Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Fun: Homemade finger paints!

Summer is always a blur of activity around our house during the summer months.
I am always so glad to be free of the pressure of school work that HAS to be done along with the myriad of other household things, and to throw open the doors and run outside!!
This week my children were involved in their 3rd VBS (2 during this week....1 in the morning, and 1 in the evening), my oldest has been at summer church camp for teens, and my 12 year old has been house "sitting" for 2 different families as well.
It has been busy.
We did find ourselves home one afternoon with some "fun" time, and I decided to experiment with several ideas I found on Pinterest.
The first thing we tried (and loved!) was making our own finger paints.
You can find the tutorial we used here.

We loved it, and it turned out just as the recipe said it would.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I wish I could say that I came up with this fun idea all on my own.
But that would be dishonest.
I totally copied this off of a friend's facebook post.
I don't know where she found it, but I'm so glad she shared it!!

"Dear Daddy,
We were going to give you a "Whopping" "100 Grand" for Father's Day,
but the money slipped through our "Butterfingers".  We didn't have an "Extra" "Whatchamacallit"
to sell, and it wasn't "Payday."  We didn't think a pet "KitKat," or a trip to New "York," or
an "Orbit" around the "MilkyWay" would be appropriate.  We do want to wish you
"Mounds" of "Almond Joy" both "Now&Later" as you eat this card.
We hope it doesn't make you "Rolo"ver and get sick.
If it does, we promise not to "Snicker."
Your Favorite,
"Air Heads"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

T1 Tuesdays: Death of a long Dexcom!

**WARNING:  This post is strictly a venting session!  I'm just clearing my mind.  Maybe as a little therapy, maybe to bring awareness to the struggles of families trying to give the best care they can to a child with Type 1 Diabetes, but certainly not to be a piece full of edification and joy.  Just case you get bored easily. 

Maybe you remember last summer.......
our Type 1 Diabetic daughter went to summer church camp.....
without a parent along.....
and had a nearly catastrophic diabetic event!
(Stupid I know!!!  Please don't beat me up about this as I've already done it myself!
I will NEVER happen again!)
If you're interested in reading the whole can find it here.
After that whole fiasco, my husband and I decided that we NEEDED to get her
a continuous glucose monitoring system.
The only one really available to us was the "Dexcom" brand.
If you are unfamiliar with this technology, click on that name and go check it out.
It is, bar none, the single most fantastic tool available for diabetics and their caregivers!
I feel it is life saving and should be in the hands of everyone who wants to learn how
to use the information!
So I pursued it.
Read about that process here.
In the end, we felt enormously blessed to have gotten into this device and loved what it did for us.
Read about our excitement here.
We never had a moment's trouble with this.
It worked like a charm.
So when it came time to order more sensors (a monthly prescription),
we were told some gut wrenching news.
Read about that here.
Basically we were told that at the beginning of this calendar year, our deductible had reset and we would have to pay yet another $2000 after already paying $2000 just the previous August, to get the sensors she needed at the covered price.
The out-of-pocket until we could meet that deductible would be $280 for 4 sensors (one month's supply).
That is just out-of-the-question for a family of 8 living only on a policeman's salary!
So we shelved it......praying that our city would change insurance companies yet again come June 1.
And they DID!!
Imagine my excitement....and hope.
But I've since found out that not only is the coverage nearly identical....but in some cases is more expensive......especially when it comes to covering the supplies for a Dexcom.
Going through a supplier that takes our new insurance....the sensors would cost nearly $400 for a month's supply until we could meet the $2000 deductible......though "only" $280 if purchased directly from Dexcom.....go figure.
So after this news, I decided I might as well sell it and get some money out of the thing......since we will obviously never be able to use this device in any sort of long term manner.
I listed it on a Facebook page for those needing diabetic supplies and for trading supplies.
All sorts of things started coming up about the legality of selling a prescription device.
Problems with insurance fraud and getting sensors for a device that has a serial number tied to another person and blah.....blah......blah.....
It's all so mind-numbing........I don't think I care anymore.
To think that something like this is being offered.......something that could save my daughter's LIFE......
yet you have to be independently wealthy to afford one.
I'm not trying to get an I-pod, or a DS, or an I-pad for my daughter.
I don't feel that because my husband actually HAS a job.....and WORKS it.....
and has employer provided insurance......
and that we have chosen to raise 6 children on his income alone.......
without government aide.....
that we are entitled to every little thing our society has to offer to make us happy and healthy.
I'm just flabbergasted that there are so many loopholes to getting what a chronically ill child needs for the best quality of life they can possibly have.......
and that we fit into every. single. one. of them!
Believe me, I know.  I'm not exaggerating.
I've made at least a dozen calls to different places trying to find someone or something that could change this situation for us, and no. thing is available for a family such as ours with private insurance.
I can see why people on government assistance have no motivation to get off.
At least you get what you need for your lots of other programs to help you!!
Anyway.......I have to walk away.
It's done.
Our Dexcom is a thing of the past.
It will now be sitting on a shelf in the back of a closet until I'm 95 and someone has to clean it out and finds it.
I can't look at it anymore.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Where are the grandparents?

This is so totally off the subjects I usually talk about here, but it's something I've been pondering over and over in my mind lately. It keeps coming back to me, and the more I think about it, the more important it seems to me.

One of the reasons I had for even beginning this blog was to have a sort of written record, a journal if you will, of things I believe are important that I want to pass on to my children. I don't always pull them all together and unload the contents of my head in their laps, so I'm hoping that one day they may have some of these thoughts written down for them in case they were wondering what their mom thinks about other than what's for dinner, or where my cell phone is.

Anyway, here lately I've been thinking about the importance of grandparents. Okay, now stop. Both sets of my children's grandparents read this let me say right here....and really LOUD.....I'm NOT talking about YOU! I'm referring to grandparents IN GENERAL!! NOT my parents or my husband's mother. Okay....that being said...let's move on with this.

Since I am now a very busy mother, there are days when I wish that someone would just knock on the door and say to me, "Would you mind if I took all your children with me to the park where we can play and enjoy an hour or so of fresh air. Then I might run them over for a $1 McDonalds ice cream cone afterward to round off the afternoon. Would you mind?"

First off, if someone ever did that, I would practically keel over from shock.

I remember doing that on occasion to a neighbor friend of mind who's children I adored, and we had such a fun time. Where ARE all the people that are like I was?? I know I'm NOT unusual, or fantastic, just somebody who enjoyed making a fun time with children. There are tons of people out there who are just like me....I'm not an anamoly here people.

So on those really tough days when I'm wishing for that person to come along and give me that precious golden hour to just get everything back in its place before it's all turned upside again, or to let me make that important call to the doctor without having to hide in the bathroom because of the wild animals screaming at each other all around me so loudly I can't hear the person on the other line, or to just go out and run some errands without making such a huge production about who's going and who's staying and who's babysitting......
my mind wanders to the grandparents.

What ARE they doing?
I KNOW they have WAY more quiet, free time on their hands now.
I know.
I'm married to their only son.
I'm the oldest of two....the other daughter grown and on her own too!!

Now again....before my relatives start calling me or shooting emails over to me reminding me of all they have to do in their "free" time.......I will explain momentarily to the rest of the world here what you are doing.

So when my mind starts to wander to the grandparents, I remind myself that many grandparents today are having to work until a later age than their own parents did. The economy is not great right now, and grandparents are taking a hit in their health insurance coverages, so many of them are having to work right on up into their 70's.

I also know that many grandparents live half a country away from their grandchildren. I children's grandparents do. Those "little" issues put big dampers on all the fun they can have with those grandbabies.

But that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about those grandparents who DO live near their grandchildren, who DO have a free day here and there where they COULD spend a couple hours with their grandchildren. I'm talking about those grandparents who DO NOT have to work full-time all week long with only the weekends to take care of their home, and vehicle, and personal needs, and ministering to those in need around them. Where are the GRANDPARENTS??

I see them around me (again....not in my FAMILY!!!!) and I hear about them occasionally. Grandparents who kind of feel like they've done their duty, raised their children, and now it's time for THEM. I suppose I will feel like that too (at least I imagine that some days!), but is that what the Bible says they are to do? Does the Bible say that our influence ends the minute our children marry and start their own family?

On the contrary, I find the complete opposite in Scripture.

Now, in the defense of some grandparents, I know there are situations (sad though they may be) where the grandparents do live close by, have a desire to be a part of their grandchildren's lives, have the time, but are not welcome by the parents. I can't imagine the kind of heartbreak that would be. But what a tragedy also for the grandchildren who don't get to have that relationship with them. What treasures those parents are rejecting for their children!!

I believe that grandparents have tremendous influence on the lives of their grandchildren. Why, my father's mother has left her fingerprints all over me and even on my children. While still living, she was a hoarder. We didn't know that it had a "name" at the time, and no one understood why her house looked like it did......but we kids didn't care. Why, she always got up early with us on Saturday mornings and would make homemade doughnuts out of biscuits in those tubes. I still remember how, too. Oooooo....they were sooooo good. I remember how she would sit down in a chair, with piles all around us, and she would read Sammy the Seal and laugh her great belly laugh at some of things Sammy did. I remember we would have to dig through the garage, but she gave us permission to ride my dad's old bikes around the neighborhood to visit the old lady around the corner who still used her outhouse in the backyard. Then my grandmother would yodel to us to come home. When it was time for bed, she would give us "back massages" with her old hand cream and turn on Bill Pierce and Songs in the Night on the radio.
 She was always gentle with the neighbor boy down the street who was slow and had some learning disabilities. She knew he needed Jesus just like the rest of us. She always made sure he had a job to do for her or something to make him feel needed. That left a great impression on me. I learned so much from how she treated people.
 Again, being the hoarder that she was, she kept everything. She kept every card, every letter, every pen, every scribbled piece of paper, every bookmark that anyone ever gave her. She made sure that everyone she met knew about Jesus too. How she loved to sing about her Savior. How she loved Scripture. THOSE were the things that I remember about my grandmother. Not a perfect person....who IS ?? But I knew she loved to have me around.

Grandparents have so much to offer their grandchildren:
They have TIME.
They have a less rushed sense of life.....things are quieter at their house. What a treasure for a child. So often moms and dads are so busy juggling multiple jobs and multiple cars and multiple children that the children don't get that special one-on-one time every day. That's where grandparents should step in. Look into the eyes of your grandchild and let them know that what they say is important!!
Teach your grandchildren something. Teach them how to garden or how to fish or how to sew or how to bake that special family recipe or how to read. Grandparents may be retired from an amazing, fulfilling career but what a treasure trove for those grandchildren to have exposure to your great mind!!! Are you teaching your grandchildren about your family values? What about songs and scripture? Do you take them to church with you?? Maybe the parents wished they could afford what you can teach those grandbabies. That's a great way for grandparents to step in.
They have MONEY.
I did not say grandparents are all money bags. In fact, I believe most grandparents are probably on fixed incomes, though some are not. I heard from the lady at JoAnn Fabrics a while ago that most of her customers who purchased those $10,000 embroidery machines for some fun at home were usually "well-off older widowed women who didn't know what else to do with their money." Now I understand that with lots of free time, it's nice to have something to keep you busy and creative. I get that. But my question is: Surely these ladies are fashioning beautiful pieces to pass on to their grandchildren and to teach them about textiles and art, etc?? I would hope so. I'm not judging, just wondering? I know not everyone can travel to other parts of the country with their grandchildren in tow teaching them history and geography as they go along, but am I the only one who thinks that would be GREAT FUN?? I don't have the money right now to get to do that......that's where grandparents can step in.

Why do I hear stories that parents are struggling to find someone to keep all of their children for an evening so they can go out on a much needed date??
Is it because every. single. grandparent is out dancing or hosting a backyard barbeque for their seniors group from church?

Maybe our culture overlooks the great TREASURE a grandparent's presence is in the life of children.
That the older group doesn't have much to offer anymore.....they can't keep up with all that the children are involved in and can do with technology and social media these days.
Maybe we all need to look around and embrace the idea of multi-generations intermingling together.....
teaching each other.....
enjoying the jokes.....
smiling at the antics.....
accepting each other no matter the age difference because they STILL have value.
That every age and stage of life has something great to glean and learn from and enjoy!!

"The gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness."
Proverbs 16:31