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Monday, May 30, 2005

Happy Memorial Day!

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN,
who salutes the Flag,

It is the veteran,
who serves under the Flag,


Thank you to all those who have served to protect us. I would like to personally thank the following...

My Dad, US Army
My Uncle Dale, US Army
My cousin Dennis, US Marine Corp
My Grandpa Menear, US Navy
My Uncle Jr, US Army
My Uncle Pat, US Army
My Uncle Jerry, US Army
My Uncle Mike, US National Guard
My Dad's Cousin John Richard, US National Guard
All of the men and women that I served with while in the US NAVY!
Plus countless others in the my family who have served for generations back

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Mitchell caught a fish...

This long!

This is Mitchell with his Dad proudly showing off his first ever fish!

Not to be forgotten is Mitchell with his Grandpa! I'm not sure who was happier!

Like I said, this is the first fish Mitchell (age 5) has ever caught, in fact today was the first time he has even gone fishing! It was caught off a dock in Saugatuck, Michigan using a night crawler and a $20 fishing pole we just purchased today. The Carp weighed 15 pounds and measured in at about 29 inches. It's going to be hard to top but at least we have the proof.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Are knitters obligated to have a cat???

I've always noticed the abundance of cat photos (dogs too) on knitting blogs and have somehow refrained from posting about our cat. I snapped this photo and thought it was just too cute not to share.

As you can see from the picture his name is Whiskey. He's been with our family for almost a year and a half. He came to us from a shelter and he's a great cat!

Believe it or not, I have been knitting

My infrequent blogging has allowed me a surplus of time to knit and weave and spin! I have lots to show for it but I will start with my most recent knitting project.

Last week I decided I wanted to make something for my younger boys' teachers for the end of the year. Money is, well, isn't. I do however have yarn as any good knitter does. I looked through all my patterns and searched the web but found nothing that fit the bill. What's a girl to do? Design something of course!

Using left overs from socks I came up with this...

I know it's nothing like a sweater but I have to say I was on cloud nine when I finished the first one. What a high to be able to just sit with yarn and needles and make something from a picture in your head.

I've finished 3 so far and need to do 2 more by Wednesday. I'm half way through the 4th so I think I'll make it. Here are the 3 that are complete, the one is filled to give you an idea of how it looks in action;

I plan to fill them with Dove chocolates or Hershey Kisses. It's not much but it's a small token of my appreciation. After I finish these 5 I need to do at least 3 more for Joshua's other school. Doesn't that seem like an awful lot of teachers for two preschoolers?

My babies are 5

I am so late in posting this you might wonder why I even bother. On May 12 my "babies" turned 5 years old. I'm still not sure how this happened. I certainly didn't give them permission to grow up yet... they are. Since they love to see themselves on the 'puter and I wanted to share this happy day with all, please allow me to present...


and Joshua.

Sniffle, sniffle.

New product from Knitterella!!!

Introducing... Gift Tags! I am posting these pics by permission of Knitterella They are not quite ready for purchase but will be very soon!

The knit version:

The crochet version:

They come in an awesome tin that could easily be repurposed for all sorts of things once the tags are gone! I would love to post a picture of these but for some reason I can't.

I can easily see them attatched to all sorts of handmade gifts. I can't wait to buy them myself!

I have a confession...

I have a confession to make. I don't usually share this and few people outside of my family know but I felt it was time to come clean. I am one of about 14.4 million people in the US that suffer from depression.

It's been an on going problem since my early teen years and the episodes seem to be shorter in duration and more infrequent. I take meds when it gets really bad. So, why don't I take meds all the time you ask? Well, it seems that the longer I am on an anti-depressant the more manic I become. To be honest I kind of like the manic episodes for awhile. I get so much more done. I remember in my mid 20's when I first started taking prozac... I didn't need as much sleep, could keep my house spotless, and bake dozens of cookies. It's great but then I need to recover.

What does my depression have to do with anything anyway? Lately it's become harder for me to keep up with this blog. I didn't realize it was the depression at first. I thought I was just losing interest but then it occurred to me that everything was getting harder to do. Depression takes so much out of me. Everything seems impossible when I'm that far down. Just having a conversation, putting thoughts together is just too much for me to deal with at those times.

I'm not "cured" at this point but I'm beginning to feel better. I'm taking baby steps to get things done so I don't get overwhelmed. Hopefully every day will get better. I appreciate that my readers haven't abandoned me through this period of time. Thanks to all of you!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Autism Legislation... show your support!

As most of you know, Autism is a cause that affects my family. Please take a moment to read the following information about new Autism legislation. Contact your Senator to make a difference. Thank you!

Combating Autism Act of 2005 (S.843)

Combating Autism Act of 2005 (S.843) would commit an unprecedented $860 million in federal funds to combat autism through research, screening, intervention and education efforts, in effect doubling the current National Institutes of Health's current autism funding level.

This legislation was drafted by parents of children with autism and the organizations which advocate on their behalf, and the offices of our Congressional sponsors, Senators Santorum and Dodd. The Combating Autism Act of 2005 builds on the provisions of the Children's Health Act of 2000 and would authorize $860 million over five years to combat autism through research, screening, intervention and education. It also reauthorizes the National Institutes of Health Centers of Excellence Program in autism originally created in 2000, doubling the number of authorized centers.

With the introduction of this new legislation, Senators Santorum and Dodd propose an attack on autism, raising the federal government's commitment to an unprecedented level. The proposed legislation will cut across federal agency lines to more effectively fund autism research and expand autism treatment and early diagnosis.

Cure Autism Now chapter leaders, including Karen Beveridge, Beth Eisman, Doug Fischer, Maureen Reilly, and Stuart Spielman, joined co-founder Jonathan Shestack and CEO Peter Bell in support of the Combating Autism Act of 2005. Prisca Chen Marvin, board chair of NAAR, Bob and Suzanne Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks and Lee Grossman, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America, also conveyed their strong support for the new Senate bill at the press meeting.

The Combating Autism Act of 2005 would give the director of NIH the authority to expand collaborative research for autism and autism-support programs that will have a striking impact on the autism community. The legislation requires the development and oversight of a strategic plan and budget for research on autism, based upon recommendations contained in the existing Autism Research Roadmap and Matrix of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
The proposed Act would provide grant programs for every state to develop autism screening and early diagnosis and intervention programs--perhaps the most important thing that could happen, short of a cure.

Specifically, the “Combating Autism Act of 2005” calls for the following:

  • Authorizes the Director of the NIH to create an “Autism Czar” to coordinate NIH based-research, develop and oversee budget implementation. The proposed legislation codifies existing programs at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism, increasing the Centers of Excellence on Autism from eight to ten.
  • The proposed legislation also calls for the National Institute on Environmental Health Sciences to create three Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health and Autism. Calls for the Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary to provide a program of information and education on autism and its risk factors to health professionals and the general public. The legislation authorizes $10 million a year for the next 5 years for early identification and prompt referral for services and education for parents and requires an annual report to Congress.
  • Authorizes the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to commit $75 million a year for the next five years for grants for states to develop autism screening, diagnosis, and intervention programs and to create statewide screening systems to ensure that all children are screened for autism by the age of two.
  • Reauthorizes the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) epidemiological surveillance program with respect to autism at $12 million a year for the next 5 years, and authorizes $25 million a year for the next five years for technical assistance and data management to states related to autism screening, diagnosis and intervention programs.
Autism is considered the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States, occurring in as many as 1 in every 166 births. Despite this strikingly high prevalence, autism research remains one of the lowest funded areas of medical research in both the public and private sector. Congress must intensify its commitment to increasing and enhancing the federal government’s contribution to autism research by passing this landmark legislation.
While we have made significant progress in recent years increasing autism research dollars at the federal level, much more must be done. Our government must rise to the challenge faced by an absolutely overwhelming number of our children. This legislation, S-843, is critical to our ability to continue advancing our search for answers for children and families today and for future generations.

How can you help?

You can help by contacting your home state Senators in Washington and ask them to co-sponsor the “Combating Autism Act of 2005” known as S-843. You can help make a difference right now.

1. eFax a letter to your US Senators - free service

2. Print your letter to use as script for telephone call

3. Telephone your US Senators

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I'm back... Are you still there?

First off, did you know that if you hit enter after typing the title you will post? This was news to me. I obviously meant to tab, why can't this computer read my mind?

Anyway, I am feeling much closer to human and thought I would write. Thank you to those who sent well wishes. Jill, I am so missing you at Sit & Knit. Feeling down right lonely to be honest. I'm glad you are doing well though! I will email... I am getting so overwhelmed, please don't take it personally.

Today I ran across a post while reading my bloglines that really got me thinking. It seems that Lynn from Bacon, Cheese and Oatcakes is calling it quits. I don't recall seeing a lot of posts from her but I clicked on it and read the whole story.

I was surprised to find that she too has a son with Asperger's Syndrome. I haven't went through and read her entire story but her last post has stayed with me all day. It seems that she has lost her desire to blog. This I understand. It takes time and work to build a blog. Sometimes it's just too much.

She raised the issue on anonymity. It appears that her blog has received some attention and is being read by large numbers. The double edged sword being some of those people are not reading it for pure reasons. I struggle with self censorship all the time. I don't want to offend people that I know and I don't even want to offend complete strangers. So some subjects go untouched.

Some days you just need to rant about someone but you never know who's reading what you are writing. I could just not care but that doesn't seem like the Christian thing to do. Of course as a Christian should I be ranting or even having these feelings in the first place? The answer? No... I shouldn't rant about others, I should be understanding and even pray for my enemies. The feelings are natural but how we deal with them is the key.

It's funny how everything is coming into focus as I write this out. In some ways blogging can be like a prayer. You are able to slow down and hear that little voice in your head and then you know, you know the answers.

Some might say that writing about Christianity is offensive. To some I suppose it is. Up until late winter of 2004 I might have agreed. Today I feel that it's a such a part of who I am that I can't not write about it. My faith has changed my life and given me hope like I have never had before. I'm not going to force people to listen to my story but I will quietly share it with all who listen.

I've never been one for small talk and I never back down from a debate. If you know me personally then you know that I have strong opinions about everything and sometimes struggle with when it's appropriate to share them. Of course these days I pray for guidance as opposed to simply saying whatever comes to mind.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be true to who I am through my blogging and sooner or later I will offend. Not because I wish to offend anyone but to write without offence is to not write at all.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Not feeling so hot

It seems like weeks since I've posted anything. I'm still here, just not feeling worth a darn. I've been in bed since Monday and though I feel a bit better I'm still no where near 100%.

I got my last package from my Secret Pal on Saturday. Thanks so much Ruby! You are the best. I plan to post pics when I'm feeling human again.

Thanks to all that voted for my Stained Glass piece. I appreciated your votes and all the kind words.

I will leave you with this picture and hope that what I have posted makes some sort of sense...

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