My Family

My Family

15 November 2008

DC pictures

I had the privilege of visiting our nations capital this week.

Due to it being a work related trip I didn't have a lot of time for sight seeing. On Wednesday I attended the launch of a new curriculum developed by the National Institutes of Health titled "Health is Life in Balance." It was developed for American Indian kids K-12. It was a big event at the Smithsonian Museum - National Museum of the American Indian. We had a walk on the national mall in the afternoon. During the walk, a couple of friends and I skipped out and headed over the the Holocaust Museum. I don't have the words to describe the emotions and thoughts from viewing the horrific events filling these years. I don't think I ever really grasped the short amount of time it took for Hitler to warp people's minds. I want to go back when my kids are older to see this again. I would like to take more time going through next time. If I have time, and if I am able to gather my thoughts in a concise manner, I will try to post more about this later.

Thursday and Friday I attended meetings held in my hotel. I had the choice between attending Grant Management trainings that covered much of what I have been doing for the last 4 years or attending the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee meeting. I bounced back and forth between the rooms, but the TLDC meeting was by far the more interesting of the two. It was very interesting to watch the process the committee goes through to determine how our Special Diabetes Program for Indians grant money is divided. I developed a great deal of respect for the members of this committee and now have a greater understanding of what happens after congress appropriates our funding. The picture above is me with our poster displaying what our program has been doing here at Haskell. Just to brag for a minute about our program- we have about 94 participants who have graduated from our program in the last 3 years. Only 2 of those have gone on to develop type 2 diabetes. This is much better than statistics would suggest for people w/ prediabetes not attending a lifestyle change program. In fact, it is 5 times better than for those who were in the orginal DPP research study. Improving nutrition and increasing physical activity really DO work!!!

One evening we walked by the White House. I wish I could take better night pictures. This is pretty blurry, buy you can still tell that it is really pretty at night!

08 November 2008

Fun times painting

Tonight we painted... It was fun... And messy...

03 November 2008

A late halloween post

We had minimal plans for Halloween. The girls were going to "dress up" in their baseball player pjs my mom gave them this summer. Then last Wednesday Amanda started talking about "dress up Halloween."

What??? Where did that come from? We hadn't talked about it. It was then I realized that she goes to preschool and, well, Halloween is a big deal to most of the kids there. All of a sudden I felt a panic and realized that I couldn't just send them to preschool in their pjs. So, I called the preschool to find out the Halloween plan. No big deal really, they were just planning on putting the kids in their Halloween costumes at 3 PM, having a parade in the parking lot and a few parents were going to come to let them trick-or-treat out of their car trunks. They would also have a party with food, but other parents had already signed up to bring the food, so they just needed treats to pass out.
My first deli ma was to find costumes. We were pretty broke after our trip to Arkansas last month, so I had to find things we could do without purchasing too much. My first thought was make Clara a cat. She could wear her black sweatsuit and we could make a little headband with ears, paint whiskers on her and stick a tail on her sweatpants. Then I thought of one of Amanda's dresses that looks very princess like. If I could find a crown, wand, and some glitter make-up, we would have a complete little princess.

Thursday on my lunch break I had limited time to find the needed items. Luckily I found a little princess set at Bargain Depot for 1.75 (***not pictured, it broke and I had to make an emergency Wal-Mart trip on my lunch break Friday) and slippers and glitter make up at the Family Dollar Store. I also found a pumpkin costume for Clara for $6. Of course it was 12-18 months, a little too small, but it was only for one night. Do you like the Japanimation pumpkin look?

Halloween puts a dietitian in an awkward position. It is actually a pretty big deal to me to NOT make a big deal out of food around the kids. It is pretty common for dietitians kids to end up with eating disorders, so I am pretty careful to just have healthy food around the house most of the time, and then on occasions when other stuff is around, I just let it go. Everything in moderation, right? On the other hand, what I feel I shouldn't be the one offering the junk food, so my treats had to be different. So it was time to search of healthy, prepackaged, affordable snacks. First I bought little boxes of raisins. We feed the girls raisins and they love them, but technically they are considered a chocking hazard, and for good reason. So I thought I would keep those and hand them out to older kids who came to our house to trick-or-treat, and find some stickers for preschool. Have you ever tried to find Halloween stickers the day before Halloween? There were no cute little pumpkin or fat bat stickers to be found - just ghost, skeletons, and vampires. (Additional things I don't really want to promote...) So I ended up purchasing 3 boxes of full sized Oatmeal raisin granola bars (not supper healthy, but at least more nutritious than chocolate...) and 2 bags of small little bottles of bubbles.
Halloween day turned out to be lots of fun for everyone. Amanda loved being a princess, Clara started the day as a Arkansas Razorback cheerleader, because the outfit fit and was really cute! Amanda really enjoyed the party. She ate way too much food... See that plate, she ate it all!

In the evening we went trick-or-treating to a few houses on our street. The first house we went to was an elderly couple who live behind us. They love to see the girls. As soon as Doris opened the door with candy Amanda walked right past her and made herself at home. When we tried to explain trick-or-treating, Amanda started picking up items around the house and putting them in her bucket.

Next we went to our friend Randy, Allison and Rachel's house. The girls had fun playing in the backyard before heading out to a few more houses for trick-or-treating. This is Rachel, the giraffe, Randy and Clara the pumpkin.
We had a great time and the girls were worn out.
James promises he will take care of the candy for me, I don't need to worry about it...

27 October 2008

Scattered bits, pieces, and random thoughts

Hello everyone. Sorry about the long break from blogging. We had a great trip to Arkansas to visit family. I was sick for my sister's baby shower, so I didn't get many pictures. It was great to see my family. I just wish I had felt like talking to them. My sister Leslie will have her C-section tomorrow and baby Lyric will begin to change our lives!
Other than that, here is a brief summary of what is going on in our lives:
Potty training is going great. We are having occasional accidents, but Amanda actually woke up dry this morning! Yeah! She has adjusted well to preschool. All night tonight she kept telling me she missed Megan. (Megan is her teacher.)
Clara is as cute as ever. She just loves attention and really wants people to make eye contact with her and smile. She will do whatever it takes to get it too. She will be the clown in the family. She used the potty this morning too!
Completed the FE exam this past weekend and will find out in 12 weeks if he passed. He says he will not be surprised if he passed.
Not much is new with me, so here are some of the things I have been thinking about...
Our small group at church is studying 1 John. Last night we talked about obedience. (1Jn 2:3-5 And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. ) James has been talking to Amanda about obeying in her heart. Tonight she was not listening to me, and I asked her if she was going to obey me. When she heard the word obey, she smiled at me and said "Yes mommy, me obey!" She was so enthusiastic in her obedience. I hope that I will obey God with the same enthusiasm, so that the love of God can be perfected in me.

04 October 2008

Potty Training Help Requested

I am tired of potty training. It seems we are getting nowhere. We have been potty training Amanda for almost a year now. We have mostly been pretty laid back about it, but I am tired of spending a fortune on diapers and, as Amanda's teacher and the director of the preschool reminded me, she can't move up with the 3 yr olds until she is potty trained. Moving up to the next class will also save additional money. She loves sitting on the potty and will ask to "potty train." Somewhere in the process I think we have lost the training part of it. It is more like alone time with mommy when she gets to sit on the potty while I talk, sing, read books... I think she knows when she needs to go and I think she does ask to go to the potty at that point, but I don't think she knows how to relax and let it out. She knows the rest of the process all of the way through always washing her hands. I have tried everything. We are using the cloth training pants at home so she can feel being wet. I have even broken my own rule that food should never be used as a reward or a punishment. She now knows she will get a "treat" (an M&M) when she actually uses the potty, and two treats if she has a bowel movement. I don't know what else to do. Does anyone have any good tips or resources you can recommend???


29 September 2008

Home Again

I am not feeling great due to allergies, but I wanted to make a short post to let you all know that I am home again. We all made it through the week just fine. James probably paid the most because he had 4 tests last week. He thinks he did ok on 3 of them.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for us. I had a good safe trip. Attached are some of the pictures from my trip.
I was at College Station, TX on the campus of Texas A&M at Reed Arena. An emergecy shelter for people with special needs was set up here. The picture of the arena floor shows the cots for the patients. These were mostly full when I got there. They were rapidly discharged over the course of the week last week. I worked in the patient food service. The group photo shows a few of the people I worked with and there is a picture of me cleaning a cart we used to deliver patient's food. The other picture of cots shows our sleeping arrangements.

My next blog will show more exciting pictures of my kids, for now, I am off to take some Benedryl...

18 September 2008

Prayers for our family are needed

I just wanted to let you all know that I probably won't be on-line for a while. I have been deployed to assist with the response to Hurricane Ike. I will be in College Station, TX.
Pray for James and the girls as they make it with out me around for a little while.

The good news is Amanda is doing better at daycare this week. Pray that she doesn't regress! Today when I went to pick her up at preschool, they were on the playground. The teacher said that she had been sitting by herself and she went over to check on her. She asked her what she was doing and she said, "praying." I had talked to her about praying to Jesus if she felt sad or lonely and he could help her heart feel better. I hope she will continue to pray next week when she misses her Mommy.

11 September 2008

Worms (Part 2)

Please Read Worms (Part 1) before reading Worms (Part 2)

Last week Amanda started preschool at Immanuel Lutheran Childcare Center. She has been going to an in-home daycare, but after much prayer and for a variety of reasons, James and I thought it was time to make a change. Amanda was very excited about preschool last week. She was happy that she went to preschool and Clara went to daycare. When Amanda turns 3 in December, Clara will then take her spot in the toddler room at ILCC and Amanda will actually start real preschool. We will be glad when they can be together in the same location.
This week has been pretty hard for Amanda. She has had a little cold, so I think that is certainly affecting her mood. Her teachers say that she has been crying a lot. The playground seems to trigger the sadness. Yesterday was the worst. They said except for 20 minutes out of the entire day she cried. YIKES!!! I wish they would have called me! We are so sad for her and wish we knew how to make the adjustment easier. I have sad memories of daycare myself. I really think it will be better when she gets over this cold. Last night she told me "Cla-Cla preschool too." Meaning she wants Clara to go to preschool too. I explained that we really want Clara to go to preschool too, but we have to wait 3 1/2 months.
Her teacher suggested we send family pictures so she would have them to look at. So last night I got Amanda to help me pick out pictures to get developed. I picked out a family picture from our Sears trip and the one from the zoo above. Then we thought that she needed a picture of Clara too. After we picked these out, I picked out several more pictures that I wanted to get developed. This morning on the way to preschool James stopped at Walgreen with Amanda to pick up our pictures. James looked at all the pictures showing Amanda the special pictures we picked out for her to take to preschool of our family and Clara. He also showed her the pictures posted above of the worms. She saw the pictures and exclaimed "Worms!!!" When they arrived at ILCC, James gave Amanda her special pictures. She pointed at the photo package still sitting on the seat in the car and cried "Worm!" James asked if she wanted a picture of the worm. "Yes Worms!" He asked if she wanted a picture of the worm with the tomato. "Yes, worm, mato." He gave her the picture. Still not satisfied she pointed at the package again and said "Worm!" He asked if she wanted another picture of a worm. "Yes." So he gave her the other picture of the worm. So Amanda took 5 pictures to preschool today. Two lovely family pictures, one picture of her adorable little sister and 2 pictures of worms.
What will the teachers think of the Beutlers???
For more gruesome pictures of worms, visit James' Facebook page...

Worms (Part 1)

Our family has had a great time this summer in our garden. It has been our first effort to try more than a few pots of tomatoes and herbs. We started our tomatoes (big tomatoes and cherry tomatoes), parsley, basil, and a couple of bell pepper plants from seed. We also purchased a couple additional bell pepper plants and a jalapeno plant. I love tomatoes, so we had to have several plants. I think we have 13 that survived, 9 cherry and 4 big tomatoes. You may notice I cannot remember the real name of the variety of "big tomato" we have. I think that makes me a true novice gardener. We also have a strawberry patch. This was a gift from my wonderful in-laws who knew I loved fresh strawberries and wanted to try my hand at gardening. They don't really produce much the first year, so we are mostly just keeping the weeds out of there and watching them grow.
The tomatoes have really been the focus of the garden. This has been for a variety of reasons. As I mentioned above, I really love tomatoes. You can never really get a good tomato at the grocery store. Nothing is quite as tasty as a fresh vine ripened tomato. Fresh salsa and BLTs are a favorite around here. (Pork bacon for James and turkey bacon for me...) YUM!!!
The cherry tomato plants have become quite large. James said they are 8 ft tall. They are huge and loaded with ripening fruit. They are worth every minute of labor that has gone into them. Early in the season, we had an infestation of worms. The worms were insane. We would go out there daily and kill about 20-30 of them. We caught most when they were really small. These were not so bad to kill. The large ones were another story. The first day I fought with the worms, Amanda picked up on my disgust for the vermin. We sat down for snacks that afternoon and she pointed out the door, wrinkled up her nose, wagged her little index finger and said in a very threatening, deep voice "No, no worm." I wish I could write to reflect the inflection she had on the "worm." It was obvious she knew the worms were to be hated.
Every day the girls have enjoyed watching the plants grow and "turn red." Amanda still gets excited, startes yelling "turn red, turn red" and does a little dance when she sees a new ripe one.
Finally the worms seemed to have all died or at least passed from the worm stage of their lifecycle and turned into something else. (Once again I show I am not an expert gardener... I don't know the real name for the worm or what it turns into... Maybe next year I will have more time for researching details such as this...) Now is the time of the season when we can truely enjoy the fruits of our labor and thank God for allowing us the opportunity to partake of food the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Fresh, pure, and full of nutrients!!!

26 August 2008

Precious Moments

Sunday Clara was not acting like her usual spunky self. She woke up pretty melancholy and did not have her usual voracious appetite. I thought she may be sick, but she didn't show any other signs until Monday AM when we went to get her up. Sometime after 12:30, but before 7 AM she had vomited, but she didn't cry. It was all over her sheets, clothes and hair. Poor baby!
James stayed home with the girls. Clara had diarrhea, but started eating better as the day went on. Amanda on the other hand did not want Mommy to go to work after lunch. She said "head hurt bad." I told her that I was really sorry her head hurt bad. "Back hurt bad."
Me - "Your back hurts bad too?"
Amanda - "Yeah. Knee hurt bad."
Me - "Wow, your knee hurts bad too?"
Amanda - "Yeah"
Me - "Well, if your head, back and knee hurt bad, you may need to go take a nap."
Amanda - "No, Wake! Mommy stay home. No work."
Me - wanting to cry... "Amanda, I am sorry, but I have a class I have to teach. I have to go to work. Daddy will be home with you. He will take care of you and I will be home in 3 hours."
She ended up being okay with me leaving. Thankfully.
When I got home at 5:30 PM James had supper ready for me and had already fed the girls, but he had to leave immediately for his Monday evening class. I didn't feel to well by this point. My tummy was not feeling very stable either. I was exhausted and really wanted to go to sleep. I ate a couple of bites and put the food away. I got the girls upstairs and put on my pajamas because I knew we wouldn't be leaving the house. Amanda saw what I was doing.
Amanda - "Mommy night night clothes."
Me - "Yeah, I'm putting on my night night clothes."
Amanda - "Me night night clothes too."
"You really want to put on your night night clothes now?"
"Yeah. Cla Cla night night clothes too?"
"Okay, we can put Clara's night night clothes too."
"Night Night Clothes, Night Night Pull up, Milk, Night night mommy's bed?"
"You want to put on your night night clothes, get some milk and go night night in Mommy's bed?"
Remember this is only 6 PM in the evening and I feel awful!
Me - "Okay, if that's what you want to do." I didn't really think anything that great could really happen, and it was even more unlikely that Clara was going to go along with it, but it was worth a shot. So, we went and put pajamas on both girls, went to the kitchen and got milk for Amanda and water for Clara, went to my bedroom and both girls climbed up in my bed and put their heads down saying "Night night. Night night." In their sweet little girl voices.
The girls have never slept in our bed here. There has been a couple of nights away from home when they got to sleep with us for a little bit, but they have never slept in our bed. I got in between them and they both cuddled up next to me. I said a silent prayer thanking God for however few minutes he was gracious enough to give me to rest. Both girls were very still. Amanda fell asleep first. Clara sat up, leaned on my side and stared out the bedroom door like she was keeping an eye out to make sure nothing was going to get us. She eventually relaxed and went to sleep.
It was truly miraculous, and it was on a night I really needed the rest. Thank you God!!! It was so sweet to have them both there next to me.
I did explain to them they could stay there until Daddy got home, then they would have to go to their beds. It went exceptionally smooth when he got home. We moved them, changed diapers and put them in their cribs. They both woke up feeling better today. I don't know if Amanda was ever really sick or not, but I think the 12 hours of sleep were good for all of us!

23 August 2008

Picture Day!!!

Today we went to Sears for Family Pictures. Amanda is not crazy about getting her picture made. She doesn't like sitting still and will rarely look at us on request. This morning I showed her the new clothes for pictures. She was excited about her new "blue clothes." All morning we discussed getting our pictures made and practiced saying "cheese" and smiling. Amanda did great for the first picture. It is the one we will be using for our Christmas cards, so I won't put it on here. As soon as we were done with that picture she said, "All done." We all laughed tried to explain that we were not all done. We resorted to bribery for Amanda. "If you sit on the rock, look at the camera and smile, you will get a treat."

Clara did great. She loved the photo session. Here are a few of the other pictures for your viewing pleasure.

After we left Sears we went to Longhorn Steak House. Amanda kept asking about her treat. I tried to pass off the bread as a treat, but she didn't buy it. So we had to go to the grocery store on the way home to get a real treat. Daddy's favorite... Oreo Cookies.

22 August 2008

My new blog

Today I am off work. Yeah!!! Amanda, Clara and I are having a great day. We started off the morning with a bowl of cereal before heading out for garage sales. We only made it to one and then it was time come home for lunch and naps. We did make a great find at the one sale we visited. We found a couple of desks. One has the desk and orange chair separate and the other has the chair attached to the desk with a maroon base. Amanda has claimed the one with the orange chair and has labeled the all-in-one unit Clara's. They love their desks and have been sitting in them constantly. It is making diaper changes and meal times difficult. Amanda has also decided these desks are the perfect place to play with play-doh. Oh the joys of a day at home!!!