My Favorite Purchase Ever (At Least So Far)

Last summer, I purchased my ALL-TIME FAVORITE antique ever!! My eldest daughter went wandering around on her own and stumbled upon a 5 year diary. This was a rare find because each day (literally) for almost five full years was filled in. The diary belonged to a Texas teenager. She was sassy and funny. She wrote about days of playing cards with her mother and sister. She also wrote about days in church with the guys from Texas A&M (according to her: they weren’t much to talk about). She also chronicled her love for one boy in particular. We sat around the kitchen table after we brought it home and read all the way through the many entries. There were many laughs and even a couple of tears. After we finished reading, I googled her and her family. She sadly had passed away a couple of decades before. Her family is still in Texas. I wonder how in the world her diary made its way all the way to our home state. I wonder if her family knew about the diary she wrote back in her teen years.  I struggle with the idea that I should contact them and let them know of its existence. I treasure it so very much! It’s a reminder of simpler times. It’s also a reminder that feelings never really change. We all feel happiness, sadness, joy, worry, hope, fear, love, and jealousy. It’s those things that I hold close to my heart when I revisit the pages of the daily writings of a Texan teenager in the 50s.

Travel Fun Bags

Along with scavenger hunts, I like to pack little bags of treats and games for the trip. I like to get snacks and candy that I don’t normally buy. I always pack a coloring book and colored pencils in each bag. I try to buy a book for reading on the beach too.  This trip, I bought books of questions to go through with everyone. (My husband and I actually went through some of the questions from the original book on our first outing before we started dating). My super creative daughter used our Cricut to put names or monograms on sand coasters to use on the beach. My goal with every trip is to get closer as a family, get away from work, and have a good time. These little bags are hopefully one of the little joys that I can pass along to my family. IMG_0723IMG_0725IMG_0727

Special Needs

IMG_0334.PNGOkay, this post is going to be a bit of a rant, so I apologize already. I have had this thought on my mind for a few weeks or longer. As I have explained before, one of my daughters has an extremely rare brain abnormality. She struggles to learn and do what many of us take for granted. She has very little depth perception and peripheral vision. She has trouble with her short-term memory. She has lots of trouble with crossing midline activities like swimming, biking, reading, and writing (think about the fact that we read and write from left to right). She has what I would consider “special needs”. She needs help and accommodations to do regular, everyday things.

I have heard that “special needs” is now considered a politically incorrect word for people who happen to have any type of lifelong difficulty. I had one parent tell me that her daughter, who is deaf, is not “special needs” but just unable to hear. While I agree, the world has gotten a lot easier for those who are hearing impaired; I was left with the feeling that she saw the phrase “special needs” as a dirty word to be avoided at all costs.

I found this online:

More Appropriate:  Sam has epilepsy, Tony has cerebral palsy (CP), Helen has a learning disability, – attention deficit disorder

*Less Appropriate:  “special”, person has “special needs”

Comment:  *Term is patronizing and distancing by those with disabilities. Often used by programs providing services and support for disabled people and meant as a ‘positive’ alternative. Describes that which is different about ANY person as all simply have “needs.”

from: http://rds.colostate.edu/language

I suppose what I am having a hard time with is that getting upset about words that are not intended to offend is that I feel like it alienates more than helps. My daughter is one of approximately 46 people in the United States to have colpocephaly. I have to explain what it is to most doctors. It’s much easier to say she has special needs, or she is developmentally delayed. At least then there is a moment of understanding and maybe empathy. Listen, being a parent of a child with any disability is hard and lonely. The more that the disability affects daily life and that child’s future, the harder it is. Every child is different. Every parent is different. I work hard on doing my best for MY child. I don’t have time to look up and stay updated on the most current politically correct language for disabilities, struggles, handicaps (or whatever you call them). I spend my days doing occupational and physical exercises with my child. I look up and research the newest research on what she struggles with. I sit for hours and work with her on basic life skills, as well as trying to teach her all the subjects that will enrich her life. I don’t have time to sit around and be offended.

I don’t intend to be offensive or mean, but I think sometimes we spend too much time on stuff that doesn’t matter. My child and her “special” needs keep me too busy for that!

Star Wars Dinner {May 4th}

Last night we had our May the fourth be with you Dinner. I decided that hamburgers and hot dogs would be the main course. I also served chocolate shakes, chips, green jello, and Star Wars chocolates. I ordered the Star Wars molds from Amazon from a company called Vibrant Kitchen. I was very impressed with the quality of these molds!

The foods were labeled:

hamburgers: Han burgers

hot dogs: Hutt dogs

Jello: Carbonite jello

chips: Chewbacca chips

Star Wars graham crackers: Wookie cookies

buns: Princess Leia’s buns

chocolate shakes: Stormtrooper sippers

I had the children gather all things Star Wars around the house. We decorated the table with a silver tablecloth and then put a roll of Stormtrooper wrapping paper down as a runner. Then I let them use all the Star Wars items to decorate the table. (I think they did a great job!) I got Star Wars and holographic plates from Target.  I made all the labels using Dafont’s Star Jedi font.

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During our school day, we used several worksheets from Year Round Homeschooling 

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After dinner, we played bingo from a pack I downloaded from Royal Baloo .

I’m so glad that so many talented people create these cool printables, and share them with those of us who don’t share the same gift!

I love how much the children and even my husband enjoy this little celebration. My husband even said we should host a party next year.

It was a fun May 4!

April Fool’s Day Dinner

I’m planning an all new April Fool’s Day dinner for this year, but wanted to share last years for now:

My kiddos love a good prank. April Fool’s Day has been one of their favorite days as long as I can remember. We usually try to do at least one thing to make the day memorable. Last year I fooled them into thinking they were eating an undercooked lasagna, when it was actually a yummy dessert. This year, I pulled off a Crazy April Fool’s Day Dinner which was actually breakfast for dinner. It definitely takes some advance preparation and quite a bit of work (at least with as many people as we have in our family) to pull it off, but it is so fun! I’ve done a dinner menu like this before and I feel like breakfast items are a lot easier. I used the basic idea and the menu course printables from Dixie Delights. I made some changes, but the general idea came from her site.

To do this, I gave my family a menu of 16 items with funny names. They also had 4 different menu course sheets. On each sheet they had to put four items that they wanted for that course. Each item has to be picked once so that all items are ultimately chosen. They had to pick for all of their courses before I even started cooking; because I didn’t want to give them any hints with the smells in the kitchen.

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I had one more trick up my sleeve. Number 9 was the CAFD Special. It looked like an egg, but was really just whipped cream and an apricot.

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I pulled out a few Christmas plates to serve this. I also found some “Welcome to 2000” napkins that had never been opened in my party stash. We used those as the Mini Magic Carpet.

Overall, we had lots of laughs. April Fool’s Day is just another good excuse to have a little fun together.

I printed out my menu using Waltograph font from DaFont 

Crazy April Fool’s Day Disney Dinner

1. Mickey Mouse                                         2.Gaston’s Tavern Treat                        

 3. Dinoco Motor Oil                

4. Sugar Rush Icing component        

5. White Rabbit’s Tale                                

6. Three Little Pigs                                      

7. Capt. Hook’s Plank                                

8. Mike Wazowski                                      

9. CAFD Special

10. Pluto’s dinner

11. Merida’s hair

12. Elsa’s bad day

13. Rafiki’s staff

14. Cruella’s hair

15. Dinglehopper

16. Mini Magic Carpet

Here’s the real deal menu:

  1. Mickey Mouse waffle
  2. Cinnamon Roll
  3. Syrup
  4. Powdered Sugar
  5. Whipped Cream
  6. Sausage
  7. Bacon
  8. Egg
  9. Apricot in whipped cream
  10. cereal
  11. orange juice
  12. ice
  13. straw
  14. salt and pepper
  15. fork
  16. napkin

My First Cricut Project

I bought my Cricut three weeks ago and just finally completed my first project this past weekend. We were having a cowboy theme Sunday at church so I wanted to make David a shirt for the occasion. I got all the fabric at Wal-Mart in fabric section. I used Heat n Bond to put the little cowboy on the shirt. The Cricut program is really easy to use. I found the perfect little cowboy and added David’s name.  Then I just followed the directions on the program.

I did find that the backing of the Heat n Bond had to be pulled off the fabric before sending it through the machine or it would mess up the whole thing.

I love the way it turned out and can’t wait to create even more projects with my new machine!

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Election Day {Dinner}

The public schools in our county were closed today. We still did school today, but with an emphasis on the election. I had the children watch a YouTube video that explained the electoral college. Then, they had to color a United States map with their predicted electoral votes.  image

We also studied the requirements to be president. We talked about voting in the past and voting in other countries. They learned that the right to vote is a privilege that not everyone has.

We decorated the kitchen with patriotic decorations.

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Dinner was lasagna with red sauce.

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There was a red, white, and blue cake for dessert.

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I hope that this election day is a memorable one for my children. I hope that they learned something; most of all, I hope they know that voting is a privilege that they should take seriously.

The “Glad” Game

In Pollyanna, the main character (Pollyanna) plays the “glad game”. She is always looking at every scenario with the outlook that there is always something to be glad about. We started playing the game too. We aren’t as good as it as we should be, but we’re working on it. It’s so easy to be discouraged or disappointed in this world. It’s easy to become bitter and for the good to seem rare. It’s not really that rare; we just don’t look for it like we should. So, for this Thanksgiving month, I’d like to challenge everyone out there to play the “Glad Game” with us. Look for the good. Find something to be glad about. Reflect on all that you have to be thankful for. image

Endangered Arts {Art Gallery in Hilton Head}

There is an art gallery in Hilton Head that is absolutely delightful! It’s called Endangered Arts. The owners are Clay and Julie Rogers. She runs the gallery and is a professional photographer. Her love of the ocean and all the creatures that inhabit it is evident when speaking with her. She is kind, warm, and friendly. Her husband, Clay, is a self taught painter. He paints all the things you might see in Hilton Head. They have many works of art from many different artists from all over the world. I was so impressed by every single piece of art there.

We went in looking for a painting that would remind us of our favorite place. Julie helped us figure out exactly what we wanted. We ended up choosing a Clay Rogers painting. He wrote a special personal note to us on the back and included the practice sketch he’d done of the painting. I walk by it every time I go into our bedroom. It makes my heart happy to have something as a visual reminder of the place we love so much. A visit to Hilton Head wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Endangered Arts.

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Disney: The Sword in the Stone

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Photo credit:Disney wiki

The magical sword in the stone sits right in front of the carousel and very near the back of Cinderella’s castle. On my first trip to the most magical place on earth, I saw a little boy pull the sword up out of the stone one night. He had a crowd around him, and they made a proclamation about something and he was the prince for the moment. The next time I went to WDW, I tried my hand at pulling out that sword. I jokingly went over to it after my children had all given it a good try. I pulled it up and it resisted, but it came out of the stone. There was no one to make a proclamation. I had to yell at my dad to take a picture. We were all in shock. A little while later, my husband came over to see us give it another try. Again, all the children tried and it didn’t budge. I tried once more, knowing that there was no way it would happen again. To my complete and utter shock–I pulled it up again!

Now, the next time you’re in Disney World try to pull that sword out. There are a few things to know:

The sword does resist. It feels heavy as you pull it up.

It doesn’t come out all of the way.

Take a picture quickly because the sword will go back into the stone after a short while.

Try and try again. You just never know when you’ll get lucky!

Here’s the picture my dad took of me. It’s an awful one, but I’m glad I got photo proof because no one ever believes me.

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