Friday, September 7, 2012

Pen-pals, and the importance...

Recently I was asked by someone if a pen-pal really matters more than some other things...and my reply is simple, YES THEY DO! A pen-pal is something so special in the eyes of a child. Yes, our boys are home-schooled, but even if they were not, I would seek pen-pals. Our son's get mail and get overly excited when it happens! They love reading about other kids, and they hope other kids enjoy reading about them. One little boy asked our son recently if they could meet in West Virgina someday-it was the CUTEST thing ever!
Today Keagan got a letter in the mail, with stickers. The smile on his face is incredible. He was so overjoyed and happy with the mail. He was leaping and it was visible. Some people may not understand fully why a child should have a pen-pal, the importance in a pen-pal, or the awesome that comes from meeting them...but we think our children are blessed with some amazing pen-pals, and our kids are working hard on letters back today! Here is a pic of Keagan with his letter and a few other pen-pal pics. !

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Some Books I Love and want to share with you!

I have become an avid reader of things I love lately. It started in 2010-2011 (end of 2010 ish) with The Twilight Saga. And now I just read and read. So....I will update this blog as I find new books and or series I love....But I am going to list some here-along with reviews. So many more to add and real reviews to put in in the future!

This series changed my life! Blessed with amazing new friends, friends that are like family, fun and excitment, and so much more! God bless Stephenie Meyer for all she gave us here!

Amazing what one can overcome!

CRAZY-but life changing!

So sad, be prepared to be heartbroken and angry!

I love Lauren! hahaha-GREAT fun reads!

On my to try to read again list!!!

LOVE LOVE this series. It has so many co-relations for life and things going on now.

This book is real. Heartbreaking, but real.

Ahhhh! Who knew I would read this-NOT I. BUT...I LOVE IT! And...its WAY better than the movie could ever think to be!!!

Recommended for: Anyone, this is an amazing novella
Read on August 30, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 2-still reading!

Ianni is released and you can't miss this novella! And if you have not already pick up The Many Lives of Avery Snow-I personally think its a great start and lead into Ianni, follow the story, BUT I also LOVE that you could read Ianni alone. Great job to the author, Christy Sloat.

The Many Lives of Avery Snow had me rethinking all I thought in life, thinking about family and friends and the connections in life. Oddly, I have never had a book do that. I've re-read the book several times, and have been anxiously awaiting new material in the Past Lives series. has arrived!

Ianni released on August 30 with a boom! My heart cried for Ianni, and also for Lillith surprisingly, but those tears turned to smiles, and I really felt like you just watch someone evolve in life, the book comes to life-it's awesome. Although it is just a Novella (short story), I felt like connections were made, a new story was formed completely, and I fell in love with it.
It takes a lot for a good author to draw me into a book, and I feel like Christy did it with the Past Lives Series. Ianni is someone I can connect with, feel for, and grieve through. My heart broke at the falling -and I wanted to punch some people- and yes I cried, along with others who have read the book-come on, don't deny it! I previously felt like there was something in Avery that I related to myself, and Landon (although, lets be clear-I am still and will remain Team Dallas-because I just love that man)like my own husband, destined with how we meet and how things have gone. Christy has taken reading to a new level for me, I have connected with the characters, related to them, and fell in love with their stories and truly love what is happening (the last time that happened was Twilight-although I've read a few since-it hasn't happened until THIS book, not even in TMLOAS). Reading Ianni, A Past Lives Novella, is an amazing experience, you will want more!
Challenge yourself and ask, do you believe in past lives, spirit guides, angels, dark guides, heaven and hell, destiny, passion, and heartache...Truly, The Many Lives of Avery Snow is phenomenal, and it left no doubt, shock, or surprise that Ianni, A Past Lives Novella would be, and IS, exceptional! Put this on your must read list and be surprised, overwhelmed, and though-provokingly caught in the midst of a realm of past lives and reality. Joyous reading!Ianni is a fulfilling short read that I personally loved! My only see it as a movie! How awesome this series would play out!

*Signed with a 5 star recommend... mushy sap reader mommy* :-)

Recommended for: Men women, young and old! YA readers and mommies/daddies will be intrigued!
Read from April 18 to 21, 2012, read count: 2-still reading!

This book is AMAZING! It gave me an insight to something I hadn't ever considered, even though it is not written on real life experiences (or is wouldn't ever know!)..... it gave me hope, thoughts, inspiration, and made me wonder. I loved Avery and all that intrigued her. I am a Dallas luv, not so much Landon...yep yep, I know! But the book left me wanting more, I can't wait for the second book and I will be following Christy Sloat to see what else her amazing mind creates! This is a must by for more than one reading genre, it will intrigue you!

After re-reading this, I still am spellbound from the book, absolutely spellbound. I know the short Novella "Ianni" is coming out, and she is working on TMLOAS book 2, and I can't wait. It really has been a book that left me questioning my thoughts about life. Phenomenal.

So many GREAT books are coming from Anchor Group! 
Check them out!!!!

Not out yet-but I can't wait! Follow-up Novella to The BRown House.

Recommended for: Those who love mystery, ghost tales, and suspense.
Read from June 03 to 07, 2011, read count: Working on 2nd

Christy has captured this scenario. The characters come to life, the chills feel real, the house is something I long to visit and discover, the loss-the heartache-the pain, and most importantly...the connection... This book leaves me waiting and wanting more. You must feel how Brylee feels and capture her innocence and discover. How it must feel to be yanked from all you ever knew and dropped into something so mysterious and....frightful.This is not your over-written love story or vampire tail gone array! It is very much something new...something mysterious-frightful-chilling and I highly recommend it as a MUST READ!!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Home-School...Day 1 Let the challenge begin!

Goodnight! Here comes school! 


 Welcome to day 1 of Home-school!!!! The boys had a good time. Keagan tried to be a little turkey like and throw a tantrum, I quickly let him know I wasn't having that and he had to be ready to work! And that he was!
Little trooper did AMAZING! At the end of the day everything was accomplished, all 3 boys were tired for the day, and they were successful. Home-schooling is NOT an easy adventure. I have to turn from mom into teacher and teacher to mom at the same time. They have to know I mean business and its not playtime or game-time. They know this now and things seem to be going smoother this year. I was greatly surprised at all the amazing fun the boys had with different things. Keagan, when done for the day, sat and worked some more on numbers and things he was doing-just because! They had lunch and then recess, but they came in from recess asking to get back to work on home-school. James is understanding that his work is a lot harder this year, there is more of it to comprehend, and he has to work harder. Keagan on the other hand-told James he needs to be quieter so he can concentrate! haha. It is not always like this, and I won't lie here-because all who home-school need to know the reality, it is hard. BUT....our first day was a great success.

We started with the balloons they got to pop. This is how they got their journal assignment. Today Keagan has to do his numbers 3 times each, Brenton had to write many different things he could think of about trees, and James has to write about the environment with trees, bushes, and had to name 10 outside tree-plant related food sources! They enjoyed this. Then they went on to coloring. From coloring they did their own different variances of work so I could schedule around to work with each one when they most needed me. Brenton found out quickly mom was NOT playing his "I don't know" game. He was told bluntly knock it off. He is a super smart little man, however, I have to push him to keep him doing. That is a benefit in home-school because when he was in a charter school they couldn't do that direct one on one with him to keep his mind focused and working. James enjoyed his science, dreaded his math and writing, but enjoyed falling asleep at the table with his social studies! hahaha. Keagan has a cool bug activity in which he had to go outside with his dad and find 4 bugs. They had fun!
 We also had a health lesson on fruits and vegetables and some of the benefits of eating certain foods, and the amount of those foods as our health/gym today because of the rain. They say it is going to storm tomorrow so we may be doing health instead of gym tomorrow as well, only time will tell. The kids are sound asleep now and are greatly looking forward to tomorrow-so I will blog more then! Cheers to our home-school event, day 2!

How a week can change it all!

On a heavy note....

You never really know someone so they say, and I had to find that out the hard way this week as my family came under attack. There is no need to go into the vulgar and rude details, the simplest thing is to say, lesson learned. You really honestly never do know anyone but the people closest to your heart, and you should be utterly careful who you let near there! I feel very blessed to have a husband who loves me, supports me, shares with me, gives me encouragement, gives his children love and undivided attention, and is always there for us...I am also blessed with a brother who loves my children as their Uncle, gives them fun ideas and plays with them endlessly, and of course blessed deeply with some of the greatest boys! They are great! Life is about living...I have learned to let the haters pass on, forget the woes of the world, and live in this moment for my family.
This was how my week started....and it dragged out an entire week and half.....


but here I am on a Tuesday night....
thinking this is how my life must go on!      

 I have come to the conclusion that good friends are hard to come by, true friends are hard to keep, and that some family (although we're very grateful for a select two near to us) are only as loyal as they want to seem when your doing what they want and when they want it, not doing for yourself or for your family.

 Beware who you allow your kids around and what they do, because a true representation of the child can be seen through the eyes of the parents, and if you don't want that in your child, maybe you don't want that parent/relative/sibling/associate in YOUR life. As is the case with a few select in both our families.

I am blessed with some amazing friends, as is my husband, and our children. We are grateful for them daily and we appreciate their real kindness, genuine love, generosity, listening, caring, and thoughtfulness. Thanks goes to Heavenly Father for that, because some of them we would have never meet without his help. 
Apologies can come and go, words can be slung like mud, and families can be destroyed over one day. When you mix drugs, alcohol, and ignorance certainly you are going to have a foul combination and it has and will forever remain a factor in ruining lives of those we loved. I will never look at people the same, I will never let some back into my life-or the lives of my children in a direct association way (not that they ever came to a birthday, event, happening, or just stopped by to see the kids-called, sent a birthday card-or anything else!)......I have made a decision that I need to move forward. I can not let the ignorance get to my head, get into my soul, and ruin who I am, because I am better than that. I will hold my head high, know what I DID NOT say, know what I did do, and remember, life is not about living for others, it is about living to give OUR children a future, our children an education, and our children inspiration to be amazing little men. And that is all I have to say on that! Yes, a week has changed my life, my husband's, and our children's forever- but will have already moved on and will keep our family living for the better and giving them the tools to be successful in life! 


Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Fragilest X-planation of the Journey

Many people have asked what challenges my brother, Bobby (who lives with us), has, and they always try to guess. Some say down-syndrome, others say weird things I've never heard of...but no-one ever says Fragile X, and when I say Fragile X, they look at me like I am NUTS. Guess what people, I'm not nuts, its a real condition. Lets talk about it!

Bobby was diagnosed in I believe 1988-1989. However at that time he was just "classified" (yes people, that's the term on the paperwork) as Mentally *incapable* (because I refuse to write the actual word here). My mom sadly did not know much about it, and doctors were still learning. Although Bobby was seen by some of the best, and was taken care of by a children's hospital-they did not give him a great outlook on life. Mom decided she was not letting them decide his future, he would decide it. She pushed the schools hard, she forced the therapists hands, and she challenged them all. Bobby was well into middle school when more genetic testing showed Fragile X and then my mom went for testing, although I do not know her results, I know she is the "Carrier". She didn't know about all the resources that were available, people to talk to, people to relate with, and amazing support groups there are. But, Bobby did graduate high school with his special education degree, and he does live every day to the fullest! Bobby came to live with us on August 26, 2010 (the day after our mother's tragic death). Having him move in was, eye-opening. Mom always said our middle son, Brenton, had a LOT of traits Bobby had. I always told her to shut the heck up (not nice I know-but seriously-who wants to be told that). We started to see things ALL 3 of our boys have in common with Fragile X. The thing with Fragile X is, some are severely affected, and some are mild, some are barely. And all our boys show differential signs, but...yes-they do show signs. It took the better part of a year and half to admit this to ourselves, and then find doctors who have knowledge to test. Our boys are now undergoing the screening and we will know in the near future if they or I am affected. It is good to know, either way, for the whole family and or others futures!

Lets talk about Fragile X now.

ALL of the information below comes DIRECT from
A great site for information!!!!

I am ONLY posting about Fragile X Syndrome today, however in the future I might highlight some of the other things that happen or correlate to Fragile X such as:


Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges and various physical characteristics. Though FXS occurs in both genders, males are more frequently affected than females, and generally with greater severity.

Features of Fragile X Syndrome in Males

  • The majority of males with fragile X syndrome demonstrate significant intellectual disability (formerly referred to as “mental retardation”). Disabilities in FXS include a range from moderate learning disabilities to more severe intellectual disabilities.
  • Physical features may include large ears, long face, soft skin and large testicles (called “macroorchidism”) in post-pubertal males. Connective tissue problems may include ear infections, flat feet, high arched palate, double-jointed fingers and hyper-flexible joints.
  • Behavioral characteristics can include ADD, ADHD, autism and autistic behaviors, social anxiety, hand-biting and/or flapping, poor eye contact, sensory disorders and increased risk for aggression.
  • No one individual will have all the features of FXS, and some features, such as a long face and macroorchidism, are more common after puberty.

Features of Fragile X Syndrome in Females

  • The characteristics seen in males can also be seen in females, though females often have milder intellectual disability and a milder presentation of the syndrome’s behavioral and physical features.
  • About one-third of females with FXS have a significant intellectual disability.
  • Others may have moderate or mild learning disabilities, emotional/mental health issues, general anxiety and/or social anxiety.
  • A small percentage of females who have the full mutation of the FMR1 Gene that causes FXS will have no apparent signs of the condition—intellectual, behavioral or physical. These females are often identified only after another family member has been diagnosed.

Moving Forward

While individuals with FXS will experience a number of challenges in their lives, given effective interventions and support they can be engaging and productive members of their families, schools, workplaces and communities.


There is plently more to be read, and lots more to learn, but what I can say is...The Fragile X community of friends, networking, and education have been phenomenal. If my children test negative, I will still have educated myself on my brother-who has full mutation of the genetic condition-and learned many great things for my future ahead. I also will have meet some of the greatest friends, smartest people, and strongest families you could ever know! Learning about Fragile X has made our family dynamic stronger, and our appreciation of life greater! I hope it can do the same for you! Please check out the link to learn more...



Today I started to get things ready for home-school by purchasing some things we needed, and starting to get organized! How do you organize? I am still contemplating the best method to keep everything where it needs to be, and little fingers leaving it alone! LOL. But...overall I think it was a good start to the purchasing, tomorrow will be FULL of organization and more! The boys got new shoes for school, and then a new outfit for the "first day". Here are their shoes!

                   And the of course there is the need for supplies! I don't have everything yet, but here is the start! Notice the balloons! Sometimes the boys are stinkers about the choice of writing they have to do. So, I've decided that I will put weekly topics in the balloons, write their name on 5, and they can pop the one for the day they want to do, thus giving them their D.O.L. and daily writing topic, without complaints of what I choose! :-)
 We have decided that Friday's will be Pen-pal Friday in which they will have an hour or so to color photos, write letters, or make out post-cards for their awesome pen-pals. We love that program!  So far they have Michigan pen-pals, Wisconsin pen-pals, Texas pen-pals, and New York Pen-pals (possibly somewhere I forgot as well)! They enjoy writing and sending, and really-stamps don't cost that much to see the happiness it brings to them and their buddies! Here is a current photo of their latest received!
And lastly... Mommy needs to keep herself organized with all their home-school adventures, and also to keep their grades, content, learning, experiences, and just general what did I choose- well, Hunger Games of course! Bahahaha! Here are my Hunger Games Notebook, journal/organizer for school, and folders to keep papers in! My Hunger Games will be like my Twilight obsession...DO NOT TOUCH, so possibly it MIGHT stay organized!  And lets not forget what I MUST have...Eclipse gum! Its so yummy, holds the flavor, and is an affordable addiction! ;-)  I also have my AMAZING book thong to keep my place in my journal or reading for the day. It is gorgeous!  Silver plated thong with 5 special charms (ring, cross, blue ribbon awareness, boy, angel wing)...its adorable. Special made by Rebecca of Chubbie Cheeks Boutique, you can find her and her awesome at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And that wraps today's adventure in getting things ready. LOTS more to
                                                              come tomorrow! *Laters*                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Challenges and Changes

The kids are very antsy for school to start. They will start their school year Tuesday, September 4th with the other local Michigan schools. They are constantly showing improvement this summer! I will blog with photos of some of it tomorrow. Tonight I want to talk about a mom's lack of faith, and a son's journey to push her limits!

Brenton is my eight year old autistic son. He has always been a computer genius, no-I'm not kidding-at two he was doing more than I was at twenty-one! I've never doubted that even-thought he may not learn like so-called "other normal kids", he is capable of more than life allows, but sometimes things don't come easy. He is quick to be disturbed and moves on to projects probably every five minutes, if not more often. He loves to just be going and going and going! So when we challenged ALL the boys to accomplish reading one hundred books by the end of the year (Christmas actually) I allowed him to read "kiddie-books" with his little brother.
Suddenly Brenton was reading chapter books that James (eleven year old son) or Bobby (brother) were reading. I just figured he was flipping through, seeing a few words he knew. However, shortly after Brenton started to talk about the books, and started to say things that were in the books, so I wondered, but honestly didn't pay much attention.

Brenton has been flying through books with the older boys, and I honestly just thought he was skimming or looking or trying to be like them. I know that he is smart, but seriously-the boy took my Wuthering Heights book to the toilet...who reads that at eight years old? Right?!?!?!!?!?!?

Well, then momma bought the Hunger Games series. I was reading them, finished them quickly, then we started Hunger Games as a family. However, we didn't get past chapter two because of life in summer. The movie was JUST released, and we bought it on DirecTV and watched it...Suddenly ALL the boys wanted to be reading! James read it first, and then Bobby started it. Brenton kept asking, and I said no over and over again. Suddenly one day while I was frantically doing my own college homework I slipped and said whatever. (Don't act like I'm the ONLY mom who does that-I know you have at least once!)...
Suddenly I was noticing what he was reading, how he was reading, and what really was coming from his reading!!! Tonight the news was on, and there were some larger words. Brenton read them (they were non-spoken). He did this when telling his father and I about the Hurricane coming to Florida as well, before we even were aware a hurricane was coming. The boy can read, not only can he read large chapter words, but he can sound them out, spell them as he goes, and is learning to say them each correctly (with his delay). It truly is an amazing miracle to see how far he has come with this. I would LOVE to rub this in some teachers and therapists noses who had NO faith in our amazing son, even when we told them over and over-he is a genius!

So now I can't wait for school too! Tomorrow we will be heading to the teacher store to get some supplies and check out new things, and I am very excited for what the year will bring ahead for our K-1, 3rd, and 6th graders!!!!