Monday, December 31, 2012

Princess 2's Surgery Blessing

I wanted to share with you the blessings about Princess 2's surgery. I shared with you how we figure out what we thought it was. We called the surgeon and got an appointment. While there, we explained all the problems and how everything pointed to her gallbladder and also how my niece had the same diagnosis as Princess two and how all her tests came back normal but when she had her gallbladder out, it was not healthy.

The surgeon said it was really up to her if she wanted it out. She prayed and pondered about it and decided that it was really what she wanted.

He said he would take it out and wanted to schedule her surgery for the next week. I explained that I would be out of the country and I didn't want her to get it out while I wasn't around but if we waited, she would be near the end of her health insurance. I asked if there were any way she could have the surgery the next day.

He said he thought that would be impossible but he would have his secretary contact the insurance and see if they could get approval that quickly and then he would have her contact the hospital and see if they could fit her in.

Within 20 minutes or so, she was scheduled for noonish the next day. We went to the hospital and per-registered her so that the next day would go smoothly.

The next morning, I got a call at 7 a.m. that they had a cancellation and we needed to come in right away. I got princess up and we went over. We stayed up late the night before thinking we could sleep in because she couldn't eat before surgery. We went to the hospital and it was about an hour before she went in for surgery.

I went home and did a few things and then went back. She had horrible pain coming out of surgery so they gave her extra IV meds and that caused her to have a horrible time waking up and she had horrible nausea and couldn't eat or keep anything down due to nausea.

The surgeon told us before surgery that most people that have problems with their gallbladder have healthy looking pink gallbladders when he takes them out and that would probably be the situation with her. Right after surgery, he came and talked to me and told me that her gallbladder was damaged and it needed to come out. My friend is an OR nurse and told me that they were shocked when it came out not looking healthy in someone so young.

The Dr. said the stars must have aligned for us to be able to have the surgery work out so quickly and then he also told me that her appendix isn't in the normal spot. I thought that was interesting news.

She took hours to get better and should have been home around noon. She finally felt better after getting some anti-nausea meds and eating something and went home after dinner.

It was such a blessing that she went to surgery earlier as she would have been in the hospital overnight if the surgery was later in the day. That would have been Thanksgiving day. I was able to help her through two days of recovery and I shared before about how the one call I made during my trip to Czech Republic was one day when she was sick and had run out of the nausea medication. I was so grateful that after my call she was able to get more medication and some dear neighbors got her prescription and others brought over food etc.

The entire thing was such a blessing. We are SO grateful for the insurance and her surgery and her great recuperation. Thanks to all of you who prayed for her at any point along the way. I have seen enough miracles in all of this to know that your prayers helped us in the diagnosis.

Since her surgery, we have shared with at least four people who are now getting medical help for the same situations in their lives. I am surprised how common gall bladder issues are. We also took over a thank you note to the person who shared with us about the right shoulder pain being a gallbladder symptom.

We are so blessed.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Peppermint and Cranberry Jello Salad Tradition

When growing up, our family would have a traditional salad that my mom would always make. She made it to use up old candy canes. It was something we would have on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Before you start, put a candy cane or two into a baggie. Hit it with the back side of a knife or you can just put it in a coffee grinder or dry blender. 

Next, take 2 boxes of red colored jello any flavor. While making the jello, dump in the crushed candy cane before adding the cold water. Add the cold water and then add half a can of cranberry sauce into the mix.
Once done, pour into a container and put into the fridge until it is firm. Then, when it is firm, put whipped cream on the top and serve. 

The bottom photo shows the texture of the jello. If you like crunch in the salad, leave bigger pieces of candy cane and don't add them until after the cold water has been added. If you like more cranberry flavor, you can add the whole can of cranberry. My grandmother had a pecan orchard and sometime my mom would add those to the mix. I like it with nuts but I have kids that don't like nuts so we usually leave those out. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Service at the Food Bank

 Princess number four organized a service project at the food bank. She invited friends and kids from local schools to come to the food bank and sort food. 

Between planning and actually getting there, the food bank had many volunteers and when the kids arrived, they had no more food to sort. 

We ended up folding donated clothes on the shelf and someone donated five boxes of books and magazines and they were in boxes that were falling apart. 

The staff had been so busy they hadn't been able to get to that type of thing. 
We had the kids organize the magazines and books into groups so that clients can take them. 

We grouped them into children, men and women's groupings and condensed them so they looked nice and organized. We were able to get rid of all the boxes and just have a basket and the bookshelf. 

 While we were there, we got a tour and the staff worker "Tazz" took us around and allowed the kids to "shop" and to see what amount of food a small family would get and what a large family would get. 
They then weighed the food and were shocked at the small amount of food that a family would get for a month.

This is what a family would get for a month. Two small banana boxes of food. It is nice that with donations from local stores, they can fill up the boxes with more bakery items.
The tour and service were a great learning experience for the kids and they realized that the food bank does a great job for the community and they learned that they can impact and help others by doing service.  
She organized two speakers that talked about other places they can do service in the community. We had refreshments and played a few games to make the evening fun. 

It was a good learning experience for Princess number four to plan and execute a susuccessful service project. I have amazing children.          

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Dancing Princess

 Princess number five had a dance performance last week. She did well and I was happy to have fun taking pictures. 
Like the performance of the Nutcracker, you can see she is smiling and happy. 

She looks like she is having fun and I am grateful that I have been able to keep the girls dancing. 

Since this week is Christmas, I wanted to get some posts done that were easy but fun for the girls to see. 
This has been like a journal for our family and since I haven't been able to post photos, I thought this would be a fun post and an easy one for the holidays. 
I hope that you had a happy holiday and enjoy your vacation time with friends and family. 

I am so grateful that I am blessed with the friends and family I have. 
It has been a wonderful time for our family having everyone together again for the holidays. Prince and Princess number 1 weren't at the house for Christmas but we enjoyed a few days with them before then. 
I'm sure I will post about it when I get back into town.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

First Date for Princess Number 4 - Prom

I got a call this week. It wasn't a call I was expecting just yet. It was from a family in town whose son wanted to ask Princess 4 to prom. 

My daughter hasn't been old enough to date according to our families rules. She actually isn't going to be old enough to date for a few more months. 

This boy wanted to ask her to prom. Prom isn't for 4 more months or so. I have never heard of anyone being asked to prom that early so it was a double shock for me to get that call this week. 

I did say he could ask her to prom but did tell him I didn't want any glitter or confetti in the room as we had a horrible experience about that in the past. I was assured he would use non invasive way to ask.

He texted before coming to make sure she was still at drill and had everything ready to go and only took a minute to put his creative and cute way to ask her on the bed. 

He put a sign in a little pool with lots of different rubber ducks with a sign saying "I'd be a lucky duck if you'd go to prom with me." and then she had to search through the ducks to find the one with his name on the bottom. 

You can see her raise her arm in a "yes!" motion when she saw that the "water" in the pool is "frootie" candy which she LOVES. So, she was very happy about the candy and her date.

We are in the process of thinking of a cute way to reply to him. 

There is a bit of debate going on about that with the girls all being home for Christmas, but hopefully we can all come to a consensus or Princess 4 can come up with something that she will feel good about. I'll keep you informed as to what she comes up with.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Nutcracker - Sweet - Arabian Dancer

I still need to thank the Photo Santa whoever it is. THANK YOU!!

 I took these photos of my darling Princess number five who danced in the nutcracker this week as an Arabian dancer. 

She most likely won't be in the Nutcracker ever again as she will probably be on the drill team next year. 

It feels a bit weird to see my baby dancing in the Nutcracker as it seems like yesterday that my eldest two princesses were dancing in the Nutcracker. 

As of today, all our programs are now over. I feel a bit of relief and hope we can just enjoy the holiday now that all the Christmas programs are over.
I love the smile that Princess four has in these pictures. She saw me taking photos and got a huge grin. I appreciate that she loves having me watch her and that she enjoys dancing. 

Isn't she adorable?

I think she is but I do admit, I am biased.  


Friday, December 21, 2012

Princess 4 Dancing Queen - Thanks to YOU Photo Santa!

I have so much to catch up on with pictures. I am planning on going back and adding photos to past posts that pertain so I hope that as you read this, you scroll back a week or so to catch up on the fun photos we missed while I wasn't able to post pictures. 

I shared that I was going to just do the monthly photo hosting by picasa and when I went to load a photos so it would kick me out and I could then subscribe to the monthly post, the photos uploaded.

This confused me but the photos I uploaded yesterday were emailed so I thought they were smaller pixels and that is why they posted. However, today when I brought in my wallet to once again subscribe, I was shocked to have my photos post. I can only guess that someone paid the fees in my behalf. 

So, to the photo Santa, whomever you are, I want to thank you for your donation to my blog. I don't know who you are, but THANK YOU! 
Princess number four has been very busy dancing and every time she has such a big smile on her face, I know she just loves dancing. 

In the past three weeks, she has had lots of opportunities to dance. She has had two dance competitions and lots of games. 
She once again did well in the drill down. She should have won according to the video but for some reason, the callers get themselves confused so she took the silver metal but she, like her sisters, takes orders well. :-) 

I was very grateful when walking in, I found thirteen cents on the grass and when I went out for our lunch, found a penny near the car. Then, when sitting in the competition, they do little contests and they played a song for the first contest of the day, I won the first prize guessing the song as the theme song to "Gilligans Island." 

The funny thing was, I won a bracelet. Guess what the bracelet said? Joy, which happens to be my middle name. 

I thought since I was having a stressful day and week, that I was being reminded to "trust in Him" and appreciated the reminder to "Have Joy" in my life. It did remind me to have Joy. 
Princess 2 and 3 were both home this weekend and it was nice to have them there supporting Princess 4 at the competition, that hasn't happened in awhile. 

I really enjoy taking photos of people in motion. It isn't only my kids. It is interesting that most of my favorite photos involve motion. For some reason I am not really big into taking photos of stills but perhaps that is because I have a hard time being still myself. :-)
I really like this photo of Princess 4 in motion as her face is the only thing in focus.  She is in four different dances for competition but is usually around others so it is hard to get her in focus as all those people near her make her blurry. 

These are some of my favorite photos from the past few weeks. 

Thanks again Photo Santa!           

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Photos in Czech - Whirlwind tour

For some reason, I was able to upload some of these photos that were emailed to me from Czech by some of the friends we made there. I was going to pay the fees today so I could start adding photos again and I was able to upload these. 

So today, I will just post there photos of my mother and I in Czech.

 Since we only had one afternoon to sight see, we only made two stops before it got dark. It gets very dark, very quickly there in winter so these photos are all of the huge cathedral and surrounding buildings near the palace except one. 
My mother and I are in the museum looking at the actual book that was made and given to the President of the company of photos of her modeling with their cars. Because she worked for the combine company out of South America, they had the book made by that photographer and gave it to the president of the Skoda car company at the time. 
I shared that when he died, his daughter donated back to the Skoda company. 

That is how they came to have it now.  I was worried about my mother being cold before we left and was blessed to find this 100 percent wool coat new for $10. It was made in Russia so I figured it would be warm enough for Czech. It was and I was so grateful to have found it for her. 

My sister made her the scarf and gave it to her the night before we left. Both items helped but she was still quite cold and even with the blanket, she kept complaining of being cold that afternoon.

I had someone take a few photos of us together to show I was actually there. I think these posted were the only photos I was actually in that I had taken while there with my mother.  It was just such a short and crazy trip. The company tried to send me some pictures of us at the opening of the museum online but I can't seem to open them once downloaded using several different programs so they may have to just send me a disc.