Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Jonathan, my 15 year old was just diagnosed recently with a disease that I had never heard of, though I have learned that among bleeding disorders, it is fairly common. Several years ago, Jonathan began having frequent nose bleeds. I'm not talking a little trickle of blood....I mean his nose would drip, and the bleeding would last quite a while. So we took him to see an ENT (ear, nose, throat doctor). They cauterized some of the larger blood vessels in his nose, and for a while, the problem seemed to go away. Then this past summer, particularly during August and the hot weather, he started having the nose bleeds again. And realize, for a teenager, this is embarrassing. One day, he called me from school and told me that he had a nose bleed that lasted all band period--we're talking fifty minutes! So I immediately called the ENT's office and got him an appointment that day with someone new to the practice. He examined Jonathan, then cauterized another blood vessel, and sent him to the lab for blood work.
On our follow up visit, they sent us to the lab to repeat one of the tests that had come back abnormal. And again, his results for clotting factor were low. We were asked if he had a family history of bleeding disorders, and I had to tell him I didn't know. Jonathan was adopted, so I had to e-mail some of our contacts with his family. We did find out there was some history with bleeding problems. So the next step was to see a hematologist. This doctor did more blood tests. We're talking six vials of blood the first visit, and then another 2 the second visit. Finally, he was diagnosed with Von Willebrand Disease. What is it?
Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is a bleeding disorder that affects your blood's ability to clot. In VWD, you either have low levels of a certain protein in your blood or the protein doesn't work well. The protein is called von Willebrand factor, and it helps your blood clot. Normally, when one of your blood vessels is injured, you start to bleed. Small blood cell fragments called platelets clump together to plug the hole in the blood vessel and stop the bleeding. Von Willebrand factor acts like glue to help the platelets stick together and form a blood clot.
Von Willebrand factor also carries clotting factor VIII (8), another important protein that helps your blood clot. Factor VIII is the protein that's missing or doesn't work well in people who have hemophilia, another bleeding disorder. VWD is more common and usually milder than hemophilia. Fortunately, if he had to have a bleeding disorder at all, it was something milder. Also, among VWD patients, there are three types. Jonathan has the mildest form....another blessing!
And another blessing of all this? We learned that because he has a bleeding disorder, he is eligible for several college scholarships. Wow! You might wonder how this is treated. After a test (yep...more blood work) to see if it would work, he was prescribed a nose spray that forces the walls of his blood vessels to release the necessary protein for him to clot. So far, we haven't had to use it. And we're hopeful that we won't. We were told it may be necessary when he has to have dental work (like the removal of wisdom teeth) or surgery.
We are thanking God that it was something treatable!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Changes Coming

I have been thinking for a while now about changing my blog. I am rethinking its purpose, its look, really....everything about it. So I am not sure if this blog will remain at all (not that I have millions of readers anyway...lol!) I'll let you know what I decide as soon as I know.

I have been really busy with the house, the kids, and that weight loss thing I've been "talking" about doing forever. First of all, I have begun trying to get myself more fit. Notice that I did not say that dreaded "D" word! No...I refuse! Anytime I try to "D," I end up falling off the wagon and then quitting, or I get frustrated with people being "food police" when they know I'm on a "D." So...I simply decided to join the gym with a girlfriend of mine. THANKS, Michelle! We have been going for about 7 weeks or so, and so far I am down 16 pounds and can tell a huge difference in my clothes. As far as food goes, well.....let's just say I still LOVE it! I think that's in my genes (and my jeans). I am simply trying to eat a smart breakfast and lunch and then eating what I want at dinner, within reason of course. I knew that if I started trying to cook something different for the kids and hubby, I would throw in the towel quickly! I am also trying to include more fruits and veggies. A staple lately has been red grapes. I make sure I keep those and apples in the house. If I want chocolate, I will have some. I just have a small piece. On Thanksgiving, I ate whatever I wanted all weekend, and with the exercise, the two pounds came off in no time. Last night, I ate what I wanted at the ladies' ornament party at church. I find that if I eat good 90% of the time, and get my exercise in, I will lose weight. And since I am not on a "D," there is no one around to pressure me to hurry! Slow and steady will win the race, right? I will try to keep you updated on my progress. Notice I said, "TRY." I haven't been too good at the consistent blogging thing lately.

In the last post, I mentioned our unfinished dining room. Well, it is now finished. I will try to take some photos and show you, especially since my table is set for Christmas. Ed did an amazing job!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

End of Summer

Today is the last day of August, and even though it stays pretty warm in the south through at least mid-October, I begin to think about fall right about now. Wrapping up summer is kind of sad. The kids have been back in school since the 15th of August, and they are beginning to settle in with their new teachers. Matthew is in fourth grade and is being drilled on those wonderful multiplication facts. Jonathan is a freshman in high school and is taking honors English, Geometry, Biology, and World History. In addition, he is in the Freshmen band class and is taking Spanish I and PE. He is at school until after 6 PM at least 3 days a week for marching band practice. Yes...football season is here! I love it, although it makes for a busy time of year!

This summer was what I would call "forgettable." Not trying to be a negative "Nancy," but we didn't get to plan and do a lot. Ed went to England for a week for part of his course work in working on his PhD. I had foot surgery (an Osteotomy) on my right foot. That put me out of commission for the most part for six weeks. I am still recovering. We did manage to get in a couple of weekend beach trips right before school started, and we have been taking advantage of the pool lately.

Although I am sad to see summer end (I miss my boys when they go back to school), I look forward to pulling out the fall decorations and sprucing up the house. I even cleaned out our "office" closet this morning! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011



Outside my window: all is quiet with a gentle breeze and upper seventies already at 8:57 AM.

I am thinking: I really need to lose some pounds, not only to improve my appearance, but also to help with acid reflux and other health problems.

I am thankful for: a husband and family who love me, and a home to stay cool in during these hot days!

From the kitchen: not a lot going on there. We are eating out tonight. I had foot surgery on Friday, and I am trying to stay off of it as much as possible.

I am wearing: my pajamas...yes still!

I am creating: a system for storing my photos that will allow me to be MORE creative. It is the Library of Memories system by Stacy Julian. I am learning through a course by Big Picture Scrapbooking, called Photo Freedom. It will entail a lot of work, but it will be so worth it in the end.

I am going: to the doctor this afternoon for my post-op appointment. He is going to check that my foot is healing properly after my bunion/arthritis surgery on my big toe joint.

I am reading: 10 Lessons from a Former Fat Girl by Amy Parham. I am also reading material on the topic of "Boys and Literacy" for a class I am taking.

I am hoping: I can get this boot off and begin walking normally VERY soon!

I am hearing: Phineas and Ferb....while my 9 year old sits in front of the tv.

Around the house: Many projects begun and not finished: my class, which has taken me MONTHS to do; our dining room, again has taken months to finish the remodel; granite counter tops and tile backsplash not sealed, etc....

One of my favorite things: Feeling good and having a day to do whatever I want. Haven't felt that way in a while. I think that addressing my weight issues, mentioned above, will help take care of this.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Except for a couple of scheduled appointments, everything is kind of up in the air because of my foot. Ugh! Looking forward to better days ahead!

Picture for today:

I LOVE these guys of mine! Thank you, God!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Project 365

I have decided to attempt once again, Project 365. Last year, I quit less than three months in...but I am determined to see it through this time around. It's such a great way to document our lives in a simple, yet creative way. Here are the first pictures of the month of January.

This is something I do EVERY Monday morning....write checks and send lunch money to school.
This is a vegetable I have come to love lately. I adore asparagus when it's fresh and roasted in olive oil with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. YUM!
This is Matthew at the doctor's office. Seems his sinuses are the cause of some "not so sweet smelling" breath and an ear that has caused him some pain. No ear infection, thank goodness!
This was our third day back at school after Christmas break. Part of our afternoon routine is waiting in the car (for about 40 minutes) at the middle school to pick up Jonathan. Usually Matthew uses this time to start homework.
This is a snapshot of my computer screen....and Facebook, a place where I spend way too much time lately!
On this night, I prepared a meal so yummy, my kids would eat it several times a week if I let them. It was Bowtie lasagna, Caesar salad, and garlic bread. They LOVED it! Maybe I'll share the recipe soon.
This is Matthew's latest project....a pattern he's making with Legos.
Once again, I've included two snow pictures.
This is what I have been enjoying for breakfast a lot lately. Its a parfait with layers of mandarin oranges, vanilla yogurt, and low fat vanilla almond granola. Yum!
This is Matthew getting ready for school. I let him brush his own teeth in the morning, but I do it for him before bedtime to make sure they're especially clean!
Well, I hope you've enjoyed my first installment of Project 365! Until next time! :)

More Winter Photos

It was beautiful to see what the neighborhood looked like on day 2 of our snowcation! It snowed much of the night Sunday night, and then on Monday we had freezing rain. The frozen precipitation resulted in these photos.
Each little stem and branch of our dogwood tree was encased in ice. Looked so cool!
I wouldn't want to jump into this frigid water. Notice the icicles hanging from the diving board.
And the icicles on the lounge chairs! Brrr!
And the landscaping lights!
This was a neat sight, a bird's nest in the dogwood tree. It looked like someone had just scooped up some shaved ice and plopped it into the nest...almost like a sno cone!
The wintry weather, which is just so uncommon for our area of the south, also resulted in two days out of school and a third day when the schools opened on a two hour delay. That hasn't happened in several YEARS! But we enjoyed it, and I think the boys were actually ready to go back to school. I leave you with just a couple of more photos.
Matthew didn't play in it long. It was just too icy for snowman building!
The dogs even got to run around in it!
For now...we're staying warm!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crazy Weather!

Don't get me wrong, I'm NOT complaining. I LOVE the snow! But it's amazing to me that we've had 3 snowfalls in less than a year. You must understand that in our neck of the woods we sometimes go for years without seeing one flake!
Currently, we have snow on the ground, but it's not a great snow to play in. It began snowing Sunday night, and we woke up this morning to sleet and freezing rain. It's a slushy mess.
First, I want to show you pictures of our white Christmas. We went to mom and dad's house (in upstate SC) on Christmas day. Below are a few photos from our snowy fun!
Then when we got home, it was snowing at our house too!
About two weeks later, here's what our current weather looks like.

No, there are no snow plows out where we live, at least on the secondary roads. This will probably be a frozen mess in the morning! Well, the kids are out of school, and hubby is home, so as long as the power stays on, we'll just enjoy it!
Until next time!!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Upcoming Posts and Blog Giveaway

Hi folks! I know I have been posting rather infrequently. One of my resolutions is to get better at this. I just need to manage my time better, obviously. So in the next few days, I promise to put up some more content, including pictures of our first ever white Christmas!!

In the meantime, head on over to my friend, Linda MacDonald's blog HERE, and enter to win three great family movies and a fleece throw to snuggle under while you're watching!

All the details are on her blog.
Happy New Year, everyone!