Me and Jacob

Me and Jacob

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Becoming Normal

I'm sitting at the beach with my husband and my boys. Erick is sitting playing "monster trucks" on the tablet with Caleb and Jacob is building towers with his wooden blocks. I'm sitting here amazed at how normal it feels and I feel blessed for how far we've all come. From the outside we probably look like your typical family of four playing at the beach, but we're much more than that. We're a family that celebrates the small things. Small things that are really huge to us. This year Jacob has accomplished even more than last year. It seems like just yesterday that Jacob would hardly even get out of the car at the gulf. Last year he loved the beach but still had hesitations about some things. This year he's really come out of his shell and is really and truly enjoying himself.

I know that most of you are going to think this first accomplishment is mundane and silly but I just want you to know this is a huge step for Jacob...He actually rinsed his feet off in the shower on the pier at the beach!!!! Not only did he wash his feet off but he did it unhindered!!!! He actually walked up and stuck his feet under the running water without fussing...WHAT??? is this really MY child? I praised him immensely for this.

~Jacob at the bay~

The next accomplishment is that he wanted to swim in the bay that's near our beach house. Year after year we've wanted him to swim with us but he just had too many anxieties about it. This year he actually was begging to get in...too bad the water is like ice!!! This summer we'll have a blast at the bay jumping off the pier and swimming together. Can't wait!!!

I think the absolute biggest accomplishment of Jacob's is that he loves playing with Caleb. This has been a long, rough road and I can finally see the light at the end of that long dark tunnel. It's been wonderful to see them play together and loving it. They are starting to adore each other!!! The sweetest thing is that it breaks Jacob's heart when Caleb gets in trouble. Which happens a lot.

~"Riding" Together~

It's always a struggle for families of special needs kids to feel like they fit in and every time I get a glimpse of normalcy it makes me smile and my heart is overwhelmed with joy. I desire for him to enjoy his childhood like a typical kid with no setbacks or anxiety and this desire is finally starting to come true. But, when I see Jacob spitting into the sunlight to make what he calls "sprinkles" (which is really just spit floating in the air) and then Caleb running through it like it's actually a sprinkler and screaming "Yay," I think to myself "yep, we're becoming normal."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Life's a Musical

    It's amazing to me how much music has a grip on me. It really can determine what kind of mood I'm in. I realized this yesterday when I was in a terrible mood all day. Nothing seem to be going right and the kids were whiny,complaining and fighting and I had so much to do and such little time. I turned on the radio and the first song that came on was "Good Morning" by Mandisa. It was slightly strange that it came on while I was cooking supper, however, that song always gets me in the dancing mood. I started dancing around the kitchen and singing at the top of my lungs. The rest of the night was very pleasant.

    I very rarely get to listen to music in the car anymore because of our DVD player that our kids think has to be on, even if we are just riding a mile to the grocery store. Even if I do make them turn their movie off it's constant questions and Jacob begging me to quit singing, so it's never enjoyable. I try to remember to turn my radio on in my kitchen but sometimes just adding another level of volume to my day is mind numbing. So, I end up turning it off. 

   I need to keep it on more often because music really does soothe my soul. Maybe its because I can sing at the top of my lungs and that seems to drown out the fussing and fighting coming from the other room. Music also reminds me of who God is, and with the craziness of being a stay at home mom and not having a lot of time for reading and studying God's word, it's a nice retreat to get lost in the words of some of the songs played on Christian radio. 

Music is my life, it keeps me going and sometimes is the best medicine a girl could ask for. 

Some of my favorite songs right now...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Re-purpose Story

    Once upon a time, about 4 years ago, a small little china cabinet was given to me. It wasn't the prettiest of all china cabinet's but it was useful for it's purpose. For a while it housed the china that had been given to my mom for a wedding gift but when we made the move to Auburn we didn't really have anywhere to put it in the new house, until now!!
     For the past 2 years the china cabinet had been at my parents, taking up room in their dining room. Back at the beginning of the year I started getting interested in re-purposing furniture and decided this china cabinet could be useful again. I'd been wanting a tall cabinet to hold my TV for about 5 years, so I started looking on pinterest to see if anyone else had used a china cabinet as a TV console and to my surprise someone  had!!!

   This is a horrible picture but you get the idea of what it looked like before the transformation. So my plan was to take the glass doors off the front, Remove the glass shelves inside and rebuild some new shelves specific to our needs. On the bottom I decided to make the stationary middle door workable. I also wanted to put a divider inside the bottom cabinet between the middle and left door so that the left door when opened was it's own little cabinet. The middle and right doors now have a shelf and our movies have their own cabinet while the left door holds our computer that we us as a cable box (married to a electronics guru). 


Here is the cabinet with the top doors and shelves removed. It's primed waiting on the new shelves to go in the top and the reworking of the cabinets on the bottom.
~New Shelves~

Here is the new shelving unit that my brother so generously made for me. I was pretty excited about these awesome shelves. 
I'm extremely happy with the way it turned out but the best part is that I got exactly what I wanted for free!!! Like I said the china cabinet was given to me and all the paint and supplies were left over from remodeling our kitchen. The other plus is that little sticky fingers can't reach the TV screen!!!

Call me cheesy but as I was writing about this it reminded me of Christ and how He takes us, these ugly, smelly, wretched human beings and with great thought, excitement and love re-purposes our lives for His purpose and glory.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cancer or No Cancer...God is still Good

     Yesterday I woke up knowing that in a few hours from then my dad could find out that he had cancer. A few weeks before, when my dad told me his PSA count was high, I was scared, worried and anxious. I pleaded with God to sustain my faith through this uncertainty. Although prostate cancer is somewhat easy to fix, the news of it possibly being cancer was almost unbearable to think about. My dad has been a rock for us through the uncertainty of autism. Besides me and Erick, my dad is Jacob's biggest fan. I don't ever want to think about him being gone, but certainly not this soon. 
     I woke up yesterday with peace. Not because I prayed and I knew God was going to heal my dad, but a peace knowing that God was in control. That no matter the outcome God is still good and He is wonderful in all His ways. Knowing that I could praise him even in the darkest of circumstances was a comfort. All Day I kept singing a song that I learned when I was a kid...

"This is the day, This is the day
That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made,
I will rejoice, I will rejoice
and be glad in it, and be glad in it.
This is the day that the Lord has made.
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day, this is the day 
that the Lord has made.

     I cleaned all morning and made plans for lunch since my brother and his wife were coming to celebrate or be of comfort. We weren't sure what the news was going to be but they wanted to be here with everyone. Caleb and I ran to the grocery store to get some things for lunch and on our way out we ran into my mom. She calmly said, "we have good news." I was stunned. I walked (wanting to run) to their car to see what my dad had to say and he calmly got out and said "no cancer." I wanted to hoot and holler and do a happy dance in the middle of the Kroger parking lot. I contained myself...until I got back in my car!! 
     Had God answered my prayers? Who knows! Maybe this was His plan all along. All I knew was that my dad was cancer free and my God is good. The best part about all of this was knowing that even if my dad did have cancer, God is still good. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunshine, Parks and Daylight Savings

If you know me at all you will know that I hate winter. I can tolerate it until Christmas but after that, I'm done. I don't like my skin being dry, I don't like having to put on my entire wardrobe on to walk Jacob to the bus and I don't like the fact that it gets dark at five o'clock. I call this "winter blues."

It's starting to get warm and I feel like a new person. I feel alive! Like I can finally breathe again. Yesterday was beautiful. No, no, no, I'm sorry, it was GORGEOUS!!! Warm weather makes me want to get out of bed and play with my kids. We had a wonderful time at church yesterday and then enjoyed a wonderful lunch with my best friend Lisa and her kids. After our afternoon naps Erick and I took the kids to a park nearby where we met some other people that had kids with autism. There's nothing like meeting people that know exactly how you feel. The kids had a blast and no one whined when we left. Erick and I talked about the fact that the trip to the park seemed normal. Jacob didn't have any meltdowns, he actually played on the playground like it's meant to be played on and when we said "lets go" everyone walked nicely to the car. We've been waiting for that moment for 6 1/2 years now. That moment when we can actually enjoy a day out with Jacob. It used to be meltdown central!! Constant resisting everything also accompanied the meltdowns. Not yesterday!! Everyone had a fantastic time.

After the park we grabbed a pizza and hung out on our back porch and ate while the kids played and grazed a little on their food. It was seven o'clock and it was still light outside, that made me smile!! The fact that my kids had played all day together with no fighting, no meltdowns and no resisting made me smile even more. I'm so thankful for the glimpses of normalcy that we've been getting lately. I hold on to these times and cherish them deeply. These glimpses are coming more and more often and I rejoice in that. I'm so proud of Jacob and how far he's come. There are days that he really struggles but he's doing so good.

Sing praises to the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment
but His favor lasts a lifetime.
Weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:4 & 5

Yesterday as we were driving home from the park I was reminded of this song. It's actually a punk rock Christian song but it was so fitting. I think about this song often when it starts to get warm outside.

We were talking together
I said, "what's up with this weather?"
don't know whether or not
how sad I just got
was of my own volition.
Or if I'm just missing the sun
And tomorrow, I know, 
Will be rainy at best 
And the forecast, I know,
is that I'll be depressed
But I'll wait outside
Hoping that I'll catch sight of the sun..

Because on and off 
the clouds have fought
for control over the sky

and lately the weather
has been so bi-polar
and consequently so have I

And now I'm sunny with a high
of 75 
since you took my heavy heart 
and made it light
and its funny how you find
you enjoy your life
when you're happy to be alive.

And the temperature is freezing
and then, after dark,
there is a cold front sweeping
in over my heart

and we might break up if I don't wake up to the sun.

Friday, March 8, 2013

False Prophets

There has been something weighing on my mind for about a week now. I thought this feeling was going to go away but it just keeps getting stronger, so I wanted to blog about it and get it out of my system and off my chest.

I've been seeing and hearing a lot of people lately that have been quoting Joel Osteen and I'm absolutely dumbfounded  I'm saddened at the many people that are led astray by his lies. Am I the only one who see's right through him? These lies are so obvious that they are straight from the evil one.

Here are a few of Osteen's quotes and a few scriptures that completely go against what he's teaching.

"I've discovered that God likes to outdo Himself:" - Joel Osteen

What? First off if God likes to "outdo" Himself, that means that he was lacking in things he has done in the past which cannot be true. He is Almighty and He NEVER changes. He has been is and will forever be good. God NEVER Changes...

Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

"God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money to fulfill the destiny that He has laid out for us." - Joel Osteen

God wants us to be obedient and faithful children of Him. That means faithful in riches and faithful in poverty.

Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Matthew 6:19 & 20 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Luke 18:22 When Jesus Hear this, He said to him, "You still lack one thing, Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

Mark 8:36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

The list of verses goes on and on.

"You make mistakes but that doesn't make you a sinner, you've got the very nature of God inside of you." - Joel Osteen

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Proverbs 28:13 He that cover's his sins shall not prosper. But whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

"You are a no lack person. God created you with everything you need to fulfill your destiny, you have the talent, creativity and determination." Joel Osteen

So, God created me to fulfill MY destiny? I really thought that I was created for HIS glory, not my own.

2 Corinthians 2:17 Let him who boasts boast in the Lord

Romans 16:17 -19 I URGE you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions an put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

2 Timothy 4:1-4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, i give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Baby Book Entry # 1

    Jacob and Caleb are saying so many funny things that probably should get written in their baby books. Maybe not all of the sayings are baby book worthy but a lot of them are pretty darn funny. Since I don't think to get their baby books out, much less have the time to search for a pen, I'm going to start writing some funny posts about things they have said.

    Jacob: "Daddy, are you pregnant."

Best part about this one is that Erick almost used a "your mama" joke right here and was about to say "your mama's pregnant." Then he realized what he was saying...

After giving Jacob his daily medicine yesterday...

    Jacob: "complete"

Caleb is saying a lot of cute stuff lately. His are more routine funny things right now but nevertheless he says some funny stuff too. My favorite thing right now that he has been saying is right after we've done something for him he says very excitedly...

    Caleb: "Oh Tanks!"

I love how Caleb says "Help." His version of the world would look something like this... "Hayelp"

Another one of Caleb's funny things is being excited after he passes gas. The other day we were eating lunch at my parents and one of their friends and his kids had joined us. Caleb, of coarse, passed gas while we were eating and loudly exclaimed...

     Caleb: "I POOTED"

Then he busted out laughing.

It's really hard to "discipline" him when all the adults are about to pass out from laughing. Needless to say, life is fun with 2 boys!! I wouldn't trade them for the world...well maybe I would...nah I wouldn't!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Feeding Clinic Update

I now have to repent and eat crow for my rant earlier. Although I believe I have some valid points, Jacob's feeding clinic appointment when great. We won't go to food therapy every week but we'll go every other week. I thought it was a pretty nice compromise for them continuing to pay for it. They are also going to supply us with the Pediasure Sidekicks Clear that will help Jacob gain and maintain a healthy weight. I was pretty pleased with the overall visit and we're continuing moving forward with Jacob's food issues. Looking forward to implementing some new at home therapy ideas that might help encourage healthy just praying he won't gag!!!

Feeding Clinic

     Jacob has feeding clinic today. I'm not a big fan of feeding clinic in general but I really dread going today even more. Feeding clinic or Children's Rehabilitation Services (CRS) is an appointment that I take Jacob to every 6 months. They evaluate his feeding habits, weight and overall health. Then they proceed to tell me what Jacob needs to be eating (like I don't know, hello!! why do you think I'm here) and what not to feed Jacob, which leaves me annoyed because Jacob gags on everything they tell me to feed him. However, it's really just been a means to an end for me because CRS has been paying for Jacob's weekly occupational therapy, or as Jacob and I like to call therapy. So in order for them to pay for this therapy we have to attend the bi-yearly appointments.          
     We'll today is different. Today is the day that they will tell me if they are going to continue paying for Jacob's "food" therapy or not. After a year in food therapy and seeing little improvement until the last few months and then they may cut us from the program? really? Incredibly frustrating. We love Elisa, Jacob's therapist and we love going there to see her but we can't afford this therapy without the help of CRS. 
     I'm about to start a rant, but I can because it's my blog. I completely understand if some of you think I'm irrational or crazy but I don't really care. I might sound selfish and insane but here we go. It's insane to think that we make too much money to not get this assistance but we don't make enough to afford the therapy either. Here comes the crazy and irrational part...So, we're "middle class" we make too much to get the help we need for our son but we don't make enough to afford the help we need. I think that parents of kids with special needs should get the assistance they need regardless of their income status. We have done everything right according to the government and the american dream. We got jobs, we got married, bought a house, pay our taxes, bought some cars, had some kids...but the system still fails us. We didn't plan on having a kid with special needs, we didn't plan on having to use our hard earned money to pay the amount of our mortgage in therapies just so our kid can learn not to gag on apples (insert any healthy food here). Why don't we get the help we need? Even more, there are families out their drowning in medical debts, therapy debts, medicine/supplement debts. All we have to face is this one occupational debt but what about these other "middle class" families who can't even pay their mortgage because their disabled child requires lots and lots of medical attention. This just doesn't seem fair to me. Yeah, yeah life's not fair...
     After all my ranting I still know that God still has us in his hands and in the end it really won't matter if Jacob eats apple or not. In the end we'll still be worshiping and praising God and I'm sure Jacob will eat everything at the heavenly feast! I can't wait to see that!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


      I've heard some people say that we should constantly pray for healing of children with disabilities. That it's because of Satan that we have children with disabilities, not because God created them. I have a few biblical issues with this. Mainly because of these verses.

The Lord said, "Who gave man his mouth? 
Who makes him deaf or mute? 
Who gives him sight or makes him blind? 
Is it not I, the LORD?
Exodus 4:11

For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13 & 14

      What if "healing" looks different than what we hope for or imagine. What if the healing isn't the healing of autism, downs syndrome or cerebral palsy. What if the healing comes in the form of brokenness before God. What if healing is the healing of a broken marriage. What if healing is seen in the form of a community learning to truly love because of one child with a disability.
      I think that healing can come in many forms and our preference for healing isn't always the same as God's. I prayed for healing for Jacob. Was that prayer answered? Yes! But not in the way I wanted it to be answered. My healing came in the form of a strong marriage, a wounded heart that God is continually shaping, and a story to share with others. 
     I believe Job received healing. After he had lost everything, he still sought after God. What an amazing story of faith and healing.

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, 
and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; 
may the name of the LORD be praised."
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Job 1:21 & 22

Monday, March 4, 2013

Real Love

        I have never been more sure that we as a family are exactly where God wants us. It was so hard to leave our friends and family behind to move to Auburn to start our new life here. Over the past 2 years of living in Auburn nothing has been more clear to me than the fact that God has us here for a reason. I thought we were moving here just for Jacob, and that's really what it started off as. The Auburn school system and the Auburn/Opelika community has so much to offer families with special needs kids. However, I never realized how much we would be blessed as a family to live here as well. 
        We have met some pretty amazing people. People who are actually living out God's command to go unto all the world. These people aren't necessarily going into another country but they are ministering to people that most of us don't think twice about. What I love about these people is they aren't perfect, they aren't trying to make themselves look good and they aren't looking for rewards or pats on the back. These people genuinely care and love people. They are real, real about themselves, real about the Word and real about the problems in this world. They aren't concerned with church rules or legalism. They are concerned with the hearts of the hurting. They are people who are ministering to foster kids who have been abused in ways unimaginable. They are people who are so desperately trying to stop human trafficking. I've never had the opportunity to be around people that so selflessly give their time, efforts and love into something so beautiful. It made me realize that this is what it means to love people. It's easy to love people who are like us and who aren't "damaged."  The best thing about these people though is that they don't try to act righteous or like they have it all in place. They're real people with real struggles who share a common bond...Love!
        I've sat in the pew with many people in my lifetime who think they're awesome because they came to church. Heck, I've been one of those people. Hypocrites! Jesus spent more time with outcasts, lepers, disabled, prostitutes, adulteresses, broken, hurt, "damaged" people than he did with religious people, church people and "good" people. 
       Our pastor preached an amazing sermon yesterday. The best thing he said was this "If you study the Bible you will see that the only time Jesus got mad was when he was dealing with hypocrites in the church. He never was angry or upset with sinners. He spent time with prostitutes, adulteresses, lepers and outcast but the only time he got angry was at hypocrites." Wow, what a perspective!!

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,
but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered
it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
    1 Corinthians 13:1-8a

My prayer over the next couple of weeks/months/years is that God continue to give me a passion for families of special needs children. I so desire to be used by Him!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sweet Wishes

       I love how Jacob's sweet mind works. He hears the word birthday and he automatically thinks it's his birthday and that he gets presents. I told him this morning, as I was getting him ready for school, that it was mommy's birthday. Excitedly he replied "Yay, I get a Buzz Light year present." He's so innocent and honest about it. The words that he says sound so selfish but he's just excited because it's tradition to get presents on your birthday. This is one thing I cherish so much about him. He's so complex yet so simple. He's happy with just one toy at Christmas when other kids want it all. He is a constant reminder to keep life simple. I swear he coined the phrase "dance like no one is watching." I love to watch him play because he's so free, he doesn't care what he looks like, he doesn't care that he plays differently from all the other kids. He's just happy.
        I pray so often that he will continue to progress and amaze us. I just pray that if he progresses enough to lose his diagnosis that he doesn't lose that sense of simplicity. It's such a great mindset to have.  I worry sometimes that the older he gets the more he will realize how different he is from everyone. If and when this day comes I hope that I have wise words to tell him that he understands. I am his advocate, his biggest fan, and i will do everything I can to help him understand that. The best comfort I have is knowing that God loves him even more than I do. I can rest assured that God will not forsake that sweet boy.

"If God cares so wonderfully for the flowers
that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't
He more surely care for you?"
Luke 12:28

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
 Yet not one of them will fall to the ground
apart from the will of your Father. And even
the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than
many sparrows."
Matthew 10:29 -31