2020's Word of the Year

2020 word of the year- Release
Release control of what I can't control. Release worry. Release fear. Release...

Tuesday, January 26


If you have a child or grandchild who has dolls with messy hair, you might want to go read my daughter's blog post from yesterday. She has been playing hairstylist!


2016 Reading Challenge

My friend April at Life...Simply Unscripted is having a reading challenge. If anyone is interested the list is right here. I have put the books I plan to read in bold. As usual my planned reading list is always subject to change. I don't mind being fluid, I never know when I'm going to see a new author or find an old book I want to re-read.
I still have some undecided categories so am open for suggestions.

1. A book based on a true story
No Longer A Slumdog
2. A book with pictures
Pocketful of Pinecones
3. A book that “everyone” is reading

4. A book made into a movie
The Other Boleyn Girl
5. A book with a green cover
6. A book set at Christmas time…I dare you to read this in July
Redbird Christmas
7. A book your friend loves

8. A book you bought or checked out just be cause of the cover

9. A book at least 15 years old

10. A book from the library

11. A book you keep starting but never have finished
The Book Thief
12. A book by an author you love

13. A book of poems
Verses of Virtue
14. A book based on another country
Sisterchicks On The Loose
15. A book you were to read in school, but opted for the Cliff Notes version instead
Julius Caesaer
16. A book that will (not guaranteed) make you smarter
10 Gifts of Wisdom
17. A book you allow your child to pick out (this could be interesting)
Harry Potter and the Golden Goblet
18. A book based on a place you have always wanted to visit

19. A book with a color in the title
The Green Ember
20. A book you love, reread and continue to read over and over again
A Lantern In Her Hand
Bonus 21. Challenger Choice

Here’s my challenge…if you read all 21 different books, you will be a Rock Star. If you read 15, you will achieve “You’re still pretty awesome” status. If you read 10 or less, maybe it’s time to carve out some more time for reading. If you read 5 or less, maybe you need to reevaluate your priorities. Reading is great for the mind, body and soul. You might learn something new, find a new place to visit, find a new author, get to the library more often and so much more.

Who’s up for the challenge?!

Tuesday, January 5


(Political Correctness Disclaimer- I used the word retarded in this post. It is not used in a derogatory way but it is used.)
Last year I learned a lot about expectations. When our youngest son was re-diagnosed from ADHD with an emphasis on the H to a disappointing conclusion that he was actually extremely low functioning my hopes were dashed. I must be dense because it took the Dr explaining in terms that I understood, that our son was just a few IQ points above severely mentally retarded that I understood. You see, I thought he had dodged that bullet.
When he was first diagnosed with Infantile Spasms we were told that 65% of the children who survive this type of seizure end up severely retarded. But he survived the seizures and continued to progress. Many hours of speech and occupational therapy and at the age of 5 he finally started to talk. But he was so uncontrollable, so angry, so hyperactive, so incredibly busy. The Dr's put him on meds to help but even though it made him less hyper he wasn't really more focused and he started to develop harmful habits.
In our world of political correctness, the school used the term developmentally delayed. I thought that meant exactly what it said. I assumed that if we continued to work that he would eventually catch up to his peers. That's what delay means right? Slow?  Behind? At one time we thought he would never walk and he did. They said he wouldn't be potty trained but we accomplished that. He was non-verbal and they cautioned us that he might never talk. Now he talks non-stop. So you can understand my confusion with the term developmentally delayed. And now I know why the IEP team at school rolled their eyes at me when they asked what my goal was for my son and I answered that my goal was to help him to be like all the other kids. I was missing vital information.
What I did not know is that today the term developmentally delayed is the same thing as mentally retarded. Apparently the powers that be think this sounds nicer but the problem is that we laypeople don't understand. Seriously if people would have told me 6 or 7 years ago that my son was mentally retarded it would have saved us all from much stress and much grief. You see I grew up around other children who were labeled mentally retarded and I understood that they were wonderful, loving people but they could not learn in the same way that the rest of us did.
So after months of dragging my kicking, hitting, severely distraught child to school in first grade, and after being called many times to come get him from school because he was disruptive, we brought him home for school. After all I had homeschooled my three oldest children so my thinking was that he needed more one on one attention and we just had to find his learning style. After a year and a half I was ready to throw in the towel. This child was so stubborn, refusing to learn, crying, kicking, screaming (I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the cops) I took him to the pediatrician and she listened to my woes. She also commented that our son was much more mature and behaving so much better than the last time she had seen him,always an encouragement to hear. She complimented both of us on his progress. And she suggested we see a psychiatrist and have him tested, that maybe it would give us some insight.
And that is exactly what we did. That day was eye opening for me. I was allowed to watch the testing from another room and I was astonished at how totally overwhelmed my son became. I could see that he failed miserably. When I heard his answers they seemed so random, nowhere near what was expected of him, but because I had worked with him so much I could understand why he answered what he did. The verdict of the testing was low IQ. In fact the dr said if we could bring him up to the level of a fifth grader that would probably be as good as we could expect.
I did what any mom would do. I went home and cried for a week, maybe two. This news was devastating to me. First I wondered what kind of life will my boy lead? Will he be able to learn to live on his own, to take care of himself? Second I thought what does that mean for us as older parents? Are we going to be able to financially prepare for taking care of him indefinitely.
After I had time to process this new information we had to rethink how we did school. The dr had suggested that the bad behavior may come because our son was so overwhelmed with the work that we were expecting him to do. That maybe we should start from the beginning and take it as slowly as we needed to do. That is exactly what we did and that is where I began to realize how I let expectations drive my life.
This post has gotten very long and I am feeling weary, as if writing about it I have lived it all over again. I will write more on what I have learned about expectations and how they affect my life. Until then I will say good-night.

Final 2015 Reading List

If I liked the book I put an asterisk before it.
1. *The Shape of Mercy- Susan Meissner
2.**The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie- Alan Bradley
3.*Gone With the Wind- Margaret Mitchell
4.***The Nightingale- Kristin Hannah
5. Mr Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse- Eric Hodgins (the movie was so much better)
6. *Truth Stained Lies- Terri Blackstock
7. The Prayer Box- Lisa Wingate
8. Jacob's Way- Gilbert Morris
9. Sisters of the Seashell- Lisa Wingate
10. The Woodcutter- Kate Danley
11. Taken- Dee Henderson
12. Angels Walking- Karen Kingsbury
13. **One Year- Mary McDonough
14.**Evil Obsession, The Anne Cook Story- Helen Yost
15. The Apron Book
16.*Island of the Blue Dolphins- Scott O'Dell
17. *Money Making Mom- Crystal Paine
18. *Agenda 21, Into the Shadows- Glen Beck
19. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath (I hated this book!)
20. **The Husband's Secret- Liane Moriarty
21.The Outsiders- S.E. Hinton
22. Christmas Bliss- Mary Kay Andrews
23. **The Man in the High Castle- Philip K Dick
24.**The Auschwitz Escape- Joel Rosenberg
25 I Want It Now- Julie Dawn Cole

Friday, January 1

How I Did on my Reading Challenge

I read 25 books. I did not finish the challenge but I enjoyed most of the books I did read. Note: I don't recommend The Bell Jar.

A friend is offering a different reading challenge this year. There are only 21 books on this list so it should be much easier.

• A book with more than 500 pages-Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
• A classic romance-Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
• A book that became a movie-Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
• A book published this year-The Nightingale- by Kristin Hannah
• A book with a number in the title- Agenda 21, Into the Shadows- Glen Beck
• A book written by someone under 30- The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
• A book with nonhuman characters-The Woodcutter- by Kate Danley
• A funny book-Mr Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse- by Eric Hodgins
• A book by a female author-The Shape of Mercy- Susan Meissner
• A mystery or thriller-Truth Stained Lies- Terri Blackstock
• A book with a one-word title-Taken- by Dee Henderson
• A book of short stories-Anderson's Fairy Tales- Hans Christian Anderson
• A book set in a different country-The Nightingale- by Kristin Hannah
• A nonfiction book-Evil Obsession- the Anne Cook Story- Helen Yost
• A popular author’s first book-The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie- Alan Bradley
• A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet-Truth Stained Lies- Terri Blackstock
• A book a friend recommended-The Prayer Box- Lisa Wingate
• A Pulitzer Prize-winning book-Gone With the Wind- Margaret Mitchell
• A book based on a true story--Evil Obsession- the Anne Cook Story- Helen Yost
• A book at the bottom of your to-read list- The Bell Jar-Sylvia Plath
• A book your mom loves
• A book that scares you
• A book more than 100 years old
• A book based entirely on its cover
• A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
• A memoir-I Want It Now- Julie Dawn Cole
• A book you can finish in a day-Sisters of the Seashell- Lisa Wingate
• A book with antonyms in the title
• A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit-The Husband's Secret-Liane Moriarty
• A book that came out the year you were born-The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
• A book with bad reviews
• A trilogy-The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
• A book from your childhood
• A book with a love triangle- The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
• A book set in the future-Agenda 21
• A book set in high school-The Outsiders- S E Hinton
• A book with a color in the title-Island of the Blue Dolphins-Scott O'Dell
• A book that made you cry-The Nightingale- by Kristin Hannah
• A book with magic-The Woodcutter- by Kate Danley
• A graphic novel-Ninjago- Rise of the Serpentine- yes I read this to my boys. :)
• A book by an author you’ve never read before-the Husband's Secret- Liane Morarty
• A book you own but have never read-Jacob's Way- by Gilbert Morris
• A book that takes place in your home town-
• A book that was originally written in a different language-
• A book set during Christmas- Christmas Bliss- Mary Kay Andrews
• A book written by an author with your same initials-
• A play-
• A banned book-
• A book based on or turned into a TV show- The Man in the High Castle- Philip Dick
• A book you started but never finished-