I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So Long, Sayanora, See You Soon

I'm going to take a bit of a blogging break.

The truth is that I just haven't felt like blogging much since getting back from India.

I know, I know. India. Did any of you roll your eyes? I know it's all I seem to blog about anymore, but I can't help it. That trip did something to me unexplainable.

It made me really want to search for a purpose in my life.. something besides just hiding behind a computer all day.

It made me realize how lucky I am - how blessed I am - how fortunate I am with my family and my children and my house and just everything around me. And I don't want to squander all that by putting my attention and sole focus on a little 12 x 10 screen.

It's not so much blogging that I'm running away from... it's the computer. It sucks me in and takes up all my time. I find that I can sit behind the computer for hours on end and read 100 blogs and 25 online magazines and newspapers from every country. And all the while dishes are sitting dirty in the sink, clothes are overtaking the couch, and my family is being ignored.

I've actually gotten irritated at my kids for interrupting me while I'm on the computer. The last straw was a few days ago when I actually yelled at Eli for wanting a peanut butter sandwich and interrupting me while I was reading everything I could about... get this.... climbing Mt. Everest.

Ya'll, I live in TX. My idea of physical and emotional torture is to move me to a place where it falls below 67 degrees on a regular basis. I might like the occasional day of snow every few years, but I have no desire to ever, ever put myself in a position to wear I have to wear a toboggan.

Or exert any energy needed beyond walking to my mailbox and back.

So the fact that I was actually researching climbing Mt. Everest? Yeah, pointless.

But I'm an information junkie and I get sucked in.

I can't deal with having all the answers to all the questions in the world being readily available 24/7 with the click of a mouse. It's too much for me.

So, I'm taking a stand.

Wikipedia, I'm breaking up with you.

I will still blog every now and then. But with me, it takes a couple of weeks for a new routine to become, well, routine - so it'll be a couple of weeks before you hear from me again. And that routine involves only getting on the computer when the kids are asleep. If I want to get online then I need to get up at either 5:00 in the morning or wait until they go to bed after 8:00.

And at bedtime, my priorities don't involve hauling out the laptop.

No, I'd much rather see if Jake picks Vienna and who's going to make it through to the Top 12 on American Idol.

Television. Now that's what I'm talking about! ;-)

Seriously, though, I just need a break from all this technology. And that includes the phone, too. I need to spend time with the kids. They are growing up so fast. And I can't watch them grow when my attention is turned to a computer screen.

I also feel that God wants to work something big in our lives.. .and I just don't know what it is. But I know that unless I talk to Him and draw close to Him, then I will never find out. And I think He's got something pretty awesome in mind.

So, really, these next few weeks are just going to be about reflection and solitude and just listening. Listening to my kids, to my husband, to family, and to my God.

THE God, by the way. :-)

I hope you'll put me on your Google Reader so you'll be alerted when I blog again. In the meantime, I do want to make two short announcements that I'll talk about closer to time, but wanted to mention now.

1. Theresa from Sarah's Covenant Homes will be in Texas from April 9 - April 19. She'll be staying in our area and will be available to talk to churches, groups, schools, businesses, etc about SCH and the kids.

We haven't arranged a schedule yet, but if you live in the North Texas or East TX area, we would love to have you come see Theresa. Also, if you know of a church or organization that would like to have Theresa speak at a meeting, please email me at recoveringnoah@yahoo.com

Also, we'll be in Austin on Friday, April 16 to visit HALO and watch Soma do RPM with her clients who have autism. I'm not sure if we'll be there Thursday, too, but I'm just letting you know in case some of you in the Austin area would like to arrange an opportunity for Theresa to speak.

2. I'm going to plan another trip to India, hopefully for next January. I still need to talk over things with Theresa and Sarah (and will probably do so when Theresa comes to TX). However, if you are interested in going to India and visiting SCH and working with the kids, please keep it in the back of your mind. We are thinking of going for maybe 13 days this time (not sure, may be 10 again) and the cost for everything: tickets, travel, hotel, and food was $2000. We raised most of our money by having garages sales and bake sales. I'm just letting you all know now in case you need to start fundraising.

Again, my email address is recoveringnoah@yahoo.com.

That's it. I'll still be checking email and reading blogs and catching up with people on Facebook.. but only what can be read and answered while the kids are asleep.


Leslie :-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kisses from Katie

I don't know how many of you follow this blog - http://www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/ - but you should! She only updates a couple of times a month, so it won't take a lot of your time.

But the time you spend reading her blog will truly change you.

Her recent blog post really spoke to me and I felt compelled to send it to a few friends. Then I thought, "Why not let everyone see this? Everyone needs to see it."

I don't know how old Katie is - 20 or 21 - but she moved to Uganda (on her own) and adopted 10 children. Her recent blog post is about the sacrifice she made and how much she had to give up... but she did give it up because she felt it was what the Lord was telling her to do.

Her faith just blows me away.

It's a really touching, moving post and I hope you'll all stop by to read it.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow in Texas!

I wonder how many Texan bloggers have blogged about the snow today.

It's beautiful.

Simply beautiful.

And, yes, despite what you witness in the video... we are STILL going to make snow ice cream. (hee hee)


Monday, February 08, 2010

I'm the Luckiest Girl in the World

Look what I've been able to wake up to for the last two days....

Noah has decided that there's no place he'd rather sleep than nestled between the two people who love him more than anything in the world.

I mean, honestly, how many 8 year old boys do you know that love to crawl into bed with their parents? Or come up to them with their arms raised up so that they can be picked up and hugged? Or crawl into their laps for cuddles and kisses?

While most 8 year olds are discovering sports or video games or deciding that their friends are way cooler than their parents... I have a son who still thinks I'm the bees knees.... and will probably do so for the rest of his life.

There was a time when that would've depressed me. When the thought that Noah might never live on his own or get married or have friends or hold a job would just make me feel like I was drowning in a black hole - and it would just send me straight to bed with the covers pulled up.

But, really, what good does that do?

I've come to realize that the difference between living a happy life and one of constant unfulfillment is all in a little something I like to call... attitude.

I could wake up depressed that I have to change the diaper of my 8 year old son. I could cry as I dress him and brush his teeth. I could mourn the death of my career in higher ed. I could be jealous of my friends who have date nights and can spend money on clothes and lunches and tropical vacations.

Or I could realize that I get to spend the rest of my life with one of my children. How cool is that?

Instead of being upset over Noah living with us forever, I can try and see the beauty in that. I get to wake up every morning for the rest of my life to his smile. I get to hang out with my son... who I think is super cool. I don't have to worry that he's going to turn 18 and leave me.

I am lucky.

You know, when I was in India a few weeks ago it really hit me how lucky I am. Seeing all those kids who were abandoned and taken in by Sarah... .what's their story? What's it like to live in such poverty that you are not able to keep a child with special needs? Or what's it like to face such social stigma that you are forced to leave your child somewhere simply because they have a disability?

I have spent so much of the last 7 years mourning Noah's autism. But, you know what? I have choices. I lament the death of my career... but it's a choice I made. I have family support. I have a husband who adores our son and who commutes 4 hours a day to a job in order to provide for him. We may live in a society that still looks down on people with disabilities... but at least I'm not being forced to give up my son because of those disabilities.

I am lucky.

Several years ago, I was waiting in a doctor's office for one of Noah's appointments and Noah was squealing and rolling all over the floor. One of the mom's waiting commented on him and said, "He's an active little guy!" and I remember saying something like, "Yeah, if only he'd be a bit quieter."

And then she turned to me and said, "My daughter died last year and I would give anything to hear her be loud again."

I am lucky.

There are parents out there who would give their right arm to hear their child throw a tantrum. Or to change their 8 year old's diaper. Or to pick up all their toys and wash all their clothes and fix all their meals. There are parents out there who've lost their child who would probably say, "I don't care if they're in a wheelchair or have a feeding tube or have to live with me for the rest of their lives. I just want them back."

I am lucky.

Whatever you're going through right now... someone else, somewhere, would give a million dollars to be in your shoes.

You are lucky.

We live in a country where there are choices.

We are lucky.

So that's my new mantra. I am lucky. And I blessed. And all it takes to realize that is a little change in attitude and the ability to wake up to this:

I am lucky.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

What's Coming Up on My Blog...

I'm thinking that if maybe I make a commitment to posting certain things then maybe I'll actually get into the swing of blogging again.

However, I am acutely aware that I made a commitment ages ago to show pictures of "our-bedroom-closet-turned-into-Nandi's-room" and the "I'm-Bringing-Back-the-Rachel-Haircut" that I got months and months and months ago that grew out months and months and months ago. So, perhaps this whole commitment thing may not actually work. But I'll give it a try.

Speaking of haircuts... well, it turns out that I DO have a flock of lice (yes, some friends actually had a discussion online about what a group of lice/louse are called) and I ended up chopping off about 5 inches off my hair.

Hey, I nearly pulled a Britney, so 5 inches is a good compromise.

So, here's what I'll be talking about this week. And I know it may not really interest any of you, but I promised my husband that I'd give his ear a rest and start blogging again. And this had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I think I heard him mutter under his breath one evening, "Dear Lord, please send my wife a friend. She's driving me crazy."

Anyway, here's what I plan (operant word here being "plan") on talking about this week:

The coolest $5 toy I ever, ever bought. I mean, this sucker will occupy a kid for HOURS.

The embarrassing day I went into an upscale beauty salon and had to admit I have lice and that I was unable to get all the vaseline goop out of my hair that I had used to kill it.

Some Eli isms that I have yet to blog about.

Update on Nandi and her attachment issues.. which, knock wood, are getting better and better. That is until I blog about it and totally ruin it all b/c that's just how things roll.

The reason I am on the verge of pulling Eli out of school nearly every single second of the day - which has absolutely nothing to do with the school (which is awesome) and everything to do with the fact that the school rush turns me into Momzilla each morning... and other various reasons.

An update on Noah and his progress.

Some cool crafts that we've doing that I think your kids will enjoy. And a blog list of some of my favorite kid craft blogs.

More India pictures and videos and thoughts. LOTS of thoughts. Kaleigh, I got your comment. Thank you!!! I will definitely post a bit more about Jaron for ya!

Right now, though, I've got two kids who are hungry and think there's more important things for their momma to do than be on the computer. But I'll use the above like a To Do List.... and start tomorrow. :-)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My 10 Minute Catch-Up Blog Post

Ooooh, a challenge. And one that requires brevity! Do you think I can do it? It's 6:27 am. Let's try.

Let's face it. My blogging has become ridiculous - practically nonexistent lately. I don't know where all the time has gone. Plus, I am still getting over the most baffling jet lag in the entire history of the world. It's beyond anything I've ever experienced in my life.

I think I must've been bit by a mosquito or something that causes you want to sleep all day, mope all night, and consume copious amounts of bread and cheese. (Something that I'd given up several months ago... so it must be some sort of rare and obscure Indian mosquito bite, right?)

I'm also convinced that my hair is being overtaken with lice... but no one can find any eggs... which means all the infertile lice in India made my head their home b/c I know something is in there.

Please excuse me while I remove myself from the keyboard to scratch my head. It takes both hands.

(How many of you just scratched your head upon reading about lice? Come one, you can admit it.)

I do have more video and pics to post... but honestly, where is the time going? So if you are partial to a particular child at SCH, please email me or leave a comment and I'll see if I have any pictures or videos or anecdotes to share.

By the way, Sim bought his ticket! He's leaving the last week of April and he'll be spending a week at Sarah's and then a few days in London to visit his family. Two birds with one stone, I say.

Eli is sitting here at the table, doubting I can finish this blog post in 5 more minutes. He's playing with the miniature dinosaurs I bought at Dollar Tree for the 21 Valentine's we have to make for his class party. We'll cut out pink hearts, glue a dinosaur to the heart and write "You are DINO-mite!"

Come on, this is Eli we're talking about. Did you expect anything less than a dinosaur valentine? lol

Nandi is in bed with the crud. Poor kid.. she is a bronchitis magnet. Probably another day off of school for her... which the teachers will be relieved about. I don't feel bad about her missing school b/c I consider it a favor to the teachers. lol

Seriously, I think she holds the crown for the child who has acquired the most frowny faces this academic year.

Noah is doing great. Still asleep and all cuddled up under his duvet. Said "Papa" the other day. If you want to see a grown man cry.... awww. Now, if only we could get him to say it again.

As for me, still trying to get over India - if I even want to get over it. Miss those kids SO INCREDIBLY MUCH! But it has also made me realize that I need to spend lots of time with my own kids. They really are such a blessing and they're growing up too fast.

Also revisiting homeschooling for next year. But that's another post in itself.

2 minutes left!

I'd like to thank my 9th grade typing teacher for forcing me to learn how to type as a school requirement. Otherwise, I'd be like my husband who henpecks at a rate of 5 words per minute. If that. (Love ya, Babe!)

Time's up!

Whew. See what I can put my mind to if I just concentrate.