Emotional Much?

I really should not write posts when I’m emotional or worried about something. That being said I’m in a much better frame of mind now. John’s allergic reaction is still a mystery but an allergist and his oncologist both don’t believe it was a reaction to his chemo which is a very good thing. He’s having an MRI today and lab work so hopefully that will shed some light on things.

Colby’s still doing his thing but in other news I pulled out one of his teeth. If you know me you might know that I hate pulling teeth. It freaks me out to no end. I even hate the thought of clipping teeth on animals. Teeth are gross! Anyway he’s had this tooth that was basically transparent needing to come out but the stupid corners wouldn’t budge. I wiggled it and wiggled it and it finally came out. You have no idea how brave that was of me! He was very happy because he’s now $5 richer and he thinks it’s funny he grossed me out.

The house. The house is moving forward! I shouldn’t have vented about the house at all but I was feeling the need to complain about something. I made the changes to the original plan and it’s going to be one level living for Colby and potentially for John so I just needed to be a little more patient. That budget I said I wasn’t going a penny over? Yeah I blew it! By about $30,000 but I was figuring the interest rate at least a half percent higher than it is going to be and I forgot that because John is 100% VA disabled the state of Utah waves your property taxes and we don’t have pmi or a down payment. That means what I thought we couldn’t afford we can so I’m getting everything I wanted and I’m in love with it already. The permits are going into place this month and we should have a hole started in the ground in about a month. Let the selection planning begin officially! It really is amazing how much a difference one week can make in your perspective. I’ll get some pictures up of it as they come along. We should be moved in, in time for the kids to start at their new school.

That’s all for today. Hopefully, I’ll have good news after todays appointments for John.


What do you say when you try and look at the positive things in life and all you feel is frustration? Now a whole lot. Is that enough of an explanation as to why I haven’t been posting much? Probably not, since this is my space I’m going to vent here for a minute. You can stop reading now if you’d rather read my regular stuff I won’t hold it against you!

John’s been doing chemo. Chemo stinks! He has one more infusion this week and then he’s officially done with round 2 of PCV chemo. It’s made him bloated, tired and miserable but if I’m being honest it’s still not as bad as the doctor made it sound like it was going to be. He’s been on dexamethasone since September and he’s tired of it. If you don’t know what Dex is it’s a steroid that reduces the swelling after brain surgery. He was on a big dose. He’s gained twenty pounds, been irritable, munchy and not sleeping well. This makes him mad so with his doctors guidance he started tapering off of it. He’s been tapering for three months and last Wednesday he took his last half dose pill. Today he woke up looking like he’d been in a fight with his right eye swollen completely shut and a splitting headache. Guess whose not happy he had to take a full pill this morning. Other than all that he’s been doing fairly good. He has an MRI on the 25th and hopefully it will show nothing.

Colby started having seizures again on Dec 28th. I think we finally found the right dose of lamictal for him because he’s been seizure free for two weeks now. Let me rephrase that. He’s been seizure free as far as I can tell because his seizure monitor that we spent two months trying to get for him doesn’t pick up his seizures even if they last a minute or more. His arms and legs pulse in the air and not flat on the bed so it doesn’t register. Good times. Please let me not have jinxed that by typing it! The lamictal is causing more dystonic episodes though so it’s a catch 22. Isn’t it always with him? Dystonic episodes are painful, wake him up at night and are in general not any less of an issue than seizures are. On the bright side he did graduate from seeing his kidney doctors from every six months to just once a year. The GI doctor has now changed her mind and said he does qualify for a nissen when before she said she’d never recommend one for him. I’m not sure that it will stop his throwing up and I think I’m having a harder time with the decision to do it or not than I had with him undergoing brain surgery to implant the Deep Brain Stimulator electrodes. How sad is that? Like I said the kid is a catch 22 in all areas of his life. The nissen could make it impossible for him to throw up which would help his erosive esophagitis but it could also make him retch more and cause him more physical pain. See what I mean? A decision is not going to come easily.

Building a house. Oh wait you didn’t know we are building a wheelchair accessible home? Probably because we signed with the builder back in December and still haven’t gotten a final bid back yet. That should be coming this Wednesday after many changes because what we said didn’t match what the drafter drafted. How does extending Colby’s room by 2 feet mean increase the total size of the house by 17%? Not sure how extending two bedroom by two feet (you have to include the basement bedroom when you extend the first floor bedroom) means to increase the kitchen, dining, living room and master bedroom all by two feet as well. Anyway, I got as mean as I ever get and told him that if it comes back a penny over our budget we’re done and just going to buy a preexisting house. I don’t think he knew that was me being mean but I guess we’ll find out on Wednesday if he thought I was serious. I’d rather lose our $500 earnest money than keep waiting for them to figure things out. Weird I know but the money’s already gone so I guess it won’ t sting quite as bad.

Car. Someone hit my car in a parking lot and caused $3600 worth of damage without leaving their information. Of course their were no cameras or any witnesses. Got that fixed then last week it started leaking tranny fluid. Got that fixed. Took Riley out to the car this morning to take her to school. Car won’t start. It’s my Electronic Throttle Control sensor. So I tried to call the dealer. It’s still hopefully under our extended warranty from when we bought it a year ago. I hope. Please let it be covered.

That’s all the venting I’m going to do for now. So if your still reading and I don’t blame you if your not, just know that now that’s it out I’ve taken a deep breath and I’m going to call the dealership again. Life will go on and things will be good. Things are good, I know I’m blessed but sometimes you just need to vent.

12 Weeks to Greater Peace, Joy & Love in Your Family ~ Giveaway


I’ve had so many people tell me that I need to write a book about our life. I can’t even count the number of people who have said that. I’ve never attempted it and can’t say that I will any time soon but I did help contribute a personal story to my friend Jennifer Jones Smith’s new book 12 Weeks to Greater Peace, Joy & Love in Your Family.


I met Jennifer several years ago and have loved watching her work through the process of writing this book.  Jennifer really cares about helping others and her new book can do just that.

I really can’t describe this book any better than by letting Jennifer do it herself. Here is the Amazon description of her book.

“Who hasn’t dealt with the ups and downs of marriage and family life? Inside the family we find our most exquisite joys, but also our most poignant moments of pain and ongoing frustration. It’s so easy to mess up these relationships! Nobody gets a rule book when they walk out of their marriage ceremony and start a family … that is until now! 12 Weeks to Greater Peace, Joy and Love is the ultimate family guidebook to transform challenging relationships into loving ones. With over twenty-seven years’ experience in marriage, parenting and child development, energy healing practitioner and parent consultant Jennifer Jones Smith offers simple, yet profound wisdom on these essential topics: * Empower yourself with greater self-love, self-compassion and confidence. (Remember peace on earth and in the family begins with “me.”) * Infuse love, joy and respect into your marriage and family relationships. * Increase harmony among your children and success with chores and homework. * Transform the feeling in your home by building unity with an uplifting environment. This empowering self-help book is written in a clearly outlined form. Jennifer and parent contributors share heart-felt stories that apply to us all. Mantras and specific assignments help readers connect with their own affirmative life force. This is an indispensable resource for every family library. Let this book infuse your family with greater peace, joy and love in as little as 12 weeks!”

Can you imagine someone who wouldn’t be helped by at least one chapter of this book? I can’t!

Let me tell you my thoughts after having read the book. First I’ll admit that most books that say twelve weeks till…. or 21 to a better…. don’t hold my interest all that much. I want results now not with time. I’m a little impatient like that!  Here’s the great thing about this book you can get results fast. Any part of this book can be used immediately and over time. The second thing I love about this book is that there are so many personal stories involved. I’m a little excited that one of them is mine but I enjoyed reading about everyone else’s challenges, struggles and triumphs as well.

The book is for sale now on Amazon but you are going to want to wait and see if you win my giveaway before you buy it! Plus if you wait for the super secret launch date you’ll get lots of bonuses when you opt-in to her email list. By opting in you will receive 4 free Empower Your Family surveys available for immediate download, plus sneak peeks at the book, tips to help your family, learn what the $160 in bonuses will be, and be the first to know when the book is available and how to get your bonuses.

The opt-in page that will give all the information is at  http://myheartfelthealing.com/love
If you opt-in you will get another chance for a giveaway on Jennifer’s site!
I’m going to make this giveaway fairly simple.
Leave me a comment telling me a challenge or challenges you are currently facing with your family.
That’s it, pretty simple requirement. If you’d like more entries every time you share the link to this post you can leave another comment with the link to your share.
The giveaway will end on Feb. 4th and the winner will have 48 hours to respond back to me with your information so you can receive your copy of the book.

P.S. One of the bonuses will be an incredible Telesummit featuring 6 experts addressing issues and challenges that families are facing.

Some of the topics for the Whole Heart Family Telesummit are:

*Teaching Children Self-Government through Positive Guidance

*Life is a Journey – Gratitude and Forgiveness

*Healing Yourself & Your Family

*Being an Epic Lover to Your Spouse

*Marriage on Purpose: 4 Keys to Success

*Porn Addiction: There is Hope

The Telesummit experts will share valuable tips, stories and gifts to empower your family with greater peace, joy and love.

It’s IMPORTANT and required to go to this link after purchasing your book on Amazon to claim your bonuses on February 5th, 2014.


I received a pdf version of this book for my honest review. This did not influence my opinion in any way.

November, Radiation, Pneumonia, Endless Antibiotics and Oh yeah it’s almost Christmas!

Let’s just say November was full of doctor appointments.

John was doing radiation Monday through Friday of every week. He was lucky and got a four day reprieve over Thanksgiving and finished his 30th treatment on December 3rd. He brought home his radiation mask that they used to bolt him to the table so he wouldn’t move his head and promptly threw it in the trash! I did manage to get this picture of it before he did that.

radiation mask


He is very happy to be done with that. He has to wait a month to get another MRI and then on the 9th of January we should be able to find out when he starts his rounds of chemo. So he will just start to feel good again before they try and kill him with the chemo. Brain cancer stinks is all I have to say about that. John’s developed some fun side effects from the radiation. His arms have started shaking hard when he puts a little bit of pressure on them. Imagine you are sitting at the table and you place your arms on the edge and kind of lean forward and then your arms start shaking violently. Good times! He’s also very forgetful now. Every night before bed we make a list of all the things he needs to do the next day. The doctors think that may come back with time which would be nice because he doesn’t remember a lot of conversations either. It’s very frustrating for him. Through all of it he has said that he has a greater appreciation for what Colby goes through daily. They both have some sensory issues and John was never aware how much that could affect someone until  now.

I was lucky enough to have bronchitis that decided it wanted to morph into pneumonia. I’ve never had pneumonia before. Extremely low temperatures and pneumonia make for some painful breathing when taking Colby out to the bus in the morning. Thankfully it has cleared up. I still have a lingering cough but I had a chest x-ray to make sure the pneumonia was gone.

Jahnna thought it would be fun to have bronchitis and then pneumonia as well. Colby and Riley just thought it would be fun to have the bronchitis. They didn’t get a chance to develop pneumonia because their pediatrician said if I had it they would certainly get it and gave them antibiotics for it. I pretty much tried to keep us all at home for most of the month.

Riley thought it would be fun to have another episode of Petechiae  so she also got to have some lab work done. Her pediatrician consulted with the hematologists down at Primary Children’s and they are not concerned with her bruising, tiredness and small red blood cells. I was told to just keep an eye on her and if she starts to have any bleeding problems to reassess her symptoms then.

Riley and Colby also decided that they both needed glasses. Colby in typical backward boy form is far sighted while Riley joins the rest of the family in being near sighted.

Colby glasses

Colby had to get adult sized sports goggles because nothing else at the store would stay on his face. He loves them. I don’t! They are going back because I can’t make them stay on his face without either foggy up or falling off. I’m trying to find some kind of alternative so if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Riley glassesRiley wanted black glasses because “black goes with everything!” Little miss, I must match by wearing all one color from head to toe, drove me nuts picking these out. She was adamant on the black and wouldn’t even go with an inside color to soften the black. I will admit she does look cute she’s just very picky about what she thinks matches.

Finally, can anyone tell me how the heck it is that Christmas is next week? I’m a little behind. Behind as in I haven’t thought about next week at all. I know my parents and possibly my youngest brother are coming in from California. I know that we’ll be having Christmas dinner at my house because it’s easier on Colby and John and their sensory issues to have dinner here but other than that, that’s it. What are we eating for Christmas dinner. A ham. I only know that much because my sister already bought it and is bringing it with her. Yup, I am on the ball this year for sure!

I’m taking a deep breath and remembering what Christmas is truly about and that it’s not about the stress of buying presents and making dinner. It’s about remembering the birth of Christ, spending time with family and loving life because it’s a gift and a miracle that both John and Colby are here to experience it another year.

As the year ends I keep reminding myself of all the blessings I have. The stress of the next year will come soon enough but I will try and relax and enjoy the holidays. If I don’t post between now and next year I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and if you don’t celebrate Christmas then I hope you have happy holidays in what ever way you celebrate them in!


At Home In Dogwood Mudhole ~ Review

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John and I have been trying to decide on either buying 3/4 of an acre lot and building a house or buying a pre-existing home. It’s been a stressful decision for many reasons. The most stressful reason for me is that I grew up on 13 acres and 3/4 of an acre is not even a sliver of what my dream property would be. If I could I’d move far away from a city and become more self sufficient. Obviously John’s brain cancer and Colby’s medical needs will pretty much prevent that from ever happening but after reading At Home in Dogwood Mudhole by Franklin Sanders from At Home in Dogwood Mudhole I was able to live the dream vicariously for a little while.

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When I was asked if I wanted to review this book I decided to read the sample chapter that was available at the time. Pig Persuader made me laugh so hard I had Jahnna coming down the hall to ask me what was so funny. If you have ever worked with pigs you will love this chapter! It was impossible for me not to remember my days in 4-H trying to keep pigs from escaping at the county fair or moving them from pens to a practice arena. I remembered trips to buy pigs with my dad and all the other 4-Her’s and how we all thought we knew what we were doing when we really had no clue. After reading the sample chapter it was obvious to me that Franklin Sanders has a gift in his ability to describe a situation and bring it life. So of course I had to request the opportunity to review it.

In full disclosure I must tell you that I grew up in California. We don’t really get the whole North vs. South thing unless your talking Northern California vs. Southern California and which one of them gets Bakersfield because nobody wants Bakersfield. I also lived in Bakersfield for three years and it’s one of the few places I would actually move back to but that’s a story for another day. The references to the Civil War lost me a time or two. I’ve always found historical trivia fun to read in a lighthearted manner but I really have no emotional or family ties to that time period other than visiting a plantation once when I was in Tennessee for a day. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book with a southern slant to it but by the time you finish  At Home in Dogwood Mudhole you will know that Franklin is definitely Southern! You will also know that he is a Christian man and a family man as well.

Over all I felt this was a fun book to read. It’s a book based off of snippets of newsletters written by Franklin for the readers of his newsletter The Moneychanger. It starts in 1995 and brings back the focus surrounding Y2K and all the hype that went along with it. It was interesting to read those references and remember what a big deal that once was.

If you’d like to you can read the sample chapter Pig Persuader from Volume 1 and the sample chapter Home Alone Milking from Volume 2 if you’d like to read your own preview. Volume 1, Nothing That Eats,  weighs in at 379 pages, and is available in paperback for $22.95, or ebook formats Kindle, ePub, or PDF for $16.95. Volume 2, Best Thing We Ever Did is currently available in PDF format, with Kindle and ePub to follow in late November, and the paperback is expected to ship the first week of December.

If you decide to order the book or even read the sample chapters let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your opinion.  This is sadly my last review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Due to the curves life threw at us this last August, I have been finding it hard to keep up with reviews and my daily life. I have enjoyed my time on the crew so much and hope to be back on it again in 2015. In the mean time I’ll keep posting about the chaos of our life because that’s what keeps me sane!

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Carole P. Roman Books ~ Review

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Carole P. Roman  with Away We Go Media sent me the following four books to review:

If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico
If You Were Me and Lived in…South Korea
If You Were Me and Lived in…France
If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway

There is currently no link to Norway as it’s a soon to be released title so keep an eye out for it!

Carole wanted a way to share her love of history and culture with children so she developed these books for kids ages PreK to 8. I reviewed the Kindle version of each book but they are also available as 8 1/2″ by 8 1/2″ soft bound books for those who would rather have a physical product. Each book is between 20 to 30 pages long.

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The books are part historical part tour guide. The country is first introduced, the the location of it’s capital city followed by it’s location in the world on a globe. The remainder of the book discusses things that kids might like to know about the different countries. What their name might be said like, different foods they would eat, what they would call their parents, etc. At the end of each book is a pronunciation guide for words you might not know.

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I glanced through the books after I loaded them onto Jahnna’s Kindle and then handed it over to her. She is 10 years old and I wasn’t entirely sure what her interest level would be in these after seeing the books myself. I figured at the very least this might be an opportunity for her to read them to Riley who is 6 and maybe they could learn to work together for once but I never hold my breathe on that wish! Jahnna is a fairly advanced reader for her age and she reads fast! I definitely wasn’t surprised when she came back within twenty minutes saying she was done. What did surprise me was how much she enjoyed them.

She came back full of information, questions on how to pronounce certain words and requests to cook some of the different foods discussed. We went over some of her questions added the foods she was interested in to our never ending list of recipes for her to cook and went over the pronunciation guides at the end of each book.

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Riley came in while we were talking about some of the different words and then of course she wanted to know how to say them and what we were talking about. Surprisingly (maybe shockingly if you know these two and their relationship at times) they went off together to the toy room and read them over again. I love when a product is interesting enough to engage the different levels my girls are on and brings them together for a change.

Over all I felt these books were enjoyable. I don’t feel they are a good stand alone for kids older than 8 years old. Jahnna has an inquisitive mind so she makes those jumps on her own without much help but for other older kids this might not hold their interest for long. The age 8 for the upper range is very accurate in my opinion unless you want to continue on with the books and go deeper with them. They make a good starting point for learning about other countries and how children in those countries aren’t that much different from children here in many ways.

You can purchase the first three books in the series on Amazon in both Kindle and Softbound format. The Kindle editions are available for $.99 and the books are $8.99 each. If you were Me and Lived in…Norway is available for $1.99 on Kindle and $8.62 in paperback. They can also be purchased at Barnes and Noble for $9.99 with the Norway book being $8.63.



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VocabularySpellingCity ~ Review

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VocabularySpellingCity has free and premium memberships for students K-12. I was able to review the Premium Plan. I know I’ve talked about Jahnna’s spelling challenges before. She spells phonetically. She also likes to add random letter e’s to the end of words, like loude instead of loud. We’d been using different methods that were straight forward but boring. I jumped on the opportunity to review this because it looked like fun and it would be something she would enjoy.

Unfortunately life got more than a bit crazy for us with the brain tumor and then Colby’s Deep Brain Generator dying on us and him needing surgery to replace it. I feel behind in keeping up with reviews and so we did not use this as much as I would have liked so far. I’m adding the so far because what we have used of it has been amazing. I was able to explore the site I just haven’t been able to use it much with Jahnna like I would have liked too.

First there are two types of accounts. If one of those types is free why would you spend money for a premium account? Here’s why:

premium membership

For $29.99 a year you can have 5 students use your membership. You can track their activities and lists. You can customize and change the lists. Your students can participate in many different activities not just for spelling but also for vocabulary and writing.

There are over 50,000 words and 60,000 customizable sentences and definitions to use. A real person who says each word and sentence. There are Teacher Training Videos, printable handwriting worksheets, teaching resources with lists and lesson plans. There is a forum available and newsletters to help you out.

The next two pictures show a screen shot of some games. The Word-O-Rama game is Jahnna’s favorite. The little penguin guy made her laugh really hard.

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I think my favorite resource are the suggested lists that are provided. It’s hard to keep up with daily life sometimes (pretty much all the time in our case!) so grade appropriate word lists are a great way to either make sure your student is where they need to be or to have in case you don’t have time to add your own lists.

I love that you can track your students activities and lists. It would be so simple to make lists for your oldest student and then reuse them as the rest of your students catch up. I am so bad at keeping records for school. You’d think having been a high school teacher I would be better at that but let’s just say it was never my strong suit then either. I guess it’s a good thing we school in a state that doesn’t require record keeping. That being said I do believe there is a place for records, spelling would be one of those places.

For $29.99 this is a program that I can see myself renewing when the time comes. I will admit to being slightly overwhelmed by all the features at first. Writing this review reminded me of the FAQ videos and that I needed to refresh myself and start over from step one with Jahnna. After going back through everything I’ve asked Jahnna how she felt about the program and if she wanted to work with this program or continue with the one we had been working on. She enthusiastically said VocabularySpellingCity. I knew she would and so next week we’ll get back into the swing of life and start working on learning to spell correctly again. Maybe I’ll start her off learning to spell Oligodendroglioma but that might be a little rough for her. I guess I’ll be nice and go with the suggested lists.

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Long Week

Wow! Last week was an incredibly long week. I was trying to get things wrapped up for Colby’s surgery on Thursday. What? I didn’t mention Colby was having surgery? Chalk that one up to the extra long week I had. The week before Colby was having a rough time. I’ve been slowly weaning him off of his Klonopin so I figured that was the problem. Then I noticed his right arm was moving like crazy.

This is a really short video of what his spasms look like and how fast they can sometimes end. At the very end of the video you can see his arm moving a little bit. The next day that arm was flying up in the air all sorts of crazy like.

I couldn’t figure out why his arm would be having uncontrolled movement with a med step down until the light bulb went off in my head and I remembered his DBS neurologist saying that his battery should be ready to replace soon. So I pulled out his programmer to check it out. We call it his remote control. Sure enough there was the replace the battery message. For some reason I had it in my head that when that message showed up we had a year to replace his battery. Turns out it was only 90 days. I can guarantee that I hadn’t checked it over 90 days because it’s not something we mess with to often.

I called the doctors office and spoke with the nurse and she said that she’d call the neurosurgeons office and set up an appointment. Instead of an appointment they just scheduled the surgery. Luckily they scheduled it for Thursday so Colby didn’t have to miss any school. It was the start of fall break on Wednesday so the timing was perfect. I had a few phone calls from scheduling and the neurosurgeons office to set things up. The neurosurgeon nurse called on Monday to see if we were interested in a rechargeable battery. When we did the first surgery we were told that the rechargeable battery wasn’t as good for people who needed their generator on all day, so we didn’t do it. I decided to check in with the neurologist and get her thoughts on it and she agreed that 9 years in between surgeries was a much better option than every 3 years so that’s what we did.

It takes a little bit  more effort on my part each night but that’s okay. His bedtime routine already takes between 15 minutes and 30 minutes so adding in a 10 to 15 minute battery charge while doing the other stuff isn’t an issue. Here’s a picture of the boxes the techs brought me in the parent waiting room.

1383829_10151945520779489_2140758352_nLooks like fun right? Here’s what’s in the boxes.


The circular part on the bottom right goes over his stomach where the battery is inserted. The middle part is the charger and the part of the left is the charger for the charger. Confused yet? It’s not so bad. Today was the first day I’ve recharged him and it took about 45 minutes because it had been three days since his surgery. From now on I’ll do it every night. It’s easier in my opinion to build something like this into Colby’s daily routine instead of trying to do it weekly. I’d forget if I only did it weekly and that would be bad. If the battery goes completely dead three times you have to have it surgically replaced. I don’t want that to happen. Colby was a trooper for the surgery. He was supposed to stay over night for a 23 hour observation but he did so good right after surgery that he was able to go home after an hour. He’s still doing good but he will be out of school for a few more days.

So why else was it a long week? John got it into his head that we needed to get his living will put together, my life insurance and his VA insurance all done so that we have that in case the cancer doesn’t go completely away. He wants me to have life insurance so in case something happens to both of us the kids are taken care of. It’s a smart decision even if we weren’t dealing with his brain cancer. It’s something that’s easy to put off though if you aren’t dealing with a technically terminal illness. I say technically only because the odds are what they are and while I remain hopeful and optimistic it’s good to not have blinders on to seriousness of this disease. It’s not something I wanted to ever really think about let alone put into place.

It’s also  been long because John is starting radiation tomorrow. So he’s been a little anxious and trying to get things done so that in case this hits him hard things are done and he doesn’t have to worry about little things. It didn’t help that he’s still crazy tired and his head still hurts from his surgery. It’s been emotionally draining on him knowing this was coming when we really didn’t want to go this route. The unknown is scary so as much as he’s been wanting to hurry up and get it over with he’s been kind of happy that it hasn’t started yet.

That’s about it for now. I think that was enough for the week, don’t you? :)

The HomeMaker’s Mentor ~ Review and 3 Giveaways


Remember last week when I made that horrible confession about my bathrooms? I probably should have included dusting, sweeping, dishes and laundry to the list of things I really don’t like to do. I’m not such a great homemaker even if I really want to be. I do continually try though so it must count for something right? Thankfully for me there are amazing resources out there like the The HomeMaker’s Mentor.  If there wasn’t I might be in a lot of trouble! There are over 110 lessons included in this CD. I’ll admit I should be memorizing the one called Freshen & Perk Up Your Bathroom. I actually did read it and started working on ways to declutter our tiny master bathroom.


There is so much included on this CD that I’m still working my way through many of the pdf files.


Jahnna loves to bake so there was plenty on this CD to share with her. One of the best recipes for beginners is the Shortbread recipe that I’m including here. All you do is combine the following ingredients in a bowl:

2 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup powdered icing sugar
Cut in:
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
Mix with hands until dough forms a ball. Pat out evenly to 1/4” thick. Cut out and place cut out cookies onto baking sheet. Do NOT grease baking sheets. Prick with a fork and bake in a 300 degree pre-heated oven for up to 30 minutes or until sides are golden and cookies are set. Let cool on baking sheets and them remove to cool longer on wire cooling rack.

Jahnna had a lot of fun making these and it’s pretty hard to mess this up so it’s a perfect project for younger kids.

This is one of many recipes you will find in the files. There is only one folder that I haven’t opened and I’m not likely to any time soon. It’s the one called Beans & More Beans. There’s a very long story behind my aversion to beans and it goes clear back to Kindergarten. So I can’t tell you what is in that folder you’ll just have to buy your own copy and find out for yourself! Sorry about that!

The CD is available for $37 with free shipping (reg $47) until Oct 18th so hurry and get your copy today!

On to the three giveaway opportunities. First up I am able to give away two copies of this CD to my readers. After that rafflecopter widget make sure you continue down the page to the third giveaway opportunity for you.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Click here to enter the HomeMaker’s Mentor Giveaway valued at over $400


You can read other launch team members reviews at HomeMaker’s Mentor Launch Team Reviews




The plan

John and I went and spoke with the radiation doctor on Thursday. John was hoping to get started on Monday but that’s not the case. First he has to go and get an MRI and a CT scan tomorrow. Then they will make him a lovely mask that will look like this.



Doesn’t that look like fun? It’s used to bolt his head to the table so he can’t move for the minute or so that the radiation is on each day. The doctor said it takes longer to get him on to the table than the treatment does and that he will only be there for about fifteen minutes a day. The mask doesn’t take long to make but merging the images from the MRI and the CT scan into a 3D model of his brain takes 4 to 5 days.

After the model is made then he can start treatment. Six weeks of radiation. After that they’ll do an updated MRI and then he will start the chemo phase of this plan. That will take six to nine months. Good times! John just wants to get started so he can get it done faster so he’s a little impatient about another week of waiting.

As far as side effects go he shouldn’t notice much until about three weeks into it according to the doctor. That’s when his hair should start to fall out. Of course it won’t fall out all over his head just in a circle around the spot they radiate. He’s already planning on shaving it. That’s probably when the tiredness will begin also. He might have some nausea and some headaches from the start so we’ll stay on top of that. If he gets headaches then he will have to go back on a low dose of steroids. I’m guessing that because he is still having headaches a month after surgery he will probably need the steroids. At least it will just be a low dose and not a super high one.

That’s about it for now as far as the plan goes.

In other news Colby went to Shriner’s again and he will be getting his new back brace in a couple more weeks. I wish I could have taken a picture of them casting him for the brace. He thought it was pretty funny to be lying on basically a flat rope in the air. I had to hold his head and arms while someone else held his hips and legs while the other person wrapped him with the casting material.  He was also approved for a stander and they are pulling one out of storage and cleaning it up for him. He tolerated it really well at his evaluation. He stood for over an hour which he thought was pretty cool. That should be ready to pick up about the same time as his brace.

That’s all for the last week. This next week it’s my turn to go see the orthopedic surgeon for my wrist. Hopefully all I’m looking at is a steroid shot. That would be nice. Wish me luck!


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