The Benefits of Yoga for Bethany and other Special Kids!

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Most of you already know that Bethany has been taking a Yoga class designed with the needs of special  children in mind.  I have to admit that at first I was skeptical she would even participate in the program at all, let alone ever actually enjoy it.

Bethany  is not very flexible when it comes to changes in her routine or in accepting new people into her life.  She had warned me before hand that she did not want to have a new teacher or begin a new class routine.

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Friendship Friday: More Yoga, a Successful Shopping trip and a Mood Gone Sour

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Welcome to Friendship Friday Link Up! Here you will find a gathering place of mostly special needs families, families with chronically ill members, and homeschoolers, but you don’t have to be one of the above to share
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Last Saturday we took Bethany to Party City to pick out some “Sweet Sixteen” party decorations. Yes, believe it or not my little baby girl is going to be sixteen soon and we are celebrating her birthday along with Malcolm’s sixieth and Josiah’s twenty seventh- tomorrow!

The first thing we noticed when we walked into Party City was the oodles of (forbidden) candies and other goodies all within Bethany’s easy reach! If we had realized there would be anything other than party supplies and decorations inside we would not have put her through such temptation, but as luck would have it, she was not interested in it and so behaved very well! She picked out the decorations that she wanted and we were quickly out the door and on our way without any meltdowns. She did ask for the “good kind” of (organic, gluten free) Gummy Bears on the way home and we gladly obliged!

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Friendship Friday

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Welcome to Friendship Friday Link Up! Here you will find a gathering place of mostly special needs families, families with chronically ill members, and homeschoolers, but you don’t have to be one of the above to share!

I value our online friendships and appreciate your support!
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I don’t want to bore you all with schoolwork updates that haven’t really changed from last week, but I will say that Jeremiah is adjusting to his more rigorous academic schedule. He is however adjusting less so to writing assignments. He hates writing anything so I am adding in writing assignments gradually and slowly.

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Bethany and I have spent a fair amount of time talking about the fall flowers. Golden Rod is growing abundantly here and is I suspect responsible for Rachel’s allergy symptoms and my son’s Bronchitis.

It has been getting unseasonably chilly here and Bethany’s awareness of this temperature change has inspired many conversations about the changing season, the coming of autumn, and why her beloved beach is closed now! The temperature is dipping down into the 40’s at night forcing me to get out a couple of little electric heaters to take the chill off!

We have also been observing caterpillars and noticing our end of summer insect sounds. Honestly, sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the bugs I’m hearing or just the sound of my own ears ringing!

I am very pleased that Bethany cooperatively went to her very first special needs yoga class, though upon arriving she was not happy that there was a new teacher instructing them. Thankfully, after spending some time observing the class in action, she joined us! I said “us” because parents were invited to participate also. And even though I couldn’t get down to do the floor exercises, I was able to do the standing poses!

You can read more details of our first class at The Benefits of Yoga for Children With Special Needs. Unfortunately, because I was trying to do Yoga too, I didn’t get any pictures. I can assure you though that Bethany concentrated very hard and took the class very seriously!
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Rachel has been practicing her cake decorating skills in anticipation of our upcoming birthday celebration which has been postponed to the 27th. Since it will almost be Bethany’s birthday by then and she has no concept of that kind of time/date thing anyway, we will add her to the list of birthdays we will be celebrating. I think she will love having a big celebration!

Rachel's gluten free cupcakes were delish!

Rachel’s gluten free cupcakes were delish!


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Malcolm has been getting creative and working hard to complete the outdoor projects that we need to get done in order to get the best selling price that we can for our house- before our usual big freeze makes that impossible to do.
Malcolm tore off a very poorly built room that was added on to the main house in the 50's and had recently begun falling off of it.

Malcolm tore off a very poorly built room that was added on to
the main house in the 50’s and had recently begun falling off of it.


Before he tore down the old room, Malcolm painstakingly  salvaged the old siding which he recycled and put onto the new well built sun room that he added on to the house. (He used to be a builder and cabinet maker before he became a mailman!)

Before he tore down the old room, Malcolm painstakingly salvaged the old siding which he recycled and put onto the new well built sun room that he added on to the house. (He used to be a builder and cabinet maker before he became a mailman!)

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I will leave you with a photo of Rebekah being silly!
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It isn’t mandatory to do so, but I wouldn’t mind at all if you link back to me either with a text link or my button above and like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, follow me through email, or subscribe in a Reader!

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Please take a minute to read my review of Kiwi Crate’s new Science Kits for Older Kids!

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Introducing Kiwi Crate’s New Science Kits for Older Kids!

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Kiwi Crate has added a new member to their family- Tinker Crates!

Advised by a retired professor of Science Education at Stanford University, Kiwi Crate has created exciting and challenging science project kits using the STEM – (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) method of education.

The goal of each unique project is to inspire kids to work on their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Your child will develop confidence and curiosity while working hard to find creative solutions to the challenges each kit presents.

Each Tinker Crate kit is a laboratory for hands-on science experiments designed for kids ages 9-14! The kits come in a box filled with all the materials needed to complete each project and are delivered right to your door each and every month!

One exciting Tinker Crate is The Trebuchet! Inside this kit is every thing your student needs to experiment and explore the physics of slings, levers, and air resistance. Your student will even build a working mini trebuchet (AKA a catapult) that will really launch a ping pong ball up to ten feet!

Want to take a peek inside this crate to see for yourself how awesome it is? Then please go to
Inside a Box.

Tinker Crate projects are a fun and affordable hands-on addition to your homeschooling science program starting at just $12.95 a month!

Hurry now and don’t delay- Join Tinker Crate now! You’ll be so glad you did!
*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of my links! I appreciate your support!

What’s the Word Wednesday? #10

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1) One of the biggest issues that people with seizure disorders have is with driving. Each state has different protocol when it comes to the rules of driving with epilepsy. The article Driving and Independence is very informative. A link to each state’s laws regarding this very important issue is included!

2) The Autism Women’s Network recently released a statement calling for the zealous prosecution of Kelli Stapleton who has admitted to the attempted murder of her daughter, Issy Stapleton a teenage girl with autism. You can read the full statement at #JusticeForIssy: Statement by Autism Women’s Network

I can’t deny that raising a disabled child with violent tendencies is devastating, painful, and heartbreaking and as the mother of a daughter whose behavior is very similar to Issy’s I do speak with experience. However, neither can I in any way condone the murder or attempted murder of anyone even if the one doing it believes that they are ending their victim’s pain and suffering.

To sympathize with the mother of this innocent disabled victim by rationalizing that her daughter’s behavior drove her to such drastic measures is nothing more than victim blaming, in my opinion.

3) And speaking of victim blaming- This is tragic, disgraceful and just plain wrong. Culture of Blaming the victim is root cause of failure for NFL, Ravens in Ray Rice case

4)) Help bring hope to an entire community living in extreme poverty where children are at risk for becoming orphans. Please visit Help One Now

5) And just for fun, some cute crafts made from nature’s resources- dragonflies and flowers made with leaves and maple seeds. Autumn Woodland Treasure Sculpture


The Benefits of Yoga for Children With Special Needs

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Bethany attended her very first ever Yoga class for children with special needs this past Sunday. The class was the first of an eight week session sponsored by her Flash Club.

She is always slow to embrace a new experience, but the fact that there was a new teacher compounded her anxiety about joining in with the rest of the kids even though she knew all of them already and had been looking forward to seeing them again.

Malcolm and I accepted the invitation for parents to participate in the hopes that our doing so would entice Bethany to join in on the fun. It worked and before long she was down on her mat doing her best to copy all the poses. She concentrated very hard and was very serious about the whole process. It’s always so cute and such a joy to see her enjoying herself!

The instructor was very sweet, calm, patient, and accommodating. She also has a son who has autism and so understood our kids from the perspective of experience!

Some Benefits of Yoga for Children With Autism and other Special Needs

According to the article 7 Benefits of Yoga for Kids With Autism-

1) Yoga can help our special kids develop their motor skills because it tones muscles, enhances balance and stability, and develops body awareness and coordination.

2) Yoga can improve their confidence and refine social skills because the self-control and self-calming techniques of yoga can increase their confidence in interacting with other children. Learning to work together in a yoga class and playing with partner poses can also increase confidence within group settings.

3) Yoga provides sensory integration. Children with autism often suffer from a highly sensitive nervous system and are easily over stimulated by bright lights, new textures, loud noises, strong tastes and smells. Yoga’s natural setting of dim lights, soft music, smooth mats, and “inside” voices creates a comforting environment largely protected from unknown or aggressive stimuli in which calming down becomes enjoyable.

4) Yoga teaches coping skills. The physical poses allow nervous energy to be released from the body in a controlled manner, also leading to a calming sensation. Less stimulation means less uncontrollable behavior, outbursts and repetitive nervous movements

5) Yoga also facilitates self awareness. It helps children become more aware of their bodies and breathing.

6) Yoga engages their emotional brains. The combination of movement, music, breath work and story telling activates the brain’s emotional region.

7) Yoga is orderly and consistent something that many children with special needs thrive on!

I’m sharing at:
Special Needs Blogger Weekend LinkUp
Dream Team Link Share

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(Image Credit: Sattva- freedigitalphotos.net)

Friendship Friday: Bubbles, Balls, Birthdays, and Bronchitis

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Welcome to our Friendship Friday Link Up! Here you will find a gathering place of mostly special needs families, families with chronically ill members, and homeschoolers, but you don’t have to be one of the above to share
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We will be completing out first full week of doing school at our house today! So far so good!

Jeremiah actually seems to like his Language Arts book. Which totally baffles me because he usually balks at having to do more school work. I know that being able to write his answers in the book is a big factor in his adjusting well to it. I doubt very much that he’d like if he had to copy a multitude of sentences down in a notebook! The same goes for his math and geography books. I guess he can tolerate big changes if he doesn’t have to write down a ton of stuff! We’ll work on writing soon enough though!

Jerry also took his first ever test this week! I plan to allow him to do all his science tests open book style. It was a little hard for him to grasp what ‘skimming the page for answers’ really meant but he picked up on it soon enough.

He’s not real thrilled with Hamlet, but then neither am I! Nor is he all that happy with reading “The Three Musketeers” but then I knew he wouldn’t be. At least he is cooperating with reading it without complaining about it!

This week we also added in Bible (God Visits His Chosen People), Art (Impressionism), and Health (Mental Health for Middle Schoolers).

One day Rebekah and Rachel decided to take Jeremiah on a field trip to the cider mill. It will be closing soon and they wanted to fit in just one more chance to taste all their yummy samples. They even brought home a couple of fudge covered Oreos for their father and me and though I am trying not to eat sugar, I could not resist that Oreo!
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I am happy to announce that Bethany is back to being excited about going places again! She went for a ride in the car to the library with her aide this week and is showing signs of being excited about starting adapted Yoga at Flash Club. We’ll see on Sunday how it all plays out! I really hope she still excited about it when the time actually comes to go!

Bethany mostly worked on self help skills this week. We also played a lot of games! We have been discussing the changing weather and season (science), adding up our scores for “Go Nuts” (math), and we are still talking about Africa (geography) and North America.

We found this cicada skin in our backyard which sparked a discussion of what it was (more science).
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I wish we could have seen the insect emerge from its old skin in real life, but we had to be satisfied with watching the video below instead.

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Something has been a little unsettling for me this week. One of my sons has been battling a nasty cough for quite some time. This past week it got much worse. I wanted him to go to the doctor. He doesn’t like going to doctors and refused to cooperate the several times I suggested it.

Finally, his cough got so bad that I had to insist he go to the doctor and get checked out! After I explained to him that I was worried he might have pneumonia and that pneumonia can be fatal, he finally agreed to go. I am very relieved that it wasn’t pneumonia but it was bronchitis.

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Some of you may remember a post I wrote about My Business Plan a while back. I’ve started the ball rolling with it and will be doing a couple of classes at Bethany’s Recreation club in October and November. If the kids seem to enjoy it we’ll keep going with it.

I’m very excited about this opportunity but also very nervous about it. Several times I had to give myself little pep talks to keep from backing out of even giving my pitch to the director. But I persevered and she was happy to get some new activities going for the participants.

I don’t know why I’m so nervous. It’s really just all about the kids having fun and being active. I decided to volunteer my time so it’s not a paying job yet, but I’m hoping to eventually turn it into a little business. We shall see!

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This week was my husband’s 60th birthday. It was also my son Josiah’s 27th. We are planning a joint birthday party for next weekend but we couldn’t let the day go by without giving him some kind of recognition so Rebekah made him a birthday pancake!
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The following videos are of Bethany having fun and being cute!



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In case you missed them:
Bethany at age 11- Or Why We Homeschool Her
What’s the Word Wednesday? #9
Remembering 9/11
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It isn’t mandatory to do so, but I sure would love it if you would link back to me either with a text link or my button below and like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, follow me through email, or subscribe in a Reader!

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Remembering 9/11

*This post was originally published on 9/11/12. I felt it was worth re-posting today*

On the beautiful morning of September 11, 2001 we were at the Jersey Shore. We had planned to meet our son in NYC that day but changed our minds. He called on his cell to tell us that he had just seen a bomb go off in the WTC. Suddenly he was screaming, everyone around him was screaming. He managed to tell us that a plane had just crashed into the WTC and then the phone went dead. We turned on the TV and the reality of what had happened hit us like a ton of bricks. We watched the towers fall! It was devastating as you all well know. We didn’t know if our son was dead or alive for a couple of days!  He later told us that as he was taking pictures he suddenly realized that he was taking pictures of people jumping out of the buildings!

We got in the car and drove to the Atlantic Highlands and saw the smoke pouring out into the atmosphere. American Flags were draped over all the overpasses and people were standing on them waving our country’s flag. I get the chills and tear up just remembering the scene! We all had a sick eerie feeling for a long time after that.

We are grateful that our son had decided to call in sick to work that day. My prayers go out to all the people who lost loved ones that day. Thanks and prayers also go out for all the brave men and women rescue workers who risked their lives in the aftermath and to those in the armed forces who have fought and are still fighting to protect those of us here at home!

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