Thursday, June 16, 2011

Karly Speaks About Rett Syndrome and the Importance of Hydration

My friend Karly who has Rett Syndrome has just posted on her blog about having Rett Syndrome and The Importance of Hydration. Most girls and women who have Rett Syndrome often have breathing issues and do a lot of hyperventilating. Karly also battles with seizures constantly. In this blog post, she talks about how she is including more fluids into her diet daily. The outcome has lifted her spirits and she is feeling great. Please visit her blog Inspired By Love.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Agate Treasures at Herbster Beach

Ah, June is here and we finally made it to the beach for playgroup. In the summertime, our group meets every Monday at either the Herbster or Cornucopia beach. Both have their perks. The Cornucopia Beach boasts of a wonderful Artesian Spring that continually flows into Lake Superior. The kids love to play here, attempting to dam up the flow with elaborate designs made of driftwood and sand. It is also a very shallow bay. The kids can wade out pretty far and still be in waist deep water, and because it is so shallow, it stays warm unless churned up by a storm.

Herbster beach is the perfect beach for those who love rock hounding. If you were to ask Charlotte which beach she prefers, she would reply Herbster in a heartbeat. When we arrive, Charlotte is usually headed straight for the beach with bag in hand, head down, crouched or squatting, scanning for Agates and Beach Glass. On our first day back, in less than five minutes, Charlotte and I each found our most treasured Agates to date. Here they are:

My Agate is on the left. It is sitting on a quarter and it is called Agate Eyes. Charlotte's Agate is on the right. It has very defined lines and prominent crystal formation. She was so thrilled when she found it because it is so much bigger than any she has found yet. Here is the book we use to identify our rocks and Agates:

Of course, beach glass is treasured, as well as any rock that is pretty and smooth. These usually come back to our herb garden by the front steps of our house. So friends and fellow rock hounds, if you are ever on the South Shore of Lake Superior, stop by Herbster Beach on a Monday and search for Agates with us!

Location:Herbster Beach on Lake Superior, Wisconsin

Thursday, June 2, 2011

OYATE: An Invaluable Resource for Non-Biased Native American Books

I have come across a wonderful website that I refer to whenever I am considering reading a book about Native Americans to the kids. It is called
OYATE. Here is their Mission Statement:
Our Mission
Oyate means “The People.” We are a Native American/American Indian advocacy and education organization that serves The People. We review children’s literature and advocate for Native Americans/American Indians to be portrayed with historical accuracy, cultural appropriateness and without anti-Indian bias and stereotypes. We teach others to do the same.

I don't want to perpetuate the typical stereotypes and myths about Native Americans. There are a lot of books out there that do this. Two invaluable resources to help you determine if a book is an authentic portrayal of Native Americans are Oyate's articles How To Tell The Difference - A Guide for Evaluating Children's Books for Anti-Indian Bias, and OYATE Criteria for Evaluating Books. If I am uncertain about a particular book, I enter the author's name or the title of the book under their catalog to see if they carry it. If it is listed on their website, then I can be pretty sure it is non-biased. If you are ever curious about the truth behind Thanksgiving, or want to know what this "Holiday" means from the Native American perspective, go to their resource section and read Deconstructing the Myths of the "First Thanksgiving".