Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Thankful Tuesday 1/16/2018

Today was a good day here at the house.  I actually had lots of things that I could think of to be thankful for today. This may seem strange, but today I chose balloons (LOL) My kids can have the most fun with a $1.00 pack of balloons. The other evening I picked up a few things at Family Dollar to have on hand to do a few little activities with Issac. His therapist made coping balls with him a few weeks ago. They rolled tiny balls of playdough and dropped them into balloons. They then tied them and you could squeeze on them if you were upset. He misplaced his, so I decided today we'd make a few more. He was actually having a rough moment and making these took his mine off it and basically reset him. You could easily fill these with rice or sand as well. I like the playdough because it's a firmer texture and won't make a mess like some of the other items could.

From there Issac started blowing up balloons and we hit them back and forth.  He also blew them up and just let the air blow back in his face. Something so simple, but could make an afternoon so enjoyable :) It may seem strange to some, but today I am thankful for balloons :)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Intensive Home Therapy Update 1/12/18

It's been about six weeks now since we started intensive home therapy for Issac. When they say intensive they are certainly correct. Up until Christmas someone was here Monday-Friday for almost 2 hours a day! It's been very hard to adjust our work and schedule. We've got school to the minimum for Issac because I didn't see any other option.  They have just recently bumped him to four days a week. As he continue to do well they'll drop it down until it's one day a week. Then he'll be turned back over to a regular counselor and will continue with them for a bit. I honestly feel this is the hardest and best thing we've done. I do seem small changes in him. We were having multiple issues a day and often times they'd go for hours. Up until last week we'd had several days with only one issue per day and a few days with NO issues! Such an answer to prayer. We started school back this week and all I can say is it's like we've never even started this therapy. He had a horrible day Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and a little bit today. Thankful each of those days other than yesterday one of his counselors came and were able to talk with him and try to work through some of the issues. I almost called them yesterday to see if they'd come out or even talk to him on the phone, but he ultimately fell asleep (LOL) I think the three weeks off school was too much or he's struggling with my aunt's death even though he doesn't really even seem to understand it. I'm not sure what's going on, but this afternoon was better and I'm thankful for that! They've been working with him on coping skills and I've seen him use them a few times, but this week he refused. He ranted about how the dr's didn't know what they were doing, he wasn't using stupid coping skills, etc.  I don't feel therapy has failed I just think this shows how life can be like a roller coaster. Sometimes a bad week happens.

We've learned so far that he tends to jump to the negative for almost everything. Those negative thoughts then get his mind going and he gets angry. One of his counselors has been working with him quite a bit on how to change the negative thoughts into more positive ones. One of the other counselors taught him some things he could do with his body to help him realize when he's getting calm. They made stress balls-playdough inside balloons and I've seen him use those a few times. All in all I think he's made some good progress for the time he's been in it. They say it's usually a minimum of six months and can continue more if needed.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Thankful Tuesday 1/9/2018

Thankful Tuesday

It's the first Thankful Tuesday of 2018!! Can't believe another year has gone by and with it brings each of my children closer to moving out. I can't imagine the day when none of the kids live with us anymore. We are all loud and often argue, but I just can't imagine life with just Carl and I again (LOL) Today I'm thankful for time with the kids! I decided that this year the kids and I would try more arts and crafts and especially things that I've pinned on my Pinterest boards I've pinned so many things and have tried to organize them all to find easily. The problem is I never go back (LOL) Today we decided we'd try a slime recipe I saved. Problem was we didn't have all the ingredients (LOL) We ended up mixing glue, liquid starch, a little cornstarch and coconut flour. It was nothing like slime, but Issac had a great time. It reminded me that things don't have to go perfectly, but that's it's the time with your kids. Next time we'll make sure we have all the ingredients and I "think" Brianna will join us if it's the "real" slime :)

He decided we should make burgers, fries and fried pickles. 

He calls this "Burger King" because there are two burgers and the castle with the king in the middle :)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Starting the New Year off Right

What does that statement mean to you? If I'm honest I'm not always sure what it means to me (LOL) For many years I did the New Year's Resolutions, but they usually fell away shortly. I know in the last few years many have taken to adopting verses for the year of even a word for the year. Those just don't seem to fit me for some reason. Not sure why I can't follow the crowd..... Last year I took the holidays as a time to simply regroup. I spent my vacation going through my closet and dressers giving away those items that I knew deep down I just didn't want/need anymore.  We purchased on a house recently that needs quite a bit of work, but I figured even more this year I wanted to go through the closets.

As it always seems to happen what I plan doesn't always turn out.  My Aunt Mary Lou had been very for almost three years. These last few months she just got sicker and sicker and we all knew our time with her was limited.  I had planned to drive home on Wednesday to be with my mom and hopefully get one last visit with my aunt. She went into a coma on Christmas Eve morning and ultimately passed away very late in the evening the day after Christmas. I left Wednesday morning and was so thankful I did. This was a very hard time for our family, but it hit my mom in a way that I think no other loss has. My mom and my aunt both were very strong women. I honestly can't remember seeing either of them cry in my entire life. Not when they buried their mother, went through divorces and tough times or just when having a rough day. My mom is the oldest and was expected from a very young age to watch over the other children. My aunt had a bone disease as well, so my mom felt doubly responsible.  They bickered, spent birthday's together and truly were best friends as well as sisters.  I'm very thankful I had that time with my family. Nothing was on my mind other than helping order flowers, be there for the family and just remember the good times with my aunt.  My husband and kids arrived on Saturday and we had the wake Saturday evening. Sunday we spend the day at my mom's house and pretty much the entire family showed up. I baked brownies, my mom baked cookies and a dear friend of my mom's dropped off two platters of food. We laughed, we were loud, we ate, etc. It truly reminded me of all the holidays I spent as a child with my family. I've missed that living so far away for many years.

We arrived home on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning I woke with a headache. I often ask myself if this house gives me those headaches (LOL) I was so exhausted that I pretty much stayed in bed all day Wednesday and slept off and on during the day. Wednesday evening snow started and we were blessed to have 5"s of snow on the ground. I love the snow and it's such a beautiful sight seeing the ground covered with it. Issac spent hours outside playing by himself as well as with the neighbor from down the street. In the back of my mind I could hear the nagging that the school schedule said to start school back on Tuesday.  Last night I debated as Issac asked me if we were doing school today. Part of me felt the immediate need to say yes, we are already behind. The other part of me thought of my Aunt Mary Lou who was always laughing and had so much joy in her life. I decided to take today off as well and over the next few days to rethink the rest of my year. I have everything planned out, but Issac has started complaining there is no fun. I think I'll ask him to help me make a list of what he'd like to do and we'll try to work on that list. I've also decided this year that WE ARE going to start doing things that are on our Pinterest boards (LOL) I have so much pinned and it's all wonderful, but we just never do it. I've decided that will change this year and we will start trying more things that I've saved. What's the point in saving them if we aren't going to try them? Feel free to follow my BOARDS and I can't wait to see if we try any of the same things :)

That's pretty much my ramblings for the New Year! :) No real resolutions, no word or verse. I'm going to try and bring more JOY to our homeschooling year as well as love on my kids more.  I've felt a renewed closeness to my family through my aunts passing. She'll always be close to my heart and I'm thankful for all the years that I've had with her. I'm going to try and channel her fun spirit this year :)

Happy New Year!!

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: All She Left Behind by Jane KIrkpatrick

I've recently been learning more about essential oils and what they can do to help our bodies.  I'm fascinated about how illness was treated back before more of the modern meds were made available. All She Left Behind is a story about Jennie Pickett's life and her love of herbs and oil.  Jennie started out treating her family and others that she could, but she longed to do something more. She'd had thoughts of becoming a doctor, but life's circumstances seemed to keep her from heading in that direction.  Her marriage fell apart and Jennie was left to care for her son all by herself.  As her story unfolds with the struggles of life and love she never lost sight of her true passion.  Jennie's story is also interwoven with how alcohol and the misuse of herbs can greatly impact the family.  The struggles that Jennie faces are very much real today for many people.  It's a wonderful story reminding us to never give up on our dreams. Maybe now isn't currently the right "season" to embrace a particular dream, but it doesn't mean the time won't ever come.

*** I received this book free for my honest review. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!

This year Christmas has been a little difficult. My aunt has been sick for quite some time and we are getting to the end of her illness now :( My husband and I went to see her early last week and I'm SO thankful we did because that was the last time I was able to talk to her and hear her voice :( She is an amazing lady. She has fought and dealt with more in her life than anyone I have EVER known.  She is smart, funny, quirky and I just loved her to death! I've struggled to get into the spirit the last few weeks due to focusing my thoughts on sadness. Today I had a talk with myself and reminded myself that Christmas has always been her favorite holiday of the year. She decorated her entire house, even the bathroom! (LOL) She is currently in a coma, but today I tried to think about all the years she's lived and all the years of Christmas that she has enjoyed.  Today was a little different than previous years, but after telling myself that I needed to enjoy today FOR HER it was better than I had anticipated.  Sadly there won't be any more Christmas celebrations with my aunt or anymore times of laughter listening to her stories. Even though I know the sadness is going to get worse I'm choosing to TRY and focus on how she lived life. She lived in pain every day of her life, but 99.9% of the time you wouldn't have known it. Hopefully we have all gotten enough of her spirit to help us through these difficult times that are coming. I love my Aunt Mary Lou with all my heart! The time I spent with my husband and children today is special and I'm celebrating those good times because I know she would want me to.  

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Review: Magic Stix Washable Markers

The kids and I have always loved doing craft projects together. One of the biggest issues we seem to have always faced is to grab the marker box to start a project and find several dried out markers. Usually the youngest child at the time has left the lids off and now we don't have all the colors we need or want for our project :( I was recently offered a product to try free, for my honest review that claims on the package they won't try out for 7 days with the cap off. My first thought was I really couldn't imagine because we've dealt with this dry marker issue for years. Our Magic Stix 12 pack arrived and the first thing I thought was how to check this 7 day guarantee! I let my youngest son pick the color he wanted to use and then I wrote my name on paper. My plan was to write the same name and date each day for 7 days and see how the marker held up. I ended up a little distracted with a badly sprained foot, but was surprised when after 2 days I checked it the writing was still great. The marker wrote just as brightly colored, smooth and flowing as it had on day one. That sold it for me! I'm always looking for a cheap price for markers and will never buy anything that isn't washable. Even though these markers are priced higher than what I'd normally pay the fact that they don't dry out is a HUGE selling point! I think anyone with children would love these knowing that they are safe from drying out if left our for a day or two!

Usually the markers we buy come in a cardboard box, but these arrived in a nice shell case with individual spots for the markers.  This is a great way to store them because here in my house they tend to get lost if not kept together. Of course I loved that they were washable because as I wrote earlier I don't buy any that aren't. I learned early on with my first child that I wanted him to have the freedom to use markers without the worry I might have of items getting stained. These also have NO odor and vented safety caps. Not having an odor is important because there are so many of us that strong odors cause headaches. No worries here! I think most parents want their children to use markers and get to do fun things, but they worry about the fumes, the stains and the possibly toxicity.  Thankfully the The Pencil Grip has taken all of our concerns and given us a wonderful product that we can use with our children.

I'm including a picture of our little experiment with trying out the marker uncapped for 7 days. You can see for yourself that the writing is just as good on the last day as on the first. We also did a few little projects to try out our new markers. I would highly recommend these to anyone with children. The higher cost, in my opinion, will greatly even out with all the packs of markers you'd buy because the tops were lost and they dried out!

We really loved these markers and are so excited to have gotten the opportunity to try them. They are available in a 24 pack or in the 12 pack like we were given.  The Pencil Grip has some amazing products and these items are some of their newest. I recommend you check out their sight and all the products they have.

** I was given a 12 pack of these markers free for my honest review.  

Thankful Tuesday 1/16/2018

Today was a good day here at the house.  I actually had lots of things that I could think of to be thankful for today. This may seem strange...