Stories....

There's a reason why we can print our blogs into a cover, because every day I write, I add to My Story and who doesn't love a good book where they are the star, heroine, or slave (haha). My kids LOVE looking through their scrapbooks, that's where their story is written in the pictures and stories we tell about them at that particular age.

Like any good story there's a who, what, when, where, why. I love this picture because their personalities shine. I enjoy sharing with them what I think their strengths are. It's the story behind this picture that is the true art. Now I'm not a fascinating storyteller, but when you're talking about the person you're talking to, it doesn't seem to matter. (haha) 



I believe we all have a story to tell and one that needs to be read. Either in my life time or that of my descendants, my story is valuable and worth recording, that is why I am looking forward to learning how I can improve my storytelling/writing/blogging at the Story @ Home Conference, February 1&2, 2013. In the heart of SLC at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

This conference is full of workshops and performances by award-winning storytellers, performers and speakers, who will help you explore ways to use the power of story in your home. You’ll be able to record your own story, start on some research to learn more about your family’s history, get started on a blog and learn how to tell your story through social media.

As I look over the class schedule for this conference I become giddy, every class is an excellent  topic and I know it will be difficult to choose which one I'll go to. I NEED them all! Here are my top five classes I have to attend:
1) Tell It Again by Kim Weitkamp
2) 365 Days of Story Prompts by Jenny Eckton
3) Writing for a Publisher by Bill Lepp and Christopher Robbins
4) Social Media by Tauni Everett, Emily Hill & Stephanie Hansen
5) Family Traditions by Veronica Johnson

This conference is extrememly affordable for just $79 you will be filled to the brim with knowlegde for two days. If both days don't work for your schedule you can just come one day. Meals are not included in the conference ticket, but because of the location there are endless restaurants right next door at City Creek and surrounding areas. To register for this conference go here. You also have a chance to win a conference pass right here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

31 days: Truth is Twitter is Confusing

And yet there is a strategy and purpose to all that you do in social media.
I wish I would have have Dave Guymon's new book, Twitterpated, when I started tweeting. His book is an easy read that covers all the little and big details when you start to tweet.
Even if you've already been tweeting for awhile this book it's goods to brush up on the basics.
Thank you Dave for writing this book and letting me read it and share with others. Right now this book is available for only $1.99 on Amazon.
You can read more from Mr. Guymon here...http://mrguymonsclassroom.weebly.com/2/post/2012/10/twitterpated-a-beginners-guide-to-twitter.html

31 days: Truth is Miracles happen everyday

I'm sorry if your sick of hearing this from me but it's TRUE.

Today the Rock displayed a new found awareness of his surroundings. He was more engaged with looking at the animals at the zoo, more than ever before. While at the park he looked up as a flock of geese flew by over head and watched them go by. WOW!

Why is this a miracle???
Because it's one the critical steps before you have the ability to speak and be aware of social cues. We are constantly looking for and working on these important steps and little by little they come to him. Oh happy day!

31 days: Truth is You can Defy Gravity

Or anything else that pulls you down. Look at this little boy fly over the ice. Seriously a miracle we captured that shot. This little boy, the Rock, Defies Gravity everyday wether it's by swinging on the tramp pole or saying a new word (yesterday it was the word "awesome").

I love the song "Defying Gravity" in Wicked, I mean who doesn't. The words "I'm Defying Gravity, and you won't bring me down!" are one of my favorite quotes. I feel like there are people and situations every day trying to take me away from what's really important and trying to keep me from reaching my full potential. I have to make little decisions everyday to not let those things "bring me down". There are just too many things trying to lift me up that I need to focus on and the the downers go!

If the Rock can Defy Gravity with the trials of autism stacked against him the least I can do is give him everything I can to lift him and others around me up. I believe that by lifting up and empowering each other we lift ourselves to our full potential.

LET'S DEFY GRAVITY!!

31 days: Truth Is life's ironic....

"isn't it ironic?.....don't ya think?"
-Alanis Morissette

I love this song now and then and it's almost everyday something ironic happens. Today for the first time ever living in my home I had the outside windows cleaned and guess what the weather has done just a few hours later.......Yep, it's raining. Haha
Seriously I can't believe it. What ironic situation have you had happen lately?

31 days: Truth is the beach equals peace.

It amazes me how a simple walk or nap on the beach can bring so much peace to my soul. Time allows us to heal from all kinds of struggle and trials, but standing on the edge of the ocean watching the waves rolling in is as if the water takes all my worries with it as it drags the water back out to sea.

31 days: Truth is Babies grow up


I can not believe that my baby is 12 yrs old and SO beautiful. 
Time is a fascinating thing that flys or creeps by, but either way it ticks away. 


31days: Truth is I love an Adventure.

Today's Adventure is fusia pink shirt. I know a shirt is not THAT adventurous but for me and my red hair it is. I NEVER do pinks but today is the day and I like it. I challenge you to push your wardrobe to a new adventure.

31 days: Truth is Life is Tough

The other day I had someone tell me "oh my, what a hard day but luckily they are all first world problems. " I didn't know what she was saying at first but then as she said again I understood.
The problems I have are mostly first world problems and am grateful that they are.
Still......Life is tough! Wether it's a simple life or a complicated one our shoulders are added upon.
So what???
We all need to understand to be companionate and just say to ourselves "they don't know my life and I don't know theirs, so I'll just smile and love them."

31 days: Truth is We are all Vulnerable


In order to love and be loved totally and completely we have to lay it all on the line. 
We have to put our whole selves out there for someone to embrace or crush. 
This is the risk we take but the rewards far out way the pain. 
Such is life!


31 days: Truth is Laughter is a MUST.


This is so true and this is why I surround myself with wonderful women who laugh with me and push me to be my best. Some of the best times of my life have been with these women. 
I am so grateful to have them in my life. 

I am also one lucky girl to have this man who promised to make me laugh every day of my life. He takes pride in keeping this promise. I love new adventures and almost everyday is a new adventure with the incredible people (in these pics and many others) in my life. 

31 days: Truth is Family IS important!


We are a very spirited family, meaning we have too much energy to take a serious picture.  
I think it's when we are taken away from our family members that we realize how important we are to one another. Family members are not always easy to get along with, it is this reason why family is so important. If we take the time to change our way of thinking and accept everyones strengths and overlook their weaknesses we grow closer and stronger as family and as individuals. Families give us more opportunity to become better people than any other situation is life.

31 days: Truth is I Am A Mormon

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
I believe in God, the Eternal Father 
in his Son, Jesus Christ
and in the Holy Ghost.


I am not perfect, nor do I believe that because of my beliefs in God and Jesus Christ that I am better than any one else. I love all people no matter their faith or beliefs and love learning about others thoughts and beliefs about God and Jesus Christ. 

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because it's what speaks to my soul as the right place for me. I love the teachings of Christ, to love and serve each other. I realize there are more details to the teachings of Christ but to me they are ways for us to do these two things, to love and serve each other all the days of our lives.

These two simple things are what I try to focus on to make myself a better person and in the decisions I make in life. I sometimes always make mistakes and that is why the knowledge and use of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is so important to me. The option to repent and come unto Christ strengthens my relationship with God and his Son, Jesus Christ.

If you would like to know more about what I believe go here.

31 days: Truth is It's up to you!


I saw this quote and wrote this 3 years ago.....
Creating yourself gives you the power to choose who you want to be. Finding yourself limits you to one ideal of a person you were before now. Life is ever changing therefore we are always creating ourselves to have the courage for the situations that come our way.
For me this just takes time. As I've been knocked around the rocks of life I've realized knowing who you want to be is the most important goal to have and then give it time. It's the little COURAGEOUS decisions we make everyday that create who we are. Little decisions like being kind, forgiveness, not gossiping, loving those that use us, teaching instead of getting mad.
Yep!!! My dad gave me a book a long time ago called "Added Upon". This book is all about a few lives that just never end with burdens placed upon them. Life can be that way, never ending and it just Kicks Your A$$. For me in that moment I just needed time to own all that was happening and as time went by I felt like I could stand back up, brush of the pain and keep fighting!
That's me, what do you think????

31 days: Truth we all cast Judgement


I love this quote and one that Elder Uchtdorf quoted in an LDS General Conference last year
"Don't Judge Me Because I Sin Differently Than You"

The truth is we all cast Judgement. In many situations we need to in order to keep ourselves and children safe. We need to be able to judge between right and wrong, good and bad. However we also cast bad judgements on each other because we don't know where someone is in their journey of life or where they've been. 
We all know someone who starts mean lies and gossips endlessly, what we don't see is the pain and suffering going on inside that person that compels them to act so poorly. 
You might not know the person who that has a sleeve of tattoos, but I do and that person is the most kind, loving and giving person in the world and a tattoo does not define her. 
You may not know the person who smokes non stop, but I do and that person is fighting daily against the addiction of drugs and alcohol and if smoking is the only way to be sober then do it. 

Maybe take a minute to consider the past or future of the next person you are about to cast judgement on. I believe this world will be a better place if we all love one another more often.

31 days: TRUTH a family that works together stays together

TRUTH is....
We may not have it all together,
but together we have it all!

Punky and her buddies had a great idea to have a Bake Sale. I thought..."that could be a lot of fun and a great way to hang out with my Jr. High School attending Young Woman/Daughter"
It became a week long activity starting with the girls making caramels and then packaging them the next day, baking the entire day before the Bake Sale and then the Glorious Day of selling everything.
Baking Day was a Music Day just to help the day go by quickly. When there's music there's singing and dancing, right? Oh, yeah! I start singing and the girls came running "I love it when Mom sings" and we all belt out the words. 
Memories!!!
Here are the highlights.....






Although I was exhausted at the end, I was filled with peace knowing we'd done it together.

31 days:Truth iPads & Apps

TRUTH is I really have been waiting for the day that the Rock is interested in the iPad, why? you ask...
because there are so many learning apps that I hope will help him talk. 
Yep! That's right talk. We are all pleased with the progress the Rock is making, however he needs to be able to do more. We need all kinds of different ways to motivate him and I hope and pray the iPad will do just that.




It all started with him watching his big bro work the iPad magic. Now the Rock brings it to me to turn it on. I make him ask me to use it. (make him by signing the words "I" "want""iPad""please", when I sign these words he says them out loud) This process is fascinating to me. Why does he HAVE to mimick (by signs or voice) someone else in order to get the words out. I may never know that answer but I sure would love to. 
Technology is incredible and I hope that it can be a help the Rock break threw barriers.

Do you have apps you love that you think we need, please please share!

Here is what one of our wonderful Speech Therapists gave to us........
Free Picture Communication Apps
iComm-take pics with your ipad and put them in 8 categories with yes no choice to confirm the one the child has picked
Tap to Talk-free basic starter for Ipad;  includes some preprogrammed messages 
pic a word-12 choice photo board preprogrammed with messages adapts to 4 x 3, 3x3, 3x2, and 3x1 board 
Picture board- 20 categories of photos with specific choices under each category (food, clothes, plants, home) and other categories under these (fruits, bathroom, kitchen, etc.)
Free Picture Communication Apps
Picture Card Maker-FREE;  Incorporate photos from your Camera Roll on the iPad 2 and make them into Picture cards;  label them and record the message then organize them into an album.  You can create picture schedule this way or use them just for flash cards;  you can also print them out.
TapToTalk for iPad: FREE; get starter album for free and go to http://taptotalk.com/free for more free albums
Visual Working For-FREE; allows you put photos from iPad into a schedule form to show what you are working for
Free Memory Match Apps
Farm Flips-12 location memory matching game with farm animals that make the sound when you find the match
Vocab PCS-Mayer Johnson pic syms in a memory game;  farm match is free;  4, 6, 8, 12, 16, and 20 location boards
Guess’em-FREE;  Similar to Guess Who;  ask questions to guess who your partner is thinking about.
FUN LEARNING GAMES
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox-has matching, colors, counting (1:1 correspondence), shapes, puzzles, size concepts, letter recognition and more…99 cents
Photo Concepts- left/ right, above/ below, near/ far;  same/different, big/small, not, middle, short/tall, top/bottom touch photos as directed;  99 cents
Preschool Touch-FREE  touch farm animals as directed; great for one step directions and vocabulary
Peekaboo! Lite- FREE Listen to the farm animal and match the sound to the picture
MORE LEARNING GAMES
Clean Up-FREE-Helps with categorization;  drag photo items to the correct location (closet, basket (fruits), or toy box).
Together-FREE-touch the item that goes together best with the photo on top
ABA Belong-FREE;  follow the verbal direction to touch the one that does not belong
Build it up-FREE-sequencing game that helps children learn how to organize or sequence objects (snowman, blocks, etc.)
MORE LEARNING GAMES
Wheels On The Bus-99 cents;  sings the wheels on the bus song and allows child to interact, open and shut door, spin wheels, etc. 
Animal Book-Free:  line drawing that links to photos of real animals and says the name of the animal and makes the sound
Opposites-FREE;  touch a picture and pick it’s opposite
Match it up 3-Free:  pick items that go together best
MORE LEARNING GAMES
Families-MyFristApp.com; Free- helps children choose what other item goes in a pictured category
PlayHomeLite-Free; Go to the living room and kitchen and turn on the lights, the oven, the stove, put plates on the table etc.;  good for vocabulary, following directions, etc.
Gingerbread Fun-FREE-  Take part in making a gingerbread man or other cookies from the rolling to the cooking to the eating. 
MORE LEARNING GAMES
What is it?  FREE;  basic photo i.d. task asks the question, touch the pic and it names the item
Animals 4 Kids Lite-FREE; different pics of animals with the name (5 languages supported);  photo of the animal and its sound.
Mobi Pizza-FREE; make our own pizza, choose toppings, bake it, etc.  Good for sequencing and vocabulary.
MORE LEARNING GAMES
Kids Patterns-FREE cognitive pattern skills;  fill in the patterns;  preschool to kindergarten age types of tasks
Where’s Puppy-FREE; Fisher Price Laugh and Learn;  puppy comes out and identifies body parts when you touch them
Families 1-FREE;  choose the member of the family/category that goes with the others
FREE TEXT TO SPEECH APPS
Locabulary Lite-Free; has moods, assistance, restaurants, and area for your own categories;  Let’s you compose messages using predicted words and gives you the part of speech (verbs, nouns, etc.). Keyboard  to  type message and speak  it
Verbally; FREE  keyboard with a list of frequently used words and phrases ready to use. Word prediction as well.

ARTICULATION/SPEECH APPS
ArtixPix-gives you one free /th/ deck then lets you purchase other decks for $1.99 (k, g, f, v, ch,s,s-blends, l, r-blends, r, z, l-blends, p, b, n, t, d, m, j)
Talking Tom/T-Rex, Santa, etc-Free- Funny cat repeats exactly what the child says as they have said it (helps for recognition of errors);  also help to get kids to initiate speech.
Pocket SLP-$29.99 real photo artic cards and diagrams showing placement (palate and side views); auditory feedback as well
Articulate It-$38.99-over 1,000 photos in all sounds of the English language, voice recording, can group sounds by manner or articulation or phonological process
WRITTEN AND VERBAL STORY TELLING APPS AND CONV ERSATION STARTERS
Story Builder-$3.99; asks questions and provides a visual cue to help students use complete sentences to tell an original story.  They then listen back and hear the story.  You can have them listen and write the story down after they listen to it.
Story Wheel- FREE;  record a story by the wheel to get a picture and then narrate a portion of the story.  When done you can listen to your story with animated pictures. 
Mad Libs-$1.99;  Use words provided under specific parts of speech to create silly stories.
Clicky Sticky and Sticker Stories- 99 cents to $1.99 each; following directions, learning, reward,  creating a story, sequencing, etc.
Amazing Animals-FREE;  great photos of a variety of animals for eliciting stories or teaching vocabulary and descriptors.
400 Amazing World-FREE;  National Geographic photos of places around the world to generate discussion and stories 
WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS DAY? FREE; Read about past events that happened in history on a specific day;  good for older kids who may need a conversation starter or who enjoy his kind of info. 
Story Patch-$2.99;  Help children create their own stories and import pictures or use 800 illustrations included
Toontastic-$1.99-Empowers kids to draw, animate, and share cartoons through imaginative play.
AUDITORY PROCESSING/LISTENING
What’s That Sound?-FREE-gives you a choice of 2 or 3 pics and then you touch the pic. That corresponds to the correct sound.
My Scene-FREE;  children listen to the directions given by the caregiver to put the ___,  in a certain location;  work on prepositions, location words and following directions (1-step, 2-step, etc.)

DRAWING APPS
Glow Draw-FREE
Draw Free-FREE
Paint Sparkles-FREE


BARBIE/DRESS UP APPS
Barbie I Can Be-FREE;  Career Barbie that can make pizza, bake, be a vet; can work on vocab. and sequencing
Barbie Fashionista-FREE;  dress up Barbie
Dress Up Baby-FREE;  dress up a doll in a variety of outfits;  good for vocabulary, following directions, motivation, etc.
FUN REINFORCEMENT OR VERY EARLY CAUSE EFFECT APPS
Fun Fireworks-FREE; touch and fireworks explode 
Fireworks 123-FREE:  Let’s the child choose, size, color and number of fireworks to explode
Bubble Shooter Free-tap on the screen to shoot the ball/bubble;  fun for a reward or to get kids to touch and follow the bubbles with more precision.


Touch Trainer Lite-FREE;  touch the item on the page and it moves with music to reinforce continued use of pointer to touch
Gravitarium Lite –FREE;  combines music, art and science to create different animations paired with music for relaxation.
VOICE RECORDER APP
Audio Memos SE- The Voice Recorder;  FREE;  record language samples, etc. and listen to them;  use for taking notes; high quality recordings
Dragon Dictation App; Free;   lets you record and talk 5x faster than you can type info.; send e-mails, do homework, create documents

FLASHCARD APPS
Kindergarten.com:  FREE or 99 cents; flashcards for actions, things, fruits, receptive i.d., problem solving, 
My First Apps:  FREE;  photos of various vocabulary items:  actions, animals, baby things, etc.; shows the word and says it
iTouchiLearn FREE:  touch pictures to see a little movie depicting the word and words that go with it;  also letter and puzzle games with words;  touch the pic. That matches the word game also
BOOK Apps
Mickey’s Spooky Night-99 cents fun interactive story with Mickey and a spooky theme
Zanny Born to Run-about $2.99-fun interactive story about a boy who loves to run; includes a feelings faces game that is a lot of fun 
Halloween Book-FREE;  tells a cute story and works on answering Where questions?  can also get a PDF copy at amylaurent.com
BOOK Apps
Making Pizza-FREE;  easy level book that can also work on sequencing, prediction and storytelling.
LittleMouse Lite-FREE;  Book format with vocabulary items that are interactive; feed the food to the man, give the mouse items, clean up items;  word is in print and said;
The Little Book of ABC-FREE;  book with all letters of the alphabet.  Reads and highlights the letter and words as it goes.
COGNITION & BRAIN APPS/SCIENCE
3D Brain-FREE:  Touch the screen to rotate and zoom around the brain and see how each brain region functions and what happens when it is injured.
UPPER RESPIRATORY VIRTUAL LAB-FREE; Explore the upper airway with a 3D simulator.  See the nasal passages all the way down to the trachea.
BrainPOP-Free;  Watch an animated movie about a topic and take a quiz at the end;  e.g., movie about mars; captioning is included for reading along.
LITERACY APPS
Toddler ABC Lite-FREE;  trace letters;  pick letters out in a reveal the picture game; sing the ABC song; ABC free


SOCIAL STORIES/VIDEO MODELING 
Going Places-FREE;  videos from Model Me Kids for getting hair cut, going to the mall, playground, doctor, grocery store, and restaurant
SOCIAL SKILLS Sampler or SOCIAL HD:  FREE video modeling stories about being polite, joining groups, apologizing, following directions, etc.

TRANSLATILON APPS
iTranslate-FREE;  type in the word, phrase, etc.  and it translates it in the written word;  has the capability to speak it also
Google Translate-FREE;  speak your phrase, word, etc. and it will translate and speak it in the language you choose

CASES FOR iPad
Gum Drop Case-$59.95 on Amazon
Complete security for the iPad 2, including screen and port covers Dual material construction for multiple layers of shock absorption Reinforced rubber bumpers on the corners Includes replaceable integrated screen cover for protection during use Full protection of ports and screen Replaceable integrated screen cover and belt clip
Specifically for the Apple iPad 2 

Otterbox iPad 2 Defender Case;  $49.95;  other Otterbox products go higher;  see at Amazon as well


you know you're a M.O.M. when....

.......while you're buying Halloween costumes you're also buying Christmas gifts. 


It's crazy that we are so stinkin' talented we can plan these two holidays at the same time. It's not like the stores make it difficult for us to buy for these two holidays at the same time. There was Christmas decor out in July and I just could not wrapped my head around Independence Day and Christmas all at once. (haha because Halloween is SO different).
So how's your shopping coming? Halloween and Christmas? Whose done?

31 days of Truth: Eyes

Me                               &                             Zooey

TRUTH, as I see it is that Zooey and I have twiner eye color.
Truth is I am in love with everything Zooey (not the attraction love, just the I think she's Incredible).
Truth is I love the color of my eyes and I am NOT ashamed to say it. You HAVE got to celebrate your assets and use them to your advantage, just like Zooey does. 

To read more of My TRUTH, As I See It