Creativity! Stumbled onto the Richmond Murals

With a couple free hours in Richmond, I went out exploring with my camera.  We were staying at the gorgeous Jefferson Hotel in Downtown Richmond, so I wandered toward and along Broad Street for a bit.  And what a treat!

Block after block of terrific murals, a great little boutique with original dresses designed by some VCU design students, and lots of quirky shops and independent local restaurants.   It was a terrific little afternoon walk.  Between the terrific food, great museums, and other sights  we left Richmond feeling like we had ignored it far too long and would be back again very soon.

I love a city that really embraces creativity!  (Need to get back to find the rest of the murals.)

Check out this link to the 2014 Richmond Mural Project:

Link

IMG_5010

IMG_5011

IMG_5013

IMG_5014

IMG_5018

CSA Season Begins!!

The awesome fruits and veggie of Farm Chicks Produce​ are BACK – and I am so happy! :-)

We are part of a wonderful CSA program (community-supported agriculture) with Farm Chicks and it’s an important part of helping us cook and each with the fruits and veggies that grow here in our region and based on what’s in season.  I feel so much better about our meals during CSA season.  Once you have a big bounty of great local food in your fridge, you almost can’t help but plan meals to be sure you can use everything.  And I definitely feel much happier about our family’s nutrition when I know we make healthy choices.

I had to be away from home this morning, so Bryce handled our CSA pickup today.  When I got home, there was a gorgeous and yummy spread of strawberries, asparagus, lettuce, carrots, spring onions, cilantro, and spinach … and of course their delicious eggs for the week.

And aside from the food itself, I look forward to going to our farmers market every weekend and seeing this positive and hard-working family – Amy Cooper and her daughters Maddy and Michelle.  They are always a bright spot in the week.    (and they bake, too!)

IMG_1252

So if you are in VB or Chesapeake, you should definitely check them out at the Chesapeake Farmers Market at City Park.  Here’s a link for a little more info on CSA, and the Farm Chicks Produce website – check it out!

How does CSA Work?

Farm Chicks Produce Website (great recipes too)

Maker Saturday: littleBits DIY Electronics

Today was a terrific Maker Saturday at 757 Makerspace with over 20 kids attending the littleBits Electronics workshop – all ready to learn, tinker and have some fun!

littleBits are an easy and fun way for tinkerers of all ages to learn and invent with electronics.  With modular pieces that connect with magnets (hard to make a mistake!) you can connect power to inputs and outputs.  At a minimum you will have some fun bringing to life some blinking, buzzing, spinning creations.  From there … your imagination is the limit on how to uses these capabilities to create!

There’s a great little intro to the company and their kits on their website here:  http://littlebits.cc/intro

They have made it easy to experiment and hard to make a mistake – basically a color coded scheme where blue connectors are power, pink are inputs (like remote control, sound, light, or touch), green connectors are outputs (like buzzers, scoreboards, light, motors to drive a servo, and orange are wires that help you branch out your circuit so that you can take several actions.

IMG_4459

The kids such a blast – they were inquisitive, hands on, and oh so creative.  Here are some pics from the session.

Today was the first littleBits session and was mostly an ‘open build’ where the kids worked in small teams to experiment and create, then shared their creations and what they learned with the other teams at the end of the class.  Excited to see what next week’s littleBits projects hold.

Great Makerspace Saturday! And, as always, I can’t say enough about 757 Makerspace here in Norfolk.  Visit, join, make!!

Members have access to the space and the Saturday classes are included in your membership. We got the value of our membership from the great classes alone – and have started our first project (stay tuned for a future post.)

Here’s their page and a link to some prior blog posts on their space.

757 Makerspace Website

https://www.facebook.com/757Makerspace

Autism Awareness: Sensory Issues with Touch

April is Autism Awareness Month – so thought I would sprinkle a few slices of life throughout the month to give a little lens into a family with a child on the autism spectrum. There are so many different experiences – ours is just one, and much milder than many.

Our journey with autism has had plenty of Sensory Integration issues – basically challenges with sensory processing that can take many forms. One of the big ones for Justin when he was younger was the sense of touch.

THEN: for years, our little guy could not stand the feeling of fabric on his limbs. He walked around with his pant legs rolled up and his sleeves push up above his elbows. May sound like a minor issue, but when your child is always uncomfortable its a problem.  And while thats easier to work around in the summer with shorts and t-shirts, what about those cold weather months where no sleeves and pant legs are just not an option?

NOW: Over time, we found fabrics that were less irritating (lots and lots of fleece), never had any clothes with tags, and gradually over a couple of years he could tolerate the pant legs and sleeves.  Now its a distant memory … though he still has a wardrobe that is about as close to pajamas as you can get (still lots of fleece, PJs when he gets home, etc.)

But between THEN and NOW was a couple years of occupational therapy and lots of patience, support and flexibility as we worked to keep him comfortable.

Here’s a link below if you want to know a little more about Sensory Processing issues.

Sensory Processing Disorder Explained

Sharing ideas, adventures and experiments in leadership, family and creativity

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 529 other followers