By definition, to “thank” reads -
1. to express gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment to: She thanked them for their hospitality.
By definition, to “thank” reads -
1. to express gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment to: She thanked them for their hospitality.
First, let me start out by saying that I (nor anyone else in my family) are a nutritionist by any means! We have not been the best eaters, but I don’t think we have been the worst for that matter, either. Brad and I have dabbled a bit into the Paleo (caveman) Diet lifestyle, but for the most part, I would say our family functions on moderation.
Until my mom’s diagnosis of ovarian cancer, we had practiced healthy, whole food eating on a moderate scale. After diagnosis (A.D.), however, mom decided to dive deeper into the world of food and other factors to consider as cancer repellents and cancer cures.
Every day, it seemed she had something new she had read about that either helped prevent cancer or help those already dealing with it. Picture Dr. Oz on steroids, and that’s what we were dealing with! As you can imagine, this was somewhat overwhelming. I wanted the “Readers Digest” version or “Cliff Notes” version…which lead us to her compiling a word document 12 pages long of information she had pieced together from various books, blogs and websites!
If you are interested in the broken down version (which is still lengthy and a lot to take in), keep reading…
Top 3 things to eat or do:
(1) Turmeric (seasoning found in health stores/health food section of grocery stores):
Tumeric activates antioxidants. Use 1 tsp a day per person.
(2) Green Tea –
Green Tea Green tea consumption may reduce your breast cancer risk by up to 53 percent. Drink 2 to 4 cups a day—make a pot and drink it cold in the summer, too. A University of Southern California research team found green tea lowered breast cancer risk by up to 53 percent. Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Fight-Cancer-with-Food#ixzz2BT3Y1xIU The mancha/sencha organic type is a must! Shoot for 2-4 glasses a day. Any green tea will do but sencha and macha is recommended. Look for organic brands made in the United States. You can find a good selection in the Village of East Davenport, Hy-Vee and even Wal-Mart!
(3) Broccoli -
This is the top cancer fighter, blood pressure reducer and beyond! You can also shoot to eat more brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage (cruficious vegetables).
Information from the Anti-Cancer New Way of Life:
• No refined sugar – use agave nectar sweetener or honey to sweeten things.
• Use organic seasoning (if on sale) – mix with olive oil (tsp) and pepper helps to
• No processed foods… use whole foods! Check out www.100daysofrealfood.com
• Use Whole Wheat / or Multi grain in organic form when possible.
• Chia seeds – Sprinkle on different things. Their taste is not real noticable…perhaps a bit nutty. The are packed full of Omega-3. They recommend integrating about three tablespoons (1 ounce) or another type of fiber supplement into your diet per day. You can do this by adding about two heaping tablespoons at breakfast and another for a snack. Incorporating chia seeds into your daily diet is easy, but it’s important to start with a small amount and gradually increase your intake until your stools are the proper consistency. Chia seeds have been known to cause occasional gastric distress like bloating, gas and even diarrhea or constipation, but you can avoid that by paying attention to your body and easing your way into a high-fiber diet routine. To avoid constipation, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids!
• Follow the Mediterranean Diet – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mediterranean-diet-pyramid/my00663
• Use extra virgin olive olive first cold press. Keep in dark green or dark glass bottle not plastic.
• Eat berries…blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries
Notes from Little Changes Big Difference Anti-Cancer book:
-Avoid pesticides and insecticides
-Avoid chemical cleaning products
-Avoid skin contact aluminum (deodorant vs anti-persperient)
-Avoid parabens and phthalates in cosmetics products (You will start to hear more and more about this!) Walgreens has a whole section devoted to it now, and almost all European make up and cosmetology products ban them! A good resource for this information can be found at www.parbenfreeprincess.blogspot.com
-Avoid skin-care products with estrogens or placental by products
-Avoid foods and liquids that have been in contact with hot plastics (microwave bowls, plastic mugs, plastic kettles, many canned food).
-Avoid inorganic phosphate additives (in commercial sodas, commercial baked foods processed meats)
-Go organic when you can
- Reduce red meats
- Females especially (no fair!) should reduce their alcohol consumption…6 oz per day – tops! This is especially so for breast cancer prevention.
Balance your diet:
-Reduce intake of sugar, white flour, sunflower oil, corn oil,
-Increase your omega 3 intake (fish, flaxseed, chia seeds)
Omega 3 fish to consider:
Tuna Salmon Sardines Herring Trout Halibut Cod Haddock Catfish Flounder/sole Oyster Shrimp/lobster Crab Alaskan Clams Scallops
-Increase your intake of anticancer products (turmeric, green tea, vegetables and fruits)
-filter tap water – use a carbon filter
-use organic eggs – hormone free if you can find them
-use quinoa organic in place of rice great source of protein
-30 minutes a day physical activity(30 min walk 6 times week)
-exposure to sunlight 20 minutes day creates vitamin D3
www.Panna.org (pesticides etc)
www.Ewg.org/skindeep (makeup etc)-coming soon
www.eattodefeatcancer.org (you have to join thru facebook)
Most Contaminated Foods (shoot to buy organic):
Least Contaminated Foods:
EAT TO DEFEAT CANCER LIST FROM WEBSITE WWW.EATTODEFEATCANCER.COM
Apple Blackberries Blueberries Cherries Clementines Cranberries Grapefruit Lemon Nectarines Orange Peach Pomegranate Raspberries
Red grapes Strawberries Tomato
Herbs & Spices
Basil Black pepper Cilantro Cinnamon Cloves Coco a powder Flaxseed Garlic Ginger Ginseng Lavendar Licorice root Nutmeg Oregano Parsley Rosemary Tarragon Turmeric
Artichokes Beets Bok choy Broccoli Brussel sprouts Cabbage (red, savoy, white) Carrots Cauliflower Chard Collard greens Endives Fennel Garlic Kale Musta rd greens Olives Onions Peas Parsnips Peppers Pumpkin Radishes Salsify Scallions Shallots Soybean sprouts Spin ach String beans Sweet potatoes Thistle Tomatoes Turnip and their tops Watercress Winter squashes (acorn, butternut)
Oils & Sauces & Condiments
Honey Maple syrup Olive Oil Soy Sauce
Enoki mushrooms King oyster mushrooms Maitake mushrooms Matsutake mushrooms Oyster mushrooms Reishi mushrooms Shiitake mushrooms
Cuttlefish Flounder Haddock Halibut Herring Mack erel Oysters Salmon Sardines Sea Cucumber Seaweed (Arame, Dulse, Hijiki, Kombu, Mozuku, Nori, Wakame) Squid Squid ink Tuna
Poultry dark meat (chicken, goose, turkey)
Legumes & Nuts & Beans
Almonds Cashews Chestnut Edamame Sword jackbean Tofu (soft, firm, dried) Natto Walnuts Lentils Lima beans
Hard Cheese (Gouda, Jarlsberg, Emmenthal, Edam) Yogurt (Greek!)
Beverages & Soups
Apple Cider Cocoa Powder wine Soy milk White wine Coffee Green tea Miso
Chocolate Honey Maple syrup
Phew! If you’re still reading…don’t freak out! You’re probably thinking, I’m eating all wrong or I should have been eating this/not that. You’re fine. This was just information gathered along the way that has been suggested to help defeat cancer. Start little or choose just one thing to change or incorporate into your daily regimen. Good luck!
If you are a woman, or know a woman…keep reading. An estimated 1 in 71 women will develop Ovarian Cancer in her lifetime…Here is some valuable information that I have compiled in regards to Ovarian Cancer. I probably have scoured hundreds of pages dedicated to Ovarian Cancer, patients, and supporters so I thought it would be nice for you all to receive the “Cliff Notes” version or “Readers Digest,” if you will…
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant or cancerous cells are found in the ovaries. Cancer develops when cells in a part of the body (in this case the ovary) begin to grow out of control. Although there are many kinds of cancer, they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells.
Risks for Ovarian Cancer:
Genetic predisposition, personal or family history of breast, ovarian or colon cancer, increasing age (over 55), no pregnancies, or menopausal hormone therapy. A more detailed list of risk factors and symptoms that may place a woman at risk for Ovarian Cancer may be found here: http://www.ocrf.org/images/pdfs/projecthoperiskbrochure.pdf
Factors That May Decrease the Risk of Ovarian Cancer:
Oral Contraceptive use, pregnancy, breastfeeding, hysterectomy and removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Ovarian Cancer is often hard to detect and caught in its later stages. This is because the ovaries are so small and tucked behind the abdominal lining and symptoms take longer to present themselves…Luckily, my mom is part of the estimated 19% of patients who discover Ovarian Cancer in its earliest stages. When detected early, Ovarian Cancer survival and cure rate can be as high as 100%! This is WHY early detection and paying attention to your body is so important.
Some potential symptoms of Ovarian Cancer include: bloating, abdominal pain, trouble eating or feeling full early, feeling the need to urinate more frequently, fatigue, upset stomach, heartburn, back pain, or constipation.
***Please Note***One symptom that I have found to RARELY be mentioned ANYWHERE in my research includes bleeding after menopause. No matter how little! We’re talking not even a spec of pink here, people! Sorry guys, but this is important. This was the ONLY symptom that my mom had. And had she not mentioned it to her gynecologist (which she almost didn’t thinking nothing of it), she would not have been suggested to have an ultrasound, which presented the 8 cm mass on her ovary, which ultimately led her to Iowa City.
***Please Note***Although very important to a woman’s health, a PAP Smear does NOT detect Ovarian Cancer. It does, however, detect cancer of the cervix.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month = September
Ovarian Cancer Color = Teal
Chasing Rainbows by Luci Berardi
Beating Ovarian Cancer by Chris Bledy
Memoir of a Debulked Woman: Enduring Ovarian Cancer by Susan Gubar
For further information on diagnosis/staging/specifics, I recommend the following -
Ovarian Cancer Websites:
Test your knowledge about Ovarian Cancer:
Medically speaking, October 2012 is a month we would like to forget. I’ve thought a lot about this month and how I would try to organize it into this blog. Do I go chronologically? Do I start with the least intrusive and work my way up? Before this gets too confusing, let’s start with the non-medical events of October that are worth mentioning!
On October 6, by BABY cousin and yes, I still consider her my BABY cousin, Mollie married Kyle! I can’t believe the little girl I remember holding as a baby is married! Does that mean I’m old since I can still remember the day she was born? There was a beautiful outdoor wedding…other than the rigid temperatures and the bridesmaids’ skin turning a purplish tint from the wind, I’d say it was pretty beautiful! Pictures don’t lie! It was outdoors at the Big Red Barn, which is where the reception followed. Everything was very rustic and decorated with a vintage feel to it. I loved it! We were all happy to be part of her wedding day – Brad and I were in the wedding party and Phoenix was “sort of.”…I will discuss that during the medical portion of this entry.
One thing that HAD to happen before the wedding, was a hair cut for baby boy…I had put it off until the last minute of course…so Daddy had to do the honors! And he didn’t do too shabby!
With weddings, surgies, and broken bones (oh my!), we were unsure if Spoon River Drive would happen this year, but it did! One quick stop at Farmington was all we needed! Sure enough, Mom, Amber, Jennifer and I were still able to pull off some good deals at our favorite spot, Black Crow Company! However, the rain started to pour down as we headed to the car, but we werenot to be discouraged! We ended up hitting the shops Canton and enjoyed a nice Mexican lunch in town! It was definitely a fun trip even if it was one of our shortest shopping trips on Spoon River.
The other major event to hit October, was Halloween! I had this brilliant idea of making Phoenix into a home made scarecrow. I pinned lots of pictures and tried to gather ideas. I thought I might even know what I was doing…thank GOD my mother does! Because I sure am not the type that can put my brilliant ideas together fully! However, I am proud to say that Phoenix looked darn cute in his home made, no-sew scarecrow costome! Plus, the only thing that was “purchased” for his outfit was the facepaint! Everything else was either owned or borrowed! Score! We hand fun trick or treating in Matherville with Kylie…then hit up some houses on Halloween as well.
Alright! Those were the fun stories…now for the real reasons why October was one of the longest months EVER!
Let’s start with the good news and least intrusive I suppose…One positive for me this month was the fact that my thyroid levels have returned to normal! I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease back in March and have been on medicine since. I was all set to tell the doctor to sign me up for radioactive iodine treatment (because I had talked with my obgyn, and done some research)…however, he said they were normal! I have a three month probation period to see if they remain stable. So cross your fingers…because if they remain stable, I’m cured (I think…)! That also means if we wanted, I could get prego! Don’t get too excited though, I can’t guarantee that is in the plans, but who knows!
Phoenix was the next medical issue of the month…actually, there were several involving him! Where to start…well, remember how I said he was sort of part of the wedding? Well, he was supposed to be the ring bear, however three hours BEFORE the wedding, he FELL off of a chair in our kitchen. Brad called me as I was leaving my mom’s to head to the barn. (Luckily, my hair and make up was done!) He informed me of the problem and that he was concerned Phoenix had broke his arm. Even though Brad had caught his head when he fell of the chair, he had landed on his arm and would not start crying. I proceeded to race to Trinity 7th street (trying not to smear my eye make up with tears) where I met them. X-rays were ran and had his arm was temporarily splinted. With the help of Sarah, I scored some Checkers to eat as we raced back and arrived 20 minutes before the ceremony was set to start! While he didn’t make it down the aisle, he was able to make it out on the dance floor by the end of the night. The saddest part is that he wasn’t able to wear his super cute outfit! He wore a bright orange cast for three weeks. Boy were we glad to get that off! Didn’t seem to slow him down much though!
About a week after the cast was on, things still didn’t seem quite right, and he continued to have a nasty cough. Sure enough, on a typical Saturday run to the Pediatric Group, Dr. Neptune discovered ANOTHER nasty double ear infection, AND Phoenix had to have a nebulizer treatment for his breathing. He went on Albuteral (if your’e not familiar with this, it makes kids hyper! Yea, that was NOT fun! On top of everything else, the kid wouldn’t sleep!) for the cough, and another antibiotic for his ears….I promptly made an appointment with the ENT.
One day after Phoenix had his cast removed, he received tubes in his ears by Dr. Cody! After 8 ear infections in one year, we are hoping this is the answer to some peaceful and pain free days ahead for little man.
Well the largest medical event of the month (and probably year) unfortunately goes to my Mom. On October 1, she underwent surgery in Iowa City to remove a tumor they had found on one of her ovaries. At the time of surgery, we were unaware if it was cancerous or not. During the surgery, they were able to do a quick freeze and determine it was cancerous, in which case the doctor completed the staging process. We (family and friends waiting during surgery) were told this right away. Mom, however, had to be kept in the dark until the next morning when the doctor met with her. Painful doesn’t even begin to describe what that was like. As far as surgery goes, mom did great, but it was a vertical incesion on her abdomen so recovery was going to be slow going and difficult.
When the doctors meet with you at Iowa City, it’s not just one doctor at a time, it’s usually a group. We were told that mom had an 8 cm mass removed that was cancerous. The good news was that it appeared to be caught early to their eyes…the bad news was that we were going to have to wait another 10 excrutiating long days to get the pathology reports back to get the full staging.
This was an emotional roller coaster of a week to say the least…on top of dealing with the pain from surgery, mom had to also deal with the emotions of being handed a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. We all had been convinced this was “nothing” and I think even the doctors were a bit surprised.
As I look back on the days of Monday – Thursday at Iowa City, I think about what got us through. Four days seems short, but the week seemed endless. Family, friends, faith and humor are what I think did it. Mom had an outpouring of support from family and friends. Even though it was hard for her to talk to them, their support was heard. Humor. I know now (and I think mom does too!) that I was not cut out for nursing! Amber and I took shifts and became the best nurses that we knew how to be – often mimicking true nurse verbage and tasks when needed. I became known as “Nurse Wratchet” and Amber became “Nurse Houlihan.” Mary, Julie and Kathy earned their own nicknames as well.
After ten days of waiting trickled by, it was finally time for the pathology report and mom’s follow up visit. I must say, I was in awe of how calm and at peace mom was going into that appointment. If you know my mom, worried is a mild way to describe her on a normal day! No joke. She had done some reading and while in the hospital, we also were fortunate to visit with one of their amazing social workers. Mom had read the book “Chasing Rainbows” and I think that had helped prepare her for the appointment.
When Dr. DeGeest informed us (mom had a whole enterage there of course) that the tumor had not spread to the lymphnodes and that it was not found anywhere else, we cheered! She was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer Stage 1c. Only 20-25% of women are diagnosed in this stage because symptoms are often uncommon…I will provide a full blog on Ovarian Cancer at a later date…PROMISE!
Hallelujah sprang to mind as we left the appointment. It’s weird to go from one week being down in the dumps because someone you love has cancer, then cheering the next week because of the stage it was caught. But that’s cancer. That’s life. There is a song the kids in Israel always sing called “Hallelujah.” We played it as we left the parking lot of IA City Hospitals…
While celebrating still, we know there is a journey yet ahead. Mom does have to complete six rounds of chemo, which she began on Oct. 31 and completed with flying colors! The doctor informed her that she would loose her hair, so we appropriately stopped by the nearest wig shop and picked her out a smashing new do. She also won one from Paula Sands!
Before October was over, Mom, Amber and I had the opportunity to hear Paula speak at Heritage Wesleyan church one evening. She had Ovarian Cancer 2c. We met her and listened to her speak of her journey with cancer. She was a very entertaining and inspiring speaker, and mom has been in touch with her via email since.
Phew! See – I told you October was something of month! I really could keep going on all this, but I feel I need to start breaking this down. Look for some specific blogs on Ovarian Cancer, Foods to Eat to Beat Cancer, Wigs and more…
Until then, cherish your moments and remember to LAUGH!
I love September…I mean who doesn’t love fall? Crisp air, jeans, sweaters,bonfires…
Liz and Ty’s wedding kicked off the lovely month of fall this year for us. Brad was a groomsman in the wedding and we had an awesome weekend celebrating up in the burbs. We even got in our “yearly round of golf” the morning of the wedding! Although there was some rain which brought the wedding indoors, we still had fun dancing and celebrating the night away with this awesome couple!
During our trip up North for the wedding, we took a little detour through Ikea. Upon departing, we aquired some nice new toy storage options for our living room! We were super excited to add more storage to our living room that actually looked like “adult” furniture at the same time! options
Ear infections continue to plague the Child household…poor Phoenix encountered yet another one and had a nasty virus to accompany it. Sigh.
Go-Ruck Challenge…Ever heard of one? Yea…I had not either until Brad mentioned it to me! A Go-Ruck Challenge is a military style, 12 hour, endurance challenge. It is rated one of the top 10 endurance challenges in the United States (Brad just told me in case I was wondering…) I’m proud to say he completed something most people couldn’t even dream of starting (me included!) Perhaps he can blog about this experience on a seperate occasion.
Without an ounce of sleep (did I mention the Go-Ruck Challenge takes place all night long?), Brad joined us for “Jog For Henry’s Dog.” This was a fundraiser walk for autism therapy dogs. It was a beautiful fall day as we walked through the trails with all the dogs! Phoenix especially loved the bright blue poodle we saw there! Unfortunately, Kyson did not get to tag along…
We celebrated Mollie and Kyle’s bachelorette party at Blue Cat in the District. It was a fun night out filled with good times and lots of laughs…especially while my mom tried to figure out the concept of “YOLO.”
I must admit, it has probably been 8 years since I have been to Sherrard’s homecoming parade, but this year, Grandpa Russell was riding in it as part of the “Hero” theme, so Phoenix and I decided to check it out. Phoenix loved him some parade time…that is for sure!
Thanks to our friends, The Gravert’s, Brad and I were able to enjoy our first Iowa City – Iowa Hawkeyes tailgating event. We road up in “the bus” and spent the day up there eating, drinking and being merry…was there even a football game going on??? Not sure…however, I did when the “guess what lugnut” event on the way up, so that was exciting!
The Quad City Hot Air Balloon Festival is a new experience we tried this fall! There were probably 10-15 hot air balloons that set up and took off right over our heads! It was amazing seeing them set up and lift up high into the air. Such a fun night!
I can’t forget to mention the romance of September…of course, I’m speaking of the anniversary date of Sept. 23 for Brad and I! Six years this year! It’s hard to believe how much time really does fly! I know it’s quite “cliche” to say it, but it’s true! We didn’t do anything too wild and crazy, but it was still nice to enjoy some time together!
Fall isn’t complete without a weekend with a weenie roast. We had only one fire this year at mom’s, but it was a good one. We ate chili, roasted hot dogs and sat around the fire. Phoenix even got to take a ride on the neighbor’s gator, so of course he loved that.
So that’s September…I have no real snappy ending for this post…so that’s how we’ll leave it!
August means the wrap up of summer and back to school around this household! August was here and gone before we knew it this year…it seems adding a “child” into the mix of things really gets time spinning by more rapidly. In case anyone missed it, here’s what the Child’s were up to this past August…
Phoenix and I tried out the Family Museum in Bettendorf on a “free Monday.” It was a bit chaotic, however he did enjoy the toddler area, where he cooked up a storm, answered the busy phones and “played house!”
As with summers before, I can’t decide if Kyson loved the summer ending or hated us leaving him for school…On one hand, he loves people…and Phoenix loved giving Kyson the attention he so often craves…on the other hand, however, Kyson ALSO loves his sleep…So I think in the end, Kyson is quite happy with full run of the house and leather couches all to himself until the next school break rolls around!
We had “adult time” as Brad and I hit up wedding #2 of the season with “The Sharp” wedding! It was a beautiful outdoor wedding topped off with a fun-tastic dueling piano band reception following.
One of Phoenix’s all-time favorite activities this month was washing dishes! He pulls the chair in from the dining room, hikes up to the sink, and gets right down to business! I only hope he enjoys this half as much 10 years from now!
One of the most exhilerating moments of the summer was taking a ride on “Big Mable” the boating tube. I’m not sure who had more fun – Amber and I riding on “Big Mable” or Joel driving the boat round and round so we crashed on the waves. I must admit, I did peer pressure Brad into taking a spin on “Big Mable” as well…we’re still visiting the chiro for whip lash received from that day.
One day, we decided to get creative…Of course, Pinterest has inspired me, so I thought I would give finger painting a shot…It was fun, but messy!
Phoenix had his first eye exam, which also meant he had his first experience with eye dialation…I don’t think he was a huge fan (neither was I while we waited for it to kick in!), but at least he looked stylish following it! On a high note – his eyes checked out just fine!
Back to school meant organizing and getting settled into a new office for me! I’m so excited to have a white board, bulletin board and area big enough for lunch groups etc.! I had pinned lots of organization ideas from Pinterest (of course) and got right down to business. My favorite idea from Pinterest was organizing my books by means of paint sticks…Came in handy having a husband as a painter for this Pinterest project!
Cousin Mollie’s first shower was held out at my mom’s. Can’t believe my baby cousin is old enough to get married!!! I still remember the day she was born! I thought for sure my Grandma Carol was lying to me!
Phoenix LOVES tractors and anything that “GOES.” He was able to take a ride on Aunt Julie’s gator and LOVED it! I’m sure he can’t wait to drive it on his own some day! Look out!
Of course, I had to save the best for last. When it comes to August, everyone knows the biggest thing to hit New Windsor – is the Biggest Littlest Rodeo in the Midwest! For the 30th year in a row, I did just that! Phoenix hit up his 2nd annual rodeo! We took in the sites and sounds of the parade, ran the rodeo run, looked at the horses and bulls, and Phoenix even participated in the “Cutest Cow Poke” contest. Phoenix even went on his first fair ride – the slide! He also rode the merry go round and rode rides with cousin, Kylie. We were so happy to have Erin and Eric visit us again – Erin hitting up her 11th annual rodeo and Eric hitting up his 2nd rodeo!
It’s strange how rodeo usually symbolizes the end of summer for me even though I know the calendar says otherwise. In my my “old mind” it re-unites past friends/family, but kicks off the start of a “new year.”
Well, there you have it…Happy trails to you…Until we meet again…
In honor of turning the dirty thirty in July, I will be summarizing this month’s happenings in thirty blurbs…So…Without further ado…Thirty Things About the Month of July 2012…1. We knew it was July when it was time for the Fourth of July music celebration in New Windsor. This year was Larry Streeter’s last year directing the special service. Amber and I have really enjoyed singing the state medley at this program!
2. Phoenix began showing us how “helpful” he can be! For instance, he “helps” himself to snacks from the cabinet and refridgerator now…He also “helps” himself to the use of anything mommy or daddy’s now. He also loves watering the flowers (aka deck) with mommy each day!
3. All jokes aside, we really have noticed how much more independent Phoenix has become in just one month! It’s amazing watching all the new and exciting things he is learning and doing each day!
4. We ran the Bix at Six! There was a break in the crazy heat at least once in July for us to enjoy a nice family run of 7 miles! I pushed the stroller, Brad ran with his weighted pack, and Phoenix…SLEPT!
5. Brad and I enjoyed a date night to BWW’s to watch the MMA fights with friends! I enjoyed an impromtu visit with Lyndee! Love those kind of gatherings!
6. We celebrated the Fourth of July with our Third Annual Child Deck Party! It was a HOT one, but we survived it! Loved watching the fireworks with my lil munchkin!
7. Thanks to our amazing friend, Joel, we enjoyed the life of boating! Brad, however, did not enjoy his first tubing experience. While I hung on with flying colors, he flew off more than a few times. Perhaps floating in our life jacket diaper is a better fit for him!
8. Sarah and I completed yet ANOTHER Vintage Baby 50% sale…Momma scored big with some Cabi clothing and shoes…and Phoenix got a few things too!
9. We enjoyed cheering on Kylie at Lil Miss Mercer County…and she won Ms. Photogenic!
10. I loved playing hair dresser for Kylie when I got to do her hair for the pageant!
11. Phoenix enjoyed playing with Gram’s new puppy, London!
12. Brad visited the QC Farmer’s Market for the first time with Phoenix and me! We bought a melon, watermellon and arugala lettuce…yum!
13. Lindsey, Lucy and Carter introduced Phoenix and I to the Milan playground that’s just the right size for Phoenix (and company). We later shared this gem with Daddy following the Farmer’s Market.
14. Jen and I FINALLY went and saw “The Hunger Games!” Granted, it was a Nova 6, which some may think is a little ghetto, but we didn’t care – a movie, popcorn and pop for $6! You just can’t beat it! Even if the ceiling tiles were falling down!
15. Brad celebrated the bachelorhood of Ty…complete with gun shooting, fishing, kavanaugh’s, strippers and jorts. No pictures necessary here.
16. Phoenix visited the zoo roughly once a week! He loves the train and seeing all the animals! I even continued to get back on the merry go round despite my motion sickness issues! That’s LOVE!
17. Phoenix rode his very first horse! No hands, of course…got to love those trick riders!
18. I celebrated my first day of 30 with a massage and pedicure! Brad and I followed that up with lunch together!
19. We had Osaka for my birthday dinner with the fam!
20. Mom, Amber and I went to Chicago on the train!
21. Amber and I bought our very first MAC make-up products!
22. I enjoyed sushi and drinks with mom and Amber downtown Chicago at our favorite place – OYSY!
23. I particularly enjoy taking pictures of Phoenix’s meals…there is a seperate blog to come on this.
24. Phoenix and I hit up the Matherville pool a couple more times with Sarah and Kylie. He loved it!
25. Some wonderfully old and memorable pictures graced my facebook wall for my birthday.
26. Phoenix rode on his first true “gator” and Aunt Julie and Uncle Jim’s house/farm.
27. We visited the Family Museum!
28. Phoenix and Kyson continued to love each other more and more every day!
29. Phoenix’s head broke a living room window…Remarkably, he was 100% okay, and I’m not even sure he had a clue what happened!
30. My summer was complete…after a trip and lunch at the mall…I was able to share my love of Dairy Queen with Phoenix…he got his very own dish of ice cream! :0)
And that’s it…the dirty thirty of July…when I started typing, I was worried that I wouldn’t come up with thirty things…now as I’m done, I’m afraid that I forgot something…Is that what age does to us?
Happy aging, folks!
It’s hard to believe that June has came and gone so quickly! I thought it might be a long month due to me working our school’s summer program, but that flew by and actually was pretty fun! For four weeks, we had a summer enrichment program Mon-Thurs from 8-12…students rotated activities ranging from careers (which I taught) to sewing…camping…dancing…arts/crafts…to even…chick hatching! I saved the best for last of course…I’m not sure who was more excited to see the baby chicks hatch – the students or the adults! I watched an egg hatch for almost an hour with some students and teachers, and it truly was amazing!
Phoenix, Kylie and Priscilla came by to visit the chicks before they left to go back to the farm!
Even though at the beginning of the month I wondered if there would still be time for summer fun (and there was plenty of that!), we found plenty to do in the month of June…
To kick things off, we celebrated the golden birthday of our niece, Kylie! She turned five on June 5th and Sarah hosted a “Golden Ball” to celebrate…the little girls and we big girls wore dresses fit for a princess ball…as Ky told my co-workers, “Shannan wore a bubble gum dress to my party!” Can’t believe this little peanut is headed off to kindergarten this fall!
Thanks to a nice Christmas gift from Sarah, Phoenix and I have really enjoyed the Niabi Zoo with our season pass! We have went a few times already this month! Once, was a total impromtu beautiful day inspired trip for Phoenix and I…another trip was with Jen, Kendra and future classmate to Phoenix, Dawson! We can tell these two are going to make the best of friends in their future school days!
One new “first” for Phoenix this month was taking his first trip to the beach! He went to the sandy banks of Fyre Lake to enjoy the beach, sun and water! We weren’t sure how he would handle it, but once he figured it out and started digging in the sand, there was no turning back!
Thanks to Matherville’s summer pool – aka Sarah and Ky’s pool – Ph0enix has also enjoyed some high quality pool time! He can’t get enough of this stuff! He also enjoys mowing the lawn over there as well even though the mower is pink…Unfortunately for Sarah, this mower does not really cut the lawn.
When he’s not mowing outdoors, Phoenix has developed a real addiction for the vacuum cleaner…as you may recall, I purchased the $1 vacuum earlier this month, but he has moved on to bigger and better things (although the $1 vacuum still gets plenty of good use). Now, Phoenix runs the real vacuum! I am thrilled, but we still need to work on the the efficiency of this new trick. side note - (I wanted to upload a video here, but for some reason it is not working!)
This year marks the celebration of many 30th birthdays…Just this month, we celebrated the 30th birthdays of Kim, Karen, Jen and Lindsey! Can’t believe we’re saying good-bye to our twenties, but I must say we are a pretty hip bunch of 30 (and upcoming 30) year olds! I even got to get in on some celebrating as well because Brad and Kent teamed up to suprise Lindsey and I both with 30th birthday celebration at the end of the month! I knew about the party for Lindsey, but was surprised to see the husbands had teamed up and went all out! We had a great time (despite the heat) visiting with friends and kareoking to the wee hours of the morning! I’m sad to say currently I do not have any pictures from the evening, but I’m hoping SOMEBODY was able to and will share!
On Father’s Day, we celebrated with lunch at Brad’s parents and of course some play time! Phoenix loves riding on Daddy’s shoulders, climbing on Daddy and riding on the lawn mower with Daddy…This Father’s Day, Brad and his Dad took Rick’s car out for a spin! Phoenix and I even got to hop in the back for a ride around the block!
Father’s Day this year also marked our Very First (and hopefully last?) Trip to the ER! While having a blast running full speed from the kitchen to the living room, Phoenix made an unfortunate trip, crashing head first into the wood base of the rocking chair…Within minutes he had a humongous goose egg popping out of his forehead. Of course, we have not seen anything like this, so we took him to the emergency room just to be safe. The doctor wanted us to wait and see how he acted, so they gave us a popcicle to enjoy while we were there…within 30 seconds, Phoenix was running the er room ready to cause more damage. Needless to say, the whole event was much more traumatizing for mommy and daddy than it was for Phoenix…he was over it in 4 minutes. I think I’m still suffering from the after shocks! He has a nice green knot on his head and a little bit of black in each corner of his eyes for the time being.
We continued to enjoy watching Kylie play t-ball and she even taught Phoenix a few things about the game (we think!)
This wedding season, we have a total of four weddings for friends and family that we know! Emily’s wedding kicked off the season, and Brad was a “brides-man” (as I like to call it!) They have been good friends since his days at Bradley, and she was a “grooms-woman” for him when we married (over five years ago!) They had a beautiful outdoor wedding at Mackinaw vineyard as you can see in the pictures!
Through all the happy moments, trips and games, there was an event in June 2012 that will forever be etched in my mind. That was the death of B.J. Luxmore who was killed while serving in the US Army. When you’re from a small town like New Windsor, everyone knows everyone of course and this family was no exception. I will never forget the sadness of the event, but will also never forget the sense of community and support I witnessed through his procession home. Miles of flags, people, tractors and fire trucks lined roads from Moline to Orion, New Windsor, Viola and Aledo. It was an amazing site, although for unfortunate circumstances. My heart goes out to his family and I truly will never forget this time.
June has came and gone and now July has started…which means I better get to starting that entry before I forget all the events packed into it!
Happy summer, y’all!
If you have ever scored a great find at a garage sale or retail shop, then you understand the true meaning and value behind this phrase.
I would not call myself a “hardcore” garage saler by any means, however I do like to take advantage of a good deal when they happen along my way…
I had attempted a bit of garage saling before we decided to have kids, but I’m convinced that the real gold mine of finds from garage saling happens once you have children.
I enjoy nice things, don’t get me wrong, but I also enjoy nice things at a fraction of the price…plus, that way, we can get MORE…lol.
Perhaps I’m partial, but Orion garage sales are really where it is at. Over the years, I have found some great steals, but this year has been the best year yet in my opinion…
A sampling of items that I (and the team of buyers with me) scored from Orion garage sales (this was over a Friday and Saturday)…Sorry the pictures are not the best quality, but they’re from my phone…
An Elle purse (maybe worn once?) – $1
Ju Ju Be Diaper Bag – (worn once…all you momma’s out there know these bags ain’t cheap!) – $30
An outdoor Swing – $1 – something to entertain Phoenix while at Aunt Amber and Uncle Brandon’s house
A maxi dress – $3
Soccer Ball – $2
Sand and Water Table – $5
Little Tyke’s Booster Seat – $3 – perfect for a little boost at Gram’s house!
Imaginarium Train Table and Wooden Train Pieces/Toys – $40 – Gram was so proud!
Preg Perego Stroller (again, not a super cheap brand, folks!) - $20 – not bad for a stroller at Grandma/Grandpa’s house!
Christmas Wreath, Light Up Snowman and Snowman Chair – $10 for all together
John Deere Ride on Tractor – $3 (Phoenix just received one of these from Gram – at $28 brand new…now we have a second one to keep in the car or to take when we visit!)
Baby vacuum – $1 (worth every penny!)
Some classic books – anywhere from 25 cents – $1
A Children’s Place Loot – of 7 pairs of shorts, 7 shirts, 3 pj’s, 3 pants, 1 pair of jeans – $11
Finding mulitple good deals = priceless.
Now although there was a great deal of fun to be had at these sales, I did have some heartbreak along the way…
As Phoenix and I were walking up to our very first Orion sale (mind you, this was a Wednesday night from 4:30 – 6:30…happened to see a post on fb) I noticed THE BUY OF THE YEAR…it was a john deere battery powered lawnmower and trailor for Phoenix…$30. As I bent over to snatch the sticker off, up came a man hauling away MY PRIZE! MY FIND! How dare he!??? Of course, he had just bought the tractor…and we were just five minutes too late in making Phoenix’s tractor dreams come true…
And so it goes…garage saling is kind of a gamble, and you can’t win them all…but if you find the right places and know where to look, you really can score some great deals and have a little fun along the way! So why not make someone else’s trash your treasure today?
Well, I’ve decided that the writing regularly thing hasn’t panned out like I thought it would…so, now I’ve made an executive decision to at least document monthly what we have been up to!Since we’re already six months into 2012, I suppose I better go ahead and summarize January – May to at least get this party started…
Of course, the biggest thing to hit Janaury was Phoenix’s 1st birthday! We were so thankful to have so many family and friends there to celebrate our baby boy’s first birthday! He was walking, babbling and eating his whipped topping cake like it was the best thing ever! His party theme was “Winter One-derland!”
Phoenix’s birthday was very close to Grandma Patch’s birthday, so that same weekend, we celebrated her birthday as well since Pat – aka – Gap-eee was back in town from Arkansas. We had cupcakes and ice cream to celebrate.
Brad and I enjoyed a fun night out with some co-workers at Washington’s staff holiday gathering…we went to Blackhawk Bowl and later to Mac’s…all in all it was a pretty fun night out!
The month of February continued with more birthday celebrations of course! Brandon and Tim celebrated their birthdays, and Phoenix was the life of the party with his red solo cup rendition as well as black rimmed glasses. Despite ANOTHER ear infection (I think he was up to about 3 at this point), he still put on a good show.
Phoenix’s best gal-pal, Lucy also turned 1 in the month of February. We enjoyed a brunch celebrating this fancy little lady!
Starting in February, Phoenix had his first swimming lessons! He loved splashing in the water and going down the slide…sometimes he even like just relaxing on mommy!
Nothing too special for Valentine’s this year except for a dinner at home, which was just as enjoyable! While, I had only planned on giving Brad some small items for the occassion, he really suprised me with a new watch! I was shocked to turn around and find it sitting on my plate (no food was on it yet of course)! I had not picked it out, but it is exactly what I wanted and needed! I’ve enjoyed wearing it every day…even though I’m on watch #2…don’t ask…it’s a long story…however, I’m sure that Brad would be happy to share.
March brought yet another – you guessed it – birthday celebration! This time – it was a 30th birthday party for Kent…we dressed up in SHS and AHS wear for the occassion, and Lindsey had kareoke and the state football game on in the garage…Super fun! “I Think We’re Alone Now” was definitely a hit…that was until the Dahlstrom’s took center stage with “I Like Big Butts.”
Unfortunately, there was some sadness in March as well as we said good-bye to Brad’s grandma Patch in March. She passed away peacefully with her family by her side. Within six months of each other, both Brad and I said good-bye to two special ladies in our lives. Both of us had the opportunity to be with them during their last moments, and I don’t think either one of us would have changed that. They were there for us during so much of our lives that it only seemed natural to be there during that time of theirs.
March was spring break time! Such a relief! We did some bridesmaid dress shopping in Peoria as well as some fun girls’ shopping in Aurora! There was also our first trip to the zoo during the spring break as well!
No major celebration for St. Patty’s day, but we did eat corn beef at my mom’s and wore green!
Next came April…the biggest scheme was pulled off during this month! We surprised my mom with a 55th birthday party! She thought she was going to a “wine tasting” party at Amber’s neighbor’s house, and even brought food to her own party! lol! Even a “mild heart attack” didn’t stand in the way of this party…just a day prior to the party, poor Tim was taken by ambulance to the hospital with chest pains and the classic signs of a heart attack…sure enough…he was right. Thank goodness they called 911 and did all the right things. We’re so glad he’s feeling better and that although it was scarey, it has now prompted both he and Brandon to stop smoking! Hallelujah!
But anyways…back to the party…it was originally set to be staged at the Struble’s, but like I said, they were pretty well occupied with the heart attack business, so we hastily moved the party to Amber’s house. Mom walked in the door to us all singing “Happy Birthday” with a look of pure shock! We had fun playing “this is your wine” with stories about mom centered, of course, around the theme of her life – wine.
We had a beautiful Easter day this year. Phoenix woke up and hunted eggs and played with his new grill! We went to church, which was an experience trying to keep him entertained…had brunch at The Struble’s and played outside with the eggs and his toys. Then, we went over to Aledo to celebrate at The Adolphson’s. Phoenix got to play with all his cousins there and hunt some more eggs! It was great weather to just be outside!
May – has it already seriously come and gone? Crazy! We went out to the dueling piano bar for Amber’s birthday, which was a blast. Amber was put on stage and only slightly humiliated…
We cooked out several times with the nice weather, and even went for a paddle boat ride or two! For a fun night out, there were eight of us that went and saw Jason Aldean and Luke Bryant…what a fun night!
For Carter’s 4th birthday, this year he had a fishing party out at the pond! Phoenix had his first fishing experience and even touched a fish! His greatest joy at the party, however, was climbing on Kent’s tractor that was parked out there.
I couldn’t leave out Mother’s Day now could I? That weekend was spent traveling to the Beaux Arts Festival, having sushi with the girls, brunch at Brad’s parents and a cook out at Amber and Brandon’s…Amber and I (and mom even though she won’t admit it) started planting our garden that evening as well! There’s plenty of stress to follow with that I’m sure!
Wrapping up May, we had Memorial Day cook outs, parties and challenges with a pesky coon out at my mom’s. Phoenix enjoyed his very first baseball game – watching Kylie!
Speaking of Kylie, we celebrated Kylie’s birthday a little early with a trip to build a bear, chick fil a and a frosty from Wendy’s! She was in seventh heaven with her new horse, “Princess” appropriately dressed to the nines.
Phew! Now that was A LOT! Hopefully the whole monthly wrap up thing will shorten these posts up! Gotta preserve those memories though, folks! Here’s to June!