Saturday, March 24, 2012

Prayers please? Final "Intuniv" update.....

I can't believe that it has been nearly 11 months since my last post about our journey with the ADHD medication Intuniv.
You can read that post here for a little history about why my husband and I decided to try this tool with our oldest son to help us as we endeavor to raise our children for the glory of God!!

As I mentioned in that last post, by May of 2011 we felt that our visits to the prescribing doctor had reached a point that we were just maintaining, and at $140 a visit (our insurance doesn't cover anything ADHD related, of course) we felt we could transfer back to our primary pediatrician just for prescription refills.
It took me several months to do that (life comes at ya quick here at our house!), and we went in to visit him by November.
At that point my son was still on the 3 mg. dose of Intuniv.
I had noticed though that just about when we started school up in September that our son was really struggling.
Sitting down at the table to do his seat work was nearly impossible.
He couldn't be dragged away from whatever it was that he was engrossed in (usually a computer/video game) without a major meltdown.
When he finally did get to the table, he was still mouthy and upset, which is disruptive to my other children who actually WANT to learn.
I was trying some new curriculums and routines, so I wanted to give it some time all the while continuing with his current dosage.
By late fall, I had to do something different.
Nothing was helping, and I was hating homeschooling.
So I took him to see his pediatrician (who wanted an updated physical on him), and hoped to discuss an increase to the 4 mg. dose (which is the highest dose available in that particular medication).
I love our pediatrician, but he sat with me for nearly 30 minutes going over each and every ADHD medication currently available and how each and every one works in the brain.
He finally recommended Focalin.
I thanked him for his time, but told him I really just wanted to continue on the Intuniv (since we had so much success in the beginning) but at the higher dosage to see if that would meet his needs.
I told him that I felt Grant had grown physically over the summer and that I wanted to see if the higher dosage was what he needed.
He mentioned something to me that I had NEVER heard, and am putting here for those who might be considering it for a child of their own:
"This drug (Intuniv) is not usually used as a stand-alone treatment.  It's usually used in combination with another medication."
I didn't understand why I hadn't read that anywhere or been advised about that in the 2 years we'd been using it, but I told him I still wanted to just give the 4 mg. a itself.
He wrote out the prescription and I filled it that afternoon.
But something strange happened.
With the 3 mg. dose, we gave him his pill first thing in the morning and noticed a softening of his edges almost immediately......usually within 30 minutes.
Not with the 4 mg.
I watched him for several weeks......
If I gave it to him first thing in the morning, we didn't notice ANY calming in him until around 2 in the afternoon.
It hardly did any good for me in relation to our schooling.
By then, I was done.
He was very cooperative (usually) at bedtime and slept all through the night (usually), but our mornings were so stressful.
I wondered what would happen if I gave his medication at 12 AM, and sure enough...he was much quieter and calmer when he first got out of bed (between 7:30 and 8:00 am) and through the morning.
I called the doctor's office and asked them if that seemed normal, and they said it was how his body absorbed that particular drug and that that would be hard to keep up.
So they suggested I just give it to him at his bedtime (around 10 pm).
The benefits of this were not out-weighing the trouble it was becoming.
All-in-all, his behavior was not what it used to be when we first started this 2 years ago, and it was becoming clear to me that he had just outgrown it.

I felt it would be best to just stop it all together since it didn't seem to be working for us.

But it took me awhile to accept this and to figure out what we were going to do NOW!!
I was drawn to trying the Focalin because I've heard good things about it, but frankly, I'm fearful of the long-term and short-term side affects of stimulant medications.
Focalin is just a stripped down version of Ritalin, which supposedly gives you all the good benefits of Ritalin without the bad side affects.
I just don't have peace about that yet.
Since our family has been on health journey in the last year or more, I've been exposed to the benefits of chiropractic and nutrition therapy......especially for children with ADHD.
So when Grant took his last Intuniv on Wednesday of this last week, I took him to a chiropractor/nutritionist on Thursday.

That is the route we've decided to try with him for now.
So currently, he hasn't been taking any medication, and frankly it isn't a whole lot different than when he was taking the 4 mg. of Intuniv.

It's a little scary, but I'm cautiously hopeful.
Hopeful, that this idea of "(Letting) your food be your medicine" and the health found in a better diet, and a more natural approach to managing health issues will work for us.

We still homeschool, try to be more proactive and calm in our discipline techniques, try to keep some semblence of structure in our home, and all the other things the experts tell you that children with ADHD need.
Of course, the mind-numbing amount of discipline and consistency you MUST have as a parent is very difficult to maintain every. moment. of . the. day.
But we are also trying to remember to live by the grace that our Heavenly Father lavishes on us every day.
That our children need to experience that grace as well to really have a firm understanding of what that means......that His love cannot be earned, that messing up is a part of life, and that forgiveness and redemption is the pivotal part of that story!!

Please pray for us?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe: "Bird Nests"

Okay, so this instantly became my new FAVORITE edible spring craft last year!!
I saw the recipe for this cutie little child-friendly treat in the April-May 2011 edition of Taste of Home magazine, and knew right away that we needed to add this to our repertoire of fun things to do to celebrate the spring season!!  

This year, I'd like to really concentrate on separating out the celebrating and enjoying the "Season of Spring" from Resurrection Sunday.
As I'm getting older, I'm learning to appreciate at an even deeper level the ultimate gift of God that is salvation from the penalty of our sin and the corruption it infects us with which results in permanent separation from our Holy Elohim.
At Easter, which I'm preferring to call Resurrection Sunday, we celebrate and rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave in which he was buried three days after His crucifixion for our sin.
If He hadn't risen, then all He had promised would be a lie.  Everything He said He was and His purpose for coming to this earth would have become void.
It has become much more sacred, much more of a lavish demonstration of God's grace and love to us, that I'm becoming more inclined not to confuse it with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.  
Certainly not with colored eggs!
I'm leaning more towards keeping that Sunday a precious day, full of joy and awe at the wonder of His power.

But I still think it's so much fun to celebrate the turning of the season from winter to spring, and enjoying the gorgeous pictures of this new life found in Christ (life from out of the grave of our sin!!)!
So I'm collecting ideas for  a "Spring Fling" to have with our children either before or maybe even after we remember Resurrection Sunday!!
This idea is on the top of the list!!

Bird Nests

Here is what you'll need:

2 packages of white baking chips (10 oz. each)
10 oz. package of pretzel sticks
25 Peep candy birds
Candy eggs (can be the malted chocolate eggs, jelly beans, etc.)

Melt 2 packages of white baking chips.
(I only used one because I didn't need that many nests!!)

Stir the package of pretzel sticks into chocolate until well coated.

Scoop 25 nests onto waxed paper (or tin foil, if you're me!!);
use two forks to arrange coated pretzels into a circle.
Dip a peep candy into some of the melted white chocolate and place onto each nest.
Arrange the candy eggs onto the nest while the chocolate is still warm
so they will stick to the nest.
Makes 25 if you follow the recipe and use all the white chocolate 
and the entire bag of pretzels.
(We only did about half the recipe and still had enough to share with our neighbors!!)


You can see this idea also at Taste of Home,
as well as at Mommy's Kitchen!!
(You can click on those names to reach their website!)

(edited repost from the archives)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Funday: First day back to the lake!!

Last Monday was such a gorgeous day here in North/Central Texas.
I just couldn't stay inside.
I was itching to get back to our favorite local lake that we fondly refer to as "the beach!"
It was the first day of spring break in our area, so I was wondering if it would be crowded.
Thankfully it wasn't and we just reveled in what a beautiful gift God has given us to enjoy!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Counting the blessings of another year!!

Yesterday, March 16, we celebrated our sweet Abby's 8th birthday!
The Lord knew I would need such a gentle, guileless, observant, FOCUSED child.

She is the one {of my six} that I would vote........
"Most likely to want to come home from a sleepover because she misses her Mom!!"

What pure joy and sweetness she is to be around....

Never a moment's trouble, and always eager to try something new and to want to just be with you!

I've mentioned to her Daddy that I sense she has the spiritual gift of having the heart of a servant.....

I've also fondly nicknamed her, "My personal assistant."

What a blessing she is to our family and we are so grateful for the time God has given her to us so far!!   

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe: Pumpkin Bread in a Bowl!!

I saw the recipe for this amazing "breakfast" over at "Chocolate Covered Katie."
There is no way I would ever think of something this spectacular!!
If I had, I would have named it "Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl"
because that's what it really tastes like.
Dairy free, gluten free, AND sugar free!!
I have been craving this every day since I first tried it,
and I even had it for lunch yesterday!!
Find the
I followed Katie's recipe but I substituted oatmeal for the flake cereal,
almond milk as my "milk" of choice,
1 FULL teaspoon of vanilla,
and 1 FULL teaspoon of cinnamon!
I also used 2 Tablespoons of Xylitol as my sweetener.
{No wonder I'm in love with this, huh?}

Thursday, March 8, 2012

{You CAN} Teach Your Child Thursdays: Helpful online websites

If you're sitting at home considering jumping into homeschooling your children, but you really don't think you have what it takes........
let me put your mind at ease!
You DO!! does take work, and preparation, and a smidgey of organization....
but if you can think......
you can do this.

Plus.....there are just tons and tons and tons of resources available to homeschooling families now!
For instance, take what's available online for FREE!!

Recently, I came across these two great websites that I'm totally getting my kids into:

I've heard a lot of great things about this website.
You can either use the free applications available or pay a premium price for a year's membership of perks.
I'm still navigating my way around this one, but don't take just my word for it:

I've got my children all signed up for this one as well.
I like how the progress reports are emailed to the parents so you can keep track of how 
the children are doing with this.
Here's what some others have to say about this one:

With all the wonderful FREE resources available to homeschoolers today, it's a no brainer to take advantage of this and inject something fresh and fun into your child's daily routine!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Women's Wellness Wednesday: Giveaway!!

It has been awhile since I've posted about this topic of women's health and wellness.
But today, I wanted to introduce you to my new FAVORITE blog.
It's about eating nutritiously AND eating chocolate.
What more could a healthy woman want, huh??
She makes things like:

Today, there she has a giveaway for a $100 gift card.
Why don't you hop on over to this blog and peek around at her amazing recipes and photos,
and then enter to win $100!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Re-instituting Monday Funday!!!

The weather here in central/north Texas has been just lovely recently.
Today was no exception.
75 warm degrees.
Birds are singing and skipping around.
We've seen red-breasted robins, cardinals, and even some green darling parakeets!!
During the months of January and February we've taken a bit of a hiatus from our traditional "Monday Funday" routine.
We all just feel so sluggish those months and are pretty happy staying in, taking it easy after a busy weekend, and just sipping hot chocolate.
But now that we're into March, we've gotten a little spring fever and are so enjoying the blooms on the trees and the warm temperatures.
It's time to get back outside together!!
I didn't plan in advance for this, so it was a fun, impromptu, spontaneous afternoon at the Dallas Zoo!!
Today we added a twist by using the "complimentary tickets" you receive with your zoo membership for a ride on the monorail.
We've never ridden that before and the children were just delighted!!

Waiting for the ride to begin

 The view from the ride
{Can you see the skyline of downtown Dallas off in the distance?}

Grant was quietly freaked out the entire ride that it was going to fall off the tracks.
We were about half way through the ride when I noticed this......
and yes, he was praying....really.

The minute we walked into the "bird house" exhibit the children were swarmed with cockatiels.

Obviously, they were all delighted....

 ....except for Aryn.

Super fun day together!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe: Fudge Babies!!

These are my new FAVORITE, energy packed, chocolaty bites of deliciousness!!
Fudgey goodness!!

Gluten free, dairy free, and no sugar added.

4 simple ingredients, and voila'!!

My children loved these and begged for more.
I was delighted to let them eat as much as they want.....well, in moderation.
I believe everything is better in moderation!

This recipe is what you would consider a "raw" dessert.
The more I learn about preparing raw foods, the more I love it!
So much easier and quicker and healthier for you.
What's NOT to love?

For the here!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

{You CAN} Teach Your Child Thursdays: Makaziville

My children LOVE video games.
I suppose almost all children do.
I am not a huge fan.
There is a style of homeschooling that some folks swear by called "unschooling."
We could not follow that.
If we did, we'd be experts and champions at video games.
I'm always trying to figure out how to reduce the amount of time my children spend in front of the computer
or the Xbox......timers, threats, loss of game time, charts, power outages, library trips, chores, you name it.
But recently, I discovered a wonderful game online that I don't mind if my children spend time playing.
In fact, I encourage it.
It's great for rewards.
"You finished your schoolwork so soon?  30 minutes of.....Makaziville for you!!"

Have you seen this?
It's new.

I love it.
It's a virtual mission village that your children build by earning coins and objects by playing fun, quick games,
having their "devotions," watching clips of different missionaries at work, and doing things with you as the parent.
My children just LOVE it.
It's not boring at all, and they are so enjoying moving to higher levels and earning more and more interesting things like giraffes and hospitals and churches and different kinds of vehicles.
I also like that every. single. thing your child plays or learns about, you as the parent, receive an email update about with tips on how to further talk with your child about what they are learning.
It's really amazing for warming your child's heart to the idea of Bible translation for "forgotten people."
It's really the most fun for children who are of reading age and up.
My 4 and 5 year olds would enjoy some of the games, but most of them require a working reading ability.

Try it out.
It's free.
Click on the picture below to try it: