Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fun times!

Simple family outings aren't so simple when you have an Asperger's kid with sensory issues. It's a realization that I'm finally coming to after years of fighting to make things happen, only to end up with a whole family meltdown by the end of an evening of "fun".

There are just certain things that Ellie does not like, and cannot handle. As she's gotten older, and can communicate better, we're starting to figure out what does and does not work. She can handle a lot more than she used to, thanks to therapy and medicine, but there are still situations we avoid. Anything super loud, crowded places, music shows, etc..not so good for her. It's hard though, with the other kids in the house that CAN handle those things. I struggle to find a balance of fun and exciting for my younger two, and calm and relaxing for Ellie. I'm learning to take the opportunities for the more exciting stuff when Ellie spends a night at Grammie's, and relax a little more about always needing to keep the family together.

The other night one of those opportunities presented itself, and with Ellie at Grammie's house, J and I decided to take Annie and Austin to ride go-carts! The four of us had a blast at The Track. We played arcade games, rode The Lumberjack, and finished off with Andy's frozen custard! It was a great night, and I am so happy with how much fun my little A's got to have. Ellie was completely happy to have NOT gone, and came home thrilled with her special time at Grammie's. Yay!

I still have this nagging guilt down deep though, a feeling that Ellie missed the fun. I guess more than guilt it's just that desire in me for her to enjoy the things the rest of us do. I'm trying to let that go, and be ok with it all...I'm getting there. :-)

But our night with the A's really was picture perfect, only I forgot to take pictures! It was a super warm spring night, and riding the go-carts after the sun went down took me back to my own childhood. I did get a couple of pics in the arcade...Skee Ball!

In the end the boys beat the girls on the track. Darn it. Next time Annie and I will make sure we're in line ahead of those boys!

Here's to taking life one day at a time!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I've been friends with this group for 8 years. 8 wonderful, blessed years. We've crashed IHOP together at midnight, we've invaded restaurants asking for a kids table to seat 12, and an adults table for 6. We've gotten some looks... :-)

This time we took our crew to the zoo. We've done the zoo before, when we've frantically chased toddlers and exhaustedly pushed strollers. This time was better. This time was actually fun!

Our crew. Love them.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Bloggy Catch-up

I've been blogging like crazy 2008 (and 2009!)

So if you see any weird posts showing up in your news feed, that's why!

I'm trying to catch up, make sure I've recorded everything I wanted to. It's mostly pictures and just a few words, and it's mostly because I want to print my blog as a scrapbook for our family.

But as I read through my old posts I find myself missing that writer. I like her funny words, her deeper thoughts, even her good advice.

Sigh...I don't feel much like her lately.

Ever feel like your life is in limbo? Like its been that way for a loooong time? And wonder when the limbo game will be over? Or is it just me and my crazy life?

I'm trying to find peace within the limbo-ness. But honestly, it's really hard.

And I'm trying to find that girl that used to write with such confidence. That girl that didn't worry so much about over-sharing or under-sharing. That girl that just said what she felt and thought.

I know she's in here somewhere.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Everybody loves a Segway!

When we heard daddy's shop bought a Segway, you know we had to go try it out!

So fun!!!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Unusual Warmth

It's March 13th, 2012...

3 kids, one hose, one happy afternoon.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

A great day of nothing.

Today was a great day. We got the kids back from Grammie about noon, made a quick stop at Target, and then came home.

That's it.

But that's not really it. On this rainy day we played wii games, painted the dogs toenails, (sorry Delilah!) made cookies, cooked together, and watched movies.

And I didn't have to discipline any of my children at all. Seriously.

I can hardly believe it myself.

We're 2 1/2 days into Spring Break 2012, and so far so good. I don't think I've ever been able to say that.

Today was a very normal day for some families, for's amazing. And I don't take it for granted, not for a moment.

Thank you God for a beautifully perfect, great day of nothing.


Tornado Pictures


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Leap Year Tornado

(Disclaimer: This is a little long and mostly for my personal memories.)

Just after midnight on February 29th, Ellie woke me up. It wasn't storming yet, but she and I both knew it was coming. She always checks the weather before bed, and I had even stayed up to watch the local meteorologist tell us what to expect. But no one expected...

Between midnight and 1am Ellie and I dozed off and on. The wind picked up and I checked my phone for weather updates. Sometime after 1 it showed that we had changed from a watch to a warning. I got up to check the tv reports, and our power went out. Ellie and I woke up J, Austin and Annie and headed downstairs. The wind howled loudly. Jason missed a call on his phone, and soon mine rang. The ADT lady reported glass breakage at our new shop, and gave us the news that apparently the police phone lines were down. We quickly realized this was very serious. Within minutes it was calm again outside, and Jason went into town to see what had happened. After I calmed the kids down and got them to sleep (all 3 snuggled in my bed) I spent the rest of the night texting, facebooking, and listening to a police scanner app. The reports were grim.

Jason says what he saw as he drove in looked like a war zone. Like something from a natural disaster movie. Trees down everywhere, emergency vehicles, strobe lights, the Hilton hotel with it's white curtains flapping in the wind outside of broken windows, against the dark night sky.

Our shop took a hit. Broken windows and doors, awnings mangled or missing. Some glass inside, but not much. Thankfully all but one of our windows were a special safety glass that held up. We're considering ourselves lucky.

Lots of businesses didn't fare as well. Many on the "strip" are totaled. A few theaters, several hotels, a large shopping center, a grocery store and Walmart, our sweet little market Sunfest, one of our friends go-cart tracks...all heavily damaged. The tornado lasted for 22 miles. It came 1/2 mile from our house. For weeks we'll be driving past the wreckage on our way to school. Ellie has a friend who lost her home, and another boy in her class who's roof was torn off. One teacher from our school, who lives very near us, lost her home. Everywhere we look now we see blue tarps on homes, trees uprooted, and oddly hanging phone lines as they make all the repairs. Our power was out for 18 hours, my friend Ami's was out for 3 days. School was canceled the following day due to the wreckage on the roads...

Jason and Chris spent about 40 hours straight at the shop. They worked to get things cleaned and temporarily fixed so they could open and serve the needs of others. The shops' power came on after 36 hours. Now, almost 2 weeks later we still have boards in our windows, but new windows and awnings are ordered.

We will never forget this. My uncle asked me if I'd ever seen tornado damage like this in real life. I thought I had, but now realize I hadn't. It's unreal. Indescribable.

Our old shop took a hit as well. Holes in the roof, water damage. Thankfully it was still vacant as now it needs a whole new ceiling and roof, and new wiring.

It's hard to see our town like this. In a tourist town you need people to come. It's our livelihood. But already people are rebuilding and spirits are raising. Amazingly no lives were lost here as they were other places. We remember Joplin less than a year ago...

Leap year 2012 will definitely go down in history. Our lives are changed. My kids have seen first hand what a natural disaster is. But we are still standing. And thanking God for his mercy.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Da babies.

Lauren came for a visit!

These guys are so cool!

Annie was in heaven!

Even Austin finally decided he liked them. :)

We love you Tripp and Jake!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I've been dreading this birthday. Not so much because of the number...ok, a little because of the number, but more because I always do a little self reflecting when my birthday comes, and this year I'm not loving what I'm seeing.


Then my husband goes and plans a great night, with great friends, and even surprises me with a cake!

2 of my bff's!

My awesome husband!

My bro and sis-in-law. This picture will forever make me laugh!

I also had a fun day with my cousin Lauren and her two Adorable babies, complete with ice cream sundaes! On my birthday I got to have breakfast with my friends, and then spend the day shopping with my mom. She gave me these beautiful flowers!!

AND a few days later a nice coffee date with Nana and Michelle.

So, I'm feeling better. How could I not? I have family and friends that love me even when I'm not loving myself. People that can change my attitude with their smiles and hugs.

I am blessed.