Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh, No She Di'uh!

My daughter is in the tub tonight, with a huge blue hairbow in her hair left there from the day.

I am in the playroom cutting out an apron to sew. I am literally steps away from her.

Her: "Mom, can I play with this thing in the tub?"

Me, without going in there to look : "Well, I don't know honey. What is it?"

Her: "Just this thing here in the bathroom."

Me, thinking what she could possibly be talking about, but again, not going to look: "Uh, well, I guess so."

Her: "Ok! Good!"

Her singing: "I am dusting, I am dusting, yes I am" to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin?"

Me: "What is it that you are dusting with?"

Her: "This white thing mom!"

Me, casually walking into the bathroom: "What... oh my word! Put that down! What are you thinking? You DO NOT PUT THE TOILET BOWL BRUSH IN THE TUB WITH YOU!!!!! GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Fortunately I just bought it. I mean, I had used it one time, but it was fairly... sort of.. kind of...clean.

Would it have been ok for me to spray her with Lysol at that point without DSS coming? Or perhaps scalding water?

Just wondering.

I didn't know which would have been worse in their eyes.

The bath with the bowl brush, the Lysol or the scalding water..... really, it's a toss up.

I Thought This Turned Out Okay.. But...

I added a cutie little shelf to the Birdbath!

I really like the nests! Especially the one with the colorful eggs!!

This is my guest bedroom! The bed does not have a headboard and so I decided to add these windows to give the room a little "umph". My house is a lot of reds, golds and greens, but I love shabby chic stuff. I wanted to add a few shabby elements, and I found these at a flea market.
I also had this pearl monogram that I really like and I love ribbon so I thought I would attach it.

Thing is... I think this still looks a little plain.

Anyone want to chime in? Give suggestions?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Busy week!

I can not believe that I wrote my last post on Wednesday! My goodness! The time has flown!

It has been a good week. A hard week, but a good week! That kind of doesn't make sense, but when you are able to see God at work, even in the hard times... well, it's good. Hard, but good. See?

We met with the Special Needs teachers, first grade teachers and current K-5 teacher this week for our daughter's school. That's the hard part! Just the fact that decisions need to be made for her when we thought things were already decided was hard. BUT the Lord is so good! He is showing me and my husband everyday that He will provide for us and that He will sustain us JUST LIKE HE DID THIS YEAR!

(that's in all caps because I am yelling it. At myself. 'Cause apparently it's a lesson that I can not learn easily. You know those lessons? The ones that don't come easy? Well, I need to learn that if He did it before, He can, and WILL do it again! Maybe if I yell it it will stick. To the side of my head or something so I can read it in the mirror because it's not sticking in my brain!)

She got Student of the Month this month and she was SOOO excited! (As were her parents!) Look at her with her little award!

Go girlfriend! We are so proud of you!!

I have also worked for several days on our Special Needs Ministry at our church. It's really awesome to see what God is beginning to do among this population! It is wonderful to see kids with different disabilities come to church and sing songs about Jesus. They are learning Bible verses and hearing that they are loved. It is SO precious! Not all of them can talk or even walk very well. Not everyone can show that they fully understand, but we are wanting them to know that they are loved. Hopefully one day I can share some photos of our kids and the work that is being done by many volunteers. It will just bless your heart!

Will you please pray for a meeting that we are having next Wednesday night for parents and volunteers that deal with kids with special needs? We are asking God to do a NEW work among our families and we will match up "Buddies" with kids that need extra help in Sunday school. Oh, friends! It's so good to see it come together!! I just love it!

I also had a great time at a women's conference this weekend! Priscilla Shirer came and spoke and it was just fabulous!

She spoke on the children of Israel being delivered from the hand of Pharaoh and just really pulled out some incredible reminders of God's faithfulness.

I really needed the special prayer time at the beginning of the weekend. It was an amazing time of worship and prayer as women of different colors, shapes, sizes and situations wrote prayer requests and placed them on the altar. Just to have that time to be real and open before the Lord was so refreshing. And to see those women in prayer made me realize that we all face things that we need Him to touch!

It was just a time to pour out my heart about the choices that we are facing. It gave me time to go back and read the promises that He gave me this year as we faced starting school and be reassured that He is STILL the same God! And then to know that women were taking those cards and praying over them just really brought such a peace. Knowing that you are being lifted to the Father is a humbling thing!

I know that the Lord spoke to every woman this weekend. Several of our girls from Sunday school went and we got to sit together. One thing that stood out to me was when Priscilla said that they had prayed that the Lord would bring those women that were serious about moving forward with Him to the conference. It made me feel so good to see 7 of our girls standing there worshipping together! I know a few wanted to come that couldn't and when you add those in... well, it just makes you feel great to know that you have friends that are seeking the same thing in their lives!

Here are a few of our friends and a few more came later! They are sweet, sweet friends that love Jesus!
Whew! It's been busy! But the Lord is so good!
Have a good weekend!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Meeting of the Minds

Well, today we are meeting with Caroline's team of teachers to discuss first grade, and to be honest these meetings always make me nervous!

If you have a child with any sort of special need you are always on pins and needles that someone might reject them in someway. They may feel that they do not have the resources or the man power to handle your situation and it is hard to face the fact that someone might not be able to handle your child!

When I taught school I taught Special Ed for 4 years and then "regular" school for 4 years. As a teacher you are concerned for every child and I understand the feeling of "WHAT can I do to help them succeed? They are all so different!!" If you have a child in your classroom that is REALLY difficult to understand or has a very hard time learning, it makes your job even harder. I mean... Caroline is not the only child in there that needs to learn so they have to consider the teacher's ability to keep her up to speed along with 19 other kids. It's a huge responsibility!

As a parent, though, it's Caroline that I am concerned with. Not the other 19 so much. I mean, I do care about them, but ultimately Caroline's education is my responsibility so she is my focus. It's hard to hear that some of her immature behaviors might keep her from being a part of the classroom. Her bathroom issues, her need to be redirected, her need to be tested separately, her need for extended time on things... all play into the decisions that teachers need to make as they think of the classroom as a whole.

Some of the questions that we have to ask is: How will they compensate for her? What will the assistant in the classroom do to help? Do we need Special Ed to come into play more than they currently do?

You know, you never want to be a burden to anyone. But to be honest, when you have a child with special needs you sometimes feel like a burden. I do not mean this in a negative sense, but it isn't like you can just walk in and be a part of the classroom. Special considerations have to be made and it makes it hard sometimes. It's hard to face. It's hard to understand. It's hard to accept. It's just plain hard.

I do NOT KNOW what I would do if I did not know the Lord! How would I cope with this if I could not cry out to Him? He made her! He has all things in His hands, and He knows what is best! I will trust... as we go into this meeting... that He is already there and He already sees the best for my Caroline. I will hand it all to Him and seek His plan for her life. I might have to hand it to him 87 times today, but I will do it and I will trust that the God of the Universe...the God of Creation... my covenant keeping Father God who knit her together for His purpose is in 100% control!

Thank you LORD! You DO understand. Nothing is hard for You! You are the one that created Caroline and You are the one who knows all things. You put our lives in motion and You sustain us with every breath that we take. Nothing is too hard for You and You have a plan and a purpose for us and for Caroline. Please reveal Your perfect plan to us and to the teachers that will meet with us today! We need You Lord. You are our guide and our refuge! We love You and thank You that Your hand is not shortened and Your will will be done! Amen!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tagged- 2nd Blog of the Day?

Oh my word... 2nd blog of the day!

Ok... I was tagged by Jennifer to do this little thing called "7 Random Things" and here's what you do...

1) Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
4) Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, weird/random things about me...

1) I taught high school special ed. right out of college. I do not recommend this to the "normal" general population

2)My hair is really, really curly and when I let it dry by itself I am AFROLICIOUS!

3)I graduated with 832 people and I lived in a small town called Irmo.

4) I can chest press 70lbs. with free weights... 35lbs in each hand.

5) I owned 3 Honda Preludes in a row. One black and two reds.

6) I love to eat chocolate chip cookies, chocolate brownies, chocolate donuts, chocolate ice cream, chocolate pie, chocolate candy... chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

7)My husband and I love to go to bed early sometimes and just read quietly.

I don't know if those are really weird, but they are random so I guess I met the criteria.

Ok... my seven tags are The Nester, Chatting at the Sky, Val, joy-ful-ness... well, that's not 7 but it's close! All of my friends have been tagged already! :)

Tea With Me

Hi sweet Internet friends!

I wanted to share our photos from the Mommy and Me Fashion Show and Tea that we recently had at our church! This was the third year that we have hosted a tea for the moms and their daughters and each year it is just precious. Grandmothers, moms and daughters get decked out and participate in the day...

It is really hard to get good photos in the dark, very large gym, but that sweet little one above on the stage is my Caroline! She did a great job! All of the girls got to model two dresses and I was really not sure if she would go through with walking out in front of 300 people, but she did!! I was so excited for her!

Lots of sweet dresses and sweeter girls were parading around. My friend Nicki had her three girls in the show and they were precious with their color coordinated outfits! My friends Amy E. and Maria also had their girls in the show. By the time I got focused on them they would suddenly move so these photos are not the easiest to see, but the girls were still super cute!
These are Amy E.'s girls... Eva Grace and Brooke...
... and this is Chloe'... my friend, Maria's, daughter.
She is holding hands with her little sister, but you can't see her!

Also, my friend Amy is the Director of Children's Ministry at our church and she posted pictures of the cutie pie room that we decorated. Well, it's a gym, but it was a cutie when we were all done with it!

Everyone had their pictures made and then there was a precious little skit for the little girls. THEY LOVED IT! It was about the caterpillar and the dragonfly getting their wings and their purpose from God. Really great! The girls were mesmerized!

Then we had a good lunch! It was perfect... PB&J and pink lemonade... that dirt dessert with a cute white chocolate flower coming out of it... all for the little girlies. The big girlies had chicken salad croissants and veggies. It was so cute the way they did it all! Very girlie, and very appropriate!!
A wonderful day was had by all and all of the moms were so proud. It was a really neat time and a memory we will always cherish... time with mom!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jesus Loves Me

This weekend has been a pretty eventful one with a Mommy and Me Tea and Fashion show at our church. My mom was here and my mother-in-law came to participate in the festivities! I have photos that I want to share, but today is catch up day for me since Caroline got sick last week and then the Tea madness hit. I will have to share those at a later time. It was great fun and so sweet!

One thing that I did learn this weekend is that Jesus loves me.

Well, I mean, I knew it already, but this weekend at church our pastor talked about the fact that God has a plan for our lives.

Okay, I knew that too, but you know how it is when you get in a rut?

I feel like since we ended our Beth Moore study I have just been floundering around... just sort of praying and reading, but not getting any real meat! Well, it helped me so much just to be reminded of the simple truth that God has a plan for me and that in order to know His plan I have got to be plugged in! NO FLOUNDERING!

Then we head to Sunday school and I loved hearing that our Heavenly Father really wants such a relationship with us that He wants us to call Him by name! When we pray... not just any old name will do. Jesus loves me so much that He wants to spend time with me! It was good to be reminded that when we use someone's name to address them it is showing a relationship, a sign of respect and familiarity. AND it's the same with God.

You know, you hear people say "The Big Guy" or "The Man Upstairs," but honestly those terms are showing that the person really does not know God at all! When we call Him LORD (all caps) we are saying that He is a covenant keeping God. And when we call Him Jehovah Rafa we are saying that He is our healer. What relationship when we know those things about Him and can call out to Him with words that describe His character! It is just awesome to know that He wants to reveal Himself to us through the names that represent who He is, but I have to be in my Bible to know those things about Him.


I just really needed this Sunday at church. It was such good reminder that God is a personal God. He loves me in spite of my sin and He wants to spend time with me to help me know Him more. Sometimes it is the simple, back to the basics, sort of things that we need. The theology and original Greek and Hebrew terms are wonderful things to learn, but sometimes I just need to hear that Jesus loves me.

And ... He loves you too.

What did you learn at church this weekend? Share a simple truth that might help encourage others!
Friday, April 18, 2008

Plans Thwarted!

I seem to remember writing a very prideful blog about the fact that I had a new camera and all of the fabulous things that I would do with it. Do you remember that? Well, just scroll down the page. It's the entry just before this one.

What happens when you seem to be a little prideful?

Instead of graduation pictures you nurse the 101.1 fever and clean up throw up. THAT'S what you do!

This is actually a posed picture from today. She is doing some better, but is showing us what she did ALL DAY long yesterday! I even carried the child to the bathroom.
So here we are today!

Still complaining with a stomach ache but able to sit up and drink a little Sierra Mist... her favorite. But we are sporting our beloved heart shaped pink headphones and grinning a bit. We are coming along. But notice the green towel over her pillow? We are still taking precautions friends.
As for the fashion show that is tomorrow morning at 10 (that I think I might be more excited about than she is) well.. that's still up in the air. BUT if I AM more excited than she is then maybe it's for the best.
Puts the whole pride thing in perspective, ya know?
So...let's see what we have learned this week.
1) Being bitter never helps.
2) Being a brat and pitching a fit doesn't either.
3)Pride comes before a fall.
Pretty sure God is right all the time.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hallelujah, THINE THE GLORY!

Guess what?
I got a new camera!!!!!!!!!! Oh, yes ma'am I did.
All bitterness... gone.
The sweetest husband in the world (yes he not argue!) said I could.

Guess what else?
Tomorrow is graduation picture day at kindergarden!
Can you handle the sweetness of that?
Not sure I can.
I am going.
With my new camera.
Photos will soon appear.
Because I have a new camera.

And another thing?
We are having a Mommy and Me Tea and Fashion Show at our church this weekend.
The Caroline is a model!
Wonder if you will see pictures of that?
It's a mystery yet to be seen.

She got student of the month!
THIS month.
Again, photos of one kind of cute kid will appear. Ok, REALLY cute kid.

Are you sick of this?
I, kind of, am.

Just needed the internet world to know that I am no longer bitter.
I did pitch a tiny fit.
I was by myself so only God saw.
Bitterness and fits are reason to ask for forgiveness.
I had to do that too.

It has been a good week for me.
Just realizing that my silly bitternesses and fits really show how shallow I can be.
And how big God is.
And I am glad He's big because sometimes... I am SO not big.

The end. Thank you.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Therapy Tips

Recently I posted a blog about my daughter Caroline and the Auditory/Sensory issues that we have dealt with as she has grown. We have an incredible therapist that has done some great things with her. We have seen incredible maturity and growth this school year and I attribute much of it to prayer, a supportive network of friends and family, a wonderful OT, and a great teacher. It has been awesome to see every person in my child's realm of 'important people' pray for us and help accept her as she is.

Here are a few things that have really seemed to help:

1) PRAY! I am telling you! To know that we can lift our daughter to her MAKER is out-of-this- world- incredible! He made her, He knows every single detail of her DNA, He knows what she needs when she needs it, He knows which teacher is best for her, He knows which therapy day is best... HE KNOWS IT ALL! He is GOD!!

2)Find a scripture that speaks to your situation with your child and pray it for them. My scripture is Isaiah 54:13, "All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace." See remembering things were hard for Caroline at first and in school you have to remember what you learned last week so that you can build on it this week. She was also so overwhelmed that she could not settle herself enough to focus on what was being taught. Well, I began to pray that if it was hard for the teacher to get it across to Caroline that the Lord would intervene and use that teacher's words to help it make sense. Or that He would just speak directly to Caroline's heart during class. ANYTHING, LORD! Just please be her teacher so that she can learn and grow!!

Caroline was also very overwhelmed by all of the stimulus around her. 20 children, decorations, chairs, a schedule, noises, colors, letters, crafts... are all wonderful, but if you have a hard time with taking it all in... not so wonderful! So I prayed that the Lord would give her peace and that He would be calming to her in the midst of what seems like chaos to her.

I also posted this scripture on her bedroom door and I pray it for her every day on the way to school. HE is answering and I am one grateful mama!

3) Get a trampoline and a swing set! Yea, I know. You SWORE that your kid would NEVER have a trampoline! Me too. But these kids need that bouncing or swinging motion to help them organize their bodies. I KNOW!!!!!!! It sounds like the weirdest thing, but if you talk to a therapist who can really explain all of the ins and outs of these kids they will tell you that they have a hard time organizing themselves. There is something about the bouncing and swinging that calms them and helps them to focus. BELIEVE ME! It is worth it!!!!!!!

We got a small trampoline (8ft. round) instead of the normal 13 ft. round. It does not take up as much space and it does not allow 59 kids to get on it so you feel a little safer. AND it has the pads and a net.

To be honest. Besides therapy and school, those three are the biggest things that we have done for our Caroline. There are other things that have helped (and to keep this from being a book I will share them at another time) but prayer, claiming God's Word in her life, and a trampoline and swing set have been wonderful things for our family.

Sounds kind of funny, but it's true.

Lord, thank you for being all that we need. You HAVE been Caroline's teacher and You ARE her peace. She knows that she is being prayed for and she knows that You answer prayer.

Please be with those moms who are struggling to know how to help their kids. God it is so hard!! Hear their prayers Lord. Be THEIR peace. Show them Your perfect plan for them and if they don't know You Lord... please speak to their hearts now. Help them to sense You tugging at their hearts and show them Your forgiveness... the wonderful gift of salvation through Jesus Christ Your Son! Help them to pursue You with their very lives Lord.

I love You Jesus! Amen!!
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring Things I Love

It's really spring now! I think. I mean one day it's definitely springy and the next day we are getting out the big coat.

I love love love the flowers (not the pollen) and the beautiful trees.

I love the rain that we played in.

I love the birds flying and playing around.

I love the cooler temps at night and warmer days.

I love the clothes!

I love the shoes!

I love the purses!

I love the yummy spring time food... ham, deviled eggs, tea, corn on the cob...yummmm!

I just love it!

I love the dogwood that's blooming in my yard. It's a small one, but it's a dogwood.

I love wearing shorts and flip flops.

It really is amazing that the Lord... Maker of heaven and earth... can allow the seasons to change and that He allows US to participate in His creativity. I love being creative.

It's awesome to see His hand at work in the colors of the trees and flowers. The changes in the weather and the growth that takes place each year. The sun sits differently in the sky and the life around us is new. Simply amazing!
Though our lives may seem uncertain at times... our futures hard to predict... the Lord God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His hand is never shortened and His plans do not fail. He is perfect and He has all things in His hands. The colors of the trees, flowers and sky are totally within His ability to change. He never sleeps so He is always aware of what they... and we... are doing. He is never surprised by a hard freeze that may harm a flowers' bloom, and nothing can touch us without being sifted through His hands.
I do love spring. It reminds me of God's ability to bring new life from something that may seem mundane. Grass, trees, the sky.. they are here all of the time and we so take them for granted... until they put on a show! THEN... God reminds me that in Him all things are made beautiful... we just have to sometimes wait until the spring of the year.
Friday, April 11, 2008

Perhaps I'll Wallpaper the Birdbath!

SO not long ago I posted a blog about the bird wall in my downstairs bath... I've decided to call the downstairs bath "The Birdbath."

(The guest bedroom is called "Mimi's Room" because my mom and dad are the only ones that sleep there when they occasionally visit so it has a name... it's only right to name the downstairs bath!)

I do love it and I have sense added a shelf that has some great nests sitting on it.. However, my camera is STILL broken so I can't show it to you. How much do I hate that?? I am STILL bitter!

So here's a fun wall paper I was considering...
OR we could try this one:

I sort of like the blue one because my kitchen is blue and it would bring some of that color into another part of my house.

I also think the design is fabulous and sort of formal without being stuffy. Hate the stuffiness. And my husband refuses to live in a museum.

Which reminds me of the time that my mom redecorated in their old house and she bought this tall slim table and she got a bust of a man's head to put on it. I thought my husband was going to choke to death. He thought he was in a museum and he said so each time we visited. THAT was interesting.

Ok, stop getting me off track.

So anyway, I think that the blue bath would also bring some life into the Birdbath since it is just a golden yellow right now.

In other news... through a series of events I found an old friend today! It was really amazing how it all worked and she posted a blog about it here. She even posted a photo of our old youth group and it is quite a sight to see!

She even lives in my town! For Pete's sake... she lives in MY PART of my town! We have never crossed paths or anything and I am just totally amazed that we figured out that we were posting comments on each other's blogs and hellooooooooooo... I think I know you!

So that was just amazing!

THEN... I have not posted about this because I was trying to get past the drama... we went to the dentist with the Caroline two days ago to have a teeny tiny cavity filled. Here's the play by play:

She stiffed armed us.
I made her lay down.
She cried.
She gagged.
She pulled at the dentist's hands.
She gagged more.
She threw up.
I cried.
We cleaned her up.
We went to the dentist's office.
We decided that we will have to go to the stinkin' hospital to get two little cavities filled so that the decay does not spread to her permanent teeth.
I called my husband.
I cried more.
The end.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Process or Purpose?

Last night we finished up a revival, of sorts, at our church and let me tell you... it was ROCKIN! The pastors in our area were invited to come and be revived, as well as the congregation, so the guest pastors that spoke were really seeking to speak a word of encouragement and MAN did they ever?!
Junior Hill was an older pastor that spoke last night and his sermon was really intriguing! I loved this point:
"Process must never be mistaken for purpose."

He was preaching on heartaches and how everyone goes through them. "Heart aches are not unselective, but are common to man."

He was sharing that we must never mistake the process that we must endure for the purposes that God has for us. The process is not always fun or easy, but His purposes are higher and they are never to hurt you! He proposes to help us and the purpose for us!

Pastor Hill also explained that we have a hard time seeing what God is doing when we are in the middle of the process. His hand is not hurried and He wants us to be slow in passing judgement on others because we never know when they are enduring the process.

When I look back over processes I have endured I realize just how right he is! God's hand will not move faster through our circumstance just because we pitch a fit or cry in anguish. It is not His plan to fit our time table or meet our every single want when we think they should be met. Sometimes it's hard because we think we might not make it one more day if He does not intervene, but the entire time He is there... carrying us, hearing our cries and developing a testimony for Him!

Some processes are pure anguish. The loss of a job, the longing for a child, the loss of a child, the never ending illness of a dying loved one... all press us in on every side! They hurt and we desperately cry out in pain for our Abba Daddy to give us relief! And yet He is there meeting our needs in the ways that we might not see.

Process. Where are you in YOUR process with God? How is He carrying you and are you trusting Him?
Such amazing questions that require a moment with our Father. Cry out to Him and walk through the process together.

I love you Lord. Thank you for being with me through the process. For holding my hand and drying my tears. Forgive me for doubting Your perfect will for me and help me to trust You. My life is a process that needs to be fully handed to You. Help me Lord. Be with my friends going through a process as they trust You. You know each one by name and each process by every detail they face. Carry them Lord.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Lot of Nothing

Well, it's spring break and basically we are doing a lot of nothing. Actually, it's nice to sleep a little later and not be on a big schedule. We've played with friends, eaten lunch out and had time to do laundry and run to the grocery without feeling like I had better hurry or I would be late for the beloved carline.

AAHHH carline. Nope. Don't miss it.

It's funny. We went to a favorite little lunch place today...just me and the Caroline.. and walked in to ALL sorts of folk who had the same idea. As soon as we walked in one of our friends greeted us with "It's Spring Break.... and we are ALL here... to get our kids out beforewekillthem! Good to see you!" IT'S TUESDAY PEOPLE! And summer is coming! Oh goodness.

My friend Nicki ( had an entire post about things to do for the week that would not involve lots of money. Now, THAT is a thinking mama. (ya'll need to teach me how to do the whole linky thing.. you know I am not techy... farthest thing from it girls!)

So tomorrow we are headed to the dentist. SHHHHHHHHHHHH! DO NOT TELL Caroline!! Girlfriend threw up in the parking lot one time because she hates it so much!


BUT she has two cavities and we GOTTA go. I will certainly have drama to blawg about.
BUT no camera mind you or you KNOW I would do photos.

Still not bitter. No ma'am I am not.

Anyhoo... just saying there's nothing going on... and I am kind of glad for once. :)
Monday, April 7, 2008

You GOTTA BE Kidding Me!

Well, the graceful soul that I am... dropped my digital camera and shattered the screen. I can NOT tell you how ill I am about this.

Not to mention that last year I had my camera either stolen or I lost it on Father's Day.

Yea. Genius.

So needless to say that my camera record isn't real good AND I have had MANY photo ops that would have been priceless on the old blawg. (You think my husband will rush out and get me a new one? I am thinking NOT!)

Like my friend Jennifer's ( little boy sporting my daughter's heart shaped head phones. SO precious. Yea, that would have been precious on a blawg.

Or maybe the other night when I went out with my friends. I don't get to see this group of friends a whole lot! It would have been GREAT to have a photo of them and then share it with the blawging world. Sure would have been nice.

OR the fact that my kid lost another tooth last night. Can I take a picture of it?

Uh. no.

I am not bitter. Not bitter at all.
Saturday, April 5, 2008

Special Needs- Special Kids

In the past couple of years I have learned a ton about a disability called Sensory/Auditory Processing. Our daughter, Caroline, has struggled since she was very small with this disorder. Not long ago I wrote a post about how well she is doing now, but for any mom out there that might be second guessing herself.. I want to tell my story and hope that it will give you courage to fight should there be any inkling of a thought that something is going on with your child.

The funny thing is that I was a special ed. teacher before I had her and I was pretty aware (so I thought!) of disabilities that effect kids from a very young age. I mainly dealt with autism, learning disabilities and had some experience with spina bifida, behavior disorders, mental retardation and social/emotional disorders.

When our daughter walked late, seemed to startle easily, would spit up more than the average child and didn't have tantrums when it seemed that she should we began to think that something might be wrong. Then Caroline started hand flapping when she was excited or nervous. I immediately thought "That looks like a "self stemming" behavior of an autistic child!" People would say that she was just excited or that was "just Caroline" but in the back of my mind I just could not help but to think that something more might be going on.

When she entered 4 year preschool the teacher would meet me at the door almost every day explaining that she didn't follow directions, could not cut with scissors, didn't stay with the group and bounced in her chair. It seemed that she was smart enough and her language was developing, but she was still not doing what the others were doing. She also had frequent bathroom accidents and would try to hold BM's until she would eventually have an accident.

We decided to keep her back a year and we did T-K for 5 year olds. It was a hard decision, but her birthday is in the summer so we knew it would be well worth it! She could not swing or ride a bike and her handwriting was not coming along. She also still had the bouncing/flapping behaviors and in this small classroom of nine children it was getting worse! Especially the bouncing.

The teacher was the SWEETEST woman and loved Caroline dearly, but the classroom was not very structured and the children were free to move about while others were trying to work. It sent Caroline over the top! She could not handle the frequent movement of all of the kids, the unstructured classroom and the noise.

We also noticed that whenever Caroline would come into our bathroom after we had showered she would gag! She would also gag at dinner when she didn't like a particular food and it was hard to determine if she was just trying to get out of eating something new or if the food really made her sick!! She would also cram food into her mouth if it was something that she really liked. No matter how much I would ask her to take small bites she would still just cram food in.

Her doctor kept saying, "She is small. Just let her grow. She is just developing a little slower than others, but she IS growing and developing so just give her time." I knew that she was, in deed, developing and growing, but in my heart of hearts, my mommy heart, I also knew that something more was going on and I was not going to sit around and wait!

We had her tested academically first. She had average to below average intelligence based on the test, but much of the test went unanswered because Caroline would not answer! The lady that did the assessment did all kinds of tricks to try to get information out of Caroline, but to no avail. She recommended that we take her to a psychologist who did a battery of tests and at first wanted to say that we were dealing with Asperger's Syndrome. However, her language was very well developed and she did not show some signs of aspergers. She finally recommended Occupational Therapy for Sensory/Auditory Processing disorder.

IT is AMAZING! Come to find out...

The gagging- a result of certain smells that overwhelm the senses and can cause kids to feel that they will throw up. Grocery stores, bathrooms, kitchens, malls, stores... any place where smells can be strong can send these kids into sensory overload and cause nausea.
Now we know this and so does she so she just stays away while we are getting ready.

The cramming of food- she could not sense when her mouth was full. It was like she was trying to fill a void when eating.

The flapping and bouncing- a result of emotional overload or sensing too much activity. The flapping usually happens when she is excited or happy. The bouncing happens when she is around lots of kids and the energy from all of them just gets to her. She can't take it all in at once. She also bounces some when playing a computer game. The colors, sights, movement and her required response can sometimes overload her.

The lack of gross/fine motor skills- sometimes kids with Sensory Processing have a weak core. In our case Caroline compensates for her lack of balance in different ways. She puts her left arm out to balance herself is she is trying to write on a black board. She use to pull her big toes back to help herself balance when trying to sit. She can not cross her mid-line very well. (Opposite elbow to opposite knee, writing from right to left, hopping on one foot, etc. all require a strong core... who knew!?)

There have been so many amazing things that I have learned about Caroline and throughout this past year, through an understanding teacher and an incredible OT, she has gained so much! She is doing so well, but it is because we prayed and prayed that God would give us direction and help, and HE DID!

Now Caroline is helping a kid who is autistic with his own therapy! It is awesome to see her interact with kids with disabilities. She is not afraid to ask what's wrong, try to understand a little and then get on with PLAYING! She tries very hard to just play and treat everyone like they are "normal'. One mom told me that she is one of very few kids that seems to not care that her child has a problem. "She just talks to him," she said.

We still have a ways to go, and plenty to learn, but if you are a parent that needs help with finding testing facilities, information, therapy options, etc. Please feel free to leave me a comment and I will be happy to tell you what I know. It is our advocacy that will make a difference in the lives of our children and we have to share what we know! If you read this and know parents that are struggling PLEASE pass it on and let's start sharing! I need information and help with knowing what to do next and I am sure that there are others out there who need help too!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tryin' to Decorate!

You know when you are tired of your house... NOT unthankful... that's not what I mean! Just sort of tired of how it looks and ready for a change? You also know that if you did ALL that you would LIKE to do that you might send your husband into cardiac arrest? You know those feelings? Well, me too. Like I know those things rightthissecond and I NEED to do something.

SO here's what I did. :)

My dining room was just a dark redish brown room with no pictures on our biggest wall. I can't afford a buffet or any more furniture right now so I framed some old calendar pages that my sister-in-law found at a flea market and this is what I did. You can't really see the detail, but they are fruit botanicals. An improvement, but still a little plain. Don't you think?

I think it looks ok. I still have no curtains in this room and I sometimes think it's too dark, but the pics lightened it up a bit with the beige mats. Any thoughts?

I also had some towels hanging over the toilet in my downstairs bath and I was tired of it. SO I found some bird pictures and these little glass plate things that look old and have ribbons for hangers. Here's what it looks like.

There is a blank wall to the right of it, and my six year old (with HER expert decorator advice!) thinks I should move it all to the blank wall. I also found a nest that has pretty eggs in it and I want to find a little shelf for it. There are lots of bird things out there now so I could go crazy!!

This is fun! My poor husband. I can't get too sassy yet! He might seriously kill me. Well... at least give me the evil how-much-money-did-all-of-this-cost eye.

I also have some fabric that I bought when my friend Faith made her curtains ( and I trimmed the selvages and stopped at that! I gotta get the courage to keep going!! I have sewn some but never something with so much fabric! Oh. My. Word.! It's a lot more than a yard 'o fabric girls. Just a little intimidating. WHAT was I thinking?

It's just I know that if I want to change somethings I can't afford to have it made so I gotta do it myself.

Unless my ship came in and then I would get me a decorator and we would go to town!

Haven't heard any whistles from a boat lately though.

I think I can, I think I can. Pray for me.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

All Good Things...

..well, you know the rest.

BO! I am a little sad that our most recent women's Bible study is coming to an end! Some of my sweetest friends have been gathering each week to read God's Word together and I have really loved it.

Our friend Katie has opened her beautiful home for us every week and has little treats for us every time we darken her door. Last week it was blue berry muffins! (Oh, yes it was. They were still warm.. delish!) At Easter she and her little boy made us cookies and it was so precious! Her little guy was so proud!! I wish I had some pictures to share because Katie has done a fabulous job at making us feel welcome. Good ol' Suthern hospitality girlfriends!

We have started each week on our faces before the Lord and let me tell you... humbling! We have shed tears as we have tried to climb the ascent of a closer walk and worship with and for our Lord. While it has been humbling and emotional at times.. I dare say that none of us would have changed it for the world!

I am always at a loss when I finish something like this. I never know what to do next. It's like part of my life is missing. The accountability to do my homework and have myself prepared each week is challenging, but wonderful!! I love it when I am learning something meaningful along side those that I love. It gives our conversation more meaning and our hearts a kindred spirit because we are walking the same road. When it's done... I know I am closer to the Lord and to my precious friends, but I am also sort of lost. Just left hungering for more I suppose.

The other thing that I miss is being able to catch up on all that my friends face each week. It is really an honor to lift them to the Lord in prayer and see Him work in their lives. Some of us keep up better than others, and I know that is just how it is. We get busy. And this time has been specifically set aside for the past seven weeks so that nothing else gets in the way. When the time is over we go back to life as we know it and I miss not hearing from everyone every week. It just means that I have to be more intentional with my friendships and yet it is so worth it to me to have these ladies as my friends.

So as we close out this study I just want to challenge us all to never stop! We are so much better for the journey and so much stronger when we walk it together! I can't wait to see how the Lord will answer the many prayers that we have lifted to Him and it is exciting to grow along side such precious women of God.

Now.. when does the next one start?? Anyone??

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to know you more and thank you for my friends! I can not express the gratitude that I have, for You have blessed me beyond words! Thank you for being a Holy God who inhabits the praise of His people! You are worthy of all that we are and all that we are yet to be! I pray that You are honored with our efforts to bow before You and be humbled as we recognize Your place as God and Lord. We love You! Please do not let the end of this study signify the end of our pursuit of You and Your Word. Amen.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Being Brave

Not long ago I heard Dr. Dobson say to begin to pray for character traits that you would like to see developed in your child. Well, lately Caroline has been saying that things make her afraid. She says she's afraid of the dark and needs a night light. She said she's afraid of rain and wants it to stop because the sound scares her. She gets nervous at school and when they have chapel in "big church" she doesn 't want to go because it makes her afraid. So I started praying for her to be brave. I have asked Jesus to help her to not be afraid but to remind her that He is with her and that mommy and daddy love her very much!

Last night Caroline realized that she had left a school book in the car. (She can not check out another one if she does not return the one she checked out. This is, apparently, a big deal so she was on a mission to get this book into her bookbag.) Well, the car was in the garage and the door was down and the light in the garage just burned out. There was not a speck of light from anywhere.

I can hear her talking to herself. "The light won't come on. It's dark."
"MOM! What's wrong with the light?"
"Well the light burned out and daddy has to fix it. He just hasn't gotten to it yet."
Talking to herself again. "I just have to go to the car and get my book."
In a few minutes here she comes into the kitchen with her book.

"Mom, I got it. I am going to put it in my bookbag so that tomorrow I will be all ready for school."
"Wow Caroline. You went out in the garage and got that all by yourself."
"Yes. Why?"
"Well, you were brave! I know you are afraid of the dark, but you went out there and did it all by yourself! You are brave!"

She gasped out loud! "I am brave?" she asked.
"Yes you are honey!"
"Well, mom! Then Jesus answered your prayer! You asked Him to make me brave and He did it! Praise the Lord!"

Oh my word.

Thank you Jesus! She is seeing You in the every day and praising You! What more could I ever ask for?