Monday, April 14, 2014

Along Came You by Karona Drummonds

We drove home to see a package on our front porch.  Abby is beginning to recognize the packages my Book Looks books come in, so she ran to the porch to retrieve the package.  We opened the door and she immediately asked me to open the package.   (Good thing this book was for her!)  When she saw it was a board book, she begged me to read it.  I obliged.  :)



With a title and cover picture like this, you can expect this to be a sweet book about the love between a mother and daughter, and it doesn't disappoint.

You know the phrase, "Having a baby changes everything" that Johnson and Johnson coined a few years ago?  That's the basic premise of this little book.  Each page shares something the mom used to do before her daughter was born, and then what she does now with her.  While each activity is done a little differently now than before the little girl was in the woman's life, it's obvious that the mom wouldn't change any of it for the world!

I love the soft illustrations of this book too.  This would be the perfect little book to get a mom-to-be as a shower gift.  I think all moms can relate to this!  If you're a mom, you'll love this book.

**I'm a Book Looks Blogger.  I get complimentary books in exchange for an honest review.  As always, all opinions are my own!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stream of Consciousness

I haven't done one of these in forever, and probably some of you newerish readers don't even know what it is.  Basically, I write whatever I'm thinking without trying to formulate it into an eloquent statement. It will go from one thing to the next without warning.  Fun, right?!  (My sister loves these!)

As a mom, it's hard when your kid feels like he doesn't fit in.  I see what a great kid he is, and I love his passion for knowledge.  But I also know he's pretty much on a different plane than most other kids his age.  He's had a lot of experiences that have shaped who he is, and a lot of those experiences aren't typical for a 7 year old.  I just hope that other kids can appreciate him and accept him for who he is.  My dog is lying on the couch.  Don't tell my husband.  She really loves the couch.  :)  I'm really ready for Spring Break.  Even though we had like a bagillion snow days, very few of them fell on days I was working...which means I have to make up days that weren't really my work days to begin with.  Oh well.  It's been a really busy year at work and I am ready for a break.  I am currently in the process of testing some adorable pre-k kids.  They're my favorite to test because they're just so little and cute.  I love that age.  I also love Swiss cheese.  We have some in the fridge, but I'm too lazy to get out of my chair and get some.  It's already cubed up and everything.  My mouth is watering.  My tulips are starting to pop up.  I haven't seen any bulbs yet or anything, but the leaves are coming.  I love tulip season.  I have them planted all over my yard as a reminder that Holland can be beautiful too.   Abby has been sick with the flu.  She was diagnosed in the ER on Sunday night and went back to the ER on Tuesday for dehydration.  After switching her nausea medicine, she's much more willing to drink fluids and even ate a decent amount today.  She's acting pretty normal and hasn't had a fever since Tuesday morning, so I'm hoping she will be ready to go to Mom's Morning Out on Friday.  I find myself sometimes forgetting what we are facing this summer.   Or when I talk about it, I feel like I'm talking about someone else's life.  Does that ever happen to you?  I think I take myself out of the situation as a way of coping with it. But then something will hit me and I'll feel the magnitude of this surgery.  Someone on the VEPTR site mentioned how much they hate the spiel anesthesiology gives them each time before surgery about the ramifications of doing/not doing surgery.  The fear of a spinal cord injury is very real...and so is the fear of a collapsed lung or respiratory distress if we don't do the surgery.  So do we choose the prospect of a spinal cord injury, or the prospect of a lung transplant?  It's not an easy decision, to say the least.  And we've already made the decision, but that doesn't mean I don't second guess myself when I start worrying.  A friend in college told me worrying is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere.  I find that's true and I'd love to stop worrying so much.  Is there a pill for that?  Maybe.  Enough for tonight.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

To Thine Own Self, Be True

That moment when your child realizes he is "different" from the other kids because he really isn't into sports, loves to read, finds history interesting, and adores school...

I didn't think I'd be dealing with this sort of angst this early on, but I climbed on into his loft and settled in for a heart-to-heart.  We talked about a lot of things, but I shared with him how he shouldn't apologize for liking history or reading!  Love what you love and don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't!

We watched this little video clip together.  I'd seen it last week on Facebook, and I thought it was appropriate.  Will Wheaton, a sci-fi actor, answers a little girl's question about how to deal with being called a nerd.



Although some of it was over his head, I paused it periodically and we talked about what he meant.  I think he got it.







I have You Are Special by Max Lucado.  I think it's time to read it again!  "You are special because I made you, and I don't make mistakes!"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fabulous News!

I know I've been really quiet on here recently.  But my "free" time has been filled with JOY bags!!!  I am happy to tell you that we have had 132 bags sponsored!  This project has just taken off.  We started out just praying that we would get 50 bags, and we met that goal in TWO hours!  After buying more of the 31 Bags Drawstring Bags multiple times, we finally settled at 132 (we bought 30 more and got 2 free, which is how we got to 132!)

Cathy and I have been busy buying the bags, as well as LOTS of toys to fill those bags!  Each bag will be filled with fun stuff like play dough, several books, bubbles, a dry erase board, twistable Crayola crayons, a coloring book, a cuddly stuffed toy, and much more!  We are also including a sponsor card so that the recipient will know who lovingly sponsored their bag.

Our plan is to deliver some of the bags when we go to CHOP in May.  Then we will give the orthopedics department some bags to keep on hand and give out as they see VEPTR patients.  They will let me know when they begin to run low and we will bring more!

THANK YOU to all of you who sponsored a bag (or more!)  We were blown away by the faithfulness of God as we began this project.  It has been so fun!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Open Your Eyes by Jake Olson and McKay Christiansen

A story about a typical teenager who loves hanging out with his friends, playing golf, eating pizza...all that stuff that teen life.  Except...Jake is blind.  He lost one eye very early on as a result of cancer, then doctors were forced to take his other eye when he was 12 to save his life once again.

I think the most poignant part of the book for me was the description of how Jake rode to the hospital the day of surgery with his face pressed against the glass, taking in every single thing he could while he still had his sight.  To think that this would be the last time he would ever see the corner coffee shop, or his middle school, or the tree he used to love to climb, was heartbreaking!

The honesty and transparency of every perspective (Jake, Mom, Dad, McKay) is refreshing.  They never pretended all of their struggles were easy, but their strong faith that God would carry them over every hurdle has helped them to carry on.  And that is beautiful!

I'm a Book Looks blogger and get free books in exchange for honest reviews.  As always, all opinions are 100% mine!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Joy Bags

I have an EXCITING opportunity to share with you! As you know, Abby is beginning her VEPTR journey this summer. Kids who have their implantation surgery are on their backs for 2-3 weeks in the hospital while healing and figuring out how to manage the pain. Can you imagine keeping a preschooler occupied for that long?! Yeah, me neither... 

My wonderful friend Cathy, a 31 consultant, has created a fundraiser to provide a 31 Cinch Sack filled with toys and activities for VEPTR kids at CHOP to enjoy while they're in the hospital. Our goal is to have 50 bags sponsored. With your $20 donation, we will fill a Cinch Sack with fun toys such as cars, twistable crayons, coloring books, bubbles, play-dough, decks of cards, etc. Your donation is 100% tax deductable (CHOP's tax ID number is: 23-1352166, as posted on its website.) I will take the bags with me to CHOP for our awesome surgical team to distribute as VEPTR kids come in for surgeries.

Will you sponsor a Joy Bag or two and help us to spread a little JOY to the VEPTR kids at CHOP? Email me at juliebleach@yahoo.com for more information!




Thursday, March 13, 2014

Consignment Sale for Good!

If you are local and love consignment sales as much as I do, you should head to Twice Loved at St. John Vianney on March 28th-30th.  If you go, print out this flyer and present it when you check out.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Ronald McDonald House!  You have to have the flyer for them to get the percentage, so don't forget to print it out!