Monday, March 31, 2014

What is going on?

One day last week I was talking to an old friend from my past while pulling weeds in our front yard. She told me about a girl who grew up with my two youngest sons….how this girl's oldest son was just diagnosed at age 3 with autism. This is such a common conversation. One that I probably hear about once a month with someone. Or maybe more often than that.

Two days ago the second top news story on CNN (the 1st being the lost plane) was that autism has increased by 30% since 2012! It now affects 1 out of every 68 children, or 1 out of every 42 boys.

What in the world is going on?

Did you know that 30 years ago autism was 1 in 10,000? Almost unheard of. I did not know one child with it back in the day when I was raising my boys. Then somewhere in the 1990s it began to take off like wild fire. And continues to soar, picking up speed with each passing year.

"They" don't know what causes it yet. Someday they will. But it will be too late for the many children being exposed to whatever is causing it now. So do we just sit back and wait it out?

My son Logan and I had an interesting conversation about a week ago. We were talking about something unrelated to autism...I think we were talking about statins. He made this statement: "75 years from now the way we practice medicine will be completely different than it is now." That makes sense being 75 years ago is nothing like now.

Then he offered this idea: (and remember this is all hypothetical) "Say a doctor through his own professional experience, and perhaps his own research decides that too many of his patients are prescribed statins. So he begins deciding that some of his patients would be more harmed by taking statins than being helped by them. But, he can't NOT prescribe them because that would be going against normal protocol (or Den tells me is called, 'standard of care'). And if a patient has a heart attack they could sue the doctor for not offering the statins." (not an exact quote from Logan but close enough…and he wasn't necessarily putting down statins….just using that as an example)

So doctors all have to basically follow along like sheep (I truly mean no disrespect here)….or they could get themselves into trouble and lose their ability to practice at all. The day does come when "standard of care' is changed (and most all of it IS eventually)….but history shows it takes an average of 17 years for the AMA to change after studies prove the need for it.

Again, I mean no disrespect to the medical profession. I would not want to be without them in my life. Just trying to make the point that they have to protect themselves. They can't always practice in the way they want to. I understand that.

So where does that leave us? Studying things out, learning, listening. Or we can just wait till the medical profession figures it all out but at what cost? And how long will it take?

So back to the autism. There is always a "cause and effect" whether or not we know what it is.  It obviously has to be coming from something that a generation ago was not happening. For example, read this very interesting article on ultrasounds, my sister gave to me. Please read it to the end before you make judgement. It's something certainly worth considering.

Ultrasounds are not the only things being studied right now in relation to autism. Pollution, induced births, GMOs in our food, immunizations, and who knows what else.

I just learned today that April is "autism awareness month." So I'm hoping this means more TV programs and newspaper articles, etc will focus on this, and we can learn more. I know there are success stories out there and I'm hoping they'll come more to the forefront. I hope to share more, as more becomes available to me. Like I always say, we're all in this together.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The best part of yesterday...

We made history last night within our church. We now include girls ages 8 and up,
for our twice a year Woman's world wide meeting. (years before it was ages 18 and up)
But now we get to have the little girls with us. What a feeling of unity.

So all over the world yesterday we got to watch the broadcast, 
and this little clip was my favorite part of it:

Friday, March 28, 2014

A family update from Portland

Remember about 8 months ago this happened…
Leo and Scarlett

Tyler + Karen, and McKay + McKenna both had babies born in the same hospital, a day apart.

So here's a little update of Leo and Scarlett.
I think they like each other!

Last week Den's two daughters came to Portland to teach classes at a fabric trade show, 
so they also came to see my sons and their families. 
(We are all just one family so it seems odd to put labels on them.)
I heard there was LOTS of laughing and talking, as is the case EVERY time they get together.

Kris coming in the door….

Kim and Leo

And they even got to see Kim's new line of materials. 
I am anxious to see them in stores around here since they are being distributed nation wide.

Den and I are going on a hunt this week to fabric stores around here.
He especially loves seeing Kimberbell written on there….
afterall, he use to call her that when she was a little girl!

Monday, March 24, 2014

What is it with Frozen?

Have you seen Frozen? I haven't. Not yet. But I am just in awe over how this movie has struck the
hearts of SO many little girls….especially between ages 2-5.

Facebook is flooded with little girls singing the songs.
But this one is my favorite…Frozen was on at Walmart and their mom couldn't get her twins to look away!

Some adults are even completely smitten by it. The clerk at Target said it's so popular
with the employees that it's playing on auto rewind in the break room. 

But I have yet to find a little boy who is quite into this movie. I asked Jonas, 4 1/2,
if he would like to go with me to see it (his parents had already taken him) and he said,
"Well….(pause)...okay….but it's really long." In other words, no thank you.

What if you had parents like this?
I mean really, have you ever seen a better lip syncing??)
Can't help but wonder what these two are like in real life…

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cookies I feed my grandchildren

They love these. And I love making them because they have no white or wheat flour, and over 4 cups of oatmeal along with TWO cups of chopped walnuts. Mostly all good stuff. Gluten Free. But my grandkids don't care about any of those things….only that they taste great. 

Even Amy will come over and ask, "Do you have any more of those gluten friendly cookies left?" 
Not gluten friendly….gluten free! But who cares about that fact but me.
I had sent a bag home with her a few days before but she said Logan ate them all. 

A friend of mine who is celiac and raising 4 celiac children gave this recipe to me. I forgot to ask her if 
she made this recipe herself or where she found it. 
But trust me, it does not taste like any other gluten free cookies I have tried.

I will post the recipe at the end here, but first I want to show you how Violet makes them….

First she stops by Savemart to get some bananas for lunch….nothing to do with the cookies. 

She is one mighty and tiny little girl.

She puts in all the ingredients, and then lets purple pony watch as it whirls around.

Right before she dumps in the chocolate chips she needs to taste one... or six.

It was hard letting go of those chocolate chips but she's tough.

Then comes the hard part….the wait.

She doesn't leave purple pony out. He (or she?) gets to watch too.
Violet is a very nurturing child. She doesn't want to leave anyone out. 
To me this is a perfect example of "do unto others…"

During the waiting-of-the-baking Violet has an idea!
She decides to run continually back and forth saying, "I so asided! I so asided!"

 She stops running long enough to see how the cookies are coming along.

 Oh yes. And even purple pony got tossed aside to eat these cookies!
Baking with a 3 year old to Grandma Honey, is the best fun ever. 
I don't remember it being so fun (the baking with toddlers I mean) when I was a young mom.
Back then I just wanted to get the cookies done and on to the next thing.
Because back then, there were lots and lots of next things, all on top of each other!

Total Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar

Cream these together.

Add in:
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs

Continue to cream together.
Add in:
1 cup whole rolled oats
3 ½ cups ground oat flour 

(you can find oat flour at most grocery stores, or grind it yourself))
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt

Mix until all ingredients are combined.
Add in:
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 cups chocolate chips or 2 cups heath bar pieces

(I use half choc chips and half butterscotch chips)
Continue to mix until well incorporated. Scoop onto cookie sheet evenly spaced. 
Place in a preheated 325 degree oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. (I bake for 15 min)

I think these cookies would make an excellent after school treat. 
I remember my boys use to come home HUNGRY and they didn't want fluff….they were looking for 
hearty. These would have filled the spot.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cami and her Great Grandpa

Each year near her birthday, Brock and Erin put on a "ball party" for Cami.
They invite friends and family to bring balls and bounce them for 30 minutes.

Ever since she could barely walk, Cami would make a beeline for
Great Grandpa Rozier whenever he was in the room, and insist he hold her.

She can't talk, but it's obvious she loves him very much.

And notice the boy who comes up to play ball with my Dad….
I watched him leave his friends a few times, come play with my Dad, 
and then return to his friends. Dad doesn't even know him. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Do you ever get dizzy?

If you do, get dizzy that is... this may help you.

A few weeks ago we got a call from Amy at the dentist's office. She just had some routine work down
but she was very dizzy and not able to drive home and could we come pick her up? (she wasn't feeling
well the night before as well) So Den and I both went so he could drive her car home, and I could
follow them in my car.

As we were driving along I kept trying to make eye contact with Amy. I was waiting for that pretty
smile of hers, reassurance to me that she was okay. But instead, her head never moved. She kept it
motionless all the way home.

Den helped her out of the car and into her house where she promptly went to bed. She stayed there all
the rest of the day. If she moved her head at all that horrible dizziness came back.

Later on towards evening I called to see how she was. Still in bed. Still dizzy. Still not wanting to

I thought back to a scary episode of dizziness that I had 14 years ago. Afterwards I asked my Dr about
it and he told me to keep some Antivert on hand should that ever happen again. It never did, and
meanwhile the Antivert expired, so I didn't have any to share with Amy.

So Den and I ventured out to Walgreens near our home to see if we could find some for her. We called
Amy from the store and when she heard Antivert was made from the same ingredients as Dramamine
she wanted nothing to do with it….I guess it made her sick years ago. So I told her we would look
around and see if there was anything else that might help her.

On one of Walgreens' very bottom shelves was this:

Since it was late at night, and there was no other choices I decided to buy this for her, even though I
had never heard of it. "Drug free and no side effects," I thought at the least, it wouldn't hurt her.

Amy rubbed it on the side of her head behind each ear lobe (as instructed on the box) and went to
sleep shortly after that. I guess she slept through the night because when she woke up she noticed the
dizziness was back. So she put some more on.

A few minutes after that, she felt fine so she thought it must be a placebo effect because nothing can work that fast.

That's when she read on the box:

Roll VertigoX™ onto the side of the head behind each ear lobe. VertigoX™ will start working immediately, usually taking full effect in 3 to 5 minutes. Results may vary.
 She said she put it on throughout that day and it did the job, and controlled the dizziness.

The ingredients are a blend of 6 different oils. They must help to bring blood and oxygen to the area.
Whatever it does, I bought myself a box to just keep around should anyone else need it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Our green party!

Are we pathetic or what…
 We took our own picture waiting for family to arrive.

Normally we don't celebrate St Patrick's Day. As in never. 
But this year we became attached to our Irish painter, Patrick. 
Loved all his stories about growing up in Ireland. 
Sort of put us in the mood to be festive green this year. 

We should have at least invited Patrick, but we didn't. 
We aren't that friendly. :)
We aren't that authentic either when it comes to Irish traditions.

Den looked like the Jolly Green Giant waiting for family to arrive. 

The food was all ready and set to go:

Bacon, sausage,
Oranges and kiwi,
Aunt Sue's Potatoes aka funeral potatoes
Eggs with toppings of olives, cheese, green onions, salsa, avocado, and sautéed peppers.
Breakfast cake and blueberry muffins

After everyone arrived, 
Den ditched the itchy wig and Amy threw it on.

Amy and Logan have such great kids. 
Den and I were talking about them after they left. 
(The older 4 had to leave early for musical practice.) 
They are all so enjoyable to be around. 
Such sweet, good good teenagers.

We are one classy couple.

 Don't be afraid of me Jonas.

I'm still Grandma Honey

Then we played our one and only game, "Hide the Leprechaun." 
This is where the twins hide in the bedroom while one of us hides the leprechaun, 
and they come out and find it. The twins were beyond excited about this simple little game!

We missed my Dad and Susan, and Logan, and Erin and Brock and the girls,
since they weren't able to make it this time. Maybe next year.

Do you want to hear one of my favorite songs?
A friend of mine introduced me to this a few years ago
and now I play it year round, but especially in March.

And a Happy St Paddy's Day to you too!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Contention, Resentment, and Revenge

I had never given a thought that so much damage to one person could be done with a cell phone!
What a sad eye opener this was for me. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Our version of the beautiful wedding

Thanks to my post surgery husband for taking us both to this gorgeous place last Saturday...

Dennis wasn't the most comfortable but he really wanted to attend this wedding, and he also knew how 
very much it meant to me to be there. I've known Heidi Garvin since she was 5 years old 
when we moved next door to them in 1990.

She's the one in yellow. The only girl between our two families. I think this was about 1994. 
These kids were pretty much together most days back then.

There are many pictures of Heidi's wedding day last Saturday, flying all over Facebook, 
but I will show you our version.

Amy, Logan and the twins coincidentally arrived about the same time as us.

Soon Brock and Erin and the girls arrived.

It was wonderful having my family so close to me….sitting there waiting for the wedding to begin.

This picture cracks me up every time. 
Can't you picture Violet working in a library and giving that look to the talkers?

When I saw Heidi's parents walking down the aisle together….well, it was very sweet. 
I love these people! We have much history together. 
Dee was the first person I called the night Bill was shot. She was my mind that first night.

I wonder what that must feel like for a Dad to "give his daughter away" as they say. 
As they were walking down the aisle together, this song was playing. (love the voice!)
She looks amazing.

I loved the way the ceremony included their families. Both the bride and the groom's parents spoke. They spoke from their hearts. Terry talked about how it was when his kids were both little and the house was noisy. I could tell by the quiver in his voice he misses those days.

Heidi's brother Brett read a passage from the Bible.

And 4 year old Jack made a very stunning ring boy.

I didn't get to take many pictures of the new couple since we had to leave shortly after the appetizers.

Den was just not able to stay for dinner and the reception. But I'm not complaining. 
SO happy we got to stay as long as we did!

Mr. and Mrs. Ballas!

 I'm glad our family got to stay even when we needed to leave early.

All those kids really were invited. A dinner was ordered for all of them!
I heard the dinner and the rest of the evening "was so very nice!"

So generous of the Garvins. They even invited McKay and Tyler and all of their family 
but they weren't able to make it here from Portland.

Violet said Heidi was a princess. She certainly did look like one.

May Heidi and Jim live happily ever after.