A Special Gift

I wanted to share this video… some of you have already seen this… If you follow me on Instagram and or Twitter I know you’ve seen this.

I wanted to share it again, because I think this video is really a wonderful representative of what the  Holiday Season is all about.

It truly is about making others feel good… Giving… Sharing… Caring… Spreading love… Spreading kindness and doing the little things… You know the little random acts of kindness, that may not seem like such a big deal but to some mean everything.

Freddie Stevenson played football for the Florida State Seminoles… Seminoles are our favorite College football team.

He also went to the Chicago Bears! the Chicago Bears are our favorite NFL team!

Freddie already had a special place in our hearts. After he did this for Peyton… I can tell you Freddie has a very special place in all of our hearts.

His act of kindness, meant so much to Peyton and to the rest of us! I hope if you watch this video… it inspires each and everyone of you to do a random act of kindness!

Let’s spread the Christmas love! Let’s also make a it a goal to spread it throughout the whole year!

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas and very happy holidays and happy Hanukkah!

I know it seems cliche to say, but it’s really true… together we are better…. together we are stronger!

As always thanks for reading my blog during our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays.

“talk” to you soon!

 

Love is a Verb

Love is a verb… I love this phrase when love is portrayed in an unconditional way, these days it seems to be rare!
Love is something we really tend to reflect on during the Holidays season!

Almost all parents will and should tell you that they love their kids unconditionally. That is what gets you through the rough patches. All parents go through tough times, but many in the autism community go through rough patches much more often. This can be very tough, especially when a parent is a single parent. Most often they don’t have a break from the stress. Their unconditional love is truly tested. I think one of the hardest parts for some parents is that the love isn’t given back always.

Not all autistic kids share the emotion, no connection of love, however; many do… it isn’t true that most don’t show Love…

That said I consider myself lucky. Peyton says he loves me and shows love. He loves others as well, and for this I am so thankful. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to never hear the words I love you from my children. Although, Peyton says it and means it I cherish it in a way I can’t describe.

I love all my kids the same, but Peyton has a special place in my heart. One of my greatest joys is seeing how much my older kids truly love Peyton unconditionally. They celebrate his positives and hurt when he hurts. Life isn’t always easy for any of us, but for Peyton it’s tougher, But I also know that with mine, marks and my older kids unconditional love he will be just fine.

Love can be shown in so many different ways… it isn’t always just by saying it. It can be by doing even the smallest gestures…

In our home we believe in the saying “love is a verb” and we live it! I would love to hear from you… You’re awesome stories about how love is a verb in your life.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog…

Hope you are enjoying our 45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays!

Have an awesome day

My Uncle Henry’s Recipes

The holiday season brings so many memories back for everyone… I remember as a kid spending the holidays with my dad side of the family on Christmas Day. I had a lot of cousins, aunts and uncles.. and we would all get together and celebrate Christmas, with my Grandma!

I knew all of my Dad‘s brother’s families well, because we grew up by each other…

My dad’s sister moved away to Colorado when I was young… So I didn’t know them as well, but I absolutely loved my Auntie Babe. She was such a sweet person . Her husband my Uncle Henry was a really good cook… and people encouraged him to put his own cookbook together. Back then was a lot bigger deal, than it is nowadays.

My Uncle Henry did his own cookbooks… of his favorite recipes and gave each of us a copy… I still have mine. I cherish it as he has been gone a long time. The Cover is messy from years of being used… the pages are worn and yellowed… but that is what makes it even more special.

I thought this would be a great time to share two of his best vegetable recipes from his cookbook!

Henry’s Glazed Baked Carrots serves 6 to 8.

2 pounds carrots

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 small onion diced

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup of butter or margarine

1 tablespoon minced parsley

preheat oven to 325

Scrape carrots and cut into half inch pieces, cook in salted water until tender, put into glass baking dish with melted butter, covered with orange juice and brown sugar mixture and onions, bake at 325° oven, for one hour.

About halfway through cooking time, stir and add minced parsley and bake until done.

These are soooo good!

 

Here is another of my Favorites of his.

 

Henry’s Potatoes In Mustard Sauce serves 6 to 8

6 medium potatoes

one medium onion, diced

6 tablespoons margarine

3 tablespoons flour

One 14 1/2 ounce can of chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons spicy mustard

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Boil potatoes in their jackets until tender… let cool, peel and cut into half inch cubes. Place potatoes into a greased casserole, sauté onions in Margarine or butter, stir in flour and add chicken broth… slowly cooking until thickness desired. Add the salt, pepper, and mustard and continue to cook approximately 10 minutes. Pour mixture over potatoes and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake for approximately 15 minutes in a 350° oven or until bubbling

A variation that can be used  instead of using breadcrumbs, try sharp shredded cheddar cheese on top.

 

These are great side dishes for dinners during the holiday season!

Hope you enjoy these recipes that have been in my family… as always… all food waivers … food allergy warnings etc… apply!

As always thank you so much for reading mine and Peyton’s 45 Awesomism days of the holidays we hope to “talk to you” tomorrow

Love, Anxiety and Hot Cocoa

Ever since my older kids were little, I have had a tradition of making them hot chocolate when it was cold out, especially when they didn’t feel good… Or when they just kind a needed that extra internal hug.

I absolutely love hot chocolate, I always have! and I love to add different flavors into my hot chocolate. I have to admit my favorite hot chocolate probably is when I add peppermint to it. Each of my kids liked something different with their hot chocolate… So I’ve learned to make hot chocolate with vanilla, ice cream, peppermint and even banana among other flavors… I know it sounds a little strange to have banana,  but trust me.. it taste better than it sounds.

Anybody who knows me, knows I love mugs, I collect mugs. I guess part of the reason why I love mugs so much is because I equate them with sitting down and having a cup of hot chocolate or tea or coffee and just enjoying myself or spending time with my kids.

We always had a tradition of having hot chocolate, before we opened our presents… I love having  little traditions like that.. and I love that one with my kids! I know that when they see hot chocolate it reminds them of those positive childhood memories.

Peyton and I absolutely love having hot chocolate together… As I’ve discussed many times my hubby is an oil guy, so he’s not always home. When it gets cold, Peyton and I have a tradition of sitting and having a cuppa hot cocoa and relaxing. Sometimes we just talk… Sometimes we watch TV together and sometimes we just relax. Although I love hot chocolate all year round, I especially love it during the holidays. There is something very magical to me about hot chocolate and Christmas.

There’s something very relaxing to me about sitting in front of the fireplace with the Christmas tree and mantle lights on, drinking a cup of hot chocolate… In one of my Christmas mugs… With two peppermint sticks in my hot chocolate.

I talk a lot about that I have GAD… General anxiety disorder in my blogs… Having my cup of hot chocolate is one of the ways that I help lower my anxiety during the holiday season.

I think we all have those little things that we do, or places that we can go that allow us to destress and calm down… And as silly as it sounds, hot chocolate is one of those for me. I know Peyton feels the same way.. there’s something very soothing to him about a cup of hot chocolate.

I’m including hear my favorite hot chocolate recipe… This is a very common hot chocolate recipe I know it’s out there in many places, so I’m not pretending it’s mine… But I’ve also added some of the changes that I do to it to make it different…all food disclaimers apply! : )

I hope you enjoy, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Friday! As always, thanks so much for following us on our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays… The support has been overwhelming and I really appreciate it, both Peyton and I do! We look forward to “talking” to you tomorrow have a happy national Cocoa day

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar… I add a pinch of brown sugar
  3. 1/3 cup hot water
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 4 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy) I usually do 3 cups milk and one cup french vanilla creamer
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ! teaspoon Almond extract or 1 Teaspoon Peppermint extract… this is my favorite

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt over medium heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat, and stir in the milk, do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into mugs and serve immediately.

Throwback: My hero by Peyton

I thought since we are doing the 45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays… and it is Throwback Thursday…. what better time than now to bring out this blog from 4 years ago! The Holidays are a time that we reflect on the things that we are thankful for… People we love… and what unites us! I think this blog is truly a great example of all those things. Every once in awhile someone comes into your life, that truly makes a difference. Everett Dawkins is one such person. I hope you enjoy this blog… and as always, thanks for reading and Hope everyone has an awesome day!

 

 

 

I’m 16, I’m autistic, and I love sports. 2 of my most favorite sports are Football and Basketball.

My favorite teams in NFL are Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My favorite teams in NBA are Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors. My favorite Colleges are Florida State Seminoles and Texas A&M Aggies.

I always cheer for FSU because all of my family are FSU fans. My cousins, Troy and Jodie both went to FSU. I cheer for Texas A&M because that’s where my stepdad, Mark got his master’s
degree. I do sometimes cheer for TCU because Mark’s dad went there.

My favorite team is FSU football, I am very lucky because I have a buddy who went to FSU. He played football for FSU and later became a pro and played for several teams in NFL, Everett Dawkins, also known as Big E. We call him Big E because he is huge and hard as a rock. He talks to me on E-mail, text messages and Twitter. He always remembers my Birthday, and that means a lot to me.

I also know Daniel Glauser, who also went to FSU and played football. He also follows and talks to me on Twitter, he is my friend. Both Everett and Daniel are very nice and they would never treat me like I’m autistic.

Although, I don’t have many friends because I’m autistic, and I don’t talk very well, but Everett thinks I’m cool, and he really cares about me. Everett teaches himself how to become a better player in Football. Everett started the foundation called Underdog Kids.

I am currently working on a book for it, and it’s about what is like to be an underdog. The book is also about me and my youth group when we went bowling.

Everett makes me feel safe, and he is like a big brother to me. Everett teaches me that it’s okay to be different and to be an underdog. He encourages me to exercise because I needed to get stronger and have more energy.

On October 5th, I went to the Fall Festival, and I won the medal for the horse race, because I ran fast, I’ve been exercising for a year so that I have more energy. Everett taught me that I may not be great at talking or sports, but I matter.

I love Everett because he makes me feel like I can do anything, even though I am autistic. Many people want to be friends with him, because he plays football and is so nice, but he chooses to be friends with me.

When something good happens and I tell him, he always makes a big deal out of it. I am so happy he chose to be friends with me and my family!

I’m glad he started the Underdog Kids because it will help kids feel better about themselves. I hope that it becomes really big so lots of kids can get support. I wish more Sport stars were so nice and cared about Autism and would help autistic kids. I am so glad Everett does, because he made a big difference in my life.