Sunday, December 14, 2008

Diva's Home Meet

Diva has been a very busy gymnast this fall. Here is video of her home meet yesterday - her very best meet yet. She competes as a USGA Level 4.

She scored a 9.0 on Bars, a 9.1 on Vault, am 8.6 on Floor, and an 8.9 on Beam - she was very happy with her performance.

We tried to take Frog to the meet. He loves to watch the girls practice. Spectators were seated up in the mezzanine of the gym. The view from the top of the gym sent him into a complete sensory meltdown. He and I finally had to leave before the meet even started. When he calmed down, all he could tell me was the it was scary. I'm not sure if it was a perceptual processing issue or if seeing all the girls running around the floor for warm up, all dressed exactly alike with their hair up, made him think Diva had suddenly become 20 people or was moving so fast he could see her in multiple places at once. We headed for home and did a little rapid prompting session before he retired to his room for some quite time.

Today we woke up to several inches of snow. We are planning on making and baking Christmas presents today (hot chocolate mix, homemade marshmallows, and honey spiced nuts.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

All is Well, just no time to type :0)

Just a quick note of thanks to everyone who has checked up on me! We are all fine here at the pond. We've spent the last weeks working on getting a re-evaluation for Frog - closing out the old IEP and getting a new one together. I've also been teaching an enrichment cluster in Diva's multi age cohort at school - 12 kids ranging between 1st and 5th grade. The theme this year was Winter Celebrations around the world - we are studying celebrations that grew out of a recognition of winter solstice - the shortest night of the year. Lots and lots of prep time have gone into project which we based on Lights of Winter

We've made Yule logs, wassail, Swags, Saturnalia cake and meed (mock of course), Chinese lanterns, and Raven masks. We've told stories from Scandinavia, Italy, China, India and America. We are noting many similarities between ancient celebrations and some of our current winter celebration customs.

I also have new office space and hope to start moving in and getting set-up the week of the 15th (when the enrichment cluster is over). I've been busily scouring the Internet for deals on office furnishings and equipment.

Today we are off to Bellevue for Diva's first State Championship Gymnastics Meet. Tomorrow she has a mini dance recital and next Saturday her gymnastics club is holding their home meet/exhibition.

If all goes well - I'll be back to posting around the 22nd. I promise I am coming back!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rain, Rain, Rain

Oh my goodness, we have art for Magic Marker Monday!

The last two weeks we've been working on rain stories. On the the favorites was Coyote's Rain Song a traditional Native American folk tale from our ENKI materials.

We made this rain stick to shake while we sang Coyote's Rain Song -

Then we sang the song -

Rain! Dark Cloud,, Rain Cloud,
Rain, tumble down!
Rain on Prairie Dog Town.

I hope we were not to blame for the flooding in our state last week!

We took advantage of the rain do some Rain Painting -

For more Magic Marker Monday posts, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tagged Again!

Before -

China at Brilliant Spectrum Child tagged me to post 8 random facts about me. I think I'm running out of random facts, but here goes:

1. When I get stressed, I change my hair. Last month my hair was blond with brown low lights and about 19 inches long. Today my hair is a dark auburn brown with red highlights - and 10 inches long!

2. I just spent $800.00 to update my legal deskbooks so I can start practicing law with current information. We will have to eat mac-n-cheese out of the box for the rest of the month!

3. I have to get up at 4am tomorrow to take my daughter to her gymnastics meet - 4 hours driving and a ferry boat ride each way.

4. I'm looking out my front window and I have to say my neighbor's grass truly is greener - a brilliant emerald green to be precise.

5. I was born on Abraham Lincoln's birthday - February 12th.

6. I can't sing - when I try, my husband changes the radio station.

7. I love to cook.

8. I don't have time to cook! I'm starting to rely on my pressure cooker (one pot, fraction of the usual cooking time). I'm even considering a Rachel Ray 60 minute Thanksgiving dinner as blasphemous as that sounds!

The tag rules are as follows:

1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post thee rules.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag eight people and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and to read your blog.

Since I have been tagging everyone left and right the past few months - and I have to get everything in order for the gymnastics meet - I'm going to let you all tag yourselves this time! Leave me a comment if you want to play and I'll add your link.

Hey, how about some of you who've been lurking out there - yes, I see you! Leave me your link and introduce yourselves with 8 random facts :0)

Look Who Decided to Play - Yea!!!!

1. Krist at My Life for the World to See

After -

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Linus for President

Don't Forget to Vote!!!!! Happy Election Day :0)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

SOOC - After the Ball

OK, I'm having and SOOC Sunday instead of Saturday. Yesterday was Diva's 10th birthday - no time for blogging :0)

Diva was a princess for Halloween. But not one of the fake, sacrin Disney princesses. Diva wanted to be a real, serious princess - Princess Zia Zia (her self proclaimed - at age 18month - alter ego). She chose her best party dress, understated tiara, and riding boots - Princesses ride horses after all and it was a little cool and wet on Halloween night. This is what Princess Zia Zia looks like after a long day of attending to royal duties -

She is pictured with our house guest, Flat Stanley from Missouri. He dressed up as a ghost for Halloween.

For more SOOC posts visit Slurping Life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Welcome to the Pumpkin Patch Parade. Add your name and link your pumpkin / Halloween post at Mr. Linky, and don't forget to leave comments!

Now show me what you've got!

Special Exposure / WW Wednesday - Pumpkin Project

Our home school art project for today - contact paper pumpkin face with glitter.

Frog enjoyed dumping and tasting the rice/paper/glitter mix the most.

And we are back to the fountain!


For more Special Exposure Wednesday or Wordless Wednesday posts go Here and Here!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Award

Maddy at Whitterer on Autism has honored me with this nifty award! Now I feel bad - I didn't even get a Try This Tuesday post together - Maybe this is her way of giving me a gentle nudge to get back with the program :0) Thank you Maddy, it means a lot to me!

I absolutely have to pass this one on to CC at If I Only Had Superpowers who always has links to wonderful resources,
Christine at Adventures in Home Schooling Who's Oliver is so much like my Frog that it is easy to share ideas, and
Melody at Slurping Life for fabulous photography advices and inspiration.

And I reserve the right to pass it on to a few more when I have some time!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Six things you might not know about me - meme

I've been Tagged by Krist at My Life For The World To See for the six things you might not know or want to know about me, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. meme.

OK, what don't you already know?

Well, I've been to China. In high school I traveled with our local community symphony orchestra on a two week tour of China. It was an amazing experience. I only wish I'd been a little older so I would have appreciated it more at the time.

I live two hours from Seattle WA, but I don't drink Coffee - I made it through 5 years of college and 3 years of law school without developing a taste for it.

I love to cook. I started baking when I was 9 and haven't stopped yet. I used to collect cookbooks but have settled on my favorite 20 or so and do most of my cooking and baking out of my head.

I'm an old Rainbow Girl (International Order of the Rainbow for Girls - not the cult). I am Past Grand Page to the Supreme Inspector for Washington and Idaho, Grand Cross of Color member, and the first to win the state ritual competition for Charity's Lecture. If you know what all that means, I don't have to show you the secret handshake :0)

I'm a night owl more than a morning person - although as I get older I have a hard time getting things done at 2am like I used to.

I like to be in charge - I'm known for taking over everything I get involved with. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes it is not! I have control issues :-)

So Kim, CC, Jenny, Kimberly, Alicia, and Susie, tell me six things I might not know about you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Market Research

Frog's Mom as a new Law School Grad 1996

Frog's Mom as a spunky new attorney 1997

If Frog's mom knew then what she knows now, she would have been an Occupational Therapist!

With the downturn in the real estate market, I'm having to break free of the family business and look for other means of paying the mortgage and student loan bills. The law degree is the obvious choice - the thing should start to pay for itself after all these years. So I am in the process of easing back into my legal career.

I know I can take clients with real estate issues, I've done family law cases (but I was paid in house cleaning - don't think that will pay the bills), and I have prosecutorial experience (but the local governments are in a hiring freeze). What I feel most strongly about is special education law. I have both personal experience and a lot of continuing education hours put into the subject.

Here is my question to you - As a parent of a special needs child, when would you be most likely to seek the knowledge and assistance of a special education law attorney? Click Here to take my survey And thank you very much for your help :0)

And don't forget to link your Pumpkin Patch Parade picture posts here at 4-Frogs on October 30th!!! CC asked about the rules - just the standard ones:

1. Pictures of Halloween pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, decorations, and kids are welcome to link up.

2. Post a link back to the 4-Frogs Pumpkin Patch Parade post on your post.

3. Add your name and URL to Mister Linky here at 4-Frogs any time between October 29th and October 31st.

4. Please leave comments as you visit each of the sites on the Pumpkin Parade :0)

For more Special Exposure Wednesday posts, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs

For more Wordless Wednesday visit Three Peas in a Pod

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween Approaches

Wordless Wednesday

We love Halloween at the pond. We don't go all out - really it is mostly about the costume and the pumpkins - but it is the kick-off of the holiday season. Diva used to know what she wanted to be for Halloween a year in advance. She got really creative this year - she wants to be a princess, not the Disney kind, the real kind. She picked out her fanciest party dress, a tiny rhinestone tiara and asked me to buy her some new shoes (real shoes, not dress-up). I call her the "Practical Princess" :0) Here are some of the cute costumes from our past:

Now for the Pumpkins! I have over a dozen of them at my house waiting to be carved, painted or otherwise decorated. Who would be willing join me and post their Halloween Pumpkin Pictures on October 30th? If it sounds like a popular idea, I'll put up Mr. Linky here at 4-frogs on the 29th - then I won't miss a single Jack-o-Lantern!!!!

For more Special Exposure Wednesday posts visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

For more Wordless-Wednesday visit Three Peas in a Pod

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tags and Awards

Trish at Another Piece of the Puzzle tagged me with The 6th of the 6th Meme. Post the 6th picture from your 6th album and tell us about it. I'm not very good at keeping albums so I'm going into my digital files - wait here, I'll be right back.

OK - I'm back. This is the first school bus ride for Little Frog in June of 2006. It was something we put off for a long time. Both Frog's Dad and I had awful school bus riding experiences when we were kids. The teacher and other parents kept insisting it was something he needed to learn how to do. Diva lives very close to her school and the bus they assigned her to would require her to ride for an hour each morning before getting there - we said no thanks, and take her ourselves.

Turned out that Frog loved riding the bus. It was one of the highlights of his day. But it soon became a logistical nightmare as they kept changing the pick-up site. And on too many occasions the bus arrived with no para, carrying kids I'd never seen, and a substitute bus driver who had no information about Frog (non-verbal, easily pushed into sensory overload especially by voices, a runner, will lash-out if he feels in danger, etc) except what school to take him to. As much as he loved the ride, it only lasted about a year. Then we decided it was safer and better for Frog if he and I parked at Grandma's and walked to school. And now the walk is even shorter - just to the dinning room table or great outdoors :0)

Now I get to tag 6 more people:

1. CC at If I Only Had Super Powers

2. Rainbowmummy at Organizing the Jelly Beans

3. Krystal at Mommy's Escape

4. Jenny at Special Considerations

5. Amazing Grace at Still Crazy After All These Years

6. Kim at Blessed With Girls

4-Frogs was also honored with an award by Everyday Adventures. Thank You!!!! And what a beautiful award it is too :0)

Here are my choices for the Award Proximidade -

1. Christine at Day Sixty-Seven

2. Julie at A Celebration of Our Journey

3. MT at Bon Bon Gazette

4. Krist at My Life for the World to See

5. Tiff at Three Peas in a Pod

6. Rachel at Walk With The Reidmiller Family

7. Lori at Myah's Page

8. Crackerjacks at Izzy N Emmy

All they need to do is leave the following message on their post when they pass the award on to their chosen eight blogger buddies.

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Violin Practice

Diva has taken up the violin, following in her mother's footsteps. I started playing in the elementary school strings program as a 4th grader at the same school Diva attends. So far she is enjoying it. I must admit, she is more dedicated to her practice schedule than I was at that age :0)

Trying out a few tips from Melody's tutorial Photographing Your Children at 5 Minutes for special needs, I've put together some SOOC shots and set them to a little Playful Pizzicato from Benjamin Brittan's Simple Symphony - a little inspiration for Diva :0)

Enjoy -

For more SOOC posts visit Melody at Slurping Life.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Silvia's Adventures Continue Too

Silvia just got back from a trip to meet Emma in Lake Stevens, WA.

You can read about their visit on Silvia's Travelogue at Stanley and Silvia. A big thank you to Emma's Mom, Amy, from Fall Seven Times for help with the post!

On another note - Frog and I did not get much done today. With the fans blowing in the bathroom, I could not close and lock the door. So my job was to watch Frog. Frog found the combination of the noise from the fans, the blowing air and the rain falling outside entrancing - he had a very hard time not stimming out. But when he did manage to pull himself away from the sensation, he found a new use for the big fans -

he pulled his sister's kite from the closet and let the wind from the fan plaster it against the wall. Who knew you could fly a kite indoors!

Stanley's Adventures Continue

Look where Stanley went this week! He just got back from Kansas City where he visited Elf and Emperor. You can check out his travelogue at Stanley and Silvia.

A big Thanks to Mrs. C at Homeschool and Etc. for her help with the post :0)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It's a Jungle in There

Help! I think Frog took his trip to the Zoo to heart. He created a tropical swamp in my bathroom - filled both sink basins with hot steamy water and let it cascade onto the floor. When I discovered the mess, there was a layer of water floating on top of the carpet and water was dripping through the floor into the furnace room below!

I sent Frog to his room with some stern and frantic words, then used every towel in the house to soak up what I could. I called the professionals who told me they could be here by 5 (it was 1:30 at the time). I washed, dried and reused all the towels to soak up more water. Then I washed and dried the towels again.

The professionals came and got the rest of the water out of the carpet (upstairs and down) and left us with industrial fans and dehumidifiers to dry everything out.

The fans make an awful racket, which - unfortunately - covers up a lot of other sounds in the house. When Dad thought I was watching Frog, and I thought Dad was watching Frog, the little stinker snuck back into the bathroom and DID IT AGAIN!

The towels have been washed and dried for a third time. I was able to get over to my parents house and borrow their carpet cleaner to remove most of the water. The fans are still blowing full blast.

If you can, please send warm, dry, thoughts and energy to my floorboards :0(

Zoo Day

The Frog Family headed to the city to see Frog's neurologist. We are getting ready to do a trial of a stimulant type medication (I'll post about this later). After the appointment, we went to the zoo. Diva brought along Flat Silvia so she would have something to show at school. Her Silvia post will be on the Stanley and Silvia site in a few days. Frog did really well. We walked the zoo grounds for over an hour and a half.

When we got to the zoo, we ate a picnic lunch. The squirrels were begging for an invitation. Frog obliged by dropping most of his lunch on the ground - just not the cookies!

Frog spent a lot of time up close and personal with the piranah.

He was also a fan of all the big snakes! Yikes!!

It took us awhile, but we finally found the elephants.

We also got to see a baby gorilla. When they finally moved on, closer to us, Frog got very excited to see the baby gorilla riding on its mother's back. He started to squeal in his very high pitched and loud way - got the attention of a lovely docent who "understood, but....." so we moved on. There was still a lot to see. Here is some video of another child with the gorilla.

For more Special Exposure Wednesday posts visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday Drive #6

Diva and I had a few errands to run downtown. We stopped to take a look at one of the many murals painted on the sides of various buildings - a Rotary project in conjunction with several other art projects sponsored by various groups.

The Kalakala Ferry

For more Sunday Drive posts visit Up North Mommy

Our Traveler - Flat Silvia recently returned from a visit with Alex and Belle of Bon Bon Gazette.

Check out her travelogue at The Many Adventures of Flat Stanley and Flat Silvia.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Pumpkin Shells

We had 4 pumpkin tops left over from a home school craft project. The pumpkins now look like this

With the weather turning, I decided to put the pumpkin tops into Frog's new bulb garden.

I thought we could check for creatures that might take sanctuary under them - sort of a lead into our hibernation lessons.

For more SOOC posts visit Slurping Life

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Safety-Tat's for Halloween and School Field Trips

Safety-Tat's are temporary tattoos for kids that provide contact information should a kiddo get lost. They are featuring fun new Halloween motifs this month. Wouldn't they also be great for a class field trip? All the kids could have one with the teacher's cell-phone number on it.

Click on the Safety-Tat banner on my sidebar for more information :0)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Into the Woods

Frog is a conundrum. At first glance, his imitation skills seem virtually non-existent. Working hand over hand to teach him new movement patterns is a painstaking process that usually results in limited and un-generalized results and movement patterns that look stiff and unnatural. But watching Frog on his own, his movements are fluid and organic. He organizes complex motor patterns and carries them off with unbelievable precision. While he presents as proprioceptively challenged, he moves like a dancer, can run, spin and jump with what appears to be wild abandon - and yet stop on a dime and balance on one toe. He seems unsure of himself around others, yet on his own he is in complete control of his body within the environment.

This week Frog has been hard to engage. He has regularly resorted to his favorite stims and let us know in no uncertain terms that he really needed us to just stop talking around him. Rather than fight this need, I toned down the talking today. We engaged in Floortime activities without words and the circles opened and closed. We listened to music in the car and I read the Duchess Autumn story out loud to myself - not concentrating on wooing Frog into the story or even checking to see if he was listening. He stayed with me. Finally, I released Frog into the woods - to search for signs of Autumn. With few words, little direction and only two rules - stay on the path, and don't get to far away from Mommy - He reveled in nature and danced his way along the steep and winding paths without difficulty.

Diva is our resident dancer. I am a secret dancer. Today is Frog's dance premier - I present Frog as "Puck" in a dance of his own design

- Into The Woods -

Summer wains and a breeze cools the afternoon air. The woods sparkle and beckon with late season sunlight. You skim along the edge soaking in the beauty when you spot him - just ahead, on the path, skipping and sauntering blithely along. He sees you. His eyes twinkle. He dashes forward deeper into the forest - slowing to let you catch-up only to dash forward again. Is he a spirit? A sprite? A Playful Puck come to lure you unsuspecting into his trickery and mirth? Have you lost him? No - there he is up ahead behind those ferns. Will you join in his game? Will you follow him into the woods?

For more Special Exposure Wednesday posts visit 5 Minutes for Speical Needs

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Memories

- This will be a two for one post - a trip down memory lane with SOOC shots -

Every year since Diva was little, we've taken the kids to our local pumpkin patch around Halloween. Frog and I have been using a lot of pumpkins in our home school this week. Last year I took Frog while Diva was at school. I didn't get any pictures because I was too busy holding his hand.

Today we drove past the pumpkin patch and alas, it seems to be no more. There were rumors that last year would be the end. Too much work, not enough volunteers. The farm is still there right along the highway. They have grown some pumpkins that will be available at our local farm stand, but the festival of the pumpkin patch will not take place this year. This got me a little nostalgic and I pulled out all of the old pumpkin patch pictures.

Since these were taken when we didn't have the ability to edit - I thought they'd be fun to share for SOOC. I did set them to music just for fun - Enjoy!

For more SOOC Saturday shots visit Melody at Slurping Life

For more Sunday Drive posts, visit Up North Mommy