Free is always a GREAT price!

Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and survived Black Friday Shopping. Chilly start to our Monday here,…a little cyber-shopping for us to get ahead on that Christmas list this Cyper-Monday, but mostly I’m gearing up for some phonics and an uber-cool science experiment with my little guy. Hint: we’re exploring gravity and air pressure,…something will be falling!

Later this week, between dental appointments and homeschooling, I’ll be posting a regular post, maybe about that science experiment, but for today I am giving a heads up on a great deal.

Free is always a great price, isn’t it?

 

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Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

Becoming Portia – New Beginnings kindle ebook will be FREE,…November 26 – 27 2018. The paperback is also available for a reasonable price and would make a great gift for any reader interested in an inspirational tale with a diverse set of characters and plenty of unexpected twists and turns.

Thanks to Amazon’s KDP for allowing authors to offer this great deal to our readers.

 

Free Is Always A Good Price

How was your Thanksgiving?

Our little guy’s pumpkins pie came out great! How about that for a library cooking lesson! While we’re eating pumpkin pie this weekend I wanted to give a heads up about Cyber-Monday sales.

BecomingPortiaNewBeginning copy

Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

Becoming Portia – New Beginnings kindle ebook will be FREE,…November 26 – 27 2018,…the paperback is also available for a reasonable price and would make a great gift for any reader interested in inspirational tales with a diverse set of characters and plenty of unexpected twists and turns.

Thanks to Amazon’s KDP for allowing authors to offer this great deal to our readers.

Autism Tales: He Didn’t Eat The Pie And I Didn’t Cry

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Pie making class, anyone?

Free Thanksgiving fun courtesy our local library. You bet we were in on that Family Pie Making class even though our little guy has not eaten a piece of pie in his life!

Okay so our youngest is only eight, but in the past eight years our little guy has not eaten holiday pie, or cake, and you can forget about Christmas cookies! Eh, eh,…it ain’t happening,…too many sensory issues to confront.

Donuts are our little guy’s delight. Plain, of course, let’s get real,…jelly filled donuts are too weird, jelly goes on toast, NOT inside donuts, and frosted donuts tick off every sensory issue, too sweet, too sticky and gooey, and too illogical. Hello, frosting and sprinkles are for birthday cake photo props, as our little guy has never eaten birthday cake, either. Oh he tries, our little guy is the bravest kid in the world,…he will try to bring that laden fork to mouth,…but he just can’t, yet, sensory, sensory, sensory road blocks are just not overcomeable at the moment.  

Don’t giggle, and don’t even dare to sneer,…YOU have sensory issues, too. Think of that one food,…you jussssst can’t bring yourself to eat,…and then magnify that feeling by a factor of 1000,…and you’re kinda close to how hard sensory issues are for those on the Autism Spectrum.

Six years ago when we were dropped into the Rabbit Hole, think Alice and Wonderland, of Apraxia and Autism,…holidays were already beginning to be confusing. Hello, it’s one thing to have a picky eater on your hands, but when any kid shuns Christmas cookies, hot chocolate,…pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and any type CANDY,…something is up. Or down,…like our spirits.

Thanksgiving is so traditional. It’s all about family and sharing a traditional meal, but our little guy couldn’t speak and seemly lived in his own universe where traditions and holidays, and family didn’t matter. We were just waking up to the fact our little guy experiences the world in a different way and he makes sure YOU do, too. That includes holidays.

Yeah,..it was a huge,…whoa factor to realize our holidays were never going to be the same. Sob city. You bet I bawled my eyes out,…wouldn’t you? But tears dry, sniffles ease up, and adults, adult, which is soooo much easier to do with faith in the LORD, because God doesn’t make mistakes. Would we rather our child not have challenges, ah yeah,…of course, but as people of faith we trust the LORD’s direction even when it takes us down very untraditional type roads.

It also helps to put holidays in the proper perspective.

Perhaps you already know the word: holiday is derived from Old English: Holy Day,…a day set aside for devotion,…like Thanksgiving. Hello, but who are we giving all that thanks to? Christmas,…celebrating the birth of Christ, Easter is not about the Easter Bunny, about the death and resurrection of our Lord, Christ Jesus,…

Therapy helps, too.

Happily I can say our little guy got over his turkey and dressing aversion,..only took about five years. Not even Autism could conquer my mother-in-laws fabulous chicken and dressing, which our little guy consumes with surgical precision. Trust me, we’ve rarely ever had to wipe our little guy’s mouth,…smears do not happen in his world! There is one, and only one cake in the world our little guy will eat, again with surgical precision, and we happily procure that sensory-proof carrot cake from a local barbecue joint. Hold the cranberry sauce, and any and all pies,…but Thanksgiving is not about the food,…it’s about family and friends, and unconditional love,…not ours, but the LORD’s.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

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But back to that pie making class.

Why in the world would I take my child with sensory issues to a class that is guaranteed confront one with sensory shuddering gooeyness?

The answer is so simple: “It’s not about the pie.”

The entire evening was about Thanksgiving,…spending time with family and friends. New experiences are broadening and our little guy learned you can have fun making something for others.

Look at that little champ! Please notice the spotless table,…not a smudge. Wish the giggles could translate upon a page – his and mine. We had fun following that recipe, with precision and dispatch. Team Isaac and Mommy finished first!

“We won!” Isaac cried with fist bumps and high fives, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t a contest.

Actually our little guy was a right, as always,…amazing how this kid always seems to nail the most important things. The pie, wasn’t the most important, spending time with mommy and his library friends, was. Take that Autism, we won!

Seeing that our local library doesn’t have a bank of ovens we had to bring our prepared pie filling home to cook,…this morning. Thank you to our librarians who were thoughtful enough to provide already baked pumpkin pie and whipped cream for us to feast upon last night. Of course our little guy didn’t eat the library’s pumpkin pie, although he did try a taste, “Mmmmm that’s delicious,” said Isaac, which is very polite code, “I am not eating that, thank you very much.”

No doubt the second our little guy wakes up,...you bet I write as much as I can in the mornings while he snoozes, he’ll want to put our class pie into the oven. Science and all, the heat from inside the stove will cause evaporation and chemical reaction from the starch and protein molecules,…thus creating,…voila a pumpkin pie! Cool!

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Cheesy photo opp pose with that pie filling held not too close,…but it was a great evening, we left happy and proud with new memories and new traditions,…and of course pumpkin pie!

The gift of Autism is that it break down life into its most elemental elements:

I love you.
You love me.
What else is really important?

From our family to yours Happy Thanksgiving!

God bless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wind Blew My Hat Over The Bluff,…

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Life happens,…usually when we least expect it.

Take a few weeks ago while on a lunch-time field trip to the bluffs rising above our city. I knew they were high,…hello you can see them from a distance, but I didn’t know the view was so beautiful, or that the local history so fascinating, or the wind was so windy!

Granted this was the first jacket day of Fall 2018 for us. It had been a very long, very hot summer and it was a pleasure to need a little protection against the crisp air. Lunch was blessed serendipity as we fell in with a bluff resident who was only too happy to relate the varied history relating to the locale. Talk about getting a history lesson, first hand!

After lunch we were admiring the views when all of a sudden,…poof,…a gust of wind took my baseball hat and sent it on a brief, but glorious flight down the hillside with no hope for recovery. Oh we spied it, but the drop off was too steep, and to my knowledge it yet resides beneath a thorny bush,…no doubt protecting some type creature from the fierce winds. Or if nothing less it will provide it’s own local history – in the years to come, should the relicts be found.

“Look,” someone may say, “I think this tattered bit used to be a baseball hat. I wonder how it ever came to be here.” – if they had ever read this blog,…they’d know! 😉

Needless to say our little guy was very mixed about that ol’ wind that blew Mama’s hat over the hillside episode,…half he was amused,…that sudden gust was funny, but then the other half his tender heart was concerned. Mama lost her hat.

A great lesson in Life Happens.

Did I want to lose my favorite baseball hat,…hello I live in a hat,…it makes life super simple. No, no I didn’t want to lose my hat,…those quick-dry kind are hard to find on sale. Was it the end of the world? Duh,…of course it wasn’t,…it was just a gust of wind,…blowing at the precise angle in relation to how I was standing. My husband didn’t lose his hat. Or actually he did,…as he’s a gallant gentleman and offered his to me,…as guys don’t care about hat hair and much as us gals.

That’s another great lesson for our little guy.

We’re not alone.

My husband was there to help me out.

Thinking back upon my life to greater instances of Life Happening,…more serious, more significant, and even life threatening,…I’ve never been alone. Someone has always stood in the gap,…helping,…usually loved ones, but sometimes strangers.

When I was newly married,…only nineteen years old and way before the advent of cell phones the muffler fell off my car on the way home from work,…it was downtown at dusk,…on a very lonely street. Boy was I scared! And crying,…and praying. I didn’t know what to do,…that muffler was wedged somehow on the curb.

Two seconds later,…a car pulled up behind me,…and two linebacker sized men got out. Never a word did those men say to me. Seriously,…not a single word,…they just dislodged the muffler, tossed it into my hatchback, and left.

Whoa! Talk about an eerie answer to prayer.

Or perhaps just proof,…that God will never leave nor forsake you.

The nice part of getting older is that you can see patterns in your life where stuff happens,…and it’s okay,…somehow,…someway,…and it’s always for the best. Yeah, I know we all face life situations at times that are much harder than the wind blowing the hat off your head,…but that’s where faith comes in,…

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

When I was nineteen, I lost a muffler, but gained some faith. Now in 2018,…I lost a hat, but I gained an opportunity share a life lesson with my little guy.

Can’t close this post without a shout out to our veterans for Veterans Day! Thank you for your service.

My Daddy was a veteran,…sure do miss him!

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God bless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need Any Math?

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“What have you been writing, lately?” – has been the query from several in the past few weeks,…and my honest answer has to be, “Lesson plans.”

Homeschooling here,…a little unexpected as we didn’t anticipate homeschooling our little guy until next year. That was kinda the plan with self-publishing my books as I’ve several waiting in the wings and the strategy was to get them out before next summer,…but have you noticed,…life never seems to go by plan.

Change is always in the air,…and usually when you least expect it. Sometimes it is welcome, sometimes not,…but I am very blessed to have a very wise big brother for a mentor, “Change might not be what you want,…but what you need.

My little guy “needed” to begin homeschooling,…and with him it’s always no contest for top priority. The one-on-one instruction has yielded FANTASTIC results,…as our little guy is hitting all of his academic and social goals out of the ball park.

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach them they way they learn.” – Ignacio Estrada  

Yes, please!

Let’s get real, the world is not going to stop spinning if I don’t get my books out on their production schedule, and trust me,…I am not lacking for creative outlets. I am pecking at the editing for those books, sketching some ideas for a children’s book, but mostly I am creating targeted educational content for my little guy.

Have you priced educational workbooks, lately?

Forget fiction, perhaps I should dive into penning textbooks,…the price point is mind-boggling! However,…DIY,…is always an option,…and one I love, but the time factor if you make the stuff yourself is lengthy,…that’s why I was wanting to share,…some math. Or rather math worksheets,…that can be used as is,…or laminated for reuse. No laminator? Stick the sheets in a clear plastic paper protector to use with dry erase markers,…although I suspect you already know that tip,…if you are interested in gleaming free work sheets.

Speaking of free,…

“…for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2: 8-10 

Can’t ever take Salvation for granted, especially when we are coming up on the holiday season when the true message of Christmas gets so lost in the glitz and glitter.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3: 16-17 

Exchanging the glory of heaven for a humble stable,…

What a change in life plans.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  – Jeremiah 29:11-13

Maybe you don’t need any math,…today, but I hope you can take away some encouragement,...that you are loved,…you are valued,…your life has worth!

Think not?

Pointing you back to that stable,…the first step toward calvary,…for you,…and for me. It really makes any blip in our life plans come into perspective.

Now the other free stuff.

Please notice these worksheets aren’t ‘cutesy’ by design, as I find the ‘cutesy’ stuff distracts my little guy, but one could always use stickers or stamps galore to individualize these sheets if that’s what motivates your students.

This first (pdf) sheet is a simple number assessment,…we use number cards at random or roll dice to generate the numeral.

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Number Assessment Sheet  

These targeted (pdf) worksheets can be individualized (Addition/Subtraction/Multiplication/Division) according to what is needed. 

Math Lab (10) (20) Grid Worksheets

Plain ol’ Number cards 1-200 (pdf),…’cause my little guy doesn’t get tired of counting!!!

These cards are a labor of love,…it’s not exactly quick to type 1-200 into the application, but here they are they are DONE,…and if these can save another time-pressed teacher a little time, then, “Hurray!”  Tip: I first glued the card sheet to a plain sheet of paper,…let dry so glue won’t gunk my scissors, and then cut out and laminated. The plain sheet of paper makes the laminated cards stiffer, blocks the numeral when face down so zillions of memory games can be played, and the glued sheets makes the laminating process so much easier. 

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1-200 Number Cards

 

The next PDF is kinda a hodgepodge of worksheets,…

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Shout out to this 100s chart worksheet,…my little guy loves a 100s chart so this was right up his alley! 

 

The beauty of these next worksheets is that you can use them for so many different applications!

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My little guy likes it a lot when HE gets to pick the numbers to put into his worksheets, and he’s a sport about not just picking the easy stuff!

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Hodgepodge Math Worksheets

 

Another new day = another chance to make a difference.

God bless!

 

Happy,…What?

 

Seen any pumpkins, lately?

This past month my little guy has been to Fall Festivals galore!  Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins as far as the eye can see! Go into any store in our area and there are pumpkins and candy and spooky stuffy galore. That’s for Halloween.

Just for the record we’re not into spooky stuff,…or gore,…it’s not our idea of fun. Sorry, but it’s kinda hard to equate,…“Love one another,…be kind to one another,” — with horror houses and such.  It’s a tough holiday to navigate for a believer. Who wants to be a wet blanket? Yet toeing the line on wholesome and horror is a tricky dance step.

Lots of folks in our area really, really, REALLY like Halloween. It’s “Happy Halloween this, and Happy Halloween that,” and that’s fine,…the kids are cute,…giving out candy or goodies is fun,…and who doesn’t like to dress up as a favorite character or hero for the evening? It’s the other side of Halloween,…the dark side,…dabbling in the ‘other world,’ which really isn’t the ‘other world’ because if folks really saw what the ‘other world’ was truly about they’d freak out worse than the Witch of Endor – in the Bible. Remember: Saul commanded that she summon the departed Samuel,…and hocus pocus, the LORD allowed Samuel to supernaturally arise from the dead and the woman became unglued to the nth degree, (1 Samuel 28) – THAT’S SPOOKY stuff!!! — Yet, never fear, “…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. 

My real beef with October 31st,…is that you rarely, but rarely ever hear, “HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!” 

“Happy,…what?”

Reformation,…the Protestant Reformation begun in 1517 when Martin Luther literally nailed his 95 Theses to the Twitter of the Sixteenth Century,…being the door of the All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The biggest beef, Martin Luther detailed in his 95 Theses was the selling of ‘indulgences’,…in other words the unscrupulous were shaking money boxes, “Give x-amount and your sins are FORGIVEN,…” — which totally goes against Ephesians 2:8 ” For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,…”

Think,…Bibles like the Gutenberg Bible, which was first published 1450’s were extremely rare, only 150-180 copies were reportedly printed all together, and no doubt would have been beyond the cost of most minor dukes and duchesses, much less commoners. Also literacy wasn’t advanced much beyond the wealthy. So if some important looking dude tells you, “Hand it over,…if you want to get to heaven,” – how are these hard working people suppose to know different?

So thanks, Martin Luther for putting a bulls-eye on your back. Those money boxes folks were not a bit happy with this professor-priest,…and the rest of the resulting ruckus is Church history,…and important World History. Hello,…the pilgrims crossing the ocean blue to the New Land in 1620 were (Protestant) Puritans fleeing religious persecution,…a butterfly effect that was set in motion with the pounding of that hammer as it drove those nails through the thick sheets of parchment on that wooden door in Wittenberg.

What future impact do you think your life might have? Most likely we’ll never know. I am sure Martin Luther had no idea,…he’d be the subject of a blog post 501 years later,…yet it is something to consider.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5: 17-20

Reconciled.

Can’t help think of Calvary,…Jesus’s sacrifice to bring us reconciliation. There on the cross our sins were paid for,…a free gift.

Did Martin Luther think of the nails nailed into Jesus’s flesh as he was nailing those nails into that wooden door? Just wondering,…both those nails have shaped my life,…eternally and here on earth,…as I live in the United States,…and as an American, we trace our country’s history to the pilgrims,…who were inspired by the Reformation, begun by Martin Luther,…who, of course,…was inspired by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

Butterfly effect? Or just the fact our lives are all more intertwined than we realize.

So last year was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Did you know that? It’s a big deal when you think of the cultural and historical significance, but there was nary a blip in our local news. No parades, firework displays, or at least none that were advertised and promoted. Germany did give it a nod, as well they should,…hello 500th anniversary is something to celebrate, but the rest of the world was pretty mute,…which is mind boggling even when you set the PC stuff aside. October 31, 1517 had a HUGE impact upon world history.

Our poor upside down world.

Oh well,…stepping off soapbox. We’ll still be celebrating Reformation Day on the 31st in tandem with that local thing that’s going on with the pumpkins. When we offer Reformation Day greetings to others,…we well understand the reaction will be,…”Happy,…What?”

God Bless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explaining The Universe To Your Child

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Ah,…parenthood,…the joys,…the challenges,…the monumental tasks set before us like explaining the universe to your child.

Have you considered the universe, lately?

Homeschooling here, so the universe has been front and center as we kicked off our Bible study with Genesis, which literally translates: In The Beginning. 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

Cool!

According to the Bible God spoke the universe into existence! No one else was there to report if it was a Big Bang,…or just voila and everything popped into place. Obviously something happened,…here we are x-amount of years later with the universe swirling around us, or we are swirling around in the universe. It can get all very technical when you count in all the different galaxies out there. Hello,…the earth, itself, is spinning on its axis around at 1000 miles per hour,…and I haven’t noticed lately.

The exact tilt of the Earth axis is responsible for our seasons,…unless you live at the equator, and as we all know the seasons are essential for growing healthy crops like French Fries, which of course come from potatoes. But when you are teaching an eight year old, French Fries alway catch their attention,…imagination,…and belief.

Belief?

It takes belief to know that a mud-covered brown spud pulled from the soil can be turned into a delicious mound of crispy golden fries.

Belief is also essential for explaining the universe to your child. Either you believe God created the universe or you don’t. Exactly how everything came together can be debated,…although the Bible clearly states that God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Then the Lord lovingly crafted the seas and sky,…getting the oxygen ratio in the atmosphere jusssst right before dry ground and plants appeared on the third day.

Here is the really interesting part of the universe’s tale. There was light, sky, water, dry ground, and plants galore, but the sun, moon, and stars didn’t show up until the fourth day!

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,not one of them is missing.” – Isaiah 40:26

How many stars is that?

According to science websites it debatable between billions and trillions or billions of trillions. Lots of zeros, and that’s just in the universe we can observe.

Please note,…every star has a name. Not one is missing. Have you counted the hairs on your head lately?

Ah,…what does that have to do with the universe?

Everything.

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matthew 10:30

Okay for some of us,…some hair might be missing,…getting older and all,…but even if that is so,…the Lord still knows how much is left.

Every hair on every person on this planet,…only 7.5 billions or so,…and then keeping up with all those stars in all those swirling galaxies makes it safe to say we serve an awesome God.

Explaining the universe to your child all comes down to faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

Not see? Or not seen, as in having not witnessed the creation of creation,…but knowing God’s handiwork is in evidence for if you study even a speck of science you cannot help but marvel how perfectly exact the universe has been created with not so much as an atom out of place.  Wow! What show it would have been to have seen the universe created with all the glory of God on display.

Looked at a sunrise or sunset lately?

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.” – Psalm 19: 1-4

Obviously such an event as creation would have beyond our kin,…also the oxygen ratio wasn’t jusssst right for our mortal flesh. Hello, just think of all that radiation swirling around until it was put into perfect order for Adam and Eve’s arrival on the sixth day.

The coolest aspect of explaining the universe to our little guy has been to point out how lovingly God created all the essentials needed for our welfare,…the earth, the sun, the moon, and stars, the water cycle, the seasons, how plants grow and nourish the earth and us. Seriously it all fits in together so beautifully like a symphony,…and of course as an adult,…I know this, but we do tend to get busy with our lives,…and forget how loving is our God,…how caring,…and how compassionate. No detail is too small,…not even the hair on our head.

Add to all this, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Yes, it’s safe to say we serve an awesome God!