Autism Speaks Walk 2012

For anyone reading who does not know, my son is on the Autism Spectrum. Each year, for the past four years, we have participated in our annual Walk Now for Autism. This year we are blessed to be able to have the walk before Hurricane Sandy threatens the coast. It is supposed to be a beautiful fall day.

LegoFan is an incredible young man. Despite being born with, and developing more, food allergies; and having asthma, and Asperger’s and ADHD; he is the happiest kid I have ever met. He doesn’t let any of this get him down – he usually doesn’t use any of it as an excuse not to do something (ok, he sometimes uses his allergies as an excuse not to have to go outside and, instead, play the Wii…)

I homeschool him and Diva and I have seen him blossom over the last few years! Of course, there are challenges – he hates to write, rushes through his work, moves around constantly, and gets out massive amounts of Legos in between subjects. He even refuses to do certain things if they make him feel uncomfortable; but we work through those (and I usually end up with a little less hair…) and he tends to be successful in the end, no matter how long it takes to get there. He is incredibly smart – reads (when it’s something that interests him) at about a high school reading level, does math like a computer (when he slows down to pay attention), and understands scientific concepts that boggle my ancient mind. But he has to be interested in order to do this – sometimes I think that’s the most difficult part; finding a way to make something interesting to him.

So each day brings something new. I never know what’s going to happen on any given day; even if I have planned out the school day, the cleaning schedule, and the doctors’ appointments. I just never know when he’s going to find something interesting or uncomfortable. But thanks to efforts from groups like Autism Speaks, I am learning how to handle different situations as they arise. Autism Speaks provides so much help, research, and education to families like us all over the world.

I know things are tight all over the place right now, but if you want to help families affected by autism and you have the means, we would love for you to join our team with a donation directly to Autism Speaks – this link will take you to our Walk Now page. We hope you will take a moment to check it out and consider a donation.

Thank you from LegoFans and their families everywhere!

2012 in 2012 – Week 10

Week Ten – not too eventful *sigh* – I found it’s much too difficult to purge when you can’t walk! My foot is healing nicely, according to my surgeon, but we did have a small scare when one night this week I developed a mild fever; then it woke me up in the middle of the night with pain and extreme itching. I went back to the doctor and he thinks I was having a reaction to the betadine they use as an antiseptic. God-willing, we will be able to remove the stitches on Monday and I will be to begin walking and driving again – yay! I also need to start exercising again so I can get back to this!

For this week’s dismal results…

Donated:

  • Nothing

Thrown Away:

  • 3 Non-Disposable Razors & their Stands
  • 1 Pair of Underwear
  • 1 Adult T-shirt
  • 1 Adult Pair of Pants
  • 1 Adult Pair of Shorts
  • 1 Broken Dry Erase Board

Sold

  • 6 Fairy Figurines

I am very glad I didn’t report these sold items last week ’cause this post would be very thin! I purposely left them out last week even though they sold during that time. They hadn’t been paid for yet, and I have had experiences with some ebay sales where things never get paid for…

Totals:

  • Donated: 0 Items
  • Thrown Away: 8 Items
  • Sold: 6 Items

Week 10: 1657 – 14 = 1643

Yuck! I think I was supposed to average 41 items per week, not 14! Heal foot! Heal! We will be back to our regularly scheduled program in a week or two. Is anyone else purging? It’s not too late to get started – please consider joining me. Have a good week everyone.

2012 in 2012 – Weeks 8-9

Yikes! It’s been two weeks since my last update! But I have a really good reason: I had foot surgery last Friday. It should have been a simple surgery, but since it was on the foot, I can’t put weight on it while it heals, so I can’t walk for 2-3 weeks. The fact that it’s on my right foot means I can’t drive either. So life’s been a little complicated, yet a little boring for the last week! As a result, I’m going to be combining the last two weeks’ purges into one.

So, for both weeks, here goes:
Donated:

  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Cell Phone
  • 4 Chargers

Thrown Away:

  • 4 Re-Usable Plastic Food Containers (re-used 3 of them again in an art project with plaster of paris)
  • 12 Pairs of Socks
  • 1 More Pair of Tights (Diva is hard on her tights!)
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • 3 Adult T-shirts
  • 2 Adult Pairs of Pants
  • 2 Children’s Pairs of Pants
  • 1 Broken DVD
  • 5 Almost Empty Bottles of Old Cleaners
  • 1 Dish Washer Detergent Dispenser
  • 1 Tattered Shelf Liner
  • 1 Broken Glass
  • 4 Old Sponges
  • 3 Cracked/Broken Plates
  • 2 Expired Food Packets
  • 1 Broken Game
  • 2 Dried Out Bottles of Glitter Glue
  • 3 Broken Tokens
  • 1 Stack of Used Bulletin Board Letters

Sold:

  • 2 Hoppy VanderHare Rabbits
  • 1 Thomas Waterfall Building
  • 4 Pieces of Switch Track
  • 2 Pieces of Wacky Track
  • 2 Pieces of Criss-Cross Track

As you can see, I did get some items listed on ebay before the surgery. I am thankful that I am able to print postage from the computer, and the postal carrier will just pick them up at the regular mail delivery time. My kids really helped me to get things packed up and out to the mail box. Thanks Diva and LegoFan! I did sell six other items, but they won’t go out until Monday, so I will wait and include them in next week’s totals I am hoping to get cleared to do a little more walking so I can get more items listed in the next week or two.

Totals:

  • Donated: 6 Items
  • Thrown Away: 51 Items
  • Sold: 11 Items

Weeks 8-9: 1725 – 68 = 1657

Not too shabby for someone who has been cut open and laid up for a week!

With 43 weeks left in the year, I now must average 39 items per week. But I’m not sure how well I’m going to do this week while I’m still living on the couch – we’ll see!

2012 in 2012 – Week 7

Ok, I’m just squeezing this in on Saturday instead of Sunday; at least for some of you who live in later time zones (Hi Heather from Cali!)! This week is the first week that Saturday has rolled around and I looked over at my corner where I keep my donation pile for the week and said, “Ooops!” I had three things. So I spent part of my Saturday morning seeing what I could do to rectify that situation. It seems having the accountability of posting about this each week provides that proverbial ‘kick in the pants’ I sometimes need to get moving.
So here goes:
Donated:
  • 3 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 7 Articles of Adults’ Clothing

Thrown Away:

  • 2 broken Toys
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Pair of Tights (Diva is hard on her tights!)
  • 1 Pair of Underwear
  • 4 Pairs of Nylons
  • 1 T-Shirt
  • 2 Broken Thermometers

I did not, as I had hoped, list or sell anything on ebay this week. But I did take some more pictures to be ready for a mad session or two of listings coming soon.

Totals:

  • Donated: 10 Items
  • Thrown Away: 12 Items

Week 7: 1747 – 22 = 1725

Guess that’s what happens when you wait until the last day to work on your weekly project! I guess I’ve blown that ‘ahead of the game’ status I mentioned last week. But, the bottom line is that items are still leaving the house and we are still de-cluttering.

Until next week…

2012 in 2012 – Week 6

Uh-Oh, started a pattern of not posting my weekly results on Saturday night, I’d better nip that in the bud! But, better late than never, so here’s is this week’s tally!
Donated:
  • 8 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 9 Pairs of Socks
  • 28 Kids’ Books (most will be going to two little cousins and the rest went to Goodwill)

Thrown Away:

  • 1 Pair of Underwear

Sold:

  • 1 Muffy VanderBear
  • 1 Steiff Collector’s Book

Totals:

  • Donated: 45 items
  • Thrown Away: 1 item
  • Sold: 2 items

Week 6: 1795 – 48 = 1747

Ok, so we didn’t do as well this week. But the most important thing is that we’re still making progress. Things are still leaving our house. Diva’s room has been cleaned up and rearranged. LegoFan has fewer items in his dresser and the drawers actually close (amazing!).

If I go back to my original calculations of how much needs to go each week to stay on track, I am ahead of the game. The average number of items to go each week to complete this task by the end of the year is 40. So, even with this week’s 48, I’m above average! And, with 265 total items gone, I’m averaging just over 44 items per week. We’re on a roll ~ and it feels good!

Now I need to get serious about listing on ebay. I have taken several pictures of things that can go to other good homes and uploaded them to my computer. Now I just need to sit down and list them. It’s really not that difficult. In fact, if you have several items of the same type, you can set up one listing and then just change names and pictures to make subsequent listings much easier. So it’s time to get busy!

Let me know how your purge is going in the comments!

2012 in 2012 – Week 5

I’m getting this week’s report in a day or so late, but here it is…
My son and I did get to go through some of his clothes, but we did not get to all of them. My daughter, however, continued her purge – I am SO proud of her! She got rid of some more clothes and a bunch of toys.
I did sell a few things on ebay, but I’m not including all of them as they have not yet been paid for. Sometimes these items just don’t end up leaving the house, unfortunately!
Donations:
  • 20 Items of Kids’ Clothing
  • 44 Horse Related Toys
  • 5 Misc. Toys
Thrown Away:
  • 2 Shower Caddies
  • 1 Shower Curtain Liner
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 3 Torn Shirts
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • 1 Broken Testors Model
  • 1 Out-of-Shape Plastic Cup (actually recycled)

Sold:

  • 1 T-Shirt
  • 1 Hoppy VanderHare Rabbit

Totals:

  • Donated: 69 Items
  • Thrown Away: 11 Items
  • Sold: 2 Items

Week 5: 1877 – 82 = 1795

Now, two of the items we threw away were replaced – you kind of need a shower curtain liner, and a shower caddy is certainly helpful when you have multiple people and all their various bottles! But I still counted them in the totals because we got rid of three things that were no longer in good condition.

Diva is starting to see the difference she has made. Her room is much cleaner without all the clutter, and she has more space to play with the toys that are more important to her. I think this has been a valuable lesson for her. Now I just need the lesson to sink into LegoFan’s head…

Though, if truth be told, I think they both get it from me. I’m thinking that I may need to provide an even better example. We’ll see what happens this week!

Anyone else purging? How’s it going?

Weeks 1-3

Week 4

2012 in 2012 – Week 4

(Here is the first post in this series: Weeks 1-3) Here I am at the end of Week 4  and I have worked really hard to catch up! Actually, I must commend Diva as she was pretty selfless this week in her donating. It’s difficult sometimes to teach this to children, so I am so glad she is learning it early. At one point, she wanted to keep ALL of her clothing as she grew out of it “for her little girl.” I had to explain to her that an awful lot had to happen in order for her to be able to do that; not the least of which was the storage of all these items… We have compromised on a few of her favorite dresses instead of everything she has ever worn! She has also, on her own, decided to donate some of her puzzles and toys. She has come a long way. This coming week, we tackle LegoFan’s clothes…
Oh, we were blessed with our tax refund this week and we finally purchased a new blender! Yay! Our old one was so pathetic – the center part of the lid no longer stayed on by itself! So, even though we bought a new one, I’m still listing the old blender as a throw away. I am oh-so-glad to get rid of it!
So let’s see where we are as of the end of Week 4:
Donations:
  • 6 Puzzles
  • 1 Pair of Boots
  • 1 Pair of Dress Up Shoes
  • 1 Baseball Hat
  • 2 Head Bands
  • 1 Pair of Pants
  • 1 Small Purse
  • 1 Belt
  • 1 Play Wand
  • 1 Placemat (still looking for its counterpart…)
  • 1 Child’s Hat
  • 1 Wooden Crate
  • 1 Bag of Foam Pieces for a Foam Craft
  • 1 Christmas Garland
  • 13 More Ornaments
  • 8 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 1 Christmas Stocking

Thrown Away:

  • 2 Pair of Tights
  • 2 Christmas Garlands
  • 1 Pair of Pajama Bottoms
  • 1 Broken Hanger
  • 1 Dragonfly Magnet with Broken Wing
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Broken Flashlight
  • 1 Damaged Picture Frame
  • 1 Brush
  • 1 Rocking Chair (sad…)
  • 1 Ottoman (sad…)
  • 1 Broken Blender (oh happy day!)

Sold:

  • Nothing sold this week, but I listed a bunch of items on eBay tonight. So, hopefully by the time I write this next week, I will be able to add something to this category!

TOTALS:

  • Donated: 42 items
  • Thrown Away: 14 items
  • Sold: 0 items

Week 4: 1933 – 56 = 1877

Boy, I sure do like seeing that number go down! And as I sit here thinking about it, the new blender is really the only thing we brought into the house. Other than food and toiletries, etc.

But there is one more funny thing I want to add… Diva is really getting into the spirit of this project! She wanted to count every piece of paper she recycled too!

Now, I am off to get some sleep and enjoy a day of rest at Mass, with God, and with my family before I start to tackle LegoFan’s clothes…

How did your week go? Were you able to donate, sell or throw away anything to de-clutter your home? Tell us about it in the comments!

2012 in 2012 – Weeks 1-3

The other day I was visiting At Home, At Work, At Play and this is what I saw (Catalina gave me permission to use her graphic – thanks!):

Catalina had started a quest to get rid of 2012 things in the year 2012. Here is that original post. I told her that I really liked this idea and was going to tackle this as a goal for myself and my family – although the family members in question are unknowingly participating. The problem is that when I do the math that comes out to almost 40 items per week! And I’m three weeks behind…
Now I have 41 items to get rid of each week. Sigh. I still think it’s a doable goal though. Between the four member of this family, we can purge enough to make this goal a realistic one. So, here I go:
Donations:
  • 2 pair of pants
  • 12 articles of kids’ clothing
  • 32 kids’ rubber stamps
  • 1 teddy bear
  • 1 tree topper
  • 26 small Christmas tree ornaments
  • 1 doll

Thrown Away:

  • 1 pair of tights

Sold:

  • 1 book
  • 1 collectable catalog
  • 1 fairy ornament

Totals

  • Donated:75 items
  • Trashed: 1 item
  • Sold: 3 items

Weeks 1-3 ~ 2012 – 79 = 1933

As of January 20th, 2012 I have removed 79 items from my home. The problem is I have no idea how many items made their way into my house. I suppose I should keep track of that too, but that may become too depressing. The idea is that we should get rid of more than we bring in, so that there is a net loss at the end of the year. However, I wouldn’t look at it as a loss…

It would be a gain of space. Less clutter means more open space in which to live and breathe.

It would be a gain of time. Less stuff means fewer things to clean, dust, and launder.

It would, in a way, be a gain of money. I would be spending less on cleaning, laundering supplies if I had fewer things. (Ok, maybe that one’s a stretch, but it feels good to put that in there.)

So, will anyone else join me on this journey? Let me know in the comments. If I get a couple of people, perhaps I can look into putting a linky-thing on here in the coming weeks so we can support each other in this endeavor. Who’s with me?

This post is linked to Titus 2sdays, Women Living Well, and  Raising Homemakers.