Saturday, September 27, 2008


Alabama(#8) beat Georgia(#3): 41-30!!!

Elsie is an adorable Alabama fan.

Student of the Month

Jonathan is the September Student of the Month for his class. When I picked him up from school yesterday, he ran to the car. He had his big (dimple showin') smile on his face. He had just gotten out of an assembly where he was given the award. Every month there are 2 students of the month from each class. He was SO proud (almost as much as his Momma!).

He said, "Momma, Mrs. Sullivan said it was really, really hard to choose... but she still choose me." He was also aware that for the 2nd year in a row he was choosen as the student of the month for September: "Two years in a row, I am the first Student of the Month."

It is wonderful to see Jonathan excited about the award. I want him to like school. It fills my heart with happiness to think about Jonathan "showing responsibility, cooperation and respect" at school. I am proud of him.

Here's the award:

Jonathan holding the award:

Jonathan last year:

(Side Note: Yesterday was also picture day at school. When I picked him up, I noticed that the top button of his shirt was buttoned. He proudly told me he buttoned up it right before pictures. Seth thinks the "student of the month" picture is the ultimate nerd picture. I, of course, just think it is simply adorable. And, I cannot wait to see those school pictures!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thankful Thursday #57

Some Thanks Tank Thoughts:
In the Biblical story of the 10 lepers, 10 lepers were cleansed and only one returned to give thanks.
"17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" (Luke 17:17,18)

The lesson is clear. God notes when we take time to thank him and when we don't. He knows me. He knows my heart. He knows the sincerity and depth of my heart when giving thanks. It matters to God. My Thanks Tank represents my desire to be intentionally thankful. It is a piece of my heart longing to grow in thankfulness. I am spending time tonight being thankful. I am making sure my heart is in the right place.

I may post some kind of thankful list tomorrow. I may not. I have so much I want to do tomorrow that I don't know how much time I will spend on the computer. Thank you for stopping by! Take time to be thankful. Be intentional about it! Don't just act like you mean it-- let thankfulness wrap itself around your heart.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bug Invasion

I keep finding bugs are all over my house! They startle me. Sometimes they really gross me out. I am constantly having to clean these things up off of the floor.

Thankfully, they are not real.

These plastic bugs (that bring my boys so much joy) often make me and my husband look twice. They also make me think.
I think about small toys and pieces of toys. Besides the bugs, I am constantly finding small swords or tiny lego pieces.
Here's what I wonder: What do moms of girls constantly find? What are the tiny girl toys that end up where you least expect them? And, do any of them ever have a "startle factor"?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday #56

I am so thankful that today is almost over!

I am so thankful that it is almost the weekend!

I thought about just leaving this post at that... but I want to jot down a few more things because I have a lot filling up my thanks tank:

1. An unexpected phone call: I got an unexpected call from a friend I hadn't talked to in months and months. It was wonderful to catch up!

2. Good Doctor Visits: 3 of our 4 children had a visit with the doctor today. I was a bit stressed about it. It went well. They were well behaved. And, I should not have worried about what the doctor was going to say.

3. David's preschool director and teacher: I am thankful for the care and kindness of the staff at David's preschool. We had a great meeting with the preschool board this week about David's allergy.

4. Sports Illustrated September Issue: (Oh, I know this is such a simple joy...but we must be thankful in ALL circumstances) The Cover page says: SEC BEWARE Alabama Sends An Early Warning. The inside article says, "The Tide is Turning." I am so thankful for how well Bama is doing! It is FUN!! (And, my hubby bought me the magazine...what a humble gift of love)

5. Text: Seriously, I am thankful that I got a Text message this week with pictures of my friend buying minature Heath bars. What would I do without that encouragement!? I, of course, had to buy some tonight! (It's almost Halloween, right?)

6. Laughter: My husband makes me laugh. My kids make me laugh. I also love baby giggles.

7. Finding Lost Items: I have been in such a state of disarray, looking for many lost items. Last night my 7 year old prayed that we would find one of the items. Today, we found 2 things that were missing (including the item he prayed for). I couldn't have been happier. They were both in the "black hole" toy closet.

8. Getting Organized: I have been cleaning and organizing like crazy (because, you know, I have lost so many things). I am enjoying getting organized!

9. Legos: I cannot imagine my house without the joy of Legos. Our boys play with legos each and every day (even more now that we are on the school schedule-- no video games except on weekends).

10. Lists: (Boy, this list has turned into a long one!) At the begining of the week I made a big "To Do" list and I have been working on it each day. I love it! I feel so productive seeing each item marked off the list.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

FDA Hearing on Food Labels

Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration had a Public Hearing about Food Labels. It would be so very helpful to standardize food allergy warnings. Here is an article I just read about the hearing:

Food Allergy Labels Too Vague
FDA Hearing Examines Need to Simplify Allergy Warning Labels on Food
By Laura SchwartzmannWebMD Health News

Sept. 16, 2008 -- Carefully reading food labels might not be enough to keep food allergy sufferers safe, according to the FDA.
The agency held a public hearing Tuesday on food manufacturers' use of "advisory labeling," which indicates that a product could unintentionally contain trace amounts of an allergen, such as peanuts. Statements like "may contain (allergen)" or "produced on shared equipment that processes (allergen)" are common.
These warnings are voluntary and unregulated, and they may only baffle the consumer who reads them. Another example: "Produced in a facility with an allergy control plan. The possibility of contact with allergenic ingredients has been minimized. May still contain trace amount of (allergen)."
"Advisory warnings are confusing, inconsistent, and do not provide adequate information to make smart and safe decisions," said Scott Mandell, CEO and president of Enjoy Life Natural Brands, which offers gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods.
The FDA said it wants to develop a long-term strategy to help manufacturers use more truthful, clear, and uniform advisory labels. The agency has addressed the inconsistent use of advisory labeling in the past, and different groups have developed some of their own guidelines, but the public hearing represents a push toward a more unified approach.
Demystifying Food Allergy Labels
A 2004 law requires manufacturers to list major allergens used as ingredients in a product, but there is no labeling requirement for separate products that might come into contact with allergens during manufacturing.
Equipment and facilities shared by allergen-containing foods can cause cross-contamination, where trace amounts of an allergen unintentionally end up in a separate product, putting some consumers at risk for allergic reactions. Many choose to avoid these foods altogether, although increased use of vague advisory labels leave consumers with tough decisions to make.
Anne Munoz-Furlong, founder and CEO of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), said there are more than 30 different formulations of advisory labeling, making it impossible to determine which companies use advisories to truthfully represent risks and which companies put the warnings on virtually every product to avoid liability.
"Physicians, parents, and teens are ignoring these 'may contain' statements because they appear on so many products," she said.
About 2% of American adults and about 5% of infants and young children are affected by food allergies. The FDA estimates that allergic reactions to food cause 30,000 emergency room visits, 2,000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths each year in the U.S. and indirectly affect millions of families, teachers, and caregivers.
Separate from the advisory labeling, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires that FDA-regulated foods labeled after Jan. 1, 2006, list in plain English all ingredients that are, or are derived from, the eight most common food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Together they account for about 90% of food allergies, according to the FDA.
Industry groups and FDA officials emphasized that advisory labels are not a replacement for "good manufacturing practices" that curb the risk of cross-contamination.
Alison Bodor, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the National Confectioners Association, urged the FDA to establish allergen "thresholds," which attempt to gauge what levels of an allergen can safely be present in a food without causing an allergic reaction.
She cautioned that thorough cleaning or using separate equipment entirely is unrealistic for many manufacturers, and that despite the vagueness of some companies' warnings, people should heed them carefully.
Public advocates also testified about the problems allergy sufferers face daily trying to find safe food for themselves and their families.
Anne Carter of the Food Allergy Group of Northern Virginia said some group members are playing Russian roulette with food labels; teenagers and young adults are especially at risk when they start to make food decisions for themselves, she says.
FAAN member Lisa Punt shared a story about her now-teenaged son, who has a severe nut allergy. She recalled how she made sure to have plenty of candy corn at past Halloweens because it was one of the few foods her son could safely eat. But it soon became impossible to find candy corn without advisory warnings.
"Does candy corn really have walnuts, pecans, or cashews in it? Nobody knows," she said.
The FDA is accepting public comments on the issue through Jan. 14, 2009, to help develop its long-term strategy.
"Once we get all those comments in, that will be a major evaluation for the agency," said Barbara Schneeman, PhD, director of the Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Wordless Wednesday

June 20, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Cranberry Candied Yams

I am always looking for tasty ways to serve our veggies. We tried this tonight. It was yummy! (Oh ya, my sweet potatoes ended up being large instead of medium so I doubled the sauce.)

Cranberry Candied Yams

4 medium yams or sweet potatoes
1/2 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup of honey
1 tablespoon melted butter

In a large saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until just tender. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cool the potatoes slightly, then peel, split lengthwise, and place in a greased 8-ince square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the cranberry sauce and lemon juice; spread over the potatoes. Then, in the same bowl, combine the honey and butter; pour over the potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes, basting occassionally.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mom of Boys: Unexpected "Joys"

Two things that I never imagined when I imagined being a mom:

1. Pee Sword Fights: When 2 or more boys stand around a toliet and pee so that their pee streams criss cross.
My thoughts: This is hysterical but has a high potential for disgusting clean-up.

2. Listening to my son compare "racked up" stories: When you hear your son comparing stories with a friend about times he hit his privates really hard.
My thoughts: Why are they so proud?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday #55

I am thankful for these (and many more) things:
1. Tonight's Bike Ride
2. My Parents (celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday)
3. Having great babysitters on Monday night
4. Reminders not to be Indifferent (loved this post)
5. Time with my husband
6. Encouraging notes
7. Playtime with the kids
8. Making time to read a good book
9. Pumpkin Spice lattes (no, not my favorite but it reminds me of fall and a few of my favorite people)
10. weekends
11. Homemade biscuits
12. Enjoying "kid milestones"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday Words

I checked out a book this week from the library called The Oxford Book of Prayer. It has been encouraging to read. The following quote touched me. It is a beautiful reminder to me that I need to spend selfless time in prayer-- not focused on my needs or concerns.

"Worship is the submismission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of the imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose--and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy of that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the soure of all actual sin."
William Temple

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Peanut Allergy Happenings

The last week has been a big one for us and our foe the Peanut. Here's a run down of the peanut allergy happenings at our house.

David started preschool on Monday! This was exciting because as recent as last week we thought he might be delayed in starting. The preschool found out at the beginning of last week that there is a state law requiring state sponsered Epipen training. They were not aware of this and neither were we. (In so many ways, I feel bombarded by how much I have to learn.) The preschool director and teacher have been fantastic as they have worked with us. After working with the preschool board, they determined that David could start on-time (they are working to get the training). The stipulation is that I am bringing all of David's snacks. (I believe this may be the best option anyway.) The first day was another child's birthday so his mom brought brownies to celebrate. David's teacher let me know ahead of time and I made him his own brownie for class. David did talk about how his brownie was different (I guess the ones for the class had some kind of icing or candy on top) but he was totally fine with it. He is used to being required to have different food at times and he doesn't mind as long as he doesn't miss out all together on a sweet treat.
During preschool, his teacher read his peanut allergy story book to the class. David enjoyed that. I like the open approach with the class. I have to say that I was in tears on the way home from preschool. It wasn't those tears of disbelief that my little boy is old enough for preschool. It was tears from the emotional struggle that comes with letting him venture out to school and working to keep him safe.

Last night David got up because he had a bad dream. He said he dreamed he ate a peanut. When we asked him more about it in the morning, he told us that he thought he was eating sunbutter but that someone was tricking him and he was eating peanut butter. Then, he had to give himself his shot.
My throat gets this lump in it when I think about it. It is real to him. It scares him. That is not all together a bad thing. It just makes my heart sad.

Now for the BEST news! I am so excited about this and still in disbelief. This past Sunday we began talking to a fairly new friend at church about the required training for preschool. We wanted to talk to her because she is a nurse. Right away she mentioned that her 16 year old daughter has a severe peanut allergy (carries an Epipen, etc). It was just moments before I was asking if she babysits! She also has a 14 year old sister. They both came last night and babysat our kids. Wow- It is so refreshing and reassuring having a babysitter that knows and understands what "peanut allergy" means! More than that, it is amazing to have a teenage babysitter that is personally familiar with the Epipen. I am thanking God for this blessing!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

That's Love

I often play the "I love you this much" game with my kids. It is where I say things like, I love you all the way to the moon and back. David expressed his love to me in a very real way yesterday:

"Momma, I love you as much as Daddy loves Tennessee football!"

Friday, September 05, 2008

thankFUL Friday

This has been a fun and very busy week. I got home late last night after setting up for our first MOPS meeting and enjoy a late dessert with the MOPS girls.

Here are some things that I am thankful for:

1. MOPS: My MOPS group starts this morning. I am excited about the year. I am looking forward to this meeting. I am very thankful that I kept with it last year. I am very thankful to be a part of the leadership team. I am thankful for the other gals that are on leadership with me.
2. School: Jonathan started school this week. I am thankful that it is going well and that he is excited about it.
3.David: David turned 5 on Tuesday. I am so thankful for him and all the joy he brings me. I have spent time this week being thankful for his successful arrival into my life. I have enjoyed spending some one on one time with him and making him feel special on his big day.
4. The law: I am thankful for our laws. I found out about an Oregon law at the beginning of the week that has the potential to delay David starting preschool. We (his teachers and us) just found out about a state law that requires state training for Epipen use in public settings. As frustrating as it has been for me, I can now say that I am thankful we have laws that are set in place to protect us.
5. Family Fun: Last Friday night we had a end-of-the-summer-video-game-celebration at our house. It was crazy fun! We had a scavenger hunt (which reveal a video game treasure) and lots of yummy treats. It was a blast!

That's it for me this morning. I gotta go wake up a 2nd grader. I am very thankful for this week. And, I am going to be so, so thankful for the weekend when it gets here!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Five Years

I have spent the last few days thinking about David's birth. It was unbelieveable. When I think about it I am still amazed. I won't describe the details. I will just say that I was not prepared at all for his arrival. He came 5 weeks early. He was breech and a bit difficult to get out during the suddenly necessary c-section. He spent time in the NICU and had a year of physical therapy.

He was fragile.

He was precious.

Now he is the Man of Steel.

Superman is 5!