A Day of Paddington

As you can see I am a fan of Paddington, I always have been.

Paddington Bear ETC

Family movie night is a favorite time for my family. The newest addition to our movie night collection is Paddington. Paddington was a favorite of mine when I was a child, so much that it was my baby theme for both of my boys. I still have the Paddington VHS tapes I bought many years ago. Paddington was a regular bedtime story. I was thrilled to find out that it was coming out again in theaters and when the digital copy came out we piled in front of my computer and laughed and laughed and laughed!

This wasn’t just a movie night for us this was quality family time. At Paddington-movie.com there are so many family activities to go along with this movie. From postcards to word searches and coloring pages in the activity center there are activities galore for your family to explore and enjoy just like Paddington!

Shhh! Parents. Guess what? There is even a section for parents and educators! As a homeschooling mom I was ecstatic to see this section with activities for grades kindergarten up to third grade.

Movie night, quality family time, learning, and lots of laughter! What more could a family ask for?


Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

Word of the Week

How is big is your vocabulary?

Could you expand it?

Could it be extensive, colossal, astronomical?

If someone were to ask you what a word meant would you have a definition?


As a homeschooling mom I am always challenging myself right along with my kids not just to learn but to use new words and expand their vocabulary. Reading should be a fun experience for kids but what about those words in books they just aren’t sure of? I will pull some of those words and post them here with parts of speech, definitions, and synonyms. Moms, dads, and other adults challenge yourself to see if you recognize where the example sentences are taken from. Don’t simply learn a definition, expand your vocabulary. How about we take it one week at a time?


Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

Books That Changed My Heart

As soon as I read a blog post entitled, “Books That Changed My Life” at A Mom Blog I was moved by it and I knew exactly what my next post was going to be. My blog is inspired by my life but my life is led by my heart, so here I present to you, books that changed my heart.

His Bright Light, The Story of Nick Traina by Danielle Steel

his bright light ETC

This is a beautiful and inspiring story of a boy who was above all, extraordinary. Nick Traina was a young man who fought manic depression fiercely every day of his life until his life was ended at the age of 19. So many times we hear of lives lost, young ones that just cannot endure any longer, they cannot keep fighting the battle inside. Then we hear, “If we had only known…” well, Danielle Steel opened her heart and in this loving tribute to her son helps us to see inside and gives us a chance to open our hearts and minds. This book is truly inspiring. I have never before connected with a book the way I did with this one, it rekindled a love of reading for me, and opened my heart just a little bit more.

Against Medical Advice by James Patterson and Hal Friedman

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This book takes you on a moving journey as you follow the agonizing daily struggles of a young man named Cory Friedman. Cory and his family’s lives were forever changed. He was teased, tormented, and pushed to his limits. For fifteen years he was given medication after medication. Even though Cory had his moments of happiness they only lasted a short time. When a glimmer of hope appeared, it came and went, instead of getting better it was getting worse and Cory was in a living hell. The pain he suffered and endured with the help of his loved ones will touch your heart. This story of love and determination is one you do not want to miss out on reading.

The third book I chose is not one I expected to pick, especially after my first two book choices. We all start out the same, young. So, my third book is a children’s book.

Why, Charlie Brown, Why? By Charles M. Schulz

why cbw why ETC

Who doesn’t remember Peanuts? Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy are characters we all remember from some point in our childhood. This book is a lesson geared towards helping children understand what happens when someone they know gets very sick. In this story Linus struggles to understand why his friend Janice had to get cancer and we see how this unlikely hero comes to be. Linus, even though confused as to why this happened to his friend never hesitates for a moment to come her defense when she is picked on or delays for a moment when speaking up about her condition. What a fine example Linus shows us all in this classic story of friendship and understanding. This is one book that I truly enjoyed reading and conversing with my sons about, a must read for family time.

If these were the types of books we all took a little more time reading, I can’t help but think, “Would the world be a little kinder?”


Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

Through His Eyes

trent eyes ETC

If I could see through his eyes what would I see? Would I feel the pain he feels every day? Would I see the world busy and overwhelming? Would I become anxious at the thought of going to a movie because it is too dark, too loud? Would I feel his frustration that every piece of clothing he puts on makes him feel like he wants to crawl out of his skin because it is so uncomfortable? Would I see the world becoming mad at me for not being able to do what they think I should? Would I become so angry all I can do is hit myself? Would I see how people stare at me? Would I feel like an outcast?

I wonder, what it must it must feel like every day for my son. I wish I could take his place and let him live without autism. As mothers of children with autism we hear one thing that frustrates us to no end, “Your child doesn’t look autistic.” There is no look to autism. There are different levels of autism. Every parent of a child with autism has different struggles because there are several levels of severity. I cannot even fathom what it must be like to care for a child severely affected by autism, I can speak only from my own experience. I will say that it is one of the most exhausting, stressful, draining, humbling, rewarding, and beautiful experiences in life. Yet still, I see my son frustrated, angry, and struggling every day. If only I could take his pain from him I would, I can’t. All I can do for him is my best. A part of that is what I am doing now. If I can help just a few people understand, reach a few hearts, move some to show a bit more compassion, a little more empathy I am doing what I can.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), it makes noises too loud, clothes too itchy, nothing feels comfortable. Imagine a a school bell as loud as a fire alarm, a cotton shirt that feels like wool, or denim jeans that feel like a scrubbing brush on your skin; this isn’t a picky child, this is a child with SPD. Every time a new movie comes out my son gets so excited but then realizes he has to wait until after it goes to the movie theater then it will be on DVD. The movie theater is too much, the mere mention of going to see a movie brings on feelings of anxiety and disappointment because he doesn’t want to go knowing it is too loud and he won’t like it or he doesn’t want to be in the dark in a strange place. Again, he must wait. The dreaded grocery store, I am an adult and I don’t like trips to the grocery store but for my son, it is loud, there are so many people he feels anxious, it takes too long, people bump into him, he doesn’t want to wait, it is beyond hard, and it almost feels like torture. No, this is not a bratty child, this is a child with autism; for kids with autism the colors in the store, the price tags on the shelves, all of this information can be extremely overwhelming. Should you see a child struggling please, don’t assume they are a brat throwing a tantrum, they may be having a meltdown, which is very different. In a meltdown a child will hurt themselves as they have lost all control, it is not a bargaining chip to see if they can get what they want, once a meltdown starts there is no way to bribe a child into stopping, they have hit their limit and cannot handle anymore. As a mother it gets to me when I see people stare at my son for how he sometimes acts; my son is being himself, genuine, not censoring his actions as we all do because after all society expects certain behavior, does it not? It tears me apart inside when he hurts himself out of frustration or aggravation (meltdown). A comment was made that was one of the most hurtful I have ever heard. Someone told my son, “If you don’t behave, you are going to end up in anger management.” I wanted to lash out but knew that would do my son no good. My son is not losing his temper, he is struggling to learn to control it. These kids walk a tight rope every day and their parents walk right there behind them. If you see a child who, shows no physical traits of an impairment, but is maybe acting a little different and a mom or dad who looks a bit more than exhausted, remember this, a simple smile may do more than you realize.

Mental health is still taboo and until the world opens its eyes to increase knowledge and awareness these parents and their children that are growing into adults will have to struggle to deal with something they should not have to go through alone. Until we as a society make a change, this taboo will continue. Understanding and empathy is what we need. So I ask of you, don’t let this stay taboo. When you see a child, adult, or even a parent struggling think of how it may look through their eyes. If autism has taught us anything it has taught us this, these children fit no mold, they never will. They will always be perfectly unique.


Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

This Is Why I Speak

I speak for those who can’t.
I speak for those who are afraid of judgment.
I speak now because I was afraid to speak before and I know the pain that it brings.
I speak for my son.
I speak for myself.
I speak for those who should not have to speak,
those who should not have to explain
or defend themselves amongst a world of judgment.
I speak, in hopes that eyes are opened and compassion is brought back to society.
I speak for those with silent disorders, those fighting pain inside, the pain that the world does not see.

Some days I feel manic.
Some days I don’t want to leave my room.
Some days I feel like I am screaming and no one can hear me.‏
Some days I just can’t…

Do not judge me for what you see. Do not judge me for what you do not see.
You do not see the fight inside. You do not see how I do. You do not know what I feel.

I am flawed.
At times
I am rude,
and just plain mean.
From the depths of my soul
where those feelings of hate and pain come from
also come love;
it comes in as fiercely as the other feelings do
when I do love
it is with loyalty,
and fearlessness.‏

sadness ETC

When I am angry,
I am hurting inside,
please let me be alone.
You cannot fix me,
I am not broken.
Just love me.
When I love you,
I will love you,
with all my heart,

To the neurotypical people of today’s society, that don’t understand what it is to fight with inner demons, it is a pain greater than anyone without it could ever know.‏

Copyright © 2015 Enjoying The Chaos.

Seeing Love

This post I dedicate to my Bear, my youngest son, as he was my inspiration for it. I shared this with my Facebook friends but now I share it with all of you.

My bear walked up to me and kissed me in my left eye and then my right, I instinctively closed them as I didn’t want spit in my eyes. When I asked him what he was doing this was his response, “This way mom when you open your eyes you will see love, from me.”

free image sunset kiss PM

Seeing love. So simple, so true. Do we see love?

So many times in our lives we see pain, injustice, hurt, anger, and destruction but we cannot let these be our defining moments. A defining moment in one’s life is a moment of clarity, one that directs us and shows us a path to take and gives us a sense of direction and urgency, showing us something we must do. I almost let a moment of anger become my defining moment. My son changed that with his love. I needed that reminder. Anger and frustration are inevitable. Life is not perfect, people are not perfect, and we will get angry but do not let that anger be the cause of your actions. When we are motivated by anger, frustration, or even hate we may end up making wrong decisions that could have dire consequences not just for us but for our loved ones as well. Be motivated by love, by kindness, by unselfishness, not animosity or ill will.

I will close this post as I wanted it short and sweet because we know this already but much like me, sometimes we just need a slight reminder.

A kiss, if you will, to remind us to see love.

free image hands heart PM


Copyright © 2014 Enjoying The Chaos.

Scared But Sure

Back in late July I found a lump in my left breast.

I am 34 years old.
I have two boys, 11 and 13.
One of my boys is special needs.
My husband is an over the road truck driver.
My boys rely on me so much because they are with me constantly and only see their dad a few days a month.
They need me to homeschool them.
I have to be imagining this.
It’s not a lump.
It’s my imagination.
It has to be.
If it is really there it could be something else, maybe it is not a real lump, maybe it’s just my time of the month.

Any justification I could come up with I did. Two weeks later I checked again, it was still there and my heart sunk.

It was real now, it wasn’t going away. I called my doctor and he saw me that day. He couldn’t find the lump, he made me feel like I was imagining it when I knew I wasn’t. “Come back in six months and we will check again”, he said. Six months? Really? NO. I am not waiting. I am not imagining this, I am not making it up. I know it’s there, I felt it.

I called another doctor, surely enough she found it. An ultrasound and a compression mammogram.

My radiology reports came in.

I was sent that same day to see a surgeon.

“That is not a good sign”, was all I could hear over and over in my mind.

I returned home, not ready to deal with any of this. The only arms I wanted were my mother’s, she was there, to tell me I will get through this, whatever it is she will be right there with me. I needed that. As if the stress of knowing it was there wasn’t enough the waiting between appointments and results I felt as if I would lose my mind, I came pretty close. I held in the tears as much as I could until someone told me it was okay to cry, to be scared, to be angry.

Surgery day came and went.


I spent the next two weeks sore and tired. Panic attacks, oversleeping, headaches, and just struggling. Thankful for my family, they were there for me and my kids, I had no doubt that whatever came my way I had them to help me. My mother fought breast cancer twice and is still going strong. At this point in my life that isn’t a struggle I have to face, my results, no cancer. I was so grateful, I felt alive, happy, I can’t describe the feeling other than one of the best feelings in the world. Sadly, this is not the case for every woman.

A woman’s best chance for survival in the fight against breast cancer is early detection. Check yourself regularly. Get your annual mammogram. I wanted to ignore it I was so terrified by what it could have been but I knew that wasn’t going to help the situation. Cancer isn’t a word any woman wants to hear but women are born warriors. Whatever may come your way you can face it you can fight it, but please, just don’t wait.

It is okay to be scared, but be sure.

Copyright © 2014 Enjoying The Chaos.

Let Love Prevail Over Hate #Love>Hate

It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. An act of love turned into an act of hate. The ALS ice bucket challenge went viral and why not it was for a good cause. Everyone was doing it, showing support, adults, kids, celebrities, and it even motivated a young man with autism to participate in the challenge.

This act of kindness and love was turned into a nightmare of hate and humiliation for this young man and his family. My children are my life. I think most parents feel the same way, we would give our lives for our children and when their hearts feel pain so do ours. My heart broke, not because of what one of my children had to endure but for the pain another child felt, a child over a thousand miles away that I had never even met.

The ALS ice bucket challenge gone wrong, horribly, terribly wrong. In Bay Village, Ohio a young man with autism, only 14 years old was traumatized by a malicious act created by a group of kids who said they would help this young man. Videotaped, but not for the reason he thought. These cruel, heartless beings did not want to help, they wanted to humiliate. The bucket was not filled with ice water but with human excrement. It was mortifying to see. People knew it happened, they were sickened by it. It is not enough to know, it is not enough to feel appalled. Stand up. Take action. Let this young man and his family know they are not alone. As the mother of a special needs child, a child who is so trusting, growing into a young man but still so young at heart and in mind this hits very close to home for me.

When I was given the opportunity to help Give Forward spread the word I was honored to be a part of this. No amount of money will undo the humiliation this innocent young man has had to endure, nor will it stop the pain he feels over what was done to him. If this was your child, your family, you would not simply be outraged but you would take action. Not everyone can make a donation, which is understandable, however you can still take a stand, take action, and show your support for him and his family by leaving a comment on the Give Forward page for them. Show him how proud you are of him for coming forward because standing up and taking action takes strength of heart.

As for me and my family, we choose love. What will you choose?


Please, share with your friends and family so that together, we can all let love prevail and show that love is greater than hate.

I chose to share this post and my own personal feelings regarding this horrific crime, yes crime with you not because I am being compensated but because it’s important to not just take a stand but take action!

Copyright © 2014 Enjoying The Chaos.

Why Homeschool?

Why does any parent choose to homeschool?


They are so many reasons parents decide to take the plunge into homeschooling and yes it feels like a plunge, not a jump, a plunge. Some people are organized and ready to go at it without a problem, not this mama. It was overwhelming, stressful, exhausting, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Why do something so stressful? Let’s consider some of the reasons parents do it.

Physical health, from kids getting sick with viruses that are making our children violently and dangerously ill, sometimes requiring hospitalization and leaving parents praying their children recover which are rampant nowadays to bullying gone the extremes of school shootings and attacks on fellow students.



That word makes me sick to my stomach, maybe because it is one of the reasons I pulled my boys from public school. It has gone to a new extreme. Bullying used to be physical attacks causing children to come home with scraped knees, torn clothes, a black eye, or terrifyingly even a broken bone. A broken bone, horrible, nothing any parent ever wants their child to have to deal with. Then, it got worse.


Cyberbullying and verbal bullying have gone from teasing to torment, playing with emotions, groups disguised as, “cliques” verbally attacking kids, pretending to be their friends only to make them more vulnerable to attacks. Bullying is now emotionally tormenting our kids to the point that they are too embarrassed to come forward for help, becoming depressed to the point they are suicidal, or so hurt they decide to take action themselves and lives are lost. Some kids are sadly easy targets for bullies. Children with mental health conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), just to name a couple of many conditions, may make children or teens more susceptible to becoming targets of bullying even though life has showed us bullies don’t discriminate, they will attack anyone they feel they can.

Mental and physical health conditions, along with learning disabilities can make learning hard for our kids. The ever rising, continuous pushing of our kids to learn more, increase the testing standards, make them work harder, learn faster not only stresses students without learning disabilities but for those of our children who do need additional help it can be even harder, more stressful, and even bring them to tears.


For any parent who has been through the process of trying to get a 504 plan, IEP, or any other services for their child they know how strenuous it can be and in general it never feels like enough is being done. So many children in school are on medication. I am not saying that someone is a bad parent for choosing it but it is hard when a child is put on medication simply because they have to keep up with the pace of 20 other students and an ever increasing curriculum. There is so much to cover to make sure each student is ready for that all so important test that pushes so many so close to their breaking points that some very important skills could be missed just because they aren’t chosen as a skill necessary enough to make the cut to be a part of the state exam.

Each of us has our own set of morals and values that we instill in our children. Unfortunately, they are all different. It was a bit of a shock to sit down to lunch with my 1st and 2nd grade children in the school cafeteria and very clearly hear vulgarity and curse words within the laughter of other students. There are new concerns in the schools, a new trend has emerged. The words and subjects we don’t want our children to hear from other students are now coming from books, books that can be found in their own school library.

So why homeschool? I can tell you why I chose to. My son came home in tears every day but refused to tell me why. I visited the school, I volunteered at the school, and I talked to the counselor only to be told, “They are just adjusting.” The teacher’s response, “He is doing just fine.” The following year, the first day of school my son started shaking as we drove into the school parking lot and confessed that he was being threatened every day by other students. I cried and felt horrible. My other son curled up in my lap in tears and said he couldn’t do it, it was too hard, he had no friends, and said, “Please mom, don’t make me go.” More tears, more pain.

I put the car in reverse and brought my boys home. Our journey began. No more tears, no more sadness.

That is why I homeschool.


Copyright © 2014 Enjoying The Chaos.

The Disney Kid In You

PicMonkey Collage disney flag

I think most of us have something that brings out the Disney kid in all of us. I am 34 years old and only within the last six months did I experience Disneyland for the first time in my life. It was amazing. I can’t find the words to explain how awesome, how breathtaking, how beautiful and wondrous it truly was. I can’t tell you how many tears of joy I shed from the moment the car pulled up to the Disneyland Resort. I cried when I got to the room, I cried when I saw the Disney flags, I cried when I watched the fireworks, I cried when I watched the Princess Parade. Disneyland brought all those childhood dreams to life.

My love of Disney princesses started like it does for most little girls but mine continues just a little bit different. PicMonkey Collage princessesI grew up on Disney movies, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, my favorite is Sleeping Beauty, but mom’s is Cinderella. Even though Aurora was my favorite princess, Cinderella holds a special place in my heart, that is the memory where I will always be safe, in my mom’s arms.

At the age of 16 I started suffering from anxiety attacks, they became debilitating. For those of you who don’t know what an anxiety attack is or feels like I will do my best to explain. Once an anxiety attack is brought on it is difficult to bring yourself to a calm state and realize that the irrational worries are just that, irrational. During a panic attack your chest tightens up, you start feeling dizzy, nauseous, crippling stomach pain, uncontrollable shaking, and hyperventilating nearly blacking out. You get the point, it is horrible.

Confused as to what all this has to do with Disney? For years when I started getting panic attacks my mother would hold my hands, sit with me, and play a movie, yes Cinderella. Cinderella is more than just a nice memory. Disney gave me a place in my mind and heart, a pleasant place, calm and peaceful. That will always stay with me.

Disney is not just a company, it is not just a collection of movies or a theme park. Disney inspires us. Walt Disney taught us that nothing is impossible. A dream is a wish your heart makes and being at Disneyland was absolutely a dream come true.

PicMonkey Collage glory of disney

Disneyland is a land of imagination for all ages. Take time with your children, give them Disney memories that will last their whole lives through. For all that life throws at me, I will always have my memories of Disney and I will forever be a Disney Kid, will you?

Copyright © 2014 Enjoying The Chaos.