Tuesday, April 14, 2015

We are here in Ohio

WOW! My head spins trying to go back since December and fill you in. I apologize for not keeping up on the blog better than I have and hope to do a better job from here on out. I'll just back up to just a few weeks ago and let you in on bit of my new journey I'm on-but not alone!:) I am now residing for some time here in Ohio. I received a phone call March 20 that we needed to be here in Ohio to get the ball rolling to be placed on the transplant list. Since my surgery in November there has been some things that have improved, but some things that haven't. Between my transplant surgeon, transplant nurse, and transplant social worker, they decided this is the next step we need to enter into. With much prayer and consideration of a lot of other things,we have made the tough decision to make the move. I am not on the list at the present time, but will be going on it soon. There's a few things we need to do before going on the list and once that's done, then a handful of doctors and a few test to clear me for the transplant list. That gave me 2 weeks to get some of my house packed up and ready to put on the market to sell. To pack ALL of my medical "stuff". I hope to leave some of that here in Cleveland once I get to come home again. To decide what clothes to take for spring and summer. I am a girl and 5 outfits are not enough for me to make it through a week:) NO more needs to be said on that.:) Getting important documents together. Helping 3 kids pack some clothes and their school things, fix a few meals and throw them in the freezer to have for while we are in Ohio so I didn't have to bring my kitchen with me. By the time I got my "things" all together I realized I had too much! So then, I had to go back thru and condense a few boxes together and decide what I could leave behind for a bit. It was a BUSY 2 weeks that went by too fast! We decided that Shane would bring Kelsey and I on out to Ohio first, so on April 2 we left and made it from Princeton Illinois to Westlake Ohio. Lots of loading up a car and unloading of a car in one day! He headed back to Princeton on the 4th to get the younger two and they came back to Ohio on the 8th. Kelsey and I were able to get the room unpacked and things put away before the rest of the family got back. I enjoyed the time that we had together, but I sure did miss being a complete family. The Marriott TownePlace Suites have a 2 bedroom apartment and we felt that would be our best option. It has a little kitchen with a small stove/oven, fridge, dishwasher.... There is a transplant house, but we have 3 children that will be with us off and on. We are doing some family things together while we have the time and chance too. We have done an art gallery and nature museum. Shane has taken the kids on walks to Lake Erie and a few parks to give me some time to catch some rest. We are enjoying our time that we have together:)We were able to go to church on Sunday morning then came back to the room that afternoon to rest. The kids are troopers, and are handling it well. We keep reminding each other in rough moments that this is only temporary. Since we have been here I have been fighting a little bit of sinus issues and doing better but it seems like my energy level has been zapped. Also with adjusting to the time change-Ohio is an hour ahead of us. Yes, I know it's an hour but it makes a difference.:) I have people asking what they can do to help. I have a page on the National Foundation for Transplants set up. I do have a link for it on the right side bar that you can go to if you would like to make a donation. I have had many people already donate which we are very thankful for. Any amount is greatly appreciated- especially when you consider all the cost involved. I realize not everyone is in the position of being able to donate financially, but please keep our family in your prayers. Also please pass this along to your family and friends. I was touched because my very first donation on my page was someone who doesn't even know myself or my family. My page was shared with them from one of my family members and they made the donation. I am so thankful that I am not walking this alone, but He is with me every step I take. So glad that He is always here and will not leave or forsake me. I am so grateful for everything He has done and is doing in my life. I can't do this without Him!! If it wasn't for Him, I would not be here. HE's so faithful!! He has seen me through each storm I have faced! He's my strength,my peace,my joy,my rock,my healer,my hope. I have such a peace from Him- what benefits He blesses me with a His child. So thankful for His precious Word that I can not just read, but memorize and put in my heart. I am so thankful for all of you who have held my family and I up in prayer. Thank you so much for all the love and support you give to me through prayers, meals, cards, phone calls, emails, and blessing us with your giving!!! I'll try to do my best to update the blog as this move along. :) With love and thanks- Jamie

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Long Awaited Update :)

Let's see if I can try to fill in the gaps since the last post from Saturday November 8.   On Sunday I walked the entire circle of the floor.  The epidural was then removed and the pain became very intense.  I was given some pain reliever  through the central line and ended up with a bad reaction to it.  Thankful for Gods hand once again pulling me out.  Monday was a better day.  I was even, able to have an aide wash my hair which, by the way, felt wonderful.  It wore me out a bit but it was well worth it!!  On Tuesday I was getting my things packed up.  A social worker came in and asked if I could be ready to go by 9 Wednesday.    I said yes ma'am no problem!:) Wednesday morning came and 9 am was not going to happen.  I had some patient teaching I had to finish and was still finishing up my TPN from the night before.  We got the green light to go about 1:00.  Not bad:) It felt wonderful to be outside. The doctors and staff were all impressed by my recovery and how well things are going.  They would do their rounds in the mornings and were always saying keep up the great work, and how thrilled they were to see how great things were.  To God be the glory!  It is his strength and healing that has brought me through this!   Thank you for all your prayers for me, Shane and our children.

Wednesday night at the hotel was a bit of adjustment from being in the hospital.   Thankful for a wonderful loving handsome "nurse" who took care of me. :)  I didn't get woke up to IV's beeping, calls over the intercom for staff, the sound of helicopters coming in and out,and the list goes on.:)   Thursday morning was early due to the fact of the In Home Care nurse coming to my hotel room.  I got ready and got some supplies out for her.  She lives in West Lake near the hotel we were in.   She was helpful and very nice.  She said she would be back on Monday to due to some labs and help with the dressing change and things.  By Thursday evening it was snowing.  By 8 that night it was sticking and looked like a blizzard at times. Snow was piling up quickly on the roads,vehicles, trees, and whatever else was outside that it could find to stick to.   East Cleveland had already been hit with 10 inches of snow and West Lake had around 3 inches or so.  We got up at 5 am Friday to try to leave out early for my blood work.  We left the hotel at 6:30 and arrived at the hospital at 8:30, it  took 2 hours to go 30 minutes away. I got a good report at the Dr.'s appointment and with all the progress I made they gave me the green light to go home as long as I would be back a week later on November 21.  I said no problem!!   YES!!!  I was given the ok to be home in my bed, in my own home, with my KIDS!!!  Thank you LORD!!!!   It was answered prayer considering I was discharged November 12 and this was only the 14.  I was told many times prior to surgery- about 1 week as an inpatient in the hospital, and 2-3 weeks in the hotel.   Well God just sped up the process and I was able to only have a few days of hotel stay...not even a week!  By the time we left the hospital that Friday from all the appointments we were back in traffic that evening leaving the hospital.   We both were exhausted from the excitement of the news and the early morning.  We were heading to get Shane a sandwich  and go to the hotel  when I accidentally put my crushed pain medication for my J-tube  in my central line to my heart. not good...but I have ONE BIG GOD!!  Thankful for HIM sparing my life!  We made a few phone calls to my Dr's to find what we should do....head back to the main campus and go to the ER.  Pass go and don't get your $200.00 go directly to jail.  To God be the glory I didn't have any reaction, but since I had done it I contaminated my central line so it had to be pulled and a new one placed.  They started me on some antibiotics and got me back in the hospital on the transplant floor again.  I was so upset with myself for what I had done-yet forever grateful that He spared me from anything at all happening.  I had a Dr from general surgery waking me up at 2 am on Saturday morning checking on me and reassuring me that I was going to be ok.  I was so upset that here I was so close to getting to go home and I messed it up.  Something that could have possibly cost my life.  I was the talk amongst the DR's cause they never had a patient do something like before.  Every time I gave the story they all said they understood how an accident like that could happen.   I am so very thankful for God intervening once again for me.    I had the line changed out Saturday evening and was discharged on Sunday mid-morning!!  From Friday to Sunday each day held miracles!!  To God  be the Glory- I was able to head home and only be 1 day behind the original plans!    On the way home we discussed all the tubes from surgery and added up to 13 tubes that I came out with and within 7 days was able to get it down to 4 with the Lords help:)  It was a welcome Home for sure!!  We pulled up to the house and there was a arrow sign saying Welcome  Home Shane and Jamie!  On the other side it said  A miracle lives here.  Our Pastor and wife put it up. :)  I was able to visit and love and snuggle with my precious children before crashing for the night.  It was so good to be HOME!!!!!!

Since then we went back for my appointment on the 21st and had my incision that was 20 in long, freed from all staples and stitches.  That was not fun but glad that is done with!   I got a break from going the Friday after  Thanksgiving, with it being Thanksgiving weekend.   What a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving week!  I am so thankful to be here to celebrate it with family and friends!!  What a miracle!!  I have so many blessings to count!

 We made another trip to Cleveland December 5th for appointments with my GI and the Transplant Dr's.  I'm still having issues with the nausea and vomiting.   They are wanting to give the J Tube feeds another try again, but waiting for the nausea and vomiting to be more controlled.  Glad I have some Dr's that know the drive is a big one especially with us heading into winter wonderland.   I'm going to do weekly phone calls with them.:) So glad that we won't have to drive in the bad weather like last year.

I can't thank everyone enough for all the prayers, meals , calls, emails, cards , love,and support.

Thank you!
Love- Jamie

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Anniversary

I'm a bit behind in getting the updates out, but I'm taking advantage of the time that Jamie is taking a nap and get everyone caught up. 

To start, I want to say a big "happy anniversary" to my precious wife of 18 years! It's been a great time working with each other, loving each other, raising a family together, enjoying a lot of laughs together, and enduring some hard times together. Whether it be working full time jobs on some crazy shifts, following open doors to new career opportunities, closing doors to career opportunities, a hospital stay, a LifeFlight helicopter ride, a couple babies born in ICU, remodeling a house, last minute getaways, raising three great kids, unemployment, starting and running a business, then two, a move across town, playing hide-n-seek every day after work, doing dishes in the tub until the sink was fixed, a drive across the state for a 5 minute doctor's appointment, blood transfusions, meetings with new doctors with a new plan, a lot of new doctors with no plans, pacemakers, g-tubes, j-tubes, ng-tubes, new lines, new procedures, vacations, no vacations, times of plenty, times of questioning, life threatening infections, chest tubes, testing, more testing, more of the same testing, no answers, family moving away, kids are sick, kids in the hospital, kids in school, church activities, kids in the youth group, late night talks, dreams born, dreams lost, in home care, taking a wheelchair wherever we go, working our best to keep going, trusting God, believing in His plan, .....it's been a pleasure to share moments like these and many more with a great woman. No matter what life has thrown our way, my love for my precious wife has never changed because she has never changed. A walk with God and a walk with my good wife never cease to amaze me. Thank you, Jamie, for loving me. Thank you for always being real. Thank you for being there for me. 

Now, back to what this update is all about...Jamie's health. Jamie's recovery has been outstanding! She had been up and sitting in a chair numerous times yesterday and even took a short walk to the restroom this morning! After her afternoon nap, we're planning to take a walk down the hall and call the kids. They started the intestinal feedings last night at a pretty slow pace, but the nausea was almost immediate. They've now stopped the feedings and strictly TPN (central line) nutrition. According to the doctor's plan, that's okay. Now we need to work on pain control. She's still on the epideral, but once the nausea settles down, they will slowly taper that. If all goes well, discharge could come as soon as Tuesday!  She will still have a two week local hotel stay, but that'll be one step closer to home. 

Thank you for all of your concerns and prayers. It looks like Jamie's up and ready for a walk!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Surgery completed

From Shane...

The excitement and the usual jitters accompanied us on our trip to Cleveland on Sunday, though we knew we were in good hands....God's hands. The weather was beautiful and the time that we had together was long overdue. 

The staff at Cleveland Clinic were top notch upon arrival on Monday morning for the pre-op meetings and paper work. Everything went smooth and we were surprised at our last meeting when the head surgeon unexpectedly came into the room. Such a down to earth and caring individual that gave us whatever time we needed and there to answer any questions. 

Tuesday morning. The big day started off early with a 5:15 arrival at the surgery center. As soon as we checked in, they had things moving right along without hardly a wait at all. They started the pre-op procedures and prepping and suggested an epideral for post-op pain control. Jamie never had an epideral with any of her pregnancies and this was a big first step in an already big day. Looking back, I'm so glad she went with it. By 7:00, we had said our prayers together and our goodbyes and they had her off to the operating room. 

By 7:46, the status board in the beautiful and comfortable 2-story waiting room said that Jamie was in surgery. Jamie's parents, our Pastor and his wife, another friend from Ohio, and I all knew this was going to be a 5-6 hour procedure. After about two hours, my pager went off and the head surgeon came out to talk with me. I wasn't expecting this visit so soon. He left the operating room to let me know that the large intestine was pretty much just 'mush' and that the small intestine was better, but not by much. He also found a large cyst on her ovary that was undoubtedly causing some pain. That cyst and part of the ovary were removed. The large intestine was removed and a portion of the small. The sphincter at the bottom of the stomach was also cut in order for the stomach to drain better. The gastric pacemaker was to be removed as well. The stoma at the intestine, surgical drain tubes, a J-tube for future intestinal feedings, a G-tube for stomach decompression, catheter, and a central line will all be a part of the external plumbing that will be a part of Jamie after surgery. After a few days of recovery, he is hoping to test the intestine with tube feeds and hopefully wake up what is left of the intestine. If nothing happens, then we should consider the transplant. A lot of information for me to take in, but I was glad to hear him say that there were no complications and that his team of surgeons were endeavoring to get this all completed. 

After almost 8 hours of surgery and 3 hours of recovery, her mother and I were able to visit her for 5 minutes. She was still pretty out of it, but you could tell that her pain levels were increasing and that nerves were becoming more alive. I was so proud of her. And so thankful to God for bringing her through. 

It was still another two hours later before she was moved to a room on the floor where we could be with her. Just in that two hours, you could already see an improvement in her recovery. Some of the first words out of her mouth were to ask how everyone that had been waiting were doing and making sure everyone had plenty of food throughout the day. That's when I knew everything was going to be alright and I had my Jamie back!

Jamie had a bit of a rough night last night with nausea, primarily due to the stomach drain tube down her throat. So, other than being tired when I showed up this morning, she was doing pretty good, all things considered. This afternoon was a bit of a different story. I don't know if organs are waking up from surgery or the gases are on the move or all of the above, but Jamie was in a lot of pain and felt like the stitches were about to pop. After some praying and some additional pain meds, it seems now that things are settled down as long as we stay on top of the pain control.  As I'm writing this update, she is beside me resting well right now. 

Thank you all for your concerns and prayers. God has been so good and has kept us through all of our low valleys and brought our family to higher heights in experiences with Him and with each other. The kids are at home during this visit to Cleveland and are doing so well with keeping up with school and with life without mom and dad. The oldest text me last night and said that they had a little prayer meeting at home and the power of God swept through and she said it was like having church at home. Praise God! I am so glad that our kids know how to touch God in their younger years, and that they know how to let God touch them. 

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Current Events......

I published my last post even tho it wasn't up to date, just to fill in the first half of the year.  So much has happened since then.  I'll try to do my best to get you filled in on things since then.

I went to Cleveland at the end of August.  We had lots to discuss with my stomach and intestines getting worse as far as the motility.  My Dr. felt it was time for me to see an intestinal transplant specialist.  He spoke highly of the Dr. he would be referring me to.  We discussed the options that I have. My Dr. said he has 2 patients with simular stories to mine and told me how good they are doing since they have had surgery. I asked if he would give my name and number to them so that I could ask a few questions.   He shared my info with one of the patients and within an hour after leaving his office I had a phone call from her.  She was very sweet and answered all the questions I had for her.  

My Dr. feels like this is the next step - choice 1 - to have some of the intestines removed, and choice 2 - to have a multi-visceral transplant.   He put in the referral for an appointment with the specialist. With many phone calls and lots and lots of faxing of my records I was able to get an appointment set up.  It took a bit to get it all because they set me up for testing and the appointment both while I was out there.  I had an appt on Oct 13 to see the specialist and had some difficult testing set up to be done while there.   I had been praying that some of it would be cancelled due to the prep for some of it.   Not quite sure how I was expected to drink a bottle of mag citrate and a bottle of barium...hummm.  Monday started with having some blood testing done.  That "some" ended up as 30 vials of blood taken.  I am very thankful I have a central line that they were able to use.  After that I had to go to another building and have a CT of the abdomen and since there was some down time in between, the kids and Shane ate some lunch.  We took the kids with so that we could spend some time together as a family and do some things while there.   They had fun while eating their lunch watching the construction in the parking lot.   I got to meet my nursing coordinator, Shatina, at the appointment.  We talked on the phone many times getting the appt set up and it was nice to be able to meet her in person.  She is super sweet!  We went over my medical history, then I met with one of the Surgeons in the office to review it.  He was really nice and informative on everything.  Then I got to meet Dr Kareem.   He has a big heart.  He went over the the 2 choices and we both felt it would be best to go with option 1 first. He is not for certain how much of the intestine he will remove.  He knows the large intestine will go but not sure on how much of the small.  He gave me a hug and reassured me that he will do his best on getting me back on track.  Both he and my GI Dr. feel like I am strong enough for the surgery and that having the surgery will help with the pain  help me feel some better.  He also wanted to see the kids, so Shane went and got them from the waiting room and brought them back.  He gave the girls a kiss on the forehead and told them he was going to do his best to get their Mama feeling better.  He also cancelled out all the tests except for one- an esphogeal manometry test.  Before leaving I signed my surgical consent for Nov 4.  That ended the big day for Mon.   On Tues. I met with the nutritional support team for my TPN and then had an appt with my GI Dr.  We basically discussed Monday's appt and what Dr Kareem had had to say and that was my day. On Wed I had the wonderful tube down my nose for the manometry test.  Glad that was no more than 20 minutes or so of testing.     We started for home Thursday morning but not without stopping for the birthday girl, Kailey.  She turned the big 11.  We surprised her with tickets to the Blue Gate Theater to see the play- Josiah for President.   It was a really good play and we all enjoyed it.

We are getting things packed and ready to go for Cleveland.  I will be in the hospital for a week and then in a hotel for 2-3 weeks before I can come home.   We decided the kids would be better if they stayed home.  They will be able to do their schooling still and be at home and in their own beds. I'm trying not to pack the house as I'm getting ready.  Just don't want to forget any of my medical supplies and things I would need while I'm in the hotel.

The kids are doing well.  This is Matthew's first year of homeschoooling and he is doing great!  He is working hard!:) The girls are doing good in their studies also.  Matthew and Kailey have been working extra to get ahead of the planned assignments so they won't be behind when I come home. They all have been a big help to me in getting things together.  What a blessing that these 3 kids are to me in so many ways!!  I love them lots and will miss them bunches while gone.

I have really enjoyed the fall this year.  The weather has been great and not too many days of cold weather.  I have enjoyed looking at all the beautiful colors in the trees.  Some are so breath taking at how vibrant they are.  God is the Greatest Artist no doubt!  We have gone to a couple orchards this year and the kids have enjoyed some apple cider donuts.  Kelsey had the experience of a goat chewing the pocket on the back of her skirt.;)

The Lord has really blessed Shane's business.  He has been able to expand and get more of the building.  He did the Homestead parade again this year.  Dad and Mom Pennington have moved back home from Texas to help Shane with the business.  What a blessing for Shane to be able to leave and be with me and not have to close the shop down each time.   God is so good!  He is our Provider.

I give God all the glory and praise for the great things He is doing!  He is everything we need and more than enough!  I can't thank Him enough for everything He has done and every time He has brought me through.  He is my peace, joy, comforter, and healer.  I'm so thankful my life is in His hands and that He is my great Physican.  If it wasn't for Him I would not be here today.   He is doing great and wonderful things.  I'm so glad that He walks with me each step I take.:)

I want to thank you for all your love, support, and prayers!  I feel like this post is all over the place-hope it makes a little bit of sense.  You guys have waited patiently as you have texted and emailed wanting to know what we had found out at Cleveland.  I'll try to a better job with my updates.  Shane will try to keep you posted until I'm up to it.

Love Ya

Monday, October 27, 2014

It is way past time for a much needed update from me :)

I am sorry that I have not done an update since January!!  The time has flown  by way too fast for me. Thank you to those who have sent texts and emails checking on me in the meantime as you've patiently waited for me to do an update. :) I'll see if I can highlight a bit of what's been going on.

I've been to Cleveland Clinic in Ohio two times and have made some phone calls  there in between:) They have made some changes in my medications.  They continue to change my TPN according to what my bloodwork shows and to help increase my weight.  I will continue to see my Specialist there every 3 months.  I was there in May trying some new meds.

I had to have my Hickman line changed out because one of the lines broke as an outpatient.  :(  I still get stuck to have bloodwork done, by my choice, because I don't want to have any line infections.  I know there are times they have to draw off it.  As I was getting ready to be taken back they premedicated me with Benadryl and I ended up having hives and itching immediately.  They rushed me back and I was given something to counteract it.  Other than that, all went well.  I am thankful for the line and that I'm able to do the TPN, as I wait for my miracle to come :)


My foot was still hurting so I told my foot Doctor at my appointment,  He did an XRAY and it showed that it was healing and I was told to come back in 6 weeks to recheck it.  When I went back, it wasn't hurting any worse but still hurt and the XRAY showed it was fractured again.  Not sure if it refractured or was never totally healed.  Anyway. the 2 choices were.... a cast again for 6 weeks or surgery to remove the bone.  I opted to do the cast.  The girls had seen a lady with a pink cast on and wanted me to have that so I gave it a try :) They lit up with smiles when Shane brought me home.  When  I fractured it back in September the doctor explained that with the bone being fractured it may not get adequate blood supply and the bone could die.  Since this was another 6 weeks in the cast I was a candidate for a bone stimulator.  A rep from the company came and got me all hooked up and showed me how to use it.    I had to call Medtronic to make sure it was okay to use with my gastric pacemaker.  With it being so far away we were given the go to use it.  Having to sleep with a cast and stimulator on at the same time took some getiing used to but we did it.:)  The XRAY showed that the bone had died even with doing the stimulator and cast.  What a disappointment but at the same time I was ready to get back on both feet, so in May I had surgery to have the bone removed.  The plan was to stay overnite and be discharged the following morning.  I was alert when I went in and as they were prepping me, the anthestelologist gave me ketamine so I was in "twilight".  I said a few times to the anesthesiologist I'm awake and that my calf hurt.  It was only because the tourniquet was there.  I was fully awake by the time they were casting it and wheeling me to my room.  Ketamine is one terrible med!!  I felt like I was buzzing from dream to dream in a very fast pace!  Any type of light made me feel worse, so I laid in the room for a few hours with lights off as much as possible.  I was super nauseated and my mouth was very numb and tingling from an allergic reaction.  I guess when they gave it to me I reacted with a rash up my arm and with my mouth numb and a thick tongue.  I am going to have to make an appointment with an allergist due to all my allergies I've been having to medications.  I carry an epipen in my purse and have one at the side of my bed - orders from the Dr in Cleveland.   I am recovering from the surgery pretty well and starting to put weight on my foot again:)  I haven't walked on it since February but step by step and with physical therapy 3 times a week I'll be back  in working order here soon.  The foot doctor and all the Resident Doctors have been wonderful thru all of this.

Cleveland asked me to see a Neurologist for a few things so I set an appointment up in March to see one.  He did some tests due to some of the meds that I am on.  It showed negative for seizures and Cleveland wanted it ruled out from the meds so I had to be admitted to ICU for a 3 day stay with my Sweet Husband by my side to monitor for any of the signs.  I had a hard time being admitted there and not having a line infection, I mean this is where super sick people go- you don't have a private bathroom, privacy, and quietness. I tried my best to talk them into another area but the only 2 places they do the testing is Pediatrics and ICU and since the peds was closed I didn't have any choice.  I do have to say they went above and beyond to make it quiet and give me some privacy.  It was very hard being hooked to over 20 some electrodes to my head for 3 days on top of all my other health issues.  The neurologist is very nice and I am thankful to report that I do NOT have any seizure activity at all.  He feels like it is all metabolic issues and that there were no signs of anything bad signaling to the brain! Thank you LORD!!!!!  That was a BIG answer to Prayer for me!

I have had a few stays in the hospital the past several weeks.    God has been very good to me and I am so blessed!!  I am very thankful for answered prayer and things that could have been some major issues, He turned around for me.:)  The last stay was last week on my birthday.  I woke up with a fever and nothing I did brought it down so after a bit I decided it was best to go to the ER.  I was told I would be admitted due to the fever and the line tested for staph and sepsis, but before I was moved to my room my fever broke.  I felt just as I would with a line infection but God just changed it all for the better and it was a viral infection instead!  I was able to go home the next day mid morning!  

I'm still going to the hematologist to help the anemia.  My iron is up and down so we are still trying to keep it under control.   If you are able too - donate blood!  I know that a lot of hospitals do blood drives.  :)  I know it's not fun to do-but your pint of blood can help 3 people:)

I can't thank you enough for all your prayers, cards,texts, calls, and emails.  What a blessing that is to me!!  So thankful that we can take our needs to God in prayer and HE does listen and He does answer prayer.  No it's not always in our timing or the way we expect it to happen.  I am so blessed to have family, friends and  loved ones who care and support us.  So thankful to God for all HE has done for us thru all this!!   I am one very blessed person and so grateful for all He has done and blessed me with!   It doesn't take much to look back over the past 5 years and see what God has done for us and how far He has brought me thru all of this!  I am still here today and that in itself is a miracle.  :)   I know things could be better but it doesn't take much for me to see what it could be also.


I am blessed by my awesome husband and my 3 wonderful kiddos who always bring a smile to my life.  Mat
thew is finished with 3rd grade and ready for summer break!  Kailey is just about done in the next week or two and Kelsey has a while yet due to her laptop breaking down and having to redo  so much.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014- It's here! :)

 It's crazy to know that we are already in 2014!  Time seems to be flying by too quickly!  I have fallen behind on my updates and trying to play catch up.  I did have a post typed out and ready to go back in October, but we had issues with our internet so it never got posted.  I did post it back on January 1st so I wasn't having to do so much backtracking. :)

I think I'll try to pick up the pieces of some of our happenings from November and December.:)  We took a trip at Thanksgiving time to Texas to be with Shane's parents.  We had a good trip there and back but I can't say it was warm while we were there. :(  On one of the days we were there, they had freezing rain.  We had the chance to drive downtown Dallas and see the beautiful Christmas lights.  We all had a wonderful time together for Thanksgiving.  So many things to be thankful for this year!!  God is so good to us!  Blessed beyond measure!   I am so thankful  for the small and simple things and for that which is big too !  To God be the glory for what He has done and is going to do!

December was a little busy, but oh how I enjoyed it!! Last year I was in the hospital for 2 stays for about a week each time and then sent home at the last of December to go home and pack for Cleveland and have a week of hospitalization there.  Needless to say I wasn't able to enjoy Christmas as I wanted to!  I enjoyed being able to do a little shopping and be able to pick out a few gifts this year though.  I sort of dreaded being able to decorate knowing with the flood back in May took a lot of my decor....but in pulling out the 2 rubbermaids we found our ornaments and some of our decor.  I was so excited to know that I still had some decor that I was able to salvage and use. :)  I enjoy sitting in a room glowing in lights and listening to Christmas music.  I am so thankful that as a family we know the true meaning of Christmas and that it's about the presents but is about His Presence.  I enjoyed being with my family and friends and soaking all the true joy of Christmas.

I took the kids up to the local hospital OB department Friday afternoon to let them see the room they were born in and that we stayed in afterwards.  Neat to be able to show them the nursery and the scale to weight them, and to see the room that Matthew and Kailey had to be in after discovering they had breathing issues.  It was neat to introduce them to some of the nurses they had.   The kids enjoyed it, along with the cake, punch, baby shirts, and drinking cups. They also had all the baby albums from the pics they take available to look at.  They had fun looking up their pictures of themselves.  Sad to see the OB department close down. It was neat being able to walk down memory lane with them and let some of the nurses see just how grown our children already are.

Enjoying being inside and keeping toasty warm while its freezing cold outside.  They cancelled school for 2 days and its been nice to have all of the kiddos all together before routines all begin again.:)  I am thankful for a warm home!!  Enjoyed the extra time to play a few games with them also.  It's been nice not having to bundle up and brave the brutal cold weather!!:) I know we are a ways from spring time, but I am ready for some warmer weather to come.

As I think upon 2013,  there are some lessons I have learned through it and has opened my eyes to some goals I would like to reach this year for myself and for my family.  There were some rough times but God was with us every step of the way whether great or small.  I am so grateful for His love for me and for His blessings.  I don't want to fail to give Him the glory for all that He has done.  I want to be a vessel that He can use.  I am believing Him for some great things for 2014!  

Praying that you all have a wonderful New Year!  Take time to look at the blessings of God each new day!  If you have to keep a tablet and write it down, it's neat to look back upon.  Rejoicing in those things that are both great and small.  May you heart be full. Can't help but think of the song..."Count your blessings name them one by one, count your blessings see what God has done, Count your blessings name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done."  Thank you for your cards,emails, text, support, hugs, love, and most of all PRAYERS!  I am a very blessed person!!!!

Love- Jamie