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Each month, the Unique Women in Business team does a Blog Hop focused on a different theme.  For April, the focus is on celebrating womanhood.

Each woman has many roles in her lifetime.  At some stage in her life, a woman may only have a couple of roles (perhaps a daughter and niece, for example). 

My Niece's Hand
One of my niece’s hand. Her fingers are saying
“I love you”
in American Sign Language (ASL).

At another stage in her life, a woman could have many roles such as: daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, wife or partner, mother, grandmother, worker, volunteer, leader, follower, nurturer, caregiver, peacemaker, teacher, artist, or more. 

Nana and the Girls
My mom with two of her grandchildren:
Sophia and Olivia (my daughters).

Some of these roles are not of one’s choice – they are made by others…while other ones are clearly personal choices. 

Two of the roles that I have chosen are: stay-at-home mother and homeschool educator.  When I was younger, I did not even envision my life as having children in it…much less being a mother who homeschools her two daughters.  Yet, being a mother and homeschool teacher have been two of the most challenging and rewarding roles in my life!

Girls in Awe as Monarch Flies Away
The girls watching a a monarch
that they raised from a caterpillar
fly in front of them. 
This particular monarch stayed around them
for quite a while before flying to the pasture. 
It was such a memorable and amazing moment for us all!

Prior to adopting Sophia in 2000, I was content with running a non-profit organization that I founded that offered art and farm camps to children; a teen mentorship program; and volunteer program for individuals, families, corporate teams, and individuals required to do court-ordered community service.  A good percentage of my year was spent writing proposals and seeking funding to do the camp program; and writing curricula for each of the camp weeks. 

Once Sophia and Olivia were adopted from orphanages in China, and their special needs were diagnosed in the United States (both came with referrals as “healthy” children), life took a very different…and unexpected…turn. 

With Olivia requiring in-home therapy multiple days per week from an occupational therapist, physical therapist, and special education instructor combined with therapy that I needed to do with her multiple times per day, my decision to end my outside-of-the-home career was necessary.

Playing in the Body Sack
Sophia and Olivia playing in the Body Sack I made.
It was designed so that they could go into the tube of fabric
and move, crawl, and stand up
(they were small enough to do that at the time this picture was taken).
It helped both of them with their sensory issues
(sensory integration dysfunction); and
helped them identify where their bodies started and ended
(a proprioceptive issue).

I have learned a tremendous amount over the past 11 years in terms of special needs; health/medical issues; developmental delays; learning disabilities; educational philosophies and methods; and a variety of subjects that I have taught the girls….just to name a few areas of growth.

Womanhood, though, isn’t limited to child rearing. While this is certainly an important role and is central to many women’s lives, there is so much more that we (as women) are called to do.

One of the things that I believe celebrates being a woman (and that I try to make a central focus of my life) is is of helping and serving others – whether people are struggling financially, emotionally, or physically.  Women can help individuals outside their family or they can choose to focus on providing support and care for their own family or aging parents.

Looking at the Sensory and Memory Quilt
My dad looking at the sensory and memory quilt
that I made for him (he has Alzheimer’s Disease). 
I gave him the quilt for Christmas 2009.

As the Washington Post reported in its June 16, 2009 issue, “Assistance for frail elders comes, the majority of the time, from a single individual. More specifically, from a woman: Seven of every 10 adult children who help frail parents are daughters.”

Another way in which women can celebrate their gifts is by working with their hands and sharing their creativity with others.  I believe that creativity can inspire, encourage, and even provide comfort to others. With only one lifetime given to us, it’s important to use our time wisely to make things that are wholesome, beautiful, nourishing, and inspiring. 

Mary Mom Me Sophia Olivia
From left to right:  My sister, my mom, me,
Sophia, and Olivia on my mom’s 80th birthday (April 24, 2010).
I made the quilt she’s holding. 
It has the handprints of each family member on white squares. 
On the blue squares, I hand-embroidered words that
were qualities her family used to describe her.

As Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” It’s worth taking some time to think about how you can make a difference with your gifts and skills.

The poem, Beauty of a Woman, was written by the late eduactor-humorist Sam Levinson for his grandchild and read by Audrey Hepburn on Christmas Eve, 1992.  I think it is a wonderful poem that celebrates womanhood:

For attractive lips,
speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes,
seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure,
share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair,
let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise,
walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things,
have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed;
never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,

you’ll find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands,

one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in

the clothes she wears,
the figure she carries,
or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman
must be seen from her eyes,
because that is the doorway to her heart,
the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman
is not in a facial mole,
but true beauty in a woman
is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
the beauty of a woman
with passing years—only grows.

Harvest Moon by Hand celebrates womanhood with the following products:

Set of three fabric bags that can hold gifts for a special woman in your life.
A peaceful image of a swan to hang in your window
made from hand-poured beeswax.
A set of upcycled notecards made from wallpaper samples.
Wonderful for sending a beautiful greeting or thank you letter to
a woman who has made a difference in your life.
A hand-embroidered needlebook made with all-natural wool felt.
If you sew and share your skills with others,
a needlebook is a good way to keep your needles and pins handy.
A four-color window star to beautify one’s home.
Window stars are lovely gifts for birthdays and Mother’s Day.
The UWIB team has many inspiring and creative women who are participating in this month’s Blog Hop.  Please take some time to visit these women and see how they are celebrating womanhood:

Audrey Fetterhoff http://audreygardenlady.blogspot.com/
Linda Stranger http://capecodjewel.blogspot.com/
Judy Woodley http://wellspringcreations.blogspot.com/
Janet Bocciardi http://www.honeyfromthebee.com/
Ann Rinkenberger http://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com/ (you are here right now)
Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri http://elephunkstrunk.blogspot.com/
Wendy Kelly http://blog.vintageday.com/
Cory Trusty http://aquarianbath.blogspot.com/
Karen Terry http://jmjcreations.blogspot.com/

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This week I took a departure from reading historical fiction and autobiographies as part of the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge to read a book that is relevant to what is currently happening in my life.  It is called A Special Mother – Getting Through the Early Days of  Child’s Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities and Related Disorders

This book, written by Anne Ford, presents a guide for mothers whose child is diagnosed with a Learning Disability (LD). The book is written in a conversational tone and there are many sections that feel like the reader is joining a group of women (all of whom have a child with a LD).

The book begins by discussing mothers’ intituition and their feelings that “something’s not quite right with my child.”  A Special Mother continues through the stages of denying that anything is seriously wrong, the eventual diagnosis, and advocacy.

For me, I could identify with many of the mothers who shared their experiences with knowing something wasn’t quite right with her child, but not being able to pinpoint the cause.  Olivia, who was adopted as a ten-month old infant from China, was diagnosed with a host of medical problems and developmental delays when she had her initial evaluation at the University of Minnesota’s International Clinic. (The referral said she was a healthy baby with no medical problems.)

By the age of three years old, at my request, she was evaluated by several teachers and therapists in the local school district who helped identified some special needs and a plan for reaching developmental, cognitive, and speech goals. 

For about two years, she worked with this team of professionals who provided guidance and therapy to help her reach her goals in combination with therapy and learning activities that they asked that I would do at home with Olivia.

Olivia Playing with Oodles of Ooze
Olivia playing with Oodles of Ooze
that I made for her.  It was meant to
strengthen her hands and
get her comfortable with different textures.

Concurrently, Olivia was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (a.k.a. Sensory Integration Dysfunction) and went through an intense ten-day, full-day program at Special Children Center in Hudson, Wisconsin.  She had many follow-up sessions to help address on-going issues that were too great for the district to handle.

Olivia on Blackie
Olivia doing therapeutic horseback riding in 2007.
She was 4 years old in this picture.

Olivia also began therapeutic horseback riding at age three through Courage Riders and later participated in River Valley Riders’ program as well.  These two programs provided physical therapy, occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, speech therapy, and body/muscle strengthening…not to mention a love for horses and horseback riding. 

When she first began riding, she could barely sit up straight (she was hypotonic which basically means she had no muscle tone in her hips or upper arms/shoulder area) and couldn’t put more than one word together. Her language was at a standstill for a long time, and most of it was being done through American Sign Language. 

Within the first six-week session of therapeutic horseback riding, she put her first two words together!  It was huge breakthrough.  Now, five years later she can sit straight up on a horse and can compose multi-word sentences.  In fact, she is almost always talking.  She even still remembers some of the ASL signs she used as a toddler and young child. 

Exercising While Riding
Olivia exercising while horseback riding

For the past five years (from age 3-8 years old), Olivia has been seeing an opthamologist on a quarterly basis since she is legally blind in both eyes (without glasses).  Her left eye is substantially worse than her right eye, so it was recommended that she wear a patch on her right eye so that her brain would be forced to use her left eye.  In this way, it would strengthen her vision and prevent a complete loss of vision in her weaker eye. 

She also was receiving nightly medicine in her eyes so her lashes wouldn’t scratch her corneas.  About eight months ago, her lashes began moving away from her corneas and no longer were scratching them.  This medicine has been stopped which has been nice.

Olivia Sewing a Wool Felt Pencil Case
I had Olivia work on a variety of projects while she wore
her patch so it would even further help use the eye.
Here she is doing embroidery and
making a wool felt pencil case

Which brings her to second grade where I was noticing persistent challenges with speech/communication issues.  So, in Fall 2010, I approached the school district and requested an evaluation of her speech skills.  She qualified for services and has been going to speech therapy once a week since November 2010. 

Each week, her speech therapist (Laurie) gives Olivia several books to read at home.  She started at a very basic level since I had intentionally waited to have her begin reading. (I was following the Waldorf philosophy in terms of reading as I had done with my older daughter, Sophia who waited until the end of first grade/beginning of 2nd grade to read. She is now in 4th grade and reads at the late-5th grade level and has a comprehension level of an early-7th grader.)

Homeschooling Outside
Olivia trying her best with Explore the Code
part of her reading/language arts lessons

At this point, I wasn’t noticing anything much different from Sophia’s start in reading.  Reading was difficult for both of them, but they forged ahead with their reading assignments.  However, within a few weeks, Olivia’s ability to recall simple words that she read in previous weeks was not strong.  She would get highly frustrated with reading – almost to the point of tears.  This was very unlike Sophia’s reading experience.  I expressed concern to Laurie.

Laurie and I agreed to wait a bit longer to see if reading became any easier for Olivia.  It did not.  At that time, I requested testing for both reading and math (since she must use manipulatives in order to arrive at the right answer). 

I met with a group of eight women who made up the special education team/school administration.  I had to make a presentation about Olivia’s skills, concerns I had, and provide samples of her work. 

Olivia Doing Math with Shells
Olivia doing math with manipulatives.
She’s using shells on this day, but also uses sticks,
rocks, and other natural items.

After reviewing the materials and listening to my concerns, the team decided to move forward with testing while doing concurrent at-home interventions and testing for six weeks.  Although they didn’t anticipate the interventions/testing to improve during the six weeks, it is a necessary step in the paperwork they need to file with the state.

Olivia now has gone through a battery of tests by a special education teacher, an occupational therapist, speech therapist, and psychologist.  I’ve completed quite a few questionnaires and checklists that provide a different view of Olivia (from both a parent and teacher perspective). 

At this stage, it looks like she will qualify to receive services under the “learning disability” label.  I’ll know more specifically what her challenges are next week, but at this stage I do know that one thing she is definitely struggling with is short-term auditory memory and a bit of perceptual reasoning.  The tests that the different professionals did all will reveal more specific problems and areas with which she will need assistance.

So, going back to the book I read this week, A Special Mother, it was with interest that I read about the evaluation/assessment process, the written report, evalutation meeting, and IEP (Individualized Education Program).  The latter three items are forthcoming during the first two weeks of April, so it was valuable to get an overview of what to expect, read about a child’s educational rights, and see the wealth of resources available for parents of children with LD, autism, and other developmental learning disorders. 

Even though I’ve been through the process when Olivia was much younger, it is a bit different now that she’s moved from the “developmental delays” label and into the “learning disabilities” label.  The former, to me, is more transitory and something that can be worked through whereas the latter is, as it notes in A Special Mother, “…a neurological disorder.

“In other words, it results from a difference in the way a person’s brain is ‘wired.’ A learning disability means that a person of at least average intelligence will have difficulty acquiring basic academic skills that are essential for success at school and for coping with life in general.”

With more than three million children in the United States having been diagnosed with a learning disability, having books and resources for parents is invaluable.  It’s even more meaningful when the book was written by a parent whose child has a LD.  In Anne Ford’s case, her daughter Allegra has severe learning disabilities; and it provided the motivation to become an advocate for children with LD.

Reading about the experiences of Anne – as well as many other mothers profiled in the book – helps mothers realize that they are not alone…and that they can help their child to thrive.  I would highly recommend this book.

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In my life this week…

I’m continuing to work on goals I set earlier in the week for getting my filing done so I can begin working on taxes; and for my shop on Etsy, Harvest Moon by Hand.  Received an order for three hand-embroidered donuts made from wool felt which I made on Tuesday.

I completed a quilt square for a swap on Swap-Bot which was nice to have done.  It was a combination of applique and embroidery.

Appliqued and embroidered quilt square.
The hand-written words are required elements for the swap.

Enjoyed trying some new vegetarian recipes in preparation for the 30 Day Vegan Workshop which officially begins on Monday, March 7th. 

Made a broccoli salad with sunflower seeds and a raspberry vinaigrette one day; and a whole-wheat mini-rigatoni pasta salad with fresh tomatoes, red onions, basil, garlic, and parsley.

A glimpse into the cupboard…ready for the 30 Day Vegan Workshop.

In our homeschool this week…

The girls focused this week on math (Sophia is learning about fractions, long division, and measurements; and Olivia is learning about 2-digit borrowing and addition; telling time at quarter hours; and geometric shapes). 

Sophia’s math book.

They did another lesson using the Atelier program which they are enjoying.  This lesson focused on drawing frogs in various positions (e.g., sitting, jumping). 

They continued doing activities related to Ukraine (this is the ABC Journey Around the World that I’ve been doing with the girls for a couple years now). They made “Kovbasa and Kapusta” (Ukrainian Sausage and Sauerkraut). 

The girls eating the Ukrainian lunch they prepared.

We spent time learning about Wales on March 1st when St. David’s Day was celebrated there (St. David is the Patron Saint of Wales).  They enjoyed seeing pictures of the castles, animals, and landscape of Wales as well as learning more about Princess Diana. 

Olivia’s paper quilts.  Under each heart is something
she wrote using the prompt:
I know my mom loves me because _______. 
She loves me more than a _____ loves its _______.

The girls both finished their paper quilt squares that tied into the book Mama Do You Love Me?  We all liked this book.  It reminded me of traveling to Alaska many years ago and seeing some of the animals featured in the book as well as the colorful dresses worn by some of the girls there.

Olivia - The Young Photographer
Olivia wearing a handmade kuspuk from Alaska.
She’s at Cutface Creek in Grand Marais (MN) about 5 years ago.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

Today, Olivia has her weekly speech therapy appointment.  She also will have an evaluation done by one of the special education teachers at the local elementary school. 

Next week Olivia has her quarterly appointment with her opthamologist on Wednesday; and Sophia and I have appointments with an optometrist on Thursday.  It will be interesting to see who needs changes in their prescriptions, and if Sophia needs glasses (I’ve been noticing she’s been squinting a lot).

The homeschool co-op, which normally meets on Monday, is on spring break.  They are going swimming on Tuesday and choir on Wednesday.

I’d like to contact the Courage Center and book an appointment for both of the girls for this week to have an aquatic assessment as well as look at the sensory gym.  The Couage Center has some excellent programs for children who have sensory integration dysfunction, and I think it would be good to get them enrolled in a program(s) that would help address their sensory needs.

My favorite thing this week was…

Hearing Sophia play the piano and listening to how far she’s come along in less than six months.  Also watching the bean seeds that Olivia planted sprout.

Olivia’s bean seeds starting to emerge from the dirt. 
This is for one of her science experiments.

What’s working/not working for us…

I wish there was more time in each day to do all the hands-on activities that I’d like to do with the girls.  Even though I’m able to do things each week that are more hands-on and engaging for them, the reality is that these things take a lot more time than simply doing a page in a workbook.  Yet, the impact on their learning is far greater because they will remember these activities more than simply filling in the answer in a workbook or doing a worksheet. 

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

As the annual homeschool conference nears, I’m starting to explore curricula that is geared towards more visual-spatial learners – like Olivia.  I was looking for a way to determine the learning style(s) of each daughter before investing in curricula and learning materials for the next school year. 

There was an assessment tool that I found online that was for both the teacher/parent as well as the student to complete.  I need to find that again and have both girls do that  (as well as do that myself for both of the girls).
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

The Christmas Cactus that my Dad gave me many years ago
is in full bloom. It blooms only twice a year.

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In my life this week…

I’m continuing to organize and de-clutter the home; and have two more garbage bags filled with donations to give to the local second-hand store. 

I put away the Valentine’s Day decorations and brought out the spring/St. Patrick’s Day decorations.  The girls and I agree that the nature table needs a few more items since it is rather bare at this moment.  I’ll be crafting an item or two for the table as well as looking (with the girls) for interesting natural items that can be added to the display.

For Harvest Moon by Hand (my shop), I want to:
– list at least 7 new items that I have waiting to be added at to the website
– finish sewing the bags I made from vintage children’s books
– create another PDF pattern for either felt food or a children’s toy
– make a “friendship” theme item for the HandmadeMN team challenge
– make a “green” item for the UWIB team blog hop

I need to file paperwork in my office as well as start working on taxes.  The latter task is so time-consuming and is something that I don’t enjoy.  My goal this week is to get everything prepared for my CPA so she can do the forms and email them in.

In our homeschool this week…

With over 6 inches of snow already and more on the way, the main focus over the next few days will be on digging out. From a homeschooling perspective, a fresh snowfall is a great time to do snow-related activities in different subjects (science, math, literature, physical education, etc.).

Winter on the Farm
Winter on the farm

In addition to the standard/core curriculum for language arts, history, geography, and science (using Sonlight Curriculum) and math (using Rod and Staff Curriculum), I have a variety of other activities that I’m doing with the girls:

– Work on another paper quilt for February using the book Easy Literature-Based Quilts Around the Year by Mariann Cigrand. 

– Finish the rest of the Aesop’s Fables stories and hands-on projects using the book Literature Pockets – Aesop’s Fables by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers. (Olivia is doing this only.)

– Do another Outdoor Hour Challenge using the book Handbook of Nature Study by Annna Botsford Comstock; and have the girls add to their nature journals.

– Study about and do activities related to George Washington (the anniversary of his birthday is February 22nd).

– Do two more art lessons using the Atelier program as well as do a new type of Waldorf painting that combines wax crayons, oil, and aromatherapy.

– Learn about the next country in the ABC Journey Around the World that I’ve been doing with the girls for a couple years now.  We’re on “U” – Ukraine – now.  I have a variety of books and activities related to Ukraine that we’ll be reading/doing this week. We may skip ahead and do some activities related to Mexico for “X” (since no countries in the world start with “X”).  I’m waiting on doing “W” – Wales – until March 1st when St. David’s Day is celebrated there (St. David is the Patron Saint of Wales).

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

Depending on the snow and how everyone is feeling (we’ve been sick over the weekend), ideally we’ll be going to 4-H, choir practice, speech therapy (Olivia), and to the libraries (public and local school). 

Olivia with her speech therapist (Laurie)

The girls and I also are going to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to donate two bags of 6″x8″ newspaper that we cut for their cages (we did this as part of the 52 Weeks of Giving activity).
The homeschool co-op was cancelled today due to the snow/weather conditions – so the girls won’t have their normal weekly activities in ceramics/pottery (both), home economics (Sophia), piano lessons (Sophia), computers (Olivia), and American Heroes (Olivia).

My favorite thing this week was…

As I look back on the past week, my favorite thing was doing science activities with the girls.  When I was in school, science was my least favorite subject since the majority of the time was spent just reading about subjects rather than doing activities. 

Sophia figuring out her lung capacity.
This is an experiment that is part of
studying about the human body.

I’m much more of a hands-on person when it comes to learning – as are Sophia and Olivia – so the science experiments that are part of the Sonlight curriculum coupled with the Outdoor Nature Hour challenges – are something we look forward to doing.

What’s working/not working for us…

After the holidays, I had a hard time getting back into the routine of homeschooling and following the detailed schedule of Sonlight’s curriculum.  This is the second school year that I’ve used Sonlight.  Prior to that, I was creating my own curriculum by piecing together activities and curricula from a variety of sources and philosophies.  This was very time-intensive, yet extraordinarily rewarding because everything was custom-fit to the girls’ interests and where they were developmentally and academically.

However, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and I realized that the time invested in curriculum development would be affected.  So, I searched for a new curriculum that would be a good fit.  I liked Sonlight because it is literature-based and there’s a daily schedule to follow.  Easy…straightforward. 

Learning about mold for science.  As an experiment, Olivia is growing mold. 
One bag of each item has water in it; the other does not. 
She’s going to see which bag grows mold first and
then will look at it with a magnifying glass to see what it looks like close-up.

What I’ve realized that I miss is the creativity and spontaneity of homeschooling.  So, I looked through my bookshelves and chose a variety of activity and resource books.  I’ve been using some of them and the girls have been having a lot of fun doing the hands-on projects.  We’ve been ordering lots of books from the library again which has been exciting!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

I met with the special education team at the local elementary school a few weeks ago, and signed papers that approved having an assessment done of Olivia to determine why she is having a lot of difficulty with reading and math.  Her visual-spatial skills are strong and she clearly gravitates towards activities using them.  For some reason, though, she’s struggling with a couple core subjects.  Hopefully the testing begins this week so that it can be completed by the time of the homeschool conference.

I’m looking forward to going to the conference this year because there are several workshops regarding special education, and how to adress it in a homeschool setting.  It will be interesting to see what resources are available from the vendors there. 

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Planting bean seeds for an experiment.


One of Olivia’s science activities last week (and that will continue into this week) is exploring how seeds grow.  In the picture above, she’s planting some bean seeds into 3 different pots.  Once the plants grow and have a couple sets of leaves, one container will receive water and sunlight; one will receive water only (no sunlight); and one will receive sunlight only (no water).  She’ll see the difference between the 3 containers within a week or so. 

She also has seeds soaking in water which she’ll open with a knife today; and seeds next to a wet paper towel that hopefully will sprout soon.  She’ll see how each seed sends out a shoot and root.

The Homeschool Chick

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As I think back on the past week, I am grateful for…

:: Opportunities I had in 4-H when I was younger; and being able to have Sophia and Olivia involved in 4-H again this year.
:: Medicine and the availability of flu shots this year.
:: The compassionate guidance of Olivia’s speech therapist at the local elementary school.
:: Caring neighbors.
:: Being given the time to spend Thursday with my parents to help set up in-home health care/cleaning, and then having a nice lunch with them.
:: The Sharing Shop’s clothing giveaway where the girls were able to get some fall clothes and a warm jacket for winter.
:: Laughter…as I watched the girls play hide-and-go-seek with the dogs on the nature trail.

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Soybean Pit

{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***

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Olivia on Hay Ride
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

An organic farm about 15 minutes from here does an event each year for children with special needs. Both Olivia and Sophia have special needs, and were excited about going to this event.

They got to:
– ride horses;
– see/pet farm animals (barn cats, chickens, ducks, goats, foals, and pigs);
– play in a soybean pit (an area filled with soybeans that they could sit in, fill buckets of soybeans with, bury one another in, or slide into);
– tour the calf barn and see a one-week old calf; go on a hayride;
– have lunch;
– play on a huge swing set;
– listen to live music;
– bounce in a “bouncy house”; and
– go on a train ride (there’s an historic train that’s nearby that offers 45-minute rides).

We had such a wonderful time – with such a variety of activities. I think we laughed more that afternoon than we had in a long time.

It was so nice not to have to worry about anything and have everything taken care of – especially having a meal cooked that I didn’t have to cook!

It’s the little things that make a difference…and this was definitely something that we will all look back on with good memories.

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