Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Is it worth it?

We ask this question about a lot of things, and yes sometimes we even ask this question about our kids.  I was feeling a bit perplexed at my 8 year old a couple of weeks ago. Marveling, if that is the correct word, at her "nothing is good enough" attitude.  It was frustrating and disheartening and made me wonder if what I was doing was in fact worth it.  I mean my goal is to raise good people and I did not feel like I was accomplishing that at all. 

Then she showed me this weekend how worth it it is. Her generosity of spirit shined bright as we went to the people's kitchen to feed the homeless and downtrodden.  Her job was to hand out the plastic ware.  She never once was out of my sight and what I saw amazed me. She didn't just mindlessly hand out plastic ware.  She spoke with most going through the line.  She was unafraid and showed them they were worth something in her eyes.  Most of our fellow servers had eyes glistening with tears as they watched this charming 8 year old show such love and compassion for everyone in that room. 

I was told more than once what a good heart my daughter has and that I should be proud.  I was also told by the Junior high ministry leader that it was good I had taught her to be unafraid.  There is a balance, but she often gets Jr. highers who won't even look at the people coming to get a meal...as though they are afraid that poverty is contagious.  People were taking a lesson out of Izabella's book this last weekend and it made me realize all the tough moments are worth it, for even just one of these moments.

We have "is it worth it?" moments where Jasz is concerned too.  After we left Stanford we were tasked with having the same genetic tests run on us that were run on Jasz.  We were cautioned though, because if something were to come up on that test we could be penalized, insurance speaking, far down the road.  After discovering that we do in fact have to run the test under us not under Jasz, we have been deliberating on whether or not to proceed.  I finally wrote his Stanford Dr. and asked if the genetic test was necessary or if it was just interesting information.  I received his response this morning that our test results could be the answer to what is going on with Jasz.   So is it worth it?  Does the possibility of not being able to access care ourselves outweigh the possibility of finding an answer for our son?  Well, we decided pretty quick it was worth it.  We want an answer so that our son can receive appropriate care life long.  He already may be in trouble insurance wise once he has to get a policy on his own.  But at least his Dr.'s will know how to proceed. 

I know those who don't have children look at those of us who do with a mixture of envy and relief.  They watch the melt downs, temper tantrums and destroyed homes and are thankful they can still have nice things.  But they miss the moments where out of the blue my two year old stops his play, looks over at me and says, "Mom, I just love you."  That alone gets me through many days.

Yes it's tough, but is it worth it?  Absolutely!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

3 is "too big for me"

My son has recently turned a corner.  One which I was hoping we'd avoid.  Time keeps on marching and thus my son approaches the age of 3.  Once he rounded the corner and saw 3 within his sight, my sweet, compliant, loving boy was replaced by a tantrum throwing, "no!" monster.

His latest statement when he doesn't want to or sometimes can't do what is being asked of him is: "I can't, it's too big for me!" Well now isn't that philosophically deep for a 2 year old?  I of course say that with jest, but I got to thinking that sometimes I feel just that way, that things are too big for me. 

I know of course though, that God equips us with abilities we don't always realize we have.  So, where I think things are too big for me, I must proceed forward.  In the end, God has equipped me and that for which I am unequipped, God is bigger.

Some days I think 3 kids is too big for me and my patience is down to zero.  I have literally taken to escaping to my room to kneel and bow my head in prayer to God.  I pray for the patience that alludes me and the wisdom to say the right words to my 8 year old daughter who is going on sixteen.  It never ceases to amaze me that I come out with the right words.  I most of the time don't even know what I am going to say until it is out of my mouth.  Then I watch in amazement as my daughter responds to my new take.

So yes many things are too big for us, but as Veggie tales says, "God is Bigger..." I used to have great ideas and shrink away from their actual execution, for fear that I would fail and/or be embarrassed.  Lately, I have taken on these projects with gusto.  For example, I led a Veterans day assembly for my kids school.  I had the idea, I followed it through and I mc'd the event.  Those who know me, know how much I LOVE public speaking and attention.  However, I spoke without the shaky nervous voice.  I had confidence.  The Superintendent was there as were 2 assistant superintendents and this did not even make my nerves overreact.  I realized afterwards why.  The idea was not mine, God planted it and wanted His work completed.  His reassuring hand was with me.  As a result of me trusting in His Divine wisdom, I was able to have an impact on every person in that room.  I have been told as much repeatedly.  I tell this story not to boast, but in amazement.  You see a year ago, I would have thought of the idea, but I would have almost given up before I started, letting fear rule me.
I thought I was strong after having children, but I think it has been my journey with Jasz that has given me my voice.  Who knows what the next leg of this journey will be. What I do know is that with God, there is nothing that is "too big for me!" 

Monday, October 31, 2011

God's Grace

This past weekend I had the joy of watching one of my best friends get married. This involved a plane ride that I was petrified of. This past weekend was as much about God showing me grace as it was about visiting a longtime friend. You see, I was almost in tears as the plane accelerated down the runway. I would say I was absolutely terrified. I prayed the Our Father…many times. Then suddenly the most miraculous thing happened. I felt a true sense of peace. God lifted my vale of fear and I was able to enjoy this trip taken 36,000 miles in the air.

I enjoyed the scenery and God’s creations. It was amazing to fly over the ocean and then the expanse of desert. Next came the red sand of Zion National park. The national treasure of the Grand Canyon looks so small and large all at once from that elevation. It is amazing that it is followed by the peaks of the Rockies. The Rockies were covered with snow from the storm that had hit Colorado 3 days earlier. It was so gorgeous to see the snowcapped mountains so close.

Walking out and seeing snow still laying piled on the side of the roads and lightly coating rooftops is a site we don’t get here in California. The graces God showed me did not stop there . I had the pleasure of meeting other people who have been a part of my good friend’s life all these years. People I have heard about but have never met.

The faith and goodness of these women surrounded this whole weekend. From the rides I was given, to the place to stay and meals, to the spontaneous prayer session we had on Saturday night. The love all in attendance poured on the new couple was palpable and beautiful to witness!!

On top of all of this I had the super fun experience of re-learning to square dance. I didn’t realize that it could be so fun. Plus it is good exercise!! I hadn’t square danced since the 6’th grade…it was much less awkward this time around.

So thanks for all the prayers…God is good ALL THE TIME!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Right Path

I believe I have said before that our journey has entailed twists and turns that in the end seem to be of divine intervention.  This latest path is no different.  Just like the others I went sort of kicking and screaming, but now that I am on that path I am thankful I was directed that way.

Friday morning we made our way to Lucille Packard's Children Hospital to the department of Neurosciences.  I confessed on our way that one of my fears was actually that this Dr. Seeing Jasz for the first time after he is so much improved will take one look and tell us we've wasted his time our son is fine.  I told John ,"then we look like crazy people."  My wonderful husband responded with, "then we just say, thank-you our son is healthy and be one our way!"  Yep our outlooks are different, he would be happy being called crazy if it meant our son had no more worries.  Once he put it that way I relaxed.

We met with Dr. Lee-Messer and he spent about 2 hours with us.  Not once did he deny our son has something going on.  He did a cursory exam and asked a ton of questions.  He tested Jasz' reflexes and found what everyone else has found...they react about one in ten times...very hard to get a reflex.  He looked at him and said, "you are a tricky one aren't you?"  He said he could tell based on the tilt of his pelvis and how he holds himself that he is low muscle tone.  He asked us if anyone had mentioned Mitochondrial disease before.  I am not sure if I updated after our last visit with Dr. Carter, but that is what she suspects also.  So, now we have two neurologists suspecting the same disease.  Here is a link for more information on Mitochondrial disease:  http://www.umdf.org/site/c.otJVJ7MMIqE/b.5692879/k.3851/What_is_Mitochondrial_Disease.htm

He then went through a litany of tests asking if Jasz had had any of them, including an MRI, a muscle biopsy, an ECG...  None of those have been done.  He mentioned he was surprised that an ECG hadn't been done considering usually things that affect the skeletal muscles often affect the heart.  So he ordered one up.  He also asked about genetic testing.  Well Jasz did have genetic testing done and that was the test that showed a deletion on one chromosome and an insertion on another.  The lab who runs the test actually recommended that John and I get tested as well to better ascertain the significance of the test.  This information was not told to us.  Dr. Messer thinks we should get tested because if we exhibit the same anomaly it is unlikely to be related to Jasz' muscle issues.  He did tell us to exercise caution when deciding to get the test as it could have consequences for our ability to get health insurance coverage.

He thinks a less detailed test specifically testing for Mitochondrial disease would be a good idea.  But what he really wants to do is look through Jasz' test results more closely and discuss it with his Colleague's in the genetics department.  Then meet with us again in January.   

Some other points that he brought up are Jasz' changes in strength and ones sided weakness being intermittent can be a sign that this is something affecting the brain.  What i feel good about is now we have a new team of Dr.'s added to the puzzle that is my son.  Since it is such a large hospital with so many specialties, other experts can be consulted where necessary.  I also appreciate that Dr. Messer is not jumping straight to invasive tests, he is taking his time to insure we get the right answer.  He even suggested that a muscle biopsy may not even be necessary.  How nice that we get another Dr. who is of a similar mindset in terms of testing, just because you can doesn't mean you should. 

John and I wonder a little at an ECG not having been done before considering how easy it was to do and how much it is indicated in cases like Jasz'.  Also the idea that, the genetic test results haven't been looked into more.  These are just questions in our head but may be more of a factor of what each Dr. has at their disposal. 

After spending about 2 hours with Dr. Messer we had lunch and took Jasz over for his ECG.  This was a way faster test than I thought it would be, and Jasz did really well!!  We did not leave Stanford until the afternoon and we were wiped.  I was amazed at how that trip exhausted me.  I think all the unknowns leading up to the actual visit took their toll.

In the end, I am glad I was dragged down this path.  We have more specialists available to us now and i feel we are getting closer to an answer.  Something Dr. Messer said really made me feel good.  He said that we have done all the right things and have made good decisions for our son.  He also said that the fact of how well Jasz is doing is a testament to who we are as parents.  Wow, that was really nice to have that affirmation. 

I guess we are left with some decisions to make, which is not something new on this journey.  We are also left with the knowledge that we have a Dr.  Leaving no stone unturned in searching for an answer for our son.  Thank-you God for the people that have been put in our path in the timing they have...what a blessing!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Many Hats

Greetings from the desk of the woman with many hats.  As though I am not already wearing enough of them I added one to my head this week with the opening of my online board game store (which I hope you will take a look at) http://rebeccafanshier.simplyfun.com/.  It is a perfect fit for our family.

As you know I am PTSA president this year and it is quite gratifying to see all we have laid out for the year and to know I have a good team helping to make it all happen.  Our big one is our first ever Spartan Carnival.  It is such a cool feeling to know I am part of creating a new tradition for our school and our community.   It is all falling into place so nicely and that puts a smile on my face.

As PTSA president there are lots of meetings to go to and sometimes my boy must come with me.  I was nervous about going to the luncheon with the Superintendent, Mr. Bush, this past Wednesday with two year old in tow.  But I came prepared with food I knew he could eat, coloring and of course cars.  I explained to Jasz that while we were eating he could make as much noise as he wanted, but when the grown-ups got quiet he needed to also.  He said okay but I held little hope.  Boy was I wrong.  As soon as the meeting got underway, he quieted down and entertained himself.  I had to leave early because the girls had a half day.  My Council president e-mailed me today, because she knew i would be happy to hear, that after I left Mr. Bush told the whole room how impressed he was with my boy! What a compliment.  It was nice to know it wasn't just my own motherly pride, others saw it too.

I for the first time got to volunteer in the K-2 classroom.  It was so much fun and it was so nice to see the smile on Alina's face and her pride that her momma came to help. It was all possible due to a good friend who watched Jasz so I could go. 

I have realized lately just how lucky I am in the friends I have.  We have some really good friends who are there for us when we need them.   In fact, some are helping us next week while we take Jasz to Stanford.   They pray for us, cry with us and laugh with us...we have been blessed indeed!!

So thanks to all who help me wear so many hats!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My new Addition

I have started a new adventure. As a parent who loves to have family game night Simply Fun was a perfect fit. All the games can be played in 30 minutes (the perfect attention keeping time for kids), are easy to understand and are educational. stay tuned for an invite to my launch party, but in the mean time check out my website:

and let me know if you would like to place an order.
Thanks for your support

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Never Give Up

When we moved into our current house I was skeptically excited to see a young apple tree in the back yard.  It was full of promise and potential.  Unfortunately for it, I have what I refer to as a black thumb.  Unlike the green variety, I tend to kill anything I try to grow.  This tree was no exception or so I thought.  Within a year there was nothing but sticks left of my tree.

It was this way for two to three years.  Some may wonder why I never ripped the tree out...I guess I didn't want to give up.  It was sad to see in our backyard though.  A reminder of my failures.
Imagine my surprise when I went out one day and there were a few green leaves on my sticks. I secretly hoped that my tree was being resurrected. Though I never really expected it too. Then to my delight, those few leaves became a full green tree. But it still took 2 years to see any fruit on the tree. Last year was the first time we had fruit and we had a total of 2 apples. To my friends whose trees produced 100's without any effort on their part, my two must have seemed sad, but I was rejoicing...I even took pictures.

This year was beyond my wildest dreams...our tree is full. I have pulled bags of apples off of our tree and there are still more ripening. To those that have had full trees for years and somehow dread the season for not knowing what to do with all those apples, it may seem naive to be so happy. But I have literally prayed for a season such as this.

I reflected on why this was so important to me the other day and I realized it is a metaphor for my life. Never give up the fruits of your labor are yet to come!!

There have been many times in my life when the future looked bleak and unsure, but perseverance and prayer saw me through. Now I look at my son and see the fruit of prayer in his life...yet there are still unknowns hanging over his head.   He has never given up.   He has found a way.

So here is my wish for all reading this...never give up...find a way and God will provide a rich harvest!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Has anyone seen my mind?

Okay so I thought I was doing pretty good and getting organized. Then this week I realized I have forgotten about appointments or thought I had appointments when I didn't...so annoying.

I spent yesterday calling all the places that have done tests on Jasz in Santa Barbara, so that I can get copies of his results. I told them all I would be there today. I told them that based on an appointment slip I had saying Jasz has an appointment with Dr. Carter on September 7. When I called them they were confused because they had him down for the 15'th.
I said, "I have a slip that says he has an appointment." But just in case I looked I Jasz' folder. Guess what? the appointment was on September 7, 2010...oops!! Had to call everyone back and reschedule pickup for next week.

Unfortunately, the orthatist that is supposed to fit Jasz' braces only comes to SM twice a month and he is coming the same day as Jasz' appt. in Snta Barbara. Hopefully they will give me a late afternoon appt. otherwise I need to figure out how to have my son be in two cities at the same time. That's it we telaporter technology NOW!!!

Oh yes and he is supposed to have Physical Therapy that morning too. Which is a pain because he only gets PT every other week. ARGH!!!!!

Wish this momma luck in negotiating a overly busy next week.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Special Fried Chicken

So ever since I watched The Help on Sunday I have been craving fried chicken. I had a barrier though in my not eating grains right now. So I created a version that to me was good, not sure if it was a hit with the family though. Perhaps a different nut...I used praline's but almond would be better. Perhaps I've been watching too many cooking shows but I think the ginger was a nice contrast to the Coconut that gives a little bite in the end.


Boneless Skinless chicken thighs
1 egg
1/4 C Milk
1/2 C nuts of choice
1/2 C Shredded unsweetened coconut
2-3 TBSP olive Oil or Butter
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp ginger
Salt and pepper to taste


In a food processor or chopper grind up the nuts and the coconut. Heat up oil or butter in a skillet. Meanwhile place egg and milk in a bowl beating until well mixed. Add in seasoning. In a separate bowl place the coconut nut mixture. Pound out your chicken thighs and dip each one in the egg mixture followed by the nut mixture and place in the warmed skillet. Allow to cook over med heat for about 20 minutes checking every few minutes to prevent burning and making sure it gets cooked completely through.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Starting with a bang

Greetings from the realm of PTSA and school starting. After a summer of listening to bickering I didn't think I would be so mixed in my emotions on the first day of school. I was however,torn. My oldest moved into a new classroom which means entering 3'rd grade. How did I get to be the mom of a third grader...where did the time go?

My Alina is now a first grader and my house is so very quiet. Jasz followed me around the first week constantly calling my name. It reminded me of that clip of Stewie from "Family Guy"...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNkp4QF3we8 That was pretty much my life for three days.

My girls love their school and their teachers and I am excited about this year as PTSA president. I think we have done a lot of planning and it will be a good if busy year.

As far as Jasz goes, we were supposed to have his latest IFSP on the 24'Th but the coordinator failed to show up. I found out later she was "sick and had no way to reach us" and I will keep my personal comments to myself. I did get the opportunity to go over the report with his team though. It has been interesting adding the Physical therapist...I couldn't understand half the words she wrote and I was a pre-vet major. But the Gist is that she couldn't get any reflexes on him either. He doesn't balance well, he can't jump or run and has a 33% delay still. He is also delayed in self care and a little in fine motor.

What was interesting is this particular group only works with children under three so the test they use does not test above three. Well on language (spoken and understood) and cognitive ability, he tested out of their test. Meaning he is above the level of a three year old. the test itself cracked me up because he didn't answer the questions as expected. So they showed him some pictures and asked what was happening in them. The crying baby he said, "She's going to bed." well that week he had fought bedtime every day with tears...so I guess that is why you cry. The picture of the girl clapping he said, "she's praying"...how sweet is that?
The picture of two kids jumping with their arms in the air, "their reaching up to the sky." So cute!! My favorite though was the cute little girl all dolled up and posing for a picture...he asked if he could keep that one...I guess she was cute to him too.

Well one week of school down and many more to come. Stay tuned for some yummy recipes I want to share for some healthy eats.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Opening the Can of Worms

It has been a while since I last wrote, part of that was due to vacations and Relay For Life etc...But part of it is due to me not wanting to proceed. You see in June a physical therapist was added to Jasz' list of people. Her name is Kate. Kate is wonderful and she sees Jasz through a clinical lens instead of an emotional one. Plus her eyes are fresh, so instead of simply seeing the improvement she sees where he has problems.

If you may recall, last time we saw Dr. Carter she said he likely has Peripheral nueropathy. That "diagnosis" gave all of his therapists pause. First, they are not sure it's correct and second if he truly does have it then we really need to know to what extent and the cause so we know if there are possible future consequences.

So pretty quickly Kate recommended we take him to Stanford. From her perspective a new set of eyes needs to look at him. Her thought was, "if you are going to change then go big." You see at Stanford's children hospital, that is all they do is run tests on children...therefore they read those tests more clearly.

Frankly this was like a punch in my gut. Weren't we here in this same spot last summer? Except this time Jasz is walking and I thought we were on the downhill slope of this whole thing. I mean why would I reopen that wound when he is doing so well.

It really did send me into a tail spin, because it brought up that maybe he isn't in the clear yet. In talking it over with a few friends and family it was explained to me like this. Say you write a paper and you believe with all your heart it clearly talks about "Y". on a last edit you have someone else read the paper and to them it clearly talks about "Z". It's a little like that with Dr. Carter. She has been wonderful for Jasz and I feel like a miracle worker considering we had been told he may never walk. She also, though has seemed to a little bit be grasping at straws to find a reason for what is going on with Jasz. So to some extent she has made her data fit her diagnosis instead of it speaking for itself. So a fresh pair of eyes is probably a good idea.

I watch my son walking and wonder why I am doing this, I see his smile and hear his laugh and wonder what possibly painful tests they will run. I capitulate on my decision. Last week, however, I steeled myself for the conversation I didn't want to have. I called Dr. Carter's office and asked for the referral...and they sent it. I will likely be waiting until October but we are on the path to going to Stanford.

You see, Jasz is walking but he still has almost no Patellar reflexes. He also goes in and out of constipation. He walks like a ballerina and also rolls his foot in so he is walking in quite an awkward stance. Kate has recommended braces as the high tops ended up being too heavy and he tires too quickly. He can't life his right leg up when climbing a ladder at times, and if his right leg leads on a steep slope or a ladder he almost can't do it.

He is also an anomaly in that sometimes something works perfectly one day and won't work at all the next. He can't jump and he doesn't run. Trina and I thought he did, but having Kate's clinical perspective was good, because she pointed out that a run involves two feet off the ground at times and he doesn't get into that stride....he is simply a super fast walker. He cannot balance on one foot and kicking a ball is more like scraping his foot along the ground until it connects with the ball. He does this well, but it is not technically what is considered kicking.

I give this list not to say, "see there is something wrong" but as a reminder to myself that not everything is right with him and I am doing what is best for my son. I am not being chicken little, I want to have answers that are definitive and correct so he will know and understand his own mobility as he grows up...as his mother I owe that to him. He is smart and finds ways around tasks that I never thought of.

I find myself getting emotional as I write this. I think it's because I am opening that can of worms. We had what I thought was a handle on his diagnosis. I have had two Dr.'s (not in the field of neurology of course) tell me he looks great and doesn't need any more testing. Kate's response to that was, "they obviously don't know anything about the field of neurology." This did make me feel better, but it still a little feels like, "why am I doing this again?"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Too Much Information

So today is a two part Blog. I will start with my update of Jasz. Last Thursday he got a full Eval with the Physical therapist, named Kate. I mentioned to Kate my concerns, which currently are not a lot. He is not jumping, which is a 6 month delay...except he walked late so that should maybe be delayed too. She agreed it wasn't alarming that he isn't jumping as he's only been walking since October. On one hand we really shouldn't expect him to jump until October....however half of the involvement with jumping is cognitively processing it. I think it takes longer to get the concept of how to jump. But he is cognitively there. He gets what has to happen...his legs just won't cooperate.

My other concern is how he stands. He stands and walks in first position (Ballet stance) and he rolls his ankles inward, I think as a way to stabilize himself. It is a very uncomfortable way to stand but he makes it work for him. I asked Kate about it because my concern is future mobility issues. I do not want him hurting joints and tendons to the point he has arthritis at thirty.

So, Kate we LOVE!!! she listened to my concerns and really took the time to evaluate. She noticed his whole leg is rolled. Which, comes from being "knocked-kneed." So his leg bone has a bow in it...which is not uncommon at his age, but his is a little more extreme then expected. In checking Jasz out Kate found a catch in Jasz' calf muscle. Which means it does not respond as expected. So she mentioned that to her it means there is something muscularly and nerve wise going on in that part of his leg on both sides...which makes sense given his reflexes are diminished.

Fast forward to this week. On Wednesday I took Jasz to see Dr. Carter. I explained to her what Kate had seen. She observed the same catch as well as retesting his reflexes. She got a large response in the left side (his stronger side) once out of twelve attempts. The other 11 almost no response at all. She got one lessor response out of the right side in as many tries. Same with his arms.

So she tells me he has Peripheral Neuropathy. She told me to feel his calves versus his thighs and sure enough his thighs are way more muscular. She also basically indicated that his leg is more extremely bowed because the muscles aren't pulling it straight. Her big concern is him standing in Ballet stance, because of what I was worried about. She's afraid he will stretch those tendons out permanently. So, we are to put him in High top shoes that hug the ankle...ALL the time....no bare feet anymore. She also doubled his Carnatene.

I came back and this diagnosis got shoved to the back of my brain. Trina and I talked about it and decided that if he's got a nerve issue, we basically retrained his brain to use other signals to get his legs to work (explaining his awkward stance). she theorizes that we need to do something similar for his jumping. He doesn't know the feeling so his body can't make it happen. She suggested getting a small trampoline and letting him have at it (with our guidance). This will show him what jumping feels like and perhaps retrain his body.

So this "diagnosis" sat in the back of my mind the rest of the week. I didn't google it I didn't worry. Last night for some strange reason after a very lovely date I chose to google it. oops!! It seems this is a symptom of something else. It's number 1 cause...Diabetes....well I had him tested but when I think back I don't know if Dr. Carter paid attention to the results as she was more concerned with the genetic testing. So I guess I will be calling next week. The other causes are Trauma...I can't think of anything traumatic that happened in Jasz' early life...except perhaps birth. Other causes are some genetic issue which is most common in children his age...but's he's been tested for all the genetic issues and the only thing that came up was that deletion which they don't know what it means. Thyroid function is another one..which they test for at birth. It also said that many times in children the cause is never found.

That wasn't what kept me up last night (except for wondering about the diabetes testing) it was the other things I found about his issue. Things like, "DO NOT LET children with nerve damage sit cross legged, they already have damage and putting undo pressure on nerve bundles can cause paralysis" or Be sure there are no small items around as they have diminished sensation and may not feel when they step on something or wound it. Always check the bath water because they may not be able to feel if it's too hot. Now one of the symptoms is extreme sensitivity to light touches...well Jasz certainly has that...you even think about touching his back and he's giggling..and often low muscle tone and sensory issues go hand in hand with Peripheral Neuropathy. The thing that scared me the most is that it can affect the organs. We've already seen it affecting his digestive tract...it can also affect his heart. If the nerve to his heart becomes damaged...he could just die one day....scary stuff!! Now I have been accused of needing to find something to worry about and part of me wonders if this is why I chose to wait to look it up...I was trying to not get into panic mode as I so easily go there.

Another thing that gave me a flash of remembrance is that it also said this "disease" is often accompanied with pain down the affected limb. We went to the Beach yesterday and Jasz walked to our destination spot with little problem. On the way out however, he did not get very far before he started screaming, "ow ow ow!!!" I wasn't sure if it was his feet or his legs that were hurting. What I read last night made me think it was the later. Well, he's a happy boy and the average person would never know he's lost nerve control in areas of his body...I guess I'll focus on that!!

Part II

This week I also began a cake decorating class at Joannes. So much fun. the first day we practiced stars on cookies, which was fun but not really new for me. I was introduced to an magic item called "Bake-even Cake strips." These insulate the cake pan and prevent the outside of the cake from cooking faster than the inside. It keeps the cake from doming and cracking. We had to bake a cake for our second class, which I did using these strips. I have NEVER baked a flatter cake in my life...I am so happy.

I iced the cake and got no crumbs in the icing.

I also learned a technique with piping gel to transfer a template to your cake to give you the outline of a shape to Frosting onto your cake. The pictures are of my progress on the cake. Super fun and now I feel more confident in my cake making abilities!!

So what is my lesson this week? Sometimes too much information is overwhelming, but sticking your head in the sand isn't a good way of dealing with life...somehow there needs to be a good middle ground.

Also, cake (even when you can't eat it) makes everything better!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Proud momma

So to start an update on me. I have been experiencing odd symptoms lately, which were increasingly worrying me. The biggest of which was pain in my ribs...trust me don't google it, it will keep you up at night. I made an appointment for my Dr. that is on Monday. In the mean time I decided to see a chiropractor for my increasing back pain. I was getting pains all down my arm and my wrist even ached sometimes.

I was quite nervous about going to a chiropractor, but I have lots of friends who use one on a regular basis. I got one suggested to me so I made the appt. and went. He was super nice, listened to me and took all of my concerns seriously. He never once blew me off which I often feel I am brushed off by my Dr. He felt my back and immediately said that it felt like the soft tissue around my joints was swollen. He also said that with the family history of degenerative disc disease that it wasn't surprising. Apparently, they are finding some people have sensitivities to certain foods that can cause swelling. They have been able to lessen the severity of Degenerative disc disease with regular adjustments and a diet change.

I was then put into relax mode and then he came in and did the first adjustment. I walked out of there not totally sold yet, but we'll see. well the next day I realized something. For the first time in months I don't have that rib pain. I went in again on Thursday and told him that and he said to him it made perfect sense. The vertebrae in between my shoulder blades are so locked they feel almost fused to him. It feels really good when it "pops" them but it's hard for him to do. He says the diaghram attaches to those and so does, therefore, the small intestine...hmmm there may be something to that.

So for now I am a heavy water drinker and I am changing my diet. I am doing a less extreme version of the suggested diet, but I will cut out all grains and most sugar. I say most because I need my morning cup of Joe and can't drink it black. Soda's are out too. Hopefully I will start feeling more energy and less old.

Onto happier themes. Last week we had open house. I wanted to share two pieces from my girls. The first is Alina. Mrs. Wilson interviewed all the kindergartners and typed in narrative form their answers...so here is Alina's:

When I Grow Up...

When I grow up I will be 50 years old. I don't know how tall I'll be that's a tough one! I might go to college, but when I grow up I want to be a mom. I will be married to Monte. We will have 100 kids. I maybe won't have any pets because I don't want to spend too much time with pets when I'm a mom. I don't know what Monte will do. He likes superheroes, but that would be silly for a job! When we get married we will live in a hotel because I like hotels. there might be some strangers there but there will have to be room for all my kids.

I was told this was a testament to me as a mom that it is her ultimate goal. I guess I must be doing something right.

I also wanted to share a poem written by Izabella


I love seeing on paper how my girls think. Well we are about to embark on another summer. I enter it with mixed emotions. hopefully my energy level will increase and I can keep up with three energy balls.

until next time....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crazy lady in the Parking lot

Nope I am not talking about someone else...I am talking about me. Yesterday was quite a day. It was open house and our PTSA association meeting. I felt like I had a million things to do...but actually made great progress early in the day which was a good thing. Between Relay for life and PTSA I cannot believe how those two things take so much of my thoughts. Well, I had just wrapped up the last flier I needed to make when a little before two the school calls me. Alina was in the office complaining of a headache and she had a 104 temp...OMG. A year ago I would have thought sinus infection, now I think meningitis and must act NOW!!!

I call the Dr. about 5 times because they were on their lunch break and not answering. They finally answered and told me to bring her right in. Now let's take a moment to go back a couple of days. On Saturday, Alina within five minutes of being at the park, fell off the monkey bars. After an evening of her arm swollen and her complaining of pain I called the pediatrician, who tells me better safe than sorry, take her to the ER and get an xray. 5 hours later (midnight) we find out it's not broken but she bruised the bone,so she'll be sore.

Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon. I do not want to sit another five hours in the ER and I don't have the five hours tonight. So I feel it imperative to get to the Dr. while we can. Remember the school is all the way out in Casmalia? Well a truck got in front of the line and he was open bedded towing an open trailer all full of yard waste. And the trailer has a bad wheel so if he drove over 15 mph he started swerving all over the place. So those of us behind him are get pegged by weeds and are getting frustrated at the lazy pace. I have been asked why I didn't pass him. Well there were three cars between me and him and one at a time they passed. By the time it was my turn, it was a double yellow line the whole time. There were many places the driver could have pulled over and graciously let us by, but apparently he wanted this mom's blood to boil over before doing that. I honked and cussed, to no avail. Finally, I rolled down my window, honked and waved my arm to the right. He actually did move over and let me and the five cars behind me by.

I get to the school and grab the girls and drive straight to the Dr.'s office only to find out they've moved and no one told me. I called and got directions and thought surely I could find it. But no...the building had two separate driveways and I chose poorly. I walked all over that building and found law offices, insurance salesman and a restaurant...but no Dr. I called them again and she described the building I was at perfectly. Where were they? I left the drive way and began sobbing. I pulled into another shopping center parked and cried. My kids thought I had lost it and frankly so did I. They got real quiet as you do with the insane because you don't know what they are going to do next.

I called one last time in desperation and she told me that she would stand out front and wave at me. I went in the correct driveway and saw the nurse waving to me...the building wrapped around the corner, but it doesn't look like it does from the outside...weird optical illusion. I have to say I like the new office, but yesterday I HATED it!!!

Turns out Alina had an ear infection and a throat infection. Two days off of school and antibiotics. I drove home, I think I scarfed down some food, grabbed Bela and drove to the school. Once there I had to take several deep breaths and relax. Our meeting went well and it was nice to see what the kids have been working on.

Today, I have meeting to try to get more hours for my son with Tricoutnies. They allot me 15 per month. Thus far we have only used 13 a month. I want more so we can add more physical therapy. The coordinators boss doesn't even know why she is being stingy. Personally, I think she has something against the OT and that is why she wants her cut out. I need to be strong though...I know what my son needs. So this morning I am trying to relax and clear my head...I am saying some prayers for strength and calm.

As I reflect on yesterday a realization hits me. Each one of us has those crazy lady in the parking lot moments. I just wanted some help and felt really alone for those few minutes, and those few minutes felt like forever!! So next time I see a crazy lady in the parking lot I may be More inclined to ask if she needs help. In a world full of people no one should feel alone. these days often times we are too involved in our own inner dialogue to recognize the desperation of others. I think God gives us these moments to help us realize other people have needs too. My goal, help someone feel not as alone.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


So it's been awhile since you've heard from me. Since the girls went on Spring break it has been non stop for this momma. So lets give a quick update.
After spending Easter in San Jose, which was lovely though emotional, we returned to our regularly scheduled programing of school and activities except this mom left mid week and traveled down to Lon Beach. Why you ask? Well for PTA of course. I was fortunate enough to be selected as a delegate from our district and boy am I glad I was. I learned a lot about what PTA is and what it's not and what my role as President will be next year. Yep you heard right, this person who dreads public speaking more than just about anything is going to be president next year. But I am excited and I feel more prepared now than I thought I would. I got to hear a lot of inspiring speakers including the first ever PE teacher selected as CA teacher of the year. We got to see all the reflections winners and now I see why it's such a passion for so many...we have some talented and creative kids!!

So coming back from that experience I had to jump right into planning party mode. My lovely oldest made her First Communion that following Satruday. It was lovely, though performed by a priest we'd never met, he did a good job of making the mass be about the kids and speaking ot them at their level. they even got to kneel around the Altar during the Eucharistic prayer. The next day Bella was excited to go to church because, "I get to recieve Holy Eucharist with you guys!" Dad and mom were quite proud and she looked beautiful in her dress made with love by Nana. I posted a picture so you can see how beautiful the moment was for us.

The following week our oldest also turned 8. As one friend put it "your kids are now reaching milestones in their lives...how did that happen?" I don't know it really does go by too fast.

At our last assesment of Jasz Dr. Carter requested that he recieve physical therapy as well as occupational therapy. It took us a while to determine if her prescription really meant that or not but yes it does. so we are adding a new therapist to Jasz' calander and her name is Kate. The only problem is the hours. I am a little bit in advocate mode. The Coordinator for our case wants to cut the Ocupational therapist out in order to add her but legally we can go up to 15 hours a month without needing special approval. So why the issue. i have a meeting next week to push for keeping our OT and getting PT. Now some may be asking why I would push for this as I was not a huge Sherry fan in the beginning. well she's grown on me, and on Jasz. She has gotten comfortable and because of that they work well together now and she has helped us through many hurdles. The most recent is like a miracle to me. She suggested two things for getting Jasz to try more meats and veges (like any at all). 1. get the green machine juice and 2. use the vibrating tooth brush like I told you to at the beginning. Well I have been diligently doing both for about a week and a half. Guess what? This week he has eaten what has been served to him for dinner all but one night...and it was not procesed meat. It was chicken I roasted!! and he ate vegetables...Edemame and Corn. WOOHOO!!! break through. And he loved that we were so proud of him...hopefully the trend continues. So next week I have my dreaded meeting and I am praying for strength and confidence.

Thanks for all the positive vibes and keep them coming they truly do help!!

God Bless

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Modern Miracle

okay so how's this for a modern "Miracle" in 2006 and early 2007 I got what they called recurrent Optic neuritis. They never figured out the cause but the Flu shot I got that fall was suspect. The second bout left me with permanent vision loss in my left eye to the point of being legally blind in that eye. I was told a year later that whatever vision I had remaining in that eye would be all I would ever have...the nerve was permanently damaged....

Yesterday I went to the eye Dr. because my vision has been blurry...plus I was told I absolutely need to go every year because I can not afford to have damage to my Right eye as it is my only good eye. I had suspected my vision had improved in the left eye, but I couldn't imagine that to be actually true as I was told it would never improve in that eye (by multiple Dr.'s).

So imagine my surprise when he told me I was right...for an unexplainable reason my vision improved in my left eye and is unchanged in my right eye. They can't explain it but my optic nerve seems to be regenerating!! I am no longer considered legally blind in my left eye.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What does that mean?

Sorry I have not been good about updating here. The good news is that I have been writing, just have been working on my book when I have the energy and brain power to write.

I realized recently that the insomnia that gave me the time and energy, even if false energy, to blog regularly has disappeared. That's right my head hits the pillow and I sleep soundly through the night. There are exceptions, like last night for example. I think my children were delirious. Somewhere around midnight Izabella stood next to me and stroked my hair and asked me if I would sing to her. It took me a while to realize this was not some crazy mom dream she really was in my room. I said no and her tears began welling up. Well, ask John I am such a softy, plus I am totally out of it when woken up. So I let her climb into bed with us. After about an hour or so, I got tired of having my neck at a weird angle so I told her to go to bed and she did. Shortly after she left I fell soundly asleep, only to be woken up again by Alina claiming to have a bad dream about a shark singing in her swim class. The shark singing is the part that freaked her out because that could never happen in real life. So she conned me out of some nighttime cuddles as well. John woke up in the morning surprised that there was a child in our bed, because he had clearly remembered me sending Izabella packing.

But except for nights like that I do sleep soundly. What I've realized is that my OB was right. I weaned Jasz from nursing in November and around February I started to feel normal again (whatever that means). I can say it means being able to fall asleep and stay that way, as well as no more night sweats, and my heart is normalized as well. Damn I had no idea how much havoc hormones could wreak upon our bodies!!

It also means I seem to be better equipped to deal with my children's woes. They are doing well. Alina and Jasz are on the gluten free diet and although I am not thrilled with the price tag, I am thrilled with some improvements I'm seeing.

Today Jasz had another neurology appointment, and of course she is thrilled with his progress. She pointed out to me how clear Jasz' face is. He has looked like he has Rosacia much of the time. But his face is getting smooth and the red bumps are waning. His little cheeks are no longer bright red. So someone else noticed the improvements too.

We talked about the results from the genetic testing, which appear to be inconclusive. It did show he has a genetic strand missing, but what that means we don't know. The population tested is fairly small and it shows up in 17% of them. Dr. carter explained that for example if they tested everyone in the world and 40% tested this same way, it would pretty much mean that it means nothing. Because 40% of the world do not exhibit Jasz' symptoms. However, micro deletions of this same strand (meaning smaller amounts missing) are linked to autism and epilepsy.

What does that mean for us? Well, she does not believe he has autism, nor does she believe he will develop it. I guess some children do not develop it until later on in childhood. But she believes that to be unlikely because he has such a huge vocabulary for his age and kids who eventually become autistic, do not have his level of vocabulary.

As far as epilepsy, we just have to watch for it. She said sometimes seizures are masked as anger. So she gave me somethings to watch for. It was actually kind of interesting. But it could be something we will see in the future...maybe not...who knows.

We also talked about the MRI. Although John and I need to further discuss it, it does not look likely. She feels given everything it is not unreasonable to order one and take a look. The risks are minimal. The biggest risk with the anesthesia is some kids are cranky for a day afterwards. I asked what is the likelihood we would find something useful. she told me that she is 95% certain we would see nothing on there. I asked about the other 5%, if she did see something if it would be something she could do anything about, and she thinks not likely. So my question is why? Now she pointed out that it's not like a biopsy that would cause him pain. John and I talked about it and have to weigh if just having the peace of mind of being certain there is nothing structurally wrong with him is worth it, or maybe given what Dr. Carter said, we can just assume that peace of mind right now.

So what does it all mean? Basically we have not much new information, but we do have a mommy who is sleeping better!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Things are looking good

For the last three weeks both Jasz and Alina have been doing quite well, which is awesome. No poopy problems!! What was the change? Well I slowly reduced their gluten intake. They had very little over the last couple of weeks and then this week they have been gluten free. It really seems to be helping.

i know you can see things when you want to and maybe I want something to work so badly that i see it working. But even Jasz' skin seems improved. It used to be that as soon as I took his diaper off his hands were scratching his little behind and legs as fast as he could...he knew I would reclothe him quickly and I'm sure the temporary relief of itchy skin must have felt good. But for about a week now, he doesn't do that. his scratch marks have all healed. His skin is still dry and bumpy, but since it's not itchy, it is actually looking better. And I have not had to be quite so regular with the yogurt...if I miss it's not a big deal we still have normal production if you will.

Today I took Alina and Jasz to the GI Dr. in Santa Barbara. He was quite pleased with the results. he ordered up a full food allergy work up. He said that though they may not have an allergy their body could still react to it. he said if they don't have a full blown allergy we may not have to be completely gluten free...just a minimal amount which is not as life altering or expensive. He seemed to think though since Jasz' skin was improving that it was likely there could be a slight allergy there.

Alina is not at all happy about blood work...but hey her two siblings have had it done why should she be left out? Now they can all talk about the torture together. We see him again in two months but will know blood results sooner.

Am I seeing things I want to?...possibly...would it be nice to figure out what is harming my kids...absolutely!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where has the time gone?

So I've had the intention to Blog every day for weeks. I just realized that it has been like a month since you all last heard from me. Today was a full day so it's the perfect day to blog.

I have been preparing myself mentally for the switch to a gluten free lifestyle. My biggest concern has been that Jasz is so picky, if I take away what he will eat, what's left? well I have since discovered some alternatives that will do. For example, he will eat his almond butter sandwich on rice cake just fine in place of bread...yeah!! I can do rice crispy Chicken nuggets. I also discovered today that Trader Joe's has gluten free frozen waffles. I kept getting asked by the OT if I had made the switch yet, and I think I am finally mentally prepared.

Jasz had some more blood work done today. This time they are running his blood through a data base to check for any genetic anomalies. This also means we add to the future knowledge. If he tests positive for anything weird, we all get tested for free. This will for sure determine if we have the CPTII gene. It will also let us know if it's even possible for Jasz (and Alina too) to have a gluten intolerance. If you don't have the marker it's not possible. We also had them run a glucose level test on Jasz. The reason is that several times I have changed Jasz in the morning his urine literally smells like maple syrup. Now he was already tested for maple syrup disease and he does not have it...so the next bad alternative would be diabetes. We are ruling it out. Dr. Carter actually believes that is is an effect of him being a so picky. There are nights he goes to bed without eating because he refuses what I've made. She told me that fasting can cause people to throw ketones into their urine which would cause the sweet smell. I hope she's right, but I'd rather rule it out to be sure. During this blood test he broke out in hives along his arms something fierce. I wonder if he has a latex allergy? His arms are still really itchy to him.

Not sure if I wrote about this before or not, but we noticed a couple of month's ago that Jasz is significantly stronger in his left leg than his right. It becomes glaringly obvious when he tries to walk up stairs. He can almost not do it leading with his right foot. When we saw Dr. Carter last I mentioned it and her red flag alarm went off. So I began the worry cycle again although not so bad this time as he over all seems to be doing well. She tested his reflexes and although they are now existent they are still diminished. But they are equally diminished. So she suspects he has a structural issue going on. She asked that PT work on specifically strengthening that side of his body and if it's not improved by our April appt. she wants to do a sedated MRI.

When I brought this back to the OT and PT, Sherry began feeling Jasz' back. She has for a while suspected that he has something going on in there because he seems sensitive at times, and he is sway backed. He was extremely sensitive and putting all the pieces together we no longer think his "ow, ow, ow," is a game to get out a task. We believe he is hurting when certain places are pushed or certain muscles are used. It is likely we will have to do the MRI in April. It has been a month and we have seen minor changes but not a resolution to the issue, and we really do need to see what is going on in there.

Today was another meeting to determine whether Jasz will continue to receive services. I am happy to announce that yes Jasz still qualifies. Given the Neurologist gave specific things to work on and Jasz is still 6 months behind in Gross motor and fine motor skills, we still have lots of work to do.

I am increasingly concerned with Jasz's skin and the lack of concern by Dr,'s. It is constantly itchy, and bumpy...it ALWAYS bothers him. Poor guy!! I want to know what is causing it so we can eliminate it!! SO FRUSTRATING!!!

I did get another compliment today. This time though, Sherry said in front of the service coordinator. She told me she wants me to realize that if Jasz had been a part of almost any other family he wouldn't have the progress they've seen. she told me it's because we follow through and are willing to try the crazy techniques they recommend. Which is true, we even tried sewing his pant legs together. She said it's because of that that we have seen such success. Natalie the service coordinator whole heartedly agreed. She said that so many parents think the two hours a week their child gets worked with is supposed to fix the problem. She said that they are really their to teach the parents how to help their child and most people don't get that. So I do feel proud that we've done the work and so we're seeing results. Sometimes it gets annoying that a trip to the park has to be used as a targeted strength building exercises, I can't just let Jasz run amok, quiet reading time needs to have a neoprene wrap around Jasz' Torso, which means uncomfortable reading time for him. But in the end it's because I am willing to structure our lives as such that he is improving...and I love seeing the improvements and seeing him enjoy the newly learned skills as well. Sorry for the ego moment, but sometimes I need to take those.

Thank you all for your kind words of love and support, please keep it up, it really helps a lot.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Pain in the Gut!!

So many of you may not know our most recent goings on. Life is funny, just when you get comfortable you get reminded that life is not meant to be simply comfortable. We began the year with a small, but unfounded scare. It was brought to our attention that Izabella is almost alarmingly small. This was followed by an orthodontist appointment where we were told her teeth development is at least a year behind. When discussing it with our family Dr., she is so short she is below the growth chart...she doesn't even register on it. So some tests were ran and all her GH and TSH levels were normal . However, most height prediction tests I've done say Izabella will be 4'9" at her full height. I may ask the neurologist if there is any connection between what Jasz has and her stature, but at least she is healthy. There are definitely worse things a person can have.

Alina, it turns out has the same constipation issues as Jasz. Her belly is not distended, but she can voice her pain, which is how we found out about her problem. She had a really bad abdominal day in December and she thought it was related to milk. So after discussing it with our family Dr. I brought her to see the GI Dr. who saw Jasz, expecting him to run a lactose intolerance test. He opted to do an x-ray instead. He found her gut was full. She is a bit on the underweight side and he guesses that there is no room for her to eat a lot. So perhaps she's not picky about dinner...she's full and it hurts. That was an unpleasant revelation thinking back to all the frustrating dinners where she would eat one bite and then say she was full. We never believed her I just thought she hated my cooking...arghh!Poor baby!!

Today, over a week later, Alina is home from school in a lot of pain. Things are just not moving in that department despite laxatives and "poopy Fruits". After a call to the GI Dr., we are upping her dosage and she is getting an over the counter pill to help as well. Hopefully we can get that gut working.

My frustration with this whole thing is that Dr.'s seem to want to treat the symptoms and not look for a cause. I have a consultation set up with the nutritionist in the GI Dr.'s office to see if she can maybe pinpoint some problem foods. That appointment is in the end of Feb., so I will keep a food journal on both Alina and Jasz in the mean time.

I am sure there is purpose to all of this, I just can't see the forest for all the trees right now. It's too hard to watch my kids hurt to see a purpose in it. Right now I just want to get more of an answer than what I have, and hopefully I will.

I constantly have the Mantra..."things could be worse." going through my head and Lord I know that is true.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. PROVERBS 3:5

Pray that I let God lead us as He has already done, and that I have the wisdom to Follow His ways!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Leave Your Nets Behind You

Last Saturday our friend, Jason, came and spoke to John and I as well as a few friends about his new path in life. He has decided to join with Wycliffe using his skills in software development to help with their Bible translation project. There are more than 6900 languages in our world, which blew me away. I have to be honest that it did not seem like a compelling mission until I heard him speak about it. I wanted to support him because I know he is faithful to Christ and I consider him a friend.

Listening to him however, put everything in perspective. How can someone come to know and accept Christ as their Saviour if they can't read God's word? For so many in our world the Bible is like a neatly bound blank book. It's pretty but meaningless. I never actually sat down and thought about this before. What's more, their are many languages for which there is no written form of the language. All in all there about 2100 languages for which not a single word of Scripture has been written. The task of translating the Bible to all of these languages would be insurmountable without the help of the technology, which Jason will be a part of.

Also, listening to Jason gave me a new appreciation for who he is. As I listened, I kept thinking about how inspiring he is. Not many are willing to leave everyone and everything they know in order to heed God's call. I kept asking myself if I would do the same.

What's more interesting is the Gospel this week was Matthew 4:12-23. Jesus asks Peter and Andrew to leave their nets behind them and He says, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." Our priest gave a great Homily about how in today's day in age we would do a lot of introspection and Internet searching before we decided this was a true calling. By the time we would decide to go, Jesus would have moved on to the next town, and we would miss our opportunity. It takes a great leap of faith to simply say "yes" and trust in the Lord. Most priests have that same huge leap of faith as they leave their family, their jobs, their possessions behind...hoping this is a true calling. Father Alfonse described what it was like for him to leave his nets behind and what a struggle it was for his family.

Jason is lucky in that he has the full support of his family and friends, but irregardless of that it is still quite a step to take and I am sure God will bless him for it.

I know many wanted to come and hear him talk but were unable and should time allow we would like to schedule an additional time. In any case I wanted to pass on the link to Jason's Wycliffe page. Jason not only needs financial support for his mission but prayers as well. You can sign up to support him in either form at this URL: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=4702DC . Here is a link to Jason's blog so you can read more about his journey in his own words: http://journeytodallas.wordpress.com/ .

I hope that those of you reading this can take some time each day and pray for the work that Jason will be doing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My new Obsession

Okay, so I finally discovered "The Biggest Loser." I am intrigued by it...the journey the contestants make is so much more than weight loss. They find the core of the reason they got so heavy. It seems watching the show that once they unload the weight of their emotional burdens they are free to shed the pounds. It is wonderful to watch the transformation...it is a reality show about building people up not tearing them down. Some may disagree as the trainers (Bob and Jillian) can be REALLY harsh and of course you get the players that are "game Players."

Now their weekly weight loss is unrealistic for most of us as we all have lives outside of exercising and there are constant temptations around us...not to mention that all those super healthy foods cost dough and many of us are short in that department too. But I have learned from watching the show and from my own life, that it doesn't matter the speed at which you attain that goal, but rather that you don't quit.

There will be temptations to pull you away from your goals, we all need to learn to work past those and learn to say, "no"!! So here is my question, how do you want to be a Biggest Loser? What is your goal and what is stopping you? It may not be a fitness goal or it may be. My goal is to start a book. I also want to shed my last pounds to reach my goal weight and I want to get in better shape to be able to complete "Relay For Life" in July. I also plan on looking into what it takes to become a parent advocate. I have thought about and today Sherri asked me if I would consider it as she thinks I have a calling and could really help others. I feel like God wants to use me in this way at some point in my life.

So what's my challenge? I need a Jillian and Bob. And I think I can be others' Bob and Jillian too. So lets support and challenge each other to succeed in our goals.

God Bless!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Appreciating Our Differences

It is so fascinating to look at my three children and to see how different they really are. They have the same parents and the same environment but they truly are different people. This became glaringly obvious to me during our trip to San Diego. All three of them are fiercely independent, but it shows in different ways. Alina cracks me up. She has decided that the reason there were things she was unable to do was because she wasn't five yet and now that she's five she is unafraid. We took her on the river raft ride at Sea World...which in hind-site was not smart in cold weather. Izabella was clearly afraid and sort of miserable. Alina could have easily gone again. In fact Izabella was cold after that ride and wanted to go back to our hotel. Alina, was fine with the cold..she just wanted to ride rides. She ahs also decided that it was her age preventing her from swimming like a pro and now that she's five I should let her go in the deep water on her own.

Jasz is a little imp. He has a twinkle in his eye that betrays the joker in him. We went to the hot tub and he is too young to sit in the boiling water. So I sat him on the edge and held his legs from within the tub. He calls, "Mama" to get my attention. As soon as I turned my head to see what he wanted he splashed water in my face and then cracked up. What a stinker!! Everything is one big gag to him right now...you can see by watching him...he is just waiting for the next opportunity to "get" someone.

Izabella is my girl of extremes. She feels every feeling to the max. She also feels other people's feelings. She worried the whole trip about my sister..wanting to make sure she was okay. She brought her stuffed animals so Julie would not have to sleep alone. Just the thoughtfulness and caring in those small actions spoke volumes as to the type of person Izabella is becoming.

Sometimes as a parent it's tempting to ask why one child doesn't behave well like another child. But outside of the situation I am glad that none of them behave the same way. God has given them each gifts and they each have a purpose. Thank God we are not all the same...how boring that would be!!!