Saturday, December 31, 2011

She Flies Through The Air With The Greatest of Ease

Looking for entertainment without leaving the house?


Maybe not?
It works for us.

Cutie Moody is quite the acrobat.
Someday she will break free and join Gibble, the escapee.

Hope you have something fun planned for New Year's Eve.
Surely you can top this, right?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Recap - 3 Words Or Less

Christmas 2011 has come and gone.

362 Days until we do this again.
Start shopping!

Too soon?
Yeah, I think so too.

We had a great time with the Doc's parents and their dog Stanley.  Lots of food to eat around here and a couple of nights playing cards make for great memories.

But just in case you needed to know a little bit more, I have added it below.
Captions in rhyme, three words or less.

Here you go:

Won't wear shirt

Dig in dirt

Ho Ho Ho

Chia PO 

Stole dog bone

Needs car phone 

Wears the bow


Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Perfect Pairings - Merry Christmas

It's Sunday and you probably aren't here, but I had to post anyway.
Today, I stole my picture and verse from someone else.
They said it so beautifully - how could I resist?

Hope you are enjoying your time with loved ones today.
Santa is fun - but Jesus is the ONE.

Merry Christmas to you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bon Bons & Christmas Go Together Like Peas & Carrots

I always, always, always make these for Christmas.  

I live for sugar cookies with frosting. Mmmmmmm.

I'm not sure why I think bon bons can only be made at Christmas, but around here that's the only time I make them.  And when I started the process this year, Jacob asked why I was making trash.
In case you were wondering, "trash" looks like this.
I mix up the trash, then make it in to a jillion little balls.
But the balls don't dip as easily unless they are cold, so I put the whole pan in the freezer.  Once they are frozen, I put them in a sealed container.  
After all, I am tired and want to continue this project another day.  I put that bowl of balls in the freezer until I'm ready to deal with them.
And when I am ready, voila! I heat up some chocolate bark and dip, dip, dip.  Then guess what -- I stick them in the freezer.
They freeze well over long time periods and this recipe makes 5-6 dozen.
When I'm ready to serve these babies, I stick them on a cute plate at least thirty minutes before they will be eaten.

Want to make some?
Go for it!

I'm hoping my recipe card will be larger if you click on it so you can actually read the recipe!

What goodies are you baking for Christmas?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Having a Ball!

Whoever came up with the concept of a cookie swap party was a genius.
Every year, girlfriends head over to my place for an evening of pjs, cookies, games, dirty santa, rum punch and food.  Lots and lots of food.
It wouldn't be Christmas without it!

Some people take the whole dirty santa thing a little serious.  The gifts are all good, but the stealing gets a little crazy.  To take the pressure off of wrapping I like for all of the presents to look alike.  We "wrap" our gifts by placing them in a brown paper sack.

And you can't predict what a girl will fight for.  You know, like the "I <3 Balls" bracelets floating through the room.  Who knew girls would want these bracelets?  WHO KNEW?

And for the record - I did not bring that.

After the gift swap, I made them play a game called Quelf.  You have to do silly stuff.  They really loved it.

Notice the only people smiling have a drink in their hand...
Don't let the picture fool you.  They weren't really sleeping.
Karaoke didn't last long.
I guess they were feeling shy.

I made a few cookies for the party, of course.
I put some of the chocolate mice out there for friends to grab, but I made bon bons for the exchange.  I know it's a cookie swap, but any bite-sized dessert is allowed!

Tomorrow I'm going to (try to) post recipes and directions for bon bons and show off sugar cookies that Michael and I iced.

For today, I want you to head over to the RHOK to see more cookie party fun.
My rum punch recipe is over there and you might be needing it for the holiday!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

My mother-in-law sent me a picture of a treat my niece made with her nanny.  Knowing my love of rodents, she knew I would want to make these with Jacob!

And make them we did.
You can make them too!
So easy.
What isn't easy is figuring out why my computer wants to flip my pictures sideways.

The one trick I didn't know was to rinse the cherries and let them dry first.
There - now you know!

How to make chocolate mice:
Dip Maraschino Cherries in chocolate (I use the Candyquik dipping chocolate because it is easy) and set on wax paper.  Press a Hershey kiss up to the cherry.  Add slivered almonds between the cherry and kiss to make ears. (I found that letting it harden just barely helped the ears stay in place easier)
When the mice are made and hardened, use red frosting to add eyes and nose.  I had a hard time with the ready-made Wilton icing container because it was too hard to control for such a small amount.  You might be able to apply eyes and nose easier using a toothpick.

Any kiddo can help make these.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Perfect Pairings - Christmas Gifts

God has blessed our family and we look forward to our holiday season as we show our love for each other through presents.  We are often reminded, however, of those who are unable to purchase gifts for loved ones, those who are feeling loss, of anyone experiencing an unpleasant transition through the holiday season.  These friends might need a secret Santa, an invitation, a thoughtful note - something to spread a little joy.

And as we get excited over the gifts we are giving our kids this year and look forward to their lit-up faces as they open them, we must also think of the blessings our Father gives to us.  Think on it.

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
~ Matthew 7:11

Dollar Store gifts for Keno - hopefully, you can do better than this!

They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
~ 2 Corinthians 9:9

This is a great time of year to remember any family less fortunate than yours.
Angel Tree
Bell Ringers
Community Food Banks

You don't have to look too far to figure out a way to help.
As Christians, we are called to serve others.
How does your family help out this time of year?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

7th Grade. Our Thoughts Thus Far.

It has been a while since I did a serious update on Michael.  Seventh grade has been an adjustment for us all. Over the summer I fretted a bit about how the transition was going to go.  I knew he would be in good hands because in April I met with the special education teacher who would be monitoring him.  She is a rockstar!

Seventh grade has been so much better than expected.  For the most part, his teachers have done an incredible job of managing Michael and communicating with me.  For some reason, we have struggled with that in the past two years with a few teachers.  This year is different.  Different in a good way!

Can someone please help Michael remember to bring his coats home?

The highlight for Michael was testing into Algebra.  For the first time, our district created a 7th grade Algebra class.  My baby boy is getting high school credit this year!  The challenge and prestige (in his mind) of being in this class have inspired my school-hater to like school a little better.  Who knew?  Maybe it is because his Algebra teacher is my favorite teacher so far.  Ever.  

How does one achieve that status?  He communicates with me.  He emails.  He tutors after school for any student who needs it.  He is available and appreciates parent interaction.  He actually "gets" Michael and is fascinated by that big brain of his.  He understands that his job as an educator is to teach the material, not just to get through each lesson.  Ta Da!

And dagnabit, I'm sure going to cry when he moves in January.  Michael just might cry as well.  
Why, God... WHY?

For now, we will try to remain upbeat with the help of our new karaoke machine.

"I love Rock'n Roll" by Joan Jett and the Baloneys

And in the meantime, we will spend this week falling apart over drama.  
Ahhhhh... drama. 
Yes, that's a whole other post.

I'll save that one for after his grade is posted.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


If you're looking for a fun game to play with a group, might I recommend a little Keno?
Fun for all ages -- and prizes too!
Hop on over to the RHOK today to hear all about it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Perfect Pairings - Reading

Every week, I read with Jacob and his classmates one at a time in the hallway outside of their room.  
I love it.

I took a picture of Jacob reading recently because we had his cousin's Flat Stanley.
We had fun showing off Flat Stanley to Jacob's classmates!

Think back on the days when you were learning to read.  You gained fluency because you practiced, right?
So... how much have you been reading your Bible?

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
~ Revelation 1:3

Join me Sundays for Perfect Pairings.
All you need is a photo and a corresponding (kinda) verse.
Grab a button and leave your post address in the comments!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's Michael Watching?

It's time for another installment of the new series:

Today's emailed video seems like stupid fun, but it takes a turn for the worse at the end.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What Not To Buy... The 2011 Holiday Gift Guide (Etsy Style)

Many of my friends have an Etsy addiction.
Me? I just don't get it.

Sparked by a friend's posting of Spock on Limoges Porcelain, I went to search for other tacky Etsy items.

Let me just say that it wasn't too hard to find more things I don't want.

I love the sentiment here.  Nothing expresses my feelings better than this note card.
Yours for only $3.50.

Here's one for those who must post on Facebook (daily) how awesome their husband is.  Pillows, of course.  One for him... and one for you!  It's your daily affirmation.  You are welcome.
I'm glad your husband is so wonderful, by the way.

I thought the purpose of mittens was to keep your fingers warm?
Are we dressing like Madonna again?

Christmas sweater panties.  A swing and a miss.

There are many Christmas sweaters listed as "tacky" or "ugly" on Etsy.  They forgot to add it on this one.  Not only is it unattractive, but it also has all the makings of an unflattering fit.

The chitlins in your life need some toys, right?
I highly recommend purchasing a sandwich.  They sell ice cream for dessert too.
Every kid loves play food.

Let's not neglect the animals in your life.
After all, every dog needs a hoodie.

I've always said cat people are weird.  Here's proof.
Know what they filled with catnip?
Do you?
It's a Cat Toy PeePee.
Yes. IT IS.
Right click on that link if you don't believe me.
This is why we don't have cats.
(Ok, really... we don't have cats because we are all allergic.)

And lastly, we must shop for the hamsters.  Michael has already made a list for them!  Unfortunately, he didn't know about Etsy and the adorable lizard and zebra hamster costumes.

I just can't decide which one to buy!

What's the tackiest gift you ever received?

Monday, December 5, 2011

How Do You Spell Crazy? M-O-M

One thing that goes with Asperger's Syndrome is high anxiety.  For this reason, Michael sees a psychologist to help retrain his brain when it comes to worries.  When you have anxiety, your brain can really play tricks on you.

The ironic thing is that having an appointment for anxiety after school makes Michael anxious because he won't have as much free time at home that evening.  It's not the same as the average anxious, it literally takes over and consumes his thinking for the rest of the day.  He can't move on and there is no reasoning beyond his current thinking process.

On the way to a recent appointment to see the psychologist, Michael began to start winding up.
  • "Why do we have to go today?"
  • "Why can't we go during school hours?"
  • "Now I won't have enough free time to watch my TV shows."
  • "Now I won't be able to play on my DS."

It's a 20 minute drive of one-sided conversation.  

This particular day, I knew Michael had a test to study for when he got home.  This was going to mean even less free time for his treasured activities.  Uh oh.

In an effort to distract Michael and preserve his beloved "free" time, I tell him we should study for the test on the way to the office.  Brilliant, yes?  


I achieved the goal of derailing him from his worry over loss of free time, but I opened a new can of worms.  I spent the rest of our drive listening to the fact that it doesn't make sense to ride in the car and study for a test. Michael spent a lot of time and energy letting me know that it was the worst idea I ever had and it would endanger his life for me to help him study for a test while driving.  (For the purpose of clarity I have to mention that we sit at a lot of stoplights on the way to the office and I planned to look at the study guide during these times.)

When we walked back to the doctor's office to begin his session, Michael was still on his rant.  I interrupted Michael to tell the doctor that Michael was worried about his free time and was upset by my offer to get the studying out of the way in transit.  This doctor has a great sense of humor and a lot of experience with the Michael's of the world.  In other words, this wasn't his first rodeo.

The doctor looked at Michael and said something that shocked us both.  
"Michael, I want you to understand something.  You need to learn it and accept it.  Your mom is always right."

Michael's expression was priceless.

Then the doctor went on to tell him more:
"Your mom will be right 99.9% of the time.  Get used to it.  In fact, when it comes to time management and organization, your mom is an expert.  People pay lots of money for the skills she has.  People with her skills make about $50 an hour.  You have access to this brilliant mind for free."

I'm feeling all sorts of happy at this point.  I'm thinking this might be my favorite session... ever.
I'm also wondering who might be willing to hire me.  Chaaaa - chiiiing!

Michael responds with something about people wasting a lot of money.

So the doctor went on: 
"If there were a PhD in time management and organization, your mom would have it."

Now Michael's face lights up.  
He may be on to something, yes?  

Michael smiles a big smile and tells us: 
"If there were a PhD in crazy, my mom would have it."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Perfect Pairings - The Biker

Jacob has had such a hard time learning to ride his bike, but he is ALMOST there!
It has been a long road.

And now it is too cold to ride a bike.

Today's verse is a frequent reminder I give to the Doc.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children;
instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
~ Ephesians 6:4

Do you have a pairing to share today?
Leave your post address in the comments!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bixby Buddies Update

You may or may not know about Bixby Buddies.
One of my excuses for not updating my blog very frequently has been projects like this one.

If you would like to hear what we've been up to - you can click here.
Then you will know what is so important about the number...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Are You Ready?

There seems to be a lot of debate among my gal pals about when the appropriate time to start decorating for Christmas is.  

Some started before Thanksgiving.
Some started the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Some refused to start before December was here.

I say - quit opinionizing.  
Yeah, that's a new word.  
Everyone doesn't have to agree with you!

Here's a thought... what does it matter?
Decorate when you feel like it.

Let's all be joyful.  K?

When do you put your tree up?

Autism Links - Educate Yourself


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