Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hide And Seek

When I was little, I wasn't very good at hide and seek.  I could never be quiet long enough to NOT be found, and I was never patient enough to look for someone who could!  (I know, go figure!)

Well, having Myasthenia Gravis has changed everything about the way I play hide and seek.  Now it's not about being quiet, it's about being just loud enough to blend in.

It's not about finding a really good hiding spot where no one can find you, it's about being in the open, surrounded by people, hiding in plain sight.

I do my hair

and

I put on make-up

and

I try to find clothes that don't say, "Hi, I'm chronically ill and take 40 pills a day, can't ya tell??"

and

I talk and laugh and pretend.

And I hide.

In the wide open.

In plain sight.

Out loud.

I hide.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Catching Up

I am purely ashamed at my lack of posts lately.  Some posts I wrote in my head, and then thought better of publishing... My mouth (or posts in this case) can get me in trouble, so I'm glad my brain is actually AHEAD of the words for once.  Unfortunately, that means I haven't been blogging as much because of that.

However, I'm done censoring myself.  I don't like it.  I'm not diplomatic, I'm not politically correct, my Biblical views probably really annoy the crud out of some people, but ya know what?  I have decided that I thoroughly do. not. care.  I will NEVER purposefully offend someone.  NEVER.  That is from my mouth to God's ear.  I won't do it.  However, if I inadvertently offend someone by expressing MY opinion, oh well.  I'm DONE worrying about it.

Anywho. Enough drama.  I'm just back to being me.  PLUS, seriously, homeschooling is taking WAY more time than I had thought.  AND I have a craft show on November 10 that I have been preparing for.  NOTHING on my jewelry site (www.facebook.com/MGKerriJewelry) is going to the show.  I have over 100 pendants, 100 cell phone lanyards with charms, 100 cell phone dust plugs with charms, and I still have to do more wine glass rings and wine bottle "necklaces."  IIIIIIIIII know.  I'm crazy.

So what else has been going on....

{crickets}

Okay then.

No really....between homeschooling, trying to take care of the house, medical appointments and jewelry, that's pretty much my life.  Oh, and my pen pals and CBI stuff.

Speaking of pen pals, I want to put the link to Christian Pen Pals on here, because I think it's very important.  It's a ministry a lot of home-bound Christians can do.  It's a serious commitment, however, and one not to be entered into lightly.

You can check my sidebar for the link.  Just check it out, go over the guidelines, and see if it's a match for you.  Besides Matthew 25:35, 36 and 40...

"For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’....  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’"

...the author of Hebrews (Who is really God, since He authored the whole Bible) tells us in chapter 13:3 to "Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."  

I may not be able to GO to a prison or jail and minister to people, but I SURELY can remember them in prayer, and by writing to them.  Of all of society, those incarcerated are probably the most forgotten.  Some of them have NO ONE.  And that breaks my heart. As lonely as I get, at least I have a home and a family.

Anywho.  Enough for now.  I am committing to doing a better job of blogging.  Last year I wrote 175 pages of my book in the month of November, so while I'm not going to do this again this year, I AM going to try and post every single day.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Some Of My Favorite Jewelry Pieces

As most of you know, I have a small jewelry business.  You can find it by clicking HERE.
Or you can click on the right sidebar where it says Kerri's Kreations.
Anyway.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces that HAPPEN to be 30% off until the end of the month.
Aztec-like pendant on black velvet cord
Pink leather cord with AB crystals, cross and flower
Ladybug set
Hand wrapped polished stone
Darling pink enamel and rhinestone pendant and matching earrings.
Stop by and check it out....  Only 62 shopping days til Christmas!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This Crazy Thing Called Life

My word.  I can't believe the things I try to do.  ALL the things I try to do.  If I did them one at a time, it probably wouldn't be a big deal.  However, when I try to

keep up on my CBI lessons and Christian pen pals
do the laundry
pay the bills
do the budget
homeschool Jacob
make dinner
take care of the dogs
try to keep track of all the medications I take and when they need to be refilled
make and go to all of my medical appointments and treatments
review books for several different people/places
run a small business
make every single piece of jewelry for said business
be a parent to my child
be a wife to my husband
blog
write my book
check my email
balance the bank accounts
fight the proverbial "city hall:"  the injustices I see every day going on around me that I can't just ignore.....

It's INSANE!!! Healthy people can't do all that.  But I'm doing it.  And it's making me crazy.  And it's not good for me. 

But what are my options, ya know?  At least with winter coming Doug won't be spending most of his time outside.  Hopefully he'll get on the "cleaning the house" bandwagon.  He half-heartedly offered to take over the bills, but he really has no clue. I have spread sheets and all kinds of stuff...most everything is electronic, and he'd be asking for the checkbook.

Anywho.  If anyone has any ideas on how to simplify, let me know!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Nature At Its Finest

The amazing beauty of Autumn in Michigan
A friend's "Tree sculpture"

Sugar Maple leaf

Sunrise in my backyard
The colors around Little John Lake

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Review: Because You Care

" 'I couldn't do what you're doing for him,' a friend says.... You can express that reason in a single sentence: 'I do it because I care.' "

And so begins one of the most touching, beautiful books I have ever read.  I suppose it's especially so because it's about caregivers, like my husband.  Parts of it were difficult to read, almost like I was spying into the mind of my husband, because he has cared for me since the second we were married, and will have to continue to do so for the rest of my life.

Like Cec Murphey and Twila Belk, and so many others to tell their stories in this book, it goes back to their wedding vows:  "In sickness or in health, til death do we part."  They said it, and they meant it.  My husband said it, and he meant it. And I'm so thankful he did.

Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers is a gift book that any caregiver would love.  It's encouraging, it's supportive, it's a little sad without being depressing.  At the end of the book there are practical suggestions for the caregiver.  One of my favorites from MY perspective as one being cared for is, "Don't let the person you love 'become the disease.'  That is, remind yourself that the person is more important than the task."

My favorite for the caregiver is, "Ask for help when you need it.  Don't wait until you are exhausted or sick.  Ask now.  You don't have to be superwoman or superman; you only have to be human."

You can get all the information about the authors and how to get this wonderful book by clicking HERE.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I failed to mention the amazing photography by Betty Fletcher in this book.  It is truly stunning.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Over A WEEK???

Oh my GOSH you guys....I can't believe it's been over a week since I posted.  That is INEXCUSABLE!  I WILL do better.  Homeschooling is a LOT more time consuming than I ever anticipated.  Jacob is doing awesome... Our biggest challenge is just sitting still.

Thankfully the main level of our house is basically a circle (IF all the doors are open!) so every once in a while I tell Jacob to just run some laps and get all the wiggles out.  He is just NOT a sit-still kind of child.  That and the whole "quiet" thing.  But it's going well.  Really.  It is.  I'm serious.  I'm not just saying that... LOL

This is Jacob with his bear hat on.  I wanted to get him the cow hat, but he wanted the bear.  He's so stinkin' cute, but lately for pictures all he wants to do is make faces.  So he was roaring here.

This is the view from my front yard.  You can barely see what's left of the burned out trailer that our alcoholic, half-crazed neighbor set on fire in the middle of the night a few years ago.  Yeah, um, this is the same guy that had a goat named Rambo tied to his garage.  AND the one who was carrying a can of ether while smoking a cigar.  Yah.  Not so much in the "brains" department.
And this is what we do with base ten blocks after math lessons....build skyscrapers!  He's so proud!

So that's a bit what's been going on around here...I promise I will do better keeping up with my blog.  I feel kinda crunchy it's been so long.  Where does the time go???

Anywho.  Tomorrow I will be reviewing the book "Because You Care" that was featured in the Blog Tour last week.  Patty Ann Pitterle won the random pick to be entered in the main giveaway.  Good luck Patty!!!



Friday, October 5, 2012

Blog Tour! Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers


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I have the privilege of being involved in a blog tour about this book, Because You Care:  Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers  by Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk.

Being chronically ill, I have several caregivers in my life, but my primary caregiver is my wonderful husband Doug.  Doug and I were married for 6 weeks when I ended up in the hospital on life support.  Thank God I improved, but until there is a cure for MG, or God decided to heal me this side of heaven, I will be sick for the rest of my life.

I can't wait to review this book, but for now, here is some information to get you anticipating the rest.


Blurb from back of book

As someone caring for an ill or elderly loved one, you understand that your role can push you to the limit, press on every nerve—and yet fill you with a deep sense of love and peace of mind.

Beloved authors Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk know this too. Beautifully written and full of gentle wisdom, their personal stories of caregiving will help you face some of the ups and downs of your journey.

  • Feeling guilty for doing too much, too little, or nothing at all
  • Answering other’s well-meaning but insensitive questions
  • Watching someone you dearly love suffer or die

Here are the stories from those living the life. Let their encouraging words lift your heart.


Book Excerpt (from the beginning)

This Is Who You Are
From Cec and Twila

Others may call you brave. They’ll use words like noble or sacrificial. They’ll admire and applaud you because you’ve offered your life to make yourself available to someone who needs a long-term caregiver.

“I couldn’t do what you’re doing for him,” a friend says.

You listen to the words your friend speaks, and you like hearing the compliments. Yet as you listen and smile, you don’t see yourself as exceptional. You’re doing the right thing for someone you love, and that gives you peace. You also know the reason you’ve devoted your energies to another person.

You can express that reason in a single sentence: “I do it because I care.” You might say it’s because you love the person, or you may do it because of a strong sense of commitment to God and to your loved one. Regardless of how you express yourself, you’re determined to give yourself as fully as you can.

Some days you may not feel like loving anyone. You get tired, lose your temper, or think of the things you didn’t accomplish. During the worst times, you wish the situation would change. And in those dark moments, you’ve probably prayed, Dear Lord, please take this burden from me.

The situation probably won’t change for a long time—perhaps years. It’s not the kind of life you would have imagined. You probably envisioned living out your years in blissful peace. Caring for your loved one wasn’t part of your dream, but this is the life you have. Despite the moments of sadness, perhaps even regret, your answer remains the same: “I care.”

Taken from:  Because You Care.  Text Copyright © 2012 by Cecil Murphey, Twila Belk.  Artwork Copyright © 2012 by Betty Fletcher. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon.  Used by permission.


Sales Info
Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers
Harvest House Publishers
Gift Book
ISBN 978-0-7369-4328-4
Retail Price: $12.99
Release Date: February 2012
Authors: Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk


Find Us on Facebook:

Articles by Twila Belk on Caregiving:

·         Waiting and Wondering: http://www.encouragementcafe.com/2012/04/16/finding-peace/
·         Because You Care, You’ll Care for Yourself: http://www.encouragementcafe.com/2012/04/19/to-do-list-for-caregivers/
·         Caregivers Need Encouragement: http://www.encouragementcafe.com/2012/04/20/support-system/

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Twila Belk and Cecil (Cec) Murphey are both long-term caregivers for their spouses. Twila, aka the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, is a writer and speaker who loves to brag on God. She works fulltime with Cec as his manager, personal assistant, and biggest fan. Cec is a veteran author who has written or co-written more than 125 published books, including the bestsellers 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold in the millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless readers around the world. Cec and Twilas’ second co-authored book, Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware (Guideposts Books), released in August 2012.

For more info about Twila, visit www.gottatellsomebody.com.
For more info about Cec, visit www.cecilmurphey.com

This is an awesome giveaway!!  Make sure you leave a comment by October 11th, because I have to randomly select one person to enter the main drawing!
 
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Grand Prize Giveaway Description
·         Book—Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers
·         Book—Hope and Comfort for Every Season
·         Hallmark journal, list pad, and memo pad stack
·         Glade “Angel Whispers” candle
·         Hershey’s Bliss dark chocolate

Instructions to Enter the Grandprize Drawing:
1. Leave a comment about the book or author on the blog post during the blog tour.
2. Each blog tour host will draw one name from those comments to send to the tour coordinator by October 12.
3. The coordinator will put all the names into a drawing, and select a winner, using an online randomizer.
4. The coordinator will notify the blog tour host who submitted the winning name.
The blog tour host will notify the winner and collect the mailing info so the author can send out the prize. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

I'm totally copying my friend Angie over at The Jammie Girl today, but she won't mind....  She's linking up to other folks, which you can do by clicking HER link, but she listed ten things that either drove her crazy, or things she does that drive other people crazy.  So. Here's MY list.

1.  People who use their cell phone and/or text while driving.  Especially texting, because they could crash and burn and kill themselves, or worse yet, ME and my family!!  Don't text and drive!!!

2.  People who don't use cruise control while driving long distances on the highway.  You pass them, they speed up and pass you.  Then, because YOU are maintaining your speed and they are not, they inevitably slow down, so you pass them again.  Then, they speed up.....Makes me CRAZY!!!

3.  People who lick their fingers while paging through a book, sorting papers or counting money.  EW!

4.  Insurance companies.  Diagnostic codes.  The whole ball of wax.  The people who work there read from a script, and it couldn't be more obvious.  SO, Mrs. McDingle, you're NOT sorry, you DON'T understand, and you'll NEVER be able to fix it.  At least you get PAID to be on the phone. I do NOT.

5.  Doctors who are constantly late for appointments.  I have pretty decent docs now, but I used to have a GYN who was CONSISTENTLY 40 minutes late for my appointment.  I should rephrase:  I would wait in the waiting room probably 15-20 minutes PAST my appointment time, then I wait in the waiting room for 40 MORE minutes.  Why do they do that?  I'll tell you why:  With this particular doc, I asked to be the FIRST patient of the day so I wouldn't have to wait, even though that meant getting up at the butt crack of dawn to drive an hour to Grand Rapids to be there at 9 AM.  Well.  I got there at 8:50 for my FIRST APPT of the day, at 9AM, and I was patient number EIGHT on the sign in list.  So not only did he start seeing patients at 8 not 9, but he booked EIGHT patients an HOUR!!!  THEN not longer after I fired him, there was a big write up in the paper about this doc and how he had just added this amazingly plush, luxurious THEATER ROOM to his mansion.  Um, yah.  Now YOU'RE crazy too, aren't you???

6.  This should be number one.  People who don't do what they SAY they do or are going to do.  For example:  "I will do the dishes."  And there they sit.  Or "I hate people who $#$%&%$ swear."  Or, "I'll call you tomorrow" and the phone doesn't ring for 2 months.  I have a VERY simple solution for this:  Say what you mean, and mean what you say.  If you do those two things, you will never have this problem.

7.  Okay, I should probably find SOMETHING about ME that drives other people crazy.....  I use way too many !!!! and .... in my writing.  I'm a grammar Nazi to other people, but I KNOW my writing is technically quite flawed.

8.  I am extremely opinionated, and vocal about those opinions.  I have no problem telling people what I think when asked, and sometimes, if I feel strongly enough about something, even if I'm not asked.  I can't help myself.  I have a big mouth, and many time stick my nose where it doesn't belong.  Sometimes it's helpful, other times, not so much.

9.  It takes me FOREVER to get ready to go somewhere.  This drives ME crazy, but I  know it drives my hubby crazy too.  I have to get up, do my breathing treatment or steam, clean my trach, do my hair, do my make-up, pack my suction bag and any other medical garbage I might need, and it take usually like 2 hours to do this.

10.  I bounce my leg all the time.  I don't know why my MG doesn't effect this....but I have the ball of my right foot touching the floor, and just bounce my leg super fast.  I do this subconsciously at lot, and all of the sudden Doug will be like, "Will you STOP???"  And I'm like stop what???

SO....what makes YOU crazy????