Monthly Archives: September 2012


Thirteen years ago today, a super-hero was born into the world!  Born 10 and a half punds, and 22 inches- he came into this world with a joy that is seldom rivaled, and more love in just his little finger than most poeple will ever have in their entire body.   Watching and helping him conquer his great mountainsworth of challenges in life will someday be among the best moments of this Mom’s life.  Happy Birthday SuperDK!

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism | 1 Comment



“Each Journey is a Work of Art” -Anonymous

Taking a breath before the day begins to be grateful for my moments of beauty.  My kids are great moments of beauty in my life.  The mountians they have been given to climb may be large; but they are kind to others,  they are bright,  they want to keep trying in life,  they have a great sense of humor,  and they they love me and each other.  Today is a good day.

Categories: Courage quotes, LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 1 Comment

to Stand

Here in this solitude I stand, if only for a moment, if only in my dream,

to melt away in a sea of mist my daily load of pain.

Lord, still my heart, take my hand; give me strength to face dawns gleam.

My loved ones need more than I have tonight- tho I don’t wish to complain.

Buttress my wall, my anchor dig deep, make me a tool in thy mighty hand.

Help me to show them thy ageless Love,

Help me to help them to STAND

-by Shareen Halliday– Sept.2012- renewed and enlarged, Feb. 2015

Categories: Courage quotes, LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings, Poetry | 3 Comments

A Success worth cheering about- Dinner!

Homemade Pretzels and “Hot pockets”   (YUM!)

I suppose tonight’s thought could also come under the heading of “We all have our mountains to Climb.”   For me, I really dislike dinner time.   There is always at least one set of Autistic or sensory integration taste-buds that doesn’t like what I made- it’s like a constant rejection complex.  When I add the fact that I have no intuitive kitchen talent,  my greatest success is often just the desire to keep trying.   (I confess- it really did take till I was 45 to have the courage to try homemade bread dough.)  So just the simple fact that dinner was loved by all 7 people in our family turns mundane into awesome!  Much of this particular success I owe to the power of getting them to play with the experiment right along  with me.  (Note- this is regular bread, not Gluten free)


Step one—

make bread dough- (this needs to be a sturdy variety, so the soft, fluffy, bread mixer kind of doughs may not work as well.)  this is the one I used.

A Great, Versatile Pretzel Bread Dough

2 pkgs (1/4 oz. each) active dry yeast
2 Cups warm milk (I use “lactose free” milk, for my kids)
1/2 Cups minus 2 T.  sugar
2 T. honey
2 tea. salt
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 Cup whole wheat flour
5-1/2 to 6 Cups flour
1 egg yolk + 2 T. water
coarse salt or other toppings (we like poppy seeds)


1- Heat the milk to- 120- 130 degrees (do not let it burn.)   Add the sugar and yeast, stir till dissolved.  Set aside

2- In a large bowl, stir together the oil, egg, honey and salt. Check the yeast- if it has started to increase in size, stir again and add to the liquids in the bowl.

3- Add the whole wheat flour, and the first 5 cups of flour.

4- knead the dough, adding the last cup of flour a little at a time as needed to keep it from being too sticky, till the ball of dough is smooth and elastic.

5- Place ball of dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, turn dough over once to oil entire surface. Cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place till doubled in size (about 30 minutes)

(Note- at my house in Arizona, air conditioning is my lifeline, which presents a problem for finding a warm spot… I found one finally, by turning on the light in the oven and putting the bowl in there.)

Step two—

now for the kids to have fun!

1- divide dough into two halves; one for pretzels, and one for hot pockets.

2- divide the pretzel dough into as many pieces as there are helpers (plus one for yourself if you want plain, un-abused shapes) Dust the table lightly with flour (they love this part) and  show the kids how to roll ropes, or coils (“snakes”) between their hands or against the table.  Then let them make their initials, or creatures, or whatever they like while you work on the other dough.  (note- some of my more profound kids beg for help to get to the rope stage, then they are o.k.  from there.)

3-with the other dough, roll out to about 3/8″ thick sheets.  cut unto squares about 4″ large.   Time for more kiddie input.  I let them experiment with fillings, just place on one side of the square, and  keep the amount of filling small enough to fold over and close the pocket   (note- to keep the bread from getting soggy from the fillings, make a thin froth of egg whites in a bowl, and rub 1/2 tea. of it into a film on surface of the dough square before filling.)

….favorites so far…

– 2 Tablespoons of “Spagettios” from the can

-2-  1″ wide slices of provolone cheese and shreds of sliced roast beef with a dollop of favorite barbecue sauce.

– “nuttella” and fruit slices or jam

4- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.   Moisten the edges of the square with water or egg white; fold in half and press edges to seal.    Grease a cookie sheet, and arrange the pies and pretzel shapes 2″ apart. Whisk together the egg yolk and water.  brush the tops of the pretzel shapes and pockets with the mixture, sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt, and the pockets with poppy seeds.  Or choose toppings of your choice.

Set aside 10 – 20 minutes to rest.

5- Bake 12- 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

Categories: recipes | 1 Comment

Confessions of an Artist– “Can’t”s and “Can”s

Monday Sept.17- Dear Journal

I was trying to work on some music arranging yesterday before church, when Ann, a friend and older mom of one of my son’s friends came up to me and said “Music too? Is there anything you can’t do?”
Well it got me thinking all day.  I am indeed a bit if a jack of all trades in many things… mostly the arts and in school type things.  I think this was so that I could help my kids in their needs as much as anything, and I’m pretty much at ease with the “Master of None” part of the deal… I will never win an Art contest, but usually I’m ok with that.
But through it all, just so no one feels jealous, I ended up with a list…..
I can’t play the piano, or any other musical instrument.
I can’t throw myself effortlessly into the kitchen and come up with a full dinner that everyone loves without hard work and pain.
I can’t think up all the amazingly fun things to do to keep little kids “entertained” for hours on end like my sister, or like kindergarten teachers can do.
I can’t seem to keep my house clean.  😦
I can’t stand being in a room that is really full of people – that’s a huge claustrophobia trigger for me.
I can’t remember names.
I can’t just will myself to stop being shy.  It’s something I have to fight every moment of every day- and I probably always will.
I can’t keep things alive in the garden without an automatic watering system.  (I forget to water)
I can’t stop myself from feeling sorry for a teacher when no one will answer his/her questions;  so after a few crickets worth of silence I answer, even if it gets me a “know it all” kind of gossip.
I can’t easily get up the courage to meet new people- especially hard is doctors and new schools-  It’s easier to force myself when it’s for my kids, I still haven’t done it for me.
I can’t get on any computer besides my Mac- I’m quite computer-phobic in some ways.
I can’t run anymore- I get shin-splints.
I can’t stop being tired, or loose the weight I want, no matter what I do– Did I mention my struggle with doctors yet.
I can’t get over stage fright, tho I am getting better at forcing myself to stand up anyway, and not let it show.
I can’t always figure out how to help my Autistic kids – a lot of times it’s like swimming in the dark,  but I also can’t stop trying to get better.
I can’t handle horror, or dark movies or songs, or fighting, or anything that drives out the Lord’s spirit…especially hard for me is teasing to cause pain.
I can’t ever stop loving my family.
I can’t stop trying to get others to understand; especially about my kids needs.
I can’t figure out why I intimidate people and have a hard time making friends.
I can’t seem to stop feeling lonely and blue.

But now the Lord is whispering that I need to be just as careful with a list of “can”s.  so….
I can teach my kids biofeedback and coping mechanisms, and learn with them how to deal with their struggles.
I can read well and fast.
I can draw anything you ask me to if I have a picture to work from, and a lot of things without the picture.
I can edit english, and write stories (when my head is clear) and poetry.
I can paint.  Especially fun is wall murals.
I can make my head work well enough to see things in 3D, so I can do fun things like design dresses and furniture and stuff, tho’ I’m really slow at making these things when I don’t feel well.
I can condense and see the main points of a lecture or article really easily, so class notes are very easy, and I can often see the point of what my husband is trying to say before he does, which is not always as helpful as it sounds.
I can open my mouth and let the lord fill it when he needs to teach someone like at church, or my kids.
I can research and learn almost as good as any detective.
I can learn math, tho’ I have never really wanted to- I think I’m going to have to conquer that this year to help with homework.
I can sing; and I’ll treasure that as long as possible, cause I’m loosing my voice.
I can dance and ride a bike, (even tho’ it’s been years since I’ve done either one.)
I can crochet and sew.
I can play chess well enough to keep my kids’ brains really working hard.
I can teach school -and tho’ I don’t have the health for that one on top of everything else, I will probably always be in teacher mode with my kids. (poor things)  🙂
I can read recipes- so at least I can put in enough effort to cook for my family.
I can be incredibly loyal.
I can drive well.
I can handle all the first-aid needs that 5 kids bring up.
I can hear kids argue at 60 feet- and pay attention to 3 different conversations at once (4 at a stretch.)
I can have courage when I need it for my kids, cause the Lord is with me, and my Love for them manages to overpower my fears.
I can keep trying.

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 2 Comments

It’s our Choice

“Our lives are full of problems. They are ours for a purpose, given to us to overcome, because each one conquered makes us stronger. They are building blocks, not wrecking balls. Happiness always comes from within. So does sadness. It is our choice. Choose to be Happy!” -Gordon B. Hinckley

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A Little Bit of Comfort

Sweet TeaRose pulls out a tiny stuffed rabbit from her scripture tote during church, and cuddles it.  Looking up at me she says with a smile “A little bit of comfort is always a good thing.”

You know, the pure simple wisdom my kids come up with is amazing sometimes… she’s right, we all need a little bit of love and comfort in our lives.

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To Strengthen the Soul

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
Helen Keller

Categories: Courage quotes | 2 Comments

And He speaks to my soul–

and very clearly I hear

“All these things are for but a small moment, and shall give thee experience. Be strong and of good courage, great things are here for those that endure it well.”
By: Shard Halliday

Categories: Courage quotes | 1 Comment

Those who count, are those who strive

Needed this today

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

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