Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rosaries, Mother's Bracelets, and an ITP Update

I had a post rolling around in my head yesterday, didn't make any notes, and now it has escaped my brain. Don't you just love that? ;) Instead, I'll just post some photos of some rosaries and other pieces I've been working on!

A bronze St. Joseph rosary with Jet Czech glass beads. A woman ordered this for her husband because he's worn out his other one from so much use!

Carnelian gemstone with a chalice center. This one will hit the Etsy shop today, so if you need a rosary for a little First Communicant, head on over today!

Mother's bracelets! (Yes, the top one is mine...) The bottom one is a rosary bracelet with saints for the mother's sons on it! (I've been making quite a few of these, and am still taking orders for them!)


I had my hematology appointment yesterday. Pretty much no news and no changes. I'll still be going in every other week for a blood draw and I'll still be on 5mg of Prednisone every day (boo!) and a follow up appointment in 3 months. I'm hoping that my platelets continue to rise or stay where they are, and then there is a possibility of dropping my dose. So ready to be done with Prednisone...well...ITP for that matter. (Doc shot down my theory that chiropractic has helped my platelet levels. Anyway, I'm still going to keep maintaining and pretend she didn't say the things she said...)

And a cute photo of my girls. This was Nora's first time in the car cart at Safeway!

Okay, I guess that's all for now! I need to prepare for Bible study! Must brew more Mystic Monk coffee! (I just got the Irish Cream blend...yum-o!)

Monday, March 24, 2014

1-2-3, a Picnic at the Park, and the Lenten Rosary Winner

I'll start off by saying that Sarah O. won the Lenten rosary! (Converts unite ;)) I've mailed it out and hope she receives it soon! Thank you all for entering the giveaway!

Blood draw day was today. It was the draw before my hematology appointment that I have on Wednesday. I had been nervous for a few days prior to this, because I'd been feeling drained of energy and had experienced a couple bloody noses. I was praying that the platelets had at least stayed above 70, with the previous draw being 74 two weeks ago. (Thanks to everyone on Twitter who prayed for me while I went in and had my blood drawn, and then the waiting that happened until I received the results.)

There was a bit of a wait because I went in later than normal. Thankfully the time passed quickly and my name was called to have my blood drawn. Typical every-other-week activities...sitting in the chair, initialing that the information was correct, flashing my vein, and in goes the needle. The bleeding didn't stop immediately, so I was worried that my platelets had plummeted. The phlebotomist told me to apply more pressure and it finally stopped enough so she could put the bandage on my arm.

I gathered my things and my daughters and headed back to the car. We then headed to the grocery store to purchase items for our picnic! Food items were chosen, we paid, headed back to the car, and drove to the park. Goodness it was such a gorgeous day!

Hannah's friends Sofi and Lily were there with us, along with River, Oliver, and Noah. Great time in the sun and having the littles run around and burn off some energy!

Photo of Hannah and her BFF Sofi holding hands <3

We came home for a bit before heading to the store to get things to make dinner (we had the always-delectable Sesame Beef with Broccoli). During the time spent at home before heading there, the results to my blood draw came. Every time I get that email, I say a Hail Mary then open up the results. What I saw in there, I didn't expect. It started like this: "Wow, your platelets rebounded. Are you still taking Prednisone 5 mg daily?" I scrolled down and saw the number: 123. I immediately started to cry and thank God for His wonderful mercies. I called Chris, then my mom, then my dad. They were all very surprised and extremely happy. My levels haven't been over 100 since the beginning of October, and that was only 101. They were 118 in mid-September. I am hoping and praying that my immune system is healing itself and won't be killing off my platelets anymore. Autoimmune diseases are no fun, especially ones, like ITP, where doctors have no idea why the immune system is attacking itself. If you see this blog post, please pray that they continue to rise into normal range (145-400), even though I'd be perfectly happy if they remain where they are. 123 is a phenomenal number, and my midwife informed me that anything above 120 is fine in her practice. This makes me VERY happy!

My crazy-wacky chart of my platelet levels since my hospitalization. Can you say roller coaster?

Anyway, the girls are now in bed (hopefully for the night) and it's time to relax and pop some bubbly with the husband in celebration of the great news received today! Good night and God bless you all!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Catholic Army Chaplain That is Not My Husband

Strange title, no?

Yesterday the girls and I went to Vercillo's to pick up a few medals for some mother's bracelets I'm making. I can't say it's a normal occurrence to see a priest there. The only other priest I've seen is Fr. Deo Gratias, and I believe he is headed back to Tanzania. Anyway, this guy, Fr. Dan, was a "priest in disguise." He was talking to the lady running the register, and the owner came over and started talking to him as if I was wife. I responded, "That would be scandalous!" He then informed the owner that he was a priest, and yes, that would be scandalous. I got a good chuckle out of it.

Fr. Dan got to talking to the owner and I about how long he's been a priest and about his family and that he was stocking up on items to take with him to Afghanistan next week. He is a Catholic Army Chaplain! God bless him! Anyway I wanted to give him one of my rosaries to take wit him, but I shamefully didn't have one with me. I'm in the process of creating one with twine instead of wire, with Army colors. I'm hoping to get it done this weekend, and hopefully I can somehow track him down (I am a stalker and found him on Facebook) and give it to him before he deploys.

So, if you could keep Fr. Dan Goulet (goo-LAY) in your prayers for the next year while he is in Afghanistan, that would be great! Thank you muchly!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spotlight on Pocket Rosaries

I had never thought to make a one-decade pocket rosary until I was approached to make a lot of more than 25 for a group of First Holy Communion children. They are quick and easy to make and fit in the little hands perfectly, as well as your pocket, without bulking it up. Here are a few images of the ones I have for sale over in my Etsy shop.

Matte Cobalt and Matte Emerald

Amazonite and Mottled Green Turquoise

Amethyst Quartz

Most of these are ready to ship, but others are made to order, while I await the arrival of supplies. They are all $7, which is a fantastic price for these! Go take a look and purchase one for your little one or for yourself! Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Use coupon code LENTEN10 at checkout to receive 10% off!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

'Son of God' Movie Date Night

Chris and I were able to ditch the kids ;) last night for a date night. They were in good hands with my parents, and apparently Nora was an 'angel,' or so says my dad.

We had a gift card to Red Robin (yummm) so decided to dine there. We then headed across the street to Toys 'R' Us, just to browse, but ended up purchasing 'Alice in Wonderland' on DVD because it was massively on sale! We eventually want to have all the Disney classics (we now have this one and Cinderella) so the girls can grow up watching them. It'll be a slow process...

After that, we headed to the theatre and watched 'Son of God.' It. Was. Amazing. So well done. The cast was great and I thought it was pretty true to the Bible. Not sure, but I THINK it was some sort of continuation of 'The Bible' mini-series that aired on The History Channel. We didn't see that, but want to go back and watch it. Yes, I cried at times, but probably would have bawled my eyes out had I been at home instead of in public! I knew what was going to happen, obviously, but still...tears.

After the tears, we headed over to Cold Stone. We had another gift card to use so we decided, what's another few calories? ;) Great date night all around!

Here's the trailer from the official 'Son of God' website:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Sorrowful Mysteries For Lent

As you all know, the rosary is near and dear to my heart. I believe it is a wonderful weapon and such a beautiful way to pray. For a nice, convenient place for all the prayers of the rosary during the Lenten season, I have decided to blog them here. I hope you take the time to pray the rosary every day during Lent as I plan on doing. God bless you all!

I find it helpful, while praying in the car, to listen to a podcast of the rosary. My favorite is Christian Peschken's The Sound of the Rosary. He goes at a nice pace while I pray with the girls, and he has a German accent!

Okay, time to begin!

-In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

-I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

-Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

-Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen (x3)

-Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden (I desire true repentance for my sins.)

"Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch." He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will." Mark 14: 32-36

-Our Father...
-Hail Mary... (x10)
-Glory Be...

The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar (I desire a spirit of mortification.)

"As soon as morning came, the chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of." Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.
Now on the occasion of the feast he used to release to them one prisoner whom they requested. A man called Barabbas was then in prison along with the rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion. The crowd came forward and began to ask him to do for them as he was accustomed. Pilate answered, "Do you want me to release you to the king of the Jews?" For he knew that it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred  up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate again said to them in reply, "Then what [do you want] me to do with [the man you call] the king of the Jews?" They shouted again, "Crucify him." Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil has he done?" They only shouted the louder, "Crucify him." So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified." Mark 15:1-15

-Our Father...
-Hail Mary... (x10)
-Glory Be...

The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning With Thorns (I desire moral courage.)

"The soldiers let him away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. They began to salute him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him. They knelt before him in homage." Mark 15:16-19

-Our Father...
-Hail Mary... (x10)
-Glory Be...

The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Carrying of the Cross (I desire the virtue of patience.)

"Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha." John 19:16-17

-Our Father...
-Hail Mary... (x10)
-Glory Be...

The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion (I desire the grace of final perseverance.)

"When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."] They divided his garments by casting lots. The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself." Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews." Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last." Luke 23:33-46

-Our Father...
-Hail Mary... (x10)
-Glory Be...

-Hail! Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement! O loving! O sweet Virgin Mary!

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

-O God, Whose only begotten Son, by His Life, Death, and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lenten Rosary Giveaway! Contest Begins Tomorrow

Happy Fat Tuesday! Are you planning on stuffing yourself today like I am?! We will be having lavish meals all day long ;)

Okay, I gave away a rosary during the Advent season, and I'd like to give away another one during the Lenten season! This Easter will mark my one-year anniversary since joining the Church with my husband and our daughters! I plan on finishing up my conversion story and posting it sometime during Lent. For now, here are a few photos from last year, and at the bottom is the Rafflecopter thingy for the giveaway.

Before the Easter Vigil began

Chris and I were both Confirmed, and our girls were baptized

Hannah getting baptized

Nora getting baptized
(All photos courtesy of my dad.)

I have designed this gorgeous amethyst opal and grey Czech glass rosary with a Sacred Heart of Jesus center and papal crucifix:

Tomorrow the contest will begin! This is my first time using Rafflecopter, so I hope I don't screw it up ;) The winner will be generated on Friday, April 11 (my birthday!) and hopefully that will give me enough time to get it in the mail to the winner in time for Easter! Good luck!

"Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.'" Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, "I shall give you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me." Jesus said to him in reply, "It is written:
'You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.'"
Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
'He wil command his angels concerning you, to guard you,'
'With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus said to him in reply, "It also says, 'You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'" When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time."
--Luke 4:1-13

a Rafflecopter giveaway