Category Archives: Kids

Ten Things of Thankful, with a Spanish flair. Kinda. You’re welcome.

It’s Saturday! And I am thrilled to say that I’m actually going to get my Ten Things of Thankful post up on SATURDAY this weekend! HA! Woooo!

It is almost 10 am here and all is still silent, except for our little Lubie bird chirping and pecking away happily at his bell in his cage. Emma is off at her “other family’s” house, Jacob is snoozing it up and Clyn had to go in to work for a bit this morning. So, here I sit. In my jammies, sipping on my English Breakfast tea, which is now slightly cold because it is chilly here, y’all! Woke up to temps in the upper 30s, which is cold for the end of October in South Carolina! I am currently refusing to turn on the heat, because I am sure that next week, we will be back in the 80s or something like that. When I turn on the heat, that means it is winter and I’m not ready to let go of fall just yet.

On that note, I will go nuke my tea….

…and we’re back! That is much better!

I almost got completely sidetracked (shocker!) by a tempting email from Snapfish telling me I can order my Christmas cards NOW and get 50% off my order. I’m not going to lie, I went and looked and clicked around and almost got stuck there! Oh my, the ADD is kicking up for real today!

On to the business at hand!

This week…has been long. Not in a bad way, but somehow yesterday morning when I was driving to the gym, it occurred to me that Monday seemed like a long time ago. Partly, I think, it is due to the fact that my poor, sweet hubby has been working extremely long hours this week. A project of his this week has required him to be at work really early, 5 am early, and to stay really late. One night, I am pretty sure he got home around 11:30. And he is back there today, Saturday. He is my thankful thing numero uno. He works so hard and is so conscientious about his work. I hope those people know how blessed they are to have such an employee as my man! But if they don’t, I do. And I know that everything he does is for the kids and me.  And, no, he does not get paid overtime, as he is a salaried employee.

Thankful thing numero dos and tres. (Do y’all like my Español, by the way?? HA!) I am thankful for my hilarious daughter (thing dos…literally and figuratively). I’m telling you, she makes me laugh so hard sometimes that I snort and tears come out of my eyes. She is medicine to me. She is also an excellent student, who, along with tons of her peers, was honored for her academic achievements in a ceremony this week at school. She is so nonchalant about it all, which is funny to me. Girl! You got all As in  every subject last year, for the whole school year! It is okay to be happy and proud of that! But no. It is just what she does. Nothing special. Whatevs. Again, hilarious. But we are proud…Look at her and Harper, aren’t they lovely? Yes, they are. And did you even know you could “letter” in academics?? I didn’t. I only thought you lettered in athletics. Shows how much I know. After the ceremony, we enjoyed a fun dinner with Harper and her family (thing tres)—they are a fun and crazy family.

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Thankful thing numero quatro and cinco go together. (Okay, I’m just going with it now. I started a pattern and I can’t simply abandon that pattern. That would just be wrong!) So, I made a new friend this week (thing quatro), which I always love doing! She is a sweet, wonderful lady in my town, who emailed me this week, out of the blue. (Seemingly, but I do not believe in coincidence.) She was emailing me to invite me to participate in a day-long Christian women’s conference that is being held at her church in January (thing cinco). I was pretty freaked out. I’ve never stood up in front of a group of people to talk about anything. I’m not counting my students because that it not stuff I have to come up with out of my own head! And I’m not counting that speech class I had to take in college, because they actually give you a topic to talk about! This would be leading a small breakout session in a topic of my choosing as it relates to encouraging women. Really? It blows my mind that, first of all, any more than 5 people actually read my ramblings on a daily basis and, second of all, that I would have anything of value to share with a group of women. It is very humbling, but also a very exciting opportunity that I have agreed to take on. Sometimes we have to go do that thing which we are so afraid to do; otherwise, how do we stretch and grow? The people I love have all told me they believe in me and to go for it. And so, here I go. Pray for me, y’all!

Thankful thing numero seis. This weather does make me happy. It makes me think of James Taylor’s song, Walking Man (see video below…I do LOVE ME some JT—not to be confused with Justin Timberlake. Sorry, Justin, James Taylor is the original JT. Just saying. The man’s voice is like butter!). “…The leaves have come to turning and the goose has gone to fly….The frost is on the pumpkin and the hay is in the barn…” These are the lyrics that come to mind when I see that early frost. I love getting the sweaters out to wear and walking out the door to that clean, crisp smell in the air. It also makes me think of the county fair and that makes me think of funnel cakes. Mmmm, I can smell them now! Our local fair starts next week! Funnel cake, here I come!

Thankful thing numero siete. Jacob’s school had fall break this past week. So, it meant we were not traipsing back and forth. Our evenings were our own and he actually got ahead on his assignments. We crank back up in full force on Monday, though. But before we know it, the holidays will be upon us and he will have completed his first semester of college! My mind is blown.

Thankful thing numero ocho. I managed to do some laundry this week. Not nearly enough, but, hey, at least my man had some clean underwear.

Thankful thing numero nueve. I am so excited and, frankly, shocked, that I already have some Christmas gifts checked off my list! This is so crazy. I NEVER shop for Christmas before December. Never. In fact, I usually make it a rule, because I find it so irritating that Thanksgiving is pretty much ignored. Anyway, I ordered something for my mom that should be arriving at my door today! Can’t wait to see how it turned out. I can’t tell you what it is! She might be reading! Winking smile But she is going to love it! (Read that in a sing-songy voice, okay?) I have already gotten gifts for both my brothers and their wives as well! As siblings, we do “couple gifts”, so I have something for them that I think is a big score! I love it when I actually get a good gift idea, that is personal, that I am sure the recipient will love! I usually struggle in the couple gift department, because the gift I end up getting is usually always more geared toward one half of the couple. And then it doesn’t really feel like a couple gift at all.

Thankful thing numero diez. Humor. Y’all know how much I need the funny in my life. Please enjoy this:

This made me laugh. so. hard. And I do not lie when I say my face was hurting and I was crying with laughter. Poor Amy. I really hope Ellen pays her well. Pretty sure she is scared of her own shadow and that Andy, well, he is one angry scared person, right? The year Amy went through the haunted house with her mother was pretty hilarious as well. So so funny.

Have a wonderful weekend—stay thankful and stay funny!

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On the weekend, I link up with the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop to celebrate all the things I am feeling especially thankful for this week. You can join in the gratitude at Lizzi’s blog—Considerings.

Ten Things of Thankful

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Filed under Gratitude, Humor, Kids, Music

The Legacy

“God’s purpose was to do such a deep work in Job that every generation after him would benefit from it.” ~Bob Sorge, The Fire of Delayed Answers

what is my legacy

Through the fires of this life and the waiting for God’s answers, we are inevitably changed at our core—one way or another, for good or for ill, toward the face of God or away from it. We have a choice about which kind of change will come. And that choice can leave a legacy of faith and victory or a heritage of bitterness and self-pity.

Before all Job’s afflictions, he was a man of faith and great material success and wealth. But Sorge says Job “was living in a dimension of limited fruitfulness spiritually” and was unsuccessful in “igniting his own children with his love for God.”

After he had come through the fire, we see in Job a radical transformation—from a man who genuinely loved God, but was missing out on that deep, intimate understanding of who God really was and what His purposes were, into a man whose “faith had survived the crucible, and now he owned an intimate knowledge of God that would radiate to others a profound confidence in his Lord.” He had come forth as gold. And that spilled over into his new life and children.

The father Job can be on the other side of his suffering is a father who gives his second set of children a glimpse into the Father’s Heart, a testimony of deep and abiding faith and obedience to God and the knowledge and understanding that God will accomplish His purposes. He can teach his children about God’s love and mercy, about restoration and about perseverance and victory in difficult circumstances.

Because of his suffering, Job could be a man who bore spiritual fruit and could reach his children and every generation after, for God’s Kingdom.

And so I ask myself, what kind of legacy am I giving my kids?

Am I lighting a spiritual fire in my children and showing them what true and deep faith and utter dependence on God looks like? Am I living a life that produces fruit in the kingdom of God? When times are tough, do my kids see a mom who perseveres and is faithful and willing to suffer according to God’s will?

Maybe, but is it enough?

And if it is not, I am not only cheating my children, but I am also cheating myself by merely scratching the surface of the deeply intimate relationship that God desires to have with us. I want to show them that there is more.

It is hard to acknowledge my inadequacies as a parent. But it is only more proof of how desperately I need Jesus and His mercy and His work in my life. I want to go deeper and I pray that He will do that deep work in me that will produce lasting changes that bear fruit, so that I can pour that out into my children to the glory of God, for His Kingdom, and for the generations to come.

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I am excited to be joining in on a weekly book discussion led by Jason Stasyszen  and Sarah Salter. Please visit them to see other posts in response to The Fire of Delayed Answers by Bob Sorge, at Jason’s blog—Connecting to Impact, and Sarah’s blog—Living Between the Lines. And even if you are not reading the book, please feel free to jump into the discussion!

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Filed under Faith, Kids, Parenting

I cried on the way home

It happened last Friday after picking up my daughter from school.

Every day when I pick her up, I ask the open-ended “How was your day?” when she hops in the front seat. Unlike Jacob, who promptly gives me one word utterances when asked such preposterous questions, Emma knows what I want to know. Well, to be fair, Jacob also knows what I want to know, but chooses not to elaborate.

On Friday, when I picked Emma up, we exchanged the usual niceties. But when she got to sharing about her European History class (another post for another day), she told me there had been a substitute that day and they had been assigned an essay to complete during class time.

She said she was busily trying to complete the essay during the time allotted, but was finding herself distracted by a group of three boys in her class. I asked what they were doing that was so distracting.

“Well, Mom, there is this boy in my class who I know has some special needs. He reminds me a lot of Jacob actually. A lot. His name is Alex.” *

“In what way does he remind you of Jacob?”

“Well, he talks to himself a lot like Jacob does. And he gets really upset sometimes, like when he misses something on a quiz. He will bang on his desk or be flipping though the pages of his textbook saying, ‘That’s not fair! That wasn’t in the reading!!’ or something like that.”

“Yeah, that does sound a lot like Jacob back in the day.”

“Yeah, well, it wasn’t Alex who was so distracting. Today, these other boys in the class were being really loud talking to each other and one of them was all the way across the room. And, well, they were making fun of Alex, Mom.”

<Insert the sound of a record scratching and the world coming to a screeching halt HERE>

“They were what??”

“They were totally making fun of him. I guess I never noticed it before because Mr. L is always talking or we are having a class discussion.”

“What do you mean? What were they saying?”

“Stuff like, ‘Ooooh, watch out! I bet Alex is gonna get all rage-y today’ and then, Alex got up to sharpen his pencil and when he was walking by, they said, ‘Oooh, I hope sharpening his pencil doesn’t send him into one of his rages!’”

Here is where I started to lose it.

I was so upset at the thought of this happening. I know bullying goes on every day in every single school setting (and non-school setting) in this nation. Not only to kids with autism but also to scrawny, nerdy, overweight, effeminate, unpopular, shy, or <fill in your own adjective here> kids.

But, y’all, this hit me in such a tender spot.

That could have been Jacob.

It could have been your kid. Maybe it is your kid. Maybe it was you when you were a kid.

I could feel myself going off the deep end.

“That is just so wrong! Do you think Alex heard them? Do you think he realizes they are making fun of him?”

“Yeah. He was kinda glaring at them as he was at the pencil sharpener.”

I was totally weeping now and babbling incoherently about Emma needing to tell those guys that they were a bunch of ignorant jerks and needed to cut it out. And how if she didn’t feel comfortable doing that, that I would email Mr. L and tell him myself.

Emma was giving me the “uh-oh, Mom’s really lost it this time” look.

And I think I had lost it.

“This, THIS, is why I will never, ever regret not sending Jacob to that place!” I said through my tears.

My heart was breaking, knowing that, without the one-on-one assistant Jacob had in public school from third grade through eighth grade, it would have been him. He would have been relentlessly bullied. I know it. Regardless of my mama bear interference.

And my heart was breaking for Alex.

A boy who is obviously capable of doing AP European History level work. Who has as much right to be in that classroom as those other boys. Who doesn’t deserve the treatment he was receiving.

I wondered if Alex’s mom was aware that this is happening. I wondered if it had been Jacob, would someone have spoken up for him? I wanted to go punch those three jerk-y kids in the throat.

But then, I know that ignorance and insecurity drive kids to say and do such things. And my insane knee-jerk behavior would not be the right response.

And so, I haven’t taken any action—yet. But for six days I have not been able to get Alex out of my mind.

I just keep asking myself, who will speak for Alex? WHO?

This past Sunday morning as we were worshipping in a church we have visited a couple of times, I noticed a family walk in just a couple of minutes late and and get situated on the front row. Emma looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Mom, that’s Alex! That’s the kid in my history class!”

My eyes started welling up again. The hair stood up on the back of my neck and I fought to regain my composure as I watched Alex.

I do not believe in coincidence. Though I did not meet up with Alex and his family that day, I am thinking our paths will cross again.

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We—collectively—have a responsibility to these kids. Both the bullied and the bullies. The bullied need to be loved, protected, empowered and encouraged. The bullies need to be held accountable and taught how to love themselves and how to respect others who are not like them. We have a responsibility to love on them both and to teach them about what love is—about WHO love is.

Bullies definitely need to be held accountable for their actions. They also need to be shown that there is a different way. I ask you, who will love the bullies enough to hold them accountable? Who will love them enough to tell them they don’t have to be that way?

We have a responsibility to teach our kids to friend the friendless, to stand up for the ones who can not or will not stand up for themselves. We must teach our kids to speak truth, to stand up for truth and for what is right. If enough kids do that, then the voices of the bullies will be silenced and kids like Alex will be more free to be who God created them to be.

*name has been changed

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Filed under Autism Days, Kids