Pages

My Favorite Weight Watchers Recipe Sites

Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Adoption Story --- Part 7

In case you missed anything:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt called our caseworker – he yelled at him. I talked to the caseworker – this is where I lost total respect for him – he told me that this baby was going to break us. He said we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into….. Uh yeah we did! What is the difference between this and if I would have delivered Micayla? – she was ours!! Why didn’t people get this? WE WANTED HER NO MATTER WHAT!!!

We then talked to Susan’s caseworker. She told us that we had to put it in writing and sign that we were taking full financial responsibility for Micayla’s care and that we knew that she might die. We went home, wrote, signed and called our insurance company to get proof that they would put her on our insurance. We went to the agency and presented it to both caseworkers. This is when we found out that Susan had wanted to sign the papers on Wednesday but our caseworker wouldn’t let her because he didn’t know if we could afford Micayla….. I am sure to some that might seem reasonable but to us it was crazy!!! Because Micayla’s outcome was so unknown – Susan’s caseworker had us work out a visitation plan for Susan and her mom.

On Friday morning, Susan was allowed to sign the papers. After she left the Agency they called us and we went in to sign papers and pay the remainder of our fee. Because of the medical bills the agency director substantially lowered the fee that we had to pay.

Friday afternoon – placement papers in had, we went to the hospital. It had been 48 hours since we had seen Micayla or heard anything about how she was doing or what they were planning. First we had to talk to the social worker and then we finally got to go and see our sweet beautiful baby girl. We were officially her parents.

When we got to Micayla’s bedside we asked to speak with the doctor. We wanted details, details, details. Since it had been 2 days since we had seen her or heard anything we wanted to know what they had been doing and what they were planning on doing. One of the Residents came and talked to us. She told us that they had completed the necessary tests that day and that she would be having open heart surgery on Monday. Oh my gosh! Can you imagine? Open heart surgery on a 9 day old baby.

That night our parents came again to see Micayla. My mom and I were at her side when she stopped breathing. They had to keep waking her up to get her to breathe. When they had done the MRI earlier that day they had to intubate her and sedate her. She was just having a hard time breathing on her own after that. They intubated her again that night. I was afraid to see her with the tube down her throat. Matt went and saw her first so he could prepare for what was going on. It actually didn’t look to bad – not like how they make it look on TV, plus tiny mouth = tiny tube.

Saturday we spent all day with her. I got to change her diapers and sing to her. They had to give her a medication to keep her “PDA” open. The PDA is the part of the heart that bypasses the lungs when the baby is in the womb then it closes soon after the baby is born. Her’s needed to stay open to help her blood flow and have oxygen. The medication they told us makes you feel achy all over – they likened it to the feeling of a sunburn and how it hurts to have anything rub against the skin. It was so hard to not rub her soft skin. She was still intubated and they planned on keeping her that way until sometime after heart surgery, her body needed the rest.

Saturday we met with the Cardiologist. He explained in pretty good detail the defects in her heart. She had an ASD (hole between the two atriums), a VSD (hole between the two ventricles), her aorta (the main vessel that transports blood to the lower half of the body) was interrupted (basically not attached at a point up near her neck), the Aorta came out of her heart and went right instead of left, and they needed to close the PDA. He told us her chance of survival was 60-80% --those are good odds right? But not when you consider that there is a 20-40% chance of death.

Sunday we had several family members and friends visit. Matt and I took turns escorting them back to meet our sweet girl. It was an emotional day, how do you prepare for what is coming? Matt and talked a few weeks later about the fact that we were both in our minds planning her funeral – we didn’t talk about out loud.

We met with the Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon - he was the actual doc doing the surgery. He was very serious - which is good. He spoke quietly. We were very impressed with him. Come to find out later that he like the HEAD of the department -- the best of the best!!

My dad brought their trailer down and parked it in an area of the parking lot set aside for RV’s. This became my home away from home for a while.

Sunday night the nurses and respiratory therapist decided that I should get to hold Micayla before her surgery. This was a daunting task for them. It took them about 45 minutes to get her ready and the whole time I held her the RT was right there just in case there was a problem. We later found out that they had done this because none of the nurses thought she was going to live. They wanted me to be able to hold her before she died.

We kissed her goodnight and went home knowing that we would be back early in the morning to see her off to surgery.

To be continued....................


Adoption Story --- Part 6

In case you missed anything:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They only allowed us to stay for about 20 minutes. There were a couple of doctors and nurses working on her. They were getting her settled, doing lab work and monitoring her breathing. This was very overwhelming.

Before we left the hospital we planned what time to meet there again on Tuesday morning. Everything was so up in the air and we wanted to be there to hear what the plan would be for Micayla’s care. We gave Susan our home and both cell phone numbers because even though she had made sure to give the hospital permission to talk to us about Micayla although if they had any questions or needed approval for anything they would have to call her. This was hard for her. She wanted us to Micayla’s parents but until a few things were ironed out the Agency would not allow her to relinquish her rights.

We got home at about midnight. We were met at home by our parents. We filled them in as best we could. Then there was another sleepless night. No phone calls.

The next morning we met Susan and her mom at about 10am at Primary Children’s. My mom came with us. That was a long day. We had to meet with a social worker so that we could try to work out the situational details. We traded off spending time with Micayla and Susan at the bedside. We waited for someone to tell us more…. With all the tests and such that they were doing there was really nothing they could tell us.

Susan was tired. It was hard to put ourselves in her shoes. She had given birth to a sweet little baby that she wanted us to raise. There were issues involving the agency that at this point we were not even aware of. Susan wanted to go home to take care of her boys, for some reason at this point I didn’t even see that --- I am sure we were selfish, we wanted to be with our baby.

That evening her family came to visit the hospital. This was hard for them too. I know they were there to support her but they didn’t want to get attached to Micayla. We spent a lot of time with her family. We talked, they talked. This was definitely an open adoption. Matt’s parents and my dad also came that night. Again we got permission to break the rules a little bit, Matt and his dad gave Micayla a blessing.

On Wednesday morning we met again. This time Susan’s dad and sister came with her. We spent time with Micayla and we also met at length with someone from genetics. They talked to us in depth about VCFS it was at this time that we found out that in addition to VCFS Susan’s son had another disorder that was more of the cause of his major disabilities. They had checked Micayla’s brain and found no evidence of the other disorder. Is it bad for me to say that that was a relief?

Then early in the afternoon Susan’s caseworker came. She basically laid it out for us – Susan was tired she needed to go home. She was signing the relinquishment papers that afternoon.

We went home. Somewhere along the way something got lost in translation, no one from the Agency called us. We thought everything was done. So on Thursday morning Matt and I went to the hospital. We were not allowed in the NICU the case worker came out and told us that Susan hadn’t signed the papers. She told us that she couldn't tell us anything other than we needed to talk to our caseworker. We had to leave the hospital – all we knew that day was that Micayla was still alive.

To be continued.........................................

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Adoption Story --- Part 5

In case you missed anything:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As you can imagine the next few days were full of excitement and anxiety. We did our best to busy ourselves and try and rest up before the baby came home. Thanksgiving was full of well wishes from family members. Although I have one person in my family, when I was talking to her about the baby and the possible health issues she asked, “If she is sick are you obligated to keep her?” What the HELL? I wanted to say, “You kept your kids didn’t you.” We were sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was ours.

Saturday November 30, 2002 was one the longest days ever. Matt had to work. I spent the day cleaning and making sure all of the laundry was caught up, I didn’t dare leave my house. At just before 7pm the phone rang. It was our caseworker. Micayla was born at 6:19 pm. She was 6 lbs 4 oz and 19 inches long. Everything went well and she appeared to be healthy. Yeah!!! Micayla was here and in just a couple of days we would have her home with us!

Sunday was an exciting day to go to church. We were able to tell our friends about the baby and share our excitement. Matt and I both bore our Testimonies in Sacrament Meeting. After church we went home for dinner and starting watching a couple of movies we had rented. Then the phone call came. It was our caseworker. He told us that the baby had been moved to the ICU. She was having a problem swallowing, she couldn’t keep anything down. He also said that she had a heart murmur. He told us not to plan on bringing her home on Tuesday. He promised that they would keep us posted on what was going on. I fell apart. We went to Matt’s parent’s house. His sister and her husband were there. We knelt together in their living room and Matt’s dad offered a family prayer on Micayla’s behalf. It was a sleepless night.

The next day was Matt’s last shift at work before he would have almost 3 weeks off, planning to be home with the baby. I stayed close to the phone expecting a phone call at anytime, praying for the best. At 5 pm Susan’s case worker called me. She told that Micayla’s condition was very serious. She had major heart problems. She was going to be transferred to Primary Children’s Medical Center at 7 pm. The doctor at LDS hospital wanted to talk to us before they transferred her. Robin told me to get to LDS hospital with Matt as soon as possible. Matt got permission to leave work and we got there at about 6 pm. When we walked in Robin told us that they had already flown her. She told us that Susan wanted us to come up to her room, she was about to be discharged and she wanted us to go with her to Primary Children’s to see Micayla. On the way up in the elevator Robin told us that this was now an open adoption. We would now know Susan’s last name and she would know ours. That was a bit freaky to us, but it was truly the only way the next few days would be bearable. When we got up to her room we were thrown another curve ball….. My aunt was her nurse.

We chatted with Susan and her mom for a while and they gave us tons of gifts for Micayla. Lots of clothes that people had brought and an afghan that someone had made. My sweet aunt came in with the discharge papers and we left one hospital for the other.

We made our way through the maze of streets in Salt Lake. When we got to the hospital Matt and I had to wait in the NICU waiting room while Susan, her mom and caseworker went to work out the logistics of how this all was going to work. You see the NICU rules are such that only family can visit the baby and until Susan signed the adoption papers we were just friends of the family. Only 2 people could be at the bedside at a time and one of them had to a parent, grandparents were also allowed to visit. After a little while they came to get us so that we could talk to one of the doctors – we still didn’t really know what was going on.

The doctor sat with us and explained 4 heart defects that they thought that she had. Thankfully Matt understood a lot more of this than I did. I just wanted to see her. I just wanted to hold her. After the meeting with the doctor they bent the rules for a few minutes and they let 3 of us visit the bedside, Susan, Matt and me.

She was beautiful!! Soft porcelain skin. Pale. Full of wires.

This is her transport bed.

Our first family photo.

To be continued.........................................

Enter this contest today!!

Go over to Veggie Mom and and enter her contest today!! Looks good!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another Contest at SITS --AND BLOG AWARDS!!!

There is another new contest at The Secret is in the Sauce!! Look at this cute bag!! Go leave a comment and join SITS!!! Tell them that Kaysville Momma sent you!!!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I also received my first blog award!! Yeah thank you Nicole!! "I gladly accept this award. I want to thank my family and friends for all of their support. I want to thank my agent Jerry McGuire, my back up band Aerosmith for always being there to...." Oh wait that's my speech for another award. OK anyway, thank you Nicole.


OK, here are the rules and remember if you already have the award just accept and that's all you have to do.

1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award.

4. The award winner and one who has given the prize have to show the link "Arte y Pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. Show these rules.

Here is the list of blogs that I want to award, this is in totally random order:

ABCMurrah Family -- Chantel is awesome! She's a great mom, a good friend (yes I do really know her), a great shopper, and if you want some good vinyl work done she's you girl!!

Missy -- This is blog I just recently found and she is great. Her blog is so cute!!

Real Mom Kitchen --- There are some GREAT recipes here. Laura is also a fellow Penny Pincher!!

Ravings of a Mad Housewife -- I found her through SITS and she has a great "How I met my husband" story!! She keeps me on the edge of my seat. Yes I do love a great romance!

Mindless Junque -- Another great story teller!!! Read her story about meeting her husband and things that make her want to bite her toes!!!

Alright there's my five ---

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is another GREAT GIVEAWAY!!!! Hurry and enter!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Adoption Story --- Part 4

In case you missed anything:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“What did you just say?” Tears filled my eyes. He told me that we should expect to get the actual announcement letter/package from Susan this week. Oh my gosh!! My next question, “Can I use your phone?” I had to call Matt. “Oh please oh please let him be at the station and not out on a call.” Trying to contain my tears of joy and the sounds crying I told Matt that he was going to be a daddy. He told that I needed to come to the fire station so we could be together. I went and told our caseworker that I needed to leave. He was surprised that I was still there. Without saying goodbye to anyone else I left the party and drove (probably a little to fast) to the fire station.

That night we made some phone calls to share our good news with our family and close friends. Then we anxiously waited until Friday when we received a call that we had a package at the agency. Matt was again at work but my mom was back in town, we were out shopping and quickly went to the agency where I was given a box. I opened the box and found some baby shoes, a pink bear, a rattle, and a beautiful card announcing that our baby was due in about 10 weeks. There was also something in there that I never expected to have – ultrasound pictures of my baby.

We talked and talked about what to name her. Of course all girls have names picked out for their kids long before they ever have them. But non of the names seemed right. The caseworker told us that Susan had been calling the baby Micayla (although we don't know how she was spelling it) that name just seemed so right!

The next week we had our first of two face-to-face meetings with Susan and her parents. Oh my gosh! I have never so nervous before in my life. I was shaking and my hands were sweating. We walked in the room and there she was. A beautiful woman with a round pregnant belly, pregnant with a baby that was going to be ours. Almost immediately my fears were calmed. We talked to her and her parents for almost 2 hours – although it seems like it was only a few minutes. She told us about her family and her boys. She told us how it was breaking her heart to give this baby up. She had always wanted a girl. She told us about her oldest son and his disabilities. We told her about our family, our traditions, our goals, and how extremely excited we were at the opportunity to be parents. We talked a little bit about VCFS and we felt good about it. They told us that the baby’s heart looked good and that they could tell that she did not have a cleft palate. We still understood that is was still likely that there would be some issues that we would be dealing with.

You know it was bittersweet. It was hard to be so happy while at the same time knowing that she was sad. She was in a way preparing her-self for a loss. Her parents were dealing with the emotions of giving up a grandchild. Here we were these strange people that they were trusting.

I should point out that this was a “closed adoption” we only knew each others first names. We did not exchange last names nor did we know where the others lived. They knew that Matt was a firefighter – but they did not know where.

We decided at the first meeting that we should meet again, but this time we should also meet her sons. So 2 weeks later we met again. Her sons were great! We took them some toy fire trucks and we played with them on the floor. Her oldest son was severely handicapped – but what was so amazing to me was his spirit. We played and visited for a couple of hours.

At the end of the meeting they left and the caseworkers asked us to stay for a few minutes. They wanted to make sure that we were prepared for whatever health issues that Micayla might have. We still felt strongly that whatever was to happen was the way it was supposed to be, putting all of our faith in the Lord and his plan. To us this was no different than if I were pregnant, there is always the chance that something could go wrong.

For the next few weeks we wrote letters back and forth. It was a great opportunity to share with her the things that we were doing to prepare for this little person soon to come.

Her caseworker called us 2 days before Thanksgiving and told us that Susan was being induced on Saturday. The plan was that she would be discharged from the hospital on Monday night and they were going to take Micayla home with them and then bring her to the agency for placement on Tuesday. Sounded good enough to us. We were told that someone would call us when she was born.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Frugal Tip Friday

If you need to see how this works click here. Don't forget to link your post back here. And also don't forget to comment!! You are welcome to use the "Frugal Tip Friday" picture on your blog!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gas prices are still on the rise with no end in sight. My frugal tips for today are all about saving gas. These are things that I am trying to work on too!! The main thing that I have been trying to do is to have "No Drive Days" I have been trying to not drive anywhere at least 2-3 days a week.
  • Run errands once a week and use the most efficient route.
  • Walk as much as you can.
  • Stay home as often as possible.
  • Keep tires filled to their proper pressure.
  • Don’t suddenly stop or accelerate.
  • Carpool.
  • Bum a ride with friends and chip in for gas.
  • Ride your bike.
  • Use a diesel car if you have one.
  • Coast when you see a red light ahead, instead of hitting the brakes.
  • Use public transportation.
  • Try to get by with one car if you have two.
  • If you have one car that you only drive a couple of times a week, consider getting rid of it and using cabs.
  • Drive your car until it’s old. This works really well when you buy a car that will run for 200,000 miles.
  • Keep up on your car’s maintenance.
  • Turn your car off at lights.
  • Coast when you can.
  • Limit city driving.
  • Turn off the engine and coast to a stop. (Only do this if you know your car and know what you’re doing. It could be unsafe, depending on the car)
  • On a long trip, keep a steady foot.
  • Make it a challenge to see how far you can go on a tank of gas.
  • Use a discount card to buy gas. (Many grocery stores offer them, as well as Costco).
  • Fill up early in the morning when the air is cool, and the gas is dense. You’ll get more gas and less air.
  • Fill up when your tank is half empty.
  • Shop around for insurance. The rates can vary a lot!

Adoption Story --- Part 3

In case you missed anything:
Part 1
Part 2

Even though we had not been waiting very long the stress of waiting was really taking it's toll. At times we questioned whether or not it was worth it. We discussed the boat...

A hot sunny August day we were on our way down to the Utah Fire Academy. We were stopped for fuel when my cell phone rang. It was the Birth Parent Caseworker from our Agency. I got in the car to talk to her. She told me that there was a baby that she wanted to talk to us about. She told me of a little girl that was due in December. The Birth Mother was divorced and had two little boys, one of which was severely handicapped. She told us about the genetic condition that the Birth Mother, her son, and the unborn baby girl had. She told us that she wanted us to research the disorder, talk to our doctor, and pray about whether or not we wanted to be considered for this baby.

It took me about 20 miles of freeway time before I was able to even talk to Matt about it - I was speechless. I had a strong feeling that this was our baby and that if this was the child that our Heavenly Father had planned for us - there was no way I was going to turn my back on her. Before we even made it home I called the Agency back and told our caseworker that we wanted the Birth Mother to consider us.

When we got home we started researching VelcoCardioFacial Syndrome. Initially we learned that there were 3 main issues that could be attributed to VCFS; heart, palate, and some facial abnormalities. When we dove deeper we found that 1 in every 2,000 people has the chromosomal abnormality of VCFS and that there are were actually 180 different issues that could be resulted from VCFS. We still were not afraid....

But, the weeks started going by and we hadn't heard anything. I started trying to get back to normal - not thinking about this baby every second of every day. Until one day I just couldn't take it anymore. I called our caseworker and left him a message. I told him that I just wondered how Susan was doing, that she was on my mind a lot and I wondered if she had made her decision. I didn't hear back from him, so we just assumed that he had no good news for us.

One evening in October I was co-hosting a Families Supporting Adoption event at our case workers house. Matt was at work. We had made our introductions and every one just started snacking an chatting. Our case worker came and sat by me. Jokingly I told him that I was mad at him because he was avoiding my phone calls. He apologized and told me that in fact he was avoiding me. Susan had made her decision and they were just waiting for her to bring in an announcement letter to give to the family she picked - he said this in a straight mellow tone. Then he told me that she had picked us.

To be continued.......


1930's Wife/Husband Test

I found this quiz to tell you how you would rank as a wife/husband in the 1930's. I scored a 63 which was superior. Take the quiz and then come back and post your score in my comments!!!

63

As a 1930s wife, I am
Superior

Take the test!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Adoption Story --- Part 2

If you missed anything...... Part 1

Before I go on I thought maybe I should tell you all a little bit about LDS Family Services. It is ran by the LDS Church (Mormon). Adoptive Families must be members of the church in good standing with current Temple Recommends. The fee is 10% of the Adjusted Gross Income for the year prior to placement. Birth Parents & Families do not need to be members of the church. Birth Parents are allowed to choose an adoptive family for their child and communicate with them face to face at least once before the baby is born and then through letters and photos on a schedule that they agree upon, some also choose to have face to face meetings after the child is born. The medical expenses not covered by the Birth Mother's insurance is covered by LDS Family Services. They also over lifetime counseling for the Birth Parents, no matter what their religion.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We were finished with all of our paperwork and home study on December 21st 2001. Yes I remember the day well. That is the day that our caseworker came to our house and made sure it was a clean, healthy, and safe environment for a child. Then after this we had to wait for about 3 months before we were approved. Several caseworkers have to go over the file and then they meet together to approve couples to adopt.

In February we had our appointment with the Fertility Dr. at the U. After going over tests from both of us we were told that there was pretty much no way that we were going to get pregnant. We were given a couple of choices... 1) Use donor sperm combined with invitro...expensive...chance of me getting pregnant 25% - chance of carrying a baby 30% 2) Proceed with our adoption plan 3) Buy a boat. As much as we loved to water ski and fish, we chose to continue with our adoption plan.

In March 2002 we received a phone call telling us that our adoptive file had been approved. Now our letter and collage would be sent to the 12 agency offices in Utah. The offices all have a giant book full of the hundreds of families waiting to adopt. When a Birth Mom is ready to choose a family their caseworker goes through the book and selects families for her to look at based upon likenesses. Some Birth Mom's look at 2 families others may look at 20 or how ever many it takes until they feel that they have made the right choice. Of course there are no guarantees but we were told the average wait time was 6-18 months.

Over next few months I busied myself by being part of Families Supporting Adoptions. This is a way for families to help each other through this trying process. We had BBQ's and get togethers. I also volunteered a few times at the Agency.

Another thing that happened over the next few months is we received several phone calls about possible babies. Our caseworker called us about a few in other states. He also asked if we would be willing to have our file shown in Chicago, Georgia, and Michigan. He told us that there was a great need for families to adopt African American babies. This is something that we were very open to. After this conversation we were fully expecting to be adopting an African American infant or sibling group. We also received phone calls from friends that, "knew someone whose cousins friends mom" or whatever needed to place a baby. We tried to not get our hopes up.

It was also during this time that we learned the unfortunate truth about how some adoption agencies are basically selling babies. I spoke with an agency, I don't even remember from where that went over pricing of different babies with me. It was so sad to hear that white babies and bi-racial babies were so "expensive" while black babies "cost less". I told them that I wanted to adopt a baby -- not buy a car.

To be continued........

Firehouse Fajita Sandwiches

We love these!! We got the idea from a training video that Honey had to watch.

Firehouse Fajita Sandwiches

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - Thawed

3 Bell Peppers -- I like a variety of red, green, yellow or orange

1 Small Onion

1 Packet Fajita Seasoning

3 Tablespoons Oil

4 Sub Rolls

8 Slices of Provolone or Pepper Jack Cheese

Chop all of the vegetables into bite size pieces. Chop all of the chicken into bite size pieces. In a large skillet heat the oil and add the chicken and the fajita seasoning. When chicken is about 1/2 way cooked add the vegetables. Stir around frequently. Open the sub rolls and broil on a cookie sheet for about 1 minute. When the chicken and vegetables are cooked top the rolls. Then add the cheese to the top. These are huge and you probably won't need a side dish.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Adoption Story --- Part 1

After careful thought and consideration I have decided to share the story of how our wonderful kids came to be part of our family. Certain names have been changed, to protect ourselves and the great women and their families who made this all possible.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt and I got married in 1995, I was 20 and he was 21. We had no specific plan as to when we wanted to start having children - other than the fact that I wanted 4 kids. Because my parents had fertility issues, I was hoping to have them before I turned 30 - because I kind of figured that if I was anything like my mom I would have to have a hysterectomy at some point.

In May 1996 we decided that it was time to stop using birth control and to "just get pregnant". Sounds simple enough right? We started hoping and planning for a baby. We even bought a crib.

Month after month after month went on with no pregnancy. There were several times "we were sure" but the stupid tests were always negative. I was always so upset about it. I literally felt my heart break whenever we had a friend or a family member announce they were pregnant. We kept on just trying. Every time I went to the doctor they would have no answers for me as to why I was not pregnant.

In 2001 we decided to get an appointment with the Fertility Clinic at the University of Utah, the wait time for an appointment was 7 months. In the mean time we decided to go to LDS Family Services and apply for adoption.

In October 2001 we started the application process. There was quite a bit involved. We had to have background checks, interviews alone and as a couple, Bishop's recommendation, health exams, take classes, reference letters from friends, have a home inspection, answer about 100 essay questions individually, write a letter to birth families, and do a scrapbook collage of ourselves....

To be continued...............


Practice Makes Perfect

Micayla talked all winter about being so sad that she didn't have a "Who-ya Hoop". Luckily the Easter Bunny managed to get one to her. She has practiced almost every day. Since I cannot and never have been able to Hula Hoop I have been no help to her. All I could do is just tell her to wiggle her butt. Finally last week she figured it out! These videos are from Friday June 20th --- today she is doing it even faster!!! I am so proud of this little miracle girl of mine.
video
And then another just because I am a proud momma!!!

video

Monday, June 23, 2008

Crazy Coupon Freak,Part 3

The third and most powerful step to successful coupon use is called building a food storage or stockpile. When a great deal is found, buy in bulk. This is why accumulating multiple coupons is necessary. Buying a lot of one thing at a great price can lead to never having to pay full price again. For example, buying six months of cereal at a great price means cereal will not need to be purchased again until you run out. This can be done with many food items and most household goods.

By combining sale prices with coupons I NEVER pay more than $1 for a box of cereal. Other things that I have been able to purchase have the store give me free or next to free: laundry soap, dish soap, bath soap, dog food, bread, produce, deodorant, tooth brushes & paste, shampoo, pasta, toilet paper, baby wipes, baking mixes, pickles, salty snacks, razors, condiments and more more more....These are NAME BRANDS!!! The key is: when the price is low STOCK UP!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Six Weeks of Summer CONTEST!!

Oh my gosh!!! The girls at The Secret is in the Sauce are doing another GREAT contest. My kids would LOVE it if I won this!!! This week they are giving away a full size BOUNCE HOUSE!! If you want to enter go to The Secret is in the Sauce and enter. If you have never posted on The Secret is in the Sauce before and want to be part of it JOIN them now and in your first post PLEASE tell them that you found out about from KaysvilleMomma!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The BEST Oatmeal Chocolate-Scotchie Cookies EVER!

Picky Palate is having a giveaway. To enter you have to post in her comments what your guiltiest pleasure is. Mine is cookie dough, but not just any cookie dough. These cookies are so yummy!! When Hottie was in Paramedic School he had to do clinical time at a hospital - he took these cookies in one night and one of the doctors insisted that I make more.
The problem with making these cookies is that the dough is SO GOOD!!!
Enjoy!

Oatmeal Chocolate-Scotchies

3 ½ C Flour
2 t Salt
2 t Baking Soda

Beat together until light and fluffy:

1 C Sugar
2 C Shortening
2 C Brown Sugar
2 t Vanilla
4 Eggs

Gradually beat in flour mixture and 4 C Rolled Oats. Stir in 1 package milk chocolate chips and 1 package of butterscotch chips. Drop onto cookie sheets. Bake 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookies sheets for 2 minutes before moving.

Here's a cookie hint a good friend taught me way back when I was in high school.... When you take the cookies out of the oven - kind of drop the cookie sheet on the stove or counter. It makes the cookies flatten or fall and makes them really chewy!! Try it!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Frugal Tip Friday

Frugal Tip Friday --- lets get through the business portion first:

1. Frugal Tip Friday is a great place where we all write a post about living frugal and link them all together here on my blog. It's a great way to get to know other bloggers and connect to others in the blogosphere.

2. Anyone is welcome to join. Just write your post and come here every Friday to leave the link in Mr. Linky at the bottom of each Frugal Tip Friday post.

3. Please mention Frugal Tip Friday in your post and link back here so your readers can find out more about it.

4. Please link to your actual Frugal Tip Friday post. Here is how you link to an individual post if you’ve never done it before: Right click on the date at the bottom of the post you want to link to (or the post title depending on where you blog) click “Copy Shortcut” and then paste it into Mr. Linky.

5. I reserve the right to fix your links. I will remove any links that are objectionable or not talking about living frugal.

6. Please leave a comment here too!!!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

My tip for today is about eating out. Eat out less. One of the biggest expenses in our daily lives is eating out — the average person spends over $2,000 a year on eating out. Restaurants are expensive, including fast-food (not to mention the health hazards). It’s much cheaper to cook your own food. Try to formulate a weekly menu, then we buy the groceries, and cook dinner (and lunch) each evening. Lately I’ve even been prepping it in the morning, so it’s a snap in the evening when everyone is hungry. Here is a great meal planning calendar from happytobeathome.net. For grocery/shopping deals visit Pinching Your Pennies.

Now what's your frugal tip for Friday?

"Not the Typical Utah (you fill in the blank)"

Before I start my rambling for the day I want to thank my sisters at The Secret Is In The Sauce for featuring my blog this week.

Now on to my rambling.........

I have been reading a couple of threads in the Pinching Your Pennies forums about being Stay-At-Home-Moms, Finding Day-Care, and then another one that really has me thinking!! The subject is "Not the Typical Utah (you fill in the blank)". Words commonly used to fill in the blank --- Mom, Wife, Neighbor, Neighborhood, Mormon, Religion...... Phrases like this bug me! Do people use the phrase when they want to clarify that they are not at all like the group they're referring to. Of course that implies that there is something wrong with the group they're referring to? Or do they think that there is something wrong with themselves because they fell that they are not "typical"?

In Utah I think that there is a lot of pressure on women especially to try to be "typical" but what works for one my not work for another. Is this part of the reason that there is a higher percentage of Utah women using anti-depressants than any other state? Is it why there is such a high percentage of Utah women/mothers using Meth?

Here is a quote I borrowed from Karin at PYP.. "I also dislike when it is used to put down a group as a whole. Example: Not your typical Utah neighborhood. The speaker is referring to a neighborhood that she feels is filled with people who mind their own business vs. others where she feels everyone is into everyone's business. Pretty judgemental in my opinion. The context it is used in plays a big part in how it is taken by others. The same sentence could be looked at completely differently in another conversation. Example: Not your typical Utah neighborhood. The speaker is referring to a neighborhood that is bullet filled every night and overflowing with gang problems. In my opinion, not a problem. The phrase "not your typical" is not inherently bad. It is just how it is used and how it is received. A lot of that depends on the point of view of the speaker and the listeners."

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves?? Just be who you are. Don't try to fit a cookie-cutter mold. Don't put people down because they are not what you perceive as typical.

I wonder if people that live in other states has the same issues? Is it really a Utah thing?

____________________________________________________________________

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the launch of "Frugal Tip Friday"!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Found a Great Way to Clean Carseats

You know how sometimes it feels like we live in our cars? Well over the past week we spent so much time in the car or truck that it really felt like we lived in them. The kids make such a huge mess in the car and in their car seats (yes my 5 year old is still in a car seat) that it gets pretty gross. Last night I had to into work at the office for a while and on the way home I decided to be nice an go clean out the truck. I stopped at one of the great do-it-yourself car washes that we have now that take debit cards and have shampoo facilities. My plan was to throw away all the trash, vacuum and shampoo the carpet and the seat, where a Twix bar had melted. Did you see that I didn't say anything about washing the truck - well I don't need to do that because firefighters wash their trucks at the station. I took the kids seats out with the intention of vacuuming under them and then taking them home and tearing them apart to wash.....then it came to me......wash them in the car wash. So I took them into the car wash bay and put them against the wall. I then used their high power, hot, soapy water to spray them down. It worked great! It even took off the sticky marshmallow residue mess that Caleb created. Once they were washed I rinsed them and set them out on the asphalt while I vacuumed the truck. Since this car wash has the shampoo option the vacuums are wet/dry so I vacuumed out the excess water from the car seats and then just tossed them in the back of the truck -- now today they are dry and Caleb's no longer has that- oops my diaper leaked smell!! Best of all -- I didn't have to try and figure out how all the straps and pieces go back together after washing it in the washer - and I got to wash an extra load of towels today instead of the seat pads. Yeah it cost me an extra $2.25 but oh well!! And I am sure I will be doing this again next week after our camping trip this weekend....

Butterfinger Blondies

I found this recipe here. I made these this morning and they are really good!!! They were called brownies on the original post - but they aren't really chocolaty so I am calling them Blondie's. They are super rich though so make sure you share them with your neighbors - don't eat them all yourself. I would make these again - probably for a special occasion. I used 3 King size Butterfinger bars and I crushed them in the food processor - I think I ran it a little too long, so they weren't chunky. Butterfinger Blondie's

2¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup butter, softened
2¼ cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
4 regular-sized Butterfinger candy bars, crushed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13x9-inch baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, combine butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour mixture and 1 cup of crushed butterfingers. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining crushed Butterfinger bars over top of batter. Bake 30- 35 minutes, or until the bars are a bit firm to the touch. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Servings: 12

Monday, June 16, 2008

Crazy Coupon Tips Part 2 - Printables

Did you know that it is easy to find great printable coupons on the internet? There are several sites that have printables. Most of the sites will allow you to print 2 of each coupon. Do not however be tempted to photocopy internet printable coupons, they are marked with a code that has your ip address embedded, and it is clearly stated on all coupons that photcopying coupons is not permitted.

Pinching Your Pennies has a forum that specifically deals with printable coupons. It's a great place to find HOT DEALS!!!!

Here are is a list of sites that offer printable coupons:
Boodle.com
eversave.com
Smartsource.com
save.com
coupons.com
eclip.com
valpak.com
pg.com
BettyCrocker.com
Pillsbury.com
Nestle
General Mills

German Pancakes

This is a favorite breakfast at out house. It even makes a good dinner. Serve it alone or with your favorite breakfast meat or fruit.

German Pancakes

I use a 9x13 glass baking pan. Put 3 TBLS of butter in the pan and put the pan in the oven. Preheat to 450. In the mixer ---- 6 eggs, 1 cup of flour, a handful of sugar, 1 cup of milk and 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix until well mixed and fluffy. Pour into the preheated pan and bake for 20 minutes. This will puff up around the edges. Serve with fruit or your favorite syrup.

My Million Dollar Idea

I was inspired for this post after reading this at A Handful of Love.

I have to figure out how to make this happen.
I have a great idea that I need to get to all makers of sunscreen and hair products...are you ready?? This is a great idea.......
I'll be really mad if it is already out there and I don't know about it.....

I want a hair product maybe like a conditioner that will act as sunscreen for the scalp. It seems that the little bit of my scalp that peeks through---you know like where my hair is parted--- needs a little sunscreen. I am tired of my head getting sunburned. It hurts....then it peels.....ten it looks like dandruff..... its gross!! On Saturday I ended up dabbing some sunscreen lotion up there --- yeah it was attractive!!

What do you think?? Is it a million dollar idea?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Molly's Revenge

Last night was the first time I had seen these guys in person and they were GREAT!!! I found this on video from yesterdays show.


And A little bit from the Wicked Tinkers!!

Announcing the Launch of Frugal Tip Friday's

Frugal Tip Fridays
Stay tuned for "Frugal Tip Friday" beginning on Friday 6/20/08!!
Check back to be part of this new meme where we can help each other save money, live frugal and connect!!

Are you Frugal or Cheap?

I found this quiz online and I thought it was interesting:

Are You Frugal Or Cheap?

1. Do you eat out (not counting lunches at work)?

  1. All the time
  2. 2-3 times a week
  3. 2-3 times a month
  4. Never

2. When you eat out, do you?

  1. I order whatever I crave
  2. Order an entree for each person and take leftover to go
  3. Share our meals to save some money
  4. I don’t eat out!

3. What do you drive?

  1. The latest and greatest 2 years lease can buy
  2. I buy new car every few years
  3. I always buy a used car.
  4. I don’t own a car

4. What kind of TV do you have?

  1. 1080 HDTV, of course!
  2. A flat screen TV, but not the latest and greatest
  3. I still have the one I bought 10 years ago
  4. I don’t have a TV

5. What cable/satellite package do you have?

  1. Premium channel with everything under the sun
  2. Just the basic channels so I can watch the news
  3. Whatever I get with the rabbit ears
  4. I don’t have a TV

6. You have some old clothes, do you?

  1. What are you talking about, I don’t have old clothes.
  2. I donate them when they get a little older
  3. I turn them into rags
  4. I am still wearing them

7. When you buy something, do you?

  1. I buy what I want, whenever I want
  2. I occasionally splurge on what I want
  3. I only buy what I need, clip coupons, use discount cards, etc.
  4. I avoid making any kind of purchases

8. When you receive gifts, do you?

  1. I take them back to the store to trade up
  2. I keep all my gifts
  3. I may return or re-gift some
  4. I sell them on Ebay for cash

9. When you buy clothes, do you?

  1. I always shop brand names
  2. I usually buy when they are on sale
  3. I usually shop at goodwill and thrift stores
  4. I ask my friends and family for hand me downs

10. Regarding your lunches, do you?

  1. I always go out to the local restaurants
  2. I mostly eat low cost take out lunches
  3. I occasionally pack my own lunch
  4. I always pack my own lunch

Rate Yourself

For each question, give yourself: 1 point for any #1 answer, 2 points for #2, 3 points for #3, and 4 points for #4. Add up the points and rate yourself:

  • 35+ = You’re definitely cheap
  • 25-34 = You’re frugal. Good job!
  • 16-24 = You’re not frugal, but you appear to be reasonable with your spending habits
  • 10-15 = There are a lot of opportunities for you to save money

I scored 29 points. That makes me happy!! I love being frugal!

Happy Father's Day!!

I just want to say Happy Father's Day to the dad's in my life!!
Thank you Matt for being my kids' dad and for being a great husband. I am proud of you in all the things you do and I love you!
Thank you to my dad! Thank you for being a good dad to me and thank you for the things you do to amaze me seeing you as 'Papa' to my kids.
Thank you to Ken for being a good dad to Matt and a good 'Papa' too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wicked Tinkers

Did you know that my husband plays bagpipes? Well he does. His family is also Scottish. We really love all things Scottish (except the food). We have been going to The Highland Games for several years - this is where we were introduced to the sounds of Wicked Tinkers. They are so cool! They are Scottish, Celtic and a little bit aborigine - with the digeridoo!!! We will be seeing them in concert tonight with Molly's Revenge and Men of Worth -- also 2 great bands!! Enjoy the video.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Smart Habit Saturday


Today is Smart Habit Saturday. I have been trying to live a little greener. This list was posted on Pinching Your Pennies by Norah and I think these are great tips to live a little greener. This is an ongoing process and goal for me.

The title is "Lose 142 pounds (of carbon) a week".
1. Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot. Start with something easy. Washing machines produce over 500 pounds of CO2 a year when run on hot water. But your clothes will be just as clean and may even last longer when laundered in cold water.
2. Use a drying rack.
Dryers produce about 1,450 pounds of CO2 per year and the high heat damages fabric. Get more life out of your garments, lower your electric bill and spare the planet by drying at least half of your clothes on a rack or line. Plus, sunlight is the most effective stain remover around.
3. Seal and weather strip your home.
This summer, sealing your home will ensure you don't lose the cool air you're paying for. Weather stripping and caulking doors, windows, and any cracks or openings in walls will save about 225 pounds of CO2 per season as you run your AC. It pays off even more in the winter when you need to trap the heat; every year, you save 640 pounds of CO2 if you have natural gas heat and 470 pounds if you have electric heat.
4. Insulate.
Insulating your house is a bit more demanding and best handled professionally. There are a number of insulating options better than the most common choice, fiberglass, which presents a breathing hazard from airborne glass particles and formaldehyde released during installation. Some green building specialists claim that spray foam is the most efficent and cost effective type of insulation, even though it's usually composed of petroluen based polyurethane. If you choose spray foam, consider a blend that includes soybean oil, such as BioBase501, to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. Another alternative, recycled denim insulation, uses more eco friendly material but isn't as efficient an insulator as polyurethane foam.
5. Wrap your water heater and turn down the temperature. Insulating your water heater with a simple diy kit, available at most hardware stores for $20, will save you 300 pounds of CO2 annually. As water heaters can account for up to 13 percent of your utility bill, set the temperature to 120 F. Turning it down from 140 F will save 479 pounds of CO2 annually. If you're really up for a renuvation, switch from a conventional water heater to an on demand heater.
6. Run the dishwasher only when full.
Wait until you fill your dishwasher before turning it on and always set it to the energy saving mode.
7. Turn off your TV, DVD player, computer and cable box.
Even while in "standby" mode, your home entertainment center and computer consume energy. Plug them into a power strip and turn it off after your shut down your electronics.
8. Clean your refrigerator. Take a look at what's on top of your fridge-cluttered much? Clear it off. Those piled up plastic containers and cereal boxes can prevent your fridge from venting heat effectively. Then go for the more demanding project: Remove the grill at the base of the fridge (or turn the fridge around) to clean the coils.
9. Compost your food scraps.
Food waste stored in airless landfills is eaten by bacteria that release massive amounts of methane, a gas 21 times more heat trapping than CO2. As an added bonus, you get nutrient rich soil to grow tomatoes, herbs, and other garden favorites.
10. Take the bus or ride your bike.
The average 12 mile commute to work produces roughly 12 pounds of CO2 (depending on your mileage, you produce one pound of CO2 for every mile driven). Even diesel buses are cleaner than cars when you factor in the number of passengers on board. Give the bus a shot once a week for a year. Or give your legs and heart a workout by communting on a bike and save even more. To sum it all up, after a year of these efforts, you'll have kept 3.5 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Asian Pork


I made this for dinner tonight. It was really good!! I took this recipe from Norah and modified it. I used Pork Stew Meat. I browned the pork on the stove and then added the glaze and let it cook down for about 10 minutes. I served it with rice and peas. Norah cooked ribs with the sauce in the oven. I think it would also be good on chicken cooked on the stove, in the oven or crockpot.

Glaze:
2/3 cup Hoisin Sauce
1/4 cup Pineapple juice
2 tablespoons Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Rice vinegar -- I actually just used white vinegar
2 tablespoons Sesame oil -- I used Canola Oil
1/2 teaspoon Fresh ginger, minced
1 each Garlic clove, minced

Crazy Deal on Powerade!

On Sunday 6/9 there was a coupon in the inserts for $.75 off Powerade. I traded and got some extra coupons -- I went to Walmart today and the 32 oz Powerade was $.60 --- I got 20 bottles for -$3.00 --- that is negative $3.00 --- They "gave" me 20 bottles and $3.00 for FREE!!!

Remember my post about Wife Swap?

Do you remember my post where I talked about the TV show 'Wife Swap'? Well I was a crazy rambling post that didn't make a whole lot of sense.

ANYWAY, I saw this posted on another website:

The premise of Wife Swap is that one parent from each household swaps places for a week to experience how another family lives. It is an incredible family experience and opportunity to both learn and teach different family values.

Wife Swap is a fascinating story of what happens when two couples see themselves and their partners in a whole new light. The New York Post says, "It should be called 'Life Swap' because it's not just the wives who learn something here. It's the families."

Potential families can live anywhere in the United States, but we ask that families applying for the show consist of two parents and have at least one child, age 7 or older, living at home.

Specifically, I'm looking for families who know how to save a buck by clipping coupons! If you're serious about your coupon regime, I want to hear from you! To submit for the show please email a family photo and description to: gaby.wifeswap@gmail.com

Families featured on the show will receive a $20,000 honorarium. If you refer a family that is selected you receive $1,000.

If you are a family unit (two parents and children between the ages of 7 and 17) who love an adventure, I would love to hear from you today! Also, please feel free to send this casting along to any families you feel would be appropriate!

No I am not going to apply ---- I might be a crazy coupon freak but I am not that crazy!!! But if anyone else wants to do it -- I would be happy to refer you - so i can get $1000.

Crazy Coupon Tips -- Part 1

Do you get the Sunday paper? Do you need to figure out how to keep track of the all your coupons? Would love to get started couponing to save TONS of money at the grocery store? One thing you will need to do is organize your coupons - they do you no good if you don't know where they are.

Where should I store my coupons?
  • Recipe Box
  • Three Ring Binder with baseball card holder inserts -----
    • THIS IS THE METHOD I USE
  • Accordian style File Folder with dividers
  • Shoe Boxes
  • Envelopes
  • 4x6 photo albums
  • Baby Wipe Box

How do they work?
  • Recipe Box - You’ll need divider cards for your recipe box. You can purchase index cards or simply make them yourself out of cardboard. These cards will represent different categories to sort your coupons. Everybody sorts their coupons differently so there is no universal rule. Here are some different ways to label your dividers:
    • Alphabetical by product name (GM, Kelloggs)
    • Alphabetical by item type (Cereal, Milk, Paper Towels
    • Alphabetical by General Category (Dairy, Meat, Paper)
    • Store Name (Albertsons, Walmart, Target, Walgreens)
    • Expiration Date (this might work better if you only have a small amount of coupons)

  • Three Ring binder with baseball card holder inserts - this device allows a lot of storage space for your coupons. Many people choose this method because its so easy to see your coupons. Again, categorize them however you seem fit. Many people will carry around a dry erase marker to write notes on the baseball card inserts while they’re shopping. Just a little bonus!

  • Accordian style File Folder with dividers - this is probably the most popular way to organize your coupons. They come in all different sizes and colors. Again, you’ll need to choose categories that will make your shopping trips easy. In addition to simply choosing your categories some people go the extra step and have a folder for each store that they shop. It really depends on the number of coupons that you need to organize. Another option is to have an accordian file for “grocery items” and another for “health and beauty items”.
    • Some people will just file the whole Sunday insert in a file folder and only cut the coupons as needed.

  • Shoe Boxes - you can use this method as you would the recipe box method.

  • Envelopes - this method works well if you don’t have a lot of coupons to organize. Some people choose general categories (dairy, meat, paper) and some people choose to label their envelopes by stores (Rite Aid, Kroger, Target, Grocery Store).

  • 4x6 photo albums - this method is similar to the baseball card insert method. You have clear holders to see your coupons easier. Again, sorting the coupons is based on your preference.

  • Baby Wipe Box - you can use this method as you would the recipe box method.
More tips will be posted soon or visit Pinching Your Pennies.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

They are cute!!!



Job Chart & Learning Time

Well we started the job chart with no problem. I went over it with Micayla on Monday night. On Tuesday morning I went downstairs to shower and I figured that when I came back up I would have to get her started. When I looked in her room she had already made her bed. I was so proud of her! She smiled and asked for her sticker. Then she quickly went through the rest of her list in about 25 minutes - other than "Learning Time" because that requires input and thought on my part. So after naps we worked on writing some letters. I surprised that Caleb was actually interested in learning the letters. I have decided that "Learning Time" is going to be at the kitchen table so hopefully I can work with Caleb too! He needs to talk!!

I want to thank everyone who posted tips on my post about teaching the lower case letters. You all had great ideas!! I love StarFall and I plan to use that a lot. That website actually helps with using the computer too - which is another thing I wanted to get her doing this summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I have been Tagged!!

I have been tagged by Nicole - so here you go:

How to play this game of Tag: Post these rules on your blog. List: 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 random surprising facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog!


Joys -
1- Hearing my kids laugh
2- Micayla saying, "I love to be your daughter"
3- Spending time with my family

Fears -
1- Creepy crawly things
2- That something will happen to my husband
3- The death of a child - we have come close with Micayla and it is not something that I would be able to handle

Goals -
1- Be more diligent with Church attendance
2- Organize my home
3- Get ahead with money

Obsessions-
1- Saving money at the grocery store
2- I spend way too much time on PYP
3- Diet Coke - yes I tried to stop but I failed

Random things you may not know about me-
1- I have never traveled any further East than Cheyenne WY.
2- I listen in to people's conversations at restaurants.
3- I am a people watcher. I could go to the airport, mall, amusement park or fair and sit for hours watching people.

OK ---- I tag, Wengmama, Laura, Karen, Norah , Chantel

Help, I Have A Teenager!: Meeting James

This is an amazing freaky story that I have been following. This link is to the 5th post of the story ---but there are links to Parts 1-4!!!
Help, I Have A Teenager!: Meeting James

Mystery Shopping

I have been mystery shopping for a little over a year now. At first I was really skeptical when I learned what Mystery Shopping is. We all have seen ads and received emails for companies that want you to pay to be a mystery shopper. I do not recommend paying a membership to be a mystery shopper. The only thing that I have paid for is a $15 test fee to become certified through The Mystery Shopping Providers Association.

I have shopped for restaurants, banks, credit unions, mall-stores, major retail, pizza delivery, and more. With most companies you do have to pay your expenses up front and you are reimbursed after completing your survey online. Some companies only reimburse for expenses and some pay you a fee. Most of the restaurant ones that I have done just reimburse up to a certain amount - so it's like getting a free date night. Before you accept a job you will know how much it pays and MOST of the details - just do what works for you. I have been paid as little as $1.75 for calling a pizza delivery place up to being reimbursed for a $100 dinner for 2.

Here is a list of Mystery Shop Companies