Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Angel Tree


 It’s that time of year again…the Holidays are getting closer, and that means kick off for Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree has begun!  I love this event, even tho I advocate and donate all year ‘round, it’s usually for a specific family.  This Angel Tree season will be especially fun, and interesting, as I juggle 2 families I’m advocating for, and one orphan.  My goal is to raise $1,000 for him by January 1.  Without further ado, meet Kael.  Wait, what’s that you say?  No photo?  Nope!  With international adoption you don’t always have the luxury of a photo, or much in the way of vital info on the child.  This makes it much more difficult to raise money for them, much less find a family for them.  People want to see the child, look into their eyes, feel a connection.  Can’t happen when there’s no photo.  I chose Kael this year for a reason, just as I’ve chosen all my past Angel Tree children.  I chose him because he is the same age as my Kellan.  So the photo in my mind of Kael is Kellan. But this Kellan is all alone, in a cold, dark orphanage, probably hungry, maybe sick, or scared.  My Kellan is warm and cozy tucked into bed beside me, belly full of food, heart full of love.  He could be Kael.  My Kellan could be Kael in that orphanage, waiting to be transferred any day now to an adult mental institution, as is what happens when they turn age 5 in many Eastern Europe countries.  It breaks my heart.  I asked God a long time ago to break my heart for what breaks His.  And this was His answer.  It is my hope that everyone who knows and loves Kellan will find it in their heart to donate to Kael, in Kellan’s honor.  It doesn’t have to be much, $5 goes a long way in an orphan’s life.  And even if you can’t donate, please say a prayer tonight for the orphans of the world, that one day they will know they are loved and wanted.  (The link to donate is to the right)

 

 

Angel Tree breaks my heart every year.  Scrolling through the faces, seeing so many that I know are malnourished, mistreated, sad, and afraid.  Why do I continue to do it you ask?  Why do I torture myself by looking at them, when the need is just so overwhelming?  I can’t, after all, save them all.  No, but I have seen their faces, I have heard their stories, I know their names.  I cannot go back to not knowing they exist.  Proverbs 24:12:  “Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act.”   James 1:27:  “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans…”   I truly believe that in giving me Kellan, God was asking this directly of me.  He used Kellan as the tool to open my eyes, because He knows my heart, and knew I wouldn’t be able to say no, not when it came to children, much less children with Down syndrome, like my Kellan, that are without mommy’s and daddy’s.  So He will continue to break my heart, and I will continue to let Him, because without Him, who am I? 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kellan update (sadly long overdue!)

**note: I just realized I never published this post back in April when I started it! Oops! **

I wrote this original post in Sept of 2012, and for my own benefit, wanted to reprint it with updates, which there's a ton!! 

Signs:
Mommy
Daddy
eat-sometimes he puts all his fingers in his mouth  signs it correctly now
drink-looks like he signs it next to his head instead of at his mouth
please
thank you-he makes a "gaa" or "ka" sound while holding out his hand, we are working on this! mostly signs this correctly
Night-night-signs and says "Nuh", or "Ni"
hat
kitty-makes whiskers sign with his hair
more
puppy, doggie
pig, and he snorts!
ball
sheep
fish
Kellan
baby
cry-he signs it in response to "what's a baby say" (waa, waa, waa)
shhh
monkey
bear (and roars)
sit-he does his pointer fingers and taps one on the other
done (holds hands out to sides)
ice cream!
Calliou (the cartoon!) he pulls on his ear, we don't know where he came up with this!!
down, he points down and says "dow
"
play
ready
juice
milk
water
bath
brush teeth
help
fish


 Spoken words:
Ma-pretty much everyone is Ma!  Just I am mom now!! 
No!
Yeah
ball
hi
bye
mine, usually preceeded by NO!
boo (peek a boo)
go
oww
down, sounds like dow


Dad (often says "da-ee" so we are working very hard on "da-Dee"!
Shelby (says shh  bee, which is up from just "bee" a month or so ago!)
Tobin (says Bo, or sometimes t-bo, which we are also working very hard on!)
Kellan (makes a hard kkk sound, followed by ewen, think ellen without the "l" sound)
pop, as in soda, as in he loves it!
I don't know (yes, that's his new fav, "Kellan, where's daddy?"  "I-know", which means I don't know! lol!)
off, sounds like just o (aw)
on, sounds like above lol!
hat
play
Ipad  sounds like p-pad! 
Elmo (his favorite!)
water (waaa)
bath
go
refers to himself as 'me', ie-me ball (my ball)
I love you, which doesn't sound anything like it, but we know what he's saying!!
fish (as in gold fish crackers!)



 Sounds:
"woo woo"-puppy
moo-cow
tiger and bear-roars
meow


 Gives "five" and fist bump or knuckles

Gives kisses and hugs

He can identify our family members in photos, including my neice

He love to sing songs, Slippery Fish, Wheels on the bus, Twinkle Star
I'm 10 days in to my zero pound challenge, and today was weight and measurements day. I was a big nervous, as I had a terrible weekend. But all my numbers were down, so I was very happy!
I'm liking the meal plan, especially because "cheat" days are allowed occasionally. Rebecca, the owner of fit body, is so supportive. I emailed her after my bad weekend, wondering if I should pick up with day 8 of the plan or start back on day 5, where I kind of left off.  She told me just to start back on day 8 and shake off the weekend, and do better this weekend. We are going to
Missoula for Cat-Griz, so it's going to be a tough one again, but I'm determined to do better!

In other news, Tobins football team, Guadalajara Gladiators, took 3rd place, and Tobin was chosen for All-Stars! At their team dinner last night one of the coaches (the offensive coach) singled Tobin out, saying what a great season he'd had as center. I was a proud momma!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Zero Pound Challenge

The time has come for me to dust off this ol' blog and put it to some good use.  For the next 8 weeks it is going to serve partially as my journal (the other part will be my Angel Tree fundraising).  I have joined Fit Body Boot Camp, and they are doing this Zero Pound Challenge.  The main purpose is to NOT GAIN weight through the Holiday season.  I've been so desperate to lose weight, so I thought I may as well start now, and not 10 pounds from now in 8 weeks.  So here's my back story:
I grew up skinny, very skinny.  My nickname I recall most was "Skinny Mini", which really never bothered me.  When I got pregnant with Morgan (now 21) I was 18 and 100 pounds soaking wet.  I gained 35 during the next 9 months, and lost every bit of it the second I delivered her (well, almost).  I was fairly self conscious about my weight, I'd been asked if I was anorexic, etc.  But I was happy, it was never a huge deal.  I never set out to "gain" weight.  I got married at 28 and had my second child.  That pregnancy resulted in very rapid weight gain, and then I never came close to losing it afterward.  Repeat 2 more time.  The result is I am much heavier than I ever dreamed I'd be.  I hate the way I look and wear clothing that covers it up as much as possible.  I am very embarrassed when I run into people from my "skinny" days.  I hate it.  But, I like to eat.  And I don't really like to exercise.  I had promised myself that I would lose enough weight to get down into the 140's before I turned 40, and here I am, 3 weeks from turning 41.  I feel like such a failure.  I know I can lose weight, I've done it before, but then I turn around and gain it right back, and then some usually.  It's so frustrating.  So what makes this time different?  Well, I have several things on my side.  I recently started taking a nutritional supplement called Thrive, which gives me the energy to not only make it through the day, but to actually want to work out! Then there's FBBC.  I joined there last May on a Groupon deal for 6 weeks and loved it.  But with summer I felt like I wouldn't use it much, and the cost was prohibitive, as I was in the middle of trying to decrease my hours at work.  In September I got an email from the owner with a back to school special, so I bought another 6 weeks.  During that time I discovered my employer is a preferred member of FBBC, which means we get a significant discount!  I knew I had to do it.  Rebecca, the owner, is so great.  She's totally there for her clients.  It's not like going to a gym, working out and being done.  It's like a family.  Rebecca has helped me identify some issues, she's very intuitive, like that child in me that didn't like being skinny, and she doesn't want to go back to being skinny again, so she sabotages everything I do to lose weight and I stay fat.  Not that I way damaged by my childhood, or by anyone around me when I was skinny...It's just me, some weird little part of me that doesn't want to be skinny!  (I know, right?!)  So no, my goal is not to become skinny.  It is to become healthy, fit, trim and lean.  So I can wear a swimsuit and not feel like a beached whale.  So I can look into the mirror and like  what I see.  So when my husband tells me I'm beautiful, I can actually believe him.  So I never have to hear again, "when's your baby due?"!!!  Tomorrow is day one.  Week one is carb depletion, which I've done before, and it sucks, but I can do it.  Blogging is going to be my accountability.  When I want to eat, I shall blog.  I am excited to see what the next 8 weeks look like for me.  I'm excited to open this new chapter in my life!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tobin's 9th birthday, Minecraft style!

I haven't blogged in so long that I may have forgotten how, but here goes!

Tobin's birthday party was actually on his birthday this year!  My little boy, nine years old!  His party was at Geyser Park, where they played a round of mini golf and then laser tag.  After cake and gifts they wasted spent a bunch of money on video games. He loves Minecraft, so I decided on that for a cake theme.  I scoured the internet for ideas, and basically took 3 different ones and combined what I liked about them.  I was happy about how it turned out, until Tobin's friend Devin said, "what is it, a football?"  Lol!!  Stinker! 




He wanted a chocolate and vanilla cake, so I did my large sheet pan and did one of each and layered them.  It ended up being WAY too much cake, but I just sent the leftovers home with all his friends! 


 
 
After his friend party, Grandmas Kathy and Brenda, Aunt Stef, and Aspen met us at MacKenzie River Pizza, where Tobin's sole purpose for going was so he could get a "MacLovin", a sinful hot chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.  It was a great day for him!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Angel Tree

As you can see by the buttons on the right, Reece's Rainbow's Angel Tree has begun!!  Sutton is my angel baby this year, and my goal is to raise $1,000 for his grant.   He's such a sweet baby, I can't believe he hasn't been scooped up by a family yet!  To recap my past years as a Christmas warrior:  Year one was Daniel, who is still waiting for his forever family, sadly.  Then was the 5/5/5 warrior campaign, to raise $5,000 for a child over the age 5.  I took part, not believing for a minute I'd raise that much money, but knew I'd give it my best shot!  I honestly don't recall how much I raised for that.  That was for Katelyn, and she has a FAMILY!!  Thank God!  They are on their way to her country to meet her and the other little girl they are adopting as I type this!  Last Christmas my child was Stacy.  Poor Stacy still waits.  She is blessed to have been added to Angel Tree this year, despite the fact that she is over age 5.  She already has a nice-sized grant of $4,000, but I pray the addition of funds will make it possible for a family to commit to her.  My heart aches for these unclaimed, abandoned kiddos.  On a happier note, Carolina, who I am guardian angel for, has a committed family!!  I am so excited for her!  I have been able to visit a bit with the momma, and she loves Carolina so much!  I am committed to helping her raise the additional funds they'll need to complete this process of bringing her home!
Sweet Lilly also still waits.  With a huge grant of almost $10,000, I cannot understand why.  This will be her last year on Angel Tree, as she will turn 6 in February.  My heart aches for her every day.  I pray every day for her family to find her.  I don't know what else to do. 
The last child that is heavy on my heart is Ekaterina.  I don't know what to say, just look at her pic and you'll see for yourself. 
Happily, ALL the kids on the Angel Tree have warriors!!  Some will be added during the season, and hopefully lots will be added to My Family Found Me!!  If anyone wants to sign up as a warrior, please let me know!! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kellan

This is a long over-due post, I'm sure no one was waiting for!  My point of this post is mostly for myself, but also for Kellan's caregivers, to help them understand his way of communication.  Kellan will turn 3 on Oct. 2, and likely start preschool for children with special needs soon after.  His daycare has grown accustomed to him, and I don't think they have too much trouble, but I know he gets frustrated when he's wants something and the person doesn't understand.  So my goal is to alleviate some of his frustrations!  Kellan has several words he says, and lots of signs, so here goes!

Signs:
Mommy
Daddy
eat-sometimes he puts all his fingers in his mouth
drink-looks like he signs it next to his head instead of at his mouth
please
thank you-he makes a "gaa" or "ka" sound while holding out his hand, we are working on this!
Night-night-signs and says "Nuh", or "Ni"
hat
kitty-makes whiskers sign with his hair
more
puppy, doggie
pig, and he snorts!
ball
sheep
fish
Kellan
baby
cry-he signs it in response to "what's a baby say" (waa, waa, waa)
shhh
monkey
bear (and roars)
sit-he does his pointer fingers and taps one on the other
done (holds hands out to sides)
ice cream!
Calliou (the cartoon!) he pulls on his ear, we don't know where he came up with this!!
down, he points down and says "dow"

Spoken words:
Ma-pretty much everyone is Ma!
No!
Yeah
ball
hi
bye
mine, usually preceeded by NO!
boo (peek a boo)
go
oww
down, sounds like dow

Sounds:
"woo woo"-puppy
moo-cow
tiger and bear-roars

Gives "five" and fist bump or knuckles

Gives kisses and hugs

He can identify our family members in photos, including my neice

He love to sing songs, Slippery Fish, Wheels on the bus, Twinkle Star

I'll edit this as I remember more, as he reminds me!  Haha!