Saturday, December 12, 2009
Along with the books there is a timeline that is done notebooking style, crafts (usually several each week to choose from) and various other hands-on projects. Above the children made little pouches decorated with their own designs.
If you are on my facebook you already have seen the pics of Madelyn. She played a munchkin in the hip-hop version of The Wizard of Oz......Oz the Musical! It was a hilarious musical, if it is coming to a city near you...go see it!! So with the show over and no more practices...we will have a bit more time to finish up our Christmas activities!!
One day with our advent activities we made Christmas cards for the family.
Another days craft was making tissue paper votive holders. Lincoln was even able to participate in this activity very easily, so I encourage you to try this one with even your littlest tykes!!
To know your boys need your arms to hold them, to know your boys need your hands to wipe their tears, to know your boys need your food to fill their tummies, to know your boys need a warm bed, to know your boys need a bath...their first bath, to know your boys are a continent away and there is NOTHING you can do about it.....and worse than that a single sheet of paper is what stands in the way of giving them all of those things. It is the saddest, emptiest, helpless, brokenest I have ever felt.
I write this a year later. Our boys are home. They have full bellies. They love their bath time! They have lots of arms to hold them and hands to wipe away tears. The waiting time now seems like a faint dream. It seems like these boys have been here since the day they were born.
I hope if you are in the process you will be encouraged that during the hardest times in this process you will grow closer to your spouse and most of all closer to your Lord!
They WILL come home and there even be days you dread making another meal and giving another bath.....and that is when the wait will seem like a distant memory!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
After our school work we headed to the United Ministries for a service project.
Carson helped out in the food pantry stocking shelves.
The littles went downstairs and sang Christmas carols to the residents in the adult day care. Then they made crafts with the residents and helped decorate the Christmas trees.
The older kids went to church for kids night in. They played games, ate pizza and made a ton of crafts!
We attended our co-op Christmas party in the afternoon and the kiddos made a couple ornaments each and decorated and ate a cookie! Next we moved on to Christmas carols and games!
(pictures to come...)
At home for advent we made a blessings container (decorated oatmeal container). We each put in a slip of paper with how God has blessed our family. It was awesome to hear Carson say God blessed us by giving us Camden and Lincoln, Annie and Maddie said each other, Camden broke my heart when he said "My Bikea and my grandpa in Africa" (his Bikea is his birth mom).
Bible verses: Isaiah 42:1,5,6 Isaiah 60:1-3,19-22
Word to know: Light
Music, craft, family activity: Co-op Christmas party & blessings container
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Helping a family bring home two little ones from Ethiopia!!!
Check out these precious ornaments that friends of ours are handpainting to raise money for their adoption! You can check out their blog here.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Reflection: Jesus is the Light of the World: What does this mean to you? John 8:12
How can be we be lights?
Activity: Help mommy hang lights around the house.
Read Bible Verses: Isaiah 11:1-5, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Isaiah 53:1-6
Word to Know: Righteousness
Books-Several Christmas stories
Music-Choir practice for Christmas program
Activity: Making our advent countdown tree with green paint and kids hands! They always love paint on the hands! Each day we wil cover up each hand with an ornament, so by Christmas we will have a decorated tree!!
Reflection: Discussed "What is everlasting life?"
John 6:47 1Peter 2:24 John 3:16
Read Bible verses: Psalm 62 1-5, Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 40:28-31, Hebrews 10:23
Word To Know: prophecy
Family Gift: Veggie Tales St.Nick
Carson puts the tree on day 1!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I logged onto Utube and showed her some videos of the "All I Want For Christmas...." and so then she sang it for Paul and I we were rolling...the line "sither Shusy thitting on a thisle"...LOVE IT!!
We spent one day in the city at the Shedd aquarium (now Camden wants a dolphin for Christmas!) and we spent lots of time eating all of daddy's favorite foods from the city!!
His first American haircut!!
I wonder what the process has been like in the orphanage because he did very well, but at the same time was a bit timid and nervous (not a normal trait of Camdens!!).
We had been told about an African barber shop in J-town, so we headed out! As I peeked in the door I got the weird look from all of the men waiting like "lady your in the wrong spot"! So I go in and snuggle my white self among all the black men waiting annd black barbers. Who I am sure were all just giggling inside!! When Camden's turn came he jumped up into the seat.
With his big knotted up afro getting bigger and bigger as the barber picked it out, I was sinking lower and lower into my seat! So then I figured I would cut some of the tension as I announce to the entire shop "I am pulling the mommy card and taking out my camera because this is his first haricut". At that point I started taking pictures and had small talk with a couple of the men...wheww tensions relieved!!
Back to Camden...he did great, sat as still as a mouse. When it was over he ran to me and held me for dear life, so I think he was more nervous than he was letting on! He loves his new cut and is showing everyone, telling them "I no cry when my hair cut little"!!
So withour further ado...pictures!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
We spent the first couple of hours in the store and then we headed to get "chicken and fries". The lady at the counter asked if they were both mine with a weird expression, I think she even surprised herself because she then ran over and handed each of the kids a stuffed cow!!
On the way out of the mall we stopped by a photo booth and the kids hammed it up for some precious pics! It was a great night of fun, laughter and comments like " You are the best big brother in the world!" and " we need to hold hands Camden and skip like this..." and "Annie is my family in America".....fun times I tell ya!!
I do want to point out that it is a great testament to the good that comes out of "twining" through adoption. They are becoming closer every day!
Here is pic of Annie and I before we left! photograph by Camden
Here is Camden and myself. Photograph by Annastyn
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I also think that our children are "recommended" triple what we got as children, meanwhile cases of ADD, ADHD, allergies, asthma, SIDS, Shaken baby, learning disorders etc seem to have tripled...ironic huh! So you might find the occasional post on a vaccines....because now that the adoption is over...I may have to time to dwelve into this area again!
I do not want any haters please ..however if you have had experiences on either side please share. EX. Your child was helped from a vaccine or contracted the disease through the vaccine or did not get the vaccine and contracted the disease.
`thanks Bethany :)
Vaccines - Know the Hidden Dangers
by MT from The Bon Bon Gazette
As parents we bring our children into the world and obligate ourselves to protect them. Vaccinations: a necessity to keep your child healthy and to provide immunity against life-threatening illness. Or, so we are taught and are told to believe.
But, could these same vaccines cause our children to be sick, or even die?
I write this from the standpoint of a mother. A mother of a child who has been hurt by the shots that I trusted him to receive at the hand of a respected pediatrician. I was a first time mother who listened to my doctor and didn't ask questions. My son received a total of 8 shots over 2 visits shortly after his first birthday. After returning home from his well-visit where he received a cocktail of shots including the then Thimerosal containing MMR (this was in 2001) he wailed in his Pack 'n Play crib and began to bang his head repeatedly on the top rail. He had never done this before and it scared me. When I lifted him out of the crib he was hot and feverish - the crying did not stop. He had trouble breathing and we took him to the ER where they gave him breathing treatments and told us he had "reactive airway disease" or Asthma. He proceeded on a path of always being sick. He stopped babbling and did not develop speech the way that a child his age should. What happened to the words he already had? We had his hearing tested and it came back fine. My child who had been otherwise healthy, hitting milestones as a baby should - slipped away. He later was diagnosed with PDD-NOS.
My son has Autism. I believe it was triggered by all the shots he received. Too many shots, packed with toxins were too much for his fragile immune system to handle.
Our story is not all that unique. More than hundreds... thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of parents of children with Autism will recount similar histories. The rate of Autism is 1 in 150 children or 1 in 94 boys. In my state (New Jersey) it is 1 in 60 boys and 1 in 94 children. New Jersey also mandates more vaccines than any other state.
But, haven't the studies shown that the MMR is not linked to Autism? Hasn't Thimerosal been removed from vaccines? Depending on who you ask, the answer is Yes or No, or even Maybe. Trace Amounts = Yes.
Sadly, mercury is not the only neurotoxin or "problem" with vaccines.
They may have removed thimerosal (they claim) from vaccines but other neurotoxins (i.e. aluminum) remain [and thimerosal in some still]. The number of vaccines for children has also increased, drastically. In the past when kids got 10 shots, not they get more than 30! With that we have also seen a rise in other auto-immune and neurological related disorders. More children with autism, asthma, severe food allergies, irritable bowel, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, "failure to thrive",.. the list goes on. More infant deaths than ever from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and SBS (shaken baby syndrome).
Before you do any vaccinating, do your homework.
- Become familiar with the vaccination law in your state. Start with the NVIC (National Vaccine Information Center). Find state by state regulations here. Heed their Vaccination Tips.
- Read the inserts that your doctor provides about the shots your child will be receiving.
- Do not vaccinate a sick child. Ever. Their immune system is already compromised.
- Avoid giving Tylenol before your child gets a shot to help alleviate anticipated side effects. It will hamper their effect to naturally de-tox from the shot.
- Research the ingredients in each shot. You will find toxins - Formaldehyde, Aluminum, Antifreeze, Aborted Human Fetal Tissue, Methanol, MSG, Latex and more. An eye-opening list of vaccine ingredients
- Watch the movie, Vaccine Nation.
- Read the books: The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears Parenting Library), What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations
- Use the "University of Google" and read, read, read.
Where to start:
Vaccine Nation Documentary
National Vaccine Information Center
Immunization Action Coalition
VAERS - Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
Vaccines and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
What I am saying is this:
Vaccines are not without risks. Kids are getting sick, hurt, and even dying. My personal stance is not anti-vaccination. I believe in vaccination choice. The right for parents to decide whether to vaccinate or not, all/none/or some.
This is America, there should be no forced vaccination here.
To learn more about the author and vaccines visit The Bon Bon Gazette
I have to thank Mary Tara for taking the time to put this together for my blog, and here's a little more of her story....
So, for all of us who may not know, tell us a little about what autism is exactly.
Autism is a neuro-developmental disability that affects 1 in 150 children. It is a spectrum disorder meaning the symptoms and characteristics present themselves in a variety of ways ranging from mild to more severe. Diagnoses on the Autism spectrum include: Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder- NOS (not otherwise specified), Aspergers Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder. Characteristics of someone with autism often include: difficulty in communicating, poor eye contact, self-stimulating (ex. flapping or spinning), sensory processing issues. However, it is important to know that Autism is not a "one size fits all" disorder - it is exactly the opposite from that. Two children with the same diagnosis may behave and function completely opposite from each other.
So when was it that you realized that the problems your son was experiencing were a result of the vaccine?
My son was developing typically until he received shots after his 1st year well visit. He got very ill after receiving the shots and then proceeded to miss milestones (he even lost the language he did have). I asked my doctor if his illness was related to his shots, of course they told me no. By 2 years old when he was clearly not hitting the milestones he should have we had him in Early Intervention services receiving therapy. I tried to believe what the doctors told me - that it wasn't related to shots, but the more and more I talked to other parents and did research for myself I could see that my gut was correct.
Tell us what was going through your head when you realized this.
Anger, Guilt, Blame. I was mad that my son wasn't getting the childhood that I envisioned and would likely not have the future we would have hoped for him. I blamed the doctor, the shots, and myself. I was packed with guilt for letting them poison my son and hurt his brain.
I felt it was my fault. It made me depressed but at the same time I knew that I needed to snap out of it, get over it, and get to helping my son. I couldn't and wouldn't sit around and have a pity party for myself because that would get my son nowhere.
So what did you do from there?
I don't even really remember those months after the diagnosis. It truly is a blur. I think like most mothers when their child gets diagnosed - I proceeded fast forward in every direction to make sure that my son had every therapy service in place for school and home. We had a lot of doctor's appointments and therapy sessions. My door was a revolving door of therapists coming to help Alex and I remember thinking during that time about how I'd completely lost any sense of privacy for myself but that privacy was no longer my priority. My priority is/was my child.
So, from your research, what have you concluded is a possible reason for some kids' negative reactions to the vaccines and not for others? I subscribe to the belief that genetics pre-loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger. I believe my son's immune system was not great and he got too many shots that were loaded up with too many toxins for his brain and body to handle. In the Hannah Poling case, they were able to show that her Autism developed after receiving shots which "aggravated a pre-existing mitochondrial condition".
And what lifestlye changes has your family made to help your son's autism? The biggest thing we have done is to put my son onto a special gluten and casein free diet - essentially no wheat and no dairy. You may have heard about it from Jenny McCarthy, but parents with autistic children have been 'onto' this diet for years. It doesn't work for all kids with autism, and there is a alot of debate in the community about it. It also takes a lot of commitment and can be costly - not every can do it but I am a firm believer in giving it a try. I struggled with doing the diet in the past too but when my son was 6, we were able to put him fully onto the diet. Everyone noticed a change in him immediately - relatives, teachers, neighbors. I don't need any convincing now about the gfcf diet, it has made a huge difference in my son's life. Looking at cleaning up his diet and what that did - it made me pursue a greener approach for the entire family. I try to get organic foods as much as possible and use household products that are non-toxic. I'm very mindful about what goes into my kids bodies.
Do you have hope that your son will ever be cured? I have hope that my son will live a happy, healthy, rewarding life. I do not believe that he will be "cured", there isn't a "cookie-cutter" cure for Autism, though I do know many people who have been able to reverse Autism though DAN! protocol (biomedical practices).
Hello Kittie Mama shares the joys and struggles of her life at The Bon Bon Gazette.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Knowing this year was going to be a bit different with 5 kiddos in the classroom and the fact that Carson is getting older and needs a bit more "beef"....I decided to find a lit based curriculum that is laid out day by day for me!
I have decided on Winter Promise and the themed unit we have chosen is Amercian Story 1. This will cover our geography, history, social studies, Bible and reading. We have chosen our own grammar, spelling, math and science to add to it.
I am very excited to try this method of opening a binder and doing todays blocked off activities. The other great thing is that it is a 4 day a week curriculum so that leaves meour extra day for co-op!! So I will let you guys know how it goes later this fall!
Our other curriculum choices for 09/10 are:
Grammar-First Language Lessons
Handwriting- Handwriting without Tears
Art- How Great Thou Art
(Co-op classes will be Apologia Astronomy, karate, Sign Language, Little House)
Grammar-First Language Lessons
Math - MAth-U-See
HAndwriting - Handwriting without Tears
Art-How Great Thou Art
Science - Apologia Astronomy
Phonics - Explode the Code
Reading - 100 Lessons
Spelling - Dolch SIght Words
(Co-op classes karate, sign language, Animals in Their Worlds, PE)
Annie 4 years old
MISC. - ABC units
Rod & Staff K program
Handwriting without Tears
Handwriting without Tears
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Okay, lets start with why before these products I steered away from file folder games. I had been introduced the the "old school" black and white reproducibles. So the process went a bit like this...make copies....color pages....cut laminate....cut again....well that process gets VERY lengthy around the coloring stage!! So until the Integritas file folder games we only had 3 of the others that were ever completed!!! My other problem was that ALL of the games in that book were for children of one particular age. We know that in homeschooling or even as parents working with children after school that we need multiple age/level games.
So why do I LOVE these file folder games???
1.)Very cute designs...all of the artwork is hand drawn by the creator...a past art teacher!
2.)Interesting ideas...some are board game style, some are matching, etc...each.
3.)They are already colored for you!!! And it gets better! They are colored in a light watercolor effect so when you print them it doesn't feel like you are emptying your print cartridge!!
4.) If you have a concept that your child needs help with or simply enjoys ...you can request a special designed folder made just for your needs!!! For instance a friends son needed help with multiplication and loves football....and he now has a Touchdown Multiplication file folder game!
We decided to spend an afternoon at the park and I pulled over one child at a time to do the file folder game for his/her level. This was a great idea by the way because the other children were more than busy playing so we got one on one time!
Here is Lincoln (2 years) just playing with the Seasons Change file folder....he is not there quite yet!
FYI:I did laminate our folders and the pieces at our local teacher resource center so they are more durable.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
He made it on the antique cars and the little canoe ride and that was about it! He was even afraid of cotton candy!! But I guess you can tell by this picture below that he does like ice cream! He had it under his neck, in his hair...ugh !! (I chuckle thinking what Kate of Jon & Kate would have done hehe!!) He had it so long that the cone was a elastic-ish substance! He kept shoving it in and gagging, until I explained to him we could throw it away and he smiled really big! Carson acting silly!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
These are my lovely shelves from Target! The top little cubbies have all of my FIAR books in groups, BFIAR, FIAR vol 1, vol2 etc...it makes them very easy to locate!
The black wall is chalkboard paint..I love it! We school together at the table but the little desk is great for sending one of the children off for independent work. I love my solar system mobile from Pottery Barn...it will be great for our Apologia Astronomy we are studying this year! I also have a small childrens table that has the mini tv on it for Math-U-See for the older two.