Kailer’s Birthday Party


It’s that time of year again:  time for birthday party planning!  Seeing as Kailer’s birthday is on August 17, his is the first in the birthday snowball 😊

The party will be on his actual birthday, which falls on a Monday this year.  Since his attitude was perfect when he asked, he’s allowed to have a boys and girls party from 5:00pm-7:00pm.  The theme of the party is Minecraft of course 😊. I have lots of really cool Minecraft decorations, food and games planned.  Pinterest has been serving me well 😊



The Disney World Dream


My family and in-laws have been planning a trip to Disney World – something I had never even considered until recently.  My in-laws are great, and it was actually my mom in-law’s dream to take her grand babies to Disney World, but as the grand babies kept arriving, her dream just became less and less realistic.  She now has eight grandkids and one great grandson, so unless she won the lottery, the Disney thing just wasn’t going to happen…until now!  

Mike and I began talking about planning this trip a few months ago, after friends of mine told me about their Disney trips, and how affordable it can actually be.  During our discussion, I told him that I just couldn’t imagine going without his parents, and he totally agreed 😊

The plan we put together was for fall 2017, but that changed this past Saturday.  The new plan is the same, except for the date, which is now set for fall 2016 – that’s next year!!! 😃. I’m so nervous and so excited!  Let the planning “begin”!  

I’ve mapped out out route, calculated our costs, scheduled our days, wrote out a packing list, made a Pinterest board and downloaded helpful apps, and I feel totally unprepared, but thrilled at the same time 😃. I still have meal plans to perfect, a bin to fill with Disney gifts so we don’t have to buy souvenirs at the parks, make or put together outfits for the kids, lose the excess weight…  Ah!  Have I mentioned that I’m super duper excited?!!!

Today’s MCC Score


sadly for me, our local MCC no longer offers the $8 bag sales, and yet I was still able to spend less than $10 and come home with some amazing treasures – including a beautiful skirt for myself, and a super cute dress for Kianna.  After the clothing section, my friend and I went to the hardware section, where I scored this kids toy piano for $3!  

Three great items for $7.00!!!  Again, you just can’t lose 😀

Dog Guide Decision


For the past while, I’ve been wrestling with the decision: Do I get a dog guide or not?

As a result of surviving violent child abuse (Shaken Baby Syndrome) at the hands of my almost adoptive parents, I was placed into foster care.  My foster mom noticed and was concerned that I held items unusually close to my face when looking at them.  She took me to a specialist, who diagnosed me as having Optic Atrophy, which is a damaged optic nerve.  The optic nerve is the connection between the eye and the brain.  Since mine is damaged, my brain is constantly working to translate what I’m seeing, and filling in information that I’m not.  

All my life I’ve worked to find inconspicuous ways to fit into society’s version of normal.  Until now, my toughest struggle was with school.  I learned early, to rely on my memory – even so, I fell behind and ended up repeating two grades.  Graduation was a HUGE accomplishment for me 😊

Over the years since school, I’ve met and married an amazing man, had a family, co-founded a not-for-profit organization, and am active in my church and community.  Having a tenacious personality and surrounding myself with loving supportive people have definitely been key factors in my success, and God is the reason I’ve survived and thrived.  Most babies die or are left severely physically and mentally disabled as a result of being shaken as hard as I was.  

People often ask what I can see, so I’ll explain it the best I can.  20/20 is perfect vision, but if the higher the bottom number, the worse the vision.  My right eye is 20/800, which makes it pretty useless to me, but it keeps my face looking symmetrical, so I let it stay 😊. My left eye is 20/400, which means that what you see 400 feet away, I can only see at 20 feet.  As far as I can tell, things aren’t blurry at a distance, but I can’t tell, because my brain fills in what I can’t see.  

Now that I’m a mother, the safety of my children is far more important than my pride – insert dog guide decision. I feel like I could (for the most part) get along fine on my own, but simple things like crossing the street and taking an evening stroll become things that make me very nervous once my children are involved, especially since the double stroller goes out into the street before me.  Is that car parked or beginning to move?  Is that guy holding a weapon or a cell phone?  I also rely on drivers obeying traffic laws, which they often don’t.  Is that driver waiting for me to cross because he sees my ID cane?  If so, will the driver in the next lane stop as well or speed past and hit my child in the stroller?  Life gets especially scary when I’m out with my kids, and that’s the main reason I believe I should apply for a dog guide.

Creating Champions For Life


Good morning 🙂

I’m a stay-at-home mother of four – three boys 11, 5 and 2, and my 6 month old daughter.  As most of you know, my 11 year old son has been diagnosed with ADHD, and is on the verge of being diagnosed with depression and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  Unable to sleep, I spent the quiet time researching, and stumbled across Thomas Liotta’s parenting method, dubbed Creating Champions For Life.  In this way of parenting, you use a child’s wants as his/her goals, instead of saying NO to them and demanding results.  It’s a way to acknowledge what’s important to the child, while creating clear expectations and boundaries at the same time.  

For example, I’ve planned a trip to MCC with my kids this morning and Kailer is currently earning some spending money.  When he asked for some cash, I saw a teaching opportunity.  I gave him a list of five chores worth a dollar each.  Now the onus falls on him to earn as much or as little as he chooses before we leave at 10:30am.  

This isn’t a parenting techniques I’d necessarily use with all my kids – I use it successfully with Kailer because he wants so badly to make me happy, since he “fails” in most other areas of his life.  Succeeding at home sets him up for success when he’s ready to set out on his own.  My other kids aren’t defeated by the word NO because they don’t share the daily struggles of ADHD that Kailer does, which is why I use stricter parenting with them.  Both styles must be implemented if consistency, though the consequences differ.  

“Life’s a dance you learn as you go – sometimes you lead, and sometimes you follow.”

Pinterest Tuesday: Barefoot Sandles


Good morning, and welcome to Pinterest Tuesday!

11001756_10152616915867120_6580439573259056018_n-2Each week, I’ll be posting a project I did using one of my MANY Pinterest pins.  This week’s project was inspired by a friend’s baby shower gift – barefoot sandles from a local big box store.  They’re adorable, and so simple to make.  These are made with removable flower.  Since I don’t have a sewing machine yet, I hand stitched this set, which is a little more time consuming but also very relaxing.  I began by measuring Kianna’s foot by wrapping the ribbon around her foot arch and ankle in a figure eight.  Then I took the ribbon, reformed the figure eight and stitched the ends together as well as the intersecting section – making sure the arch loop was slightly smaller than the ankle loop.  I made the flowers out of toule, and there’s really no right or wrong way to do this part.  I took a length of toule, folded it half, and then in half again and again until I had a two inch wide rectangle, then I folded it once more so that it became a square.  I cut open all the closed ends so I was left with a pile of square pieces of toule.  Then I cut the pile into a circle, so I was left with a pile of circle toule.  I used one circle as the base.  For my first set, I then proceeded to take one piece of toule at a time, fold it in half and string it at the folded base, pushing it down my thread to the toule base – making sure to rotate each sequencing piece 45 degrees, like steps.  At the top of the flower, I simply crunched a bit of toule and sent the needle down into it back to the base.  I repeated the threading from top to bottom a few times just to make it more secure, and then trimmed as needed to create the “ball” flower look.  To finish the project, I stitched a piece of Velcro to the bottom of the flower and top of the ribbon intersection.  I used Velcro so that I would be able to change the flowers according to Kianna’s outfit.  So I can make many more flowers to wear on the one ribbon.  Once she outgrows the ribbon, I can gift that one with a set of flowers to someone, and simple make a bigger figure eight ribbon for Kianna – still being able to use all of the remaining flowers.  This will save a lot of time and money, while making others happy to receive a gift 🙂

Housewarming Party On A Budget


I realize that it’s a bit early to be planning a housewarming party, as we haven’t actually even moved into our new house, but we’re so excited (as are our friends and family) that I wanted to take some time to celebrate with those who have been with us on this house-hunting adventure.  As you know, I try to do everything as well and cost effective as I can, and this party is no exception.

  • Digital invitation = FREE
  • Food: 2 ingredient cake, punch and coffee = $3-$5
  • Party games = FREE

The entire event will cost about $5, and be a blast!  Really looking forward to taking a little break from the decluttering, packing, cleaning, unpacking and organizing that moving entails to spend time with family and friends.