June 29, 2012

Foot Pictures


The right side of Fiona's foot. Poor kid. :(


Top and left view of Fiona's foot. 


Swelling was more profound and noticeable last night. 


The left side looks okay. The right side not so much. 
Please pray for Fiona's foot. Thank you.

Pictures from the ER


Hanging out at Children's ER day before yesterday


Kinsley leaning in a little closer. She was very worried about Fiona. 


My baby bird was in a lot of pain


That book was in our ER room. I love that book.

Fiona hurt her foot day before yesterday when we were at the swimming pool. She was trying to do the kneel dive and somehow managed to get her foot caught between the concrete of the pool and the gutter. I didn't see what happened but from the way she explained it to me it sounds like she started out on the concrete, started to do the kneel dive, and somehow got her foot caught in the gutter. Because I know my daughter so well I am imagining that she panicked and in the process of panicking really twisted the heck out of her foot. She tends to agree with me. Kinsley saw the whole thing and feels horrible for her sister. 

The X-rays from the ER are not really showing a whole lot. The way that her foot looks to me makes it seem like there is something more going on. My gut is telling me that she either has a horrible ankle sprain or something inside her foot is cracked and maybe the X-ray didn't pick it up. Today is day #3 and she is still unable to put any type of pressure on her foot. For now she is hopping around, crawling, scooting up the stairs on her butt, or riding piggy back on me or Don. 

For now we are staying away from crutches. Those things are dangerous in a house with stairs. Also, until we can better protect her foot I don't want her on crutches. The ER doc highly encouraged her to finish her last day of swimming and said that would be very good for her foot. She was doubtful at first but wound up suiting up yesterday and swimming on her last day of the 1st swim session for the summer.  

I was very proud of Fiona and Kinsley. Fiona because she stayed tough and finished up what she needed to do...Kinsley because she passed her level 3 class. Kinsley is now in the same level as Fiona and I love it! For the record level 4 is a difficult level to move out of. There are many things that need to be mastered in order to move to level 5/6. I think the fact that Fiona's little sister is coming to her phase of swimming will light a fire under her to work even harder! So I'm excited about that. We'll have to wait and see what happens with Fiona's foot though because she may not be swimming next session. 

I am waiting 7 to 10 days to see what will happen with Fiona's foot. That is what was recommended to us by Children's ER as well as our family physician. In 7 to 10 days if she is still unable to put any pressure on her foot we will give the Orthopedic specialist referred by our family physician a call and go from there. This time frame will also give Fiona's foot a chance to settle and she can rest. We are soaking our feet in warm water and keeping her foot wrapped up and elevated. 

Kinsley could not have been sweeter to her sister. The first night after we got home she leaned into my ear and whispered, "Mom...I feel very bad for Fiona." Then when Fiona was headed to bed she told her sister, "Fiona...I promise not to make fun of you tomorrow." Stinker! :)

Control in the name of Health Care - Where did my country go?


I am very disturbed by what has gone on in this country for the last 4 years. Yesterday’s ruling exposed the fact that when this health care law went to the Supreme Court it was unconstitutional. Take a look at all the states that have filed suit against this law. I thought that a health care law was supposed to be for people that don’t have health insurance. I never thought in a million years that companies stood the possibility of being penalized for the health plans that are offered to their employees. I certainly don’t think people should be fined or jailed for not wanting to purchase the Govt plan. You guys out there screaming about having choices and freedom to do as you please, I don't understand how you can be okay with this. Now we will have no competition between health insurance companies because they will all be driven into the ground because the Govt wants to control you, all of you, in the name of health care. Health care is the smoke screen and what happened yesterday is a disgrace to what the founding fathers fought to preserve.

June 27, 2012

Joyce Meyer's Conflict FREE Living



I started reading this book yesterday and I'm already on Chapter 5. It spoke to me when I saw it at Sam's Club so I decided to go ahead and buy it. Unlike many of the other books I have purchased and not read this one has a gripping introduction. I knew I had to have it. The book is called: Conflict FREE Living and it's written by Joyce Meyer. I love love love her!!! 

Introduction

We were created to live in the love and excitement of harmonious relationships, free from dissension, confusion, and hurt. God wants our lives to be free from division; He wants us to live in peace with each other, yet such a life often eludes most of us. Instead, conflict wreaks havoc in our lives, leaving us wounded and alienated from one another. It is: 
  • Ending our marriages
  • Embittering our children
  • Alienating our friends and co-workers
  • Splitting our churches
  • Bankrupting our health
  • Stealing our peace of mind and heart
I know because my life and ministry were once in danger of being destroyed by conflict and strife. My prayer is that as you read the following pages, your eyes will be opened and that you will see, more clearly than ever before, the destructive effects that conflict and dissension can have on your life~and that you will never again fail to recognize strife or confront it. 

Jesus gave us His peace for our protection. We are to "hold our peace" and "let peace be the umpire" in every situation (Exod. 14:14; Col. 3:15). We should "crave peace and pursue it" and be "makers and maintainers of peace" (Ps. 34:14; Matt. 5:9)

God's Word contains some wonderful promises for the peaceful, including Psalm 37:37: "Mark the blameless man and behold the upright, for there is a happy end for the man of peace." Think of it. If you are a person of peace~if you learn to resist conflict and strife~you will experience happiness. God says that His children will inherit righteousness, peace, and joy. The kingdom of God consists of these three things, but few who claim Christ as their Savior actually experience these benefits in their everyday lives. Satan deceives, lies, and beguiles believers through a lack of knowledge or the unwillingness to apply the knowledge we have. 

God has instructed us to put on the full armor of God so that we can defeat the devil in every one of his strategies and deceits. (See Ephesians 6:10-18.) If we want to experience God's blessing and power, we must resist the devil's attempts to stir up strife. We must be on guard, because "the devil roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour" (1 Pet. 5:8).

If relationship problems have plagued your life, then this book is for you. If you are wondering why you don't experience spiritual power in your life and ministry, even though you are serving God and doing all you know to do, then this book is for you. If you are confused about why you are missing out on the blessings that God promises to His children, then this book is for you. 

In it  we are going to explore why so many of our relationships are the opposite of what Jesus promised and what we can do to enjoy the life God wants us to have. In part 1 you will learn how to recognize strife so that you can, in turn, resist it. In part 2 you will discover how to heal your troubled relationships. And in part 3, you will learn how you can unleash God's power and blessing in your life. 

At the end of each chapter you will find a section devoted to summary and reflection. This section is designed to help you apply the insights you learn in each chapter. It will give you dynamic keys for discerning the roots and symptoms of conflict and strife so that you can enjoy trouble-free relationships. 

Read on, and learn how your life and relationships can be full of harmony and power and blessing. 

Isn't that a great Introduction? I can hardly wait to keep reading and to soak it all in. Sushi (my mini pin) made herself comfortable yesterday while I was reading. Isn't she cute?

June 25, 2012

WARNING: This is a Wells Fargo and ACS Education WTP Session!!!

Students and College Graduates who are not paying attention are probably getting ripped off.

It all started in 2009 when my husband received his bachelor's degree for computers. Wells Fargo had our school loan and we had it all set up to pay a certain amount every month. We would get invoiced and I would always send that amount along with an extra amount to be applied to the principal. 

Everything was as sweet as apple pie until the loan was handed off to ACS Education. 

That's when our school-loan-hell had begun. 

I have no clue why Wells Fargo would hand off the loan. Maybe they didn't like that we were paying off the loan and not taking the 40+ years of interest that they would prefer us to pay. Who knows any more why banks do what they do. 

So here we are with ACS Education and all of a sudden the minimum required is a lot lower than what Wells Fargo required. That's okay because we decided we were going to continue paying it how were were paying it with Wells Fargo which is a lot more than what they were requiring. Only with ACS if you are not paying attention they will not apply your funds properly to the bill. 

They have all 8 (Yes, EIGHT) accounts listed separately with interest rates varying from 2.360% to 6.800%. 

RIDICULOUS!!! 

At one point during our dealings with them they tried to consolidate all 8 loans together using the highest interest rate without our consent! Uh, hello! You can't do that ACS! We made them put it back. 

Attention Students...When you get these letters in the mail from the bank telling you that they did this you need to pick up the phone and ask questions because I guarantee you are not getting an interest rate that is fair. They consolidate these accounts without asking you, send you the letter letting you know that they did, and many assume that's just the way the bank winds blow. That's how people get ripped off. They don't pay attention. You need to pay attention and ask questions if you don't understand why they do what they do. 

So my husband and I let them know a long time ago that we would continue paying the minimum amount just like we were before which was roughly $324.62 per/month. 

We had a terrible time of it trying to get them to show these payments and balances. Sometimes we have to call them asking them what the balance is of the account that we just sent extra money to in order to make sure that our funds were actually applied to that specific principal. 

Are you confused yet?

Last month I sent extra money to be applied to account #8, which has the highest interest rate, and you would think that money applied would be reflected on this month's statement but it is not. The only thing reflected on this month's statement is accounts 1 - 7. In order to see what the balance is for account number 8 I need to send extra money to account number 7 and then next month accounts 1 - 6 as well as account 8 will be shown...but not account 7. 

WTP? (What The Poop)

This month they are saying on the statement that we owe a minimum of $200.98 to be spread through all 8 accounts. Can you believe it? So we will send a check for $324.62 to be paid and then in about a week or so I will send them extra cash instructing them to pay it to the principal on account #8 in order to pay down the loan with the highest interest rate faster. 

But, it doesn't seem like they appreciate the fact that we are trying to pay off the loan fast. Why would they? Uh, I don't want to take the next 50 years to pay off a school loan.

THAT is RIDICULOUS. 

We got a notification saying that accounts 1, 3, and 4 interest rates were going to be lowered. Really? Well what about accounts 2, 5, 6, 7 & 8? Ironically those are the accounts with the higher interest rates but I keep hammering at account 7 and 8 so we can get those paid off faster. Why there are 8 separate accounts is beyond me!  

It seems like every month or every other month my husband has to get on the phone and say,

"What the Poop?" 

He'll be calling them again today and hopefully we won't get a call center in Jamaica! I hope he can reach some sort of Wells Fargo and/or ACS Education Regional Manager so we can get this cluster-poop figured out! 

1. We plan on sending the original monthly amount of $324.62. 

2. If you're going to give us an interest break on part of the loan then maybe you should give us an interest break on the entire loan!? 

3. When I tell you to apply something to the PRINCIPAL, that means PRINCIPAL, it is NOT a PREPAID PAYMENT to INTEREST.

Are you CRAZY!!!?

I shouldn't have to write a separate check on principal payments but I do because you guys don't know if you are coming or going and it's pretty clear that you can't stand the fact that we have half the school loan paid off already. It's only been 3 years!!? 

Depending on what my husband finds out this afternoon when he talks to them, yet again, will determine whether or not we will try to get another bank to pay off this ridiculous loan for us and get back to the basics of paying on something with monthly statements that make sense. 

UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NO can be a love word


NO can be a love word. ~Ron Palmer

NO is a word of love and health when we consider lose-lose situations or risks that are not risks at all but traps. For many of us, learning to say "NO" as a complete sentence is a great sign of growth. When we can turn down a bad idea or a dangerous invitation without justification or explanation, we are truly on our way to freedom.

Just as often as it is brave and good and hopeful to say yes it is appropriate and beneficial to say NO.

Learning to say NO will break my bonds of passivity.

June 23, 2012

Stop Domestic Violence


I Dedicate This Song To All Women



I dedicate this song to all women in abusive, manipulative, hateful, controlling relationships. It’s never too late to make a change. The exception to that is death. Pray for guidance and wisdom to know what you should do. The most dangerous time in breaking the cycle is when you make up your mind to leave.

I Love Someone Who Has a Problem


The courage to be honest with ourselves is one quality we can cultivate to help our spiritual growth. It takes a commitment to honesty to admit that someone we love has a problem, that many other things are beyond our control, that there is a source of help greater than ourselves and that we need the care of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Where is there dignity unless there is honesty? ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

June 22, 2012

Sleepy Puppy





Say Hey (I Love You)



My sweet husband posted this for me today on Facebook.
Love You More! :)

In Your Face!


Don took the girls to get ice cream the other day. I had gone to a little get together with some ladies from church and they couldn't understand why they were not invited. They posed for this picture and told their Dad to tell me, "In Your Face!" They are so stinkin' cute! That ice cream looks really yummy, too. 

The first week of swim lessons was a complete success! I am excited to see what the girls will do in their second week of lessons. Fiona is diving off the diving board and Kinsley is swimming without any flotation devices in 10 feet of water. She is determined to learn how to dive, too. I think the fact that the lessons are back to back and 45 minutes each helps. They are learning new techniques every day. I am also looking forward to their swim lessons next month. Those are at the same time; so, it will allow me to work on my fitness for 45 minutes while they are swimming with their instructors. 

In addition to swim lessons we still manage to hit the library at school. Their program goes on for the entire month of June. Yesterday, the girls were able to do a craft of bubbles. They got to mix and pour their own bubble solution and make homemade bubble wands out of beads and wire. Our focus here at home this summer is to read every day, swim, go on excursions, play, and have FUN!

June 21, 2012

Don't Get It Twisted


You can click on the picture to make it larger if you can't read the words at the bottom. The picture says: No matter what I say, what I believe, what I do, if I haven't loved, I have nothing.

1 Corinthians Chapter 13 says...

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


None of My Business


Other people's indifferent or negative reactions to us may have nothing to do with us and everything to do with them. Perhaps there is no possibility that we, or anyone else, will ever get positive feedback from that negative source. Some people are so full of fear, resentment, and hurt, that their major effect on life is to make everyone as miserable as they are.

He is a man it is impossible to please because he is never pleased with himself. ~Goethe

June 20, 2012

The Fighter



If you fall pick yourself up off the floor (get up)
And when your bones can't take no more (c'mon)
Just remember what you're here for...

P.S. And now I'm yelling, "Kiss my ass"

Held



This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive...

In Better Hands Now



As it is in heaven...

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The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused, manipulated or controlled is when she tries to leave. 


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When the sun finally drops below the horizon in the early evening, evidence of its work remains for some time. The skies continue to glow for a full hour after its departure. In the same way, when a good or a great person's life comes to its final sunset, the skies of this world are illuminated until long after he is out of view. Such a person does not die from this world, for when he departs he leaves much of himself behind~and being dead, he still speaks. ~Henry Ward Beecher

What is Emotional/Verbal Abuse?


What is Emotional/Verbal Abuse?

Emotional abuse includes non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking.

There are many behaviors that qualify as emotional or verbal abuse:
  • Calling you names and putting you down.
  • Yelling and screaming at you.
  • Intentionally embarrassing you in public.
  • Preventing you from seeing or talking with friends and family.
  • Telling you what to do and wear.
  • Using online communities or cell phones to control, intimidate or humiliate you.
  • Blaming your actions for their abusive or unhealthy behavior.
  • Stalking you.
  • Threatening to commit suicide to keep you from breaking up with them.
  • Threatening to harm you, your pet or people you care about.
  • Making you feel guilty or immature when you don’t consent to sexual activity.
  • Threatening to expose your secrets such as your sexual orientation or immigration status.
  • Starting rumors about you.
  • Threatening to have your children taken away.


Is Emotional Abuse Really Abuse? 

A relationship can be unhealthy or abusive even without physical violence. Verbal abuse may not cause physical damage, but it does cause emotional pain and scarring. It can also lead to physical violence if the relationship continues on the unhealthy path its on.

Sometimes verbal abuse is so bad that you actually start believing what your partner says. You begin to think you’re stupid, ugly or fat. You agree that nobody else would ever want to be in a relationship with you. Constantly being criticized and told you aren’t good enough causes you to lose confidence and lowers your self esteem. As a result, you may start to blame yourself for your partner’s abusive behavior.

Remember -- emotional abuse is never your fault. In fact, your partner may just be trying to control or manipulate you into staying in the relationship. Talk to someone you trust, like a parent, friend or teacher, about the situation and make a safety plan.

Don't ignore abuse.
Stay strong.
Get out.
Ask for help.
You CAN do this.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
is 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)

Digital Abuse Counts Too


In abusive relationships, threats and controlling behavior often occur by phone or over the internet. On occasion, your partner will even admit to the abuse or an element of it in a message or online post. You may be hesitant to report this type of unwanted contact or even recognize it as abuse, but it counts in a court of law.

Digital evidence is often fleeting and can be deleted, accidentally or intentionally, very easily. For this reason, it's important to secure evidence quickly:

  • Print out all emails that contain any evidence or information about the incident. Make sure the printout includes the sender, recipient, date and time.
  • If possible, print out text messages. If not, take a picture of the cell phone displaying the message, contact information, date and time.
  • If possible, print out your call log. If not, take a picture of the cell phone displaying the contact information, date and time.
  • Print screen shots of social networking sites that contain evidence, such as admissions of abuse, threats of violence or pictures that you didn't consent to. Remember to check both your and your partner’s site.
  • Record voicemails onto a digital recorder and include the time and date of the message.

Try to save all future, abusive electronic communications using these same methods.

Don't ignore abuse.

Stay strong.
Get out.
Ask for help.
You CAN do this.


The National Domestic Violence Hotline
is 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)


H/T: LoveIsRespect.org

Ways To Document Abuse


Keep a journal about what you’re going through. Include:

  • Any incidents of abuse.
  • Statements you, your partner or any witnesses made about what happened.
  • The date and time of each incident.
  • A description of any injuries, no matter how small. Take pictures if you can store them safely. A description of the scene. For example, is the furniture overturned? Are any items thrown around? Again, take pictures if you can.
  • How the incident made you feel.

Seek medical care, even if there are no visible injuries. Just because you don’t have any cuts or bruises doesn't mean you weren’t physically harmed.

File a report with the police.

Don't ignore abuse.
Stay strong.
Get out.
Ask for help.
You CAN do this.


The National Domestic Violence Hotline
is 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)


H/T: LoveIsRespect.org

Types of Abuse


Emotional Abuse/Verbal Abuse: Non physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or "checking in," excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation or isolation. 

Stalking: Being repeatedly watched, followed or harassed. 

Financial Abuse: Using money or access to accounts to exert power and control over a partner. 

Physical Abuse: Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon.

Sexual Abuse: Any action that impacts a person's ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including restricting access to birth control or condoms.

Digital Abuse: The use of technology such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated through technology.

Don't ignore abuse.
Stay strong.
Get out.
Ask for help.
You CAN do this.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
is 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)

Warning Signs of Abuse


  • Checking your cell phone or email without permission
  • Constantly putting you down 
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity 
  • Explosive temper 
  • Isolating you from family or friends 
  • Making false accusations 
  • Mood swings 
  • Physically hurting you in any way 
  • Possessiveness
  • Telling you what to do

Don't ignore abuse. 
Stay strong. 
Get out. 
Ask for help. 
You CAN do this. 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
is 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)

Real Men


Here's to all the real mean out there...
boys play house
Men build homes 
boys shack up
Men get married 
boys make babies
Men raise children
A boy won't raise his own children
A Man will raise someone else's
boys invent excuses
boys look for somebody to take care of them
Men look for someone to take care of 
boys seek popularity 
Men demand respect and know how to give it 


Real Men
Don't Hit 
Women. 

Don't ignore abuse.
Stay strong.
Get out.
Ask for help.
You CAN do this.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 
is 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)

Dad of the Year!






See that man up there? 
He is a wonderful man. 
He's my best friend. 
That man is my husband. 
He has integrity. 
He is wise. 
His words are kind and loving. 
He treats others with courtesy and respect. 
He's fun to be around. 
That man is a Godly man in word and deed.
You can find the fruits of the Spirit in him. 
That man up there loves his family. 
That man loves God. 
He is a good provider. 
He loves to cook.
He loves to take us on family vacations. 
He is consistent and dependable. 
He is loyal. 
He loves his children. 
He loves their mother, me. 
He is a good listener. 
He has never once called me names. 
He has never once called his children names. 
He is the opposite of selfish. 
He is forgiving. 
He has never pointed his finger. 
He has never screamed or yelled. 
He is patient. 
He was raised by a Queen, too. 
See that man up there?
I love that man!