Reflections: The Camp Fire

I clearly remember that day. I was headed to Marysville about a 30 minute drive from where I lived. I was rehearsing my lesson plans in the car as I listened to the radio. I remember questioning what I heard: a plane hit one of the Twin Towers? Immediately I called my husband Billy to tell him…
Eighteen years later, a similar situation…Last Thursday, I was headed to school, a different school. The sky looked ominous, dark clouds and a red sun. I called Billy, who was helping our son Liam get ready for school. He agreed that it appeared to be another fire. However, this wasn’t just “another fire.”
This was the beginning of the Camp Fire, which has leveled the town of Paradise and significantly damaged the towns of Magalia and Concow. At the point of writing this blog post, it is at 50 % containment; approximately 146,000 acres damaged, 11,862 structures burned, 52,000 have been evacuated from their homes, 71 confirmed deaths; and 1,000 unaccounted individuals. The Camp Fire is being called the most destructive wildfire within this century.
Our town of Chico is within a 15-20 minute drive of Paradise, so many evacuees have arrived here. Over one thousand are residing in shelters. Hundreds are parked in parking lots through town- Walmart, the old Toys R Us, and our mall. Some are residing with friends and family. We personally know 11 families who have lost homes. With over 7,000 households displaced, Chico’s housing market falls significantly short. Some are estimating that only 800-1,000 households can be accommodated. It is the problem on everyone’s mind, and it will likely take years to fully address it…
What does it look like when a national disaster happens in your area? I offer my perspective to my friends who live outside of the area:
1. From the moment you wake up, you turn on the morning news for the latest Camp Fire updates.
2. You check Facebook for updates on your friends and family. It’s peppered with posts such as these:
*Expressions of thanks that homes were spared
*Pictures of land where homes once stood
*Gofundme accounts started by loved ones
*Pictures of the missing
*Posts of the helpers-encouraging others to do the same
3. You feel compelled to help: collecting items to donate, hosting families, volunteering at shelters, cooking meals, and giving funds to relief efforts.
4. You feel guilty about not being able to do more. The loss is overwhelming.
5. Your festivity is restrained this holiday season. I have a home to decorate, so many don’t…
6. You are encouraged by the helpers (as Mr. Rogers used to call them). You thank God for their ability to put love into action and for their knack to think outside of the box for creative solutions.
7. You resist the temptation to be stuck. The scope of the situation is overwhelming, but you are motivated to do SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
8. You don’t sweat the small stuff. You catch yourself complaining about petty things, and then you feel ridiculous for doing it.
9. You pray for evacuees, first responders, angels of goodwill, and officials as they search for solutions.
10. You resist the blame game, realizing now is NOT the time to point fingers. There’s just too much to do….
With God’s help, we will rise from the ashes. Paradise may be lost, however HOPE is not lost… Butte Strong!
***By the way, the image below was created by the design team at Fifth Sun. When I attached the image, I had not inquired first whether I could use it. I contacted Randy Cook, owner of the company, and he has graciously agreed to my using it here. Please consider purchasing a Butte Country Strong t-shirt! All proceeds got to the Camp Fire victims, and to date they have raised over $69,000!!! Here is the link to order:
To gain a clearer picture of the devastation, please click the links below:
Whether you live in the area or not, there are ways to help out! Please clink the link below! Thank you for your contribution!
A special thank you to all the first responders! We can never thank you enough!

How to Foster an Attitude of Gratitude in Our Children

I always feel very convicted this time of the year—I know that I should be more grateful for what I have. It is very easy to take all that we have been blessed with for granted.


Can you relate?


We feel guilt because…


*We know there’s people throughout the world who would give anything to have what we have—shelter, food, loved ones, etc.


*Innately, we know gratitude helps us connect to others. Whether we are showing      gratitude or receiving it, we feel supported and a sense of community…


In fact there’s research to support the latter. According to the article Seven Ways to Foster Gratitude:


In 2006, psychologists Nansook Park and Christopher Peterson conducted an analysis of parents’ descriptions of their children’s strengths—and found that gratitude had the strongest relationship to life satisfaction.


In fact the article takes it even further: gratitude determines adult success.

Recognizing the importance gratitude plays in our lives, we must instill an attitude of gratitude in our children.


  1. As parents, we need to model and intentionally teach gratitude. Our children are watching us. Are we thanking the checker at the grocery store? Are we sending notes or texts when a loved one gave us a gift? Are we doing something special out of the blue for someone who helps us out? That’s the modeling. The teaching is explicit. For example at Christmas, you might say: “Your grandma gave you such a thoughtful gift! What should we do for her to show appreciation?” Sometimes they will come up with ideas. Other times you may need to give suggestions and have them choose.



2. Spend quality time with your child. When we truly appreciate someone, we do our best to focus on them. Not being constantly tied to our phone is a start. Asking your child about their day and really getting to know them as a little person is also important.


3.Support your child’s autonomy/individuality. Be authoritative yet democratic in your parenting style. Help them become their best version of themselves. Provide opportunities for them to nurture talents and strengths. Limit all screen time, so your child’s energy can be channeled into developing other talents.


4. Help them discover ways to use their talents and strengths to show gratitude to others. Maybe they are very introspective writers. They may write a beautiful letter of appreciation to a friend. Maybe they love singing or playing a musical instrument, so they play a song as a “thank you” to a relative. Or, they could be crafty, and choose to create a token of their appreciation.


5.Focus on the intrinsic goals. Help them key in on how their heart feels. Do they feel warmth towards a person who helps them? Help them brainstorm ways to show appreciation as mentioned above. Once they show their appreciation, ask them how they feel about it? Focus more on those innate feelings than extrinsic things-physical things they may receive.


6. Encourage them to look for opportunities to help others. Teach them to kind and inclusive on the playground, to speak up if someone is being bullied, and to be the student their teacher and school staff can count on to make good choices.

7. Help your child discover what matters to them; a cause. Even as children, they can make a difference in their community. Maybe they want to donate their toys to a shelter. Maybe they have a passion for the environment, and they choose to recycle. Or, maybe there’s an elderly neighbor who needs help with yard work.


When parents and teachers apply strategies such as these, our children begin to form a sense of gratitude. Gratitude shouldn’t be seasonal. It should be something that is “caught” and “taught” explicitly.  When children have a sense of gratitude, they feel supported and a sense of community. Thus, increasing their chances of living a fulfilling, successful adult life.


For 32 concrete, scientifically- based strategies for encouraging gratitude in children, check out the book:


Making Grateful Kids







Our Progress Report: 60 Days on THE Gel

This is the third blog post in our series about THE ONLY homeopathic, FDA registered HGH (human growth hormone) Gel on the market! The Gel has COMPLETELY transformed my life and the life of my husband Billy! The following is a brief summary of the benefits we have experienced already…


Heather:  (43 years old, active, healthy)

Increased energy from the time I wake up about 15 minutes BEFORE my alarm clock goes off until my head hits the pillow at night.

Deeper sleep.

Less flare ups from pinched nerve in my neck. (Pinched nerve is from being rear ended twice.)

Hormone balance- even mood, less bloating. Less clots, less pain/minimal cramps. Don’t need to take prescription pain medication or even ibuprofen!

More regularity.

Less water retention.

Even mood.

Better focus.

Increased muscle definition (though I’m working out less due to a busier schedule.)

Honeymoon phase is back! (Libido aka Gel-bido!)

Thicker/fuller hair.

Healthier/smoother nails.

Softer skin.

Age spots are fading.


Billy:   (46 years old, active, healthy)

Deeper sleep (and he’s snoring LESS! Yay, for me LOL).

Increased energy throughout the day. Increase stamina for workouts. (He’s running circles around our Labrador retriever  LOL).

Improved mood.

No brain frog.

Better muscle definition in arms and abs.

Increased Libido.


Now compare the benefits we are experiencing to the chart below….gelbenefits


We can’t even tell you how THRILLED we are with our results already! We can’t wait to see what’s next! We’ll keep you posted!!!

We can’t promise that you will experience the same benefits at the same pacing we have; however, we feel that this is too amazing of a product not to try!

You just never know!

By the way, if you would like any information about this safe, affordable, effective product, please comment with your email address, and I’ll send you some information. Also, if you’d like to hear the testimonials of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of women and men on the Gel, comment and let me know if you’re on Facebook. I can add you to the AMAZING testimonial pages!






Worth Waiting For….

In last week’s blog post, I shared about an amazing FDA registered product, THE HGH Gel, that has significantly helped my husband, Billy and me. The Gel has replaced COUNTLESS products that we were using to address a host of issues related to aging: fatigue, insomnia, hormone imbalance, and so much more! In fact, the Gel was formulated to address over 40 issues! I had planned to post our 60 day report on using the Gel in a video format, but I am having some challenges doing that. My hope is to get that figured out for next week’s blog post! The one good thing about postponing this blog post, is that I will have LOTS to share about the Gel as Billy and I are headed to a Gel conference this weekend! Please stay tuned!

As for this week’s blog post, I NEVER, EVER do this: I’m re-posting a blog post. This is worth revisiting as this is THE blog post that has received the most traction since I first published our blog. Interestingly, this blog post focuses on another life changing product…..


The Instant Pot-Is It All That It’s Hyped Up to Be?






Simplify Your Life: One Product, 40 Associated Benefits

Are you a product collector?



Does your medicine cabinet look like CVS threw up in it?



Ours did!


(Not our actual medicine cabinet, but a representation)


As my husband Billy and I have grown older, we’ve required MULTIPLE products to address a host of issues:  fatigue, insomnia, inflammation, tummy problems, poor mood, hormone imbalance, increased weight, etc.


Not to mention the superficial issues related to aging: wrinkles, age spots, cellulite….


We were spending HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS a month to feel our best, and the product line we used didn’t even touch the superficial stuff!


And, this previous product line kept adding new products: For optimal results, take these 4 products.


(By the way, “product layering” is quite common in the health and wellness industry. BE CAREFUL!)


Then we realized that we were going about things completely wrong!


We learned the reason we were experiencing poor sleep, fatigue, increased weight around the middle, etc. was most likely connected to our aging:  SPECIFICALLY, OUR DECREASING LEVELS OF HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE (HGH).



Watch this Dr. Oz video explaining the role of HGH in the body….



We had been trying to treat age related issues WITH MULTIPLE “BAND-AIDS”!



We were thrilled to learn about A PRODUCT that literally goes to the source: the “mother hormone” (HGH), which is made within the pituitary gland!



THE GEL is in a category all by itself:


*One product with over 40 associated benefits



*It’s one of the few HOMEOPATHIC products that is FDA registered.  That means our federal government carefully monitors its production to ensure THE GEL has everything in it that the label says that it has in it.


*It also provides Thyroid and Adrenal support.


*It has been on the market for 14 years, and it has NO reported negative side effects or drug interactions associated with it.



**News of THE GEL is spreading quickly!


*One of the top oncologist/hormone specialists on the East Coast sells THE GEL at his practice.


*The 2018 Emmy bag contained THE GEL!



*THE GEL testimonial pages on Facebook boast over 300,000 members with amazing testimonies and pictures of their results!


***Next week is our 60 day anniversary on THE GEL! Billy and I can’t wait to share in next week’s blog post all the amazing benefits we have been experiencing.  To stay compliant, we can’t claim that you would experience the same benefits. However, you will never know unless you try it out!  If you are interested in more information, comment on this blog post with your email address, and I can email it to you!

It’s Okay

When you were young, what did you imagine your adult life would be like?





Does it resemble what you had hoped for?



Or, were you thrown some major curve balls?





Do you feel the sting of disappointment?


In your heart, you know that you have been abundantly blessed, but there was that one thing or maybe multiple things….


Every once in a while, you catch yourself crying.


Then you feel guilty.



“I have SO MUCH to be thankful for. I shouldn’t feel this way….” You tell yourself.



You push the emotions down deep and cover them with whatever positivity you can muster.


Did you know that it’s okay?


It’s okay to mourn for what you had hoped for.


I stumbled upon this Facebook meme posted by a good friend….



I needed this reminder, and I thought maybe some of my friends might too.


However, this isn’t just about the weeping for what we didn’t receive.


The second part of the message is even MORE important than the first part:


“Take a deep breath, continue to embrace the remaining journey of your life.”




It may not be easy, but it is what we must do….


As we enter this season of gratitude, I’ve decided to go back to journaling at least 3 things I am grateful for daily. I have a journal I need to break in….



One year, as a family, we brainstormed  all the things we were thankful for, and we wrote them on a pumpkin. We kept it as a centerpiece on our dining room table so we could see it daily. It was a powerful visual reminder for us!




We also offer prayers of thanks as a family. It is so important we model an attitude of gratitude for our children!




What do you and your family do during this season to embrace an attitude of gratitude?


We’d love to hear!