Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saving Money on Baby Essentials

Photo by 114bberry

With our upcoming new little bundle of joy plus recent decreased income, we have really been looking into ways to save and be more frugal.

I have just implemented taking inventory, menu planning, and couponing. So far, it is going very well and I can't wait to look into other ways for our family to live more simply and frugally.

One blog post that really caught my eye is Saving Big Money On Your Little Ones

In this post I found many things that I already plan to do, things I want to implement, as well as others that I am really interested to look into more. Here are some of the highlights.

Stick to the Essentials
The first step is to really think about what things are truly essential for babies and young children. Sticking with less baby stuff from the beginning will save you money and save your sanity trying to organize, and store, and clean so much stuff.

Buy Used
Find what you need second hand. There is so much baby stuff out there that can be bought like-new or gently used.

Saving Money on Baby Essentials

Use cloth diapers, and one way to ease the cost is to buy used diapers. Not into cloth diapers? You can save lots of money on diapers by using coupons and following sales at big box retailers, drugstores and even online. The idea of elimination communication is intriguing to me, if not mostly for the reason that it would save money.

Instead of purchasing the more expensive actual cloth wipes, you can buy thin cotton baby wash cloths from the store and they work great. Another option is to make your own cloth wipes.

With a little bit of effort you can save a lot of money by building a complete wardrobe of quality used clothing for your kids. Hand-me-downs are another great option for kids clothes.

Toys, Baby Gear and Other Kids Stuff
For baby items that you will be purchasing new, make sure that you always shop the sales, and use any and all coupons that are available.

Once you have an idea of what your essential items are, keep your eye out for a second hand item that would work for you.

What are your essentials for a new baby? Do you have any money saving tips for new babies and young children?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coupon Shopping Trip #2

Today was another successful day!!! I know... two shopping trips in two days, not very frugal, but I'm just getting the hang of this and I needed time to go home and figure out some deals. Which, I think I'm a little too consumed by this right now because last night, laying in bed, while trying to fall asleep, all I could think about was what deals I was going to get today!

So, a little about the deals... This week the items I got are not the healthiest, which is one of my goals right now, but I wanted to get some stock up for over the next several months. Hopefully next month will have more healthy items.

Here are the details:

Transaction 1
10 boxes Hamburger Helper $10
$5 Catalina (from 8/15 trip)
$2 Catalina (from 8/15 trip)
Total: $3.00
Received $5 & $2 Catalina

Transaction 2
8 Totinos $10.00
2 $1/4 Coupons
$5 Catalina (from T1)
$2 Catalina (from T1)
Total: $1.00

Transaction 3
2 Dreyer's Ice Cream 2/$6
Total: $6.00
Received $4 Catalina

In the end, I did not get a Catalina coupon from the totinos, which I thought I was going to, but I think I had to buy 10 to get it. :( Also, I should have done my transactions in a different order. I should have done the ice cream second and the totinos last, then I could have used my $4 catalina coupon. Oh well, live and learn. It was only my second time.

And for anyone not familiar with what a Catalina coupon is, here's a picture:

All in all, here's what I got:
10 boxes Hamburger Helper
8 Totino's Pizzas
2 Dreyers Ice Cream
For a total of $10 + $4 Catalina coupon toward my next purchase

Baby Steps: Simple Frugal Living

I've been working to get back into a routine here at our new home. Finally I feel caught up and like I am able to continue with my normal routine. I got off track for quite a while between moving and becoming pregnant and having no energy or motivation to keep up. While it wasn't like I let our home fall apart, it just wasn't up to the standards I set for myself.

So, now that I'm back in my normal routine, I've felt much more like myself and like I can relax in our home. As you saw from my last post, I have also incorporated couponing. I am really excited to see how much I can save our family on our monthly bill. I made a coupon binder and can't wait to fill it up with coupons!! I have also been in the process of making a homemaking binder with all of our home routine info, as well as food inventory and our menu plan details. I'm so excited because I know all of this hard work will pay off!

Well, off to go pick some berries with the kiddos. We will be making some Berry Crisp and possibly some Blackberry Freezer Jelly. I will also be freezing some of them and I will be doing a post on a simple way to freeze and store them for later months.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Inventory, Menu Planning, & Coupons... Oh My!!!: My Journey to Living Life More Frugally

So, after getting many AWESOME tips frome some family and friends, and then reading online and watching videos, I set out to go on my first "couponer" shopping experience.

I first went to Albertson's where I stacked coupons for my first time! (So exciting!) Here are the details:

Hamburger/Tuna/Chicken Helper 10/$10
Albertson's Double Coupons used on both
Total: 6.90 = .69/box

A1 Steak Sauce SALE $3.99
Albertson's Double Coupon used
Total: 1.99

Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenderloins SALE $5.99 (bought 2)
Total: 11.98

TOTAL Shopping Trip: $20.87 but I also got 2 Catalina coupons at the register. One for $5 toward next trip, and the other for $2 toward next trip. So, I get to use those next time!!! Plus I got 2 Catalinas for Box Top points that I already input online. Yay! Love helping out the local schools.

My next trip was to Walmart, which I didn't really get a whole lot and I still need to go through everything for a bigger trip, but here's what I got so far:

Huggies Size 1 Diapers $8.97
Total: 7.47 = .15/diaper!

Schick Razors $5.97
Total: 4.97 = .83/razor

Suave Deodorant $.97
Total: .22

TOTAL Shopping Trip: $12.66
Not as good, but still excited about it. :)

So, I will be getting together more coupons soon and can't wait to see what my next trip will be like! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple Healthy Snacks for Busy Mommas

Here are a few of my “one handed” snack favorites.

(Some take a bit more prep-work than others, so choose what works best for you. If you have help available at times, hand them this list! If you have a chance, make a big batch ahead of time & stash it in the fridge.)

Hard-Boiled Eggs + a bit of Sea Salt (If you have an extra moment, you can mix them into egg salad.)

Homemade Fruit and/or Nut Snack Bars (Here's my favorite recipe:, I like to add extra things to it, but it is a great base recipe. I stash a couple bars in car compartments or diaper bags.

Homemade Trail Mix, with nutrient-dense nuts, dried fruit, coconut, & a bit of good dark chocolate or a savory-seasoned mixture (Buy ingredients in bulk for best cost economy; your toddler will be glad to help pour into a mixing bowl for you.)

Smoothies - Frozen berries (I will be writing a post soon on an easy way to freeze berries) or pre-diced fruit pieces are easiest, so you don’t have to chop up anything; just pour ingredients into a blender.

Natural Jerky - Dehydrate your own or purchase from your favorite local farm or meat market.

Cheese Slices/Cubes - You don’t have to buy special cheese stick packages; a regular block of mozzarella will tear into pieces just the same.
Prepared Sandwich - Prepare a sandwich or two ahead of time, cut it into quarters, and then just grab a piece from the fridge when you need a small bite to eat.

Toast + Avocado + a bit of Sea Salt (Scoop out with a spoon)

Baked Yam + a sprinkle of Walnuts, Butter, & Sea Salt or Raw Honey - For simplicity, bake it whole in a baking dish or crockpot. (Or make baked sweet potato fries. Recipe:

Cottage Cheese - Eat plain or stir in some fresh berries. (A mere 1/2 cup contains a whopping 14 grams of protein, plus good probiotics!)

What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

8 Verses To Inspire Us To Be More Patient Mothers

When the baby is crying and the toddler is having a tantrum, patience can be elusive.

Here are eight verses to memorize or write on notecards and post above your sink, in your car or in the bathroom – for those times when you lock yourself inside to regroup. Not that I’ve ever done that. Of course.

Psalm 86:15
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (NIV)

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (NKJV)

Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. (NIV)

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)

Colossians 3:12-13
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (NLT)

Hebrews 6:12
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (NIV)

James 1:19-20
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (NIV)

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

May these verses inspire us to walk in ever increasing patience.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Event #1: Samantha's Baby Shower

I am in LOVE with event planning!

In the past I thought about starting an event planning business, but instead had a baby and my goals shifted for a little bit. Now that I have had him and know how to juggle home and work life, I am trying to incorporate more events. For the time being, they are just for fun... But I hope eventually it can possibly turn into a successful business.

I already have some more events in the making so I will be posting on them soon!

Here are some pictures of Samantha's Baby Shower.

The BEAUTIFUL Samantha!!

The gift table:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So close!!!

These boys need to get home
Please consider donating today
They still need $38K
Would you please help them get these boys home
so they can have a loving family and the medical attention they need...
Thank You and God Bless ♥

Read their story here:
Make a donation here:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Is In The Air...

I was sitting here,
listening to the kids running around,
laughing and playing,
with Beauty and the Beast playing in the background.
I look around
I see a huge fort in the living room,
blankets strung all over,
happy smiling faces filled with joy.
I can smell
Spring air flowing in
The windows are cracked throughout the house.
It is the beginning of spring and we all have the fever!

I want to remember this day...

2011 Ultimate Blog Party

Are you ready to party?!?!

I am very excited to be a part of the 2011 Ultimate Blog Party! Thank you Terah @ LOVEFEAST for spreading the word! I can't wait to meet other bloggers and make some new friends.

Here's a little about me...

My name is Tricia. I am a twenty-something year old who's an easy going, fun, crafty person. I love the outdoors and try to get out whenever I can. I love crafts and make lots of fun accessories. I sell them on Etsy under HWBKBoutique. Funds from many of the items I sell help other EB families in need. I love my family and friends with all of my heart. My husband, Derik, and I met when we were seven and after being friends for years, dating, and then becoming engaged we got married Feb. 3, 2003. He is my best friend. We have an amazing son, Ashton Xander, who was born on November 13, 2008. Both Derik and Ashton have Epidermolysis Bullosa, or EB for short. It is a rare skin disorder that causes blistering and the skin to tear very easily. Ashton is the love of my life, he is my sunshine, he puts a smile on my face every day. He is the strongest person I know. Through the pain and discomfort he always smiles. It is tough caring for him, but I would not change it for anything. I am proud to be his Mama. This is our story of Love, Happiness, Tears, and Life with Epidermolysis Bullosa...

You can also find me on Facebook.

So, I hope you hang out for a little while, this party is going to be fun!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ileana Peralta's Story

“It’s the worst skin disease that I know of,” he said. “This disease just cries out for help.” - Dr. Alfred T. Lane, a pediatric dermatologist

“I just try to get through it, the best you can, no matter how much it hurts...” - Ileana Peralta

It wasn’t until Ileana Peralta was in junior high school that she summoned the courage to Google her own disease. The teenager from Livermore knew almost everything about her inherited condition, Epidermolysis bullosa, a tongue twister even doctors call just EB. The disease is caused by the lack of the collagen gene that makes the glue that tethers layers of skin together. It makes her skin seem as fragile as a butterfly’s wing.

Ileana and other children with EB go through life with much of their bodies wrapped in gauze, like a burn patient. Their skin, at the slightest trauma, is prone to form blisters, which are vulnerable to infection. Scarring eventually curls fingers and toes, fusing them. To varying degrees, these children are condemned to a life of pain and disfigurement.

EB is rare. Ileana’s severe form of it, called recessive dystrophic, affects between one and four per one million in the United States, said Dr. Alfred T. Lane, a pediatric dermatologist. Dr. Lane was recruited to Stanford University Medical School 19 years ago to search for treatments for EB, and has been working on it ever since.

“It’s the worst skin disease that I know of,” he said. “This disease just cries out for help.”

The handful of doctors in the United States who deal with EB are experimenting with some of the most advanced technologies in medicine — gene therapy, stem cell therapy and bone marrow transplantation — as a means of eventual treatment.

Last fall, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the state agency that runs the voter-approved $3 billion stem cell research program, allotted $11.7 million to Stanford to find a way to harness the newest stem cell technologies against EB. The goal is a clinical trial by 2014.

Under Dr. Lane’s direction, the California stem cell money will pay for an approach using new techniques that transform ordinary skin cells into all-purpose stem cells. In theory, these stem cells can be engineered to carry the missing collagen gene, and can then be coaxed to grow large amounts of healthy skin grafts, immunologically compatible with each patient, like Ileana.

When Ileana trolled the Web for information about her disease, she discovered that children who have it may not survive to adulthood. “The part that scares me is that some kids died from it,” she said. “I’m glad I’m still here.”

For most of Ileana’s life, Dr. Lane’s team has focused on developing gene therapy. The idea is to implant the missing gene — for a protein called collagen VII — in skin grafts. The chainlike collagen proteins, absent or damaged in people with EB, anchor the top layer of skin to the underlying dermis.

Engineered viruses would ferry the missing gene to laboratory cultures of the patient’s skin, to be grown in sheets and later grafted. A clinical trial among adult patients is pending.

The latest technique, sometimes called reprogramming, holds the promise of sidestepping the troublesome issues surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells — controversial because they are derived from human embryos that are destroyed a few days after fertilization.

Reprogramming seemed like science fiction until 2006, when Dr. Shinya Yamanaka proved it could be done in mice. In 2007, Dr. Yamanaka and other researchers showed it could be done with human cells.

Reprogrammed cells are currently too dangerous for use in human studies, and a variety of hurdles must be cleared before such studies can happen. One study recently found, for example, that reprogrammed cells have a more limited lifespan than stem cells derived from embryos.

On the other hand, researchers are rapidly fine-tuning the mechanisms of cellular reprogramming, making it simpler, more efficient and better understood. The field is now among the hottest in molecular biology.

More controversial is an entirely different approach using bone marrow transplants, which swap a patient’s own marrow with those of a healthy donor. The idea is to treat EB as a disease of the whole body, rather than one that can be repaired with skin grafts. EB affects not only the skin, but also weakens mucosal tissues in the mouth and gut, which cannot be grafted.

Dr. John E. Wagner Jr., a pediatric cancer researcher at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has done bone marrow transplants on seven EB children after studies on mice that showed that a select group of bone marrow cells could migrate to the skin and, for reasons not fully understood, replace missing collagen.

Four of those patients “are having improved quality of life,” said Dr. Wagner, who has yet to publish his pediatric results. But two of the children died — one from infections five months after an initial transplant, and the other during chemotherapy, before healthy bone marrow from a donor could be transplanted.

Dr. Wagner agonizes over those deaths, but is convinced that the disease was so severe that it warranted the risk.

“I normally take care of patients with leukemia,” he said, “but then I think there are some things worse than leukemia.”

Dr. Wagner’s work is backed by DebRA, the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America, as well as the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, two charitable organizations founded by parents.

Dr. Lane of Stanford has reservations about the bone marrow procedure. “For a child with large wounds,” he said, “you are really setting them up for infection.”

Dr. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, is also uneasy about conducting risky procedures on children.

“The sicker the children become, the harder it is to secure good, informed consent,” Dr. Caplan said. “In my experience, parents become desperate. They want to have hope, and often researchers want to offer hope.”

For her part, Ileana said she was in no hurry to be a guinea pig. “I probably want to wait until they know what they are doing,” she said.

Now 15 and a freshman at Grenada High in Livermore, Ileana confronts her disease with a combination of pluck and a straightforward attitude befitting someone considerably older. She is as matter-of-fact about everyday life as she is about her disease. She confesses to struggling in math at school and far prefers drawing. Her sketchbook is full of cartoon bats and characters like Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Ileana knows the sting of EB every day when her mother, Stephanie Peralta, bathes her and wraps her in gauze. It can take 45 minutes to whirl the yards of white cotton bandage around her arms, her legs and her stomach. Some days the sores hurt more than others. Some days they hardly bother her at all.

Bandaging Ileana is a labor of love for Ms. Peralta, a 31-year-old single mother, who lost her job at a freight forwarding company when the recession hit. She was 16 when she became pregnant with Ileana. Doctors knew when Ileana was born that something was wrong: on her right leg, there was no skin from the knee down.

“I was a teenage mom with a sick child,” Ms. Peralta said. “I grew up in a hurry, and just dealt with it.”

Ileana appears to have inherited her mother’s strength. “I just try to get through it, the best you can, no matter how much it hurts,” she said.

When she goes outside, she knows people sometimes stare. “If they’re curious, they’ll ask,” she said. “It’s O.K. to ask.”

Recently she attended a party, and met a girl whose mother has cancer. “I asked her about it,” she said. “Pretty soon we were swapping stories.”


Monday, March 28, 2011

2nd Cannell Auction: Couture Bridal Rosette Hair Comb Fascinator

Our second auction item will be a Couture Bridal Rosette Hair Comb Fascinator.

A handmade rosette is arranged in this gorgeous bridal comb. A pearl peaks out from the "petals," and wispy feathers, lace, and netting accent the piece beautifully.

Everything is securely attached to a comb. The dimensions are about 4.5"x4.5" including the netting. Perfect for a special evening out or for attaching to any type of veil.

This item was donated by Tricia at Hope, Wishes & Butterfly Kisses Boutique

The auction begins Monday (3/28) at 8am PST and runs through Wednesday (3/30) at 8pm PST.

This auction is to benefit the Cannell Family in their adopting Carson and John. Find their story here:

There is a photo album on facebook set up with the pictures of the item.
You must comment on the PHOTO ALBUM to place a bid on the item. Please make sure that you look at all bids on an item before you enter yours and make sure that it is HIGHER than the highest current bid.
If you win an item, payment will be made through paypal. At the end of the auction, I will send the winner an email with further instructions on how to pay. After the email is sent, payment is due within 48 hours. If your payment is not received in that time frame, the item will be offered to the next highest bidder. At that point, any payment made by the original high bidder will be considered a donation and they will not receive an item in return.
•Other donations
If you would like to make a donation please visit
We do not require that you pay for your own shipping.
•Other questions
If you have any other questions, please feel free to post them here or email them to me at

Friday, March 11, 2011

{Wise Words on Parenting}

"Cleaning and scrubbing will wait ’till tomorrow, but children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs! Dust go to sleep! I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep."
~ Ruth Hamilton

“You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back.”
- William D. Tammeus

"Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you." ~Robert Fulghum

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”
- Anonymous

“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.”
- Roger Lewin

"The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable." ~Lane Olinghouse

"You will always be your child's favorite toy."
~Vicki Lansky, Trouble-Free Travel with Children, 1991

“What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give.”
- P.D. James

"A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad."
~John Andrew Holmes

"The trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed."
~Author Unknown

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cannell Auction Item #1: Handmade Butterfly Necklace

For our first auction we will be auctioning a one-of-a-kind handmade butterfly necklace.

Beautiful hand blown glass butterfly in deep garnet red & cobalt blue float on three strands of glass beads & Swarovski crystals in black, garnet & sapphire. Necklace measures approximately 18" with a 1" extension chain.

This necklace was donated by Tamara at

The auction begins Monday (3/14) at 8pm PST and runs through Sunday (3/20) at 8pm PST.

This auction is to benefit the Cannell Family in their adopting Carson. Find their story here:

There is a photo album on facebook set up with the pictures of the necklace.
You must comment on the PHOTO ALBUM to place a bid on the item. Please make sure that you look at all bids on an item before you enter yours and make sure that it is HIGHER than the highest current bid.
If you win an item, payment will be made through paypal. At the end of the auction, I will send the winner an email with further instructions on how to pay. After the email is sent, payment is due within 48 hours. If your payment is not received in that time frame, the item will be offered to the next highest bidder. At that point, any payment made by the original high bidder will be considered a donation and they will not receive an item in return.
•Other donations
If you would like to make a donation please visit
We do not require that you pay for your own shipping.
•Other questions
If you have any other questions, please feel free to post them here or email them to me at

Monday, March 7, 2011

We will be helping to bring Carson home!!

Hope Wishes and Butterfly Kisses is going to help bring Carson home! We will be doing a number of auctions over the coming weeks. Our first one will be announced soon!

Follow Hope Wishes and Butterfly Kisses on facebook for all of the details!!

Hope Wishes and Butterfly Kisses - FB

Creating a Peacful Home: Our Routine

My routine makes me feel satisfied and organized. Daddy's feel that their home is peaceful. And children thrive on it. We need a good stucture so we can maintain our lives and relationships.

This is not about perfectionism.

But, this can be one of the hardest things for a family to figure out. So, I am here to give you some tips and show you my own personal routine.

I keep some leeway in my plan to stay flexible, and adjust for spontaneous outings, unexpected guests, etc, while still maintaining the basics.

Some projects are done daily, as maintenance, while others are done just once during the week, to save me time later.

Morning/Evening Routine

I use a morning/evening routine. This kind of structuring provides simplicity and flexibility. Your morning tasks can be completed sometime between 8:00 and noon and your afternoon/evening tasks before you go to bed.
Here is what an average day looks like at our home:

Our Daily Morning Routine

I complete these before Ashton wakes up and before the daycare kids show up. I don't have laundry to do every day, so some days that step does not apply.

  • Make Beds

  • Put load of laundry in washer

  • Unload dishwasher (this makes it to where you can put dishes in the dishwasher throughout the day)

  • Switch laundry to dryer

  • Fold and put away laundry

  • I do have variations from day to day. Each day of the week I focus on a specific area of our home.

    Stove top meal prep for the week

    Deep clean bathrooms

    Deep clean kitchen
    Wipe down bathroom and change hand towels
    Coupon clipping and start weekly meal plan

    Baking Day

    Dusting, vacuuming, mopping, etc.

    Quick "wipe down" of the bathroom and put out fresh hand towels
    Finish weekly meal plan
    Clean out fridge: throw away old food, wipe down shelves
    Go shopping either today or Sunday

    File receipts (for personal and business)
    Catch up day for anything that was not finished Saturday

    Afternoon/Evening Routine

  • Finish cleaning up from dinner and loading dishes in dishwasher while Daddy plays with Ashton (make sure to grab dishes from any other rooms in the house)

  • Run dishwasher

  • Wipe down counters

  • Tidy up living room (have children put all toys away and put all dirty clothes in laundry basket)

  • Read children Bible story before bed

  • One on One time with Derik

  • I hope all of this is as helpful for you as it has been for me.


    Friday, March 4, 2011

    The Bushnell Home: February

    What a great month! Our anniversary was on the 3rd and then Valentine's Day on the 14th. Also, all of the things I have been implementing into our daily lives has really been working out beautifully! I am so excited to share it all with you.

    For our anniversary we went to the coast. We rented a nice little cabin near a creek. The ocean was close by, so we were able to take a short little hike to the beach. On our hike we went through a tunnel. It was 780 ft long!! It was pretty crazy, but way fun! It was such a nice relaxing weekend. I look forward to when we go again. Next time we go will be nicer weather so we'll take Ashton and let him play on the beach. Here are some pictures of our weekend...

    On Valentine's Day Ashton and I made Daddy a card and some cookies. It was fun. I love homemade gifts. Here's Ashton and a couple friends making their cards...

    So, since the beginning of the year I have been following a daily/weekly/monthly routine. It has been going so well!! I love it! Our home has been clean and tidy and we have time to spend with eachother. I don't feel overwhelmed because I have a kitchen full of dirty dishes, 10 loads of laundry, and can't see my floors anymore! It is so freeing to have everything done. Are you interested in knowing what my routine looks like? Stay tuned because I will be posting it in detail.

    Do you follow a routine in your home?

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Help Payton Thornton: Extreme Home Makeover

    It’s already been a year of miracles for Payton Thornton.

    Against all odds, the 5-year-old White Plains boy was allowed to come home in late December, just six months after receiving a stem cell/bone marrow transplant at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.

    Payton suffers from a rare genetic skin disorder called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB). Doctors believe the transplant could well save his life, and all indications are that Payton is continuing to improve.

    But after returning home, the family discovered a potentially dangerous mold in their household air, being circulated by the air-conditioning unit. Payton’s immune system was weakened by the transplant, and the fungus, aspergillus, could cause a serious infection. Continued...

    Read more: Anniston Star - White Plains miracle kid faces new obstacle - a toxic house

    ***Extreme Home Makeover***

    To vote for the Thornton family:

    1. Go to

    2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Contact ABC”

    3. (1st Section) Enter Your Personal Information

    4. (2nd Section) Beside “Select a Show or Category,” choose “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

    5. Beside “Subject,” choose “Comment”

    6. Beside “Message,” type “The Thornton Family, White Plains, AL” and state the reason you feel that they are deserving.

    7. Click “Send”

    Baby Butterfly: Jameson Setsma

    Remembering Baby Jameson today. It has been 2 years since he got his Butterfly Wings.

    Read his story here:

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Cannell Family: Bumps in the Road

    The Cannell Family has hit some bumps in the road on their journey to bringing Carson home. Luckily they have God on their side and are moving forward with faith and strength. This is such a beautiful family that has such a loving heart and an open home to this precious little boy. Please keep them all in your prayers and consider helping them bring Carson home with a donation or by purchasing one of the lovely items that has been donated for fundraising.
    More info here: Bringing Carson Home: Waiting...
    Online Fundraiser Info: Carson Fundraiser

    Update on Charlie Knuth: After Stem Cell Transplant

    Charlie is doing great and is starting to be able to do more and more things. He is feeling much better, his skin is clearing up, and his spirits are high. Pretty soon he'll be tossing around his football with his dad and brothers. His Mother is so happy to see him doing so well. He is very thankful and you can just see all of the joy in him and everyone surrounding this sweet little boy.
    We are continuing prayer for Charlie and his family as they are still in the recovery phase. Much love goes out to them all.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Children in Need....

    Lately I have been following a couple of stories of children in need and I want to share them with you. Please help spread the word.

    Born January 16, 2010

    This beautiful, lively little boy has had so many advocates for his adoption! Many of you have seen him on adoption boards and other forums over the last many weeks and months. Reece's Rainbow is proud to seek grant donations and an experienced adoptive family for him.

    Anton was born a twin…his healthy twin went home with mom, but Anton's needs were far too great for them to deal with.

    From his medical records: Recessive Dystrophic Bullous Epidermolysis, with the following complications of the primary problems: Anemia; Malnutrition of the 3rddegree, Joint contractures of fingers and toes, Syndactylia (fusion) of the fingers and toes;

    Accompanying diagnosis: Status Post multifactorial perinatal damage of the central nervous system. Hydrocephalus. Syndrome of increased reflectory excitability. Minor cardiac anomalies.


    Potential adoptive families should either be home study approved for a child with significant medical needs, and/or have first-hand experience with EB before considering a commitment for this child.

    Donnie and Karrie Cannell live in Lodi, California and have been married for 5 1/2 years. They have eight children between them (yours, mine and ours), six of which still live at home. Their children range in age from 20 years-old down to 3 years-old. Their 20 year-old daughter was born with a skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) which is a rare condition that causes blistering even from the slightest amount of trauma. The blistering can also be found in the esophagus.

    The Cannells first heard about Carson on EB Friends, an online community devoted to people that have EB or just care for someone that has EB. From the moment they read about him and saw his handsome little smile and big brown eyes they were instantly drawn to him. Knowing the difficulties involved with caring for someone with EB and the fact that Carson is an older child, the Cannells knew that the odds were against him being adopted. A few weeks had past and Donnie and Karrie just couldn't get Carson out of their minds. The more they talked about him the more they realized that he was meant to be their son. God had placed it on their hearts and in their minds that with the love they already felt for Carson and their experience with EB that the Cannell family was the perfect place for him to be.

    The very next day Donnie and Karrie were knee-deep in phone calls and emails, gathering information on adopting Carson. Thanks to Andrea and all of the wonderful people associated with ReecesRainbow, the Cannells are on their way to bringing Carson home to his forever family. All of their children are so excited, not only to have a new brother to love, but also to be able to share in Carson's new life discoveries.

    Donnie and Karrie know that with God all things are possible and they want Carson to learn of His love for us. They are anxious to get Carson home and show him the love and caring that all little boys desire and need. They want him to learn proper care for his skin disorder and to have access to the best medical facilities. EB can be crippling and even deadly if not cared for properly, but with good care and nutrition Carson will have every opportunity to grow strong and healthy. Please help them bring Carson home soon!

    "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world"- James 1:27


    Follow the Cannell family's adoption journey on their blog at