Sunday, September 11, 2016

Random Blurbs

     Blogging is apparently something I have forgotten how to do on any kind of regular basis lol.  I am really trying though so there is that.  I think there has just been so much that has happened in the past 3 years that I just don't know where to start.  Today I am watching replays of 9/11.  It really brings back all the fear and confusion and sadness.

     I feel like, in some ways, so much of our country has forgotten that day.  It seems that patriotism is at an all time low and I can't figure it out.  I don't understand how we have become so divided and hateful.  It is very sad.  I want my son to grow up in a country where the people are proud of it.  I want him to have the same pride in our nation as I did growing up.  I teach him love of country though.  Too many public schools do not do that anymore.  I make sure to teach him about how we came to be and all of the great people who came before us.  He loves history so this is quite easy to do.  

     Homeschooling is a new thing to us.  Well, not brand new.  We homeschooled last year for the first time.  I made it kind of a second grade do over because I felt he was lacking in some basic things he should know.  Some things we did way over grade level because he excels.  I like this so much better because I can pick and choose what works for him. When he attended public school he wasn't allowed to pick out library books that were over a 2nd grade level.  It made no sense to me because he can ready pretty much anything you put in front of him.  Yet they didn't push him in the areas he needed help.  Like his penmanship.  He was writing like a kindergartner.  There was absolutely no call for that.  He has dysgraphia so I understand it is hard for him, but that doesn't mean you let it slide and don't even try to fix it.  We spent last year using Handwriting Without Tears to work on his manuscript.  I am so proud of the progress he made.  This year we are doing cursive!  He has picked it up so quickly and it seems much easier for him than manuscript.  I will talk more about our schooling in future posts.  It is a joy.  I know that.

Living the THM lifestyle is going great so far.  I am trying really hard to stay on plan.  I am a little more restricted because of not being allowed gluten anymore.  The only thing I really miss though......potatoes hahaha.  Man, what I wouldn't give for some homemade potato salad.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Becoming A Trim Healthy Mama

I have been having some crazy health issues the last few years.  Well, if I am honest, way longer than that.  I tried years ago to find out what was going on but the symptoms I was dealing with were so random I believe the doctor thought I was either crazy or a hypochondriac.  I did not go to a doctor at all for 7 years unless I was sick.  No preventative care, no check ups, no gynecologist, no anything.  During this time my PCOS ran rampant and I gained so much weight.  I lost more hair on my head, got more hair on my face (ugh), started having high blood pressure, and starting having a lot of pain all over.  
3 Years ago I started going to my gynecologist again.  I do not recommend skipping your yearly exams by the way!  That was not smart of me at all!  Thank God I was fine but it could have been way different.  I also started seeing a new family doctor.  The results from him were pretty much the same thing I had gotten used to.  Everything was blamed on my weight and nothing was done. But I did start meds to treat my PCOS so that was a plus.
Fast forward to about 4 months ago.  I made an appointment at the office but could only see a nurse practitioner the day I was available.  So I made the appointment anyway.  This lady kicks butt.  She was directly on top of my high blood pressure and testing me for antibodies that may indicate an autoimmune condition.  I have a lot of symptoms and a huge family history of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's, and Polymyalgia Rheumatica.  The test for this came back positive (which it always has for me) so she sent me to a Rheumatologist.  He says I am gluten intolerant and that is the first thing I need to cut out.  He also said there are definite autoimmune problems but they haven't really defined themselves yet.  My numbers are not through the roof so our plan is to take this year and cut out all gluten and most grains in general, all soda, all sugar, and try to lose some weight.  Even though he assured me that my weight is a completely different issue and has nothing to do with what he is seeing me for.
With this in mind, I started researching ways of eating.  I have a friend who is celiac and I remembered her saying she followed the Trim Healthy Mama plan. I googled it and started reading.  Oh. My. Word.
Some of the testimonials are mind blowing.  I have pinned, read, looked, talked, and pinned some more to get ready to start this lifestyle.  I will be blogging through this and probably sharing things I like and dislike.  My ups and downs will be here as well.  I am not the only one doing this.  My sweet hubby is joining right in with me.  He doesn't really need to lose much weight but he says he wants to support me and that it can't hurt him either.  Plus, changing Blaze's way of eating (as much as you can change an Autistic kid's way of eating) is good too.  I have found some things I think he will eat.
I do hope you guys stick around and let me know what you think.  Click on the pic above to check out the Trim Healthy Mama website.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Long Time Coming

I decided on a whim to check out my blog tonight.  I haven't been on here in more than a year lol.  I missed out blogging our entire first year of homeschooling for Blaze.  It was an adventure!  Learned some things and built an even stronger relationship with him.  I am so thankful for that.  He is amazing. 

I noticed I had quite a few comments that were awaiting approval. I had no idea and I am so sorry to those who probably felt I was ignoring them. I wasn't.  I just haven't been on here in a long time.  All of the comments were on one post too.  My post on How To Freeze Okra for Frying. 
I did publish the comments and reply to them!  I will be getting back to blogging.  I am not sure which direction this blog will be going.  A lot of the same things I think.  Food, Blaze, homeschool, Autism, Blaze's activities, and more.  We shall see.  Anything you guys recommend?  

Now.  I need to figure out how to get my pics from my phone to my blog.  I never use my regular camera anymore.  I also do not like doing blog posts from my phone.  I would much rather use my computer.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Getting Ready To Get Away From Bullies

It's that time of year.  The kid is chomping at the bit to be done with school.  The parents are too for sure.  No alarms, no signing agendas, no dealing with bullying.  We are almost done with our public school experience.  I cannot complain about his teachers, principal, school, or special ed team.  They have all been wonderful.  His whole three years they have worked with him and cared for him tremendously.  He loves his teachers and he loved going to school.  But when one has to deal with kids like he has dealt with it becomes overwhelming.  Teachers have it hard.  They have 20 plus kids to watch and teach and take care of.  Kids who bully are sneaky.  They do things where they can't be seen or heard then they threaten the victim with worse if they tell.  They goad others into treating the victim badly with promises of the same treatment if they don't.  It is so hard to catch this happening.  Then when you have a son like mine.  Who has autism. It is even more difficult.  He thinks everyone is his friend.  He likes everyone and doesn't understand why someone wouldn't like him.  He takes what he gets and doesn't say a word to his teachers.  He comes home and is angry or crying or defiant and smart-mouthed.  This is completely unlike his normal personality.  So when this happens I know something is up.  The beginning of the year was the worst and there was a full blown investigation into the incidents occurring and it was found to be bullying formally and it was dealt with.  As the year went on there have been incidents over and over with the same kids.  I talk to him every time.  I tell the teachers every time.  I make sure he knows kids who do this are not your friend and to stay away from them but always keep them in your prayers because usually kids like this have a lot of sadness and anger inside.  We don't know what their home life is like and sometimes parents just don't teach their children to be caring and respectful.  It is really sad that kids have to deal with this. 

About a month ago Blaze started begging me to homeschool him.  I finally asked him why he didn't want to go to regular school anymore and he said," They say school is bully free but really it's not Mama."  That was enough for me to see he had some emotional scarring from the issues this year.  Also, the differences in Blaze will become more apparent as the kids age and his social skills don't really keep up with the other kids.  He is also the biggest kid.  Always.  Kids will target him to pick on so they can prove they are the toughest.  Blaze does not understand physical aggression.  We don't even play wrestle because he doesn't get it.  He has no concept of physical violence.  He doesn't get spankings because frankly they don't work for him.  Never did so after a few we didn't do it anymore.  He couldn't understand why we hit him when he is told not to hit anyone.  A rule is a rule. 

So starting next year we will be homeschooling him for 3rd grade.  Or I will.  He is so excited about it and honestly so am I.  I had a meeting with the IEP team yesterday and they all said he will do great and that he is an amazing kid and so polite and well behaved.  He is actually being promoted to 3rd grade instead of placed because he is at or above grade level in everything now.  That is thanks to the amazing teachers he has had.  They have done so well with him.  I am thankful that he had wonderful adults to look up to at school. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

52 Week Money Challenge

Wow.  The last time I blogged was June of 2013!!  It has been a long while.  I am hoping this year brings a lot less stress and a lot more positivity to my life.  We shall see how that goes. A lot of things happened in the time I have been gone and I will get through it one post at a time.  For right now though I am just letting you all know I am alive haha.  I started the 52 Week Money Challenge last week also!  If you haven't heard of it then you can check it out  HERE.

I printed my chart and marked off the first 2 weeks so far.  Yay me!  I am using an envelope to keep the money in.  Another thing Chris and I decided to do is when we have a little extra we are going to throw in an extra $20.  That way we will have even more at the end of the year.  We are looking forward to this year as the last mortgage payment EVER is this month and my car will be paid off next month.  Things are looking up and we have so many plans and dreams.  This is a whole new beginning and we are ready for sure!

So for now I am working on how to blog consistently and what to blog about.  The obvious is our life in general.  Food seems to be a very popular topic as I am still getting crazy traffic on my recipes.  Thank you Pinterest.  :)  Blaze is a definite as well.  You won't believe how big and awesome he is now!!  Until I am all set up I want to wish you all a wonderful new year.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cascade Platinum Review

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

I know a lot of people have had problems with their dishwasher detergent with the law changes a while back and I was one of them too.  I made my own for a while but it really started scaling up my dishes even when using water softener and rinse aids so I went back to commercial brands.  I have been using one particular brand for a long time now but lately I have had issues with left on bits of stuff on dishes and my dishwasher being dirty and dingy looking.  The gel pacs I have been using were also starting not to dissolve for some reason although I am not sure why.  So when I had the chance to work with Mom Central for Cascade I jumped at it.  I have been wanting to try the new Cascade Platinum packs in the dishwasher anyway!  I really wanted to give them a good test too so I let a glass baking dish sit for 2 days after cooking meat in it for supper.  I know.  Gross right??  But I really wanted to see if they worked!  And they did!  No kidding.  It killed me not to at least rinse this nastiness off but I didn't and I couldn't be more pleased with how Cascade Platinum performed for me.  
I don't have a fancy, schmancy, newfangled dishwasher either.  Mine is a hand me down but it does a great job and I am thankful for it.  So this was done in a basic machine and the results were awesome.  Check it out!
 Ready to go!
 Done and sparkling!  The foggy look is from steam on the glass.  It is sparkling seriously!
This is all the results I need to prove to me.  I never can leave dishes not pretty much washed before i put them in there for fear of stuff sticking to them.  Now, I don't have to worry about that!  And on the plus side, the inside of the dishwasher itself looks and smells better too.  I am definitely a fan and will be buying Cascade Platinum from now on.

Right now, Cascade is partnering with Top Chef judge and and editor of Food and Wine magazine, Gail Simmons, for an Instagram contest!  The contest is a 4 week Instagram contest encouraging fans to upload photos related to the weekly contest themes.  Show off how your dishes and your dishwasher sparkle and shine!!  You can visit the contest page HERE.  The prizes are amazing and anyone would love to win.  It could be you!  Each week, two contestants will be selected to receive a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher.  AND a grand prize winner will receive a Platinum kitchen makeover!!  To win, users have to both register and upload a photo with the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag @MyCascade.   Get more info on Cascade's Facebook page and on Cascade's YouTube channel.



Thursday, May 23, 2013

End Of The Year Teacher Gift

I wanted to post the special gift I made for Blaze's main teacher as she was so wonderful with him this year.  I don't know if you have seen the poem When You Thought I Wasn't Looking or not but I took that and switched it up to make it personal for Blaze and his teacher.  Then I used a cheap frame, scrapbook paper and stickers, and cork letters to make a plaque for her.  I am posting the poem and a photo of the plaque.  She sent me a letter telling me how much she loved it and how much it meant to her.  So sweet.

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking...
When you thought I wasn't looking,
you put faces on the chart for me,
and I finally understood what it meant.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
You displayed my art,
and it made me want to make more.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
you kept my routines the same for me,
and I knew school was safe and fun.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
you explained things to me more simply,
and I knew that I could learn too.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
you smiled and hugged me, but not too tight,
and I knew you cared for me.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
you cared,
and I wanted to do my best for you.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
you made kindergarten amazing for me,
and I knew that I was smart.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I looked,
and I want to thank you for all the little things you did,
when you thought I wasn't looking.