Zombie Mom

You should see me now….on second thought I guess not. Very scary. Very scary indeed. I got a good look at myself this morning as I stumbled into the bathroom and glanced in the mirror. AAAaaaaa! I even scared myself. How in the world can I go to bed with my hair all brushed out and looking nice and wake up with a rat’s nest? What sort of strange metamorphosis occurs in the night that I am unaware of? I could be the lead in one of those zombie movies. I didn’t get much sleep last night—-and I need sleep! Don’t you hate when you WANT to sleep but it just eludes you? Then you wake up looking like you’ve been run over by a truck. Good thing my students can overlook the zombie thing. They don’t even flinch. They are a brave lot.

I suppose I need to grade the Social Studies tests. Even zombie moms have a job to do.

Cold Days And An Even Colder Kitchen Floor

My feet are freezing. I had to go get my pink fuzzy slippers. I’m currently at “my post”. The desk that is in the kitchen….so I can keep a watchful eye on my home school kiddos and type my daily blog at the same time:)

My kitchen floor is pretty to look at…it is stone tile. Very durable. But very cold! In our new house we will have radiant heat in the floor and my toes will be so happy. Speaking of our new house, Scott is so excited to get things underway. Well, I am too but I’m going to be here and he’s going to be the one in Ohio actually getting the beginning stuff taken care of. I have to say I’m so impressed with how he has designed the house. He has everything on computer (of course) and is going to have his plans printed out just like blue prints. He is something else. He has also been a huge help with getting me started in my new business. I could not ask for a more supportive husband. Last night I was looking at him all ga-ga with stars in my eyes. He gave me one of those side ways glances. I said, ” I love you” and he told me he loved me too. I continued to stare at him. He looked at me again with a quizzical look on his face. I just gave him a big dopey grin. He probably thinks I’ve lost my mind ( although I assure him insanity does NOT run in my family). Oh well. I just love my husband……even if he does beat me practically every night at Boggle, and even if he does kick me sometimes in bed when he is dreaming (one night he must have been doing karate in his sleep with all the flailing around that was going on), and he does work diligently to create more piles of stuff for me to clean…..Even so, he still is the best guy around.

It’s Purely Arbonne

I have a new career. Yes, you heard me. After 17 years of teaching, now a home schooling mom, I’ve decided to take on network marketing as a consultant for Arbonne. Arbonne is a company that produces the most awesome color, skincare, weight loss and aromatherapy. It is formulated in Switzerland but made here in the good ol’ U.S. A. (Now, I am not making promises that if you use Arbonne you will be transformed into a beautiful Swiss girl but I for one can dream, right?) Seriously, it is a wonderful company with products that are pure and simple. As I get older (aka “more mature”) I realize more and more how much I need, not just good, but great skincare. Heredity does play a small role in how a person ages, but the majority of aging comes from environmental factors. Thank goodness, I can have some power over that!

I am currently reading a book by Mary Christensen. She is teaching me how to be a network marketing superstar. She is a very good writer and makes things simple enough so that those of us that do not have a business background can still understand everything she says. She is a good “coach”.

This is yet another adventure in my life. I’m looking forward to it. I’m glad I made a decision to try this path. As I get older I realize that many of the things that I thought were scary when I was younger, really aren’t all that scary. I CAN be successful in areas that I never even considered earlier in my life. Yes, starting something new takes discipline and determination, but what truly significant stuff in life doesn’t? I’ll take a tip from the ladies of the Red Hat Society. Put on your hat and go out into the world and don’t worry about what others think. Your happiness and satisfaction in life is totally up to you.

Deer, Oh Deer, Oh Deer!!

Another weekend spent in Ohio. We were getting Scott’s “mini” apartment cleaned and ready for him to move into. I scrubbed and scrubbed with Clorox, Murphy’s Oil Soap, and various bathroom cleaners….and probably killed a few brain cells due to the fumes….but it was for a good cause!! MY IDEA of clean and the lady’s idea of clean (that owns the apt.) are obviously two different things! I wanted the place clean for my husband. Now it will be up to him to keep it that way. He probably will, if for nothing else but the fact that he is bored there, all by himself. It will give him something to do when he’s not working or out and about on house adventures. Seriously, Scott is amazing about this house we are building. He has it under control. I am amazed at how he has planned things, made programs to show the walls of the house, has studied how to do things and who to talk with. He really is something else! I am a blessed lady.

Now about the deer….when leaving the village of Rushsylvania Scott and I observed on the snow covered fields at least 60 deer. We would see a couple of dozen, then about 9 or 10, then 20 more etc….. It was very picturesque to see the deer on the snow, with the cold gray sky behind them. The only thing is that we are going to have to be very careful with so many deer around. When we were driving 4 deer ran out in front of our van (far enough ahead that it was no problem….but then again it wasn’t dark yet…that might have been different.)

Ohio is definitely going to be a fun adventure. I’m trying to be patient about moving. I just can’t wait for some space!!

Autism Training Video–No It’s Not At Your Local Blockbuster

As many of you know Jessica’s son, Kade, was diagnosed with autism this past summer. He was 4 years old at the time. I don’t think she will mind me saying that, as she is interested in getting the word out about autism like so many other parents of autistic children. With that said, it has been a difficult journey with the school system there in Texas. Following through is not a big priority for them. So Scott and I decided that we would help Jessica and Eddie by making all kinds of materials for them to use with Kade. (Being that my background is in special education and that I worked with many students that have autism) We created a picture exchange system for him using many of the pictures Jessica had sent me through email. (Isn’t technology great?) He will now have magnetic picture calendars, if-then boards, schedule strips, mini schedule book, social stories etc. We have even made a training video for Kade’s family. Scott worked the set, was camera man and did voice overs. I am the star of the show, having most of the talking parts. (I expect a knock on my door about an Oscar nomination any day now.) The kids played the role of autistic children for demonstration purposes. It is a low budget film, but the camera man comments that it is “excellent quality”. All these things are so necessary for young children with autism. Many people with autism “see” in pictures. They are very visual and so that is why having a schedule board and being able to see what is expected, or what is going to happen next is so important to Kade. If he is expected to do something but has no idea what will be happening he gets anxious, scared and unsure….that is when he begins acting out. The sooner young children learn how to use these materials the calmer it will be for them and their families.

Let me give you an example of what it would be like to be autistic. Please be patient with me in this description, as I try to help you understand. Remember autism is on the rise and it is very likely that you will, if you haven’t already, encounter a person who has autism. Visualize that you and I are in a room together. I can clearly see you and you can clearly see me. I’m on one side of the room and you are on the other. The only thing is that there is thick, soundproof glass that divides us. I have a heavy box that I need help picking up so I ask you if you will help me? You look at me and see my mouth moving–realize that I’m saying something, but do not understand me. So I ask you again, this time with a bit more urgency because this box is getting heavy. Again you see me, but don’t know what I’m doing with that box and can not understand what you are saying to me. At this point I am beyond frustrated because I just dropped the box and stuff went everywhere. I look at you and yell, “Thanks a lot for your help!” At this point you are upset too. You realize something is wrong, you see the look on my face. It is not a happy face. You wonder what you did? I come over to the glass and say, “why didn’t you help me! I needed you!” You are so upset because you can see I’m angry. You begin to hit yourself in the head or stomp your foot because this is causing you a great deal of frustration and anxiety. I watch as you throw yourself to the floor in a big heap. I wonder what in the world is going on? Why did he do that? Why is he acting that way? So I wave my hands to get your attention. You look up and see me waving. You wave back. I get it now. You need my help to understand! I point at you and then I point at the box. I pretend to lift the box. Then I smile. Oh! you say. Finally, you know what I’m talking about. I get it now.

That example is a very basic understanding of what it is to be able to communicate with autism. That is why visuals are so important. The more “concrete” something is the easier it is to see and understand. The cause of autism, understanding it and finding a cure are close to my heart. I’ve had the privilege of working with children who happen to have autism. What a great group of kids. I’ve also had the opportunity to hear stories from parents who love their children dearly, and try their very best, as they struggle, as they cry, as they try to overcome the barriers that autism brings with it.

Death of a Young Star

Yesterday Heath Ledger died. Now, a lot of people don’t know him or haven’t followed his career…but he was a young star in Hollywood. He died at 28. No one currently knows what caused his death, it might have been accidental or not, or maybe a physical problem no one knew about. The point is that he is dead. No matter what, it is sad. It doesn’t matter that he was a star. He’s dead. Death truly is the great equalizer. No one is ever promised tomorrow. None of us. It doesn’t matter how much money he had or how popular he was. He’s gone. I think most of us have a mistaken mindset that “these people” have everything…or at least all this earth has to offer. But when it comes to things like this, is that enough? No. It was heartbreaking to hear his father speak on the news. He had learned of his son’s death on the TV of all places! (His family lives in Australia.) This young man has a 2 year old daughter that will grow up not knowing her father. I guess because I’ve been through the death of a spouse, and a parent these kind of stories get to me. I didn’t know this man, I have no idea what his personal life was like, but I am still touched by this.

As a Christian I have the assurance of life after death. I am secure in what will happen to me at the moment that I cease to take a breath on this earth. My loved ones will know that I am with my Heavenly Father, who I’ve personally known and loved for the majority of my life. Let’s be honest, money CAN buy a lot of happiness and security, but money CANNOT buy this relationship. I didn’t have to be rich to buy a share, I didn’t need to be beautiful to be accepted, nor did I have to network to find my way into this relationship…it was freely given. My Lord already paid the price. That is a difficult concept for a lot of people to understand….after all nothing is FREE. Well, that is true. I never said my salvation was free, I said it was freely given. I didn’t pay the price. Christ did. That, my friend, is a peace that no amount of money in the world could ever buy.

Food For Thought

I’ve been very disturbed lately with all these women who end up missing, only to be found dead later on. Is it only me or does this seem to be happening more frequently? Maybe it’s just more media coverage, I’m not sure. It seems like some of these husbands or boyfriends are sociopaths. They can carry on like nothing is wrong that their wife, girlfriend, or significant other is missing. Very bizarre.  And very scary.The one unfortunate young woman went hiking on New Years Day and was killed by an older man that she shared a conversation with while their dogs romped together on a break. That is creepy. Or the guy who not only murdered a fellow marine, but burned her AND his unborn child. I’m sorry but a person has to have a serious mental break to be able to do that. Then there is the middle eastern man who shot his 2 older teenage daughters at point blank range in the back of his cab because he had suspected that they had started dating. He considered it an “honor killing”. Then he ran. I realize that through the years there has always been violence against women, and the media does bring it more to the forefront now, but still even with that said it does seem to be more prevalent. Why is that, do you think? Yes, there have always been “bad” seeds. Men who were frightening……. BUT… I KNOW that there are good men out there too. The kind of man that wants to protect women and take care of them. Men of character and integrity. I wish the media would show us some of those stories. I think we all need to see them.

Burma Shave

Back in the day there were Burma Shave advertising signs along the side of the road. Some of you have no earthly idea what I am talking about, and some of you, from an older generation, ( I won’t mention any names) know what it is I’m speaking of. Honestly, this was before my time too, BUT I collect tins and while I was downstairs this morning running copies for the kiddos I was admiring my tin collection. I have a Burma Shave tin. It is a reproduction, but it has a nice shaving brush and round soap bar in it. (not used!) So, as you already know my mind wanders. I can be doing one thing, see something else and my mind begins to ponder about that… NO. I’m not ADD. I just like to think about stuff.

I have loved reading the fun jingles for Burma Shave that the advertisers came up with. So in tribute to fun advertising, and nostalgia I’ve come up with some of my own “Burma Shave” jingles. Hope you enjoy, or they at least make you smile today:)

Stay At Home Moms

Work All Day

Putting In Overtime

For No Pay!

Store Coupons

Rebates Galore

One More Trip

To The Walmart Store.

Get Up Early

To Home School Teach

Having Dreams About

A Nice Warm Beach.

A Faithful Husband

Who Loves Her So

He Tells Her Often

So She Will Know.

Life Is Good

And Things Are Great

Now I Must Go

I’m Running Late!

I look just like my Daddy!

I was reading an article online from our local paper this morning. It was a sweet story about a couple that already had 3 children, but felt called to adopt three little boys (ages 3-8) from Ukraine. The boys had been in different orphanages for about a year and missed each other terribly. Even though they speak Russian, one could just look at the picture of those smiling faces to know how happy they were! It was the neatest picture seeing them get off the plane together.

My former pastor and his wife adopted their son from Romania. He was 2 1/2 when they adopted him. The pastor told a story once about how his son would “steal” everyones food and hide it. They didn’t understand until it dawned on them, that with the orphanage he had been in, food was scarce. You ate what you had quickly before anyone else got it. This behavior went on, and pastor wasn’t sure what to do….then an idea occurred to him after seeing his toddler son with a small cake donut. He made a necklace out of some yarn, and looped it through the small donut. He let his son wear it around the house….food was always where he could see it, or eat it, if he so chose. After a couple of weeks of this, the little boy finally understood that his basic need for food would always be met. The “visual” of the donut showed him the “invisible” love and stability that his new parents were giving him.

Some friends of mine adopted two little girls from China. The oldest daughter was 4 when I had her in Junior Kids Church. She was bubbly and full of energy! (a.k.a a chatterbox) Her mom told me the cutest story about her. Her mom and dad had gotten involved with a local group of parents that had adopted Chinese children. They would meet at the park and play etc…. Well, one day one of the other parents came up to the little girl and said, ” Sweetie, aren’t you glad to see and play with other children that look just like you?” To which she innocently replied, ” I look just like my daddy!” How touching is that? (her father is tall with light brown hair and fair skin and her mom is a fair skinned natural blond.) It just goes to show that children many times don’t see the differences, they just see the similarities….and that real love truly can be blind.

Cold and Gray, Winter Day

I’m sitting at the kitchen table looking out the french doors to the cold, gray day outside. Winter is usually an ugly season…unless it has just snowed and there is that soft silence and everything is covered with white. The trees have no leaves, the grass is brown, and the sky looks dull. Well, I see a little green outside, from the evergreens, but that is about it.

I really just don’t understand how some people can say that there is no God. These same trees that I’m looking at now, that appear so dead, will in just a few short months begin to bud. Leaves will uncurl. Flowers will bloom, and the yard will become a sea of green. God sets all of nature in motion each year. Wow.

When we were in Ohio last week I looked out the van window as we were driving down one of the many long, country roads. A vast tapestry of black velvet stretched out before us. I looked up at the glittering stars and was once again reminded that God is in control. I serve a God who wanted there to be stars in the heavens so He just called them into existence. Amazing.

When visiting with my dear friend who just had a baby a few months ago, I was in awe. This sweet child was perfectly formed. He breathed. He swallowed. He digested his milk. His eyes tracked his mommy as she moved around the room. He knew her voice. He was fearfully and wonderfully made. How could anyone believe that there is not a loving Creator?
The same God who creatively made our world, loves us. He made us with a desire for Him. Some people choose to ignore that desire, to shove that in the back of their mind. How sad, to miss the opportunity to know God. His love for us is incredible, actually too much for our finite minds to comprehend. He can take people whose lives look as dead as these winter trees, and make them new. They can have lives they never thought possible, with just a touch from His hand.

I have never understood how some people say, “Being a Christian is just a crutch. You want to believe in something that just doesn’t exist. You have to be strong and stand on your own, because no one else is going to be there for you.” Those words pour out of a hollow heart. A heart that has never been allowed to be moldable by the Potters Hand. How can they believe God doesn’t exist? Doesn’t it make more sense to believe that there is an Intelligent designer rather than believe that everything just came together without a real purpose? Doesn’t it take MORE faith to believe that everything is in such random order, it just happened…. then to believe in a Creator?