Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIWW

So I really need to get in the habit of taking a picture every day no matter what.  Last week I didn't even post because I had no pictures.. I did get dressed, I promise!  This week it's a whopping one outfit, but it's a picture!  Next week.. it's on my list, literally.


The littles always have to have a picture... they're better dressed than I!!!



Me and 2 littles, oh yeah.. and Axl.


Not sure why these are sideways.. they weren't when I uploaded!  Top- gift, Skinny jeans- Loft (only place I can find curvy petites!!  LOVE that store)
 Ponytail because I was curly but it was too hot to leave down.  Earings- Gift from Lily Noelle's shop


Necklace- birthday gift from my hubson and momma.

Shoes, my favorite ballet flats.. leopard print!!  From Kohls clearance... even better right??



Aren't they incredible??

That's it...  I'm not exactly a style setter anyhow!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blessings

I'm sitting at my computer getting some e-mails done and Kait asked if she could turn on the radio.  Sure, why not... This is the song that was playing.  I couldn't have asked for a bigger reminder today.  Song Video

Blessings- Laura Story


We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Crazy days..

Most of my days are rather hectic.  I'm used to that.. but this week has been completely insane.  Phil has been interviewing for a new job.  On Tuesday we found out that he got it.  That's fantastic, but it means I only have 2.5 weeks to get everything figured out for Kaitlyn.  Anyone with a special needs child understands everything that goes into typical life.  There is a lot more involved in getting her registered for school than simply filing the paperwork.  There are evaluations and dr appointments and home visits from the county.  And all this can't even begin until we actually have a home!  AHHHH... BUT  I have an awesome God.  My house might be a mess... I may be pulling my hair out trying to figure out who needs to speak with whom, but He knows all that.  Every step of the path has been set out before us.  Some days I feel like I'm walking said path blindfolded, but if I keep listening for His voice I make it just fine :-)  So, if you're in the department of prayer, send one up for us!  Pray that we will be able to sell our home here and find one there quickly.  Pray that we will be able to get Kait into the right school.  That we will not lose ground that we have gained this past year.  And, though the kids definitely sense the stress in our home, that Phil and I will be able to keep the house their safe place.  That this will be an exciting time for all of us and not a nightmare!  <------  That mainly depends on mama's attitude through the whole thing!   <3 L

Saturday, July 30, 2011

MMMMM!! Treat weekend

 Bread is a precious comodity in our household.  Being gluten free definitely limits our choices... not to mention the fact that MOST GF bread is just plain gross.  I bake a lot, but it's nice to pick up a loaf at the store like a normal person.  Being that this weekend is Kaitlyn's birthday, I wanted to do something special for breakfast today.   Pancakes aren't too difficult, but I'm out of baking mix.  When I found not one, but TWO loaves of Udi's Gluten Free Bread on clearance for $0.99 I went nuts.  FRENCH TOAST!!!!!!!  Something we NEVER have.  If I wanted to make french toast I would either resign myself to paying $5.99 for a loaf of bread, or I would have to bake at least one extra.  I was stoked.



I couldn't believe it.  Udi's makes the best gluten free bread (next to mine of course).



Typical ingredients... egg, milk vanilla (vanilla is another thing that you have to check gluten on.. not one I thought about when we first began!!)



Gluten Free bread can tend to make a very soggy French Toast.  Taking a cue from my mother-in-law - (who batters and fries her french toast- yummy, but makes me SOOOO sick) - I added a bit of Tapioca starch and rice flour.  Gives the egg milk mixture just a bit of substance and adds a nice toast when done.



The finished product... topped with homemade Cinnamon-Maple syrup and just a tad powdered sugar.


Yummo!!! :-) Thank you Udi's!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ok ok...WWIW

After trying to avoid it for many, many weeks.... I'm finally linking up and joining The Pleated Poppy for "What I Wore Wednesday".    This was something started to get us SAHM (stay at home mom for those of you that aren't in the IN :-P ) types out of our typical uniform of sweats and t-shirts.  I have to say, for me personally, this is also a challenge to lose that weight that is to blame for the depletion of my available clothing choices!!  So, here is my first post... this is what I am wearing today.  :-)



Can't get away with that being me can I???  Aren't they cute?  After seeing mom do the crazy thing of taking a shower and actually put on something other than a bathrobe, they decided they wanted to get dressed up too.  My sons question... "Where we goin'?"...... Boy is this a necessary challenge!!!


My 4 yr old kindly took my pictures... and Axl decided he needed to be seen too.  
Nothing special I know... but at least it's not quite work out gear right???
Capri's and top- Sears


This is what I like best about the top... It's a fun surprise.  Makes the typical post shower bun a perfectly acceptable "style" for this top!! :-)


Wow, that's flattering..... guess that's what I get for having a 4 yr old photographer right??   

OK, so since this is my "I'M GOING TO DO THIS" post, that's it for now..... tune in next week for more.....
if you dare ~ <3 L

Monday, July 25, 2011

My last year of youth

29.  That is my age as of today.  Next year I will be 30.  Most of my friends are 30.  What happened?  I swear when I went to bed yesterday I was 23.  Oh well... I choose, get that???  I CHOOSE to revel in my age.  I can pass for 21..barely.  Most people think I'm about 18.  I like that :-)  In another 10 years I will like it even more.  I'm excited to turn 30... that means I'll actually be smart about something, right?  Maybe it will mean that I'd better GET smart about something!  Only thing I don't like about my age??? Stuff doesn't go away like it used to.  Like those pesky pounds.  I used to hate my grey hair.  I'm kind of digging it now.  We'll see how long I keep up with that attitude!  Phil and I went shopping today.  Went into a store that I kind of like... trendy, but not crazy.  I decided that if I've worn in once in my life I probably shouldn't be shopping in a store that sells it as "new".

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trying....

Okay, I'm trying to earn an Ipad for Kaitlyn.  I say "earn" and not "win" because it is just that.  I'm not in a contest, I'm just working with a jeweler who makes Autism awareness stuff.  If we sell 60 pieces for her she will give us an Ipad.  So.. how can you help us????  Purchase something!!!  There is a necklace and a keychain that retail for $20 a piece.  That's not so much is it??  For those of us that know me, you've likely heard me go on and on about how much I want to get Kaitlyn an Ipad.  I would use funding for it, but since it can be used by other members of the family, I'm not allowed.  I can use funding for all the apps I want to put on it though.  So help me!!!  Everyone needs a keychain in their life :)


The Puzzling Piece Ipad Challenge
The Ipad challenge is about enabling children with autism to reach their fullest potential with technology while raising awareness.  Sixty pieces sold puts an Ipad in the hands of a child with autism!
GIVE a gift that gives back to the kids!
Visit www.thepuzzlingpiece.com & order yours!  Please make sure to add the name of the challenger (Lydia Palinkas) when you place your order!!!







Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sometimes I wonder

I wonder a lot of things honestly.  I wonder why bakeries create cupcakes with frosting that causes my children to poop blue.  I wonder why my kids can be so fantastic at someone else's house but the second they set foot under my roof they become the monsters I know they really are.  I wonder why I hate exercise so much... though partly I can say that it's definitely more fun when there is someone doing it with you and no little kids tripping you!!!  I wonder why my NO is less effective than daddy's.  I wonder why people choose to use products and consume food that is pumping bodies full of chemicals..  More than that I wonder why we allow companies to produce such harmful things!  But my biggest wonder... one that I ponder on a daily basis.  Why do I have a blog?!?!?!?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A night of elegance

So last week I got this call..... "Hi, Lydia?"  yes..... "Hi, this is Olivia from 104.9 the River.  I was just calling to let you know that you won our 'Moms Night Out' contest." .... um what?!?  I did?  When did I enter that? ... "Well, you submitted an essay about why you and your other special needs mom friends deserve a night out.  We agree with you and we'd like to give you one."  Oh yeah... Wow was that a good morning for me!  I had totally forgotten that several weeks earlier I had stumbled upon a contest page and decided to submit an essay about why I deserved a night out.... off really, doesn't even necessarily have to be out!!  So I called my friends... said COME WITH ME!!!!  They said, Of course! Sounds like fun! but then... :-(  I was very sad as each one of them called or e-mailed and said that for one reason or another they weren't able to make it.  Only one could come.  My pastors wife (and new friend) Sarah.  Even as disappointed as I was that no one else could make it, it was a very nice time of visiting with Sarah.  Something we likely wouldn't have had otherwise.  We got to tour million dollar homes and laugh at dog showers in the laundry room and fabric for wallpaper.  And discuss how we couldn't really see our kids having fun in these houses... too much to break!! It really got me thinking about American materialism.  Not that materialism isn't a European thing too, but it seems soooooo much less.  We Americans are all about having more than the Joanses.  Forget just trying to keep up anymore.  Now we have to have two people in our home working 80+ hours a week just to maintain our homes and pay our housekeepers.. because we don't have time to clean!!!  Honestly, if someone gave me one of those houses, I don't think I would keep it.  And if I did I would have or adopt a dozen kids to fill it up!!!  but boy would it be lonely when they all went off on their own.  I feel bad for people that don't know how else to fill the emptiness in their heart but by getting bigger and better things.  It was fun to admire for a time, but when I came home I was even more grateful for what we have.  My kids can play in my house without fear, and honestly, if something breaks oh well.  It was likely $5 at TJMaxx or $2 at a garage sale!!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

YUMMO!!!!

I love the farm... and the farmers market.  Best thing of all summer! We spent all morning at a farm about 40 min north of here.  The kids had much fun chasing the chickens and getting their clothes eaten by the goats.  I was looking forward to rummaging through their garden and getting some pickins that I don't have, but alas, there wasn't much.  I did get a few zucchini as mine aren't quite ready yet.. and I hunted through the asparagus forest to find a few tender morsels left.  I also got some kale.. I'm looking forward to creating something with that later this week.  Anyhow, at the farmers market this afternoon (we have one here every Tuesday from 4-7) I was rewarded with carrots, strawberries, a few gluten free treats (I make so much it was kind of nice to pick up some cookies for the kids that didn't require my time!!!) and even some biscuits for Axl.  I had planned on taking pictures of my meal tonight, but it was consumed too quickly :)  That's usually a good thing!  We had grass-fed lean beef fillets... perfectly grilled and seasoned by my talented hubson.  Then I sauteed in olive oil the bit of asparagus I had with some carrots, zucchini, garlic, rosemary and oregano.....OH MY WORD!!!  SO good.  We topped the evening off with gluten free almond-honey muffins topped with strawberries.  The only thing I wish I had was whipping cream.  I usually have some in my fridge, I have been off the ball lately at the grocery.  Definitely a must get the next time I'm out.  OH... I got some really cool cheese today too that we've never tried.  It's called halloumi and you serve it grilled or sauteed.  Since we had the grill fired up Phil threw it on there.  SOO yummy.  I'll have to get some more next week... though at $18 a pound it is quite a treat! :-)  Yay for summer menus.... what's your favorite summer eat??

Constantly Amazed (also posted on- A Puzzle on the Rainbow)

I am always taken aback with the things God does for our family.  I don't know why, I shouldn't be!  Two weeks ago I was out to get my hair trimmed.  My regular girl was running a bit behind and I wasn't able to get my color done as I had expected, so I was done early.  I needed a break from the kids, so I decided to go shopping.  I have never been into Loft - and I will DEFINITELY be back, but that's another post!- and since it was right next door I decided to take a gander.  With my hearing loss I don't typically hear conversations in a store like that.  Even if I can  hear some things, unless I'm right next to the conversing people, I don't understand most of what is said.  Well, God can even work that kind of thing!  I was in the back corner of the store looking through the clearance rack (my favorite place in ANY store!) and I heard as clearly as if they had been standing behind me "Yeah, I just graduated with my Masters in Special Ed and I have no clue what to do for the summer." ...... Ummmmmm, I can help you with that!!!!  Long story shortened, Rycki, the sales clerk, has been working at Oakstone - and autism school here- and had something happen that she was out of a job for the summer.  There are a lot of other details, but God has provided us with an ABA therapist for the summer.  She's a fabulous girl, she lives just 1 mile away from us, and on top of everything else... she's a Christian.  Isn't God awesome?!?!:?!?!?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

But I WANT it... :-(

Yesterday at 8:26 a.m. my son asked me "I has canny momby?"  UMMMM NO!!  Candy at 8 in the morning?!?  I think not.  Promptly that wicked lower lip made an appearance.  Then came the tears.  I wanted to laugh, but I knew it wouldn't help the situation.  Then yesterday, shortly after said interaction, I was doing my devotions (one of the nice things about being at my moms by the way... I can actually get my devotions in before 10 pm!) in Job.  I have a fantastic devotional Bible that I just love.  There are short devotionals through out the Bible that I can do in just a few minutes, or I can take the extra passages listed and make a nice study out of if I have the time.  So anyhow... I was reading my devotional passage in Job and it was the part where Job was asking God to JUST STOP!!! (I don't blame him by the way!)  Then another of the passages was in the NT where Paul is asking God to take away the "thorn in his flesh".  Both instances were NO answers from God.  That doesn't mean that he didn't answer, or that he was ignoring the request, but  he said NO.  My children think that I'm the meanest mommy in the world when I tell them no to something that they really really want.  But often times it's because it's the best thing for them at the time... like not eating candy at 8 in the morning!  So why do I not get sometimes that God's no's to me are for my best too??  No, I don't sit around with a pout (well, sometimes, but not that most people would see!) but I still have a pouting attitude.  What right do I have to pout if God says no?  Doesn't he promise to only do what is best for me? So if he says that he will give me his best, what right do I have to pout at the no's??? Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart".  WILL give, not may or might.. WILL.  So thinking as a parent, sometimes I do let my kids have candy... not at 8 in the morning, but perhaps after lunch.  It's a special reward in our house, not a regular occurrence, but it does happen.  So if my no answer is truly a desire of my heart, which I guarantee.. IT IS!!, then NO isn't really a NO is it?  It's more of a wait... I can do that :-)  So I wait.. and if it truly is a NO, I believe that God will change the desire of my heart.  Because truthfully, I want nothing more or less than what God has planned for us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Toxin Free Living

I love my company.  Melaleuca has allowed  us to have products in our home that are not only safer for our environment, but also for my kids.  We have seen marked improvement in behavior issues, intestinal issues, skin issues... I could keep going forever.  I'm going to post my ad on here... I don't want to make this page all about my business, but I want to at least mention it since it's made such a difference for us.  Maybe it can for someone else too!!!  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Challenge

I have challenged myself to blog more.  So, I'm going to blog what I made for dinner last night :)  The only reason I thought to do this was because someone asked on FB what we were making for dinner.  I always have my menu scheduled (usually at least a week in advance) so I know exactly what I will need at the grocery.  Nothing like a last minute trip with three grumpy, hungry kids!  SOOOOO stressful.  Since we try to eat mostly a whole food diet (nothing processed or "prep free") I typically have to check my stock every other week or so. If all else fails I typically have spaghetti sauce and whole grain noodles on hand!  So anyhow.. My menu plan for yesterday was spinach and goat cheese calzones.  I like making calzones and pizzaish dishes because the kids will eat pretty much anything in a crust :-)  I decided to add ham and red onion to the spinach, and since there was so much "stuffing" I just made a flat pizza  instead of calzone pockets.  So.......
Spinach wilted in basil oil with rosemary and garlic...  I also caramelized some red onion and added ham to this mixture



Homemade pizza crust...this is my own recipe for pizza dough.  Since I was baking it on a bar pan I decided to butter the pan as well.  Not something I typically do, but it turned out SOOO well.  The crust was tender and deliciously sweet.  A fantastic compliment to the savory goat cheese.


Goat cheese mixture... this is a combination of Silver Goat Chevre, Buffalo Mozerella and a little bit of Pecorino Romano.  


Pre-baking (375* for about 30 min)....

Post-baking..




I think I have to say this is one of my favorite combinations.  The saltiness of the ham and the savory goat cheese complimented the sweet crust and the rosemary in the spinach so well.  I had a hard time not eating it all!! The kids liked it as well, though Andrea did complain that she didn't want the "green stuff".  But she even ate it and said it was "really good..even the green stuff.  I love this green stuff mommy"   :-)  That makes me happy. So... that's what we ate for dinner yesterday.  What about you?


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I love Melaleuca

I started working with a company called Melaleuca and I can't say enough about how much I love their products.  Kaitlyn's eczema is almost completely healed.. we don't use any steroids anymore.  My dry skin is gone.  I am able to clean my house really really well even if my windows are closed without getting a headache or having difficulty breathing.  My mom can come to my house and not have to open every window and door (believe me, that's a pain when it's -40 outside!).  I'm sold.  totally, completely sold.  And I'm not the only one... you can read more stories HERE.  So, if you're like me, and want a clean house without nasty chemicals.  If you have dry skin, or eczema and can't get rid of it.  Or if you want to stay home with your kids and still add to the family budget (another GREAT benefit of this company)... I have the place and stuff for you!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Praise and Rain

It never ceases to amaze me how God brings things together every day.   It's been a very dreary weekend.. one that would typically put me in a not so good place.  But it was a good weekend.  My in-laws came down (I can just hear some of you saying.."and that was good?!?!" ).  My father in law is always incredibly busy when he comes here.  The little things that we can't do at 10 p.m. or that we're just to tired to take care of always seem to disappear when he comes to visit.  This weekend my lawn got mowed and the basement has grown walls.  It's amazing how much that man can accomplish in a few hours!  I'm very thankful for him.  On top of that, I woke up this morning to find my mom sitting on my front porch!  Now grant it, I did know last night that she would try to come, but there she was at 7:15 just sitting there reading her Bible.  What a nice surprise...especially today!  
We have been going through a lot of financial stuff lately with Kaitlyn.  Applications for disability, medicaid etc.  Well, through the whole process people keep saying to me "why don't you apply for WIC?  Why aren't you on FSA?"  I guess I never thought about getting assistance.  It's not fun being told that I can't go to the grocery store this week.  So I decided, why not.  What can they tell me but no, right?  Well, they didn't even say that!  We were able to get Andrea and Christopher both on WIC.  Doesn't sound like much, but that's 8 gallons of milk, 4 loaves of bread and several other things every month!  Certainly will help with our grocery bill!!   Praise the Lord.  And while I was there they told me to apply not only for FSA (food stamp assistance) as we will qualify for that, but also for Medicaid for the kids.  That would cover Dental and vision that they don't have right now.
 I just can't help but be thankful this can alleviate some of Phil's stress about his job.  Plus, the special school that we have been discussing sending Kaitlyn to, is a bit more in reach!  We can get a scholarship for her, but there is still some extra cost involved.  How awesome is my God that he can "adjust" things so that we can afford that for her without digging ourselves so far into debt that we can't see out?!?  I'm floating in joy right now.  
So I read my devotions before I posted here.  I try to get at least a 5 minute blip in during the bit of quiet I get every day.  Today's passage?  I Chronicles 16:7-36  Verse 34 jumped off the page and bit me on the nose!!!  "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  his love endures forever."  I celebrated my Lords resurrection yesterday, and today  He (once again) showed his incredible, unending love that leaves me utterly speechless.   ....Ok, so not totally speechless ;-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

So....

I have decided I must be a very bored person.   I don't think I'm bored, but it seems that I'm always finding something else to do.  I like being busy though...it keeps me out of my own head (believe me, not the greatest place to be).  So, since I have nothing better to do...not only have I started another blog specifically for Autism posts ,  BUT I have also started a meet up group for moms of spectrum kids.  I figure if I need to vent and get advice, so do other moms right!?!?  I found it hard to believe that there wasn't one already started actually.  When I started it I got an e-mail saying that there were 96 people in my area waiting for such a group.  Glad I started it!!! So now, I'm working 3 jobs (Social Security Disability, Autism Scholarship/School, and Melaleuca!) attempting to maintain a clean home, happy children, content husband and well behaved dog, while still getting all my paperwork deadlines taken care of and continuing to be my fantastic self!  I think I'm doing a pretty darn good job....but don't ask Phil what he thinks, he might not agree!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meetup

So I have been a mom for almost 6 years and today I went to my first playgroup. It was quite fun. A little crazy, but fun. The group organizer kept apologizing because there were some groups there from schools. We met at Graeters Ice Cream.. they do tours and everything like that. Reminded me of Malleys when I was a kid. But they have a fun play area. It was nice to meet some other moms. I'm looking forward to getting more involved with this group. It's huge and there are things going every day, so I'm sure I'll find plenty to keep me hoppin!! It's nice to get out of the house with purpose and not just drag the kids to the store to let them run around!

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's ok to cry

Kaitlyn gets really really REALLY upset when she sees me crying. Not like, "oh mommy what's wrong" sit down and cry with me upset. No, she gets mad at me. "Mommy stop. Your not reason crying" is usually what I hear. Well yesterday was no exception. I had special music yesterday morning. I don't typically say anything before I sing, but I had several different things happen that made me just want to say something.. and then a fourth before I got up to sing. God puts verses in our path unexpectedly, songs we hear on the radio (or in this case sing in a church service) stories that people send in those annoying "send to all your friends" e-mails. Anyhow, I was singing an arrangement of Jesus, I am resting, resting. I blogged a week or so ago about a verse that a friend of mine had on her blog.. Isaiah 45:3.... well, for me this verse and this song went together this week. Nothing obvious at first glance, but I was thinking earlier last week about the words of the song. Mostly about the second verse, which I wasn't even able to sing btw..... "Simply trusting Thee Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art. And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart. Satisfies my deepest longing. Meets, supplies it's every need. Compaseth me round with blessings, Thine is love indeed."..... The verseS that I read.. Isaiah 45:2+3 "I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you treasures out of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by name."
Doesn't really fit at first glance does it? But you know what God impressed on me this week? As I have been arguing with the school, and been terrified about mainstreaming Kait, I haven't been "Simply trusting". I haven't let Him "level the mountains" and "break gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron". So anyway, that's what I tried to say before I sang yesterday. It didn't come out that way. I couldn't even talk, let alone sing. I just stood there and cried as the piano, and my husband on trombone, continued to play. I croaked out the last verse, sort of. But it was ok, because it's ok to cry. I think that even though I didn't intend on crying, for some reason it was what people needed to see. I had so many come up to me later and say thank you.. just thank you. Why is it so difficult for us to be transparent with each other sometimes? I'm just as bad about it as anyone. I paste on my Sunday smile and go to do all my duties. Then Monday I hide in my house and sob. Well, not this week. I did my sobbing yesterday, in front of 100 or so people that thought I had it all together. SURPRISE!!! :) Kaitlyn was very upset at me for crying... I heard about it all the way home. Oh well! She'll get over it.. She always does! And next Sunday, when I play my flute.. I'm not talking first!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Holland


WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by
Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.





Autism Awareness Month

Today starts Autism Awareness month. Chances are that you know at least 1 person that is affected personally by Autism. 1 in 110... that's a big number. There are about 100 people in our church... we are the 1. There are 550 students K-5 in the school Kaitlyn will be going to next year. That means that in that elementary school alone there are at least 5 Autistic kids. Next year Kaitlyn will add 1 to that number (and I'm sure that one or more will "graduate" to the next school). I never thought I would be here. I remember telling someone that had a child with a learning disability that "I don't know how you do it. I could never deal with this on a daily basis"... Well, sometimes God has a way of proving to us what we are capable of. You never grow if you don't get stretched right? I'm currently completing a 30 day fitness challenge with my friend Kristen. One of the things that the trainer keeps saying is that you won't get stronger if you don't push yourself. How true that especially in life. I am being challenged by Kaitlyn... my patience, my learning, my determination. So many areas. And I am becoming a warrior mom.. and I love every minute :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And Then God Created This Mother….

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into his sixth day of 'overtime' when an angel appeared and said,"You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."


And the Lord said "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 180 moveable parts – all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that disappears when she stands up, a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair and six pairs of hands, ears that will hear things she doesn't want to hear, a mouth that can gently kiss away scrapes and bruises and yet tear the hide right off of those who try anything against the best interests of her child. Yes, this model will have to be able to sit patiently and listen to outlandish reports about her child without flinching. She will have to hear how hopeless it all is and know that it isn't so. She will have to have those kinds of eyes which don't tear when she hears other mothers talk about how well things are going for their children." The angel shook its head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands, yet? No way." "It's not the hands that are causing the problems," said the Lord. "It's the three pairs of eyes this mother has to have." "That's on the standard model"? asked the angel. The Lord nodded and said, "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, "What are you kids doing in there?" when she already knows. Another pair here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know and, of course, the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up for the 99th time and say, "I understand and I love you anyway" without so much as uttering a word. "Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, "come to bed. Tomorrow…" "I can't, answered the Lord, "I am so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, feeds a family of six on one pound of hamburger and gets her nine-year-old to stand under a shower." The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," it sighed. "But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure." "Can it think?" asked the angel. "Not only can it think," said the Creator, "it can reason and compromise." Finally, the angel bent over and ran a finger across the cheek. "There is a leak," it pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model." "That's not a leak, said the Lord, "it's a tear." "What's it for?" asked the angel. "Tears are for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride… this model will know a lot about all that" answered the Lord, "But you know" He continued, "I don't even remember putting that tear there." "By the way", asked the angel, "what will you call this model?" "I will call this one simply, the mother of an autistic child."


Author Unknown

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Droughts in the rain

The last few weeks have been incredibly overwhelming for me. Besides all five of us sharing a stomach bug, I have had just about every deadline come due this week. Deadlines for funding registrations and for school paperwork. Meetings with social workers, information coming out my ears that I don't understand. And to top it all off, it has rained 6 out of 7 days this week. And now it's snowing. In my unloading on every person that has the unfortunate experience of crossing my path this week I have dug myself deeper and deeper into my pit. The feelings of inadequacy and exhaustion are boiling over. And then, in a moment of silence, I sit down at my computer. Not to fill or file any application, but just to "catch up" with my blog friends. To be a person for a few minutes and maybe laugh. The Lord has a funny sense of humor. The moments that I just finally have a second to myself He reminds me that the stress would be much easier if I would let him carry it :) I stopped by my friend Ocean Mommy 's blog and read her post. Both of the verses she talks about really jumped out at me, but Isaiah 45:3 hit me the hardest...

I will give you the treasures of darkness, and the hoards in secret places that you will know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name.

While I would consider Autism my detour, the Lord is showing me that there are treasures in this darkness. Right now I'm having a hard time seeing it, but I haven't exactly been letting His light shine for me recently. So thank you, Stephanie. Thank you for exposing your struggle and helping me realize that there is treasure in mine! :)





Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring please

Our trip to Disney a few weeks ago created a thirst for spring in this house. Kids are anxious to get back outside, I'm itching to do some major cleaning. I actually opened the windows the other day just to get some fresh air! Yay for sun! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tears

We've been going through a pretty rough time with our church of late. We are looking for a new pastor, and it has caused some tension between members of the congregation. On top of that, I personally have had many tearful days. Some of my own bringing, and some because of situations I have no control over. My mom gave me a new Bible for Christmas. It's a Womens Devotional Bible and I love it. It has some really great, shortish, devotionals in it. They start in Genesis and go through the entire Bible. I won't read the entire Bible in doing these devotionals, but a good portion of it I'm sure. Anyhow.. that being said, I had this Bible with me at church on Sunday. In the evening I had a lot of things running through my mind and was having a difficult time concentrating. I began to flip through my Bible looking for those devotional sections. One caught my eye because it had an inset section, obviously a lengthy quote from something. So I read it. I almost started to cry. It's amazing how God puts things like that right there for us to grab a hold of right when we need it. It was a poem from Amy Carmichael. I don't know the title, but here is the poem.

"Our Father knows what's best for us, so why should we complain?
We always want the sunshine, but he knows there must be rain.
We love the sound of laughter and the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness if we never shed a tear.
For growing trees are strengthened when they withstand the storm
And the sharp cut of the chisel gives the diamond grace and form.
God never hurts us needlessly, and he never wastes our pain.
For every loss he sends to us is followed by rich gain.
And when we count the blessings that God so freely sent,
We'll find no cause for murmuring and no time to lament.
For our Father loves his children, and to him all things are plain.
So he never sends us pleasure when the souls deep need is pain.
So whenever we are troubled and when everything goes wrong,
We know God's working in our hearts to make our spirit strong."

I've nothing more to say. Ms. Carmichael has said it all.
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