Families, Health and BRCA

Well, if you know me you know I’m a person who isn’t too fond of the unknown when it comes to health and safety.

A few weeks ago during a normal doctors appointment the nurse practitioner found what she classified as  “lump” under my right arm. As I left the doctor’s office the panic of my family history started setting in. I called my husband on the drive home in tears because of the word “lump” and the innuendo it created for me due to my family history. The dirty truth is for me my mother and my grandmother both had breast cancer. So for me it isn’t a matter of if it’s a matter of when it will choose to show up. Being on the south side of 40, it seems as I get older I feel there is a bit of the Darth Vader music going on in the background of this particular scenario as both my family members were close to 40 when it started for them.

While I was at the appointment I was offered gene testing. At first I mentally said yes, absolutely 100% I want to know, (I really like absolute answers with health and safety)….and then I started wondering: did I really want to know? Hmm…there were alot of paths here if the answer was yes…. and there were even some if the answer was no because it only looked at two particular gene patterns. I talked a lot with my husband and my step mom about what all this meant and where it was leading.The medical staff kept saying that Angelina Jolie was so lucky with her choice. In the cloud of my confusion all I could really could think was a.) this is a $4500 test b.) do I really want to know c.) I’m not a movie star, I’m me: a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter – just me, nobody fancy – but alas we are both women and mom’s regardless of financial class, social status or jobs d.) what if the answer was yes, then I have to make a decision about what path to take.

With a visit to the Carol Milgard Breast Center I was given my annual 3D mammogram, as well as an ultrasound. There was nothing there, which was a relief – everyone agrees it could of been a various amount of factors which caused an inflammation. Stress does odd things to the body. The medical doctor offered me to speak with my doctor also about getting an MRI done to get greater detail. Given yet another tool in the fight against an invasive cancer I moved forward with more determination than I had before. This appointment helped me decide, even when your afraid of the answer – it is better to be proactive than reactive in a situation which can go from bad to worse at the snap of a finger.

Bottom line is this, my breasts and ovaries are body parts, they don’t define me as a woman. My husband 100% supports a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body. (For that I am eternally grateful that I am married to a man who is as compassionate about woman’s issues and rights as I am). My family health history is what it is and can’t be changed. I’ve been lucky enough to give birth to beautiful twin girls who have blessed my life with clarity, compassion and unconditional love. My ovaries have served their purpose and my breasts can be replaced, so in the end I say take them if it means I get longer on the earth to watch my family and friends live, laugh and love. There’s too much left to do in life to not know the answer to if those genes exists in my body.

As I head out this morning to get the BRCA 1&2 results,  I’m thinking of all the thousands of other women who’ve gone before me to get their results. I share in their nerves and determination to have a choice over what happens to my future health. However, my heart goes out to those women who can’t have this test and may be faced without the choice of predetermination. My hope is soon this proactive test will be available to all women regardless of insurance coverage or financial cost.

 

Review of a Pencil Sharpener

So you read the title and your thinking, seriously Peters? Your gonna write about a pencil sharpener? Well, truth be told I’ve been looking for one of the old-fashioned librarian pencil sharpeners for quite a while and haven’t come across an antique one which is built much sturdier than the ones you find today. In the process I’ve come across what could be the Three Musketeers of Bad Pencil Etiquette. First there is the ultra expensive electric wonder, followed by the mid-priced hand crank splitter and last but not least is the free, never reliable little cutter that couldn’t with no backing – you know the one that sheds all over because it’s doesn’t have a capture and of course your kids cut their finger because the blade is exposed. It was so bad that two years ago I said out loud during school one day “I wish I had a decent pencil sharpener!!” ….and E got me one for Christmas… it ate through batteries and that was about all it ate, never sharpened a pencil – but it made a great game of “Watch the Pencil Spin”…. ok enough ranting… let’s talk about this pencil sharpener we were asked to review….

So the pencil sharpener came in the box no directions…..and this is how the process went….

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…it took them quite awhile to figure out how to use it… their engineering skills were put to the test…. now my kids fight over who gets to sharpen pencils… they volunteer (gasp I said the word!) to sharpen and the points on the pencils don’t break off inside the sharpener. What I also thought was a great idea, they sell replacements parts when you need them. So instead of disposing of the entire item once the sharpener dulls, you can just replace the blade, the catch tray, or even the clamp. Great way to reuse instead of replacing the entire unit. The unit is also so quite…you don’t even know it’s in use.

We aren’t going to tell you how exactly to use it because that would spoil all the homeschooling fun!❤ However, my daughter did say to mention that it helps if you “put your left hand no top of the gadget to hold it down a bit so it doesn’t wiggle.”

This is an amazing tool that is a must have for any home school family or teacher. I can’t express enough how nice it is to have a simple need met by a quality tool. Check out Classroom Friendly Supplies for one of these sharpeners today…. they come in green, blue, red, black and even pink.

Happy Sharpening…….*******************EcoMom22 was given this product to review. All opinions shared here are my own as well as, in this case, the twins and were not influenced in any way by the product provider. Please read our full site disclaimers & terms of use here.*******************

Welcome Back…. You do strictly homeschool, right?! Uh… Uh…

This summer has been a whirlwind. We have been here there and everywhere trying to make as much out of the summer as we could. While summer isn’t over, we do have to start getting back to our regular schedule.

I’ve met alot of people this summer and had alot of conversations about homeschooling and what that means. Since so many people concern themselves with labels I thought I would clear up how we run our school at home.

I have a Master’s Degree in Post Secondary Education and spent alot of time writing and auditing curriculum. This included developing mixed media classes where a portion of the classes were online and on ground. As I took my conversations from this summer and compared it to what we do in our own home I had an aha moment. While obviously our children are still in primary school; in our home we do what could be considered a mixed media learning environment. We are enrolled full time at K12 and like the structure, curriculum and support of the teachers and staff. However, I also choose to supplement with my own lessons – generated from a variety of resources. I would say that we teach our kids mixed media via virtual and home school. (Whew! There! I said it! Now we have a label too…..)

What I find interesting is that people are so quick to label the type of education without taking the time to understand the format of it; and how it applies to what the child truly needs. Our kids need opportunities to explore subjects more (for example last year we started a virtual Science lesson about the layers of the oceans and what animals are in them; then we spent the rest of the afternoon talking about all those creepy critters on the very very very very bottom of the ocean. How did they get there? How do they see? What do they eat? Do they get cold down there? How can they make that blue light glow?) On and on the questions went, we kept looking up information. This is called understanding a child’s curiosity to learn; and NOT ignoring it. The love of learning is like a fire which must be stoked; and never squelched because of a label or particular predetermined view you have of a delivery style/type of education. Questions are the fire; the fuel is the way you respond.

Please don’t let the label of the educational delivery style deter the way you teach your children, please allow the children’s curiosity and love for learning to drive the path of the education. Ask yourself this, if you were at my home and we were doing a K12/Virtual lesson on triple digit addition – would you not allow your child to participate because it isn’t pure homeschooling? If the answer is Yes, wow – guess what all kids have to learn triple digit addition, does it matter if it comes from K12 or pure homeschooling? If the answer is NO, bravo your an open minded educator.

Be open and understand that every child learns differently, it’s all hard work but if mixed media works – don’t judge others, support others – everyone’s is on a path to educate their children and help them become strong, smart, free thinking, open, well-educated and successful adults. (And success doesn’t always mean marrying a billionaire, having a Stanford education, developing the next successful IPO and wearing a perfect Prada suit to work. For some it means virtual/homeschooling, climbing Mt. Everest and calling home for money because you’re trying to decide if you want to be a fashionista or a famous rock star).

Hope everyone has an amazing school year!!🙂

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha

Monday Listicles!

Oh it’s been quite a few busy weeks in our household with camp and summer activities I’m just now starting to get back to writing. I love the hustle and joy summer brings, but I must remember my goal of working on writing each week to build a live memorial book of memories for our family of fun, experiences, growth and love! So this week’s fun: Monday Listicle: Ten Things You Buy Every Week

1.  Silk Chocolate Almond Milk

2. Red and Green Apples

3. Grapes

4. Bananas

5. Chicken

6. Coffee Creamer

7. Applesauce

8. Salad Fixins

9. Atkin’s Bars

10. Gas (almost every week! lol!)

 

 

Aloha Friday Blog Hop!

Aloha to Friday!

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This is my first time hosting a Blog Hop and I thought it would be a fun way to get to know more bloggers and share information.When I think of Aloha Friday, I think of all those crazy Friday’s at work where people would wear Hawaii clothes and be so relaxed…so I thought what better way to start a new hop than to name it after our families favorite love – Hawaii and Aloha! Here’s one of our favorite pictures of the twins first trip to Maui. E was determined she wasn’t going to swim in the ocean…….. Maui 2010 169

So let’s share the Aloha spirit………….If you’d like to co-host the next Aloha Friday Blog Hop please contact me with your fancy-dancy email!  I will feature one or two bloggers each week as co-hosts to share the love.🙂

A few simple requests:

No adult sites or inappropriate postings.

Please follow the host and co-host.

Link up your fabulous blog below.

Share, share, share – so we can build a great community of blogging friends!

Leave a comment with your blog if you’d like a follow back.

Grab a button and Share the Love!

Eco Mom 22

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So WHAT are you waiting for? Link up and let’s get this Aloha Friday started!!  

A hui hou kakou “Until we meet again”

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Oak Meadow Curriculum Giveaway

Remember the awesome iPad Giveaway DenSchool had a couple weeks ago? What an amazing organization and now they are partnering with others to giveaway something to help prepare your curriculum for next year!

We have teamed up with DenSchool and Teaching with Cents to bring you this great giveaway from Oak Meadow! Enter today on the Giveaway Tools form below.

One lucky reader will receive a Complete Curriculum Package (of their choice) from Oak Meadow. Imagine that, everything you need for homeschooling your child next year – for FREE!

Complete Curriculum Package Review

Oak Meadow has specialized in homeschooling curriculum for 35 years! They are committed to providing creative, innovative, and child-centered educational materials that can be utilized towards every family’s needs and routine.

We believe that true intelligence arises when children are given opportunities to engage not only their heads, but their hands and hearts as well. Our curriculum includes assignments that ask children to read, write, and think, and also to paint, draw, play music, write poetry, and build things, encouraging balanced and healthy development.

Oak Meadow

Have you begun planning your next homeschooling year and not sure where to start? Stop by DenSchool to read reviews for some of your favorite curriculum packages! There, you will learn all about Oak Meadow and what this great giveaway has to offer you!

Visit DenSchool’s Oak Meadow Reviews

DenSchool has reviewed curriculum packages for Grades 3, 4, and 6 – with an 8th grade review coming in August!

Contest Information:
*This great giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, ages 18+.
*Giveaway ends on July 24th at 11:59 p.m.
*DenSchool Contributors, immediate family members, and group giveaway bloggers are not eligible to enter DenSchool giveaways.

Starbucks Summer Giveaway

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Good Morning Sunshine🙂

Summer is here and wouldn’t it be great to enjoy it with a cold beverage from Starbucks?  I recently tried two new things there the Kati Kati Blend and a Carmel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino.  Both are delicious in moderation.🙂

EcoMom is giving away a $10 Starbucks e-Gift Card. Just enter below in the raffle-copter link by telling us what your favorite iced beverage is! The winner will receive an email from me with the card for use immediately.🙂

Thanks for your continued support of our blog!

Hugs & Cheers for a Happy Summer!

Enter Here:    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Listicles In Memoriam

Happy late Father’s Day…. hope everyone enjoyed the day. We unplugged and spent time playing games, cooking and hanging out. We were trying to enjoy a bit of nice weather as it looks like this week holds rain. We are wondering if summer will come soon? Seems like mid-June it should be warmer. :)  Well, it’s time for Monday Listicles.

Monday Listicles is a great way to prompt your writing each week; it gets you warmed up and ready to go. There are a ton of great ladies posting over on Stasha’s site, http://www.northwestmommy.com. Jump over, take a peak and join in!

 

This week we are talking about great shows that got canceled too soon.

 

1. Sex and the City, HBO

2. Seinfeld

3. Fraiser

4. Friends

5. Darma & Greg (this was my favorite show!!)

6. The West Wing

7. Fringe

8. Rules of Engagement

9. My So Called Life

10. Freaks and Geeks

 

Enjoy your Monday!!

The 5 Most Beautiful Things in the World (This Week) | Beekman1802.com

This is a must see if your a dog lover…. Hop over to the Beekman and checkout these beautiful lovelies!

The 5 Most Beautiful Things in the World (This Week) | Beekman1802.com.

Thirty One Gifts Giveaway

I was introduced to Thirty-One Gifts a year or so ago by a dear friend (who now lives in MT and will remain nameless!) and I am soooooo addicted to these products. They make my life and our families lives so much more organized. They also make great gifts for other loved ones since you can personalize them. If you haven’t tried it, now is the time!  During Christmas those Large Utility Totes really saved our bacon hauling Christmas presents to and from family members homes.🙂 The options are endless and the styles and choices are many to choose from.

This post is sponsored by Robyn McComas with Thirty-One Gifts.

Please review EcoMom22’s full disclosure here.

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So in an effort to make your summer easy breezy this is a giveaway for a $25 gift card to one lucky reader!

There are specials every month.  In June for every $35 spent you receive a Large Utility Tote for only $10! (That’s about a $25 savings!) Making it even more fun; in June only you can get the exclusive fun flops print.

product-01Robyn also has an amazing team of people she works with. Becoming a Thirty One Rep provides you not only with financial freedom, but also the pride of owning your own business. Financial security, meeting new friends, setting and exceeding goals as well as celebrating your efforts are only a short list of what taking advantage of the business opportunity can do for you.

How would you like to win a $25 gift card from Thirty One? Just enter here: Rafflecopter giveaway