Monthly Archives: May 2012

Just some Tiny Courage Thoughts for today

“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.”
John Wayne

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”
George S. Patton

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
E. Cummings

“Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.”
Dale Carnegie

Categories: Courage quotes | 2 Comments

Little Victories.

Well- another sleepless night.  But as I lay there reviewing in my mind the last pieces of this school year. I found myself thinking about how my day pretty much revolves around moving from kid need to kid need- trying not to forget the easy kids thru the fog of relentless issues till I drop in bed- only to lay there worrying about them in the same sort of cycle.  It has gotten to the point that I have to have a movie on to sleep to, so that I can keep myself from worrying about Ryan, or thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow, etc., etc., etc.   But that didn’t even help tonight.

Then I suddenly felt impressed that I should take the time to balance the worries with an equally careful list of blessings and victories…..

First- my TeaRose and Young Women’s Stake Volleyball.  

This one was a huge victory.   No, the team didn’t win, tho’ they held their own. The real victories were deeper.   1- conquering fear…like many HFAutistic kids, fear is monumental for her, but she not only played, even after being hit in the face with the ball- she served! and she tried sets and bumps almost as often as the other girls.      2- the other victory is the team’s… I loved watching those girls. They filled in for her (and each other, for that matter.) never got mad at lost balls, and loved each other thru thick and thin. Amazing true charity.  Thanks.

Next, I think I’ll mention Brand’s big moment.

Brand was very nervous a week and a half ago.    He wasn’t brave enough to ask anyone to the big, multi-stake Prom till the last moment possible.  But I’m so glad he did, and glad she didn’t  have a date yet (which is why he had the courage to ask her)  That was a huge step for him- one that his big brother has not even wanted to try yet.  But he  listened to Mom, and started on the right foot by asking someone he was already friends with, he even let me coach him on prom attire and such.   The evening was a huge success!  And I told him that he would never have to have a “first date” ever again.  🙂  (side note- he’s working on plans for a second date)

Then last week,  Mark worked all evening on helping Ryan fix his computer problem.

(I don’t have a good photo for this one)

It was a nasty problem, and miserable to fix, but Mark held his tongue, (a huge Asperger victory)  and was blessed with the outcome that Ryan started talking to him.  When I saw him opening up to his Dad,  I cleared that whole end of the house– I put the little ones to bed (not so little anymore, I guess, but still needing  early bed-time for school)  and pulled Brand into my room, and watched videos on my bed with him.  I told Mark later, that this one night will bring future blessing for years to come- already learned a bit of his headache/ learning issues that I suspected but Ryan had never admitted to before.   I may find other victories for him as I write, but for now- I will mention that he is improving by leaps and bounds in his ability to be pleasant and calm with siblings right in the middle of a migraine attack.  Now how many people- even neural-normal adults- can claim that one?

4th-  is my SuperDK’s turn.

This has been a hard year for him.  He  has the problem that he is so smart, that it is hard for people around him to really believe he is Autistic (as opposed to just behaving badly) but he can’t seem to get it out, and  onto the paper at school.  Most of the time he fits the Asperger mold much better, till something happens and his great brain lets him down, and he is suddenly Very autistic, taking teachers and siblings by surprise.  But he has more love in him than anyone I’ve ever met, and finds it a joy to be my helper in the home.— And just this weekend, he and his Dad discovered a mutual love for Nancy Drew style computer mystery games… And DK is GOOD at them!  They had so much fun camping out together on that thing.  I truley believe it is a long-term victory for anyone to find a talent they are good at, but especially for someone who is struggling with a self image problem from poor grades like him and others like him.

Last-  I would be very remiss to not include our sweet Kydee.

inventing things...

Kydee is not just the youngest in our home- she is often the glue.  She has the ability to climb into the lap, so to speak, of any of her ASD siblings and calm their melt-downs.   I teach all my kids that everyone is born with talents and with hard things to over-come, to make them strong; and I sometimes get asked what her hard thing is— but it’s an easy answer that they can see, because she gets headaches every day.  We are still trying to find the answers for that one.  But in the mean time, she and I have fun being study-buddies, curling up on the bed and watching NOVA when she needs a break from the pressures of being loved so much.  🙂

Well- counting blessings did help.  I feel calm and so back to my normal self.  And even tho this took much of the night, and the first birds are chirping at the dawn outside, I think I am ready to face the day, and  be Mom again.  (Hope you enjoyed it too.)  Have a great Tuesday!

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism | 4 Comments

Confessions of an Artist time-

I am not a natural born cook.  My kids do not believe me, they like my cooking.  And in fact I make it a personal study to learn to cook well.  But this is because I love my kids- not the culinary arts.  In fact, most days I rather don’t like even being in the kitchen.   Lately, however, I have been seriously wondering about all the talk being made about the Gluten free/ Cassein free diets that have been developed to help many Autistic kids; especially when I hear “Mom, my stomach doesn’t want to eat that”   Problem is, the whole learning curve of GFCF scares me to death!  So I have hid behind the very real fact of no time during the school year, and put the cookbooks away.

But- I think I am going to make this summer my time for a little bit of experimenting to see if I can even manage these recipes, or get my kids to eat them.  So, first one on the list–

“Banana Cake or Muffins”  from “the kid-friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook” by Compart and Laake pg.310  (I’m going to do the muffin version)

1 C quinoa flour
2/3 C brown rice flour
1/3 C tapioca starch
1 C sugar
1 tea xanthan gum
1/2 Tbl. baking soda
2 tea. salt
2 eggs + 1 egg white
1 C mashed manana
1/2 C oil
1/2 C rice milk

combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix in low speed of an electric mixer until well blended, then high speed for 2 minutes.  use paper cupcake liners (for the cake version- oil a 9”x13” pan, and cover with parchment paper)
Bake in a 350*F oven (180* C) for 20 minutes (45 mins. for cake)
(note- I am going to add pecan pieces to make it a banana-nut version)

I’ll let you know how it went.  🙂

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, recipes | 2 Comments

A very clear thought-

I had a very clear thought as I lay there unable to sleep. “The Lord knows these weaknesses, He understands them… and if we ask, and stay close to him, he will provide the means for us to be able to accomplish his will anyway. -by Shard Halliday
Categories: Courage quotes, LDS Mom of Autism | 1 Comment

Just need a Shoulder to cry on Sometimes

Don’t have any beautiful insights or words of wisdom today, Mr. Journal– It’s been too much of a Bucket of tears sort of day.
Today was my IEP meeting for DK, for next year (Jr. High, believe it or not.)  It went really well, as such meetings go-  I made a few notes for what I want to work on over the summer-  and they listened really well to my comments- hardest of all, tho, was listening to them describe someone very different from what he is like at home.  At school, it’s like all the little weird parts that drive everyone crazy, concentrated and wrapped in anger cause he doesn’t want to be there.
Then I get home, and Ryan wants me to help him re-arrange his bedroom.  I go thru the steps of coaching him thru vacuuming and making paper floor-plans to work out spacial problems- then he packs it in with a migraine;  so I  get on the facebook, and read about ladies in the ward congratulating their boys (younger than Ryan) for finishing high school, and “growing up into awesome men”  (the same young men who were the most aggressive teasers, that made him quit going to church in the first place those few years back)   Is it just me?  Everyone else says they are so loved in this ward… And I have a huge problem getting the house clean… I just get so tired and depressed in the tiny amounts of time I have between kid needs, that I just sit there.  Today was really bad- it was so hot outside,  (113*)  that my lungs were tired.
Still to go- My Doctor appointments, Kydee’s Migraine Dr.s, my TeaRose’s IEP (somewhere in August),  Getting Brand to do GED (and wishing I could get Ryan to do it too) and not forgetting Kydee wanting to learn violin next year, but that will only happen if I can get her summer lessons and change schools for her too…
So- now it’s 9 pm- and I am so tired I am reeling- and Ryan just got up.  Am I allowed to quit being a mom for an hour or two?   Well- sorry for complaining.  I’ll be o.k., just needed a shoulder to cry on for a minute, and then some sleep.

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism | 4 Comments

Hold On

“Hope springs eternal–But the day is long
And sometimes we tire, And it’s hard to press on.
But the Lord sends us strength, He lifts our hearts when we fall;
Hold on and keep trying, he will help you stand tall.”
-by Shard Halliday

Categories: Courage quotes, Poetry | Leave a comment

Boosted Almond-Poppy Seed Muffins


I’m always searching to find ways to get nutrition into my kids and keep preservatives and other highly processed ingredients out… usually this ends up meaning I have to learn to cook from scratch- experimenting with recipes to find things that taste good to my kids (addicted to the box-mixes) and still fulfill my goals.— Muffins are a hit, tho they all have their favorite, so I usually make 2 different kinds at a time.


Boosted Almond-Poppy Seed Muffins (scrumptious)
(fruit intake helped with the applesauce, protein boosted with the soy and almond)

3/4 C sugar
1/4 C oil
1/2 tea vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 C applesauce (one lunchbox size container)
1/3 C milk
1 C white flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/8 C soy flour
1 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. baking soda
1/2 tea. salt
1/4 C oats
1 1/2 Tbl. ground almond meal (available at natural foods supermarkets)
2 Tbl. poppy seeds
Heat oven to 375* F.  Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups, or spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the first 5 (sugar & wet) ingredients.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, stir together the remaining (dry) ingredients.  Make a well in the dry ingredients– gently pour the liquid contents into the well of the dry ingredients.  Stir only till blended.   Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake 14 to 17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove    from pan to wire rack to cool.   Yummy warm or cool.  (makes 12 muffins)
High Altitude- bake 16 to 19 minutes.

Categories: recipes | 1 Comment

He’s in Charge

"Be still and know, that I am God"

Journal entry- May 20

Well– the easiest way to sum up monday is in the sentence– “There is just plain no way to adequately prepare an Autistic Spectrum Teen for the process of wisdom teeth extraction.”  What a little trip thru the fringes of Hades.  My Ryanator got hit hard with the Anesthesia for starters; it was like the anesthetics shut down all of the parts of his brain that were the strongest, most normal, and left nothing but the little kid, or Autistic parts-
Sunday now- and so weepy today.  This has been a harsh, hard week.  Ryan quit ranting in pain every time the meds wore off by the start of the third day, but still wouldn’t eat-  finally coaxed him to go for my special ice cream smoothies (see recipes) we went thru a lot of ice cream.
Also this last week was a bunch of emails from DK’s school (the Psych) about his school needs– he won’t work at all without constant attention from someone, even for me , and he has a lot more angry moments at school- they don’t have the advantage that I have of being able to discipline instantly and catch most things before it starts…. I hate the feeling of being stuck in the system and cant get out, but I also can’t bear the thought of going thru another Ryan again- or at least the same mistakes ….. so, I’m holding onto my heart from the outside, and going forward.
Then Thursday was my turn to go back to the dentist- they had not got the crowns to sit right last week, and needed to fix them- if I had realized that they had to drill off the old crown and glue, before they put the new one down- I would have had a lot more trepidation.   :O
Ryan is lightly eating now- but back on a night time schedule… and wouldn’t go to church today as it was stake conference.  I made everyone else go- it was the right thing to do- but in the middle of a good talk, DK leans over and says “mom, I wish he had come so he could feel the spirit here”   Well, that was it for me- fortunately I could pretend that it was the meeting’s spirit making me cry.  But I have worried a lot about him.  Spent a good long while re-reading journal posts today- pretending someone was talking to me…. found a nice one, from March 25
” I Love catching the Sunrise!  and today was extra perfect.  It’s Sunday, the house was completely still, and at peace… like the world was taking a deep breath.  and the clouds all went deep pink for one glorious spot of time before fading down to a sweet cloudy morning.  Made me think of the scriptures that say fear not, The Lord is in Charge.
I’m glad, too, that he’s in charge.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember that when you’re deep in the battle-zone of one thing or another– as a mom, trying to repent and recover a messy house back to clean, and still be a good mom to my high maintenance  kids who deeply and constantly need attention, and making sure I don’t forget the others, and their needs too– I feel like one more wrong step and I’ll mess everyone’s life up forever.     Nasty place to be.  Yes, our decisions count- but we forget sometimes the whole point of Christ’s Atonement.  It feels like a knife edge balance sometimes- remembering both sides… but, the Lord knows very well that I’m not perfect- yet he still wants my help.  I must be doing o.k. enough that I can still keep trying to make him proud of me.”

Thanks- I think I’m ready to keep goin now.  Maybe I’ll go make myself some apple pie.

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism | 2 Comments

Of Autism, Pain and Maturity

Gold comes at the end of the day

Journal entry, May 8  2012:  Early Morning…..
Of Autism, Pain and Maturity—
Maturity is a difficult hill to achieve even in the best of times…Usually, most people begin the road towards developing maturity along a common childhood timeline; by observation, trial and error.  The average child is able to see which actions get approval, which ones get negative responses, and their choices develop and mature at about the same pace as their language and social  skills.
But then there are those who cannot grasp language as quickly-  who do not catch the facial nuances that mean positive and negative– so they have a hard time with knowing they are liked, and knowing how to show they like others.  Since these understandings are the backbones of social and mental growth – Their growth does not come as soon– because it must wait for them to learn enough language to learn the other skills by rote and long hard practice.  That does not mean they don’t learn them- it just means that their hill to maturity is more like a Mountain- filled with rockslides of teasing, and stumbling blocks of good-intentioned criticism and sarcastic comments like “how old are you” in front of everyone they are trying to be peers with.

And then, there’s the deeper truths– Things like the power of pain as a means to teach things faster and stronger than normal.  And like maturity- which is much more than just learning to feed and clothe yourself,  more than knowing how to sit still in class, or how to analyze the latest lit. assignment in junior English class, more than knowing the street-smarts of how to navigate high school without getting clobbered.  Maturity is the abilities that entail seeing where your choices will take you, the ability to forgive, all the things that allow for growth of the spirit into the valiant and courageous hero that can help others conquer their mountains too.
These youth have much to overcome in such a small number of years; but they will get to the top of their mountains.   In spite of the pain, or more probably because of it-  they will succeed, and might just end up much higher than the “average” person who didn’t have to try so hard.  That is often how the Lord  works.
So as you spend time with these youth, the ones who do not want to show that they need extra care and love, in your position to help them grow- how do you want to be remembered- as a stumbling block to be overcome? or a hand-hold along the way?

Categories: Midnight musings, Parables | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

the Measure of Success

rock wall

Quote for today
“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” -Orison Swett Marden

Categories: Courage quotes | Leave a comment

Blog at