Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sharing My2k story with The White House

The fiscal cliff is the buzz word these days.  You hear it on the news, you read it in the paper, see it all over  social media, you hear friends and family talking about it.  I received an email today from whitehouse.gov asking for family stories to contribute to the Presidents desk.

Here is a statement from the page:

"You and your family have a lot riding on the outcome of this debate. We all do. And as citizens, we all have a say in the country we want to build… So make your voice heard."

One thing that I have found since having my twins is my voice.  Before them I let so many things slide.  Before them I would never question a medical professionals opinion.  Before them I would never speak up and say that I disagreed with pending decision to do something. Before them I really just watched everything happen and either complained about it under my breath and to family or I just swallowed it and sat back and pouted.

Some may say well I'm not going to speak up or do anything because I'm only one person, what does my story matter?  One thing that I have found is that if two or three people ban together and work feverishly to make a change not much happens.  The two or three people burn out before the change is ever made... BUT if 300 people make a statement on how an issue will affect their family its peaks some interest.... AND if 3000 people make a statement they are heard.  Being a single voice is as a whisper, but joining in and shouting your voice with many others becomes and insisting outcry for attention to a matter.

I have attached my story for reference and to give you a sample of a story:

Raising five beautiful children is a blessing that my husband Tom and I have been given.  My husband is a partner at a CPA firm and makes enough money that I can stay at home with our children and work a part time job from home.  Financially we are not struggling, we are not wealthy by any means but we manage and are happy.  A $2000 tax would be devastating to my family.  We will still manage to get by, but we have one really big factor that we are not willing to give up and to continue where we are with this issue we will have to majorly cut in areas of food, clothing, utilities and shelter to keep it going.  My two youngest children are 7 year old identical twin boys who both have Autism and Down Syndrome.  They have changed the definition of our family dynamics to unconditionally loving and giving no matter what.  They require a lot of therapies, specialist, medication, and supplies.  They are both doing amazing and far surpassing what I expected to see out of them when they were born.  This is due to the early intervention and the medical care and therapy they have received to this point.  If our family were to be taxed another $2000 from our poverty level income already, it would be life changing for my beautiful boys.  Their progress would slow, their independence would be compromised, their outlook for their future would be grim.  We need to stay on the path that we are on right now, its working!!  And from a family such as ours that works hard and contributes to our community as much as we can through volunteering we need to keep what we have to continue on.  Please consider families like ours who have financial obligations above and beyond what other families have.  Its not about material items or luxuries, its about human life and striving to gain abilities to be able to give back to your community.  Our hopes for our twins are high, we believe in them, we are obligated to do all we can for them.  Please don't make it any harder on us than it already is!!

Thank You for reading and considering my story.

Stacy Hanzely

And so there it is.  My voice.... now won't you add yours to mine??  CLICK HERE without delay and add your story.  No need for a long story. A few simple sentences will do.  Join my outcry!!!  Remember that "We The People" are part of the government.  May God be with our leaders and guide their decisions to be what is truly best for our country.

SLEEP, or lack thereof !!??

My 7 year old  son Isaac has me so puzzled.  I have asked the doctors, I have asked the Behavioral Specialist, I have ask the psychologist, I have ask other parents....

My son does not sleep long enough!!  I give him upto 7mg of Melatonin every night.  We usually empty a capsule onto his ice cream or into his nightly sippy cup around 9pm.  Usually asleep by 10 pm.  BUT he's up and about right now at 4 am as he is every morning.  Right now I am listening to the familiar sound of him humming over a very loud TV that usually wakes everyone else in the house up.

Giving him a slow release dose of Melatonin is not really an option because it comes in a capsule form that has to be swallowed.  He cannot do that.

I should add that Isaac does have Autism and Down Syndrome.  I do know that not sleeping is an Autism trait, but WHAT CAN I DO?  He is in kindergarten and I always feel so bad sending him to school when I know he has to be ready for a nap.

Has anyone dealt with this and is there any hope??!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Seeking Second iPad... Because of Positive Results

Sometimes it doesn't make to get a second item of something simply because you have twins.  When they were tiny I would buy two teddy bears, two of the same books or games, two of the same toys.  Now that the boys are seven I am finally learning that sharing is a life skill that we all need to learn.  So I no longer buy the second item when it comes to things they may "want".

Now shoes, coats, and clothing... I guess I have a hard time breaking that.  I love to dress them the same.  I do not do it every single day, probably like four out of seven days, but its something that "mom" still likes to do while they are young.  Its still really fun confusing people because so many still have a very difficult time telling them apart.

So onto the topic of this post.  Caleb had a wish from Make A Wish back in August of this year, right before school started. I just realized I NEVER blogged about that yet YIKES!!    Part of his wish was to receive an iPad with Proloque2Go software to perhaps help him communicate.  Both twins are non-verbal, have Autism and Down Syndrome.  Our primary means of communication right now is sign language.  It works for us, but not so much for family, friends, and community members.   I was skeptical about using an iPad for communication.  I didn't know if they would actually be able to understand the concept and form appropriate answers or questions.  Today I learned different!!!!!!

Today their speech therapist from school called me.  She is so wonderful and also just happens to be the "Autism Expert" at our local school district.  She wanted to express how amazed she was at how well the boys are doing with the iPad.  They are requesting things from their calendar at school, they are interacting with stories, and they are asking to play specific games on the classroom iPad... Her concern is that we only have one iPad and two boys so she cannot get them to use this to their full potential.  Ideally she would like for us to have TWO iPads so that they could communication to each other.  WOW!!! I could not even envision seeing this happen right now.  They laugh together and play together but I really have never seen them sign to one another or communicate with each other.  I guess other than one throwing a toy at brothers  head and the other retaliating by scratching big tiger marks down the middle of the perpetrators back.  To me that means: "I don't like that!!"

So, its Christmas time.  We have five children.  Husband works very hard and long hours to provide.  I work very part time from home, but also do all the mommy tasks that consume my days.  Life is expensive.  How can we find a way to get a second iPad without asking for charity or waiting to be chosen from the hundreds of iPad giveaways I've entered over the past year or grants I've applied for?  Has anyone ever done a fundraiser for their child to get an iPad?  If we were to try to save up the extra money it would be nearly the end of the school year before we could probably get one.  We could skimp here and skimp there... yes, but how can we find one either used at a good price now or raise the funds ourselves....

Speech therapist recommended looking on Ebay for used ones.  New technology is out there, iPad mini's are out and people will be getting rid of their "old stuff".  I browsed Ebay for 30 minutes or more tonight and found nothing less than $300 plus shipping, which to me is not a great deal for a used item. I don't want to spend hours browsing for something I may never find....

SOOOOOO I come to you, my blog readers.  Shout out some suggestions.  

Again, I am NOT looking for a hand out.. I am not looking for charity... I am looking for a way to provide my second son with a communication device quickly.  I am hoping that the feedback I receive will also help someone down the road that may be in the same situation as we are.

Bragging Moment:

Caleb's school work papers

Needed help writing his name but glued number is correct order INDEPENDENTLY!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Down in the Dumps....

I always wondered why my grandma would use the term "in the dump".  I always thought it was kinda funny.  The past three weeks I have been dealing with a strained back.  I have been in pain, I have been unable to pick up my twins, I have been unable to keep the house up like I NEED to with five children, I have been unable to be my happy cheerful self because I have this dull nagging pain in my lower back.  I am being treated by a chiropractor and my doctor.  I'm not to the point of being depressed, but I think I am just down in the dumps.  I think I get that saying now.  Each day I try to wake refreshed and start on the right foot, but each day something pops up and shoves me back to the dumps.

Let me give you a PERFECT example of a typical day lately.  Here is yesterday:

Wake up, get five, ok four  kids off to school. Tristin is capable of getting herself off to high school. *check*
Pump up radio with Christmas music to get in the mood to clean house *check*
Coffee *check*   another Coffee *check*
Start feeling the energy pumping through my veins and begin accomplishing things *check*

First load of laundry goes in and I go out to visit and feed our rabbits.  Come back in to switch laundry and what do I find??? A diaper had been thrown into the mix and all those annoying little water beads were EVERYWHERE.... Ugh!!!!

What do you do when you launder a disposable diaper with your clothes?

First, I shook out the clothes over the garbage can, then I scooped out whatever I can of the annoying beads from the washing machine  and then I Googled what I am supposed to do. Isn't that what everyone does when they are in a pickle these days??  I will save you this step, in case this ever happens to you, first of all.. I'm sorry if it does.. Second, its not as big a headache as I thought I would be.  I envisioned me sitting there picking every single annoying little water bead of every individual piece of clothing.  Thankfully, not so.  Simply put clothes into your dryer and run on high heat.  It dissolves the annoying little water beads and your filter catches the little debris.  You WILL have to run your dryer twice as it will take longer to get everything dry.  Then I got as much of the annoying little water beads as I could wiped out of the washing machine and ran it empty.  It worked like a charm and I was off and running to get my second load of the day going.

Laundry situation fixed *check*
Get dinner in crockpot *check*
Start making bread and dinner rolls for dinner..... and then my second hurdle for the day happened..

As I was pouring the last cup of flour into my Kitchen Aid my husband called me on the phone.  I answer the phone before actually pouring that last cup into the Kitchen Aid and chat with him all the while forgetting where I am in bread making process.  Oh, I needed to dump in last cup of flour.  As I continue my conversation with hubby and remain distracted from my awesome bread making skills, I dump in the last cup of flour quickly.......... ok anyone who bakes bread should be laughing right about now.  YEP my Kitchen Aid spewed flour up in my face, all over my counters and floors and surely made more than a cups worth of flour MESS!!!!!

Clean flour mess *check*

Giggle to myself thinking of the day I've had thus far........ Rrrrrrrrring... Rrrrrrring.. phone call?

I answer and its the school nurse.  They found some head lice on Isaac!!!!! SERIOUSLY???!!!!  I jump in the car to go into school to pick him and his brother up. I call my other children's schools to have the school nurse check their heads out.  Within five minutes I get a call back from the other school nurse.  Come pick up so-in-so.  (I've decided to keep the other victim confidential to forgo any teasing)

Lord Help Me!!!!

This happened to us one other time, only one child out of the five was infested.  I had never ever seen or dealt with head lice before.  I was freaked out beyond belief and scratching every single moment of the day with the heebie jeebies...  This time around, I just got to work.  Here is the result of the twins:

This is the shortest we've ever cut their hair, I think its a good look for them :)  

Today's Agenda:

Sweep and disinfect *check*
Apply overnight cream to other childs head *check*
Wake up and Clean Clean Clean *check*
Comb for nits *check*
Laundry..Laundry..Laundry... checking EACH and EVERY load for a stow a way diaper *check* 
Keeping a Smile on my Face *CHECK*

Tis how I envision someone who is "Down In the Dumps".... I need a shovel about now!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great YouTube video describing Down Syndrome

I watched this today and would LOVE for everyone who knows my family to watch this.  I can only hope that some day Caleb and Isaac will have friends who love and accept them like the beautiful people in this video love their friends.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Yesterday Caleb and Isaac turned seven years old.  SEVEN years old.  Do they look seven? NO.. Do they act seven?  NO.. Can I believe we have had seven blessed years with them already? NO!

This is how it all began:

And this is where we are now:

Caleb wanted nothing to do with his candle

Isaac tried and tried to blow out his candle, but mommy helped him.

Isaac wasn't very happy with everyone cheered for him

Daddy showing off his feeding skills

What did you get brother?

Caleb says "this is all so very much for me"

As we continue on this journey we look forward to what the next year will bring us.  This is a journey that we never thought we would be on, but now that we are traveling it, we realize how blessed we are.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying

Yesterday October 6th was the first annual Run, Walk Roll Against Bullying event in Punxsutawney put on by The Mentor Parent Program.  I am a board member for this organization and bullying is an issue they want to go into the schools and tackle in the upcoming year.  The weather was not being kind to us as it was rainy and chilly, therefore the turn out was very small.  As with any fundraising event there is so much prep work involved and so many people commit their volunteer hours to trying to make something like this a success.  I am glad its over and in my opinion for the first year, it was a SUCCESS.. We did it and survived!!!

Bullying is a topic that I know about, have dealt with myself as a kid and now with my children.  But it more involved that I really knew.  I took some time online and googled What is bullying and I was really surprised at what all is involved.  One might think that only the weak or disabled are the most bullied but its just not so.  I think that all of us have been bullied at one time or another.  One term that I came across reading through information is "Bullycide", that is when the affects of Bullying cause someone to commit suicide.  How very sad that it would get to that point.

I think that as a parent I need to become more aware of the signs of bullying and make sure I teach my children to stand up for their friends if they see it happening.  How easy it is for us to see something happen to someone and be embarrassed for them or turn the other cheek to keep our noses out of it.  As the bible so plainly states in Matthew 7:12, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you".  I have taught this verse time and time again to my children.  I know that its easy to forget when your friends are all acting in a manner in which you know is wrong, but this is one scripture that I hope will STICK to my kids brains and hearts.

I could get into a whole other topic of how bullying and children with Down Syndrome and Autism are affected, but I don't want to get myself worked up today.  I am glad that I took the time to become more aware of signs and symptoms of bullying.  I reflected on my childhood and I remembered harsh things that were said and/or done to me... and then I thought back to some things that I know I DID that were not kind.  Thank God I have a forgiving Father, now to be sure I find a way to forgive and be forgiven by those I was unkind to in some way or another.

Take some time today to research Bullying.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Caleb and Isaac have Down Syndrome..

Caleb and Isaac Have:

  • Down Syndrome
  • PDD Autism
  • Apraxia, non-verbal
  • Sensory Integration Dysfunctioin
  • Subglottic Stenosis
  • Asthma
  • GERD
  • Hypothyroid
  • Ear Tubes
  • Ongoing severe constipation issues
  • No more tonsils

What else Caleb and Isaac Have:
  • Beautiful eyes
  • a funny belly laugh
  • a short cute stature
  • toes that I could just nibble on everyday
  • a knowledge of 600+ words in sign language
  • a desire to learn
  • a love of watching tv
  • rhythm
  • abilities
  • desires
  • likes and dislikes

What Caleb and Isaac have given their Mom:
  • Compassion
  • Love
  • Concern
  • Fear
  • Knowledge
  • A purpose
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Understanding
  • A Voice
  • A Story
  • Heartache
  • Exhaustion

For National Down Syndrome Awareness month I wanted to be able to show that my boys with Down Syndrome bring so much to the family, some good, some not.  Looking at the list "What Caleb and Isaac have given their Mom", I jotted these words down as quick as they would come to my mind, most of that list is positive.

There are a few words that are not positive, Fear, Concern, Exhaustion and Heartache.  We are all entitled to these feelings and God gave us these kinds of feeling for a purpose.  To be alive is to experience feelings.  I am often find it so interesting how people all process their feelings and emotions so very differently.  And... that's ok!!

I remember when we were told about Caleb having Down Syndrome.  First there was shock.. Then came the disbelief "I can't see it!".. Then came fear of the unknown "I don't know anyone with Down Syndrome".. Then came the tears "there's something wrong with my baby"... Then came the big hug from Tom and both of us standing tall, firm and determined to figure this out and lean on God for guidance like only He could give us.  

We were all alone at first.  AND.. we still did not know if the twins were identical or fraternal.  We began to weigh out if one had DS and the other did not, or what would it be like to have two boys with DS? Fear again took over.. how would we, could we raise two of them if we don't even know if we can raise one of them?  We felt as though God must have alot of confidence in us if they both had Down Syndrome.  After several days we found out that we were indeed doubly blessed with identical twins, with identical genes and identical diagnosis'.

I think another word that just came to my mind is CONSUMED.  I feel like my life is now consumed with learning about, understanding and advocating for individuals with Down Syndrome.  Somedays I would like to just focus on me, my husband and my family.  If you read through my blog history I mostly post positive stories and comments about living with and raising children with Down Syndrome.  But today I think I will end with a pity party of sorts, raising children with multiple disabilities is just plain harder and exhausting.  There is so much involved with it... learning..defending...puffing up... educating.. advocating... spreading awareness.

With all that said, I would not change a thing if given the chance.  I am so proud to be Caleb and Isaac's mom.  I am so honored that God would bless Tom and I with the most amazing and different children than what we might have once dreamed for.  Most days are filled with the biggest belly laughs and tickles and sloppy kisses and others well, let's just say I can't sit down for a second or I will go into nap mode immediately.  It IS worth it... I'm just plain tired I reckon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Calendar Boys Smiling Down on Me This Month

Each year I am excited to get the boys beautiful faces into the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh calendar.  Our first shoot was in 2008 and we have done this every year now but one.  I think its a great way to track the boys progress and their changes in looks in a fun and keepsake kinda way.  What made me think to blog about this today is that I peeked at my calendar hanging on the wall this morning and got a big smile on my face seeing my two cuties on this months photo page smiling back at me.

I went to the drawer of calendars to search for my favorite photo of the twins to compare.. it was a BIG AWWWWWWW moment for me so I wanted to share it with my readers.  The twins will be 7 in less than two weeks now. They have grown and developed personalities that make them so different, but they are still so identical and I love dressing them the same.  Often I find it harder for me to tell them apart in photographs than in person.  Sometimes I seriously have to stare at a photo for a few minutes until I am certain of which boy it is, but I think that makes it fun.

Here is the 2012 Calendar that I am enjoying this month:

And here is Caleb and Isaac's first calendar appearance. This photo is by far my favorite of all time of them.. I love it.. And just so I don't get into any trouble posting them to my blog I want to acknowledge the photographer who makes these calendars possible.  Alicia's Photography does a fantastic job with these kids.  Alicia makes the photos fun and she has a great eye for making the photo just right.  

The boys wore their Pittsburgh Pirate shirts for the 2013 calendar.  Hopefully that will boost their season next year ;)

Go ahead, tell me how cute my twins are!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 for 21: Its not always pretty around here

That's right folks, kids are messy.  Kids WITH or WITHOUT disabilities are messy.  I find myself daily trying to make my home into a Martha Stewart look alike home and honestly, I fail big time.  Some days I throw up my arms and say why even try, as soon as they get home from school its going to be a mess again. 

I do it for my own sanity and for my own desire to live in a cleaned up home.  Life gets in the way so often and the above photo is what I often find myself looking at.

Yesterday, I put on my sweatbands and rubber gloves and gave the rooms and floors a good cleaning.  It felt good, it felt clean, it felt homey.  Any takers on how long it will last?

My challenge with Caleb and Isaac??  They both have PDD Autism and Down Syndrome and Sensory Issues, you would "think" that a sensory sensitive child would want things in their place, but NO!!!!  They can destroy a room like this in .5 seconds.  I can take them by the hand and tell them they must pick this mess up and they do... but turn around and do this again.  Its like this is their comfort living.  I feel like I've failed as a parent providing them with the life skills they need to live in a clean and decluttered environment.  I decreased their toy volume by 50% when we redid their room this summer.. it doesn't matter, they still have alot of things.  I got shelving and containers for their stuff, it doesn't matter they empty the shelves and containers and decorate their floors with their stuff.  I need a magic wand!!  Does anyone have one??? NO??!!

Well then lets hear some advice from those that have been there, done that and look back with their wisdom on what worked in the end..  PLEEEEASE!!!!  I don't want to be one of those parents that just give up and give in.  I want to instill good values in my kids, but sometimes I become selfish and TIRED and just throw my hands up and do it myself.  Anyone else guilty of this?

I feel like I have to get myself organized and decluttered before I can get my kids on the right path.. Its a never ending issue.  I do have three older children ages 15, 11, and 9.  I also struggle with them daily.  Their excuse is always "The twins did it" and then refuse to pick up.  UGH!!!  But I will not give up.. someday I will become a Martha Stewart of some kind..LOL

Please post your advice tips on my blog to share it with my readers.  I am trying to get more comments going on my blog, since not everyone reads my Facebook wall.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 for 21 Blog Challenge 2012.. Let's do this!!

I have done this 31 for 21 Challenge for the past few years now, so I may as well keep it up another year.  If you are not familiar with that the 31 for 21 Challenge is, its a time for those of us raising children with Down Syndrome to commit to blogging each day in October and spreading awareness of what its like to have a beautiful person with Down Syndrome as part of your family.

I have asked myself time and time again (and yes, I do answer myself too) how could I possibly do it again this year as I am to busy and that I am not sure what I would blog about...and my answer has been; one way to raise awareness is to teach and part of teaching is replication.  SO if I should find myself blogging on something that I think I have already blogged about in the past, either I have loyal readers who will etch another mark in their brain on something that they have read about already OR I will engage new readers with information that they are looking for and hopefully gaining a few new friends in the process.

So I begin by introducing my journey to my new readers.  I married my high school sweetheart, Tom, 17 years ago.  At the time I didn't think I wanted any kids.  God had different plans in store for me as I now have five beautiful children.  Tristin gave me the title of mommy 15 years ago and Camille came four years later on September 11th, 2001.  Tristin and Camille BOTH share the 9/11 birthday.  Elijah came in July of '03 and blessed us with our first boy.  Tom and I thought well lets shoot the dice and try for two girls and two boys.  Again we were shown that we are not in control and we were instead blessed with TWO BOYS.

Caleb and Isaac.. these boys have thrown us for a loop on more than one occasion.  They have made us better people, they have made us slow down and smell the roses, they have taught us what real compassion is, what unconditional love is, what hard work is, what undeserved frustration is, they have made us better people just by being who they are.

Caleb and Isaac are identical twin boys who BOTH have PDD Autism, Down Syndrome, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Apraxia and are non-verbal.  They are going to be the focus of my blogging this month and boy oh boy do I have some goodies to share!! Be sure to check back.....

Monday, October 1, 2012

That's my boy, an Isaac funny

Today is October 1st.  The beginning of Down Syndrome Awareness month.  Having identical twins who both have Down Syndrome, I have LOTS of Awareness available to share for this month.  New stuff always happening in the Hanzely Household!!

I get to start the month with a funny story.  I get a phone call today after school from Isaac's TSS worker.  She said that Isaac had the best day today in school.  Apparently, they began a new system where both boys must get 10 stars on their chart before they can get some time on the iPad.  The boys have been using drills like this already.. Work FIRST, then PLAY.

So today it happened that Caleb got his 10 stars first.  As they were handing him the iPad, Isaac decided he too wanted to play with the iPad.  They told him that he still needed one star to complete his chart and then get his time on the iPad.  Here is what my sweet little guy did.. He went over, picked up a pencil (not an easy task for my guys) and tried to draw a star in the box missing one!!!! How funny is that??!!  And might I say, that was brilliant of him.  They said he needed another star and he went to make sure he got it.  
That's my boy!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Last Harvest, Yummy Red Bell Peppers

I headed outside for my morning routine of checking on the rabbits and feeding them.  It has been so neat to watch how their fur and their size has changed since we got them a month ago.

While I was outside bundled up due to the crisp Pennsylvania morning air, I decided to head down to our garden one last time to see what was left to pick.  I very surprised at how many peppers we still had coming on.  I love red peppers and they were waving HI to me as I approached the garden.

I made two trips back up to the house to dump the bags I harvested and decided to take a photo of their beauty.

See the freshness!!

Cleaned and ready to prepare

I plan on stuffing a few with hamburger, roasting a few to freeze for later use, strip some to eat fresh and some to freeze for winter cooking, and of course make a meal out of them for tonight's dinner.  I love when our garden is a source of our healthy food.  All that hard work does pay off!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Getaway!!! ahhhhh

This post is NOT about my children, this post is NOT about Autism, this post is NOT about Down Syndrome.  Its about me and my husband taking a long weekend without the kids to do something uninterrupted that we wanted to do.

BOY does it feel good to be able to do that.  The twins are growing up, going to be seven in a few short weeks and we are able to sneek away a little better now.  My sister Heidi was so generous by coming and staying at my house for the weekend.  Her, Lorna, Dan and their dog came over and played with the kids while mom and dad went off to The Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs PA.

I come home with a head full of workshops that I am anxious to put to use.  I want to help Tom finish up our rabbitry and get started with more Silver Fox Rabbits.  I want to eat better and look at more organic foods.  I want to get back into baking breads and take it even further than before.  I want to experiment with fermentation beginning with sauerkraut and getting a start of Kombucha to try.  I want to really kick myself into gear to think and act with healthier choices for myself and for my family.

Before my ACL tore last June with surgery following in August, I was determined to become "fit by 40", it has by far gone the other way.  I have gained so much weight, my leg has not be rehabilitated back to full strength, I have lost alot of my willpower to do good for ME.  I need to get ME back and start caring again.

When you are caring for others far more than yourself it catches up with you in so many ways and it feels like its impossible to get back to where you want or need to be.  I was very interested in learning about organic cooking, organic gardening, and organic farming.  Who knows, 8 months ago we were just beginning to talk about getting backyard rabbits and now we have a 26x14 shed almost complete so we can raise several rabbits.  And we have chosen a rare heritage rabbit that is very uncommon, Silver Fox Rabbits.  They really are beautiful and we are anxious to get the kids involved with all of their care, and perhaps even showing them very soon.

So, I am refreshed, I have great new ideas, I have a desire to be healthy for my family and even a bigger desire to make better choices for the health of my children.  Fast food has become to convienent, its time to get back to cooking from scratch.  I LOVE cooking from scratch, but I just have not made cooking and baking a priority like I should.  I baked homemade bread for over a year and was so proud of what I was giving my family.  Its time to get back to that way of living.

What are some of your favorite bread baking recipes or tricks of the trade?  Something I have never done is make buns or dinner rolls... C'mon give me your tips!!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

First Note Home from Teacher

I went through the boys backpack after school today to clean out their lunch boxes and check their folders to see if anything was sent home for the long weekend. I was excited to see the twins first note home from the teacher:

Caleb and Isaac were so ready for kindergarten!!  I am praying that the whole year goes well with them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten Report

I got a call from one of the twin's TSS staff when they got onto the bus.  She said they really had a fantastic day.  Participated well, interacted with other children, loved wearing their back packs, and had a good day.  Said that this was obviously a LONG day for them and will most likely fall asleep on the bus.  She also said it has been requested that I pack lunches for them.  Today was popcorn chicken.  Isaac's helper cut off the breading to make it just look like chicken breast, after three bites he vomited all over himself.  Apparently he alarmed the teaching staff and they asked if he was sick.  Isaac's TSS then said no that happens if he's eating something he doesn't like.  Nice way to break them in son...LOL

Mission Five Kids off to school..... ACCOMPLISHED!!

*WHEW*  Seriously worked up a sweat this morning getting them all off.  And...And... Not ONE tear shed...LOL it was to darn busy..

Posting pics real quick so I can go out for coffee with my dear friend Kristen.  A celebration cup of joe :)

sweet sweet Tristin a freshman already

My Camille, she's a gem!!!

cool backpack from his baseball team

Annual HUG your sibling photo was no easier than the last...LOL