Monday, January 7, 2013

No excuses.

I'm not making any excuses for such a long absence.  But if I did, I do believe that finishing my Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics, along with its 75 page, 6 month long, capstone research project, having 2 adult children move back in temporarily with us  (ouch - that hurt financially), a high school graduation, sending a son off to Basic Training, and marrying off our oldest daughter should all count.  Along with all the standard work it takes to run a family and home during the same time.

But really, no excuses.  Just life. But here are some great photos from the last year to tide everyone over until the next time I post - hopefully next week...(and when I get a new camera battery or camera...)...

truth time disclaimer:  The great looking photos come from 2 different sources - 2 sets of great friends who both happen to be great photographers - because honestly, my picture taking skills just plain suck are just plain bad.  I'll post the link to their pages next time!

oohhh...I'll doing a wedding post next week!  With lots of pictures (at least what I have now!)

Father's Day Photo Shoot with Chris Klok

Melina's Senior Photo Shoot with Jim & Colleen Quiggle

Melina & Brandon's Engagement Photo Shoot

Yes! I met Ree Drummond! The Pioneer Woman!!!

Josie at her first opera!

Mathew - asleep - as always!

A real longhorn with Ammon!

Josie on the real longhorn!

Our new cat - Mr. Fluffies...

My new car!  A 2006 Toyota Sienna

Jake on the same longhorn!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The heart condition

Melina was diagnosed last year with an obscure and rare heart condition - postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. (POTS)

This was a surprise to us - we actually went to see the cardiologist last year because she had an abnormal EKG and had had several near-fainting episodes. We followed the non-drug guidelines the cardiologist gave - increase salt intake, eat and drink every 2 hours, and be careful when changing positions.  Oh, and 99% of all teens grow out of it by age 16-18.  And this condition very rarely get worse...

see where I'm going with this?

She is worse.  It started with a constant headache.  After 5 days, and a trip to the ER (with injections that didn't work at all for pain), and a trip to our doctor, we have now spent the last 6 weeks in and out of the cardiologist (not a pediatric one, but an adult dr. who agreed to see Melina because of her age and he specializes in these types of heart conditions), neurologist, and our general doctor trying to fix this. 

And she has missed almost 11 days of school (fortunately, though this is now labeled "chronic" for the school (and district) and all this appointments and sick days do not count towards absences for school).  Not to mention church and time with friends and family.

I will save you all the medical mumbo-jumbo and testing results.  In short, the severe, constant headache is caused by the extreme low blood pressure and the high heart rate.  The cardiologist started her on medication to help treat the blood pressure and heart rate issues, and the neurologist has started her on a medication regimen to get rid of the headaches.  And our doctor sees her regularly, in order to keep track of all this - because she likes him best and trusts him and talks with him about how she feels.  (plus side - his visits cost less!)

This has been frustrating for all of us.  Melina because she is so sick at times.  The symptoms for POTS are long - and she has a lot of them.  Her head is constantly hurting.  The new medications are not fun and must be taken - they cannot be missed - thus leading to new habits to develop. Us, because this time, we can't fix it as parents.  We have to trust and get the doctors to help us.  And her siblings, because Melina just isn't herself 100% any more.

Getting a cold (or any other illness) this past week, caused her to be down and out for 3 days - because stress, illness, and physical pain makes POTS worse. 

And the doctors can't guarantee that she will "grow" out of this now. 

And that sucks worse of all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Life Changes

18 months ago, I went back to college.  It wasn't an easy decision, as in order to do so, I not only had to quit my work-from-job of medical transcription, but I also had to re-arrange the home-school teaching schedule in our family.

Since that time, Aimee has started high school, Matt moved out on his own, and Melina is graduating 1 year early from high school.

And I have continued to work on my Bachelor's degree in Health Informatics.  Which I enjoy. Sort of.

What I have re-discovered is my love of teaching.  During my internship, I have been busy teaching and training (and learning some too) all about the new EMR (electronic medical record) system the clinic is putting in.

So, in the midst of all this, a thought of inspiration - rather an very distinct impression from the Spirit, about what I should be doing with my degree work.  And it doesn't include using my degree work for what I thought.

Instead of working towards my Master's in Health Information Management or Healthcare Administration, I will be finishing the few math credits I need in order to apply for Teach Arizona.  (Teach Arizona is a 1-year intensive Master's in Education program - that will give me a Master's in Secondary Math Education, along with preparing me to get my Az teaching certification. Maybe one day, I will be able to teach Health Information at the college level...but one needs education certifications/classes to do so.)

The looming question remained for Mike and I.....

what does a homeschooling mom do with her children while student teaching?

Well, they would go to school.  Public school. 

And so Ammon, Jacob, and Josie will be attending our local elementary school. 

We have prayed about this. Fasted and prayed about it.  And we know that this is the right decision to make for our family.  The school is good.  And fun. I met their teachers - good vibes all the way around.  I feel good turning over this part of the schooling to them.

And most importantly - the 3 of them are SO excited!  They can't wait!  They are excited to get to go to school with this friends, to make more friends, and to be where their friends are all day long! 

Being a teacher doesn't mean that I am giving up on teaching my children.  Rather I will not only be able to continue to influence their education - they are home for 10 weeks during the summer ;), but I also will be home in the afternoons to help with homework, do lots of reading, and other fun activities that we like to do (shhh...they are educational - don't tell them!)

Being a teacher also means that I can influence others too.  I love high school age kids.  I love being at the high school with them.  I have started to shadow a few teachers at my girls' high school (in math!) and o.m.g.  I love it!  Still!  So, while my children are excited to start school, I am excited to become a teacher!

Big changes.  But if families didn't have change, wouldn't life be monotonous?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Still here.

And working on school - my senior year - so very busy with papers and certifications. 4 papers left to write to finish this semester.

Sewing lots.  Including J's flower girl dress.

2011 Grad Night is in less than 14 days.