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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Live Life to the Fullest

The past few days have been full of living life instead of blogging it.
My "Tip" for this Tuesday is to live life to the absolute fullest!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Burger Play" fun with a Friend

I've been going through pictures and found these from St. Patrick's Day. Our neighbor has a girl who is just a couple months older than Rebekah. That day, her daycare was closing early and she needed somebody to watch her for an hour. Since these neighbors are always doing such nice things for us, I knew it was a no-brainer to lend a hand.

Originally we were going to play here for the hour, but Daddy was working from home and had an emergency 'BIG Call'. My concern was that if any ruckus occurred, it would sound very unprofessional to his superiors. So I decided to take them to Burger King (a.k.a. Burger Play if you are a Rebekah) for lunch and playtime. After they had their nuggets and fries, we trooped into the play area where there were only a couple other little kids. What a great time everyone had. Nobody was bigger so there wasn't the pushing that sometimes occurs. They were all nice and helpful to each other.

I think I got some good shots of Rebekah and her friend. Aren't they adorable? The best part of this was how they never once fought. Since there were no toys belonging to them, nothing to fight over. It's all community property.



Here's Rebekah running ahead looking for and calling for her friend. When she realized her friend was up in the tubes, off she went like a rocket so they could slide together.


What fun!




Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Park Picnic

It's been such wonderful weather here and we've been trying to take full advantage. (Good thing, this week isn't turning out as warm, as dry or as nice as what we had last week.)

The other day was busy, busy, busy for me running to appointments and trying to fill out insurance paperwork (and fight them for payments). We had nothing on the calendar for the whole evening. Blessed open blank spot in the planner of our lives. So instead of cooking, I made a picnic for us and we took the kids to the park to play and eat. Sean & I had a nice picnic and ate our food. I think the boys managed to eat a small portion of their sandwiches while they put their shoes on to leave.

Rebekah didn't bother eating. She kept looking at me with the expression that said, "Mother, don't you get it?!?! There's a whole playground here and you think I should EAT?!? You're either crazy or smoking something illegal. I can eat at home." I'm telling you, her looks are something to behold!



Andrew got his friend from school (and our neighbor) to bury him in sand. Then we had fun with just his arm/hand. Call him Thing (The Addams Family for those of you who are too young to get my joke.)



Nathan enjoyed the slide, the swings, the sand, the friends we knew at the park. He generally enjoys life to the fullest. Here he is holding the pinecone he found that looks a little like Santa Claus.



Rebekah...well, what can you say about that spitfire?? When she's not standing at the swings yelling, "Daddy, lift Bekah, push Bekah...Bekah swing?" we can find her on the slides. Or going up the rock wall or the really difficult climbers meant for much older children. It made Sean nervous, but she's determined and has mastered all of these things so I let her go. We did have to watch her as she deemed every sand toy in the park as her personal property. She kept trying to take shovels out of kids' hands. I've been digging in boxes looking for the long lost sand toys the rest of this week. We'll take our own next time so it will be less of a struggle.

What a great time we had!






More Arby's Free Sandwiches to 3/31


Arby's just released one more set of March Deals. Click here to get coupons for:
1. Free Roastburger with purchase of fries & drink
2. Free Roast Chicken club with purchase of fries & drink
3. Free Fruitea with purchase of sandwich
4. Free Chocolate Malt Shake with purchase of a roastburger.

I'm thinking Arby's.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Bartering

It's an age-old theory, but one that works well for me. I barter for things. I barter with my neighbor who has an in-home daycare. I watch her daycare kids on occasion for an hour or so and she watched Rebekah for me for the 10 hours we were gone last week.

My same neighbor and I are now swapping our own children for date nights. I watched her kids on St. Patrick's day for them to go out with their friends and she watched my kids this weekend so Sean & I could have a date night. We were able to go to the movies and have a sit down dinner served on plates with silverware instead of eating a meal wrapped in paper. Since we didn't have to pay a sitter an additional $20-25-30+, we could have a really nice date.

I have bartered computer work for music lessons for many years. I do flyers, newsletters, registrations, etc., etc., etc. and in exchange, we take my hourly rate and apply it to the children's music lessons.

I bartered with the diaper service to go do their setups for them and in return I got discounted (or free) diapers and could apply my 'paycheck' to my account balance.

I'm working with a company now to see if we can barter my time for updating their website and creating some flyers for either drum or guitar lessons for my boy(s).

How do I find these things? A lot of them I sort of fell into. I hear somebody talking about how they need help with XX and I contact them privately to see what their needs are and if they would consider a bartering system. Once you barter with one company, the network can work for you. I tell people, if you hear of somebody needing computer help, tell them you have a friend who would trade them for that. You have to know your skills and what you could do that would be of value to another person.

For example, I've worked daycare in the past so going to my friend's house for an hour or two is not a daunting task. I know it's something I can do and I'm pretty good at it.

How (and what) do you barter? I'm always looking for new ideas.



Friday, March 20, 2009

Update on Nathan's Appointment

Update on yesterday's prayer request.

For the whole technical explanation, check out the post on my blog for 2E kids, www.coolestchildren.com.

The basics are we had safe travels and beautiful weather--Praise the Lord! We did allergy testing and the doctor started him on allergy shots. No diet changes at this point while we do more testing. Discovered a milk allergy. Not severe, but it's there.

We go back in two months to review how the allergy treatments are going and to review the findings from the additional lab work we are doing. Then there will most likely be a follow up visit right before school starts.

Thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Prayers Please

Quick note to ask for prayers for our family. We're taking Nathan to a Bio-Med specialist who is trained in the Bio-Medical needs of autistic children. His office is 3.5 hours away so this will be a long day for us. We're going down, having our appt. and coming back all today.

Thank you for prayers for our safe travels as well as wisdom and discernment for the doctor. We probably won't have solid results today as there are some additional tests we'll need to have done while Nathan is fasting. We're hopeful to get some preliminary information.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Walgreens Great Deal to 3/20

It's a short deal, but a good one. If you go to Walgreens online, enter the coupon code CLOVER at checkout, it takes 17% off your bill. The 17% is good off of sale prices as well as normal orders. Some Exclusions: Gift Cards, Prescriptions, Photo Center. One list I'm on notated that contact lenses would be 17% off on this deal.

Offer ends 3/20/09!!! Happy shopping!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: My new 2E Blog

What is 2E (Twice Excpetional)??

Let's look at these definitions:
Gifted is defined as High Abstract Reasoning
Learning Disability... There's many ways to define a learning disability--IQ/Achievement Discrepancy (Autism falls here), Speech & Language, Mental Health Disorders, Behavioral & Developmental Disabilities, Other Health Impairments (ADD falls here)

In a nutshell, a 2E child (or adult) is one who is gifted and has a learning disability.

I am the proud parent of one confirmed 2E child, one suspected (albeit a high functioning) 2E child and one who is young and bright and very 2 (the age). On our journey learning about what this means and how it applies to us, I found very little support that was written in 'mom' language. There's lots of technical information out there...if you know where to search for it, but some days I wanted somebody to just understand and tell me it's ok to cry over my child and his problems. I often felt like a drowning person clinging to a life buoy of hope. I felt alone and lost and didn't know anybody else going through my struggles.

God has laid it upon my heart to start a separate site and try to provide information, support and a community for 2E parents everywhere. Check out
http://www.coolestchildren.com/ when you have a minute.

Most importantly to me, if you know of a parent or child struggling with 2E issues, please send them my way. I'm convinced we 2E parents have to stick together. There really is comfort in knowing that at least one other person truly 'gets' what you're saying from having lived it, too.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Free Crazy Bread at Little Caesars through 4-30

Now through 4/30/09, purchase any Hot-N-Ready Pizza and a Pepsi beverage at Little Caesars to receive a Free Order of Crazy Bread.


Click here to print your coupon.

Free Arby's Sandwich through 3-20


New Arby's Coupon. Purchase any Pepsi Drink (at regular price) and you receive a Free Roast Burger sandwich. Good through 3/20/09.
It's a coupon with a short lifespan, but we've been eating these free sandwiches at least once a week on the last coupon. If you print out one for each person in your group, you can use one coupon per person per visit.
Click here to get your coupon!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pie in the face...is it Toontown?

For those who don't know about our family addiction, it's http://www.toontown.com/. It started with the kids playing the 'free' accounts. Then they roped their dad in and agreed to pay for a portion of the first three months if we'd pay in with them. Now, the whole family is addicted. Rebekah even has her own toon (and she knows how to use it).

At Toontown, the evil cogs are trying to take over happy Toontown. The toons have to fight the cogs with seltzer bottles, horns and even cream pies. Nathan is known as Prince Wacky, the dog, on Toontown.

Yesterday, Prince Wacky--dressed as Nathan--got to sneak into school for a good time. Nathan raised over $100 for the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart campaign. Every child in his school reaching that level got to throw a pie in a teacher's face. He chose our VP (who used to teach at our former school). I tried to talk him into the principal, but I think he found that to be inappropriate behavior. (Guess he really listens to all the respect your principal messages we give.)

Here's the video and photos of the event. He had an awesome shot! Remember to turn off the music at the bottom of the page before playing the video.

Getting ready with bags on heads and trashbags cut to cover clothes.


Here's the video and photos. Look at the pictures, you can see the whipped cream flying by his ear.
video

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes...

While at the local grocery store, we made our pilgrimage to the Bakery department. Heaven forbid we would miss the Free Cookie for our children. That would be an abomination to the whole cookie society and bakers across the world!

Free cookie in hand, precious Rebekah is going past the Gourmet Olive Bar (can you say YUCK...no olive fans in my house) and my sweetest darling says to her daddy, "I want one of those acky grapes."

Sean & I laughed so hard we had to leave the store before having an accident in our pants. He just taught her last night that if she finds any acky grapes in the fruit bin (over ripe or rotten) she should throw them away and not eat them. Imagine the confusion to see an entire food bar of what appears to be rotten fruit.

We're still laughing!

Loads of Hope

Here's an interesting program I just learned about.

From Tide’s Loads of Hope program site:
Tide Loads of Hope helps in the aftermath of a natural disaster by providing clean clothes and a sense of comfort to families in need. Partnering with Feeding America, we travel to disaster affected neighborhoods with the Tide Loads of Hope truck or vans, our free mobile laundry service.

Tide Loads of Hope truck:

  • 32 high-efficiency washers and dryers stationed on the truck
  • Can do 300 wash and dry cycles a day - equal to one year's worth of laundry for a single family
  • Will wash about 9,000 loads of laundry over a four-week period
  • Leveraged during massive disasters where electricity is unavailable in the region

Tide Loads of Hope vans:
In partnership with a local laundromat, the Tide Loads of Hope vans provide free laundry service at the same load rate as the trucks
Leveraged during disasters where neighboring communities still have a source of electricity
To date, Tide Loads of Hope has washed more than 35,000 loads of laundry for over 20,000 families. Most importantly, the Tide Loads of Hope program means we're equipped to take action whenever and wherever there is a need in our country.

Tide Loads of Hope Vintage Tees: Tide Loads of Hope can also be supported through the purchase of a Tide Vintage Tee. All profits go to support families affected by disaster.

Where it all started
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the need for clean clothing became critical, and Tide found a way to help. So in November 2005, the Tide Loads of Hope truck headed to Camp Hope in the Metairie, LA area and cleaned over 10,000 loads of laundry. The spirit of this first venture informs and inspires everything Tide Loads of Hope program does.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And the winner is....



Our family! We are the winners!!

I forgot I had even entered the drawing from the Children's Museum. I enter their contest every month and promptly forget that I entered.

I got an email the other day letting me know I won 4 tickets to a kids concert coming to the really nice new theatre here in town. We ordered one more ticket and discovered they are $20 EACH!

I won $80 in tickets so the kids can to go the performing arts center! The concert should be a lot of fun and since only Andrew & I have ever been inside the new building, I know the rest of the family will love it. It's just beautiful inside and the acoustics (for my sound-guy, Sean) are beyond amazing. Not sure if we'll be able to get many photos. Some kids shows allow photos and some don't. I'll have my camera along...just in case I can use it.

Hooray for our family! We're the big winners!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Mothering Matters

Some of you might have seen this before in your emails, but it bears repeating. I know that the days are endlessly long, but the years are quick as the blink of an eye. So while you are cleaning toilets, sinks, clothes, messes, etc., I want you to know that somebody is rising up and calling you blessed, even if it's not yet your kids.

In the midst of your daily struggles today, remember...Mothering Matters!




MOTHERS
Real Mothers don't eat quiche;they don't have time to make it.
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.
Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of carpets.
Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.
Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?'and get their answer when a little voice says, 'Because I love you best..'
Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade...
It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother...





The Images of Mother
4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.
16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!
25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!
35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Family Fun at D&B

Checked another item off of our 'Winter To Do' list this weekend. It was cold, rainy and just a dreary day on Saturday. Off we went to D&B to play games. The kids (young and old) had a great time.

Here's Andrew winning the jackpot on one game...


Sean teaches Nathan the finer points of Donkey Kong...

Rebekah did a little "Dance Dance Revolution" before climbing inside the helicopter game. She didn't play the game, but she thought she did. She loved Skee-Ball. She can't get the balls rolling fast enough to get over the bump so they roll back to her. I played 8 balls on the game and won tickets. She played the 9th ball for about 20 minutes. The game resets, but she keeps rolling the ball.

For the grand finale, Nathan chose to play Hyper Bowl. The 'bowling ball' is in a pedestal and you keep rolling it to direct the virtual ball on the screen. You can play all these wild courses. I think his was jungle. Nathan got the 2nd highest score for the day. Andrew helped him put his name in for the high scores. Way to go Nathan!!




Thursday, March 05, 2009

Free Sample of Betty Crocker Warm Delights


Thank you to Mom Saves Money for this great deal.



Sign up here for a free sample of Betty Crocker's Warm Delights.

MUST SEE VIDEO!! Inconvenient Debt - Glenn Beck

I've understood this principal, but never found a way to show others. Check out this video about what the government is doing to the value of our money. It's real--and it's real scary!




Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Benefits of Water



ABOUT DRINKING WATER


The following will probably amaze and startle you.


  1. 1. One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University study.


  2. 2. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.


  3. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.


  4. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.


  5. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily & decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Our School's Got Talent 2

The elementary school had its second annual talent show on Friday night. Nathan was able to participate this year and chose to play "Ode to Joy" on the piano. Our Master of Ceremonies kept calling it "Ode to Happieness".

Here's Nathan, the bundle of energy, preparing to line up for the talent show.

It was hard to get good pictures, but here he is after playing and taking his bow.

We couldn't get a vantage point where we could see Nathan playing, but Sean managed to get this video so you can sort of hear him playing.
video
I took this one at home so you can see him playing:
video
This talent show was purely for fun and entertainment. No competition. It was great fun and there really is a lot of talent in our little school. All 27 of the acts did a great job!
We really DO have talent!
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