Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day- Men Like My Son

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance to those who have died in the line of Military Service.  Today I would like to honor all who have served and who are currently serving in the U.S. Military. 

While we are enjoying family picnics and BBQ's let's not forget the sacrifice that our men and women in Military have given for our freedom. 

One of our sons is in the Navy.  We are so proud of him.  I pray each day that God will continue to protect him.  I thank God for the strength that He has given to my son's wife when he is deployed and the faith that He has given me when he is away. 

My Son and I
We are so proud of you my son, we love you and may God continue to bless you!  Wishing you all a safe and Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Increase Pageviews & Decrease Your Bounce Rate!


I was visiting a few blogs yesterday and I stumbled upon this great blog, Gutsy Writer.  As I was reading her post, there was this curious tool bar that followed me down the page. After I was done reading, I decided to check out this website called Apture. I was so impressed with this great tool I decided to add it to my blog.

Little did I know all the other great features Apture offered. It can be downloaded to Google Chrome, Firefox and Apple Safari web browsers.

This nifty tool keeps your readers on your blog without having to leave the page. If I see something interesting or that I was curious about I would copy and paste the word or phrase and enter it on my browser to search, leaving the current page right? 

Well with Apture your readers won't have to leave your blog to search! Once you have it downloaded on your computer, whether you use Chrome, Firefox or Safari, just highlight the phrase you want to search and poof, there is the information right there in a sweet little box. 

As an example, the screenshot is from one of my previous posts.  This is what you would see after you highlight the words Puerto Rico.  It brought up the information plus you have the option to look at videos and images too, right from the current page you are on!

As you can see my customized Happiness Flows tool bar followed me down the page.  You can share on Facebook, Twitter and email as well. You can search for anything you like right from that tool bar too!

Your readers can search the web using Google, Google Maps, YouTube, Amazon, Flickr, Wikipedia and others all through your blog.  You will be engaging your visitors and increasing the time on your site! 

I am very interested in checking my Google Analytics to see how my page views, time on my site and bounce rate have been affected, in a good way I hope! However, if I just wait a few days Apture will email me my stats too!

Try it out and let me know how you like it!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Knick Knack Paddy Whack- A Review

Front Cover

For Ages 3 to 7 years
Illustrated By: Christiane Engel
Sung By: SteveSongs
Sing along with this rollicking take on a traditional tune that introduces instruments and counts from one to ten. There are educational notes about instrument families as well as a simple music score at the end.
I stumbled on this store when book shopping for my granddaughters.  The girls are 31/2 and 11/2 years old and they love singing along to these great books. A few of the books with sing-a-long CD's have videos posted on the Children's Crafts and Activities section on the website.  The girls especially love this one!

The wonderful colorful illustrations on these pages keep the girls interested.  Not only do they learn to count, they also learn the different instruments, which are singled out while reading and listening to the CD's!  Here are a few pages of the book!

Coming from a multicultural family, I enjoy seeing how many of these books include children and bilingual animals of different ethnic backgrounds.  Bilingual animals, you ask?  

Well, I knew someone who was vacationing in Mexico, and she passed by a man talking to his dog in Spanish.  She said, and I kid you not, "Oh my, the dog is bilingual, he speaks Spanish too"! When I lived in Puerto Rico all my chickens, dogs and cats spoke Spanish, of course!  But that is another story!

Enjoy watching the video along with your children here:

Disclosure: I joined this great company so that I can purchase these books for my family, while earning 20-50% commissions on my personal purchases!  I would only recommend products that I use for myself or my family.  The links are directed to my website, and there is no obligation to purchase anything while enjoying all of these wonderful Children's Activities.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Attitude is Everything by Vicki Hitzges

Today I was Blog Hopping through our great Community VoiceBoks and I stumbled upon this great post on, F.L.A.G and  her post about her Gratitude Journal.  

During life's trials and despite my tears or sorrows, I have tried to find the things that I am grateful for. Doing so almost always gets me out of that slump! 

In the movie below, Attitude is Everything by Vicki Hitzges, (make sure you have the sound on!), it says, "Count your blessings and jot them down".  "Feeling Gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it" by William Arthur Ward

How true is that? How many presents do we have stored away already wrapped?  Get them out and write your Journals or Gratitude Lists, only then can we see the gifts that are already in our lives!

Please join a wonderful community called VoiceBoks~ The Voice of Motherhood! Click the button below and take a peek, you are going to love it!
I am so happy to have joined and met some of these amazing women!

Well got to go, my grand babies and daughter-in-law are here and I am so grateful!  Until next time!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Obesity in America

One of my nursing jobs a few years ago was working for a disability agency here in my state. As one of the Occupational Nurse Consultants I had to review disability applications and make a determination whether to approve or deny the applicant for disability.  

Over time as I was going through these applications I started to see an unofficial trend.  A good number of these conditions were either caused or exacerbated by obesity. Some of the many diagnoses were either cardiovascular/circulatory, pulmonary, endocrine (diabetes), digestive, musculoskeletal (hips, knees), immune or nervous systems disorders. 

You can visit Centers for Disease Control for more information, however here is a quick picture of the obesity phenomenon in America from 1990 to 2009.
Please watch this video where Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, in the Division of Endocrinology, Director of the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health Program at UCSF, discusses Sugar: The Bitter Truth 

As for me, I have been struggling with my weight for over two years now.   You can follow my weight loss progress on the Shaking Off My Booty! tab on top! I would love any comments or support you would like to share!

Praying for Baby Gabriel Zachary

I have had this button on my blog for months to remind me to pray for Baby Gabriel Zachary.  So a little history here, months ago I was blog hopping and stumbled upon Ordinary Inspirations!  Her sister-in-law was pregnant and here is the initial story:

"At her routine 12 week visit, the doctor found 2 hemorrhages inside of her womb. In the course of 5 weeks, one has passed but the other has grown. It now makes up 75% of the uterine lining. 

It is attached to the placenta which is lying partially over her cervix. The placenta has torn away from the uterine wall. 

The doctors say that every week she is pregnant is a miracle, and they are truly baffled when she returns pregnant.

Her specialist, who is also a Christian, said that it will be a miracle if she makes it to viability (24 weeks), and that there’s nothing he can do to help her get to that point."

So we all kept praying and I am happy to say that little Gabriel Zachary was born healthy in January 2011!  You can view pictures of him on Ordinary Inspirations.

The power of prayer, even for people we have never met!  Keep blog hopping, you never know what you will find when you do! 

I would like to thank Barbara from Spanish for Kids for reminding me to post about little Gabriel Zachary!!  

As for the button on my blog, I am keeping him there to remind me that miracles do happen!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Hibernation, Blessings and Motherhood

I feel like I have been hibernating for the past few months. Feeling sick all the time and not being allowed to drive can kick a once very independent, didn't have to rely on anyone kind of girl right in the pants!  

Although I knew I hadn't been feeling well enough to write a post on my blog, but didn't realize it had been this long! That bear says it all! I have gotten kind of chubby like him too!!

I was finally diagnosed a few months ago with Hyperadrenergic POTS, (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)  I have been dealing with the symptoms for over two years and it is the reason I haven't been able to work.  I have a great doctor at the University of Washington Medical Center Neurology Clinic who knows about this condition and what to do to help manage the symptoms. Most doctors sadly do not know what it is or how to treat the condition. So I feel truly blessed to have been able to find him and that despite his busy schedule and patient load, he was still able to see me. 

During this time I have reflected on the important things in my life and those are my family and dear friends. Thankfully I have been blessed with both! 

I had a great Mother's Day, spent it with two of my sons, my hubby, daughter-in-law, grand-babies and extended family.  Once your kids grow up you start going to their houses and man is that relaxing!! No cooking or cleanup, can you say perfection?!! So empty nesting isn't all that bad!!!

Among some of my great gifts is a beautiful album my daughter-in-law made for me from Grace and Adia, my grand-daughters.  Grace is three and a half and Adia is almost one and a half. Here are some of the pages from the album:
Album Cover
Grace, Adia, Pancho and I
Adia and I
Grace and Andrew having some fun!
Grace and Adia after their bath~
Grace putting on my makeup!!
Randy, Alyx, Grace and Adia
Grace having some fun in the park!

Easter Time!

I have second guessed my decisions in life, have felt twangs of guilt while raising my boys as a working and single mom, and despite all of my mistakes I have been blessed again with great sons. They all have become great men and I am so proud of them all.  My son gave me a gigantic card with a gift card, but what he wrote inside made me tear up. He thanked me for helping him become the independent person he is today, that I am a great Mom, role model and the best Mom ever!

Why can we be so hard on ourselves? We do the best we can with the situations that are given to us and usually our kids still think we are the best!

When God Created Mothers

by Erma Bombeck

Mother’s Day column for May 12, 1974

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into his sixth day of “overtime” when an angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And the Lord said, “Have you read the specs on this order?
  • She has to be completely washable, but not plastic;
  • Have 180 movable parts... all replaceable;
  • Run on black coffee and leftovers;
  • Have a lap that disappears when she stands up;
  • A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair;
  • And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of hands... no way.”
“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” said the Lord. “It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. “One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ’What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, ’I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
“Lord,” said the angel, touching His sleeve gently, “Go to bed. Tomorrow...”
“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick... can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger... and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
“But she’s tough!” said the Lord excitedly. “You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
“Can it think?”
“Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. “There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You You were trying to push too much into this model.”
“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord. “It’s a tear.”
“What’s it for?”
“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
“You are a genius,” said the angel.
The Lord looked somber. “I didn't put it there,” He said.