Monday, September 20, 2010


I go through these cycles: sewing, scrapbooking, cooking, cleaning. I get stuck on one thing and go crazy with it. Lately I've been obsessed with sewing. It started when I saw a link on a friend's fb page for a tutorial on flower hair bows. Then my mom came down on vacation and we made not one, but two trips to the fabric store. That started me working on minky blankets and more hair bows. Then I caught a sale on flannel fabric at Hancock Fabrics which led to rag quilts. A fellow sewing friend and I like to compare projects. She got me started on personalized onesies and burp clothes. I now have fabric stacked all over our tiny living room and a sewing machine that takes cut half of our tiny table. I was thinking about selling on ebay or etsy, but now my friend and I are thinking about doing a craft show together. Here are some of my latest projects:

Friday, August 13, 2010

The decision

Jody and I talked about it today and I think for now we are going to homeschool Paxton. I just feel like it would be throwing him to the wolves to put him in a situation where he doesn't have the skills to cope. We're going to try to be more involved in our local homeschool group and get Paxton involved in some other activities. I feel good about this decision and think it will be in his best interest for now.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Paxtons Appt #2

We met with a team of 5 specialists. They did more testing and more questioning. Afterward we all met together and went over the results. They aren't sure what is going on with Paxton. They said he really is too young for an aspergers diagnosis. And it's difficult to tell whether his behaviors are because of his severe sensory issues, coping skills or something more. They said they will reevaulate him in a year and see how things have progressed. In the meantime they suggested behavior therapy and they gave me the number for an Autism Resource center where I can find out about activities in my area to work on social skills.

Now I'm torn about whether or not I should send him to school. I know at school he will have a good schedule and get the socialization he needs. He could also get his speech and behavior therapy and probably OT there. His case worker said I may be able to get him in for half days. But I don't think he will ride the bus so I'm looking at 2 hours of driving everyday to take him to and from school. And I worry about his being teased and made fun of. I've been really excited about getting things ready to homeschool him because he's so eager to learn. And then I wonder if I send him to school, should I go ahead and send Olivia too. But between school and gymnastics, I feel like I will never see her.

I'm just so overwhelmed right now. The homeschool intent letter has to be turned in by the 15th and school starts Thursday so I feel like I'm under the gun on making a decisiion. And of course Jody says whatever I think it best.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dreams do come true

For years I told Jody I wouldn’t marry him because he wasn’t LDS. For years I hoped and prayed that one day he would be baptized. He agreed to go to church with me and we finally got married. He has gone to church with me for the last 11 years. Yesterday my dream came true. Jody got baptized!

Patrick Shirley served a mission in our area and always regretted not getting Jody baptized. He talked with Jody about taking the plunge. We set the date for July 26th and said we would proceed unless Jody said otherwise. I tried not to get my hopes up before hand because Jody kept saying he might back out. Little did I know…

It was a small low-key baptism. The only people present were Patrick, 2 missionaries to serve as witnesses, me and the kids, and Sendai and two of her kids. It was surreal when Jody walked out in a white jumper. As I watched him walk down into the water, I had to hold back tears.

The gift he has given our family is invaluable. I didn’t think it was possible, but my love for him has grown yet again. I can’t wait for the day when our family will go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Learning the ropes

“During this ride, I wondered how other mothers with autistic kids dealt with it. Were they also lost in knowing how to get help? I couldn’t believe the red tape and the maze with no directions. What if I hadn’t started searching for help? What if no one ever told me there was help?”
-Jenny McCarthy, Louder Than Words

My biggest obstacle with getting Paxton help has been finding assistance. Everything I have learned about the system, I have learned on my own. You don’t get a pamphlet that says “hey your kid has a disability, here’s what to do next“. In fact, when I first mentioned my concerns about Paxton’s extreme sensitivities at his well child check-up, his normally thorough pediatrician blew me off. It was when I mentioned it to his early-childhood speech therapy caseworker, that someone finally shared the same concerns as I. She gave me the name of a pediatric OT who set Paxton up for testing which got the ball rolling for therapy. From there I had to ask questions about getting a diagnosis and an IEP for school. We’ve been waiting almost a year to get Paxton into a developmental center for an official diagnosis. A YEAR! That’s a year of unanswered questions and a year of time that could have been spent helping him. They say as many as 1 in 115 kids have autism. Why aren’t there more resources available to diagnosis and treat them? How many kids miss out on a critical time for therapy and services because their caregivers don’t know where to turn? Having a child with a disability has been an eye-opening process. There needs to be a better system in place to help these children get the help they so desperately need.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Not again

There was another lizard and washing machine incident. This one was much smellier and much worse. It is an experience I do not wish to remember. I no longer look at little lizards running briskly by with fondness. I now want to run screaming in the opposite direction.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I had grand plans of getting caught up on laundry today. I was switching clothes from the washer to the dryer when I checked the filter trap for the washer because sometimes little socks get stuck in there. I was suprised (to the say the least) to see a lizard in it. It looked just like some toy ones that the kids have so I thought I would poke it to be sure. It felt like a toy so I went to pick it up and the TAIL FELL OFF!! I threw it down and ran to wash my hand. It was so NASTY! I swear I want to cut off the fingers that touched it. FIL came down and took care of it for me. I decided to take the day off from laundry duty. Every time I look in the laundry room I have the urge to run and around and scream hysterically.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jody!

You made it another year! Happy 33rd birthday old man!

Earth shake!

Saturday we were eating supper when there was a loud boom and the house shook. I jumped and looked at Jody. He said he thought is was from them fracking the oil well. I watched the 10 o'clock news last night and they reported that there was a 3.3 earthquake centered on Honey Hill Rd which is just a couple miles north of us. I woke Jody up all excited to tell him we had experienced our first earthquake. Then last night we were both awaken by another boom. I remember saying "was that another one" before I was even fully awake. Sure enough on the news this morning they said there was another 3.2 earthquake in the same area. How crazy is that?! Jody is ready to move. Apparently he can handle tornados but not earth shaking.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday, Olivia!

Eight years ago I held you in my arms for the first time. I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. I love you so much. Happy Birthday baby girl!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I don't know why I've been so absent lately. Part of my frustration is the super slow dial-up I have to deal with to get anything accomplished on the internet. We've also been incredibly busy. Once I get behind writing, it's overwhelming to get caught up.

I guess the biggest news is that we got Paxton's results back from the ADOS. His scoring indicates that he may be autistic and that we should seek further testing. I have always suspected Aspergers, but seeing it on paper was a bit overwhelming. We have an appt at the Dennis Developmental Center on August 5th and I am anxiously awaiting any information they can give me. Paxton was reevaluated at OT and passed the Fine Motor Skills with flying colors so his hours at OT have been reduced. They will reevaluated at the end of the summer to make sure he hasn't regressed at all.

I got a new car! I'd been shopping around for months because my van was on it's last leg. I did a ton of research and settled on a Nissan Versa Sedan. I figured it up and the car would pay for itself in what we saved on gas. Jody and I both felt really good about it. It's small but serves it's purpose for now.

We went on a 10 day trip to Nebraska with Sendai and her kids to visit my family. 2 adults, 7 kids and 3 puppies in a 12 passenger van makes for a fun vacation. We got back just in time to start the summer schedule of gymnastics and therapy. Olivia is now going to gym on Mon, Wed and Thurs from 9-1. And Paxton now has therapy on Mon and Wed right in the middle of when Olivia is at gym. It would mean a lot of running back and forth but thankfully my FIL is here to help out and can take Paxton to therapy for me.

Tomorrow Jody and I have reservations for the night at a hotel in Little Rock to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I can't believe we've been married 10 years! I feel so OLD! Sendai is going to watch the kids to we can have a night on the town. It will be nice to get away with just the two of us. I think this will only be the 3rd time since Olivia was born that we will spend the night alone without the kids.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New neighbor

We live in the Fayetteville Shale area of central Arkansas. A big gas boom began several years ago and land owners all over the area leased their mineral rights in hopes that the gas companies would pump gas from their section and they would receive royalties. For years we watched as sections all around got wells put on them. I've jokingly stated that becoming a rich oil tycoon will be my only hope for a house addition and a decent car to drive. Well our time has come. There is a huge oil rig on the land that borders ours. It's been exciting watching the process as they formed the pad, hauled in load after load of gravel, did initial drilling and now as they erected the big rig. And we can't help but dream about the what ifs. Jody says we're going to feed the pig. I say we can feed the pig with his portion of the royalties and build a house addition with mine.

The view from our driveway. You can see the rig peeking out between the trees:

The view of the rig from our road:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I can't believe how much snow we have gotten this winter. The best thing about getting snow in Arkansas is it doesn't hang around long. You can enjoy it for a couple days and then it all melts away.

The worst thing about getting snow is that our driveway becomes impassable. We have to hike to the ILs to go anywhere which is a lot of fun in 8 inches of snow and ice.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The ultimate time waster

I got this brilliant idea to start a 2000 piece puzzle Monday night. It seemed like a good idea at the time. When you're OCD like me, you do nothing but the puzzle until it is finished. I managed to keep the house from looking completely destroyed. I did enough dishes, laundry and cleaning to get by. Everyone is excited that I got the puzzle finished because they can use the table again. I wonder what project I should start next.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Got meat?

While driving home from church last night, I was frightened when I noticed a big, black dog standing in the road as I passed by. The following conversation with Paxton ensued:

Paxton: If we hit a deer, do we get to have it?
Me: I guess.
Paxton: And then we can make chicken out of it. But not the antlers. We can just keep the antlers.

Paxton calls every kind of meat chicken. He has this funny wit about him. Lately he has been asking all kinds of questions. And when I answer the question, he replies with another question. It can be exhausting but it's neat to see a glimpse of how his little mind works.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Free kids


So many things have happened since I last posted. So many that I don't know where to start. I'll try to hit some of the highlights.

After fighting panic attacks daily, I finally conceded and went to see my doctor about getting back on anxiety medication. I wish I had had the strength to handle them on my own, but it came to the point where I couldn't function. The doctor prescribed me Paxil. The first week on it was horrible. I would not have made it through it without my sister Sendai. She even came and stayed with me one night to comfort me while I was adjusting to the medicine. I'm so glad I stuck with it. I am only taking half the dose that the doctor prescribed, but I am no longer fighting the panic attacks daily. You don't realize how much energy goes into trying not to freak out all the time until the burden is lifted from you.
Jody had a bit of a tree cutting mishap. He decided to cut down a tree by the house unsupervised. Her forgot that Sendai and I consider ourselves professional tree removers after we cut down a tree in the front yard.

We now have 8 chickens, 4 rabbits, 3 cows, 6 pigs in the pen and one in the freezer.
The rabbit shed (it has a plywood back on it now):

The chicken coop:
We had one of the wettest years on record in 2009, and now 2010 is one of the coldest. The weather has been crazy. We normally get a week or two were the temps get down in the 20's. We have been in the teens for weeks and have been getting in the single digits for several days. If I wanted cold weather like this, I would move to Nebraska. I'm hoping we get at least one good snowfall out of the deal.
Christmas was absolutely wonderful. The kids stayed at the IL's so we could put their new beds together for a surprise on Christmas morning. It was our first kid-free night since we had Olivia. We need more of those. The kids loved their presents and Jody spoiled me. We had our traditional crab supper at Sendai's house in the evening. I couldn't have asked for a better day.
We went to Missouri to celebrate New Years with my dad's side of the family. It was a completely impromptu visit that Sendai and I planned when we found out mom and dad were going. Sendai and I got adjoining hotel rooms. We spent a lot of time at Uncle Mike's house. My parents and my Uncle Rick and Aunt Linda stayed with them. We had several meals together and spent lots of time talking and reminiscing. We got to see Papa and Lucille. And we got to do a little shopping. I had a wonderful time. I am so glad we decided to make the trip.
I'm really torn about what to do with Paxton for school next year. I've been, reading and researching and asking lots of questions. This parenting gig is tough sometimes.

My niece has convinced me to read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series. I am on book 4 and have surprisingly enjoyed the books, but man I have had some crazy dreams while I'm reading them.
Olivia just had her second meet of the gymnastic season. Despite having a cold, she did a great job. Everyone was thrilled to see her round-off back-handspring during her floor routine. She's worked very hard to be able to do it. She fell off the beam 3 times and it didn't seem to phase her. She just hopped back on and continued her routine. She got 3rd place on bars, but she was most excited that her gym won 3rd place and they got a "big trophy".