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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What Sparks Your Kiddo's Curiosity?



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I don't know about you, but I have all these great Field Trip ideas in my head.  And that's exactly where they stay....in my head.  

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to visit an Orange Grove on a cold, rainy day and not even have to get out of your cozy slippers or leave your house?  That's what the Kiddos and I did a few weeks ago.  I can't wait to tell you about Curiosity Quest.  I was able to Review two different DVD Combo packs, Swimmers of the Sea and Produce 
Each Combo Pack offers 3 incredible episodes, each episode is approximately 30 minutes long and they Retail for $24.95.   
Every episode starts off with a Question sent in from a Kiddo out in TV Land. Your Kiddos can submit their topic ideas too online.  During the episode, Host Joel Greene explores different things that are all associated with the particular topic of choice. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Struggles in the Night

Once again we tried having Homer sleep with Kaden.  Everything was all smiles until the lights went out.  Homer kept getting up, but I'm thinking it was because he was too hot under the covers.  An hour or so with Kaden and Homer all snuggled in without covers we started hearing a familiar scream.  It was the screaming that meant once again tonight was going to be a long night of keeping Kaden safe while he acted out during his Night Terrors.

I know I have written before about Kaden's thrashing about in his sleep.  This time was no different then the many others.  They are pretty predictable right now, but I fear what they will look like when he is a Teenager....Lord Help us!  Right now it looks like a Meltdown on steroids.  Kicking, punching almost like he is fighting an invisible person.  I worry about him breaking a bone, honestly it gets that bad!!!  It's scary with all the thrashing, screaming and hurtful things he says.  This can last 1-6 hours and then all of a sudden he comes back to us.  Like Magic!  Most of the time he asks for water and if he can please have his covers or the closet light off.  Afterwards he snuggles down in bed and sleeps till the morning like nothing happened.  The next morning all I get is a confused look on his face when I ask him about the night before.  Dad and I are like....What, you don't remember doing this and saying that?

Anyone have a Kiddo with the same Night Time Struggles?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What has Your Family's Attention?


Recently I was asked to Review the Captivated DVD from Media Talk 101The DVD explores the impact Television, Computers, Video Games and Social Media have on Adults, Kiddos & the Family Unit.  I was instantly pumped to watch this Documentary because my Family had recently been involved in a Media Overload.  I knew something had to be done, but needed some help getting the whole Family to hop on the "Less Media" train.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Ray of Sunshine


Ohhhh the Meltdown, it can happen at any moment over just about anything.  It can be Fast and Furious or Slow and Dreadful.  I'm on a Mission right now to understand Meltdowns, Kaden's Meltdowns.  When he is calm and clear headed I have been lightly questioning him on his thoughts about them.  The word he uses often to explain is Overwhelmed.

I get Overwhelmed, we all do.  What Overwhelms him to the point he punches himself and screams bloody murder?  All I did was tell him it's Bath Time or we need to go to Social Skills or to eat Dinner. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mango Languages - Mango Homeschool Edition Review




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Just saying the Word Mango makes me Happy!  We were given the Opportunity to try the Beta Version of Mango Homeschool Edition from Mango Languages over the past several weeks. I am always Thrilled to try a new Foreign Language program.  I have a little Back Story about my Luck and Foreign Languages that involves Me, Three Semesters in College and a Very Nice Spanish Professor.  Let's just say I continuously try to redeem myself. :)  

Anyway, Mango Homeschool Edition is Recommended for ages 6 - Adult.  Mango Languages has been around for about 7 years. They started in the public library sector and are expanding from there. This Program is Super easy to install, you can use it on Mac or PC and any Browser will work just fine (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome).  One of the Great Advantages to this Program over others I have worked with in the past is that there are No restrictions on how many Languages your student gets to learn and it's self-paced.
Over the next several months, they’ll be introducing other exciting features like:
*Enhanced Tracking and Progress Monitoring - including seat time (for students and parents)
*Goals and Personal Lesson Plans (both stand-alone and tied into Mango courses)

*Resume and Portfolio Builder
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With a Membership You currently get:
Over 60 different languages
Progress Assessments

Built-in journals, discussions and wikis
Collaborative learning spaces
eNote messaging
/chat rooms

Access to embedded/downloadable content

Support from other community members

Calendars to schedule meetings or study groups

Mango Languages Introductory Prices 
1 subscription is $18/month or $125/year total 
2 subscriptions is $28/month or $175 /year total                     
3 subscriptions is $38/month or $225/year total                   
4 subscriptions is $48/month or $275/year total               
5 subscriptions is $58/month or $325/year total
Anything over 6 subscriptions is a special Group Rate that will depend on the number in the group. 
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Mahala wanted to Learn Vietnamese and brush up on Chinese.  Kaden wanted to work more on Spanish.  The kids did a Semester last year learning Spanish.  And last, but not least I decided to brush up on my German Skills.   I will say the format of the program worked well for Mahala(14), Kaden(7), not so much.  Kaden wanted more interaction, he suggested fun games or an offering of multiple learning styles.  I agree with him, for older kids and adults this is a Perfect Program.  But, for Elementary Kiddos it may feel a little Repetitious.  It could be just Kaden, but he asked to study words on flash cards and needed to write out the new words as he learned them.  He loved hearing the pronunciations and would often play them over and over until his tone matched the speaker's.  I liked that you could repeat sections and even whole lessons over and over.  Mahala and I had a totally different experience, she liked that the Lessons were fairly Short and Easy to digest.  I never even had to ask her to do her lessons.  For me, I looked forward to getting through each lesson and feeling like I walked away knowing just a little bit more.  Mahala and I kind of had a little Contest going to see who could get through the most lessons.  She won and I had to take her out for an ice cream!!  :) 

So, would we use Mango Homeschool Edition from Mango Languages?  I would, but only for Mahala and I.  I personally am pleased with the Pronunciation and Grammar help the program offered. And I also thought the Phonetic Spelling in the lessons helped make it less difficult to learn a New Language. 

Go on over to the TOS Review Crew to see what other Reviewers thought of this program!
You can find Mango Languages at Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


Click to read Crew Reviews
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Green Rainbows!



Mahala has been playing too much Minecraft lately....she's grown an Orange Mustache!  

Just had to share a few of Our St. Patrick's Day pics.  It was a Fun Day overall, Kaden never caught the Leprechaun though. 

 

Homer wore his Stache with Pride!!  We couldn't get Kaden to wear one to save his life.  But, it was kind of Fun chasing him around the house trying to get one on him.  :)

Kaden did Enjoy his Pot of Skittles though, but there was no Rainbow he said kind of in a disappointed voice.  I told him Maybe next year! :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Retwork- Review

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network 
Awhile back I was asked to be apart of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network Launch Team.  What a Blessing it has been for not just me, but my Family as well.  Since I've been apart of this awesome team of ladies Our Family has taken many different twists and turns.  We have been through some hardships and difficult times.  It hasn't been so easy to just pick up a phone and call someone to talk to.  What I have been able to do it scroll through the many Prerecorded Podcast Radio Shows and recieve guidance and Encouragment.
There are many different Radio Shows that happen weekly and Special Events to speckle your calendar with.  I don't always make it to the live shows, but sometimes just having them on while I finish the dishes or fold cloths is like having an old friend in the room.  Much more comforting then a tub of ice cream I promise!!!

Bubbles and Dog Treats


We have had Homer now for a month today.  It feels like we just brought him home, but it also feels like we've had him forever.  That's having a Good Dog for You, they grab hold of Your Heart and suck you into their Puppy Love! 

I have Loved watching Kaden bond and fall deeper in Puppy Love with Homer.  Yesterday we took Homer to get a bath.  Kaden jumped over many Sensory Hurdles to be right there with Homer. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Light on Easter




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The Light shines in the dark and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ John 1:15 

Easter is right around the corner.  Where has the time gone?  Every year we participate in Our same Traditions to Remember Our Lord and Savior.  This year is a little bit different, we were given an Early Easter Surprise from Egglo Entertainment.  
In exchange for a Review I was given several Awesome Products.

Egglo Entertainment was Created by Darcie Cobos. She had a burning Desire to help show her own kiddos the whole meaning of Easter.  Darcie shared her Passion with children at her church and watched it grow into an a Huge ministry. The message behind the glow in the dark egg hunt is that Jesus is the light in the darkness and that we are God's people that also become a light in the World.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Math Tutor to the Rescue!!

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Math has never been my Favorite Subject....we all know this.  To be honest, in School I would do almost anything to get out of Math Class.  That being said, I have enjoyed freshening up my Math skills the past few weeks with the Mastering 5th Grade Math- Volume 1 Essentials of Fractions DVD from ScienceandMath.com.  The Kids and I had the opportunity to Review this Math DVD Course Created by Jason Gibson. 

Jason Gibson is the Creator of ScienceandMath.com.  He's been Creating Award Winning Science and Math videos since 2004.  You can hear his Enthusiasm and Passion for Science and Math in his voice, and I could use a Lot of Help in that Department!   
I want to ensure my Kiddos don't just know enough Math to pass a Test, but that it's really Concreted into their Brains.  I want them to want to be Hungry to Learn and Discover.  
I agree with Jason when he said, "Unfortunately, in the public school system students never learn how to use Math.  We spend an insane amount of time trying to teach fractions and algebra, but never show why it is useful".  I think that was where I became lost in the Math Shuffle.  I was one of those Kids that needed to "See" the Math in Action not just be fed directions on how to get the Answers.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

We all Need a Clean Plan!

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I Love a Good Planner and a Clean House....mix the two together and You get Motivated Moms.  I would call myself a Planner Snob I guess.  I'm so picky when it comes to How I get some sort of Organization in my day.  I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I was offered a Review Opportunity for Motivated Moms Ebook Chore Planning System.  But, after checking out their Website I knew this was going to knock my socks off!  

I'm one of those people with a wall paper Calendar and one that's a huge Dry Erase board.  I have my Homeschooling and Blog Planner.  I have a separate Holiday Planner that consists of 3 Binders.  When it comes to Preparing and Planning I'm all there with a Pen!!!!  But, keeping a Clean House is another story.  I have a problem with going to do something in one room, see something else that needs to be done and start cleaning that mess up.  Then something else catches my eye and well you can see that this story literally NEVER ends.  Basically nothing gets completed and I feel exhausted like I just finished a marathon.  

In the past I have done online communities, lists, a few gimmicks here and there.  Still nothing clicked, I needed something straight to the point, simple to use and it needed to not feel like an extra chore to do.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Green Foot Prints on my Counter.......



Last year Kaden had a Surprise on St. Patrick's Day.  
"We were Invaded last night Mom by a little Green Man.........a Leprechaun!!!"  Kaden was so excited to wake up and see little tiny foot prints leading to a loot of Gold chocolate.




Last year was my 1st year doing anything like this for him.  He really wasn't able to focus on any real tradition or have excitement towards anything that didn't include a chess board or sequence of objects.  But, the past few years we have seen so much progress in him.  Now to plan something Neat and Green for him this year is going to be FUN! 


Once he found the Gold of course he needed to investigate.  He just knew it was paint and had to take a closer look.  Out came the magnify glass. :)  But after careful observation he noticed it was slimy like soap.  Oh no...........




 I used a Max Steel boot and diluted soap colored with green food coloring.  Luckily Kaden's investigation wasn't too long, because the Loot of Chocolate Covered Coins at the end of the trail was too tempting!  I guess the Luck of the Irish was on my side last year.  :)  

What are Your Plans this year?  I need some fun ideas to incorporate into Our week long Ireland Unit Study this Month.









Sunday, March 2, 2014

Past Post March Fun!

Blast from the Past Post.....It's March 2013!!!  YAY!!!!  It's time for all the little leprechauns to show there cute faces and everyone to get pinched.  So, to start off the festivities I decided to do a st. Patrick's Day Unit study....more on that later.  And we will be packing and crafting like there is no tomorrow.  This will actually gear us up for Easter.  Can I just say now I Hate it when it's in March.....I love celebrating Easter for the whole month of April.  We still are going to do that, just start a few days into March.
Colorful Answers



















So, first off I have some cute ideas for Kaden.  He is so bored of math.  I have him in a 3rd grade book and I truly don't want to move him up another year, so I decided to do fun math activities the rest of the school year.
I just wrote out problems in rows shaped like a rainbow.  Kaden likes problems with multiple steps.  So, the more I use them the happier he is. 
When he figures the problem out he glues the answer on and Ta-Da, you have a rainbow, minus the happy Leprechaun and pot of Gold!






















It took Kaden only a few minuted to finish this, so next time I will make it harder!  ;D  I am also going to do one for Spelling words and vocabulary.  You can make a truck, dinosaur, space rocket, the sky is the limit.  Let me know what you create and how your kiddo did with it.  Kaden gave it 2 thumbs up!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

KinderBach Review- Music to My Ears

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When Mahala used to take Piano Lessons Kaden would watch her Practice and try his best to copy what she was doing.  I kept saying we were going to enroll him too, but that day has yet to happen.  Lucky for us we were given a 6 month Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner from KinderBach to Review and give My honest Opinion on it.  This was definitely Music to My Ears!!!

Have you ever heard of KinderBach before?  It's an interactive, online or DVD Piano and Musical Theory program for Kiddos ages 3-7.  KinderBach is hosted by Karri Gregory who is also the Creator and Founder of this flexible Music Curriculum.  She is so Enthusiastic and makes each Lesson Fun and Exciting for the Kiddos to watch.  Karri and her Team of Animal Friends will teach your Kiddos Musical Concepts like reading notes, keeping rhythm and beats.  They will learn simple songs while using stories, videos, MP3 downloads, song books and coloring pages.  As a Mom with a Kiddo with Autism I always Appreciate a Program that incorporates Developmentally Appropriate Skills. Like building Fine Motor skills by coloring, cutting and gluing.  By adding Physical exercise into the lessons, it keeps them Literally on their toes. :)

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http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Kinderbach/KinderbachPianoLessonsOnline_zps667ab230.png You can purchase ONE membership for all your Kiddos to use now for the Current Price of $7.99 per month to have online access to all of KinderBach's current 6 levels.  
With Membership You Get:
  • Access to all web lessons by computer, iPad, Nook, Kindle Fire and Android Fire.
  • Accompanying pdf activity pages
  • Access to the Teacher Corner materials
  • Audio MP3s for all six levels of KinderBach lessons
  • Downloads of storybooks, coloring pages and song books.

Kaden Finding His Rhythm!!!
Making Music at the Manic House!


Each of the 6 Levels is divided into 10 weeks with 240 Bite Size videos. Each week has 4 Videos and lessons that are about 5-15 minutes long.   








As You know, all of Our Kiddos learn differently.  I Love that this Music Curriculum is set up to go at Your Kiddo's own pace.  They can do as Much or Little as they want to.

I found that Kaden responded Best to "Piano Time" after a good dose of Math.  While grabbing my 2nd cup of Coffee for the day I would load a Video for him.   He would watch it sometimes 2 or 3 times and that gave me plenty of time to gather the printed materials and art supplies needed.  Using the KinderBach Program really is that Simple to use.  Kaden felt great about himself being able to be more Independent with his Piano Lessons.  That makes a Momma Happy to see that sense of Pride on his little face!

For us we didn't use many of the coloring pages unless it was directly linked to a video.  One in particular that Kaden enjoyed was the High Low coloring page where he would listen and see if the sound was High or Low.  Then depending on which it was he would color the apple High in the tree or Low on the ground.  He actually carried this over into a peer play later that week and shared the game with his buddies.  Each week I would go through the coloring pages and only Print out the ones he wanted to do.  I did the same thing with the Story Books.  I appreciated having access to so many Resources, like Teacher's Guides, Achievement Awards and many other things that I could pick and choose from. :)
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So, if You were to ask Kaden and I if we would continue with KinderBach we would both Scream out a Big Yes!  He is looking forward to learning to read more Music Notes and has told me before Summer he wants to Compose My very Own Special Song!!  How Sweet is That?

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Kinderbach/kinderbachonline_zps2fcb68d5.pngIf you are looking for a Interactive Music Curriculum for your young Kiddo, I would highly recommend KinderBach! I would even say this program would be Perfect for homeschoolers, co-ops, or church groups. You can try it out with their free try it before you buy it option on their website. Or you can jump right in and purchase it for $95.88 a year, which works out to $7.99 a month! 
 

If you're interested in trying two weeks of KinderBach free, you can stop over HERE.

Make sure to stay connected with KinderBach
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/kinderbach
Facebook for Teachers:  www.facebook.com/classroomkinderbach
Twitter: @KinderBach
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/KinderBach/
YouTube: KinderBach Preschool Piano

Click to read Crew Reviews


  Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, February 23, 2014

H-O-M-E-R is his Name-O

So, we are home now!!!!  Boy what a time we had while we were in Team Training for Kaden's Service Dog.  We learned so much while we were there and Kaden did Amazzzzzing!  We were prepared for Meltdown 2014 to happen while we were there, but besides a few here and there he was fairly calm and compliant.  Our days started early and ended late, I think the hardest thing for him was not having his quiet time space for him to hide out and be alone.  Everyday he stayed in for all the lectures and all the command trainings and demonstrations.  He was a Champ and actually helped us out with some answers on our nightly homework we had to do.  I do think he went a little over board with the snacks, he probably ate his weight in cookies. :) 


The first few days we worked with about 6 different dogs and then we met this one sweet angel....Homer!  Kaden practiced the Lap Command and he licked his face and it was love at 1st sight.  When we had our 1on1 with the Fabulous Trainers we told them our 2 Favorite dogs and what we needed for Kaden.  Our fingers stayed crossed till the next morning. 




On Pre-match Day they laid blankets down and the Kiddos all sat down on each one and waited for them to announce our matches.  Kaden was the 3rd match I think.... I was sooooo nervous because he had been praying all night long for Homer to be his match.  To my left, across the room I saw Shannon with Homer.  And all of a sudden I hear Kaden is Pre-matched with......HOMER!!!!  Yay, we all flipped out and was so excited!!!!  Pre-match means that he would be going back to Our dorm room and we would only be working with him for the next 5 or 6 days until the final match is announced.  If any time during those days we don't work well with him or we feel it's just not right we could be matched with another dog.  To make this day even better it was Kaden's Birthday too!!!  My Boy was sooooo Happy!!!


Long story short, we had a Fabulous week with him and worked well.  We went on field trips with him and bonded with him during our down time and basically he became Family!!!  After the 2 weeks we were able to meet Homer's puppy raiser and that was like a small Family Reunion.  I never thought that meeting them would mean so much to me.  But, it was so precious to me, because she was the one who raised him for 18 months and took him to trainings and worked with him.  She poured all the LOVE in the world into him and shaped him into the sweet Love Bug that he is.  I can't wait to share all the things that Homer does to help Kaden daily.....I'll post that soon.



After Our meeting with the Puppy raisers we went to Our Graduation Ceremony.  It was Beautiful and Kaden was so excited that afterwards we were going to be heading home.  And this new Fury Person, his New Buddy was going to be with us always!!!  We are so Blessed, Thank You Lord!!!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Looking for 4 Paws!


Dogs are everywhere we LOOK!!!  We are here getting Kaden's Service Dog for the next 2 weeks.  Tomorrow we will find out which dog they are Pre-matching him with.  We have worked with Several so far and do have a few Favorites.  Fingers crossed on 2 of the pups.  Hmmmmmmm, who will be Kaden's New Best Friend?  We will have to wait and see!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Feeling the Words of God

I know it is been an extremely long time since I've blogged.  I have wanted to so many times, but life has been more overwhelming then ever before.  I have lot's of personal issues floating around that have taken up my focus and basically everything else has been put on hold.  Even homeschooling has been placed on a back burner except for a few awesome products that I am in the process of Reviewing.

One of the Personal issues I have been dealing with is a Sudden miscarriage.  We have been trying for almost 2 years now and I found out in early December I was expecting, the same day I received some unpleasant news that eventually I will share.  A few nights ago I had an ENORMOUS amount of Blood and went to the ER to find out the miscarriage was in full swing.  We were leaving to get Kaden's service dog the next day, so honestly I didn't have many options but to push through it.  We have been on Campus for 3 days and the bleeding is not as bad and my test was not Positive this morning.  What was going to be done has been done.  Now to recover and work on my other Personal matters.
One day at a Time, that's what I keep telling myself.  All I know is God is Working so Hard in me right now.  I can almost feel the words he is Speaking into my ear.
Thank You Lord for not Leaving My Side!!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Building a Tree...One Branch at a Time

 

I first have to say that this Review by far has been the Most Emotional and I've received a Blessing that I know my Words will not be able the Express my Gratitude and Thankfulness to Anna Rae for her hard work.  Most of you know I lost my parents at a young age and grew up in Foster Care.  I never really knew much about my Dad's side of the Family.  And over the past several years my heart ached to know more.  I felt incomplete somehow.  I would see those commercials about Ancestry and honestly it just overwhelmed me.  I didn't know where to start and worried I would waste tons of money barking up the wrong "Tree". 

When I heard about Anna Rae's Review Opportunity for Genealogy Revelations I Prayed to be picked.  And What a Blessing I received!!  Not only was it Easy to fill out the needed information for her to Research, but she was Warm and Genuine.  I could tell she had Passion for what she was doing for people!  Anna offers her Clients several Family History Packages, so you can choose the One that fits Your Needs and Budget.  So, it's within Reach for any Family!!

So, what did she find for me?  Let me start at the Beginning.... I opened my package and found a nicely bound book of Treasures.  First there was an informational page to explain some of the Reports and Charts.  Thank goodness for that.....I might have gotten lost in the paper.  :)  I was given a Pedigree Chart, Ahnentafel Report, an Outline Descendant Report, Family Group Sheets, Sources and Pictures.  Just take a guess how far back she made it?  I was amazed she went back 10 Generations.....not bad.  I once had someone research for me and they only found out my Dad's Mom and Dad's name.  I had spent almost $100 and waited 6 weeks for that.  I was so disappointed.  So, you can imagine the tears that rolled down my face as I read the names of my Dad's Family Members.  To Read that I had Family fight in the Revolutionary War just makes my Spine tingle.  To see names of Family from the Early 1600's is ever so impressive to my eyes. The names, Cities, Dates and Countries take me on a long journey through Time.  I can't wait to find out more and put all the pieces together and Build a Beautiful Tree for Future Generations to come!

How to Stay in touch with Anna Rae.....
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Being a part of the Bow of Bronze Launch Team, I am Excited to share this Giveaway with You!  This giveaway is 5 hours of New Research by Genealogy Revelations.  Check out Genealogy Research Giveaway from Genealogy Revelations for all the Details!!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7b01ed115/

Head Over and see what my Fellow Team Members had to say at Bow of Bronze.

Bow of Bronze disclosure

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Coat of Many Emotions

Have You ever had a moment of Pure Clarity, yet in a State of Shock and Confusion?  Yes, I know that sounds crazy....but I have experienced that.  Over the past Month I have went through so many Emotions I feel like my Mind has a Revolving Door.  Just keeping myself Sane enough to get through Daily tasks has been a Struggle.
  
I'm not ready to Come right out and say what has Happened to My Family over the Past 31 days.  Who knows, I may Never be able to and that's ok.  I can say that I am in a Better Place right now.....at this very moment.  What will I say Tomorrow?  I have no idea, but all the Professionals tell me I'm right where I need to be.  So, that's where I'm at.  You can find me on the Corner of Confused and Clarity!