Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Race's Rocket

Race has always loved rockets.  It might have started from going to Astronomy Club with me every Friday for 2 years.  He always loved the cool things Mr. Steele would show him (we miss you Steele Family).  So, you can imagine his excitement when our good friend David gave him this rocket kit to build.  John and Race have been working very hard on it for weeks.  Race has absolutely loved doing it.  Thanks David for the great gift...he's now learning all he can about rockets;  he loves the NASA sight.  We can't wait to launch it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Safari Man says it's a Skink

Witten is quite the outdoors man.  He is so outdoorsy that he has named himself Safari Man.  I couldn't tell you where he came up with it.  But take a look at him with his Safari Jeep.  He's quite proud. 
Today Safari Man went out to count the cicada exoskeleton's on the wall (he'll tell you all about them), and discovered one cicada in the process of shedding his exoskeleton.  He was so fascinated.
A few minutes later, he came running in the house saying he found a skink! 
"You mean a skunk Witt?  If you found a skunk you better stay away from it!" 
"No mom, a SKINK" 
"A skink, what do you mean a skink?" 
If you don't know what a skink is, here's a picture of ours; you can ask Safari Man to tell you all about them too!  And yes, they really are called skinks. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

A BIG Mommy Post

Last night I went up to my monthly Autism meeting on NAU campus in Flagstaff.  This group has saved me since we got our diagnosis done early last spring.  They've helped me have some direction in finding the therapies, learning how to work with the DDD system, and just getting to meet adults with Autism; something I haven't really done before.  It's been fun making new friends at the group; other families who are plowing through the same kinds of things.  It's been so helpful to rub shoulders with people like Susan Marks and Kathleen Collins and their endless knowledge and connections in the autism world.  A world I never thought I'd be a part of...
But here I am now a part of the this world; and I'm embracing it.  I have to because I love my son.  And more than anything, I want him to love himself.  I want him to be the best he can be.  And I'm growing too;  I'm stronger because of this journey.  I'm learning to stay calm, which if you know me, has often been hard to do because I let my emotions just take over!  I'm going to be starting another blog (though it will be private) on this emotional roller-coaster ride it has been for me.  And really not just since we got the diagnosis done, but since I felt he had autism, which has been a few years.  It's going to be private (so I'll be keeping up two blogs!), because even now, posting this, I feel so vulnerable because I'm just putting these tender feelings out there on the web. But people need to read them. 
Race has what is called High Functioning Autism, or as Temple Grandin describes in her book, "Thinking in Pictures", Kanner's syndrome.  It is not considered Asperger's because he has a speech delay; though as an adult Kanner's and Asperger's often look very similar.  Though it isn't severe, it's enough to make life for Race hard and confusing at times. 
I have to be totally honest; some days I am embracing it, and some days I find myself still fighting the truth.   This happens when he has hard days or moments.  Which are definitely becoming fewer and farther between, but he still has them, like we all do.  It's on those days that I'm asking Heavenly Father (even though I already know the answer)  why?  Why does everything have to be so hard for Race, and so easy for Witt?  It just doesn't seem fair!!  And every time, in my heart, I hear through my cries, Him whispering, "Race is here with you to teach you and the world how to love more."  It's then I feel calm...until I'm asking the question again, and my faith is weak again. 
So here I am in this world with my son.  And not just with Race but with my sweet husband (who's the best daddy in the world), and with Witt and Lane, and everyone else who is connected to our family.  Mostly I have my Heavenly Father who I'm always turning to, so I can be the best mom I can be.  And when I think of that, I don't feel so alone or as overwhelmed in this task that I've been blessed to embrace.    And really, I wouldn't change things for anything.  Race is Race, he's my Superman.

Crawdad Fishing

The boys have been asking and asking to go to the Haddon's for crawdad fishing.  We had such a great time!  Judy and Perry are the best, the world needs more people like them.  They had friends visiting from Mexico, so John loved the opportunity to converse in Spanish with them.  The boys absolutely love Brother Haddon; he is great with Race.  Thank you Judy and Perry for such a special evening!  And of course, a huge thanks from me because Judy, your cooking rocks!

We started with this...
And ended with this!  Around 150 yucky, pinchy, crawly things.  I wouldn't pick them up.  Race tried a few times, and Witt wouldn't think of it; no way was he touching one of those.  Which was funny because he's always catching lizards and toads, praying mantises, and other creepy crawly things around the yard.  Anyway, one crawdad tried to take on Judy, thought he was big and tough. Another tried to sneak into John's pants; I haven't seen John move so fast in a few years.  But yes ladies and gentlemen, he's still quick, just like he was 23 again. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Golfing with Dad

Family Home Evening last week...we went out and enjoyed the freshly cut grass.  I just love the street we live on. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Day of School

I can't believe it's here...we had such a fun summer and now school is here again.  Witten gets to go to Montessori Preschool this year next door to Race.  What are Lane and I going to do?  I'm pretty sure we'll think of something. 
I'm so excited Race will have Ms. Suzanne again for a teacher; she has been so amazing and helpful to me as an advocate for Race and his autism.   She's reading and researching too, it's been so nice bouncing ideas off each other.  We're so blessed to have her again in the Montessori.  Thank you Ms. Suzanne, He is growing so much!

Grandpa Armstrong's Place

Sunday we ran over to Payson so John could ordain his nephew.  We always try to stop by Grandpa Armstrong's place; his property has everything a boy could want...horses, trees to climb, the creek to jump in, dogs to chase, expensive collectibles to break, you name it! 


I've officially declared the garage wall as the art wall of fame...

No No Lane

"OK, who left the cookies down so Lane could eat....however many he ate?"
"Not me Mom it was Race"
"No it wasn't, it was Daddy"