Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mutton Bustin'

John's Dad has been running the Payson Rodeo for 30 years.  John grew up around rodeo, he even did some bull riding when he was younger...something I've kept secret from Witt for obvious reasons. . .

  The last weekend in May we took the boys over to Payson because Grandpa signed them up for Mutton Bustin' at the Rodeo.  What's Mutton Bustin' you ask?  Sheep riding.

I was nervous for two reasons:
  A.  I knew Witt would like it a little too much.  Plus, he's not even 5 yet and you're supposed to be.  But  somehow the rules got bent for him. . .
  B.  I knew Race would hate it; it's loud, dirty, wearing a big tight face mask. . . need I say more?

Mom, Dad and Tanner came over the hill, Jenn and Little Logan came down the mountain, and our fabulous friends Vanessa and Adam came with their little guy too.  It was soooo much fun and the boys couldn't wait to ride.  And I just couldn't wait for it to be over.

Witt is just a little too excited. . .not sure how I feel about that.

 Uncle Michael helping Race find a helmet.  Nobody there realized how huge this was for Race, to put on a helmet; and especially since he had to try on like ten of them before they found one that fit.  He was amazing, I was so proud of him.

 Race and cousin Haley waiting for the cowboys to take them to the chutes.  Again, this was huge.  It was dark, loud, and I couldn't go with them.  It was big for all of us.

And yes they did it.  Both of them held on for about five seconds.  They were so brave and had so much fun.  And I cheered insanely loud, because this was such a growing moment.  Who would have thought that such a moment could come at the dirty, stinky rodeo, but it did.  It was so neat to see my little four year old Witt want to be so big, and it was so neat to watch Race step out of his comfort zone willingly.  I looked up at the hundreds of people watching them and thought, if only they knew what a step this was, how big this was.  Yep, I cried at the rodeo.

Forgive my horrible old camera that doesn't like the dark or far distances, but this is Witt doing something he is now, totally in love with, and can't wait to do it again:

Here they are getting their buckles and awards afterward.

And here's a picture of a complete stranger I got off the Internet to show you what it would have looked like with a better camera, pretty cool hu:

So I was right, and I was wrong. . . Witt did like it a little too much.  He can't wait to do it again.  Race liked it too and said he had fun, but he's going to have to think about doing it again, because the sheep smelt bad.

So here's my guys after they finished.  Go ahead, ask me, why is Witt crying if he liked it so much??  Well, he's ticked because he didn't win, and he didn't want to ride a big fluffy sheep, he wanted to ride a big horned sheep. . . go figure. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011


One of my favorite things about our house in the spring and summer is all the butterflies!  They love our honeysuckle; it's so fun to watch them float around our yard all day.  Here's the boys on one of their chases.

But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.

~Robert Frost, "Blue-Butterfly Day"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Climbing Mountains

"For every mountain, there is a miracle." 
Robert H. Schuller

It truly has been miraculous to watch Race the last two years since he has been with Ms. Suzanne.  I have seen miracles happen for him. 

A little over two years ago I was searching for answers.  I had been for a while, and I was getting desperate.  I was a scared mother.  I needed help, answers, so I could help Race.  I knew in my heart it was more than a speech delay. When Race was 4 years old I knew he had autism, so did John But was it really necessary to get a diagnosis done?  Was it fair to him to stick that label on him so young?  What if he grew out of it?  What if the label did more damage than good????  I was driven by fear.  I had taught in the school system, I saw the way kids treated the different kid; the weird kid.  And I was getting angry and tired of hearing everybody else's opinions on the matter; especially when they weren't asked for.  Prayer and fasting and diving into the scriptures; all out of fear, not faith.  Searching, crying out for help time and time again to my Father in Heaven; begging Him to hand over an answer...we all know it's not that easy.  He makes us work for it.

Then I stumbled across this quote:

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
~Eleanor Roosevelt~

I will never forget it.  I prayed for faith, and courage.  I prayed for the faith to replace the fear.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7

I started to read books on Autism.  The fear would return and I'd pray for more faith.  The battle between fear and faith was daily. 

I remembered hearing about this great Preschool and Kindergarten from my running buddy Angie.  The Montessori Children's House.  Why not?  I called and asked if I could come observe. 

The place was amazing.  It was movement, it was choices, it was working on your own level.  It was left brain and right brained.  It was clean, it was a place of good old fashioned manners.  But mostly, it was a place where kids were taught to respect each other.  I knew I had found the place for Race.

After some begging, and assuring the school that they had what Race needed; after all, he only had a speech delay in his IEP. . .  Of course after meeting Race, Ms. Suzanne took him under her wing.  And that is where he's been ever since.  And it has been a good place.  At first she and I didn't talk about the A word.  Although I knew she knew; she is one of the smartest ladies I've ever met.  We worked around it, or tried to anyway. Later, we talked about this and how she was doing her own reading on Aspergers and Autism.  She was really working overtime to help him in every way she could.  I will be forever thankful for her love and determination.  We love you to the moon and back Ms. Suzanne!

When Race started at the Montessori  he really couldn't be understood.  His speech was really fragmented.  He couldn't answer questions appropriately or hold a simple conversation.  The exchange was too overwhelming.  He had melt-downs daily.  Race needed some interventions.  So, with the help of Ms. Suzanne, the support of my good Hubby, and the love and wisdom of my Mother (who is also a teacher), November 2009, 4 months into the school year, we went down to SAARC and got an Unofficial Diagnosis.  February of 2010 would bring the official after going down to visit Dr. Gentry.  Getting the diagnosis done has given us a direction.  It has given us support in therapies and ideas for playground interventions (because this is where life is the most difficult for Race).  It has given his teachers tools so they could work their magic. 
Ms. Eva the beautiful

Ms. Grace (she's been Race's Speech Therapist for 4 years now.  We love you Ms. Grace!)

One big thing that Race has learned since he has been at school (and it wasn't easy) is that he can do hard things.  His speech has come miles, he can hold a two way conversation, he is more aware of social boundaries and is getting better at controlling his melt-downs...and he is amazing in his academics.  He reads so well!  He can tell you where 150 countries are on the world map.  He knows something cool about every one of the 50 states and where they are.  He is borrowing back and loves it!  He's gained his confidence and developed friendships (to me this is the biggest of all).  He can do hard things.  Race, you can climb mountains!
(click to see better)
 I know Heavenly Father answers prayers. 
I know He works miracles in my life every day. 
 I know He guides our lives when we walk by faith. 

Thank you to EVERYONE at the school.  Thank you for your love.
Now, onto the next mountain!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wallow Fire

Pray for the White Mountains, pray for the beautiful place I call home and all the people who are effected by the Wallow Fire.

The mountains of my youth that helped spark my imagination and story writing.  I used to climb Flat Top, all over Greer and South Fork.  We used to ride our bikes to Nutrioso and back, camp past Alpine, and fish with Daddy at Big Lake.  While doing this with my family and friends, the stories would come alive in my head. 

I"ve always loved Tolkein, so much I considered naming one of my boys after him (John wouldn't go for it, can't imagine why...).  Anyway, this is one of the reasons I love him.  Because he wrote down everything I pretended from my mountains way before I could ever read and understand his stuff.  And when I finally could, I could see it all so clearly, because...I had been there. 

I love you White Mountains.

Over the Misty Mountains Cold by J. R. R. Tolkien
Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away, ere break of day,
To seek our pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells,
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught,
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, on twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves,
And harps of gold, where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the heights,
The wind was moaning in the night,
The fire was red, it flaming spread,
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale,
And men looked up with faces pale.
The dragon's ire, more fierce than fire,
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon.
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled the hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the Misty Mountains grim,
To dungeons deep and caverns dim,
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!

The wind was on the withered heath,
But in the forest stirred no leaf:
There shadows lay be night or day,
And dark things silent crept beneath.

The wind came down from mountains cold,
And like a tide it roared and rolled.
The branches groaned, the forest moaned,
And leaves were laid upon the mould.

The wind went on from West to East;
All movement in the forest ceased.
But shrill and harsh across the marsh,
Its whistling voices were released.

The grasses hissed, their tassels bent,
The reeds were rattling--on it went.
O'er shaken pool under heavens cool,
Where racing clouds were torn and rent.

It passed the Lonely Mountain bare,
And swept above the dragon's lair:
There black and dark lay boulders stark,
And flying smoke was in the air.

It left the world and took its flight
Over the wide seas of the night.
The moon set sale upon the gale,
And stars were fanned to leaping light.

Under the Mountain dark and tall,
The King has come unto his hall!
His foe is dead, the Worm of Dread,
And ever so his foes shall fall!

The sword is sharp, the spear is long,
The arrow swift, the Gate is strong.
The heart is bold that looks on gold;
The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

On silver necklaces they strung
The light of stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, from twisted wire
The melody of harps they wrung.

The mountain throne once more is freed!
O! Wandering folk, the summons heed!
Come haste! Come haste! Across the waste!
The king of freind and kin has need.

Now call we over the mountains cold,
'Come back unto the caverns old!'
Here at the gates the king awaits,
His hands are rich with gems and gold.

The king has come unto his hall
Under the Mountain dark and tall.
The Worm of Dread is slain and dead,
And ever so our foes shall fall!

Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall,
We must away, ere break of day
Far over the wood and mountain tall.

To Rivendell, where Elves yet dwell
In glades beneath the misty fell.
Through moor and waste we ride in haste,
And whither then we cannot tell.

With foes ahead, behind us dread,
Beneath the sky shall be our bed,
Until at last our toil be passed,
Our journey done, our errand sped.

We must away! We must away!
We ride before the break of day!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yeeha Cowboy!

Witten had an amazing full first year of school.  The Montessori Children's House is an amazing, magical place.  I absolutely LOVE it, we are so blessed to be a part of it. 

I have loved watching Witt this year really come alive and find things he enjoys for himself.  That is one of the amazing things about Montessori; it gives the kids an opportunity to explore different areas of the academics and the world around them.  Witten never ceases to amaze me; he is so strong and naturally talented at so many things.  He is my sigh of relief.  I'm so grateful for him and his determined little mind. 

 Witt adores his teachers Ms. Janet and Ms. Jyoti.  I'm so thankful for them, for loving him through his stubbornness and helping him learn and grow.  He's also made many friends especially Izzy and Tobias (We miss you Kaidne). 

John and I are so excited to watch Witt the next two years with Ms. Janet and Ms. Jyoti.  Thank you Ladies, for being such a big part of his little world.

(click to see better)

I'm so proud of you Cowboy!