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Totally Awesome Toddler Food Fun

I may or may not have an obsession.  It depends who you ask.  I kind of have a crazy love for cute, but practical, food accessories.  Actually- it’s not a “kind of” love- but a head over heels, total junky needs to go to rehab love (if you ask my hubby anyway).

I love bentos.  I have for a few years- like before Asa turned one because it wasn’t huge in the USA yet and I was looking everywhere to find adorable food picks and rice molds.  In particular, I love C-U-T-E bentos. A great Americanized version is Muffin Tin Meals– and yeah, I sort of make these too.  The best part?  I know that when making/packing lunch for my men, you should have 5 or more colors in the lunch.  Then you know they are probably getting a well balanced meal.  All the different compartments offer the opportunity to serve a multi-colored lunch!

I love adorable foods that look like bugs, animals, or shapes.  It makes my heart go aflutter.  Here’s another one. 

I love sandwich cutters.  Their adorable shapes…I can’t get enough of them.  Asa loves them!  He likes to choose his shape and cut it out himself.  Honestly, these are the fastest way to make a lunch cute.  Lunch Punch’s are amazing, but you can find other sandwich cutters and places like the Dollar Tree or Babies-R-Us.  You can find seriously awesome (if you are a geek like me anyway) Star Wars Sandwich cutters at Williams Sonoma.  Cookie cutters also fall in this category and may have become a dangerous indulgence.

I love the Sili Squeeze.  Yeah, you know you want one.  They are THAT cool (and earth friendly!)  Honestly, I don’t know why they haven’t blown up yet, but I’m sure they will soon enough. What is a Sili Squeeze you ask? Excellent question!  You know these bad boys?  Well, it is a reusable one.  Yeah…Sick…I know.  It is a spill proof, no leaks when the kiddos squeeze like crazy, awesomely easy to clean, reusable puree pouch. But it can be used for so much more then that!  You can put smoothies, yogurt or any other kind of thick liquid in it.

I love the Planet Box.  I have never loved a lunch box more.  It makes packing, cleaning and eating so incredibly easy.  There are not a lot of items I advocate buying for the full retail price, but this one makes the cut.  It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Seriously, if you have kids like 10 and under, you should buy one for them.  We have had Asa’s for over a year and it is still in great condition.

I wasn’t paid to tell you about these things and sadly, no one gave them to me.  It’s just my honest opinion on how I love to serve my boy (Mason’s not quite old enough for this stuff yet) lunch.

How do you love to serve lunch for your kiddos?

Monogamy (Monopoly) Bridal Shower

This is perhaps one of the most unconventional bridal showers I have ever done. A darling friend of mine (Kristen) was getting married and I knew I wanted to throw her shower with another friend (hi Stephie!).  So we sat down and brainstormed a ton of ideas about what we wanted to do for her shower. Kristen loves books and reading.  In fact, she loves them so much, that her wedding centerpieces were books and seating cards were bookmarks (so cute!)  Our original plan for the shower was to do a total library theme with books and pages from books turned into awesome DIY items- but we didn’t want to take away from the wedding stuff-soooooo we decided to find out a little more…I started asking what her favorite books were, from childhood and into adulthood.  What her favorite game was growing up- Monopoly- apparently those native New Yorkers are very competitive about Monopoly :)- and we went from there. Without further ado: Monogamy (for better not for worse ;)).

We used our totally rad projector to put the design on the backdrop and my totally awesome hubby painted it (though he did community chest and the ring freehand- man’s got mad skills!). Below are some photo collages of the food, drinks and decorations.  Stephanie Camp is a rock star and pretty much completely created this party (it was our brain child but she put it together because I was recovering from this).  She did the photoshop stuff and came up with the fun food ideas and using, “Water Works” for the drinks.  So stinking cute- I know! She also organized the ladies and made the food possible for Miss Kristen (or should I say Mrs. since she’s married now? Hmmm.)  We had water, grapefruit mimosas, tea and coffee to drink.

We used my trusty Silhouette SD to cut out everything for the board game.  Steph and some other friends helped adhere it all onto poster board. It was B-O-M-B. For the table, we created a piece of a Monopoly board but changed the names to Kristen’s favorite books.  So we had The Velveteen Rabbit from her childhood, Harry Potter from her adulthood, and other books that were memorable to her.

As for the game pieces, we kept with the book theme by using glasses, a library card, Harry Potter books bundled, a Kindle (for the new generation of readers), and a coffee mug (who doesn’t love drinking coffee when reading?!)

For the food we served bagels, french toast, bacon (it is a major food group you know), cookies with Scott and Kristen’s name and wedding date, as well as some other yummy and delicious foods.

Vendor Credits: Cookies- P.S. I love you cakes

My Cochlear Story Part 3

On November 16, 2011, I went in for surgery.  It was really nerve racking.  We had prayed for and had been anticipating this day for some time.

My surgery was scheduled for 1:00pm (at least the check in was) and I had been fasting since midnight.  We didn’t get sent down to the pre-op room until 2:30pm and by that time I was pretty grouchy (hey-I missed lunch!)  It was another 2 1/2 hours before I was sent in for the surgery.  Yup.  It was a long afternoon.

Pre-op:  We hung out in our mini cubicle and played scrabble, took a nap, prayed and read while waiting for the doctor (he was 1 1/2 patients behind).

The anesthiologist gave me some kind of “relaxer” before they wheeled me in (I was a little loopy from it), they moved me onto the surgery table and that’s the last thing I remember until waking up in recovery.

We waited around in recovery for a few hours and I could barely stay awake.  I was in and out of it. I remember the nurse having Greg talk to me to try to get me to wake up.  They offered to let me stay overnight but I just wanted to get home.  It had been a long day. (It was past 10:00pm by that time)  We changed me from my gown, got in a wheelchair (quite the feat when your world is spinning) and got me into the car.  At one point I remember being really cold and the nurse gave me heated blankets (I love those things!).

This is me on the car ride home.  Can you see the drug induced stupor?


We got home and had a rough night. I had to sleep sitting up somewhat, Greg had to get up with me when I needed to go to the bathroom (I couldn’t walk by myself), and I needed pain killers because, well, the pain was killer.

I spent the next 4 days lying in my bed (at times sitting up) completely miserable.  I still believed I was supposed to have the surgery, I just hadn’t expected it to be such a painful recovery.  I hated that I couldn’t pick up Asa or Mason.  I hated that I couldn’t bend over.  But I believed God had brought me to this point and it was what I was supposed to do.

This was my first attempt at trying to take a picture of myself for a Facebook update, but I couldn’t focus so I had the funky eye issue.  Awesome right?

Here’s the one that actually made it on my Facebook page-






Photoshopped picture from my friend Dave Ortega "To usher in the strength of the original karate kid, may this adjusted pic bring you resilience."

















Special thanks to all of the women who helped make this surgery possible!  Since I was unable to do anything, we needed a lot of help.  You know who you are and know that God used you all to bless us incredibly!  Many thanks as well for all the prayers and well wishes!  They were felt! (and I didn’t die in surgery so that’s a good sign! 🙂

Since I didn’t expect this part of my story to take so long, I am going to do one more post (that will go up sometime next week) with updates on the activation and where we are at now.  Thanks for joining me on this journey!


My Cochlear Story: Part 2

Dr. Wayne Grudem

(…yup!  He’s wearing my microphone!)

Back in April I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Wayne Grudem speak on the Gifts of the Spirit.  While he was speaking, I was struck by a comment he made.  He said, “Many people will seek medical healing, but they won’t seek spiritual.”  As my husband and I were driving home, I realized that I had been doing the opposite.  The Spirit revealed to me that I had completely written off medical healing because of the two previous attempts.

The next day, my husband was giving Dr. Grudem my FM System (an assistive listening device) and Dr. Grudem asked if he could pray for me at the end of the day.  My husband asked me if that would be okay, and I said yes (I mean, who wouldn’t want Wayne Grudem to pray for them? 🙂 )  After the teaching, we went up and he asked if he could lay hands on me, and then he prayed.  Then we waited.  He asked if I felt anything.  At the time I didn’t, and he said, “hmmm…that’s strange, I felt power go out.”

What I realized as we were driving home, was that I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to try for the Cochlear Implant again while he had been praying.  At the time, I was pregnant with our second son.  I told my husband that I felt like I was supposed to try again.  What I realized (and the Spirit revealed) was that after having our baby, I would have met my deductible and my out of pocket for the year.  If I qualified for the implant, it would cost nothing.

I called and made an appointment to be evaluated.

In July I went in and had the testing done.  I didn’t qualify by the conventional route.  My scores were too high.  My audiologist let me know about a possibility of the Dr. making an exception.  She said it was a, “maybe”. So we prayed, and we waited.  She told us it could be two weeks or the next day.

We got word the next afternoon.  The Dr. agreed to do the surgery!  Praise Jesus!  I may or may not have lost it…

I set up an appointment with the Dr. and met again with the audiologist.  She let me know that he might have me take a new CAT scan, but to take my films (from the previous try that I had been told by my last Dr. to keep) and get the meningitis vaccine.

I did both.  I went in September 15 and waited 3 hours to see the Dr. for a total of about 10 minutes. On one hand I had a slight fear he would change his mind.  On the other I believed this was the avenue God wanted me to seek healing and would pave the way as He already had.   The Dr. looked at my films, asked if I wanted surgery (I said I did!), and he answered a few questions I had.  We went to the reception desk and scheduled surgery pending insurance approval.

A few weeks later I called to see if we were approved and was told that my insurance didn’t require prior authorization for this surgery.  One further confirmation from the Lord that we were supposed to do this!

Tomorrow the conclusion!

My Cochlear Story: Part 1

I’ve had a hearing loss most of my life.  When I was one I had spinal meningitis and as a result of that (or the antibiotics) I lost half of the hearing in my left ear and some in my right.  When I was a freshman in high school, I was riding the bus to school and lost all of it in my right ear.  The doctors couldn’t explain what happened, so we tried different things to see if it would come back and nothing worked.  At the time, my parents had me tested to see if I would be a candidate for a Cochlear Implant.  I was not.

By God’s grace alone I made it through high school, college and beyond with a hearing aid, FM system, and a lot of struggles and triumphs in regard to my hearing loss.

About 4 years ago I decided that I wanted to try again, and see if I was a candidate for a Cochlear Implant.  I wasn’t.  My speech recognition scores were too high.  I was crushed.  But God is good.  I still had some hearing in my left ear, medical instruments that weren’t around even 50 years ago, and family and friends that were willing to repeat things as needed.

After the 2nd attempt at getting an implant failed, I figured God was closing the door and I wasn’t supposed to seek medical healing for my hearing loss.  About a year ago, I began to feel convicted that I wasn’t seeking physical healing from The One who can give it.  At first I resisted, but Jesus still pursued me.  I went down and asked for prayer from my Pastors.  They anointed me with oil and prayed for healing.  Nothing seemed to happen.  I went down another Sunday and still nothing.  I began to wonder if I had heard the Spirit right or not.

So I waited…

Aahhh!!! I was featured at Spaceships and Laser beams!!!

Ummm….so if you couldn’t tell from my title, I’m a little bit excited! I submitted a party I did to one very awesome site called, “Spaceships and Laser beams“.  They specialize in creating super awesome and creative boys parties.  Well…they featured my party!  It went up today and you can see it here.  So excited!!!