Tuesday, November 18, 2008

theology class

Before I begin this post, I must respond to the comments from my previous post. I know this is telling about my blogging experience, but I never know quite what to do with responses. If it were up to me, I would read a comment and then be instantly connected via telephone to the person who commented. I would then gush my profuse thanks and have a wonderful conversation that would be the highlight of my week. I would have great conversations with friends I talk to frequently like Lauren, catch up with old friends like Ella, Missy and Rebekah, and make wonderful new friendships with amazing people like Kerry from 'Colored with Memories'. Kerry, I don't know you, but I love you from reading your blog. I just moved to Texas 7 years ago and I am as passionate about it as you. And your 100th post has me cracking up...I can't even tell you all the things that I loved, but the picking up for the maid thing was the best if I had to choose my favorite right this second. Where or where in Texas do you live? Close to me? I hope so...and should I be writing all of this in your comments on your blog or in my comments in my blog? Or is this whole responding to you in my own post thing appropriate? I don't know...but as a fellow PCAer, I hope you will have grace and be friends with me either way :).

It has been a very interesting day for me, and I could write at least 3 posts on it...and I didn't even go to work. But the most important thing for me right now is to document the conversation I had with Lainey (my 5 yr. old) as I was putting her to bed tonight. It started out as our usual bedtime conversation does...all of a sudden when faced with going to sleep she remembers all the wrongs done to her throughout the day and must document them. While I can completely relate to this need, it is always extremely annoying to me since I am usually counting down the seconds to my FREE TIME (does that even really exist??? I keep hoping it does, but it keeps eluding me). Tonight it was the usual 'someone was not nice to me on the playground' story. I must admit that in the past I have often fallen back on the 'hit them back' mentality and told her to just tell the kid whatever they said to her back to them. At times, I am ashamed to admit, I have even suggested that she tell them her mommy 'said so' or to tell them that her mommy was calling their mommy. I mean, really, who could expect me to deal with bullies when my oldest is just 5?? they were being rude, why can't I just tell Lainey to tell them that her mommy said they were being rude???

However, tonight the story involved a student whose parents I had met and had a short conversation with this past weekend. This time, I decided to be merciful and told Lainey that it wasn't really all this kids fault that he/she was being mean...sure it was sinful for this person to be mean....just like it was sinful for Lainey to be mean to her friends and family...but it also had something to do with things out of this child's control. "Like what?" she wanted to know. Well, like bad stuff...not stuff the child did or the parents did but stuff that just sucks...stuff that is not good in this world whether or not you are a sinner...stuff that Satan is responsible for. Well one thing led to another and the next thing i knew she was asking me, "Does God love Satan?"

Before I continue I must tell you that my husband is the head of our family and head of all things theological in our family. One thing that I love about him is that he does not live or die by theology...he loves Jesus and what Jesus did for him end of story.... But for him, his love of what Jesus did means trying to understand it to the best of his ability. I agree with this way of thinking, but I am not as smart as he is so I tend to throw my hands up and want to say "I love Jesus....isn't that enough???". So when Lainey asked, "Does God love Satan?" my first reaction was 'hell, no' and then my second reaction was to just say 'no' and my third reaction was, 'how do you answer this question when a five yr. old asks it and am I even right in saying the answer is 'no'? At which point, I said, "let's ask daddy".

Well, I won't get into what the right or wrong answer is, but the point is that after we asked daddy, we went back to bed and I continued to be quizzed on my theology knowledge. Basically the questions were "does God care when we are sick? does God want Daniel to have autism? does God want Daniel to talk? Do you believe in Jesus? does Daddy? Does Daniel? how do we know Daniel does if he can't talk and tell us? So will I see you in the new heaven and the new world? What does 'believe' mean? Does God care when Fletch (our dog) has diarrhea?" And this is just a small sampling. It was enough to make me realize there is a need for a new type of class in today's seminaries....something called "Questions About God: From a 5 Year Old". It should be a required class of all Christians before they can procreate.

I found myself sharing the Gospel with my daughter. She has heard it all before (thanks be to God) from people other than her mom. But maybe it meant something more hearing it from me. After a day of getting the 99th report on Daniel in the mail and reading about how he really does have autism and is in desperate need of all the money the school district can throw at him (from the very people I expected to wage war with...good for my not having to go to war, but bad for the whole 'your son is so bad off we aren't going to fight you' deal), it was nice to talk about the Gospel. It was nice to say in a loud, clear voice, "Yes, Satan is bad and we sin and we get sick, but God is GOOD." "Yes, even though Daniel has autism, God is GOOD." "No, God did not make autism, but God made Daniel and God is good and he loves Daniel, so if Daniel has autism, it is GOOD even if we can't see how or why right now."

It was good for me to hear myself saying these things out loud. Because in convincing my daughter I convinced myself and I believed them. And when she asked me if I believed in Jesus, it was so easy to say, "well, of course" on a day when I might have otherwise be tempted to think, "what is God thinking??". And so I proved my own point to her...even in Lainey's seemingly silly questions, God is there. He is Sovereign and He is pouring out His love and mercy to His precious children in ways we don't expect.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sorry for the Melodrama

Yes, yes, we are OK. I didn't mean to be so melodramatic and leave all 3 of you hanging. And (I am sad that it has taken me a month or more to admit this) I am getting back to normal so my posts should hopefully be more regular now.

I started to write a post while we were in the midst of the hurricane 'crisis' that included the lyrics to the song below. I hesitated to publish it simply because it seems melodramatic to post something like that when our house was not damaged, our health was intact, and life was going to all be OK in the end. However, it was insanity and it was hard. We were in a hotel room for over two weeks...and it was just like having your first newborn (for the moms out there). If we had KNOWN it was only going to be 2 and a half weeks without power, then the day that Daniel put Lainey's dress in the toilet and fell backwards off the bed and busted his head on the air conditioning unit (all within one hour) wouldn't have been so bad. But because we watched every news report with a critical eye, it seemed as if the power outage in Houston would never end. As we all know, it did end....and while we were in bottom 5% in getting power restored, we were blessed beyond all measure just to have the option of a hotel room in a situation like that.

So, I never posted those lyrics. But today as I listened to the song for the first time in a while, it struck me that there has never been such a time as this to post these lyrics (for all 3 of you who will read them). The whole financial crisis started while we were still scrambling for a place to stay with power. S87o when we watched the news and they mentioned it, we were like, "OK, great, but when can we live in our house again?". But now, we are back on track and life is still not 'normal' and while I am a melodrama queen, these lyrics are appropriate for so many today...and I hope they will minister to you as they did to me when, "Satan enraged the wind and the tide" a few weeks ago.

The Lord Will Provide

Though troubles assail
And dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail
And foes all unite;
Yet one thing secures us,
Whatever betide,
The scripture assures us,
The Lord will provide.

The birds without barn
Or storehouse are fed,
From them let us learn
To trust for our bread:
His saints, what is fitting,
Shall ne'er he denied,
So long as 'tis written,
The Lord will provide.

We may, like the ships,
By tempest be tossed
On perilous deeps,
But cannot be lost.
Though Satan enrages
The wind and the tide,
The promise engages,
The Lord will provide.

His call we obey
Like Abram of old,
Not knowing our way,
But faith makes us bold;
For though we are strangers
We have a good Guide,
And trust in all dangers,
The Lord will provide.

When Satan appears
To stop up our path,
And fill us with fears,
We triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us,
Though oft he has tried,
This heart-cheering promise,
The Lord will provide.

He tells us we're weak,
Our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek
We ne'er shall obtain,
But when such suggestions
Our spirits have plied,
This answers all questions,
The Lord will provide.

No strength of our own,
Or goodness we claim,
Yet since we have known
The Saviour's great name;
In this our strong tower
For safety we hide,
The Lord is our power,
The Lord will provide.

When life sinks apace
And death is in view,
This word of his grace
Shall comfort us through:
No fearing or doubting
With Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting,
The Lord will provide.

P.S. If you would like to hear the version of the song I listen to (set to modern music) search itunes for "The Lord Will Provide" by Matthew Smith. The words were written by one of my favorite hymn writers, but Matthew Smith does an excellent job of making these beautiful words easy to sing loudly in your car (on your way to work, or to pick up your kids, etc.)

P.P.S. I was first turned on to the amazing stories of hymn writers such as John Newton (who wrote the "The Lord Will Provide") and William Cowper (my favorite hymn writer of all time) by a book called The Swans Are Not Silent by John Piper. It is amazing to me that these men who suffered so much for the kingdom of God could write words that are life changing and soul-blessing to such a person as I so many years later. I will gladly lend my copy of this book or my copy of Mathew Smith's CD to anyone who wants it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Houston, We Have Power

A little over 3 weeks ago, I scoffed at losing power. My husband fretted over breaking his years long streak of not missing a daily shower. I worried slightly about the inability to turn on a video in times of crisis for the kids. But, I am from Alabama. I have roughed it. I have gone hunting and killed a deer. Not just a deer, a buck. A big one. I could live a few days without water and power. Bring it on. And then I talked to my dad.

My dad has faced many a natural disaster, so I thought it would be a good idea to go over my shopping list with him to make sure I covered the basics. You know, batteries, flashlights, water, extra laptop batteries, etc. It was Thursday and hurricane Ike was set to hit Friday in the middle of the night. I left work around 12 and called him on my way to the store. Before I could I even get to my shopping list, he said, "I am glad you called...I left you a message this morning. I just wanted to know where you are going to evacuate. If you need us to pick you up at the ariport, just let us know." My dad is very, very wise and experienced and not prone to drama (despite raising 3 high drama girls) so I felt a knot in my stomach as he said those words. Stupidly I explained to him that the great mayor of the city of Houston had told us to shelter in place...that the worst that could happen was that we would lose power for a few days and we could leave after the storm if we were 'uncomfortable'. I laughed at the idea of the Houstonians scrambling in fear of losing power for a few days....hadn't they ever gone camping? My dad (who by the way is an army man and has spent more days than anyone I know camping...and actually built a raft in high school and sailed down the alabama river just like Tom Sawyer and has a newspaper article to prove it...)said, "If this storm hits the way they say it is, you will lose power for more than a few days and you won't be able to get out any time soon because the roads will be impassable."

Why didn't we listen? I have no idea. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we spent 12 hours overnight with a one week old baby and a 2 yr old trying to evacuate to a place that was only a 3 hour drive away...in constant fear of running out of gas and passing station after station that was sold out. Alex has a co-worker whose mom died in that storm...she died of a heart attack on the side of the road as they tried to evacuate...the ambulance couldn't get to her. It made sense for us to evacuate then since we had such a young baby who got sick that week and wouldn't have gotten the medical attention he needed if we had stayed in Houston. But for most people, it was nonsense, as the storm did minimal damage to Houston.

We did get more serious, though, after my dad's warnings. We boarded our bedroom and bathroom windows so that we would have a 'safe' place to ride out the storm. And I plugged up all personal and work laptops and our portable DVD player all day on Friday and forbid anyone to unplug them...it really would be a disaster that we have a moment in those few days without power where we desperately needed a video and couldn't have it. I also did some things that seem ridiculous in hindsight...I went to Kroger and stood (well, actually, I called Alex and said leave work now and come stand in this line) in a 2 hour line to get a few more canned goods and more water. And then I cleaned out the closet in our boarded up bedroom and put food, water batteries and toilet paper in there so that if a tree fell on our house we could live in the little cave of our boarded up bedroom for as long as possible. Silly, I know, but it made so much sense at the time.

The day of the storm we nailed boards and waited. Our dog barked and howled like crazy making us even more worried. A couple of times I looked at Alex and said, "maybe we should go now". But we kept hearing the city officials saying over and over to stay, so we stayed. And that night we all slept in one room. At one point our bedroom door (which was closed tight) blew open. We thought for sure a window had been broken in the house and the wind was blowing open the door. We cautiously looked out and found nothing broken...the wind was coming through every crack and space it could find and shifting our house about. We looked out the windows and immediately ran back to the bedroom and shut the door. It was a very scary sight...and this was not my first hurricane. Strangely enough we slept off and on. Around 7 am we woke up and ventured out of our bedroom. Our house was intact. The storm was still going, but you could tell it was the end. I started to think, 'hey, that wasn't so bad'. Alex looked out the front windows to our street and promptly said, "Someone died last night." WHAT???? I yelled. First of all, it was spooky the way he said it and second of all I couldn't believe he was talking like that in front of the kids. "You mean in Galveston?? Of course someone died in Galveston....all of those people who didn't leave when they should have.."

"No, I mean someone in our neighborhood died, someone on our street died, a bunch of people in Houston died. Look." I looked outside and it was like a scene from a disaster movie. There were huge branches covering the ground. It would have been impossible to drive or even walk down the street just for all of the huge branches. But even scarier than that were the massive trees down everywhere. Our neighbor across the street had 5 or 6 in her yard alone...and they all fell away from her house. Looking at that it was impossible not to think that the whole city was destroyed. As the morning progressed and people began to poke their heads out, neighbors suggested that it was a tornado that had hit our street...surely it couldn't be this bad all over...why would they tell people to stay in a situation like this? Later that day, I walked the dog (our fence was gone so we had to walk him now)to go check on some friends in the neighborhood who weren't answering their phone. I realized that it was not an isolated tornado....I really was walking through a movie set of the latest disaster movie...my neighborhood would never be the same. Praise be to God, Alex was wrong. No one in our neighborhood died. People lost their houses, but they were either not there or they were in a different part of the house when the trees fell. And A LOT of trees fell away from the houses. Which was good from the whole saving human life perspective, but totally proved my dad's point about making the roads impassable.

Saturday was a very surreal, miserable day that I honestly don't remember that well. We thought about leaving but all of the reports on our battery operated radio said that people were getting hurt trying to get the hell out of Houston....rumors were flying that it could be a month before power was restored. A month!! Most people laughed at this....how could we go a month without power in this great city in this day and age...surely it would just be a few days like they said in the beginning right??

By Sunday, I didn't care if it was going to be one month or 12 more hours...I had officially become a city girl and I couldn't take it. Not to mention that our 3 year old (oh yeah, it was his birthday that Saturday) was on seizure medication where we had been told to never get in a situation where we didn't have access to air conditioning....he could have a heat stroke as a side effect, but it was rare...and really, why would you ever be without air conditioning in Houston, Texas????

To be continued....:)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Important Prayer Request

Hi friends,

I have posted here before about friends of mine who have a 3 year old son with a brain tumor. Joseph was diagnosed in November with a very rare type of tumor, and the prognosis wasn't good. He was treated at St. Jude's with surgery and drug trials. The first trial didn't work, so he had another surgery and they were waiting to start the second trial. His condition deteriorated and they went for an MRI at St. Jude's hoping to get the news they could start the second trial. Instead, they got the surprising and devastating news that Joseph only has a few days left to live...

Gillian and Allen were students when I was an RUF intern at the University of Tennessee, and I was really close to Gillian...one of the favorite things I own is an old manual camera that she got for me on a trip to Ireland. My heart is BREAKING for them, and all that I can do is pray and ask everyone else to pray.

For ways to pray and to learn more about Joseph, you can visit their blog at www.prayforjoesph.blogspot.com

UPDATE: As I was writing this post, Joseph passed away. You can still check the blog for ways to pray, but PLEASE pray for his parents Gillian and Allen, his little sister Holly, and all of his family and friends. Please pray for the peace and comfort that passes all understanding.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

In Awe

NOTE: I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago, but it didn't post for some reason.

I am in awe of many things....

1. I am in awe of the fact that God has provided me with a no-brainer job opportunity. I say 'no-brainer' because I have tried working part-time with kids and it was not really 'part time'. Also, it is pretty much impossible to find a part time teaching job, especially when Daniel's school is so far away...I would either have to find a job that only required 2 hours of working or pay for extended day for Daniel, which would defeat the purpose of working. However, with Daniel's school, medical and therapy costs, I felt like I had to at least try to get some extra income somehow.

So one day, I was sitting in the office at Daniel's school and the idea popped in my head to see if they had any part time jobs for the fall...teacher turnover there is very low so I was just hoping they needed a receptionist or secratary (not to mention that I doubted I would even be qualified to teach there). I casually asked the director about it as she walked by. She asked me about my background and I was soon stunned when she offered me a teaching job. It is a job that I would jump at whether or not Daniel attended school there, and it fits perfectly in my schedule...God gave an answer to prayer that was greater than anything I could have imagined.

2. I am in awe of the comments I have received on the previous posts. I know that you are thinking...'ummm, amanda, you just got 2 comments and they weren't even on the most recent post'. I must say I was deeply regretting my tirade on Michael Savage when I got the fewest comments EVER. I almost deleted them. But then Ella's mom commented. A lot of you don't know Ella, but if you could read her blog (it's one of those where you have to be invited...so I feel very blessed to be able to read it) you would know that I strive to be like her. Every time I read her posts, I think of how I would love to just sit and talk with her for hours and learn how to be a better mom, wife, friend etc..... So to have Ella AND her MOM respond was worth a million comments....thank you!

3. I am in awe of my sweet and wonderful church family. The kids and I are making our multi-annual trip to alabama to see my family next week. Once upon a time I considered myself a pro when flying solo with kids. But autism throws a wrench in everyhing. I learned a valuable lesson the last time I flew by myself with the kids....ask for help. On our way out to Alabama, I actually had some older men catch Daniel and return him to me as we were boarding the plane...(he couldn't have gotten too far because it was either going past me or to the rear of the plane. But it was still embarrassing when people have to catch your child for you). I kept thinking 'I wish we had a sign that said this child has autism, and then we wouldn't have to tell every single person we encounter why this is so complicated'. Rude looks (and a few comments) followed us the whole day. Southwest no longer does preboard for families travelling with young children. On the way back I asked if I could have help with boarding the plane so I wouldn't have to rely on strangers to catch my child. When they asked me why I needed help, a suprising answer (to me anyway) came out of my mouth. "my son has a disability." She didn't ask what his disability was, but handed us the golden ticket instead...a preboard pass. I hadn't really set out to get that, but I didn't argue when she handed it to me. I felt like a fraud. Honestly, when the southwest guy boarding the plane asked me what our 'disability' was, I thought I was a goner. I told him that Daniel had autism and his reply was 'autism, huh?'. I was so busy thinking of a way to get out of airport jail that I almost missed him saying, "I have 3 kids with autism and I am going to law school at night to learn about disability law". It turns out that autism IS a disability and Daniel really DOES have it (i know, i know, it is NEVER going to sink in...). Needless to say, I got more than enough help and the trip back was much better.

SO, a week ago as I was dreading (I mean preparing for) this trip, I remembered some TShirts I saw online. They were kind of like the 'sign' I had longed for on our last trip. My favorite was one that said, "I have autism...please be nice to my mom." But most of them sort of defeated my purpose by saying things like, "I have autism...what's your excuse?" Or "Parenting advice not appreciated...unless you have a child with autism". I have to admit, I had a good chuckle over these, but I didn't think they would go too far in winning kindness from strangers. The nice ones wouldn't get here in time, so I emailed a large group of women in the church to see if anyone knew how to make one. I am not crafty, but I knew there MUST be a way to make one.

I am in awe because I was overwhelmed with advice and offers of help. I am in awe that I got a wonderful idea for a saying, "Jesus Loves Children with Autism Too"(from Lance and Karre Orton). I am in awe because my sweet friend JULIE PERRY (of www.perryvideoproductions.com) insisted on making shirts for us. (For those of you in Houston, Julie is an AWESOME photographer and videographer...below is a candid picture she took of Daniel at VBS. I will gladly pass on her contact info after you see how wonderful she is and realize you must use her). As soon as I get the shirts on Daniel and take pictures, I will post them. Of course, I would have been more than happy with instructions on how to do it, or even just plain text. But Julie spent time designing multiple ideas and emailed me PROOFS for my approval (are you kidding me? i was like, umm, you are the artist, whatever you think, and by the way, how did I get so blessed to have a friend like you who helps me and even DESIGNS the Tshirt). Needless to say, I am in awe of Julie Perry and the rest of my sweet Christ the King family who all went out of their way to ask me if there was anything they could do to help.

4. I am in awe of my God and how He sent His Son to die for me and also gives me all of these good things of which I am in awe.

5. I am also in awe of the length of this post and the fact that I still have at least one more awe inspiring thing to write about. I am in awe of anyone who has read this far. So, I'll leave the last one for another post (since I can't keep my eyes open). Thank you, sweet friends. I'll leave you with this...

P.S. I sooo wish I could show you the other pictures Julie has taken of our kids...they are even better than this one, if you can imagine that. This one is hilarious because the kids were imitating the teacher who was very animated while telling the story...I saw it happen and knew Julie was somewhere in the room, and I thought, "oh, i'm sure it is a one in a million chance that Julie got a picture of that, but it would be great picture is she did". I had forgotten that Julie is just THAT good...she never misses a good shot.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We Are the Champions

Well, I thought about deleting the posts below, because when I told Alex about the Michael Savage thing, he wasn't surprised in the least. Apparently this guy is a 'hate monger' (sp?) in Alex's words and makes his career by getting people riled up. So then I felt kind of silly for falling for it, although, I thought, if he crosses the line this badly on other issues why haven't I heard of him before? Am I just too sensitive about this?

It turns out, this might be his final 'hate monger' episode. I was not the only one who was appalled, and many companies are pulling ads that support his show. Also, there is one company that has radio stations all across Mississippi that is cancelling his show. Michael Savage will not be heard any more in the great state of Mississippi. (I've always had a fondness for that state...) So I guess I wasn't being too sensitive and he went way, way, way over the line this time.

One thing I have learned from all of this, is that I absolutely hate, hate, hate when people say, "oh, Daniel looks fine. He doesn't seem or look like he has Autism!" I know the majority of these people are trying to be encouraging, but I've realized that it makes me feel as if I am just making this whole thing up. Or it makes me frustrated because they just don't know what he is like 90% of the time and they think of rain man or other children who have autism but have different symptoms. There are so many stereotypes and it gets tiring to have to "defend" his diagnosis and explain all of the stereotypes and how autism manifests itself in so many different ways.

But I digress...back to the radio show...This was the first time I have ever written to companies threatening to pull my business if they didn't do something. I know that my emails and letters probably didn't make any difference in the long run, but it was gratifying to see a response and action, anyway. I felt like I had won a great victory somehow. I don't think I will become a regular 'protester', but I must say that victory is very sweet. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

OH yeah, and another thing...

Just to make sure everyone reads what this guy said (because I know it is annoying to not be able to just click on it), here is an excerpt:

SAVAGE: Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on autism, since I’m not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket. For a long while, we were hearing that every minority child had asthma. Why did they sudden ⎯ why was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I’ll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket. Everyone went in and was told [fake cough], “When the nurse looks at you, you go [fake cough], ‘I don’t know, the dust got me.’ ” See, everyone had asthma from the minority community. That was number one.
Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is.
What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, “Don’t act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.”
Autism ⎯ everybody has an illness. If I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, “Don’t behave like a fool.” The worst thing he said ⎯ “Don't behave like a fool. Don’t be anybody’s dummy. Don’t sound like an idiot. Don’t act like a girl. Don’t cry.” That’s what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You’re turning your son into a girl, and you’re turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That’s why we have the politicians we have.

And while we are at it, lets highlight another person who is clueless. It is someone on Mr. Savage's website who also put his clueless 'opinion' on autism out there. His name is Thomas Sowell and here is what he said:

Those who diagnose children by running down a checklist of "symptoms" can find many apparently "autistic" children or children on "the autism spectrum."

Parents need to be spared the emotional trauma of false diagnoses and children need to be spared stressful treatments that follow false diagnoses. Yet the "autism spectrum" concept provides lots of wiggle room for those who are making false diagnoses.

Real autism may not get as much money as it needs if much of that money is dissipated on children who are not in fact autistic. But money is money to those who are running research projects-- and a gullible media helps them get that money.

When we first realized that Daniel was a 'late talker' I read a book similar to one that this guy wrote... about how some children talk late and they are just really smart and there is nothing wrong with them. This guy's book is called "The Einstein Syndrome". If you want to talk about sparing a parent emotional trauma, don't try to tell me that the majority of late talking children are going to be just fine. You were wrong about my child and unfortunately wrong about many others.

Oh, and IF ONLY I could have gotten a diagnosis for Daniel by someone going down a 'checklist'. The 'checklist' he is referring to is just a screening that pediatricians (who are NOT qualified to diagnose autism....we begged ours to give us the diganosis so that we could get 'help' and she couldn't) use at the 18 month check up just to see if they should refer to a specialist to check for a variety of developmental delays (not just autism).

WE (not the government) spent a lot of money to get a diagnosis because the only place in Houston, TX (with the biggest and best medical center in the world) that will give you a diagnosis and takes insurance takes a YEAR to get in. Precious time that is wasted...oh, but maybe I should have just not treated my son and waited it out. That way when he was 6 and we found out, "oh, you guessed wrong, he really DOES have autism, but it is too late to really do a whole lot about it." I could say, 'well at least I didn't spend the government's money torturing my child for a couple of years. now he will just be tortured for the rest of his life instead.'

OH and speaking of torture, when we did get our diagnosis, Mr. Sowell, you should have seen how much money the government spent torturing our kid: $0. They will however gladly spend lots of money to torture his parents who are fighting to get insurance to pay for things that are medical necessities (did I mention he has seizures...which also happens a lot with autism. wait, is that common in late talking children also?). No, instead of letting the government spend our tax dollars to torture us, we used our own money to torture our child. We spend about $1000 a month for a child who was in his own world and not talking to be tortured into looking like this:

The sad fact is, I would just be so happy if I could make him that 'tortured' at home.

So to recap, Michael Savage and Thomas Sowell are clueless about how autism is diagnosed and treated. Yet they use thier words and voices which reach millions of people to act like they are experts on the matter and say things that are absolutely false (and it is not hard to prove how wrong they are...do these people have fact checkers on their staff? If so, they need to be fired.) They use the power of thier speech and platform to make life harder and more painful for families that are in the trenches dealing with this thing. Daniel is definitely the type of child they are referring to...he makes eye contact more than Rain Man. He smiles. I have gotten so many comments about how people "just never would have known" he has autism. And those of you who have followed my posts know that I have really grappled with having it really sink in that Daniel has autism. Now I know why. All I need to do is take him to Michael Savage and Thomas Sowell and let them tell me everything is going to be fine. Have them list the stereotypes of autism and say, 'hey, in the last five minutes that we have been talking your son has not exhibited any of these stereotypes...he's fine!'.

one of my worst fears....

...has come true. you can read it (or hear it) here


As the week went on at vacation Bible school, things calmed down and i was able to have some wonderful conversations about our struggle with Daniel. The majority of the conversations were with people that I haven't had a lot of time to talk with lately and some didn't even realize the struggles we had been dealing with. The subject came up a lot because Daniel was there. I had to tell the adults that were around him to watch for seizures (we have to keep a record of them now). And because I happened to be in charge of his age group, I had to do a lot of working around his issues....And of course, there was the whole he is in a different setting and he is an escape artist thing.

But one question kept coming up over and over that I didn't know how to answer. Since I was with my church family, and knowing what a wonderful and loving family we have, I should have known i would get this question a lot. The jist of the question was, "how are you dealing with this?".

I have an answer now. I was fine until I read that aritcle about Michael Savage. I am not fine anymore. What he said makes me want to throw up. And I am not kidding. I don't even know who this guy is, and I feel so deeply hurt and devastated. Every day, even with my sweet church family, I am battling misconceptions and funny looks from others. I even got a "who is that kid" when I was wrestling with Daniel this week. I know all about the 'who is that kid' statement. It means, 'surely this is a visitor or there is some other logical explanation for this child's behavior'. I guess it should be an encouragement that the person was shocked that it was my son.

I don't know what I think about vaccines, or genetics, or ABA or any of that stuff. I am still trying to convince myself that my son has autism and battle the stereotypes and misconceptions that come with it. I admire those autism moms and dads and advocates that are blogging and on the warpath against the things that they think caused their child's autism or for the things they think will help. I am just not one of those parents...or not yet anyway.

But I will be damned if I sit back and let someone actually say these things and not speak out. And what makes me so sad is that there are so many uproars about things that are politically incorrect that i am sure many will read this as me just being too sensitive.

You know, a very good friend asked me if the reason insurance wouldn't cover Daniel's therapy was because people were 'using' autism to get their kids 'extra help'. I was so confused by that question. How would that even be possible, I wondered? I could not understand what in the world he was getting at. (Of course, he was not in ANY WAY suggesting that we were doing that...he was just wondering if there were other people who were doing that and making things difficult for us). My first thought was, 'well good luck to the person who can get an official diagnosis without spending a fortune'. It wouldn't be worth the money to do that just to get the miniscule amount of help you get in return for your diagnosis from the state, insurance company, etc. I am appreciative or our help, and I don't count it as 'owed' to me. Nevertheless, the person who told their child to 'fake' autism to get a diagnosis to get 'extra' help or therapy would give up pretty quickly. And if they didn't, they would soon regret their decision when they finally got their diagnosis and actually saw what good it did them. This is just a tiny part of what I could say to prove how ridiculous Michael Savage is.

I guess all of this comes down to the fact that it is not what Michael Savage thinks that makes me sick. It is the fact that he is voicing what I know so many people(and probably even people I am friends with) think. I know that it ultimately doesn't matter at all what people think. But it sure would make my life infinitely easier to go back in time and never hear that there are people who think that way about parents with children with autism.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lots Going On...

I have a ton of things to write about and no time to do it, unfortunately. So here is a brief update, to be followed by more in depth posts later. (As if you are on the edge of your seat waiting to hear about my life :).

Seattle was awesome. The picture above is the only one we have of both of us there. I'll post details later.

While we were there, I got a call on my cell phone from the Meyer Center to make an appointment for Daniel. This is the place that we sent in the paperwork to get an appointment A YEAR AGO. We knew it would probably take this long, so as most of you know, we went to a different place that doesn't take insurance to get a diagnosis. It is about time to get him reassessed, though, and this place would just be a co-pay so we made the appointment. And of course, his issues are so complex, the more doctors that see him, the better.

Anyway, he still has mild to moderate autism (no surprise there), but while we there he had a seizure. Of course, I didn't realize it was a seizure until the doctor told me because it was the kind where you blank out...not with convulsions. I thought he was just doing a no eye contact, shut down, autism thing when he had done it before. And he has had an EEG before that was normal. But it was a very short EEG, and if he didn't have a seizure during that time, then it comes up normal. So now we are going to have to do the 24 hour EEG....how that works for a 2 year old I have yet to find out, but I am getting a call tomorrow to schedule it, so I should know more then.

Some other things happened with the Meyer Center, one of which is an amazing story of a miracle, in my opinion. But all of that will have to wait. I am in charge of toddlers for VBS at my church this week...you would think that such a small percentage of the population at VBS wouldn't be that much work. But organizing and directing the 3 classes of 2-3 year olds is kicking my butt. Note to self: Never, ever agree to be the actual DIRECTOR of all of VBS. (I love you Catie Brow!! You are amazing!!)

More to follow...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tim Keller, Vaccines and We're All Gonna Die

Granted that I actually WANTED to, and God said, "you can trade places with any other parent who has a child with autism", THIS is who I would pick to be. (And because I am not her, imagine my "THIS" as a special highlighted word that you could click on to go the link...because I am not her, click on this: http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2008/06/age-of-arrogance-or-we-are-all-going-to.html )

She also has a wonderful series of posts called "Autism in God's Economy" that I have wanted to mention before. You can just go to her home page and you will see it on there somewhere

Not to mention that her blog title is SO much cooler than mine....

PS UPDATE: I was just looking at comments and happened to see that I put the wrong form of "there" in the next to last part. ARGHHHH, I never do that. I mean I do it, but I always catch it. Alex is OCD about things like that, but it really bugs me too. I apologize for any torment I caused anyone other than myself.

Also, you can't click on the link...I guess you will have to copy and paste. I have probably tormented the other half of you by lack of blog savvy. Sorry.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The story of my life

Report cards do not end when you leave school. Here are some comments that I have received in the last two weeks:

From Daniel's teacher on his take home folder...

1. "Daniel's shoes seem to be too small. His toes are pushing the end...(she was right...they were shoes from last year)

2. "Please bring a towel for swim days...Daniel needs a way to dry off."

3. "If you are going to be late, please call us and let us know so we can meet you at the door...it messes up his day to not be in the routine."

4. "As you may remember from before, Daniel has an issue with taking his shirt off for swim time...please pack an extra shirt."

From Lainey...

1. "We haven't been outside for 100 days because you can't keep the fleas off of Fletch."

2. "Tomorow someone is coming to clean our house. If you can't keep your house clean then you need to get organized. And if you can't get organized you have to get someone to help you."

From Daniel....

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" (or whatever the letters and punctuation you would type for high pitched angry screaming). Translation: "I am completely ticked off that my life is not organized and predictable. What was God thinking to give such an unorganized mom a child who desperately needs life to be predictable?"

My thoughts exactly, buddy. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The month of May

Ok, so one day I'll get to that quote. I have been writing a post in my head for a week now, and yesterday, I felt like I had a whole new chapter to add to it, so I had better get started.

First of all, aside from a fun wedding and one or two other events, this has not been a good month for the Sims family. Alex travelled and worked late a lot, and the kids and I got sick pretty much every time he was gone. My social life has been nonexistent and that is never a good thing. But the main thing that was difficult was a change that happened in Daniel. It is all a blur so I can't tell for sure when it started and ended, but there was a time where he completely regressed and stopped using the few words he had. He refused to communicate. I have never been so dumbfounded at human behavior in my life. I know for a fact this kid can say ball or help or use some sort of a sign to get me to get his ball if it rolls under the couch. And yet, when that happened, he would grab my hand and lead me to the couch and try to use my arm as some sort of tool to get his ball out. I would ask him over and over what he wanted...did he need HELP? did he want his BALL? Could he just look me in the freaking eye and acknowledge that I was his mother and not just a tool to get his FREAKING BALL? Nope. Even if I refused to get the ball until he did so...he would just yell louder and run through the house looking for Lainey to hit so that he could get the biggest melodramatic reaction possible. How is that easier than saying ball? Or looking me in the eye?

And then it hit me. Daniel has autism. It is not a speech problem. I know we have been down this road before, but bear with me for a second. With the first diagnosis, we were told that if it weren't for the speech/language/communication issues, he wouldn't necessarily have the autism diagnosis. At least that is what I heard anyway. The doctor highlighted his strengths in the 'social' aspect of autism. He smiles! He makes eye contact! He sometimes seeks adult attention! And who cares about seeking other kids attention because he is only 2! What I didn't realize is that Daniel wasn't learning to talk because he wasn't capable of learning to talk. He wasn't learning to talk because he didn't want to learn.

When this hit me, it was like a revelation. If I lost a ball under the couch and needed help, I would walk up to you and ask you about your day, tell you about mine and end with a dramatic story of losing a ball under the couch. It would take me at least 10 minutes before I got to the point of asking for HELP (at which point you would gladly go get the ball so that you could get me to SHUT UP). Although I am not good at communicating, I thrive on it. Alex is the same way, but he is actually good at it. And Lainey....well, lets just say she is going through a phase where I can't just bring her a sandwich for lunch. She gives me a script of how I am to bring the sandwich and what I am to say and then what she will say and on and on and on....(for those of you who know how impatient I am, we are working on limiting this for the sake of my sanity).

During this regression I realized that his speech/communication delay was a 'social' symptom of his disease. I finally knew without a shadow of a doubt that Daniel has autism. And so I started grieving a little. And I started praying. And I stopped saying, "oh thanks for asking, Daniel is just great. His school is great, he is great, everything is great!". Instead I would say, "Please pray for him. He is not doing well. It is not great".

And then a miracle happened. Before the regression, Daniel was able to say "juice" when he was thirsty...most of the time, anyway. I got in the expensive habit of giving him juice boxes instead of putting juice in a sippy cup because it seemed so much easier. During the 'regression' he did the whole screaming until we guessed the right thing (meaning we hand him things and he threw them in rage until we handed him the correct thing). One day, though, he looked up at me and said, "juice box". At first I thought I was hearing things, but I decided to give him the juice box and see what happened. He took it and said, "juice box". Not only was he back to saying juice when he was thirsty, he also was adding "box" (which we had never even tried to get him to say). A few days later he started saying "want" when he wanted something. He started saying new words. And then one day when we were going on a longer than normal search for his "passy" before naptime, he looked up at me in tears and said, "I lose passy". Needless to say, I almost fainted. God in His goodness also provided confirmation that I wasn't going crazy when his teachers reported the same things we were seeing.

I think that catches you up to yesterday. I will write about that later. This is enough for tonight...for me and for you :).

Friday, May 9, 2008

One Moment Please....

...while I play around. I realize that I need to explain why the quote below is my 'favorite ever'. But alas, my love-hate relationship with blogs keeps me from posting an explanation without over-analyzing my response. So be patient as I agonize over the proper wording....and in the meantime, enjoy the show as I play (procrastinate) with the color/font/template options of my blog. Feel free to give an opinion or advice on how to break out of the blogspot template.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Favorite Quote Ever....

"If we knew each other's secrets, what comfort we would find." John Churton Collins

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jesus and Gravity

I am coming out of the closet...I am a reality TV show fan. There are only a few shows that I watch, but I am madly in love with them. I know that things are dramatized on these shows, but I feel like they are more like real life sometimes than the average person's real life. If you think about it, we all have drama in our lives. About 4 years ago I was in the neurological ICU and told that I had three aneurysms...one of which had already burst. I was in disbelief. The next thing I knew there was the hospital chaplain in my room. I looked at Alex and said something to the effect of "oh, *%^# (how do you do the cuss word sign?). call church." Ok, so that last sentence was dramatization, but that is really what I thought. After our friends ran (literally ran...no dramatization...we have the best friends ever) to my hospital bed, we were told, "ummm either we were wrong or you are miraculously healed." We never did find out what happened. I can tell you this much though, I felt like I was dieing and Alex thought for sure I looked like I was dieing. But let me give you an example of the beauty of the reality show that I saw tonight.

One of "my shows" is American Idol. There is always at least one contestant that I fall in love with and this year my main squeeze is Brooke White. She is a Christian. I would have known she was one whether she said it or not, but I think she has said it at some point. That is not the only reason I love her...she seems like she would be the most awesome sweetest friend, and I love her voice and her performances. This week the contestants sang Dolly Parton songs and tonight was the results show. Dolly Parton sang a song before the final results called "Jesus and Gravity" (I think). The premise was basically that she has all she needs because when she takes her blessings for granted gravity brings her back down. But at the same time Jesus is always there to lift her up and show her she is loved and that all good gifts are from Him. At least that is what I got out of it. As I was marvelling over the fact that this blatantly Christian song was being sung on American Idol, I found out that my girl Brooke was in the bottom 3. Gasp. This has never happened. Break to a commercial. I never actually call and vote...I was kicking myself for not voting. This was a tragedy. The show comes back and the bottom 3 girls are standing there in tears awaiting their fate. Ryan Seacrest looks at Brooke and says, "Brooke, you have never been in the bottom 3 before and you are obviously very emotional about it." Brooke replies, "I am emotional for many reasons. We throw everything into this competition. And then I see the segment on "Idol gives Back" (a charity thing Idol does now) about starving kids in Africa and I think there are so many things in life bigger than this. And then Dolly Parton gets on the stage and sings about Jesus and I remember He is all I ever need." You'll be happy to know Brooke was not eliminated.

I guess my point is this...reality TV is real life because Jesus is there just as much as He is everywhere else. And we are all fooling ourselves if we think that life is just la de da for the average person anyway. For the Christian, we are at war with Satan. He is attacking our children, our marriages, our friends, our family...but more importantly he is trying to keep people from hearing about Jesus. The reality is that life is dramatic...and people need Jesus. Even Simon Cowell and reality show addicts such as myself :).

P.S. BTW, I encourage everyone to read the words to that Dolly Parton song. I would have written a post about it even if I hadn't heard it on American Idol. It is brilliant...I love the idea that the gravity of this world is needed to remind us we are sinners, but even more Jesus is needed to love us anyway when gravity shows us the reality of who we are. It makes me proud to say that I have been to DollyWood. ;)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

National Autism Day?????

April 2nd is national Autism Day....I think. I was informed of this tonight by my husband as he was getting off of a plane in San Diego. I had no idea. We only had a few seconds to chat (due to children that needed to sleep immediately and real world business that needed to be attended to). But I can only assume that he struck up a conversation on the plane with another passenger whose life has been affected by autism. (By the way, did I mention that my husband is in San Diego because he is a commercial real estate stud...even in this wretched economy we've entered into? No, I didn't? Oh, yeah, that is because I suck at being a good wife....).

ANYWAY, I imagined the conversation that Alex had to gain this information. It could have taken any form...there are so many people who have been 'informed' or affected by autism lately. In a way it is the best of times and the worst of times to have a child inflicted with this disease. There is so much help and hope and yet at the same time there are people who think that because they saw Jenny McCarthy on Oprah they can diagnose your child. (There will be more to come on this in a future post....).

So then I pondered what national Autism day really means to me. There is a lot of uproar right now over the vaccine issue. I could give my personal views on that, but I won't, because I have no clue what I am talking about. So I imagine that a lot of parents are going to seize the day and try to highlight the fact that the powers that be are coming around to the vaccine theory. (Since this is my blog, I will say that it is just FASCINATING what has been happening lately in the news with the whole 'american pediatrics association is starting to realize that they don't know everything' story). And because early intervention is so crucial to recovery in Autism, there will be many who use this day as a way to get information out about the signs of autism. (And if you have been reading my blog, you know that this is also a worthy use of the day as my son is well on his way to being cured due to early intervention). But still, what does it mean for me? There is a whole national day devoted to something that has dominated my life for a while now. Granted, these national days are a dime a dozen, but what should I do?

I have decided to ask my friends to pray. Please pray for Daniel and his friends at school. Please pray for all of the children who are affected by this disease. Please, please, please pray for the marriages of the parents who have children with autism. The statistic on these marriages ending in divorce is ridiculous....even if I don't know the exact number, I can assure you it is way above the national average. Please pray for the siblings of these children...their whole lives are turned upside down and inside out by a disease they don't have. And if you have time (which I am sure you don't, but if you feel moved by my post you can do it anyway) read this wonderful post. http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2007/04/autism-in-gods-economy-least-of-these.html

This post is written by a wonderful Christian woman who is a light in the dark world of autism. Many parents (especially moms) of children with autism read her blog and see Jesus. She has some great tips on how to minister to families with children with autism. And for my sweet friends in Houston, I am not putting this link on here for you to read and then feel like you need to do something for me....you have all already done all she has written and more. You are a shining example of Christ's love physically given to us....you just read it and be encouraged that Jesus is using you. And really, it is one of those things that you read and God uses it to speak to you whether you know someone with autism or not.

So, friends, it is national autism day. Go pray. It is the most powerful thing I can think of to do on such a day as this.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Answered Prayer

This is Daniel at his new school during circle time, acting out a song. For once, I don't need to write an epic entry....I'll just let this picture tell you how he is doing...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Brave new world

I thought I would reflect on the last two weeks since they were the first two weeks of Daniel being in his new school. I was so nervous the first day....not because I was worried about him, but because I felt like I had no clue what the unspoken and spoken 'rules' were for this new society we were entering. And it is a new society...I couldn't figure out why I was so nervous at first, but I soon realized it was because everything felt foreign and new to me. I've done the whole 'school' thing with Lainey twice. Sure it was pre-school, but Daniel is 2, so could this be more complicated? Oh, yes, it could. But after a while, I realized that complicated is a good thing.

First of all, we were supposed to have a 'meet the teacher, see the classroom' meeting on the Friday before classes started. That didn't happen because when we pulled up to the parking lot, Daniel proceeded to throw up all over himself (and he doesn't EVER throw-up). Instead of seeing this as a bad sign, I breathed a sigh of relief.

And being the overly analytical person that I am, I immediately questioned why I was relieved. Wouldn't most parents in my situation mourn the fact that they didn't get that important meeting to talk to the teacher, see the room, and meet the other parents of the children in Daniel's class? Hadn't I been saying that I really needed to meet some parents of other children in Daniel's situation? Hadn't I planned to go to support meetings several times and not made it? Didn't I start to drive to that one meeting a month ago and turn around because it was too far and I was tired?!? You friends who are wiser are catching on much faster than I did.....but more about that later. (yes, this is going to be a long one, I can already tell. Go deal with family members and such before continuing).

So, I told the staff, hey, my son is in the car with vomit all over him, I gotta go. The director said, "oh, but could one of the parents watch him or something so you could go in?" I looked at her as if she were insane. "I think he has a stomach virus....he NEVER throws up!" (I didn't add my next thought which was, 'what kind of school director are you to invite stomach virus germs into your school?' To which she would have answered, 'A school director for children with autism..that is what kind...').

So, his teacher called me that afternoon and we discussed the first day of school. And it turned out to be way more complicated than I could have ever imagined. I thought we could just come a little early and let Daniel see his class and meet his teacher and then I could sneak out. Oh no. Not in this country. =It must be discussed and examined as to what would be the best for Daniel...would it be upsetting to him to NOT be gotten out of the car in the car pool line just like every other day he will have there? Or would it be more traumatic for him to be jerked out of his carseat by a complete stranger? Hell if I know, was all I wanted to say...but didn't. (In hindsight I can always think of better things to say).

After a few phone calls back and forth, we worked out the details. You will be happy to know at this point, that Daniel's first day had some trauma (which was expected) but overall was OK. And that his second day and every day after have been heaven. All my reservations about anything whatsoever flew out the window. If I decide to believe them, they even have Daniel saying sentences this week. I will believe it when I hear it with my own ears, but I certainly can see a change in him...and I saw it after just a few days...Praise be to God!

But, God still had a lot of work to do on mommy. She wasn't getting off that easily...pull up to school, have someone pull Daniel out of the car, and then have someone put him back in at the end of the day. The only person I would ever need to interact with was his teacher....I mean, who cared if I didn't know the other kids names...there were only 3 of them in his class, anyway. You know what is coming...

On Wednesday of his first week, I actually had a couple of hours in between dropping him off and picking up Lainey. I decided this would be the perfect day to go into the office and write his tuition check. I walked in and there was one other woman standing by the door and two women sitting in chairs talking about fundraisers. The receptionist was on the phone. I stood there for a minute and decided to walk outside and see if I could find the 'observation window' to Daniel's classroom that I was too scared to ask about. I walked around the corner, and had a panicky feeling. I decided to walk back to my car and go home and call later about the check....as I rounded the corner, I saw the receptionist talking to someone who had just pulled up and asking her if she, "saw someone walking this way?". I thought, oh my goodness, is there a predator around? Oh no, she was looking for me. Unbeknownst to me (but beknownst to God) there was a 'java' meeting right at that moment..which was for moms of children at the school and especially 'new' moms. I quickly put two and two together and when I walked back in the two moms in the chairs asked me if I was coming in. I told them I had some errands and saw the knowing look on their faces and said, "but I can come in for a little while." What happened in the meeting wasn't earth shattering...but i realized that I am terrified. I am terrified of entering this world. It is a world that only people in it can understand. But mostly it is a world where once you enter, you can never say you weren't a part of it. My friends, I am a mom of a child with autism. He attends Westview school and I should put an autism awareness bumper sticker on my car. I might not be into the 'GFCF diet' or any of the other autism code words, but it doesn't change the fact that my child belongs in that world, and he is daily becoming a better person because of his involvement there.

He is not cured and neither am I. I was relieved this week when Lainey was home sick on Wednesday so I had a great excuse to not attend the 'java' meeting. But if we weren't screwed up about this, we would be screwed up about something else...and hey, at least there is a good school for this :).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pray for Joseph

I keep trying to put a section on this blog that has other blogs on it, but I am clueless. I really want all of you who read this to pray for my friends Gillian and Allen and their son Joseph....I knew them when I was an RUF intern at UT (Tennessee for all of you Texas people). They were students, but more like good friends since we were practically the same age. I especially got to know Gillian pretty well...she is an amazing, awesome person..

Anyway, their 3 yr. old son was diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare brain tumor. They live in Atlanta but are in Memphis right now because Joseph is being treated at St. Judes. It is absolutely heart breaking to hear about what they are going through, and i want to just DO something so badly. The only thing I can do is pray and get more people to pray, so, please pray. The blog with updates and how you can pray specifically is www.prayforjoseph.blogspot.com

Thanks friends.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy 2008!

Hey, I promised something lighter after the previous post, right? Daniel randomly decided to take off his diaper and put Alex's texans hat on backwards and run around the house. Normally, he hates hats. It was pretty funny. (Can you tell that I got a new camera? Maybe I can actually update those profile pictures)

My favorite new year post, though, is my friend hilary's newest post at thedowiaks.blogspot.com. (Can someone tell me how to do the cool link thing where the person's name is highlighted and you click on it and it goes right to the site?) If you know Hilary, you should definitely check it out....