Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Friday, October 18, 2013

Why nothing is getting done around here...

Song for a Fifth Child

Photo: What a difference a day makes.  He developed some breathing problems last night then the vomiting started.   We will be here watching MORE Tom & Jerry for a while longer.

 Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her his eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

My little fifth child is just out of the hospital after getting aspiration pneumonia following surgery.  We're just hangin' and I'm good with that.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Julia's Guardian Angel

Dear Friends -
This is our daughter Julia.  She is 13 and has a life threatening allergy to peanuts.  1/100 of a peanut could and probably would kill her if she ingested it.  She could possibly die if she comes into contact with peanuts because her body sends blood rushing to the area touched by the allergen, causing blood to pool in the area (typically extremities) resulting in a drop in blood pressure and possible stroke.

She recently met Bullet, an Australian Labradoodle that is a Peanut Detection Dog.  His job is, like a narcotics dog, to sniff out peanuts and peanut residue for people that have life threatening peanut allergies.

On Sunday we called 911 after arriving home from our Montana vacation. Julia had touched something with peanut residue at a restaurant on the way home. Within minutes, her fingers, knuckles and hands were swollen and covered with hives. She must have also brushed her lips because they were swelling up, too.

We've been contemplating getting a peanut detection dog for Julia for almost a year now, but there is just no way we can afford it.

Today we decided we just have to ask for help.

Please check out our fundraising site.

Thank you for taking a look and please pray that Julia will be able to raise the money for a guardian angel.

By the way, we are quite certain that the contact happened when she touched something in the bathroom at the restaurant, possibly the bathroom door.   Whatever it was, it was small enough to not be visible or smell-able because she is overly scrupulous about what she touches.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Live Blogging at Irish Fair

My kids are dancing this weekend. Come on down and check them out!!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Yet another Austen Allegory...

My very favorite character in Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen is Colonel Brandon.  He always does the right thing.  He takes care of his niece.  He loves Marianne Dashwood and, while he sees her falling for Mr. Willoughby, he does the right thing and steps back.  When Mr. Willoughby is proven a cad, Marianne falls heartbroken.  She also falls ill and it is Colonel Brandon, who ultimately needs "an occupation lest he go mad..."  He who had carried her in when she fainted.  Finally, he rides off to get her mother when he can do nothing else.

Today one of my very best friends was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  She will need to remain in the hospital for 6 weeks, followed by 8 months of chemo, then perhaps a bone marrow transplant.

I have been uber busy the last several weeks overseeing Catholic Vacation Bible School.  My dear friend helped to get out our confirmation letters to each student, helped package art kits for craft time and on the very last day of CVBS, gave me a meal.   And while this was all happening, she was moving.  I told her she didn't look like she felt well and she just sighed and said, "Yes, I have been very tired."  Last week, I had three sick children and company coming, so I didn't realize how sick she had gotten and she ended up with having a bone marrow biopsy on Friday, last, one week from when she said she was very tired.

This morning she shared an initial diagnosis of leukemia and lymphoma.  I spent the day crying.  I cried because I was too busy last week to realize she might have needed my help.  I cried because I didn't know the extent of her illness and that she took care of me in my time of need.  I cried because I didn't know how serious it was and felt helpless.  I cried because I love her like a sister, her husband like a brother and her kids like my own.  I paced the house, trying to find things to do to help.  I felt like Colonel Brandon, like I needed an occupation, lest I go mad. 

Her husband called me to tonight to share the full details.  Finally those of us who have been asking how to help, know what they need.  That's no consolation, but at least we have an occupation so we can, at the least, feel like we're helping.

If you have time, can you say a prayer to Blessed Fr. Anibal asking his intercession on my friend's behalf?  He'll know who you are talking about without having to name her because he's hearing many, many prayers from those of us who got her request to pray for his intercession.  Click on the picture for his intercessory prayer.
Regardless of your denomination, please pray for my friend.  We need a miracle.  Her husband and 4 kids need one, too.

2nd Annual John Brunstad Memorial Run

On April 6, 2011, my dear brother-in-law, John died in his sleep from complications of Type-1 Diabetes.  He was an avid runner, having many marathons under his belt.  To remember John, and to help support Diabetes research, my sister has organized the 2nd Annual John Brunstad Memorial Run on July 20, 2013 at the beautiful Red Cedar River Trail in Menomonie, WI (just about an hour away).

If you are a runner, a walker, or know someone with Type-1 Diabetes, please consider participating.  There is a 10K and a 2K option (which is what my family will be doing). If you can't make it, please pray for good weather and a great turn out.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Do you ever feel this way?

from Sandra Boynton's Philadelphia Chickens
sung by Meryl Streep
Nobody Understands Me
Nobody understands me,
although I wish they would.
Nobody understands me.
I hate being misunderstood. 1
Nobody understands me,
no matter how I try.
Nobody understands me,
and I can’t understand why.
When I think of all the glorble snop
I’ve tried so hard to explain!
They all look amused,
or a little confused.
Why can’t they see what I mean?
(It’s very snooffly.)
Nobody understands me,
though memmily blitt each day.
Nobody understands me,
but I guess zooglobble that way.
How can I make you understand?
How can I make you see?
Why does my queckery biffle you so?
Where will this ezzleboo dornut go?
What do explectionary inuews know?
When will you yuddle for me?
Nobody beezifies me.
Nobody febbin ud.
Kibblezy deen voo nizee!
I hate being misunderstood.

I do...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Sugar Added - Nut Free Energy Bars - SunButter Balls and Cherry Garcia Balls

I cannot eat Larabars because I have a tree nut allergy.  At Christmas, I make the most divine Sun Butter Cups (think Reese's without the Peanut Butter because of our SEVERELY allergic kid).  Said child mourned the fact she, too, could not have Larabars, which are a staple for several of my children.  So, I came up with this truly divine concoction.

These are not sugar free.  I just don't add any additional sugar above and beyond what is in the ingredients.

SunButter Balls

10 dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water to soften, then drained
1/4 c. cocoa
1/3 c. SunButter
Optional Add-ins:
2 Tbsp. Chia seed
3 Tbsp. Hemp seed
3 Tbsp. raw sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips

Place the dates in a food processor or blender like "The Ninja" and process them until they are finely chopped.  Add the cocoa and SunButter.  Puree until combined.  If you don't want them smooth, just process until mixed.  Remove from the processor and add any "Add-ins" by hand.  Shape into balls and store in an air-tight container. 

With the crunch of the seeds and chocolate chips, these taste like peanut butter cups without all the allergens.

Cherry Garcia Balls
(I love Cherry Garcia Ice Cream - I'm sure this is much better for me than ice cream.)

10 dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water to soften, then drained
1/4 c. cocoa
1/3 c. dried cherries, soaked in boiling water to soften, then drained
Optional   Add-ins:
2 Tbsp. Chia seed
3 Tbsp. Hemp seed
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips

Place the dates in a food processor or blender like "The Ninja" and process them until they are finely chopped.  Add the cocoa and cherries.  Puree until combined.  If you don't want them smooth, just process until mixed.  Remove from the processor and add any "Add-ins" by hand.  Shape into balls and store in an air-tight container.  

These are seriously addictive, but totally squelch any chocolate or sugar cravings I might have.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

Our St. Patrick's Day will revolve around four of our six children dancing in their first ever Irish Step Dance performance.  Today our day is full.  Hubby and oldest son attended our Archdiocesan Men's Conference.  All four kids have a pre-show dance practice as I write this and this afternoon, three children sing at Mass with the Children's Choir.  With Mass out of the way, we will focus on St. Patrick tomorrow.

We're an Irish bunch here.  My husband is half Irish.  I am probably a quarter Irish, maybe more like an eighth...I want to be a quarter :-).  So, is it any wonder we have four children with Irish names or named after Irish descendants?  My husband and I were too broke buying our first house to go on a real big honeymoon, but we took a "second" honeymoon after a year and a half of marriage to go to Ireland.  And, taking Irish Step Dance was a dream come true for my girls and one boy.  The others go along.

Today when we get home from church, I will be putting the girls' hair in tiny curlers so they have the springy Irish curl (no wigs, please).  That will take about an hour.  One daughter has waist length hair.  The other has uncooperatively straight hair!  That will be followed by Tylenol, but I digress...

Tomorrow I want to be all about St. Patrick's Day.  We will feast on Green Scones (recipe to follow), rashers of bacon and green tea.  After we finish breakfast and get ready, we will have a quick lunch before heading out to the Day of Irish Dance at a local exhibition hall.  We will finish up our day by eating at our favorite family restaurant run by an Irish family.  Every year they put up a new calendar with the countdown to St. Patrick's day starting January 1st!  Got to love that!

Happy St. Patrick's Day.  I hope you will be wearing the green and eating or drinking something that comes from Ireland.

St. Patrick's Irish Scones
(AKA Mint Avocado Scones)

2 c. Bisquick (so sue me...the recipe works, okay?!)
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. mashed avocado
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. mint extract
3/4 c. chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (optional, but many gave up chocolate for Lent here, so it is not optional!)
1-2 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the avocado into the Bisquick and sugar.  Add the chocolate chunks and combine.  Add milk and mint extract.  Stir just to combine.  Place dough in a round on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Pat and press down to flatten into a circle about 1" thick.  Cut with a sharp knife and, if possible, separate a bit.  Sprinkle top with sugar.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly and enjoy with a good cup of Irish coffee.