Friday, February 6, 2015

Daddy is Home!!!

 I don't know how someone's presence can affect you the way that it does, but I've been so very sick and still I've hardly slept without John here at the house.  Even when I did sleep it was quite fitful and full of strange dreams. I'm over the moon with happiness!! My honey is finally home. We got to the house at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, had sandwiches for a snack and we were in bed by 5.  I slept like a rock. We woke up at 9 and I made fajitas and we all sat down for a really late dinner and we were back in bed by 10:30. Last night...none of that dreaming and rolling around...I just plain slept like a rock.  Thank you Lord for sleep!

So much has happened over the last couple of months that I'm not sure what you all might want to know.  Just look at this sweet card that Little B made for daddy in the hospital.  I'm really proud of how my little ones have rolled with the punches through it all.  There are so many things that have been blessings to us through it all.  I want to take a moment to dwell on these things and share with you all.  

We have learned how to function better as a family.  Where I used to scramble to keep our house all on my own and my children used to complain and scream when asked to do anything, now, everyone pitches in. John helps me to communicate with the kiddos better and I help him to communicate better.  We are on the same page and our family is a team for the first time ever.  My local friends have been to the house and each one of them has asked me "what's going on?! Your house looks great!"  Last night when I made fajitas even little L ate the peppers and mushrooms and onions like a little champ!  My children have learned to be thankful for every little moment and find joy in taking care of their things.  
Little L is super proud that he made his own bed!

Most of you know that I've been a coffee fanatic since I was pretty little.  In fact, my PawPaw used to dip my pacifier in coffee when I was a baby!!  :)  Coffee is one of those things that reminds me every day that Jesus loves me.  I know that sounds a bit ridiculous, but I take a sip and every single time I think "Jesus Loves Me"  I think he was thinking of me when he made the coffee bean back in the beginning.  Anyway...I tell you all of that nonsense so I can show you this funny picture that cheers me up :) I found it on pinterest while not sleeping one night.  

I've had an espresso machine at home for nearly 3 years now.  It was something that I never would have purchased for myself, but John brought it home for me and learned how to work it just so that he could show me and I wouldn't get frustrated.  Well...on Thanksgiving day my espresso machine burned out, and that man drove to Wal-Mart and got me a cheap one to hold me over until tax return and he has been shopping for a nice one for me ever since!!  He doesn't even drink's just for me and to make my business run better.  I teach crochet over coffee.  I'm a future director with Mary Kay and I do a lot of training around my table over a cup of coffee just because my husband has made it a delicious place to have coffee!! Thank you Honey.

This string of events has resulted in a deep soul search for me. Thankfully my friend and colleague Ayla Kimmel had already set me to work on a soul search.  She asked me "Nettie, what do you want your life to look like when you're dying and looking back on it?"  That's not something I've ever written down before.  I had a general idea...but nothing in writing or even in an organized thought. 

I really didn't know where to start when Ayla told me to think about it, so...being a Mary Kay Business owner, the words of Mary Kay Ash came to my mind. "Don't go to bed without writing down your 6 most important things for tomorrow. It will get them out of your head and on paper, give you a sense of purpose when you wake up, and ensure that you don't forget anything."  so I thought, why not make a "6 most important things that I want my life to be" list.  So that's were I started!!

1. I want my life to be JOYFUL
2. I want my life to be FAITH BASED
3. I want my life to be FAMILY ORIENTED
4. I want my life to be FUN!
5. I want my life to be FULL OF LOVE
6. I want my life to be WORTHY of the legacy that I leave my children

While laying in bed...coughing so hard that I saw spots, and I thought my head would explode...I have to be honest...I thought "what if I don't get through this? What if John doesn't get through this? Have we lived a life that we can be proud of?"  It was quite a great realization that we have accomplished every single thing on my 6 most important things list!!  It's not as pretty as I'd like it to be, but it's all there, and in all honesty I don't think that it was all there before this time of crisis hit us.  We have grown more than I can express. 

Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to pray for our family.  Please don't slow down the prayers.  I will keep updating you all on this blog. I was making a list and it's pretty funny: In the last 8 weeks we have had 2 broken bones, 2 cases of strep, 4 ear infections, 2 cases of the flu, 2 broken appliances, 1 house flood, 1 infected bug bite, 3 cases of pink eye, 2 cases of bronchitis, 1 week of severe diarrhea, 2 cases of chronic constipation, 2 surgical procedures, 4 trips to the ER, 5 trips to Temple, 1 hospitalization, and 1 chest x-ray!  LOL  What's Next?!!!  Please don't stop praying!!  We love you all. Thank you again.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Remington Roller Coaster

On December 7th my sweet husband John took on the task of getting the holiday decorations out of the attic.  On his first trip he brought down our old Christmas tree with all of the bright colored lights.  I put it together and set it all up and realized that some of the lights didn't work anymore, so I asked him if he'd get the other Christmas tree down for me.  The kiddos were having fun decorating the broken one, but I figured I'd get the other one set up and they could help me move the ornaments and all.  So up he went again.  It was a great Sunday afternoon.  We had all been a tad sniffly so we stayed in and had a family day.  We were ALL in our PJ's. The scene was perfect for Christmas decorating.  Music was playing, I was finishing up the dishes, and the kiddos were clearing the spot for the tree when we heard the crash.

It was surreal.  I ran, wet hands and all, to the hallway.  We have had the same ladder for years.  John used it for installing dish network years ago and we've just always had it.  Just a note of caution....ladders get old and their latches get faulty.  I looked into the hallway and my husband was standing there with both hands held up in front of him and his arms were bent in the wrong places.  He was very clearly in shock and looked like he would pass out any second.  Shoes were stuck on without socks and I grabbed the keys and we were out the door to the emergency room.

This is his right arm.  It looked worse than the left, but the break was a bit cleaner.  It only needed one surgery.  The left one...pictured below...had to have 2 surgeries. 

His very swollen hand is to the left of the picture
and the right of this picture is toward his elbow.

It took a little over a week to get in to see an orthopedic surgeon. We were very frustrated.  There was no relief for John's pain and he was so obviously broken and needed to be put back together.  When we did finally see a surgeon he referred us to a specialist in Temple, at Roney Bone Institute with Scott & White.  

Finally we got straight talk from a doctor.  We saw Dr. Daniel Stahl.  He was/is amazing.  He sat down across from us both and said "You are in this for the long haul.  Surgery can be done anytime within 3 weeks of the actual break before you have to worry about re-breaking anything, and surgery is NOT going to make you feel any better.  In fact, it will make you hurt worse for a while.  The purpose of the surgery is not to make you feel better, it's to make you heal better."  That was our consultation with him.  The surgery was scheduled for the following Monday.                 

My sister an her family were able to be here during that surgery and take care of getting B and E on the bus and off the bus. They brought their children so little L had playmates.  John's surgery took 4 hours and his recovery took nearly as long. So it was all day before I got to see him.  He has had previous breaks in his right hand from wrestling in high school, and for some reason the surgery exacerbated the pain from those injuries.  They tried multiple pain meds and finally resorted to doing a nerve block in the right arm to get him out of excruciating pain.  Eventually we were sent home with instructions to keep the arms dry and move the fingers every day.  That was going fairly well when John began to develop a sore throat...

After about 3 days he had gotten to feeling so badly that we had to get him to the doctor.  Much to our dismay, he had Strep.  I was also running a fever, so they went ahead and put us both on antibiotics.  

It was Christmas break for the kiddos so we had them all at home with us.  We were trying to get ready for Christmas and little L's birthday was on the 21st...  All of the days are running together a little bit for me now.  John had his 2 week checkup at Scott and White locally, so that we didn't have to drive to Temple.  It was supposed to be routine.  He just needed a couple of xrays and casts to replace the ace bandages since the swelling was down.  The kiddos and I sat in the waiting room while he went in.  20 minutes turned to 30 minutes....and 30 minutes to an hour...then an hour and a half.  During which time little E began crying that his tummy hurt.  I was holding him and he was moaning and crying.  John had forgotten his phone, so I couldn't reach him to tell him that something was wrong.  Finally he came out...not because he was done, but because he needed his phone.  E's fever had spiked really high and John's nurse walked us around to the ER in the same building...while John stayed to finish his appointment.

Long story short, E had the flu and severe constipation.  And while I was getting that news, John was learning that his right arm was better, but the left wrist had collapsed again.  We had to make another trip to Temple to consult with Dr. Stahl. L was with us when we went, so John went in alone.  When he came out he was distraught.  They told him that it looked bleak.  That they weren't sure that they could do anything else other than fuse the joint...which would make him lose ALL movement in his wrist.  Later that night, Dr Stahl called John on his cell phone.  Long story short, he had spoken to another specialist and they had an idea.  They wanted to take a chunk of bone out of John's hip and graft it into his wrist. 

 3 days later we were in Temple again for the surgery.  Going in, they informed us that there were several possibilities of what they might find when they started surgery.  We trusted Dr Stahl and gave him written permissions to make important decisions regarding the hip bone and how to best repair the crushed wrist joint.  I sat in the waiting room drinking coffee and crocheting for 3 hours.  They didn't end up cutting into John's hip.  I was so very relieved about that.  He was already in so much pain.  It was nearly unbearable for me to see him hurt like that, and the thought of them causing pain elsewhere was excruciating to me.  They ended up packing the joint with sterilized ground cadaver bone.

They used a bar like contraption to ratchet the joint to the right angle. When they finished the surgery it looked really good to Dr Stahl so they left the contraption on for 3 weeks to give the bone a chance to get a good head start in healing before removing the screws.

My Aunt Tammy came and took the kiddos to visit with the rest of my family and have New Year's and a belated Christmas celebration while John was having his surgery.  It was so amazing to know for sure that the kiddos were in good hands and also to have a couple of days of quiet to get John used to the external structure that was on his arm.  As you can imagine it was a psychological challenge for him...and I guess for me as well considering that it was my job to remove the bandages and clean the screw holes 2 times a day.

E got what everyone thinks was a mosquito bite while he was at my folks and it got continually bigger until he got home, and B came home with an absolutely terrible cough, a fever, and a sore throat.  I took them both to the dr the next day and E had a secondary infection with his bug bite and B had a sinus infection. They both needed antibiotics...and neither could go to school for a few days.

B and E both returned to school that Thursday and Thursday afternoon they both came home miserable.  It was back to the dr again on Friday.  B had the Flu this time and E and L both had ear and sinus infections.

None of which stopped them from enjoying eachother's you see in the photo below.

On the 31st of December I walked into the boys room to a squishy soggy floor.  The dishwasher had sprung a leak and had to be unplugged for a couple of days....AND my dryer quit working and had to be repaired.

 Through it all we have kept our smiles secured in place and enjoyed spending time together.  It's been soul cleansing to have these few weeks at home with John and the kiddos...

It has been a roller coaster, but we have been closer as a family than ever before.  I keep waiting for the challenges to slow down a little bit and I keep aiming my chin to heaven and praying my heart out for my beautiful little family....and the challenges keep coming.

As the kiddos began to get better, John started a deep scary cough in the night and his fever spiked.  He was diagnosed with bronchitis ...very nearly pneumonia.  A few days later I started having a severe stomach issue along with a sore throat terrible cough and headache.  I was in the bathroom 25 times in 3 hours and there was no sign of anything slowing down.  I was vomiting and having diarrhea, completely unable to retain any fluids at all.....  We had to take me to the ER for an iv of fluids and blood testing. It was not the flu, but it was viral.  Nothing to be done but stay hydrated.

One week later my stomach was better, but there was no improvement with the cough and congestion.  I went back to the Dr and she prescribed antibiotics.  The day that I finished the antibiotics...yesterday...we ended up taking John to the ER for severe abdominal pain.  We thought that he had a blockage as a result of eating too quickly since he had gastric sleeve surgery a few years ago, but when we got there it turned out that his liver enzymes are elevated and his gallbladder is full of sludge.  They still don't know what is going on exactly, but they admitted him to the hospital and he has been there 2 days now with no real end in sight.  I'm still coughing uncontrollably and struggling with chronic chest congestion so today, between visiting John at the hospital and consulting with his doctors and caring for the kiddos, I had to go in for a chest x-ray...they think that I may have pneumonia.  

We also kept a friend's dog for a few days while she went out of town and the dog ate a pair of my shoes and chewed the cord off of my vacuum

Anyway, long story longer....I'm sharing all of this to ask you all for your prayers and thoughts over the next little while. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wake up Mama Nettie....

Live and enjoy life!!!

Thank you to all of you who have continued to check on me over the last few years.  I've been so very out of pocket!!  Here's a recent picture of B, E, and L!!  Unbelievable right?!

Here's one of the projects that I've been working on over the last few months!  Let me know if there's any interest in a pattern! I've got it written....that will prompt me to take the time to type it out!!  :)

Today Maya Angelou passed away. She was a stunning person with such a beautiful mind and heart.  She inspired me in so many ways, and her words touched my heart.  When I heard that she passed on to be with God, I was convicted.  I've been writing for so many years and I allowed life to stop my sharing!  One thing that Ms. Angelou never ever did was allow life to stop her sharing her talents and touching peoples hearts!!  Never again.  So, Maya Angelou, wherever your beautiful spirit is today, thank you for being an inspiration to so very many exceptional people, and thank you for being an inspiration to me. May God rest your soul Sweet Lady.

In honor of Maya Angelou, I am going to share the last few years of my life with you one day at a time thru poetry.  I'd love your comments.  I believe the beauty of poetry lies in the eye of the beholder.  That means that the state of my heart when I wrote it has less impact than the state of your heart when you read it.  Share with me?? I want to know what it means to you.

By: Nettie

Weakness is the largest word I’ve ever tried to swallow.
I cannot seem to make its bitter taste go down at all.
I want to stand, I want to move, I want to give, to love, to live
I yearn to care for everyone and so I say “to hell with it”

I stand up and I take a step and tremble till I fall
And those who don’t believe me think I never stepped at all
I cry until my eyes swell shut because I’ve let them down
Then I reset my shining smile, refuse to wear a frown

My head pounds and my body shakes and no one can say why
My options may be limited, but the options are still mine
I choose to stand in times I can, and not sit idly by
There’s not a use in wallowing, though sometimes I may cry.

There’s strength inside this weakness, once it’s finally swallowed down
Accepting it and living still, is in itself a crown
And I will find the light in it, for there’s light to be found

For there’s a Savior died for me and onward I am bound.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday Morning


We made Allergy Friendly donuts...They were free from Milk, all dairy, Nuts, Wheat, Eggs, and Soy.  They turned out really yummy so I thought I'd share!

This is my allergy friendly biscuit recipe, modified to make donuts. If there's a * beside it then it's a modification. Remove all of the modifications for yummy biscuits :)

Here's the recipe:

Mix these Dry Ingredients in a large bowl:
2 C Oat Flour
2 C Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
2T Baking Powder
2tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Salt
*1/4C Sugar*

2/3 C Butter Flavored Crisco
After mixing dry ingredients well, drop by small bits into mixer as it goes.  (Or mix in with a fork or pastry blender)

1 1/2 C Rice Milk - vanilla or plain
2tsp Vanilla extract

Mix until it feels like regular biscuit dough. Pull off pieces and shape into donuts. Roll donuts in powdered sugar and lay on greased baking sheet. (At this point I covered mine and kept them in the fridge overnight so I could pull them out and put them in the oven fast the next morning.) Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.

Heat 1/8 cup of water for 2 mins in the microwave. Add 1 tsp vanilla and whisk in powdered sugar until it reaches a good consistency for icing. Dip donuts in icing while they are still warm and serve :)

On a crochet note!!!  I sold a baby pod to another wonderful photographer this week! I included a hat just for kicks and he did something great with it. It was one of those elf hats that had the long braided tail on the end and he tied it in a knot!  It turned out so cute!!!  Check out the pictures!  

My Dr appointments are this week so keep me in your prayers, and as usual...Happy Hooking to all of you!

Mama Nettie

Monday, July 30, 2012

Just a little blip

Hey everyone!  I know I've been a bit out of touch. I'm dealing with a few health issues. I'm sure that we'll talk more about them later on, but for now let's just say that I've fallen into the "Mommy Trap" and haven't been taking as good of care of myself as I should have been, so my immune system is not on track.

The doctor has put me on an almost 100% Super Foods Diet! Here's a LIST if you're interested in checking it out. It's really yummy and I've had fun finding recipes. I'm sure I'll be sharing some. It's been exciting and a bit challenging combining my already complicated grocery shopping for L's food allergies with my list of Super Foods :) But I did it!!  Go Mommy!!

On a crochet note, I got an email today that included this really neat video on how to change colors without using knots at all! Check It Out! I think I'm going to start using this technique! It is super easy and actually looks faster than tying a knot! One thing that I've discovered that I'm not sure many people do unless they sell their work to people who do not crochet or knit, is that when you hide your ends, if you put a tiny drop of fray stop on the tip of the yarn and then stretch the project to pull the tip inside the stitches and hide it, the fray stop locks it in place and then, in my experience, even in the wash it doesn't come out unless you want it to. You can still pull it out of course, should you so desire, but it will not come out of it's own accord. :)

Happy Hooking,
Mama Nettie

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lovely Lace Pattern Stitch

I saw a beautiful cardigan on a lady at church on Sunday and thought, I need to try to make a stitch that is similar to that! The fabric of her cardigan was crocheted pentagons which was beautiful and definitely doable, but this is the first pattern that came to me, and I think it's really pretty and worth sharing!

I worked my swatch in Sinfonia thread with a size F hook, but it will work up beautifully in whatever thread you as I always say, use what you love to make something you love for someone you love and love every stitch!

So Here Goes:

Chain multiple of 4 +1

Row 1: hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc across

Row 2: ch 2, turn, hdc, ch 4, sk 3, (2 hdc in next stitch, ch 4, sk 3) across, hdc in last 2 stitches

Row 3: ch 1 turn, sc, (ch 2, sc in ch 4 space, ch 2, sk hdc, sc in hdc) across

Row 4: ch 5, turn, sk sc, 2 hdc in sc, (ch 4, sk sc, 2 hdc in sc) across, ch 2, tc in last sc

Row 5: ch1, turn, sc1, ch2, sc in hdc, (ch 2, sc in ch 4 space, ch 2, sk hdc, sc in hdc) across

Row 6: ch 2, turn, hdc in sc, (ch 4, sk sc, 2 hdc in sc) across

Repeat rows 3-6 for pattern, ending with row 5

2nd to last row: ch 2, turn, hdc in sc, (ch 3, sk sc, 2 hdc in sc) across

Last row: ch 2, turn, (hdc in each st, 3 hdc in each ch 3 space) across

When working something that will have a border, you may opt not to do the foundation row of hdc or the finishing row of hdc. On the swatch that I made while creating this pattern I found that it helped to keep everything aligned better.

An extra special thank you goes out to my dear friend Sarah for taking my convoluted gibberish and simplifying it into a much easier pattern!

As always, I can't wait to hear from you! Comment or message me if you have questions.

Happy Hooking,
Mama Nettie

Check out the latest blog I'm following! I found her because she found me!!!! Click on the picture below!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Winner

And the winner of the May drawing is.....[Insert drum-roll here]......The Swiss Army Wife! I'm sure you're all completely astounded, as she was the only one who entered! So, this month you'll know that it's probably going to be an easy win so enter quickly if the drawing is for something that you like!

So here's what's going on in my crochet world. I made a pattern that I decided to sell. I hardly ever crochet from a pattern and rarely write down the patterns that I make up as I go....until recently, and you've all seen what's come of that! But for the first time ever, I made something and thought, "I might actually pay a couple of dollars for that pattern" so I listed it for sale and it's really taking off! It does help that little B loves to ham it up for pictures!

Click to Visit My Etsy Store!

So Cute!!!  I know I'm biased, but really....look at those dimples!

Because I've enjoyed this so much and gotten such an excellent turn out from it, I am currently working on several other patterns and projects, but I don't want to spoil it! There's more fun to come next week!

Happy Hooking,
Mama Nettie