good fridays

This week's entry for 'good fridays' will contain more eye candy than words.  I am recuperating from being hit by a semi-truck of germs that caused my joints to be sore and my head to be stuck to a pillow.  I am convinced the germs of 2011 are some of the strangest critters on the planet and are wreaking havoc in our home.  I am thankful I survived (I know, I am a drama queen) and can think of 3 things to be thankful for from the last week.

1.  Last Saturday we took a family trip to the State Historical Society.  What a gem of a place!  We will be back . . .

2.  Maddi and I attended a Valentine Dance for 'Circle of Friends', a group who serves the special needs community of our school district.  Here Maddi is seen playing ball with one of her favorite kids, Jeffrey.

3.  Monday morning was a no-school day and in true fashion, the younger kiddos did not take advantage of sleeping in.  Fortunately they are old enough to keep themselves entertained while I keep the bed warm.  I awoke to silence and was worried they had been abducted.  No fear!  They were found in the living room quietly reading. 

What are your 3 thankful things from the past week?


ellienators get 'shirted'

Thanks to our fabulous artist/friend Rachel Mindrup for developing our idea into a design for Ellie's 2011 JDRF Walk for the Cure T-shirt!  Rachel generously donated her time and talents to the design and in return we will feature her business logo on the back of the shirt. 

How did we come up with just a crazy idea?

Our family sat around one weekend afternoon and brainstormed ideas for the shirt.  Since this is Ellie's first year as a participant, she wanted to have a special team shirt just for her and those who will walk with her on April 9th in the Des Moines event.  Had we not chosen to design our own team shirt, local JDRF chapters come up with a sponsored design for each year.  The 2011 design is shown below and will can be purchased at the walk or earned by raising $100 for the event.

We wanted something unique, humorous and 'insider joke' funny for other T1 diabetes kids and families to giggle over.  Since Ellie now has to count carbohydrate grams for E-V-E-R-Y thing she eats, it is nice when she is able to have a carb-free or 'FREE FOOD' and not have to inject insulin when she eats it.  Many foods are carb-free, but one food in particular makes Ellie jump up and down for joy:


If ever there was a match made in heaven, it is:

So we already had a theme to work with, now we just needed a catchy phrase.  We threw some different ideas around and honestly I cannot even remember the other choices because as soon as Maddi described the cops scene with a girl running away with a bucket of bacon yelling "But Mom Said Bacon Was Free Food'; we all knew we had a winning idea.

The shirt itself will be yellow (the background color in the first image) and will feature Rachel's design on the front.  The back of the shirt will host the team name and any businesses that donated to the production of the shirt. 

The next step is to invite some local businesses to donate to the costs of printing.  While we are prepared and willing to pay for the shirts ourselves, I want to take advantage of the opportunity to educate with carefully selected logos. 

Even though Ellie can eat anything, it doesn't mean we don't want her (and our family) focus to be on HEALTHY food choices.  In order or to promote this, I want to ask our CSA, a local creamery, a goat cheese farm business and a few other small local places who serve whole ingredient, fresh foods or make products with sustainable ingredients.  I feel this will encourage others to ask about the logos/businesses so I can hop on up my podium to wax poetically about eating real food.


In addition, ANYONE who raises or donates $25 to Team Ellienators will receive a shirt from Ellie.  I mean really . . . . you know you want one because you will look ├╝ber cool sporting a shirt about bacon ;)


good fridays

Woo-to-the-Hoo! Friday is in da' house!  Time to get jiggy wit da weekend! 

Yeah, that hurt my ears and head too.  Sorry about that.

Time to honor the happenings of the past week and to ignore the illness we all love to hate . . . . . T1D.

1.  I am humbled and honored and most importantly, gRaTeFuL to be lifted up in prayer and support through all of the comment love for my blue boy Ben.  Being a mom can really mess up the impartial perspective you try to have when presented with a situation concerning your child.  When support poured in and suggestions were offered I felt . . . . well . . . . vindicated.  It allowed me to move past the question of "Am I overreacting?" to asking God to place a solution in my view, and boy howdy did He.  More on that decision later.

 Now Ben can get back to being 'blue' in the way he most enjoys . . . artificial colorings, additives and preservatives!  Oh, and don't forget the High Fructose Corn Syrup! don't worry; we only let him do this to himself every 6 months or so

2.  I am thankful for the sunshine and warmer temperatures this week.  My kiddos experienced some serious spring fever by begging for flip flops to wear and sprinklers to run through. I blew the dust off the locks and threw open the windows in an effort to knock loose the stale stink of furnaced air.  Yes, it was quiet the tease for Iowa in February; but we took it for what it was and e-n-j-o-y-e-d it while it lasted.

3.  I am thrilled to be married to a man who still makes my heart flitter and flop when he does that little smirk/smile thing of his.  He makes me laugh, he makes me cry, he makes me want to be a better person.  He is who I thank God for every time I am in prayer.  He knows me well enough to not buy me flowers or chocolate for Valentines Day . . . . because all I want is for him to walk through that front door one more time.  One more time for as long as we both shall live. I cross my heart and promise I won't EVER get as mushy as this post again ;)
 What are your 3 good Friday thoughts?  Share them in the comments, post your own, or head on over to share yours with Amy; the fabulous lady who prompted me to start my own.

Have a great weekend! 


all about Ben

My little boy Ben is blue.  I really don't have a better description.  He has always been a happy go lucky kind of kid who loves just being included.  Ever since Ellie's T1D diagnosis, he has changed . . . . just lost some of his spunk.

If he is told 'no' to something, his eyebrows furrow, shoulders sag and his chin falls to his chest.  This type of reaction is common, I know, but for Ben it is not.  He used to smirk and snap his fingers and say "Oh Man!" in a Swiper the Fox type of reaction and then go on about his day.  A change is a change, however, and I know something bigger is bothering him.

We have been making special efforts around home to make sure Ben feels remembered.  He and his dad went on a 'boys only' overnight trip a couple of weeks ago.  Then last Saturday Ben's Boy Scout Den held their annual Pinewood Derby so we all made room in our schedule to attend.

Ben's car is the police car on top.  It looked great, but lost both times in the double elimination races.  Surprisingly he didn't get upset about the loses because it was such a fun time.  This was his first year and he is already talking about next year's design!  The photo on the far right makes me squeal with delight . . . . . saying the Boy Scout Promise and Law.

Yesterday, Valentines Day, I went up to school to attend the candy fests classroom parties.  The kids passed out their cards and then had a couple of minutes to sort through the loot.  Then the whole class participated in some Minute to Win It games.  It was fun to see Ben interact with his friends and to watch them all enjoy some non-instruction class time.

I do need to take a moment and point something out about the placement of Ben's desk.  I received a phone call last week from his teacher with concerns about Ben's inability to stay "on task" and "follow instruction".  He is not acting out or being disruptive, but everything that moves or makes a sound seems to distract HIM.  The teacher's solution was to move Ben's desk away from the group (see how everyone else's desk is connected to or across from another student?) and she calls it "Ben Island".  He is situated so that he faces out and away from the rest of the class. 

This makes me sad.  It singles Ben for something he is having a tough time with.  I know we need to talk with the school counselor or our pediatrician about some tools to help him focus, but I also feel like Ben should be allowed to learn in his own way and not be penalized. 

The reality is we need to focus on Ben and his strengths. (he is great at math, is reading above level and loves science)  Should he be forced to conform to the classroom standards and risk feeling like he doesn't belong?  Ack.  Obviously we have a lot of thinking and praying to do in this area.

Homeschooling?  I know it is quite the large elephant to through into the mix, but it is something I have always said I would be willing to entertain for the right circumstances.  With Ellie and all the class time she misses for her T1D and now Ben and his distractions, maybe these are the circumstances.  I don't know.  Maybe it would only be for a year or two?  I DO know I want the best fro my kiddos and if it takes moving out of my comfort zone and taking a risk by teaching them at home then I will do it.  I think.  Maybe.  Yes!  Yes, I will . . . . consider it.

I just want my fun-loving, silly Ben boy back.


good fridays

Ahhhhhhh, Finally Friday!  I seriously thought it just might not make an appearance this week.  Since it is here, however, I will honor it and list my most notable, favorite things about the week having n-o-t-h-i-n-g to do with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). 

1.  Wednesday night, Dave and I had our first connection with our 'Cell Group' Cell Groups are groups of adults who meet in homes throughout the week to pursue Biblical fellowship and apply God’s Word to their lives in specific ways. In a large and growing congregation, cell groups are the primary place at the church where we can go beyond the surface and get to know others more deeply. In cell groups, we can more realistically use our gifts to serve, hold one another up in our struggles, and apply God’s Word in specific ways from church.  I was great to meet some new couples and begin a routine of regular Bible study. 

2.  Ben and Dave put the finishing touches on their pinewood derby car for Tiger Scouts.  The big race is tomorrow, so I am sure a post will be up next week describing the event.  

 This scenario may or may not have happened in our house ;)

3.  Maddi saying she would wear a skirt.  Well, okay.  Let me back up this story a little bit.  My dear eldest child is a girl who loves comfort and no fuss.  Jeans and a T-shirt are her clothes of choice and she doesn't understand why any sane woman would choose anything fancier.  SO, next Saturday she is attending a Valentine's Dance for the kids she helps out with in the special needs room at her school.  She is very dedicated to these students and jumped at the chance to see and be with them at this event. 

Me:  "I am so glad you are going!  Do you know what the dress code for the party is?"

Maddi:  "Oh, I didn't think about that.  I'll probably just wear jeans and a shirt."

Me:  "What if it is a fancy event and you need to wear a skirt?"

Maddi:  "Well, then I guess we are going shopping for a skirt."

You could have knocked me over with a feather!  I am so proud of that girl for the person she is becoming. 
Happy Friday!!!!!


not feeling the love

Anyone else not feeling the love this Valentine's Day?  I usually get all excited over finding just the right project to craft something special up for the kiddos. 

Whether it be a unique handmade valentine:

we made these little 'sour cream' packets out of scrapbook paper and filled them with little chocolates


decorating for the special day:

Hearts cut out from valentine napkins and taped to the refrigerator (cupid snuck in the house and did this) 


designing a really cute bag for the school party;

Cutting up a laminated tablecloth and sewing it into a happy bag to receive lots of lovely valentines

Yeah, I think I was in a little bit of 'Martha Stewart' overload but executed it more like a Becky Homecky. 

That was last year . . . . . .

THIS year I am approaching the love drenched holiday with a heavy heart. 


Because Valentines Day is worse than Halloween in the 'sweets' and 'candy' department and that means Ellie (my T1D) is going to feel left out.

EVEN though we will allow her to save some sweets for future lows and then a few pieces to 'eat and treat' (consume and dose extra insulin), she will inevitably get upset that she cannot freely indulge.  Another moment to shake my fist in the air at T1D.

Will Ben and Maddi freely indulge?  They shouldn't, but knowing my weakness for letting my kiddos be free and fun, they will have a moment or two of frantic unwrapping followed my sounds of chewing in pleasure.  Why should I deny them this simple pleasure?

Anyway; I guess I am just a little blue about this glittery pink holiday.  Maybe just the act of writing this all out will purge my system of the frustration and leave room for a little cupid magic to take place. 

Anyone else not feeling the love? 


receiving is pretty awesome, too

Being a parent of a child with a chronic illness, I often find myself depleted and exhausted.  The simple nature of T1D is you must give over and over again 24 hours a day 7 days a week 52 weeks of the year . . . you get the picture.

- I give sleep to blood sugar tests in the middle of the night

- I give time to keep supplies in stock, make phone calls, attend medical appointments, perform finger pokes and administer insulin

- I give brain cells over to the constant calculation of carbohydrates

- I give money (okay; I give my husband's money) to purchase medicine and testing supplies

- I give advice and opinions about T1D to those brave enough to ask

- I give sympathy to the thousands of other T1D parents who give as I do

I give all of these things with a grateful heart that I have someone to give them TO.

But . . . .

Sometimes receiving is pretty awesome, too.

Boy did I ever receive ;)  What you see here is one Bosch T20 Tassimo coffee maker, one red-colored accessory plate, one package of Starbucks cappuccino primo T-discs and one package of Gevalia Signature Blend T-discs. 

And the best part?  It. won. the. whole. darn. thing.


All I did was enter a giveaway on another T1D blog.  The fabulous Leighann of D-Mom Blog wanted to give one lucky commenter (me!) an opportunity to be fully caffeinated at all times.  *Bless her heart

This type of winning fun can be had by anyone, really.  All you have to do is comment on a blog post or share it on Facebook / Twitter / your lawn sign for extra entries.  In fact, several T1D blogger participate in a quasi-weekly 'Sugar Bolus' by either hosting or participating!  I will be hosting my very own giveaway in April . . . . paying it forward is the most rewarding part of the whole deal anyway. 

This week for instance, Hallie over at Princess and the Pump is hosting a giveaway for a really sweet Skidaddle supply bag!  GO ENTER NOW!

If you want more information about these great giveaways, visit Wendy over at Candy Hearts and see what it is all about.  *I'll give you a hint:  It's all about getting a chance to receive something awesome with no pressure to return the action - but I bet you will want to.

My 'Joy' Station. 

I have been choosing joy several times a day. Good thing T-discs come in decaf and tea varieties or I would be bouncing off the walls!


good fridays

Following Amy's blogsteps (as in a little funny punny to footsteps . . . get it? . . . hehe) and taking some time to look back at the last week and list my top three non-diabetes happy occurrences of the week. Grab the button and join in, or go over to Diapeepees to add you own '5 Friday Fav's' to her comment section.

1. I completed my jury duty sentence appointment without having to juggle our family's schedules for more than 2 days! Even though I wanted to be dismissed for a myriad of reasons, I made the commitment to follow through am oh so happy I did.

2. My personal relationship with God has been growing by leaps and bounds. Adding in a 12-week bible study to an already busy evening schedule has proved extremely rewarding. I find myself looking forward to the homework and anxious to study more of His word.

3. I am grateful for my teenage daughter. We are able to speak eye to eye (literally) and have a mutual respect for each other's viewpoint. I am just so stinkin' proud of who she is becoming and I am blessed to have her as my child. I opened the mail the other day to see a hand written note from a teacher at Maddi's school pouring praise for her admirable classroom behavior and exemptlory study skills. Wow. I just don't think it gets better than this.
Happy Friday and enjoy the rest and recuperation the weekend has to offer!


the day my blog saved me from jury duty

Let's talk Jury Duty.  The first time I was summoned by mail we lived in Omaha Nebraska (go Huskers!).  I was pregnant with my first child and was on complete bed rest for pre-term labor and pregnancy induced high blood pressure.  Suffice it to say, the county accepted my request for a deferment.

The second time I was called for Jury Duty we were living in Ankeny Iowa and had just given birth to my 2nd daughter, Ellie.  I was breastfeeding and once again my deferment request went through without so much as a second glance.

When the third request hit my mailbox a couple of months ago, I am ashamed to admit I immediately decided I would request to be excused from serving.  My list of excuses included:

1.  I have a child with a chronic illness.
2.  I cannot turn my cell phone off because the school nurse may need to get a hold of me.
3.  The courthouse is 15 miles away and I can't be that far away from my T1D child.
4.  No one else can provide care for my child like I can.  She NEEDS me.

While all of these reasons have a ring of truth around them, not one of them are reason enough for me to not participate in my civic responsibility.  The truth of the matter is I did not want to relinquish care responsibilities to anyone else; even though my husband is more than capable and our school nurse is available all day, every day at our school.


Reality bites sometimes.

So, Monday morning I arrived at the county courthouse ready and willing to serve my one trial / one week duty; whichever was longer. 

Soon I was sardine packed tight into a row of strangers and silently wondered if I had remembered to put on my deodorant.  More importantly, I had to wonder if the other 200 public servants had remembered to use theirs.

After watching a 15 minutes video and listening to a brief welcome statement from a judge, I sat back on my bench and settled in until my number was called.

I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  I was thankful for Sprint's 3G service on my smartphone to keep me entertained and up to date with my favorite blogs.

Finally my ticket was up and I, along with 74 other soon-to-be jurors, walked into a courtroom and ........ well, we waited.  Then we filled out a questionnaire and were dismissed for a 2 hour lunch.  Once back, we ....... you guessed it ...... waited some more.  The attorneys wanted to speak with some people individually and slowly the group of 75 whittled down to 50.  By this time it was late afternoon so we were dismissed until 9am Tuesday morning.

After having so much down-time the day before, I decided to come prepared with my bible study materials, a book and a fully charged phone to the courthouse the next day.  About an hour into waiting we were summoned into the courtroom and were told the attorneys for the state and the defendant (self represented) would ask us questions and we were to answer in front of everyone else.  Some questions were pretty innocent, but others were quite personal and I felt for those who were visible uncomfortable having to answer in public.  This went on for a couple of hours until they dismissed another 25 potential jurors.  I was not one of them.

Following a quick lunch break, the judge announced the trial would last at least into the end of next week.  I started to panic.  My husband was taking some personal time from work to fill in for my absence, but we were certainly not prepared for this amount of time.  While I wanted to serve on a jury, I couldn't wrap my mind around trying to make this work. 

Then the defendant asked the pool of would-be-jurors about blogs.  In particular, he asked if anyone in the room was a b-l-o-g-g-e-r.  I shot my hand up, expecting to be one of many, but was startled to discover my hand was waving solo.  He asked my if I would mind sharing about what I write about on my blog.  Certainly!  I spoke loud and clear about how I write about how my daughter and our family live with Type 1 Diabetes.  I educate, share stories and advocate for a cure for the disease and am part of a large online community who supports one another.

After I stepped off my podium, um I mean stopped speaking, I noticed one of the prosecutors for the state picked up a pen and drew a line through something on a page that looked a lot like a list of our names. 

Shortly thereafter I, along with 8 other people, were dismissed from serving on that criminal trial and officially released from serving any more of our one week duty.  Yep, the clerk validated my parking and I was free to go home and resume my everyday exciting life.

I have to admit at first I was disappointed about not being chosen.  Kind of like back in junior high when you stood waiting to be called for a sport's team.  But them I shook my head and cleared out all the crazy thoughts and c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e-d that I was released.


And that is why I have been absent from commenting on all the fabulous posts this week.  Two days away and then 2 days to catch up on the home front.  Hopefully I will get to my favorite things by tomorrow?!