Saturday, June 14, 2014

Procrastinate Father's Day? I did?  So, I made this subway art Father's Day thing-a-ma-jig and thought I'd share it if anyone else can use it.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels: An Advent Anthology, Volume 2 Giveaway

I love everything about Christmas.  I especially love the memories that accompany each of the songs, whether they are religious in nature or otherwise.  With this Advent Anthology, I am looking forward to getting into the Christmas spirit with a song and story each night in December, leading up to Christmas Day.  Plus, I love that proceeds from this book will be donated toward Autism research and advocacy!

Read on to learn more about this fun new tradition--there is even a giveaway!!

Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels: An Advent Anthology, Volume 2

Christmas carols capture the spirit of Christmas, and Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels brings beloved carols to life like never before. Throw your cares away with the tales from sweet silver bells. Find out how Santa Claus dabbles in time travel, and feel the redemption of a dying wife's parting Christmas gift. Experience all this and more in these heartfelt, entertaining tales donated by a team of authors from across the country, working together for a good cause. The proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated toward Autism research and advocacy.

Anthology authors include: Shirley Bahlmann, C. David Belt, Rebecca Carlson, Loretta Carter, Madonna D. Christensen, Danyelle Ferguson, C. Michelle Jefferies, Theric Jepson, Ryan Larsen, Angie Lofthouse, Betsy Love, J. Lloyd Morgan, Janet Olsen, Teresa G. Osgood, Brian Ricks, Jennifer Ricks, Peg Russell, and Michael Young.

Carol of the Tales is the 2nd book in the Advent Anthology series. Both anthologies are available in paperback and Amazon Kindle formats from 

Purchase “Sing We Now of Christmas”:
Purchase: “Carol of the Tales”:

To kick off the release of the second anthology, a Christmas concert will be held at American Fork Junior High on December 7th, 2013. The concert will feature the Saltaires Barbershop Chorus. All proceeds from this concert will be donated to charity as well. Purchase: Tickets for the Concert:

Blog Tour Giveaway!

Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win wonderful prizes, such as tickets to the concert and copies of the anthology. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Blogs on the Tour:

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge 2013

We are headed into a scary time of year! No, I realize Halloween just passed--I am talking about the holiday season that is not only stocked with a lot of foods guaranteed to make your hips ginormous, but is so busy that one doesn't have time to get some fitness in their life.

Enter the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge.  I participated last year and loved having a competition to help me find time to be active.  Plus, we have a facebook group for HBBC and you are able to have an amazing support group of those who are participating also.  Through instagram I continued to follow those women over the last year and they have been an incredible source of inspiration and motivation for me.

Come join us this year! (and tell her Fringies sent you so I can win a cool prize!)  There are great prizes that will make up for the participation fee.  In fact, last year I didn't win anything, but not gaining any weight during the holidays was more than worth the fee I paid. This could be your shot at finding out how fun fitness is!  Or, if fitness is already fun in your eyes, you can find some fun fitness friends!  

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Moral Force of Women

As some of you know, this past Spring I decided that, with Buddy starting Kindergarten in August, now was the time to return to school, to finish what I started as an 18 year old many, many moons ago (Actually, I don't think strike through is the proper way to convey that in social media anymore.  Now it should be #manymanymoonsago.)
I was incredibly excited when I realized that because I was registering as an online student I could start school before the Fall. So, I immediately threw myself into school. And I loved every second of it. Okay, maybe not every second, but I loved that I was learning so much.

Yet, it was really hard.  Apparently, there is a big difference between staying up all night to do homework as an 18 year old and as a 36 year old.  Who knew?!?  I started to wonder if I had been right about returning to school.  Yet, Handsome Husband and I had prayed about it before I started and, at that time, we both felt it was the right thing to do.  So I kept plugging along.

Unfortunately, it didn't get any easier.  In fact, it got harder.  I've never been a great housekeeper, but that got worse.  Not having time to exercise and trying to live without sleep was making me gain weight and feel gross.  But, the biggest problem was not having time for my family.  Thanks to the online option of school, I was around physically, but I wasn't "present".  School was constantly on my mind as I desperately tried to keep up with assignments.

A few weeks back was the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  All of the talks given were amazing and had an impact on me.  After all the sessions, Handsome Husband and I came to the conclusion that maybe, at this time, school was not where I needed to be.  This was a strange idea because just a few months ago I was completely certain it was where I needed to be.

I have learned over the years that when I have questions about anything, the best thing to do is to kneel in prayer and ask Heavenly Father what I should do.  As the prayer began, I immediately felt that I needed to quit school.  Without a doubt, I knew that was what I needed to do.  I do not know the reason I went to school for only a few months.  Perhaps I will never know.  But, I know I learned a lot.  Cal Baptist is an excellent school.  Seriously, if you are considering going back to school, I would highly recommend CBU Online.

Already I can see how this decision has positively impacted my children.  They are young enough that they still desperately need my time.  I know that the security of knowing that I am always here for them, no matter what, will help them to be stronger and better able to face the unknown of the world we live in.

I am not saying that because we found that this was the best choice for our family, that it is the best choice for every family.  I am a firm believer in the fact that each family is unique in what is the best for them.  I know that if you prayerfully read through or listen to every talk from General Conference you will also know what Heavenly Father would have you do in your life.  If you are curious, the talk that had the most impact on my decision to leave school, is The Moral Force of Women by Elder D. Todd Christofferson.

I hope to now have a little bit more time to blog like I love to do.  Along with the great relationships I have with friends and family, I love the connections and the friendships I have made with those of you that I have never met in real life.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Another reason I don't like unions...

Missy's birth day and her 11th birthday

It's that time of year again.  ESY (Extended School Year) or summer school.  Remember how stressed out I was last year?  This summer we've got something new to stress about.

So, this past school year was awesome.  I was worried about the educational interpreter she would have.  Would they be willing to help her stay on task and put up with her myriad of off-topic questions?  Turns out I had absolutely nothing to worry about.  Her interpreter and her teacher have been amazing.  The classroom para-educators were helpful.  Her classmates have been perfect with her.  She has grown scholastically and socially in leaps and bounds.

The district only has one interpreter and she has been with a high school student this past school year (the same student she has been with since pre-school) so Missy's interpreter was contracted out from an agency. This high school student isn't attending ESY though so because of "seniority" the district interpreter wants to work with Missy for ESY.

Never mind the need for stability with an autistic student.  Her ESY school and teacher won't be the same from the regular school year which even more of a reason to keep the same interpreter.  Also, the district didn't even notify me of this change.  I found out through someone else.  The district wrote that off as an "oversight". 

Then there is the topic of transition.  When moving to a new para-educator and/or interpreter there is a required time to transition where the student has both of the aides with them.  The district didn't even offer this; I had to request it.  When pressed, they offered 1 day with the possibility of 2 if it was needed.  Missy isn't a typical deaf student.  There is more to her way of communicating than simply signing with her.  Two days is simply not sufficient time.  They essentially will be limiting her ability to communicate.  

The goal of ESY is for students not to regress during the summer.  Yet, limiting their ability to communicate seems like a fast way to regress.

I've repeatedly asked for more transition time, but with a 20-day ESY the district is adamant that their interpreter is "capable."  To compound the situation, the district is looking to hire 4 more interpreters for the 2013-14 school year.  So, if they actually find anyone (interpreters are hard to come by in this area), then we will have to start the process all over again.  Why not at least keep her current interpreter for ESY and allow for a transition time in the fall if they hire someone?

I'm afraid we might be at a standstill.  Anyone out there have experience in this type of situation?
Gratitude Journal May 7:  I love that social media allows me to stay in touch with old friends and make awesome new friends.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life with Autism Part 1

We have to be careful what Missy watches. Something that wouldn't affect a typical child can really set her off. Especially cartoon violence that others might recognize as being so over the top it's comical. 

Today the kids turned on an old episode of Power Puff Girls where one of the girl's hair is being pulled out. I wasn't paying close attention, but I think her hair was being pulled out by one of the other girls. Missy came to me in the kitchen where I was making dinner. She was obviously upset and starting pulling hard on the hair at the base of her neck. I yelled to Sissy to please change the show to something else as I tried to calm her down. I started by hugging her close to me. This doesn't comfort her in the typical way it may comfort one of her siblings, but it serves two purposes. One, it keeps her hands away from her head where she typically hits herself hard (this time it was trying to pull her own hair out), and two, sometimes compression of her joints will help calm her down. She broke free from my embrace and ran to the couch.

 As Sissy turned on My Little Pony, Missy drew this picture.
She brought it to me to see what she had drawn.  I tried to help her understand the feelings of the girls/ponies.  That seemed to help her and she decided to watch My Little Pony.

Gratitude Journal May 28th: I'm so grateful Missy is able to express her feelings through art.  Communication is definitely not the easiest thing for her and I'm relieved when she can work through her feelings by drawing.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Silly Saturday

Buddy: Why do you color your hair, Mom?
Me: So I don't look like a Grandma.  I'm not a Grandma, right?
Buddy: No. (laughing) No, you're just a regular, old Mom.
Happy Mother's Day to me, I guess!  But, really, Happy Mother's Day to all you ladies out there!  Hope it's a super special day!
Gratitude Journal May 11: Today I'm grateful for lazy Saturday mornings.  My kids don't sleep in and I've been up since 4 a.m., but at least we have been able to eat breakfast in a relaxed fashion and watch lots of cartoons.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

California Surfin' Week 22

Welcome to Week 22 of California Surfin' hosted by California Mom Bloggers and myself.  Head on over there to see what those of us in the great state of California are up to.

If you're a California blogger, we'd love to have you link up your posts this week. Come back throughout the week and add as needed.  Please also check out the other blog posts listed and give some bloggy love by commenting, liking, tweeting, stumbling, etc. 

There are only two rules for this blog hop.
1. You must be a California blogger.
2. Please leave a genuine comment on each blog you visit.  If you don't have a comment, please help out by doing one of the other options above.

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