Thursday, December 31, 2009

RETHINK Autism and a lot of Rambling...

Well folks, this is my first official week of homeschooling. I'm learning a lot, but it has surprisingly gone really well! Praise God!! We have done many activities, along with reading lessons, and special lessons for J-man. I was so very worried on how well he would do with MOM as a TEACHER.... well I'll let you in on a teeny little secret. This week he did better than his little brother. Now, I know they'll each have their days, but something I discovered about him (that his teachers already told me) was that he is a VERY hard worker! We were introduced to a program called ReThink Autism. Its basically a step by step training program to teach your kiddos skills they lack. Its a form of ABA Therapy, but they show you how to do it and you do it yourself at home. They customize what lessons will be best for him and you record his results and after he masters something, you can go to the next step. Its amazing to me what he is already improving in this week alone! In addition to this program we are working on his writing, and reading. He can read the words (yes, no, dog, cat, and his name) No pictures needed. We will add mom and dad soon. Tibby has been working on independent work for just about 5-10 minutes. He has also been working on this reading book. We are on lesson 13 and he IS reading a few words now! Now, I will say, it is not his favorite book, but he is doing really well. We have also been doing hands on work, cutting (J working on this too), crafts, and cooking. So far, its been a pretty successful week! I saw something I want to get the boys over on the Pioneer Woman's blog. They're called Block Play People offered at Lakeshore. They are SO neat looking. You can get different families, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, and White. They also have Community helpers and people with disabilities. We are BIG into culture, compassion, and diversity, and I think this would be just a great play and learning tool. Dan (my hubby) is from an extremely diverse family. His parents (white) had 5 girls, then the adopted 5 boys (Dan 1/2 black 1/2 white, 2 black, and 2 Korean. Dan always says their family was like a big package of Skittles walking down the street! I plan on doing numerous in depth studies on other cultures, packed with learning where they are on the map, the food they eat, the way they live, and the traditions they have. I also plan on our boys learning another language. Of course it will be a year or so, but I'm already so excited and planning the activities we will do and the food we will eat! Well, I didn't mean to make this post so long, so I will wrap it up with saying: I hope you and your families have a blessed and safe New Year. I hope to meet many new people and share many great memories!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Read the Bible in 90 days with us!

Read the Bible from cover to cover - I am SO excited about this, and I know there are a few of you out there reading this, so I thought I'd post this and see if anyone wants to join in. Reading the entire Bible is kinda scary...reading it 90 days is really scary sounding. What a commitment, but well worth it! Just pace yourself, take an hour (or so) a day and read THE Living Word of God. What an increadible experience, I am so thrilled!! Hope to see some of you join in. GOD BLESS YOU!

I'll be posting a few times about this journey, that way I'm held accountable and WILL finish!

Sign up HERE You thought you could get away with a simple agreement to yourself?! Don't be silly! =]

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pictures from the past few weeks

The MOST Wonderful Time

How was your Christmas? I'm telling you, this has been the absolute BEST Christmas I've ever had! Just like I imagined when I was little. I always wanted to be a mom. I wanted 3 kids (except when I imagined it, I'm sure there was a girl in there) I wanted a white house in the country with a big wrap around porch. Now, I could do without the country part if I needed to, but the rest is still very dreamy to me. Anyways, I imagined Christmas to feel magical. Us in the kitchen baking, cozy nights around the fire, crafts and memories being made. AND IT HAPPENED THIS YEAR. Everything was that way (minus the white house and porch). We filled our days with memories and coziness. My heart was so happy I think it could explode. After 8 yrs, this is the first time our son truly enjoyed himself and the toys. He has played with them! PLAYED!!! Did you know that you have to teach some kiddos with autism HOW to play? The difference this year as opposed to the past, is God. My relationship with Him. HE is my joy, my strength, and giver of LIFE. It has been so wonderful in fact, that I was sad to see it end. I also know that the new seasons God offers are going to be and feel just as wonderful (they won't always be perfect) but in His presence they will be special. So, I am welcoming the new seasons in our life and embracing them! ***Ok, so now just to say I am a goal setter and a list maker, and I have already come up with my goals for the new year. This year though, I'm keeping the focus on ENJOYING every day all while working hard. *Get out of debt...we are SO close! *Learn to love being ACTIVE. Walks, hikes,bike rides, swimming, WII, tennis etc... *Be creative every day. (with the boys, our home, our budget, and meals) *Continue strengthening my relationship with God! (Pray.Fast.Read) *Love, pamper, and take care of myself- just a little bit more than usual *Read a book a week. I LOVE to read! (I'll make a new post on some of the FANTASTIC books we got for Christmas soon)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Now THATS Love

Me: Do you think I am a good mom? (wondering a little today) Tibby: You are a VERY good mom! Me: What makes you say that? Tibby: because you love me.....and I love you! I love you more than CARS, more than cupcakes, more than movies, more than Song-it (Sonic), more than my brothers, and more than snowmen. You look beautiful today mom. What I did to diserve this much love, I have NO idea. It melts my heart and makes every single minute worth it. These boys are beyond special.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Mind is Going Non Stop

Ever have one of those days when your mind just won't shut off? That drives me crazy! I am thinking about this coming week. I have just a few more errands to run, a few more gifts to wrap, a little bit of organizing this home school stuff, and things I want to do BEFORE Christmas?! Where did the time go? And there I was just a tooting my own horn (in my head of course) thinking how much better I am doing this year......I must have been a DISASTER in the years past! Know what else?! I NEVER got around to doing Christmas cards. I've done them EVERY year, but this year...NOPE. I keep telling myself, that I worried about doing the cards so much in the past, that I didn't have the time to do the projects and baking I have done with the boys this year, soooooo. Hmmmm are the Christmas cards really THAT difficult? Apparently for me they are. Projects for this week will include the gingerbread house, Christmas light scavenger hunt, and making a few more goodies for family and friends. Are you getting everything done? If so send me a note telling me HOW? I really am enjoying the season though. It has been really nice and a lot of fun spent with family and friends. That's all that matters. Enjoy this week and be blessed. I'd say I'll be back here this week, but as you read above.... well I'm not making any promises.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quote I love

How can we understand forgiveness if we haven't recognized the depth of our sin?” — John Henry Newman

Sunday, December 13, 2009

ONE week left

This is the last week of school around our casa. Then home school and therapeutic learning center, here we come! But first, I am going to fill this weeks with fun Christmas-y activities, crafts, and treats each day for the boys when J gets home from school. I have quite a bit to do this week. I HAVE all the boys' gifts, they just need to be wrapped. The bad part? I still need to go the rest of my hubby's gifts, parents, and in laws, grandparents, and teachers. WOW. Usually I'm a little more organized than this. I don't want to get myself overwhelmed, so this week, I will finish my hubby's gifts and wrap all of the gifts I have. I will also finish the teacher's gifts (since its the last week of school) That's IT. I'll finish the rest next week (unless I find something while I'm out...which I secretly hope I do) My sweet momma is going to get the boys tomorrow and take them home with her for the night, then she is going to help with any cleaning, laundry, wrapping, shopping, or cooking that i need to get done this week. Isn't that just SO sweet of her?! I really just like having her a round, but the help is really appreciated! I encourage you to ENJOY this week with friends, family, good food, and cozy nights. Take some time to get some things done, but don't get stressed out. What fun is a mom who spends the MOST wonderful time of the year trying to be perfect to the point of being just plain exhausted? Have a blessed week!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A fun GIVEAWAY at one of my favorite blogs!

How yummy are these? EOS Organic Lip Balm Smooth Sphere. Head on over to PRISSY GREEN's blog and enter the giveaway. And while you're there check out her other giveaways and the whole blog. You're in for a treat!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Websites we love for kids learning and crafts

Starfall Great for reading, my boys love this site
Nick Jr
Berenstain Bears really cute! they tcan dress them up, do trivia, color pages and more
Boohbah really interesting. The kids can use the mouse to glide over different patterns to make music. Great for kiddos who don't have all the mouse "skills" down.
Peter Rabbit SO sweet! I lOVE it!!
Scholastic great info and fun stuff for the kiddos
These are just a few we use to have fun and keep up with some basic computer and learning skills to the boys. They really like to play the games.

Christmas decor

I'm really loving the touches of RED and
the cranberry work really nice to add that touch.
I am really enjoying this Christmas season filled
with family and friends!
Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the
good of those who love him, who have been
called according to his purpose.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cranberry Blondies.

These are SO easy and really GOOD. I made them gluten free by using RICE FLOUR, instead of the other. They turned out great.

I got these a long time ago from BH&G

Nonstick cooking spray 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 3/4 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup coarsely copped white chocolate 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 recipe Cinnamon Whipped Cream (optional) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 11x7x1-1/2-inch or a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray and set aside. 2. In large mixing bowl beat butter with wire whisk or electric mixer until softened. Whisk or beat in sugars, baking powder, soda, and salt. Whisk or beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. With whisk, or with electric mixer on low speed, beat in flour. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate. Spread butter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with fresh cranberries; press in lightly with a spatula. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 3. Cool on wire rack 1 hour. Lift with foil to remove from pan. Cut into bars. Serve with Cinnamon Whipped Cream. Makes 12 bars. 4. Cinnamon Whipped Cream: In a chilled medium mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup whipping cream and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.


So, in one of my recent posts I wrote about homeschooling and autism. I will be the first to admit, I am a little bit scared of the whole situation, but keeping our kids together and not leaving anyone out is a must in our family. As I mentioned in that post that as SOON as i obeyed, God lead me to where to start and said He will take care of the rest. WELL! Guess what?! The place he goes to therapy for speech and OT just opened a Therapeutic learning Center. Its small, christian/home school based, and has a waiting list. We're on it. They called and set up a meeting with us, and told us they have ONE opening and were praying about it and picked Jaiden. We told them about us wanting to home school and they said they would shorten his day, so that we could get our homeschooling in, and they asked if Tristin could join him a few days a week! They do that so these kids have language support! SO, wow God sure handled that one for us! We will begin homeschooling in January, Jaiden will get extra support from going to therapy and the learning center a few hours a day, and our boys will get to be involved in each other's lives even more when Tristin gets to go with him a few days a week! Oh and something I love about this is that by joining a homechool support group I was worried Jaiden would be the only one with special needs and Tibby (tristin) and B (brighton) would be the only ones with a sibling with special needs. In this situation Jaiden will not be the only special needs kid, and the days Tibby joins him, so do the other kids home schooled siblings, so he'll make friends in the same situation at the Learning Center! Praise God!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent Calender

Sorry for the fuzzy picture.
I have been wanting to make and advent calender for a while now, but everything I thought of was not exactly what I was wanting....until I went to the dollar store and saw these teeny tiny little buckets! Exactly what I was wanting! And 3 for a dollar! I went home, printed out some numbers and tied some ribbons. Inside, I put a slip of papaer with a family Christmas activity to do together each evening. Some include: make ornaments, gingerbread house and train, Christmas light scavanger hunt, reading the Christmas story, dance to Chritsmas music, give our gently used clothes and toys to the women's center, and many more! I great way to do something special each day. Now off to watch Home Alone with the family!


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