Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Foot

Hey this is Matt here!
We went back for xrays today (almost 2 weeks since my injury happened) and it turns out I have a fracture! It's going to take 10-12 weeks to heal and I have this big boot to help me walk.

Let me back up...I got the hurt ankle playing football Thanksgiving morning. Well technically, I was playing in the "Turkey Bowl"! Brad and his group of friends always plays tackle football Thanksgiving morning and I decided I would join them.

My mom and sister both told Brad to make sure I didn't get hurt. So since he was QuarterBack, he would NEVER pass me the ball! Finally everybody convinced him to and I caught the pass! I ran it for about 10 yards when a guy jumped on my back. Not wanting to get creamed by Blake Anderson or Dusty Brock, I decided to just go down. When I went down my ankle went up. POP goes the ankle. When we got xrays the next day they didn't see the fracture because it was so swollen, but they did today! It hurts to walk even with the boot, so I won't be at work for awhile.

Needless to say, I am 99.9999% sure I won't EVER be going to the Turkey Bowl again!!!

Hoping for a fast recovery,
Matt E.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Working "on the night shift"

The above picture is a stained glass rooster that lights up. My sister passed it on to me. I absolutely love it and enjoy it late at night or early in the morning (when I am here in my own home at those times!).

I had intended to blog long before now. It's not a wise thing to decide what you're going to blog about next time because I have discovered it caused a little writer's block!

I wanted to blog regarding resuming direct patient care in nursing. I feel a lack of words to describe the whole experience. I started in July, have finished up all the training and made it past the 3 month orientation time. I was very high anxiety looking at what jobs were available and then going through interviews. Many of my fears and anxieties seem silly, in hindsight. In reality, at the time, they were more legitimate. Some of the things that I hadn't done in nursing for a long time...certain skills...were worrisome. I have found not much has really changed as far as those skills and much of it is truly like riding a bicycle again.

I had a sweet friend who treated me to lunch who had recently gone back into nursing herself after 20 years of being completely away and not much real time experience under her belt before she stayed home to be with her babies. She had been back for about 6 months at the time I had lunch with her. She was so reassuring and comforting to me! She was even working night shifts, which helped me to accept my current position. She was surviving, so I figured I could too! She was better than a therapist! If you see this,my friend, thank you so very much!

I am truly happy to be doing this kind of job again. When I clock out, I know I have made a difference in the patients' lives, even if it was a hard shift or a rough night to stay alert. I give the kind of care I expect for myself or my family.

I have noticed it is much easier to work when not having to worry about babies and small children! I only had a couple of years to enjoy that before our first child was born and I remember those feelings of anxiety about being away from the baby. My husband was wonderful in caring for our children when they were small as I worked at the hospital...we worked opposite shifts in order to minimize daycare,etc. I know many young mothers who are working nights like this now. With the advent of 12 hr. shifts, they can be home 4 nights a week and only work 3 nights a week.

The night shifts have been hard on my body and I have picked up every bug that goes around. I am hoping to be scheduled for some day shifts soon and feel that will make a difference. I am grateful to be able to be prn for now, which means I can control my schedule better, but have no benefits, including paid time off. If I don't work, I don't get paid. For this year, that's good. Our first grandbaby will be born in the next couple of weeks and I will have the pleasure of caring for her one day a week. We have another wedding coming up in March and a graduation from high school in May. These are all major life events, so balancing my schedule is of vital importance this year!

I am so grateful I had my education to be an RN out of the way before marriage! It kept my options open during my motherhood years and made it so much easier to transition. I encourage the young women growing up today to obtain your educations! You never know what twists and turns life will take and you want to make sure you will be in a position to support yourself and children, if need be.

I love the field of nursing because there are so many branches to explore. It can be hard, inconvenient work. There will be times you work when you want to be with everyone else in your family who might be enjoying a holiday without you. But it is never boring! Every shift is different, you meet so many different types of people and have so many different type of experiences with them! In addition to that, you get to mix it up with so many different types of coworkers and yet, still pull together to be a team.

I feel very blessed, even if I am working " on the night shift" for now! V.Evelo RN

Monday, September 7, 2009


Life has been full of changes for our family since Feb. I attribute it all to subscribing to Direct TV in Feb. Since then, it's been one change after the other! For years, having cable out here where we reside was not even an option. Then it became an option, but we held the line. Kids needed to be reading and studying, not wasting time on television! This past Feb. we finally decided that Discover, History, and all those other channels would be good for the last kid's education, who was very much missing all the action of siblings who had flown the nest. That was the beginning of changes. First of all , the older kids were absolutely incredulous that we were finally doing this. Then, our supplementary job ended....a week or so after we subscribed to that Direct TV thing! We decided I would go back to direct patient care with my nursing degree a year early. We had previously decided we would wait till last kid was done with his high school courses. Since he still needed supervision, plus company, we agreed June would be my month to start looking and go back. By July 6, I was in orientation at a new job.

That was a big change for all of us. No one could just get me at the drop of a hat anymore on the phone. Sometimes, they had to wait for hours now to speak to me. I was very fatigued and on knowledge overload for a month, so I wasn't as much fun to speak to as I had been. After my first 12 hour day shift on orientation, I came in the door and literally said to my family,"Don't anyone speak to me. I have no energy left."! Then the change of switching to night shift started in July. Thank goodness it is only 2 shifts a week, because my body is still wondering about this change and what I am doing to it.

Then, we needed to get a car for the youngest kid to drive to community college classes, in addition to seminary. But the car died that had been faithful to two daughters through nursing school. So now, we needed two new vehicles. After driving very old Toyota vans around for 21 years (not the same ones, just old ones replacing older ones), we went for two old, but new to us, Honda CRV's. Our time was running out to get everyone situated with a vehicle, so these were actually both bought in one day! All four kids were astounded! I think they thought we were losing it at about this point. Two younger kids inherited current old Toyota vans.

In December, our first grandchild will be born! I am trying to keep a schedule that will allow me to keep her one day a week for her parents. In March, our third child will be getting married! A few months later, our last child will be graduating from high school. This will definitely be a couple of very eventful years in the life of our family!

Another time, I will blog about going back into my nursing career after being with my kids for so many years. I am still pinching myself. I am thrilled to be back involved with direct patient care again. I always liked my nursing career, but wanted to be with my kids while they were growing and learning more. I do not regret doing it this way. Staging was a good thing for our whole family.

But I think Direct TV should come with an advisory warning: Subscribing to this service may set off a series of serious changes in your life!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Flowers Cheer the Heart

I wanted to share some of the flowers from our yard on my blog. I look forward to our yard blooming every year...especially our hibiscus trees which have their own story. We have not been successful in keeping hibiscus trees alive from one spring to the next. Yet, I love to drive up in my driveway and see these trees blooming right in front of our house. I just feel happy when I see everything blooming,but especially the hibiscus trees. So, every year, my husband patiently buys two more for my birthday (it's a good thing I'm a May birthday!) and plants them again. We are grateful for our large yard that we've been able to plant such a variety of plants in. One of my biggest regrets is that we did not buy pecan trees when we bought our land in 1986 and plant them then. We would have been harvesting pecans for many years now. Our money was always so tight that we just didn't budget those pecan trees in. Well, they are planted now, so in a few years, in time for grandchildren to help pick them up, we will harvest pecans.I am anxiously waiting for my first tomato sandwich, cannot wait for the blackberries and raspberries and all the other treats we are hopeful will come forth. Some of those we have to wait a year or two on. With some fruit plants, you have to pick the blooms off the first year. We are learning as we go.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Hubby

I have had many moments of thinking about how I could write about my husband. His qualities are so varied, it has been hard to even think of addressing them. However, he is so important to me and we blog about important things, right?

His sense of humor carries our family. It always has. Sometimes it seems too much and the kids will beg me to ask him to knock it off. We have noticed when he gets too much sleep, he really gets on a roll. But he can make all of us laugh and lighten up when things are heavy and serious. His ability to recall scenes in movies and recount them is amazing! We often say people could save their money and just ask him to recount a movie for them. His baseball/softball skills amaze us. He truly enjoys continuing to play. I was so proud of him a few years ago when he decided he would try baseball again. I know he was so nervous as he approached the field the first time. I was so happy for him after the first game when it was obvious he could still play and play well! It's always fun for me to watch younger guys see the white haired man come out to play, hear them make some put down type jokes and see how fast they shut up and start respecting him.

I couldn't write about him and not zone in on his hair! If you've seen him, you know how beautiful it is! We cannot go anywhere without complete strangers commenting on it. One of my favorite incidents revolves around our trip to Helen, GA in 2003. We were hiking way out in the middle of nowhere to see a certain waterfall and two older women came up the path from the waterfall. They immediately commented on his hair. I told him even in the middle of nowhere...you get compliments on your hair! All of our older female clients over the years had to talk to me about his hair again and again. A new story popped up recently. He was drawing blood on a young lady who was very ill and was in the process of vomiting. In between bouts of vomiting, she looked up at him and commented on how beautiful his hair was!

His hair is a physical characteristic that, unfortunately, probably won't always be with him. But his inward qualities will always be there. He is so kind and gentle. He is a good listener. He is empathetic. He is a peaceful man. He seeks to understand people and what might be motivating certain behaviors. He is forgiving, even at times when those who are in need of forgiveness are not even seeking it.

He is definitely a team player in the home and in our marriage. He loves to cook and prepared the first meal when we moved into the house we reside in. He actually had a big say in designing that kitchen. He makes his children's wedding cakes. He grinds his own wheat and bakes bread. He is very involved in his gardening and planting different things in our yard. He was always equally involved in the care of our children from the very beginning. He has been one of the most engaged, involved fathers I've ever met. Even with working an extra part time job for 20 years, he has always had time for his children. He won't tell you that coaching one son's Little League team was his favorite thing (mainly because of over intense parents) but he will tell you coaching his daughters' softball team was very meaningful to him. His respect for women has strengthened our daughters and has had a tremendous influence on their self-esteem. He has always supported all of us in our endeavors.

He keeps developing and learning new skills. He actually truly does amaze me. We are about to celebrate our 29th year of marriage in May. It has zoomed by! Were all of these qualities there from the beginning of the marriage? No...we both had much to learn, especially with communicating, which is something most young couples have to work on. He did have many insensitive moments in our early marriage. But because we learned to truly talk to each other and talk things out, he developed his listening and empathy skills. He did not know how to work through conflict when we were first married and utilized the silent treatment method which can be just as bad as the blow up method (which I would eventually go to after a couple of days of silent treatment and not getting to the issue). He had a terrible time learning to apologize when he had offended,even when he knew right away he needed to apologize. I am so grateful we learned to talk our issues out..we usually get to quick resolution in a few minutes now whenever there is an issue.It's amazing to me that since we love each other so much, we usually don't have lines drawn around our solution to a problem. We both just automatically brainstorm and come up with solutions that work for both of us. Just knowing what each other is thinking and seeing about a situation can usually clear things up quickly. Being able to be honest with each other knowing there will be no grudges held, is a priceless gift to give to each other.

He loves the Lord. Because he loves Him, the way he treats others is consistent. He is no respecter of persons. He doesn't understand people who behave like different personalities in their various situations. The personal service he has given to many elderly people over the last 20 years of his part time job has awed me. He would see a need and go back, on his own time, to take care of it. He truly believes in serving others.

He was so quiet when I first brought him home to meet my parents and siblings, they didn't know what to think of him. He is loved and respected by them and loves them in return. He didn't pause for a second when we realized we needed to get involved with my grandmother's health crisis and help her get through it. Our home and lives were disrupted for a little bit, but he enjoyed her presence in our home and also received some cooking tips from her! He grieved when she died and also when my stepfather passed away over two years ago. Both of those times were some of the worst moments of my life and he was right there with me through them.

He says he was the lucky one. I know I was the lucky one. I am so grateful I met him when I did. He is a continuing example to me. I love my husband. I am grateful for our marriage and our experiences together. I could literally write a book and I think I almost have.....Vicky

Friday, February 27, 2009

Loving, Helping Family Members

I am in the process of finding a new job. My part time work in the home respiratory sector (oxygen patients) has come to an end after 20 years of it. We were hoping to stretch it out for another 6 months to a year,but Congress passed new legislation regarding Medicare reimbursement for oxygen patients a couple of years ago and the financial impact has just hit the companies last month. All of the oxygen companies are now scrambling, trying to find ways to stay in the business and still make a profit. Since I am an RN, I am in a good position to find new employment. I just need to find a good fit since we are still home-educating our last child. In the process of going out to apply for positions this morning, I needed to update my resume, which brings me to the point of this particular blog.

As I was drifting off to sleep, I tried to remember how my resume looked and just how much editing I would need to do, since the last time I used it was to apply for a Dept. of Education job (long story) which was not in my regular field. I woke up a little anxious this morning. Did I mention resumes are not my strong skill? My skills are with ill people. I found the resume file quickly and remembered the whole scenario two and a half years ago, as our youngest son became my hero. Someone really wanted me in the DOE position and was moving fast. I had to file a resume online pronto. I had not done a resume since nursing school in 1980. Panic attack. My son, who had just finished a virtual business course, jumped in and saved the day. As I reviewed the resume this morning, I was struck again by what an excellent job he had done on it. A couple of edits and my resume is ready to go!

My mind wandered to how many times my children have helped me. We typically think of how much parents do for their children over the years, but I have been helped so much by my children in our reciprocal relationships over the years. I cannot begin to list them all, but I can give a few examples.

After my neck surgery in 2003, which was very traumatic, I had a hard time coming out of anesthesia. I had problems breathing normally. I would go in and out of awareness. One thing I carry a clear memory of is our daughter Lindley who was 15 then. She had been volunteering at the hospital during the previous year and I had not even realized what skills she had gained. She glued herself to my bedside during that awful period of time and took care of me as well as any experienced nurse could have. She already knew at that time she was going to be a nurse in her future. I will always be grateful as she patiently fed me ice chips time and again and just had herself available to me.

Our daughter Shelley is an "old soul". When she had just a little age on her, she was already playing second mother to the rest of the kids. Since I am not creative even one little bit, she saved me every Halloween with taking over the Halloween costumes. In fact, any time creativity has been called for, I call on Shelley for help automatically. She's that good. She had always kept an extra watch over her siblings. She was watching over the younger two's Facebook and MySpace accounts the minute they had them. And she has taken on the task of updating my look!Since I am not always willing to be updated, she has had great patience with me. How many other women have a personal shopper without paying for it?

Our son, Jared, also played a role in watching out for younger siblings. However, I think Jared's greatest contribution to my life is intellectually stimulating my mind! We do not agree on many topics, but he makes me stretch myself to really think about issues and topics. When he was 17, we were driving along and he made the pronouncement that the American Revolution should really never have happened. He believed it was just wrong. I was about to drop him off at TCC and I almost wrecked the car! Well, after my pondering, I realized he had been raised to obey the laws of the land, so applying that to the early American revolutionaries had helped him to come to that conclusion. The Jared 9 years later is a very patriotic American and is deeply concerned about his country,which has led to many many discussions and comparing of thoughts.

All of our children have been totally supportive with every endeavor or project I have undertaken as has my husband. Years ago, the whole group of them did many a nursery, set up and clean up as I and other ladies carried out activities for our women's organization at church, the Relief Society. They were always there to help with all of it.

I am not going to go into my husband's help and support right now, since that is worthy of a whole blog (actually a book!) by itself. Needless to say, he has set the example to our children of a supportive spouse and partner.

Our children are some of my heroes in life. Their dad and I have sacrificed much over the years to raise them and don't regret a minute of it. However, they have surely blessed our lives just as much. We have had so much joy due to them. As the older two have selected spouses and the third one has selected her future spouse, the family has been strengthened and enhanced.Everything is not always perfect. We have to practice patience and long-suffering with each other at times, just as every family. We are blessed to be able to communicate with each other, even when it's painful, and get over it. That is a tremendous blessing in our family. The family setting really is like a laboratory and we do practice on each other. If you have blow-ups, you clean up, analyze what happened, forgive, and go on. So a big thank you to our children! You are each so important and vital in our family setting!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fish Galore!

On Thursday my dad was off of work, so we decided to go fishing. We left around 11am and just explored for some good spots (We never found any). Then we decided to go to St. Marks Lighthouse, and fish at some of the bodies of water there. So as we were fishing, I got lucky (actually it was all skill) and caught an 8 pound 1 1/2 foot long Large-Mouth Bass!!!!
All my dad caught was a 6 inch brim.

It was a fun trip overall, because usually only my dad catches ANYTHING! And I never catch anything, but this time I caught the biggest fish I ever have. Below are some pictures if you wish to see it. Please comment!!!!!

Until next time...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Holding a Family Together"

I have been thinking over the years of our family life, which seem to have zoomed by. As I was pondering one night, I realized there were some quotes that I referred to frequently over the years to inspire,uplift and motivate me. In the hopes this may be helpful to someone else, I decided to share.

The quote with the title,"Holding a Family Together" by Spencer W. Kimball was used in a talk in 1999. It came into my life in the year 2000. There had been great intensity in our home for a year or so. It was quite a time for our family. It struck me with such great force and I had periods of time I would refer to it daily.

"It is an act of greatness and heroism to hold a family together, to set before them an example, to teach them in ways of truth, to live a life of consistency, to provide necessities, to nurse and serve in sickness, to wash, to cook, to clean, to make, to mend, to counsel, to love, to understand, to pray,to be patient, and to do the thousand other things that it takes to rear a family, to make a house a home - and to do it every day, sometimes without seeming gratitude - and to lead a family righteously unto eternal life."

This quote strengthens me again and again in all of the different situations and twists and turns our family life takes.

Another one that I have to paraphrase and I still haven't located it again to give credit to the author, "That which you love you sacrifice for and that which you sacrifice for, you love." I think this is profound and it bears out in real life. Serving others brings you to a higher level of love for them.

My last quote I memorized and began quoting to myself as a teenager, "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me" (Phillipians 4:13) There have been many days and times I did not feel I could accomplish certain things, but as I pray for help, I have been helped, again and again.

Our family is such a blessing to me. As a nurse before the days of Hospice, I took care of many dying patients in the hospital. It always struck me that jobs, houses, social status, etc. were not on their minds as they were dying. It was always their families. I saw many patients hang on with their last reserves until a certain family member could get there to say goodbye.

I do not feel as our kids are leaving the nest that our duties to our family will be done. I believe extended family members have an obligation and duty to be there to help the families hold together. Not to enable or encourage younger families to be weak or dependent, but to encourage and strengthen where need be. There will need to be good communication so that expectations match up and resentments not brew. I look forward to the growth of our family in the years ahead.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Aunt Bee or Alice! Where are you?

I have decided I need to find one of them for our household. For those of you who are not immediately picking up on this due to being younger than me, Aunt Bee is a character on the "Andy Griffith" show of Mayberry. She was Andy's aunt. He is a widower with a young son, Opie. Alice is the live-in housekeeper for "The Brady Bunch". These women are not so noticeable on these shows and quite taken for granted. However, the older I get, the more I appreciate the role these women played in their fictional TV family lives. Everyone else runs in and out of the house, having adventures and dramas while these two steady eddies keep the houses running like a dream, plus take care of the myriad details for their loved ones. I really need one of these women here to help us! In 1998, my grandmother came to stay with us for 3 months in order to have a serious surgery and be supported by our family through it. After she was over the initial shock of the surgery and still facing her intense physical therapy, she was physically in our home most of the time. There was no energy for shopping or sight seeing. So she utilized observing our lives as a distraction. She was shocked by my calendar and all the entries on it and all the running here and there. Now, I had reduced my calendar during this time in order to be available to take her to PT 3 times a week. I did not work my part time job during this 3 months, thanks to my hero husband for taking my workload on. She observed to me she had a new appreciation for my life since it was totally different from hers when she was raising her kids. She told me she did not know how I did it. I had always managed to take the kids and make the 4 hour trip to visit her every couple of months, but before her stay with us, she would let me know in subtle ways she wished she could see us more often. After her return to home, she was just grateful we were able to make it that frequently to see her. In a couple of years, I will be finished raising our children (and finished with the whole homeschooling thing!) and look forward to returning to my profession fulltime. Yet, I also feel trepidation. How will the household run at that time? What I do here is valuable to our family, even the ones who come in and out for Sunday dinner or a visit during the week. I am just so available to all of them. This past Monday, I spent the whole day on the phone trying to make 3 (count them! only 3) Dr. appointments for my husband and I. It turns into an all day thing to make appointments now. I can never watch a rerun of those two shows now without focusing more on Aunt Bee or Alice than on the main characters.Their presence makes the lives of everyone else easier. Lest anyone think my husband is a deadbeat around the house, he is the reason I was able to do all my grandmother observed. We have always helped each other since the beginning of our marriage. I guess together we make an Aunt Bee or Alice and I will have to rely on that when I merge back into the busy highway of fulltime nursing!