Family Fun on Fridays- Fun Found at Home

We have a tight budget. AND THAT’S OK!

It forces me to be creative and crafty.  I like to be creative and crafty., so naturally Pinterest and I are the best of friends!

I’ve seen this on Pinterest HOWEVER  a friend of ours shared it on FB, and I decided that TONIGHT IS THE IGHT!  

So Do you want to know what is on the docket tonight for Family night?

2 Ingredient Cloud Dough (also known as Moon Dough)

The ingredients are

Baby oil and Flour…yep That’s it! ALL stuff I have right at home!

Cloud dough is a great calming sensory play idea….not just for special needs kids, but for all kids….even the BIGGEST OF KIDS!   (Hubby and I might have gotten distracted by some at the craft store last week…for a good amount of time, playing with similar Stuff)

Check out this Super Simple recipe here 

 

 

AND CAN I just say that it smells SOOOOOO  NICE !

Have you made Cloud dough….or anything similare?   Share in the comments!

Blessings

Blogging Within My Mission

Hi all,

So it’s been no secret that I have not been around much. Life has been busy and I wear so very many hats!  And sometimes I have to throw off all my other hats in order to take care of a hat that grows exceptionally heavy…..usually it’s the one with a husband, four kids and a house crammed inside of it.

And over the last year or so I have become increasingly uncomfortable with all the…”this is how you should blog”. And the “you aren’t doing things right”. Critics out there.   I also have a lot of personal critics in my life wondering “why do you waste your time doing that” and “How can you possibly have time for all that you do?”   And to be completely honest I think that Satan has used those critics to spread seeds of doubt, and frankly I have come to the realization that I was letting him!    

Did I whine and complain….maybe on the inside a little convincing myself that I had nothing anybody wanted to hear.   And everywhere you turn, people are oh so concerned about numbers……numbers!  Ugh, I’ve always hated Math! It’s a necessary evil in my mind!   Anyway, over the last 8 months I have spent A LOT of time reading and praying.   And while we were on vacation in July , I stole away a few times and focused on me.  Ways to better me.  And one of those things that I did was write my own personal mission statement.

Each year I write out goals but rarely if ever meet them.  I pick books based on areas of my life in which I desire to grow…..along with knowing I will review some as well. I choose them according to the areas that are focus points in my life.  I then also choose fiction that maybe I either missed out on in school or something that strikes my fancy! (No none of them are Romance novels….ICK)

So I wrote this Mission statement….

It is my mission to live my life with the sole purpose to give God the glory in everything I say and do-to abide in Christ, to grow in my daily walk with Him.

 It’s nothing fancy and I know it’s not short and sweet like five words or less BUT IT WORKS FOR ME.

I then added action statements for each of my main focus area in my life.  These areas include

  • My Daily walk with God…it’s a relationship and like any good fruitful relationship it takes nurturing.
  • My hubby….I love him dearly
  • The munchkins…yep four smiling, funny, keep me on my toes munchkins!
  • My home…..I want it to be a safe haven for all who cross it’s threshold .
  • My ministry….which is 2 fold, the people of our church, and my readers here on my blog!
Here is what my action statement under Ministry says
To intentionally challenge fellow women who love Jesus to grow deeper in their walk with God.  To speak truth in love and encourage women to be bold in their faith.

The Better Mom Monday-The Gum Ball Machine Gamble

A few short weeks ago before school started we found ourselves in a grocery store.  This trip held a different tone , one of sheer excitement. For our 6 1/2 year old special needs son.  Hubby and I…..not so thrilled, you see our son had gotten this “passion”.   It was a passion to earn Money…how much?   50¢. Yep That’s it. Two quarters was just enough to get him something tiny (he has a thing for ALL things tiny). And a few weeks prior he had spotted something that bears all things tiny…..GUMBALL MACHINES!  

Now hubby and I aren’t fans for 1 major reason and lots of other smaller reasons.  But the 1 big reason…

It’s all JUNK!   Everything you get breaks easily. We believe that you should save your money for something worthwhile.   Something you really want that is great quality!   BUT as is the case with most kids like  our son, they obsess, and obsess, and obsess some more…..and sometimes we break, we go against our better judgement and we cave, because we can’t reason with him until….he learns a lesson….the hard way.

GUMBALL machines advertise the best case scenario On their fronts but in reality there’s a lot of silly stuff with the best of junk hidden in there somewhere.  So we made a bee-line right for the machines. (We had spent a better part of a week explaining why we didn’t think it was a good idea) He knew exactly which one he wanted.  It advertised little tiny men (go figure…his favorite).  But this is what he got…..

Do you, my friends, know what that is?

Tha,  my dear readers would be a hair extension….for a DOLL!

What ensued next was not pleasant to say the least.  I handed it to ladybug and he began to bawl.  Tears of lament.

Did we give him another two quarters to “try again”?   Nope that wasn’t going to happen.  God had just handed us the perfect teaching moment.  We got to teach not one, not two, but all four kiddos about gambling.  There was no guarantee he was going to get what he wanted.  And in this world we live in all those 50¢ adds up pretty quick.  He sobbed the entire time we were at the store!  He lamented the loss of his hard earned money.   (That was his biggest concern ” BUT I WORKED SO HARD”)

Did people stare?  Of course (people are rude like that)

Did some people think he was spoiled?  Probably (some people are just that arrogant)

Did some people think we were being mean or just too hard on him?  More than likely ( but those people didn’t watch him EARN the money back when we got home)

He learned a lesson, (unfortunately the hard way).  But now since then he is fast approaching the $5 dollar mark.  He is working towards a pull string Woody (from Toy Story). He’s been asking for him (and Jessie) for over a year now.  They went on clearance a few weeks ago and we scooped them up for his upcoming birthday.   

A few days after the GUMBALL machine fiasco he came to hubby and asked if he could save  towards the Woody (which he has no clue sits a whopping 5 feet from his bedroom door).  We said yes.  Some days he is more diligent than others, but he is working towards a great reward one quarter at a time.   He learned a valuable lesson.  He grew as a person.  He learned the value of working hard and then loosing it on a silly piece of hair.  Yep it was painful.

For him. AND for us ( I hated watching his little heart break). But it was all worth it.  Because now he understands that we shouldn’t waste the money God has blessed us with on things that are a gamble!

 

Naming our Kids…….a complicated Process

Ok so I have a pretty strict Privacy standard here on the blog.  Actually it was just a few years ago that I let you in on my first name.   We do this for one sole reason, we live in a creepy world.  You might say Mary Mary Mary, you should not be fearful. I’m not or I wouldn’t be doing this…..I am afraid of hiegts ……I am wise about details here……

All of that being said I want to share about how we chose our names for our children……so let’s start with Ladybug

She has a Greek word used in the New Testament. And her middle name is a thing of beauty.  It is through her first name that we have an oppertunity to share the gospel with people who are curious about her name.  We didn’t plan it that way it just happened.  We had her named picked out long before we were married we just both liked that name.  Many seeds have been planted since then!

Now the boys…..

They each have an Old and a New Tesament name.  Their initials then in turn spell something special……but I can’t tell you what.   If you know us in person ask us, but if you’re a reader here sorry!    

But that’s how we picked them.  The boys names were totally hubby’s brain child (pun intended).   We took naming our children very seriously as do most parents, but we wanted our children to have an everyday reminder of  God and who He created them to be….Christ Followers!

Wordless Wednesday- My View

Tonight I am sitting on my couch just having finished my first cup of fresh Chocolate Mint tea, 

And I listen to the giggles of my four kids as the watch Gilligans Island, their reward for hard work as we worked to get the house back in order!  I glanced up to see this pretty sight as I plan for tomorrow…..I AM RICHLY BLESSED!

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday 7/30/2014

Ya know, I have seen kids cart around pretty strange stuffed animals.

I chuckled one day as one of our youngsters came out of the playroom swinging a stuffed armadillo buy the tail.  We have some very random but cute stuffed animals.  People constantly comment about  how our children  know specific animal names and the details about them…bur a few weeks ago as we visited the Creation Museum in Petersburg KY, one of our munchkins (weasel to be exact) decided to spend his five dollar gift from friends on this cutie….(who would’ve thought I would ever say a mammoth was cute!?!)

Later weasel and I had a conversation about Wooley ( how original right?)

I said ” how do you know it’s not a mastodon  instead of a mammoth?”

He paused and thought.

Then said ” cuz his back slopes”

And I was quickly taken back to earlier that day as we sat and listened to Buddy Davis explain all about Ice Age animals in his workshop!  How amazing that this little boy who sees the world in such a different way and seemingly focused on other things retains most of what is being said!

This same little boy is the one who rushed Buddy Davis the previous day after his concert…….a superstar in his eyes….and that is quite ok by me!

SIDE NOTE:  ALL of our kids struggled the first day at the museum when referring to the mammoth skeleton as the “HOLY MAMMOTH”

I love my kids!

 

Autism And\Or ADHD……Our New Diagnosis?

The very first thing you learn when you become a mom is…..EVERYONE knows better than you do about your child!   And it’s rare to come across people who will say things like…

“I only give my opinion if asked” (and actually stick to it)

Or

“Or just tell me how I can help” 

If you find these people KEEP THEM CLOSE!

The funny thing is that the moment you share with people that something is wrong with your kid the know-it-alls in your world magically become immediate experts in whatever crisis it is you are facing….when in reality all you really need is a hug and the two above statements backed up with ACTION!

So as we have been on a knowledgable journey of autism for the last 20 months.   I have run into all kinds of experts.  Experts both with and Witout medical degrees…..experts who truly know what they are talking about, and self-proclaiming experts that read something on the internet and are just blowing smoke!    

They come in all shapes and sizes!   In all sorts of careers….let me ask you this…..DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A MEDICAL DEGREE TO BE AN EXPERT ON AUTISM/ADHD. Or any illness  for that matter?

NOT A CHANCE.   

AND 

Does it mean that just because a a person has a medical degree that they are an expert, or even understand autism?

NOT A CHANCE!!!

I’m quickly becoming an expert in the land of  Weasel(our autistic son).  I’m not an expert in all autistic kids. 

My friend Noelle put it this way to me “You MUST. Become a student of…..”  And it’s so true!   The trigger foods my son has will not be the same as the next kids, though there are common ones like red food dye (or any food dye) and then there are kid specific ones like cinnamon!   And in reality we should all be students of our children.  Knowing their fears, desires, joys!  The things they like!

For example

Tornado: loves history just like daddy and mommy, specifically the civil war era.  And has since he was 4 or 5.  He loves art and music.  He wants to learn!

Ladybug…the lover of pretty things, a girly girl through and through BUT NOT AFRAID TO GET DIRTY :)

She loves horses and longs to have her own.  She loves to color, paint her nails and play dress up.

Weasel- a little boy who is showing much promise in art and is almost completely pitch perfect.  He loves anything tiny and is afraid of windows (NO JOKE)

Little bean- Mr. Independence, super cuddly, love rescue bots and Jake and the Neverlad Pirates and choo choo trains.  Loves almost all animals except mice and any bug to which he screams like a girl and hides (he is 4 people!)

I intentionally left off struggles for this reason, we as a family believe children need to feel safe in their home and that means their personal struggles stay within our family!  Anything outside of that is not making our home a safe haven!

So then what about the title?  Well all the above is stated because being a student of your child is helpful in knowing who is just blowing smoke!!

So I’m going to put the  ADHD question to rest here…..

Yesterday (6/20) we drove across the state for Weasel’s Neurology appointment to address two concerns

1. siezures activity

2. ADHD (this was requested not by us but by the Evaluation center who diagnosed Wesel’s autism)

So here’s the outcome

1. Siezures inconclusive…siezures and autism go hand in hand BUT  even though he has some signs not all are there like rigid ness and eyes OPE During the behaviors as he sleeps.  We are to keep our eyes open for these things (pun Not intended). Also the spell from September where he fell out of his chair at school would be deemed a fainting spell.  Faints go limp siezures=Stiffness.  The faint could be from a drop in blood sugar, a drop in blood pressure or any other number of things!  

2. ADHD – Negative.  Autism and ADHD share some similarities and it is not uncommon for an autistic child to have both!  And I am here to tell you as a once self-proclaimed expert that I was dead wrong. ADHD is a VERY real NEUROLOGICAL  disorder.  Though our son does not have it, it is something families deal and struggle with.  Is it misdiagnosed absolutely, and our son was almost one of those misdiagnosed….misdiagnosed by church families, family members, a bus driver and a doctor! (Let’s just put an end to the misnomer that ADHD =excessive energy!   That is False)

And in closing I just want to say this, as a parent of a special needs kid, it is my desire for my child to be loved and accepted!  I am aware not everyone will do that.  I know that people who take the name of Christ  and claim it as their identity will act as though they themselves have never experienced the love and grace of Christ.  It’s a sad testament that over the last few months I have read heart  wrenching stories of special needs kids being kicked our of church nurseries and Sunday Schools all over the country. Act like Jesus….if you are going to take his name CHRISTian you better put forth the effort to LOVE LIKE HE DID, SACRIFICE HE DID, ACCEPT LIKE HE DID, One of the biggest blessings you could ever receive is to have a special needs kid!  Yep, I just said that!

I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, and no I don’t know your circumstances.  But I do know that God exhorts us to

“Give thanks in ALL circumstances” 1Thess 5:18

AND

“Rejoice in The Lord ALWAYS,” 1 Thess. 6.16

SO THAT BEING SAID Here is how special needs changed this mama!

1. I know now that a screaming kid in a grocery store is not necessarily the product of bad parenting.

2.  It is my job to fight for my child…whether that is mistreatment, or for services needed.  

3. Being able (and willing) to put ourselves inside his world.  This takes practice and patience and a lot of reading between the lines, but if you do this you can eventually see things in other kids who come into your sphere.  So yes kids don’t have the same anxiety or fear, but you can take the skills learned from entering your child’s world, and begin to enter another child’s world.   (THIS ONE THING GIVES YOU THE ABILITY TO REACH OUT NOT JUST TO THE KIDS BUT TO PARENTS AND SIBLINGS).  

4.  Just  like any major illness, you become painfully aware of precious time.  Before we ever found out that weasel was autistic we have to call 911 three different times. Poison control more times than I care to remember, and our doctor for some very strange things….namely eating things that shouldn’t be eaten!  (A sign of autism)   go figure! 

So as you can see despite all the negatives we have experienced there are bright spots…..they are sometimes sproartic…and sometimes show up in a plethora, but no matter what keep your eyes open, search for them.  I promise they will show up in AMAZING WAYS,

 

BOOK REVIEW:The Nesting Place By Myquillyn Smith

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith is a unique book on home decorating.

It takes the approach of if you like it go with it!

The book is skillfully written to encourage the reader to step outside of your comfort zone!  It’s geared towards both homeowners and renters with the weight leaning more towards  renters but please don’t think that it is exclusively so.  

The whole first part of the book goes into great detail on each of the authors many past and present dwelling places…and trust me she describes each so well that it feels like you are standing right in the middle of that particular room. And don’t worry even if your minds eye isn’t quite catching on most of her descriptions are captured in beautiful photographs illustrating, projects, problems and real life!

Let me start off my critique by saying this….THIS IS NOT A BOOK I WOULD NORMALLY PICK!   I picked it out of sheer lack of interest in all the rest offered.  I am a crafty person by nature but I have always felt true home decorating just out of reach!   This book changed my outlook completely

As a pastors family decorating money is slim to none!  So when I read the chapter on shopping your own home, I was instantly inspired to do this !   I visited three locations in my home and found just what I needed

1.the kitchen for 3 Mason Jars (1quart and two pints)

2.the Garage for White spray Paint

3. And my front yard for DAISYS

Yep that’s it….and this is what I got…..

This  simple country centerpiece literally took me 10 minutes!   

And why didn’t I think of this sooner?????

Another chaper talked about the MIStreatment of your windows.  She relates a story that she became impatient with waiting to take expense fabric to be sewn professionally for curtains.she just  cut the fabric, hung them with curtain clips (she didn’t even finish the seams!  *GASP*.  So when a designer friend showed up she though she had already had them done!  The friend was surprised when the author admitted to her impatience and their incomplete state.  The designer friend would have never known otherwise!  She goes on to explain that sometimes we get it in our heads that we can’t do something because it’s NOT THE “RIGHT” WAY!!   We think that it has to be this kind of Fabric, or only professionally done or……the list goes on and on and on!!   Well when it comes to decorating you can go with what you like, what you can afford……and anything weird you so desire!  So I need dark curtains in  two rooms….and guess what I will be using?   SHEETS!  Yep brand new 5 dollar cotton sheets.  I can make the dark curtains for four windows…2 in each room for about 20$ and get exactly what I want and need without spending LOADS of money!

So here are a few other things I will implement in the coming months

A gallery wall.  Showcasing all the things I love (and I won’t be afraid to change it often!

Stumps as end tables…probably white washed, but maybe plain as well!   (don’t knock it, they are pretty cute)

I’m going to paint furniture.

I’m going to repurpose things that were once used for something else.

I’m not going to be afraid of something new…and if I don’t like what I did, I will redo it!

So I must absolutely give this book a five star rating!  It was such a joy and an encouragement to read!   Even if you are not crafty or the decorating type this book can help you love even the most undesirable of situations!   

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from BookLook, with no obligation of positive review.

Wordless Wednesday-The Steadfast Love Of The Lord

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

I’m taking a 1966 Collegiate World Atlas and turning it into a travel journal…..complete with stamp art and the like!

ALMOST THERE

ALMOST THERE

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