Life. Love. Family. My Perfect Imperfection.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Bucket List - It's gonna "B" fun!!

*Guest post from Julie - well not really guest post, because she is technically a contributor/writer on this blog, BUT we are having issues right now getting her added on so she can access the page and write her own posts! So therefore, I - Crystal - am sharing this for her :) * (<--- hey, I figured out something new! I can highlight things! LOL.)

 Julie and the "B's" Summer Bucket List!


1) Visit a lighthouse 6/19
2) Play card games 8/12
3) Play in the rain 7/28
4) Watch fireworks 7/20
5) Watermelon eating contest 7/16
6) Blow bubbles 7/26
7) Make s'mores 6/30
Write & mail a letter to a friend/family member 7/8
9) Read a book as a family (a little every night) in process
10) Go to the beach 7/6
11) Go to Tons O' Trucks 6/1
12) Have a family picnic on a blanket 6/27
13) Go swimming 7/6
14) Plant a plant  /18
15) make a bird feeder 7/30
16) Play sardines or hide n' seek
17) Visit a splash pad 7/5
18) Visit a new Zoo 7/12
19) Stay in a hotel 7/11
20) Get an origami book and create some 6/8
21) Go to a nature center 6/9
22) Play board games 7/29
23) Have a garage sale 8/8-8/10
24) Dance party 6/27
25) Walk for a cause (Autism Awareness) 6/15
26) Build a sandcastle 7/6
27) Go to the movies 6/28
28) Boys cook dinner 7/8
29) Make cookies 6/28
30) Go to a new playground/park 6/1
31) Play tag 7/28
32) Play twister
33) Corn on the cob eating contest 8/16
34) Go for a bike ride 7/5
35) Go to River Raisin National Battlefield 7/13
36) Reverse meals day (breakfast=dinner, dinner=breakfast) 8/17
37) Make a mural with sidewalk chalk 6/8
38) Go bowling 6/27
39) Camping in the backyard 8/9
40) All day in PJ's 8/12
41) Ice cream from the ice cream truck 7/4
42) Home Depot's kid's craft 7/6
43) Have an "Unbirthday" party 6/27
44) Scavenger hunt 8/11
45) Make popsicles 6/8
48) Have a bonfire 7/20
49) Catch fireflies 7/26
50) Watch a sun set 8/25
51) Build a Lego city
52) Create & play a new board game
53) Go to a fair/carnival 8/15
54) Go fishing
55) Play video games mom vs. kids
56) Go to the library
57) Play charades 7/10
58) Watermelon seed spitting contest 7/16
59) Play a game of kickball 8/16
60) Write a story together 8/9
61) Have a water balloon fight/toss 8/26
62) Cookout/BBQ with friends 8/25
63) Visit 3 Metro parks 7/5
64) Play mini golf
65) Bury the boys in the sand 7/6
66) Put puzzles together as a family 8/12
67) Make a soda fountain
68) Dinner by candlelight 7/8
69) Go for a boat ride 7/21
70) Go strawberry picking 6/18
71) Fly paper airplanes 8/2
72) Melted crayon art
73) Pie eating contest 7/10
74) Have our faces painted 7/20
75) Play Pictionary
76) Go on a treasure hunt/ Geocaching 6/29
77) Go skating
78) Paint rocks 7/21
79) Go to the Dairy Queen 7/18
80) Roast hot dogs on a stick 6/30
81) Go to a water park 7/11
82) Visit a farm 6/18
83) Run through the sprinkler
84) Visit the fire department
85) Try photography (everyone gets their own disposable camera) 8/25
86) Play croquet 7/5
87) Go out to breakfast in our PJ'S 7/9
88) Visit the Detroit Zoo 7/31
89) Make sundae 7/21
90) Make our own mini beanbags
91) Volunteer
92) Build a birdhouse
93) Walk a nature trail 7/21
94) Teach the boys to play Chinese Jump rope 6/6
95) Create & run an obstacle course
96) Make "Sponge bombs" and play toss with them 7/9
97) Race in a foot race 6/1
98) Stay up late watching movies 7/24
99) Dress up and put on a play/skit 8/14
100) Make root beer floats 8/2
101) Cool Summer Hair Cuts 6/4
102) Complete a whole coloring book in process
103) Make a Summer Bucket List scrapbook (include pictures and journaling)
~Julie

Monday, May 27, 2013

Crossing off the bucket list and having a blast

The boys and the bucket list :)


 By the way, when we got home, the whole display had fallen, so we have to figure out something else...

This weekend, we went down to Toledo (#1 on our list) to see both my parents and Jason's family. The boys had an absolute blast!!
 




 At my mom and dad's on Saturday, we had a small birthday celebration for Alex, and had homemade cookie cake and homemade ice cream! So yummy! Mom and I took the boys for a walk and we all just visited for a few hours. We spent the night at Jason's parents and spent Sunday over there just being outside and hanging out. Ethan and Alex played on the playset, went swimming for a little while and just ran around. Saturday night, before bed, the older 2 learned to ride the mini-bike! They got quite good at it, and Alex likes to go FAAAAAST! We got to see Jason's sister, Madison and her bf, Rob. Jason's brother Jeff came over with our niece, Jocey and she played with the boys for a while. The 4 kids and I took a little walk.

 My father-in-law, Joe, and Jason decided to tie a kite on the mini-bike and the boys got it going pretty good and it was flying. Pretty cool :) (thinking of counting that as #11 ;) )

For the most part, our weekend was really nice. We got home late last night, and were up early this morning for Alex's cub scout parade for Memorial Day.



#51 - done!


Tomorrow is going to be a long day, with Jack having his (minor) surgery tomorrow, and we didn't go bowling over the weekend, so I'm thinking since Jas has class Wednesday, I may take the boys bowling sometime after dinner - the kidsbowlfree.com coupon we have for our local bowling alley is good on Wednesday from 6-9pm.


Check out The Happy Family Movement for more bucket list ideas and info!

Behind on pictures!

I was just looking through a bunch of photos I uploaded, trying to find a couple from today, and realized I never shared the ones from Alex's first Communion! My sister managed to get a few good ones at church and I got a couple there and some fun ones at the party after.

You can barely make him out but that's Alex standing by the cross

Ethan :)

Jason, Alex and I






All the First Eucharist students with Deacon Dennis and Father Chris

Deacon Dennis, Alex and Father Chris

Jack didn't want to sit still for this one ;)

Finally a great picture of all 3 sitting together!

Alex, Jackson and Ethan

And...we're off!

My nephew Jake, reading to Jack (my dad and sister Heather are there too!)


Ethan had to sneak in to the picture, and I love the look on Jack's face here.

Jake, Jackson, Dad, Mom and soon-to-be BIL Matt

My beautiful (slightly) older sister, Heather Jean

Dad (Gale), Mom (Linda), BIL Matt, and his daughter (niece-to-be ;) ) Megan

Miss Julie!!! Matt's other daughter, another new niece-to-be, Ashleigh, and Ethan

Ethan and Miss Julie's nephew

Heather and Jake

Being silly ;)

Tired after a LONG day!


Here's some cub scout pictures too.




flag retirement in the winter

Alex at Blue and Gold
Dad and Alex
Dad H (Joe) and Alex

Getting his awards at Blue and Gold
Awards :)

More pics to come later!








Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Bucket List 2013 - Hamer Style ;)

If you follow us over on FaceBook or Twitter, you saw me post earlier this week about a summer bucket list and The Happy Family Movement!

I've been putting ours together with a little input from the boys, Jas and even our cub scouts Fun for the Family book! We have 100 fun things we are planning to do over the summer, starting THIS weekend!

Without further ado:

Our Summer Bucket List 2013 - Hamer Style!
(in no particular order)


  1. Visit Toledo 5/25-5/26
  2. Play charades
  3. Make ice cream sandwiches
  4. Read-a-thon - read aloud book(s) with everybody taking turns (cub scouts 3P) Didn't really take turns reading, but mom read aloud from a chapter book. We never did finish it :(
  5. Cookout with friends
  6. Dance party
  7. Go to Jungle Java
  8. Technology-free day - Boys pick activity for the day
  9. Pajama and movie day with snacks
  10. Catch frogs
  11. Fly a kite
  12. Obstacle course (cub scouts 5L)
  13. Puppet Show
  14. Play cornhole
  15. Money games - Monopoly/PayDay (cub scouts 2K)
  16. Watermelon seed spitting contest
  17. Celebrate the Date (cub scouts 1B) - Moving to a Fall activity :)
  18. Go to the beach
  19. Heritage party (cub scouts 1I) - Fall activity, due to planning :)
  20. Story Creator - write a story by taking turns adding to it (cub scouts 3R)
  21. Tour Morley Candy 
  22. Go to the library weekly - after school is out only made it once so far, but we did get a ton of books :)
  23. Make homemade sorbet 
  24. Go fishing
  25. Catch fireflies
  26. Make "recycled robots" 
  27. Make your own pizzas
  28. Picture scavenger hunt - use pinterest for inspiration on lists/ideas, can be nature, or in a city, even around the house!!
  29. Make - or paint - suncatchers 
  30. Drive in movies - Field of Dreams Drive-in or Ford Drive-In (Find one near you here
  31. Lemonade stand - here's some cute printables 
  32. Have a garage sale
  33. Make tie-dye shirts
  34. J's baptism - hopefully first Sunday in July!! (also satisfies "church visit" cub scouts activity 3B) - moved to later in the year
  35. Water "sponge-bomb" fight 
  36. Try a new restaurant 6/2
  37. Visit River Raisin National Battlefield - check out free National Park days for a park near you! - Fall activity:)
  38. Kids' Workshop at Home Depot June 1st - Lawn Mower Pencil Holder 9am
  39. Kids' workshop Home Depot July 6th - Despicable Me 2 surprise craft! 9am  - missed this one due to a trip to their grandparents :)
  40.  Banana splits/ice cream sundaes 
  41. Play Simon Says
  42. Go to Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival missed this one :(
  43. Nature Honor - grow a small flower/plant (cub scouts 5J) - moving to spring :)
  44. Go apple picking - Fall activity :)
  45. Make chalkboard paint and make individual chalkboards for each boy
  46. Face paint
  47. Go to a Farmer's Market
  48. Go bowling - up to every week!! Check out kidsbowlfree.com - 2 free games for each kid, every day at a nearby bowling alley from now till September, plus a family pass available for sale for up to 4 adults (not necessary but if you want to bowl with the kiddos, it's a great deal)! went twice so far but hope to go a time or two more before the end of summer.
  49. Star Wars movie marathon - all 6 may end up taking a few days to complete with littlest.
  50. Family campout in backyard (cub scouts 3D)
  51. Memorial Day parade (and cub scouts potluck after) (cub scouts 3H) 5/27
  52. Make homemade doughnuts 7/7
  53. Backyard Angry Birds - some great inspiration on pinterest
  54. Build a city with blocks
  55. Make sidewalk chalk/paint and draw all over the driveway Never made the chalk but we did have a cool looking driveway ;)
  56. Go to the Detroit Zoo or Toledo Zoo
  57. Visit the DIA
  58. Picnic
  59. "Hamer" family reunion
  60. Hide and Seek
  61. Go to the playground/park 5/27
  62. Treasure Hunt (Geocaching) - tried, but no luck so far
  63. Family Game Day/Night (cub scouts 2F)
  64. Water gun fight
  65. Make S'mores
  66. Play Sardines
  67. Have a bonfire
  68. Go swimming 
  69. Take a hike at Stony Creek Metropark or Wolcott Mill Metropark
  70. Visit Michigan Adventure 
  71. Go to Tons O' Trucks - June 1st 10am-1pm
  72. Watch fireworks
  73. "House upon a rock" - build a sandcastle (cub scouts 1K)
  74. Play mini-golf - Jason took the two older boys :) We did go a second time and Jack enjoyed watching us play.
  75. Go on a bike ride (cub scouts 4a)
  76. Wash the van/truck together ;)
  77. Paint rocks
  78. Star-gazing
  79. Make a butterfly feeder
  80. Watch the sunset
  81. Make a name-book (cub scouts 1o)
  82. Baseball game - Detroit Tigers or Toledo Mud Hens
  83. Ice cream truck
  84. Build a fort
  85. Family restaurant (cub scouts 2d)
  86. Play in the rain
  87. Carriage ride - next summer possibly, with Mackinac Island
  88. Go to Mackinac Island  - moving to next summer possibly, due to constraints
  89. Play a card game
  90. Collect shells
  91. Fudge from Mackinac - next summer with 87 & 88
  92. Neighborhood pixie (cub scouts 4n)
  93. Finger paint
  94. Make cookies
  95. Video game tournament
  96. Make mini-marshmallow guns
  97. Guess who? (not the board game!) (cub scouts 2h)
  98. Make a pool noodle race track and race cars
  99. Pillow fight
  100. Adventure Time marathon 
Pictures to come later of our bucket list "cards", if blogger will let me upload some pictures!

The boys are excited to do this, so even though they have about 3 weeks of school left, we are starting this weekend with 1, 48, and 51. Talk about a great start to a fun summer!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's up with us

Monday, I took the older 2 boys in to their for their annual check-ups. A is healthy, his eyesight is great, he's about 63 lbs and 4'4" and in the 73% for both height and weight. He's happy and well-adjusted (which I already knew ;) ). E is also very healthy and has good eyesight. He's about 71 lbs and 4'7" and in the 33/34% for height and weight. She predicted that if he stays on this growth pattern, he'll probably be about 5'9" so average. E will be 11 at the end of July and has been having more mood swings - on top of his behaviors, meltdowns, etc due to his frustration and anxiety and generally, his Asperger's Syndrome, which we've been working with him to try and find some better coping skills - so I asked her if it's possible he's starting to hit puberty and she confirmed that it is definitely some of the "issue". Other than that, he's doing good. She checked both boys' cholesterol due to family history and while A's is fine, E's is a little high - 175 is what they watch for and his is 185 and his triglycerides are 120 rather than the normal 100 or less. We just did the quick finger prick test though and rather than put him through more blood work, we are just going to revisit it in a year and monitor him, since most likely it's hereditary vs. diet-related.

We did get a referral for A for his very dry, itchy skin. The poor child is constantly itchy, but no rash or anything and his hands will get so dry they look chapped. Nothing ever seems to help and now, the back of his hands are a darker tone than the rest of his arms! Hyper-pigmentation, she called it. She wants him to see a dermatologist to see what they recommend to prevent it from getting worse and to help relieve the dry and itchiness. E is also going to see a dermatologist for his arms. He's always had these little bumps, like acne on his upper arms and our ped thought it was keratosis, but after looking at it again and seeing him scratching it incessantly in her office, she's wondering if it's molloscum. Either way, we may be able to get him some relief. E is also going to see a neurologist for the first time. We've never had a referral for one before but I've always heard other parents talk about EEG's and other testing for children on the spectrum. She thinks they may also be able to give us some ideas for self-coping skills and maybe some sensory or other type therapies! I will do anything to help E succeed in the classroom and socially! He is such a sweet kid and deserves it.

A has finally seemed to settle down some in the classroom, not talking AS much ;) but he did get his "questions" today. I'm really proud of him though, because he's trying so hard to make progress with his behavior and not interrupting, etc. He's been really trying to help out at home too. A is a good kiddo.

Baby J has a dr appt Friday with an orthopedic surgeon. He's getting his left thumb looked at finally, since he can't straighten it at the knuckle and hyper-extends it where the thumb meets the hand. He compensates but we want to rule out any other problems as well as see why it's this way. 2 more weeks till his surgery.

On top of all that, Baby J and I helped out at the book fair yesterday and today, Jas and I have an appt tomorrow, A has basketball open gym Friday after school and then the weekend is jam-packed. Jas and A have an all-day spring fun day with cub scouts and then the pack meeting is Sunday! Jason starts college on Monday night!!! I can't wait for summer for the boys to be home during the day, so we can just lounge sometimes, and find some neat stuff to do this summer. I've got to get our summer bucket list made up!


Julie says... ;)

I'm going to continue where Crystal left off, school fundraisers. I'm all for them, if they are being done correctly. They are a great way to raise money for our schools and teams, but I think we lose sight of why we do them and how we do them. Some places seem to be taking things a little too far. Our school used to do your usual bake sales during concerts and parent teacher nights. No longer is the day of after school bake sales, it's an everyday thing. The administration realized that they could generate more funds by targeting our children during school hours, when parents aren't there monitoring what is being bought. They started doing "Terrific Tuesdays", where the kiddos could buy an ice cream sandwich during lunch. After learning that technically they weren't suppose to be selling unhealthy treats in the cafeteria due to Michelle Obama's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFK), so they moved the sales to into the hallway. Seeing how successful the treats during lunch were they started adding more days "Wonderful Wednesdays", "Fantastic Fridays". We now have treats for purchase 5 days a week during lunch hours. Ranging in price from a quarter to $2, your child can buy (depending on the day) cheese filled bread sticks, nachos/pretzels and cheese, cookies, ice cream, freezer pops, chocolate covered pretzels, cupcakes ,or brownies. Approximately 75% of students are buying these treats EVERYDAY. The students (as young as kindergarten) are throwing away their healthy lunches for the chance to be first in line to get the "good stuff" before it's sold out. There is the still the order form fundraisers, chocolate candies, pizza kits, cookie dough, candy bars, and pies.
I remember when I was kid doing maybe one candy sale a year. There were wrapping paper, cards, and holiday themed novelties to be sold also. Whatever happened to hosting a car wash to raise funds for new uniforms?! When did everything start revolving around food?
There are so many non-food related fundraisers. Why not sell a school cookbook (I still have a much used one from when I was in elementary school). Parents/grandparents (or the kids) pay a small fee to have their recipe featured in the cookbook and then the school sells completed cookbooks. They could even have the journalism class do this. School store are great, they shut ours down because they sold candy and chips. What about selling pencils, pens, cool folders, fancy erasers, and notebooks. I know my boys are always losing theirs. Kids are competitive, hold penny wars between classes; whichever class gets the most change earns extra recess. Post pictures 2-4 good spirited teachers (whom have agreed to this) and whichever teacher has the most change in their jar gets pied by the teacher with least amount. You don't have to even have them pied the "winner" could have to wear goofy glasses, hula skirt, fake mustache, or purple hair for a day. Who wouldn't have loved to see their principal wearing a neon pink wig?! My favorite is doing a 5k or Fun Run, this can be done on the school grounds. It gets the family out doing something together and it gets people moving. Top runners get their picture on the cover of the school paper. How about silent auctions? These can be done along side concerts, sport events, conferences.
Some healthier food related fundraisers, holding a school wide spaghetti dinner twice a year (and do a silent auction the same night). The kids get to enjoy a meal with both their family and with their friends. Set up a fruit stand to sell healthy snacks before school or during lunch. At most schools there is usually leftover hot lunch meals, why not sell them a la carte.
I really bothers me how food seems to be the center of everything. That if you sell enough cookie dough, you're class will win a pizza party. Food used as a reward, whatever happened to extra recess or class outside. That's a topic for another day.
~Julie

What fundraisers does your child/ren's school do? Do you support these fundraisers?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Rawr!

I do NOT like being told what I can and can't do. Watch me!! This mama bear is awake and won't be going back into hibernation. This isn't just about my boys either, it's about ALL of them, starting at our school!! How can we change things, or expect to make a difference if we don't even try?!? It's us against the world sometimes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight for what's right! It doesn't mean we should just give in, even if it's something simple like cupcakes in the classroom, or bake sales during lunch, or reading/writing during gym class instead of physical education! We have to take a stand, we have to TEACH our kids how to make good choices, so even when they don't always eat the best, they aren't ALWAYS eating junk!


It's not (just) about food dye. It's not (just) about too much junk food in the classroom and in the school(s). It's also about teaching the kids why certain food is better for you. It's about showing them where the food comes from and where we personally get it. It's about teaching them to appreciate the goodness that having enough to eat is and helping them put themselves in others' shoes, whether here in America or other, poorer countries. It's teaching them about local foods and farmers and sustainable living (to an extent) as well. Why not have a garden and greenhouse at the school? The students could learn so much. Science, as well as math (measurement for planting, counting for the youngest when collecting foods) and even reading and writing could be used and taught with a garden. The food grown could be served in the cafeteria. Home economics (if they still even teach that?) to show the kids some easy cooking skills. A gardening club for anything above and beyond what each class does. So many things to help learn and eat healthy all at the same time.

It drives me absolutely nuts.

The school "fundraisers"... don't even get me started on these.

I'd write more, but I have to pick up E and Alex up from school and take them to their doctor appointments. Nothing serious, just a yearly check-up and some questions concerning E's behaviors. We are looking for some suggestions and maybe therapies and/or medicine to help him cope better with certain situations. So I'll end here with a final thought from something I shared on my personal FB the other day: Don't give up on changing the world. If we all keep going, and pushing, and moving forward, we can and will make a difference. Even if we are only one person. Even if nobody hears or cares right away, just keep trying, keep reaching for your goals.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 1 of a 30 day challenge - Where am I starting?

So, in case you didn't know yet, I am now an Independent Team Beachbody Coach, or fitness coach. Not a trainer, or a nutritionist, but just someone to give you support, accountability and a little help to reach your goals. I will listen if you're struggling and cheer you on as you work towards your goal. I can help you find a workout program that will work for you that will get and KEEP you motivated.

The best part? I'm on the journey to getting fit, losing weight and getting healthier, too! I'm right there, where you are. Weekly, daily ~ heck, HOURLY ~ I struggle with making good choices for my health and body, whether it's with food or exercise, or just making sure I go to bed at a decent time so I'm not tired and crabby the next day!

I'm starting this journey, not only by becoming a fitness coach so I can help people, but by being in a 30-day challenge to work towards a goal and get healthier, with tons of support and accountability. (If you're interested let me know via FB or comment here on this post. I'm planning to hold my own challenge group starting in June. We can talk and I can get you more info on what it all entails :) )

So where exactly am I starting?

Well, in all honesty, I started out weighing 187, down to 179.5 after 2 weeks on last Friday. However, after not making good food choices 3 days in a row, I stepped on the scale for an accurate, beginning weight for the challenge and was a little disappointed with myself. I am currently 183.5.

My measurements are as follows:

Chest: 43"
Right Arm: 13.5"
Left Arm: 13.5"
Abdomen: 41"
Waist: 43"
Hips: 43.5"
Right Thigh: 24"
Left Thigh: 24.5"
Clothing Size: 14/16 pants, XL/18 top
Starting Weight: 183.5

I'm drinking ShakeOlogy for breakfast each day, and starting workouts. HipHopAbs and Rockin' Body are the two DVD programs I'm doing. I plan to update these each Monday, so I can see my results!

If I can figure out how to add pictures (it's not working right now :( ), I will share my before pictures today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Julie's testimonial about artificial food-dye

Anybody who knows me pretty well knows that I am always ranting (HA!) about food dye and why it's not good for us, etc. Today, I want to share a guest post from my friend Julie. This is her family's story and just one more reason I know I'm doing the right thing for my boys. :) If you follow us on FB, then I'm sure you have already read it, but I wanted to share it on here, too.

*Guest post, by Julie*

Before this past January I really never gave much thought to artificial food dyes or the effect they had on our bodies. I had heard tid bits about red 40 and yellow 5 & 6. The brighter and more colors, the more likely my kids would eat it, and they did.
I chose to try dye free for a week to see if it would help with some behavioral problems I was having with my son. He had been having an increasing hard time focusing in school, almost no impulse control, extreme mood swings, and was only getting 3-5 hours of restless sleep a night (which probably contributed to his mood swings). Many of his problems were possible side effects to his ADHD medication. He was diagnosed in kindergarten (4 years ago) with ADHD and promptly put on medication. The medication worked wonders, and when it didn't then his dosage or medication was switched. However it seemed the meds have stopped working and his doctor had started talking about my son having more than ADHD going on, because he was out of ideas of what other meds to try.
I had shared with Crystal some of what was going on and how I was at a lose for what to try next. I really didn't want my child diagnosed with a life altering label. She challenged me to try removing artificial food dyes for a week and to look into how food dyes effect behavior. Over the weekend, I looked into it and was first shocked then angry. There was so much research about the link between ADHD and dyes and hundreds of testimonies from parents. How could I never heard about this?! I couldn't believe there was a alternative to medication, and how could our doctor never offer this as alternative before he had me give my 6 year old pills. I decided it was worth a try, at this point I felt I had nothing to lose.
That Monday school was closed due to extremely cold temperatures. I told me kids we were doing an experiment and that we weren't going to have anything that had a number in the ingredients for one week. I didn't tell them what results I was hoping to see. They helped me box up all the foods that had dyes. We went shopping to restock our cupboards and they actually had fun reading labels and finding new foods to try. We were all surprised my how much stuff has dyes.
I was nervous about how they would do at school when I wasn't there to monitor what they were eating and about them feeling left out at snack time. The teachers were very supportive and had dye free alterative that I sent in.
Three days into the challenge I saw the first sign of improvement! My insomniac child fell asleep only after and hour of being sent to bed and slept all the way to morning!! I was so excited, but still cautious that it may have been a fluke. The following days he continued to fall asleep easier and slept through the night. His teacher told me that he was more on track than he had been in a long time. At home little things that would have sent him into a tailspin didn't seem to phase him. The other boys had also calmed down, had more impulse control, and better ability to handle their emotions resulting in less arguing amongst them. My son's eczema had started clearing up. The changes weren't only with the kids; my migraines were gone, I had more energy. When I slipped up and had a Mt. Dew, I would get a killer headache and would be more irritable and short with the kids.
Seeing the results removing dyes has made for us, we have chosen to stick with it. It didn't turn me boys into perfect little gentlemen. They still bicker and argue, the still run through my house and are loud; but they aren't completely out of control anymore. We have been dye free for just over 3 months. I know there are other reasons to avoid artificial dyes, but Crystal will have to elaborate on them she is more knowledgeable than I am on the topic.
I also commented with the following challenge in my comment to her FB post: Thank you so much for sharing, Julie!! I'd love to hear from any of our readers, too. 1.) Would anyone be willing to take up the challenge for a week (or longer?!) and go dye-free? or 2.) Are you already dye-free and can you share your testimonial here in the comments? ~ Crystal