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Monday, December 28, 2009

Gram and Pop took the boys to Wilders World to start our Christmas Festivities. We had a BALL! Jordan didnt really "get into it" until the end...when I had to force him up the dark tunnel to get to the slide. I pick and choose with him, but sometimes I just feel the need to give him the push he needs to know he can succeed and have fun in the process. The way up was difficult..but once he knew he could do it and was no longer fearful it made for an incredible last hour of fun. He would slide, and slide and slide again. Even Gram got in on the fun :)

Unfortunately, I didnt get many pictures while in Omega/Tifton. I'm hoping others got some good ones on their cameras and will send them to me!!!! (Hint, Hint)

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Cracker Barrel

is our favorite road stop.


ring around the Rosie

it's hard to describe these pictures. i think i'll try; and see if i can do it justice. this was day #4 of our weeklong trip to GA. Jordan was doing extremely well with all the transitions and we were already super proud of him. As we moved from place to place, with many new faces and sounds he would usually self-soothe by saying "it's okay, it's okay, it's okay" or "it's not scary, not scary" over and over as we entered a different place, then he was okay.
When Daniel and Alida arrived at the farm they were all excited to see each other and I got to watch him do something I'd never seen. Daniel and Alida started dancing around in a circle and J joined in. No big deal for any other kid but for us, Huge. Monumental. And he enjoyed himself. He was laughing, and having fun, and even initiating the play to continue. I was speechless. And I think if I tried to talk I wouldve cried. It was great. I'm so thankful. It was one of my favorite moments and a true Christmas gift. It is moments like this when i think to myself, "Yes, everything IS going to be alright". And it was.

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visions of sugarplums.........

Asah's sister Sara came in and found J eating the gumdrops this way off the gumdrop tree. Inventive!

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Christmas snuggles

Jax loves to "love" stuffed animals. He found the perfect spot for it at Mom's house.

he also got great cuddle time at Papis house. I think they both enjoyed this.......

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farm fun

one morning on "the farm leg" of the trip Asah and his family were at a funeral so the boys and i played outside. it rained a lot the first part of the trip so i found them some boots and we had some fun. the puppy is Ann's Christmas present. Her name is Sophie.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Breakfast With Santa

Northshore Families Helping Families hosted a Breakfast with Santa at the Maritime Museum in Madisonville. Both boys had a blast and like Asah noticed, Jordan seems to "let his hair down" at these events when he's with kids just like him. They both loved seeing Santa, checking out the firetruck, and eating sweets. So thankful to the wonderful people at NFHF, and hope to one day be able to give back for all they've done for us.

jax always seems to find the food first. got doughnuts?

Santa was great; doughnuts were better. Still hanging onto it even while meeting Santa.

and; another doughnut.

J meets the big guy.

he really liked him.

Santa arrives in a Saints hat! Only in Louisiana :)

tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

pouty jax

naptime, sad jax

getting some love from mommy (mommy made the Blog!!!!)

i love the colors in this one. and the subject ;)

"hello there Santa!"

future fireman?

jordan and santa

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Friday, December 18, 2009

a special ornament on our tree this year

i'm so thankful to be part of a group of "online friends" of Moms who've been together now for over 4 years. Back in 2005 most of us found ourselves on a webpage called Babycenter and "met" through the website. Many of us met in person in 2007 in Ohio. Click here for pictures of that fun time! We've been through much together in those years, and for a few Christmases we exchanged gifts. This year we did an ornament exchange and this precious gift was sent to us. It is a beautiful reminder of all we've been through this year...and a hopeful reminder of what is to come, and the possibilities. It means so much to us and we are so appreciative of it! Thank you Tamara, Merry Christmas!

the jigsaw puzzle design reflects the mystery and complexity of Autism.
the different colors and shapes represent the diversity of people and families living with this disorder.
the brightness of the colors symbolize hope – hope through research and increasing awareness....


Thursday, December 17, 2009

got services?

after a long, drawn out 6 month struggle, this kid does!

after the IEP today I came home, fed the boys and got them down for naps, then passed out for a nap myself. A close the door, get under my covers in bed, nap. It's been so long since I've been able to do that. Everything came together today and I believe we came up with a great plan for Jordan.

He'll receive one on one teaching twice a week from his new favorite teacher, Ms. Tilley :) She came by the house yesterday to drop off the draft of the IEP and Jordan instantly connected with her. It was wonderful. He talked about his "teacher Ms. Tilley" the rest of the afternoon and today.

He'll also have Speech and OT in our home during the week. The plan is to integrate him into a classroom by his 4th birthday (April) so that he can begin to learn to socialize with his peers. He'll probably only go 2-3 x a week for small amounts of time until he is comfortable there.

We will also continue Speech at Southeastern University. All this makes for one BUSY schedule but I'm hoping since most of it is in home that it will not be too hectic.

After hearing everyone out I decided not to push for a classroom setting until they feel he's ready. I'd hate to just throw him into that without being fully prepared.

So, that's where we're at. And I dont want to think about another Evaluation, IEP, etc for a very long time. So I think after this post we'll just enjoy Christmas and spend time with our families and friends. Can't wait for that. Thanks for the prayers.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

life update.

It's been awhile since I've updated on "life".
There is much to tell.
The biggest meeting to date in regards to Jordan's Education is coming up on Thursday. I've been studying for it as I would a final exam. I have reviewed all the Evaluations with a fine tooth comb. I hope and pray we're ready for this IEP. For those who have never walked through the Special Education System, I'll explain. I had definitely never heard of any of this until we were met with J's diagnosis back in July.
An IEP is an "Individualized Education Plan" and is created for students who receive Special Education Services.
After an Evaluation, the team gathers to create an Education Plan for the student. Things like what services will be offered, how often, School Placement, etc are decided.
I already know that J will be recommended for Speech,OT, and Special Instruction. The things that are up for grabs are where? how often?, etc.
We've been told all along that because Jordan is 3 he will not be allowed in a classroom setting. That all of his services would be provided in our home. Great! Some people respond....but nope, that's not what I want. A classroom setting is ideal and what he needs to encourage social skills and add structure. I have "heard" that there are 3 year olds in our parish in the classroom. Sometimes I think I've been told otherwise because it isnt the "easy" option. Adaptations must be made. School days/schedules altered. But that's what we are going for. I've been meeting with an Advocate who is a gift from God who assures me we'll get J in a classroom. Hopefully for January. This would be huge.
He will be 4 soon. I've been trying since July to get him services. I feel like precious time has been wasted, and I feel like I couldve done more.
Seeing the evaluations on paper were like opening a wound. That was beginning to heal. Reading about your child statistically in light of "neurotypical" children is enough to make your head spin. It's enough to make you hurt and angry all over again. But God is so good...and I was reminded this week from James that He "gives us MORE grace". Not just the grace that I think I need...but a greater grace. Which is what I really need. To make it through this IEP. To intelligently discuss my childs Educational Future with Professionals, because while they are good at what they do, no one knows what Jordan better than mommy and daddy. And no one could be a better Advocate for him......
Please pray with us for Thursday. I'll gladly update.
I'm bringing Brownies, and a picture of our sweet son. I figure they should know who they are talking about rather than seeing some #'s on a paper :)

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Monday Morning Smackdown


easy potpurri

this will make your house smell wonderful, and oh-so-Christmasy!
we're hosting a party tomorrow night so I got this ready today and thought I'd share:

1 orange
1 lemon
1 lime
cinnamon sticks

Slice fruit and place in medium size pot about 1/2 full of water. Add a few whole cloves and cinnamon sticks and simmer. Smells wonderful!
You can turn this off and re-use the next day as well.


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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

my thoughts exactly

sometimes i'm just not able to write about daily life/struggles with Jordan. i'll think of a story but it will never make it to the blog.
I've mentioned this site before, and so thankful that my friend Allison directed me to it. Sometimes her words are a bit "rough around the edges"...but
Her post today are my thoughts; EXACTLY. she describes her son, Noah at a birthday party. I think this is how I feel every time we head out to a party or event where I'm not quite sure how things will go down.
Maybe it will help to explain just how tough the "simple things", even the seemingly enjoyable things can sometimes be.

read here.


update in pictures

poofy post nap hair

in his Sunday best by the tree

told J to stand beside the tree, he was practically inside the tree-oh, well

getting ready for church. (dont worry, these shoes are mine.....)

we've dubbed him "keeper of the juices". he wants not only his but Jordans, at all times.

sweet boy

decking; undecking the halls. we remove ornaments about 100 times a day, and I put them all back on, and they come back off. fun game.

you have NO IDEA how hard it is to wrap presents with a 16 month old; unless you've done it before. lets just say there are many extra challenges!

they LOVE each other. so much!


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Oreo Peanut Butter Pie

today we made a pie, just because.

and, if you'd like to make one's how:

about 25 oreos, crushed
one preschooler to crush them:

note: (if a preschooler isnt them in a zip top bag and pound away. it's super fun!)

1/4 c butter, melted on low on stovetop
-Combine butter and crushed oreos, form into crust in pie plate and refrigerate while preparing filling.
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 c peanut butter (crunchy)
1 c heavy whipping cream, whipped
3/4 c powdered sugar
2 tbs milk
-Beat cream cheese until fluffy; add peanut butter and milk until smooth.
-Fold in whipped cream and sugar.
-Spread evenly onto crust. I add cool whip on top and put in freezer for a few hours to make firm.
Everyone loves the end result!