Sunday, September 30, 2012

Joe - Fall Update

Joe and Christine saw ENT and genetic neurology last week at Riley.  Both were 2+ hour visits with only seeing a doc a fraction of that time.  I find it hypocritical that they can be over an hour late to my appointment with them but if we had been 15min late they would have rescheduled us.  Anyhow... nothing new really come up at these appointments. The ENT visit was a pre-ABR appointment.  Since Joe and Christine were homebirths we did not get their newborn hearing screen.  Because they don't exactly respond appropriately its difficult to test their hearing.  It looks like they both are going to need to be sedated for this upcoming hearing test (the ABR).  That test will take place next week and will determine if either of them has any hearing impairments.  Though their speech delays are probably not related to hearing loss it is simply something that they have to rule out.

 The genetic neurologist gently told me to stop looking for a name for whatever is the cause of Joe and Christine's delays.  He says even if we find a name to put on it, it won't change the treatment or outcome.  While I understand what he is saying, it is not what I wanted to hear.  I was a mess the whole rest of the day... maybe even a little still.  I don't know how I am supposed to be ok with all this.  What am I supposed to do as a mom?  Should I run myself and my family ragged searching for a name or a fix that may or may not be out there?  Am I a bad mother if I do stop looking for answers?  Its all exhausting.  I don't know what to do or think sometimes.

 Otherwise... we are seeing some progress with Joe's therapies lately.  I had a great parent teacher meeting with his Life Skills Kindergarten teacher.  He is walking at school in a Kidwalk without help and also in a posterior walker with some assistance (see video below).  He is using some communication devices to make choices at school and at home.  In the video above Joe is using a communication device to play Twister with the boys.  Its very exciting!

I often have days when this life is overwhelming but somehow I manage to remind myself that God knows what He is doing.  And someday He'll answer all my many questions.  But today is not that day.  So I try to keep moving forward the best I can and take things one day at a time.

 Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (NIV)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hotel Transylvania Giveaway

I am so excited to be doing a giveaway for the upcoming family movie Hotel Transylvania!

Producer's Synopsis: Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula’s lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free from meddling from the human world. But here’s a little known fact about Dracula: he is not only the Prince of Darkness; he is also a dad. Over-protective of his teenage daughter, Mavis, Dracula fabricates tales of elaborate dangers to dissuade her adventurous spirit. As a haven for Mavis, he opens the Hotel Transylvania, where his daughter and some of the world’s most famous monsters – Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more – can kick back in safety and peace. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem – but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.

I have been given a color-able t-shirt (kids XL), movie activity book, book cover and eraser set to give away!  What kid wouldn't like to win this great Hotel Transylvania movie gift pack?  I am sure that my son would love it!  Plus I'll also be giving away a one of a kind autumn accessory made by muah!  It'll be either a headband or cute clippie... not sure which yet.  But you can be sure it'll be fabulous!

To enter the giveaway leave a comment telling me your favorite family movie.  It can be from when you were a kid or something you like to watch with your family now.  Additional entries for following Wani's World, liking Wani's World on facebook.  Giveaway ends on October 5th (one week after Hotel Transylvania's release date on September 28th).

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Story/Craft: Owen by Kevin Henkes

Last week for our homeschool group's preschool story/craft time I share the Caldecott Honor Book: Owen by Kevin Henkes.  

Owen had a fuzzy yellow blanket. "Fuzzy goes where I go," said Owen. But Mrs. Tweezers disagreed. She thought Owen was too old for a blanket. Owen disagreed. No matter what Mrs. Tweezers came up with, Blanket Fairies or vinegar, Owen had the answer. But when school started, Owen't mother knew just what to do, and everyone -- Owen, Fuzzy, and even Mrs. Tweezers -- was happy. 

We talked about the book using the discussion ideas found here. Then the kids spent some time on coloring pages that I found here.  Since the kiddos cannot read yet, us grownups colored a swipe of the appropriate color on each blanket and the kids matched it up with the proper crayon while they were coloring.  I also brought with me a large piece of flannel that I cut up into "hankies" for the kids to take home with them.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Confessions of a Stay-at-Home-Mom shared her take on the upcoming TV Fall Previews.  I loved hearing her faves and fears!  Here is my two cents on this fall's tv:

Must See:
Parenthood - I excited to see more of the Braverman family. It is one of the few shows that my husband and I really get into together. We find it to be more relate-able than most shows in recent years.  Isaac and I especially connect with Adam and Christina's challenges with Max (who has Aspergers).  While its not the same as what we are dealing with it is refreshing to see a couple still together through the hard times of raising a child with special needs.

Once Upon a Time - I didn't get into this until midway through the season last year and caught up. I find the stories to be a tangle of intrigue. I enjoy seeing how each fairy tale is intertwined with the others. Not surprising that its from the creators of Lost.   ;-)  Last year it felt like none of my friends were watching it so I had no one to discuss it with.  Just so you know, I am one of those people who talk about book, movie and tv characters like they are real people.  So, I am super excited that my sister and friend will be joining me to watch it together this season!  Yay!

On Probation: Well, there isn't much to say in this category because I have already cut out a few shows in the last couple of years. As much as I was into them, I got tired of all the sleeping around in Vampire Diaries, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice.  Not to mention all the pro-abortion themes.

Give it a Try:
Revolution sounds like one that I might like. I am a big Hunger Games (and Divergent) fan and it sounds targeted to that audience. I hope they do it well and it isn't too much like a copycat.

Go On with Matthew Perry is promising. My inlaws were counselors for years and they said the shows depiction of group counseling was hilarious. I might watch a few episodes for fun. I must admit I miss Chandler Bing. ;-)

Homeland (on Showtime) is not new but it is new to me.  My hubs and I are going to try out the first season and see if we like it.  I really like Clair Danes and hope that the show is as good as it looks.

That is all I have to say about that.  ;-)  What shows are you into?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kevin Henkes Story/Craft - Lily's Purple Plastic Purse

Since becoming a parent I have grown to love Kevin Henkes' books.  So, when I was asked to teach the preschool class at our homeschool co-op I jumped at the chance to use his books.

The first week we read Lily's Purple Plastic Purse Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends.

I found this printable lesson plan with discussion questions and activity ideas online.  The kids and I discussed the story and then the grownups helped the kids make their own purse with construction paper (similar to this).  We followed that up with a coloring page of Lily carrying her purple plastic purse. 

Being the first day of classes things were a little busy as we were getting settled into our groups so I neglected to take any pictures of the class in action.  I'll try to do better next week.  Let me know if you have any great story/craft ideas!

Monday, September 17, 2012

For the Love of Books

I have a huge love of books.  Especially when I can get them cheap at yard sales or Goodwill.   Almost an addiction.  I can't help myself.  Really.   I have stacks of books that I am waiting to have the time to read.  Someday I will either gift them or get around to reading them.  ;-)  Anyway, I thought I would share with you a few of our favorite titles.

I saw this picture on Great Homeschool Conventions' facebook page the other day.

Isaac's Faves:
The Brothers Karamazov - by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Wani's Faves:
Chronicles of Narnia
Hunger Games

Nate's Faves:
Harry Potter (only the first two)
Moby Dick 
Nate the Great

Joe's Faves:
Creepy Crawly Calypso

Christine's Faves:

 *A couple of Christmases ago I got on Amazon and searched for children's books with the kids' names in the titles.  I was so happy with the books that I found.  So perfect!  Joe's book is even about a boy in a wheelchair.  Precious! 

This picture and quote I found on Free Range Learning's facebook page.

Well, that just scratches the surface of the reading we do here.  What are some of your favorite books?  I am always looking for a good read!  ;-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Apple-y Story/Craft Playdate

Its been awhile since our summer craft camp ended and we miss our friends!  ;-)  So we had a little fall craft playdate together last week.  We had a smaller group because a couple families were unable to attend. But it made for a little less chaos so that was kind of nice.  ;-)

 I got the only two apple themed books I could find at the library.  'Tis the season.  So, we read One Green Apple by Eve Bunting and The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall.
 I stole the idea for our craft from Hannah's wedding (her guestbook).  Each mom helped her kids make apple trees with their thumb prints. The kids got to draw their tree trunks and then they stamped their leaves and apples onto the tree with their fingers.  It was a little messy, but fun!
 All the kiddos were so proud of their trees.  After crafting, we had mini bagel pizzas and apple slices with different dips.  It was yummy!  We had such a fun day together!

If you are going to have an apple story & craft playdate here are some helpful links:

Mom to 2 Posh Divas shared some great apple themed books and crafts HERE.

The Crafty Crow has some cute apply crafts HERE.

Suite 101 has a come suggested books to illustrate the life cycle of an apple tree HERE.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Surrogacy Story

  I have been following a blog for awhile now that is chronicling the pregnancy/surrogacy of one family.  They are making a documentary of the whole journey.  It has moved me and I want to share it with you as well. 

A few years ago James and Natalie gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  But there were complications with the birth and Natalie ended up needing an emergency hysterectomy.  It was a crushing blow because they had planned on having more children.  James' sister Tiffany's heart went out to them and she graciously offered to be a surrogate so they could have another child!  What a blessing!  Tiffany is currently 25wks pregnant with James' and Natalie's twin boys.  

Here is some info from a recent post by Tiffany:

As most of you may know, we have been filming our entire journey.  My husband has a beautiful eye for film and has been working very hard at capturing what we can.   Unfortunately we have been renting and borrowing equipment, and not having it ready at hand, we are missing great shots to be filming.  We need equipment, we need to pay our crew, pay for sound, music fees, storage and back up etc.  It costs a lot to make a film! 

Here is where we need your support!   By financially backing our film, you are helping this project to be made.  You are making it possible for us to continue to tell our story! 

We have launched a campaign at KickStarter, which is an amazing platform for creative projects to go to and seek their funding.  

Please head over to our campaign, we have lots of awesome rewards if you back us, including the digital download of the movie and even some adorable baby onesies!      

If we do not meet our goal by the end of the deadline, we get NONE of the pledged money.  SO it is really important that you back any amount you can and share with your friends and family! 

Thank you for all of your support!  Here is the link to our campaign:


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sandal Refashion

Well, of course I love a good deal.  I got these sandals at a yard sale for $3.  Practically new, they looked like something I'd seen on Pinterest.  I was so excited about them but after wearing them a couple of times I realized that they were a little too much for my taste.

  The sandal on the right is the original look.  I decided to take it down a notch.  So, I cut the back strap and flower off the sandal altogether.  I like the toned down sandal a lot better.
And the leftover flowers I turned into a headband and a clip to match my refashioned sandals!  Love it!  This headband is quickly becoming one of my favorites!

Linking up to a few of these great blogs!
Make-It-Monday w/ Brassy Apple

Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

This weekend we were blessed to spend a couple days at my inlaws' lakehouse (their only house now that they have made it their permanent residence).  At the beginning of the weekend Joe had a gray tooth from a face plant he took in the kitchen.  By the end of the weekend he had lost it and we have taken to calling him "Toothless Joe".  He wears it well, don't you think?   ;-)

 Nate and I challenged ourselves to making castles or fortresses using all of the blocks we had.  There were several masterpieces throughout the weekend!
 And of course we had to make time for naps. 
 And while it threatened rain all weekend (which made for pretty choppy water) we did enjoy a walk around the lake.  It was a little breezy!  I had to get a shot of our matching pig tails.  ;-)

 And what is a weekend at the lake without a romp in the hammock? 
 Or a spell in the porch swing with Grandpa?

 Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Dig In!

My sister, Hannah interned at the parks department this summer.  One of the perks was getting free tickets to a few local events.  She was kind enough to bring me along to Dig In - A Taste of Indiana this past weekend.
   Dig IN demonstrates that investment in Indiana food and agriculture, through education, experiences and conversation, benefits our community and economy. The organization provides educational resources for agricultural, culinary arts and local food sectors in Indiana. It increases awareness of Indiana’s diversity in agriculture and culinary arts, and Dig IN facilitate connections within the Indiana food community to enhance economic development opportunities.
We had such a good time walking around trying all the delicious samples from tons of local restaurants.  There were so many booths that we barely made it through half of them and were still full!  We still managed to make room for a few sweet stops at the end!
What fun to spend the afternoon with my lovely sister!  ;-)