Monday, August 25, 2014

Things I recommend in Tyler

We left Tyler about 6 weeks ago, and while we love our new city, there are definitely things we miss! These are things I recommend to others living or moving there:

  • Brookshire's Park & Wildlife Museum. We spent lots of time here. The playgrounds (yes plural) are amazing, and my kids loved the animals as well! Best of all, it's free! Another great one is the Whitehouse Park- tons of shade & fenced in!
  • Caldwell Zoo. This place is amazing. We got a membership and went alll the time! We miss not having a zoo so close!
  • Colonial Hills Baptist Church Mother's Day Out. We loved this place mostly because of the teachers and the focus on Christ. The other things we liked were the price (one of the cheapest in town) and how laid back they are with certain things- potty training, pacis, peanuts, among others. :) They just were not freaked out about little things, which I appreciated. 
  • The worship leader at Grace Community Church. We loved other things about this church, of course, but because of John's schedule, we weren't able to be too involved. I just wanted to mention him, because he is so genuine and is one of the rare people with music AND teaching talent. (Usually it's one or the other, and I'm always thinking, "juuust play the music," when worship leaders start talking a lot; but not with him. He's great!)
  • Trimble Farms. This is where I got our raw milk, among other things. They have ground beef (grass fed), steaks, sausage, whole organic chicken, raw local honey, free range eggs, goat soap, homemade jelly & salsa. Bobby Trimble is a really nice Christian guy, and I miss their milk SO much! :( 
  • Drug Emporium & The Granary. If you are like me and are frustrated with the lack of healthy foods at decent prices in Tyler, check these stores out.
  • Dr Marc Langas. I didn't find out about him until a few months before we left, or I would have gone to him myself, but we did send our 2 YO there when he was having tummy issues and trouble sleeping. He's a chiropractor who also does nutrition counseling and muscle testing. Christian, super nice, super down to earth!
  • Cody Carter, DC @ Hembree Chiropractic. This clinic exclusively uses a gently chiropractic technique that anyone can be comfortable with. No cracking your neck! :) It works too. But if you go there, I definitely recommend choosing Dr. Carter.  
  • Larry Skylar, MMP. If you've never heard of medical massage, it is, in a word, amazing! I have been to 3 different ones now, and the technique is so different from just a regular massage therapist. They get you right at the pressure points, and get the muscles to release. So instead of massaging out a knot, they will press at the right point to just get the knot to release. It really is amazing. But it's for real medical issues and injuries, not a relaxing experience! It is painful, but if you are in pain, you will realize how worth it it is! Larry Skylar is the only one I know of in Tyler. $85 for one hour. If you are not in Tyler and want someone who will actually bring results, the certification is called "medical massage practitioner." It's the highest massage certification you can get.
  • Restaurants: Stanley's (best BBQ), Wok Box (best Chinese, although nowhere near authentic!), Villa Montez, Lago del Pino, and pretty much any Mexican food!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Discretionary Giving

I just wanted to share something that has been such a blessing to our family. While setting up our giving budget, we chose 3 organizations we felt led to give to continuously, one of those being our local church. And then we set aside one quarter of our giving budget for "discretionary giving." You've heard of discretionary spending, which means a section of your budget that's free to be spent on whatever you like. Well that's what we did with giving. It's so much fun! Each month, we have a set amount that we can give to whatever cause or need comes up. November is usually spent on Operation Christmas Child and December on adopting a needy family for Christmas. We can sponsor a child for camp during the summer or give to victims of natural disasters as they happen. Some more ideas and things we have done:
  • Given to a needy woman and her kids in the parking lot, wanting to buy dinner for them.
  • Given to a friend who was a contractor and had his trailer with all his tools stolen, along with his livelihood.
  • Given to adoption funds.
  • Made blessing bags to hand out to homeless people.
  • Did couponing to donate the items to a food bank.
  • Given to various other charities, including human trafficking prevention and pregnancy centers.
  • Given to family members' and friends' mission trips.
  • Called the electric company to pay one family's bill that was about to be shut off. (my dad gave me this idea, but we still have not done it!)
Some of you may be saying, "Well, I do this anyway. I don't need to set it aside in my budget, I just give as I see need." That's great. Maybe our personalities are just different. I purpose to set this money aside for God and to help others, and then I don't have to wonder if I'm giving too much or too little. We can increase the amount as our income increases.It gives me freedom, because it's organized, purposed, planned. :) (see my personality?) I just wanted to share in case it helped someone.

Kindergarten Plans!
click on picture

Friday, May 2, 2014

Open Letter to Doctors

(Disclaimer: My husband is a WONDERFUL doctor, and none of this would ever apply to him, of course. :)  )

Dear Doctor, 

I am paying YOU. While it may seem like the insurance company or the government is actually paying you, you wouldn't have any of that money if it weren't for ME. You work for ME.

You don't know everything; no one does. The sooner you're able to admit that, the better. The best docs I've ever been to are the ones who would look at research I brought in, who would do further research if needed if they didn't have answers on my condition, and who would give me studies to look at on specific topics. Don't treat your patients like idiots. Yes, many of them are idiots, but just because you disagree does not necessarily make the patient an idiot. The human body is so complicated, no person could ever hope to know everything about it. Furthermore, the studies coming out in medicine are so numerous, you would never have time to read them all.

It's MY body, not yours. I trust your advice, education, and experience for the most part, or I wouldn't be coming to you. But because you don't know everything (see above), don't discount my ideas or desires just because they are foreign to you. I know many docs may feel responsible for poor choices their patients make, but you're not. Advise and let your patients make the decision for themselves. Your job is not to force certain actions on the public but to give your expert advice when we ask. Along those same lines, I am responsible to raise up my children the way I think best, not you. Parent your own children. If there's no abuse involved, mind your own business.

Don't feel so threatened. Many doctors are threatened by questions, threatened by different views, threatened by natural doctors or natural methods, threatened by me asking for an additional test. I don't get this. How does it harm you? It's time for natural docs and mainstream docs to start working TOGETHER. This warfare does nothing but turn patients loyal toward one and antagonistic toward the other, which can only be a detriment to all involved (and the antagonism exists on BOTH sides). We, as patients, need both, and we need you to start being open-minded and working together.

If you can't find a reason or diagnosis for my complaint, explain that. Send me to a specialist or just admit you don't know or can't help. DON'T make me feel crazy, say it's all in my head, or suggest anti-depressants (unless there is a clear need, like, hmmm, admitted depression?) Be humble enough to admit that nobody knows everything. Admit that, and either research it more or move on. Don't be disrespectful.

Don't let other docs bully you, and DON'T gang up with other docs to bully your patients about a certain issue (pediatricians, anyone??) That's not your job. Have the self confidence to be yourself and act on your own convictions. 

-Your Patients

Thursday, May 1, 2014

PreK Wrap-up
Click the above pic.