To all who have prayed for me in the last 24 hours.

Shelby’s IEP went wonderfully. Please continue to pray regarding the jury duty situation.

Also, a new request, back in October, Shelby was evaluated at East Carolina University for a speech generating device and it was recommended that she receive a Dynavox device that would be covered by Medicaid. After the evaluation, we awaited the report from the therapist at ECU and receipt of a rental device. We did receive both and sent back the device in December and are awaiting our new device. Unfortunately, we found out today that the only thing currently holding up approval is the signature of an MD. The rep from Dynavox informed  ECU that the MD requested more information on the device before signing off on it. I am waiting to hear back if the MD in question is the pediatrician that originally was very enthusiastic to refer us for Shelby’s evaluation or another unnamed doctor. If it is our pediatrician, we may have ways of speeding the process up. If, however, it is a doctor whom we do not know who is approving it solely for Medicaid, we are literally at the mercy of an unknown person as to whether Shelby gets the device she so desperately needs. Please pray that whomever the doctor is making this decision, he or she quickly consents and will sign off so that we can get started using the device ASAP.

Ten On Tuesday

1. What’s your variety of apple?
Honeycrisp. I also like Pink Ladies and Fujis.


2. Do you prefer Long-English or Field cucumbers?
We grow Long-English because they grow well  here. But I like  both.

3. Tomatoes – Delicious or disgusting?
DELICIOUS…no arguments allowed on this in my home!

4. What’s one fruit or vegetable that you can’t stand and why is that?
Not a fan of grapefruit unless it is loaded with sweetener.

5. What’s your favourite way to prepare veggies? (Grilled, boiled, roasted, sautéed, etc.)
Grilled. Or steamed

6. Sweet potato pie: Love it or hate it?
Never had it. There, I said it.

7. What’s your favourite “style” of French fry? Wedges, shoelace, curly, crinkle-cut or other?

8. What’s your favourite fruit-pie filling?
Strawberry rhubarb.

9. When you were a kid did your parents make you sit at the table until all your veggies were eaten off your plate?
When we were little one bite of everything. When we were older we were not forced to eat but had to sit until the meal was over

10. Do you drink veggie & fruit juice blends (such as V8, etc.) or make them yourself?
I don’t drink fruit juices. Not as healthy as the fruit itself. mostly sugar

Check out Chelsea for more!


We need some prayers here.

1) Today is an IEP meeting for Shelby. Typically, we’ve been blessed to have just one each year to set goals. Right now, we are having her re-evaluated to find out her more precise diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Today’s IEP is to request the new evaluation. We do not anticipate any push-back from the school, but it is imperative that this happen. NOW. In 2013 the DSM-V will have a revised definition of autism that will eliminate the diagnoses of PDD-NOS and Aspergers syndrome. Shelby’s current diagnosis is PDD-NOS, a higher functioning form of autism that most very young children are initially diagnosed with because with early intervention, much can be done. It is crucial we have the correct diagnosis because once the changes go into place…we need to ensure Shelby continues to get her services.

2) Jury Duty.  On Friday I got a summons to jury duty. It wouldn’t be a huge deal except, of course, they summoned me on the only day in February that Shelby has a teacher workday. Which means I would have to find all day child care for all three children. My in-laws are in Hawaii until this end of this week and a whole day with Shelby + the boys is more than they can really handle. Let’s not even think if I were to be placed on a jury. My husband works over an hour out of town still and has a mandatory training following his school day that day. I sent in as my compelling reason not to serve that I have a child with low-functioning autism who is non-verbal and not potty-trained and I have no one to watch her. Please pray that this falls on the desk of an empathetic judge.

That’s about it for now. Thank you in advance.

Seven Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and dad came down mostly to get her car back that I had driven home on New Years Day and visit my sister-in-law and niece to give them their Christmas presents but to see the grandkids too. My mom stayed overnight at a hotel just down the street from us. Typically, she stays there so my kids can swim in the indoor pool. The pool was out of order this visit, but we still went over to visit and my dad ran over to Wal-Mart to get some snacks. While there he went to get some of the small microwavable bags of popcorn because the big bags don’t fit in the microwaves there. Well, the only small bags he could find were made by Orville Redenbacher and were the “Natural” ones with salt and pepper. He took the risk. The kids loved it. So, since then we have been making our own. It took a couple of practice rounds on the stove, but the kids like popcorn homemade and the new seasoning combos we come up with.

— 2 —

My in-box is bombarded with requests for Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, Pampered Chef, Scentsy etc parties. I don’t go because I don’t have a lot of time for it. And I don’t do the online parties because I don’t have the disposable income anymore. I feel bad for the girls I  RSVP no to not because I’m not going but because these parties used to be somewhat easy and a way to make money. Small downpayment and a few parties and your business was off and running. I know that a lot of women are still very successful but it seems as though with as many people I know in my area doing these things, the competition is  getting pretty intense for the folks just starting out and people just don’t have the money to spend on some of these things anymore, making it more so. And I know more than a few people who have quit as quickly as they started. I’m beginning to think there are almost no jobs nowaday that are “easy” or quick money makers.

— 3 —

So, in my two-year-old new favorite movie Rio, there is a phrase that Blu and his owner Linda use, “cheese and sprinkles.” It’s claimed in the movie to be a “Minnesota thing” but nowhere on the internet can we find a meaning behind the phrase and no one from Minnesota seems to have ever heard of it. So, we are inclined to believe that it is a phrase made up for the film. But it is a phrase that fills me with dreams of soft cheddar covered in candy sprinkles. I know, not healthy at all…but still yummy sounding to me at least.

— 4 —

I was just looking over Shelby’s school calendar because if I don’t, I miss important things like, when she is off school…and realized that for the first time this year, next month she and Jeff will be off on different days. Jeff has wanted to observe in her classroom and volunteer, but unfortunately, this day he has professional development which means the district has paid already for him to be in some kind of training all day…he could use a sick day, but we’re trying to avoid that because he has to make-up any missed professional development days…

— 5 —

I am busy reading as many of the Viking Sagas and early Scandinavian literature I can get my hands on. We’ve had a resurgence in our house because of the recent gift of How To Train Your Dragon and interest in Vikings. I read most of the books in college when I was in a Literature of the Vikings class.  It is funny re-reading them now because I start correctly predicting what will happen next. I know, I’m really remembering it, but I like to think I’m predicting it.

— 6 —

Okay, I’m going to say it. I like the new mass parts. I really do…I just have trouble saying them correctly. Even with a cheat sheet. Not just the musical ones which are set to the old tunes making them doubly hard but even “and with your spirit.” It’s just difficult for me to not answer what was for the first 32 years of my life (conveniently, the new mass parts started AFTER my 32nd birthday) automatic. So when Elisa posted this on facebook, I had to agree:

— 7 —

Super bowl? Meh…we’ll see how it goes. But, I am rooting for Philip Rivers as the Walter Payton Man of The Year. The other two final contestants are equally deserving, but I love how Philip and Tiffany created a pro-life organization that is not the traditional pro-life organization. Please check out more about Philip Rivers here and his organization Rivers of Hope Foundation.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Small Successes


1) I got all my kids to go to bed Tuesday night by just telling them to get in bed and go to sleep…that was the first and may be the last time.

2) I made peanut butter Bulls-eyes. It was a mixed success…I learned some good lessons about how to do it better next time!

3) I am being proactive about getting Shelby re-evaluated for a better diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Her current diagnosis (PDD-NOS) is set to be eliminated by the DSM-V in 2013 so we need her re-evaluated so that she continues to receive services. PDD-NOS is the most common diagnosis of young children as it is the most general. We have her IEP meeting next week to request the evaluation for the educational diagnosis and in the process of obtaining a medical diagnosis as well.

4) I made it to a fundraiser for Shelby’s pre-school last night (got sick) AND will make it to an Autism Society chapter meeting tonight! I love having Jeff home, but I love being able to go out and take care of business when I need to! The fundraiser was awesome (so I heard). The McDonald’s by her old pre-school is had a special night when anything bought between the hours of five and eight, a portion of the proceeds are donated. It was would have been a great time to see Shelby’s old teachers and therapists!  The meeting tonight is very promising. I have never been able to go before when Jeff was working as it is a more formal adults only meeting and only in the evenings.

5) When someone out and out attacked me about something completely–I hate this word, but it’s the best one to describe it–stupid, I remained calm. I told them I was sorry they felt that way and went about my life. I think the person was still angry they didn’t change my mind, but were too stunned by my calm (and uncharacteristic) reaction to pursue it further. Eliminating drama, one situation at a time.

Check out Sherry for more Small Successes over at Chocolate for Your Brain.

Yarn Along

It’s been awhile since I participated in Yarn Along…sadly, I do not knit, still,  but I am reading now more than ever.


Going back to my college days, I am re-reading the texts from my Literature of the Vikings class. In that class we read The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, King Harald’s Saga, Seven Viking Romances and the Finnish National Epic Poem The Kalevala. I’ve finished Hrolf and am reading Harald currently.  I love the parallels to other literature like Beowulf and reading the histories of these nations. The early Scandinavian cultures are just as fascinating and rich as the ancient Greeks and Romans but not as well known. I’m trying to feel well-rounded these days in my reading and picking these up is definitely helping with that.


What are you reading, knitting or crocheting right now? Join Ginny at Small Things to share.

A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings

1) I am alive. It’s not an easy existence all the time, but God gave me this gift. I need to use it.

2) Somehow my kids are learning responsibility. By the grace of God.

3) That I have those moments with my three little bugs. It has become far too easy to forget, they will never be this little again.

4) That there are songs like this one to remind me to stop and love what I have now, right now.

Who’s to say
What’s impossible
Well they forgot
This world keeps spinning
And with each new day
I can feel a change in everything
And as the surface breaks reflections fade
But in some ways they remain the same
And as my mind begins to spread its wings
There’s no stopping curiosity

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found
I’ll share this love I find with everyone
We’ll sing and dance to Mother Nature’s songs
I don’t want this feeling to go away

Who’s to say
I can’t do everything
Well I can try
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren’t always just what they seem

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found
I’ll share this love I find with everyone
We’ll sing and dance to Mother Nature’s songs
This world keeps spinning and there’s no time to waste
Well it all keeps spinning spinning round and round and

Upside down
Who’s to say what’s impossible and can’t be found
I don’t want this feeling to go away

Please don’t go away
Please don’t go away
Please don’t go away
Is this how it’s supposed to be
Is this how it’s supposed to be

~Jack Johnson

5) That even when my emotions get the best of me, people around me still love me. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Bonus–for a great pediatrician’s office. It is a safe place in our lives. We aren’t judged, particularly about Shelby, and they take excellent care of our children.

Join Judy to find JOY in giving thanks.

Lovin My Husband

Joining Judy again for more celebrating the JOY of our husbands.

1) Lovin’ my husband for making special moments for our kids. Making forts for them to sleep in. Teaching them how to make  popcorn on the stove. Playing all the games they invent.

2)  Lovin’ my husband for encouraging me in any number of things when I am ready to give up (this happens embarrassingly often).

3) Lovin’ my husband for the way he always jumps head first into new ideas, knowing we can’t predict success and failure 100% of the time…sometimes you just have to try!

Tuesday’s Ten

Ten Dishes I Enjoy No Matter Where I Am

1. Eggplant Parmesan

2. Fried Chicken and Waffles

3. Sweet and Sour Chicken and Crab Rangoon

4. Pierogis with Onions and Sausage and Squash

5. Baked Spaghetti

6. Mac and Cheese with Bacon

7. Enchiladas, Tamales and Tostadas

8. Cheese Fondue

9. Hot Dogs with mustard, cheese, bacon bits and relish

10. Pizza…any kind.

Mothers Do Have Super Human Strength–When We Need To

Since becoming a mom, I’ve found there are tons of things I am capable of doing that I never thought possible. I have been stronger; emotionally, mentally and yes, even physically.

Today, those last two were in play big time.

Will has always given me a run for my money. Chorionic cysts on his brain before he was born, potential heart birth defect, the bump on his head, the obstructed bowel…this kid knows how to get my blood pressure up. I often say being his mother is more challenging than being Shelby’s mom. And I’m serious.

Today is no exception. I had one of those super-human-mom-strength-lifting-a-car-to-save-your-baby-underneath-it moments. Only it was a bed I lifted with one hand. I was outside asking Joey to please get his brother’s scooter out of the street and put it in the garage and put his helmet on. I came back in to hear Will with his “I’m-scared-out-of-my-mind-help-me” scream/cry. I raced back to the bedroom and couldn’t see him. I followed his voice under the bed (which is a full). I heaved the mattress off and lifted the box spring to discover he was stuck inside the box spring. I ripped the fabric more with one hand while balancing the box spring in the other, I untangled his leg, made sure he was clear then stuck my arm in and told him to grab and pulled him out. With the box spring still in my free arm over my head. Then I retrieved the fifty or so cars stuck under the bed he had tried to get.

Really, and now, roughly 30 minutes or so later, my breathing and heart rate are returning to normal. My neck and shoulder are a bit tired, but I can’t believe I had the clarity and presence of mind to do all that. Much less the physical strength. Will hugged me and clung to me crying saying, “I so scared Mama. I so scared.” I told him he was okay. He was out now and please to NEVER crawl under a bed again. Now he is napping…exhausted, I’m sure. Not to mention, I’m sure he will have some claustrophobia from this experience.

Tomorrow I may not have to be this strong. In fact, tomorrow, I hope I don’t have to be. But it’s nice to know that the innate mothering impulses work when I need them to and that when I need that super human strength, thank God it’s there.