Friday, November 30, 2012

Fat Rolls On Babies Are So Cute!

Babies are so cute.  Their wrinkles and cute fat rolls are darling on them.
I have found they are not so cute on me though!
Join me in my journey of weight loss and my
attempt to look less like my cute, little Josie and
more like a woman.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Write Your Menopause Story

Years ago, I had a vision for a book and I am hoping you will help me complete that vision.  

I need you – your menopause story.

The years of aunts, grandmas, cousins, and friends getting together and talking about the change in women’s lives is gone.  That is where this book comes in.  I am hoping that we can all help each other with words of encouragement, honesty in our struggles, and ideas and solutions that helped you in your journey into post menopausal womanhood.
Please email me you experience with menopause, perimenopause, or a loved one that went through menopause.

These are the people that can write a letter for the book:

  • Women – your experience, your family’s experience
  • Men – a male point of view of menopause
  • Children – how was it when your mother went through the change of life
  • from any country

Email me at  for more info.

I have lists of questions and ideas to help you write your story.

This is your chance to help someone else.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

An Early Grave

After having five children I had retained about 10 lbs extra from the last three. Getting pregnant with my sixth with so much weight on from the start and then getting put on steroids – was more than I could conquer.
The busyness of life and stress kept me from losing the weight I had gained from all six and the steroids.  The day finally arrived that I said to myself,

I am valuable.
I am needed.
I am worthy of time and effort.

I want to live long.
I want to sing songs.
I want to live a life worth living.
Nothing with stop me.

Nothing will slow me down.
No boundaries, only tall fences that I will build.
No limits to what I can do.

Choices worth making.
Chances worth taking.

I will not go to an early grave.
I will live an active life with my family.

I can’t do it alone but I will if I must.
There is strength in numbers even if there are two.

Learn. Research. Challenge my ways.

I will never be the same.

For more on how I lost over 60 lbs, go to my online magazine

Sheri Smith for President Part1

Sheri Smith for President! 

That is right folks!  I’m throwing my hat in the ring for the most prestigious job in the country and one of the most influential in the world. 

What makes me the perfect candidate is the fact that I do not want your vote.  I know this sounds like a contradiction but it is not. 

I am really running for president but have no desire to win. 

That is why I am the perfect candidate.  I can take the issues at hand and not be influenced by your donations, lobbyist, or big business.

As I began teaching my children about government and American History, I realized my lack of knowledge in this area.  By entering the race to be president, it will make my family have to discuss and research local, national, and world politics.  We will debate, discuss, and persuade each other over topics that are of the utmost importance.

I invite you to join me on this quest for a better understanding of our rights as American citizens, the political processes of our country, world politics, domestic affairs, and how to run for office.

So, this is step one in my quest to become president:

 I officially announce my candidacy for President of the United States.

Step Two:  We form a committee to see if anyone is interested in my candidacy.  Cast your vote by leaving a comment and the letter of your choice.

  1.             Sheri Smith is crazy.
  2.      .      I am going to join Sheri Smith in her quest for more knowledge.
  3.            All of the above.  (This is what my husband voted!)

Sheri Smith for President -Part2

Sheri Smith is a woman that feels anyone and everyone can and should make a difference in our neighborhood, city, state, country, and world.

Sheri graduated from high school in southern Wisconsin. She joined the Navy and served her country proudly for over three years as a Spanish linguist. While in the Navy, she met her husband, Shae, and fell madly in love. They married and decided to have a child, which was the start of their now full home.

Her love for people and education spurred Sheri to make the decision to run for president. Her desire is to educate her children, family, community, state, country, and world on the foundations of government and the responsibility of every citizen and immigrant to be knowledgeable in these areas.

Sheri feels that people need to be more educated in the voting process and the basics of government. Through posts on this blog Sheri hopes to bring a light into the darkness of political ignorance blanketing our country. She has so much to learn herself, so she desires to take the country along with her on this long journey of increasing wisdom about the democracy we live in and the world governments around us.

The following are the requirements, according to the Constitution, to become a president of the United States:
  • One must be born in the U.S., or both parents must be citizens of the U.S. if born abroad.
  • One must be at least 35 years of age.
  • One must have lived in U.S. for at least 14 years. If these are to be consecutive years, has never been specified or challenged.
Below is the portion of the Constitution which lays out these requirements:

US Constitution, Article II, Section 1
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

 (update: obviously Sheri didn't win the 2012 election and wasn't even on the ballot - but there is always 2016   Watch out Hilary!)

Hard Holidays Ahead

Holidays with pain and suffering seem like no holiday at all.  The usual prospects of fun, parties, laughing, and playing vanish as the reality of struggles and sorrow loom ahead.
How can we overcome this?  How can the holidays be a time of joy in the midst of difficulties?

Take each moment captive.  Every minute and every situation can be made individual.  Instead of lumping the entire day together or trying to take on the entire Christmas season and all of its stresses and joys, take one circumstance and try to deal with the positives and negatives of it.

We not only take each circumstance separately, we do not take the emotions from one situation and let it bleed over into the next.  I take a deep breath and try to differentiate between emotions from one problem and the next.  Is this emotion from an earlier dilemma or is it from this moment?


The day may look like this - 
Kids wake up grumpy
Ill family member has a hard morning
Maybe you don’t feel your best
Something spills
Something breaks

It is important to take each problem and separate it from others.  Often times I find myself taking out my frustrations on a loved one or the frying pan when neither was to blame for my emotions.

When we do respond harshly to someone we love or even someone we don’t like and our harshness had nothing to do with them, we can apologize and begin again.
So, one bit of advice for you that I have had to apply for many years of having a husband in pain is to take the day one breath at a time.  The holidays are not about presents, parties, and panic-

The holidays are about love, inner peace, inner joy, and remembering how blessed we are to have a God who loves us so much.

If you don’t get the cards off, or buy all the presents you had planned – it is OK.

Simplify each day, each emotion, each action, each holiday.

Love Story - Chase

The way he looks at me, with that sparkle in his eyes.  

I can tell the fire in front of the love is just a disguise.  

He finds a way to pick on me to show his love. 

The look, I can feel from across the room as I run to hide.  

The chase is on – all fun and games – with jokes and laughs to follow.

A love story can be written on paper but is better lived through the day.  

The looks, stares, touch, and laughs are the way to draw near.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Travel Tips for Families part 1

We took our kids off road to the top of a mountain in Utah!
Our family has always enjoyed traveling.  My husband and I have been known to be adventurous, so heading out on the road full-time in our camper was not a surprise to many who knew us.  So, after three years on the road, I would say I am an expert on traveling with children. 
I would like to share some of my ideas to help your travel be more pleasant, educational, happy, peaceful, exciting, practical, and affordable.
Starting off our trip in 2008, I had five children ranging in age from 15 months to 16 yrs old.  Two weeks after our house sold I got the confirmation that I was pregnant with number six!  So, I may be able to help you out if you travel pregnant!
Preparation is one of the keys to a good trip.  But, there are times when we have no time to prepare for travel and adventure - so do it anyways!  Enjoy what you can, forget the rest!
Preparation can make a trip much more enjoyable and easy but the lack of preparation should not make you feel guilty or disappointed.  At that point, when you have to be more spur-of-the-moment, make the choice to enjoy yourself no matter what.  That positive attitude will transfer to your spouse and children.

Hopefully you will have time to prepare before you head out, whether it be for a day or a month, or like us - since 2008!  Thinking of the little things will help everyone have a more enjoyable time; a positive memory instead of one that is wrought with arguing, discomfort, and chaos.  Which, by the way, I have had plenty of those!
Some basic things to think about:
  • Full children are happy children.  Actually, that goes for husbands, too.  Bring plenty of snacks and food along.  Try to limit sugar as their car seats are difficult to contain a wild child.
  • Bring tons of water.  Everyone can have their own water bottle.  Everyone in our family has their own stainless steal water bottle that they are responsible to carry.  Of course, this excludes the young ones.  The camel backs are also quite handy.  They hold water in a backpack that has a tube that comes over the shoulder and a nozzle to drink out of.  This is quite handy.  They can get expensive, so price shop these.
  • Eat protein for breakfast, before heading out.  It will help give everyone the energy they need.  Garbage/junk food just makes for grouchy, wild children.
  • I take vitamin b-12 under the tongue to help me with stress :)
  • Saltine Crackers, the wheat variety, and peanut butter are great to bring along.  Just remember plates, napkins, and a knife.  I try not to pack anything sticky, like fruit cups or applesauce; it is just too much mess.
  • For more food ideas check out my book, coming out soon, about traveling with kids.
  • Bring two extra sets of clothes per person.  Make sure each has a warm set and cool set.  A couple extra pairs of socks.  We all have our own sun hat that covers our ears.  It keeps our sunblock usage lower.  I don't like putting any extra chemicals in our body, if not necessary.  Now, I'm not saying I don't use sunblock, I do, just only when necessary.  Usually a sun hat make a huge difference.  Sunblock is essential for those situations where clothing will not be enough coverage. 
  • We always carry a set of rubber boots for each person so we can jump in any random river or lake we come across.  If the water is cold the boots help keep out the cold water.  They are also great in mud.  If you can't afford to buy rubber boots for everyone, at least bring a set of flip flops for everyone.
  • Pack a picnic blanket that is not made out of material that things stick to it.
  • Find a small notebook for each child.  I don't like to have my kids run around with sharp, long pencils, so crayons or short colored pencils work great.  If you don't have a small notebook, just staple together paper and write their name on the front.  I encourage them to draw what they see.  It is a great way to get them looking out the window and learning to appreciate what is in this amazing creation.
  • If going to a friend or relatives home it is always nice to come with a gift.  All the kids can draw pictures on the way and then present them to the friend or relative.  Is there a gift unique to your home area?  Sometimes we crochet a washcloth on the way to give to anyone we visit. 
  • We always go over the rules that pertain to the place we are going.  Whether it be a museum, park, relatives, national park, hiking, biking, four-wheeling, or swimming, we discuss what is safe and unsafe, appropriate and not, how to act and what they can do.  I always end it with the rule they cannot break, no matter what, or they have to sit in the car (not really) - HAVE FUN!  They always laugh when I tell them that rule.
  • Is your camera charged?  Extra SD cards?  Cell charged?  Do you have your video camera along with extra tapes/sd cards? 
  • Send a picture text to friends and relatives of your family enjoying where ever you have gone.  It is nice to always include others in what you are doing.
More ideas will be added on this page soon.  Check back.
For a full list of supplies, idea, recommendations, and advice for full-time travel, purchase Sheri's guide to travel with a family, coming soon.

Breast Feeding Gold Medal

I have been nursing 172 months.  That is almost 15 years and that figure will keep going up as I continue to nurse my little guy, Tytus.



I have been married 254 months.  That means I have NOT been nursing only about 7 years of my 21 year marriage.

What does that mean? 

A few things:
1. I am an expert nursing mom.
2. My breasts are not mine.
3. My breasts have been big for most my marriage and I will have to buy all new bras when I stop nursing.
4. I have to do a lot of chest exercises to lift my chest.
5. I have had the privilege of feeding six wonderful children the best food available to them.
6. I have a much less chance of getting breast cancer.

What about nursing in public?  Do you eat in public?  I am not embarrassed to nurse anywhere at anytime.  My shyness, timidity, and desire to please others will not come before my child's health.  I eat in public, so will my children.  I do try to be discrete and sensitive to certain people who might be unsure or embarrassed about my nursing, but I will not stop because of their issues.  Sometimes I might leave the room and other times I can't so they will have to make adjustments if they don't like seeing me nurse.

I believe we can be a beacon of light to the people who are against nursing.  To do that, we should continue to feed our children where ever we need to but with thoughtfulness to those around us.

The benefit of nursing is so great for mom and child that I can't imagine why not to nurse.  Other than medical conditions, I see no reason for a mother to not nurse her child.  It is time consuming, it isn't always convenient, and it is humbling at times - yet - the health benefits for our child must come before our own comfort, convenience, embarrassment  or any other reason a person might not nurse. 

Sacrifice for our children is one of the most heroic actions a woman can take.  I was in the military during the first Gulf War.  I was willing to die for my country.  Yet, I am even more willing to die for my family.  This is not a physical death but a death to my selfishness - a death to society's crazy thought patterns.

I am more alive today than ever.  I find more fulfillment in my days as a mother and wife than I ever did single or working outside the home.

I am woman - hear me not roar....purr.