The Unchewable Blog

Reviews and Reflections to chew on

Monsters talk

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It’s never fun climbing those hills in our lives but it’s always worth it.

“Monsters Talk” by John Mark McMillan
“There can be 2 sides to the reality that we live in. The first reality is that life is hard, brutal, sometimes outright terrible, but the other reality is that life is beautiful, full of wonder, and hope. But both these realities are true. The question I had to ask myself was, which reality am I going to make friends with. Not denying either one or pretending that one didn’t exist, but which reality was I going to talk to, which reality was I going to listen to.”

A case of the Mondays

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Remember if you are having a bad day to multiply your age X 365 and know only one of those is today.

Do what you can and know the leaves will fall as they may.

Selfie=self centered society

I’ll be the first to admit I have done my fair share of selfies. So as I wrote this I am writing about my own conviction. I am by no stretch of the imagination perfect, I have my own demons and sins to fight every day. So I ask the question- why do you post selfies?

As a mom and wife, I have asked myself this question many times. Turning inward and towards Him to answer this question for me. Not that I blame society for why I took selfies but it sure hasn’t helped. And if my attention is directed towards God and leading an example for my kids then I have no reason to post selfies. This generation should be labeled “Generation Selfie”. We can’t blame society for not teaching our kids to have self respect for themselves and we can’t blame society for not teaching them to have respect for another person’s life. We see shootings, selfies, and sickness. How are we teaching our kids the coping skills to deal with a non-perfect life? I never learned those coping skills coming from a broken home and so as an adult I have had to learn these skills and it’s been a hard road.

See the thing is… we will never be rid of insecurities, sometimes they just change, evolve, or become less. The only thing we do is be self aware and not let those insecurities hurt those around you that you care about and love. We think to the fall of man, and you think… Darn you Eve! See we could have been in the garden enjoying the freedom of a sinless life. But it wasn’t the plan for man, and so sometimes we have a very painful life. One that includes so much hurt. If I didn’t have faith or belief in a God that turns the ugliest parts of me and wants to make them beautiful, I would be a disaster. I have hurt people that I care about and I wish I could undo it, but that isn’t the plan. The plan is for me to take those experiences and turn them around for His use.

Anyway, as a result of my own conviction. My husband and I have decided to disconnect from the world of social media as much as we can. I deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts. I kept my Facebook to connect with family from other states and the friends that I still interact with in person and every one else has been removed. I hope people are not offended by that but to say that I have “Facebook friends” only is a ridiculous concept so I removed it from my vocabulary. It’s a false feeling to think I have 350+ friends when only 80 of those ACTUALLY care about me and my family. So if you get a text or an actual call from me it’s because I actually want to be friends with you in person not just on social media. I love all my family and dear friends who have stuck with me through all life’s ups and downs, I cherish you!
{{Kendra}}

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A day ending and night coming

Sounds of his little mouth opening and exhaling the sounds of a long and exhausting day otherwise known as the yawn. Snuggled with his tiny little body next to mine as I lay in his bed with the room so dark. As he quietly slips into a sleep, the sounds of his breath changing and chest moving slower and slower and deeper and deeper. I hear the sounds of his air coming and going and his little voice say “nigh-nigh time mommy?” and I whisper softly back “It is nigh-nigh time baby, I love you.” and I hear “I lub you.”

The beautiful voice of my 3 year old repeating a prayer, “Thank you Jesus for today, thank you for my daddy, thank you for my mommy, and thank you for brother, Thank you Jesus. Aaaaaamen”

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Awareness of Uniqueness

{{April: Autism Awareness month}}

When difficulties arise in life we have a couple of choices in how we deal
with them. We can roll over and let it overtake us, or we can stand up and show the world what we’re made of. I am the mother of 2 boys, one being a 6 year old blonde haired and blue eyed autistic boy, I don’t have a choice but to fight for him. He doesn’t have a lot of words to always tell us what he needs or wants, sometimes it means he just screams. He needs us to be strong and he needs us to be innovative and engaging so that we can help him. This month we not only bringing awareness to Autism and it’s challenges but also it’s beauty. There is so much beauty in this child’s life.

God has created this little boy’s mind so unique. I often just look into Hezekiah’s eyes and wonder “What is going on inside that head of yours!” I seriously want to know what goes through his head so I can understand him better. His contagious smile and laugh make me so glad to be his parent. Makes all the hard moments with all my tears and frustrations worth it. I don’t hold onto expectations or dreams, having a child like this has taught me how to live in the present and not worry about the future.

We live in a world that values money, success, and outer beauty. I want my kids to value God, relationships, love, selflessness, and compassion. Knowing this makes me hold myself accountable to living these values in my day to day. I cannot teach my children these values and not live them out myself.

Being an ex-owner of a photography business allows me to pick up my camera and capture these beautiful and priceless photos of Hezekiah.

{{Kendra}}

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A child’s mind

Few endeavors are as worthy of your efforts as unlocking your child’s mind, that is where the future lies.

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Say no to Negativity

 

taken in the front yard with a nikon d90

taken in the front yard with a nikon d90

Andrew

We have people reach out to us quite often and ask us questions about our son being autistic so I figured we would post some blogs that might be of some help to another couple. Many people define themselves by their accomplishments so why is it that when your child is diagnosed on the spectrum everyone defines them by their deficits. Now we have to make the separation on what will best help our child and how to view that process. In order to help our child we had to know where his deficits were and make goals in closing those gaps but if we see our child as a list of broken things to fix, we will find yourself overwhelmed and miss who our child really is. There are so many amazing things about our son that we had to remind ourselves with every IEP meeting comes progress and not get wrapped up into how far behind normal kids he is.

Kendra

In the beginning of the diagnosis, we grieved for a couple of years. When you are pregnant with a baby in your mind you have all expectations of what this baby’s personality will be like and what they will become someday. As the child grows and you receive an Autism diagnosis, you begin to realize that you have to throw all expectations out the window and grieve for the child you dreamed and hoped for and say good-bye to that expectation. If you don’t do this, you start to feel the disappointment in the child you do have. How can anyone be disappointed in such a beautiful creation that God gave you? Most professionals tell you that a diagnosis of this kind is harder on the parent(s) than the child, this is true! Our son, Hezekiah, lives a very happy life I assume not knowing that he is any different than any other child. When he smiles, you know what true innocence looks like. His smile lights up the room! What do you take away? To seek out the beauty of this amazing child God has entrusted us with. The beauty of having a child so unique, is as simple as that… he’s not like everyone else. Hallelujah! As Dr Seuss says “Why fit in, when you can stand out.” So our job at this point is to find his strengths and encourage those, and to find those weaknesses and figure out how to conquer them. Take joy in the small accomplishments, and enjoy his beautiful blue eyes and contagious smile.

Hezzy reaching for the sun

Hezzy reaching for the sun

I think every father feels like it is hard to reach out and connect with their son. When your son has autism it feels like it is much farther to reach. I figured if I should start writing again it would need to be for a good reason. This is my first step stay tuned.

The best event planner for IOS you might already own

As a youth pastor I wanted a app where I could have my total budget, projects, fundraisers, attendance, messages all in one and if needed be able to easily send it to someone if needed. I couldn’t find a app that did all of these things until my job (www.pcnanswers.com) made me think about how much I accomplish with spreadsheets. Numbers had just came out so I downloaded it and checked it out and that is what I use for my one stop shop here is how.

Templates is one of the biggest things numbers brings to the table aside from its incredible mobile interface. For our purposes we are going to use the team organization template.


Label Your Tabs. This will help guide you in your customization, you are going to have to make a lot of adjustments depending on what you want to do. I copied other pieces from other templates and pasted them in, there are even a number of templates apps to choose from now. I would suggest the most commonly used tabs to the left adjust this anytime by holding the tab until it lifts then drag left and right accordingly.


Keep It Simple. I have learned this hand in hand with both my job and my ministry. My boss always reminds this and as a result I am a more efficient Manager. I then took that concept and applied it to my ministry it lets me get out of the way and have God do His thing. Where this is most evident is how I do my budget. Numbers has a unique feature in it where you can create formulas by category. Simply type in categories whatever you want and then create another table and it will combine all the like categories. I found it easiest to make a simply transaction log alot like a check book then a totals table and made a pie chart to the right to easily show people up to the minute finances you can include all the categories or just what you want with simply touch the chart click edit references and drag and drop what you want to include or exclude. I have a trip tab and a service tab I copy those and simply rename it for whatever we are doing saves me a lot of time and work.


iCloud Benefits. The obvious is that it sync’s my iPhone and iPad which is great because I don’t always have my iPad on me. Another added benefit is that it handles the conversion from numbers format to pdf, excel or numbers right on your device or from any web surfing device via iCloud webpage. This has been especially useful when needing to upload files while on my work PC or when visiting someone where I have spotty coverage.


There are a lot of other things you can do with this setup customize then shoot me a email or comment with a link of what you have done. If you want this template just let me know and donations are welcomed. If there is enough of a demand I might just set up an automated link.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Mailbox app review so far

I have always used email here and there but my work (www.pcnanswers.com) is where I really learned how useful it could be. I could track daily activities keep everyone in the loop get info, partner with people etc. I started to use email more with my family and friends and church activities as well. Now technology is marching on but email seems to still be a very universal medium even with Facebook messaging getting more popular. I was looking for something for work to help me make todo lists that I could message coworkers on with that in mind I found a social to-do app called Orchestra but found everyone still preferred email so I ended up deleting the app. The makers of Orchestra had a webpage up at the time that said something similar to what I was feeling that the mailbox is what needed to change so I signed up to be notified for their upcoming product http://www.Mailboxapp.com.

I have had the app for a couple of weeks and now use it as my go to productivity app I love the interface and agree with most of the current reviews out there about the app but here is a summarized review in bullet points.

Pros:

  • Amazing looking UI also very useful
  • Snoozing emails is the best thing ever but remember to not over use this feature or you will never get anything done
  • Love the ability to drag and drop emails up and down to prioritize them, why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?
  • No one you are interacting with has to do anything different it is just normal email as far as they are concerned
  • Awesome searching it searches everything everywhere and fast
  • Threaded sent messages one of the big reasons I liked sparrow I don’t have to constantly go into my sent folder anymore
  • Break down of “snoozed” emails from the most recent to the furthest out great layout to see what is coming up next
  • Gestures are awesome click an email to read it then slide back to the main screen

Cons:

  • Only uses Gmail this may be a deal breaker for some but I use a Gmail specifically for this app to keep things separate
  • Some Html emails seem to be mis-formated and overall I like the built-in IOS email app display for html emails better
  • I don’t like that the subject line is not on by default when you forward an email, you have to click the little arrow to bring it down but its a small issue that may not bug others.

Conclusion:

The app is not perfect but it is game changing for email it tells me that we don’t have to move to the next thing like the defunct Google wave tried to do we just need to make email better and I am all for that. I am done investing in technology that makes me do more and all about technology that helps me do what I do better and or faster.

 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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