Get Fit & Have Fun!
by Jami_Van_Brocklin
 The Munford Mixer
Jul 15, 2011 | 3330 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

For the past month, I have started going to the YMCA on a regular basis to work out. At first, my husband and I were going together since our daughter was attending different summer camps at school and our baby boy could go to the Child Watch there, but now she's done with her summer camps, so we have both kids with us at all times. Now my husband wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and heads up to the YMCA while we are still asleep. I go to the YMCA usually in the afternoon; however, this morning, I attended my 2nd Zumba class. I tried out Zumba for the first time (other than when I played it on our Wii) a few days ago. It was fun and intense! This time, my daughter wanted to go with me, so I took her this morning when I went. She was the only child there. I saw a lady in the 1st class I went to, who took her daughter around the same age as my daughter, so I figured my kiddo could try it out too! At first she was shy, but she warmed up and started doing Zumba with me and the class. I've been having a lot of fun with the Zumba classes, even if I have only been to 2 classes so far, but I do plan to continue attending them. I may be totally uncoordinated and have absolutely no rhythm whatsoever, but that is not why I am going, so it doesn't, no one watches anyone else! haha!

This year, we have had 3 women in our lives to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Each one has a different type. Two are undergoing chemo at this time and one had to have her breast removed. In 1992, I had a very special aunt of mine, who had battled breast cancer for 10 years, lose her fight with breast cancer. I have always been a huge supporter of Susan B. Komen breast cancer research and foundation. I always said I wanted to run in one of their marathons, Race for the Cure. This time around, I am going to be fit and healthy enough to do it! I used to be a track runner and gymnast when I was in high school and before I had my kids, but for the past 9-1/2 years I've had a "mommy" body and have been out of shape. I'm not a very big person. I am only 5'5 and 130 lbs., but I want to be prepared for the agony of running in a marathon! I will do it!

I also changed my eating habits, although I have regressed a couple of times and eaten some foods I swore I wouldn't eat. I have increased my protein and fiber intake, decreased my sugar and starch intake, and I have been intaking more calcium via milk.

Now, I just need to work on my sleeping habits, then I'll be set! Sometimes motherhood doesn't afford us the luxury of sleep, though, especially when there is a toddler in the picture! :) **I love my kids though and would take many interrupted sleeps just to be able to have my children in my life!**

by Jami_Van_Brocklin
 The Munford Mixer
Jul 13, 2011 | 2108 views |  0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
My family and I at Disney World in Florida in June 2011
My family and I at Disney World in Florida in June 2011

Hello everyone! My name is Jami Van Brocklin. I wrote a big, nice blog entry a few days ago, and for some reason it did not post, so here I go again!

I am originally from Southern California (Riverside, to be exact), and I migrated to Alabama with my mom and sister when I was 13. I went to high school and nursing school here. I have worked in several nursing homes in the area and also Etowah County Detention Facility where I worked as the nurse in Segregation (working with high profile criminals who could not be put into regular populations, such as murderers and sexual predators), substance & alcohol abuse recovery program, and a couple others. I have been a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) since 2004. I am returning to college this fall to begin working on my classes required for admission into the RN program. My long-term nursing goal is to become certified as a RN in S.A.N.E. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) and Forensic Nursing. I eventually want to work towards getting my Ph.D. and becoming a Forensic Nurse Death Investigator, which is similar to a Medical Examiner. I also possess 2 degrees in art (one in digital media- web design and graphic art) and one in liberal arts.

I have been married to my husband for 4 years and been together for 5 years. We have 2 amazing children. Our daughter is school-aged, and our son is a toddler. My husband used to be active duty Army, and we were stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas- the home of the Big Red One, 1st Infantry Division. He has been out of active duty Army since 2009 when he received his Honorable Discharge. He is an Iraq War Vet and currently serves with the Alabama National Guard. His unit is due to deploy to Afghanistan sometime in the future. When my husband was on active duty, I was the FRG leader of his unit's FRG (Family Readiness Group). I also volunteered with the SFAC (Soldier & Family Assistance Center) for the WTB (Warrior Transition Battalion- the unit created to assist disabled soldiers who have returned from war to be able to transition into a job in the Army that they are now able to do or to help them transition back into civilian life). Now, with my husband being in the National Guard, I have recently taken on the role of Co-Chairperson of the FRG Committee. When my husband was deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007, I created a not-for-profit program to help his unit and his brother's unit, which was deployed to Iraq at the same time. My program, Operation Return the Favor, was created to help gather needed supplies and personal "thank you" gifts for our military's SINGLE soldiers who were returning from war. I chose to help single soldiers over married soldiers because single soldiers typically return back to the base to live in the barracks and usually do not have any friends or family there to welcome them back. Married soldiers usually have a home set up for them and a family there to welcome them back. During the 4 years that we were stationed at Ft. Riley, my program helped 7 units, which equated to thousands of soldiers.

Our daughter has been in the Girl Scouts for almost 4 years. She started when we were stationed at Ft. Riley. When we left Ft. Riley, we moved to West Allis (Milwaukee), Wisconsin. She became involved with the Girl Scout troop at her school, and I became the Assistant Troop Leader. Once we moved back to Alabama, our daughter got involved in a Girl Scout troop here. That troop didn't work out, so I created my own. I am the Girl Scout Troop Leader of Troop #20074 in Munford. I LOVE being a Girl Scout Troop Leader! This past school year I managed the Brownies, which my daughter was in, and I was blessed with a great group of mothers and a wonderful Assistant Troop Leader who helped a great deal and made this past school year a great one! Thanks to all those wonderful ladies! My troop consists of several levels- Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes. This upcoming school year, I'll be over the Juniors, and our troop will have a new Assistant Troop Leader who will also be over the Cadettes group. In my Girl Scout Troop, this past school year, our activities included: a field trip to Precious Prints and Pottery Paint Bar in Oxford, where the girls each picked out their own piece of pottery and then painted it; a field trip to K98 radio station to learn about the technology behind being a radio DJ and to get to meet Jock Burgess, radio DJ; a special visitor from Second Chance Domestic Violence Shelter who hosted a Q&A session about domestic violence with all the girls (and yes, each girl's parent gave permission); Earth Day activities; writing letters to military children for Military Child Month; Bring-a-(Girl)Friend Valentine's Day party; Easter surprises and craft; cookie booths & Walk-About; activities to earn patches and badges; self-confidence & self-esteem program; diversity program that taught each girl about how bad teasing and making others feel left out makes people feel; financial program to teach the girls about banking and saving money; and the girls learned about community service by getting to build their own community garden with great gardening donations from Oxford Ace Hardware & Lumber and Oxford Home Depot and donated land from the Nelson family in Munford. This school year, our troop will be doing just as much and more than we did last school year. One of the many things that are planned for the troop this year is a chance for the girls to learn about FORENSICS and CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION with hands-on training by one of the law enforcement officers at the Talladega National Forestry Service! There will be many more activities planned for the troop as time progresses.  Our first informational meeting for the new school year will be in August. I will release the date soon. This meeting will be opened to anyone who wants to attend and who is interested in becoming a Girl Scout or helping with the troop. It will not cost anything to attend, refreshments will be served, and there will be an activity for the kids to do with their caregivers who attend with them.

I have recently gotten involved with the community of Munford, although we have only lived here for a little over a year. I am working with the Rec Department on planning an INDOOR back-to-school yard sale at Munford Recreation Dept. (located at the old high school gym) on August 20, 2011 from 7 a.m.- 12 noon. If you are interested in setting up to sell, you can contact the Munford Rec Dept. on Facebook (just look up Munford Rec Board) or email There will be no actual fee to sell, however, we are asking for a 10% donation of total sells from each vendor that day to give back to the Munford Rec Dept. for allowing the vendors to set up and sell in their facility. This 10% donation will help the rec dept. to be able to buy new supplies for their facility.

One of my favorite hobbies is photography. I do freelance photography and have my own side-business called Through My Eyes Photography by Jami Van Brocklin, which you can find on Facebook and on my website at

I love couponing! No, I don't watch "Extreme Couponing" on TLC; however, I have watched it a few times. It's so unrealistic, so it bores me to watch it. Each store has policies on couponing, and that show breaks almost every policy that you will find in most stores. Sure, it's a great idea for a show, but I wish it would show the REAL side of couponing! I subscribe to a lot of couponing blogs, and I have learned a few methods and tricks on my own. I have been the "coupon queen," as my husband calls me, for several years. I started couponing before anyone ever heard of the show on TLC. I have always done it to save my family the most money. Some of my "scores" occurred when we lived in Wisconsin. I once got $300 worth of groceries at Wal-Mart for $90, then I got $300 worth of Leap Frog learning toys at Target for $30!!! I will use this blog from time to time to give tips on how to save money with couponing. I also have my own blog where I post tips and great finds & freebies. It can be found at .

My daughter and I both have ADHD. I have been diagnosed since the age of 8, and now I am 32. My daughter has been diagnosed for the past 4 years. We both make great use of our ADHD, but it has affected each of us in different ways but also in a few similar ways.

I hope that you have enjoyed learning about me. I will post from time to time about an array of topics. I hope that everyone will enjoy my blog. I look forward to bringing you, the reader, some great topics!


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