Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crazy Eye

Mama always said if you keep making that face it will stay that way.

Christian taught me a new trick tonight...here's what teenagers learn at public schools.

Freaky, huh?  I'm looking at my left eyeball. 

We are such a talented family, I am so proud.  I don't recommend doing this for any length of time, I kinda got a headache.  It reminded me of a Bob Nelson act, he's a christian comedian and so funny.

Wilby Stuckerson aka Bob Nelson.
I couldn't find the exact clip on youtube that I wanted so I just put a pic of him as Wilby.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Revive our hearts, tame our tongues!

My study on the book of James is still going strong, I especially liked what the "Good Morning Girls" posted this week.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
– Psalm 141:3-

When you feel tempted to:

When you feel tempted to “put that person in his/her place”, pray instead.

When you feel tempted to spread a “little gossip”, pray instead.

When you feel tempted to “tell it like it is”, pray instead.

When you feel tempted to return hurtful words with your own hurtful words, pray instead.

When you feel tempted to say something you shouldn’t….DON’T…pray instead.

Pray instead, ask God to give you the strength to overcome the temptation and help you develop the discipline of controlling your tongue.

Ways that we can tame our tongues:

1. Humble yourself

2. Put off all slander and evil speaking

3. Put on a heart and words of kindness, love, forgiveness and grace

4. Bring your thought life under the control of the Holy Spirit

5. Talk less

6. Think before you speak

7. Refuse to listen to slander or gossip about others


This is the culprit!  The disgusting bacteria they found in my little boy's excrements (I know, that's gross) but it's true.  I called the hospital this morning and they said it was the bacteria was Campylobacter, say that three times fast, they prescribed an antiobiotic and that should speed up Cameron's recovery.  I did some research on what Campylobacter is and found some disturbing things but I am a why worry unless you know there's something to worry about kind of person, I will just leave this in God's hands.  There are no indications that my son will be one of the few to have further problems with this infection.  Below is an article I found from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), read if you dare or are really bored.

What is campylobacteriosis?

Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Campylobacter. Most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days after exposure to the organism. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts one week. Some infected persons do not have any symptoms. In persons with compromised immune systems, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a serious life-threatening infection.

How common is Campylobacter?

Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the United States. The vast majority of cases occur as isolated, sporadic events, not as part of recognized outbreaks. Active surveillance through FoodNet indicates that about 13 cases are diagnosed each year for each 100,000 persons in the population. Many more cases go undiagnosed or unreported, and campylobacteriosis is estimated to affect over 2.4 million persons every year, or 0.8% of the population. Campylobacteriosis occurs much more frequently in the summer months than in the winter. The organism is isolated from infants and young adults more frequently than from persons in other age groups and from males more frequently than females. Although Campylobacter does not commonly cause death, it has been estimated that approximately 124 persons with Campylobacter infections die each year.

What sort of germ is Campylobacter?

Campylobacter organisms are spiral-shaped bacteria that can cause disease in humans and animals. Most human illness is caused by one species, called Campylobacter jejuni, but human illness can also be caused by other species. Campylobacter jejuni grows best at the body temperature of a bird, and seems to be well adapted to birds, who carry it without becoming ill. These bacteria are fragile. They cannot tolerate drying and can be killed by oxygen. They grow only in places with less oxygen than the amount in the atmosphere. Freezing reduces the number of Campylobacter bacteria on raw meat.

How is the infection diagnosed?

Many different kinds of infections can cause diarrhea and bloody diarrhea. Campylobacter infection is diagnosed when a culture of a stool specimen yields the organism.

How can campylobacteriosis be treated?

Almost all persons infected with Campylobacter recover without any specific treatment. Patients should drink extra fluids as long as the diarrhea lasts. In more severe cases, antibiotics such as azithromycin or erythromycin can shorten the duration of symptoms if given early in the illness. Your doctor will decide whether antibiotics are necessary.

Are there long-term consequences?

Most people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely within two to five days, although sometimes recovery can take up to 10 days. Rarely, Campylobacter infection results in long-term consequences. Some people develop arthritis. Others may develop a rare disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome that affects the nerves of the body beginning several weeks after the diarrheal illness. This occurs when a person's immune system is "triggered" to attack the body's own nerves resulting in paralysis that lasts several weeks and usually requires intensive care. It is estimated that approximately one in every 1,000 reported Campylobacter illnesses leads to Guillain-Barré syndrome. As many as 40% of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases in this country may be triggered by campylobacteriosis.

How do people get infected with this germ?

Campylobacteriosis usually occurs in single, sporadic cases, but it can also occur in outbreaks, when a number of people become ill at one time. Most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry meat or from cross-contamination of other foods by these items. Infants may get the infection by contact with poultry packages in shopping carts. Outbreaks of Campylobacter are usually associated with unpasteurized milk or contaminated water. Animals can also be infected, and some people have acquired their infection from contact with the stool of an ill dog or cat. The organism is not usually spread from one person to another, but this can happen if the infected person is producing a large volume of diarrhea.
A very small number of Campylobacter organisms (fewer than 500) can cause illness in humans. Even one drop of juice from raw chicken meat can infect a person. One way to become infected is to cut poultry meat on a cutting board, and then use the unwashed cutting board or utensil to prepare vegetables or other raw or lightly cooked foods. The Campylobacter organisms from the raw meat can thus spread to the other foods.

How does food or water get contaminated with Campylobacter?

Many chicken flocks are infected with Campylobacter but show no signs of illness. Campylobacter can be easily spread from bird to bird through a common water source or through contact with infected feces. When an infected bird is slaughtered, Campylobacter organisms can be transferred from the intestines to the meat. In 2005, Campylobacter was present on 47% of raw chicken breasts tested through the FDA-NARMS Retail Food program. Campylobacter is also present in the giblets, especially the liver.

Unpasteurized milk can become contaminated if the cow has an infection with Campylobacter in her udder or the milk is contaminated with manure. Surface water and mountain streams can become contaminated from infected feces from cows or wild birds. This infection is common in the developing world, and travelers to foreign countries are also at risk for becoming infected with Campylobacter.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another helping of Salmonella anyone?

MMMMmmmmm.....mmmmm...good?  I think not.  I just spent an entire day in doctor's offices and hospitals with my precious child just because of eating out.  My question is, is it really worth it?  Is it worth putting our bodies at risk so we won't have to cook a meal?  Our recent experience makes me want to boycott every "all-you-can-eat" buffets and probably most restaurants in general. 

Cameron started feeling lousy Monday evening, Tuesday he started running a fever and had stomach pain, he threw up in the middle of the night a couple times but nothing too strange, that's the only time he vomited during this whole ordeal.  Wednesday morning his fever was 103 degrees, we got the fever down that day but that evening he started noticing blood in his stools and around 2:30 am his stomach was cramping and he was in a lot of pain.  Thursday A.M., I took him to the doctor, they thought at first maybe an appendicitis so they drew blood, had him give a urine sample and took some x-rays.  The x-rays didn't really show anything, his white blood count was low so they figured negative on the appendicitis but there was blood in his urine.  They decided he needed more tests and sent him to a hospital close by for a CT scan on his abdomen and pelvis.  This test showed he had an inflammed colon.  The doctor said he needed a biopsy and we could either have it there or he could have the procedure at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.  We opted for Children's Mercy.  We were sent on our way with a disc to give the hospital when we arrived of the CT scan.  They put Cameron in a room and reviewed the disc, looked at all the prior work done and got a stool sample.  Cameron was a little nervous about this biopsy thing and just wanted to go home.  At this point we had been given no other options and the diagnosis was IBD - inflammatory bowel disease, which could be Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease.

A couple hours later a gentlemanly old doctor came in (the attending doc) and said that the radiologist at the other hospital "over read" the CT scan and that what Cameron had was infectious colitis (sounds so much better).  He asked us when the symptoms started occuring and then what we did last weekend.  He asked if we had went out to eat anywhere.  Only one place...Sunday after church....an all-you-can-eat buffet.  He said that was probably where Cameron had contracted this gruesome bacteria.  The doc stated that the food may not have been kept at the right temperatures or been there too long, etc. etc...ew.  The hospital lab had begun a culture on Cameron's stool sample to see which organism had caused this mess.  The culture will not be complete until Sunday or Monday so they can't do anything for my poor boy until then.  Some bacterias are treated with antibiotics while others are not and if he were to take an antibiotic for the wrong kind, it could worsen and even prolong the illness up to months.  So now we sit and wait, Cameron cannot have any dairy products, raw fruits or vegetables, and of course, nothing spicy...also no chocolate, nuts, or caffiene.  You would have had to shoot me right there...no coffee?  Good thing he's not addicted yet.  We got him home late last night, he woke up in the wee hours of the morning in a lot of pain but is doing better now.

I watched as my little boy (okay, 14, but still my baby) endured awful - literally gut wrenching- pain all because of eating out.  Will this deter us from eating out again?  Maybe for a while but in reality the effects of this event will fade and we will once again risk our health for possibly tainted food.  Maybe I need to carry this picture around with me and post one on the fridge...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's a "Pooh Pill"?

Nicknames are cool...or are they?

 Definition:  nick·name[ ník nàym ]NOUN

1. invented name: an invented name for somebody or something, used humorously or affectionately instead of the real name and usually based on a conspicuous characteristic of the person or thing involved

2. short name: a shortened or altered form of a name, e.g. "Billy" for "William" or "Peggy" for "Margaret"

A couple weeks ago James and I had dinner with some friends and our pastor and his wife.  It was a splendid evening but I did something rather strange...I don't know how it came about or why I even divulged it...but (I can hear me saying it my head right now as if I were there again) I started talking about how my grandpa gave all of his grandchildren nicknames...and they I did something weirder...I said mine out loud!  It seemed perfectly normal my entire life until it left my mouth at that precise moment in time and then it just sounded ridiculous.  Okay...here it is...

My nickname was....Pooh Pill...does that even make sense?  I know I liked Winnie the Pooh and maybe I was a real "pill" as in sticker, I don't know.  Well, my pastor found this quite amusing but got it all wrong, he was interpreting it like "poo hill" or "poop hill" or "poo pill", and then started paging me.  On the bright side, I laughed so hard I cried, I don't even know quite why but my stomach got a good workout with all that silliness.  It does sound like a medicine you would take if you couldn't "poo" or needed to.  "My tummy hurts, I need a poo pill!"

I was trying to recall all of my cousins nicknames, see if they are any better, of course they are!
My sister Candy = Candy Brat
My brother Curtis = Bull Moose
My brother Cliff = Yogi Bear
Cousin Jennifer = Sneaky Snake
Cousin Ben = Benji Bum
Cousin Misty = Misty Monkey
Cousin Charity = Banny Chicken
Me = Pooh Pill (later changed to Miss Management which is weird because mine is the only one I think he changed...I was too bossy I guess but that could have went to many of us)
I have a couple more younger cousins but don't remember theres right now or else he gave up giving them out.  Neither one of my boys have nicknames...wonder why?!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

God's Provision

My beautiful cousin recently blogged about 'Being anxious for nothing'...I have often thought about sharing certain struggles our family has faced and pride has often won out.  We wouldn't want to completely expose our "real" selves, what would people think?  Many times we, as humans, let the idea of what will people think control us.  But when we give in and open up to be vulnerable, God changes us.  When we care more about what He thinks is when we grow and see the amazing things He wants to show us.

It seems we are learning in slow motion what we are supposed to do with what we are given, how to be good stewards of God's provision.  I used to be fearful of God in a very unhealthy way...thinking to myself that if I didn't do this I wouldn't get blessed in this way or that.  Isn't that silly?  God's amazing grace covers this way of thinking, we really don't deserve anything, His love is not conditional on what we do.  A list of rules, dos and don'ts are no way to live in this world.  Being led by the Holy Spirit...letting it guide us, teach us, and actually listening to it makes all the difference in what we do.  Obedience has become a real thing to me, I am not called to be perfect, just obedient...of course, I fail but I realize its importance and embrace it.  God does bless us, in so many countless ways and not always in the ways we think.  He blesses our obedience, it could be monetarily but so much more with peace...peace we receive because of the trust we have put in Him, giving Him control and letting that "worry" go.

This past fall we didn't have much work coming in (as in kitchens), it seemed we were always behind and when we did get a job we would have so many bills piling up whatever money we did acquire was sucked up instantly with nothing to spare.  We learned the tithing lesson long ago so I have refused to hold on to our 'first fruits' so we can have what we think is "extra money".  I took a temp job at an insurance company during the summer, it ended in October, she let me work whenever I wanted and gave me a bonus of $100 on my last check there; I substitute taught beginning in August, all of this didn't amount to much by most standards but it helped us get by.  James did get a couple small jobs which we were so thankful for, another credit to our Lord.  James also needed surgery, he had been suffering with a hernia for over two years and by this time, we had one job on the books and the house it was to be ready for wouldn't need them til after the first of the year, so this seemed like an opportune time to schedule his surgery.  Surgery was set for November 12th with 6 weeks recovery time...December 24th.  During this time we attended our first business meeting at our new church, there was a recommendation by the personnel team to hire an additional administrative assistant.  The job was only offering 12 - 15 hours of work per week but I thought - it's a start.  The recommendation was approved and I sent in my resume.  I prayed and prayed that if God wanted me to have this job I would get it and if not that I would be okay.  I felt at peace and went to my interview on November 14th, James' birthday and only two days after his surgery; he survived.  At my interview they stated that the job would start at 20 hours per week beginning some time in December and then upon approval of the church become full time.  A few weeks later pass...I got the job.  I started in December, became full time in January and I love, love, love it.  I know God provided this for me and I can't thank Him enough.  James got a small job and big kitchen in December, thank You, Lord!  Meanwhile, we were still behind and just waiting to get caught up, I don't make enough to pay all the bills and we have to install kitchens to get paid.  Just last week I took 8 dollars with me to the grocery store, 6 dollars in ones and the rest change from the jar on my dresser.  It was enough.  I called the mortgage company so they wouldn't threaten with foreclosure...they were gracious and gave us an extension to the 18th of this month.  We filed our taxes a couple days ago, our refund will be direct deposited on the 18th...God's provision.  Why do we ever doubt His provision and care for us, He is trustworthy.  Our pastor has been trying to teach us to be sacrificial in our giving, to put God to the test.

I've often said, even outloud, that if we lost our home and everything we owned...we would be okay.  It's harder to keep that in the forefront of your mind when you're wondering how you are going to get enough gas in the car to make it to work and what you are going to have for dinner when the fridge is so bright and empty, when you pay the electric bill the day before the shut off date.  But God provides, He has always made a way for us, He is always faithful.  My cousin, Jenn, stated that she wouldn't have traded the lessons she and her family learned for job security.  What a statement!  Would we be so bold in desiring to be closer to God then be "comfortable".  It's during those difficult times that He grows us, I guess we just can't see the things He wants us to if we are just living comfortably...and not seeing our need for Him and the plans He has for us.  Another challenge...are we willing to give everything, everything we have.  God may not require that of us but are we willing to give it?  I'm scared that is exactly what He is wanting me to give...I want to be willing Lord, make me willing.  People would think we are crazy if we sold all that we owned, but who cares what people think...I want to be obedient.  Pray for me and my family as we seek and ask what God wants us to give.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blizzard 2011

Freezing drizzle began on Monday, January 31st...not much to tell, roads were a little slick so the kids got out of school early, I guess to make sure everyone could get home before the dreaded winter storm hit.  When I checked the weather at work Monday, words like critical and devastating would come up.  I left work around 2 pm Monday, ran to the store for essentials and headed home.  Tuesday morning arrived with the start of snowflakes, they started softly and then began to come down in buckets if that even seems possible.  I don't recall ever having this much snow, at least not while living here in Warsaw, Missouri!  We got not mail Wednesday and no trash service on Friday (yes, it's stockpiling in the shed).  But we snuggly safe inside, eating warm yummy foods, (I made "snow" cream), playing board games, etc.  I didn't venture out to "play" in the snow, the boys went out Tuesday while it was snowing and attempted to do some snowboarding, Cameron has been out in it every day, making igloos and digging tunnels.  They have been out of school all week and for the most part gotten along.  I am thankful for no power outages, time spent with my boys and hubby.

 About 16 inches measured here and it was still snowing...we figured around 19 inches after it was all said and done.

 Cameron on the front deck...trying out the snow.


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