Making Hard Decisions

Last night as I was typing up my post I got the kind of phone call we all dread. My brother called me to tell me that my mother had fallen in a hospital parking lot (actually she was blown over by a strong wind) and had broken her hip. I was faced with some hard decisions. My parents live a 6 hour drive from us, so that makes things complicated. For some people picking up and going at the drop of a hat isn’t a big deal. For us, it’s a big deal. I have two daughters who can’t eat anything other than what we prepare, and we have to make all of our food in advance. The last few times we have gone Hannah and I have pulled all nighters preparing several days worth of food, for 6 people with 3 different food restrictions/diets.

As moms we all have many decisions that we have to make every day. What meals to cook, what errands to run, how to do school. . . the list is endless. Some decisions are easier than others. Trying to decide what to do about traveling was making me physically ill. I don’t know about you, but I hate to feel like I’m letting someone down and not living up to their expectations of me.

As I tried to decide what to do several things were weighing on me.

Sarah- I’ve shared about her trials here, here, and here. Just last night I was up with her all night. Caroline relieved me at 8 am and Sarah finally fell asleep at 8:30am and slept for a few hours. Right now Sarah sleeps well about every third night. Sleeping well means that she is asleep sometime between 12 am-2 am and waking between 5am-8am. We just started her on the SCD diet and are starting to see some results. A trip might throw a wrench into things as she tends to regress after a trip or any additional stress.

Hannah- has been battling Lyme which presents in her differently than the rest of us. She has vestibular hyperacusis which can cause her to have anxiety issues, which can in turn lead to bouts of depression. These are chemical issues that we are treating, but it has flared to a severe level lately like it has only one time before. I have been staying up at night keeping watch over her. She often wakes between 4-6am having a mild panic attack and needs someone to be with her. Since we have added some supplements to help with this she is doing better, but they are not completely effective yet.

Rachel- has been battling her Lyme which can present with atonic seizures and many other symptoms. She has to take things easy a lot, though she tries to do as much as she can when she is up to it. She has written about her Lyme here, here and here.

Caroline- has also been battling Lyme, her symptoms have started getting more severe in the last few months. She has a lot of fatigue and brain fog. She has also been battling her asthma  a lot lately.

Gene- works long hours and has been working 6-7 days a week since last September. Between my schedule and his, we are getting to see each other occasionally on Sundays and about an hour and a half before he goes to bed.

Right now my sleeping schedule has roughly been 8 am – 2 pm. As I was going to bed this morning I got a text telling me that my mom’s surgery was happening in just a few minutes. At that point I was too exhausted and emotionally drained to think about what to do. I prayed before I went to sleep wanting some direction. It took me a while to fall asleep but once I got to sleep I rested well. When I awoke, I knew the decision I needed to make. We already have a trip planned to see all of our parents for Memorial Day weekend, so I decided to wait until then to go home.

This decision wasn’t easy, but I knew it was the right one. Often there will be demands coming at us from all directions. All of these things may seem urgent and like something we must do. It helps me to stop and think about my priorities. Right now the most important thing for Gene, the girls and me is to get Sarah better. We will sacrifice most anything for that to happen. So as I weighed out making a rushed trip, lots of long hours and the stress this would put on Sarah and the other girls (I knew that if we did this, there was a high probability that the girls would be in bed for up to 2 weeks after, trying to recuperate) I decided that the cost was too high. Going by myself wasn’t an option due to Sarah needing my constant attention. I also didn’t feel that I could juggle Sarah’s needs and the other girls while on the road alone.

Was this decision hard? You bet, but once I made it I knew it was right. I decided to stop beating myself up because I can’t be everything to everyone. I have made the wrong decision plenty of times, and my whole family has paid the price. It is so easy to fall into the trap of doing a lot of good things and pushing yourself harder than you should. It is important to know your priorities, which will help you not over-commit.

Choices come in different forms, whether to let the kids play ball, or take a class, to go on a trip or commit to something at church. All should be weighed according to the responsibilities God has given to you. We need to be good stewards of our time, just like we are with our money. I have also learned to sleep on such decisions before I make them. Things always seem clearer after sleeping on them.

Over the last 30 years I have made the wrong decision many times. I have worked over the years to streamline our commitments and to focus on our priorities, but I don’t always get it right. Everything we have been going through in the last year has really helped me solidify my priorities. My hope is that when life gets back to normal (whatever that is), that I will continue to be diligent in guarding our time and making the right decisions for it.

How do you make the tough decisions? How do you know you are making the right one?

Recent Life In Our House

Well, it’s 2 am and I am watching Fellowship of the Ring with Hannah, Rachel & Caroline, and listening to Lindsay cough uncontrollably in her bedroom.  In the last 24 hours the girls have had about 6 breathing treatments for their asthma, we have done several steam treatments tonight, countless doses of medicine, and hot tea by the gallon.  Sarah, the child that though she has special needs is rarely sick, even has an upper respiratory infection.  Gene seems to be getting over his URI, and I hope it stays away for a while.  Me, well, I’m not sick, I’ve just been running like crazy trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done (and quite honestly, I’m not succeeding).  I have started about 5 blog posts, which are currently waiting to be finished.

The opening to this post isn’t very cheery, but in all honesty, it’s not as depressing as it all may sound.  The Lord is teaching us all a great deal through this trial, and for that, I am very thankful.  Our holidays, while not full of activities, parties, and excitement, were full of meaningful times and expressions of love for one another.   For Christmas it is our common practice to have the girls draw another sister’s name, and they are given a certain amount of money to buy that sister a gift, or gifts.  They look forward to this with great anticipation, not looking forward to what they will get, but toward what they will give.  They spend countless hours in thought and preparation of their gift.  This year something spontaneous happened that surprised me.  The girls individually began spending their own allowances to buy small things to make for the sisters whose names they didn’t draw.  I know of many people who eschew gift giving at Christmas because of the belief that it causes greediness and the desire to get more and more.  In our family I have found the opposite to be true. The girls are appreciative of the gifts they receive, but generally have trouble even telling you what they want as gifts.  We have tried to nuture in them a desire to be cheerful givers whenever the opportunity arises, and we have seen good fruit from this thus far.December 31st, was our 25th wedding anniversary and Gene planned a big surprise for me.  On Wednesday evening, December 17th, Gene told me that first thing Thursday morning we would be heading out for a trip to San Antonio.  I have wanted to go for years, and love history, so this was the perfect surprise for me.  I was so excited to get to go to the Alamo after hearing about it for so many years. This may sound strange, but it was all I could do to not start crying as I entered the building for the first time. The realization of what had taken place there was heavy upon my heart.  The grounds of the Alamo are beautiful; it is hard to believe that they are right in the center of the city.

After the Alamo we went and checked into our Bed & Breakfast before going to the Riverwalk. It was a beautiful little B&B right on the river.  It was so peaceful and beautiful. It was quite overcast the two days we were there, which gave the city an unusual feel.  The river was beautiful, as was the boat ride down it.  As I was riding on the river, in the fog, under all of the bridges, it felt as if I was in London.  Once the sun went down and all of the Christmas lights came on, it was even more beautiful on the river.  I felt as if I was a child in a wonderland of lights.  After walking along the river for a while, we then at dinner at Boudro’s.  The food was amazing, and the bread pudding was a great end to the meal.  It was nice to eat on the riverwalk, watching the people as they walked by.  After we walked a while longer we went back to the van.  Gene knows how I love to take pictures, so he took me by the Alamo, so that I could get pictures at night.  It was an amazing site to see it with the lights illuminating it’s historic walls.  The next morning we ate breakfast at the B & B and then drove through a historic district nearby.  After a quick stop at the Buckhorn Museum downtown, we headed home.  The trip was wonderful for me, as it gave me a much needed break from the holiday rush.  It was nice to spend a day not thinking about all that I had to do to finish preparing for the holidays.  I don’t know that I have ever been so completely able to lay my thinking and planning aside.

San Antonio Album 1

San Antonio Album 2

San Antonio Album 3

Lindsay went to Little Rock the afternoon we returned from San Antonio for the wedding of some friends.  While there she was able to stay with Gene’s sister and to see her cousin’s new baby.  She had a wonderful trip, but picked up a bug on the return plane ride.

We had a very subdued but nice Christmas enjoying a lot of time together, with us all playing the new Wii together when the girls were up to it. Gene surprised me, and the girls, with a very nice present for Christmas. He had taken the girls shopping, and they picked out several nice things for me, not knowing about the secret gift.  He surprised us all with a top of the line Kitchen Aid Professional mixer.  The girls were as excited as I was to receive it.  We didn’t wait long to try it out either!

Since we had already celebrated our anniversary on our trip, on the 31st we just went to our favorite pizza place, New York Pizzeria and the mall.  Gene didn’t make it until midnight (I think he was beginning to get sick at that point) but the girls and I did.  We went outside at midnight to watch the fireworks, which lasted quite a while.  The next day Gene’s brother, Guy, came for a visit. We had a really nice visit while he was here, though the girls weren’t feeling quite up to snuff.I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures as of late, but I did get a chance to Friday at Gene’s office.  Lindsay was taking pictures inside for a brochure and the website, so I went outside to take pictures.  Gene’s new office is located on an acre of land in old Katy, in the middle of a neighborhood, which provided a few flowers and such to take pictures of around the office.

These are a few of my favorites.

It was fun to watch this little fellow flit from flower to flower. He almost looks as if he could fall in on his head and get stuck!

One of the things I have come to appreciate about nature photography, is the details that pop out at you that you didn’t even notice while taking the pictures.

I have also come to see many things I would have overlooked before, such as this flower.

These little fellows were none too happy that I kicked their mound to see if they were home. Yes, they are fire ants, but none of them got me…. mwahahaha.

This tiny fellow was almost invisible, until I got down really close to take this picture. Isn’t his little red self cute?Well, it’s after 4 am now.  Fellowship has finished, they have taken another round of breathing treatments, and they have started Two Towers.  I hope they are feeling better before it ends, but we’ll have to wait and see how that goes.  You are pretty much caught up with everything going on here.  I hope to begin posting more often, but only time will tell.

It’s A Wonderful Life

One of our family Christmas traditions is to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” together.  This year as we watched it together many thoughts came to me.  Maybe it is because of the economic climate and the realization that many are having a very hard time this year, or maybe it’s just because I’m getting older that I saw the movie through a different light.  I see so many parallels in this movie to our Christian walk, and it was a much needed reminder that my life, no matter how humble, is really quite wonderful.

George Bailey always had a plan for how he wanted to live his life, which included travel, adventure and excitement.  He saw Bedford Falls as a sleepy, boring town that constrained him. He wanted to do something important. Don’t we want this?  I know that I do.   I often see others’ lives as important or exciting and see the life they lead as somehow better or more important than mine.  In reality, I have been placed in this life, to serve the purpose that God has for me.  When all the girls are having asthma trouble, the nights get long, and my work seems never ending, I can feel overwhelmed.  I see my life as mundane and unimportant.  As I begin to pray for encouragement, the Lord reminds me that He has placed me here. He has me going through this circumstance to help me to grow to be more Christ-like.  The role He has given each of us is important.  We only need to serve Him faithfully and work to bring about His purposes.One of George’s greatest character traits was his unselfishness. When there was a run on the bank, in order to keep the Savings & Loan afloat he used his own money to help others out. I know that selfishness is a battle we must all fight.  One of the greatest things I have learned through being a mother of many, and one with special needs, is to set my own wishes aside.  Like George, I often don’t set out to do this and may even resent doing it.  With time I am learning to set aside my desires, and the way I am able to do this without having resentment is by realizing I am doing the task in service to the Lord. When I try to do things with other motives, it always seems to bring about frustration and resentment.  When I see every task as a service to Him, it seems that the frustration and resentment melt away.

Mary Bailey was great at making lemonade out of lemons.  When the money for her honeymoon was gone and George had spent the day saving the Savings & Loan, Mary could have built up resentment toward George and their circumstances.  Instead, she made the best out of a bad situation.  She put her own desires aside and looked for creative ways to serve George and to make their honeymoon special.  We often put pressure upon ourselves to have everything “just right.” We especially heap these expectations upon ourselves during the holidays.  On Christmas Eve as I was cooking our holiday meal and things began to go wrong, I started to feel that pressure. The three younger girls had been down with asthma & colds, and Lindsay was the only one who was able to help me prepare the meal. Then mid-afternoon, she realized she had the flu.  I sent her to bed and continued cooking.  For a while I let the pressure of trying to have everything “just so” get to me.  As the feelings of frustration and defeat began to take hold, I began praying.  I realized that I was taking the burden of the holiday being special on my shoulders, and I felt it’s success or failure rested wholly on me.  It was only when I began to realize what made the holiday special was our time together and enjoying one another, was I able to relax and enjoy the day.  I still had a good deal of work to do, but when I saw it as serving my Lord and my family, it became a joyful task instead of a burden.

As George’s life went on, he became more and more dissatisfied with his circumstances. He seemed to always be wishing for something other than what he had.  Discontentment is a joy robber.  When we are discontent, we are truly being ungrateful. We are saying to God, “I know that these are the circumstances that you have given me, but I would really like to be somewhere else. ”  Think on that for a moment.  We are telling the God of the universe that we have a better plan.  I cannot count the number of times I have done this very thing, and not even subtly.  I have flat out said that I had a better plan.  It makes me cringe to think of it.  How often do we ask God to deliver us from our current circumstances, when we should be looking to see what He is trying to show us.  Through many trials the Lord has shown me so many truths. I look back on my life and see the various trials I have gone through, not with regret or remorse, but with a thankful heart.  I feel blessed that the Lord has seen fit to show me His mercies and truths.

Times of despair will come to all of our lives, just as they did to George’s.  Often they are not of our own doing, just as George’s desperation wasn’t through any fault of his own.  Where do we turn when those times of despair come?  Who or what do we lean on? When we first found out that Sarah had medical problems, all we were told was that her head wasn’t growing.  Because we had no health insurance we had to wait for three months to see a neurologist.  I knew enough to know that if her head wasn’t growing, but her brain was, there were serious issues. All of this sent me into the pit of despair.  I had nowhere to turn, no one with any answers, except God.  I did a lot of praying during those three months.  When we finally did see the neurologist, the news was not good.  We were told to institutionalize Sarah, because she would never walk or talk and would basically be vegetative.  At those words the bottom fell out of my pit.  It felt as if the world were crushing in around me.  The only thing that got me through it all was the knowledge that God was in control.  I knew that He had me in His hand, and that nothing would happen that He wouldn’t help me to handle.  That doesn’t mean it was easy. Each day had a great many struggles, but I made it through each day.  He gave me the grace and mercy to make it through each hour, but He only gave me the grace I needed for that moment.  I learned a great deal about faith , and with each step I learned to have faith that He would be there to hold me up for the next step.

At the end of the movie Harry makes a toast to George saying, “To my big brother George, the richest man in town!”  Harry was right, George was rich . . . in everything that mattered. This is such a wonderful picture. Mr. Potter, who had all the worldly riches a man could desire, had none of the riches that really mattered. He may have lived in comfort, but he was bitter and lonely.  George, while poor in the things of this world, had love, family, and friends.The jewel of life that matters most can’t be purchased for any amount of gold.  That jewel is what Christmas is all about.  It is the redemption that was bought for us through the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.  As the decorations and lights come down, please think about the meaning behind your life and who you have served through it.  Though you may be rich or poor in the things of this world, at the end of time only one jewel will matter, that is the jewel of Christ Jesus.  If you would like to understand this better, please read this article.

Edouard

I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since my last post.  Things around here have been busy, and time has flown by.  Lindsay has been doing some free-lance computer work for Gene’s company; working out of the office and from home. The other girls have been battling with their asthma, Hannah’s being the worst. Hannah hasn’t been able to go to church for a couple of months due to her asthma. At times the solitude is hard for her, but the Lord is teaching her many things through this time.

If you have seen the news at all, you are aware of Edouard heading for Houston. We have spent the last couple of days preparing for the storm. They predicted that we would see sustained winds of 60 mph near our house, but thankfully that didn’t happen. There is another band that will hit us later today, but that will not be until this evening.

While we were hanging out around the house I took some pictures, there wasn’t really much else to do.  We had made all of our preparations for the storm, and there was nothing to do but wait wait for the storm.  The first group of pictures are some that I took before the heavy rain began, after a slight rain shower.

The storms coming in causes the girls’ asthma to act up, and this storm affected Rachel the worst. She had to have a breathing treatment first thing this morning, but after resting for a while, she seems to be better.

Hannah and Caroline had a great time playing Nancy Drew on the computer.

Maggie wasn’t sure what to make of the storm.

All Belle was concerned with was taking cat naps.

Hannah enjoyed playing the keyboard.

Lindsay had fun taking pictures of the rain with her new (used) Cannon 20D.

Sarah watched the storm come in.

Tomorrow is Rachel’s birthday, so it will be a very busy day. I hope to start posting more regularly…. again.

Updates….

It seems as if that is all I have the time to do anymore. The sad thing is, I can’t tell you great important things that I have been doing. It seems the everyday stuff is keeping me hopping enough.

The trip to Bossier City to see Gene’s dad went well. It was chock full of running, though often it seems like the situations were more hurry up and wait. We left here at 2pm on Wed the 30th. Upon arriving in town, we unloaded the van, freshened up and went to the hospital. Pop was in a step down room, which enabled us all to see him. With all the kids, grandkids and such, had a pretty big group. They decided to postpone his surgery until Friday, because of the blood thinners he was on. He felt good and enjoyed the visits from everyone. After the hospital we went grocery shopping with Gene’s sister, Ginger.

Thursday we went to Pop & Nanny’s house to cook and clean. I put several main dishes in the freezer, while the girls dusted, scrubbed bathrooms and vacuumed. Nanny has been having bad back problems and is having trouble getting around and standing, so we were trying to do all we could to make things easier on her while Pop was recovering. It wasn’t all work at Pop & Nanny’s though. The girls were able to visit the horses and look at the flowers. Caroline and Lindsay had a great time taking pictures of all of Nanny’s flowers. I was also able to take a break and snap a few shots.

The girls and Gene visiting Angel & Little Chief.

girls & gene

Hannah and Lindsay with Little Chief.

H & L

Hannah and Little Chief.

h

Angel’s eye.

angel

Doesn’t she have the most beautiful lashes?

lashes

Friday, we arose early and Gene went up to the hospital (which is only 5 min away) to see his dad before he went into surgery. While he was there the girls and I ate breakfast and got ready to go to the hospital. After we arrived at the hospital we received our first report, to tell us he was under and doing well. We received many reports during the surgery, which was nice, it helped to hear how he was doing. We had about 20 people in the waiting room including family & friends. Many others would trickle in and out. It was nice to be able to catch up with people and visit; it took your mind off of what was going on in surgery. They had Pop on a heart pump for over 4 hours which is the riskiest part of the surgery, as his heart is actually stopped and the machine is pumping the blood for it.

The waiting area we were in was on the second floor, and it opened to the floor below where there was a fountain. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but someone noticed there was money in the fountain, and they decided to see if they could add to it from the second floor.

Here is the crew watching Guy & Uncle Bobby pitch pennies.

Here goes the pitch!

Here’s the fountain below, and who is that I see on the escalator…. the long arm of the law, coming to take them to jail in the paddy wagon??? No, it’s just Ed Baswell, deputy, and friend of the family, coming to check on Pop.

Pop’s surgery lasted until 2, and he did quite well, considering he had a quadruple bypass. They took the veins out of his leg laproscopically since he has diabetes. All in all it went well though. Later that night we went to Catfish King with Gene’s mom, step-dad, his brother, Guy, and his wife, Fancy, and his sister, Ginger.

Here’s the crew minus, Fancy & Papaw.

While we were in Bossier we stayed at my parents’ house. They were in Branson, so, unfortunately we were unable to visit with them. While there I was able to take some pictures of their beautiful flowers though.

After the surgery was over and Pop was headed to recovery, we took the girls back to the house to rest for a while. After we rested we went to the Boardwalk. We had fun at Bass Pro; looking at the alligators and turtles. Who can go to Louisiana and not visit the alligators? Then we went to Build-a-Bear because Rachel wanted to buy a bear. Her Keethness came out at Build-a-Bear and we all got a great laugh out of it. Now mind you, Rachel is 13, so being told to rub the heart of her bear and jump up and down to bring it to life…. was a bit much. She looked at the girl and firmly said, “I’m not interested in doing that!” I had to walk across the store and hide so I could laugh. To be quite honest she got that from her momma as well. We then rode the trolley around the Boardwalk which was also fun.

After we finished there we went and got some Starbuck’s….. Yeah!! … and then to the hospital to visit Pop. Only Gene and I saw him, as we thought the vent tube might upset the girls. He was doing quite well…. considering. Later that night he was able to sit up and talk, and even called Nanny at 2:45am to let her know he was doing well.

Saturday was another busy day. The girls and I slept in, while Gene got up early and went to Pop’s to edge his very long driveway. It was the first time it had been done this year, so it was quite a chore. While he did that, the girls and I got ready and packed things up so they would be ready to load on the van. We went to the hospital for the 1pm visitation, and all of the girls got to see him. He was looking well, and even able to crack some jokes.

We said our goodbyes to family at the hospital and then made a quick stop at Target. We came to the house, and loaded up the van. If you have 7 people, and all of their luggage for a week, plus things for kids to do on a 6 hour journey…. well lets just say there’s a exact science to loading a mini-van under these circumstances. We ate dinner at Sonic on the way out, hitting the road at 6pm.

At midnight our tired crew pulled into the driveway, oh, so glad to be home.

Since we have been home the girls’ allergies and asthma have been acting up. I think part of that is due to their immune systems being down from the trip. Hopefully we’ll get that all back under control again in the next few days.

Hopefully, I will be able to get back to blogging, which I greatly enjoy.

A/C Woes

Things have been interesting around her lately. We have had problems with our air conditioner for about a year, but didn’t attend to it because the problem seemed random. Every so often we would find the carpet in the hall to be wet, and when we would open the unit nothing would be there. We would think the drain line might be blocked, so we would clear it and everything would be fine. Then, a couple of months later… it would happen again. When we pulled up Lindsay’s carpet we discovered that it had been soaking her floor as well and that her carpet had mildewed. Not good for an asthmatic!

We found part of the problem but didn’t know what was causing it, only the symptom. The symptom was that the whole cooling unit would freeze and have ice covering it. We believed it to be low freon, but were concerned that the whole unit would have to be replaced. Nearly two weeks ago a cool front came in and I turned on the heat, and when I did the heater made a terrible racket. So, I just turned the unit off and we put on warmer clothes. When it warmed up the next day we decided to not use the air, but open windows (we don’t tend to do that because of airborne allergies). After a couple of days we decided to turn the air back on and it smelled musty and like mildew, so back off it went. We called an A/C man in last week and he said the freon was really low. It was an inexpensive fix, for which we were very grateful. When he left the air was cool and strong. We noticed the musty mildew smell but hoped it would quickly dissipate… it didn’t. The next day we all woke up feeling terrible, so Gene and I decided to turn the air off again. We were so thankful that the Lord provided perfect weather for all of this.

All of this brings us to last Thursday. When Gene came home from work that evening he went under the house to see if there was mold/mildew on the sub-floor from the water. There wasn’t, but he noticed the ductwork felt cool as if it were wet. He took his knife and was going to poke a hole in the ductwork to see if it had water in it. We had been checking for the ductwork to be damp by feeling in Lindsay’s duct but had never felt any dampness. Our ductwork is different than most I have seen, it isn’t metal on the inside, it has an insulation on it. Back to under the house, when Gene took his knife to poke a small hole… it went all the way through. It turns out that it isn’t a metal tube with insulation, it was and insulated board, with silver A/C stuff (don’t ya love my technical terms?) all around it. Water was dripping from the insulation and it was all soaked and mildewed smelling. When he found that, we knew it would have to be replaced. We hoped it would only be right under the unit, but it went all the way to the front of the house. Gene spent all day Saturday and Sunday under the house ripping out and replacing the ductwork. Because of how it is made, Gene was able to custom make it and it wasn’t nearly as expensive as it could have been. We held our breath Sunday evening as we turned the air back on… and I smelled that musty smell again! I went out to see Gene, who was cleaning up under the house, and told him of the smell. We decided to run the air for a while and see if it went away… and it did in just about 30 minutes.

As far as we can tell the ductwork has been like this for close to a year, and yes, it’s in the same part of the house that all of the girls are in; their bedrooms and bathroom. We are hoping that it will greatly improve their health, though it will be hard to tell until the ragweed is gone.

I am so thankful that the Lord provided me with a husband who can repair so many of the things that go wrong with our home and cars. It has saved us a great deal of money over the years.

Saturday Sept 15, 2007

Today has been a busy and productive day around the Keeth homestead. My night last night was quite late as Hannah was up very late (4 am) taking a breathing treatment, which in turn caused my day to start late. After arising, I went to Wal-mart for a brisket and a couple of other things. I’m making the brisket for guests on Tuesday, and I had to start it marinading today. I will actually cook it Monday, which will make Tuesday go more smoothly.

After returning home and getting the brisket ready, I began on some of the many organizing projects I have been working on since the girls have been sick. The first project to be tackled was the sorting of all our craft supplies. They weren’t in terrible shape, but they needed to be re-done. After Lindsay and I finished the craft supplies, I did a couple of outside jobs. When I went to Wal-Mart I bought 4 mums for pots I already had. I cleaned the outside of the pots, weeded the pots and then planted the mums with Caroline’s help. Caroline worked on my roses, trimming off the dead heads. I then cleaned the steps and the entryway. You don’t realize how dirty something is, until you clean a small area… then you have to clean the area next to it… and on it goes. I also washed the door mat. Overall I’m pleased with the improvement, though I still have a couple of other things to do outside.

Once darkness set in and I had finished watering everything, Lindsay and I tackled our next HUGE project. We sorted all of my material. I culled a lot of scraps, only keeping what I might realistically use for craft or sewing projects. I then put all the spring-summer materials into boxes and put the fall-winter material into my sewing cabinet. I was also able to put all my collected yarns away. I probably have about 40 skeins that I was having difficulty storing.

After this Lindsay and I were pooped!! We still have several more projects to get done, but it sure does feel good to get them completed!