Favorites from 2014

When I look back at 2014, it was a year filled with changes. I did not post on my blog as much because I was focused on specific freelance work that is now over. More responsibilities came with personal life commitments. I continued to fight for public education through educating others about the corporate takeover of the educational world. Then, on the flip side, I worked hard with our school to get my son ready for the transition to middle school. Stress meant trying to give myself more time for ME. This included reading and crafting in whatever small amount of time I could squeeze in. Of course, the me time spurred an interest in pampering my own nails and starting a business which I hope to grow more in the year ahead.

Now it’s time to look back at some of my favorite blog posts that I wrote in 2014. They are in chronological order, just because it’s easier to share that way.

The Other Reality Television – An episode of Parenthood really hit a nerve with me. As a parent who has been through a child being diagnosed as on the autism spectrum, I often sit and watch the show with tears in my eyes. There is just something about Max that reminds me of my kiddo and his personal struggles with peers, school, and even family members.

Puffy Paint Snowmen and the Last Snowman Blog Tour – A friendship with artist/author JC Little spurred a memorable painting experience with my boys. We had so much fun making puffy paint and creating our own snow people that I have a feeling we will repeat it again this winter.

Last Snowman Puffy Paint Creations

 

Autism and Sensory Overload – In an attempt to share more with others about autism and help them to be aware, I wrote this post about sensory overload. It really can be hard to understand what it must be like, but to individuals on the spectrum they simply don’t know know that we experience the world in a different way. The video I shared is something that everyone should watch at least once.

Autism and Sensory Overload

Choose to Refuse in New York – For the second year in a row, we refused to allow our oldest son to take the New York State Math and ELA exams. This year it was my mission to get more people to understand why the tests are not something we should allow kids to take. At least 60,000 kids refused the NYS tests last year and it is expected to increase again in 2015. The following quote is what keeps me fighting for my children:

For too many years, we have been taught to blindly trust those in charge of the world of education. Right now, families across the nation and New York are standing up and saying that enough is enough. We are not going to sit back and let this testing madness continue. Our children deserve a proper public school education like past generations. If we don’t stand up and fight, the victims will be our kids who have already suffered enough in recent years.

Choose to Refuse

Capital Region CANstruction 2014 – The CANstruction events across the country are absolutely amazing and we are lucky enough to have one that takes place in the Capital Region. The boys have learned so much and they are powerful because they teach kids about helping others.

Capital Region Canstruction - Toy Story

VZWBuzz posts – There were so many during the year, but ones like Smartphone Video to the Rescue where I showed how my Lumia Icon saved the day with video remind me how lucky I am to be a member of this group of bloggers. Of course, while I am connected most of the time, my phone helps me to capture natural beauty like in Capturing Natural Beauty on the Go.

Beautiful orchid

Tuesday Tales – Grossology Exhibit – Our science museum membership got quite the workout thanks to the Grossology exhibit that was there for several months. The boys adored going multiple times to explore everything. There is just something fun about watching your child climb into a nose.

Going into Grossology at miSci NY

Saying Goodbye to Elementary School – The boys would never be in the same school again and it was an emotional time. The end of NHL’s elementary school days hit hard.

First Days of Elemtary School

Movies and Sensory Concerns – A trip to see Guardians of the Galaxy inspired a post about sensory concerns at the movies for many individuals, especially those on the spectrum.

Movies and Sensory Concerns

The Middle School Phone Debate – When a new phone arrived, it made me debate whether or not my son needed his own to head off to middle school. I listed five items to think about when making this decision in your family.

The Middle School Phone Debate

Middle School is Just What the Doctor Ordered – Worries for years started to melt away when NHL landed on his feet and loved middle school. It was hard to write this post because you never know if it could change, but I wanted to focus on the positive and share with others who are getting ready for this big transition.

Transitioning to Middle School

Tuesday Tales – The Albany Children’s Book Festival – Reading is huge in our house and the boys love getting to see the authors and illustrators behind their favorite books. We had a lot of fun catching up with several right after Halloween.

Bad Kitty sign drawn by Nick Bruel

Planning a Bar Mitzvah – Reality is coming whether I like it or not, and so is my son’s eventual Bar Mitzvah. Sharing how the planning process must move from denial state.

Bar Mitzvah Time Traditions

So many other posts with books that we adored, events that we went to, technology that I shared, and topics near and dear to my heart. Thank goodness we can look back to remind of of the year gone by and what goals we hope to accomplish in the year ahead.

What is your primary goal (I don’t like resolutions) for 2015 and why? I know for me I hope to maintain focus. If I allow little bumps in the road to allow me to have a squirrel moment, it is too easy to get districted and lose that focus.

It's Me

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