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Happy Birthday – A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Giveaway

A GIF with Happy Birthday at center change colors.  A colorful firework displays repeats behind Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday, Leos!

With us celebrating three birthdays in less than a month’s time, it is officially birthday season at Not Mad. Motivated.!

Twelve years ago, on July 25th, Elijah was born. He celebrated in style in his new suit, tie and hat. Three weeks and one day after Elijah’s birthday, I will celebrate a milestone as I leave my thirties behind! On August 16th, I will turn fabulous forty! I am looking forward to a new year of adventures and achievements! Three days after my birthday, on August 19th, Samir will be nine! Since our birthdays are so close, we plan to celebrate with a mini vacation. I hope to go somewhere with plenty of history for my little historian to explore.

Traditionally, the birthday person receives gifts but there is not rule against the birthday person giving a gift to someone else for their birthday! With that said, we at Not Mad. Motivated. are planning a giveaway for out birthday. We are in the process of deciding what that gift will be, but we are still very excited. It might be a “Not Mad. Motivated.” shirt or mug. It might be a donation to a DonorsChoose project. Once we decide, we will let you know in a new blog. If you are interested in the giveaway, make sure to subscribe to the Not Mad. Motivated. blog and getting the latest news from us.

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Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop. Use our contact form to order specific sizes or colors.

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Trey, the Chef: A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Book Sharing

Trey, the Chef
Written by Kira Parris-Moore
Illustrations by Federica Fabbian
Newman Springs Publishing 2019

For over a year, I have been collecting children’s books about Autism. Some books have been added to our family library. Other books were donated to my son’s classroom. All of them have been wonderfully unique – similar to the Autistic children that each book represents.

I am incredibly excited to share with you all one of the latest books added to our home collection. Author Kira Parris-Moore was inspired by her son’s passion for cooking when she wrote Trey, the Chef. As the Creator of Books2Inspire, LLC., Kira Parris-Moore aims to “increase awareness of various developmental disabilities and mental health disorders” by showcasing children’s books “that recognize resiliency in children and their ability to overcome life’s challenges”. Indeed, Trey, the Chef, the first book featured on Books2Inspire.com, will help inspire many to widen their views about Autism.

Trey, the Chef is a fictional story that depicts the real possibilities for all children who have proper support and motivation. Kira Parris-Moore imagines her son as a renowned chef who uses his creativity and attention to details to communicate to the world. When the story introduces common tasks that are difficult for Trey, Kira Parris-Moore announces that Trey has AUTISM with a visual style that depicts a true celebration for EVERYTHING that he is! Although the story makes mention of them, Trey, the Chef is definitely not defined by his challenges. Kira Parris-Moore sends to me a clear message about allowing our children to pave their own beautiful path to success while utilizing their strengths versus dwelling on adversity.

Cooking Like Chef Trey

I was ecstatic to purchase Trey, the Chef for many reasons. However, a bonus to owning this book are the included recipes. Both recipes, salmon croquettes and elephant ears, were easy to follow and delicious. We enjoyed the versatility of the salmon croquettes; we ate them plain and with ketchup and/or bread. I do not eat much fish but I was happy to have these, and look forward to my sons making them regularly! I think our croquettes (pictured below) turned out pretty good for our first try!

Our tasty salmon croquettes!

We had our elephant ears with cinnamon-sugar, and the first few moments of eating were composed of many satisfying mmms. Needless to say, I have some new food items to add to the “keep in-stock” list!

Our delicious elephant ears!

Trey, the Chef is a delightful book that I believe has a place in all children’s lives. It can help inspire Autistic children to express themselves in what ever language works for them. It can also teach other children that being different should be celebrated, and that everyone has special gifts. The benefits of this book goes beyond its cover to connect people through better understanding and good food.

You can buy your copy of Trey, the Chef on Amazon.com or at Books2Inspire.com.

Support “Not Mad. Motivated.”

Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop. Use our contact form to order specific sizes or colors.

If you are not a current subscriber, please subscribe to have future blog posts delivered directly to you!

Do you have thoughts to share about this blog? Your comments are welcomed!

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Visiting Falls Lake (NC) Brings New Awareness – A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

Last week, my family and I took an impromptu visit to a local lake. We first grabbed some lunch and then headed to the water. There are many lake access points and our adventure led us to one that we have visited many times in the past. We walked through some trees, with cups from lunch in hand, to have some family fun.

My oldest son followed their father’s lead and removed his shoes. After a short delay, I removed the shoes and socks of our youngest [and Autistic] son. My middle son was not immediately sold on getting into the water and instead requested to take a walk. So off him and I went.

We did not go very far before stopping to observe the environment – the smell, the tall grass growing in the water, the butterflies. When I looked over at the rest of the family, I panicked at the sight of my youngest son about knee deep in the lake. He started moving back toward the bank, likely in reaction to my outburst.

I realized that I was probably overreacting. I didn’t want to rob my middle son of his time, so I began to refocus on my interaction with him. But instead, he cut the walk short since I was, as he stated, ‘scared’. As we were walking to rejoin the others, I noticed our youngest son was now about chest deep in the lake. My panic returned and multiplied. Although his dad was calling for him to return, we could slowly see more and more of him disappearing into the water as he ignored the calls.

I did not want to rush toward him and risk him moving faster into deeper water, as he seemed to be moving in slow motion. He is usually very good at following instructions to ‘come here’. However, on this occasion and for reasons unknown, he was not interested in following directions.

I do not imagine that he understood how his act of defiance was actually placing his life in danger. His dad moved in to get him after a short time, although it felt like several minutes! He was safely returned to the bank of the lake with his clothes wet up to his shoulders and cup still in hand.

A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

It truly is a Blessing that we left the lake with all three of our sons being alive and well. Even though I had my eyes on him, the thought of him moving into deeper water and losing his ability to stand before someone got to him was frightening. In one moment, he was walking behind his dad. In the next moment, he forged his own path into deeper waters.

Ironically, an incident that I worried could have ended tragically actually now has revealed itself as a symbolism of life. Our children follow us to learn by our actions and our words. Eventually most of them will pave their own paths in this world. Some of them with stay on ‘bank’. Some of them will ‘get their feet wet’. While others will ‘dive right in’. What we must do as parents, caregivers, and supportive communities, is prepare them to the best of our ability, and keep our eyes open for them in case they need help.

There are many bumps in the road for someone that is responsible for the well being of a child. Try not to focus on the bumps. Instead, focus on letting every child know that they are worth the journey. And teach them skills that just might smooth out their road in the future. Time for swim lessons!

Support “Not Mad. Motivated.”

Thank you for visiting Not Mad. Motivated. We appreciate your support! If you believe that difficulties are best utilized as opportunities of motivation, consider purchasing a Not Mad. Motivated. tee shirt from our online shop.

If you are not a current subscriber, please subscribe to have future blog posts delivered directly to you!

Do you have thoughts to share about this blog? Your comments are welcomed!

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A Not Mad. Motivated. Store/Story : : : End – of – Inventory Alert

It has been a busy week at Not Mad. Motivated. (NMM) as we recently invested in a WordPress Business Plan. Since the start of NMM in 2018, all of our sells have been made in person. We are now expanding our business to accommodate future customers in more distant regions! As we continue building our online store, we question whether to include one of our three styles of tee shirts, since the style has only seven adult shirts currently available. Instead of excluding these seven shirts from our store, we decided to highlight them in a blog post!

In August of 2017, our son was diagnosed with Autism. Although we had expected the diagnosed, the new certainty had a huge impact. When you think about it, nothing had really changed from one day to the other. However, simultaneously, everything changed! What do we need to know? How do we build our son’s team? What must we do differently to increase our son’s ability to learn and thrive? Will he ever be able to speak? Was his Autism caused by something we did? How do we figure all this out, and more, while balancing a full-time career and two other children? To say the least, there were lots of anxiety that came after his diagnosis. We did not have many answers about the future, but a pause became necessary. And our Not Mad. Motivated. mindset was ignite.

The phrase “Not Mad. Motivated.” was initially inspired by the need to grow from a negative situation. This is not to say that Autism is a negative; instead the negatives were the anxieties and worries that came along with the diagnosis. Thinking forward, we knew that it would be ideal to reduce the need of full-time employment in order to be more flexible for our family’s needs. Before September 2017 was over, the Trademark process to protect the phrase “Not Mad. Motivated.” had been started with the idea of creating a family business that would eventually help supplement us financially.

After our trademark application was submitted, we began to worked on a design to incorporated on our first tee shirts. With a few disappointing attempts for the perfect design, we decided to keep our first shirts simple. Just the words “Not Mad. Motivated.”! We had a few shirts made for the family in 2017, and purchased a larger order in 2018 that were made available to the public. We have seven adults tees left to sell and they are now available at our online store. Although our store is not yet complete, we would like to invite you to view and shop during our soft-opening. We also invite your comments and request for additional sizes and colors.

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Size Small in Maroon (1) ; Size X-Large in Brown (1) and Light Blue (2); Size 3X-Large in Maroon (1), Brown (1), and Royal Blue (1)