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Friday, October 31, 2008


Busy day today. Not much time for posting. So I'll just let you gaze at our jack-o-lanterns! Notice the one that says "Fright this way" (Patrick's) had a mysterious glow above the finger when I took photos of it. They were all taken against the same dark background. No objects to reflect light, I didn't use the flash. Must be some Halloween spirits???? Muahahahahah....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And here is the card....

The card that Patrick created.......

and the inside....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Scrapper in the making!

Last night, Patrick saw me head for my craft table where I've been working on Christmas cards lately. He asked if he could design one of his own. Being thrilled to have a potential scrap-mate, I said "Sure!"

He then had a seat at the table and told me to go find somewhere else to work! He set about designing a card. He stamped images, colored, used the paper trimmer. He even heat embossed and used Stickles!

He set the makings to dry over night and will be finishing up the card later today. I'll be certain to post it when it is done.

Of course, I couldn't let this memory go by without recording it! So I took some photos of him working intently. Then I made a quick digi page from them.

He sure is my son!

Friday, October 24, 2008

When did this happen?

On school picture day for Chris, I totally forgot to send the envelope in. So he will get his picture taken today, retake day. Which worked out for us. Gave me a chance to take Chris shopping for an outfit.... he actually enjoyed picking out clothes that he wanted, rather than stuff "mom bought" !!

Then I was able to convince him to get a haircut last night (he's been into the mop look that most teenage boys have been sporting!)

So this morning he came downstairs all dressed and ready.... and he suddenly looked like a teenager. When did this happen?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Little things

Sometimes we get so swept up in all the concern and attention of the "big things" that we forget about the "little things". So I'm taking a step back to make sure the little things are in my view. I've added to my list of projects a "Day in the Life" mini-album.

Right now I'm collecting some photos to include. Things I normally would not have photographed. Because they are the little things. And they would be overlooked and taken for granted.

Yet they are the core of our daily experiences. They help make us who we are, how we react, how we handle ourselves. They are the building blocks to our memories.

I'll keep you posted as I progress with this project.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Denis Leary - does he know autism?

You've all seen the headlines, Denis Leary wrote a book. In it he has a chapter titled "Autism Schmautism" in which he makes what appears to be very derogatory comments about autism and the families that deal with autism. He claims he is being misunderstood. That his comments were taken out of context. That people have not read all of the chapter. You can read more about all over the internet.

Appears to me like he has used autism to help promote the selling of his book. I'm not liking that. But maybe, he is misunderstood. Just like our loved ones with autism. So let's give him the benefit of the doubt. But not at our families expense. I've written a letter. I'm asking him to post the entire chapter for all to read and better understand his intent. And ask that you do the same. I've also asked him to donate the proceeds to further the cause of autism awareness.

Here's my letter:
October 16, 2008
Dear Mr. Leary,

The excerpts from your book have caused quite an uproar. Especially in the autism community. The statements that were released are provoking, to say the least. You claim they are taken out of context. Well, then give us the context. Make it right.

I am a member of the autism community. I am mother to three children, two of which are on the autism spectrum. I am the facilitator of a support group for parents of children and adults with autism and other neurological disorders. I am on the board of directors for NeighborHeart, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness and providing funds directly to families to help improve their quality of life.

So yes, I know “firsthand” about autism. I know how easily misunderstood it can be. I know how unaware many people are about what autism is, how it affects people and families and society. This is why I’d like to give you the opportunity to be understood yourself. People may be misunderstanding your writings because they don’t see the whole picture. So let us see it. But not so that you can profit from other’s diagnoses. Post the content of the chapter dealing with autism for all to read and judge you on your intent, not their misunderstanding. Publicize it as well as you have publicized the controversy.

You have shown the world your compassion through your work on behalf of firefighters. Show us the compassion that you have for the autism community. Put your money where your mouth is (or pen in this case). Donate the proceeds from the selling of your book to NeighborHeart (www.neighborheart.org/Default.asp) and help to bring awareness, understanding and acceptance.

Let me know your thoughts, I'd love to hear them. And share your letters too!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


It's hard for me to believe that my youngest "baby" is now 11 years old.


Monday, October 13, 2008


I know it may have been a long time ago, but I do remember graduating from high school. I even went on to college and completed my degree. So why is it that I am still doing high school homework? And middle school and grade school homework too for that matter! LOL

Christopher has an assignment for English class to look into his ancestry and their cultures. He decided to learn more about our Austrian heritage. He chose a food to represent the culture. If they choose a food for the project, they must bring it in. Now that is one smart English teacher!
Christopher chose Vánoèka . It's pronounced Va-nooch-ka. It is a classic Austrian/Czech. Christmas bread. Amazingly he was able to research the culture and ideas for the project without my help!
This turned into a homework project that I really enjoyed helping with. It takes about 6 hours to make this bread. I loved having that time with Chris to chit-chat and work together. He seemed to really enjoy it too!
There is orange rind, almonds, dark and golden raisins in this bread along with some seasonings. The bread smelled wonderful throughout the process. After it baked, we could hardly wait to try it.
Christopher has asked if we could set aside time each Christmas to bring this tradition back to our family. Now those are the moments that we live for!

Mostly, we made a disaster of the kitchen! The bigger the mess you make, the more fun the cooking!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Come on Home!


Oreo is now home! and resting comfortably in a basket along side me while I work.

Yesterday I was getting conflicting reports from the doctors at the animal hospital. They seemed to think there was a reason to keep the catheter in longer, yet they were saying that there appeared to be no solid blockage and that it was the bladder spasms and swelling from being catheterized that was now causing Oreo to not be able to urinate. Which is what caused them to re-insert a catheter on Tuesday morning (after several hours without one overnight Monday and no urine). I kept asking if keeping the catheter in was really the best coarse.

Ended up having our vet contact the animal hospital vet. Our vet then called me and filled me in. She was in disagreement with a few things that the hospital did, and felt that it was in Oreo's best interest to have the catheter removed, then be observed for several hours. She actually felt he would perform better at home in a relaxed setting (away from the dog), only if we could watch him through the night. If he re-blocked, he would need medical attention immediately since we now know how badly his kidneys were affected.

So we contacted the hospital and finally got to speak to the doctor that was actually assigned to Oreo's case. She was working the night shift. She agreed to pull the catheter. We lucked out and only had haircuts and Religious Ed on the schedule last night - no football practice (yeah!), so we were able to make a family trip over to visit Oreo. Well minus Chris, as it was his night with his dad. He was bummed that he couldn't go.

Little Kevin was so excited to see his buddy. On the drive over he was stimming so much he was rocking the car!!! It was really great to see Oreo. He has lost some weight, his eyes look really tired, and his skin is extremely dry. His nose was not it's usual bright pink color. He kept nuzzling with the kids and us, and wanted only to be pet and loved! He even got a few drops of urine out while we were there. We did see that he ate a little of the prescription food too. His nose pinked up a bit while we were there too. But was not quite normal. We decided to leave him at the hospital since we really could not sit up over night to watch him. They were not going to release him anyway.

I just made the call to the hospital to see how he is doing....... He is ready to come home! 6 days in the hospital with tubes and all that. I'll bet he will be so happy to come back home. Of course he'll have to deal with Peaches and Java giving him the cold shoulder cause he'll smell like the hospital. They'll get over it! It will be so good to have him back home!!

I plan to pick him up at lunch break and work from home this afternoon so I can keep an eye on him.

And I know 3 boys that are going to be thrilled to see him when they get home from school!!

Thanks everyone for your prayers and encouragement.
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