Friday, February 27, 2009

Cora is Paid in full!

Cora paid in full
Well not really, but her delivery is!!!
They accepted my offer, funny that they did with the letter because when I called twice in the past asking the exact same thing they said no.

My letter writing campaign continues

remember this day? yeah its still not paid for...

We haven't had the money to pay for Cora's hospital bill yet.  And unfortunately they reported it on my credit. This is not good so I figured my other letter worked I thought I'd try again. This bill was bigger so I didn't try the "please forgive outstanding balance".
I mailed this standard mail and certified mail, so that when I called I would know that they did recieve it. When I called this morning I was actually taken seriously and and a supervisor is calling me this afternoon and according to who I spoke to they will most likely help me.  Man-- am I saying my prayers.
so here is the letter I wrote:

To whom it may concern:


I am writing in regards to my account with Medical Center of McKinney.  My remaining balance is 2151.37.  My husband has been out of work since October and it has severely affected our finances. That is why I have not been able to make payments on this account.


We will be getting a tax refund this year. I would like to settle this account. I would really like to know if there is anyway I can have the negative information removed from my credit. If this is not possible I will apply the money to other negative accounts that I have with other companies. I am going to apply this money where it will best affect my credit. I hope that it will be with you.


Please respond and let me know if there is any agreement that we can make in writing to remove the information from all three credit reporting agencies and I will be prepared to pay the outstanding amount in full.


Thanks so much for your time and consideration.


Janie Oyakawa

never underestimate a good old fashioned letter

Nana is coming today -

Thanks for posting this Haley it cracked me up....
and I thought it was appropriate since Nana is flying here today in a chair in the sky :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

OH come on Mom

little has really been blogged about lately... so here is some randomness for ya:

I am really feeling a disturbance in the force. I am missing Aunt Beth. See this is how it works -- My mom and I talk on the phone at least once a day if not three times - its our thing kind of like Terms of Endearment (see video below)
So I talk to my mom about any major event as it is unfolding, ya know flu, baby vomiting, baby falling on head outside, etc. Then Aunt Beth calls the next day to ask for the update on the current situation.  I find myself lately waiting for that phone call, and reminding myself there won't be a phone call.

you don't really need to watch this, its just one of my favorite movies and I love montages so I put it here.

Happy Mardi Gras - late... I consider Mardi Gras parade memories growing up in Louisisana some of the best memories ever. Once a parade went by our church on Sunday. They let us out of primary to go catch some beads. I know, I know but they couldn't stop us - we were climbing the walls and out the windows.  If you live in LA its not just like you see it on Bourbon street, there are a lot of family friendly parades - One day I'll introduce my kids to them and we'll all scream "throw me something mister" and I'll teach them the fine art of not getting trampled.
We did have our King Cake,
Maiya got the golden baby, and was declared Queen of Mardi Gras at our house. She enjoyed every minute of it!

Ella's class led the school in the Baker Blast off (a little opening ceremony they do each monday). I think she did a great job. Maiya LOVES going there and dancing and doing the pledge and such with all the big kids. 
I hate attendance awards, I mean what are we awarding here? Hey good jobs kids you happen to have better immune systems than your peers and/or your mom sent you to school sick. GREAT JOB? And to all the rest of you guys who caught the flu, your class lost the award because of you - feel bad.  its so dumb
Ella has a nervous thing about tucking her hair behind her ear when speaking in public

Can't hold on much longer. This is Cora patiently waiting ( I mean falling asleep) for me to finish with dishes and put her to bed for a nap. I felt mean stopping to take a video, but it was so dang cute.

Last week a bunny met its horrible end on the cross street by our house. I gave Benjamin and Ella permission to go see it. I officially became the "coolest mom" according to them because I let them walk up and look at roadkill.

Its all about the little things.

I didn't tell you this post would be in any understandable order

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It came !!!





The bottom line is that this can organizer is very easy to put together and its great that it is adjustable, you can change it as needed to fit all different things that you have in your food storage. My odd size things are peanut butter and madadamia nuts (Kyle's dad sends us a bunch from Hawaii each Christmas - YUM) It also works with Tuna cans - so very cool becuase those can be awkward. So for the price you can't beat the homemade version. But if you are not into the home project thing, this product is awesome and I wish I had it years ago in all of my smaller kitchens!

And right now its on sale!! Check it out here:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grandma I got a bump


Mom called you but you didn't answer :(

I think I am ok now, but mom is still breathing heavy

UPDATE -- I had one hand while bloggin earlier. What happened was Ella was pushing Cora in the stroller whilst I chatted with the neighbor. When she broke in to a jog 
I hollered at her to be careful which startled her and she swerved. The wheel caught the grass and the stoller flipped and Cora ate concrete (she was buckled and 
remained in the stroller kind of like a sad turtle). I had a heart attack while running full speed to rescue her. Ella remains devastated. I should'nt have hollered.
I needed Grandma to calm me down from the urge to rush to the emergency room or call 911. Luckily I calmed myself down and all are well sans huge ER bill.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My hero

This is not new information, the church has been teaching it FOREVER, but I have to say there is something about Dave Ramsey that has changed me for the better. He can do the same for you. Check out this video - he outlines the Baby Steps which are brilliant and simple.  Want even more encouragement? Listen to him - you can get streaming audio on 570 KLIF everyday from 1-4 or on the Radio 570 AM.  
Kyle and I are going to see him live next month and I couldn't be more excited. Well yes I could be more excited if I was on the last baby step :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Signs of the time

Some photographs I took on a recent solo excursion to downtown McKinney, a place I love

Empty seats and stage moments before showtime at the McKinney Performing Arts Center

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yes CJane my mom does read my blog...

And she gets me what I want!!!! The side swipe blade is on its way for my Kitchen Aid.

Man I love her. 

I remember growing up and shopping for clothes and there would be those times when I wanted BOTH cute outfits and she'd leave me to decide which one I'd take home. I'd fret and fret and finally pick one. Then she would go up to the counter and buy both. My mom is cool like that.

Bib on backwards because she is super-baby
"Hi I am the best book ever for moms!!!!"

So besides being grateful for my mom today I was just thinking how grateful I am for reading Babywise. I seriously think that they should give that book to all new moms.  
Cora naps 2.5 hours in the morning and 2.5 hours in the afternoon.  Today I was so grateful for that because I got a migraine that rocked my world in the all the wrong ways.  My head hurt so bad I lost my lunch - literally.  After puking my brains out I decided to lay Cora down early. I swaddled her, gave her a paci, laid her on her side and felt bad that she was really awake and not quite ready to go back to sleep. BUT SHE DID. And as I laid next to Maiya watching cartoons - I curled into the fetal position and thanked my lucky stars! Since Cora was so good and Maiya stayed by me and fell asleep too I was able to sleep off the migraine just in time to finish getting ready for Cub Scouts! Small miracle, since some of my migraines have lasted for days on end.

Oh one more thing to me thankful for....


I wrote a letter to one doctor asking her to forgive the remainder of my bill due to our financial situation. Well I got a call two days ago from the billing department. The woman said the doctor appreciated my letter and forgave the remaining balance.  Another small miracle.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

OOOOOOOooooooooo I want this

Shelf Reliance is having a recipe contest!!!

Here are the details:


At Shelf Reliance we’re fanatical about food storage! And why shouldn’t we be? We developed THRIVE, the best-tasting food storage the market has to offer. Because we know how fun and rewarding using food storage can be, we want to get you involved! Despite what some people may think, food storage does not have to be stowed away in dark corners. Really!


For all of you food storage lovers out there who understand the value of rotating your food storage and using it in daily menu planning, we have a recipe contest just for you!  We are looking for great tasting, nutritional recipes that incorporate food storage.


In exchange for your recipe, you will be entered to win one of following three prizes!




1st Place = One (1) Harvest Food Rotation System ($459 value)

2nd Place = THRIVE Fruits and Veggies Essential Package ($283 value)

3rd Place = Three (3) Cansolidator Pantry systems ($135 value)


To Enter:

1)      You may submit your recipe through email to

2)      You can mail in your entry to: Shelf Reliance Contests, 810 N. 2800 W., LindonUT84042



1)      All recipes must be submitted by Feb. 28, 2009 by 6:00 PM MST

2)      Multiple entries are allowed, but each entry must be submitted separately

3)      All entries must include the recipe name, number of servings the recipe yields, clearly understandable ingredients and ingredient measurements, step-by-step preparation instructions, and cooking directions.

4)      You must include your name, phone number, complete address, and e-mail address with each entry.



All entries will be judged by a qualified panel of judges to select (1) grand prize winner, (1) second place winner, and (1) third place winner. Recipes will be judged on taste, creativity, and practicality.


For all official rules and details, visit

Oh and here his how the swing is attached. The swing is from Ikea The swing endeaver prompted a new purchase. Kyle has needed a good drill for a long, long time. It seems like every project sends us borrowing one from someone. So with a little Consumer Reports research we found the best drill out there - curious?  Its this one Lowes had it on clearance. Man how we love saving money and how we love consumer reports. Seriously I think its one of the best ways to save money!!! 

Monday, February 16, 2009

For he's a jolly good fellow!!!

Dad installed a swing upstairs in the gameroom!
It is oh so awesome!
Valentine Parties at school
sweet big brother
sitting with the big kids
Patches the class pet
Ella the teachers pet
Playing tag with Benjamin
Ella climbing the tree - she was up higher than the neighbor's roof

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Poor Valentine's Days are awesome too

We did our V-day thing last night.
Had an in home date.
Here are the instructions:

Step one - One parents stays home and puts all the kids to bed. while other parent goes out and gets movie and take out
Step two - Enjoy dinner
Step three - Enjoy movie
Step four - got to bed early and enjoy each other, wink wink....

Wow I just made myself blush.

PS. I just included this song because it is awesome. It was on the soundtrack to Henry Poole was here - great movie, even better soundtrack

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What we do for fun

We feel better... finally. I don't have my voice back - almost but not yet. Meaning I can't quite yell at the kids yet :)
Yesterday we (me, ella and maiya) took a long bath. Because nothing feels better when you are sick than a nice hot bath right? And you know what is tons of fun during bathtime? Empy shampoo bottles. Ella had just finished off a bunch of travel sized bottles and we thought it was fun to suction them to our chins and act like turkeys. Well our fun left its mark... literally. I have circular hickeys all over my chin today. So if you see me don't make fun of me... too much.
This is how I found Cora living it up the other morning.

Ella said "I read her a page then I let her have a lick"
Oh, there are many benefits to being number 4!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I send emails that are way too long.

Kyle on the other hand is very precise and to the point.
This is an email that went out a few hours ago  

"Everyone in the Oyakawa house has the flu so there will be no den meeting tomorrow."

Its now 2:30am and Ella and I are up for more medicine and to compare who feels worse or who has gotten less sleep. I watched a Duggar marathon, not sure why I am fascinated by them. Probably that she has been pregnant so many times and I haven't once heard the words morning sickness come out of her mouth. Makes me jealous. I also caught the dateline about the Octupult's mom. I think I was bothered most by her ability to have her nails french manicured - when did she find time for that and who paid for it?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Penny Pinchers POSTPONED and I love my vacuum cleaner

thats it, unless you really want to come and talk saving money and possibly catch the flu

Wait I lied there is more, because it falls under saving money

testing was done at the Consumer Reports headquaters and ...
65 pounds of wood flour and 33 pounds of sand and talc later 
My vacuum wins again!!!
My Hoover Tempo Widepath on sale at Ace Hardware for around 65 bucks was #3 this year beating all the big wigs: 
Kirby $1350 was #9
Kenmore $350 was #6
and The over loved Dyson "absolute animal" $550 was #13
the Dyson complete $400 came in the abysmal #19 spot 
 I know this will cause controversy  for all ya Dyson lovers but my vacuum is better than your vacuum - just kidding, but it was WAY CHEAPER

and before I get the comments because I know I will, yes mine takes bags but I prefer that, Even with all my kids and animals I only have to put in a new bag like every 10-12 vacuum jobs but with my last bagless I had to dump it every time (sometimes twice) and the cloud of dust it caused sent me outside to dump it - which was a pain in the butt. So I officially prefer bags. But still most of all I prefer only paying 65 bucks on a vacuum that does an amazing job.

one last thing, yes I know I am rambling, I found my vacuum bags at Dollar General - so little cost on the bag issue.  love it!

I love consumer reports...

cuz it saves ya money

Aunt Beth would have yelled at me about not bloggin by now

But, We're sick
Mommy "why do you chew on my toes"
"because they are soo yummy" - I mean look at that little crooked toe
This is what the boys did this weekend
Cora wasn't as excited as they were

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Just wanted to let everyone know what our family has planned and to thank you all for the offers of help. Aunt Beth's wishes were to be cremated and those arrangements have been taken care of. Aunt Beth lived most of her life in Texas and extended family is all over the South, the only family in Virginia is my Mom. So we have decided to hold a small memorial service in June at our Family Reunion.  That will make it easier for extended family.  After that Meg and I will arrange a covert operation to sprinkle her ashes along with her husband's on the Ranch in Kerrville (Texas Hill Country) where they built their dream home. Its is a large ranch so I hope we can accomplish our mission without trespassing.

I will need some help during spring break. Me, Meg and Cora are going to fly up there to finish taking care of the belongings in her house and drive back in a UHaul with stuff and her two dogs. The kids are thrilled that we will be adopting them into our family. I can't say I am thrilled but I am happy to do it for Aunt Beth. She was most concerned about her 'babies' Buster and Noel.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Mae Elizabeth Harris

was her given name but she went by a few names:
Her older sister called her "Bay Sister" for decades, it started as "baby sister" but became bay sister as many nicknames do.
Her husband called her Cuticles, she made fun of "cutsie" pet names couples used, so he said fine I'll call you cuticles then.
I almost forgot "MaeBeth" what her mother and my mom called her. The true nature of a good southern name, the many nicknames
Most called her Beth even though mail only came to Mae E. Harris
We called her Aunt Beth.
Although sometimes we called her a cheater if she won the card game.

Mae Elizabeth Harris
February 7, 1938 - February 6, 2009
This world is not conclusion;
A sequel stands beyond,
Invisible as music,
But positive, as sound. 
Emily Dickinson

Its the 100th day of school

so you dress up like you are 100 years old. 
I think I made Benjamin look a little like Anderson Cooper.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sometimes its hard to blog

Many of you know my Aunt Beth (don't be fooled by the nomenclature -she is more like a grandmother than an Aunt). You may remember that she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer last year. The news came around the time of our mildly depressing (because we were all sick - especially me) Christmas. She has soldiered through the difficulties of major surgery followed by Chemotherapy.  Then she suffered a stroke. Meg and I went after Christmas to help around the house and get things in order for an easier rehabilitation. We made plans for her next trip here to Texas to see the kids, play board games, eat good food, etc. All the stuff that is fun to look forward to.
After we left, therapy got harder and then the ability to walk became affected.  Last Wednesday she was admitted to the hospital.  It was not a stroke. The cancer has spread even while under the attack of chemotherapy. It has metastasized in her brain and lymph nodes. Radiation was tried but it was excruciating. Sometimes the best fight is to stop fighting.  Plans are being worked out now for Hospice care.  The emotions that surface are many. Frustrations at the doctors for not letting us know this may have been cancer and not a stroke. A much different Christmas would have occurred.  Anger at the current state of the economy (especially ours) I would love to get all of us plane tickets and be right at Aunt Beth's side. I have contemplated a road trip with just me and the kids and while I pride myself on the ability to tackle almost any obstacle - a road trip with four kids on my own does frighten me.  There is sadness that we are all so far apart to begin with. But over all of that is love and concern.  It is her birthday on Saturday. I think prayers would be nice this year.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ella and Diaper Cream

I am tired so I thought I would vintage blog.. enjoy two year old Ella!

Monday, February 02, 2009