Jul 25, 2015

Surgery Ponderings

Thoughts about my recent surgery...

1. Having family be at the hospital with you before surgery brings peace. Having your pastor come to pray with you and your family, even better.

2. Having family support has been such a huge blessing. The first knee surgery I had in 2008 was just as intense with a much longer recovery. My parents were able to be there to help with our kids and are again through this one. Knowing the kids were in good hands gave me so much peace.

3.Having your surgeon pray with you before and after surgery, hand you a New Testament Bible, having your anesthetist ask if your doctor had prayed with you yet and then be told he prays with each patient and with his team every surgery is amazing! Specially when you had NO idea he too is a believer in Christ Jesus!  Having that same doctor visit you during his morning rounds, seeing you are in severe pain and having him pray before leaving your room, BLESSED!

4. Pain meds are no joke! Seriously, they help when in extreme pain but man they really mess with your head! Craziest, loopy conversations with MYSELF!

5. TKR (total knee replacements) may seem like an every day surgery to some but let me tell ya something, they're intense, painful and should never be approached halfheartedly.

6.  Anesthesia makes you dream and say the craziest things; example- telling the nurse "I don't want to wake up, I'm marrying John Stamos," you know, Jessie from Full House.

7. I'm still just a little girl who needs her Mommy when in extreme pain, even if I won't admit it.

8. Having someone stay with you in the hospital really helps!!! Sean wasn't able to do so when we lived in Illinois. The company he worked for didn't give paid medical leave to care for spouses. Sean being able to have time off work to stay with me at night in the hospital this time helped me greatly. Thankful he has it now!

9.  Being part of a loving, caring, giving church has been such a blessing. We never asked for any assistance and out of love they have blessed our family with meals for these couple of weeks. HUGE Blessings! I can't explain what a blessing to know I haven't had to think about it and Sean hasn't had to figure out stuff, on top of working crazy hours at work, coming home to care for my needs as well as the kids. No words can say THANK YOU enough.

Jul 2, 2015

A Year Later

Goodness, time flies when you're living life. Honestly I had no clue that it's been over a year since writing on here. Boy does that need to change! I really need the outlet! So a year in a nut shell, my kids have grown! They completed 5, 7 and 9th grade. This coming fall we have no elementary grades. Not sure how I feel about that. I know I will miss the younger years more with every year that passes though.
   Our little farm has added 5 new hens and a rooster named Peanut-butter as well as a few more rabbits. We are loving life and all that is in it.
  Last week we sadly lost Sean' mom Addie. His brother Eugene wrote a wonderful eulogy that the priest read at the mass for her.  I want to simple share it and a photo of a wonderful woman we wil all miss.
March 2014

Adeline lived out Christ's message of peace and love.
Adeline was a woman of great faith and dedication. Since living in Blue Point she, her son Paul and his wife Nancy and her children Meagan and Cathleen were a regular fixture at Sunday Services at Our Lady of the Snow. My mother was a child of the Great Depression and my grandparents navigated her safely through those difficult days with their Catholicism in such a way that she grew stronger and wiser. It was clear that this period gave her a deep understanding meaning of suffering, sacrifice and the importance of helping others.
I would say one of the best stories about my mother’s faith occurred on a trip she took to the South of France with me. I was invited to lecture at a NATO advanced studies institute and I asked my mother to join me. This was a two week adventure in Bonas, France. Prior to the trip my mother had mentioned several times that she would like to visit Lourdes. After the first week in Bonas – I had hoped that she had forgotten about this – primarily because Lourdes is set in a deeply inconvenient corner of southwest France. I was also naively under the impression that this was some sort of “Tourist Destination” in the south of France. Mother persisted and after another entire week of reminders – it’s was off to Lourdes.
We drove the mountainous and winding roads of the Pyrenees for hours and when we arrived there, we witness several thousand people—the lines of wheelchairs alone is eight deep and maybe 200 yards long—all are carrying candles and raising their voices in song and prayer. The front of the shrine is lit candles up against gold tiles and the only sound besides the singing is the marchers all weeping . My mother looks at me and says hey Eugene “try being cynical in the face of that “.
So we navigate our way in and wait in line for nearly two hours to see the grotto up close. From a distance, it’s not all that impressive: a small cave in the rock with the church above it. The grotto itself isn’t even big enough to camp in, but there is a steady flow of people coming through, leaving candles and tiny flowers on the walls of the grotto. As soon as we near the entrance to the grotto, people reach out to touch the walls and a stains show where hands have gone for the past 150 years. Mothers touch children’s hands to the grotto stone and bow their babies heads to it. Everybody who was whispering suddenly stops talking and goes silent. I said – so mom what do you want me to do? She says "go back to the car and get that big bottle?" I said what big bottle? She said you’ll see it on the back seat. She had lifted an old Pepsi bottle from the cafeteria ! She had this all planned out? So I fill a ½ gallon bottle with this water – she snaps a picture and smiles. Ok lets go light some candles and leave. I’ll never know how she got that big bottle of water back on the plane? But for years and years my mother would send small quantities of water to family, friends and acquaintances who were sick and/or suffering. She would provide a short note and tell them to make a cup of tea and add the water. Or better yet – draw a bath and add the water.
We talked about our pilgrimage to Lourdes frequently and few years back she said to me – "Eugene – Lourdes is not about the water – it was never about the water - its not about the water at all ! It’s about the 10 million people that go there every year – its about faith. When we have faith and give ourselves to a god we find ourselves soothed by feelings of peace, acceptance, and strength that arise in fellowship with others.
Its not about the water you idiot –its about our faith.
I’m not sure when she ran out of that water – but can tell you she never ran out of faith.
Gene Kelly (son of Adeline)


May 5, 2014

Kelly Farm in the Making

It's been quite a while since my last post. What followers I had are long gone now! That's ok this has always been for me, ok maybe for family to keep up with us. SO let's see, in the last four months we have adopted two female bunnies.
Snickers (L) and Trixie (R)
Trixie just gave birth to 6 precious babies on Sunday, of whom we plan to keep one and sell the rest.

We adopted two kittens after our Tommy cat ran away and never returned. Elsa and Charlie are now 12 weeks old and are so much fun to play with. They bring lots of joy into our home.  We also now have four Leghorn hens and 4 Silkie hens (we hope). They are just 4 weeks old and let me tell ya, chickens are a hoot to watch. They also love to snuggle. We love our chickens.
Sadly, we have said farewell to two of our family pets. Taffy and Jojo both have died. It's been hard on all of the kids. Those two guinea pigs were such a delight to have.

School is just about over for this school year and I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited about it. This has been a tough year for us. Moved in Oct, I fell braking my ankle and spraining my knee in Nov., the long extra cold winter we have had this year and Sean just had surgery. I am still dealing with knee problems as well. I am looking forward to the long summer days that is for sure!

Jan 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Five weeks ago I took a step and down I went, without warning and never had a chance to stop it.  It ended with 2nd degree sprained knee, 2nd degree sprained ankle and an avulsion fracture of the talus.  This accident has cost us over $1500 in medical bills and now we will be fighting with the property's owner's liability insurance to get them to pay the bills and reimburse us for what we have already paid.
   Not how I wanted to end the year or how I wanted to start a new year.  But God is faithful and we know he will provide one way or another. The best news is after five weeks the fracture has healed completely. WOO HOO!  The not so great news is that the ankle and knee sprain are not healed.  But I no longer have to wear the boot unless I am out of the house. Makes a huge difference let me tell ya.
   SO it's a new year!  2013 present our family with many challenges, surprises, joys and pains.  I am glad it's over and I am looking forward to new adventures with the kids this year.  I hope this year will bring many new opportunities for us as a family to travel, to experience new and wonderful things.  I am believing for a year full of peace, love and joy as well as better health for all of us.  The kids will be starting their classes again next week and we have a goal to read through the whole Bible with our church but also for our family to do so.  We will also be setting individual goals for the year and we will work as a family to help each other achieve those goals. No resolutions here, just goals for bettering ourselves and challenging us to reach for higher things.
   So from our family to yours HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dec 2, 2013

The Misstep

Two days before Thanskgiving and I am heading to the doctor's office with one of the boys.  WHY?? Because my boy decided to wait 3-4 days before telling me he had something hurting on his bum.  It was a nasty spider bite that looked infected.  A lot of pus and nasty stuff came out of it but I was worried it was infected.  So off we go, the whole time I was thinking, we'll stop at the store before heading home to make sure we had everything for our Thanksgiving meal.
 So we arrive at the doctor's office and as we are walking into the lobby my left foot slips out
from under me and down I go.  Now if you have read this blog for any time what so ever you will know that I have arthritis really bad in my left knee.  So much so that 4 years ago my ortho. informed me that I would eventually need a knee replacement. Oh yay ....NOT!!!  Well what did I fall directly on in a not so friendly position...my left knee and ankle.  OUCH!!!!!  Let's say that again....OUCH!!!!!
   Definitely not the way I wanted to start the day or the holidays. SO I call Sean to let him know what I have done and to meet me in the ER. I dislike going to the hospital!!!  I do not have insurance, can not afford insurance and we all know what the cost of a trip to the ER is like. YIKES!  I get there and call home to let Jaron know what has happened and to make sure to watch after the other two kids.  Well Kris my autistic son, answers the phone.  The conversation went a little like this...
 Kris:   Hello
   Me: HI Kris it's mom.
   Kris: Mom dad's not home, I don't know where he is, I think he is lost.
   Me:  Kris Dad is with me.  I fell and am at the hospital.
   Kris: I am really worried about where dad is he is lost I just know it.
   Me:  Kris Daddy is with me at the hospital and so is Eli.  Take the phone to Jaron, please.
   Kris: OMG  you are at the hospital?  WHY?  
   I hear him running up the stairs taking the phone to Jaron and the next thing I hear is, "Jaron moms on the phone shes in the hospital and dad is lost and I can't find Eli!"  all in a panicked voice.  I can't help but laugh as Jaron gets on the phone and says, "ok what in the world is going on!"  ...

Needless to say I ended up waiting an hour and half to see a PA who was just plain wacky.  I am sitting there in a wheel chair, in severe pain and was offered no ice, no pain meds and crying.  NOT A HAPPY CAMPER let me tell ya.  Once we got in and they took the xrays all the PA wanted to do was talk about how bad my knee was ate up with arthritis...uhm yea I KNOW THIS!  After 10 mins of explaining I know how bad it is she finally says well let me go look again. Ok so now I have been in the ER  two hours, it's been about 2 1/2 hrs since I fell and I still have not received any ice or pain meds.   About 20 mins later she comes back and tells me I have a avulsion fracture of the talas bone in my ankle and she thinks it will heal ok on its own but recommends I see a specialist.  Oh great another major bill before Christmas and not a present has been bought.
    I was in such pain I never asked her about my knee again, it took another 15 mins  before I got an ice pack and another 10 mins before I got pain meds.  By this time, I was in so much pain they could of cut my leg off and I wouldn't of cared.  So 3 hours after my great fall I finally get the pain meds and they DIDN'T help.
   Ok so here is the funny part in all of this...

Goal: They want to put a temporary splint on my leg.
Problem: I am wearing jeans because it is in the 30s outside and raining.  Pants won't fit over splint and I was NOT going to let them cut my jeans.
Solution: Remove pants, have splint put on, and cover myself with hospital gowns.

Do you see the issue with our solution?  Let me tell you it was not pretty!  Here I am with two gowns wrapped around my waist like a skirt that was not attached being rolled out to the van where it is cold, sprinkling and in pain.  The whole time I was thinking, "Please let the parking lot be empty of people!"  Was it?  NO!  Not at all.  In fact in two separate cars sat two men.  The thoughts that ran through my mind at that point were not pretty.  But being in the kind of pain I was in I really didn't care if they saw my big naked butt trying to get in the van!  Sean did his best to make sure I was covered but let me tell you that cold rain was not refreshing!  It was quite comical.
   So I have shared all of this to get to this point, here I am it's Thanksgiving and I am the one that usually does all the cooking.  Well it was a great time for Sara to learn how to prepare her first Thanksgiving dinner.  She did FANTASTIC!  I am so proud of her!  She helped on Wed. to prepare all of the different dishes so it would be easy to just put them on the stove or in the oven the next morning. Thanksgiving morning, she set the table, cleaned the house (all without being asked) and then helped chop veggies and put the turkey on.  Remember she is 9 years old!  She basically took over the duties the house, making sure things were done.  Just so proud of her.

Nov 22, 2013

Sweet Sixteen...or would have been.

Today marks SeanPatrick's 16th birthday (still birth).

Things we we never got to do...
Hear his cries, see his smiles, hear his laugh, watch him take his first steps or say his first word.  So many firsts we never got to experience and this year is a mile stone.  Sixteen... girlfriends, drivers permits, high school football games.....  and of course all the future things to!    SIGH!

What we do have...

Pictures of his precious birth, pictures of us holding him, memories of the pregnancy and how he responded to his daddy's singing, feet and hand prints, a lock of his beautiful brown hair and pictures of his precious sweet face.

Time doesn't heal it simply makes the pain bearable.

Oct 28, 2013


So we moved into our new house and not only did we bring our four guinea pigs, rabbit, two small dogs, three turtles and an oscar (fish), we brought the neighborhood alley cat.  Tommy (or Ninja as I call him) is a remarkable little feral cat.  Our neighbors befriended him and you would never know that he was ever just an outside cat.  Ninja is the most loving little cat I have ever had that was a street dweller.  He has taken to our family, plays with the dogs and the rabbit and never tries to harm the guinea pigs.
Sara with her best friend and Tommy the Ninja.
 Then last week we adopted two precious little lab mix puppies.  They have brought so much laughter to the house.  The kids adore them and they adore the kids.  I have seen such a change in Kristofer.  I have read many articles about how dogs help children with autism but to see how he has responded to these two babies is amazing.  He cleans up their potty accidents, takes them outside, feeds them, plays with them and never complains.  It was the craziest but best decision we could of ever made.
Our new babies...Chloe and Molly

Oct 23, 2013

We Bought a House...

and are making it a home!  It's official, we are home owners.  WOOO HOOO!  What's even better is that our mortgage is $225 less than what we were paying in rent.  Which is such a blessing.  As I sit here in my living room listening to the kids play and I look around I can't help to be overwhelmed with emotions.  Owning our own home has always been a dream of ours.  To be sitting in that dream is a bit over whelming at times.  This broken house that we bought, a diamond in the rough as I call it, has transformed into a beautiful home.  We have more space than we have ever had.  When we got married the first place we lived in was a shoe box, literally 3 rooms and barely that.  You practically could touch both sides of a room by standing in the middle.
 Sixteen years later here I sit in this remarkable home.  It's a 70 year old house that has all the updates a new home has.  It is just wonderful!  We truly are in love.  We could never of done to this place that we did in one weeks time without my parents help.  We ripped out flooring in the kitchen to stabilize the floor (it was sagging, the home has all wood floors) and then put it back together. We took out the nasty carpet in one room and replaced it with new wood flooring and totally redid the walls by putting up new drywall.  We did the same thing in the living room to another wall.  The whole house was resurfaced as well as repainted and it has turned out beautifully.
 At the end of that week, a group of wonderful church friends came and helped us move into our new home. All within 2 hours we moved from one place to another and we could not thank them enough for all of their hard work. What a wonderful church of servants we have.
   The unpacking, decorating and settling in has come to an end.  We are settling back into the routine of school during the week, play during the weekends. Our children did wonderfully well with all the repairs and painting.  Each one of them have learned valuable tools and watched my parents as well as my aunt and uncle work on the home.  They take great pride in their new home and love it just as much as Sean and I do.  With all the unsettlement  taking place the last few weeks I was truly worried that Kris would have some meltdown.  He took it in stride.  He has changed so much that sometimes I have to remind myself that he is autistic.  Oh we had moments where he asked us the same question repeatedly, he would go over the plan of what was happening each daily repeatedly, and then there was the constant need to organize what everyone was doing and he had to know why and when it would be done.  Many times we could answer him and it would settle him other times not so much.  He has settled into his new routine and home very well.  In the past when we have moved he has gone 8-10 weeks to adjust.  In that time period we would have behavior issues, attitude issues and lots of insecurity.  This time around he has adjusted quickly and really loves it here. Which is such a huge blessing to us as a family.  You see autism does just affect the person who deals with it, it affects the whole family!