Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gifts I Made for Christmas Gifts

This is another reason I slowed way down on my blog. In the midst of all the crises that arose this December, I made most of the gifts I gave family this year.  Here are some of them:

 Remember the stained glass scarf I posted a while back? It was red and yellow?  Ok..there never WAS a red and yellow scarf. It was actually THIS blue and yellow scarf. I took the image into my graphics program and changed the blue to red so I could still post it but throw my niece off her gift :) She loves Michigan State football (to the peril of me, her aunt who is an Ohio State grad....) whose colors are blue and yellow; so had I posted the pic with it blue and yellow she would have known what her gift was going to be.

The gloves are texting gloves. The index finger and thumb have flaps you can unbutton and push the finger parts down to let you use your finger and thumb for texting. The hat has a brim I thought was more of my niece's taste than a normal pull-down hat.

My niece has two daughters, Alexis and Payton. I made them Mickey Mouse-ish sets as well:

Here is Payton's Mickey set.  It's the hat I posted a few months ago and another hat I thought would be better for winter (with ear flaps and ties). It has a scarf that matches her mommy's but it more narrow (she's not quite 3 years old yet) and I bought red mittens for $1 and I crocheted black Mickey heads and sewed those on.

Here she is wearing them (not feeling very well, I'm told so not happy):


Alexis is 10 years old, so hers is bigger:

I crocheted the same kind of scarf as her mom's only with 3 sections wide since she's only 10. I made a similar hat to her sister's with a Minnie bow that you can remove if you want to be more like Mickey instead.  Also I got her a set of ear muff headphones and I crocheted a cover for them that's removable so it matches the rest of her set.

And here she is wearing all but the scarf.  She seems to really like it (that's my niece on the right) I'd never made mittens before ever, so this is my first attempt at mittens:

Next is the set I made for my mom:

It's made from super soft yarn that's wonderful to feel, but sure was not easy to work with.  Mom has never been a normal hat person. She always chooses to wear headscarfs, so I winged it and made a "head scarf" from the yarn to match the scarf so it ties under her chin like the scarves do. It's a double layer triangle.  I hope she likes them

And I posted this already, but I'll add it here too so it accompanies the other things I made for Christmas gifts.  The Oswald and Friends toys I crocheted for my son for Christmas (He LOVES them):

The next are not crocheted, but sewn. My sister had told me she had gotten a new coat and was having someone make a scarf for her, so I knew I couldn't do the crocheted scarf set for her.  A while back she'd called me when she was upset and said she needed a pillow that said, "Don't Allow Your Wounds to Turn You Into a Person You Are Not" as a reminder to not let people get to her. I think she'd forgotten about it, but I didn't. I made it for her for Christmas (along with buying her a Bible carrying case):

And I made a pillow for my brother-in-law Jim.  You can't see it in this picture and I forgot to take a picture of it, but he seems to like it.  It's the logo from the National Guard unit he's been with for the past 40 years and is about to retire from in about 3 months.

That's my sister (his wife) and my son Evan in the picture with him. You don't see pictures of my brother-in-law smiling too often, so I guess that's a sign that he likes it :) Part of the smile is that below the logo of his National Guard unit, I have a picture of his grand daughter Payton wearing his military hat with her arms up in the air in glee :)

That's the majority of the gifts I made. As you can see...I was really busy. I crocheted a lot in the hospital visiting my husband, crocheted nearly everywhere I was :)

I Got a Silhouette Cameo!!!

My second favorite Christmas gift this year :)  I got the Silhouette Cameo I've been wanting for SO long SOOO badly!

Evan had to join me for a picture too :)

I haven't opened it yet, but once the holidays are over, I look forward to using it a LOT and have a lot of ideas swimming around in my head for it :) I've been pinning lots of tutorials and ideas to Pinterest.

My Favorite Gift This Christmas

Ok, I definitely have to brag this one up! My husband's birthday is on Christmas Day and we celebrated it after everyone opened their Christmas gifts at my sister's.  I made Greg a birthday cake and had gifts wrapped in birthday wrapping, etc.

So here is my favorite part of the whole day!!:

That's my son's signature on his daddy's birthday card (which he picked out himself). HIS signature...the first time EVER that he wrote his own name all by himself on a card and it not be just a squiggle.  I'm so so proud of him and that's the best Christmas gift all year for me :)

Thank you, Lord, for such a wonderful Christmas present!! :)

Christmas 2012

I survived Christmas 2012 :)  Sorry my blogging slowed way down over Christmas time. It was a very very difficult December for us this year.  As I posted earlier, my husband was in the hospital for a week (actually 8 days). Today there are no more signs of infection and he has two stents placed in his urinary tract.  He is scheduled for a procedure to remove the kidney stone that's lodged in the ureter on January 11th.  Please pray that procedure is a success and causes no further issues (he had a kidney transplant last year so it's a more delicate issue than the normal person).  Right now he's feeling much better and he lost 25 pounds from feeling so sick from the infections. That part is good :)

My son Evan (9 years old and autistic and non-verbal) had a nasty ear infection he's still finishing up his antibiotics from. He cant' talk to tell me his ear hurts, so I have to just watch for him to hold his ears.  He developed a fever and a lot of coughing.  Thankfully he's almost over that now.

Financially things are really difficult as well. Our mortgage is behind and the bank isn't happy and it's made me a nervous wreck.  I've filed paperwork with a government program to try to save our home and we have an appointment with them on January 15th.  Please pray for that for us, if you will!

My faith is the only thing that's holding me together right now and I'm grateful for the Lord's hand on my life and that of my family.  My women's Bible study group starts back up a week from tomorrow and that will encourage me, I'm sure.  During the week of my husband's illness and since then, there's been little effort from anyone from my church to minister to him or bring a meal or something and that's been discouraging to me, but it's been a reminder that the Lord Himself is the one I should lean on and that just like me, other Christians are still living in a fallen world and are no more perfect than I am.  It was Christmas-time too and people are busy with their own families during Christmas time.  I've had friends on Facebook who were encouraging and supportive to me and that's helped. I'm trying to get and maintain a positive attitude about it all.  Letting discouragement get hold of me will only add to the problems.

A good friend from my women's Bible study group passed away after an 18-year battle with cancer. She had such an upbeat and positive attitude through the whole thing, even when she had to wear an eye patch and her speech became a struggle for her.  I will miss you, Shelley!  She is definitely with Jesus now. She was a real example for me and I won't forget that or her.

So...onward and upwards and hoping for a much better 2013! My next post will be more uplifting, I promise :)  In the effort to be 'real', I try to be as transparent as possible and when God brings me through it all, He will get the glory, and not me :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Still here! / Awesome Video Share

I'm still here, I haven't fallen off the planet or anything :)  I just had SO much I wanted to do for Christmas and then my husband was in the hospital for a week and a major financial concern crept up and combine all the emotional issues that go with both and it's a recipe for a real funk.

Anyway, I'm still here, I've mostly been dealing with family issues and trying to finish making my Christmas gifts before Christmas. I've been crocheting my fingers off :)

I hope to catch up soon, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share this wonderful video someone shared with me.  I think it may mean more to moms of special needs kids like me (my son has autism, not Downs syndrome, but still...) The video is so so special and the dog is so so sweet ;)  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oswald and Friends Crocheted Buddies

I finished crocheting my son's Oswald and Friends.  They're all ready to wrap and put under the Christmas tree.

Shades of Safhire - Oswald and Friends crocheted buddies

I had so many things planned to make and give as Christmas gifts this year, but very little of it will actually get finished due to the crises in my family...
But I think my son will really like his Oswald and Friends buddies anyway.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Storm Still Rages

   I haven't posted in several days and have been asked for an update. As the subject line says, the storm still rages. My husband is still in the hospital. He's been in a week now. Not sure when he'll get out. He thinks tomorrow, but I suspect that's wishful thinking...
    For those who are new to my blog, my husband Greg had a kidney transplant May 3, 2011. There have been a handful of complications since then, most of which are fairly recent. He was on dialysis for about 5 years till a cadaver donor came available. The kidney of a young man who died from a gunshot to the head now lives in him. We have a little boy named Evan who is the light of my life and the greatest worldly blessing of my life. Firstly Evan is sweet and wonderful and fun and bright and secondly he just happens to be autistic. God certainly knew what He was doing when He gave me my little angel. Everyone in the family is disabled to one degree or the other. My husband also has vision complications -a retinal vein occlusion (basically blood supply blocked off due to uncontrolled high blood pressure around the time of his heart attack in 2005 just prior to his renal failure that caused him to go on dialysis in 2006.
    Fast forward to last week. It started out as blood in the urine: a urinary tract infection which turned into a blood infection which we just found out two days ago was caused by a kidney stone lodged in his ureter in between his old kidney and the new one. Two stents were placed and he was told he could come home for 10 days while the swelling goes down and then he'll go back in to have the stone removed. That was supposed to have been yesterday.
    Every day for a week I bundled up my 9-year old autistic son and we visited daddy. Today, however, we couldn't. Daddy called and said the medical staff fears now he may have C-diff. So I had to keep Evan and myself home while daddy stays in the hospital still and awaits test results whether he has C-diff or not. The symptoms are there...really bad diarrhea. It's very contagious. A minor meltdown ensued...then put my chin up to be strong...always have to be the strong one for my family...
    Dinner for my son and I has been stopping at Taco Bell and Wendy's mostly, on the way to the hospital. The only visitor my husband has had is our pastor who has been there 3 times (thank you, Pastor!) and my non-Christian friend Debbie...and that frustrates me a little (until today when the fear of C-diff came up and I totally don't want anybody to visit till we know!)...I long for godly men to reach out to him and minister to him. I'm probably being over-sensitive...
    The bank is calling hounding me as we are behind on our mortgage. Anti-rejection medication for a kidney transplant recipient is extremely expensive. Yes, we have insurance, but there's a 20% co-pay insurance doesn't cover and even that is really expensive. (Making crafts at home and selling online has been my effort at supplementing that, but that's not happening very well...). He is also a fragile diabetic now (a complication from anti-rejection medication which makes his blood sugar soar sky high and he has to take two different types of insulin. Needles, glucose strips, lancets...all the usual testing supplies. Our bathroom looks like a pharmacy.
    The holidays. Already tough as my brother was senselessly killed in an industrial accident at work last year and that's a day-to-day struggle to make sense out of. Legal issues still in process...awaiting closure day by day. Wanting the company to be put in a position to never let this happen to another person ever ever again... Nightmares of my brother's status in eternity...
    When the bank started calling and at the hospital Greg told me they had sent a letter before Thanksgiving with an amount that's much more than our monthly income, I came home and after a good hard cry, I began gathering paperwork and scanning and printing copy after copy after copy. Then went to Save the Dream and entered all the info and printed out the forms in hope of the program saving our home...printed it all out, signed on the many dotted lines, took it to the hospital for my husband to sign HIS name on the dotted lines and got it in the mail. Now just pray...
    Very stressed....
    Did everything I can in my power to solve the problems at hand and the rest is up to the Lord. I'm at the point where I'm stressed and worried and have no room left to move, so I just stand...and trust that God will move...
    I try to be very transparent online as I've seen the Lord work wonders for my little family. The more transparent I am with the struggles my little family encounters, the more I can share how God has provided and interceded for us time and again and the more glory I can shine on Him.
    So for now...I sit. I sit and wait in hospital rooms, in waiting rooms, at home by the phone, in my car awaiting my little guy to come home from school and go to the hospital with me, I sit in prayer seeking help from Above. I sit and post former posts to linky parties trying to stay current and grow my blog as I'm in limbo...but mostly... I stand.
  I stand and watch and pray for God to move. And ask you for your prayers for my little family... Thank you all...

 Still in His grip,

Monday, December 3, 2012

Today's update on my husband's crisis

My husband is scheduled for a scope in the morning at 7:30. They are going to go up into his urinary tract and see if they can determine the source of the blood infection so they can see what they need to do to correct the problem and help him recover.

At the moment...they suspect the oddest thing...  He had his kidney transplant May of 2011. His first two kidneys failed like this:  First,s the one was underdeveloped at birth and he didn't know that till he lost the use of the second one when he was on a roof doing a job and the customer moved the ladder and he fell 12 feet onto asphalt.  He was life-flighted to a major hospital that was too busy finding out his social security number and worker's comp information before they decided to try to save the kidney and by then, the kidney had died due to blunt force trauma caused lack of blood flow to the kidney.

Fast forward to May of 2011 when he had a transplant and then to now.  At the moment, doctors are suspecting that one of the old kidneys (which is now the size of a shriveled up walnut or meatball) is invading the new one possibly due to stones collected in it. I know...sounds strange to me, but that's what they hope to find out tomorrow.

I'm a nervous wreck in light of it all along with caring for our autistic son and going back and forth to the hospital and taking care of everyone and everything. THEN...the calls from the bank about our mortgage being behind began...and keeps on..  scary days :(

A few friends suggested I activate the "donate" page on my web site in case there are charitable organizations, church, etc. that could pray about helping us save our home...I'm very humbled...but did so...and that can be seen by clicking HERE (

We truly need a Christmas miracle :(

The main thing I ask is for continued prayers. The Lord always provides...somehow. Thank you all...


My husband -update

   My husband's diagnosis has been changed from urinary tract infection to BLOOD infection.  I'm really very frightened... please pray for him. His name is Greg.   Thanks in advance :)
   Greg's nephrologist (kidney doctor) came in before I left the hospital. He said he suspects it all started out as a urinary tract infection and then spread into his blood stream so that now he has a blood infection. He said Greg is on antibiotics that are safe for his new kidney. Greg's creatine level has been 1 pretty faithfully since his transplant in May 2011, but now it's 2.1. However, it was 2.1 on Tuesday when I took him to the ER the first time and it's still 2.1, so it's stable so the doctor said his new kidney is safe for now. I asked him what could cause the infection to begin with and he said anything. He said Greg is on 3 different anti-rejection medications and that compromises his immune system and it doesn't take much. He said at this point all we can do is let the antibiotics do their work and wait and hope for the best. He is a very tall, Egyptian doctor named Dr. Eltayeb. He's very nice and even hugs Greg from time to time. I asked him if there was anything in the home life that could have caused this to happen (being exposed to our son who had a bug a few weeks ago and Greg should have slept apart from him like I told him, but he didn't; and my mom was sick on Thanksgiving when she came to our house but it was bronchitis). He said it could have just been anything
   I just got my little guy (son, Evan) to sleep and he was laying here crying for a few minutes before I played with him, cuddled him, sang and talked to him and rubbed his back and made it go away. I think he is confused and worried and missing his daddy. He is 9 and autistic but VERY present and not at all in a world all his own. He just can't I don't know his fears or what's going through his little mind. Right before I got him to sleep, he was looking into my eyes and moving his mouth in ways that's not normal for him. I think he was trying to talk...
Arghhh...I just took some pain meds for the pain in my back (from moving a hospital room chair for Evan and also toting all Evan's toys and my purse and stuff for Greg in and out of the hospital), so I'm hoping it kicks in soon and helps me shut my brain off till I have to get up and get Evan on the school bus and go back to the hospital. I've just spent some time in prayer, and am here till the meds knock me out. Zzzzzz

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Prayer Request for My Husband

I'd like to ask my friends here to please keep my husband Greg in your prayers.  I had to take him to the emergency room last night (8 hours ago).  He has a lot of blood in his urine.  He was diagnosed with a bad urinary tract infection.  That may be a minor problem for a normal person, but Greg had a kidney transplant a year and a half ago and that makes it a huge deal.

He was admitted to the hospital for a few days for them to administer IV antibiotics.  The doctor said he isn't septic right now but they are going to be aggressive right now given his kidney transplant.

My dad died from complications that led to septic shock which invaded all his major organs, so when the word "septic" came up, it was particularly alarming even though what he said was that Greg was NOT really worries me.

My son and I (who is 9 and is nonverbal) just got home from the hospital to get some sleep and will return afterwards to be with my husband.  I'm just trying to keep my head together at this point.  Please pray for all of us!  Thanks :)

By the is our 11th wedding anniversary too...what a way to celebrate :'(


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Find us on Google+