Thursday, July 31, 2008


Mary left yesterday. Who is Mary you ask? Well, she is a dear, dear lady! She and my mom became friends when my mom was pregnant with me and Mary was pregnant with her son, Tom. So, basically, Mary has known me ALL my life. I had not seen her in years and we had the best week. We played cards until at least midnight every night. We went to Yellowstone and had a blast. No matter how many times I have seen it, it is still fun to go and see it for the first time thru someone else's eyes. It is a place of wonder for sure.

Mary brought her granddaughter Hannah who is 16. My oldest are 17 and 15 and they all 3 had a blast together. They were just like family in no time.

Friends are so fabulous! New friends are great, but old friends are a unique blessing. Kinda like that old pair of shoes that always feel just right.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This is Hope, my mom's cat. She is definitely not underfed...

Friday, July 25, 2008


Today is 21 years that I have been married to Sean. The truth is, I saw the floral truck and wondered who had sent me flowers... then when the red roses appeared, I thought, those must be from Sean, but WHY?? My next thought was: "Oh my gosh, what is the date, is it my anniversary?" See, I knew it was coming... I just had not pinned down an actual day in my head yet. The really pathetic part is this has happened the past 3 years!! How you ask?? I have no good answer to that. I am unorganized???? Is that reasonable? If the roles were reversed I would be SO pissed! Sean just laughed when I called him and said, "I got you again!"

I will be honest with you, the past year has been the hardest so far of the 21. I will not disclose the reasons here, but the truth is, neither one of us is the person we were 21 years ago. That is not good or bad, but just the facts. It is actually good and bad. Good that we are learning to be true to ourselves, bad because we have struggled thru that apart instead of growing together thru it. No matter what, here are the things I know to be true about Sean:
1. He is a GOOD GOOD man at his core.
2. He loves his kids with all his heart.
3. He will do anything within his power to provide for me anything I really want.
4. This marriage means enough to him that he remembers it on his own every year - even if it took the first 10 years I knew him before he finally remembered my birthday was the 20th and not the 21st!!
Bottom line, no matter where we are emotionally in our marriage, I love him just because we have been thru a lot. I will always love him.


Well it has been an interesting few days. Jake woke up a couple of days ago with chest pain radiating down his left arm. He was asking to go to the hospital, which was my first clue this must be serious! This kid HATES doctors. Bottom line is Pericarditis, inflammation of the lining of his heart probably caused by a virus. I still don't have too many answers... I will back up.

So, we headed to the ER, Sean, Jake and I. They ran the normal blood tests, everything was normal, except his cardiac enzymes were high. They then did an EKG - which had a few small glips, but was a normal sinus rhythm for the most part. Then they did a chest xray. His blood pressure was a little wacky, going from 137/60 to 90/55, etc... So, after a bit the doctor came in. Sean has just stepped out. The doctor sat down, and said, "well, we had found the cause." Then looked over and seeing Sean not there asked, "is you husband coming back?" I said he would be back in a few minutes. He said,"well, I will just come back and tell you when he is in here" My heart fell,"Is it bad?" Dr: "Not bad, but something to be concerned with" and walked out... IDIOT!!! I thought he was dying by the time Sean came back. I have 3 kids and have never had a Doctor say something like that. On the other hand, I have never had a kid with a heart condition. Still think he handled it poorly. Anyway, So when we were all in there he explained it was Pericarditis and we needed to see the cardiologist at 3:30. They released us.

We came to the cardiologist at 3:30 and the tech did and echo cardiogram...essentially it is a sonogram of the heart. Then he just releases us. Well, mama had a lot of questions that were not being answered by anyone as of now. So, I began to ask them... the tech said the test results would be released to Jake's MD and to call him with questions. So, I did. Luckily he had received the labs from the ER. He said to use ibuprofen for pain every 8 hours. So, here we are three days later and still no results from the Sonogram. We have an appointment with Dr Burton, Jake's MD at 4 today and he is suppose to have the results of the test by then. I certainly hope so.

Jake is doing really well though. We increased his Reliv and added in the cardioessentials. Within an hour of his first shake like that his pain and pressure left and has never returned! That is such a blessing!! He is fatigued though. If he walks more than 10 foot he is just worn out. Showering almost puts him under. From my friend MR Google, I think that is all just par for the course and at least he isn't hurting.

I want a boring life, maybe just for a week or two, is that possible?

Monday, July 21, 2008


I am frustrated. I have been on the phone all morning, LITERALLY!! Here is the scoop. My daughter needs her immunization records to be admitted to MSU. She had two pediatricians in TX that did her shots, the first one retired, the second one died. I am blindly calling from 1700 miles away to find this records... I talked to MSU health services today and they said she could just go to the doctor and have a blood test done to determine immunity. Wow - that sounded simple! So, called drs office we use here, they are hesitant to do the test...I only spoke with the receptionist - she said the cost is outrageous! Is that $150 or $1500 I want to know?? The nurse is suppose to call me back. In the meantime I called Texas Tech in Odessa, TX and they keep sending me to different phone numbers, I will call back now that their lunch break is over...wonder which department I will get next?? Medical Records you say??? NO - they don't have her record in medical records, that would be too simple!! What do you suppose they have in the medical records department? I am curious.
Off on my wild goose chase again! May you all find everything you need in one phone call today - that is my wish for you!!

UPDATE - OK I finally got an honest person that gave me the scoop. This explains why I have been getting the run around for awhile. Apparently when Dr C died, his office staff took all the records and dumped the paper work out of the folders into boxes. So, all the old stuff is all mixed up in boxes that were then taken to some church's basement...weird, right? So, this nice lady is going to go to that church and see if she can find the right box and the right records. She said they have patients they have never found their entire medical records yet... I will keep you posted.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Well, I am still fighting this silly internet - but hey, that is life, right? We can get on rarely and only for brief periods of time, so hopefully I will be able to get this posted before it is gone again.

I wanted to post about something really hard to talk about. I hope that you will understand where I am coming from with this. The emotion of it feels so strong in my chest that I am sure it will be hard to put into words what I really want to say.

Julie is a very dear friend to me. She had read Paula Dean's newest book and told me I needed to read it, but it took me months and months and I just started it. Julie kept telling me that I had a lot in common with Paula...but I didnt' really see how it could be so much. Well, I think maybe some of it is just how she feels about things and how she sees life.

Aside from the obvious cooking, the way Paula describes her panic is so true to my own life. She makes a statement about how sad it was for her, but how much sadder for her kids because they didn't have a whole mama. That is so true. I was always a strong woman that did anything she wanted ALL my life until 2001. That was the year I became ill. The kind of illness that sweeps the rug right out from underneath you. I was SO physically sick all those years, but it was the anxiety that was the hardest. It was debilitating. I would even tell those closest to me, "I could handle being sick the rest of my life if the dang anxiety would just leave!" I am so glad I didn't have to live the rest of my life with any of it.

I can remember people close to me, people I was depending on saying, "Just get over it." I pray they never truly know the terror of what dealing with that paralyzing fear on a daily basis felt like. I pray if I was in their shoes I would be more compassionate, but would I? I will never really know. I used to be kind of a hard person about weakness. I always thought anyone can overcome anything if they want to bad enough. What I didn't know, but learned thru my dark years is that sometimes a person needs help. I am grateful for that lesson. I am glad even as strong as I am getting now, I never have to do it all on my own. I am glad I can lean on those that love me and allow them to lean on me. Being able to be honest and swollow my pride and admit to needing help was hard, but SO worth learning. Good can and usually does come out of the bad, if we choose to grow and change in a positive way. I want to keep growing to be a better Michele than I am today. As far as I have come, there is still a long way to go.

By the way, thanks for the prayers for Herman - he is out of the hospital now! Woo hoo!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I wonder why some people let life make them bitter? Don't get me wrong, life is hard sometimes and I sometimes just think it sucks in general. I just don't get people that are just grumpy and bitter all the time. Everything is always terrible and every one is out to get them. You know the kind? I honestly do not think whatever I did they would be happy.
It was a bad day, a day of literally crazy people, but hey, when you are dealing with people, these days will happen. I am just glad they are very rare! Tomorrow is a new day and will be full of fun, happy people I hope... the good news is, I made another chocolate cake and this one was FABULOUS!! Just so you know...I will get a picture tomorrow. It took a very confident woman to actually post that ugly cake. :)!! I had to make another chocolate cake anyway, nothing helps a bad day more than a hug from someone that loves you and chocolate cake. Guess I had my cake, now I will seek out that hug.

I'm Back!!

I am back in the cyber world! It is so weird how I lived for years and didn't even know what "getting on line" was... now, I feel totally shut off from the world if the internet isn't working. I don't really have very many vices, but I am pretty addicted to email and blogging. Everytime I open my mail it is like opening a present - who wrote and what did they say!! On a side note - if you are a praying person, please pause and say a prayer for my dear friend Herman. He is the one I blogged about awhile back, He is in the hospital in Dallas and they are running tests... I pray he is OK. I love him very much! He has become very dear to me, as we email daily, and sometimes more than once a day!! My inbox has been very lonely without him.

I was so excited to check out everyone's blogs today! It is like seeing little glimpses of people's lives. So, as big as this Internet world feels like my own little intimate space sometimes. I am glad to be back in it...

Monday, July 14, 2008


My internet has been down all weekend!! I am getting pretty frustrated. Remember about a month ago when it was down??? I hope they fix it right this time or I am going to switch servers... Just call me frustrated in Montana...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ugly Cake

OK - I have made an ugly cake. I mean the strangest cake I have ever seen! Tomorrow is a dear friend's birthday and we are going to float the river, and then have a picnic afterward. So I said, "I will bring the cake!" Which is normally not a big deal for me... I love to cook and do it pretty well if I do say so myself. NOT tonight... I have finally figured out I put one cup sugar and one cup flour instead of two of each. So, the cake is kinda like a torte texture... also the cocoa all baked on the top, so it looks white on bottom and brown on top - just strange. On top of that, the frosting turned out in a way I don't' even know how to describe. I truly have NO idea what I left out if it. I thought if I smeared it on the hot cake it would soften and melt it, it didn' is just sitting on top in ugly lumps...unspreadable. I will try to snap a picture tomorrow. OH well, Eric will be getting a bought cake cuz I do not have time to make another one tomorrow!!
Wonder why these things only happen when I am baking for someone else? OH well, not my day for cake apparently!! A lot of more important things went right today, so it is all good!!

Family Dynamics

It is interesting how the family dynamics shift when one member is away. It has been interesting this week to see how everyone is a little different without Reagan here. I think being a homeschooling family we spend a lot more time together as a whole. On a daily basis we are just used to being all home. I mean we all have our own activities, but the kids are not gone to school during the day, etc...

I have had fun with Jake and Lizzie this week. I think on a whole I spend a lot more time with Lizzie, as she is the youngest. Then generally Reagan and I go quite a bit of places together, like shopping, etc... Jake tends to like to stay home alone if we are all leaving...he is a bit of a loner. He does NOT enjoy shopping with Reagan and I, which is no surprise. I have really tried to purposefully do things that Jake enjoys this week with him. It is really fun to spend time with him and he has been more receptive with Reagan gone. He LOVES to play cards - so we have done that a lot. Also, I have let him pick what he wants for meals, and he has helped cook. By the way, we made a crispy fish with a white chocolate sauce that was to DIE for!!

I guess as a mother of three I don't realize how hard it is at times to actually see each kid individually and try and connect with them on their level. Actually, the little ones are so much easier - Lizzie is content with anything we do as long as I am there with her. Reagan is a little harder at her age, but Jake seems to be the toughest for me to truly connect with. I don't know if it is mostly because I really am clueless about boys. I didn't have any brothers and didn't spend much time with my dad as a kid. Maybe it is partly because in our culture it is acceptable for a girl to desire and seek out her mom, but teenage boys feel they shouldn't want or need that so much. The truth is, I think they do desire it. I am kinda just blabbing here - I don't really know what I am talking about...maybe Citizen can give more insight here.

All I know is I have a very few short years with Jake living in the same house, and even less for Reagan. Even though Lizzie is still young, I know first hand how quickly she will be on the verge of her own life - because these years with Reagan and Jake have really gone so fast. I just want to lay the foundation now to have healthy, fun relationships with my kids for the future! I think this week was one step closer to that for Jake and I.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Swim Lessons

My kid is actually swimming...seems like a small feat - right?? NOT!!!!!!!!! No easy accomplishment with this one. Let me first say that I was a swimmer, as in competitive swimming for years and years. My older two kids were raised in a pool. I have met adult people that did not know how to swim, and I always found it a bit wacky - and thought to myself, "how does that happen???" Well, I have learned how it happens, they were probably petrified and never learned.

I should back up, first of all, I spent 90% of Lizzie's first 4 years of life in bed. So, obviously swimming was not high on the list of priorities...we were all just trying to survive. She has never been around or in a pool much. Last summer we began going to the pool and realized our then 5 year old was PETRIFIED of the water. We did private swim lessons then...she never progressed beyond clinging for dear life to the poor girl's neck.

So, this summer I listened to other people and heard that the Bozeman Hot Springs had the best swim lessons. is a 25 minute drive from us, and how could it really be that much better???? Well, guess what, it has been AMAZING!!! Three private lessons later she is swimming on her back and on her belly! I actually CRIED today when I watched her actually swimming with her face in the water, but don't tell anyone, OK? I would hate to look like a sap. I truly did not know if she would ever be able to learn to swim... and I now have hope! She is still afraid of the deep, but hey, it has only been 3 lessons, right??? Imagine where she will be in 3 more! Hope is such a grand thing!! YEA LIZZIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

San Antonio

Well, Reagan is off to San Antonio. San Antonio in July - who thinks of these things? I realize the people that live in these places do not realize how quickly the Northerners begin melting in the heat. Reagan was one of 12 Episcopal youth chosen to go to this event. It is the 2008 International Episcopal Youth Event. I am sure she will have a blast!

I LOVE Texas. Of course I do, I was born there and lived there the first 30 years of my life. There are lots of spots in Texas that are very dear to me for different reasons. I am not sure why, but San Antonio has always been right up there to one of my favorite Texas towns. It is really a fun place to visit. There is lots of history and the people are friendly and fun. Yep - I am sure she will have a blast.

If anyone wants to follow her trip, there is a blog they are suppose to keep updated. She did an entry under "Reago Pop".

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kick Ball

Oh my gosh, I had the funnest 4th of July in as long as I can remember!!!!! We had a party at my mom's house, which is next door to me by the way, and it was WAY fun! We had great food, great friends, and great fun. We played a game that I have no idea what it was called... __________ ball: there is a little yellow ball, which is thrown then 4 green balls, and 4 red balls that are thrown as close to the yellow ball as you can get them...anyone know what I am talking about? Oh well, it was fun.

Next, we had a game of kickball, with people for 6 yrs - 60 yrs. We all had a blast. When I think of it now, my heart actually fills to swelling with gratitude at being a part of it. First of all, even last 4th my health was improving, but I NEVER could have played a game of running for hours. Secondly, to see my mom and her improved health and other friends as we all played and laughed - what a blessing! Alex is the son of my best friend, Julie. He was so sick for so many years and to see him healthy and happy - there are not words to describe the joy. My friend, Zak, always says, "Reliv is not about making a buck off your buddy. It is about helping those you love and care about." It is SO true. No amount of money in the world can equal the feeling of knowing you have been a part in giving someone their health back.

Then we ate watermelon and shot off TONS of fireworks. Please allow me to be a little passive - aggressive and say I hope it was enough to irritate the neighbors that like to spray pesticides in our yards. I hope they weren't overly irritated, but a little irritated would be OK with me. :)

I am just so grateful for yesterday, and all the great days to come.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July

On this 4th of July I am grateful for the men and women that have in the past and are presently representing my country. Let's pray for the Veterans - past and present and their families as we celebrate today with our own friends and families.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I have a dear friend. I actually met him when I was a kid, so he has known me almost all of my life. We went on many mission trips together as I was growing up. He and his wife were friends with my parents.

None of us had seen or heard from them in many years and then a couple of years back I found them on the Internet. So, H and I have emailed almost daily for about 2 years. It has been really such a blessing to me. He is always encouraging and affirming. When I have a problem he can almost always make me see it in a different way. I just truly admire his wisdom.

Last summer they were able to come out for a visit and we had a great time!! As soon as they walked off the plane and I saw them, I began to cry - after so many years to be able to see them and hug them - it was wonderful!

I sent him an email a few days ago. I asked him for prayer for a situation with a relative. It is not something in my immediate family, but is affecting my loved one deeply and he responded with kind words, and then closed his email with these words: "I am with you in joy and sorrow----LOVE H" It really touched me, mostly because I know he means it and it is the truth. I am SO grateful God has put him back in my life!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Mom and I put a garden in this past week...better late than never, right? Besides, I know a few people that put theirs in early June and lost everything due to freezing. I used to always garden. This is the first year I have had the energy to mess with a garden in a long while. I am VERY excited! I feel so blessed.

Planting with my mom was a joy. We came back in the house dirty and sweaty and neither of us complained a bit! It is such a joy to feel good enough to be able to do it. My mom was on a cane almost full time 2 years ago, and today she gardened with me - WOW! God is amazing!!