Thursday, August 21, 2008


Let me just say from the get-go that this is going to be a brag session about my husband. If you're not interested, don't read it. But if you are, here's the way it goes.

A few months ago Paul realized a need for a custom surgical prep tray for the surgery department where he works. He began working on this project, customizing it, as well as implementing a new prep solution in the prep tray. The details are many and I don't know them all, however, through this customized prep tray that he designed, he has been able to save St. Vincent 29% over their previous tray cost, lowering the price by $2.78 per tray. This saving is significant. His work has not gone unnoticed by those around him. This month, in a national magazine published by Medline Industries, Inc., they published a two-page spread article about what he has done. They have a web-site, but you cannot access the article unless you subscribe. However, if you click on this link you will see the cover of the magazine in which this article is published. And if you click on the little link in the lower left corner of the screen where it says "OR Issues", you will see that this article is one listed there: "Great Ideas from Your Peers: Surgical Skin Prep Soultions".
Here are a couple of pictures of the two page spread that I just scanned into my computer.

The name of the article is: "Great Ideas from Your Peers", and you can see his picture at the bottom of the second picture. Let me just say, I believe that Paul is one of the best in his field. This is not just my opinion, it is the opinion of his peers and his boss as well. A couple of weeks ago he had his annual performance review. Here are some of the exact words from his boss on this evaluation:

"Paul provides safe, quality care for his patients. His excellent assessment skills, years of experience, including ED and technical skills have resulted in quick critical thinking skills that have saved patient lives." (On more than one occasion, I might add.)

"Paul’s ability to circulate or scrub provides increased staffing flexibility to meet patient or surgeon needs. Paul also seeks opportunities to develop himself as well as others. Paul is truly an asset to the Surgery Department and organization."

Not only did she say these things, she also backed it up by giving him the highest possible rating on his evaluation: 4.0! On this same evaluation one of his peers said: "He is genuine...he is very motivated".

Honey, I'm so proud of you, and I love you so. You truly have earned a standing ovation! You are awesome at what you do, and you deserve to be recognized and congratulated!!! Please help me congratulate him by posting your comments. I will certainly pass them on to him!

Side note: About three years ago he designed a special helmet for surgery. The engineers came and met with him, and took down his prototype. The engineers went back and made one, brought it back for him to "tweak". It is being marketed by Stryker, and is set for national distribution soon. Unfortunately, he didn't hire an attorney, and he won't be receiving any type of kick-back. We live and learn!!!! Next time there WILL be an attorney!

Here Again, Finally!!!

I really don't know where to start, so I'll just start. We had a wonderful time at camp. It was great to be spiritually refreshed and physically rested as well. The kids had a great time and spent hours and hours in the sand. Jonathan and some other children getting buried in the sand...yuck!!! Jonathan said he had sand fleas in his ears. DaNae, Kallie and Jada at camp. "BFF" !
We made it home from camp, and the next morning I headed to the chruch to begin the decorating for our VBS. Since I lost the day to getting unpacked and laundry caught up, I spent the next several days doing so. My kids thoroughly enjoyed VBS, and it seemed to be a great experience for all.

Also the week immediately following our return from camp, along with VBS, my sister, Cyretha, and her family made the tremendous move to Overland Park, KS. Her husband got a job out there and thus the move ensued. Unfortunately for my sister, he had started his job back in June and was already in KS. She stayed behind to sell their house, etc. So the move in August fell mostly her responsibility, and she is wore out. They made the move safely, and they are now trying to "get settled". Lots of adjustments and emotions, to say the least. Here is a pic of moving day, and one of her and Sammy and Elizabeth.

While we were at camp we found out that we were expecting again...and she would arrive the weekend after we got home from camp. We have made the cutest little addition to our family, and her name is "Sparkle". She was 7 1/2 weeks old when we got her and she is just adorable. She has a personality to match her name, and we are in love. She loves the kids and is doing well with her obedience.
She is a "yellow/white" lab. If bred correctly we should get all white pups. Of course that will be a couple of years from now, but we're enjoying HER as a puppy.
Sparkle promptly got a UTI the day after we got her. So forget trying any of the potty training stuff. It was not an option. She's all better now and doing well.
The next week we spend getting ready for school, buying uniforms, purchasing crayons, glue and hand sanitizer. Jeffrey started first grade Thursday, and is really enjoying it. Jonathan and DaNae started on Friday with a half day. This week was back in full swing. Here's Jeffrey ready for his first day of 1st Grade!!!
Also, Paul's parent flew in last Wednesday and was here for about a week. We put up 1 1/2-2 bushel of corn, rearranged the boys room, went to the state fair, had a picnic in the park on Sunday, just to name a few of the things we did while they were here. They are back home in NY now, but we had a great time, and always enjoy them being here. Makayla and grandpa sure are buddies.

So that's pretty much my last two and half weeks in a nutshell...laundry, VBS, looking at houses (we want to get a place with a little more land and at least another bedroom), helping family move, freezing/canning, company, getting ready for school, going to PTF, school open house, nursing a sick puppy, potty training the puppy, state fair, etc., etc. I'm ready for another 10 day vacation. I feel like Makayla looks. (After we got back from camp, she was so wore out, one day as I was trying to get caught up on laundry, I turned around and she had crawled in the laundry basket, just "chillin".)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Just wanted to hop on here for a few minutes to let everyone know that I still am blogging now and then, and also to let you know that tomorrow we leave for 10 days at family church camp. This is always a hightlight of our year. The kids look forward to it so much, and I must say, this year I am going with an intense desire to be refreshed and renewed spiritually in a way like never before. This has been my prayer for the last several days in preparation to go. This week has been full of packing, doing up all of the laundry, running to the store for one more thing that we need, and then packing some more. Tomorrow evening we pull out of here, and thus begins a much needed time of R&R. (Stole the picture from Ladonna's blog...thanks Ladonna.)

The other day Jonathan and Danae were in a silly mood and decided to dress up like old people. They even did a little skit for us, which was quite comical, I might add (I think they got the whole "skit" idea from when we were at youth camp). Anyway, we took a few pictures and shared several laughs and made some happy memories. It was great seeing them using their imagiations. I thought I would share one of the pics.
Then the other day, for the first time, Jonathan got Makayla to leave a pair of sunglasses on. She was just too cute. And when I took her to the mirror to see herself, she just laughed, she thought it was so funny. She looks like the "wild child" doesn't she? Hair everywhere (she won't leave hair accessories in).
And then a couple of nights ago, right after supper, she began playing with this little hat that belongs to a doll of DaNae's. She was cracking us up, and enjoying all of the attention as well.
And one final, parting shot...

Good night to all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bedroom Make-Over, June, 2008

I told you that I would post some pictures of my bedroom makeover that I did. I did it as a surprise for Paul for Father's Day. On Friday morning as soon as he left for work, I got up, and started stripping wallpaper. After that I ran to Wal-Mart to buy the paint that I needed. Came home, and got the painting done. Then ran to Joey's wallpaper store and hunted down some border. Came home, we ate lunch, and then after lunch the boys helped me hang the border. The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging new curtains, shelves, pictures and mirror, putting on the "new" comforter, etc. The kids really enjoyed helping and being part of the big "surprise". I had just finished running the sweeper and putting the final touches on when Paul arrived home from work. It was fun, and he was sooooo surprised. Here is a picture of the "before".

And here...drum roll the "after"

It is completely different than it was before and I just have to tell you about my bargins. As many of you know, I love to get bargains wherever I can (my neighbor acquses me of carrying a gun). So here goes...the comforter, pillow shams and bed skirt all came the local thrift store. The decorative pillow in the middle (which matches perfectly, same design, etc.) I got at the Salvation Army store in Indy. The lamps above the bed I got at a garage sale. The shelves they're sitting on came from Hobby Lobby 50% off. The canopy I got at a garage sale as well. The beautiful lamp sitting on the table on the right side of the bed I got at Goodwill for $4. The wall paper border was 5.99 a roll. So all in all, I did the whole make-over relatively inexpensive, and it was a blast. The picture really doesn't do it justice. It is much more impressive in person. But, oh well. At least you get an idea. I'm thinking about re-doing my bathroom next. We'll see!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Has It REALLY been that long?

Oh my!!! I just got on my page and looked at the date that I last blogged. It's been so long, nobody is probably even coming to this page anymore. I guess maybe I'm about to find out. Anyway...let's see if I can give you a quick overview of some of the things I've been doing over the past few months.

In May DaNae turned nine. It doesn't seem possible.

Then, of course, it was just finishing up the school year with all of the year end school stuff. Then we hit June and I'm not where the last month and a half have gone. The seventh of June a girl in our church got married and I did her flowers (real ones. She ordered them on-line and they never came in. She had to go to Sam's on Friday and buy theirs). I did her decorating as well, and Paul did the cake. On Friday night, as I was working to get the flowers done, and Paul was working his tail off as well, our electricity went out. We ended up moving everything to the church and finishing up there...very late that night, I might add. It was fun, and everything turned out very nice. Here's a pic of the cake Paul did for that wedding. The wedding was for Brent Stetler and Denisa Campbell.
Here's a pic of the bride's bouquet.
Then after re-couping for a couple of days after this busy weekend, I did a total room make-over in our bedroom as a surprise for Paul for Father's Day. I don't have a picture of the room re-d0ne. I will have to post it later, and I can give more details then. I got up early on Friday morning, and by the time he got home from work at around 4:30 the project was complete. It was fun. The week immediately following Father's Day, myself and the children when to Friends Youth Camp for the week. They were in need of some help in a couple of areas, so we were gone for that entire week. The kids had a blast, and Jonathan, who will be old enough to be a camper next year, got to see first hand what "youth camp" is all about. He can hardly wait until next year. It was an interesting week, all five of us in one room, and the bed breaking in the room directly above us at 12:30 a.m., and thinking for sure they were coming through the ceiling. But we made memories that we will never forget, and it was worth it.

The week after we got home, Pilgrim Holiness Camp was going on right here in Frankfort. The children enjoyed going to the children services, and we enjoyed the services we were able to attend as well. Shortly thereafter, of course, was the holiday weekend. We went to my parents and went to Shipshewanna, Indiana for the day. Had a blast shopping and enjoying being with family.

The past several days have just been more of the same...getting Jonathan to piano lesson, taking DaNae to violin lesson, running Jeffrey to summer tutoring, taking Makayla to the doctor (she had an ear infection), and on and on the list goes. Summer is flying by and the kids are having a blast in the new pool. (Jonathan accidentally put a huge gash in our other one while mowing the yard...he felt so bad, but it turned out ok, cause now they have a bigger one.) It seems the days are filled with making sure music lessons get practiced, reading books with Jeffrey to help him with his reading, keeping Makayla from getting in the pool and keeping a diaper on her (I think it's time to potty train). Oh, last week I did do some redecorating in my living room as well. Got some great inspiration when we went to Shipshewanna. I'll have to take a picture and share it later. Also, I was able to give a facelift to the Sunday School class where I have been helping at church. Painted a couple walls, and had a beautiful 4x8 bulletin board installed. Got it painted and decorated as well, and it looks awesome. Thank you, Mike Peck for installing it for me. Also, Paul did another cake on Friday, and I was also able to help him with that as well. Another beautiful job...of course.

In about 10 days we will be packing up the motorhome and heading to family church camp for 10 days. Can't wait to get some much needed R&R as well as family time. We look so forward to this time in our year. Great time of spiritual renewal and rest. Then when we get back home it wil almost be time for school to start again. It's been a fun summer, but it has flown by.

I'm going to close this post for now. Thought I would post a recent picture of Makayla as a parting shot. She's growing by leaps and bounds, and is no longer a baby...she is now a toddler, and prematurely entering the "terrible twos". She sure is a sweetie though. Be sure to let me know that you stopped by, so I'll know if it's really worth it to keep the blogs rolling.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Room & Furniture Make-overs!

Some of the reasons I haven't blogged very much lately is because I've been working on some decorating projects. Last week, I was able to do a bathroom makeover for a friend of mine. She has some vintage wallpaper in her bathroom that seemed to overpower everything in the room. The other walls were white. I suggested painting two walls a blush pink, and then just accent with pink here and there. It took me a total of about 3 hours, and it was a blast I love doing things like this. It is great therapy for me. Here are several "before and after" pictures.








It may not be that impressive in the pictures, but in person it really was a huge turn around.

Another project I've worked on recently...a coffee table for my living room. When I bought it, it looked like this, and was a regular dinette table. With a little bit of hammering (to give it a distressed look) and a few coats of paint, and having my best friend cut the legs off, here is the final result (looks redder in the picture than it actually is). It matches my entertainment center. It's more burgundy in person than it looks in this picture. I'm planning to sand the edges after the paint has a few more days to dry good.

Then, this is a little lamp that I re-did to use in my friend's bathroom. This is the picture before.And now after.
Maybe it's because it's spring, but the creative juices seem to be flowing. We have a major landscaping job to do in the next couple of weeks. I'll try to post pics of that as well.

"Titanic" Birthday

Jonathan turned 11 last week. He is really "into" the story of the Titanic and all of the mystery and uniqueness that surrounds that story in history. He can tell you details about this incident that you probably didn't know. So this year he asked for a Titanic themed birthday. He really wanted a "Titanic" cake, meaning, a cake in the shape of the ship etc. I knew that I didn't have the time and wasn't sure I could actually make it look like the Titanic anyway, so I opted for a sinking bow of the Titanic as a centerpiece on the table. With two cardboard boxes, a 1/4 of a can of black spray paint, a string of white Christmas lights and some fast work, this is what I came up with. He was pleasantly surprised, and very pleased.

I poked the white lights through the cardboard just a little to make it look like the lights from inside the ship.

You can see a little bit of the iceberg (lower left corner). After it was all said and I done I realized that I should have made it bigger, but by that time it was too late.

Here is what we came up with for a cake...thanks to Sam's Club. He was really happy with it as well, and it tasted delicious.
And here is the happy birthday boy. Can hardly believe that he is already 11. Don't know where the years are going. And when I stop and think about it, in 5 years he'll be driving!!!! Now that's just unbelievable.
He had a couple of his buddies from school spend the night, grandma and grandpa Hudson came, and my sister and her family came as well. We had a nice evening, and Jonathan enjoyed HIS day.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Family, Fun and Food Poisioning!!!!

Sorry, guys, it's been so long. Life has been crazy. Anyway, I figured I'd better blog about Gatlinburg. We had a great time. The first weekend we stayed in Townsend with two other families: Joe and LaDonna Covert, and Darrell and Michelle Jones. It was a great time of catching up, and relaxation. LaDonna also took our annual family pictures (the new ones you see pictured here on this page). It was fun, they turned out great, and it's always good to get that little "chore" behind us for another year. On Monday, we headed over to Pigeon Forge to find our other cabin that we had rented for the rest of our time away. The name of our cabin was "Mountaintop Splendor". Well...they didn't give it that name for nothin'. It was a long, steep, steep climb to the top, but it was really nice once we finally made it to the summit. Here is what awaited us when we finally "arrived".

On Monday afternoon we decided to go to Dollywood for the afternoon. If you go after 3:00 you get the next day free. Monday was very chilly (as you can see the children all have their coats on), so since the Festival of Nations was going on, we decided to do the "inside" things. We enjoyed several things that day. It was nice, and the kids really enjoyed it, as they had never been to Dollywood.

On Tuesday, the weather was a bit warmer, and we decided to go to Ripley's Aquarium. We spent several hours there enjoying all there is to see there. We ate a late lunch, then headed back to Pigeon Forge to ride go carts and then go to the Comedy Barn. On the way back to our cabin we stopped at Kroger and decided to grab some frozen dinners to fix back at the cabin, enjoy the hot tub, and relax for a while. We did that. Paul had decided on a chicken dinner, and while he was eating it, he mentioned that it tasted like it had been frozen and thawed several times, it tasted "mushy", as he put it. The bed that was in the master bedroom was not very comfortable, and was hurting my back, so I decided to sleep upstairs that night in a more comfortable bed. The next morning, I'm awakened to the sound of my dear husband being violently ill. Unknown to me, he had been up several times in the night, etc. Well...since Dollywood wasn't open on Tuesday, we were planning to go back for our "free" day on Wednesday. Now that he's sick, I'm wondering what to do. Do I go to Dollywood with the children by myself. The day was already paid for, and we didn't feel like we had gotten our money's worth on Monday. Besides, what about all of the rides (we hadn't ridden any on Monday because it was so cold). Needless to say, we all ended up going, while Paul sat in the van for a while, then later decided to accompany us in the park for awhile. We must have been a site. Paul rubbing his stomach every little while, parking himself frequently on a bench, and constantly looking for the nearest restroom. We are certain that it was food poisoning from the frozen dinner that he had eaten the night before. It was a bum way to end the vacation, but there must have been a reason.
Thursday morning we woke, and started the process of loading everything up to make the journey home. Oh, I forgot to tell you, Makayla threw up while we were in the park at Dollywood. As certain as we thought we were about Paul having food poisoning, we began to question if this could possibly be a virus of some sort. My prayer Wednesday night was that the Lord would get us home safely and without anyone else getting sick along the way. I was dreading the trip, but God answered both of those prayers. We arrived home about 5:45, unloaded the van, and Paul and Jonathan made a flying trip to Lafayette, as I had gotten a call while were away that they were out of gift baskets, and needed the next order ASAP. I was scheduled to deliver more on Monday, but they said they couldn't wait. So...Friday night I assembled 100 gift baskets, and fell into bed.
Here are some pictures of us on some of the rides that we enjoyed at Dollywood.

Makayla ready to get us "home". We're pretty well loaded up and ready to get home.

It was great to get away, and can't wait to do it again. Minus the food poisioning next time, please!

I have lots more to blog about, since it's been a month since I've written. I will try to get those things posted soon. But for now, since it's after 1:00 a.m. I best call it a day. Good night.