Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Things I learned in April

Chuck going down the slide
at the aquatic center in Loveland CO
even though he cried the whole way
1.Vacation is good for the soul.  We got a chance to go to Colorado with the kids Spring Break.  It was the perfect low key vacation.  I haven't laughed that hard in so long.  It made me realize the weight/stress I was carrying.  It felt wonderful to leave that behind for a few days.

2. The bible verse below was on Beth Moore's Facebook page. It has been speaking to me. Many days I feel invisible and I spend my days only talking to kids for a huge portion of the day. It can be wearing and by it's very nature extremely isolating.

"The Lord talked to Hagar. She began to use a new name for God. She said to him, “You are ‘God Who Sees Me.’” She said this because she thought, “I see that even in this place God sees me and cares for me!” Genesis 16:13 -- Someone might need to hear today that He sees AND He cares. Take heart, dear friend.

3. I realized my son didn't know the Smelly Cat song from Friends.  It was my pleasure to introduce him to that gem. He said he could tell it was from the 80's. Now he has something to sing while cleaning the cat box.

4. I realized I need to be creative.  I worked on a sewing project and I remembered that sewing brings me flow. 

5. Stickers are great motivation for adults too.  We actually give stickers out for those who complete their bible study homework.  I know it is silly for adults but effective.  I am using them for my walking workout.  I am giving myself a sticker for completing my walking workout.  It is a great visual on my calendar and it feels good to stick a sticker.
 
I am linking up with Chatting at the Sky and What I learned in April.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Booking It

I am linking up with Booking It at Life as Mom.  Check out what everyone is reading.

I know that will be happy to know I found some fiction books I could sink my teeth into.  I ended my long streak of only reading non-fiction with the selections below.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein has had a lot of hype.  Some libraries classify this as a young adult read but I found it in the adult section.  I like that the story is told in a different way.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in “Verity”’s own words, as she writes her account for her captors. Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they've ever believed in is put to the test . . . (Amazon)

This is an intriguing well told story.

Language of  Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was a book I received at Christmas.  I actually started this book and took a 2 week break.  I love the Victorian concept that flowers have meaning and how two different stories are woven throughout the book.  I struggled I guess to like the main character Victoria maybe because she comes from a background in foster care and makes questionable decisions in regards to another young life. There are points I in the book where I want to shake her. However, this book is worth a read.

Lastly, I read Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Sample.  I was surprised how quickly I was drawn into this really quirky book.  I loved it was set in Seattle.  A lot of the observations about people of the Pacific Northwest certainly rang true to me.  Just like Bernadette, I moved here from Southern California. I live in a smallish town and sometimes even after 10 years living here I feel like a complete outsider. This book really spoke to me on many levels.  This book exaggerates what happens when you feel rejected and what you do to fill that spot.  It also speaks to what happens to you when you quit doing what you love and what comes along when someone tears you down. I loved this quirky tale. I found myself thinking about it long after I finished reading it.  So that is a mark of a good read for me.

Friday, April 25, 2014

LIGHT it up BLUE or NOT

April is Light it Up Blue for Autism.  I haven't done a post on Autism in a long time. 

My son is now 15 years old and a sophomore in High School . He wasn't diagnosed until he was in 7th grade. So, we as a family are relative new to the autism community. However, we are well past the awareness stage.  Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is part of our family. We were embracing Autism's reality long before it was a label our son had.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent my evening at a seminar/panel discussion on Understanding Behavior. There were experts there on Applied Behavior Analysts (ABA) . At the end of the session, we all stood in a circle and said the name of the child we were there for.  It was very powerful. I guarantee that each and everyone one of us in that circle wanted more than awareness for our children.   I stood in this circle of parents and I was keenly aware how much we wanted recognition, inclusion and acceptance for our kids. 

Awareness is not enough.  New statistics are out and 1 in 68 children are on the spectrum.  So chances are statistically speaking, you know someone on the spectrum. This booming population is going to need community.

Like a bell on a quiet night, I feel parents need to hear this most: we just want to connect children with the resources they need to thrive at home and at school and throughout their lives. Doesn’t matter what we call it, we want children of all backgrounds, of all resources, and all opportunity to be afforded the chance for a connected, lovely life. As a realist of course, I do know that numbers matter because it changes how we screen, how we advocate for children, how we move funds and resources, and how we ensure children get what we need. Numbers help activate. - Seattle Mama Doc

To be honest, I think we have had autism awareness months for enough time now. We have spread much awareness through local activities and the media. I really wish we could rename this month "autism acceptance month", and focus attention on doing an act of companionship; something in your local community to communicate acceptance and companionship. Whet...her that be a sensory friendly movie day at the local theater, a diversity party at school, a showcase of talents displayed at school, an acceptance play at the local theater, or any display of true acceptance such as volunteering for special event days, or simply showcasing businesses that make accommodations for employees or set up a special support services for inclusion in the community. Even promoting peer mentors and reaching out with play dates at local parks. Actual acts of companionship that reaches out and touches both young and old on the spectrum. I know from experience that a physical act of companionship can establish not just awareness but acceptance.- Autism Discussion Page Facebook

I won't be lighting it up blue but only because I am too busy fighting for more than awareness. I have stood in the circle and I want more for my child than just awareness.

Some more links for thought

I really liked Floor Pie blog post Episodes of Inclusion

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Museum of Discovery- Ft Collins, CO

I know another post from our Spring Break.  We really enjoyed our stop here at the Museum of Discovery in Ft Collins, Colorado.  This was a good one for adults and kids.  Where else can you find out if you are strong as a horse
Cody testing to see if he as strong as a horse
Or stand in a tornado chamber
photo by MRF
Or blow a made up horn. ( I loved that they had sanitized mouth pieces.) 
Charlie future horn player? He actually did get a decent sound of out of it.
lift a piano
Furious Ant and Cody
blow on a million sequin disks with a fan
Photo by MRF
This sign cracked me up. I am easily amused.
This also amused me.  Ah, so easily amused.
 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Fortune Eggs

We are having a low key Easter here.  Last night, I decided to make Easter Fortune Eggs.  Here are a few of the gems my kids received in their Easter Basket. My kids are way past the age of the Easter Bunny so I attempted funny. This is what you get late night with plastic eggs and post it notes. Yes, I am a plastic egg hoarder and proud of it. 
 
Oh these just kept getting better and better. :) Here a few egg fortunes.
 
 
 

 
 
 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Currently Around Here

I am working on a rag quilt.  This is the in progress picture. The layout was giving me fits but a consult with Mrs Epi seemed to resolve my difficulties. It is a little different than I done in the past.  I found my inspiration at Do It Yourself Divas.



My oldest son wanted everyone to see the above video. He thought it would make good blogging material.

I have started my garden.  Got potatoes planted.  I got sugar snap peas coming up.  Hopefully the zinnia sprouts will make it.  I need more dirt.

The Giant Man Child and I sat through Parent Night for incoming 6th Graders to Middle School this fall..  Wow, I don't know if my kid is ready for this.  I know I am not ready. They are predicting 185 incoming 6th graders.

So this is the busyness that is consuming us at our house.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Playlist in my Mind/Personal Anthem

Recently in Parade Magazine, they had the Happy Playlist of some celebrities- Dr Oz, Al Roker , Katie Couric, Macro Rubio.  It was interesting.  Who knew on Dr Oz had Waka  Waka on his playlist?

I am one of these people who get a song or a phrase stuck in my head.  Sometimes there is meaning there and other times it is just my brain filling space.

The Nester had a blog post on personal anthems.  IT got me to thinking.  Do I have a song that is a personal anthem for me? For a while, I  it has been for a while Aaron Prichett and "How Do I get There". Specifically this verse

How Do I Get There
Can I Ever
Unburn the Bridges
The Bridges I Burned
To the Ground

More recently it has been Compass by Lady Antebellum



My current go to playlist
Home - Phillips Phillips
Southern Comfort Zone - Brad Paisley
Between the Raindrops- Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield
Remind Me Who I am - Jason Gray
Wake Me Up- Avicii
Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Eli Young Band
Blurred Lines- Robin Thicke
It's Time - Imagine Dragons
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
Counting Stars -One Republic
Every Storm- Gary Allan
Mama's Broken Heart- Miranda Lambert
Compass - Lady Antebellum
Roar - Katy Perry

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bush Whacker Bob

Recently, we had a geocaching trackable that my husband had picked up in San Antonio, Texas.  We thought we would give him an adventure.  For more information about geocaching trackables click here.
Bush Whacker Bob at Peace Arch State Park
Blaine WA
As part of our morning writing practice Chuck wrote the story below:

Bush Whacker Bob who is he you might ask? Well , Bush Whacker Bob is a not so well known explorer who has traveled to Washington  soon to travel to Colorado where he will be dropped off. We will have help from Furious Ant the 5th member of the Two Man Wrecking Crew . Bush Whacker Bob has already started packing his items like hat, bees, snake and oh his other snake! He also said ,"I liked Ohio it was lovely but Washington was to rainy. I would like to visit a place with more snow and with a mix of sun like Colorado, home of the donkeys...". OH one thing that should be noted , keep him out of the cacti and thorn bushes. Also keep him away from poison berries and he also hates people bickering about who is better Sea Hawks or Donkeys .

The end of our journey with Bush Whacker Bob was in Colorado when we dropped him in the Funny Faces cache. So far Bush Whacker Bob has traveled  6,327 miles.  He started his journey in Alaska and has now visited Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Colorado
Bob at Funny Faces Cache

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Poverty/Tiny Houses linky love

There is has been a lot of press of the Tiny House movement.  I am fascinated by the whole tiny house concept. So linky love this Sunday is all on Tiny Houses and Homelessness/Poverty. There is some thought that Tiny Houses might be one of the solutions to homelessness.

This is good overview of the whole tiny house concepts and includes the documentary - "We the Tiny House People"

Teacher Tom and stipends for the poor.

Mobile Homeless Shelter - This so reminds me of the story line of 2 Broke Girls and Deke who lives in a renovated dumpster.  Mod Vintage did a post on it. 

Tiny Houses for the Homeless- This is a urban village in Olympia, WA that is made up of tiny houses for the homeless. 

My friend wrote a brilliant post on Poverty and how it is effecting her.  Check it out- Poverty of Compassion

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kite Flying

Chuck and I decided to go fly a kite. The wind was perfect.  We experimented with a couple different ones and decided our big one was perfect for today's wind.
A Kite
I often sit and wish that I
Could be a kite up in the sky,
And ride upon the breeze and go
Whichever way I chanced to blow.
   Frank Dempster Sherman


Friday, April 11, 2014

Is Wyoming on Your Mind?

Wyoming State Capital Building
While we were in Colorado for Spring Break.  We decided it would be fun to drive up to Cheyenne for the day.  My parents prefer to head to Cheyenne over Denver.  I don't ever recall growing up and really visiting Cheyenne.  So we took off in a full mini van and after back tracking to the Welcome to Wyoming Sign.  We found a geocache and got this cool picture.

We stopped for lunch at the Golden Arches and headed to an interesting virtual cache. It was called GPS calibration. This is a virtual geocache and also a bench mark, survey marker.  Benchmarking is also another activity that some geocachers enjoy doing.

We also visited the Wyoming State Museum. 
Boot outside of Wyoming State Museum
I can't believe this was free.  This small museum is well worth a stop.  This place is chock full of some really interesting stuff. There is some amazing native artifacts.  I especially loved the beaded horse mask.  I failed to take a picture of the mask of course. THERE IS EVEN A GEOCACHE IN HERE.  I am going to have to spoil it for you.  It was in a replicate of an outhouse.

They had a traveling exhibit of trout decorated by Wyoming High School Art Classes. The exhibit is called "Traveling Trout."These were very cool.  Below is a few of my favorites.
 
plastic knives are used for the fins
Charlie trying to be a flying fish?
Of course, we came all the way to WYOMING to climb this snow mountain. It was just too great of a temptation for a few in our group.
 
Lastly, we made another U-turn and visited the Wyoming Visitor Center.  It is exit 4 in case you wondered.  I am glad we stopped.  We saw a fox as we turned in.  The visitor center has lots of wonderful hands on stuff.  It is like a physical travel ad for Wyoming. 
trying to power a light bulb with a bike
Cody and Colby
Playing drums in a Tepee
Cody
In a Jail but this jail had 2 escape routes
Cody

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break/Playing in Northern Colorado


Cannon Park aka Dwayne Webster Veteran's Park
Loveland CO
Charlie and Cody
Vacation is good for the soul.  We got to visit Colorado for Spring Break.  It so happened to be my youngest nephews spring break as well.  Here are some highlight photos from some parks we visited in Loveland, Colorado.




North Shore Park -Loveland, CO
Chuck and Aunt Mishy on Escargot

Us hugging Escargot
North Shore Park
Photo by MRF
Chuck testing the rings
Photo by MRF

Even Uncles Have to Swing
Cody, Kevin, and Colby
photo by MRF