Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another Month In Review

I'm kind of embarrassed at the fact that another month has gone by and I haven't put up a blog post.  I've thought about it several times, but always had something that needed to get done first.  Isn't life funny like that?

Let me see, what has happened in June?  For starters, my son E finished ninth grade with straight A's.  There are no words to describe how happy I am with how well he did.  I quickly signed him up for tenth grade and all the classes he'd need to take in August.  About a week after he'd finished, I got a call from the Florida Virtual School office saying that they aren't doing full-time online school anymore.  I felt my heart hit the floor.  No, don't do this!  Then the woman explained that I had to sign up for part-time homeschooling, which in essence is the same as full-time virtual school, except that I set the schedule instead of the online school.  I had to re-register him, which took a while but I was able to finish it.  We won't be using the same program as we did for ninth grade, which is kind of sad since my son enjoyed it.  But I'm relieved that we will still be doing homeschool.  My son did so much better and learned so much this year; I don't want him to have to go back to a school system he hated.

A week after E finished school, I had a week off from work.  Well, almost a week off.  My boss MM had explained that, while the tutors would have the week off, we would still have to come in and set up for summer tutoring.  I didn't mind, but she did.  She wanted a week off as much as the teachers.  So, we got to work early the previous week and did all the paperwork for the new session.  The only thing that couldn't be done was reminders - calls to the parents to remind them when their kids would start the summer session.  My bosses went out of town for the week, so I was "nominated" to make the calls.  I figured it would take me a couple of hours at most.  It took almost four hours, but it was one day and I rested that week, so I can't complain.

The following week, however, was pure insanity.  I signed up to serve at our church's vacation bible school (or VBS) in the mornings.  I had to be at the church before 8:30 in the morning to help with registration and sign ins, then I was off to the snack room, where I helped prepare snacks and clean up for the four age groups.  I was on my feet from 9am till noon.  Then I ran home, changed my clothes, ate quickly, prepared my dinner, and went to work from 1:30 till 7:30.  I'd get home, prepare the crockpot for the next day, go to bed and start the whole thing all over again the next day.  Add to that the fact that my monthly friend paid a visit on Thursday morning, and you can well imagine what my week was like.  I was thankful that I don't work Fridays, but we had our women's bible group prayer night that night.  It was close to home, which is great, but I was exhausted.  I'm surprised I didn't fall asleep during prayer time!  Actually, it was beautiful, such a lovely time with these wonderful women, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  In fact, if I had to do it again, I would do it all in a heartbeat.  Serving the kids was the highlight of my day, and I'm thankful I have the health and energy to still get it all done.

I went to NY & Co for some shopping because I had some City Cash that was about to expire.  It allowed me to get a couple of pretty necklaces that were on sale.  The original price was $25 for each; they had a buy one get one for $5 deal going on, and with my $20 in City Cash I spent $10 for the two.  I also picked up some pants for work.  I'd wanted to get some jeans but all they had was bootcut and I prefer straight leg jeans.  I also got some purses at Target.  One purse, in a pretty mint color, was $29.99; more than I usually pay for a purse but it's a lovely color and the perfect size for my wallet, umbrella, and bible.  I used it today for church and it's so springtime, I just love it.  Then my daughter and I went to Target today to return some makeup she'd bought that she didn't like, and I found a couple of purses on clearance.  One is black, the other is light green, and they were $7.48 each, reduced from $24.99.  Yeah, more my style!  I got a couple of tank tops too, at $6 each.  I like wearing a tank top with a cardigan for work because it's professional but still light.  One tank top is red and the other is purple.  I think I'll save the red one for July 4th, which is just a few days away.  Wow, the year is halfway gone!  Can you believe it?!

I also purchased some stuff from Bare Escentuals during their Friends and Family sale.  I had a $20 off coupon and they were offering 20% off and free shipping.  Works for me!  I got a cream concealer which I'd been wanting to get, a neutral eye kit with a 5 in 1 cream eye shadow primer, an eye shadow duo in brown and champagne (love!!) and a brown eye liner pencil (double love!!), and a sample Mineralixers kit.  Mineralixers is Bare Escentuals oil skincare line.  This kit brings the oil based cleanser, an eye balm and the 5 in 1 oil/moisturizer.  The 5 in 1 is my favorite; my dry skin appreciates it greatly.  It's not a greasy oil by any means.  I can use it in place of my moisturizer and it leaves my skin feeling smooth and silky.  The cleanser is good as a makeup remover - it melts the makeup off my face - but I don't feel like my skin is completely cleaned after I use it.  The eye balm is very nourishing to the delicate skin under my eyes, but so is their eye cream.  I'm not sure I like the balm more than the cream.  I'm glad I got the kit, though.  I've used it and my skin has responded well to it, which is good considering I'm struggling with adult acne.  It comes and goes; I can have days when my skin is perfectly clear, then all of a sudden I start breaking out.  It might be hormonal.  It might be my age.  Or... It might be that I've been having chocolate, which has always made me break out.  Which is terribly unfair.

I've been watching Poirot on Netflix.  A few seasons that hadn't been on Netflix before are on now, and I have been enjoying my favorite Agatha Christie sleuth.  I try to watch one episode a day.  It's about all I have time for.  It's a struggle not to fall asleep because it's late at night when I finally can sit down to watch.

Oh!  One more thing!  I've booked our hotel for our mini vacation in September!  We will be going to Night of Joy again this year, my son E, my daughter A and myself.  My oldest son R has to work, so he stays behind and takes care of Molly.  We will be staying at the Pop Century resort at Disney World, which is so cool because we've never stayed there before!  We got a great deal, $108 a night, which for Disney is a steal.  Just 2 days after I'd booked the room the prices had gone up to $114, so I'm glad I got it when I did.  We are soooo looking forward to Night of Joy - Skillet will be performing again, along with several bands we're eager to see.  I'm so excited!!

I think that's all the updates for this month.  I could say that I'm going to post more often, but...I'll say that I will try.  I really do enjoy recording our days and weeks.  I have to make an effort to keep my blog up to date.  Here's to hoping!  God bless.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Week...No, Wait, Month In Review

I've stayed away from my blog all this month, not by choice but by life.  It seems the minute I sit down something needs to get done, someone needs to talk, I remember something I was supposed to do...it's a never-ending cycle.

Let's get a quick recap of what's happened in May.  For one thing, my son E is almost finished with school.  He has taken 3 of his 6 finals and passed each one.  He ended up with an A in algebra (92%), an A in leadership (98%), and an A in music history (96%).  All his work has been turned in, and now he has to take his Hope, English, and Science finals so he can be done.  We are both looking forward to being done, though I suppose he's looking forward to it more.

The church where my daughter works has finally moved into their new building, which has been under construction for the past year.  There were issues these past couple of months, including a break-in to the construction site in which materials and tools were stolen.  Inspections were probably the biggest delay; they never happen when they're supposed to.  Still, God came through as He always does, and this Sunday is the grand opening celebration.  There was a soft opening last Sunday, and I was excited to go because my daughter was singing!  She has sung before, but only for children's and youth ministries.  This time she was on main stage, and yes, mama was proud!  She is also blessed to be singing tomorrow for the grand opening, which mama will not miss!

Molly is doing so much better.  It's hard to believe she is suffering from cancer; honestly, she doesn't appear to be suffering at all.  She still has a bit of a limp, though not as pronounced as it was before the surgery.  She has recovered from the surgery remarkably well.  Our Molly is acting like a puppy once again.  We hope it will last.

As for my oldest son, I don't see him much.  He's been working quite a few hours, covering for people who are out.  When he's home he's on his computer or playing a video game.  Otherwise, he's out with his friends.

I enjoyed my very simple, very quiet Mother's day, though my oldest son was gone the whole day (he forgot what day it was.  Mama was not happy).  My daughter cooked for me - shrimp and steak sandwiches, absolutely delicious!  My gift from my kids was, what else, makeup!  I got some eye makeup and a really nice brush from Bare Minerals.  My cousin came over with her 3 kids and they brought me flowers.  She isn't technically my cousin; she's J's cousin, but I've known her since she was a toddler, and I babysat her for years.  When she was older she babysat my kids, so they're like siblings more than cousins.  It was sweet of them to bring me flowers and spend some time with me.

For Mother's day I wore a beautiful dress that I got from New York and Company.  The dress is black lace, but unlike most lace dresses that have a white underlay, this one has a two-toned pink underlay.  It has stripes in light and bright pink, and the way it comes through the lace makes the dress so unique, I've gotten multiple compliments!  I felt really pretty in the dress too, which is what every woman wants.

I got a few items from that trip to NY&Co, since I had City Cash and a coupon.  I got several tops and a cardigan - I wear cardigans a lot at work.  They look professional without being heavy, which is good because it has been H-O-T here in South Florida!  Thankfully it hasn't been very humid, though we have had some rainy days, but the temps are already in the upper 80's and low 90's.  I can't imagine what our summer will be like if our spring is so hot.

I also took advantage of a Bare Minerals Beauty Rush sale and got some skincare at a super discounted price.  Cleanser, eye cream, and two anti-aging creams for $39.  Just the wrinkle repair cream is normally $50, so I got a really nice deal!  I also got some mini lip sticks and lip glosses.  All in all a nice stash of makeup.  I had to get myself another organizer because it was getting a bit out of hand - there was makeup piling up and makeup bags filling up, and I can't stand a mess.  It all looks much neater now, and my makeup is more accessible.

That's gonna be it for now.  There's plenty more I can add but laundry needs to get folded, my bed needs to get made, and my daughter wants to go to the mall later on.  Not to mention that J is coming to pick up E in a little while and I'm hoping to get some studying done before that.  Yes, plenty to do, but thankful God gives me the energy to do it!  Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Week's Review - Is It Over Yet?

My week has been like the weather - hectic and all over the place.  We've had hot days, humid days, rainy days, stormy days...it was more like summer than spring.  Then this morning, the sky was clear and blue, and there was a sweet breeze blowing.  Everyone was shocked at the change!  Life is kinda like the weather; it can change from one day to the next.

My days are busy, busy, busy.  School in the mornings, work in the afternoons, church on Wednesdays.  Meals, laundry, housecleaning, dog tending.  It's a never ending cycle, but I'm getting the hang of it.  I think.

This week E took his unit exam for algebra.  Quadratics have been a headache for him and for me as well, because I don't remember doing them.  His exam was two parts; part one was multiple choice, and part two was 5 questions broken down into 3-4 parts, which meant it was really 16 questions.  He finished part one and got a 64%.  That really upset me, because he did study for the test, but the questions were tricky.  There were times when he would say, "it's either A or C," and invariably he'd pick the wrong one.  I was stressed about the second part of the exam more than he was, because a) the second part is always harder, and b) this material will be on his semester exam and he doesn't seem comfortable with it.  He did part 2 Tuesday night, and it took him 3 hours to complete it.  I decided he needed more help than what I was giving him, so I got him a tutoring session at work.  The tutor he got is a great teacher; he's studying finance at the local university, and is a brilliant young man.  I'm so thankful that E got the session.  He feels more confident now.  And today, when the scores were posted and I saw my son got a 94% on part two of his test, it made me feel so much better!  I really shouldn't have stressed so much.  If I'd given it to God from the start I would have saved myself a lot of internal frustration.  I hope I've learned this lesson.

Molly has continued to improve.  As a matter of fact, she's been behaving like a puppy again, so we were very optimistic.  Then I got the dreaded call from the vet this morning.  Our suspicions were confirmed: it is cancer.  The tumor that was removed was a stage 2 mass cell tumor, and this type of tumor will continue to spread.  The vet told me he would refer me to an oncologist, and I thanked him but explained that we'd already discussed it and decided we would not put our beloved dog through chemotherapy.  I just feel it's cruel to make an animal suffer through that horrible treatment, and honestly, each time I've heard of pets that have been put through chemo, it's always been the same outcome.  They end up dying of cancer anyway.  I simply cannot do that to Molly.  The doctor said she might do fine for another two years, or she might last six months.  Either way, we will do whatever it takes to keep her comfortable and happy, and when the time comes, we will say goodbye and be thankful to God for the time He allowed us to have her.  She has been a joy for us; I don't regret taking her in and caring for her.  She has been the best dog I've ever met, the most loving, affectionate, sweet dog in the world.  There is a dreary cloud over us today, but the silver lining around it is the reminder of all good times we've had.  She's been a rare treasure, and we are oh so thankful for her.

Our women's bible study group this morning was a real thought provoking study.  We were challenged to study the bible, not to gain more knowledge, but to know God better.  A challenge to read scripture, not for what I can get out of it or what it can do for me, but to see God in its pages and understand my Father in a more intimate way.  I hadn't thought about it, but how many times don't I pick up the bible to look for guidance for me, to seek answers for me, to feed me spiritually.  Me, me, me.  What I should be asking God is, "What do You want me to learn about You today?"  Because in knowing Him better, I will desire more of Him.  And as I desire more of Him, I will want to be more like Him.  And when I am more like Him, I will have all the answers to those questions that I usually go to scripture for.  It was such an eye-opener.

That has been my roller coaster week.  Ups and downs, spinning this way and that.  The ups have been exhilarating, the downs have made my stomach ill.  There is so much change in our lives, but I've learned that I'm tallest when I'm on my knees.  God has gotten me through rougher times than this; He will see me through again.  Have a good night, y'all.  God bless.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Recapping the Past Week

It's been a long and busy past week...but thankfully, a less stressed one.  Not completely stress-free, but let's be honest, does such a day exist when there is absolutely, positively, no stress?  Only after we die.

Molly is healing nicely.  She's in her normal mood again, cheerful, playful, happy.  Since she isn't a complainer, it's hard to determine when she's in pain or distress; now that we see her so full of pep we realize she was not comfortable with the tumor.  At all.  There was never any whimpering or crying, just lack of energy and no desire to play, though her appetite was never affected.  She is so totally different from Tobey, our first dog, who let us know when he was not feeling well.  I guess the male of the species aren't so different, one creature from another.

My son E, on the other hand (or should I say on the left hand?), had me running from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what in the world was that nasty rash on his hand.  The rash was first detected by his doctor around his left eye.  She said it looked like eczema and gave him medicine for it which took care of the problem.  Then a similar rash took over his left hand.  It looked awful; first it started as a slight rash, then as it got more intense I had him put the medicine from his eye on his hand.  It didn't do much of anything.  Since E has had eczema before, I was able to recognize similarities in this rash, though he'd never gotten it on his hand.  It was always on his elbows or behind his knees.  Still, I thought that's what it looked like, so I went to the pharmacy and got him some Neosporin for eczema.  The itching stopped, but the rash got worse - I mean really bad.  I took him to the doctor (his doctor wasn't in so an associate saw him), who determined it must be a fungus, since the eczema medicine wasn't working.  The doctor honestly admitted he didn't know for sure what it was.  He gave E another cream, and said if it didn't get better we should see a dermatologist.  The cream seemed to work for the first couple of days, but soon after it started making matters worse.  E complained every time he put the on medicine because it burned.  That was not good.

His father showed up that Saturday after not having seen or spoken to his son in two weeks.  All of a sudden he decided he needed to be a dad and take care of the situation because I hadn't done enough.  He wasn't around when the rash started, nor did he know what I'd done, but he started putting on a show, telling me I should have taken him to see a dermatologist from the start, and taking pictures of E's hand to "figure out" what it was.  I was angry and annoyed for hours.  How can one human being disrupt a household the way he does?!  He doesn't fool anyone; we all see through his act, including E.

As I saw the rash not improving, I went ahead and made the appointment with the dermatologist for the following Friday (this past Friday).  Tuesday I got a call from J asking how E was doing, and that he'd been trying to get in touch with the dermatologist to make an appointment for him but was unable to get through.  He claimed he was extremely concerned because the rash looked "dangerous". I told him I'd already made an appointment, and had gotten through to the dermatologist just fine.  Once again, I was convinced he was just putting on a show.  E spoke to his dad on Wednesday because it was his dad's birthday, and once again his father asked for a picture of his hand to see how it was doing.  Friday couldn't come fast enough, as far as I was concerned.  I wanted to get this thing over with once and for all.

Finally the dermatologist was able to see him, and guess what?  It's eczema.  No fungus, no "dangerous condition", just eczema.  The medicines I had weren't strong enough to take care of the problem, so the doctor prescribed a stronger hydrocortisone cream and told us that, just as in the past, this would eventually go away on its own.  In the meantime we would treat it, and there was nothing to worry about.  After the doctor, I took E home and went to do some grocery shopping.  I was at Walmart when J called asking what it was E had because E had told him but he didn't understand.  When I told him it was eczema, he didn't know how to respond.  His first comment was, "But that's just dry skin."  Which of course it isn't, but I just said uh-huh.  Then he asked about the blisters on E's hand.  What blisters?  E didn't have any blisters at any time.  His skin was dry and cracked, but it never blistered.  He claimed there were blisters in the pictures E sent him.  I know there were no blisters, and he was being a drama queen as usual.  Here's the interesting part: we haven't heard from him since.  He didn't show up on Saturday to see his son or take him out, he didn't even call to ask if his hand was better.  Once he realized the show was over, he disappeared.  And then he wonders why his kids don't ever reach out to him.  

The rest of the week went by fine.  E finished his schoolwork a day early, which was great since he had to be at the doctor's on Friday.  He's got straight A's so far, and we are praying that continues, since finals are going to be coming up in the next few weeks.  His hand, by the way, has improved dramatically.  I expect the skin to be back to normal before weeks end.  Thank You Jesus!  Weather-wise, it has been scorching.  Yesterday we were in the 90's.  Thankfully the humidity hasn't been as high as in the summer, but still, it felt like we were in the 100's.  I don't even want to think about what the summer will be like.  Praise God for air conditioning!!!

Saturday I stayed home all day getting the house cleaned up.  We were all suffering the effects of allergy season this week, and I was finally feeling better, so I didn't want to go out and provoke my sinuses to shut down.  Yesterday we went to church, then my daughter and I went to the outlet mall for a little shopping.  There's a Bare Minerals outlet there, and since I had a $20 off coupon I decided to get some concealer.  The small sample I got back in November is finally running out.  I also picked up a neutral lip liner and a gorgeous blue eyeliner.  Then we went to the CCO (Cosmetic Company Outlet) and I picked up a Mac Face And Body foundation for $19.  It usually goes for almost $30 so I was thrilled to get it so cheap.  My daughter got some too.  Can't wait to try it out!  She had gotten a Forever 21 gift certificate back in December for her birthday, so she decided to bring it along and see if she could find something she liked.  She got a really cute handbag that was on sale, so of course she was excited - I thought she'd start dancing in the store!  We also stopped at Teavana for some herbal teas.  She got a ginger coconut tea that is delicious!  We had some last night, and while it doesn't say it's relaxing, I can tell you I slept like a baby.  I could get used to that stuff!

That's my recap for the week.  I'm hoping and praying we have a stress-free week, but if not, it's okay.  God's got my back.  Blessings to everyone!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Things Are Starting To Look Up

Molly had her surgery this morning.  I can't put into words how stressed I was thinking about how she would feel in that pet hospital without us around, but I knew it was necessary, and I left her in God's hands.

We seem to have rushed past springtime in South Florida.  It is as hot as summer, though not as humid.  As a matter of fact, it's been really dry.  So much so, that there have been brush fires popping up all over the place.  Finally, we got some rain yesterday and today.  It was much needed and much appreciated, since it helped put out a bunch of fires, but now the air is heavy with smoke and everything is covered in ashes (including my car, which just got washed two weeks ago).  My nose is all stuffed up, and my daughter is complaining of a sinus headache, which I'm attributing to having to go out in this smoke filled environment.  We're supposed to get rain all week; hopefully it'll clear the air.  So long as we don't get another emergency tornado alert...

Yeah, we got one of those this afternoon, before I had to leave for work.  There was a fairly strong thunderstorm prior to it, and all I could think of was Molly and how terrified she is of thunder.  I hoped she was sleeping through it and didn't have to hear all the noise.

I finally was able to pick her up at 4:30.  My boss was nice about me going; she recently put her own dog down after spending tons of money to treat her for cancer, so she was extremely sympathetic.  I was surprised to find Molly much more alert than I'd expected.  As soon as she saw me she came up to me and lay her head on my lap.  I think that, despite the pain from the surgery, she feels better without that nasty tumor hanging from her belly.  I had a heck of a time getting her in and out of the car, but once she was home she relaxed, has been drinking water and even ate her food.  We let her out to do her business but bring her in quickly; she doesn't need to be smelling all that smoke.  It looks like she's doing well, and we are so thankful for that.  There's one problem though; she has more small tumors.  The vet asked if I wanted them taken off as well, but it would cost an additional $266.  I'm already spending close to $900.  There was no way I could spend anything else.  We are hoping these won't develop like the other one did, but until we get the biopsy results I don't want to make any decisions.  The vet says we should have an answer by Monday, maybe even sooner.  We'll just have to wait and see.

At least she's looking happier now.  That's what we wanted, to see her happy and smiling.  Yes, our dog smiles.  It's the sweetest thing.  Goodnight everyone.  God bless.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week in Review - It's Been A Difficult Week

I've wanted to post a few times this week, but time kept getting away from me.  How I would love a day when I can do absolutely nothing.  Just sit around watching TV, which I haven't done in awhile.  Some days I miss that.

Molly is scheduled for her surgery tomorrow.  She has been getting steadily worse this week, though you wouldn't know it from her demeanor.  She is still as loving and affectionate as ever, even if she doesn't have the same amount of energy or spunk.

The surgery can't come soon enough.  The tumor on her belly appears infected, and I mean badly infected.  It oozes, and has turned dark, almost green, and it smells awful.  I discussed with my daughter today that I'm concerned it might become gangrenous, which would be devastating.  Even if she comes out of the surgery well, which of course is our hope, there is no guarantee we will have her with us for very long.  We are both convinced this is a cancerous tumor, and more than likely it has spread, though we don't know to what extent.  We have to wait for the surgery, then make a decision as to her future.  It's not something any of us is looking forward to.

My son E had a very busy school week.  He had an English paper and presentation to finish and send in.  He started quadratic formulas in algebra which were complicated to learn.  There was a science quiz and a review portfolio which he just finished today.  Music history is usually just reading, but this week he had a review and critical thinking paper, class discussion, and lab to complete.  Usually he doesn't have to work on the weekends, but this time he worked both yesterday and today, with a Hope assignment still not completed - it should be done by tomorrow.  There's about 8 weeks of school left so of course it gets hectic as we approach the final stretch.

Work was also really busy this week.  Many of the students we tutor took their ACT exams this weekend, so they're done with tutoring.  New students that have been on a waiting list are now starting this week, which meant lots of paperwork had to be completed.  As busy as we were, I had to help with tutoring a few kids.  Two of our teachers were sick - one had kidney surgery and the other had a kidney infection, so both were in the hospital at the same time.  MM arranged their students as best she could, but there simply weren't enough teachers to go around, so I was assigned homework help students.  Since they were all elementary school age it wasn't a problem, but I felt like I would never get my work done.  Thankfully everything fell into place and I think we're back on track, but I have to say it was pretty stressful.

Then Friday, my "day off", started off at 6:00am.  I went to bible study where we finished studying the book Daniel by Beth Moore.  It was such a great study that I'm actually sorry it's over!  Afterwards I came home to do schoolwork with my son, make lunch, then take him to the doctor.  He has a rash on his left hand, a very itchy rash.  When it first appeared I thought it was ant bites.  As more bumps appeared in clusters, I thought it was similar to what he'd had on his eye, so I had him put on the cream they'd given him for his hand.  It did nothing.  It kind of looked like eczema, which he's had before, so I got him eczema cream.  It got worse.  The skin around his thumb was cracking, and it was very painful.  So I took him to his regular doctor, who believes this is a fungus based on the fact that it's only on his hand and the hydrocortisone made it worse.  He prescribed a cream, and antibiotics because of the cracked skin.  I'm keeping an eye on it; it seems better, but if I don't see enough improvement by Tuesday I'm gonna have to take him to see a dermatologist.

As exhausting as my week had been, I was looking forward to cleaning my home on Saturday and then relaxing.  That wasn't meant to be.  My kid's father showed up after two weeks of not seeing or calling any of his children.  He put on a show of concern for E's hand, and suggested yet again that we get rid of Molly because he blames her for E's allergies and anything else that happens to him.  He actually asked if any of us could catch what Molly has.  Since when is cancer contagious?  He finally left without E, because he didn't think E should go out with his hand looking the way it did.  Meanwhile, once again, I was left feeling angry and resentful and bitter, which I absolutely hate feeling, but he brings out the worst in me.  It is so frustrating that he acts like he's so concerned about his kids, then he disappears for a week or two.  It took several hours before I was able to calm down - that, and a trip to Target ;-).  I looked through the tops for clearance items, and found 3 tank tops and a v-neck, each under $10.  I don't usually recommend retail therapy, but I needed to get out of my house and focus on something else.

This week our Sunday school class was challenged to learn Psalm 23 by hard.  And let me tell you, it was hard!  I know bits and pieces of it, but I've never learned it straight through.  For some crazy reason, I thought I'd learn it in the King James Version.  It sounds so beautiful with all the thee's and thou's, but honestly, what was I thinking?!  I actually made it harder on myself.  I was relieved to find out everyone else had a hard time learning it as well ;-).  We are gonna continue working on it this week.  I printed it and put it up on my fridge to help me remember it.

That's my recap for the week.  It has been rough, and I don't think the coming week will be much easier, especially with Molly recovering from surgery.  If you think of her during the day, please say a prayer for our puppy.  We love her dearly, and just want to see her get better.  Thanks y'all.  Goodnight, and God bless.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Week In Review

I don't know what makes people think that being a stay at home mom is leisurely.  Even with 2 adult children and a 15 year old, my days are busy.  Of course, homeschooling makes a difference, but still...

Since I didn't have to work this week (thank you Spring Break!) we were able to keep up with all the school work E had.  It was a good thing too; E had his unit test for algebra, and we needed to do a lot of reviewing.  E does great when he does his lesson quizzes, typically getting 90% and above.  But when it comes time for his unit test, he gets everything jumbled up in his head and he forgets how to do the problems, getting formulas all mixed up.  This time, we reviewed everything from the unit step by step, then he did part 2 of the test first, which is the part that his teacher emails to him and he emails back.  That took longer; there were five questions, but each question had three parts to it, and he had to show all his work.  It was time consuming, but he got a 98%.  Then it came time to do part one which was multiple choice.  He wasn't looking forward to it, but once he sat down he found it only took him 20 minutes and he got 100%.  It made him feel a whole lot better once that was over.

The rest of the week went pretty smoothly.  Yesterday, however, was a stressful and distressing day.

Our dog Molly has been with us for almost four years now.  When we found her in our front yard, she was just over a year old, skinny, filthy, and scared.  We took her in, and she has been the most loving dog we've ever seen.  She is gentle, well behaved, and a great watch dog - she makes plenty of noise whenever someone comes to the door, enough to scare them away!  It's been a joy adding her to our family.

A couple of years ago we noticed a growth on her belly.  It was almost time to get her tags, so we waited to see the vet at the humane society.  She looked at it, and told us it shouldn't be a problem unless it started growing, in which case we should see a vet about it.  After a year we did notice it was getting bigger, so we took her to a local vet (the vet who had seen her before had moved out of the area).  This vet didn't even examine her; he glanced at her belly, said it was probably blood cancer, then proceeded to give us an estimate of $500 - $700 just to remove it, then it would have to be sent to a lab to find out if it really was cancer.  I was shocked and upset at this vet who didn't even take a good look at her or even touch her, so we left.  A short time later the growth popped, sort of like a pimple, and it shrunk.  We figured it was going away, and left it alone.  Over the past year it would grow and pop, grow and pop, and while we kept an eye on it, we didn't think too much of it.

The last few months, though, it has grown very large.  It's now bigger than a golf ball, and it bleeds occasionally.  Molly has been acting perfectly normal as far as her mood and appetite, but we did notice she's also limping from her right hind leg.  The growth and her limp were becoming more and more concerning, so Saturday my daughter and I took her to another vet, one who has been clipping her nails for the last year.  This vet asked lots of questions; she did a better job of examining her, though the growth is large enough that you don't have to get too close to see it.  Her diagnosis was disheartening: the growth doesn't look good.  Yes, it could be benign, but from the description she feels it most likely is cancer.  We have scheduled her surgery for a week from tomorrow, and once the growth is removed it will be biopsied.  She also told us that, while there is a chance Molly is limping simply because she's overweight (a whopping 82 lbs.), there is the possibility that the cancer has spread into her bones.  If that's the case, there is very little that can be done other than chemotherapy, and I've already made it clear to my kids (and they agree with me) that I would never put a dog through chemo.  This kind of treatment is painful, weakening, and dogs don't understand why it's happening.  I wouldn't want my sweet Molly to think she's being punished, which is what chemo must seem like to a dog.  Our prayer is that the tumor is benign, but if it isn't, we will do everything possible to keep Molly comfortable until she can no longer live, or until her time comes on its own.  It's not a pleasant thought at all, and I remember how much we suffered when our dog Tobey became ill and had to be put down, but the thought of treating her for cancer is, in my opinion, inhumane.  Those that wish to do it to their pets have the right to do so, but I just can't.  And it hurts my heart to know that either way she might suffer.  It has brought the mood in our home down low, but we trust that God will do what is right.  He brought her to us, and He will decide when she needs to leave us.

That's pretty much it.  I go back to work tomorrow, and school continues, as does life.  There are always stumbling blocks in the road; hiccups in life that we would prefer to avoid but can't.  The trials of life help make us stronger and remind us Who we need to depend on.  If you think of it, please pray for our Molly to not have cancer.  That would be the best news our vet could give us.  God bless, and good night.