Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Absolute Garbage!

Picture Courtesy of Sodahead.com

Today is trash day. "Big deal" you say? Well, it is to Cody. It's like Christmas every darn week. Cody gets so excited that he wakes up at 5:00 a.m., if not earlier, just so he won't miss hearing the trash truck come into our cul-de-sac. On Christmas Day, I don't mind if I'm dragging butt by late afternoon; it's worth it because it's fun.

I hate trash day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cody's Words of Encouragement

We drove into town this evening to pick up some pizzas and on the way home Cody randomly blurts out, "If at first you don't succeed, ... stop."

Another WTF? moment.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"I'm Never Gonna Hang With You Again!"

We've been having problems with our garage door. Sometimes it opens with the remote and other times it gets stuck and we have to get out of the car to open it manually. It's bothering Cody like crazy. This morning, when Don came home from running errands, Cody (who has a keen sense of hearing) greeted his dad and the conversation went like this...

Cody- "Dad. How come you keep starting the garage and stopping the garage?"

Don- "I couldn't get the stupid thing to open Fred (one of Don's many nicknames for Cody)."

Cody- "I'm never gonna hang with you again." (Cody said with all the drama of a teenage girl.)

Don- "Okay Cody. If I can't hang with you, what am I suppose to do today while mom and Katelyn go shopping?"

Cody- "I guess you'll have to do facebook or something."

I'm not sure exactly what the two of them did while Katelyn and I were gone. Don rarely sits down at the computer so I highly doubt he "got on facebook". And, since they had Wendy's Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers and Fries for lunch, they must have "hung out" a little bit. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010


On Thanksgiving Day, after we've stuffed our faces with delicious food, the fam gathers around to either make crafts for Christmas or play board games. This year we chose to play. Some of our favorite group games are Apples to Apples, Imaginiff, Balderdash, Mad Gab, and Swap. But this year Cranium was the hit. My sister-in-law absolutely loves it when someone has to pull the Playdough card and play it. For me, Charades is my least favorite card. (It probably ought to be the Humming and Whistling card since I suck at both.) This year, the card that totally kicked butt was Drawing with Your Eyes Closed. Let me show you why. And just to make it so you can play along, I've posted the pictures first and then the answer, so scroll slowly...

Did you guess Flat Tire? FYI. Those lines are arrows. :)

This is a clown ( I thought it looked like Disney's Huey, Dewey, or Louie.)

Toucan. I'm diggin' the backwards wing.

I'm proud to say this work of art belongs to me!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Which One is Different? Do You Know?

Remember this Sesame Street Song?

According to Cody, which of these four things does not belong with the other?

1) Phone
2) Vacuum
3) EV (elevator)
4) Grocery Cart

I will post the answer after a few people guess :)

(Family members, if you already know the answer, please don't give it away.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Appreciative Even Though...

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl
when the alarm rings each morning
Thank you Lord, that I can hear.

Even though I keep my eyes tightly closed
against the morning light as long as possible,
Thank you Lord, that I can see.

Even though I huddle in my bed,
and put off the physical effort of rising,
Thank you Lord, that I have the strength to rise.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic,
when socks are lost, toast is burned, and tempers are short,
Thank you Lord, for my family.

Even though our table never looks like pictures in magazines,
And the menu is at times unbalanced,
Thank you, Lord, for the food we have.

Even though the routine
of my job is often monotonous,
Thank you Lord, for the opportunity to work.

Even though I grumble and bemoan
My fate from day to day,
And wish my modest circumstances
Were not quite so modest,
I thank you Lord, for the gift of life!

Author Unknown

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Make Sense of This...

American Broadcast Company Door Event Final Guy High Interest Just Keep Light Might Night Oh Pipes Queen Rather So Tease Utah Vulture Wood X-change Yes Zeebot

Have you figured this out yet? If not, let me tell you. This is how Cody use to recite the alphabet. Every single word/letter is spelled right or makes sense except X-change and Zeebot.

Oh, to be inside his brain... :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Candy Canes and Courage

 My husband was completely out of character when he bought candy cane lights at Wal-Mart's after Christmas sale last year. He just couldn't pass them up at 25 cents each.

I'm trying to get up the nerve to tell him I'd really like our house to look like this one this year...

Wish me luck please.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Laughing at Inappropriate Times

When people sneeze, Cody laughs. He always has. We have told him that it is inappropriate and he should say "bless you" instead, but to no avail. The staff and other clients at his Day Program don't appreciate Cody laughing when they sneeze, but I don't know what more to do. Seriously, I've learned to choose my battles and this seems trivial compared to what Cody could be doing. Haven't we all had moments in our lives when we've laughed at inappropriate times? Certainly the lady is this video has. Watch it and you'll be laughing right along with her; I guarantee it.

Candied Yams

6-8 Large Yams
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cups Water
1/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Wash yams and boil until tender (test by pricking with a fork). Peel and cut cooked yams into large cubes or slices. Spray a 13"x9" pan with cooking oil and add yams.

Mix sugars, water, corn syrup, and cornstarch in saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook down until mixture thickens. Stir in vanilla and pour over yams. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, periodically spooning the sauce over the yams.

My grandma passed this recipe on to me before she died. I am assigned to bring Candied Yams to Thanksgiving dinner every year. It's an all around favorite.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Cards for Charity

If you're sending out Christmas Cards, please consider ordering them from the following website. You will be supporting a great cause. Cody spent many, many weeks at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

Doernbecher Foundation: Cards for Kids

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ten Reasons to Give Thanks for Your Child with Special Needs

1. You never have to worry about worrying over nothing.
Let other parents obsess over the frivolous and the shallow. Your child will make sure you always have something worthy to worry about.

2. Developmental delays = more years of hugs, kisses, and little-kid sweetness.
My 13-year-old still wants to sit in my lap, give me hugs, and tell me he loves me. What mom of a sullen teen doesn't secretly wish for the same?

3. Maybe someday, Ty Pennington will come build you a house.
Hey, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition loves families of children with special needs. Your little one may be your ticket to a lavish living space.

4. Any little milestone is a cause to throw a party.
Your child works hard for every step, sit-up and syllable, giving you lots to be excited about.

5. Every day is a learning experience.
Some days it's a pop quiz, some days it's a crash course, but life with your child is always an education, for sure.

6. You have the privilege of putting several doctors' children through college.
After paying for all those appointments, you may feel like a one-family scholarship foundation. Put your child's name on some letterhead and take pride.

7. You meet a better class of parent in waiting rooms and support groups.
Your child frees you from having to hang out with those snotty parents on the playground, and gives you entry into an exclusive club of people who are sensitive, sarcastic, and sure of their priorities.

8. You have an iron-clad escape excuse for any occasion.
You'd love to stay at that boring party, crowded event, endless church service, but, you know, your child just can't tolerate it. (And if sometimes it's you who can't tolerate it -- who's to know?)

9. Coming up with new strategies every day keeps your brain sharp.
They say doing crossword puzzles helps ward off Alzheimer's. Figuring out your child's schedules and treatments and lessons and rights and restrictions must easily provide twice the protection.

10. Your blessings will always be fully counted.
Other parents may take the gifts that their children bring for granted. Not you. Not ever.

Written by Terri Mauro, About.com Guide

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gluten-Free Snack Mix Recipe

Here is the link for all of my gluten-free cousins and friends:

Gluten-Free Snack Mix Recipe Taste of Home Recipes


One of Cody's talents is listening to other people's conversations. If he's not getting into trouble for eavesdropping, he is getting the rest of the family in trouble by repeating everything we say.

For instance, this morning I was asking Don if he realized that Bo (Katelyn's boyfriend) had come to the house after we'd gone to bed. I was just making conversation; we'd gone to bed early and it wasn't a big deal. 

Several minutes later Cody said, "I don't think that's a good idea."

Confused because so much time had lapsed, I asked, "What's not a good idea Cody?"
He replied, "Bo coming over in the middle of the night."

I hope for Katelyn's sake that Cody doesn't repeat this conversation. It could be completely taken out of context. However, I do think it's special that Cody is acting concerned about his little sister. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Autism Advocate?

Cody had one of these talking touchans as a child and he loved it!

This picture reminds me of the time Cody got in trouble at the Middle School for typing "This is pissing me off." into the talking computer. He would never say a curse word, but he'd type one and let the computer say it! The teacher was upset with Cody, but I remember thinking "My child is brilliant. He found a way to tell them exactly how he feels."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Combining Scrapbooking with Journaling II

Here is another Scrapbook/ Journal idea.
(Combining Scrapbooking with Journaling is in my July archive.)

I asked the kids questions about their dad this time and these are the answers they gave me...

1) What Two Things Could Dad Never Live Without?
     Katelyn- His Family and Sugar
     Casey- His Job and Coke
     Chase- His Right Hand and His Left Hand
     Cody- Tools and Coke

2) What Shirt Should Dad Give to Charity?
     Katelyn- His $5.00 4th of July Shirts that He Hangs onto for Years
     Casey- All of them
     Chase- His Church Shirts
     Cody- His Bass Pro Shop Shirt

3) What's Dad's Favorite Movie?
     Katelyn- Something Western
     Casey- I Don't Know Names of Westerns
     Chase- Any Old Western that is on T.V. and Halfway Over
     Cody- I'll Pass

4) What Do You Believe Dad Struggles With?
     Katelyn- Other Drivers
     Casey- His Piece of Shit Ford
     Chase- Sleeping
     Cody- Reading

5) How Would You Describe Dad to Someone Meeting Him for the First Time?
     Katelyn- Tall, Gray Hair
     Casey- Tall with Gray Hair
     Chase- I'd Just Show Them My Sketches of Him
     Cody- Precious

6) If Dad Had a Million Dollars, What Would He Buy First?
     Katelyn- a New Truck
     Casey- Chevelle
     Chase- Truck, but Chances are it Would Be a Weed-eater
     Cody- Computer

7) What's Dad's Favorite Candy Bar?
     Katelyn- Mounds or Charleston Chew
     Casey- Big Hunk
     Chase- Charleston Chew
     Cody- Snickers

8) What Makes Dad Mad?
     Katelyn- Snotty Teenagers
     Casey- Me (sometimes)
     Chase- Almost Everything
     Cody- Kicking Him Under the Table

I feel like I need to say something in regards to #4. Don does not struggle with reading. Who knows where Cody came up with that?!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I haven't made these yet, but I'm going to. They look delectable. Go to The Idea Room to get the recipe.


Friday, November 12, 2010

My DUH Moment

I asked Cody what he wanted to do tonight and he said, "Let's go look at Christmas lights". I replied "It's only November 12th. It's too early to look at Christmas lights." Then I started thinking about it and realized we could've loaded into the car and drove around playing Christmas CD's. It would have worked for him. That's what he thinks it's all about anyway! He can't see the lights.

The Joys of Public Parking

Cody enjoys going places the majority of us wouldn't think twice about. One of them being parking garages. He prefers to call them parkades. Because we spent a lot of time there, he likes to reminisce about the parking garage at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

The growing town where we now live built its first big parking structure a few years ago. Chase and Casey (my other sons) take Cody there periodically. The three of them drive to the top level, park, ride the elevator and then leave. It bugs Cody a bit that there's not an attendant at this garage to take tickets or money. Something about rolling down the car window and interacting with a ticket taker excites him.

Parkades not only make me think of Cody, but of my favorite episode of Seinfeld "The Parking Garage". If you haven't seen this, or even if you have, you might want to click on this link, watch the clip and read the synopsis. It's pretty amusing.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kindergarten Crush

I was inside during recess today helping one of the girls finish her assignment, when a little boy came flying into the classroom. He shouted, in an almost perturbed way, "Caitlyn, are you going to chase me or not?"

I try to remember the cute and/or funny things that happen at school, so I can share them with my family. When I told my teen-age daughter about this particular incident, her remark was "If only boys would say that when they're older!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday's Twinkie Day

...according to Cody. I'm not sure why but I figure it's because Twinkie and Tuesday both start with T. Nobody else in our family enjoys eating Twinkies the way Cody does, so to keep them from getting old and moldy, I freeze the entire package. Every Monday evening Cody reminds me to get a Twinkie out of the freezer and put it in his lunchbox for the next day.

I found the following recipe at http://www.hostesscakes.com/.
I have not tried it but the pumpkin caught me eye (fitting to the season for those of us in the United States).

Pumpkin Twinkie Dessert

1 package (15 ounces) Hostess Twinkies (10 Twinkies)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 container (8 ounces) frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup milk
Additional pumpkin pie spice

Slice Twinkies in half lengthwise and place cream-side up, in single layer in 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Using a mixer, blend together cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and ½ of whipped topping until smooth. Spread evenly over Twinkies.

Combine pudding mix, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and milk. Whisk until well blended and layer over cream cheese mixture. Carefully spread remaining whipped topping over pumpkin. Lightly sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Refrigerate several hours or until set.

Makes 9 to 12 servings.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Are You Seizure Smart?

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy, also known as Seizure Disorder, can affect anybody at any age. Please click on the following link to see how seizure smart you are.

Epilepsy Foundation-National Epilepsy Awareness Month

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How Do You Eat Your Oreos?

A few years back Katelyn was at her (then) boyfriend's house eating Oreo cookies. When Katelyn picked up a cookie and dunked it into her milk, they all looked at her as if she was from another planet. Apparently, the ex-boyfriend's family considered dunking cookies in milk inappropriate. Since then it has become a bit of a joke to ask Katelyn's boyfriends if they dunk Oreo's.

Amusingly, psychologists have discovered the way people eat Oreo cookies provides great insight into their personalities. Choose which best describes your favorite method of eating Oreos and see your personality revealed below.

1. The whole thing all at once.
2. One bite at a time.
3. Slow and methodical nibbles examining the results of each bite afterwards.
4. In little furious nibbles.
5. Dunked in some liquid (milk, coffee...).
6. Twisted apart, the inside, then the cookie.
7. Twisted apart, the inside, and toss the cookie.
8. Just the cookie, not the inside.
9. I just like to lick them, not eat them.
10.I don't have a favorite way because I don't like Oreos.

Your Personality Revealed:

1. The whole thing- This means you consume life with abandon. You are fun to be with, exciting, and carefree with some hint of recklessness. You are totally irresponsible. No one should trust you with their children.

2. One bite at a time- You are lucky to be one of the 5.4 billion other people who eat their Oreos this very same way. Just like them, you lack imagination, but that's ok, not to worry, you're normal.

3. Slow and Methodical- You follow the rules. You're very tidy and orderly. You're very meticulous in every detail with every thing you do to the point of being anal retentive and irritating to others. Stay out of the fast lane if you're only going to go the speed limit.

4. Furious Nibbles- Your boss likes you because you get your work done quickly. You always have a million things to do and never enough time to do them. Mental breakdowns and suicides run in your family. Valium and Ritalin would do you good.

5. Dunked- Everyone likes you because you are always upbeat. You like to sugar coat unpleasant experiences and rationalize bad situations into good ones. You are in total denial about the shambles you call a life. You have a propensity towards narcotic addiction.

6. Twisted apart, the inside, and then the cookie- You have a highly curious nature. You take pleasure in breaking things apart to find out how they work, though not always able to put them back together, so you destroy all the evidence of your activities. You deny your involvement when things go wrong. You are a compulsive liar and exhibit deviant, if not criminal, behavior.

7. Twisted apart, the inside, and then toss the cookie- You are good at business and take risks that pay off. You take what you want and throw the rest away. You are greedy, selfish, mean, and lack feelings for others. You should be ashamed of yourself. But that's okay, you don't care, you got yours.

8. Just the cookie, not the inside- You enjoy pain.

9. I just like to lick them, not eat them- Stay away from small furry animals and seek professional medical help --- immediately.

10. I don't have a favorite way, I don't like Oreo cookies- You probably come from a rich family, and like to wear nice things, and go to upscale restaurants. You are particular and fussy about the things you buy, own, and wear. Things have to be just right. You like to be pampered. You are a prima donna. There's just no pleasing you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Cody has never sneezed a day in his life. NEVER. Because sneezing has something to do with nerves in the nose, I figure Cody's inabilitiy to sneeze is due to being born with Choanal Atresia . Sometimes I wonder if I should submit this information to the Guiness Book of World Records. What do you think?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two Frogs

I love, love, love this! It's short and sweet and worth the read...

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunrise Faux-Pas

Bright and early this morning, as I was buckling Cody into his day program van, I looked down at the clothes I was wearing and said, "Oh my goodness! My blues don't match." Cody, totally blind and obviously not hearing me right, replied, "How come your boobs don't match?" I corrected him before I started laughing. I can only imagine what people must think about our family.

Holiday Cranberry Cobbler

1 Package Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 sticks (1 cup) Margarine or Butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped Pecans (optional)
21 ounce can Peach Pie Filling
16 ounce can Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 350*.

Combine cake mix, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in margarine until crumbly. Stir in nuts and set aside.

Combine pie filling and cranberry sauce in un-greased 13"x9" glass baking dish and mix well.

Sprinkle crumb mixture over fruit.

Bake approximately 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

7 Great Mouse Skills Programs

The following website has online games for teaching mouse skills (single click, double click, drag and drop). If you have young children, I think you'll like it. Check it out!

7 More Great Mouse Skills Programs - Blog Top Sites

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stressed Out Drama Queen

My eighteen year old daughter is a full time college student; she also has a part-time job. Because she has to maintain a 3.8 GPA to keep her scholarship, most days she is a little more than stressed. As well as being the youngest child, she is also the only girl (three older brothers), so she has learned to be a bit of a drama queen. For example, read the conversation Don and I had with her before taking this picture yesterday afternoon.

Katelyn: "I think I'm having a stroke or something. My heart has seriously been beating for like two hours!"

Don and I: (Laughing) "We certainly hope so, otherwise you'd be dead."

Katelyn: "You know damn well what I mean."

Cody: "Uh-oh. I heard that Katelyn. You need pepper on your tongue."

(FYI- her blood pressure was fine.)
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