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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: A Great Friend

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: A Great Friend: This lizard captured Daniel's attention more than any animal in the zoo.
Sometimes it just hits me, Daniel is SO different! But he ...

A Great Friend

This lizard captured Daniel's attention more than any animal in the zoo.

Sometimes it just hits me, Daniel is SO different!  But he tries so hard to fit in.  The problem is that other people and various types of work just not interesting. And when he isn't interested he "self-stimulates", or my preferred word "Soothes."

Stress or Boredom causes some really unusual behaviors. It started with spinning, then flapping.  He flapped for a long time.  Then he started clearing his throat.  We got more negative attention for that, as parents.  Everyone always thought he was sick.  Nope, it made him feel better.  Now, the new thing is a facial twitch. Kind of like he is winking.  It is less obvious than flapping and spinning, but still....I fear that he will be slapped for winking while some pretty girl is near.  He wouldn't be winking at her, just as she happens to walk by.

So we are working on a list. He and I are working on a list of the qualities that other people want in a friend so that interacting with people is less stressful.  The less stress, the less "soothing".  I am putting the list here.  Feel free to contribute ideas.  Some of this may sound ridiculous, but we have to be very upfront, honest, and thorough.

Qualities a Friend Wants
1. Smart, but not a show off
2. Well and appropriately dressed for specific occasions (don't wear a suit to play outside)
3. Smell and look clean
4. Care for others thoughts and feelings
5. Kind
6.  Lets other people talk
7. Listens
8. Stays on subject
9. Doesn't interrupt (even if what I have to say is more interesting)
10. Good manners

Any more advice????  Remember if it doesn't make it on the list, then it isn't a "friend quality".  We don't assume that it will just come with practice.  A mental (some times actual) note has to be made.

Isn't he WONDERFUL!  He wants to be a good friend.  And he has the kind and good manners down.  He is very proud of his manners.  Sometimes when he is holding a door, I have to make him stop.  He will stand there forever, because "people keep coming and I need to be polite."


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: Homemade taco shell

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: Homemade taco shell: Yesterday was rough! I went to the store with the kids, and they were wilder than normal. Mac tripped over a woman and apologized for her ...

Homemade taco shell

Yesterday was rough!  I went to the store with the kids, and they were wilder than normal.  Mac tripped over a woman and apologized for her "big feet".  Gabriel was clingy and wanted to be held. Then I pulled a muscle (or stressed it or something) carrying him around.  Thankfully, Wayne came home early and let me lay down after taking some meds.  All that to say, I didn't get around to making my tortillas yesterday, but I did this morning!!!!

2 1/2 cups of flour (you can use whole wheat)
1/2 cup of oil
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of water (warmed in the microwave for 1 minute)

Mix in a mixer with the dough hook for about 3 minutes
Turn out on a floured surface and roll into a log.

Slice with a pizza cutter

Roll with a rolling pin

Cook for about one minute on both sides in a
pan sprayed with nonstick.

Viola!! Pretty good.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: Canning Tomato sauce

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: Canning Tomato sauce: So some little people around here think that tomatoes are "yuck", "eww", "that's just nasty", and so forth. And that was just today. But ...

Canning Tomato sauce

So some little people around here think that tomatoes are "yuck", "eww", "that's just nasty", and so forth.  And that was just today.  But when I make spaghetti, chili, lasagna, or any number of other things, they are willing to "suffer" it down.  And they at least make me think that they like it.

So today's project "Canning tomato sauce" sounds ridiculous, because I am actually putting it in jars.  But I don't get to decide what things are called, so here it goes.....

A whole bunch of tomatoes diced (some people remove skin and seeds, I don't)
Enough Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a stock pot
some seasoning (yes, it's technical....I used salt and oregano..and a tsp of sugar to reduced acidity)

Boil until it is reduced to a liquid.  And while it is still hot put in in the jar.

If you put it in while still hot, it will seal itself.
This is 1/2 of the little ones that have decided that tomatoes are yuck.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: Real Food-Crepes

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: Real Food-Crepes: Crepes 1 cup ap flour 1/4 tsp salt Mix Add 2 eggs 1/2 cup of milk 1/2 cup of water mix Cook in a hot, lightly greased (or nonstick)...

Real Food-Crepes

1 cup ap flour
1/4 tsp salt
Add 2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water

Cook in a hot, lightly greased (or nonstick) frying pan about 2 minutes each side
Batter:Pour a little less than 1/2 cup into the pan

Mac and Daniel had eggs.  Hannah and Gabe had Blueberry filling

2/3 cup of sugar
4 tbsp of cornstarch
1/4 cup of water
dash of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
bring to a light boil
Add about 1 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries
Cook until it has thickened
Blueberry filling

Sorry.  My picture didn't turn out and the kids ate it before I realized.

And I am very excited to say that my children have been eating wonderfully since I have started to remove processed food.  No vegetable or fruit arguments.  For snacks there is yogurt and fresh fruits.  This weekend I made sloppy joes with a homemade tomato sauce.  Which is (surprising to me) just a diced tomato cooked down with a little olive oil and seasoning.  And it was awesome!  After the kids ate it, I told them that I cooked a tomato in it...They just said, "oh, well."  ;)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: Real Food-Beef Wellington

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: Real Food-Beef Wellington: What a day!!! I decided yesterday that I wanted to make Beef Wellington. But guess what....When making a puff pastry from scratch it reall...

Real Food-Beef Wellington

What a day!!!  I decided yesterday that I wanted to make Beef Wellington.  But guess what....When making a puff pastry from scratch it really needs to be done the day before, so the Wellington got pushed off a day.  It was SO worth it!!

Puff Pastry Recipe  (this is the quick recipe, but it still takes hours.  Or you can buy one at the grocery store)
Roast cut into about 2x2 strips (estimate)
Fresh Mushrooms diced fine
Mustard (yep, the yellow kind)
Egg wash (eggs beat so you can use it like a paint)

                                                 Puff Pastry (even though I used only 3/4 of the butter it called for)
Next day, brown roast, paint with mustard, wrap with prosciutto, and let rest in the fridge.
Meanwhile, heat diced mushrooms in the pan to allow all the water from the mushrooms to come out.
Then, roll out dough, add mushrooms, then beef.

Brush the egg wash around the side and wrap.
                                               Note the size of the beef and the egg wash
                                             Here it is rolled
                                         Then brush with egg wash and make small cuts

Cook on 425 for about 40 minutes
Super yummy!!!  Even the kids ate it without complaining.
I added spinach salad and strawberries to make the meal complete.  And if you ask my mom or sisters, a meal isn't complete unless the plate is colorful.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: My new thing...

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: My new thing...: "So I may be slightly ADD. (There is no H for ADHD in my body.) I am always doing, reading, learning, or trying different things. This we..."

My new thing...

So I may be slightly ADD.  (There is no H for ADHD in my body.)  I am always doing, reading, learning, or trying different things.

This weekend, I decided to make it through the week without restaurants with the exception of Sunday morning when we all eat breakfast before church.  We started Friday.  That may not have been the best day to start.  The weekends are times when I try to relax.  Not to mention it is a week until payday, so almost all of the grocery money is spent.  But I figured that this would be great for the family!  When I was a child we didn't eat out much, and when we did it was at Street's in good ole

(Note: I downloaded that picture so it isn't my fault that "Bay Minette" is cut off.)  So of course Friday was pizza night, Saturday was chicken gorditas, Sunday was tacos, and tonight will be taco casserole because I have left over taco meat.  This is the last week for free lunches at the school cafeteria for the kids, so I won't be making those meals.  I am totally loving the free summer lunch program!  The kids don't eat all the food, but they are exposed to foods that I wouldn't necessarily cook.  For example, pinto beans (eww) isn't something that I would just heat and feed to my kids, but Gabe didn't mind them too much.

All this to say, just because we can eat out doesn't mean we should.  So am taking this week and giving food a shot without the restaurants.  I know that this seems really ridiculous.  Some people can't eat out ever, and here I am trying to get through the week without it.  I don't want my kids to feel like they grew up on McDonald's or Chick-fil-a.  I want them to have the same dinner experience that I had.  A table with food and fellowship.  Shame on me for letting it get to this point.  I want to get to the point that eating out is very rare.  But on Sunday mornings, you can find us enjoying down time before the Sunday morning rush starts.

This is where I will be spending lots more time.

Luckily, I am pretty good at making these.
And as I finish this, one of my babies walked up and asked if we could eat out tonight.  Me, "Nope, get use to it."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: "Switched at Birth" Reaction

Appreciate the Small Stuff!: "Switched at Birth" Reaction: "I just watched the 3rd episode of 'Switched at Birth'. The first 2 episodes aren't available yet. Brief History- Two baby girls are switch..."

"Switched at Birth" Reaction

I just watched the 3rd episode of "Switched at Birth". The first 2 episodes aren't available yet.

Brief History- Two baby girls are switched in the hospital.  Many years later, they introduce the girls to their real parents, and one set finds out their real daughter is Deaf.  And the two families are complete opposites and trying to learn to live together.

My older sister asked for my reaction.  I am not sure what to say.  There are so many levels of emotion, even in the one episode.

I had some "Hey, that's cool"  moments.  Especially when I watched the section when Daphne (Deaf) was in her room.  The poster on the wall......Yea, I've seen that movie.
And just so you know, the interpreters in the video chat rooms, don't tell you what to say and not say.  They only interpret.  Although, I do find it funny that the interpreter was telling the guy that what he was saying, you aren't suppose to say to a girl.  That though, was more for hearing people. Also, Marlee Matlin is AwEsOmE in what ever she appears in.

On an emotional level, I found sections frustrating.  Mostly because no one would give Bay (Hearing) any information on her father.  Just that the entire situation was painful and that he had no interest in being a dad.  All the parents go out of their way to connect with Daphne, but when Bay wants information (reasonable information) she is shut down.  Things are hard enough already, and now the small amount of information that she wants is denied.  Bay's lost in her emotion. She was always different and now she has to compete for attention with the people that raised her. AND her biological mother is shutting her out while giving everyone grief about not being more honest.

As a mom of a Hard of Hearing child, I find the show encouraging.  They are introducing Deafness as a culture....which it is.  And they are trying to educate people on that culture. (As an aside, I hope that they don't go as Liberal on t.v. Where is would be accurate, I don't think that it would go over well.)  I don't think that they thought through the script very well.  They have lots of expressions that a Deaf person, who attends a Deaf school, wouldn't understand.  And since the actress was diagnosed recently with a hearing loss, she doesn't know that they are using phrases that she wouldn't understand if she had been born Deaf. Daphne's friend I think will be my favorite.  He is the most genuine Deaf character.  He seemed to display the confidence in who he is and in his world that is so integral to that people group.  Mac is the same way.  He is so proud and upfront about who he is.  It's the "this is me and I am not going to change myself for you" mentality.  

Like I said, I haven't seen the 1st two episodes.  I am hoping that they went though some of the emotions that a parent goes through when you find out your child can't hear.  The sense of loss and helplessness.  The overwhelming emotion of not knowing what to do or where to go.  The steps of grief and confusion to the realization (most of the time) you feel blessed to have such an exceptional little being in your family.  Sometimes I wish I could fix it, but those are rare. ( And I think that I had an easier time than most parent since I was not alone.  I have/had my parents and sisters to help me through it.)  I know that is a lot of emotion to show in 2 shows, but they all come so fast.  Like in waves, rolling over and over your being. 

There is so much that they can do with this.  I am interested with which directions they choose to take.
Right now, I guess I would classify this show with a "hmmmm" while rubbing my chin and pondering.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Past Kid Quotes

Below are things the kids have said over the past 6 months.  I copied and pasted from my facebook page, so they may be things you have read before.  AND BEWARE....There are a lot of quotes.

Gabriel, "I'm all dressed. Now, we can go to Eric Estrada's house."
Daniel, "Gabe, don't bite my butt."
Hannah had a serious blond moment. She is convinced that she hasn't grown since she turned four, because she can still touch the top of her head.
Daniel, "Gabe, stop throwing toys!!" Gabe, "I'm not Gabe. I'm He-man. And I have the power of Castle Grayskull!"
Gabriel just came in the room...naked....and screamed "Naked Power." Then started attacking his brothers with a sword.
Daniel, "Gabe, don't call me 'Stupidhead' or 'Dumbnuts'."
Gabe, "Hannah, please give me my car book now because I said so."
Daniel, "Mom, I just realized something. Fat cells and muscle cells are like balloons. Depending on how much you eat or exercise they get big and small like a balloon with air."
HANNAH: Our story at VBS was about a missionary who owned a dog that was a Christian. GRAMMA: Hannah, dogs cannot be Christians. HANNAH: But, Gramma, the Bible says "All things are possible with God!" GRAMMA: Cool! A Christian dog!!
Gabe shakes his Spite and sprays his babysitter. After I "inform" him of how the behavior is unacceptable, he says, "but it sure is fun!"
Daniel, "Mixed vegetables? What did I do?" (In all fairness, we threaten them with mixed vegetables occasionally when they don't behave.)
Another thing for the list of things you never thought you'd say, "Gabe, don't take your clothes off in the middle of the store!"
Hannah gave me a 20 minute explanation of Lucy, the cricket's, family tree. Apparently many of her relatives have moved to the far reaches of the world. I was happy to find out, though, that she her family has adopted an African mosquito and an Asian stink beetle. Multicultural experience for sure!!
Gabriel found a dead bug in the living room. Then he used an ENTIRE roll of toilet paper trying to pick it up. I had toilet paper from one end of the room to the other. And of course he was wearing a dinosaur mask at the time.
Mac-"I never want M&M's again!" Daniel-"And a collective gasp fills the room."
Went to the gas station this morning to get gas for the lawn mower. While I was there, I picked up some donuts. Gabriel said, "No sprinkles? They broke, Mom." and then he cried.
Mac, "Instead of cleaning my room, let's just pretend I did."
Mac, "I threw up, Mom." Me, "Why? Are you feeling sick?" Mac, "No, I swallowed toothpaste." Me, "It isn't time to brush your teeth. Why were you brushing your teeth?" Mac, "I didn't brush my teeth. I ate the toothpaste." Me, "Why did you do that?" Mac, "Because the soap I ate tasted awful! I needed something else to eat."
Mac came in with a bloody nose. When Wayne asked him what happened Mac said, "I hit it." Wayne, "On what?" Mac, "Gabe's head."
Me-"Daniel, I told you to get dressed." Daniel, "I did." Me-"You forgot your shirt."
I have too much to do. Daniel says, "Why do any of it? Let's just go swim."
Gabe, "Big boys don't share. They are scary warriors!"
Is Very upset with Sun Herald newspaper!!!!!!!!!! Hannah says, "They are stinkwaffers."
Gabe brings me his plate with the rest of the food that he didn't eat and says, "Here, Mom, put these back with their family. I'm finished eating."
Gabriel loves to sing "Blue Danube" in the pool. And of course, he has to splash as he sings.
Gabe had his first dentist appointment. It went really well. He said, "I holded Mr. Thirsty and got a spider to scary you." Mr. Thirsty is the vacuum thingy. Daniel says, "Hey, you can say it sucks! Hahahaha"
Mac, "I am pretty good at stuff like climbing the wall."
Mac, "Mom, I almost bit my chin off. But I didn't. See???"
Daniel, "I;m going to name my son Daniel Wayne Francis, IV because I already know how to spell it."
Me to Gabe, "who are you?" Gabe, "Well, I'm not the professor."
Mac, "How far did you run, Mom?" Me, "Only 3 miles today." Mac, "Wow, did you go to Mexico?"
Had a conversation with Gabe a while ago. (He napped until 6 so he is up late.) It went something like this. "The honk that whale and the baby toilets had to go to the jewy fish."=the humpback whale and the baby tortoise had to go to the jelly fish.
Me, "I ran 4 miles today." Daniel, "Why?"
Mac, "Don't miss Daddy this morning. Here I'll help. *makes gas noise*"
Gabe noticed how sweaty I was after my run and said, "Mom! You peed on your shirt!"
‎"So a pun is just a homophone used in a funny way? That's awesome."-Daniel
After traveling a newly asphalted road, Daniel asked, "What is THAT smell?" Hannah answer, "Uranus."
Mac, "Mom, everyone thinks that I am the cutest boy on the whole Earth, Poppy says so."
Mac palmed a folded up wad of $20's to his Karate instructor and said, "I really want to pass my test."
Mac, "Why in the world did God make so many girls? I need more boys to play with!"
Mac, "I love macaroni and cheese, because it has my name."
Hannah has named a toy "Miss Periwinkle von Yum-Yum". What a creative bunch I have!
Mac, "Mom, I weigh 46.5 plus taxes." My poor child! What are we doing to this generation?
Daniel was excited to have his own bed room, until I told him to go clean it up. Then he said, "Mom, that's not fair! They trashed the room before you moved them out." Mac laughed at him.
The birthday boy with his favorite animal, "baby jaguar." He thought "Baby Jaguar" was "stinky".
Gabe got his birthday cards in the mail. And one of the great grandmothers send them $1 for every year. Hannah and Mac were all excited that Gabe got money. Gabe said, "I don't want money! I want some lunch.
Mac, "Did you hear me fart? Then why aren't you laughing?"
Wayne has a kidney infection. I told Mac that the doctor was going to give his daddy a shot in the rear. Mac said, "Will he leak out of his butt?"
Gabe last night at bed time, "Mommy, you not sleep. You sleep on Sunday." Apparently that is my only day of rest too.
Mac ran into the street. I told him that he would get hit by a car doing that. He said, "Then I will die. Go to heaven. And God would say, 'Mmmm, Mmmm, look what you did to your momma!'"
At Chick-fil-a, Gabe decided that he wanted to go to the bathroom by himself. He came out naked.....What a start to my day!!! :)
Mac, "I don't like that gum. It makes me blond."
Me, "Gabe, where's your shoes?" Gabe, "If they were up my but,t I'd know."
Yesterday, Mac tried riding his skateboard down the stairs. I have a feeling we may be in the e.r. real soon
Hannah, "Mac, stop being obnoxious." Me, "do you know what that means?" Hannah, "It means Mac is a pain in the rear end."
Gabe, "Come inside bug! I killed your friend."
Gotta good laugh at Gabe today, he wiped his rear and then his nose.
I made hot wings for lunch. Mac said, "That smells ferocious!"
Gabe is running around the house with his pull-up around his ankles and laughing while Daniel is chasing him with a broom
Daniel to Gabe, "What's 2+2?" Gabe, "My big toe."
Daniel had to read a paragraph about a grandmother and grandson cooking rice together. Then the directions said for him to visualize the interaction between them and write a sentence. He wrote that he visualized them making cookies, because he doesn't like rice.
Hannah, "Chuck Norris once had a fight with Superman. The loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants."
Mac walked past the room where the offering team meets to pray before church. He asked, "Is that where all the men go to get belts before church?" Me, "Of course." Mac, "Do they have one for me? Because mine is too big?"
Me, "Mac, did you have a good night at Karate Kid's Night?" Mac, "No, something really bad happened." Me, "What???" Mac, "There was a big jumpy spider and I screamed like a girl."
So Stanley Steamer was suppose to come this morning and clean the carpets sometime between 8 and 12 (4 hours..I know). Well at 12 they called to say that they weren't going to make it in the time allotted (Ya Think!) Anyway, Hannah said, "I think their business model is broken." Just is only 7! She cracks me up!
The sentence was "Has Ann a hat?" Mac reads, "Has Ann a hat mystery."
Mac,"Rule 1000 of the quiet game-Never, ever get blown up. Rule 1000000-Never, ever do anything stupid that you're not suppose to do."
Daniel, "giraffe's use their tongues to pick their nose." Hannah, "They learn it from their dad's."
Gabe in his sleep, "No, no! I can't wipe my butt!"
From the back seat of the van- Hannah to Daniel, "Stop being so astute!" They both crack up laughing because the pun was intended.
Played Apples to Apples with friends and the kids. Word- "Friendly" Hannah's card-"Geisha". I laughed until I cried.
We went to the battlefield in Vicksburg. There were many monuments for the different states that had soldiers fighting. We drove through looking at the normal looking monuments. Then we came to Alabama's monument. It was a well shaped woman holding a flag encouraging the soldiers around her to fight. Daniel saw her and said, "WOW! Alabama likes their women!"
Gabe, "Daddy's not at work. He's in the big house."
Mac, "I don't want to fight Daniel on the Wii game! It's rude....And he always wins."
Gabe's reason for not doing anything, "I can't! I hurt my foot.”
Daniel, "I'm not being sarcastic, I am being sardonic." Only my kids know the difference.
Just walked in to see Gabe trying to teach the dog to sign "more"
Gabe, "Captain Huggy Face, show us pensive." 
Gabe,"Mommy, have some fudge." Me, "I can't." Gabe, "Why? Are you hurt?"
Gabe, "I can't go get my car, Mom. I will miss you to much."
Mac, "I wish I would fly when I farted."
Mac and I discussed noise pollution. His question, "Does farting count?" And your answer would be?
Gabe, "No, I not a boy. I'm a horse. Giddy up me."
Hannah, "I am going to grow up and get a scholarship to college. Go and meet a nerd that loves Jesus. We will finish college, get married, be happy, and get rich."
Mac, "Mom, God made poop just so I have a funny word I like to say."
Daniel, "Today, I am going to make up my own idioms."
I hesitate to put this up, but it was too funny. Daniel about some mythological creature, "it's a shaper sh**er." We laugh and he says, "What? I didn't say sh**, I said shift."
Mac, "I need to go to the bathroom, but not for a spanking."
Gabe accidentally turned on the tv, and it turned up loud. He screamed and ran, "Mommy, I scary! I scary!" Me-"Why?" Gabe, "because I said so."
Mac....What do I do.......He cut his hand and said, "but don't worry! I'm not dead." I said, "are you sure?" He said, "Yep." I am not sure what to do with him.
took the kids to Hibachi. The boys had just finished Karate, so they were still in their uniform. That attracted the attention of the chef and the chef encourage Mac to talk the ENTIRE time. Everyone at the table was watching Mac instead of the chef. He is so funny. But I had to tell him that Ninjas (like him *wink *wink) do not need to pull the fire alarm.

Gabe, "Mommy, I can't go to sleep. I'm scary!"
Mac can sing Zip-it-i-do-da to the tune of Indiana Jones!
MAc, "Daddy cut his finger, but he's not dead."
In Daniel's sleep he starts screaming, "OK, OK! Come here! What's the plan? AWWWW! I don't make a plan!" Wayne and I couldn't help but laugh.
Mac-"Hey, at your wedding can I walk around and make sure a lot of people are there behaving?" Kristin-"I'm sorry?" Me-"He wants to be security."
Wayne's best friend from high school and college asked Hannah to be the flower girl at his wedding. In typical Hannah fashion said, "Why, of course! I would be absolutely delighted!"Gabe singing, "O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! How lovely is your mustache!"
Gabe, "Mommy, I broke your house and Daddy went scary!" He broke a drawer in the kitchen.
And $1000 worth of car repairs later.....Daniel says, "Hey, could be worse! You could have a car payment!"
Me to Mac, "Mac, the number is 2. What did you draw 2 of?" Mac smiling, "2 butts!"
Hannah told me about a conversation that she had recently with a person that will remain un-named. Frustrated Person, "Yes, ok! I believe in Jesus. Now will you stop talking about him!" Hannah, "I can't." That girl is going to do a great and mighty work for God!
Today with Mac's school work, Mac had to read the word and draw the picture. One word was "can", he drew the trash can. Too funny!
Either Hannah or Mac "mistakenly" ripped a leg off a frog to see if it would grow back. Neither one would fess up to who did it.
Gabe to Mac, "No, Mac! That's not nice! I'm going to hit you now!"
When I changed my profile pic Gabe said, "Look it's me! I have clothes on."
My grandfather turned 91 today. Mac asked him, "Are you 13 today?"
Daniel to Hannah, "I bet I could design a robot that would beat your butt."
Hannah to Daniel, "Does Uranus smell?" Daniel giggled.
Wayne, "Gabe, you are going to see Mickey!" Gabe, "Oh, I'm pretty sure I'm not."
While trying to talk Mac into going onto Tower of Terror Wayne said, "If you don't go with me, you have to go see 'Beauty and the Beast' with Mom and Hannah." Mac said, "I don't want to see princesses!" Hannah then replied, "If you go with Dad, he will be the only princess on that ride."
Gabriel, "Mommy, I got your heart!" Me,"You sure do."
The kids watched Disney's "The Christmas Carol". Mac asked, "Why didn’t Donald and Scrooge just fly south for the winter?
Daniel very matter of fact stated; "Look at all the stars. God put up His Christmas lights"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reason for Recent Weather

With all of the recent floods and tornadoes, the news has been (understandably) filled with stories and pictures.  Seeing all of that, Hannah has been asking a LOT of questions about Katrina.  She was 21 months when Katrina hit.  Last night at dinner, she started asking more questions. Most of the questions revolved around whether or not there was mud in the peoples' homes.  And then she asked, why it all has happened.  Did God know that it was going to happen?  If so, why did He allow it happen.  Daniel said, "After Katrina, we were at Walmart.  We were walking out of the store when Dad called to tell Mom that our house flooded. She sat down and cried."  He remembered!  He had just turned 4.  I was amazed.

Then Wayne, full of wisdom through the Holy Spirit, said, "Hannah, I believe that all of this is happening to get Christian up and about His business.  Just like Katrina, and now with the floods and tornadoes.  The church is mobilizing.  There are lots of people who need God right now.  They need to know that He sees them in their time of hurt and loss.  They need to feel loved and cared for.  The Christians who go and help in other's times of need show how great and wonderful God is.  Many Christians have been praying for the people of the United States to love God again.  Maybe it will happen.  But only if we do our part.  Only if we do what we need to do which is being about God's business."

What a wonderful dinner conversation!  I pray that we will be about God's business.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sweet Hannah

Hannah begged me last night before bed to wake her up and let her run with me.  I told her that it would be early, and she didn't care.  I woke up at about 5:45 and got dressed.  Then I went and woke her up.  She, sleepily, got up and got dressed.  (She enjoys sleeping in.)  We stretched and headed out.  About 1/2 through the lap, she stopped.  I turned around, she smiled, and started running again.  "What were you doing??" I asked. She said, "I'm sorry, Mom.  I saw a rabbit and just had to name it."  Her name is Bunzy.

Orange Mousse Cake

I figured that I would post the recipe for my last cake and assembly instructions.  I have had a lot of interest in it.

1. Make Orange Curd
2 1/3 cups of sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1 cup of orange juice
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
 3/4 cup butter

Mix sugar and cornstarch in a heavy sauce pan.  Slowly add orange juice, whisking until cornstarch dissolves. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks.  Then add the butter. Stir (with a wooden spoon) over a medium heat until it boils and thickens.  It takes about 12 minutes.  Chill at least 6 hours.

2.Orange Cake
Box of Lemon Cake Mix
5 eggs
1/2 cup of Orange Juice
1 1/2 cup of oil
1 box of orange jello
Grease 2 cookie sheets and cook at 350.  Then cool for at least 4 hours.

3. Orange Mousse
1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup of cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1 pkg of cream cheese
1 can of orange juice concentrate
3/4 cup of confectioners sugar

Heat the heavy cream to boiling, then remove from heat. The rest will be done in a blender, add cold water and gelatin and let sit for one minute.  Then add heavy cream and blend for 2 minutes.  Add cream cheese, juice concentrate, and confectioners sugar. Mix until blended and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

4.Whipped cream
4 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of confectioners sugar

Use a mixer until it has soft peaks.  Add sugar and mix again until it has firm peaks.

Build on a larger cookie sheet.
1. Place one cake onto the cookie sheet.  Option-poke small holes into cake and add a small amounts of orange juice.
2. Pipe Whipped cream around the edge of cake.
3. Add orange mousse to the edge of the whipped cream
4. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow mousse to set up a little
4. Add 2nd cake on top of mousse.  (Orange juice and be injected into this layer also)
5. Pipe whipped cream around edge of cake
6. Add Mousse and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (Until the mousse is firm)
7. Add whipped cream to the side if desired
8. Add curd to the top of cake before serving.
                                                            First Complete Layer
                                                      Both Layers Complete with Curd
I decided to put whipped cream around the edge at the last minute to dress it up some.  As stated in the list, next time I do this I will add the whipped cream then the curd.

This is REALLY time consuming, but it is SO worth it.  It is a very tart dessert.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Little Man

I have suspected for a while that Gabe has needed to be referred for testing on the Autism spectrum.  Today, we went to the pediatrician.  I told him some of my concerns and some of the similarities between he and Daniel.  And agreed together on how we need to pursue this.

I am so blessed to have a pediatric group that is so dedicated to my babies.  Both doctors check on them after we take them in for visits.  They either call or go out of their way to find us at church.

I want to thank all of you who are praying for us.  This will take some time. And I will try to keep everyone updated.  I have peace in the fact that we have been through this before, that his development didn't stall, and that God must have a lot of confidence in me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teaching an Autistic Learner

Daniel had a rough day.  He gets so frustrated with subjects sometimes and reverts to unusual calming methods.  Some people call it "stimming" but it isn't a term I care for.  He rocks, clears his throat, purrs, whines, along with other things.  As he has gotten older, it is a lot less visible.  However, today was bad.  "Peninsula."  Easy enough to sound out. And you would think that you would get it after reading it 2 or 3 times.  Nope! Not the case!  He could sound it out and then read the sentence again and not remember the word.  I got frustrated.  This lead to Daniel frustration and he starting to make noises, then crying.  I hate it when he cries.  But I know that when he gets frustrated with himself, he will break through any barrier that is keeping him from learning.  I couldn't say what that barrier is.  I don't think there is an explanation.  All I know is that works, even though it hurts me.  He cries, then busts through that barrier.  Then for the next few days or weeks, he amazes me with what he learns.

This isn't the case with all people on the Autism Spectrum.  Each one is different.  Has different triggers, calming methods, learning methods, and ect.  I am very fortunate to have found and understand Daniel's patterns when he was young.  I suppose it is because I am so bull headed and won't let him give up.  Maybe because he is bull headed and won't give up.  Who knows.

But the rest of today, he has devoured books.  He calmed down, dug his heels in, and started pulling in information out of everything.  Now he is content. Calm. Resting in bed.

The rest of today, I was emotionally spent.  Right now, I am not worth being around.  But I am satisfied that he is calm, and we got through together.  I love him so much.  And I pray that he turns into the kind of man his dad is.  Wayne (though not diagnosed) is very symptomatic.

Rough day, I look forward to a better day tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mr. Mac

                                                                         MY MAC!!!

I went to do all the paper work for Mac's service plan yesterday.  His speech teachers are so happy with how he is doing, and are sad to see him change from the preschool speech services to services for children school age.  He and Daniel will have the same therapist next year, very exciting!!!

At 4 months of age, Mac received speech services 3 times a week.  By the age of 3, we were down to twice a week.  Last August, he started receiving one half hour session a week.  And this summer, is the first summer that he will go without weekly services.  This has been a long time coming!  I have had therapist in my home or have driven him places every week for the last 5 years!  I had no idea how much stress this caused.

But he is doing so wonderful!  There are some people that can't tell that he has a moderately severe hearing loss.  His "s", "z", "th", and "sh" sounds are a little slushy.  Sometimes, he mixes the sounds (substitutes "th" for "s").  Other than that, most people can't tell.  He is a very verbal little boy.

Mac is accepted by all.  He has assimilated into the hearing and Deaf worlds.  There aren't many people who are accepted.  Mac has the ability to hop between the Deaf and Hearing cultures without missing a beat.  He has a gift of accepting others as they are and being accepted in return.

Mac's personality is loud (just like his speech).  He brightens up the room as soon as he walks in.  And then causes laughter to break out across the room as soon as he finds whatever mischief that he is going to get into.  He is kind and loving.  He is hypersensitive to people and their feelings.  He is confident and will tell you so.


I am very excited about having my summer without services again.  But more than that, I thank GOD that he gave me the opportunity to be the mother of this little boy.  And that the HEAVENLY FATHER gave Mac the wonderful personality that will help shape his future.  What an amazing gift.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holidays for Mom's

Now that all plans for Easter have been accomplished, I look back at all the holidays and all the work.  Is it all worth it? There's all the shopping, cooking, and planning.  Is it REALLY worth all the stress? 

A general example:
First, Mom has to convince Dad to watch the kids so that she can shop for holiday items (Easter basket stuff, lunch, and clothes).  Then, Mom has to be able to get into the house without being attacked by children when she pulls in the driveway.  Easter items have to be hidden in the house because in South Mississippi, chocolate doesn't stay solid in the car. But the kids are already pounding on the van window, to the point that Mom is scared for her life!!!!  Nevertheless, Mom is able to fight her way through the hungry crowd (a constant state of being in children) to get all the items and groceries into the house.  Then becomes the task of putting the groceries away before the cold things spoil or the children break/consume the food.  Now during the week before Easter, Mom also has to bus children around from one activity to the next because she is certain that her babies will not miss out on all the fun activities.  The night before Easter there is the preparing for the "Easter Bunny".  After all he can't come into a dirty house!  And she tries to get any cooking possible completed, so that is off her plate.  All the children HAVE to be clean for church the next day, so showers ensue.  Then the water has to be mopped up off the floor, because they are too excited to remember close the shower curtain.  Stories are read, kids are in bed, and Mom chases them back to bed again and again (they are again too excited).  FINALLY, they are asleep and it is time for a finish up any cooking that can be prepared before hand.  Then off to find that rabbit and make sure the job is done. Well, "Harvey" fell asleep and she is left on her own.  So, Mom (lovingly even though frustrated and exhausted) helps Harvey with his ONLY Easter job.  Around midnight, Mom get to sleep.  6:00 a.m., Mom wakes up to get everyone ready for church.  In the words of Dave Ramsey, "you can lose your religion getting ready for church."  The kids are so excited!  And they have gotten into a piece of candy before you  stopped them from consuming the entire basket.  The family makes it to church, all the kids to their classes.  But Mom is service focused, so she goes and serves in different ministries exhausting herself further.  The family gets home and Mom starts the final preparations for dinner.  WAIT THOUGH! There are VEGETABLES!  Who knew that you had to eat those "nasty things."  Mom finally makes it through dinner, and the table is cleaned.  Now, to the Easter eggs!!!  Well, that "Harvey" fell asleep again.  So, Mom goes and hides the eggs.  Kids run crazy through the yard finding the eggs.  A blood curdling scream goes through the air!!!  The 3 year old found his sister's basket.  After a few times hiding and finding eggs, they are playing outside "nicely" and the house is a disaster again.  Mom finally sits for a moment thinking, "Is it worth all this?"  The daughter comes in with a present that she made today.  It is one coupon for a free hug. Mom thinks again....."Yes, it's worth it.

   What is a holiday without a meltdown????  

Don't forget.  Jesus thought we were worth it too.  We were important enough to him that he gave himself through a cruel death on a cross so that we could have eternal life in heaven.  He didn't want us to miss out either.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reason to Excercise

My Gabe and I went to Barnes and Nobles.  He loves to rummage through the books.  It is so nice to sit around and listen to him make up stories with the pictures in the books.  He also likes to move from chair to chair when he changes from one story to the next.  Well, he was having such a GREAT time telling about all the animals in Diego's field journal.  Then he got up to change seats.  "Come over here, Mommy! Come sit with me!"  As I moved to sit down he said, "Not there! Your hiney's to big."

I had to laugh!  But I also took that in to mentally process....And I proudly announce that it was my 3 day jogging 3 miles.  9 miles this week! Even with the virus going around the house!  I would like to thank my husband for watching the kids so I could do this.  Yeah, I know I am acting like I just won a fancy award.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Funny Little Mac

Here are a few quotes from my 5 year old, Mac.

"Mom, I weigh 46.5 plus tax."

"Did you hear me fart? Then why aren't you laughing?"

Wayne has a kidney infection. I told Mac that the doctor was going to give his daddy a shot in the rear. Mac said, "Will he leak out of his butt?"

Mac ran into the street. I told him that he would get hit by a car doing that. He said, "Then I will die. Go to heaven. And God would say, 'Mmmm, Mmmm, look what you did to your momma!'"

 "I don't like that gum. It makes me blond."

"Mom, that is a big mouth bass spawning ground. You can't fish there because the Daddy fish is protecting his eggs and will get angry."


Daniel has been asking "behave yourself" means.  I don't know...act right?  Well, that isn't clear either.  He need measurable goals.  It makes me think that all of the Pharisees were on the Autism Spectrum.  Spectrum folks crave rules.  

Today, I was helping Daniel with his AWANA stuff. He was to look up a verse, read it, and answer some questions. We accidentally read the wrong verse. Oops! We read Colossians 4:1-7

1 Mastersgrant to your slaves justice and fairnessknowing that you too have a Master inheaven2 Devote yourselves to prayerkeeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving ; 3praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned ; 4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. 7 As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information.

Yes, I highlighted verse 6.  Yea, ummmm.  I don't do that.  I am always very matter of fact (that may be an understatement). 

We are called to be "full of grace".  To be effortless in kindness or courtesy does not come naturally to me.  We are to behave/speak in this manor to open the door to share the selfless acts of Christ Jesus.  I don't believe that this means we have to be the syrupy-sweet kind of speaker if that isn't your personality.  

So, Daniel, to "behave yourself" is to act in a way that shows others the wonderful and perfect Savior.  One measurable rule.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Luke 2:52

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Luke 2:52

As I was starting to sit down to type out what I thought was pretty interesting after reading this verse, Daniel came up to me asking to make a coke icee.  My first response was to make him wait while I did what I wanted to do.  But this verse ran quickly through my mind again.  I am regularly shocked by how much he has grown in the past nine years.  As I looked at him I noticed, not only is he growing, but this entire body is changing.  He is becoming broad across the shoulders, his legs are getting more muscular, he is unbelievable!

I have to continue thinking, though....Is he growing in his relationships with God and other people?  Am I doing what he needs to see a great, forgiving, loving God? (I know that sometimes I can show him my version on Satan.)  Relationships are so hard for him.  They don't come naturally, but Daniel is very interested in having close relationships.  For example, Daniel's grandmother is one of his favorites.  But I would never had seen that coming.  Between the ages of 1 and 3, he wouldn't have anything to do with her.  Mom, smart even though she hurt for the lack of attention from him, didn't force the relationship.  She waited for him.  She made herself available when he was ready.  I know she was miserable waiting for him to decide to notice that she was there.  But when that switch flipped, he'll tell you, "Gramma's my biggest fan." He absolutely adores her.

As I continue thinking on all of this moving through my head, Jesus is the same way.  He wants so badly to have a relationship with us.  He is waiting for our relationship to grow in spiritual stature and to notice him.  Then we'll say, "Jesus is my biggest fan."