Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What I Want You to Know About Empowerplus Supplements

J. Scott Wilson has introduced me to the fact that Q96 has the Empowerplus capsules that I am taking.  I was searching for a less expensive way to  use this all-natural supplement and I've found it!

His contact Info:
J. Scott Wilson
Or call The Q Sciences Success Team (385-374-6400)

Some Things I Want You to Know About Q96:

1.  Over a 4 day period I worked my way up to taking 2 capsules at breakfast and 2 at dinner.  Everybody is different.  This is a pretty normal dose though.  I avoided getting a sick stomach by eating a little, taking the capsules and then finished eating.  I was planning on going off of my psychotropic medications so I was advised to take the transitional support as well (basically amino acids to help build up again):  one at breakfast, one at lunch and one at dinner.

2. This product was formulated 18 years ago by Tony Stephan of Canada to help alleviate the symptoms of severe mental illness in his family.  The documentary done by Discovery Channel on Q96 on YouTube is very informative.  Today these capsules are used by thousands of people to help with five things:  coping, calm, clarity, confidence and connection.

3.  This may not work for everyone.  What I told myself when I started this was "natural supplements can't hurt me.  It can only help so it's worth the try."  I started to see my anxiety and panic attacks go away after a week and I'm hoping to see more help over the next year. Others have seen it start to work after a month or 6 months-up to a year.

4.  This is safe for children.  If they can't swallow pills there is a strawberry banana powder to put into smoothies.

5.  Micronutrient Support is a help line that has been in existence in Canada for 18 years and they helped over 100,000 people, safely wean off of their medications.  If you are taking psychotropic medications, do not do this alone or you may experience adverse drug reactions or withdrawal.  You must get help from you doctor or from this support to wean off your meds (866-397-3116 or  There is a $50/month fee, but most only need the help for one month.

6.  If you'd like to give someone a trial, please share the information I've included here.  If three of them end up buying product, you can get yours for free.  Please take a look around for  more information, products, testimonials and there is also business opportunity if you're interested.

7.  If you have any questions about Q96 call Scott.  If you have questions about my own experience than you can contact me or just keep coming back here--there will be updates.  Hoping that someone else out there will find answers!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Meds to Supplements?!?!

I've been nonexistent on this blog for a while.  I've decided that once Halloween draws near, a mother's schedule seems to speed up into a bit of a blur.  Thanksgiving is hiding right behind the pumpkins and Christmas carols, lights and lists of giving take over from there.  This is all certainly true for me but this year has been a little different as my anxiety has crept back in as well. I'm not really surprised  because I've been on the same medication/same dose for about a year and a half.

I find it interesting that psychotropic medications help once you get a great balance, but there is always the knowledge that at some point it will probably stop working for some reason or another and it will be time to tweak it a bit or try something new.

So, my husband and I began to pray.  That is always where we turn!  Our Father in Heaven has always lead us in the past and we knew he would again.

I was sort of expecting for guidance at the psychiatrist office; maybe I would receive inspiration on how to describe what I'm now experiencing so my meds could be corrected. But, I kept having the feeling we needed to visit with a friend about some supplements she started having her son take a while back.  The son was diagnosed with Bipolar and after a year of taking these new supplements is a whole new person.  He no longer has that diagnosis. It's been a miracle for them and I've stood on the sideline and watched.  I've seen him transform!

This families experience just kept coming to our mind.  It was no coincidence when my husband happened into their home for something else and found the mother and father there.  He set up a dinner date for the following week and we went.

We picked there brains about this Canadian company called True Hope.  It's been around since 1996 and is also known as Q Sciences.  They sell micronutrient Empower Plus.  These are nutritional supplements packed with a balance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that our bodies need.  They've been shown to be a mood stabilizer for many people that have psychotropic issues but also just plain out stressed.  What Mother or Father isn't stressed?!?! We knew I needed to try it.  Our only hang up was cost.  It's pretty handy to have insurance pay for Psychiatrist visits and only have copays for medications each month.

In our research and trying to solve our money issue, we came across the fact that True Hope Empower Plus is the exact same as Empower Plus-Q96 supplements.  We figured out a way to get the supplements and support for less money! (still learning more about this...details/links to come)

Can I just tell you right now that after just 7 days of taking these and still on my same medications I began to see a difference.  Remember I said my anxiety and panic attacks were creeping in on me again.  My moods were starting to control my days again.  I was probably feeling the chest tightening, hard to breathe thing a few times a day...having to turn to my Lorazepam (take as needed medication) at least a couple times a week.  In these 7 days,  I could see my panic, tight chest feeling hadn't been there.  I'm floored it began to work so quickly and after questioning the support staff have been told it's not uncommon for people to see results like that in the first 7 days.

The support phone calls that are available when you buy the supplements are helping me go off my medication now.  It's been 2 1/2 weeks and I'm now taking half of the medication that I was when I started.  It's only been 2 1/2 weeks!!!  I haven't really skipped a beat.  I'm feeling much better than I was.  Honestly I kept debating over and over whether I should wait to do this switch until after the holidays and then finally decided that really "it's never a good time" so I jumped in.  I did not expect to keep on with my daily routines as normal for a while.

So, here I am again just sharing a secret that I've literally been lead to.  Let me make clear that taking medications and receiving therapy have been a huge blessing in my life!  They have paid a huge role in leading me down a path of healing and help.  I just want to share the progress and experience I have with learning about a more natural way of receiving help now that I'm at a place that I can actually see through the clouds.  I share all this because it is therapeutic to me to hope that maybe someone else out there may benefit.  As I learn, I'll share many more details here.  Feel free to follow...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Swim in the Rain

A few Saturdays ago, I promised my kiddos that I'd take them swimming after all our jobs were done.  There was the regular "drag your feet attitudes" and "multiple reminders to stay on task" and so it wasn't a surprise when it took us all morning. What did surprise us was to walk out the front door and find rain!  The good old afternoon summer thunderstorm around here shouldn't surprise me anymore but I was not prepared on this specific day.  

Well, I dropped the swimming pool bag and decided we can "swim" in the rain!  I kept saying over and over..."come on, it'll be fun!"  The only one that was game was Allison--she has that personality!  That dear folks, is why I married her Dad!  She's her father's child!!!  Spontaneity is not foreign to those two people in my life for sure!

As I walked around in the rain with mascara dripping down my cheeks and yes, I was in my swimming suit in the front yard too, I thought about how I was a little sad that Spencer and Sarah got my more serious, rigid rule following self in them.  

I guess, what I'm trying to say is that I've learned over the years and still need to be reminded from time to time, that it's okay to "drop the planned swimming pool bag" so to speak and run around in the rain.  It's fun! It creates present living!

I find myself so wrapped up in my day to day schedules and planned out routines or even worse saying over and over again in my mind "some day in my next house, etc" that I forget that I can make things happen right now.  

Let me give you an example.  Ever since I was a little girl, I've dreamed of the mother I'd be and the house I would raise my family in.  One of the things I've always wanted in my house was a swing.  I've always wanted a unique, fun environment that my kids loved.  Can't even tell you how many times in the last 7 years (since we purchased our first home) that I've told myself "in our next home I'll hang a swing in our big extra family room we're going to have."  

I woke myself up about a year ago and realized, I can have a swing now.  It may not be in a big extra family room that I'd like to come in my future, but I have a perfectly good hallway where a swing fits just great.  We hung the swing!  Guess where all the kids and their friends hang out...that swing!  It's a little unique.  It's pretty fun.  It's that little dream I've had that I made happen.  I dropped my "planned out swim bag" and used "the rain" I have right now!

Thomas S. Monson said:

"Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today. Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present."

Dreaming and planning do bring me comfort, but as I've brought my dreaming to my life now and let go of my rigid planning a little, I've found even more comfort in my present home and in present moments as a mother and wife.

It makes me think of a quote from The Music Man:

"You pile up enough tomorrows and you'll find you've collected a lot of empty yesterdays."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

10 Years Ago...

the doctors place the sweetest little baby boy in my arms.  He was screaming and I just smiled.  I loved that sound!!!  I know what it was like to have a baby not cry...not have the strength.  I prayed for this!!!

Spencer's spirit entering our family has taught me so much!  He lives close to the Lord and is very sensitive to the Holy Ghost and it's promptings/comfort.  I often sit back and wonder how much I teach him but absolutely know he continually teaches me.

Happy 10th Birthday, Spencer Justin Kroff!  I know you're Dad is super proud that you not only carry his name but carry it well on top of looking just like him!

Thank you for being an example to your sisters.  Thank you for bringing a thirst for knowledge into our home.  Thank you for desiring to make good choices.  Thank you for being creative with a new idea or twenty every single day!

I love your piano skills, how you soak up any science book you can get your hands, you enjoy figuring out math problems that are way beyond your years, rules and keeping them bring you great joy, friends are super important to you, you're grandparents and cousins are part of you and you want to know where you came from--taking pride in your ancestry!

My very favorite times with you are kneeling by your bed at night and finding out all the wonderful and unique things on your mind.  I soak it up and love having you as my son!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Happenings

Spencer started his summer out with Cub Scout Day Camp.  He was lucky enough to take his Dad with him for a day out of the week :)

Allison started gymnastics for the first time and absolutely loves it!!!

We had no idea the strength and flexibility this little girl has in her!  Of course I don't have any good pictures of her actual performance but she's so fun to watch!

Our local library put on a carnival type grand opening to the Summer Reading Program.  Of course Alli adored all the animals!

We spent about 10 days in Utah with our family that we miss tremendously!  It's evident we enjoy this time because every time we get home we realize we lack photos of all the fun we actually had.  So, here's a few...Grandma Jennings spent time with us in the downtown splash stream/pad...

at the carousel and also the library.

When we drove up to deliver the kids to the Annual Kroff Grandkid Campout, Sarah jumped out the car to find these walking boots to greet her...she missed her Prader-Willi Syndrome Walkathon but Grandma and Grandpa were sure to preserve a slice of it for her!  She felt pretty special as she read notes on these boots that were left by those that donated to Prader-Willi Association in her honor.

A little skim boarding on the good ol' Virgin River!  Loved Westin and Bridger were willing to share their boards with us.  Good times!

Sand and Allison create hours of fascination!

Sarah caught a fish!

Justin turned 35 and we celebrated with breakfast and cake in Pine Valley with the Jennings...

...a hike with his brother, Steve, and his family. 

The kids made this tie for Justin on Father's Day!

Uncle Danny took us fishing!  Allison was lovin' it...didn't catch a fish but wants to go again :)

We visited Great Grandma Gurr and Great Grandma Jennings.

Justin got to go shooting with his brother, Danny, and nephew, McCoy.

These are just a few things that we did among family home evening with the Jennings when we got to swim at Aunt Heathers.  Visits with Amy, Ben and Chelsi.  Sleepovers with Bridger and Westin. We swam at Aunt Jocelyn's.  We got to watch Uncle Aaron and Matt play baseball...well Aaron coached anyway--catching up with Aunt Tami, Annie, Lacie and Jason on the bleachers.  We made breakfast with Becca and Emily.  We ran errands with Aunt Heather.  We hopped over to Aunt Camille's and Uncle Steve's.

We filled up our family tanks for a little bit anyway.  If we can't live by 'em we can visit 'em often :)

Clap Out to Summer

I'm enjoying Summer so much that I'm just now looking at photos we took when school got out.  Man, I love my kids!  I just feel so proud of them!  This little package of Nutella and bananas is what we handed out to their was super hard to say good by to these specific teachers this year.  Their teachers were a perfect match this time around!

Not a great photo but I love having Allison visit the big kids with me at their school.  This was Spencer's 4th grade Clap Out from Elementary School.  I cannot believe he's onto the big Intermediate School was Sarah next year!!!

I got to attend Spencer's End of the Year Class Party and his class buddies voted him as "Super Scientist" and "Best Manners!"  I don't know what would make me more proud!!!  That's my kid through and through!

Sarah was voted the Leader of the Pack for the last quarter!  That's a huge compliment!  I just love this girl to pieces!  She ended her year on a great note where she just loves spending her whole day now with her Special Ed Class.  Her teachers are so great with her!!!  We've had multiple little miracles lead us to this Class and she'll be in the same class with the same teachers next year.  We are so so so grateful!

Oh, can't forget that Justin's brother, Paul, came to visit during the last week of school.  He was here on business but we were thrilled to catch up with him.  Maybe thrilled is an understatement :)

The whole last week of school I just could not get off my mind that this was the last time that my little shadow of Allison would be hangin' out with me as I bounced between schools to be there for Spence and Sarah.  I'm really going to miss my little partner!

I've loved this new Elementary School!  We've gone through 4 different Elementary School and we just are so impressed with this one in particular.  We were touched at all they put into Spencer's Graduation!

This was Spencer's Class and Mrs. Perry...that we so love!!!

Spencer was honored with the Highest Science Award for his class, the Highest Arts award for his grade and also A-B Honor Roll.  So proud of this kid!!!  Glad he's creative and smart :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Alli the Preschool Grad

She did it!  She's all ready for Kindergarten to come!

Miss Lori's Preschool finished off a great year at Pump It Up! I love that Allison earned the "Most Independent" Award!  Suits her just right!

We have treasured Miss Lori!  This special daughter of ours has learned so much from her and we'll never forget these years of shapes, number, colors, beginning to read, the cutting, the singing, the dancing, field trips, robots and so much!

Now, Yeah for Summer!

Amazing Dishwasher Detergent!

Years ago I lived with my wonderful Parents-in-law.  I learned so many wonderful things from them but one thing I learned was how they struggled with their icky dishwasher.  So, now that I have a so called "icky" dishwasher I knew exactly who to go to.

My wonderful Father-in-law, Joel figured this Detergent out that takes all the water stains and buildup off of clear glasses. It comes in handy when you have hard water for sure. It also literally cleans the inside of the dishwasher too.  Lets just say this is a much better solution than getting a new dishwasher.

Just wanted to share:

Amazing Dishwasher Detergent

1 T. Borax
1 T. LemiShine (by all the dish washing options in grocery store)
1 T. Baking Soda
1/2 cup White Vinegar
Your Choice of Dishwasher Detergent (powder form)

You put the top 3 ingredients in the container with the lid (where you normally put dishwasher soap) and fill the rest with your choice of detergent and close the lid.  Then you pour the 1/2 c. vinegar just down in the bottom of the dishwasher before you start the load like usual.

Saturday Job Jars

I used to do the cleaning by myself--you know, when the kids were at school.  I'd do a my dusting on Monday, the vacuuming on Tuesday, etc. Don't get me wrong--the kids have always had daily responsibilities and one extra job they helped me with each day.

I just began to realize how overwhelmed I was feeling with my own responsibilities. I'm a full time piano teacher on top of everything else and just never was getting my daily cleaning jobs done which left it hanging over my head.

I made "the switch" to our Saturday Job Jars where we all clean together on one day!  It's so much faster, my kids are being taught so much and our house is completely clean all on one day--so nice!

So, this is how it works:

We each have one of these jars that I set in front of us at breakfast each Saturday. As we're finishing up eating I turn the fun music on and unclip that ring!  

We go youngest to oldest and pick a job and put it in our jar. When the jobs are all passed out...we hop to it!

The finishing trick is that Mom and Dad are the "Keeper of the Ring!"  You have to have your jobs checked by Mom or Dad before that job can be taken out of your jar and placed back on "the ring" (ready for next Saturday).

Our Jobs:

Dishes, Kitchen and Kitchen floor mopped
Shake the rugs
Clean all Mirrors
Vacuum Downstairs and Stairs
Vacuum Upstairs
Sweep Front Porch
Clean Toilets
Clean Sinks
Sweep Hard Floors
Mop Hard Floors
Clean bathtubs
Empty Garbages 

Here's a template for these jobs if you're rethinking your cleaning process...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Older Kids vs Younger

Allison is definitely the tail-end of the family.  I realized this week that she thought the book fair at the school was the actual "library experience."'s been a few years since this mom has taken her daughter to the library.

So, we went today.  We jumped in the car right after I checked my wallet to be sure I actually still had  a library card.  As we pulled up to the library, I hear from the back seat--"the library is a hotel!"

I just laughed.  My oldest two children would have had no idea what a hotel was and the third child has no idea what a library is.  Our life has sort of done a flip flop in the last five years, hasn't it?!?!

(6 years ago) Sarah 6 years old, Spencer 4 years old
I remember my other two finally realizing what McDonalds was when we were finally out of school and starting Justin's career.  I also remember having the experience a few years ago that I could actually walk out the door and go somewhere with the kids while Justin was at work.  The life with only one car and no money is quite different.

So, now we know what McDonalds is.  We know what it's like to go to the grocery store or run back and forth to the schools in a mini van but no longer know what its like to walk to the park and the library every day.  I treasured those days!

I'm starting to feel very sentimental the last few weeks as I see this school year coming to a close.  My baby is about to enter the summer before full day Kindergarten with us.  Very soon I won't have these quiet school days with her after Spencer and Sarah hop on the bus each morning.

I won't have a little shadow helping with laundry, painting my tile with nail polish, smearing bubbles around the kitchen while we do dishes, walking bare foot to the mail box, dancing around to Disney music, watching cartoons as she sits on the dog, starting a puzzle in each room and not finishing them, copying my yoga moves in her own way, begging for all the treats at the store, climbing in my lap (and on my head for that matter) while I teach piano lessons, swinging on the backyard swing while singing to the world, or hiding in the back corner of the pantry with a mouth full of marshmallows.  I'm really really going to miss this!

Allison--about to be 5 years old

As sad as it is that Allison didn't know what the library even looked like, I think she and I have lived it up the last five years!  It may be different then the little pre-Kindergarten years I lived with Sarah and Spencer but they've been great!  I so love being a mother.  I'm treasuring every moment I have with my little Allison being home with me!

I've had many people ask where my blog posts have been....that's where.  Waiting for another day when me and my Allison won't have these kinds of moments.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Donate to Sarah

May is Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month

Utah Prader-Willi Syndrome Association is our connection to the Prader-Willi World!
They have helped us in so many ways!
We may live in Texas but work closely with them.

They are having a Walk to raise funds in Utah this month.  We want so bad to help and our way to help from here was to set up a "Giving Page" for our girl.

We're asking all of you to please give just a little...this helps Sarah directly.

These funds help her with therapy, clinics, things like iPads for learning, camps, conference for us to learn and keep up with changes in the scientific world and more.

Easier with Awareness

This lovely month of May is Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month!  As I've been thinking about my part in spreading knowledge and fundraising, I've had my own thoughts about how people being aware of Sarah's Syndrome helps us.  So, I'm just going to share those thoughts of mine.

It's easier to be a parent of a child with Prader-Willi Syndrome when....

People like Emilee C. shoot me a quick text before an event at her house where there will be food.  These texts just simply state EXACTLY what will be served.  We are able to tell Sarah ahead of time what she can choose to eat.

Sarah 1 yr. old (drawn by Justin)
Jill W.'s of the world just jump in and start answering the never ending questions (that I've been answering all day long--11 yrs. really) when she's around.

Sarah 2 yrs. old
When the adults that Sarah tries to wrap up into giving her some type of food/treat not only say "talk to your mom" but add a little more help like:  "your food plan doesn't have that on it", "I heard your mom say no", "you already had one--no more", or how about a big old "no!"  (She listens to others better than me)

Sarah 2 1/2 yrs. old
I'm told I have more patience than he does by people like Gilbert J.  (If I hear it enough, somehow it makes me feel patient :)
Sarah 3 yrs. old
Mothers like Tasha B. teach their children how they can be a friend to other children with Special Needs.

Primary Teachers (at church) like Jake M. and Rick W. ask about bringing treats to class before it happens.  Also they help Sarah get along in the class with all those different personalities without involving us as parents....honestly so nice to not have to always be the problem solver.
Sarah 4 yrs. old
School Teachers like Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Merry have figured out how to use Classroom Fairies, Elf on the Shelf and the Easter Bunny to entice, encourage and make Sarah feel loved.

Sarah 5 yrs. old
I sit in my Mom's caregiver class and have another mother tell me she hates shaving her special need girl's legs and armpits as much as I do.

The Suzanne E.'s are willing to give Sarah her shots so I can leave over night with my hubby.
Sarah 6 yrs. old

Bishop Ginn will walk right down in the baptismal font and bend over backwards to make Sarah feel comfortable so her wish of being baptized can come true.

Young girls like Cristine E. will see past the many difference between her and Sarah and just realize they both have challenges, they can still be best of friends!

Sarah 7 yrs. old
People like Lisa T. have their own special need child but dedicate hours and hours to helping and supporting other parents and children across the nation with the same challenge.

Neighbors just smile or laugh when Sarah walks right into their house, yells down the street at them or thinks they speak Spanish even though they really don't.

Girls like Ellie B. are willing to hang out with my cute girl so I can take my other two children in peace to a party full of food and people.
Sarah 8 yrs. old

The bus drivers give you personal cell phone numbers just so you can try and prevent issues that arise in the early mornings.

Sarah 9 yrs. old
The Ben J.'s go one way down the circular halls at church so I can go the other and trap Sarah somehow and finally take her home.

Sarah 10 yrs. old
People like Jenny D. will let me call them and flip out about crazy expectation that a teacher has for this girl of mine.  Oh, and actually have real advice because her daughter has special needs too.

Friends like Holly B. send Sarah home with very large, very beautiful princess puzzles to keep her occupied.
Sarah 11 yrs. old, Spencer 9 yrs. old, Allison 4 yrs. old

Mothers like Jena S. set up play dates with their daughter and Sarah and make it successful by helping her daughter understand special needs

The Becky P.'s hide/put away food items when Sarah comes over.

They are Aware!

I've only mentioned a handful of people in our lives that are aware of us and aware of what Prader-Willi Syndrome is and how they can help.  We are just super grateful that there is support around us always!!!

Here's a little challenge...teach someone else what you the awareness!
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