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?