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charging-into-fallWe seem to stay busy all year round. Summer is just a little more laid back ... but who am I kidding. Now that the lazy days by the pool and sleeping in are gone, back-to-school is really just a step into a more consistent routine for our family.

My daughter will be a sophomore in high school this year, which means she is busy with friends and marching band, but that started way before we ever got to the first day of school. Then there is my son who has autism; he is the most joyful 12-year-old you will ever meet. For him, summer break was just too much. He prefers the routine of school. As a matter of fact, on the third day into a weeklong beach vacation, he actually asked to go to school.

Throughout the summer, I tried to take advantage of our more forgiving schedule to do some fun things with the kids. Each kid is so different and so it is important to do different things with each one. Emily and I worked on a painting project and really enjoyed our time together. Kyle, on the other hand, will let me know I need to slow down and spend time with him. He is hard to resist when he makes you sit on the couch with him to watch Toy Story.

While summer was a nice break for the same old, same old, I'm finally happy to get back to a regular routine.

Nancy Masannat is the office manager and bookkeeper for Fred Parent. She is a creative, crafty mom of two who tries to balance work, kids and creativity with just a touch of autism. Working at Fred Parent has inspired her to start her own business – Simple Joy Designs, hand-made crafts for those who aren't crafty.

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Pouches' Community Corner

This month Pouches learned about a very important resource for families who have lost loved ones to sudden tragedy, an organization called LLOST.

keepsake box

The foundation has helped 44 hospitals in 22 states through their Treasured Memories program. The program sends nurses to bereavement training, and provides or supplements the $55 memory boxes that include clothes, booties, handknot blankets, pictures, foot prints, hand prints, clipped hair and other mementos.