Insisting on Snowboarding

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I have 3 kids.  3 kids means lots of soccer, basketball, t-ball, swimming lessons….. You get the idea.  Our kids have participated in all things sports with the exception of our youngest son who is autistic.  Every thing I have read and people I have spoken with usually same the same thing.  Team sports are very difficult for children with autism.  Our youngest definitely falls into this category.  Soccer – he could not be a part of the team because he did not understand and want to pass the ball and interact with his teammates.  Basketball – the buzzer was way too loud and again the interaction with the teammates.  T-ball -never even tried.  Swimming – worked a little better but couldn’t keep him paying attention long enough to move beyond the “guppy” level type class.  My husband had the idea that this year skiing would be our big gift to the kids.

I have to admit I was a HUGE skeptic.  As i hurried around looking for ski socks, gloves, pants, etc. I couldn’t shake the feeling this was going to be a disaster.  Especially because Joey has expressed that he only wants to snowboard.  When asked, he explained “I am really awesome on the wii”.  OK…….. So the husband, brother-in-law, and the kids set off yesterday for their first ski adventure.  I am happy to report Joey did amazing.  He would only snowboard and lucky for him, his super patient uncle helped him figure it out.

Another small victory in our journey with Joey.  When I listen to parents complain about all the different sports they are driving their kids to, instead of being envious because their children have the ability and desire to participate, I can now take comfort that we have found something Joey can do.

First day of snowboarding and it was successful!!

First day of snowboarding and it was successful!!

Lefse – A Family Tradition

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Lefse – My family has a Scandinavian history.  Growing up, I remember making lefse with my grandmother.  I always remember it being a Christmas time family activity.  My mom, sister, and I would spend a Saturday at “Bobbie’s” house making lefse.  Lefse is similar to a flour tortilla but it is made of potatoes, whipping cream, butter, and flour.  It is rolled out and cooked on a super hot griddle.  There are special lefse “flippers” and a technique to flipping.  Best of all, my kids look forward to making lefse when school gets out for Christmas break.  We spend several days cooking and always watch “The Sound of Music”.  I love that I am creating memories with my children as well as caring on the tradition of making lefse.  I also love that Lefse requires 2 dairy products to make – Butter and Heavy Whipping Cream.  YUMMY!!!!


My Lefse rolling pin, flippers, and board.


This is the lefse after it has been rolled.


The special griddle that cooks the lefse at 500 degrees.


A major problem – my husband and kids eat the lefse as soon as it comes off the griddle. This is why I do 35 pounds of potatoes and it takes me several days to cook all of them.


My Last Minute Gifts – Do I have the time??

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My last minute Christmas gifts that my kids (all are on break!!) can help with.
Christmas is next week, and time is running short for gift buying. What could be more perfect than a gift that’s quick and easy to make and packaged with love? We have a large family and circle of friends so I spread the holiday cheer with a jar full of cookies.  It makes it more special when the kids have helped put them together.  My holiday favorite cookies are:

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies



Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Cookies for Santa


We Survived Sedation and the Dentist

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A few days ago I wrote about our impeding visit to the dentist with my autistic son.  I am happy to report he tolerated the sedation and dental work very well.  No parent is ok with having their child sedated or under anesthesia.  Unfortunately this was our only option to do some necessary dental work on our son.  I was worried about all the normal things you worry about but then it was amplified to whole new level because I had no idea how he would react.  The doctors prepared me for the “devil” child to emerge when he started to wake up.  “Oh great…….”  I am pleased to say all he did was act like he was waking up from a super duper nap.  No bad behavior, aggressive acts, screaming (the girl before him did plenty of that), or crying.  He simply took his own “sweet” time waking up.  I actually was able to breathe some relief when the doctor said he is good, you are welcome to go home anytime.  Later in the afternoon at home, he asked if he was ever going to have to wear that awful “gas” mask again.  I smiled and nicely stated “As long as you do a wonderful outstanding job brushing your teeth twice a day, you will probably never wear the gas mask again”.  It seems this is the motivation he needed to do a better job of brushing.  Another hurdle was cleared today………. what will the next one be??


Our son Joey who was diagnosed with autism at age 3

Our son Joey who was diagnosed with autism at age 3

Autism and a visit to the Dentist

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My youngest son is Autistic and last week I posted a blog about the challenge of “Secret Santa”.  Well, we are working our way through “Secret Santa” week – just a few minor issues.  But now it is the Dentist.  No human on this planet likes going to the dentist – PERIOD!!  No one likes to have their teeth poked, scraped, drilled, filled……  I think there is nothing like a dental visit that generates a consensus among people about the “wonderful” world of dentistry.  But what if you have an autistic child?  It is a challenge on a whole new level!!  I am blessed that we have found a wonderful dentist in our home town.  She and her staff are so wonderful and understanding with our son.  But, when it comes to the cavities and such she prefers to have someone who specializes in pediatric dentistry.  Luckily, we have someone close (45 minutes away) who can treat him.  I would love to say that it has been all rainbows and lollipops.  It has been successful so far but now we have a very large cavity that needs attention.  I have 2 options, the traditional method that we all hate (the most painful shot in the world) or sedation.  Sedation scares me but after praying and trying to decide what would be best and most tolerable for my Joey it seems this will be best.  My biggest fear is that if we tried the conventional method (the most painful shot in the world), I would forever create a negative unpleasant experience that would forever make Joey want to avoid the dentist at all costs.  I fear that would be more dangerous and unhealthy for Joey.  So for now we will try the sedation route.  My hope is he will be so preoccupied about how hungry he is and maybe it will be easier for him to get through the procedure.  He will know that when he finishes this procedure, an amazing lunch of his choice will be his reward.  Wish us luck!!

Our son Joey who was diagnosed with autism at age 3

Our son Joey who was diagnosed with autism at age 3

A Boy and his Jersey

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A Boy and his Jersey
Many friends talk about how moody, grumpy, hormonal, and genuinely difficult their 15 year old son or daughter can be. I am not here to say our son is perfect and does not have his moments (He does!!) But there is something about him and his 1st jersey. He loves her and takes care of her, it makes me so proud to watch. She responds to him and follows him in the barn. It is such a great relationship to watch. YoYo is such a special cow- she will never know the lessons she has taught our 15 year about life, love, and relationships.


YoYo – A 5 year Jersey Cow

Watching my boots.

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The Elf was found on my boots this morning. I am off at a Washington State Dairy Products Commission meeting. Hopefully he makes sure my boots are nice and warm when I get home. I don’t like heading to the barn in December with cold boots.


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