What I am researching now...

I love to learn new things and prefer to make informed decisions as opposed to impromptu guesses.  Thus, I research.  I search the net, I read books, I interview people, I experiment on a small scale and then I move forward.  The good news is that I am rarely surprised, but the down side is that major decisions can take time.  

God outfitted me with the perfect partner.  Whereas he doesn't like to research the way I do; he does like to sit and listen to me summarize what I have learned.  In my summarization I refine my ideas and uncover gaps in information.  I research more and summarize more and then he remembers it all.  Really he does.  He is brilliant.  Lucky me.

Do you know anything about these topics?

This is my current research list for when the kids don't need me (thank goodness they sleep sometimes) and my chores are completed:

1.  Shared/Community Gardens - we have the land and our neighbors have expressed an interest, but I'm not inclined to do it until I find a way that will yield us the results we want without too much risk.

2.  Alpaca - we are considering a small herd to graze our slopes.  First, we considered goats.  I researched and found that whereas they are a good option, they test fence boundaries often and try to escape.  I'm not really up for that type of behavior.  I have 4 children to test me in that way when we are walking through parking lots and malls.

3.  Emergency Food Storage - I was never a boy scout (for obvious reasons), but I believe in always being prepared.  We live in the mountains with a family of 6 and 3 dogs that all require food.  A lot of food.  If we were to ever get a record snow fall that kept us from getting out for a week or two I want to know we are going to be well fed.  Then there is the economy and the increasing cost of food, but that lends itself more toward the chickens and garden for sustainability.

4.  Writing letter to their teachers - We parent 2 special needs kids and I have found that writing letters to their teachers helps everyone get off to a good start.  I'm not a helicopter parent or one of those parents that does not believe my child is capable of that behavior.  In fact, I'm the opposite.  I also have 1 exceptionally bright and humble child.  His teacher last year was surprised by the standardized test results when my guy tested in the top 3 for every subject.  Just because he is quiet his teacher had thought that he didn't understand.  Thankfully, our 4th child will have the same teacher again and she already knows and loves him.

5.  ADHD combined type ODD and how it effects social/peer relationships - I'm always looking for new ways to help one of our kids make it in the world.  For him much of life is confusing and everyone is confrontational.  He still harbors a lot of fear which comes out as aggression.  His greatest struggle isn't academics, as it is for so many ADHD kids.  His struggle is with his peers and learning how to make friends.  I've recently come across some great information that I hope will help him when school starts.  I find the best information in this area often comes from parents of ADHD/ODD kids or adults that live with it in their lives.

6.  SPD and how to get schools to recognize it is real - One of our sons just doesn't connect with the world like many other people.  God made him in a unique way.  He stomps to feel the ground beneath him or he thinks he is floating away.  He often coughs (fake coughs) or holds his breath without even realizing it because he likes the way it feels in his chest.  His voice is loud (and it carries) because he likes the ringing sound in his ears.  One of his favorite rewards is Deep Compression time or sometimes he will still ask for me to brush him.  Alas, he is also extremely sensitive.  You can break his heart by looking at him too sternly and send him crawling under a desk if you embarrass him in front of his peers.