~~The Pizza Incident~~

Every once in a while we find an awesome writing prompt for Sophia to use for her schoolwork. This was one prompt that inspired a pretty awesome story that I will share below.

I posted this on my Facebook and everyone loved it so I figured I should also add it here. Everything below the prompt, is written by Sophia. I hope you enjoy her story as much as we all did.

The Pizza Incident Prompt

This story was written by Sophia Lawless 15 November 2018.

~~The Pizza Incident~~
~This work is purely fiction. The prompt I used is the image included below.~

Believe me, moving houses is fun, but one thing I’ll miss about my old town is the pizza store that was just around the block from my old apartment, and the dusty old library that’s been there for as long as I could remember. Trust me when I say that I’m borderline addicted to pizza, but there’s one thing that really gets on my nerves

whenever I go out for the delicious Italian meal: pizza with pineapple on it. In fact, I hate it so much that I set my apartment on fire by accident when my former room-mate decided to put freaking pineapple on the homemade pizza we were making!

This is why I had to move; I was banned from the building after that day. The incident was on the news too, so it’s not like any other place in that town would let me stay.

Back to the present though. I’d just finished packing everything into the apartment I’m staying at. Now, I was going for a walk to take my mind off things.

I was walking around the block. That’s when a sign on an old building caught my eye: ‘Rose’s Pizza & Book Place’. Peeking inside momentarily revealed it to be a library and pizza parlour, all in one! A piece of wood with something painted on it caught my eye. It said open.

I couldn’t believe it. My two favourite types of places, mashed up into one building.

Smiling, I walked in. Maybe this moving thing wouldn’t be too bad, after all.

As soon as I opened the door, the smell of tomato and fresh bread hit me like a bomb made out of pizza. I noticed that the lady behind the counter was fairly old, maybe 60 if I were to hazard a guess.

“Hello, and welcome to my pizza and book place. May I help you?”

The second thing I noticed about her was her thick Italian accent. Then what she said came back to me, and glancing at the menu board, I then responded with,

“Uhh, yeah. Can I get um..” I peered closer at the menu before finishing. “A small pepperoni pizza with extra cheese?”

She nodded and smiled kindly. “That’ll be ten dollars.”

I handed over the money before walking over to the library section and looking at the

titles of the books, while she walked up a staircase to what I assumed was the kitchen.

As I waited, I couldn’t help but notice a dark room beneath the staircase. I snuck glances at it every few seconds, but thought nothing of it. When my food arrived, I muttered a quick thanks before sitting at a nearby table and digging in. It was absolutely delicious; a cheesy, meaty, saucy dish, with just the right amount of herbs mixed in. I finished quickly, but the dark room underneath the stairs was on my mind every second of it. Even though the lady was at the counter now, she’d probably notice me looking at it every now and then, but still, I looked at it every few seconds.

Soon, she caught on. Noticing my glances, she looked to the dark space. With a wry smile, she then turned to me and said,

“Would you like to know what’s down there?”

I curiously nodded. Hey, as they say, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

“Hm. If you’re sure, then I’ll show you.” she said, walking over to it and looking at me patiently. I quickly got up and hastily walked over to her. Being closer to
the dark room, I noticed that it held a staircase. Most likely it was a basement of some sort. For some reason, I had a strange feeling of dread as I looked down it.

“Come.” the old lady said, making her way down the stairs. I hesitantly followed, keeping fairly close to her. When we got to the bottom, it was too dark to make out anything. I was about to ask her if there was power down there, when she turned on the light switch to reveal…

I couldn’t scream.
I was too horrified. Why would someone do this? It was terrible. Panting heavily, I ran.
I ran up the stairs.
I ran out the door, promising myself to never think about this place again.

You ma

y ask, what did I see that day?

It hurts to think about, but I’ll tell you.

What I saw down that dark room…

Was the biggest selection of pineapple I’ve ever seen in my life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
top 10 anime plot twists
nah but seriously, I found a ‘dark’ prompt and what did I do?
I made a crackfic out of it

Dear Nature’s Fresh

Dear Nature’s Fresh,


Please do not put; “When life gives you bread this fresh YOU’VE GOTTA SQUEEZE IT!” on your packaging.

My daughter does not understand ‘squeeze’ the way you intended and we now have a mangled loaf.

Squeeze to her is what she does with soft toys… not bread.


Sincerely,


Hangry Mum.

Natures Fresh

Menarche or First Moon

Today my sweet little 10 year old started her period!

I am still in shock, but knew it was coming. She is so young still. I asked her if I should write in the blog about her Menarche, or post it to Facebook, and she said, “Of course mum, do both, it is exciting! I am glad I got it.”

We have had a great outlook on periods in our house. I never complain about getting it and I am happy each time. When I get cramps, I can feel them coming and usually can take my medication before they get too bad. Some days I miss that window and I have to lay down as I get really ill, but I never complain just state what is happening.

She has seen how the process goes through me, we are all very open about it as it is a natural body process. This was all modelling as I wanted her to be excited about getting it as it really is a miracle how our bodies work. I pray she does not get the pain, cold sweats, nausea and sickness like I use to as a teen. My early period days were horrible. Endometriosis is common in my family.

We have had some great conversations about menstruation and the body so it is no wonder that she was looking forward to getting her first moon. I am due tomorrow, so we are in sync as well, which does help.

Brent is amazingly supportive, and always buys my menstrual products and never makes a fuss. He even brings a big block of dark chocolate whenever I ask him to buy them. He also spoils me rotten and sometimes he brings me Baileys ice cream too. I am sure he will spoil Soph as well.

Sophia’s moods lately have been all over the show, but the past two days, she has been super sweet and cuddly and having food cravings like pancakes, so I made them for breakfast. She was stoked when she woke up because of the smell of them cooking.

InstagramCapture_dfa4c8dc-e334-44ef-9813-75abd6d12e3c

I had spoken to her Aunties and cousin in the states, about getting her gifts and a card for her first moon celebration and they mailed them this week, so that is perfect timing. I have told her Nana here in NZ as well, so she will be at the party.

I had a very old Capricorn necklace that was her great grandmother’s that I have been keeping for her for this day, so I gave that to her today, rather than waiting for the party. I know she won’t wear it, she does not like anything around her neck but she tried it on and has put it in her special box for keepsakes. I wanted her to have something today from her Ancestors.

WP_20170817_010

Brent will take her to lunch this weekend and get her something special, a bracelet or something from him. This is a tradition in my family. My Papa took me to buy a dress when I started, and my step-dad and mother took me for pizza and dancing to the jukebox to celebrate. Both are lovely memories that I cherish.

We will wrap all the gifts when they arrive as well as ours and get or bake a cake, and she wants pizza, so that is very cool. It will just be a small gathering for family.

I will also have a ceremony for her in our Red & Magenta Tent to celebrate her Menarche and welcome her to the Women’s circle.

I will also be letting her join me in the Womb Blessing ceremonies and give her this card. She has been wanting to do them with me for over a year.

First Womb Blessing 2

We have been preparing for a while for this day as I started mine at age 11, and her aunties and cousins were all about a similar age or younger, so we knew it could come at a young age for her as well.

She rang daddy and told him and he congratulated her and teased her a bit. Then she told Max when he got home and he ran in his room, then came back out and congratulated her. He had brought her home a slice of apple crumble from cooking class he had made so that was a nice synchronicity. She loved their reactions and giggled at their antics.

Brent will bring home a box of chocolates for her. We already had her products and I have showed her what to do. He is also bring a booklet by Miranda Gray called Let’s Go Menstrual which is a great resource for her. You can get it here by signing up for her newsletter.

Let's Go Menstrual

I have also added Period Tracker App to her phone and will show her how to use it after it is finished charging up. This is a valuable tool in tracking your cycles, symptoms and moods. The logo is a pink flower if you decide to get it. I use it and it is very accurate for me.

So here we are in the next phase of her development already.

She sure is growing up quickly but she will always be my baby.

 

 

 

Save

Red Bikkie Day Fundraiser

Sophia signed up for Red Bikkie Day!

It is a fundraiser to help raise money for the Blind Foundation Guide Dogs.

We got a cookie cutter and some information in the mail and set up her fundraising page and did the baking.

We sold cookies shaped and frosted to look like guide dogs for $2.00 each with the help of our friend Emma and the Toyota crew. Thank you Emma!

With all her cookie sales and donations, she has raised $105.00 so far. We will give it until the 12th and may make another batch to sell.

This was another great opportunity to be a part of something bigger.

So far this campaign has raised $53,213, and everyone has until the 14th to bank, so it will be even higher!

 

 

Two years of homeshooling!

It was exactly two years ago today that I got the call to say we had been approved to homeschool.

It was one of the best days ever and we were so excited.

So much has happened in the past two years and we have had some amazing adventures.

Sophia is back to herself, she is confident, happy and curious for knowledge.

She rarely has anxiety and her art has flourished along with her YouTube channel.

She is doing great with her studies and is happy to do the work as she knows it is work first and computer after.

She has discovered that she loves baking, swimming, reading, making art and videos and going on adventures. She has even discovered she enjoys listening to music!

She has learned how to self-regulate and does so well most of the time, it can be harder when it is sensory related. She has also learned to think of another’s point of view, and to be a good citizen and care about the community.

We are still working on dealing with disappointment and conversation cues, but there has been a huge improvement.

She is talking to people more, especially clerks in stores and she feels pride when she has spoken to them, always ending with “have a nice day.” which she says makes her feel good.

Overall, in the past two years we have achieved all that we have set out to do with her. We wanted to bring her back to knowing herself, and to be in control of herself through the confidence that knowing who she is allows.

She may do a school trial this year for 20 days, she has been talking about it but then decides she doesn’t want to. This is her decision and we will respect what she wants, as long as she is not in danger of receding in all the work we have accomplished.

A huge thank you to all of our friends and family for your support and to our local community of Homeschoolers for always being open, accepting and planning great adventures.

Especially I am grateful to my husband, our sons and Mam Bear for always being so supportive, you make everything so much more fun.

Love from Sophia and I.

 

We have been so busy with Family visiting

We have been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to write.

My sister and her friend came for a visit from the USA and that was a short but action packed week.

It was hard on Sophia having people here, and it brought up a lot of emotion as she misses her Aunty (and Godmother) very much.

It was my nephew’s 21st so we went over for a short while and had Nana come and watch the kids. It was a change in routine, but the kids were great. They always are with Nana, she is so good with them.

We also had dinner at our extended family’s home and that was great, she did really well.

We hosted a barbecue with family and close friends to see my Sis before she left and that was a bit loud and overwhelming for all of us just because we never do it. But it was very fun and definitely worth having everyone together.

It was on Star Wars Day, so I made them waffles as princess Leia, and Sophia and I made wookie cookies, that was really fun.

Then Sophia helped with the menu and making potato salad and getting the house ready for the barbecue.

Sophia had a few lash outs over the noise, but everyone was fine with it as they understand it is just sensory related.

Overall, Sophia did really well and enjoyed the time with company.

It was a very crazy week, but she handled it like a pro.

We also went for a long drive to deliver my sis and her friend to my niece’s house.

The scenery was so amazing and we stopped and had fun along the way. I will do a post for the individual days as soon as I can.

My niece is a shepherd so Sophia had a great time learning about what she does as well as helping to feed the pups and meeting her horse.

We will definitely be going back when we have more time and Max is not in school, so her cousin Jess can show them both more of the farm, it is huge, and Sophia is looking forward to a ride in the cart.

 

 

I made the correct decision

I just saw this memory (below) on my Facebook page, and it was so amazing to realize that 2 years ago I walked into the MOE and asked for an Exemption Application so that I could home educate Sophia.

I was so determined that I could do it, regardless of my doubts and fears, and here we are two years later, and I know I made the correct decision on that day.

Seeing the growth in Sophia and the changes in such a short time has been amazing. Not only in her, but myself as well and our family as a whole.

At the time I made the decision to file for exemption, Sophia was self-harming, had panic attacks, had insomnia due to the fear of the following school day, had a bunch of tics, said through tears that she hated herself, cried and begged not to go to school and was physically ill from stress and anxiety. Not to mention a lot of bruises on her which she had gotten in school.

Now, she is relaxed and confident, sleeps 10-12 hours every night, is rarely ill, has very few tics left (and only when in a stressful environment), she eats well and has truly discovered and likes her Self.

By her Self; I mean she has her own views and likes, she has discovered her love of art, she has found her love of video editing, she has found music enjoyable -including creating it, she knows which books she likes, she loves baking and cooking, She loves science experiments, she loves learning about other cultures and their history, and she is always trying to learn new ways of creating. She has taught herself several complicated computer software programs as well as computer programming. All this, is in addition to her regular studies and Cognitive and behavioral therapy we do at home.

It is so nice to see her redevelop that deep curiosity and love of learning that she had before starting school. She is constantly asking questions about a variety of topics which we then study until she is satisfied that she knows enough about it. She is also sharing the knowledge she has gained. She is willing to give anything a fair go as long as it is approached in the right way at the right time.

Our home is part library, part music studio, part museum, part artist studio and part cinema, but it will never be a classroom as such and learning happens all through the house, as well as in the world. Learning it is a lifelong venture, and we model that to her as well because we are natural seekers of knowledge and experience and it is no surprise that our kids would take after us in this way.

Max on the other hand, loves school and this is great. We allow him to choose how he wants to learn, but we also encourage his other passions. He has joined the cadets, Air Training Corps, and yesterday our sweet son was flying above the earth in a glider and had the best day learning something new and amazing. He hopes to be a pilot for the Air Force when he gets older, and that is awesome.

Sophia thrives at home, Max thrives at school, and I guess that is the key, finding here they excel and supporting them in any way we can. Letting go and allowing them to make choices for their future can be hard, as with Devin moving out, but as parents we hope all that we have taught them over the years is instilled enough courage, intuition and good sense for them to make good decisions and be the best version of themselves they can be. We are proud of all of them.

 Parenting is not easy, and some days you feel like you are not up to the task, but in the end, if you are doing the best you can for your children and truly allowing them to thrive, then you are doing a great job. Today I feel proud of us as parents, we are doing well.


MEMORY: March 20, 2015 at 8:57am

22482_10153128955973908_1089696948129811555_n

Lydia, this picture is just like we were saying the other day. I went straight over and got my application from MOE just after our visit. Just another reason why we love you, thanks for helping me retain my clarity.

My missing Gumption and Guardians of Ga’Hoole

I have been less inclined to write as of late. Not only this blog, but also the drive to do the final edit for my poetry book is eluding me. It is all written, I only need to edit and publish, yet that drive is missing.

I imagine this is partly due to grief, and also my big push to get it done was so my mother could see it and hold it in her hands and now she never will. Though I know she is still around me and is proud, the mind is a strange beast and at times plays havoc with your thoughts and your motivation.

I hope to get it published soon, and my father and step-mother seeing it, will be my incentive.

I have been doing all sorts of fun activities and learning with Sophia, which I will be adding here as I find the time… and my gumption. lol

I have been savouring every moment I can with my family and it has been really nice. I am very grateful for them all and love sharing special moments with each of the kids and my husband. Losing so many people so close and having our step-son go through his medical emergency has really made us focus more on quality time with our little family and that is ok.

Sophia and I have started tandem reading, which is so much fun. We are currently reading the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky. Sophia is up to book seven and I am just starting book six. We are almost half way through the series.

These books have been adapted into a movie of the same name and I definitely recommend the movie, but the books are even better.

She has also read the Wolves of the Beyond series by this author. Now after reading these, I can’t wait to read those as well.

I really enjoy having discussions with Sophia about the books, characters and story lines.

We have been also working on our Japan Study and that has been great fun. I will do an update on what we have done on those days as well. This, along with her workbooks, some science projects and Khan Academy, she has been doing really well this term.

We are doing some Japan worksheets and more paper art this week. Last week, we did some paper art of the flag and decorative blossoms, made a ningyo doll, wrote some Haiku and the weeks before that, she read several books on Japan, and we had some great discussions and she did an essay.

Next week we will be focusing on art and music, then language and currency the week after. We will revisit Japan in depth in the coming years as she really loves it but for now we are just doing an overview of many areas that interest her.

I had gotten several books from the library, thinking she would read one or maybe two, but she was so fascinated that she read all of them! She has been giving the family facts on Japan for a couple weeks now, which we love as it shows she has retained the information and shares it in the  correct context.

This weekend we will take her for sushi of course and then try to make our own if we can find our sushi kit. The last time we made it… it was not so good. Fun to make, but not very yummy.

More updates coming soon, and I apologise for the delay in keeping everyone up to date.

Breakfast Menu

Sophia asked me how I was this morning and I told her the truth, that I was having a hard day emotionally, but that I would be ok.

We allow our kids to know that we all have rough days and it is ok to allow yourself to feel and work through your emotions, whatever they may be.

She gave me a hug and told me she loved me and that she would go do her work now.

She toddled off and did her workbook and then I saw her start drawing something.

A short while later, she walked up and handed me a menu and asked me what I would like to order.

I played along of course, and then before I knew it she had cooked me a lovely breakfast.

WP_20170213_004

I asked her why, and she said, “I know you miss your Mom, so I want to make you what you ate with her, to make you happy.”

She had listened when they read my letter to mom at the celebration of life. In it, I mentioned things I missed, and one of those things, was having burnt toast and scrambled eggs together. She has made this for me a couple times since. It really warmed my heart and we had a lovely breakfast together.

Whomever it was that claimed Autistics lack empathy, was sorely mistaken.

What she displayed today was complete selflessness and compassion.

It turned my whole day around and transformed my sadness into gratitude.

 

Rainbow cupcakes!

Today, after book work, Sophia decided she wanted to do some baking.

She wanted to try and make some gluten free, pastel, rainbow cupcakes… so we did.

It was really fun seeing how excited she was by the whole process.

I make our recipes colour coded and it works great for her to be able to do it herself. Here is the recipe: (although for the cupcakes we use one tsp of each mix then either swirl a kebab stick through to blend a bit, or just leave it for deeper colour effects.)

Cake Recipe.jpg

She loved mixing up the colours she wanted and putting the mix into the cups form each bowl.

She was especially delighted at how they looked when they were all cooked and decorated.

We even sent some with daddy at lunch time to our friend (and daddy’s co-worker) Emma.

From what we hear, she was pretty happy to get them too. 😉

I love baking, it is good for yummy treats, creating memories and building friendships… plus it makes math, art, health and science much more memorable!