Fun Workout Opportunity and Autism Artistry

Fun Workout Opportunity and Autism Artistry

Last week I went to an incredible Jesus at the Core Retreat through Revelation Wellness and Holy Yoga. It included a wonderful blend of scripture, worship, devotions, stretches and fun filled workouts.  I went with a group of precious ladies who are involved with REFIT (several are instructors). I learned so much! I am currently attending classes on Tuesday nights at 6:30 at Eagle Creek Church in Harrisonville.  The classes are through donations and the workouts are so fun. If you are interested in joining us I am including the contact information.  My plan is to be certified as an instructor in October.  Remember, exercise is an essential part to overall wellness, so find what works best for you and keep moving!refit Retreat

Shannon McCordrefit retreat 2

Certified REFIT® Instructor

AFAA Group Fitness Certified



The main part of this post, I wanted you to hear from a dear friend of mine. Her name is Janice and she has three wonderful adult children. Kaleb is her oldest  and he is autistic.  She has been a driving force behind this website and we have been working together with nutrition and exercise for her family: especially Kaleb.   Janice is very creative and artistic.  She has totally remodeled their home (including tearing down walls and re-configuring rooms).  She is an entrepreneur at her core.  Pull all these things together and I am watching “magic” happen with Kaleb.

I wanted you to hear her story in her own words because I know she will inspire and encourage others.  As I am involved in events and around larger groups in the public, I am hearing more and more from parents with adult special needs children. I know you will be blessed by this story.


Aspiration For One Young Adult With Austim

Kaleb is 26, is pretty much non-verbal, lives in a rural area where employment opportunities are extremely limited- sheltered or otherwise. As his mom, creative, but not a professional anything except maybe dabbling in various hobbies- I’ve always looked for ways to merge what has always been my breathing space with this unrelenting autism that is holding my beloved son captive. 20160605_162725


During Kaleb’s teen years I began making birdhouses for our farm, and did a few small craft shows, always with Kaleb- he enjoyed the social aspects of going with me. With the mentality of a second grader it never occurred to me that he could do woodworking. Eventually we tried the local sheltered workshop, however- this did not last, he got fired because he wouldn’t stay in his seat, he obsessed over a kid that rejected his friendship – talk about a low point in parenting… Kaleb wants the world to like him, and is very sensitive. He picks up on my ‘annoyed’ tone every time- and I have to stop and deal with it.

One fall we went to our first ‘big’ craft show- over a hundred vendors, all handmade, re-purposed crafts… I talked to some of the vendors and the light came on. Kaleb and I can do this! So we set up my workshop to be all about Kaleb’s sheltered workshop.  We name it “Horsefeathers Farm”.  I cut the wood out, and tediously helped him glue. …sloppy and painfully slow for me. The saw was too loud, nail gun- too loud. (even with hearing protection) He could hand sand, fill holes and paint. Painting snag.. he wanted to control color… Then there was decorating and tin roofs… too hard for him.

So, we make 50 or so- takes me all summer, and they are a compromise of quality- even after I went back & redid some crooked glue-jobs. We did some small local shows. He wanted all of the cash people are handing me. We talked about percentage. Serious obsessing. Stressful. I can’t do this.

2016, New idea, I hire him as an employee. He can fill nail holes, sand and paint (my colors). This spring he earned $30 painting my deck furniture and the welcome posts. Then, one day I’m in Hobby Lobby & see these simple wooden trays for $40. I think “Kaleb could do that”. I had a small stash of lath from a friends’ remodel- so we tried one. I told him I’d cut the wood & the rest is yours. Diane (his aide) and I worked out the steps and she meticulously assisted him through learning the steps. I happily did my thing on ‘my side’ of the barn, and he took ownership of his side. He took a paintbrush and painted MS on my work table & KS on his. (Mom’ side and Kaleb’s side)stenciling with help

We had two months to complete our set up for Vintage Market Days from start to finish. I saw some of the sweetest changes through this process. He arranged and organized his work space. He listened to suggestions, allowed me to help him. I saw the pride of a young man using his own vice and drill with confidence. Complete enjoyment working together, listening to music. He showed up on his own and worked until he was at a stopping point of his choice. With 27 trays, there was a measure of ‘sticking to it’. We did the math and that big number $300 was as high as the moon to him. He priced them all, sorted colors and was excited (and validated) when his custom sacks arrived… So many small moments of joy.

When his brother wanted to buy one, Kaleb shows him the price tag. No discount. Jordan reassures him it’s fine, “It’s just business”. So when I went to buy one & asked if I got a ‘mom discount’ he uttered the words in his low, gruff voice (that is so rare & I love to hear)- “It’s just business” I’m thinking this kid is made for this.   kaleb proud of work

During set up he took over carrying the big items- the posts and fence sections… (no argument here) I’m seeing him take initiative to be the strong man & love it!

vmd set up 3

I anticipated there would be some mixed purchases- (his items and mine), and credit cards, so I told him I’d divvy up the pay at the end of each day… what a fun time. He sold out and made his fortune on the second day! Complete success!payday smile

Like any kid, a parent has to expose them to activities, whether they ‘take to it’ or not. It’s true, success builds success. Several people asked me if Kaleb liked ‘woodworking’… I had to say not particularly, but he has discovered the feeling of accomplishment. Of earning real money on his own. Of self-empowerment. I think in time, he will come to love woodworking. He will grow in skill. I am curious to expose him to canvas art painting. I know there is some affinity with color. That’s a whole story in itself that goes way back to early childhood. I have the canvas and paint, so we will see.

Monday we drove in town and he opened his own checking account complete with debit card. Then we drove to this re-modeler friend’s house and loaded our truck up with more lath.

new lath

See more at

Bugs Butterflies and Bees

Bugs Butterflies and Bees

bugs butterflies and bees no register

You are invited to WellStone Gardens!

Saturday, May 21st

Events from 9am to noon

Ladybug release at 9:30

Butterfly release at 10:30

Observation honeybee hive 11:00

The cost is $20 per family and includes a learning packet for each station as well as many more fun activities.

Families are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and stay and play for the afternoon. Bring fishing poles, swim suits and life jackets if you would like. We have a rope swing and kayaks at the pond. There will be bubbles and other fun things for kids. You can see a couple of videos of our property here.

 We have limited numbers due to copies of information packets, number of ladybugs ordered and butterflies hatched.

Please register below ~ To ensure a spot, you can pre-pay, or if you are unsure, at least send me a message so I have an idea of how many.  We look forward to meeting new friends!

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Thank You!


Thank you for registering!  

Looking forward to spending a fun day together.

We are easy to find, From I49, turn West on 307th Street, go 8 miles to South Hickory Grove Road, turn right and go about a mile to the corner.   Our drive is just after the little white church on the right.  

You can text or call me at 816-738-1308 if you have any questions.  

Healthy Cooking Workshop – On the Go


Come experience the fun and time-saving skills of making healthy food on-the-go  options! Prep is vital when schedules get hectic and you’re in a time crunch.  The key is to understand fast and easy ways to mix and match healthy foods geared to your personal tastes and goals, and that’s exactly what we’re here to teach you!

Our Healthy Cooking Workshop will be held at the Cass Career Center on Thursday, September 16th, 6pm – 8pm. This session, we’ll be covering how to make healthy food perfect for on-the-go situations!

Take 1 or all classes—$12 each class or $10 per class if you register for all six. $5 sampling fee payable to instructor for each class. Register for classes by copying and pasting the link below!

Cass Career Center – 1600 E. Elm Harrisonville, MO 64701

Eat Well / Live Well Cooking Workshop – Healthy Breakfast and Back to School in August


Come experience the fun and time-saving skills of making healthy breakfast and lunch options! These skills are especially important for busy moms with the back-to-school season just around the corner. Prep is vital when schedules get hectic and you’re in a time crunch. The key is to understand fast and easy ways to mix and match healthy foods geared to your personal tastes and goals, and that’s exactly what we’re here to teach you!