Monday, December 20, 2010

So This Is Christmas

This past week we did a few crafts and baked some fun cookies. We haven't done as much as I had hoped, but it all seems to be just enough. We've been having a lovely time together this season, and that's the most important part.

The boys had so much fun making melted snowman cookies, and man were they yummy!

We also made some pompom ornaments for the tree.
And when we ran out of pompoms, we found some candy, and made a candy ornament. (Hints the above picture with candy stuffed cheeks) We sprayed so that we wouldn't attract critters.

We spent the rest of the week cozied up with a fire, hot cocoa, games, and movies. And, though are season is not as filled with fun projects and goodies as I had in mind, we are living. And by that I mean, that we are spending our time together, no pressure, enjoying the sights, sounds, and tastes of the season. 
Life is good.

 Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A First Birthday at 9 years old

Jaiden turned 9 on Sunday. That morning he woke not having so much as a clue it was his birthday. This was not surprise to us. His daddy woke up at 6:30 to get him his favorite donuts, and we piled them high and stuck candles in and sang a lovely Happy Birthday tune (to which Tibby says always makes him laugh). I personally don't think we sound all that bad =]
But, in the middle of the song, it clicked. For the first time in this 9 year old boy's life, he realized it was HIS birthday.

We headed to church where some had seen on my facebook that it was his birthday, so they all sang to him. He was thrilled about that! We then took him to Red Robin for lunch. He loves that place. When you tell them it is someone's birthday, they make sure everyone knows it. They all came over to sing to him and bring him a sundae. I didn't have a camera to capture this moment, but it is forever in my mind. His smile was bigger than I have ever seen, he was so overwhelmed with excitement, I could tell he could barely breathe. He covered his grin with his hands, and though it was loud with all the singing to him, I could hear him squeal with excitement.

I never looked at the people around us, I didn't even hear the words of the song they were singing. I was doing a  laugh-cry, about to burst because this is the most precious moment I've ever witnessed in my life with him. He was happy, and I was so so happy for him.

When they were done, his daddy looked at me in the same bursting emotion I had, and asked "did you see that?"

We took him to  see Voyage of The Dawn Treader (Narnia) which of course he enjoyed When we came home, I made a cake, ordered the pizza he requested and we all piled in the living room for an evening family party just for him.

Happy Birthday sweet boy. You light up the world.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Time For Rest

This past weekend my husband and I were invited to attend a Marriage Retreat. Now, this isn't just any retreat. It was almost like a vacation, retreat, and a meeting of new friends all in one.

They had paid for the hotel we stayed in, all of our favorite snacks, and all the meals for the entire weekend. They also had a wonderful Life Is Good canvas bag filled with goodies, books, and much more.

All of this was far more than we ever needed, but it felt like a gift quietly given to us from God.

When we walked in, we knew no one. We were introduced to the 3 other couples, and became instant life long friends. Family. We had never been with others all weekend who were all from different parts of the country, all different ages, and had been through so many different things in life. The one thing God had bonded us together with was that we all had a child with special needs.

Now let me tell you what a breath of fresh air it was to not wonder when the moment will be that you share you have a special needs child, or when the moment will cross your mind that your 8 year has never done what someone elses'  has, OR the moment that comes when you again get smacked in the face that your life is different.

There was none of that. Only the feeling that we 100% completely fit in. We weren't different. Here, we were "normal".

Now, we don't always go around feeling sorry for ourselves when we are around accepting friends. Those are just some thoughts that cross your mind for a quick second and then leave. I'm just saying that the absence of those questions in my head were SO obvious this past weekend. One of the most comforting few days I've ever had.

We had moments with our new friends, moments learning about personalities and marriage, lots of time alone with our spouse, a date with our spouse out on the town, moments of filling our stomachs full of delicious food and dessert, and the filling of our hearts with time spent in prayer, meditation, and a few hours alone with God for the Sabbath.

As we talked around the room, I could sense how concerned we all were for our children. I could also feel how weary each and every one of us can get. But, in all of that, I saw the joy and sense of humor we all had despite our lives. I believe that the joy and laughter we all shared was only the grace, the love, the heart of God. We could choose to let this stuff get the best of us, or we can see God in all we do, involve Him in our daily lives, and watch as He works something we all may see as broken out for His good.

One of the biggest things that stuck out to me this past weekend was this:
I have so much to learn from these kids. If I could see people through their eyes I would not measure anyone by these measuring sticks we all tend to use based on your clothes, salary, homes, jobs, or even your face. I would love you unconditionally if only you will let me. I would make you see the lighter side in life. I would make you see Jesus. Because that's where He is at. Those are His eyes. That is His love.

It truly was an honor to spend the weekend led entirely by God. And it truly is a privilege to have these wonderful children in our lives, that most only get a glimpse of when they're out and about, but we get to be with every single day. By the grace of God.

 "The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves,
and not to twist them to fit our own image.
Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
T. Merton

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Preparing For Our King

My heart feels as though it may leap out of my chest with excitement as we prepare for The King, OUR King, our Savior.
We join with others all over the world to celebrate Advent.
Preparing our hearts for our King.
Little hands helped as we prepared, and I loved watching their eyes full of wonder.

Our home is quiet, our hearts are still, awaiting the birth of Christ.

Beautiful list of Advent traditions around the world. This time of year we take a "break from school"  and focus on Christ. We learn about Advent and Christmas traditions around the world. And, the boys learn how to prepare our home, gifts, and food/treats for others. We simply relish in the moments at home with each other, as I pray they linger a bit longer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


In trying not to feel super sorry for myself that my husband is working today, I am attempting to pull out some fun projects for the boys and me to do. AND, I may just take them to the movies....just us. Does that sound like fun? Or maybe just a little crazy? Not too sure.

It will be a good day. How can it not with so much to be thankful for?

I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving with you families and friends, or maybe you're alone (which I know having our children here does NOT qualify me as "alone" so I have no reason to feel sorry for myself) in which I encourage you to do something special today, just because! You'll feel so much better if you do.

OR maybe, your not in America today ;) which I say. Have yourself a beautiful day!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

To Know His Love

To feel this thankful, and to be this ever grateful, is a feeling I hope to capture and hold on to even when it doesn't seem like there is anything at all to be thankful for.

We have been praying and searching for/about something so dear to our hearts for many years. Seven to be exact. It is this:

To have a doctor who understands our situation, and to respect our decisions.

Now, we had a pretty good doctor, but the practice and staff she had were not impressive.

I will state this now. Having a son with autism has caused me to be extremely involved in the health and care for our children. (I know that may sound weird, like shouldn't that be the case without having a son with autism?) Surprisingly, most people I know, including us 7 years ago did whatever the doctor said, how they said to do it, and when.
Now, I have much respect for doctor's and what they do, but let me show you the difference in what I have wanted for our family all along.

OLD appt: Call to set up appt. Leave message. They call back, set appt. We go in, wait. Nurse calls us back, weighs. We wait. See nurse pract. They vaccinate (note: no questions, no choice really) They send home some Tylenol, say he will feel awful, but it's okay, it's normal. Leave after 10 min of actually "seeing" anyone.

Years go by, we do a ton of research, pray, decide not to vaccinate (that was the best decision for US). We have a baby, discuss our decision with dr., she totally "gets" our decision. Her nurses do not. They will not help me when I call for therapy prescription, they won't help me when I call and ask about a tetanus shot when our 1 yr old gets stitches. The  only thing they care about is why they're not vaccinated and 'don't you know that vaccinations have not been proven to cause autism?"

Yes, I know. There are many many factors to our decision. Being obedient to God is the main one, and they have not been proven otherwise.

This leads me to now: Last month I call a highly respected office, who are only accepting special needs patients. They answer the phone, take my info, set an appt.

We go in today. Sign in, wait, get called back, where they check his vitals. We wait. Walks in the dr. and his wife. They sit down, meet us, want to know all about him. His past, any illness, his vaccinations, his brothers, his diet, any medication, therapy, what he enjoys. They absolutely 100% respect our decisions, applaud how healthy he is, are so thankful to us for not having him on any medication...ever, set up a scholarship for him to have horse therapy since he enjoys it so much, give me some of their favorite books to borrow, start him on a natural path to help his digestive system, give me their email address if I need anything at all, AND even though they only accept special needs, they invite us to bring our other boys since they understand how hard it is to find a doctor to work with!

Now, this is bringing me to the last thing, and the thing I am most thankful for! Yes, there is more!

They, stayed in there for almost 2 hours (her mostly while he met with other patients) getting to know us and our needs! They said they were so impressed with how much I knew about autism and health and how well we took care of him.(He hadn't even been to a doctor in 7 yrs) and  They also said they have never had anyone come in and know as much as I did about their own children and autism. Then they asked why I was even looking for a doctor HaHa. There are many reasons of course, and they really did know why, and helped me make professional decisions regarding our next steps with Jaiden.

This is where I say. We truly have prayed about our decisions regarding parenting in every aspect of our boys' lives. Especially, school, health, friends, and church. GOD, himself lead us these ways, and I can see why! Today, through these highly respected medical doctors, He let me see that we were listening to Him (even though our so called friends thought we were awful), and that it is paying off.

He spoke to me through them today. On a piece of paper with the header: Medical Instructions.

You have done a great job with Jaiden. Keep up your good work.

He loves us. He shows us in so many ways, and some days we close our eyes to miss them. Then, some days, he shows us in a way that we can't miss it, and may even send us a little note. I encourage you, if you haven't, to GIVE your children to HIM. Pray about every single aspect of their lives, He will show you the best way to take care of them. Pray about it, even if it's something you think you already have your mind set on, because if His will is different then your own, you can through obedience change your child's life. 

If you would like to know more of our medical story and Jaiden please read here

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Family Christmas Project. Done!

I have been working hard for the past few months on a photo book for our family. It's 12x12 and has 50 pages in it. I am making 8x8x copies for my parents, in laws, and grandparents as gifts for Christmas. Anything with pictures of the boys, they simply love.

I had so much fun doing this whole project, including taking pictures (but I do not enjoy editing so much, so I didn't do much of that) and spending hours and hours through the past few months making collages and pages for the book.

I hope you enjoy!

Now off to work on Christmas Cards! 


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