Remember this?….

Our Kenny had his own K Mac moment playing basketball at Northgate around that time. Sean was coaching during the Saturday morning mid-winter program when Kenny got popped in the face with the ball and blood erupted all over his bright orange Northgate T-shirt. They doctored him up with a wad of tissues, set him on “the bench”, gave him a new T-shirt and the game proceeded. Sean let Kenny know he didn’t have to go back into the game, but Kenny kept telling his dad he wanted to return. The game was close and Kenny wanted to play. In the last few seconds, the game was tied when Kenny made his shot and scored the point that brought his team to victory. It was an exhilarating moment! Here Kenny could have used his bloody nose as an excuse to sit out but he was determined to make a contribution. It’s this sort of effort that I have seen in Kenny time and time again. Never using his disability as an out, always pursuing his dream to be the best he can be despite the odds against him. By the way, we still have that blood stained shirt. It’s a memento and a reminder to never give up. I think I’ll stuff it in his tennis bag. A little “go get em” from mom as he struggles to prove himself yet again during another season.

After watching Temple Grandin with our EaGeR support group friends this past weekend, I’m hungry for more movies that portray individuals with autism overcoming the odds against them. Showing all the cynics what they are made of and proving to them that a person with autism doesn’t have to settle for second best. My mind wanders back to J Mac. I’ve read your book! Now where’s your movie?! Come on J Mac! Show us what your made of!


Do you have a picky eater? This article may be helpful, autism or not!

Last night our EaGeR (Extra Grace Required) group discussed the impact of a special diet on children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders. Upon further reading I also discovered that this diet could be helpful to children diagnosed with ADHD as well. While the diet sounds like it has the potential to be quite expensive, I intend to do my research and see if I can learn how to prepare these gluten free casein free (GFCF) meals without busting the bank. I figure it’s worth a try. Certainly healthy food choices can’t hurt and around this time of year everyone is looking to make changes in their diet anyway.

Following are some websites we found helpful to introduce the topic:

1. This site includes information from Julie Matthews Autism Nutrition Consultant. She introduces the causes and contributing factors of Autism and the connection between Autism and ADHD. There is also a link to a youtube clip from an Autism Conference where she spoke. If you look on youtube you will find more clips of her sharing her research.

2. This site gives more detailed information explaining the GFCF diet. There is also information with links to books, recipes and other websites, as well as information about vitamin supplementation. I was pleased to see recommended as we have been buying our supplements from them and have found them to be competitive with our local mart’s pricing.

3.   Has a brief article suggesting some things to consider when starting our child on the GFCF diet.

4. Presents an article by Elaine Gottschall describing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I was especially intrigued by the stories of two mother’s who shared the symptoms and responses of their child to the diet. One staggering statistic revealed from one study done in 2000 is that 46% of 385 AS children had gastrointestinal issues as compared to 10% of 100 non-AS children.

I also wanted to share some resources that a friend of EaGeR shared via email. She is trying the GFCF diet, but was unable to join us last night due to weather….

“About the two groups that I mentioned, the UNYFEAT group is a group of families in Upstate NY with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is a yahoogroup, you can see their discription here: They provide a lot of helpful information about Autism in general and they organize a variety of activities and events for the members. The celiac group is also local and they have regular meetings in Brighton (a suburb of Rochester), they also offer a lot of events and conferences for celiacs or people with gluten sensitivities, you can check them out here: There is an email list that you can join, you can find the link on the left sidebar.”

I hope you find some of this helpful. Please reply to all if you have any helpful suggestions from your own experience. I am especially interested in tips to making special diets a more affordable venture. Recipes and meal ideas would be greatly appreciated 🙂

One of my favorite things to do at MOPS was to host panels.  I thoroughly enjoyed the free flow of conversation and ideas being swapped.  Was invited to be a part of the panel this year but had to miss due to sick kiddos.  Posting the questions here so I can pick them up and generate a little discussion from time to time.  These mothers had some fantastic questions!  My husband and I enjoyed brainstorming the rekindle romance question during a recent date.  Conversation starters like these are invaluable!!!  Take your pick and have a stab at one:)

Hello Ladies!

Here are some of the questions for our MOM’s Panel on Tuesday, November 10th.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or topics you would like them to include.

1. How do I fit in exercise when I have so many chores!!

2. How do you get your kids on a good  sleep schedule?

3. How can you rekindle the romance? (please don’t say “date night”)

4. How do you get your husband to pitch in with chores around the house when he is just as overwhelmed and super busy?

5. Why do kids get so “sassy”? Getting it from school – what can you do to stop it?

6. My house is very unorganized & stuff is all over the place

Where do I begin? Where can I start?

I get motivated if someone is helping me, but there is no one

7. I have an EXTREMELY shy and stubborn 3-yr-old.  He refuses to speak with anyone even when with his parents.  He will even refuse to speak with extended family members that we see ona frequent basis.  Any suggestions on how to encourage him to speak?

8. When I am away from my child for a long time I feel bad scolding him and saying no so much because the time we get to spend together is limited.  How do I carry out the discipline and mold the child I want?  I feel like I only make it worse and he acts out only with me.

9. Ideas for thanking /showing appreciation to  family members / babysitters / other moms that watch your kids when the budget and time are very tight?

Often when we transition from one season to the next this passage comes to mind and I revisit the question “Lord am I where you want me to be in this season of my life?”  Especially since my youngest went to school full time last fall this question churns in my heart almost daily.  But I am waiting on Him to reveal to me each day His plan and will for my life. And to keep me from being anxious, I’d like to place His words here so that I can revisit them and find comfort in His promises.

There is a time for everything,
and a season fore every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain from his toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on men.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11

I think these career possibilities fit me better though….

ISFJs generally have the following traits:

* Large, rich inner store of information which they gather about people
* Highly observant and aware of people’s feelings and reactions
* Excellent memory for details which are important to them
* Very in-tune with their surroundings – excellent sense of space and function
* Can be depended on to follow things through to completion
* Will work long and hard to see that jobs get done
* Stable, practical, down-to-earth – they dislike working with theory and abstract thought
* Dislike doing things which don’t make sense to them
* Value security, tradition, and peaceful living
* Service-oriented: focused on what people need and want
* Kind and considerate
* Likely to put others’ needs above their own
* Learn best with hands-on training
* Enjoy creating structure and order
* Take their responsibilities seriously
* Extremely uncomfortable with conflict and confrontation

ISFJs have two basic traits which help define their best career direction: 1) they are extremely interested and in-tune with how other people are feeling, and 2) they enjoy creating structure and order, and are extremely good at it. Ideally, the ISFJ will choose a career in which they can use their exceptional people-observation skills to determine what people want or need, and then use their excellent organizational abilities to create a structured plan or environment for achieving what people want. Their excellent sense of space and function combined with their awareness of aesthetic quality also gives them quite special abilities in the more practical artistic endeavors, such as interior decorating and clothes design.

The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an ISFJ. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best career match is among those listed.

Possible Career Paths for the ISFJ:

* Interior Decorators
* Designers
* Nurses
* Administrators and Managers
* Administrative Assistants
* Child Care / Early Childhood Development
* Social Work / Counselors
* Paralegals
* Clergy / Religious Workers
* Office Managers
* Shopkeepers
* Bookkeepers
* Home Economics

Whether you’re a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a not-so-young adult trying to find out if you’re moving along the right path, it’s important to understand yourself and the personality traits which will impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It’s equally important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career which you will find rewarding.

ISTJs generally have the following traits:

* Value tradition, security, and peaceful living
* Will work long and hard to fulfill duties
* Can be depended on to follow through on tasks
* Loyal and faithful
* Stable, practical and down-to-earth
* Family-minded
* Dislike doing things which don’t make sense to them
* Dislike abstract theory, unless they see the practical application
* Natural leaders
* Prefer to work alone, but work well in teams when necessary
* Extremely observant, they take in facts via their senses and store them internally
* Vast, rich inner store of facts which they rely on to understand problems which they encounter in their lives
* Profound respect for facts and concrete information
* Make decisions objectively, applying logic and rational thinking
* Dislike change, unless they are shown it’s benefit in a concrete way
* Have strong opinions about the way things should be done
* Appreciate structured, orderly environments
* Have very high standards for their own behavior and the behavior of others
* Not naturally in-tune with other people’s feelings
* Able to accomplish almost anything if they put their minds to it
* Community minded “good citizens”

ISTJs have one character trait which puts them at a definite advantage in terms of career success – Perserverance. An ISTJ can do almost anything that they have decided to do. However, there are areas in which they will function more happily and naturally. An ISTJ will do best in a career in which they can use their excellent organizational skills and their powers of concentration to create order and structure. ISTJs seem to fit extremely well into the Management and Executive layer of the corporate business world.

The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an ISTJ. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best career match is among those listed.

Possible Career Paths for the ISTJ:

* Business Executives, Administrators and Managers
* Accountants and Financial Officers
* Police and Detectives
* Judges
* Lawyers
* Medical Doctors / Dentists
* Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts, and Computer Specialists
* Military Leaders

I found this to be about 99% true….

Portrait of an ISTJ – Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging
(Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Thinking)
The Duty Fulfiller

As an ISTJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things rationally and logically.

ISTJs are quiet and reserved individuals who are interested in security and peaceful living. They have a strongly-felt internal sense of duty, which lends them a serious air and the motivation to follow through on tasks. Organized and methodical in their approach, they can generally succeed at any task which they undertake.

ISTJs are very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are “good citizens” who can be depended on to do the right thing for their families and communities. While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun – especially at family or work-related gatherings.

ISTJs tend to believe in laws and traditions, and expect the same from others. They’re not comfortable with breaking laws or going against the rules. If they are able to see a good reason for stepping outside of the established mode of doing things, the ISTJ will support that effort. However, ISTJs more often tend to believe that things should be done according to procedures and plans. If an ISTJ has not developed their Intuitive side sufficiently, they may become overly obsessed with structure, and insist on doing everything “by the book”.

The ISTJ is extremely dependable on following through with things which he or she has promised. For this reason, they sometimes get more and more work piled on them. Because the ISTJ has such a strong sense of duty, they may have a difficult time saying “no” when they are given more work than they can reasonably handle. For this reason, the ISTJ often works long hours, and may be unwittingly taken advantage of.

The ISTJ will work for long periods of time and put tremendous amounts of energy into doing any task which they see as important to fulfilling a goal. However, they will resist putting energy into things which don’t make sense to them, or for which they can’t see a practical application. They prefer to work alone, but work well in teams when the situation demands it. They like to be accountable for their actions, and enjoy being in positions of authority. The ISTJ has little use for theory or abstract thinking, unless the practical application is clear.

ISTJs have tremendous respect for facts. They hold a tremendous store of facts within themselves, which they have gathered through their Sensing preference. They may have difficulty understanding a theory or idea which is different from their own perspective. However, if they are shown the importance or relevance of the idea to someone who they respect or care about, the idea becomes a fact, which the ISTJ will internalize and support. Once the ISTJ supports a cause or idea, he or she will stop at no lengths to ensure that they are doing their duty of giving support where support is needed.

The ISTJ is not naturally in tune with their own feelings and the feelings of others. They may have difficulty picking up on emotional needs immediately, as they are presented. Being perfectionists themselves, they have a tendency to take other people’s efforts for granted, like they take their own efforts for granted. They need to remember to pat people on the back once in a while.

ISTJs are likely to be uncomfortable expressing affection and emotion to others. However, their strong sense of duty and the ability to see what needs to be done in any situation usually allows them to overcome their natural reservations, and they are usually quite supporting and caring individuals with the people that they love. Once the ISTJ realizes the emotional needs of those who are close to them, they put forth effort to meet those needs.

The ISTJ is extremely faithful and loyal. Traditional and family-minded, they will put forth great amounts of effort at making their homes and families running smoothly. They are responsible parents, taking their parenting roles seriously. They are usually good and generous providers to their families. They care deeply about those close to them, although they usually are not comfortable with expressing their love. The ISTJ is likely to express their affection through actions, rather than through words.

ISTJs have an excellent ability to take any task and define it, organize it, plan it, and implement it through to completion. They are very hard workers, who do not allow obstacles to get in the way of performing their duties. They do not usually give themselves enough credit for their achievements, seeing their accomplishments simply as the natural fulfillment of their obligations.

ISTJs usually have a great sense of space and function, and artistic appreciation. Their homes are likely to be tastefully furnished and immaculately maintained. They are acutely aware of their senses, and want to be in surroundings which fit their need for structure, order, and beauty.

Under stress, ISTJs may fall into “catastrophe mode”, where they see nothing but all of the possibilities of what could go wrong. They will berate themselves for things which they should have done differently, or duties which they failed to perform. They will lose their ability to see things calmly and reasonably, and will depress themselves with their visions of doom.

In general, the ISTJ has a tremendous amount of potential. Capable, logical, reasonable, and effective individuals with a deeply driven desire to promote security and peaceful living, the ISTJ has what it takes to be highly effective at achieving their chosen goals – whatever they may be.

Jungian functional preference ordering:

Dominant: Introverted Sensing
Auxiliary: Extraverted Thinking
Tertiary: Introverted Feeling
Inferior: Extraverted Intuition

This information was forwarded to me in an email. Certainly, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So I thought I would pass these tips along. Take care of yourself everyone!

Some precautions to take. The following advice, given by Dr. Oz, makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know:

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is. While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat or bathe.)

3.. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide if you don’t trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water, or hydrogen peroxide. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose softly once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc..) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Pass this on to your entire e-list. You never know who might pay attention to it – and STAY ALIVE because of it.

There’s nothing more cozy than the smell of something sweet baking in the oven on a frosty morning. Brown bananas awaiting my attention on the kitchen counter were begging to be transformed into bread after I got everyone off to school. God often speaks to me through common jobs like these. While mashing the bananas I was reminded that like those bruised unattractive fruits, the Lord can take my hurts, misfortune, and brokeness and make something sweet, aromatic and pleasing to Him. As I added the eggs, oil, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, flour and a dash of salt, He assured me that every ingredient of my life serves a purpose. No two are the same. Each adds something unique. Every person, every experience, every day makes a contribution in my transformation.

I unwound the cord from around the blender and remembered what my mother said when she gave it to me many years ago. She prayed that God would do His work as He blended my husband’s and my life together. This is true of so many things in life where people come together whether in a marriage, at work, on a team, in church or community. God uses all of us working together, each playing a special role and nothing can be left out. What would happen if I left out that dash of salt? It’s seems so small and insignificant. Yet I know it reacts with one of the other ingredients to make the bread rise and grow. Or what if I disregard the eggs? They have that hard shell that’s not always easy to get past and then once I crack it, shell bits get into the batter. But without it the batter would not gel together. That baking powder tastes so bitter, maybe I shouldn’t put it in. No, it plays a necessary role too. Every part presents it own set of strengths and weaknesses. Every person does too. When we take a close look at a person we can choose to either see them for their weak parts and disqualify them or their strong attributes and include them.

God’s word says in Romans 12, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”  The word we see over and over again here is LET.  For one reason or another we may not want to let the ingredients of our life do their work on us.  Perhaps it’s a resistance to change or maybe our pride is being nudged.

I Corinthians 12 has even more to say. “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body…. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye can not say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.”

So whether you’re a nearly rotten banana, a snowy white cup of flour, a saccharine sweet mound of sugar, a gooey egg or a dash of salt accept your role in the recipe of life and allow God to blend the other ingredients with yours to produce a life of sweet offering to Lord.