Monday, April 25, 2011

Publix Greenwise Market Ad Week of 4/25 to 5/4

For all you Publix Shoppers out there, I have some good news.  I have learned that your regular Publix store will  honor the Publix Greenwise Market sales.  You only have to go to the Publix Greenwise Market Website, and print a shopping list.  Take that with you (and your coupons) and your store will match it!  I do suggest that you call first to make sure your store honors this policy.

Here are the matchups that go with this week's sale.  I compiled these myself, please leave a comment if you know about any other matchups.

Publix GreenWise Market


Betty Crocker Gluten Free Mix $4.19
Save $4.19

Big House the Birdman Pinot Grigiot Wine
Save up to $9.99

Cheetos Natural Cheese Flavored Snacks
Save up to $3.49

Organic Florida Grape Tomatoes
Save up to $3.69

Uncle Sam Cereal
Toasted Whole Wheat Berry and Flaxseed: Orginal or with Wild Strawberries
Save up to $3.69

Smart Balance Whipped Buttery Spread $3.69
Organic Certified, 13-oz Tub
Printable  (enter zip code 76109)
Use two $1/1 Printables makes it .89 cents each!

Koyo Organic Rice Cakes
Mixed Grain, No Salt or Lightly Salted
Plain or Buckwheat
Save up to $3.29

Terra Summa Wine $11.99
Save up to $11.99

Publix Greenwise Market Top Sirloin Steak  $6.99/lb

Lifeway Lowfat Keifer Cultured Milk Smoothie
Printable .50/1
$1/2 Lifeway Keifer Products 2/6/11 SS
As low as $3.00 each with 2 .50/1 coupons or 1 $1/2 coupon

Saint Albray Cheese $11.49/lb
Save up to $7.00/lb

Publix Steam-In-Bag Vegetables
Save up to $3.90 on 10

Arctic Zero All Natural Frozen Dessert 2/$7.00
Assorted Varieties 16 oz Carton
Save up to .98 cents

Organic Yellow or Zucchini Squash $1.29/lb

Publix Greenwise Market Tilapia $7.99/lb
Save up to $1.00/lb

Gourmet House Organic Brown Rice .99 cents each
14 oz bag
Save up to 36 cents

Publix Greenwise Market Organic Beans
Black, Pinto, Dark Red Kidney, Garbanzo or Soy
15-oz can
Save up to 30 cents

Publix Greenwise Market Tomato Ketchup
Organic, 20-oz bottle
Save up to 78 cents on two

Go Raw Energy Bars 4/$9.00
Assorted flavors, 100% organic

Health and Beauty
Seventh Generation Pads $3.99
$2.99 each after coupon

Jarrow Formulas Dietary Supplement $10.99
Bone-Up Regular or Vegan, 120 ct bottle, All Natural
Save up to $3.00

Gerber Organic 2nd Foods

In-Ad Coupons

$1.00 /1 Any Immaculate Baking Co. Cookie Dough

$1.00 off the purchase of Organic Cascadian Farms Chewy Bars

$1.00/1 Cascadian Farms Organic Frozen Fruit or Vegetables

$1.00/1 Riceworks Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps

$1.00/1 Stoneyfield Organic Yogurt 32 oz tub

$1.00/2 Lipton Pyramid Teas

$1.00/2 Odwalla Smoothie

$1.00/1 Aveeno Shampoo or Conditioner and other hair care products

$5.00/1 Brita Pitcher

.50/1 Organic Valley Milk

.60/1 Back to Nature Cookies

.75/1 Blue Diamond Almond Milk

Buy Any Two Kashi Cereals Get One Kashi Bar Free

An Update...

It's been a really long time since I've had a chance to update this blog.  Life has been rather busy to say the least.  So here are a few paragraphs to recap life at our home.

-Austin and ADHD.  He is doing wonderfully at school since we put him on medication.  His writing has improved dramatically (that was the first sign that meds were working).  At the recommendation of the doctor, I did not tell his teacher that we had started medicine.  (She did know we were talking about it.)  She stopped me in the mailroom one day after school and said "What have you done with Austin, did you put him on medicine because he is like a different kid!?!"  I found out that almost immediately he began keeping up with the class, behaving better and reading at a slower pace.  My very smart advanced reader with ADHD often reads at warp speed.  He can easily make errors this way.  So we are thankful that medicine has slowed him down.  We are proud to report that he made Honor Roll and got Perfect Behavior on his report card for the third quarter.  Honor Roll has never been a problem for him, but he has never gotten a behavior award.  I was so proud I cried!

-We are on the homestretch for school ending for the year.  This week is Spring Break and then we have a 6 week long dash to the last day of school.  I am looking forward to Summer Break!

-Finally, yesterday was Easter Sunday.  I could write all about how my meal turned out, how many Easter Eggs Austin found at the hunt or even about the Easter Basket we gave Austin. But what I will really write about is the REAL reason for yesterday.

You see, there was a man who was without blame.  He spent his 32 years on this Earth ministering to others.  His mother was a virgin when He was born. There was no IVF or IUIs back in those days, so His birth was truly a miraculous one.  He performed many miracles; He turned water into wine, He fed 5,000 people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread, He raised Lazarus from the dead and helped a lame man walk again.  That's just a few of the things He did.  He had thousands of followers.  But the Pharisees wouldn't have it.  They convinced the Roman Government to crucify Him.  They couldn't find any fault in Him, but they crucified him anyway.  They beat him to shreds before they made him carry his own cross up to the hill they were to execute him on.  His hands and feet were nailed to the cross. While He hung there, the soldiers cast lots (gambled) for his clothes.  He was mocked by people standing around the cross.  When he finally died, there was an earthquake.  He was laid in a borrowed tomb.  His friends and disciples wept and cried the day after he died.  But on the Sabbath, a few friends went to visit his tomb and an angel was sitting there and the stone that covered the Tomb door was rolled back.  The angel told the women that He was not there, he had risen just as He said He would.  Who is this man?  He is Jesus.  He's my Living King.  Is He yours?  Don't wait another second to make Him your King.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Teachers Make

(Please note--this has 2 profanities in it.  If you are offended by such, please refrain by watching this.  This video passionately shares what teachers actually do, and that is make a difference)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


It seems that I can't take a breath without hearing bad news about teachers.

Michelle Rhee claims that if you fire the bottom 8% of teachers across the board (based on test scores), then automatically your school district will improve.  This from the same woman who openly admits she taped her students' mouths shut and pulled the tape off and made them bleed.  Albeit while her moves in DC sparked Waiting For Superman, we now find out that the data behind that movie was false.

Our newly elected governor in Florida wants to cut per-student funding (a direct contradiction to his campaign promises--didn't take long, did it), make all state employees fund their retirement while the big whigs in the state get to increase their pay and benefits.

Wisconsin teachers are facing huge cuts and the loss of their right to have a Union.

Anytime a student struggles or has problems, I hear that it's because of the teachers.  If only the teachers would teach rather than sit at their desks...  If only the teachers would stop playing videos and letting the students draw, then they would learn.  If only the teachers would....
Let me ask you, when is the last time your kid came home from school and told you that all they did was sit and watch movies and draw all day?

I know that there are some teachers who do not do their jobs.  That don't follow best-practice, that do allow students to draw, that do show movies rather than teach.  Those teachers, just like any employee in any job, need to be given fair warning and then let go if there is no improvement.

But to state that it's all because of the teachers?

Every teacher I know, myself included, works hard.  I do not currently personally KNOW any teacher that just flat out does not do their job.  I personally work so hard that I'm going grey at 32 years old.  My students are taught from the second our morning show ends until they call for dismissal.  I don't take breaks, there is no down time and there's no "free time" to do anything else.  In fact, we rarely go outside at this point.  Please don't think I'm the only one in this boat, because I am not.  I call parents, email parents, and send communication home in attempt to get the students in my class to put forth 100% effort every day.  I work HARD.  I come home to my own family at night and I'm exhausted, but my family also deserves my 100%.  I don't make a lot of money.  It's taken me 11 years and a Masters Degree to break over $40,000 a year.  I spend money on my own classroom, spend my own gas to go out to the public library to get books I need to teach with, spend time I should be spending with my family to work on lessons for my class.

I am so tired of hearing how much teachers stink.  I am tired of being blamed for all of the ills of society.  It's time our citizenry stand up for teacher's rights and start treating them like honored people who do the dirty work that no one else wants to do.  Stop blaming it all on us and start standing up for us.

(Please do not post negative comments regarding Teacher's Unions, the President or any political party.  These are my feelings.  Negative comments will be deleted.  Please rant somewhere else or on your own blog.  Thank you.)

Friday, February 18, 2011


This seems to be one of the most controversial topics when it comes to medication for a child who is diagnosed with ADHD.  It seems that anyone I encounter with a negative opinion has not researched the issue.  They base their opinions on hear-say, old trends and sometimes even religious convictions.

This is not an effort to bash those with a negative opinion.  However, it segues quite easily into my first point; RESEARCH.  Just as you need to be well versed on laws pertaining to your child's diagnosis, you need to be up-to-date on information pertaining to current ADHD treatments.  The days of the zombie child on Ritalin are long gone.  There are many different kinds of medication and side effects for each one.  Do not become Dr. Google and rely on information you have found on Wikipedia, message boards, or even blogs.  Yes, even mind. Instead, go to reliable sources of information on the internet.  Here is a link to over 200 articles on the Mayo Clinic website on ADHD. The Mayo Clinic is a fabulous site on which to do your research on medical issues. It is much more reliable than message boards or anything that can be edited by regular folks and not medical professionals.  You can also go on Google Scholar and search Journal Articles on any topic.  These are articles published in scholarly journals.  That means that they are research based articles and not based on opinion.  You can research from the comfort of your own home.  You can also go to the library and check out books or read articles on your topic of research.  You really don't have to spend any money to become educated, just take the time to read.

Now on to why we chose to put our child on medication.  There are several reasons...

First, I am a teacher.  I've seen children from many different backgrounds with many different issues.  In my eleven years of experience, I have seen more children than I can count who benefit from medication for ADHD.  These same children who are on medication are usually completely different people on a day that a pill is forgotten.  I can well remember one particular child that I could just look at in the morning and his whole demeanor told me if he was on meds or not.  I have seen children who are failing everything go on medication and begin to excel in school.  I have also seen children who have parents who for whatever reason have chosen to not medicate their child.  I respect parents for their choices, but I've also watched their child suffer through trying to keep up with the pace of the class, be on the same page in the book as us, complete assignments, etc.  I have even seen a student who's parents took him or her off medication and then the student became impulsive.  What was once a trustworthy dependable child became a child who was lying and stealing every time I turned around.  Clearly, I have seen quite more benefit than harm in medication for children with ADHD.  In all of my years, I think I've seen maybe one student who was "zombie-fied" by the medication, but a change in meds fixed that problem.  I have seen decreased appetites.  However, medication can be adjusted for that issue as well.  Again, research is key.

Have a conversation with your doctor.  If your pediatrician doesn't answer all of your questions they way you want, then spend the money to see a child Psychiatrist.  We have not gone this route yet, but it remains an open option if we start experiencing changes with medication.

We wanted our son to have the best opportunity possible to reach his full potential.  We want him to be able to do whatever he wants in life and we don't want a low attention-span to hold him back.  We felt that with careful consideration and monitoring of medication our son could be helped tremendously.  I am proud to say that now after taking over a week to finish this post, our son has been on medication for 2 weeks now.  There will be a post to come on that as well, but so far so good.

Our journey is just beginning.  Don't rush to judgement on an option for ADHD medication.  Do your homework and base your conclusion on real research and not hear-say.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Home Behavior Therapy

Let me start by saying I'm no expert.  I am not the perfect parent and there is no manual on how to perfectly parent your ADHD child.  This is a chronicle of my first attempt at at home behavior therapy.

To me, this is something that you can use with any child, ADHD or not.  I've read very little about this, but between my experience as a teacher, my conversation with the psychologist who examined Austin and a little googling, I've figured some things out.  Behavior therapy is simply teaching your child to develop good habits.  The idea is that by positively reinforcing the desired behaviors, you build good habits.  It's a plus that we're starting this with Austin when he's 5.  Old habits die hard for us all, don't they?

I'm going to be honest.  The worst attention issue we have with Austin is getting ready in the mornings.  It's enough to make me want to rip my hair out.  When I tell him to get dressed in the morning, I leave his clothes out for him in his room to get dressed.  While he's supposed to be getting dressed, I'm in the kitchen making three lunches, putting dinner in the crock pot (or preparing something so it'll be easier when I get home), making mine and Austin's breakfast and sometimes loading the dishwasher.  (multi-tasking much?) More often than not, I go to check on his progress and he's standing in his room (often naked) and doing nothing.  It can be very frustrating, especially since we're on a time schedule in the mornings.  Let's get real people, there's a lot going on in the mornings.  I have to get to work.  I am NOT a morning person.  I get frustrated with Austin's inability to pay attention.  At times yelling ensues.  I'm not proud of it, and it makes the morning STINK.  The first goal of our plan is for him to get dressed, socks on, backpack ready in 15 minutes.  There will be a timer involved.  This is a reasonable amount of time.

We also have issues with him cleaning his room.  I am currently spending the weekend reorganizing his room, again.  We are going to reinforce positive behavior when he picks up the things in his room at the end of the night.  So the second goal in his plan is to pick up his toys at the end of the night.

Here is a picture of the goal board I created tonight.  I had a small bulletin board stored in a closet.  It has flowers on it and they are so "yucky" to Austin, so I got some of my scrapbooking paper out and re-covered it.  Then I typed out a simple chart on the computer.  Austin is able to read this chart and read the whole thing to me as soon as I put it up.  Then we talked about it.  I think if he weren't able to read this well, I may have use pictures instead.  I have it saved so we can start fresh each week.  The most important part in a behavior plan for an ADHD child is that the rewards are quick and that he doesn't have to wait for them. (the end of the week is NOT going to work)  If he follows the first goal and gets ready in time then he can play with the dog until I have his breakfast ready.  If he meets the second goal then he gets the treasure box (junk from the dollar store).  We already have a treasure box for "green" days at school, so we had that on hand already.

There are some other organizational things I am working on at home also.  They really don't have anything to do with his ADHD issues, but more with having our home flow more smoothly to prevent some of his issues.

Do I know that this is going to be it, that I have solved all of  my child's problems with this chart and some stickers?  No!  This is the beginning.  We'll see how this works, there will probably be some tweaking and then we'll try again.  Also, if you think that picking up toys and getting dressed on time is all the problems we have, then think again.  We are starting with the thing we need to work on the most and moving on from there.   Once we get these things mastered, or at least more manageable, there are more behaviors we need to work on with Austin.

And so the journey continues....

Do Your Homework!!

Oh, you thought I might be writing about teaching school?  Yes, I say those words all the time, but this has nothing to do with my own classroom.

I won't go into specific details on the internet for all to see, but I wanted to share a first lesson that we have learned in this process.

READ THE LAWS!  If your child is going to receive assistance in any way from the Public Schools, then you need to read the laws.  Go to the school officials armed with factual information.  Exceptional Student Education services and 504 Plans are all related to laws.  Here is information on Section 504 from the US Department of Education.    You can also find information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act here.

If you are met with any opposition at your Public School, take a deep breath.  Educate yourself and go in with the facts.  Don't be afraid to stand up for your child in a calm way.  If you have to go above your school administration because you feel you have exhausted all options at that level, then do so.  Don't be afraid to calmly stand up for your rights under our Federal Law.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A New Journey for Our Family

When Austin was just a tiny baby in my womb, I went to my doctor for an ultrasound.  My child, at about 9 or 10 weeks gestation, was dancing around in my womb. His small nubs for arms and legs were flying around.  He looked like he was doing the jig and we all thought it was funny.  At the next ultrasound several weeks later, he moved so quickly they couldn't get a clear picture of him to give us.  While I carried him he was always moving, and often woke me up at night while he seemingly tapped dance on my ribs.  While in labor, he was squirming so much in my belly that they couldn't keep the heart rate monitor on him.  He was getting his last chance at dancing in the water.

As soon as he figured out how to move around outside of the womb, my baby was a mover.  He kicked out of his swaddle.  He would lie on the changing table and kick his legs a mile a minute.  He kicked so much that over time, he wore a hole in his changing pad where his feet would hit it when he kicked.  When Austin finally learned to walk, it immediately became running.

When he was about 18 months old, he learned the alphabet.  Just as fast as he picked that up, he knew the sounds.  When he was nearing 2, I was cooking dinner and he was playing with the magnetic letters on our fridge.  He took an M and turned it upside down and said "look mommy, W".  Then he took a 6 and turned it upside down and said "look mommy, 9".  My jaw was in the floor.

From a very young age, we knew we had a very smart and active child.  It wasn't until Austin was about 3 or 4 years old that we started to realize that he was having difficulty paying attention and at times seemed scattered all over the place.

Austin is now in kindergarten.  I am fortunate that he goes to school at the same school where I teach.  His teacher is willing to chat with me here and there.  We knew that Austin was doing quite well (he can read far above grade level), but he struggles with paying attention in class.  His teacher pulled me aside a few months ago and said that his lack of paying attention was hindering him from growing academically.  Those words were all that Paul and I needed to confirm that something more needed to be done.

After consulting with our pediatrician, and talking to some people we knew who were parents of children with similar struggles, we decided to pursue our own independent psychoeducational evaluation.  I am writing this because I want others who may have some of our same issues to know what their options are and what to expect.  This service was not fully covered under our insurance and what was fell under our deductible.  This is a sacrifice that we felt was necessary for our family at this time.

The entire process took about three weeks.  We went to a Child Psychologist.  There was a parent interview where he took our family history and inquired about our concerns for Austin.  Then, before Austin met him, the doctor went to Austin's classroom to observe him in his environment.  He was a non-biased eye and was able to compare Austin to his typical peers.  Finally, I took Austin to his office one morning and the formal evaluation took place over a few hours.

I got the results back this Wednesday.  Austin has a very high IQ and does have ADHD.  This does not surprise Paul and I at all.  We knew this was the case.  The psychological report gives us a full picture of Austin and allows us to fully understand him and his abilities and limitations.

This is just the beginning.  I plan to blog about our journey as we pursue the next steps for him.  If you are reading this, you need to know that I am not putting this out there so that the world can critique our parenting skills.  This is our journey, and with the help of the Lord, we are going to do the best we can to parent our child through his focusing difficulties so that he can meet his full potential.  If you so desire, please learn from our experiences as we go down this new road with our precious son.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Free Organize In Style Coupon Booklet!

Go over here to get your free Organize In Style Coupon booklet.  It comes with several free coupons on products such as Febreeze, Swiffer, Cascade and Lysol.

Organize In Style

A Grand Purpose...

There are some days when I feel like my life is one of details and duty.  Oftentimes those duties can become overwhelming because quite frankly I have more of them to do in one day than is humanly possible.  When I feel overwhelmed, exhaustion sets in and at times it is depressing.

Sometimes when trials or storms come our way I don't understand the purpose.  It's so easy to ask the God that I know is perfect and has a plan, why?

My cousin and her husband are mourning the loss of their unborn child.  I don't know why the Lord allows for things like this to happen, but Romans 8:28 tells us that "All things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose".  I've never lost a child, and I can't imagine their pain, but sometimes you just want to ask why.

That very same cousin of mine who is experiencing loss, posted this on her blog about a week ago; how appropriate of a reminder it is in times of difficulty.

The Next Time You Feel Like God Did Not Make You For A Grand Purpose, Remember:

Noah got drunk, Genesis 9:20-22.

Abraham was too old, Genesis 17.

Jacob was a liar, Genesis 27:19.

Leah was considered ugly, Genesis 29:17

Joseph was abused, Genesis 37:24-36.

Moses stuttered, Exodus 4:10.

Gideon was afraid, Judges 6:21-23.

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer,

Judges 14.

Rahab was a prostitute, Joshua 2:1.

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young,

Jere.1:6-7 and 2Timothy 1:2.

David had an affair and was a murderer,

2Samuel 11:3-27.

Elijah was suicidal, 1King 19.

Isaiah preached naked, Isaiah 20:2-4.

Jonah ran from God, The book of Jonah

Naomi was a widow, Ruth 1:3.

Job went bankrupt, The Book of Job.

Peter denied Christ, Matt.26:69-70.

The Disciples fell asleep while praying, Matthew 26:40.

Martha worried about everything, Luke 10:40.

Mary Magdalene was cleansed of seven demons,

Mark 16:9.

The Samaritan woman at the well had five husbands, John 4:18.

Zaccheus was too small, Luke 19:3.

Paul was too religious, Acts 8:1. (note: I left this in, but am dubious about “too religious”…)

Timothy had an ulcer, 1Timothy 5:23.

Lazarus was dead! John 11.

God desires for you to reach your full potential.

Are you available?

You are not the message. You are the messenger!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My friend Marni

Today is Show Us Your Life Friday over at KellysKorner.  The cool part is that today’s theme is Show Us Your Singles.  When Kelly did this the first time, I immediately wished I would have known and thought about a friend.  When she mentioned she was going to do this again, I got my friend’s permission and this blog post is all about her.

I want to tell you about my friend Marni.  I’ve known Marni since we were about 14 or 15 years old.  We met at summer camp.  I believe in those days we had idealistic conversations about our latest crushes and shared our dreams about the future.  We’ve never lived in the same city, but we have always kept in touch.  She gave me the honor of being in my wedding.  Marni is one of those friends I can truly call a friend for life. 

Marni is one of the most caring, beautiful women I know.  She has a huge heart, is extremely considerate of others and loves the Lord.  You see, Marni is born again and calls Jesus her Lord.  She also has a quirky side and has very often had me in stitches with her sense of humor.   She is a lovely person on the inside and out.

She is also a fabulous Aunt to her twin niece and nephew.  Aren’t they cute?

Marni is also a very intelligent 31 year old woman with a successful career and calls Central Florida her home.  She is a Doctor of Pharmacy.  She works in a big hospital and her drug management knowledge saves lives every day.  That’s pretty amazing to me.

I don’t know what the Lord has in store for my friend’s future.  But should it be a relationship with a wonderful Christian man, I can say without a doubt that she would be a committed, loving and wonderful woman in his life.

Here is a link to Marni’s blog.  Stop by and say hello.  Or, email her here I’m sure you won’t regret it.