Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Reading Round UP

These are the books are read in 2015. It is quite the mixed bag. I read 36 books this past year.

Below Are the Books I most recommend from my 2015 Read List

The Orchard House.  This book is a memoir. This is the one I most recommend.  This is a perfect Pacific Northwest Book.

Boys in the Boat - This was our county's reading book of the year.  I thought it was really good choice.

Postcards from Cookie

Amy and Rogers Epic Detour This book was recommended on The Modern Mrs Darcy's Summer reading list.  I think it a great road trip book.

Miles from Nowhere - I loved this great adventure book.  This was an amazing adventure.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Transition from High School to the Real World Pt 2

This is my personal journal about transition for my son on the spectrum from High School to the Real world. I found very little on this subject that applied to higher functioning kids on the spectrum. This part 2 of my series (part 1) My son is now a senior and attends a special school that serves only students that are behavior disordered.

Right now we are in the land of the what if's.  What if he doesn't qualify for assistance from the government?  What if he wants to go to college?  What if he doesn't want to live with us? As a parent, I finding I am needing to shift from focusing on from telling everyone how able my son is to how disabled he is.  That is difficult and in a strange way feels like a betrayal of my son.  I wrestle with this a lot.

I have included links through out to articles I have found helpful or depressing depending how you look at it.

Sep 2015
First week of school rough.  Started the week with no electricity, first day the bus forgot him, and he forgot lunch the next day and never told anyone. Refuses to go to a couple of classes. So in other words, it is business as usual

Adult, Autistic, and Ignored

ADHD Symptoms Can Delay Autism Diagnosis - This is exactly what happened in my son's case.  He has an ADHD diagnosis since pre kindy but didn't receive autism diagnosis until middle school.

Attended a Autism Support Group through ARC.  It was helpful. Thinking about applying for DDA and the need for a medical power attorney. There was a lot of food for thought here.

Sorting out Paperwork
Applied to DDA - took me forever to get everything together.  I surely did kill a tree.
Attended  another Autism Support Group

IEP Meeting - hmmm finally might offer him transition services instead of diploma.  Meet in March/April again to discuss transition. Of course nothing is in writing.


High School Sets Up Autistic Kids to Fail in College Lots of food for thought here.

Heard back from the DDD (DDA) and my son is eligible but on the no paid services que.

Whose CHOICE is it Anyway

Autism is Really a Super Power

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Last Linky Love of 2015

10 New Year Resolutions You Should Keep

Top 12 Christmas Storage Tips

The Battles We Choose - oh so good, this is on parenting.

Teacher Tom: The Technology on How to Treat Human Beings - I need to be reminded of this because I know this works with Teenagers as well.  Heck this is good for difficult adults as well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

T-shirts with a Message #6

It only seemed like I should end the year with another round of T-shirts with a message.  I found all of these gems at my local Value Village.  You gotta love a t-shirt with a message.
My Husband Needs this Shirt

Monday, December 21, 2015

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker- Dinner Music

Dear Diary
For the past year and half I have been listening to after dinner music.  At first it was quite jarring.  You see my son was learning to play the trumpet and at first it didn't make the best after dinner music. I am really proud of how my son has stuck with it.  I wasn't in band so maybe I didn't really have the proper appreciation for band music. 
practicing before concert in band uniform

My dog is still not convinced that trumpet music is his favorite.  He does like to sing/whine/bark along

This is How Music Can Change Your Brain

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Before Christmas Linky Love

I just had to share the viral video above. This should been captioned "Only in Seattle". Things that make you go hmmm.

Coast Guard Delivers Buoy to Widow This is such a great story.

No Fresh Blood on the Walls I can so relate to what Renee is saying. My blog has evolved in a similar way. My kids want their privacy and now some of those stories aren't mine to tell any more.

Making Our Own Magic - So well said and I love that this blogger was inspired by Ali Edwards.  I am a big fan of Ali too and have done her December Daily in the past.

Gerry's List: How our Bookstore Came to Love a Family We Never Met - I love this story. I need a Gerry and a bookstore to pick books for me.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Attracted to the Light

favorite light display in our town- photo doesn't do it justice
I finally have figured out during the Christmas season what appeals to me specifically is the light.  I love the light displays. This is what makes Christmas magical to me.

I was so excited to get a new type of light for my lighting display.  It is a projection turning light.  It makes a kaleidoscope effect.  I have it on my snowflake window.  It is very pretty. Unfortunately, it is hard to get a picture of it in action.  I can't explain it but our lights make me happy.
Our Lights
Have you seen the new Outdoor Christmas Lights you can program. - Tatertots and Jello

I love candles flickering on a dark night. I am drawn like a moth to a flame. Even as a young girl, my favorite part of the holiday season was the Christmas Eve Candle Light Service.  I always find myself seeking the light. But it is just not the light, it is pause we have to take to enjoy the light and the journey of seeking it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What I read December

I am linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy in her Quick Lit Linky.  Check out what everyone has been reading.

The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn
The general gist of the story is Clarissa Granville lives in a grand English country house and falls in love with Tom the housekeeper's son. There was a whole upstairs-downstairs friendship turned into romance. 

This was a read that got suggested if you like Downton Abbey.  I am a big Downton Abbey fan. This was interesting a bit more on the risque side than some people might be comfortable with. This book covered the time period around World War One. 

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson started the Equal Justice Initiative a legal practice defending the poor, wrongly condemned on death row, and juveniles convicted as adults.  One of his cases was that of Walter McMillian who sentenced to die for a murder he did not commit.

What a book! This book will definitely have you rethink your views on Justice and how it is served.  The end of this book made me cry but this isn't a sad book.  Once again I was reminded that we as a country have a lot to rethink about how we serve justice with life sentences and the death penalty.

I need to briefly step into the reading confessional.  I read a Danielle Steel book - Big Girl over Thanksgiving Break.  It was not one of her better ones but I kept reading anyway.  Danielle Steel has a way of getting her hooks into you.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Diary of Mediocre Homemaker - Snowflake Light Feature

Dear Diary
Sometimes my husband must hate the voices in my head.  I saw this neat snowflake light thingy and I had to make it.  Meaning my husband must help me make it or literally just make it.  Hey, I am just the idea person.
My husband needs this T-shirt
The "idea" was from Lowes Creative Ideas magazine.  Below is the birth of a snowflake light feature. The pan is actually a heat water heater pan.  We stenciled a snowflake on the pan and drilled holes for the LED lights.  Well I guess it was more like my hubby did those things.

The final Product!  It is meant to hang outside but the weather has been so miserable- rainy/windy.  I decided it would look great hanging behind my Shiny Brite display

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Oh Joy Some Linky Love

 Mary, Did You Know is one of my favorite Christmas Songs.  Beautifully done by Penatonix

8 Things that Stomach Doc Always Tell Their Friends  In this holiday season of delicious food, lots of good information.

When You Realize You Are in a Vulnerable spot 
This post is by the wonderfully wise Modern Mrs Darcy

16 Lego Christmas Decorations

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - I got a snowflake thing

Dear Diary
I might have a little addiction to snowflakes. I GOT IT BAD! I however don't want the real stuff!!!

I have made popsicle snowflakes. These things are huge and graphic and that is why I love them. They are hung from a spring rod.

I have done an Ode to the Elf movie with snowflakes galore resulting in a lovely garland complete with coffee filter snowflakes. It is a now a Christmas tradition and I have one currently up.

I have done beaded snowflakes on pipe cleaners.  This is a craft I learned at MOPS (mother's of preschoolers)

I also have made dollar store clothespin snowflakes.  Not to be left out, I also made a giant PVC snowflake.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Hour of Code

In the past, my kids have done this with varying amounts of success.  My oldest is a whiz at this stuff. I was actually thinking of giving it a shot.  I don't feel very tech savvy and if it is geared to kids maybe I would have success. This would be a great activity to do over winter break as well.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Diary of Mediocre Homemaker - Metallica Bridge

Photo of all the tags of Metallica on town bridge shared to Discover Ferndale
Dear Diary
Our town has Metallica bridge.  Yes, Metallica bridge, you know the rock band.  Since I moved her 11 years ago many things have been graffiti-ed on the bridge but consistently it has been Metallica even one time it had misspelled .  What do you expect from some vandals? There was also that time where Nine Inch Nails claimed a spot on the bridge for a time. Of course, Nine Inch Nails stayed up for a while due to a little flooding.

This is the stuff of urban legends. Is it the same person always doing the Metallica graffiti? Why was it missing from the bridge for over a year?  Did the graffiti artist go to college? It is our little town's claim to fame. The little bit of irony is that we have many beautiful murals and totems in but that isn't what we are known for.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What I Learned November


Oh ,I learned so much this month.  I am linking up with Chatting with the Sky

1.Einstein was a Bad Ass (sorry for the swear) according to my 17 year old.

Anyone watch the show "The Secrets of Einstein's Brain" on the history channel?  Did you know the pathologist that did his autopsy stole his brain? It was really fascinating show about Einstein.  I didn't know that just in one year he published 4 theories including the Theory of Relativity. They call 1905, Einstein's Miracle Year.

2.On a sadder note, we lost a dear friend to a heart attack.

This special friend basically launched my husband's career. I realized how much of our memories of San Diego are tied to him.  He introduced us to so much of My husband wrote down many of the stories about him for his kids. This friend taught my kids to call their dad's uniform a pickle suit. He will be so missed. RIP in peace Mike

3.A flock of Herons

I was eating my birthday breakfast at a local restaurant that overlooks the bay in Blaine, WA and we watched a group of Heron's hanging out.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  There were about 20 Herons and the number kept growing as we sat there. Did you know when breeding herons gather in colonies they are called heronries?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

After Thanksgiving Linky Love

Cody Art - Hand
Hopefully everyone had a delightful enjoyable Thanksgiving.  Here are just some link love for you all. The one below is for Mrs Epi.

The video below was a submission from my sister. She finds it hilarious

Thursday, November 26, 2015

So Thankful

Photo by the Legendary Mrs Epi - Sunset Hovander
I am so thankful for friends that laugh at my made up band names and walk me to death

I am thankful for my spouse that indulges all my many projects and takes care of me

I am thankful for my family who laughs at me and with me.

I thankful for my smart loving kids

I thankful for all my blog readers

I hope everyone has a wonderful restful thankful THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - Every Town has One

Front of the house viewed through dirty windshield - Nov 2015
Side of House- Nov 2015
Dear Diary
Everyone asks me about this one building/house in my town. I think every town has one building that people say "What is up with that?" 

The owner calls it the Clock Tower.  Other people might have some different names for it.  I myself call it the mystery house. It recently made the local news again.  The builder may have missed the deadline to finish the outside of the house. I know shockingly work was stopped because various building codes weren't being followed.  I have to say once the owner got the go ahead he has diligently been working on the outside. 

Post from 2011


               2014 again with video

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pre Turkey Linky Love

On Friday, I saw people out buying ingredients for their Thanksgiving dinner.  People had SERIOUS lists going.  I have never seen so many people shopping with lists.  I decided to do a pre thanksgiving linky.  Surely people need a break from all the Thanksgiving planning.

27 Ways to Win Thanksgiving
Just a few hints to make it through the holiday

Treating PTSD with ...Tetris?
This is an intriguing idea.

The Neurotypical Mom: What has become of Motherhood?
Lots of food for thought.  As an introvert I hate having my kids involved in a bunch of activities. But I find myself running around too. There are some really good observations.

Cinnamon Roll Turkey's
This is something of a tradition at my house.  My boys are older so don't know if we will do but I hope we will.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What I Read November

So many good books, so little time.  Either I have too little to read or too much.  That is what keeps my library fines high. I am linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy's Quick Lit. Check out what everyone is reading.

I read The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi.  I enjoyed learning about the seldom talked about tradition of  Bacha Posh in Afghanistan where a young girl assumes the identity of a boy. The girl is treated as a son and given all the privileges that entails until they reach puberty.  This is told through two women one in the more present and one in the past.  I enjoyed the story but the ending left me somewhat wanting. I am struck once again about the differences in culture on how women are seen and treated. 

*** Very a la Modern Mrs Darcy aka some Book Parings that would go along well with this book
Finding Nouf  by Zoe Ferraris (part of a 3 book detective series so far) my review

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen is a young adult author who I really enjoy.  She really hooks you into the story.The story is about Sydney and how her brother is imprisoned for drunk driving and how her mother stops really seeing her. Everything in her family life becomes about her imprisoned brother.  Sydney feels acceptance for the first time after changing high schools and meeting the Chatham family. I love the quote from the book below.

This and That Linky Love

One of my Favorite Big Bang Quotes

Long Line at the Library? It's Story time again - I loved taking my kids to story time.  For the longest time, this was a well kept secret.

LEGO Stocking Stuffers

Most Affordable Places to Travel Next Year According to Lonely Planet

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker- Casserole Trap

Dear Diary
They said, "Try them you will like them."  Casseroles are the workhorse of the eat dinner at home crowd.   It is quick.  It is easy.  We don't do many casseroles at my house. Well, I evidently picked the wrong casserole for this foray into the casserole world.  I made Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice.  It was DELISH but it drove me to drink.  Yes, I had a glass of wine. I didn't know I would need to learn how to make a cheese sauce. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the the creation it was hit with the adults at least. However, you can admire my ginormous bag of wild rice.  

I might have over bought from the bulk bin at Winco. A little wild rice goes a LONG way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veteran's Day

My Dad  - US Air Force
Thank you to all that are serving and all those who served!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

T-Shirts with a Message #5

One of my odd hobbies is checking out the T-shirt selection at our local Value Village and finding interesting T-shirts to share with my readers  This is a small round up of my recent finds.

I would of totally of bought this t-shirt except it had a stain on the lower half. I can think of several adolescent boys this would fit.
 I think this shirt could be taken several different ways depending on who wears it.  (ha, ha)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wanderlust Linky Love

Mountain by Charlie
It seems like when it gets dark here in the Pacific Northwest I develop a serious case of Wanderlust
check out this link You Can Travel Across the Entire US for less than $500 by Train

Along the same lines - How to Travel the World When You are Broke

My Pinterest Travel Bucket List Board  - It is an eclectic list Crater Laker, Glacier Park, Scotland, Iceland, Hiawatha Trail.

Top 11 Christmas Travel Gifts for Kids - I don't think vegemite would make my kids list - interesting

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - Not feeling the Skillet Love

Dear Diary
I just wanted to be healthier and you know better.  I bought a ceramic skillet hoping it would reform my broken ways.  It worked perfectly at first.  The darn thing was super slippery.  The eggs practically flipped themselves.  BUT then something went horribly wrong. 

Isn't that WRONG!  Bacon should not stick to your skillet. So I consulted Amazon and we are trying a professional T-Fal skillet.

Anyone have a positive experience with a Ceramic Skillet?

Need more Diary of Mediocre Homemaker love check out these posts
Famous Last Words
Ice Cream Bread

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Did Ya VOTE?

At least my neighbor has a sense of humor
I live next to candidate for mayor in our little town.  I even wrote a letter to the editor. See my letter here. I voted!  Participate in local government - VOTE!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Recap 2015

Things went down a little differently this year.  We weren't out trick or treating.  THAT felt weird. We still had some interesting experiences.
Cat Lady

There really should be a people of Value Village website.  The interesting factor was really amped up there a few days before Halloween.  We saw the cat lady in Value Village. I think a fake cat would of been fine the whole cat lady costume. By the way, this was a customer.  Her very live cat wasn't that happy. Mrs Epi made me do it!

We carved some pumpkins. Charlie's was a owl/hawk and Cody's was a cat.
Advisory Class Door for Red Ribbon Week - Don't Get Caught in the Web of Drugs

This is the door that Charlie's advisory class did for Red Ribbon week.  I liked it.

Identity Thief
Charlie dressed up as an Identify Thief for a youth group Harvest Party. He put names of his youth group on the name tags as well as some interesting others.