November Gratitudes

(A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the fun of posting one thing I am grateful for, every day of November till Thanksgiving.  I have seen a few variations, all of them are wonderful- they all lift the heart.  This year I’m going to work on my Gratitudes Game here.)

Today I am grateful for a great neighborhood.  It is a very relaxed place for special needs kids, probably because there are several families in a row that have special needs of one sort or another.


Whatever the reason, no one bats an eye at a 6 foot tall Minion, or an Elsa that is almost that tall.  I had a great time with my neighbor as my daughters had fun pushing her daughter’s wheelchair up and down the streets.  We felt led to this house when we moved here, tho I didn’t know why- this is just one of the moments I have found to be grateful. <3

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, "only with Autism" Adventures | Leave a comment

Ode to Joy, Next Stanza, part 2


It’s really unusual that I have enough energy to write at the tail end of the day- but guess what?  I am eternally grateful for such a wonderful loving Father and his blessings of the day.

Today, I started out the day with the decision to watch for moments of good.  And I have to admit it was not all rosy. It started well tho, my girls and I were in awe at the amazing storm clouds dancing in the first light of dawn on the way to high school.

Then I had doctor appointment stuff to do with one of the boys.  It went ok.  – but I have been struggling with the fatigue part of my chronic fun all week, finally it won, and my short power nap took 2 hours.  :P  I didn’t forget my hunt- there were little things along the way, things like my Hubby being totally sweet to me, and my older boys making me laugh, I even managed laundry.  I was starting to think that I would have to write about being grateful for these little normal things (and I am, don’t get me wrong!)  but then a couple of moments of personal Shazam happened.

First, on the way to pick the girls up again, my mind was caught up on a phrase a friend had said to me online- saying “…wise woman, with a lot of experience”  those 7 little words kept tumbling over in my head until I almost shouted with surprise when the phrase was followed by the thought “wisdom that can only be gained by trudging thru the gunk- in person.”   Suddenly things I had forgotten came back into perspective– namely those moments when I have come to realize that the personal strength to handle trying moments, or difficult kid’s needs – and the tiny flashes of wisdom here and there to help others, have ALL come thru earlier moments of great trials and hardships.  And I wondered for a minute if this was what all the great people I admire have in common.

So I was totally at peace this afternoon- but still tired… then this evening I heard the brand new PianoGuys cover music. I’m not sure how to link to it yet, so go look it up- called “Fight Song/Amazing Grace”.  I read the “abouts” in their you tube link, and then read the lyrics to the songs- and I felt galvanized- this hit me right in the place where the fire in my bones has always burned- and kindled the tired embers.  I know tomorrow will come, and I might have to care for kids in the middle of the night before that- but at the moment tonight, I feel 10 years younger.  Perhaps this sounds a little silly, but we all know the power of music, and the Lord spoke to my tired body and soul today- something I desperately needed.

And I am so very grateful.


Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 1 Comment

Ode to Joy, Next Stanza


A couple of days ago, my friendly “on this day…” button on Facebook pulled up a post I wrote 2 years ago; called Ode to Joy. (find it here)  It crystalized some things I have been pondering for a while.   You know how some things change and some things just don’t in the whole caring for special needs kids routine?   Even the time of day that I have free to write is the same (early am before the house wakes)  I think perhaps that I will always struggle with my health, tho I now have a few fancy medical terms to give people when they ask– Stress triggered Fibromyalgia is a good one, and PTSD (battle trauma- shared by many special needs moms) too.  But as I read that other post, one thing occurred to me that is different- and that is I felt closer to the spirit and handled the daily battles better.

I have noticed this for a while- a real run-down feeling, and I have been trying to figure out what I did different, or could do different to get back to that place- I need inspiration so much on a daily basis.  Then as I read, I realized that I had fallen out of the habit of looking for the good– the silver linings of the day.  So today I am going to watch for moments of joy— I’ll get back with you on how I did.  See you tonight!

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

a little courage quote for today


It’s been a very hard hill to climb this week; but I woke up early today, and clear headed- which is a gift.  So I looked up a courage quote to share…

“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

It goes with my ponderizing scripture for this week…

1 Chr. 28: 20
…, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.

Hope you all have a good wednesday.

Categories: Courage quotes | Leave a comment

When “she is shaken of a mighty wind”

Revelation 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.


Sometimes my kids ask me why things have to be so hard.  I have a couple answers for that one.  Sometimes they are willing to listen to my analogies and parables; sometimes, there is nothing less to say than the Lord isn’t interested in raising wimps as his children, he is raising warriors- and  that is not an easy thing to do.  I am grateful the hard times come in seasons, not all the time.  On the other hand, this has been one of  the hardest summers of record for me.

Last school year was tough.  Especially for my TeaRose and myself.  By Spring we were both shaking in our souls and wondering if it was worth the pain.  Then in April, we found out she had also developed Scoliosis- bad enough for surgery.  In spite of knowing extended family with this condition, I realized I knew very little about it …back to research mode, and all the panic involved with planning for one of the most major surgeries that Orthopedists (bone doctors) do.  And how would Autism affect the whole process?

July finally came.  I had found a wonderful support site with good info, and so my bags were packed.  The freezer was filled for everyone at home, and my Daughter and I were checked in to the Children’s hospital for what I knew would be the rest of the week.

Then suddenly, all the planning stage was done, and off she was gone- into the operating room- and I was alone in the waiting room.  Later that day, while browsing the Scoliosis site- another Mom looking forward to sitting in my shoes soon asked me a question online.  She said “Can I ask how long she was under anesthesia? And what you did to stay sane?”

Well- the answer is something rather remarkable, so I am copying it here…

I had to get her up at 4:30 this morning for the drive to the hospital. We checked in at 5:30 and she officially got started (with me sent to the waiting room) at 7:30am– they told me that first they started the IV anesthesia, then they have a specialist who has little needle probes that he puts in all over the extremities and such, and they can actually monitor the weak electrical signals running thru the nerves from the spine and he watches to tell the Doc if anything changes while he moves the bones– that info right there helped a lot toward the staying sane part. I am very grateful for modern breakthroughs and learning. Then I just had to wait and wait.  And wait.  The surgery itself was about 4-1/2 to 5 hours, depending on whether you count their cleanup time before they came and got me.  Somewhere during this time, I suddenly realized that I had left hubby with a house full of high functioning spectrum teens (and a little sister) to take care of each other for a week. :O   I actually slept for about a half hour or so, since I hadn’t slept at all last night (duh) but just when I thought I couldn’t stand it, something happened.

I met another parent of a child in surgery- this was a dad whose 14 yr old son had been punched for unknown reasons by a stranger 20 yr old during the 4th of July- and it broke the kids jaw which was having to be surgically fixed.  This dad was heart broken.  My heart just was overcome with the need to comfort and pray for him, and in the caring for this stranger/fellow parent waiting during the unknown time of the waiting room, and helping him in his burdens;  I forgot how nervous I was.  In fact, I was utterly calm- even about the rest of my family at home.

It was a moment of gratitude for the blessings I suddenly realized I had.  :) Funny how life works that way.

Summer was still hard- but each evening we found with surprise that we had made it thru just a little bit better.

So sitting here in the hospital room with my daughter the second time, as we wait for the IV antibiotics for a blip in our recovery progress- I finally have finished writing this up. So I’ll leave with some more scriptures I hunted up that helped me get thru the rest of the summer.


Deuteronomy 32:

10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

12 So the Lord alone did lead him.

Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


Psalm 18:In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire

15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.


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

Peace, Be still and Know


needed this again

Originally posted on butterfly kisses and pixie dust:

“I pause a moment and breathe.
‘Peace. Not as the word giveth.’ ”

I haven’t been up to writing much this summer– between kids needs and my fatigue, it has been hard to even think.  In fact, I mostly felt like complaining this morning- but I came across this journal entry- and it reset my balance.

“Peace I give. Not as the world giveth”

Not the end of wars or the locking up of all your enemies.  Not even a sudden burst of power to make everyone understand and treat my special needs kids right.  That is a cease-fire; not peace. Peace comes quietly- distilling into the heart as we seek his comfort; or lifting us to our feet when we are tired, but need to be strong for our loved ones.  It comes when we allow our faith to open the window a little wider and see beyond this…

View original 145 more words

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With Love from the Fiery Furnace

Well, it’s officially SUMMER!  Yep- the thermometer is threatening to melt, and we all sigh happily when there is clouds.

I thought I would bounce right back up to speed after that emotional push- but my soda bottle of stress is still very shaken.  Maybe it’s the change of routine, maybe I have to admit to my age (nah), more likely it’s all the doctor appointments that hit (you know, the ones that had to be put off in order to make it thru the last bit of school).

The biggest one so far, was this week’s meeting with the ortho-surgeon, to review TeaRose’s x-rays and set up plans for July.  I promised in my Soda Pop post a couple of week ago to tell more about what’s up in my family; It is now official… This Spring was also a time to be surprised by the rapid onset of scoliosis- 2 curves- too large and too fast for therapies or braces.   It was a good appointment especially from the standpoint of moms that are getting to the point of having more doctor’s phone numbers in their phone than friends;  but by the end of a second set of x-rays,  questions answered about how many hours of surgery (6-7) and days in the hospital (abt. 5), pain control, and months of recovery–  well, she was in full non-verbal shut-down, with silent tears running down her face.  I’m still feeling a bit scared as a rabbit too, but I can’t show it, or she will never make it thru a day- let alone thru the rest of the month.

On other fronts, some things are looking better- Kydee is excited to be moving on to High School.  The room remodels for the boys is moving forward a little bit almost every day.   I have been able to think clearly enough to get going on my scriptures again, and feeling well enough to do spurts of deep cleaning or work on the walls  (still can’t do both on the same day yet).   I started an art project and saw a rainbow yesterday,  and today was one of those desert thunderstorms that you dream about for the rest of the summer.  I sure needed that.


Yup- I think it’s summer for sure- but for now, we are good.

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 1 Comment

Early Morning

Sitting here

Though it’s not really quiet,

My heart listens carefully, the house is at peace.

Morning air

is still cool, the birds noisy,

singing their love to the world, before day’s heat makes them cease.


Two of my boys are up

one, bright with the morning; one, I suspect couldn’t sleep.

They stay calm

And let the others stay sleeping

Saturday mornings are treasures we don’t lightly ignore.

It’s all good

even tho sometimes I’m weeping

and stress from the day can leave me flat on the floor.

You see

I love them all fiercely

with a burn in my bones that I can never deny.

And in return

I am loved with all they can muster,

And a whispered promise, from a Father on High.

“Someday”, He says,

“They will grow and be strengthened.

“You are doing ok, feel my Love never-ending,

“Never give up, stand in courage, watch for small things-

“The little moments that remind you

“I’m always nearby.”

clouds 4

Categories: Poetry | 2 Comments

Stress is Like a Soda Bottle


FINALLY!  Yesterday was the last day of this school year– I can almost believe we made it!  Sitting, watching “Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent Adventure” was still not quite calming the jitters left over from getting everyone thru to the end of the day.  It took a lot of hug time.

And what a day- talk about going out with a bang- I had to enlist hubby’s help to get everywhere, tho’ it wasn’t all bad… First, TeaRose to school for the last day of 11th grade finals, (she is still emotional about her less than good English grade, but happier with the other classes and their willingness to help her pull things together thru her overload times),   then to Jr high, and photo’s for Kydee’s awards, 1st half- but I couldn’t stay, ’cause I had to run over to a second high school to sign papers and have a mini IEP with their spec-ed team- going to try school again for DK, he needs out of the house and I am overbooked for my ability to keep him going in schooling (10th grade) especially with this coming summer(more of that in a bit).  It’s a second High School because the one we have as our district school is a smaller school (which I love, and where the girls are) and it does not have all the services he needs- only the bigger one has classes that are for normal, grade level (or above) course work yet still small classes … then back to the Jr. high for the rest of the awards- and then home to get everyone lunch.

Phew! Of course, after lunch- I took the 3 younger ones to celebrate with Ice Cream- they sure deserved it!


Yay for sticking it out to the end! Next year will be her Senior year! Coolsville and Unbelievable all in one.


Next year will be 10th grade! So much will be new- hoping it adds up to an awesome year!


And my new Freshman! Totally out of Jr High- nothing but High School left. WOW!!!

Beautiful TeaRose went into aftershock shakes and crying before the end of lunch.  By evening, it was 3 times.  She said thru her panic tears- “I don’t know what’s wrong!  I don’t know why am crying.”

So then came the “Soda Pop” lesson.bottles-of-soda-pop-cola-jpg

“Do you know how when we shake soda pop bottles, it’s like they store up all that fizziness, ready to explode when we open it?– We are like that too.  When we have heavy stress, it’s like shaking a Soda Bottle.


This last bit of the semester and finals has been like shaking the bottle A LOT.  And suddenly stopping and relaxing can be like opening the soda bottle.  Not just you- it’s a know fact that a lot of people get cold and flu at the start of their vacation…


The way to fix the soda and us is the same- it just needs quiet time for a while to calm down.”

“Oh”  (and lots of hugs)

It made a lot of sense, and still does.  Sometimes it feels like there are seasons in our life when the Lord is really pushing us to the edge for maximum personal growth.  I heard a saying the other day- “why do things come in clusters?” but I got thinking, and I think that the Lord knows our time here in this Earthlife is not long, and I think it is more like “Shaking the Soda Bottle” of our learning curve, as often as he can- and then letting it rest when needed to keep from the explosions that might not be good for us.


It doesn’t have to be much- Some of MY rest periods are courage quotes, scriptures, and mini funny moments, or moments of awesome clarity (sometimes they are both)- they get me thru- so before I end this post, I thought I would share a couple from my journal this last month—

May 7th- Brand- “Thanks mom for putting up with me when my intellect turns on and off”
(Me- “I wouldn’t say on and off- it’s more like you have a door that opens and shuts your access to it.”)

And again on May 7th- Ryan was telling me that they have found documentary proof that medieval knights also got Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I said – “you know who else they have found gets ptsd?”  He said “who” I said “moms of of Autistic kids.” To which he replied- “I don’t think there is anyone in this house that has Autism.”  :)  I did manage to keep a straight face, but also told him to look up the high functioning end of Autism, not the low functioning end- but I am really going to have to make a poster or two.

This week, Brand came back to the subject… “Mom, I’ve been thinking, maybe I might have had some of that ‘Autistism’ stuff in high school”- (me-sincere, straight face, very important)  “but,” he kept on, “the word Autistic is very “toxic” right now.  If it ever enters a conversation… (trying to say-all my efforts are lost.)”    There you have it- wisdom from them who know.

So, you know,  prayers are pretty constant for me-

This morning I had a beautiful flash of insight- remembering all the years of coaching kids thru their prayers, there were significant amounts of times that I would have to tell them to think of 3 good things every night to say thank you for… And it suddenly translated into making a place for teens to play a similar game of one good thing every day for the summer.  I am excited- I think this will be good.  Already my TeaRose is on board.  She looked up baby-giggle videos to share- which got us sitting side-by-side on my bed, a laptop each; and me coaching her thru the details of deeper navigating of face book – and ended in a “poke” fight that went to a tickle fight– and released the rest of that soda bottle for her… I love my kids.  So grateful for Heaven’s Help to get them thru this mountain of life.  Keeping on-one day at a time.

Love ya-

(oh- p.s. note… while looking for photos, I found an amazing science project site… going to have to do this one during this summer…

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings, Parables, "only with Autism" Adventures | 1 Comment

The tale of Gandalf and Winston Churchill, and a thing called Defiance

This school semester has been an exceptional adventure… tho I have to admit, not so much in the fun way.  Full of all the “joys” that a broken van, then a broken hubby’s car, of course the asd’s trying to stay sane with high school state mandated tests, and 11th grade English (still not sure we’ll make it on that one), an overabundance of doctor appointments trying to hunt down health problems- finding one- and the panic of scoliosis needing surgery (has anyone got any good thoughts on getting Spectrum anxiety thru that one?), all stirred together in a house still trying to get thru the chaos of remodeling as we work to add a couple rooms for the older boys.  There has been good things too- like walking 6 or more miles all over Disney, chaperoning with the 8th grade orchestra workshop- I’m so proud of her!

But I would be very ungrateful if I did not mention a very amazing moment of “wow- I love the gift of inspiration!” right smack in the middle of everything.


One day, right in the middle of all that was going on, I had to go get hubby from work, and my younger boy was having one of those “I do not like submitting, Mom-I-am;  I will not, can not, move my brain from this stand” kind of days; so  I made a snap decision that he had to come with me in the car. He hates those times– it means he has pushed too far.  I have told him that he has to earn the trust bucket of staying home on his own when I make my errands… But suddenly, I didn’t feel like reminding him of this.  Instead- after lots of hugs- I had the feeling that he was old enough to learn the term “Defiant.”

So– here’s my story…….

“DK- Do you know that Gandalf and Winston Churchill are a lot alike?”


“Yup- they could practically be brothers.”  (did you know that?)  Suddenly all was calm, and I had him in rapt attention.


“In fact, Even tho’ Gandalf (the wizard of the story “Lord of the Rings”) is fictional, and Churchill wasn’t, there was a point in each of their stories that was very close to the same situation.  You see, both men were very concerned with helping others in the big picture sort of way- and both were fairly well known in their peer groups, what you might call the movers and shakers of politics; but they were not all that well known to the common person or to other countries.  And that was just fine with them. And both were at the right place at the right time when their unique qualities were most needed…

“So super-shorthand version; at one point in the story, Gandalf was taking his group of questing friends across the high mountains.  All other paths to safety had been blocked, and they had no choice but to go thru the deep, dark, caves called the mines of Moria.   Then they found out that it was completely over-run by the enemy; they were horribly outnumbered and out-gunned.  Miraculously,  they won free enough to make one last run for freedom, and then the great Balrog appeared….

“Now- do you know who Churchill was? (Naturally I got a startled- uhhh) Well, Churchill grew up in Britain.  Sometime between the World Wars, he decided to get into politics.  By the time of Germany’s invasions of Europe, Winston was respected enough in his circles of influence in the British Parliament, that he was elected into the office of Prime Minister.   Britain tried to ride the mountain peaks of staying out of the war- but Nazi Germany was moving fast.  It did not last long before all choices had been blocked off- and they were in their own version of the mines of Moria- it was War- and it was dark, frightening, they were badly outnumbered and out-gunned.  For a while they were holding their own, but then came the bombing raids….

(do you hear the dum-dum-dummm music?)


“So- do you know what the word ‘defiant’ means?”  umm…. so I continued.

“Here we have Gandalf on the bridge.  He has made the decision that there is nothing that will move him from keeping his friends safe.  So he stands on the bridge, and holds up his hand, and (say it with me)  “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” (and if Tolkien had ever heard of periods between words for more emphasis, it would have probably been written that way.)   THAT is defiance.  Every ounce of his energy is focused into the act of ‘defying’, or refusing, any further progress to his enemy.


In Britain, Churchill faced an equal need for defiance- but it was not such a personal battle- it was his whole country in need.  For after the Nazi regime conquered the surrounding countries; then they turned all that extended power towards the Island of Britain.  The people needed the courage to ALL stand against the enemy. Churchill had to spend some time, and much of his attention to speeches and any other thing he could think of, to gather and rally his people to stand fast and ‘DEFY’ the whole enlarged German empire.


We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.


Now- is what they did a good thing?  Yes, absolutely.  Defiance, by itself is like a box of matches.  It is not the matches that are good or bad, but what they are used for.  When we use our feelings of defiance for purely selfish reasons- for just us, and what WE want, or just because we don’t feel like doing something, or don’t feel like obeying someone, the world calls that “oppositional defiance”.  The Scriptures call it selfishness or childishness, or Pride.   When we use that inner feeling for good, for helping others, or for a just cause- that kind of defiance is called “inner Strength.”  It is also the only kind that can build our courage.   As we grow, it is the mark of maturity and true greatness to turn our ‘defiant’ tendencies into this inner strength.  I feel for the moms of Gandalf and Churchill- but aren’t you glad they learned to use their defiance for truly good causes?  They learned how to turn their childhood struggles into Great Strengths, and this is a very big reason that we think of them as great Men.  You are on the road to being Great too– I have seen you as you try to overcome your weaknesses.  And don’t forget- ask for help- that is also a part of growing up to become a great man.”

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Parables | Leave a comment

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