Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HersheyPark - very gluten-friendly

We've been wanting to go to HersheyPark for a while. I even went ahead and purchased tickets at a group discount rate through our homeschool group this spring - hedging my bets that we'd go.

We finally picked a day to go - yesterday. PA schools started back that day so we expected the crowds to be lighter - they were.

Due to Emma's celiac, we have to do a LOT of pre-planning to go anywhere. We have to make sure she'll have something she can eat, or we have to take it with us. I have to tell you, too, that I've been having some celiac burnout recently from all of the planning that's required to eat (especially eating out).

Anyway, I went onto the HersheyPark web site Sunday night to take a look at what they had to offer for restaurants and see if I'd be able to work something out for Emma. Imagine my surprise and pleasure when I see they have a specific list of gluten-free alternatives that they offer and which restaurants they offer them at. I was pleased to know I'd be able to more easily feed Emma (who gives a little pout each time we tell her she can't have something)

The best thing I can tell you, though, about their gluten-free offerings is that these people are really well trained. Mike ordered Emma a gluten-free wrap for lunch. They moved to a new workstation and made the wrap special so that there was no cross-contamination. I asked the cashier if he could get someone I could ask a dietary question - he told me I could ask him. I asked if the fries were gluten-free. He quickly said that they were, but they were cooked in the same oil as other fried foods. I was about to say that I'd just forego the fries for her when he quickly offered for them to make some separately for her.

It takes a lot of training and awareness to delve into that level of preparations for gluten-free. Most people don't think about the cross-contamination or setting up a gluten-free work area to prepare the food.

For dinner, we went to a pizza stand that offered gluten-free crust. It took them a bit longer to figure it out, but it was clear there was someone well trained there. She made sure she didn't use any of the same tools to remove the pizza from the oven, she put it on a fresh cardboard pizza board, and cut it with a new pizza cutter. And she was quick to stop another employee who almost used the same pizza peel board for Emma's pizza that had been used for the others.

So, I was quite pleased that HersheyPark made it so easy for Emma to be gluten-free there and took one big worry off our minds and enabled us to enjoy the day that much more. Thanks HersheyPark!

Friday, August 27, 2010

As promised

I finally got a picture of Samantha in her braces. She's been kinda "mopey" around the house the past couple of days because she was sore from getting her braces on.

And I kept trying to get her to smile without her braces, which is how she's been acting around the house the past couple of days. She couldn't do it without laughing:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So Samantha got braces on today, and we joined the ranks of the poverty-stricken (boy, they are quite pricey these days)

I'll share a photo in a day or so. Right now, she's pretty sore so it wouldn't be a "happy" picture - so I'm waiting until she isn't quite so sore so she can have a nice smiling picture in her new braces.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Even the weekends are overscheduled!

There are reports that show as a society we overschedule our children. There are some cases where there is true in our family.

There is no doubt that I'm feeling overscheduled when we have so many events in a weekend:

- Friday - Michael has a party at Chuck-e-Cheese with his piano teacher. He earned it by practicing 200 minutes every week (starting in January, I think)
- Saturday - Emma has a birthday party at Chuck-e-Cheese. Mike is handling this one and just headed out with pizza and cupcake in hand (with Celiac, Emma can't eat the pizza or the cake that they offer). Its been only 6 months but definitely feeling some Celiac burnout, but that is a topic for another thread.
- Sunday - Michael has a birthday pool party (the brother of the girl's party Emma's at today). Emma and I are headed into Springfield for a pool party with several families that have met online via the Children with Diabetes web site and are now going to meet in person.

And this is a light weekend.

And I just found out that all 3 of our kids will have something going on at exactly the same time on Tuesdays this fall - 6pm. Michael will be at baseball practice, Emma will be at soccer practice, and Samantha will be on her way to dance. At least I don't have to drive up to school each week to pick up Samantha, but getting spread 3 ways when one of us HAS to be at soccer with Emma is gonna make Tuesday an exhausting day this fall.

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I guess this was inevitable

It sure seems the women in this family are prone to injuries. My mother can't look at a sidewalk wrong without hurting her ankle, my mother has also recently broken her arm near the shoulder, I've broken a leg and a foot, and Samantha broke her wrist a few years back

Well, Emma was running around playing with some kids at a Haymarket Senators game on Sunday. Including a little boy Donovan, who she loves to play with. Anyway, she would come back to the stands from time to time, fussing about this or that, or who said what to who. She came back about halfway through complaining that she fell down and her arm hurt and her leg hurt. She was holding her wrist. We put ice on it a few minutes and a band-aid (the skin wasn't broken, but band-aids are a REQUIREMENT when you have a boo-boo) and she went off on her way to play some more.

But, she complained on Monday that her arm still hurt.
And she complained on Tuesday that her arm still hurt.

Keep in mind - she was still playing and using her hand and everything - just favoring it at certain times.

So, I took her to the doctor yesterday, who got an x-ray and confirmed that indeed, she broke her arm. Its broken up above her wrist, which is why she was still able to use her hand and wrist without much pain. Its a "buckle fracture" which is, as best as I can tell, a clean break where the bone just "buckled". The bones are aligned and everything looked good.

But, this is the type of break that they put a cast on for healing.

So, Emma is the 3rd one in our family in 5 years to have a cast (do they have a frequent flyer program at the orthopedist office because I feel like I've been there at lot).

She chose Purple - and I chose waterproof (because she loves to swim and we NEED to be able to bathe her easily after she spends time playing in the dirt).

Monday, August 09, 2010

Family Reunion

A couple of weekends ago we went to Williamsburg for a "Liverman Family Reunion". My mother is a Liverman, 2nd child of Marvin and Emily Liverman, of Prince George, VA. Her older sister, Jean, travelled up from Dalton, GA (although her husband, George, didn't. We missed you Uncle George). Her younger brother, Herbert, hosted the reunion (well, probably mostly his wife Joyce:))

Here are the 3 Liverman kids: Jean, Jacque, and Herbert

and with the spouses (missed you Uncle George - should we photoshop you in?)

We were fortunate that just about everyone was able to make this event. We were less fortunate in the fact that it was over 100 degrees all day this Sunday - so instead of being able to enjoy their wonderful yard, and a boat on the water, we all visited inside with the kids taking short trips outside before deciding it was too hot.

The Clarke wing of the Liverman family (Jean Liverman Clarke). Milton and Melanie Clarke came up from Dalton with Jean, Bix lives in Williamsburg, and George Ryan (Bix's son) and Charles live in DC. Stacey (Bix's daughter) and her husband Stuart couldn't make it - with a new baby at home and a busy ice cream shoppe to man in California, its no wonder.

The Gwaltney wing of the Liverman family (Jacque Liverman Gwaltney) was a bit larger. Larry (son), Heather, and Gavin came up from Charlotte, NC. Emily (daughter), Marshall, and Morgan came in from Houston, TX, and Mike, Nancy (daughter), Samantha, Michael, and Emma came down from South Riding, VA. Bruce (the oldest son of Jacque) was unable to make it.

The Liverman wing of the family (Herbert), is BY FAR, the largest. Jeff, and his wife Jo live in Danville, VA. They have 3 kids - the oldest, Alex is married herself. Then there are Emily and Sophie. Todd and Andi live in Richmond and have one daughter, Maggie. Eric and Shelley live in Chester, VA and have 2 kids. Rick and Kim have 2 kids, Cameron and Katie. Karen and Rick have 3 kids, including Blake and the two youngest at the reunion - two sweet 9 months old twin girls (Carli and Tori) that couldn't be more different if they weren't related! (one of them is missing from this shot because we all know better than to wake a sleeping baby).
. Herbert and Joyce have the pleasure of all of their kids and grandkids not too far away!

So a total of 43 of us got together, the first time in 10 years, and had a great time. As Joyce said during her pre-meal prayer, Marvin and Emily would have been proud.