Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Can the School Year be Over?

My little 6 year-old graduated from Kindergarten two weeks ago today.  As my toddler and I stood there and watched him get his certificate, I was so proud of him.  I felt that feeling in my heart that I feel when I am overwhelmed with how my children have grown.

Him, and his classmates, sang a song "I am a VIP in my Family."  It is so true.  He is a very important person in our family. As he sang that song (photo below) he kept looking at me and smiling.  He brings so much joy.  He has a smile that is contagious.  He says things that are wise beyond his years.  He is very caring, but he is mischievous too.




Here he is with his Kindergarten teacher.  I am so thankful for her patience.  I am thankful for how well she treated him.  When she started the graduation ceremony, she read a poem and started crying.  It talked about how she got them at the beginning of the year, and watched them grow into what they were that day.  I could tell she loved the children.

I said to him on the way back to our vehicle, "You know your teacher loves you?"

He said, "I know, she told us everyday."

Who doesn't want their children to have a teacher that will let them know that she loves them.  To the best of my memory, I never had a teacher tell us, as a class, that she/he loved us.  I think it would help kids treat each other and the teacher with more respect, knowing that the teacher cared about them.



He received his graduation cap and he wore it the whole day.  We went grocery shopping and he wore it.  He was so very proud that he was able to graduate from Kindergarten.  His little sister was able to enjoy the day with us also.



We didn't find out about graduation until that morning.  One of my friends on Facebook had posted that she couldn't believe her child was graduating the next morning, so I called and asked.  Thankfully I did, or I would have missed it.  I just didn't see the announcement when it came home.

My children officially finished school the next day.  They learned so much this school year, and I am always thankful for good teachers that treat my children well. 

I broke a bone in my foot that evening.  I am not allowed to put any weight on it for 4-6 weeks and then re-introduce a little weight at a time.  This summer will be interesting! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My New Work-at-Home Job - MOBU Herbals Utah

When I was first married, my husband and I rented a room from a wonderful woman.  We were blessed to have this woman welcome us into her home, and love us and treat us as she would a family member.  During this time, we got to know a couple of her children.  One of her children is Janell Cole.  She is a Naturopathic Doctor and Master Herbalist.  She is the creator/founder of MOBU Herbals.  My husband and I were blessed to get to know her during this time.

She has been selling MOBU Herbals for eight years via her website and it has been sold in select health food stores.  It is now available to be sold at home parties via consultants.  We are looking for determined people, that believe in the product, to go out and starting making a great income while teaching people about MOBU Herbals.


The products are wonderful!  They are organic and herbal based.  There are balms, lotions, body butters and lip balms.  The products sell themselves.  Samples are made available for people to try out.  There is no doubt that they work.  I have seen how they help with ear infections, coughs, colds, congestion, sore throats, migraines, back pain, tooth aches, bug bites and skin tags.  There are lotions and balms to help with energy, to activate a sluggish immune system, and energize adrenal and thyroid glands.  There is a product to naturally ease constipation.  All of the products are transdermal.  In other words, they are absorbed through the skin.  By doing so, they bypass the liver and digestive system, which depletes the potency of oral medications, sometimes up to 90%.  Furthermore, they will not injure the organs, as some medications that are taken orally have been found to do.

The body butters are great!  Like most body butters they provide relief from dry, cracked skin.  These also can minimize scarring and stretch marks.  They provide relief from eczema.  They soothe sunburned or peeling skin.  They smell amazing!  My favorite scents are Love Potion #9 and Chocolate Cherry.  There are nine scents to choose from and unscented.

I am excited to be starting with this company and be able to help out a good friend.  I believe in her and I believe in her product.  I have used it and I know that when others get the chance to try it, they will love it also.  That is why I have free samples and I will ship them out for others to try.   The only thing that I ask is that you post a review of the product(s) that you tried on my Facebook page.

Please check out my facebook page MOBU Herbals Utah to find out about all the products.  I look forward to helping as many people as possible learn about these natural products.  

When you share this and place your first order, you will get a free lip balm of your choice... please message me, or send me an email at mobu.herbals.utah@gmail com, so I can add the lip balm to your order.  Place your order at www.stratusmall.com/store/6266 then click "health" on the left side, then "mobu herbals." When signing up as a customer, please pick "customer" (the bottom option).

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Sister's Big Day - April 26, 2014

We arrived in Minnesota on April 25, 2014.  Everyone in my vehicle was excited to finally get there and be with family.  My parents, brother, his wife, and each of their dog arrived about 1 1/2 hours later.  It was so wonderful to be together.

We picked up my brother the next day from the airport, and traded in the rental vehicle we had.   It started showing that it needed an oil change early the day before.  Since we were at the airport, it was the perfect time for the trade.

From the airport, we went to Costco.  We had to get food to eat and things for my sister's reception.  It was then that I discovered that Costco no longer has the ice cream bar at the food court.  It was a very sad moment in my life.

After Costco, we headed to the Mall of America.  It was somewhere my sister-in-law had always wanted to go to.  They were having Robot Wars in the main hallway.  We watched a couple of them.  I don't really understand the concept, but my brothers and my children enjoyed it.  We walked around and went into the Nickelodeon themed amusement park.  My toddler wasn't amused in the slightest when I didn't get her a stuffed Patrick or Spongebob toy.

It was getting late by this point.  We had to hurry back to the hotel and get ready for the wedding.  We then had to run to the reception hall and help get it ready.  We were really fast getting changed and getting out of the hotel.  I was impressed with the speed we got ready.

We headed to the reception hall where we had to get tables put in the correct places.  We made sure that chairs were around the tables and the tables were appropriately decorated.  My sister and I then went and helped our other sister get into her wedding gown.  She is absolutely beautiful.  We had to lace up the back of it.   We were busy lacing up her dress in the photo below.



We got her all laced up and got her headpiece attached.  She put on her jacket and it was time to head out.  She was taking a boat to the island she was getting married on.  We would be driving over.  My older daughter rode over on the boat because she was in charge of keeping the train off the ground.  She enjoyed that a lot!

We arrived on the island and the wedding got started.  It was a quick wedding, sweet and to the point.  There was a photographer there.  The photos have not arrived yet.  None of us remembered our cameras, so all the photos are with phones.  I think they turned out well.   I look forward to seeing the professional photos too!

After the photos were complete, we went to the reception hall.  When the bride decided it was time to eat, we all agreed.  I had lettuce wrap sandwiches.  They made them for me because of my gluten problem.  I chased my toddler around most of the night.  

One of my dear friends, who was a roommate of ours in college, was there with her family.  It was so nice to get to see her and visit with her during that evening.  She has a wonderful family.  She helped me chase my kiddos around.

The lighting in the reception hall was not very good.  Some pictures were taken in there, I found the best one of my sister.  


I am blessed to have been able to spend that day with them.  I was thankful that I was able to go.  It was an amazing evening.  I wish my sister and her husband an eternity of happiness!


Friday, May 2, 2014

The First Leg of the Trip to Minnesota

Last Wednesday, Apr 23, I picked up my little brother from the airport.  I rented a minivan, got my children and luggage, and hit the road.  Our ultimate destination was Minnesota.  We made a few stops in between.

We first stopped in Wyoming.  We stayed overnight at my sister's house.  She had some Domino's Pizza waiting for us.  She was kind enough to get me a gluten pizza.  The next morning, April 24, my children, my brother, my sister and my nephew got in the van and started heading further east.

It seemed like we drove for hours and hours without making much progress.  When we reached the area that we had to really start deciding if we wanted to make the turn toward Mount Rushmore or keep heading toward our final destination, we decided to take the side trip up the mountain to Mount Rushmore.  My brother was the only person in the vehicle that had ever been there.  This was my first trip into South Dakota.   As I drove the windy, mountain road up to the National Monument, I felt excitement that I was finally going to see it. 

Upon entering Mount Rushmore, we are supposed to pay $11 to park.  We waited for an attendant at the security gate, but no one came and the gate had been propped open.  We figured that meant that we could just go in.  The car that entered before us had come to the same conclusion.  No one said anything to us so I am not sure if that is common but we did park.

When we entered the walkway at Mount Rushmore, we were greeted by wild mountain goats.  My toddler announced, "It's bunnies."  On the way out of the park, my six year-old suggested that we "take the llamas."  In the photo below, the white things in the grass behind my daughter are the mountain goats, aka bunnies and llamas.


We proceeded into the National Monument area.  It was absolutely majestic.  I don't really know the history or how long it took to create Mount Rushmore, but it is something to behold.  My sister took some pictures of my children and I in front of the Monument.  I was thankful that she had a phone with a camera because I forgot my camera at home.


I am pretty sure that my toddler will not remember that trip.  I am not sure if my six year-old will remember or not.  I am quite sure that my two older children will remember going to Mount Rushmore.  They added South Dakota to the states they have been to at the same time I did.


We continued on that evening and made it to Oacoma, South Dakota, where we found a hotel room. Although there were eight of us, I let the desk clerk know that we would share a room as long as there were two beds.  The children could sleep on the floor, in an effort to save money.   I was the only driver, because it was a rental vehicle and it would have cost $100 to add another driver for the time we were renting the vehicle.  I didn't want to add that to the cost of our trip.

The next morning, we woke up and had breakfast.  They offered a nice continental breakfast, which everyone enjoyed.  I was able to eat the omelets.  The hardest thing about being gluten free is trying to find things to eat when I am not the one cooking it.  After eating, we all got in the vehicle to continue our journey to Minnesota.  It was now Friday, April 25.  My sister that lives in Minnesota would be getting married the next day.

I had bought lunch meat, cheese, crackers, carrots, peanut butter, rice cakes, and some treats for the trip.  We stopped at a rest area and had some peanut butter sandwiches or peanut butter on rice cakes.  At the rest area, there were some Thirteen Striped Ground Squirrels.  My sister saw it first and was pointing it out to me, asking what it was.  I told her it was some kind of lizard, it looked like the bearded dragon my brother once owned.  From the angle I was at, it looked like it had scaly skin instead of fur.  As it ran into its hole, the sun hit it at an angle where I could see that it was fur.  My sister thought I was nuts to think it was a lizard of some sort, because she was at an angle where she could tell it was fur.  We got a good laugh out of it, and she said she now knew why my kids thought the mountain goats were bunnies or llamas.

We arrived in Woodbury, Minnesota, at about 5 pm.  My sister and her fiance were waiting at our hotel for us to get there.  My parents, my brother and sister-in-law arrived about 1 1/2 hours later.  We then went over to the Old Country Buffet.  It was so wonderful to be together again!  We were only missing my older brother (as far as siblings go), who arrived on Saturday.  We missed many nieces and nephews and in-laws that were not able to make the trip.
 
Saturday would be the big day for my sister.  It was a very busy day.  I will end this post here and write about Saturday in the next one :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Birthday to my Ten Year-Old Daughter

It is hard to believe that I have had a daughter for ten years.  She arrived earlier than her scheduled c-section.  She was planned to arrive on May 5, 2004.  She wasn't about ready to wait.  I went into labor on April 29 while at work.  I got to leave work early.  I went home and relaxed, as much as someone in labor could relax, and waited until morning to go see my midwife.

Upon arrival at my midwife's office, I was examined and told to be at the hospital by 10 am.  It was about 9:45 am and I had to go get my husband from work and then return to the hospital.  It was after 10 when I got back to the hospital, but that was okay.

Then the frantic search for someone to come and watch my 13 month 13 day-old son began.  I called everyone I could think of.  That day was a meeting where almost all the people I knew from church was attending.  Thankfully I got a hold of one person that was willing to come and watch my son so my husband could join me in the operating room.

My birthday girl today

At the birth of my daughter, I heard something I didn't hear before... crying!  Her crying set off my crying and my husband was crying too.  The sounds of a newborn's cry is an amazing sound, especially having not been blessed with that sound at the previous birth.  I saw something I hadn't seen before too... my newborn was shown to me over the drape and my husband was allowed to hold her so I could see her a little better after she had been cleaned up.

When my son first saw his little sister, although he was just barely over one year-old, there was an immediate recognition.  He had a big smile on his face.  He knew who she was and he knew one of his best friends had joined him on earth.

My children all have had amazing temperaments.  They only would cry when they wanted or needed something.  She was a mellow little girl.

She received an early birthday gift

Upon her birth, one of the nurses expressed concern that she might have club feet.  Her feet were turned sideways, with the bottom of the feet facing each other.  I guess that is the best way to express that.  I had noticed that when I was checking her over, so it wasn't too much of a surprise to me.  I asked the pediatrician about that when she came in.  She looked at her feet and moved them a little.  She assured me that it wasn't club feet and said it was likely how the feet were placed in the womb.  She told me to spend as much time as I could holding her feet stationary in the correct position.  Whenever I would nurse her, or just be holding her, I would hold her feet in the correct position.  I don't remember how long it took to correct the problem.  I believe it was a few months, but it did correct itself.  My next two children were born the same way and I knew what to do, although their feet weren't turned quite as much.

One of my memories with her as an infant is when I was talking on the phone with my mom.  She was still a newborn and I was nursing her.  I wasn't paying attention to her eating because I was paying attention to my phone conversation.  She just started to cry and cry.  I looked down and realized that my milk supply was emptying all over her face and head.  She was getting it in the ear, in the eyes (thankfully she knew how to blink and keep her eyes closed) and her face was just covered in milk.  I would have been crying too!  I have always laughed about it.

Another memory was while I was still in the hospital.  My brother-in-law brought one of his girlfriends to my room to meet me and see the baby.  Him and my husband left for a little while, and the woman stayed.  I had never met her, and I admit, I am not too talkative when meeting a person for the first time, generally.  Neither will I generally tell the new person that he/she is wrong about something.  This woman asked me if I was excited to know what color my daughter's eyes were.  I told her that I had seen her eyes and they are blue.  She then informed me that there was no way that I had seen her eyes, because babies don't open their eyes until they are at least three days old.

She was blowing us a kiss in a selfie today
 I could not believe what I was hearing.  My brother-in-law wasn't dating a pre-teen or a teenager... this was a woman.  She had to be, at least, in her twenties.  I was again assured her that I had seen her eyes.  She didn't believe me and restated her position.  I, then, explained that human babies open their eyes at birth.  I told her that kittens and puppies don't open their eyes for a few days after birth.  I had known for many, many years... since I was old enough to know anything, I imagine, that babies opened their eyes at birth.   I am so glad that woman didn't become a sister-in-law, I don't know that I could have handled it.

She has given me some scares in my life.  The most recent was last Friday when she almost ran out in a parking lot in front of a speeding car.  Thankfully, she saw the headlights.  Thankfully, the vehicle had its headlights on.  I didn't see her until it was almost too late.  The only thing I could have done was honk my horn and hope the vehicle would slam on its brakes.

She went through a period of time when she was two that she was sick for a long period of time, with high fevers.  It was frightening.  No one knew for sure what was wrong with her.  I would pray frequently that she would get better.  I would not get much sleep at all.  My prayers were answered a little after Thanksgiving and she recovered from whatever was ailing her.  We were never sure what it was.
My birthday girl and her little sis

I have been so blessed over the last ten years with my daughter in my life. I am so thankful that I was blessed to raise her.  She brings so much joy to my life.  She is an amazing singer.  She loves to read.  She enjoys helping others.  She loves to scrapbook.  She is a good friend to others.  She has always been outgoing.  We would go to softball tournaments ever since she was a newborn.  When she was old enough to start talking, she would make friends at the tournaments.  She has made me smile everyday for ten years.




Monday, March 31, 2014

Arrow of Light

My oldest child recently turned eleven years-old.  With that, he completed the Webelos in Cub Scouts.  Upon completion, he had his Arrow of Light ceremony.  Growing up, scouting wasn't a big thing in my area.  My brothers didn't participate much in Scouts, I think they might have done a year or so once we moved to New York.  I didn't really have a clue about the Arrow of Light, what it was, or what was necessary to achieve the accomplishment. 

I am a Cub Scout leader in my area, so it might be strange to admit that I didn't have a clue.  The things I do know include that scouting teaches young boys and young men many necessary things.  They learn how to set goals to accomplish certain things.  They learn how to use tools to build things.  They learn how to cook, maybe not extravagant meals, but they should know how to read (and follow) a recipe.  They learn the importance of God and Country.  Although the "Pledge of Allegiance" might not be said in some schools anymore and praying isn't allowed in schools anymore, it is done at Scout meetings.  I don't know if it is done at all Scout meetings, but it is done at all of the ones I have been to. 

My eleven year-old worked hard to achieve his Arrow of Light.  Many hours were put into accomplishing the necessary goals to pass off requirements.  He is diligent.  He is intelligent.  He is brave.  He loves God and he loves his country. 

He received his Arrow of Light on March 25, 2014.  Below, the Scoutmaster is reading about the Arrow of Light.  My son is standing beside him.  On this day, he also got to lead the audience in the "Pledge of Allegiance."  


I didn't get a copy of what was read at the ceremony, but I should have.  He was listening intently as  the ceremony went on.


As the Scoutmaster read the seven virtues, my son lit a light for each one.  The seven virtues in Scouting are wisdom, courage, self-control, justice, faith, hope and love.  There was a light lit for each one of these.  After the lighting of all the virtue lights, he was given his Arrow of Light.


He was then able to cross the bridge.  As I understand it, it is the bridge from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts.  Since it was a quick walk across the bridge, I didn't get a photo of him actually doing the initial walk.  I had him go stand on it afterward so I could get a picture of him.  He will no longer be in Cub Scouts.  He will now be a Boy Scout!


It is hard to believe that I have a Boy Scout now.  I guess I need to get him a new shirt :)  I should also figure out how to get the badges and things on his shirt.  I do not sew worth anything.  I am grateful to all the people that showed up to make this a special evening for him.  I hope to someday be able to share his Eagle Scout photos :)  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Eleventh Birthday!

I was blessed eleven years-ago tonight with my first child.  He ended up being an emergency c-section since he was in distress.  He had been stuck in my pelvic area for well over an hour.  I tried everything I could to push him out.  The doctors tried to pull him out.  They even used forceps.  That little guy wasn't going to budge a millimeter further. 

He has made me smile daily for eleven years.  He has had so many great accomplishments.  His first big accomplishment was starting to breathe.  He wasn't breathing at birth.  I have always been thankful that he was born in a room that was connected to the NICU.  I knew when they took the baby and ran out of the room that there was something wrong.  I hadn't heard him cry or anything.  They took him and ran.  My heart broke.  I had watched enough "A Baby Story" shows on TLC (I believe), that I knew they would always show you your baby before taking the baby to weigh it and stuff.  I kept telling my husband that something was wrong, to find out what was wrong.  It seemed like an eternity, but it was a matter of maybe five- to ten-minutes, before a nurse came out and asked Keith, "Do you want to see your baby?" 

Keith looked at me.  I said "Yes!" 

The first time I saw my son was after I had been stapled up (yes, stapled instead of stitched, whole different story...).  They were rolling me out of the room and my husband came out holding this little fellow.  He was completely wrapped up from head to toe, except for his little face.  He was as white as a ghost, but I figured that was because Keith and I are his parents.  We are not dark by any stretch of the imagination.  I was told that it was because he hadn't been breathing, he hadn't gotten his color back yet. 

When I first saw my little one, I instantly had tears well up in my eyes.  I told him, "I am your Mommy and I love you!  Happy Birthday!"  I didn't realize that would be the last time I would see him for the next 6-7 hours.  He spent the next four days in NICU.  I made many, many trips down the hall to see him. 

Before I saw him again, my husband was allowed to go down to see him.  I had to stay connected to a lot of monitors.  My blood pressure dips tremendously at giving birth.  I didn't realize this until my third child when the nurse that was watching me told me that my blood pressure was close to the level where I could die.  She also had to keep reminding me to breathe.  Yes, should be something someone would remember, but apparently not.  It isn't something I usually think about, but it keeps happening.

When my husband went down, I had him count his fingers and toes.  I wanted a full report on the baby.  Since all I had seen was his perfect little face, I had no clue how the rest of him was.  I would love him regardless of any flaws, but I guess it is just something a mom wants to know.  I had him bring the camera and take pictures so I could see him again.

He was perfect.  Except his poor little head, the head was perfect, but it was horribly bruised.  Between being stuck in my pelvis and having forceps used, his head was bruised.  It hurt him to be held because of the bruises.  It was very sad!  He was a little trooper though.  When he had a feeding tube through his nose, he hated it.  He somehow, to the nurse's surprise, managed to get his finger up between the nose and the tube and pull it out.  He didn't like that thing at all.

The day I was released from the hospital, he was released also.  I was so thankful that he was allowed to come home with me.  The NICU nurses were wonderful, and so understanding.  I felt like such a novice (let's face it, I was) at everything.  They could change a diaper in like 5-10 seconds.  I spent a good few minutes trying to get the thing on him. 

He became a big brother at 13 mos and 13 days.  He has been a wonderful big brother.  I wasn't allowed to hold him until my daughter was 6-8 weeks old.  After a c-section, you aren't supposed to carry anything heavier than the baby.  He was heavier than her! 

My sister sent me some pictures of him today.  It has brought back memories over the years.  I am so proud of the boy he has become!  Happy Eleventh Birthday to my little guy!





To the left, he had just enjoyed a good dinner of spaghetti.  He was famous for falling asleep in his spaghetti.  He was two years-old.


He wasn't supposed to climb trees.  He was 4 years-old.  I never wanted to deal with broken bones.  He wasn't very far off the ground.  I think he is flexing his muscles!



He was two years-old.  I would pile pillows around him so he wouldn't fall off the couch.  I think it worked well!




I really wish I knew what they are looking at!  This was taken Aug 16, 2007.  They are at the Buffalo Zoo.  




This was taken May 30, 2009.  I think he is entertaining his little sister and his cousin!  



This was taken March 13, 2007, so just a few days before he turned 4.  His little sister looks like she wanted a kiss :)  He has an amazing smile!



Another photo from the zoo! He allowed a close up.   I often wish I knew what he was thinking!




 This was taken 8/1/2009.  Looks like we were just having a good time hanging out at our apartment.  One of us don't look as happy as the other two :)



I can still see this day in my head.  My mom had put this area next to the dishwasher for things that the kids could play with.  He rode over and flipped the dump truck over and started going through it.  His baby sister is just looking around trying to figure out what was going on.  I believe he was close to 21 months old.




This was August 13, 2011.  We were at a softball tournament back east in Hinsdale.  The children loved walking their furry cousin, Millie.
  


This was Mar 14, 2014.  He got to open one of his birthday gifts.  It was the one gift he wanted the most, Super Paper Mario!  He was so excited to finally have it!



This is today!  His little sister made him turquoise cupcakes with green frosting and M&M's.  This is me and my boys!  Happy 11th Birthday!