Friday, November 25, 2011

Intentional living - on

Today, instead of seeing my usual Food Friday, I would love to present my latest endeavor to broaden my horizons in the field of writing.

As you might know, I was a contributor to a collection of stories about depression called Not Alone.  The publisher, Jonathan Brink, has just been wonderful.  He started an online magazine called Provoketive.  Here is my first contribution to it...and get's a FEATURED PIECE!  :-)

So, go on, read it!

What is Intentional Living?

Intentional Living seems to be the new buzz phrase right now. I have a tendency to dismiss stuff such as this because I don't really like "church speak". Church speak could be a whole other post. But suffice it to say that I was not raised in church and there has certainly been a learning curve when it comes to figuring out what some people are actually saying. I am lucky to go to a church that doesn't use it too much and really caters to the "un-churched." But I digress.

Back to Intentional Living. I have really been thinking about this a lot lately, mainly because it keeps popping up. But also because once you get past the church speak, there are some basic truths there. In thinking about my life, I began to wonder if I have been living intentionally. What does living intentionally look like? Is there biblical backing to this?

To read the rest of my piece click....HERE!

I'd love to hear what you think...please let me know!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I left this post a little late to write.

I come to this post after having a great meal with a great group of people.  And I thought this would be a great time to write this post.  Unfortunately, it went down hill very quickly.

We did have a fabulous meal with part of our homegroup.  We had some great conversation and just a generally awesome time being with friends.  Our children, all 8 of them, we together having a good time...things were going wonderfully!  It was time to eat and Wesley came to his daddy and said "Time to eat."  This is huge.  Wesley has a handful of things that he will eat, some of this being the McDonald's the we fed him on the way over because we knew he wouldn't eat anything while there.  I got him a plate and he picked out mashed potatoes, a piece of turkey and a roll.  I didn't really expect him to eat any of it, but I was optimistic that he would at least take a bite of the mashed potatoes.  Instead, he took his plate and went and sat down with the rest of the children.  With tears in my eyes, I watched him look like the other children...except he wasn't eating.  :-)  I really think he just wanted to do the same as they were doing.  I was so happy at this!  This is a huge thing for a child with autism.

What I missed was the fact that he was zoned out for most of the meal, staring at the fish tank.  This should have sent me a red flag, that things were overwhelming him and that I needed to watch for a good and easy transition to leave.  I was too excited about the progress that I saw.  Instead, I enjoyed myself and let him get really into playing Mario on the's the latest obsession, anything to do with Mario.  Then, I sprung it on him..."Time to go!"

"No go! I no go!"

I let him play one more level...that usually helps...and we got sock on pretty well, but that's where he was drawing the line.  No shoes.

Our homegroup is a great bunch of people and they know that we deal with Wesley's autism...they've just never seen a full blown meltdown.   Until tonight.

At this point, this post is exactly what I need.  I need to remember all the little things that I am thankful for.  So, here goes.

my Savior
my husband and how much he loves me
my children
my parents
the fact that I can be a stay at home mom
having such great friends
my church
my bed
Wesley being diagnosed early
Nick being such a gifted child
Rich doing what he loves
the food that we eat
living in such a beautiful state
the therapists and teachers that love my son
the fact that he can say "I love you"
Rich's friends that can give him someplace to go away from the craziness
coffee and coffee goo
awesome tv shows that I zone out on at night
my blog and its readers
Coke Zero
the smiles on my kids' faces when I walk into a room
Nick's love of reading
the hugs and kisses from my kids

I could go on...but this post has been successful.  Yes, there was not a great ending to the evening, but my life is so much fuller than what happened tonight.  There are so many things I have to be thankful for.  Thank you for coming by to read this.  You have no idea how much I appreciate it!  :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Twitter is a fabulous thing...I will go so far as to say that social media is a wonderful thing!

I have a great autism family near me.  We even have a support group set up, but we don't see each other nearly as often as I would like.  Our lives are so busy with our children and just plain living that we don't get near enough time together.  This is where social media comes in.  It's there when we have a second to grab for ourselves.  There are other moms out there that are dealing with the same things, every day. And Twitter and Facebook makes it so much easier to come together.

This is why I was pretty excited when I stumbled upon the "you might be an autism parent if" hashtag on Twitter.  I stayed up late watching and participating, I have had several people follow me because of it.  I was up this morning and greeted to 432 new tweets for the hashtag.  Every one of these people understand!

Here are a few of my favorites:

 Jo Ashline 
 You have more compassion, patience, love, tolerance, hope, resilience & stamina than u ever thought possible

 your child goes hungry until the right food is served. Yes, children CAN starve themselves to death.

 you have learned to love your child for who they are, rather who they should be. Best lesson ever!

 you have to live forever. No, I'm serious. This isn't optional.

 helen hamill 
 you wouldn't change your child for the world- but want often to change the World for your child!

 Spectrummy Mummy 
 the first thing you'll do after you win the lottery is take your kid to a Swarovski shop and let her loose.

 claire howett 
 tweeting and following this hash tag has been the best therapy, EVER! :)

 you think it'd be cruel to throw your child a traditional birthday party full of stimulation.

 Sunday Stilwell 
 the term "IEP" instantly conjures up the theme song to "ROCKY" in your head

 Christine Zorn 
 you've burst into tears in front of a therapist or teacher....more than once

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fave Movie - 30 Day Blog Challenge

Your favorite Movie

I know, I know.  This is not supposed to be a favorite movie, but I guess you could count this as a guilty pleasure too.  :-)  (As if!)

I'd guess I was about 16 when I went to see Wayne's World alone, by myself, at the theater.  See, I was supposed to be going with a friend, but she bailed for a guy, so I went alone.  I loved the movie so much that I took another friend to see it again.  We learned this movie from start to finish and for months afterwards, that's all you would hear us spout!  I am still known to spew Wayne's World quotes from time to time!

Here are some of my favorite scenes.

Stacy: (walking up to table, holding big wrapped gift) Happy anniversary, Wayne.
Wayne: Stacy, we broke up two months ago.
Stacy: Well, that doesn't mean we can't still go out.
Wayne: Well, it does, actually. That's what breaking up is....
Stacy: Well, don't you want to open your present?
Wayne: If it's a severed head I'm going to be very upset.
Stacy: Open it.
Opens present.
Wayne: What is it?
Stacy: It's a gun rack.
Wayne: A gun rack... a gun rack. Shyeah, Right! I don't even own A gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do... with a gun rack?
Stacy: You don't like it? Fine. (takes gun rack and starts to walk away; turns) You know Wayne, if you're not careful, you're going to lose me.
Wayne: I lost you two months ago. We broke up. Are you mental? Get the net!

Inventor Ron Paxton demonstrates the "Suck Kut", a vacuum/haircutting device, on Garth. Garth cries out in pain over the roaring of the device as it sucks up his hair.
Ron Paxton: As you can see, it sucks as it cuts.
Wayne Campbell: It certainly does suck.

Then, of course, there is the reason that I absolutely LOVE Bohemian Rhapsody!

I hope you enjoyed strolling down memory lane with me.  Now, what is your favorite movie?  I love finding new things, so please share!

Here's my original post on the 30 Day Blog Challenge if you want to read what else I have to say.  I'd love for you to come along for the ride! :-)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Food Friday!

Ok, another one not actually about food.  This time it is COFFEE!

Now, Rich and I have never been coffee drinkers.  I would drink the occasional cup, but he would only drink it is he was fighting to stay awake and simply for the caffeine jolt.  One day, I have no idea what got into him, he ordered a cup while we were eating at Cracker Barrel because I had.  I think this was the first time I have ever seen him order coffee while we were out to wasn't for the caffeine either, it was decaf!  Well, this was pretty yummy coffee.  There were a few more instances of coffee being ordered and I was really beginning to question my sanity.  Who was this guy?  

Anyway, it was almost my birthday and Rich started talking about how he needed to go get my present (it was the day before my birthday), so I talked him into letting me go with him to help pick it out...little did I know that there wasn't too much "picking it out" to be done.  :-)  Well, that is if I don't count the actual coffee.  He got me the french press, a coffee grinder, and 2 bags of beans.  Since we are new to this whole thing, we aren't sure what we will like yet, so we have to do some experimenting!  Fun!  We get to experiment with different beans and coffee goo!  Earlier this week, I hit upon a winning combination.  Hazelnut beans with chocolate caramel coffee goo...YUM!  This combo will stick around for a while!

This thing is perfect for 2 travel mugs of for each of us.  And we have had at least one cup every day since he got it for me.  I am happy to say that my house is a coffee drinking house!  :-)  

My friend, Alise, has raved for years about her french press and how much better coffee is when made in it.  We finally got one. 

Share some of your faves with me!  I am loving this experimenting stuff!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dancing Machine!

We were at the church waiting for the helpers to come in when someone turned on the radio.  Wesley loved it! He's always loved music, but I think this is the first time I have seem him really dance on his own.  Love it!  BTW, there is a mirror that he's watching himself in.  I love the spins!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guilty Pleasures - 30 Day Blog Challenge

Your guilty pleasures

Guilty pleasures are those little things that people aren't supposed to like, but secretly do anyway.  One of mine is Ferrero Rochers.  How delightful this little balls of heaven are!  A whole hazelnut wrapped in gooey nutella with a crispy chocolate blanket.  Who wouldn't like these things!  Yum!

Ok, that one was a safe "guilty pleasure."  Here's one that is has a little more guilt for you.

Harliquin romance books.  I can't even really call them novels because they are just books.  They are quite simply my guilty pleasure.  I love to read and this is an escape.  While I am reading these, all is right with the world.  The good guy always gets the girl and everything works out the way it's supposed to.  Much like life doesn't.  

Ok, I fessed up.  Let's hear some of your guilty pleasures!  Chances are, I have enjoyed as well!  :-)

Here's my original post on the 30 Day Blog Challenge if you want to read what else I have to say.  I'd love for you to come along for the ride!  :-)

Pet Peeves - 30 Day Blog

Top 5 Pet Peeves

1. Receiving a phone call and hearing, "Who's this?" Didn't YOU just call me??

2. Those girls you see out wearing next to nothing and it's only 20 degrees outside. Then they want to complain that they are cold! Put on some clothes!

3. Txt talk. (It even irritates me that there is a name for it!) Especially when it's used on Facebook or emails when there is no space limitation. Using u instead of's only 2 more letters! Seriously, you can't take the second longer to type the whole word? It would take me longer to figure out how to abbreviate some of these words than it would to just type the thing!

4. Absolutes. Argh! My husband loves to use these. As in, "I always call when I am on my way home", sir, you do not ALWAYS do so. If you don't do it just ONCE, you can no longer say that you ALWAYS! In fact, we have had arguments because of this. He will never let me live it down, but I once started to say, "I ALWAYS rail against absolutes!" LOL. I did catch myself, but enough was said that he will NEVER (snicker) let me live it down.

5. Misspelling certain words. Example...There for their, its for it's. The Oatmeal has a fantastic guide on this very it, you won't be sorry! Then take this spelling test from the Oatmeal...once again, fantastic!

You know you thought of 12 different pet peeves...I want to hear them!

Here's my original post on the 30 Day Blog Challenge if you want to read what else I have to say.  I'd love for you to come along for the ride! :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

TV Shows - 30 Day Blog Challenge

One of your favorite TV Shows

This is, by far, my favorite show EVER! It is a legend. There are so many good things about this show.

If you have never seen this show...first of all, where HAVE you been? Second, you need to rectify this immediately!

The show was adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH (which was itself based on the 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, by Richard Hooker). It follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the "4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" in Uijeongbu, South Korea, during the Korean War. While the Korean War was only 3 years long, the show lasted 11 seasons! The finale, Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen, was one of the most watched shows ever with a record breaking 125 million viewers, according to the New York Times. Stories persist that the episode was seen by so many people that, at the end of the episode, the New York City Sanitation/Public Works Department reported that the plumbing systems had broken down in some parts of the city. Said to be the largest use of water ever around the city because so many New Yorkers waited until the episode ended to go to the toilet.

Two of the cast members, Jamie Farr (Klinger) and Alan Alda (Hawkeye Pierce), served in the U.S. Army in Korea in the 1950s after the Korean War. The dog tags Farr wears on the show are his actual dog tags. Farr served as part of a USO tour with Red Skelton. Furthermore, Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut) served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a younger man.

There were many guest appearances and cameos. John Ritter, Leslie Neilson, Patrick Swayze, Shelley Long, Lawrence Fishburne, and Ron Howard being among them.

There were many things to like about this series. One of these being the chance to get the tiniest look at what life was like for the men and women who served. Many of the stories in the early seasons are based on real-life tales told by real MASH surgeons who were interviewed by the production team. This was a series that I grew up with, I looked forward to finding out more about them. I loved them and when it was over, genuinely missed. I was just little when the show was on, but I have since rewatched every episode (more than once) and find that I love this series even more.

What are your favorite episodes?

Here's my original post on the 30 Day Blog Challenge if you want to read what else I have to say.  I'd love for you to come along for the ride! :-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

Today's post will be in honor of my father.  He's a Vietnam veteran.  He didn't choose to go over there and fight for his country, but he did the job anyway.  

I do not like the school subject "History".  But I love the recent stuff that has happened in the last 100 years.  I have always been interested in the Vietnam war, simply because my dad was over there and experienced the place.  I have asked a million questions, but my dad is rather closed lipped about the whole ordeal.  I do know that he was a mechanic and worked mainly on the helicopters called Chinooks.  Those are the huge double engine helicopters that you still associate with the armed forces today.  He has lots of slides from his time over there.  I loved looking at the pictures and asking questions.  Of course, now he says that he doesn't remember.  

I am so proud of my father..  Thanks, Dad.

And now for a funny picture...Dad doesn't really like his picture being taken, so that makes us try even harder.  But then grandchildren came along and that has changed my dad a lot.  He has done things that I never would have imagined.  And this one is just one of them.  We were driving down the road after picking Wesley up from his Halloween party...he went as Mario, complete with mustache.  Wesley wanted me to take the mustache, so Dad took it and put it on.  I immediately grabbed for my camera to get a picture...remember, I am still driving down the road!  Not the safest time to do this, but you gotta get while the getting is good!  Anyway, Dad actually put it back on so I could get a better picture!  What a guy!

Thank you to all the veterans who have served and sacrificed for this country.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

15 Interesting things - 30 Day Blog Challenge

Write 15 interesting things about yourself.

1. I always wanted children. At one time, I wanted 10 of them...including triplets!
2. I have never been out of the country...I have only been across the Mississippi just to say I've been across the Mississippi.
3. I have lived in 5 states...but only a summer for 3 of them.
4. I was painfully shy as a child and still struggle in some social situations. 
5. I don't find myself very interesting. I am chronically pessimistic.
6. My husband is mean and won't help me with this list. (Ok, he finally helped me with 1 or 2.)
7. I worked for a summer at Cedar Point...but you already know that if you read Tuesday's post.
8. Even though my favorite color is purple, the song Start Wearing Purple drives me batty!  It's been banned in my presence.
9. I have worked in several different areas...I was an EMT, I have worked in food service, a daycare, a hospital.
10. I love to learn.  (Directly related to the previous statement.) I want to know a little bit about a lot of things.  I am the proverbial "Jack Jill of all trades, master of none."
11. I've always wanted to be a writer, but the whole thing frightens me.  I do, however, now have a piece published! I am a contributor to the collection of stories in Not Alone.
12. I knew way before Rich did that we belonged well that I even stalked him while he was dating other girls!
13. I have been arrested because I was upset over a boy. (But I wasn't stalking him at this point!)  :-)
14. I taught my husband to change a tire while 6 months pregnant.  ( I am much better at mechanical things than him...I put together the bookshelves/beds/anything else that needs put together!)
15. I waddled down the aisle.  It took him 5 months to come to his senses and ask and then we planned the wedding in two months...count it up, I was 7 months pregnant when I walked waddled down the aisle.

Here's my original post on the 30 Day Blog Challenge if you want to read what else I have to say.  I'd love for you to come along for the ride! :-)

So, did you think any of this was interesting?  What was your favorite thing to learn about me?  I would love to hear some interesting things about you too!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Attractive famous people - 30 Days Blog Challenge

Post 3 pics of Patricks people that you find attractive.

Patrick Jane (AKA Simon Baker)

I love The Mentalist because I just love Patrick Jane.  He is certainly not hard on the eyes, but he is so darn clever!  Now in looking up some information I find that he has three children named Stella Breeze, Claude Blue, and Harry Friday.  Now, isn't that just fantastic?  I couldn't ever do it...give my child a very different middle name...but I love the idea!

Patrick Dempsey

Starting to wonder if I have something for Patricks, huh?  Yeah, I didn't realize it either!  :-)  This one is just McDreamy

Ok, I just had to!  LOL!!

Here's my original post in the 30 Day Blog Challenge if you want to read what else I have to say.  I'd love for you to come along for the ride!  :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birthday Trip!

Today is Nick's birthday...he was born on MY birthday, by the way.  (So, that means that I will forever be 25, as he took my birthday from me!)  Anyway, we wanted to do something extra special for him because he's just such an awesome kid and he is a fantastic big brother.  We decided to take just him to Cedar Point.  (No brother!)  It was also a good excuse for us to go, we love it there!  :-)

First of all, Nick hates surprises.  To the point that he will mope and throw a temper tantrum.  This only makes me NOT want to tell him things more often, so we didn't tell him the plan.  We kept him in the dark.  He headed to school just like normal on this particular Friday.  I did fib to him and told him that Wesley wasn't going to school because he had an appointment.  This is no unusual thing for Wesley.  Little did Nick know that we would be packing up and taking Wesley out to stay with my dad for the weekend and picking up my mom to go with us.

We showed up at school at about 11 that morning and picked him up.  As soon as he got in the car, we told him that we were taking him somewhere for his birthday and to not ask any questions.  I did, however, supply him with a steady supply of hints that he received every 25 miles we traveled.  Every other one was announcing how many more miles to go, then the others were actual hints.  Such's surrounded by water and there are 6 consonants and 4 vowels in the name.   That hint proved to be a little more vague than intended.  I didn't realize how many things that this applies to!  Outer Banks and Great Lakes being a couple that he guessed.  Who knew?  Anyway, he didn't guess until we were about 20 miles away and he saw a sign.  By this time, we had ran out of clues and were playing an "unscramble me" game.

He finally figured out where we were going!  :-)
So, we went up on a Friday and spent the night in one of the resorts.  Wow!  This one has an indoor water park!  What fun!  We had a fantastic time with just this!  There were water slides all over the place, a wave pool, and even a water roller coaster!  This really got us into the mood for Cedar Point!  We relaxed a bit in the giant hot tub while Nicholas utilized the water slides a bit more.  Then it was off to bed for a good night's sleep.

Mom, me and Nick, ready to head out!
The next morning I grabbed a couple photos on our way out.
I can't get a real smile!
Look at that, Dad!

Rich and I worked at Cedar Point many moons ago, in 1998.  So, this place has lots of meaning for us.  We really wanted to share some of it with Nick.  Some of this being our love for roller coasters.  :-)  Now, Nick has never been to a big amusement park before, and therefore never been on a real roller coaster.  Rich was foaming at the mouth to get him on his first one!  We had a plan in place for the park.  Since we stayed in one of the resorts, we could get into the park an hour earlier than the general public.  Rich was going to take Nick on a smaller, milder one and work up to the Daddy coasters.  Turns out that our plans were all for naught.  The smaller, milder one was closed and while Mom and I were busy getting her a scooter for the day, they hit the Rich's favorite coaster...the Raptor!  I was a little worried about jumping feet first, but I should have known better.  My boys are daredevils!  We went straight to Top Thrill Dragster, but it's line was already stupid long, so we headed to the Power Tower.  Got Mom of this one...both sides.  :-)

It was really interesting how they have things set up for the handicapped.  Your party waits in line while you and one other person wait at the exit, once your party gets to the front, you get to slip in the exit and get on.  Fair for everyone!  Neat!  Anyway, we saw something really interesting while waiting for the Power Tower.  We saw an 86 year old woman get on and ride!  I want to be that woman!

We really did have a fantastic time.  They have lots of new things since we worked there, so it was interesting to tell Nick the way things used to be when we were there, but there are lots of things still the same as well.  I was the manager for a little food stand there, it was called the Surry back in the's a Subway now.  Rich, of course, played guitar.  He works less then half the hours that I did and made twice as much!  Now, I ask you, how is that fair?  Anyway, back to our trip.


I am afraid of height, but I am usually up for trying something at least once...this being one of them.  And that's it too.  I tried it once, I won't be getting back on this one!  I thought it would be just's really high, 301 ft...but it didn't seem to go that fast.  I imagined a beautiful scenic view up top!  Well, it was certainly a beautiful scene, but WOW!  What looks serene from the ground is screaming, flinging round and round up top!  Thirty-five mph doesn't sound that fast, but it's an entirely different thing when there is 300 ft of air beneath your feet!

While Rich wanted to get Nick on roller coasters, I had a different mission in mind.  Back in 1998, I had decided that I wanted to go on the Ripcord.  Unfortunately (for the sake of the ride), I ended up pregnant before I could achieve this.  So, going back (how many ever) years later, I was going to see this through.  We gave Nick the option and he choose to do it.  (See, I told you they were daredevils!)

Ripcord at Cedar Point

Now, you see those two towers?  They are 150 ft high and you fall head first from the top of this into a huge swing.  Nothing but you, air and the wire at your back.

We had to wait a bit in line...I think that was the hardest.  So, we got pretty nervous and had to talk ourselves back into the right state of mind.  Here's a look at our "Grrr" faces.

And we got it done.  It was, at the same time, the most exciting and most terrifying thing I have ever done!  And, I would do it again.  :-)

All in all, it was a fantastic birthday trip!  Thanks for going along with us.

Happy birthday to one of my very favorite boys!  Love you Nick!