Saturday, May 24, 2008

Please use EXTREME caution this summer!!

Many of you may know but some may not know the story of my sweet niece Chloe's. Click here to read why these 2 articles touch so close to home for me. In the past 2 weeks I have heard many of my own students talk about riding on their parents lawn mowers and it just makes me cringe when I hear them talk. I have implored them to NOT ride on the lawn mower because it is just so unsafe. They know about Chloe and the accident, so I use that as my visual for them.

My father in law used to work as a lawyer for Snapper (lawn mower company) and he would represent them in court for cases where there was physical harm done to someone. He has seen first hand what can happen when precautions are not taken when using mowers.

So, I ask you to read these articles, seriously consider these recommendations and take action. I write this post because I feel compelled to warn others of the danger of allowing children remotely near lawn mowers of any kind. For your children's sake, please teach them proper safety measures when it comes to lawn mowers!

"The power lawn mower is one of the most dangerous tools around the home. Each year, approximately 68,000 persons with injuries caused by power mowers were treated in emergency departments. More than 9,000 of the people hurt were younger than 18 years. Older children and adolescents were most often hurt while cutting lawns as chores or as a way to earn money.

Lawn mower injuries include deep cuts, loss of fingers and toes, broken and dislocated bones, burns, and eye and other injuries. Some injuries are very serious. Both users of mowers and those who are nearby can be hurt.

To prevent lawn mower injuries to children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
Try to use a mower with a control that stops the mower from moving forward if the handle is let go.

Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.

Make sure that sturdy shoes (not sandals or sneakers) are worn while mowing.

Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins. Use a collection bag for grass clippings or a plate that covers the opening where cut grass is released. Have anyone who uses a mower wear hearing and eye protection.

Make sure that children are indoors or at a safe distance well away from the area that you plan to mow.

Start and refuel mowers outdoors, not in a garage or shed. Mowers should be refueled with the motor turned off and cool.

Make sure that blade settings (to set the wheel height or dislodge debris) are done by an adult, with the mower off and the spark plug removed or disconnected.

Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.

Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.

Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.
Lawn mower-related injuries to children are relatively common and can result in severe injury or death. Many amputations during childhood are caused by power mowers. Pediatricians have an important role as advocates and educators to promote the prevention of these injuries.

Each year in the United States, approximately 9,400 children younger than 18 years receive emergency care for lawn mower-related injuries. Although most of these injuries occur to older children and adolescents, about one fourth are to children younger than 5 years. Males account for approximately three fourths of these injuries. Ride-on mowers and other power mowers account for 21% and 23% of pediatric mower-related injuries, respectively. More than 7% of pediatric mower-related injuries require hospitalization, which is approximately twice the hospitalization rate for consumer product-related injuries overall. Amputations and avulsions account for 7% of pediatric mower-related injuries. Power lawn mowers caused 22% of the amputation injuries among children admitted to one regional level 1 trauma center. Additional details regarding pediatric lawn mower-related injuries are available in the technical report available online.


Young children must not be allowed to play in or be adjacent to areas where lawn mowers are being used. Children younger than 6 years should be kept indoors during mowing.

Children must not be allowed to ride as passengers on mowers or to be towed behind mowers in carts or trailers. They should not be permitted to play on or around the mower when it is in use or in storage.

Children should not operate lawn mowers until they have displayed the necessary levels of judgment, strength, coordination, and maturity. They should also be educated in mower operation and safety and be supervised by an adult before they are allowed to operate a mower by themselves. Most children will not be ready to operate a walk-behind power mower or hand mower until at least 12 years of age or a ride-on mower until at least 16 years of age."

Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention, 2000-2001


"With spring around the corner, it will soon be time to trim the lawn, but spring also marks the onset of what Johns Hopkins Children’s Center (where Chloe was treated) specialists call lawnmower injury season. Lawnmowers can cause devastating injuries in children and are the leading cause of amputations in teens, Hopkins Children’s experts warn.

'Every spring and summer we see children so badly injured by lawnmowers that they need amputation or extensive reconstructive surgery,' said Rick Redett, M.D., director of reconstructive and plastic surgery at Hopkins Children’s, Maryland’s designated pediatric trauma center where the most severe cases are treated.

Many more children with less serious injuries end up in local emergency departments, Redett said.

Each year, lawnmower accidents send 9,400 U.S. children to the hospital, causing injuries more severe than any other tool or device, research shows. The most common injuries are lacerations, fractures and amputations of the fingers, hands, toes, feet and legs."

Most injuries occur when a person operating a ride-on mower is unaware that a child is behind the mower and shifts into reverse, backing over the child.

Of the lawnmower accidents seen among patients at Hopkins Children’s between 2000 and 2006, 95 percent led to amputations and required reconstructive surgery.

Hopkins Children’s experts offer the following prevention tips:
Keep children under 6 years old indoors while a power mower is in operation.
Don’t allow a child under 12 to use a walk-behind mower.

Keep children under 16 off ride-on mowers, even with a parent.

If you are mowing and see a child running toward you, turn off the mower immediately. Children can fall and slip into the blade, especially if the grass is wet.

Wear protective goggles and close-toed shoes when operating a mower or when near one.

Before mowing, clean the lawn of debris such as sticks and stones, which may get caught in the blades and propelled out.

If injury occurs, call 911 right away and apply pressure to the wound to stop bleeding while you await an ambulance.

Buy mowers with a no-reverse safety feature that requires the operator to turn the mower around instead of shifting into reverse.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Praying for the family of Steven Curtis Chapman

The Steven Curtis Chapman family - Maria is on Steven's lap

I read the news today on another blog and my heart was immediately saddened for the loss of this precious little one. Words cannot express what SCC and his music have meant to me during my teen years. He was ALL I listened to. He is such a gifted singer and songwriter and he has touched me in so many ways. I can only pray for he and his family that they would experience the Grace and Peace of the Father. Losing a child is never easy, no matter how old. Please be in prayer for his son as well. I can only imagine the emotions this dear family is having right now. Won't you join me in lifting them before the throne of Grace?

From Steven Curtis Chapmans Webpage
NASHVILLE, TN...5/21/08... At approximately 5pm on the afternoon of Wednesday May 21st, Maria Sue Chapman, 5 years old and the youngest daughter to Steven and Mary Beth Chapman was struck in the driveway of the Chapman home in Franklin, TN. Maria was rushed to Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital in Nashville, transported by LifeFlight, but died of her injuries there. Maria is one of the close knit family’s six children and one of their three adopted daughters.

More than five years ago, Chapman and his wife MaryBeth founded The Shaohannah’s Hope Ministry after bringing their first adopted daughter, Shaohannah, home from China. The ministry’s goal is to help families reduce the financial barrier of adoption, and has provided grants to over 1700 families wishing to adopt orphans from around the world. Chapman is a five-time GRAMMY ® winner and 54-time Dove Award winning artist who has sold over 10 million albums and garnered 44 No. 1 singles.

You can send your love and ondolances to the Chapman family HERE.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Concert of the Year - Kenny is the MAN!

So two weekends ago, my mom, sis Kari and I had our yearly trip to see THE MAN, Kenny Chesney in concert. Except this time he came with some pretty big names on his Poets and Pirates tour. The concert was held at M&T Stadium, home of the B'more Ravens. It was an ALL day thing!

Me and Kari - We were totally STOKED about being there!!

Me and my momma - Kari and I have gotten her hooked on country music!

They were calling for rain this day but as you can tell there isn't a cloud in the sky! Ha,Ha Weatherman!! Self portraits are GREAT!

Leanne Rimes was pretty good. She sang some of her older songs. She has a great voice!

Gary Allen - I didn't know who he was until he started singing "I'm just sitting out here watching airplanes..." Good to put a face and name with a song!

This is BIG

And this is RICH!!
They were both really fun - a great pair of entertainers! Quite the BIG personalities for sure!

Brooks and Dunn were great as well... except that Kari and I had to enjoy them from the hot dog line... that was 4 miles long and moving at a snails pace. Finally we got "dinner" (and I use that term loosely!) and made it back to our seats in time to hear their last 2 songs! Oh Well!!

Yes, it is dark outside... this was an ALL day concert folks! Doors opened at 1:30 - it started around 2:40 - and we didn't get out of there until nearly 11 pm!! We are SUCH the partiers!!

Then there was my poor momma! She fell on our way into the stadium and landed on her wrist. So there she sat, during the WHOLE concert, with an ice pack on her arm! I tell you what people, my mother is a TROOPER! And she loves her some Kenny so she was NOT about to leave for some silly hand - which by the way was fractured as was her elbow! LOVE YOU MOMMA!

Finally the man of the hour came out!

To quote Toby Keith --- "Hottie, he's a hottie!"

We had such a good time together for our girls day out! The day was beautiful, the music was AWESOME and the company topped it all! Thanks Nanny - wish you were here to enjoy it with us. As for you Kenny, we'll see you next year!!

American Idol Winner!

Ok folks... now I normally don't post about the TV shows that I'm watching even tho I'm addicted to LOST and lovin' The Office... but after tonights American Idol finale I feel as though I need to put my 2 cents in.

First off, there were parts of that 2 hour show that were seriously painful for me. I mean really, is there any need to stretch it out for 2 hours??? I get the whole "let the final 12 sing together" thing but good grief... some of it was completely cheesy! I did however actually enjoy Jordin Sparks singing as well as George Michael, believe it or not! He still sounds good after all this time.

But the highlight of the 2 hour show was seeing David Cook - who quite frankly is THE MAN! - win it all! Was there ever any doubt about the winner? Not for me or my sister (check her out here) He has such a great voice and is just an all over nice guy. I look forward to hearing an album by him - Sorry Archuleta I wouldn't buy yours!

My faith in AI has been restored because after the win of Taylor Hicks I thought for sure I'd never watch it again. Blake (last years winner) and David Cook have made it all better for me!

Just thought I'd share!!
PS. David looks MUCH better with more facial hair!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Strawberries and "cream"

Abraham and I found a low-cal yummy dessert that he and I BOTH like. Last night, when daddy wasn't home we got strawberries and cut them up. Then we put Reddi Whip on them - YUMMMMMY! Abraham thought it was great fun when I squirted the whip directly into his mouth! That was quite the sight. :)

Tonight we had the same thing. I also had made banana nut bread with our 2 week old bananas. Michael helped himself to a piece of the bread, put some "cream" (as Abraham calls it) on it and sat down on the couch.

Here is the conversation between Michael and Abraham that followed. (Background knowledge for this: Even when he has just finished his food, if you sit on the couch with something he thinks looks good, be sure he will attempt to and WILL be successful at mooching it from you!!)

Abraham - "Share your cream daddy?"

Michael - "You want me to share my cream with you?"

Abraham - "Ok sure. Thank so much daddy for sharing!" (said with eyes wide open like he had found gold!)

Oh my head! He is SO his momma's boy when it comes to sweets! Gotta love him!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Since my mom, sister and I spent the Saturday before Mom's Day together (more about that to come!), I had the whole day on Sunday to spend with my boys. Michael and Abraham took me to Outback Steakhouse for lunch. Yummy! We NEVER go there - pretty pricey if you ask me. But it was a special occasion of course! I had grilled shrimp, chicken and veggies. It was incredible!

Then we went and walked around Barnes and Noble for a little while until it was nap time. I got to open my present when we got home. The boys had spent time painting me this beautiful picture while I was gone on Saturday. I don't know if you can tell or not but I can very distinctly see 2 sets of handprints - my big "boy" and my little boy! What a sweet token of their love for me! I'd much rather have something like this than some big, expensive gift. I am beginning to understand it when my mom would always say she loved the handmade gifts the best. I agree Momma!

Thank you Michael and Abraham for showing me how much you love me and appreciate me! I love you too!

Check out this picture from 2 Mother's Days ago - 2006! Both pictures were taken in our car!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Island Life Giveaway

Can I just say how much I love new jewelry? I LOVE NEW JEWELRY!!! When I am asked about what I want for bdays or holidays, my standard answer is "I don't know but any jewelry is good!" JEWELRY is a girl's best friend...along with Target and Starbucks! ;) Island Life's Kailani has a new post up about a jewelry giveaway that is out of this world!! This week up for giveaway is some pieces by the fabulous and famous Twisted Silver (which I absolutely love...Go on over to her place and check out the giveaway - and the Twisted Silver link.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Family Pictures are like... pulling teeth!

Literally, like pulling teeth! Neither of my men really ENJOY having their pictures taken (surprise, surprise!) but today we went to Picture People and used the last of the free sheets I had on my club card. Our photo session lasted about 25 minutes or so before the little one decided that he had enough. The photographer was fantastic and kept his attention really well. You'll notice that in 2 of the pictures Abraham has his new yellow Mustang from Mimi in his hand. There was no putting it down. I managed to get it out of his hand for one picture - much to his dismay! So both men lived thru the "torture" and came out unscathed!! These are the ones that we bought today.

I really do like Picture People. They have great deals and are always giving away sheets - their coupons are everywhere! I highly recommend them for pictures of any kind.

5M4M Finalist!!

Well, much to my surprise the picture that I posted on 5minutesformom was chosen to be one of the top 15 pictures... out of 300+ pictures! There were so many amazing pictures and stories of moms that I didn't even give it a second thought. But I made it!!

So if you'd be so kind - go on over to 5M4M and vote for your favorite "Motherhood" picture ... hopefully it is mine!! I could sure use that $1000 gift card!! :)

Thanks a million!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

PA family visits

This past weekend my relatives from PA came down for a visit. It has been a while since they have been here to visit so it was a nice time. My grandfather, his girlfriend, my uncle and my great aunt all spent 5 days at my mom's house. We got to spend time together on Saturday in Havre de Grace. The weather was gorgeous so we walked the promanade along the waterfront and had lunch in town. These are some of the pictures from our day.

Walking on the Promanade in Havre de Grace - It was a Gorgeous day! Great Aunt Hazel, Mom, Pat and Pap

Gdad with his boy - I LOVE this picture of my men!!

Alex on a cannon at the Concord Point Lighthouse. It is hard to believe he will be 7 this summer! He is growing up too fast!

Abraham at Concord Point Lighthouse

Me and Abraham at the Concord Point Lighthouse - he wouldn't sit still!

Gdad and his girl, Chloe. Chloe will be 5 this summer and will be going to Kindergarten next year. Such a big girl!

Dad, Alex, Mom, Great Aunt Hazel

Great Aunt Hazel and me

Kari, Uncle Scott, Pat and Pap

Abraham and Chloe being entertained with coloring!