Friday, December 5, 2008

4 Tips for Christmas

1. Use a calendar to prepare the child for Christmas. Things to include: holiday time from school & when school starts, days visitors will arrive, the day decorations and the Christmas tree will be put up and most importantly when and where you will open presents. Highlighting these times on the calendar will help your child prepare for the time spent away from school, and changes in routine, and home.

2. As much as possible keep a child's routine consistent. For example, if the child uses any visual communication tools, continue to use them as much as possible.

3. Include the child in preparing for Christmas. Look at Christmas decorations or trees together. Allow the child to assist in decorating or watch as decorations are put up. Allowing the child to participate in decorating may prevent negative reactions to changes in the environment.

4. Decorating can be highly stimulating and stressful. To make it easier for the child you may want to put up a few decorations each day to ease into the Christmas season.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two Tribes Collide

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. We had a great time at the Arnwine house. GA made a wonderful pumpkin pie to go with our Turkey. After dinner we went out to check on our homeless friends. We found out that a couple of churches got together and made them all a wonderful dinner and gave them new jackets. They were all in a very good mood and we were so glad they were taken care of.

While out we decided to go visit our Indian friends. They own a liquor store and Thanksgiving day is always a busy one for them. When we got to the store we started to talk and enjoy each others company. After about 10 minutes one of our homeless friends walked in, saw me and gave me a hug saying, "happy Thanksgiving beautiful lady."

Just then I turned and saw my Indian friends. I can't really explain how they looked. It was a mixture of shock, surprise, dare I say disgust. At that moment I felt my cheeks get red and then my Indian friends asked, "do you know him?!" I shook my head yes feeling my face get hotter as I watched my friend buy a beer. He was unaware of what was going on and waved happily as he left...

After he walked out my friends quizzed me:

Do I give him money?
Do I let them get close to me?
Don't they bother me?
Don't I know they will spend any money I give them on beer?

I tried to answer them, but it was a one sided conversation. My friends didn't like what they saw and they didn't want to hear my answers. I tried to explain that I think God loves all men. That all men are made in God's image and no one is incapable of a new beginning, a new life, redemption.

When it was all done I think the thing that bothered me the most was that I got embarrassed. I've gotten use to smelly hugs, toothless grins, and conversations that don't always make sense. However, this is the first time I was associated with the homeless tribe and the truth is I didn't like it. I don't want to be in their tribe. I want to visit, and do good things, but I don't want to be associated with them.

The bottom line is this, its easy for me to talk about Jesus. Its much harder to live like Jesus and have His motives. When I take the time to look deeply into my heart sometimes it just stinks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

National Autism Resources is at the Golden State Mall 11/15 & 11/16 in Bakersfield

We're experimenting in branching out to the general public. We'll be at the Golden State Mall in Bakersfield CA today & tomorrow. If you are in the area come visit us!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meat and CHEESE!

G ate a sandwich with ham and cheese.

Now we are up to:
Turkey & Bread
Ham & Bread
Grilled Ham Sandwich
Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

I'm so excited! Two ingredients mixed together! Whoo Hoo!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Little More on ABA

Well I promised to blog soon, and it took me a week to recover?! I'm thinking I need to join a gym! Enough about me let's talk more about the ABA and older people on the spectrum.

As usual the Glassers cut straight to the a key point of Peter Gerhart's presentation which is this:

Success in school and even college does not automatically translate to success in real life.
It's easy to drill academic information over and over again and "show" that a person is making "progress." However, if a person can add and even balance a checkbook, but they can't go shopping, how does this help in real life?

The truth is its harder working with individuals to help them gain independence and make meaningful connections in society.

For example, when teaching an individual how to make their bed, why drill over and over again until they make a perfect hospital style bed? In real life do any of us really do that? What a waste of time and resources. Teach them to get out in the community independently. Raise the bar! Many people on the spectrum are capable of far more than they are allowed to experience.

Point two I appreciated, which isn't reflected in the slides was this:

Treat people on the spectrum as people, not tasks!

They have likes, dislikes, interests, listen to them and help them to achieve THEIR goals. There were many examples of this in Peter's talk. For example, he talked about helping people find jobs. One autistic man had asked to quit his restaurant job 22 TIMES! The case worker would not let him quit because she had "placed" him in a job. How would you feel if that were you? Finally, the man was allowed to quit when he had a melt down in the restaurant.
Peter asked the man what kind of job he wanted. In a nutshell he replied:
  • lots of money (don't we all).
  • not too many hours (don't we all).
  • not to sweat.

He was in a kitchen sweating, it was loud and over stimulating. Peter worked with him to find another job that matched what he was good at, and guess what: no tantrums, a happy employer, and a happy employee. Wow, treat people as people and watch what can happen!!!

I have lots more to blog on this subject, but I want to get some feedback from you. Unfortunately, they took down Peter's slides, so we can't access them anymore. Grrrrrr....

Let me know what you think. Come on you lurking readers. Just post a comment and choose to have it posted as anonymous I want your feedback!!!

Life - Liberty - and the Pursuit of Happiness for all!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Awesome Day

It has been an awesome first day at the conference. I've met tons of parents and SLPs. The speakers have been excellent. My favorite so far is Peter Gerhardt. You can access his PowerPoint presentation here. He talked about creating meaningful jobs for people on the spectrum. Jobs that they are interested in. He also challenged everyone to raise the bar of expectation. It was inspiring and challenging.

We've had a ton of traffic at the National Autism Resources booth and that's been great!

I've been up since four, so I'm going to bed now. I'll blog lots more tomorrow, if I survive.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Collaboration in Autism Treatment Conference

Tomorrow I will attend the Collaboration in Autism Treatment Conference in Santa Clara, CA. I'll be in and out of the National Autism Resources booth. Who knows I may give out some free chewelry...

I'm excited about this conference because some of the most knowledgeable people in the country will come together to talk about helping teenagers and adults on the spectrum. We now have a whole group of kids that have responded to early intervention, but continue to need various levels of support. Its uncharted territory. The conference is sponsored by the Autism Education Network. I love the founder Michele Waterman. We've never met in person, but we've hit it off on the phone. She's an awesome Mom whose as real as they come and committed to preparing the way for her child.

I hope to blog more over the weekend. Michele says she has some exciting news to share with me. So I'm definitely taking her out to coffee! I'll need it because I have to get up at 4:00 and its almost 11:00. If you think of me pray for energy!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween's Coming

Here is my husband's annual Elvis look.

This year GA is going to be a bottle of ketchup, G is going to be Darth Vader (big surprise), and I'm going to be the chocolate eating Mom...

We found GA's costume at K-mart for $12.00! Score! GA was very happy. G on the other hand is now almost as tall as me!!! So we are making his costume and it looks excellent. We plan to trick or treat for a couple of hours and then watch the Black and White Frankenstein movie.

Then Saturday I will get up at 4:00 am for a weekend conference. Why oh why did they schedule it the day after Halloween???

That's OK, I'll rest on Monday. Oh wait, I home school, I'll rest next weekend...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Great Book with Great Coffee

As stated before on this blog part of my depression homework is to enjoy myself. Yes, I have to figure out ways to have fun and then make myself do them. All work and no play makes me unable to get out of bed.

I'm glad to report that this week I have been thoroughly enjoying myself. My dear friends Gary and Katherine have given me the best gifts ever. First the new book by Rob Bell an author I thoroughly enjoy reading.


this is so awesome...

I can't believe my taste buds awesome...

They brought me back fresh roasted 100% Kona coffee from their Hawaii trip. So not only do I have wonderful friends. They are wonderful friends who know how to spoil me!!!

Bliss, sheer bliss, I've been enjoying excellent coffee all this week and disciplining myself by only reading one chapter a day.

On top of that, last Saturday my husband helped me clean the whole house, which makes the reading/drinking all the more enjoyable because I'm doing it in a clean house...

Life is good my friends, life is good!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Card from my Dad

I got this card from my Dad. Its the best card I've ever received. It applies to anyone who has been on life's journey for awhile. I can't help but share what it said:
All of us have moments when we look at our lives and ask,

"How did I get here?"

Living is so full of unpredictable twists-

Sometimes it's hard to keep up,

Adapting to the life we have while letting go

Of the life we planned.

I think you may be experiencing some of that now...

When some days are better than others

And nothing seems as certain as it used to be.

Just be sure to be good to yourself-

give yourself time to adjust,

To Rest,

To reflect...

And know that anytime you need someone to talk with,

I'm here for you.

-K.A. Moon

My life has taken a lot of twists and turns. I've had some hard adjustments to make. There is nothing better than time, rest, reflection, and prayer... and someone you feel you can always talk to. I want to be a parent like my Dad, my parent and friend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Toooo Funny

We are done with our Math unit on real world math problems (word problems). G is so happy! Now we get to move onto a Geometry unit. Oh happy, happy day! G and I were so thrilled we had to do a happy dance in the living room.

It's the little things that make life wonderful!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Healed from Autism

Can I just say I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated by all of the "miracle" cures of kids overcoming autism and being cured. I guess I'm frustrated because that is not my story, and to be honest I have not met anyone yet who has a child that has been "cured."

I've met many, many, many parents who can attest that various supplements and special diets have made a big difference in their child's lives. We have had tremendous success w/ supplements as well. However, again I've met none that would claim their child is healed. Yet that seems to be the mantra in the news.

Am I just not well enough informed?

Have I been traveling in the wrong circles?

Am I too isolated?

I also am at the point, that I don't want to "cure" my son. He is a fascinating person with tremendous potential who would want to cure that? Also, he does have some challenges, but who doesn't? Finally, he is well on his way to becoming a happy, independent individual, what more could I want for him?

Am I naive or just crazy?

I don't know...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The View from my Window

This is a view from my kitchen window. The sun was rising a few days ago and I looked outside and the view was literally breathtaking. I hope your view is wonderful today.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Clone Wars!!!

The new Clone Wars cartoon came out. OK I admit it I am just as much of a Star Wars junkie as my son.... so we had a premier party. The kids had pizza and chocolate chip cookies and three friends over to watch the premier. Everyone had a good time. It was the perfect social time, with great conversation about the characters, story, and animation during the commercial breaks. In short a perfect night.

Now G is interested in comic books. Here's a page he created today:
He's working on trying to match the best picture with the dialog. He looks at tons of pictures until he finds the one he feels matches the text best. How awesome is that?! I can't wait for him to finish. When he does we'll print it all up for him to keep.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Way I See It

I just finished reading Temple Grandin's new release The Way I See It. It was a well written and enjoyable read. Its full of very practical advice. As a matter of fact it reads like a big sister giving advice. The book is a series of articles that Temple wrote for the Autism Aspergers Digest magazine so you can easily read a chapter, put it down, and read another later without getting lost. I would highly recommend it for families supporting people with Aspergers or higher functioning autism.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Engineer It

We had a blast at the Lawrence Hall of Science. They had a section called Engineer it! There were a ton of cool hands on engineering activities.
Here GA built a bridge:

She kept removing blocks until the arched bricks were all that were left. It was very sturdy because gravity pulling down on the bricks held the arch in place....

Later we saw an awesome show called:

The show was great fun. We learned about fire, how to put out a fire,


when the facilitator asked for a volunteer...


Here is G helping to light a fire! He did a great job and after helping received a round of applause. He covered his ears on his way back to his chair, but he was smiling. (Look how tall he is, he will be taller than me soon!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We've got a new fascination around the Arnwine house its energy. Energy is everywhere, it powers our houses, electrical impulses run through our brains, gravity keeps us anchored to the Earth.

Anyhow, the other day G and I were talking about our favorite scientist Einstein. I asked G what he wanted to do when he grew up.

He replied, "I'm going to work with energy."

Then I asked, "what do you want to do with energy?"

He said, "I don't know I have to study it more first."

Have I mentioned lately I really love this kid! I love the way his brain works. I can't wait to learn about energy with him.

Monday, September 15, 2008


GA, my youngest, has become so frustrated w/ G lately. She wants to meet with other siblings to find out how they deal with it. I've heard many a story from older siblings who become very protective of their younger siblings, but thats not our situation. My daughter is younger than my son, but has become socially more mature. Now that she is in middle school she is very self conscious and very aware of socially awkward situations.

So I've been looking for sibling support groups, and guess what none exist. Sooooo I'm thinking of organizing one. I'm tired of starting something new. Kick, scream, cry, punch the wall... OK I got it out. I love both my kids, it will help others, and it looks like no one else is going to do it, so wish me luck! All I need to find is a facilitator I can't do it, I might start crying I'm a wimp.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Missing Burger

(G wearing his favorite t-shirt "Vader was Framed")

As stated before G ate a sandwich. It was wonderful. Since then I've tried to put condiments on the bread and he refused to eat it. I've tried different meats and so far Turkey and Ham are OK. Yay! So I thought I would try different breads.

G will eat cheeseburgers at home or with no pickles or onions from McDonalds or Burger King (health food freaks I don't want to hear it desperate times call for desperate measures...) Anyhow, I thought I would try and stretch the bread thing and I bought egg bread buns. They taste just like white bread but the bread has a yellow tint. G wanted nothing to do with it.
So last night I left the bun next to a burger patty and a slice of cheese and went outside to the garage. Why did I go outside? I finished some work for National Autism Resources and I didn't want to obsess over will he eat it or not. Also, when he is alone w/o pressure many times he does better.

After a while I came back in and the burger patty was gone, but everything else was left on the plate. I asked G did you eat the burger? He said no. Now its about 7:00pm and I'm tired, and at this point I don't care about the bun, I want the truth! So I asked again, G did you eat the burger? He replied "I said no!" He had some irritation in his voice which made me irritated so I told him, "you know what go to your room because I don't want to look at you right now." So he left to his room.

A little while later I found our bloated wiener dog and put it all together. That pig had jumped on the table and stole G's patty! Its times like these when I hate being a parent.

So I walked into G's room and apologized. I find myself apologizing more and more to my kids. I'm saving up for college, but maybe I should start saving up for their future therapy sessions.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

39 + 1

Well I hit another decade and I'm having a hard time saying the word


How can this be happening? I still feel like in my heart I'm 25. Thankfully my friends only had me blow out one symbolic candle... 40 surly would have made the whip cream melt! :-P

I feel blessed I have my family, good friends, some Kona coffee and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

Peace be with you my friends.

Friday, September 5, 2008


G and I had a wonderful talk today. I mentioned to him that many thought Einstein was on the spectrum. G got this big smile and said, "really we should find out more about that." So we are going to be learning about Einstein which fits in perfectly with our history and our physics, not to mention we can read a biography and there's English...

I love G so much. It is such a joy to raise him, I can't imagine life without him! The older he gets the more I enjoy who he is becoming. Autism for us isn't so much a tragedy as it is a different way of being. There is nothing wrong with being different, it just means a person is not ordinary - and who really wants to be ordinary anyway.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Friday, August 29, 2008


I have a homeless friend named Ricky. He is mentally ill and for a long time I avoided him because at times he acted so unusual it made me feel uncomfortable. For example, one time I drove by him running all over the McDonald's parking lot chasing some Sea Gulls. I was giving another homeless friend some socks when he ran up to me and said, "these birds are bullies and I hate bullies" then he bowed and smiled at me with a huge toothless grin and ran off again.

Hmmmm I could give more stories here, but you get the point.

The other day I saw Ricky and started to talk to him. A shop owner approached us and said, "Will you explain to him that if he wants to come into my store then he has got to behave." I started thinking will I explain to him? Why me? This guy is mentally ill and I'm not even sure how we became friends. Plus what does "behaving" look like. Do you mean appropriate behaviors, when purchasing an item, or asking for assistance, this could take all day...

I turned to Ricky and awkwardly said, "He would like you to be nice." The man walked back into his store and Ricky looked like he was going to cry. He told me that God was mad at him and its hard when God is mad. Then he showed me his hands there were scars on the palms of them. I have no idea how they got there. His arms were dirty with open sores, his hair long and matted, his skin weathered deeply tanned and dirty. I felt like for the first time I truly saw him. Just then I felt my heart break with compassion. He is a homeless mentally ill man who seems to have no safety net, living in a state that continues to cut services for the mentally ill.

I've been praying that God would somehow use me or give me the words to explain to Ricky that he matters and that Jesus loves him so much he died for him. I want to be an extension of God's love. I'm thinking of making him some turkey stuffing. He loves the stuff. Is it too corny to say here's some stuffing I made it because I want you to know God loves you and wants you to be his son?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School

This picture was too funny to pass up! Well if you have been reading long, most of you know, I'm trying to find "balance" in my life. (Whatever that means.) One thing I struggle with constantly is not giving my daughter GA enough time. Yesterday was her first day of Junior High she was so stressed I decided to sign up as a parent volunteer for the first day. This meant a lot of juggling because I had to find somewhere for G to stay... he ended up going to work with the Hubbo and had his fill of Star Wars video games....

Anyhow, I was glad I went. I kept an eye out for GA. She started to get lost, along w/ several other 6th graders, so I had the pleasure of intercepting them and leading them straight to the sixth grade PE teacher. Don't worry I was cool, I told them all I've been helping kids find PE all day, which was true.

At lunch GA sat down and was all alone. She looked so sad. I told one of my new lunch lady friends, "look at my daughter." I probably looked like a wreak because I felt like so sad for her. Anyhow, long story short the lunch lady asked if she knew anyone, and then found the only girl GA knows at the school. They sat together and talked and GA brightened up right away.

I know GA is growing up and there are less and less opportunities for me to be there for her. I want to be there but not suffocate her. Oh this is going to be a hard balancing act! I'm glad the first day turned out well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting Ready for School

We use the Time Timer to help my son stay on task when he is getting ready.
Time Timer

School is starting and we are going to work on independence.  We are going to use a time timer to help G keep track of time visually.  He will have 30 minutes to get ready.   The visual of the red disc smaller is starting to help him stay on task.  Of course it helps that red is is favorite color!

I also found a really cool I Can Get Ready for School Chart.  It is really sturdy, and it was only $10.00.  What I like is its simple one side says need to do - the other side says completed.  So G can choose the order he wants to go through to get ready for school.  As he finishes each task like getting dressed, brushing teeth he can just move it over to the completed side.  When he is all done he gets a star for the day.  We will celebrate when he gets five stars.

This is the I Can Get Ready for School Chart we will use to help my son become more independent.
I Can Do It! School Chart

I'm getting ready for my second year of homes chool. I'm excited because I feel confident in adapting materials so G can understand them better.

This year I'm really looking forward to American History focusing on 1900-Present. I'm excited because I have found lots of videos through our library system that I will use to supplement the curriculum.

GA is starting Junior High next week. I can't believe my baby girl is going to Junior High. She has recently taken a more proactive role in her appearance which is good. I had let myself go and realized I was setting the example for GA. So I have made a point of doing my hair, applying a little make up and wearing clothes that are neat and clean. (Evil depression you won't get the best of me!!!) I have also made a point of helping GA try new hair styles and complimenting her on her appearance. I'm constantly pushing down the guilt w/ GA. So much energy goes into G I often find myself with not much left to give her. Balance, its that balance thing again. As soon as someone figures out how to balance their life, please let me know the secret.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

He ate a sandwich!!!


I can't believe it.

Yesterday my son was hungry I told him I'll make you a sandwich. (I always say this, he always declines, hasn't eaten a sandwich since he was three and then it had to be cut into *perfect* cubes.)

This time he said, yes and he ate it!


I'm going to wait a few more sandwiches and see if I can find out why the change. Perhaps it was camp.

Also, thank you to everyone for praying I do feel much better now :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Deprssion Stinks!

Wow, I had a bad day yesterday, I had to force myself to get anything done. I've been lax on taking care of myself and doing CBT. My sleep has been off and I know that is directly related. S0000o no more caffeine after lunch, starting tomorrow. I would have started today but I realized I already blew it while charting my behaviors. (I keep track of my behaviors and track how different behaviors make me feel.) On a positive note, I found I love reading blogs, I must have read them for a couple of hours yesterday.

Maybe that isn't so positive...

Hmmmm I'll have to think on that one.

Its been over a year since I was diagnosed with "clinical depression" and I still can't believe I'm not over it. I've prayed, pleaded, begged God to let it stop... but still I have days like yesterday. At least every day isn't like yesterday anymore. I keep thinking of:

My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. 2 Cor 12:7 The Message

I want to be glad to let this happen, but right now I'm going to just try to remember God's grace is enough, God's grace is enough, its enough.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Kids are Back

The kids are back, they had a great time at camp. They both would like to go to camp again next year. G shared with me that he got lost at camp. He finally ended up someplace he recognized and was able to find his way. He felt proud, and at first I felt scared and guilty. I can't believe he was walking alone in a strange place without an escort, or a map, or directions or something. I should have been there... Where were the other kids? Where were the counselors?

I've been thinking this over. Maybe I should be happy, he found his way no harm done, right?
He was very independent and took care of himself, that's good, right??

He felt proud of himself, even though he was very nervous, that's good right???


What if he didn't find his way?

What if he got lost in the woods and they had to call the forest rangers??

What if he became a news story???

I have to find a balance between protection and freedom. G won't learn to take care of himself if I never give him an opportunity to stretch, grow and be independent. On the other hand, I love him so much, I couldn't take it if something happened to him. We're working on life and community skills, he can now purchase things from a store. I want him to be prepared for anything, but I can't prepare him for everything.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sweet Freedom

My son and daughter are going to church camp this weekend with G-dub and Katherine. They are in charge of the youth groups at Fair Oaks, and if you can believe this, Katherine use to work with special needs adults. My kids like them both a lot, as do I, so...
I can't believe I can let my kids go away for a weekend and feel comfortable.

Hence this Friday at 9:30 I will be free, as in no children, no husband, just me alone. My husband will come back after work, but from 9:30-6:30 on Friday I will be completely free to do whatever I want. This is such a rare occasion, I'm not sure how to spend it.

Shall I read a good book?

wander aimlessly through the house,



I don't know what I'm gonna do, but I don't want to waste my time!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Homeless Friends

I blogged awhile ago about my friend Kit Kat who passed away. I wanted to share that I found out what happened to KK. She was sitting on a bench and fell, hit her head on the sidewalk. She was very ill, no one hurt her. For awhile my homeless friends couldn't talk to me about it because they were so upset. I was so thankful for the news.

By the way if you want to help the homeless, give them clean socks. They always need socks and it is so nice for their feet.

Don't give them hard to chew food (beef jerky, chewy fruit snacks...) most have dental problems so even if they are hungry they can't eat it.

As a rule, whenever I'm asked for money I say, "I can't give you money, but if you're hungry I can get you something to eat." If they are hungry they let me know.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


G turned thirteen on Friday. We celebrated with a party G style. G planned for us to:

  1. Go to the movies,

  2. Come home and eat pepperoni pizza (his favorite)

  3. Watch the new episode of iCarly,

  4. Eat cake and open presents

  5. Watch the new Monk episode.

All in all we had a good time. Originally we planned to see Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3-D. When we got to the theater, we found out it wasn't showing in 3-D where we were. For a minute I thought we were going to have a melt down teenage style, then one friend mentioned they had seen Hancock and it was the best movie he had seen all summer AND a show was starting that fit the schedule... so we took the kids to see Hancock. Once we were in, we were surprised by the language. My husband debated taking G and his friends out, but then we would have "ruined" the plan... which would have meant we "ruined" his birthday. So we kept them in and then I apologised to the parents (my friends) who forgave me...

Then it turned out there were back to back episodes of iCarly. So we ended up cutting cake and singing Happy Birthday during a Monk commercial break. G was fine with the schedule changes (flexibility is such a beautiful thing...)

After the festivities G played with his new light saber in the backyard.

In short, it was not a perfect day, but close...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Winner Is...

The votes are in and here is the winner! It was a close tie between all three, but between, e-mail and the blog in the end picture number 2 was the winner. Thank you to everyone who voted. National Autism Resources is up and running. We should be able to take orders soon... what the heck was I thinking?!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Which picture do you like?

Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to pick out a picture for the home page of National Autism Resources, and I can't decide between the following pics. So can you vote for the one you like? Thanks!
Picture #1

Picture #2

Picture #3

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Good Coffee- thats CHEAP!

I can not believe I am writing this. Yesterday I had my first experience with truly good cheap coffee. It's the Wal-Mart brand French Roast made w/ arabica beans its a Medium roast. Don't get me wrong, its not a complex flavor, it won't become an instant favorite... However, it holds its own. You can't beat the price and dare I say its better than Starbucks new house blend...

With gas over $4.00 a gallon, I'll be drinking this for awhile...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Going on Vacation

Well tomorrow I'm going to Tennessee with the kids and Hubbo. We're all having a nice family vacation before the launch of the business. So I've got bubble gum, ear plugs, and all sorts of crunchy foods, as well as a new Star Wars book! All should go well on the flight provided there are no unusual noises or smells... Well noises we can deal with, its the smells that can be a problem. Anyone have any idea on how to handle offensive smells on an airplane???

Please God no weird smells...

I'll be back in two weeks, the website is looking great!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What do you recommend?

I'm loading products onto the new website so if all goes well we'll launch National Autism Resources by the end of this month. Hooray! I've been putting up the products we have found to be helpful for our family. That got me wondering... do any of you have a special toy or book that has been really helpful to your child that you would like to recommend? If so let me know about it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Secret is Out...

No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today. ~Brendan Francis I read this quote and loved it. As stated before I've been working on a secret project... well the time has come to reveal it:
National Autism Resources

Yep I'm expanding my company to sell only the tried and true inexpensive, easy to use, durable toys, fidgets, games and books for families who have a member on the spectrum.

So friends have been giving me advice like don't tell people you have depression. (Ooooops I did it I know I'm going to see e-mails...) Yes I suffer from depression, so much so that I start my day every day with what I like to call "Vitamin P" better known as Prozac.

Friends have also said don't talk so much about religion. Well I agree I won't talk about religion, I'll just keep talking about the most fascinating relationship in my life, my friendship with Jesus.

I am no super Mom, there are many a day I want to retreat to Mexico for a month... I will not portray myself as anything except who I am. So if people are turned off to my company because of preconceived notions of what a person of faith is like, or because I suffer from a "mental illness" all I can say is I wish them well. However, I will stay uncensored and honest.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My God is Jealous

I have a dear friend from India that I met over 10 years ago. Her kids are my kids "baby friends." She is a Sikh. Our differences in faith have led to many very interesting conversations, for example she is the first person I have met that truly believes in reincarnation... Her youngest boy turned nine and she invited me to her Gurdwara, their version of a church. She had some time off, which is rare, and wanted to take him there for a prayer of blessing, and then celebrate with dinner. I was interested to go and share her life, but also very cognizant that I follow Jesus and Jesus has told me to only follow him...

So I had to explain to my friend that my God is jealous, I can only worship him. I could go but could not participate in the worship of any other god or teacher.

She said that was fine, so I went and observed.

When we drove up she explained that the domes were built in Italy and donated by a very rich Sikh who lives there.

When we arrived we were asked to cover our hair. When I asked if this was something her god demanded my friend replied that covering one's hair is done for modesty reasons. It would be the same as someone not wearing a bikini top to church...

I came into their main meeting room. Sikhs bow and pray to a book called the Guru Granth Sahib, not sure of the name here... They enter bow, pray and then leave an offering I saw people leave money, and another person left milk. Elderly men from their faith spend the day by their book and are available for prayer or readings of the book. When they heard it was J's birthday they uncovered the book and read it. It was in Punjabi, but instead of reading they sang the words.

After the prayers we went downstairs to another room, there is always food and tea available to eat there. So we had some wonderful Indian food and talked. I could tell my friend was so happy that I had come. She mentioned that many American people become Sikhs. At that moment I thought to myself so this is what it feels like when someone wants to convert you...

My dear friend loves me so much. She would love for me to become a Sikh, but the truth is I believe I have found the greatest teacher that ever lived, Jesus. I am so attracted to Him, I can't fathom any other way. I would love for her to meet Jesus and follow him, but for now we have chosen different ways...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Autistic and Proud

There's a short article on the Autistic's rights movement here. As stated before I've been struggling with the idea of labels. Labels, labels, labels... There are pros and cons to labels. In this article the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, says Autism and Asperger's syndrome aren't diseases, but different ways of being.

As I think about it what bothers me about the "autistic" label is that the media has made it synonymous with disability, tragedy. What I see in my son is someone uniquely and beautifully different. He has a different perspective and I so enjoy him just the way he is and I am excited to see how God will continue to work in his life.

Early intervention is important no doubt, but acceptance is also. Again I go back to the beautiful quote from The Glasser's: "I am not trying to stamp out personality traits, but I am helping her to be more functional in the world so she has the chance to be her own person." I so much want my son to be his own person. I also want the world to embrace him as he is...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Warmline Last Night

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking to Warmline. It was a small group of mostly parents. My buddy Bev drove me up (she's my secret twin, separated by 30 years). It was great to speak somewhat close to home! I left in the afternoon and was back late that same night. I met a woman named Nandini who looked so familiar. We both graduated from UC Davis I was 1990, she graduated in 1999! 1999?! I was married with two kids by 1999... I'm thinking about age here and there as I will turn 40 in September. I can't believe I'll turn 40, I still don't feel like a grown up!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kit Kat Passed Away

Yesterday at 3:00pm my friend Kit Kat died. I wasn't a member of her family so I couldn't see her one last time. I was able to help the hospital connect with her three sons, so they were with her when she died. The sad thing is she had congestive heart failure, but that's not why she died. She died because someone beat her so badly she couldn't recover. I'm a little shocked so I'll end with Psalm 23...

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Busy Day

Sorry the pic is blurry it was late...

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak for the Care Parent Network. It was fun and I sold some of the sensory toys I've been investigating. Then I came home unpacked and hosted my daughter's birthday party sleep over. I had been up since 5:30 and I think the girls went to bed at two... Needless to say I'm on my second pot of coffee!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kit-Kat 2

Well I am happy to report that KK is still alive. She ended up in the hospital again, was released again, and now at least she has her medication. There are about eight homeless people that live behind the Jiffy Lube not too far from my house. I always thought there was room for these people somewhere if they would accept help. I've since found out that if you are a single homeless person there are not enough beds for you. I also read the other day that the county I live in is looking at closing three more shelters.

A Bishops Wife asked what does the church do? That is such a good question, I've been thinking about that... We give money to shelters or we volunteer once a month to feed the homeless. These things are good, but they are also very convenient and safe. I've done this for years and because I did I gave myself permission to ignore the homeless in my neighborhood.

This question also spurred me to contemplate what is the church. What do we mean when we say "church?" On Sunday morning many of us drive to various church buildings and worship with a group of people. However, when people say "what is the church doing" they are not referring to a building they are referring to the people in the building. I often expect the leaders and/or pastors of these groups to "do something." As I read the scriptures it is clear that God does not view the "church" as a building, but as individual people who believe in Him. Could this mean then that instead of relying on the church leaders to do something, I as an individual of the church am responsible to do more than just write a check? If so when I ask "what is the church doing???" I'm really asking what am I doing? The truth is I have not been doing anything for far too long, writing a check is easier, and I don't want to add another "thing" to my life...

Friday, May 2, 2008


I have some homeless friends. I guess I can't call them friends they are more like acquaintances. Except for one woman, Katheryn or Kit-Kat. I believe she is mentally ill, and I'm not sure how we became friends, except to say that it seems like God keeps putting her in my path. Last week I noticed I hadn't seen her around for awhile. I asked some of her friends where she was, and they told me she wasn't doing too well. It turns out Kit-Kat was in the hospital. Medicare had sent out new cards in April. Since KK didn't have an address she had no card, which meant she couldn't get her heart medication.

Last Friday I saw her, lying in a small brick enclave where they keep garbage. I walked up to her and noticed her fingertips were blue and she looked terrible. She told me she had been in the hospital, that she has congestive heart failure, and she was released without any medication. (The hospital was nice enough to give her a Taxi ride to the local mall, a prescription list, and a list of shelters she could call....) She had no money to call and couldn't stand up. I took her prescription to the pharmacy to be filled and started calling the shelters on the list. They were full and some shelters refuse to take the sick. I called a christian shelter, the manager was gone and they had shut the doors for the night (4pm) the lady told me please call back tomorrow...

Meanwhile at the pharmacy they inform me that they can't fill KK's prescription because she needs a new card. They give me an 800# and tell me that to get a new card KK will need to give the agency her social security number. Frustrated I went back out to KK and someone had given her water and cookies while I was gone. She's poured the water over her head, asks me if I want some cookies, I look at her and I think are her lips turning blue???

I tell her I need her social security number and the problem with her card. Then she remembers the hospital told her to call. So long story short I made the call, and the agency is closed for the weekend...

I go back to KK and yes her lips are turning a tad blue. I tell her I want to call 911, but she says no. They'll just get mad at her, make her wait in the waiting room and she doesn't want to go back. Just then it hits me what would Jesus do? Do I take her in my home? Will my husband kill me if I do? (I'm thinking yes he would definitely not be happy...) Yet I can't leave her on the street so I start praying and across the lot I see her friend Ricky.

I run to him and bring him over to KK. She is so happy to see him and tells him to get a shopping cart so he can take her home. (Home is a bush with blankets under it...) I tell them both I'm worried and I want to call 911. Then KK said no, "if I die I don't want to be alone I can die with my friends." I stood there dumbfounded as Ricky loaded her into a shopping cart and wheeled her home.

I still feel unsettled about all of this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


OK I admit I've been hiding under a rock for the last decade. I found a new show that really is an old show called "Monk." I love this show. My whole family is hooked. I love that Monk has a supportive group of people that help him solve crimes and live an independent life. I love that the seasoned head detective, don't know his name sorry, obviously cares for and respects Monk. I've only seen two episodes but I have to admit I'm totally hooked. I even went online to find out how Monkish I was. I was a little Monkish, but more go with the flow. Check here to see how Monkish you are.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

God is an Artist

God's an artist everywhere I look I see his work...

What's more beautiful than a human jumping on a trampoline? Our bodies are beautiful and amazing...

Outside my front door look complimentary colors. I've stared at the sky through my pine trees for hours...

My back yard contrasting colors of lavender and green. OK I'm not like my neighbor down the street the pics don't give God enough credit.

Heart shaped clover on my front lawn (I know its blurry, like I said I'm not a photographer, but still perfect little hearts everywhere...)

(Note this is a picture the Hubbo took...)

I look out my window and the world is so amazing I can't accept that it all happened by chance.