Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

A few pictures from my trip to CA nearly three years ago when my niece was born.  The handsome guy is my nephew.  I can't believe it been so long!  They're getting so grown up!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dystopian and Anti-Hero Book Reviews

I won the book Matched, by Ally Condie, from Karissa's blog (Thanks!) and I loved reading it!

First of all the cover is awesome.  This is a case where it's okay to judge a book by it's cover.  The picture is pretty and it has a very cool rainbow like holographic effect.

The book is about a dystopian future and a girl that is beginning to see the problems with the society she lives in. There are similarities to the society in The Giver, but this book focuses more on the main character then on the society.  I really enjoyed this book!  See Karissa's review here since she describes it far better then I can.

 The second book I want to tell you about is Something Missing: A Novel by Matthew Dicks.  The main character is a thief who thinks of his victims as "clients."  This was a fun fast read and it's a departure from the standard story line.  There are some great comic moments in the book and I highly recommend it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Saving the Earth... One Tissue at a Time

It's nice when little boys care about saving the Earth.  As evidenced by the below conversations my sister and I have recently had with our little boys, they take being green to a whole new level.

*sniffle snort sniffle snort*
"The tissues are right there on the shelf if you need them, Aiden."
"No thanks, mommy, I have my hand."

"I think that may be the worst thing you've ever said to me in your whole life."

Boy: Ahchooooo!
Me: Do you need a tissue?
Boy: *SNIIIIIIIIIIIFF!*  Not anymore.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Know What Boys Like

Boy:  Mom. do woman understand everything about boys?
Me:  Well, we do understand SOME things about boys, but not everything.  Like we don't understand why you like The Three Stooges so much.
Boy: Oh.  Well, I think the thing women really don't understand is that we just LIKE guns and fighting.
Me:  Yes, you're right, I don't understand.

I thought that was very insightful for an 8 year old with Aspergers.  I expect it was brought on by several years of his mother sighing and saying things like "you wouldn't want to kill a REAL person with that light saber right?"  to which I would receive an eye roll and a disgusted "Mommmm, light sabers aren't real you know!"  

Which really isn't all that reassuring when you think about it.

The boy with some "knights in shiny armor"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Don't know what kind of caterpillar it is, but it's pretty cool.  I saw it on the first day of school this year.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gratuitous Chicken Cuteness

The first three pictures are of the same little bantam rooster.  The 2nd and 3rd pic show him with his feathers all poofed up to stay warm.  Funny little guy!

I posted an article at Community Cluckers about where we got the plan for our nest box.

View from the top

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Temple Grandin - The Movie

The movie, Temple Grandin was finally delivered by NetFlix and my oldest (17) and I sat down to watch it.  I've been looking forward to watching this movie because it's supposed to be a very good movie but also because it's about an autistic woman and my son (8) has Asperger's which is on the autism spectrum.

It was an excellent movie.  It was very uplifting and interesting and left me feeling very moved.  Clare Danes did a wonderful job.  I highly recommend it!

My son decided that I needed to turn it off because it broke our two swear word rule (if there are two swear words then it gets turned off).  Well the words were crap and d*mn, which I don't allow him to use. But really crap doesn't count as a swear word. So I tried explaining this to him and then I turned it off and waited till he left and turned it back on (he was not tricked) and then I tried explaining to him again.  One thing that is very common with kids with Aspergers is that they are very attached to rules.  He was so furious with me that he yelled "You are BANNED from my room for a WEEK!" and then he had a minor meltdown.

Sigh.  So I had to deal with a meltdown while (and because) I watched a movie involving a woman having meltdowns. Ironic, huh?  : )

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I'll title this one:
Longing for Summer

I know it's a bit too early to start complaining. : )

This pic is protected by copyright

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rainbow Dinner Theatre in Lancaster PA

For our 20th wedding anniversary my husband and I took a trip to Lancaster.  Since there are so many theaters in the area we thought it would be nice to catch a show.  It turned out that the Rainbow Dinner Theatre was the only place that had a show that worked for our timeline so our choice was quickly made.

They do comedies and the play we saw was called The Busybody.  The acting was very good and the show was so funny!  I'd love to go back and see another one.

My husband called ahead and surprised me with a bottle of wine and a mug with chocolates, a bear, and a balloon.  What a sweetie he is!

I hate to say it but the food just wasn't good.  The roast beef was okay but the rice stuffed chicken breast and fried fish were really pretty bad.  On the plus side the desserts were great and they had locally made ice cream too.  Also everyone that worked there were soooo friendly and helpful!  Especially our server; he was great.

So overall it was a great experience and I hope to go back (maybe they have a desert only package) and see another show.     

this pic is from their website

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

 I'm feeling random today, so here are some disparate pics.  Trevor and Brian from the (AWESOME!) band Enter the Haggis... and a rainbow (double)

Lancaster PA and Steinman Park

When we were in Lancaster PA in October we went to the Central Market which is the oldest continuously operating farmer's market in the US.  I got some amazing handmade Long's horseradish, delicious cinnamon swirl bread from Ric's (I highly recommend it), and many other treats.  It was a lot of fun!

As we were walking back to our car we came across Steinman Park (pictures below) which was a completely charming surprise.

We really liked Lancaster and my husband shocked me by saying that he wouldn't mind living there (hypothetically speaking).  This was a shock because my husband generally hates everything about cities.  : )

This park is "dedicated to the memory of Lancaster Newspapers' late co-publishers, James Hale Steinman and John Frederick Steinman." (Pressroom)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Education Reform and Me Rambling

Just a ramble today.  I was going to tell you about an adorable park in Lancaster Pa but none of my pictures would load, so I gave up. : )  That'll have to wait for another day.

I think the end of daylight savings time has given me jet lag.  That must mean I'm old.

I had to research Education Reform for an English paper that I wrote. I think one of the scariest things about it is that for every opinion there is an equal and opposite opinion.  No one can agree on anything (this may be a slight exageration)!!  It's really awful.  Personally, I think one of the biggest opportunities is to reduce class sizes, especially in the lower grades.  Even wonderful teachers can struggle with providing help to a class of 30.  What do you think would help the most?

Going to read some more of "I am Number Four" and then to sleep.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Here is the quilt that my sister and I made for our niece.  My mother cross-stiched a pretty heart of flowers with her name in it (at the top of the quilt.)  Then there is our mom holding our little love just a few days after she was born. 

Linking up at Miller Racing Family

Happy Sean Bean Awareness Day!

What do you mean you've never heard of Sean Bean Awareness Day!?  The SBAD in a longstanding international and traditional day of appreciation for Sean Bean (that I just made up).

I realized the need for this day when I found out that none of the girls in my office knew who he was. This underappreciated actor has been in many movies and tv shows. He often plays the bad guy in movies (The Island, National Treasure) and even in the Richard Sharpe series he is a hero with a reckless streak.  I believe I first became of aware of Sean in the movie Patriot Games where he played an awful (ruggedly handsome) villain.  Then I was fortunate enough to have a husband who loves the Sharpe series so I often get to catch glimpses of him as I walk through the living room. ; ) 

I might feel a bit bad about this except that my husband has had a crush on Helen Hunt for many years. : )

In honor of this day I created a desktop background to share:
If you right click on it and choose Set as Background the whole thing will be visible.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blogging for Autism - Asperger's and my family

My son who is 8 years old has a form of Autism called Asperger's Syndrome.  There is a saying that if you've met one child with Autism, well, you've only met one child with Autism. Meaning that there is a huge amount of variation in symptoms and severity and each child with this disorder is different.

Generally speaking, Asperger's effects motor skills, speech skills, social skills, ability to deal with disruptions in routine or with frustrations, preoccupation with a favorite subject, sensitivity to noise, lights, etc.
For more see: http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/tc/aspergers-syndrome-symptoms

In my son's case some of his symptoms are quite mild.  For example his speech; until he was diagnosed at the age of 7 I didn't realize that his odd way of speaking had anything to do with the other issues we dealt with all of his life.  Other symptoms are more severe such as his noise sensitivity, impulse control, and ability to deal with frustrations.  Major meltdowns where he hurts himself, others and destroys property are not uncommon.  On the other hand he can be a delightful funny and friendly guy to be around. 

One of the many things that I've learned from my experience is the truthfulness of the Bible verse at Matthew 6:34 - "So, never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness."  I've found that it is easier to survive each day if I take it on it's own.  Constant worrying about the future makes life almost unbearable.

I'm  very sorry that this post is so late.  I'm also a bit sad that I don't think it's well written and it doesn't say what I want it to.  It was both harder and more painful to write then I anticipated. 

Thank you for reading.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don't Let Me Color My Hair at 9pm!

I've been busy and stressed lately.  I've had papers to write for English and Pschology classes.  I'm working full time and I've had to add on almost 2 hours of commuting per day 4 times a week that I didn't before.  Add on to that meetings, children, cooking, animals, etc, etc, I just haven't had a chance to get to the hairdresser to have my hair colored and my gray was REALLY showing!

I had to be at a function for my daughter's high school on Saturday and Friday night I decided there was no way I could step foot out of the house with my hair looking the way it did.  So at 8 o'clock on Friday after a loooooong stressful week I went to the drug store and picked up some color.  So in that frame of mind I decided that my standard medium warm brown was boring and that I needed something more exciting.  Soooo now I'm a red head!

I don't hate it but I also don't feel like it's *me*.  I think the actual color is more of a darker burgundy then it appears in the pictures.  I'll enjoy it for a bit and then go back to my normal color I guess.

I've re-realized that I shouldn't be allowed to make permanent changes to my appearance when tired and stressed though. : ) 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cursive Decision

Son: Mom, do you like cursive?
Me: Yes, I think it looks pretty
Son: Well, I don't think it's for me.  I think I'll just stick with regular English.

Working on HW with Dad.  We don't time his homework, the timer was left out from a game. : )

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guest Post on a Chicken Blog - Yeah!

I'm excited to have been asked to share my experiences at Community Chickens a community from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit (two of my favorite magazines). 

If you're interested in chickens you might like to stop by and check it out.  Follow the blog to get updates when new posts come out.

Thanks for reading!



A completely unrelated photo of Henry. Just for the fun of it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Strawberry Popcorn Harvest

My husband LOVES popcorn and he decided to grow his own in the garden this Summer.  Not one to go with boring normal corn kernels he decided to plant strawberry popcorn seeds. 

They grew quite well and he harvested them and we've been letting them dry.  Isn't it pretty?  Maybe we can decorate with them and then pop them. : )

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Chicken Pics (for Busy Working Mama)

Aleksandra, since you asked so sweetly : ) here you go.  I love having a lot of different colors and types of chickens.  They're a lot of fun to watch!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chicky Wordless Wednesday

Linking up at Miller Racing

There's not many thing cuter then chicks in a box.  Well, maybe puppies in a box. : )  This is how baby chicks are sent from the hatchery.  They arrive within one to two days.  This takes advantage of the fact that they can live without food and water for several days after hatching because of their yolk sac. 

These are my first chickens. They arrived in the Spring of 2008.