Friday, December 31, 2010

10 in 2010

2010 has been an eventful & busy year for us. And since with the close of 2010 (in seven hours here), we will also have said goodbye to the first decade of this century, I thought I'd look back a bit and celebrate 10 in 2010!

* After a few attempts, I created a new blog header this year and finally created a matching blog button.  Come & grab it, if you'd like!

Time Crafted

*  Time Crafted celebrated its first blog birthday in 2010 and I'm looking forward to celebrating number two quite soon!

*  We, as a family, fulfilled one of my main goals behind choosing the One Little Word {Life} for 2010 with our veggie and herb garden.  We all enjoyed planting, tending, watering, and harvesting summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes and many other tasty delights.  Looking forward to continuing this family activity in 2011 as well!

Crooked Neck Squash
1st Zucchini Harvest '10
First Tomato '10

*  Created a page dedicated to Autism & GF/CF Links and have recently updated with three fab mama bloggers who share their stories (they are most definitely Worth the Click).  I'll be adding some fantastic gluten free, GF/CF, and other food allergy/sensitivity bloggers on that page in the coming weeks!

*  2010 had me spreading my wings creatively through photos & fun Flickr play, altering journals (I didn't do a lot of altering in the past & now I'm loving it, with more altered projects in the works!), writing & bringing story back into  my words, and while I've stalled a bit in my journey with paint, I'm looking forward to pushing through in 2011.

*  Signed up for a social media hot spot that I never thought I would get into:  Twitter.  And can I tell you a little secret?  Lean in and I'll tell ya.......I really like it!  Come find me @timecrafted!

*  Found some uber fun weekly hops to participate in, including Tickled Pink at 504 Main, Writer's Workshop at Mama's Losin' It, and SITS Back 2 Blogging event in September.

*  Speaking of 504 Main, Holly has put together "THE BEST of Tickled Pink 2010" this week, with five different categories and I was incredibly honored that my story Meet Grandma meets Jerry Rice has been included in Part 3A Cool Ideas!

Best of Tickled Pink at 504 Main

Thanks so much, Holly!

*  Holly is also doing a Tickled Pink link up today for this Best of 2010 party and I very quickly knew which post o' mine is my favorite this year.  I've linked up with a story of my Four Musketeers and our adventures through over twenty years of friendship:  A Special Day...Five years in the Making.

*  And I've saved the best for last.  What's that you ask??  YOU!!  You are the part of the blogging equation.  And I'm grateful for all the connections I've made in the beginning, the new people I've connected with in 2010, and I can't wait to continue in 2011!

Thank you for each of your visits and every comment, tweet, and email!  I can be a chatterbox in real life and I love chatting with you! :> 

Here's to a wonderful 2011 for all of us!  What plans do you have for the coming year?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Random can be kind of Great!

Visiting with my Dad, his wife, and my brother made today {Great}, all by itself, but then as they were leaving, Random struck, which also had a bit of its own greatness, too!

As my family was getting in their car to leave for the night, a dog trotted across the road to the car to say 'hello'.  I didn't want him to get hit as they were about to pull out, so I patted my leg and he trotted on over.  He wasn't huge, but a good size, taller than my knees, white with some large black spots, and quite mellow.

I held his collar as they left and then we went back up the house so that I could call the phone number on his tag.  As I was dialing, I found his name, "Coolio".  Have to admit, he was pretty cool.  The kidlets, of course, came clamoring to the door to see why I had a dog with me and to ooooo & ahhhhh and get some petting in. 

Unfortunately, I didn't have any luck with the number on the tag....not right away.  And Coolio had decided to go for a walk.  So, I followed him, hoping he was visiting someone on our street.

Coolio led the way and I followed.  If he got too far ahead, he trotted back and got me and then we proceeded on down the street, then back up, then down and into the next neighborhood.  At this point, I realized it was close to eleven o'clock at night and with no jacket, a wee bit cold.

But, we walked some more, Coolio sniffed every walkway, every bush & shrub, chased a couple cats for about 1.2 seconds each, and I followed.  When I realized I was starting to sleep walk and turn into a popsicle, I knew I needed to turn around and walk home. 

I was torn though, I didn't want Coolio to get hit by a car.  To my utter surprise, when I turned at the end of the street, Coolio stopped, turned around and followed me all the way back home.  When I got home, I realized why I had been cold (besides the no jacket thing), my glasses immediately fogged up from the warmth of the house....that and the thermometer read 36 degrees (F). 

We gave Coolio some water, my boy came back out of his room to pet him some more, and just as we were about to try calling his owner again, the phone rang with that very same person:  Coolio's owner!

While I was waiting for Coolio's owner to come & pick him up, I noticed the writing on his collar.  It read, "Coolest Dog Ever" and ya know what?  I think that about sums it up.

All of it felt random, but ya wanna know what else?  Random can be kind of {Great}!

What {Great} bits of randomness have entered your life lately?  I love a great story!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

GFCF Christmas Cookies & Apple Tart

We had a wonderful Christmas this year and now we're enjoying some fantastic family chill time....even the kidlets are happy to be in on it and are quietly playing.  I hope you have had a great weekend too!

But, let's zip back in time a touch to Friday morning, Christmas Eve.  I did not get to holiday baking this year, but I had picked up a bag of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Mix

And I was treated to a fabulous early present........hubs got up with the kidlets and by the time I dragged myself out of bed, he was already baking Christmas cookies with them!  (Hubs made two small alterations to the recipe on the bag. He used ghee, instead of butter to make it casein free (CF) and two egg yolks, instead of one.)

Our sweet boy made GFCF shortbread Christmas tree cookies.

And wee girl was all about making stars.

And then hubs got creative and decided to roll out enough of the left over dough to try using it for a GFCF apple tart.  This is a pic of it before it went into the oven.  I was madly wrapping some presents before my inlaws arrived when it came out, golden in color and smelling quite delish!

And of course, Santa and his reindeer needed their treat to keep them fueled up for all the houses they had to hit in one night, right?!  I got quite a chuckle when I saw what Color Me Katie's little brother left for Santa, his reindeer, and the iguanas along for the ride!

Hope your holiday was fantastic and full of smile worthy moments!

Disclosure:  The cookie mix link is an affiliate link.  If you choose to use the link it might cover a few bites of those yummy cookies....if my son will share the last one with me. :>

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas {de}Lights

No, this isn't my house.  But, it is on our annual Christmas lights drive!  (Actually, they do up a pretty spooktaculus Halloween themed display as well! :>)

The kidlets & I were late getting out on our eye spy adventure full of Christmas cheer this year.  Thankfully though, we did get to see many a twinkle & a glow.  And now...

I am sitting here in the quiet of my house
With only a clock ticking and oh my, I sure hope there's no mouse(!);
Handmade stockings are hung, above a gas fireplace with care,
In hopes that Kris Kringle will soon be there;
The children will be snuggled all quiet in their beds,
While images of a fat man & his reindeer flit in their heads;
And hubs sound asleep & me, here with you
Presents await pretty paper, tape, and tissue...

Oh me, oh my, there's still more to wrap?!
My goodness, what keeps me here,
May I ask that?!

Well, if I might answer my own question, the answer is YOU!  Thank you for visiting, reading, saying hello.  I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading your comments, connecting, & visiting so many of you!

To any & all who are celebrating, Merry Christmas!!  I do hope it is one of cheer, with a light or two, maybe some holly & mistletoe, and most of all, a smile.  And of course, if you're not singing carols, trimming a tree, or lighting a candle, I still wish you a most smile worthy day!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Teacher's Gifts with Etsy Love {Sunbasilgarden}

Took my boy to school this morning, for his last day there in 2010 and in hand we had his GF/CF Coconut Bliss chocolate 'ice cream' bar for him to eat at the class party and his teachers' gifts.

Often, I hand make their gifts, but I knew that time would run short this year. Thankfully, when I saw Sunbasilgarden's uber cute hand crafted soaps, I knew I had a great solution!

He has two great teachers, one received the Pink Sugar Cupcake Soap and the other the Fresh Pear Cupcake Soap.  Lauren, the woman behind Sunbasilgarden, also sells the four cupcakes as a cute set, packaged in a bakery tray.

His aide received an adorable, don't ya wish it was summer, Lime Water Ice Soap.  And again, Lauren sells an adorable gift set with all four flavors, mean scents.

The cupcakes & ice water soaps all came with cute tags on them for me to write on, but since its for Christmas, I replaced them with these adorable retro tags I found online.  Print them on cardstock and simply cut them out or add glitter, Stickles, or use a spica glitter pen to add a little festive flair!

This Pomegranate Paradise Salt Soap is in my shower right now.

And while Lauren is closing up Sunbasilgarden for Christmas in a couple of days, doesn't this Winter Wonderland Soap with scents of peppermint and vanilla sound perfect for January?

Or how about some Hot Chocolate Whipped Soap?

And the bar version of Hot Chocolate Soap....aren't those marshmallows cute?!

Under the Christmas tree are a couple more cute Sunbasilgarden soaps all wrapped up.  Did you do any Etsy shopping this holiday season?

Tickled Pink at 504 Main

And I'm Tickled Pink, bringing all this cuteness to school today and because Holly has featured my art journal cover on her Tickled Pink post today!  I'm quite happy to link up again today...come play, so I can visit you too! :>

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Inspiration Everywhere - Art Journal {Cover}

Jessica Sprague's Inspiration Everywhere has been a fantastic class! I just loved how many different creative sources & mediums the class assignments were pulled from.  In fact, it has drawn & pushed me to a variety of inspiration wells to drink from & materials to play with.

There has been a variety of assignments & I will be back to share more of them, but first I wanted to share an ongoing assignment in the class, our Art Journals.  And what do we start with first?  But, the cover, of course!

While Jessica Sprague embraces design & creativity through technology, her site also allows for the scissor & glue types as well.  And though I'm learning more & more techno/digi options each day (& there were digi options for these pages as well), I chose to pull out acrylic paints, sparkle glaze, Tim Holtz masks, & my favorite Spica glitter pens.

Ironically, Tim Holtz was demonstrating his masks (in reverse) on today's 12 Tags of Christmas tag  (talk about a fountain of inspiration!) and I will definitely have to remember to stamp with them next time!

I painted over the alpha letters 'a', 'R', and 't' first with a red, then orange, then yellow.  While the background bright pink was straight out of the bottle, I mixed the other three colors for the shades I wanted and added a sparkle glaze that I had on hand (it adds bits of glitter to the paint).  I also dry brushed on all three colors around the perimeter of the cover.

'Journal' and 'Inspiration Everywhere' are written in black & while it seems that I was not able to pick it up with the camera, they are traced over with a black spica glitter pen & do indeed sparkle.

I didn't paint the left edge, under the spiral, intentionally.  Initially, I was going to just tie color coordinated ribbons all over the spiral, but a wee different idea has sprung.....I'll share more with the next art journal post! ;>:>

What is lighting your creative fires these days?  Both Jessica Sprague & Tim Holtz have lit many creative sparks for me and I'd love to know what's working for you!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

A Landslide of Lego Love

What toys whispered colorful stories to you in your childhood?

Here, Lego whispers many woven tales into inspired ears. If I listen closely, I might be able to share a tale or two told to a few in this house, but today, I am trying to bring some order so that those imaginations may continue to soar.

Our living room has become victim to a landslide o' Lego's!  Initially, Hubby was helping our son rebuild a pirate ship, but when they couldn't sift through the big overflowing tub o' Lego's to find particular parts (filled with thousands of Lego's comprised of remnants of Hubby's childhood collection & our sweet boy's), Hubby laid a white sheet in the middle of the living room floor & dumped that big tub onto said white sheet, so they could see the parts more clearly.

Then we had this really big pile o' Lego's to sift & dig through.  They've rebuilt most of the pirate ship now, but I thought it would be a good time to bring them back into my son's room in a much more organized fashion (to help him build his Lego creations and/or save my bare feet when I step on a rogue little itty bitty piece of hard, pointy plastic....yeeeouch!!).

I had recently read a great post on Lego organization, Lego love, and her boy, Simon's explanation of a Harry Potter Quidditch match via video (which my boy watched and thoroughly agreed with Simon's assessment) on Ali Edward's site.  And while the little drawers seemed too small to house my boy's Lego collection, I did really like the idea of the drawer units.  I picked up these two Sterilite 5 Drawer Storage units and we began sorting by colors, specialty parts, and mini figures & animals.

We've rallied the whole family in the process and sorted.  And sorted.  And sorted.  And as I write this, we're still sorting, but I can see the white of the sheet beginning to show through the pile we still have to finish. (I'm hoping for today, so that we can get the Christmas tubs into the Lego filled living room & light the lonely looking tree in the corner!)

A fun site to check out for some building inspiration with all those Lego's is Brickshelf.  Its galleries are full of pictures of quite a variety of creations that everyday Lego loving people (kidlets & the young at heart) have submitted.

What I have always thought is so cool about Lego, is not only that initial fun of building something new, but the imagination that comes in so many forms after that first building.  Whether it be the imaginary play with the mini figures and the scene, plane, ship, car, boat and surrounding creations or the imagination in building something new and original with all those fun, colorful Lego's, there is the opportunity for imagination itself, in whatever form suits the individual and the way their mind works.

Did you play with Lego's when you were growing up?  Do you have Lego's in your house today?  Are there any favorites? 

Disclosure:  The links to the Lego sets & Sterilite storage drawers are affiliate links and are items that we are putting to good use in our home.  If you choose to use the links, they might cover the nonfat milk in my coffee.  All other links are to sites that have no idea what I like in my java or who I am.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas

Creative inspiration wise, this is my favorite time of year!  And if you are a papercrafter, you probably know why.......that fabulously creative guy, Tim Holtz is back with his 12 Tags of Christmas, starting today!!!!  Ahhh...happy sighs.

But, wait!  Even if you do not paper craft, I would bet that you could & can find inspiration from Tim and highly recommend running clicking on over and checking his posts out.  He is one of my regular stops all year round.

And while I never need convincing to go check out what Tim is up to in his studio, I did absolutely love the little video he made for us in anticipation of this year's 12 Tags of Christmas.  Check it out...I've watched it..ahem...a few times now!  More happy sighs.

I really must run now, there is grunge paper, ink pads, paint, and a wee girl (who adores that man and his technique videos!) calling my name!  What creative calls do you hear this time of year?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Inspiration Everywhere at Jessica Sprague!

Jessica Sprague is back at it, offering a free online course on her site that looks like a whole lot o' fun!  What's even better (besides the free thing...which is always fun, right?! :>), its geared towards the crafty & creative as a whole.  Its not just for photographers or scrapbookers or card makers etc., but for all with creative spirit looking to get inspired & put that inspiration to use!  Sounds pretty cool. :>

Thursday, November 25, 2010

{Thanks}giving Autumn Love

We are celebrating Thanksgiving today, in the U.S. and I want to wish you a fantastic one!

And as we are extremely grateful for our beautiful surroundings, I thought I might take this chance to share a little autumnal love before we usher in winter and the Christmas season!

'Our Tree'

We have so enjoyed watching this tree on its autumn journey!!  For quite some time, half the tree was a vibrant green, while the other half turned a gorgeous crimson red. 

The contrast was so striking and caught our breath every time we passed it.  After several breathless moments on our almost daily country drives, the kidlets & I came to call this beauty, 'Our Tree'.


'Our Tree' deserved a little up close love as we checked out the variation in colors.  It looked like a fantastic fiesta as we got closer.

Favorite Fall Glimpse

And this, this small moment on one of our many country drive routes, had me smiling from ear to ear, each and every time.  From burgundy to deep reds to shades of crimson, rust, orange flames to gorgeous golds and even a couple summer green holdouts, I breathed autumn in deeply each time we passed by.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate and whether or not this is your holiday, may your day bring you joy and the spirit of gratitude!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

GFCF Daily {love}

Twitter has proved to be a huge gluten/casein (& other food allergy/sensitivities) free resource!  @GlutenFreeDee is an amazing resource, pulling together information from the #GF, #GFCF, #celiac, #autism, #glutenfree, #gfree hashtags (hashtags are groupings or categories within twitter & its tweets).

The GF/CF Pumpkin Bread I made & blogged last year, was featured in today's #GFCF Daily.  Yay! :>

I also want to take a minute to highly recommend checking out Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, the creator of the GFCF caramel apple & caramels featured in today's GFCF Daily.  Her site is fantastic and she creates & accommodates for many food allergies.  Some of her dishes (especially older recipes) are just gluten free, but more recently, there are casein & egg free recipes as well.  I found her via Twitter (@adventuresgfmom) and am able to see what she's up to almost daily since I 'Liked' her fan page on Facebook as well.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  We just finished eating a scratch (including the stock) GFCF chicken, veggie & brown rice soup that Hubby had cooking on the stove all day.  And on a non-GFCF note, I'm looking forward to watching Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network in an hour as I missed its first airing earlier in the week.  Have you seen it?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Java Affair

I'm playing writing along with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop today & since I took a bit of an unintentional blogging break, I thought the prompt:  A list of 10 reasons you do or do not drink coffee, was pretty perfect to jumpstart a post!

As a teen, when friends were first finding their java love (or working on their Joe Cool factor) and I wanted nothing to do with it (I thought coffee tasted like battery acid), they told me, "You'll get into it in college." 

In college, working full time and carrying a full load of classes, I was asked, "Why don't you like coffee?" and "You don't like coffee?!?!" that included a 'you're crazy' look burned in my direction.  Eventually, calm would return & they would shrug and say, "I'm sure you'll grow to like it."

After college, more people told me with all knowing glances, "You'll appreciate java after you have kids."

I had a kidlet.  Still thought coffee tasted like battery acid.  I was sticking to my Diet Dr.Peppers.

A few years later, I had another kidlet.

And after my second kidlet was a year old and some friends were making a Starbucks run, I finally asked how I could have some java and actually like it (without it being like dessert! know those coffee drinks, right?! or tasting like said battery acid).

She recommended a nonfat, sugar free vanilla latte.

And a new affair with java began.

And to keep in line with the actual writing prompt, "A list of 10 reasons you do or do not drink coffee.", here we go:

1)  I have not successfully found a way to transfer kidlets excess of energy to myself.

2)  I have two energetic kidlets and....see #1.

3)  Liquid Stevia, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and unsweetened coconut milk have become my friends.

4)  Husband's uber strong black Folger's coffee (which he makes a full pot of in the morning before I'm up & I drink the leftovers...but, not usually until about noon, ice water rocks my boat before that.  I know, I'm weird like that.) has made exceptionally good friends with my new friends.  See #3.

5)  On cold days, a hot cuppa java warms the icicle appendages extending from my hands.

6)  I no longer feel socially inept when the java lingo starts buzzing around me (though I still have no idea what some of those java requests are once they get more than ten names to a drink).

7)  Iced coffee made at home with a little nonfat milk & Splenda can make me mighty happy on a hot afternoon.

8)  Coffee is more readily available than a preferred carbonated beverage as we do not wake sleeping husband without the promise of morning coffee.

9)  Did I mention the super energetic kidlets?

10)  Might I remind you again, of Reason #1.  But, if you have figured out how to do that, please do share!

Mama's Losin' It

I still can't drink black coffee (due to that battery acid taste and all), but ever so thankful for ingredients that like to go for a swim in there.  Oh yea, and Dana, thank you for helping me meet Java halfway across that tasty hot cuppa bridge!

So, are you a java drinker?  Or is tea, chai, soda, or water more your style?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween pumpkins get their Jack-O-Lantern ON!

I'm sure you're sick of Halloween already, but I have one last post on the subject for you! 

We have a history here of having fun with the carving of our pumpkins each year.  I had hoped to share some more Halloween pumpkins' past, but after reloading drivers today, we've discovered our scanner has gone kerplunk, kaphooey, kaput!  And all the rest of our previous carved pumpkins are on film & print (aka not digital), so that will have to wait some more until I can make them one with the digital era. :>

And this year, we had some firsts!

This happy little pumpkin is wee girl's and she gutted her pumpkin & half of mine for the first time this year (which made her Dad really happy since he usually does the majority of the pumpkin gutting each year). 

And a few days before we had even gone to the pumpkin patch to carefully select each of our pumpkins, she had drawn & colored the pumpkin face that she wanted on her magical little pumpkin.  She brought her design to her Dad & he carved it for her.  Can I tell you she was so proud & excited to see her sweet happy pumpkin face design come to life when it was carved out?!

Now this Jack-O-Lantern is my boy's.  As I was prepping my pumpkin, he was carving his (another first....his first solo carving!) and said, "I'm carving an old fashioned from 1980. That's a long time ago!"  Oh my.

Hubby prefers 'scary' pumpkins & carved this face.....the slug crawling up the face likes it! lol  Hubs & I both like pumpkins with cool stems.  I forgot to get a lighter shot of mine, but I loved my stem...all curly with dried curly cues hanging from it.  Speaking of my pumpkin.....

Fun carving again, this year, I had!  (There's my feeble attempt at Yoda-ease!)  My hand hurt when I was done, but I was happy with the results.  What do you think??

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend!  What's happening in your part of the world?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Star Wars + Legos + channelled excitement = "Something Cool"

We had a kidlet who was practically bouncing out of his skin with excitement & anticipation when Halloween arrived.  As any parent would do to save their sanity to encourage some mellow chill time in the house, Hubs simply said, "Why don't you go build something cool." 

And off the excited kidlet went.

A few minutes later, he returned with...

...Dengar's speeder and...

...Bossk's speeder.

Yes, somebody really loves Star Wars in this house and of course, our favorite building material to go 'build something cool' with, Legos

Linking up with other Wordless/ful Wednesday posters!

Harry Potter & some {wand}erful wizard worthy magic!

Thanks to a kind Auntie loaning our sweet boy the Harry Potter books & movies, once he read the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone & saw its movie full of magical images, he knew exactly what he would be this Halloween!

And so a parade at school on the 29th & trick or treating on the 31st brought Harry Potter through these parts. Thankfully, we had advance notice of the wizard's arrival and were able to prepare a special wand.

Father & son took to the task of creating a wand for the special wizard and grabbed the mysterious mini tree growing from the ground that had been hacked down recently.  The magical, sweet son got his first chance to use a knife (supervised, of course!) to shave off most of the bark.

His Father (aka Hubby) & magical, sweet son whittled it into shape.  They both did a bit of hand sanding and the adult in the operation then torched the end and a bit of the handle's edges.

Stain was rubbed in, wiped off, and the whole wizard perfect wand was given a clear coat.

Add some brass wire, wound around at the top of the handle and the base of the tip, secured by tucking into a pin hole and its ready for Hogwart', um, I mean a visit from Harry Potter himself.

I'm no wizard, but I do love that handle and the magical, sweet son Harry Potter enjoyed it too!

Hope you enjoyed a wee bit of magic that zapped us this Halloween!



Disclosure:  I was in no way compensated for this post.  Harry Potter book & dvd links are affiliate links.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Autism Shout Out

Today, people around the globe are participating in Communication Shutdown.  They are trying to highlight the challenges in social communication for those on the autism spectrum by not using their Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets.  I'm going a different route.

I'm a Mama of a kidlet with autism.  My kidlet is smart, sweet, loving, and since I'm his Mom, I'm just going to say it, he's fantastic!  And on the other side of the coin, autism brings us many daily challenges to spur on our patience, creativity, and ability to think outside the box.  Here, I shared more about why I'm not participating.

I am joining others today on Twitter for an Autism Shout Out!  If you would like to join us, please use the tags #AutismShoutOut #TalkAboutAutism and/or #ASDay and of course, when you see these tags, please retweet! :>

There are others who are also blogging about this special day!  If you have written a post in support of the Autism Shoutout, please link up at Sunday's Adventures in Extreme Parenthood.  And please stop by her blog so that you can visit peeps who are writing, tweeting, and facebooking along! :>

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Neverending Pumpkins - Wordful Wednesday

Do you have your pumpkins yet? 

We have quite a few mini pumpkins now, but no big ones yet (to be remedied this week!).  Wee girl's whole world gets brighter every time she sees one.  She takes detours in a store, cranes her neck to see the pumpkin patch when we drive by while on one of our country drives, and spends most of the year asking me when Halloween is.

And mini pumpkins are so worth the buck!  They last forever....and ever and ever and ever.  I threw the last one from 2009 into the yard waste bin (which also takes compost materials) in August.  Yes, August, 2010.  And there was a whole lotta nothing wrong with it!

Wonder how long this year's batch o' mini pumpkins will last??

So, do you have your pumpkins yet?  Do you celebrate Halloween, carve pumpkins, roast their seeds, cook up pumpkin goodness, climb hay bales, wander through corn mazes?  Do tell!  I love the tales that fall spins. :>

I'm linking up:
Parenting by Dummies
A Beautiful Mess
Live and Love...Out Loud
5 Minutes for Mom
Angry Julie Monday

Friday, October 15, 2010

Autism will not shut down on November 1st, so I'll still be here too!

On November 1st, there is to be a communication shutdown on social media to raise money & awareness for autism.  Thousands of people and organizations are participating globally. While I think its fantastic that this is a world wide effort and I support increasing awareness, support understanding, support raising funds for research and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), I will not be participating.

I have found a great community of other families living with autism on message boards, Twitter, and Facebook.  Social media has not only become an outlet & avenue of support, but also a great source of information. 

I can understand the link between the communication shutdown of social media and the challenge of social communication for people with autism (and their families).

However, on November 1st, autism will still be here and so will I.

November 1st is a Monday, which means its a school day for us, where we have found numerous challenges to work through.  Verbal or nonverbal, communication is a far harder ballgame than I ever realized, before autism became a part of my family's daily lives.  Verbal language, social language, body language, tone, facial expressions, slang, sarcasm, reciprocal conversation, they all create challenges that require patience, ingenuity, resources, work, and more patience.

So, while I understand the link that is being drawn by shutting down social media communication & autism, I don't understand how that truly spreads the word, information, awareness & understanding.  Everyone else will go on updating their status on Facebook, tweeting, and posting away.  And instead of drawing attention to autism, there will be silence.  And yes, many people with autism live in silence, but to me, that only means we need to speak louder.....not join the silence.

Support your local autism resources.  Personally, I have received encouragement & a great deal of information from both my local chapter of TACA and Matrix Parent Network.  I urge you to seek yours out and learn what you can do to help this growing population of people & families living with autism.

Monday, October 11, 2010

From a Lizard to Done to The Bridge

When evening arrived today, I was done. 

What?  What's that you say?  I still needed to get the kidlets dinner, finish encouraging, teaching, and cheering on a kidlet who was finishing up homework, showers, chase down a lizard that decided to appear in my living room today (well over a decade here & there has never been a lizard inside my house, I rarely even see them outside...definitely stripped me of my zen) and did I mention that before any of this, I was already 'done'?  Done. 

But, I kicked in the Mama gear and ticked off the required activities of the evening.  And even though I was looking forward to watching Monday Night Football with my family, I needed a Mama break.  And thankfully, Hubby recognized that need.  (As I headed out, I realized that it has been over a year and a half since I've made this little solo escape!)

And off I went.  Where to?  Everywhere.  Nowhere.  Out.

Country drives are uber peaceful for me.  And I love this one lane bridge....when no one is behind you or in front, waiting to cross, if you pause in the middle, with only the water & setting sun's movement, everything stops, I breathe and my mind begins to quiet. 

On the occasions that I can't escape on my own (which is most of the time), when I've got that 'done' feeling, we listen to music, find quiet activities (coloring, painting, collaging, reading, etc.), or even head out together for a drive (I'm not the only one in this house who responds to a country drive! :>).

Always on the lookout for more deal with the 'done' mode methods, I'd love to know what you do to relax. 

What do you consciously do to dial down your day, when your day is not yet over?

Edited to add:  Mama did it!  Wee girl casually mentioned she sees the lizard. I caught it with a kidlet's Seahawks snack bowl that was sitting out.  Turned the bowl over & trapped it.  When I tried to move it, the little lizard escaped. I moved fast like him (her?? how to tell??!) and caught him/her again.  With wee girl's help, we got it outside & let it go. Phew.  Happy lizard.....OUTside.  Happy Mama.
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