Monday, June 30, 2008

Ode To Spray Paint

I don't know if you remember the post that I wrote about the things that I found with my sister-in-law when we went "junkin'" (and I don't know how to link to my own blog so someone needs to teach me that!) but I bought a little beige table cloth and I am excited to show you what I did with it!

First, my bed side table had this terrible lamp sitting on it for, ah, almost 12 years....I was so over it! But I didn't really want to buy something else because it is a good height for reading. And
I wanted to spend money on other things... other than a lamp.

And it sported this terrible, dusty, old boring shade....

SOOOO I ran to Lowe's, got me a new, cutie little shade, and I got me a trusty can of black spray paint and went NUTS! :) My husband kept saying, "Are you SURE!?' Absolutely!

I wish I had done a before shot of my bedside table, but I didn't! SO here's the after!

I redid the lamp, added the beige table cloth (that I got for $12 from an antique place), rearranged the pictures and added the apothecary jar. I really like it a lot and it gave our bedroom a totally different feel. :)

Yeah! for a can of paint and a cheap table cloth! I am trying to add a cottage feel to my bedroom witout having to redo every thing. I think this helped. :)
Friday, June 27, 2008

Family Fun

I just got back from a short trip to see mom and dad. We had a really good time and I love going back to where I grew up!

Just being in those surroundings makes me have so many good memories. We drove past the place that we always went to for dinner when we had special occasions like prom, graduation and sometimes birthdays. It's called AJ's and man is that food delish! I was driving or I would have taken a picture! (It was pouring down rain in traffic too so I could not just pull over suddenly.)

My mom, brother and I went junkin'! The antique mall in downtown is not air conditioned so you have to REALLY want to do some junkin' to stay there for long! It was fun though! I have Americana stuff in our playroom and I found these that I think will be really cute on a bare wall...

A HILARIOUS thing happened while we were there... my mom is pretty outspoken and sometimes just cracks us up. Well, she THOUGHT we were the only ones in the sauna of a antique store so she just decided to crank out this really bad rendition of "This is the day, This is the day that the Lord has made..." VERY loudly as we are looking in one of the booths.

I was behind her and noticed this very serious, very southern, very prim and proper looking lady in the booth next door. My brother started chuckling because he saw her too, but did we say anything? Oh NO! That would spoil the fun!!

Sure enough there she goes again..." I will rejoice and be glad in it!" I mean, girls... off key and so loud!

And then she looks up. She sees the lady and in that same loud voice says, "Oh, No! Oh, no, no, no!" I am crying just retelling it! I can not tell you how hilarious it was. Girlfriend was just BELTING it with all she had and my brother and I almost wet our pants as we stood there and watched it all unfold. I cried laughing for a good 10 minutes!

So we made our purchases and went to several really neat places, met my dad and Caroline for dinner (she stayed home with Paw Paw! Impressive!! Usually she and my mom are inseparable!) then went home so Caroline could play in the sprinkler.

Here she is waiting for us to get the sprinkler set up. She was not real sure about how cold it would be and she had a fully belly from supper... can you tell?

Yea, it was pretty cold to start with, but she soon got over it and wanted us ALL to get in our bathing suits and "Do this as a family." My word...
Isn't that a cute little sprinkler from the dollar spot at Target?
It had been a little while since I had been home for any length of time so it was great to be with mom and dad. We had a good time just talking and spending time together.
So, I need to know... do you have a family member that cracks everyone up? What do they do to make you laugh!?
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Special Needs VBS

I am so far behind on my blog! So many really good things are happening and I am excited to share them with by bloggy friends!

We had a great week at VBS! I wanted to share a few pics of the kids that we had the priviledge of helping that week! I only remembered to take my camera the last night that we were there so I did not get a picture of all of the kids that participated, but here are a few.

This precious boy is Aaron! He has a smile that will light up a room and is just so sweet! I can not tell you how my heart almost burst when we came out of our worship time one night and he looked at me and said, "Fun!" His communication is limited because of his disability, but his smile says it all! Oh, I just love him and we looked forward to seeing Aaron every night!

This is D'Kali and she is also just precious! They said that she would never walk, but bless her little heart, she walked right into VBS each night and did such a great job. She participated in the Bible stories, did the crafts and enjoyed the worship time! Her grandmother, Wanda, helps in our classroom and she is such a blessing to us!

One awesome thing that has happened since VBS is that I had the opportunity to take D'Kali to worship on Sunday morning! She also has a limited vocabulary, but when they began to pray she bowed her head and closed her eyes and folded her hands, and when they were done she said, "Amen." Oh, my goodness... your heart will just melt.

My last photo is of Paul. He is not exactly a kid, but he is very much a kid at heart! His sister, Sarah, also works in our class and she brings Paul to church each week. Paul is a HOOT! He is always asking us what we ate, when we went to bed and got up and what's next! He's big into a schedule!

Paul knows quite a bit about the Bible and always participated in our Bible lessons. He also wanted to do ALL of the crafts! He loves to color, make things and is just all around a great guy. He is always making me laugh and says the funniest things. Everyone loves Paul!

Because our ministry is growing and I have much that I want to share, I am starting a new blog! It's called Amazing Kids.... Amazing Grace! You can find it at and on that blog I will have therapy tips, news about special needs ministry and more. Please pass the word along if you know of someone with a child with a disability or if you are interested in starting a special needs ministry at your church. I want to share all that the Lord is doing and bring Him glory through our ministry and through this blog!

Next we are looking at doing a Wheelchair Wash as a community service project! I will have to let you know how that turns out!! What an opportunity to tell our community about Jesus and about our ministry as it grows!

God has a plan and a role for each of His children. To see these kids come in each night and hear the word of God, and some of them leave knowing a new Bible verse, just makes me realize more and more what a responsibility we have as the church to bring those with special needs along side us! God can use each one of the ABILITIES that they have to bring glory to His name! I am so excited to see Him at work!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Got An Award!

My goodness! I am really blessed by so many bloggers and friends that blog!! I think it's a blessing to know other women who face daily struggles like me, and who want to walk with the Lord, like me! All of you make my day!
Thanks to Emilee and Heather, both, for nominiating me! They both really deserve the award far more than I!! It's really fun to read both of their blogs so check them out!! :)
I have not had a chance to blog much lately, but I have lots to share! I can't wait to tell all about Special Needs VBS, my new additions to my bedroom, and show pictures of our summer so far. I just gotta get some TIME to sit and write! I am also really thrilled at some of the things that the Lord is saying to me lately.
Well, I have to make dinner now so blogging isn't an option tonight, but tomorrow! Oh girls... wonder what I can share?
Ok, something just dumped on the floor in the kitchen. Wonder what my 7 year old is into now??
Happy Summer!
Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's a Meme!

Faith tagged me to do a meme and I have not done one in a while sooooo .....

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was in my 6th year of teaching. I had been married almost 2 years and I was teaching 1st grade at our church's school. It was my second year there, and I loved teaching, but 1st grade was not my favorite age to teach! The next year I moved to Middle School and liked it much better! Weird, I know.

2. My favorite snacks?

Unfortunately I am a sweets girl! I do not snack a WHOLE lot, but I do like cookies, chocolate, and other sweet stuff. I like fruit a lot too. If it's something salty it has to be plain... none of this BBQ chip stuff!

3. 5 Things on my to-do list today

1. Make some phone calls

2. Unload the dishwasher

3. Take Caroline swimming

4. Do some laundry

5. Take clothes to the cleaners

"WHAT an exciting life!" you say?

Can you stand it?

4.Things I would do if I were a billionaire.

I would definitely tithe because that sort of blessing would NOT be of my own doing! Then I would pay off all of my parent's debt and get them settled in a home that they were happy with, and make sure that my in-laws were cared for. Then I would put some aside for Caroline and make sure that she was good to go with her future! I would give some away to those that I know (and some I don't know) that need it. THEN I would pay off our debts and purchase a beach house that all of our family could stay in at one time!! Then I would open a little store that had the cutest things ever in it!! Then I would build us another house that didn't have ISSUES! The biggest thing though would be to help others. I really would love to help those that are hungry and sick and who have no hope.

5. 5 jobs that I've had

My first job was working at a pizza place in our little town in Irmo, SC.

I was a receptionist at a hair salon FOREVER!

I worked at my dad's gas station

I worked for the S.C. Real Estate Commission

I was a special ed. teacher

6. 5 places that I have lived

Born in Raleigh, NC

Moved to Toccoa, GA

Moved to Irmo, SC

Moved to college in Columbia, SC

Moved to Charlotte, NC

7. 5 Random things that people don't know about me

I hate diet drinks

I took baton lessons for one year. Yes, they teach baton! We did a little recital and everything.

I was engaged once before I met my husband. It was NOT a good situation. I was young and stupid.

I like raw oysters... a lot!

I always wanted a sister. I love my brother, but I always thought it would be cool to have a sister.

8. 5 CD's that I would have to take on a desert island

Avalon- anything Avalon

Travis Cotrell

Michael Buble'

Chris Botti- trumpet

Brooklyn Tab. oh my word!

9. People I Tag are:

The Nester- You are welcome!



Amy E.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Think I Didn't Pass

Yesterday I had to make a quick trip to Target to look for a white shirt to wear to VBS last night. I had been at the church ALL day working on my classroom and lessons and last night was Kidz Blitz.. a kid's version of that Nickelodeon show where people get slimed... and I was on stage as the "Score Keeper." Let me tell you friends, I am one MEAN score keeper! Ha!

So anyway, I was pretty tired after working all day and then knowing that I had to be back, fully charged with energy to keep score, and wearing a white shirt... that I didn't own. Hence the trip to Target'.

Let me give you a little background before I move on. This past Sunday Chad taught a great lesson on Jonah and before we left the class (for him to head out to eat ribs at the in-laws.. he cracks me up) he challenged us to really think about sharing Jesus with those that we might not feel so comfortable with. Instead of running from God, like Jonah, we need to pray for those that are lost and be willing to share with them even though we might not always WANT to... like Jonah.

Ok, so back to the Target story. Caroline and I walked into Target. I was a little grumpy because I was SO tired and my day was not nearly over! Caroline was wearing a t-shirt, shorts and a Wal-Mart version of Crocs. (Very cute, I might add.. had rhinestones and all.. and were pink... very cute.) Caroline was pretty tired too, so she asked if she could ride in the basket of the buggy.

As I was lifting her up to put her in, this RANDOM, total stranger, woman that I have never seen in my entire life, came up and said, "Um, are those Crocs?"

I am thinking that she thinks that they are waaaay cute because of the rhinestones, ya know?

"Well," I said, "they aren't actually real Crocs. We got 'em at Wal-mart."

"Oh, well, you know she really shouldn't wear those. Especially if you have her around an escalator or something."

Y'ALL! It flew all over me!! I am just being honest here! I was so aggravated at the woman! YES! I know about the escalator incidents and all, but she didn't know me from Adam and she walked up and told me what my kid didn't need to wear!!

"Yes. I know." That's all I said! I didn't smile. I didn't show her Jesus in the least! I just walked away, pushing my Croc clad kid in the buggy to where the white shirts were as quickly as possible so that I could get out of there.

So, I didn't pass.

I think it was a test for me to see if I could love others in the middle of the everyday, even if I am tired and not exactly happy with the person that God placed there for me to encourage.

It's so ironic to me when those things happen. Just after we hear a lesson we do not always get tested right away, but when we do how do we respond? Do we remember the lesson that we JUST heard past the doors of the church? Sometimes I do. This time, not so much.

Lord, help me to be a good student of Your Word! Help me to learn the things that You are trying to teach me and help me to apply them in the everyday. Sometimes I am so hard headed and I need to know that You will not give up on me! Thank you for the lady that was trying to show concern for my child and help me to respond to others with love. Lord, please forgive me for being so easily frustrated. My heart was not in tune with You and I pray that you will help me to be so in tune that I am a light where ever I go! I love you Jesus! Help me to love You more!! Amen.
Saturday, June 14, 2008

Yay For My Dad!

This weekend is Father's Day weekend and I just wanted to say that I am really proud of my dad! While he is not perfect and has many faults like everyone else, he has always been supportive and an important part of my life.

Through out my life he has been the one that has been consistently involved in ministries at our church, recreation and the bread winner for our home. He has always been a very hard worker...sometimes to the point of his own demise when he suffered 2 heart attacks due to stress that he was putting on himself. He has always set the example of making good choices and putting others before himself.

I have lots of memories of dad growing up.
When I was young we lived in a very small town. He was a volunteer fireman. I remember the time that he drove the firetruck, by himself, to a man's farm and put out a fire that was in the top of a tree from a lightening strike.
I remember riding in the back of his old, restored pick up truck to the little store down the road to buy candy.
I remember him taking me squirrel hunting with him. I rode on his shoulders so that I would not get in the way of the gun.
I remember him taking me fishing in his little fishing boat.
He always wanted to include me in what he did so that I could learn how to do more than just read, write and play. He wanted me to be smart about the things that mattered and how to treat others was always at the top of his list.
One HUGE memory that I have (it still brings tears to my eyes) was the time that my mom bought tickets to take me to the ballet at the liberal arts school that I wanted to attend. I was so excited because I was getting ready to graduate from High School and this college had accepted me. It was going to be a girl's night with mom celebrating my acceptance. The day that we were to go my mom got sick and felt just terrible. My dad volunteered to go to this ballet with me. Let me tell you... it was WAY outside of his element!! But he did it so that I could experience the things that I was interested in. I will never forget sitting in that dance performance holding his hand. He was so willing to lay aside himself for me and my interests and it meant the world!! It still does.
He never missed a ballet recital, and there were many! From the time that I was five until middle school age I danced. He was always there.
He came to Charlotte one weekend after I moved in and took me to Target to help me get the things that I needed. We bought a vacuum, cleaning supplies, kitchen items and just a few things for my apartment. I will never forget that time with just my dad.
He coached my softball teams, chaperoned my youth trips, supported my adventures in dating and embraced my husband when we got married. From the minor details to the major my dad has tried to be all that I have needed in a daddy.
Now, as you can see in the photos, he is really such an awesome PawPaw to my Caroline. These photos are from a farm field trip that we took this past November and he was right there holding her hand just like he always did with me.
Because of dad's commitment and faithfulness it is not hard for me to see the love of my Heavenly Father. It's easy for me to understand God's Word when it describes God as a loving Father who cares for His own. I understand what a tremendous blessing God's sacrifice for my life is because my own Father has shown what it means to sacrifice. My dad's commitment to share Jesus with me, my family, and others has shown me the importance of a walk with Jesus.
Lord, thank you for my daddy. I will never have to know a childhood of abandonment because You blessed me with his commitment. I will always have the earthly example of a Father's love and I am so thankful! Please continue to bless his life Lord. Help him to seek You daily and be his soft place to fall as he deals with the pressures of this life. Lord, be his Rock. He has always walked with You and he has always been the rock of our family. Lord, be please be that support for him.
I love you daddy!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Junkin' We Will Go...

Today was a pretty fun day! My sister-in-law, Kelly, has a real knack for taking old things and putting them with newer things to make her house so cozy. I really hated that I didn't take my camera to her house. You would LOVE to see it! Sorta cottage, but not all white and pastels. Sorta antique, but with some french country thrown in. Anyway, it's really cool and I wanted to get her to teach me how to shop.
SOOOO we went today! Here's what I got:

I got 2 little bud vases for $3 each.

A crocheted table topper (that I wanted to cover my green one in my bedroom, I am trying to add a little cottage look to my house w/o changing everything) for $12.
Two little pictures that have green and white frames for $3.50 each.

A little bird's nest for $6.

And 2 antique books on gardening. One of them is from the late 1800's and it has a signature in it. It's very different. I love it.

Kelly is also ALL about getting a deal so it was good that she picked a place that was not real fancy schmacy! I was really excited about the little things I found and was eager to get them home to see how they would look. None of it is earth shattering, but I love to find little homey touches that can add a little character to my home. It's all in the details to me.

Here's what I did:

I added the two bud vases at the window in my kitchen facing our backyard. It's very simple, but it added a little character.

Then, do you remember the Bird Bath? Well, I added the little nest and books to the shelf that I hung in there.

Here's the before and after:

It's not a major change, but I like the layered look of the nests on the top and the books on the bottom.

I looked for bird books, but could not find any so these gardening books will have to do. They still keep with the outdoors theme so that's good for me!

The last thing that I did is add the little pictures to my daughter's bright green bathroom. It's really girly and cute and the pictures are actually cross stitch, which looks sort of old. Putting them together on a ribbon made a cute grouping though. At least, I think so.

I had to wash the table cover, but I am really excited to see how it will look in my bedroom!

I really like making little changes that add to different rooms in my house. What's new that you have done?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's a New Look!

It's not the most creative blawg design I've ever seen, but it's fresh and new.

I love fresh and new. Don't you? It's "summery," wouldn't you say?

Thanks to Faith who put the different font on there for me. I am seriously challenged in the techy stuff. But friends? I got those! They can do wonders for a girl's blawg savvy appearance. Wouldn't you agree?

Well, today I had to take my girl for a doctor's appointment to get her prepared for a little out patient surgery at the end of the week. Bless her heart. She HATES going to the doctor. But what's a mama to do? I gotta take care of my girl!

Anyway, on Friday she is having some teeth filled, but she is SOO sensitive to the smells in a doctors office that she gags! AND her gag reflex is so strong that she throws up sometimes just at the smell... much less the actual procedure that works all in your mouth! So we have to put her to sleep just to fill some little cavities just to keep her little mouth healthy.

I'll just tell ya. I ain't lookin' forward to it! BUT a mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do!

In other exciting news.. next week is VBS at our church and I am the Special Needs coordinator. I have been busy as a little bee trying to get my volunteers lined up and my crafts together. I am excited though... these kids don't always get to participate in something like VBS because there isn't always a place for them. So this year we are making a place!! It's gonna be fun! It's so awesome to see their parent's faces when they hear that there is something for their autistic son or mentally handicapped daughter that's just like all the other kids! It will make you weep! Just precious! I am eager to see what God will do next week in the hearts of these kids and their parents!

It's only Tuesday so I hope this week is going well for you! What are you doing with your summer time?
Monday, June 9, 2008

Under Construction

Well, I sorta got tired of the old blawg and the big flower and all.
It was pretty but it's time to move on.
I don't know what will be next.
Just dreamin' of the possibilities!
Guess we will wait and see.
Until then... this will do. :)
Have a nice day internets!
Sunday, June 8, 2008

REALLY? Are You Sure?

This post is not intended to hurt anyone. It's just that I have a question or two....

1) I was just wondering if ANYONE has ever gotten the phone number off of a sign on the side of the road that advertises childcare? You know those signs that say, "Inexpensive child care- In my home- Qualified caregiver- just call... " ??? Seriously, has anyone EVER done that???

Like they are sitting in their car and they see the sign and they say, "OH! I HAVE been looking for inexpensive childcare and in someone's home would be perfect! AND they say they are qualified!! Even better!! Let me get my pen before the light changes!"

This happens?

2) I was wondering if anyone REALLY believes that they can actually make a million dollars, if they just follow the advice of the guy on the real estate infomercial, in just one day? A million dollars?? In a day. Really?? People really do this? They call in, get the info. and make a million dollars? How come the rest of us haven't done this?

I just didn't know.

3) I was also wondering if anyone has ever gotten a reward of any type just because they took the time to call in and do the survey thingy that many stores have at the end of their receipts now? You know... you are suppose to call and do their little survey thingy and you can win something.... does that REALLY happen?? I've never HEARD of it happening to anyone. I just didn't know if it really does happen. Does it?

I don't know the answers. I was just thinking and thought I would blawg about it. Maybe you know. I just don't.
Friday, June 6, 2008

What's Next, Lord?

For a little while now I have felt that I have been in a holding pattern of sorts. About a year ago I felt the Lord saying, "Slow down. Here's the road I have for you. It's a slower pace, and you are going to have to trust Me on this!" He did answer a couple of HUGE prayers in my life by helping us see His plan for our daughter as far as school goes, and the start of the Special Needs ministry at the church. It has given me the chance to serve Him and those that I really have a heart for, but at a slower pace.

Now I am at a point of "What's Next?" I feel that He has given me a starting point, but I almost don't know which steps to take next. Sometimes it's easy to feel that He has brought me here and just sort of left me. Thing is... that's not His style (to just up and leave me) AND I can not (and do not) live this life based on feelings.

I was praying about this in the shower this morning (do you do that? Pray in the shower?) and I was asking the "What's Next, Lord?" questions and He whispered, "Not until you get in My Word will you know."

Huh?! I have my quiet time every day. I pray every day. And then it hit me... since school has been out I have also been sleeping in a little later. I HAVE had my time alone, but it has been with the TV in the other room in the background as I try to entertain my daughter so I can have some time with the Lord. Sometimes I have to "fight" for the time by stopping to answer a question or fix the TV just to pacify her so I can make it through.

I do not want to just "make it through" my time with the Lord. It needs to be a time where I sit at His feet and willingly listen and worship and pray. Not rushed. Not meeting a quota for the day. A time of resting in Him. A time of hearing His direction and knowing His voice.

There was a time when I was trying to discern His direction not long ago and He brought me to a scripture today that I had prayed during that time. It's out of Philippians 1. Starting in verse 9...

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
Phl 1:10
so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
Phl 1:11
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God."

In order to hear His voice we have to fall in love with Him. His voice is intimate. His plan for me is only to be heard by me. In order to hear that still small voice I have to be willing to place Him as the priority and allow His insight to be given to me through His Word.

I don't know if you are struggling with "What's Next" but if you are will you join me? At the feet of the Father? Will you seek Him in your life the way that I need to seek Him in mine?

Lord, I thank you that you never leave me at the door step of "What's Next?" You are here waiting on me to discover, through Your Word, what You have planned. You will not allow me to move ahead without You! To be honest, Lord, I don't want to move ahead without You! I DO love you , Jesus, but I have so much that I need to surrender to Your will. Forgive me for holding on to it for so long. Help me to listen and be reminded of Your love each morning as I spend time in Your word. Lord, wake me up and help me to be committed to my time with You.. without distractions. Amen.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

School's Out


Did I mention that school is out?

"Mom? Where are you?"

"I'm here honey. What do you need?"

"I'm hungryyyyyyyy."

"Again? You just ate!"

"But, I'm hungry!!" again, a whinier tone this time.

"Well, lunch will be in a little while so just hang on."

"Nooooooo... I am hungry, mom."

Did I mention that she would not get off of the computer when we asked (that's against the house rules) and so we had to put her on restriction from the computer for a week? That removes one activity that she COULD be doing during the day for, at least, a little while!

"Mom!! I'm thirsty!"

"Ok, honey. I poured you some milk. It's in the fridge."

"But, I wanted apple juice."

"Of course you do. Because I poured milk."

"What did you say mom?"

"Nothing honey, nothing."

Did I mention that I have had strep throat and have had NO energy for myself, much less a 7 year old?


"Yes, honey."

"Can you play with me?"

"Well, sweetie, I don't feel very good today. Remember I had to go to the doctor to get medicine?'

"Well, who can I play with?"

"I don't know honey. Why don't you get some crayons and we will color."

"No, I really want to play with moon sand on the table."

"Well, that makes a big mess and mom doesn't feel much like cleaning it all up when you are done."

Crying begins..."So what can I doooooooo??"

Oh my word.

"Mom, what's that man doing? The one outside. Who IS that? Does he have kids? Do you think they would play with me? Is he a stranger?"

"Mama, I am coloring on my plate. Is that ok?"

"Mama, when will daddy be home?"

"Mama, can I get the play dough out? I promise I won't get it on the carpet."

"Mom, let's put up my new tent in the den!"

"Mom, I know we just had breakfast, but let's pop popcorn and watch a movie!"

"Mom, can I have another piece of bubble gum?"

"Mom, can I ask if the 7 kids across the street can come play in the playroom? It's too hot outside, and I know you don't feel good. We will clean up!"

"Mom, why are you locked in the bathroom?"

While cooking supper one night I stop to run to the restroom. I am fixing tacos. When I return to check on things there she is holding the broom and grated cheese is EVERYWHERE.

"Honey. What happened?"

"I'm HUNGRY! I told you I am!"

"Yes, you have not stopped eating since school got out!"

One night I hear her letting her bath water out. She is standing in the hallway.
"MOOOOMMMM! I am done! Here's the wash cloth I was using, but I forgot to get a towel. Can you get one?"
I go up... she and the wash cloth are dripping on the carpet.
School's out. Did I mention?
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Therapy Tips #4- Early Intervention- LONG!

2 Kings 18:6 says, "He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow Him."

When my brother was 4 years old my parents discovered that he had a blockage in his brain that needed to be drained. We lived in a small town where the doctors were not very experienced in dealing with brain related issues. This was in the early 70's and the more my family noticed differences in my brother the more the doctors would assure us that they were "tracking" him and that my mom should not worry. Medical technology was nothing like it is today and my parents were just parents. They had no choice. The doctors told my mom what they thought and she trusted them.

My brother was clumsy, he wanted to sleep all the time and he woke up one morning with one eye facing in. My mother would take him to the doctor and they would examine him and say that they needed to let him develop and give him time. They did present some reasons for his vision being different, but other than that they were to give him time.

When Caroline went in for her 3 year old well visit the doctor asked her to build with blocks. She could not do it. She was also a little slower at walking and she was not showing the ability to color and do other fine motor activities that a 3 year old should be exhibiting. She slept a good bit and she had some different behaviors like flapping her hands and not toilet training like she should.
My doctor said, "Well, she might just be wired a little different. Just give her time."

My mind immediately went to the situation with my mom and dad. They KNEW that they had a situation that needed attending to, and they tried, but the doctor said wait... and they almost waited too late!

I remembered that my parents were gone for a long time, to a town a couple of hours away, to get help for my brother. When he was enduring his second brain surgery my dad was in the hospital praying. He said that he asked the Lord to be with his little boy and to do a miracle. He said that he looked out the window of the hospital down into the water fountain below. There, in the water, dad said that he saw the face of Jesus!! He said that he knew that Jesus WAS with them and that He was answering, and a peace just flooded him as he was able to rest in knowing that God is in control. Even of brain surgery.

In our situation with Caroline it has been the same. We know that though this is a difficult road that God is with us and that He is providing for us and her!

Here's the thing... He is also giving us the responsibility to take care of her, just like my parents had to care for my brother.

Here's the other thing... We HAVE to do it NOW!

If you are noticing any thing that might be a little different about your child early intervention is key! The development of a young child is rapid. Their brain develops and grows at alarming rates until they reach early childhood and then the development slows considerably. If there is any way to get help for a child who is showing ANY delay in those first 5 years it is always best to pursue EVERY bit of help that you can find. The stimulation that therapy and other services offer a child could mean the difference in a positive beginning to school, socialization and development among their peers than no services at all.

As a mom and a Special Ed. teacher I have to admit that I had to lay down some pride. No one wants to admit that something is wrong or that their child seems to be a little different. Thing is... the pride that was holding me back... was also holding her back!! It was doing her no good to wait!! She needed help and she needed it NOW!!

In the same way that my parents had to seek assistance outside of our little town until they received the help that they needed, I have had to seek assistance outside of my doctor's advice. I had to pursue finding a child psychologist and an outside source that would test my child who was not school aged yet. I also changed doctors. I think that he was a good doctor and that he had good intentions, but I also felt that he was missing things and I needed to find someone that could see what I was seeing.

Also, in the same way that my parents prayed and sought the Lord... I too am seeking Him. I know that He created my brother and that He had a plan to save his life. He is 36 and still lives at home, but he is working and driving and can paint and is ALIVE! Had my parents not done all that they knew to do at the time I am not so sure that he would still be here.

I know that the Lord has a plan for Caroline. He has directed our steps to some wonderful people who know how to deal with her differences. He has provided for her schooling and has put teachers in place that are willing to help us with teaching Caroline. But we had to take steps that we felt He lead us to. We could not wait and we can not afford to sit back and just hope that she would overcome! It's our responsibility to act and be her advocate.

If my mom were writing this to you she would say that the one regret that she has is that she didn't see things earlier and that she didn't start with my brother earlier. She wishes that she would have gone with her "mama instinct" and pursued other courses than just those doctors that were "tracking" my brother. She would tell you that she feels that my brother would have had a lot more confidence, and that he would be better off today, had they known about Occupational Therapy and other therapies that are available. She constantly tells me that she wishes that she would have done things differently, and yet she did the best that she could with what she had.

I do not want to have the same regrets, but to be honest, at times I already do. I wish that I had walked out of that doctor's office after her 3 year appointment that day and headed straight for those in the teaching profession that I knew and trusted and started asking questions. I wish I would have pursued what I DID know as a mom and teacher and not waited the year that I did. I think that we could have used that year to do therapy and help her get ahead instead of waiting to see how she did. It was a frustrating year of waiting because she was not coming along, and I still, I waited.

Early intervention programs are EVERYWHERE! You are wise to seek them out and begin to talk to everyone. Try to keep it in perspective when you hear that your concerns are correct. They are not trying to harm your child when they admit that he is not coloring like he should or that her behaviors are a little strange. They are confirming things that you need to know so that you can talk to professionals that can offer you assistance. Start as early as you can and do not give up!!

I know one mom that started OT early with her autistic, non-verbal, son and he is talking now!! It works and they are relying on us to help them through!
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Go Liney, It's Your Birthday!

Happy Birthday to You!! Happy BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!

Look who's seven!! Oh my goodness! I can not believe it!! I am so proud of you and all of the ways that you have grown over the past year! You are growing in so many ways and the Lord is blessing us each day with your funny personality and all of the things that you are learning. I can not wait to see what God has in store for you as you face the future with bright eyes and a heart full of love for others!
The cutest thing that happened today is that your friend from school called you on your birthday!! Daddy and I could not believe how big you looked sitting indian style on the floor with the phone to your ear talking about wanting to have a sleep over!! It seems like the time is just flying by as you grow, and yet we are excited for you to experience new adventures and have sweet friends. What a blessing from the Lord!
Jesus, thank you for our girl. Thank you for the odds that she is beating and for the plan that You have for her. Please help us to never stand in the way of Your will in her life. She is Your creation and we are blessed to have her!
Happy Birthday sweet girl!! I love you!!