Thursday, July 12, 2012

Gabby's Voice through MT




I was browsing through Youtube music therapy videos for my own continuing education and ideas when I came across a 3 part segment of Gabby Giffords in speech therapy and music therapy at The Institute for Research and Rehabilitation in Houston. I had the privilege of observing Meagan Morrow, MT-BC, NMT for the day during the time I was studying music therapy at Sam Houston State University. She is, by the way a phenomenal music therapist. She has a great understanding of how the rehabilitation works, has great rapport with her clients and is a great musician as well. 


This second video shows Mrs. Giffords first during speech therapy and the frustration that comes with having to re-learn speech especially when she is aware of her loss (expressive aphasia which is where she understands language but cannot express it). It then shows the speech pathologist encouraging her to sing a familiar song which follows with Mrs. Giffords singing an entire verse (whereas before she struggled to say one word). It also shows the music therapist and speech pathologist working together to help her succeed. This is a fantastic example of the benefits of music therapy in the area of rehabilitation.  


"Why is it that someone who can't speak, can sing?" 


"Because music is accessed in many areas of the brain, that aren't designated for language", Meagan responded. "We're retreving pitch, melody,rhythm, through all of these different areas and those are working to get your language back".


Language is generally held in the left hemisphere of the brain however music is in both hemispheres as stated in the video.  Therefore music therapy can re route or re-build language through different pathways such as those on the right side of the brain.

Meagan also gives a great analogy of being on the freeway when you are stuck in traffic/at a road block.  If you cannot go that way you can go around and still get to your destination.


Music therapy is not only limited to this type of setting and benefits. Music therapy can enhance motor skills, cognition/memory, communication, and social/emotional skills as well.


Please visit my page "Music Therapy" which is found on the toolbar just below the header to learn more about this amazing service.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ideas for Family Time




Activities we do as a family listed below

How many times over do you find yourself saying, "my kids are growing up so fast" or "I can't believe my child is already (fill in the blank)?  I look at my kids, excited about watching them grow, yet I just want to stay in some moments forever.  I think about how I always want them to run to me with hugs or be excited to see me after I've been gone or come up to me and say "will you play with me?"  Although every mom needs a break at times, I love being so important to my little ones now.  I almost never (almost) want to be apart from them.  It's nice to be loved.  How can we make this last forever...

My mom and dad are both great examples when it comes to making efforts to stay close to the family.  They both call their parents often.  My mom and her 5 siblings all call each other and seem to feel very comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings with each other.  My dad's family has always lived very near each other.  My husband's family is also a great example.  Every year they gather at the family lake house and do tubing, skiing, cooking, and talking with very little media use. They also eat all the meals together and pray together.  They are so close. Not that either of our families are perfect or don't have issues...but there is definitely a connection.  Now I am trying to do the same for my family.  

We have thousands of responsibilities, interests, goals, and tasks to do in our lifetime.  If anyone reads my Pinterest description they will find that I admit to being interested in having "more hobbies than I can handle".  Fortunately for my family, one of my hobbies IS family itself.  We are all learning how difficult it can be to juggle schedules whether a family is new or old. When we WANT to be close and hang out with each other it's easier to make time since you look forward to it.  So now I'm doing my best to build the bond so we get to that point.

I want my kids to feel like they belong and that they are secure.  I hope that they will feel like they can trust us.  I want them to feel comfortable coming to us when they need to talk.  I want them to know that we love them unconditionally.  So here is to family time and developing strong bonds. 

A great quote from my college priest which is one of my all time favorites- "The most intimate form of community is family" -- Fr. Stephen Payne

So what kinds of things do you like to do with your family? Especially the things that are cheap?




Here is a list of some things that we enjoy doing. 


  1. Family Dinner and telling what we are thankful for
  2. Family game night on Sundays (especially helps when the weekend coming to an end feels like a downer!)
  3. Family music time (dancing, singing or playing instruments)
  4. Family walks or hikes around the city
  5. Picnic lunch
  6. Baking or making new snacks
  7. Playing sports
  8. Gardening
  9. Craft time (whether it's the same craft or we all do different ones. We just walk around Hobby Lobby and get thousands of ideas)
  10. See plays 
  11. Act out stories
  12. Reading a story or chapter book together (maybe add some hot chocolate during the winter)
  13. Go to the library
  14. Family movie night
  15. Camping- (for real, for dinner in the backyard, under the dining room table)
  16. Bowling (Kids bowl free program is available during the summers nationwide)
  17. Family Wii time
  18. House projects (early intervention for young children!)
Here are Things I want to do in the Future
  1. Attend random highschool band, choir, orchestra concerts. Many are probably reasonable or free
  2. Planetarium 
  3. Fruit picking



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making Toddler Movie Choices Easy


Movie choice list for my toddler!

A few weeks ago I decided that making this list would be extremely helpful to myself and my daughter. Being a toddler, Adelyn remembers a few shows at a time and forgets about some of her favorite shows, those of which I also really like for her.  This helps her to pick from all of her favorites and also eliminates me having to quickly skip over all of the extra shows on Netflix that are not the most educational or on her level while she is looking with me.  While it can turn into a teachable moment of me explaining to her why we are not watching those shows yet, she enjoys the ease of picking her own show as well with them being in a central location. 

This has "afternoon" on it because shows like Sesame street are easier to play in the afternoon because they are almost an hour long.  In the morning I encourage them to go outside while it is still cool.  Most shows are on both lists though (morning and afternoon). 

I really love several shows on this particular list!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

4th of July

Happy Forth of July! 

We are so thankful for the people who put their heart into obtaining freedom for all of us and that we now can make our own choices here in the USA.

Forth of July Crafts


Fireworks Glitter
Used glitter glue pens


Adelyn's


Zachary's Chalk Fireworks

Forth of July Songs

Stars and Stripes Forever by John Phillip Sousa


This Is July sung to Frere Jacques


4th of July! 4th of July!
Independence Day! Independence Day!
Hear the bands playing.
See our flag waving.
4th of July! 4th of July



Forth of July Baking

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cool Whip
  • Flat angel food cake
  1. Lay angel food cake in a pan/on a plate
  2. Spread cool whip
  3. Cut fruit and place on cake.
  4. You're finished!




Adelyn had a hard time helping with fruit placement so she decorated her own cupcake!