Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favorites



Once again I am linking up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci to share some of my favorites from the week. This week has been so fun!! Wyatt and Sloane were on Spring Break and it was a taste of summer. If our summer is half as good as Spring Break I won't ever want it to end. LOL! They had both created lists before the week started of things they wanted to do, places they wanted to visit, etc. I am pretty sure we checked everything off their lists. Phew, because they had a pretty big list. 


I shared about the first half of our week yesterday. We spent Monday through Wednesday doing fun stuff around STL. We visited places we love during the summer but haven't been visiting much during the school year. 


I also posted this week about our Easter holiday. We celebrated different this year than years passed and it was glorious! It was a perfect way to start our week long break...


Monday I had another guest blogger. Erin shared a little about her life and what's heavy on her heart right now. It was such a sweet post and I am so thankful she agreed to join me for a day.


We are ending our Spring Break in Branson, MO. Silver Dollar City, Runaway mt. coaster, Fritz's Family Adventure and so much MORE fun!! 
****Happy weekend****




Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Break 2017 pt. 1

We have had such a great week so far and it's only Thursday!!! We left for a mini-vacation this morning and are looking forward to this family time. The first half of the week was filled with fun around STL. Both Wyatt and Sloane had a few things they had mentioned wanting to do during their Spring Break. We made it happen!

Sunday: We celebrated Easter...


Monday: My sister and her family took a quick trip to the Lou and we met up with them. We had a GREAT time visiting the STL Science Center...


And the STL Zoo...


Monday night Sloane and I watched the Disney Dancing with the Startw together. Wyatt got to go to the Cardinals game with his dad, uncle, and cousin. Those boys have a great time no matter where they are...


Tuesday: They have both been asking to go to the Magic House. We used to go often but since school started we just hanse't been as much. There have been some updates since we went last. It was a fun surprise! 


Wednesday: We met some friends at the STL Botanical Garden. There is a super fun children's play area. It was a warm day so they got super hot and sweaty....there is also a water area. ;/ They enjoyed that as well. Ha ha! 


After the garden we hit up an ice cream place that was close...Ices Plain & Fancy is so fun! 


We ended the evening playing at a friends house and enjoying dinner! We leave in the morning for a trip to Branson. We have lots planned and are praying for no rain!!! (the forecast isn't looking good;() 




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter 2017


This Easter was so much fun! It was the kickstart to our Spring Break...at first I was bummed it fell this way but we are LOVING!!! Friday morning we packed up and headed to my parents. They are a little less than 2 hours South so it's a quick trip. We picked up my nieces from daycare...it's kinda becoming a "thing" for us to pull through Sonic when Aunt Em picks them up. ;) I don't mind one bit!


We played hard most of Friday and Zetta and Nora even spent the night. Saturday morning I made some fun Pinterest inspired cinnamon rolls....


And we dyed Easter eggs a.k.a rubber eggs....one of my all time favorite traditions....


The rest of the family arrived mid-morning and the Easter bunny came!!! Hunting eggs, opening baskets, and an AMAZING lunch....it was PERFECT!!! For some reason the Easter bunny at g-parent's is way better than their own house. LOL! 


Self-timer for the win...even though it's a little downward angle we were all in the picture. ;) 


We left around bedtime on Saturday night. We woke Sunday morning and got ready for church. In almost 10 years of marriage we haven't ever attended our "home" church on Easter Sunday. We have always been at my parents. This Easter we did a few things different and it was actually really nice. I felt like we had so much more time with family than we have in years past. 


After church our little family of 4 had lunch together. It was perfect! Sis added ears to her updo and we were ready for Easter at Mark's parents....


There was another egg hunt....and I made Mix and Match Mama's FOUR Easter dessert's.  EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. was AMAZING!!! 



We had a great dinner with family. The fun continued because Monday morning we didn't have to get ready for school. ;) We have had a full week so far and I can't wait for more to come!!


Monday, April 17, 2017

They Call HER Mama -Erin

I am so excited Erin agreed to guest post on the blog today. Erin and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. I have many memories with Erin growing up and even into adulthood....one being the birth of our first born boys. We had them just weeks a part...I still remember holding baby Frankie in the hospital as I was about to "pop," LOL! Erin opened up and shared about her life as a mom. I am so thankful that she shared something so close to her heart....thanks again Erin for taking the time to write about your family.

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I have known Emily for as long as I can remember.  We have so many fond memories of family dinners and Six Flags trips. When Emily first asked me to guest write on her blog, I was very hesitant.  My blog is basically something I have at the end of the year to just print and have for keepsake.  Ha!  I usually just post our pictures and add a little caption about that event.  I’m never too serious and very rarely blog about super meaningful topics.  When Emily mentioned that I could talk about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and a recent walk we participated in, I knew I had to jump on the opportunity to share our story and help spread awareness for DMD.
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Some brief family History.  Trey and I started dating in August of 2002 and married in June of 2007.  We have three beautiful boys; Frankie who is 6, Colton is 4, and Jaxson Reid is 2.  God must have known that I needed to be a mother of boys.  I love and cherish every second I get to spend with my boys; they are funny, smart, caring, silly, handsome, and kind.  Every day was an adventure and life, as we knew it, was perfect until one day in April 2016, the words Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy were introduced to our vocabulary.  

Frankie has always been a small boy.  In fact, all my children are tiny.  On the developmental charts, they have always been in the tenth percentile in height and weight.  Frankie though, was much slower and weaker with his fine and gross motor skills, but he always met his childhood milestones, so like every parent, we just assumed he was a late bloomer.  At every doctor’s appointment we would express our concerns about his weakness, but we were always assured that there were no worries, just as long as he was meeting his milestones.  Trey and I would just brush it off and consider Frankie a “late bloomer.”  Next, we had Colton, who was basically born a star athlete compared to Frankie.  Once Colton started walking, we quickly noticed things in Frankie and just didn’t seem right.  For instance, we noticed that Frankie walked with an inward tilt, so we took him to the Podiatrist.  The Podiatrist immediately noticed Frankie’s walking problems and he prescribed Frankie with special inserts for his shoes.  I hoped that this would be instant improvement and he would now be able to run and jump, just like the other kids his age.  After a full year of wearing the shoe inserts, there was no improvement.  When we went to the follow-up with the Podiatrist, our lives would be forever changed.  The Podiatrist asked Frankie to walk down the hallway, run, jump, and stand up from a sitting position.  The Podiatrist quickly noticed that when Frankie stood up from a sitting position, that Frankie would use his arms, legs, and back to stand up, rather than just pop up like most kids.  What Frankie was displaying was referred to as Gower’s Sign.  The Podiatrist said to not to get too concerned but we should immediately follow-up with our pediatrician.  Of course I went home and look it up………..Gower’s Sign which was directly linked to DMD.  Frankie matched every single clinical symptom of a child with DMD. We took Frankie to the pediatrician the next day and tested his blood test for a muscular enzyme called CK.  A normal CK range is between 100 to 250…..Frankie’s was over 17,000.  A CK value that high in a child, along with his noticeable symptoms, all but confirmed that he has some form of Muscular Dystrophy.  From there we were referred to several doctors at Cardinal Glennon Children Hospital to confirm Frankie’s diagnosis.  They did more blood tests and determined that Frankie has DMD.  In August 2016, after waiting several months, we were finally able to see Dr. Anne Connolly, who is a pediatric Neurologist and specializes in MD at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  After Frankie’s visit to St. Louis for all his doctor appointments,  we had blood work done on Colton & Jaxson.  Colton’s CK result was around 150, which was normal, but Jaxson’s CK was over 28,000. Talk about a double whammy.  We honestly never had a single concern with Colton, because he excelled at everything involving gross motor skills.  Jaxson Reid on the other had, I had a gut feeling that he was also affected.  I knew from the day he started to walk that he was yet another victim of DMD.  


What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy:
DMD is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.   It is caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact.  Symptoms onset is in early childhood, usually between ages 3 to 5.  The disease primarily affects boys, but in rare cases it can affect girls.


Symptoms of DMD: Muscle weakness can begin as early as age 3, first affecting the muscles of the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders, and later the skeletal (voluntary) muscles in the arms, legs and trunk.  By the early teens, the heart and respiratory muscles are also affected.  Timeline: In toddler years you may notice enlarged calf muscles.  As a preschooler, they may seem clumsy and fall often.  You may also notice the child having trouble climbing stairs, getting up from the floor and running.  By school age, children may walk on their toes or the balls of their feet with a slightly waddling gait.  To try and keep their balance, they may stick out their bellies and pull back their shoulders.  Many children with DMD begin using a wheelchair sometime between ages 7 and 12.  Transition to a wheelchair usually is a gradual process; at first, the chair may be required only to conserve energy when going long distances; eventually the child will be dependent on a wheelchair for mobility.  In the teen years, activities involving the arms, legs or trunk may require assistance or mechanical support.


Muscle Deterioration of DMD: The muscle deterioration in DMD isn’t usually painful in itself.  Because muscular dystrophy doesn’t affect nerves directly, touch and other senses are normal, as is control over the smooth or involuntary muscles of the bladder and bowels.  Lack of Dystrophin can weaken the muscle layer in the heart, resulting in a condition call cardiomyophy.  Over time, sometimes as early as the teen years, the damage done to the heart can become life-threatening.  Beginning around age 10, the diaphragm and other muscles that operate the lungs may weaken, making the lungs less effective and moving air in and out.  Although the child may no complain of shortness of breath, problems that indicate poor respiratory function include headaches, mental dullness, difficulty concentrating or staying awake and nightmares.


Causes of DMD: Little was known about DMD until 1986 when researches identified a particular gene on the X chromosome that, when flawed (mutated), leads to DMD.  A year later, the protein associated with this gene was identified and named dystrophin.  Lack, of dystrophin protein in muscle cells cause them to be fragile and easily damaged.  Duchenne has an X-linked recessive inheritance pattern and is passed to children from their mothers, or in extremely rare cases, a random mutation of the dystrophin gene.


(Source of info: mda.com)


Last weekend we participated in the MDA Muscle Walk to raise money for the local, St. Louis MDA office.  We worked out butts off to raise as much money as possible for our team and came out raising the 4th most out of 74 teams!  The MDA will use these donations to help support the 100,000 + kids and adults they will serve this year, along with funding research projects for new drugs and trails to find cures or treatments for MD!  All funds raised at this walk will stay in the local St. Louis office, so it could potentially benefit my boys directly.  We had quite the turn out and appreciate all the support from our family and friends.





We are still devastated after learning the news about 2 of our 3 perfect little boys.  Trey and I have had many ups and downs over this last year.  Sometimes we just cry, other times we pray.  I will always remain faithful to God, which in all honesty, is probably the only thing that held me together at times.  We remain hopefully and extremely optimist that researchers with find a cure or treatment that will save our sweet babies from this horrible, deadly disease.  We are strong, we have a good support team, and we will not let this disease define us as a family.  Frankie, Colton, and Jaxson are strong willed & determined, I know they will face this head on.  Life is 100% what you make it.  The silver lining in all of this for me is that now I live everyday like it’s my last.  You are never promised tomorrow.  I am more determined and focused on being a strong presence in my children’s daily life.  I never take any opportunity for granted and we make the best of every situation.  God choose us for this life, I definitely don’t understand why, but I know that he will guide us and show us his plan when the timing is right.
I am so grateful to Emily for allowing me this opportunity to share our story and spread awareness for DMD.  If you don’t take anything else from this please challenge yourself to live in the moment and be present, even in the mundane of daily life.
If you would like to follow our daily life, I can be followed on Instagram @erindboyer or you can follow the boy’s story on their Facebook page: facebook.com/frankieandjaxsonsjourney



XOXO

Erin

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Favorites


It'a Friday...Good Friday so it's even better. I am here, like every Friday, to share some of my current favorites. I always link up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci. I love reading about other favorites of fellow Mamas. ;) 

These 2...in the past 2 week I got to go on both Wyatt and Sloane's field trips. I loved the time I got to spend with each of them. "These are the moment's" right?!!?!? I will blink and they will be gone...if someone learns how to not blink let me know. I love the age of my kids right now! I am thankful I was able to attend both of these fun events with them. 



Last Friday night we went to the Cardinals game. I think I already shared about it but we had a BLAST! We met up with friends from school before the game and hung out. We had to drag the kids out of the game in the bottom of the 8th inning. I can't wait to take them again...it looks like we will be having many more ball games to come!!! 


I shared last Friday about these Yumboxes. I have been reading all these awesome reviews and decided I needed to give them a try. Well, the verdict is...they hold up to their hype 100%!!! I love them and plan to grow my collection so that I have one for each day of the week.


Also this week I shared a fun list of activities I did with Wyatt and Sloane. All the activities were centered around table manners. They learned so much! It was so fun to see their little minds absorb the information and now be putting it to good use. I am praying it lasts! ;)

 (I would love for you to "pin" the original Table Manners post if you enjoyed reading it!) 


A few nights ago I made another recipe from Mix and Match Mama...King Ranch Joes Mark said it was probably been added to his top 3 dinners. Ha ha! I was nervous but I think I can call that a success. There was JUST enough for him to take a serving for lunch the next day. 



I have to share this fun vinyl I had made for my computer. Thanks to GB's Designs I now have an awesome pinwheel. It's such a sweet reminder. She also made me a few extra in for new fun Lily print. So fun!!!

Lastly it's my second favorite break of the year...summer break is #1 but spring break comes in a close #2~~ We started the 10 days off school with friends, park play, picnic lunch, and then a dip in the pool!!! YAHOO!!!!!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Purina Farms


Yesterday Sis had a field trip! It was a fun time hanging with the girl for sure. The past 3 years the preschool has attended the same place for their Spring field trip. This year they changed it up and it was a BLAST! 


There was an area with all baby animals...ducks, pigs, goat, bunnies, lambs, chicks, and even puppies! We could pet them all. The workers were holding some of the babies and they were super sweet.

I mean, look at those little pink babies!! 



There was a Purina dog show that was so fun to watch too!
We had so much fun together....now BRING ON Spring break!!! 



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Working It Wednesday


This is a Working It Wednesday where we share all about our Spring Cleaning. You can read how I worked my New Years Goals and how I work our marriage too! I am linking up with Erika and Shay today as I share some of the ways I Spring Clean.


Can I get an AMEN!?!?!? It always feels so good to be finished but goodness when you are RIGHT in the middle it's tough. I actually feel like I stay on top of quite a few projects and areas of our life that some save for "Spring Cleaning."

For example: switching out closets...this is something that is ongoing for me. I am constantly going through my kids clothes. If something doesn't fit, is no longer looking nice, etc. it just doesn't go back in the closet. I have one bin that I put clothes for the next season in and I check it on a regular basis just to be sure I don't miss anything. #becauseIhavetotallydonethat #momfail Wyatt and Sloane haven't really had the space to have an abundance of clothes so it's something I have just always tried to stay on top of.

When school comes to a close and summer begins I like to fill out memory books and pack away the keepsake items from that school year. I also like to have most of my uniform shopping finished before summer break. The last thing I want to be doing in August is wasting my last few days of summer running around like a chicken with my head cut off. ;) This stuff falls under Spring Cleaning for me because it's Spring until summer break then BRING ON THE SUNSHINE!!!

I feel like Spring was also a time we went through all our outdoor items as well. We cleaned out the toys, lawn equipment, etc. and prepared for a summer full of usage! This was usually done on a low key Sunday afternoon. Kids would play outside while Mark and I got to work cleaning.

I can't wait to read about others tips and tricks for spring cleaning. Don't forget to head over and read a few for yourself!!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Teaching Table Manners


Lately I feel like we are constantly correcting our children at the table. As I really started to think about it I don't think we have ever really discussed table manners with them. We just expected our kids to know them. #momfail The teacher in me thought it would be fun to use an hour or so in the afternoons to learn about table manners in a fun way.


 I first looked up books at the local library regarding table manners. I found several books! I listed them below:


I read them at random times with Wyatt and Sloane. They sit at the island while I cook dinner and look through them. Wyatt picks out sight words. We read some at bedtime. I read some to Sloane after I picked her up from school. I didn't mind repeating some of them because after all...they were to be learning about the content in the books. We used all the days we had before returning them to the library. 

Then there was Pinterest...oh how I love thee. ;) I just searched "minding table manners." Obviously there are one million ++ helpful places to visit, things to read, activities to use, etc. but I tried weeding through as best as possible. If you plan to complete some table manner activities I suggest you do the same, what works for one family might not be the best for the next. 

I first found a list of table manners that worked best for our family. I printed it out on card stock. It was fun to stick a copy of them in the pile of books and just refresh our memory each time we read the books. 

There were a lot of different videos on YouTube but these are the 2 I used: 




There were quite a few games I read about regarding table manners. This one seemed interesting and beneficial but wouldn't work with my family very well. I didn't want to bring "games" to the table but to each his own, no judgment here. ;) 


THIS is the game I ended up printing out and playing! It was so fun, they enjoyed playing, and learned some manners in the process. That's a win/win in my book! 

We also learned about place settings using these printables. They cut them out and glued them on another piece of paper. It was a cute little placemat. 


Lastly, they have been helping set the table most every night. They enjoy making it look so nice and I enjoy them taking on the responsibility. :) Another win/win people!!!! 

We had so much fun completing these fun activities together. Now, let's hope they continue to apply these table manners at the dinner table WHERE EVER we go. 






Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekend Recap

We had another awesome weekend! We couldn't have asked for better weather either. Wyatt had a field trip at the zoo on Friday. It was such a special time with my little man. We love the zoo! 


After school was out we rushed home to change clothes and get ready for the Cardinal game. There were a few families from school that were all meeting up. We spent time hanging out for a while before the game. It was such a great evening with friends! Right before the game started we headed to our seats. The kids were both very interested in the game and it was so fun to hang out with them as they were actually interested in the game.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's Friiiiidddaaaayyyyy!!! I am attending a field trip today with Wyatt's class. I am excited for this time with my buddy. ;) We have another weekend full of fun planned and I can't wait! I linked up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea to share some of my current favorites. 


I have a post coming soon about a few fun themed activities I did with Wyatt and Sloane. We needed a little refresher on our table manners so why not make it fun!?!?! I know you are dying to know what we did...you will have to check back next week. ;)


Last weekend we had so much fun...and we ended with an AMAZING Sunday. It was spent by the pool and dinner with cousins. It's what summers are made of....wait...it's APRIL!!! We loved our little tease of summer and can't wait for it to REALLY be summertime.


Tonight we are going to the Cardinals game as a family. There will also be some families from school there too! We are looking forward to a fun evening together. In honor of the home opener Monday was Cardinal's shirt day. Wyatt got to wear a Cardinals shirt instead of his uniform shirt! He was excited!!!


After school on Wednesday Sis and I decided to make some homemade bath bombs. They have really enjoyed taking baths and using fun stuff in their baths. I used a Pinterest recipe and it was a TOTAL Pinterest fail...like BIG time. I think we will stick to spending a few extra $$$ and shopping at Lush for our bath bombs.  Ha ha! 



Lastly,  I got 2 more of Shay's cookbooks and am LOVING them. I made a recipe from one of the books and another recipe my SIL sent me she found on Pinterest. I totally redeemed myself with a Pinterest success with these flank steak tacos! Mmmmmmmm good!!!

Happy Weekend everyone!!!! 
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