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Saturday, April 30, 2011

A success - "Thank you!"

Once again another adoption event was successful. We had a wide range of foods for dinner that consisted of meatballs, ham, chili with buns, salads, sushi, salad wraps, two different cakes, banana bread, biscuits and chips. You name it, our potluck spread was awesome! Before and after dinner the children danced, popped balloons, played ball, made crafts, had their face painted and had a hunt for different nick nack toys. Then everyone left with a prize during the raffle draw. It was amazing watching all the families that attended clean up so quickly. It was an evening that went without a flaw. Events like these are really special for our children. I commented a few times about the importance of the developed connections our children have with other families. Most of our children struggle with friendships in their school but with other adoptive families there is always something in common. If it's not adoption, it's different special needs or heritage. Every time we've attended an event or hosted one, our children are excited to see their friends again. Something I believe to be important. I just love every one's children. Unique in their own way and everyone seems so inviting, accepting of each other. Tonight was a success because everyone took part in either setting up, helping during the evening and cleaning at the end. So thank you so much everyone and most importantly thank you for being in our lives, a part of our family, all our families. We sure do have a nice group of people, a great group of children and I can't wait until we all meet again at the next adoption event! The families that couldn't make it, we missed you and we hope to see you next time! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Dance!

Remember if you haven't RSVP'd already (this Saturday) April 30th is the Adoption Potluck Dinner! Please contact me for further details! It's going to be "Awesome!"

On another note -

I can't help but share! If you've been following our adoption journey, it's official! All our waiting is over......we're going to be proud parents of two new children this May!

If you're a waiting adoptive family or in the process of becoming an adoptive family, the waiting is very difficult. Waiting for that perfect match that works best for your family and waiting during the process of adoption can test any ones patience! We've been in the waiting process every time we've adopted our children. So I completely understand and sympathize with every ones unique situation. Although I have to state that there is an end to waiting that starts a whole new chapter in your life. Children and children are worth waiting for!

Now with our waiting coming to a close, I want to thank all my readers, my family and friends that have supported us through our developing growing family. We're onto a new chapter, our chapter of "Fourteen children and holding!" Also, my new title to my blog!

Picture this - a "Happy dance!" Do do do do, de de de, da da da da, do do do do!


These are our canines. Loyal pets that love our family. I've been having weird dreams lately that make me think about different topics. My dream last night was I left our animals secretly at someone else's home while they were away. When they returned, they had two new pets. (Mine) When I came home I was saddened by what I did. I abandoned our pets, leaving them at a place that wasn't their own. I felt horrible. During my dream the "new owners" came by our home and returned our dogs explaining to never leave our responsibilities on their door step. I was relieved and awoke suddenly searching for my dogs. They say dreams are connected to our reality. Although when I went to bed last night, I wasn't thinking about abandoning our pets. I often wonder about the fate of our larger dog "Kong" being that he's sick but passing off our commitment to them isn't in my vocabulary. I've been a vivid dreamer all my life and it's said that it's self exploration and insights into your own life. With believing this somewhat it makes me think about our commitments, our responsibilities of being dog owners for as long as they live. We adopt children, we understand and dedicate our lives to parent which comes completely with 100 percent understanding. (For some parents it doesn't come that easy) For some animal owners it definitely doesn't. The novelty of owning an animal wears off. Through-out our lives we've owned many pets and usually they last over ten years. Tens years of their life where training, cleaning, pampering, feeding, grooming, walking and believe me; after ten years they don't smell as good as when they were a puppy! They cost more with veterinarian costs. It's an ongoing dedication once purchasing a pet into your life. I hear of so many stories about abandoned animals, animals that have been abused and neglected. The same stories that I've heard about children that end up in care, needing to be adopted. When I think about our pets, I see them look at me with love in their eyes, complete loyalty, trust and forgiveness when they're left behind. I always apologise leaving them home. Everyone including animals need placements that will last their lifetime. I know how hard it was for our children to move continually before being adopted and I can imagine it's the same for people's unwanted pets. I believe pets develop attachment issues and with that, it can ultimately destroy their life. My dream isn't a reality but a thought to remind individuals before considering adding an animal into their life, consider the commitment.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Exciting & Crazy we are!" And "That's OK!"

Lately I've been throwing little hints here and there about adopting again. I know there is many other families waiting to adopt. The waiting process is and can be very long for several different reasons. Last summer in July 2010 we semi-started a process to adopt two children. In August 2010 we had the children's Guardian worker and Supervisor come for a visit which made the idea of adoption more official. During the fall months unfortunately there was a change in job positions which left no Guardian worker until January 2011. While the new worker caught up with the children's files and I'm sure an overload of paperwork, we continued to wait. Everything came to a completion on our side sooner then the children's side. Now we're in the process of "getting ready" for their arrival almost a year later since we heard of these two little darlings. In a matter of days we're going to know dates and the plan for our pre-placement visits leading up to their adoption placement. In one week, we're meeting our new children! Exciting? Yes. Our dynamics will change once again with the welcoming of our two beautiful already loved children. I know people wonder and will continue to wonder on how we manage, why we want to raise 14 children. Our reasoning's never seem to matter because from the individuals asking don't and probably will never understand. It's interesting because we've had our two proposed children on our wall for almost a year and I had a family member call asking just recently, "Are we adopting again?" "Yes of course" I replied with the response, "Crazy" This word crazy I hear often. It's a word that doesn't bother me anymore because if I'm crazy adopting children then crazy is what I am. (I must do it well) I also wonder when referring to the word "Crazy" Do people realize it means "Insanity?" Clearly if I were insane, I wouldn't be a Mother to 14 children. Behaviourally I have it under control except when mashing potatoes or punching bread dough! Nonetheless a large family for us is not insane, it's loving a child that needs a Mother and a Father, a family to call home forever. If we can do it, let me ask you this, "Why not?" Recently I took my Mother to her first Imax film. The Imax was called, Born to be wild. True stories of two woman in different countries looking after abandoned Elephants and Orangutan babies. It was heart warming. These two different ladies have dedicated their lives to raise and release these animals back into the wild. While watching I couldn't help think about these woman, woman that chose a life to change lives of abandoned wild animals. This is their path and they love what they do. I wondered what their friends and family thought but then again, it didn't matter. These ladies were following where their hearts lead them and I thought that was awesome. Like my husband and I, our paths are lead by our hearts and that's with our children. Our family. So regardless what people may think, we're happy. We're excited and we're fortunate because we have a path we want to follow. So as our excitement heightens with our two new children's arrival and our dedication that follows, it's our life and it's "Ok" to be "Crazy" if that's what we are!

Dandelion smiles

Our little son today was the cutest little boy walking. I took our son out to walk the beaches with our dog Wilbur. Our son decided to start picking me flowers. Dandelion flowers. He kept saying, "Mom they are everywhere, you should plant these flowers at home too!" I explained to him that these are the only flowers he was allowed to pick. So he was gathering them up by the handfuls. During our walk he decided to start handing them out. Every person walking by, he handed them a flower. Ladies and Gentlemen of all ages including teenagers were getting flowers. Every one had a smile on their face thanking my little boy. He would continue walking on his mission saying, "You're welcome" in his tiny little voice. He was so proud of himself. Not only was he proud, so was I. I thought how wonderful it was to make another person smile. How easily thoughtful of a little boy walking on a mission to make a strangers day brighter. Normally I don't let our children speak to strangers but today was a day of genuine sunshine along the boardwalk. Kindness comes in different forms and sometimes it only takes a dandelion to change the course of someones day. Our son didn't see it as a dandelion but a beautiful bouquet for his Mother shared amongst others. It was really something to witness. I love when I see this compassion from our children. This innocence that this world is a perfect place. Today it was and I know for a fact that our son made a difference to some of these people passing him by. Tonight in their home they're probably telling their significant other about the dandelion they received today while out walking their dog. Afterwords we were waiting in this store line behind a young man having troubles paying for his goats milk. He was explaining he was just paid today but his bank wasn't allowing the transaction through. He tried several times while my son and I waited behind him. I could hear people behind us "sighing" impatiently while he tried the transaction again. I watched his frustration and embarrassment levels flush into his cheeks. I looked at the screen where the amount was only $7.98 and thought this could be as simple as handing out a dandelion. I told the cashier to add his milk to my bill. For me, $7.98 will go by unnoticed, for many $7.98 will go by unnoticed and same with how this young man was feeling. People "sighing" wasn't helping the situation nor was a compassionate choice on their part while he's clearly struggling with paying for something he needs. You know, I have a lot of time to think. (Standing in line today I was thinking) Even with all my children, I think about life, people and how a simple gesture can change someones day. I think about why some people choose to "sigh" or "snicker" at another. All our circumstances can improve or change where one day, $7.98 will matter to us, like this young man today. I would hope that "Paying it forward" will continue to move through-out our lives to help one another instead of snickering at ones circumstance. I don't ever want our children to stand back and not help another if they could. Today was a great day, a day I will remember because my little son took it upon himself to hand out dandelions he picked. A day where we stood in line and my son witnessed his Mother helping another. That a day doesn't go by without acknowledging others. This as I've written before is the most important quality I want our children to have. Compassion for others. For me, at the end of the day it's about productiveness. Today I didn't accomplish anything although I'm happy, smiling and proud to reflect back knowing that in ten other people's thoughts, is a little glimpse of dandelion. And that's productive in my eyes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stand By Me - Everyday

Music. Every day music can change the way we feel. It did for me this morning. I started listening to Melissa Etheridge, "If it makes you happy" while putting away another three loads of laundry! Instantly my mood changed and laundry became a little twist here and a little twist there! I definitely have my favorites. Another favorite of mine, a classic is "Stand by me" The song "Stand by me" I love! It reminds me when I was a teenager walking to all my destinations singing this song! Above is the song "Everyday" by Buddy Holly, another song played in the movie, "Stand by me" If you haven't seen this classic, it's great with great songs! Of course all the old classic songs are redone by many different artists with interesting versions these days but regardless songs that uplift any mood! Like this song above.....makes me smile. "Every day seems a little longer.... every way loves a little stronger"...... even our children love these older classic songs. Easy to sing, catchy to swing into and not only can change a mood, make a smile, it uplifts our thoughts. I'm even convinced finding the right songs for the right occasion can change any atmosphere including even a child's dull mood! Like colors, our surroundings ultimately can reflect on how we are. Being a holiday Monday, our children are home helping clean. Most of the time what child wants to clean? Ours do today with music and a little twisting with each toy that's placed on the shelf. Not everything has to resemble work, adding flare like Buddy Holly can lighten a room! If you haven't watched the movie, "Stand by me" Watch alone or with your partner first because its content might not be good for some younger viewers. It's a movie that reminds me of myself somewhat looking for adventure, getting into situations and really connecting with some childhood friends. Children these days are so connected to electronics that without their parents push for the outdoors experience, they won't have memories like these. Like mine. I believe music is important but most importantly the outdoors is something no child should miss! Every day its a getting closer...... going faster then a roller coaster.........Get out, play and experience with your children! Dance, smile and "Don't worry, Be happy!"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blessing being Gigantic!

Busy, busy......just the way I like my days! Thursday was my day of errands, a day of preparations for this weekend! During the evening we went for dinner at our second oldest daughter's boyfriend's house, another large family we've known for a few years and we're becoming more then just friends. This is a family with sixteen children (birth and adopted) that we can easily gather without a glitch. It's interesting how our children bond with theirs. Even our eight year old son resembled their fifteen year old son like a little mini-me before we left, hugging each other "Goodbye" It was cute. When we left, our one seat left was occupied by our daughter's boyfriend, we took him home! (Just for a few visiting days in separate rooms of course) Honestly he's a great teenager and if I had a choice for my daughter to "date" anyone, it would be him! I love the fact that he has talents with art and music, he's generally communicative and decently pleasant. Around 4:30am last night I awoke startled and not because of any teenagers but because I dreamed that my daughter's boyfriend's Mom and I had developed a dislike for each other. Slightly laughing to myself falling back to sleep, I thought impossible. (Well nothing is impossible) But that would put a damper in how we'd plan the wedding together!? Be Grandparents together! After all that's the gossip I hear around here - future marrying plans! Last night I was thinking about our younger adults. We have three older teenagers and one young adult. Three in which have "significant others" Lucky for me, I like all their chosen boyfriends and girlfriends. We were talking about weddings after the dinner and I mentioned we haven't been to one for many years. Then I looked around while at home, I can see three back to back weddings in our future, possibly a fourth! Then when our next set of teenagers become adults finding significant others, we could have many more! So our future won't be lacking special occasions, birth of babies and our family is going to become gigantic! (I love it) I love the fact that our large family will grow with extended family members by the hundreds! (Ha ha) My wish that everyone always feels comfortable coming to our open home and being a part of our family. So now that it's Friday morning, I have many tasks ahead of me. It's my Mother's 60th Birthday party this evening. A surprise we've been working on. I know she won't read this now! (She's not near a computer) Then tomorrow morning I'm taking her for her special day. Then it's Easter - a day of celebration. I'm cooking a BIG dinner for another big family that's coming for dinner. Another family that is just automatically adopted into our family. See ultimately we don't need a wedding, it's a choice on who becomes a part of our life. During a meeting I had on Thursday, I was asked, "What are the benefits having a large family?" This question is literally a book! BUT in a big nut shell and keeping it simple, "We thrive with each other" I also mentioned that to me, (our family isn't just our children) it's the whole adoptive community we've embraced. I can't write enough on how all of us have come together through adoption, have grown in different forms of relationships, friendships and family. How important this is for our children to relate with many other children from different backgrounds and special needs. I also and will always agree that our numbers give us more challenges then the smaller family (of course) but I wouldn't have it any other way. My hope is that I live healthily until I'm 104 watching our family grow! I hope that they will still come visit me because even then, I will feel like I do today - blessed!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Who's John?"

I have Facebook. I have Facebook because I'm a responsible adult able to make proper decisions while posting usually "useful" information. I also use Facebook to keep in touch with healthy (meaning safe trusting individuals) friends and family members. Another tool I use Facebook for is following some of our older teenagers. I used to post pictures of our family because I was a proud Mother but I don't anymore. (Still proud) I know there is safety features but what does "safety" mean on the computer? My trust factor is next to nothing concerning information that I post. This is why on my blog, I'm always paying attention to what pictures or information I choose to share. For our family, no more children are allowed either computers in their rooms, (Internet access) without monitoring. We have one family computer that is not only monitored but time framed accordingly. Facebook is not allowed until they're paying their own mortgage, hydro and Internet fees. Unfortunately we do have two older sons using Facebook that I feel I can't take away unless the privilege is abused. Our younger middle sons occasionally ask if they can have Facebook because all their friends do! I'm shocked that ten year old children and younger are using a world wide publication page such as this for friendship! Our second oldest daughter continually asks for Facebook and it is and will always be, "No" (Just in case you're reading sweety) I completely understand this is every ones world and an easy way for communication. Although I grew up still in contact with my friends through what is called a "telephone" My problem about computer communication is it's misleading and misunderstood. Without careful thought children and teenagers are posting private pictures, private thoughts and releasing information to hundreds of people they claim are friends. Who has 500 plus friends? What I've also noticed is as soon as a friendship request comes in, it's accepted. Is it a friend? "NO" We have allowed our second oldest daughter MSN so she can feel socially a part of this world via computer although I've also noticed she has too many unknown friends, regardless if she claims she knows (John) from Mississauga Ontario and is posting tons of family pictures so he can see! So in order to remain on MSN, this will have to change. Internet friends aren't friends and this is what the young generation doesn't understand, being popular is not the amount of friends on your chats. Popular is a handful or less of honest trustworthy friends you can speak with face to face. As our children age and these computer requests come, it will always be "No" I truly believe once you start saying "Yes" to something it's hard to change around. So there is always careful consideration before I say "Yes" to anything. When I was growing up I could walk too and from school without worrying about predators now the predators are in every ones homes through the computer. I know our teenagers think I'm crazy and (John) isn't a predator but why is this (John) who they don't know really named (Joseph) age 49 lying and talking to young naive girls? (I'm just hypercritically thinking with a non-factual story) but is it? It's closer then you think. For us it's just not the strangers we worry about, it's "unhealthy" birth family members trying to locate, associate and ultimately twist past stories, convincing our children otherwise. We have a variety of circumstances that have and can arise because of the Internet. So call me paranoid but as my children's Mother, Facebook is not allowed. I also know they will access Facebook by sneaking on at schools, onto friends and yes, even their sibling that currently has it but I'm always aware and monitoring the situation. Our children won't miss what they never had and that's our protection at least here at home. I will continue to explain what real friends and family are; these are the people in the flesh by our side through thickness and thin.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Feeling the love....

I'm feeling the love. Teenagers. They're interestingly loving. So loving that they hide all the phones, then the phones batteries are dead. Not answering incoming calls. So loving they love the fridge, opening and peering in over and over again at the mayonnaise that was there before. So loving that they come home with other teenage friends, friends that I have to feed. So loving that when I go to bed they insist on peering in at the mayonnaise a few more times! My husband said for us to try something new for our loving teenagers. Clearly there's a love for the fridge. SO we've decided to put different items in the fridge for our loving teenagers to look at! These items will change periodically once in awhile. Just for my pure amusement of course! See I can understand our younger children still learning to pull out their sock balls, clean out their pockets, close the fridge door but when you're a teenager, the courtesy should be instilled. Sometimes I'm tired of repeatedly asking, "What are you looking for in the fridge that wasn't there five minutes ago?" Well now I don't have to ask. It's a spider and a mask! (For now) If you know me, you know I can be very creative with my ideas. I love my teenagers just as much as they love me! Of course these are all normal little traits that most teenagers seem to have but it's slightly irritating. They don't seem to understand that the washing machine and the fridge is a necessity around here. Leaving the fridge door open is not a great idea nor is items in their pockets going through the wash cycle. The learning mind is an interesting delicate organ that needs constant reminders and explanations. For instance here we are having our heat on for warmth during these colder months. While one of our sons decides it would be more comfortable with his room window open, not only open but with a fan going, the television on, lights and his computer on all night. The love is bountiful with our hydro bill. We're constantly shutting off his room, checking to make sure the window is locked tight and picking up after him. So what is a Mother to do? I've been thinking and came up with an idea. Not an original one but I've decided to try reminder notes like picture cues. That way (hopefully) the nagging stops. The only question I will have to ask is, "What are you looking at?" because the cues will be in bold print. My husband wants to add motion sensors so once the room is vacated or motionless, the lights turn off on their own! Teenagers are fun. Eventually they will understand there is reasons why "rules" are in place. Recently we had to explain the MP3 or Ipod's with the headphones will be taken away because it seems it's a tool to ignore us when talking. Do I ever feel the love when the Ipod music is turned up louder when I'm trying to speak! Now the headphones come off the head before engaging in any conversation or "Bye bye love, bye bye happiness, hello loneliness, they'll sing with no Ipod!" Teenagers are so loving when they walk away........I'm definitely feeling the love. My husband and I discussed some of these disrespectful behaviors, we've decided we're back to three strikes you're out. One step, two step, three and done. Computer, Ipod or television time will be gone. My husband decided not to argue but to prevent certain issues from arising such as our front door. How many times do you ask your child to close the door? So he decided to change the hinges to spring loaded hinges so the door automatically closes itself. The coats on the floor is next! Our children have a hard time hanging up their jackets because their excuse is it falls off the hanger. Well "surprise" for their future, my Husband is going to make a lowered peg board with their names just like they have at their school. (No more excuses) Using prevention techniques, different tactics and discipline that works with consistency, a bad habit can be changed even in a wonderful loving teenager!

Memorable May

I was recently at our local Mountain working in the First Aid room. This year has been record snow falls. It's amazing seeing the difference from previous years. Unfortunately because of the endangered Marmots, the Mountain closes its season on Easter weekend regardless on how much snow they have. Tis the season Spring has sprung! Easter for our family is traditionally done with Easter baskets, having an egg hunt, painting eggs and putting on a big dinner. This year my Mother turns sixty on Good Friday. My sister has been preparing something special for her. (I can't write about on here) And I've planned my own special surprise the following day. Then it's Easter! The next two weeks are going to fly by leaving April for the birds! May is going to be our most memorable month. Not because we have another Birthday party but because we're meeting our new children. We've known about these children since July 2010. Anyone who adopts children know that the waiting can be very long and a drawn out process. For us having children already I can say time passes quickly while we proceed as a family. For me as a Mother knowing we have other children to adopt, there's always a feeling of them missing. What happens is we attach even before the adoption placement occurs. This is a positive and normal preparing for a parent although because there is so many possibly unknowns adopting, (if something went backwards) the letdown can be very emotional. So as much as I feel a connection with our two new children, I'm always prepared for some bad news. I was told once not to have high expectations until all the papers are signed. This stays firmly in my mind. Adopting is an emotional roller coaster. Not just for the adoptive parents, for their children already, for the children being adopted, for the Foster parents and for some of the Professionals making adoption happen. It's an exciting time but also a time to grieve with the process of movement. Through-out our years of adopting we've had Foster parents, family members of the Foster parents, friends, key workers and birth family happy over the child's or children's adoption but grieve over their move. As well as the child. It's a gain for a forever family but a loss with change. I have to remind myself that the excitement I feel needs to be cautious and to remember how everyone else is feeling during these exciting times. One reason I did not want to be a Foster parent is because I'm not their Mother. For me, I need that label, I need and believe that children need a Mother. A sense of permanency and family. I couldn't provide what I provide now being a Foster parent. I wouldn't know how to let go when that day arrived for their move. So I am compassionate, understanding and completely grateful for the Foster parents strength to perhaps not "let go" but to help a child move into their forever home. I've written before with some Foster parents we've kept connections, some are Grandparents to all our children now. They're a part of our extended family. We have some birth family and different Social Workers that we keep in touch with. There is two lovely workers from up North that just adored our boys and it was just such a positive experience. We still keep in touch. So yes definitely exciting "emotional" times ahead. I've been keeping this news to myself but after the arrival of a beautiful hospital bed and dates are finally taking place, I thought, why not write a little paragraph on what lies ahead?! Patiently waiting for almost a year brings a family together with adoption. You can be the faint at heart but just remember if you're "in waiting" to adopt, just be patient, have some supports in place and it will happen. After our adoptions, people ask one question. "Are you done adopting now?" I can honestly say for myself, I feel complete at fourteen children. We won't be adopting again anytime soon but to save myself from a potential lie, if we were approached, we couldn't say "No" without considering if it could be done.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Every story has a lesson"

After dinner I usually take my dog "Wilbur" for a run. While listening to the sea lions barking and bellowing over and over again I decided to check them out this evening. There was probably 50-60 sea lions either sleeping or barking at each other. I always wonder what their purpose is? My dog and I just watched while fights broke out with a playful nature. Do you know the difference between a sea lion and a seal? One thing I know seals don't bark or roar. So I know that these "dogs" of the ocean near me is sea lions! I like taking our children to this spot near by, they are always fascinated watching these mammals. Sea lions are pregnant for eleven months and their pups can weigh up to 50 pounds! Ooch! I carried on because the sky was getting dark with rain clouds, my fingers were starting to freeze because the wind started to blow. I was shocked on how cold it was! During my run back, I was tucking my fingers into my jacket, quickly running to hopefully miss the rain. Wilbur had to stop for a bathroom break. The Mother I am, I'm always checking out the goods. You never know if your child or dog might have a case of worms or blood in their stools. I know what you're thinking and to clarify, I wasn't digging in the stool with a stick! (I just looked) It was literally moments later when Wilbur decided to do this male back kick thing and I thought it started to rain. I wiped my face to find out it wasn't rain at all, it was Wilbur's stool that was flicked during his attempt to bury! I hope you're laughing because the only reason why I'm sharing this story is too make somebody laugh! After all I wasn't! The next best thing to do was run! A ran home and jumped immediately into the shower. The rule not to get kicked is don't stand behind a horse and note to self; do not stand behind too closely just after a male dogs bowel movement! Funny, at the dinner table tonight I was talking about my past as a little girl. I had ALL our children's attention! I explained that I had some interesting ideas that got me in trouble, (but at the time) it was a good idea. For instance when I was in grade seven I found an injured crow while I was at school. My idea at the time was taking it home to nurse it back to flying health! So I captured it with my coat and stuck it in my school locker until the end of the day. It didn't take long until when I was called down to the office. My Principle was mad and we marched down to where my locker was, while he demanded what was banging around inside?! Of course I was scared and after the ordeal I was grounded for what I thought was saving a bird. My story sparked my oldest daughter's story. She was around seven years old and found a pretty blue bird. This pretty bird was so pretty to her with the different colors, she wanted to keep it in her room. The key to her story is, the bird was dead. So she nicely put it into a zip lock bag and hid it in her dresser draw. To my shocking discovery days later while putting laundry away, it was a bag of bones. Not only bones, the whole draw was crawling with maggots! (Sorry to give you that vision) A vision we didn't want with dinner either so moving along.......another interesting story came out. Of course mine! My Mother used to make everything. Our toys and our clothing. One Halloween she made me a big fuzzy blue bear suit. I was so proud of my costume that I walked to school in it. I sweated during school in it. Then on my way home after school (hot but proud of my suit) I skipped along. All of a sudden a bunch of boys decided to tease me. They started throwing rocks at me. Imagine running in a big fuzzy bear suit tripping on your own paws and unable to see out of your bear face! Thinking back, it would have made a great You Tube video I'm sure! Although it became worse then just rocks. All of a sudden these boys were shooting roman candles at me and my bear suit caught on fire. I was zipped up, running and my happy Halloween changed to fright. Lucky while falling to the ground I was able to put out the flames on my suit. A memory I will never forget. Two other vivid stories I will share during my childhood; one was when I was doubling on the back of my friends bike. We crossed a neighbors yard and their dog came running out and bit my back, ripping me off the bike. I landed with a thump. I was really scared. I immediately stood up and starting running. When I opened the door to my house crying and bleeding, I explained to my Mother what happened. I also stretched the truth. I decided to tell her that I didn't know who's dog it was. There was a neighborhood search for days looking for this dog that didn't match the true dog. I did confess and not only did I receive a dog bite, I received my punishment for lying. The other story I was at my friends house playing tag. An innocent childhood game. Not on this day. I was a quick runner and the friend who was "it" decided to use a rake and tag me with it. I still have the scar today, on the right side of my forehead. One interesting factor during that day was after the impact, their Mother sent me home. I lived about five houses away. I walked home drenched in blood. I looked like the horror movie, "Carrie" Thirteen stitches and a concussion later, I was never allowed back to that friends house again. One more, one more, bare with me if you haven't left reading already! I was a Tom boy. Our children get tired of listening to me about how I played outside, climbing trees and making mud patties. Running through the forest like a wild child. I wasn't afraid of doing anything, my parents fished, hunted and we were the true outdoors type family. I would bounce fish eyeballs, watch a deer hang and bleed (sorry) getting graphic again, moving along......I was a nature child. One day I thought swinging from the top of the tree would be fun. I had that tree moving back and forth, it was a ride! All of a sudden (snap) I flew off. Guess what happened next? I didn't break a thing! Amazing, I started brushing myself off thinking that was the coolest experience ever! Then I started hearing a buzzing noise. I was wearing a homemade wool nit sweater and my hair being naturally curly was all over the place! (The hair was normally that way!) Moments later I was being stung repeatedly over and over again. On my back, my chest and my scalp! The bees were stuck in my sweater, they were stuck in my hair. It was horrible and listening to them buzz was worse! Again, I ran home searching for my Mother's help. Lucky I wasn't allergic to bees.....but my Mother sure had an awful job picking them out of my hair! I have tons of childhood stories, teenage stories and young adult stories that I can share with our children. My purpose for sharing my personal stories is every story has a lesson. It can be about "The boy who cried wolf" or about what happens being "Bullied" or a story that our children can relate too thinking, "Heh my Mom used to think like me" Sharing stories opens doors, trust and builds relationships. Tonight I had our children listening and to me not only were they interested, they were learning. They were connecting with me on a level they could understand. And if I can not only teach but make our children laugh because I had poop on my face, it's worth telling!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Bieber Fever!

(Picture provided by News & Gossip)
For the first time in awhile I've been stumped on what to write. I've been stumped because my mind mainly has been thinking about our next few months that I can't write about. I would love to share but not yet. So it leaves me hanging, wondering about the next best idea I could possibly share today!? It's Justin Bieber! The Bieber fever! This talented young boy is a Canadian pop R/B singer/song writer and actor. In 2008 Justin was discovered on You tube. Justin was raised in Stratford Ontario with his Mother living in low-income housing. As Justin matured he taught himself to play the piano, drums, guitar and the trumpet. Unfortunately Justin has been criticized for looking and sounding younger than his age. Although Justin has won four times with the American Music Awards, won for favorite international artist, won awards from the MTV Europe, MTV Video and Much Music. Also Teen Choice, Juno and NME awards! There is many more awards plus tons of nominations! Justin Bieber is extremely popular all over the world! Not only for his music, for his acting abilities too! Justin has been on Saturday night live, guest starred on Silent Library, School Girls, CSI, Hubworld, The X Factor, Extreme Makeover, Home Edition and recently released his true bibliography movie, Justin Bieber, "Never say Never" You're probably wondering why I'm writing about Justin Bieber? First off, I don't listen to his music. I don't mind his music but what I do find intriguing about Justin is he came from hard ship, a life of financial struggles. His single parent up-bringing while his Mother worked for low paying office positions, living in low-income housing didn't stop Justin from becoming his dream. I don't know everything about Justin Bieber, I haven't watched his movie "yet" What I do know is I completely adore the fact that his circumstances never stopped his talent, his dedication to succeed in his life. I plan on renting his movie when it's available in hopes that our children will learn something or develop an appreciation for who Justin Bieber is. You don't have to like his music but you don't have to join the "in crowd" hating Justin Bieber either. It seems our children think its "cool" to find any reason not to like Justin Bieber. Interestingly ignorant and completely naive running around hating a talented icon. An icon known to billions all around the world for his talent. A young boy who didn't succumb to his surroundings but changed his life by believing and making a difference. That's nothing to hate. I think for that small population of children and young adults that don't understand his triumph, his successes, need to realize it's "not cool" to follow the hate club because they're the ones looking foolish. Far as I'm concerned Justin Bieber is a positive role model, basically showing the world that it doesn't matter where you come from, who you are, what your circumstances are and how young you are; with dedication and the belief you can be who you want to be in this world, you can do it. I'm thankful for artists like Justin because besides his talents in music and acting, he's a young man that succeeded from his hard work with practice, patience and dedication that I always preach to our children to have. Now they just need to understand with having these qualities (maybe some day) they will be just as popular as Justin Bieber - hated or not! Funny, I was trying to explain the other night about Justin Biebers music being destroyed by imitators. What they don't seem to realize is, "Justin doesn't care" he's making millions off of all the copycat song destroyers anyways! Ultimately in the grand scheme of being famous, disliked or adored, Justin Bieber made it from his hard work and good for him!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday fun!

It's baking, cooking, cleaning and laundry Monday! How exciting! Well the exciting part is that I'm productive and getting it all done! It's 11am and so far I've baked Banana chocolate chip nut bread, Fennel seed rice crispy squares, homemade dressing marinating for Caesar salad, Japanese rice for smoked salmon sushi with avocado and 20 quantities of cherry jellos for dessert! Laundry is put away, vacuuming is completed and now the dreaded bathrooms! I think using a fruit loop for aiming would solve the urine at the back of the toilet! Anyways I won't combine food with urine so I was going to share my recipes of today's achievements. Basically baking is minimal effort, it's just dedicating a few hours.

Banana chocolate chip nut bread:

I usually make four batches of bread & muffins. So this recipe is times by 4 to get what's in the picture above.

1, 3/4 flour

1 tbs spoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening or butter/margarine

2 eggs

1 cup mashed banana's

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup pecans

I mix all ingredients together then gently add in flour last. Cook in your preheated oven at 350 f in greased bread & muffins pans for 50-60 minutes or until the fork pulls through clean. With Banana Bread you can add anything, coconut and other fruits. Leave out pecans and chocolate chips, experiment.

Fennel seed Rice Crispy squares:

Large bag of Rice Crispies

Large bag of Marshmallows

2 cups Fennel seeds

Well rice crispy squares are the easiest, quickest treat there is! Probably no need to explain. You're probably wondering about the Fennel seeds? These are sugar coated Fennel seeds that taste like liquorish. It makes the rice crispy square delightful actually. This is another easy square you can basically add anything too. (I like to change everything up a bit)

I have a homemade Caesar Salad dressing. It's light and full of garlic!

1/2 cup Bertolli extra light olive oil (It has to be this oil) I buy this oil strictly and only for Caesar dressing.

1 egg

7-8 squirts of Worcestershire sauce

2 capfuls of lemon juice

8-10 finely chopped garlic cloves


Mix and cover for the day, pour over prepared romaine lettuce with Parmesan cheese. (Bacon bits and croutons if you want) It's the best Caesar Salad dressing I've been using for years!

If you have other recipes, please share. Especially for Banana bread! I love learning as much as cooking!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A beautiful day with an unexpected challenge

Saturday was an excellent day except for one challenge.

We decided to all go on a hiking adventure to find Ammonite falls.
We did find this beautiful place and it was magical. The pictures above is Ammonite Falls. Nine of our children, my husband, our two dogs and I set out on a day hike with our picnic carried in a backpack. This is a place worth seeing, a place you can swim underneath the falls in the summer. If you look closely at the full waterfall picture to your middle, I am standing underneath it with my arms up on the left! My second oldest daughter said I look like a little leprechaun! Being outdoors makes me very happy! In the bottom picture to the right I'm laying in a tree! Yes this Mother gets around! (Ha ha) I just love the fact that our children are experiencing the outdoors, natures wonders and really internalizing the beauty we have all around us. During the first fifteen minutes of our walk, two of our older children that was with us, complained. "This is boring..... I don't want to walk anymore.....This sucks.....Why did we have to come here?" We often get complaints. I'm used to this. What I do know is, after awhile the complaints stop and eventually they're liking their day. (Even if they don't admit it) They do! I'm always explaining about how lucky they really are, to be able to walk, swim possibly underneath these falls, to witness the beauty and one day (even if it wasn't today) they will remember what they're blessed with. We're not a family that just sits around, that in itself is something that one day they'll remember. We do everything together. During our day all our children were amazing hikers. Our challenge wasn't our children. It was our bigger dog. We decided to take him because he's so sad when we leave home without him. He has the will and want to be with us. So he came and unfortunately fell down this hill. I thought for sure he couldn't walk out of there! My husband made a hoist with his leash around his belly, carrying most of his weight. Over 150 pounds! We were probably a good 5 km away from our van with hills, rocks and knots from tree roots throughout the trails. I thought for sure I would have to go for some help. It took us hours that should of been 3o minutes to reach our destination where we parked our van. The top right picture is my husband with our dog, Kong. They are just sitting in the middle of a hill. I felt so sorry for our dog. You could see his will within his soul as he would get up, move and fall on his face. Four times he fell down. Our children waited patiently as we moved slowly while Kong's legs shaked uncontrollably. Normally Kong stays home and joins us with walks around our loop. He's only three years old and is suffering from a undiagnosed sickness. We've had many tests done with no results and we fear the worst. Today was a great day but it was hard watching our dog struggle. It was definitely a challenge getting home but now while our dog curls up sleeping, he's happy. Happy because he was a part of our family today, unfortunately the last day he ventures out with us except to the vet for cancer testing. From having previous animals we know how hard it is to make decisions. So we have to know what's best first......right now we're undecided and hopeful that he can just relax laying underneath the sun. If our dog were to speak, I know he would say, "I had a great day" Just unconditional love, amazing spirit and not an unforgiven bone in our dogs body. I took many pictures and I will remember Ammonite falls, I know our children will too including our dogs.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The best place for me!

Dinner usually looks like this amount on a daily basis. The decently sized pot of mashed potatoes is approximately five pounds of spuds! Then I cooked pork steaks in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. Sixteen pieces of pork! Then when I was at the Grocery store today, I was completely smiling from ear to ear noticing that the corn on the cob is ready! For our family's dinner I need to boil at least fifteen cobs! Corn on the cob at the beginning of April! I can't even remember when corn normally goes on sale, that's my sometimers kicking in again. (I sometimes remember) Regardless if the sale of corn is early or not, I was besides myself happy! Not only because we all love corn on the cob, we love this time of year! You probably thought the next best place for me is my kitchen?! Um, yes but no. My husband has been cleaning up outside, burning stumps while I ask politely, nicely if he could build just a little something more. I miss having a garden. Our land right now is unfinished. Actually not even started. Which is understandable because my husband is still finishing our home. "Soon before summer" he says, "I'm finishing this house!" It's so beautiful outside lately and I'm itching for an outdoor project! There isn't any point for me to beauty our land, not until the design has been mapped out and we start to landscape. (Be prepared for that!) SO the next best thing is a Green house! My husband and I know exactly where to put it while we watch the sunrise and set. It's not a hard project to accomplish. I have been thinking about this for awhile and I didn't want to ask. Around here, no task is too big! Or too small! I won't be able to plant corn on the cob but it will be a beautiful area with different vegetables, herbs and flowers! Other then my craft closet, it will be the next best place to be! Well.....if you know my husband, once he starts building a greenhouse, it's going to be the BEST place to be! Meaning something and somewhere I can call my own. After all my husband does have his garage! So with the thoughts of Spring, Summer and corn on the cob in our pots......I am thrilled with smiles thinking that one day I'm going to have my own garage nestled quietly within my reach!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My beginning

We're waiting on a exception from a band for our potential new children. They are Aboriginal. All of our children we have adopted are First Nations and Aboriginal children. So we have to ask permission, present ourselves and accept a cultural plan in order to adopt children with this Ancestry. For us, our children's culture is within us. We embrace their heritage. Because we've been in this process of adopting children with different Ancestry's, I've been searching out my heritage. Before it really didn't matter, I thought what I was told was good enough. Being a French Viking is a mixed package like making cabbage rolls with ground beef and pork. An interesting mixture but what comes out of the oven, is it necessarily the roll you thought it was? Perhaps I'm more onion then beef and pork!? I've been finding out new enlightenment's since I've been searching my own roots. I found out that my Grandparents on my Father's side is from Port Au Port Newfoundland. Their history is Acadians and are descendants of the original French settlers and often "Metis" in the Northeastern region of North America. My Father has admitted to me that he doesn't know his roots (or names) past his own Mother and Father. So his heritage from his knowledge only goes back that far! In the seventeenth century, the Mi'kmaq and Acadians joined together for their mutual benefits during the war between the French and the English and joined in numerous inter-marriages. The Mi'kmaq's held their military strength after the year 1710. I've found out through my Maiden name, (my Father's name) there is a link between us and the Mi'kmaq's (Micmac) or also known as the Early Historic Native people the "Newfoundland Mi'kmaqs" Back in 1949 the Mi'kmaqs were not recognized as "status" Indians but by the 1970's they were able to reclaim their rights as First Nations. Interesting. This is just with my one name I've searched so far! Now that I'm making progress, I'm not only beef and pork; I have an application package being sent for a possible Metis Status. I'm completely interested in my heritage, not because I want to be "Metis" but because everyone around me and my children have a history. I was so focused on keeping our children's heritage alive that I started questioning myself. Basically this is just my beginning. A beginning of finding out who exactly I am. I've noticed some people will state, "Who cares" or ask, "Why bother?" "Why waste your time?" If anything, this isn't wasting my time, it's interesting. It's my history. It's Social Studies that I haven't learned, a history that can ultimately define missing details of my story. (If I were to ever have a story) So who knows what I will find out next, I'm definitely spicy with a little mixture of this and that!


April 30th @ 4 - 8 pm is another Adoptive Family Potluck dinner event! If you're interested, RSVP me for further details. ******************************* I'm starting up a Support group for Adoptive parents or waiting to adopt parents on every last Monday of the Month. Monday April 25th @ 6:30 pm will be the first meeting at Boston Pizza in Parksville. Please RSVP me if interested in attending. ******************************* Also, we're having a dinner at our home for a year end round-up! We've chosen June 4th @ 4pm. This will be a special occasion because we would like to invite our children's Teachers, Councilors, Liaison Workers and other Professionals to our home. If this is you, consider this invite and please come! It would mean a lot for our children to show their appreciation and also know we all mean more to each other then work. Community involvement is key for raising healthy, respectable young adults. Again, please RSVP me and spread the invite. Or pass on this blog at ******************************* Summer is approaching, get out in the sun and smile............

Monday, April 4, 2011

Outside the box

Once in awhile I will surprise our children with something out of the blue. Today it was those elastic band arm bracelets shaped as different objects or animals. Fun bands I think they're called. It's the craze lately around here. A simple cheap idea turns someone into a millionaire! While I was purchasing these bands I thought, bad mistake on my part. They will be all over the house, used as weapons by flicking, probably will be stuck in the washing machine, in the vacuum cleaner, all over the yard, trapped in hair more likely, flushed into our septic system, possibly cutting off circulation, a choking hazard and an argument while trading back and forth. Sometimes my great ideas turns into a money pit for us. For example, I found these earth magnets I thought our children would enjoy. I didn't realize these magnets would kill two computers! Some of our children thought it was a great idea to stick these magnets to the computer while this buzzing noise was completely entertaining them, our computer died. "Oops" I'm still learning what to purchase and not purchase for fun. A few years back I took our children and one lady friend over to Hornby Island. A day trip. I probably wrote about this before. It's a fond memory not only for our children, for this other lady too! The last ferry was leaving at 6pm but there's me stopping to buy some chocolate cake along the way. Well first off, don't buy chocolate cake for a vehicle ride. So I had to stop and clean off my children. We missed the last ferry. Oh yes, tourist season, no where to stay but my van. All the seats came out, we parked next to the ocean and we tried to sleep with our towels. It was the longest night ever! I watched the stars come out, the tide go in and out, the stars disappear before leaving that Island. But a fond memory worth writing over and over again. Once in awhile I have these moments where common sense has left my body. Like purchasing products that might add extra supervision. After all most children would just wear these simple little arm bracelets right? One of our rules is no toys at the dinner table. So who knows what's lurking in your child's pockets. Tonight it was these fun bands. While eating spaghetti, a favorite once a week traditional meal for our family, I rolled up my spaghetti and chewed on a fun band. What fun it is. This band supposedly was flicked from across the room onto my plate. So while these millionaires are getting richer with their inventions, we're getting the frustration of teaching it's purpose. Like the craze with the Pokemon cards.....a year ago it was this trading card game. Collect and collect these cards. I'm afraid that our money went into the washing machine because they would bundle these cards, place them in their pockets, then into the washing machine! So not only do I have to endlessly pull out sock balls, I have to search every pant, shirt and coat pocket always! Like Halloween, it's fun, I used to enjoy taking our children out trick or treating. I don't anymore. I don't like the candy, I don't like the candy wrappers but it's a once a year fun event. So what's a Mother to do? I'm learning. Our children aren't allowed guns, knifes and weapons. They do have Nerf guns that come out on occasion, some lazor lighted toys that have been purchased by friends on their birthdays and my husband made marsh mellow blowers, other then that, we're sticky but safe. Another toy I don't particularly like is those small hard rubber balls. They are a choking hazard and when they bounce, look out! Unfortunately there has been gifts given that I sneakily hide away, it seems every year someone wants to give our girls makeup, hair products, shampoo, body oils and toys that are inappropriate for their age and cognitive abilities. Even when I explain, come Christmas and Birthdays there is items that I have to take. It's understandable because like me, it's a good idea at the time of purchase like these fun bands! Also when purchasing for our children, many people don't understand at the time that body oil can be harmful because we may drink it, rub down the dog with it or pour it all over ourselves like water! The intent with such an item can be most interesting. Like today, I thought it would be "cool" for our children to wear these fun bands, trade them with their friends at school (like most of the public school aged children are doing these days).......they might do that if I don't eat them first! Oh well, it could be worse. My husband at Christmas wanted to buy our boys these flying helicopters. Good idea once again except that they lasted one hour smashing into each other falling to the floor! For our daughter's birthdays I found these beautiful princess baby dolls, they giggle, laugh and kick their feet. I bet you can imagine how annoying that is after hours of noise especially when their feet are banging repeatedly on the hardwood floor! Pretty funny alright. That's my great thinking again! I'm getting to the point that I analyze every product, it's use or how it could be used; I think I'm starting to think like our children which is actually excellent thinking! After all a little rubber ball is not only for bouncing, it's an item that can fit into exhaust pipes, down little holes to plug drainage and what's better then watching a toilet overflow!? My husband is great for thinking outside the box because his vacuum cleaner solves every problem, it cleans belly buttons, built up ear wax, rocks or toy box car tires out of noses, you name it and an attachment can be made for it! One thing I know, it's never dull and there's always a lesson to be learned either from the product or thinking outside the box like our children do! Smart I'd say!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Team,Why not?

I always write about our experiences with Adoption, different special needs and having a larger family. I have experiences with many different elements that I haven't touched base on. My family suffers from MS. (Multiple Sclerosis) Multiple Sclerosis is a disabling disease of the central nervous system, which is the brain and spinal cord. They say it's not hereditary although there is genetic influences. A little history, my first Uncle, my first cousin and my sister has Multiple Sclerosis. When I was growing up I never understood why my Uncle was the way he was. I wasn't educated about MS until my little Sister was diagnosed. The central nervous system controls much of the body's functioning. Depending on how you're affected, where the MS is basically attacking your brain will depend on what function of your body is compromised. For me to completely understand the damage MS does, I had to be told that it's like having termites chomping in different sections of your brain. Once eaten, there's no repair. Depending on what section MS is attacking it can affect the visual, Motor, Sensory, Coordination and Balance, Bowel, Bladder, Sexually and Cognitively. For me, as a close family member I honestly behave like there's nothing wrong but family members are affected by this decease too. My only sister lives literally five minutes away and we hardly see each other. I know she wants to be an Aunty to all our children, she is......but her MS keeps her away. My cousin is thirty minutes away, she loves children and her family.....but her MS keeps her away. My Uncle only an hour and a half away, a lovely man he's been that I've remembered....but his MS keeps him away. All three of my family members that can't handle crowds, loud noises and bright lights can't come to our home. If they do, it's time framed. From the time I can remember my Uncle walked with an interesting style. Talked slowly with a slur. When I was young and not educated about Multiple Sclerosis, I thought my Uncle suffered from being Mentally Challenged. I didn't understand or know the difference. At times growing up I thought there was a secret. Now of course I understand but why not educate me when I was younger? Why does a decease have to be hidden? With our children I believe in communication. Even if it's not positive because sometimes the truth is preparation. Now I understand. Even understanding hurts because I have a large, louder crowded family that especially my sister is missing out on. AND it's not my sister's fault. Most of our children will not know their Aunty like I do. That's what Multiple Sclerosis is taking away from us. Away from my sister. The only thing I can do is educate our children why. These lesions that can be located either on your brain or your spinal cord (depending where they are) depends on your ability to function. Right now most days my sister, my Cousin and my Uncle are physically mobile but every day is unknown. Mostly I believe my sister is affected with her sensory abilities which doesn't make mobility helpful when she can't be in the same room as noise or bright lights. That's why our family isn't the best place to be. For our family I believe this decease has taken away relationships and has changed everything for what it could have been. I often wonder if my family members that have Multiple Sclerosis understands that it's not me, not our family that seem distant but it's our understanding that we're TOO much. Too much meaning adding too much for their MS. AND it's O.K. because we love you anyways. Multiple Sclerosis is a crippling decease physically, mentally, socially and can change families like ours forever. April 17th is the MS walk, a fundraiser event that our family is a part of, we're collecting pledges for and our team is called "Team, Why not?" If you're interested in helping with this cause, please contact me. Mostly I wrote this post because it's been a huge part of my life, an ONGOING huge part of my life because it's people I love, people that our children love are affected and if not anything, education is the key to any decease. One thing I believe is, if we can't cure it, learn so you can live with it. For my family members living daily with all the unknowns, I truly do understand and so do our children. GO Team Why Not!?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Strong & Healthy

Awhile ago I had a bone density test done to find out I have or (had) osteoporosis in my spine. That's why my ribs were breaking from coughing. I was told a few years of proper nutrition would alter my diagnoses. Since then I've been taking Bone Basics. It's a vegi capsule that supports bone structure. It features assein microcrystalline hydroxyapatite complex (MCHC) BIG words, a lyophilized extract of bovine bone, which retains the intact structure of the whole bone. An adult dosage is up to six capsules a day! You're probably wondering why I'm writing about this? Well.....blogger as I am, woman especially need more supplements then we're taking. You don't have to have osteoporosis to take Bone Basics. It will strengthen your bones while you age so you won't have any issues later. Another beauty of this capsule is it contains many vitamins that you can eliminate because Bone Basics covers them. Taking six capsules a day, you're provided with MCHC - 4545 mgs, Calcium - 1000mgs, Magnesium - 420 mgs, Vitamin C - 200 mgs, Vitamin D - 1000 IUs plus phosphorus, Protein, Boron, Manganese, Zinc, Menatetrenone and Glucosamine. This product can be purchased at a Health food store. Before I honestly struggled taking vitamins. I'm not exactly sure why either except it was just one more thing I had to remember! Being a woman there is plenty of reasons why to take supplements. Recently I was introduced to Dong Quai. Dong Quai is a Chinese herb that has been used for thousands of years. It either comes in capsule form or you can drink it as a herbal tea. If you're a woman that suffers from hormonal imbalances (PMS), Menopause and even high blood pressure, try Dong Quai. For myself I'm not very moody nor do I have high blood pressure but if it helps me be a better woman, why not!? (Ha ha) Before taking any vitamin, make sure you do your homework. What's good for some isn't for others. If you ever want to try Dong Quai tea, it's completely horrible. With the capsules you would receive more of the benefits then a herbal tea anyways BUT I have some here, if you're ever eager for some extra estrogen! Speaking of estrogen, did you know that increasing your estrogen will lower your chances on getting osteoporosis? Consuming whole grains (fiber) enriched foods will prevent excess estrogen from being reabsorbed into our bloodstreams. The other night I made steamed Cauliflower, if you're concerned about your estrogen levels, don't eat Cauliflower! Cauliflower flushes out estrogen from our bodies from what I've been told. It's amazing really that everything we consume within our bodies can change our health, can change our "attitudes" and ultimately enrich our lives. When I was younger I wasn't worried about my health nor my estrogen levels, now as I'm approaching forty I'm more aware of what I consume. I'm interested and always seeking knowledge about what foods will enhance my life. I have this image of being a healthy Grandmother, strong physically and even somewhat wiser to influence our children about healthy eating. I don't even know when a trip to McDonald's was and especially for me - no clue! Mostly our children eat what I prepare. I truly believe we are what we eat. For me I would love to avoid early menopause so if it's true or not about Cauliflower, I'm not eating it! I know what's fact, Garlic will keep you healthy! Literally I cook everyday with Garlic and our whole family is always healthy. We have our sporadic moments like with fifth decease during Christmas but 90% of the time, we're great! Garlic isn't just this natural wonder drug, it has other natural elements to it! If you have teenagers with acne, try rubbing raw garlic like soap all over their affected areas and if you don't mind the smell of garlic, it will keep mosquito's away too! Awhile ago I learned to bake garlic, the whole garlic flower. Just bake in the oven until soft. It turns into a natural spread over crackers. Garlic is probably my most used and always valuable item I buy. A natural antibiotic! I just get so excited about garlic, I don't need extra fiber to increase my estrogen! So what can I say? Don't be afraid to boost your metabolism with some extra supplements or herbal products, it will only keeps us woman strong and healthy! After all we are one of the most important creatures out there!