Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brittany Hargest...Review and Give Away!

Looooooooovvvvveeeee it!  Two thumbs up!

Brittany Hargest of "Jump 5" fame has a new CD all her own and I have played it more than a couple of times already.  It is rare that I like all the songs on a CD and I really do like all of these.  There are some that I hit the rewind button on over and over.

The record is call Love All The Way.   Below is a video of the Making of Love All The Way with the title song in the background.

From her website another reviewer talks about the making of this music.  It really does hit the highlights of this music.
Brittany Hargest's Love All The Way is full of energy, hope, and heart. My first listen to the record came at the end of a stressful day that was part of a long stretch of difficult days. But this record was just the balm I needed. I came away from it restored, energized, and emboldened. This is the mission and call of Christian music: to encourage, to bring hope, to spread the good news of God's love. Brittany can consider her mission accomplished! The only downside to the record is its brevity – the 10  tracks clock in at just under 33 minutes. However, this album succeeds in showcasing both a talented artist and a merciful, loving, unwavering God. Brittany Hargest doesn't miss a step. She's right on beat with this debut solo project.

The website page also talks about each track and the 'story behind the song.'  You can read more of that here.

This is "dance around your house" music... walking music...  it is FUN!  I love fun.  And it is fun and God honoring!!!!!!  I ripped the music onto my iPod and then played it through almost twice while I set about my house cleaning and it made it effortless.  (Ok...almost effortless.)  I laugh that this is the perfect music to give a teen girl yet this forty something mama loves it too.

And shhhh.....don't tell anyone...but the kid liked it!

Of course she has a facebook page, she tweets and has an itunes page where you can hear samples of all the songs.

And... a give away.  Wanna win?!  Enter here.

1. Follow my blog via GFC or FB and put a comment.  If you already follow that is fine too.
2.  Put the blog post on your FB and comment.
3. Tweet the post and comment.
4. Reblog the post and comment.

I will draw a number on November 11th so enter up to midnight on 11/11/2011.

  "Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services 
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I 
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Autism Cookbook... a review

Update... I just published this a few hours ago but it has been brought to my attention that in all probability the pictures that are so wonderful in the book (and my favorite part of the book) are not the actual recipes.  That makes me sad.  I have not 'confirmed' this but read enough to give me pause.  Anyway, I will keep the original intact...  but given that this is probably the case, I wouldn't recommend.


I am very very good about completing reviews on time.  But when I'm not given a deadline, I consider that a reason to not do it (apparently.)  So I found three books while cleaning my desk, all on autism in some fashion, that I had not reviewed.  I am a woman of my word so I will be blogging these in the next few weeks.  Here is the first one:

The Autism Cookbook: 101 Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes by Susan K. Delaine.  

One of the primary reason I purchase a certain cookbook is the pictures and this one has delicious ones!  I absolutely love the layout of the cookbook.  Each page has a picture and the recipe on the facing page. I recently posted on my facebook page that if only we could press a button on a book or computer and the desired food item would come out... well that would be fabulous.

The initial pages of the cookbook cover a very basic overview of 'why gfcf.'  It also discusses the health benefits of a raw diet.  (To me there is some controversy here because some folks are lacking enzymes for processing of raw food.)  It also contains replacement charts for gluten and casein foods.

The main part of the cookbook has all the usual recipes from soup to nuts.  When I received this book I am pretty sure I made some things from it.  If you know me, I am a COOKBOOK NUT.  In fact if you want to pop over to my Settings of Silver blog you will see I just got rid of 15 cookbooks...and that just scratched the surface.  So the fact that I didn't make a ton of the recipes does not indicate the usability of this book.  I think my primary hesitation was that The Kid has such a small band of foods the he enjoys.  The very first recipe is "Apple Chicken Sausage."  I happen to buy pre-made Apple Chicken Sausages and have tried a variation of these but i am sure that The Kid would snub his nose at them.   I am also a creature of habit.  Once i find something that works, I tend to stick with it.  (There is a fair amount of quinoa and buckwheat flour in here too and I try and stay away from both. )  To be honest as I flip through the book I would like to try a few more of the recipes.  They do look very good.

The hardcover $12.11 on This is available as a kindle product but I don't recommend as the pictures are fabulous.  I would recommend this cookbook if you are gfcf and like to try new things.   (I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.)

Monday, October 17, 2011


I think Emily Colson's book Dancing with Max has changed my thinking more than any other book on autism.  Probably because it is about love.  Emily has said that she got up finally one day and said, "I am going to live every day as if it is my last."  She continues to go out, and have successes..and failures but she goes out.  Here is a clip I found on youtube.  If you haven't read the book... at least listen to this short clip. But buy the book.

But I'm stuck.  What does that even look like?  Because today we could go to gymnastics.  If we go, AJ has to take off his implant and I will find myself jumping into the foam pit to get him out.  He may not reference as he needs to and he won't be able to hear.  And I will find myself running down the trampoline tumble track with my pants that don't fit quite right..and well..anything could happen.  And I'm trying to avoid the chiropractor this week.

I think that is what I struggle with...what should we do every day?   God did not make us to be hermits but on the flip side when the failures outnumber the successes you tend to follow the path of least resistance. Does God mean for me to go out today and get stressed?  Is the stress from myself or is it a 'lack of peace' and so should we stay home and relax.

So for today anyway, I started being very stressed over wanting to do something fun for the kid and yet not wanting to deal with the potential results.  I felt God saying, don't stress.  I am praying for a helper to go with us and I know that if we are suppose to go today He will provide one.  Maybe next month we can try it 'for sure.'

As I was noodling over this post before I published it, i was thinking of the serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I was thinking maybe for me it goes like this:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I shouldn't go 'do'
courage to go do the things you want me to do;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I heard in a book or movie recently..."The safest place is in the center of God's will."  That is where I want to remain.  And I want grace to forgo those activities that are seemingly good but are not what God's plan is.  Several friends have tried to encourage me to step out more with Andrew..."I won't know unless I try."  I want to know if it is lack of courage that I am not stepping out or if it truly isn't God's timing and place.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Mighty Macs- Movie Review

Next week The Mighty Macs will be opening in theaters everywhere.  I had the opportunity of an advanced screening and I have to say, it's a winner!!!  First....what's the story.  From the website:

THE MIGHTY MACS is based on the incredible true story of the 1971-72 Immaculata College team that started in obscurity but became the original Cinderella story in women's basketball. This team of pioneers went from barely making that inaugural tournament to the first dynasty in their game. And Cathy Rush, the woman that was ahead of her time, became immortalized when she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

As it says, it is a Cinderella story.  Even though you know what the ending will be the movie is full of wit and fun and plenty of drama.  The movie is about dreams and hope.   It is about commitment and tenacity... and heart.  And it is funny too!

Here is the trailer:

I wanted to watch this with hubby but as things go, unless we get a babysitter and leave the house, that just doesn't happen.  But this movie is great for the whole family.  There is zero swearing, sex, violence. It is rated G.   I would think very young kids would be bored a bit but certainly even elementary age children might enjoy the story line.  As for the men...sometimes movies like this are billed as "great because they are a sports movie and the hubbies will like it."  I can tell you that my hubby does not necessarily like dramas that are based on sports; real or fiction.  He might enjoy it but not because it is a 'sports' movie.  I think they probably take many liberties and he knows the real games too well not to see the 'holes.'  Still I do think he would enjoy it for entertainment.  Just don't bill it to your hubby as a 'sports film.'  Tell him you want a night on the town that includes dinner and a great movie.  I give this one two thumbs up.

The Might Macs of course has a facebook page.  And they tweet.  Visit either to see what others are saying.   It opens next weekend..October 21!  So come out and support a great family film.

I received access to this movie in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Grunt Crew

In her book, Dancing with Max, Emily Colson talks about how Max, her son with autism joined the grunt crew at church.  I can't begin to tell the story as she did so buy the book.  But in a nutshell, he found a PLACE at church.  Something that worked for him.  For quite a few years, they would go to their church at the END of service, because the actual service didn't work for him.  He would help clean up after and THIS was his church.  He became part of the community that way.

We decided not to do classes at our homeschool 'co-op' this year.  We are however, meandering in there from time to time just to say hi.  This week we got there and Ms. Tricia said, "Hey AJ!  We have a service project for you!"  AJ loves service.  He loves to serve.  To feel useful.

So we stuffed journals and card decks into plastic bags for them to pass out on Sunday.  And then...JUST like in the book, AJ started helping by stacking chairs.  It was at that point I realized the parallel between AJ and Max in the book.  He was part of the team, part of the group and if I dare say, he was doing it with more enthusiasm than most.

Then he spent some time playing with a three year old.  It was effortless for him.  (AJ is eleven.)  His joint attention was fabulous and if he was three you wouldn't have known there was any issue.  But this is actually quite sweet progress because in the past this would not have happened.  He would not even have been able to play tag with a three year old.  He shared snacks, played hide and seek and had a genuine peer relationship with him.   Our RDI consultant said is the fruits of our labor of the last two years.

He is also enjoying his 'typical peer' relationships more... his buddies of the same age.  But I love that his relationships are not defined by just age.  We are going for our RDA (Relationship Development Assessment) soon and I can't wait to document the progress we have made over the last year.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Two Roads

I went on a personal retreat yesterday at the Capuchin Retreat Center.  It is the second time I have been blessed with going.  There were only four women this time and after I went last time, and saw the fruits from it, I couldn't imagine not going again.  You can go any time (more or less during the week but must call first) and if you want more information let me know.  Make time.. you will walk away with MORE time as you reevaluate your goals.   (It is a Catholic retreat center but you do not have to be Catholic to go.) 

I post this poem every once in awhile.  The two pictures below were taking on my little iPod Touch.  So they aren't high quality but there was a maze of trails to choose from and I think of this poem when I look at these pictures.  (There is also a prayer labyrinth that I have not yet done but have thought about doing.  A very interesting spiritual practice.) 

Oh and if you don't know me..I am a Martha Martha Martha.  This was a very Mary practice.  And it fit me just fine :)

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Monday, October 3, 2011

Poem for a Monday

my poem may not have much,
but it says u pack a punch.
even though its small it has ♥ you see,
i ♥ u, u ♥ me.

Just found this.  Kiddo wrote it a few months ago.  I think the 'pack a punch' was suppose to be the love packs a punch ;)  I ♥ my kid.  God brought this poem to me today because, well, it is a Monday.  And on some Mondays you just need a little whisper from God.

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