Why she put the Pillow over my Face

When my parents died I stayed with a cousin for a short time in Florida until school was out, then I stayed with a family friend until all Hell broke loose. (more on that later)

The night I was placed in the Foster care system was a night I will never forget.
I was a scared child with a heart so filled with guilt and sadness that I hardly even sounded like a child. I didn't look like a child. I was a child, a child that had a story. And this story she wanted to share but who would listen? Who cared? Who would save her?

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Go Science Series 2 Review!!!

The past few weeks we were able to add some Science Pizzazz to our days.  We were given the opportunity to Review two New Go Science DVDs (Series 2), provided by Library and Education Services.  This Series is Recommended for Kiddos 4-12 yrs old and cost $8.97 each.

Library and Educational Services is a Michigan based Family owned business that has been providing CDs, DVDs and carefully selected books to ensure that they provide Christian values and evolution-free science resources for all ages.  They have been working with schools (including homeschools), churches, libraries, daycare centers, missionaries and resellers for over 35 years. 
Our Family has always loved Science, honestly I think who wouldn't love it.  :)  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I bet you would change your mind after whatching this New Series.  Ben Roy is the host and is a Science Educator at the University of Tennessee.  He is so enthusiastic and makes learning fun.  I enjoyed watching with Kaden and we had fun trying to recreate some of the demonstrations.
Something Kaden picked up was...Every episode you hear Ben's Famous words, "every time we learn more about science, we learn more about our Creator, God!".  

Kaden went to Social Skills last week telling all the other Kiddos about the New Series and he had the Teacher write Ben's Famous words up on the board.  He is always shining his light for God where he can.  


Slimmmmy Sisters?

Mahala was so Sweet the other day.  She made up these different bowls with sensory items for Kaden to play with.  

She used different bowls and placed some pasta, flour and rice with food coloring in each of them.  She also added different flavoring extracts.  He had to smell, feel, taste and guess what it was.  He Loved mixing the flour and slime and smoooooshing it with his hands. 


Meltdowns, Stubbed Toes and Water Guns

What a super busy week it's been.  I'm so exhausted, I can hardly see the screen to type.  Hmmmm, what do I need to give me a little jolt?  Organic, GF Peanut butter cups.  :D  At least that's what I'm telling myself....it works for me.

Today was Kaden's last day of camp.  We had a great BBQ Family Fun Day to end the week.  Well, it ended it alright, he ended up having one of the worse meltdowns ever.  

My heart was in my throat the whole time.  After 20 minutes or more of screaming, hitting and punching himself, Skylar scooped him up and restrained him as we walked to the van.  Once there we couldn't leave for almost 30 minutes.  When we finally made it home I gave him a shower because he was covered in dirt and black stuff from the parking lot.  His knees and hands were cut up and swollen.  Not to mention Skylar's face from Kaden's punching.  :(  
A few hours of relaxation and love from Homer helped settle him down to the point we could talk.  I love Homer, as soon as Hurricane Kaden entered the house Homer ran straight up to him and Kaden immediately started petting him.  Later today we had Homer give Kaden pressure.  It seems to help when Homer does this and we talked about what happened at the church.


Let's Chalk it Up!

Life's simple pleasures....New Chalk and a cool Summer day with lot's of drawing Space.  One of Kaden's favorite things to do is use chalk for hours.  That was something as a kid I couldn't do.  It made my teeth hurt just thinking about touching chalk.  :)  He will lay on the cool concrete and rub his nails over the chalked surface.  I'm like see ya, got to go!!!! 

I can't tell you how much chalk we have gone through in Kaden's life.  We do buy it when I find it on sale, but we also like to make it here at home too.  It's a super fun project.....

All you need is:
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Tempera Paint
  • Warm Water
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Silicone Molds
  • Wax Paper
  • Duct Tape
To make for an EASY Clean Up we used plastic cups to mix in, and plastic knives to stir with. 

Mix 1 cup of Plaster of Paris with 3/4 cup warm water first. Then add a Few squirts of tempera paint and stir.
Note: Be careful not to add too much paint, it will change the consistency of the chalk, and will crumble easily. No more than 2 teaspoons will work great.

You will want to use a different cup per color, and then pour into silicone molds and toilet paper rolls that's lined with wax paper first. For the toilet paper rolls, you should also create a base by taping off the bottom with some duct tape.
Afterwards, they just needed to dry. They should be hard and ready to pop out of the silicon molds within a few hours.  But, the toilet paper rolls may take a full 24 hours before they are fully ready.

Let me know how your Chalk Making goes.  We are making some this weekend, Kaden is gathering supplies and making a shopping list right now as  I type.  :)


First Day Jitters

Kaden went to his first ever VBS/Summer Day Camp this week.  I was a wreck Day 1....and that's putting it lightly. :)  We have never been able to leave him at Sunday school so I was excited to give it a try.
This New Church we go to has an Excellent Special Needs program that basically gives each child a Buddy so they can experience Children's Church with the typical Kiddos.  What this means for Kaden is that his Buddy helps him feel comfortable between transitions with activities if he stresses.  Is there when he feels overwhelmed or needs to take a break from something.  Also, sometimes Kaden can be too literal or is unfamiliar with what peers are talking about.  I love that it gets Kaden to interact more too with the other kids.  If it was up to him he would get in and get out without one ounce of communication with anyone.  
We were lucky that his Buddy could come to camp with him.  We also had one of his BTs come with him too at first, but was able to fade her out quickly.  Now it's just Him and his Buddy, crafting away, playing in water, singing songs and learning about Our God.  Ok, maybe he isn't doing alllll those things, but he's at least being exposed to them and tolerating it.  :) 

I was overwhelmed myself at first with all the people, lights and music.....hahahahaha  But, he handled everything like a Pro!  Each day he comes home complaining and and a little overwhelmed.  But, after a nice lunch, a few minutes with Homer and some down time he's good to go.


Youth Virtue Journal ~ REVIEW

I get to share another Great Product with you today, the Youth Virtue Journal from We Choose Virtues.  Heather McMillan started We Choose Virtues because of her love for children and the desire to see them reach their full potential. What an Amazing Passion to have and she clearly has a gift that is easily seen in the products she provides.  Learn more about her and her Fabulous Team HERE.

I have Reviewed products from We Choose Virtues before, they were more for Kaden's age.  This time we received the Youth Virtue Journal which is a paperback book recommended for ages 12-18. The Journal sells for $17 and includes PDF files for a Mentor’s Handbook, a Youth Character Assessment, Scriptures that go along with the Virtues listed in the book and a Mentor Meeting Report Form.  A lot....I know!! :)


LearningPalette.com~ REVIEW

Kaden and I was able to Review another Great product for the past several weeks.   We received a full year's Subscription to LearningPalette.com from Learning Wrap-Ups .  The subscription included full access to all the levels of Reading and Math cards for up to 5 users.  There are over 7,000 questions available and the Kiddos get to work through one card after another.  And receive instant correction if they answer wrong.  I had never heard of this product before so I was really eager to get started. These are geared towards Kiddos in grades K-5th.   
The Cost for the Online Program is only $59.99 for up to 5 users.  (Get an Additional 20% discount when using the coupon code of  HOMESCHOOL)
Check out a Free Demo of the Online Program HERE.

The card format looks like a painter's color palette.  Each card consists of a circle divided into pie pieces. Each pie piece has the question or answer on it and a Brightly Color coded disc.  The Kiddo is to match the question and answer with the coordinating Brightly Colored disc that's located on the left-hand side.  This is done with the mouse by dragging the correct colored disc to the answer on the palette.  The Instructions are very minimal and really is designed to be for practice or review.  This is not to teach your Kiddo new concepts.  


Horse Therapy for Autism

Kaden LOVES going to ride the horses.  Some of the things we are working on while we are there is his social skills, communication and body awareness.  We thought he would enjoy grooming Sunny before going out for his ride. This would be a great way to show affection to the horse and give him a sensory outlet.  After brushing for only a minute he stopped, without saying a word.  And Mahala asked him if it was fun, he just nodded his head no.  I was surprised, I thought he would like it.  But, he was just ready to ride.  In a few weeks we will give it another try.


Awake in God's Love

Life is getting to be a little more normal around here.  We had a huge Family situation back in December and honestly it has taken till recently for me to understand that I am not going to die from it.  I can say the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel.  I feel like a weight has been lifted and I know It's because my relationship with God has increased.  Let me rephrase that...my relationship with God now exists.  It has been awakened because nothing else was going to change what we were going through.  Finding comfort and strength through him has once again pulled me out of a deep pit.  I am forever thankful for his Love and Unfailing Faithfulness to me.

Up until recently just taking care of the basics in my home has been about all I could manage to do.  Everything has taken a back burner so that our Family could heal and recover.  We are a Strong Family as long as God is in the Middle.  I know now it's not a Strong Mom that keeps a Family together.  It's a Strong God, Our God that keeps a Family together. 
Thank You Lord so much for Scooping me up in Your Loving arms during this time of need.  I feel like I can walk again...still tightly holding your hand.  I'm never letting go again....Never!


A Life in Balance ~ REVIEW


I was recently given the PDF version of the book, A Life in Balance by the Learning Breakthrough Program to Review. I thought that A Life in Balance, which was written by Frank Belgau (as told to Eric Belgau) was very fascinating to me.  
I was totally excited to see what other options I had to offer Kaden and my Mahala.  Kaden is our Sweet Spectrum Kiddo and Mahala has been newly diagnosed with ADD.  Our oldest, Skylar who just turned 20 last month was diagnosed with Dislexia back in 2nd grade.  The Educational System slapped him into a Special Education class and basically gave up on him.  Finally, when he was in the 6th grade I brought him and Mahala home.  I knew I could give them a better education right here at home.  Now that Skylar has graduated he has an amazing job working with Kids with Autism and in College.  I would say he has done well for himself.  

In his book, Frank Belgau starts out by telling us a bit about his past.  We really get to know the real him as a person and see how his life shapped into this Amazing Breakthrough.  And this is where you see the starting point for his discoveries in learning. Being able to read the details of Frank’s life was truly enjoyable for me, he is an Educational Pioneer.  He tells you his experience about life growing up in a large Family with very smart siblings all the way to his time being in the Military loving the hands on learning of life as a mechanic.


TOS REVIEW ~ Progeny Press

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We are loving our two Interactive Literature Study Guides that we received from Progeny Press to Review.  Mahala and Kaden each chose one to complete.  Mahala couldn't pick between two of the books.  So, she decided to officially read The Hunger Games ($21.99) and to read Anne of Green Gables ($18.99) along with Kaden.  Progeny Press Study Guides are very easy to use and has everything you need, you just need to add the book. Even the Answer Keys are included too.

Reading is a main part of our daily life.  We read aloud as a Family, independently for fun and to enhance the Kiddos' education.  After the Kids read a book I always have them write a short summary to share with the Family.  I love when a book is reread by a Sibling, because they always pick up different details in the story or have other ideas about the book.  Every now and then we try to jazz things up, but this is a whole new concept and I have to say....Momma Likes it!