Foreign Language {need advice}

Our state requires three foreign language credits in the same language. My daughter has to begin learning another language this year. I took four years of Spanish in high school and tested out of it in college. I almost never use it, and my daughter wants to learn French or Latin, so I am at a complete loss. I need some advice on excellent programs for her to become proficient in one of these languages. I’m open to any and all advice. Thank you in advance!!

Pirate Party Treasure Hunt Selfie Style

Now that nearly everyone I know from the ages of 10 and up has a smartphone, the treasure hunt at our last party was a selfie variety. There were ten things that people needed to find and take their selfies with. My parents are the only people I know who still have flip phones. My dad partnered with my mother-in-law. Their pictures are my favorite because my dad doesn’t really know about selfies. It was such a fun little game and everyone really enjoyed the hunt. The first three teams that finished received a treat out of the treasure box.

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Pirate Party Goody Bags

My little boy loves everything that involves pirates, dragons, and sharks. We incorporated his love for these things into his fourth birthday party.

I try to make the goody bags go along seamlessly with the theme. One of my rules is that the goodies be ones that are fun and enjoyable. No one likes getting a goody bag filled with things that are useless and will go directly into the trash can.

IMG_0470.JPGIn this goody bag I tried to put only things that went with a pirate and water theme. I put pirate sword bubbles ( Oriental Trading), Lifesavers candies, Hershey’s Treasures, Swedish Fish, Ring Pops, Goldfish crackers, Pirate’s Booty popcorn, pirate pencils, and pirate beach balls (Oriental Trading). We had regular lunch bags that I let the birthday boy and one of his sisters decorate with stickers from Dollar Tree.

Goody bags are a way to extend the fun to each child’s home after the party is over.

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

Road trip Scavenger Hunt

Every road trip we embark upon I like to include a scavenger hunt for the ride. I make up treat bags and one of these hunts is always inside. It’s always fun to see what each car had a hard time finding and what they completed right away. We are headed to the Gulf coast and look forward to surf, sand, games, and memory-making galore.

Just copy, paste, and print.

Road Trip Scavenger hunt

1. Cow
2. Cotton growing
3. Liquor store sign
4. Corn growing
5. Montana license plate
6. 30A bumper sticker
7. Passenger sleeping (not in your car)
8. A car with a canoe or kayak on top
9. A little white church
10. A car with a dog in it
11. A car with a Disney something on it
12. Palm tree
13. Baby on board sign
14. A historical marker
15. Roadkill
16. Bike on a car
17. School
18. Sign for chick fil a
19. River
20. A hotline sign
21. Sign about hell
22. Museum
23. College or university
24. Something that says roll tide
25. A farmer working
26. A cross on the roadside
27. Car with an advertisement on it
28. Hospital
29. A passenger who looks like they’re singing
30. Firework sign or store
31. American flag
32. Proud parent sticker
33. Boiled peanut sign
34. Bus of any kind
35. Sign about space and rocket center
36. Hampton Inn
37. Truck with cars on it
38. Cracker Barrel
39. Playground
40. RV pulling a car or boat

 

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The Middle Cinnamon Roll

IMG_0356IMG_0357 I think all families have fights over weird things. I know we do for sure! If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll end up with two kids who love opposite things. One will like the edge brownies and the other will like the middle, but that’s just not how my family ended up. My kids like the middle of everything. They will fight over the middle brownie, the middle pieces of bread, the middle cinnamon roll. They truthfully fight over everything, so I had to come up with some peace measures. My husband actually figured out the way to make all the cinnamon rolls seem like the middle. I’ve been making them this way ever since.

Middle rolls:

Grease your pan. Line the edge of the pan with bread slices (any kind). Place the rolls in a circle with the sides touching the bread. Put a bun or slices of bread all around the inner circle of the rolls. Bake as usual. When you peel the slices of bread away from the rolls they will be soft like the middle roll would usually be.

Enjoy breakfast and maybe peace (for a minute or two).

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!

Thank You {Memorial Day}

017I am proud to have several family members who served in the United States military. I am so thankful that they all returned home safely. I know that not everyone is as fortunate. On this day, we honor the memory of those who sacrificed it all for their country and the ideals for which it stands.

John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Thank you to those who sacrificed it all, and thank you to their families. Thank you to every veteran and active Service member who was and is willing to lay down his or her life. May the Lord bless and keep you always.

 

Lemon Blueberry Bread {Low Carb}

I love lemons and blueberries together. For our annual Mother’s Day brunch I decided to bring a low carb lemon-blueberry treat since I knew there would be lots of foods there I shouldn’t eat. I was a little worried about bringing a new recipe without trying it out first, but I was very pleased with the result.

Next time I make it, I will make it a couple of days in advance because it actually gets moister the longer it sits.

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Low Carb Lemon Blueberry Bread

4 cups of almond flour

1 1/2 cups of Splenda (or sweetener of your choice)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

zest of one lemon

1 tsp. lemon extract

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup blueberries

6 eggs

1 tsp. cream of tartar

2 tsp. meringue powder

Put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl except for the blueberries. Mix it all until thoroughly mixed. Then gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a knife pierced through the middle comes out clean. Let cool and remove from the pan. Slice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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!