Me and Jacob

Me and Jacob

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pursuit of Grace

"How do you show grace to your kids?"

This was a question asked by a facebook friend this morning. I can only assume that she was asking for advice, seeing as she and her husband adopted 3 children a couple of years ago. She never knew how many thoughts and emotions would flood my mind as I tried to answer that question for myself.

"How do I show grace to Jacob and Caleb?"

My first thought was "I always give them a second chance," "I explain to them that mommy could have spanked but she didn't" or "I just don't get on to them at all because they didn't really mean to do it." Are any of these really showing grace? Or am I just enabling them to disobey to the point that they end up getting a spanking anyway? The thing is, is that all of these methods are done out of a good heart but in the end it's not really showing them grace at all.

Can they truly understand the concept of grace if they've never been disciplined in the first place? Isn't the idea of grace, knowing that you've done something wrong but you've been forgiven because the other person was gracious? How do we know we've done something wrong? By being told (disciplined).

When kids are young they can't possibly understand the concept of grace because it's too abstract of a thought. They need the absolute of discipline before they can ever start to comprehend the concept of grace. So, when I try to show my 3 year old grace, it's more or less me just being a pushover and letting him get away with things that really should be addressed the first time. At some point the discipline should start evolving into a grace lesson and I believe that the age for this will be different with each child.

I struggle with this process. I aim to please way too much and I let my child's emotions get the best of me. I give in when I need to stand firm. I am doing my children no favors by extending them the amount grace and freedom that they get. I'm only setting them up to take for granted the grace that Christ offers to them.

So now, I pose the question again..."How do you show your kids grace?"

My answer now will be to discipline and stand firm in your discipline when they are young so that when they are older they will understand with full knowledge why grace is so awesome! If they don't understand the weight of their sin they will never fully appreciate the grace that is offered to them. Keep in mind too that kids follow by example so show them grace by extending it to your husband, your friends and your family. Or teaching them to give grace to their friends when they do them wrong.

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him."
Proverbs 22:15

Friday, November 8, 2013

Giving of Thanks

 I could sit here and say thanks for all the perfect things in my life and really puff up and brag about what's right in my life. But, that wouldn't be being honest. I don't want anyone to think that my life is perfect and I refuse to slap a smile on my face at all times and act like everything is hunky dory. There is a time and place for all things so by no means am I going to mope around either. Trying to make everyone think your life is perfect is exhausting and you'll end up pushing people away in the end. So this Thanksgiving season I'm thankful for things that might be a little unconventional...

My Husband
I'm thankful that he's not a perfect husband because that would mean that we couldn't grow together. I'm thankful that he doesn't provide everything we want (notice I said want and not need). If we had everything we wanted then we wouldn't know what it was like to desire something. If we always got what we wanted then we wouldn't know how to be sincerely appreciative. I'm thankful that he's not the perfect parent because now I know that we can fail together. I'm glad that he's not perfect in God's eyes because that would mean he never would've been shown God's perfect grace and mercy.

My Children
I'm thankful that my children push my limits because if I'm not pushed then I'm not growing as a parent. I'm thankful that my children struggle because when they finally succeed, the victory and joy is so much sweeter. I'm thankful that Jacob is excited about the smallest things. I'm thankful that Caleb is silly, even when he thinks I'm not looking. I'm thankful that Caleb is so clingy. Even though it drives me absolutely insane it's worth it when he wraps his arms around me and says "I love you mommy." I'm thankful that Caleb is strong-willed. Even though it's tough to parent him sometimes, I know that he can do amazing things with his life. I know I've said this many times but I'm thankful for autism, because without it I never would've learned God's sovereignty and his complete control of my life.

Now I leave you with a video that I am super thankful for. Jacob at school segmenting his spelling words. If he never struggled with life, then this video wouldn't be as important to me. But I'm thankful for his struggles because moments like this become monumental turning points in our lives. Your a champion in my book sweet boy!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Picture

So I've been debating for a while whether or not to write about this. I thought maybe it was lame and dumb, and it probably is, but every time I look at the picture on my blog I start thinking about this post even more.

The picture at the top of my page speaks volumes to me, not because it's a popular pose, it's creative or because it's cute or anything that people might see when they look at it. I love the way each of us looks in it, individually and together. To me, it tells the story of our lives in a very quiet and subtle way. This picture was not purposefully posed in any way, but after it was taken and I saw it, I fell in love with it!

I love how Erick is slightly ahead of all of us, it shows his leadership in our family. When Jacob was young and we noticed something wrong, it was always Erick pushing to find out what was going on with Jacob. He never gave up, he always stayed strong and he always stood up for Jacob. He was a leader in every sense of the word and he always had our best interest at heart. Jacob wouldn't be where he is today if it weren't for Erick's perseverance.

As you can see I'm just a little behind Erick. It reminds me of how, even though he is the leader of our family, we still lean on each other and make decisions together. I may not always be the best wife or the best help-meet, but one thing I do know, during the hardest times we are always on each other's side. Many days that I felt like I couldn't go on, Erick was there to encourage and lift me up. I could never put a price on that.

Jacob, oh my, I believe Jacob is my favorite subject in this picture. I absolutely love how he's holding Erick's hand, but most of all, how he's looking at Erick. Even more, I love the look that he has on his face. See, Jacob doesn't like to hold anyone's hand so the fact that he's holding Erick's hand and not fussing about it is awesome to me. I love how he's looking at Erick. Those little eyes have to learn so much that does not come natural to him. It's his eyes that learn the most from those around him. I'm glad that he watches Erick, he has a great role model. Jacob and Erick have a special bond and to see him looking at Erick in wonderment, warms my soul.

Caleb, poor little Caleb, it looks like he's being dragged by me; and maybe even a little left behind. I think for a long time Erick and I thought Caleb would get a little left out and it would be hard for us to give him attention, because at the time Jacob required most of our attention. However, regardless of how much attention Jacob needs, Caleb has such an outgoing, robust little personality that no one could over look him, EVER! I thought for a while that Caleb, unknown to him, got caught up in this little chaotic whirlwind called life with autism. The older he gets and the more time that passes I realize that he's God's perfect design for our family. He's not caught in the whirlwind...he IS the whirlwind.

This is a picture of my family and my family means the world to me.

So there, I finally wrote my post that has been whirling around in my head for months. It may be lame and dumb but it's something I think of every time I lay my eyes on this picture. It will definitely be a picture that is cherished!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


     Last night as I sat in my very informal Bible study with some friends, we talked about punishments for sin and how we look at tragedy's in life as punishments for our lack of faithfulness and trust.  It reminded me of past conversations that I had had with different people about the idea that Jacob was a punishment for something that I had done wrong in my life, for my lack of faith and trust in Him.  For a long time after Jacob was diagnosed I begged God to show me what I had wrong. Why had he "punished" me with this burden.

     You know, sometimes things happen in life because we live in a fallen world and sometimes we have consequences of sin and sometimes things happen because it's LIFE. I don't know why our human nature assumes the things that are "bad" are always consequences of sin, but for some reason we do.

     First off, let me say, that I believe ALL children are gifts from God.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
Offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one's youth.
Psalm 127:3-5

      I have yet to find in the Bible where God uses children as consequences for sin. All you see in the Bible is that Children are a blessing. So, to answer the question "Is Jacob a punishment for my sin?" I believe the answer is clearly "no." 

      So, let me move on to why I do believe God gave Jacob to me. The typical answers that make me want to vomit are "because he knew you could handle it" or "God picked you because he knew no one else could love him as much as you do." I know these things are nice things to say, but that's the thing, they are just nice things to say. However, it makes my journey feel pointless and it cheapens the perfect design that God has for us and His ultimate glory.
       I believe the real reason that God gave Jacob to be is because he knew I COULDN"T handle it! He knew I couldn't handle it without Him. The other reason that I believe God gave Jacob to me is not because I will love Jacob more than anyone else but it's the fact that God wanted to be glorified. 

     See, before Jacob, I subconsciously boasted about all that I had done right. My salvation was based on all my knowledge about the Bible and all the "rules" I had followed. Which in reality isn't' salvation at all, it's legalism. Now, through my hardships and difficult times, He has proven to me just how sovereign He really is. I can boast only in Christ.

 "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, 
blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

     It's so ironic to me that one of my favorite passages of scripture growing up is one that I identify with the most today. (well, except for the being circumcised part) 

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh,
 I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, 
of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, 
a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, 
persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 
What is more, I consider everything a loss because 
of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, 
for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 
that I may gain Christ and be found in him, 
not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, 
but that which is through faith in Christ - 
the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection 
and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 
and so, somehow, attaining to the Resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained all this or have already arrived at my goal, 
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
 But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and 
straining towards what is ahead. I press on toward the
goal to win the prize for which 
God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:4-14

Monday, October 7, 2013

Caleb...God's Little Blessing

    Three years ago today I was sitting in a hospital bed waiting to have another sweet little boy to hold in my arms. Caleb Bradley Kent was about to be born and I had no idea what life was going to be like with him. My "little" 8 lb 12 oz baby boy was born right after lunch and he was beautiful.
     He's the best little brother that Jacob could ask for. He's spunky, he's outgoing and he really encourages Jacob to learn new things. He won't leave Jacob alone which I think has helped Jacob come out of his shell. The best part about it, is that Caleb loves his brother with no regards to his autism. I know it's because he's little and doesn't realize Jacob has autism, but my desire is that Caleb will continue to love and stick up for his big brother.

    He's the best 3 year old a mother could ask for. He's sweet, smart and he tells me that I'm pretty :) He pushes my buttons oh so often but he can melt my heart in a New York minute. His smile is beyond anything in this world and to see the excitement in his eyes is priceless! He's such a perfect addition to our family in every way. His robust type of living brings out the best in all of us. I rue the day that some little girl break his heart, 'cause this momma might break her leg.

    He's a momma's boy at heart but he's daddy little buddy. He wants to dress like daddy, act like daddy and wants to do everything that his daddy does. If Erick has a white shirt on, he wants a white shirt on. If Erick's playing the guitar, he wants to play guitar. He's daddy's little buddy and will be a fantastic fishing buddy, music buddy or whatever hobby Erick has at the time buddy. (for those of you who don't know, Erick changes hobbies a lot!) He loves to rough house with Erick and he puts up a pretty good fight.

    Caleb is refreshing. In the midst of what I thought was a nightmare (Jacob being diagnosed with autism), Caleb was born and put laughter back into my heart.

"And this I pray,
that your love may abound 
more and more in knowledge
 and depth of insight,
so that you may be able to discern
what is best
and may be pure and blameless
for the day of Christ."
Philippians 1:9 & 10

Friday, September 20, 2013


      We are t minus 6 days away from boarding the airplane in Atlanta. I've been trying to stave off my nerves with an abundance of organizing and reorganizing my toiletries. I stood in the travel size toiletries isle in Target for 30 minutes picking out everything I needed for my trip. About every 10 minutes I would laugh at myself because I really wasn't that concerned over my toiletries, I was just trying to override my nerves with undue preparedness.
       On the drive back home all I thought about was the flight. What could go wrong, what I thought would go right and then realized there will probably be things that I won't see coming and won't know how to handle. I just pray that I handle it all with dignity, patience and most of all, grace.
       I put Caleb in his bed for nap time and then like a little girl on Christmas morning I ran into my room, ripped open the bags and went to town filling all my little bottles with shampoo, conditioner, face cream and so on. I continued to laugh at myself for using organization to offset my nerves. I even envisioned myself at the airport, being nervous and searching desperately through my carry on to find something to organize. Not in an orderly fashion either. I could see myself, hunching over my backpack, my eyes erratically darting around, and then punching people if they even came close to stopping me.
       In all honesty though, the better I am organized and prepared, the easier it will be to handle the things that I'm not in control of. My desire is to have a solution to all the problems I can foresee. I know this is not possible, but planning for every possible scenario and having a solution helps prepare me for what is to come. Jacob may end up doing fantastic and I won't need my back ups; but when he does have a meltdown I can say to myself, "At least my shampoo is in that plastic bottle all safe and sound." My mind will surely be at ease!

After all my planning for Jacob, I had this dreadful thought: "What if it's Caleb that does horrible?"

Back to the toiletries isle for me!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


     I just made the terrible mistake of watching Miley Cyrus' new music video "Wrecking Ball." Really I made the mistake of watching only half of Miley Cyrus' new video, I had to turn it off. No, this is not a pick on Miley post but It breaks my heart that we've come this far. I don't hate Miley and I don't feel hatred when I see her do the things she does. It just makes me sad. In fact what she does is no different than the mentor's that went before her. It's no different in the fact that she's pushing the limits just like they did. She's doing things to make people gasp and that's exactly what was taught to her.
 My heart breaks, not because we do wrong. We're human, we will do wrong. It breaks my heart that we don't care anymore. Whatever sells, right? I've heard people say that "as long as they're not hurting anybody what does it matter?" But the truth is they ARE hurting people. Maybe not physically, but spiritually and mentally. It makes men desire other women besides their mates, it makes little girls think that they have to do these things to be popular, it makes boys think that it's OK not respect women. It makes teenage girls think that it's OK for guys to look at them like a piece of meat. It makes wives feel fat, ugly and undesirable.  It makes parents fear for their children's innocence. It's an ugly spiral downwards. How can you say that this isn't hurting anyone? Anything we make perverse that God gave to us for good, hurts us. That's why the Bible is so great. God loves us so much that he gives us the secret to a great life. A life without STD's, broken hearts, broken homes & teen pregnancy. But, we've decided to take a wonderful gift that He gave us and turn it into something perverse. Something that infiltrates our hearts and makes evil thoughts grow in our minds. Whether it be lust or feelings of inadequacy. He knew that these things would hurt us and He loves us so much that he told us the best way to do things so we, His children, would not be broken. Not so we would be bound by rules or have a reason to judge and hate others, but so that we, His beloved children, would have life and have it abundantly.

The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy; 
I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
John 10:10
 I hate it for our children and our children's children. As our country, our world and our homes walk further and further away from the life that God lovingly desired for us. Please don't mistake me for having everything right. The beauty of grace is that none of us deserve it.

  "You will seek me and find me
 when you seek me with all your heart." 
Jeremiah 29:13

We don't even seek anymore.

The following is a song that Erick wrote a few months before we met. I loved this song then and I love it today!  

Blush by Erick Kent
So how's your conscience today and how are you
Are you feeling dirty for the things you've done 
or have you made a new excuse
Reasons that make it all OK
Tomorrow I'll have to make some more 
for the things I've done today

Never forget what I was told of right and wrong
So I'll let it slide, then I'll try to hide it
cause I'm not playing along.
Ignore the morals and hear everything else
So if it makes me smile then I'll stay a while 
and keep lying to myself

Cause no one's there to point the blame
Cause no one's around to feel the shame
I know that my face should be red
for the way I've been and the things I said 
But everybody acts like it's OK
So I blush a little less everyday

I hope my mother never hears the words I say
I hope one day that I'll be embarrassed to live this way
Hope I will realize what's really going on
Hope God still wants me when I'm gone

Cause no one's there to point the blame
Cause no one's there to feel the shame
I know that my face should be red
for the way I've been and the things I said 
But everybody says that it's OK
So I blush a little less everyday

Cause no one's there to point the blame
Cause no one's there to feel the shame
I know that my face should be red
for the way I've been and the things I said 
But everybody said that it's OK
So I blush a little less everyday

Friday, September 6, 2013


     There are some days (more than wanted) that all I see in Jacob is Autism. Everything we do with him and for him is to help him with his struggles in some form or fashion. Our lives are invaded by medicine, supplements, diet, new fads in treating autism, routines, therapies, making sure he's treated right and so on and so on. There are days that all I want to focus on is him being my little boy. A boy who is different, but not at all lacking. I'd love to put all those other things away for a day and just enjoy him. Please don't misunderstand and think that I don't enjoy my son. But, sometimes all of the things that I have to remember for him to help him through the day, drag me down and make me forget that he's still just a playful, lovable little boy. I'm so busy focusing on all the essential things that he needs that I don't take the time to let my mind be at ease and just enjoy HIM.  There are some days that I subconsciously replace his need for love and attention with the many, many things that I do for him everyday. It's like, "Well, I've already done so much for you today, I can't possibly meet any other needs today."

     I think my thought process is backwards and I'm working on making love and attention for him top priority. I really do believe that if I start with love and attention that the daily tasks will be easier. Instead of being mean and forcing him to take medicine, I can tickle him and laugh about taking medicine and he takes it so much easier.

    Another reason I think that these things have been put on the back burner per se, is the fact that he didn't used to like attention and affection. Every time we tried to snuggle or hug on him he would push us away. It seems insane to think that we wouldn't be overjoyed and run to him with excitement now that he wants those things. I guess we just got into a routine of knowing he wanted to be left alone, that now it seems those things don't matter as much. I've noticed lately though that he realizes that Caleb get's a lot of attention. Not because we love him more but he desires it, requires it and begs for it. Jacob never did...until now!

   Jacob has come such a long way in the last year. He now longs for me to lay down with him at night. He wants hugs and kisses. He loves it when I rub his back and he asks for me to do so. He says "Rub me in the tunnel," and I know this means he wants me to rub his back under his shirt. I laugh when I think about the way he says things. He surely adds his own flair to the English language.

It's hard to change the way you do things. I guess the older I get the harder it is for me to re-do our routines. I hope that Jacob changing like this keeps me young, but I'm afraid it just makes me feel old.  

So now, I leave you with something that has nothing to do with my post. But I wanted to share with you Jacob's new favorite song. He calls it the "whoa whoa" song, and for a good reason!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Jacob's Social Story

 For those of you wondering exactly what a social story is and for those of you that want to write a social story for your child, but not sure where to get started; I've listed below the pages of Jacob's newest airplane social story for you!! Remember that the pictures need to be as specific as you can get them and you need to include as much detail as possible, especially on the things that might be an issue with your child. This one is kind of long, but it required pretty specific details about every step you take at an airport. I also decided to get this one laminated and bound so that it would last through the next 4 weeks and the trip itself. Keep in mind too, that even though you need to be very specific, it needs to be put into words that your child will understand.  So in this story you might think I worded stuff weird or different but it's because I know what Jacob will understand and what he won't. If you have questions or advice let me know!!

This last page is obviously Jacob's check list and with everything he checks off he will get a reward. I started with things that don't make him anxious, mainly because I want him to realize that he gets a reward for checking stuff off before we actually get to the harder tasks like "waiting in line at security" or "going through security." My hope is that he will be used to getting rewards and will push through the hard things to get his reward.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

    The title of this post alone scares the crap out of me. Although I'm excited to have the opportunity to go see my sister and the new little bundle of joy, (which is finally a girl, I might add) I'm terrified of what that means for Jacob. I contemplated leaving him at home and only taking Caleb. Although, for the last year Jacob's been begging me to go see his cousins, Gabe and Zane. He would never forgive me if I left him at home but took Caleb. Just the thought of leaving him behind is simply not an option anymore.

     I've been trying to cross every "t" and dot every "i" to make sure that I prepare him for the trip. Does this mean that the trip will be a success? Yes, if success means we will fly there and fly back. No, if success means that we'll travel without meltdowns, hindrances and lots of tears. However, there are lots of things that I can do to help with his anxiety and frustrations with the process of flying.

     The first thing that I did was I bought a shirt for him that says "Sweet, Funny, Smart, Autistic." Then, I bought one for me that says "Keep Calm I'm an Autism Mom." Did I buy the shirt so that people would feel sorry for us, NO!! I bought the shirts because of all the sweet onlookers, with their precious judgement's, that watch when Jacob melts down. I wanted to buy a shirt that said "Autism: smiles are welcome, parenting advice is not." I decided though that I wanted to ease people's minds, not immediately offend them. Let's just face it, it's embarrassing when your typical child acts out in public and people stare. Try taking your special needs kid out in public, who by the way, can have overwhelming outbursts at things that you would never think of, in moments that you would never see coming. These kids aren't trying to act bad, they simply do not know how to process their fear, anxiety, apprehensiveness or frustration. Then add on top of that, that they refuse to be hugged or comforted...sounds fun, huh? Then I get to deal with all the stares and judgement's from people who are most likely nice people, but to me they are enemies, satanist, anti-Christs...OK maybe I went a little too far with that one, but, you get the point!!

    The next thing that I decided to do was write him, what is called, a Social Story. This is a home made story that I typed out on the computer and added real pictures to. The story starts off telling about how we have to drive to the airport, talks in detail about security, lines, sounds & airport procedures. All these things have pictures to go with them so that he will no exactly what to expect. Letting him know in advance what will happen, helps with his anxiety because he can remind himself of the book and remember that, for instance, "Metal detectors keep us safe, they are not scary." The last picture in the book is a picture of his cousins. That way if he get's overwhelmed we can look at their picture and remember why we are doing what we're doing.

    The next thing that I'm going to do is make him a check list of all the things we have to accomplish that day. Every time he gets to check something off his list, he will get a reward. Most likely the rewards will be white chocolate covered pretzels...YUM!!! I might make me a checklist so I can eat them too! This will help him visually see how many steps we have completed and how many more we have to go. Plus, it will keep him thinking about his reward when we come to something that may cause fear for him.

    Before we leave, I'm going to let him watch some video's on YouTube about airplanes and we'll find some flight noise simulator's to help him listen to what type of sounds the plane makes. That way he will be familiar with them and hopefully won't be fearful of them in real life.

    The last and most important thing that I've done is make sure that we have lots of electronics on the plane. He will be able to swap out between the tablet, DVD player and old cell phones. Now I just have to pray that the electronics don't die before we land.

    Lots of patience, prayers and perseverance is what's going to get us through this trip. When I began to tell my mom all the things that I had planned for preparing Jacob, she said "You sure are smart!" I couldn't help but bust out laughing because that's the last thing that I thought of myself. My response was "I'm not smart, I'm fearful." I've decided to go through life experiencing everything that we can experience, even if that means it being hard and un-fun at moments. The more that Jacob experiences the better off he is and that makes me one happy Mama!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ten Things I Love to Love about Jacob

I've been thinking a lot lately about all my posts and although I created this blog to share the reality of autism and the struggles it entails, I feel like I should give you guys a different side of the autism story. The parts of Jacob's story that make me proud, happy, smile and most of all blessed. So here are ten things that I love about Jacob:

10. I love the fact that when I'm cracking and peeling my boiled eggs in the morning he comes and tells me that the eggs are hatching.

9. I love how excited he gets when he finally accomplishes something he's tried and tried to do. Especially when he asks for my help and I encourage him to do it on his own. When he finally get's it, he's beyond excited for himself. He also loves to tell everyone about it.

8. I love how Jacob can spot something that he loves from a mile away and I still never see it. For example, in the car he'll say "I see a blue zebra!!" Now, I know that you're thinking that there aren't blue zebra's around, but let me tell you friend, if Jacob says he see's a blue zebra, by god there is a blue zebra somewhere! You may never find it or see it, but HE does and that's all that matters.

7. I love Jacob's sense of humor. Humor is not a strong suit for kids with autism. They usually don't make jokes and they certainly do not understand jokes...not so for Jacob!! He loves to make you laugh and he loves it when you joke around with him. In fact, joking around is one way to get him to obey and mind. Even when Jacob was younger he loved to answer questions wrong on purpose. For instance, we could say "what color is your hair?" and he would say "purple!" He would then bust out laughing and say "that's not right." My favorite joke that he's ever told was "knock knock, who's there? Cockadoodledoo! Cockadoodledoo who? I'm a CHICKEN!!!!" Lots of laughter followed this one!

6. I love watching Jacob learn. It's very fulfilling!

5. I love how honest he is. I remember when his aggression was a lot worse than it is now and Erick would be scolding him for hitting Caleb. Erick would discipline him and then ask him "Are you going to hit Caleb again?" The answer was always "yes." I mean, obviously we wanted the answer to be "no," but Jacob was just answering the question honestly!

4. I love watching him run. It is so ungraceful!! It reminds me of Phoebe on Friends. She didn't care what other's thought she just loved running crazy cause it made her feel good. Watching Jacob run all crazy makes me feel good.

3. I love that Jacob lives for the small things. He doesn't ask for all the latest gadgets and toys. He's completely content with the small things.

2. I love watching Jacob overcome obstacles and hindrances. It's more of a blessing than anything else I know.

1. The thing I love the most about Jacob is the fact that having him strengthens my faith. Not because anything that I've done but it's Christ lifting me up and reminding me that HE is Lord over all, even the parts that are hard and messy. I'm reminded daily that this fight is not my own. I am nothing without Christ. I am a horrible mother, a horrible wife, a horrible friend. I'm selfish, I'm lonely, I'm rude, I'm self seeking, I'm arrogant, I'm impatient. I'm weak. If you see anything else from me, then it's because of Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is made perfect in weakness." 
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses 
so that Christ's power may rest on me. 
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, 
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. 
For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I relate so much to the following song. It's a fun uplifting song but the chorus is oh so true!!

Where would I be without you?
I'd be packing my bags when I need to stay
I'd be chasing every breeze that blows my way
I'd be building my kingdom just to watch it fade away
It's true
That's me without you.

Check it out and enjoy!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Little Blessing Named Sarah

    I've never been to the beach so many times in one summer than this summer. The boys and I were there a total of four times over spring and summer. One time it was with their daddy and the other times my, very incredible, parents accompanied us. My main reason for planning these trips was to fill up the long endless summer with fun stuff to do so that Jacob didn't get cabin fever and go all crazy on me. We had some crazy moments throughout the summer but it seemed these trips came at the most perfect times. Another reason I am drawn to the beach is because it's one of the few places I feel like we can go and blend in with everyone else. Jacob, to everyone else looks like a typical 6 year old boy playing on the beach with his family. They don't know he has differences about him and I feel free.

    One late morning while standing on the beach watching Jacob play, he was so full of excitement and holding back nothing, I quietly told my dad "I love being here, because I feel like this is one of the few places that I feel normal." He smiled and agreed and we basked in the moment of "normalness" for a moment or two. Not long after our conversation I looked over to the right of me and noticed a mom and her three daughters, and what looked to be their grandma. I watched as the girls played in the water, jumping over the waves and splashing around. Then I noticed that the mom wouldn't let go of the oldest daughter. She seemed to be steadying her while the waves were coming in and every time a big wave would come she would hold on to her with a death grip as the other smaller girls were playing freely.
    This little girl captured my attention with her cute little green bathing suit and her pink sunglasses with the elastic strip attached to them so they wouldn't fall off. She was smiling bigger than any of the kids out there.  I immediately knew that this little girl had a special story just like Jacob has a special story. I wasn't sure of her disability but it was very evident that there was a special need of some sort. I tried to refrain from staring but I'm so drawn to these kids now, that it's hard to get my attention off of them. I thought about striking up a conversation but then I decided to let them be, and let them feel as normal as possible too.
    About that time the little girl in the green bathing suit came over and gave me a huge hug and her mom quickly followed her. The mom leaned over and tried to get the little girl to say hello and I could tell it was a struggle for her. I asked the little girl her name and it was hard for her to tell me that her name was Sarah. I asked the mom about Sarah and she informed me that Sarah had autism. Of coarse we quickly struck up a conversation about autism and all the things that autism moms talk about...I'll spare you the long drawn out details. I found out that they lived only about 45 minutes from us and that they have considered moving to Auburn. We talked for a long while until all the kids were getting hungry for lunch and we parted ways.

    After leaving the beach that day I thought back to the conversation I had with my dad. It reminded me that although we have many struggles, there are families out there that have more. This little girl was almost 8 years old and could barely say her name. We are blessed that Jacob not only can say his name but he knows how to spell it and he can carry on a fairly normal conversation. He can tell me when he's hurt and he can tell me that he loves me (over and over and over again). It was a subtle reminder of how blessed beyond measure we are with this little boy named Jacob.


Friday, August 2, 2013

My Therapy Session

   The days seem to be getting longer and longer. Even the 2 weeks until school starts seems to be an eternity. I know that Jacob has been in pain from his ear infection and that's why he's been aggressive, loud and whiny. Knowing all of that still doesn't help the frustrations that I feel about his behavior. It also doesn't help the shrieking cries that come from Caleb getting beat up on. The constant abstract and very loud noises that have been coming from Jacob's tiny body are wearing on my nerves. The constant hitting on, not only Caleb, but me as well have made me angry and downright exhausted. I feel like the last positive bone in me is being invaded by overwhelming feelings of inadequacy.

   Lately it seems like I'm doing everything backwards with all my relationships. I keep speaking when I need to be quiet, I'm quiet when I need to speak. I'm disciplining when I need to be gentle and gentle when I need to discipline. I'm mad at jokes and laugh at serious issues. The big one is the fact that I'm angry when I need to teach. Maybe it's because there is so much chaos around me I don't even have time to think rationally about anything. I believe a lot of Jacob's frustrations stem from me feeling inadequate and wanting to quit. Life would be easier if I just quit trying to move forward. Can I just stay right in this moment? I don't wanna stay in this moment because it's so great, I just want to stay in this moment because sometimes it hurts to move forwards. It hurts to make progress because when you make progress, you start to evaluate where you are and you realize how far you still have to go. Sometimes I don't think I have the energy to move forward. Sometimes when you are so excited about the fact that you are moving forwards, something or someone will stop you in your tracks and make you aware that you still have such a long road ahead.

   After a 2 weeks of Jacob regressing a little because of the ear infection, it's hard to keep your chin up. It especially doesn't help when you are in the waiting room and someone moves away from you and says "Let's move, he's making my ears hurt." or a little girl tells him that "you don't understand because your brain doesn't work right." While both of these statements were probably true, it doesn't negate the fact that it hurts and just reminds me of how much different we are from everyone else. The couple in the waiting room were probably really nice and didn't mean any harm from their words but in my weak mental state I could guarantee they were just trying to prove a point and that they were thinking evil thoughts. I probably should get on some type of medicine that would magically make me think people were staring because Jacob is so cute and not that they were thinking horrible thoughts of me as a mother. I really have no idea what the people in the waiting room were thinking of Jacob hitting his head against me and acting like he was raised at the zoo. However, if they could have seen him before we got out of the car they would have gotten a totally different picture of us. He was giving me kisses over and over again and telling me how much he loved me. As for the comment that the little girl made, she wasn't trying to be ugly at all and I explained to her that we say that Jacob's mind works differently not that it doesn't work right. It still reminded me that he's different.

   I took the boys to Birmingham to visit the McWane Center with Erick's older sister yesterday. We had a blast and even though we had a lot of issues with Jacob it was one of the best trips I've been on with him. Yes, he still runs and does his own thing and I end up looking for him at least half the time we're there. He got on an elevator all by himself, it closed and we had no idea which floor he would end up on. It was interesting to say the least. Yes, he played and looked at everything differently than the other kids and the things that interested him weren't always the actual exhibits but things like the garage door that was closing the hallways to exhibits that weren't currently open. No, he didn't always understand that he had to take turns and that there were other kids that wanted to look at things that he was looking at. All in all the trip was a success and I really appreciate my sweet sister in law putting up with all our bumps and bruises of the day.

Life with autism is painful, hurtful, emotionally draining, physically draining and just plain hard sometimes. Most day's I'm tough, resilient and can take the blows. Then, there are the days that you just wanna lay down and die from the pain of moving forward.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It's The Summer

     When I say life is hard during the summer, that is the understatement of the century. It's hard for me and Jacob plus I'm sure it's hard for Caleb. Jacob thrives on structure and during the summer there is no structure and I'm not the best at providing what he needs. He gets so bored and therefore starts doing things to entertain himself. I know, I're thinking "entertain himself" isn't that a good thing? Hahahaha, NO!!! The things that he does to entertain himself include the following: hitting Caleb, head butting me in the back, opening and shutting all the doors in our downstairs, grabbing my arm constantly while I'm trying to do anything that doesn't involve him, whining and making messes...oh and begging for junk food constantly. I know this is a long paragraph of nothing but complaints, but it's my blog and that's why I started writing in the first place. This way I don't have to pay a clinical psychologist to hear me whine :)

      This summer has definitely been crazy and not all of it is full of complaints. Erick interviewed and landed a job with CoachComm!! It's a company that makes headsets for football teams. (high school, college, and pro teams) Not only is the job super cool but it's only 15 minutes from our house versus an hour!! We've been able to have lunch with him and he's home an hour and 15 minutes earlier in the afternoons than he used to be.

      Caleb is finally paci free which is a huge relief come bedtime. I no longer have to turn the house upside down to find his beloved paci that he can't go to sleep without. It wasn't necessarily planned but it was beneficial to the discipline that was needed as well as the fact that I could blame it on him for him not having it...I know that's terrible but oh well.

       Caleb is also officially potty trained. It really didn't take long once he realized that he could wear big boy underwear like big brother!! This is another feat that I was dreading. It took a good 4 years until Jacob was completely potty trained and that was the only frame of reference I had. FYI training a kid with autism is WAY different that potty training a typical kid.

       Jacob did really well in his Autism summer school. He excelled in everything that he did. I love summer school for many reasons but the main thing is that it gives him the structure that he needs plus it helps him retain everything he learned in the previous school year. Even though Jacob is doing great in school, we've decided to hold him back. We will be re-doing 1st grade this next year and are really excited about the possibilities that this will bring. Plus, it's looking like he might have the same teacher that he had in kindergarten 2 years ago!!

       We've been able to make a few trips to the beach this year and hope to make it down again before the school year starts. Jacob surprises me every time we go!! Two years ago the kid was afraid of the sand and this year he was in the water almost waist deep, playing in the waves. He was also very interested in catching sand crabs, and looking at them.

        Summer's may be hard, but it's in the summer that I'm stretched. It's the summer that God teaches me patience (and not the easy way). It's the summer that everyone else in the world looks forward to but I dread so bad. I know they say that pride comes before the fall...but for me, Summer comes before the fall!!!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Stop to Smell the Roses

     There are days that you would think "God, must have just restored this kids sight," because that's how excited Jacob gets sometimes about things. While we were driving today Jacob yells with much enthusiasm, "Mom, look at the trees, MOM, look at the grass, MOM MOM, look at the cars with the people in them, Mom look at that building, they're all beautiful!!!" I'm not even sure that he took a breath during his spill of excitement. I guess he really does stop to smell the roses. Is that what we will be like when we enter Heaven? I sure hope so!!
      I wish sometimes that I could encounter excitement over something so small. Something that we all tend to overlook in our mundane, day to day, activities. I love that Jacob's excitement overflows into Caleb as well. I hope they never lose that sense of wonder and excitement.  Erick and I joke around that Jacob is teaching Caleb how to be autistic. In some ways that thought makes me happy. If Caleb can take all the good attributes that autism has to offer and use them in life, then he'll be better for it. Jacob adds such a unique dynamic to our family and I really can't imagine life any other way.

Friday, May 17, 2013

This Day, Ten Years Ago

     I woke up exactly 10 years ago today excited because it was my wedding day. My dad came in my room, wrapped his arms around me and balled his eyes out. It was the best hug I've ever received and the worst one as well. We cried and held each other for what seemed like an eternity and then he quickly said he was proud of me and left my room. I finished getting ready and drove to the church where I was greeted by all of my friends and family. It was such a fun day with all the people I love.

~ Heather doing my makeup~

     After I was completely ready and dressed I walked down the aisle and sat on the front steps of the altar. Erick and I had decided that we wanted to take all our pictures before the wedding so we could spend most of our time with our guests. Because of this, we decided to have a special moment before we took pictures. I sat down on the altar and waited for him to come in the back doors of the church. I was so nervous waiting, because I had a big box of letters that I had written for him specifically to give him at that moment.


~ Seeing me for the first time~

     We had so much fun during those 30 minutes of alone time. We laughed, cried and talked about everything that transpired that morning. It really was the best moment of the day. After that 30 minutes was up we took pictures and went back to our hiding spots before the wedding was supposed to start. During the waiting time between pictures and the wedding my mom realized that I had popped a seem in my dress on the front that really wasn't that bad but she screamed "Corrie, you have a whole in your dress!" I had held back most of my emotions until that moment. Luckily she had a sewing kit in her purse and it was fixed within a matter of minutes. 
     The rest of the wedding went off without a hitch and we had so much fun dancing and visiting with all our loved ones at the reception.

     It was a wonderful day, and looking back at all the memories have been so much fun. However, all of this would mean nothing if it weren't for the 10 years after this day. We've been through a lot. We've been on top of mountains and in the deepest valley's but one thing I have been reminded of is that true love endures all. Love isn't something that you feel all the time but it's the perseverance even when things are tough. We've had a wonderful 10 years and I look forward to the next 10 years. I'm sorry to everyone else because Erick will be the only one to get this, but Erick, you will always be my BBF!! I chose you 10 years ago and I choose you today!! I love you!!!

~ My Favorite Picture~

Love is patient, love is kind
it does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
 it is not self-seeking
It is not easily angered 
and it keeps no records of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil 
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects
It always trusts
Always hopes
Always perseveres.
Love Never Fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4 - 8a

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stop The Press

      For the last 4 1/2 years of Jacob's life his nutrition has been a huge burden on us. All that kid would eat was salty, crunchy foods and a few crunchy sweet items. His diet consisted of the following: pretzels, potato chips, Cheetos,  cookies & Popsicle's. We substituted his nutrition with Ensure shakes but after a few years he was tired of those and would no longer drink them. We started trying to give him vitamin supplements and the fiasco of holding him down to force the medicines in him wasn't working and became heart breaking and miserable for everyone. His skin felt scaly and no matter now much lotion I slathered on him, his skin was never smooth like it was supposed to be. Sometimes his eyes had dark circles under them and he didn't sleep well. We weren't sure if the circles were because of lack of nutrition or because of lack of sleep and was the lack of sleep caused by the lack of nutrition? Everything always seemed to come down to his nutrition. We figured that if he got the appropriate nutrition his skin would be normal again. If he ate right his mind may sharpen and strengthen. If he ate healthier maybe his meltdowns would diminish. If he was healthier maybe he would sleep better. Our worries always came back to Jacob's nutrition.
      Jacob started occupational therapy (food therapy) a little over a year ago. For the longest time we were just trying to get him to lick foods that were undesirable to him and this seemed to last forever!! The next step was getting him to bite the foods and then spit them out and then bite them and swallow them. I have to say, that kid has worked so hard. I can't tell you how many times I've seen him gag, but he just kept working and trying. At times I thought it was hopeless and at other times I would see little improvements. The idea of him ever eating anything healthy always seemed way way way in the future. Until recently!! I don't know what it is about wheelchairs that that kid likes but his therapist lets him sit in a wheelchair and all of a sudden that kid is eating with no rewards and no gagging...WHAT??? For about two months he would only eat healthy at food therapy and wouldn't try anything at home. But I'm happy to announce that last night for supper he ate steak, cheese and strawberries. That is the absolute healthiest meal Jacob has eaten in 4 1/2 years!!! And not only did he eat steak, he asked for seconds and even thirds!!! Over the coarse of the past week he has eaten something healthy with every dinner. His list includes apples, bananas and carrots and he's tasted a few other things. I've been so overwhelmed with joy!! Not to mention that he lets me give him his medicine now with very little fussing, considering what we were dealing with a year in a half ago. His skin is so soft again and even though he doesn't always sleep good, he's healthier, talking more and seems happier most days. This is one huge milestone that we've struggled with for a long time and I praise God that Jacob continues to progress and be a huge blessing to us. We love that boy with everything we have and it overjoys me to see him let go of his hindrances.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Causes of Autism

    Whenever the subject of autism comes up, it never fails that someone in the conversation is going to ask my opinion of what causes it. Some speculate vaccinations while other's think it's genetics, environment or both. I really have no idea what my opinion is on this subject. I always struggle to answer their questions straight forwards. Jacob was always different, even as a baby, before he had vaccinations. I used to rack my brains trying to figure out what I did wrong or what the the doctor did wrong or what does society need to do to change the rise in autism. We fight for a cure, we search for answers and we ponder what our children would be like if they were "normal."
    While all of these questions are valid, I decided to give up the fight a long time ago.  Not that I'm not continuing to fight for Jacob, but I decided to lay down my armor and be content with my life. I was driving myself into depression trying to answer the questions of why and how. I was allowing Satan to feed me lies about Jacob and myself as a mother. The problem with continuing to ask these questions is you get into a pity party for yourself, and others. You start to focus on everything that is going wrong and not looking at all the blessings.
     I went to the zoo with a friend yesterday and while we were there, one of her four children kept asking "what's next mommy", "when are we gonna see the ________??" (fill in the blank) As we were walking, he asked again. She kindly knelt down, looked into his sweet, excited eyes and said, "If you continue to always look at what is behind or what is ahead, you will always miss what's right in front of you." What a great lesson for all of us!!
     On the way home from the zoo, the subject of autism came up and that famous question was asked of me again. "What do you think causes autism?" Again I was stumped for words and I never gave her a simple concrete answer. Autism isn't simple and a simple answer just won't suffice. We talked almost the whole way home about Jacob, autism and life with a special needs child. I guess that conversation will always follow me. I'm starting to think that I could have the entire conversation while I am asleep.
     We got home and I began to think about our day together and what a wonderful time we had. I remembered the lesson that she was trying to get across to her 4 year old and I began to put it into context for my life. If I continue to worry and wonder about why Jacob has autism or if I continue to overly pursue his future and worry about it, then I will miss everything that Jacob is accomplishing right now. He's growing and accomplishing so much that I don't want to take for granted everything that God wants to teach me through this moment in my life. This moment is what counts because it's the building block for Jacob's future.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Let's boast in Christ

I've been really frustrated lately about the fact that I haven't had any ideas to blog about. So I guess I'm blogging to let you know that I have no ideas for blogging. We've been so busy the past few weeks with school, church and life.

The main thing that keeps coming to me to blog about is bringing glory to God and not myself, but then I sit down to write and the post goes something like this...

"I really want to give all the glory to God." 

hmm, that really sums it up.

I guess what I really mean by that is that I want everyone to understand that my stories that you think are so good and so powerful are really just utterances of a broken heart. I'm so blown away at the fact that people are "moved" by them because that's just my life. I see the comments that you guys have left and realize that you are not really touched by me but you are touched by God God has lead me to where I am and all I do is write about it. Someone told me that I have such a talent for writing but I only have that talent and any other talent that I might have because of God. I honestly don't consider sitting down and typing out my complaints or joys a talent and I'm actually confused at why anyone would want to read my blogs. The whole idea of my blog when I started it was for people to see how God can work through something devastating and turn it into a blessing...even when it's hard, God is good.

My point being, He did it, praise Him!!!

I love the lyrics to Todd Agnew's song "Something Beautiful"

It's funny how all I can be
is someone completely ugly 
and then when You look at me
You don't see a wretch You see a reflection
of something beautiful

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Busiest Day EVER!!!

     Yesterday was one of the busiest day's we've ever had. The day started off with the Lee County Autism Walk. We had friends and family come in support of Jacob. It was so nice to see everyone participating and wearing the sticker's that we had made for them. Jacob especially liked seeing his picture on the sticker.

~Jacob's Sticker~

         Everyone was so cheerful and happy to be there and it was such an inspiration to see this sticker on everyone in "Team Kent's" t-shirts. The best part was seeing everyone that we love supporting Jacob in something that is so much a part of our lives. We missed the ones that couldn't be there, but just because they weren't there doesn't mean they weren't helping in some form or fashion. The sweetest thing about the walk was knowing that our 10 year old niece, Anna Kathryn, desired so much to be there supporting Jacob. She has such a big heart and knowing that Jacob is important to her gives me so much joy. The other's in our family love and support Jacob just as much but there's nothing sweeter than seeing another kid love my kid...there's just something special about that!!

The next event was Jacob's t-ball game. We hurried from the autism walk to the ball field just in time for Jacob's game to start. As I've posted before, the miracle league is always a great experience. I didn't take a whole lot of pictures here, mainly because I was Jacob's buddy for the game. He loved every minute of me being out there with him too, which was a wonderful experience. I did take one quick picture though...

~ Goofy Boy ~

We then quickly hurried off to A-day game to see the tiger's play. It was a fun experience getting to see the new coach in action and getting to spend some more time with family and a friend that we hadn't seen in a while. I guess the most fun part of this time was getting to explain some football things to my niece.

After the game we headed back to our house for some burger's and hot dogs. Then we ventured back to Toomer's Corner for "The Last Roll." It was an awesome sight to see!!! 

I really enjoyed the day, even though my feet felt like they were going to fall off when I took my shoes off.
It was a great day celebrating the things I love the most...Jacob, family, friends and Auburn. War Eagle and thanks to everyone!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Man Behind It All

       I realized yesterday that I hardly ever talk about the man behind the scene. I talk a lot about Jacob, some about Caleb, but rarely about Erick. The sad thing about it is that Erick is really where it all begins. Besides my faith in Christ, I have gained more strength from Erick than I have anyone else. He's constant, he's steady and most of all he perseveres.
       A lot of stories that I've heard of men when they find out that their kid has special needs is nothing like ours. Usually I hear that the men just can't handle the idea that their kid has special needs so they either deny the disorder or they run from the disorder. Erick has done neither. After the initial shock and sadness, Erick dug his heels in and fought for Jacob, and continues to fight for Jacob. He helps with medicine, diet and just taking on the day to day burdens. He even went as far as leaving his job (and his love, the lake) and moving away from the only place he's known as home to get Jacob in the best school system we knew of. But the biggest thing that he does is he encourages me. He encourages me in the littlest of ways and in ways that he probably doesn't even realize.
       Yesterday he text messaged me and started telling me that he got his yearly review and that it was good. It really didn't shock me at all because Erick is an excellent computer programmer and has excelled in every job he's had since we've been married. Nonetheless, it was a great review and it really made him happy at his job and his whole outlook about work was better. His next text message went something like this...

"Yeah, it makes me feel bad that you don't
get a review telling you all the good stuff you do,
cause I realize how it can change your whole outlook."

"I'm going to give you a review."

      Really??? How awesome is that?? I honestly felt like I had already gotten my "review" just by him saying that. It's awesome to me that he would even think about that. He's right though, it really is nice to know that you are doing a good job. Staying home with whiny kids that don't appreciate anything is definitely not the way to feel appreciated, but Erick realized that and met my need. One of the things that I like about Erick is that he's honest and he's not going to compliment someone if he doesn't really mean it, which makes his compliments that much more special. 

"In this same way, husbands ought to love 
their wives as their own bodies,
 he who loves his wife, loves himself."
Ephesians 5:28


Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Story of Baseball, Miracle League Style

     Before moving to Auburn, I had never heard anything about The Miracle League. I signed Jacob up last year and was reluctant to do so because he has no interest in sports whatsoever. We went to his first game not really knowing what to expect. I was a little nervous, a little apprehensive and a lot anxious. Even when the event is for special needs kids I still worry about Jacob, his reaction to the event and other's reactions towards him. I guess this will always be the case with him. I'm slowly learning not to care what other's think. However, I was still nervous.
    When we got to the field I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with emotions. There were people who had gone down the same special needs path that Erick and I had had, sitting in the stands and cheering for, not only their kids, but for everyone else's kid. It was like a big celebration. There were coaches who were so patient with the kids that swung at the ball 15 times and still had not hit the ball. There were buddies for every kid to help guide them, have fun with them and cheer them on. But most of all, there were kids, that by other's standards would never play ball, out on the field having a blast and enjoying every moment that they had in the spotlight. It was an amazing sight to see.
 ~2012 Miracle League~

     The picture above is a picture from last year's season. Jacob was not into it at all and he needed help with everything about hitting the ball and some of the time didn't even pay attention to what was going on. (mainly because he has no interest in sports) 
     With each game last year I continued to feel overwhelming emotions at every one of the games. I can't even describe the joy that comes from watching these kids playing America's favorite pastime. I think what got me the most was seeing the buddies push the kids that were in wheelchairs around the bases and the crowd cheering abundantly for that child when they got to home plate and "scored." 

     This year I decided that I was going to go to the game and not get so emotional since I knew what to expect. I thought for sure that the new had worn off and it wouldn't be so heart warming this year. NOPE!!! I got there and immediately felt that same over flow of emotions, especially when my boy got up to bat! He got up there like a pro and hit the ball all by himself!!!!
 ~ First hit of the 2013 season~

    The entire crowd cheered Jacob on as he "ran" (I really mean walked, very slowly) around the bases. He's still not that into it but he at least was excited to hit the ball. Every year brings more and more improvements with Jacob and I'm excited to see what this ball season holds for him. 

    Then, my dear sweet Caleb, cried so hard and so long about wanting to go onto the field that Jacob's coach asked if he wanted to hang with him in the outfield. I don't even think Caleb even answered before he was halfway to midfield. He did everything that coach Randy did and he was very observant on what to do next. Coach Randy started clapping for the kid that was hitting and Caleb followed suit. 

~ Caleb & Coach Randy ~

    To most people this is probably cute because it's a two year old, just being a two year old. But, as I watched Caleb I saw a sweet little boy growing up to be an encourager. I prayed at that moment that he will continue to have a heart for the kids that are "different" than him. I prayed that he will be a rock for Jacob and that he will continue to be Jacob's biggest fan. I love that Caleb has the opportunity to see other's loving on these kids!! I'm so happy to have a bold little man on our team.  One Bible verse comes to mind when I think about what I want Caleb to learn from having a brother with autism. It's talking about the body of Christ and it's found in 1 Corinthians 12:22

"In fact, some parts of the body
that seem weakest and least important
are actually the most necessary."


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness Day

I never really understood "Awareness" days. I used to think that it was pretty obvious that we were all aware of breast cancer, other cancers or anything else that we were "being aware" of. Today I understand.

Autism Awareness Day is Jacob's day. It's everyone with autism's day. It's a day that they have a voice without even saying a word. It's a day that everyone can come together and say "I know someone with autism and they are awesome." It's a celebration!

It's also a day that others can become aware of the disorder. I hope that some will learn about the disorder and realize that these kids are bright, intelligent and really fun if you get to know them. They are all different just like typical kids and each one of them has their own personality. They may love and learn in a different way but they still love and learn. The main thing that I want people to learn is that they react different to discipline than typical kids. So everyone may think that Jacob is just a brat when he's having a tantrum but that's the only way he knows to tell us that he's having anxiety about something. He will learn with time, you just have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

It's also a day to help others recognize the struggles that coincide with autism. Some just don't understand the day to day struggles and annoyances. For instance, I bet no one knew that for the first hour of our vacation (going and coming) Jacob asked repeatedly (I mean constantly) if we were going straight. FYI the answer to this question is always "yes" or you will have a meltdown. No, I don't understand why he asks this or why he has problems not going straight but he does, and we've figured out how to skirt around the issue. Just like most issues.

I also have to take food for Jacob everywhere I go. I can't just hop in the car and go to lunch, church or just wherever. Not only is he on a special diet but he doesn't eat anything. He only likes crunchy snack type food. I know some of you are thinking that if I don't take anything and he's hungry enough then he'll eat, not true. He gags on most everything. It's taken us almost a year to get him used to just eating apple without gagging. Will this texture issue with food go away? I really hope so!!

Did you know that Jacob takes at least 7 medicines a day? It's a mixture of vitamin supplements and prescription meds. I know that some of you are looking at the medicine list going "holy crap that's terrible." But you don't even know the half of it. It used to take 3 adults holding him down to force the medicine in his mouth. By the end of the medicine fiasco (morning and night I might add) I was in tears.

I could bore you with many many more stories of how day to day life is with Jacob. I just don't think that people realize the small things. Yes, there are the biggies like education, social life and health but the day to day struggles are what really beat you down the most. It's a way of life, it's not just something we struggle with every now and then.  So please raise awareness, but most of all teach your family, friends and children about acceptance. Yes, Jacob is different from everyone else but he has so much to offer!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Baby Book Entry #2

So this is just another post to help me keep track of funny things that Jacob and Caleb do and say. It's really just for my own personal memory but I hope you enjoy the silliness.


While we were at the beach, Caleb was once again getting into trouble. Erick sent him to his room for not sitting still and eating his dinner. While Caleb was in his room, Jacob was pouting and very upset and said "I don't want Caleb to be in trouble, come out and try again Caleb." What a sweet big brother!!

In the car on the way home from vacation Jacob wouldn't quit saying the same thing over and over. Erick finally looked back there and said "Jacob, will you please be quiet?" Jacob, with a growl in his voice and a little laughter shouted "NEVER." Erick and I busted out laughing!!

The other day I was telling Jacob that his new T-ball team was the Astro's and he got all excited and said "Daddy, I'm going to be an astronaut." That's right sweet boy, shoot for the stars!!


This might be a little crude for some people but I still have to share because it actually happened and Caleb was completely innocent in it all. So, The other day I bought Jacob a juice from the gas station that had Woody from Toy Story on the top of it. Caleb was begging for one too, so I let him go trade the one he had for one like Jacob's. As we were walking to the cash register Caleb decided to announce to the store, "Caleb has a woody too." I'm sure I turned all shades of red while everyone in there was snickering. He proceeded to continually shout it until he got in the car. Needless to say, he was proud.

Caleb now uses the phrase "it sure is" instead of answering with a yes. i.e. when I ask him if that's a red car he says "it sure is." It's seriously cute!!

Sorry for another "off color" story but he's 2 and curious and really cute!...The other day Caleb says "mommy, I have a wee wee." Yes son, yes you do. "Jacob has a wee wee too!" "Daddy has a wee wee too." then he looks at me with a sad look and says "Mommy doesn't have a wee wee."