Category Archives: autism

Families with Autists or SP Kids!! Weighted FROG

I have discovered the best thing since sliced bread! No seriously!! Listen to me! If you have a child with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder and have considered a weighted blanket, TRY THIS! 

So many of you know our journey with our amazing little autist. Berlyn is growing up on us! I have always wanted a weighted blanket, but have not been able to afford its hefty price tag. I am not a good enough seamstress to sew one together to last the CRAZINESS that my Berlyn would put it through. 

We found this frog and it is the best $50 I have ever spent. He puts it on his lap, chest, shoulders, head…. He does it without anyone telling him to as if the doll tells him to do it. This frog has become a part of our family over the last several weeks. Berlyn is focusing more on his schoolwork now too. 

If you are interested, Click on the link below and check them out. There are also lizzards, snakes and even a dolphin. The one that we picked up for Berlyn weighs 2.5kg ( about 5.5 pounds). They also come in other weights too.

Natural Dye Easter Eggs!

I LOVE finding interesting articles online. THANKS AUNT DONNA for sending this to me! This article was on What’s cooking America. Every year we use different items like the follow list to dye our eggs. Looking forward to the weekend to do it again. 🙂

As most of you know, Elwyn is Anaphylaxis to Red Dye – Easter when she was about 15 months old, I fed her jelly beans and she has a reaction that sent us to the hospital when her heart having to be restarted among other terrible things because of the dyes that I fed her. We have converted the entire house to dye-free and it helps my 3 amigos as well (Autism and PTSD & ADHD can also be effected by dyes and processed foods as well). 


How to make natural egg dyes:

  • Wash hard-cooked (boiled) eggs in warm soapy water to remove any oily residue that may impede the color from adhering to the eggs. Let eggs cool before attempting to dye.
  • You need to use your own judgment about exactly how much of each dye stuff to use. Except for spices, place a handful (or two or three handfuls) of a dyestuff in a saucepan.
  • Add tap water to come at least one inch above the dye stuff. NOTE: This will be aboEasterEggDye2ut 1 cup of water for each handful of dyestuff.
  • Bring the water just to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer about 15 minutes or up to an hour until you like the color obtained. Keep in mind that dyed eggs will not get as dark as the color in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Pour mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of strained dye liquid. Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs you want to dye.
  • Use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the hot liquid. Leave the eggs in the water until you like the color. NOTE: Allow the egg to sit in the tea for several hours or overnight. The longer the egg soaks, the deeper the final color will be. If you plan to eat the eggs be sure to do this step in the refrigerator.
  • When eggs are dyed to the color you desire, lift the eggs out with the slotted spoon. Let them dry on a rack or drainer.NOTE: An egg carton works nicely as a drying rack. Be careful to handle the eggs gently and minimally as some of the colors can easily be rubbed off before the egg has dried.
  • For a textured look, dab the still wet egg with a sponge.
  • Eggs colored with natural dyes have a dull finish and are not glossy. After they are dry, you can rub the eggs with cooking oil or mineral oil to give them a soft sheen.
Items To Dye With
Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
Brown or Beige
Strong Coffee
Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Black Tea
Brown Gold
Dill Seeds
Brown Orange
Chili Powder

Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Liquid Chlorophyll
Greenish Yellow
Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
Purple or red grape juice or beet juice
Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea
Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
Pomegranate juice
Canned Cherries (with syrup)
Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Violet or Purple
Violet Blossoms
Hibiscus tea
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Red Wine
Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Chamomile Tea
Celery Seed (boiled)
Green tea
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled) or Saffr


Berlyn's Horses with HEART Therapy

IMG_20130830_154352_913Many of you have followed our family struggle with our son Berlyn and his Autism. We have our good days and our bad days. Some days, the tantrums are out of control and he screams and scratches at his ears and face when he has a sensory over-load and lately he has started rocking again when he gets anxious. On his good days, he speaks well and asks a ton of questions. His brain is over processing. He does have absence seizures occasionally and can let us know when they are coming. He calls himself a little “AUTIST”.

He is high-functioning autistic  with PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder).  He is doing well in school, but 2nd grade this year has become quite a challenge. We have a friend making him a weighted snake to wear in the classroom and he does have a pair of earphones that he puts on when totally over-whelmed. I have also found directions to make a weighted blanket on Pinterest.

Our name was given to Horses with H.E.A.R.T. three years ago, a local non-profit company in Chino Valley to get some therapy for him. This is not just any therapy, this is a horse riding program for special needs. Our goal is to raise $840 to pay for Berlyn’s lessons. $840 pays for the entire years worth of lessons for him (24 group lessons at $35/each)  Shelby donated 175 hours last year to horses with heart to be a side and lead walker to other kids in the program as well. This winter we hosted 2 of their horses (a mini and a pony named Buttercup and Lark) at our home where Berlyn was able to ride in the off season. Berlyn was part of the special needs drill team last year and also received 1st place for his division!

Any size donation will help get him involved in this amazing program. If you can, please donate $5 or $10. Checks can be made out to Horses with H.E.A.R.T and write Berlyn’s Riding Sessions in the memo line. (mail checks to Horses with H.E.A.R.T, PO Box 2427, Chino Valley, AZ 86323 or take them by Mazy’s in Chino Valley by March 15th). If you do mail a check, please send us an email so that we can mark you down on our list of his goal.

Berlyn and
Horses with H.E.A.R.T

You can also donate online through PayPal and I will get your name on our list. (paypal email is All donations over $10 will receive a receipt for their 2014 taxes

Here is more information on Horses with H.E.A.R.T

We thank you so much for your support in this for our AMAZING son!

Living with Autism

In all honesty, can you say that you know all about autism? Living with a child who is high functioning autistic can prove to be a challenge at times.

Berlyn gets overwhelmed at times and when asked why he is yelling of pulling on his ears, he replies that he is trying to stop all of the noise in his head. It allows him to express what he needs in his own way. We are a fortunate family to have a high-functioning autistic child who has learned to communicate and function in everyday life, albeit difficult at times for him. I fully believe that Berlyn can not turn his brain off and we see this a lot at bed time. I know that there are times when I have so much going on that I can not sleep and I think that he goes through the same, but every day!

Yesterday, he came home from school on the first day back to school after Christmas break just spitting nails. 2nd grade is proving to be harder and harder for him this year.

I am a tough mom. A mom who will not ever see Autism as a disability. Do I want people to understand WHY he yells and has tantrums in public? YES. Do I want them to treat him any differently than other kids? NO! I totally feel that he is not only going to thrive as an adult, but is a brilliant individual who will one day change the world..

Berlyn has a way about him. A way to whittle himself into you. He thinks differently and for that I am grateful to God for teaching me that not all children can fit into a single box. He is our “Autist” and he paints our world with his color.


Berlyn, the cat whisperer.
Berlyn, the cat whisperer.