Friday, August 31, 2012

A Make-A-Wish Fairy Tale

I've been promising to post about my little one's fabulous Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World for over a year now.  It really is hard to believe that it has been over a year since we flew from Memphis to Orlando that early morning in May...

Time really does fly! (No pun intended.)

I will tell you, though, we still talk about that trip and look at the nearly one thousand photos we took while there.  It was truly magical.  So magical, that I created Eli a story book at Shutterfly as a keepsake.  It turned out great!  I was very pleased with the end product and decided to purchase an extra copy to send to Eli's wish sponsors and another for our local Make-A-Wish office.

I shared a snippet of the finished book here, and thanks to Shutterfly, I'm sharing the whole project today.  Take a look....

If you want a better look, check out the options at the top right of the widget.  Hit 'full-screen' and read the story.  

Shutterfly offers exclusive photobook layouts so you can make your book just the way you want.

(Just an FYI...the actual book is so much more vibrant and the photos are very crisp and clear.  The quality of the actual book is much better than the widget.)

We will never forget the great time we had thanks to MAAR and Make-A-Wish of the Mid-South.

It was truly amazing.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Warning! Cheesy Mom Brag Ahead...

My son is brilliant.  Seriously.  He is a genius trapped in a six year old body.

I'm sure every mom reading this can relate.

However....my son really IS a genius. ;o)

I realize he is just three days into Kindergarten and I want to warn you all that I will be posting evidence of his above-average intelligence from this moment on.

I can't help it.

During class yesterday, he was given a simple worksheet to complete.  The directions read:  Trace and color the circles.  Most Kindergartners can accomplish this task, I'm sure.  My genius boy took it a step further...

That's right.  He traced those circles like a boss!


he drew a cartoon inside each circle.   That's better than coloring!  Right??


I mean....color the circles??

How boring.

I can just imagine what his new teacher was thinking at this point....

This guy has a huge head and a teeny body:

(And his tongue is hanging out.)

This is my favorite:

(Notice the bug on his tongue?  It has wings.  And see how his eyes are shifted?)

Did you notice the pepperoni pizza at the top?

I just have one question other than the obvious, of course...why didn't he just color the circles?

Why does every face have a huge tongue hanging out?

I'm thinking my boy was hungry, but that bug is throwing me off a little.


I don't mind saying it again.

If you are visiting from Kate's  I ♥ Fun Fridays! blog party...WELCOME!

My little one just started Kindergarten and it has been smooth-sailing so far.  He was born with complex heart defects and also has Autism.  Even though he has attended a special needs preschool for the past 3 1/2 years, I wasn't sure what to expect with this switch to 'big kid school' and full days away from home.

I find myself pacing a lot during the day or surfing the web...

Like Lucy, Eli has a medical alert bracelet, but he has been very stable, medically, since his heart surgery in 2009.   Even so, I made sure that his new school nurse has a copy of his medical history, and I wrote a novel for his teacher.  Just kidding.  Sorta.    Better to have too much info than not enough.  Right??

The biggest thing right now is the Autism.  Little things like, how to get him to and from his classroom safely and with the least amount of assistance.  My next oldest child attends the same school and is being a good mix of helpful big brother and uhhh...not so helpful big brother.  I guess that's to be expected.  He is also on the Autism spectrum (Asperger's), so this possible added-responsibility is a good/bad thing.

The school administration is very willing to work with us to keep the boys safe and happy while they each get their FAPE (free, appropriate, public education), and that is a huge blessing.  IEP review and changes for the little one are incomplete, but in the works.  I can't complain at all.

Thankfully, school-time medications are not an issue for the boys.  That gives us more time to concentrate on sensory issues and anxiety freak-outs.

Special needs at school.  It's a whole new thing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Word!

Six and a half years of medical history, printed out and delivered to the local elementary school.  Better to have too much information than to not have enough information, right??

Not to mention... reading the medical history gives people a chance to really understand just how amazing my little one is.

Really amazing.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

OrthoLite Performance Insole Giveaway Winners!

Through Rafflecopter magic, I have the names of three winners:

Congratulations to you all!  You will be experiencing super comfort in no time!  

Thanks to all who participated and a special thank you to the ladies at Cone, Inc and OrthoLite for supplying the products.

Happy Sunday~

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Day of School (aka...Some Things are Just Plain H.A.R.D.)

My baby...my caboose...went to full-day big-boy school this morning.

He was a little less than eager.

I give him an 'A' for effort.  
He tried to smile for the camera.  

Big brother stepped in and helped him relax a little bit.  

It does help knowing big brother is right down the hall in 5th grade.  
(This is the only year they will go to the same school.)

Oh, blocks!  
Is that a hint of a smile, I see? 

Cade, wishing 5th graders could start every day with wooden blocks...

Ms. Chasity steps in to ease the transition.

Another one of life's hardest, happiest, richest,
sweetest, saddest, scariest moments...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--So Long, Summer Break...

It's been great...

....but now it's back to school time, so...

So long, good bye, see ya next time!

With love and great trepidation~

The Schaffer Family

P.S.  Why you go so soon??  We miss you already!!

   (OrthoLite giveaway ends this weekend...enter HERE!)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

OrthoLite Performance Insoles Review and Giveaway!

Yesterday, I posted this photo of me wearing my new workout shoes and I hinted around about how really, really, REALLY comfy my new shoes are.

I needed new workout shoes for my new, healthy lifestyle I told you about yesterday.  I'm not sure how many pairs of shoes I tried---30 maybe?  

I tried Reebok and New Balance and oh. my. gosh. I can't even remember how many different brands and styles.   

I finally settled on these Nike shoes.

I traded the bright seafoam strings for black strings.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't love these shoes.  They were the most comfy shoes I tried that day, but there was something missing.  


I have a pretty flat foot and a history of plantar fasciitis.  I need arch support.  I rolled with it, though, and began my treadmill work with the shoes as/is. 

Jump ahead a couple of weeks. (No pun intended.)  I received an invitation to a running event being held in a nearby city.  It was a chance to run with Jonathon Prince,  famed lifestyle runner, philanthropist and OrthoLite brand ambassador.  Cool!  

Well, it didn't work out for me to attend the event and I didn't get to meet Jonathon Prince. And I'm new enough to the treadmill that I would probably have passed out in an attempt to actually run during the event.  However, the representatives of OrthoLite decided to bless me with a set of performance insoles for review.  Just a few days later, the package came via FedEx.

As much as I hated to pull out the original Nike insoles, I just went with it.  The OrthoLite insoles were a perfect fit, no trimming or fussing at all.   


You could never, not ever, believe the difference these whisper thin insoles have made in the comfort rating of my new shoes.  Truly.  I didn't believe it when I opened the box.  They are so thin, I thought there would be no way I could tell a difference.  


The amount of arch support is really surprising.  My foot feels supported from heel to toe in soft (but not too soft) cushiony comfort.  I'll be putting these insoles to the test for many more treadmill workouts to come.

I give OrthoLite Performance Insoles two thumbs up.  I'd give them more if I had more thumbs. 

You'll see what I'm talking about if you enter to win a pair of your very own.  

Yep, I have not one, not two, but THREE pair to give away.  Three chances to win!

Entering is easy with Rafflecopter!  Giveaway begins NOW and ends at midnight on August 12th.  Good luck!

Cone, Inc and OrthoLite supplied free product for review and additional free product for giveaways in exchange for this fair and honest review.  All thoughts expressed are my own.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Word of the Year.....'Me'

It's August and I've yet to blog about my 2012 Word of the Year.  Ah, well....some years are just like that, right?  They're cram packed with living.  Full of life and experiences, good times and bad times, fun times and hard work.   And then, you take a breather to look around, and you discover that most of the year has moved on!  

That's what 2012 has been like for me.

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday.  It really was a great day filled with good food and family.  For this low-carber, it was a chance to eat cake and ice cream for a change.  That's right....low-carber.  Me.  I've been making some changes for the better around here, which leads me to the point of this post.


My 2012 Word of the Year is....ME.

I struggled with this one, because in years past, my WOTY has meant facing some really hard stuff.  Not always, but definitely more than normal.  Did I really want to tackle.....ME?  No, not really.  I actually spent a couple of weeks searching for my WOTY even though I knew ME was it.

So, here I am, eight months later, telling you all about it.  (Seems there is a lot more work that needs to happen around here....)

I started off this new year kicking and fighting ME every step of the way.  Finally, I decided to just ignore it.  So, I did.  For several weeks.  When the new flowers began to bud and the grass started to show signs of life,  I began to mellow.

In April, I started to think kindly of ME.  I tried to banish negative self-talk, a major, major problem in my head.  What a difference that made!

In May, I started to think differently about the way I treat ME physically.  I made changes to my diet.  I began to cut bad carbs and eat better foods.  It was very difficult!  I am an addict.  I love sugar.  And bread.  My palms are getting sweaty just typing these words.  But something great happened after those first 3 weeks of sheer torture.  I started feeling good.  No...great.  I felt great!   I took a break from this new way of life during our vacation and boy, I felt horrible.  I will be the first to tell you....I MISS SUGAR AND BREAD!!!   But.... I feel so good, it just doesn't matter.  Pass the meat platter.

In June, I started exercising.  Just a little here and there, mostly on the treadmill. My house is cleaner.  (It still needs work---I have four boys!)  I have the energy to do these things. It feels pretty great, to be honest.  Monday I will be starting a Beachbody 90 day challenge and I'm actually excited about it!

Yesterday, I celebrated ME.  It was my birthday.  My son snapped a picture of me with his iPod.

Looking at the photo, I can definitely tell that I've lost weight (about 25 pounds, so far), but that's not what caught my attention.   The biggest change in ME here is my posture.  No slumped shoulders.  I look like I feel good---and I do!

Oh, see my new Nike's?  These are my new workout shoes.  They are so comfy!  Tomorrow I will tell you why they are so great and give you a chance to make your favorite shoes feel great, too.

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