Friday, August 27, 2010

Your World Can Change in an Instant!

We are thanking God right now for His protection and action. The paramedics left our house a short while ago. Shelby was choking on her pb&j sandwich, turning purple around her eyes, and trying to gasp for air. So absolutely terrifying. I think it tramatized the kids. As I was talking with the 911 lady, she kept asking "is that the baby crying", no it was the other kids. I seriously can't stop shaking. So so so scary! Alexis is still crying about it...

You go through your mind, "do I call 911 or wait?" "do I just keep trying to get the food out and not call?" "what if she's going to be fine and I look like an idiot when the medics show up?" Praying that God will help her because you can only do so's crazy the mental roller coaster that can happen in a few shorts seconds or even minutes.

I did end up calling and she did end up breathing by the time they got here. I asked them "how long until it's really bad?" They said "5 minutes, but you don't ever want it to get that far." They said "always, always call. It's better to wave goodbye to you and have a healthy baby/child, then to be arriving to a dead one." The one said "if you think they might be choking, call, because if they really are, it could be too late by the time we arrive, if you wait." Thank you Lord, that it wasn't a bad ending! I think choking has always been my worst fear with my children. You feel so helpless even though you are doing everything you can to help them. I'm just thankful that when he asked what I did to try and dis-lodge it, that he said I did the right thing by flipping her over, head down, and hitting her hard on the back.

I'm thinking that our family will be heading down to one of their first aid/c.p.r. classes very soon...

Our Suggey "sugar" is healthy and fine, laying her head on my shoulder, sucking her thumb. Hug your kids, tell them you love them, and make everyday soon as the door closed the kids all begged to hold her. I love that my children love each other. You find it more often than not that siblings dislike each other these days, but thankfully in our home, they LOVE one another. Makes my heart smile.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I've got a big favor to ask all of you! Hear me out before you stop reading.

One of my dear friends from elementary school (Stephanie Magness) has Friedreich’s ataxia (FA). It is a debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. About one in 50,000 people in the United States have Friedreich’s ataxia. She has suffered form this since she was 12 yrs old, and will eventually die from it, since there is NO cure...

Every year she hosts a holiday boutique "Stephanie's Hope" to raise money for research for F.A.R.A. (Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance). There is a raffle called "The 12 Days of Christmas" in which 12 big ticket items are raffled off. My desire is to provide them with an iPad to use as a raffle gift! Bob and I have been praying about a way to provide them with one. Then this morning I checked my emails and I received one from a virtual rebates program. You shop online at participating stores, Nordstroms, Old Navy, JC Pennys, Apple Store, Best Buy, you name it, they probably have it! You just go through their website in order to get your rebates, anywhere from 1%-5% back on your purchases. Just for shopping through them. Not hard right?

Well, they are offering right now that if I refer 50 people using my tracking # when they sign up, and they purchase $20.00 or more earning cash back, I will receive an iPad! Which I will turn around and donate to the raffle for "Stephanie's Hope!" Sound like a plan??!!

Here is the tracking # Copy and paste to your browser!

This is the fine print:

* A qualified referral is a new user to Ebates who makes a purchase of $20 or more earning cash back. Note, no self-referrals allowed and returned purchases do not qualify. To qualify for the bonus you must refer the qualified new members between 8/1/10 and 9/30/10 and they must make their qualifying purchase by 10/10/10. Only one bonus level per person awarded, you will receive the highest bonus level for which you qualify. Ebates decisions are final. In the event that any of the bonuses as described are not available a similar bonus will be awarded. You are responsible for any taxes, as applicable by law. Referral Bonus Promotion is open only to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico and are eighteen (18) years of age or older.

Hey, it's worth a shot right? If this doesn't suit you, maybe you'd be willing to donate towards the purchase of an iPad with Bob and I? Think on it, pray about it, and don't can help this great cause...possibly even help save lives, or at least extend them...

*I do know too that some of you have CONNECTIONS and you could pull some strings to get some fabulous items donated to this fundraiser! I've got the donation letter, tax I.D. # for the full write-off! I know it might be troublesome to pick up the phone, send an email or text, but it really that difficult compared to the reality of having a disease that slowly kills you? No, and you're good people! It will make you smile and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that you helped in this effort. :) This boutique is located in Valencia, Ca Saturday, November 13th, those of you in LA, it's not too far from you. Stop by shop and fill those raffle boxes!

All of the information you need is located here:

Stephanie's Story:

In life everyone has a choice; you can either enjoy what God has blessed you with or choose not to see the joy and beauty in every day, even the hard ones. My name is Stephanie and I choose to enjoy what I have been blessed with. That might sound a little cliché to you or even a little too easy, but guess what? It’s true! And one more thing…it is definitely not easy BUT it is always worth it.

Living with Friedreich’s Ataxia is a roller coaster ride for sure; kinda scary and nerve-wracking, exciting and exhilarating all at the same time. You know the feeling that all the best roller coasters give, where you feel torn between wanting to get off as quickly as possible and never wanting the ride to end? That pretty much sums up my life. Actually, it probably sums up everybody’s life. Even in our differences, we can all find common ground. However, each life takes its own twists and turns, and mine? Well, the twists and turns have taken me where I never imagined I’d go….

Even though I was pretty much always a clumsy kid, nothing really seemed out of the ordinary about me at all. I was just like every little girl that loved dressing up, playing with Barbie’s and dreamed of growing up and getting married, becoming a mom, or being a supermodel (maybe even all of it!). And then when I was 12, I turned into a girl who was anything but ordinary, only I didn’t know it yet.

In 7th grade, there was a mandatory screening for scoliosis during P.E. and I remember the lady examining me being fully shocked that I didn’t know I had scoliosis. After my parents promptly took me to my pediatrician, which led to visits with a few neurologists, we knew why no one had noticed my curvy spine until it was almost shaped like the letter “S”. There was something a whole lot more serious going on. More tests and doctor’s appointments than I could count finally provided the answer; Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT). At least, we thought that was the answer until my physical abilities kept declining in a way that wasn’t matching up with CMT. So 10 years, more tests, and more doctors later, the truth came to light, I have Friedreich’s Ataxia.

Friedreich’s what?? I think that was pretty close to what my parents’ and I said when we heard this new explanation for why I was having so much trouble walking and keeping my balance. I have to admit that I wasn’t at all prepared for learning about the severity of my new reality. A wheelchair, severe loss of coordination, slurred speech, and a shortened life-span were no longer unimaginable but expected. I believe that God spared me the knowledge of my true diagnosis for those ten years because I was not as emotionally able to handle it at 13 as I was at 23. For that, I will always be thankful. Especially because, the future is so much more promising for people, like me, with FA now as opposed to 1994.

The hope of a cure for FA is what has drawn me into fundraising and given me the courage to allow anyone to see into the parts of my life that I was once embarrassed and afraid of, parts I tried so hard to ignore and keep hidden. FA has taken so very much from me and I hope that I can be a small part of the efforts working so hard to end this disease, making sure that one day FA will no longer be able to take anything from anyone. I hope that you’ll join with me in the fight against Friedreich’s Ataxia.

While it has been anything but easy living with FA, I have learned to accept what I cannot change; I love my life and consider myself to be truly blessed. Everyone’s life goes in directions that seem unexpected and even unwanted at times, but we’re all in this together. Everyone has a disability; some are just more obvious than others.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Are you going Bananas...I'm going Bananas!

Shelby is enjoying the bounty of Banana Bread! What a sweetie :)

So, the story goes...Alexis and I were at Freddy's and were about to pick up some bananas that are usually $0.49-$0.69 cents a lb. When my eye caught some "ORGANIC" ones with red tape all around them. "Hum" I said. What's with all the red tape?!?! So, I went up and squeezed one thinking "they've got to be going really bad"...wrong! They were perfectly firm on the inside, but ugly and rotten looking on the exterior. Then the best part...I looked up and there it was $0.29 cents a lb!!! Hello, "I think I hit the mother load" I say to Alexis. She looks oddly at me, then I explain how these are 1/2 the price of "normal" bananas, but 1/3 the price of "ORGANIC!" She shrugs and says "ok." lol (Yes, I'm crazy, yes, I love a bargain, yes, my children eat tooonnns of bananas) Seriously, there was an entire pile of bananas lookin' all ugly and being perfect inside, and calling my name! Ha *There were 3 more bunches that I had already cut up to freeze that aren't pictured*

What does one do with so many bananas?!? I cut up the worst looking ones to freeze, since I figured they'd go bad first. Placed them on cookie sheets.

Cleared out two shelves in the freezer for all these beauties, froze them, then placed them in a Ziploc baggie for smoothies!

This is the scrumptious banana bread that we made.

It's supposed to be a healthy recipe, but I was out of all the healthy stuff, so I improvised to make this:

Banana Tea Party Bread

*1 3/4 cup Flour (whole wheat)
*2 tsp Baking Powder
*1/2 tsp Salt
*1/2 tsp Cinnamon
*1/3 cup Brown Sugar

-On a separate plate, I mashed and combined:
*2 Bananas
*4 Tbsp Olive Oil (canola oil)
*4 Tbsp Sour Cream (plain yogurt)
*2 tsp Vanilla Extract

-Then add and combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl.

-Pour batter into loaf pan 9x5. Sprinkle with Brown Sugar over the top, for a crunchy sugary topping!

*Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes (or until knife comes out clean)

*() these are the ingredients that I didn't have. ;)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Blessing of A Free Homeschool Table!

If you read my Facebook posts you'll remember me talking about a wonderful woman that blessed our family in a way that she most likely didn't realize.

We stopped at her garage sale and she immediately started talking with the children and giving them things, i.e. things that would be throw away when we get home, type things! They were thrilled. She was getting ready to end her sale and I asked her about a table that she had for sale for $30. She asked "Oh, are you interested?" I replied "Yes, but my husband isn't! I think it would be great for our schoolroom and he isn't so sure." She then says "take it! And, do you want the chairs to that go with it too?" Needless to say, I was amazed that she would just give it to us and excepted her graciousness with awe. Then to top things off, she told me about being a librarian and how she loved her job at the school district, and how she would love it if Alexis came by once a week and check out books from her "library" collection at her home. Then proceeded to head into her home and bring back an arm full of age appropriate books for our children! Seriously!?!? Brand new I might add.

We went home, all of us, with smiles on our faces. What a wonderful, happy woman. Here are the results from our freebie!

Ty modeling the "before" chairs...



Paint that I scored at Lowe's for $2.50 each! They were the exact colors I was wanting and I saved $21 total on the paint buying the "mistint" paint.

Supplies...totaling with paint $17.38 Can a table get much cheaper than that?!

Bob painting the top.

Table legs painted and drying.

The finished product. I think it turned out pretty well considering what it looked like before hand.

It's the perfect height for the kids to do their school work (their feet touch, or almost touch the ground depending on which child!)

How about one of these fabrics for the cushions on the chairs? I think they might go nicely with the table and give the room a pop of color it needs so much. But, that will have to wait for another payday! lol

God is so good. He is the provider that we want to be, but can't. He knows what we need and what we don't. Can you imagine the life we'd have if we would just let go of the control that we feel we need to have, and allow God to be God? So many times I put Him in a box. His power is unmeasurable. He is sovereign so why don't we willingly follow? Who knows what He'll have in store? For us it was a blessing of a table we so needed, but didn't know how much until we had it...

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

*She waved goodbye when we left and said "Welcome to Tri-Cities!"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Worksheet Generator

So all you homeschooling moms...I have something for you! has many worksheets for your classroom. Sheets you can create include: Math, English, Geography, Puzzles, and Miscellanea. I created cursive writing worksheets for Alexis and Ty. I have a daughter who, when she wants to, has beautiful cursive writing. Lately she has been sloppy and not doing her best...therefore this works beautifully to get her to practice. It's great because you can make them from Bible verses, songs, a note from Mom to child with maybe an "I love you", "you're wonderful" message that they discover while tracing, a poem, etc.! So many choices!!! I love it :)

We LOVE and we are trying to memorize the lot of Courage verses they have supplied in Flash Card form. Here are our samples that I created this morning:

*These are already traced since it's really hard to see when they aren't. :) Alexis' is done until the last few lines just to show you what they look like just as a worksheet. (sorry, I couldn't figure out how to flip the pic!)