Amber Alert

A2Z Challenge

Based on the alphabet list shared previously on this blog, I am creating an album all about me. Each layout is 8x8 and features one letter and one word that describes me. (Sorry the layouts are not in alphabetical order.)

The Ultimate Blog Party - Blog Hopping Review

One of the things that 5 Minutes for Mom asked of the participants of The Ultimate Blog Party was to take the time to review some of the favorite or new blogs visited during the party.

My goal was to post at each blog at least once. I made a valiant effort. As of today I have made it to 828 blogs out of 1,498 (the final number at midnight of the last day of the party) and posted at most of them. Unfortunately, there were quite a few blogs with no party posts, some blogs that were businesses only, some blogs that had disappeared (due to lack of a proper ISP address), and some blogs with duplicate (and triplicate) entries.

I did not count the blogs -- approx. 30 -- that I visited from links from other blogs.

Blogs Worth Visiting Again (in alphabetical order)

A Daily Dose of Debbie

Alexander's Heart

Charmed Life

Extravagant Grace


Girlfriendology Too

Heart of Wisdom

Just a Mom

Max's Mom

Mom Musings

My Friend Amy

My Life as Annie

Refuge for a Single Mom

Scrapping Servant

Self Talk Soul Talk

The Love List

The Mommy Project

The Scrap Princess

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum

Weary Parent

Ladies, I enjoy your blogs and have grown to become a regular reader. I may not often post but I too enjoy your posts, blogs, and inspiration. Thanks.

Please help yourself to the I Linky Love You award on my sidebar and add it to your blog. See you around the blogosphere.

Happy blogging!

Master of Deception

Do you have a child who is failing - and you don't know why? Is it possible your child has an unidentified disability? Do you expect your child to graduate from high school school? Are you afraid your child will be part of the "silent epidemic" - a dropout?

  • Every school day 7,000 students leave high school never to return.
  • Students with disabilities drop out of school at significantly higher rates than their peers who do not have disabilities.
  • Of those who do not complete high school, 61.2% are students with emotional/behavioral disabilities.
  • Of those who do not complete high school, about 35% are students with learning disabilities.

Read the article "Doing Your Homework" (found at to find some answers to help you learn about research based instruction, school improvement, and creative advocacy strategies so you can help your child.

Poor Man's Remedy

Poor Man's Remedy to Move Child with Special Needs to Private School

The harsh reality is that most families cannot afford to remove their child from an inappropriate public school program and pay tuition for a private placement, while also incurring the expenses of a due process hearing and subsequent litigation.

In Jarron Draper vs. Atlanta Independent School District (N.D. GA 2007), the 11th Circuit fashioned a "poor man's Burlington remedy" for these families. The Act does not relegate families who lack the resources to place their children in private schools to shoulder the burden of proving that the public school cannot adequately educate their child before those parents can obtain a placement in a private school. The Act instead empowers the district court to use broad discretion to fashion appropriate relief.

This decision should help special needs families and their counsel in negotiating settlements that provide quality educational remediation when their child has been denied a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

When the school system fails to provide FAPE, the family can and should ask for compensatory education from a non public agency or school.

Public schools often offer to provide compensatory education in the form of supplemental educational services provided by their staff. Since the public school failed to provide FAPE previously, compensatory educational services provided in the future (prospectively) by school district staff is generally an ineffective remedy. The same teachers who previously failed to educate the child would be responsible for remediating their past failures.

Simple themes win cases. In Jarron's case, the themes included the following: the school system failed to appropriately evaluate him, misdiagnosed him as mentally retarded when he had dyslexia, and failed to teach him to read.

If schools don't teach children the basic skills of reading, writing and math, these children will not have an opportunity to become productive, self sufficient members of society, as envisioned by the IDEA.

Appeals Court Upholds Award of Four Years of Compensatory Education

In Jarron vs. Atlanta Independent School District (N.D. GA 2007), the District Court held that: "Compensatory education involves discretionary, prospective, injunctive relief crafted by a court to remedy what might be termed an educational deficit created by an educational agency's failure over a given period of time to provide a FAPE to a student.

"Compensatory awards should compensate, and this means that they must do more than provide ‘some benefit’ as required by ordinary IEPs ... compensatory education is necessary to preserve a handicapped child's right to a free education."

To read further, go to

Thankful Thursday #6

Today (this week) I'm thankful for...

  • The sun to warm my skin and to warm the Earth so spring will blossom.
  • The lilacs finally blooming with their beauty and wonderful fragrance.
  • The warmer weather so I can try to walk a mile every night with my kids.
  • The continued healing of Cassandra. (She had her one week check-up for her broken wrist and all is going well.)
  • The successful closing on Sandy's house.
  • The friendships I have encountered, embraced, and come to cherish via the world of blogging.

Wordless Wednesday #9

Works for Me Wednesday

Use empty toilet paper rolls to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.

I Believe

I believe that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe that you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I believe that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

Ten Reasons Why I Blog

I've been tagged by Kristin at CIDP and Me -- -- to do a meme on Ten Reasons Why I Blog.

Ten Reasons Why I Blog

  1. To share my love of my children.
  2. To connect with friends, old and new.
  3. To connect with others with chronic illness. I have fibromyalgia and polyneuropathy.
  4. To share experiences in the world of single parenting. Its a difficult world to navigate and sharing information can be such a blessing to others.
  5. To overcome my fear of appearing weak in the eyes of others. Blogging and sharing my journey is therapeutic in its own way.
  6. To share my love of scrapbooking and photography.
  7. To share my love of reading.
  8. To have a creative outlet to share my writing.
  9. To have accountability in all areas of my life.
  10. The biggest reason of give HOPE to those dealing with adversity, whether it be an illness, financial struggles, personal struggles, etc. We all have struggles, but there's HOPE.

Tackle It Tuesday

The basement is my big project right now. It needs re-organized because I had contractors here for the weatherization program and they rearranged stuff, broke items, and make a huge mess. The basement needs organized and cleaned so here is my list.

  1. Sweep the floor.
  2. Organize the gift cupboard and boxes.
  3. Do laundry.
  4. Pack up the Easter decor. (Its sitting on the table and not packed in boxes yet.)
  5. Label the Christmas boxes.
  6. Hang tarps on walls and ceilings. (A cheap way to help with weatherization and walls not done correctly by previous owners with WetLoc.)
  7. Clean shelves.
  8. Organize tools.
  9. Pack up electric heaters.
  10. Clean fans for upcoming season.

I'm sorry but I did not take pictures of my project.

I did get numbers 1 (several times), 2, 3, part of 6 , 7, 8, and 9 done. I got a lot done but still need to get more done.

Around the 'Net - Farmer's Almanac

Old Farmer's Almanac

Need to know the weather forecast in your area, a quick bit of 'Today in History' or trivia such as 'do butterflies fly away or hide when it rains?' Check out the Old Farmer's Almanac for just about anything you might need to know in the categories of weather, gardening, astronomy, and, food. There's even an "Old Farmer's for Kids" for you to introduce your children to an almanac like the one upon which their grandparents depended. By the way, butterflies hide under a leaf or other protection; think what would happen to those delicate wings if they were pummeled by rain.

More About Me

Although I have been a part of a few different industries there is always a common thread running between them... Education and Psychology. I have this quirky need to help otherrs.

I started out as an early childhood teacher teaching preschool and then becoming a director for a day care center. Then I taught elementary school... 1, 2, and 5th grades. Then I got into teaching adults in areas of parenting, writing resumes, organizational skills, vocational resources, Christmas decor, and advocacy. I still do this but also use my knowledge and teacher "bag of tricks" with my children. Though, my children attend public school, we do have "school" time at home during the weekends and holidays to reiterate the skills they have learned (1 child has severe mental health issues, 1 child is gifted).

Now I do Educational Advocacy work.

My love of scrapbooking had led me to teaching through direct sales companies as well as my own company, DawnLyn's Designs.

Thought of the Day - 4/29/08

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will.

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill.

When funds are low and the debts are high.

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.

When care is pressing you down a bit.

Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns.

As everyone of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about.

When he might have won had he stuck it out:

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt

And you never can tell how close you are.

It may be near when it seems so far:

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you must not

~~ Author Unknown ~~

Family Minute #19

Do you love people or things?

If you love things and use people, then you’ll end up with shallow relationships, meaningless, depreciating “stuff” and no one to share it with. But if you love people and use things, you’ll have rich relationships and lasting joy in your life.

So spend your time, talent, and treasure on people. Focus on relationships instead of acquisitions. Make people your priority. Loving people is the only investment that will ultimately pay off.

Remember your family first.

Family Minute #18

Do you love people or things?

If you love things and use people, then you’ll end up with shallow relationships, meaningless, depreciating “stuff” and no one to share it with. But if you love people and use things, you’ll have rich relationships and lasting joy in your life.

So spend your time, talent and treasure on people. Focus on relationships instead of acquisitions. Make people your priority. Loving people is the only investment that will ultimately pay off.

Remember your family first.

Thank Them

Can you imagine what it was like to be in a landing craft approaching Omaha Beach on D-Day with bullets pinging off the doors you're about to rush through? Can you imagine a young man in the prime of life, charging a hill in Vietnam while under fire? Can you imagine what it was like to be patrolling hostile desert territory in Iraq or Afghanistan, senses on fire as you scan every ridge, boulder, and cave?

Powerful images of these events and more are contained in the tribute. By combining them with photos of civilians holding signs of thanks, ThankThem4 provides everyone with a simple yet very meaningful way to personally thank the troops for their tremendous sacrifices. is a site that allows you to create a free custom greeting that can be sent to your friends, family members, veterans and active duty personnel.

The goal is to send 50,000 tributes by Memorial Day and to raise contributions to military-support groups via links provided on the site.

Supporting the troops is something we can ALL agree on.

Make Me Laugh Monday - Make Me Thin

National Safe Kids Week

Safety first!

Keeping our kids safe is one of the things moms probably think about the most. “Jack! Get down from that chair! Sarah, put on your helmet before you get on your bike. No, Grace, you can’t get in the pool until I come outside.”

Yes, safety is on our minds a lot – and it should be. Did you know that unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children 14 and younger? This is National Safe Kids Week, a great time to refresh ourselves on practical ways to keep our kids safe.

Home Saftey Checklist

This checklist is designed to make your home environment safer by preventing accidents and injuries.

Use the back burners of the stove and keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove.
Check pots and pans for loose handles.
Make sure towels, curtains, and other flammable items are located away from the stove.
Mount a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and teach family members and older children how to use it.
Keep extension cords and appliance cords away from sink and stove areas.
Store potentially harmful products (such as cleaning supplies) in their original containers and make sure all harmful products have safety packaging.
Store household cleaning products, knives, matches, and plastic bags away from children.
Use safety latches for drawers and cabinets and put appliance latches on appliance doors.
Warn children to stay out of appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, and dryers.
Store children's cereals and snacks in a cabinet far away from the stove.
Use child resistant trash cans or store trash can in a cabinet with a safety latch.
When using a highchair, do not leave child unattended and always use all safety straps.

Living Areas
Install smoke detectors on each floor and change batteries each year.
Fasten drapes away from fireplaces/heaters.
Clean chimneys annually.
Ensure that screens or guards are in front of fireplaces, wood stoves, and open heaters.
Place small stoves and heaters where they cannot be knocked over, and away from furnishings and flammable materials.
Tack down small rugs and runners to prevent slipping.
Secure lamp, extension and telephone cords out of the flow of traffic.
Make sure electrical cords are not beneath furniture, rugs, or carpeting. Use tape (not nails or staples) to attach cords to walls or floors.
Check cords for exposed wiring and fraying.
Exits and passageways should be kept clear at all times.
Stairways should be well lighted.
Do not store anything on stairways, even temporarily.
Secure wobbly railings on stairs.
Use safety gates to block the top and bottom stairways, but do not use accordion style gates with large diamond shaped openings because young children can trap their heads in this type of gate.
Use safety plugs to cover electrical outlets.
Keep furniture children can climb, toys, and throw rugs away from glass doors and windows.
Check furniture for sharp edges, especially coffee tables and other short items.
Keep poisonous plants (such as Elephant's Ear, Angel Wings, Calla Lilly, Mother-in-Law's Tong, Philodendron, Orchid, and Poinsettia) out of the reach of children.

Bedrooms & Playrooms
Lamps and light switches should be located close to each bed.
Ash trays, smoking materials, heaters, and other fire sources should not be located near beds or bedding.
Turn off heating pads before going to sleep.
Let electric blankets hang loose over beds, do not tuck in sides or ends, or cover with a bedspread.
Put infants to sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm, flat mattress.
Place cribs away from windows, window blinds, or curtain cords.
Make sure cribs are sturdy with no loose or missing hardware.
Examine toys for sharp edges and removable small parts. No part should be smaller than 15/8 inches across.
Store children's toys on low, deep shelves or in a toy box that has no lid.

Keep medicines and cleaning products in containers with safety caps and out of children's reach.
Flush all out-of-date prescriptions and medications down the toilet.
Store medicines in original containers with original labels.
Keep Syrup of Ipecac on hand and periodically check the expiration date.
Keep first aid supplies well stocked and easily available.
Unplug and store electrical appliances when not in use.
Place non-skid mats or decals in the tub/shower.
Use safety latches for drawers and cabinets.
Never leave a child alone in the bathtub or near any water.
Check bath water temperature with wrist or elbow before giving a child a bath.
Adjust water heater to less than 120 degrees. Wait two hours and check tap water temperature with a candy thermometer. Contact public works department if you need assistance.

Garage and Storage Areas
Keep dangerous substances (such as charcoal lighter, paint thinner, paint, antifreeze, and turpentine) in original containers and locked away from the sight and reach of children.
Label flammable liquids and store in tightly capped, non-glass safety containers, away from heat and pilot lights.
Make sure tools and power equipment are out of children's reach.
Store firearms unloaded in locked cabinets; store shells in a separate locked area.

Secure loose railings on porches and decks.
Safeguard swimming areas with adequate adult supervision, four-sided fencing, gates, and child-proof locks.
Install child car seats or booster seats correctly in the back seat of automobiles and use properly.
Anchor home playground equipment firmly in the ground; cover exposed bolts, screws or sharp edges with plastic cups or tape; install play equipment at least six feet from fences or walls and on soft or grassy ground.
Check neighborhood for water hazards, construction, unfenced pools, irrigation canals, and storm drains before your children find these hazards.

Walk on your knees to see each room from a child's perspective.
Keep emergency numbers by the phone: fire department, police department, poison control center, hospital emergency room, child's doctor, neighbors, relatives, and friends.
Plan and practice family fire escape routes and procedures at the start of summer and the start of winter.
Review home safety rules with children and other family members at the beginning and ending of each school year.

Family Minute #17

Are you a parent or a performer?

A frazzled mother asked me, “How do I keep my kids entertained when I come home from work and am completely out of energy?” Well, as parents, it’s not our job to keep our children entertained. It’s our job to love them, provide for their basic needs, and prepare them for adulthood.

Life doesn’t always have to be show biz. There are plenty of activities to keep kids occupied... homework, playing outside, reading, helping around the house. For a list of age-appropriate chores, click on the link at right.

Remember your family first.

What Kind of Flower are You?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You stand up for what you believe in, even if it gets in the way of what other people think. You are proud of yourself and your accomplishments and you enjoy letting people know that."

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