Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Best way to prepare for Christmas? The Night Before Advent Party 2016

I have to admit, the day following Thanksgiving, I was far from being filled
with the Christmas spirit!!
In fact, Scrooge and I had about the same attitude.
Do we really have to climb up in the attic and drag
down a bunch of boxes, collect all the leaves and pumpkins decorating
the house, and clean up??
All while still bloated from the turkey and green bean casserole?
I mean, what's the stinkin' hurry?

We had just walked the halls of the hospital a couple days before,
to say goodbye to a precious friend who's Christmas picture from
last year is still hanging on my refrigerator.
The cancer had returned.
And though we had prayed and prayed that she would go
into remission for a second time,
it was not to be.
She went home to Jesus that night.
The night before Thanksgiving.
It's hard to celebrate when you're wiping tears from your eyes.

But that morning I was reminded that Sunday was to be the first day of Advent.
That time of waiting.....hope!
Anticipating a coming.
Looking intentionally.
Of preparation.
I was inspired by this {click here} to actually throw a little party.

So we did.
We had so much fun whipping things into shape, setting out the 
simplest things, just to prepare our hearts and mind 
for what this season is all about anyway.
When we are grieving the loss of dear one's, watching the world around us
burn up and blow away, walking through frightful valleys, drowning
in loneliness, shouldn't we gather together and look to Jesus?
Anticipate His coming?
Talk about ways we will be looking to BE a blessing
rather than simply RECEIVE all the blessings.
About ways we can give more!!
We set up our Jesse Tree and pulled out the ornaments that will
go on that every day as we talk about Jesus' geneology.
His family tree that pointed the way to His coming
and ultimate death on Calvary's tree.

This was not complicated, nor did it cost a lot of money.
I just picked up some canned hot chocolate mix with some fun fixings.
Store bought cookies took off a lot of stress too.
This wasn't about excess and "rockin' around the Christmas tree."
Simple. Sane. Sacred.

One thing that we did to cap off the evening that we've never, ever
allowed before was to present our children with
their first gift of Christmas!
It was a total surprise for them because they beg and beg every year
to open a gift early and we've always stood firm.
They absolutely did not see it coming and the squeals of joy
were delightful!

I think we've discovered a brand new family tradition.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Family and Consumer Science Class: Senior Saints Thanksgiving Luncheon 2016

Again this school year, I have had the delightful privilege
 of teaching the high school girls of our little homeschool assistance program 
a Family and Consumer Science Class.
Last year, we focused on Foods 1, and Beginning Sewing and Crafts.
After talking over their interests at the end of the year last school year,
the girls decided that they wanted the advanced versions 
of each class this year.
So this fall we're learning Textiles and Clothing Construction, 
and after Christmas we'll explore Foods 2!

We were once again asked to prepare and host a Thanksgiving Luncheon
for the senior citizens of the church,
and what fun it was to pull it all together.

We had a slightly smaller crew than last year, 
but these girls worked so hard
and used their creativity to make this a beautiful event!

The girls did all the set-up and decorations.
It turned out so lovely!

On the morning of this event,
they were very focused on working as a team
and making each of their guests feel welcome and cared for.

What a blessing Miss Amanda was to us this year in working
with our girls, preparing so many of the dishes,
and keeping things organized in the kitchen!!


"Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
As each one has received a special gift, employ it 
in serving one another as good stewards
of the manifold grace of God."  1 Peter 4:9, 10

What a blessing to watch these girls grow as we guide them along,
and learn skills in hospitality and gracious food service!

"Honor widows who are widows indeed."  1 Timothy 5:3

Thursday, November 10, 2016

National Diabetes Awareness Month: All in the family!!

**Continuing to repost from the archives of when our daughter was first diagnosed 
with Type 1 Diabetes in 2009.  
This article was originally posted in December of 2009.
My grandmother has since passed away.**

November is “National Diabetes Awareness Month.”

So with that in mind, I decided that it would be a great time to dig around in my family background and find out more about the experiences of those who are also living with Type 1 Diabetes, 
and then share those experiences with other families 
also living with this incurable disease.

As a young girl, my mother told me that her older sister (my Aunt) was diagnosed 
with Type 1 Diabetes when she was young. 
So when my daughter was diagnosed with it this past February, I of course remembered this. 
My mother told me this is a very “livable” disease,
 and I was encouraged by that as I know she grew up watching her sister. 
In November, I decided to call both my Aunt as well as my Grandmother to talk with them about their experiences living with this disease. 

How fascinating our conversations were.

My Aunt is now 69 years old,
 and has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 61 years!! 
She was diagnosed in 1948 when she was 8 years old. 
That must be the magic age in our family, as my daughter was also 8 years old 
when she was diagnosed.
Another interesting thing is that my Aunt’s granddaughter 
(who actually is not genetically linked to her because her daddy, my Aunt’s son, was adopted)
 was also diagnosed with this disease when SHE was 8 years old.

What makes these facts so interesting to me is that it wasn’t until 1921
 that insulin was even discovered. 
That was in my grandmother’s lifetime. 
Only 88 years ago. 
It seems amazing to me that if my daughter had been born when my grandmother was 4 years old, she would have died. So fast forward, to 1948.
A mere 27 years later, and there was a relatively new treatment available to treat my aunt 
so that she could grow up and live a wonderfully long life.
My Aunt remembers being on two different insulins as a young girl:
 protamine zinc and “regular insulin”. 
She told me that they were mixed so she only had to take one shot….in the morning, at breakfast, 
for the ENTIRE day!!
One shot.
I about fell over.
She remembers testing her blood sugar through her urine with a test strip. 
They would check her blood sugar, 

give her the insulin calculated for her daily needs, 
and then she would eat food on an “exchange” program according 
to the amount of insulin she had received. 
That was it. 
No A1C test, no meters, no glucagon kits. 
She thought she remembered testing for ketones with tablets that would fizz,
 but couldn’t remember for sure. 
When I asked her about how her diabetes was managed at school,
she said it wasn’t.
She was pretty sure nobody at school even knew she had diabetes!!!!
I could NOT believe that.
I asked her if she thought all we have to do for our children today is overkill,
 and she thought it really was. 

Her granddaughter used to be at my Aunt’s house nearly everyday, 
so she (my Aunt) saw the routine her granddaughter went through 
and all the things she had to do at school.
My Aunt remembers that if she had a low, she could just feel that,
and would eat a sugar cube or drink some juice to bring it back up. 
I asked her if she remembers how they would know if
her blood sugars were being kept under good control,
and she really couldn’t give me a definitive answer. 
I asked her if she has had any complications from the diabetes and she has had none. 
I LOVED that. 
I was so thrilled that she has lived for 61 years with this,
 and has had no real complications.
When she and my uncle were starting their family, she did lose two precious baby boys. 
Both died within days of birth, but she could not say definitively that this was due to her diabetes. There were other things complicating her pregnancies unrelated to the diabetes also.
So she adopted two boys, one of which now has a daughter with Type 1 Diabetes.

She did say that a number of years back her eye doctor noticed
 some minor hemorrhaging in her retinas, 
but laser surgery took care of that. 
Today, she still prefers to use syringes as her primary insulin delivery method. 
She has tried the pen and did look into the pump, but did not care for either one.
She thought they were too cumbersome and time consuming. 
She is using the “NPH” insulin in the morning 
as well as very tiny amounts of Humalog at meals. 
She is very disciplined with her schedule and her diet
 and prefers to stick with what she has done for many years 
as it keeps her in better control of her diabetes.

My sweet grandmother is now 93 years old, 
and really did not remember a lot of the details of caring for my Aunt as a young girl. 
She of course, remembered how old she was and that she had one shot a day,
 but told me I would get more details from my Aunt. 
My Grandmother was a nurse, so I really don’t think it was a big deal
 for her emotionally to care for her daughter’s condition. 
My Grandfather, her husband, developed Type 2 Diabetes in his later years, 
and she was reminiscing about that. 
My Grandmother has always seemed very resilient to me and has adapted well to whatever the Lord brought into her life .
She always had a pleasant attitude about it all. 
She is my hero!!

Both of these remarkable ladies are living testaments to God’s grace in their lives, 
and I’m thankful that they have been down my road before 
and I can come up behind them and tap into their wisdom and experience!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

National Diabetes Awareness Month: Can I SCREAM??? (Am I allowed to scream?)

**Another repost from the archives.
Not much has changed when it comes to dealing with insurance
 and my child's diabetic supply needs.
This was originally posted in September of 2009 when I was still
very green in the area of handling orders and insurance!"**

So yesterday morning, I realized that I only had 10 syringes left for Ashlyn.
Since we use a minimum for 4 syringes a day, 
I thought I hadn't better wait anymore.
It has been a couple weeks since I was finally able
 to send off all our new prescriptions that were for a 90-day supply
 to this new mail order company through our insurance.

I had no idea how much longer I would have to wait for it to arrive in the mail,
 so I thought I'd better call in my prescription to the pharmacy 
and go over there and pick some up.

So when I get there, the nice pharmacy girl tells me that
my prescription can't be filled because it looked to her
 (according to her computer screen)
that I or somebody else had already had 
the syringe prescription filled for the month....
6 days earlier. 
 No, I informed her, but I suspected that meant
that the 90-day supply had indeed been filled, 
we just hadn't received it yet.
Because neither of us had any idea when that shipment would actually
arrive at my house, she decided to call my insurance company to get "an override".

It took her two calls to finally get the answer that was confusing to both of us,
 "You can't get an override from us, you have to get it from them."

"From who?" I asked.

"Ummmm, I'm not sure," was her answer.

At this point, I was thinking, "Didn't you ask them specifically who I had to call? Am I going to have to do this myself?"
Another nice pharmacy girl jumped in at that point and said,
 "Did you ask for an override? They'll give you the override if you ask for it."

"Yes, I did," replied the first pharmacy girl.

"Gimme that phone," was the second pharmacy girl's response as she yanked the phone from the first (now it didn't really happen that way, although I wish in my mind it would have!!).

Again, I wait while the second set of phone calls are made to my insurance.

The second nice pharmacy girl gets off the phone and as she is walking away to her work she says over her shoulder,  
"You can't get an override on that prescription, you'll have to pay for it out-of-pocket."

Let me just say, that at this moment, my head about started to spin on my shoulders!!
I had had a previous experience where the insurance was a big pain in the tail, 
and you can read about that here.

I didn't want to repeat that whole stupid experience, 
so I chose to just go with what she said,
pay the $2.50/bag of syringes myself, 
and keep hoping that mail order shipment would
be in the mail when I got home.

(It was at this moment that I found out that my bank card was not in my purse and I had no cash on me so I had to go back home where I found the card in my husband's wallet, but that's for another time also....)

The shipment actually arrived today. 
 We were very excited because with this order 
we were to receive the pen needles which would allow us to finally
be able to start using the insulin pen.
 I will talk about that more at length in another post, 
but just know that it is something new and different 
and we've been waiting for nearly 3 months
to get this thing going.

So, this package arrives and it has everything in it we could possible need for the next 90 days.....
except the pen needles.

Let me just say that it took me a minute to regain my composure
 before I got on the phone AGAIN with these people.
The man on the other line was very nice and sympathetic, and very helpful.
He looked at his computer and asked,
 "Have you had this prescription (for the pen needles) filled before?"

"Of course not," I said, "or else I wouldn't be calling you."
(Again, no I didn't really answer that way, but I wished I could have.....I just said no.)

"Could you hold for a minute while I make a call, 
because I think I see the problem here."

So he too had to make a call to somebody I didn't care who,
 and I was put on hold for approximately 5 minutes
 before he came back with an answer for me.

He proceeds to tell me (in "Reader's Digest" format as he put it) that insurance doesn't generally
allow for two different medication delivery systems, 
and because we had received our syringes, 
they weren't going to process the pen needles.
He was very sympathetic and said he wished they wouldn't make such a broad, sweeping
policy without taking into consideration the diabetic because of the hassles
it causes those of us who have to live with it.
Of course he manually overrode this and noted it
 so we wouldn't have any further problem with it,
 and he put a one-day expedited shipment on it. 
 Of course, we won't receive it until next Tuesday or Wednesday now, 
because this all happens to us on a FRIDAY
before the Monday HOLIDAY!!

I do appreciate that our insurance provides so much for us 
(which I will go into at length in a future post also), 
and they have many, many people to handle with a myriad of illnesses.
But it's just a documented fact that diabetics who are insulin dependent just HAVE to
HAVE their supplies. 
 So why, oh why, is it not just automatically put into the systems
 to flag our cases so this kind of thing doesn't have to happen.

 Why aren't the overrides automatic?
It makes me feel like the insurance people don't trust us,
 and assume we're trying to abuse
the things they provide for us that we need to keep our CHILD ALIVE.
Why do I have to get permission to get more insulin? 
 Why do I have to get permission to get the supplies to start 
a more efficient level of care for my daughter? 
 Don't insurance companies
want to help us PREVENT life threatening emergencies that would send us
to the ER and cost THEM a ton of money??
It doesn't make makes me want to........well, you know.....
I trust can read the title of this post.

Monday, November 7, 2016

National Diabetes Awareness Month: The Cost (of the Diagnosis)

**So, this post was originally published on September 7, 2009!
And I was worried about ObamaCare THEN!!
Our costs for our daughter's supplies have changed several times in the last few years,
as my husband's insurance has changed every. single. June since 2009!
Her insulin needs have DRAMATICALLY increased 

so we have to get more insulin every month as well.
So thankful that, at this moment in time, we have good insurance through my husband's job.
I do NOT take it for granted!  So. grateful!***

When learning that our Ashlyn was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, some genuinely concerned and caring people have asked us: "How much does it cost you?"
So I thought I would share with you some concrete numbers to help raise awareness about this long-term disease, it's management, and the cost involved. Let me just say at the get-go that I am so very thankful that my husband's job provides us with really terrific health insurance. You better believe that we're concerned with all the noise coming from Washington about this new health care reform. It truly frightens me to think that we might lose the excellent care we have available to our daughter and how that good care has helped her recover so well from when she was initially diagnosed, and that in the future if she has a life threatening emergency that care might not be available as quickly as she might need. With that being said, let's talk numbers. After some weird delays, we've finally received the final bill for Ashlyn's hospital stay back in February when she was initially diagnosed. She was admitted on February 11, and we were discharged on Friday night, February 13th. The total bill for those 3 days, 2 nights: $14,202.50. Thankfully, our health insurance covered the majority of that and we will owe just $3711.51. Not exactly pocket change for us, but never-the-less, better than the first amount.

We had to take a basic Diabetic 101 (education) class a couple weeks after that which cost $775.00. Again, insurance covered the majority of that, and we had only to pay $162. There was one other class we took in June to learn the ratios which will cost us less than $20, thanks to insurance again. Have I mentioned to you how grateful I am that my husband has a job and that his job offers insurance?

Ashlyn has to have insulin every day, 4 times a day, and this requires quite a bit of medical equipment. I remember sitting in the pediatrician's office when we first were diagnosed before we rushed off to the hospital, and our pediatrician saying that this is a "very equipment heavy" disease. It really is. At times, it seems ridiculous how much stuff you have to have with you AT ALL TIMES for the "just in case." When we were discharged, we were given an entire 8 x 10" sheet of paper full of prescriptions for what she needs. We started out getting everything in one month supplies until we could get it all figured out to get the 90-day supplies for everything. The 90-day supply requires a separate prescription, and has to be sent through the mail initially. Now that we're in the system, we can just refill her prescriptions through the website and have her supplies shipped automatically to us. The 90-day supply costs a little more at the outset, but in the long-run saves you money. Here's how everything breaks down for our family:

This is a picture of our 90-day supply of Lantus Insulin, Humalog Insulin, One Touch Ultra Test
Strips (for the glucose meter not pictured here), One Touch Ultrasoft Lancets (for pricking her finger), and the Ketostix (which you use to test her urine for ketones when she's sick or has
high blood sugar readings), and the syringes.
I asked our pharmacy (Kroger...might be different at other pharmacies) for the cash price (what we would pay out-of-pocket if we had no insurance) for each of the above items:

Lantus Insulin - $117.49 (we need one a month)
Humalog Insulin - $118.89 (one a month)
Test Strips - $215.98 (for two boxes which last a month)
BD Syringes - $38.99 (for one month's supply of 150)
Lancets - $12.99 (box of 100)
Ketostix - $14.99

Thankfully, we have insurance that covers every penny of all her supplies and we pay only a co-pay for the insulins. So our total out-of-pocket expense for Ashlyn's supplies is the $50 for two bottles of insulin.

With the mail order 90-day supply it's even cheaper. We received everything in the picture above and paid nothing but the $100 for 3-months worth of insulin for the two insulins. So instead of paying $25/month per insulin, we're only paying $16.66.

Just FYI: there are some other items you need to have around too that you get without a prescription:

The red container is for safely disposing of the syringes which is less than 3 bucks at Costco, and the rest of the things are less than $10 all together. The glucose meters (we have two: one for home and one for the take-along bag) were both given to us at the hospital.

Now this puppy does actually need a prescription because we use it to save Ashlyn's life. It's our "Glucagon Kit".
You have this on hand in case of severe low blood sugar which causes seizures. You have to give this to her to keep her alive until the ambulance gets there.
Out-of-pocket: $248.49 (shelf life of a year)
Our co-pay cost: $40.00

Again, we are so thankful to have the privilege of having good insurance. It does not get by us that other folks do not have insurance at all, and have to pay these prices or need lots of help
to get their supplies. We thank the Lord for this blessing in our life.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

National Diabetes Awareness Month: The Frustrations and Fears (of the Diagnosis)

**Continuing to repost some journal entries from back in 2009 when our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.***

This last week has been one of the most troubling since
Ashlyn's diagnosis in February. [originally written in the summer of 2009}

One of the things that I knew was going to be so difficult for our family
was keeping track of all the stuff you need to care for someone
with Type 1 Diabetes.
So when we got home from the hospital, one of the first things that I did, was find a container for all the extra supplies we would want to keep on hand, as well, as something nice, for the things we would be using every day.
I call them the "Extra" supplies and the "Working" supplies.
I also put together a bag of supplies and things we needed to take every time we go out
the door in case of emergencies. In that bag, as well as the "working supplies" basket we have a glucose meter. I was so thankful that we were given two meters, because it is so much easier not to have to remember to grab the meter from the kitchen when we're trying to run out the door.
Well, the week before this last one, we lost our kitchen meter.
We've begun to slip a little in our routine somewhat, 

so the meter doesn't always get put back
into the basket as soon as we're done with it, like we used to do at first.

So we tear the house apart looking for it, and I'm getting more frantic as time goes on.
We have another one, so it's not an emergency, but I was frustrated that we would be down to one meter,

 and the one we lost had a couple important things with it that I really didn't
want to lose or have to replace.
Besides, a meter isn't teeny tiny so I couldn't figure out how we could lose something
like that.
We did eventually find it under the couch (which I had shoved back in an effort
to find it, but it was stuck to the corner leg so it didn't come out from under the first time we looked), and that was a relief to me.
THEN, on Father's Day, we lost a vial of insulin. 

 On Father's Day....Sunday.
Again, we tore the house apart and went through the trash twice.
I had to step back from this one because I thought I might lose my mind
over how we kept losing such vital things. Why does this keep happening?

I've tried so hard to be organized and get us all in a routine, and developing good habits so we WOULDN'T lose these things!!!!
As the time kept on clicking away and we weren't finding this, it began to become an emergency as Ashlyn needed to eat and have her insulin.
So I call the endocrinologist on call (remember this is a Sunday NIGHT now)
and he said he would call in a prescription to another pharmacy for us because our regular pharmacy was closed at this time.
So when I get over to the pharmacy I have to give them all the information for Ashlyn and I wait for the prescription to be filled.

Needless to say, an HOUR later I still didn't have the insulin in hand.
Our insurance wouldn't cover the new vial because I had just picked up a new one the previous Friday evening, and our prescription is for one vial a month. It was too soon to pick it up, come back on July 12th. 

So, at 9:30 pm on a Sunday night, I'm told to find numbers to our insurance to get an "emergency override" to cover a loss of medication. Do you know how difficult it is to reach a live person on a Sunday NIGHT?? I could NOT believe that there was this much red tape to cut through to get the medication that my daughter needed to stay ALIVE!!!

 I sent up a "flare prayer to the Lord to help us!!!
Fortunately, the pharmacist saw the problem and finally took matters into her own hand.
Kudos to CVS because this lady told me it was "unethical for her to let an 8-year old go without her insulin"!!

 She got somebody on the phone and played like she didn't know why the doctor called in an emergency prescription for us, but that it must be legit.
So instead of paying $109 out-of-pocket, I walked out of there at 10 pm with our insulin and only the $25 co-pay!!! Praise the Lord!!!

By Tuesday of this week, we encountered another problem we were warned about......

For the first time since her diagnosis, Ashlyn has been really, horribly sick.
She acquired "gingivostomatitis" from a younger sibling which started with a very high fever and malaise.
So I'm checking her blood sugars and her ketones every couple hours,

 and pushing the fluids.
Within a couple days, she develops the canker sores in her mouth and stops eating all together. There is NOTHING she can eat without pain.

As time goes on, I'm starting to feel a bit of panic because I'm worried about her getting enough carbs, and all the what if's involved with illness and diabetes.
So I'm on the phone, facebook, and in the pharmacy trying to find something, anything, to relieve her pain. The doctors say it's a virus and there is nothing to treat it, but I don't have much to go on in the way of comfort measures except for Tylenol and crafts that take the edge off for about 4 hours. 

 I find something called "Pink Magic Mouthwash" but notice that after a day or so of this, her teeth and tongue have black something on them. I went back to CVS yesterday and talked to another pharmacist, who was so helpful and understanding, and directed me to some mouthwash called Biotene.

Oh, the relief I felt when I saw her face light UP when she first cautiously poured this into her mouth!! It has given her some measure of relief

 though certainly hasn't minimized the problem. 
 Today, she is worse. 
 More canker sores, more pain, more aimless roaming around the house with a look of exhaustion and weariness in her eyes.
The only thing she seems to like in her mouth is 7-up. 

 So that is where her carbs are coming from for the most part. 
 She can barely tolerate popsicles, frozen go-gurt yogurt, fudge pops, applesauce, ice cream, etc. 
 Soup is okay, but not enough carbs.
I just want her pain to go away.

 She has enough to endure on a daily basis ANYWAY. 
This is about to put her and me over-the-edge. 
 We're back on the phone tomorrow with the
pediatrician and possibly the dentist (as she can't even look at a toothbrush!) to see what
they might have to offer. 

"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say on the Lord." Psalm 27: 13,14 (KJV)

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee....For I am the Lord thy God.....thy Saviour.." Isaiah 43: 2,3 (KJV)

Friday, November 4, 2016

National Diabetes Awareness Month: The Management Techniques (of the Diagnosis)

**Continuing to revisit some archived posts that I wrote when our second child was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2009.***
(Wow.  How we've changed our eating plan since then!)

This particular eating plan is very old-school and restrictive, 
but was very useful in training Ashlyn and our family in how
managing your carb intake controls blood sugars.
We eventually moved on to a carb/insulin ratio plan which taught
us the freedom of eating more of what we wanted when we wanted,
but came along with learning that with freedom comes the
necessity for discipline.
Moderation is the key!!!

Okay, so here is where the fun part comes in! Because we have several other children I was concerned how Ashlyn's dietary needs would affect them. We have the normal mealtime challenges that all families have with children, and I didn't want them exacerbated because of the things Ashlyn needs to eat. I didn't want to hear, "Why does SHE get that and I don't?" (complete with the high-pitched whine) Ashlyn also needs to have snacks 3 times per day, which I knew would be delightful to the rest of the children as that meant they would get something too. The only trick there is that Ashlyn can't have more than 15 carbs per snack. So, we've been trying out new foods and snacks that would fit in with Ashlyn's needs as a diabetic, along with keeping the rest of the family cheerful and cooperative, as well as not breaking our budget!! So here are a few things we've come up with: (Oh, and let me insert a disclaimer right here. I realize that almost all of these examples are pre-packaged, convenience type foods. But what a huge challenge to figure out the carbs in most home-made snacks. As I continue to experiment with fresh, healthier foods, I will post those things as well. But for the first time here, I wanted to show the things that travel well, and you can have on hand to grab quickly.)

Here are a few of our favorite "free" foods. A "free" food in the diabetic world is one
that has less than 5 grams of carbs in it, hence, you don't have to count those carbs. So, free. Almost all proteins are free foods, so we've learned to love cheese sticks and hard-boiled eggs. We cannot keep the sugar-free frozen popsicles in our house. Especially with temperatures in the 100+ range at our house now,

 these are GREAT snacks.
We've also had illness in the house, 
and these are a welcomed way to get fluid in them.

These delicious little rice-cake treats we discovered at our new favorite store, Costco.
There are 26 bags per box and you get either chocolate flavored
or a fabulous cinnamon swirl flavor. 

 Each bag has a nice size serving in them for just 16 carbs per bag,
so you feel satisfied with just one bag.
I take these along for snacks on our ride home from church!!

Microwave popcorn is one of the best snacks, because you get a half of a bag for 15 or so carbs. It's very satisfying, visually, because it looks like such a big snack compared to 6 saltine crackers.

Sugar-free pudding has only 8 carbs per 1/2 cup serving. Dollop on some cool whip
and you've got yourself a terrific snack or a dessert! My kids devour this stuff!

Here is a handy little tool for getting in some "dairy-like" beverage without using up a lot of carbs. I use it like a tool; we don't get it every day and it's very thick and filling.
Only 5 carbs per 8 ounce serving.

I found this delicious concoction in the Diabetes Forecast magazine.
2 slices of whole-grain toast
2 Tbs. fat-free cream cheese
A few strawberries sliced nicely
1 tsp. honey
Spread the cream cheese on top of toast. Top with strawberries and drizzle with honey.
49 grams of carbs. Fits nicely in Ashlyn's parameters for 50-55 carbs per meal. Can you say

Do you have any idea how many carbs are in pizza???
I didn't.
Well, it has LOTS!
So I found this brand of pizza at Costco which is a thin crust and has only
26 carbs for ONE-THIRD of a pizza!! ONE-THIRD!! That's a lot of pizza for a 9-year old!! Plus we have enough carbs left over to add in a veggie or fruit on the side!!