Monday, August 25, 2008

Granddaughter Inspires Iowa Grandmother

On October 2, 2006 Deb Westergreen awoke to a phone call and a county sheriff knocking on her door. Both were attempts to notify her that her son and daughter-law’s third child, Jaycee Marie Schilling had stop breathing and had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Deb's inspirational story continues in her own words.

After weeks of flopping around like a fish out of water," I started surfing the internet for information on SIDS. I came across two web sites that I found helpful. One was and the other was I started reading posts on The stories really touched my heart. had information about a walk taking place about 60 miles from our town. I contacted my family members and told them about the walk. Thirteen of us attended that walk. I wondered why our community area didn't have a walk. We have the third highest SIDS rate in the state, but we are not the third largest community area.

I contacted Patty who is the director for the Iowa SIDS Foundation and asked her how to organize a walk. She told me what is involved. I told her I wanted to do it for 2008 and would get in-touch with her.

In 2007, 4 more babies in this area died. I knew it had to stop, so again I contacted Patty and said, “It's a go.” Shortly afterward, she contacted me and said she had a mother who wanted to co-organize the walk.

I set up a meeting, placed an editorial in the newspaper about the walk meeting. About 20 people attended the meeting. We exchanged ideas and decided we could do it.

The walk was awesome! 125-150 people attended and about $10,000 dollars was raised to fund peer-to-peer training, research, education of medical professionals and bring SIDS awareness to the public. I will do it again next year and every year I am able.

Thank you my special angel Jaycee Marie Schilling, for inspiring your Grandma to get busy and do something so important! I love you.

Deb Westergreen

2600 babies under one year of age succumb to SIDS within the United States of America each year. For more informaton about SIDS please visit the subject index provided on left side bar of this blog.

Resource box: This inspirational Iowa Grandmother story was written by Deb Westergreen and posted by Jewel Sample.

Deb Westergreen and her husband share seven adult children and 21 grandchildren. In her spare time she loves getting together with family and making scrapbook greeting cards.

Jewel Sample is a children’s writer and author of Flying Hugs and Kisses. For more information about her background and publications visit her at Jewel’s Sand Box News (

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jewel's Sand Box News Receives and Nominates Weblog Award

Thank you so much Terri Forehand at Heartfelt Words 4 Kids for nominating me for this writer’s award. Terry offers warmth and support through her wonderful ideas, stories and links to help children and their families through a life altering crisis whether it is health, divorce, grief and loss or friendships. She is a blessing to those who know her.

My instructions are to nominate other blogs worthy of this award. There are so many WONDERFUL blogs to choose from and it was a hard decision for me.


The following have been chosen for the Brillante Weblog Premio award. The recipients are not listed in any particular order. It would be impossible for me to rank them because they are all outstanding! Thank you all for sharing a part of your writing world.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Sharing with Writers and Readers

Carolyn unselfishly gives a wealth of marketing and promotional information to writers. Her love for the written word is evident and her successes of several published books showcase her many talents. Reading her blog has inspired me to move forward and not to worry about yesterday’s writing. I can almost hear her say, “After all, you were writing your best then and today’s best is better. That is what experience does.”

Lysa Terkeurst’s Proverb’s 31 Ministries

Lysa is an award winning author of several books and mom of five children. She offers her readers’ thought provoking ideas and opens her daily living view that encourages me to get through whatever is happening at the time.

Susan A. Meyer’s Susan’s Thoughts and Ramblings

Susan offer’s to her readers’ children’s writer interviews and her thoughts on writing for children. I discovered in no time at all, I couldn’t help but feel like I was sitting across the table from her sipping my favorite Latte chatting about what we both love, writing for children.

Max Elliot Anderson’s Books for Boys

Max is a multi-talented writer and video producer. He offers several great adventure books to read, as well as awesome thought provoking ideas on book promotion and writing stories for children. Check out his post about his adventure with a message in a bottle idea and you will see what I mean.

Marybeth Whalen’s Cheaper By The Half Dozen

Marybeth is an accomplished author and mom of six children who loves to share her writing views, organizational skills and personal family stories with others. When you read her stories, be prepared for a good belly laugh!

Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s Books with Robyn Opie

Robyn is a prolific Australian writer who posts tons of marketing and writing tips as she shares her writing journey with others. I find myself identifying with her struggles and I love her out of the box, edgy writing style.

Mary DeMuth’s So You Wanna Be Published

Mary’s blog has a multitude writing nuggets from how to get published to honing your writing skills information. I call her site my fountain of muse because I have yet to go there and not find something that is encouraging and stretches my writing brain muscles. In fact I had to put my self on a diet from her blog so I could get my writing goals completed.

Congratulations everyone! Now it is your turn to bless someone with this award.

Rules for recipients of the Brillante Weblog Premio are as follows:

1. The award may be displayed on a winner's blog.

2. Add a link to the person you received the award from.

3. Nominate up to seven other blogs.

4. Add their links to your blog.

5. Add a message to each person that you have passed the award on in the comments section of their blog.

Resource box: Jewel Sample is a children’s writer and author of Flying Hugs and Kisses. For more information about her background and publications visit her at Jewel’s Sand Box News