Posted in Special Needs Children

See A Need, Fill A Need!

You know, being the mother of a special needs child whose diagnosis’ includes: autism, central auditory processing disorder, sensory dysfunction, obsessive compulsive disorder, dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, I’m fairly well versed in what that entails. Upon first receiving the news of the diagnosis’ I spent more time researching than eating or sleeping or pretty much anything else. This was happening to my first born child, and I was GOING to understand it!

My son, at the age of 5, when we received the “actual” diagnosis of autism.

After compiling enough research to wonder why I hadn’t pursued a degree of some sort in the field, I decided that I needed an outlet to share it. So, I founded a family support group. And it wasn’t just your run of the mill “support group” because I wanted it to be all the things I couldn’t find when I was looking for a support group to attend. (I never did find one, by the way).

I had been looking for a support group just to have some like-minded parents to talk to, but every time I found one, upon further investigation, I realized I couldn’t go. By this time, we’d had our second child, our daughter, who was not special needs and was only a toddler. So, instead of either myself or my husband going, and one of us staying home to watch her, we just decided not to go because none of them offered child care. OR, of all things, they didn’t have anything for the special needs child, the reason we were suppose to be coming together in the first place!

One thing led to another, and I had finally reached the end of my rope. While dropping my son off to school one day, I stopped to talk to the Family Resource Center Director and was telling her of this dilemma. She asked me why I hadn’t started one myself, and at first, I simply laughed. Start a support group? Me? Why, I couldn’t do something like that! Ah, but you can, she told me with more excitement than I would have for awhile even myself 🙂

She went on to tell me about a grant that was being offered by our state mental health agency. This was the first I had even heard of such a thing, but listened to what she had to say as we walked to her office. She gave me the paperwork that she had printed off, just a bit earlier, and told me I should give it a try. I said I would think about it.

That night, I looked over the paperwork and realized it would be quite a job. I had to write a grant proposal, which didn’t seem like such a big deal. I’d been a “writer” all my life in one form or another, and the instructions looked pretty simple. It laid out everything I had to include: names of parents in the area who might be interested in going, what I hoped to accomplish, how I would spend the money, and a slew of other laundry-list items.

Over the next few days, little by little, I put everything together and mailed it off. It wasn’t that very much longer that I received a reply, and our little support group that had started from one parent’s desire to fill a need, got $1,000 for that year! To say that I was elated was the understatement of the year! I wouldn’t have made it without the help of that Director, and she helped me put everything together and it was wonderful while it lasted. I had to turn the group over to another wonderful friend I had made along the way when we moved out of the area.

Over the course of the 4-5 years or so, we got that grant each year. Our little group of – originally – three families, grew exponentially. We put together a lending library with books and other print resources, we offered referrals to specialists in every field imaginable that family of a special needs child might need, we hired students from our local community college who were pursuing careers surrounding special needs to provide activities and entertainment for our special needs children while someone else would oversee the siblings, and the two groups were always together, we had community outings monthly, to provide a group atmosphere in which to play and relax and by the last year, we were offering continuing education certificates to foster and adoptive families who attended our meetings and seminars where we would have expert speakers.

Our meetings were weekly, and for at least two of them, we would have special speakers who spoke on a variety of topics relating to life with a special needs child. There were experts in education, therapy, home-helps, medicine and an array of others. We always served refreshments and had a time of “visiting” before and after the meetings. It had become like family.

So if you’re in a situation where you see a need, and there’s any inkling of a chance that you could possibly do something to fill it – GO FOR IT! You might be surprised what you’ll wind up with.

So good luck! And thanks, as always, for stopping by to have a read.

Posted in Faith

7 Stellar Ways to Pray for Your Teenagers

Are you the parent or grandparent of a teenager? As you are raising them and seeking to wisely deal with them, why not pray for them? Here are 7 great ideas for how you can pray for your teenagers PLUS a FREE PRAYER PRINTABLE!

Source: 7 Stellar Ways to Pray for Your Teenagers


This is an absolute “must-read” for parents of teenagers! I have it bookmarked, liked, shared and most of the tips written in my journal that I keep with actual paper and pen 🙂

We are admonished in the Word about our children, not to back down, nor give up. My mother always said, “Train up a child in the way that they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it.” I remember it word for word because that’s how often she said it. Every time I didn’t want to go to church, she said it. Every time I was mean to someone, she said it. Every time I spoke in a way that was unbecoming, she said it. And so on and so forth. But it stuck with me, and now, I say it!

It took me awhile to come back around, much to my mother’s dismay throughout my early years I know, but she knew…

Posted in Schooling

My Top-5 Favorite Free Homework Help Sites

Here we are, on the eve of a brand new school year. Everyone is finishing up gathering supplies, clothes, shoes, backpacks and other school essentials and the excitement about that first day is mounting!

What better time to get a few ducks in a row concerning homework? I know, teachers never give homework on the first day, so why start thinking about it now? Because, preparation is a great way to keep from falling behind in the first place. So, in lieu of the impending moaning and groaning about homework that is sure to come, I have compiled a great list of online homework helps sites that provide free help.

  1. Free Math Help – I’m just going to go ahead and put this one first, because I know it’s the one my daughter, at least, will make the most use of. And she gets it honest – I’m no good at math. Well, I was good at math, but when they started throwing letters around like numbers, then things got tricky 🙂 !  This site helps with Algebra (pre-algebra through algebra 3), Geometry, Trig and Calculus. They have lessons, games, calculators, a Q&A section, a forum and more. Believe me when I tell you you’re going to want to bookmark this one to keep it close.
  2. Another bookmark worthy site is HippoCampus with over 5,700 free videos in several different subjects from middle school through college. Teachers can even create a free account and customize it for their students.
  3. Khan Academy is an awesome, absolutely free, not-for-profit website that allows students to learn at their own pace and practice on exactly what they’re struggling with. There are no ads and no need to register, however you do need to sign in with either Facebook, Gmail or an email address. There are SO many things to work on: math, by subject or grade level, science and engineering, computing, arts and humanities, economics and finance as well as test prep and college admissions. The site will keep up with all your progress, which you can check at a glance on your profile page.
  4. Though it may seem a little busy at first, Discovery Education is another great free site that offers help for students, parents and teachers alike. Featuring homework help, games and interactives and step-by-step webmath, there’s more than one way to get moving towards understanding that homework better. They even have archived webinars, if you’d like to take the time to watch.
  5. Project Gutenberg isn’t actually a homework help site, but I absolutely COULD NOT leave it off this list. It has been monumental to me, as a homeschooler, and I wanted to put it out there in the hands of as many other people as possible. This website hosts over 50,000 public domain books that you can downloaded and read. There are classics, fiction, non-fiction, Bibles, text books and more. You can search by book or just browse the categories, but I bet you’re sure to find something interesting. The great thing is, with all the apps for reading eBooks out there, you can utilize this site from a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone, easy as pie!

So, there you have it folks. My top 5 list of free homework help sites. Do you have a preferred one that you use for your kiddo’s? If so, I’d love for you to leave a link to it in the comments below so I can bookmark it for later use – and maybe even update this post with the goodies!

Also, if you happen onto this post and any of these links are broken, please do let me know so I can take it down. The last thing I want is to offer misleading information.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed day!!

Posted in Faith, Writing

My New Writer’s Website

I’d love for you guys to check out my new website for my writing business! I just started it today, so I still have quite a bit of work to do on it.

It includes a blog, and a contact page, so feel free to comment and especially offer any suggestions or constructive criticism. I’ve never created a website before, but I know I’ve needed one, especially now that I’m gearing up to offer my first book on Amazon…

It will be entitled, Believe, and will be a walk through the Bible and all the ways God encourages us to BELIEVE! I was astonished when He showed me how much there is to that one simple word, but…I digress 🙂 I’ll be sure and send a link when it’s ready.

Isn’t it exciting?!

Writing, Freelance Writing, Copywriting

Source: Stacey Wells, Writer

Well, as always, thank you so much for stopping by! Have a blessed day, and don’t forget to leave your comments on the new site!

Posted in Musings

Tomorrow’s Professional Is Today’s Fraud

So, I will admit that I freelance for a handful of content sites. No, the pay isn’t amazing, but it IS extra income that really comes in handy, so I’m happy to do it. I’m a stay at home mom with a special needs son, so I do wind up with enough free time to write at least every day.

Mainly, I ghostwrite articles and blog posts and some creative content, and it’s all actually pretty fun. I learn something new every day! However, in digging through the available jobs, I have recently came upon some disturbing trends. I say “trends” because it seems to be an ongoing thing and somehow, I just don’t believe it should be.

Apparently, it’s okay for someone who is in college to pay someone else to do their writing homework. From what I’ve personally come across, it is primarily classes like psychology, sociology, economics and the like, and they’re willing to pay fairly good money to hire someone to write. They’ll give you the details, screenshots of the assignment or uploads of the paperwork laying out what the end result is suppose to be like.

I came across one of these quite by accident, because I would not stoop to that level myself. Once I found out that I was going to be paid to actually do their homework, and they were in turn going to turn that in under their own name, playing it off as if they’d done the work, I graciously bowed out. I’ve learned the key words and have come to avoid those people like the plague!

The thing that bothers me is that these are people –  who are in college to be whatever “fill-in-the-blank” professional they’re suppose to be – are not only committing plagiarism, they are showing that they are not willing to actually do the work they’re suppose to do in order to earn the degree they are paying to get. Of course, the only ones that know about it are the client and the writer, but maybe that’s the worst part.

If they’re willing to break the rules pre-degree, who’s to say they won’t continue to break the rules afterwards? What else will they be willing to stoop to after they are in place in their desired field? I guess we’ve created an atmosphere in this world where that kind of thing is no longer frowned upon…which is sad.

Just some random thoughts tonight…thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Faith

Tolerance Isn’t The Answer: Love Is

There are a lot of things that I talk to people about on a daily basis. Thanks to social media, a lot of them center around current events and how they are spun to make people react. I can surely sympathize with a lot of it, but as a Christian who believes – WHOLEHEARTEDLY – that the Word of God is the infallible living Word, and the Truth, there are certain things that I cannot be swayed on. No matter how politically correct, no matter how popular, no matter how many laws are created. The Word will stand when everything else melts away.

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
I could go on and on about what the Bible has to say about the Word, but I digress for now. If you should be so inclined, you can study it out for yourself. Any of the links above will lead you to a website with a great many study tools that you can use at your convenience.
There are even instances throughout the Bible where God’s people have gone against laws and against popular standing and remained true to God. The “three Hebrew children” – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – were commanded to worship a statue of gold (Daniel chapter 3) or face being thrown into a fiery furnace. However, they were too dedicated to God, who had commanded that His people worship nothing else other than Him, to even think twice. They said they would not do so, even to the point of death, and if it were God’s will, He would save them from the fire.
First of all, they had no idea what God was about to do, but the point is that they didn’t care. And it made the king SO angry, he commanded the furnace be heated seven times hotter than normal. It was so hot that the guards that carried the three up to the top were burnt up in just being that close. BUT GOD!
A similar occurrence happened to Daniel himself, when he was thrown into a den of hungry lions (Daniel chapter 6) for continuing to pray when the king commanded that no one do so for thirty days. Daniel knew what was at stake, and he didn’t care. He had to remain true to God, and doing so saved his life.
In both of these instances, the end result was the same: people came to know God in all His might and power through the dedication of His people. The same people that never transgressed the Word of God, and God was quick to show his power.
If, in either of these cases, these people had attempted to reason with God and bend His rules, the outcome would have been much, much different. They were not tolerant to the point of allowing the overall majority to rule in their own personal walk with God. They were not tolerant of the fact that their own beliefs were being disregarded and they were certainly not tolerant of anything that would cause them to “put away” God.
BUT, neither did they allow what happened to give them an opportunity to hate. Instead, they came out of their circumstances praising the One True God, and with love, declaring that His mercy endures and His Hand is on those that serve Him. They had the love of God in their hearts, along with their tried and true dedication to God, and together, they worked miracles.
Even Jesus spoke often of love and how it changes things and people alike. He taught parables on it and lived by it Himself. Once, when being questioned by the scribes and Pharisees, he was asked what was the first commandment of all, and he had this to say…
Mark 12:28-31

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Love is what will change things, but doing so is sometimes only possible through the love of God. As Christians, it’s time to stop playing church and acting as if there are no repercussions for acting the way we have for too long. Time for talk is done. It is now time to love – but not tolerate sin to do it. It IS possible. It’s certainly not popular in this world, just as it wasn’t popular back then, but God’s Word and commandments never change.
Posted in Musings

Rage: The Real Thing

I use to be a huge fan of horror movies. Especially those that depicted something that could, possibly, one day come true. To me, unbelievable stuff wasn’t scary at all, but that stuff that might happen…that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

I don’t watch them anymore though. First of all, living for the Lord leaves no room for such things. Secondly, we can see at length and on any given day of the week, enough horror shorts on Facebook alone to scare the living daylights out of anyone. Of course people are becoming immune to most of it, if it’s not right in their backdoor. Stories like that, which tend to pop up every day, after awhile will leave people only shaking their heads and saying “another one?”.

It got me to thinking recently. There was this one movie I use to watch, it was another one of the many of those set in a post-apocalyptic setting with some unknown disease running rampant and tearing the world apart. Only, in this movie, the disease was rage. And it was communicable. Very contagious.

In one of the scenes, they showed a bit of how they accomplished this. They sat monkeys in front of a wall of monitors, forced their eyes open and then played and replayed scenes of war, murder, mayhem, rioting, etc., etc., etc. Until finally, the monkeys themselves were full of rage, angry and insatiable.

I can’t remember now how that wound up getting transferred into humans…I think someone got bit. Of course. But that’s not the direction I was going anyway…

I was actually thinking how like that Facebook has become. We turn it on everyday, and we sometimes spend far too much time on there anyway, and we see those same kinds of things: murders, assault, kidnapping, rape, intolerance, racism, hate, genocide, hate, hate, and more hate. There’s no way that’s not going to strike a cord with us, but it also has the potential to set loose, not a righteous anger, but an anger that causes more hate, more turmoil, more unrest. It creates within us a vengeful spirit, a desire to see justice served up swiftly and right now. And people, that’s NOT what we need.

The Bible says this: Romans 12:21 “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

We hear a lot of people talking about the fact that violence just leads to more violence, and that we’re going to have to band together and show some love – ACROSS THE BOARD – to see anything change. And I believe that’s true. But so far, all I’ve seen is talk. There’s a lot, and I mean a LOT that we cannot do, but above all, let’s not allow what we SEE to direct how we feel. As hard as it may be to do, let’s pray, let’s love, because it has to stop somewhere.

Posted in Musings

Sustainable Energy…Or Not


I hear all the hype, when I allow it to come in, about sustainable energy and how we should all “go green” to save the planet. I hear people in high places talking about how important it is and that if we don’t switch over, we are doomed, DOOMED, I SAY!

But I have to wonder, upon further pondering of the subject, can they really MEAN what they’re spewing? I mean, have you really thought about what switching over to green energy actually means? Oh, now don’t get me wrong, I personally think it’s a great idea. I have personally been there, done that, and would go right back in a New York minute! Let me share a bit about why I think so…

My family lived off the grid for several months. We ran battery packs charged by a generator because we hadn’t gotten our solar panels yet and only actually ran the generator for a maximum of about three hours a day. Mainly because we were running power tools, building on our home and sometimes ran a vacuum – things you can’t do from strictly battery packs or they will lose their charge in a matter of minutes.

We also got rid of our microwave and incandescent light bulbs. For those of you that might not know, those are some of the biggest energy-zappers in existence right now. Once we came back to the grid (only because we HAD to – another story for another day), I refused to bring those two things back into our lives and you wouldn’t think it, but since then, our electric bills have been far less than they ever were at any time in history! I’m a firm believer in the fact that it’s the “little things”…

The money we saved those several months was exponential, to us. Believe me, you start feeling it when you’re saving upwards of $200 per month!

Anyway, as I was saying, I was thinking about what it would mean if we all switched over to renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. That alone, if done on a large enough scale, would put our electric companies and co-ops out of business.


I remember a few years ago, there was huge move in our local area to “go green” for Earth Day. The Facebook movement quickly gained a following, of course, and many, many people decided YES, they would use no electricity all day on Earth Day. And it was, for what it was suppose to be, successful. Until the next month…

Our local electric company sent out a letter stating, basically, that they had lost so much revenue during that time that there was a need of a price increase on their rates, and so we all wound up paying for that day, and then some. As far as I know, that increase was never taken off once they made their revenue back.

So, one has to wonder if they’re just talking out the corner’s of their mouths or if they really want to see that switch. That turning point where we save the planet and put hundred and hundreds of people out of work. I mean, maybe they could be displaced into factories with jobs where the means of that sustainable energy are made, such as solar panels, the wiring and frames needed to support them, the batteries that store the charge, the wind turbines (which, by the way, are amazing to see built! they are massive!), and so on and so forth.

Then again, you have the fact that these solar panels – if cared for properly – last many, many years, so the demand for them wouldn’t be as high once everyone got on board. The same situation goes for the wind power; we would need to have them made, but they last a long time. And let’s not even talk about the space needed for those babies!

So, I don’t know. While I am completely on board with renewable energy and would love to get back to that lifestyle more than anything right now, I do have that worry in the back of my mind about what it will mean for some people. As we all know, every action has an equal and opposite REaction, but are we really thinking about that? Is anybody really thinking of that? What would or will it do to our economy? I honestly don’t have answers to that…it’s just something to think about.

pexels-photo-large (1)

As always, thanks for stopping by! Have a blessed day! And leave any comments you might have yourself on this situation. I would be very interested to hear them.

Posted in Food

Cast Iron Cookware

Sausage Gravy in cast iron – the only way for me!

Cast iron is one of those things that usually gets passed down from generation to generation. And rightly so – because it lasts forever if properly cared for. But therein lies the trick: proper care. If the piece gets handed down, then the care and cleaning of the piece usually gets handed down with it. But that’s not always the case.

Then there are those people who just decide they’re going to start collecting it one day, because there is a lot of hype out there about it. In antique malls and shops around they country, they can sell for a pretty hefty price. Which makes them seem important for reasons other than what REALLY makes them important. At least to me.

There are a few things anyone should know before committing to cast iron. And by committing, I do really mean committing. You don’t simply get into cast iron – especially if it’s purchased brand new – and then one day just leave it sitting without the proper care. Even though I’ve seen some pretty nasty looking pieces get refurbished, it just doesn’t need to happen 🙂

First of all, let’s talk about the brand new pieces. They do come preseasoned, but this doesn’t mean it’s going to cook like your grandmother’s piece that she’s had since her wedding day. No, even when you pull that new iron from its packaging, you still need to wash it and coat it with a light layer of vegetable oil. I am a HUGE fan of Lodge, which can be purchased at Wal-Mart or directly from the Lodge website, and they have an awesome article here, about the ins and outs of new iron cookware. Please do take a minute to look it over. They even have a video so that you can see some hand’s on stuff, which is a plus for people like me  🙂

Probably the first thing you should cook in a brand new cast iron skillet is bacon. This seasons the iron AS you cook and some people swear by it. I’ve also found that, really, cooking anything that has a good amount of fat in it is also a good way, though never as good as bacon 🙂  When I got my new cast iron dutch oven for Christmas last year, the first thing I did was roast a chicken in it.


The pieces that get handed down are generally already well seasoned because they’ve probably been in use for years. These need little in the way of preparing, but there’s always the care and procedure for clean up, which is pretty easy. For me, it boils down to not letting anything sit in the piece. When I’m done cooking and serving, anything left in the iron goes into a dish I can stick in the fridge and that piece immediately gets washed. After you wash a piece of cast iron, don’t just throw it on the dish drainer and leave it or IT WILL RUST. No if, and’s or but’s here – it’s iron, and iron is a metal that rusts. It will rust if you leave it in the drainer and it will also rust if you leave it setting on a wet counter or even a damp cloth. So don’t do that.

If you DO wind up with a little rust in or on your iron though, please don’t freak out! Although, whenever I’ve had a piece that has rusted, I did usually freak out just a little. However, it’s savable! It sounds crazy, and yes there are other ways to do it, but the best way to clean a little rust out of your iron skillet is to give it a generous dousing of kosher salt (because it’s very coarse), cut a decent size potato in half and use the cut side to scrub your skillet. The rust usually comes right off and all you have to do then is rub on a little oil and set it aside. All is well.

The harder cleaning comes when a piece has been found, say, in an old barn after an estate sale, or buried in the yard (YES, I’ve had friends that have found pieces that way!), or just cast aside and not properly cared for. The rust can build up to the point that you’ll think you might as well just throw it in the trash. But very few cases are actually to the point that they are not able to be saved.

Now, where I’m from in the Appalachian mountains, when a piece is this rusted, the women-folk just start a big fire in the yard (we called ’em gnat-fires, but some of you all know them better as bonfires, lol) and just threw the afflicted piece in and burnt the rust off. It works great, and after a little re-seasoning, you’d never know there was any rust on it to start with.

HOWEVER… let me just go ahead and throw this out there because there are some people who will literally freak out, get nasty-mouthed and have a true to life conniption fit! IF you do put a piece of iron in a fire, some pieces will warp. Now, I’ve never seen the GOOD pieces do that, because back in the day, they didn’t make thin pieces of wanna-be cast iron, but apparently they do now. So if you’re not sure if yours is “good” or not, don’t try that. Well, unless you’re like me and think even a warped cast iron skillet is WAY better than these Teflon coated  things that some people want to cook in.

There is another way to clean the really gnarly looking, super-rusted pieces using something called an “E-tank” that uses water and electric current and lye…I’ll admit, I don’t know much about that method and may even be wrong in listing those three things as being a part of it – so don’t quote me – but I HAVE seen the results of the pieces that were cleaned that way and they are phenomenal! If you are thinking of using this method, let me just point you towards YouTube, where there are an array of great video tutorials and walk-through’s on the subject.

Now I’ve also had people ask me about cast iron and the glass-top stoves. Some people swear you absolutely cannot use cast iron on these stoves, but I have seen it done. There are a lot of precautions though, and you can’t skimp on any of them if you want to keep your stove. Cast iron is no joke: it’s heavy, it’s abrasive and it can do irreparable damage to your stove tops. So if you have a class top, here are a few things to keep in mind…

  • Do NOT leave them sitting, especially stacked one atop another, on the surface of your glass top stove. After awhile, they will crack or flat out break the glass top.
  • Don’t ever use cast iron on a glass top stove if you’re angry. Slamming down that first iron skillet will also break the glass top. Yes, I’ve seen that done too, so trust me.
  • Don’t shake the skillet back and forth on the burner like you can normally do with traditional burners. It will leave scratches on the glass top that you won’t be able to get out and it looks hideous.

So there are some thoughts on cast iron that might help someone out there, I hope. I love my collection and wouldn’t take a million dollars for it. If you’re avid about yours, I know you wouldn’t either. And if you’re just honestly starting out, you’ll soon get that way. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet works far better than Teflon – even eggs won’t stick!


How about you guys? Any cast iron tips or love stories you’d care to share? Please, by all means, feel free to share!

As usual, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!