2017 Family Moto


6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowingbeforehand the things which I should do.

7 Nevertheless I went forth...

1st Nephi Chapter 4:6-7

"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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bubbles

Besides having a bit of a cold, today was the perfect fall day.  The weather is amazing and the boys were happy.  I don't look forward to the cold, but I sure can enjoy a nice 70 degree weather day.





Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A fall get-away

As a family, we try to take two small vacations a year that include just the four of us.  This last weekend we chose to head up to Keystone, Colorado.  It is about 7 hours north of Albuquerque and 2 hours west of Denver.  It was BEAUTIFUL!  We even experienced and early fall snowstorm. 
We stayed at The Springs which included a pool with slide, baby pool, and two hot tubs.  It was freezing outside but the heated water made swimming fun.  We actually spent most of our time down at the pool.  The boys loved the walk in baby pool and the slide.  Stephen and I enjoyed the hot tub; however, it was hard to convince our boys to stay in the hot tub with us.  After each swim we would run inside and get in the steam room.  AH! 
The resort also featured a kids room.  It had a little castle and a ton of toys including a tea set.  Have you ever played tea party with boys?  It is so fun.  They both loved pretending to pour tea and eat pretend food. 
We tried to take the boys on a bike ride but it was freezing!  We rode about 1/2 a mile before we turned around and went home to have hot chocolate.  Edward ended up crying as we loaded up the car because he was so cold.  I also tried for a family picture but it did not work out. HA!
We also met up with Stephen's cousin, DeAnna in a small town outside Denver.  We haven't seen her in 2 years.  She has a beautiful life including her boyfriend, Dave and son Brody.  We had such a great time until Nolen fell down some stairs at the restaurant. 
Our last day we spent swimming and packing up.  The drive home was pretty uneventful especially because we only stopped once and didn't eat lunch or dinner.  HA!  We had an amazing time and I love spending time with my little family. The boys were so well behaved and loved being with us each moment of the day. 








































Friday, September 20, 2013

ABA Therapy

After 2 and a half months of ABA therapy, we have seen major improvement.  Nolen is answering questions and following simple directions.  It is a miracle!  I made a video of Nolen and his therapist, Whitney.  Nolen still has a hard time sitting still, (he is only 2, after all) but I think each day he is getting better.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

One small miracle at a time

Me: "Nolen, do you want a strawberry?"
Nolen: "YES!"
Usually, when I ask Nolen a question it is complete silence followed by a blank stare.  I have grown accustomed to this reaction.  Last night, I asked a simple question that I was not expecting to receive a response to.  Then he said, "YES!"  He said, yes!  He said, YES!  I am so happy.  So extremely happy.  ABA therapy is working miracles.  My relentless question asking is finally paying off.  I try to treat Nolen like an average kid, so I ask him things and tell him to do things that I know he can't or won't do.  He finally said yes!  This is me with tears of true joy!
Also, last night I knew that Nolen needed to poop.  (TMI, I know).  So I took off his diaper and put him on the potty.  He didn't poop.  So he climbed down and went back to playing.  Suddenly, he ran in and asked for a diaper.  I said, "Do you need to poop?"  No answer.  I ran him to the potty.  He climbed on and pooped!!!  WHAT?  Two miracles in a row! 
First, the power of prayer is amazing.  I have prayed and prayed for my sweet Nolen to come back to me.  It is a painstakingly slow process.  I am on the Lord's time.  Not mine.  I know the miracles I see are because of my constant prayer.  I love my sweet little Nolen.  Here's to future miracles and finding happiness in the moment. 
 
Oh, AND I feel like I can officially say: Nolen is sleeping through the night!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Report Card

A friend of mine did a report card on her blog and I figured I would add mine here.  I think it is a really good way to find out how I am doing as a human. So lets see.
Being a Mom: B-
I still find myself being quite selfish.  Edward asks me to play with him about 6 times a day.  Yesterday, I spent 2 hours playing with him then finally got up and grabbed my phone so I could "play" with him.  Then he spent the next 5 minutes saying, "You should play with your plane instead of your phone."  OUCH!  I really want 1 hour to myself so I can get my stuff done.  Really, my "stuff" isn't that important at all.  I just want to read my book, look around facebook, play bejeweled blitz, and some plants verse zombies.  Is that too much to ask?  HA!  Anyhow, that stuff isn't important at all.  I tried making a rule that the play room was a "No phone zone" but I am the one who breaks it.  I will have to try harder to abide my own rule.  I know that soon enough I am going to be begging Edward to get off his phone and talk to me, so I better take advantage of our current situation. 
Being a Wife: A
This grade may seem high, but this is where I can easily shine.  Stephen and I have such an easy relationship.  We fight about twice a year and we don't argue in between our two fights.  It is mostly due to Stephen's easy to please attitude.  I couldn't ask for a better guy.  He does what I want and then I do what he wants.  Simple.  We keep our relationship as simple as possible.  I have been working harder on making his lunch for work, doing his laundry, keeping the house clean, and taking care of the boys.  I feel like that stuff just helps our relationship grow because we aren't constantly fighting about whose job it is to do what.  I am home all day so I do all the house work and all the outside work.  Both things I do enjoy, so not a big deal.  Sometimes pulling the weeds can get tedious because those darn weeds just keep coming back, but oh well.  If I want a beautiful home, I am going to make it that way.  I love, absolutely LOVE, being a wife.  This was the role I was meant to play.  Being a Mom is great; however, recent developments have made that role hard and when things get hard it is tough to find the joy.  There is nothing but joy in my relationship with Stephen.  I love him, he loves me, and that is that.
Spiritually: C-
Ok, ok, ok.  I know!  I know, right?  This should be the easy one.  It's not.  I was recently called to be the Ward Music Specialist.  This should be an easy calling for me.  I love music.  However; I do not know the musically talented people in the ward.  Therefore, asking people to do something is a bit tricky because  I don't know their talent.  Do they sing?  Do they play an instrument? I really don't know.  I have a list of some people who have done things in the past, but when I asked them, they said no.  So, I am sort of failing at this calling.  I am bad at communicating and, well, lets just say it isn't great. 
I try to do a morning devotional and most days I am successful.  We say a prayer and read our scriptures together at the table.  I usually get out a picture book and go over it with the boys so they can learn about specific people from bible times.  I usually tell the story that goes along with the picture, like David and the lions den.  So, that part makes up for my lack of work at church.
 I go to church each Sunday but feel more like an outside observer than an actual member.  I have been going to this new ward for a year; however, I haven't really made a friend in the ward.  I am still an acquaintance.  This is my fault. I am so busy taking care of my boys that I don't stop and chat with anyone.  I like to get to church and leave as soon as possible.  3 hours really is a LONG time to spend at church.  I have been trying to get to know more people, but I find it hard to break in to their circles.  I don't feel like I belong anywhere in the ward.  I will have to work on that.  AND to make it just a little worse, the people I do know are moving. Blah!
Physically: B+
I would give myself an A in this area; however, recent events in my life has caused a major weight gain that I am now trying to gain control.  I started working out in 2003.  I have never stopped.  I started eating healthier in 2005.  I stopped eating out (mostly) when I married Stephen.  So I can usually maintain a pretty healthy weight.  I work out 6 days a week and try to run 6 to 8 miles a week.  Unfortunately, depression can really ruin a good diet and exercise plan.  I didn't stop exercising, instead I did the half hearted work outs that have resulted in a weight gain.  Oh well, such as life.  Up and down.  So I am doing to head back down to my normal weight and get control of this ugly monster.  This is an ongoing battle.
Academically: A
I have been reading and reading and reading.  I could get a masters in autism therapy.  I have tried to stay up on current events and learn knew things.  Most importantly, I really want to home school so I am trying to stay ahead of Edward and find ways to teach him how to read and do math.  Those are the two things I am focused on now.  I wish I was this focused in college, I might have actually learned something. I am also trying to study up on opera's so that I can learn the base story line and learn the main aria's from the opera.  Speaking of learning, I am trying to master this new technique for singing and I have been practicing 30 minutes a day so that I can get better.  Learning is an ongoing process, as well, so I guess I best step it up.
Financially: F
Fail.  Epic FAIL!  Autism is expensive.  That is what I have to say about that.  We were completely out of debt, besides our house and cars, last March.  That is no longer true.  We have spent thousands on autism treatments.  It is so expensive.  It has been 10 months since we starting finding out Nolen has autism and in those 10 months we have tried a lot of things.  The most expensive is daily ABA therapy.  I do believe this is the most beneficial therapy we have tried.  It works wonders.  Nolen still cries because things don't go his way; however, he is communicating so much better.  He has started to say, "Yes" when asked a question.  I think he will need a few more years of the therapy and I am so glad they come to our home.  However; financially, it is going to break us.  I keep hoping that something will change and the cost will go down or somehow the government will realize that ABA is a necessary therapy for children with autism and it will be fully covered by all insurance with out having to pay co-pays and such.  We are paying for a totally different insurance plan just for the therapy.  I know this will be worth it in the end, I just don't like seeing the numbers go UP on my credit cards.  It makes me worry and lose sleep at night. 
Creatively: F
Yes, another F.  I haven't had much time to myself and then just a few days ago, Stephen mentioned that he didn't like my decorating (or lack thereof).  So, I have to change the one wall I actually hung pictures on because he doesn't really like it.  HA!  I am not a decorator AT ALL!  Someone else come and do it for me, please.  Just find simple items that can be destroyed by kids and help me chose paint colors.  I will do all the work.  Just tell me what to do!  I am terrible.  I am not creative in the literal sense.  I am not an artist and I don't have a vision.  Pinterest has some great ideas; however, they all cost money and if you read above, you can see that I don't really have that right now.  So my house sits blank, a white canvas ready for capable hands.  Hands that are not mine.  I will take any input and run with it.
Politically: B
Don't even get me started.  There are so many things going on in the world right now.  Let's just cut it down to the basics.  The way American's get news these days is pathetic.  We rely on unreliable news stations to deliver the facts.  The facts are swayed depending on what new station you watch.  There is so much bias in the news and this leads to misinformation in the political world.  Who do we trust? Who do we believe?  There are such opposing views in the way we receive information, it can be nearly impossible to decipher the truth.  I am following the news and I try to listen/read opposing views so that I can find some basis of truth.  The truth is, we as a country, have changed, dramatically.  We are in a place of acceptance of lies and we disregard the truth.  We accept things that are morally wrong because we don't want to offend anyone.  I, personally, do not want to offend anyone; however, I do have a strict guide for my moral standings.  I will stand firmly on the morals I was raised by and will not falter.  I was taught not to hate or discriminate for others choices.  I was taught to love.  To really LOVE my neighbor.  I strive to love and see the beauty in all people.  It is not my job to judge; however, it is my job to uphold a certain moral code.  That I can do.

Take a moment and write up your report card.  See how you are actually doing these days.  Sometimes, taking a step back and judging/evaluating your own life can be extremely helpful and insightful.  I know the places I am lacking.  I need to pick up the slack.  "Just keep swimming" as Dori would say.