Thankful For This Day

Thankful for this day.

It is a gift.

Pink nail polish.

Even, if it is a Monday.

Even, if it is raining.

Even if I’m not at my perfect weight,

I’m having a bad hair day,

or I don’t complete today’s to do list.

It is still good…because God is good. He is good all the time, even when I don’t understand.

A friend’s sister, who recently went to the doctor for a “routine” procedure, was instead told the doctor had found that she had aggressive cancer, and barring a miracle she might not live out the month. Aggressive chemotherapy to try and shrink the mass. Praying for that miracle. My heart aches for her, and her family.


What would I see as a gift, if I knew I only had 30 days left to unwrap those things?

* raindrops on the window pane

* a cold wet, dog nose

* hugs from my children

* kissing my husband

* the softness of my favorite pillow

* the warm glow, and sweet smell of a burning candle

* the smell of a freshly mowed lawn

* warm, just laid, eggs

* emails from friends and family

* a new bottle of pretty pink glitter nail polish

* faces, I’d memorize those faces

* the Word, worn and read….notes taken, passages underlined

* the sweetness of chocolate, peanut butter ice cream…my favorite

* knowing my Heavenly Father in a very real and personal way


A Saturday Afternoon Drive

Got my to do list done early today. I asked my husband if he’d like to go on a Saturday afternoon drive with me? He drove. I took my camera. This is some of what we saw….








Taking a rest in the field.  I am lovin’ the llamas. Yesterday, all the babies met me at the mailbox.  We made eyes at each other across the fence. They are the cutest pieces of fluff, ever. They make me so happy!









I think the horse might have been wondering what we were doing… Just trying to get a picture, buddy.









What you lookin’ at? Is that a smile, I see? Say cheese!









Lots of train tracks, out here, in the country… and I mean lots.









We thought this was an interesting picture. I took the picture while hubby was the lookout. It wouldn’t have been near as nice a picture if we ended up smooshed by a freight train, just sayin’.









I’ve got a thing for barns…and silos. This is no secret…




















































The red, white, and blue flying high, up on top of a granary.












God bless the U.S.A.







1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:




Besties and BFF’s

She just “gets” me

Anytime phone calls and “I got your back”

Secrets and sharing moments

Walking together and running into the future

Road trips to here, there, everywhere and no where in particular

Toasts, and cheers and celebrations

Emails and messages

Sweatpants and no make-up and bad hair days

Tears and fights and “I can’t believe you did that!”

Laughter, lots of laughter and camaraderie

Acting like women, but giggling like girls

Silliness and seriousness all in the same face

Bridesmaids, pregnancy, and the growing up years.

Sharing stories, and gaining confidence

Memories that will forever remain

Distance doesn’t matter, and it is easy to take up where you left off

Copying recipes and finding the perfect flea market

Asking opinions and then saying, “You’re crazy!”

Holding a hand, wiping the tears and mending a heart

Just being there and not saying a word…because you don’t have to…

Sharing a life and baring your soul

This is………being a friend.

Friendship, one of God’s greatest gifts.

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times…


In The Country

Enjoying Springtime in the country……








I love the sky here. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it.








America, the beautiful.
















Dandelions are happy little pieces of sunshine. I can’t hate them, even though they are weeds.








Flowers in the field








Horses grazing in the pasture on an Amish farm. This is a common sight.








Our neighbor… I enjoy looking across the field, at the barns. It says “country” to me.







Ride The Waters Of Time

I’m going to turn forty-five in a few weeks. To some of you that might seem ancient, and to others it is still “young”. Honestly, I’m not sure

Alternative version of image:Wooden hourglass ...

how I feel about it. My husband (who will turn forty-nine this summer) and I were talking about age the other night. I, being the somewhat occasionally morbid person that I am said, “I’m probably more than half way through my life”, to which he replied, “me, too”. Then we were quiet for a few moments, mulling that over, I suppose. Then I said, “When did this happen? I don’t feel like I should be forty-five, on the inside I feel much younger.” He laughed at me. Okay, maybe not AT me….maybe WITH me….but, the truth is, I wasn’t really laughing. I was being serious, well sort of with a smirk. Where in the world did the time go? That became a very real question to me.

I graduated high school in 1986 and college in 1990. The times at school seem almost surreal to me, like it might as well have been a million years ago. So much has happened since then. So much has changed me, so much has aged me. My marriage to my first husband ended when he died in the Fall of 2000. Our wedding, buying our first house, giving birth to our son, those things all wrapped in a time capsule mist. Now, I’m remarried, that first house was sold years ago, and my baby boy will be turning eighteen, only two days after my birthday. Time does not trickle, it gushes. It plunges me under like a roaring white water rapid. I’m left gasping.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy. I’m not miserable, sitting around waiting to die. Nothing like that at all. There is so much good in my life, I have been blessed in so many ways, it would be impossible for me to count them all. I’m living a life that I would never have dreamed of even a decade ago, much less when I was in college, young and single. My Eucharisteo (Give Thanks) board is full, and I am fully aware. Aware of all that is a gift. Life itself is a gift, you know. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by it, both the good and the not so good. I came to the realization a long time ago that my God has a sense of humor, and He enjoys keeping this life of mine, interesting. He told me that He has plans for me, and a great future, and I believe Him. (For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Forty-five. I’m a bit more “fluffy” than I was in my twenties. (Doesn’t that word sound so much better than chubby?) My hair shows a few strands of gray now (that is when I’m desperate to get my roots taken care of). I have a few (yes, only a very few!) wrinkles around my eyes. I have children that I am proud of, a husband that is truly my best friend, a family that loves me, and I have fulfilling work as a special education teacher. I live in the country, surrounded by God’s handiwork, and get to take care of  animals that I love and enjoy.

Yes, that river of time is still breaking hard all around me. There are days when I wish I could just stop and get out, sit on the bank for awhile. Slow down. Capture the moments….because I realize that I will never be this way again. There is no going back, only forward. The current takes me there, to the future in the days ahead. I’m not sure what will be there, or what is around the bend. I guess I’ll just have to ride the waters of time, and wait and see. After all, life is interesting that way…even if one is getting ready to turn forty-five.

Good Morning Sunshine!

It’s Monday. 102_3038

Good hair day, Monday.

Clean clothes ’cause I did the laundry, Monday.

Living room needs dusted, Monday.

I hate dust because it never goes away, Monday.

I’m still on my diet, Monday.

The “I don’t know what in the world we will have for dinner tonight”, Monday.

My chicks keep escaping and pooping on the floor before I realize it, Monday.

The I’ve got a couple more weeks of babysitting the chicks before they go outside, Monday.

My bushes are starting to bud, Monday.

It’s sunny, Monday and springtime, Monday and so in love with my husband, Monday.

I was pondering yesterday…how much I have to do over the next couple of months.

The thoughts of it all, piles up in my brain, weighing heavy.


Life can just we whirlwind crazy sometimes, can’t it?

Sometimes the spin gives me a headache.

Time to get off the merry-go-round…

slow down…

and  just say thank you.


Today I am thankful…really thankful…

* Cool springtime mornings that feel good on my skin102_2683

* Streaming sunshine

* Sparkling dew on the new blades of grass

* Budding bushes that just scream Springtime is here!

* Chirping chicks

* My husband, my best friend, my confidant

* Safety for my children

* The last few weeks until summer break

* Plans to travel

* Stories to hear

* Finishing my grad class

* Getting a good grade

* Learning new things

* God who created all things

* Christ who deserves all my thank you’s

It really is all good, because all good things come from Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17  NIV


The Road Less Traveled









Some days it is about taking the road less traveled….

finding adventure on the back roads.

Not being able to see past the horizon, but knowing there is something good there

just waiting.

We Are Losing Them







An Amish schoolhouse, simple and plain. I pass it often on my way from here to there.

It makes me think of what schoolhouses used to look like. One room, all grades.

Not perfect by any stretch but, having high expectations and a disciplined education.

No core standards, no teaching to the test. No crazy curriculum.

As an educator, I have become jaded by the current education system in this country.

Somewhere the love of learning has been replaced by the passion for political correctness.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic have been lost to regulations, assessments, and red tape.

It makes me sad. It really does.

I still love to teach, and my students bring me much joy.

But, in my opinion the foundation of this monstrosity that we call education is fractured.

There are fatal cracks in the foundation.

Unless something radically changes, and soon, we will lose generations of children.

Children that know everything about global warming, evolution as fact (not theory), how to be “green” and recycle, have read books about Johnny’s two mommies, know how to save the whales, and promote anti-bullying……

But, they struggle in reading, can’t think for themselves and don’t know how to even make change.

A real education should be about teaching children to love learning. Learning for a lifetime.

Learning that makes great people, who go on to do even greater things.

I’m scared. The grip is loosening. The little hands are being pulled away. We are losing them.



Stakeholder Responsibilities

At Gibson Academy, we believe each stakeholder plays a vital role in helping all our students reach their full potential.


Parents/Family Members:

  • Participate in all meetings about their child’s education
  • Be trained in the proper use of the communication system your child will be using
  • Use the same communication systems and interventions at home to allow for consistency across environments


School Administrators:

  • Have a working understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
  • Know what plans are being used with students in the school, assist with implementation as necessary
  • Attend all IEP meetings


Special Education Teachers

  • Understand Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
  • Be responsible for implementation and compliance of child’s Individual Education Plan
  • Work with Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational/Physical Therapists, Behavior Interventionist, Autism Specialist and any other school staff to insure student’s program is being met under both state and federal law
  • Maintain open communication with parents about their child’s progress


General Education Teachers

  • Read and have a working understanding of student’s IEP, including accomodations/modifications to be used in classroom, communication system, reinforcers, and consequences of behaviors.
  • Implement any accomodations/modifications in classroom per IEP
  • Consistently use current communication system for student
  • Collaborate with special education staff



  • Assist both special education and general education teachers in implementing IEP’s
  • Be trained in proper use of communication systems, reinforcment, and consequences for behaviors
  • Have at least a basic knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders


Speech and Language Pathologists

  • Be responsible for speech and language services for students
  • Ensure compliance with hours and services listed on the IEP
  • Works with both special education and general education teachers to implement speech and language goals on the IEP
  • Assists those that work with the student, in correctly using the communication system


Occupational Therapists

  • Be responsible for implementing occupational goals as stated in the IEP
  • Assist in obtaining materials that can be used in the classroom setting to further occupational goals
  • Assist in obtaining materials and objects that can be used for sensory activities


Behavior Intervention Specialist

  • Participate in IEP/FBA/BIP team meetings as needed
  • Assist in any necessary planning to improve student’s behavior
  • Assist school staff with implementation of Behavior Intervention Plans


Autism Specialist

  • Assist school in screening for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Participate in IEP meetings
  • Assist staff in understanding ASD and help provide interventions and strategies that allow for student’s success

Characteristics of Potential Candidates

Glennen, S.L., (1996). Handbook of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. pp.59-69. Singular.

Chapter three in this book discusses both augmentative and alternative forms of communication, and the various people that might find these types of communication beneficial.

Hanline, M.F., Nunes, D., Worthy, M.B., (2007). Augmentative and Alternative Communication in The Early Childhood Years. National Association for the Education of Young Children. website:

This was an informative article. The article talks about various AAC devices, developing AAC systems for students. and integrating them into the classroom setting.

McAfoose, L.R., DynaVox Systems LLC., (2004). Using AAC Device Features to Enhance Teenager’s Quality of Life. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 1, 33-41.

This was an interesting article on the use of AAC devices with a 17 year old girl. The article talked about the device she used to communicate, and how it is important to be able to use devices, not only at school, but at home.

Smith J., (2012, March 15).Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices. Speech Buddies Blog. website:

The author discusses some of the various AAC devices available, and how to select the right device. She mentions that using an AAC device does not mean one is “giving up” on speech. The devices complement speech/language therapy.