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Cathy in IL

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    Reading, hiking, scrapbooking, music
  1. That sounds like so much fun. If it is still going when I recover from liver surgery, I will have to join.
  2. If you do remove eggs from her diet, you can use ground flax seed as a substitute in most baked items. Tofu scramble is a decent alternative to scrambled eggs. I hope you find a solution soon.
  3. I wonder if a low-glycemic natural sweetener would work? I use stevia and agave nectar to sweeten things. They don't cause an insulin rush. I do it to help with cancer, but maybe it would work with diabetes too.
  4. After fostering about 70 children, I would recommend taking children younger than your youngest unless you feel a very clear leading to make an exception in a particular case. I have taken a few older children, but only for very short times. Each one of them had intense issues and said things that I would not typically have exposed my children to. I never had a placement that I regretted taking, but I had some I had to end early and several that have stayed in my heart and mind for years. Fostering is an incredibly emotional experience. You enter into a child's pain with no control over the decisions that will be made and how t will end. But no matter how it ends, if you love them well, that. Hold knows what real love looks like - even if only for awhile. I believe that knowledge of love stays in them and must help in some way.
  5. The last several months have been nothing but shocking. I got married the week before Thanksgiving. Five weeks later, on Christmas Eve, I was in the hospital having emergency surgery. While removing a large portion of my small and large intestine, the surgeon found what turned out to be a rare cancer. neuroendocrine Carcinoid is only diagnosed in 5 out of 100,000 a year. After being discharged I began researching carcinoid and the specialists who treat it. I chose Mayo Clinic in MN and have been there three times since mid-January. On our first visit there we learned the cancer is also in my liver, making it stage 4. I am now preparing for the first of a few liver surgeries. On March 21 they will remove the right lobe of my liver and my gallbladder. That will reduce the tumor load. If the left lobe regenerates the way the expect it to, I will have surgery to remove the main tumors on the left side in late summer. There will still be tumors remaining. Aft those two surgeries we will re-evaluate things and decide on a course of treatment. Through this all I am even more thankful for homeschooling my children. I am thankful for the time it gives us with each other. I am thankful for the flexibility it gives us when we have to be on the road for my treatment. I am thankful for the homeschooling community. Even though we are brand new to WI the homeschooling community here has risen up to help us with meals, child care, etc. I am thankful for the habits my children have developed. They are able to care for and help one another because they are used to having lots of time together. They know their routines and are able to wake and start on their individual work with very little prompting. When I have the energy to do it, we get the projects and more teacher intensive activities completed. When I am weak, they work independently and check in with me while I rest. I read to them from my bed. I may not be able to check off everything on my to do list so neatly at the end of the day, but I see that they have learned to manage their time, care about their education, and love one another. I still am in shock when I wake in the morning and remember that I have cancer. I hate not feeling in control and having such uncertainty in my future. But I am learning to love in the moment and treasure each day as a gift.
  6. I have been trying to catch up on some posts tonight in my effort to do something I used to do before life started spinning so crazy fast! I had to take a break from wedding planning, lesson planning, work, and preparing to move. My wedding is about 85 days away. There are invitations to print and address, details to confirm with the hotel and reception site, a wedding website desperately in need of attention, a flower girl dress to finish. My dress fitting is in two weeks. It's time to get my hair done and choose a style for the wedding day. Not to mention all the premarital counseling and homework. Then there is the move to WI which will make my screen name a complete lie! Packing up this place is just scary to even think about. 4 kids accumulate a ton of things! Oh yeah! Then there is homeschooling and daily parenting. Add to that 2 upcoming court dates - one to adopt my foster duaghter and another to testify against a man who has been stalking us this summer. Top it off with a new diagnosis of Crohns and working as a caseworker. I needed that vent! Somehow seeing it all typed out makes it okay to feel as crazy busy as I do right now. It makes me feel justified in taking a break from it all tonight and resting a bit! I am excited about all these changes, but wow! change truly is stressful!
  7. I am getting married in November. I would LOVE to invite all my friends' children, but our church only sits 106 people. Because of this we can only invite children of family members. If people can't come because of childcare issues, I will understand, but space is driving our decision.
  8. Thanks! We were looking at houses yesterday. My children are used to being in the city - Chicago - not far from downtown. they are used to lots of people, very close neighbors, and diversity. This change is going to be huge for them! I want to start coming to some park days or other homeschool gatherings before we move so they have a chance to start meeting people. Anyone have any good info for me?
  9. I am getting married in November :). We are looking for ways to include our children. I have adopted 4 children. They have never had a dad in their lives until now, and my fiance will be adopting them too :). He has a young adult daughter from his first marriage. Any good ideas to include them in our ceremony in a simple, creative way that shows our marriage is also the coming together of our families?
  10. I am sorry to hear you had that experience with Awana. I think it is essential that the Sparks Director and, if need be, the Awana Commander know this is happening if it starts again next year. At this point, I would allow the children to go to Awards Night. They have finished books and deserve to be recognized! Good job to both of them!
  11. Not taking vitamins on an empty stomach seems to help me. Do you take yours after eating a decent breakfast?
  12. The kids are all doing well. I am adopting my foster daughter this summer. Deyki has not been in the hospital in months. All is peaceful with them!
  13. Why is it that just the sight of my dress and the thought of my wedding makes me feel the need to lose weight? In truth, not much of my body will even be seen in that gown. It just bugs me that they size them differently! The size of my gown is double the size I usually wear. I am trying to keep a healthy perspective on this and not let that pesky number take away any of my joy!
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