed many tears. We have said goodbye to love ones together, and we have welcomed a new son-in-law to our family and grandson into the world.
 See marriages are so much more than saying I do and living happily ever after. They are saying I will forever be dedicated to this person and put them and there needs before mine and be understanding at their worst times.

Probably ought to write this in my vows., haha:

So here we are celebrating 29 years. I have to say that the last couple of years for many reasons have been some of the hardest, but we have held on together and been there for one another.

We pray the next decades of our lives get easier as the kids get older but if not we will turn to each other for love and support because that's what marriage is all about!!!

I'm not one to share a lot about my Christianity but this bible verse is so profound about marriage and what it really means that I had to share...

Mark 10:6-9 

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made male and female.’ 
‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 
and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The best Potato soup recipe ever

As i'm sure you have all heard its been a little chilly, like single digits chilly, here in the northeast. One of my favorite go to soups for a chilly or cold day is homemade Potato soup. The recipe was given to my mom's best friend who's mom was a polish immigrant. My family loves it as do I because its sooooo easy to make and is delicious! I  make a ham steak on the side so the non vegetarians in the house can add some ham to theirs which makes it even more tasty!

Remember I am feeding at least 6 people so my portions are for a large bunch and can be cut in half for less people although I love leftovers!

I use red potatoes whenever I can because I don't have to peel them and the skin gives lots of extra vitamins and nutrients. I use a food processor to mince the vegetables but you don't have to you could just cut them up.

Serve with fresh salad and warm bread and garnish with leftover green onion and cheddar cheese.


Monday, February 15, 2016

My rant for the week


Ok, so we all have things that drive us crazy and I am no exception to that rule. I know I have already gone over my pet peeves but these are just things that I can't stand.

1. Am I alone when I say I hate the sound of people chewing ice. I swear, its the loudest chewing noise and is just downright horrible to my ears.

2.The sound of dogs barking continually  over and over and over again. Especially when its 5 in the morning. YES, we had one of those neighbors, she was the nicest woman but clueless.
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3. People who are super inpatient behind the wheel. Like really, we can NOT control the traffic or other people so just relax.

absurdnoise angry hate daria road rage

4. I hate dirty laundry. Nothing makes me happier than having none in the house and none in the washer or drier.

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5. People who pretend to have a perfect life when you know darn well they don't. What is the point?!

6. Christmas lights being left up all year long. No need to explain its just pure laziness!

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7. Taking down all Christmas decorations the day after Christmas. The last Wise man didn't visit Jesus until January!

8. Health nuts. I think I am just jealous of them but don't push it on me!
9. I am a Christian but can't stand the Holy Rollers. The kind of Christians that damn all to hell for being sinners. We are all sinners people!

10. OK,  I don't need to know that your kid is on the honor role by reading it on your bumper. My kids have been on the honor roll too, but putting it on the bumper of my car just seems demeaning to all involved!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Valentine's Weekend

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. I usually have to give my husband a good idea of what I want. I'm not a candy person nor am I a flower person, and I really am not a jewelry person either. I think he is lucky because I am pretty low maintenance in that way!

Peanuts charlie brown be my valentine charlie brown

I told him I would love an Ivory Ella shirt or a Vineyard Vines and maybe go out for a nice dinner. 
Our lives have been a bit stressful lately so a nice quiet dinner would really be appreciated by both of us! I am thinking we will go out tomorrow night or Saturday to celebrate because I just can't handle the craziness of the actual day.

I need to do my shopping as well. I usually get small goody bags of the kids favorite candy or maybe a little trinket of something small. Its really about the thought that's it all about. Mitchell is itching for one of the girls to take him out shopping today because he says he has a great idea of what to get Jim and I. He is so darn thoughtful and cute!

I hope everyone has a great Valentines weekend. Stay warm, here in Pa it is 11 degrees while i'm writing this with wind chills below Zero! Great temps to snuggle with your Valentine!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!!!

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Friday, February 12, 2016

The Snow Coming Dance

So last night was Taylor's first and last Snow Coming dance at school. It was the first because they have never had the dance before in our school district and its the last because she is a senior this year! I love the idea of this dance because it a lot more casual than the other "spend a fortune on your dress and everything else" dances. Not everyone can afford an expensive long gown which seems to be the only thing they wear here. Believe me, Homecoming and Prom here is like the Emmy Awards in Hollywood.Who's wearing the best dress, jewelry and riding in the best limo? Also this dance is  open to the entire school, its in the school and its decorated by the kids. Not to mention its at the time of the year when everyone has cabin fever and not a whole lot is going on.

Taylor had ordered an inexpensive dress online from a reputable oversees company of which we paid extra for it to arrive in time...Yep you guessed it, it didn't! So the day before the dance we were doing exactly what I tried to avoid by ordering a dress online, taking a teenager dress shopping and spending a fortune. Well, the good news is that she found the dress she is wearing at our local Bonton department store and it was on sale so I can't complain, plus this dress can easily be worn again. As for the online dress company...They will be hearing from me!

Taylor had a friend who does hair for a living come and help her get ready by curling her hair and doing her makeup.

So at 6:00 exactly the doorbell rang and a very handsome boy entered our home to pick up my not so little girl.

At 10 pm a giggling very happy 17 year old skipped through the door grabbed her things and off she went to a friends house for an after dance sleepover. As the door closed behind her and the happiness of her smile remained I felt so blessed to be a part of this night for her. Your only a 17 year once. And after all she has been through in her teenage years, I am so thankful she can have these awesome fun times in between many painful and scary times, after all she is still only a little girl...well at least my little girl!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How To Organize Your Pantry

Does anyone else have a hard time keeping your pantry organized? It seems no matter how many times I try it gets completely messy. We are lucky because we have a large pantry but sometimes that makes it harder to keep clean and organized. The snack shelf is nearly impossible and my kids won't eat things if they think they are to old or opened for to long.

fail kitchen mess spill messy
I thought about the storage bins for all snacks and cereals but that wouldn't work in my house. I looked up some ideas on Pinterest and combined a bunch I liked that would work for our family. I picked up Chalkboard Labels so we know what is in each container plus they look cute. I bought the containers from multiple places like, HomeGoods, Walmart, Target, and Michaels. We are lucky our pantry shelves are very deep and wide and there are ten of them, five on each side so there is plenty of room to fit a lot in.

I started with the flour, bisquick, sugars and oats to get them into a sealed container that would keep them safe from bugs, make less of a mess, and look organized at the same time. (I hate when the brown sugar gets hard and lumpy, and powered sugar gets everywhere along with the flour and sugar.) I am petrified of bugs so keeping them in these is better for my sanity.

Then I moved to the rice, spaghetti, and any noodles I had in boxes. That way I can see exactly what I have and how much and they stay fresher in air tight containers.

Next I had to find a way to organize the can goods. They take up alot of room and it is so hard to know what you have when they are all in disarray. I found these metal racks that expand and allow you to double your space. I found these at HomeGoods.

Next I had the snack shelf to organize so I started with the prepackaged snack that they can just grab and go. This saved a ton of room because what is in these three containers was 11 boxes of snacks!

Next was the rest of the snack shelf. Again I used the metal adjustable shelves that way everything we have is on display and they don't have to go digging for what they want.

There really wasn't a whole lot to do on the cereal shelf as the kids are funny about the cereal. I did put all of the oatmeal in one basket that made more room (4 boxes worth) and easy to grab.

Each side of the pantry has five shelves. The top ones are for storage of things so they were a little harder to organize but look better than they did.

Finally, I had a bunch of miscellaneous items like bagged muffin mixes rice pkg, jellos, raisins, puddings etc. It was also great to put storage baggies, saran wrap, foil and such. I picked up a shoe holder from Walmart and put these things in it. I hung it on the back of the pantry door. I love it because they are organized and they are easily seen so you know what you have.

So after several days and quite honestly a lot more money than I had anticipated the pantry is FINALLY orgainized! LOVE how it turned out and feel better about having some organization in there!

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Online purchases in January

I love to shop online especially when i'm stuck inside on a freezing day. There were some necessities that needed to be bought then of course the fun purchases. I am a huge fan of Ebay but my husband favors Amazon.

I didn't get a calendar for Christmas this year, truth is I am super funny about which ones I like, so I think they were scared to pick one out for me. Being that I live by my calendar and love snow, I thought this one would be perfect! The kids think its weird that its winter all year one it but oh well I like it!

I was stressed and bored while Taylor spent four days at the beginning of January in the hospital, I went online shopping and found this jewel! Our family loves grilled cheese and I love Snoopy so this was a must for us! Who doesn't need a Snoopy Grilled Cheese maker! 

Since we had such a mild fall we never tried Mitchell's winter coat on until the day before single digits temps. Well, of course, it was TO SMALL! I hurried and got online thinking this would be an easy purchase but NO, I forgot i'm dealing with a super particular little boy who is very sporty and has to look cool. After, NO KIDDING, days upon days of looking we finally found a coat that we agreed on that would be warm enough. (he hates big puffy ones) He really really wanted a soccer Manchester United one but that was almost $300!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For Christmas I got a Yankee Candle centerpiece warmer that you melt these type of melts in. They hardly have any selection at the store but I found just about any scent on Ebay so I ordered a bunch for about half price of what they would cost in the store! They smell great and last a lot longer than the melt types.

Long Sleeve Geometric Print Skater Dress

Taylor is going to Snow coming this year which is a informal dance Valentine's Day weekend. She fell in love with this dress online and so we ordered it. (anything to not have to go running around town from store to store to not find a thing!)

I saw these and thought they would be so pretty on my bed to complete the look i'm going for. I couldn't find them anywhere in the stores so again ebay came through! I can't wait to get them.

The last thing I bought online was this beautiful Hunter fan to replace the old one in our master bedroom. I love the look of it and think it will match perfect! The best part about this purchase is that it didn't cost me a penny! I like to sell things on ebay so the money I made went to buy this because I couldn't justify spending $180 right after Christmas when I just redid a lot in our room already.(NOTE, I didn't know this when I purchased it, but my daughter has the exact same one in her family room)

So that's my purchases for January! I'm trying to not do many for Febuary but we will see how that goes. Stay tuned for that at the beginning of March.