Showing posts from September, 2013

did you say "brain damage?"

I wonder if I'm the only parent of an autistic child who gets SO tired of the autism and vaccine debate. If you're unfamiliar, let me boil it down to this. Some people think autism is caused by vaccines (specifically the MMR). Some people don't. There are numerous studies to each side.  Fine and dandy as this debate is (although it really can turn very ugly), here's the real answer: we don't know! Autism functions so differently in each case, how can we possibly say one specific thing causes it? We can't. I believe it could be many factors causing each case. Because my son's autism doesn't look like Temple Grandin's or the boy from The Golden Hat foundation. They all look different.  The thing that has come to my attention that bothers me greatly is calling autism a " brain damage ." Yes, there are many cases where autism does go hand-in-hand with other disorders and disabilities, including mental retardation. However, cal

My Mama and Me by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley (children's book review and GIVEAWAY)

"My Mama and Me" is a "Rhyming Devotions for You and Your Child" by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley. Phyllis Harris made some really beautiful illustrations for this devotional. image via Amazon Each devotion rhymes, so it's easily entertaining for children. The sections speak to telling children about God, Jesus, what God thinks of us, and how to show God that we love Him. I'd like to share an example of the devotions: God Keeps You Safe The LORD is the one who keeps you safe. -Psalm 91:9, NIrV Our Devotion God keeps you safe all through the day. He watches you as you run and play. When you're at home or in the car, God is with you where you are. He keeps you safe all through the night. His moon shines down to give you light. Even through a thunderstorm, God will keep you safe and warm. Our Prayer Dear God, thank you for protecting me and keeping me safe all the time. Thank you for always being with me and watchin

Diamond Candle (review and giveaway)

A diamond in a candle...that's worth looking into, right? What am I talking about? Diamond Candle is a company that puts a ring (not always a diamond) worth $10, $100, $1,000, or $5,000 in each of their all-natural soy candles. The rings vary in color, design, and size, so you get what you get! My ring doesn't fit the finger I wish it did but it's a really pretty diamond (or fake diamond). If it's real, it's bigger than my wedding ring! Wow! These candles themselves are really great. I got Watermelon Wedge; I figured summer is over pretty much and I won't be smelling watermelon any time soon. It smells exactly how I imagined it would and it burns just really nicely. Even sitting here typing, the candle is beside me and I can smell it's fragrance without it burning. I would love to try some of their other candle scents: carnival candy, birthday cake, lavender lemon, among others. Check out their website to see each option. You can see about wher

Homeless in Harvard by John Christopher Frame (book review)

"Homeless in Harvard" by John Christopher Frame was about a Harvard student who had befriended a few homeless people who live their lives on the Harvard Square (or thereabouts). He decided to live as a homeless person for a summer prior to his last year of college. I haven't had much experience with homelessness except walking around downtown Denver or Kansas City - even around Lincoln, NE. My husband and I are always willing to buy food, more than give money but we have done that on several occasions, too. During a Denver Christmas Conference before Moose was born, Big A went out on the streets of Denver with several other college students to hand out socks, tents, and other supplies to help accommodate some of the many, many homeless people who live on the streets and sleep around the capitol building. I know it was an experience for them to meet the people and hear their stories. Frame took his experience with a group who serves meals to the homeless one step furth

Kitchen Cleaning Tips that Saves Time and Money (guest blogger)

An organized and tidy kitchen elicits a special satisfaction for everyone in the family. Following these few kitchen cleaning tips will help you save time and money, while keeping the most used room sparkling and hygienically clean. Small, Continuous Cleaning Kitchen cleaning is best approached as a continuous activity of small tasks. Cleaning up after every instance of food preparation, doing the dishes before they fill the sink, a quick sweeping twice a day and wiping down surfaces frequently makes the effort seem a molehill instead of a mountainous chore. Additionally, if everyone in the family is contributing some daily effort, then keeping the kitchen clean is a breeze. Special Cleaning Tips Microwaves:  Special kitchen cleaning techniques can save a lot of time and hard work. For instance, to clean dried bits of food in a microwave oven, a wet towel “cooked” on high for 30 seconds will create steam that softens those bits. After a few minutes of waiting, those food bit

bribery and some other shocking moments from my life this semester and Petite Lemon giveaway WINNER

Moose was having a horrible time at drop off for school these past few weeks. He'd cry, saying "I want to go home!" in the most pathetic/fake/cry voice he could muster. Then he'd have a great day. It was torture for me. In the mornings, I was ready to homeschool. In the afternoons I was thrilled he'd had such a great day (NO behavior problems thus far). What's a mom to do? Bribe him. Reward/bribe. Tomato/tomato (doesn't do it justice to type that, huh). Enter: Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. image via Amazon Thank You, Lord for our awesome interloan library system. I can get Wii games as the aforementioned. And I've used this Wii game to trick/bribe/reward Moose for walking into class like a big boy. He can say "I can't wait to come home at 3:00" (and I loved hearing a friend tell me that he was singing this in the hall around lunchtime one day this week), but no whining, crying, or saying he wants to come home (seriously? Does

Q&A with Callie Grant, author of Jesus Shows Me (book review)

I love children's books that point my children to Jesus. Those are my favorite books and we have several children's Bibles to help them see different stories and Scriptures. I was excited to review Jesus Shows Me by Callie Grant and a few of her others in PDF form. I also got to do a question and answer session with the author; I thought I'd share it with you. When did you know you wanted to write children's books? I relate to what Anita Carmen said in a recent Q&A on this blog about Inspire Women and her sense of purpose. Her words were, "If we begin with what we like then the purpose is all about us." Creating books for children wasn't a passion I always had, or a dream or even a goal. Honestly, I wasn't always a big fan of children. In hindsight, though, I can see God preparing and fitting me for this work. I've always been a writer, in a variety of ways and careers. My passion to create books about God for children grew out of my gr