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Archive for August, 2008

My Head is Spinning

My dear friend, Danette, at 3 Running in Circles bestowed upon me the cutest award today!

You’ve got to understand, for a woman who just started blogging, just started homeschooling, has children that will say absolutely anything to anybody, these awards mean a lot.

(So what we got kicked out of horseback riding–look at this keen award I received!)

I’m excited to share this with 7 other bloggy friends!

1. Heidi, (AKA Stone Fox) Mom’s Ministry & More I believe this award will fit within the Stone Fox’s play list of approved content.  (The truth is, she’s not that tame!)

2.  Mrs. Bear at Out-Numbered Two to One Right back atcha!

3.  Hello Kittie Mama at Bon Bon Gazette It looks to me like you need a few more awards, woman!  Since this one doesn’t have a bad word, maybe it’ll be OK : )

4.  The Perfume Stalker at Many Sparkling Gems Your first award from yours truly!  I’ll drag you kicking and screaming into this world!

5.   Andrea Cook at Crazy Jugs This woman is cool, people!  You need to check our her brand-new blog!

6.  Patty O. at Pancakes Gone Awry Put this on your site!  You deserve it!  Thanks for all your help of late!

7.  Bonnie at Autism Family Bonnie is an incredibly busy mother and writer.  Yet she will drop everything to help a friend.

I release you!  Fly free, sweet friends!  Fly free!

Here are the suggestions for the recipients of the awards:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.
6. Enjoy your award!

Have a great weekend!

Elizabeth

Posted on 30 August '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 16 Comments.

GF/CF Friday Product Review: Glutino Crackers

Today’s review features Glutino’s Gluten Free Crackers.

First, let me say that these crackers are incredibly attractive.

There is something about the “Glutino” name stamped within the cracker that hearkens memories of fancy Pepperidge Farm cookies.  This nuance, however, is lost on my 6-year-old GF/CF reviewer, Edward, who has been on the diet for 7 months.

Edward was a lover of all thing Ritz as a younger child, so his first inclination was to lick the Glutino cracker.  Apparently, it did not hearken any special Ritz-like memories for him because he refused to try it.  I slathered peanut butter, jelly and honey in an attempt to coax him to try at least a small smattering.  Not even a smackeral.

So, you are left with my opinion, as well as that of Sue, who just turned 3.  Sue thrilled to the cracker as long as it was swimming in jelly.  She is the same way with bread, so I am not sure what that says about this particular cracker.

I will say the cracker has a delightful smell and pleasant crunch.  The next thing the palate is addressed with, however, is a disturbing saltiness.  I am a lover of salt, but this is excessive.  The cracker is almost reminiscent of a Pepperidge Farm Table Water Cracker with a salty, almost bacon soda-ish flavor.  The aftertaste does linger.

I would struggle to eat these crackers.  I tried them with my favorite cheese and they overpowered the cheese.

I don’t see these as winners.

Posted on 29 August '08 by , under GF/CF Diet/Food Reviews. 7 Comments.

Tell Me Thursday: The Naked Truth

Thanks to Tell Me Thursday, I have an opportunity to share the raw truth behind this photograph.

First let me say how tickled I was to receive so many comments!  I’ve only been blogging seriously for about two months, and I have met some of the kindest, most genuine people during these short weeks.  Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!

I’ve been trying to get a young-looking decent-looking photograph for my bloggy button.  My face is shiny in every photo and I don’t look natural.  SO, I asked my husband to take the photo (after I’d actually fixed my hair and put on powder) and told Joseph to do something to make me laugh.

He popped out of my bathroom with my admittedly padded bra covering his 8-year-old face.  And then he did a little dance and pranced around like a fly.  He was so proud!

I did laugh–a genuine belly laugh, and I think I even spit a little bit–but my face was still shiny and my complexion uneven.  The photo just doesn’t work.  See:

Aren’t I such a whiner?

I’ve had many questions about this post.  Questions about my bust size from female missionaries in China.  (You know who you are.)  And once and for all I’d like to dispel any myth about my bosoms.  They have always been a small A, straining toward a B.  I could blame nursing three babies for at least 18 months each.  But the truth is, they are much the same as they’ve always been.

And at 41, I guess I can’t complain!

Posted on 28 August '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 15 Comments.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted on 27 August '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 39 Comments.

A Cluttered Nightstand

Thanks to Monica Brand who posted about this on Twitter, I’m taking the plunge and sharing my cluttered, disruptive nightstand for this discussion hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

As anyone can see, I have far too many books on my nightstand.  It almost looks like my children have stacked them up this way.  (But I did it.  And yes, I’m sure it breaks all the decorating rules–you should see my house!)

Still the books themselves serve as a peek into my life right now.  And this doesn’t include the stack of homeschooling books on the other side of this desk!

I’m 7 months into the GF/CF diet for my 6-year-old thanks to Healing the Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies by Kenneth Bock.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to truly understand the research behind why this diet works, not only for children on the spectrum, but also for children with allergies, asthma and a few other issues.

I have been reading Different Minds: Gifted Children with AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome and Other Learning Deficits and A Parents Guide to Gifted Children for at least two years now.  They have both helped me tremendously in my attempt at understanding the complex brain of my twice-exceptional child.  I read them and re-read them all the time since they tend to be a tad involved.  I, unfortunately, do not have a particularly complex mind.

Speaking of minds, Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, Transforming the Difficult Child and Raising Your Spirited Child are only a snapshot of the parenting books I have read over the years.  If you don’t think I have “spirited” children, you haven’t seen this:

(Wait til you see the Wordless Wednesday I have planned for tomorrow!)

Gilead has been a simple joy to read over the past few weeks.  I become so inspired reading Marilynne Robinson.  Her writing is refined poetry.  Reading her makes me want to edit and edit and edit.   (Now here’s a woman who could do a lot for Twitter!)  Plus her vocabulary is simply wonderful!  If I want to escape and relax, I reach for this gem!

Lead by the Perfume Stalker and her husband, my small group from church is reading Epic by John Eldredge.  Eldredge writes about life as a story we are thrust into the middle of with little to no explanation until we look to God.  This idea is precisely what led me to begin blogging in the first place.  Blog posts are fragments of my life story, or your life story.  I believe that by writing these fragments I will begin to find patterns in my own life which would direct me toward my part in the larger story God is writing.

And at the top of my teetering pile, always a reminder to breathe.

Yes, Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent, has been my favorite in a rash of “simply your life” books I have read over the last year. I’m in no way remotely organized, but at least I am not taking two children to two different schools, homeschooling one and trying to run an online book business at the same time.

Baby steps.

Posted on 26 August '08 by , under Faith is the Evidence. 10 Comments.

Real Life Marriage

I adore Absolutely Bananas‘ writing prompts–particularly when I’ve been up and down all night with a son who had a less-than-favorable reaction to some new medicine.  (He’s fine now!)  So 4 cups of coffee later, I’m going to make a go at this idea!

I’ve learned a few things during my 14 years of marriage:

Most of the time we can spend time together in mutual peace and enjoyment!

Sometimes it’s nice to be alone with our thoughts:

Other times we can be together and still pursue our own separate interests:

Then there are times when your love is just too powerful for me!

And times when it is just right!

Happy 14 years!

Posted on 24 August '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 25 Comments.

Feral Celts

First I eliminated the PS2 because I grew so weary of my children talking about Count Duku and General Grievous like they were relatives.

I kept the Wii because I felt it was therapeutic in some sense.   After about a day of homeschooling, I nixxed that, too.

For now.

Until I am worn down, yet again.  Which will happen.

(Those of you familiar with my unorthodox discipline techniques can see a little cash coming my way.)

TV got the punt except for a few random Olympics which I felt encouraged an awareness of Geography.

With all things electronic rapidly vanishing, the Leapster, which had languished underneath McD sacks in the back of the van for months, suddenly took a front seat.  Now we are battling over Spiderman math games.  (At least we are reinforcing multiplication tables.)

This lead to a resurgence of interest in Webkins.  I was slightly nervous when they made mention of those creatures because I feared our furry offspring had all passed on from neglect during the past three months.

I was wrong.  They are sturdy critters.

Still, today I took those Webkins away.  Again.

And now I have this:

(See my laptop on my kitchen bar in the background?  Yes, that’s where I blog!)

We studied the Celts today as part of our history curriculum, The Story of the World, Volume 2.  Immediately Edward grabbed a blue magic marker and begged to tint his face blue.  “Go for it!” I encouraged.

Two minutes later everyone was blue and begging to smear animal fat in their hair.

(One child suggested we render fat from a squirrel we could hunt in the back yard…he was quickly hushed.)

They settled for hair gel.

As I write, my children have tugged a fallen tree limb from the “woods” and are chopping away on its rotted trunk with plastic swords and make-shift “Chinese Stars” they have fashioned out of rock pieces.

Here is the place where they hone their stars:

They are being children.

They are filthy with blue faces, covered in insect bites, half-clothed, clutching half-eaten apples in one hand and Star Wars swords in the other.

Thank you God.

Posted on 22 August '08 by , under Accidental Homeschooling. 11 Comments.

Enormous

Since we were kicked out, deemed unfit for, booted from, asked to leave, encouraged to find other alternative to our horseback riding class, I’ve been smashingly desperate for another activity for Edward.  I had planned a lovely, poetic post about a boy and his horse but I’m a tad bitter disenchanted with all things equine at his point.  Even so, I’ll share a few pictures:

Perhaps it’s for the best.

Anyhoo, yesterday I discovered a local “My Gym” class that sounded promising for our sweet lad.  (One child has some coordination issues and another is partially blind so the coaches are used to working on each child’s level.)  I signed him up on the spot.  (Half the price of the horseback offering, and so, so close to our house.)  Today was our first day.  He was pumped.  Did his version of a cartwheel all over the house, bounced tirelessly on his mini trampoline, hung from his chin-up bar throughout the day, etc.

On the way to the “gym” he asked his typical set of questions about new billboards he was seeing:  “Why would a man want to lose weight?  Don’t all men want to be big?  How does “beatrix” make you lose weight?”  “That’s bariatrics, buddy,” I explained.  “I think it’s the science of weight loss or something like that.”

I thought nothing of it.  A typical conversation.

Whoaa Nelly.

The class went OK.  I won’t bore you with the dull details.  Like the fact that both the coaches are named Zack, so Edward tried to crack a joke about how the coaches were “Zack squared” and nobody got it but me.

What happened directly after the class, however, has got me fretting.

Once the class ends, children are encouraged to get their “socks and shoes and stamperoos.”  Basically they are saying, get out and let the next class in.  So Edward is hustling about trying to find his crocs.  He’s sitting on the floor attempting to wrest his foot into the croc when he pauses and looks up.

I saw the whole thing from across the room where I was attempting to drag Sue out of the “sibling room” where they were debuting a “Care Bears” video.

Instinctively, I knew a less than positive event was unfolding.

In slow motion, I watched as that curly head looked upward toward a rather stout grandmother-type shuttling her granddaughter toward the shoe bin.  That sweet mouth folded into an “o” and before I could get to him, his penetrating voice rang out over the shoeless masses:

“Wow, you are ENORMOUS!  You should try that XYZ ‘beatrix’ place where they use science to help you lose weight…even though you are not a man!”

I cringed.  Everyone had heard.  I was so far away.  Nobody really knew he was my child.  What could I do?  The grandmother quickly gathered her charge and left.  Everyone else looked down uncomfortably…a few couldn’t help but stifle a smile.

In all fairness to my child, this sweet woman was quite possibly the largest person he had ever seen.

Talk about a “teachable moment.”

Still, friends, what on earth will I do next week when faced with this woman?

I’m not going.

I’m sending “H.”

Fresh perspective.

Posted on 21 August '08 by , under "Did He Just Say ?", Autism Spectrum/Sensory Processing. 16 Comments.

It’s No Cheap, Showy Trinket

The last time I felt truly good about myself (for all the wrong reasons) was about three weeks ago when I took my children to the dentist.  We arrived clean, pressed, on time and with shoes.  I flossed everyone until their gums bled, and I used my own bleaching toothpaste on their pearlies to make them gleam.

Everyone sat perfectly still for their X-rays, and I did not drug them with dye-free Benadryl.  Nobody cried, flailed, spit, kicked an adult, shot a foul-tasting flouride stream across the room or asked an inappropriate question about a dental hygienist’s undergarment.

As far as anyone could tell, we fit in the box this day.  Was the box of behavior, decorum and cleanliness somehow wide enough for us, or did we cram into it inexplicably? 

We all know the answer.

Yet it was a strange feeling, I tell you, to fit in that box–even if only for a moment.  And a dangerous one, too, because I honestly felt this swell of unhealthy pride.  I actually looked for a moment with disdain at another little boy slathered in post-lunch ketchup beaming Legos at stuffed animals in the waiting room.

His mama didn’t pack two extra shirts in the van; she should know better.

Behold the Fall.

Today our horseback riding teacher called to say we were simply not stable enough on the horse and would need to find some true Hippotherapy.  And then right before football practice, two of us smeared pokeberry juice on our cheeks and foreheads because we were urchin Indians.  Then we swung from a poison ivy vine.

(Apparently this can happen if you read Oliver Twist followed by Last of the Mohicans.)

Then one brother pulled another brother’s tooth a bit prematurely.  There was a lot of blood for a time.

Fast-forward to the part of the day when one child could not bear to look upon a gremlinish face carved into some wooden tree trunk tchotchke at a local Cracker Barrel, and unbeknownst to the parent, walked across the parking lot with his eyes closed, and ran smack dab into the Town & Country with a thud that sounded like an anvil had fallen on the van.

Because his guardian angels are so diligent, he emerged with only a large forehead bruise.  Still, this is “way-outside-the-box” kinda stuff.

I still look back on that day of dental greatness with a wistful sigh.  It was a stellar day.  Yet then I remember that God made my children the way they are for an incredibly specific reason.  And I embrace that, and them, and Him.

And after the excitement of today, just when I am growing weary of my “plight” that is truly a blessing and looking with longing toward my peers in the box, my dear blogging friend Mrs. Bear at Out Numbered Two to One comes to my self-concept rescue with this fine award:

Yes!  Now I finally can use the word “ass” on my blog without offending.  Maybe.

And I get to choose 5 others:

Go ye forth!

1.  The Bon Bon Gazette

2.  The Girl in the Middle

3.  Down-To-Earth Mama

4.  Weenuts

5.  Another Piece of the Puzzle

If I didn’t pick you, it was probably because I didn’t think you would be comfortable with the word “ass” peppering your blog.  You know who you are!

Rules are meant to be broken, but here they are anyway:

1. Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”.

2. Let ‘em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they’ve received an “Award!”  Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to www.mammadawg.com.

3. Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!

Fun times!

Posted on 19 August '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 11 Comments.

A Measure of Earnest Love

My three-year-old threw up in the Perfume Stalker’s Suburban today.

If my child was going to throw up in any person’s vehicle (other than my own), this is the person I would most likely choose.  Not because I want her SUV to be tainted with throw-up, and not because she has a particularly dirty vehicle but because she has this unusual ability to appear honored that someone in our family would feel comfortable enough to let loose a predigested preschool snack into the recesses of her children’s Britax.

I love how young children describe the important experience of vomiting:  “I sit there and that stuff runned up and out over her seat and down in there.  See it on my ‘dess’.  And Sam showed me his turtle.  Now you see it on my ‘dess’ right here.  But that’s OK, ’cause Mommy can just clean it up!  I need to go potty.  Right now Mommy!”

She jumps and flails, as post-consumed food sprays all over me, her bookbag, her artwork, some random stuffed dog she’s dragging around, her shoes.  You get the picture.

Yes, she’s awfully verbal to be too sickly.

But it’s been a good day!  If she contracted a virus, it was an incredibly mild version–one that rendered her fully able to consume the rest of the artificial color and dye-free Jello (which did not stain the carpet) and a Pedialyte pop (which stained the carpet, her hands, her face, blah blah etc.)

Yet I am so thankful to report that Mommy can clean it up this time!  For there was a time, in the not so distant past, that the entire Channel clan succumbed to a particularly nasty form of intestinal distress.  I’m talking every bed, every towel, extra blankets–the 1980s era washer was taxed.

And mid-cycle through a particularly gruesome job, it simply failed.  Would not wash.  Would not even drain, people.

And the dear, nauseous, week-kneed H had no option but carry the defunct washer out on a hand truck where he tipped it over in the driveway, releasing a cascade of vomit-covered clothes and fetid water down the driveway into the street, as the neighbors watched, in awe.

The strength, the fortitude of a man determined to provide for his family in a time of great distress.

Yes, being the types of people we are (what are those types?) we took a picture.

And he then rushed to the Best Buy to procure a new washer with a Sanitary cycle.

Now that, my friends, is love.

PS: He left the hobbled washer on the steet in front of our house, and someone picked it up.   Hmmmm.

PSS: Alas, Tubal Cain, your group was the last to lunch with our fair group.  Perchance contagion will not pervade.

Posted on 18 August '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 10 Comments.