Monday, February 11, 2013


We are fine! We live in Petal, MS which was hit with a major tornado yesterday. For those who follow me on Facebook you know we are safe but I just wanted to update here real quick.

The damage is severe in Hattiesburg and Petal but our area was spared. About a mile away there is major devastation. So far no fatalities reported, thank God!

Anyone who can donate please do so! The Red Cross and Christian Services are both helping in the area. If you cannot donate money then please send healing thoughts and prayers for strength and recovery.

Contact me for any info on where to send donations if you need to.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Keeping Mal Quiet

I was outside smoking last night and when I cam in I discovered that Malachai's mouth was taped shut. When I asked who did it he told me Braeden did. Braeden said his brother was being too loud. LMAO I guess I have threatened to do it one too many times!

Malachai can seriously not shut his mouth. I don't know HOW his teacher at school deals with him! He even talks in his sleep. He never stops talking, singing, humming or mumbling. He also never stops moving (or rarely) (he walks in his sleep too) and he is ALWAYS hungry!

When he was diagnosed with ADHD NO ONE was surprised!

But he is also incredibly funny.

Thank goodness for funny little boys full of energy to get my day started right! I hear him.... creeping out of his bedroom.... he probably wants to scare me.... LOL

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Goals for Knowledge

This a list of things I want to learn. Some of them may never be useful and many of them will be. I am trying to challenge myself to constantly increase my knowledge and skills... having this list just gives me a way to keep that movement going! Some of them are things I already know but want to expand my abilities and knowledge of, some are brand new to me. I plan to tackle one at a time until I know all fo these! It could be a lifetime of learning....

  • Herb Gardening
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Harvesting and saving seeds
  • Drying and preserving herbs
  • Growing Mushrooms
  • Wild plant recognition/ harvesting
  • Composting
  • Fruit tree growing/ pruning/ harvesting
  • Berry growing, etc
  • Growing, harvesting and processing wheat 
  • Processing acorns into flour
  • Filtering water, making filter/ rain barrel
  • Setting up a hand pump for a well
  • Canning
  • Dehydrating foods
  • Dehydrating without electricity
  • Refrigeration without a refrigerator
  • Breadmaking
  • Baking without an oven
  • cheese making
  • waxing cheese
  • butchering and processing meat animals
  • Cooking over a fire
  • Dutch oven cooking
  • Cooking with and caring for cast iron
  • Pit cooking/ bean hole cooking
  • Meat preservation
  • Making traps and snares
  • Trapping and snaring animals
  • Tanning hides and leather making
  • Archery
  • Making bows and arrows
  • Hunting and tracking
  • Shooting/ gun skills
  • Knot tying
  • Fishing
  • Bee keeping
  • Fire starting without matches or lighter
  • Building a correct fire for cooking and heating
  • Wood chopping and seasoning
  • Making rope and cord
  • Soap making
  • Candle making
  • Crochet
  • Knitting
  • Sewing clothing
  • Drafting patterns for clothing
  • Shoe repair and construction
  • solar power skills
  • how to build a generator
  • how to siphon gas
  • compass skills
  • how to navigate without a compass
  • how to sharpen knives and scissors
  • self defense
  • Ham radio operation
  • small engine repair/ car repair basics
  • basic electrical wiring
  • Basic carpentry
  • doing laundry without electricity
  • washing dishes without electricity/ running water
  • building an outhouse/ sanitation
  • how to barter
  • Basic Animal husbandry (cows, chickens, goats, rabbits, pigs, horses)
  • Milking goats and cows
  • Herbal remedies
  • Basic first aid
  • CPR

What are some things that you want to learn????

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Down With the Sickness

I didn't even know that big kids could get croup, did you? My 5 year old is home sick for the 2nd day with what we suspect is croup. He is coughing hard (sounds like a dog barking) and so hoarse that he sounds like he has been smoking for 50 years! Slight temp and a little bit of congestion. Otherwise he seems fine! He wants to go outside and play and runa round. I am taking him to the doctor tomorrow morning.

We have been extremely lucky overall... my children have had very few illnesses in their lives! In fact, both of my sons have only ever had a single ear infection each. And both of those were when they were 5. No baby ear infection scares, no flu, no crazy sickness that can't be diagnosed.

We have dealt with fifth's disease, colds, basic stomach viruses (very few) and injuries.

I am actually shocked that I have not had to take Malachai (5) to the emergency room yet! He is such a rough and tumble boy that I am just waiting for the first broken bone.

We have had dental surgeries (Braeden), severe burns (Braeden), a gashed face that required stitches (Braeden) and tonsils/ adenoid surgery (Malachai).

So while I am sometimes overwhelmed with all of the craziness of dealing with autism and ADHD and basic kid sickness... it could be so much worse.

A good friend of mine is taking her 16 year old daughter to the hospital today to try to get brain surgery scheduled. For the second time. She has a brain tumor (non cancerous but dangerous as hell) that has grown back. Two years ago she had surgery but they did not do the radiation they should have and now it has grown back. I can't even imagine the fear my friend is struggling with! So now she has to have brain surgery... again. And then 6 weeks of radiation (I think).

But you know what this bad ass teen did? She shaved her head already. So that she is bald because of her own actions rather than because of the radiation and surgery. And so that she will get used to it and not be upset. She is a total BAMF and so is her Mom. Not only are they dealing with this but she also has a son Braeden's age who is autistic. And her husband is in the Army. BAMF.

SO while I worry about my son (of course) and I get frustrated with the little kid sicknesses that knock our schedules for a loop.... I also embrace them. because it could be so much worse. I could have so many larger worries. I could be facing the possibility of cancer, death, disability... so many other things.

I am hugging my kids extra hard tonight and giving a couple extra kisses. ANd I will be TRYING not to complain about the little things quite as much.

HUGS to Tara and Shonna and all of their family as they saddle up for another round of surgeries. You got this!

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Little Bronys

My sons love My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.  They play with toy ponies, watch the show and love to make up pretend stories all about the ponies. I find it highly amusing. There is a whole subset of fans out there called "bronys" that are teen and young adult MEN who love the show. Yeah. A little weird but ok.... so my boys are bronys. :)

Some parents hate television and only let their kids watch a tiny little bit every day, if any. I am not one of those Moms. See, Braeden is autistic. One of the things that I noticed early on for him was that he did not play in a normal fashion and he did not directly respond to requests (verbally) unless I repeated the question again and again.

Television helped him. He finally started responding better. Why? Because of Dora the Explorer and Blue's Clues. When they asked questions he learned to respond. And because he could watch the episodes over and over he got practice. Simple questions, simple answers.

He also learned how to "pretend play" by watching things like Elmo, The Backyardigans and Yo Gabba Gabba. He started to interact more with the shows and as a result he started to interact more with us.

Braeden was never what they term "severe".  He was never 100% non verbal. But he was extremely challenged in the early days.

I credit TV and ABA therapy with many of the steps forward he has taken.

If he wants to watch MLP or Strawberry Shortcake, The Transformers or Dino Dan, the dreaded Max and Ruby or even the hated Fresh Beat Band then I am fine with that.

And actually, MLP:FIM Is a decent show! If you haven't watched any episodes with your kids then I suggest you check it out.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Growing Salad

Two more great tips I got from Pinterest.... how to regrow romaine lettuce and celery from the stumps! Here I have two celery stalk ends and a romaine end that have been in water for about 3 or 4 days. I plan to put each in a separate dish soon. And the next ones I have I will try putting in soil and see which does better!

Not a huge savings int he short term but in the long run it will add up! Especially since I am eating salads and celery almost every day lately.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Cooking Sucks

Some days I love cooking and baking. Other days it is a chore I dread. It all depends on my energy level and how busy I have been that day I guess. I have been trying to think of different recipes to have on tap for those nights when I really don't want to cook. Instead of heading to McDonalds or ordering pizza... since $$ continues to be tight and healthier food is more important than pure convenience.

I mined my Facebook friends for some ideas and searched Pinterest and some recipe sites. And went back to my Mom's recipe book too.

Another thing about cooking..... pretty soon I will be having to adjust how much I am cooking at each meal. When Jenna and Nate move out I will only be cooking for me and Steven. The boys do not eat the same things we do. So adjusting the volume of my cooking is going to be weird for me! I am so used to cooking huge amounts of each dish!

I am hoping to get together a list of tried and true easy and quick recipes for myself. Because I have really started to dread cooking. And meal planning is killing me because I plan for meals that I then have no desire to cook!!!!!! I might start posting recipes and meal plans again to help with this goal.

What are your favorite go to recipes for times like that? I am wondering if I just need to start doing more freezer cooking. But so many of the freezer cooking recipes turn out weird for me that I hate to try them and not know if they will be something we will like.

I think I am both a lazy cook and a food snob at once. It makes for interesting meal choices!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Moving Phobia

We will (hopefully) be moving back to Florida in June. I am happy about this! Excited and almost ecstatic actually. Not about the moving part. Just about the Florida part.

The thought of the actual MOCE is filling me with stress, tension and fear.

What you have to understand is that we moved 4 times in the space of one year. And each time it was stressful and anxiety ridden. So I have horrible memories of moving. And an inter state move is even worse! It all has to be done at once. You can't forget something and run back and get it.

This week I ave spent time trying to figure out the moving costs so that we can set the $$ aside and not spend it. And checking on the cost of a moving van. And looking at the costs of getting utilities turned on. And thinking about packing. And new schools. And new responsibilities as a home owner (sort of).

My stomach is in knots and I have a stress headache.

It will all work out fine in the end but until then I have a feeling I will be obsessing over every little detail.

I need strength and fortitude to get through until after the move. I need wine too.

Spring is Coming

Walking through the browned and wilted grass of the winter field
staring at the steely sky
watching gray edged clouds skitter behind
the skeletal tree limbs
reaching their fingers towards the filtered sun

Feeling the pale sunlight barely warming my skin
and the light brush of a breeze
across the hairs upon my head

Trying to absorb some springtime
between the winter rays

Fluffy green pine branches
yellow tinged leaves
cushions of crisp and crunchy beneath my feet

A insistent tweeting from the branches overhead
a quiet humming from a bee
as it cruises through my winter dead garden
and the slush and hush of wet traffic whispers through the air

Breathe deep
smell the smoky, distant smell
of winter's retreat

Glimpse the greening

See the swelling

Feel the trembling

of the earth about to burst

into springtime

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


So, Jenna and Nate are getting married at the end of April. That means I will be a Mother in law! I wonder what crazy things I can do to make them groan when I tell them I am coming to visit?!? Of course, they have to MOVE OUT before I can come visit them. LOL

It is a little weird to think about my baby girl getting married. Some days it seems like just yesterday that she was born. And of course I worry about them getting married so young. But it is their lives and their decision! And they are really good for each other. Nate is a good young man with a good work ethic who treats Jenna well. They really love each other. SO I guess getting married is a natural progression for them. And when we move they will be staying here so I guess them being married is a good thing.

Planning the wedding has been fun so far although a little stressful for Ms. Jenna I think! And there are tons of things to be done before April... which is creeping up on us pretty fast!

I told them I am not allowed to be a Grandma until I am at least 40 by the way. Otherwise it will just feel wrong.... :)

Any of my readers have grown children who have gotten married? Is it weird having a son or daughter in law? I mean, Nate has lived with us for close to a year now so I feel like I know him pretty well. But I wonder if it is feels different once they are actually married? He already irritates me ALMOST as much as Jenna does. heeheehee

Aren't they cute?????

Anyway. If anyone is actually reading these posts, what do you want me to write about? ANything you want to know, see, hear? Any updates you want? Any info you want me to share? I am trying to write every day and get back int he habit so ideas for posts are important! ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tackling Parenthood (Special Needs Edition)

Last night we went to a "Tackling Parenthood" seminar at the local high school. There was $1 dinners for everyone (BBQ or Pizza), some information booths, door prizes and two sessions of informative "classes".  The sessions included things like Coaching Children to Manage Emotions, Cyberbullying and Homework Help for Elementary Aged Students. The two sessions that we attended were Developing Attention Skills in Young Children and Autism Spectrum and ADHD Education and Behavior Strategies.

We ate and the boys went to the gym for some play time. I loved that because we missed Braeden's Social Skills therapy to attend the seminar so him having some social interaction with NT kids was great.

The first session we went to was about attention skills. Now, Malachai has been diagnosed with ADHD which was no surprise to anyone who knows him. He is struggling in class and at home to stay on task, be focused and actually SIT STILL. We have decided not to medicate him at this time. We know it may be inevitable in the future but with him being so young we have decided to wait with the blessings of his teacher and his psychiatrist. We want him to learn coping skills and strategies so that he is not dependent upon medication for the rest of his life with no alternatives. So, any information we can get, or ideas, is sooooo welcome! The speaker gave us a handout with some great ideas on it and he gave us some great information.

The second session was not as informative for us. Not because the speaker was bad but just because we already pretty much knew what he was telling us. Plus, it was a tiny group of people and we spent most of the time discussing what challenges our children face. It is always interesting to talk to other autism parents!

We are really glad we went to the seminar. It almost makes me wish we would still be here when they do it again next year! There were several other sessions I would have loved to attend. I worry that when we move I won't be able to find the resources and help we need for the boys.

I am just keeping my fingers crossed that the new school they will be at next year will have what we need. That the boys will do well. That I can find doctors, therapists and a support network that will be what we need. It is a big step, taking our family out of this comfort zone we have here, away from teachers, schools and administrators who are used to working with us, away from doctors and therapists who have worked with both boys for years, away from the schedules and routines that Braeden has become so accustomed to.

I will have to start over from scratch and that is a scary prospect!

The director of the local Special Services Department for the schools has offered to work directly with the new school district to make sure that the transition is smooth. And I am making a list of steps to take to find the services and support we need. But boy am I nervous!!!

Parenthood is hard. Being a Special Needs parent is even harder. Every child has their own challenges and issues but they are just multiplied when there are special needs attached. When we moved to Mississippi my only real worries for Jenna were if she would be challenged at school and make friends. Now I have so many other concerns for my boys that it just stresses me out. Being Mama Bear is tough sometimes!!

But it sure is worth it!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sleepless Nights and Pinterest Porn

Yesterday I made breakfast via Pinterest. I used this pin to make hash browns! Here it is in pictures... 

 I think they turned out pretty alright! Crispy and NOT greasy! I will definitely be doing this again. Next time I might add shaved onion as well. Yum.

I didn't sleep well last night and nothing worked to help.  I tried turning everything off and lying down. I tried reading. I tried watching TV. I tried chamomile tea. I tried Tums to help my acid reflux. I just could not turn off my brain and settle. I am running on about 3 1/2 hours of sleep right now. I need to work out and then I have a seminar to go to tonight. I have a feeling I will be sleeping EXTREMELY well tonight!

I think it is interesting how our bodies react to exercise and nutrition. I used to drink 6 - 8 sodas a day. Full of sugar and caffeine. And did no formal exercise whatsoever. I would have sleepless nights at least once or twice a week. Since I cut out the soda and limited myself to coffee and green tea before noon ONLY and have been working out every day I am sleeping like a log. I am usually asleep within 15 minutes of getting into bed. And rarely wake up during the night unless I have to pee. 

Yesterday I skipped my workout. Figured I needed a break, right? I guess my body was not worn out enough to tune out the chaos in my brain!!! So today, even though I am exhausted, I am going to go in and turn on the Wii Fit and do my workout. One hour of cardio and strength training and yoga. If I feel up to it I will do more. But that is the bare minimum that I need to do for my body and lifestyle right now. 

I need to listen to my body more often and tell my brain to take a hike!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pinterest Addict

Yep. I am addicted to Pinterest! If you use it then feel free to check out my boards here. If you would like or need an invitation then just drop me a comment and I will send you one.  Since I spend so much time on Pinterest I have actually started using some of the things I have pinned! My SIL started a blog JUST to talk about things she has done from Pinterest. I am not going to do that. But, I WILL be sharing some things that I have discovered are huge time savers or great tips.

I also taught myself to crochet via links on Pinterest! I am slowly working my way through all of the crappy yarn that was floating around in my house by making things like ice cream sweaters and coasters. Once I am feeling like I know what I am doing pretty well I have a ton of great pins to help me make some great items like afghans, scarves, skirts and hats. Can't wait!

I am also working out every day and trying to get healthy. SO far I have done really well and have worked out every day since January 2nd. I will NOT be sharing a ton of stuff about my weight loss and healthy living journey unless it is requested. I have a private group on Facebook where I post a lot of stuff and a bunch of boards on Pinterest (of course) with great tips and links to exercises.

So I really AM busy! Busy with crafts, busy with working out, busy with every day life, busy planning an interstate move in a few months..... and busy with Pinterest!!

More later! I tried a GREAT tip this morning that I may just share with you. With pictures. Yummy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Things have been rough and busy and crazy and just all around overwhelming for months. Obviously. Since I can't seem to post any updates here on my actual blog. Facebook is just so much easier. But you can only do so much on there.....

I am going to be trying to update here more regularly. No promises.....