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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

June 13, 2009

Serenbe, Georgia - Eclectic Country Living

This summer we're going back to our roots or rather back to the way our grandparents used to live before the jet-setting, overspending electronic age and the current great recession.

To make a long story short, we're playing Georgia traveler and spending our weekends discovering all the little gems, within driving distance of Atlanta. Last weekend we visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Today, Serenbe, Georgia - a natural community based on traditional values and environmental sustainability.

We took the scenic route on our way to the Serenbe Saturday Farmer's Market and only got lost a couple of times, but at least we got a quick look at downtown Palmetto, Georgia on the way.

The farmer's market at Serenbe varies in size depending on the weekend. This weekend it was fairly small, but everyone was amazingly friendly.

As usual, I started out chasing 7-year-old autistic Taz from booth to booth telling him not to touch. Surprisingly, all of the vendors took him in stride. He's just a boy, he can't help it, they said.

True, but I'm used to getting stares or glares whenever we go out, because Taz is a very sensory boy. He has to touch everything and he's often like a bull in a china shop.

Not today though. Even the vendor with carved pens and kaleidoscopes kindly informed me that their goods are all child proof (4 grandchildren). They didn't even blink an eye when I said we call him the Tazmanian Devil.

So I relaxed and gave the kids free rein within sight distance of course.

We snagged some great fresh veggies, found a landscape designer, who makes container gardens out of eco-friendly shell-shaped cement and explored a few shops, including an activities and adventure shop called Getting Around.

Getting Around offers golf-cart and bikes rentals, tours and outdoor adventures, including a kayaking trip on the Chattahoochee river next month, which I hope to go back for.

We ended out tour with a late breakfast at the Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, an eco-friendly eatery just up the road from the farmer's market.

And, now that we know the way there (we found a short-cut on the way home), we will definitely be back for future Saturdays.


P.S. Taz has an unusual fear of dogs, but he had no problem with the adorable squealing pig (see Serenbe slideshow above) that sat at the table next to us during breakfast. Go figure.

June 8, 2009

Kudos for Vacation Bible School

We went out on a limb this week and registered 7 year old autistic Taz in Vacation Bible School at a new church, because he will be in Charleston during our regular church's VBS.

So far, I am totally impressed with First United Methodist and their VBS staff.

The church staff called me Saturday to confirm Taz's registration and make sure that they were clear on his allergies and medical issues. This morning, when I dropped Taz off, his group leader immediately asked if we had his snacks, since he is on the GFCF diet due to milk and wheat allergies. And, when I picked Taz up at lunch time, the group leader told me he did great.

Taz had a little trouble understanding that he had to wait until Friday to make his Turtle, but his group leader said he agreed to wait. Then she apologized that they did not have the materials for making the turtle yet. As a special needs mother, I'm usually the one apologizing or explaining Taz's sensory issues.

OMG what a change that is from the Sunday School teacher last year, who told Taz he couldn't bring his castle to class with him, because it was too disruptive.

I always hold my breath when picking Taz up from afterschool care, tutoring, Sunday School or day camp, because I never know what I'll hear about how he behaved while there. And, just yesterday, Taz had a major melt-down in Cracker Barrel over a decorated egg. You never know what will set him off.

What a difference a day makes, especially when we are blessed with teachers/group leaders, who take the time to listen and explain to Taz that it's okay to wait a day or two for that special craft.

And thanks for letting Taz take his workbook home. He specifically let me know that he had to promise to bring it back every day.

Let's hope mommy remembers it tomorrow morning.

P.S. Forgot to say thank you for the Crocodile Dock CD. Taz was absolutely trilled to hear the music again on the way home today. That means so much to me as the mom of a child with sensory issues. Music definitely soothes the savage beast a/k/a the Tazmanian Devil.
P.P.S. The entire week was phenomenal. The group leaders were great and Taz was great. He learned all about the Bible and Jesus and most importantly, he proudly showed off his special turtle when I picked him up on the last day. He hasn't let it out of his sight since.