Monday, June 30, 2008

Mom's surgery and recovery

Well, as most of you know, Mom has rectal cancer. She had surgery exactly one week ago, she is 70 years old. They removed all of her female organs, her ascending colon, and half of her vagina. They did a skin flap, donor site was her left inner thigh. They talked about using a fatty deposit to 'fill in' the space where her organs used to sit so the remaining organs would have a place to rest. She has a permanent colostomy bag because of the removal of her colon.

She was in surgery 9 or 10 hours. I can't remember which, she went in at 1pm and got to her room at 11:15 pm.

She has been walking in the halls, sitting in the chair, determined to go back to her home instead of a nursing home for skilled nursing care. She is pretty determined, I believe she will go home, barring any complications.

My mother was blessed with 8 children, 5 girls and 3 boys. With such a big group of kids, it can be a blessing. While she is out, the house needed some repainting and minor repair work.

She is going to sleep in her living room, we found a twin bed upstairs that the boys used to sleep on, we brought it down stairs, got a new mattress and box springs for it, she'll be able to sleep there for awhile.

4 of us girls have been there painting and cleaning. There are 2 rooms that needed to have the tile replaced. We were fortunate to find 2 boxes of tiles in the basement to redo one room. My husband has a heat gun that made removing the old tile a piece of cake. Yesterday we removed the tile, took out the old bathroom vanity, finished putting the paint on 2 ceilings, painted the bathroom, cleaned the tub, and then prepped the 2 floors that are going to be tiles. (and didn't get started until 2pm) All this urgency is just in case she gets to go home mid week like the Dr. is talking. We may not be ready, but we are going to work round the clock to get it done so she can.

It has always amazed me how much work can be accomplished with so many people. Sometimes you walk over each other, but it sure makes the job easier and more pleasant, we got to spend the day together just visiting and working towards a common goal. We talked about our memories of our dad while we worked, going over all his little idiosyncrasies, and how he used to do things. We discussed how funny it is that Mom has so many wash cloths when it is just her living in the house. And she buys more all the time. ??????

It has been a fun time, it is also neat watching her be so determined to get back on her feet so she can get home to her house and her cat. We'll definitely be checking on her more often to make sure she has no needs.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Recipe Friday June 27th

Asiago Cheese Spread

1 Heaping cupful (about 8 oz) Each:
Parmesan Cheese and Asiago Cheese, cut into 1" chunks
1 Tablespoon chopped, fresh garlic
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, such as tellicherry
2 Tablespoons or more, chopped green onions, using equal parts of white and dark green
2-3 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, laid flat, stacked on top of each other, rolled up lengthwise like a cigar and sliced crosswise into thin strips
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
less than 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp sugar
pinch of good kosher salt or sea salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Put in a blender and blend until spreading consistency. We serve this on sliced baggettes. It is pretty tasty, looks rather bland, but it is very addicting. Try it at your next get together!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mom is doing great

Mom is 70 years old, she was in surgery from 1pm to 10pm on Monday, recovery for an hour, to her room around 11pm. Yesterday when I saw her on my lunch break, I told her to be sure and let us know if she needed anything. She said, "Oh, I will, I'll go running down the hall screeching." I can't believe how good she is doing. It is just amazing!

She is getting in the chair today, I expect that will go well, but she'll be more tired when that is done.

Two of my sisters have taken off work to sit with her through the day, I am so glad they can, it gives us somebody to call.

The nurses are doing a good job taking care of her, it is taking a fair amount of stress off our shoulders.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Surgery is over

The surgery is over..........Mom is in her room with a colostomy bag, she remained stable through the whole ordeal. The Drs. and nurses at Methodist Hospital were great. We got hourly reports during the surgery, which is phenomenal, in my opinion.

The family was all there with the exception of one brother. It was a good time to visit. We all enjoy different types of games, we played buzz word for awhile. Two sisters brought DVD players and movies. There were popcorn and starbucks runs, a run to Target. All in all we stayed busy. The time seemed to go by quickly. I don't think it was as painful if we didn't have all of our siblings to share in the wait.

Mom went in at 12:59, arriving in her room at ll:10pm. She was stable, with some pain, the nurses were working with her when we left.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Surgery tomorrow, need prayers

Mom goes in for her surgery tomorrow. She'll arrive at the hospital around 10am, then go into surgery at noon. The surgery will take at least 5 hours for organ removal, another 2-3 (or 4) for the reconstruction.

Please keep us in your prayers. The prep was hard on her this evening, but she made it through it pretty good. She was pretty tired when I left her around 9pm.

I know at least 7 out of her 8 kids will be at the hospital tomorrow for the wait, it's going to be a long day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Birds have flown the nest, now it is time for my human bird to fly his........

I love Isaac, truly I do, I want the best for him, but he needs to get on with the next phase of his life. That would be putting his mind to good use, getting an educaiton and moving on............'nuff said.

The birds are gone, here is the sad leftovers of their brief stay with us:

This is the plant that got some much needed sun once they had all flown away.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Recipe Friday

Last weekend we had my sister Michelle and her husband Jason came to eat with us. They brought their daughter McKenzie, and my brother Mike's little girl, Celeste with them. We had a nice time, it was such a nice surprise to have Celeste over, she is a sweet girl, we got to know her a little better. Her and Mckenzie are quite the talkers. Kids crack me up, they are so free and easygoing, no cares yet, they can just look at life and enjoy every minute without worrying or struggling. It is so refreshing to have them around!

Every time Michelle comes to see me, I am making Artichoke Chicken. She's never gotten a chance to eat this with us, but one of these days we'll have her over for dinner and this will be our entree.

Artichoke Chicken

• 8 Skinless boneless chicken breasts
• 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
• 2 (6oz.) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
• 1 jar (4 1/2 oz.) whole mushrooms, drained
• 1/2 c. chopped onion
• 1/3 c. all purpose flour
• 1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 2 c. chicken broth or 1 c. broth and 1 c. dry white wine
• cooked noodles
• chopped fresh parsley
In a skillet, brown chicken breasts in butter. Remove chicken to ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Do not drain pan juices. Cut the artichokes into quarters, arrange artichokes and mushrooms on top of chicken, set aside. Saute onion in pan juices, blend in flour, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add chicken broth, cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat, spoon over chicken. Cover and bake 50-60 min. or until chicken is tender. Place noodles on serving platter, top with chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 8

Be sure to read yesterday's post, it was late.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Birds flying the nest, feeding the ducks, chocolate Cakes, and the park

The birds are leaving one day at a time just like they arrived. Tomorrow is Friday and there is only one left.

The kids played in the park with "Uncle", they both had to hold his hand when we went to the mall after the park

One morning I went looking for the kids after I heard them get up, but couldn't find them. They were having in depth conversations with their grandpa

One morning they couldn't wait any longer for 'Uncle' to get up:

Here's the cake, again, this time it looks better, the frosting was more spreadable this time

The kids enjoyed feeding the ducks immensely!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Babies have gone to Omaha

The babies left for Omaha yesterday, it is sure quiet around our house! They went to see the other grandparents.

They will go check out the zoo, go to a CWS game, and play in the pool with their cousins.

We had a good time, they fed the ducks and played at the park. We live in a small area with nothing much to do, so they got a little bored. I thought their folks enjoyed resting and relaxing, but I may have been wrong.

The baby birds are now little birds sitting on the side of the nest, they are all getting too big to sit down in the nest. I'll post pictures tonight, I think it won't be too long and they will be gone forever.

I remade the Paula Deen Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Cake, it was much prettier, and had a cake plate just the right size to hold it, the cake didn't last long.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Recipe Friday: Make Ahead Bran Muffin Mix

Make A Head Bran Muffin Batter

5 c. flour
15 oz. box raisin bran
3 c. sugar
5 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. vegetable oil
4 c. buttermilk

Mix all together, store in fridge. Can last up to 4-6 weeks in the refrigerator. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, bake 375 for 15-20 min. GOOD!

Karen's neighbor brought this over when Noah was in the hospital so we could make them fresh every morning. It was so neat, they taste good and are good for you.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Noah's Test Results/ Wal-Mart visit lasted 4 hours/50th Birthday Party

Karen called yesterday to tell me Noah's final test results came back, his spinal fluid was positive for entero virus, which is responsible for 90% of meningitis in children.

I am so glad his Dr. kept him in the hospital and treated him with antibiotics. He did that solely based on a positive neuro exam that he performed on Noah in his office. He knew deep down that Noah really had it, but it was caught very early. Maybe the rotovirus with the meningitis combined made his symptoms appear earlier.

We're just relieved he is back to his ornery self, tormenting his sister and playing race cars with his dad.

I got stuck in a local Wal-Mart last night due to the weather. I arrived there at 6:30, left at 10:30. There were tornado warnings all around us, all customers got put into the back room for our safety.

For the record, it isn't any fun being stuck there, I had no dinner, nothing to drink, it was very tiresome standing for hours.

I coordinated a birthday party at work for a co-worker that turned 50 today. I was going to make muffins (You'll get that recipe on Recipe Friday) that can be held in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. They are delish!

Wal-Mart finally released the patrons, but told us we could not make purchases because their employees had to remain in the back of the store.

So, 4 hours later, I left without a thing to show for my trip. The store announced we could all leave, but could not make purchases because the area was still under a tornado warning. The employees had to stay in the back due to store policy. The custromers were being released because there were no 'tornado cells' in the area.

Here's the picture of Mike's cubicle. YOu can't see it in the photo (came from a camera phone) but we made a roof out of black streamers.

Here is the cake, it was disappointing, we thought it would be 'pile' shaped:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Breast Cancer BMW Drive

I am going to drive a BMW From Omaha to Lincoln on July 3rd. Then on July 8th from Kansas City for Susan B. Komen fund raiser. It is exciting, you drive the car to each place, then you are bussed back to your location, $1 per mile is donated to the organization.

When arriving in KC, you eat lunch and are then bussed back to Lincoln. I think it is going to be great fun!

I have a friend in KC that lost a sister, Meghan Fischer to Breast Cancer several years ago, she left behind a couple small children. Her family was devastated by the loss. I can't imagine what those children went through. I know how distressed Miss O got when Karen was at the hospital with Noah.

With Mom recently being diagnosed with cancer, it reinforces the need for everybody to help when they can with providing money for research.

If you are interested, follow this link.

Bird growth on 6/10

Quick picture before I go to work. Noah and Miss O, the birds are getting bigger, they are waiting until you come to visit so you can see them.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Birds are bigger and look like birds today

It's amazing how fast mother nature lets her furry children mature. So much different from our earthly human ones. They are looking like birds, they now have little feathers and look like little finch birds. AMAZING!!!

Steve works with a woman in his office they all call a 'girly girl'. She loves jewelry and wears and owns a ton of it. When she found out I made glass beads, she wanted to see my jewelry. She had seen some on display at Von Mauer in Omaha at the WestRoads Mall, and was interested in seeing what I did.

I had my jewelry in that store during the same time, but the artist that had the contract decided to remove her jewelry from the store. Steve took my jewelry to work one day, and Vicki grabbed this bracelet, asking for earrings to match. Apparently, she had seen the bracelet and wanted it, but it was priced $265 after mark up at Von Mauer. It happened to be in the items I sent with Steve that day. She was relieved to see the price was nowhere near $265! HAHA

She brought the bracelet back to me because the little dangly by the heart had broken off. I repaired it, shined it up and returned it to her, she was thrilled!

Karen, here are the shorts I got Miss O at WalMart today, I love the little princess shirt, the buttons on the left shoulder reeled me in.

Here are the shorts I got, they had some really cute ones, but all the size 3's were sold out.

Here is the muffin pan, it is too cute. Thanks to the 50% off coupons to Michael's. The place was packed today when I went there.

See, it looks like the Wilton Giant Cupcake Pan, only it is for cupcakes, so cute, here is a side view:

Here's the sprinkles I tried to explain on the phone:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What a difference a day makes

The birds are starting to get pin feathers.

Tonight Isaac and I made noodles for Karen's visit next weekend. We made a TON so there would be enough, he wanted some for dinner tonight so badly. Isaac had his first noodle making session, he did a great job.

Bird Pictures

Karen, Bryan and the kids are coming to see us next weekend. I had McKenzie come help me clean today, she was good help, we got a ton of stuff done. I think I'll have her come back again. It is good to have young people around you, they bring such a freshness. Life is pretty easy when you are kids.

Here are the birds in the nest, it looks like all 5 eggs hatched. I never did take another photo, but there ended up being 5 eggs total in the basket. I have been excited to see them hatch. They were all done when we got back from seeing Noah last week.

Here are random photos. Some of the kids last week:

The play room at the hospital caused a bit of concern. The rules were to only allow the patients in the room. Olivia cried when we told her, but she was good and stayed in the room with us while Isaac took Noah to the play room. Soon the nurse came to tell us they didn't like to hear her crying, since there were only 4 patients on the wing that day and none of them were in the room except Noah, she could play in the toy room too. She was so happy, and they both were well behaved while there.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Recipe Friday June 6, 2008

I saw this cake on Paula Deen's magazine cover and knew immediately I had to make it for my hubby. He does so much for me, I love to treat him to chocolate treats. He lives for chocolate. Here's the magazine cover:

I was intimidated by the recipe, it had 3 parts. The mousse in between each layer caused me to almost panic, I have never made anything so fancy before. But I followed the recipe exactly, and it came out perfect. I didn't have 2 9" square pans like I thought, so had to bake 3 cakes. All in all, it turned out pretty good. I don't shave or curl chocolate, so I had nothing pretty to decorate it with. The taste is pretty good, I am NOT a chocolate person. Steve says it is fantastic. I will be making it again. When shopping the next time, I will look for a pretty platter to put it on, it is worth it.

I wish it looked as pretty as Paula's, but it tasted good.You would think with all the chocolate it would be sickenly sweet, amazingly it isn't. It is really light and has a pretty 'soft' chocolate taste. Steve really liked it, he's the chocolate guy at our house. Warning: HAVE PLENTY OF COLD MILK TO GO WITH IT!

Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Cake:

2 C. Flour
2 C. sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1 c. strong brewed coffee
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 Large Eggs

Dreamy chocolate Mousse, (recipe follows) Chocolate Fudge Frosting (recipe Follows) Grnish with grated chocolate, and chocolate curls, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and Flour 3 9x9 pan, square or round. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add Milk, coffee, oil, and eggs. Beat at a medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

2. Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake for 23-25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

3. Using a serrated knife, cut cake layers in half horizontally to make 6 layers, place 1 cut layer, cut side up on a cake plate, spread with one fifth of the chocolate mousse. Repeat procedure with remaining cake layers and mousse. Freeze cake for 1 hour. Spread chocolate fudge frosting evenly over top of cake and up sides. Garnish with chocolate curls and grated chocolate.

Freezing the layers for 1 hour helps the frosting spread easier on the cake, ask me how I know..............never try to deviate from the recipe the first time you make one.

Dreamy Chocolate Mousse

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 Tablespoons cold water
1/4 c. boiling water
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 c. heavy whipping cream

1. In a small bowl, soften gelatin in 3 tablespoons cold water. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add boiling water, stirring until gelatin dissolves, set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cocoa powder.

3. In a medium bowl, beat cream at medium speed wit an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar mixture, beating until stiff peaks form. Stir in gelatin mixture. Cover and chill 4 hours.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

1 c. sugar
1 c. heavy whipping cream
5 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
10 Tablespoons butter
1 c. confectioner's sugar

1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cream. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth. Let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in confectioner's sugar. Let mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable ocnsistency.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tornado South of town

*****Note to Larry, the cake recipe is posted under the post: Something to do over the holiday weekend. I would have emailed you a copy, but you have no contact information attached to your post.

The John Deere Dealership North of town, you can see the tornado cloud South of town.

The neighbor's trampoline caused damage to our son's car:

The kids were anxious for Uncle Isaac to get up, first they sat at the top of the stairs watching the door to the guest room waiting for him to poke his head out,
that soon got tiresome, so they went and opened the door.

I am making Psalm 23 bracelets to send to my friend Karen in Colorado. She and her husband do mission trips to Canada every year. The older girls will be given a kit to allow them to learn the Psalm while stringing a piece of jewelry to help remember each day the gospel of the Lord. I made one for Miss O while visiting. She loved it and wore it each day:

Here is Isaac playing a game with Noah, they were buddies the whole time after Noah was dismissed from the hospital:

Miss O, here are the baby birds that hatched in Grandma's hanging basket on the porch.

Here is a picture of Noah's puppy, he had to endure the hospital stay with Noah, he had his own "LINUS" blanket to cover up with:

Miss O at the hospital, she dressed herself, on the way out the door, she grabbed her little purple hat with the pink flower on it and popped it on her head, how cute it was!!!


On this blog

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Leaving for home today

As soon as Brian gets off of work at noon, we will be leaving for home.

Noah was released from the hospital yesterday, he is bouncing back, but slowly. Yesterday he laid and slept, his appetite isn't what it should be, but we are encouraging him. The Dr. said to have him drink, which is his weakness, I think that might be why he didn't bounce back from this the way his sister did, he is a poor drinker.

They make orange colored gatorade, and purple, so I came home with 2 bottles, one for him and Olivia. Amazingly, it is almost gone, he loves it!

Here are some pictures of the ordeal.

The hospital has a project called the 'Linus' project. There is a group that makes blankets, they give them to the kids that come into the hospital sick. Noah's was 60"x80" and he loves it! He wrapped up in it and felt much better, more at ease and at home. The nurses at Avera St. Lukes were amazing, thanks, Nonah, you are the best!

Notice his sister had to go see him, she would wake up and ask if she could go see her brother, they are so close, it is really neat. I hope it lasts throughout their lives.

I tried to download pictures from my SD card, but Karen's pc isn't working right, so I can't, I think she needs more sheep. (Kids name for RAM) HAHA