Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pearls of Great Price for the Princesses - Fun Activity

Our family planned on getting together for Easter at Princess One's home to spend time with the grand-children.

The plans started to fall apart as the girls got invited to go places and then Princess Five forgot she had a concert so in the end, none of us ended up going to visit.

I was sad about that but being the only parent in my girls world, I felt it was my responsibility to support Princess Five over visiting. Prince and Princess One were super chill with our change of plans and I appreciated that as I truly wanted to visit them and my super adorable grandchildren.

We weren't able to work any other weekend out until Princess Five's graduation weekend which luckily happened to be over Memorial Day weekend which was a thrill to me as that meant a long weekend with my clan!

Princess One had planned some fun activities for us and instead of being upset, she just altered the plan. I really thought she was super about the entire thing! She had purchased some fun coloring books about pearls and got one for each of us to do with her daughter and then she ordered oysters with pearls that are packaged from China.

She ordered them online and they guaranteed a pearl in each oyster and that they would be of different colors. When we couldn't be there for the activity, she just put them all in the freezer and brought them to my house for the graduation. Of course, we did them the first day as she was worried about the thaw and smell. I don't know how long they are supposed to be OK out of the freezer but they were quite ripe.

They smelled like formaldehyde or the smell when you dissect an animal in biology mixed with an low tide smell. The smell didn't stop the girls from digging in. I was OK to let someone else dig through the muck for my pearls but did touch them to say "I did" but Princess Two was totally OK not touching them at all and allowing her big sister to find her pearls.

I was surprised at how uniform they were. There were some that were a little egg shaped but for the most part, they were nicely shaped and the majority of them were a peach in color. I don't know that pearls could naturally be that color. There were a few off white pearls and there was a darker purple and two nearly black with blue pearlier colors.

We weren't sure what to do with the pearls after we each got our two. We tried to match them up and swapped each other to get two matching pearls but I didn't know if I dared punch or drill holes in them. I then remembered I had purchased some little "cage" type containers at a second hand store in a jewelry grab bag about a year ago.

I went down to my nightmare / somewhat organized jewelry craft area and within a few minutes found the containers. The girls were thrilled with them. They each held one pearl just wonderfully! Princess Two and Three swapped the matching pearls for one black and one white so they could trade them out depending on what they were wearing. They had a cage for each but I let them sort through some of my real silver chains to find one they liked that they could wear the pearls on.

Princess One is making an earring and necklace set for Princess Four who is serving as a missionary in Japan as they have her for Christmas next year and will still be in Japan! I thought getting pearls while she is living on an island in the middle of the ocean would be a perfect gift! She had a nice set of three of the same color so that is fun.

Princess One has a few more at home she wanted to do with her own family as we just did it with the girls. She took some of the little cages so she can make herself and her daughter something out of them.

All in all, it was a really fun activity and I was happy I had the little cages already so they could actually do something with the pearls. It created a great memory for the girls and a story for an heirloom piece of jewelry. I LOVED having my girls home and it will be all the better when Princess Four is home next Memorial Day! I was sad I didn't get to visit my mothers grave but truly, I think she would understand I was enjoying time with my girls before getting back to sorting her stuff! I have spent more time this year on my mother than my girls and I know she understands that I needed this weekend with my girls and the grand-kids!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and that you have a BLESSED Day!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day in Japan - Princess Four

It has already been a week? How time flies when you're serving the Lord! I hope all of you beautiful people were working hard this week. Repenting hard, and serving hard, and just living this life to the fullest! I hope everyone had a good Memorial weekend with their families! 

So just FYI, my new companion is amazing.... Like... I am very impressed by her every second of the day. She likes to teach people rather than just doing things herself, so I am learning a lot! This transfer call was kind of unexpected...  I was expecting to transfer, and have my companion shimai stay because she knows so much, but I know that God knows what he is doing. I didn't really learn very much about the area before due to me not being the best missionary I could be.

Not being able to communicate very well with my companion and being transfer 3 could be taken into account, but I should have tried a little bit harder.... BUT you live and you learn! That's what repentance is for folks. We had a long weekly planning session. Luckily I remembered more than I thought I knew. God has helped me a lot with trying to explain everything to my new companion. She has said multiple times how much she already loves this area, so that is awesome, and really the timing was perfect. This transfer is only three weeks long but its perfect... You wanna know why???

BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO TEACH AYAKA CHAN A LESSON, AND SHE IS LIKE PERFECT, AND SHE CAME TO SACRAMEMNT MEETING AGAIN, AND WE MET HER MOM AT A PING PONG NIGHT THAT I SET UP ON ACCIDENT. So funny story. We only have ping pong nights every 1st and 3rd week, but we didnt really go last transfer due to not many people showing up, so the elders took care of it, so I didn't know we weren't having it, so invited ayaka chan to come, and she said ok. We were planning on meeting her mom at her apartment on Saturday, but she had to work, but she was able to come to the accidental ping pong night.

Turns out her mother speaks perfect English. She went to school in Cali for a year. But we just became good friends and laughed. She told us she needed to leave, and on the way out the door she says, "Take care of my daughter!" So yay to parental permission!!!! NOT BEING ABLE TO SPEAK PERFECT JAPANESE IS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE!!! Sorry there is so much capitalization. This week was just awesome!! My new companion really couldn't have transferred in at a better time. Life is just good people. I really hope we will be able to ask ayaka chan if she will be baptized soon... don't worry. I'll keep you posted. Haha

We also have an American family moving into the ward. So that was like another weird perfect timing thing. The oldest daughters name is Aubrey.... So we are destined to be friends!! We were goached last night, and they invited the dad of the family who is here preparing things for his family. Lets just say this ward is super amazing! 

I just asked myself what else happened this week...Then i remembered..... OAKS CHORO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was able to hear from/shake hands with an apostle of the Lord. My mission presidents spoke first, and I cried through the whole thing. We are all imperfect, but God loves us so much anyway. I may not speak Japanese, but that doesn't matter. I have the light of Christ, and you don't have to speak to make that known. I was also able to sit next to my dendo mom during it. It was perfect. We sat front row. Half of the row was empty, so he made a lot of eye contact with us! I testify that he is an apostle of the Lord. It was a really special experience! 

Other happy miracles:
I am in the same district with (someone I knew in the mtc) choro again! He is one transfer older than me, but we were both beans in japan. I keep telling him how His English has gotten so much better, and he has said a few times how my Japanese has gotten better.
I spoke in the lessons this week!!! I was always scared to talk last Transfer because I had no clue what was being said, but I was brave, and I did it! 

Our Ward mission leader said that my prayer surprised him because the Japanese was so good..... He asks me to pray like every week, so that was a big compliment... And then my companion said she was going to say the same thing right after he complimented me... The gift of toungues is real! Then he complimented my big smile.. Why are Japanese people so nice!?

An investigator asked to talk to me on the phone! She thought I could speak Japanese, and she remembered me!! Old people here call me ah chan because my name is too hard.. ha 
We ended up talking about Patriaichal blessings to our eikaiwa students and they were super interested... so maybe they will get baptized some day so that they can get special blessings too! 

Lots more things happened probably, but that's all for now folks! I love you all!!! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Bowling With Babies Fun Beyond Belief

For YEARS I have been trying to get my kids to go bowling with me. We go with one here and one there every few years but when we are all together, I beg them to do stuff with me and it just doesn't happen.

We usually play games and don't leave the house but when I asked Princess Five what she wanted to do after graduation, she said she wanted to go bowling!

I was so thrilled that she chose to do something out of the house. She wanted Sushi and we have made it before with great success but it wasn't my best attempt as I used a "sushi" cook book and the rice came out worse than just the normal rice I made for the "Café Rio" salads.

Even though the sushi was a bust, we had the salads which were amazing as I made a super spicy dressing for me and more mild for the rest.

The highlight of the day was the bowling with Babies. We all got shoes and a lane in a recently remodeled bowling alley and some of us used bumpers and others not. I don't think Princess Five has been bowling more than five time in her entire life but she was a trooper and did quite well.

The surprise to me of the day was Prince One bowling with a baby on his back! He threw the balls so hard down the lane, one was almost 23 mph! I jumped every time he bowled!

The baby liked it and didn't cry or freak out. He is so used to being worn that he was passed around a few times and never complained. In some ways, I like that they wear their kids as it keeps them secure, yet contained but, when they wear them, we get less baby time.

Grand Princess One was adorable. I wish I had the video to upload, someone took a video but I had forgotten my camera so I don't have it and need to figure out who took the video. She was SO excited every time she knocked a few pins down and she would jump, scream and look to see that we all saw her wonderful roll. It was seriously worth every penny to see her cute face and reactions!

Maybe I will update this post tomorrow if I can find who videotaped the cute reactions when she hit the pins. At first, they just rolled the ball, then, they tried the little black frame that allows them to guide the bowl and push the ball down the rack but she actually bowled better without it and by the time we finished nearly every lane was taken and we had a dad with three little boys under five and a baby who was all by himself and he also bowled with the baby but it was in his left arm and he bowled a strike with his right!

The people to our other side looked to be grandparents with lots of kids under about 11. Needless to say, bowling etiquette went out the window and we just had to jump in when we thought we wouldn't hit anyone before, during, or after our turn. It was a fun day, I have had more fun in the past few days with my amazingly adorable grandchildren then I have in years! I just wish my Princess Four was here but I am happy she is where she is! It is a true blessing to have so many wonderful kids and now, grandchildren!

Hope you have a blessed Memorial Day! 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Trumpet Playing Toddler

My world is wonderful! I missed Easter with the kids and grandchildren so we are celebrating Easter with Princess Fives graduation this week.
Princess Ones family arrived about dinner time but I hadn't gotten groceries yet so I went to the store to get some last minute things and grabbed some pizza for dinner. When I arrived home, Grand Princess One came running up to me and said, "Grammie, I have something to show you!"

She ran into the other room and came running back with the bugle and promptly played it for me. My mouth dropped open. How does a new three year old play a bugle. I grabbed the camera and she ran into the other room and sat on the cute little chair I got from my mother and sat on the chair and then kept playing the bugle.
Her mother said that she brought the bugle / trumpet to her and asked how to play it. She had been blowing into the bottom bell edge. Her mother said she told her to make an elephant noise as they blow through pursed lips to make an elephant noise.

Grand-Princess One pulled all the music instruments out when she arrived and played them all day. She truly has some rhythm as I posted about at Christmas here.

She was so cute when someone came to the door to give Princess Five a graduation card, she ran to the door to show the new people that she could play the trumpet / bugle. She also played the bell and was very excited to figure out how to reattach the bell to the stand. I wish I had taken the time to get a picture of Grand - Prince one who played the "mahakas" much of the day. He likes to chew on the handle but also LOVED when I would help him play them in different rhythms.

I LOVE having them here. Best part of my world. It is going to be one great Memorial Day weekend. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

CT and IV Day at the Hospital

The last two days have been a bit long for me. I usually am able to catch up on some sleep in the mornings if I have a bad night.

Even though I am in bed at night, I can't always get to sleep depending on the parasite activity and if I drank a Coke in the evening, stress levels etc.

I had an early morning Dr.'s visit yesterday morning and it turned into over half a day of visiting with him and once again I was let loose with a student. Over an hour I shared my story with him. He was great and interested but it is frustrating to me to have to retell it over and over when I am tired.

I am SO grateful that my Dr. will listen to me though and that he is willing to try different things. I have been blessed that he was willing to take new patients and allow me to see him and then that he believed me about the parasites and sent them in over and over until they were able to diagnose them.

He did more labs yesterday looking at my pancreas as my liver tests seem fine but my eyes are still super yellow.

I then had a CT scan of my lungs as the x-rays show about the same thing as over a year ago but my damage is worse with the pulmonary function test so he wanted to see what we could see with a cat scan.

I then got some high dose vitamin C as I woke one morning and felt that I needed them and they may help me. I called the Dr. at that point as it was about the time I had pneumonia and I had a rude "hater" on youtube tell me that I was crazy which isn't all that strange or new but as I was looking at that comment on one of my videos, I had a guy post that he thought I had a fungus directly under my skin which is causing the white splinters with the peroxide soaks. I don't know that I don't have a fungus under the skin but I KNOW that I have the parasite there.

His suggestion for Vitamin C was 5 grms for three times every 30 minutes IV push. I shared my thought about it with the Dr. and then that I found this post and figured it can't hurt and you can't overdose on it so why not. He was a bit worried about it as it isn't a common thing but was willing to try one dose.

After the CT scan, I had the one dose. I have to share that about halfway through the dose, I felt "something" but can't really say what it was. I just felt better and looked up to see how much had gone in. I was a bit dehydrated as it was late afternoon and I had been fasting for the contrast with the CT scan so maybe it was that but about half of the bag was in and I did feel a bit better. He didn't want to "push" it and put it in 500 ml saline which I can also understand as it would be easier on the veins.

I was good until a few hours ago when I got super tired. I kinda wish I could have gotten all three doses to really see if it did anything dramatic but I will continue taking it orally as I started taking it when I had that thought a month or so ago. I had to purchase some as I was out.

The CT scan did find "nodules" and some issues in the left lower lobe not functioning which is where I feel the burning upon rest for years now. I  know there is damage due to the x-rays and the pulmonary function tests but this also confirms that. One more confirmation test. This parasite is exactly like hook and thread worm burrowing through into the left lung in the first morph of life.

I wish there were other tests to confirm the second phase but the hydrogen peroxide shows it in the lymph. We have pictures of it in the third (worm) phase so really, if I could find a better way to confirm it in the lymph, it would be great.

I have taken a few naps now while writing this and really need to be in bed. Long days at the hospital but I am SO grateful that my issues are not debilitating and I can still walk and function. I am praying we can figure this out before I need oxygen all the time. I truly am sad that it may take away so many options of activities. Please keep praying that we can find ways to cure this and get it diagnosed for those who don't know what their issue is horsehair nematomorpha parasites.

Have a BLESSED Day!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Awards Assembly and Senior Ball

I feel like I have failed Princess Five in so many ways this year. I missed the deadline for Senior Tributes. We were having company when I got the letter and I put it up with some other papers to clean off the counter figuring I would do it after they left and I have never seen it since. I think it was also around the time my computer crashed so I had no internet / computer pictures handy.

Her award ceremony was today and I thought it was Wednesday morning. I scheduled a Dr. apt over a month ago only to realize after missing the awards assembly that I was at the Dr. during that. I got her a yearbook through a friend who works there as it is cheaper that way and there was an issue with a special needs girl wanting it or something so she didn't get her yearbook until today after the Seniors aren't at school anymore so she wasn't able to get many friends to sign it.

I am not sure what is going on but it kinda just seems to be how the year went. Lots of things that should have been weren't. She didn't even tell me about the year book mess up for a few days as I think she didn't want me to feel worse than I already do. I was glad to see it on the counter when I got home from a long day at the hospital but I am seriously so tired I had to take a nap today.

I ran into her surgeon and spoke to him about her arm as she still has a problem putting it on her hip. He suggested we get some x-rays to make sure everything healed properly. She thinks it is fine but I want to make sure before she heads to college as she wouldn't be able to have surgery at that point without messing up schooling so I think I am going to take her in in a few weeks just to make sure.

She was only one in Six to get  the blue and red tassel / ropes for graduation. You have to participate in extra curricular every year for each season or something. She also got a (what used to be bronze) cat but is now ceramic painted cat for lettering in academics for all four years. She got a key chain and certificate for being music Sterling Scholar. She received several other certificates for merit etc.

I truly am sad I missed it. I was invited to the other girls assemblies but we now have a new principle who hasn't mastered that type of thing. Princess was excited to attend the senior ball and got dressed up and came home awhile later with a friend to watch movies as they didn't use the school for the ball but went to a public gym and couldn't get the sound system working. They didn't have things planned and kids just ended up leaving as there wasn't anything to do and they said that they wished they could do it at the school tomorrow but their is a sports banquet. Things like this have been the norm and I am sad that what should be a great memory for her is just another movie night.

I know when I went to Princess Fours awards assembly I was so upset as they didn't recognize her as the Student Body President. Her sister was given a $25 gift card to a local restaurant, a school blanket and a thank you note from the principle two years earlier when she had been STBP. I was worried they wouldn't do anything so I called several times asking if they were going to do something as I knew they had a new principle and wanted to make sure she was thanked so she wouldn't feel like she was unappreciated and was assured they would. That day, no thank you, no gift, not even a mention. I think I am just done with the small town politics that have gone on in the past few years and how many of the best teachers have retired or moved to other districts.

I shouldn't have let myself miss those things for Princess Five and have apologized many times for my lack of focus recently where that is concerned. I am TRULY grateful for all the amazing teachers my kids have had over the years here and have been sad to see them each retire or move away. I can say though that I am SO happy to be done with all the busy activities. I am so tired, even with a nap today, that I just have wanted to go to bed since about 7 p.m. and have fallen asleep many times at the computer since starting this post.

She gets the rest of her ropes for scholastics at graduation practice this week and by this weekend, I will no longer have a child in the public education system! I have told my children this before, but if I could do it again, I would have had my children closer together so that I wouldn't have had so many kids spread out over the different schools. Several times, I had five children in five different schools. I am grateful for each girl and all they have accomplished! What a blessing they are to my life! I am looking forward to a new phase of life but am going to miss my Princesses daily.

Have a BLESSED Day!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Princess Five wanted to do the community theater play this summer as it may be her last as once the girls go off to college, they haven't come back which is a good thing but it would mean that this will be her last opportunity as after this, they all work and it gets hard to devote that much time to something.

This year, our community is doing the Broadway version of Mary Poppins. Princess Five is so excited about it but is sad as there are no teen parts and only about six main leads. With that, she knew there wouldn't be any speaking parts for her and her friends that have always loved musical theater. I tried talking to several people over the last year to have them do something that would allow the several teen girls who are very talented to have a more major role and to move this play until another year but several of the key people have always wanted roles in Mary Poppins so it was left to them to choose. 

The major roles are all people who are involved in the production and I understand that as they are the ones willing to take the time to produce, direct etc so truly it is a huge undertaking for many of them. It was just sad that she won't have anything other than the chorus when she has such talent. Of course as a mother, you don't want to see your kids talents wasted but I am VERY grateful that there are people willing to take the time to actually do the play as you can tell by my blog, I am not in a place where I have that kind of time so I appreciate others who do have that time and are willing to bless the lives of others and the community with their talents.  

Princess Five has been practicing the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious song for several months as the hand actions are super fast and complicated so she has practiced them on her own and gotten them down quite fast. At practice the other day, they were trying to teach the actions out of a book and were doing the actions a bit backwards as it is a bit confusing as you don't know if you need to do the action as it is in the picture or mirror the picture in the book.

All of the tutorials on the internet show you how to do it but you have to transpose what they are showing you from the front to mirror it in your actions. We decided to do a tutorial using our bathroom mirror so that you can just follow the directions of her hands and feet without having to figure it out on your own. The only other way to do this is when someone is facing away from you and then you can't see what their hands are doing facing away from you.

With this way, the kids can just mirror it like you do on the Wii dance dance games. Hopefully it will make it easier for everyone to figure out. I am looking forward to watching Princess Five on stage again. I keep thinking I have seen my last of her on that stage but it seems like she can't seem to keep herself off the stage! I am fine with that as I LOVE watching my girls on stage as they all enjoy performing.

I'll keep you informed as how things go. Have a BLESSED Day!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Masquerade Ball - Fun Way to End the Year

Princess Five had a fun 4-H event this week. It was something new that they had never tried before but it was a hit.

They had a Masquerade ball for an end of the year social.  They made it look like a mini Jr. Prom draping lights, crepe, etc to a large pole in the center of the room and used curtains like they do for convention  to separate the booths to corner off a section to decorate so the dance floor was a bit more intimate than would have been in a  large room.

The kids who could went a few weeks in advance and decorated "masks" for other to purchase for the ball. They made around $300 for activities by selling the masks and Princess Five had fun making and decorating the masks. She wanted to have decorations on her face if she took her mask off so we took a larger body art tattoo and cut it into smaller tattoos so she could decorate her face.

Her dress was light so she wanted to have one that matched so it wasn't super dark but it was still fun and she really enjoyed her night. It was a fun way for her to end her year. I am glad it was on a night where she didn't have other commitments.

You can see by her smile, she enjoyed dressing up and having a formal way to end the year. I am going to miss this beauty in a few months. I have to keep telling myself that I am happy to be done but truly, I know it is going to be hard not having anyone home to visit with. A new phase of life for sure.

I am so grateful for 4H and the friends who have included her in their world taking her places I couldn't have. We are so blessed to have people willing to put the time and effort into making such fun activities!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Grateful For Miss Charlene - Piano Teacher in Heaven

I posted recently about my girls piano situation. They took lessons for years but being a single mom, practicing wasn't high on my "get it done" list next to court, mediators, guardians, layers, visitations, and all the normal daily kids things.

Here is the post where I lay all that type stuff out. It was at her last percussion concert last week. I had no idea at the time that the piano she was playing was her piano teachers baby grand!

I guess the school with its $40,000,000 bond didn't figure in any funds for a piano for the theater / auditorium. Go figure!

The girls piano teacher passed away about a year ago and she had several pianos. She had one son and he took some of the pianos but they didn't want to spend the money it would cost to get the piano where he lives.

They chose to donate the piano to the High School as most of her students attended that school. To me, she was more than a teacher though, she was a friend. She would always ask how I was doing and give me produce and fruit from her large garden. She was so sweet when I was so crazy with lots of court dates, she would sometimes put my check for lessons in a card and tell me to use it on bills.

She gave me discounts as I had all the girls in piano at one point. She fit in my youngest before school since she didn't have any more slots to fit her in after school so I would get up at O'dark thirty and take her for lessons.

She was also a school teacher for years and my eldest had her for fifth grade. There are always problems in small towns with people forcing what teachers they want for their kids. I knew nothing about any of it as I wasn't from a small town. I remember my daughter coming home crying the first day that her teacher was so hard! I laugh about it now as she was a big softy but that was before we took lessons. In the end, Charlene LOVED my daughter, I think that is what helped us get in with her for piano.

I think she helped me as she lost her first husband when she had a son and understood the challenges I faced. We had many wonderful talks about choices and struggles of being single with kids.

It made me smile to think the only time my youngest has ever performed in public other than a recital just happened to be on her piano last week! Kinda funny but makes me think Charlene had a hand in it!

Have a BLESSED Day!