Sensory benefits and struggles of gardening

I decided to get some new plants for my yard today. Usually planting gives me a peaceful feeling. The kids love it and I think it teaches them some important pieces to life. Not to mention the sensory input it provides.

Nevada’s high winds and hellish soil can make it quite the experience. My own sensory quirks made it a tad bit annoying today when things weren’t going as perfectly as I’d like.

My youngest loves to plant. Each plant she calls a “bible”. I have started my biblical garden adding plants and herbs found in the Bible. It will take some time but it’s something I love and can’t wait to one day finish.

Hyssop has an earthy mint smell that I just love.

We found some anemone but need to find a partially shady space for it before I add it.

HB calls it the Jesus flower. Referred to as the wild lilies in the Bible.

Love my sensory seeker. She loves getting her hands and feet all up in the dirt.

I love that it’s a family affair. Teaching them about gardening. Sharing the importance of flowers and herbs with them.

My sensory avoider doesn’t do messy. He’s a tad like me.

But even he couldn’t resist getting his toes all in.

Gardening gives kids with sensory challenges such great input.

It provides grounding. (Yes we garden barefoot)

I will say I was a tad bit agitated the wind was driving me insane. My things were blowing away faster than I could plant them. But welcome to Nevada.

I plant mums every year. They were the flowers at my wedding. So I just love them a little extra. And they scream fall.

I found this beautiful hibiscus tree to add to the walkway that will be stunning year round once I can dig through the soil from hell.

Todays planting extravaganza did not go as I had planned. Simple as that. But I do love all the new beauty around us and I’m guessing the kids sensory needs were met so they should sleep soundly with a little copaiba after an afternoon of fresh air and a lot of dirt.

Danielle

Quick & simple peach cobbler

My sweet neighbor gifted us with the option to pick as many peaches as we’d like.

Let me advise that this recipe is not for the health conscious. Sometimes it feels good to chow down on some sugary sweetness.

My kids picked bags and bags full of peaches. The chickens got some. We ate a ton. Yet I was left with quite the peach supply. And I hate to waste anything. Especially free produce!

So I whipped up this delicious and quite simple peach cobbler in my beloved skillet. Skillet cooking makes everything better. The less dishes the better too 😉

Ingredients

5-6 peaches peeled (I skipped the peeling I wasn’t in the mood for the full peach bath)

I use thieves by Young Living to clean all of our fruits and vegetables and even eggs!

1 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar (I substituted with coconut sugar it’s all I had)

1/2 cup flour

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Slice and peel if desired all the peaches. Put them into the skillet. Pour melted butter over the top.

In a separate bowl combine flour, white sugar, milk in a bowl. Stir well pour over peach and butter mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake for one hour at 375.

It was as easy as that.

And so very tasty. The chickens enjoyed the leftovers as well!

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Sensory Processing Disorder

I have some obsessive behaviors and so does my husband. Both my kids have obsessive behaviors as well but I’d say EBE’s obsessions are harder for me to understand. Therefore making it harder for me to help him through it.

He was officially diagnosed with sensory processing disorder at age 3. He was delayed in his fine motor skills, and highly sensitive. He goes mute randomly and can’t speak. I suspect anxiety. He picks at his body obsessively. Causing his lips and toes to bleed.

As he’s grown older he’s grown out of most of his fine motor hiccups, but his obsessive behaviors have become much more noticeable the older he gets.

He has a high level of anxiety always. But it’s made worse by any disruption in his routine. And it can take weeks to get back to normal.

A tantrum will turn meltdown easily somedays for him and there’s no reasoning with a meltdown.

And today is already one of those days. I hate these days because I don’t really know how to help him. I incorporate sensory activities and use our therapy swing. But it’s almost like his mind gets stuck on obsessing over different things. Some days are harder than others.

So I wonder and pose the question to those with sensory processing disorder can you explain maybe a side of the obsessions that I’m missing? Maybe offer advice on strategies you use to work through those challenging times.

I try to read whatever I can on SPD, but it’s still hard for me to grasp how exactly it feels.

If I were to create a questionnaire would you be willing to answer some questions I have about SPD and share your personal experience?

I’m just a mom trying to gain more knowledge. And would appreciate it.

Danielle

Pass on Roundup in your cereal and give Nature’s Path a try instead

The latest report on the dangers lurking in our food should be a huge alert to our country.

I know for me the latest which included breakfast cereals with Roundup chemical has been a huge eye opener for me.  For one how is this poison getting into our food and two what are we going to do about it.

I know for me my small stance against these companies includes paying a little more for organic and then documenting and sharing with others what foods are a better option then Cheerios with a side of Roundup.

I also have started emailing the companies that provide safe quality food and thanking them for their products.  It may seem stupid, but in my mind I wonder if we started supporting the good businesses would we see a demise in the pollution to our food.  If everyone truly stopped funding these large companies maybe there would be a change in the food industry.

It’s a tiny gesture but I’d like to think it helps some.

If you are eating processed food the odds are you are ingesting Glyphosate.

I strongly encourage you to take just a moment and read about it.

I notice a huge change in my kids behaviors depending on what they’ve eaten.  Goldfish, chocolate graham crackers, Quaker oats bars are like poison to my kids.  Behaviors almost immediately come to the surface.

It makes me question more of what is put into all these processed foods that are so readily available.  It makes me question what sort of harmful effects this will have on our generation and generations to come.

I am in no way saying food causes Autism, but I am saying that I do believe there is a correlation into the unhealthy ingredients in a lot of foods on the shelves and how could this not hinder our children’s development?

So today I wanted to feature one of our most favorite staple items in our house.

Nature’s Path Organic instant Oatmeal Brown Sugar Maple

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This oatmeal is affordable, and almost has some sort of sale to make it affordable for our family.

I think its time that more people took a stance.  Bake some banana bread, start somewhere.  Try replacing one thing at a time.  It’s hard to start a new diet, change a way of living, but it’s worth it.  Why would you want to subjectively eat a daily dose of Roundup with your morning cereal.

Danielle

Homegrown french fries for picky eaters

Both my kids would be considered picky eaters.  And anytime you think you have it figured out that they like something they change it up on you.

But something they will both eat consistently is french fries.  With all the horrible stuff in the news about what is actually in some of our store bought food products I’m encouraged to grow more and eat healthier.

The kids dug 27 potatoes out of the garden.  They had a blast doing it.

And today we ate the fruit of our labor.  I’d say it was a good lesson in all and everything tasted so delicious!

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Hopefully this is something your picky eaters will like.

Homegrown french fries for picky eaters

  • 10 potatoes cut into whatever sort of shapes or wedges you’d like.
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons Nutritional Yeast
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Lay potatoes on lightly oiled (I use a little avocado oil or coconut oil) pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes on 400.

I don’t get any complaints about these.

Hope you enjoy!

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Official Autism diagnosis: Yes or No?

An hour and a half into our lesson I realized I had lost EBE.  His attention span was non existent, no matter what idea I tried to teach him he was gone.  Unfocused.  What we call zoned out in our house.  Even after my failed attempt at a bath to increase focus.  Pinterest fail one of my biggest pet peeves.

I know it was a lot for him having a new routine this last week, but I wish there was a way I could help him.  I’ve tried some calm down sensory strategies, tactile play in the sand table usually seems to do the trick.  But he’s emotional too.  Simply he’s on sensory overload.  He took paper and rubbed it across his lips so hard that he now as a lip full of paper cuts which today are a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.  Anyways.  Lately I’ve been thinking wondering would he benefit from a true diagnosis of Autism.  His sister has one.  His occupational therapist without “officially diagnosing” him saw Autism displayed in both our children.

The thing is I never want to hinder him.  Or Miss H.

I’m not afraid of him getting a diagnosis although somehow I always feel like he knows it’s assessment time so he pulls himself together and nails their checklists.  Then I just appear insane.  Which is totally fine.

I just want him to succeed.

So I pose the question to parents of kids with Autism, or even those with Autism themselves.  Are you happier knowing there is a name for how you feel.  Or do you wish you hadn’t received the diagnosis?

Evan was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.  Heidi with “Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Globally Developmentally Delayed” an obnoxious mouth full for a little girl who spoke late.

Anyways I’d love if you would ask, or share this post or pose those questions.

I have my own mixed emotions about Miss H’s diagnosis, and some of the poor practices of those in the medical field as well as therapy vendors.

We do practice our own occupational therapy in home each day.  Which I feel like has really benefited the kids.

Anyways eventually I’ll come to a decision on having him assessed again.  Until then we will push through this phase and I’ll complain to my girlfriends and problem solve ideas on how to help them through this phase.

Thank God for good friends.

Happy Friday!

Pros & Cons to goat ownership

I’ve been discussing autism lately, and thought I’d switch gears for a bit and share in our homesteading journey.

I want to talk about goats.  And share just some thoughts on them.  Maybe you are a long time goat owner, maybe you are considering getting a goat (remember if you get one you should get two.)

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Goats are social animals so you should always get at least two, that’s how we ended up with Gus and Randy.  If you were a fan of Love on Netflix you might recognize the names.

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So here are just my personal pros and cons to goat ownership from my own experience.

We purchased two baby nigerian dwarf wethers.

Side note a wether is a castrated male goat.

I know I can still get confused with goat lingo.

Pros

  • They will most definitely eat your weeds.
  • Gentle animals.  Ours are so gentle with our kids.
  • They don’t cost much to feed especially if they have some where to graze.
  • You can feed a lot of your yard trimmings to them.  I’m all about recycling.
  • They don’t require much time or effort.
  • They are really cute and funny.  (The humping cracks everyone up)
  • It’s a great experience if you have kids
  • It doesn’t cost much to startup.  We built our goat house from repurposed barnwood.
  • Goat poop when added to compost is great for gardening.You can make a little extra money renting goats out to neighbors needed help with weed control.  With the recent fires in California neighborhoods are seeing an increase in rental goats to help control the brush.

     

Now let’s talk the cons.

Cons

  • They will most definitely eat something of yours that you don’t want them to.
  • They are little Houdini’s, ours eventually find a way to jail break at some point, and they let all the animals out too.
  • They poop everywhere.
  • The poop is seriously hard to rake up.  (just being honest here)
  • They beg, and beg, and I usually give in and give them a treat or two.
  • They jump on everything.
  • One of the most stubborn animals I’ve ever owned.  Have you tried pulling your goat somewhere you want him to go?  It’s harder than you’d think.
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All in all I think adding Gus and Randy to our mini farm has been great.  It’s nice to be able to throw them a lot of yard waste as we clear more areas on the farm.  They are really sweet and gentle with the kids and our other animals.  I think it teaches the kids such a valuable lesson as well.

If you are considering adding goats to your homestead do you have any questions?

I know before getting goats we researched and researched.  But overall it’s been a pretty simple adjustment and we’ve really loved having them around.  I’ve been letting them wander in the evenings while I do yoga, and I think the belly laughing has done some soul healing.  It’s not nearly magestic as people on social media would have you believe.

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Danielle