Halloween week is the best week

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Every year for the past three years, I always find some event to take my daughter to during the last week of October. I usually call it Halloween week, as every event we attend is primarily Halloween based. This year, we found something to do for each day, during Halloween week, starting with Sunday, the 25th. My daughter enjoys this week as much as I do as it allows her to meet her favorite superheros or favorite characters at each event we attend. Plus, she can where her own superhero costume to each of these events. Not to mention, most of these events pass out candy and have bouncy houses.

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This year she wanted to be Captain America for Halloween, but she didn’t like the costumes they had just for boys. I just so happened to find her a Miss Captain America costume at one of the specialty Halloween stores in Little Rock. I think this was her most favorite costume so far, besides the blue and pink supergirl costume that I bought her last year.

Every year we attend Spook City, which is a trick-or-treating event held in Benton, Arkansas. The city blocks off the streets around the court house and all the shops and stores in that area set up a table, tent, or game for all of the kids to partake in. They always have bouncy houses and train rides and sometimes there’s a climbing rock wall. For the past three years that we have been going, Batman has been there. But this year Captain America made an appearance, along with Batman, Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, and a few other superheros.

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My daughter, dressed like Miss Captain America, was over excited when she met Captain America, that she kept jumping and shouting with happiness. She also gave the same reaction when she met Elsa and Anna as well, not to forget singing a few lines of ‘Let It Go’ for them.

The greatest thing about these events is that my daughter doesn’t have to worry about expecting any loud noises, such as the 4th of July or any parade that has motorcycles and firetrucks driving along in the procession. All and all, it was a great week and we’re looking forward to doing it again next year.

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A Walk for Autism

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Last month, my daughter and I signed up with her preschool to walk for Autism Speaks, held at the Clinton Presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas. I know there are some negative comments out there about Autism Speaks, but honestly, I haven’t seen any other Autism organization doing anything like this event. There were quite a few well known Arkansans speaking at the event, such as the governor’s wife and a well known news anchor, Craig O’Neill. There were also a few brilliant children with autism that got up and made and spoke about living with autism, followed by a little girl who sung the national anthem before we headed to the starting line.

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They had many games and booths set up sharing information about autism and all the places a child with special needs would be welcomed, such as summer camp, pediatric preschools, dentist, doctors, etc. There was a huge tent with many different healthy snacks to choose from. Even our very own Coleman Diary set up a tent and passed out milk and juice.

As my daughter and I headed towards the starting line, I could see from the crowd of people around us, this was a huge turn out. Many people wore matching shirts, showing their team spirit for a loved one with autism. I was truly excited to be a part of this. Not only was I here, helping raise awareness for my daughter’s autism, but I can see from the large number of people around me that I am not alone.

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There are thousands of us out there, trying to speak up for our children, that autism is real and just because our children have it, does not mean that they are any different from those of us that don’t have it, it just means they are unique, but oh so very smart, clever, and very brilliant!

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I’m still here

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Hello readers! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been on here. I’m a junior in college and find it is quite harder than the last few semesters I’ve been through. I have at least two years left before I receive my bachelors degree in anthropology. I’m looking forward to that moment.

Meanwhile, I’m still looking for an agent or a publisher to pick up my manuscript – young adult urban fantasy novel. I had revised it once more, adding over 11,000 words, making it over 54,000 words total. I feel much better about it this time around, than when I thought I had first finished it.

I had started querying agents a few weeks ago and had received a few no’s, but a few of them were really, really good no’s, the type that keeps you motivated in pushing on, the no that makes you realize that agents really do read your query letters, the type of no that has you believe that you’re so close to getting someone to represent your work.

For all those writers out there, looking for someone to represent your work, don’t give up, no matter how many emails you send out. There’s someone out there waiting for you, you just have to keep searching for them.

Four more weeks left in this college semester and I’ve started working on my next writing project.

Testing her limits…of flight

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My daughter is at that pivotal moment in her young life where she thinks she’s invincible. As if she didn’t think she was at a much earlier age – crawling to the top of the piano and standing up, crawling to the top of the kitchen table and running across it’s shortened top.

She watches cartoons with an understanding that, she too can fly, or jump off of some landing with the agility and grace as the characters on her cartoons can.

Earlier today I was sitting in the living room, reading, when I hear those dreaded words every parent of a daredevil dreads hearing, “Mommy come look at me. Watch me Mommy!” Before I can rush to stop her from what feat she thinks she must achieve, I hear a thud, followed by a groan and a “I’m okay.”

As if falling off the bed numerous of times with many ungraceful landings (mere bruises, thank goodness) would stop her, think again. It must be the attempt of correcting the landing to a perfection that has her crawling back onto the bed and jumping off of it again. How do you tell your little one that they aren’t Wonder Woman, or Spider Girl, or any other gifted superhero without really crushing their tender hearts and ruining their creative imaginations forever?

It’s honestly a tough job being a parent, but sometimes I have to pull on my big girl Mommy pants and march into her room and kindly tell her that her flying lessons are canceled for the rest of the day. I may have bruised her ego a little bit, but I saved myself a speeding ticket and an ER visit…for now at least.

RIP Robin Williams

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It is always sad to hear of someone you grew up watching on TV or in the cinema has passed away. It is not only felt in Hollywood, but all across the globe as well. I honestly feel the depth of sadness from such a loss.

Though I didn’t know him personally, I feel I have gotten to know him as the talented actor on screen. We all have gotten to know him from the many roles he has played. So many laughs, so many great on screen memories we all have shared with our friends and families. There isn’t just one Robin Williams movie that I can pick to call my favorite, as they are all my favorite and shall always be.

It is truly sad to hear that someone who spent years making people laugh, had been suffering with so much pain and depression. RIP Robin Williams, you will be missed greatly!
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Lil Houdini is at it again

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My nephew Hunter’s 10th birthday was this past weekend. We surprised him with dinner, followed by cake, ice cream, and presents at gram’s house. Among his presents were two wrestling belts, one black and one white. Hunter was having the black belt opened, while mini me held on to the white one. Once the black belt was free of all wrapping, mini me handed the white belt to pop pop to be opened. Once it was free of all it’s wrapping, she took off running with it. She was gone about a few minutes, but returned to the kitchen empty handed.
My nephew, curious about what she had done with his belt, asked her where it was. She would only reply by changing the question. It only took us a few seconds to figure out what she had really done with it.
My sister Jaci, Hunter, and I spent almost two hours tearing up the whole house searching for that belt. Under the furniture, around, in, on, in every closet in the house, under every bed in the house, on dressers, in dressers, under dressers. We searched every inch of this house and in every spot we knew she would hide stuff, but turned up empty handed.
She had hidden it very well. She said it was hers and when we asked where it was, she would change the subject. She really wanted that belt. We searched her room, what we thought was thoroughly – under the bed, in the toy box, under the covers of her bed, under the mattress, all around the tv and dresser, even under. We searched the whole house again.
Then it dawned on me to look in the box of diapers on top of the dresser in her room – there it was. She started to cry as soon as she had seen we found it. “My belt,” she cried. I had forgotten she was good at hiding things – my lil Houdini!
We had a good laugh and teased about how she’s the reigning champion of hide and seek, if not the greatest little magician we’ve ever known. She can surely make things disappear. I’m guessing I’ll have to get her one of those wrestling belts for Christmas, if not for her birthday.

Quartz Crystal Mining

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My youngest sister came up from Georgia this past May for a short visit. While she was here it was her birthday and she wanted to go dig for quartz crystals. Here in Arkansas there are many places to dig and keep as many crystals as you can load into your car.
I’ve seen a few guys trying to carry a huge boulder size quartz rock to their car. Though with each tiring effort, they managed to put it into their car. I also noticed a lady, standing near her car with about ten quartz rocks the size of bowling balls, as well as a few buckets full of dirt and rocks. Like I said, if you can manage digging for them and getting them into your car, it’s yours to keep, but for a small fee, which is the admission price for the entire day.
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Some places I’ve found charge $10 or more. One place charges $20. I was lucky to have found one that charged $8, the only problem was the road getting to the place was badly washed out and in some areas the road was sharply inclined that if I were to let off the gas, my car would roll backwards or I wouldn’t be able to continue the climb without backing all the way down the hill and giving it another charging start back up.
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Once we got up the hill and to the actual digging site, I paid for our admission, found a parking spot, then got our tools and buckets out, and headed towards the digging area, which is a huge red hill of lovely clay mud, mostly dried clay rock. I didn’t care to look for the biggest quartz rock, however, I had set out to find the shiny points to which I planned to use for necklace pendants.
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After twenty minutes of digging, my sister was bored and hot and decided to go sit in the car. Meanwhile, I continued to dig and scavenge as much as I could. I found quite a lot of clear rocks, some small and some half the size of my hand. I was enjoying myself. It’s the archaeologist in me I think. I did get somewhat cover in the red clay, mostly on my shoes, but that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was the eight-legged residents. I made sure not to bother them as much as I could.
I had enjoyed myself so much, that a few weeks later I made another trip back to the same crystal mine and had found more of what I was looking for on that trip than I did on the previous trip.
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If you are interested in purchasing a small clear crystal rock or pendant, I have them listed on my Etsy page.
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