Friday, April 30, 2010

Faces of Autism

April is Autism Awareness Month. Being the mother of two wonderful boys who are autistic, I wanted to be sure and thank God for giving these amazing, challenging, brilliant, and beautiful little boys to me.

There is a very strong genetic link for Autism in my family. Because of the number of autistic uncles, cousins, brothers, and a grandfather, it is suspected that in our case, the autism is not the result of prematurity or complications thereof. The fact that the two boys who are autistic are also identical twins only serves to further our belief as to genetics being the cause.

But, the cause really doesn't matter. What matters is that they came to our home to live. I am so very blessed to be their mother and I can't imagine my life without them. I love everything about them. They have such a unique outlook on life and learning. I love them BECAUSE they are autistic, not in spite of it. They are quirky, moody, loving and incredibly bright. They have taught me more than I will ever teach them. Thank God they are my little boys.

I don't profess to be any kind of expert where autism is concerned. I know that what we are dealing with in our lives is much less severe than what many other families have each day. I'm glad for the challenges that are uniquely ours and I pray that we are able to raise all 4 of our kids to be happy, productive adults. Right now, there are still a lot of questions about what the future holds but we are very optimistic...... and not really any different than any other parent raising any other child.

So, I'd like to share...

Our two darling faces of Autism

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Little Boy...Big Word

Jaxon being studious at 3 years old!

Yesterday, Jaxon was showing me his latest Lego creation. It was a rather complex robot that he had spent the morning constructing. As he told me how the robot worked, he began to show me how the joints moved. "Mom," he said "this articulation moves both forwards and backwards." Not sure that I had heard correctly, (heck, I never say "articulation") I just kept listening to him as he proudly showed all the things his robot could do. Once again, he showed me another junction and again said "and this articulation moves from right to left." So, I had heard him right, much to my delight and surprise!

Hmmmm, purdy good for a NASCAR watchin', Mario Kart Wii playin', homeschooled young un' of just 7 years old!!! Not sure where he learned the word though, or how to use it correctly in a sentence...I'm assuming the internet! Sure I'd like to take the credit but I would have just said "joint."
OK, enough mommy bragging for one day!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


For Earth Day, the kids decided to make some bird feeders for our yard. At first I thought wow, what a low impact thing to do. But upon further introspection, I realized that a few little homemade feeders might really make some neighborhood birds happy!
We gathered the ingredients, pine cones,string, peanut butter, and birdseed.

After tying strings to the pinecones, we did our best to coat them with peanut butter.

Dunking the entire cone in the jar wasn't the easiest way, but was by far the most effective!

Then a good rolling in the seeds and our projects were ready for hanging!

Jaxon is proud of his birdfeeder

And out they went into the trees.

After hanging all the cute little projects, I stood back to admire the kids hard work and realized that we should have used the fatter, woodier pinecones. These thinner ones might look a little more like turds, than a birdfeeder, hanging in a tree.

Note to self: When picking out pinecones for next years project, make sure that they are the large, beautiful wood ones that are sort of bell shaped. This will hopefully avoid another bird feeder faux pas.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


What is so different about these beds???


No guess?

They've finally been slept in!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once the kids became too big for their cribs, we set out to pick the perfect beds for them. Ones we thought would be comfortable, durable, and something that could be used no matter their age. We bought fun bedding and decorated their rooms. What we didn't plan on was co-sleeping. The kids had totally different ideas and all 4 of them have made themselves at home in our bed for the last 5 years. We really didn't mind so much, they were small at first and really didn't take much room. Plus, it was nice snuggling up with the kids every night.

But over time, they grew. On several occasions I would find Jeff sleeping on the floor. So, I moved one of the kids beds into our room and created the mother of all king size beds by pushing them together. This setup has worked well until recently when it seems the kids have grown again! Two nights ago, I found Jeff sleeping on the floor and I was on one of the beds in the twins room as we had been kicked out of our own bed by 4 sleeping youngsters. With no more room to bring in yet another bed to make our uber-king even larger, it became evident that the time had come to stop co-sleeping. I dismantled the extra bed that had been in our room for a year and returned it to it's rightful place in Mason and Carson's room.

With a little bit of bribery and a lot of perserverance, we finally got the kids to sleep in their own beds last night. I must admit, I'm not so sure I slept better as I am so accustomed to having kids smothering me as I sleep. I'm a little nostalgic about the whole thing because it represents another stage of life, forever gone, except for in my memories.

Well, maybe not totally gone. The twins wound up in bed with me after Jeff left for work this morning.

And the dog? Well, she just doesn't understand what all the fuss is about!

One night down, many more to go...

Monday, April 19, 2010

NASCAR in Phoenix!

Last weekend, April 9 & 10, we travelled to Arizona to feed our inner redneck at the Nascar race held at Phoenix International Raceway. We had a blast! We had the opportunity to stay with Jeff's awesome sister Michelle and her wonderful family, and we also caught up with some of my family that I haven't seen in 25 years or more. My sister Jeanna came down with us and it was wonderful to watch her spend time bonding with the quads. She's had to spend so much of her energy on her own children that bonding with mine hasn't been something she's been able to do. I love her so much and I'm so glad she took the time out of her busy life to spend with us!

It was a little shocking for Jeanna to see how much attention the quads generate. At one of the vendor booths, the owner remembered the kids from a race we attended in California last year. At the gate, the ticket takers remembered all their names even though they had only met them the night before. Good thing we aren't intensely private or introverted in our family!
Here's some photos from the trip...

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Prayers Needed for a Friend

An old High School friend of mine was recently diagonsed with leukemia. The cancer was found in an advanced state and he is in need of a bone marrow transplant. A perfect match was found and they thought all would go as planned but it seems that something has been found in the donor's blood that may disqualify him as a donor.
Please read the story here, and please include Van and his family in your prayers.
There is information on their blog about becoming a donor. Please consider doing so if you are able.