Thursday, October 13, 2011

We Are Still Here

So it has been a little while since I have last posted. I'm a slacker what can I say. Things have been going really good for our family. All of the children have adjusted really well to church and school. Mason received student of the month his first month. Michelle earned a lunch with the Principal. Both Mason and Saige have started transitioning into a mainstream classroom. ALL children happily go to their classes on Sunday. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for things to go any more smoothly than they have. As far as the progress on the house goes that is moving along too. In fact we are set to close on the 15th of next month. We are so excited and can hardly believe that it's almost time. There will be a lot of changes once we move as far as decor goes and also living arrangements. The boys will be sharing a room as well as the girls. I don't think that they will mind, especially since they really don't spend all that much time in their rooms. I think that we will not see them for a while when we move as they will have so much space to play and have their toys back!  

Speaking of toys today I ordered a few products that will hopefully help little Miss Saige with her oral fixations as well as help with positive reinforcement for all of the children.  The first thing I ordered for her was a chew butterfly that I can make into a necklace for her.  You see she is constantly chewing on things and/or having her hands, hair, clothes, or whatever in her mouth.  This chew as well as the triangle shaped one should help her with this.  

Next up I ordered this awesome chips system for the children.  Each tube can hold up to 35 chips and on the outside of them you can set a goal for the child so that they have a visual for them to achieve.  I can't wait to hand out chips for helping, using manners, making good choices, etc.  I am really hoping that this system works!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Sensory Room

We will have a room in our new house that we are thinking of dedicating to a sensory room for the children, especially Mason and Saige.  With Mason, we have a good idea of various types of equipment that would work well for him.  With Saige we have no idea.  Perhaps once she starts therapy services we can figure some things out.  Here are some things that I have found so far that I think might work!  First up a tent of some type that way they can have some sort of confinement in as well as bring in a flashlight, books, blanket, etc.  

Next up is some type of swing.  I'm not sure that this one will work because I want him to be able to sit on it and lay on it.  He utilizes this a lot in therapy.  He will have to lay on his tummy and use his muscles to "go fishing" for toys.  Not sure that this particular swing would provide all that he needs.
This next chair I think is cool.  Not only can he go inside it and fold down the canopy but it also swivels.  All of the children love to be pushed around on a desk type chair.
This little trampoline wannabe looks fun and has great reviews.  

I also want to make a stretchy blanket and need to make a weighted blanket.  Also a ball pit will be in the works as both Saige and Mason really benefit from these.  Thinking of doing a little reading corner as well.  I've seen a lot of sensory rooms with lava lamps...that could be relaxing and calming too.  There are so many options.  I know that it probably sounds crazy to be putting all of this into a house, but we really want to create a space that can be utilized by them to help them calm down and hopefully one day they will just go in there on their own and realize that these things help them to calm and regain control of their bodies.  Not to mention that we are looking to find therapy offices that will be closer to our new home and 95% of the OT's are home based.  I really don't want to do home-based because I know that Mason uses the larger equipment that is found in a clinical setting.  This may help in bridging that gap too.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Homeschool Curriculum for Sale

I am selling the following:
* Saxon Math Homeschool Manipulatives Kit (retails for $64 will sell for $30)
* Nancy Larson Science Kit 1 (retails for $225 will sell for $100)
* Math U See Primer Instructional Manual and DVD (retails for $30 will sell for $15)
* Math U See Manipulative Block Set (retails for $35 will sell for $20) {I have 2 sets of these.}

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Time to Spill the Beans...

Well I figured that now was just as good as any to share some really big news! We are moving. Surprised? Probably not. Anyhow, here's the scoop. Mason and Saige have both been diagnosed with Autism and quite frankly what the school district out here where we live just was not going to cut it for us. Mason was going to be placed in a self-contained classroom with MR children and we felt like he really wouldn't be academically challenged, and therefore would become bored and get into trouble. Miss Saige, who mind you didn't speak to her teacher at all her first year of preschool, was going to be placed in a mainstream classroom and pulled out for speech therapy. Um, you are going to put a child that hasn't said two words to a teacher in two years in a classroom of 23+ children with 1 teacher and you expect her to be fine. Good luck with that! Anyhow, to say that we were not enthusiastic about these two "solutions" would be an understatement. So we got looking into what we could do. I know that these children are bright and can be taught anything. However, I also know that I cannot even come close to providing them with the social aspect that they would be receiving at a school. So we were determined to get them into the very best program possible. My sister in law works over in the Litchfield Elementary School District and has had nothing but good things to say. So, we checked into it and they have a wonderful program. Just as important to me is how enthusiastic and genuine the vice president of special education was. I was really impressed with her. Her excitement for the programs they offer and for the progress the students have made was undeniable. Now the problem was how to get them in. We tried a variance but no luck there. We found a home that we were going to rent for a year and thought we were good....until we found out that we can qualify for another home right now. There was a home that we had in mind and now that we were pre-qualified we jumped on it. So, we signed papers this past week and the home should be ready in about 4-5 months. This home has just about everything that was important to us. Large lot (1/3 of an acre), enough room for our family (4 bedrooms), had to be a single level, beautiful kitchen, and I am so stoked that my car will fit in the garage! It's the simple things in life! :) So there you go. Probably too much for one post but hey that's my life! :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spread the Word

We are selling our new toy! If you or someone you know is interested please share this link or contact us! Thank you!

Pictures / Details

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Saige Michael

Little Miss Saige also received the diagnosis of Autism today. Lonnie and I suspected this, but nonetheless, it is hard to hear it. So, now what? She has many problems socially, like Mason, but completely opposite of him. Mason is very energized and has a lot of behaviors. Saige is very mellow and often times is "in her own world". She does not communicate with others often. So Lonnie and I are really confused as what to do. I know that I can teach her anything, as academics is not the issue right now. However, I also know that I cannot provide a classroom setting like she would receive in a school setting if she were to be home schooled. Frankly, I am scared to death to put her in a mainstream classroom for many reasons. I'm afraid she will be the invisible child in the corner, who doesn't get noticed or helped because she is not a bother to anyone. I have issues with what children are being taught in schools. I worry about her being picked on because of her social issues. I fear that perhaps her depression will become greater. Why? Why must she go through this? Why must she have this? Will she ever be able to function "normally" and get along okay in society? I guess these are all questions that we will eventually find the answers to. But for now it is difficult. We don't want to make the wrong choice for her or others in our family. Through it all we are so grateful for the outpouring of love and support for our children and family from so many! We are truly blessed! :()

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Wish

I could do this and it be acceptable! :)  Happy Monday!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Got Water?

The children are fascinated with water.  Of course, we would all love a pool...but that just isn't happening around here.  So, we turned on the sprinklers and I think they all had fun!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So Excited!

So Miss Michelle's birthday is still a few months away, but today we purchased her gift! Shh. She doesn't know but she will have so much fun! So what is this gift you ask? The beautiful young lady below has something to do with it. Yep! Her concert!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Few Picks

A couple of months ago we noticed something growing in one of the planter beds in our backyard.  Lonnie and I asked the children about it and if any of them happened to know who planted something and if so what it was.  Michelle asked if whoever did it was going to be in trouble.  We assured her that no one was going to be in trouble we just were curious.  She then proceeded to tell us that she planted carrot seeds.  Oh really.  And boy did she.  There are even carrots growing in the grass just outside of the planter.  Obviously she wasn't too careful with planting the seeds.  Anyhow, I went to pick some of them today and this is what we found! They are huge!  The ones on the left I just bought at the store.  Interesting comparison.  We also have planted many more things such as strawberries, red and green peppers, tomatoes, grapes, cucumber, corn, lettuce, squash, green onion, and more (I just can't remember)!  This is our first garden and it sure has been fun for everyone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book of Mormon Reading Chart

Miss Michelle will be turning 8 in about a year and a half.  I know that that may seem far away for some, but holy cow that came fast!  One thing that I have wanted for my children is to read the Book of Mormon before they are baptized.  Obviously, she cannot "read" the book on her own yet but she can repeat what I say! :)  So that's what we are doing.  I am hoping to read a chapter a day with her.  I started early because I'm sure, no matter how good my intentions are, that there will be days that we will miss.  I am kind of sad when I think about the fact that I have started this with my oldest child.  They grow up way too fast.  Please feel free to download this Book of Mormon Reading Chart for your own use!  If for some reason you can't or if you would prefer me to e-mail it to you just leave me your e-mail address.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ever Wondered

In case you've ever wondered what the meanings are behind the autism symbol here you go!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today We Are Grateful

It is no secret that we have difficult children and things can be very challenging around our home. Mr. Mason, in particular, has a very difficult time with things that are very basic. He has been a handful and requires constant supervision. We have seen many specialists and today we finally received his diagnosis. It does not come a surprise to us, as we have felt like this is what he had through our research and readings. He previously had been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of two. Today, however, he was given the diagnosis of Autism. Although we knew that there was just something different about him and had suspected this disorder, it is still a difficult diagnosis to swallow. It is hard to see the struggles that he goes through on a daily basis and to know that there is nothing we can do to help him is just plain awful. We are so grateful to have this very special young man in our lives. He has blessed so many at such a young age. I hope and pray that he will continue to grow and recognize the things that his body is trying to tell him so that he can learn to control himself and his urges. So, if you happen to meet or know someone who has autism here are my thoughts on these special individuals.

A mazing
U nique
T rusting
I ntelligent
S incere
M isunderstood

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chore Charts

I have been looking forever for a good chore chart....AKA one that will work for us.  With two children now able to read, but one of them still needing picture cues for a lot of things I didn't want to have to recreate one every so often.  So with a lot of time spent I am so glad to say that they are done! (Except for Gage's.)  Here's how they work.  Each child has two sets of cards that are different colors.  This one is Michelle's and the chores that are to be done daily are yellow and then she can do extra chores (the ones that are pink) to earn money.  We are also trying to teach the children about tithing and figured that they would need some sort of income so now seemed like the perfect time to implement this.  :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Time to go ShOrT!

My hair is getting way too long for me.  It is constantly up in a clip and even with that I am starting to get more headaches.  I think it's time to cut it off!  This is kind of scary for me as this is the longest I have ever had my hair EVER!  Oh, well.  It does grow back.  So here are some that I've found that I think are adorable.  I love the middle one and the last one.  Any thoughts? 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another Confession...

To say that I am not familiar with where the books are located in the scriptures is an understatement. As you may know, this year in Gospel Doctrine we are studying the New Testament. For the first time ever I am taking the time to go through the lessons and read through them and the correlating scriptures prior to class. In fact I am on lesson 14, which is totally off the subject. Anyhow, reading through these lessons has really been great for me. It has helped me to focus on studying certain topics and not just reading the scriptures straight through...not that there is anything wrong with that. Also, as an added bonus, I can take as much time as I need to find the book and not feel stupid in class as everyone around me can open right up to it in no time. I know that this is silly and that no one even notices that if I don't know where the book is I will just kind of stare into space. Stupid I know but it's true!

I thought that perhaps I would share a scripture that really stood out to me tonight in my reading. In the special session of conference that was help recently for the people of Arizona, I found great comfort in something that was said. I do not remember it word for word but basically it was stated that the Lord gives plenty of warning, through the prophets, before anything happens. In this world we are living in I needed to hear this. In Amos 3:7 it reads: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." If you follow the footnote for a it translates the word "but" into "until". I love how the servants of the Lord can say things so plainly and simply and that this Gospel is so plain and simple! It is absolutely astonishing to me how much is given in the scriptures right there for anyone and everyone to read for themselves!

One more awesome scripture that I will share is found in Alma 5:46. This explains what feeling and/or having personal revelation feels like..."Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me". Seriously, could you have said it any better yourself? I know I couldn't!

So, I guess the moral of this post is if you ever happen to be lucky enough to sit by me in Gospel Doctrine I promise I won't embarrass you! :) and THE CHURCH IS TRUE and how LUCKY we are to have it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints my entire life. I have heard numerous testimonies born wherein people have prayed for something specific and then opened their scriptures randomly to find an answer to their prayer. I have never had that happen to me...that is until just now. I had been reading my scriptures and following along with the member study guide and just wrapped up with a prayer. I specifically prayed that I may continue to learn of my Savior's role in my life specifically and also as it pertains to my salvation. I prayed that I may have a greater understanding of Him and that my gratitude for Him may increase. I then randomly opened my scriptures to a verse that I had previously highlighted in Moroni Chapter 9 Verse 25. It reads :"My, son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee...but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever." I am amazed at the love that my Father in Heaven has for ME. I am merely one person and yet without fail I can constantly feel of His love. I love the Gospel with all of my heart. Saying that I am grateful to be a member of the church and to have the knowledge that I have doesn't seem adequate. I am grateful for my Savior and I look forward to gaining a better personal relationship with Him.