Saturday, July 31, 2010

Would you like to join my virtual walk team?

If you would like to help raise money for the American Diabetes Association Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes, but haven't joined a team yet, please consider joining my team.  Sign up as a member of the team then use the online tools to email friends and family for donations.  You can also activate the Facebook application that allows others to make a donation or join the team from your profile page.

Did you know....
  • $3.00 will pay for one hour for a child at camp.
  • $4.00 will send a diabetes information kit to a newly diagnosed individual.
  • $13.80 will pay for one hour of an advocate's visit to Washington.
  • $14.00 will provide diabetes risk tests for 500 individuals.
  • $22.00 will provide one minute of diabetes research.
  • $26.00 will pay for the materials necessary for a health fair.
  • $72.00 will pay for one day for a child at camp.
  • $1,000 will send an advocate to Washington for three days
Together we can make a difference!

Friday, July 30, 2010

More pickles

Today we decided to do some canning of pickles, instead of refrigerator pickles like we did earlier this week.  We got the recipe from a friend, only altering it slightly.  Our kids love eating pickle spears so we decided to do this batch in spears instead of slices.  We learned some lessons along the way:
  1. Pack the spears in tightly, leaning the jar on its side at first, adding more spears to the top horizontally if needed to fill void. (Did this after 1-2 jars.)
  2. Check adjustable measuring spoon to make sure it stays at the correct measurement.  Each jar was to get 1/2 tsp garlic.  At least one, but not more than two, got a full teaspoon.  (That's ok, I love garlic.  Too bad I didn't mark that jar!)
One thing we learned last year that I'm so glad we remembered was to heat up an extra pot of boiling water in case the hot water bath doesn't have enough to top the jars.  There was no scrambling to get more water this year. 

I can't wait until these pickles are ready!  They don't have all the sugar that the refrigerator pickles have.  Actually they have none, so these should be great for my glucose levels.  I still probably shouldn't hog the whole jar though, right?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pulling on those heart strings - Part 2

I didn't get to write much earlier about my fourth daughter raising money for the ADA's walk because I was working in the garden most of the day.  Today's earlier post was something fast during a water/snack break.  I was so proud of her that I couldn't help but write a quick blog post.

This child who can be difficult.  She knows what buttons to push and has fun pushing them.  She has this high-pitched squeal that she knows will get her sisters yelling at her as she runs away with a smirk on her face.  We make sure to give each of our girls special one-on-one time (or one-on-two with both parents but no other sibilings), but I guess with having three older sisters and one younger sister, sometimes even negative attention can be fun. 

However when she told me that she wanted to help raise money for the diabetes walk, she said it with all the seriousness and maturity that her eight and a half years could muster.   She wanted to make sure I sent an email to her grandparents, aunts, and uncles, giving them her url for the fundraiser.  She's excited that we're on the same team.  Shortly after sending her url to family members, she received a donation from one set of grandparents.  Oh wow, was she ever excited!  She had me look for more notices of donations throughout the day, finally stopping once I mentioned that the other side of the family was on vacation and to give them a few days.

I'm not sure if my children realize how high of a risk they have for developing diabetes.  My precious eight year old isn't raising money just for me and everyone who has diabetes now, but also for herself and her sisters.  Every day I pray that we'll find a cure and I know some day we will!

Pulling on those heart strings

My fourth daughter, 8 yrs old, told me that she wants to help raise money for the ADA's walk this fall.  Due to scheduling conflicts, we won't be able to make it, so we've signed up as virtual walkers.  She touched my heart so much, so together we made her own Step Out page.  Her goal is to raise $200, which I know she'll accomplish.  Thank you, sweetie, for your support!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Canning update

Hubby and I made seven quarts of refrigerator pickles yesterday.  We have only gone through about half what we picked this weekend and there are probably more to be picked.  I can't wait until we can start eating them!  We'll probably let them sit about two or three more days before we open the first jar.  Nothing is better than homemade pickles!  Hoping to do some actual canning later today.  I'm helping out at church this morning, answering phones, so we'll try to get canning after lunch.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Time to start canning

Yesterday I decided to pick cucumbers, thinking I might get a few.  By the time I decided to take a break, I had 40 cukes.  Most of them about medium size, but a few were huge.  I wasn't prepared to start canning, but it looks like I don't have much choice.  I did get the numbers down to 32 after giving half a dozen to a friend whose vines died off then having two with lunch today.  I might send the kids out to see if they can find any more.  Hubby is at the store right now buying lids for the 24 quart jars we already have plus another two dozen jars in preparation of what is to come.  I think today we'll make up this batch as refrigerator pickles since we've run out of pickles that we jarred last year.  We need a quick pickle fix.  Last year, our first year canning, we used a recipe we found on the internet.  This year we have hubby's grandmother's recipe to try.  We're looking forward to eating them in a few days.  I'll make sure to blog about the final result!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pizza test success!

Last night was the final night for our Vacation Bible School (VBS).  As I mentioned before, the meal was pizza which is one of my favorite meals but one of the worst for my glucose levels.  I didn't have time to pack myself a meal before we left, so I decided to have just one piece.  I honestly did just that.  One small slice of pizza, a little piece of watermelon, and one small chocolate chip cookie.  Perfect!  I got too busy to check my glucose levels, but I never felt that my sugar was too high. 

I was very proud of myself, knowing there was plenty of pizza for seconds (or even thirds!), but only taking what I knew my body would be ok with eating. 

This morning while we were taking everything apart, I got out a bag of leftover cookies from the church freezer.  One of the other volunteers said, "You can't have that."  I laughed at him.  "Did you just say I can't have that?  I can have anything I want.  I can't eat the whole dozen, but one or two is ok."  He laughed back and got the hint.  It's nice when the "diabetes police" are people that you can correct with a laugh.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So far, so good

This week we've had Vacation Bible School (VBS).  It's been a great time for the children and it brings so much joy to my heart.  Each night we start off with a meal followed by all the VBS activities.  I've been working at the registration table, which has actually been helpful in controlling my glucose levels.  Since registration is upstairs and dinner is downstairs, I've been bringing my own dinner.  Yes, I could go downstairs after my registration duties are done and grab a bite from the kitchen.  However by bringing my own meal, not only am I able to control what I eat but also how much I eat. 

Simple things like packing a meal instead of eating out (whether at a restaurant or the church's kitchen), allows me to control my portions and stay on top of things.  Thursday night, the last night of VBS, will be the true test.  You see, Thursday night's dinner is pizza.  Enough said?  (Yes, I'll pack my dinner and stay upstairs.)

Monday, July 19, 2010


I have come to the realization that there are certain foods that can no longer be a regular part of my eating plan.  My mantra is "Moderation not deprivation" however these are foods that I have a hard time consuming in moderation.
  • doughnuts
  • regular or thick crust pizza
  • pancakes
  • white bread
I'm sure my list will get longer as I continue on this journey with diabetes.  Some of these I'm more upset about than others.  I can deal without the white bread.  Wheat bread tastes better and I'm loving the Arnold Sandwich Thins that are lower in carbs.  However I *love* pizza, doughnuts, and pancakes.  Luckily we don't have any of those very often.  I'm trying to work out in my mind how I can still have those "forbidden" items since I don't want to deprive my family.  If we have pizza, I might have a small piece and then fill up on a nice dinner salad. 

I've been told by others that dealing with diabetes is a constant learning experience that will always involve fine-tuning.  Thankfully I have some great company for the journey!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

You can't do that!

Were you ever told as a child, "You can't do that!"?  Typically children will react one of two ways.  They'll either start to believe that or they'll set out to prove the person wrong.  This past Tuesday on the Discovery Channel show After the Catch (where some of the captains on The Deadliest Catch come together to talk about the show), the captains were remembering Capt. Phil Harris who passed away earlier this year.  When Phil first tried crab fishing, he was told by the captain of that boat that he (Phil) wasn't cut out for the job.  He was told he couldn't be a deckhand on a crab boat.  That made Phil more determined than ever!  He not only became a deckhand, but eventually became Captain of the Cornelia Marie.

About a month and a half ago I was told that some people thought we couldn't pull off our plans for Vacation Bible School (VBS).  We picked a very volunteer-heavy curriculum and had a rough start trying to find volunteers.  The comments hurt.  I cried.  I got angry.  I said some words that I will not repeat here.  Like a child who was just put down, at first I wanted to give up at first.  Others in the committee felt the same way.  Then we turned that energy around, more determined than ever to make this a wonderful experience.  After all, why were we doing this?  For the CHILDREN!  A week later we had about half the volunteers we needed including someone to portray Joseph as he would convey to the children the biblical stories of his journey from prison to palace.  Tomorrow night we will invite the children in as we teach them about God's love for them.  We will teach them that God gives us hope, God gives us gifts, God gives us wisdom, God gives us forgiveness, and God gives us family.

I've also been told that there will never be a cure for diabetes.  Yes, there are some cases of Type 2 that could possibly be stopped by helping those people lose weight and eat healthy diets.  However, there will still be Type 1s that long for a cure.  Type 2s that can't be "cured" by weight loss or diet.  Being told that I should concentrate on those that can be "easily" helped and forget about a true cure for diabetes could lead me down one of two paths.  I could agree with them and just teach others about proper nutrition and exercise.  However, I chose to fight with all my might and help find a true cure so that diabetes is distant memory.

How do you react when someone tells you that you can't do that?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Life is good

I was so proud of this week's result of raising money for the ADA's Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes, that I've been on cloud 9 for the last couple days.  Raising just over $300 in two days is amazing!  I still haven't reached my goal, but I know I will.  I know there is a good possibility that I will pass my goal even!

This morning some wonderful people came to our VBS work day and amazing things happened.  We transformed the room that a local Boy Scout troop uses into an ancient Egyptian market place.  Next weekend we get to transform the church's sanctuary into a prison and palace in preparation to tell the children about God's love through Joseph's story.

This evening, I joined my hubby and all five children in the back yard for a small fire with marshmallows.  With having five girls, ages five through seventeen, it isn't always easy to find something that calls to all of them.  What a wonderful evening we had roasting marshmallows and laughing together!  I had four, probably a couple more than I should have, but I was enjoying special time with my family. 

Sometimes diabetes adds to special moments, sometimes it gets in the way. 

This morning's work day found me testing my sugar half way through since I wasn't feeling quite right.  I was a little high, but then I remembered the yummy pumpkin bread someone had brought.  After drinking a couple glasses of water, I was good to go.

This evening, I found myself eating one or two (or three) too many marshmallows.  One or two could have been fine, but I wanted to share my skills of perfectly toasted yumminess.

On the other hand, this week also showed me how having diabetes can be a blessing.  I am able to share my story with others and use that to help raise money to help find a cure for diabetes.  I so strongly want to stop diabetes.  I want to stop diabetes before my children experience it first hand.  I want to stop diabetes so their young friends no longer have to check their glucose and adjust their glucose pump or inject insulin before eating a simple meal.  What I don't want to stop is my passion.  Diabetes has given me that passion to find a cure and to educate others.  I pray that will never stop!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Step Out - Super Supporters!

This morning I got an email from the ADA, addressing those of us who are signed up for this year's walk (Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes).  I've had the Facebook application along the left column of my profile page where my friends can click to donate or join my team.  For a couple of months, the only donation registering was my own.  The email I received today offered some tips on collecting donations.  In the email, it suggested:
  • Sending email through your Step Out Center and asking for a specific donation amount. If your goal is $500, ask 20 people for a $25 donation or 50 people for a $10 donation! No amount is too big or too small!
  • Updating your Facebook page and asking your Facebook friends to make a donation to your fundraising efforts. Again, ask for a specific donation amount to help reach your goals!
I thought about this.  My goal (for now) is $500.  I have just over 500 people on my friend list on Facebook.  So this morning, I posted my Step Out link, with the message:  "My goal is to raise $500. As of today, I have 505 friends on Facebook. If everyone just gave $1, I would be able to make my goal. Help me find a cure for diabetes! ♥"

Shortly after posting that, I left for my part time job.  While there, a friend happened to pass by and stopped to say hello.  She handed me $20 and I was thrilled.  Little did I know what was happening online at that moment.  When I returned home about three hours after posting on Facebook I found $60 in donations through the website.  Wow!  What an exciting feeling!

Less than five hours after my morning post, I wrote as my Facebook status: "is thankful for her friends who made donations on her American Diabetes Association Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes page. Less than $400 away from her goal! That's less than $1 per person on her friend list."  The donations kept coming in.  While composing this blog post, I have now reached almost $200 in donations - just today!

When I saw this, I have to admit that I broke down in tears.  Seeing how diabetes has effected those I love, I feel very strongly about finding a cure.  My grandfather lost both of his legs from diabetes.  My mother currently is dealing with diabetes for herself and watching me, her daughter, also deal with this disease that does not discriminate.  My husband has a father and a wife with diabetes.  My children know that when Mommy says she's over 200 that she's not referring to her weight.  I pray every day that a cure is found so that when my children become adults diabetes will be a memory and not something they will have to deal with first hand.

Some say that God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  I believe that sometimes He gives you a little more than you think you can handle so that you lean on Him to gather strength and move on.  God has given me strength.  I am not bitter about being diagnosed with Type 2.  God has given me a mission to help others with and teach others about diabetes.  With the help of God and my "Super Supporters," all things are possible!

Update:  As of 1:45pm on Friday, July 9th, I have collected $304 in donations since Wednesday morning!  Thank you, everyone!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mosquitoes love diabetics!

As I sit here, more and more mosquito bites are making their presence known.  My parents are visiting for a few days.  They are full-time RVers (yes, they live in an RV full-time, no "real" house), so when they visit they stay at a local campground.  Hubby has been running a fever and the two teenagers don't care for bugs, so this afternoon I took the youngest three out there for lunch and some fun with the grandparents. We had a nice lunch then the girls wanted to go to the playground. 

After a while they got on their swimsuits and we headed over to the pond.  (Ok, the campground has "Lakes" in the name, but honestly they're ponds.  Don't tell them I said that though.)  I sat in a lawn chair and watched my three youngest swim for over an hour.  I knew there were bugs around, but I only noticed the flies.  A stomp of the foot and they'd leave (for a bit).  I never noticed the mosquitoes.

Now I'm itchy.  I haven't started counting yet, but I know I have quite a few.  One camping trip our family went on two years ago left me eaten alive with barely a bit on anyone else.  I think all the skeeters say, "Hey, this one has the sweet blood!" and they attack!  Any other diabetics have this issue where the bugs get you and leave everyone else alone?