Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 2

Day 2 is over. Trevor is in bed, one tired little boy. We had a great day, though. His sessions went well. He always comes out and reports how many songs he liked. That's really all he says about it. I don't think I can really tell any difference. I notice that he has been very silly...but that is typical of Trevor. He called Tim this afternoon, to tell him about our day, and they had a really nice conversation - sans silliness. That was nice.

We spent our free time today at the McWane Science Center. I found coupons at the Visitor's Bureau...free admission for a child with an adult ticket purchase. (Could have called them ahead of time, and had them mail them to me, but, oh well.) The McWane Center has 4 floors of hands-on activities for kids. Highlights:

~Petting the sharks and stingrays in the the touch-tank. (More specifically: Bonnethead Sharks [feel like smooth rubber], White Spotted Bamboo Sharks [feel like sandpaper], Cow Nosed Stingrays [feel like slippery rubber], and Atlantic Stingrays [feel like slimey rubber]. If you ask Trevor, all these details will be presented :)

~Watching the Giant Marble Track

~Playing with magnets

~Laying on a bed of nails

~Making smoke puffs. (Not really sure how to explain that activity, but it was one of T's favs.)

We spent the time between sessions there, grabbed a quick lunch in the car on our way to session 2, and went back after Session 2 was done. I was able to put our ticket purchase from this morning towards a year-long family pass...so we can go back with Tim and the boys when they come up, and anytime we have to come back during the year for follow-up appts. I think we will enjoy that. Oh, and I took lots of pictures, so as soon as I have that darn cord, I can share them with you!

Tim and the boys will be coming up tomorrow, I think, a little ahead of time to just be together. That will be good, I think. We are feeling really fragile right now...and the verse in Isaiah about Jesus has been a comfort to me...A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. So, I think Tim and I are just wanting to be together, which is good. I'm excited for him to be at the B's with us...we feel very safe and nurtured here. Linny (We have started to call them by their family names: Pop B and Linnie) prayed with me last night while Pop B, Trevor , and the B's granddaughter watched a movie...that was really good. We love them already. (Thank you, God, for Pop B and Linnie!)

Trev and I watched How to Train your Dragon tonight...Man...if this turns into a movie-fest, then Yippie! I love a good movie-fest. T's in bed, right now, and I'm just wrapping things up before I join him.

PS, we are looking for a new home for Puppy...maybe you can pray that God will provide? (Specifically, and nice family, rather than the Humane Society :)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 1

One day down, 11 to go.

So, here we are in Bham. T and I took off yesterday afternoon around 4:30, ate McDs on the road (T's pick, of course) and listened to Magic Treehouse books all the way here. We got in after 8:00.

Some family friends graciously offered to host us during our 12-day stay in Bham...we'll call them Mr. and Mrs. B. Their house is beautiful...warm and inviting, and all decorated for Christmas (which is a huge treat, since I only got to enjoy our own tree for .5 days before we left). T and I got all settled in (he wanted to share a room with me, and how could I refuse??) and finally got to bed around 9:30. We slept great (an answer to prayer) and woke up refreshed.

We hit the road at 9 am this morning for our first appt. Our GPS/Garmin has been FANTASTIC to have along. We had to re-route around a traffic jam, and made it just on time. I did NOT chill out during T's appt...I called Tim to check in, and made other misc phone calls. The half hour flew for me, but seemed like forever for T. He couldn't believe it had only been 30 mins that he was back there. We ran to Target for some things we forgot (of course) and then had lunch at Arbys (T's choice, again). During lunch, I asked him how things went.

T said he liked 3 of the songs he listened to...I guess the rest he didn't care for. He said he likes low, sad songs (with minor chords, I'm thinking)...well, most of the songs were happy songs. He doesn't like those as much. He told me about what colors the lights were. I asked him what he thought about while he was laying there, and he said, with a duh kind of look on his face, "well, the lights, the music, and the table". I asked if he was glad when he was done, and he said "yah...the music is too loud, the lights are too bright, and the table moves too much." But, he said it was okay that we had to go back later. So, he doesn't love it as much as he thought he would, but he has a good attitude about it. I don't think he would have complained at all, if I hadn't asked him such specific questions.

Today became sort of an exploring day. We went to AAA to get a tour book (which I should have thought of doing before coming here) and went to the visitors center down town to get some brochures and coupons. We walked around a pet store.

He was ready to get back to the second appt, I think to get it over with so we could get back to the B's house.

So, here we are! Hanging out with the Bs. Mr. B is downstairs playing army computer games with Trevor. Not sure which one of them is having more fun! We really feel loved and welcomed by the Bs.

One thing I forgot to bring is my camara cord, to load pictures on the blog. (Phooey). Tim, could you bring that up for me when you come?

I guess we are off to a good start! I can see where I might feel really tired by the end of the trip. I guess time will tell!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trevor Saga 4 & We call him Puppy

We call him Puppy


He showed up at the office earlier this week, and hung around there all day. He's quiet and sweet. And adorable. So we brought him home.


He plays, sleeps, eats and poops...and he's just as cute as he can be all day long.


He likes to hang out with us...


..but he also does okay when we put him in his cardboard box for the night.


I'm thinking God made puppies so cute because they really are a pain in the neck handful, and probably no one would keep them more than a day if they were ugly to boot. While Puppy does all his #2s outside, he still does about half his #1s inside. (Incidentally..."piddle" must be a Nebraska word...but it just seems like the right word for what a puppy does!) Also, the kids are a little scared of him wielding his razor-sharp teeth against them. Saying "NO BITE" is their first reaction when they see him coming their way.

Perhaps we'll keep him? Perhaps...if he can quit biting the kids, and if they can enjoy him.

Trevor Saga 4

I have had so much encouragement from people letting me know that they are praying for us...so I thought I would share some specific prayer requests.


~ That our family would enjoy each other during the last few days before Trevor and I head out to therapy (on Sunday).

~ That God would give Trevor real help and relief through this therapy.
Here's some specifics that I am asking God for:
-less sensitive hearing
-wider visual field
-less anxiety
-less clumsy (not bump into things as much)
-better concentration (follow directions better)
-better handwriting (write w/out frustration)

~ For our expectations...that God would protect our hearts from being let down in any way.

~ That Trevor and I would have a special time together on our trip...making good memories, and be safe.

~ That Tim would enjoy his time with William and Samuel.

~ That God would bless and grow our family through this whole process. (Um, just to clarify, I mean grow our family spiritually, not numerically :)

We SO appreciate all the prayers and encouragement! Thank you! God has been very gentle with us, and we are enjoying following him through this "adventure". We trust him to do what is best for us, and pray he will be glorified through us!

(And, for anyone who is just jumping into the therapy story, you can read more about it in the post Our Visit to Snider Therapy Center-the condensed version.)

Lastly, in the spirit of Thanksgiving...

Here are 3 things I am thankful for:

1) That Jesus enjoys me--how wonder-full that is to me!
2) My wonderful, hardworking, patient, funny, intelligent hunk of a husband.
3) A roof over my head and food on the table...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trevor Saga 3


It's been awhile since I really updated on Trevor. So, today's the day. (Since I don't have any new pictures of Trevor, I'm going to throw in some old ones, just for fun!)


Trevor's been a pretty funny guy lately...so I'll share some of the fun with you.

I found this in on his floor this week:


Any guesses what that's all about? It looked like a year to me, so I asked Trevor if that's what it was. Nope.

1,440. That's how many minutes are in a day. He had added it up, and he didn't want to forget the number, so he made it in legos. Hmmm... I guess Trevor does mental math in his free-time...you know, just for fun.

Another funny thing is a remark he made recently. We were working in school, and I think were talking about food chains, or something. I was drawing out little pictures of what we were talking about, and happened to draw a little bee. I like to draw cute bees...simple, chubby ones with cute wings...something like this:


Trevor, ever the literal thinker, said, "Oh! A flying abdomen!"
(You have to remember that insects have 3 parts...head, abdomen, and thorax...and since my bee only had one round part, he thought it was humorously incomplete.)

Oh, Trevor.

One last thing...As I was driving the other day, I was listening to Trev and William having a conversation in the backseat. They were talking about guns. The conversation landed on BB guns, and whether they were dangerous or not. Trevor insisted that they were...and matter-of-factly mentioned that, "Dad said I can't have one until I learn to control myself better". Uh, yeah! Understatement of the year!


So, we are getting closer to our departure date. Just this morning, Trevor said One more week til my therapy!

Things have been rough around here lately...but in a somewhat different way than I expected. A month ago I wrote, "I predict that we will have a few rough weeks with a highly distractable and wild child." He certainly is that in the mornings, but during the day he does a little better. That is probably due to the fact that we haven't cut out ALL of his medicines. We are still giving him his focalin...his concentrating medicine. We are still using it, because it is only an 8 hour medicine...in his system in the morning, and out by dinner time. Even though it is a medicine for ADHD, which Trevor doesn't have, it does help him control his impulses better. Trevor is VERY impulsive. I counted this morning, and saw that we have 5 pills left. Let's see...that should get us through Thanksgiving...and then...perhaps we'll all go crazy!


Let me try to paint you a picture of Trevor--unmedicated. First thing in the morning- once he crawls out of bed, that is- he is LOUD and WOBBLY. Loud like a flying monkey, and wobbly like the Scarecrow. I often wonder, with his sensitive hearing, how he can stand to listen to himself?

{I THINK that he does that because his sensory system is trying to figure itself out... One of his doctors explained it to me by comparing it to what you or I might do when we are sitting in a class, or in a meeting, when we get tired. What do we do? We start bouncing our leg, or tapping our foot, or twitching our pen. Maybe I'll blink my eyes, or shake my head. We are trying to rouse our mind...wake ourselves up. That's what Trevor is doing...although he doesn't realize it. His brain is trying to figure things out...and it uses his whole body.}

Sooner or later, Trevor will come downstairs. Just this morning, he came down, and stood by me while I was working on the computer...and he started perseverating.

New word?

per·sev·er·ate Verb /pərˈsevəˌrāt/

To repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased.

It means he repeats things...over...and...over. Now that he can read, he sees a word, and he says it over and over, until he sees another word...which he says over and over. He did it over my shoulder at the computer. Then he did it while I was pouring his cereal...reading off the box. Uuhhhhh... It can be exhausting to listen to him.

When his meds kick in, he stops. He is able to control the impulse to repeat things. Without the meds...who knows? Sometimes, something will grab his attention, and hold it strong enough that he will totally focus on it, and then he might be quiet. Or he might sing, or hum, or hoot.


But, as nice as these meds are, they make him irritable. The other medicines he took sort of balanced that out...but we quit taking those. So, he has been getting more irritable every day. He gets frustrated really easily...like if he makes a mistake in school. He gets tired easily...sometimes after writing one sentence he is just so tired and frustrated that he can't go on without crying. He cries most days...sometimes many times a day...just from being so frustrated.

Also, noises bother him more. He is more irritable with his brothers. Wouldn't you know it...now is the time they would get a cold? Samuel has been snorting for days. He just can't figure out the whole blowing your nose thing, so he snorts. He has snorted probably 10 times just while I wrote the last 2 sentences. (I was listening...I heard.) Sometimes Trevor can take it...others he can't. Like in the car. Or during dinner. Samuel! Samuel, please! Samuel, stop!

We are getting worn out. I don't know how much of this the therapy will help. In fact, they say it often gets worse before it gets better. But, at least we have a goal..something to hold out for.

And, I know lots of people have things WAY worse than we do. I try to keep perspective.


And, incidentally, God has been teaching me lately about abiding in Christ. In John 15, when Jesus talks about abiding in him, he says that if we do, we will bear much fruit. He says that if we will obey his commands, we will abide in him. And the command he gives is love one another.

I have been praying about, and thinking about LOVE. I can't think of another thing that would be more timely. Of course, I fail all day long...but I'm learning a lot! (Thankfully, Jesus is the worker of my salvation, and not me!!) And, I hope God will bless the loving choices I sometimes make, and will bear his fruit in me...to his glory!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Sense of Accomplishment


We are getting some things done. Ahhh... It feels good to get things done.

This week we have:

~Finished tidying up the boys' bedroom.


It used to look like this:


~Made dinner.

(Uh...I know...that's not much of an accomplishment. But, I have all these pictures, and I want to try to fit them all into the theme...chronologically. I'm trying to be creative.)

Tim has been getting the kids to help him grill lately. Their job is to squirt water into the grill. I really don't have any idea why they need to do that...I haven't asked. But I thought it was cute. They take the job pretty seriously. I think we were grilling turkey brats. Turkey is my new thing...it's cheaper than beef.


~Baked MORE pumpkin cookies.

And William did MOST of the work himself. We made a whole batch, which yielded enough to share with neighbors. That was fun.


~Hung up a new (and stronger) swing.




~Went out to lunch with William and Trevor (while Samuel was at Judson's house) and then took them out to get a start on Christmas shopping. (Aaahhh!)


Mom, can you guess where we are?


~Sat on the front porch and made a pine cone wreath (with the fruits of our yard).


I had had a couple of buckets full of pine cones sitting in the carport for weeks...it was nice to get them used up.


~Unpacked more boxes...

...which came out of this room...


Well, I guess I don't have a picture of the room when it was messy...you'll have to take my word for it...it was a MESS. Some of the stuff we put away, some we sorted to get rid of, and some we moved to the dinning room. So, now we only have one room of boxes left. Er...one room that is dedicated to boxes...it's almost like they breed and multiply...

~Taken family pictures for our fall/Christmas cards (which is where the photo at the top came from.

~And, just while I have been sitting here, we have lost a tooth!


That Samuel is so funny! So unlike the other boys. When Trevor loses a tooth, it dangles in his mouth for weeks. He hates pulling them out, and would rather wait for them to fall out...which they eventually do. When William loses a tooth, he whimpers about it for weeks. It just hurts so bad! Finally, he gets Mommy to pull it.

Samuel? Here's what happened this time. Last night (I think) he said, "I think I have a loose tooth." And then, just now, he came down and showed me his tooth...it was 1/2 way twisted around in his mouth. I said, "You need to pull that thing!" So, he did. Pop. No big deal.


And, just because it made me laugh, I'll include some more artwork. This one is from William.


What a nice little picture. A cute little train, taking a ride through the woods in the rain. All the little people are so happy...and then CRACK! They all get struck with lightning. ??

In the middle of writing this, Tim had me check the weather for this afternoon, wanting to know if it would rain. I told him there was a 10% chance of precipitation. Our little eavesdropper, William, asked what was crispitation? We told him it was what happened to his little passengers on his train. To which he insisted that he curved the lightning, so it wasn't hitting the train. Hmm...

And, now, the guys are all going out to the park to play ball, and I'm going to knit, or watch a movie, or both! Yay!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This 'n' That

Halloween Dress-Up

Trick or Treat!

Last Saturday the boys had their FIRST EVER try at Trick-or-Treating! They loved it! We went to a neighborhood Halloween party (on October 30th...remember?) where there was a mountain of pizza boxes to empty, buckets of treats and toys to dig through, and a hay ride around the neighborhood to relieve certain privileged grown-ups of any candy surplus. What fun!

Halloween Dress-Up-2

Trevor was a soccer player (again...I think that makes 3 years in a row?) William was an Auburn Fan (notice the AU on his cheeks) and Samuel was an Indian (er, native North American...) Trevor is posing there...not actually picking his nose (I wasn't sure, at first, though...)

Halloween hay ride

I took these to the party:
pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares, with Cream Cheese Frosting. Yum.

I got the recipe from this book: (which I HIGHLY recommend. Maybe someone {Larisa?} needs it for Christmas? Here's a link if you want to buy it!)


The recipe is fairly long, so I thought I would just try taking a picture?


Can I do that? I hope the recipe-police don't get me.

Anyway, I cut up the cheesecake into squares, and piped the icing on. For the icing I just used powdered sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla. That was a very tasty way to use a 1/2 a can of pumpkin.

Now, what to do with the other half? We can't just throw it away!

A friend brought us pumpkin cookies a little while back, and they were Soooooo good...soft, fluffy and sweet. The boys were skeptical at first, but one bite was all it took to hook 'em. They were asking all week if I could make some more. So, I got the recipe!

pumpkin cookies

These are Sharri's Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
2 eggs
1 can 16oz. pumpkin
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
4 c. flour

Cream the first three ingredients. Mix the remaining ingredients adding
flour last. Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake 375º for 7 to 9 minutes. (I found that if I took them out too soon, they collapsed a little. Cook them until they JUST begin to get a little brown...maybe 10 mins?)

1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 t. vanilla

I just made a 1/2 recipe (have you ever seen a recipe so perfectly suited to halfing?).


Really, these are in my Top 5 Cookie List now.

Best use of a 1/2 a can of pumpkin ever!

Plus, the frosting is delish too.
licking the beater

I guess I was done with the party story...I kindof got onto a tangent.


Tim spent some time on the house last week...


It is coming along s-l-o-w-l-y...but surely.


Not everyone has such a hunk working on their house...

...or pushing their kids on home-made swings in their backyards...

rope swing-2

rope swing

...or picking up their kids off the ground when their cool-but-shabby-home-made-swings break...

(here's what's left of the rope...)


(I'm happy to report there were no major injuries...it's only too bad we didn't document it. Trevor is DYING to send a video to AFV)

Let's see...

I did some cleaning up this week. (probably most people don't blog about that...) When I was picking up in the school room, I came across some of Trevor's recent drawings. They gave me a chuckle. So, here's what I found on (and under...and around) Trevor's desk...

T's Drawings

And a couple close-ups (so you can read all his little notes)...
(where I live)
T's Drawings-2

(Sparky's food...nice n hot)
T's Drawings-3

(background for cage)
T's Drawings-4

...Not sure what this is...
T's Drawings-5

...or this...unless it is aliens?
T's Drawings-6

Myyronoids... (?)
T's Drawings-7

And Alabama Ice Cream (football team, helmet design) I love his logo...
T's Drawings-8

What a creative little boy.

I found this in his bed this week...
Trevor's "light" reading

...a little "light" bedtime reading...

One night he showed me a fan in the book that he thought would be good for our house. It was pretty, but had a kindof dark globe (or what ever you call that glass bowl that goes over the lights), so I told T that we want one that gives us lots of light. He started flipping through the book, and after quickly finding what he was looking for, said, "Well how about this one...it has the highest CFMs per watt...it would be a really good one." CFMs per watt?? THAT made me laugh.

I also tackled Trevor and Samuel's closet this week...
Messy closet

I think I made good progress...
tidy closet

Last...some sweet pictures from this morning.

William likes to get up early. Even on Saturday. Well, this morning, he got into his head that he wanted to do another sewing project. Remember the felt mouse cat toy he made? ... [ Well, I just looked, and can't find that I put that on here. Here's a couple pictures of the mouse...]


William used this book to make it...

So anyway, today he got in his head he wanted to make something else. After we found the book, he decided to make a felt drawstring pouch.

the pouch

He sewed the whole thing almost entirely by himself.
sewing a pouch

I had to help here and there, so he sat by me at the computer while I organized my pictures for the blog.

I embellished it for him--exactly the way he told me to...and he was THRILLED.

How CUTE is that??

What a sweetie.

Hope you are enjoying your Saturday as much as we are!