Where Have I Been???

Hey there everyone :) I'm so glad that you have come to visit The Country Heart Blog.  My name is Tina and I have decided to share a little bit about myself with all of you.  I've been out of Blogville for awhile now.  It's a little long, so maybe it's a lot about me!

I started The Country Heart Blog in 2006. For two years I struggled with my identity.  What I wanted, what I was all about, and what I wanted to share.  Life would soon take a turn, changing everything!

In October of 2008, my husband, Todd, became very ill.  For weeks we had no idea what was wrong with him but he was increasingly getting worse. At 3 am one morning in November, I thought he was going to give up. I had never seen him so sick and helpless. He begrudgingly gave in and let me take him to the emergency room, 45 minutes away.  Our 2 kids living at home, one in high school and one in grade school, would wake up to an empty house, no parents and deeply concerned. (I did call eventually when I was able to). Todd couldn't stand by himself or stay conciously awake for even seconds at a time. He was like a bowl of jello, literally. After many tests were run, doctors had looked him over from head to toe and our children were assured he was in good hands, we were given the results. Or should I say, I was, Todd was too out of it.   Serum Sickness.  

What the hay is serum sickness you ask??  

Serum sickness in humans is a reaction to proteins in antiserum derived from a non-human animal source, occurring 4–10 days after exposure. It is a type of hypersensitivity, specifically immune complex hypersensitivity (type III). The term serum sickness–like reaction (SSLR) is occasionally used to refer to similar illnesses that arise from the introduction of certain non-protein substances. (Wikipedia.org)

Anywho, he was pretty darn sick. He had been processing new cattle at a feedlot in American Falls and accidentally hit himself in the knee with a dirty needle that was being used to inject cattle with vaccinations. It wasn't good! Check out Feedlot Cattle Processing for more information about cattle processing.

They immediately put him on large doses of medication, the worst for him was Prednisone, which made him feel bloated and nauseous.  He felt like his skin was boiling underneath the surface.  But, he was going to be okay. I was relieved.

Right after Thanksgiving, with happy hearts, we took family pictures with our Chihuahua, Vader,  inside our ranch home which was built in 1913 by Todd's great-great-grandfather and passed on through several generations of Powers descendants. 

Our happiness was short lived. On December 4, 2008, we lost our beautiful ranch house to a fire. We hurried home from work when we heard the news, to find many neighbors and strangers, taking our belongings out of the house as quickly as they could. Such wonderful people! Todd asked me what I wanted out of the house and I said "Get the pictures". They aren't replaceable. Our son Cody had returned to Boise where he was attending Boise State University. He wanted to come right home. I told him no, knowing he was upset, I worried about his safety while traveling the two and a half hour drive back to Sublett. Cade, who was in high school, was pulled out of class and told the news. He rushed home to get what he could out of his upstairs bedroom. And my parents, who lived just 15 minutes away in Malta, heard the news on their EMT radios. They went to the elementary school, pulled Cheyenne out of class and on the way to Sublett told her what the smoke was by the East mountains. She was frantic by the time she got to us.  My parents are wonderful people with the biggest hearts. They really tried to help. Our little Vader, had been in his pen inside the house when it caught on fire. Todd's brother Tyler had seen the fire and called 911. He rushed to the house, found Vader, and got him out.  Thank you Tyler!

After several hours of watching our home burn helplessly, we decided to stay the night at Tyler's new home 1/4 mile away so Todd could keep an eye on things. We didn't sleep at all. Cody came the next morning. It was the most heart breaking life experience for our family. Todd and I travel to Las Vegas every December for a few days to see the NFR (National Finals Rodeo). We planned to leave on December 6th. I refused to go and after much convincing by my husband, my children, friends and family, I caved in and packed a suitcase. They said it would be good for me.  It was the worst vacation I have ever taken. The day between our house fire and our trip, was spent cleaning up, renting a home in Malta, somewhat moving in, attending a basketball tournament in Dietrich for Cade's high school basketball team, and packing for our trip. Meals, money, gifts and numerous clothing and Christmas donations were given for which we were so appreciative. And after the dust settled, I sent a letter to the local newspaper thanking, the four seperate fire station groups, police officers, ambulance crew and numerous family, friends, neighbors and strangers for their loving help and support.

We rented the fire crews home in Malta, until they came in the Spring,and then rented another home  while our house had to be torn down, the burning of what was left, then buried (believe me, that was one big hole in the ground) and eventually rebuilt.  In January of 2009, my brother, his wife, two children and stepson moved in with my parents. Things didn't look quite right with the stepson, age 6, and one evening he asked if he could go to a ballgame with us.  We agreed and soon noticed he had some serious issues with his mom. He had been passed between his mom and dad consistently since their divorce and desperately needed stability.  We invited him to stay with us until they could get back on their feet.  But issues soon rose to the surface and a need for him to be removed from his mothers control became an urgent matter. We received temporary custody and his father requested for us to adopt him.  We did and it turned our whole lives around!  He now has an awesome relationship with his dad, and we are all good friends.

 It took one year and one week to clean up and rebuild our new home and alot happened in that year for which we are so grateful.  I can truly say, that was the BEST year. We even had a friend of Cade's come live with us from December until graduation in May when both of them would graduate from high school.  We never felt crowded.  We were so happy to be together and that everyone was okay.

Cody and Cade have since married their sweethearts, given us a beautiful granddaughter and a handsome grandson. Cheyenne is now in high school, got her driver's license (watch out!!!) and attended her first Junior Prom Formal. Isaac is now a happy healthy twelve year old and was just ordained a deacon on Sunday.  He's grown so much and still as cute as they day we took him in. Todd is now healthy and strong, off the medications and serving on the Sublett Cemetery Board, the Cassia County Fairboard, a volunteer fire fighter (he now gives back to those who need him) and various other boards & callings. And me....I'm back to the blogging board and couldn't be happier! I'm working from home as a wife, mom, grandma, book keeper, primary teacher and blogger! 

Sometimes the challenges you face in life seem too big to conquer, but I assure you, the Lord gives us no task or trial that is more than we can handle.  We just have to push ourselves for that extra growth and when it's behind us, look forward to helping others conquer their hurdles. Life is good! We are so grateful for the trials we have had because they have made us better, stronger, more gracious people.  I really hope the trials I have faced and the lessons I have learned can be of a support and a help to someone else in need. And I am so glad to be back in Blogville!!!


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