My name is Sheila and I am 45 years old. I married my High school sweetheart at the tender age of 17. We had our first son 9 months later. 14 months after that son number two was born. 22 months later we had our little girl. So there I was, 22 years old, with three wonderful children and the love of my life.I loved being a Mom and I enjoyed it more than I ever thought possible. I would hold them and watch them sleep never wanting to put them down. Clint and I were very young and I'm sure some thought we were crazy, but I wouldn't trade it!As my children grew and we bought our land and built our home I began to miss having a little one. My babies weren't babies anymore. I decided it would be fun to have little ones around and approached my husband, then the kiddos about becoming a foster family. I thought it sounded like a great idea and it would be wonderful for the kids to be involved in helping those that needed us. Everyone agreed, I made some phone calls, and we began our journey.....We went to foster parent training and did our paper work, back ground checks, home visits and then we waited. I was a little surprised that we didn't get a child immediately. Then it happened on March 18, 1998 while I was shopping with my friend Chris I received the phone call that would change my life forever. The social worker wanted to know if we would take a little boy who was 18 months old and his 3 month old baby sister. I was so excited I couldn't wait to get home.Richard and Katy came into our lives that very evening. They were beautiful but they didn't smell so pretty! My daughter Ashley and I gave them baths and fed them. Ashley read Richard a story while I rocked Katy. They stayed with us for 15 months and then the dreaded phone call came. Richard and Katy were going home. I know I am supposed to be happy and that the goal from the very beginning was reunification. I had watched the parents with Richard and Katy and I truly felt in my heart that they were not ready for the responsibility. Katy was so frail when she came to us she was failing to thrive, she spit up all the time, had frequent diarrhea and many ear infections. She was just beginning to blossom. I feared for her safety. There was nothing I could do but pray to God to watch over these children and keep them safe. I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to let go. I loved these children and I didn't know if I would ever see them again. With a broken heart and tears streaming down my face I stood next to Clint as we said our goodbyes. I will never forget the looks on their faces. I felt as if they were asking me why they had to go away.Three weeks had passed since our sweet little babies had gone away. My heart ached and I thought of them constantly. The second week in July I received a phone call from D.H.S asking me if I minded speaking with Katy's doctor. The worker informed me that Katy had been found unconscious in her crib and rushed to the hospital. She had suffered a metabolic crises and because of a lack of oxygen she had brain damage. When she awoke from the coma she was unable to speak, sit up, stand or walk. The doctors needed to speak to someone that knew when Katy had attained each milestone such as walking and how well she talked. They had nothing to compare her current condition with. I asked if we could come to the hospital and be with her. When we saw her tiny little body in that big hospital bed with all the tubes coming out of her I couldn't believe it was the same child. I stayed with her night and day. I took her to the play room and coaxed her into taking tiny little steps with help. I got her to take small bites of food. I bathed her and brushed her tangled hair.The doctors explained that Katy had a rare metabolic disorder called Medium Chain acyl CoA Dehydrogenase. Medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, or 'MCAD,' is a disorder in which your body is unable to breakdown fats to make energy. Normally, fat is broken down into energy by "enzymes." This energy keeps your body running whenever it runs out of its main source of energy, a sugar called 'glucose.' In MCAD, a very important enzyme for breaking down fat, the medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase enzyme (MCAD) is missing or does not work correctly. This means that people with MCAD can't break down fat for energy when they run out of glucose. When people with MCAD fast, they can experience a range of serious life threatening symptoms or even death. Persons with MCAD cannot use this fat to make energy, consequently, the body begins to fail and malfunction once the food the person has eaten runs out. The main treatment is to avoid going without food for very long periods. Children should eat high carbohydrate meals like sugar-containing drinks, cereals, and pastas when they are ill. Children with MCAD should follow a low fat diet. If not detected and treated appropriately, MCAD can result in death. Untreated MCAD can lead to mental retardation and death.Katy was released from the hospital into our care. Richard went to another foster home due to all the therapies and constant care Katy needed at this time. Richard never made it back to us. He was adopted by a family that fell in love with him while we helped Katy with her long journey back. We spent everyday working with Katy encouraging her to walk and talk.On April 27, 2001 when she was 3 1/2 years old Kaitlin Elizabeth Kimble became our daughter. She was officially ours. When the Judge announced her new name and put her in my arms I felt the same joy I felt when my biological children were born. The same feelings overwhelmed me and I knew that God had brought us to Katy and that she was supposed to be with us and never have to say good bye again.Now it is December 2, 2007 and Katy will be 10 years old on the 24th. She is in the third grade. She is truly a gift from God. She brings us so much joy. I will admit though that it isn't always easy. Katy has developmental delays and ADHD do to the metobolic crises. She goes to speech, occupational and physical therapy twice a week. She has a Para professional that helps her because Katy has not learned to read. She needs constant supervision as she does not think things through. She is very revved up and is on medication to help her sleep. I was very much against giving her any medication in the beginning but after being up until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning trying to get her to sleep and regularly being late for school, I soon realized that this was a good choice for Katy. It slows her down enough to be able to go to sleep and she is able to wake up in the morning feeling rested and ready to go to school.Katy has three older siblings Chris her oldest brother is 27. Randy her brother is 26 and her sister Ashley is 24. She has a niece Brooklynn who is 6 and a nephew Hayden that is 3. She has another nephew Peyton that is 3 1/2. Join me as you peek into my life and all that it entails as a Mom to three grown children and Katy a 10 year old who keeps me on my toes. I'm Nana to three beautiful grandchildren and wife to the love of my life. The journey continues......

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spending less at the Grocery Store

I read Ashley’s sister in laws blog and was inspired to write about how I save money on groceries. My shopping technique is to shop more often, and focus my shopping on the special deals at each store. If there is a great sale, I buy as much as I can afford and have room for. For example, Once in a while, a store will have cereal at half price and I’ll literally load up my cart with cereal. If I have coupons it makes it an even better deal. I have a store that doubles up to a $1.00 every day so I can get cereal for 50 cents a box when I combine the coupons with sales. The key, is matching coupons to good sales. The idea is to use your coupons when an item is on sale and stock your pantry when something hits rock bottom prices. Keep your eye open for unadvertised deals and coupons in the store. You can often get many things on your list for pennies on the dollar or even free. We also plant a garden and freeze and can the excess. We make pickles and pickled okra. We raise chickens so we have fresh eggs. We raise our own beef which taste much better and is less expensive than buying at a supermarket. I can’t remember the last time I paid more than 15 cents for toothpaste. I have enough Crest, Colgate, and Aqua Fresh to last for a very long time. I have three packs of Dove, Caress, Zest and many other packages of soap that I only paid tax on. I have at least 75 toothbrushes that only cost me tax. The list goes on and on. I have two large shoe boxes full of razors that were free. Free edge and skintimate shaving cream. The internet is a great source for coupons. Not only can you order exactly the coupons you want you can also print them. Tylenol recently offered a $5.00 coupon on any Tylenol product. Clorox offered a $3.00 coupon on the new Anywhere spray cleaner. This made it 9 cents a bottle. I rarely pay more than a few cents for name brand cleaners. If I do happen to run out before a sale I make my own cleaner with tea tree oil. Another very important tip to saving money at the grocery store is to keep an eye on the register. Grocery stores are not always reset with current sale prices. Your chances of being charged the full price on a sale item are high. According to an article I read in Woman’s Day magazine Americans lose anywhere from 1 to 3 billion dollars a year on scanning discrepancies.


ashleykimble said...

I hate it when things dont scan feel like a fool for correcting them on 50 cents! I have the worst luck with it!

Billie said...

Thanks for the post! I am soo far from being awesome at this whole grocery game. You need to check out She's been a huge inspiration to me with this whole food thing.

My biggest pitfall is spending so much time on finding the coupons to make the sale awesome!

Someday I will take up my game one more notch once all of the kiddos are in school.

Elaine said...

Hi Sheila - I'm Billie & Chris's cousin Elaine (I'm from Virginia and now live in AZ).

This was a really great post - very helpful! Everything you've written (that I've read) so far is really wonderful. I'm moved by how Katy came to be in your life - I appreciate you sharing. I hope you don't mind if I continue to read... :)