Thursday, January 23, 2014

What's going on in my studio

I used to belong to a group of sweet artists that would link up on Fridays,
We encouraged one another in the creative process.
Just a bunch of sweet ladies.
I loved linking up and sharing what I had been creating.
Well fast forward and I've dusted my drafting table off
And I am painting again.

                        Between everything else I have pulling at me for attention
                      I've decided I would set aside at least one hour to nurture my creative self. 


Things have been a little out if balance so Im going to put forth some effort.
I also made a comment about taking care of my physical being
My husband took that little mention
And ran with it,
I am now signed up for yoga classes.
Yes. Me. Shaking in my shoes.
No turning back.
The hours, days, and weeks add up.
I have to start somewhere.


        This little bird paid a visit while I was reading over at Incourage with Ann Voskamp today.
                                       I  thought this might look sweet behind it. 

                                                              Matthew 6:25,26 

                                 a photo of Little G in case you are wondering how she is
                                 We braved the Fl cold and went to her Yearly physical.
                                                                  We love her Dr.

                                                      We then got her glasses fixed.
                                                              Quite a productive day.
                                                            Of course if you are little G 
                                    no stressful day would be complete without French fries.


                                             I  hope this finds you and yours doing well.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reading and Down Syndrome

Dr. Seuss. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. 
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

Now that I am on top of all my book reviews,
Whew! That was crazy.......
Id like to update you where we are 
and a bit about the process.

We have still been working hard on reading. 
For so long it felt like we were never going to actually be able to " read".
I've been using these flash cards purchased at the $ Tree for a single dollar per pack!
When I can I purchase two packages of each category-
This really helps when we want to play a matching game or I can add both words to our stack
Then when using the fast flash method I can go through the set twice easily. 

If you are new to teaching reading to little ones with Down Syndrome
This book was a great place to start.
It now comes with a CD so if you have an old version like I did 
You can purchase the CD separately.
It's really great to print off what you might need.
If you know where the CD is.......

I have found that adding five new words at a time works best for us.
Always using positive reinforcement, I never say "No". 
If she misses a word or pauses more than a few seconds,
 I just say the word and move on. 
When she knows those five words I add in new ones. 
I try to add words that don't resemble others visually at the same time. 
So maybe words that begin with a different letter? 
Not sure if this makes sense but she is learning how to read these visually 
and that is one of her weak areas, since she is legally blind, 
I want success as often as possible! 
She loves clapping and cheering when she is successful 
we want school / learning to stay fun, positive and upbeat.

We started using these sentence strips when we had a limited vocabulary
Reinforcing left to right tracking.
These were also purchased at $ Tree!
You can see there are other colors and currently I have left the pink and yellow for later.
I don't want her to see a yellow card and memorize what is on that strip.
Yes, she does that. 
Some of the word cards are light blue-
she will say the word without " reading it".
She knows its either "do" or " but" 

These were some of the first sentence strips

                                             This is what she read yesterday. 
                      ( I would love to add bold, large typing, and italics, and undlerine to that sentence)

Quickly, and with ease.
I think the most exciting part is that she did it verbally and with ASL.
Her speech has come so far!

 We also have this flip book and are working on phonics
In addition to sight words. She is doing phenomenal with this!
I've seen on pinterest an idea for making your own flip books using spiral bound 3x5 cards.


My next project is making some books without pictures using her words
I'm going to use these books I bought for $1 at T@rget!

Reading is possible!
She is 8 years old 
But when you take into consideration that at 4.5 years of age she was on an airplane
No spoken language,
Only comprehended Spanish.........
Legally blind.......
Quite amazing if you ask me.
I'm quite humbled to think of all the tears I shed.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What a great Christmas vacation!

So, without further ado,
Photos from our trip to Ks
We braved the ominous Weather Channel forecast 
And left Saturday the 20th and enjoyed a week of winter wonderland.
It was beyond words.
Of course we ended up sick.
And feel behind the 8 ball now that New Years is past and life back to normal is on the agenda.
But hey, we made some incredible memories.

                                   ( this is what the Florida girl saw when we arrived! )


                                                   My husband and I 

                                   Little G, her big sister, and her sisters boyfriend.

                              A Christmas Eve battle - soldiers from the Nutcracker tree.

                                                     Ice skating
                                                And snowball fights!

          I pray you and yours found plenty of moments to pause and savor the little things,
                    I am finding the ones that seemed little are quite big in hindsight. 


Monday, January 6, 2014

Forever Friday

As promised I have a book review to share today. 
I just read " Forever Friday" by Timothy Lewis.
I didn't know what to expect because this is a new Author for me.
 I love a good book with well developed characters and this book did not let me down. The author chose to have two plots, a past and present with two main characters moving forward in time simultaneously. He did a great job at keeping my attention and I didn't find myself favoring one plot above the other. The main central theme happens to be "Hope" which is the word I chose as my word for this New Year. I love how the author offers hope to young and old, relationships can and do last even in this disposable society, we just need to choose faith, hope, and love. I look forward to reading more by Timothy Lewis, thank you to Blogging for books for providing the free copy for review purposes. This review is my honest opinion and I was not compensated in any way for this positive review. 

If you are interested go read the first chapter over at blogging for books here:

I will also include a photo of Lil G.
You can see here that she is being an efficient secretary,
I'm not sure about you but I sure could use one of those as I navigate 
Insurance company nonsense,
School stuff,
Church, hobbies........

Two book reviews to end the year!

I have two book reviews to end the year. 
They were both good books.
First I will share my review about the Miners lady.
I have read several books by Tracie Peterson and was glad to be chosen to read this one. I really enjoy a good historical novel. I enjoyed the small mining town and reading about the Italian families settled there, the feud between two families stretching back so far back that the current generations didn't even know the details of how the discord started. It made me really think about family dynamics and forgiveness. I also enjoyed the love story and how they were willing to do anything for love. It was much like Romeo and Juliet yet the plot just wasn't as heartfelt as I would have liked.. I did feel like much of the story could have used some deeper details and the characters seemed undefined per se. I found myself reading it just to get to the end of the story not really Savoring the process. For those reasons I will give this book three out of five stars.

The second book, " An elegant solution" was not a read- in -one - night - sitting book. It took putting the little one to bed and burning the midnight oil while the rest of the house was sleeping. The author did an impeccable job of developing the plot and characters. I love a book that really requires thought and where details matter, this book was quite a surprise and gave me something to chew on and look forward to each evening. Many of the books I read this past year I wouldn't recommend to my husband or sons, but this one would really be something to hold their attention. ( Especially my engineer / mathematician bent son)  If you enjoy a book with suspense, well researched historical content, and well developed characters I would highly recommend you read this book. I will give this one five stars on Amazon.

Thank you to Bethany House publishers for the copies of these books for review purposes. The review are my honest, personal opinions and I am in no way compensated for my review.

Edited to add: it does not sit well with me to open my blogger tool to find an error message " retry publishing" which means this post sat for two plus weeks without being posted. I've had many blogger friends switch to another format and Im highly considering it for myself. I will spare you the book review I was signing on to publish and do that tomorrow. 

Here is a photo to share what we did over the Christmas break.
Come back tomorrow and I will share more!