A blog about the grief after losing a child to Niemann Pick, Type C, a rare disease, and how I'm moving forward with my life.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Special New Year's 5 for 5

Jessica and Jenn are having a special installment of 5 for 5 this week - 5 goals for the new year!
See the blogs participating by clicking on the button on the left or below.



2013 Goals

1. Get myself organized again. 
(this disappeared after Dan died)
2. Use my juicer more.  
(we got it for Dan to make sure he had good juice and we did use it, but obviously not much lately)
3. Evaluate the job situation. 
(the stress and bs is getting to be too much)
4. Read more books. 
(one of my favorite things to do)
5. Pay off some bills.
 (We all have them don't we?)



And here were last week's goals (the last week of the year):

1. Rest while I have a few days off.
I took full advantage of a 4 day weekend over Christmas and 
then the flu made me rest for the rest of the week.

2. Make fresh juice twice this week.
Nope....just didn't have enough energy with the flu this week.
Probably would have been better than the store bought OJ.

3. Read 10 newspapers.
I read 16 newspapers!  That is 2 weeks worth!
Amazing what can be done when you don't have any energy for anything else.

4. Finish wrapping presents.
Done!  How could it not be?  
Christmas wrapped and so were the ones for the birthday yesterday.

5. Get my coupons organized. 
Nope.  Again the flu got the best of me.


This week's goals

1. Read 10 newspapers.
2. Get coupons organized.
3. Rest a bit more.
4. Write 3 more posts this week.
5.  Clean out my closet.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Missing Posts

Just a quick note to say that I haven't forgotten about writing blog posts.  This flu has just taken so much out of me that I have been sleeping and drinking orange juice and sleeping some more.  I don't even have any ideas for future posts!  So if anyone has any ideas, please leave them in the comments.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Christmas Gifts

Two weeks ago I posted my Christmas Wish List.  I didn't actually get anything on my list, but I did make some progress on it.  My mother sent me the name and contact information of a person who does leather work.  Now I just have to get there.  Hubby and I went to the mall looking for one of those places that does stockings...but they don't seem to exist anymore.  So we purchased 4 stockings, stencils and glitter glue to make a Mom stocking.  Got it all home and realized the stencils were too big and neither of us was confident to free-hand the word Mom.

As far a celebrations this year, the oldest step-son had a holiday gathering at his place last Saturday evening.  He had a bunch of friends and some family over and we had a good time laughing and talking.  Christmas Day we stopped at my sister-in-law's house to leave Christmas and birthday presents for the youngest member of the family (hubby's nephew's son) who is turning 3 this weekend.  We timed the visit perfectly as he was there and was able to open his Christmas gifts.  Then we headed to my parents for a quiet Christmas dinner.  My parents gave us a huge picture frame of Christmas pictures of Dan.

We had a lovely little bit of snowfall and had a nice white Christmas.  After Christmas is when we got our big storm - about 12-15 inches that started late on December 26 and came down all day on December 27.  In the middle of it, we trudged to the doctor because we both felt horrible.  Turns out I have the flu and since I am usually never sick, my doctor gave me Tamiflu.  48 hours later I am starting to finally feel better - I'm still a bit tired and I'm coughing and have a runny nose.  But the aches are gone, the fever is gone and the headache is gone.  Hopefully by New Year's I will feel completely better.

This is the last installment of Bloggers for Christmas this year.  I hope these lovely ladies do it again next year.

Bloggers for Christmas

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Random Musings

This is how I feel right now:

(source)

Let's see if I can make some sense of these lines.....

1. I wrote my first guest post!  You can read it at Sara Sherrell.  Here is a sneak peek:
In this holiday season, there are a lot of advertisements and wish lists for things.  The latest video game, the hottest toy, the newest piece of electronics.  But what happens when those items are no longer popular or break? The holidays are a good time to evaluate what you need and what you want.
2. I absolutely HATE, HATE being sick!!  I had a sinus infection in mid-November and got rid of that.  But I haven't been able to knock this cough and tired feeling and cold chills since then.

3. Christmas was quiet for us.  Found those last minute gifts and went to my parents for a Christmas dinner.

4. We are supposed to be getting our first major winter storm in a few years.  Possibly up to 12 inches.  It has already started as I write this.

5. I finally tallied all the donations from Dan's Dreams, the fundraiser I had to raise awareness and research funds for Niemann-Pick Diseases.  We raised about $2,200!!!

6. I don't want to go back to work. :-(  I had a nice 4-day weekend and then another day working from home.  It's back to the office for 2 days (unless the storm says otherwise) and then another 4-day weekend.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All


(source)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Week 5 for 5

It's Monday! That means a new installment of 5 for Five with Jenn and Jessica!  See the blogs participating by clicking on the button on the left or below.


FantasticallyAverage


Last week's goals:
1. Really decide on the Christmas plans (it's only 1 week away!)
            I decorated a bit, see the post here.  We also went to a step-son's house for a fun family gathering.  We will be going to my mom's for Christmas dinner too.

2. Finish getting caught up on my blog reading and commenting.
             Still working on this one!  I only have 783 blogs to read....I don't think I'm going to be commenting on all of them.

3. Go grocery shopping
              Done!  $231 later we have food again!  To be fair, it is just two of us and we haven't been grocery shopping in probably 3-4 weeks.  And I saved almost $100 using my grocery savings card and coupons.  I probably could have saved more, but I wasn't organized enough with the coupons.

4. Make fresh juice twice this week.
             Nope...not once...but I looked at all the fruit and veggies I have to make some.  Does that count?

5. Read 10 newspapers.
             I read 8 (although most of them were yesterday)

Not too bad this past week.


So what are the plans for Christmas week?
1. Rest while I have a few days off.
2. Make fresh juice twice this week.
3. Read 10 newspapers.
4. Finish wrapping presents.
5. Get my coupons organized.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My other "kids"

I don't talk (well, write) about them often, but I have 2 other "kids" - a cat and a dog.

The cat will be 11 in April and the dog will be 19 in April.



Soon after Dan came home from the hospital, being the protector









 A few years later, the dog is keeping Dan warm






 



A few years later, Dan sleeping on the dog






This was taken in May 2011, we thought we were losing her but she had eaten a nasty tasting bug.
Dan and the dog always got along...but what dog doesn't love kids??  Table scraps, dropped cookies....

And yes, she looks like a German Shepard but she is short.  She is part terrier, so that explains the short legs.




Dan and the cat never had a good relationship.....









This was about as close as she would get to him.....



Until he got real sick.   Then she became his protector.



Friday, December 21, 2012

The Weekend Before Christmas...

It's the weekend before Christmas and what does that mean? Still trying to find presents for two young children and one young adult.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute...hmmm...that would be Christmas Eve wouldn't it??

Anyway....off to the stores sometime this weekend to get these things.


I decided to decorate a bit for Christmas.



This bear is supposed to be a tree topper.  I think it looks nice just sitting on the countertop.















Here is the little tree I put together for Dan.  There are 2 strings of lights and a lit star on top.

The little teddy bear on the left matches the tree topper above.

The glass ornament with his name and dates on it was made by a friend as part of a set of 4 that were raffled at Dan's Dreams.  The woman who won the set gave me that ornament.

The angel in the ornament changes color - yellow, blue, purple, red, green, clear.

There are two other small ornaments on the right are a little snowman and a school bus.


Here is the tree and plastic two poinsettia plants, with some of Dan's toys.

I can't forget about his jingle bells :)


So here is this weeks installment of Bloggers for Christmas.


Bloggers for Christmas



Chelsea Ingram also posted today on her blog at www.oursonnylife.com about her Christmas wish this year - sharing her beloved Trek's story.  Following After Trek is available for FREE on the Kindle TODAY only on Amazon.  Please follow her post to get to the link.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Newspapers and Magazines

Tonight I wanted to share some articles that I wrote or were written on our behalf.

The first magazine article is the story of our diagnosis.  This was published in Complex Child Magazine, an online publication, in December 2011, just a few weeks after Dan died.  This article is also in the link on the upper left side of the page, under Dan's picture.

The second magazine article was also in Complex Child Magazine.  This was published in January 2011 and I wrote it to help other families battle insurance companies to (hopefully) get the therapy and equipment that their child needs.

The third article I wrote for Complex Child Magazine was in the December 2012 edition.  This article was about our 4 month battle with NYS Medicaid.  Not only were we fighting Dan's diagnosis, we were also fighting a government who seemed to do everything it could to derail us from getting him coverage.

*****************

One of the local newspapers has a series of bloggers on all sorts of topics.  One of the bloggers is a medical student who has been writing as she completes her education in medical school and now about being matched to an intern program.  On her blog, M.D. to Be, she does a Medical Mystery Monday where she presents a disease and has her readers guess the diagnosis.  I asked her to feature Niemann-Pick Disease.  Here is the Medical Mystery post and the answer.

*****************

When I started publicizing Dan's fundraiser a few weeks before the event, I plastered it all over Facebook and emailed everyone I could think of.  One of the local mom bloggers, Mamatoga, wanted to include it on her page.  Here is her article.

*****************

About a week before Dan's fundraiser, I sent a press release to all the local newspapers.  The smallest one,  the one in the village where the event occurred, called and wanted to do a front page feature story.  I was beyond thrilled!

Below is the article from The Ballston Journal on December 7, 2012 (ironically Dan's birthday).  A subscription is required to read the article online.  I also just found out that on December 21, 2012 the newspaper ceased paper publication after over 200 years.  I am extremely honored to have had Dan's article in one of their final editions.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Newtown, Connecticut

As a mother who has lost a child, my heart sank as I read the news posts of the events happening in Newtown, Connecticut.

I know some of the feelings of loss the parents are feeling, but every loss is different.  I knew my son was going to die, but I didn't know when.  These parents didn't know their children were going to die.

While it is a devastating tragedy, the media is continuing to report on the events of that day and the aftermath.  I have conflicting emotions on the media reports.  While I am glad they are keeping the public informed, I also think it is delaying the grief process the families will be going through.

I have read several articles on how to support others in their time of grief.  I found this one from The Compassionate Friends, the nation’s largest non-profit self-help support organization for bereaved families after the death of a child.
• Don’t try to find magic words that will take away the pain. There aren’t any. A hug, a touch, and the simple words “I’m sorry” can offer the most comfort.
• Don’t be afraid to cry. Those tears are a healthy release both for both you and the family, and a tribute to the child who died.
• Listen to what the parents and siblings have to say. Let them express their anger, their questions, the pain, and the disbelief they may be experiencing. Don’t discourage them from talking about their feelings. Remember that siblings are often considered the “forgotten mourners” and need to have their grief validated, too.
• Be there. Don’t say “call me if there is anything I can do.” That call will probably never come. Think of what the family needs to have done and offer to do specific tasks.
• As time passes, remember the child by sending a card to the family or calling on special days. A bereaved parent’s worst fear is that their child will be forgotten.

 The Executive Director had some wonderful quotes as well:

“Only a parent who has lost a child can truly understand the devastating and life-changing effect this has on the families involved."

“It is said that for a parent, when a child dies, the future dies, too.”

“Some people believe healing starts the moment the family arrives home from the funeral. Bereaved parents and siblings are transformed into different people who will never be the same as they were. Grief doesn’t end in a week or a year, and it may never end. But the pain does get softer in time with the help of friends who care.”

That last sentence is the most important - with the help of friends who care.


I also read a Children's Hospital blog post from a mother and a physician, who also has lost a child.  Her post concerns helping kids understand what happened and acknowledges that it will take some time for them to process the events.  Her suggestions include:
  • Tell them what happened. It is important that they hear it from you, even if they have already heard something.  Give them the facts—but in a broad strokes way.
  • Answer their questions simply and honestly.
  • Make sure they know that events like these are very rare.  Schools and other public places are generally very safe.
  • Limit their exposure to media about the shooting—especially video.
  • Let them know that you, and other helping adults, are working all the time to keep them safe. Give examples of how you are doing this.
  • Talk about something concrete you can do as a family to help—like sending a donation to an organization helping those who were affected.
  • Understand that they, like you, may need some time to process what happened. They may have questions—be ready to answer them. They may be upset but not even know why, so be patient if they act out in unusual ways.
  • If your child is very sad or anxious, call your doctor for help.
  • Give extra hugs. They may need it. You may too. I know I’ve been needing a lot of them.

She also provides links to resources that can be useful now and later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Another Weekend Wander

As I was writing about our beautiful trip to Nantucket, I realized that I never wrote about our first weekend wander after Dan died.

Over the summer I heard about a family with two young boys that have Niemann-Pick Type B.  They live near Watertown, NY, which is about 3 hours away.

We took the scenic route through the Adirondack Mountains and a bit of a heavy rainstorm.  What started out as a rainy day, turned into a nice afternoon. 

We had a wonderful day talking with family and friends and listening to music.

That evening they had a fire dance routine. Sorry if these are dark, but it was night-time.




Through some amazing generosity, we were able to stay at a summer cabin and enjoy a beautiful sunrise on Lake Ontario.




We had a lovely breakfast with some of the family and drove home.

On our way home, we stopped a met another mom and her two children, one of whom has Niemann-Pick Type C.  They only live about an hour away.  We had a wonderful conversation about how you move forward after losing a child - she lost her son - and doctors and therapies.  I know that we will be seeing more of her and her family.

Monday, December 17, 2012

5 for 5 - December Week 3

It's Monday! That means a new installment of 5 for Five with Jenn and Jessica!  See the blogs participating by clicking on the button on the left.

FantasticallyAverage

Last week's goals:
1. Get all the raffle/auction prizes to the winners.
         Everyone has been contacted.  One to drop off to hubby's niece and two others to drop off at the program where Dan's therapists work.

2. Write my two guest blog posts.
          Done!  Once posted, I will let you know so you can enjoy reading.

3. Get caught up on my blog reading and commenting.
           I got some reading and commenting done....but there is a lot more to do.

4. Go grocery shopping
        Nope.  I only had two possible days to do it (Monday and Tuesday) and just didn't get around to it.  We have plenty of food in the house, but there are always the things you should pick up when they are on sale.

5. Decide on what we are doing for Christmas and decorations.
         We have a couple of ornaments and a tree topper that are brand new.  Still working on making plans and deciding whether we will decorate.  Starting to get some Christmas cards in the mail too.

Not too back of any overall week...especially since I slept Monday away....


On to this week:
1. Really decide on the Christmas plans (it's only 1 week away!)
2. Finish getting caught up on my blog reading and commenting.
3. Go grocery shopping
4. Make fresh juice twice this week.
5. Read 10 newspapers.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Beautiful Trip

Before Dan was born, hubby and I would take random weekend trips.  Some were just day trips, others were for the weekend.  We would typically go "off-season" so it wasn't as expensive or as crowded.  Yes, there were sometimes that we missed some things because they were closed - it was off season after all.

As anyone with a child knows, it becomes difficult to travel - diapers, formula, toys and lots and lots of clothes.  So we put our weekend wanders on hold.

After our trip to Nashville this summer for the NNPDF conference, we realized how much we have missed our weekend wandering.  So.....

About 6 weeks ago, a fellow Niemann-Pick angel mom posted in her blog that she was planning on spending about 4 weeks in Nantucket, Massachusetts.  Since Nantucket is only about 4 hours by car away, it made for a perfect weekend trip.  So I contacted Shannon Laffoon and we decided that yesterday was the best day for a visit.

We got up early and drove out to Hyannis, Massachusetts.  There are only a few ways to get to the island of Nantucket - ferry or plane.  We opted for the ferry.  We took the noontime high speed ferry, which was an hour trip.  When we got off the ferry, we met Shannon and shared some hugs.



We had a beautiful sunny day, about 40-45 degrees to go wander the island.  We first grabbed some lunch and talked about our beautiful children.  Shannon blessed us with Wylder Nation wristbands, in memory of her Warrior, Wylder.

Wylder Nation 


 We walked around part of the island - looking at architecture, talking about all sorts of things.  We wandered out to a lighthouse





It was a bit windy so instead of walking around the beach we went and had some hot drinks.  As we headed back to the afternoon ferry, we stopped to take a picture of the floating Christmas tree.



And to prove that we really did spend the weekend together, we asked someone to take a picture of us with the Christmas tree




We had a wonderful visit and I am thrilled that we had a chance to meet Shannon and help with her healing journey.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Results of Dan's Dreams

It's been a week since I had my fundraiser to raise awareness and research funds for Niemann-Pick Diseases.  It was an extremely exhausting day.  I think I was more physically tired than emotionally tired.

The event started at 2pm (but I was at the Elks Lodge at 10ish to make sure I had some breakfast first!).  I started setting up around 11:30am.  This consisted of moving a few tables, setting out the awareness items, setting up the raffle and auction displays, putting out lots of information and kids crafts.  I also had to make sure there was food and non-alcoholic drinks for attendees to purchase.

Here is the hand carved wooden 2 foot bear my wonderful neighbor carved.  We auctioned this item.


In addition to the bear we also auctioned items: a signed Major League Baseball and a hand crafted bead jewelery set (earrings, necklace and bracelet).


Here is part of the raffle table:




All these folders had certificates on them that corresponded to gift certificates that had been donated.









Here are some of the awareness items:  a newsletter, and brochure on the symptoms of Niemann-Pick Type C with information about the NNPDF, awareness PERSEVERE bracelets, and Legacy of Hope cards. 
















Here are three of the four books that other parents wrote.  The fourth book was being looked at when I took this picture.  From left to right: Following After Trek, Warrior Baby, What Matters Most - Living with Young Adult Onset, and not in the picture, Three Brothers Go to the Beach.




 We even had some special visitors...another family with Niemann-Pick, Type C, the same disease Dan had.  Left to right in this picture: me, hubby, affected child, mom.  This family came from New Hampshire - about a 3 1/2 hour trip to spend a few hours with us in support.  I am very thankful they came.  Their presence made this disease "real" for many attendees.

 

All in all, we had a good afternoon.  We raised about $1,000 for the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation (NNPDF).  I am still making the final tally, but I think it is close to this amount.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to all my friends and family who helped along the way - by giving me suggestions, getting raffle prizes, helping that day.  I know I will forget someone if I start listing them, but I hope they know who they are.


At the end of the event, we participated in the Worldwide Candle Lighting Event, organized by The Compassionate Friends.  This event is held the second Sunday of December at 7pm local time around the world.  The goal is to have a wave of light circling the world in remembrance of all the children who have passed away from any cause at any time.  We lit a few candles and I read 7 pages of names from the NNPDF website of those lost to all forms of Niemann-Pick Disease.  In addition, we added the names of other children that I knew of locally who died recently, including two who lost their lives in a car accident just a few days before.  We had a moment of remembrance for all the children and their families. 

If anyone is interested in learning more about our story or Niemann-Pick Diseases, please use the links on the upper left side of the page (below the picture).  Other families also have websites and businesses.  Those links are on the upper right side of the page (below the picture).  If you wish to donate to the NNPDF, please use the links on the lower right part of the page.  Even if you don't have any extra cash this holiday season, you can still contribute by using Goodsearch or Common Kindness for coupons.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Christmas Wish List

With about 10 days to Christmas, I figured it was time to put together my wish list.

So here it is:

1. New straps for my pocketbook.

I have this AMAZING Butler Bag that I bought from Avon a few years ago but the straps are tearing.  I've tried other Butler Bags but they aren't the same...this one is the one that I love!!!  Someone told me there is a woman who does leather work near me, but I haven't had the time to take the bag there and I have no clue how much it will cost.  I know where the building is, but don't know any contact info for her.  I've seen her work - which is great! - but I just haven't gotten there....


source


2. A Stocking that Says Mom

Ever since I was a little kid, I had a stocking with my name on it.  When I moved out, my parents gave it to me.  When I got married and became a mom to step-sons, I kept it because that is what they called me.  When Dan was born, we couldn't find any place that makes them.  I'm not talking about a mass marketer - I'm talking about those little booths in the middle of the mall that pop up this time of year.  Well, we couldn't find one that had stockings that they would add the gluey glitter to.  So I never got one.  For some reason, it's bothering me this year.



This one is a dream wish, but you have to have one right?
3. The money and the time to travel the US and Canada visiting NPD families and giving them a caregiving break.

Hubby and I have talked about just taking off and traveling around the US and Canada visiting other NPD families.  While there, we would send the parents out for some alone time.  As caregivers to children with these diseases, there is no "downtime".  Even if parents have nursing care or other assistance, the parents are always "on".  Leaving your children with others, even if you have to, is a scary thought.  But we hope that as NPD parents ourselves, other parents would be more comfortable leaving their children with us - even if it was just for a few hours to get dinner out and a movie.


So there is my Christmas list.  This week's installment of Bloggers for Christmas.

Bloggers for Christmas

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today is a two blog hop day - Thankful Thursday and Thumpin' Thursday


SaraSherrellMomsThankfulThursday


So here is what I am thankful for this week:

1. Friends and family who came out and supported us at Dan's Fundraiser this past Sunday.

2. My husband who let me sleep all day Monday after the Fundraiser.

3. My Elks family who stepped up to help without even being asked.

4. My NPD family, some of whom sent items for the auction and raffle, and all who sent wishes for a successful event.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Following After Trek

During October I wrote several posts (here and here) about getting this book published.  It was officially published on November 20, 2012.

Here is a short summary:
Following After Trek is based on the real life story of Trek Atlas Ingram and a tale of a father who travels into the unknown in search of his son.

What would you do if you were told your child only had 6 months to live?

That the life you had been dreaming and planning for them, would never happen.

That is the exact situation Jarrett Ingram found himself in when he was told that his infant 3rd son, Trek Atlas, had a rare disease with no cure or treatment. His family brought him home that day and quickly decided his short future. They were going to take Trek to see the world.

Follow along the true life story of Trek Atlas Ingram and his family as he travels around the world, and the pain and love they experience living every day as if it was their last. The amazing story of Trek's life is intertwined with a fiction story of a man that will stop at nothing to save his son. It is based on a dream that Trek's dad had just days after he died, about the love and loss of a father finding out if his son still needs him.

I was very proud to be a Kickstarter backer to this project and this family.  They are living a dream of many - traveling the world with their family.  Yes, they have had heartache and they do get homesick.

Back to the book....
I got my copy on Tuesday and started reading it Wednesday morning and I couldn't put it down.  I had to finish it before the fundraiser because I had all the books that parents have written there and wanted to be able to talk about the book if anyone asked.  Below is my review:


Following After TrekFollowing After Trek by Jarrett Ingram
My rating: 5 of 5 stars







The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in Kindle, nook, and paperback.

Monday, December 10, 2012

5 for 5 - December Week 2

It's Monday! That means a new installment of 5 for Five with Jenn and Jessica!  See the blogs participating by clicking on the button on the left.

FantasticallyAverage

Last week's goals:
1. Finish preparations for Dan's Fundraiser. I have no choice in this matter - it's Sunday Dec 9.
                Done!  I think it was a success! More on this latter this week.
2. Make fresh juice at least once this week.
                 Nope! I was just all over the place this week that it didn't happen.
3. Read 10 newspapers.
                 Somehow managed to get 4 read...don't quite know how.
4. Write my two guest blog posts and my one review post (by Wednesday!)
                  Got the review post done, but not the guest posts.
5. Cook a meal once this week...since I have the recipe from last week, might as well use it.
                  Made it!  But I was the only one who ate it....


This week's goals:
1. Get all the raffle/auction prizes to the winners.
2. Write my two guest blog posts.
3. Get caught up on my blog reading and commenting
4. Go grocery shopping
5. Decide on what we are doing for Christmas and decorations

Let's see  how things go this week....

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Birthday Santa

Today is my son's birthday.  This is the second year that he isn't here to celebrate it.

The weekend near his birthday the local firehouse had their kids Christmas party.

Here are the pictures from those events:


    Age 1


Age 2 (never went because I messed up on the time)


Age 3


Age 4


















Bloggers for Christmas

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An online award

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b9QVpjifuXs/UCfrz7Q2bxI/AAAAAAAAAN4/vCKgR0OmMTQ/s1600/Liebster%20award.jpg




Mom in the USA nominated me for a Liebster Award.  So what is a Liester Award?  Karina @ Mom in the USA had an excellent post about the origins of this award.  The two main characteristics of this award are to learn a bit about the blog author and to spotlight blogs that are new and don't have many followers.

(On a side note: this is interesting timing as this post is my 100th published blog post!)

The rules are simple:
Thank your nominator, link back to the nominator's blog, answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator, list 5 random facts about yourself, create 5 questions for your nominees (which you will also answer), and nominate 5 other blogs with less than 200 followers.

So here we go!

Thank you to Karina @ Mom in the USA for the Liebster Award!  An honor that was unexpected and thrilling.  You can also link to her blog from the button on the left side of my blog.

11 Questions from Karina:

1. How did you come up with your blog design?
I started this blog to honor the memory of my son, Daniel, and raise awareness of the rare disease that claimed his life at age 5.  He loved yellow flowers, hence the background.  The top of both the left and right columns have additional information relating to Niemann-Pick Disease.  Further down on the left are the blog hops I participate in.  Further down on the right are ways to help raise funds for research through online donation methods (some do not involve cash).
 
2. What types of pets do you have/want?
I have a calico cat and a mini German Shephard dog.  The cat is 10 years old and the dog is 18.

3. Who was your favorite teacher?
My calculus (senior year math) teacher was my favorite.  She was down to earth, yet challenged us every day to think outside the box.

4. What is your favorite quote?
 My favorite quote is "Life Happens."  I don't know where or when I started saying it or even where it came from, but when I did an internet search, I found this:
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy"
5. Do you prefer to shop in a store or on-line?
I am not a big shopper, period, but I use both stores and on-line for different things.

6. What is your favorite family tradition?
We had some traditions when we were a family of three - going to see the lights on the CP Holiday Train, see Santa at the firehouse.  We haven't even thought about starting new traditions yet.

7. If you could travel anywhere, where would you want to go?
 Karina, I'm with you - travel the USA in an RV

8. What is your favorite comfort food?
Plain Potato Chips with dip.

9. How would you fill you time if you didn't blog?
I would probably read...something I have always enjoyed doing, but haven't had much time to do lately.

10. What is your favorite car (owned or would like to own)?
 For some reason, I have always wanted this car: a purple Plymouth Prowler.

11. Where are you sitting as you write this?
In my living room.


5 Random Facts

1. I am an only child.
2. I am a Certified Public Accountant.
3. I am not a big TV watcher.
4. I am only 5' tall.
5. I live in an agricultural community.


5 Questions for my Nominees

1. Where is your favorite place to go?
Any quaint bed and breakfast with my husband.

2. What is your favorite sports team (amateur or professional)?
I don't have one, since I am not really into any sort of sports.

3. What would you do if someone gave you $1 million?
I would divide it into quarters: 1 part to pay bills, 1 part to travel, 1 part to save, and 1 part to give to others.

4. If you could spend one day with a person who died, who would it be and why?
It's a toss up between my son and my father.  My son to tell him I love him and to hold him one more time.  My father to spend some time talking with him.

5. What is your favorite movie?
I picked a Christmas movie, but pick any movie you want.  My movie is The Night They Saved Christmas. Never heard of it?  Here is a summary from www.moviefone.com:
Art Carney effectively portrays a weary, wisecracking Santa Claus (not the department store variety, but the real McCoy) in the made-for-TV The Night They Saved Christmas. Right now, Santa has very little to be jolly about: his North Pole toy factory is threatened with demolition by greedy oil prospectors. Eco-conscious Jaclyn Smith and three kids come to the rescue. The film is highlighted by several songs written by Paul Williams, who co-stars as chief elf Ed. Filmed in part at the Arctic Circle, The Night They Save Christmas was a Holiday perennial for several years after its December 1984 debut.

My Nominees:






I also can't forget about Thumpin Thursday's

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yummy Goodness in a Jar

A few weeks ago, Crystal at Momma Blogga asked for volunteers to try out her Cake in a Jar.  So what is a Cake in a Jar?  Exactly what it sounds like!

The jar arrived a few days ago, safely nestled in a box with padding.  I left it on the kitchen counter.  The jar itself is a crystal jelly jar that some people use for canning jams or jellies.



 

An easy pop of the lid yielded a lovely, delicate coconut smell.  I grabbed a spoon and reached all the way down to the bottom to make sure I got all the layers in one spoonful.






The cake was light and fluffy with coconut shavings and coconut cream frosting.  It didn't take long before it was half gone....

I probably should have stopped then...but I didn't.  For me, the frosting became a little too sweet at that point.  I bet if I had stopped then and saved the rest for another day, I don't think it would have been as sweet.

Are you interested in tasting some for yourself??

Check out her etsy store here: Creole Confections.  She sends out packages of six jars at a time.  Please contact Crystal if you are interested in a special flavor or for a special occasion.

She currently has these announcements posted:
Happy Holidays!

ORDER NOW & 15% OF THE PROCEEDS GO TO CAIDEN'S HOPE. CAIDEN'S HOPE IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT ASSIST THE FAMILIES OF PREMATURE INFANTS. THEY'RE WEBSITE IS: www.caidenshope.org

~Military Families Receive a 15% Discount~
Contact Shop Owner for Coupon Code


In interest of full disclosure, I received one cake in a jar for free to review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review.  With the exception of the announcements at the end of the post, the entire content is my own.