"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Sunday, December 30, 2012

And baby makes 5!

Yeah, you read that right.  In all the insanity that was our Christmas we discovered that we got a Christmas gift from God this year...we're expecting!  I was a bit in disbelief but so excited at the same time!!

The insanity began the week before Christmas.  We didn't have ANY Christmas preparations done this year and we weren't even done shopping for the kids let alone friend and family.  The idea of home made Christmas gifts went out the window and we took a deep breath and started shopping.  By the evening of the 22rd we had finally finished our shopping (thank GOD my husband took the week off!) and the wrap-a-polooza began!  I was EXHAUSTED!  That morning (December 23rd) around 2am Sassy had an accident in her bed.  After cleaning things up my husband went back to bed, but I couldn't sleep.  I had planned to take a test that morning anyway so I decided I might as well just take it.  So at 2:30 am I discovered that we were going to grow our family even more!  

That night I came across this verse:
"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him." 
Psalm 127:3

I don't feel very worthy but the same time so thankful the Lord chose to reward us with the miracle of life.  We are feeling truly blessed and this verse just warms my heart, reminding me how precious this gift truly is.  We are so thankful that God chose to give us this gift!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Favorites Friday: Life Factory Glass Bottles

My favorite for this week that I'd like to share is Life Factory glass bottles.  This is something I don't feel I could really live without.  I Love these bottles.  With so many issues with plastics (BPA, BPS, PVC etc etc) it's difficult to find a non-toxic way to bring filtered water with you when you are on the go.  Stainless steel is an option but I find after a while the water has a metal taste and the containers can rust.  I discovered the Life Factory company about a year ago when I was looking for non-toxic sippy cup options for the kids.  I wish I had found them sooner.  Their baby bottles can convert to a "sippy" cup with a quick change in the top. 

 We now use these every morning to give the kids their juice and supplements.  I found that our homemade juice was sticking to the plastic of the kids sippy cups and would clog up the tops quickly making them unusable.  The glass bottles work perfect and clean well in the dishwasher.  They are also durable.  If my kids haven't broken them, then they HAVE to be tough!

I had purchased one for myself and really liked it but wished the lid had a spout to make drinking a bit easier in the car (which we are in quite a bit).  Then I was at the dentist one day and discovered the 20 oz version of what I had with a spout!  I now use this bottle almost every day.  It's nice to have a brand I know and trust to be safe for my family.  Check them out today! http://www.lifefactory.com/

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our plans for the month of December.

Last year (our first year homeschooling), we attempted to continue school up until the week of Christmas.  This plan quickly became a failure and it just didn't happen.  I soon began to feel like a failure myself and proceeded to beat myself up about it. It soon turned a season of joy into a stressful time of regret.  This year we are trying something different and so far so good. 
I know that December is busy...no...crazy.  Instead of  following a lesson plan like I have been, for the month of December we are focusing the majority of our activities around advent and Christmas.  I am giving the kids a couple of daily worksheets to work on as well as a craft.

The focus this month is Christmas, more specifically, the birth of Jesus.  To keep us on track and REALLY get into learning the meaning of Christmas, we are using The Truth is in the Tinsel.

Some of the ornaments we have made so far

My children LOVE this and to honest, I'm also learning a lot! I love knowing that my children are learning all of this early.  We also created a substitute for our Calender for December.  I had the kids color ornament pictures that have the different names of Jesus.  We are using the pictures to cover up each day that has passed.  The tree is helping to keep track of how many days until Christmas and it teaches the kids the many different names of Jesus.

Our "calender" for the month of December
I sat and came up with a few concepts I wanted to focus on as well such as adding and subtracting, money, counting by 10s, and handwriting skills.  I have a ton of workbooks, so I've been able to use these to reinforce theses concepts.  I also have found so many wonderful resources for Christmas theme printables.

Here are some great places to find Christmas printables:
Living Life Intentionally
Spell Outloud
Bible Story Printables
Jennifer A Janes

Monday, November 19, 2012

O is for Octopus (MFW)

This week in our little kindergarten we worked on the letter O and counting by 10's.  We also gave our first gift to Jesus!  We started our week by packing up our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  Sassy and Peanut went with me to the store and helped to pick out he items they wanted in their boxes, they helped pack them, and helped me to drop them off.  We made sure to include a letter in each box with a special message for the child who receives it.

The kids packing their shoe boxes.
The week began with exceptionally warm weather or New England this time of year!  We took advantage of it and went to a local park with some friends.  Both kids wore themselves out running and climbing!

Sassy was really into puzzles this week, so we spent some time on puzzles. 

I found some videos online about Octopus.  We worked on a week long mural that the kids worked on together.  Tuesday they made an octopus out of an outline of their hands.  Wednesday they painted the paper blue.  Thursday they made their fish and glued everything on to the mural.  They seemed to really enjoy the mural come together.

Our ocean mural
We finished the week with an "ocean" lunch.  We had octopus (an organic GFCFSF hot dog) and coral reef (Organic broccoli).  Sassy was a little unsure and I had to reassure her it was really just a hot dog and broccoli.

I finished my week with Christmas planning and as able to get most of the kids Christmas gifts.  Now it's time to plan the homemade gifts.

How was your week?

Where I linked up this week:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Favorites Friday: Earth Mama Angel Baby

This Friday the "favorite" I would like to share with you is Earth Mama Angel Baby.  I stumbled upon this company while on a search for a safer body wash, shampoo and lotion for Sassy and Peanut.  At first glance this company is for pregnancy and infants, and that does seem to be their target audience  but I soon fell in love with their soaps and lotion.  They are as pure as it gets with a toxin rating of 0.  

We make all of our own cleaners and detergents (except dishwasher detergent), but the price wasn't bad so I tried it.  And you know what?  I LOVED it!  The scent was perfect, the lotion absorbs well and works well and the soap lasts much long than what we had previously used!  I am in love with Earth Mama Angel Baby

God Bless!!!
Mommy Provost

*Disclaimer: I in no way have any connections or affiliations with this company.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's almost Turkey time!!!

I love this time of year.  The leaves are falling and the seasons are getting ready to change again.  This past week I looked at the calender and was shocked to see Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away!  Time to plan our Thanksgiving activities!

Last year I learned that a formal homeschool plan during the week of Thanksgiving is just NOT a good idea for our family.  It just doesn't happen with the dedication it should so instead I dedicate the week to Thanksgiving activities instead.

This is what we did last year: Thanksgiving Wrap-Up 2011 and T is for Turkey  

This years plan
Thanksgiving Activities:
* Thankful tree-  We did this last year and loved it. (See Thanksgiving Wrap-Up 2011 )
* Thanksgiving activity box- I kept the one we used from last year and I plan to add some new    activities to it.
* Printables- We are using a printable mat pack from Money Saving Mom and worksheets from Mamas Learning Corner
* Crafts- Beth over at Living Life Intentionally has a collection of fun ideas on her blog. I also found some great activities over at Keeper of the Home
* Sensory Box-  I am making a box with pumpkins, pine cones and leaves.

Thanksgiving menu:
Our kids are both organic, gluten, casein, and soy free.  I am organic, gluten free and avoiding dairy. Because of this, I make a mini Thanksgiving dinner that me an the kids can eat from so we don't miss out on all the yummy Thanksgiving treats.  
My menu plan:
* Turkey- This year we ordered a farm fresh turkey, and my husband is going to use olive oil instead of butter to flavor the turkey. (He usually rubs it down with a mixture of butter and herbs). *Be careful with turkey my gluten free friends!  Many turkeys are "flavor injected" and many times that contains gluten!
* Cranberry Sauce- I think I'm going to use this recipe, but I'm going to omit the orange juice and add in more sweetener. (Peanut can't have oranges).
* Stuffing- I have been saving my bread ends for a few months now and have enough for the stuffing.  I am using a recipe from Gluten Free Girl.  I used it last year and it was REALLY good. (I'm thinking I might use a little sausage or bacon in it too...)
* Desert- I honestly have no idea what I'm making us for desert.  I usually make pumpkin pie but the kids don't really eat it and I want them to be able to enjoy it.

Christmas Preparation:
I've been using the 12 Week Holiday Planner as a guide, but I honestly haven't stuck to it.  I have SO many great plans for organization, but I'm so disorganized it all gets lost in the shuffle!  I'm starting to slowly get a hold of that and things are slowly falling into place.
*  Angel Tree- We picked up our angels at church this Sunday!!!
*  Operation Christmas Child- It's drop off time! (November 12-19th)  We are going out this week to make our boxes, pray over them and drop them off.
*  Last year I was really inspired by the post at 1+1+1=1, so I need to start planning out activities for Jesus.

I'd love o hear your plans and recipes for Thanksgiving!

God Bless!!!

The Homeschool Post
photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: D is for Dinosaurs! (MFW)

This week we got a lot of work done!  A few weeks ago I had decided 5 days a week of homeschool was too much on our schedule and my kids and I were getting a bit worn out.  The kids are usually tired on Monday's after a busy weekend and Monday afternoon Peanut has OT and Speech therapy (an hour of driving round trip) so that is our hardest day.  So for the past few weeks we have been skipping "school" on Monday's and doing a mini bible lesson instead.  I found a Fruit of the Spirit devotional from Raising Arrows that we started to do.  I modified it a little and we focus on one character trait a week.  Throughout the week we try to exhibit this trait and discuss it.  This week we talked about Peace (a good one for Sassy)!
Our fruit of the Spirit baskets

We read many dinosaur books including What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? by John Morris and Ken Ham, How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, My "d" Book by Jane Belk Moncure, God Made Dinosaurs by Heno Head Jr, and Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! by Sandra Boynton.

We finished the MFW work as well as other supplemental worksheets, and worked on TeachMe Kindergarten on the iPad.  The MFW worksheets include a sheet to draw words that start with the letter or the week.  We haven't been doing this worksheet but I decided to start working it into their work.  Sassy was exited to do this and proud of her work.  Peanut on the other hand was NOT happy to do this sheet.  He will color but doesn't like to try to draw.  It's the same resistance I got from him with writing.  In the end we were able to work through it and get it done.  I'll be sue to start incorporating more activities like this into their assignments. 

I talked with the kids about the election on election day, and they watched a short Schoolhouse Rock about the electoral college, but they were not too interested.  The video may have been a little over their head.  They love the Schoolhouse Rock videos, and loved this one, but they were uninterested in the election.  They'll be 4 years older next election so I'm thinking we will have to do a whole unit on it to get them really excited about it.

We did some fun fine motor work.  We made dinosaurs (making sure to do a lot of pinching and rolling) out of Soy-Yer-Dough and played with them.
Here is Sassy "feeding" her dinosaur
We also took dinosaur stickers and put them on a paper to make a scene.  This was a great activity for Peanut because he not only had to pull the small stickers off the paper and put them on his construction paper, but he had to keep his hands steady to get the stickers to cooperate (which requires lots of concentration on his part).  He did a great job!
Peanut making his dino scene
I also had 2 small kits to dig "dinosaur bones" out of dry clay.  We pretended to be Paleontologists and dug up some dinosaur bones.  The kids LOVED this activity!  I got the kits for cheap at iParty.  They had a really hard time getting the bones out and we didn't end up putting the bones together but they still had fun!
Sassy digging up her dino bones

So that was our week in our little homeschool!  It was a great week!

Don't forget, the HSBA Blogger awards are not over yet!  Voting doesn't end until November 16th!  Make sure to vote! 

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!
Click here to vote!

Who I linked up with this week:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Favorites Friday: Homemade Deodorant

For a while now I have been wanting to include a regular post or 2 into our blog every week to share things we have found and loved so here we go!  Welcome to our first ever "Favorites Friday"!

This week my "favorite" I would like to share is a recipe for deodorant I found online this past summer.  Since having my 2 children I have been a little "rough" on my deodorant (in other words, most o them don't work).  I had been reading about all of the awful things in deodorant (a good summary of this is HERE).  I had tried some of the deodorants that don't contain many of the most harmful ingredients and none of them worked.  I don't really care if I sweat, I just didn't want to smell!

Then I came across an awesome recipe for homemade deodorant on Homestead Revival.  You can find the recipe HERE.  I used this recipe all summer.  Yes, you still sweat (it's not an antiperspirant), but that's okay, your SUPPOSED to sweat.  The important thing was that I didn't smell!  I used tea tree oil and vanilla(as a scent) during the summer.  Now that it is fall, almost winter I made a batch of plain.  The recipe lasted me about 7 months and in the long run is not only MUCH healthier to use but is also a lot less expensive.

So there it is! My first ever favorite Friday!  Do you make your own deodorant?  What's your favorite recipe?

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!
Click here to vote

Don't forget about the HSBA Homeschool Blog Awards!  Voting ends November 16th!

God Bless!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guest Post: IEP Advice for Parents

It seems IEP season has come and go, but  as the school year has gotten into full swing, many parents discover it may be time to revise their child's IEP.  We homeschool and do not utilize the school system for services, but many homechooling families do.  I am excited to have Sarah Fudin from the University of Southern California's online Masters in Education program as a guest writer to give parents advice during the IEP process.  Please join me in welcoming Sarah!

If your child is among the 13 percent of American students who receive an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), then you are probably familiar with the IEP process and how a student is deemed eligible for services. According to USC Rossier Online’s recent  special education graphic, an IEP is essentially a blueprint for your child’s education, a “detailed description of all special education services a student receives.” While an IEP is meant to provide the most appropriate education for a child’s unique needs, the process of creating an IEP can be confusing and even intimidating for some parents. To help, here are a few tips and pieces of advice on how to prepare for and what to expect at an IEP meeting:

Laura Hutton, a special educator and parent of children with disabilities, gives several key tips. A few weeks before the actual meeting, talk to your child’s case manager and request any copies of test results, assessments and drafts of the IEP, and discuss any concerns or recommendations that will likely be voiced. Make a list of your educational priorities for your child, and be ready to discuss them in order of importance. Also, list any questions that you do not want to forget. Ensure that you have communicated with your child’s teachers and other service providers so that you are knowledgeable of his or her current progress and goals. Sometimes, parents are blindsided at meetings with surprising recommendations or evaluations. This problem can best be eliminated through good communication.

During the Meeting
The Parent Mentor Program suggests that you “personalize your child.” You want every team member, including specialists with limited contact, to view him or her as a unique and special student. You may want to create a short video or even bring a scrapbook. Begin the meeting positively, since positive behavior invites compromise. Remember: Power struggles are rarely effective. Ask questions when you are confused or write them down to ask someone later on if you do not feel comfortable doing so at the time. Bring along an advocate, like a community service provider, parent advocate or family member. While you must sign that you were in attendance during the meeting, do not feel obligated to authorize or agree to anything that you are unsure of. It is your legal right to refuse or to take time for further consideration.

Your Rights
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) outlines families’ specific rights during the IEP process. Kids Source Online identifies specific rights, such as the right to a free and appropriate education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The school must notify you if your child is going to be evaluated or have his or her educational placement changed. You have the right to request an evaluation if you believe that your child needs specific services, all at no cost to you. You should be allowed access to your child’s school records, you must be invited to IEP meetings, and you can request an IEP meeting at any time. Should you be unhappy with your child’s placement or services, you can request mediation and a due process hearing if problems persist with the school district.

Home schooling
Many parents home school their children with special needs in order to provide them with the best educational program. Since special education funding primarily comes from the state, you may be entitled to IEP meetings and related services in the home.  Homeschooling a Struggling Learner offers a state-by-state guide on what may or may not be offered. You will want to check with your state and local school district.

Sarah Fudin currently works in community relations for the University of Southern California’s online Masters of Education Program, which provides current and aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn a Special Education Certification.  Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 HSBA Post Blog Awards

It's that time of year again for the HSBA Post's Homeschool Blog Awards.  I was SO very honored to win last year as the best Special Needs Blogger and I have been nominated again this year.  I truly appreciate the support and the nomination.  A big thank-you to those who nominated me. 

 It is now voting time.  You can vote for a blog one a day until November 16th.  Please take some time to check out the links of these hard working bloggers.  

Thank-you again for the support.  I'm very blessed!

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!
Click on this link to go to the voting  page

Monday, October 29, 2012

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

We live on the east coast and so will most likely be effected by hurricane Sandy over the next 48 hours.  We will not be hit as hard as other areas, but expect some power outages to come our way.  I have to say, I'm much more comfortable with this storm.  I remember last Snowtober... I mean October, when we had a freak snow storm that took out our power for 7 days (See my post HERE) .  We didn't expect the storm we got, and were not really prepared for the damage that occurred   This time we are ready!  So what have we been doing to prepare for the hurricane?

  • We brought all of our lawn furniture, toys and swings into the shed.  
  • We put the garbage can behind the shed so it is more sheltered.
  • We filled up every little gas tank we had and made sure our generator was filled and in working order.
  • We filled both of the gas tanks in our cars.
  • We made sure we had plenty of water.  (Single bottles and jugs)
  • We made sure all of our fire alarms and carbon monoxide detector were working and had good batteries in them.
  • We made sure we had plenty of flashlights/battery powered lights with extra batteries for each.
  • Made sure we had batteries for a radio.
  • Stocked up on paper plates, cups and utensils.
  • Made sure we are stocked up on toiletries and diapers (for Peanut).
  • Checked out our supply of non perishable food (I have a rubbermaid bin downstairs packed with extras in case of a storm).
  • I also pre-made as much food as possible and froze it (the reason for the generator).  This includes breads and pre-made sauces.
    • When the power goes out for a prolonged period of time we cook on our grills.  I sauted mushrooms, garlic and onion and froze them in olive oil.  All we will have to do is put them into pasta, rice or quinoia that we boil on the grill to add a bit of extra nutrition and flavor.  You can also do this with fresh herbs.
  • We stocked up on snacks/drinks.
  • I made sure we had plenty of activities for the kids while we are stuck in the house.
  • We also got out our "weather" tent.  This is a small tent for the kids that we set up as a fun treat to play with during a hurricane or noreaster.  It gets warm pretty quick in the tent so it helps keep us warm when we loose power and it's cold out.
Our "weather" tent.
  • I try to get a new movie or 2 while I'm out as another special activity for the kids.
  • Do ALL the laundry and dishes in case we loose power.
  • I also made a yummy warm supper last night (Potatoes stuffed with bacon and onions) and a big warm breakfast this morning (french toast)
I also came up with an alternative homeschool lesson plan for today.  Today we are learning about hurricanes! (Of course!)  Here are a couple of sites I found for kids:

Hurricane coloring pages
A kids guide to hurricanes and hazardous weather
Hurricanes 101 Video
Weather Wiz Kids
Enchanted Learning- Hurricanes
A Teachers Guide- Weather
Sesame Street- Hurricane Kit (For after a hurricane)

Hurricane Irene: What we did

SO that's our hurricane prep in a nutshell.  We pray everyone stays safe!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trouble in ballet

Do you see that???  Yup, that's my Sassy in ballet...looking up someones skirt.  I was hoping (and praying) that ballet would go smoothly, but I guess I wasn't thining.  I forgot that Sassy has never been in a "typical" class of any kind.  She is used to therapy, which is centered on Sassy and when she would get bored, they would follow her need and adapt to her.  I also didn't take her sensory issues into consideration.  Ummm...is it a good idea to put a child with SPD in a room that echos and all 3 walls are made of mirrors. hmmm...okay, so maybe I should have thought that one through a little more.  I was so excited that she no longer needed therapy that I couldn't wait to get her into a class with her peers.

She has admitted to me that she is bored in ballet and it is time to look for something new to try.  She also has let me know that she doesn't want to quit (wooohoo!).  The teacher (who is aware of Sassy's diagnosis) recently pulled me aside and asked me if I had any suggestions to help Sassy while in class.  After much brainstorming with my mom ("Nana"), we came up with a plan.  We would have Sassy play in front of a mirror to get used to the mirror, and we would practice waiting.  I talked with Sass about the plan and it semmed things were good.  Well, that is until Wednesday came and I realized we hadn't done any of it. (grrrr....I'm aggravated with myself but trying to cut myself some slack, it's not like we don't have anything going on.)  We took 10 minutes before we left to practice waiting and she did well.  That day back at class she did well and I relaxed a bit.  The following week she did "okay" (that is when this pic was taken). 

 Last week was AWFUL! She was all over the place!  You could tell the other kids in the class were aggravated with her, she was obviously a disruption in the class.  Then when the teacher wasn't looking (and I was focused on Peanut at the time) she found her way into something she shouldn't and bumped her head.  The teacher took her out of the class crying.  Her head was fine, but the teacher had mentioned that Sassy had said she needed to use the potty.  I checked her head, then dragged her to the bathroom.  She threw a fit.  I then had to practically carry her out of the building kicking and screaming.  She was upset because she wanted to go back to class, but at this point it was over anyway.

Now tomorrow is Wednesday and I just don't know what to do.  I don't want to pull her from class because it's good for her to learn how to act in these types of settings.  I also don't want to show her that when things get tough you quit.  My problem is that I don't want her to disrupt the class for the other girls.  They all paid for the class just like we did, and I don't really know when to draw the line with her.

So that is my ballet "trouble"  Thoughts?  Suggestions?


Friday, October 5, 2012

Weekly wrap-up: A is for Apple (MFW)

This past week in our homeschool we were working on the letter A for Apple Unit.  I was SO excited that this unit lined up with Apple Picking season here in New England...until the rain started...no apple picking for us!  We still had alot of fun though!

Peanut doing his "dailies"
Sassy doing her "dailies"
We did all of our work from My Fathers World Kindergarten.  This kids are starting to get used to the routine and look forward to school each day.
Sassy cutting out her letter flashcards.

We also used some of our time this week doing some online work on Starfall and ABC Mouse.com.

We work don some outside worksheets too from workbooks we have.  Peanut and Sassy love using the daubers to make letters.

Despite the rain we refused to give up completely!  We went to the farm and bought a bag of apples and used them to make homemade GFCFSF Apple Crisp.  It was DELICIOUS!  I found the recipe HERE.

I couldn't get pictures of everything, but want some more apple ideas?  Check out these sites:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cloth Diapers and Older Toddlers.

About a month ago we had a guest blogger write an introduction to cloth diapering called Cloth Diapering 101.  I had asked her to write about cloth diapers because I knew she had a ton of knowledge about the subject, and because I had recently jumped into the wonderful world of cloth diapers with our 2 children.  

Why? Well, for a number of reasons.  First, to save money! Peanut is now 5 (and 2 years into potty training...we'll get it someday!) and Sassy (at the time) was showing no interest whatsoever.  I honestly was sick and tired of paying for them.  Our second reason was because of chemicals.  No matter what disposable diaper you chose, there are chemicals.  Now I'm not saying there are no chemicals involved in cloth diapers, but the amount is significantly less and you have more control over it.  Third, I was a little curious.  When I thought of cloth diapers, I thought of the white cloth, folded and pinned to a child.  I have a close friend due with twins who is planning to use cloth diapers, and her research spiked up my interest.  I learned quickly that cloth diapers are definitely still around, and boy things have changed!

So, I jumped in and bought some cloth diapers.  The first thing I tried was Gro-via.  I purchased them new at a local store.  They were the cutest things I had ever seen!  I loved them!  I soon learned that you have to wash the diapers a certain amount of times before using them (if you don't I promise you will have leaks until they have been washed a good 3-6 times), and that you can't use just any detergent, you have to use certain types or you could ruin the diapers.(For more info click HERE. )  It was obvious to me that my biggest issue was going to be size.  I bought  the largest size of the Gro-via's I could get and yet they still were a little too small.  3 weeks ago I could squeeze Sassy into them, but now they just don't fit.  On to my next attempt.

I then bought 2 Bumgenius diapers, one size with snaps.  I also bought a pack of inserts.  At first I really wasn't a fan, but now I love them!  I actually use them at night with my kids when they sleep.  They are really too bulky during the day, but work great at night with some doublers. (Right now I'm just using organic cotton doublers and it's working good!)

I was still on the search for something not as bulky that would help with potty training.  I had a lot of moms tell me not to waste my money, but I KNEW my kids were going to be in them for a while, and that it would be worth my investment.  During the day, at home I put my kids in a pair if cotton underwear, or training pants.  I was able to talk with Kim over at Green Earth Baby Works .  She was a WEALTH of information. (If you are looking to order from somewhere I would suggest going through her.  She is so honest and knowledgeable, and I'm all about supporting small businesses.)  After discussing options with her, I made the decision to try a few different types of "pull-ups".  I ordered 4 sets of Flip Trainers and the side extenders and fell in LOVE!  We use these every day!  If we are home I will have in 1 insert.  If we go out I throw in a second insert to be safe.  They are not nearly as bulky as some of the others we had tried, they fit both children well and they seem to contain messes very well. I also tried the GroVia Trainers with the side flex panels and again, fell in LOVE!  These are great on their own for little occasional accidents and can hold an insert for a little extra absorbency.

Another obstacle I encountered was what to do with a loose stool.  Peanut still has tummy troubles and so that can make cloth a little more difficult.  I found these wonderful little diaper liners which helped make my life MUCH easier!

I'm still new at this and learning.  By the time I am really comfortable with it, the kids will be potty trained (finally!), but it still has saved us money in the long run and have been better for the kids a well. I recently found some left over disposables and used them on Peanut for a day for convenience and his skin broke out terribly!  I won't do that again, that's for sure!  All I have to say is that it IS possible to cloth diaper with Autism and I have to admit,  I LOVE cloth diapers!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Product Review and Giveaway: Currclick- CLOSED

I first came across Currclick 2 years ago while looking for free homeschool printables and I instantly fell in love!   Currclick is a website that serves as a resource to purchase ecurriculum, take online live classes, and find product reviews.  Their products include; audio, core curriculum, eBook/PDF, Lapbooks, multimedia, print, software, unit studies and video.  

Products are sorted by age, subject, special needs, world views (faith or non-faith based), product types, and publishers, making it easy to find exactly what you are looking for.
The company was started and still run by homeschool moms who know what it's like to live the life of a homechooler themselves.  Although the products obviously target homeschoolers it is also a wonderful resource for parents looking to supplement with activities for their children at home or over vacations.

I have used Currclick on many occasions to purchase materials and take advantage of their awesome "free stuff" section and I found their site to be straight forward and easy to use.  Once you complete your order, your download is ready to download and save to your computer. With anything involving a computer, there are bound to be technical glitches and issues, but the staff at Currclick are quick to respond and offer help with any issues that may arrise.  I especially loved the fact that Currclick offers a Special Needs section for a range of possible needs.

All in All I found Currclick a wonderful resource to parents and homeschoolers alike and would highly recommend readers check them out!

Click HERE to go to their website now.

Currclick would like to offer a $25.00 Gift Certificate to one of my readers! 

Enter below to win!

HOW TO ENTER: Comment below letting us know that you would like to win. (worth one entry)

Want to earn extra entries???  

For Extra entries: 
(Make sure to leave a comment for each extra entry.  If you blog about the giveaway, make sure to leave the link to your blog!)

* Go to the CurrClick Facebook Page  and like them on facebook. (Worth one entry)
* Go to the My Angels and Autism Facebook page and like us. (Worth one entry)
* Go to the Currclick Twitter Page and follow them. (Worth one entry)
* Go to the My Angels and Autism Twitter page and like us. (Worth one entry)
* Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Worth one entry)
* Blog about this giveaway. (Worth 2 extra entries!!!)

This giveaway starts Monday September 24, 2012 and ends Thursday September 28, 2012 at 9pm EST.  Winner will be drawn using the random numbers generator.  (www.random.org).  A maximum number of entries is 8 per person.  Only one of each entry is permitted (so you can comment 4 times that you want to win and get 4 entries!) Multiple entries (cheating!) will result in the deletion of all entries from that particular entrant.  Any questions can be emailed to us at: angelsandautism@gmail.com.

Watch our blog, facebook and twitter on Friday for the winner!

Good Luck!!!

Disclaimer for Product Reviews:
This blog site writes product reviews and on occasion will provide special offers or product giveaways to it's readers.  We will only give our honest opinions and thoughts on the product that we are reviewing.  Our review is in NO way influenced by the company providing the product.  We are never paid to do a review of any product or company on My Angels and Autism.  All reviews are posted in an effort to help families find quality products.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: Our school space

I had mentioned a while back that we were going to renovate the sensory room and turn it into a school room. Well, that is still on out "to do" list but for now had been put on hold until we can save up a little bit of money to pay for it.  (Maybe next summer??)  In the meantime I still needed (I should say wanted) a space that was dedicated solely for school.  My dining room was being over taken with school things and I was quickly loosing my organization.  I dedicated a couple of nights to cleaning and organizing and I managed to put together a nice school area for the kids.  Boy do they LOVE it!

This is what you first see when you walk into the room.  This is our "work table" where the kids and I sit to do their work.  We pray, say the Pledge of Allegiance, review the calender, the weather and what we are learning for the week (letter, number, bible concept, character trait etc).  After we finish with this we go to our "daily's" which is a traceable calender sheet, a tally sheet to track how many days of school we have had each month, a count down sheet to the 100th day of school, and a chart tracking the weather on school days.  Then we move on to our workboxes.

Our workbox system is pretty simple right now.  Once the kids move in to elementary level work I'm sure it will get more complicated, but for now simple is good.  Each child has 5 workboxes (pink, orange  green, blue, and purple).  There are stickers on the boxes with their names as well.  In each box they have one assignment or small project to complete.  Once they are done they put their complete work in the basket on the top which is our "all done basket".   I LOVE this system!  It not only keeps things organized and on track, but it also gives the kids a break where they can get up and move around a little!  After all of our workboxes are done we move on to station.

I created small stations for activities throughout the room to focus on particular skills.  I have 4 stations.  They are reading, table (fine motor), easel, and puzzles.  The reading station has books with flip open flaps and fun pictures.  We also have books that have been read during previous weeks.  This is one of Sassy's favorite stations.  She is definitely a book girl!

Then we have a small table with a fine motor activity or a fun sensory activity.  The kids love coming over to see what new activity is at the table.  I leave the activity there for the week for them to enjoy.

Next is easel.  One side is a white board with dry erase crayons (one of my favorites!) and the other side has a chalkboard with chalk.

And finally we have the puzzle station.  I have a mat on the floor for them to lay on, but Peanut of course has it all floded up so he can hang off it a little!  I rotate the puzzles daily and I change them up from simple puzzles (like the one in the picture) to complex 3-D puzzles.

The kids pick their stations and go off on their own for the most part.  I go from one child to the other working with them on what they are doing.  At times the other child may get interested in what mommy is helping with and may come over to participate.  Suddenly our independent stations turn into a group activity (which I love!) and we have fun together!
So that is our school room for Kindergarten!

Where I'm linking up this week: