Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pray for our Fire Fighters!!!

As  wild fires continue to ravage the western United States, I sit and I wait.  Right now California is in my main focus.  The horrible drought drying up our forests,  bringing on insect infestation is making these fires hot and giving them plenty of fuel to rage across the terrain.   As this fire season continues to claim the land of epic proportions, I can't help but look at the numbers.  Just yesterday alone California had 18 fires burning and over 7000 acres were claimed...just yesterday!   This year to date, almost 7000 fires and over 450,000 acres scorched!  The Rough fire which is burning in the sequoia national forest  has burned over 53,000 acres since it started on July 31, from a lightning strike.  There are 2152 personnel tending to this fire.  One of these 2152 is my brother!

There are 2152 brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, sons and daughters who got the call.  2152 Heroes who had to pack their bags, kiss their children and loved ones goodbye to head out to a monster that is forcing others to leave and find safety.  2152 well trained (physically and emotionally) members of some one's family putting their lives on the line to protect and save forests, properties, and other lives.

I get comfort in knowing my brother is smart and well trained.  What scares me is he is also human and has a good heart.  These men and women go out there and put their lives on the line not because they want praise, but because they thoroughly enjoy what they do!  They fill with pride when they are able to save some one's home or barn, an old tree that may still have a chance, an animal that is scared and lost.  This is what scares me!  If these Heroes think they may have the slight chance of saving your home that is surrounded by flames they are going to do everything they can to do that!  When others run out...they run in!  I often turn on the news only to quickly scan the videos and photography hoping to catch a glimpse of my loved one on the fire line.  Most times they are too busy to check in, or have no signal while fighting these fires.  I follow along on various social media sites to get the updated information on what ever fire "we" are on.   I worry, I pray, and I wait.

I count down the hours of when his shift should be done in hopes of hearing something...anything.  A picture of fire camp or the pop tart he is having for breakfast, anything to let me know he is still alive!  I grew up with my papa who was a retired fire fighter.  He retired after being injured on a fire when a burning tree fell on his head.  He lived the rest of his life with a plate in his head and his arm stuck at a ninety degree angle from not healing properly.  This is how I knew him all of my life and never really realized how incredibly lucky I was to have him in my life until recently.  Within ten days of each other the U.S. forest service lost two of their own.  One only 21 years old named Michael Hallenbeck  of Shingle Springs, California.  He and another fire fighter were struck by a falling tree during the initial attack on the Sierra Fire, in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  Michael Hallenbeck was a member of organized crew 36 on the LTBMU.  The Second USFS firefighter making his final call was David Ruhl, he was entrapped by fire and killed in the initial attack on the Frog Fire in the Modoc National Forest in Northern California.  If this was not hard enough on this brotherhood just last week they lost three more of their brothers to the Twisp fire in North Central Washington.  A college student, graduate, and professional firefighter died after their truck crashed and the flames consumed them as they tried to escape.  Tom Zbyszewski, Richard Wheeler, and Andrew Zajac died doing what they loved and will be greatly missed.  I want to offer my condolences to these young men's family.  I can't even begin to fathom the pain they must be feeling.

I can't begin to even pretend I know what these brave men and women go through out there.  Sure we have been told some go days if not weeks without showers, sleeping on the ground, getting their calories from MREs.  We see pictures of the dirty firemen with their beards growing to the itchy stage.  We see pictures of flames, and fire trucks, and burned up trees.  There is something I do know!  I know these fires are mean, they are strong, they are fierce, and they are dangerous!  There are a lot of loved ones out there that need your positive thoughts, your prayers, and your praise!  Today as you go about your day please pray for these brave men and women on the line, their families, and RAIN!  If you are not a prayer, just please keep them in your thoughts!

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Child Has Special Needs and I Am Tired of It! Living With Selective Mutism.

My oldest child was born with Selective Mutism.  She was not diagnosed until she was in Junior high school, because just like many pediatricians, doctors, teachers, and even therapist, I had never heard of Selective Mutism before. My daughter just seemed overly shy while out in public places. Selective Mutism is a severe anxiety disorder accompanied by social phobia and mutism.  For some reason I have a hard time using the word "disease" or even "special needs" mostly because some days everything seems "normal".  As a family we play board games, go camping, have dinnertime conversations.  Inside the comfortable bubble of our home we are a big happy family.  The problem is letting this big world coincide with ours.  At the time we try and mix the two worlds it becomes hard, depressed, quiet, and overwhelming!

My daughter just started high school this year.  High school should be fun!  You know the stuff!  Sports, and homecoming, dances, and first kisses.  High school has clubs, and peers, and a new drivers licences.  For a child with Selective Mutism none of this is on their mind!  a child with selective mutism is roaming the high school hallways shoulders curled in, not making eye contact, and dreading the moment someone tries to get them to speak.  A simple, "hello, how are you?" is dreaded and brings on an overwhelming fear of actually having to TALK.  Oral reports are an automatic F grade, and walking across a crowded classroom to turn in homework is a no go!  My daughter will sit in her room working on her homework every night only to have Selective Mutism make it impossible for her to turn it in.  We have went to conferences hearing she hasn't done her homework only to find it all tucked away in her desk.

As a mom of a teenager with Selective Mutism I am tired!  I am tired of the constant need for parent teacher conferences.  I am tired of the constant emails telling me my daughter is failing, when just stepping foot outside our front door is an accomplishment!  I am tired of trying to pick her brain as to what may be causing her anxiety at any given moment.  I am tired of the looks I get from people who don't understand and think she is just acting out.  I am tired of people coming to me for answers when I don't have them myself.  I am tired of the blank expressions and when she closes up on me.  I am tired of all of our family pictures looking so sad, when I know it was only in that moment when she had to make eye contact with the camera.

I love my daughter with all of my heart.  It hurts me to see her struggle day to day.  It makes me MAD that God thought I was strong enough to handle this.   Some days I just want to hide in the shower and cry.  I am tired of having to be strong. Selective Mutism is Real!  The struggle is real!  As a mom of a child with selective Mutism it is exhausting!  It is exhausting because there is not enough awareness.  Our school systems and teachers need to know more about this debilitating disease and work on  a way to help these children.  So I beg of you please.  Pass this on to your teachers, principals, recreation departments, churches.  Help me get the word out.  Help me educate people, so our children can get their voices back!  We are tired.

 Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child's inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school.  These children are able to speak in situations or settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed, such as at home.  More than 90% of children with SM also have social phobia or social anxiety.  Selective Mutism is not brought on by a tragic event, the child is born with it.  Studies have shown selective mutism may be genetic and the child often has a family history of anxiety.  This disorder is quite debilitating and painful for the child.  Children and adolescents with SM have an actual FEAR of talking and of social interactions where there is an expectation to speak or communicate.  It is common for children with SM to have a blank facial expression and never seem to smile.  Many of these children have stiff and awkward body language when in a social setting and seem very uncomfortable and unhappy.  Some will turn their heads, avoid eye contact, curl in their shoulders or completely withdraw into a corner or away from the group seemingly more interested in playing alone.  Studies vary a little bit but it is said about 7 in 1000 children suffer from selective mutism in the U.S.  This is a very sad disease that needs some awareness!!  We need help to break the silence and give our children their voices back!  Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Looking For Some Family Fun This Weekend? Visit Mortimer Farms in Dewey, Arizona!!

Summer is coming to an end but before it does so, we need to head up to Dewey, Arizona for their annual Sweet corn festival!  Sweet corn is now in season and they are ready to celebrate with you and your family at Mortimer Farms!

The Sweet corn festival is being held this year August 22-23 and 29-30!  Mortimer farms sits on the South East corner of highway 69 and 169 In Dewey, Arizona.  At this years sweet corn festival the whole family will enjoy fresh picked sweet corn, vegetables, hay rides, live music and entertainment, craft vendors and great farm food!!  Put down the ipads and the video games and get the family out on the farm for some good old Farm fun!  You can meet farmer Buzz on the hayride tour, enjoy horseback rides, a petting zoo, and a whole lot more!

Visit the farm for just $10.00 per person, children under 3 are free!  My family here at Buckeye Moms Meet will be visiting the farm and Sweet corn festival and we can not wait to spend the day on the farm!

If corn is not your thing visit the farm in October for their Pumpkin festival!  The pumpkin festival has the same great food and fun, it does cost a little more to get in at $15.00 per person, but EVERYONE in the family gets to pick their own pumpkin to take home!!

You can find more information about Mortimer farms Here!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Why I Love to Run Virtually...#SoleSister7

I Love Virtual races!  There is no travel, pre-check in, or outrageous crowds.  There is Virtually no stress!  I set a goal by signing up for a virtual race.  I map out my trail in any place I want to run.  I then hold myself accountable to run it, finish it, and pat myself on the back!  I earn medals, T-shirts, and other cool swag in the mean time

I signed up for the seven mile sole sister race to be completed the last weekend of August, but I just couldn't wait!  My new runners tank, medal, bib, and shoe charm showed up in the mail and I couldn't wait to wear my new tank top so I got right to planning my race!  I mapped out a route and set my alarm for 5am on Sunday.  We live in Arizona so it was a whopping 95 degrees at 5am, but I had my mind set to earn my swag 95 degrees or not
I filled up my camel back with water, laced up my running shoes, grabbed my phone and my husband and I was on my way!  My husband the sweetheart he is joined me to keep me company on my trek.  The start of my route was running along a canal and farm fields.  The problem with this was the only other folks awake at 5 am on a Sunday are farmers.  Farmers plowing fields, kicking up dust and awakening all the little gnats and bugs.  We were pretty sure we were getting a fair share of bugs in our eyes and mouths, but figured we hadn't had breakfast yet so the extra protein might be good!  HaHa!  Look at the bright side right!?  I would say about two miles in the sun began to peek in the horizon, it had us forget for a second the pain of our blisters we had accompany us early on.  It was a beautiful sunrise!

We made our way around my mapped out course and fought the temptation of stopping at the donut shop, Jack In The Box, or pretty much anywhere.  Stopping sounded good,  I was starting to rethink this idea of seven miles!  At around the four mile mark, I pretty much thought I might die!  It was hot, my face was burning off, I was drenched in salty sweat, my feet were killing me, but I knew I had to keep going!  I had to keep going, well pretty much because I had to get back home and didn't want to be THAT lady all over  the morning news getting rescued in the desert from dehydration and stupidity.  So I kept on going!

Its about mile 5 1/2 I am ready to cry!  I stop for a second to stretch out my legs and as I am bending over I almost do a head dive into the sidewalk!  I have clearly overdone it, I am dizzy, fatigued, hot, and ALMOST there!!  I pick up my pace a little and see my neighborhood in the distance!  I can't believe I am actually doing this thing!

As I make my way back into my drive I have this overwhelming feeling of pride and accomplishment!  I completely forget for a second The pain I am in and am so exited to have made it!  After seven miles of complaining about how miserable this run was, when I finished I couldn't wait to sign up for another one!  So come the end of September My husband and I will be participating in a 6 mile Run Now Beer Later race!  I can't wait to add to my medal collection and add another Sunday Runday under my belt!

Have you ever participated in a Virtual Race?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dear Baby Girl, My Three Wishes...

Dear Baby Girl,

As you stepped foot on that school bus this morning your whole life flashed before my eyes.  You are about to embark on a journey that most refer to as, "the time of your life".  The High School years!  I would have to disagree with them.  The time of MY life hadn't started until the first time I heard your heartbeat.  The first time I felt you move inside of me.  The first time I held you in my arms.  The first time someone called me mommy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every milestone of your life, and it is all flying by way too fast!

If I had three wishes, this is what I would wish for...

~I wish you much strength!  Strength to see each day through with all of it's hurdles.  Strength to stand up for yourself if needed.  Strength to be yourself and to love that self.  Strength to succeed in all you do.  Strength to see the good in people or the good that people long to see.  I wish you strength!

~I wish you a heart of steel!  From one girl to another, high school is when most girls feel their first real heart break.  I wish that when you give your heart to someone, they are just as happy and excited to nourish it as I was  the first time I heard it.  I wish your heart as strong as steel staying whole , happy, and unbroken.

~I wish you all the happiness in the world!  I hope as your mom I have done my job teaching you that happiness comes from within.  I wish you find happiness in each day and your journey is full of smiles and laughter.

I hope you enjoy your first day in high school!  I can't wait to hear all about it!  Reach for the stars, fight like a girl, and lets do this thing!!

I love you with all of my heart,