Tuesday morning-

3 weeks left before school starts for the new year.  My TeaRose is in dead panic. The others are more like denial. I think I feel more like the first.  I finished most of the shopping- but the gear up of the heart and mind- that is not so easy.   My Heavenly Father knew I needed a courage quote today, because one popped into my head during my morning prayers, from the hymn book… so I thought I’d share.


I Need Thee Every Hour –page 98

1. I need thee ev’ry hour,
Most gracious Lord.
No tender voice like thine
Can peace afford.
I need thee, oh, I need thee;
Ev’ry hour I need thee!
Oh, bless me now, my Savior;
I come to thee!
2. I need thee ev’ry hour;
Stay thou nearby.
Temptations lose their pow’r
When thou art nigh.
3. I need thee ev’ry hour,
In joy or pain.
Come quickly and abide,
Or life is vain.
4. I need thee ev’ry hour,
Most holy One.
Oh, make me thine indeed,
Thou blessed Son!

(Text: Annie S. Hawks, 1835-191
Music: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899)

Categories: Courage quotes | 2 Comments

Putting Grief into the Closet (again)

It happened again.

That prickly, achy, heart-pain that we ponder and then set aside, chalking it up to something called “grief over a normal life that we will never know”.

The first time I ever really experienced these sharp moments, was in the airport.   I had finally pulled by sheer will-power, all my family thru the check-in process, and we were sitting finally in the waiting area.  As I sat gathering my breath, I watch a young mom walk past- head high and forward, not even looking behind her to see if all her ducklings were following, because they were, all 4 little ones in a row.  It had never occurred to me till that moment, that keeping track of mommy was a normal instinct- and one I had never experienced as a young mom.  I thought all young moms fell in love with child leashes.  :)  I never really have the time to think about it much during the school years, too pre-occupied with the 4 hours a day in the car plus homework stress, and everything else that comes with getting all my kids thru their various special needs.  But it comes hard at milestone moments, like graduations;  or with casual comments like “you should take your girls with you shopping if you want to have Real fun”, or “just get your boys to help you”  Man- I sometimes have to bite my tounge on the comment- “I’ll let you take the kids shopping- and I start my stopwatch to see how long it takes before you call to get rescued.”  Lately the grief has been watching young men who used to be the ones that my kids would not go to church to endure- grow up enough to go on missions, (or return).  Usually I manage to sigh, then push it aside, trying to pretend that it is gone and conquered,  as I focus on the needs at hand and the laughter and joys that our family manages to sprinkle abundantly between the daily struggles.

And then, another sad letter.

This time it was from my younger son to me.  He gave it to me last night.  It was written as part of the activities that the Scouting/Young Men leaders had arranged for all the boys to do toward the end of their week-long Stake Camp last week.  You know, the kind that is supposed to be designed to increase the teen boys’ spirituality… here, I’ll show you. (names have been smudged by me)


And everything rushes in.  I have to keep the tears set aside, it is too hard on my kids, so I fall back to my routine… Spending the day with a prayer in my heart, and hunting for good moments to think about.

And there was good too- he said he wished they had handed out the letters from the parents first, because it gave him a lot to think about, and he intends to hang it in his room by his bed.  I had a hard time finding the quiet inspiration to write this one.  I finally managed it at the very last night before they all left.  But as I re-read it, I realize it was truly inspired- and very healing to my heart as well as his.

Let’s see if I can copy it over to here.


To my Wonderful son.

Look at how much you have grown!
This has truly been a handful of hard years- Especially in school.  I have watched and prayed as I saw 4th grade hit hard enough that sitting in the principle’s office was preferable, and 8th grade become intolerable… But you need to know that you have really moved forward, letting yourself learn to do hard things.
Such things as 7th grade when you really took off, jumping from 4th to 8th grade math in  a year- and much the same or more for reading and writing skills.   And I will always remember the huge growth of courage and endurance that you and your sisters showed to get thru the Temple Cultural Celebration!  Wow! what an accomplishment!

Now you are getting old enough that it will start feeling like the world is asking you to grow-up and move forward faster than you are able to go.  Do not be afraid.  The Lord knows you personally, and has set up a plan just for you, to help you get thru this time of your life.
It might always seem hard- because Heavenly Father is working to raise Warriors who can stand with him thru anything– but he also knows how to mix in good moments to lighten the pathway.  Your family will always be there, to help bring smiles and hugs when needed, and keep your eyes open for the tiny bits of beauty in nature and moments of tiny miracles- These are His way to tell you you are on the right path, and help you get thru the rough spots.  And when all seems dark- Look to the scriptures and the prophets, they are the light in the lighthouse, to guide you past the danger zones.
Always remember I love you.  And someday- it will surprise you (but not me) that you have grown up to be a mighty Tiger that cannot be taken down, except for hugs.

Love, Mom


Yup- the grief is back in the closet.  It may be important to show this letter to the proper leaders for future safety and such, but mourning is not part of my day anymore today.   In the mean time- I think I am ready to wake everyone and get ready for the Sabbath.

Talk to you soon!

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 4 Comments

Friday Evening Courage Quote

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.”

Victor Hugo
Categories: Courage quotes | 1 Comment

Going gluten free log-in

Star-Date: it seems like forever… Our mission: to find a way to convince teen and young adult ASD kids that they need to buy into going gluten free for their own health and happiness.

Well- since the doc called a few days ago, I have been allowing the supplies of bread, chips and cereal to dwindle without replacing.  Telling the kids that we are official, with the oldest now dx’d to need to go gluten free, and several more suspiciously the same.  –So this morning I started awesome.  I made two batches of muffins from recipes I have been collecting.  Verdict, the Almond Poppy seed was awesome for the half of my family who loves the original- it tasted almost the same.  But the Banana-Bran was a thumbs-down.  and I managed to do a gf pasta salad for lunch- but by 2pm, everyone was hunting the house for bread or snacks.  I’m well aware of withdrawal issues- but I’m waaaaaay  too tired to pull off a sudden switch.  I just can’t do it all today.  So I ordered pizza.  I’ll try again next week.

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30 seconds of deep thinking

This morning is beautiful again, tho it will get hot later- but today I don’t feel very inspirational or strong.  I just feel blue.  I wrestle with this on occasion, and I thought I had the upper hand, then I read another fb post of a ward member’s son getting a mission call, or family members coming home from one.  To all those special needs moms who must also wait to get into the “moms of missionaries” groups– you know about that feeling, the one where sometimes not even a hug reaches deep enough to touch the ache.

It has been such a long, long week- but on the other hand, this was the first week that I have had some mornings where I have actually been clear headed and thinking. I think it has taken that long to recover from the last school year. I guess it’s time to use this moment of peace to follow the promptings of the Lord, and find some of the good moments of the week- that’s what keeps me going.

So—Ryan has been doing better at his uphill battle to conquer his sleep struggles,  and has been more able to be patient with siblings and to think his way thru math with his Dad. fewer migraines per week too- but I haven’t told him yet, I don’t want to break the magic.  And I finally managed to talk him into getting his blood tests (that the Neurologist ordered a long time ago)  and one result has already come in- the doc’s office called and said take him off gluten, the allergy test was positive.  It’s weird, I have kinda felt this was part of the problem for a long time, and I have even been practicing the recipes,  but a part of me was in denial because it has been such a hard transition for me to make… so even tho I was expecting it, it still took me out at the knees for a while.  I think I’m getting thru that one.  

 Brand  is struggling too a bit-I think his meds make him tired.  And we have both struggled a bit pretty much ever since we started his mission papers and got to the part that says tell us more about the answer you gave of “high Functioning Autism”.   And I suspect he’s bored, but is hoping I stay too tired to get everyone started on summer courses.  It’s kinda hard to tell with him,  cause he’s very quiet.  But he usually lets me cheer him up- this time, he jumped to pro-active, and decided to start writing up lists of all the local places to apply for jobs, so I drove him around to avoid the heat-  that helped both of us feel better.

Mark’s work has been so heavy with deadline stress, lately, but I’m so proud of him- ’cause he comes home and jumps right in to tutoring math and helping the boys, only then does he take time to recover,  playing some computer games for a while– 

Kydee is doing great most of the time, tho it really is getting to the point where I need to start up summer homework.  I’m so trying to pull myself together to get that going.  I have also decided she has some shadow struggles… she had a panic attack yesterday that was overwhelming.  Ah well, it’s just part of the day.

TeaRose is back to saying her nightly prayers without help- this is a big thing, she has been so stressed since spring, that she regressed a fair bit.   She has something going on health wise, too- and I don’t know what doctor to take her to.   It’s one of those moments where the communication barrier is hardest for me…she can’t describe it- she just says she doesn’t feel well.  But I do know that she has had no balance stability at all, and tires fast.  So I spent a major part of yesterday researching doctors.

On the positive side-I took the 3 younger ones to see How to train a Dragon-2 (matinee)this week– twice.  :)  We REALLY needed out of the house. It was totally worth it. 

And I have to tell you about our fun moment during scripture reading last  Tuesday night–  We started reading 1st Nephi again- chapter 5/6-  stopped in  the middle to have a teaching moment about Sariah (only complained once and then held on to what she knew and never let it go again) and then we talked about Lehi- as one of our earliest examples of personal courage… the courage to have so much faith that he was one of the few that the Lord gave a whole continent to for his posterity… Ryan brought up the comment “it’s one of those examples of a mission that looked like it was unsuccessful (no believers in Jerusalem) but it was really, actually successful-( gave him the courage and faith to get the blessing of the promised land) I love those tiny moments of clear, deep thinking!

Oh, Wednesday,  DK  said “Mom- I want to be your special helper.  What can I do that’s medium hard” :)   (I knew he wanted something- but he didn’t mention it all morning) — He washed hallway walls and bathroom cupboards and doors all morning.  Masterful control of self,  cheerful and trying hard– the next day I surprised him with the DS game he’s been hoping for.  It was good.

It’s also nice to be able to say I have half of the kitchen cupboards cleaned down to washing out the insides, (to clean out all the wheat products, etc.)   Deep cleaning is hard for me;  I tend to find projects that had to get put on the shelf when kid care became overwhelming.  I didn’t find any this time- just a small stash of stuff I had bought for H.S. graduation celebrations (looking forward for when my oldest was old enough.) But I sighed, and chucked it, and moved on–  and thru all that,  I still have the front room clean enough that I didn’t mind a brand-new set of visiting teachers coming over last night. They let me rattle on about my kids and all those basics that you have to get thru- so it was good for me.

All in all- this morning was a good clearing of the heart style core-dump.  Now the house is starting to wake up, so I need to get going.  But it’s a good Saturday (as long as I can stay inside)

IMG_3008 1


Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | Leave a comment

Friday Evening Photo Frolic

It has been HOT this week!!!  With the temps staying in the 108 to 110′s  every day, (remember I live in Arizona?)  we sooooooo needed to get out of the house!  So I took the three younger ones, and let the big boys have some needed quiet peace; and we went to see “How to Train a Dragon-2″– twice.  :)  Afterwards, the kids told me that I looked like Hiccup’s Mom.  It was flattering, but then I got thinking about it, and decided to see how close they came.  What do you think?


Here she is from an on-line advertising poster…

And here is me; a recent pic, and a younger one…

IMG_3173 1 - Version 2img217

and just because genetics tickles my science button– here is my mom and then her mom.

Mom 1961-1img287

yup- Like a lot of people I know, my family tree is a nice Heinz 57 assortment; but I think the Viking blood romps thru it quite well, don’t you?  hee-hee

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | Leave a comment

Prayer for the Superhero

Here at the end of a Lovely Father’s Day, that turned into pretty much like fairly normal Sunday,  I can’t think of anything more appropriate than a post from last year.  It is still accurate today, and more so.


Superheroes are not to be found in the spangly outfits with capes, that glint in the sun as they fly through the air.

But in the dead of night– after a long, hard day of work fighting the villains of  OPP (other people’s problems) and striving to overcome their own Goliaths of mortality– they are found in their teenager’s room, fixing the computer through all the wee hours, giving council while he’s at it,  knowing he still has to go to work again tomorrow.

Father, bless my Superhero, the knight in shining armor who swept me off my feet many years ago, and who now blesses my heart with his strength and willingness to serve when it’s hard, and there is no likely end, or obvious gratitude.   Give him extra measures of strength tonight, and comfort and knowledge.  Hold him up in thy power, for his is the heart of a true Superhero.


Categories: Courage quotes, LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 5 Comments

HUZZAH! and other moments of Awesome!


I think this morning calls for some fine moments of celebrations!

After a long, trying school year- Summer has finally brought real hot weather- but also real relief.  And it’s time to notice the good. 

To start off…. We have the summer birthdays- both girls, and both milestone ones. Two week ago, Kydee became a teenager :) and today my sweet TeaRose turns sweet 16!!!

Christmas, 6 months old

TeaRose-at 6 months

can hardly believe we have made it this far!  She has sure climbed a lot of mountains this year- I am immensely proud of her courage and love for others.   She is a joy to be around.  Happy Birthday girl friend!

at the Gilbert Temple Celebration

TeaRose at the Gilbert Temple Celebration


(Going Blue for World Autism Awareness day)


It has been good elsewhere too– Here, Mommy caught DK reading Harry Potter (I told him he couldn’t watch the movie till he read the book- hee hee )  he has even started reading it out loud to me when I ask, and has been working on giving each character their own voice like his daddy does.  :)




Grandpa and Grandma have been visiting- they have been helping me get projects done– we are so grateful! (I’m grateful for the storage places, but the girls are especially grateful for their new reading loft! more finished places to come.)

photo 2

Then my heart was very full last night- not only were my big boys happily playing chess (instead of the computer games) but they let me take a picture too (very rare!)  ps- younger brother is calling for a rematch.  :)


So- I have to go bake a cake now– but it is a good day!


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Dear Mother Sariah

IMG_3053 1

It’s 6:30 am, on a lovely spring Saturday;  and today,  I have been given a great gift.  One of those rare mornings of absolute quiet.


No one else is awake yet–  The finches and other birds are chirping and singing in the back yard, waiting for my bird feeder to get refilled.  Farther out, I can hear cars rushing around on the streets, and neighbors busy with Saturday chores.  I’ll have to join them soon–  shooing my kids around the 3-ring circus of chores, showers and haircuts, and whatever else we need to do today.  But not yet.  For now, in this brief perfect moment in the quiet early light,  I can just be still.

Today,  I feel caught up with ponderings of great women of the past.  I think about my great Grandma; the one who had no kitchen table, so when she bottled fruit, she would just hold the hot bottles in her forearm.  Most often, I feel connected to her when I crochet, because I know she did too, and in fact I have a couple of her crocheted items.  I would love to talk to her and other ancestors personally.   But at the moment,  I am thinking of Mother Sariah again.  I have been thinking a lot about her lately.  She is the first Mom mentioned in the Book of Mormon;  but more than that, she has become something of an amazing example for me, tho’ not in the untouchable Super-hero way.  Ever since we put our trust in the Lord several years ago–and let him lead us to a job for my hubby here in the hot deserts of Arizona, (on a one week pack no less)  I have felt something about what kind of faith that she and her husband Lehi must have had.  Mother Sariah has become one of my real “been thru the trenches and came out still breathing” kind of heroes.  I wonder if she kept a journal or spent mornings remembering the things she went through when her kids were younger. Was the Sabbath hard?

I would sure love to be her friend.

If I were able to be her pen-pal- that would be cool.  I think I would start with a letter, and if I did, it would be something like this…

Dear Mother Sariah,

I was very happy to get this chance to write to you.  You have been through so many of things that I am working on right now.  I can’t imagine 4 teen and young adult boys, I have only 3.  Did you ever wonder if they were ever going to grow up?  I have to confess to that occasionally.    I have been really overwhelmed the last few months.  The other day I found a page in my journal that sums up a whole lot of my life lately.  

Feb 16, 2014-    “Today is Sunday, the hardest two days of the week—-The talks in our Sacrament meeting were centered around the power of Mothers as a force for good in the world.   I didn’t hear much tho’, I was busy comforting my kids…   the part I did hear felt bit less than encouraging.  Maybe it’s just because I’m tired.  This has sure been a hard season- there has been only one week since Thanksgiving that I haven’t had 3 or 4 doctor or therapy appointments during the week for one person or another- including me, most of them are an hour’s drive away…  Still, I sometimes don’t feel like a much of a good mom- so much has fallen off the cliff called no time/energy.  Even now that I have been able to drop from four different schools to keep track of, down to 2;  my house-chores are  still the usual collateral damage, as I pray hard to remember what needs to be done each day to keep all my kids needs handled.  I try to not grieve over the mistakes and losses. At least not when anyone can see, ’cause it makes them, and then me, even more overwhelmed.”

Did you have a private corner of the house where no one could hear you cry?   In the world of immoral Jerusalem, did you have anyone to talk to about your efforts to raise good boys?  I imagine that packing up and leaving town was much harder because you had to do it alone for the safety of your family…  I am grateful for the moments  that I have a shoulder or two to cry on;  but even more grateful for the gift of prayer.

Well- here in the absolute calm of this perfect morning,  I  can admit that it got worse before getting better for us too.  But like you, the Lord has been with me.  You know, I have been in such stress that at times I could feel my soul shaking inside my bones, and felt my heart in great pain.  I admit to complaining a couple of times, and wishing that pain was not part of the Lord’s plan.  I am SO impressed that you managed to keep that to only once. 

Yet, even at the worst moments,  I felt His Love in the Blessings that have held my heart and soul together.  I seldom know from day to day what will be next in the needs I must fill,  but I have felt Him in the love and hugs from my hubby and all my kids.  Even my oldest, (when he’s not down with a migraine, or ASD+teen struggles)  gingerly pats my back and says “thanks Mom, Luv ya”.  I can read your story and see the moments of the Lord’s hand in your life… What did you feel when you woke to see the Liahona at your door?   I too have felt the Lord’s Love in the random moments of inspiration. 


Did you watch for the tiny moments of beauty in the desert as you traveled, and make sure to point them out to your kids? IMG_4416

I love sharing the lift in my heart with my kids when we see the beautiful clouds around us, or the amazing wild birds we spot migrating past,  the tiny finches at my window, and the roses that have been spectacular in my yard this year.   IMG_3470

And I can see His Hand in hindsight- looking at all of things we have made it thru.  It was so amazing, even with all the health needs going on, we still found the way open to participate in the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration.  In fact I was secretly kinda glad that of my 3 kids that were the right age, 2 of them were on the Autism Spectrum- ’cause it allowed me to be right there too- basking in the spirit and miracles with them.  Then, I really felt the Lord during our steps in the dark of GED testing for Brand, and other moments along the way like the flute lessons that have turned into wonderful emotional therapy for my TeaRose and me.

Some things can be chaotic and good at the same time.  Like- birthday times! Was there any way to spend a special moment for your kids on their birthdays?  It’s hard to keep traditions going during hard times.  One of the few traditions we have managed to keep thru all our struggles is that the birthday person has to give gifts to all the siblings before they can have any birthday gifts themselves.  I have been constantly amazed at the continual lessons and blessing that have come thru the years from such a small and seemingly simple piece of inspiration.  And of course, Mom has to decorate a cake.  What do you think? 


I can hardly believe my youngest turned 13.  She has sure had her share of the doctor appointments this year, and we still don’t know the cause of her pains.  But she is thriving in 7th grade, complete with moments of glory; like first chair violin,  4th place in the school spelling bee, and earning her place in the scholar’s award list for keeping her grades up– all while moving thru the chaos of being the loadstone of friendship to her 4 Spectrum siblings. She is a constant reminder to me of the careful planing the Lord made when he put my family together.  And  I feel the Lord’s care farther, in the huge blessing of my wonderful extended family, who pull each other up, and run to my rescue whenever they can;  and in the gift of finding  friends who understand because they have been there too.

Well, Sweet friend-

I had to take a pause- that was all the more quiet time I could scrounge in one sitting.  Saturday went as planned, tho’ the air has been full of stuff that really sets off my kids allergies.  We spent a great deal of time with my folks- they have been visiting so that my Dad could help me with the construction end of the storage and bedroom remodeling I need.  It has been good for the kids to get to know their Grandparents.  And I really needed the help.  I may be strong, as you were, but I have also been overwhelmed.  I am so grateful for them and their awesomeness and unselfishness.  But they are at my sister’s at the moment, and the girls are off at girls’ camp this week, so it has been almost hauntingly quiet here.    Good time for me to finish writing- but the boys wander around lost every once in a while.  I pray for the Leaders, that they will be able care for my TeaRose, and I hope Kydee is storing up lots of reserves to carry her thru the hugs when she gets home.   :)

It’s time for me to get up and get back to being Mom. 

Just one more thought before I go;   You did good.  You had an immensely hard row to hoe- but the results of you and your hubby’s efforts have made an impact on a full half of the world for much more than a thousand years.  Thanks. 


Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | Leave a comment

Monday night Courage quote

Here I am again hunting  for courage quotes on a Monday.  Tomorrow I send my girls off to girls camp, and tho they are both excited, my sweet TeaRose is petrified beyond tears for the beginning of it, for she has to lead the first devotional of the week (pass off requirement for Youth Camp Leader)  she will do good, by the way, after that.  But I told her that I will be right there, since it is before they leave town.  I really need to get her to bed, but at the moment she is finding comfort and forgetfulness in her big brother’s room, watching him play video games.  So I have a moment to share on the keyboard.

Here is the quote that jumped out at me almost as soon as I started looking– from Joseph Smith Papers, Volume C-1

If thou be cast into the deep  If the billowing surge conspire against thee. If fierce <winds> become thine enemy  If the Heavens gather blackness and all the elements combine to hedge  up the way, and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gap open her  mouth wide after thee, know thou my Son that all these things shall  give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath  descended below them all, art thou greater than he? Therefore hold on  thy way, and the Priesthood shall remain with thee for their bounds are  set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be  numbered less, therefore fear not, what man can do, for God shall be  with you. for ever and ever.


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