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Sunday, November 29, 2009

How Do You Say Thank You?

Words just don't seem enough to thank the family that has been caring for my granddaughter for most of her first year of life. They have also extended kindness to Autumn's mother, my daughter. At times maybe even more than she deserved.

They have kept us feeling involved by emailing pictures and updates often. They have gone as far as sending Austin birthday gifts "from Autumn." They have gone above and beyond what should be expected from any foster family, then as if that wasn't enough they out did themselves by bringing her here to spend a holiday with us giving me five of the best days I can remember in a long, long time.

I don't know if I ever can express my deepest thanks for all they have done, a simple "Thank You" hardly seems enough.

Getting to Know Autumn

I am SO grateful for these five days of getting to know Autumn. We had five days to make up for a year of missing her! We all wanted time with her, and when it was time for her to leave none of us wanted her to go. She is such a happy baby full of smiles and the BIGGEST dimples I've ever seen.

Brother and Sister

I am SO grateful for this week that Autumn and Austin got to spend together. The last time they were together Autumn was only two weeks old. As far fetched as it may seem, there really did seem to be some sort of recognition, like they KNEW they were brother and sister. The first thing Austin said to Autumn, after touching her cheek was "Hi Beautiful!" Priceless!

Austin is Three!

Austin also celebrated a birthday this week. He was being a bit camera shy the night of the party with our guests, then last night when we had cake and gifts with just us, I for some inexcusable reason, forgot to take pictures! Here are a few taken one of the days Autumn was here. You can see what a handsome young guys he's turning out to be!

He got the red curls buzzed off a week or so ago, because I got tired of washing out the jelly and yogurt he keeps insisting on rubbing in his hair. He's still a cutie though, although now he looks more like a little boy than a baby.

This is such a fun age, I wish we could just keep him like this forever! So full of life and love, with lots of daily hugs and kisses! He's a very good boy, I couldn't imagine life without him.

Autumn is One!

Just a couple of days before our visit, Autumn turned one! It hardly seems possible as until this past week, the last time I held her she was barely five pounds and so teeny.

Here is a photo of her in her Birthday dress!

She enjoyed her cupcake briefly, followed by an example of what happens when you take a cupcake away from a baby! I have been told it's worse than taking candy from a baby!

Five Days of Heaven

Last Sunday my granddaughter arrived from out of state with the foster family who cares for her. They stayed for Thanksgiving, and left Friday afternoon. It was five of the best days I've had in a long time!

Those of you readers who aren't family are just going to have to deal with a few indulgent posts full of pictures as it was a busy week with FOUR birthdays celebrated, two families who were virtually strangers aside from emails getting to know each other, and a brother and sister bonding for the first time.

I have to say here that I just can't believe this even happened, but am So glad it did! I surely had alot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. This whole event is an example of foster parenting done right and shows how families can work together in the best interest of the child rather than fighting over each's own selfish desires.

This family drove from out of state with their own child and our grandchild, just so we can visit and my grandchildren can get to know each other, which is going to be very important no matter what happens down the road with this case.

It has been my prayer and desire that my daughter do what she needs to in order to regain custody, but if that is not able to happen, I have to say after this visit and getting to know the family who has been raising my grandchild, I am 100 % comfortable and in favor of them adopting. My selfish side wants her all to myself, but my practical side, and the side that unselfishly loves her, knows she is happy where she is at and very well loved and to remove her from that would not be in her best interest.

When I first found out my grandchild would be placed in a foster home rather than coming here right away upon being removed from my daughters care I was pretty outraged to say the least, and a bit terrified afraid of the unknown. I really hope and pray that all foster parents caring for children that aren't their own, whether just temporarily or in hopes of adopting are as great as these parents have been. I highly doubt it, but with all the children in desperate need of care I sure hope so. I also hope that more families interested in adoption consider adopting from the foster care system here in America. I know it is easier(and LOTS more expensive!) to adopt out of country, but there are so many needy children here in the U.S. and through the foster care system it is very low cost(like free other than initial expenses for licensing with some agencies) and there are babies available as well as older waiting children.

Okay, LOTS of posts with pictures to follow!

Friday, November 13, 2009

P90X Round 2

I have shared on here numerous times about P90X. I really enjoy this program. It is very complete, covering all body parts, a sound nutrition program, support through the Beachbody website and more.

This program has changed me in many ways besides the obvious physical changes. I have always struggled with body image issues, even when quite thin. I far too often have literally starved my body trying to lose weight without even realizing it. What I have learned through this program, has helped me gain a much more positive body image, and a much, much more healthy way of eating. I now keep track of what I eat, not to make sure I am not over eating but to be sure I am eating enough!

While I love the physical changes taking place in my body(for some reason, the changes really started happening rapidly, in round two, after already completing the first 90 days) but even more important, I LOVE the fact that I can now do pull ups and a rather impressive amount of push-ups, on my toes! I can even do one-handed push-ups!

Thanks to this program, I am now more concerned about having a strong healthy body and making sure I eat enough to maintain and gain that, than I am about being super model thin, which in case you didn't know is NOT healthy by any means.

I am just so excited about these changes and how much they have changed my overall outlook on life, that I want to share it with everybody and help others achieve their goals. So, yesterday I signed up as a Beachbody Coach. I in the past have avoided similar work at home or MLM programs, but I feel so strongly about the Beachbody programs, that I really do just want to help others in making and achieving goals for themselves, especially moms. Moms always put everyone else first, often at the expense of ignoring their own needs. The best gift you can give your children is a healthy role model who will be able to keep up with their children's active lifestyles. So, while I am happy to help anyone, male or female interested in becoming the best they can be, I have a special interest in moms with young children.

Beachbody has products for everyone regardless of fitness level. There are kickboxing style workouts, Yoga, Hip-Hop style workouts and more. There truly is something for everybody. I plan on trying each and every program myself over the next several months and I will review each here just as I have P90X and other non-Beachbody products in the past.

If you would like to see what Beachbody has to offer and would like me to help you, please visit my WEBSITE, or click on the link below:

Friday, November 6, 2009

People of Walmart

For those of you are not yet familiar with THIS site, I highly recommend you go check it out. It is always good for an old fashioned belly laugh. I will admit, some of the photos and comments are what some may consider inappropriate, but over all it is just alot of good fun. After first visiting and spending a good hour or so looking at ALL of the past photos, I now scan it once a day or so for the newest ones.

If you go check it out, do spend some time going over all the past posts, as many of the older ones are even more fun the the most recent.

Warning: This site IS addictive!! Enter at your own risk!

Appropriate?? I think NOT!!

As most everyone must be aware by now, yesterday a horrific act of violence took place at Fort Hood. I know many of us watched the news as this event was unfolding with a wild array of feelings taking place; anger, fear, sadness, disbelief and more. There just aren't words to describe what was going through the minds of most Americans. To think that this could happen not only on American soil, but at a military base is just too much to believe.

As the events were unfolding, I know I was waiting anxiously for the presidents reaction.

This is NOT what I expected from our President: LINK for those who can't view here.

How long after thanking everyone in the room and making shout outs did it take this man, our president to even acknowledge the tragedy that took place? Two, three minutes?

How do you suppose the families of the victims felt waiting for reassurance from their president only to hear three or so minutes of this completely inappropriate nonsense?? I for one am appalled and terribly offended and outraged to say the least.

What Americans needed was reassurance, maybe even to see that he was as upset as we all were, some genuine concern perhaps, but this????

If anyone had any doubts about this mans priorities, this should help clear things up. His priorities clearly are NOT the brave men and women who are fighting for our freedoms, and in many cases laying down their lives for those freedoms, even here on our own soil.

Any shred of respect I had left for this man, went out the window yesterday. Not much he could do at this point could earn it back or make up to all of America his lack of sensitivity, but I would like to at least see him try. Maybe acknowledge he made a mistake, an apology, something???

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Clara's Kitchen

I fell in love with Clara awhile back via Youtube. She is the unlikely star of a series of Great Depression Cooking videos. I have tried a few of her recipes from those Youtube videos and enjoyed them. When I found out she had a cookbook coming out, I signed up for a pre-order. I wanted to be among the first to get a copy!

It arrived on my anniversary, what a great surprise! I immediately opened it anxious to scan the recipes, and was pleased to find lots of tales of Clara's growing up during the Great Depression. These stories alone make the price of the book well worth it! Even without the recipes this book would be a great read. To be honest I think I enjoy this glimpse into the past even more than the recipes.

Listening to Clara tell her stories really gives you a different perspective on life today. People back then were content with what they had. They made their things last rather than throw them out like we do today. Even pet raising was far different than today. Back then, pets were loved and enjoyed, but they were fed table scraps not gourmet food like today. Now, I am one all for taking the best physical care of our pets as we can, but really...when you think about it, we do go overboard these days. Pets today have their own wardrobes and stores dedicated to just them. I know for me personally, when we started watching our budget and were eating rice and beans, I was still feeding my pets that gourmet food and realized something was out of balance!! Seriously! My dogs were eating better than we were! My beloved pets still eat well, but we now buy our food at Walmart, not the pet store.

Luckily, while the stories are great, this book IS a cook book and includes several recipes! I plan on trying several this week. Many if not most include pasta, which is fine by me! Even better, the majority are vegetarian friendly! While I do occasionally consume some poultry, I prefer vegetarian dishes and this little book is full of those! Meat lovers rest assured, there are still plenty of recipes with meat to keep you satisfied.

I HIGHLY recommend this book for both the recipes and mostly the stories. Clara makes me miss my own Grandmother even more than I already do. Those of you who still have your grandmothers around would be wise to sit and let her spin you a story or two. You just might learn something. If like me, you no longer have your grandmother with you, buy this book, it's the next best thing!

To learn more about Clara, check out her website and blog HERE. You can also purchase the book through AMAZON.

Halloween Happenings

We had a great time with the kids and friends yesterday for Halloween. We had a Monkey;

An Angel with the Flaming Sword(you know, the one who guarded the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were given the boot)

And a very frightening Vampire;

The foster mom sent a picture of our granddaughter all dressed up as well;

We went to a nearby little mountain village for some trick or treating with three other families. We love going there as the whole town goes all out for the children with games, costume parade and the best trick or treating for miles around.

All the merchants get dressed up and hand out candy(and lots of it!) I think people must come from all around for the event as there were crowds that resembled those at a place like Disneyland! Not only were the children dressed up in costume, but adults and even dogs!

Austin was quite quick to catch on to the whole "trick or treat" deal. At first he wouldn't say it, until he realized it resulted in his favorite thing: CANDY. After that he was acting like a pro and only too anxious to say those magical words!

Afterwards we all came back for pumpkin cake and coffee and a nice visit while the kids traded candy and rough housed with all of that sugar rush energy they had acquired throughout the evening.

While I hate the cold weather this season brings, I do look forward to the holidays this year, guaranteed to be fun with Austin now that he is much more aware of it all. Toddlers make everything more fun!