Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Boys Are On A Liquid Diet


Twenty-something year old sh*#heads.


Teachers

Yesterday was the last day of teacher appreciation week at our school. As a teacher's assistant, I want to share a few things that I know about teachers.

1) Teachers appreciate students who are respectful. Help your child learn how and when to use the words thank you,  please and excuse me.

2) If you wish to show appreciation to your child's teacher, thank you cards from the heart are best. If you insist on giving something more, make it a gift card to a book store such as Barnes and Noble or a school supply store such as Staples.

3) Remember that kids share what they see and hear at home. Don't let it come as a surprise if your child's teacher knows you and your significant other "shower together to save water" or that your family "had to get rid of the dog because it was humping everything".

4) Along with academics, teachers take on the role of mother, father, psychologist, friend, and adviser every day. Plus, they are on the lookout for learning disabilities and issues (bigger than water conservation and pet problems) at home.

5) Teachers are not marriage counselors. At parent-teacher conferences, please stick to your child's progress, not issues between you and your partner.

6) Teachers of lower grades don’t like to be told "I wish I could color and paste all day long." Believe me, teachers do much more than you realize. If you have any doubt, spend time as a classroom volunteer.

7) Teachers don’t arrive at school 10 minutes before your child does and they don’t leave the minute the students get back on the bus. Most put in extra hours before and after school, on week-ends and even holidays.

8) It's your child's homework, not yours. Teachers can tell the difference between a parent helping their child with homework and doing it for them (especially when they’re clueless in class the next day).

9) Check your child's backpack for notes and homework. Just because your child says he did his homework, doesn’t mean it’s true. You must check.

10) Teachers spend money out of their own pockets. They often buy things the students need, such as school supplies and even shoes.

Friday, April 29, 2011

"Thank You For Being Awesome."

Remember my co-worker friend John? He's the one who went in for an Angiogram and came home with a uterus. (To read how something like that can happen, click here .)  Anyway,  it's teacher appreciation week at school and this morning John came into the classroom to show me something one of the students gave him. He was so happy about it, he had it laminated and is taking it home to frame.




And, just so you know, I wasn't completely excluded from acts of kindness. Look at what one of the Kindergarten girls and her mom brought me...







Thursday, April 28, 2011

10 Reasons I Should Be Happy She Wants to Leave Home

Katelyn is my forth child and only daughter. She is nineteen years old, finishing her freshman year at college, and wants to move out for the summer. Here's the thing. Although I know it's inevitable,  I'm not fond of letting her go. I had to wait a good, long time to finally conceive a girl.

Because Cody will be turning the big THREE ZERO in July (just writing it makes me feel sick), I'm already dreading summer 2011. Katelyn deciding to move out is just adding to my grief, so instead of wallowing in my pain, I decided to come up with at least ten reasons why I should be happy to see her go.

1) No more tripping over shoes kicked off near the front door.
2) Less laundry (quite a bit less laundry, actually).
3) Cody gets a bathroom to himself.
4) Less water bottles to wash and refill.
5) The grocery bill will go down.
6) Her bedroom becomes my workout/scrapbook room.
7) No more school books, scarves and/or hand bags cluttering up the kitchen island.
8) Less dirty dishes left in the sink.
9) I'll be the only female in the house dealing with mood swings (I think this will be more of a plus for Don).
10) I give her two weeks before she misses me and appreciates how good she had it living at home!

Even with that said, I still don't feel better  :(

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cody's Added Words to The Pledge of Allegiance

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with statue of liberty and criminal justice for all."

Tell me. What do you think?


Autism Poster Contest

With help from the staff and some amazing sponsors, Amanda Broadfoot, at Life Is A Spectrum, held an Autism Awareness Month Poster Contest at her child's elementary school. These young, aspiring artists have beautiful hearts. Click here to read Amanda's post and see the top 5 winners: The kids are ALL RIGHT . I think our future is in good hands. Hurry...look. You will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

He Did It! He Did It! He Did It!

Regular readers of my blog probably remember the post I wrote about my son Chase's ugly beard. If you are a first time reader or just don't recall the situation, click here

Good news! Katelyn convinced him to trim it! Thank God and Hallelujah! Check out the before and after shots...


Before

After





Of course, Chase wouldn't be Chase if he didn't try to get something out of the whole ordeal. The brat tricked me into saying I'd pay his phone bill for the month of April, but do you know what? I am sooo happy he trimmed the ugly thing, that not only did I pay his phone bill, but I scheduled family photos for this coming Sunday (before he can grow it back).

Of course, I hired a professional photographer. This occasion is too monumental to have our pictures turn out like the ones below. (These families are complete strangers to me, but funny nontheless!)








Friday, April 22, 2011

Future Quilters of America

Katelyn has decided she enjoys quilting and wants to make a hobby of it. She and I spent some girl time and went to a quilt show that is in town for the holiday week-end.

This first quilt was made by a twelve year old. The girl was kind enough to let Katelyn take a picture of her and the red ribbon that she won. How cute is that!

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Katelyn and I are both fond of this off center quilt.


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One judge made the following quilt of her grandson. It took over 5,400 digitally created pieces. Amazing.







Katelyn adores this alphabet quilt so much that she bought the pattern and plans on making one for her future children.





She even got to have her try at a long arm machine.




I'm glad we had Katelyn's phone for pictures but wish I had remembered my camera for better quality. I loved the details on the following Christmas quilt. The light and dark red fabrics were sewn in such a way that it appeared to be ribbon winding around the middle.


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There are soooo many talented people in this world. Oh, the possibilities!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beatitudes for Disabled People

Blessed are you that never bids us "hurry up" and more blessed are you that do not snatch our tasks from our hands to do them for us, for often we need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who take time to listen to defective speech, for you help us to know that if we persevere, we can be understood.

Blessed are you who walk with us in public places and ignore the stares of strangers, for in your companionship we find havens of relaxation.

Blessed are you who stand beside us as we enter new ventures, for our failures will be outweighed by times we surprise ourselves and you.

Blessed are you who ask for our help, for our greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you when by all these things you assure us that the thing that makes us individuals is not our peculiar muscles, nor our wounded nervous system, but is the God-given self that no infirmity can confine.

Blessed are those who realize that I am human and don't expect me to be saintly just because I am disabled.

Blessed are those who pick things up without being asked.

Blessed are those who understand that sometimes I am weak and not just lazy.

Blessed are those who forget my disability of the body and see the shape of my soul.

Blessed are those who see me as a whole person, unique and complete, and not as a "half" and one of God's mistakes.

Blessed are those who love me just as I am without wondering what I might have been like.

Blessed are my friends on whom I depend, for they are the substance and joy of my life!




by Marjorie Chappel

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Must Confess...I Like to Steal

...ideas, that is.

Look what I made after blog browsing.


The best part is it's perfectly legitimate to copy. Just go to the following link and check out the free printables:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

If You Have a DOT, Expose It

Usually I stay away from thrift stores for a couple of reasons.

#1- I rarely find anything worth having.

#2- I usually leave slathering my hands with sanitizer and feeling like I have lice in my hair (psychological, I know).

My last visit to the thrift store proved satisfactory, however. I found the vintage game Probe.

In the 1980's, Don and I use to play this game at my aunt and uncle's house.



We've often wanted to play it again, but somewhere along the line, Parker Brothers stopped manufacturing it.

Probe is a great word game, kind of like Hang Man meets Scrabble. Each person chooses a secret word and writes it in their word tray.


Players then draw cards and follows the instructions given. Here are three examples...



Everyone tries to guess each other's words, accumulating points as one letter after another is exposed.

 

This particular game is in excellent condition. It even came with plenty of the original paper inserts.


Have any of you ever found hella good deals at a thrift store?

Monday, April 18, 2011

AU- SCHISM


 
Would you like to know what Olive Garden




and Tool's song 'Schism'


have in common?


Click 'play' below to find the answer.

video
I think we'll call this AU-SCHISM.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Too Many Descriptive Words

I have a love/hate relationship with Martha Stewart.

She bugs the snot out of me. Martha uses far too many adjectives. Next time you watch her television program or look at one of her clips on YouTube, pay attention. With most people, one adjective will usually do the job when describing a noun, but not for Martha. For example: The average person would describe chocolate cake as "delicious". Martha, on the other hand, not only would say the cake is delicious, but German, moist, scrumptious and beautiful as well.

Interrupting people when they speak is something else Martha does that annoys me. Personally, I think it is flat rude. In fact, at school we try to teach our Kindergarten children not to interrupt teachers or fellow classmates when they are speaking. For someone who is such a know-it-all, Martha sure could use some lessons in common courtesy.

I am not interested in being a domestic goddess like Martha. However, despite her obsession with descriptive words and the way she consistently interrupts her guests, I do benefit from watching cooking tips and craft projects on The Martha Stewart Show (and her magazines aren't so bad either).

Here are a few adjectives that come to my mind describing Martha Stewart... woman, mother, blond, tall, big, talented, rude, knowledgeable, rich, famous, obnoxious, arrogant, jail bird, perfectionist, entrepreneur, creative, businesswomen, savvy, author.

How would YOU describe Martha Stewart?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Autism. Watch & Learn on PBS.

If you know someone with autism, click on this link.
If you don't know anyone with autism, click on this link.
If you think you don't need to be bothered because autism doesn't concern you, CLICK ON THIS LINK!

Autism Blogs Directory: PBS's Upcoming Series on Autism

Friday, April 15, 2011

Date Nights and Stale Relationships

My husband and I try to go out at least one night a week for two reasons:

#1- We receive much needed respite service for Cody.

I want to emphasize "much needed" because, although Cody is pleasant and pretty easy to take care of, he isn't the only one growing old here! Parents of "normal" children eventually get to see their offspring grow up and leave the nest.

Although I shouldn't , I tend to envy the majority of people my age. They have the luxury of becoming self-centered (for lack of a better word). Empty Nester's are able to go to bed, wake up, go on a date, take a vacation, grocery shop, take a walk, visit a friend and actually be spontaneous. Gone are the days when they must sleep with a baby monitor, prepare baths, fix school lunches, hire a sitter, etc.

Hence, Don and I appreciate respite care.

#2- We both work outside the home, so our time together is very limited.

Weekly "date nights' are suppose to strengthen the marriage bond, but in my opinion, simply spending time together is not enough to keep relationships from getting stale.

For instance, Don and I went to the theater to watch a movie last night. Seated a few rows ahead of us was a young couple, probably in their late twenties. The girl had her head on her date's shoulder. His arm was around her and he leaned over and kissed her at least once (I didn't gawk at them the whole time, okay!)  I started reminiscing (in my head) about the good old days when Don and I were dating. We lived in a small town where the only place to go was the movie theater. I reached over and touched Don's leg, thinking he might actually grab my hand or something. He didn't. A while later, I sat as close to Don as I possibly could with the chair arm between us. He didn't budge. Before the movie was over, I actually tried leaning on my husband to see if he'd make a move and put his arm around me. Nope.

As soon as we got into the car to come home (about a 15 minute drive), I made my feelings known. Don said, "I'm sorry. I don't mean to ignore you."

Now, here's the part where you may want to stop reading if your my mom or my children.

As we turned the corner into the sub division where we live, my dear husband actually said, in the sexiest, most excited voice he could muster up, "I have an idea of something we could do tonight!" Do you want to guess how I responded?

A- Hell yeah. Bring it on!
B- Okay. I like having sex after an unromantic evening of being completely ignored.
C- Are you effing kidding me?!

Stale-
kept too long,
no longer fresh,
inneffective,
bored because of doing too much of the same thing,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guest Posting Today at Autism Blogs Directory/ Indecent Exposure

Please click on the following link:

Autism Blogs Directory: Guest Post DeeAnn from Snippets 'N Stuff:

Cody's Shout Out for The Price is Right

Cody came home this afternoon and informed me that his Day Program won't be going to the track on Thursday. When I asked him "Why?", he replied, "Because we're having a Price is Right party for Danette instead." 

Normally, Cody would be a little upset about a change in routine, but he loves to watch The Price is Right. He often tells me, "I wish I could afford to get on." Call me mean, but that's not ever going to happen unless someone else wants to volunteer to take him. His excitement over the noise and commotion would cause such rapid arm flapping that he'd probably beat the crap out of anyone sitting near him.

Imagine, for a second, that Cody actually did go to the studio and the announcer called him to "come on down". Cody has no concept of money. To prove my point, I asked Cody what he thought Danette would bid on the following items. Here are his answers:

Me- How much do you think Danette would bid on a new car?
Cody- forteen ninety-five

Me- What about a new refrigerator?
Cody- two fifty

Me- What would she bid on a new boat? 
Cody- one dollar

Me- How about a new bedroom set?
Cody-nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents

Me- Let's see...What else do they bid on at The Price is Right?
Cody- a dinette set

Me- Okay. What would Danette bid on a dinette set?
Cody- one dollar

Me- How about a trip to Europe in the showcase showdown?
Cody- six fifty

Let's face it. Cody would have to have luck on his side to make it very far with some of those bids (unless everyone else overbid each time, then...maybe?).

I hope if you find yourself watching The Price is Right this coming Thursday and see Danette, you'll remember that she is a friend of Cody's and he is giving up track to party in her behalf.

Good Luck, Danette!

Monday, April 11, 2011

11 Tried and True Kitchen Tips

1) Line measuring cups with plastic wrap before filling with sticky, gooey ingredients like peanut butter and shortening. The cups will be easier to clean.

2) When making cookie dough, no need to mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Combine wet ingredients as directed, then mix in baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices before adding flour.

3) Cut brownies with a plastic knife. I promise it will work like a charm and, once you try this, you'll never cut them any other way.

4) Spread jelly and jam with a spoon instead of a knife.

5) Vegetables and fruits will stay fresh longer if you line produce drawers with newspaper instead of paper towels.

6) Brown sugar remains lump free if you keep it in the refrigerator produce drawer.

7) Recycled Parmesan cheese containers are great for storing/sprinkling powdered sugar.

8) Cream will whip lighter and fluffier if you chill the bowl and beaters in the freezer beforehand.

9) Buy Sharp cheddar cheese. Because of the strong flavor, you can get away with using less in recipes and stretch your dollar.

10) For better flavor, add a little Sweet pickle juice to deviled eggs and homemade potato salad.

11) Always soak wooden skewers before using, to prevent them from burning on the grill.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sick Slacker



I would love to write a decent post and read my favorite blogs, but I'm not 100%. Allergies suck!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cody's Contrasting Definitions of Sleep

I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed Spring. Allergies always seem to get me down. Taking note of my stuffy nose and miserable attitude, Cody said, "I just love you so much, I want you to go to sleep and feel better."

Cody's idea of Don getting a little shut-eye is considerably different. Approximately ten minutes after he spoke with compassion toward me, Cody said, "Dad has a frog in his throat. Somebody shoot him and put him to sleep."


Sleep Defined-

a. A natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost, so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli. During sleep the brain in humans and other mammals undergoes a characteristic cycle of brain-wave activity that includes intervals of dreaming.
b. A period of this form of rest.
c. A state of inactivity resembling or suggesting sleep; unconsciousness, dormancy, hibernation, or death.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Egg Hunt for Visually Impaired Children



When we lived in Oregon years ago, Pacific Northwest Bell use to organize and provide special beeping egg hunts like the one in this video. Cody loved to participate.

Ah...the good old days. I kind of miss them.

Siblings as Saviours

The title speaks for itself. Please check out the following post at Autism Blogs Directory:

Autism Blogs Directory: Guest Post by Sharon: Siblings as Saviours.: "Siblings as Saviours. Being the sibling of an ASD child is a tough gig I reckon. There's the meltdowns to deal with. The odd mannerisms. The ..."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Seriously? Just Help the Kid Open the Damn Door!

I have wanted to share the following story for a long time, but when I think about it I tend to get angry all over again. Today, instead of pushing it to the back of my mind once more, I have decided it's time to share. After all, April is autism awareness month. After reading this post, I believe that those of you with children on the spectrum will understand why reliving this has been hard for me, and those of you who know little about autism will hopefully gain some valuable insight.


I worked as a middle school para-professional in the special education department from 1996 until the year 2000. I really enjoyed my job. Our department had a great team (the best in the school district and I'm not just tooting my own horn) and inclusion was of the utmost importance to us. Our students thrived to the point that we almost hated to send them on to high school for fear that everything we had helped them achieve would be thrown by the wayside.


The respect I felt for Mrs. M, the special education teacher that I worked with, changed however the day that I walked into the classroom and found her and Conner, one of our non-verbal autistic students, in the room. 

Conner was completely stressed out. His lunch tray was on the teachers desk, untouched and Mrs. M informed me that she wasn't allowing him to eat his lunch until he opened the bathroom door by himself. She told me she knew he could do it. She'd seen him open the door on his own before, therefore, she refused to give in and open it for him.

Conner was told he could eat his lunch after he opened the bathroom door by himself. This, alone, made me very upset, but when I looked down and saw that Conner's Pull-Up was so wet that it had ripped and fallen to the floor, I came unglued! The following thoughts raced around in my mind: Wasn't it enough that Conner realized he needed to go to the bathroom and went to the door? Was it really that big of a deal if he didn't turn the damn knob all the way? He was reaching out for help. So what? I didn't believe for one minute that Conner was refusing to turn the door knob just to be spiteful. Somewhere, inside his brain, he had a valid reason; we just didn't know what it was! In my eyes, his behavior certainly was not such to withhold his lunch from him.


In the sake of my rising blood pressure, I will skip a few details and let you know that I ended up in the principal's office with Mrs. M.  She justified her actions by saying that she had discussed the situation with Conner's foster mother and "It wasn't like he couldn't go to the bathroom. He was wearing a Pull-Up." The principal listened graciously and told me he understood why I was upset, but he also had total and complete faith in Mrs. M. (Of course he did! Even if he didn't, he wouldn't admit it in front of me. That's what "good" principals do; they back up their faculty.) Mrs. M and I ended up agreeing to disagree, and I quit at the end of the school year.


Mrs. M retired a couple of years later. I often wonder if she ever looks back and regrets the way she handled that situation. More importantly, I wonder how many children/adults with autism we, as a society, unintentionally hurt because we just don't understand what is going on in their heads.

As for me, I still work for the school district, just not in the special education department. I have the best of both worlds. Each weekday I get to work with sweet little Kindergarten children for a few hours, then come home and be the best mom ever to my autistic son Cody. Now I'm tooting my own horn!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

World Autism Awareness Day by the President of the United States of America


A PROCLAMATION

With autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affecting nearly one percent of children in the United States, autism is an urgent public health issue with a profound impact on millions of Americans. World Autism Awareness Day is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of individuals with ASDs and rededicate ourselves to the cause of understanding and responding to autism.

Men and women on the autism spectrum have thrived and excelled in communities across America and around the world. Yet, despite great progress in understanding ASDs, challenges remain for these individuals and their loved ones. For too long, the needs of people living with autism and their families have gone without adequate support and understanding. While we continue to encourage the development of resources for children on the autism spectrum and provide necessary resources for their families, we must also remember that young people with ASDs become adults with ASDs who deserve our support, our respect, and the opportunity to realize their highest aspirations.

As our understanding of the autism spectrum grows, my Administration remains dedicated to supporting children and adults impacted by autism. Led by the Department of Health and Human Services, we have expanded investments in autism research, public health tracking, early detection, and services — from early intervention for children to improved long-term services and support programs for adults. My Administration maintains a firm commitment to advance autism research and treatment, as well as promote education, employment, and equality for all individuals with autism, from early childhood through employment and community life. We will continue to work with the Congress, experts, and families to improve Federal and State programs that assist individuals with ASDs and their families and to bolster the impact and reach of community support and services. I encourage all Americans to visit www.HHS.gov/autism for more information and resources on ASDs.

With each breakthrough in research and each innovative treatment, we open endless possibilities for the many American families who have been touched by autism. As we mark World Autism Awareness Day, let us recommit to improving the lives of individuals and families impacted by ASDs and creating a world free from discrimination where all can achieve their fullest potential.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2 of each year as World Autism Awareness Day. I call upon the people of the United States to learn more about autism and what they can do to support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

Friday, April 1, 2011

Light It Up Blue/ Raise Autism Awareness



April Is Autism Awareness Month. Help make others aware of Autism by 'Lighting It Up Blue'. Click on the following link for more information:

Light It Up Blue

To see which prominant buildings around the world will turn their lights blue April 1st and 2nd for World Autism Awareness Day, look at this website... http://www.lightitupblue.org/ .
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