Sunday, November 27, 2011

Two awesome deals! MonkiSee & Signing Time

 I really like the MonkiSee early reading DVD's & was fortunate enough to be able to review them back in August.  Here is a link to the review that I did:   MonkiSee DVD review

They are having a $10.00 DVD sale on these titles:
  • Baby's First Words
  • All About Colors
  • All About Shapes
  • Action Words
  • Memoflix Volume 1
  • Memoflix Volume 2
  • A Guide to Teaching Babies to Read
Use promotion code 1/2 Off during checkout. 

Here is a link to their website: MonkiSee DVD's

Signing Time is also having a sale.  Save 40% on orders of $40.00 or more today & Monday.

Happy Christmas shopping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Look What I Can Do All By Myself!

Today, I had a little time to waste while waiting for winter tires to be put on my truck.  I really didn't need much for groceries, but thought this would be a good time to try out an idea that I had read about recently.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think I might have read about this idea on Geraldine's blog The Down Syndrome Action Plan.  Today was K's first, mostly independent shopping trip. It was a great way to incorporate reading into an activity which required thinking, memory & learning new skills.

I didn't think of this ahead of time, so I quickly scribbled down 
a few items on a scrap piece of paper. Here is her list:

....and off she goes! Sorry for the terrible picture.  Next time, 
I'll have to remember to take more than one. I think the little carts are adorable!

Some of the items were a difficult for K to reach, so I did help a little.  Next time, I'll be prepared with a list for her ahead of time that included things that are easier for her to reach, but all in all, it was a great first experience.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Always thinking!

The other day my father in law had to have an ultrasound.  K was told about this, because we had to explain that we couldn't go to Grandma & Grandpa's for dinner as planned because he had gotten a sudden phone call about having this test done.   She must have been thinking about this, because the next morning she said "Grandpa is a good boy"  Yes, I agreed, unsure of why she was saying this. "Grandpa is a good boy having a test done."  Now, it clicked.  K is not comfortable being touched by strangers & we are working on this, so often tell her what a good girl she is after she has tolerated being checked out by a doctor - thankfully she is very healthy.  She must have been concerned about those doctors checking out Grandpa & assumed that he behaved well for it :)  The next part of the conversation showed me that she was really thinking about it & looking for a solution.  She asked "Grandpa goes to Mrs. A?  This is the cranio sacral therapist (RN as well as massage therapist) that K goes to.  Mrs. A always makes K feel better, and her sisters have gone occasionally too, especially after sports injuries, so I guess she was sure that this would help Grandpa too, rather than go to the doctor who does scary tests!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Did It!

I wrote this post on Nov 1st, but somehow must have forgotten to hit publish post.  Ooops.  It's a little old  now, but I thought I would publish it anyways, if only for the adorable picture! 

31 for 21 back to back with the Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week!  It's been a long haul, but I managed to do a post every day for each - that's 38 consecutive blog posts.  Well actually, there were a few extra, so probably around 40!  At first, it was great to finish a lot of drafts that I had been working on, but I found that as the days went on, I wasn't able to get to the lengthier drafts that I have been working on.  So I be posting a little less often, but will hopefully be catching up on the posts that require a little more time & research to complete.  I am so ready for a break, but I'll be back soon! I'll leave you with a cute picture of my cowgirl taken early this fall.

Awesome Website for Encyclopedic Knowledge (Doman Bit Cards)

This is not part of K's program, but she really loves this sort of thing, so the other day, I made her some bit cards just for fun.

I found this website called a - z animals - it is great for making bits! It has pictures as well as all kinds of information of each animal.  I actually haven't been using the pics too much, because it is easier to use google images & find a more clear, concise picture without lots of background clutter, but the information is so easy to cut, paste, & reorganize & use for the 10 pieces of information on the back of the bit.

They have an animal of the day, so if  you were doing a program including this, you could even make one card each day based on that animal.  It can't get much easier than that!

If anyone has a good website of pictures that can be printed off in an 8.5 X 11 size & still print really clearly, let me know please :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fresh Homemade Almond Milk Mmmmmmmmmmmm........................

We have been using less & less dairy over the last few years.  My middle 2 girls are lactose intolerant & although K isn't showing any signs of lactose intolerance, I know kids with Down syndrome tend to have a higher incidence of problems with dairy. I am also becoming more careful about processed foods & trying to use more raw milk.  As an aside, don't you think it is interesting that my 2 middle 2 daughters who can't drink a glass of pasteurized milk without consequences are able to tolerate a large glass of raw milk with no problem? Anyways, back on topic now, it is difficult to find raw milk around here most of the time, so we need an alternative. 

A while back, I found this simple looking recipe for almond milk.  I've been meaning to try it, but am always so busy, that I kept putting it off.  I even recommended it to a couple of other people, but just didn't get around to it myself.  Finally, yesterday, I decided to try it.  It was so simple and delicious!  I should have tried it ages ago! 


Here is the link to the recipe I used in case you are interested in trying it yourself.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A paper animal jungle

 K got  book last year for Christmas, which was full of cute little paper folding activities.   The book is done now & I haven't been able to find a different one, so I've been searching the internet for some.  I came across this site: paper folding activities  It is full of adorable little animals to fold.  I printed off a set for each of my 2 younger girls.  We will probably do one a day with K, to make the last a while, but KJ had a great time this afternoon, creating a whole menagerie!

This is a similar book to the one that K got for Christmas last year.

These animals will keep us going for a couple of weeks, but after that we will need to find more, so if you know of any other similar sites, please let me know by leaving a comment:)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week - Let it snow......................

 Today was the ski swap & ski race program registration at our local ski hill. We had ski equipment spread all over this morning making sure that everything fit before my husband & the older girls left for the swap.   Of course K saw all of this & insisted that she go skiing.  We had just enough snow fall on Thursday that she was able to ski down a hill in the back yard.


I think the new goggles are a little too big!

Crashing at the bottom of our big backyard hill!


K lasted about a dozen runs before she decided she should play in the tiny bit of snow we have. Aren't her skis just the cutest little ones you've ever seen?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week - Mmmmmmm...................

Tonight was our community's annual Fall Supper. It is a marvelous event!  There is a line up out the door of the community hall at the busy point of the evening. The turkey supper is a combined effort of most of the members of our community.  Everyone is asked to donate something, from carrots, to pickles, to salads to desserts.  Volunteers cook the turkeys, slice, mash, & warm the food & later clean up.  The Jr. high class from our school take shifts serving.

Besides a full belly, most wonderful thing is seeing all of the friends & neighbors that we may not have visited with in a while. It is a wonderfully warm & welcoming atmosphere.

I think K has been to too many of her older sisters volleyball matches lately though, because as we were leaving, she asked. " Can we go watch volleyball now?".

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week - Where are the mama bears?

This is totally off topic tonight, & not related to Down syndrome, K or any of the usual things that I talk about, but I just need to vent about this.  Today I heard of 2 different incidents in communities not far away that make me wonder about being a mama bear.  It is very rare that my mama bear has ever had to come to the surface, but it is always there, just beneath, making sure my kids are safe.  It is as instinctive for me as I'm sure it is for a real mother bear protecting her cubs. All mothers need this, actually, it is their kids who need them to have it.  Every child should know that there is at least one person out there  who would do everything in their power to keep the safe. Hopefully, they have more than one.  My kids are very fortunate not only to have my husband & myself, but lots of other family too.  I am feeling so bad tonight for those kids who are not being protected by their families.  I just can't see anything but black & white in this issue.  There is no grey area.  It doesn't matter who is causing them harm. Protect your kids!  Be a mama bear!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Canadian Down Syndrome AwarenessWeek: Lose The Training Wheels

A couple of days ago, I did a post on Stryder Bikes
I had a comment asking what was unique about them. I explained in the comments, but it got me thinking about the Lose The Training Wheels program, which I have heard wonderful things about.  According to their website, 80% of participants are able to balance on a bike after completing their  program.

This program holds 5 day camps all over Canada & the US.

Lose The Training Wheels

Here is a neat video on YouTube about the program.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week - Fall Harvest

I have always thought of spring as being my favorite time of year, but have been rethinking that this fall.  I love being able to harvest my garden & having wonderful, nutritious, healthy, organic food to feed my family. 

I have never planted kohlrabi before, but it was a real favorite, especially for my 12 year old who would often devour one as an after school snack.

We enjoyed so many fresh fruits & vegetables & stored lots for the winter!
Even though we have had a few very light snowfalls already, we are actually still enjoying a few fresh vegetables.  I picked the last of my onions today & still have a couple of rows of carrots out in the
garden -  they taste so sweet after there have been a few good frosts!

We made a year's supply of Dill Pickles!

We have been busy canning lots of different treats for winter - pears, peaches, &  pickled carrots, both mild & spicy. My favorites are the wild mountain blueberries that I picked on holidays in the rocky mountains.  You can't get a much healthier or yummier snack than that!

We even have a freezer full of beef as of last week.  I am trying to follow my brother's lead & eat only "happy meat".   It has taken a little while to transition, & being farmers ourselves, we have always had a lot of happy meat anyways, but pretty well all of the meat in our freezer is from farm animals that were allowed to roam in large pastures & who had a good life.  I am avoiding factory farmed meats where animals are not allowed to roam freely & are housed in cramped conditions.  Even the eggs that I buy ( I am hoping to have our own hens again by spring) are from a very small producer who allows them to go outside in a large yard every day.  I am very thankful for this:)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week - Balance Bikes

We got K the cutest little pink Stryder balance bike for her birthday last year.

My girls are not big on riding bikes however, & K seems to be following in their footsteps.  She does ride her bike occasionally, but, like her sisters, is not real excited about it like some kids are.  She is learning though & I am convinced that this is a great way to get her started. 

One of my older daughters had training wheels on her bike for quite a while & rode tilted to the side.  If I had known about this type of bike then, I would have purchased one for her to avoid the bad habits she got into.  Training wheels do not help with balance &  this was my older daughter's biggest hurdle.

The other disadvantage my kids have is that we live in a rural area where they have to ride on uneven ground & gravel - this isn't the easiest way to learn, so, thanks to us bringing her tricycle in the house recently, K is the only one of my kids to learn to ride a trike. She is still learning, but has just about conquered it.  My plan is to let her practice on her trike this winter & concentrate on her Stryder bike again come spring.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week - Happy National Down Syndrome Awareness Week Canada!

In Canada, it is National Down Syndrome Awareness Week from November 1st to 7th.  Just when you thought I would stop yakking so much I'm back at it for another week!  I will be blogging every day this week to raise awareness for Down syndrome.  But then..............I'll be taking at least a little bit of a break! 

Click here if you would like to learn more about the Canadian Down Syndrome Society & various events that are happening to promote awareness of Down syndrome this week.