Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Reflections

This week leading up to the change to a new year is one of reflection for me. I'm thinking about things I'd like to accomplish in this brand new, unblemished year. Loosing weight is always a given for me. I would also like to see less 'clutter' around my home.  I'd love to organize all my yarn and have it neater and more accessible.
There are actually bins inside there with yarn in them! When I want to look for a specific color I have to unload all this other stuff. LOL

Yeah, I guess this doesn't look too bad, but I would like to have it more neat and organized.

It would be great if the kid's rooms could be cleaner as well. This is going to take some participation from mom, I'm sure. 

Another thing that really adds to the 'clutter' around here are books. Like most homeschoolers, I have a weakness for books! However, we have been getting used to using our Kindle more so there is less need to have actual books sitting around. One of my favorite things about doing school online is that I don't have the need to keep bulky curriculum around. Homeschool statistics show that we are not alone in this trend of using fewer books.

My daughter has two large bookshelves that we moved into her room when we started re-doing our kitchen. I still have curriculum on them that I'm hoping to sell this coming year. Fashionista wants to store some of her things on these bookshelves instead. We'll have to wait and see about that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Internet Safety

Internet safety for kids is always an issue in our house. Especially now that our kids are entering the teen years, well, at least the older two. Did you know that even in a home where the computers are kept out in the open, (not in secluded bedrooms) and monitored by the parents regularly, there can be issues with kids getting into dangerous areas online? It's just a dangerous world no matter where you go these days.

It's not always enough to have parental controls and virus protection on your computers. It's also wise to teach your kids what to watch out for. They also need to know not to share personal information online, ANYWHERE. This is particularly true for social media. More and more kids are jumping on the social media bandwagon, my kids included.

Another area where kids might not think to be careful about what they share is when they are blogging. Potential predators can find out all kinds of things about your child by piecing together details about where they live by reading their blog. I don't say this to discourage you from allowing your kids to blog. I think this is a great way for kids to exercise their creativity and writing skills. However, they do need to be smart about it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Spelling

At this time of the year many of us are looking for ways to tie our teaching into the holidays. There are tons of ways to do this and even a term for doing this. It's called "Christmas Schooling". Have you thought of giving your kids Christmas words for spelling during this season? If you have trouble coming up with words to use, check out the monthly holiday lists on

For the rest of the year there are popular word lists to inspire you. One of my favorite new features on is the new assignments feature. This is one of the many features available to Premium Members only. I love being able to set up assignments for each of my kids for a week or two at a time. Then on their lesson plan I simply tell them to check the assignment when they log into It also keeps track for me when the assignments are completed. Talk about making things easy for the teacher!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

ManBoy was looking through the Toys R Us Christmas sale flier and informed me this morning that he was going to be devastated if he didn't get a specific gift for Christmas this year. What is the gift he wants? It's only the Crayola Masterworks Art Case. You'll shoot your eye out, kid! Oh, sorry, wrong gift! Anyway, this thing is an "all-in-one art studio",  according to the ad. It comes in a wooden case and has 200 art supplies.

I'm thinking that we should put all these art supplies to good use by adding a good art curriculum to our school day! ManBoy is a budding artist and I've always wanted to encourage this talent. However, we really can't afford art lessons and I normally don't have a way to get to them anyway.

Praise God that has an art curriculum available! ManBoy has been through this curriculum once before, but I believe that he rushed through it in his excitement over it. This time I would like to see him go through it slowly and try doing each of the assignments.

Now if my other two kids have such definite ideas on what they want for Christmas, and their ideas are ones can we agree with, (not thrilled with the makeup case Fashionista wants) then we will be doing great!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Roadschooling? Not here!

I'm sure you've heard the jokes. You've probably used them yourself, "Why do they call it HOMEschooling? They ought to call it ROADschooling as much as we are in the car!" That is NOT something our family can say.

You see, we are a one vehicle family. We basically have always been a one vehicle family. Even before we had children, my hubby and I shared one car. It's been one of the many ways that we make ends meet.

"How in the world do you manage with one vehicle?", you may ask. Well, it takes some creativity at times but we've always been able to make it work. Thankfully, my hubby doesn't work terribly far from home. So on the days that I know I'm going to need the van, I simply drop him off at work. Yes, there have been many times when I've wished that I could have a vehicle at my disposal all the time. However, in order for me to be home with my kids, sacrifices must be made.

As our kids get to the age when they will be learning to drive, (insert shudder here), I'm not sure how things will change. We may end up having to get an old clunker for them to drive. In the meantime, they practice their driving skills using our family's preferred homeschool learn-to-drive program, "Burn Out Paradise". LOL

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Young Authors

My kids enjoy writing their own stories. Sometimes they will collaborate on this, but often they will work alone. They have written dozens of chapters, not sure that any of them have ever finished a "book" yet.

I encourage their writing without burdening them with any of the mechanics of grammar or spelling. I figure this stretches their creativity. We can always go to to work on the mechanics. I just want them to have a love for writing as I do.

Who knows? Maybe some day their stories will join the ranks of other famous homeschool authors!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mom, How do you spell?

"Moooom! How do you spell...?" Do you hear this in your house? I do on almost a daily basis. I usually have them try to spell the word on their own before helping them. I will ask them, "How do you think it's spelled?"

By doing this I feel that I'm causing them to think for themselves rather than just looking to someone else for a quick answer. I'm also helping them to continue building their phonemic awareness. We often think that this skill is only for younger elementary children. I think that we all need to continue building this skill in order to be a great speller and reader.

My kids are great readers, but they struggle with their spelling. One more great reason for me to make them try to figure out how to spell words on their own. Another tool that we utilize in our homeschool is There are games and other resources to help kids stretch their spelling muscles.

So the next time you hear one of you kids ask, "How do you spell...?" Ask them, "How do YOU think it's spelled??"

Friday, November 11, 2011

Playing with Words

Learning about compound words can be lots of fun if approached in the right way. You may be surprised to find that your older kids might not know what a compound word is. My 13 year old asked me this morning what they were. I told him that they are basically two words stuck together.

There are tons of ways to teach about them. One of the ways I thought of is to challenge your kids to find as many compound words as they can in one room of your house. Perhaps it's your kitchen. Some of the words could be cupboard, tabletop, microwave...oh, wait microwave is not compound. This can open the door to teach about prefixes and suffixes. They can learn about root words and how they effect the meaning of different words.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Work, work, work!

It seems that I just keep getting busier and busier. Homeschool, housework, computer work, crochet work. Yes, I did say crochet WORK. I have 2 big crochet orders! One is for 3 sets of Star Wars Amigurumi characters. The other is for 3 afghans. Thankfully the afghans don't have to be done before Christmas.

With all this work, it would be tempting for me to look into umbrella schools for my kids. They would take charge of assigning my kids all their schoolwork and keep all the records. But why should I do that when I have Time4Learning? They already keep all the records for me!

I'm not the only one who has been busy, busy, busy! I'm praying that MyHero will be able to get the dishwasher hooked up and running this weekend. It would be soo wonderful to have my kitchen back again!!

For those of you who follow me, I had my kitchen back for a while. But then we decided that we wanted to take this opportunity to install a dishwasher. We have never had a dishwasher in the 11 years we have lived in this house. That meant that we had to save up for one.

We finally got the dishwasher. Now, MyHero has to brave the attic to install a dedicated circuit for the dishwasher. That's not as easy as it sounds. We do not have a walk in attic and we live in FL. Add to this that he's been working 2 jobs, 3 if you count working on the kitchen. Most weeknights, if he doesn't have to go to his second job, I just don't have the heart to ask him to work on the kitchen.

Looks like both MyHero and I will be busy for quite some time yet!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Freethinking Homeschoolers

What give us the right to be freethinking homeschoolers? Think about it! What gives us the right to think that we are the best teachers for our own kids? Just because it's been that way for centuries before public education was ever instituted.

And what gives us the gall to think that we can live a lifestyle of learning just because it has turned out the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Wolfgang Mozart, Irving Berlin, Louis Armstrong, Leann Rimes, Fredrick Terman (President of Standford University), Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, The Wright Brothers, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Booker T. Washington,  and Albert Einstein. JUST to name a few famous homeschoolers!

What gives us the freedom to think that we can teach our children to think for themselves just because the rest of the world seems to have forgotten how to do that?

What gives us the right to keep our kids from being "socialized" in public schools just because we daily hear about the bullying, sex and drugs that predominate most public schools?

Yes, I'm a freethinking homeschooler and I'm teaching my kids to be the same! How about joining us?? Here is another mom who has encapsulated why I teach my kids at home!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Paragraph Writing

I love to write! However, for some reason I have always shied away from doing a formal teaching with my kids on how to write. Paragraph writing is not something that we have really focused on. Recently, I've been thinking that since ManBoy is nearing High School, it's high time that we start to focus on the mechanics of writing good paragraphs.

My kids are constantly writing little stories for their own pleasure, (I guess they've inherited my love for writing!) but I've never really pointed out the many errors in their spelling and grammar. I preferred to focus on giving them praise for their creativity and imagination. I guess it really is time to start having them correct the mistakes in their written work as well.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Are We REALLY Unschooling???

I've never really thought of my method of teaching my children as unschooling. However, when I get right down to it, I guess we really do a lot of unschooling! For instance, one of our favorite ways to learn science is through watching "Myth Busters". "Myth Busters" is a show on the Discovery Channel. They take different myths and put them to the test using scientific methods. One that we just watched involved finding out, if an object traveling forward is released from another object traveling the opposite direction at the same rate of speed will fall straight down. The Myth Busters have a lot of fun testing these myths and therefore make learning science fun.

Another really cool way that we learn science in our house is watching the show from the Science Channel called, "How It's Made". They show how everyday things are actually manufactured. They've shown everything from computers to jeans!

I imagine that I could find lots and lots of other examples of how we are actually unschooling in our home. For example, my kids love to cook. Every time they do they are practicing their fractions, reading, following instructions and a whole slew of other skills.

My kids also enjoy attempts at writing their own stories. This is not something that I ever assigned to them to do. They just decided to try it so I let them go for it. Can you think of any ways that you are unschooling in your home??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What language is Cursive??

When RoboBoy was probably in 1st or 2nd grade one day out of the blue he asked me, "Mommy, what language is cursive in?" We chuckle over this, but these days cursive might as well be a foreign language. It seems that so little focus is given to teaching our children handwriting anymore. I was guilty of this myself for a while.

I felt so overwhelmed just trying to teach my kids the basics that I figured that handwriting was something that could be pushed to the background or dropped all together. I'm realizing that this is a mistake. Our kids still need to be able to read and write cursive. My dear friend shared with me the other day that a young man she knows is getting ready to get his driver's license. He doesn't know how to sign his name in cursive and therefore has no signature. Hmmm, not good!

But this got me to thinking..."Wait a minute! My kids don't yet know how to sign their names in cursive either!" This is something we need to be working on! One of the tools we will most likely use is the handwriting worksheets found at I've talked about these before. One of my favorite things about them is that you can customize them with whatever words your kids are working on and then print them out to have them practice. So I could make worksheets with each of their names in cursive and have them practice writing their signatures. That way, when it's their turn to get a driver's license, (gasp! not too soon, please!!) they will be ready to sign on that dotted line.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How NOT to Handle a Meltdown!

If you have a child who has special needs requiring special education, you don't need me to tell you what a challenge it is. A normal day can very quickly morph into a migraine inducing afternoon long meltdown. Your child, not you! Ok, maybe you too. I had this happen recently with RoboBoy. He is 10 years old and has Asperger's Syndrome, also known as high functioning autism.

He is on medication for ADHD which also helps to control his aspie symptoms. He also takes melatonin at night to help him sleep. A very common issue with aspies is that they tend to be chronic insomniacs.

So our day started out as usual, with me insisting that he take his medication first thing. When I walked into the kitchen to make sure he'd taken it, I saw his pill bottle sitting with the lid still on it. Strange...usually he forgets to put the lid back on. I let it pass and went on with my busy day.

That morning I was making out chore charts. I presented each of my three children with their new charts and informed them that if I caught them playing video games or watching a show before ALL their school and chores were done, they would be grounded.

RoboBoy was being difficult about doing his schoolwork and the thought passed through my mind, “I wonder if he really did take his medication?” Then I turned from my work on the computer to find him playing a game on the other computer! He had done NONE of his schoolwork. I had no choice but to ground him.

This is where mom goofed up BIG TIME! RoboBoy begged me to unground him if he did his schoolwork, and I caved. So he did his schoolwork and then wanted to play on the TV, which his sister was occupying at that time. The arguing ensued and his meltdown began. I ended up having to ground him for fighting with his sister. Then I told him that I was wrong to unground him for doing his schoolwork. Poor kid! Mom was waffling all over the place!

In my defense, I also have Aspergers, and I was stressed due to all of this arguing and RoboBoy melting down. As you can tell, I don't deal well with it.

When bedtime finally rolled around, (none too soon for me!), RoboBoy came and told me that he had been “doing some thinking in bed” and realized that he accidentally took his melatonin that morning instead of his other medication. Well, that sure explained a lot!

The main thing I learned from this incident, is that mom needs to stick to her guns and not cave when the little darling tries to bargain away his punishment. It would have made my life much easier that day in spite of his having not taken the correct medication. He wouldn't have spent the rest of the day melting down and trying to get me to change my mind again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Those Rebelious Dolch Words!

Have you ever heard of Dolch words? These are a list of 220 words that Edward William Dolch collected in 1936. None of these words can be “sounded out” because they don't follow the basic rules of phonics.

Even if you've never heard of these before, you may be surprised to find that your older kids still need practice with these. I can't count the times during the day that I hear, “Mom, how do you spell...?” I would be willing to guess that 9 times out of 10 the word my child is attempting to spell is a Dolch word.

My husband's standard answer to, “How do you spell...?” is “d-i-c-t-i-o-n-a-r-y”. In other words, “Look it up.” My kids usually groan when they hear this answer, but it really is a great practice for them to get into. In the meantime, I will continue to have my kids use

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homeschool Portfolios

Did you know that in most states we are required to keep homeschool portfolios? You'll have to check the laws for your particular state. A portfolio is basically just a record of their work. The recommendation is to save a sample from the beginning of the year, the middle of the year and the end of the year. You will want to include their best work as well as samples of their not-so-great work. This will help to show progress in your child's learning.

There are lots of different ways to keep a portfolio for your child. In the past I have kept 3 ring binders for each of my children with all their school work in each. Some people simply put the samples into a cardboard box, others are very systematic about setting up the portfolios. One of my dear friends used to scrapbook her son's portfolio. This brings me to another purpose for portfolios! They can be a great way to preserve memories of your homeschool.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Minecraft Spelling

RoboBoy is enthralled with the game "Minecraft". He will play it for hours and hours at a time if we let him. So I decided to turn this fascination to my advantage, by making a spelling list based on his favorite game. I even printed out a wordsearch based on this list. RoboBoy also likes wordsearches so hopefully this will be something that he can get excited about doing. Anything to get them excited about doing school in my book!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Favorite Spelling Program

We used to really struggle with what spelling program to use in our house. For some reason my kids have wonderful reading levels but their spelling stinks. Go figure! Then we discovered Spelling At the risk of sounding like a commercial, I LOVE this program! It frees me up from spending time with each of my kids going over spelling lists and testing them. I can add my own spelling words or use the spelling lists by grade feature. My kids practice their spelling words throughout the week using the games and activities on the site. I can even print out handwriting practice sheets using my kid's spelling words for that week. Then at the end of the week they can take their spelling test right there online. My favorite feature is that with the premium membership, Spelling City will keep records for me. All I have to do is print them off for my kid's profiles. With all this available, perhaps my kid's spelling abilities will eventually match their reading levels!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Compound Word Jokes

Every family has it's own personality, if you will. Their own mode of operation and their own sense of humor. Our family has a goofy habit of making up our own wordplay type jokes. For instance we might take a word and add to it another crazy word to make up a really outlandish compound word. We especially like to update normal phrases to make them all goofy and new.

We all get in on the game and elaborate on each other's attempts at the game. It can get really crazy. Anyone listening to us might think we'd all gone absolutely bonkers. But we have fun with it and it's something that makes us each feel like we belong in this family.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I need to Re-boot!

I'm sitting here fighting maybe my 3rd or 4th sinus infection/cold in the past six months or so. My son, ManBoy is also sick. The younger two are as well but not as bad. This time we got it from spending a week with 300+ kids at VBS. It seems lately like we are constantly sick!

MyHero and I watched a documentary last night that was recommended by a friend. It's called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead!" This guy from Australia got fed up with having to take so many pills for his disease and decided to see if he could help his body heal itself. He went on a 60 day juice fast. It worked! The man no longer has to take anything for his condition which basically was one that caused the histamines in his body to go haywire at the slightest provocation. He was on some really strong steroids to control it.

While he was on his fast and touring the US, he found another guy who has the exact same condition. The other guy eventually decided that he needed to make a change and is now also off his meds I believe. Wow!! That's impressive!

Closer to home, I have a dear friend who recently tried this for about 10 days or so. She said that she has never felt so well as she did after the detox period. I'm convinced! Now, I just need to get my hands on a juicer and some fresh organic fruits and veggies! Anyone want to join us for a 15 day juice fast??? We'll let you know when we decide to start!

Be warned, they say the first 3 days are absolutely horrible. But if you can make it past those, you'll feel soooo much better! Also, if you have any kind of medical condition, it's best to consult your doctor before you start something like this. Here's a website to learn more!

If you want to check out the documentary, we found it on Netflix, but here is the site for that too.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Sweet, Sweet Sound?

We had a bit of an ugly scene in our house this morning while trying to get everyone out the door for church. Sound familiar in any way?? My attitude wasn't what it needed to be. RoboBoy was having trouble waking up, having been up too late last night. MyHero was at the end of his patience. He finally ended up saying, "Forget it! I'll just bring the other two." My reaction was, "Fine! What EVER!" Like I said, I had an ugly attitude this morning. (head hung in shame)

I sent RoboBoy back to bed and prepared to watch the Live Service on my laptop. The church was playing background music as I waited for the service to start. But the Holy Spirit was already at work on my heart. The old worship song, "I Love You Lord" was being sung by one of the modern bands.

I Love You Lord,
And I lift my voice,
to worship You!
Oh, my soul rejoice!

Take joy my King,
in what You hear!
May it be a sweet, sweet sound
in Your ear.

Wooah!! Wait a minute!!! I've NOT been a very sweet sound in Your ear lately, Lord! I'm so sorry! I want to lift my voice in worship to You, even as I deal with my husband and children. Lord, You just showed me that the way I react to others can be a worship to You and a sweet sound in Your ear, or it can be putrid and not in anyway an act of worship. Please help me to learn to be in worship to You in ALL I do, every moment of my life! By my actions and reactions. Please show me how to act and react as YOU would. Amen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

But I Don't LIKE Being Stretched!!!

Oh, my goodness! It has been SO crazy at our house lately! We can't seem to stop being sick. MyHero kept smelling mold from under our kitchen cabinets. So in an effort to eradicate the mold, he demoed the lower cabinets.

We had NO idea that things were as bad as they were!!

Yikes! Some of the particle board was literally saturated with black mold. No wonder we've been sick! All that stirring up of the mold has caused me to get even MORE sick. I'm going to the doctor today to hopefully get treated for a sinus infection.

All this is going on and we still have our bedroom "under construction". We have been sleeping in Fashionista's room while the boys share their room with her. Not the most ideal of situations. My entire house feels like a construction zone. I just want some normalcy again!!!

To top it all off, MyHero tells me that we don't have the money to rebuild the kitchen. Ack! You mean things are going to have to STAY like this for a while?? We're going to have to continue doing dishes out of dishtubs filled from the bathtub?? We're going to have to keep looking for meals that require very few to no preparation dishes??

If there was ever a recipe for worry, this is it!! But then there's Matthew 6:25-34 to deal with. There is also what I read in Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest" yesterday. ""It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us... The great word of Jesus to His disciples is ABANDON."

As if that wasn't enough, this morning I read more. Today's reading was based on Revelation 1:17. "'He laid His right hand upon me.' In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that 'underneath are the everlasting arms,' full of sustaining and comfort and strength." MAN! I could USE some of THAT right now!!

Oswald went on to say, "There is despair in which there is no delight, no horizon, no hope of anything brighter;" ( I can relate to THAT right now!) "but the delight of despair comes when I know that 'in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.'  I delight to know that there is that in me which must fall prostrate before God when He manifests Himself, and if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God." Are you ready for the kicker? "God can do nothing for me until I get to the limit of the possible."

Getting to the limit of the possible is NOT something I look forward to! However, if it means " ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that 'underneath are the everlasting arms,' full of sustaining and comfort and strength." BRING IT ON!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hi, I'm Dee and I have Asperger's Syndrome

I've known for several years that my youngest son has Asperger's (aka, high functioning autism and/or autism spectrum disorder). It took longer to realize that I have it too. My son goes to see a psychiatrist once every 3 months. His doctor has all but confirmed that I'm an Aspie too. I would of course have to make a separate appointment for myself to get an official diagnosis. Just don't see the need in that.

When I look back on my childhood I can see so many times when I've displayed the classic symptoms of an Aspie. My mother tells me that when I was a toddler I would hold my breath to get my way. She was afraid to let me do that until my pediatrician told her just to let me. He told her that I would simply pass out and start breathing again. Apparently she took his advice, because I don't remember ever doing this.

Aspies tend to have chronic insomnia. I can testify that my son has struggled with this for years. I've been an insomniac for as long as I can remember. My mother says that she used to put me down for naps and I would lay perfectly still for at least an hour or two and NEVER go to sleep. My sister on the other hand would be out if my mom could just get her to be still for a few minutes.

I've never felt socially adept. This has always been a struggle for me. I used to have a terrible time making eye contact with others. I've had to train myself to do this. I've even learned to read most social cues.

I remember one time when I was in middle school, I'm think. I was at some sort of class party that was being held at our local community center. Everyone was playing some sort of tag game that involved the boys catching the girls to give them a kiss. I went and hid in a closet and cried. I refused to come out when my friends came to find me. Now, keep in mind that these were all kids that I went to school with every day and had since 1st grade! Not only that, but we are only talking about some 10-15 kids who showed up for this event at the most. 

At the time I couldn't explain why I was acting the way I was. However, now I know that I was placed into a situation where all the social rules had totally changed. I felt completely out of place and overwhelmed. I had no clue what the social rules were in this situation so I pulled into myself and hid away. There have been numerous other similar examples of this in my life over the years. 

For years, I've tried to understand and explain to my hubby why when he comes up behind me and wants to love/hug on me, I stiffen and resist. Poor thing took this personally for a long time. I tried to explain to him that it has nothing to do with him, but I really didn't understand why I was doing it myself. Now that I know that I'm an Aspie, it makes total sense. Aspies tend to dislike physical affection of any kind. We really can't explain why this is, it just is. I have learned to overcome much of this tendency as well. 

I also have many sensory issues which is yet another Aspie tendency. I will often find myself tapping something because I like the way it sounds, or rubbing a particular surface because it feels nice (I can't resist rubbing the silky side of the ribbon in my Bible during church). Lately I've found myself making raspberries with my tongue just because it "feels good". Thankfully, I only do this at home and I'm trying to break myself of this habit before it becomes annoying to the rest of my family.

I'm sure that I could come up with lots more examples, but this is enough to convince ME that I'm indeed part of the Aspie club. I think it is harder for adults to recognize or get diagnosed with Aspergers. Depending on where we were on the spectrum, many of us learn to adjust and deal with our symptoms. If we were not diagnosed as children, we really had no choice. No one, including us, had any clue that we had a disorder and so we were expected to behave just like everyone else. This is often true for those who HAVE been diagnosed. There is still a whole world out there that has no idea what Aspergers is.

This knowledge has freed me up to have higher expectations of my son. I've been there and survived so I know he can too. Sure I make some allowances for his disorder, but I also keep in mind that he's going to HAVE to learn to adjust. The world is NOT going to adjust to suit him.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Olden Days!

The other night MyHero was telling our kids about how he kept himself entertained when he was a kid. He was trying to get across the point that he survived without video games, computers and DSI devices. He told them how he once made his own boardgame. RoboBoy (my Aspie) looked at his siblings and said, "Yeah, but that was in the OLDEN DAYS, when everything was in black & white!"

I started to protest that MyHero is not THAT old, when I realized the rest of what RoboBoy had said. We tried to explain to him that there has always been color in our world. He looked as us unbelieving and said, "Then what is up with all those old pictures??" I said, "Sweetie, they just didn't have color film back then."

This is a prime and funny example of how Aspergers kids tend to take everything literally. If the pictures showed black & white then the world must have been black & white. It makes perfect sense to their minds.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Attempting to Break the Mold!

I wish I could find a way to dip my entire house along with all it's contents in bleach!!! It seems like everything in my house is growing mold! Of course, I'm being overly dramatic and not EVERY thing is moldy, but there sure seems to be a lot!

I just cleaned a window sill in my kitchen today. It's the one that our garbage can sits under. Oh, my goodness!! I can't believe we lived with it like that for even a few days!! I guess it's because of where it's situated where it doesn't get much direct sunlight. Also I have a bookshelf right in front of that window which holds my bread maker and some other kitchen stuff. The height of the bread maker plus the shelf blocks the window sill and part of the window. It's just sooo hard to keep ahead of places like that where the condensation from the window sits.

We are also having to do some mold management in our bedroom. A few years ago we did a renovation in our room adding wood laminate floors, repainting and putting up nice wallpaper. I LOVE my country bedroom! Unfortunately, the mold loves the glue on the back of the wallpaper too. We are starting to see areas at the seams where mold is growing. So the wallpaper is going to have to go! We are also going to have to keep a dehumidifier going 24/7. It's such a joy living in Florida!

Not sure if it's a product of living with the mold but I ended up with a very painful ear infection. I spent a couple of sleepless nights due to the pain from it. When I went to the doctors she said there was green gunk inside my ear! She gave me antibiotic ear drops and a pain med so that I could get some sleep. I believe the infection is all cleared up now, thank you LORD!!! Now if we can just get a handle on all this mold maybe I can manage to stay well for a while!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Making Learning Meaningful

Ok, so I haven't blogged in what feels like forever! To tell the truth I got a bit burned out on writing for a bit there! I didn't even think that was possible for me! I needed to write 24 150-200 word articles within a week. My brain was sore at the end of that week but I did it! Now I've got the writing bug again!

I went to a Homeschool Conference this past weekend. One of the speakers, a dear friend of mine, encouraged us to find out what our children's strengths are. We should then use that knowledge in our homeschools to help inspire our children to soar in their strengths while improving in the areas they are weak.

So last night I pulled out the book I'd ordered months ago but hadn't gotten around to actually reading, "How to Discover and Develop Your Child's Strengths" by Jenifer Fox, M.Ed. I'm barely into the first chapter and I'm already being challenged and feeling inspired.

In chapter 1, Ms. Fox says, "True learning is all about making connections between what you learn and how it makes for a better life or a better world. Without these important connections, children are not engaged in learning. When children are not engaged in learning, they stop paying attention. This is where the downward spiral into weakness begins."

I had to stop and think about that for a little bit. Then I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to put the book down and go online to search for a math program that would help my children make those connections. My first thought was, "Ok, after I finish this chapter." But I felt like I needed to do it right away.

I set the book aside and googled "relevant math". That didn't give me very many relevant options. So I googled "meaningful math" instead. That brought me to this site: Now we're getting somewhere! The more I've read on this site the more I'm convinced that this is the program that I want to use with my kids. Dare I even go so far as to say, this is the curriculum God wants me to be using with my kids?

You see, my kids have been struggling with math for far too long now. I hate to admit it but my 7th grader still hasn't mastered his multiplication. It has been very frustrating for me as a mom who also struggles with math and math concepts.

MyHero says that we need to wait to purchase these books after we see how much it is going to cost to repair our only vehicle. It currently refuses drive over 10 mph and is consequently staying the night and possibly more at the dealership. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to getting these books. I may actually learn to enjoy teaching math!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Newest Blog

I've been blogging all day! Whew! Got seven months worth of blogging done! That's half of what I need to do for this project. Ok, so it was 6 1/2 months worth. The first post will publish tomorrow and then every 5th and 20th of each month after that. Here is the link to check it out:

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Possible New Job!

I'm working on a major project! I've been given the opportunity to show what I've got with my writing! The company that produces the online curriculum that my kids use for school has offered me this chance. It involves me writing 24 articles, each 150-200 words within a week. They are to be posted within the blog they will assign me and be scheduled to be published every 2 weeks for a year.

If I do well and like the work, (that's a funny one! If I like the work!) then they will give me another blog and I'll start getting paid! Woohoo!!

This is especially exciting for me since I've always wanted to be a writer. Even when I was in High School it was my goal. I used to write stories in my notebooks all the time. I chose to study Journalism in college because I figured it would be a better "living" than writing in notebooks.

It was in my Junior year, I think, maybe it was my Senior year?'s been WAY too long ago. Anyway, I realized I don't have the personality to be a journalist. It seemed too late at that point to change my major. So I graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism. Then life happened, I found myself traveling and just working to make ends meet. I got married and had 3 kids and the dream of being a writer pretty much ended up on the back burner.

Now that my kids are getting a bit older and the Lord has led me to let go of some of the other things that have monopolized my time, I can pull that dream back to the forefront.

I've already got 6 of the 24 articles written and waiting in a special folder on my desktop. I'm just waiting for the details on how to log in to the blog they are assigning me. Once I have those details I'll also post the name of that blog on here so that my followers can follow that blog too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm officially FREAKED!

That was really weird!! I just tried to log into my blog, I was going to write about the fun time I had with RoboBoy at an Origami Workshop at our local library last night. However, when I tried to open my blog, I got a strange error message that said, "We're sorry but we are unable to locate that blog" WHAT???

I reported the error like a good little blogger should. Then I did a little research. That didn't help much. On a gut instinct I decided to check and see if I could log into my google account. Hmmm, the plot thickens! I got a message there telling me that my e-mail account had been terminated due to "suspicious activity" on it. I had to give them my phone # and then type in the code they called me with to verify my account. Once I was able to get back into it, I looked and didn't see any "suspicious" e-mails.

My friend Mrs. B suggested that it could be because of the pictures I included in yesterday's blog post which came from Wikipedia. If you'll notice I have now removed them. I wonder if it has anything to do with what I was saying about North Korea. Either way, it's pretty freaky!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Diliberately Oblivious?

Warning!! I'm about to get political on you!

My Hero and I watched a documentary on Streaming Netflix last night. It was made by a team that snuck into North Korea with a eye surgeon who had a goal of doing 1000 cataract surgeries in 10 days. It seems that North Korea has one of the highest incidents of blindness due to cataracts in the world. Because of their poor diet, even young people get them and go blind due to them.

This team had to have people follow them everywhere they went to keep an eye and make sure they didn't do anything wrong. It was really freaky to see how the North Koreans actually worship their "Dear Leader", Kim Jong-il. There are pictures of him all over the place which people bow to.
 There are concentration camps throughout the country where people can be sent for simply questioning the regime. Not only the person who dared to speak out against their dictatorship, but their entire family will be sent to a prison camp!

I think what was most chilling was at the end of the documentary when the surgery recipiants were having their bandages removed. As each realized they were able to see, some for the first time in years, they didn't thank the doctor who had performed the surgury. No, instead they went and worshipped and praised the image of Kim Jong-il! One after another they went forward to give the credit and praise to this absolute dictator for giving them their sight back. Both MyHero and I couldn't help but wonder how many of them were doing that simply out of fear. Then the narrator said that she realized that sincere worship and fear had become the same thing in North Korea.

After we turned the show off, MyHero and I were talking about what we'd seen and relateing it to what is happening here in the U.S. with Obamacare. He brought up the "Death Panel" discussion, (I'm not sure where I stand yet on whether this is true or not, but it would NOT surprise me!). The thought for those of you who, like me, don't watch the news and therefore basically live under a rock, is that our government wants to set up a panel of people who will decide who gets to live and who doesn't in any given healthcare emergency. The point here is not whether this is true or not, but that Americans will actually go right along with things like this without hesitation.

So I was pondering this as I went to sleep and wondering why that is. My first thought was that Americans, just like the North Koreans are being brainwashed. The difference is that we are being brainwashed by the liberal media. But then it occured to me, that's not the whole truth. The other part of it is that we Americans are just too busy to care! We are deliberately oblivious! That's why we allow ourselves to be spoonfed our opinions by the liberal media.

If I didn't know WHO is actually in control of all the governments and leaders of this world, I would be terrified that America could end up looking just like North Korea! But praise God, for holding all of this in His hands!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Deliverer

I never had to worry about my weight until I got married and started having kids. In fact while MyHero and I were engaged, I kept LOSING weight. My mother-in-law who was sewing my wedding dress kept telling me at every fitting, "Stop loosing weight!"

Almost 18 years and 3 kids later, that is no longer an issue for me. Bummer! At one point a couple years or so ago I was up to 190. Ack!! For me at 5'5" that is just too much weight! Since then I've lost about 30 lbs through a program called, "The Lord's Table". If you are interested you can find out more at:

I haven't done anything with that for quite a while, however the principles have stuck with me. I kept thinking that I was gaining the weight back and may have gained a few pounds back. I had a hip injury that kept me from doing rigorous exercise for a while. Spent a lot of time at the chiropractor's. I still have the hip injury, but know how to deal with it now.

Anyway, I've been noticing that my clothes have been feeling looser on me. I was thinking about that and trying to figure out how that can be possible since I've not really been doing regular exercise although I am working to get back to a routine. Then it occurred to me that I've gotten better at having food without letting food have me!

So this morning at church my dear friend, who got me started with "The Lord's Table", was all excited about showing me this book that she's just started reading. It's called "Made to Crave". Wow!! I gotta read this book! Then she showed me the bookmark they sent along with the book, she said she requested two of them. The first one says, "_______ is my deliverer" with Chocolate written in the blank. Her other book mark said, "_________ is my shield and fortress" with the word FOOD written in the blank.  Not that I would ever consciously SAY either of those things, but how many times have I treated food and chocolate like that?? "Oh, I'm SOOO stressed!! I need chocolate!" I plead guilty as charged!

During worship one of the songs we sang was called, "My Deliverer"! Oh, my goodness! Didn't I JUST have a conversation about that??? Look at the words to the song:

Chris Tomlin: My Deliverer Lyrics

Songwriters: Carson, Daniel; Maher, Matt; Reeves, Jesse; Tomlin, Chris;

I will wait for You to move
For Your mighty hand to save
When the troubled waters rise,
You are my hiding place,
You are my hiding place

(Hmmm, not food???)

Your walls are salvation
Your gates are praise!
Your walls are salvation
Your gates are praise!

(this says to me that when I stay within the boundaries He has set for me, then I'll be safe and that makes me want to praise Him!)

My Deliverer, my Deliverer
My Deliverer is the Lord

(NOT chocolate!!!)

Who is like You, mighty God?
Who can take me from Your hand?
As I walk with You in freedom
You're the rock on which I stand
You're the rock on which I stand

(the ONLY way to find true freedom is through Jesus Christ!! HE is my Deliverer!!!!)

The last song we sang in worship this morning was "My Redeemer Lives". My Redeemer is not some lifeless hunk of food or chocolate that will only bring me death in the end! My Redeemer is very much alive and I will get to spend eternety with Him!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another Beautiful Day!

It was another beautiful day today! Our high today was only 66 degrees!! We had the windows open and the air turned off. If only our weather could be this nice all the time, with an occasional rain storm. After all, we have to have rain.

MyHero has been working hard for many weekends now on our house. We have, or should I say HAD a screened in porch at the back of our house. When we had a puppy several years ago, she discovered a small rip in one of the screens and that was pretty much the end of the screens! It was just as well because MyHero ended having to remove the roof from our porch, as well as the sofits and facia boards from where the roof was attached. Apparently the roof hadn't been installed properly and the sofits and facia boards were all rotted and there were carpenter ants infesting them. He's been working hard to replace all those things. Today we worked on reinstalling the facia boards.
MyHero and I working on the facia boards.

I also worked on some laundry. It was a perfect day to put my new clothes line to work!
I was on the phone talking with my dad, (my mom and dad live in another state, whaaaa!) when the clothes were dry and ready to take down. RoboBoy was complaining about being bored so I told him to go out and take down the laundry. He did a great job with that!

Oh, I also got in a great workout today! I decided to try the EA Active for Wii game to see what kind of a workout it gives. It wasn't bad. Much better than the Wii Fit, in my opinion. You just have to make sure that you have the controller pointed where they are looking for it to be pointed or they figure you are not actually doing the movement. Takes a little bit to get used to and figure out where they are wanting you to point those controllers. It was a pretty good workout though. Especially considering how out of shape I am! I followed that up with 15 mins on the eliptical.

So I think it's safe to say that we've had a pretty productive Saturday!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Great Day

I needed to mail a letter certified mail today. We live close to the post office, had no vehicle and it was a beautiful day, so we walked to the post office. The library is right next to the post office so we went to the library too.

There was a flyer at the library for an Origami Workshop coming up next Tuesday. RoboBoy honed right in on it. We signed up to go. Maiden and ManBoy were on the computers, so RoboBoy got some Origami books from the shelf to look through. He had brought his origami paper and spent the time making different projects from the books.

That was pretty cool, but then school got out and the public school kids flooded the kids section of the library. They were fascinated by the game Maiden and ManBoy were both playing. Then they noticed RoboBoy and started asking him all about origami. It was really neat to see RoboBoy feels so special and important. As an Aspie (Aspergers Syndrome) Child he doesn't often get to feel that way. Those kids were so impressed by the things RoboBoy was making. RoboBoy even shared some of his origami paper with them so they could try making some of the things in the books.

RoboBoy holding an origami bat. That's a penguin and an apatosaurus in front of him. I would like to have shown the swallow, crane, pheonix and scull mask that he made too, but he gave those away at the library.
 On the way home all three kids told me several times what a great day they had. That makes their mom very happy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Times are in His Hands!

I spent the last couple of days mostly in bed due to a migraine that just wouldn't go away. Normally I have a prescription that I can take to deal with these migraines and it does what the over-the-counter meds can't. Our health insurance has decided however that I should only be allowed to have 2 migraines in a month. That would be great if only my body would cooperate!

I was feeling angry and cheated out of the first two days of my new year. Then I was reading through my friend's posts on Face Book and one of them had posted this verse: Psalm 31: 14 But I trust in you, LORD;
   I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
   deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
   from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
   save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD,
   for I have cried out to you;

She had posted it in a different version and not all these verses, but it really spoke to me. As hard as it is for me to understand, NONE of this was a surprise to God. His ways are higher than mine. He has a reason for allowing this in my life.

Lord, please help me to remember this. I cry out to You and put my trust in YOU. I pray that You will give me wisdom in how to deal with these migraines when they hit.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Blessed New Year to You!!

I took a little blog break yesterday. Want to see what I was doing instead??

 These are some of the things that I'm hoping to sell at an upcoming "craft fair". You can read about it on my other blog