Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas, 2013 Love Bomb Nominees

 I would like to enter in your "contest" for a love bomb. The last few months have been extremely difficult for my family. My daughter lost her job this summer and due to a genetic condition has completely lost the sight in one eye and is all most blind in the other. This has made it very difficult for her to get another job and with her two boys ages 4 & 7, it is very heartbreaking as well. I am in a wheelchair, have had multiple surgeries and on disability due to a work accident from Nov. Of 2000. . My disability check is supporting two households as best as I can. We are praying that my daughter will find a job soon! With having to try to provide things for two families on such little income I haven't been able to do much for the holidays, let alone Christmas. I shop at Goodwill and Salvation Army always looking for things I can repurpose or remake for my family. I would be extremely grateful if I were to receive any type of help this year that would help me to try to get the grandsons a little something to put under the Christmas tree. My motto is "The Power of Positive Thinking and God will get me through anything“.

A husband who recently lost his job and is taking any work he can find to support his young daughter and his wife who can no longer work due to multiple serious health diffficulties.  He always puts his family first as can be seen by the holes in his shoes, shirts and jeans.  No matter how long his day has been, he still finds time to spend with his daughter and time to try to massage the pain from his wife's feet and legs each day.  He never complains.  He just continues to love his family unconditionally and continues to do his best to keep food on their table and a roof over their heads.

This sounds so silly to say, but I nominate myself. Why? Because I have met 4 ladies in 4 different states that share the same brain condition I have. Finally someone that gets it! And I'll be able to turn around and bless them!!

I'd like to nominate _______ for a love bomb. She has just had a rough couple of years. She struggled with a child's teen pregnancy that ended in a still birth, has an autistic child, & financial problems. Through it all her faith remains strong. She has been a great friend & confidant as I now struggle with some similar issues. Thank you.

I would like to nominate _____________. She lost her dad in August. She has had a very difficult time in dealing with the loss. She was very close to him as he protected her from a bad situation and fought and won custody of her and her brother when they were young. With the holidays, it is especially difficult I think. I probably could do better with her, but have been dealing with my own grief too. She is like one of my own daughters as I have mothered her since she was 11. It would be nice to cheer her up. Thanks.

I'd like to nominate _____________. She needs some special lovin and support right now and a love bomb would be such a blessing! She and my brother were anticipating the arrival and adoption of their 3rd daughter, and were planning to welcome the holiday season with a newborn in their home. They've spent the past several months getting to know a special birth mom and her young children, ______drove her to every appointment and was with her for everything as her own family had left her. ______was in the delivery room, cut the cord and held her child before anyone else, stayed in the hospital with the birthmama and baby whom _______and my brother named, and stayed by her side... Until the day she was to be released from the hospital and the birth mom decided she no longer wanted any contact with our family and handed the baby to the birth father and they left.
______has stayed strong in the eyes of the older children, and she returned to work the following week, as an elementary media specislist, where the young children have been asking how her baby is everyday... ______faith in Him is great and she knows this is part of a bigger plan, yet as a Mama yearning to parent one last time, she's struggling. I can't imagine a better lift than a Sisterly Love bomb!

I am nominating myself because for once I am doing something selfish. My life has been crazy for the last three years. My daughter tore her ACL and had surgery in Oct 2010, the morning after her surgery I received a call from my oldest son (who was away at college) that he was in the hospital ER because he had been jumped and beaten badly. In April 2011 my husband suffered a brain aneurysm and stroke and although he survived he is now like a 7 year old child. In Oct 2011 my second oldest son, who was a freshman in college playing football, tore his ACL and had surgery. Then in Jan 2013 my daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, after months of chemo and weeks of radiation traveling between Lincoln and Omaha and staying many days with her inpatient, she is now in remission. This fall she began college and she is a cheerleader cheering on her brother, however the second game of the season he broke his ankle and missed the rest of the season, and needed surgery to put in a plate and 7 screws. All was well we were getting ready to enjoy our Thanksgiving break all my kids were home when Tuesday night I received a call from my youngest son, he had been involved in a rollover accident (he was not the driver and everyone walked away with minor bumps and bruises) and finally yesterday morning my daughter called she was involved in an accident (again she and the other driver are both fine her car however is not). I had to give up my job soon after my husband was released from the hospital, things are better for him and I feel comfortable leaving him to take a part time job but they are not easy to find in my field. I am very grateful for all the blessing that have been given to me but I just feel that I deserve a little something for ME after doing do much for everyone else. Thank you.

I would like to nominate my Grandma.  She's been in remission from lung cancer for 7 years. She is always putting others first. She is in her 70's and still works full time in addition to keeping up with all of my Grandpa's medical appointments. She makes sure is everyone is taken care of, happy, and well fed. I think the world would be a better place if there were more people like her!

I would like to nominate __________.  Her husband recently fell from a ladder and suffered several injuries which he is receiving care for at Madonna in Lincoln. She is a teacher and young mother of 2 children.  They are currently staying with their aunt and uncle while their parents are in Lincoln.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2:00 reflections - taken for what it is

Ah, those middle of the night, can't sleep, not much else to do, gonna' regret this all day tomorrow, kind of nights!! Having one right now.  Not sure if the brain work is more on target or completely off the wall, but it's sure working overtime!

I know I'm not alone in the "feeling completely overwhelmed" category.  Nothing major on any level, nothing in my life to complain about, but all of these little things that are starting to feel like a mountain - afraid that I am really going to snap at the next person who throws another meeting or request my way!

Without going into any details (in case the day brain actually does regret the night brain's thinking!) I'm looking for solutions.  Categories-

*celebrate life party
*teaching control
*love bombs
*SH future
*trip #2
*mystery worry #1
*mystery worry #2, 3 and 4.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

...and the strength to do it with grace and thoughtfulness.

- tackle one objective to be able to cross it off...
- make a list... again, cross it off.  For me, the visual is empowering, plus I accomplish more.

I frequently hear, "I don't know how you do it all."  Well, here's the secret - I don't.  And at times, I find it all completely overwhelming!  I want to do it all.  I love every smidget of it.  But I don't do it alone.  I think that's why I stumble though.  I need a lot of help and support to keep this wonderful mission moving forward.  I understand the busyness of others, I understand others' priorities are different, I understand my own obsession is probably extreme.  I also understand the importance of this mission. I understand that lives are being affected by what we do, not just for the moment, but beyond.  I understand the ripple effect.  I understand that this mission is much larger than me, that this really is something God has put on me.  I also understand that I need to trust God to handle all of this; I don't have to control everything.... That one just came to me.  Finding peace through reflection.

None of this is meant to be a reflection on any of you.  I am the one searching my soul, finding my way, exploring my heart.  I completely recognize the wonderful ness that surrounds me.  Searching to  lighten my heavy heart.  Too many recent deaths, too long of weeks, too many obligations.  Even breathing time is interrupted these days.  I think I need a special "me" place!

No worries, this too shall pass.  Pity party is turning into a fix-it party.  Have a great day, and find time for yourself.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Welcome, Direction, questions...

It was almost 15 months ago that Sister Hugs was created.  Prior to that, I was trying to figure out how to create my dream space, Nana's Place.  I prayed hard for answers, called the shelter to talk things through, and was still lost...on that fateful, sleepless night, I happened upon a blog that I hadn't seen before, that was talking about this group called The Sisterhood.  They are in New Zealand so I went to this blog and learned more.  I contacted the sweetest angel named Sophie about her group and she answered all of my questions.  I also asked her if she'd mind if I started something similar, but separate here in the states.  She didn't, since we are so far away, and Sister Hugs was born.  We do use their name for our gifts, Love Bombs, because no other name does it justice.  The rest has evolved into what it is today, but our heart will always have a part of the Sisterhood in it.
I do know there is a plan for this, one in which I HOPE can include Nana's Place someday and a location for Sister Hugs.  However, I've learned that this is not my project, it is not even our project, but rather it is His project and we are the tools.  Everyone is so amazing being there for whatever is next.  I hope I am always ready for the next mission. I sometimes feel selfish for all of the perks that have come my way since the birth of SH - so many friends, fun times, rewarding hugs and thanks, tears beyond belief, and my heart has grown 20 sizes since that fateful July.  I do expect to die of an exploding heart someday as the love that I feel everyday is immeasurable.  It is such a blessing to be able to give a little happiness to others -

Fast forward - we are celebrating over 1000 followers on FB and others via email.  Many ask how they can get involved.  There is an address on the FB page if you'd like to donate.  Items that are requested are items from the heart, both hand made and purchased.  Things
that make you smile, give you comfort, provided some pampering.  GC are great as gifts or for us to use to purchase items.  $ donations are used for postage and purchasing specific items to add, such as a willow tree gift for a gold star mom that we wanted to bless.  Prayers are wonderful, comments, support, advice,'s all appreciated.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Clearing the brain

I posted a thought on FB about balance, but want to expand on that.  

There are days I want to run off to the mountains and live the life of a hermit.  Leaving societies' conflicts behind sounds so tempting at times.  However, I like to talk too much and would probably go crazy, do something stupid, and be a story in the newspaper on page 3B.  I think all of us struggle with balance of some sort.  Time, family, job, philosophy, morals, children, money, ...time again.  Setting priorities sounds easy enough, but we also like to eat, keep our jobs, and socialize.

I don't have answers, but I do realize none of us can do it all.  Even together, we can't do it all.  I think sometimes I try; the result is a chaotic brain going 20 different directions and accomplishing little.  We do need to lean on each other, count on each other, and be bold enough to fight, or address, those things that can be changed while breathing...breathe in...breathe out...

Feeling frustrated, worried, overwhelmed, but very blessed.  Breathe in...breathe out.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cancer walk planning

Cupcakes with various cancer tags

Display for finish line- streamers, flowers, pinwheels, PVC pipe.

Warrior wall -

Food - pulled pork/buns/chips/desserts/ drinks

Raffle items

Matching donation

Use colors on noodles - ribbons - decorate with lavender for all cancer.  Shelter - use plastic and 3M hooks - tape.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mail check and order form to:

Sister Hugs
PO box 155
Panama, NE 68419

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Love Bomb #3 - Cassie, TR, and Braxton

I would like to nominate my cousin Cassie. 
4 1/2 years ago, she gave birth to Baby Braxton.  Braxton was born with Gastroschisis.  That is when the intestines are on the outside of the baby's tummy.  The doctors worked to get his bowel back in, but it did not all survive, so they had to cut out the majority of the bowel.
Inline image 4
Now he is a "Short Gut" kid.  
Inline image 5
He was in UNMC for 8 months before he ever went home.
Over the span of his 4 1/2 year life, he has had 30+ surgeries.  He seems like a vibrant healthy boy - but if you lift his shirt - you know different.  Scars leave their mark everywhere. 
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Braxton never got to eat as a baby.  His nourishment has come from TPN (total protein nutrition) that is fed through a Central Line to his heart that delivers the TPN to his body. And if you could see inside his body, you would see a liver that is at stage 4 of liver disease because of the TPN.
He has a G-button that allows Cassie to put a special formula directly into his stomach.  He has in the last year or so been doing Feeding Therapy where he has been working on learning to eat by mouth.  The skill of chewing, pushing food from side to side in his mouth and swallowing are not natural.  Braxton has come leaps and bounds on his eating skills in the last 3 months!!  He has been able to cut way back on time needing to be hooked up to the TPN.  He has to have an intake of 500 calories 5 times a day at this point.  They continue to work towards increasing that week by week.  If he doesn't get enough calories by food, then he has to be hooked up to the TPN more.
Braxton was just "released" from feeding therapy this week!!  Inline image 1
TR is Braxton's daddy.  He has been such a rock for Cassie and Braxton - keeping bills paid and with them as much as possible.  But, because he has had to work all the time, Cassie has had to do most of Braxton's care on her own.  TR also has a country band that on the weekends across the state.
Inline image 2
Cassie had gone to school to be a CNA before she got pregnant with Braxton.  Who knew that her schooling would play such a HUGE roll in taking care of her own child!!
They have been through a lot over the years - but they are still so strong! I just am so humbled by Cassie's routine day after day.  But for them, it is their normal.  
Cassie is an amazing mom and TR is an amazing dad!  Braxton is their life (as we can relate).  They hope to have another child some day, but for now B needs Cassie's attention nearly 24/7.  There aren't many others (besides their part time nurse) that could truly manage all his medical needs day in and day out. Cassie is his full time nurse, his feeding therapist, his everything.  No one else knows when and how much and what meds he needs every day.  No one else knows how to measure out his food to determine his calories.  She is an amazing woman and mom!  She continues to believe that God has a purpose and did indeed pick them to be Braxton's parents, even on the days that she is tired or worried, she trusts in His plan.Inline image 6
They still have to make numerous trips to Omaha to UNMC (especially at the first sign of sickness because of B's central line), so I know that gas cards for fuel would be helpful.  They all love country music, and have iPods, so maybe iTunes.  Cassie has taken up knitting and crocheting, so yarn....  They are all country - camouflage, cowboy hats, and bling!  Braxton loves the Cars themed stuff.  He is one little smarty pants... Cassie has done preschool type interacting with him from day one!  I don't think he can actually read yet, but he is so darn close.  So any learning preschool level things would be nice for B.  Huskers or Steelers are their favorite sport teams.  Their house is completely cowboy!

Thank you for considering them for a Love Bomb!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Not sure if you'll be able to read these or not, but here is the article from the Voice.  It's a great article, but I have to clarify two things, which were probably my fault in the first place.  It refers to all of the Sisters as "my volunteers".  I do not look at anyone here as my volunteers, I look at all of us as Sisters looking out for other sisters and brothers.  If you feel like you're a sister, you ARE a sister!  The second item that needs clarified is the label, Love Bomb.  I do not get any credit for that wonderful name, it is from The Sisterhood in NZ.  They started Love Bombing over there, and I asked permission to use the same terminology.  Otherwise, I think everything is pretty accurate and shows a snapshot of what we do!