Friday, April 27, 2012


We've had a lot going on with a lot up in the air. This has truly been a pretty miserable week all around, but hopefully things will start to improve.

Ollie had her HIDA scan and the results were normal. Which was good news, I believe. The surgeon has recommended that she see a gastroenterologist for further testing. Of course, our insurance is in the process of transitioning and we've had some maneuvering to do in order that she can continue to receive care without interruption.

For Ollie to see the GI doc, she must have a referral from her Primary Care Manager(PCM), of whom I needed to choose from a list on the Tricare website, sight unseen. I choose a PCM from the list provided, but when I called to make an appointment, I was told the nurse practitioner I had chosen had her practice 30 miles from the original location I'd been given by the website. Argh! I called around and found a PCM just a few miles from the Aspirancy, but she couldn't see Oleander until the 1st of May. Ollie has her appointment with the GI doc on the 1st of May, and that was a very hard to come by appointment. The sisters didn't want to wait and have to reschedule, so Sister Hope called another PCM and she was able to see Oleander yesterday and gave us the much needed referral to the gastroenterologist. So now we just wait and see what comes of that appointment.

I'm still suffering from the pinched nerve in my neck. I did make a trip to the emergency room on Sunday night where I was prescribed steroids, muscle relaxants, and pain killers. None of which gave me any relief whatsoever. I have been pretty much incapacitated on the couch with my heating pad and ice pack. Wingnut had most of the week off, but had to go on a trip yesterday. Before he left he scheduled a massage therapy appointment for me on Wednesday evening. Oh my! I wish we'd thought of that earlier. After an hour long massage I was greatly improved. At least I can sleep lying down now and do simple tasks around the house pain free. My fingers in my left hand are still numb, and the massage therapist seemed to think another appointment would get me back to normal. Unfortunately, Wingnut is flying today and Monday meaning I'll need to wait until Tuesday for any further relief. The worst has been having to drive the JayP back and forth to school. I can't seem to find a posture while driving that takes the pressure off the pinched nerve. I think JP really wishes he had his license. My groaning and squirming has been making him a bit nervous.

Of course, this means I haven't been able to run at all this week. That just depresses me. It was going so well. I'm hoping I'm not out of commission too much longer. I'd really hate to restart from square one. Sigh.

For now, I'll be happy for small successes this week. Even through my addled brain fog, we were able to complete all of our school work this week. With some direction from my position on the couch, the kids have been able to keep at least the main level of the house a livable space. Even Lil' Lamb has been cooperative and allowed Skoshi A to provide many of his needs. We are surviving, and that alone is a blessing. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, April 26, 2012

{P,H,F,R} Farming

round button chicken


I can't believe our pretty little girl will be 10 next week!  We took her to the local farm supply store and let her pick out her birthday gift.

Aren't these just the most awesome boots?


My tractor arrived and Wingnut wasted no time before tilling up several hundred feet of garden space.  Of course, the kids wanted to help out.  Special K was downright gleeful over driving the tractor.

Wingnut could not resist the opportunity to make a face for the camera.


Wingnut found a halfway decent donut shop near Ogden.  He plopped this fritter in front of Lil' Lamb, and boy did the lil' guy go for it. That is one big donut!


With several hundred square feet of garden comes several hundred pounds of rock.  We set the kids to it, but if we want the garden in on time, they are going to need some help.  Wingnut ordered a landscape rake for the tractor so that we can at least drag the rocks into manageable piles.

Lil' Lamb loved the sound the rocks made as he tossed them into the wheelbarrow.  He probably hauled twice his body weight in rock to the wheelbarrow all by himself.

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, April 23, 2012

Orange Glazed Cinnamon Roll Waffles

I haven't posted a recipe lately, but recently I saw a recipe for Cinnamon Roll Waffles on Pinterest that peaked my interest.  Of course I had to revamp the recipe, actually write my own, as the original recipe had lots of milk and a cream cheese frosting.  The only aspect of the original I kept was recipe for the cinnamon butter sauce. Although it didn't call for it, the next time I make these I will melt the cinnamon butter sauce in a small sauce pan.  The texture was a bit too gritty from the brown sugar.

Orange Glazed Cinnamon Roll Waffles

3 cups flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
zest from one orange
3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 cups goat's milk (cow's milk, soy milk, etc. will work as well)

In a large bowl stir together dry ingredients including orange zest.   In a medium size bowl mix together wet ingredients, beating eggs well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together gently until homogenous.  Bake in waffle maker according to manufacturer's instructions

Cinnamon Butter Sauce from Recipe Girl Blog
1/2 cup butter
3/4cup brown sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon

In a small sauce pan melt butter, add sugar and cinnamon and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Set aside.

Orange Glaze
4 TBSP butter softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar
3-5 TBSP orange juice

Whip butter, slowly add orange juice a tablespoon at a time, mixing  as you add.  Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and the consistency you would like.  Mine was pouring consistency, but you could make it thicker or thinner if you'd like.

Layer each waffle with a nice dollop of cinnamon butter sauce and then top with glaze just before serving.
Makes 12-16 4 inch waffles. Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'd Rather Go Through Childbirth

I've been having an issue with pinched nerves in my neck for some time now.  It hasn't been too severe, just a little tingling and numbness in my fingers.  This last weekend it turned into a real problem.  The pain has been quite severe and nothing I've tried has relieved it with much success.  Anti-inflammatory NSAIDs, Bio-freeze, hot and cold packs, stretching have all failed to give me any relief.  Lying down makes it worse, and imagine trying to nurse Lil' Lamb while lying on my bad side on on my good side, or on my back.  Forget about it!  I've been reduced to tears on more than one occasion.  It's looking like I'll need to see the doctor this week.  I'm sure I'll be told to rest, stretch, take ibuprofen, and alternate heat and cold. Ugh!  We are still in med insurance limbo.  Boo-hoo!  I'd rather give birth again than be in this kind of pain. On top of it, I'm completely good for nothing.  I have to sit completely immobile to be pain free.  Sympathy and prayers would be much appreciated!  Can I offer it up for any special intentions?  I have some I'm already praying for, but I can certainly add you to my list. Print Friendly and PDF

Running Update

Running is going pretty well.  I really love the Couch to 5K program.  It breaks running down into achievable little bits. I am able to complete the cycle and still feel just a touch sore the next day without feeling like I've killed myself. As of yesterday, I'm over 1/3 of the way through the program.

We have a nice little track at our neighborhood park and yesterday I took the kiddos down to the park and had them run a lap or two to see how'd they do. Lil' Wingnut didn't make it even half way around the 1/4 mile track, but to be fair, he had already run the entire 1/3 mile to the park. Special K made it one full lap and Skoshi A ran two laps without a problem. It was pretty convenient. Once they had finished their little run they played on the playground with Lil' Lamb while I continued my workout.

We'd like the kids to enjoy running. It's a simple, fairly inexpensive way to stay active and in shape. We're looking into a couple different fun runs to enter as a family. Wingnut was looking for a couple teammates to join him in doing the Spartan Beast Run in June here in Utah. Each teammate would run 3-5 miles plus complete 5 or more challenging obstacles and then finish the last mile together. Karate Kid and my sister were the only takers, but then my sister had to bow out due to other commitments. Too bad, Lil' Wingnut had really wanted to try the 1/2 mile Junior Spartan Race.

It looks like our best bet will be the Foam Fest Race in Ogden this August. I should definitely be race ready by then and there's also a 1/2 mile course for the kids. After yesterday's trial run, I know the kids will need to train some to be ready. Special K and Lil' Wingnut just need a little coaching in pacing themselves. 1/2 mile at a gentle pace should be no problem for them. Skoshi A will need to train a bit more seriously to get up to 5K. She's in pretty great shape already, but running a distance is just a different kind of animal she's not yet experienced. It should be a fun summer learning to run together. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, April 19, 2012

{P, H, F, R} April 19

round button chicken


One of the things I love Pinterest for are all the neat hair styles folks link to.  I need to practice more to make this look a little cleaner, but it was still very pretty.


A Forsythia bush is finally blooming in our yard.  I love Forsythia!  It shouts, "Spring has sprung" with its lovely bright yellow blossoms.

Yes, Forsythia makes me very happy :)

{Real Funny}

When I walked in the door after dropping #1 son off at school, Lil' Wingnut was sitting at the table waiting for his polenta while wearing this helmet.  As rambunctious as he's become, wearing a helmet 24/7 may not be a bad idea.  LOL!

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How the Kids Entertain the Baby

I came across this video of my kids entertaining Lil' Lamb.  It totally cracked me up. This is how they keep the baby entertained while I'm hard at work at my day job. Special K in the background is what put this over the top for me.  Oh, to be an unaffected 9 year old!  

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Two Cents

I know I'm weighing in a bit late on the whole Ann Romney/stay-at-home-mom thing, but I've been too busy doing nothing and not living in the real world. Could you please pass the bonbons?

Actually there has been a quite a bit written and said about the whole issue.  I really have nothing new or profound to offer.  I must say, I wrote the whole thing off once I read that Ms. Rosen was raising twin daughters from a failed same sex union.  Yeah, she has her finger on the pulse of the REAL American mother.

I will link to two of the best blog articles I read on the subject.  Both written by women with more writing talent in their little fingers than I will ever have.  The first was written by the Crescat, with her characteristic wit and no holds barred style:

OK, first thing we need to do is dispel the myth that staying at home and raising family is a ‘luxury’…

The second article was passed on to me by Wingnut.  Bookworm is a new blogger to me, but she is dead on regarding this issue: 

The real threat that the Ann Romneys of the world represent to the statist Left

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's Up with Ollie

In my last post I mentioned our second daughter has been having medical issues.  I wasn't deliberately trying to be evasive in explaining what her condition is.  It's the issue that is truly being evasive.  For about two months Oleander has been having a sharp pain in her side followed by nausea.  Originally her diagnosis was IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and the doctor prescribed medication and dietary restrictions.  Poor Ollie.  The sisters had to prepare her food separately from theirs and were instructed to eliminate all dairy, spice, and acidity from Ollie's food, including chocolate and coffee.  It was a long, bland Lent for Oleander.  Mother Ephesus said Ollie was a real trooper and didn't complain, but they could tell by her downcast face that she was not at all pleased with the prospect of dealing with a life long diet of nothingness.  She is my daughter, after all, and has grown up eating food with flavor.

After a month on the medication and diet there was no change in symptoms and so that particular diagnosis was discarded.  The doctor then ordered an ultrasound to see if possibly it might be a gall bladder issue or a hernia.  Oleander was ecstatic to no longer have a restricted diet.  The ultrasound was clear, but the doctor thought the sisters should go ahead and consult with a surgeon.  The surgeon has suggested a more thorough exam of the gall bladder called a HADI scan.  The HADI scan uses a radioactive tracer to track the flow of bile through the liver, small intestine, and gall bladder.  The scan may help in the diagnosis of conditions such as bile duct obstruction, bile leakage, congenital abnormalities of the bile ducts, gallbladder inflammation, and gallstones.  The surgeon admitted Ollie is a bit young for any of these conditions, but it is not completely unheard of.

After consulting with Tricare.  We are re-enrolling into Tricare Prime, but those benefits do not take affect until May 1st.  Until then we are relegated to Tricare Standard.  Not wanting Ollie to wait any longer than she has to for a diagnosis, we are going ahead with the HIDA scan under Tricare Standard and paying the co-pay and deductible.

Truly this is nothing to be too worried about yet.  At the worst, we are looking at possible removal of the gallbladder.  Of course, we'd appreciate any prayers that come this way for our dear girl.  I will keep you all updated as we learn more.  The most difficult part is having to deal with so much of this so far away from our daughter and through secondary channels.  We trust the sisters completely.  They've been wonderfully attentive in their care of Oleander and have kept us up to speed every step of the way. I know my baby is being watched over, not only by the sisters, but by Almighty God,  Our Blessed Mother and all the angels and saints.  I couldn't ask for more than that. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, April 13, 2012

Navigating the Un-navigable

Tricare was confusing while we were active duty, now that Wingnut is retired it has become downright hellish. To make things more complicated we live in one region and our two daughters are in school in another region, so our enrollment needs to be split. This has become a grave problem, as Oleander has been having medical issues that require attention.

Wingnut and I spent the better part of the morning on the phone and online trying to figure out where we go from here. On the phone, the representative made it sound like Tricare Standard might be the better option. It does sound like less hassle. There would be no need for referrals and authorizations. There are no premiums, but there are co-pays and deductibles. It's looking like Ollie's medical issues may need to be looked at extensively and so economically it may be better to go with Tricare Prime, which has premiums to pay but no deductibles or co-pays. However, Tricare Prime requires us to seek out particular doctors that accept that coverage and also requires authorizations and referrals which have to all be initiated by the primary care physician.

Ollie saw a surgeon today and he wrote a referral for a HADI scan. We are currently Tricare Standard. She could receive all her care quickly, and without authorizations, but it could run up a fairly large bill, especially if she needs surgery. We are electing to switch to Tricare Prime Retired. Supposedly we can enroll online. After spending too much of his time trying to navigate through the DEERS website, VA website, and Tricare's multiple websites, Wingnut finally gave up. We are heading to Hill AFB this afternoon and handing this navigation over to someone else. I sure hope they can figure this out for us. I hate leaving Ollie and the Sisters hanging, waiting for the go ahead. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, April 12, 2012

{P,H,F,R} Campfires, Lamb, and Coffee

round button chicken


Beautiful daughter #1

Beautiful and camera shy daughter #2


Marshmallows roasting over a campfire in our cool fire pit

Lil' Lamb discovered the happiness of marshmallows

What can make a child happier than marshmallows? S'mores, of course.

Lil' Wingnut loved everything about the campfire, marshmallows, and s'mores.  He is a boy, after all.


It's our family tradition to have lamb on Holy Thursday.  Special K loves lamb. I caught her gnawing on the leftover bone even after dinner.

Lil' Lamb has discovered the joy of coffee.  He was licking his chops once he got ahold of Wingnut's mostly empty cup.


It was an all too short visit with our two oldest girls.  Oldest daughter will be home again in 4 weeks, but Oleander's summer itinerary is still unknown.  Lil' Lamb was just starting to warm up to her and then she had to go back to school.  She'll have to start all over again when she comes home next.

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We Need a Hero

I ceased being a card carrying member of the Republican Party during the last election cycle. I voted independently in the primaries and then for the McCain/Palin ticket in the general election, although it left a very bad taste in my mouth. Funny, I couldn't remember McCain's name while writing this and I had to look it up!

I was hopeful, however, when Rick Santorum joined the race and was actually making a ruckus in the apparent Romney coronation.  I did not take the news of Santorum dropping out of the race well.  I'm depressed, quite frankly.  Santorum may not have been the absolutely perfect candidate, but he was the one in the race that most represented my family's views.

Romney may toe the party line, but even the Republican Party doesn't toe it's own line.  Living in Salt Lake City, I know Romney is the winning candidate here.  His being mormon is not a disqualifier for me. Romney lacks conviction and fortitude.  His principles blow with the wind.  That is a huge problem.  It's also a symptom of his being mormon.  Their religious "doctrines" also blow with the wind and can change with the whim of the current "Prophet".  Their principles too often change to match the prevailing culture, and I'm afraid that is who Romney is.

We need a hero.  We need a hero for life.  We need a hero for religious freedom.  We need a hero for true fiscal responsibility. We need a hero that will stand on properly formed principles and will not sway.  Who will be our hero?  I very well may sit this election out.  There isn't a hero in sight.

I have lifted my eyes to the mountains from whence shall come my help.  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is How We Survive Diaper Changes Around Here

He even laughs along with the laugh track.

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lil' Lamb at 14 Months

We've been a bit busy around here, what with Holy Week, my brother's visit, and then my two girls came home for Easter. With all the hubbub  I forgot to post a 14 month photo of Lil' Lamb.  He has changed so much over the last month.  He's walking, nearly running, and he's begun talking and signing. He's also decided he loves me after all and has become a little cuddle-bug-mama's-boy.  I did snap several photos of the boys collecting eggs on Easter.  I can't believe I had only two little one's young enough to still want to find eggs :(.  They are all growing up sooooo fast.  I can barely stand it.

Lil' Lamb loved placing eggs in his basket.

Collecting Easter eggs is serious work.

I could just smother that sweet little serious face with kisses.
Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, April 5, 2012

{P, H, F, R} Antelope Island

round button chicken

My brother (oft a commenter on this blog) and his two daughters came for a visit this week.  I've had a blast showing the the natural wonders of the area around where we live.  They have hiked to their hearts' content and have come away with a little color courtesy of the abundant sunshine we've had almost all week.  They were thrilled to have nice weather here while it snowed in Spokane :)


 Not only is my niece pretty, she's beautiful!


Happy children running about on Antelope Island.

My brother with two of his nieces and nephews


Undaunted, this antelope crossed the road right in front of our van.


Up close and fairly personal with a bull bison.
Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Living Stations of the Cross

One of the moms in our parish organizes a Living Stations of the Cross each Lent.  Originally she asked that children be at least 10 years old to participate, but at the initial meeting very few parish children showed up.  Leave it to my precocious 5 year old to raise his little hand and say, "If you're short on bodies, I'd make a great soldier!"  She couldn't refuse such a cute offer, and so she used his little body as a soldier in 10 of the 14 Stations.  Lil' Wingnut did a fantastic job.  He took it very seriously and Mrs. C very kindly overlooked the fact that a 5 year old, no matter how brilliant, cannot stand like a statue for more than five seconds.

Jesus Falls a Second Time
 Lil' Wingnut was even given a whip.  What was she thinking? At least no one was truly harmed.  Lil' Wingnut was also fascinated with the shadow he cast on the painted screen behind him.

 Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
Special K as our Blessed Mother, and Skoshi A as Saint John the Evangelist

 Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
I loved the staging of this scene.

Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

I'm not sure how prayerful the audience found this version of the Stations.  The children were awful cute. Cute can be prayerful, right?  Anyway, I felt it was a wonderful way of making the Stations "real" for my children.

Print Friendly and PDF