Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dear Noah......Bear's Mill and Young's Dairy Farm.....

Sunday we took a trip to BEAR'S MILL and did a self-tour learning about how they mill grains. We also stopped to view the waterfalls.....and snap a few pictures.

Monday I decided to take us on a trip to YOUNG'S DAIRY FARM....I forgot my memory card was not in my camera so I could only snap 3 photos...here they are. We played two 18-hole courses of miniature golf and looked at the animals in the petting area. You also climbed on top of some tractors testing them out for size. Lots of walking....gorgeous day but all in the sun. I think you had a little too much sun.

We came back and then mowed the grass. You pushed around the smaller battery-operated mower as I pushed the gas mower. I keep telling you I can charge it up so you can really mow if you want to one day. SO far you don't.

Then inside for bath time and movies.

You were exhausted by the end of the night.

As you fell asleep in bed you said to me "Mom, I hope we can have another day like this the next Monday I don't have occupational therapy." I told you we would.....and would have MANY more.....with summer coming up and therapies stopping during that time...our Mondays and other days would be freer.

I love you Noah. I am glad you had a good time with your mom.

Here is a clip I gave to my dad of the falls to load on his You Tube account:


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dear Noah........testing week is OVER!!

AND you feel you did pretty well. You had 3 days of tests..for reading, math, and writing. You did very well on all 3 days except for writing..where you still did well but had an extremely emotional day....crying in the car before we even went in......as you sat and thought about all the things you MIGHT be required to WRITE. ONCE in for the test the teacher told me afterwards....you also had a few moments then. You lost it and cried once in the room......very upset with the amount of writing you were going to have to do. SO she took you for a break and walk...and you got yourself composed.

ALL 3 days it never took you more than 1 hour to finish the tests. So we were in and out pretty quickly.

One day we stopped at a McDonalds on the way home for lunch you had been wanting to go to again. It is one your dad takes you to when he comes in for a visit. The photos are from there.

Otherwise.......test week is over and I am thankful.

I love you!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Dear Noah........your first state test ........

was this morning for reading. You were done in less than 1 hour. I hope and pray you did well. You said you thought you did. Wednesday will be Math and Friday will be Writing. When we left it was pouring down rain...we got soaked just walking back to the truck. We stopped in to see grandma and grandpa L on the way home. Then you wanted to hit up their local Super Wal*Mart to check out their bathrooms.

You got another Sonic the Hedgehog plushie from ME for Easter....her name is CREAM....and you are in love with her.

Yes....you carry her around....kiss on her.....tell me you are in love with her....that she is your DREAM QUEEN CREAM! You took both the girl plushies to bed with you the other night with a HUGE smile on your face...asking me if I saw you when I checked on you later.....KISSING on Cream as you were "making out with her."

You said you liked both Amy (another Sonic character) and Cream but you were going to sleep beside Cream as she was YOUNGER....I guess more your age whereas Amy would be more like a teenager.

I have since noticed you a few times...lying around on the sofa with CREAM in your arms......or your lips plastered to her stuffed ones.......

I quietly reminded you that if you ever got a real life girlfriend at your age you would NOT be allowed to be lying around kissing and loving all over her.....not until you were much older and really understood what was going on!!!

You just laughed and grinned and held "CREAM" up against you even tighter.

Yeah....you are very much .......a boy!

(turning into a young man right before my eyes!)

I love you very much Noah!

XOXOXOX (your monitor)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dear Noah...and just that fast.....I realize I have been focusing on what I don't have.......

which is wrong.....God is good.....and I was directed to this email message and site/links almost immediately upon my prior post.

Secrets from a Yellow Bird on
How to Improve Your Life Now
(Please Post Your Experience!)

by Brian Vaszily, Founder of IntenseExperiences.com

We do take a lot for granted, don’t we?

Here are the air, sun, and stars, water flowing, clouds rolling, children laughing, music playing, and life itself, and yet our egos so often fixate on the money we do not have, the people we do not like, the stuff we want that we mistake for need.

This morning, I found myself out on my front porch, arguing on the cell phone with a woman in the hospital billing department over a medical bill of mine that I am certain I’ve already paid.

Tension. Irritation at today’s ridiculous healthcare costs. Double irritation that they can’t even properly track that I’ve paid the damned bill. Triple irritation that if I’m wrong, I don’t have the money to pay it.

And then a little yellow bird with grey wings landed on a crabapple tree branch right in front of me. I’ve never seen a bird like that in this part of the Chicago suburbs. It stared straight at me and cocked its head, the way birds do.

And it chirped twice.

And that changed everything.

I apologized to the woman on the phone. I said that even though I’m pretty certain I paid that bill, and I’ll look further into it just to be sure, I am sorry for my edgy tone.

She had an edgy tone too, but it instantly changed with that. She said don’t worry, she understands times are tough, and she’d double-check on her end also to make sure regarding the bill. She must have a lot of challenging days in her position.


We are only human. We should forgive ourselves for this frequent focus on what we lack, on what is going wrong for us, on why things are so bad, versus all we are and all we have been given.

But we are human, and one of the many great gifts we have been given is our ability to recognize and be grateful for all we do have.

The beauty that is all around us. The joy, hope, wonder, stories and lessons that are inside the hearts of all those around us. The life and potential that is inside us.

It is my mission to remind people of the extreme importance of actively engaging in “intense experiences”: simple, positive and transformative new experiences that enable people to find, or refocus, on what really matters in their own lives. Experiences that enable people to achieve their greatest goals and achieve the inner peace and greater happiness that they already know deep inside is theirs. I provide these intense experiences through the free IntenseExperiences.com newsletter, and I provide over eighty of the most profound and life-changing in The 9 Intense Experiences audio program.

But in addition to actively engaging in intense experiences, it is so worthwhile to recognize that every day – if you know how to look, and if you remember to look – you are given the gift of intense experiences.

Every day things happen to you and around you that, if you are watching, can teach you, inspire you, calm you, and remind you of what really matters, and what does not matter so much in the scheme of things.


What’s more, every day the world is just bursting with the potential for even more intense experiences if you make the effort to step into them...

Start a conversation with a stranger and, in ways small or large, it may just change your life.

Take a walk or drive somewhere new and, in ways small or large, it may just change your life.

Call someone you haven’t talked to for years. Pick a novel off the bookstore shelf based on intuition alone and read it to discover why your intuition led you to it. Decide you are going to learn how to tango, and then do it.

Or just step outside and be there.

Watch and hear what God, what nature, what the universe is telling you.

Perhaps a little yellow bird with grey wings will land on the branch of a tree near you, and it will look at you and chirp, and in those chirps a world of secrets will be revealed to you, too.

And be grateful.

Take the time to reflect on these intense experiences you actively engage in, and all those that happen to you.

We tend to invest so much energy in the things that bother us; naturally though what you put your energy into is the world you end up living in.

So invest your energy in recognizing and reflecting on the positive intense experiences. The more you can do this, the more these experiences will work their wonders in your life.

Now You Chirp

In fact, I encourage you to head to the Intense Experiences blog right now.

There are already nearly 1000 postings from people there on intense experiences they’ve had that they are grateful for. Some are small, some are large, all as you will see are meaningful.

Obviously you can’t read through all of these posts, but take a bit a time to scroll through and read several randomly. Reading these is a positive intense experience unto itself.

And then reflect a bit and post an intense experience that you’ve had recently, or that you’ve had at some point here in your adult life, that you are grateful for. If you’ve posted one before, feel free to post another.

Because again, it is by recognizing these intense experiences, reflecting on them, being grateful for them, and giving testimony to them, that we invite more of the little yellow birds with grey wings into our lives.




Dear Noah.......frustration and lack of motivation.......

are apparently contagious. You have not wanted to do any school work this week. In fact.....lately it has been very difficult to get you to come in and do any school without dramatic rolling of the eyes....heaving sighs.......stamping of feet. It is exhausting.....

I have had a very difficult time keeping UPlifted about anything. I have had a difficult time this week staying focused on work.....to get those 8 hours out of the way first before even attempting to do any school work with you. If I am successful...there has still been a big price to pay. You still buck me the entire way....you get frustrated....then I do.....

I am cranky this week.....I feel a bit mad at the world....I am short with you at times which I don't want to be...we have accomplished very LITTLE school work. There is also the pressures of state mandated testing next week on 3 separate days which I will need to drive you to in order for you to take them. More stress..chaos to our routine.

Getting you dressed and teeth brushed every day has been challenging as well......and a bath.....well.....another story. I am thankful to get you in the actual tub once or twice a week. The rest of the time it is nothing or a quick wash off at the bathroom sink.

Soon I find myself just not wanting to do anything. I feel like giving up. Between working full time and doing homeschool with you....through the regular work week I have little time left to do much of anything on any given day anyway.....and on the days I do have time.....I am usually so tired I just want to do nothing at all. I could use help. I don't have help. It is all just me and you. It is a lot. You need time here at home for therapy work too....and I have had little time to devote to that. I take you to therapy 2-3 times per week...but it is not enough. You need more than that. It helps but we need to do some here at home as well. I must make time for it. No excuses. Same for school. I have to sit down this weekend and make a better schedule for us...for you....so we can actually get some things accomplished without such a struggle.

I start my day by waking up at 3:50 a.m. to begin work at 4:00, that way I can be done working by 12:30 p.m. so we can do school in the afternoons. However this week I have struggled getting started in the morning and struggled further just remaining seated in my chair and then have had almost NO time left by the time I do finally get my work finished to do anything else...I barely have time to dress myself or take a shower or brush my own teeth.

I am not complaining although it sounds like I am. I am so thankful I have a job that I can do from home and it is flexible and I am blessed. I am thankful we can do homeschool whenever we want as well here from home. Another blessing.

Sometimes I just wish things would flow a little smoother and a little easier. I get tired of things always having to be such a chore to get even the simplest of things accomplished. Everything becomes overwhelming and daunting. I get no sick days....no time off. I have no substitute to pull weight if I get sick or just don't feel like it one day. I also have no great insurance plan anymore that would cover for me if I ever would be sick...without me probably being forced to file bankruptcy to pay the bills. I have a high deductible.....so I will always be paying up front for my infrequent visits to any doctor. Which means I will go even less. Which means I am pressured to take even better care of myself....but at the same time I neglect it because I am too wrapped up with everything else. It becomes a catch 22.

I need a serious mental health week. I need time to finish this office/school room and get the rest of the house in order.....along with other things. I need time to make you a schedule to follow every day so I do not have to constantly remind you of what you need to do....things you should be doing on your own now without a reminder.

I need motivation. You are my motivation. And yet I am the one who has to tell myself to BUCK UP BABY and do whatever I need to do in order for us to continue to live.....in this rented house....pay the bills......do school......make it another day ..another month.....another year.

And your eating...it has to improve. You are way too limited in what you eat. You must try new things to broaden your food choices. I cannot afford to take you out to a place to eat every day and that is not healthy anyway. Seems lately I cannot make anything just right for you....it is "too brown" or "not brown enough"..."too dry" or "it smells funny". So another thing gets crossed OFF your list instead of something being added to your list of choices. Your list has grown smaller this week alone. What you used to eat you eat no longer..for now anyway....but the problem is nothing was added to replace that item.

Today I must pry you out of your pajamas and get you into the tub. I must wash your hair. You lost one of your loose teeth yesterday when I finally got you into the bathroom to brush your teeth. You stayed up way too late again last night.

Sometimes the conveniences and options that go along with working from home and homeschooling can also cause us to realize we don't HAVE to do anything if we don't want...like get dressed...etc. BUT....except for a pajama day occasionally..we both need to get back into the routine of getting up....getting dressed and ready for the day.

I could go on and on...but now I am even further behind on my work load.

I love you Noah......regardless. I hope you feel the same for me because I certainly feel like I should be doing so much more for you than I am able at this time. There is just not enough time or money in most cases....and I need my job to pay our bills.....and I am thankful for that......again don't get me wrong. I want and need to work full-time.......but that really cuts into the quality of the time we do have left in our day. I am not asking for that job to be cut in any way to improve the quality of our days together....I just need to figure out other ways I can improve it.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

So....you really think your flu shots and vaccines are safe????

How close were we to a deadly pandemic in January of this year?

According to several published sources, we were teetering on the brink. That's because seasonal flu vaccines manufactured by US-based pharmaceutical company Baxter International had been contaminated with the deadly avian flu virus called H5N1.1 The contaminated vaccine made by a Baxter facility in Orth-Donau, Austria was shipped to numerous distributors in Austria, Germany, Slowenia, and the Czech Republic.

Were it not for the good sense of a lab in the Czech Republic that inoculated ferrets with the serum to check its safety, we might now be facing a global pandemic of avian flu -- of which there is a 60% mortality rate.2 The fact that the ferrets died soon after they were given the vaccine raised a red flag to scientists and government authorities. Ferrets do not die when exposed to seasonal flu viruses.

What makes this situation even more chilling is that the avian flu virus by itself does not easily infect people. But when mixed with an easily transmissible strain like the seasonal flu virus, the hybrid strain can be just as contagious.

How could Baxter have let this happen? Was it intentional as some people believe? Even the respected Dr. Mercola has his suspicions.4 A pandemic would certainly trigger a worldwide demand for the avian flu vaccine. Baxter happens to be one of only six international companies licensed to develop flu vaccines. If a pandemic occurred...well , you can do the math in terms of profits to be made.

The other possibility is that Baxter was not following its own stringent biosafety protocol to prevent cross-contamination of infectious materials. This protocol, called Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3), if followed, makes it virtually impossible for a situation like this to occur.2

Could a major pharmaceutical company really be so careless in handling an infectious agent that could possibly kill tens of millions of people? If so, should they even be allowed to remain in business? The human race can't afford mistakes of this magnitude.

Not surprisingly, Baxter has said little on the subject. Christopher Bona, Baxter's Director of Global Bioscience Communications said the cross-contamination occurred as "the result of a combination of just the process itself, (and) technical and human error in this procedure."3 He declined to say more because he did not want to reveal proprietary secrets about their production process. (If anyone wants to steal that kind of production process, they should be first in line for one of Baxter's vaccines.)

We can only pray that Baxter doesn't get off the hook with such a vague excuse. They would like nothing better than for this story to just go away so that the American public, which is already skittish about vaccines, doesn't rise up in total revolt against them.

And sadly enough, the Western media seem to be helping them in keeping the story quiet. Has anyone really heard much about this terrifying near miss from the major news outlets in the US? Do we know if any Baxter employee or executive will be held accountable? Most importantly, can we be assured that this kind of mistake (if it was a mistake) can't and won't happen again?

There's a new group called People for Immunization (PFI) that will be traveling across the US to reassure the public about the safety and necessity of vaccines. Before they give you their sales pitch, let them answer the questions raised in this article.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dear Noah............Easter 2009..........

We traditionally color our eggs Good Friday or the Saturday before Easter at least....we had the 10 Commandments movie on in the background......

Some Easter Egg History:

The egg is seen as symbolic of the grave and life renewed or resurrected by breaking out of it. The red supposedly symbolizes the blood of Christ redeeming the world and human redemption through the blood shed in the sacrifice of the crucifixion. The egg itself is a symbol of resurrection: while being dormant it contains a new life sealed within it.

Traditionally, Orthodox Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, shed on the Cross, and the hard shell of the egg symbolized the sealed Tomb of Christ—the cracking of which symbolized his resurrection from the dead.

While the origin of Easter eggs can be explained in the symbolic terms described above, a pious legend among followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ.[7]

A different, but not necessarily conflicting, legend concerns Mary Magdalene's efforts to spread the Gospel. According to this tradition, after the Ascension of Jesus, Mary went to the Emperor of Rome and greeted him with Christ has risen, whereupon he pointed to an egg on his table and stated, Christ has no more risen than that egg is red. After making this statement it is said the egg immediately turned blood red.


(this morning at 5:30 a.m. I went outside to get the paper and there were 2 large bunnies in our front yard......the moon was full......I wish you could have seen them. I did take some pictures but they were pretty dark Noah and the bunnies did not want to hang around too when they saw me snapping away!)

I love you Noah! Today we go to grandma C's for dinner.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Autism......and a few good links.........

Dedicated to advancing understanding, acceptance and support for autistic community:


autism helps/info:


service dogs for autism:


sensory integration helps:


Life Journey Through Autism - An Educator's Guide to Asperger Syndrome:


Monday, April 06, 2009

Dear Noah....funnel clouds spotted everywhere......

and we were driving right in the middle of it! We had taken a drive over to find the hotel you will be taking the state mandated tests at.......and on the way back we stopped at grandma and grandpa L's to visit with them. We left and it was getting stormy but we did not think too much about it. We headed to get you some pizza at Domino's before heading to grandma C's house and then home. We thought we would take pizza to grandma C's house for supper since we had not seen her for awhile since you have been sick.

Well....while waiting for the pizza grandma L. called us on the cell phone and told us a tornado had been spotted and was coming our way and to get the pizza and get out of there. Grandma L' and C's tornado warnings in their towns went off......so we get the pizzas and have to head back TOWARDS the areas funnel clouds were reported first.....before making another turn to go in a different direction towards home.....

Seems no place was safe......soon the rain and storm were right on top of us. The winds were unbelievable....the rain......it was crazy! You started to cry.....I called grandma C. and told her we were going to just keep trying to drive on home.....as we would be far enough north it sounded like to miss the funnel clouds or possible tornadoes....though we still had tremendous storms!

So she said yes to go on home.....the tornado siren was going off there.......she would get in the closet......so on we went listening to the radio's weather report the entire way. It sounds like the funnel clouds and storm where all around us. It was crazy and we were so glad to get home!

You had a dream then about tornadoes......I will write about that tomorrow.

For now I am thankful we made it home.....everyone was safe.......and if any tornado actually touched down......not much damage was done!

Friday, April 03, 2009

another great site to promote autism awareness....

(photo above does not do the item justice. I bought this and it is absolutely beautiful and more colorful in real life) ALL products come with text to explain more about autism to generate autism awareness. Wonderful as gifts for families, teachers, anyone.

I came across this site some time ago when I was looking to buy an autism bracelet or some item that had something about autism on it. In fact....I was hoping for a keychain or something I could hang in my car or on my keys, purse...something...that if it attracted attention and questions.....it would also EXPLAIN a little bit about autism. Then I found LUCAS WORKS.

LucasWorks is a family owned company devoted to two principles:

To offer well made, reasonably priced Safety, ID and Independent Living products that focus on autism, children with special needs and adults with developmental disabilities.


To employ people with autism, special needs and developmental disabilities in the production and sales of these products.

LucasWorks was started by Lauren Padgett, mother of two terrific children, one of whom (Lucas) is autistic and mentally retarded. Lauren and her husband, Alan, saw the need for autism products that would help Lucas and other children with special needs, and the eventual need for Lucas to have employment. They decided to put these ideas together, and LucasWorks was born under the philosophy, "It works for Lucas and it gives Lucas work!"

As parents of a child with autism, Lauren and Alan were dismayed to discover that many of the products that are supposed to help autistic people are mainly focused on either medical or educational settings. Like many other parents, it was on the home front that they were seeking help.
So they began to devising their own items to help Lucas if they couldn't find anything on the market.

The LucasWorks "Apparel Indicating Weather Thermometer" that helps with teaching temperature was born this way, and it is indeed the first product of its kind, hence the patent.
The Child Placemat, that shows children how to set a table correctly, came along the same way, and we're working on some other things that we hope you'll like, too.

The Autism Awareness Bracelet evolved because Lauren couldn't find any sort of "awareness" item that actually helped explain autism.
She designed the bracelet as a way to teach family and friends something about autism in an easy and "non-boring" way. It's been LucasWorks' best seller, and has grown into an entire line of Autism Awareness Jewelry.

As word of these autism products spread, requests began to come in for Child Safety products to help parents make the home environment safe, and for Child ID kits for children with special needs. These two lines were added to help protect ALL children with special needs, not just those with autism.

While autism is what started LucasWorks, customers have found that many of these products will benefit children with special needs of every type, and the Independent Living Aids can help children AND adults with developmental disabilities and even Alzheimer's.

Lauren has years of experience working on behalf of children, especially those with disabilities. Among other advocacy efforts, she has Co-Chaired the State of Delaware's "Partners' Council for Children with Disabilities" (PCCD), and served on the PCCD's Professional Development, Family Involvement and Inclusion sub-committees.
Lauren has also devoted time to serving on the Delaware Autism Program's (DAP) Strategic Planning committee, the Kent County DAP's School Improvement Planning committee, founded the Staff and Parent Autism Resource Center at Lucas' school, and served for five years as Chair of the Kent County, DE Autism Program's Parent Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Autism Society of Delaware and the Autism Society of America. Of course, that's all worked in around the needs and schedules of Lucas and his brother, Robert!

All of LucasWorks' products either promote autism awareness, or help those with autism or other special needs. By focusing on these lines, we are able to spread the word about autism while offering items to help those dealing with these and other disabilities.

They have MANY wonderful items to buy to use for explaining autism to others......and generating autism awareness....from bracelets, necklaces, bookmarks, keychains, eyeglass chains, etc. You can check them out here:


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Dear Noah.......today is World Autism Day....

and I think I may feel slightly different than some about it.

I do not seek a cure for you Noah......I seek acceptance. I cannot imagine you being any other way than you are.....whether you progress further or not. All the things about you....good or bad ....make up who you are today.

I love you just as much now as I did when you were a lot smaller and had many more issues to deal with on a daily basis. I have no regrets about your being diagnosed as having autism....and your other diagnoses....other than most others may find it difficult to just "accept" you as you are and not want to "change" who you are.

I think today should be more about acceptance......and let's not forget "education" about autism; for without that even more would remain ignorant on the subject and tend to put up even more walls around them.

I do not look at you as being locked inside yourself as many say autistic children are. Instead I see others locking you out. Setting you apart from the rest of the world.

I do have a problem with that.

and while I am not promoting their site or anything...there is a wonderful web site that IS all about autism acceptance. You can find it here:


and here is a clip from when Noah was a lot younger....playing in a kid's area in a mall when we lived in Colorado. Ignore me blabbing...I had a bad cold at the time and I mainly just wanted to focus on Noah playing...he loved the fake food play stuff and kept trying to taste or eat the bacon. He got super excited towards the end and began spinning a little bit....he had a ball.