Monday, December 31, 2012

One last post!

In 2012, that is.  :)

It feels surreal that this is the last day of 2012.  It feels anti-climactic actually. The 2013 budget is ready to go  (minus any adjustments for the fiscal cliff... :P), Daniel didn't have to work today, we don't have any invites to any parties tonight, so it just feels like a normal night at home!

Friday, December 28, 2012

This holiday season has given me a new appreciation for the men and women whose spouses are serving tours overseas. My husband gets to come home every night, but it sure has felt like a long haul.  Daniel has had one day off over the last week and a half, and tomorrow is his last day of work before his two day weekend.  Next week they start inventory, so he'll probably be working long hours again.

And... next week I start teaching three new students!  *gulp*

I have one new student interview scheduled for the 1st, and two scheduled for the 2nd!  I'm excited.  Yesterday Daniel brought home the lesson books I'm hoping to use with two of my students, and I spent a bit of time playing through them, since I've never used them before.  Should be a good experience.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another strike against me?

I've blogged before about our experiences learning about the MTHFR defect, what it is, why it's important to know you have it, common symptoms of MTHFR deficiency and what you can do to help your body out if you do have it.

Since I wrote those posts, I've started following MTHFR Support on Facebook.  Last night they posted a link to an interesting study that showed a connection between MTHFR, preeclampsia, and another gene, called COMT.  Here's where the "another strike" comes in.  This summer, I found out that my aunt tested positive for two variations on the COMT gene.  We already suspect that I have at least one, if not two, MTHFR genes.  So... great.  I've already dealt with 4+ years of IF, I have hydrocephalus (a neural tube defect), Daniel has one MTHFR variation, and now I might have a raised chance of pre-e?  Oh goody.  :P

Adoption is looking better and better!  :D

(Side note: With only five days left in the year, we're getting closer to finding out my MTHFR status!  Only about a week to go until I can get tested!)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Back to the Grind

My parents and my sister came for Christmas, but they left this morning, so it's back to the grind now. Daniel only had yesterday off, so he was back to work too.  I went to see the MTHFR family today, but they're not back to school yet, so they're still off their routine.

Tomorrow the books for my only male student should get in, so I may go pick those up and flip through them.  I also need to call my newest student and arrange a time for her interview and trial lesson.  I'm thinking I might plan that for Friday.  She's not in school right now either, but her mom seemed very excited for her to start lessons.  :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

I got the key!

Yesterday, the treasurer at the church next door called to get me to come meet his pastor.  Turns out that he had already made a decision to allow me to use their church to teach piano!  :)  So, he gave me a key, and now I can say that my piano studio has a home at Iglesia Bautista El Calvario.  And... the treasurer's 15 year old daughter wants to take lessons!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Another "Life in Little Hispaniola" Moment

I don't usually blog on Saturdays, but this was just so unexpected that I have to blog about it, and I didn't want to leave it until Monday when the whole thing will hopefully be settled.  :P

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm looking for a place with an acoustic piano that I could use one afternoon a week to teach piano.  There's a little Spanish church next door, so I contacted their local association office to see what the best way to get in touch with someone who speaks English would be.  They gave me the name and number of the church treasurer, who I called almost immediately.

I told him what I was looking for, and he sounded genuinely interested.  I wasn't really sure I would hear back from him though.  Today, my phone rang, and it was him, calling to see if I wanted to come over to the church and check out the piano!

So I did!

It's a Wurlitzer, pretty old, but all 88 keys and the damper pedal work.  It's definitely out of tune, but if I can get a few students, I think I might be able to offer to pitch in toward the cost of getting it tuned.

The church treasurer said he'd talk to the pastor tonight, and call me either tonight or tomorrow morning. If the pastor says it's okay, then I'll go over in the morning to meet him.

Here's the fun part... the treasurer's wife said they're having a potluck after church tomorrow and invited me to join them!  :)  Daniel might have to work tomorrow morning, and if he does... I think I just might go!  :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Welcome ICLW!

Hi!  I'm Stephanie, I'm 28, and I'm a scattered blogger.  We've been TTC for nearly four and a half years, with no success.  You can read more about our journey under my "TTC Timeline" at the top.

For now, I just mostly blog about day to day life and the things that are going on at our place.  Up until September, I was solely a (mostly) volunteer online community manager, but now I'm also a mother's helper, and a piano teacher.  In 2013, I've decided to get a little more serious about the piano teaching side of things, so I'm working on finding a place to hold lessons, because my keyboard is not adequate.

So... that's my last month or so in a nutshell.  :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Students!

I never would have expected I would say this... but I'm a piano teacher!  I've been teaching one student since the fall, but I have two more starting in January. I'm a little apprehensive about starting with new students, since I've had such a good experience with my first student. One of my new students has never taken lessons before, so that's familiar. The other new student took three years of lessons, ending about three years ago.  I'm planning to start them both off very basic, but I'm hoping I'll be able to push the older, more experienced student a little faster.  I think I will be able to.  He seems like a bright kid.

Another leap I took today was e-mailing our facilities manager at our (rather large) church to see if I might be able to utilize the acoustic piano at our church to teach lessons one afternoon a week.  I don't know when I'll hear back from her, since it's so close to Christmas.  If I don't hear from her pretty quick into the new year, I'll contact her again.  Being able to use that piano would enable me to expand my studio and take on new students.

I'm also hoping that if I can get enough students, that I might be able to afford to re-start lessons myself.  I haven't taken lessons since high school.  I think that if I want to be a really good teacher, I should be in lessons too, and constantly challenging myself.  (Plus... maybe if I can take lessons from one of the more advanced teachers in town, they'll be willing to refer their beginner inquiries to me, allowing them to focus on their advanced students, and helping me further develop my studio!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Delightful Dinner!

We had a lovely time last night with a family we hadn't seen in several years.  They made a great gluten-free, casein-free dinner, and then we all played bingo!  :)

Today I got off to a very slow start (I won't tell you how slow...) so now I have just a little bit of time to get the shopping list down and get it to Daniel so he can buy some food on his way home.  One meal that is DEFINITELY going on our menu is the one we served our company on Saturday evening.  It was a delicious microwave meatloaf that has turned out perfect all three times I have made it.  I think we're going to try doubling the sauce, browning the beef on the stove, and putting it over quinoa to make it stretch a bit further though, since we can't put beans in it (Daniel's allergies...).  Ohhhh... just thinking about it is making me hungry!  :P

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Follow-Up From Yesterday....

If you haven't read yesterday's post, you can do so here.

Yesterday afternoon we stopped at the hospital and picked up Daniel's medical records from his ER visit, and wouldn't you know it... but there was NO mention of an IV at all, even though they told the insurance company that there was.  There was one form dedicated to medications, complete with an IV section, and there was nothing written in that section at all.  We're hoping that means it will be easy to contest the charge.  We also decided not to do anything about it until we actually get the bill from the hospital, but we will be contesting that charge.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Some Surprises are Good, Some.... Are Not.

Last week was a week of surprises for us.

Surprise #1--Discovering another young couple from our church wanted to get together with us.  That's a good surprise.  I could use a few more of those.

Surprise #2--Discovering that the claims for Daniel's ER visit have been processed. The hospital charged WAY more than we were expecting (even after insurance).  Not really sure yet how we're going to pay for it, but trusting that God will provide.

Surprise #3--Our postal worker knocked on our door on Friday with a package for me, from SereneTeaz, in Wheaton, IL.  I visited their shop in August with friends, and went home with their Vanilla Chai.  Turns out, one of the friends who took me there in August sent me their Chai of the Tiger!  So blessed by her generosity.  :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friends, I think?

I just looked at our calendar for December, and it's actually filling up!  Tomorrow we've having dinner with another young couple from church.  We're hosting them here, since we figured that might be easier on everyone as far as food allergies go.  I'm hoping it goes well.  It would be nice to have more friends who are married with no kids, and who are our age!

Then next week we're getting together with a family we met back in 2010.  We actually haven't seen them since then, so it should be fun to get together with them again.  Later in the week, we've been invited to a Christmas party at another young couple's house.  Then just a few days after that, my parents and my sister are coming for Christmas!  :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jury Duty!

We've been married five years.  In those five years, Daniel has never been summoned for jury duty.  However, I have now been summoned twice.  I must not look too threatening, because the first time I was summoned, I actually did get to serve.  It was an interesting experience, and I'm actually looking forward to having the opportunity to do it again.  Who knows if I'll get picked again though.  I guess we'll see in January!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Just about forgot to post today!

I just about forgot to post today.  Life has been... interesting, the last 24 hours or so.  We're planning an almost-impromptu dinner with another couple we've met... twice.  They're coming on Saturday night for dinner.  Monday we're meeting with a potential website client.  Somewhere in there we have to go by the hospital and visit with the billing department about a mistake on the claim they sent to our insurance company for Daniel's ER visit in July.

And in the midst of all that, Mama "T" is sick, so I won't be going over there tomorrow.  That's probably okay though, since I started a new supplement, and I'm detoxing pretty hard.  :P

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I think I just did the most baking I've done in a LOOOOONG time.  Daniel's brother wanted some gluten-free, casein-free baking, and I had time, so I offered to do it!  :)  I made pumpkin/applesauce/raisin/Craisin/chocolate chip bread and muffins, and BOY are they good!  I'll make too batches for us tomorrow.  Yum!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Back to the Dentist!

Daniel went to the dentist today for the second half of his cleaning.  They gave him a different anesthetic this time, called mepivacaine, and it worked MUCH better than the septocaine.  It's been a little less than two hours since his appointment, and he's almost completely thawed out.  That's much better than the seven hours it took after the septocaine!  :)  So, it looks like he'll be using mepivacaine from now on.

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Earth Balance Rebuttal

I came across this article a few minutes ago when a friend posted it on Facebook.  I read it, and I take issue with many of her points.

I'm sorry, but it ticks me off that she mentions Earth Balance at the beginning of the article, but yet, none of the claims that she makes about the ingredients of Smart Balance are true of Earth Balance.

I'm holding our container of soy-free Earth Balance right now.  Right on the top it says "Soy Free".  On the side, it says "No Soy, Expeller-Pressed Oil, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Non-GMO".  So, right there, I can point out that by including Earth Balance at the beginning of her diatribe, she is incorrect in her assertion that the canola is genetically modified, because at least in soy-free Earth Balance, it isn't.

I can't speak to her assertion that the olive oil in Smart Balance isn't EVOO, but at least in the original Earth Balance, it is.  I'm not sure about our Soy-free Earth Balance though.  The "natural flavor" in soy-free Earth  Balance is plant derived from corn, contains no MSG, no alcohol, and no gluten.  There is no mention of "artificial flavors" on the Earth Balance tub.

Soy-free Earth Balance does not contain soy lecithin. It contains sunflower lecithin, which I've already established is non-GMO, unlike her claims about soy lecithin.

Soy-free Earth Balance does not contain Vitamin A palmitate, Vitamin D2, or Beta carotene color.  It DOES contain naturally extracted annatto for color.

Soy-free Earth Balance also does not contain Potassium sorbate or Calcium disodium EDTA.

Furthermore, the author of the above linked article goes on to assert that "Butter is Always Best", which in our case, isn't true either!  My husband is allergic to casein, which is the protein in dairy products, including butter. If he eats butter, it will erase all the progress we have made with his healing over the last few months since going gluten & casein free.

I'm sure someone will love to point out that we could settle for ghee... but that isn't really an option either, since it's nearly impossible to get all the casein out of homeamde ghee.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I was struck a few days ago in my Bible reading by these verses from 1 John 5: 13-15

13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

First question I had for myself was,"What kind of prayer pleases God?".  And then,"Do my prayers line up with the type of prayer that would please God?"  and then... "If not, why not?" followed by "What would it take to change my prayers to ones that would please God?"

So often, I'm guilty of praying something like: "Dear Jesus, please take this pain away. Amen." But what of that prayer pleases God?  I don't see any trust in that prayer. I don't see any glorification OF God in that prayer. I mean... obviously if taking my pain away would glorify God the most, I'm sure He would do that... but so far He hasn't seen that taking away my pain would glorify Him more than allowing me to continue in pain would. I believe that praying that God would be glorified in this situation IS a prayer that would please Him, and I'm inclined to pray in that way, rather than "give me this, give me that, take away this", etc.  So, we'll see.  Whatever happens, I just want need God to do a major work in my heart.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I love my husband!

Just wanted to give my husband a big shout out today.  :)  He's been so good to me, and he loves me so much!  I'm very happy to have him in my life.  Looking forward to him coming home tonight, and being able to spend some time together.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

Remember all the grand plans I had yesterday?  Well... the only thing on that list that ACTUALLY got done was the grocery list and the grocery shop.  I didn't write any cards and Daniel's meeting got cancelled.  Whoops!

But there you have it.  The truth about my Monday.  :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Morning Musings...

It's Monday morning.  That means it's a new week, a fresh slate.  And I messed up on my best-laid plans already.  :(  But... that's okay.  Because God forgives, and He knows my heart.

Today is going to be a busy day.  Daniel has a business meeting at a ranch on the other side of town this afternoon, and I'm tagging along for appearances.  After that, we'll go grocery shopping.  It's going to be a major shop this week because we pretty little in our cupboards and fridge right now.  :P  But of course... before we can do that, I have to write the grocery list.

Oh... and we're big on combining trips, so I have about 12 thank you cards, and 25+ Christmas cards to write before we leave.  Gotta run!  :)