Tuesday's Tip-Getting rid of dust mites

Today's tip I was forced to learn. A little over a year ago I had Sydney tested for allergies. She would cough and cough at night. I had allergies all my life and I knew if she was coughing just at night it had to be allergies. I took her to be tested and sure enough she was severely allergic to dust mites. That is when my journey began to help my sweet Sydney Kate.

Dust mites thrive on moisture. I felt horrible when I found this out because she had been sleeping with a humidifier in her room to help her cough. This only made it worse. So immediately I got rid of the humidifier. The next step was taking all of her stuffed animals out of her room. Some I got rid of and the ones I did keep I just put in the play room.

Then I found a detergent that kills the dust mites and you don't have to wash your fabrics in hot water. It's called Aller-Rx. It's fabulous. I wash all of our bed linens, blankets, stuffed animals and curtains in it. You will have to buy this at an Allergy Relief Store or online here.

I also use a product on the carpet about every 3 months. It's called X-mite. You sprinkle it on the carpet and let it sit for 3 hours and then vacuum it up.

Another thing you have to do is encase your pillows and your mattress with protectors that can stop dust mites from getting in. You have to check the packaging to make sure it says, "protects you from dust mites". All of our beds and pillows have them. It's not cheap, but it's something that you only have to buy once and it really does work.

Here's another tip for stuffed animals. I am not a fan of them, but my girls do have many so I have had to figure out how to get rid of the dust mites that live on them. If it can go in the wash that makes it easy. You can also stick pillows, stuffed animals, etc into the freezer for 24-28 hours. After you take it out you still have to throw it in the wash to get rid of the dust mite remains. If it can't be laundered than take the hose of the vacuum and vacuum over the top of whatever has the dust mites. It will suck up the dead ones.

Sydney is allergic to dead dust mites more than she is those that are alive. Isn't that crazy? So it's not enough to kill them. You have to get rid of them all together.

It's worth the hassle because Sydney does not cough at night anymore. It's been over a year and it's still working. This is amazing. She was off the charts allergic to them so I am one happy mama and so is Syd.

Whether you have a child that is allergic to dust mites or not, this is a great tip to put into practice in your household. I mean do you really want these guys in bed with you?

To learn more about these nasty critters click here. You or your child may be suffering from allergies to these guys and not even know it. Have a good night sleep.

Switcheroo Sunday-Coconut Oil

I love today's switcheroo. The benefits of this one product is amazing and endless. Here are just a few examples:

*improves sluggish thyroid
*kills candida and yeast infections
*lowers cholesterol levels
*clears up skin infections
*speeds up metabolism to aid in weight loss
*proven antiviral and immune builder
*aids in digestive health and so much more.

It took me awhile to find a coconut oil that didn't taste or smell like coconuts. I actually have my friend Calie over at Broccolicupcake to thank for introducing me to Coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. Their products are fabulous. Their coconut oil has no smell or taste to it. Their virgin coconut oil is not only certified organic, but it also meets all other important standards, including no GMO ingredients, bleaching, deodorizing, refining or hydrogenation. Tropical Traditions only uses fresh coconuts (not "copra" or dried coconuts like most other coconut oils on the market today). When you buy Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, you are buying the highest quality coconut oil they have to offer, and it is still made by hand and benefiting families in the rural areas of the Philippines where the coconuts grow.

I used to cook with olive oil or butter, but now I only cook with coconut oil. Let me go back a minute and explain why I no longer cook with olive oil. Olive oil is a wonderful fat that should be consumed raw, like in dressings and salads, but it should never be heated over 200 degrees. When it is heated it release free radicals into the air which are toxic to your health. You also lose all the nutritional value from the olive oil when you heat it. In a nutshell, heat destroys the nutrients. It's amazing to me because every time I watch the Food Network most of the hosts cook with olive oil.

So instead of these:

I use this: Not only do I cook with it, but I put it on my body as a lotion. I stopped using lotions years ago when I found out how harmful the ingredients were to my body. Coconut oil has cleared up a spot of eczema I had on my hand all during winter. The stuff is amazing. I use it all over my body and on the girls as well.

Tropical Traditions always has specials going on. If you become a fan of theirs on Facebook and follow them on Twitter you can get the latest on specials, recipes and other nutritional information.

If you live in the Nashville area, you can go to Dr. Jana Joshu's office in Franklin and pick up a 32 oz jar for $20.

Do you have a favorite recipe or way you use coconut oil? If so leave me a comment. I would love to try it.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. I do not get paid to endorse any products that I suggest. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am just a mom who enjoys researching the ingredients in the products my family uses and the foods that we eat. Thank you.

The budding geographer

Tonight, I was looking at a blog and Brooklyn was sitting next to me in our recliner. All of a sudden she said, "Stop mommy. I see a map. Go back to the map mommy". So I scrolled back up to the map so she could take a look.

She then pointed out several things that were missing. She pointed to the left of the map and said, "Where we live is missing" (North America). Then she went on to tell me that she couldn't see the other half of Russia or Australia. However, she could see where the pyramids were.

She is her daddy's daughter all the way. His love of maps has rubbed off on her and she can't get enough of them. When her daddy was 4 he would get out his atlas and draw Antarctica and other continents and countries. Brooklyn is 4 and loves to draw Madagascar and several states. Her favorites are Tennessee (for obvious reasons) and Florida because that's where Disney World is located.

Tonight Brooklyn was watching basketball with daddy and she wanted to know the full names of the teams playing and where they were from. First daddy said Butler from Indianapolis, Indiana and Syracuse, from Syracuse, N.Y. To which Brooklyn replied, "I love New York". Hilarious. Remind you the child has never been to New York. I think she just loves the buildings she sees and the bridge she was named after. Well, she wasn't named after the bridge or the city really. We just liked the name Brooklyn.

Brian wants me to interject that he did pick Butler to beat Syracuse. He's a happy man tonight.

Do you know where the pyramids are located?

Happy Birthday Sydney Kate

Dearest Sydney Kate,


Happy Birthday baby girl. I cannot believe you are 3 already. How can this be? You are growing up into a beautiful little princess. I am so proud to be your mommy.



I'm not sure if I've ever told you the story about how mommy and daddy decided on your name. I thought today would be a good day to do that. We always knew your name would be Sydney if you were a girl. Your daddy and I love to travel and Sydney is a place we have always wanted to go.


We had two middle names picked out for you and we were having a hard time deciding between the two. In fact, we didn't figure it out until you were 2 days old. It was between Kate and Grace. I remember the nurse coming in and telling us we had to make a decision because the hospital wanted to print up your birth certificate.



As you know the rest of the story, we decided on Kate. Sydney Kate Lord. We love your name. We hope you do too. It suits you so well. We realized shortly after you were born that your name matched two of our favorite characters from our favorite shows. Sydney Bristow from Alias and Kate Austen from LOST. The similarities are a little freaky. Both girls have brown hair. Both girls have dark eyes. So do you. They are both strong, athletic and fiesty. So are you.



You love to run and tackle daddy. You will run and fall down and get back up like it's no big deal. You love to climb on top of the kitchen island and scale the back of the couch. You are all tom boy. Not sure if that will last, but for now, you are thrilled if you are going 100 miles an hour.



I love you to the moon and back,
Mommy

Party Time!

Yesterday we had Sydney's 3rd birthday party right after church. I was thankful it was just family because it had been a stressful week and I didn't have to worry about having my house all clean and tidy.

About a month ago I asked Sydney what theme she wanted for her birthday party and she said Mickey Mouse, so Mickey Mouse it was. I had everyone over for a hot dog lunch. I thought it was appropriate since the theme song of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is "Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog". I wanted to make the lunch as healthy as possible to show people you can still eat the typical party food and do it in a healthy way.

We had organic beef hot dogs, organic chicken sausages, organic baked beans, 7 layer bean dip (with all organic ingredients) served with organic tortilla chips and whole wheat hot dog buns. Everyone loved it. (I won't claim that this was low in calories, it just didn't have the chemicals, MSG, hormones, antibiotics and nitrates that the non organic would have).

(My new butler's pantry my brother-in-law made for me. He rocks! It just needs to be painted black now).

(Daddy praying for the meal. Nana is next to Sydney on the left and Auntie RoRo on the right)

After lunch we headed on over to Chuck E Cheese. Sydney was so excited. It's on of her favorite places to go. We took her cake that I made and her presents to Chuck E Cheese and we did that first before the kids went off to play.



Brooklyn's gift to her sissy was a Calliou book and a Calliou doll. It's her favorite show!

They had a blast. The best part is that she was able to have a great party on a small budget. For all the food, decorations and tokens at Chuck E Cheese it cost me under $100. That's including her cake that cost me $7.50 to make. Now that's a deal.




Switcheroo Sunday-Air Freshner

I love to have my house smell good. I also love to burn candles and spray air freshener. I even had one of those automatic air fresheners near the front door that automatically went off every 30 minutes. I wanted to have my house smell good when people came over. What I didn't realize is that everytime it went off I was harming my family.

When I started to study what those air fresheners were doing to my body when I inhaled them, I stopped using them.

Here are some stats from the University of Bristol in regards to effects of air fresheners:

32% more babies suffered diarrhea in homes where air fresheners were used every day, compared with homes where they were used once a week or less, and they had significantly more earaches in these homes as well. Air fresheners also affected mothers—those who used them daily suffered nearly 10% more headaches. Perhaps most surprising is the finding that women who lived in homes with daily air freshener use had a 26% increased risk of depression. That was enough for me to quit cold turkey. My allergies also dissapeared when I stopped using them. Coincedence I think not.

Phthalates are in most air fresheners whether it's the kind you spray, plug in or have sitting decoratively on a table. You can read the transcripts of an interview with Julie Chen from the CBS Morning show here regarding air fresheners and the harm they can do. Studies have shown that phthalates can damage the liver, the kidneys, the lungs and the reproductive system, especially the developing testes. It is my personal belief that this is one reason infertility is on the rise. You will find Phthalates in almost everything from make-up to plastics. I will talk more about phthalates in this week's Tuesday's Tip. You don't want to miss it.

I still like my house to smell good so I found a solution to combat stinky odors. I still use them sparingly, but don't worry about the effects on my family's health when I do spray some.

I switched from these:

To this: I have Vanilla and Cinnamon and love them. They are made from essential oils. You can see the list of ingredients here. They are $4.99 each and they have 5 different scents. One spray will do ya because it's concentrated and it last for hours.

I love this company. I also use their laundry detergent (you can get it for a great price at Costco) and it's fabulous. I did a Switcheroo Sunday last year on it. You can read it here. Whole Foods also sells some of their products like dishwashing soap and detergent.

Do you need an air freshener intervention?

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. I do not get paid to endorse any products that I suggest. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am just a mom who enjoys researching the ingredients in the products my family uses and the foods that we eat. Thank you.

A Divine Call

The phone rang this morning and I almost didn't answer it. I love caller ID because usually if it's an 800 number I will let it ring. This morning however I decided to answer it. I'm so glad I did.

The woman on the other end was calling from the 700 club. As a monthly partner she was calling, not for a donation, but to see if I had anything that I would like for her to pray over me. Man did I ever. How much time did she have?

I went on to tell her about the problems I have been having and about how I was wearing a heart monitor for 30 days. You can read about that here. Then I went on to tell her about some other bad news we received this week that I will post at a later date. I also told her about our desire to have another baby, specifically a baby boy.

Paula was amazing. She doesn't know how God used her prayers to touch my heart and to encourage me. She went on to tell me that she had a daughter who had a similar story to mine. Her daughter's first baby girl was born stillborn, just like my sweet Zoe. Then she told me she had two more girls the youngest named Sydney. Sound familiar. The last thing she said stopped me in my tracks. She told me her daughter was now pregnant with, you guessed it, a boy.

I just started to cry. I don't believe it was a coincidence that Paula called me today. It was a divine appointment from the almighty God. It's in these moments that I am in awe of how God works. It's like He was saying, "Krista I have heard your prayer and the prayers of your sweert girls (they pray often for their baby brother and call him by name) and I will be faithful to answer your prayer. Don't give up. Keep praying and believing."

I don't know how long it will take to have another baby. I now in the natural, odds are against me. I will be 38 next month and my past with infertility and the fact that I had 2 early miscarriages in a 6 month period a year ago don't help things.

Praise God that I don't have to live in the natural. I choose to live and believe in the supernatural. I believe that God is the ultimate physician and has the power to do things that seem impossible.

What are you believing today that seems impossible? Is it for another child? Is it for healing of a disease? Are you believing for a husband? Whatever it is, believe and have faith that God will come through for you.

I've posted this verse before because it's my favorite. Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is being sure of what is hoped for and certain of what we do not see".

Tuesday's Tip-A place for your hair elastics

I just realized I haven't posted since Friday. Wow, I even missed my Switcheroo for Sunday. I meant to and then had a little "episode" (click here to read that post) and took a nap for 3 1/2 hours. My life has been crazy and that's putting it mildly. Between taking care of the kids and the house, dealing with wearing a heart monitor 24/7 and the episodes I've been having and handling my father-in-law's estate there is not much time for anything else.

To be honest, I'm pretty overwhelmed at the moment. I keep reminding myself that this is only for a season. God is refining me during this trying time and I need to sit at His feet and listen with an open heart and mind to what He has for me to learn. That may mean that some of the stuff I enjoy like blogging and working on my book, will have to take a back seat for a month or two until things calm down. Oh that is so hard for me to write, but if I'm honest with myself I realize that I am not superwoman. I can't do it all and God is not asking me to do so. He just wants me, all of me and I believe sometimes He allows things to happen in our lives to slow us down a bit. Are you in a place where God is calling you to slow down? Would you recognize Him if He was asking you to do so?

Being a mom is the hardest job in the world. We work from sun up to sundown and even into the night and it's seems like we just crack the surface of all that needs to be done. It's overwhelming! It never ends. If you are like me even if you do get some free time to be by yourself, you start making a mental to-do list of all the things at home that need to get done. It's hard to take a mental break isn't it?

What do you do to take a break? I would love to hear some of your thoughts. Maybe I could use them for next Tuesday's Tip.

Speaking of, without further adieu, here is Tuesday's Tip courtesy of Real Simple Magazine. One of my favs.

This is a tip I could really use. I am always losing my hair elastics. You would think that with 3 of us wearing them you could always find one, but that's not the case. I love this idea. I'm gonna take it one step further because I think it needs to be beautified. I would get a cute, funky wrapping paper or scrapbook paper and wrap it around it to make it prettier.

I think I am going to try this tomorrow with the girls for a craft. They would love it. They can decorate it and then go on the hunt around the house to find their rubber bands. Now I've just made a game out of it too. Perfect.

Thanks Real Simple!

Show Us Your Life-Favorite Charities

Kelly, from Kelly's Korner Blog, is hosting Show Us Your Life-Favorite Charities so I thought I'd make that my post today. Brian and I have many, but I thought I would list 3 of them tonight.

The first one I love is World Vision. We sponsor 2 kids (one in Mexico and the other in Ghana)and a mother and son in Romania through this wonderful organization. When my sisters and I were in Christian Music we were World Vision artists. The best part about being an artist was seeing kids sponsored after our concerts. Even though I'm not in a position anymore to help children get sponsored, I can still be a sponsor myself. We also helped build a health clinic in Swaziland. Our dream one day, besides meeting our children, is to go to Swaziland and see the health clinic.

St. Jude is another awesome charity that helps so many. I remember watching the telethons on tv when I was younger and thinking how incredibly sad it was to see the devastating effects of cancer on young children. Now that I am a mom it takes on a whole new meaning. I can't imagine Brooklyn or Sydney being one of those children. I love that St. Jude turns no child away, ever. That is so amazing. I cry when I get the monthly reports of the child who is struggling to beat cancer, but it's a great reminder for me to be so thankful that my girls are healthy.

Ultimate Goal is a local organization that uses soccer to reach the unreached. My sisters and I got to travel to Sweden about 10 years ago with the founder John Stayskal and an under 16 girls team to participate in the Gothia Cup. It's a trip I will never forget. I grew up playing soccer and love that I can support John and the work he does to reach young people for Christ.

There are many others, but these are just a few of my favorites. I was reminded as I was writing of the verse found in Luke 12:48. It says, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

All wired up

Today has been a rough week for me. I'm just gonna put it out there and be transparent. Tuesday I had an appointment with my cardiologist to meet with him to discuss why I am getting dizzy spells that bring on fatigue and make me weak. They come on out of the blue and they are super scary.

I guess I have to back up a bit. I have been dizzy for the last 5 years of my life. Not room spinning dizzy more like being on a boat like sensation. It's rather annoying to put it nicely. It came on right after I delivered my precious Zoe back in Oct 2005. I had an MRI on my brain in Dec that showed nothing. Then I got pregnant with Brooklyn in December and the dizziness went away. Then came back after I delivered her. Then went away when I got pregnant 11 months later with Sydney. Then came back after delivery and has stuck around since then.

Notice a pattern? I don't get dizzy when I am pregnant. Weird huh. All the specialists I have seen think so too and believe me I have seen them all. No one can figure out the pattern. It is so frustrating to not know what is causing it and to never have relief, except in pregnancy. Sydney will be 3 in a couple of weeks so it's been constant for almost 3 years.

About a month ago I had an "episode" (that's what I am calling it) that scared me. The dizziness got worse but it was accompanied by a feeling of weakness and extreme fatigue. All I could do was go lay down on the couch. I could not move. It's like the life was sucked right out of me. It lasted for about 20 minutes and then went away.

2 weeks ago it happened while driving the girls to school and that's when I called the dr. I have to find out what's causing this for my sake and for the safety of my family. I saw my cardiologist, whom I love, and he decided it was best for me to wear a heart monitor 24/7 for a month. Holy cow was he serious. A month. Well today is day 3 and I am already sick of this thing. I know it's for a good purpose but it has been hard on me emotionally and psychologically. So here is how it works. I have 2 electrodes attached to me that is then attached to a little device of a pager. Remember pagers? When the monitor beeps it means that some kind of irregularity has been detected. I then have to call an 800 number and transmit the signal over the phone so they can look at it. Then they send the results to my doctor.

Today I had a bad "episode". The worst one yet. I had all the symptoms, plus nauseousness and feeling chilled. It lasted for 45 minutes. I had to call Brian to have him come home because I thought I might pass out. It was around 1:00 and the girls had to be picked up from school at 2:00. My only thought was I didn't want them to be sitting there wondering where mama was. Thankfully he only works 7 min from home so he was home lickity split. Have I said lately how much I love my hubby and how amazing he is in situations like these? He just held my hand and prayed over me.

I hit the record button on the monitor when the episode started so it could record what my heart was doing at the time. I called the nurse to see if she could get the results and call me back. My anxiety level was at an all time high. Thankfully she called back and said that she was able to read it and there were no abnormalities during the episode. That's good news so far, but we still don't know what's causing it.

I am really trying hard to turn my fear over to the Lord, but it's so hard. This place of fear is not knew to me. I know it all to well I am afraid. It's that same fear they came over me like a wave when I was pregnant with Brooklyn and started bleeding. I knew that I was going to lose my little baby just like I lost my daughter Zoe just 3 months earlier. I remember laying there and Brian praying over me and the baby. He had so much faith. I had none. He just knew our baby would be ok. He was right. She was more than ok and 7 months later we met her.

The Lord has come through and been faithful to me in the past, why can't I remember that? Do you ever have times in your life you forget what God has done for you? I do it all the time. I can beat myself up about it til the cows come home but that won't do me any good. What I can do is pray. Pray that the Lord would reveal his plan to me. Reveal what He wants me to learn from all this.

I know that Satan wants me to be fearful, anxious, depressed, tired and just feel plain wrotten. When I feel this way I can't be a good wife or mother. I can't enjoy the blessings that God has given to me. I refuse to let him have a foothold in my life. God's word says in Isaiah 53:4, "By His stripes you are healed". It doesn't say you might be healed it says YOU ARE healed. It's been done. God paid that ultimate price for us on the cross. Believe it and receive it as God's will.

Ok, I feel so much better now. If you've read this long post thank you. I didn't mean for it to go down this road, but the Lord knew I needed to type it out as a reminder to me.

I better end now. My heart monitor is beeping. Better go make my phone call. 27 days to go.

Tuesday's Tip-Danger lurking in your child's bath toys

I had to post today's tip. I couldn't believe my eyes and ears when I saw this clip on the Today Show. If you have children and they take a bath then please take the time to watch this short video. Your children will thank you. (there's a short commercial before it starts).

Click here to watch video:

Disgusting right? So here are some practical steps to help your kids stay healthy and safe during bath time:

1. Throw out all bath toys with holes in them.

2. Disinfect with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

3. Let the toys air dry and store in a closed bin outside the bathtub.

4. Buy bath toys without holes.

5. Keep the toilet lid closed when flushing the toilet. Fecal matter can spray up to 20 feet away. Gross!

Since Brian does bath time at our house I had him find all the toys that had holes in them. I took a gander at one before they were thrown away and I saw the black stuff the video talked about coming out the end of the toy. It was disgusting. To think about the times my girls have put their toys in their mouths and sucked out the water makes me sick to my stomach.

I think the Easter bunny will need to bring some new bath toys for the girls.

My little champ

We headed up to the Children's hospital today for Sydney's EEG. We decided to get the test run just to be sure there is no underlying seizure activity going on. My two youngest sisters and Brian's brother all have seizure disorders, so we want to make sure that the seizure that she had was do to a spike in fever and nothing genetic.

On the way to the hospital Syd kept saying she was excited to go to the doctor. It was hilarious. I don't know too many 2 year olds that are happy to see the doctor. When we got back into the room they had the little t.v. on. It was playing her favorite show, Caillou. Thank you Jesus! She laid still the whole 30 minutes it took the tech to scrub her head, put on the glue and leads and finally wrap her head in gauze.

The first test they had her do was to blow a pinwheel really fast. They were trying to get her to hyperventilate. Yeah, that didn't really work. She would just blow hard one time and try to hold it. I had one too and tried to show her how to do it, but she wanted to do it her way.

The next test about made me sick. The strobe light test. This test goes on for about 2 to 3 minutes in about 15 second intervals. If you have epilepsy this strobe light can send you into a seizure. I had to look away, but Syd loved it. She hardly closed her eyes and she was looking right into the light. I was glad when that test was over.

The final thing they needed her to do was go to sleep. I kept her up until 10:00 p.m. last night in hopes she would be ready for a nap by her appointment time at 1:00. I came prepared. I brought her blankie, sippy cup with almond milk and her noise machine. I got to crawl up in bed and lay with her. When the tech turned out the lights it took Sydney about 3 minutes and she was out.They only needed her to sleep for 10 minutes so when time was up I had the task of waking her. She did not want to wake up. Bless her heart she was doing everything she could to lay back down. She was so tired. The tech decided to turn the t.v. back on to see if that would wake her up. That did the trick, or I should say Curious George did the trick. She woke up.I was so proud of her. It was funny because when we were done I couldn't get her to leave the room. She wanted to stay and watch Curious George. I finally told her we had to go see Papa (my dad) who was waiting in the waiting room for us and I also reminded her that we were going to go get some ice cream. She was out the door lightening fast.

I was reminded of how blessed I am as we left the hospital. When we got on the elevator to go down to the parking level, 2 young kids, a boy & a girl, got on the elevator with us. Both had bald little heads covered by caps. I immediately started to get teary eyed. All I could do was pray. Pray that God would show mercy on these 2 precious kids and heal their diseased ridden bodies. So many questions went through my mind at that moment. What painful procedure had they just endured? What must it be like for their parents to watch them be so sick? Did they know that God loved them? It made me hold Sydney a little tighter and be so thankful that my child is healthy.

I didn't intend for this post to go down this road, but I felt the Lord's nudging to do so. So here it is. If you would join me in prayer for some sweet little girls battling cancer, I know their families would really appreciate it. Some of you are probably already doing so, but if not, I would love to tell you about them. All 3 of them I have followed their blogs for some time now and to say they are an inspiration to me would be an understatement. Their parents are enduring a nightmare, but yet continue to have faith even when it doesn't seem like their is much hope. Layla Grace will most likely go home to see Jesus within the next few days. Please check out her blog and pray for this sweet family. Kate also is battling a deadly tumor in her brain and is currently in the hospital in treatment. Her dad has listed some specific prayer requests on her site. Lastly, a friend of the family back in California, her daughter Kendyl was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of last year. Kendyl loves to get postcards in the mail. Her mom says the highlight of her day is going to the mailbox to see if she has received any postcards. Would you be willing to send her a postcard from your hometown?

What a privilege it is to stand in prayer for one another. Thank you for your prayers for Sydney and thank you in advance for your prayers for these sweet girls and their families.

Update: 3/9 Sweet Layla Grace is in the arms of Jesus this morning. Please pray for this sweet family.

Switcheroo Sunday- Cereal

Brian loves cereal. One of his favorites is Shredded Wheat. About a year ago while shopping at Walmart, I stumbled upon a natural version of Shredded Wheat called, "Mom's Best Sweetened Wheat-fuls". Mom's Best has been a family owned company for four generations. I had never heard of them until I saw their cereal Walmart. What a wonderful surprise.

So instead of this:



We know eat this:
Here's the best part. More bang for your buck. I know alot of times I do a switcheroo, the price is more expensive. This time it's the opposite. The box is bigger at 24 oz compared to 15oz of the Post brand. The price is just $2.18 compared to the Post brand at almost $4. A win win I would have to say. Plus there are no artificial flavors or colors, no hydrogenated oils and no high fructose corn syrup. A healthier version for a whole lot less money.

You can see more of their products and print a coupon for .75 cents off here.

What's your favorite cereal?


Disclaimer: This is my opinion. I do not get paid to endorse any products that I suggest. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am just a mom who enjoys researching the ingredients in the products my family uses and the foods that we eat. Thank you.

2 little monkeys

Today Sydney was invited to the Monkey Treehouse for her friend Rachel at school at 9:30 a.m. Sydney was so excited that she woke up at 6:30 this morning begging to go. She usually sleeps until about 8:00 and because it was light out she didn't understand why we couldn't go right away. I had to explain to her that they weren't open yet. I tried to get her to go back to sleep, but she wasn't buying it.

The girls had a blast at the Monkey Treehouse. This place is so cool. If I was a kid I would want to hang out there all day. There is so much to do. Here are just a couple of pictures of the fun things they have there for kids.


They have nice comfy chairs and a sofa for the parents to sit while they keep an eye on their kids. It's nice too because they can't escape. I got to sit and relax and talk with the other moms and catch up on emails from my iPhone.




As you can see they had a great time. After the party it was lunch time and we were starving so I took them to our one of our fav places to eat, Chickfila. I so wish they were a publicly traded company so I could buy their stock. They are just the best! Love their food and I love what they stand for. If you love Chickfila as much as I do then you got to watch this clip. It's so funny.

Then the girls had dentist appointments after lunch. The girls did great and they loved their new dentist. He said their teeth looked great and best of all no cavities. Yeah!

By the time we got home it was 2:30. The girls were beat and so was mommy. We all settled into Sydney's big bed for a nap. It was nice.

The sun will be shinning all weekend, thank the Lord. I am gonna get a jump on some much needed spring cleaning tomorrow. It's time to open up the windows and air out the house. I heart spring and daylight savings day. Can you believe it's next Sunday? Whoohoo!

Tuesday's Tip-Are you prepared?

I hope everyone can take away something from today's tip. I feel so strongly about this that I really felt a burden to share it with you all. My father-in-law passed away suddenly on January 15th from a massive heart attack. He had just turned 60. He was not married at the time, so Brian, being the oldest of the sons, was named Executor of the Will.

I have been helping my husband over the last 6 weeks to gather all of his dad's records as best as we can find. I have spent hours making phone calls and trying to gather information. It's alot like playing detective.

All that being said, I realized how important it is to make sure we have all of our stuff in order, should God forbid, something happen to me or to Brian. Death is not an easy subject, but one that must be talked about and prepared for. Speaking from experience, it's very hard for the family to grieve when there are so many financial things to deal with.

So I am going to post some steps that you can go through to see how prepared you are for death. See how many of these items you can check off the list.

1. Life Insurance- You would be surprise how many people do not have this. YOU MUST HAVE LIFE INSURANCE. Simple really. Especially if you have children. If you are single, it's still good to have a small policy to help pay for your final expenses. I had a small policy before I was married just for that reason. I didn't want my parents to have to pay for my funeral.

2. A Will and/or Living Trust-ANOTHER MUST HAVE! You may think it costs alot to do, but it really doesn't have to. You can go to LegalZoom and get one done for $119. My husband and I used LegalZoom for our Living Will (another great thing to have regarding life support) and it was great.

3. Have all documents together and at one location- This tip I got from my accountant last week when I ran into him at church. We were talking about my father in law's estate and everything we've had to do just to find out the basics. His advice was to gather all of the important financial information put them down on paper and store them in a lock box, with your accountant or another safe place. Here is what I have done:

*List all of our credit cards, bank accounts, 401K, etc. with account numbers, user names and passwords

*Copy of Will and Living Will

*Copy of Life Insurance policy


All are under lock and key in a safe location.

4. Tell Someone- My parents know where these documents are kept in the event something should happen to both Brian and myself at the same time. If you are married, you should do this as a couple. For example, in our household I pay the bills. I wrote down all of our accounts with user name and passwords and have them in a hidden safe place so that Brian at anytime can go in and access them. That way if something happened to me, Brian would not be in the dark.

This all sounds like stuff that would be common sense, but believe me you would be surprised to know how many people die leaving a mess behind for their loved ones to clean up and deal with. Please be prepared so that all your loved ones have to do is mourn your passing.

I know this is not fun or easy to talk about. It took Brian and I going on a vacation together for the first time since we had kids, to actually do a Will. I was not getting on a plane without having it done. I do know it's not fun to do, but one that is so very important.

I've been following a blog about a mom who delivered her baby girl and then developed Strep A. Most of the times this infection will take a person's life and quickly. Today Katy had both of her legs removed to just above the knee and tomorrow she will lose her left arm above the elbow. I tell you this story for 2 reasons, one is to pray for them. I cannot even imagine how their lives have been forever changed. Secondly, the husband's post today just reiterated how important it is to talk with your loved ones about the difficult decisions before they happen.

Have you that hard talk with your loved ones yet?
 

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