Friday, April 24, 2015

The Reality

I have a person who is in love with reality shows.  No, it isn't me.  Though I don't mind a reality show here or there.  My High Functioning Autistic son is totally into the reality.  His particular brand of crack started with the Amazing Race.

The reasons I think he into these shows and why I let him watch.

1. People behave badly, incredibly badly, when they are stressed out . These reality shows definitely bring out the best and incredibly worst of people. I can't put my son in every stressful situation nor would I want to. But I can point out this is what happens when people are stressed out. 

2. These reality shows make a good visual social story.  Hey if you act this way, this will happen. If you aren't a good sport, karma does step in. See what it looks like when someone has a tantrum.  How did that work for them? It is also an opportunity to point out what good teamwork looks like. This is an area that I think a lot of people struggle with.

3. Most misunderstandings really can be boiled down to a FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE. Autism at it's heart from every part of the spectrum is a communication problem. You go on an adventure race and you are going to discover if you can really communicate with your partner. I think the same can be said of relationships.

4. My son is vexed by the way people behave especially when their behavior doesn't fit his black and white thinking. The Amazing Race  gives me the opportunity to point out the gray area .

5. The Amazing Race points out that you might be greatest athlete and still not do well.  You can't be great at everything. There is also value in doing something you aren't good at.

I was inspired by Modern's Mrs Darcy's Post on The Spiritual Discipline of Project Runway and I also liked NPR's post on MasterChef Junior.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

After Prom Linky

Spring Break is over. Time to get back to the linky LOVE. Yesterday was Prom here so here is some light reading for you.
Sunset last night

100 years ago, people were eating things most of us will never taste.   This is really interesting how big government has influenced what is grown and how seed sharing has brought back some long lost varieties.

Do Public School Students Need Special Ed anymore?  I have some strong feelings about this as I have a High Functioning Autistic son who does a lot better in a self contained classroom. This is a great look at what education reformers think.  I also discussed this in 2013 - The State of Autism.  I stand by the last paragraph to this day.

There is so much talk about including special populations but what if inclusion sometimes is counterproductive.  Not to mention that inclusion is sometimes done without much thought for neural typical kids or special need kids. Sometimes, well intention inclusion comes at a cost to both populations.  I do know that a child in a environment that is too overwhelming can't learn academically and they suffer both socially and emotionally regardless if it is the most restrictive or the most inclusive environment. . I still don't know what the middle ground is between too large of environment and one that is too restrictive?  Finding the sweet spot seems elusive.

Stuck for what to make for Dinner. I totally know I get in a cooking rut. Check out Cooking Light's low budget options.

Your Predisposition is Not Your Future - Oh lots of food for thought here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What I have been reading in April

I am linking up to Modern Mrs Darcy's," What I am reading. " Check out what  everyone is reading.


Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther was a book that grabbed me from the hot reads table at the library.  Those darn librarians and their merchandizing. In all seriousness, this book details Elizabeth's escape from fundamentalism and how she finds her faith and voice.  I live in an area that has a high concentration of these fundamental  Christians.  I use to run into these types all the time when my children were younger.  I found her story fascinating as her grandparents were the founders of their group of fundamental Christians.  There was abuse within their church. I was also surprised to open her book and find a name I recognized on the dedication to Hana Alemu Williams.  Hana Williams is a adopted child who was starved to death by her adopted parents and is from the area I live in. ( Great post by Light of Day on Hana) Elizabeth's parents used the Pearl's book of child training.  Elizabeth has strongly come out against Micheal Pearl in an Anderson Cooper Interview.  There was an author's interview in the back of the book I read and it was extremely interesting and also goes into a bit of whye she transitioned to being catholic which is also discussed at the end of the book as well.

I also read Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage. This is one of those real life adventure books I love.  This documents Barbara and Larry's round the world bicycle adventure. They biked across the US, England, Italy, Spain, Egypt(!), Thailand, New Zealand, India.  I loved their commentary and I can't imagine bicycling in many of the places they did.  They talk about the encounters and the absolute kindness of strangers.  I was sad to see at the end of the book there was a remembrance page for Barbara.  She was killed in a head collision with a car on her bike.  I thought of all the dangerous places she biked and then to be killed right outside of her home in the US.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is from a genre I don't usually read, fantasy.  I did enjoy it and found it a quick read.  This is the first book in a proposed trilogy and I believe this book is in development for a potential movie. There was some aspects of the book I felt could of be fleshed out a bit more but overall a good storyline - Princess returns to become Queen and set kingdom to rights.  This new Queen is not your typical pretty face. 
I really didn't think I needed to enter the reading confessional so soon again BUT I picked a book based on the fact it talked about geocaching.  My friends think I need a geocaching intervention. I read North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley.  North of Beautiful is a young adult book.  It is a book about Terra who has a large birth mark and how she feels flawed. She wants o escape her life and she meets a boy who changes how she thinks about herself and her current circumstances. The boy also teaches her to geocache.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What I did during Spring Break

This blog post feels like a lot like a school assignment.  Well duh, I hung out with kiddos.  Excitement is overrated. My kid came home from school yesterday and said, "So, we had a stay vacation, right?" -Pretty much

We started a spring break with a hike on the Saturday before Easter.  We took one of the trails off of Cleator Road in Larrabee State Park.  We had planned on doing the rock trail but my husband didn't want to be pulled down the 130 stairs by the dog. We did make it to the feature on one of the trails called the chin scrapper.  Glad we turned around at this point. We found a few geocaches so it was all good.
Sitting a top the Chin Scrapper

Long View of the Chin Scrapper

We hung out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  We walked tenant lake , visited the library, grocery shopped.
Ramp for Pappy
On Thursday and Friday we went to Nonna's house in Tacoma.  Kevin built a ramp for pappy.  The kids I am so glad a geocache brought us to this wonder. (see pic)

They had this awesome tree slice.  The tree was born in 1358!

On Saturday, we helped a co-worker of Kevin's move. 

That was our wonderful spring break.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Break Linky Love

It is not only EASTER but the start of our spring break.  Hopefully these links will keep you entertained. Warning: This is the most random one I have EVER DONE!

Mystery of California Hilltop Piano Solved

5 Simple Things Super Productive People Do On Monday - Maybe this is overly optimistic for my Monday as it is the start of Spring Break

You Will Stumble - Anne write something I have been trying to articulate to my kids for a long time.  Read it. It is good.

The Significance of How You Tell Your Story

It Goes So Fast ( Not a Parenting Essay) I have often thought this myself.

*** " It is Finished" - A Message that might be fitting for Holy Week.  I love how Beth Moore can tie things together from the bible.  The video is a little over 45 minutes.  Well worth the watch.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Autism Acceptance Month

 
I have written many times about Autism Awareness or Light it Up Blue for the Month of April.  I think I am part of the growing part of a movement to rename it Autism Acceptance Month.

There was this viral post by Carrie Carriello  " What Does Autism Awareness Even Mean."

Here are my personal thoughts last year -Light it Up Blue or Not

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I learned in March

WHAT I LEARNED IN MARCH

1. KITE FLYING IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL

We are having exceptional mild weather here in the Pacific Northwest. I can tell you people in the Pacific Northwest really love them some sun. We drop everything and soak up the vitamin D. We take go fly a kite, LITERALLY.  We got in quite a bit of kite flying time.  The kite below is my husbands.

2. BUCKLE UP FOR SAFETY

Even teddy bears need to ride safe. Buckle up for safety.

3. A NEW READ FOR 2016

I also learned the next Whatcom Reads Book 2016 will be A Tale for the Time Being.  This year's selection is Boys in the Boat.  (My Review)

4. PROJECT COMPLETE

Finishing a Project feels SO GOOD!  I finally completed my table/bench/entry way remake. YAHOO

5. ADVANCED SHOWINGS ARE COOL

Chuck and I went with some friends to an advanced showing of HOME.  I have never been to an advanced showing. I can cross that off the bucket list. Loved it and of course, I can't stop saying, "Oh no! Hands up in the air, like I do not care."  It is cute.  I love the quest to look for "My Mom. " Even better is we got to see the movie free.

6. PINK BLUEBERRIES - YES, PINK BLUEBERRIES

Who Knew that you can Purchase Pink Blueberries.  Yes, Pink! I can't wait to have pink lemonade blueberries. I found these at my local grocery store - Haggens.
 
 
****I am linking up to Chatting with the Sky - What I learned in March. Check out what everyone else learned this month.