Posted in adoption, autism, Autism awareness, Autism life, Beauty, Being a mom, Children, Children with disabilities, Elementary, Faith, family, Helpless, Hope, life, love, Mom life, Scared, School, Special education, Special needs

The X Factor: School Life for Our Autistic Son 


I attended my first IEP meeting for this school year for wild man a few weeks ago.  As a mom I want the best for my kids. I want them to have a great education and be able to succeed. As a mom of an autistic child I want these things and so much more.

 The meeting went well. His new teacher, OT, speech director, principal and his teacher from last year all love him.  Which makes me feel like we made the right decision on the School.  We went over his daily schedule and how we could make it better for him.  This year he will have his major subjects in a regular classroom while his afternoons will be spent in the classroom equipment for special needs (this is the classroom which make us choose the school in the first place). Change is hard for him but I want what’s best for him.  

The meeting was filled with comments like “he is doing so great” “he is working so hard” and “he has come a long way”. All of which made me smile because he is doing great and working hard. And he has come a long way, a very long way.  It’s in these moments that I get lost and almost forgot he is autistic.  Everyone bragging on him and telling funny stories about things he has done.  I love seeing other people’s faces when they talk about him.  They just light up he has that effect on people once they take time to get to know him. 

But then there comes the reality.  Take this work page for example.  He scored a 3 out of 10.  I know placing him in the regular classroom is supposed to help him build social skills and help him become more independent.  But he is so lost when it comes to the actual school work.  I don’t want him to be overlooked or just passed through because of his disabilities. I want him to have a chance to learn and to grow just like any mother would.  I know many of you are thinking “it’s just one paper or he is just in 1st grade” but that’s my point. This is just the beginning. What happens now and how he is treated will affect the way things go from here on out. He does not bring many graded papers home but when he does most notes are “he tried hard” At what point will he become completely lost and what nothing to do with School? Will he always be this happy go lucky boy or will the struggles become to much for him the bear?  I worry because it’s my job to make sure he receives the best possible education he can receive. I worry that the other kids will start calling him names or talking about him because he does not get the answers right.  I worry constantly about how his peers receive him.  

But then my son does the most wonderful thing.  As I look at all the X’s on his papers and the comments my son, my beautiful intelligent son points at the papers and says “look momma I got this one right” and smiles great big.  Even in a world full of negativity and large red and green X’s my son only sees the good, he only sees the beauty. As his mom I worry about him in this crazy world we live in.  People are so cruel to each other and I am scared that the things that make him unique in Gods eyes will get him teased or even hurt in this world.  But God has given my son a unique way of looking at things. He only sees the good in people and in things.  He does not notice those that stare at him or say hurtful things about him. I am truly thankful for that.  As his mom I need to try and see the world the way he sees it.  I need to find the good.

So yes we celebrate the three right answers, because a year or two ago none of this would have even been possible. We celebrate that he can now write his name and that his teacher said he is now sitting at his desk up to three minutes at a time. (This is huge for him) We celebrate that he has even sat at the dinner table with us a few times this month and we were able to have dinner as a family(and this is huge for him). We celebrate the red and green X’s because they show us progress. He is moving forward in all areas of his life.  We celebrate because God has made this prefect little guy ours and we are the ones that get to watch him grow and succeed at life.   

We celebrate because we are blessed.  

Thank you wild man for opening my eyes to more than just the negative.  Thank you for helping me see there is beauty in everything, even in X’s. 

Posted in Being a mom, blessed, Children, Faith, family, Grief, Home, Home state, Hope, life, love, Scared, thankful, Where I come from

What Happened to Peace on Earth?

Like many of you, my heart hurts for those that lost loved ones or were injured in the horrific event that happened in Vegas.  I would love to say I’m shocked that someone could do something so cold to anyone let alone complete strangers but the sad truth is shootings like this are becoming part of our normal.  That my friends is scary. 

When I was growing up I never felt unsafe. I would walk to the little general store up the road from my house just to buy a candy bar and a soda.  My parents didn’t have to worry, they knew I would be fine and would return safe. I never worried about going to the mall, movie theater, a concert, or church. Those type of places where safe places where people could enjoy the company of others and share a few laughs or sing a few hallelujah’s and know everything would be fine. Now….now I won’t lie I do worry.  I worry for my husband, I worry for my kids, I worry for my future grandchildren, I worry for America. We are still the land of the free but I am afraid many of us (myself included) are not so brave right now. We are scared. Really really scared. 

I remember in the days following 9/11 how united we were and how we stood together. In the middle of complete terror unity and love grow.  It makes me sad….no not sad angry and hurt that in just over sixteen years we have forgotten those days. Until tragedy like Vegas, Pulse, or the countless school shootings happen. Why must such horrible things happen for us to unite as a nation?

I blame the news stations and social media sites.  Since 9/11 it seems all we see or all we hear about is the bad.  The mass shootings the attacks and the suicide bombers make up most of the evening news. In order to keep their ratings up they shove these gruesome images in our faces over and over.  This morning on one local channel there was an hour and 45 minutes played of personal videos taken from the shooting in Vegas.  The sound of the gun shots echoed and the screams of the people were deafening.  It was to painful to watch yet I did until my daughter came in. The line of people standing to give blood to help those victims received not even 2 minutes. (The death of Tom Petty had a 10 minute segment)

My seven year old walked in the living room while our tv was on the station and asked What happened this time momma?  It’s become such a normal part of our society that the large loss of life did not scare her. She knew something bad happened but something bad “always” happens.  How scary it that?? Or am I the only one that thinks this way?  Do you not remember how scared we were on 9/11?? These shootings and other attacks are the same thing. And they are happening more and more often. Has our society grown accustom to the violence so much so that we are okay with it?  Seriously we need to wake the hell up people. 


On Sunday here, a man was pulled over for speeding. He was going 55 in a 30.  It should have been an easy stop.  However inside his car the police found 900 plus rounds of ammo, multiple firearms (all loaded), and other weapons.  I don’t want to think what he would have done if the cops had not pulled him over.  That was less than twenty miles from my home.  What has happened to us as a nation?

We are so easily offended by everything nowadays. I was having lunch with my oldest son last week when we overheard two women talking about how they were glad they were that their boys refused to stand for the National Anthem, because they never liked that song anyways.  Seriously?!?! I about lost it in the middle of Taco Bell.  

I agree with what Jason Aldean said following the shooting:

“At the end of the day we arent Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this Country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now. “

 I pray we come together and that we stay together. I ask Jesus to comfort those that have lost loved ones and to heal our nation. I pray that we have seen the worst and that better safer days lay ahead for all of us.  I pray that one day we truly our One Nation Under God. And that we will not live in fear anymore. 

Posted in Being a mom, blessed, Children, Faith, family, Foster care, foster parent life, Fostering, Hope, life, love, Mom life, Starfish, thankful

The Next Chapter in our Foster Care Journey 

How to start this blog, let me think let me think…….

  Well as most of you know my husband and I were foster parents for six years back home before his job transferred us out of state. Most of you also know that in those six years we were able to provide a safe loving home for over 20 children, five of which we were blessed to adopt.  When we moved we knew our foster parent days were over and we were okay with that. The journey had been eye opening, heartbreaking, joyful and at times overwhelming. Yes there were many ups and downs but helping the kids far surpassed the aggravation that is the system.  We would miss our friendships we made along the way but our fostering days were done. 

Jump forward to this year…

The thing about being a foster parent is once a foster parent your mind always thinks like a foster parent, you can’t just shake it off.  No matter where you are there are children hurting and in need of a safe place to call home. We would see stories on the local news such as drug charges or overdoses and even though the children are seldom mentioned we knew they were there.  As a foster parent you watch the news a little different that most people.  Our hearts would break. But how could we help down here? We knew we didn’t have time to take the training classes again and  we knew most people would say we were nuts.

A few months back I actually had a dear friend tell me “You’ve done your part let someone else worry about them.  There are others out there that can help. After all you know you can’t save them all.”  Not going to lie hearing these words hurt.  My husband and I know we are not superheroes, we know we can’t save them all but if we could help just one or two while here we wanted to. And as far as the others helping out those people are few and far between.  In our new state there are around 4,000 foster homes.  That sounds like a lot but when the state population is around 6 million (yes 6 million) 4,000 does not seem like such a large number. We wrestled with the idea of what to do.  Many friends and family members didn’t want us to adopt anymore after we adopted Diva and Wild Man. But we did.  Many questioned us to what are real motives were by saying things like we were baby hoggers or that we must be making loads of money seeing we keep taking in kid after kid.  I can assure you while we were foster parents we spent far more out of our pockets each month than what the state paid, it’s not about the money.  People can be so cruel.  But I keep telling myself we don’t answer to these people. We answer God. 

Diva and I were having lunch a while back and she said “Mommy I talked to God last night and He told me all about our new baby sister.  She is so tiny mommy. Oh and we are naming her Eden Grace. She will be ours in 2018.”  As I finished chewing up my peanut butter sandwich I looked for words to explain to her that this was not possible. That we didn’t plan on adopting anymore children.  But I found none.  How could I tell her she hadn’t really talked to God about a new baby when I had personally had a similar dream about our son Big Al.  We finished lunch and we went on about our day.  When my husband came home I told him about our daughters dream.  We had a good laugh but then he said we do have room for one more girl. He is such an amazing man. 

I called around to a couple of foster agencies and inquired on how to become a foster parent here.  I won’t bore you with all of that (if you want to read about the process it’s all in my upcoming book 😊) let’s just say when God is not finished with you things get done, even the impossible.  We kept the process quite from all most everyone, we didn’t need negativity about our decision.  Only a few people knew about it seeing we needed them to complete our forms.  This time around we would not be able to take in large groups of siblings. We already have our five little loves and our state only allows six children in the home.  This go around we would only be able to help one. One girl. One girl between the ages of newborn to 10.  That is like finding a needle in a haystack.  The odds where not in our favor to be able to help, however our sweet caseworker told us we were still good candidates and encouraged us the whole process.   

Then a few months ago we were finally approved.  We had discussed what we were comfortable with and decided that a girl between 4 and 10 is what would best fit our family. We would take a baby if necessary but in foster care babies always find a home so our focus was the older girls.   

I can’t help but think God was laughing at us once again and saying something like Child stick with what you know.  

After a few placement calls and turning them down(most were sibling groups) I sat in the middle of my kitchen floor and prayed. I felt like maybe we weren’t meant to help out down here, saying no is so hard when you know these precious children need someone.  Maybe it was time for us to stop. I prayed God if we are meant to help here show me how show me where. After that little chat with Jesus I picked myself up off the floor, feeling that if we didn’t get a placement it was okay.  We would find another way to help out somewhere else.
Almost a month after that chat my phone rang.  

Sometimes We must wait before God calls on us.  And when He calls we must be ready.  

So to put it out there, yes we are now active foster parents.  Now that our parents have met the little one we can tell everyone else. Having six little loves in our home is such a blessing.  We love what we do.  I know many will never understand why we do what we do, and that’s okay. I know many will think we are crazy, and that’s okay.  I know some will even be mad and upset at us, and even that’s okay.  

As for me and my husband we can’t set back and watch the news and the events that happen around us and not do something.  We have the room, we have a vehicle large enough, but most importantly we have enough love in our hearts. We are not superheroes, we don’t think we can save them all, the truth is we know we can’t. But we can help one more, one at a time.  And that’s what we plan on doing. 
From our beautiful chaos to yours let’s see where the next chapter takes us.  


Posted in Being a mom, Children, Children with disabilities, family, Lesson learned, life, Mom life, Rude

To the Rude Lady at McDonald’s…

Friday nights are our house have been Pizza Fridays for a few years now.  When you find something your autistic son will eat with you..you stick with it.  Tonight was to be no different.  My husband would call when he was about to get off work, I would place our order and he would pick it up on his way home.  4:30 came and went.  5:30 passed. By 6:30 the kiddos were raiding the cabinet looking for snacks until the pizza got home. My husband called around 6:45 when he got back into cell service range to let me know he was still about 2 hours away from home. 

So I called our pizza place and by this time in the evening on a Friday night we were looking at a 45 minute to hour wait on our order. By the time I ordered it and loaded up the kids and picked it up then drove back home it would be way passed our little loves bedtimes.  What to do what to do.  With it being pizza Friday I had not prepared anything to fix for dinner so take out it would be.  After a few minutes the kids agreed on McDonald’s (not my first choice) but with them serving breakfast all day long each child would be able to eat something for dinner. 

Now I know when people see my twelve passenger van in the drive thru the looks start coming my way.  And I know dear rude lady when you pulled up behind me you must have thought Great day why did they not go in?  It’s okay, most people think that. Many people see our van and assume its a church bus or a hotel shuttle bus, but rest assure it’s just our family van.  


Now there was no need in you pulling up behind me and honking your horn for me to move out of your way.  After all I was behind four other vehicles, I was not the one holding up the line.  And when the young cashier asked me to pull up to the third window to wait on my son’s sausage biscuits there was no need in you pulling up right behind me and given me the finger.  I was doing what they asked me to do.  I could have stayed at window number two and made you wait even longer on your food.  After you were handed your food and went to pull out you didn’t have to start blowing your horn again for me to move, for I was still patiently waiting on my four year olds food. As you maneuvered your car out of the drive thru line you did not have to roll down your window and start cussing me and saying things like “if you had so many orders you should have went inside.  Get out of my damn way”  I can assure you we had only one order and it was under twenty dollars.  


As You glared at me as you pulled off while driving with one hand so you could use your other hand to “wave” at me with one finger, I could not help but get a little angry because my children were starting to ask why you were so mad at us.  

When we finally got our order the cashier apologized for it taking so long and then she apologized for you.  See she had heard the scene you had caused and felt the need to show me not all people are mean. She suggested that you must have been having a bad day for normal people don’t act that way.

As we drove back home we passed a couple setting but the road.  What were they doing by the road you ask?  Well they were waving and smiling at the cars passing by.  They were spreading joy not hate.  As I passed them, even though I was still angry with you, I caught myself waving back and smiling back at them.  Their kindness won over your hatefulness.  

I hope you saw them as you drove off.  I hope their kind gestures caught your eye and made you think about the way you acted just moments before.  I don’t know your story, maybe the cashier was right and you were having a bad day. Maybe you had received some bad news at work or you were fighting with your spouse, whatever made you act so ugly in front of my kids I hope your evening got better after seeing those two strangers shared a friendly smile with you.  I know my evening was better after seeing them.

I could have come home still angry with you and your actions.  I could have complained to my husband about it after he finally made it home. I could have been mad at him for working so late which led to me having to go out in the first place. I could have spent my evening angry but I didn’t. I didn’t allow you to steal my joy this evening.  I chose to be happy like that couple standing alone side the road just waving and smiling at complete strangers.  

In all things choose to be happy, choose to see the good not the bad, spread love like the couple that was standing by the road not hate like the lady behind me at McDonald’s. We need more love and less hate in this world.

From our beautiful chaos to yours I hope you have a fantastic weekend.  Look for ways to make someone’s day just a little bit brighter, a smile can change a persons attitude towards a whole evening. 

Posted in adoption, Being a mom, blessed, Children, Faith, family, foster parent life, Hope, life, love, Mom life, thankful

Two years already? 

Two years ago I did not know of you but now I can’t imagine my life without you. Two years ago tomorrow I would receive a phone call in the middle of the afternoon telling me you had made your way into this world.  Two years ago I was trying to convince myself there was no way we could take in a new foster placement with our move to Tennessee coming up. But as soon as the sweet worker on the other end of the phone told me you were Elmo’s sister I knew you were part of Gods plan for us. I told the worker I would call her back in a few minutes (I needed to explain things to your daddy) He was shaking his head no the whole time I was talking to the worker but just like me when he heard you were Elmo’s sister he knew you were meant to be ours.

The day you were born 9/17/15
I may not have carried you for nine months in my belly, I may not have felt you kick or had morning sickness but as soon as I heard about you….you were mine.  I fell in love the moment I held you. When the nurses asked, Are you ready to meet your daughter? I felt tears running down my face. I may not have been there those nine months but I can promise you I will be here for you the rest of the days of my life.  You hold a piece of my heart. 

Mommy and her baby girl
A quick nap before the game

People tell us all the time “she (and your siblings) is so lucky to have you” or  ” you have changed her life” or “your such a blessing to those babies”.  The truth is they have it all wrong.  I’m not a super mom. I don’t have it all together.  I’m the lucky one. I look at you and still can’t believe God placed you in my life. You are such a sweet, funny, sassy, and smart little girl. I am thrilled I get to be your mom.  I have not changed your life, you changed mine.  You make my days brighter with your smile and your big bear hugs. Your sweet “loves you’s mommy” melt my heart.  I fail you daily but you and your siblings are my greatest blessings.  Been mom to seven if by far the greatest blessing God could have given to me. I am the one blessed by having you. 


So today I look back and thank God for bringing you into my life. I thank the worker who went above and beyond to locate us so you could be placed with your brother. I thank the nursing staff that cared for you before I could get to you. And I thank your birth mom, she could have chosen not to have you knowing she would not be able to keep you but she chose life for you.  I am so grateful for her choice. 

Last picture as a one year old
Your first birthday

Tomorrow you turn two. I look forward to seen where God takes you. I look forward to watching you grow and learn new things. I look forward to loving you more and more each day.   Happy birthday baby girl!!!!! You are so loved. May tomorrow bring you happiness and be full of birthday blessings.  

Posted in adoption, Being a mom, blessed, Children, Children with disabilities, family, foster parent life, life, love, Mom life, thankful

Sorry Daddy but Only mommy can….

My husband has been working a lot of overtime recently, partly do the crazy weather and to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, so my kids are use to it being just me at the house to cater to their daily needs.  So when he was actually home all weekend I thought I would get a to relax a little bit and he could take over.  My little ones had other plans.

Here are a few things that over the weekend the kids said “No Daddy Only mommy can do…..

Only mommy can build my Lego house just right.

Only mommy can make my waffles, and make his toast,and her breakfast muffins because it’s Sunday morning why would we  all want to eat the same for breakfast 

No daddy only mommy can go to the bathroom and sit in the floor while I poop in the potty so I’m not alone (with two boys potty training I spent hours in the bathroom floor this weekend) 

Only mommy can fix my hair, I won’t like it but only she can fix it

Only mommy can watch the YouTube video that sings Zombie Arms because I have to watch it and dance at least 100 times a day

Only mommy lets my finish off her coffee (after I’ve stuck my fingers in it)

Only mommy slips me a piece of chocolate if I promise to eat all of my lunch

Only mommy can sing my  Jesus songs with me at night cause her voice is sometimes kind of pretty

Only mommy can take me to bed cause  if she sings with diva she needs to sing the ABC song “frontwards and backwards” with me

Only mommy can yell at the Packers while they play ball daddy 

Only mommy can read me my book with holding my baby sister and making dinner because I have to hear the story right then

Only mommy can rock me to sleep 

Only mommy can kiss my boo boo better you can try daddy but it’s not the same

Only mommy can get up with Elmo at 430, big Al at 530 and manage not to need a nap

Only mommy can stay calm while we run crazy playing cowboys and dinosaur hunters with inside the house because it’s to wet to play outside 

Only mommy can push me in the swing cause she does silly rhymes while she pushes me up up up

Only mommy can build the bestest living room forts

Only mommy can help me with homework I forgot about until 20 minutes before bed on Sunday night

Only mommy can cover our faces in kisses cause she says she will miss this chaos when we grow up 

There are so many things that go on throughout our days here, it’s nice to know there are a few things that the kids seem to think no one else can do.  My husband is a terrific dad and he spends his fair share of time doing things with the kids, but on weekends like this one it’s nice to know they still love their momma and still think only mommy can on a few things.  

Taking a nothing special weekend and making beautiful memories.  I call that success. 

Posted in blessed, Children, family, Grandparents, Grief, Home, Hope, life, love, thankful, Where I come from

Grandparents 

It was Sunday afternoon and I found myself reminiscing of a simpler time.  I find myself thinking back to a time where I had no bills to pay, no worries or no fears.  Back to a time where my weekends were spent with my cousins on my grandparents farm chasing chickens or swimming in the creek (when my parents allowed us) or pretending to be the cast off of the Dukes of Hazzard.   Those were the days

I was blessed in many ways growing up.  One of the greatest blessings by far was having both sets of my grandparents while growing up.  I was also fortunate to have a set of great-grandparents that I had the pleasure of getting to know and love.  Not many people can say that.   This post it in honor of all of my grandparents.  

I will start with my dad’s parents.  My papaw L and Mamaw S.  I can’t think of any week in my childhood that these two were not involved somehow.  They lived up the holler (up the road for you city folk) from us.  My brother and I spend the days with them while my parents worked and after we started school my papaw would pick us up after school until my parents got home.  We spent our days playing games of Canasta, that’s actually how I figured out how to count, or working in the garden, running wild in the open fields and eating gooseberries and rhubarb off the creek bank.  Back then we could ride in the back of papaw’s old black Ford to the store(no seatbelt required) where he would give us a dollar to spend on whatever we liked. Usually I got a can of Dr Pepper and a candy bar and still had a few cents left over.  When we would return we would help him carry the groceries up the steps and into the kitchen were my mamaw patiently waited.  She always made sure to have something on the table for dinner when my parents arrived to pick us up, a few of my favorites: her steak and gravy and her homemade chili.

My papaw L and his old Ford
My baby girls 1st Year pictures. With my mamaw S in the heart

 She gave me a love/hate relationship with scary movies.  She absolutely loved to watch them but hated to watch them alone so I would stay up with her and not sleep for nights after words fearing Freddy really was going to get me.   I find it funny that my children love scary stuff and I can’t bring myself to watch anything scarier than what plays on Disney Junior at Halloween time.  If they only knew what I went through lol.  My papaw was one of a kind.  Strong and brave.  He gave me a love for the outdoors and helped me shot my first gun. I lost them both before I was sixteen.  But our bond will last my lifetime.

Both of my grandfathers served our country in WWII. Papaw L was and Army man while my Papaw W was a Navy man.  To see the way these high paid athletes are disrespecting our flag, our national anthem and country makes me sick. I know both of them would be shaking their heads. They were proud to be Americans and proud to have served their country.  Their love for our freedom has flowed throughout the generations that followed them.  

My papaw W and mamaw B lived about an hour away from us.  We spend our weekends there with our countless cousins on my moms side.  On Saturday nights the men played cards while the lady’s chatted in the living room or watched us kids run around outside. And on Sunday morning mamaw B made sure we all made it to church. My papaw W and mamaw B gave me a love for the Bible early on in life.  Some of my favorite times with papaw were our Bible talkes after I was a young adult.  I remember going camping and fishing on the river.  And with the arrival of spring it meant it was time to dig ramps (kind of like a wild onion) for the annual ramp dinner. My family was not rich but I never weren’t, we were blessed with something much more valuable than money.After my dad’s parents passed away and my moms parents moved to town we spent more time at their house. My mamaw B’s mom, Great Grandma W, moved in with them.  Most of my memories of her come from this time.  Great Grandma W was a firecracker.  She could preach the Word of God and tell the funniest jokes. She and mamaw quilted many blankets and made many Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for us as we grow up.  Their house was had food one the table, you never knew who would stop by to share a meal. 

Papaw W giving my husband some parenting advice

My oldest daughter and son have the privilege of getting to spend time with them often.  My son when he was old enough got to go on the annual hunting trip with my dad, my papaw W, and my uncle. These three men helped shape him into the young man he is today. Those hunting trips are something he will treasure forever. My daughter was my papaw’s football buddy.  Not many families have five generation photos but we were blessed to be able several of them.  My beautiful Great Grandma went to be with Jesus when she was 102.   Just a few years ago I lost my papaw W.  He was at the hunting camp with my dad, son and uncle.  He passed away doing what he loved to do.  My heart still aches. 
Our first 5 generation picture, the day I brought my oldest daughter home from the hospital. Our first stop Mamaw B’s house
My mom, Great Grandma, mamaw, me, Sis and bub. Look how tiny their are ❤️
Mamaw B, me and all of my kiddos ❤️.

A few weeks ago I was able to make a trip make home, while there I made sure to stop by and see me beautiful mamaw B.  That trip she remembered me and we shared some good laughs at my brothers experience, sorry bub. 

Mamaw telling me a story about my brother.

She’s all I have left and I hate being hours away.  I hate that life happens and I can’t just pick up and go let I did when I was younger.  I hate being an adult. How I wish I could turn back time to when I was 14 or 15 and still have them all with me. I am very Thankful to still have her. 

I hope I have made them proud. I hope as they look down from heaven they say, “See that girl right there well that’s my granddaughter.”  I hope I have turned out half a well as they had hoped.  There’s not a day that goes by I don’t smell something or see something that reminds me of at least one of them.  Both of my adopted daughters are named in someway to honor my mamaw S and mamaw B.  My oldest was named in honor of my great grandma W.  I hope that they carry the names given to them with their heads held high knowing just how special they are. I pray they too become strong independent women as those they are named after.  I pray that all my children know just how blessed our family is.  For even though my little loves are too young to remember on their own they will know who their Great grandparents and Great Great Grandma was through the stories I share.  Oh how I miss you all so….

And mamaw B I will be back to see you soon, until then your Baby girl loves you keep those nurses on their toes ❤️
From our beautiful chaos to yours be sure to tell those you love just how much they mean to you.  Cherish the moments for a lifetime. 

Posted in Being a mom, blessed, Children, Children with disabilities, Church, Faith, family, Hope, life, love, Mom life, thankful

Back to School 

Well it’s that time of year again.  The 2017-2018 school year has kicked off.   This year we have one in his second year of college, one in 2nd grade, one in 1st grade and two in preschool.  Our oldest daughter graduated college last May and our baby girl is at home with me seeing that she is not yet two.


With each school year we all can count on one thing….Germs. And even if your child does not share well with others, they will share their flu bugs and viruses I’m sure of it.  It does not matter how much the school cleans someone is always kind enough to share their sickness with with the rest of the class. It happens. And this year is no different.  We made it a full two weeks before the stomach virus hit our house with vengeance.  Over the last week it has claimed five victims in our house: my husband, Wild Man, Elmo, Diva, and myself.  Thankfully baby girl and Big Al were spared this go around. So far.

The good thing about were we live is that we get what I call unique holidays at our schools.  The kids had a four day weekend last week. They were off last Friday, due to the NASCAR race and then they were off Monday for this little thing called a total eclipse, maybe a few of you heard about that 😉.  Even way, with the extra days off thankfully the kiddos didn’t miss much school (Diva was the only one who actually missed school with her being sick on Tuesday) 

While taking care of the sick ones I could not help but notice that even though they all ended up with the same virus they all responded to it differently.  With Wild Man even though he was sick he did not slow down nor did he complain.  If I wasn’t having to clean up after him I may have never noticed he was sick by his actions.  That’s one of the hardest things about him being autistic, he does not/can not tell us he is sick.  We just have to watch and see what happens and try our best to fix it.  With Elmo, if he is sick you know it.  He becomes mommy’s cuddle bug.  He wants to be held and babied until he is all better.  He still believes in the power of “mommy’s magical kisses” and if he receives enough of these boo boo kisses he will be cured from whatever ails him. With Diva, well if someone has something she does not she can convince herself she has it.  She wants left out of nothing.  She is a hypochondriac.  I never seen her actually get sick but she insisted she was dying mover the less. And then there’s my husband….if any of you reading this are married you know what I’m talking about.  I love him dearly, so I don’t need phone calls or emails telling me that I’m ungrateful or that I’m being a disrespectful wife keep those to yourself, but I can’t be the only wife who’s husband needs more attention than a child when he is sick.  He came home from work and laid on the couch. I asked him to go to bed several times but was met with the “I’m fine right here don’t worry about me” comment. I know he was fine,  but our house still must function whether he is sick or not.  Do you know how hard it is to try to keep five kids quiet while their dad tried to rest on the couch?  It’s almost impossible.  ***ugh*** And then there’s me, mom.  When mom gets sick, well mom must keep going.  We power through the upset stomach and headache because our family needs us; sick or not.  It’s what most moms do. 

The way we responded to the stomach virus made me think about the way we as Christians respond to God.  We all had the same virus, God offers us all the same love.  We all responded to being sick differently, as Christians we all respond to God’s love differently.  Some of us choose to cuddle up with Jesus and seek Him out to make us feel better and feel safe. Others can keep on going day in and day out without slowing down to acknowledge His presence.  Still others crave Him when it’s convenient for them and then quickly turn back towards worldly things when we want to fit in.  And still others just keep going through life the same way as always because that’s just what they do, right or wrong.  

Walking in faith is not always easy and no two people walk this path the same way.   Our relationship to God is a personal one, you can’t do or respond the exact same way as another person because that is their journey not yours.  Just as the stomach bug effects so all different so does God’s grace.  What He has planned for me is not what He has planned for you.  We are all unique in His eyes yet He loves us all the same.
From our beautiful chaos to yours: Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!  Remember God loves you just the way you are❤️

Posted in Being a mom, blessed, Children, Church, Faith, family, life, love, Mom life, thankful

I Am, I am Not….Where do I fit in with God’s Plan? 

 

Sunday mornings are Always crazy at our house.  Trying to get all our little loves ready and out the door in time for morning service can be challenging at best.  I knew yesterday would be no different.  If anything it would be more difficult once they realized they were going to their new Sunday school classrooms. 

It wasn’t one big thing but many little things that had me thinking It’s just one service, no one would miss us if we didn’t go today. What harm could it do by staying home?  Then I realized I had said those same words last week when our six year old autistic son simply refused to go so I stayed home with him, baby girl, and Big Al while my husband took our other two children to service.  It’s so simple to slip into the routine of not going when you have small children. There are days it just does not seem worth the fight to go. And it’s not that they dislike church, they really enjoy church, it’s just the getting ready without fighting they can’t seem to do. And we want them to go.  We want them to grow in their own faith. So as I looked at my little loves, two of which were fighting over what cartoon to watch, one still sleepy and wanting her bottle, and one refusing to put on a dress because she wanted to wear the pink shorts and green shirt she had picked out instead, I took a deep breath and said Not today devil I can handle whatever you throw my way.   

God knew I needed to be at that service.  

Our pastor’s message was on John the Baptist. I sat in the service with my husband by my side thinking about the mess our morning had been. Somedays I don’t feel I am enough or good enough.  The day in day out battles we face with our daughters RAD and our sons autism can be overwhelming at times, and let’s not forget we have three other little ones who are well under four so I will leave it at that.   We had made it to service and managed to get all of the kiddos to their new classes without to many tears but I was exhausted. I just wanted to go in set down relax for a few minutes without children hanging off me.  Not the best reason to go to church I know.  But as I sat there and listened to our pastor talk about how John was questioned  by the priests  as to “Who he was”  I could not help but question myself.  Who am I? John knew he was not Jesus and was quick to tell them he was not. He also told them he was not Elijah nor was he the prophet.  (John 1 19-28) It would have been easy for him to take credit and say Yes I am, but he did not. Instead he stayed humbled and followed the path God intended for him. 

So who am I? Where do I fit in to His master plan?  

I don’t know the whole answer, I may never know.  But I do know He placed me here in this moment for a reason. He made a way for me to be a mother to seven amazing children all uniquely made in His image. He blessed me with a truly wonderful husband. He knows my every flaw and still He loves me anyway.  I may second guess myself from time to time but God believes in me with all He has.  How truly awesome is that?

 I don’t always have the picture perfect family were everyone gets along and everyone is happy to see each other.  No in fact most days we have at least one mad at someone because they “looked at them weird.”  And I may get embarrassed and a little upset while trying to talk to someone on the parking lot and my kids are screaming in the car like crazy animals (side note there was a hornet in the van which set the screaming in motion, my husband was able to remove it but the screaming continued) I may feel unqualified to parent when I see others with their children so well behaved in the store while mine are…..well not behaving as  I wish.  It’s all okay because He is the Great I AM. 
For when I feel weak – He is strong

When I am tired – He gives me rest

When I am unlovable- He loves me anyway 

When I hurt- He is my comforter 

When I am lost – He will find me

When I simply can not go on- He will carry me

When I question why- He answers 

I am where I am suppose to be. God has placed us all here not to just wake up, go to work, pay bills, and sleep. He placed us here to love each other and to support each other.  And when life seems to be just to different for us to do alone He wants us to know He is there for us.  We must all be like John and find our place in History.  

I am so thankful we didn’t let the devil win yesterday morning. I am thankful we made it to church and heard the message. I am thankful the kids enjoyed their new classes and want to go back. I am thankful I could sing His praises yesterday, today and forever more.  Yehweh Yehweh 

Posted in autism, Autism awareness, Autism life, Being a mom, blessed, Children, Children with disabilities, family, life, love, Puppy

Puppy Dog Kisses

Back while my husband and I were still dating we rescued a puppy.  Her name was Satin.  Satin was part Lab and part unknown.  Her mother had been dropped off along side the road and made her way up to a house that belonged to a friend of mine.  My friend took the dog to the vet to have her checked out she found out she was pregnant, most likely the reason she had been dropped off.  She was underweight and dirty so my friends family nursed her back to health while they waited for the arrival of the puppies. A few weeks later the mother dog gave birth to nine puppies.  This family knew they could not keep all of them but were willing to care for them until they were old enough to be on their own and then started looking for homes for both the mom dog and her puppies.  If homes could not be found they would have to take them to the animal shelter.  Ten dogs was to much for them to take on full time. 

My husband and I went to her house and Satin walked straight up to us.  We were looking for a male dog but she won us over with her sweet personality.  She became part of our family.

Satin and her stuffed toy
 

When JR became part of our family Satin became his dog.  He loved on her, played with her, layed on her, and rode on her. Satin allowed him to do things with her that she would never consider letting others do, I think she knew or could sense he was autistic.  He could lay on her for hours and she would never question it whereas my brother could try to pet her and she would bark are him.  Satin and JR had a special bond. She was his protector and he was her guardian. They were each other’s best friends.

JR, Devin and Satin hanging out at our old house

I’m not sure exactly when it happened but within the last year Satin had started becoming more aggressive not only with us but with the kids.  Maybe it was the move or maybe it was the fact she was nine I don’t know. All I do know is she wasn’t the same sweet dog anymore.  We had not one but two incidents in May that had my husband and I questioning if she was safe to have around the kids anymore.   We did not want to put her to sleep or take her to a shelter but we could not have her being aggressive with the kids, especially JR. He did not understand why he could not play with her the way he always had.  My husband took her to the vet and with a heavy heart we placed her in a no kill shelter (she stayed for a week before being placed in a new home with no kids or other animals) Our hearts ached. She had been such a huge part of our lives. We had no plans on getting another dog. No one could replace Satin. 

However by July we were having major problems with JR. He was lost without his dog. He cried for her daily, she would look for her every time we went outside, he called out for her in his sleep.  Our little guy was miserable and that was hard to watch.  So my husband and I had a talk and we decided that even though we didn’t really want a new dog, JR needed a dog.  And after looking around my husband found a 16 week old yellow Lab that our son named Frosty. 

Frosty has quickly became JR’s new favorite obsession.  He absolutely loves his new dog, and so do the rest of our kids.  Frosty runs with them and slides with them, lays down with them and just enjoys being with them. JR and Frosty have already went on dinosaur adventures and deep sea dives (in their kiddy pool) and I am sure there are many more adventures to come over the upcoming years.  He still misses Satin, we all do, but I am thankful for this new four legged friend that has made his way into our hearts. JR needed Frosty to heal and to help move forward.  Seeing the two of them together today made my heart smile.  As JR was hugging Frosty, his new puppy licked his cheek and JR giggled.  He said Look momma he gave me puppy kisses just like Satin use to.  He squealed with delight right before returning the favor to his puppy.   Aw puppy kisses there’s nothing better for a little boys heart ❤️