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Friday, September 21, 2012

More on Madison

After the parent teacher conference today, I have a much better understanding of this whole PMP thing with Madison.  Here's more on it.... and more on why I now know more about it...

Rewind to when Kenzie was 4.... We were in Indiana and the school system there did a wonderful job of getting the evaluation done before kindergarten, so I didn't have to understand all of the way this would work... When we got to Florida when she started kindergarten, we already had an IEP in place.  So we only had minor changes to that...

Fast Forward to Present... Madison is in 1st grade and has to go through some testing that they do with all 1st graders (Kindergarten too)... It's called FAIR. This is in order to help with her reading and math.  So, here's what the results are:

As it stands now, Madison is predicted (by FAIR) to have a moderate probability of scoring at or above grade level on the end of year comp task.

She is below grade level in Reading Comprehension, however, let me stress, she is a lot farther ahead than Mackenzie was.  At this stage in the game, Mackenzie wasn't even reading at the rebus level, but Madison is, so that's a plus!  Woo Hoo there!

Her vocab also is below grade level, however we have some really good interventions in place for helping her improve here. 

Madison did meet expectations with her letter sound knowledge with all 26 letters in capitol and lower case letters!  that's a good thing!

She's struggling with Phoneme Blending, but this is one area that Mackenzie also struggled in and both of them get speech therapy to help with this. 

So with that said, it could be a lot worse. I feel very confident that her teacher and I can really work with the reading intervention team as well as speech therapy to really assist madison in reaching goals set for her. 

What do we do now?  Well, we have a pmp in place to monitor her progress, if by mid year when they give her the fair testing again, she isn't showing signs of improvement, we will be getting some more evaluations in place, if it's found that she needs a full IEP in place, we will gather the team and work on that.  We are confident in the school's ability to assist her so we will be really watching out for this lil monkey! 

now some activities that can help all children in different areas are here for everyone.  I've learned that with my kids, these are great ideas and if it will help anyone, I want to do that!


Use index cards to create 2 sets of A-Z.  Play go fish or memory with them.  Have your child say the name and sound of the letters when he/she makes a match.

Use paper and crayons/markers and have your child make their own alphabet books.  Make collages on each page.  Use one letter per page. 

After reading a book, play I Spy with letter names or sounds.  You say, I spy____ and have your child point to the letter that makes that sound.

Cut out letters from magazines, newspaper, or junk mail printed in different fonts.  have your child sort the letters to give practice recognizing the key features of a letter.

use paper or plastic cups and label each cup with one letter of the alhpabet.  cut out pictures from magazines or use objects from around the house to play a matching game.  have your child sort the objects into the cups based on the first letter sound that occurs in the name of the object. 


take turns thinking of two words that begin with the same sound.

play the say it quickly game.  you say a word, one sound at a time, then have your child say the word at normal rate.  for example, you say /k/ /a/ /t/ and have your child say cat at normal speed. 

play rhyming games.  say a two word rhyme and ask your child to say a word that rhymes with your words. take turns.  for example, say cat sat and the child could say rat or bat or that

play say it slowly, its the exact opposite of say it quickly.

take turns thinking of two words that end with the same sound. 

paly the change that word game.  think of a one syllable word and have your child think of another word that is different by one sound take turns with each word.  example:  sat and sit, sip and lip


encourage reading fluency by having your child read and re read familiar books. 

schedule 15 minutes of special reading time every day to read with your children. 

when your child brings home papers from school, let them explain what they did and have them read it to you. 

select a book that you know they will be able to read with success and spend some time reading with her.  take turns reading.

encourage your child to read along while listening to a tape recording of a story. ( has a great part of the site where the books are read to the kids and they can read along)


go to the library each week and read a book together.  talk about the book and ask your son/daughter questions that relate to the story. 

play fact or opinion with your child.  you say a sentence and then ask if it's fact or opinion.

fold a piece of paper into 3 parts, let your child draw a picture of something she did in sequence then help them write one sentence under each picutre explaining what he/she did first, middle and last.


pick out a new vocab word from one of the books you are reading with your child.  talk about what it means.  make a sentence with the new word.  and use it in everyday life that week.

when you are riding aroudn the neighborhood, take turns spotting items that fit within a specified category of transportation

use a photo from an album and have your child retell what happened the day the photo was taken.  encourage the use of vocab from the setting of the picture.  use words such as first, next, last etc.

make hand puppets out of old socks to practice retelling stories read in school or at home.  the puppets can take on the role of characters from the story.  use the voices and vocabularies of the characters.

have your child pick out a word from reading.  help make a word map with that word using examples, non examples, synonyms, and antonyms.  for example, the selected word could be mapped with sunsets, cockroaches (non example), gorgeous (synonym), and ugly (antonym). 

encourage conversation.

Love is Kind

Many times, we forget that love is kind.  We take for granted the way that we come across to our spouses.  For yesterday's dare, I was to do something unexpected for my spouse.  While this journey will be hard because sometimes he's out of town, I am doing everything I can to followthrough with this dare.  I wasn't able to do this for him yesterday, so I did combine it with today's dare.  How did I do this?  Well, not only did I do whatever he wanted to do today, but I didn't say anything negative to him while doing it.  Again, I stress, It's hard with him out of town, since he's home today, we had a morning of going where he wanted to and doing things he wanted to do.  He was shocked that I was willing to do all of this.  More on this tomorrow. 

Yesterday's verse:  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Madison-- School Update

I have been busy at work today working on getting a few things set up.  Here's what I have learned so far:

Madison has a Progress Monitoring Plan in Reading, Writing, and Math to help monitor her so that should the teacher think she needs more help in one area or another, they can easily address that!  Woo Hoo!  Love that her teacher is proactive like that! 

She is getting Speech Therapy 2 times a week with Mrs. Mix.  I just got off of the phone with her and she has told me that she definately sees the improvements with her speech!  We are working with /sh/ and /ch/ now.  So, starting next week, we will have speech homework to do in addition to our spelling and math that we already have. 

I have a conference with her homeroom teacher tomorrow.  We are going to be going over this PMP as well as any questions that might arise while we are there.  I'll be bringing a few things to her attention and then going from there. 

So, the PMP, and the way it works is this:  in Kindergarten, when they noticed that Maddie was behind in the three areas, they put into place this plan.  It was late in the year when they did it, so what will happen is that they give extra interventions to her and if they don't seem to be helping, then they would pursue putting her in the program Mackenzie is in.  It's a Self Contained Academic Classroom.  This would mean that she would change schools and ride the same bus as her sister.  (This is something that I have been wanting to happen for a while now!) 

So when I am at the meeting tomorrow, I will find out more information.  And to top it off, I will get her Progress Report tomorrow too!  I can't wait to see how she's doing so far this year.

My thoughts

So, I wanna share my thoughts on a subject that is thrown out there all the time. 


From a worldy standpoint, we are all judged on a daily basis wether we know it or not.  People judge people anymore without even thinking.  She looks fat in that shirt, yep that's a judgement.  He's not parenting like I would.  That one too is a judgement.  We do it without realizing it most of the time anymore, but I want to challenge all of us.

For One day, pass NO judgement.  Why?  well because I am tired of those who I thought were close to me judging me because of many reasons.  I may not have as much money as they do. I may not have all the material posessions that they have.  I may not have the newer vehicles that they have.  I may not do things they way they would do them.  I may have beliefs that they don't have.  This doesn't mean that anyone should judge me. 

Here's a passage from the BIBLE to shed some light on the subject:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.  Matthew 7:1-5

In other words, how about looking at yourself before you cast judgement on me.  I come into contact with people every day who think they are better than me, and therefore judge me.  I come into contact with people all the time who have a great paying job and don't want for anything, but I will assure you, MONEY ISN'T EVERYTHING.  Take this into consideration:  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.  1 Timothy 6:10.  Due to your love of money, you really wanna judge me because I don't have money? I think not.  Let me assure you that WE MAY NOT HAVE A LOT BUT WHAT WE HAVE ARE BLESSINGS TO US.  

Also, I would urge you to watch what you say and how you say it.  What you are thinking that you want to say to someone may come across to them as a judgemental statement.  While you are thinking it out of love, it might not come out that way.  For example, when someone asks for prayer, let's make it a point to PRAY for them not tell them all of the ways that they can do things right.  That is a judgement.  When we stand before the Father, HE will judge us.  We aren't called to judge one another, we are called to love one another as we love ourselves.  

John 13:34-35

English Standard Version (ESV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

And one last verse for you:

 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
 James 1:19-21

And know this, Jesus came, died, rose again so that we might have life and more abundantly.  He's here for you.  When you feel like you need to judge someone, give it to him.  He will take those cares away.  

Love is Patient

So, I'm doing this dare.  I decided to do it just to see if I could get through it.  While it's been a trying year with Ryan being gone so much, I decided I would do the 40 day love dare.  This is an activity that will strengthen all marriages, so I wanted to do this for a while now.  I finally got around to starting it. 

So with that said, every day there's a bible verse that goes with the dare.  Yesterday was the first day and here's the verse for it:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Epehesians 4:2

And the dare for the day was to say nothing negative to my spouse for the day. 

Then I had a list of 3 things to do and they were to pray for my spouse and myself, perform the dare, and write my thoughts or feelings, so I decided that I would do some blog entries as a journal to keep my thoughts on.  It is my hope that through my journey it will inspire someone else to also take this journey and work on their marriage. 

Journal Entry:  Today was a tough one for me.  Why?  Ryan wasn't home with us so it should have been easy for me to not say anything negative to him right?  Well, when I got the phone call from him saying he was going to the er because he was injured at work, my flesh wanted to give him some negative comments, but I refrained from that.  After that one time, I thought about it for a minute, and really resolved to not say anything negative to him.  While sometimes it might be hard, I can get through this because "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13

And I have a video for you today too:

Are you wondering why I am sharing this video?  Well, I have decided not to fight my love anylonger!  Yes, there will be struggles, and I have to say that God will bring me through those times.  God never promised that there wouldn't be raging waters, but he did promise to help us weather the storm.  Therefore, I leave you with this thought today:  LOVE IS NOT A FIGHT, BUT IT'S SOMETHING WORTH FIGHTING FOR.  Are you ready to fight for your love?  I know I am! 

See ya tomorrow for Love is Kind! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thirty-One Journey

My Thirty-One Journey as and Independent Consultant has been an amazing one!  And the journey is continuing!  It's going to be a great month!  Not only have we launched the fall catalog, but we have the best sale this month!  Who doesn't love a MAKE YOUR OWN sale!!!!

So, how does it work?  Well it's quite simple, when you spend $31 this month, you get to choose ANY item from our catalog for 31% off!  And that's not any item of equal or lesser value like most stores do!  You could choose the most expensive item in the catalog and still get that 31% off!

Here's an example:

I purchase an Organizing Utility Tote in Black Parisian Pop and Personalize it with my Initials in style 30 with Hot Pink thread, I have spent $37 therefore qualifying me for the special, I then decide to buy my mom the 5th Avenue bag for a gift.  Normally this bag would cost me $125 (at full price), but I only have to pay $86.25 for that bag!  Wow!  That's a savings of over what I spent in the first place!

You too can get this kind of savings on your favorite Thirty-One products!  Just e mail me at for more information on how you can purchase, book a party, or join my team!

*Disclaimer:  Collegiate line of products is not included in this sale!  The views expressed in this blog post are mine alone and do not express the views of Thirty-One Gifts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A journey...

many of us many times in our lives start the journey of getting into shape.  most of us fall off of that wagon after just a few short weeks.  i have done that myself, but in january, i made it a goal to start loosing weight.  see, where we go wrong is that we set huge goals that we can't meet.  i set a small goal of loosing just 15 pounds this year.  I did that by the end of May, actually, I had lost 25 pounds.  But then I reverted back to old eating habits and put 10 of it back on.  I am back in the game and have lost 2 pounds again... I will not go back to the old eating habits and will increase exercise and this will be a lifelong journey for me.  I will be fit and that's that.  I may not loose 100 pounds in 7 months like they do on the biggest looser, but I will loos it and keep it off!  I have placed a ticker at the top of my page so that you can see my progress as I go through this journey.  I have started weighing in on Monday's after the kids go to school, I weigh in.  I then have also started a nice exercise plan.  I'll get more into detail on that at a later time. 

I just want to take the time to share some inspirations for all of you:

First, think to yourself, do you wanna be around to play with your grandkids.  While this might be something you don't want to think about right now, go ahead, take a few minutes and weigh the options.  Is this a journey worth taking?  For me it is and I'll tell you why, When I was just 9 years old (the age of my oldest daughter)  my mother passed away.  She will never be replaced, but God put my aunt in the position of taking over the maternal role when she adopted us.  It was a very nice act, but something that I can never replace is my mother, so I don't want to have my children going through that same thing.  For me this is a journey worth taking! 

Second, get yourself into the I can mindset.  You can do anything if you try.  You can do anything if you set your mind to it.  Don't allow the negative nancy's of this world discourage you from reaching your dreams.  If you dream to just loose 50 pounds, tell yourself every day that you can make good choices and you will.  You can do anything you set your mind to and so can I!  Together we can achieve anything we set our minds to!

Third, don't do whatever you are thinking about unless it's something YOU want to do.  You have to want it.  You won't be successful if you are doing this because your significant other says you have to.  This has to be something you want!  Just like with drug addicts, if they don't want it for themselves, they will never stop doing drugs.  If they continue trying to quit because their fiance wants them to, they will never end up breaking the cycle.  Do it because it's what YOU want! 

Fourth, don't accept excuses from your inner child.  No matter what your goal is, you have to take charge of your path.  I have said this many times, and I will say it again, BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.  If you want to see a more fit population, get fit yourself.  People will see this and they will want it too.  Just one person doing something normally gets a whole group of people to join in and when that happens, it creates a wave effect where thousands join in.  Don't accept any excuses from your inner child and you will be successful!

And lastly, a quote from Dolvett from the Biggest Looser, "If you are not moving, you are not loosing!"  Keep that in your mind, it will inspire you to move!  When you move you burn calories when you burn calories you loose pounds.  when you loose pounds, you get in better shape.  When you are exercising it makes you want to choose healthier food options.  When you burn fat, you build muscle!  That's what we want here! 

And I will close with this,


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Date Night

So, we had an impromptu date night on friday night.  And, let me tell you, this will be happening again!  We went on down to Sunset at Pier 60!  It was so much fun!  Dinner at Frenchy's South Beach and that was amazing!  I've never had Buffalo Grouper, and while it was quite the messy thing, it was so very yummy!  As the sun set we had our dinner out on the patio there.  Then walked back down to the pier, to see what vendors were there.  They had some great ideas for gifts.  We were able to see a houdini act, break dancers, acrobatic act, as well as a bucket drummer.  We saw some really pretty dolphin statues around the lawn where they were showing Dolphin Tale on the big screen!  

You know, for 9 and a half years now, my kids have been in my every thought.  Making sure they are taken care of etc.  But for one evening knowing they were with their Yaya and being taken care of, we were able to have adult time and not feel like we had to check on them and the like.  It was very nice!  We can't wait to do it again!  

And since the girls don't have school tomorrow with it being Labor Day we are gonna have a little family day.  That's basically what's been happening here.