2018 Family Moto

35 They were desirous to be baptized as a witness and a testimony that they were willing to serve God with all their hearts; Mosiah 21:35

"Make sure they remember joy yesterday, experience joy today, and anticipate joy tomorrow."

Motherhood Mission Statement

To provide a loving environment that is centered around God and His commandments while effectively teaching my children to love, honor, and respect all Men no matter the race, creed, or background.

Click on Nolen's name to hear our amazing journey through autism.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Writing this post must mean I have hope. 

A few months ago, Stephen and I started noticing some very odd behavior from Nolen.  Let me take you back to June.  Nolen was saying "Mama", "Dada", "Ball", and "Apple".  Probably a few more words but I really can't remember them now.  We went on an awesome family vacation, bought a house, then moved.  I was so wrapped up in moving and sorting and organizing that I missed something important.  Nolen.  He was starting to disappear.  By the time I noticed it was October.  Three months.
I had lost him. 
If you have read my blog,  you probably already know that Nolen stopped sleeping through the night at 6 months of age.  I tried various things to get him to sleep through the night.  Actually, I tried anything anyone recommended.  He, and I, have not had a full night of sleep in over a year and a half. 
In October I noticed Nolen was doing a funny shake.  He had done this funny shake since he was 6 months old but had sort of stopped at 12 months but then started doing it again in October.  He was 20 months old.  Nolen also started spinning. A Lot.  All the time.  Everywhere. Always. He started turning his cars over and just watching his tires spin around and around.  He stopped interacting with all of us.  He no longer made eye contact.  He stopped speaking. Completely.  No babbling. Nothing. Silence. 
I could not believe my eyes.  I was watching my son disappear.  He cried all the time.  He banged his head on the ground and did his funny body shake most of the day.  We no longer existed to him. 
I started to wonder if this was just a phase.  I looked back at videos of Edward when he was 21 months and he was saying all the letters of the alphabet.  He knew every color.  He was counting to 5.  Then I figured I had ignored Nolen and I needed to spend more time with him.  The first week of October I spent my entire day with him.  It did help, but not much.  He couldn't focus on anything. 
My parents came up for a quick weekend visit.  They noticed the change too. 
I cried.
I had secretly hoped that only I noticed this stuff and that I could change him.  Susan, Stephen's Mom, came for a visit.  She noticed.
I cried, again.
I really could no longer ignore what I was seeing.  I was watching a perfectly normal functioning little boy turn in to an alien.  Someone or something completely foreign to me.  I did not know what to do.
Thankfully, at that time, I was in the right place.  The exact right place.  Singing in the Opera with me, was a Speech Pathologist.  I passively mentioned to her that my Son was not talking.  She said I should have him evaluated.  She gave me the information. 
To be honest, I didn't do anything with the information for two weeks.  I was still hopeful that I was wrong.  But deep in my heart, I knew I was right.  I called Alta Mira and made an appointment for Nolen to be evaluated.
I remember telling the evaluator that it was OK to laugh in my face and tell me I was a paranoid mother who had read in to the hype of Autism.  By this time, I had read so many articles and watched a hundred YouTube videos that I was become an expert on seeing the signs. 
Nolen did them all.
I was still hopeful.  Alta Mira came the week before Thanksgiving.  They delivered a devastating blow.  Nolen is most likely Autistic.  He shows every sign.  He is an extremely picky eater, he spins, he bangs his head on the ground, he doesn't respond to his name anymore, he can't sleep, he doesn't deal well with transitions, the list goes on.  Alta Mira does not diagnose; however, they have worked with enough children to see the signs clear as day.  Nolen never made eye contact with them.  I can't even be sure he had made eye contact with me since July.
My heart sank again, as if it could get any lower. I began crying every time I saw a healthy 2 year old talking clearly to their parents.  I became jealous.  I began to hate myself for not noticing earlier. I was so crazy with jealousy, I couldn't look at other children.  That included my own son, Edward.  He suddenly seemed like a genius to me.  The devastation I felt is incomprehensible.  I suddenly could understand how my parents felt as each of us were (and are) handed trials that they can not control.  I understand, now, a tenth of how our Heavenly Father must feel as he watches us face trials that are life altering. 
I felt helpless.  Will Nolen be able to go to school?  Will he be able to communicate?  Will he serve a mission?  Will he be baptised?  Will he get married and have a  family?  Will he become a doctor?  Suddenly, all of these options were closed.  Or possibilities that he would never obtain.
As a parent, we secretly have ideas for our children that we hope they will achieve.  We have a path that we want them to go down because it is "ideal".   We want their lives to be as easy as possible with small learning trials that will allow them to become sympathetic to others while enhancing their lives with true blessings. Am I the only one who has this secret desire?
Alta Mira came back a week later to discuss treatment for Nolen.  The first thing suggested was "squeezing" or giving him a bear hug.  The moment they left, I started squeezing him.  All day.  Every time I say him, I squeezed him.  I started using sign language.  I asked him many questions. I forced him to make eye contact.  I squeezed some more.  My family came for Thanksgiving and they squeezed him.  A lot. 
Today was Nolen's first real therapy session.
Nolen made eye contact.  Nolen tried to say his ABC's.  Nolen mimicked their sign language.  Nolen interacted with them.  It was as if he was back to himself.  The power of touch is truly amazing.  The only thing different that I did was squeeze him. 
The therapist mentioned that they hadn't seen a child respond that quickly to therapy (that I did) so fast.  They began to question if he was or is Autistic at all.  He certainly has a Sensory Perception Disorder; however, that may be all. 
My fasting and praying (along with my family) seems to have made the biggest difference.  We still have a long road and a real diagnosis ahead; however, my hopes are coming back out of the burned ashes I smothered last week.  Nolen may never be "normal"; however, he is extremely brilliant and is learning.  The last two months have helped my testimony of our Savior grow tremendously.  I am so grateful to have my life.  Both my children are healthy, talented, and brilliant.  Nolen is different and I know we are on the road to recovery.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012


Maybe I should start posting to pintrosity; on second thought, I really really like my home made house decorations. Even if they don't turn out perfect.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I am thankful for family. Most of my siblings traveled to Albuquerque to celebrate a day of thanks. It was wonderful.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Even though it isn't...

...I feel like my world is falling apart.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Birthday Party

We celebrated Nolen's 2nd birthday here at home with just a few friends.  Nolen opened all of his presents early in the morning which included a Thomas the Train Blue Mountain Mystery Train set, Luke the Train, Den the Diesel, and a Strider Bike.  We had cupcakes and one cup cake road on Thomas around the track. Nolen only played with his cupcake, ironically, he chose to eat blueberries!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

He's 2.

Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet Nolen!
I Love You!
Nolen loves trains.  He especially loves to watch trains that move all by themselves.  He could spend hours at the Bio Park here in Albuquerque.  The miniature train set is extremely entertaining for him.
Nolen loves to read.  He loves to read the same book over and over and over. 
Nolen is 35 1/4 inches tall and 30.6 pounds.
He is in to puzzles of all kinds. 
He loves Lego's that promise never to tip over. 
Nolen loves his older brother.  He can be found following Edward around all day just trying to do what he is doing. 
Nolen loves the iPad.
He does not sleep through the night. Probably never will.
Nolen loves sugar and french fries. (Me, too.)
Nolen has an infectious laugh.
He brightens my morning with his larger than life smile.
Nolen was truly meant to be my son.  He is a joy. He knows me. He knows my needs as I am learning his.  He is so patient with me.  His tantrums are short and expected.  He melts my heart.  I don't want him to grow up. He is my baby. 
He is so special.  Our family is complete with him in our lives.
Nolen, I love you more than you will ever know.  My heart is filled with joy just being in your presence.  Every person that meets Nolen says he is sweet.
His eyes tell his story.
I love you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mom, is that healthy?

Edward and I have talked a lot about what is healthy and what isn't. I try to let him make his own food choices and then he will ask if something is healthy or if it just tastes good.
Today at Krispy Kreme he said, "donuts are not healthy but they sure taste good."
Also on our little date today we bought new shoes and they are not crocks!! Yeah!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

One Pumpkin

My first ever attempt at homemade crust and pumpkin pie. I wonder if it is really worth all the trouble.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another photographer in the house

I love to take pictures.  It comes as no surprise to me that Edward loves to take them rather than be in them.  I tried to get a few pictures of him with Grandma but he didn't want to be in them, so I handed him the camera and this is what he came up with. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Painting the roses red

When I am faced with a trial, I like to do something that helps me concentrate on a solution. Usually, I sing. However, singing was not helping, so I played the piano all morning searching for some clarity. It didn't come. So this afternoon, I painted the door red. I have wanted to do this since July and I even bought all the supplies back then. I just did not take the time to do it. This was the perfect mind relaxer. I thought all day about what lies ahead and what will be different and what will stay the same. Clarity!