Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tribute to my Uncle


Today I plan to work on a Laundry room shelf, my dishwasher, and I may re-plumb my kitchen sink. I am able to do all these things, by myself, because my uncle taught me how. My dad had always taught me things, that way I could take care of myself-never having to depend on anyone else to do stuff for me. My dad's time was cut too short, and he was unable to teach me all he wanted. With out being asked, my uncle Arthur stepped up to fill the void that losing your dad at 18 leaves. He taught me how to hang drywall, how to build a porch, a wall, a floor, how to measure/cut/install trim and cabinets, how to put up a door. He taught me the very valuable lesson of drills----corded ones are much more powerful than cordless. That one he stood back and let me learn on my own. He taught me how to hammer with both hands, and how to hold my breath and stomp my feet when I mash my thumbs with those hammers. He taught me how to plumb anything in a house-from a sink to a shower, and how to install gas logs, a gas stove, and check for any leaks. I can fix and install most small appliances thanks to him. But, beyond all of that, he taught me how to laugh at my mistakes. How to take it easy, and not be in a rush. He taught me that hard work pays off, but you have to stick to it and do a good job. He taught me that it's ok to spend a week busting out a fireplace, just to change your mind and fill it back in. He taught me to see the good on others, but to make sure others see the good in you, too. I never saw him judge another based on outward appearances. He was just as at ease in a room full of poor and homeless as he was in a room full of rich and affluent. He taught me that one doesn't need 10 degrees and a string of letters beside their name to be successful. They only need motivation, drive, and determination to be the best them they can be. He showed all what it was to be selfless, always putting others first. He showed honesty. He showed kindness.
Last night, he showed the most important thing in life isn't what you have accumulated, but what you leave behind. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, goodness, honesty, and selfless actions. He will always be remembered for doing for others, helping others, teaching others. It is in those actions that his spirit lives on. In the houses he repaired, in the jobs he gave to people who needed them, in the lessons he taught others....his body may have died, but his spirit....that will never die.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Koru Naturals Koolpurrie Restoring Balm and Emu Oil Review

Koru Naturals Review
Hi everyone! I am so excited to bring you this review! I have been super blessed to be able to review Koru Naturals Emu Oil and their Koolpurrie Restoring Balm. The Emu oil is a premium grade oil that is recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia. It's viscosity is mid-range, and it absorbs quickly. A little definitely goes a long way! The health benefits of Emu oil include dry skin and hair, which is what I personally used it for. The Koolpurrie Restoring Balm is a blend of emu oil and lanolin, both of which have been used for generations to treat a variety of ailments. Blended together, the Koolpurrie Restoring Balm is GREAT for seriously dry skin! For these great products and more, please check out Koru Naturals for yourself!


How I used to this:The oil I mainly used on my hair and face. I have really dry hair on the ends, but it is really oily toward the scalp, with the exception of my hair line. I have very fine hair also, so I'm prone to static and flyaway hair. I take a few drops of the emu oil and, starting at the tips of my hair, gently work it going up. I did this with both dry hair, and wet, and neither made my hair look oily or greasy. If it does, then you've used too much. I have VERY long hair (down to my waist,) and I put one drop on my hands, and work it in. Then I take a drop and work it around my hair line, and the dry parts of my face.

My son uses a medicated patch, which leaves his skin severely dry and chaffed, and also leaves a sticky residue. I used the oil to remove the residue and also repair his skin. This has allowed us an alternative to the harshness of prescription steroids to treat his reddened skin!  The oil absorbs very quickly so there's no lasting residue or icky feeling that you sometimes get with similar treatments. The oil as little to no smell, so that's not an issue either. Here's a great photo of the oil:
Koru Naturals Review


The Koolpurrie balm I used on my hands, elbows, feet, knees, and chapped skin on my son and fiance. I wish I had taken a before photo, but my camera was in need of a charge and I really thought I had a few days to get that photo. I was so wrong! One application of a tiny amount of this balm and my hands were fantastic! It took DAYS for them to get dry again, and this is winter time with temps below freezing daily! I also wash my hands dozens of times each day, so they tend to dry out within hours of applying lotions or healing balms. The fact that I was able to get such results is huge! My hands will get so dry, that it looks like I've been fighting they are so damaged. This balm is soothing, it doesn't cause any sort of stinging at all, and it absorbs so quickly that you don't even know you've used it. It is long lasting, doesn't wash away easily, and you don't need to use a lot to get a great result. I used this on my dry elbows, and with in a day or so they were extremely smooth. I used it on my fiance's elbows. He tried to wipe it off, and said he was genuinely impressed by the fact that it did not easily wipe away. He is hard to impress, and doesn't tolerate lotions or balms well, so that is saying a lot! And here's a photo of the Koolpurrie Restoring Balm:
Koru Naturals Review


During our review, my son came down with a terrible cold (flu?) and after a few days of tissues his nose was very red, swollen, and sore. He would flinch when I would try to wipe it. I used the Koolpurrie Restoring Balm on his nose, and around the outer part of his lips (it is external use only, so I avoided his lips....only the skin around....) and he had nearly instant relief.

My niece left her hydrating facial cream at home by mistake. I gave her my Koolupurrie Restoring Balm to try, and she's hooked! It smoothed, softened, and treated her dry facial skin with out causing blemishes.

Both of these products will be mainstays in our home!


Cost:
I'm cheap! I am always hunting for a bargain. If I am willing to spend $$ on it, you can be assured it is a good product that is worth the money, and the cost is also low. As of the date of this blog post, a 2oz bottle of Koru Naturals Emu Oil is $9.85 and the Koolpurrie Restoring Balm is $12.50. Orders over $35.00 get free USA shipping, also. They accept check, money orders, all major credit cards, and paypal also. So the cost is definitely well within reason as a 2oz bottle will last a good amount of time!

Overall, we love Koru Naturals and both the Emu Oil and the Koolpurrie Restoring Balm!

If you want to read more reviews on these products, and other great Koru Naturals products, click here to check out more Crew Review blogs!


Koru Naturals Review
Crew Disclaimer

Friday Five 2/27

1.) I can cook anything, but I can't bake worth a dime.

2.) When I shop for shoes, I go to the little girl's section first. I have little feet.

3.) When there is a threat of a snow storm I go for toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning products first.  Who needs to eat? I want to clean!

4.) I hate spelling as much today as I did in school.

5.) I read to calm myself.



You?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Heirloom Audio Productions; "In Freedom's Cause" Review

In Freedom's Cause Audio CD Review
I've been very blessed to receive a copy of Heirloom Audio Production's disk set titled, "In Freedom's Cause."  to review. "In Freedom's Cause" brings you a wonderfully dramatic account of William Wallace, and his stand against an oppressive England, and Robert the Bruce, for the sake of Scotland. Beyond the historical aspects of the story, "In Freedom's Cause" brings to the forefront William Wallace's faith in God, and how it was his faith that gave him the strength and bravery to become the legendary leader who stood in the face of what appeared to be an insurmountable English army to defeat Robert the Bruce. It also showcases his ultimate faith in God, even in the face of death.

For this review, I was given the two disk CD set, a printable copy of the Prayer of William Wallace (Psalm 23 in the Latin Vulgate,) "In Freedom's Cause" soundtrack MP3 download, a 30 minute video documentary download titled, "Behind the Scenes in London," unlimited access to the "In Freedom's Cause" Membership Website, a printable promotion poster,  a digital study guide, and G.A. Henty's original "In Freedom's Cause" e-Book. All of these items come with the purchase of a Family Four-Pack option (You will get 4 copies of In Freedom's Cause, not just 1 like I received, plus everything else for $99.97 as of February 24, 2015. There is the option of only purchasing 1 set of disks for $29.97 as of February 24, 2015.)


I wasn't really sure what to expect upon receipt of the package. I had gone to the website and researched the product, and I had watched the video and listened to the sample that is provided on he webpage. I was very excited when our package arrived, and we put it to use immediately.

We are out and about frequently, so I opened the package and inserted the first disk into my SUV's CD player. The music started, and the narrator began to set the scene for what was to unfold. I thought perhaps it would be a narrator reading a spoken book with occasional characters speaking their parts. Instead, "In Freedom's Cause" is more like an audio drama that is so engaging, so detailing that you can easily visualize what you are hearing! The narrator returns in between the scenes to wrap up and set up the next scene. It is the characters themselves, and the ambient sounds that paint the picture. You are pulled into this time period, you get to know the characters, you begin to feel as if you are one of them....and you are left wanting more, and not wanting to turn off your stereo until you know how it ends.

I loved it so much that I knew my fiance would love it. We were off on a day trip because I had a photography job in central WV, so I thought this was the perfect time to restart disk one, and finish off disk two.  Before the first scene was over,  we had both made the comment that this was not an audio book, as I had told him, but more of a reenactment. You can hear the swords clash, the birds chirping, background and ambient sounds abound. You can almost feel the atmosphere. The pictures created in your mind, and the creative ability to picture those images however you like is fantastic.

We were on the way home and passed by an old stone church. My fiance said that's exactly how he pictured a specific place in the story and I laughed because I, too, had pictured it the same way! Frequently, we laughed, and the dialogue and conversation the three of us had concerning this great product has been wonderful!






Study Guide: The disks also come with a digital study guide. The study guide provides a vocabulary list and discussion points arranged in lessons that cover the entire book. This has been great because it not only provides our weekly vocabulary and spelling lists, but it has also given me copywork ideas, writing prompts, as well as the intended discussion starters. It's great for fulling writing, spelling, reading, and language arts, and even art projects....in addition to history! I often used the discussion starts as writing assignments. I would ask my son to write a paragraph or two regarding each specific discussion point, then we would verbally discuss it. Afterwards we would edit the paragraph for language arts. You can use key words for spelling words, also. We used this as a starting point to learn about swords, drawing swords, making swords, etc. Sadly, none of them survived to be photographed HAHA! Give a boy a cardboard sword, and fun will happen!


                                                   
eBook: I love the eBook because we can read, or listen, again and again. The book is NOT word for word what is on the disk. The book is what the disk is based on. The audio part is like you are listening to a great movie, and the book is what the movie was based on. I used my iPad to browse to the area where I was able to download the book into iBooks. You first download it as a PDF, then choose the option to save to open in iBooks. The color graphics are simple beautiful. You really have to see it for yourself.











Soundtrack and Prayer:  The music is relaxing and enjoyable. It is a great asset to our school day since we both enjoy listening to the music while doing our lessons. It is calming, and helps to anchor us to our tasks at hand. The prayer is just beautiful! I have been using it as copywork and memory work.

The prayer was a very special addition. My uncle is very dear to me. When my dad died, my uncle stepped up to help fill that void in my life. He was never asked. No one ever told him he needed to. He just did it because that's the kind of man my uncle has always been. He is now in the final stages of his life, and expected to pass on at any minute. I printed this special prayer as a gift of comfort for his wife.


                     
Membership Website, Documentary, Promotional Poster: The website is nice. I did not utilize it as much. I did note some articles of interest that I plan to explore more in the future. One in particular was a compare of contrast of the movie "Braveheart" and the historically accurate accounts of William Wallace. I found that to be particularly interesting since I rather enjoyed the movie. The documentary is fun because you get to see the actors, and how they pulled off such an amazing audio experience. I did not use the promotional poster, as we are not really poster people, but it did print nicely, and would be a great addition to anyone who is a poster person.



 Does "In Freedom's Cause" pass my 4 Main Ingredient test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

Yes. We can listen at home or on the go. We can use the study guide in a way that is tailored to our needs. We can set our own pace, as each scene is broken into tracks on the disk, so we can easily pick up where we left off. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees? 

It can be used for multiple grade levels. To me, it's very much like a movie. Would you watch a movie more than once? Do you listen to the same songs more than once? I think as a child grows and matures, they will get more and more out of the lessons. There are no hidden fees. 


3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

I wish it lasted longer! It's roughly 2.5 hours total. It is VERY engaging and not at all boring. My son LOVED it. It fostered great discussion, he was very verbal in discussions, and very creative in bringing in his own ideas. We were having a very rough autism/ADHD day when the disks arrived. As soon as I put them in the CD player he calmed down, and began to listen intently. I was amazed. Definitely NOT boring!

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

I could tie it in with other things, since at the end of the CD it talks about the American Revolution. Other than that, if you are studying this period, then yes, It will tie in. 

Overall:
Overall, I was very surprised and excited with Heirloom Audio Production's "In Freedom's Cause." It was so engaging, so entertaining, we loved it! I can't wait to see what they do next!



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InFreedomsCause
Twitter: https://twitter.com/InFreedomsCauseGoogle+:  > https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/112701427096792421838/112701427096792421838/postsPinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jointhecause





If you would like to read more reviews like this, check out more Crew Review blogs! 


In Freedom's Cause Review
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Great Commission Films: IndoctriNation DVD Review

IndoctriNation DVD Review
I was asked to review Great Commission Films' documentary, "IndoctriNation."  for The Schoolhouse Review crew. "IndoctriNation" is a documentary by Colin Gunn that focuses on the lack of Christianity in public schools, and how this lack of God in schools is threatening Christianity, and the faith of Christian students in school. It also talks about topics or subjects that are largely considered as sinful, and how these topics are being enforced, discussed, and/or taught to children who go to public schools. There are subject matters in this documentary that may be of a sensitive nature to younger children. I do suggest parents view this on their own before allowing their children to view it.

The DVD arrived in the mail,and I was very excited to watch it as a family. I soon discovered I did not want my son to overhear some of the subject matter that was included in this film, so we had to stop it. The fact that this is the same subject matter he would be exposed to in a public school setting, with out my ability to simply press stop, greatly disturbs me, and makes me even more thankful for the right and ability to homeschool. A few hours later, I sat down with my fiance to watch the film alone, and we found ourselves frequently pausing it while we discussed what we had just seen. I will say, my original thoughts on this film were changed by the end. I originally thought this film was largely speculation or conspiracy theory, or at the most a handful of examples that were not representational of the country as a whole. By the end I realized, it is not conspiracy theory, it is not a small sampling, it is not hog wash....No my friends, it is what is happening in schools today. It has been happening for a while now, but now it's really out of hand.
I'm not really sure where to start with my feelings/emotions. I like how the filmmaker intertwines Biblical scripture to back up his points. I do not like how public school is referred to as a Pagan institution by one who is interviewed. I think of Public School as Anti-Religion, and by implying there is a pagan link is to say there is a religious basis....and that's simply false. The idea behind a separation of religious institution and public education institutions was a good theory.   If we had freedom to teach whatever religion the teacher chose, then our children would be subjected to a variety of religions or religious beliefs that may be contrary to that of the family. And that's even in a community that is only Christian, because there are several varying beliefs with in the Christian community as well. With that said, as this film shows, the ideal of a public school system void of religious influence that may contradict the beliefs of the parents of the child has not transpired in the way originally thought. Now, we have a public school system full of religious attacks where teachers have to hide their beliefs, where they must reinforce ideals they feel are sins, and where they lose their job should they not go against their faith. For example, One part of the film shows a young teacher recanting a scene she witnessed on an elementary school play ground. One of the children was overheard saying, "that's so gay!" and a teacher came over and explained to them that they may be gay because sometimes people don't realize they are gay until they are much older, and if they are, that's ok. That is not a teacher's place to teach such things! 
We have become a society that is so concerned with not offending anyone that we end up offending anyway. When did we get so easily offended?! So what if you don't believe the same as I do? Is that hurting you? No? Ok, lets move on. Oh, so you don't believe or live the way I do? Ok, that's fine....your life, not mine. I'm good with that. Why can't we just let people be?  Why not just tell little Johnny that calling people or things gay could be taken as a mean thing to say, and let it be. Let Little Johnny ask his parents for more information. After all, the family is the first, and largest, peer reinforcement group; followed by teachers and peers. This film, to a degree, shows that the nation's public schools has become so preoccupied with not offending all of those who consider themselves the "others" that the kids are the ones suffering.


Another segment showed the large number of kids being medicated. When kids can't be kids, and they must be miniature adults, we have a big problem. Now, I'm not saying there aren't those who need medication. My son does. He has autism and a severe impulse control issue as a result. He needs certain medications to function in a safe manner. But, all too often there are kids who just have a lot of energy being made into zombies. This segment showcased that. So, I began to wonder how bad it really is? What I discovered made my heart sad. Did you know there are several schools that do not allow kids to run and play on the playground? There are school districts that do not even allow for a recess period! Parents are so "sue happy" that kids can't play tag, or hide and seek, or swing in swings because the dear little angels may break an arm, and then Mom and Dad are going to sue the school for neglect. How insane is that?! Kids are kids, let them run! Let them play! Let them get out their energy! I found out that my local school districts do not allow running on the play ground, and kids must speak with inside voices on the play ground. If I say I find that offensive, will the rule change? Where is the ACLU for these kids? Do they not have a right to play tag?


 I really like the irony the film maker uses with a school bus as the main "mascot" of the film. He, along with his homeschooling family, set out on a filmmaking journey across the USA in a school bus, to create a film about public schools. The film gives the statistics of how many school buses are in use today, and how many children they carry to public schools each day. He says the school bus is the tool that is driving our children away from Jesus. At the end of the film, we watch the school bus as it is destroyed. This is symbolic of his family's choice to homeschool, to not allow the public system to pull their children away from their faith. 

I also like how the filmmaker doesn't bash the public school system. He gives a fair debate at the beginning, before pointing out the many flaws from his perspective, and backing that opinion with direct interviews and evidence.  I also REALLY like the fact that he makes it a point to have the film say that public school families love their children as much as homeschool families or private school families. 
After talking with several of my friends with kids in public schools, they too have had to deal with many topics in this film. Though not all of them have, enough have that it was troubling to me. My own extended family had to deal with severe bullying, and was exposed to more homosexual behavior that was excepted in school so as to not offended anyone, than they were heterosexual behavior. It was ok for two girls to kiss in the hallway, but not a girl and a boy. Why the double standard? 

The overall point to this film was to showcase the anti-Christianity that has overtaken the school system, and how that could lead to your child losing his or her faith in the long run. But I think it goes much deeper than that. I saw in this film, an institution that is so caught up with not offending on any level that we are developing a generation of doormats that blindly follow, with out questioning. I see an institution that is causing our kids to learn of mature topics much sooner than their emotional ages intend, and teaching them that these behaviors that go against the very grain of their religious foundation are to be embraced and accepted.  I see an institution that is in great need of repair. 
Overall, I can say that if I were not already homeschooling my son, I would seriously consider it after watching IndoctriNation.  This is certainly not what I expected. It was directed in an engaging manner, it is not boring at all, it is not preachy at all. It is thought provoking, and promotes deep and serious discussion. If you are a homeschooling family I suggest watching so you know what your child is up against in the world. If you are a parent who sends your children to public school, I REALLY suggest you watch so you know what your children face every day. 

**Sorry this was more of a rant than a review. IndoctriNation created such emotion within me, I had to share it. That means it is a thought provoking, emotion inciting film that you should watch-If for no other reason than so you can be well informed to give your children the tools they need to protect themselves.**
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IndoctriNationMovie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/indocmovie
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/indoctrination
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/IndoctriNationMovie
If you would like to read more great reviews on this, and other products, check out the Crew Blog!

IndoctriNation DVD Review
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

The 5 Love Languages for Men by Dr. Gary Chapman Book Review & Giveaway




Greetings Blog Readers! For the last couple of weeks, we have been reading The 5 Love Languages for Men, written by Dr. Gary Chapman, PhD., author of The 5 Love Languages series.

About the Book:
This book is sort of a "how to" guide for men to teach them how and why they need to speak the "Love Language" of their female significant other. The lessons go well beyond that, however, in that you can really use the lessons learned here to more effectively communicate with everyone in your life-From friends and family to business associates. The Five Love Languages for Men can be purchased in a variety of formats, and for this review we had a paperback copy.

This book is designed for the men, so I enlisted the help of my special guy. I will turn this review over to him now! Enjoy!


From Matt, AKA "Special Guy"

When my fiancĂ© asked me to read and review a book for her, of course, I agreed.  For two reasons:
1.        She asked me to, she did not tell me to J
2.       I thought she was kidding J

To my surprise, a week later, a book arrives with the title “The 5 Love Languages for Men”.  Almost immediately, I perform the single number one no-no of picking a book… yes, I looked at the cover.

On the back, the book boasted “sold 10 MILLION COPIES” and immediately, with a chuckle, my sarcastic mind thinks “yes, bought by wives for husbands who hull walnuts with their foreheads… of which, I am apparently one”.  True to my word, however, I opened the book and started reading. 

Now, before we go any further, it is important that you keep in mind one simple fact.  Picking up a book to read, even from preferred genre such as science fiction or fantasy, puts me to sleep better than a glass of warm milk before bedtime.  I find reading to be a very relaxing way to wind down before bed.

As with all books, I started out with Chapter 1.  How many languages do I speak?  As presented in what I consider to be very simplistic format, there are five languages or methods of communication.  Ok, this is sort of makes sense to me.

Starting in Chapter 2, let’s learn about Love Language #1 - Words of Affirmation.  I certainly would not have imagined that I would begin to legitimately question, do I have an issue with communication?  I often enjoy injecting humor and sarcasm into conversations; however, while I can appreciate my comments simply as humor, perhaps these comments are not coming across as the “supportive humor” I intend.

Now we continue on to Chapter 3 – Quality Time.  To me, this chapter seems to make the most sense.  Actually paying attention to each other could be anything from talking about your day to playing a game together, providing that you are NOT multi-tasking, but are actually paying attention to one another.  Could it be that this is my preferred love language?

Now I’ve made my way on to Chapter 4 – Becoming Fluent in Gift Giving.  At first, this chapter struck me as a materialistic method of communication, but as I kept reading, I came to learn  that gift giving could be something as simple as “Hey, you go hang out with the girls this Friday night, and the babysitting is on me”.  Once again, it’s sort of common sense to me that you don’t give somebody the gift of a custom bowling ball drilled to fit your fingers.

Chapter 5 – Acts of Service, I felt was another common sense chapter.  The other day, my fiancĂ© was sick, and did not feel like dragging out of bed, so I fixed her breakfast and brought it to her.  In my mind, this was a help to her, but until I read the simplistic breakdown of acts such as these, I did not realize how many other positive messages this simple act was giving to her.

Chapter 6 – Becoming Fluent in Physical Touch felt almost like an awkward chapter to me.  I’m not what I would consider a “touchy-feely” person.  To me, your space is your space and my space is my space.  I’ve never had problems shaking hands, but I’m just not the type to sit around holding hands or snuggling.  In my mind, the simple act of a six second shoulder massage or a quick hug is a big deal.  I did not realize what a big deal I consider this to be when I receive such signs of affection from her and it made me stop and think about how I can communicate my appreciation to her.

In closing, I’m not going to keep going on and on about each  chapter in the book, but suffice it to say, it’s surprisingly eye opening and while I was surely one to think that I was a good communicator, perhaps I was not nearly as good as I thought I was.  Ultimately, unless you have a storybook relationship in which you never fight or argue, this book is a MUST READ for anybody interested in improving their relationship.


I hope you all enjoyed his review! I know I did! If you would like your very own copy of Dr. Chapman's book, "The Five Love Languages for Men" you have a chance to win one below! Just enter the giveaway, and if chosen, you will receive your copy in the mail! GOOD LUCK!

This Give Away is Now over, Congratulations to the Winner! Kendra S.!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Our Favorite Toys and Games Series: Autism and "Toys"

Autism can certainly change your definition of the word "toy." Most people think of the typical toy store gadgets; cars, trucks, etc. But in the autism family, a toy can be anything! One of my son's FAVORITE "toys" is a kitchen timer! He loves them! We've had several different varieties, and I think he generally prefers the more simple egg timers or a small digital timer that he can stick on the side of the fridge. He also LOVES thermometers. He received a minimum/maximum thermometer for Christmas, and it is currently on the dining room window for easy access. I must admit, I've gotten some great use out these toys!

It used to bother me a great deal. I'd feel horrible for buying him a kitchen gadget, or shopping for him in the housewares or tool section (there was the padlock phase that necessitated the hardware section....) but then I changed my thought process. He was having fun and truly enjoys these odd things. Isn't that the point of a toy? To engage the child, to foster creativity and imagination, to....gasp...be enjoyed?! So it was on that day I hung up my bad feelings and replaced them with a new sense of wonder. I marvel at how he can manipulate these gadgets better than I, and how much joy they bring to him. Who cares if that he asked for a $12.00 thermometer instead of the $120.00 Lego set! I'm not complaining! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fabulous Friday Five Feb. 20

1.) Snow. Lots of Snow. I wanted a good snow storm, and my prayers were answered. But I've now been homebound for 2 weeks with a sick child, and now snowbound. I'm going crazy.

2.) I ate 4 soft batch cookies, warmed in the microwave, last night at 11:30pm.

3.) I need chapstick. I have a lot, but I always lose it.

4.) I always forget to charge the iPad. Now that it's got a full charge, I don't really need it for anything.

5.) I had cranberry beans, cornbread, left over fried potatoes, and kraut with wieners for breakfast. Judge away friends, judge away!

Monday, February 16, 2015

W sitting.

My son had a terrible time with "W" Sitting! W sitting is where a child sits with his/her bottom on the floor between their knees, and their legs kind of spread out around them. If you look down on them, it looks like their legs are forming a W. It is a common thing with kids with Autism, but it's also common in neuro-typical children as well. It can lead to a host of issues such as bad posture, poor gross/fine motor, knee issues, hip issues, etc.  I stumbled upon this great blog article that goes in depth into W sitting. (Photo belongs to that blog owner....)


The Inspired Tree House: W sitting

Mosey on over, and take a read!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday 5

1.) What is your favorite dessert?

2.) What is your favorite flower?

3.) Would you rather have dinner and a movie, or stay in for Valentine's Day?

4.) Are you celebrating with your kids, or just you and your S/O?

5.) Did you buy a card?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday

I found this little gem on a Google Search....It's fitting...



How's your monday?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Autism and the Great Vaccine Debate

My son is fully vaccinated. There...I said it! Do I feel this led to his autism? No. He was showing signs well before the dreaded MMR shot. Nor do I feel this made him "worse" in any way shape or form. I will also say, if I ever have another child I will also vaccinate  that child.

WAIT?!WHAT?! That's the typical response I get. HOW could I risk another child have autism from vaccines?! My question then becomes, why should I fear autism more than polio? More than tetanus? More than dying from a disease that could have easily been prevented? I have seen my child suffer with pertussis and nearly die. Trust me, that pales in comparison to weekly speech therapy!

Vaccines do not cause autism! At least, it hasn't been shown in any research done to date. Oh...but what about Andrew Wakefield? Wakefield altered his results in order to get his falsified research published, setting off a huge debate that has lasted longer than his article ever dreamed. No one, at any point in time, as ever been able to duplicate his findings. His research assistants went on record as saying he asked them to falsify the numbers.

Autism has been on the rise for sometime, but has recently been in the news to a greater extent. the drastic rise took place in the late 90s. If Vaccines caused autism, this dramatic rise would have paralled the use of vaccines through history, and it just doesn't. We would be seeing autism all over the place if it was just vaccines.

The point is, correlation does not equal causation. For example, during the summer months, Ice cream sales increase. At the same time, crime increases.  Eating Ice cream causes an increase in crime. NO! Correlation vs. Causation! There has not been enough research done to find a cause, to find a trigger, to find anything that points in the direction of what causes this. But there is research that has shown what diseases such as polio can do. Food for thought....