I can’t tell you how exciting I am to kick off our second annual Moms Fighting Hunger blog hop this September, Hunger Action Month. It began on a whim last year because Jenn & I thought it would be a great way to get bloggers involved and raise awareness for a great cause.
I finally have a chance to show you a few of the pics from the back to school pool party / school supply fundraiser we threw last month. You know me, I’m always looking for a reason to gather friends together AND do a little good. When I heard about Twizzlers and Jolly Rancher‘s partnership with Gym Class Heroes to create the ultimate Summer Twist List, I immediately thought —
Things that don’t seem necessarily related become perfect partners in the right setting, all it takes is a little creativity.
So here it is, the last minute event we threw together that raised more than $650 for local teachers in our community! Once again San Antonio bloggers really pulled together to support something we so strongly believe in — a great education for our children and a community that lifts up the teachers who are making that happen.
Our teacher left will full hearts and car loads of supplies to take back to their schools. It’s things like this I really enjoy, and hope I get to do much more of in the future!
You know that famous saying, “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten” ?
Well, today I am declaring a new famous saying, “All I really need to know I learned from a kindergartener”!
Seriously, I learn so much about life spending time with my children. They are like a gift I get to unwrap every morning, yet it is completely different and new each time I do.
Through them I am learning new lessons on life, love, compassion, friendship, and unbridled enthusiasm each and every day.
Sometimes, it can feel like too much. So much so, that I can hardly bear to process any more information … but then there are those other times — the moments when the clouds part ways and I am thunder struck with a beam of light so bright it leaves a mark on my soul telling me, “this is exactly why you are here and what you are meant to be doing.”
Those days, those awe-filled wondrous days remind me what it truly means to look on the bright side.
P.S. This one’s for you Carla, somewhere in the middle … now I am off to bed!
Imagine if every house on the block grew their own fresh veggies and urban landscapes, once food deserts, were able to not just thrive, but flourish!
That’s their dream.
I exchanged a few emails with Phil, the co-founder of Earth Starter, this week. I was so inspired I had to share his kickstarter campaign with you here.
You’re going to flip for the Nourishmat and Herbmat!
“John and I are on a mission to empower consumers to become producers, by giving them easy tools to grow healthy fresh food.
We want people to be able to grow their own food, eat healthy, and not have to worry about GMOs, where their food came from, pesticides, and so on. Not to mention how gratifying it can be when you wait for a delicious veggie to grow and you can finally take a bite!
About Nourishmats and Herbmats:
Our products are designed to help you grow your own fresh herbs without getting down and dirty in the weeds. Best thing, it pays you back in spice. Designed for people with no prior growing knowledge or years of gardening experience. Farm to table just became simpler and without adding an extra project or more costs to peoples lives. Instead of buying expensive tools and searching for plant varieties, just use the Herbmat.
Our mats are like paint by numbers for gardening. You roll the mat out on your garden soil, push in the seedballs (clay, seeds, chili-powder and all-natural nutrients), and hook it up to the hose.
The Nourishmat is a 4’ x 6’ all-in-one roll out garden that empowers people to become food producers. Included in each Nourishmat are seed balls to grow tomato, carrot, marigold, onions, basil, nasturtium, radish, chive, kale, rainbow chard, jalapeno, dill, eggplant, red pepper, and more .
The Herbmat Gardening Systems brings 8 of the most sought after culinary herbs (basil, chive, dill, parsley, mint, thyme, savory, and sage) right to your table – from your own yard.
We think of them as a great way to cultivate the next generation of food growers and our product is the first of its kind.
We also have a commitment to schools, so the next generation can begin learning about gardening and fresh food as soon as possible. Each Nourishmat provided to a school comes with it’s own curriculum. We’ve started working with the Mayor’s office and school district’s in San Francisco, to plant Nourishmat gardens in the school and educational community to commemorate our Kickstarter launch.
Finally, during the Kickstarter campaign (which is wrapping up soon), we’re offering a summer contest for bloggers. We will send you sample seedballs to grow, and if you post about the Kickstarter and what you’ll “nourish” with your plants, we’ll enter you to win a Nourishmat for a school or community organization of your choice so that kids can start learning about gardening and healthy food too!
They’ve got a long way to go to make this happen, when I published this post they still needed $32,000 to meet their goal and have just 11 days to make it happen. That’s a huge mountain to climb alone, so please share this post and consider donating to their cause. They have lots of fun bonuses, like seed balls and t-shirts, to make available if you contribute.
A day you’ve probably never even heard about, a day the Blazier’s wish everyone knew more about. I urge you to take a few moments today to read this story, a story by an incredible family I am honored to call my friends, my family, my military family. Even if you have never heard of NF or met anyone who has it, please share this story. I would love to help Jordan connect with others also diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis, he’s waited more than 12 years already. Let’s fix that today.
May is NF awareness month
What is NF? Neurofibromatosis (NF) encompasses a set of distinct genetic disorders causing tumors to grow along various types of nerves.
In addition, NF can affect the development of non-nervous tissues such as bones & skin. NF causes tumors to grow anywhere on or in the body. There are several different types of NF & manifestations differ from person to person. From Café-au-lait spots, the most common sign of NF, to Neurofibroma tumors which vary in size and composition, each person carries their own unique symptoms. Roughly 100,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with some form of NF, yet there is no cure & few treatment options available.
Meet the Blaziers
My name is Jennifer, I am the parent to an amazing 13 year old boy, named Jordan, who was diagnosed with NF1 on his 1st birthday. Jordan is like many other teens. He enjoys playing sports, hanging out with his friends, driving his younger sister crazy, hates cleaning his room and has a zest for life that many adults would love to recapture. But, unlike other kids his age, Jordan feels comfortable in hospitals & around doctors because he has spent his entire life being followed and cared for by numerous specialists who monitor his tumor(s) growth and other clinical manifestations.
Jordan’s most recent development and complication has been the growth of an inoperable Astrocytoma brain tumor. Although considered to be a rare tumor, pediatric astrocytoma tumors are considered to be common among NF1 patients; as they are considered to be tumors of the central nervous system. The number of tumor growths and type vary widely among affected individuals from only a few to thousands. Presently, there is no way to predict how many persons will develop NF, how many tumors they may grow or how their specific symptoms will affect them. Therefore, regular checkups and MRI scans are the preferred diagnostic tools to monitor tumor growth. Tumor removal is risky and not always an option (as in Jordan’s case); typically, NF tumors grow along the patient’s nerve ending that originate somewhere along the central nervous system. Complete tumor removal requires the skills of a surgeon who specializes in tumor extractions that remove the tumor; yet, not disturb any affected nerves, which often times could result in paralysis of the affected area.
I am not sure if there are any words in the English dictionary that would adequately convey what it is like to be a parent of a child who has a condition that science has yet to discover a cure for. Yet, at the same time and through all of this craziness, we feel blessed as Jordan’s parents! We give thanks and praise God for choosing us to be Jordan’s parents. We are thankful for the amazing team of physicians that surround us & guide us along this journey. We are appreciative for having the opportunity to watch and learn from our amazing son; who continues to be our teacher almost daily. Most of all, we are thankful that Jordan continues to live and fights the fight. At 13 years of age, he still has much to learn. Yet, at the same time, Jordan has so much to offer this amazing world we live in. As parents, there is not a day that I do not stand in his shadows in awe of his personal courage, his resilience and his zest for life. Since the day we first heard the words and learned of Neurofibromatosis, as Jordan’s parents, we vowed to never allow his medical condition to define him or limit all that he could become. It is for this reason, I honor my son’s wishes today, by sharing Jordan’s story, in hope of giving back to others by bringing awareness to the NF community.
The Children’s Tumor Foundation is the leading foundation for Neurofibromatosis 1; whose mission is to educate, advocate and bring awareness about this medical disorder to one community at a time. Finding cures and treatment options starts with the understanding that an issue exists. A patient registry was initiated in 2012. One of the purposes for the registry is to bring NF families together so they can: gather a more accurate picture of of how NF has affected each individual who has been diagnosed, networking, research studies, etc. Knowledge is important and becomes the power needed for the building blocks to finding a cure.
We are asking any individual diagnosed with NF1 to register at nfregistry.org .
Your confidential information will be used by researchers to help find treatment options and ultimately a cure. To find out more about NF please visit ctf.org which houses a vast variety of information about this diagnosis, the foundation, ongoing research and volunteer opportunities to those who wish to help bring awareness into their Community.
Thank you for taking the time to read a little about our story. Hopefully we have inspired you to help spread awareness about NF and encourage those affected to register at nfregistry.org.