"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

Friday, January 27, 2012

Through the Eyes of Autism

This is a video made by a young woman Named Melody Rain. She is a talented writer and advocate. She also has autism. She made the video to show us what some things look like from her point of view. I was moved. I'm glad that if my children have to struggle with some difficulties to navigate through our world, at least they get to notice the most beautiful parts of Gods creation that most of us take for granted.  God Bless and Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Special offer for our readers from CurrClick!

We recently started using CurrClick for some of our homeschooling curriculum and we fell in love with the site.  One of the things I loved about the site, was that they offer a Special Needs section and specifically a section for children with Autism.  It is rare to find curriculum that will target specific skills a child on the Spectrum may need different teaching strategies for.  Needless to say, I was impressed.

Now here comes the exciting part...
CurrClick contacted me and wanted to extend a special offer to our readers.  One of their teachers, Anna Cromer, M.Ed has a trilogy of mini-webinars coming up.  The webinars are:

  1. Visual Strategies for Children on the Autism Spectrum.
  2. Self Stimulation in Children on the Autism Spectrum.
  3. Visual Schedules for Children on the Autism Spectrum.
Curriclick would like to offer a coupon code to our readers to receive one of these webinars for free!

How to do it:
  • Follow this link to CurrClick to sign up for the webinar of your choice.
  • At checkout use the coupon code AutismParent and register for the webinar for free!  It's that simple!   (Please note, one coupon code per person, this offer will expire once the webinar occurs.)
All of the classes look good, I might have to attend all three!  I hope you all get the chance to take advantage of this opportunity!  Thank-you to Anna Cromer and CurrClick for this offer.

Make sure to show us some love!  If you don't already, follow us on Blogger, Facebook and Twitter.  Remember, sharing is caring!

God Bless!
Mommy Provost

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How do you like our new look?

It's here!  It's finally here!  Our new look!  Do you like it?  I'm so excited and happy with the new design.  I'm ecstatic that we have our own button now too! (Text to be added to it soon)  I'm so thankful that my husband was able to help me with this project.  I am SO computer illiterate I wouldn't have gotten past step one!  We are not finished yet.  We plan to create links to pages on the blog for resources and information.  While that is being created, we will not have some of the links on the page.  I will work on creating a temporary link list of resources on the page until we complete the finishing touches.  So here is our new look.  I hope you like it!  Anything else you'd like to see?  Please please, please, let me know!

God Bless,
Mommy Provost


Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: Snowy Day Fun

The past 2 weeks have again been crazy for us.  We have had many appointments (and the begining of Sassy's transition) to get out of the way and I am glad to say that we will finally be able to be back on our regular schedule as of next week!  (yippie!)  Here are some of the activities we have done over the past 2 weeks.

For Christmas the kids got a TON of art supplies and we have started to dig in and play with them.  One of our favorite messy activities was finger painting.

Peanut had fun paining the table as well.

Sassy enjoyed fitting her 2 little hands into the container of pain and making hand prints.
Sassy recently celebrated her 3rd birthday.  One of her presents was a porcelain ladybug tea set.  Since Sassy realized mommy would put juice or water in the tea kettle for them to pour and drink, we have spent alot of time having tea party's with each other.  Last week we had Princess and Bobo over and we had a dress up tea party.  Princess dressed up like...well, a princess.  Sassy decided that she wanted to be a firefighter and Peanut decided to be a chicken.

After a few minutes Bobo realized what the kids were doing and  jumped right in with a tea cup.

Our most favorite activity has been playing with our winter sensory bin.  I found fake snow on clearance from Target that I put in the bin as well as white feathers (Peanuts favorite), homemade snowmen (left over from a few Christmases ago), white craft pom poms and 2 plastic cups for scooping and pouring.
Our winter sensory bin.

Sassy and Peanut checking it out...
Eventually Sassy thought it would be fun to jump right in to the bin and Peanut took it upon himself to dump a cup of fake snow on Sassy's head. (As a helpful side note...fake snow is not easy to get out of fine, long hair)
Sassy in sensory heaven.
Along with our activities we have been getting used to our new work boxes, going to indoor playgrounds, and having additional play dates.  We had a transition meeting with the school system to get her evaluated.  My hubby and I decided that we do not plan to utilize services at all, but would like a therapeutic and education evaluation done with Sassy to help us identify what we may need to focus on, and what educational level Sassy is at for curriculum planning.

I a about to include Sassy into our ABA account through CARD's Skills program.  We loved Sassy's ABA therapist (Miss Cool) so much that we plan to hire her to come in as a consult to guide us through the Skills program for both children.

Peanut had a Naturopath visit this week which went very well.  e changed his probiotic to help with some minor tummy issues and we are starting him on l-theanine to see if it will help calm him and help him to focus a little more.

Today the kids both had their first dentist appointment.  They did very well, and I was so proud of them.  The highlight of my day was when Peanut was in the dental chair and he says, "Excuse me ma'am, can you please move the TV screen closer so I can see it more?"  I honestly looked around the room in amazement.  Was that my child who just said that?!  What a miracle!

I am in the process of a re-design for the blog.  I'm hoping to make it easier to navigate.  I'm also hoping to get started on doing a few reviews.  I'm excited to get this going!

So that's what we have done over the last 2 weeks.  How about you?

God Bless!!
Mommy Provost

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Another Great Message

This past Sunday, one of our Pastors preached a wonderful message that I want to share with you.  It's called, "A New Leaf."  Its a life changing message which is why I wanted to share it.  To watch or listen click  HERE . The recording includes the worship from the service as well.  (It was an awesome worship as always, but if you are just looking to hear the message then you can fast forward to 1:02:56.)

If you liked the message you can follow pastor Steve's Blog at: http://wwwsteveslatelifeadventures.blogspot.com

God Bless,
Mommy Provost

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Becoming Blind to Your Blessings

Some of you may or may not know, that aside from my duties as a mother, teacher and therapist to my children, I am also a Registered Nurse.  I work one day a week in a local doctors office to maintain my licence and my skills.  Many times I joke that it is my day off.  I go to work to get time away I guess.
This past week, a 22 year old patient was brought in by his parents to be seen.  I was told ahead of time that he was disabled, non verbal and may not even enter the office.  New situations caused him great anxiety, but his parents would try their best to get him in.  I can't tell you exactly what his disability was.  What I can tell you is I understood what it is like for me with a toddler with a developmental disability, who is verbal,  in a situation that caused them anxiety.  I can only image what that would be like with a 22 year old man.
When I am given a "heads up" like this I never know what to expect.  The patient could be agreeable, or not.  They may like me, or not.  The parents might be model parents, or they may not be.  I might be able to do my full job and get a complete set of vitals, or not.
I went out into the waiting room and called him back.  He was standing in the waiting room, obviously having some difficulty being there.  His father told me he had already tried to bolt.  I introduced myself to him first, and then to his parents.  I was able to get his temperature, which was in his case the most important.  The entire time I was in the room with them I was encouraged at how great these people were with their son.  Although he was non verbal, they knew exactly what he needed and was trying to communicate.  They were attentive, explained everything to him.  They were firm with him while at the same time also gentile. Never once did they seem stressed.  Never once did their tone get aggravated.   I felt that I was blessed to come across a couple fantastic parents.  After I had him ready for the doctor, my day went on.  It was a late day for us and I was glad to get home and relax.
The next day we started as always on a Sunday morning.  My husband leaves first to get to church (he is on the media team).  I got the kids fed and ready and off to church we went.  As we were walking into church the kids saw a family member at the door and went running towards them.  I was okay with it because they were on the front sidewalk away from any cars.  As I was about to tell them to slow down, Sassy fell and scraped both her knees.
I knew in the instant she began to cry that we were now going to have a rough day at church.  When Sassy gets injured she has issues recovering emotionally.  This could last from 10 minutes to all day.  She clung to me most of Sunday School and Service.  This made things difficult for me in general.  It's hard to set up a nursery with a 3 year old toddler on your hip, screaming at any move you make other than to rock her.  I always feel so terrible for my little angel when she feels like this.  I'm grateful that I can soothe her and help ease whatever discomfort she is feeling but I just wish she didn't have to feel it to begin with.  My stress began to become obvious to the others around me, and I'm sure also didn't help my little angel deal with her discomfort either.
As I sat in service I honestly began to feel sorry for ourselves.  I felt sorry for my kids and their daily struggles. I felt sorry for myself for all I have to do on a daily basis. I felt sorry for my husband who works himself to the bone to provide for us. I felt sorry for our family and friends who sometimes are put on the back burner.  I knew I shouldn't feel this way, nor did I want to feel this way, and so I began to pray.  Service continued and the preaching began and I sat and listened and absorbed all that was being said.
Suddenly,  I began to think of the family I had encountered at work and I realized how stupid I was being!  Here was this family with an adult child who had a severe disability and I was feeling sorry for myself?  Yes, Peanut and Sassy have a disability but so what?
The things in our lives could be terrible...but they are not.  God has blessed us more times than I could count.  What did I have to feel sorry for?  I asked God to forgive me for being blind to my blessings and enjoyed the rest of an amazing service.
I think many of us out there fall into the same trap.  We focus on the difficulties in our lives and we become blind to all of our many blessings God has given us.  We have a roof over our head, food in our stomach, clothing on our bodies, 2 beautiful children.  We have seen miracles performed in our children.  We have the ability to provide for their many needs.  We have been able to watch as they have overcome many of their struggles. Most importantly...we have God in our lives. Without him, none of this would be possible. What more could we ask for?
Now, the next time I start to feel bad for us, I'm going to think back to our many blessings and turn my prayers of sorrow, into praises of thanks.

"Sing to Him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts."  1 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV)

God bless,
Mommy Provost

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Life After New Years Eve

I am still having a hard time transitioning back to our "normal" life since Christmas.  I don't know why really.  It was a busy time, but I was busy with other things.  Things other than what I was used to.  Instead of worrying about getting to a therapy appointment on time I was worrying about getting all of the pretzel rods dipped in chocolate.  Instead of attaching my planner to my hip, I was worrying about burning the cookies baking in the oven.
I'm finding I'm holding myself back from my looming "to do" list for some reason. I've never struggled with this before.  Maybe it's because deep down inside, I wish that pretzels and cookies were all we had to worry about.  Maybe it's because we had such a great time with all of our family, I just don't want to let it go. The only one who truly knows is God, and so I guess I'll have to pray he gives me the guidance to continue down the busy path we were on before.

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives.  Though they may stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand."  
Psalm 37: 23-24

God Bless,
Mommy Provost

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: Preparing for transition

I had been hoping to use this week to get me back on track and fall into a nice home school routine again.  It didn't all happen the way I had hoped.  We started our week with school.  The kids learned about the letter M and Philippians 4:19 "God will meet my needs."  I had planned some math activities for the number 11 and circles but we have yet to get to that.  The beauty of homeschooling is that if something doesn't get done by Friday, it's okay because you still have Saturday.  Sometimes we will work an activity at supper time if the kids are not too tired.  That may be the case for us today.  Although it sounds like we didn't do much this week, we really got a lot accomplished.

We took down the Christmas tree and most of our Christmas decorations.  The kids (especially Peanut) like the Christmas sensory bin so I didn't pull it apart and let them use it again this week.  I'm hoping to get a winter themed bin made for next week.  We took advantage of all of the packages arriving at our house too and played with some bubble wrap.  Another awesome fine motor activity!

We used our new play dough toys and our new gluten free dough called Aroma Dough  Nana bought an entire case of it and I have to say I am in LOVE!  The texture is wonderful and the scents are really nice.  Aroma Dough will come in handy for multiple activities for us.  Our children can smell, but don't have the concept of smell yet (it's an ABA goal).  So I was using the dough for an olfactory activitiy as well.  We have been using our dough a lot this week.  We also got a case of Soy-yer-dough that I am happy to say we are now fully stocked.  It felt good to throw out all of our old dough and fill the basket with new containers.

We also spent time playing with these wonderful beads made by "B."  They are called B. Pop Arty Beads  They made for a great fine motor activity and opened the door for some creative pretend play.  We love these beads! (Although they have an interesting smell.)  Even better, their entire product line is BPA-free, lead-free and phthalate-free! (Makes this "non-toxic" mommy VERY happy).  We also got a pack of their Stackadoos as a Christmas gift as well.  I have some ideas about how we can use these next week.

(I know the "W" sit kills me.  That was corrected as soon as the picture was taken.)

We also did some painting and made cards for a friend who has been sick.  The kids had a blast making a GIANT mess!

My wonderful mother in law (aka: Mimi) got us some awesome bins for Christmas that make the perfect work boxes!  The kids LOVE them!  I introduced them this week per the request of my children.  I still have some fine tuning with them but they work well for the kids and motivate them to get their work done. (I'll post more detail on that on a later date.)

Sassy turns 3 tomorrow.  I can't believe she is already 3!  She decided she didn't want a party so Babes and I are taking her out on Sunday afternoon after church for some quality Mommy and Daddy time.  This morning we gave her a Ladybug tea set and a "real" tiara which she was very happy to receive.
A princess having tea with her "Foxy"

With turning three also comes the dreaded transition.   All the Special Needs parents out there know exactly what I'm talking about.  When your child turns three they stop their early intervention therapies and services and are turned over to the school system for services (more on that later too).  We were delayed getting started (things fell through the cracks, not on the part of the school system.) so we still have to meet with the school to talk about what we want for Sassy.  We plan to home school her as well (we already do), but I would like her evaluated to find out her educational level (she's advanced for sure) and to see if she has any delays or deficits in any area we are not seeing.  I would also like to see if there are any other options for socialization with other kids.  We really just want to see what is out there.

So that is our week in a nutshell.  Busy and disorganized as usual!  More to come next week, maybe even a re-design of the blog site!! (yippie!!!) I hope you all had a wonderful week!!

God Bless!

Mommy Provost
Where we are linked up:
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back to Reality

Like many other families out there, we are struggling to make our way from Christmas vacation back to reality. As usual I piled a bit too much onto my plate.  To make matters worse I was sick for an entire week and lost a weeks worth of productivity.  I feel guilty that two Christmas packages still have yet to be sent.  I learned a lot about homeschooling and myself over the Christmas and New Years season.  One of those things I have learned is to schedule myself some down time and remember that I am NOT Wonder Woman no matter how badly I want to be.

Peanut has done pretty well adjusting to the unpredictable schedule, but Sassy is still having problems adjusting.  Yesterday was our first day back to "school".  We spent the entire day at home playing and learning.  I thought she would have a better day, which she did.  The problem was night time.  She had a hard time during supper, and some sensory issues during bath time.  She needed a long hug before getting into her PJ's and again before getting into bed.  The nice thing is that she's allowing me to comfort her.

This is also her last week of early intervention.  This means this is her last week with "Miss Cool" her ABA therapist.  I wish we could afford to keep Miss Cool.  She's a great ABA therapist and great with the kids.  She has promised to still come over for play dates with her son.  I hope that happens.  The last few sessions Sassy has ignored Miss Cool.  I wonder if it's because she knows she is leaving.

I'm not one for New Years resolutions.  People (including me) usually don't stick to them.  What I DO want from 2012 is a closer relationship with God.  I know that is completely up to me.  I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Ours was wonderful, but it's nice to be back to our regular lives.

"but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:14 NIV

God Bless!
Mommy Provost