My New Year's Resolution

I actually think New Year's Resolutions are kinda funny.  If you don't like something about your life, why would you wait until the start of the New Year to change it?  But, it just so happens that the New Year is starting in a few weeks.  So, I am calling my goal a New Year's Resolution because it sounds more exciting than, "The Resolution I'm Starting Today", but rest assured, I will be starting it today, not in 3 weeks.

There are a few women in my life that I REALLY admire.  Women who I aspire to be like.  They are women who are charitable, kind, wise, and render service.  I listen intently to their every word because I want to learn all I can from them.  I want to use what I learn from them to be a better person.

But, it has become apparent to me lately, that not every woman admires the qualities in other women that they wish they could master themselves.  I have been shocked lately by the number of women I have heard beating up on themselves for their weaknesses or worst- beating up on other women to make themselves feel better.

We spend our days teaching our children to not fight, to be nice and not bully each other, so when did it become okay for us, as adults to glorify blogs like this, where women compare themselves to and them shred to pieces another mom for trying their best.  When, on earth did it become okay to "punch [someone] in the throat"?  Sure, it's all fun and games... until someone gets hurt.  And quite often, when you talk like that, Your. Words. Hurt.

We all have our own individual and unique strengths.  Sure, some moms have a Magic Elf, and others have no where near the energy even think about it.  But, that is because those moms are planning and throwing amazing holiday parties, for each one of their kids or they are spending their Saturdays at their son's ball games, with all the other kids in tow.  Some moms fill their homes (and the minds of their kiddos) with beautiful, amazing music and others ensure that their children are flooded with the arts.  Some moms spend hours of their day reading to their children, while others are constantly volunteering at their kids' schools.  Some moms even spend every Saturday teaching their children the value of serving others and how to become more Christlike.  But, none of us, do it all.  Nor do we need to.  We all have our own unique and individual talents that we share with our families, and the world around us, that makes us all AMAZING wives, women and mothers.

Life is hard.  Being a woman is hard.  Being a wife, can be hard.  And being a mother is DEFINITELY hard.  We are all just trying our very best.  We should be judging ourselves (and others) much less and relishing in our strengths.  We should be building each other up and encouraging one another.  We should be sharing what we have learned through our kind, humble actions.  There is NEVER a reason to tear someone else down in order to make yourself feel better.

As my very dear friend recently said, "If you don't like something, change it."  So, instead of beating up on another mom for trying her best, change your own life.  Or don't.  But, let's stop beating on ourselves and each other.

So, my New Year's Resolution, that is starting today, is to be more loving and more supportive.  It is to be less judgmental and more helpful.  And it is definitely to be proud of my strengths and change the things I don't like.

So, who wants to jump on my bandwagon?  If you too want to share my 'New Year's Resolution' than do just that- "share" it.  Or comment.  Or "Like" it.  Or better yet, send a card to another mom you admire and let them know you think they are doing a great job.  But, don't wait until January 1st.  Do it today.

Whaddya think?


It's Just Paper...

Sometimes, people hurt my feelings.

Ok- not very often, I usually have a pretty thick skin.  But, lately (over the past few years), I've felt judged.  Because of my bank account.

I recently wrote about this subject, Why people hate those who have more than they have, but it seems like it is becoming an epidemic.  A trend to make life completely equal.  A trophy for every child.  No more gift exchanges because one gift might be better (more costly) than another.  The drive to make sure no one feels bad because they couldn't do what someone else could do.

I cringe to think of a world without Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy because sometimes they are more generous to one kid than they are to another.

Lately, I've heard statements like this:

"I think it's rude when people put pictures of their (toys, vacations, etc) on facebook.  It's like they are bragging about how much money they have " (although- ironically it's ok if a "poor"er person does this- just not the "wealthy" person)

"Easy for you to say, you have money"

"You wouldn't understand what it's like to be poor"

Really?  Now I will say the last 3ish years of my life have been very financially comfortable.  But, I didn't grow up like this, we WORKED and went without all the toys everyone else had, for YEARS, to live like this.  (I remember, very well, when I had to pay $33.14 a month for my birth control pills and when my doctor changed the prescription and the pills then cost $34.56 a month, I about choked- and this was after we paid for insurance- our insurance just didn't cover them).  And even when my husband graduated and got a job, we scrimped and saved and were REALLY slow to get all the toys everyone else had, because financial security was just more important.  And no one was going to be there to bail us out when we got in over our heads.

Having a financially stable life does NOT make me incompassionate, insincere, lazy, snotty or rude.  Those are character traits that a person CHOOSES to have, they are not caused by a dollar.

And the balance of an account does NOT guarantee a happy life or the lack of trials in one's life.  I can buy any pair of boots I'd like, but I can not call my mother on the phone and tell her about my day.  I feel pain, physical pain, when I see a girl lay her head on her mother's shoulder at church (and not in a 'I can't have that so you shouldn't either way.  I am so glad they do have that, I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone.  I just wish I had it too).  I will never vacation with my mother or have her give me parenting advise.  I can long to talk to her all I want and no one will ever be able to fill that void.

So, why is my void considered "just life" and the financial void in another's is considered a tragedy?  I know that my life is amazing, especially compared to so many others, but that does not lessen the pain in my life.  Just as the pain in someone's else's life is no less important because of the pain in my life.  I do not expect everyone else to make up for the lack in my life, so why are financial inconsistencies different?

Now, I'm not saying that we should let those less fortunate suffer.  (On the contrary, I feel it is my responsibility to lift the burdens- which is why I spent more on other people's children for Christmas than I did on my own....)  So, why am I judged for wearing True Religion jeans?  When did 'success become demonized'?

I don't think any less of the person who has less than I do, and I certainly don't feel like I'm any better than they are, so why do so many of them hate me?  I give A. Lot.  Often times, I give to those who have hurt my feelings.

Money is not the answer to life's problems.  (and that's when I hear, 'easy for you to say'....).  Love, compassion and kindness are.

So, please stop judging me for the brand of jeans I wear or the vacation I go on.  I have no clue what jeans you wear and I LOVE seeing pictures of you happy on vacation.  I LOVE seeing pictures of your crazy elf and the toys you got for Christmas and I LOVE it when money isn't an issue in our friendship.  Because, to me, it's just paper.

Whaddya think?


The Voices of Motherhood

I've been watching mothers lately.  Well, not exactly lately... I've been watching mothers, closely, since I had my own kids.  Watching other mothers is a great way to get natural and pressure free parenting advice.  There are so many different parenting styles and observing mother/father/child interactions is a great way to see which philosophies work the best for your family.

In my mother watching, (and I use mothers loosely as "parents"- I just have more interactions with mothers- but mothers and fathers can be used interchangeably here) I've noticed, that when a child misbehaves or presses the limits in some way, mothers use four basic responses in dealing with their children.  Personally, I've used each one, depending on the situation, but I think all of us favor one method or the other and the one we favor makes a large difference on the overall behavior of our children.

1.  The Redirection.
This is when the child wants a lollypop and instead of saying what you are thinking, "NO way, are you crazy!?  I'm making dinner???" you say, "oh look at these yummy cucumbers.  I can cut them like a heart and that will be so much fun!"

The Redirection contains a fun, alternative activity/solution so that the word "No" does not have to be introduced.  Sometimes, the Redirection is so much easier than the fight, especially when the fight (the lollypop verses the cucumber), really isn't that big of a deal in the overall picture.

The Redirection becomes less effective in the overall picture when it is a child throwing rocks at people being redirected to throw them in the lake instead, for example.  Some things are worth the fight.

2.  The Whine.
The Whine is actually a whine from the parents.  It is usually accompanied with statements such as, "why did you throw your plate on the floor?" or "Don't hit your brother with the stick."  The Whine also generally has omitted the authoritative "No!"

I admit, I have been known to use the Whine, but it generally accompanies complete accidents with statements like "why did you spill your milk again?" or "you knocked over the laundry I just folded?"  My Whine is usually followed by a "Please be more careful..."

Quite often, though, I have observed the Whine used for much more serious infractions.  The problem with the Whine is that the children don't learn the seriousness of their infraction, just like with the Redirection.  They have no reason to change the behavior, whether it is knocking over the folded laundry, running out in the street or coloring on a playdate's coffee table.

3.  The Mom Voice
The Mom Voice is a stern, no- nonsense, ever so slightly raised tone of voice that portrays the seriousness of the situation. The Mom Voice generally contains the word "No" (or a form of it) and is accompanied with a look that could melt butter in an ice storm.  Occasionally it is followed up with the threat of a consequence but generally the memories of past consequences stop the behavior with just the reminding look and tone of voice.  (The Mom Voice only works effectively when the promised consequence is actually followed up on, otherwise, The Mom Voice has no credence.)

4. The Scream
The Scream is just that, an end of the rope, all patience lost, all out scream(ing).  Some moms begin and end with this (and all in between) and some moms resort to this when they have lost every other battle and are at the end of their rope.  (We've all been there.)

I'm sure, at some point, we've each done it all.  But, I have noticed that we all favor one method.  What do you use and how's it working for you?

Whaddya think?


A Nation Divided: Why I Think Obama Won

(If you follow me on Facebook, I apologize, much of this has been said there...)

I believe in charity.  I whole heartedly believe that we should help those who are less fortunate than us, and I do, in large amounts, but there is a difference between helping and enabling.  No matter how many programs we form, life will never be fair.  My mother died, your didn't.  My husband had holes in his shoes growing up, I didn't.  My children are healthy, someone else's are sick.  Life will never be fair.  Many of the so called 'freebies' handed out by the government today are America's way of trying to make life fair, but laws and programs shouldn't be made to make life fair; they should be made to better society as a whole.  I believe, these 'freebies' should be helping people get back on their feet, but more often they are teaching people to rely on the government to support them.  Obama won because much of America has developed this sense of entitlement. 'You have it, so I should too.' 'You owe me this because I am a human being.'  America doesn't 'owe' you just because your life isn't fair.

To be clear- I have NO problem with government funding supporting those who absolutely cannot support themselves.  The very old, the very sick, the disabled, etc.  Those people absolutely deserve help and support.  Helping those, who truly cannot help themselves in not enabling.  Enabling is helping all of those who CAN help themselves , but choose not too because there are government funding options.

I don't believe that paying for abortions (which I am morally opposed to- but required to fund), free needle exchanges and some one's food and living expenses while they are receiving a high quality higher education because they don't want to work through school or take out student loans (all while I am still paying off my own student loans because I thought my education was MY responsibility) is not helping the poor and needy.  Sure, it will help them in the short term, but it won't help them in the long term.  I believe in self reliance as much as I believe in charity.  Our charity should be helping the poor become self reliant.  Some times that is with food and shelter and a hand up, but not to the extent that the government issues now.  No free needle exchange ever helped an addict kick their habit.
Our society would be better off in the long run if we taught those less fortunate to fish rather than giving them fish, shelter and free higher education.  No great thing was ever achieved without sacrifice and effort.

Let me close by saying that although I did not vote for Obama, I do not think he is the devil reincarnate. I may not agree with his politics and policies, but I do think that he is trying his best to do what he believes is in the best interest for our country.  And, now that he has been elected, even though I don't agree with his policies, he deserves our prayers and support.

Whaddya think?

as a p.s.- I know politics are a HEATED topic and I'm sure you have opinions of your own.  If you can't express your political opinion without rudeness and malice, MOVE ON.  Hatefulness is not welcome here.  Everyone has a right to their opinion, and I'm happy to listen to it.  But that is what every political side is- someone's opinion based on a theory.  And all theories have statics and studies to back them up.  So feel free to express your opinion, but BE KIND.


Lessons learned from Corvettes and Luggage Carts

A couple months ago, I sat down, finally, with a mountain of clean laundry to fold.  I turned on day time tv which I generally think is full of trash,  but found "Dr. Phil".  I like Dr. Phil.  I'd like to ask him a few questions myself, but that is a different post...

He was talking to parents with troubled teens, just like he is on almost every show.  I don't remember what the show was specifically about, but he said something that really stuck with me.  He talked about how his son had really wanted a fast, fancy sports car for his 16th birthday.  A corvette, or something equivalent to it, and his son was all excited about the horsepower and torque the car would produce.  Dr. Phil must have been pretty wealthy by then because he wasn't concerned about the price but rather the power the car had.  He said he wouldn't buy the car for his son because we shouldn't place our kids in dangerous situations that they don't have the experience to predict the outcome.  We shouldn't expect our kids to respond to life's challenges based on our life experiences.  They haven't lived as long and learned as much as we have.

Makes sense.

Logical but often forgotten.

I think quite often I expect different behaviors from my children than I see because that is how a grown up would react but I forget to take the time to teach them the lesson that would lead to the appropriate response.

A month ago, I took all four of my kids and I traveled across the country with them.  By myself. (sucker).  We had a 5 hour flight.  A 2 hour layover.  A 2 hour flight.  And then a 2 hour drive.  We left at 8 am pst and arrived at 1:00 am est.  It was a long day.  I had: a 10 year old, 7 year old, 4 year old, 2 month old, 4 backpacks, 4 car seats, 7 suitcases, a stroller, a baby front carrier and a partridge in a pear tree.  Once the 2 hour flight landed, I had to get a rental car and load all of us, and our luggage, up and drive the remaining 2 hours, by myself (super sucker).  I figured I could carry Bubbles in the pouch while pushing a luggage cart with half of the suitcases, Buster could push the other luggage cart and Dodger could push Rascal in the stroller.  And all of us could carry a backpack.  In order to test my theory, when my sidekick, nervously, dropped us off at the airport, we "practiced".  I'm sure we were a sight,  all of us loaded down and my Sidekick holding his breath walking next to us, empty handed.

As Buster pushed his (heavy) luggage cart up a sidewalk ramp, he took it at a diagonal.  Now, any adult knows that if you take a 3 wheeled cart (1 wheel in the front, 2 in the back) up a ramp at a diagonal, you will not get favorable results.  So, when the entire cart tipped over and my Sidekick saw possible future events displayed before him, he was NOT happy.  We were loaded down and I couldn't put the cart back together with a baby strapped to my chest.  So, in the tense chaos, as we were reloading, I took a breath, lest it happened again while I was alone with them.  I said, "Buster, look at the wheels.  If you take the triangle pattern wheels at a diagonal, it will loose it's balance and tip.  You need to go straight, head on, up the ramp."

He looked at me, wide eyed, with a new understanding in his eyes, and said, "oh and that's different from my bike.  I have to go at a diagonal on my bike up a curb so I don't loose balance and fall."

And thus it is Dr. Phil.  We expected Buster to handle the adult situation based on our experience but he had not yet learned the lessons he needed to succeed.  He used the limited experiences he'd had in his young life which didn't get accurate results.

This was a luggage cart, not a dangerous situation, but the lesson is still the same.

So, as you place your kids in new situations, take a minute to look at it from their perspective and see if they have the skills they need to succeed.  Because one day, that luggage cart could be a corvette.

Whaddya think?


This Mother's Day

My life is complete.

Last year on Mother's Day, I never could have guessed the year we would have and the lengths we would travel this year.  But, now that the hard part is over, and I can look back and reflect on the journey that we have taken, I am full of gratitude to my Father in Heaven who has entrusted me with this journey.

As I reflect on the immense blessings in my life, my heart is full and swirling with so many thoughts.

I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a mother.  After spending 2 years with so many adoption hopeful couples who are searching for the children who will complete their family, I am keenly aware of all of the mothers today whose arms ache for the children they long to hold.  The ones they have lost and the ones they have yet to receive.  Having had Mothers Days with aching arms, I will always say a prayer on this day, for those who long to feel as complete as I do today.  Happy Mother's Day to you.  One day, your arms will be full.

I am grateful to all the Mothers in my life.  Due to the course of events that my life has taken, I have been blessed to have many mothers.  From each of them, I have learned special skills.  Listening, Loving, Organization, Happiness, Nurturing.  I am grateful to each one of them and the love and guidance they have shown me.  Thank you.

I am tearfully grateful for this Mother's Day.  It was a Mother's Day that she didn't get to have.  So as my children run and scream around me and test our patience to the limits, I am glad that I have the opportunity to be tested.  My life would be so dull and lonely without the noise and chaos.  I am glad I get to live this Mother's Day and so many after.

But, mostly, this Mother's Day, I am grateful to feel complete.  Last year, on Mother's Day, I remember sitting in church and feeling the ache in my arms for the life we had yet to add to our family.  A dear friend handed me a card that she had written me acknowledging the ache I must be feeling that day.  As I sat in church today, I saw this friend and remembered that feeling of incomplete that I had felt.  I had so much, yet I knew there was someone missing.  But, as I sat in church today, I felt that the weight of the last year had lifted and a feeling of completeness had taken it's place.  This year, for Mother's Day, my Sidekick and I had 4 children and we were a Complete Family.  The brothers have voted and we have decided that our caboose will be named Bubbles.  She is our special gift.  We all worked so hard to get her here.

This year, on Mother's Day, my life is perfectly complete.  I am grateful for all the mothers who have loved me, but mostly I am grateful for the gift I have been given to be a mother to Buster, Dodger, Rascal and Bubbles.

I love you all so much.

Whaddya think?


There's a chair in the restroom, just for you....

Lately, the news in Seattle has been bustling with the story of a group of mothers that are trying to pass a city ordinance to support breast-feeding in public. They are wanting it to be legally proclaimed a civil right. Since I am about to have a baby any day now, and fully plan of breast-feeding in public, I've been listening.

It is interesting to me that there is already a Washington State Law in support of breastfeeding. It essentially says that a mother has the right to breast-feed anywhere she has a right to have her baby (so- no bars) without covering up or excusing herself to the bathroom. Apparently this law is not very enforced due to budget cuts and staffing issues, so this group of moms have taken it to the city level.

Personally, I have never had a negative experience nursing in public, but since I am about to enter the nursing world again, I am very interested in this movement that would support mothers doing what is best for their babies. Which is why it infuriated me, when the news interviewed John Schmidt, co-owner of the Neighborhood Grill and he said 'that women sometimes breast feed in his restaurant and he's fine with it. But what if it bothers his other patrons? Would he want a city law to protect it?'

He actually said, "I support a women's right to breast feed her child," says Schmidt. "I have a problem with the city legislating how I run my business. We want to make a decision for my entire client base, not just one category."

When he said this, my sidekick and I just about blew our tops! I could care less that the fact that my public breastfeeding could make someone else uncomfortable. Should we ask every couple in love to not hold hands or kiss in public? Every parent with a busy toddler to never eat out? Or every every disabled person, who is missing an arm, a leg or an eye, to stay out of public eye?

My right to feed my child the most nourishing, stabilizing nutrition I can, is indeed my civil right, no different than my right to feed my toddler healthy grains, fruits and vegetables. The fact that it is made from my own body is completely irrelevant, but a definite plus for me. I know exactly what it is made of. And forcing me to nurse my child under a blanket is akin to forcing you to eat your dinner under a heat lamp.

So, John Schmidt, and every other business owner who thinks that their close minded patrons come before the health of my baby, I have the perfect solution for you. You should provide chairs in the restrooms. That way, when one of your patrons is "uncomfortable" by a mother breastfeeding, the "uncomfortable patron" can take their dinner and eat it there.

I look forward to eating at the Seattle Neighborhood Grill with my nursing baby, and I dare you to ask me to leave or cover up.

Whaddya think?

Due to some of the comments and emails I have received, I feel I should make a clarification. I do not believe that women should be able to nurse anywhere at anytime.

I think I should have a legal right to feed my child, uncovered, anywhere it is appropriate to have my child and anywhere similar activities (eating) are appropriate.

For example, if my child is not welcome (adult only restaurant, a bar, etc) I don't have the right to have my CHILD there, and therefore should not be nursing. In settings where eating or similar acts are not appropriate (some religious meetings, etc) it is not appropriate to nurse my child because EATING is not appropriate (in the same way it would be inappropriate for a grown man to eat a ham sandwich). Also, in religions where it is inappropriate for women to even show their face, or some similar belief that would make public nursing inappropriate, they should be allowed to claim a religious exemption in their house of worship.

I shouldn't ever have to leave or cover up just because some men/boys think my breasts are a sex object and are uncomfortable by my child nursing if I have a right to have my child there and other similar activities are appropriate.


that if you blog, post, email or tweet about the cookbook 2 posts down, you will be entered in the drawing to win a FREE COOK BOOK!! Please help support this amazing family by helping to promote the charity cook book below. Drawing will be THIS MONDAY, April 9th, so be sure and LET ME KNOW, if you blog, post, email or tweet about it.



Dear Daddy,

As this baby continues to drop and the contractions continue to increase, it comes to my attention that you might be reporting for Grandparent Duty before Mom is able to. This means, you might be left ALONE with ALL of my children for 24- 48 hours. Contrary to your Facebook post, I have no doubt in your fabulous Grandpa skills (you are great at taking them camping, teaching them to shoot guns and feeding them ice cream for breakfast), but your mothering skills could use some brushing up.

So, in order to calm my nerves and fears, I have decided to spell in out.

In writing.

In Layman's terms.

(this is a legally binding document, your signature is required at the bottom.)

-Do not feed them ice cream for breakfast and send them to school. Their teachers will not be happy. Ice cream for breakfast is only appropriate when you are in charge of them. All day. Childrens' scrambled eggs (or any normal person's for that matter) do not contain feta cheese and greek olives. (true story) You mix the eggs in a bowl and dump them in a pan and stir. Or you pour a bowl of cereal.

-Rascal needs a lunch for school. Peanut butter is no longer appropriate due to the high number of children's allergies. A four year old's lunch does not contain:
1. a can of campbell soup (even if you send a can opener)
2. a whole, uncut apple
3. a can of sardines
4. a cup (so he can get his own water from the bathroom sink).

Better yet, don't worry about Rascal's lunch. I will take a bag of non perishable four year old friendly foods that he can eat in the event that you are in charge. Buster and Dodger can buy lunch. Don't worry about them either.

-My children ride in car seats. Always. It is never appropriate the throw them in the back of your truck for a "ride". Ever. Even just to the bus stop. It is no longer 1980. We've learned from your mistakes.

- You may not leave them in a running car while you run into the store. Ever. It is illegal and I say no.

-Dinner, does not consist of:
1. a can of snails. (true story)
2. marshmellows.
3. rattlesnake (true story)
4. frog legs (true story)
5. donuts, cookies, candy
6. or anything like the above.

Approved items for dinner, include:
1. mac and chees (NOT made with butter and pepper only. I know this is nostalgic to you because your mother made it that way, but my children do not like it, it will be wasted. Follow the directions on the box).
2. hot pockets
3. corn dogs
4. ramen (made according to the package)
5. frozen pizza (as is in the box- do not add mushrooms, peppers, snails, etc to the children's portion)
6. McDonalds
7. Teriyaki from the restaurant by the gas station.

If appropriate dinner foods are overwhelming to you, Buster can be in charge. He can make dinner for all. He's 10.

- Hand soap is NOT appropriate for whole body washing. (true story) The hand soap stays by the sink so you can wash your HANDS. I know that 50 years ago someone told you that dial soap was best so I bought you your very own, whole bottle of dial hair and body soap. This is all for you and not appropriate for Rascal. He needs the TEAR FREE soap. Last time you washed him with hand soap, I suffered the consequences for hours, and I won't be there this time.

- If (heaven forbid) someone pulls an arm out of joint, gets a cut to the bone, breaks a bone, shoots a nail through their fingers with the nail gun, or is injured in any way, we do NOT:
- slap a bandaid on it if we see bone
- transport the children to the hospital if we see a broken bone (that is what AMBULANCES ARE FOR).
-"pop it back in"
- pull the nail out ourselves (true story)- better yet, no power tools while I am gone.

We go to doctors and hospitals. We have insurance. There is a great hospital 10 minutes away and the pediatrician is 5 minutes away. I'll leave you the numbers/addresses.

-Bedtime is bedtime for a reason. (Rascal at 8 pm and Dodger and Buster can go to their rooms at 8 pm and read until 9 pm.) If you let them stay up until 10 or 11 pm, be advised that they will still wake up at 7:00- 7:30 am and they will be wretched, all day. This is not appropriate on the day I bring the new, unsleeping baby home from the hospital, on the previous days, you can decide for yourself what you want to deal with, as long as it isn't a school day.

-I made you a calendar of their comings and goings everyday to help you keep up; complete with moms to call for help/rides. I know every day is filled. That's how we roll. But, I left you all the times and addresses to help. :) And you can take a nap while they're at school.

- And finally, have no fear, Mom will arrive soon and I will leave you a list of moms you can call for reinforcements.

You're the greatest, Dad! It'll be fun.

Your Loving, Grateful Daughter

Whaddya think?


Would you like a FREE COOKBOOK????

I recently submitted a recipe for a charity cookbook and it's printed and ready and you can win a free copy!

Blogging for Fishes Cookbook was recently made for the fabulous Fish Family. Two of their 5 children have recently been diagnosed with Leaky SCIDS (the "Bubble Boy" disease) and have just completed their 2+ month hospital stays for a bone marrow transplant. Now their family of 7 is in complete isolation in their home while the girls engraft the new marrow and their new, hopefully healthier, immune systems strengthen. Keeping their family healthy is a full time job for parents, Tyler and Lisy. You can watch their full story here

and read updates on their blog here

all proceeds from the Blogging for Fishes Cookbook goes directly to the Fish Family!

So, if Strawberry Spinach Salad, Creamy Chicken Lime Taquitos or Cookies and Cream Truffles (that one's mine :) sound good to you, here's what you can do!!!

Write a Blog post, Facebook post,tweet about, pin on pinterest, or send an email to all your family and friends
about this fabulous cookbook and charity opportunity.

Every time you spread the word, don't forget to LET ME KNOW! You can shoot me an email or post a comment on one of my blogs. There is no limit to how many times you can be submitted in the drawing.

On Monday, April 9th, I'll let one of my kiddos pull the lucky name out of a hat and you could win a TOTALLY FREE, AWESOME COOKBOOK! (I'll even pay the shipping! -or deliver it myself!)

If you would like to purchase a cookbook, that's SWEET as well (you could always give the free one as a gift if you win!)

The hardcopy books are $12.99 and the e-book version (for the pdf file or e-pub (i-pad version) is $5.99. And remember ALL proceeds (that's 100% of the e-book version and $5 for every physical book) goes straight to the Fish Family! For information on ordering, go here

Thank you so much for your help and GOOD LUCK!!!

Whaddya think???