When you give a cowboy a pickup

When you give a cowboy a pickup,

he’ll offer to help anyone in need.

He’ll say yes to the veterans who need furniture moved.

And when the veteran’s neighbor asks him to haul trash to the dump,

he’ll say ‘Sure!’ with a smile.

When a hurricane floods his neighbors,

he’ll spend days with a chainsaw moving huge pine trees that are blocking emergency vehicles.

When he hears that people need help ripping out drywall,

he’ll go from house to house showing them where to cut.

When they ask him to move their soaked furniture,

he’ll tip his hat and bring around his truck.

When the JROTC needs medals delivered to Texas

and they are too expensive to ship,

he’ll offer to drive to Kentucky.

He’ll ask a friend and they’ll have a fantastic adventure,

in his shiny pickup truck.

I love you, Daddy. Happy birthday.

Mary Thompson - Beautiful tribute. That’s your dad. Making memories and Sharing love.

Birthday Party Invitations – 3 Cute Themes to plan your party around

This conversation is sponsored by Basic Invite! It is my honor to share news with you from a company that I enjoy and support!

Somehow our birthdays are all right in a row! February 24th, March 10th, April 10th, May 3rd, and May 8th come very quickly after putting up the Christmas decorations. In the quiet lull between the beginning of school and Thanksgiving, I try to get a jump start on birthday themes. The older kids plan and choose their party, but I need to get a head start on Riley, Mary Alice, and Sebastian. Basic Invite invited me to browse their site for birthday party card ideas, and pretty soon I was lost in the fun of daydreaming about birthday parties and games and silly faces and cake.

This circus theme would be darling for Sebastian! I can already see the cake – complete with elephants and monkeys. Just thinking about it makes me smile that we will be having a first birthday party around these parts!

Riley has just discovered his love for Legos. He is now spending hours in his room building boats and lands that he is so proud to show us before bedtime.  I’m thinking this theme might be absolutely perfect for him!

Sweet Mary Alice is currently in love with all things Ice Cream. She asks for one spoon full every night before bed. This invitation sample already has my head spinning with ideas of how we could create the cutest ice cream parlor in town!

Basic Invite even has an option to design your own party invitations and invitations for quinceaneras!

I love planning birthday parties! My mom always made ours such a big deal and I love doing the same for my kids. I have the best memories of homemade cakes and St. Patrick’s day themed parties since my birthday is March 14th.

If you need more ideas, please feel free to jump over to my pinterest board all about Kids Birthday Party ideas!


Dyslexia, we’re comin’ for you

A few weeks ago, I shared that it had been a pretty rough summer for us. We’ve sought counsel and advice on how best to help our sweet Riley tackle everything. I’ve sat down to write about everything a few times, but I think my best bet is to share it with you one piece at a time.

This past school year, Riley’s sweet Kindergarten teacher let us know that he should be tested for dyslexia. She had been studying under Susan Barton and he was exhibiting a few warning signs she was concerned about.

She put us in touch with a company that completed the testing. The answer came back. It was ‘yes’.

I drove away from the appointment in tears. I knew this meant that our sweet and special school would not be able to accommodate him.

I hesitated to talk to Riley about it at first.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to say or how I was going to say it.

A few days later, we attended the CARS3 premier. He received this poster and insisted on hanging on the wall upside down (so Lightening McQueen was right side up but the words were upside down). You know how I feel about signs from God that He hears my heart, and I took this as a big one. Riley’s world had been upside down. Everyone around him was learning to read, but he couldn’t see the letters. Can you imagine how frustrating that must be?

I decided to talk to him about it right away. We talked about his special brain and how we were going to get him help. We talked about how hard that must have been in Kindergarten and how brave he is.

We talked about how special Mrs. Hundelt, his teacher is. We talked about how God put him in the right classroom, with exactly the right teacher, so that she could help him be diagnosed right away.

A few weeks later, we walked up to our local public elementary school, where Julia and Nate attended. I panicked when Riley’s name wasn’t on any roster, then, I saw our principal.

She remembered us! She remembered Nate. She remembered when we adopted Riley and when I brought him with me to volunteer to read to Nate’s classroom in 4th and 5th grade. She wanted to ask us a few questions before she placed Riley in the perfect classroom for him, to make sure she understood more about his diagnosis and our expectations.

Well, he’s now into the second month and he is loving it. His teacher is amazing. We know it will be a long and slow road, but we know we are heading in the right direction.

Do you know how many dominoes had to line up for all of this to happen? Someday, I’ll stop being surprised at how well He loves us.

 

Mary Thompson - What an incredible blessing. The doors, the opportunities, the knowledge, and love all lined up for a solution.

tinuviel - So thankful the help y’all need is coming together!! Cognitive scientists are learning more about learning every month, so the help should be getting better and better as he grows. Riley is blessed to have such a great family to support him and find the way through this together. Much grace and peace to you in Jesus!

4 things in your home that are making you sick

Disclosure: Consideration has been provided for publishing this article. These are great reminders as we head into allergy season.

***

If you or a family member has a persistent sneeze, cough, and general respiratory discomforts that are not responding to treatment, things in your home could be making you sick, specifically allergens such as molds and dust mites. These allergens usually have various hosts within your home that help them to thrive and grow. Explore four culprits and the ways they could be making you and your family ill.

Heating and Cooling Systems

Image via Flickr by DaynaT

HVAC systems can be major culprits for producing excess moisture in the home and inviting and harboring mold and bacteria. As your home’s air conditioning unit cools the home, traces of water left in the ducts become a haven and perfect breeding ground for microbes. Respiratory issues such as asthma, allergies, coughing, and headaches are often caused by bacterial growth.

Get your HVAC system’s air ducts cleaned professionally at least every two years and service your heating system to make sure it operates efficiently and cleanly.

Leaking Indoor Pipes

Leaking pipes that go undetected create the perfect environment for some unwelcomed guests to thrive, grow, and possibly affect the health of family members. Mold in the home (see below) can make life for those affected by it extremely miserable by triggering asthma or other allergy- induced breathing problems. Early detection and prompt correction of indoor leaks can help to alleviate the problem.

You may not suspect a leak has happened, so be sure to check all indoor pipes, the attic, closets, and basements. Clean and dry any leaking area and call a plumber for help.

Molds

Molds are fond of damp areas such as bathrooms, basements, grass, mulch, and places where leaks are present. Organic surfaces such as wood, drywall, and many other building materials are their favorite areas to thrive. Molds can grow on multiple surfaces and cause irritation when disturbed. According to the inviting and harboring mold and bacteria, “There is always some mold everywhere — in the air and on many surfaces.” Allergens produced by molds cause symptoms such as watery eyes, a runny nose, and itchy throat.

If their growth in the home remains unchecked, these allergens can cause family members to fall ill. Addressing leaks, other plumbing issues, damp areas, and areas with moisture around the home can stop the growth of mold.

Molds need about 24 to 48 hours with exposure to moisture to promote their growth. Surfaces in your home that remain wet for that time become an ideal host for mold growth.

Dust Mites

These tiny microscopic relatives of spiders live all over our homes, wherever there’s dust, and they feed off dead skin cells that we as well as our pets shed. A thorough cleaning of the home
will reduce the number of dust mites, but will never eliminate them. They thrive in warm and humid environments.

Use a damp cloth for dusting to trap as many dust mites as possible. Use your dehumidifier or air conditioner to maintain humidity of or below 50 percent.

Now that you know the things in your home that could be making your sick, take steps to combat the problems so that you can create a healthier home for everyone in your family.

Summer Roadtrip to Texas

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this yet.

If you follow me on Instagram (@SongsKateSang), you know that Brian had to go to India for a year for three weeks. I decided because I desperately needed help because I wanted to see family, to road trip to Texas.

About two hours into the trip, I pulled over at a rest stop and threatened to ‘turn this thing around’ (in my head, I sounded a LOT like my dad).

6, 2, and 4 months are tough ages for a 2,211 mile road trip. I could NOT have done it without my 17 and 14 year old. They were rockstars.

It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but like most things in life, we are already looking back on it with fondness.

Seeing my grandmother hold Sebastian, seeing Mary Alice play with her sister-cousin Lily, and spending time with everyone did my heart so good. And getting my fill of Tex-Mex didn’t hurt either. Sebastian was held and loved on, while I got little breaks that helped keep me going.

My kids saw me stressed, tired, short-tempered, nostalgic, giddy, exhausted, and thankful. They saw me push through to make memories with their Texas family. They look forward to this every single year, and I’m ridiculously proud of us for going for it!

One day, we’ll look back and laugh at the craziness. But for now, I’ll look at these pictures with my heart busting at being a mom of five. Goodness I love these guys. They put up with so much from me as I learn to be the mom they need.

 

Mary Thompson - It was a memorable trip, and we loved every minute of it. You all are my heart that lives outside my body.