Saturday, October 31, 2009

Check these out!

I frequent many different websites and blogs on a daily basis to find out about all the great deals out there.  I snag awesome coupons, get great tips and learn about all the FREEBIES!!  I also go to many different sites to learn organizing tips, cooking/baking tips and recipes, how to live life more frugally, plus a lot more!! I wanted to share with you some of the websites that I go to.  There are hundreds and thousands out there, so you have a vast array to choose from.   But, if you start with these, you'll find yourself learning about more and more!

I have no affiliation with these websites/blogs......just love them!

Here are a few:

Money Saving Mom

Frugal Living Online

Frugal Coupon Living

The Pioneer Woman

Organizing Junkie

Coupon Cravings

Deal Seeking Mom

The Finer Things in Life

Passionate Homemaking

Tammy's Recipes


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Faithful Friday--He Will Carry You

Do you ever feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?

Are you weighed down by your worries, fears and insecurities??

Are you hurt, struggling or burdened??

Do you feel like there is more on your plate than you can handle?

How DO you handle it???

Well, I'm here to tell you that YOU don't have to handle it alone.

Let God carry you.

Here is an amazingly uplifting, inspirational song.

I URGE you to listen to the words and hold them close to your heart.

Don't Forget!

It's the end of the month!!  Make sure you visit one more time before the coupons change on the 1st!!

(Can you believe it's almost NOVEMBER?!?!?!?)


You can click HERE

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tip Tuesday

Pumpkin/Squash Puree

It's that time of year!!  Pumpkin and squash are abundant, and, for, relatively, great prices!!  I am in the "baby-food-making-mode" right now, especially since we have apples galore, too!  Homemade applesauce is already abundant in our freezers and so is pureed pumpkin and squash!!  What a healthy and super FRUGAL way to feed your baby!  Plus, you can also use those purees and your homemade applesauce in recipes for the whole family!

So, on that note,  I have a super easy, stress-free way to puree your squash and pumpkin!  There are many different ways, and all are efficient, I'm sure, but here's how I do it:


1.  Wash the outside of your squash and pumpkins (small pumpkins are the best for purees), and remove the stems

2.  Set them on a baking sheet whole

3.  Poke several holes in them

4.  Roast them in the oven until a knife easily inserts into all of them  (Depending on how many, and the size, I usually do about 300 degree for an hour or so)

5.  Let them cool


6.  Cut them in half and the seeds will easily scoop out

7.  It will be so tender, that the "meat" will literally fall off the skin!  Scoop it into a blender/food processor/vita-mix.  (You may have to add a little water)

8.  Blend it up!

9.  Choose a One-cup measuring cup and scoop your puree into freezer-safe bags.  One cup per bag.

10.  Flatten your puree, just to the "zipper" and zip it up.  Look how flat it lays!!  (You can definitely choose to do more than one cup per bag, but it doesn't flatten as well, and,  if you're using it as baby food, one cup at a time is best!)

11.  Note on the outside of the bag what it is/date and pop it in the freezer!


Voila!  There you go!  It's THAT easy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It was another BUSY weekend!  But, a great one!  Hope you all enjoyed yours!!

Check out our Menu for the week:

Monday:  Roasted Pork Chops, Garlic Parmesan Orzo, Green Beans

Tuesday:  BLT's, homemade Oven Fries, Smoothies

Wednesday:  Bourban Street Chicken, Sticky Rice, Veggies

Thursday: Mexican Rice Casserole, Spinach Salad

Friday:  Homemade Pizza, Smoothies

For other great ideas and menus, check out


I do not want to start a vaccine debate.

I do not have all the answers.

I simply want to encourage ALL of you to become FULLY educated on the subject before you make the decision to vaccinate your children, or not.

This is not just pertaining to the recent Swine Flu vaccine, but, to ALL vaccines.

This is heavy on my heart, because our sweet Anna has had some pretty "severe" reactions to just just TWO of the vaccines that were given to her at her 2-month check-up.  And, not only that, but, she was supposed to have EIGHT vaccines done on that same day.  EIGHT.  EIGHT?!?!?!  Plus, our darling Ava has a severe neurological disorder, Speech Apraxia.  Is this due to vaccines?  I don't have that answer, and I probably never will.

I am now choosing to EDUCATE myself before I let a doctor inject one more vaccine into my children's bodies.  I don't know our decision, yet, but until I do, I'm not going to freely and naively let my children be injected one more time.

Again, I am not saying you SHOULD or you SHOULDN'T vaccinate your children.  I am saying:  EDUCATE yourself, FULLY, before you decide.

A website that has been helpful in my mission to educate myself is:

And, I haven't read this book, yet, but was recommended by my Chiropractor:  Vaccines--Are they Really Safe and Effective, by Neil Z. Miller

Here's an awesome quote from Alan G. Philips, Attorney at Law:

"God created us with a perfect immune system!  He gave us fever to burn a virus, vomiting and diarrhea to eliminate a virus and we’ve allowed man to teach us to suppress the fever, suppress the vomiting, suppress the diarrhea.  Then, we allow man to convince us to bypass God’s defense mechanisms and directly into the body, inject biological toxins to create immunity.  We’re literally allowing man to play the role of God."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It was quite the chaotic day around here yesterday, therefore, I really had no energy to post a Tip for Tip Tuesday.  So, now I'm trying to play "catch-up" and here's a little something for you!

I don't know if this is a tip, exactly, but it's a great product that I've been wanting to share with you for months!!

Here it is:

The wonderful.

The Amazing.



I just have to say, that, I am IN LOVE!!  My dear sister, Martha, gave me this amazing coupon organizer for my birthday and I can't tell you what a beautiful thing it is!!  :-)  It is so perfectly simple, yet, does the job better than any other coupon organizer I could imagine.

If you remember back to my post HERE, I had a pretty good, (kind of OK---now looking back on it---not too great) way of organizing all my coupons.  It worked, yes, but was it a pretty beautiful sight like the COUPONIZER?!?!?!  I think not!!

Truly, this has changed my couponing life!!


The Couponizer is a booklet with 18 different coupon pockets with categories, four non-grocery pockets, three gift card/catalina pockets, and shopping/checkout pockets.  It also came with scissors, a tear-pad shopping list, a pre-sorting mat, and a carrying bag!  It also has an elastic closure strap.  I LOVE IT!!!

Here's a few shots of what mine looks like:


P1010259This coupon system is so easy to use, so straight forward, extremely portable, and set-up in a way that helps us save money!!!  I'm convinced there is no better coupon organizer out there.  Check it out!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fruit Flies

With all the fruit we've been picking and bringing in from the yard, the tomatoes that we have sitting on the counter hoping to ripen, and all the different veggies that have been brought in from the garden----Fruit Flies are ever-abundant in our kitchen!!!  Do you have this same issue?  I guess, 'tis the season, but, it's actually quite disgusting.  I really, really don't like the little buggers.  Doesn't it seem like they appear out of thin air?!  It's quite amazing, actually.

So, in my quest to get rid of them, I came across a super EASY and super EFFECTIVE way to kill the poor guys.  (Or gals?)

This is all you do:

1.  Get a small bowl

2.  Pour in two tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar

3.  Pour in 1 or 2 tablespoons of dishwashing soap

4.  Mix, ever-so-slighty

5.  Set it on your counter and watch them FLOCK to it!!

Here's a picture of my bowl, and this is just 10 minutes after I set it out!!  It's got some flies in it.....I know, kinda GROSS....but I wanted to show you that it really works!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

It was a great, busy weekend!  Lots of things got done around the house!  Mark and I re-organized EVERY, SINGLE cupboard and drawer in the entire kitchen and pantry!!  It wasn't outrageously out of control, but we haven't re-organized them, fully, for quite awhile, so, it was delightful......once it was all done!!  :-)  Oh, how lovely and organized it is!!  We also did quite a bit of cleaning and organizing in the basement, and I organized three of our freezers, and we're defrosting the fourth. Yay!

We also had some great family time together!!  We did quite a bit of shopping and errand running on Saturday---grocery shopping, Goodwill, and costume-hunting for Luke.  (Ava already has hers.)  We had a great time looking and trying costumes on Luke, it was pretty hilarious!!  We finally found one----A Monkey!!  (Luke likes to think he'll be Curious George!)  He's sooooo excited to wear it!

Ava and Mark picked lots more apples in the yard and Ava helped me make, probably, my best pie, to date!  My pie-making skills still have a long way to go, but, it was pretty delicious and my homemade crust was pretty great, too!   I also made apple-cinnamon muffins, and more applesauce!

After dinner this evening, we took a family walk together and the kids had so much fun picking up sticks and looking at all the different kinds of leaves on the ground........just seeing their wonder and amazement and joy, was so special;  so beautiful.  Being together as a family, no matter what we're doing special.

(I also have to give big "props" to our sweet Anna.....she's just a content, happy, lovely little lady.  She is still sleeping 7-8 hours straight every night, and sometimes more!!  She smiles constantly, is cooing and squealing, and is almost reaching out for toys!  We are just so blessed to have this little miss in our lives.)

So, now on to a crazy, busy, busy week!!  I don't even want to look at the calendar, because I don't want to be too overwhelmed!!  Whew!  I'll take it one day at a time......

So, here's what I have planned for our busy week:

Monday:  Lasagna (already made....Thanks, Martha!!!), green salad, homemade wheat bread

Tuesday:  THIS Cream Cheese Potato Soup (I made it today and it's DELICIOUS!!!), Buttery Rolls

Wednesday:   Tuna Noodle casserole, roasted carrots, buttermilk biscuits

Thursday:  Dinner with Martha!

Friday:  Meatloaf (from my freezer stash), baked potatoes, and green beans

Here's to another great week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

2 months old!

anna smile

I truly cannot believe it's been 2 months already!!

What a sweet, precious little girl we have!!

This picture turned out a little dark, but I just thought it was so cute!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

People Get Ready

This has been a favorite song of mine for a long time......I thought it was time to share it.  Lyrics attached.

People Get Ready Jesus is Coming - Crystal Lewis...


Lord I'm ready now
I'm waiting for Your triumphant return
You're coming so soon
This world has nothing for me
I find my peace and joy solely in You
Only in You
I want the world to see that
You're alive and living well in me
Let me be a part of the harvest
For the days are few
He's coming soon

So people get ready Jesus is comin'
Soon well be going home
People get ready Jesus is coming
To take from the world His own

There will be a day
When we will be divided right and left
For those who know Him
And those who do not know
Those who know Him well
Will meet Him in the air
Alleluia God is with us
Those who do not know
They will hear "Depart, I knew you not"
For my friends you see
There will be a day when well be counted
So know Him well, know Him well

People get ready Jesus is comin'
Soon well be going home
People get ready Jesus is comin'
To take from the world His own
People get ready Jesus is comin'
Soon well be going home
People get ready Jesus is coming
To take from the world His own

To take his take his own..
we'll be going home...we'll be going home..oh yeah!

for my friends you see, there will be a day when we'll be counted.

So Know. him well, know him well..

repeat chorus

People get ready...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Have you ever made your own beans??

Yeah........neither had I!!!

I'm not sure why, but, I used to be quite intimidated by it, to tell you the truth!  But, I found out that it is, actually, quite easy!!  So.  So.  Easy!!!

Here's what I did:

1.  Cut open the bag of Pinto Beans and pour them into a colander.  Wash the beans.

2.  Pour the beans into a big pot and cover with water.

3.  Bring the beans to a rolling boil.  One they start to boil, turn them down to Medium Hi-ish, so they're still at a nice slow boil and let them go!!

4.  Replenish the water as it evaporates to keep the beans covered.

That's it!!!


Don't worry about soaking them overnight.  I mean, you most surely could do that, but this way cuts out a big step.  I started my beans around 3:00 yesterday afternoon, and they were done by 8:00ish.  I let them fully cool, drained them, and put them into ziploc bags by 2 cupfuls, and into the freezer they went!

I bought this bag of pinto beans for 32 cents and I will probably get 6-8 meals out of it!!  Plus, I know there is no added sodium or other "stuff" because I made them myself.  Bonus!!

Beans are a super frugal and super healthy food!  There are COUNTLESS things you can do with beans!  You can pull the beans out and make Chili, Burritos, Beans and Rice, Mexican Lasagna, mash 'em up to make refried beans.....the possibilities are endless!

Go ahead, try it!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tip Tuesday--Smoothies

We are a smoothie-loving family around here.


But, not only are smoothies yummy, they are very versatile, fabulously frugal, and amazingly healthy!!

Here are some great things about smoothies that I love:

1.  You don't have to throw your too ripe fruit out.....throw it in a blender!

2.  Don't have ice?  No problem.  Just toss in some frozen berries/fruit from the freezer.

3.  It's a great way to get some extra veggies into your kids without them even knowing it!

4.  Wheat germ or protein powder can be added without anyone even knowing, too!


5.  Everything tastes better when you're drinking it through a straw!

I ended up making smoothies almost every day of the week last week, due to our massive quantities of fruits and veggies.  I didn't want to waste one, single, thing!

Here are a couple of the combinations of smoothies I conjured up, and even with all the ingredients listed, the kids gobbled them up!!

Example #1:

1 homemade plain yogurt (or you can use any yogurt you have on hand)

some milk

2 bananas

1 pear

1 tomato

handful of raspberries

handful of blueberries

wheat germ

1 T (or so) sugar

Example #2

1/2 cup (or so) Homemade applesauce

some milk

2 bananas

1 pear

1 orange

2 carrots

half of a cucumber

handful of strawberries

1 T (or so) sugar

The possibilities are ENDLESS!!

(I meant to take a picture of the smoothies we enjoyed this morning, but time was tight!!  So, sorry for no pictures!!)

Next time you don't quite know what to do with some of your fruits and veggies, and you want to change things up a little:  Make a SMOOTHIE!!

Growing up!

My little 2 1/2 year old, Luke, had his first day at "Pre" Pre-School today!!!  It's a one-day-a-week program for 2.5-3.5 year olds and he's part of a six student class.  The class visit last week was a little bumpy, so I wasn't sure how he was going to do today, but the report was that he did GREAT!!  He's such a sweet, smart, talkative, insightful little guy, but he's going through a little bit of a "phase" right now---sharing is NOT high on his list, and neither is obeying!  :-)  We're working through it.....I guess this is what they call the "terrible twos?!!"  Being in this class will be so great for him, and he's extremely excited to go back next week!!  Gooooooo Lukie!!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

It was a great, busy weekend!  We traveled down to my parent's house on Thursday to stay the night so that  we could be close by to help my sister, Martha, move in to her new home!   We decided to stay Friday night, too, so that we could continue to help her unpack and do more moving in on Saturday.  We got a lot done, but, as anyone who has moved, knows.....unpacking can take years!!!  (Ok, or maybe just months?!)  :-)  What a darling house, Martha!!  Welcome to the world of home-ownership!!  :)

Sunday afternoon we took the kids out to a pumpkin patch.....boy, did they have a blast!  The had so much fun running (and sometimes tripping!) through the pumpkins and wanted to pick up EVERY one they saw!!


We decided on one H.U.G.E pumpkin that represented mommy and daddy, and Ava and Luke each picked one out that represented them, and we decided on a darling little petite one for Anna.  I also picked out a few sugar pumpkins to prepare and have on hand for baking, and I also picked out some Delicata squash to bake up and freeze for baby food, for Anna.


P1010344(excuse how washed out these pictures are!  i was having flash issues!!)

The kids also went on the tractor "hay" ride with Grandma R. and ran through the hay maze again, and again......and again!! (They didn't even want to stop for a picture!!)

It was such a beautiful, brisk, crisp fall day and so much fun was had by all!!!


So, here we are, back at another Monday!  How do Mondays always seem to come so quickly?!  It should be another fun, busy week for us!  Luke starts his first day of "Pre" Preschool on Tuesday (just one day a week) and he's soooooooo excited for that!!  And I've started back to work, just one morning a week, doing childcare at a local church during their mother's meetings.  Here's to another great week!!

So, here's what I have planned for the week:

Monday-- Chicken Tetrazzini, homemade Buttery Rolls, and Caesar Salad

Tuesday--  THIS Beef Stroganoff over Pasta, Roasted Carrots and Broccoli, Strawberry Jello (Ava's pick!)

Wednesday--  Roasted Pork Shoulder, Baked Potatoes, and THIS Fresh Corn Casserole

Thursday--THIS Crock Pot Potato Soup (instead of hashbrowns, I'll use fresh potatoes.  I've got a lot to use up!!), and Buttermilk Biscuits

Friday--  THESE BBQ Meatballs, homemade Mashed Potatoes and steamed Broccoli

Have a great one, everybody!!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Faithful Friday---Crazy?!

I recently ventured out to Rite Aid with all three kiddos in tow, to score on some awesome deals!  I had Anna in the Baby Bjorn, Luke was in the cart, and Ava was walking so that she could be "Mommy's helper."  It was quite a great trip, all things considered.......there were no breakdowns, no tantrums and no major crying.  All in all, it was a successful trip to the store!

After we purchased our items and were heading out the door, all kiddos doing great,  a lady was coming inside the doors.   She stopped quite suddenly, pulled down her sunglasses to the tip of her nose, looked all the kids up and down, and said these exact words:  "You're crazy."  It wasn't, like, a joyful, funny, sarcastic, "You're crazy!!"  It was a firm, stern, slightly mean, "You're crazy."  It actually caught me off-guard and I said, "Excuse me??"  She said it again, in her unhappy, unjoyful, nasty way, and that was it.......she kept on walking into the store and we went on our way out to the car.

WHAT WAS THAT???!?!?!  I kept going over the whole scene in my mind......was she saying I was crazy because I shopped at Rite Aid??  Was it because I have three kids?  Was it because my kids are so close in age?  Was it because I took all three of them to the store with me?  What was it???!?!?!?!?

If she said it in a happy, jovial, funny way, I really could understand what she was trying to say, because I have heard it many, many times already in just these past 7 weeks since Anna has been born.  I know many people think going out with three kids under the age of 4, by yourself, is a daunting task.  I understand how people can think that, but they don't say it in a way that is all-in-all: RUDE.  I just couldn't believe it.

The way that this woman told me I was crazy, made me believe that she truly thought I was.  Like she was utterly disgusted, not only at the thought of having three children, but at the mere sight of all three of them, out in public, with me.  Like she REALLY did think I was crazy.  Now, don't get me wrong........she can have her own opinions and ways of thinking....she can think any way she wants.  The issue is that she actually voiced this ugly attitude and opinion to me in an utterly rude way.  Totally uncalled for.

Her words really got me me, CRAZY.... is.......jumping out of a's letting spiders crawl all over's driving on the wrong side of the's mowing your lawn barefoot.  Those things are crazy, to me!!  NOT HAVING CHILDREN!!!!!

I bring this story to you, not only to teach us to watch what we say to people and how we say it, but to also realize what God tells us:

"Children are a Heritage from the Lord.  The fruit of the womb is a reward from Him" ----Psalm 127

Children are a REWARD, a GIFT and a HERITAGE from the Lord.  Having one of them, four of them, or even 20 of them is NOT CRAZY!!!!  There are MUCH crazier things!!!!  I urge us all, whether you have children, or not, to see yours or others' children as a special, wonderful, amazing gift from the Lord.  Just think of the joy they have brought you, the things they have taught you, and how they have lovingly and beautifully enriched your life.

Don't let what other people say to you, or tell you, sway you.  Mark and received many side comments, whether jokingly, or not, about having a third child.  In all honesty, I was quite shocked that people would think that having three children was a lot.  Again, this is just my opinion and we all don't have to see this the same way.  I know we all are not going to agree.....but, really, now.........having three kids is NOT CRAZY!!  Ooooohhh, and what if we were to make it an even FOUR?!?!?  There might be pandemonium!!  :-)

Ok, so all joking aside......I hope you can understand where I'm coming from and what I'm trying to say:

Children are a true and utter BLESSING.

No.  Matter.  What.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Huggies Diaper Coupon (pdf)

huggies There's a NEW coupon for $2/1 package of Huggies Diapers!!

The AWESOME thing about this coupon is that it's a PDF file and you can print AS MANY AS YOU WANT!!!

I'd say, do it quickly!!  They usually don't last long.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tip Tuesday--Clearance Meat


I know.




Not two words you typically think of as going together.


Have you ever looked in the Clearance Meat section of your grocery store???

If you haven't, I would suggest you take a look the next time you're there!!

There are AWESOME meat deals to be had!!

Now, don't mistake clearance meat, as in, meat that is withering, icky and way past its expiration date.  No, no!!  This is usually meat that they either, have an abundance of and are not going to be able to sell by the use/freeze date, or there's different cuts and styles of meats that have been separated from larger packages of meat and clearanced out, or some are meat packages that are close to their use/freeze date, but are still completely fine!

I have found that the clearance meat is located at one end of the meat case, and at my Safeway, the clearance section is at the end, by the produce area. The timing is hit and miss really. You can ask the meat dept. when they put their clearance meat out. But, also if the meat looks so/so you can ask them to mark it down even more!!  I have asked and every time they have marked it down to at least 50% off, if not more!!

You can get some great cuts of meat for, virtually, pennies!!!  Just last weekend, our whole family took an outing to Safeway for some shopping, and we SCORED on clearance meat!  Sometimes it's marked 30% and sometimes 50%.  This time, all the packages were 50% off!!  We got OVER 15 pounds of different meats for only $4.50!!  That's about 30 cents a POUND!!

Be proactive, and like I said, if the meat is very close to its use/freeze date, ask you meat department if they will mark it down even more.  I can almost guarantee they will!!

Happy Clearance Meat Hunting!!!

Preciousness.....(is that a word?!)

We recently set-up a "new" big boy bed for Luke.  He had been sleeping in a toddler bed for quite some time, but to maximize space in their room, we decided to set up the single bed for him, and move the toddler bed into the closet.   With just a two bedroom home,(or, if you count Anna's room, two and a quarter bedrooms!),we need to utilize all the space we have!!  With Ava and Luke sharing a room, we decided to put Luke's toddler bed in the big closest in their room to use as his "napping bed."  If the two of them are split up during nap time, the napping process goes much more smoothly!!  It has seemed to work like a charm!  :-)

Anyway, both kids are a little obsessed with the new single bed.  A few nights ago, as Mark and I headed into their room to check on them before we went to bed, this is what we found:



Sooooooo precious!!  Here we found them both sound asleep on Luke's bed!  I don't think we've EVER found them together in the same bed before, asleep, so this was a treat for Mark and I to walk into!  And, if you notice, both of them have their blankies wrapped quite similarly around their chests!  (Those are homemade blankies, by the way, by my Aunt Barbara.  Gotta give props!  They LOVE those blankies!)

Such a sweet scene.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

It's that time again!  Here's our plan for the week:

Monday:  Grilled Steak with roasted beets, potatoes, onions and carrots (all fresh from the garden)

Tuesday:  Taco Tuesday with homemade Banana/Raspberry Smoothies

Wednesday:  Hamburgers, french fries and THIS homemade Coleslaw.  (Our neighbors gave us a HUGE cabbage from the yard!)

Thursday:  Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (in the freezer), polish sausage, and green beans (carry-over from last week)

Friday: THESE Slow Cooker Pulled Pork sandwiches served with leftover coleslaw and homemade oven fries.

Here's to another fun, crazy, busy week!!  Have a good one!

Anna's condition

I had a long day in Seattle on Thursday with a few appointments to further determine the outcome of Anna's kidney condition and to just get more information, in general.

The first appointment was at Children's Hospital bright and early in the morning.  She was set to get a Lasix Renogram.  It was extremely difficult for me (and her!) right from the start!!  In order to do the renogram, Anna had to get an IV started and what an extremely difficult 10 minutes that was.......they tried 5 different spots on her feet and arms to find a vein and poked her all 5 of those times until they finally got it complete.  Anna was screaming like I had never heard her scream before!!  What agony!!!  It was rough, but they finally got the needle in, everything in its place and I was able to nurse her to calm her down right before she was wheeled into the room for the procedure.  Thankfully, she did calm down and I was so glad I was able to go with her into the room.  It was actually quite an "easy" procedure and Anna did SO WELL.  She was strapped down to a table in a nice, comfy, warm room and they "injected" liquid (can't remember the name of it), and had many monitors showing the flow of all this liquid through her body.  It was amazing to see.  I sat right next to her and had my own monitor and was told this procedure could take up to an hour!  I was concerned how Anna could last that long, but she FELL ASLEEP!  Yay!  It was pretty cool to see the inner workings of her body and was so glad that it was completed in 40 minutes!!

Among other things, this test would show everything the doctors need to know about her kidneys and how they are functioning.  Anna has a duplicated renal collecting system on her left kidney, which, essentialy means that she has "two" kidneys in one.  She has two ureters coming from one kidney that both empty into the bladder.  She also has what is called a ureterocele inside the bladder where the ureter from the upper part of the kidney enters the bladder.  A ureterocele is basically a balloon-type of prolapse inside the bladder that may obstruct urine flow.  This information we knew going into the renogram.  We were eager to know what would become of this!   Our next appointment with the Urologist was the same afternoon, so we found out the same day!

It was good and bad news all in one.  Bad News----The upper part of Anna's left kidney is not working at all.  It basically doesn't serve a purpose to her.  It is yet to be determined, though, what should be done with it.  BUT, the Good News is that we don't have to act on it right away.  We are basically going to have to watch it very closely in the coming months, and she will have to have ultrasounds every 3 months until she's two.  If there is no infection and no other problems with it, we can re-evaluate our plans with it when she's around 2 years old.  The urologist said there's no need to jump in, have major surgery, and take out her kidney, with Anna being so young.  It just didn't make sense.  Plus, sometimes the non-working portion of the kidney has been known to shrink on its own, so that is what we're going to be praying for!!  We are so relieved that she has a normal, healthy right kidney and that, even though, only half of her left kidney is working----------Half of it is working!!

I have been living with one kidney for almost all of my life---I had kidney cancer, a Wilm's Tumor, when I was just 2 years old and had to have my right kidney removed.  I am living proof that you can go on and live a full, healthy, happy life with just one kidney!

We are still a little apprehensive, but are so relieved with the results.  God is good!!!  Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers for our sweet little Anna!!


I just can't seem to get into a good blogging rhythm lately.........sometimes I feel like I have all the time in the world to blog and then other times I could probably go weeks without touching a computer!!  Sorry for my lack of consistency!!  Hopefully I'll get back into the groove soon................

Friday, October 2, 2009!

Whew! I'm definitely a little behind this week!  It's been a busy one and I'm trying to catch up!!


I wanted to remind you that the coupons HERE have changed for the new month!  There are some AWESOME ones available!  Be sure to look through all 17 pages!!