Sunday, April 15, 2012

Busy week

This has been a crazy, busy week.  I started off the week with Easter of course.  It was a nice Easter.  Stan had to work all weekend.  He was on call and the normal night shift person injured his back, so Stan had to work both Friday and Saturday night.  He didn't go to church on Sunday.  He was awake when we got home though and had the ham in the oven. We had dinner then Bryon and Margie came over and we did an Easter egg hunt with the cousins.  We watched a few funny Youtube videos and listened to a few funny songs too.  It was a good day.  Nice and calm.  No drama, no problems.  All was good.

Monday I had PT and I had an appointment with Dr Westgate.  It was my normal every 3 month appointment to get my Botox in my leg.  She was pleased with the progress I've made with walking.  I haven't posted on here much about that since last year when I had to start using a wheel chair, but since then, I have improved a lot.  Just before Christmas, I started walking just a little bit.  At first, it was only a few steps and it was so slow.  Now, I can go 40 feet or so before I have to rest.  I can't walk with shoes on though.  My toes drag too much so my shoes cause me to trip.  I have to use a walker too.  I've been trying to walk some around the house when I can.  I walk in the kitchen when I am making dinner and while I am sewing.  Anyway, Tuesday, I had an appointment with a new doctor.  He is evaluating me for a baclofen pump.  I am taking oral baclofen to treat the spasms I have.  They are the worst in my right leg, which is why I get the Botox, but even the Botox can't take care of all of them.  I can't handle the side effects at a dose that is effective enough to treat the spasticity.  By putting in a pump, they can give me the baclofen directly into the spinal cord and then it will be a much lower dose, so almost no side effects even though it will be way more effective. I then had Cub Scouts at my house; we did sewing and wood working.  Wednesday wasn't busy at all, but I needed to rest all day.  I was exhausted from the previous 2 days.  Thursday was just errands and normal stuff.  Friday brought PT and babysitting in the afternoon.

I was trying to be really careful last week to not over do things because if I get too exhausted, I set myself up for a flare.  It turns out, I was already starting into a flare and didn't even know it yet.  Starting around the 3rd of April, I started having a burning sensation around my chest, along with a lot of pressure and occasionally an electric shock feeling.  It is commonly called the "MS Hug".  Not the kind of hug you really want though.  A few days later, I had a week of overwhelming fatigue set in.  I didn't think anything of it at the time.  I thought it was just the change in weather since it was getting hotter.  I told Dr Westgate about this at my appointment and she was a little concerned.  Thursday, the weakness started.  The strength in my legs is down about 50%.  Considering I don't have a lot of strength in my right leg anyway, it took a lot away.  Now losing strength in my left leg, my walk is more of a shuffle, when I can walk at all.  I've had some bladder issues with this flare as well, but I won't get into those in such a public place.  I'll be calling Dr Westgate first thing in the morning and I suspect I will be starting steriods by tomorrow afternoon.  I'm not looking forward to this.  Stan gave me a blessing this afternoon though and I feel much better after that.  I was told that I would regain all that I had lost.  That was a huge relief.  It was frustrating me that I had just lost 6 months of physical therapy work and I wasn't looking forward to having to work again to regain that.  It seemed like an endless cycle.  I'll try to post later this week and keep everyone posted on my progress on this flare.

I decided the best way to allow people to download the Woman of Faith block instructions was to just upload the instructions to  4shared.  They are in a Word Document.  It anyone can give me tips on posting tutorials on blogs, I'm all ears.  I'm not very tech savvy when it comes to the internet.  I know how to do the things I do very well, but I don't do much on the internet, so not my area.  Feel free to share these instructions with anyone.  They are not copyrighted at all at this point.  The block is a very common block and the quotes are from the Book of Mormon and General Conference.  I think it would be cool for as many people as possible to be doing a Book of Mormon/Woman of Faith quilt.  We should share our testimonies through our talent and love of quilting.  If you do decide to make a quilt, please send me a link.  I'd love to see your quilt and your blocks.  Do you think it would be tacky for me to pin my own post into pinterest to get more people interested in doing a Book of Mormon quilt?  I don't care; I may do it anyway.  There isn't a blog/pinterest police to stop me and I don't think it is against their terms of use. 

I almost forgot the link  Women of Faith or Book of Mormon Quilt Block 1

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Great class

I took a great class today at A Quilter's Folly.  It was about quilting a quilt using your regular sewing machine.  I love the look of a quilt after it has been quilted and  finished and washed and it shrinks up and gets all soft.  All I can do is a stippling stitch.  I don't have any interest in hand quilting.  Hand work is not my cup of tea by any means.  I have tried to do things that are fancier, but it has always looked awful.  This class is all about how to create beautiful machine quilting with your sewing machine.  No long arm quilter needed.  That's good because I won't have the money or the room for a long arm machine for a very long time.

The class was taught be a man named Lane.  He is a self taught quilter.  He does all of his quilts on his home machine.  They aren't even fancy machines.  He uses older machines even, not even the fancier quilting machines that have the longer arm area with more room for the quilt.  I started with some easier stuff and then went onto some harder stuff.  Some of it looked pretty crappy and some of it looked pretty good.  I didn't do too good on the stuff that involved back tracking over previous stitches.  I need to practice that.  We have homework to so I'll get more practice though.  For practice, we have to do a large square, like a 15x15 square quilt area and try to fill the entire thing.  I'll add that to all the other sewing I have to do over the next 2 weeks.  Why do I do this to myself.  My list of sewing projects I need to do just seems to be getting longer and longer.  Unfortunately, none of the things on my list are for me.  They are all for other people.  I need to start telling people no.  That has always been something I've had a problem with.  I say yes, yes, yes, yes, until I am in over my head, then and only then do I say no.  Anyway, that is an entirely different post.

On a different subject, I am getting my next round of Botox injections on Monday.  I am very ready for them.  The spasticity isn't as bad as it got in December, probably because I was so stressed out with the holidays in December.  It's bad enough though.  I start to forget how bad the spasms are when the Botox is working until it wears off.  I just can't take enough Baclofen to make a difference during these times.  I'd do nothing but sleep.  Speaking of Baclofen,  I see a physical medicine specialist on Tuesday to find out more about getting a Baclofen pump.  I know I will still have to undergo a test injection to make sure it is even going to be effective.  That is the part I am really  not looking forward to.  If it works, I'm not looking forward to the surgery either, but at least I know I will get good pain meds after surgery.  I'll just take things one step at a time though and make sure I get plenty of priesthood blessings.  I know God will help me through this.  I know if this is what is best for me, it will work out for the best.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Women of Faith Quilt, or Book of Mormon Quilt

Here is the first block for our block of the month program we are starting at our church quilting group.  Our group is called Sisters in Stitches.  It is a group of LDS women who meet once a month to share our love of quilting and to teach new sisters how to quilt.  We decided recently that there are other quilts about Women of the Bible and such, but we wanted one that represented the LDS faith.  This one is going to be all about our testimonies as LDS women.  

For those of you who don't know what LDS means, it stands for Latter-Day Saint which is how we refer to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as Mormons.  

This block is called the Cornerstone.  I chose this one because the Book of Mormon is the cornerstone of our religion.  President Ezra Taft Benson said " The Book of Mormon is the Keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the cornerstone of everything we do.  It bears witness of His reality with power of clarity."  In the introduction of the Book of Mormon, it says, “Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”  I chose the colors I did because of the YW colors.  In the YW colors, green is the color for knowledge.  We receive much of our knowledge of the gospel from the Book of Mormon.  The gold color stands for virtue.  As a virtuous women, I will be able to return to live with my Father in Heaven.  I plan on using YW colors for all of my quilt blocks.  For me, this is going to represent more a Women of Faith quilt than just a Book of Mormon quilt.  This past year, I have really struggled with my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my faith has been tested.  This quilt is going to represent that test of faith that I have had.  It is going to be very personal for me.  I hope other people can find their own personal journey through their own quilt.

I plan on putting the instructions for this block on the web site some time soon.  I have it in word format and I'm not sure what the best way to put it on here would be, especially since I have some pictures included that are jpg format.  I'll think about that and get those instructions up soon.  I'm sure there are other members of the church who would love to make a Book of Mormon quilt.  I hope to have the instructions up by the end of the week.  Bug me if I don't get them up, if there is still anyone reading this blog.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Update on the Family

It seems like so much changes from month to month with my kids, especially with Rachael.  The only thing that doesn't change with her is she is still dancing.  She isn't dancing as many hours as she was now that she is a full time college student.  She is in a new chapter of her dance career though.  She isn't in VIR this year since that is a high school thing.  At Tapestry, they started a new things this year that is almost VIR, except it is for adults.  It's called Tapestry, Too.  She started that this year.  She was almost guaranteed a spot for that considering Brenna is the director for Tapestry, Too and Brenna has been Rachael's tap teacher for years.  In addition to Tapestry, Too, she is taking some technique classes at Tapestry and a choreography class through ACC as part of her degree plan.  She is also taking 2 other classes at ACC (for those reading this who are not in Austin, ACC stands for Austin Community College), Literature and College Mathematics.  After she finishes these classes, she will only have 1 science class and 1 speech class and all her "basics" will be complete.  She will only have her Major classes left.  She has her acceptance letter to Texas state.  Now, she just has to find out what she needs to do to get into the Dance program, which should be no problem.  We don't see her around the house much these days between school, dance, working, church and her social life.  She's a busy girl.

Andrew is not very busy at all.  The only extra-curricular activity he has right now is Boy Scouts.  The cooking school he was going to shut down in the fall.  They decided to retire and couldn't find anyone to buy it, so they just shut down.  I was disappointed.  I haven't been able to find anything comparable for Andrew to take that works with our schedule and is in south Austin.  He still is interested in cooking.  He doesn't cook much at home though.  I have discovered that Young Chef taught him how to do portions of a recipe, but never really taught him how to follow a recipe from beginning to end and make an entire meal.  He helps me cook a lot, but I have to help him a lot too.  He is now learning how to make more things and he will soon be able to make things on his own.  He still likes to bake a lot.  Given his choice to do anything, he would play video games all day and that is what I want to change more than anything.

Jeremy is still my little handful.  He is so smart and so full of energy.  He loves to play outside with his friends, he LOVES Legos, riding his scooter, jumping on the trampoline, reading, making up stories, creating movies/plays, and playing video games with his brother.  He has an incredible imagination and comes up with great stories.  He really wants to film a movie for cub scouts.  He started Tae Kwon Do in September and he really loves that.  He got his yellow belt right before Christmas.  He is doing great.  We are having a few problems with school work and some behavior.  He is having a lot of trouble dealing with me being in a wheel chair.  I think he is worried sub consciously that I am going to die since his grandma died only a few years after she had to go into a wheel chair.  We took him to a therapist recently and we will see if she can help him work through these problems.  He is such a sweet kid and everyone who meets him loves him.

Stan is still working at Tokyo Electron.  He is doing more woodworking and is geocaching a lot.  He was called to serve as  Bishop of the Austin ward in January, so that is keeping him really, really busy.  He is gone a lot, which is hard on the entire family, but we are blessed by his service.  I'll post another time with all of Stan's wood working things.  He has made some amazing puzzles and toys.  He is going to help my cub scouts make some things in a few weeks.  That should be fun.

Till next time!

Friday, March 23, 2012

I am still alive

I am really not doing very well at this blogging stuff.  It has been almost a year since my last post. I am going to try for more frequent, but short post.  I wait too long to update, then feel overwhelmed because I have so much to post.  No more.  Life is good now though.  Still in a wheel chair, but walking some.  Hope to be able to walk around the house soon.  I'm working hard at it even though I'm a little tired of going to PT twice a week.

We just thought we were busy last year.  This year, busy took on a whole new meaning.  Stan was called to be bishop of the Austin ward.  I don't see him much on Sunday, or Tuesday and Wednesday for that matter.  We have already received many blessings from his calling though and I know there are many more to come.  Even though he doesn't think so, he truly is a man of God and he is the right man for the calling.

Our quilting club at church, Sisters in Stitches, is starting a new project.  It is a block of the month project that is going to be a Book of Mormon/Woman of Faith quilt.  I got to pick the first block.  I chose the Chimney and Cornerstone block because the Book of Mormon is the cornerstone of our religion.  I have a few corrections I have to make to the file, but then I want to post it on my blog so if you want to make a Book of Mormon quilt too, you can.  Mandy, one of the other members, has made a blog just for the quilt, so I will also put a link to her blog.

I gave up on selling bags at Etsy.  I couldn't keep up with bags for the site and still sew the things I wanted too.  I would rather sew what I want to.  I do still do custom orders, so that is still fun. 

Ok, post one down.  Not too bad.  I'll try to not wait 10 months to post again.