Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22

I am thankful for encouragement from my daughter.
A bit of background for you-
She is a floppy baby.
She has nicknames from people who love her that are well intentioned and cute but at the same time it breaks my heart.
She has been slow to meet all of her milestones and it hurts to see how different she is from other babies her age. I try to think of her as fearfully and wonderfully made; she is perfect the way God made her. Her name is Faith, her middle name is Isabella which means "God as a promise" so I try to give myself comfort in having faith in God's promises. All in all I would be fine if she did have some different needs because obviously I have the background for it. I would be very accepting if I knew that I was doing everything in my power to help her to be whatever she is to the best of my ability. I don't think she or any other person needs to be fixed but I do think that everyone deserves to have the tools to reach the potential that God gave them. So whatever her abilities are I want to be the best mom and advocate that I can be so that she can grow up and be happy and faithful.

I have struggled though because I feel like a hypocrite because I’m not just a person with a background in working with special needs- I’m a mom and I’m protective. God told me that she’s in his hands and I should not worry. But I struggle with letting go and I compensate by being a mommy bear and demanding the best that anyone can give us in terms of resources. When Faith got denied for the infant and toddler program I was SO disappointed. I felt like I'm not doing everything I can for her so I don't accept their denial. They told me that she “averages out” Her fine motor skills are only in the 9th percentile, her gross motor skills are in the 26th and her cognitive abilities are up in the 65th percentile. You have to have 2/3 of these things that are less than the 25th percentile to qualify unless you have some underlying diagnosis and then you automatically qualify. Anyway I was notified that she doesn’t qualify and they told me they would track her. At that point I saw Faith who seems like at times she is 2+ months behind her peers physically and to say that I was disappointed is an understatement. I arranged for a second eval from a different specialist and in the meantime I just keep working with her and giving her the massages twice a day to stimulate her nerves and trying new things to see if something will click. It seems like she wants to stand up in my arms, and it seems like she wants to roll over, and she wants to eat baby food and be able to swallow it, she wants to grab things, she wants to play with my hair but her arms hang there and she doesn’t support her core to sit up in my arms when she’s on my hip. I celebrate her small victories and we keep on keeping on. Her smile lights up my world and even though we both get frustrated we just have to keep trying because that’s how life works. There’s always another day, there’s always something new and life will keep going with or without you so we might as well keep a good attitude and go with it.
Today was one of those days when you know you’re doing something right J
  • Today my baby played in the jumper and used her legs!
  • Today my baby ate 2 bites of baby food without losing it out of her mouth!
  • Today my baby laid on her back and lifted her legs up and grabbed her feet!
  • Today she rolled half way over!!!
  • Today she grabbed my hair!
Today was a BIG victory.

Today I felt for the first time like she was like any other baby and there were no painful or worrisome reminders that that my baby is SO different.
I even thought about canceling our 2nd eval with the infant and toddler program. I'll see how she does over the next couple of weeks and I will cancel if she continues to make such amazing progress.
 Today I was encouraged and I wasn’t only so proud of her new milestones I also celebrated that she does march to her own drum and it is ok!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19

I'm thankful for my book club. My book club is a great group of ladies! We all share common a common faith and most of us have children all around the same ages. We all enjloy reading but more than that we enjoy the sanity of getting away for one night a month and just being able to hang out and be yourself. I don't always enjoy the book but I don't mind because I really enjoy the friendship and I feel all smart and grown up when I step outside my comfort zone when I read something I wouldn't normally read.
When you spend your days with small children and babies it is important to feel like all smart and grown up once in a while.
I'm thankful for my friends some of who are new and then of course there are the ones I've known for a couple of years who invited me into the book club in the first place. All of these ladies are fairly new friends I think the longest friendship I have in this group is a year and a half but I'm so thankful to have found them. I don't have many friends who share my faith background. That number is growing quickly though and it's a blessing to be able to be yourself and talk openly or ask for prayer and to not have to explain yourself when you have to discipline your child because a lot of us go to the same bible study where we learned a lot of our child training skills.
Thank God for good friends and mommies only playdates!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

day 12

I'm thankful for our church.
We go to an amazing church! Our church family is HUGE and the resources as extensive. Our pastor is not only compassionate and wise, but also entertaining. We are blessed by a community of people who we have come to know and love.
We have been going to Calvary Chapel Boise for about 4 years now.
Aaron and I both attended Calvery in college, I remember when there weren't that many students in the college age group on sunday nights. Now, there are hundreds of sunday night college age people.
Anyway, after Calvary I went to a different church for about 5 years, it's the church we got married in. It's the church that Cole was dedicated in. Aaron went to second Baptist with his family before and during his college Calvary days. So when we got married and for about 2 years after that we attended my church (Valley Life) but we felt like god wanted us somewhere else. At first we resisted but after we prayed about it for a while we decided to go ahead and attend Calvary again.
A lot of people don't like big churches but I feel liek it really isn't too different from a small church in a lot of ways as long as you get involved. If you get involved and join a small group or serve in a ministery then you make friends and that makes it feel smaller. Eventually you make more friends and your net work grows and pretty soon you are surrounded by an amazing network of love and support.
We enjoy serving others and getting to know other families. I love serving in the women's ministery and iIm always blessed by these ladies. Any time we have had a prayer request or a need of that nature we have been surrounded by more love and support than we knew what to deal with and a lot of times this love comes from people we don't know.
So today I am thankful for my church and for all the ways we are blessed by serving and being a part of that community.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11

I'm thankful for music.
Music allows me to express feelings that don't always have words to match. There is usually a song to match my mood and sometimes I just need to hear something and let it speak for me.
Music comforts my babies, it comforts me. When we're happy; there's usually a song for it. When we're scared we sing through it. There's even a few songs when you're mad that will either validate your anger or calm you down.
Some of my best memories are musical. I came from a family that gathered around the piano and sang Christmas carols. We sang silly songs on road trips. My sisters and I were all in choir and I think we all tried our hand and an instrument or two. There has never been a time when music wasn't a key thing in my life and I'm thankful for that. I can't imagine not having a love for music.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10

I am thankful for my morning coffee.

When I don't get my morning coffee my whole day is off!

I'm thankful to live in a place where it's not such a luxury and it's considered normal to have a cup of coffee in the morning. I always chug the first cup before I even leave the counter and then I refill and enjoy. I am so thankful for my coffee. It just tastes yummy and it's an essential way to start my day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9

I'm thankful for the provision of clothes

We actually buy very few things for our children in term of clothing. We are not against hand me downs and thanks to great friends, some family, and a lot of love we are able to trade or be blessed by other peoples clothes and then in turn we pass on the love.
I am so thankful because I don't always know where their clothes are going to come from but I always feel so peaceful about it because we are always taken care of and we have never not had our needs met.

I honestly feel like it's all about giving back and passing on the blessings. We are blessed and I really try to pay it forward and maybe that's a part of why we never worry about how our needs will be met.
It's a pretty beautiful thing and I am so thankful!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8

I'm thankful for my animals.

We have pets that enrich our lives and teach us about ourselves. Pets are SO important especially to little boys in our world. Girls play with dolls and they learn what you should and should not do, you learn compassion and nurturing. But boys don't generally play with dolls. They don't play a lot of those nurturing games that girls play and so pets help to teach these things.

Our pets give us love. They don't judge and they are always happy to see us. They teach our children responsibility and they keep us grounded.

Our basset hound (Dudley) is a cuddler, he is a love and he only wants to be a 50 pound lap dog. He's getting old but he still loves to run and play. He lets the kids do pretty much whatever they want but he's firm and lets them know what is not ok.
Chance is a viszla/retriever mix and he needs us as much as I need him. I had a golden retriever once upon a time and I had a special bond with him. When he died it left a huge void and I was afraid I would never feel that way about a dog again. When Chance came to us as an emergency rescue we both got a second chance. He's very much my dog but I know he would die for any of us.

Milkshake is a fun little girl that the boys have really enjoyed. She has a whole lot of personality for a rodent. She squeaks when shes happy and does this shudder thing when she's not happy and she's also pretty tolerant of the boys' antics. They have learned commitment and to be gentle with her. She also makes one heck of a garbage disposal for veggie scraps.

Then there are our newest additions; Fred and Daphne. Fred is a male red slider and Daphne is a female western painted turtle.
I had never even touched a reptile before we welcomed these into our home. I didn't have a clue about turtle care or what kind of pets they might make. I did a lot of research on the internet and learned all I could so that they could have the best home we could give them. I have seen and learned so many things through the turtles. Besides being down right cool I have learned that they are very social and I would dare to even call them affectionate. I was reminded that God cares for even the smallest creatures when I thought that our turtles should see a vet but we don't have the resources to take them or to get the supplies that they need. They were rescue turtles in a way and I just want them to have a good home. Sure enough a local vet emailed me and was happy to take a look at them and answer all my remaining questions that I had forgotten to ask my amazing knowledgeable cousins. I love life's little miracles and I love our turtles!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7

I'm thankful for my sisters.
When we were growing up and we'd fight my mom would always say "you're the only sisters you're ever going to have!"

We didn't take her seriously then but I sure am thankful to have that bond now that we're all pretty much grown. My sisters know my dirt and they love my anyway, they understand where I'm coming from because we share the same background. We know how to make it all better for each other and how to be there and when to just listen.

If one of us got into trouble (thankfully no one has) i know that we would all be there for each other in a heartbeat. I can tell you that my sisters were there when for me when Drew died. It meant so much to me that they were there even if they could only help by listening to me cry.

I have tried to be there in the same ways although I am grateful that they have never experianced that kind of loss. Some day it will be just the 3 of us and we really be all we have and I'm so thankful to have the most amazing sisters because I know when that day comes we will be more than enough.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

day 6

I'm thankful for cleaning products. I'm thankful for old reliables like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide which between the two of those you really shouldn't need much else but in case you feel the need to inhale toxic fumes and feel EXTRA clean like I occasionally do there are things like lysol and Kaboom. I'm a big fan or Purell and Dial too.
I'm not overly obsessed with clean but there is a certain comfort in going into a bathroom mainly used by little boys armed with the power of disinfectant. There is satisfaction cleaning up after your animals and knowing that you can still out the baby on the floor.
Our newest friends are turtles and I rely on hand sanitizer, lysol, and dial because turtles can carry samonilla. I sprayed their tank down with hydrogen peroxide yesterday when I cleaned it knowing that even if I wasn't able to rinse all the cleaner away it wouldn't hurt them like a comercial cleaner might. I love that we can give our tiny friends a home and keep our family healthy at the same time!

Thank God for cleaning products!

Here is one of my favorite articles for the basics if you have never heard of using vigegar or peroxide for cleaning.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5

I am thankful for my husband.

I'm thankful that God put us together and for the beauty in how we compliment each other. My weaknesses are his strengths and his weaknesses are my strengths. We are both still relatively young and we are still learning many things about being married but I admire his desire and ability to be the leader of our family and he has an amazing, discerning nature. He is patient and tolerant, he is funny, he doesn't judge, he doesn't get upset too easily.

My husband knows me and understands me. He helps me and sometimes I help him too. He's our rock. I'm blessed because we agree on most things and have the same goals and intentions. Like I said, we are still learning but we have a great foundation and it's because we BOTH work together.

We don't always agree but we know how to fight. We always have a lot of love no matter what and we seek to know each others intentions. He steps up when I need him. Even if he's worked a 10 hour day he is always willing to help me out if I need him and I have NEVER heard him complain.

It is for these reasons and SO MUCH MORE that I am so very thankful for my husband.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4

I'm thankful for the little things in life.

I'm talking about that first sip of coffee in the morning;
a favorite song on the radio or just a song that soothes your soul when you need it;
Finding a dollar or two in the wash;
A new turtle (or 2) who provides entertainment and a welcome distraction from the stressors of life;
The little jokes that your husband makes that make you roll your eyes but laugh;
Or the way the dog looks up at you when he comes and lays his head in your lap...

These little things are definitely not usually life changing by themselves but without them my life would definitely be different.

I sometimes get very busy with life and child training and school and just surviving in general. Tonight I was having trouble of isolating something to be thankful for and I stopped and thought about the last thing that made me smile. It was one of these little things and often times I find myself smiling at the little oddities and joys that are intertwined with my days. I'm thankful to have things to smile about J

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3

Today I am thankful for my kids.

They are oblivious to daylight savings and it reminds me that they are oblivious to a lot of things and that is not necessarily a bad thing. They are always so full of joy and willing to just keep going. They do get frustrated but they always keep trying and learning.
All 3 are so loving and happy.
Cole is string willed and willing to help. He values justice and fairness. He's pretty responsible for a guy his age. He is talented in sports and does well in anything he tries in that area. He's got a sense of humor and is our family comedian.

Davin is full of compassion and thinks carefully about things and then does his best. He's quiet but if you sit back and give him a chance you can see his thoughtful spirit working. He has a servant's heart and a gentle spirit.

Faith is joyful and loving. She is social and vivacious. She loves music and being active. Faith is a snuggle bug, it is such a joy when she buries her head into you and settles in with a content sigh. Faith is assertive but not demanding and her smile is so rewarding.

These are my children and I am so thankful to have been given the task of raising them up to be strong men and women for God. I don't always feel worthy for the task but I'm thankful that they are strong and will turn out ok sometimes in spite of me. Kids put a lot lot of things into perspective and bring out both the best and worst in us. I learn to see my own actions and attitude and work to improve myself so that they will be shown what is right. The kids show me value in unexpected things and keep the world turning. They are brutally honest and candid with no disillusion of niceties. Sometimes it's hard to swallow but it is consistently refreshing.

They can be foolish but I am SO thankful for their pure hearts and willing nature.
Thank you, Thank, you, thank you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2

Today I am thankful for living in the time period (and place) that we live in.
We have so much technology and so much comfort. We don't need to be worried about being warm. If we get sick we go to the doctor. God forbid that we should get seriously sick but if we did we would still have a pretty good chance of fighting it.
I have the resources to look things up on a little machine that gives me access to endless information. My kids get all the stimulation and educational opportunities they could ever want or use.
If I want to mop the floor I use a mop and some pledge floor cleaner. My mom used to use a brush and a bucket of water on her knees and so did all our ancestors. I can vaccume my carpet. I have carpet! If my clothes get dirty I can put them in a magical machine and turn it on and they come out clean. Then I put the clothes in another magical machine and they get dried!
If I'm dirty I can turn a knob and water shoots out from some pipe and I get a shower.
I had this for breakfast this morning
If I need to go to the store I can simply get in my car and turn it on and drive to a big place that has all this food ready to go. If I need clothes I can buy them. I don't own and farn animals and yet I have meat, milk, eggs, and clothing. I don't have a very successful garden and yet I have fresh veggies at any time of the year I want them.

All these things and so much more are available to me because I live in the year 2011 in a developed society. Our worries in our society are politics and business and money. We have poverty but even our poverty is different than it is in other places. There are places that their worry is survival and mothers hold their hungry crying starving babies at night wondering if they will be able to feed their kids in time before they starve.

I am so thankful to not have that problem. I worry about "necesities" like clothes and we have had our times when I worried about food but I have never had to fear for my life or my child's life. I have never wondered where we will sleep.

I am SO thankful to live where I do in the time that I do and this is what I'm thankful for today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 1

I'm joining on the band wagon for 30 days of thankfulness.

I'm thankful for our family who supports us.
          I was thinking about a coat drive that our local radio station puts on and I was thinking about how thankful I was that we didn't need to ask for any coats and in fact we donated a couple of the boys' old coats to the cause.
Would you like to know why we don't need to ask for any coats and why we don't need to use a lot of various programs for underprivileged people? Our family is the most amazing support system!!!
We don't have a lot of things that other people have and a lot of times we go without things because we just can't afford them. We are surely underprivileged at times but I don't know anyone who hasn't been in our shoes at one time or another and God has been so good in providing for us, we have never gone without a necessity. This is what family is all about. Our situation is not permanent; eventually I'm going to get out of school and we will once again be stable. We were one of the millions of families severely affected by the economy and in the bigger picture we will be fine sooner than later but we would be so much worse off if we didn't have a generous family who takes care of their own.  Our families are key in this whole picture because things like coats, clothes, shoes, childcare, and the occasional treat are all examples of the many many things that our families do for us. We do our best with what we have and we would never take advantage but we couldn't do it with out them either. Our families don't have a lot of excess to pass around but we all have love and we all do what we can for each other. Today I am thankful for the support of our families because with out them I'm not what we would do.