Thursday, March 31, 2011

Disney - Day Two - Epcot and Cirque du Soleil!

Our second day at Disney was spent at Epcot.

I didn't think we would be there much past 1:00 as I thought Epcot was mostly for adults.  I was wrong.  We arrived before they opened and milled around in the crowd waiting for the people to let us through.  Like every other person in the crowd we headed toward the ride Soarin'.  I ended up giving my parents all of the tickets so they could get a Fast Pass to the ride.  I couldn't even get the stroller through the crowd!

In retrospect we should have all just gotten in line for the ride right then and gone.  When we went back later in the afternoon the Fast Pass tickets were sold out and the Fast Pass line took an hour to get through!  The regular line was two hours long!  I was going to do the rider swap that you can do at Disney because Tyce was too small to ride, but on this particular ride I had to wait for my group to go through the line and then get in line again!  I didn't want to make people wait another hour while I rode Soarin' so we moved on.

As it was, while my parents got the Fast Passes to Soarin' I took the kids to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto.  That worked out perfectly because there was no line so early in the day!  Tyce had a chance to clown around with the characters.  He got so bold as to start grabbing ears and squeezing noses!

There were certain popular rides that I wanted Jackson to experience so I sent him with my parents while I took Lola and Tyce around.  Jackson and my parents went on Test Track and Mission Space.  They thought both of the rides were fun.  At the end of the day I think Soarin' was the favorite ride for all of them I should mention that Lola went on Soarin' as well and loved it!

While they went on the rides, Lola, Tyce and I waited in line to see some of the Fairies.  Tyce as just as excited as Lola was to see them.  Right now Epcot is the only place to see Tinker Bell and her friends.  Later they will be moving to a more permanent location at Magic Kingdom.  Lola gave the fairies hugs and Tyce hid behind me.  He peeked at them and giggled like crazy!  He knows a pretty girl when he sees one!

Pixie Hollow
After seeing the fairies we walked into the Pixie Hollow.  They had each of the fairies made out of plants and flowers.  There was a shaded playground for the kids with shredded rubber to run and jump on!  They even had activities for the kids to do and when they were done they got an entire roll of fairy stickers!  They were ecstatic!

When we all got back together again we went into the butterfly house where the main attraction for my children was a lizard they spotted on a plant.  For lunch we had reservations at Coral Reef.  The ambiance was awesome!  We sat right across from a giant aquarium and were visited by giant sea turtles, rays, and even sharks during our meal!  The food was very good, but there are not many choices for adults or children.  The kids' menu had pizza, grilled fish, grilled chicken and something else on it.  My kids all ate the pizza which was served on a Mickey Mouse shaped plate.  I thought for sure that Jackson would order fish, but he said he couldn't at that restaurant because he didn't want to make the fish in the aquarium feel bad!

After a leisurely lunch we went next door to the The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion.  We rode the The Seas with Nemo and Friends which didn't have a long wait and went around to see the creatures in the aquariums.  The kids enjoyed this as well.  We were disappointed that the manatees were napping while we were there, but we didn't want to wait around for them to wake up.  The highlight of this area was Turtle talk with Crush.  You go into a room and the kids can sit on the floor while the adults sit in chairs behind them.  If your kids won't sit by themselves on the floor just pick a spot toward the back corner to sit with them on the floor.  They won't be able to see if they sit in the chairs.  Crush interacts with the audience and the kids are in awe!  Adults will even enjoy the short show!

By this time it was already around 2:00!  We headed over to Soarin' to use the Fast Pass.  After Soarin' we split up again.  Jackson wanted to see the World Showcase and Lola and Tyce HAD to see Tinker Bell!  We met up again in the World Showcase for a quick ice cream (for the kids who were still awake) and then we headed home! 

Both Lola and Tyce were wiped out!
 I know I perceived World Showcase of being more for adults.  However, the countries all have characters at them and different types of street entertainment.  Some countries also have films or rides!  Of course there are ethnic foods at each country and shops.  Lots to see and do for all ages.

We could have spent the entire day there!  There were other labs, pavilions, and things I had wanted the kids to see, but we ran out of time!  I felt good about the day though.  We were able to see more in a shorter time then we had the day before! 

We had to leave at a certain time because Ry and I had business obligations.  (Doesn't that sound so official!) We did have a great day at Epcot and each of the kids went home super happy!

That night Ryan and I were shuttled with his business associates to Downtown Disney.  We ate at House of Blues.  The food and service were superb.  At times I like these kinds of dinners because I get to dress up and eat a really nice expensive meal.  At other times I am not all that excited about them because the conversation is mostly about the business of which I know nothing about.  When I find myself super bored that is when I start watching everyone at the table and notice how many scotches one man puts back and how many times the waitress flips her hair for the gentleman across from me.  I sometimes become really good friends with the waitstaff and chat with them on my way back from the bathroom. 

After dinner we headed across the street to Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba.  I was amazed by the talents of the performers.  Their abilities were unmeasurable.  Personally, I could have done without the story line and just stuck with the performances themselves.  I found the story line to be odd and sometimes disturbing.  All in all it was entertaining, but I wouldn't choose to go again.

Our first visit with the Fairies!

Jackson riding a shark!
Silly boy eating at Coral Reef

Tinker Bell!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It Works! Wednesday - Live better and longer with supplements!!!

Today I am going to tell you about three supplements that I have taken and love!  It is so important to be on supplements and vitamins to be sure we are supplying our bodies with everything we need!  Don't worry about taking too much.  These supplements are all natural food based so your body will use what it needs and get rid of the rest in a safe and natural way!!

It's Vital 
It's Vital supplies your body with all the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients needed on a daily basis. It's Vital has been formulated using the absolute highest quality ingredients with the highest effectiveness to your body. Mint-flavored coating keeps the ingredients fresh and tastes great.*
90 Tablets
Recommended Dosage:
Take 3-6 tablets daily depending on individual's dietary needs To see ingredients and testimonies about Its Vital click here.

Vital is a supplement I have been taking daily (well if I don't forget!) for almost two years!  The mint coating definitely makes it go down easier!  I have never burped up the supplement or gotten an upset stomach from Vital - even when taking it on an empty stomach!  It has everything you need!  I used to take supplements from three different bottles until one would run out and then I would wait until another one would run out before restocking what I should have been taking all along!  Not a good idea!  Vital has been more cost effective and convenient!  When I am tired in the morning I take 4 pills.  The B vitamin in it gives me a great energy boost!  The Dr takes 4 in the morning and 2 at night to help with sleep!  It is the perfect supplement to keep your body balanced and healthy!
 Confianza™ is a naturally based supplement that increases your energy levels while reducing stress and fatigue. Its special blend of herbs was developed to provide a safe way to enhance your ability to cope with a stressful life.

Confianza's proprietary blend of herbs includes many ingredients called adaptogens. Adaptogens are natural substances that work through the adrenal glands to produce adjustments in the body that help combat stress and increase your resistance to it. These ingredients in Confianza™ can help restore balance within your body, allowing you to better cope with the stresses in your life, whether they are physical, environmental, or emotional. 60 Tablets.* Recommended dosage - adults take 2 caps daily Confianza

Confianza is one that I need to remember to put in my car!  I keep a bottle in the cupboard and it is my go to supplement before a stressful situation.  I have clients who take it about a week before their period will start to balance out mood swings.  Those who are on it also report better sleep and better attention span!

New You 3.0
Turn back the hands of time from the inside out with New You! This one-of-a-kind longevity formula is designed to stimulate and support the production and release of the body's own human growth hormone.
  • Aids in building lean muscle mass
  • Enhances exercise endurance
  • Helps provide better sleep and memory
New enhanced formula now includes natural polyphenols that help improve blood supply to the muscles and help to reduce the harmful effects of free radicals for better post-workout recovery.*

Quantity: 90 Caplets

Recommended dosage: 2 tablets at bed and one in the morning 
 New You
I have been taking this supplement for a couple of weeks.  I love it!  I actually have never slept better!  All of my clients on this product report that it helps them sleep and helps their memory!  Take a look at Richard's testimony for this product!  You won't want to go a day without it!

Home Visit #1 done and over!!!

The Social Worker came.  Here is how it went...

When she first walked in Lola wasn't feeling well and said a few grumpy words and hid under a blanket on the couch.  Tyce went with me to give her a tour of the house.  The first thing he told her was that he wanted to show her the "nakey man".  Oh my heavens!!  It's a good thing he told our neighbor all about a nakey man a few weeks earlier or I may have paniced!  He picked out The Hulk to show her.  Anyone that has any part of their body not covered by clothes is considered naked in his three year old eyes!  Whew- so far so good.

It was time for me to answer questions about my childhood and siblings.  You all got glowing reports by the way!  It did feel like deja-vu.  I was asked the same questions 5 years ago when we were preparing for Lola to come home!  Piece of cake!  When my time was up it was time to talk to the kids.  Lola had fallen asleep on the couch so we skipped over here.  Tyce had been hiding behind his hands yelling "Peek a Boo" while she tried to ask me questions the entire time.  When she finally went to talk to him however, he would only whisper about his hero toys and hide behind his hands.  So that was a bust as well.  Jackson came home and grudgingly came in the house to answer some questions.  She asked him what happened when he got in trouble - I held my breath and he told her "Mom gets mad and I have to go in time out or get something taken away."  Yeah!!

So that was it!  Now we have one more visit and it is Ryan's turn to talk!  I'm hoping he won't talk about "nakey men", hide under a blanket, or talk about me being mad!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The BIG Visit DAY!

Tomorrow the social worker comes to question us and tour the house to see that it is all up to code and we are acceptable as a foster family.  Of course I spent the time I could this weekend organizing and cleaning.  And of course I took out my back on Saturday which rendered me immobile for half of Saturday and slow as molasses on Sunday!

I don't know why I feel the need to make the house spotless and perfect!  I even caught myself getting stressed out because I had a nail on the wall and no picture there!  It has been that way since we moved in and I never gave it a second glance before, but now suddenly it is going to be what makes me a good parent??

Maybe I should be more concerned with having this in my house then an empty nail?!!

Younger Men...

Yes.  I do enjoy attention.  I enjoy attention from pretty much anyone (well to a certain degree).  It always has baffled me how I can be getting attention and not really realize that is what is going on!  Most of the time if a guy is giving me the eye or flirting with me my husband (of all people) is the one to clue me in!

Doesn't it make you feel good when you get attention from the opposite sex, especially if they are a younger?  As I am now closer to my 40s then I am to my 20s that is always a nice complement.

While on vacation I was in the pool with my daughter.  I sat in the shallow watching her play with the fountains.  After about 10 minutes I finally clued in to the fact that a younger gentleman had been trying to get my attention the entire time.  He had been walking back and forth in front of me, making eye contact, and purposely playing his game with his friend so that they splashed me.  Hmm.. this should make me flattered right?  Nope.  Not so much.  The younger gentleman was three.  Not three years younger, but three years old!!!  Geez!  So this is my life now!  I can attract younger men, but they wear diapers!  Nice!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Start your Engines! Grades Are In!

Start your engines!

When we came back from Florida we completed Lola's car by putting stickers all over the inside.  It was great fun and she was happy to finally be allowed to sit in it!  We brought the car to school and deposited  it by the other cars.  Of course Tyce and I had to check out all of the cars!  Wow!  So cool!  We have very artistic and dedicated parents in our school district!

Lola was more excited to have popcorn for breakfast!
Lola in her car

A Barbie Jeep!

More fun cardboard box cars!

Tyce with a Mustang made out of wood and plexiglass!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Day at the Magic Kingdom

Our first day at Disney was spent at the Magic Kingdom

If we do this again I would put a buffer day between our travel day and when we start going to the parks.  The kids were so excited to be in the hotel room and on vacation that it took them FOREVER to fall asleep.  I had planned for all of us to be at the Magic Kingdom when it opened, but I didn't want to wake any of the kids to get them going in the morning!  So we ended up arriving about 1 1/2 hours after it had opened.  Not the best plan - and not my original plan!

Another thing I should have done is re-check the open times for the parks right before we left!  The times changed and the Magic Kingdom opened up an hour sooner then the last time I had checked!  So we were even later then I thought!  This resulted in the crowds surging a lot sooner then I expected.  Everyone tells you to go early and they are right!!

I also didn't know that when you park at the Magic Kingdom you can take a tram, but it doesn't take you to the entrance.  You have to take the monorail or a boat to get to the entrance of the park.  Factor all of this in when you visit the Magic Kingdom.

Also be prepared to give your kids some time to get adjusted when they first experience the park.  There will be hundreds of people in a relatively small area in a new place and that can be very overwhelming!  We wanted to take some pictures of the castle and the kids right away, but things were just too stimulating for them.  They needed time to take it all in and know that the crowds would not swallow them up!

We had a great day even if we didn't go on a lot of rides.  We started out in Tomorrowland.  We grabbed a Fast Pass for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin first.  Then we went on the People Mover.  The People Mover isn't full of thrills, but it is a great first ride!  There are times of dark and flashing lights so it got my kids ready for more stimulating events!  While on the People Mover we saw Buzz Lightyear and hopped in line to see him.  Tyce was so excited!!  That child's grin was a mile long!  By the time we were done with autographs and pictures it was time to park our stroller and get in the Fast Pass return line.  It took us a very short time to get to the front of line and on  the ride.  The kids loved the Space Ranger Spin and Tyce wanted to go on it again!

Be aware that Cast Members (Disney Employees) will move your stroller to a better area.  You may have to search for it!  A balloon on the handle helps you spot it quickly.

For lunch I had made reservations at the Crystal Palace.  It was great to sit down in air conditioning to eat!  It was a buffet and the food was superb!  They had food geared more for adults and food geared more for children.  We made quite a few trips to the buffet line!  Another great thing about this dining experience and the reason I made reservations here is that Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger all were there!  They take time to visit everyone's tables, take pictures, sign autographs, and clown around!  The kids LOVED it and so did the adults to be honest!!  We avoided long lines and got more time with the characters!  They even had a parade with the characters the kids could participate in!  This was a highlight of our day!

After lunch we ventured into Adventureland.  We waited in line for the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  The kids liked watching the camels spit while we waited.  I gave the kids each a sucker while we waited in line and that helped pass the time.  You can make the ride go up and down and the kids really liked that aspect of it!

Our final ride was the Pirates of the Caribbean.  Jackson liked the pirates and my mom really liked trying to spot Johnny Depp!  No one got scared and everyone was happy to sit and enjoy the show!

So we arrived at 9:30 and left around 3:15.  The day went by quickly!  Back at the hotel we enjoyed time in the pool and dinner in our room! (we went grocery shopping the day we arrived because we had a kitchen in our room)

Crammed on the Tram!

Jackson in front of the Castle
The family with Buzz Lightyear!
Super Yummy Food at the Crystal Palace!
Pooh joined us for lunch!

Waiting in line for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Finally on our way to Disney!!

I love the look on people's faces when families with kids walk up to the line to go through the security at airports.  They pretty much cringe just like waitresses do because they know it will take us longer to do everything and we will leave some kind of trail in our wake!

Waiting to check our baggage

I try to help the process along and reduce everyone's stress levels.  First, we put the car seats in bags designed for airplane travel and check them with the baggage.  (you can check car seats for free!)  I actually packed our soft sided cooler and life jackets with the car seats, but it didn't seem to matter.  In the past I have even filled the space in the bags with diapers!  This results in less things going through security and free transport of items!

Next, I do not bring on any liquids if it can be helped.  I had a very small hand sanitizer that was attached to my backpack and I didn't have to put it in a separate bag.  The less you have to take out and put back the better.  Since you pretty much have to undress now before getting through security it may be a good idea to wear sweats and a t-shirt with slip on shoes. 

I talked the kids through the procedure before hand.  They knew shoes were coming off as were sweatshirts.  Favorite toys they were carrying had to go for a quick fun ride and they were prepared.  I have had times where I have had a sleeping child who has screamed bloody murder as a blankie had to be put on the belt.  Not a fun way to start or end a trip.  I kept the little kids in the stroller and removed the necessary clothing along with my own before it was our turn.  At the last minute I took the kids out of the stroller and requested that the stroller be hand checked.  Do you  know how hard it is to fold a double stroller, put it up on the belt, and watch three kids plus your purse and other items while you do it??  No Thank You!!  I just say it doesn't fit.

We had Daddy go through first and then each child with Mommy bringing up the rear.  Mission accomplished!  Throw the kids back in the stroller then it is off to the plane after redressing!!

The next hurdle is to make it through the plane ride!  Amazingly all of the children did AWESOME!!  I had my backpack full of tricks

Getting ready to take off!!!

My favorite part of the plane ride??  When we had turbulence all of the kids acted like they were on an amusement park ride and yelled "Wheeeeeee!"  with their arms in the air!  Didn't seem to amuse those around us that were clutching their arm rests with white knuckles!  Another favorite - although not at the time- Tyce continued to ask if we were in the air yet - over and over and over again.  Then when we were to land he asked over and over and over and over again if we were on the ground yet.  Seriously, I thought that only happened in comedy movies -not my life!!

Don't let that face fool you!  He was soo excited to fly!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Adventures of Embarrassment in Restrooms

I was in Disney visiting the restroom.  A little boy was in the stall next to me.  I knew this because suddenly he exclaimed, "Mommy!  It came out!"  Then he  he let out the biggest sigh ever!  I couldn't help but laugh!  He then told his mom he could go back to eating more food because he had more room!

I think some of my more embarrassing moments with the kids have occurred in public bathrooms.  When Jackson was little we were traveling to Florida just the two of us so he had to come in the stall with me.  He yelled out to everyone that I was "nakey"!  Tyce once asked me if I was poopin'.  And Lola once declared that it was too stinky and who did that?  Of course they shared their thoughts in very loud voices because who doesn't love to hear their voice echo in the restroom?   Those around us snickered or gave us looks, but after 8 years of being a mom you learn to calmly hold your head high and blame the smell on the person next to you just so you can hear your voice echo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Packing for the Family Trip to Disney

Some of you may not agree, but I think that packing a family of five for a trip to a different climate via an airplane is much more difficult then packing your home to move!

My packing adventure began maybe a month before our vacation.  I went through the children's clothes to see if they had any summer clothes that would still fit them since we were on our way to Florida and we were still wearing snow suits to play outside for 5 minutes.  Then I went through those clothes to see if there were any without stains or holes in them!  After those were narrowed down, I had to actually see if I could find or make outfits out of their clothes!  Once I had the outfits paired together I had to do the most difficult part of the packing job and decide how many outfits of each kind of clothes they needed!

  • Do I pack enough clothes for each day with an extra outfit?
  • Do I pack a few pairs of shorts and enough tops for each day?
  • Do I pack long sleeve shirts?
  • Do I pack jeans?
  • Do we need coats?

The list went on and on!  I spent a good two hours deciding how much to pack for each child.  Triumphantly I showed my husband the results of my careful planning only to have him make me take outfits and bathing suits out of my carefully arranged rows!
After our negotiations of clothing amounts were settled, I packed the suitcase twice before I remembered I could make space by using travel bags that you can get at Bed Bath and Beyond.  These things are awesome!  I was able to fit all three of the kids' clothes plus my own in my one suitcase.  (and this included, toiletries, make-up, shoes, coats, and snacks!)  Not only do these things save space, but when inspectors open our bags, our clothes won't go flying everywhere and if something opens up or it rains on our bags, our clothes will remain fresh and dry!

*Once in traveling home from Guatemala, a can of baby formula burst open in my suitcase.  My hair dryer blew white powder for months!

I ended up packing differently for each child.  For my oldest I packed a t-shirt for each day and about half the amount of shorts.  My 4 year old daughter will wear sundresses and a skirt with two interchanging t-shirts.  My 3 year old, who is the one that asks to roll in the mud each time he sees a puddle, has an entire outfit for each day plus a few extra shirts!  Each child has a long sleeve shirt, a pair of jeans, sandals, one bathing suit, a hat, sunglasses, and a spring coat.  They will wear comfy long pants, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, and tennis shoes on the plane.

I anticipate that we won't go through all of the clothes, but I would rather be prepared!  For myself I stuck with a common color scheme so that I could wear the same shoes.  I don't mean that I will wear yellow every day, just that black will be in my wardrobe each day to make my packing easier and lighter.

I am always tempted to bring all of my favorite clothes so that I have choices for each day, but for me that is just silly.  Why carry all of that with you when  you know you aren't going to need it?  Plus it is going to cost you to bring it!  I actually thought for a nano-second about having each of the kids bring their own clothes in their own suitcase on the plane to save money and it would looks so cute!  That lunatic thought passed quickly as I had a vision of the three kids trying to pull their bags for maybe 5 minutes and then I would end up with the back pack, 3 car seats, purse, lap top, and five carry-ons all piled on the double stroller trying to get through the gate check with the three children!  No Thank You!!  I will pay the $20 a bag to check them!

Packing over a month time span does have advantages.  Let's hope we don't forget anything and the weather predictions are accurate!

It Works! Wednesday - Weight Loss

Exercise and a good healthy diet are what every body needs and deserves.  But let's face it - we are so on the go and preoccupied with other things that sometimes neither of those things enter our heads for days! 

To help with those not so good eating habits It Works! has some awesome products!

Advanced Formula Fat Fighter (our second biggest seller!)
Have a sweet tooth? A carb craving? It's okay to indulge every once in a while when you have Advanced Formula Fat Fighter with Carb Inhibitors.

Simply take Fat Fighter within an hour of eating, and it will absorb some of the fat and carbohydrates from your food so that your body doesn't! Powered by NeOpuntia (a naturally based ingredient made from the "prickly pear" cactus) and the It Works proprietary blend, Advanced Formula Fat Fighter delivers dynamic, clinically tested results for both men and women.*

Quantity: 60 Tablets  To see testimonies and ingredients click here.

I keep this product in my purse to use when I indulge after going out to dinner  I also have a bottle in my cupboard for after meals at home!  You do not have to plan when your biggest meal will be because you can take this 15 - 60 minutes after your meal!  You will not experience stomach cramps, bloating, or have to run to the bathroom.  I have taken this on long road trips and plane rides without worry! 

If you have been to a wrap party, you will remember that this is the product I crush up and put in the glass. It grabs the oil and drops it to the bottom of the glass showing how it absorbs 30% of the fat and carbs from absorbing into your system.  I have had clients take this product while going on a cruise and they have gone home having lost weight! 

The max you can take is 4 a day.  I have some clients take the Fat Fighters in the morning and they report a significant curb in their appetite.  Others take 2 - 4 after their biggest meal.  (the only thing you shouldn't take at the very same time as the Fat Fighters is the Vital as it contains Omega Fatty Acids and those are the fats you want your body to have!  You can take the Fat Fighter about 2 hours after you take the Vital)
*check out the Quick Pick One which only loyal customers and distributors can get - You get a box of four wraps, defining gel, and fat fighters! when you add it up you get the fat fighters for only $5 in this package!!

Fire up your metabolism with this naturally based thermogenic weight loss formula! Ultimate ThermoFit helps to:
  • Reduce appetite
  • Increase lean body mass
  • Boost metabolic rate to burn more calories
  • Increase energy levels
Ultimate ThermoFit harnesses the antioxidant benefits of Acai Berry and the metabolism-boosting power of Capsimax (hot pepper blend) to help you get a leaner, more "fit" looking physique.* Quantity: 60 Tablets  To see testimonies and ingredients for Thermofit click here.

Recommended dosage is one pill 3 times a day with meals.  This supplement definitely takes away cravings and is awesome! It stopped my cravings for a 3:00 snack I was sneaking out of the cupboard!  It won't give you jitters or hype you up like other weight loss products can that boost your metabolism!  You can actually taste the berry when you swallow it so it doesn't taste like a vitamin!  I have only heard great things about this product as everyone loves it!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Preparing to fill our Rooms!

I mentioned before in my post It Wasn't in the Plan... that all of our children came to us in different ways.  Our first was meticulously planned after a devastating miscarriage and arrived c-section into this world.  Our second was planned through the way of adoption and travel to Guatemala.  Our third child was a miraculous surprise who came into this world the old fashioned way.

With each child we have had to do different things to prepare for them.  This time around will be no different.  As I mentioned earlier we are currently going through the process of becoming licensed to be foster parents for refugee youth!  That certainly seems like a mouth full, but what it means is that a child who has fled from his or her country and is unable to return safely to their home will become part of our family!  I will become a mother of a teenager most likely!  We will not be able to adopt the children as they may still have family living in their country or elsewhere, but we will become their forever family!  I said children because we will be licensed to have up to three children with us. 

For the last  two weekends we have gone through 24 hours of training.  I have already turned in the paperwork.  For most the paperwork alone is overwhelming and can scare you away, but after filling form after form, making four copies, and having to get notaries with specific dates and stamps to sign them for Guatemala - this is a piece of cake!  I am talking an entire file cabinet drawer filled with paperwork for Guatemala compared to a file folder full!

In a few weeks will have a home study done.  The Licensor will come to visit the house and will interview all of us including the children.  This is the part that makes me a little nervous.  Last time it was just Jackson and he was a perfect three year old.  This time we have two more children to add in the mix who are a little more rambunctious. 

To see what the kids would say to the Licensor I asked the two little ones what happens when they make bad choices.  Lola ducked her head - I think she thought she was in trouble- and Tyce asked for an apple.  Then I gave them choices of what could happen.  "Do you have to eat peanut butter if you make a bad choice?  Do you get locked outside?  Does Mommy stand on your head?" "Do you have to sit in time-out?" Enthusiastic "yes"es and "yup"s were the answers for them all!!  We may be in trouble!  I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Only 2 Bananas

Obviously there are somethings that I don't pay very close attention to in this world. When I am at the grocery store with small children there are MANY things I do not pay attention to!

So I tried a new way of shopping the other day. You order all of your groceries online and then go to the store between a certain time of your choosing, call from the parking lot, and wait while they load all of your groceries in the car! What convenience! It takes all of the screaming, stress, and impulse buying out of the grocery experience. I knew exactly how much I would have to pay for everything and I could browse prices easily to comparison shop!

Sounds pretty perfect doesn't it? The only thing is is that I had to go back to the store the next day. I found out the hard way that one of the things I don't even think about while I shop is how many pounds of fruit and produce I purchase. I came home with two bananas and 20 grapes! They were gone by the time we hit the front door!  So much for convience! 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It Works! Wednesday - The Ultimate Slimming Body Applicator/Wrap

The Ultimate Body Applicator is what catches everyone's attention.  Who wouldn't stop and take a second look at something that tightens, tones, and firms where you put it and see results in just 45 minutes!!  I know it got my attention!

I was first introduced to the "wrap" by my neighbor.   My neighbor met a woman on an airplane who convinced her to host a "wrap" party.  To be completely honest with you, I didn't believe it would work.  The company had already been around for 8 years when I was introduced to it and was based out of my home town!  If something so awesome existed why hadn't I ever heard of it?

Of course I had to try it out and it wasn't expensive at all!  After wearing the wrap for 45 minutes each of the ladies walked out of the bathroom with huge smiles on their faces!  They had each lost 3 or more inches around their tummy within the 45 minutes!  I was hopeful, but still skeptical.  We had measured in three places before putting on the wrap and then we had sat and chatted for around 45 minutes munching on treats and drinking lots of water.

When our host remeasured me I had lost 1 1/2 inches.  I thought that perhaps she had pulled the tape measure too tight!  But, being the diligent person that I am, I went home and increased my water for the next three days.  On the third day I measured again and found I had lost an additional 6 inches!!!  My pants were loose and a few days later when I stepped on the scale I had lost weight!  I was a believer as was my husband!

Since then I had done more wraps and wrapped more people then I can count!  The wrap ALWAYS works!  It is truly amazing!

How it Works:
The ingredients are all natural and contain no parabens (parabens are preservatives).  They are safe enough to eat, although I wouldn't recommend it!  The ingredients have been shown to tighten, tone, and firm the outside of the skin while detoxing your insides.  Basically, the different ingredients work together and have the ability to go into the pores, break up the toxins in the fat cells, you eliminate the toxins, and your fat cells shrink.  You drink the water and continue to drink water to flush out the toxins.  (you pee them out)

How to Get the Best Results:
Since the ingredients go into your pores it is best to take a hot shower before applying the wrap.  The heat will open your pores.  Use liquid soap so your skin is clean and clear of any film from soap or lotions.  I have found the best results when I wrap saran wrap tightly around the wrap after rubbing out all of bubbles, wrinkles, and lines of the wrap on your body.  Peeling it down and rubbing in the ingredients on your skin and reapplying the wrap can also be helpful.

Wear the wrap for at least 45 minutes.  You can wear it as long as you like, but 45 minutes is the minimum.  Your skin may tingle, feel hot, or cold while you are wearing the wrap.  This is how you know it is working.  Some people even taste it on the tip of their tongue.  It smells a little like Vick's Vapor Rub.  You can do whatever you would like to do while you have the wrap on, except for sweat.  Sweat will block your pores and the ingredients will not absorb.

You will continue to lose inches for 72 hours so keep drinking water and keep measuring.  You can only do a wrap every 4 days which is how I would recommend you proceed to see the best results.  Only wrap one large area of your body at a time, but be symmetrical!  If you wrap a thigh, do both at the same time!  You can do a facial since it is made of different ingredients and a chin since it is smaller while you wrap one large body part.

Go to these links to see more about the wrap:
Ultimate Body Applicator/Wrap
How to Apply the Applicator to Different Areas

Monday, March 14, 2011

Coco Puffs Collector!

When I was little I remember my neighbor telling us that one Easter he went outside and gathered treasure in a basket.  He filled his little basket with as many chocolaty Coca Puffs as he could find and brought them inside to present to his mother.  I'm sure his mother thought it was wonderful to have a basket full of these treasures in the house picked up especially for her by her son!

You all know they weren't really Coco Puffs but rabbit poop right?  At Easter time in the past my husband has scattered Coco Puffs inside the house saying that that silly rabbit left them behind.  We all giggle and scream when he eats a handful of them!

Today, for the second day in a row, my three year old son has actually picked up Coco Puffs outside!  He has been told that it is rabbit poop and you can't touch it.  He doesn't even know what Coco Puffs are so there was no confusion over that!  He just wanted to touch the rabbit poop!  Of course it doesn't help that his brother laughed hysterically that he touched the rabbit poop and then encouraged him to touch the dog poop in the neighbor's yard as well!  Today without his brother's influence he continued to be curious about the poop and proceeded to touch it again! 

I guess I should be thankful he hasn't brought it into the house, filled his pockets with it, or tried to taste it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lady Bugs and Luck

Today I found a lady bug climbing on our bathroom mirror.  Lady bugs always remind me of luck.  In China a lady bug is a sign of good luck. 
I am a believer in luck and in fate, signs, and divine intervention.  In fact, my husband is always teasing me because I take many things that come into my path as "signs" about things in our life and what direction we are to be heading.

If you are rolling your eyes then tell me what this is?  When I went back to teaching part time I had a child placed in my room who was adopted from Guatemala.  This was at a time when we were in the middle of the process of adopting from Guatemala.  The family also was in the process of adopting their second child.  What are the chances that out of all of the teachers in the school I would be the one to be working with this family?  It doesn't stop there though!  On our visit trip to Guatemala we were in the airport and actually saw them!  They were there taking their child home!

What about this?  On Halloween in 2006 we received a call telling us that we were first on the list to adopt and there were many children waiting for a home so we could chose to have a boy or girl or what region we wanted the child to be from.  We had put on our application that we would take any healthy child so I didn't know how to respond to the question!  Of course this was a day when Ryan was impossible to get on the phone!  I couldn't consult him and everything would be at a stand still until I gave an answer.  I tried for hours to contact him! When the phone finally did ring it was our pastor calling saying that she was just thinking of me and wanted to say hi.  At the exact moment when I needed to be talked off of my ledge and to be reminded that I could pray for guidance - it came! (By the way, we decided to request the youngest child whether it was a boy or girl from any region.  God chose the most perfect girl for us!)

I could go on and on with one story after another, but I really wanted to tell you about what happened at my wrap party the other night.  Not only was it a blast and all of the girls lost a ton of inches, but I found out in the first 5 minutes that there was another reason I was there at that party!

As I walked in the host was holding the most adorable little round cheeked 9 month old.  As we chatted I found out that they were foster parents for two children.  The siblings had been with them for about a month.  They were fostering to adopt and she shared some of their story with me.

When I got home I told Ryan that I had gotten a "sign" that night!  Why did I consider this a "sign"?  We are in the middle of working to become licensed to be foster parents of youth who are refugees!  I have done so many wrap parties that I can not remember all of them and I have never been with a family who is fostering children except for the other night when we are smack dab in the middle of it all!  To me that is a "sign"!

I think God continues to put people and experiences in my path for specific reasons.  I think the other night He was just reaffirming our decision in how to continue to build our family.  I know I came home feeling very strongly about it!

So, whether you believe in luck, "signs", fate, or divine intervention; why not humor me and take a moment to pay attention to what God puts in your path.  You may be surprised by what messages you are being sent!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Giving Up

This year for Lent I have decided to give up making excuses!  Mostly I am giving up the excuse to not have time to exercise.  I love to exercise, but have not done a thing since October!  My excuses have been that I don't have a sitter, it is tax season and Ry is working late, and my favorite: I don't have time.

I know that I really do have the time.  I could go on the treadmill while watching a show or get up early.  If I am honest the excuse really should be that I don't want to make the time!  I think that is true in just about everything we do.  If you don't make something a priority you won't make the time for it.  It really isn't that you don't have the time, it is that you don't want to make the time for it!  Basically, that is just a lazy sort of attitude.

You may not agree and start listing all of your reasons that you don't have time for something, but don't kid yourself.  If you mapped out your day you could find some time somewhere to devote to something that is important to you.

So give up the excuses along with me and make the things in life that should be a priority - a priority!

Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing.  ~Steven Grayhm

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It Works! Wednesday - Greens!

Today I thought I would share my favorite product!
It's Greens!
Not eating your fruits and vegetables like you should? Get what you are missing with Greens, a delicious orange-flavored drink powder with the nutritional value of 8+ servings of fruits and vegetables in each serving.
Greens blends 38 herbs and nutrient-rich "superfoods" to provide vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and enzymes in their naturally-occurring, bio-active, bio-available form. Greens helps to:
  • Detoxify
  • Alkalize the body
  • Balance the immune system
Greens is a pleasant tasting, orange-flavored powder. Simply add to water or juice.*

This is by far my favorite product!  It is the product that made me sign up to distributor for this company!!  My three, four, and eight year old children take this product!  If you put it in grape juice you will never taste it or see the color (it is green).  We prefer to take it in the morning because it does give you energy for the day.  Some of my clients take it mid-afternoon when they start to feel tired or run down and want a nap!  It is recommended that you take two scoops each morning in a liquid. If you are just starting out I would recommend you take one scoop and see how your body responds first.  You can take it more times a day and more scoops at a time as well.  You will want to experiment what works best for you.  Do you fill an entire cup of juice or water and put the scoops of Greens in there and sip on it for a bit, do you put the scoops in a smaller amount of water and just take it like a shot, or do you put it on a spoon and place the Greens on your tongue and wash it down with a beverage?  There is no wrong way to take Greens!!  Get it into your body and you will know it is what your body needs!

Colds:  When I feel like a cold is coming on I increase what I take each day and the cold stays away!  I take at least 2 scoops three times a day to ward off illnesses.  If you already have a cold you bulk up on you Greens and the cold won't last as long. 

Energy:As mentioned earlier Greens will give you energy.  It will take sluggishness away!  I wouldn't suggest taking it before bed for that very reason!

Pain:I have heard from many of my clients who are taking Greens about all of the fabulous benefits they have personally found while taking Greens.  More then one have told me about their relief from menstrual pains and cramps.  These are women who have suffered every month from severe cramps for years!!  More than one client has gotten total relief from Fibromyalgia pain using Greens!  One client had been on pain meds for years!  The meds have caused weight gain and other irritating side effects for her as well as a significant depletion to her wallet!  She went on the Greens while on her pain meds and slowly weaned off of her meds over a 3 week time span.  She has been pain med free and pain free for over 2 months now!

Skin, Hair, and Nails:Clients who are taking Greens have also reported a change in their skin, hair, and nails!  Hair and nails grow faster and stronger.  Clients report their skin looks better and has less acne!

There are so many reasons to take Greens!  Our family loves them!!

**There are now some new flavors for the Greens and they come in tasty chews if you aren't a fan of the powder!  It is worth taking a look!

Here is what one of my distributors had to say about Greens:

Hi my name is Cindy and I am a distributor, but I started out like most, having a party and then as a loyal costumer using the wraps. I was not having the best  results with the wraps so my Rep. suggested using the greens due to my taking a lot of medication for Fibromyalgia. She said it could be that I was too toxic. She gave me enough to try for a couple of weeks and I did. Not only did I have better results with the wraps but I noticed my pain level was decreasing. I was up to 6 to 8 pain pills a day before, and I was now only taking a few a day. As the week went by I had no need for them at all and with in 8 weeks I was basically pain free. I am not saying I don't still have days of pain but nothing like it used to be. I have also been able to decrease the strength of some of my other med.s  I have been using the greens now for 3 1/2 months and I am looking forward to the day when I will no longer have to take any med.s and I credit all of this to the GREENS. they are the best, and I would not want to go a day with out them ever again. Thank you IT WORKS for the great products.

To read testimonies and see this product please go to:  Greens

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Preparing for Disney!!

Today my four year old daughter asked me if when we leave the house if everything started talking to each other!  I think I have oversaturated her with the Disney movies we have been viewing!

We are taking our first family vacation to Disney World in Florida this month and I have been working at preparing the kids for the adventure!  I wanted them to be familiar with the characters from the movies so that when they see them in Disney it won't just be Mom who is all giddy and out of control!

Watching many of the Disney movies was one way I tried to prepare them for fun.  I have also shown my eight year documentaries about the different theme parks that we found Netflix.  We also made free customized maps of Disney and looked at all of the rides and attractions.  I wanted my oldest to be aware of the rides and events in the parks so that when it was time to leave he didn't suddenly HAVE to do something that we passed three hours earlier!

This may be a little over the top for some of you, but I also went through books like; Birnbaum's Walt Disney World 2011  and Fodor's Walt Disney World with Kids plus many many many more that I checked out from the library and took notes!  I wrote down each ride and made little notes about what the ride did, if it was scary, height requirements, if it offered Fast Passes, and anything else I thought would help me as we stand in the sun with tired, cranky, hungry Daddy. (I did this all while my younger kids were in gymnastics and I had to sit and "watch" them for an hour or while I watched Thursday night TV.  I used to do this in college; study during the muted commercials so I have it down to a science!)  I also consulted the Mom's Panel on the Disney site.  This is an awesome place to get all of your questions answered!!  You can even ask questions and moms and dads who have been hired by Disney will answer your questions.  Finally, I consulted all of my local experts!  I tried to talk to all of the families out there that I knew have been to Disney with their kids!  I received invaluable information!

I don't know when we will make it back to Disney again and I think by making a plan we can make the most of our days and nights with three small unpredictable children, two saints for Grandparents, one uncertain Dad, and one overly excited Mom!
Go here to see my notes about all of the rides in each park in Disney!
Go here to see notes of what to bring in the parks!

Feel free to comment with more suggestions!!
I purchased Disney Pins off of Ebay so the kids could trade them at Disney World.  That way they would feel like they were getting new things from Disney and we weren't spending any money for them!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's a Manic Monday - bomb threat!

I woke up this morning like any other Monday to the sounds of the kids demanding this and that. The day progressed normally until I went to drop Lola off for preschool. We pulled into the school parking lot only to find that we weren't allowed into the school!

The parking lot was fill with emergency vehicles and police.  I didn't really think much of their presence because there is always something going on at the school like presentations from community helpers.  I proceeded to unbuckle my son and another parent stopped to fill me in that this was no ordinary morning!

A threatening call had come into the elementary school which forced the police to investigate.  The children had all been bussed to the Intermediate School down the street. 

Now I know that these things are usually nothing.  When I was in high school we went through a time where we had a bomb threat every week.  They eventually found the threats were coming from within the school and who was behind them, but I never felt worried about them.  Today I felt like crying.  I knew my oldest was safe at a different school, but maybe just the the idea that someone would threaten MY innocent child was more then I could handle!

I went directly to the school to retrieve my son and our neighbor's children.  Until I saw my son I continued to have that panicked feeling.  Which logically seems unnecessary, but there it was hovering over me the entire time I waited to be cleared to pick up my son!  What kind of ignorant person would do something like this?  It definitely makes me angry to think about it!

I do have to say that school did an excellent job of keeping the children safe, calm, and controlled.  I am very impressed with their actions and safety precautions!

So now we are all home safe and sound just waiting to hear if and when school will be back on! :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It Wasn't in the Plan....

When I was young I had everything planned out.  I knew what college I would go to. I knew what I wanted to do when I graduated college.  I knew exactly where I wanted to work and live.  I even had a pretty good idea who I would marry. (not hard since we had dated since we were in high school)  I worked very hard in school and every job I had to get what I wanted and needed in the time I had planned for it.

As many of you know, starting a family doesn't always allow you to do that!  I will get into those stories later, but the important thing to know here is that I had to give up my control to God and change my plans.  Actually I had to stop planning altogether!  Do you know how hard that is??  It definately took me a lot of time and heartache to figure that out, but I finally did!  I once read that we plan and plan and plan and God looks at us and giggles!  He is in control and makes the plans!  God definately had a plan for my family that I couldn't have know when I was 17!

Today I have three gorgeous children.  They each came to us in very different ways and are treasured beyond measure!  Now we are looking to add to our family again and yet again our children will come to us in a very different way!  You would think that after all the years I went through of giving up my plans that I wouldn't have to remind myself to seek God's plan and not my own.  It is such a hard thing to do that I constantly have to put up a reminder! 

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. 
My family was not meant to look like the "typical" families in our community.  The four kids I had planned out spaced two years apart was not to be.  I am so thankful for this!  I can't imagine how life would be if that were the case!  It wouldn't be half as fun or as big of a blessing for me as it is!  I know that this is the path that God has chosen for us and I am so excited and willing to embark on it!