"Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. . . . Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried"

- President Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Full Steam Ahead!

Parenting, the great adventure... when you're up in the middle of the night with a crying baby it seems like it's going pretty slow, but then suddenly it's like being aboard a steam train headed.... well, somewhere... FAST, and you just gotta hang on and make the best of it trusting that in the end, you'll get where you need to be...well, part of this adventure has been a long one, and hard, very hard.

My son Luke is very intelligent, he has a phenomenal memory and is sweet, kind and thoughtful.  He is detail oriented and loves to learn, spending most of his days creating amazing car designs and maps, and reading the rest of the time.  He is a great snuggler and loves to wrestle.  Yet there was an outward shell of distraction, frustration, and intense feelings, and it just felt like something wasn't right.  I wanted so much for my child to reach his potential and have meaningful relationships with others, and be happy, after all, that's what the adventure is all about right?  I just didn't anticipate all this... 

He started with speech therapy at 3 1/2 then had social skills classes, then occupational therapy, then trips to several psychologists, then visits to an ENT, a Functional vision exam, a hearing test, and many trips to Seattle for iLS therapy.  Then more trips to psychologists, and then the Amen Clinic where he was finally diagnosed with ADHD Ring of Fire (that's the latest guess).  Then we went to a Sleep clinic for a sleep study, then a naturopath for food allergy testing now we're about to start Neurofeedback to see if we can't alleviate remaining symptoms and perhaps get rid of some of the supplements he takes several times a day.  The great news is that I just found an amazing pediatrician who seems like a Godsend.

When you've been to that many doctors, filled out that much paperwork and spent way too many hours researching different disorders, therapies, and tests, you begin to appreciate the complexity of the human body (especially the brain) and how far we are from knowing how everything works and fits together.  I feel like I have a little more compassion for the mother of that kid who's misbehaving or throwing a fit because sometimes they're doing everything they can and there's more going on there than the rest of us can see (sometimes the kid needs some discipline but it's not the cure all I thought it once was!). 

He has come so far, and I am amazed with how patient he has been with all of this.  He has endured, and boy, I have endured.  I wish I had been more patient because I probably spent a little too much time crying, and not enough time on my knees, although sometimes I multitasked those two...  When you're in the middle of a trial it's sometimes hard to know how long it will be until you reach the end of the tunnel of darkness and reach the light (I think that's where the faith and patience comes in).  I know that I needed this experience in my life to learn and grow because my learning curve has pretty much been vertical.  And above all I know that God has been aware of my struggle and heartache because all along this difficult road, there have been Sunday School teachers, Preschool teachers, friends, neighbors, all seemingly placed directly in my path so that although I was facing the biggest trial to date in my life, I wasn't facing it alone.  My husband gets super props because he has absorbed most of those tears, and he has been my lifeline countless times when I needed major support. 

I truly believe that as a mother I have been privileged to not only have these sweet children in my home to teach and love, but that when I need help with knowing how to do that, I get it.  There have been many times when I have followed the direction of the Spirit in parenting, and then later, a therapist or teacher recommended that I do just that.  I now credit more of my "great ideas" to divine intervention because they were so right on, and heck, I've never done this before!

My son got dressed without a fuss this morning, was happy about going to Church, participated, even created an activity for the children's singing time for me to use (that's my job :) and played with his sister this afternoon.... there was no sign of the opposition, distraction, frustration that there was before.  I know there will be hard days ahead, there are for every parent and every kid, but I feel like I'm coming out the end of the tunnel, and the sky is blue.  And that blue, is the most beautiful color I've ever seen.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Family Christmas Newsletter

Please ignore the fact that indeed this was the only post this year…I was shocked to find that the post before it was the Christmas Newsletter from last year!  But at least this one is getting published in December and not January eh?  And I have my work cut out for me when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions Smile

Luke learned how to use a number line and do long addition, write his own books and reads like a regular third grader! He recently discovered Lego City Police and so our home is filled with the sounds of sirens and bad guys getting taken “back where you belong!” In Emily’s best interests he will not be getting handcuffs this Christmas! He completed an intense session of Intergative Listening and has enjoyed finally being out of doctor’s offices! He loves to build things out of boxes, tape, paper, and couch cushions. I have learned that he has a very sweet spot in his heart for his little baby sister…

Emily learned to write her name, sleep through the night in a big girl bunk bed, ride a balance bike, and talk, and talk. She has an immense vocabulary and makes sure everyone knows what she is thinking, why, and what they should be thinking too. She has really enjoyed going to preschool this year, and adores having Amber around.  She loves to dress up, be a ballerina, and make up aliases for herself. Right now she is “Butterfly Girl…with super powers!! Unfortunately as of this morning she can no longer touch the sky…I reassured her that it is probably temporary. I have learned that I may never be prepared for the emotion, charisma, and humor of this little girl.

Amber has learned what it’s like having a body, a family, and all the time in the world to eat, sleep, and speak gibberish. With her full head of rich black hair and large blue eyes, she stops people everywhere I go to ooh and aaah over her sweetness. Her siblings are quite smitten with her too, and she finds daddy’s programming talk hilarious (couldn’t stop her laughing!!) I cannot count the miracles that accompanied her arrival. She is such a precious blessing. For now, she is the easiest and best part of my job, but I’m sure she’ll have many lessons to teach me too!

Andrew learned to juggle his time between bouncing on the trampoline with two kids, a pregnant wife on bed rest, several side projects, oh and a busy full time job. Two of Andrew’s hobby projects are being shipped as part of Microsoft products J. He also created his own secure messaging app which is now available in the Window’s 8 Store under the name “Cryptochat.” In his spare time (Ha!) he has taken up reading and is on #5 of the Harry Potter series. He is an amazing dad who gets up at night with the two older kids so I can get more sleep (See Proverbs 25:24). I have learned that there is no end to his willingness to help me, and his talents (he made a Thanksgiving pie from scratch!!)

I learned that being Young Women President (girl’s youth pastor) is hard and busy, that I have room in my heart for another sweet baby, and that homeschooling can be really fun. It was fun to plan our first family vacation down to Southern California and to find time to read (since I started my pregnancy in bed and finished it that way too). There’ve also been seasons of painting and sewing which have been nice. I’ve learned that I can text one of my teen girls, remind Emily to wipe her bum, and be planning dinner, all while reading a book with Luke, and nursing Amber…and remembering to breathe… It’s apparent that even I have super powers ;)

We hope that you can look back on this year with happiness and that you can rejoice in this Season of Peace and Joy, as we celebrate the birth of that Wondrous Child. Thank you for your friendship and love to us, we look forward to visiting with some of you in the coming year.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Christmas Newsletter 2011

I’m writing this because the pressure of time passing cannot be ignored.  I actually wrote this in mid December, but given that life gets a little nuts and before you know it you’ve accomplished the task of getting through your Christmas list and the decorations are finally being boxed.  The snow came thick and fast in January and I had to come to terms with the fact that Winter was here and so was the beginning of a new year.

I feel like we have been pretty busy, like most of you.  The biggest thing for us is how much our children have changed, and it reminds us to slow down a little and enjoy the simply pleasures of childhood before we turn around and they’re all grown up.

Emily started talking in full sentences right after Christmas 2010 and hasn’t stopped.  She talks all the time, and blows us away with her comprehension of language.  In her world, everything has a personality, from the fridge magnets to her fingers, and she treats everyone and everything as her friend.  Her world revolves around keeping everybody fed, especially herself, and enjoys throwing impromptu picnics with drink coaster sandwiches to all her little friends.  She also potty trained, went to the dentist for the first time (he had to sing to get her to open wide) and learned to ride a tricycle.  She sings made up songs almost constantly and is always in “need” of chocolate.  She loves shoes and shopping and wears her heart on her sleeve.

Luke is talking a lot more lately, telling us and anyone who will listen, very long stories.  In March he joined a preschool class for kids with learning disabilities for the last few months of the school year, but progressed so quickly that we started him in a private preschool in September.  He started Primary (children’s Sunday School) this year and has already had two speaking opportunities.  This once socially shy kid comes alive in front of the microphone.  He also started to read and learned to ride a bike!  He loves to play instruments especially the guitar and piano (thank goodness for volume control) and when we can’t find him, he is in his room with a book.

Andrew is working on several very complicated things at work that will revolutionize the industry and change the world as we know it.  He recently presented a concept to upper management which he hopes they will let him do at his day job.  He got promoted mid year making him a Senior Software Development Engineer.  In his spare time he mows the lawn, tickles and reads stories to his kids, and watches Star Trek and 80’s TV shows with Cheryl.  His little girl has him wrapped around her finger. 

I relished in the chance to finally have a garden and with the help of my mom planted spring bulbs and tons of perennials.  I just loved looking out of my kitchen windows at the hanging baskets, lavender bushes, and blue jays at the bird feeder…paradise.  Luke and I planted sunflowers and Emily and I made freezer jam.  I painted the master bedroom and Luke’s, and spent way too much time on Halloween costumes for the kids.  Even though I feel like perhaps I have gotten less done this year, I have enjoyed the doing a little more.  I’m trying desperately to simplify and resist the urge to be crazy busy, although that is easier said than done.

This year we went on several adventures.  11 hours in the car took us to Idaho for Andrew’s brother’s wedding in May, 4th of July was spent with the Webbs in Portland, the Mackrory Family Reunion was in July in Colorado, and we watched the Webb kids in Portland in October while Dan and Rebecca vacationed in Hawaii.  Cheryl got a little time away in November, attending a best friend’s wedding in Utah.  We have also gotten to know more of our own state and discovered how much we love the Northwest.  From the windblown ferries to the blueberry fields, we have fallen for Washington.  Although we miss our family as they are scattered across the states and the world, we are thankful for email and blogs that help us keep in touch.

We are especially thankful at this time of year for the miraculous birth and life of our Savior, and His love for each of us.  And hope that each of you feel of His Spirit and the joy it brings.  Merry Christmas. 

P.S  We got our Christmas wish early with the news that we will welcome a new child to our home in August!

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