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Archive for the ‘Tips & Ideas’ Category


Heart-shaped personalized KeychainI recently won a heart-shaped key chain from one of Pat’s giveaways over at her blog Mom’s Best Bets.  

Her blog is amazing!  It’s loaded with awesome giveaways, reviews, and a page called Kids Corner; which is loaded with reviews and ideas for lots of fun for kids and parents with eco-friendly crafts and great recipes. 

She was professional and quick about contacting me and shipping my key chain.  I am a huge fan of Mom’s Best Bets and I make it a habit to return to her blog as often as I can.

Your best bet is if you head on over and visit Pat at Mom’s Best Bets!

This giveaway was sponsored by WholeSale Keychain.    They have a wonderful selection of key chains.  I’ve never seen so many different types of key chains in my life!

They are great little items to give as a gift or to keep for yourself.  You’ll definitely want one for yourself.   They have something for everyone there!  And, the prices are more than reasonable.  You’d end up spending more somewhere else and probably be getting a lower quality item.  You don’t have to worry about quality or price at

  The key chain that I chose was the Metal Heart Keychain ( see pic above).  I was allowed to have it engraved too!  I had the words “Mom of 5” engraved on it.  The engraving is a really nice script and the key chain is very heavy-duty.  You can tell by the weight of it that it’s high quality item.  I love my key chain!

I am definitely going to be shopping at WholeSale Keychain in the future!

Thank you Pat and thank you  WholeSale Keychain.  Please, please, please, go visit both and enjoy yourself!

Disclaimer:  I was not paid to write a review for either site.  This is my honest opinion and I have gained nothing, other than winning the keychain, in return for writing this review.

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My eleven year old son, Austin, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) at six years old.  Since then, he has been kicked out of two schools due to his behavior and many teachers don’t “understand” him.  Many of his symptoms mirror those of Asperger’s Syndrome which is on the Autism Spectrum.  Austin has trouble with sensory integration.  People, especially children, within the Autism Spectrum do well with a sensory room.  Since Austin shows many of the same symptoms as a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, I have undertaken the task of creating a sensory room for him. 

To list just a few of his problems with sensory integration:

  • Austin makes me cut out the tags from all his clothing. 
  • If his socks aren’t adjusted just right he’ll spend the next twenty minutes fixing them; whether he’s going to be late for school or not. 
  • Cannot wear turtlenecks or anything else close to his throat.
  • Prefers to only wear his boxers around the house.  He usually strips down to his boxer shorts as soon as he walks in the door.
  • He overreacts to sudden loud noises or too much noise at one time. 
  • He talks excessively, loudly, and without concern of the other person’s interest in the subject. 
  • When he’s bored or aggravated he swings his arms or spins in a chair.  It seems to calm him down. 
  • Whenever he tells me or someone else what he likes he then turns to me and says, “right mom,” even though he has stated this multiple times.  He needs constant feedback and redirection.
  • If things aren’t done a certain way he becomes easily frustrated.
  • He doesn’t like to be hugged unless it’s from me.  However, it’s limited contact.
  • Does not like to be around a lot of people.
  • He loves vibrating or strong sensory input.

Okay so it’s a longer list than you expected.  That’s only part of the list.  There’s so much more.  But, I’ll spare you any further details.

A sensory room is very good for children and adults with sensory processing disorders.  It is usually tailored to an individual’s sensory needs to either calm or stimulate them and usually includes equipment or items that calm or stimulate the 7 senses (listed below).   A sensory room should NEVER be used as a form of punishment.  It is intended to calm the over stimulated or to stimulate the under stimulated individual.  If discipline is needed, do not use the sensory room for this.

Senses and things to include in your sensory room:

1.   Vestibular–  swings, slides, balance boards, tubes to roll in, rocking horses, hammocks, or a sit and spin,etc.

2.   Visual– Controllable light source, no fluorescent lights, Christmas lights (that don’t flash if it bothers individual), play tents, lava lamps, tabletop water fountains, etc.

3.   Smell-  Scented oils, scented candles (is safe for individual), scented markers, scented playdoh, potpourri or sprays.

  • Calming scents- Vanilla, lavender, peppermint, and jasmine.
  • Stimulating scents- Cinnamon, floral scents, spices, and strong sour or sweet scents.  

4.   Taste–  A variety of foods, liquids, gum, or textured food is a great activity to include in your sensory room.  Use supervision depending on the individual.

5.   Proprioception-  Anything that allows the individual to be “hugged” or comforted via pressure works well.  Examples include: bean bag chairs,  weighted vests and/or blankets, squishy beds or sofas, therapy balls to roll on top of them, etc.

6.   Touch- Many things have texture; playdoh, funny foam, textured balls, textured wallpaper, textured puzzles, coloring over textured materials, finger paints , koosh balls, using various materials such as  satin, carpet swatches, silk, lamb’s wool, washcloths, cotton balls, etc., massagers and vibrating kids toys.

7.   Auditory– Soothing sounds CD’s, nature sound machine, white noise (ie. Fans), classical music.

I hope this information will help you or someone you love and/or care for.

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Last night, my twelve year old son, Christian, and I spent the evening writing poems.

We spent over two hours composing, editing, and rewriting haiku ’til our hearts content.

“What is haiku,” you might ask.

In English, Haiku is written in three lines with each line having an exact number of syllables. The first line contains five syllables, line two contains seven syllables, and line three contains five syllables.

In Japanese, Haiku also has three parts, but can be written as one line. And instead of counting syllables, the Japanese count sounds.

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I found a haiku prompt on the internet and we went with it.

The prompt was:   How would you describe Satan?

 Here are some of the haiku we came up with for this prompt.

1

Beautiful presence            

Disguises all his evil

Through machinations             

2

Stairway to heaven

Leads the way the dark angel

Has fallen from grace

3

Perfection is born

The serpent entices Eve

Perfection no more

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I grew up in Vermont. There’s nothing more beautiful than the colorful leaves of fall in Vermont. I love all of New England.

1

New England in Fall            

Kaleidoscope of colors            

Falling to the ground            

2

Dark maple syrup

Drizzled over fresh new snow

Yummy Vermont treat

3

Winter time is fun

Go ice fishing on the lake

Walking on water

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This next one is very dear to my heart. My fifth child, Sierra Cheyenne, was born on January 18, 2001. She only lived for 6 hours and 5 minutes.

1

Tiny hands and feet                    

A beautiful baby girl                    

Sierra Cheyenne                    

2

A baby girl cries

A baby born months too soon

A baby girl dies

3

New year and new life

Celebration died with you

Now you’re my angel

______________________________________________________________________________________________

This is just a little bit of what we wrote together. It was a really fun way to spend time with my son. Kids are amazingly intelligent.

It was wonderful watching him so enthralled with counting out syllables and having it make sense. I recommend trying this with your Children and see how much fun they have.

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I recently visited the Old Fashioned Living website. This website is a compilation of crafts, gardening advice, family activities, genealogy tips, and ideas for teaching your kids and grandkids about the generations that came before them.

I was very inspired by one of their articles written by Dionna Sanchez entitled, Leaving Legacies. In the article, Dionna tells us about a wonderful legacy that her mom left her and that she will be leaving her children.

[Quote] “I am so thankful to have a precious gift that my mom gave me – one that I am now doing for my own children. She kept journals for me and my sister.”[Quote]

You can read the full article on the Old Fashioned Living website here:Leaving Legacies

I was so inspired by this article that I decided to write one for each of my four children. My oldest daughter has already moved out of the house. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t write one for her just the same. I think that I’ll start hers and keep writing until she becomes a mother. Maybe I’ll give it to her when she has her first child. Then, she can start one for her child(ren).

What’s a better gift than leaving your children with wonderful and cherished memories through the eyes of their own loving parent? I encourage everyone to try this. Mothers, fathers, and grandparents can all do this and leave their loved ones with their own legacy.
You can find more about Dionna Sanchez on her website, Emphasis On Moms

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****This tip is for viewing purposes only!****

I always view someone’s profile before I follow them. On some profiles, I’ve noticed that the background image is a larger picture and a lot of it gets hidden by the tweeting area. I design most of my own Twitter backgrounds to fit the area allowed. But, if you want to view “the larger picture” of that persons background here’s a neat little tip: (I’ll use my own profile as an example)

P.S.~ If you want to try it out on my twitter profile background, there’s a hidden message for you.

You can click on the images here for a larger view.

Once your on the persons’ profile page:

Profile Page

  • right-click the background area (not the tweeting area)

Right-click view

  • click on “view background image”

AND…

Voila!  The full image opens up for your viewing pleasure.

Full background image

I've designed my own backgrounds to fit Twitter.



However, please, please, please…DO NOT save the image as it may be a copyrighted image.

****This tip is for viewing purposes only!****No stealing graphics or images****

Enjoy!

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