Apr 18

How Jodi Got Her Groove Back: 10 tips following an autism diagnosis

For several years after my son was first diagnosed with ...

Apr 18

It’s Friday…..But Sunday’s Coming……..

John 316 Easter

A few, short months ago, we celebrated the birth of a baby, our Lord and Savior, who was laid in a borrowed manger.

Manger

The precious baby, who was already the King of Kings, grew up as an ordinary child.  That precious child grew into a man who set out to preach to all the world.  He would heal the blind and set the lame to walking. He would love his neighbor and he would share the good news of his Father in Heaven with all who would listen.

Bread and Fish Mark 641

A few, short months ago was a wonderful celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ.  Now, here we are, the week of Easter.  A week of reflection on the Easter Bunny, hidden eggs filled with surprises, chocolate shaped rabbits and baskets full of cheap toys and candies.  Don’t you just love the secular celebration and commercialization of this time of year?  The stores do a wonderful job at distracting us from the meaning of Easter.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed..” – Isaiah 53:5.  ”….he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter….” – Isaiah 53:7.  These words found in Isaiah are difficult to wrap up and place in a basket and sell, apparently.  Our reflection should be not on bunnies and chocolates, rather our reflection should be on Christ and the punishment He took for you and for me, and his crucifixion so that we could be saved from sin.

Jesus was surrounded by 12 men that He discipled everyday.  He loved these 12 men and they loved him back. However, Jesus was betrayed.

He was convicted of crimes He didn’t commit.

He was beaten.  He was tortured.  He was mocked.

That precious baby, whose birthday we recently celebrated, was nailed to a cross.  All those who were there to witness this horrific event on the hill called Golgotha, watched Jesus die.  I can’t help but think of his mother during this.

Take heart though my friends!  Today is Friday, but Sunday is coming!

We cannot possibly celebrate what happened on Sunday, without the sacrifice of Friday.

Take time today to reflect on the sacrifice God gave to you and to me….the sacrifice of HIS one and only Son!  That precious baby who became a precious gift for all who believed and called upon His name!

In Christ,

Laura

The post It’s Friday…..But Sunday’s Coming…….. appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Apr 18

What We’re Currently up To: Week 29

This past week, we’ve been…

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Clearing out books that we don’t read anymore. Before John left for NTC, I tried to make it through the wall of books that I mentioned briefly last week…and the week before that, I guess; but we still have three boxes left to go through. I texted him pictures of all of the books, but he said there were too many to go through over the phone. *sigh* I just want those books gone!

The boys have been digging through the block toy box and attempting to submerge themselves in the blocks. I don’t get it. A sensory thing? I step on one block, and I want to shoot myself. How is getting into an entire TOY BOX filled with them a good thing? Oh, but they love it. They cram themselves in there and throw blocks at nothing. Or, maybe they’re having a throwing contest and I’m just not aware. Anyone’s guess, really. Good times.

I wish I could say that I’ve been digging in the garden, but production on my raised beds has halted with John not being able to watch the boys, and with it being cold. It snowed on Monday, for crying out loud. I’m hoping to get more done once The Munchkin’s ABA therapy starts next week. Conveniently, it takes place during The Bean’s nap time.

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Mixing things up now that I don’t have to make full out meals for dinner. With John gone, I get to make whatever I want for dinner, and it’s great. Waffles? Sure! Pizza? Delish! I’m trying not to become a fatty while he’s away though, so I am cooking some more-or-less real meals too. This week, I pureed a zucchini and a yellow squash, and added it to our spaghetti sauce. To me, it tasted the same as when I saute the chopped veggies and add them to the dish, but this way, The Munchkin actually ate it! He never eats pasta with veggie chunks in it! (Chopped tomatoes don’t count. He’ll eat those in sauce. Also, tomatoes are a fruit, so…) The Bean, of course, devoured it. That shouldn’t surprise anyone though. This week, however, I was able to add a second food to The Bean’s “No, Not Gonna Eat That” list: Tuna melts. The boy was NOT interested. In case you’re curious item #1 on the list is pickles.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, The Munchkin is a fan of tuna melts, as long as he can dip it in ketchup.

Reading our Yo Gabba Gabba comic board-books that John found in his car before he left. They have been in there since we moved here. No wonder I couldn’t find them in the house! Also on the bedtime story list: The Bernstein Bears book where they go to the moon, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”, and some of “The Lorax”. The Munchkin usually gets bored before we make it very far in that book though.

During the day, The Bean will usually bring me either “The Lorax” or the “Heroes of the City” book I got in exchange for hosting that review and giveaway. He actually makes it pretty far through the books, if he’s tired and comfy enough. This week, he has started bringing me these little board books that my sister sent us that have pictures of various things, and then what they are in English and Spanish. Well, I might have lived in Miami for a couple of years, but I don’t know a lick of Spanish, so I only read the English words. The Bean loves pointing at a picture and looking up at me until I tell him what the word for that thing is. He does the same thing with the alphabet book I made the boys when The Bean was first born. I love his growing thirst for knowledge.

I am reading nothing. Not. A. Thing. People’s Currently entries, maybe. If I find myself with time to read, I craft or scrapbook instead. Priorities, yo.

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Watching Despicable Me every day, or at least it feels that way. My son watches Despicable Me the way your daughter watches Frozen, I swear. Just without the singing. He loves the minions. Actually, that’s how he asks for the movie – he asks if he can watch minions. Either “with cookie robots” for Despicable Me, or “monster minion!” for Despicable Me 2. The Bean is just a fan of whenever the TV is on, but a couple of times, I’ve said “No minions – it’s time for The Bean to pick something.” and I always have The Bean “pick” Super Why, which seems to be his favorite. I tried to watch the blood moon, but I don’t think I looked at the right time.

That was our week, how was yours?

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Apr 17

JMac qualifies and is running the Boston Marathon

Josh McElwain, otherwise known as JMac, the superstar teenager with ...

Apr 17

Well, hello again..

…and I’m back from another long hiatus. I was surprised my musings were still here.

My sister called and asked how she could get a blog started.  …and while I’ve been meaning to get back here, I just didn’t really know what to say.  …but there is so much to catch up on!

Let’s see, my last post was in July…  Since then, Roman started 1st grade.  He’s played two seasons, fall and spring, of soccer.  He’s quit with his speech pathologist.  He’s eating!  He got diagnosed with ADHD.  We found out he’s going to be a big brother.  We found out he’s going to be a big brother to a little girl, who’s due to make her grand debut in less than two months.  I started couponing.  I’ve started a stockpile for baby.  I’ve reconsidered ABA therapy.  I’m in the process of getting him into ABA therapy.  …and 1st grade is over in less than two months.

I guess that’s where we’ll start.

School has been rather quiet this year.  He has a great teacher, Ms. S, but no aide.  His special needs person comes in for a little while every week, but he is 98% mainstreamed.  That’s come with its own issues.  There are two kids who’ve told Roman that their parents said they couldn’t play with him.  I don’t think they know he has autism.  How could they?  You can’t see it.  At first, I was worried, thinking it would get him into deeper trouble if he couldn’t stay away from those particular kids.  I think the younger me would have been more insulted that my son is the “stay away from that one” kid to those parents, but I honestly feel like he’s better off for it. I’m not going to beg anyone to be in his life.  …and those who are love him for all his little quirks.

Although, some of his impulses do get him into trouble.  It’s a tough situation.  He bops kids on the head.  He gets excited, forgets his social stories, and gets their attention by bopping them on the head.  Some kids understand… some kids get really annoyed.  So, we looked into ABA therapy.  I had always been hesitant about ABA therapy.  I always had this idea in my head that it changed, took away rather, his quirks.  I always felt like the public school system wanted my little 1st grader to be a quiet, little, mindful robot and ABA was the fix for that.  So, I avoided it.  Enter: Dr. B, Roman’s developmental pediatrician.  He suggested it, and I never considered it.  Until the weeks that Roman would come home every day for something else, some other something that he’d done to someone else.  I knew then that lack of therapy was probably doing him more harm than good.

So serendipitous to find our therapists now.  Although, he hasn’t started yet, they seem to be a good fit.  They understand that I want to keep my son the way he is, just teach him the tools he needs to navigate the world around him.  In the end, I only want what benefits him, not catering to everyone else.  Maybe that’s what it was about all along…

Will it work?

Only time will tell….

…but I am glad to be back.


Apr 16

Heroes of the City Giveaway Winner

heroes-of-the-city-winner
Congrats, Alison! You are the winner of my Heroes of the City prize pack! Thank you to everyone who entered!

Apr 16

Mental Health is a Real Issue That Needs to be Addressed!!!

It’s time to suck up my pride and ask for help.  I’d like to think I can do it alone, but I think it takes a village to raise every child, not just my own.  Luckily Brian and my family are surrounded by extended family, friends, therapists, teachers, and doctors, to name a few, that are constantly giving Brian the best care possible.  I thank God that we are so incredibly blessed, because I know so many that don’t have a support team surrounding them, and it makes my heart ache for them.  I hope that somehow through blogging, I can help some families get assistance where they didn’t know it existed.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many doctor’s appointments my son has had over his 7 years and 8 months of life.  I can guarantee it totals more doctor’s appointments than most people have in their entire lives!  We have always been blessed with incredible insurance, Tricare, since my husband is active duty in the Army.  This is the 4th year he’s been away from our family, due to deployments and now school, but wonderful insurance has always been a benefit that helps reduce the stress on our family.

Until now……

We are currently having problems with getting a child psychiatrist to accept Tricare.  The reason is that Tricare (and other insurance companies, to be fair) only pays the going rate for the service, which is considerably less than what child psychiatrists are charging.  What does this mean for us?!?!  It means we will have to pay out of pocket for the costs that Tricare doesn’t cover, which will be considerable over time.  Can we pull it off?  Maybe, maybe not?  Due to the number of appointments my son has with specialists and the fact that there is no after school care that could care for my son, I stay at home and my husband is our sole financial provider.

We are a modest family that has no debt, thanks to my husband’s thrifty self that is slowly rubbing off on me after nearly 10 years together.  We chose to put our daughter into a private preschool due to it’s high academic standards and longer care times so that she doesn’t have to accompany us on our almost monthly trips to Vanderbilt to see  a number of specialists, as well as many local appointments.   This past year we have also had to pay for my husband’s housing at XP school because we couldn’t accompany him due to the lack of services for our son.  These two additional costs have stretched our budget, but we realize they are both important and necessary for our family.

Shopping at the commissary saves money, as well as shopping at consignment shops for our children’s clothing.  I rarely buy clothes for myself or luxury items.  We eat out maybe once a month and spend next to nothing on family entertainment.  The most we have spent in several years was using part of our savings for our son’s service dog, which happens to be the best investment we’ve ever made!  We save, but never enough. We need to find a way to save more for college and retirement and other expenses, but we do what we can.

So can we afford a child psychiatrist for our son without going into debt?!?  We have no choice!  This is one specialist that my son will see , regardless of cost!  Why???  My son has bouts of aggression, ADHD, and mild OCD that is getting worse as he gets older.  He also has a genetic condition, a partial duplication on one of his chromosomes, that has little known about it.  A research team so far has found that due to his duplication, he is more likely to have OCD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  Now you see why I can’t just not pay for my son to get the help he needs.  Being nonverbal, it’s hard for him to express himself and he has been known to pull hair, hit, scratch, bite, and bust noses with his head (it’s already happened twice at school).  He is generally a happy guy, but when frustration sets in or when he doesn’t want to do something, aggression seems to be the quickest way he can communicate his feelings to us.

Mental health is such an incredibly HUGE concern across our entire country and people are not getting the help they so desperately need.  Being a military spouse, I have talked to many people who know of soldiers with PTSD or other symptoms that just don’t seem to be getting the help they need.  Of course, much of that is due to the stigma associated with mental health.  As a society, we need to find a way to break down the barriers of the social stigma that goes hand in hand with mental health.  My own mother committed suicide over 10 years ago, so I know first-hand about the social stigmas.  As a nation, we must change the way we view mental health and make sure people aren’t afraid to come forward and ask for help.  The military suicide rate has continued to be elevated and it makes me so angry when I read that there is no correlation to number of deployments!!  Combat related stress is palpable and can’t be ignored!

The largest study of it’s kind states that suicide rates are due to “mental illness, substance abuse, financial and relationship problems”. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/us/deployment-factors-found-not-related-to-military-suicide-spike.html?_r=0

To say that deployments and combat related stress are not to blame is ridiculous!!!  The causes they name are secondary to the initial cause, in my opinion…….but I’m just a military spouse….but I digress.

My son needs to see a child psychiatrist.  I was hoping that he wouldn’t, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  His OCD issues seem to be more problematic as he gets older and I hate to see him in distress.  In addition to other problems, he is nonverbal and can’t tell me what he finds so upsetting about things, such as shadows. I have to give him every means to communicate, as well as the best health and behavioral care as possible, to make sure he leads a happy and fulfilling life.

Being faced with the fact that Tricare can’t cover the cost that child psychiatrists charge, I’m looking into the Medicaid Waiver program for children with disabilities.  Before now, I’ve let my pride take center stage, but I know I must get the help my son needs, even if that means asking for additional help.  He was part of the Medicaid Waiver program when we lived in NY after it took several people talking me into it, but since moving to Alabama almost two years ago, I haven’t let myself look into getting it for him here.  I wanted to try and get everything he needed without additional support, but it looks like I have to overcome that and try and get him all the help I can.  I know the Medicaid Waiver program will be beneficial to Brian, but it’s still so hard to ask for help.

Since I’ve started blogging and have met other bloggers raising special needs children, I see a great absence of mental health care that many of our special needs children so desperately need.  Many families are faced with children that have so much aggression that they are no longer safe in their own homes.  The families are begging for help and yet they are turned away because no beds are available or there is no insurance coverage.  I’ve read where families have spent days and days in the ER waiting for an available room for their children.  These are families that are finally fed up with being told no and are standing up for what their children need.  Seeking mental health should NEVER be a battle!  Innocent lives are being taken as we shut doors in so many faces.  We have got to put a stop to this!!!

No human can survive from birth until death without the help of others.  Some of us just need more of an intertwined web of compassion, hope, strength, support and love.

Apr 16

5 Tips when dealing with unsupportive family members

  Recently, I received a post on Facebook asking about ...

Apr 16

Grandparent’s love

As I sit down to write this, I am listening to my father talking with my daughter. They are sitting down sharing some toast and jam. The conversation is going between talking about her dolls and the want to go to the park. As I hear the familiar 20 questions that are always asked, my father is taking it in strides. He is doing his best to make sure that her questions are answered, even if they are the same questions over and over again.

For the past couple of weeks I have been privy to seeing just what it means to be a Special Needs Grandparent. There have been so many fantastic, touching moments that have happened between watching my children interact with their grandparents. The moments of patience, understanding and taking it all in, in what it means to have someone in your life that is special needs.

I think that it is sometimes hard for family members, who are not always with a special needs family,  will only see a fraction of what the parents have to go through on a daily basis. Sometimes I think it is hard for a Grandparent to take a step back and see the different parenting style it takes to parent a special needs child. As parenting styles and "Rules" have changed since we were children. But when you have the family members that accept, love and support your children, it is a very special bond they will have with your children that are uniquely theirs.

From watching my father sit patiently with my son in his lap, explaining the TV show they are watching. Talking calmly and quietly into his ear, while massaging his joints for joint pressure, as he knows that will help calm this wild child down. From the trips to the park, where Amah is perfectly content in pushing a swing, as that is only thing he wants to do. Listening with keen interest was my daughter talks about everything, repeats it and then asks a bizillion questions. Calming her down when its raining so hard and they know the sound bothers her. Taking their small little hands with in theirs as they walk down the sidewalk.

Its all those things that will build the best memories. Memories I hope that my children will hold on to, when their grandparents are long gone from this earth. It is memories like these ones, that keep my grandparent's spirits with me. For children it doesn't take much. A little love, some understanding and you will have created a bond so strong with them, that they will remember and cherish you.

Apr 16

Part 2: How The Total Transformation Is Changing Our Life

Total Transformation Program-2

Recently I shared part 1  of my series on How The Total Transformation Program is changing our family.  Today I would like to share some more personal details about ways that this program has helped.

Once we discovered what ineffective parenting skills we had been using (they were not bad, just not affective), we immediately put threw those parenting skills out, or at least really tried hard to do so. It wasn’t easy to retrain our brains to think a different way, but we kept thinking about how much we wanted to reach and help our son, so it was worth it!

  • We as parents stopped attending every battle we were invited to by our son.  Our son is very stubborn (did I mention very?!)  Although I’m not quite sure where he gets his stubbornness, hopefully my mom doesn’t chime in (HAHAHA).  He is also a slick talker and, buddy, in seconds he can have me engaged in a battle with words!  He doesn’t yell or scream.  He tries to justify his actions or uses a play on words and I get sucked RIGHT in.  The first thing I had to do was stop this.
  • We learned how important it was for us to control our own emotions.  Obviously we already knew this, but this program reiterated this and explained this so well.  In fact, the program gives us names for our parenting styles/issues as well. Remember in my last post I told you how thankful I was for learning the “names” of my sons struggles? Well the tables were turned when mom and dad learned the “problems” they needed to correct. :)
  • We have learned that telling our son, “This is what we expect and if it doesn’t happen there is THIS consequence” and sticking to it really does work.
  • We have learned that we have to WHATEVER it takes to make sure that our child knows we are the parents and we are in control, NOT them. Now, with that said, we need to do this by controlling our temper and following the steps in the program or it just won’t work.
  • Our son had a habit of hiding his school work and saying he was done. We home school and he knew I would get busy and be working with his brothers, so I might not get to check it until that night. So for that moment he had gained control.  He won.  When I would find out, I start lecturing him on how important  it was for him to finish his school work and to not hide it. This was something that regularly occurred so I regularly told him this was the same thing as lying and being sneaky. However, the issue continued. I would give him extra assignments and other things that preoccupied his time, but nothing seemed to really get through to him….that is until The Total Transformation Program. My son is VERY smart and and there are just some subjects in school he could care less about. With this program, though, we have had a break through! He has had at the time of posting this 3 consistent weeks of school that are good! He has completed all assignments that I have asked him to complete.
  • My oldest can tell you the rules my husband and I have laid out.  He can point out when his brothers would break them. However, when it came to him following the rules there appeared to be a disconnect.  In the lessons we learned, regardless of a diagnoses of bi-polar, ADHD, Aspergers, ODD, etc., these kids still have to learn to function in society. Now we have always tried to raise the boys to follow the rules, to obey, to especially follow the Bible teachings we personally hold so important.  For my oldest, this seemed to truly be a struggle. I can say that the more lessons we do and the more we learn in this program that I am seeing changes each day. When we first started the program, he tested the waters. They DO warn about this in the program though. It may get worse for a bit but don’t give up! We didn’t and I can say that it does get better! I honestly took a break from school those days because his behaviors were so bad.  I figured we would make them up since we home school year round.  I dedicated as much time as I could with 3 boys to this program. I am so impressed with how well he is doing!

Camping 11

On a recent nature hike with Trail Life USA :)

Camping 8

He is in blue on the right. Having a blast camping out with his friends and brothers:)

We haven’t finished the whole program and we still have a ways to go.  However, for the first time in a really long time I feel like we have hope. Hope of not just getting our son to obey and comply, but actually reaching his heart.

In Christ,

Laura

 

 

The post Part 2: How The Total Transformation Is Changing Our Life appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Apr 15

Prioritizing: Kids, Husband, School, Job, Blogging… Random Tuesday

I have never been the best at prioritizing, but I am working on it. I miss blogging and I am trying to get better at making time for it. However that is easier said than done when I have so much on my plate. Blogging is last on my priority list... It's unfortunate, but that is the way it has to be.

If only my English teacher would grade my blog... I haven't mentioned it yet, but I am a part time online student! I started classes last July. I am currently taking an English class that I have actually enjoyed! Never like English classes in High School, of course I didn't enjoy writing as much then as I do now. Also in High School the teachers always made me read horrible books that I couldn't manage to finish... I love reading as long as I am interested in the topic.

Back to blogging:
Do you remember "Stalk Hop Friday"?
I want to bring it back! It was fun and a great way to grow your social media profiles! At the time I had link-ups for Google+, Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feed, Blog Frog and Networked Blogs.

I'm thinking the list needs to change up a bit. Obviously keep the first 3, but I think maybe add Pinterest. Any other suggestions?

I made a Facebook Page for Stalk Hop Friday!


We are all doing great here in California. I still miss Hawaii, I think I always will. I love the kids new school and they have fantastic teachers!!! Sissy had to do a little catching up in math thanks to Hawaii schools being a little behind but she is getting there! It took several months because we were on a waiting list, but they finally have ABA Therapy services going again! All adjusted and settled in.


I randomly decided to join in on the linky Randomness with Stacy, because why not and I love her blog!
Stacy

Apr 15

MilSpouses: Use Your Resources!

So excited to have Joy guest posting on the blog today. She has a wonderful post about resources for MilSpouses and I hope that you find it helpful!

MilSpouses deserve respect and appreciation. They work to maintain homes as single parent for months on end. They make sacrifices for the military life. It’s not an easy thing to do. Not everyone is equipped. Not everyone handles it well.

MilSpouse

One of the reasons some MilSpouses struggle during deployments is that they aren’t using all the resources available to them. All branches of the military have attempted to make drastic changes in the last decade to build stronger families. Research has shown that retention rates are higher and job/life satisfaction is higher when families are taken good care of.

MilSpouses have been actively working to get involved and help their peers. With the growth in social media, it’s easier to reach more spouses who might not be actively involved but could still use a helping hand.

One of these programs that is being developed to reach out to spouses is the Military Spouse Advocacy Network (MSAN). This is a group founded by the wife of an active duty Air Force officer. With her hard work, the MSAN has over 60 advocates at different military installations across all branches if the US military. The focus and mission is to improve support that military spouses receive at their base. The goal is to have an advocate at each installation across the country who will be reaching out to the spouses and increasing awareness of programs available. In addition to the advocates, there is a mental health professional that has linked up with MSAN to provide tips and recommendations for handling every day stressors of military life. Also, I am joining the team as the Deployment & Re-Integration Coordinator. I’ll have a Q&A session every week offering advice where I can.

This is going to be yet another opportunity for spouses to reach out for help and advice when they need it. All too often, spouses will flounder during tough times and forget that there are so many services offered to help them through both every day trials and unexpected problems. I find it heartbreaking when a spouse tells me they are completely disjointed from their squadron or base. It’s important to have civilian friends, but I think all spouses need to have a solid network of friends and peers who truly understand what they’re going through with military life and deployments.

So, if you’re finding yourself needing to connect with other MilSpouses, check out the MSAN. Even if there isn’t an advocate at your base, at least connect with the founder and it might be a place for you to get involved and become active. Don’t allow yourself to become desperate during tough times because there are resources out there to help with both the day to day stressors as well as tougher times during deployments. Empower yourself by becoming informed and active within the MilSpouse community. Use these resources! The military is pouring lots of money into helping spouses and making families stronger. If spouses don’t utilize these resources, they’ll be dropped. It’s possible to have a strong family even in the midst of multiple deployments and job related stressors. Don’t get lost! Get involved. Use the reources! Take advantage!

Joy draperJoy Draper has been an Air Force wife for the last seven years. She serves as a Key Spouse with her squadron and has been actively involved in the development of the Spouses Resilience Program at Offutt AFB.  She has been married eleven years and has a ten year old daughter and five year old son.

Joy’s family has been through nine deployments ranging from 60-220 days. She is actively involved with the Military Spouse Advocacy Network as the Deployment & Reintegration Coordinator. She blogs about  parenting, deployment and reintegration issues, and the reality of what life is as an Air Force family. You can check her blog out at throughitallandthensome.blogspot.com or email her at joy.msan@yahoo.com

The post MilSpouses: Use Your Resources! appeared first on Singing through the Rain.

Apr 15

Women Taking Power Tools into Their Own Hands

According to the National Association of Realtors, there are now more than twice as many single-women homeowners as men, and many of these women are not afraid of a power tool. More and more women are fixing things around the house, and that final domestic area for expression of manhood -- the fixer-upper -- has become a woman’s domain as well.

Power tools strictly for women
Now there are companies that cater specifically to women. It started with the Tomboy Tool Company, which featured slick pink, high-quality hand tools for women, sold through tool parties.

Other companies are beginning to see there’s a market for selling directly to the women who fix up their homes. Companies are finding women’s online blogs touting their favorite power tools instead of looking for the Mixmaster.
A woman can tote a power drill or saw as handily as a man, any day. The recession has encouraged DIY women out of the closet and into the family-room-to-be.

A keen sense of accomplishment
Besides becoming more and more of the breadwinners in the family, women are picking up on the keen sense of accomplishment that comes from handling a hammer and saw and redesigning one’s abode into a habitat that’s more suited to one’s desires.

It’s no longer just about the trappings, it’s about the bones of the place. Women are seeing they can do it all, and it feels darn good. They are graduating from crafting projects to do-it-yourself construction.

How does a DIY store address the need?
Do-it-yourself stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot are getting the message. More and more workshops are appealing to her in particular. Now the woman who wants to can learn how to lay tile or flooring, take out a wall or put in a window, on any given Saturday morning.

Sales associates are trained to take a woman’s questions about power tools more seriously, and it’s no longer hard for a woman to get their attention in the paint or plumbing department. Clearly, DIY stores have also noticed who’s paying the bills and showing up at the cash register.

The information is widely available
Women used to rely on men for information and services that they didn’t know how to find or do. But now they can turn to the Internet and magazines that cater to their needs.

Sites such as About.com or Wikipedia can be relied on for detailed, illustrated articles on almost any how-to topic. Magazines like This Old House as well as women’s magazines like Redbook have run women-focused articles on restoration and do-it-yourself work.

More and more magazines like Southern Home feature do-it-yourself as part of their regular contents.

Of late, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and the New York Times have all had specials on women-centered home restoration.

It seems that we’ve finally caught on that gender should not dictate whether someone can fix a leak, unclog a drain, or patch a hole in the wall. The information is available to everyone, and women are getting just as good as men at finding and using it!

Apr 15

Tasty Tuesday: Egg Muffins!!!!

Egg Muffin

Today I have a low-carb favorite I want to share with you!!! This is a simple, yet delicious meal both fresh, and reheated!!!

Here is what you need:

  • 12 eggs
  • Milk
  • Sausage or other meat. It is wonderful with ham or bacon.  You ken get creative and add in more then one kind too!
  • Veggies- what ever you prefer or none at all. My kids prefer them without veggies so we leave some without for them. I love zucchini in mine and sometimes I add in onions as well. You can really use what you like though:).
  • Cheese- I use Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese by Kraft.
  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350. While i wait on that to preheat I take the eggs and crack them.  Add in a bit of salt and pepper. Add in a bit of milk.  Then I whisk them well. Set that aside and grease a muffin pan. THIS is my favorite one to use for these muffins.

Layer your ingredients in the muffin pan.

  • Meat first
  • Veggies Next
  • Cheese
  • Lastly pour your egg mixture over top of the ingredients. I usually leave a tiny bit of room for expansion. When I say tiny, it is tiny. :)

Egg Muffin-2

Bake in the oven for about 25-35 minutes. It depends on the oven. When we were in MD it took a different time when it does here in WA:). So just watch them and narrow down what your oven requires.

That is all there is to it!

Eat and enjoy!!!

In Christ,

Laura

The post Tasty Tuesday: Egg Muffins!!!! appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Apr 15

Compassion.

Compassion.

To feel empathy for a fellow human being and the want to help. In a world that is take, take, take, all the time, compassion seems to be lost. So I ask this question, what would you do to help a fellow human being?

Would you help a person out if you know they are of a different faith from you? Doesn’t matter if they don’t have the same believe system than you, if you saw them struggling, would you help them? Would you put your own thoughts and opinions aside to help?

Would you help a person out if they have a different skin colour than you own?

Would you help a family in need even if they lived a different lifestyle than you own?

Would you teach your children that everyone is created equal? And that we are all unique in our special way? Would you teach them to respect themselves and others?

Living in a Special Needs World, you tend to have more compassion for people. This is just my opinion. I find that since we are striving for one common thing, acceptance, we tend to be more open to other people. For me, the way someone lives their life, practices religion or who they look isn’t an issue for me. As I am trying to make sure that my children and all of their abilities are accepted. And that takes compassion. The reason why I say this, is how can you expect people to be compassionate to your cause, if you, yourself don’t follow that edict. Those questions I put forth above, are ones that we all need to ask ourselves, when we think about how we want our children to be treated.

Hate is a learned idea. You learn things like love and hate at an early age. You can have your own thoughts on stuff. Like hating brussels sprouts or the weather. But to hate someone who is different from you and lack the basic compassion for someone because you don’t understand them is a learned thing. One of the things about being a parent is to teach our children right from wrong. We need to have a generation that is accepting. Accepting of those who around us. We need to teach compassion. We need teach our children that it’s ok to help fellow human beings, despite differences. If we want them to understand empathy for others, we must show them. If we want the world around us to show us compassion and empathy to our causes, it must be taught and learned.

I, myself, try to keep an open mind. Passing judgment is part of being human. We all do it. The thing to remember is, if you pass judgment solely on the basis of hate and fear, maybe you need to take a step back. Educate yourself. Let go of that fear of the unknown. 

Apr 15

A look at behavioral therapies for military families

  ABA Therapy According the American Academy of Pediatrics, the ...

Apr 15

Preparing for Easter-Guest Post At Gold God’s Girls

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Today I am guest blogging over at Gold God’s Girls which is a ministry for teen girls.  I am going to be a monthly contributor there from here on out:). I am thrilled and excited to share with the girls my passion for our Lord and Savior!

Here is a snippet of my post:

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, the Sunday leading up to Easter.  While I am not an advocate for only attending church on Easter, Easter Sunday is one of the biggest opportunities that we will have as Christians to tell the world about Jesus.  The Easter Sunday church goers will come by the thousands.  They are looking for a dead guy, but we can tell them that he is not here, HE IS ALIVE!!!!

To read the rest, show them some love and check out the blog post HERE.

In Christ,

Laura

The post Preparing for Easter-Guest Post At Gold God’s Girls appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Apr 15

My Cat Is a Bitch, and My Dog Is a Baby

I’m really annoyed with my pets right now. Heads up, this post is about pet poop. Yup.

mommy-panda-blog-dog-cat-toddler-boy2
Our pets need a serious attitude adjustment. When they’re mad or upset about something, they poop in the house. I am not a fan. Mostly, because it seems completely out of the blue. Until I wrack my brain and figure out the reason, that is. It’s like I have two more kids, I swear.

Twilight, the cat, didn’t like that John switched her food to a cheaper kind of wet cat food. Twilight is a Boca cat through and through, and will only happily eat Fancy Feast, apparently. She’ll still eat the cheap stuff, don’t get me wrong, but then she poops under my bed or on the kids’ play rugs. Bitch. Once she ran out of the cheap food, I bought more fancy feast to see if that was the problem. (After trying new litter, and giving her more attention.) Sure enough, the out-of-the-litter box poops pretty much stopped. I’m considering moving the litter box up to the main floor to see if that helps. I am also giving her a second can of food if I don’t find poop anywhere outside of the litter box, but I have no idea if she’s smart enough to catch that.

Kipp, the dog, is a wuss. She is afraid of thunder. She is afraid of the wind. When it’s windy, she doesn’t want to poop outside. Oddly enough, this is a new thing. We’ve lived here since January, and it’s only recently been a problem. Now, Kipp has always been really good about whining and getting in your face if she has to go potty, so it was a surprise to come downstairs one morning and find poop and a wet spot on the carpet in the area near the door. At first, we thought it was Twilight, except that there was no way that poop came out of the cat. Kipp was ashamed. We thought it was a one time accident, scolded her, and I cleaned it up. I tried to let her out more often, but the accidents still happened. They started when I changed the location of her ghetto fenced in yard. I originally moved it because once all the snow melted, we realized that the fenced in area was over mud; and she was tracking a lot in. John thought that change in location might be the cause, since the grassy area was really small in the new set up. So, we moved the fence again, and it seemed to do the trick…until it didn’t. She pretty much hasn’t had any pee accidents lately, but she’ll still have some poop ones. I’ve figured out that it is 100% her fear of the wind, and when I let her out now, (All the time) I have to go onto the deck and stand there to make sure she poops and/or pees. I think before she was just faking me out by hanging out on the stairs or something. Ridiculous!

For crying out loud, I’ve already potty trained this toddler! I don’t want to do it again, and I’m really hoping that my senior citizen of a cat isn’t at the old lady diaper stage. Do cats get that stage? I feel like I doomed. Too much of my life revolves around poop.

PET PROBLEMS, MAN!

Apr 14

Base Highlight: Eglin AFB, Florida

Location:  Eglin Air Force Base is located on the Panhandle ...

Apr 14

Modest Monday: Camping Edition

Camping Edition Collage

Many of you who are subscribed to my Facebook linked to this blog know my husband was gone for training. You also got to see the happy reunion pictures:). If you missed it click HERE.  Anyway, shortly after those were taken, I met up with my friend Shamberly and her son Garrett. We had a camping adventure awaiting us. My husband didn’t attend this adventure because after many days of “camping out” with the Army, him returning and going camping was pretty difficult. He was exhausted because they don’t sleep much on their “camping” trips.  His feet was a mess from all the rucking and walking they do on their “camping” trips. His face was pretty sun burned and lips were cracked. He also had to stay later at work to get all the weapons turned in and things squared away.

So why did I go without hubby? In the past, I would have stayed home and used him coming back as an excuse not to go…lol. However, my boys recently joined Trail Life USA. Previously, we were very active in Boy Scouts and you can read why we left the Boys Scouts HERE.  Anyway, the Trail Life USA troop that we are a part of had a camp out planned for this weekend. We were not sure when my hubby would be back, but I agreed to take my boys even if that meant facing the great outdoors without him.  My younger two boys, while they LOVED camping out, would have been okay to stay home. However, my oldest is at the age where he wants to be with his friends and has a need for those connections. He understands Dad going away but he also needs normalcy of being able to attend events. Actually, they all do, but at his age it affects him the most to miss out on these things.  So that is what lead me to the great outdoors.

Camping 1

Let me stop and talk a bit about my relationship with the great outdoors. I was raised in the country – the deep country – where a leaf blows the wrong way and the power goes out. Sometimes the power would stay out for days and sometimes weeks. It is really so country out there that because of this we keep kerosine lamps like the Amish use so that we can light the house.  I grew up climbing hills, picking berries, raising chickens and horses. I am almost as country as they come. However, while my Dad did all the boy things like camping and scouting with my brother, my mom is the one who attended the girls things with me. So that meant we never camped growing up. Although, I did attend a camp out one time with the girl scouts, but I hated it so much I begged for my mom to come and get me lol. My idea of camping is cabins or a hotel-with temperature control lol.

The only other time I have camped was with my husband and older two boys several years ago. It was August and I was pregnant with our third son. I pretty much thought I would die from heat exhaustion from the extreme heat in Tennessee. Not to mention I worried if I would ever walk again normally after sleeping on the ground.  It was different, that is for sure!

So fast forward to a few days ago and our camping adventure with Trail Life USA.  My husband is a miracle worker wonder at packing for camping trips. He folds or rolls everything really tight and places what he needs first at the top so it’s easily accessible. I don’t know how he situates the van when he packs it all, but he does it.  Me, on the other hand, by the time I got it loaded, Shamberly and I ended up in 2 vehicles because I couldn’t get it all to fit right.  Of course, we did have a mega cooler for a trip that would last less then 24 hours. But, hey, you never know what you will need right? lol

Camping 7

Lets look at some of the things we took in our mega cooler and with us (also, did I forget to mention that all the meals were provided at the camp?):

1.  Peanut Butter

2. Tortillas

3. Hot dogs and buns (they served hot dogs for dinner that night too lol)

4.  Peanuts (various flavors)

5. 5 bags of special glazed peanuts

6. Potato chips and various other snacks

7. 2 boxes of breakfast bars

8. Whole packages of cheese sticks and pepperoni

9. I had about 15 different kinds of Young Living Essential Oils- you just never know! lol

10. Books-several and we had nooks and kindles.

11. Make-Up don’t forget the make-up!!! These necessities weren’t in the cooler, but I had to mention them for their importance….lol

Camping 9

( The above picture is of my make-up bag lol)

Those are the things we had and barely touched…if we touched them at all.  So we unloaded all this and got our  campsite picked out. Then we realized that we had no idea how to set the tent up. The tent didn’t really have instructions (at least the type of instructions that we understood). There was a picture inside the bag, it was in some foreign language known only if you’re a male. Thankfully, there were adult male leaders who came with their sons and they graciously helped us get the beast assembled.

So we got set up and things were looking good. Then the natural order of things (for lack of a better word) came upon us. In laymen terms, where are the bathrooms?! Yep, nature!!! I am really not a nature’s bathroom kind of person. I really don’t even like port-a-potties but will use them when I have to, but no bathroom at all?  Thankfully, when we went to dinner, the other leaders let us in on the secret location of the facilities….shew!!!! :) However, it was a hike to get to it-so we prayed no one would have to go in the middle of the night!

Camping 8

I get cold super easy! So I had taken a lot of extra clothing.  I knew layers was a good thing. Also, I had taken a couple sleeping bags and a mat to sleep on. I figured that I could sleep on one sleeping back and cover up with the other one.  I also grabbed my husband’s old Army sleeping bag.  I am so glad I did. I ended up sleeping on one sleeping bag, covering with two others, placed my coats on top of that one, added more layers of clothing and I was still cold. So, I did what any mother in her right mind would do, I made one of my children sleep with me so we had more body heat..lol. I still woke up several times at night freezing, but we made it!!! We survived until morning.

Camping 4

After breakfast, we broke down the tent and packed everything up because we were going to need to head back after lunch. Right after packing up our campsite, we went on a lovely hike! I love hiking!!!! Here are some of the pictures taken…..

Camping 5

Camping 10

Camping 11

Camping 12

Camping 14

Camping 13

Camping 6

So here it is in a nutshell. I am not a camper by any stretch of the imagination. While we brought make-up, we forgot a pocket knife. :). However, we Army wives have learned to adapt and make-do. Life is always changing for us and places us in areas where we need to learn to bloom, even in a camp ground in fridged temperatures, and no husbands lol.  This is most definitely not our strong point but we love our boys. Because of this love for our boys we were willing to sacrifice and make the best of the situation. We learned a lot, we laughed a lot, and we made a lot of memories. We have boys who know that while Daddy is the best for camping, especially camp fires, (My oldest loudly proclaimed he needed his Daddy there because he knew how to build a really good camp fire:)) that they also have moms who care enough about them to do things they normally wouldn’t, so that when they grow up they have those memories filed away.  That is what it is about folks. Teaching my kids about the beauty and nature of God’s creation and teaching them about sacrifice and selflessness. I am so blessed to be a momma to my three boys. Bugs, tents without legible instructions, mud in my sleeping bag, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I am also a blessed lady with friends who will be a battle buddy with me.

Camping 3

So what did I wear?

Well ladies I wanted to share with you pictures of me camping out in a skirt and possibly many many layers at some point, but in a skirt none-the-less! You can glance at the pictures above but here is a list of what I had on :)

The Black and White Outfit

T-shirt: Bought at the Christian bookstore

Skirt: Ordered off easy. I wore it before HERE

Jacket: Not sure but hubby bought it for me

Shoes: I originally had on coach flip flops and decided they were not foot for camping lol. So I switched to rain boots from Wal-Mart :)

Other items: I had on leggins from various places. At one point 2 pair and PJ pants under the skirt too lol

The Blue skirt and Yellow shirt:

T-shirt: I got that at church camp last year

Skirt: Zulily

Boots: Same as the day before

So there you have it folks. You can dress modest and camp still. I hope this post helps :). I want to leave you with a final picture. God’s creation is amazing….this was taken on our hike. I am so blessed!!!

Camping 15

In Christ,

Laura

PS: Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog!!! This keeps you from missing a single post :)

The post Modest Monday: Camping Edition appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Apr 12

We had the MPs Called on Us! (Kind of…)

For those of you who aren’t involved with the military at all, you might not know what the MPs are. They’re the military police. Yeah.

Now, before I go making light of a situation, I’d like to post a disclaimer:

Leaving your kids alone in the car is generally NOT OK. Especially now that it’s getting warm out. That being said, my general rule of thumb is “If I can see the car, the kids will be fine.” So, if I’m just checking out a mediocre yard sale, I think the boys will be ok sitting in the van with the windows down for five minutes. However, I would never run into a store for five minutes. Same length of time, but the change in circumstances makes all the difference.

I probably ruined the story with the disclaimer, but oh well.

mommy-panda-blog-junction-city-marcos-pizza-van-picnic
See that picture above there? That’s what I call a van picnic. Sometimes the boys and I eat lunch in the back of the van. In Columbia, we’d leave the back open, but the wind is so crazy here that we crack the windows a little bit, and close the back door. It’s fine. Everyone is happy. Everyone is comfortable. No one is close to dying.

Last week, we had an insanely busy Tuesday. I picked The Munchkin up early from school so that we could make our 11:15 appointment for orientation at CYS on post. On the way, I bought some Burger King, since the boys are used to eating right after The Munchkin gets home from school. They ate a little during orientation, but not much. As we were getting ready to leave, John called saying that he was going to come home for lunch. I told him that we were on post, and actually across the street from where he worked. So, he left work and came over to hang out with us before we had to head back into Junction City to get The Munchkin to his OT and speech appointments. (See? I told you Tuesday was busy!) Since I hadn’t eaten my food, we decided to have a van picnic in the parking lot. We settled in, the boys ate a tiny bit more, and then started climbing around the van. It was fine. They were having fun. A lot of people were walking by, but I didn’t think anything of it, because both of the boys’ parents (that would be John and myself) were in the van with them. John and I were eating some fries, when I noticed the director who gave the presentation hovering around my van. We made eye contact. I raised an eyebrow at her and made my way, super awkwardly, out of the van. She told me that they had gotten a report of three kids alone in the van. 1) LOL three kids what? 2) Damn, John’s camo must work AWESOME!

I was just like “Uh, no…we’re having a van picnic…” which sounds SO STUPID when you have to explain it to an adult, but whatever, that’s what we were doing. We didn’t really have time to go anywhere else. Eating out on post during lunch time takes FOREVER. The lady said that they had already called the MPs. I think I just looked at her, because she said that it’s policy to do so when they get a report of it. I was flabbergasted that they didn’t check on the vehicle before calling the cops, and she said that she would call the MPs back, and then noted how she hoped she could stop them before they got here; like I was supposed to feel guilty about it. We parted ways, and I went back into the van to finish my lunch.

How crazy is that? I mean, good that they’re so proactive, but check out the car first! Hopefully that’ll be the only time we have the MPs called on us!

Apr 11

God, it’s Me, Kathryn. Where Are You?

I feel as though I am in a very deep, dark, black hole. I keep trying to crawl out, but no matter what I keep sliding down. The further I slide, the less light I see. The less light I see, the further my hope drifts away…

where are you God

Yes, we are finally home from the hospital and as much as I would like to tell you that everything is better now, I can’t. With each and every day that passes I am sliding deeper, and darker into the hole, and I am losing the hope and the faith that I once had.

We have spent a total of one month in the hospital, two weeks in one hospital closer to home, and two weeks in another hospital in Atlanta. One-fourth of my daughter’s life has been wasted away inside a tiny hospital room. Let me tell you, days are long inside the hospital. Procedure after procedure, fighting to make sure everything is done right, multiple doctors, nurses, and specialists. Day in and day out.

It takes a toll. It takes a toll emotionally, it takes a toll mentally, and it takes a toll physically. The exhaustion is unbelievable. It’s taken a toll on our marriage, on our finances, on our family, and our lives. Yes, we are home, but the damage has already been done. The fight that was once within me, has gone, and I have nothing left to give.

After spending a month in two separate hospitals, the doctors still could not figure out what is wrong with my daughter, test after test, until they had nothing left to test. Almost all came back normal. They decided she is not choking, but retching. She retches if the volume of food is not correct, or if the amount of time that it’s given in is too short. They couldn’t figure out why she can’t gain weight or keep weight on, but after moving up the calorie intake on her food over and over they finally found an amount that she is steadily gaining on. The infection where her G-tube goes into her stomach is still there, no one seems able to fix it. She has had it for weeks now.

So we go home. And we figure out how to put the pieces back together. How to keep going inspite of everything that has gone on, inspite of the fact, that my daughter has awful retching episodes that no one can explain. Inspite of the fact that such a high calorie intake is doing a number on her little body. We have been told she will probably just grow out of everything. But until then, we just hang in there…

And then there’s the sleep. Her sleep study at the hospital came back abnormal. Three different doctors, three different opinions. If that doesn’t make you nervous, I don’t know what would. So we go home with an apnea monitor to make sure she is okay at night and doesn’t stop breathing. But that monitor constantly goes off until we decide that we can’t take it anymore and shut it off. There is guilt for shutting it off, but the exhaustion eventually wins over.

She still doesn’t sleep. There have been days and nights where she literally only sleeps an hour or two. She tosses and turns, she’s constantly gassy, but the prescriptions don’t help much. They tell us to give her melatonin, but even that only seems to help a little. And so I sit in her room, sobbing, begging her to sleep, because none of us can take much more. We just need sleep or we are going to lose our minds.

Then, two days after we got back home from the hospital, my husband’s first day at work, I get the news: my husband has deployment orders. Of course it’s okay, he’s not leaving for a long while yet, I am supposed to breathe easy in that, but I can’t. Why the timing? Why now? My mind is already months ahead trying to plan for his departure for months alone with two special needs kids.

Three days after we get home, we hear more news. Although we had been originally told that Tricare would pay for our gas, hotel, and food for the two weeks we lived in Atlanta, it’s not true. They don’t cover those expenses during emergency situations. We will have to pay for everything. We have spent the past few days fighting it, trying to find a loophole, but there is nothing. Nothing they can do. And so now we have racked up thousands of dollars that we must find a way to pay for. Because living in Atlanta is not cheap, let me tell you…

And then there is my son, who has missed us oh-so-much while we have been at the hospital. I have missed a month of his life, a month of raising him and watching him grow while I sat in the hospital. It breaks my heart to miss it all, to have to choose between my two kids. The stress of wondering if he was ok, the stress of knowing he missed his mommy and his sad little voice saying, “Mommy, come home,” every time we talked.

Now that we are home, I still have few hours to give to him, I haven’t had time to take to potty train him, or to go over the pile of papers from his school. I am constantly driving to another specialist or doctor appointment with my daughter, or fiddling with her feeding pump and apnea monitor, or trying to get her to sleep or to stop crying. The time to sit and play with him is few and far between. And that month I was gone? He grew up even more. Time is passing and I won’t ever get it back again…

So I sit here and am left asking, “Where are you God?” I’m here, but He doesn’t seem to be listening. The anger in me has taken over and there is nothing left I can do. “Where are you God, when all the desire to be the mother I used to be is gone? Where are you God, when I am too angry and disappointed to be the sweet and supporting wife? Where are you God, when all my faith is dwindling away and I feel like even You have left me?” And I hear nothing…

I found God when my parents got divorced, it was hard and took time, but I found Him. I found God after I miscarried our first baby. I found God through the multiple health issues I have been dealing with and through the severe anxiety that ensued. I even found God after my son’s multiple diagnoses of Autism, SPD, Apraxia of Speech, and Feeding Disorder. But right now, I just can’t find Him. I can’t see Him. I have lost sight of Him, and I don’t know how to get back to Him. I just don’t.

“Where are you God? It’s me, Kathryn. I am down in this very deep hole and I can’t get back up. If you’re there, show me, because I have nothing left to give.”

The post God, it’s Me, Kathryn. Where Are You? appeared first on Singing through the Rain.

Apr 11

Friday’s Top 10: Reasons I Love Having Asperger’s

The next few months, I have decided to steal from ...

Apr 11

Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study Of The Stars

Star Chronicles

How many times have you searched for an Astronomy study only to find out that just about every single one is secular and not Creation or Bible based? I know I have been there before! Recently I was asked to be on the review team for Dawnita Fogleman’s new book. I was thrilled when I learned this book had the best of both worlds – astronomy and Christ centered!!! This was going to be exciting!

When I began reading the book, I was NOT disappointed! Dawnita has poured her heart and soul and many hours of research into this book.

My oldest loves science. When he’s not reading one of his assigned books, I can find him reading a science book. He was excited to dive into this because he knows the struggle in finding books on the stars to study.  He went through the whole book and asked, “Mommy, when can we get started?” :). As we dove into the lesson, he was excited to learn what the Bible says about astronomy and the linkage with the stars and the Word of God.  I have to admit that as I went through this book with him, I learned a lot also.  I did not have a passion for science when I was in school, but with three boys now, science is surely becoming a subject I really enjoy.

While studying the stars can be somewhat controversial in some Christian circles, Dawnita did this study with her own children. She did it because she wanted to learn the truth according to God’s word. Please be forewarned that Star Chronicles is NOT a book of the zodiac, astrology or horoscopes. So rest easy in knowing that Dawnita illustrates God’s word about the stars.

This study has been a lot of fun for us. Although we haven’t completed the lessons in the book yet, we have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far.  Dawnita makes it really engaging.  She includes scripture, pictures, note booking pages and coloring pages. I highly recommend you check out this amazing resource. I can’t wait to finish this with my oldest and will for sure do it again with my younger two.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

“This is a unit study on the constellations and Bible prophecy.  When I did this study with my own children it was out of a desire to get to bottom of the stars.  …no, that doesn’t sound right…  I wanted to get to the truth.  I started with Dr. E.W. Bullinger’s book “The Witness of the Stars.”  To tell you the truth, while the book fascinated me, I thought a lot of it seemed a bit far-fetched.  So, the study began and in order to excuse the time spent, I involved the children and counted it as school!  We literally scrap-booked our way through the stars. If you have read Bullinger’s book, you may find little here that truly coincides.  I used his basic format for the partners he places with each main constellation in his book.  I list only the stars I found confirmation for in wikipedia.  Sometimes I did have to dig through some mythologies and zodiac rubbish in order to get the information that seemed relevant for the purpose of this book.  Some Bible references are merely what the star names or star-picture reminded me of.    I’ve tried to make this engaging and fun, rather than overly scientific or theological.  What this book is NOT:  It is NOT a book of zodiac, astrology, or horoscopes.  You will find NOTHING of the kind in these page.  There are references to myths and legends and they are clearly stated as such for historical purposes only.”

Here is a bit about Dawnita…..

Author Interview Questions

1. When writing a book, how do you go about planning for it? Do you have a method you use? 

I probably use them all.  I’m a nutty writer.  Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and just write and write pages and pages.  Sometimes I make methodical outlines and lists.  Once I started puting this book together, I found myself going back and forth and doing a lot more research during the actual process than what I had done before in preparation.

2. Do you have a certain writing space, somewhere you go *just* to write your books? An office, a lake cabin, a hotel? What do you love about that space? How does it inspire you?

Everywhere!  Sometimes I spread out all over the floor.  This book was mostly done at the kitchen table.  I took up almost 1/2 the 8 foot table for about 6 weeks!  Inpiring?  Not really, just handy.  Anyone want to donate a log cabin?  Sound great!

3. What would you say to a young person who aspires to be a writer? What advice would you give?  Also, what would you tell his/her parents in order to help them be supportive in their child’s efforts to pursue writing as a career?

Write, write, write, write.  …and read, read, read.  With relunctant writers, I encourage them to tell me the stories of their imagination or to audio record them.  We have one child who writes novels.  When she told me as a preteen that she wanted to be a writer, I just encouraged her to write.  The nearest thing to a formal English program we ever did was Wordsmith Apprentice and Learn to Write a Novel Way.  I constantly encourage creativity in our children.  They get very, very little time on the computer until they are about 16 years old.  I’d rather them read, write, draw, & play outside!

4. What is your goal with writing?

Simple; to Glorify God.

5. What other projects will you be working on in the near future?

More unit studies.  I’d like to do something with Shakespeare, Art, and of course more on the Stars.  There is enough of God’s Universe to keep me busy for a long time.

6. What is one lesson you learned from writing this book?

By the time you finish the last page of a book, you are sick and tired of it and ready to hand it over to the editor!  This was almost like having a baby!  I was ready to give birth and lay it down for a nap for a while, then just admire it from over the cradle!  LOL  (Pregnancy always seemed like the longest 9 months of my life.)

7. What books have most influenced you?

The Bible and the classics.  I LOVE OLD books!

8. Who is your favorite author?

Louisa May Alcott & Corrie ten Boom

9. Is there an author that you would especially like to meet?

Alive today?  Rush Limbaugh.  From history?  Moses or Paul of the Bible.

10. Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing a book?

Yes!  The overwhelming desire to eat too much chocolate, drink too much coffee, and stay up all night long.

11. What inspired you to write this book?

Questions like this put me in a state of, “uhhhhhhh.” Everything.  I’ve always loved the stars and science, but I guess the real motivational factor was friends really pushing me to do it.  I needed to be hounded.

12. Did you always have a talent for writing, or is it something you wanted and needed to work harder to achieve?

I didn’t really read or write untill I was about 12 years old.  My grandmother was tired of trying to decifer my scribbles and spent a summer teaching handwriting & encouraging me to read more.  She sent me novels & I wanted so much to please her that I read whatever she sent me.  Within a few years, my mother had to start grounding me from books!  I was addicted.  I began writing for school essay contests and keeping a journal.  Now I have to write, it’s just part of me.

13. With all of the duties that you juggle, when do you fit in the time to write?

Well, honestly, I neglect other things.  I only fold laundry and make a mad cleaning dash through the house once a week.  The children are old enough now that they do most of the cooking & cleaning.  I also make the children part of my writing.  What I write about is usually what we are learning as a family.  This book is a classic example of that.

14. Is your writing style different now than it was when you first began? In what ways have you grown in your writing?

Wow.  Yes.  I am much more careful what I write now.  My thoughts are less confused and jumpled; I have more purpose.  God has done amazing things in my life.  It definitely comes out in my writing.  I write more for Him now than for myself.

15. Is there anything else that you would like readers to know?

All closets have bones.  All lives have a past.  Let God play the tones.  And the music of your life will last.  (Is that corney? LOL)

16. Where did you find the information linking the Sphyinx to Prophecy and Astronomy? 

Great Question! A few places actually. I have “put together” information from several sources I list in the back of the book.  Many people might consider this speculation; part of the reason that introduction is so short.  It’s an interesting study.  Internet searches can lead to a miriad of rabbit trails.  The lining up of the Sphinx at Gaza with the pyramids has lead many to believe it was an astrological setting.  The fact that the Virgin is at the begining and Leo the lion is at the end (litterally on the Sphinx) also point in this direction. We know the Virgin and the Lion are prime points of Biblical Prophecy.  Rather than believing the “aliens” did it, I choose to imagine the Great Flood generations had a real purpose.  :-)

AUTHOR BIO:

Dawnita Fogleman is a fifth generation Oklahoma Panhandle Pioneer. She and her husband, Paul, have six amazing children. They have homeschooled from the start and now have two graduated and starting their own businesses. With the family business and their little farm every day is a surprise. 

You can buy Star Chronicles at amazon by clicking my affiliate link below :)

In Christ,

Laura

*** I received a copy of Star Chronicles for an honest and fair review***

The post Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study Of The Stars appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Apr 11

“We’ve Moved” Cards from PurpleTrail

We moved into our house a couple of months ago, so it only makes sense that I’m just now sending out moving announcements, right?! I’ve never been good at being on top of these things. With all the unpacking required in a move, and getting The Munchkin set up with school, snail mail just went on the back burner.

But when PurpleTrail contacted me about working with them, I jumped at the chance! It was the final push I needed to get my moving announcements ordered and mailed out. Look how cute they are!

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I ended up going with the “Gray and Yellow Chevron State Moving Announcement” and I’ll be honest… I had to Google what Kansas looked like to make sure I was selecting the right state shape. I seriously don’t think anyone knows what Kansas looks like, or where it’s located on the map, unless they live here. Or maybe if the state that they live in borders Kansas.

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I liked the modern look of these cards, and was surprised to find myself drawn to the yellow. It looked more mustardy on my screen, but is more buttery-golden in real life. Still nice though.

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I customized the back of the card quite a bit. It originally came with the gray stripe (which looks teal in these pictures for some reason… Look at the other side for the true color of the gray.)  and a little area for the text. That’s it. I added a circle with our family photo in it, the heart sticker, and some “stitching” to “hold” it all together. The family photo is one that I took in Nashville on our road trip here. It was the most recent family photo I had. I some taken in Kansas!

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I was pretty pleased with the selection of little add ons available on the site, and the software used to create/edit the announcement was pretty straight forward. I think it took me all of 15 minutes to design this? A lot of that was photoshopping the family photo, and OCDing on the stitching. In case you’re wondering what I had to photoshop, I had to replace a blinking John with a non-blinking one, and add in a forward facing Bean. Go-go graphic design degree! Sadly, I did not have a forward facing Munchkin to add.

All in all, I’m pleased with these moving announcements. PurpleTrail‘s customer service is great too, and when I signed up, I got an email giving me $10 towards an order, with no minimum purchase. It didn’t have anything to do with this post, or the deal I had with them for this post. I think it’s just something they do! How can you not love that?

Disclaimer: PurpleTrail sent me 25 moving announcements in exchange for this post. Opinions and photos are my own.
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