I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Autism and Our Family...a Top 10 List

Top 10 Hardest Things About Autism In Our Family

1.  It is really hard to watch your child struggle with anything.

2.  Nathan is SO smart, and academics do NOT come easily to him.  He can tell me the story of why Christopher Columbus was arrested, and knows how to fix a drain in a sink, but can't read.

3.  The meltdowns.  Whoa, the meltdowns.  Sometimes we see them coming and sometimes we don't.  We've all cried from them.

4.  Our other children make a lot of sacrifices.

5.  Any kind of change in routine will bring about tons of questions and worry.

6.  Major anxiety.

7.  No balloons for any special occasions.  No fireworks.  Unexpected loud noises are bad.

8.  We often split up our family so Nathan doesn't have to go somewhere where there are lots of people, or things from #7.

9.  He. chews. on. everything.

10.  A cat or dog wanders into our yard and we have to deal with the aftermath for 6 months.  "Is that cat out there again?  Remember that time there was a cat in our yard?"

Top 10 Coolest Things About Autism In Our Family

1.  Nathan is without question the funniest person I know.

2.  He always says what he thinks.  You may not like it, but you'll know how he feels.

3.  We have a lot of routines that keep us all on task.  Five minute warnings have become a way of life.

4.  Our other two children are so patient and kind.  Nathan has prepared them well for life with all kinds of people.

5.  He is so loving.  Tonight when Marc tucked him in Nathan said, "Dad you make me feel so good inside."

6.  The people he has brought to our life through special education, therapy, etc have become treasured friends.

7.  Nathan loves unconditionally, and he loves everyone.  He sees peoples hearts, and nothing else.  He doesn't care what a person looks like on the outside. He only sees the good in them.

8.  We have all grown in our faith because we've had to lean on God more.  He has not let us down.

9.  Nathan's unique ability to hear something on TV or somewhere and apply it to another situation.  Hilarious.

10.  I believe more than ever in Psalm 139 
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

I know God created Nathan PERFECTLY, and I know He has a great purpose for him.  I can't wait to watch it unfold.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Need Help

See this kid?

...cute right?  Maybe, but he's also a liar liar, pants on fire. 

He has put me in a very awkward position a few times lately.  These stories both happened yesterday...this is one day of my life people.

Yesterday we had to register Jill for Kindergarten.  I agreed to take the kids to Cherry Berry right after school because we couldn't register until four.  We would have our treat and then walk to a couple stores to kill some time.  We all had our fro yo and we were getting ready to go.  The rest of us were still getting our coats on when Nathan walked up to the girl at the counter.  Here is the conversation I over heard:
Nathan:  "We are going to walk to some stores.  My mom wants to look at clothes and we're going to the pet store."
Sweet Clerk:  "Well that sounds fun!"
Nathan:  "Yeah, we have to walk because we don't have a car.  We're poor.  See you later!"
Insert me dragging him out the door.

Next we headed to Jill's new school.  I filled out the necessary paperwork and we were almost home free.  We decided to quickly walk the halls so Jilly could see some classrooms.  As we walked we bumped into a kindergarten teacher who the kids don't know.  She was asking Jill questions about school next year and telling her how much fun kindergarten is.  At one point she made the mistake of turning her attention to the boys.  She asked a question and Nathan quickly replied, "Yeah we just moved here from California...I'm adopted.  They adopted me and then we all moved here."  

The kid catches me so off guard I don't know how to react.  If I say nothing he comes across as one of the most polite, well-spoken kids you'll ever meet.  If I speak up, my son is a liar and I'm the mom trying to explain why my child does things like this.

What is a Mom to do? 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Baby is FIVE!

Let me start by saying...Good News!  Even if you don't write on your blog for 6 months, they save it for you.  Phewww...

I had to come out of retirement, because the princess of this house had a birthday!  My baby is five.  I can't believe it.  It seems like yesterday that I was laying in the hospital, staring at this beautiful baby because I couldn't believe she was a girl!  

I was dreaming of painted nails, long hair, tea parties, and playing dress up.  This girl is so much fun she has made dreams come true that I didn't even know I had!  She is hilarious, dramatic, sincere, and full of love.  

We had a double birthday party at Papa and Nana's house.  Jillian's Auntie Alicia has a birthday two days after her, so they got to celebrate together.

Jill and Nana made the cake together.  Jilly wanted a Frozen cake.  So Nana found a way to make it happen.  They made blue cake with blue frosting.  Jillian made sure to point out that they formed the frosting to look like ice.  Nice touch.

Calli was intrigued by all the festivities.

When she realized what this actually was, she got very excited!


Here is my beautiful girl going to bed on her last night of being four.

And here she is as a big five year old!  Fancy and happy!

After church she got to open presents from her brothers.  Calvin knew she would love this Ariel wig. He was right.  Stunning.

It was less stunning on Nathan...

 Barbies AND gymnastics?  What's not to love?

A couple weeks before her birthday we had lunch at the American Girl store with her cousin, Tate.  They are good buddies....

...silly buddies!

I love this girl more than I can say.  She surprises me with her deep thinking and independence every day.  Then she falls asleep at night sucking her thumb, holding her taggie and I am reminded that she's still my baby.  I will hold on to that as long as I can.  Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl.  You are one of the best gifts God has ever given me.  I love you so much.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Let's Do June....

Shall we?  Let's just go ahead and start with June....well, and the end of May.
The end of May and the month of June can be covered with two exciting events.
First of all on May 20th I got a beautiful new niece!  She loves me almost as much as I love her. And when she's with us she gets lots of lovin from all the little people in my house.  Here she is when I went to stay with her the day after she got home from the hospital.  She was a big girl...which makes my favorite kind of baby.  The squishy kind.  Don't you just want to smooch her?  Believe me...I did.

And here she is more recently...cute as ever.  There are lots more pictures where these came from.  We'll save those for another day.

The big thing that happened in June is that my Aunt Lisa came to visit.  This may not seem like a big deal, but let me just tell you where she visited from.  Mongolia.  That's right...like the country.  That's a long way to go to visit someone huh?  Lisa is my Mom's only sister.  They have always been close, and therefore I have memories of fun times with Aunt Lisa from the time I was a very little girl. 

We are very similar people, Lisa and I.  We have the same sense of humor and I just LOVE spending time with her.  It's been a few years since she's come up to the resort to spend time with us so I was SO excited when I found out she was coming for 10 whole days!  Yippee!  I couldn't wait for my kids to spend time with someone who is so special to me and for her to meet my kids and really get to know them.
Well let me tell you...they fell hard for her.  As I knew they would.  Jillian fell especially hard.  It was as if she'd known her for years.

She is still talking about things she learned from Auntie Lisa.  She finds heart shaped things...rocks, chips, whatever, and says, "Love ya like a rock!"  She thinks it's just the best.  Sometimes she wants me to fix her hair like Aunt Lisa did it. 
The boys had a great time with her too, they just didn't get to see her quite as much since they were still in school.  The poor saps. 

We took a whole day and went thrift store shopping and out to lunch...just Jill and I, Lisa, and my Mom.  So much fun.  Jill and Lisa and I even went to Shakopee for the weekend.  We went to see my brothers and their wives and all their kiddies.  It was a super fun adventure. 
I know I speak for my Mom too when I say we are so thankful to the Lord that he provided Lisa with this time to come and visit us.  It was time that we all needed so badly and it absolutely flew by.  I wish with all my heart she lived closer and could spend time with us more often, but she and her family feel God calling them to be in Mongolia right now and you can't argue with that.  Maybe someday they'll live closer.  We sure hope so.  We miss our Lisa and all the laughs we have when she's with us.  Love that girl to pieces!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy 9 years and 6 weeks Birthday, Calvin!

You celebrate those right?  Well...when it's the end of the school year for mom and kids and you're trying to fit in writing a blog post...you celebrate those.
We did celebrate his actual birthday on time.  I promise.
Now, just because I like to look back at old pictures, let's look at this cute boy when he was my first born adorable baby.

 A classic.  One of my favorite pictures ever.

 Calvin was a jolly baby and a jolly toddler.  He has always been so loving and happy.  It is just a delight to be his mama.
Now, he's not so little, but he is still so much fun.  He loves to laugh, does a fantastic British accent, and takes care of everyone around him.  He's very sensitive and does his best to make sure everyone is happy.  (Yes, he has his moments where he teases his brother and sister.  He's normal.)  He is learning lately what it really means to love Jesus and I see him put it into play in his everyday life at school and at home.  I'm so thankful for that.  And for him.

Nana made the basketball cake.  She's good huh?

 Pitching for the first time in a game.  He loved it!  As he loves everything about baseball.  So much so that he recently had this done...

He and Daddy went fishing tonight and he caught his very first walleye!  So exciting.  


 This boy is amazing for so many reasons.  And not just because he's my baby.  He is growing up so fast and I just can't wait to see all he does and all he becomes.  We love you, Cal!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Clearly I'm not trying for Mother of the Year this year.  Nathan had a birthday two weeks ago and I still haven't done his birthday blog!  Oh you sweet sweet boy.  I love you so much and the only reason I haven't blogged yet is because I just can't find the words to say how special you are.
Birthday number 7.  This is a big one. 
Whenever I do a birthday post I have to put baby pictures in.  If nothing else it's just a fun way to show all these cute pictures.  Looking for cute baby pictures of Nathan is torturous.  They are ALL adorable.  Cutest stinking baby ever.

Always been a Twins fan...

always up for a party.


He's still up for a party, so this year we had three of them.  Three mini birthdays instead of one big one.  My boy was thrilled.  

Here he is opening one of his gifts from us.  It was a Playmobile ambulance.  Super cool.  Nathan is very into all things police, fire, and ambulance.  Papa and Nana got him the Playmobile Fire Station and it is awesome.  We knew the ambulance would be a good fit.

Call it a coincidence, but soon after he opened his present this guy got stuck upside down in his chimney.  Not good.


Don't worry...Nathan and his men to the rescue.  Check out that tongue.  Love.

Our first party was with Uncle John and Aunt Alicia.  They came to visit, so we got an ice cream cake and had a party!

The second party was when our family went to Mi Rancho for dinner.  Nathan specifically asked to eat here so he could, "wear the big hat."  I think he wore it well.

Here he is enjoying the festivities...

And the final party happened when Max, Sara, Will, Greyson, and Tate came to visit the next weekend.  When cousins are around you HAVE to have a party...right?  And since we were so close to Easter, Nana made the traditional bunny cake this time. 

Nathan and Sara, who he calls his best lady, set up a little road and jail for the police cars.  It doesn't get any better than that.

This is not a birthday picture, but I have to include it.  A week or so before his birthday Nathan and I went to the eye doctor together.  We both had to have our eyes dilated during the exam.  Nathan thought the sun glasses they gave us were the coolest thing ever.  When we were driving away he said, "Thank you so much for the new sun glasses you bought me, Mom!  I love them!"  We went to McDonalds for lunch and it was very bright in there so he just wore those things proudly.  I did not.  Maybe I'm a little vain, but not everyone can pull this look off like he can.
 This boy is so special.  We could all learn a lot from him.  God has gifted him with a personality that just lights up a room.  He makes people smile.  He speaks straight from his heart and has such passion.  Nathan sees the good in people.  In everyone.  He wants to be friends with everybody...no matter who they are.  He doesn't care what you look like, how you dress, if you're in a wheelchair or anything else.  Nathan sees people's hearts.  How many of us can say that about ourselves? 
My precious boy....the last seven years have been amazing.  God gave me the greatest gift when he made me your mom.  I can't wait to see all the amazing things you do in your life. 
I love you so much.