Saturday, July 31, 2010

The God Spot

I found the following information in Dr. Oz's book 'You Staying Young'.

"Research has shown that spirituality is tied in with healthy brain function. It is also closely allied to freedom from depression."

"There is a small part of the brain called the 'God Module' - nicknamed the 'God Spot'."

"We are, literally, wired for belief of some kind. Psychologists have long assumed that there must be some genetic foundation to religion, because no society in the world is without it."

I think this is interesting. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer X Games Are On!

Our middle son, Casey, introduced us to Motocross years ago. He had a dirt bike (or 2 or 3) and loved riding. More than once, he came home scratched up, bloody, and in pain, but what could we do? His passion was strong. In fact, during high school, his peers called him 'Carmichael' because he refused to wear anything but 'Ricky Carmichael' T-Shirts. Casey and his friends loved to ride in the desert and build jumps. (At least most of the time. He informed us, much later, that they once found a piece of heavy equipment with a key in it, so they decided to move dirt!)

We are glad Casey introduced the family to X Games. We love watching them with him.The night Travis Pastrana did the first double back flip was absolutely amazing! Personally, my favorite thing to watch is Step Up. It excites me to see how high the riders get their bikes in the air. Some day I hope we can take the family and watch the X Games in person!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Top Six Nicholas Sparks Novels

I love reading Nicholas Sparks novels. Never have I had a desire to see the movie's that are based on his work. Picturing the characters and settings in my own mind is something I enjoy.

Although I highly recommend reading all of his books, the following are my top six choices:

1) A Bend in the Road
2) At First Sight
3) Dear John
4) The Choice
5) True Believer
6) The Wedding

To see Nicholas' list of Recommended Reading, visit his website.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

5 Tips for Better Muffins

1) Take care not to overmix the batter. A lumpy batter will produce tender muffins.

2) Muffin pans come in different sizes; therefore, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

3) If your muffin recipe does not fill all the cups in your pan, fill the empty cups with water. The muffins will bake more evenly.

4) Unless directions say otherwise, muffins should go directly into the oven as soon as the batter is mixed.

5) Always check muffins for doneness 5-7 minutes before the end of recommended baking time to avoid overbaking. The muffins are done if a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Near Death Experience

When I was a young mom, my husband would tell me stories about wonderful times he had as a child fishing under train trussels. He told me that fish bite more in water under trussels because of vibrations from crossing trains. Having three young boys, I reluctantly agreed to take them to the Oregon coast on a fishing trip to do just that.

When we arrived, I was more than terrified. No way was I was going to take my boys, on a narrow little bridge over water, just to catch a few fish. I knew I didn't want to be under the track when a train came overhead. My husband convinced me that we'd be safe. He reasoned that the train probably travelled over once daily and the odds were slim of it coming while we were actually fishing.

I will never forget how I felt when I heard a train in the distance. Never had my husband seen me move so fast! I grabbed my three boys and carrying/dragged them off the bridge. As the train passed over, I remember being absolutely terrified and extremely angry at my husband.

To this day, my husband laughs when he thinks about that trip. I've included a You Tube video that is similar to the train trussel we were fishing from. I hope you will look at it and get an idea of what it was like for me the day my life passed before my eyes!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rethinking Our Future

Twenty-nine years ago today, Cody was born with multiple disabilities. Doctors said he wouldn't live to be two days old; then we were told he'd never make it to two weeks. Later on, we were informed that Cody wouldn't live past his teen years and due to many complications and surgery's as a tween, we believed this. Bottom line is my husband and I had been prepared to believe we would have to bury our son someday.

Now, as Cody approaches thirty, plans have shifted. We are faced with preparing a Will and trying to figure out how to fund a Special Needs Trust. There is so much more to do than Estate Planning. Guardianship must be appointed, and a Letter of Intent written to include the following : medical history,our advice on housing, services needed, daily requirements, and practical advice.

Although this is far from pleasant ,we are grateful that we've been educated on planning for our sons future. There are so many legal issues that Cody's siblings will be relieved we've taken care of if/when the time comes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Name Brand Favorites

Our family is all about saving a buck; however, sometimes it's worth paying a little bit more.
Here are a few of our favorite name brands:

Cascade dish detergent
Aqua Fresh toothpaste
Luzianne tea
Raisin Bran cereal
Coca-Cola seriously, is there anything else?!
Tide laundry detergent

Which name brands are a must in your family?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Peeing Perspectives

Girls like clean restrooms, especially when travelling.
This bathroom is in a brand new frozen yogurt building in Las Vegas. My friend insisted that I get a picture because not only was it clean, it was painted and tiled cute as well.

I am very picky about public bathrooms and could probably tell anyone where the nicest ones are along I-5 and I-15, as well many other roads. And I can for sure tell people which bathrooms are best in cities that I am familiar with.

Guys, on the other hand, seem to have no problem peeing wherever they may be. In fact, when my boys were little, they would occasionally shower with their dad. One day Chase told me, "Dad says it's okay to pee down the shower drain." I freaked! Why would men think that it's okay to pee down the drain of a tub people bathe in? I told my boys (husband included) that we don't wash in the toilet, so we certainly don't pee in the shower! Eew!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jordan Sigalet of the NHL

Don and I had the opportunity to see Jordan in person (he even sat next to me) at a Multiple Sclerosis meeting last night. His story is inspiring!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ronald McDonald House Charities

If I had money to spare and was able to donate to a single charity, it would be the Ronald McDonald House.

Our family has a very personal experience with the Ronald McDonald House in Portland, Oregon. In 1994 our oldest son was hospitalized three times within five months at the OHSU Children's Hospital. He underwent several surgeries and spent most of that time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

At that time, we lived two hours away from Portland, so driving home each night was unrealistic. The Ronald McDonald House was a wonderful blessing to us. I cannot begin to describe the comfort this much needed charity brings to families who are dealing with unexpected medical emergencies.

If you are looking to donate, I would highly suggest looking up the Ronald McDonald House in your area. You can start by going to the following link:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

6 Tips to Make Your Disneyland Vacation Even Better

1) Wear comfortable shoes. Most people wear athletic shoes. You will be on your feet for hours.

2) Pack in a water bottle. Drinks can be very expensive in the park. It has been our experience that security won't ask you to throw out a water bottle.

3) Plan ahead! Disney's website ( is a great tool. You can find maps that include restaurants and shops, along with all of the rides. It will also tell you which rides are the most appropriate for children, teens, etc.

4) Budget enough money to buy food in the park. Yes, it is expensive, but we have found that it is worth it! It will save you from having to leave the park to eat and everyone is happier when they are not hungry.

5) Use the Fast Pass System. Really, it is the only way to go!

6)  The parade is worth watching...once. If you are going to be at the park for more than one night, ride the rides during the parade. Lines are short and you can usually walk right on!

Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. Disneyland is truly the 'Happiest Place on Earth'!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Redheads Can Be Beautiful Too

Self-Esteem was something I didn't have much of growing up. I wasn't "blessed" with brown skin and dark eyelashes and eyebrows that ran in my mother's side of the family. My sister did. And believe me, I heard about it often. Family members and acquaintances alike, would make comments about my sister and her beautiful "Heyborne eyes" or her dark complexion. Usually I was right there, listening and wondering why my sister was the "lucky" one. I am sure nobody meant to be mean spirited; they didn't set out to hurt my feelings. Nonetheless, their comments stuck in my head and I dealt with this insecurity very privately for years.

 I had many friends and boyfriends, so I must not have been an "Ugly Duckling"; however, when it came time to plan my wedding, insecurities really haunted me. They say "Every Bride is Beautiful"  but I remember thinking, "Not me.  I can never be beautiful, no matter how gorgeous my wedding gown may be."

I don't know when I finally developed good self-esteem. Maybe it came with age? I do know that redheads, for the most part, are not looked down upon as they use to be. After all, plenty of women pay good money to have their hair colored (including me). I'm glad I was able to rise above this insecurity and realize that redheads can be beautiful too!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Combining Scrapbooking with Journaling

This is a fun idea for a scrapbook page, wall hanging, or whatever you can dream up.
Have a third party ask you and your significant other (separately) the following questions:

1) What attracted you to your partner?

2) What does she or he do that makes you laugh?

3) Where was your first date?

4) What has your mate said about you that surprised or flattered you?

5) Was is love at first sight or a friendship that blossomed?

6) How do you settle your differences?

7) Do you agree on the temperature in the house?

8) Who in his/her family adds the most to your relationship?

9) What holiday requires the most compromise?

10)What gift did he/she give you that meant the most?

This is just to give you a basic idea. You could also interview your parents, aunts and uncles, or grandparents. Have fun with it! There can be so much more to scrapbooking than just slapping photos onto cute paper :)

This is Why I Love Kindergarten...

One morning, about ten minutes before school began, a mother came into our Kindergarten classroom. She handed Mrs. B. a bag and said, "Belle brought home 'hand sanitizer' and rubbed it all over her hands. It does not belong to Belle; MaKelle gave it to her yesterday. I think MaKelle's parents might want it back."

Imagine our surprise when we looked inside the bag and found a bottle of K.Y. Jelly! Kids say and do some pretty funny things but this tops all. We laughed about it for weeks!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Siblings of People with Disablilities

When I think about how I raised my children, one of which has special needs, juggle and struggle are two words that come to mind. Often Cody's siblings have had to "take the back seat". I believe that this has made them better, stronger individuals. It has been heartwarming to watch how they've interacted with their brother.

Chase has always been good at being very verbal for Cody's sake. As a child, he would even make up songs or chants to the Nintendo music so Cody (blind) could enjoy the game with him.

Communication is Casey's strong point. He can understand what Cody is trying to say and get him to do things that other people cannot.

As Katelyn has gotten older and started dating, she has been fun to watch. If her dates do not acknowledge Cody, she will certainly give them a piece of her mind.

All in all, our family has done pretty well considering what we have been given. I don't think that Cody could have asked for better siblings. I hope that all of my children look back at their upbringing and have happy memories. I know I certainly do!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Wizard of Freakin' Oz

In the 1970's, when I was a child, there were movies that would only come on television once a year; 'The Wizard of Oz' being one of them. Terrified does not begin to describe how I felt every time the Wicked Witch of the West came on the screen. My younger sister and I would be so afraid, that she would sit on my mother's lap and I would be right beside them. And, might I add, the little evil, flying monkeys DID NOT help!

Between The Wizard of Oz and H.R. Pufnstuf ,a '70's television program that I actually LOVED, I had re-occurring dreams that my sister and I were locked in a witch's cave. We were always waiting for someone in the family to come and rescue us from the evil witch.

To this day, I can not enjoy that movie! The witch doesn't scare me anymore, but she certainly gives me a sick feeling in my gut.

I never did let my children watch 'The Wizard of Oz' because I wanted to save them from "trauma". Eventually they all had a chance to see the movie at Grandma's house (go figure). They laughed and said "It's not a scary movie mom". Regardless, I still think I did the right thing by depriving them of watching the evil movie when they were really young. After all, when my daughter was little, she wouldn't watch the Disney movie 'Snow White' because of the "scary witch" and to this day my 26 year old son has a fear that E.T is going to be in his closet!   :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Dog Poop Initiative

My daughter attended a youth leadership conference last summer and this book was given to each student.

It is written by Kirk Weisler and deals with "The #1 problem in your Organization, Team or  Family".

Check it out!
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