Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Live It: My Thyroid Journey Part 5

You can read the other parts here.

Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.
Part 4.

Started off the week of Thanksgiving by meeting with my surgeon for my post-op visit.  He told me that the pathology results had come back and everything was benign.  Thank the Lord!  He said that the nodules turned out to be adenomas which is the exact same thing I had on my liver.  He could not think there was any relation to the two things though.  I told him I had started feeling faint and hot all the time and I was having trouble sleeping.  I wondered if my Synthroid prescription was too high.  He told me to contact my endo to see if they could move up my appointment but explained that even if they did labs on me right then, it was too soon after surgery to get good readings on my blood work.

Over the next two days things were just BAD.  I felt so weak all the time.  My heart started racing and feeling like it was flopping.  It's a very strange feeling to explain but my skin felt very light but under that feeling was a feeling of fastness.  The day before Thanksgiving, I was standing talking to some ladies at work.  I started feeling faint and my heart started feeling like it was flopping and stuttering in my chest.  I sat down to see if that would help.  Then I became very hot and started sweating.  The next minute I was freezing and shaking, and then very hot again and then felt like I was going to be sick.  These feelings kept cycling over and over - hot, cold, hot, sick.

Thankfully my primary is right next door to our office so I went and told them I thought something was going on with my heart.  Blood pressure was fine, pulse was slightly fast.  They did an EKG and it was normal.  They really had no idea what was going on.  I explained about my surgery and had been told there could be the possibility of something called a "thyroid dump".  The PA I was seeing that day had never heard of that before and consulted with the staff.  They suggested I contact my endo and explain what they had done that day and how I was feeling.  After getting back to the office and leaving voicemail for my endo, her nurse called me back. Yes, I was probably experiencing a thyroid dump which is where some of the remaining thyroid hormone stored in the fatty cells of your body start to release.  That gets mixed with the synthetic thyroid by prescription and it results in your body once again having too much thyroid hormone that it can handle.  Symptoms of hyperthyroidism return and all you can really do is wait it out.

I spent the remaining part of the holiday weekend on the couch thinking I was dying.  That is not an over-exaggeration either.  Several times I thought "here comes that heart attack" or thought I should get my behind to an ER quickly.  I was told to temporarily stop my Synthroid for a few days.

I did that and rested a lot, and just as quickly as those symptoms had come, then they were gone.

I woke up the following Monday morning feeling great and have continued to feel good ever since.

I have my next endo appointment next week and they will check my levels through more blood work.  I hope we can find the right level of Synthroid soon and I can start trying to get back to myself.

This was all shared with you as a release for myself to get it all out and as a warning to all that read this to be vigilant of your health.  Like I said earlier, you have to be your own advocate.  If you feel that something is not right with your health, start asking questions, reading, educating yourself.  I had always been the type to do whatever the doctor said, to follow blindly.  The problem with that is in any given medical practice, there are so many patients to each doctor.  Maybe things get missed.  Maybe the doctor you are seeing is not the right doctor for you.  If I had followed my instincts about the first endo I saw, I might could have moved onto another one sooner and found these nodules sooner too.  You know when your body isn't working like it should.

Once you lose your health, it is so very hard to get it back and most of the time getting it back isn't even an option.  Don't just sit there and wish things away.  Make yourself a priority and take care of yourself so you can take care of the ones that depend on you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Live It: My Thyroid Journey Part 4

Thanks for sticking it out this long.  You can catch up on the whole story.

Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

As with any surgery, you wonder what it will be like.  I had well over a month to think about life after surgery.  I've had other surgeries in the past - liver and gall bladder in 2006 and C-section in 2008.  I can tell you that 2 days after my liver surgery I was sweeping off my front porch.  Again, probably not one of the best decisions ever but I was.  The only downside I had to that surgery was that the pain medication really messed with my mind.  It put me into such depressive thoughts that I was scared to take them ever again.

But what would life without a thyroid be like?  Consulting Google again is not the best idea when dealing with medical issues but I did it anyways.  All I read were accounts of people having their thyroid removed and how their lives were worse than before.  I almost called and cancelled the surgery.

My husband talked me down off the ledge and on Monday, November 9th my thyroid was removed.  We spent one night in the hospital.  How did I feel?

It looked like I had sustained a throat punch from a prize fighter.  My throat hurt so bad on the inside. They had a hard time intubating me, possibly from the size of the left side of my thyroid.  Every movement you make, you have to use your neck so it was pain all the time.  There was a huge, huge hard lump under the incision.  I looked like I had swallowed a shoe.  So I guess you could say I felt like I had been run over by a Mack truck.

Recovery was about a week out of work.  I was weak all the time.  I know it was from about a year of no physical activity before the surgery but it was rough.

Once back at work, I tired out easily.  Everything was slow going.  Until the week of Thanksgiving, that is.  That's when things really went south.

Stayed tuned for the final installment of My Thyroid Journey.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Live It: My Thyroid Journey Pt. 3

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The two options were ablation or surgery.  My endo suggested we go to meet with the surgeon she recommended just to ask him questions and get a feel of what we could expect.  I was not really taken with the idea of doing the ablation honestly.  It seems to be a very strict protocol before the procedure and then isolation afterwards for a few days. While I was continually moody and cranky and tired and could probably use a few days to myself, that still did not sound enjoyable to me.  Surgery really did not either though.

We met with the surgeon and he recommended that he remove the entire thyroid instead of just the side that most of the nodules were on.  He said he could wait to open me up to make that determination and possibly keep the right side intact.  I would probably still be faced with having hyperthyroidism after the surgery and would have to remain on the methimazole.  He did warn me that if the pathology came back and the suspect cells were something to be worried about, I would still be faced with doing ablation to kill the remainder of the thyroid cells.

I definitely did not want to keep taking that medication.  After Hubz and I talked over everything, I decided to do the surgery.  I did not ask him to try to save the right side of my thyroid either.  These cells and this medication put me in the mindset that I just wanted it all out.

Surgery was set for November and I was completely fine until about two weeks before.

Stayed tuned for Part 4 of My Thyroid Journey.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Live It: My Thyroid Journey Pt. 2

You can read Part 1 here.

My hair stopped falling out.  The weight gain did level off.  But I still felt no better.  My primary care doctor wanted me to just have my thyroid removed totally.  If that happened, I would be placed on synthetic thyroid hormone for the rest of my life.  That’s not a really horrible thing but I know that people on it still have a hard time at first getting their levels regulated and weight gain / inability to lose weight is always an issue.  The thyroid controls so much in your body that I could not imagine not having it even if it wasn’t behaving itself.

All along though I knew my primary and this endo were not on the right track.  You know your own body.  You know when it isn’t working correctly.  The one message I want to share and hope that it gets heard is “you are your own best advocate”.  You know when your body is not working at its maximum potential.  You have to be the one to get this across and try to get heard.

I wasn’t being heard.  It was time for a new doctor.  In August, I met with a new endo and within five minutes of talking to her, she said she did not think I really had Graves.  She took me down the hall and did an ultrasound on my thyroid.  She found nodules.  Nodules can make the body act just like Graves does.  This happened within 5 minutes.  If the first endo had done an ultrasound, I could still have all my hair and not have all of this weight gain to deal with.  This is the number one thing that frustrates me the most.  One test and five minutes could have prevented 8 months of overdosing on potentially harmful medication, hair loss, weight gain, wasted days filled with stress, anxiety and fatigue.

The options for treating these nodules would be to either have radioactive iodine ablation where all thyroid cells are killed off or surgery to remove the nodules or the thyroid.  If I did the ablation I would have to stay away from my daughter for 2-4 days.  And with surgery there are all the regular issues surgery brings.

She sent me for an iodine uptake test where basically you take one radioactive iodine pill and come back the next day for imaging scans.  That test showed that I had multiple nodules on my thyroid and one of them had "suspect cells" that they would need to remove and have pathology run on them.

It was time for me to decide how I wanted to be treated.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of My Thyroid Journey.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Live It: My Thyroid Journey Pt. 1

I have been absent for a while while dealing with health issues but it's been pressing on me to write and share this with you all for a few weeks.

Last November after experiencing some scary heart palpitations, I found out I had hyperthyroidism. My primary care physician first told me I had hyperthyroid and Hashimoto’s Disease which, and I could be wrong, but don’t believe you can be hyper and have Hashi’s.  I have no medical degree but I have never seen that before.  I was sent to an endocrinologist and was then told no Hashi’s but I did have Graves Disease.  Oh yes, Graves.  What a great name for a medical condition, right?

Since my thyroid levels were so high, I was put on twice the manufacturer’s recommended dosage of methimazole, the medication given to treat hyperthyroid issues.  This is not a great medication to be on.  It can affect your liver and having already had liver surgery in the past, I was concerned about staying on this for a long period.  The goal was to try and get my body into remission so the meds could be reduced or dropped completely.  Over the next few months though, I gained back the 20 pounds I had lost before I was diagnosed and then another 20 pounds on top of that.  My hair started falling out in clumps.  It truly looked like I was going through chemo or something.  I lost half of my hair.

The medicine had thrown me into medically-induced hypothyroidism.  I felt so fatigued and moody all the time. I didn’t want to do anything or talk to anyone. Trying to make complete sentences some days was really an effort.

I went back to my endo and she was very wishy-washy about it all.  “Maybe the hair will stop falling out soon.”  “Maybe the weight gain will level off soon.”  “Maybe you should take this much dosage or you might need to take this much.”  I got no real answers and felt no better.

So I did what any medically licensed by Google and WebMD person would do.  I stopped taking the medicine.  Completely.

Read Part 2 of My Thyroid Journey tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Read It: Grin with Grace by Kathy Carlton Willis

Grin with Grace.  Do you know what that is?  I knew it was the title of Kathy Carlton Willis’s new bible study book but that’s about it.  I didn’t know it would come to me at a time when I really, I mean, REALLY needed to read it.

What grinning with grace meant to me was something really personal. I had been dealing with a co-worker that I just don’t see eye to eye with.  One day she came to me and asked if I was mad at her.  My initial thought was “yes, I’d love to rip your face off and hand it to you”.  I had been reading Kathy’s book and this woman’s face kept flashing before my eyes.  I stopped and prayed before I spoke.  I even said to her “I’d better pray before I speak so that God can come out.  Otherwise, the world will come out of my mouth and we know the world is a vicious place.”

I asked for grace and wisdom because I remembered one passage from Grin with Grace very vividly:

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:  Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering.  Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.  Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

~Kathy Carlton Willis, Grin with Grace, page 21.

My co-worker and I were able to talk about our issues.  I was able to own up to my part with grace and we both left that day in a much better place.  I don’t know about her but I know I grinned with grace all through that conversation, and I know if I had not read Grin with Grace I probably would still be ready to rip faces off.

More about Grin with Grace

Each chapter features five sections: 

·                     Grin with Grace contains real-life stories and observations. You’ll laugh at the humorous confessions and wacky insights, and relate to Kathy’s transparent honesty. Be inspired to see grace in your everyday life.
·                     Grow with Grace features a grace word study. Kathy examines Bible verses and personalizes the meaning to your situation. Workbook prompts allows you to write down your thoughts as you read along.
·                     Go with Grace offers life application. Pick one action step and make it work for you, or pick all of them—but do something to live out your grace-walk.
·                     Give with Grace advances life application further, equipping you to become an instrument of God’s grace to others. You’ll be inspired to take what you’ve learned and give it away to others. This is when faith becomes ministry—when your focus expands to see the needs of others.
·                     Your Grin with Grace Challenge describes a grace-challenging scenario to give you an opportunity to exercise your newfound grace. It allows for speculation and judgment calls, to prepare you for the what-ifs that happen in life.

Release Date: May 1, 2015
Retail: $14.99
Publisher: AMG
ISBN-10: 0899574785
ISBN-13: 978-0899574783

Praise for the Book:
Grin with Grace is perfect for women on the run, since there is no set daily reading schedule. The blend of humor, transparency, biblical concepts, word studies and opportunities to plug what I learned into my life gave me a fresh approach to doing my devotions or reading a Bible study.
Dr. Thelma Wells (Mama T)
President of A Woman of God Ministries
CEO, That A Girl & Friends Speakers Agency Speaker, Author

Kathy Carlton Willis writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. Not many funny girls also have Bible degrees! Kathy’s a pastor’s wife, which gives her plenty of opportunities to grin with grace. She shines the light on issues that hold women back and inspires their own lightbulb moments. Almost a thousand of Kathy’s articles have been published in books, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Kathy’s tagline describes her best: Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Kathy lives with her pastor/husband, Russ, in Rockdale, Texas.
Where can you find Kathy:



Monday, August 3, 2015

Live It: But for the grace of God go I.

Last week I went in for my yearly mammogram.  I have reached the age where that is a thing now.  I won’t bore you with all the “ouch that crap hurts” because if you have had it done, you know and if you haven’t, you will know.  The pain is fleeting though so go get yours checked out when you are supposed to.

A couple of days after the exam, I was called and told they had found something.  My boob wasn’t symmetrical.  That’s evidently a thing too.  I said there were a lot of things about me that weren’t symmetrical and no one had ever complained before.  I got no laugh out of that line and was scheduled for more films and possibly an ultrasound. 


Panic immediately set in.  All the negative thoughts were there.  I envisioned the worst. 
I reached out to a group of ladies that have, for about the past 10 years, been my sounding board.  You might find it funny that I have only actually met one of these ladies face to face.  Yep, the majority are 100% online friends but I know more about them and they know more about me than people we see every day. 

Immediately, I asked the gals to pray for me.  They did.  Thanks Ladies!  They also told me this was very common and nothing to worry about.  This was great to hear but I really didn’t believe it.  My boobs and I have had a love-hate relationship most of my life. First by just marginally showing up enough so my mortified self had to go with my mother to Sears to buy one of those horrid training bras with the pink and blue tennis rackets on the front.  Why tennis rackets?  Why pink and blue?  Why?  Then they solidified their slacker status by not showing up at all in high school when they could have come in handy but waited until I was 19 to make their appearance.  Then they once again let me down when I had Bean and they decided “no milk for you” was their motto.  So I was a bit leary that they were on the “let’s be okay” bandwagon. 

I went this morning and showed my boobies to one more stranger.  She took two boob-smashing photos and left me in another waiting room.  I stayed there for 30 minutes while watching two clueless 20-somethings on House Hunters complain that they couldn’t find their dream McMansion for $120,000.  Ugh.  Young, dumb idiots, and I bet her boobs will never let her down.

Once I found out which house those dummies picked, I was shuttled off to another room by another stranger for an ultrasound.  I was worried for real then.  She lubed me up and proceeded to take 130 pictures.  (Boob:  Dude, it was like 12.)

Then a lovely soft spoken doctor (with one of the nicest ties I’ve seen) and an eager intern came in for a look.  I was told it was just a pocket of cysts.  Praise God!  The boobs hadn’t let me down!  


While I was getting dressed, I said my thanks to God for a clean bill of health and went to get my car.  I used valet because that’s the treat you give yourself when you have to have your boobs smooshed.  As I waited for my car, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks and put all of this nonsensical worrying in perspective.

A child about the same age as Bean in a wheelchair.  The child was totally bald.  I could not tell if the child was a boy or a girl because cancer had ravaged their little precious body of any distinctive gender features.   The child was wrapped up in a blanket and had the maddest look on their face.  They have every right to be mad really.  They just want to be a kid – to run and play and enjoy summer.  The mother was pushing the wheelchair and waiting for their car too.  She had a smile on her face.  I wondered why she didn’t have the same mad look on her face because I probably would have.  I wouldn’t begrudge her that look if she did have it. 

Her baby is fighting the fight of their lives and all she can do is stand there watching.  I pray that I never know what that feels like.  Their car came and she picked the child up like it was a baby, still bundled up and mad, and placed them in the back seat.  Off they went to face another day. 

Here I am – a grown woman just given a clean bill of health.  I get to leave there and go to work and go home and play with my healthy child.  I don’t have to fight a disease that might get the best of me.  Today I don’t have to help my child through the side effects of chemo or radiation.  Yes, my life might not be what I want it to be.  But I have had one.  I’m not seven and facing death at every turn.  I might not have what I want or not been to the places I want to go but I have had the chance. 

I closed my eyes and prayed.  I prayed for that child.  I prayed for that mother.  I prayed for healing for the child and peace for the mother.  I can’t give them my clean bill of health but I can give them my prayers.

Not sure exactly where I’m going with this piece but I just had to share this.  I was so worried about myself and I’m ok.  But then to be faced with this glimpse into a life I wouldn’t wish on anyone just made me feel like I needed to give praise and thanks and beg for something for someone else.  It is true.  No matter how bad you have it, someone always has it worse. 

But for the grace of God go I.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sprinkle It: Weekly Pink Zebra Special #1

Last week I shared that I have joined Pink Zebra Sprinkles.  Each week I try to offer a different special for my customers.  These are specials that are only good through me and you cannot find them on my PZ website.  To take advantage of these savings, you would need to email me directly at with your order.

This week's special is $5 off any Sprinkles Carton.  (Reg. price $25 per carton.)  Shipping and sales tax not included.  

Our cartons contain roughly the same amount of Sprinkles as 4 jars.  I've found that you actually get just a little more than 4 jars out of one carton.

You can view the available carton "flavors" or scents on my website, Pinkie Sprinkles, but remember, you must email me your order to receive this price.  As always, if you have any questions about Pink Zebra products, please let me know!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sprinkle It: Pink Zebra Sprinkles - I'm a Rep!

I have joined Pink Zebra Sprinkles as an Independent Consultant!

That's right - I sell the stuff.

The first time I ever heard of Pink Zebra was at a Girl Scout registration fair.  A lady had a table set up and you could smell her scents from what seemed a mile away.  They looked so cute in their cartons.  It really looked like a candy store set up.  Then in the spring a good friend had a home party and I bought a couple of jars of Sprinkles.  While listening to the hostess, my future upline, share her story about joining PZ and all her knowledge of the products, I kept thinking that I really liked what I was hearing.

When my Sprinkles were delivered, I was so happy with what I ordered.  We have an open concept floor plan and this was the first time I could ever smell the scent I was burning in other parts of the house.  Usually any type of candle I burned could only be detected if you were standing nearby.  It was so different to be able to pick up the smell all over the house and even when we would come home after work, we could still smell the scent when the Sprinkles were cold.  I was hooked!

I joined really to get a discount on the products but once I placed my order for the consultant kit, I started thinking that maybe I could give it a chance and sell to help earn some money for our household.  Any little bit helps nowadays.

I have a website - Pinkie Sprinkles, and I am on Facebook, too.  I even have a Customer group where I run my own specials each week.

Bean loves being a Little Zebra and helping Mommy out with "our business".  I want to work my way up to hosting candle bars at craft shows and vendor fairs but we need to build up our inventory for that.  It will happen.

If you would like to try a sample of our Sprinkles or get more information about the products or hosting your own party - yes, I do Facebook parties! - send me an email at

I'll be sharing more information about our products here too so stay tuned!

Sprinkle on!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Labels! Look for them!

I have decided to streamline my blog labels in an effort to make things easier to sort and find.  You will now see blog titles and labels in some type of "It" category.

Read It - book reviews

Make It - DIY and crafts

Eat It - recipes

Bean It - all about Bean

Pink It - opinion pieces, i.e., my twisted outlook

Live It - family life in general

Review It - reviews (that one was hard to figure out, I know)

Celebrate It - holiday posts

Kid It - kid activiites and Bean's crafts

Picture It - take a guess

Save It - frugal-ish posts

Share It - sharing posts

I hope it helps.

Make It: Just for You card with Stampin' Up!

I have been using Stampin' Up! products to make cards for a few years now.  Here is a card I made at a Stamp-A-Stack workshop help by my Stampin' Up! rep, Pollyanna.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Make It: Teacher Appreciation Week - Candy Gift Basket

Candy Gift Basket 

This gift was very easy to put together and thank Goodness!  I was feeling quite cruddy due to sinuses and just really wanted to head off to bed.  No, shocker, I didn't have this one already made.

Some of us are slackers and procrastinators.  It's true.

To be honest, we had all of the ingredients  for it but had not taken the time to put everything together.  Anyhoo...

Craft Recipe:
Basket - this one we found at Goodwill for .93 (Why .93?  That's a weird random amount.)
Candy - $1.00 a box from Kroger
Ribbon - ribbon stash
Thank You printable - Free Printable from The Suburban Mom
Hot Glue - Ellie Mae, my glue gun, reporting for duty!

I did think about spray painting the basket since it has a slight bit of paint on it.  As you can see, that thought did not hang around long.

I love, love, love this printable that The Suburban Mom shared.  Bean filled it out in no time and her answers were really cute but her slacker mom forgot to take a picture of it.  
Yay Mom!

It has questions about the favorite things about your teacher.  It's really cute.

The candy was problematic.  We bought it well over a week ago and I can't tell you how many times I had to say "stay away from that candy", and that was just to myself!

I thought since I was such a sorry crafter by not spray painting the basket, it needed some sprucing up so I added the ribbon and a matching almost-hairbow I made a while back and never used.  If I had been paying attention I could have added it to the other side that did not have any paint on it but I think that's over achieving and there's no reason to show off like that.

What are we doing for tomorrow?  I have no idea!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Make It: Teacher Appreciation Week - Fabric Mason Jar with Free Printable

Today's gift is a Fabric Lined Mason Jar filled with colorful flowers!

I found this lovely tutorial from Dwelling in Happiness for fabric lined mason jars and thought Bingo!  Bean looked through the fabric I had - I don't sew, why do I have fabric??? - and said her teacher would love this pattern.

Craft Recipe:
Mason jar - had on hand.  (I would suggest one of the wide mouth jars.)
Fabric - had on hand
Mod Podge and/or Elmer's glue - had on hand
smaller Mason jar - had on hand
Colorful flowers - $6.99 from the grocery store
Bloom tag - free printable HERE
curling ribbon - had on hand

We cut the fabric into strips which showed I cannot cut in a straight line to save my life.

Don't judge my doo-dads!
Stopped to make some garlic bread for dinner.  (This step is totally not needed but it sure was good.)

Yes, I craft in my kitchen sometimes.
Then you take your strips of fabric, dunk them into the Mod Podge or glue/water mixture, remove excess glue, and place the fabric on the inside of the jar.  This is where I started thinking "why didn't I just buy a gift card??"  It was a little tight to get the fabric where you wanted it and to get the air bubbles out and all that jazz.

We placed a few strips in and let it dry.  We also ran out of Mod Podge but please don't tell the Crafting Society branch of the Junior League.  They would revoke my imaginary membership.

Once this section of fabric had dried, we made up a mixture of Elmer's glue and water in lieu of Mod Podge.  I thought this worked really well but when dry it is not as clear as the Mod Podge.

When everything was dry, we trimmed up the top.

Bean added the Bloom tag to the front of the jar with a glue dot and we added some curling ribbon. These flowers really set off the color of the fabric.

Stay tuned for more Teacher Appreciation gifts.

Added this post to these wonderful linky parties:  Places I Party

Monday, May 4, 2015

Make It: Teacher Appreciation Week - Tea-Riffic Teacher

It is time again for Teacher Appreciation Week and this is our first gift for Bean's teacher.

Our teacher is Tea-riffic!

We found out our teacher loves Starbucks so we picked out the sparkliest water bottle we could find and added some Starbucks Via packets.

Cost:  Water bottle $4 at our local Five Below
           Starbucks Via packets $5.95 for a package of 10

I used to make the Tea-riffic tag.  You can use this free download to print these tags.

Tea-riffic Tag

Very simple and easy to throw together.  We hope she likes it!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Read It: Brave Girls: Better than Perfect

We received a copy of Brave Girls: Better than Perfect, a 90-day devotional for girls ages 7 through pre-teen to review.  This book came at a great time for Bean.  She has a lot of friends at school but it seems as though the girls already have their own set of issues.  Each day there is a new story about someone not sitting with someone else, someone not being friends with someone else, or someone picking on someone else.  Ugh.  Hard to believe it starts this early.

I love the plain language of the book but I will say it might still be a little bit over Bean's head. After we read the daily devotional, I ask her if she has any questions and she seems a little lost.  But it can open up dialogue for other issues on her mind.  The other night we read a devotional page about not always having to be right. That led to a discussion on how Bean thought I liked her little cousin more than her.  So even if this book's daily topic doesn't strike a cord with your child, it can help to start wonderful discussions.  That's the beauty of devotionals.  I would recommend this book to any young girl wondering where she fits in.

Brave Girls:  Better than Perfect
A 90 Day Devotional
Published by Thomas Nelson

Book Description:

Better than perfect-that's what every girl is in God's eyes.
A young girl's doubt in her own self-worth starts from an early age. Am I pretty enough? Am I smart enough? Will I fit in? Do people like me? Am I worthy enough? These aren't questions asked by teens, but from precious girls in grade school! Brave Girls Faith and Honor will help girls navigate these questions and learn just how wonderful they are!
In this Brave Girls devotional, 90 engaging devotions will help young girls find their place in the world and learn that the beauty of their imperfections is what makes them unique, loved, precious, and "better than perfect" in God's eyes. Each devotion will include:
  • A relevant opening scripture from the Bible
  • A thought-provoking devotion to build a young girl's spirit
  • An engaging closing prayer to help the reader navigate her day!
*We received a free copy of the book for purposes of this review.  If you have a blog and would like to receive free books to review, check out the BookLook program.  

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Monday, March 30, 2015

How much should you support them?

Bean loves to paint and do crafts.  Her teacher just raved about one of her paintings last week, posting it on her Instagram.  Bean just knows when she grows up she will be an artist - as much as anyone knows what they will do when they are 7.  

She got an idea from her older cousins about starting her own business.  They've started making painted t-shirts and jewelry.  She thought this was wonderful and of course wanted to be like her cousins so she has now decided to start her own business selling her paintings.  She has enlisted her friends at school to make drawings, too.  She came up with a website name and wants me to take her to arts and crafts fairs to set up a booth.  She thinks this is something akin to Girl Scout cookie booths and believes all you have to do is grab a folding table and set it up outside the local BBQ joint for a couple of hours and people will flock to you with money waving.  Minty chocolate wafers are one thing - elementary school art is another.

But she has really put a lot of time into this whole concept.  

The downside is while I think everything is beautiful and rivals Picasso, I know these are paintings, drawings and artwork put together by a 7 year old.  And not a 7 year old prodigy.  Just MY prodigy.  

I know, aside from family, it will be hard to find customers for this business.  I would be reluctant to believe people are going to spend money on these items.  

Am I being too - I don't know - too something?  How do I explain to her that people probably won't buy?  

How do I let her down easy?  Or should I?  I guess I don't want her to get her feelings hurt or get disappointed in her talent.  I do think she is talented but I know I'm Mom, everything she does is great by me.  


How much should I support this right now?  I've told her she needs to keep practicing and I've bought her books, we've watched videos, I signed her up for classes.  All that.  But should I allow her to find some place to sell?  I think that might be too much.  And Lord help anyone that says anything to hurt her feelings if she ever did set up somewhere.  Mama Bear will come out on anyone that makes any disparaging comment.  

I am afraid my hesitations are just that - mine - and not something that should hold her back from what she believes in.  Sometimes though, it's okay to be hesitant, right?  What if I sign her up for some booth and no one buys anything and she gets discouraged.  I think she is the type of personality that if she does not succeed the first time, she will flounder and give it all up.  It would break my heart if that happened.  

How far do you go to help your child and support their dreams?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pinterest Projects - Lorax T-Shirt and Matching Hairbow!

This week most schools around the country will celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday.  Each day this week, Bean's class will be doing something Seuss-related.  One day, they get to dress up as their favorite Seuss character.

I thought for sure she would pick The Cat in the Hat or maybe a Truffula tree.

Thought wrong once again.  Just add it to the list.

She picked The Lorax.

Now, I honestly never remember reading The Lorax when I was a kid, and only knew about it from the movie, which I have only seen bits and pieces.

Maybe it was due to orange being her new favorite color.  (Ugh.)  Maybe she heard another child say they wanted to be The Lorax.  I don't know.

I first suggested we figure out a way to make her an orange wig.

She immediately used her un-elected but often over-used First (and only) Kid veto power and said "No way, Mommy.  I'm not wearing a wig."

You're 7.  Chill out.

No.  No wigs.

Okay, fine!

I immediately looked at The Husband and said "Hey, you got any ideas?"

I recently turned him onto Pinterest.  Yes, I brought another one over to the dark side.  Well done, me!

He said "Why don't you look on that pinning place?"

"Pinning Place".  What an amateur.

So of course, out came the phone and Pinterest got fired up.

We all searched and scrolled.  Then this lovely, super cute pin came onto the screen and Bean said "I like that!".

When you click on it, you just get a picture, no instructions.  Since I do not have permission to post another person's child on my blog, I will just direct you to the pin itself.

But basically, it's The Lorax's features cut out of felt and attached to a t-shirt.  Easy enough.

I found this pumpkin carving template of The Lorax and used it as the pattern for my felt.

Property of Today's Creative Blog

I cut out the eyebrows and mustache.

Then I broke out my Christmas present!  LOOK!  AIN'T SHE PURDY!!!!

That's professional right there!

I love her.  Like LOVE.  REAL LOVE.

Jiggly eyes and a fuzzy ball nose.

Big schnoz or little schnoz????

We went BIG.

Hot glued everything on.  You will need to put a piece of cardboard in the middle of the t-shirt or you might hot glue the front and back of the shirt together.

Not that that happened or anything.  (It totally happened.)

And of course, when you are wearing that much orange and you AREN'T a Tennessee fan, you really should live on the edge and spice it all up with a matching hairbow, right??

So there you have it.  A Lorax t-shirt and coordinating hairbow.

Seuss has never been so stylish!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My review of Paddington

This past Saturday, Hubz and I took 9 little girls between the ages of 4-8 to see Paddington.  Here is my movie review.  There are spoilers.

I missed the opening and first 5 minutes of the movie because I was cleaning up the party room and getting popcorn for a little girl.

An explorer from London is talking to 3 bears telling them how great London is.  He tells them a story about small children being put on trains and sent to live with other families during the war.  He says no one turns anyone away and that all the children are looked after and loved because this is England and damn it, it is the best place in the world.

The explorer goes back to London but first tells the bears if they are ever in town, that they will always find a home with him.  Then a great earthquake comes to Darkest Peru and one of the bears does not make it.  Paddington stows away on a cargo ship while the aunt goes to live in the Home for Retired Bears.  

Not sure exactly what happens next because I had to get up to refill 5 drink cups and get more popcorn.

Came back and bear is talking to a lovely British family, the father being played by the brilliant Lord Grantham.  Lord Grantham does not want to bring said bear home.  Kooky mother overrides LG and they try to figure out a name for him. They look up to see the Paddington Station sign and canon is created.

More drink refills and something about a bathtub coming down the stairs.

Paddington is banished to the attic.  Need more popcorn.

Enter the villain - small bladders and Nicole Kidman.  Bathroom break.  

Evidently Nicole Kidman wants to stuff Paddington which seems very hostile to me.  Maybe she isn't enjoying the new season of American Idol.

More drink refills.

Dr. Who is infatuated with Mrs. Keith Urban.  Tries to help her snatch Paddington but then realizes she is a taxidermist so he turns nice and looks for a blue box.

Lord Grantham decides he wants to save Paddington and wants him to be part of their family.  

The other 3 girls now have to pee.

Yay!  Paddington is saved and they all make orange marmalade together.

Party and movie over.  I needed a drink and it wasn't cherry coke.  

What I saw of this movie was wonderful.  Can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can see the whole movie.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Saving money one handful of change at a time.

Every year when the holidays come, I am stuck trying to figure out how to pay for gifts and do any activities we'd like to for the season.  I recently joined a Facebook group for budgeting run by A Bowl Full of Lemons.

Someone posted about the 52 Week savings plan.  I know this challenge would be hard for me to stick to, especially toward the end of the year.  Then I read about the 365 Day Saving Challenge.

This challenge was first shared by

For this challenge, you save your change each day.  Depending on what day of the year it is, that is how much you put into your jar or piggy bank.  Today is the 29th day of the year so you would add 29 cents to your jar.

I have started a savings jar for all 3 of us.  My co-workers are also doing this with me.

Each day I add money to the jar, I cross off that amount on my savings sheet.

I hope to have enough by the end of November to use for Christmas gifts this year.

If you'd like to join in on the 365 Day Savings Challenge, below you can print off a copy of the savings sheet.  I have formatted this one to print full size on 8.5 x 11 paper.  You can also find the sheet on the website.

365 Day Savings Challenge printable