Monday, April 22, 2013

Half way done!!

Well it's been a little over two months and we are half way done with the NAET allergy elimination treatments. It's been hard, but we are trying to take it one week at a time. Step by step, trying to be patient with the process. Trying to live in the moment and learn what we need to learn in this step of the process. I have found a few things to help the treatments and avoidance run smoother. I am half writing this for me. So I can document this journey. But also, for any of you reading this who might be doing the NEAT with your kids too. When I was researching this treatment for kids, I was hoping to find more resources like what you CAN eat, or tricks to make it more bearable, but couldn't really find any. So I hope this can help someone...anyone.

For one, before his treatment on Friday afternoons, I make sure to give him everything he won't be able to eat after his treatment. So usually his Friday lunch consists of a peanut and butter sandwich, fruit, veggies, and TWO gluten free chocolate chip cookies. I try to get him as full as possible before we go in, to cut down on the crankiness after the treatments. I have asked around, and being in a bad mood seems to be the norm, especially with kids. He is cranky for a lot of reasons. For one, his body is being exposed to things he is allergic to, and that always affects his behavior and mood. And then, his body is working hard to eliminate the allergy. This is exhausting business! Then, he can't eat his favorite foods. And lastly, he can't go in the kitchen. Whew...I'd be cranky too! So disracting him is completely necessary! So here's what have been doing. I write a list of the things he CAN have and put it on his table. So whenever he says he's hungry, I show him his "menu" to choose from. The other thing we try to do is stay busy. I usually try to get a new movie from the redbox. He loves to watch movies over and over again, so this works well. Another thing we do is play outside...a lot. However, the last couple of treatments for vitamin b and c, you have to avoid grass, flowers,plants and trees. So we have been stuck inside and that's rough!! So on those days we rented a new game for the wii from the redbox too. Another thing I try to do is save the foods I know he can eat during avoidance only for Fridays. He can usually eat jasmine rice and steak with every treatment, so I save those foods for Fridays. Also, he loves hard boiled eggs, so those are a special Friday treat too. We seem to be getting the hang of this now. So the treatments get a little easier each time, with less crankiness.

And speaking of crankiness. Between his diet change of no gluten, dairy, or food dye and doing the NAET treatments, his fits of rage have completely stopped!! I cannot tell you how much this has changed our lives. I no longer feel like I need to walk on eggshells around him. He can now handle everyday disappointments with a normal and appropriate reaction. Before, the littlest disappointment would send him over the edge. His legos falling over, me telling him he couldn't have a snack, or his sister saying something he didn't agree with would send him into a 30 minute meltdown. He would scream, cry, kick, hit himself while saying he was a bad boy, and so on. I would try to talk to him and try to get him to look at me. He could not. His eyes would glaze over and I could not get through to him. That is a scary thing to watch your kid act like that. And even scarier to think of him acting like that as a teen or adult. The amount of damage he could have done as a full grown man sends chills down my spine. I am SO thankful that those have stopped. Our life is forever changed now. And it makes my heart so sad to think about all the kids with these same rage attacks. All the kids who are on medicine to calm them down when a simple diet change could help so much. It makes me look at the "bad" kids so much different. My outlook on behavior is forever changed. Now, don't get me wrong. He still has bad days, he still throws hissy fits, but they are so much less severe. He can talk and reason with me. And usually calms down in a few minutes. So thankful.

I am very excited to get done with all the NAET treatments in the next couple of months, and start reintroducing foods. I'm hoping that by his birthday, he will be able to eat "normal" again. I'm scared for this part though. His behavior and rage have gotten SO MUCH better, that thinking about reintroducing foods makes me feel a little ill. The good thing is, he really doesn't mind being gluten and dairy free on a normal basis. It's only on the special occasions that it gets hard. Class parties, (which happen way too much for my liking) team pizza parties (I actually caught him trying to take a bite of pizza at the last one we went to) and fun outings like the bike classic are the hardest. He's fine until everyone else is chowing down on a shaved ice, pizza or a donut, then it gets a little harder. It's hard to see him get bummed. As a parent, you just want your kid to be happy and healthy. And when making sure your kid is happy and healthy includes not eating crap, well them that's just extra hard. And also to think that the things I am going to be reintroducing and the stuff that I dont like him to eat anyways, makes it a little harder too. But I have to remember that there is a balance. There is a time for crap food and a time for healthy food. Let me tell you, this kid is going to out live us all though. He eats fruits and veggies with every meal. Asks for them if I forget. Actually loves healthy food. Its so nice to not have to worry about that. One less struggle in life right?!?

Saturday, February 23, 2013


We have started a new journey. It's the next step of the allergy elimination for Toby. It's called NAET. Here is what the website of the naturopath we are going to says about it.

What exactly is NAET?

NAET is a safe and effective technique in detecting and eliminating or desensitizing all types of allergies. NAET combines Kinesiology (Muscle Responsive Testing), Chiropractic and Oriental Medicine to clear allergic reactions through a reprogramming of the brain. Our brains have a natural built-in subconscious function controlling the immune system, which has the potential of keeping us allergy free. What has been developed is a technique that consciously focuses the brain on a single allergen while clearing the blocked energy formerly associated with that allergen. This technique can successfully desensitize the body in order to achieve an allergy-free state. NAET is non-invasive and painless. A revolutionary treatment that is gentle and effective.

How does it work?

Research has shown that when major allergies are eliminated and the immune system is strengthened, the body resumes normal healing and homeostasis. The basic idea is that we have cellular memory. Our allergies are actually physical manifestations of a memory of being sensitive to something. When we neutralize that memory, per se, we actually clear an allergy. By stimulating the spinal nerves and other specific acupuncture points, in the presence of an allergen, we are desensitizing our bodies and minds to this said allergen. It sounds confusing, but it's really quite simple.

How these treatments go is that he gets treated for a certain mix of foods, he has to avoid those foods he was treated for, for 25 hours. The first treatment two weeks ago did not need any avoidance. So that was easy. Last week he was treated for eggs and chicken. So that was all we had to avoid. He was perfectly fine with fruits, veggies, rice and steak! But this is the third treatment this week. And it was for calcium. The avoidance on this one is really hard for him. A ton of foods have calcium, so he is limited to chicken, steak, rice, rice pasta, and cooked vegetables. (Which he can't stand, he will eat raw veggies all day long, but just does not enjoy them cooked.) So needless to say, only eating those things for 25 hours, especially for breakfast is hard. I caved and gave him a banana for breakfast because I looked it up and it said he has VERY little calcium. So I'm just hoping and praying that it doesn't mess it up. Because if his body gets exposed to too much of it, it cannot heal and his brain will not be reprogramed. He will have to do the treatment and this avoidance again. So I'm really hoping a didn't blow it. But chicken, steak, rice or vegetables are just NOT breakfast foods!! He understands, but that doesn't mean he's not upset and frustrated with that fact.

He had a melt down last night because he was hungry and didn't want to eat any of the approved foods. He was so upset. So was I. I had a little melt down too. I tried to explain the best I could that this is for his own good. And that one day of not eating good food is totally worth it if he can eat it for the rest of his life. And that yes, it sucks, it's not fair. It's just not. But this is how it is, and that we can learn to be so much more thankful for our health once this is all over. I just kept telling him I am sorry he has to go through this and that he can cry and scream its not fair for as long as he wants. Because its not. But that God has a plan for us through this and all we can do is go day by day and look forward to the end result. That (hopefully and prayerfully) by his birthday August 1st, he can eat anything his little heart desires.

After I put him to bed, I went to just sit with God. Just to feel the peace of His presence. I needed it desperately. And He revealed to me that His feelings for me are the same as my feelings for Toby. He lets me go through these things, these storms, but He's doing it for my own good. He allows me to cry and scream that its not fair and He cries with me because its not. He knows its not fair, but that it has to be done for my own good. I got a taste last night of how my Heavenly Father feels for me and with me. What a blessing that was. This journey is hard. And exhausting. But getting little reminders like this one is what keeps me going. All I can do it go day by day, doing the best I can. Not getting frustrated if I mess up. And completely leaning on the One who created me and knows exactly how I feel. God is good. All the time.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Its been a rough week

This food allergy stuff is not easy. As we are coming up to almost a month of being gluten/dairy and now food dye free, the newness is definitely wearing off. And while knowing the right foods he can eat is getting easier, the fact that he cannot eat certain foods is not. Friday at school they had a birthday. All the kids got donuts. I didn't know it was a birthday so I was unprepared. I had trail mix in my car. So he ate trail mix. When I picked him up, he said he didn't care, but he was grumpy. I know that it has to bug him. Especially because he LOVES donuts. Friday night we went to a birthday party. It was a movie night party with pizza, popcorn, and treats. So I fed him dinner before we left, popped our own popcorn, (most of the store bought stuff has yellow "natural" food coloring...thats no where near natural) baked him some gluten free brownie cupcakes and headed to the party. He was fine with his stuff but I could tell he was looking at that treat table the whole time. There was sour patch kids on the table. He loves sour candy, so I looked it up and they are gluten free!! I know that he is very sensitive to red and yellow food dye so I kept those out. So i gave him the green and...wait for it...the orange ones. Mom FAIL. Did I not go to kindergarten and remember that red and yellow make orange. So I paid for it immediately. He was crazy hyper. Could not sit still. Kept giggling, repeating certain phrases over and over, couldn't keep his hands off of me or Olivia. He even said at one point (speaking as fast as humanly possible) "Mom, I think I had too much sugar, I should never have sugar again" On the way home, he had a panic attack because he had to pee and it took us two whole minutes to pull into a fast food place. His panic attack, coupled with the food dye, game him an asthma attack. This was the the first time time the entire month that he had to use his inhaler. We were both so bummed. He kept saying "I don't need my inhaler anymore, I don't eat gluten. Broke my heart. It was my fault. I didn't think it through and fed him something that is like poison to his little body. We paid for it for the next 24 hours. He didn't feel better and get back to his happy self till he woke up Sunday morning. hard.

So Monday comes, he goes to school and when I pick him up, one of the moms asked him how he liked the vegemite. He said he liked it. Ut-oh. I asked him when he got to the car what she was talking about. He said she talked about Australia and then they had some food from there. Vegemite and something with coconut on it. Here we go again. He said "I had it on a spoon instead of a cracker so I wont throw hissy fits" I looked it up and the main ingredient is barley. Gluten filled barley. And the coconut thing? A coconut cake. The mom didn't know, and his teacher was not out there with him. And since its so new, she's not used to this either. I don't blame anyone, but it's just frustrating. That day was bad. He cried and flopped on the ground every time I asked him to do one page of homework. He was moody, angry, and mean. He had a huge hissy fit when I told him it was resting time and needed his inhaler again. It is SO crazy what food can do him.

The last two days have been really hard too. He comes home from school and is just grumpy. He has thrown hissy fits both days but insists that he didn't eat anything from school. It's SO hard to do this when I am not around him 24/7. He's 5, he loves food, and is used to being able to eat anything. So when he eats something he is not supposed to, I can't get mad at him. We are learning. All of us. And I'm hoping that he continues to see how he feels when he eats something that he is not supposed to and decides he doesn't want to feel that way. I just have to keep giving him grace. I have to understand that even if he hasn't eaten something he is allergic to, he might just be having a bad day. I have to remember that he is 5 and will still get upset and make bad choices. I try to remind him that he still needs to treat us with kindness and respect even if he isn't feeling good. I tell him I know that it is harder to be nice when he's feeling bad, but that it is not an excuse to lash out on everyone. And while I understand why is he doing it, its still not ok. When he yells at us, or throws a hissy fit, he always runs to his room and says "I'm a bad boy". I have to constantly remind him that he is not a bad boy, he is just making bad choices. After he has calmed down, he has asked me if I am going to get sick of him. This breaks my heart the most. Every night I have to reassure him that I love him no matter what his choices, and that I will NEVER get sick of him. I have to give myself a little grace too, but that is not as easy. I get very frustrated and sad when he throws fits. I blame myself for feeding him the wrong thing, or not handling the situation right. I get so bummed that I work so hard to feed him the right stuff and when he's away from me, one little thing ruins the next 24 hours (or more) for us. All that hard work down the drain. Its emotionally and physically exhausting for all of us.

Now I want to talk about my husband Kevin. He has been my absolute rock through all of this. He is amazing. He has so much patience and tenderness with Toby. Once he saw that it really was the food making Toby act this way, it really changed his heart with regards to Toby's fits. He used to get totally frustrated with him, as did I. But now, Kevin sees it in a much different light. In the middle of a fit, Kevin has been able to go in and just talk with Toby. He stays in there even when Toby is screaming at him to leave. He just sits, listens, and talks about his day, legos, star wars, army men...anything. He talks calmly and quietly, without emotion. Just two boys, hanging out. And this is EXACTLY what Toby needs. He calms down so much faster. And always comes out with a smile and an apology. I now call him the Toby whisper-er.

Olivia is also having a bit of a hard time. She has started lashing out by talking back and yelling at us for little things...big things...anything. I picked her up from school early yesterday for a mommy coffee date. I asked her how she's feeling and she told me that she feels like we pay attention to Toby and not her. Talk about a dagger through the heart. Its totally true. We spend so much time and energy trying to get Toby healthy. She is healthy, she can do things by herself that Toby cannot. So she gets less attention. I am trying to fix that. One day at a time. I want her to know that she is just as important, just as attention worthy, just as loved.

And that...takes more energy. I feel like I am out of energy. So if you are the praying type, could you say a quick prayer for me...for our family today? I am tired, and spread really think these days. I am trying to remain positive and thankful.I WILL get through day at a time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tobys New Journey

So Toby has been gluten and dairy free for two weeks now. I cannot even tell you how beneficial it has been for him. (As well as the rest of the family) Wow...where do I even start???
Toby is a happy kid. Like...a REALLY happy kid...till he's not. There are two Toby's. There is the sweet, kind, easy going and happy kid that he is when he is around most people. And then, there is crazy Toby. And this Toby only comes out at home. Anything at all could set this Toby off. A TV show being turned off, me telling him to do something simple like get dressed, or even a tower of legos falling down and breaking when he wasn't ready for it to. These are normal life things that happen. Things that normal kids can handle. But sometimes Toby just could not handle life. He would have the worst melt downs. When he throws a fit, I mean, he takes things to a whole new level. He screams...SO loud. Cries hysterically without any chance of calming himself down. He would cry and scream for so long that he would give himself asthma attacks. He would be coughing and hyperventilating, gasping for air. He would scream irrational things over and over like "I just want my door open" when it was open. He would go on like this, flopping and rolling all over his room, running into walls, kicking and hitting the walls. Hitting himself in the head saying "I'm an idiot" over and over. (I am in tears right now as I right remembering some of the worst ones where by the end of 30 minutes we would both be sobbing and I would be begging God to help us just get through this) One day, after a really bad one, I asked him what I could do when he was like this. I felt like there was nothing I could do to help him. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said to me "Mom, just pray for me". He went on to tell me that he hates throwing hissy fits and just wishes God would help him stop. As a mom, my heart was broken. My kid does NOT want to act like this. He does NOT just need to be spanked/disciplined. He could NOT control himself. He needed help.
After lots of thinking,praying, and researching, I realized that the times that he acted the worst, was when he ate something he was allergic to. He is highly allergic/sensitive to red food dye and he always seemed to be the worst after ingesting some of it. Even waking up with a fever one night after giving him a bite (yes, a bite!!) of red velvet pancake. It was affecting his body. And now it was affecting his mental health. It was time for a change.
*After two weeks of gluten and diary free I am so happy to report: The hissy fits have stopped completely! We have only had had 2 melt downs (mini hissy fits)in the two weeks. One happened after church one Sunday. I was really discouraged till I realized I forgot to tell the people at church that he couldn't have snack and he ate goldfish and pretzels (both use red dye no. 3 as a preservative) He literally came home from church, laid on his bed crying, flopping back and forth repeating "I don't want to go to sleep, I don't want to go to sleep, till he eventually passed out after 10 minutes later. The other happened after church because they gave him red koolaid. (which is gluten free but again red food dye). We spent all day waking on egg shells around him because everything made him cry. He even said to me "Leave me alone mom. Im grumpy and just sick of myself" I cannot BELIEVE how much the food he is allergic to affects his mental health. And it gets me really sad for all those "bad" kids out there, whose behavior could be completely changed with small diet changes. (But thats a whole different blog.)
*His asthma has also been non existent since he's been gluten and dairy free. Not one asthma attack in two whole weeks!! That might not seem like a lot, but he needed it almost every day before. Especially when the weather goes from cold to hot like it has been. He has even been out running around twice for over 20 minutes (which again, might not seem like a lot but that is a long time to be running around for an asthmatic kid) and I would go grab his inhaler because in the past he would have needed it, but nope, he didn't. Its been AMAZING.
*He has been so happy, so much more of the time. He still has has moments, where he gets upset or agitated, but it is manageable. I can talk him down, where before nothing could talk him down. When I tell him to do something, he jumps up and says "ok mom". It catches me off guard every time because before when I would ask him to do something, I would brace myself to get ready for battle. But no battles, the worst he does now, is ask me if he can do it in a minute when he is done with whatever he is doing. WOW...such a change.
*He is sleeping better. Over 12 hours a night without waking up. He had stopped taking naps in October, but has napped, without complaining 5 times in the last two weeks. He even put himself down for those naps!! Even he sees how much this diet is helping. It was actually a blessing that he got the foods he was allergic to those two times because I was able to point out his behavior after he ate those foods. He understands. So he doesn't complain when he cant eat certain foods. I tell him they have gluten in them and he doesn't ask again. He sees how much better he feels. Our house is SO much more peaceful. I am SO thankful that certain information and experiences have been put in my path so that I was educated on this stuff. I am so greatful to everyone who gave me support,tips, and their knowledge when I was researching this stuff. Everything is coming together and feeling much more normal after two weeks. Praise the LORD!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Strike Part 3: God Will Provide

Money...ugh. I love and hate this part of this of the story. We barely made enough money to cover our bills with Kevin working full time. So I knew this would be a place where God would really be able to come through for us.

Now God had put a couple of things in place before this all started, that would really help us out. Toby's last preschool tuition payment was in June. And my car was also paid off in June. So when the strike started in July, our bills were $350 less than in June.

God has also provided other ways for us to make money since the strike started. Kevin and I were able to work for my dad at a weekend event. Saturday and Sunday were both 12 hour days, so that was plenty of hours to get paid for. Also, my brother and sister in law own a Vintage shop and were going on vacation for the week. They allowed me to work in their shop and payed me for that. So those, along with his $216 a week paycheck from the union have been a such a help.

This Strike has also allowed Kevin to do something he loves to make some extra money. He put it out there, on instagram, that he would be bbq-ing six tri-tips and that people could pay for him to cook them. Well, the first time, that 6 tri-tips turned into 13! 13 people wanted him to make tri-tips for them. Amazing. And so he decided to do it 2 weeks later, and said he would make 10, well 20 people wanted them. It has been so cool to see him be able to do something he loves and make some money doing it. He is so good at it, and I wish he could do something with food for a living. But the food business is neither guaranteed, nor very family friendly. But this opportunity has been really good to get his name, and reputation for being an amazing bbq-er out there. I really hope he can continue to do stuff like this.

Food...this was another area where I knew God need to come through for us. I spend $400 a month on groceries. And I knew that this was one of the only "bills" where we could cut back on. The first week, a handful of wives from Kevin's work, went down to the ebt office to apply for ebt. They got it no problem. So the 2nd week, I went in and applied myself. Well, we got denied. They said that we made way too much money, BEFORE the strike. (Like that matters at all, if we were getting paid that, we wouldn't be here right now!!) But as we walked out, I cried. Not because we didn't get it when a ton of other people from him work did, but because I knew God would provide another way. Maybe the people that got the ebt from Kevin's work needed it more. I don't know. I didn't know why that was a yes for them, and a no for us. But I felt God moving in that moment. So I chose to trust Him in this. Give this situation to Him and just prayed for Him to provide in another way. And He Has!!! We have not paid for a single weeks groceries the entire strike. SO MANY friends have given us gift cards for grocery stores. And some even brought us bags of groceries. SUCH a blessing this has been. That God has used our friends and family to provide for us in this area. We have even gotten two $100 gift cards. (!!) And one of those $100 gift cards, along with another gift card from Staters were slipped in our mailbox from "friends" No names, just complete anonymous blessings. (WOW right!?!)

And remember when I said "Its not like God is just going to hand us money"?? Well a couple of friends have even written us checks. Just "Handed" us money. And gift cards too. So blown away by the generosity of our family and friends. And NONE of those people are in a position to be handing out money. All of them are in the same tight budget we are in now, and that is what makes it even more amazing. Also, business for me , with Ankle Biters, has really picked up. And people are not just buying things, but tipping me generously for it. Again, just "handing" me extra money. Blows my mind every time. HE WILL PROVIDE. So Thankful...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Strike: Unexpected Blessings

Let me start by saying that I do not believe in coincidences. When something happens to "just work out" I take it as a blessing straight from God. And I fully believe that it you are looking for ways that God is working in your life, He will SURELY show them to you. I think He likes showing off ;o)

When the strike started, I knew God would take care of us...I didn't know how...but I had complete faith that He would. I was still extremely scared about what was to come. I knew that this process would not be easy and that it was going to hurt a lot. But I also knew this would be a time of really learning to lean on God. And most definitely a time for Him to show me how big He really is. Well He was up to the task...let me tell you. When I said to my mom that first week "Its not like Hes just going to hand us money" I feel like God was like "Oh's on now, I'll show her" Because, man, has He showed me!!

The first day...yes, the first day of the strike, I woke up feeling very sad and very emotional. I went to refill the the toliet paper roll only to realize we were out. Now on a normal day I would have been annoyed. But today I was sad. Sad that this type of small normal purchase was now going to be big. Sad that all the little things that were going to start running out, would cost money that we were no longer making. After my pitty party ended, I packed the kids up to go to target to get some tp and a few other necessities that we had run out of. I ran into a friend of mine, who asked me how I was doing. I told her about the strike, and how I had cried over tp, and how I knew God would take care of us, but that it was still hard. Said goodbye, went on my way. Well as we were about to head to check out, she shows up in the isle I was in with a gift card. Tears completely filled my eyes as I thanked her. What an amazing gesture right?!? So I dry my tears, once again, and head to the checkout. The cashier rings me up, $30.21. I give her the gift card I had just received, she swipes it. "Ok, you owe .21 cents. I lost it again (and you are crying right now too right?!?) 21 cents??? The gift card was for $30 (which is a bit of a strange denomination right?), my purchase was $30.21. It was not a strange denomination. It was God's denomination. It was just strange enough not to be able to rationalize it any other way. It was God thing...and the first of many. So thank you friend, for allowing God to use you to bless me more than I could ever say.

The rest of the week was filled with more God things. Like the next day after Target, I realized I was out of dark laundry detergent. Stared crying again (sorry...I cried a lot that first few weeks so bear with me) because 1. I had JUST been to target, and 2. More $$. So I went back inside and started with my house work. After I was done picking up the house I got a wild hair to organize the garage. There was a pile of towels that I hadnt folded that were sitting on the dryer. Well guess what was under the pile. Yep...a brand new bottle of dark detergent that I had bought whenever and had completely forgotten about. (Thanks God) Later that week, the same thing happened with my eye liner. Ran out, was bummed, a few days later I was putting on my make-up and Olivia wanted to put on some lip gloss. I couldn't find it so I picked up the little container I keep my eye shadow in...and guess what was underneath it...yep...a brand new thing of eyeliner I had bought whenever and forgot about. (this time all I could do is laugh...He is SO good...and now He's definitely showing off)

I have been selling our old baby/kid stuff on this facebook group for a couple of months now. I have been able to make a lot of money doing this and it has really helped us out. I had sold a lot, but there was also a lot of stuff that I had posted that hadn't sold. Including a camera for $50. I kept thinking man, why hasn't anyone bought this. I decided to repost that and a lot of other stuff the first week of the stike to try and make a little extra money. So I did, and it sold. Almost ALL of it. Including the camera. Things that had been posted numerous times with no bites, sold immediately. All in his timing right?! And when I met up with one of the other moms, we were talking about our house loan modifications. She had mentioned how her house insurance was included in her payment, which got me thinking that ours was too and that I remember paying it last month to AAA. So I called them, they said "yep, you have a $260 balance in your account. I can send that check out today" wow...and AMEN!

These are few out of the many...I cant wait to share the rest with you!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Strike

Whew...what a month it has been. Kevin has just finished his 4th week of striking against Budweiser/In-Bev. Just to break it down, the short story is, In-Bev is trying to put the drivers on an $150 a day salary. (Plus a little commission) They are refusing to pay them overtime, but are also refusing to cap them at 40 hours a week then. Which basically means that they will be working them longer hours (they are planning to let go all 30 temporary drivers and spred their load with the rest of the drivers) and not pay them for the overtime worked. This company is NOT struggling in this economy. In fact, the first week the Riverside branch was on strike, In-Bev bought Corona/Modelo for 26 BILLION dollars CASH. They are greedy investors, and do not care one bit about the beer or the employees. The first week they were on strike, they took away medical benefits, and froze the employees 401k accounts so that they would not be able to take out loans from their accounts. Its this kind of below-the-belt attacks that are really showing the companies true colors. They have only given that one offer the entire 4 weeks of the strike and refuse to negotiate with the union at all. This contract that they are proposing is completely illegal.

Now with all that being said, this is a very hard time for our family. We were barely making ends meet when Kevin was getting a full pay check, so there was no money to save for this kind of thing. He gets paid $216 a week from the union for picketing 40+ hours a week. Talk about a scary situation. And what scares me even more than the lack of money is the no health benefits. With Toby being the most accident prone child on the planet, paired with his asthma...we have never gone over 2 months without having to go to the doctors.

The first week was the hardest. I cried...a lot. I was scared, mad, frustrated, sad, and anxious all at the same time. I had a talk with my mom trying to process it all. I was telling her that I know God would take care of us (He ALWAYS does and has been SO faithful to take care of my family's needs) but that I still was having a hard time finding peace because this really didn't feel like a "God situation". It was more of a corporate greed situation. God has given me a supernatural sense of peace in my life. Always. So this felt strange and foreign to not feel that peace. I felt anxious and stressed about the every aspect of the situation. I didn't really know how to handle it. I was stressed about how we would be able to pay our bills, eat, deal with the stress and each other etc. I remember my words exactly when I said "I know He will provide for our needs, but it's not like He's just going to hand us money". I have ate those words over and over by the way. I have had, and continue to have people hand me money on a weekly basis...and I think back to this sentence and smile, knowing that God is looking down at me and having a good little chuckle. What I am realizing more and more is that EVERY situation is a "God-situation" if you are a child of God. And that He can and will use every situation for His glory. I can't wait to tell you the ways he has come through for us. I have goose bumps just thinking about it.