Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sensory Friendly Entertainment for #Autism Families!

I love learning from other people. So, when I checked my email and social media upon waking this morning, I was excited! I found some great ideas out there that I just have to share.

First, and always exciting, my Tweet and FB post sharing Autism Speaks' new page answering the question "What is Autism?" was shared as a headline in The Spectrum Mom Daily! Thank you, Susan, for sharing what I found. :) I think the Autism Speaks page and your paper are great resources to share.

Also in Susan's paper, I found the following 2 articles:
AMC's Sensory Friendly Films --
AMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program. In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for this unique audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing - in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced unless the safety of the audience is questioned.
Theatre Development Fund's Autism-Friendly Performance of The Lion King Sells Out --
"We're gratified to have tapped into this community of families who are hungry for access to the performing arts, which is evident in the speed in which the upcoming performance sold out," said Lisa Carling, TDF's director of accessibility programs, in a statement. "Not only does an autism-friendly performance introduce the world of theatre to the person on the autism spectrum, but it allows a family to experience it together in a supportive environment with no judgments."
The article lists the AMC locations that are participating, and their next moving is coming up July 21. This setting is important to families on the spectrum. Our kids can't always contain their talking and make comments and responses without thinking. Also, dark rooms and loud environments make things uncomfortable and makes other sensory issues worse. My son can't focus when there are food smells around that he can't have, so being able to bring gluten-free snacks would help. I know that we tend to not go out to movies, plays, sporting events, and other crowded areas because the energy required to accommodate our kids is taxing. I'm hoping and praying that more venues will hop on this trend!

Blessings in your Adventure...


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Free: Slow Cooker Cookbook!!

I just got this Kindle book for free!

Thanks to Free Homeschooling Deals for sharing this!

Get a free reader for many devices including PC's!

Blessings in your Adventure,


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Reading Programs

I don't know if you have this problem, but it's hard for me to keep the kids motivated during the summer to do anything remotely similar to schoolwork. And reading falls into that category. Without reading during the summer, kids can lose up to 3 months of reading progress. So, I'm looking for some reading programs that might help push them along. :) Here's what I've found:

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading
Read 8 books and pick a free book

TD Bank Summer Reading Program
Read 10 books and get $10 into an existing or new TD Bank kids account

Scholastic Summer Challenge
Read, Log minutes, Earn rewards

Pizza Hut's Book It! Summer Break Reading Challenge Sweepstakes
Read 5 books over the summer and enter too win a prize package
Site has activities, printables, recipes, reading calendar, and a free online minute tracker

Chuck E Cheese's
Read for 2 weeks and get 10 free tokens

Reading Rockets
Tips & resources for parents & teachers

Don't forget your local library!

Have you found any other programs?

Blessings in your Adventure,


Friday, June 15, 2012

Proving promises

He is proving this true to me in new ways...

Isaiah 30:
21Your own ears will hear him.
Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left.
22Then you will destroy all your silver idols
and your precious gold images.
You will throw them out like filthy rags,
saying to them, “Good riddance!”

He is changing what once seemed important to be not important...
Changing wrong priorities to be right...
Shaping our thoughts to mirror His...
Not saying it's easy, but it is worth it.

Seeing the promise of blessings on the horizon...
Seeing peace filling the cracks... starting to overflow where it has been missing....
He is leading the next adventure...
All for His glory

Blessings in your Adventure,


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Great Ex-Spect-ations walk for #autism

We are joining the Boston Autism Walk! Please click through, read about the walk, and donate to support autism services and the National Autism Association. Thank you!

FirstGiving - Your fundraising

Blessings in your Adventure,


Monday, June 4, 2012

Even more...

This morning as I got ready, I was having a conversation with God. Most of the time I live in faith. I am thankful to have the gift of holding to faith when others around me doubt. However, I was working on a new budget last night. A budget that we need to use to make some changes that will benefit our family. But when I look at that budget sheet that ends in a negative, my faith wavers. I know that God will provide. I know it. But, still, these days I am caught being a pendulum... swinging from fully trusting and knowing in my heart, not just my head, that He will provide... swing to doubt when I see those negative signs pop up in my budget in black (or red) and white. Do we move forward with new plans, new plans that need to happen, and trust that He will provide when it doesn't appear that it can work? Is that being a good steward? Or do we stay put, even though we know that we're to move and continue to say "Someday it will work out. It must not be the right time."

This morning, the verse about God doing exceedingly more than we could expect or ask came into my head. And I begin to plead that verse to God. And I started to mull the verse over and over in my head as part of my conversation with Him. "Exceeding abundantly more"... not just more, not just abundantly more, but exceedingly. Definition: "to an extreme degree." I understand "more than we expect." But more than we could ask? I don't know about you, but I sometimes shoot for the stars when I ask. So to be "an extreme degree abundantly more" than I could ask... is way more than I could even think of asking for. Wow.

Then, I moved to claiming the verse. Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)
20Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

And as I started the car to go to work this morning and the radio came on, the first words are:
'Cause God knows everything you need
(From the song He Said by Group 1 Crew)

And my heart rejoices and praises Him... for loving me and my family... for loving me enough to not want me to keep worrying during the day... to arrange the radio songs and my morning to sync up perfectly so that not even a syllable of that phrase was cut off and leave me wondering. Plain as if someone was sitting in the car and said something straight to me, I hear "God knows everything you need."

So now I join all this with 2 verses that have shown up again and again in crazy ways since Mike and I met and married... Romans 8:28 (NLT)
28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

And Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV 1984)
11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

He is able to turn those negative signs into positives in our budget. He loves us... He is able to work all things out for our good because this is His purpose for us... Exceeding abundantly above all that I could ask or think... be glory to Him through Christ Jesus.

Blessings in your Adventure,


Friday, June 1, 2012

Shoplet Sanford Writing Pens Review #shopletreviews

My 2 favorite types of stores are office supplies and building supplies. I love the smell of a building supplies store, and if I had those gadgets and some time I could really enjoy fixing what's wrong with our house. Office supplies are great, and you don't need extra time to use them. They are part of every day. All the little things that people make that help save you time: sticky notes, binder clips, correction tape... sigh... :) So, when I saw that wanted product reviewers, you bet I offered!! Of course, life is crazy with the end of school coming, so I'm sorry that I'm a little late getting this posted, but I enjoyed testing these products! So, here are the products sent me to try in exchange for my honest opinion...

They are:
Paper Mate InkJoy 700 RT Ballpoint Pens
Sharpie Premium Pen
Sharpie Gel Highlighters

First up, the InkJoy700RT Ballpoint Pens. The package contained 2 black, 1 blue, and 1 red pen. Their white barrels are thin and smooth, and I found them nice to hold. They have a rubber-like end to make holding the ballpoint pen comfortable. I like click pens as there isn't a cap to lose. The package says that their mission was to create the best in effortless writing, and I think they did it. When you write with the pen, it glides over the paper and you don't have to press hard to make the ink look nice. It doesn't feel like a flimsy, cheap pen; it has body to it even though it's thin. I did have an instance where the pen started to glob a bit, but it didn't last long and it was only once. The ink has a nice strong color, and the clip helps to keep it with you. You can unscrew the tip and remove the inside to see how much ink is left. The site says that it's refillable, and the design would be, but I didn't find a refill when searching the site. With a package of 4 being only $5.52, it wouldn't be horrible to not have refills. This pen has become my new favorite because of how easy it is to write with. I have had the same favorite pen for over 4 years, so that's a tall order! I want to get another set for the office so I don't have to carry this set back & forth!

Next in the package was the Sharpie Premium Pen. This pen has substance. It reminds me of those expensive pens that you get for graduation or your first job. It has a nice "bullet" shape, and the brushed silver case feels cool and smooth in your hand. After the cap is off, you will see there is a rubberized end to help hold the pen so it doesn't slip away from you. The combination of the brushed and rubberized is nice. The tip of the pen is what you would expect for a fine tip Sharpie, but the ink behaves differently. Normal permanent Sharpies would bleed through the paper, but this doesn't. As it doesn't bleed, you can use it for your everyday fine tip pen, and the ink is still permanent! Oh - it's also acid-free, so if you're a scrapbooker that's a bonus! The one thing I wouldn't like about the tip is if it behaves like my other fine tip Sharpie markers where the tip gets scrunched. I haven't used this pen long enough to see if that will happen with it. This pen is refillable, and I believe I did find the correct refill at At $4.75 for a permanent marker or a pen, I feel it's a bit pricey, but the refill I found was $1.82. If you refilled it, the price becomes reasonable for this very nice pen.

Last, but not least, I tried the Sharpie Gel Highlighter. The package of 3 (yellow, orange, and pink) said that these highlighters were ink-free and wouldn't smear, bleed, or dry out. I was intrigued and really wanted to test them in different situations. When I uncapped the highlighter, it really looks different. It definitely has a gel-type tip instead of the felt tip with ink. When you use it on paper, it's almost like a grease pen feeling. It doesn't work well unless you push on it a bit to really make contact with the paper. If you don't push a little, it will only partially cover your line of text. I did find that the gel tip was harder to aim at the line, and I ended up having to go back over it to cover the whole piece I was highlighting. I was intrigued by the promise to not smear or bleed, so I wrote with the new pens and highlighted. When I wrote with the pen and immediately highlighted with the gel highlighter, I did have smearing but not bleeding. I tried both the gel highlighter and a traditional highlighter, and the traditional highlighter didn't smear as much when used right after writing. However, if I waited a bit after writing, the gel highlighter did not smear as much. It does work on thin papers, like Bible pages, without going through the page. That is a plus, but you may have to practice to only hit 1 small line of text. I didn't like that the cap doesn't fit on the end of the highlighter while you're using it. When I tried putting it on the end, it popped off. With the cap possibly getting separated from the highlighter, I tried leaving the highlighter out uncapped. After 4 days, it worked just like it did when I first opened it! At $5.29 a package, there are situations that these would have an advantage, but the traditional highlighters still have a place in my desk drawer, too.

I had a great time trying out these products, and some of them I'll continue to use every day! Check them out at!

Blessings in your Adventure,


I received these products from in exchange for my honest review. The test products are mine to keep. No other compensation was provided.

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