Thursday, December 17, 2009

pictures of our late happenings

The first photo is with me, Aunt Amy, and Bella, who is wearing the cutest hat on earth, made by my mom. Find hats as cute as this at The second photo is me and Asher, the third is of us going Christmas tree shopping!! And the last one is Bella's first birthday party. I was in denial for about 2 weeks!! I can't even believe she's a year already!
And yes, you all guessed what my insanely clever picture from a few posts ago was!!! I am about 6 weeks along with baby #4!!  Pray for a good, healthy, non-morning-sickness pregnancy for me and grace for my kiddos as they deal with a moody mommy. :-)

Bless you guys!

Friday, December 11, 2009

5 things I love Friday!

1.  Watching the IHOP webstream.  Many days I forget that it's there and when I remember, it is like a kiss from God!

2.  Watching episodes of Monk, the Office and Gilmore Girls on hulu. The only 3 shows I could watch over and over again and laugh every time at all the same jokes. (ok, the office can be off color, but when it's not, it is flippin hilarious!)

3. Selling things in my shop (hint hint.)

4. A good book.  I just finished the most informative book about autism that I've read to date!

5. the Bible, since we're talking about books. :-) I just started reading through it again.  Just. I'm on chapter 2 in Genesis. Love it!

Bonus photos!: 2 of my newest creations in my shop

  dont you just love the elephant on that blanket?!

i absolutely love the retro flowers on this diapers/wipes travel case. Tempted to keep this one for myself!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Giveaway winner!!!

Congratulations to Bethany ( for winning the giveaway today! It was fun you guys! I'll definetly be doing it again. Bless you all, and be looking for a message from me on the blogs of those who entered!! :-)


New Stuffs I makes.

Attention friends! You have another 3 hours to enter the giveaway here and then at 6, I will draw a winner!!

I started making a new kind of item: I go thrift shopping and fine nice, cute kids clothes. Then, I bring them home, wash them, and the sew on cute little animals or shapes that make it even CUTER!  Then, I post them in my shop. :-) Here are a few examples of my latest obsesison! I tell ya, it feels dang good to make old things new again.  And did I mention that they're CUTE!

These are just a few of the other things I've made lately. When motivation hits, I run a marathon with it till I burn out. Probably not the best way to do it, but it gets'er done!

Oh yeah, one more thing....Do you know what this is?!


Friday, December 4, 2009

5 things I Love Friday

 Hi all!! If you are looking for the post about the giveaway that I'm doing, it's here! If you haven't looked at it yet, its worth your while! I'm so excited to already have over 80 comments!!


5 Things I love Friday:

1. Fresh motivation to sew! I just got a burst of it yesturday and got a TON done! Christmas presents, orders, etsy shop listings. I LOVE being productive!
2.  My sister-in-law, Lauren. She is such an amazing mother, wife and friend. I love being together and going through life struggles with each other. She is a priceless treasure!!
3.  Remembering good times.  Every time I talk about fun things from the past, I get a renewed love for those people that they happened with.
4.  Frosted Mini-Wheats. Who DOESNT love them?!
5.  House-hunting.   It may annoy some people, but i LOVE the process of learning what I can live with, without, change, etc.  I get inspired thinking about home projects! I've read alot of DIY magazines. :-)

Random photo of the day: My doodle.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yes! It's a Giveaway!!

This Wednesday, December 2nd, one of my favorite crafting websites, sewmamasew, is hosting a Giveaway Day!!   They will be posting a gigantic list on that day of hundreds of blogs that will be having giveaways of handmade items and crafting supplies! Very exciting... And all you have to do is leave a comment on those blogs to enter to win!

You can also leave a comment on mine, and here's how:
Win this cute handbag from my shop! (and if you win, you will also receive 60% off of the item you commented about! see instructions below)

Here's how to play!

1. Go to my etsy shop and take a peek. Then come back here and comment on this post about the item you like the best! I'd love to get your opinions, my blog friends!
2. If you want a second entry, post about this giveaway on your own blog and link to my blog. Leave another comment to let me know!

It's easy!!!

(oh, and make sure you leave your email address on your comment so i can reach you if you win!)

I am going to pick a winner at random on December 6th. Have fun and thanks for participating!  And a shout out to my wonderful friend, Lora at Eagerhands for the idea!

Friday, November 27, 2009

5 things I am thankful for!

1.  my kids. every one of them is special and unique! (is that redundant? i dont care, its true!)

2.  how asher says "Sa-mi-yo!" when I go to take a picture of him

3.  Bella's suprise face. Check out my pictures in the past few posts...

4.  Blue's Clues. Some days, Steve is my best friend.

5.  God's mercy on me when I lose my patience.  He'll never give me more than I can handle! (RIGHT?!) :)

Bonus: yummy thanksgiving days with family. nothing beats being together.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Ro

He likes Photo Booth. :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

i'm in a pickle...

Here's the current dilemma:
As i've mentioned in the past, we are pursuing in-home ABA therapy for RoMo. So far, we actually have several therapists and a supervisor lined up to do the program, but we only have the funds to provide about 8 hours a week for him. So, for now, we are considering half-day preschool. Now, here lies the pickle:

The pre-school is at least 20 minutes away, which means at least 1.4 hours of driving for me every day, since i pretty much know Rowan will not do well on the bus. (us moms know our kids!). It sounds like an ok program, except that he wont be getting much 1:1 attention, its not ABA, and the amount of driving for me pretty much negates the whole joy of having alone time with my other two kiddos.

My other option that the school district offers is 1.5 hours/day of in-home services. That is sounding really good to me right now! We already have one therapist lined up to do 3 hours/day of ABA, so that would make 4.5 hours/day of therapy at home for Ro! That seems to fit Rowan's needs better than the preschool that only kinda fits.

Honestly, the main draw for me was this: Ro would be out of the house for 3 hours. You moms know what i mean! When you have a high-maintenace child, the thought of them being under someone else's roof for a few hours a day is highly appealing! And I thought it might be good for him, but now i'm wondering if it'd actually be better NOT to do that. And the more I think about it, the more i realize that I'd really miss him.

So, in an effort to do whats best for Rowan, not ME, :-) I think that Joel and I have decided instead to keep Ro home and better prepare him to go to preschool by doing as much 1:1 ABA as possible.

The kicker here for me was that I don't feel a peace from God for sending him to preschool, and i really wish i did!! My good friend Liz always says "Let peace be your referree". So, Holy Spirit, you got me on this one.

I'll keep you posted on if anything changes.

PS This photo is in case you've forgotten what a good-looking husband I have.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday

(more to come soon...)

Me and Bella at my sister's house in Texas! We visited for a few days last month. It was an awesome time! Good sisterly bonding, lots of relaxing (can you say Gilmore Girls and The Duggars!). Bella had fun with Aunt Laurel's dogs. She loves barking at all dogs now! It's very cute. She's awesome.

Bella having fun playing out on the deck. Look how cute my daughter is! They don't come any cuter.

A huge tree was cut down and Asher loves the mulch. What kid wouldnt?!

Love photobooth! Asher likes to say "Sa-mile!"

My new product in my shop: scrap packs and fabric bundles! Just one of the many new things coming.... check it out!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

quick update!

We made it ot NY! My friend Danielle drove up with me and the kiddos last night and we arrived at 1 AM. Let me tell you, that last 3 hours was torture! But we made it and everyone is alive and in one piece.
We are living with Joels' parents until a house comes on the market that suits our needs. The kiddos are having a blast hanging out with their cousin Andrew. I know that they're going to miss their friends in SC, just like we do.
It has been very hard leaving our house on Durand, and our friends there. I already miss them all terribly. It was so difficult saying goodbye to the house that our children ALL took their first steps in, first words, first teeth, birthdays, holidays, etc. Lots of sweet memories. Thank God for photos and videos!!
Off for now, pretty tired and did i ever tell you i HATE halloween? well, i do. More updates soon!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Crazy October!

Joel and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on the 4th. How sweet is that! 6 whole years. I really do have the best man on earth. On our anniversary, it was a pleasant surprise to have Ben, Joels brother in town, so we all went out to Red Bowl (our favorite Chinese restaurant in town here). It was great. We love Ben! Then about a week after that, we learned of our moving date. Ready? Drum roll please....

October 30th!! That is next week, people!

Can you believe it? I can't. It's coming very quickly! I've been packing like crazy, hence the post title. We've accumulated more stuff than I thought in the last 4 years of being here in Fort Mill. Which doesn't bother me, except that its alot to pack. And get this: tomorrow, I go to Texas with Bella Rose to visit my sister Laurel! We've been planning the trip since July, and we've both been looking forward to it very much. So it looks like i get to squeeze in a little vacation before we move! My first, and probably only for severeal years, vacation with just me and Bella!

So, please pray for us in the next few weeks. We have alot of mixed emotions about moving, as we are leaving many people we've come to love so dearly in the last 4 years of being here, and our closest friends that we've lived either with or near for the past 5.5 years. There is no way to put into words the sadness in our hearts thinking of leaving all of these precious people, but we know the Lord is leading us in this next season, and everything He does is good, for EVERYONE! But pray for our hearts, that we feel him in the midst of all the crazy-ness.

On the other hand, and a more positive note, we are SO looking forward to being with family and friends in NY. We'll be living with Joel's parents until we find a house. We know it is going to be really good and can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for us there! We really feel like Rowan is going to thrive there and the kids are going to really love being with their grandparents, and Aunt Lauren, Uncle Mark, and their cousins Andrew and Hannah. Yay!

(a photo from last years' one day of snow here in Charlotte. a snapshot of what our future holds!)

I will update sometime soon about TX and then our move...stay tuned!

Bless you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

post-trip recovery

We had a fantastic time in NY with our friends and family. We got revved up for moving there too. The weather this time of year up there is chilly but pleasant, and you can just smell the fall scent. I love it. It smells like leaves. If you haven't had the pleasure of enjoying this season in the north, i strongly recommend it!
The first few days, we spent in my hometown, Westfield, for Betsy and Andy's wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and perfect. My sisters and Cait (my brother's sweet girlfriend) sang a few songs in the ceremony, and let me tell you, that was such an honor. Here are some photos from the day from Cait's camera:

the beautiful bride herself, getting ready to see her man

i stole cait's camera and got a couple of sister shots

father of the bride holding Bella, the flower girl

The bride and groom sharing a moment. They're awesome!

While in Westfield, we stayed at this really great inn-type place. Like an old fancy bed and breakfast, only no breakfast. It was so cool. The boys had their own room, and we shared one with Bella. When we weren't there, we were playing in the church nursery or running around the park. While Joel graciously agreed to stay with sleeping kids, I helped my family with set up and clean up. It was too short of a time, but still it was a good time!
The second half of the trip was spent in Oswego, the town we will soon be moving to. We did alot of sitting around, visited with good friends, checked out some houses, and got pre-approved for a mortgage(!). All in all, a wonderful trip. But get this! On our way back to SC, the van broke down while driving 70 mps down route 81 in PA. Yeah. The power just stopped. No dash, radio, lights, windows, etc. Turns out it was the alternator, which of course Joel knew but was confirmed by his dad. The Lord got us all the way off of an exit and to a McDonalds (so the kids could eat and not totally freak out the whole time. Thanks for that, God!). Here's how the next few minutes went:
We complained alot while pulling off the road.
Parked. I went in to get food.
Joel went up to this guy and asked where an auto parts store was. Next is the abridged conversation:
"Sir, can you tell me where an auto parts store is?"
"Sure. How about I take you there, you buy your alternator, and I'll bring you back. Then, after that, you can use all the tools in the back of my truck to put it in. Then how about after that, I give your car a jump and then wait with you to make sure its all working right?"
"Uhm, OK!"
Definetely God ordained. I just love when He does that stuff! I could have done without Asher throwing up 3 times, but whatever. It's life.
Now we're back, and me and Bella are getting over a cold. Ro is back in school and loving it. I have a Ro update too, but I'll have to do that another time.
Here's some photos from our time in Oswego

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vacation here we come!

In a couple of days, we're traveling up to NY for my beautiful sister, Betsy's, wedding! We'll be up there for a week or more visiting family and possibly even house hunting. I am SO ready for this vacation. There is nothing like being with the grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
Our house went on the market yesturday. It was bittersweet for me. I love my friends here. I love my neighborhood. I dont necessarily love living in suburbia, but thats trumped by the amazing people who I share this suburbia with.
Joel and I made a decision the other day. I know I mentioned before that Rowan is going to start in-home ABA therapy as soon as possible. Well, right now, in our current living situation (meaning, our rent payment is freakin huge), we can't even come close to affording the cost of this therapy. We realized that when we move to NY, if we buy an inexpensive home, all of the extra money can go towards this therapy. Then it dawned on us: we have to go SOON. The sooner we go, the sooner we can start his therapy. It is incredibly frustrating knowing that there is something in existence that can help our son tremendously, but money is preventing it. If you all dont know, ABA therapy is the gold standard of therapy in the autism community, and ALWAYS helps. Always. It may not always recover a child with the diagnosis of autism, but it always always helps. The Lord spoke really clearly to my heart yesturday while I was praying and said that I am laying down my life for my son.


I never looked at it that way, and I certainly wouldn't say that I'm doing that. But HE said that. He said that all of the sacrifices we are making leaving here, leaving our closest friends and a home and church that we love, is an act of laying it all down for Rowan. He's worth it.

So, we are praying that this house would sell quickly for WAY more than it should, so that we can take that extra money and use it for a down-payment on a home in NY. God can do it.

One more thing: We will soon be starting to send out a newsletter with all of our Rowan updates, prayer requests, etc. If you want to receive that, just comment on this with your email address and i'll get in touch with you about where to mail it.

Love you all, thanks for bearing with us in this journey. Keep praying, our family needs grace in this time!

Friday, September 11, 2009

5 Things I love!

1. Bella whistles all the time, and the face she makes is one of the cutest i've ever seen. priceless!

2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Forgot how good it was!

3. vacuuming. It is so gratifying.

4. Our friend from New Zealand, Phill, is visiting! We love having our friend visit us every year! His presence in our home is so sweet!

5. Talking with Asher about all sorts of things. He has such a wonderful voice and is so cute when he tells us things!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

my boy is all grown up!

on our way!

This is before he realized I wasn't going in with him. (yes i let him take his blanky the first day!)

Well, sort of!! He started pre-school yesturday. I can't even believe it. My first reality shock was when I had to get him sneakers to wear to preschool, and find a backpack. A BACKPACK! seriously?!

Luckily, I only cried a little when I dropped him off yesturday morning. He, on the other hand, did not only cry a little. He cried loudly, and then much throughout the morning. But the teacher, (who rowan already loves) said that when he did cry, it didnt' last long, so that is some consolation to me!

He is there from 8-11 am, 4 days a week. I think he is going to start loving it soon, as they do have a lot of fun. I'm very excited to see him grow and learn to do and say new things. And my time with the other kiddos in the mornings have been wonderful. I'm not much of a picture-taker, or I'd post more pictures of my amazing little munchkins. I know some people (Lora!) who include a picture in every post. Thats probably a good idea but I just dont think to take them! maybe someday I will.

My etsy shop has lots of super cute new bags listed. You should go see! I love these little vintage handbags. I will probalby keep one of them if they don't sell soon.

In house news, we recently staged the house and took photos for the realtor. I guess it's going up on the market sometime within the next couple weeks. Wow! We could be in NY any day now. Cant wait! I'm really looking forward to being up there again. Although, the weather and company down here as of late is truly delightful. I always get second thoughts when I think about the friends here whom i love so dearly. And as for the weather, this week it has truly begun to act like fall. Nice and cool in the mornings and stays relatively temperate all day! I haven't turned the AC on yet and it's almost 3 oclock. thats new!

Alright, time to go sneak a nap. Bless you all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

got me some bangs.

Lora told me to post a picture. :-)

and now for some shop-y stuff!

I got these quilt squares from Lora's shop ( They came all cut and ready to sew!

My latest favorite bag; a simple little tote made from up-cycled vintage ticking and some wild green and white polka dot fabric!

i love being crafty...:-)


Friday, August 21, 2009

lots to consider right now...

Man! I feel like I've got 2 full time jobs! Mommy, and independent researcher. There is SO much to learn about autism, recovery, treatments, therapies, supplements, etc. It's insane! Listen, if you guys want to know what we're going through, to relate or simply just understand, go to or, two of my favorite websites. TACA has TONS of resources that i use alot.
anyway, right now we're trying to figure out how to move forward with therapy. His preschool offers speech therapy and occupational therapy, which is going to be so good for him. However, we've been feeling like there needs to be more one-on-one, intensive stuff. So the past few days, i've been looking into ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis). This is the 'gold standard' for autism therapies. In one study that the founder of this therapy, Dr. Lovaas, conducted, 47% of the children who were in intensive ABA therapy shortly thereafter became mainstreamed in school without an aide and lost their diagnosis. Thats a big number, folks!
So, we're really trying to figure out how to make all this happen. The Lord has to provide the money to pay the therapists, as it can cost up to $30,000/year to do this. It's not covered by the government, although I am going to try to apply for a waiver. The waiting list for that is over a year though, so I wont count on it. It is actually infuriating to know that, although this is an EPIDEMIC, the government and most insurance companies simply will not pay for most treatment options. 1 in every 150 children have autism. 10 years ago, the number was 1 in every 10,000. That is simply not a genetic disorder, that is an environmental illness and for heavens sake, what is the world thinking by not trying to find the root cause!!

Ok, off the soap-box Jenn.

So pray for us, that we can get all of this worked out. From researching, I already know that Rowan is going to respond amazingly to this therapy. I am so excited to start it but have no idea how it's going to happen. And i dont want to waste any time! ya know?

On a non-Rowan-related note, I have been sewing like crazy! For some reason, my motivation level is WAY up there right now. So if you have a friend's birthday coming up, or a baby shower, let me know! I'd love to make you a custom bag, purse, blanket, whatever. Seriously. Its fun for me!

Bless you guys, and thanks for trekkin' this road with us.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Looky what I made!

Here's some new things I just made. I LOVE sewing things for people (especially and, actually, only when i'm motivated). I'm not sure why, but right now I have the motivation to get through my back orders of bags and nursing covers. Check out this super cute nursing cover!

The picture doesn't do the green justice. It is the juiciest lime green I've ever seen on a fabric! Just love it.

Next project on my list: a pillowcase dress. I have seen them made in lots of etsy shops and I'm really excited to try!

The other day, my good friend Lora was visiting, with her kids, for a playdate. She was trying to change her very squirmy 2 yr old daughters diaper and she said "Be still, I have to change you!" All of a sudden, she realized that that's what the Lord would say to us. Be still, He wants to change you! Isn't it great how mommy's can encounter the Lord and recieve revelation by changing poops?

:-) I love God. He's funny and He speaks, and sometimes He speaks funny. Poopy diapers can be prophetic!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

ch ch changes!!

I don't really know where to start his post, so I will just get to the point.

The Greutmans are moving back to NY! Thats right! Sometime within the next few months, we will be relocating to Oswego, NY. There are several things that led to this choice, but the thing that really made the decision for us was everything with Rowan. Let me expand:

When we learned that Rowan was autistic, and after we got over the initial shock, grief, and all other feelings that come with that, I quickly became faced with several new daunting realiztions. Among them was the realization that I was soon going to be thrown into the world of paperwork, meetings, appointments, testing, etc. and that I was very ill-prepared for such a task. I think that if Rowan were our only child, this task wouldn't be so daunting, but since I have 2 other little ones to care for, I really didn't know how all of this was going to happen. I began longing for the people that I knew would be willing to help at any cost: the grandparents. But, we still have Joel's brothers on the same street, and our dearest friends right next door, so I didn't doubt at all that we would have help and support around us.

2 months after Ro's diagnosis: Ben AND Mark both announce that their families are soon moving away! Ben to Kansas City and Mark to Oswego, NY. Now, if I wasn't already longing for the grandparents, this just put me over the top. I have always felt strongly about living near family, having the grandparents around to watch their grandkids grow. When Mark and Lauren made their plans to move, I knew it was time to seriously consider this, because let's get real here. I know alot of parents with autistic children can do this without the help of family, but if we DO have the opportunity to be near them, then by golly, I'm taking it!

It's not just that i know they'll help us, though. They will love my kids like nobody else can. We really feel like that is important in our lives right now. And on top of all of that, I long for the days of spending holidays with family, being a short car trip away from my own family, having gatherings at my home with them, taking weekend trips to my parents' house, waking up on Christmas morning with SNOW! ;) so many other things I'm looking forward to. I haven't lived near my family in almost 6 years. Maybe that's ok for some people, and necessary for some. I'm very excited about that not being the case anymore. I miss my sisters and brother alot!

Oswego has a special needs preschool right in town, and is near Syrcause, which is good for Joel's work. Although he'll be keeping the jobs he has now and working from home, it is good to be near a city where there are more opportunities. On top of that, Joels' mom is the new principal at the fantastic Christian school there, so when my kids get of age, they'll be attending there. It is hard to imagine my kids going to school, but the day will come!

To all of our Charlotte friends: Thinking about moving truly is bittersweet. We have had such an amazing 3 1/2 years here. The people we've grown close to, the lifetime friends we've made, our time with ZHOP, our church the Well; there's no way I'd change any of that for anything! This has been an amazing ride in South Carolina. We arrived here without any children (and are leaving with 3!), lived in a huge home, housed 20+ missionaries, worked at a House of Prayer full time, lived 8 feet away from our best friends, only a few meters away from family, made friendships that we know will never end, and most importantly, we experienced the Lord in so many new ways. I could sit here for a week trying to tell you everything else the Lord did for us here and it still wouldn't be enough time.

As for timing, we don't know when we'll be moving, although we are feeling like it will be sometime before January. We should know more about that in the next few weeks, but for now, we're just waiting on the Lord. Many things have to take place before that can happen, but I will keep you posted. Our main prayer request is that the Lord would make a way for our house to sell.

I'd list all of the other things that happened to get us to our decision, but then I'd feel like I'm explaining myself, and I dont need to do that. All you need to know is that we prayed. :-)

Bless you! Thanks for listening (reading). It's good to get that out in the open!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

my boy

As shown from my last post, I've been having a particularly rough time these past few weeks with my eldest son. Today, I realized that no matter what, I need to love Rowan how he is right now, in this very moment. Regardless of when the Lord lifts the fog, he is my son now, just the way he is. I can continue to contend for his recovery, and I will never give up until we see it. But it dawned on me that if I dont enjoy him as he is right now, I will have missed a million opportunities to enjoy him. So I sat down and wrote him a letter, since he can't really understand my words right now very well. Here is a piece of it:

"For Rowan:
I love the way you love to be wrestled.
I love how you laugh when I tickle your face with my hair.
I love how you crack up when I come to check on you before you fall alseep at night.
I love when you sit on my lap, look straight into my eyes and then squeeze me as tight as you can.
I love how playful you are.
I love that you love your Daddy.
I love your smile.
I love when you hug your little brother and sister simply because you want to.
I love that you love to jump.
I love that you never lie.

I will never stop loving you."

My son is so beautiful and wonderful. Pray for Joel and I, that we don't forget to be patient and longsuffering, loving our kids unconditionally at all times!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

phew. hard day!

Rowan starts preschool in a few weeks, and I am VERY excited about this for a few reasons! One, it is going to be so good for him to be around other kids his age, get speech therapy (since most of his frustration comes from lack of communication), and learn new things! Two, Asher and Bella will get more of my personal attention and I'm excited about that. Asher and Rowan play very differently, so it will be really good for Asher to get to do the things he always wants to do without Rowan giving him a hard time. And lastly, I think it will help my heart to have him out of the house for a few hours a day. Now don't go thinking that I dont want my son around, because I love him more than my own life! But if you're a mom, and more specifically a mom of an ASD kid, you understand that sometimes the hard things you deal with become overwhelming enough to send you off the deep end.

So, that is kind of where I was today. Right on the edge of the deep end. I could see the end of my rope very clearly but was determined not to get there. And I swore twice. (I'm human, give me a break!) Not AT my kids, mind you. If I ever do that, then I've clearly lost control and you are welcome to come over and send me to my room.

Once naptime came around, and I had a few hours to breathe and compose myself, I felt much better. The sanity break makes it much easier to deal with hard things again. I have more patience and kindness in my heart when I have had time to process and move on. I love my kids so much! Having Rowan, and Asher (who is 2.5 so you can imagine that he is a handful right now!), and Bella means that I don't have the option to sit around and be depressed or sad all the time. Yes, there is a time for that, but you deal with it and you move on. Dwelling on that stuff for too long wastes too much time and energy, and the Lord never intended our hearts to dwell on the negative things. You have to acknowledge it, mourn, grieve, be angry, but only for a short season and then you get up and at 'em.

I have to tell this to myself every day. Now it's time to steward what the Lord has put on my table! I still and will always pray for Rowans complete healing, and am doing all that I know how to do while that is in progress. Yesturday I told the Lord, "Ok, I am sending him to preschool, getting him speech therapy, he's eating special foods and taking vitamins, having tests done and so on, but I'm asking You to make up for the rest! If I could do it all, then I'd be You, and clearly I'm not!" He supplements what I am unable to provide here on earth. Obviously, he provides everything I listed anyways, but has entrusted me to carry it out. The great part is that in the end, He's the one who will do the miracle. Amen? Halleluyer.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

our trip to Lynchburg

Hi all! Well, we took a day trip to Lynchburg, VA with our Robug. We went to see Dr. Mumper at the Rimand Center, ( where we were hoping to get lots of encouragement and hope for treating Rowan and helping him come out of his fog. We were not disappointed! Here's a summary of the day:

We got up at 6, ate breakfast, and got on the road. Thanks Deb and Ed for letting us borrow your car, it was such a blessing! A very smoothe drive. It took us 3.5 hours to get there, but there was a suprising amount of grace on the trip. Rowan barely whined at all and we only had to use the DVD player for less than half the trip. Joel and I had some excellent conversation and quality time. I love car trips but only for that reason. Most of the time, travelling with young children doesn't feel worth it unless there's some good conversation!
We got there around 10:30 and had to wait 40 minutes to get in, but that was fine, because they have a little pond and a playground out back that we enjoyed until it was our turn. When we met with Dr. Mumper, she got to spend some time with Ro and see what she thought we might need to do next. She then ordered some tests to be done to specifically tailor his treatment plan to his particular needs. That was so great to hear! She doesn't want to just do general treatments that 'most kids on the spectrum respond to' but rather find out exactly how his body is working, what vitamins he needs, etc, and then work on that so that we are sure to see results. So coming up, we'll be doing urine, stool, and blood tests, and hopefully sometime next month we'll find out the results. Our prayers right now are that the tests would clearly point out what we need to fix and that it will be obvious and quick and easy.
Very exciting! It was well worth the 8 hours in the car. My friend Danni watched Bella all day and Ashton, my sweet housemate, watched Asher until we got home, which was around 5. All in all, a great trip that renewed our hope again that Rowan can come out of this.
That evening, we had a family dinner at Ben and Bek's house, with the added bonus of Deb and Ed being there to enjoy italien sausage that they brought from Oswego. So good! After that, we all hung out here at our house for ice cream and good talks, until Joel and I crashed around 9:30 and had to go to bed. Man, i remember the days when i could stay up until 1:30 AM and still get up early and not be dead the next day. Those days are just memories now. :-)

On another note, last week Rowan had his screening with the school district to see if he qualified for special needs pre-school services. Good news! he does! Rowan will be starting pre-school next month for 3 hours a day, 4 days a week, about 1/2 mile from our home! What a blessing. I'm excited for him to be with other kids his age.

I love the Lord! I love that He is going to heal my son, and even though most days I dont want to admit it, I am glad that He is working on my heart, even if it feels like He's killing me.


Love to all,

Friday, July 3, 2009

5 things I love today!

1. Praise report! Medicaid ended up covering Ro's clinic appointment last week! I love surprises like that!

2. walnut-garlic pesto. if you haven't eaten it, you need to try joels' recipe!

3. when friends bring me random treats :-) Thanks for the frosty, Lora!!

4. The Office. My latest interest. I think Dwight Schrute is the funniest tv character EVER. I love that show.

5. watching my baby play quietly by herself in her bed after a nap. her sounds make my heart happy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

colds stink

The past few days, me and Bella have had a cold. Bella's wasn't too bad but I got it somethin' nasty! Haven't been sleeping well, which makes it hard to get better. So needless to say (but I will anyway), my house is a mess. I thank God for my girls in my house and for my hubby, they all know how to make me happy by cleaning when I can't.

Rowans allergy test came back all negative for food and respiratory allergies, which is good AND not so good news. It's good because that means that he doesn't have any bad allergies. It's bad because I know that he has food sensitivities and now I dont know how to find out which ones. I was hoping they'd show up on this test. I know this because when we took away milk, his rosy cheeks went away and he started napping better, and his eye contact actually improved too. But milk didnt come up positive on the test, so I am skeptical. Might see an allergist to see if they can do anything more comprehensive. Food sensitivities can affect sleep, poop, behavior, attention, pretty much everything, and is magnified in an autistic child. So we're hoping to learn more about this when we see our doc in Lynchburg next month!

I am really blessed to live where I live. The people around me are the most supportive group I've ever known. These people are believing that Rowan can be healed and are really praying with us. Just the other day, my sweet friend Lora brought over someone she knows from her church who has been burdened to pray for my Ro. I love my friends and I am so glad I'm not alone in this.

A very bright thing in my life lately is my new little neice, hannah! Here is a picture of this little miracle baby:
She's amazing! Congratulations to Mark and Lauren! I love you guys and your family!

Monday, June 29, 2009

long day in Columbia, SC

We took our little Robug to the Developmental Pediatric Clinic today for his evaluation and they told us what we already knew. Ro has classic autism. If I'm being totally honest here, I will tell you that it wasn't any easier to hear it, even though we already knew. It still took my breath away and made feelings rise up in me that I forget are there sometimes.

That being said, we are glad to finally have a diagnosis! I knew before we went that the only reason we were doing this was to get eligible for the services that he needs. The appointment itself took about 2 1/2 hours, spending all of the time with only one developmental pediatrician. I was under the impression, from what I've read, that an evaluation normally is attended by several types of therapists and doctors, but apparently at this clinic, it's a one-on-one thing. Not sure if I think that it was the best way to do it, but either way, he got his diagnosis and we can finally move forward with therapy. One encouraging thing she did say is that Ro's main issue is only in one area, communication, which makes me encouraged because that is an area easy to help in!

My stance remains the same through all of this: We continue to stand on God's promise, what he TOLD us and confirmed several times: He is going to heal Rowan. Every day I am more firm on this, and honestly, I don't care whether or not you agree with this. Because frankly, it doesn't matter what anyone else says! I have my promise from the living, eternal, all-knowing creator God and that's all I need, baby!

This is my blog, I can say what i want. :-) Love you all very much! Keep joining with us in prayer. It avails much.

-Rowan's mommy

Friday, June 26, 2009

wow fast answer!

read the last post, particular the bit in the middle about Rowan.

done? now get this: the evaluation people just called and scheduled us for Monday! Yeah, thats right. THIS monday. There was a cancellation! Can you believe it!!

birfday and baby fun

Well, I guess I'll just post a quick summary of the past week or so!
The day after the seminar in Atlanta was my birthday! So, I slept in and took my time getting up and ready. I donned a per-dy dress and went to church with my familio. I almost had to do nursery that day, but my sweet friend Tori ended up staying up there because, well, she's sweet! And she's so good with kids. Then, after church, my amazing then-very-pregnant sister in law Lauren took me out to Brio for lunch, with my very good friend Lora. Brio is my absolute favorite restaurant and those are 2 of my favorite people! A good combination. They each gave me some very sweet gifts and really blessed me with their company.
After lunch, I came home to find our wonderful friends from Wisconsin next door. I had been expecting them the next day, so this was a very pleasant suprise! They hadn't intended it to be a birthday present, but it was. It was awesome to have them around for a whole week, we always miss them. So that night after the kiddos went to bed, we had some lemony, strawberry, whipped-cream-topped cake for my b-day, supplied by the amazing baker extraordinaire, Susanna Internicola. I swear, she could bake a paper bag and it would taste good. Thank you again, Sooz!
After we had our yummy desert, we sat around and just talked, and my friends all decided to bless me with words of affirmation. That is always my favorite part about getting together with the people I love. I come away feeling better. And it's nice to have a focused time where people tell you how great you are! You just don't hear it all the time, and well, gosh darnit, sometimes ya just gotta hear it. :-) So thanks, friends, you guys really made my birthday great. Looking back, I'm wondering how I managed to not take ANY pictures that day. What the heck?!
The next few days were pretty much same old. Joel's new schedule is great and he is loving working so much. I have never met anyone who likes to program websites and applications as much as my nerdy hubby. He's having a blast! He works at his employers house twice a week, and then 3 days he is working upstairs in his office. Someday soon he hopes to start renting some office space with other techy friends of his.
Rowan is doing well too. Not a whole lot has changed lately, so we are hoping to get some wisdom soon on what to do next. I've made several calls trying to set up his evaluation to get an official diagnosis and very quickly learned that it's going to take a lot of months before he can get in. Which means it will be that long to get any home therapies. So right now, aside from his healing, my biggest prayer request is that the process of getting diagnosed would be sped up! I dont want to wait 6 months or more, and it would be best for him not to!
Asher is now talking up a storm. New words every day! His voice is so sweet to me. And his playfulness brings me joy beyond words! Now that he's 2, he's learning how to rebel and all that fun stuff, so it is interesting the contrasts I feel some days. You parents know what i mean :-)
Bella Rose is such a joy to us! Everyone says she's the happiest, smiliest, most social baby they've seen. And its true. She'd smile at you no matter what, I think. And she is now sitting up, crawling, even pulling up on the furniture. Still doesn't know how to get back down, but that'll come soon. And she has officially cut her first tooth! We are waiting for number 2 in the next few days.
All in all, we are well. I'm still sewing but have stepped away from it for a few days because of this: I have a new niece!! My sister in law, Lauren, had her little baby girl on Tuesday morning. Hannah Elizabeth. She's so stinking cute and precious. I could hold her all day! We prayed hard for this little baby to exist so there is much rejoicing! While Laur was in labor and recovering, I got to hang out with my nephew, Andrew. It was fun to have him around and get to know him more. I love my family.
On a personal note, I am saddened by the recent deaths of some celebrities, particularly Michael Jackson. I dont know why I care so much. Maybe because i had a mild crush on him during my college years, or maybe because I prayed for him to get saved so much (maybe he did, who knows?), or maybe it's just because I know how huge a role he played in influencing the music and dance in our nation and how missed he'll be in that regard. I dont know but I just feel bad about it. I pray that God will heal the hearts of those who loved him, especially his family members and children.