Our Family

Our Family

Monday, June 7, 2010

Poor Brady...

So, as the universe would have it, Brady decided to trip over a rock and break his foot.
He was playing
'very nicely', (I'm sure going about 100 miles an hour) and just happened to trip and fall...well, that led to pain, and then he couldn't walk, so I had to tote him, give him piggy back rides, motrin, ice, anything to keep him from whining! I don't know if it's the autistic thing or not, but when he gets hurt, it's like he gets mad because he can't do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. But, it's also like he gets a sort of "high" from endorphines or something from being in pain. He has been soooooo hard to control!!!!!! The instant that cast was put on his foot, it was like a miracle happened...he couldn't twist, crack and grind his foot, so he started to relax. It's almost like when he gets really stressed and you squeeze him tight and give him that deep pressure for a couple of minutes it calms him down...it's kinda like his foot had deep pressure and was releaved. I know I sure was when they put the little boot on him and he walked out to the car. It has been quite the summer already!!! The boys got mohawks...I'll have to post pics later, but they learned that they didn't want to look "that kind of cool"....it was so funny when we left the dr office, Brady looked at me and said, "Mom, I'm not a bad kid, so I don't want my hair like this anymore...I want mine cut off like you did Connor's :)" Hopefully lessons learned early in life will take them into their adult years.
My brain right now feels like the Robert Frost poem I learned in 4th grade (Stopping by woods on a snowy evening)..."The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep...." Yes, I do have many miles to cover in the next couple of days...senior project meeting tomorrow, another paper almost finished...trying to just keep trucking along and keeping those promises I made myself even when obstacles come in the way. God has a reason and a purpose for everything under heaven happening the way that it is, so I'm just going to be accepting of that and do the best I can with what I've got :) Have a great day folks!!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Different Life...

This was in an email I received and thought it was so amazing to read and really take a good look at myself...

"Your spiritual atmosphere is quite different than it was eight months ago. Rejoice in the new life and new opportunities that challenge you to spiritual maturity. The temptation now will be to go back to an old place of easy, lazy comfort.

See beyond the mundane and ordinary routine of every day existence to see the exceptional work that I am performing. You are a catalyst in a rich and dynamic move of My Spirit. Look beyond the natural to realize your potential.

You have been in a period of transition, which is not over yet. It has been and will continue to be very unsettling for a while, but your best use of this time is to grow up spiritually, exercise your faith, and trust that I will bring you through. Then, your feeling of impotence will give way to My power and dominion".

1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

It was so interesting to read that and look back at the last 8 months. So much has happened in that amount of time, but it has been during that time that I've has some of my biggest battles....lost some, won some, but grew more either way. Eight months ago was October 2009. That was when Brady was getting sick all the time. I started a new part-time job, hoping that would allow for extra doctor visits, planning, and organization. That just didn't happen. I really liked that job. I knew what to expect pretty much every day and if I had questions, there were co-workers who really made an effort for me to understand and learn something new, but were also empathetic about the situation with Brady. My full-time job that I had before that was a great job also. I never knew what one day to the next would bring and that was really nice for a while, because it mixed up any monotony and kept me very busy at the office, walking across campus, or thinking about new upcoming conversations we may host. I just could not handle full-time and Brady. The school couldn't either. After school was just way too much for the little guy. He needed rest.
During this time of transition, I had just taken family medical leave to take care of Brady and his behavior problems at school. I worked out a two week notice and changed jobs. Finally in January we started getting answers. We knew he was Autistic. I had heard people talk about putting him on a gluten-free diet, but didn't know exactly how that works. Now I do. I had to learn because he developed Celiac Disease. He developed Tourrettes about the same time.
Recently I quit my job to stay home and take care of my boys. Time management is still an issue I deal with, so it was hard not just stopping at McDonald's for a quick, cheap meal. Now, I know I can't even let him "cheat" sometimes. He has broken out so badly from having pizza and birthday cake that we're about to leave to get a shot at the doctor. Life has thrown a lot of extras in there too...like our AC unit blowing up, my grandfather passing away, my nephew having brain surgery, Toby's grandmother almost dying, but totally making a turn around, Connor having issues with bullies, Brady's behavior, and a few other things that just seemed to pile up. Well, God allowed them to pile up so he could shape me and mold me into a better person. I am looking forward to spending time with my boys this summer and growing closer to the Lord. I think He has the perfect path paved for us, we just have to learn to open our eyes and listen with our ears to what He has to tell us. Some people have said our family could have it's own reality TV show because so much happens all the time...it just reminds me of the song "Life is a Highway", so, I'm gonna ride it all night long...even as I sleep, God is working His plan out for us. I'm breathing my own oxygen :) Taking time for myself, and learning that I am so important to God that I need to take care of myself, so I can better take care of my family. I'm so thankful He's given me this opportunity...I hope I can make Him smile :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Time For Everything...

Well, I haven't written in a while because so much has been going on. Mostly because our air conditioner has been our for over a week, but it is fixed now, thank goodness, and I've been working on my last two classes to graduate.
Last Sunday I went to visit my Dad. Monday, I worked on finishing my paper to mail off to my teacher. Tuesday, I had doctor's appointments. Wednesday, I worked on my power point for the presentation for Connor's class. Thursday was awards day at the boys school, so I was at the school from 9:30am-1:30pm. Thursday night, my brother and his family stay for a while. Friday, I did my presentation for Connor's class at 1:00 with my 3 yr old nephew at my side and my 8 year old nephew (who had two teeth pulled and didn't feel like attending school that day) sitting by Connor. Saturday we organized the house, went to my niece's birthday party (a pool party at my in-laws, where my in-laws AC unit proceeded to blow up), and had my sister, her boyfriend, his daughter and friend over for dinner and a movie. The daughter spent the night, so we had 8 children in the house. My brother carried the three oldest boys to church with him. His 3 yr old wanted to stay with me and Brady as well as my niece and sister's boyfriend's daughter when we went to our church....very interesting....the 3 year old has an ear infection and doesn't feel good, and Brady has grumpy eyes....so you can imagine that with two 8 year old girls getting into a fight and rolling their eyes at each other....lol...it was an experience. The 3 yr old has slept with me and Toby every night. Toby mentioned last night how much he misses having one this little...I about fell out of the bed!!!! It's been "hey Kandy, hey Kandy, hey Kandy".....every minute I'm in sight...I've had to escape a few minutes a couple of times....
I sure am glad I made the decision to quit my job when I did. The boys will be home all day starting Thursday....I've got to finish some projects, but I will be able to do that once things settle a bit for everyone. I'm just so glad that God has blessed me with the timing in helping others right now. I could not have done this a month ago and He knows that. I'm soooo thankful He PROMISES not to give us more than we can handle :)

Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

I'm so thankful that there is a time for everything God has planned for us in our lives....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Interesting Day...

Well, today was an interesting sort of day. I was not as productive as I should or could have been, but I did get a paper worked on and my new software put on my computer. I don't know why, but the 2003 versions just weren't getting it done for me since I've had Office 2007 at work for the last few years...and can you believe my computer is getting so outdated that I had a PDF reader, but not a writer??!! I called my Mom and ask her about what I should do and there's this nifty little site called cutepdf.com where you can download the PDF writer for free. Now, I guess I'm all upgraded :) Now on to the powerpoint and papers!!!!

The next interesting thing that happened was that when I went to put Brady on the bus this morning, my brother's dog, Abby, that we have been keeping for about a month showed back up on our doorstep...she's been missing since PawPaw Downs passed away about 12 days...and shows up with no sign of trauma or starvation...I think someone picked her up and then decided she played too rough for them and brought her back. So no we are back to 2 dogs.

As I'm picking up stuff and sweeping in the den this afternoon, I find 3 spiders. They are black with a white spot on it's abdomen and white spots on it's hairy legs...I don't know what kind they are...they are ugly though...if you know what kind they are and how to get rid of them, I'd appreciate knowing. I'm buying bug spray tomorrow.

Toby brought supper home this evening. It was yummy rotisserie chicken and baked beans from Walmart. Now I have some chicken left over for a chicken sandwich to have for lunch tomorrow :)
Well, not only did he bring home food, but he found this poor little kitty cat on the side of the road about to get hit, so he rescued it...it's about six weeks old I think...that's the same age as the kitten he found in our shed. So, now we have 2 kitten and 2 dogs...and 2 kids...so this household that had gotten a little quieter, is a bit noisy now...but, that's ok since the daytime is quieter :)
Well, off to working on papers and bedtime...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Children are a gift from the Lord

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him". Psalm 127:3

So many times I find myself getting frustrated because situations arise with my children that I cannot fix....there's that me fixin' it problem again. Well, tonight Connor surprised me. He's not much of a breakfast eater at home. He likes to eat at school (I think it's because he gets choices...). Tonight he ask me to get up 10 minutes earlier in the morning so I could cook him some breakfast :) I thought that was sweet. He wants to stick to the gluten free diet, and breakfast choices at school are not that helpful for the diet. I caught myself almost saying, awwww Connor, you can just eat at school...but then I paused and thought how great it is that he realizes I'm at home for him now. I can get up and cook the boy breakfast for goodness sake! Later, I can catch a cat nap if I want too :)

Last night was a special night for us. Toby was watching a scary movie in the bedroom. The boys went in there to tell him goodnight, just as a dog's head was being lobbed off....I didn't even ask...I don't want to know. I just know that it scared the boys so bad and they thought they were going to have nightmares. I sat on their bed with them and told them it's not good to watch scary movies right before bed, so if they came in the bedroom and Dad was watching a scary movie to ask him to please turn it off so they wouldn't have nightmares. Well, that worked for about two seconds....soooooo, I prayed with them our little prayer about angels watching us through the night, etc. I also mentioned at the end of the prayer that I wanted satan to leave my house now!!! Connor looked at me with the most curious blue eyes. He said, "Mom, can you talk to the devil like you can Jesus"? I told him unfortunately yes. I told him that satan was just trying to make him think about scary stuff before he went to sleep to rob him of his sleep. I ask him if he was going to allow the devil to do that to him and he said, no way, not if I can help it!!! He said, what do you have to do? I told him you simply have to yell at satan/devil (whichever term he chose to use at the time)...and tell him to leave your mind and leave your house that you are God's child and you are telling him to leave you alone in the Name of Jesus!!!!
We all slept very well last night. Connor woke up this morning so glad that he didn't have a nightmare and also that he had learned something new to defend himself against that sly old devil...I promise you, he will remember this for a LONG time. Several years ago, I guess he was about 5 or maybe 6 yrs old, he started backtalking me, so I told him that the Bible says to honor your parents and your days will be long on the face of the earth....well....as fate would have it, the counselor at the school had a classroom meeting with Connor's class...these are 4th graders. She was talking to them about bullying, because it was a really rough day. She told them, just like you should respect your parents, you should also respect your classmates....Connor chimes in and adds, "Yeah, if you don't obey your parents, you won't get to live a long time because that's what it says in the Bible." :) My little preacher man...he had the whole class convinced they were going to die before they even got out of elementary school if they didn't straighten up. I think things have been better this week in the class :)
Anyway, when Connor learned that you can tell the devil to leave you, he was just amazed. He yelled at him to get out of his head, out of his bedroom and out of this house...and Brady joined in with him. I sat there a few minutes and Connor totally relaxed, he said, "Whew, that made me tired, but the devil just got up and ran away"... :) It makes me smile to think of that. Sometimes as adults, we tend to get caught up in the middle of situations and forget that the devil is just pulling our strings, making him the puppetteer, and us the puppets...well, got news for ya devil....we are going to "Shut de Door...keep out the devil....light the candle everything is alright"...I believe that candle is Jesus...He's the light of the world. He sheds light on the path we must trod.
They say when you've had a near death experience, that you see a bright light coming at you...well, that bright light is already here...we just have to know where to look for Him to guide us on our way...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thoughts from a child....amazing....

Well, you know sometimes the funniest things come out of the mouths of our children, but they can be so simple, yet so complex. Take for example Brady...he and Connor are watching cartoons. Connor tosses a toy into the air. It hits Brady on the left side of his forehead. Brady comes running to me holding his head, and Connor is trying to drag him to the floor so he won't tattle on him...anyways, you get the picture. I tell Connor to let Brady go and let him explain what happened and then Connor would have his turn.
Brady is not crying, but he sure is mad. He looks at me straight in the eye (which doesn't happen very often), and proceeds to tell me that Connor knocked him in the head with a toy and it hit the smart side of his head!!!! Connor is standing there dumbfounded. Brady then looks at both of us because I want to see where this is going and he tells me that he could have at least hit him on the side of his head where he has all his dumb thoughts to begin with :) Connor cracked up, I started laughing and then Brady was fine. What could have turned into a full out explosion, resolved itself very nicely.
Brady came up to me later and he said, "Ya know Mom, I do have a smart side in my head...the other side is where the dumb stuff happens"...so I told him just to make sure he kept using the smart side of his head more and let Jesus deal with the dumb stuff.
That is so simple, but so true. I guess we all have a smart side and a dumb side. Whether it's in what we know, how we treat other people, or our timing in approaching a certain topic. Some people may call it plain common sense, but when Brady shared his story, I could just picture a little angel sitting on the shoulder where he has the "smart" side in his head and the devil sitting on the other shoulder that's the "dumb" side. I guess we could all learn to use our "smarts" better by listening to that little angel on our shoulder. God sent us the Holy Spirit to convict us of right and wrong. We need to listen to that "still, small, voice" that helps keep our path straight.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:4,5).

Friday, May 7, 2010

A New Person

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." ~Psalm 51:10

Things we tell ourselves to discourage ourselves...Somedays you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed...Today is just not my day...Today was just not meant to be...Why did this have to happen, today of all day's...Why does all this different stuff keep happening to me...Some people were just handed life on a silver platter, why does mine have to be so difficult...

On and on I could go, because I have said those things. I have felt those things. Somedays, I just wanted to stick my head back under the covers and never even get out of bed. Last week, I thought I had lost 3 things that I was emotionally attached too. All three for different reasons. I lost them all in 5 days. Why would God let something like this happen to someone? It started with last Wednesday...I got some news I knew was coming, but didn't know the extent of everything...Friday was my last day at my job at the university...Sunday, my PawPaw passed away. The week before I about drove myself nuts worrying about nothing that I could fix. I could not make a bit of difference on Wednesday...Losing my job was a choice between me and my employer...Losing my grandfather is just a part of life. I know that may sound a bit to the point and almost crude, but we can't change or choose the day we leave this earth. I have spent so much time worrying about things that I could do nothing about instead of focusing on what I could change. So, with that in mind, I've ask God to "Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord, my God, and renew a right spirit within me"....

Asking this is no little thing. This is where I lose all control. This is where I hand everything over to Him! He's the Great Physician, the Mighty Conquerer, the Prince of Peace, the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star!!! He can handle things much better than I can.

Here is what I can do...I can listen to His voice...I can be a better mother, wife, daughter, student, and person. I can cut the grass...I can cook meals...I can plan menues...I can budget better...I can help the kids on homework and projects, I can work on my senior project...I can do laundry...I can turn the TV off all day long and listen to music...I can focus on what He wants me to do. I didn't lose my job...I've gained the hardest job in the world, but I believe that is what God wants for me...I didn't lose my grandfather, because I have many memories in my heart. I didn't lose last Wednesday...I gained a new perspective on living each day to the fullest, because I can. Today, I have a family, a house, a van, a lawnmower, food in my cabinets and refrigerator, water to drink and bathe with...what else do I need? Nothing, except for God working in my heart to keep my path straight and my heart clean. Love is the greatest gift of all and I should be sharing that love each and every day through the work I do at home, the projects I'm working on, and the people I'm around. "And these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love, but the Greatest of these is Love" ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13