Behind the Scenes

Life Isn't Always What It Seems on The Outside

100th Post – Thanksgiving November 22, 2012

I find it very appropriate that my 100th post will be one of gratitude. I’ve seen a few people posting alphabetic gratitude lists on FB each day, so I would like to do that here as well.

I am grateful for:

A: Asperger’s Syndrome

B: Board Games

C: Creativity

D: Diva

E: Eternal Life

F: Faith, Family, & Friends

G: God

H: Homeschooling

I: Ice Cream

J: Jesus

K: Kisses

L: LegoFan & Love

M: My Mother

N: New Chapters

O: Open Air

P: Photos & Photography

Q: Quality Time with my children

R: Restoration

S: Sunsets & Sunrises

T: Tradition

U: United States of America

V: Victories; small, medium, & large

W: Wisteria & Weeping Willows

X: eXcitement

Y: YOU

Z: Zestiness

Thank you for reading – for subscribing – for commenting!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Red, White, and Blue Friday

Filed under: Holidays — Heather @ 1:53 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Have you heard of Patriot Voices? The concept is simple…

Alone, we may think our voice is unheard; together our voices are much louder.

This shopping season we would like to turn Black Friday into Red, White, & Blue Friday. How do we do this? Agree to actively seek out gifts that are made in America and purchase as many as possible. Let’s send a message that we believe in our country; we believe in our small businesses. Let’s keep our money in America! Come take the pledge here!

I will try to update this post with a few small businesses where you can find some great items made right here in the good Ole US of A! Please feel free to add your favorites too (No affiliate links, please. Also I will be checking them out before posting.)

Let me know in the comments if you took the pledge – I did and I hope you will too!

 

Desire of My Heart November 18, 2012

Something happened to me at Mass today…

…but it started last night.

I was talking with a friend who was describing a difficult situation. My heart cried a bit for this friend and all those involved. So I prayed.

There’s something I want. It is something extremely important to me. Have you ever wanted something so badly your heart ached for it? I’m not talking about something material. It’s not a new car or expensive jewelry. It’s not a new wardrobe or more furniture. Sure, I wouldn’t mind having these things, but they’re not a priority like this desire is.

But somewhere during mass today ~ I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened ~ my focus shifted. While I would still benefit directly from obtaining this desire, for the first time in a long time, I realized that I truly wanted this desire for the benefit of at least three other people. My heart now ached for my friend and a couple others. I truly found myself thinking about how it would benefit each of them more than I considered what it would do for me.

It was an amazing feeling! I returned from Communion with tears in my eyes. I knelt there, as I usually do, and offered prayers of Thanksgiving. I have my standard list of gratitude, but this time It. Was. Different.

It all held deeper meaning ~ All because of a shift in perspective.

As we approach Thanksgiving this week, perhaps we could use a shift in perspective. We can look at the gifts in our lives and see how they can benefit others. I do not believe that God blesses us with gifts just to hear us say “Thank you.” I do not believe that He blesses us with gifts so that we can keep them to ourselves. I do believe that He gives us our gifts to share them and to directly effect others in our lives.

So, whether or not God blesses me with this particular desire of my heart, I know that my heart is in the right place. I know that I am blessed.

Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Ps 16:11)

 

Autism Speaks Walk 2012 October 25, 2012

Filed under: Autism,Family,Homeschool,Kids — Heather @ 11:55 am
Tags: , , , , ,

For anyone reading who does not know, my son is on the Autism Spectrum. Each year, for the past four years, we have participated in our annual Walk Now for Autism. This year we are blessed to be able to have the walk before Hurricane Sandy threatens the coast. It is supposed to be a beautiful fall day.

LegoFan is an incredible young man. Despite being born with, and developing more, food allergies; and having asthma, and Asperger’s and ADHD; he is the happiest kid I have ever met. He doesn’t let any of this get him down – he usually doesn’t use any of it as an excuse not to do something (ok, he sometimes uses his allergies as an excuse not to have to go outside and, instead, play the Wii…)

I homeschool him and Diva and I have seen him blossom over the last few years! Of course, there are challenges – he hates to write, rushes through his work, moves around constantly, and gets out massive amounts of Legos in between subjects. He even refuses to do certain things if they make him feel uncomfortable; but we work through those (and I usually end up with a little less hair…) and he tends to be successful in the end, no matter how long it takes to get there. He is incredibly smart – reads (when it’s something that interests him) at about a high school reading level, does math like a computer (when he slows down to pay attention), and understands scientific concepts that boggle my ancient mind. But he has to be interested in order to do this – sometimes I think that’s the most difficult part; finding a way to make something interesting to him.

So each day brings something new. I never know what’s going to happen on any given day; even if I have planned out the school day, the cleaning schedule, and the doctors’ appointments. I just never know when he’s going to find something interesting or uncomfortable. But thanks to efforts from groups like Autism Speaks, I am learning how to handle different situations as they arise. Autism Speaks provides so much help, research, and education to families like us all over the world.

I know things are tight all over the place right now, but if you want to help families affected by autism and you have the means, we would love for you to join our team with a donation directly to Autism Speaks – this link will take you to our Walk Now page. We hope you will take a moment to check it out and consider a donation.

Thank you from LegoFans and their families everywhere!

 

New Audio Series {Review} October 24, 2012

Filed under: Family,Gabby Moms,Gratitude,Kids — Heather @ 1:33 am

For this month’s Gabby Moms post, we were blessed with the opportunity to review a brand new audio series that Mrs. Lorrie Flem is producing through her Eternal Encouragement site. I received a collection of audio recordings (mp3s) and a great pdf file that serves as a companion to them.

I loved having the companion. I used it as a way to reinforce what I was hearing through the audios. But I also thought that it would be something great to come back to after listening to the audios to make sure I had absorbed what I heard. I have found that I am a more visual person; listening to an audio, for me, doesn’t always cement the information into my brain. So I liked having the visual reminder of the pdf file to reinforce what I heard. For those people who are more auditory, using the pdf later can also serve as a great reminder.

Now on to the audios themselves… I liked hearing Lorrie’s voice on the audios. It made her more real; more like a friend offering advice and wisdom from personal experience. The titles I got to hear are titled: Centered and Sane (NEED that one!), Growing Gratitude, and How-Tos of Growing Gratitude. Before even listening to these I liked the fact that not only was Lorrie going to talk to me of the importance of gratitude; she was going to tell me how to do it. That’s important for me. I know that I sometimes read articles that tell me how to improve or enrich my life; and I like what they have to say, but they don’t tell me how to do it or how to get there.

Lorrie reminded me of the saying “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Motherhood can be like a carousel ride – up and down; around and around. We need sanity and gratitude in our lives in order to get the craziness and chaos to stop.

I loved that these audios are short and succinct. They didn’t take up a lot of this busy mom’s time, but really delivered. Lorrie spoke in such a loving and conversational tone, I felt like I was sitting across the table from her. She gave many practical tips on how to attain sanity as well as an attitude of gratitude. That’s what I needed – this ‘old dog’ needs someone to say “try it this way and see what happens.”

These audios were really relevant to my life right now. The life of a single parent is never easy. There is a lot of chaos in my life; I sometimes find it difficult to be grateful because so much seems to be going wrong.  Lorrie reminded me that this time could be a lot less difficult if I focused on that which is good in my life andremembered from Whom those blessings came.

The above picture illustrates a few of the blessings in my life:

  • Two beautiful children
  • The ability to homeschool
  • A place to live
  • Dishes in the dish drainer reminding me that we had food to eat
  • Books and games in the background reminding me that we have fun together

These wonderful audios will be available, starting November 1, 2010, at http://www.attentionmoms.com/

* I received an advanced copy of both the pdf file and the audios for this collection in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

 

Managing My Minutes – A Review September 24, 2012

This month’s Gabby Mom’s review was for Mrs. Lorrie Flem’s Managing My Minutes. Boy, this is something that hits home! I know this is an area of my life where I need some definite improvement!

There are days I end up at dinner time and wonder, “What did I get done today?” Now that doesn’t happen every day – thank goodness – but every once in a while is still too often. I need to learn how to better manage my time. Managing My Minutes just may help me to improve this part of my life – and maybe yours too!

Two things I loved about this was ‘asking for help’ and ‘giving God the glory’ – here’s where my sinful nature comes into play. I don’t like asking for help. I am getting better at asking for prayers; but asking for ~ and accepting ~ help is still very difficult for me. As for giving God the glory, I don’t have a problem with that; however, I am forgetful. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing that I forget where my help comes from in the first place; and then I forget to give credit where credit is due. I’m getting better, but Lorrie’s reminder is what I need sometimes.

I love how she weaves the story of Nehemiah through her book. It really helps to know that there’s someone else who’s traveled this road. I do not need to reinvent the wheel!  Being reminded of what Nehemiah did, and of his methods, helps to remind me that I am not alone in this – now that’s a good feeling!

Lorrie makes a really good case for implementing a schedule – even though it’s something I balk at using! I do have a basic home maintenance schedule; and I began making weekly schedules for the children’s schoolwork last year. Both are helpful. Perhaps it’s time to take the plunge and create a working schedule for the whole family.

How does your family plan or schedule its time?

“Managing My Minutes” is available here.

I was given an advanced copy as a member of the Gabby Moms team in exchange for my honest review.

 

Theme Songs September 21, 2012

Filed under: Family,Gratitude,Kids — Heather @ 9:40 pm

When I was pregnant with each of the children, I selected a song for each of them. I’m not sure what drove my decision to do this, but each song was personal to me at the time.  The interesting thing is that each song has turned out to represent them pretty well.

For LegoFan, I chose “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. There’s no way I could have known about his Asperger’s while pregnant; but I chose this song because I liked its message. I liked that it promoted keeping things simple; not chasing after the things of this world, and remembering God above. LegoFan is so simple in his love and his ways; and I don’t mean that to be a negative thing. He loves purely; and everything is matter-of-fact for him. He knows what he likes and that’s it; there’s no deterring him. He’s steadfast. He doesn’t care about dollar amounts or making things fair. He doesn’t seek out riches; and is not greedy. And his is a simple faith; yet it’s obviously there. He remembers the ‘rules’ and reminds us to pray. This is something I don’t take for granted. It is both a blessing and an accomplishment; and it makes this mother’s heart smile each time he reminds us that it’s time to pray.

Here’s the video:

And here are the lyrics:

Songwriters: VAN ZANT, RONNIE / ROSSINGTON, GARY ROBERT

 

(Gary Rossington – Ronnie VanZant)

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It’ll help you some sunny day. Oh Yah!
Oh, take your time… Don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
You’ll find a woman, yea yea, you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.

(Chorus)
And be a simple, kind of man.
Oh be something, you love and understand.
Baby be a simple, kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust, for the rich man’s gold
All that you need, is in your soul,
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

(Chorus)

Boy, don’t you worry… you’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart, Lord, and nothing else.
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

(Chorus)

Baby be a simple, be a simple man.
Oh be something, you love and understand.
Baby be a simple, kind of man. (Fade out)

For Diva, I chose “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. I am amazed by her sense of wonder; and as the song says, I hope Diva never loses hers. She absolutely loves life and jumps right in. She smiles and asks questions. She sings and dances; and never seems to worry about what anyone else thinks. She loves God and the beautiful world He created.

Here’s the video – with lyrics:

 

I love how the children’s lives have reflected the songs chosen before their births – God is amazing!

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.