Monthly Archives: May 2011

Some Helpful Frugal Sources 2 :-)

This first resource is one that I have used for so many years that I have a tendency to forget about it…!

Ever get frustrated when you download a really great resource that is in Word or Excel format, but you do not have MSOffice, thus making it so that you cannot change things in it to personalize it for your own use?  Also, do you ever need a document to be a PDF file for sending to someone, because for whatever reason, they cannot accept a Word document?  Ever wanted to watch or create a PowerPoint, but could not?  I have a wonderful software suite that I have used to deal with all of these issues, and even more!  Best of all, it is free (although they do accept donations)!  It is called Open Office at    To learn more about Open Office, go here.

 This next one is very helpful in finding bargains, freebies, and coupons for you and your family!  Psssst… Guys can use it too!  You will want to grab a favorite beverage, and find a comfortable seat before exploring this site!   Make sure you go here the first time, so you can learn how to get the most out of her site.

These two should keep you busy for a while!  😉   One more thing, Money Saving Mom is updated with new items almost every single day, so if there is not something for you there one day, chances are, there will be something you can use the next day!  Enjoy!

Some Homeschool and Special-Needs Links 1


Image by alancleaver_2000 via Flickr

This first one is a WONDERFUL website, by the author and very humorous speaker, Carol Barnier!  It is a site dedicated to the celebration of, and appreciation for, the highly distractible people in your life! While you are there, make sure to sign up for her emails (especially if you have a distractible – ADHD, or otherwise – child in your life).  They are such a blessing by reminding you to appreciate these people, even in the midst of the seemingly crazy and random things they might do!  😀  I also highly recommend all of her books – I own, and use them all, often!  Besides being helpful, they just plain make me laugh!

The next, is one of my personally favorite educational sites, for ANY age!  There are well over 2000 instructional videos here for Math, Science, Test Prep, Humanities, and some miscellaneous others.  From the most basic arithmetic…  to calculus and chemistry, and even money and bailouts explained!  These are really great for the visual and auditory learners.  They can be played over and over, paused and backed up, and they NEVER GET TIRED OF EXPLAINING the concept!  Works for me!  LOL

This last one is one that I ran across recently.  There are eye exercises and tests for visual perception issues.  They also talk about how visual perception problems can interfere with daily life.

It is my prayer, through Jesus Christ, that there will be something useful here, for someone out there struggling in the education of themselves, or their child!  Be blessed!    ~Annette

How We Got Here – Part 2 :-)

Picking up where I left off, in Part 1 of this series…

We now had two children sleeping in our bedroom (our eldest, now 2 years old, because of her night terrors, and also our new infant boy – because he would wake up the moment the sun would begin to rise, would be ready to nurse, and then be awake for the rest of the day).  Also, I forgot to mention that BOTH of these babies were not planned conceptions (yes, we were using birth control – let THAT be a lesson to the people out there thinking that they can “plan” everything)!

This new baby boy of ours brought some more, and many times debilitating, issues to deal with (along with many blessings, joys, and life-lessons).  One of the first things we found out, about him, was that he HATED riding in the car!  As SOON as we strapped him into his car seat he would begin to scream, and would continue screaming until we arrived at our destination, and took him out of the car…!  This would cause both my husband and I to be on our LAST NERVE by the time we arrived ANYWHERE (and always looming over us, was the fact that he would be doing that again all the way back home…)!

Then, at about 6 weeks old, he began to outright SCREAM every night at around 6pm, and it would end abruptly at around 10pm.  He would then want to nurse, and go to sleep!  We eventually figured out that he had colic!  We tried every remedy that anyone suggested to us (including family, friends, acquaintances, doctors, nurses and even the chiropractor), but to no avail…  THAT was when I cried out to God for help, and just gave up trying to soothe his crying.  That evening, when he started in, I just laid him down in the playpen, and let him go ahead and just cry and scream while I went on about my business and gave my daughter attention during that time (his crying every evening, made her a nervous wreck).  Then, like clockwork, 4 hours later, he stopped…  What happened the next day was my awesome answer from God (when I TOTALLY GIVE UP trying to do things on my own, and depend on JESUS completely, is when I get the most powerful answers to prayer ~ You would think I would learn…)!

My mother-in-law called, and wondered why she had not heard from us for a couple of weeks.  I explained to her what had been happening.  She then told me that she had taken a class, with a naturopathic doctor years back, and she remembered having been told that colicky babies lacked vitamin C.  Of course, I thought she was nuts, but I was desperate!  Now, HOW was I supposed to get Vitamin C into this tiny baby…?  Then, I remembered (from my years of working in the health food business) that Hyland’s brand made a children’s homeopathic Vitamin C, so I called my husband and asked him to pick up a bottle at the Health Food Store on his way home from work (he thought I had finally lost my mind, too)!

Well, my hubby got home at about 7pm, and the baby had been crying for an hour already.  I immediately opened the bottle, and put a couple tablets into his mouth to melt…  Within 10 MINUTES, HE STOPPED CRYING!  Whoa!  We were shocked!  Pleasantly shocked, but shocked nonetheless!  It truly did work, and only ONE TIME did we run out of them!  When we did, he went right back into his colicky screaming that night (needless to say, we went and got more the next day)!  Every friend, or acquaintance I have met since that time, with a colicky baby (I have a radar for that particular type of screaming now), I have told them about this (as a matter of fact, I put a bottle with every baby shower gift I give – just in case), they have tried it, and it has never failed!  Praise God!   😀

As these two beautiful children grew, some things began to become more pronounced in both their behaviors and growth patterns.  For one thing, they BOTH had a really hard time keeping weight on, once they had started eating solid foods (their weight was just fine the whole time they were nursing exclusively).  As a matter of fact, by the time my son was 2 years old, he was diagnosed as “failure to thrive“!  THAT was NOT a fun experience (the mother of a “failure to thrive” baby, is automatically suspected of neglecting, or even abusing, their child)…  After being required to see a nutritionist, and jumping through all the other hoops required (after this was reported), it still remained a mystery as to why this was happening.

My daughter had also become an increasingly anxious and accident-prone child.  She still had her night terrors, along with many muscle pains and leg cramps, dizzy spells, vomiting spells (which did not help HER lack of weight-gain), headaches, depth perception problems, an allergy to cow’s milk (had to find a source of goat’s milk for her), severe aversions to touching or being touched by certain things (grass, wet foods, crumbs, mud, paints, rain, snow, wind, chalk – to name just a few), etc.

Our son, did not walk until he was 17 mos. old, and had very few words. Even though he walked late, this boy never stopped moving!  He crawled all around, got into everything, and climbed everywhere (and I do mean everywhere – even up to the top of the backs of easy chairs and couches, up retaining walls, bookshelves, and even fences) BEFORE he could ever even walk!  He would even climb onto the side of the crib railing, and just let himself fall out onto the floor!  Speaking of this, he also showed no pain, when most kids would have been screaming from the pain…

Despite everything that they were going through, they were a delight to be with,  and it was such a blessing to watch them grow and learn!  The blessings from God that came through both of them were numerous, in all of our family!

Then, in the midst of this time (January of 2000), I went through an ectopic pregnancy (which I did not even know was there, UNTIL I was in the emergency room, in severe pain).  When this heart-wrenching event happened, my hubby and I realized that we really did want to have another baby.  So, we decided to give ourselves about 6 months to work through this loss, and talk about it then.  Then, after that time elapsed, we decided to have another baby (our FIRST “planned” pregnancy).   😉

… be continued…..

Some Helpful Frugal Sources1! :-)

A modern pair of prescription glasses with a h...

Image via Wikipedia

With having special dietary needs, a need for several pairs of eyeglasses at our house, and wanting to be a vigilant steward of our finances – I thought that I would share some resources that I use, regularly, to help with our household budget spending!

The first one is, on Wednesdays, our sale ads double-up (one ad ends on Wednesday and the next one starts on that same day – so it doubles the options of saving) at Sprouts and Sunflower Farmer Markets! This is when and where I do my weekly produce, and bulk buying (and many times meats, and pre-made gluten-free items also)! Many times, there are organic produce items that are the same price, or even less than the non-organic! You just have to keep your eyes open. It is really wonderful when something is on sale, and I can add a coupon on top of it too! Also, Sprouts many times has coupon books available to you, if you just ask! 🙂  To find out if there is a location near you, and to see other ways to save at these stores, follow the links below.  They also put up sneak peeks (on Saturday) of Sunday thru Tuesday specials that are only listed online, and not in their regular weekly ads!  😉  Enjoy!

Now, here is another really GREAT one that always gets me hyped up!  For families, like ours, where everyone wears eyeglasses, and from fairly young ages…  this can be a REAL MONEY SAVER!  You can actually get a pair of COMPLETE plain eyeglasses (including basic lenses) for as little as $6.95!  The shipping is also $5 for the COMPLETE order (at least, it was, on the most recent order of the 4 pairs of glasses that I received)!  I do have to say, that if you have children, or are rough on your glasses, in some way, you do want to get the polycarbonate lenses (they are MUCH more durable) for an additional cost of $9.  Still, where else can you get prescription glasses for $16?!  These are even great to get, just to have a spare pair on hand (great for emergency packs, in your car, a style change, or even “just in case”)!  We have never been disappointed – especially for the price!

All you need, is to have the numbers from your eye prescription, and the Pupillary Distance (PD)…  THAT is what trips many people up…!  You see, I have yet to find an eye doc who will give you the PD (I believe that it is because that it then empowers you to go and buy glasses, on your own, rather than from them)!  What this is, is simply the distance from the middle of one eye’s pupil, to the middle of the other eye’s pupil.  First, you need a ruler marked out in millimeters.  Then, have the person you are measuring stand in front of you, and focus on something about 15 to 20 feet away.  While they are focusing on this object, take the measurement, and this is their PD (the “near PD”, for reading glasses and bi-focals, is usually about 4mm less)!  Now, you can order your own glasses!  😉

I hope that you find something helpful here, for YOUR household budget!

How we got here – Part 1 :-)

While watching my kiddos interacting with each other earlier today, I thought I should share where we started out with our special needs, before I can really share our celebrations of where Jesus Christ has brought us, up to this point!

For brevity, I will be using the following abbreviations in my posts: DD14 (Dear Daughter age 14), DS12 (Dear Son age 12), DS9 (Dear Son age 9) and DH (Dear Husband).

About 16 years ago DH and I were married, after I had recently come out of paganism and witchcraft. I (and he) wanted to do things “right” (since I had already had two failed and abusive marriages…), so we lived separately until the day we were married (which was a new thing, for me). Anyway, within eight months after we were married, I found out that I was pregnant! Eight months after finding that out, we had a wonderful homebirth (with a lay midwife), and a beautiful baby daughter in our arms.

Things seemed perfect, at first. She slept through the night from day one, BUT that meant she did not nap during the day (I was okay with that)! The first thing that really bothered me, was that I could not rock her, AT ALL. As soon as I would start to rock, she would absolutely SCREAM (like I was hurting her)! So, whenever I held her, I had to sit completely still. That was the first image of motherhood shattered…

Then, it was time for me to go back to work… I had made arrangements to only have to work 3 days a week, and found a sitter about 10 minutes away from my job, so that I could nurse her on my lunch, and again, when I went to pick her up in the evening. Pretty soon, her sitter was saying that she was trying to make her take a nap, so that she could get a few things done around the house (looking back, I am sure this meant she was putting her in a playpen, in a room, with the door closed, while she just cried…).

I started to notice some things happening with my baby girl… She began to not want me to be away from her AT ALL, during any time I had with her. Not even in a different room of the house! This became very debilitating to getting ANYTHING done around the house! So, DH and I procured a backpack carrier, from a friend, and I was then at least able to make meals (I just could not make moves that were too sudden, or she would scream like she did when I tried to rock her…)! At about 3 months old, she began to scream in the church nursery, and she would not stop until they called me in to get her. She also said her first words, at this age, which were “dada”, “momma”, and “help”…

At about 6 months old, she said her first phrase of “ey-boy, ut up!” This meant “Hey-Boy, shut up!” You see, Hey-Boy was our dog, and he would bark a LOT whenever he was outside (this was when we realized we needed to be much more careful about the way we talked!). At about this time she also began to wake up screaming from night terrors, between 1 and 6 times a night! Because of this, she ended up staying in our room, in a crib right next to the bed, so that I could just reach over, calm her down, and go right back to sleep…

Although her language skills were very advanced, her physical milestones (like sitting up, crawling (which she never did do), fine-motor skills, and walking) were delayed… These things concerned us, but she did finally catch up a bit after about 18 months of age (she just never did crawl).

At about 16 months, her babysitter moved away, and she began to go to a Montessori day school. They too, insisted that she should take a nap (they would sit and rub her back, until she would fall asleep, and then let her sleep until I arrived there to pick her up!). This would mess up every workday, because then, at bedtime, she could not get to sleep, and would be fussy the next day! Then, I had her for my four days off… Finally, I would get her back to normal, and then the vicious cycle would start all over again on Monday.

After she finally began to walk, at 18-1/2 months old, she would have bouts of getting dizzy, walking like a drunken sailor, and many times vomiting from it. The doc told us to try ginger or Benadryl with her (he thought that she probably had an inner-ear virus). Both of those worked to help her! I was later able to find a ginger syrup (the only way I could get ginger into her…) at the health food store, and that is what we used whenever these bouts would happen again. This is when we began to realize that she had inner-ear (vestibular) issues. (By the way, she has had almost ALL of these symptoms, and effects that are listed, in her life from this disorder…)

Around the time that she turned 2, I left my job, and pulled her out of the Montessori school. At first, she was nervous that she was going to have to go back to the school, and would fuss about it. Then, she began to settle down, became more trusting of me, more affectionate, and even weaned herself from nursing! I was beginning to get my daughter back!

New Big Sister!  :-)

When she was almost 26 months old, her first brother (who tried to come early…) was born at home too! One night, she went to bed an only child, and the next day, she woke up as a big sister, and loved it! 😉

At that time, she was still having her night terrors, so, now we had two kiddos in our bedroom with us! This new baby slept through the night from day one, would wake up with the sun, and would not nap during the day either…!

… be continued…..

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