Taking the Scenic Route

Turkey Time Crafts

18th November 2010

Turkey Time Crafts

It’s the time of year when children start bringing home Turkey crafts.

Zora was quite proud of her Turkey sculpture and asked if I could please take a picture of it.

She also had a more recognizable turkey project

And here is our kitchen table. There is a Turkey pumpkin, the projects from today’s Reading Explorers (“H”…for her fancy “hootenanny hat”, and the book she made), and some drawings still there from yesterday of a person riding a horse and a princess.

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19th February 2010


Found some cheap cardboard letters and brought them home and decorated with some leftover Tempura paint, some glitter that mom brought me, and a nintendo controller that didn’t work. (excuse my appearance, I wasn’t feeling top notch).  Not the greatest, but done with love and the kids were thrilled.

Z:  Nintendo Gamecube Controller
A: backround for Super Mario
N: “Stickman” figures that Zane likes from YouTube (that we have to monitor heavily because not all are kid-friendly)
E: a maze

Z: Pink with glitter
O: “Supercar” race track
R: Hearts
A: as requested: a spider, a frog, ants (crawling up the side you can’t see from straight on), butterfly, ladybug

Their bookcases for art projects and other treasures.

posted in Art, Crafts | 1 Comment

12th January 2009

Random Saturday

At Exploration Place, “Little Explorers Workshop” started back up. The theme was “snow” and they had instant snow they could make (you add water to white powder and it grows into snow…really freaky and neat looking), made “snow ice cream” (well, with ice instead of snow because there is no snow right now), and did a snowman craft.

Comment on Zora’s picture: I was impressed with the face. She is getting a lot better at fine motor control and keeping the face where it should be.

Comment on Zane’s picture: I love the expressiveness of the picture (although I am not sure it really translated well to film). One interesting thing was the scarf. He did the main part in red, as you can see, but his interpretation of the red over the blue paper on the scarf tails was that it was done in a brown instead of red, so he picked up the brown crayon to draw that part.

Zora loves having access to the trampoline, but instead of just jumping, she often gets undressed and then jumps. She had a dress, socks and shoes on a minute before this. I guess she is annoyed because they got in the way. lol

Being goofy, snuggled in the blanked Zach got from my Grandma.

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16th December 2008

End of last week: winter weather and crafty fun

In Speech Therapy this week he decorated cookies. He specified that he wanted the tree for himself, the reindeer for Zora, the bell for Daddy, and the snowman for me.

We had snow, but it warmed up enough that they could go stomp around in the melting snow the next day. (wouldn’t be able to do that now, way too cold)

Saturday was the last week of the semester at Exploration Place. It was a Christmas Party and the kids all added some decorations to a big gingerbread house that would be on display, made sparkly Christmas Tree crafts, Rang bells, and the story was the Nativity Story.

Zane’s tree

The last few weeks, when we go from the room to the carousel, Zora has been holding hands with the other little kids. It is really cute to see the little lines of kids holding hands.

Much anticipated carousel rides

Going home

posted in Autistic Life, Crafts, Exploration Place, ST, The Kids, Winter | Comments Off

9th December 2008

Baby, it’s cold outside

Yesterday, the kids kicked off their shoes to run around outside.

Today, it was freezing cold and snowing. In an unusual conflict, Zach and I both had to be downtown at conflicting times, and only one vehicle could be driven in this kind of weather. (I never purposefully make plans anywhere at a distance during the week in the winter, but the Saturday class for this last Saturday at Exploration Place had been full since the beginning (the first class to fill up) and we were on the waiting list. Last week we got a call that there were openings for today’s class and the weather looked like it wouldn’t be a problem. Wrong.

Anyway, we decided that Zach would work from home in the morning (he can log in remotely and work by phone as easily as going into the office) and I would take the kids, and then he would drive in after lunch. On the way there, it was snowy and a little slick, but not bad. The trip home was much more dicey and I didn’t even want to chance the interstate after almost being slid into a few times before I hit the onramp. (a fender bender seemed like a much better deal than an injury accident at higher speeds). I was almost involved in two more accidents after that too, and gave really wide girth when I saw other trucks sliding through intersections and into adjoining lanes to avoid rear ending people. This is Kansas…people are not unaccustomed to bad weather here and usually scoff at people who can’t drive in nastiness.

We got home, ate some lunch, and Zach headed out to work. It took him 20 minutes to get to the onramp area and it was like an ice skating rink out there, so he turned around and came home. We drive an all wheel drive SUV, so it was pretty nuts for it to be sliding around like that. We heard there were well over 100 accidents by noon, and even though the snow was getting better, the slush had frozen over due to the wind and it was not fun, even for people who are used to the weather. (the wind was pushing us around a lot too, and without good traction, you would change lanes whether you intended to or not)

Anyway, the morning was good. Both kids had fun and were listening well enough that I wasn’t ready to pull my hair out by the time we left. There was some whining that we had to go right away, but I knew I needed to get the vehicle back to Zach (and really glad I left when I did because the roads kept getting worse) and they both were upset, but no meltdowns or total tantrums, just complaining. That was really good. The combined temperments can be really challenging, especially when there is only one parent, so I was really pleased and proud of them today.

The theme today was “Gingerbread” and they each made a little gingerbread house, a gingerbread craft, and some gingerbread themed toys, gingerbread colored playdoh, with a gingerbread snack. Zane ADORES gingerbread houses, so this was a lot of fun for him.

Zora’s gingerbread house, with help from one of the workers there

Zane’s gingerbread house, his design, although I had to help with some of the squirt frosting because it was really hard to get it out of the can for some reason.

Zora playing with the kitchen. She wanted to take her playdoh cookies with her to the kitchen area and protested when I thwarted her plans, but had fun anyway

The white squiggly things were too long, and there were no scissors, so he carefully folded them behind and glued them down to make it look neat. He did the craft totally independently.

Every week, at the end of the session, the kids get to go to the old fashioned, hand carved carousel. Zane rides independently, and stand next to Zora for safety.

Waiting for it to start

posted in Autistic Life, Crafts, Exploration Place, The Kids | 1 Comment

30th November 2008

Zora and the Twee Sew-cuws

After the tree was up, Zora insisted that we come downstairs with her, and we couldn’t understand what she wanted for a bit because she just kept saying “twee sew-cuws” over and over. She drug Zach downstairs into the school room (where we keep all the craft supplies) and pointed out a specific pair of scissors, the crayons, the tape, and colored paper and directed his choice of colors. We finally figured out that she wanted to make a circle garland for the tree. I started cutting strips and handing them to Zach and Zora to decorate. She was enthusiastic.

This garland is serious business

Zach, entertaining himself, made a mobius strip garland

Zora demonstrated how much she loved it

Zach continues to deviate from the garland

In Zora’s world, everything is better with tape.

Over my shoulder, Zane is listening to Mario Videos, his current obsession.

Zora grabs the camera for a bit and takes a few blurry pictures of me (yeah…don’t need to see me close up right now, so we are skipping those photos) and attempts to take some of Zach, but keeps getting the table instead. Finally I help her lift the front of the camera a bit as she is yelling “cheese” over and over to Daddy and he ducks down into the frame, to get this hilarious shot

posted in Autistic Life, Crafts, Zane, Zora | 1 Comment

8th November 2008

Exploration Place Saturday

This week’s theme was “Animals preparing for Winter”

Making a pinecone birdfeeder

Art/craft…animals and their winter homes

Then some play time. (this is a “match the sound” game, which was really challenging him until he discovered that there are colored dots on the bottom that indicates which ones match.)

There was also “nut sorting” (had a variety of nuts in the shell and you sorted them by type) and a snack. During circle time where she used one book to talk about different ways animals prepare for winter, then read “The Mitten”.

At home, hanging the birdfeeders.

Zora, not wanting to come inside.

posted in Autistic Life, Crafts, Exploration Place, The Kids | 1 Comment

27th July 2008

Kid’s Creativity: Zora around the house

(the last installation today)

Zora drew a “Bee” in sidewalk chalk yesterday. The wing is the blue part. Apparently there are eyes in there someplace too (she pointed them out), but I can’t remember where…someplace on the left side.

This afternoon she was “helping” me and I just thought I would share the cuteness

“Zora, don’t touch” (apparently she thought that if I was looking through the camera I couldn’t see what she was doing. stinker)

And, this evening, artiste at work



“Zane in bath”

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27th July 2008

Kid’s Creativity: Zane at Camp SSTAR

Zane made a tie dye shirt his first day. I saw them making them in one of the news videos, it looks like they folded them up and then sprayed them with paint/dye of some kind.

When I picked him up, this is not the shirt he had. He brought home a shirt that said “Zach” on it and he wanted dh to put it on because it was “for daddy”. Zach decreed there would be no more using of his first name in front of the kids. lol. Zora already calls him “Zach” more times than she calls him “Daddy” and now this. (suddenly grandparents referring to each other as “mother” and “father” made a lot more sense). As it turns out, it wasn’t Zane’s shirt, it was another kid’s (named Zach) shirt. We took it back and retrieved the correct one.

the front

the back

He made the flower pot. Don’t know what the tokens are for, but they are important to him.

This was one of my favorite things he brought home. They are “emotion sculptures”. When I picked him up one of the counselors (actually, she was the OT that was the initial person to evaluate him for services years ago) excitedly told me that on the first sculpture he initially had a rather blank/frowny face, but after he finished it he looked at it really hard, then changed the mouth to be smiling. Very Cool!

I asked him what emotion/feeling they were and he told me this one is “Happy”

And a close up of the face he worked so hard on…

This one feels “nothing”. (which could mean, literally, nothing, or it could be that he just didn’t have the words to really describe it how he wanted to)

And this one feels “happy” again.

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27th July 2008

Kid’s Creativity: VBS & Church

Zora made this. The reason it looks so beat up is because she keeps carrying it around with her.

I helped Zane make the basket. He understood how to do it, but didn’t have the fine motor skills to really do it well. He directed me when he wasn’t doing it.

The woven mat Zane did totally on his own. Very cool craft for him.

posted in Art, Church, Crafts, The Kids, VBS | Comments Off

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 5 months, and 2 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 5 months, and 6 days old
  • Random Quote

  • “you don’t look autistic!”

    Yes we do. You are just grossly misinformed about what “autistic” looks like.
    — Brigianna (MDC): Autistic, with Autistic child

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