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Monday, March 2, 2015

Are You Waiting for Your Stuff to Make You Happy?

This weekend was like 5 weekends wrapped up into one.  I love when we can get many things accomplished, on the flip side you feel like you need another weekend to rest.  But we can't so we drag ourselves to bed late Sunday night only to find the Monday morning sun creep through the blinds way too early.  But, then again the Lord just Blessed us with another glorious day to be together as a Family so why complain!?!  

We have lived in this house almost 18 months and we are still settling in.  After moving 4 times in 5 years we have individual boxes filled with things that belong in several different rooms, not just the room that's written on the outside of the box.  Sorting and purging has been the new norm around here for a few months now.  When we moved in we were off to a great start, but given our Family's situation over the past year we honestly stopped doing anything 14 months ago.  Now, we are on the road to recovery and taking the time to not just stuff and shove things away.  But, to really look at something and think if it's something that has purpose or is it something I think will make me feel better.  Over the past 10 years as our Family slowly shifted away from each-other I noticed we all became dependent on things to change our moods.  We needed to feel loved and needed so in a way having a room full of crap that we could arrange, dust, use, see, arrange again, step on accidentally, forget about and then find again made us feel a fake sense of connection to the item.  And when we went to a store we would find shinier things that promised to make us even more happy and fulfilled then the stuff we had at home.  And the sickness goes on and on and on.

Now, I'm not saying to throw away a special something that your Grandma left you or that you have to stack your books on the floor because that shelf needs to go.  But, do you really need 5 spatulas or a half dozen different lotions?  What about all the knick knacks and storage containers?  The shoes, clothes, decorations, kids stuff, basically everything you have stuffed in a closet, under the bed or in the garage.  Is it really serving it's intended purpose for you?  You know that project on Pinterest that you know you will get around to doing?  That has been my excuse for almost anything I have brought into this house.  I can use it for something else that I saw that I just know would look good or benefit the Family in some way.   But, I realized even though I was not the one with the addiction problem we were all numbing out.  Stuff was our drug of choice to deal with the big elephant in the living room.

Saturday I was going through a box and I found 20 tiny Tupperware containers for spices that I had bought probably 6 years ago at a yard sale.  My intention was to fill them with beads and sequence.  I knew it was going to be perfect for the classroom.  From the looks of it I had started filling a few of them, but that was about it.  I never finished my project and where are my little crafty things right now?  They are in a plastic carousal that I love and it's one functional piece.  So, those 20 little containers are now in the back of my van to be donated.  
If it's a true need and it has function like for Beauty, Function, Safety, Storage anything really...just be mindful that your stuff doesn't own you.  That you surround yourself with things that have an actual purpose.   Don't depend on your stuff to make you feel a certain way or for it to change something in your life.  I used to honestly think life would be better if all my dishes matched and if the bathroom was full of fresh new towels.  If I change the artwork around things would be better.  People would change if I could just make this house more cozy and less stressful.  People change when they accept responsibility to do so.  Nobody can lift the Denial Curtain accept the person behind it.  Indeed my life was more stressful, I was stressing myself out.  Not anymore though, gone are those days, I feel so relieved and I haven't bought towels in years.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

REVIEW~ IndoctriNation from Great Commision Films

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/-2015%20CREW/IndoctriNation%20cover%20500_zpscmnb8ttw.jpg 
I was given the opportunity to watch and review this great documentary I have seen and heard about for some time now.  The film is called, IndoctriNation from Great Commission Films.  I will admit I procrastinated in watching it because that's what I do sometimes.  But, I was so impressed with it I not only watched it twice in one day, but I've already shared it with 2 other families that I know will benefit from watching.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Unveiled Wife ~ Book Review

Marriage is a mosaic you build with your ­spouse—millions of tiny moments that create your love story. #unveiledwifebook - http://unwf.co/uwquote1

 

 

Jennifer Smith has been a huge inspiration to me.  And has helped me on my journey to SAVE my Marriage.  I found her online late one night while searching for answers and help for my own problems brewing.  I mainly found a lot of Husband bashing forums.  And I needed hope to continue my marriage not a bunch of angry wives filled with hate ready to pull the plug.  And then there was the Unveiled Wife Blog. 
I read Jennifer's story and even though our struggles were not the same we shared a common bond...We loved the Lord.  She was full of Faith and Affirmation.  I needed that right now, it was vital for me. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Birthday Boy for the 8th Time


 
Kaden is now 8 years old....that's so crazy to me.  Where does the time go, I mean come on.  It seems like only a few years ago I was bringing him home from the hospital.  Life with Kaden has been anything but boring.  He has kept us on our toes since day one.

The first few weeks was normal, nothing to crazy except I had a huge kidney infection that landed me back in the hospital.  But, when he was about 4 weeks old he started getting sick.  After being shot down by the Dr. and hearing how it's just leftover amniotic fluid in his lungs I insisted on x-rays.  I then was told he had pneumonia and we started an antibiotic only to later that night rushing him to the emergency room.  He was admitted and given the diagnosis of RSV.  At almost 5 weeks old that was a very scary diagnosis.  
Weeks after being in 2 different hospitals his little body was giving out.  I was so terrified and mentally exhausted.  My heart was so heavy with anxiety and fear.  Between the continuous high fevers and the tubes and wires that kept our little boy's life going I had this constant battle in my head for his survival.  It just couldn't be any other way, he had to heal and recover. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Patience is being Appreciated!

I am sitting right now on hold with the Big Bad insurance company once again.  I was sitting here thinking as I listen to a mix of 80"s and elevator music that I have spent probably weeks and weeks of my life just sitting on hold.  One bad song after another, shewing away screaming kiddos and dogs that need to go pee all just so I can either get something approved.  

All of our customer Representative are busy assisting other customers.  They will be with you shortly, please stay on the line.  Over and over again....and you wait and wait.  I especially love when a voice comes on the line and you think it's the rep only to be disappointed with a high quality ad.  Do you ever experience that?  Please tell me I'm not the only one fooled by that. :)

Oh, that just told me how Special I was to them and that they appreciated my patience!!!  :)  That's such a nice touch.  I drank all my coffee and still nothing.... So, I push the Speaker button and piddle around the house with my phone strapped to me.  Just waiting and praying that the music will stop and a real person will come on and help me and my child.

No matter how long I wait I always speak to the Representative kindly and with respect.  Their job honestly is not easy, I understand.  But, it truly is a pain to wait for 20 minutes or more, especially when it's regarding your child's health or a financial concern.

What do you do when your on hold?  How do you pass the t-i-m-e.......

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Panini for Me


I am not the most Organized Homeschooling Momma, I know you already know that.  And I don't know what happens to time during the hours of 9am and 1pm.  But, we seem to get caught up in some time warp thingy.  Almost every single day one minute we are cleaning up from breakfast and then the next we are all starving and wondering how is it possible almost 1pm.
So, with all that time traveling going on the Kiddos and I are starving....not to mention that the Hubby comes home every day for lunch too.  The sound of the garage door going up is usually what snaps us back into reality.  Then I run to the kitchen trying to think about what's in the fridge from last night.  And how can I take what's in the pantry and whip up something tasty and not B-O-R-I-N-G!!!
The other day the garage door started going up and I was thankfully at least in the kitchen so that bought me like 3 extra minutes of planning!  :) I decided to make a Panini!
I grabbed:
Fresh French loaves of bread from the pantry
In the fridge I snagged mayo, Dijon, sprouts, lettuce, cheese, butter, shaved ham and pastrami
Out on the counter I had cucumbers, scallions and tomatoes
In my spice cabinet I pulled out sea salt, pepper and garlic powder

**In a small pan I quickly sauteed the scallions that I sliced long ways.  (I like this way for sandwiches)  As soon as there is color on the onions I turn the heat off, and ass a good hand full of sprouts to the pan with a shake of salt and pepper.
**After I get that out I throw the meat in just to warm it up a little so it will melt the cheese better.  Just a little heat goes a long way!
**During all this, I have Mahala help slice the brad and squirt on the layer of Dijon and mayo.  Kids love to help....let them!! 
**I turn my panini grill on or on days I don't want to get that big thing out I just use a regular pan on the stove.  It just wont have the cool groves! :(
**I thinly slice my peeled cucumbers and wash my lettuce and tomatoes.  I also slice my tomatoes too.
**Layer however you want.  Some of my kids like lettuce some don't, I have one screaming for no scallions and one wanting extra.  So, I love that the sandwich can be customized to their liking.  I usually will have the older ones build theirs after I get Kaden's and Hubby's finished.  
**I like to use butter, I know some people like olive oil.  I butter the grill and place the sandwich down.  Then I rub butter on the top of the sandwich and sprinkle garlic powder and sea salt on the top.  Lastly I lower the top grill plate down and the sizzle sizzle begins.  It smells Heavenly!!!!

I serve this by itself, along with last night's salad, chips, fresh fruit or fresh veggie sticks.  It may sound like a long process, but I promise you from start to finish I get 5 sandwiches done and on the table in 15-20 minutes.  To make it even faster, just plan and be prepared.  All the cutting can be done earlier on and honestly you could even build the sandwiches the night before and then at lunch time get them out and press them.
Give it a try, panini sandwiches are so fun to make and even more fun to eat.  The crispy bread and warm goodness inside is worth it.  Let me know what your favorite sandwich is?


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Homeschooling on the Spectrum is Colorful!!!

I'm asked all the time about homeschooling Kaden.  What's it like to keep your Kiddo with Autism home all day long?  Well, first of all it does take patience.  Not the kind of patience that you need while your on an 8 hour flight in front of a defiant youngster that has the lungs of an Opera singer and feet like sledgehammers.  Or the same kind of patience you need while you wait for your tax return to come in while your juggling a few late bills.  You just need your normal Parent Patience, nothing God didn't equip you with.  Yes, things will get ugly from time to time.  There may be days, even weeks where you only think about getting out of your night clothes.  But, even on those days, with the right systems in place and support you can do it.  

We felt like it was the Best thing for our little guy to stay home.  I wont get into it on this post, but, Kaden has never been to public school like my other two and we plan on keeping it that way.  
So, how do I keep going even through the bad days?  Here are a few ideas that we use daily.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bible Art....



Who has ever heard of Bible Journaling?  Not me, not until one day I saw this beautifully painted Bible on a friend's instagram feed.  I was like W-H-A-T!!!!  It reminded me of the time I was introduced to scrap-booking.  Never heard of it before in my life and then Bam it was all I could do to not run to the nearest craft store and stock up on stickers, cardstock and little diecuts.  I was a mess for nearly 2 years and 9 albums later.  Then life hit, Lupus hit and a little thing called Autism.  I haven't printed a single picture in almost 10 years, except a few for Skylar's graduation party. 

Recently though with my new life situation I have become more free with my time and the creative juices are flowing like the Mississippi river in early Summer.  No, I take that back....it's like a gushing geyser!  Ok, I know that might seem a bit exaggerated.  But, I will tell you this one thing.....I have put more paint on things in this house then I ever thought possible.  I've gone through 3 glue guns this year, filled up my photo drop box not once, but twice AND I've hung pictures for the FIRST time in 15 years on almost every room in our house.  Even the ridiculously small toilet room.  Yes, even that room.... right by the tiny window, next to the re-purposed toilet paper holder I fashioned out of a sewing machine table leg.  I am that hard core....I scare myself.  

I used to be like this, I was the artsy fartsy one in the bunch.  I had spunk and spark coming from every part of my being.  Over the years all of that was sucked from me, leaving me dry, mundane and just existing.  I am so thrilled to report that I am No Longer just existing, I am living!!!  And loving every minute of it!!!  

I still have bad days, triggers from the trauma of what I call my past life.  But, I refuse to let it control who I am in the present and future.  That is why I feel so Passionate about this whole Bible Journaling thing.  I've read the Bible many times before.  Somethings I remembered and could easily recall.  I felt like I basically understood the Bible as a whole.  Since our life change Bible reading is much more then just reading a few verses or chapters so I could cross it off my to do list.  I remember thinking hopefully God could see me now...crossing off Bible Reading!!!  Yay for me!!  Now, it's literally my main course in my meal for the day.  My daily vitamins I guess you could say.  I run down the stairs to read each day, so I can drink in the word with my eyes.  It feeds my heart and soul, it gives me strength and courage.  

Then I get to do what I love to do, and that's add color.  I draw whatever comes to mind... how I feel about the passage, my thoughts and interpretation.  It's so personal and to have this kind of connection where you are using your logic and creative parts of your brain just makes the scripture stick in your memory.  If you asked me about something I read 3 weeks ago I could recall it and probably tell you the book in the Bible that it came from.  By illustrating my connection to God's word each day, my life has become filled with passion, love, strength, courage, desire and fulfillment.  
How do you spend your time with God?  Are you excited to open up his word each day?  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Word Games Make English Time Fun



This is such a fun game....the kids all had a great time thinking up words and spelling them all out.  We have had this game for a few years now.  Being able to watch Kaden grow his vocabulary and spelling skills has been a real treat.
I love games where all the kids can be involved and having fun while helping each other out.  Group games Rock!

Right now we pull this game out once a week or so in place of English workbook time.  What are some Spelling/English games you play with your Kiddos?


Friday, January 23, 2015

The Bandage Has Been Ripped Off....and It Hurts!

There is a lot of this going on in our house lately.  Life has been a bit overwhelming without the band-aid of video games.  We are sticking to a new rule of no video games during the week and only when time permits on the weekends.

A little back history....Skylar grew up with that same rule and so did Mahala until Kaden developed an interest when he was 4.  Skylar, almost 21 attends college and has a successful job working with children on the Spectrum.  Mahala is still at home learning with me and like Skylar doesn't seem to have any real challenges on or off the computer.  Kaden on the other hand has a problem.  Let me explain what we have seen.

In the beginning we just thought he was so darn cute in the big office chair.  The headphones were so huge and they squished his little checks together and made him have a fishy face.  At that time he showed no real interest in people, his toys or anything else for that matter.  But, all of a sudden our boy literally emerged from behind the couch to see what the Big fuss over this box with a screen was all about.  We were happy he wanted to do something "typical".  

At this point he had just started ABA therapy.  He wasn't potty trained, wouldn't let you hold him, never focused his eyes on your face, he was repetitive with movements and with talking.  Kaden was a toe walking, twirling kid running scared of any little sound or movement.  I remember when his days consisted of numbers and sequences all day long.  The fear of water and physical touch was a nightmare to navigate during bath time.  He was totally disconnected with the outside world.

So, A few hours a day of Video games became a little bit of heaven for not only me, but the whole family.  It became the only reinforcement that worked during his 30 hours of therapy a week.  We used it as a reward for participating in therapy and for doing things that were way outside his comfort zone.  A few hours turned into 4 or 5 hour each day and slowly increased over the course of 2 or 3 years to the present.  Now he is almost 8 and would spend most of the day playing.  When he wasn't playing he was talking about playing.  And when he wasn't doing that he was very aggressive to himself and property.  Now before you ask, no he didn't play violent, crazy games.  Minecraft was his favorite and only game.  It was okay for him for about 15 minutes and then he would get frustrated or overwhelmed about something regarding the game.  One time he misplaced something in a chest and we spent 3 days going through all of his hundreds of chests looking for the item.  Even though in the end it really was only important to him, not really important in the game itself.

For the past year we have been going through a Family crisis I guess you can say.  Game time became like a band-aid, because we could find time to deal with what was going on in the Family.  Between therapy, the older kids and video games Kaden was taken care of while we healed from trauma that we were going through.  During all this we would take away his game play all together because of behavior and within a day we would see an incredible decrease in negative behavior.  He would have little fits of rage, but after several days he was a new person.  And then we would give in again after having a few weeks of such amazing behavior.  We would think he deserved a little break, only to be slapped in the face with cold reality that video games have this negative effect on him.  Now, we have tried several kinds of games and he doesn't seem to get worked up over them.  It's the computer games that seem to do it to him, unfortunately it's his favorite game...Minecraft.

Now we are focused and on the road to Family recovery so that means getting Kaden healthy and happy too.  Which is why we took the no video games during the week and only for a few hours on the weekend approach.
What we have found after a few days of rage was that he has this major need for physical activity.  He's been riding his bike, using the trampoline more and goes outside just to look at stuff and explore he says.  He has played with play-dough, painted, actually build with his legos and just snuggle.  Here is an example, we had our weekly review with the Therapist we worked with when he had ABA therapy.  She was amazed because for the first time in 3 years he sat with us at the table and talked about random stuff from the week.  He shared an upcoming movie trailer and even invited her to a game of chess.  Who was this kid???  And how can I keep him out here with all of us?

I'm not going to lie, the past few weeks have been some of the hardest to get through.  He has soooo much energy that sometimes he just runs around the couch screaming or talking about a subject that we have no idea about.  He is in a constant state of motion and silence is something I have not experienced except when I drift off to sleep finally.  But, at least he's not in a coma in front of a screen.  I'm not saying all kids are like this, but mine is.  And I want him to be alive and awake....feeling all that the world has to offer him.  And our Family will huddle around him as he experiences life in a whole new way.  :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Girl has a Blog

Mahala has a New Blog that she is working on.  She just posted a few pictures on her latest post.  I'm so proud of her.

Life Behind the Screen

Monday, January 12, 2015

Accidentally Delicious.....


If I had to describe my cooking style in 2 words I would say Accidentally Delicious.  I grew up in the South, so I have a love for food.  Some of the Best foods come from the South, but living on the West coast for the past 14 years has added a little charm to my pot.  You haven't lived till you have tried one of my double fried chicken sandwiches smothered in an avocado sauce and loaded with fresh garden fixings and sprouts.  Did I mention it's not really fried and it's crammed into a homemade sourdough hoagie roll????

Most days I take a poll with the Fam and then grab whatever protein won.  A quick look in the veggie bins, garden tubs and Pantry rounds out the meal.  I then see a vision....I have a feeling, a hankering. 

I always start with the Holy of all Holies..... GARLIC!  I feel Garlic can go in ANYTHING!!!!  I draw the line at cereal and homemade poptarts.  But, besides that I honestly feel it just works.  My next foodie favorite of all is the pungent onion.  Yes, not as Wham Bam as Garlic, but it definitely adds a presence to any meal.  And of course salt and pepper, the seasoning not the music group.

My other can't live withouts in the seasoning cabinet...like I would never be able to cook without them! 
Spanish Paprika
Basil
Saffron
Cayenne
Sage
Curry
Rosemary
 Fresh Chives and Cilantro are also a daily must!
Of course there are plenty of others, these are just ones that I use day in and day out.

So, the meal up above started out to be one thing and then turned into this and since then has become one of our Family's favorites.  I had bought cubed steak to make country fried steak for dinner one evening.  When we got home I realized I forgot the milk....you have to have milk.  Darn!  Well, it's all out on the counter, so we are having something tonight...now we have this more then the country fried steak. :)

Whatcha Need:

Cubed Steak
Onions
frozen Green Beans
(Optional Mushrooms)

1/2 cup of water or beef broth
1 tbsp of flour
1/2 stick of butter

Seasonings on the meat that I used- (approximate measures)
Paprika 1/2 t
Sea Salt 1/2 t
Pepper 1/2 t
Cayenne 1/4 t
Garlic Powder 1 t

I sliced the cubed steak into strips, placed them in a bowl and sprinkled the seasonings on.  I never measure, which is why I NEVER share recipes.  I promise to get better at this!!  What I always do to check my seasonings when I make a new dish is I prepare a tester piece.  So, for this meal I would cut one of the strips in half and cook them up first.  Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.  I EYEBALL everything, I know how much I need of a seasoning in my hand to give my dish the flavor I want.  Next time I will measure, but first I need to find the measuring cups.....now where did I put them.....hmmmmm?

-Okay, after you eat your tester piece adjust your seasonings if you need to. :)  -Then add your flour to the bowl of meat. - Next you need to add the butter to your pan to melt.  Once it sizzles toss in all your floured, seasoned meat.  Spread it out and make sure your pan is on a low high/high med heat.
-Next you need to slice your onions and optional mushrooms if you want.  I use frozen usually with this because it's too easy.
-After 2 minutes or so on one side stir the meat and add the onions.  Stir occasional because you want the meat to brown evenly.  As you stir and a little bit of water or beef broth.  That along with the butter, meat juice and flour will make you a nice little gravy.  If you see little clumps of flour, just whisk them out with your spoon or spatula.  -Once you see that the majority of the meat is cooked and the frozen beans and put on med/low heat until beans are tender.  Add a little water or broth throughout if needed until you get a nice sauce/gravy going.

The whole meal takes about 20 minutes, super fast and way delicious.  We serve it over rice most of the time, but have ate it with yummy mashed potatoes too.

Enjoy, let me know if you try it with your Family! :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

God Shaped Hole


Every since I was knee high to a grasshopper I've had a Special relationship with the Lord.  I remember nights singing to him until I would fall asleep.  I'd tell him all my secrets most little girls would whisper to their Barbie dolls or friends on the playground.  I would secretly pray to him when an ambulance whizzed by or when I caught a glimpse of tragedy on the nightly news.  

This all came about I'm sure because every single year I was in a new school, new town, new house....thanks to my Dad serving in the Navy.  I never connected with people, never had the sleepover, back yard birthday party experience.  It was just me, my parents, and the Lord.  I never realized how important my relationship would truly become one day.  How I would need to depend and lean on Him so much.  That one day I would not be able to breathe without him filling my lungs first.

Even as I grew up and became a young adult God was my center rock.  As life changed and I married there became a distance between God and I.  Almost like a child moving out and starting their own life.  Coming home to visit only when laundry needs to be washed or a late bill needs desperately paid.  That was me in my late 20's and early 30's.  Autism, Kids, making my Husband happy, homeschooling, health matters, money, just life in general became my primary focus.  God was just for church, nightly prayers and the daily distress pleas.  

I lost my relationship, Not my Belief.  

It took something drastic in my Family to bring me to my knees.  To fall at the Lord's feet and have the Veil lifted from my eyes.  I had been running scared for years instead of living in light.  It's a Beautiful thing to wake up without a heavy confused heart.  I have this amazing sense of Peace!  

We all have a God Shaped Hole that we try to fill up with  
 money, addictions, other people's love and approval, material things, desires, job titles, fame, likes and friends on social media and ton of other things that make us Stay in Denial.  

But, when we realize that Nothing fits in that hole but a relationship with God we will then find Peace, Wholeness, Acceptance, Love, Contentment, Grace, Satisfaction, Thankfulness, Hope, Health, Friendship and Clarity.  I have this right now, just like I did as a little girl.  
Have you ever experienced this kind of Spiritual Transformation?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Prep and Plan with God

Showered and dressed....no make up, but ready to start the New Year's Eve preparations.  Food, games, movie watching and did I mention food?  Oh and we will fast forward through all the garbage to watch the ball drop in New York at midnight.  

I remember a time when I had so much anticipation and wonder for the New Year.  This year is different...I have a plan of action for my life and our Family.  We have BIG things coming up.  Moving to a low key destination, becoming more self reliant, finally finishing my book.  All this while we wrap our arms around God as tightly as possible.

It's all really exciting and not overwhelming like it would have been 2 years ago for us.  I believe we feel this way because we aren't trying to be in control.  Trying to be the one in control has been our problem in the past, giving up control has freed us from ourselves from messing everything up.  God already knows the beginning and the end, so why should we stand in the middle waving around our 2 cents.  

As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Glittery Breath of Stars

We always say that we will do xyz when we lose weight, get that new job position, have more money, more time or the kids are in school or out of the house.  And sometimes we aren't given a choice, we are forced to do xyz out of circumstance.

My xyz was to grow Spiritually, I wanted to know things.  I wanted to experience inner peace or at least be in the room with it minus Kung Fu Panda playing in the background.  I just figured one day I would get around to it.  That it would become a priority when there was a free spot in my schedule.

My first meditation experience was almost like a roller coaster ride.  It was full of highs, twists, turns and at the end I floated on the effervescence of inner peace all day.  I was so surprised of the mind blowing theater system I obviously have been toting around with me my whole life I had to call my therapist.  She confirmed I had a reel of unlimited tickets to my own personal mental theater.  Now, I have to tell you I have never studied Meditation, Spirituality or anything really that would make me an expert in anything I write here on this blog.  These are just my own thoughts and opinions.  I have locked up my feelings and denied myself the ability to share my thoughts and experiences because I knew I lacked text book knowledge.  That's part of my broke down core values I have cleaved to since birth.  But, through the Miracles I have experienced this past year I have let those go, healed my heart and washed my soul.  This is why I can share my process with you now.

My first experience was pure relaxation.  It was just me, my eyelids and the night.  Being my first time I didn't use a mantra or chant anything special I just sat there and breathed.  I knew how to breathe, actually my therapist told me I was a pro at breathing.  In the beginning I didn't think it was much of a compliment.  But, now I know Breathing is life....all of life.  It's the difference between life and death.  And before last year I wasn't living...just existing.  Ok back to the meditation....I looked forward with my eyes closed.  Because of my trauma therapy I had been doing for a few months I was used to relaxation techniques by now.  And my favorable eye position(I will explain all of this later in another post) was straight ahead, right between my eyebrows.  And as I sat there and breathed deeply and slowly I imagined white light entering my body with every inhale.  And the white light supported me and filled me with love and awareness.  When I exhaled I envisioned different negative words that had filled my head my whole life.  I was ready to let go...halleluiah!!!

As I was enveloped with warm fuzzy self love I noticed something shoot across my line of vision...my closed eye vision.  I focused on it for a breath and then all of a sudden I noticed my view widening to see not just one little dot, but thousands.   And I saw a bright blue, glowing ring at my right side.  It felt like I was in a warm bath, I had nothing but peace and childlike feelings of bliss.  I thought Wow, this is really happening!  As I continued taking in the love and light a glittery, gold shimmering wave filled the sky I had developed on the inside of my eyelids.  I formed pictures and patterns.  I saw this huge Tiger and it looked as if it was trying to comfort me.  I felt a sense of kinship with him, there was love in his eyes.  Protection in the Tiger's movements....I was thinking really this is happening?  I could have stayed in this place for days, it felt like there was no time there only pure joy and fulfillment.  

With several more deep breaths I opened my eyes.  I was instantly aware that my skin was warm to the touch, even sweating a bit.  There was a tingling sensation around my head and my arms.  I remembered vividly what just happened it was an experience not a dream.  I went to write my experience down and I looked at the clock.  More then 5 hours had passed, I thought it was 20 minutes at most.  I was shocked to realize how much time had passed.  

What an experience....I at first thought how can people do this every single day and get anything else done.  I honestly thought everyone had this kind of experience right out of the gate.  But, not everyone does.  Meditation for me is a daily thing, twice a day you will find me soaring through the stars in my head.  Not 5 hour long trips all the time.  Sometimes it's a Blessed deep connection with God and I'm focused on scripture or my daily mantra.  So many options, so many outcomes that all begin with just one breath!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Re-birth for the New Year

Has it truly been this long since I've checked in.  I guess I've been more Manic then I thought.  Truth is I have been taking care of business I have ignored for years.  I have finally listened to that still small voice that tells me what I should be when I grow up.  Yes, I'm almost 40 and I have re-birthed myself.  Can you do that?  Obviously so, because that's what it feels like.  I wish I could say it's less traumatic then the first birth.  But, I think everything has it's twists, turns, bumps and close calls.  
So, I have experienced rebirth through Christ when I was 16 and this past year I have re-birthed myself with the hand of God.  Now I feel as though the sky is the limit, nothing is truly in my way.  I was in the way all these years.  I have removed my fear and all the lies I've told myself and have totally been given a path to allow even my dreams to come true.  
I have lot's of things in the works.  The year 2015 is going to hold so many new things for me and my Family.  I can't wait....this is the first time in my whole life that I actually know that the New Year has more to offer me then the previous.  I'm Ready!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Snake Oil from Out of the Box Games ~REVIEW

 



Yay....A fun new game to add to our towers of Family Fun!!  Yes, I said towers....we have 2 closets filled with games.  So, when our package from Out of the box Games arrived the Kiddos tore into it and played the new Snake Oil game immediately.  We have enjoyed several games from Out of the Box Games in the past, we are thankful to have the opportunity to review this one.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Purposeful Design~Review

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Many are the Plans in a Man's heart, but it is The Lord's Purpose that Prevails.  Proverbs 19:21
I have another super treat to share with you today.....Purposeful Design has given to us a Beautiful hardback book, Purposeful Design: Understanding The Creation.  It is an award winning book written by Jay Schabacker.  He wanted to share God's Wonderful Creation to the children of the world. This book walks you down the creation path revealing all the principles of science that makes our world work.  Knowing, seeing and understanding God's Love that he has for us is so apparent in the pages of this book.   

Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation cost $18.95 and is suitable for all ages. This is a Stunning hardback book that you will enjoy years to come.
 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

IXL Math and Language Arts ~REVIEW

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Once again we had the opportunity to use and review an online supplement program for our homeschool use.  IXL kindly gifted us both of their programs, IXL Math and IXL Language Arts for a year.  I had heard from other homeschool Moms about IXL and their math program.  It was something I had wanted to try with Kaden as a nice supplement and practice.   And when I  learned they had their new additional program for Language Arts, I was even more eager to check them out and see just what everyone has been talking about for myself.
No matter what grade level your Kiddo is currently doing, they will have access to all grade levels with the IXL Program.  The IXL Math program covers grades Pre K through Pre-Calculus (12th grade).  And the IXL Language Arts covers grades 2nd-8th.  Kaden loved the flexibility of picking and choosing from different grade levels.  And it conveniently reported back to me in an easy to read chart.  As a Parent this allows you to easily identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Book- If He Had Not Come~ REVIEW

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I have a Book Review....I love Books we all know this! I love Christmas time even more, so I was thrilled to have a chance to read a book from David Nicholson called If He Had Not Come. It’s a hardcover children’s book, originally written by Nan F. Weeks with 40 colorful pages of Beautiful artwork.  Kaden kept rubbing the pages expecting to feel texture, we loved the illustrations by Charles Jaskiewicz.  This book was written for Kiddos aged 6 and up.  I feel like that's about right, maybe younger Kiddos might not grasp the concept of the story.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fascinating Biology from Fascinating Education~ REVIEW


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Fascinating Education was so kind to give us the Blessing of using and reviewing one of their three Online Science courses they have available.  The course we were given is called Fascinating Biology, the name says it all. :)   Dr. Margulies is a Neurologist and started Fascinating Education because he wanted to create a program to provide a way of learning that didn't just rely solely on the use of text books as the primary teaching tool.  He designed this program to teach Science in a clear, easy-to-understand, logic thinking way for Kiddos in Middle-school and High-school.  Dr. Margulies uses vivid illustrations and audio as the main learning tool.  You can say that this program is an audio/visual party for your mind!  Since it uses the right-hemisphere of your brain to teach you the Science information you are most likely to learn it and understand it.  Not just store it in your short term memory bank until the test is finished. 
 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clued in Kids~ REVIEW

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This next Review was an exciting, blood pumping kind of Review.  Clued in Kids gifted us two sets of their Manic Mom Kiddo approved Treasure Hunt packs.  We were given the Playdate Clue Pad ($8.99) and the Multiplication Dragon Treasure Hunt ($19.99) set too. These packs are geared for Kiddos 4 and up and can be used for one child up to 10 Kiddos at a time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Forbidden Book~ REVIEW

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We are coming to a close on our Review year for 2014 already.  I was pleased to hear that New Liberty Videos asked the Schoolhouse Review Crew to review several of their videos.  The Kiddos and I decided to go with The Forbidden Book DVD: The history of the English Bible($19.95).  We are on a quest right now reading through the Bible together and have never learned about the conception or preserving of our Bible. 
Brian Barker is the producer of New Liberty Videos and has been working in the Movie Industry for 40+ years.  Before he started this adventure he was employed by Universal Studios in Hollywood as an Editor on several TV shows, like B.J. And the Bear and Quincy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Middlebury Interactive Languages ~REVIEW

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Foreign language is a hot topic in our house, we have a thirst for it.  I was very eager to try Middlebury Interactive Languages' High school German 1 Course.  We were kindly given a full Semester of classes a few weeks ago.  I was never given the opportunity to learn a foreign language growing up.  It has been something I have true regret not pursuing a language as a college student or even as a young mom.  Now I have immersed myself in Italian and German.  My Kiddos will and do have many opportunities to learn as many languages as possible.  I feel knowing another language opens up a new part of the world for you to explore and enjoy.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Standard%20Deviants/sdaccel_zps90c6438b.jpgThe Kids and I were given a full year membership to the Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses from Standard Deviants Accelerate a few weeks ago.  The Courses are all recommended for Kiddos age 8 and up.  Most of the courses are for Middle school ages and up though.  The cost for each course per Kiddo is either $99 a year or $24.95 a month.  The AP courses are $14.95 a month per student.  YAY, a great inexpensive way to get College credits for your Kiddos!!!  This is a Secular Online learning resource that is a great supplement in any homeschool.  It was designed to be used in a Classroom, so set up was a little tricky at first.  But, they are working on a more user friendly set up plan right now.  I appreciate a company that listens to their customers feedback to make a great product even better. Now that we have all the nuts and bolts laid out let's take a look at the meat of the product before I give you my final opinion.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Morning Tea with Me


What is your Favorite Fruit?  Mine is the glorious Blueberry.  I love them and they just happen to be my most favorite color Blueish Purple.

Growing up in the south there was only one acceptable drink....sweet tea.  Now that I've been a CA girl for the past 14 years that's just not the case in our house.  We still love tea, we just like it with a teaspoon or so of honey or agave.  :)  And let's not forget the glorious cup of hot tea.  With the weather starting to get colder I enjoy several cups of tea a day.  This morning I started with Rishi Tea's loose leaf Organic Blueberry Rooibos.  

I used to not buy loose leaf.  But, recently I have made the switch for most of my teas.  I taste the fibery bag when I don't use loose leaf now.  I never tasted it before, but now it's like Hello...your drinking paper here!!!!!
 
Call me crazy, go ahead...it is aloud here. :)  Anyway, back to the tea.  It has Ahhhhhmazing smooth flavor that will get your mornings off to a refreshing start.  Who needs coffee after a cup or two of this?  Not me, my coffee maker looks a little jealous over there, but that's ok   I still have a little room in my heart for him. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apologia iWitness Books~ REVIEW


 Everyone knows I Love Books, any new Book on my shelf makes me one Happy Momma.  And I was definitely a Happy Momma when I received 3 New Books from Apologia Educational Ministries to Review.  Here are the Books we were able to Enjoy:
All 3 books are written and designed by Doug Powell.  They are $14 each and Geared for Kiddos 11 yrs old and up.
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I Love all things Apologia has to offer.  Kaden thought his Math book came from them the other day, just because he sees their name all over our house. :)  Every single product they offer has not only been a Blessing to our Family's education, but also Spiritually.  The iWitness books were no different then all of their other amazing products.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Painting Pumpkins with Purpose!























Little Man is so thrilled to do pumpkins this year.  And even though every time we get out the paint I have to do a touch up job on the walls, wash curtains and toss whatever clothes he has on in the trash....it's still worth it to me.  We went yesterday to the Pumpkin Patch, I'll post about that tomorrow.  We had several hiccups throughout the day, but we made it through in one piece.

So, today in order to get ready for the Start of Holiday Season we started with painting pumpkins.  We are saving the Big Guys for carving.  Kaden is a very messy, but purposeful painter.  Every action is not wasted, he has a purpose for everything.  From the napkin under his pumpkin all the way to every stern smile he gives his little masterpiece in order to make it just so.  I Love how he makes his messes, truly I'm not kidding.  I'll tell you why....He enjoys every second or every project.  The feel of the cold squishy paint in his little fists give him pleasure and reminds him of all the other fun times he's had with paint.  As he smears it across the table, paper or even his clothes he gleams with the excitement the different textures tells his little brain.  He doesn't just look at his painted pumpkin and think job well done.  He looks at his painted pumpkin and sees a symphony of possibilities.  He sees a masterpiece of sounds, feelings, vibrations and visual stories all woven into a blissful mental retreat.  Yes, a retreat because there are no rules for him during art.  He can be and do what he wants here, there is no worry for him to stay between the lines.  I know so many times and activities, like the pumpkin patch yesterday we try to make our Spectrum guys look and act more Typical.  Why do we do that?????  Literally, I'm asking myself that right now!



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Life Behind My Eyes~Meditation

Have you ever Meditated before?  I thought about this the other day, because I have been going through treatment for PTSD and some recent trauma I've had lately.  We have been doing weekly meditation during our sessions that I feel have made a difference in my life.  Since starting my weekly sessions with my new found friend that does cost a pretty penny I have seen many areas of my life improve.  I have been able to improve myself, forgive myself and truly understand the rattle that takes place between my two ears every single day. :) 

I started very recently meditating outside of sessions.  I've read that there are Emotional Benefits like:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions
 Research also suggests that meditation may help people manage Symptoms of Conditions like:
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Pain
  • Sleep problems
I don't know about you, but I suffer from quite a few of these little gems.  So, I thought what do I have to loose....nothing but the pain and suffering. :) 

I began by simply recreating my therapy sessions at home.  I have created this sort of safe place in my head.  I'm surrounded by God's white light and his Love envelopes me, this creates safety for me.  And then I release all that ails me and soon I'm floating amongst the stars and swirls of all that protects and gives me comfort.  Do I chant?  No.  Do I sit in weird positions?  No.  What about surrounded by candles and burning incense?  No, but that might be quite nice. :)

Please remember I have done no formal research on meditation and honestly I see no real reason to do so at this time.  Right now I'm just concentrating on letting go and harnessing only what is good in my life.  So many times in my life I have done just the opposite.  I would hold onto what I thought I needed to.  I would surround myself with the typical daily expectations of a person's life.  My eyes have been opened to a world that I knew was right within reach, but was too blind to see it clearly enough.  Now, I have a front row...centered seat to see all the possibilities that are there for me.
Praying You are Blessed Today!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sweet Pic


There is something almost spiritual about a yummy cinnamon bun with hot, gooey icing all over it.  I just had to post this pic in case your looking for something Sweet in your life!! :)