Aug 20

Pre-K/ Kindergarten Inclusion





Aug 20

Thimerasol- Let the Science Speak

New York News

Aug 20

CDC Corruption Uncovered

Aug 19

Our Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

NotBackToSchool

I normally begin planning for the next school year around March. This gives me plenty of time to research curriculums, shop for the best deals, and evaluate our current curriculum for changes that need to be made. I also ask my boys to write out a list of things they would like to learn. Although incorporating volcanoes, turtles, fish, tsunamis, or the elemental make up of a Lego piece creates more work in my planning, it gives my children an incentive to work hard in math, reading, writing, science, etc., because they have their “subject” to look forward to. Researching information on my kids’ lists motivates them but also gives them a tiny amount of control in what they want to learn.

If you missed last year’s curriculum choices, you can read that HERE.

Bookworm (my oldest)

Math – Teaching Textbooks Level 5 and Life of Fred.

English – Rod and Staff and some Sonlight

Literature – Sonlight and Pathway Readers. Plus ALOT of reading!

Spelling – All About Spelling

Grammar-Sonlight

History – Sonlight Core D+E

Science – LifePac Science, Sonlight Human Body-I had intended to do this last year BUT this year he is really ready, he has also asked to study more about Young Living Essential Oils. These studies will be spread out more than one school year.

Music – Piano Lessons, possibly trumpet lessons, this, this,this and this and History of Hymns

Handwriting – He will do dictation and also work on improving his cursive using Handwriting Without Tears

Computer – He will be learning how to make graphics and to run his own blog/website.

Bible – Sonlight, AWANA, and Patch the Pirate. We are also still reading through THIS book.

 

Turtle (my middle child)

Math – Horizons and Life of Fred

English – Rod & Staff, Sonlight, and Pathway

Literature – Some Abeka, Pathway Readers and Sonlight

Grammar-Sonlight

Spelling – All About Spelling

History – Abeka and Sonlight

Science – Sonlight and LifePacs

Music – Piano, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE and History of Hymns

Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears and dictation

Bible – THIS book, Sonlight, Patch the Pirate, and AWANA

 

Nemo (my youngest)

Math – Horizons and Life of Fred

Reading – Skip &Daisy, Rod & Staff readers, and Pathway Readers

Spelling – He likes to observe his brothers All About Spelling lessons. He also loves to spell with games

History – History For Little Pilgrims

Science – We will do read-alouds and he will plug into his brothers lessons when he wants to

Music – He will listen to what he is interested in out of the other 2 boys classes.  I will work with him SOME on piano

Handwriting – Handwriting Without Tears and Star Wars Workbooks

Bible-AWANA, Patch the Pirate, and THIS book

All the boys will be taking Piano, Gymnastics, and Swim lessons. They will also be participating in AWANA.

All three boys will also be participating in a Homeschool co-op 1 morning a week followed by our weekly field-day.

We also read….A LOT! Each boy will always be on an assigned reading list, to include a list that we read aloud together.

That is pretty much out year! Hope that helps!!! Stay tuned, I will be doing in-depth reviews of some of our curriculum and will have some giveaways! Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a post! :)

Just for fun here is a video:

In Christ,

Laura

 

 

 

 

The post Our Curriculum Choices 2014-2015 appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 19

6 Things I Wish I Had Known About Sex (Before I Got Married)

Imagine with me, three Christian friends all talking about their experiences growing up and how those experiences affected the most intimate parts of their marriage: sex.

Just a few weeks ago, that was me, Aprille, and Katie. I’m not sure how the topic started, but we all agreed it’s something that should and needs to be spoken about more often. We didn’t tell each other the private workings of our marriages, but more discussed how what we were taught growing up affected our sex lives as newlyweds and maybe even now.

Out of that discussion came this post. Aprille is a wonderful writer and she put together what the rest of us just couldn’t put to words. I hope that whether you are married or not, that you find this post encouraging and can glean something from the tips!

Things I Wish I had Known About Sex

 

Things I Wish I had Known About Sex:

1. Most Christian sex advice is full of gender stereotypes that are often not true.
If I could summarize typical sex advice, it would go something like this:

Women, your man will want sex a lot, frequently, all. the. time. Make sure you are always available. Make sure to look attractive for him all the time. Sex is how you show him you respect him, so give it to him a lot, because he NEEDS it. (Oh, and don’t forget the lingerie!)

Men, your woman needs AFFECTION and ROMANCE. The sex isn’t that important for her. She needs dating, cuddles, talking, and foreplay. She needs LOVE.

But in a lot of relationships, this simply isn’t true. Some men don’t need or want sex as much as their wives do. Some men dislike lingerie. Some men actually *gasp* NEED cuddling to help them get in the mood. Some women would rather have sex than go on a date.

  • Tip: Instead of reading a book of sex advice, try talking to your spouse about what HE wants – and be honest with him about your needs and desires.

2. Marriage is a game-changer.
I write this from the perspective of someone who was a virgin on her wedding day. Before I married my husband we were hungry for each other, and it was torture to not “be together.” We tried to be good but it was oh. so. hard to keep our hands to ourselves.

After the vows were said, things changed. Suddenly we realized just how involved sex is, emotionally and physically, and we underestimated how it would make both of us feel.

Sex is an experience, and not one you are going to be able to have all the time, no matter how sex-crazed you feel when you are dating. You are building a life together, and you start to realize that sex is just one of the bricks you use to do it. There’s more to marriage than sex, and that realization can hit hard if your expectations are misguided.

  • Tip: If you aren’t married, let me assure you. Sex probably won’t happen nearly as much as you think it will. This doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong or that your marriage is doomed. It’s just a part of life.

3. Sex is not that great at the beginning.
Sex is a learned skill…and even harder in that it is a learned TEAM skill. It takes practice, patience, frustration, fumbling, feeling clueless, and learning how to work together. Things aren’t going to feel wonderful all the time. It might even be painful at first. (And later on, when you start getting adventurous, new positions will be just as awkward and painful). At some point you will probably both find yourself saying Ow! or No, not like that! You’ll bonk heads (figuratively and literally), you’ll disagree, you’ll miscommunicate – and if you are human, you’ll probably fight about it.

  • Tip: If are newly married and you don’t think your sex life is that great, don’t worry. The frustration you feel is normal. Don’t beat yourself up if sex is a little awkward. It can get better in time.

4. Stress kills libido {yes, even in men}.
After we got married, we immediately started preparing for a year-long deployment. There were exercises for him to attend, bags to pack, stuff to buy, check-lists to pour over, a wife to leave behind – and the dangerous, scary, and unknown waiting for him. And when he said he was too tired, not in the mood, didn’t feel like it – I thought there was something wrong with me. Now, six years later, I realize that he was just really really stressed, and stress really can kill your sex drive.

I’ve heard the same thing from other wives. “When he’s stressed out, he doesn’t want it.” Maybe your spouse is going through college, maybe you are having a baby, maybe you experienced a miscarriage, maybe it’s his job. There are so many things on a man’s plate and if any of it is stressing him, it could be the cause of his lack of interest.

  • Tip: If your husband isn’t in the mood, don’t automatically assume you are the problem. Look for other stressors in his life that could be killing his drive. See if there’s anything you can take off his plate, or simply be there to help support him through the stress.

5. Your sex appeal is about so much more than your body or appearance.
You don’t have to look like a Victoria’s Secret model – and chances are, he doesn’t want you to. He loves you because you are you. There’s nothing wrong with looking nice, dressing up, smelling good, or wearing something sexy. But you might find that it’s other things that turn him on. The way you work hard in the kitchen, the way you dance in the car to the songs on the radio, the cute way you say things, the way you rub his back when you are watching TV, or the way you are there for him when he’s scared. A clean house or his favorite root beer in the fridge might do more to attract his physical advances than prancing around in lingerie. He didn’t marry an object, he married a person. Be a beautiful person.

  • Tip: Talk with your spouse about what he appreciates the most about you and what turns him on. You might be surprised at his answers.

6. It gets better the longer you are together.
To follow up on #3, it really is true. You start to learn yourself and your partner. You learn what works and what doesn’t – for both of you. You find a rhythm and a schedule. And things just start to make sense. You start to enjoy it more and more. Less fumbling and more loving.

  • Tip: Be patient and relax in the learning. You’ll get the hang of this, and it will be good.

Are there things about sex you wish you knew about before you got married? What are they?

Aprille DonaldsonAprille is a twenty-something mom of one very active little boy and the wife of a combat veteran. She blogs at Beautiful In His Time, her personal chronicle about finding God’s beauty in her often messy life – her marriage, her mothering, and her personal relationship with God. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, Pinterest, and Instagram.

The post 6 Things I Wish I Had Known About Sex (Before I Got Married) appeared first on Singing through the Rain.

Aug 19

The Boxcar Children DVD {Review and Giveaway}

BoxcarChildren

We love “The Boxcar Children.” Many curriculums, whether public, private or home school, have these wonderful books on their reading list. This series seems to be a huge hit for children of all ages. Finding a good, clean series that is age appropriate can be a challenge. My oldest loved this series so much that we acquired quite a collection of them.

The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, No. 1) (Boxcar Children Mysteries)
or you can get the 12 book set below

This movie is based on the first book of the series.

Here is the description:

About the Film

Four orphaned and homeless siblings happen upon an abandoned boxcar, which with a little creativity and hard work, they gradually furnish with all the comforts of home. Fearful that they will be sent to live with the reputedly cruel grandfather they have never met, the children keep their new home a secret – until a serious illness forces them to reveal themselves in order to save young Violet.

About the Cast

Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors, including Academy Award Nominee Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman), Zach Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Joey King (Fargo), Mackenzie Foy (Twilight series), and Jadon Sand (LEGO: The Movie), this is the very first full-length, animated feature adaptation of Gertrude Chandler Warner’s best-selling classic!

I didn’t find any major inconsistencies between the movie and the book. My two oldest boys have read the books and they both loved the movie and have been asking to watch it again! Also, neither one of them could find any inconsistencies the book. In fact, my mom watched the movie with us and she is ready to purchase the entire Boxcar Children DVD series!

Have you heard your children saying something in that “slangy” talk? We all have heard it. I can’t stand all the slang talk in movies, especially children’s movies. I am THRILLED that this movie had NO slang talk or bad words. It is a wonderful, clean story that your entire family can enjoy watching over and again. My kids ages are 10, 7, and 5 and all of them loved it. I give the movie 10/10!!! If you love this book series you will want this movie!

The Dove Foundation gives this movie a Family-Approved rating for kids of all ages. You can order it HERE off Amazon.

Here is a video clip about the movie:

You can order at the links above OR click below for your chance to win ONE copy!!!

In Christ,
Laura

The post The Boxcar Children DVD {Review and Giveaway} appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 18

The Past Three Weeks & Why I Choose Social Media

It’s been over three weeks since I last blogged and I’m finally back and ready to talk! Even though I’ve already posted some of this on Facebook, I felt I needed to post some of it here as well before I moved on to other topics and posts.

The past three weeks have been incredibly hard. My sister-in-law who has been living with us for the past 5 months to try and help with our two special needs kids, went to visit family and did not come back to live with us. It was unexpected, we were given two days notice, and we had less than a week until we moved to a new house.

I know that not most people get to have someone live with them to help, but if you knew our situation you would understand. My husband will be leaving eventually on a one year tour for the military and I thought I was going to have support and help during that time. Apparently it was not meant to be, but to be honest we were quite shocked.

On top of that, we were devastated to learn some things about our family. We learned that family is not always who they say they are. That just because you share the same blood, it doesn’t mean that they will be there for you, support you, or believe in you. It’s been one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn yet.

Sick Kids

My two very sick kids.

Only a few days after the news above, my daughter tested positive for the H1N1 flu. I have no idea where she got it, and was shocked that such an awful flu is going around during the summer months. Two days later my son got it.

So I have two kids running 103-104 temperatures and it’s moving day. Granted, we were only moving two streets over to a bigger house on the base, but between packing boxes, and desperate calls to the nurse at all hours, you could say we were already exhausted.

Then during the move, when they were trying to disconnect our washer machine, a pipe burst. It was awful. The entire downstairs of our old house flooded. It happened so fast, but I was able to move the sick kids upstairs. Everyone else tried to quickly move our things outside to dry ground so that they didn’t get wet. Maintenance was called, but we had already packed our towels and had no way to clean up the water.

We waited two hours for maintenance to show up. Meanwhile, I am knocking on neighbor’s doors begging for towels and asking to borrow shop vacs. By the time maintenance arrived, we had it under control and mostly cleaned up. The water was dirty and smelled and the whole house smelled now too.

Flood

Our house after the pipe burst…

Later that night, my daughter took a turn for the worse. At 2 am we made the decision to take her to the ER. After about 8 hours in a room in the ER they decided to move her to an inpatient room on the pediatric floor to monitor her overnight and give her IV fluids. It turns out that even with a feeding tube you can get very dehydrated.

Back at the house, my son is still sick, and we still had a good amount back at the old house to pack up and move over, not to mention a mess from the flood. Somehow we managed to do it all with the help of friends and people we barely know. I have never been more grateful in my entire life.

Two days later my husband gets the flu. The doctor says he is severely dehydrated and wants him at the hospital if his fever hits 104. I take his temperature: 103.4. The doctor ordered 4 oz of fluids every 20 minutes. So between timers, me making him drink the baby’s pedialyte, and friends bringing gatorade he managed to stay out of the hospital.

Somehow amid it all, I managed to be the only one in my family not to get the flu. I suppose it was a blessing and a miracle, but after everything we had been through I just wanted a few days to lay in bed and rest.

That has been the past three weeks for me and that has been one of the main reasons I have not blogged. At this point and many other points that people don’t know about, I have stopped blogging in order to better take care of my family. My family always comes first. In fact, this whole year has been a big step back for me with blogging due to my daughter being in the hospital four times, and because of all her special needs. I’m sure you are wondering where I am going with this and it’s sad that I have to explain all this, but I think it needs to be said. I hope that it will be helpful to others who feel and do the same as me.

We have had several people accuse me of being dramatic and wanting attention when it comes to the things that I post on my blog and on social media. These are people from my church and people in our family. At first, I was able to get past it, but as time has gone on more and more people have come out and said things. I can’t express enough how very very hurtful it has been.

Social Media

Graphic By: Master isolated images – freedigitalphotos.net

I do NOT put my entire life out on social media (Facebook, etc) or my blog. There is a lot that those of you who follow along don’t know and there is a lot that I choose not to put out there due to personal reasons, a good amount believe it or not. But I do choose to be open on social media for several reasons:

3 Reasons Why I Choose Social Media

1. It’s an Easy Way to Communicate With More Than One Person at a Time.
We are a military family. We live away from family and friends and with everything that goes on in the lives our kids (their health and special needs, not to mention everything else), it’s very easy to be able to just put updates out on Facebook so that I don’t have to call everyone each time someone wants an update. It’s there for those who care and for those that don’t, that’s okay too. But it’s out there so that everyone who needs or wants to know what’s going on with our family can have it.

2. I Use it to Show People That You Don’t Have to Hide Behind Fake, “Happy Statuses” All the Time.
It’s ok to say, “Hey I am hurting today, and I need some extra help.” or “Hey, today was a bad day, but that’s okay, tomorrow will be better.” It doesn’t always have to be “happy-go-lucky” all the time. You don’t have to pretend to be someone or something you’re not. I’d much rather read real statuses about real people who are struggling, but are getting through it, then statuses and updates from those who hide behind the “my-life-is-perfect-and-nothing-ever-goes-wrong” statuses.

3. I Use it To Try and Make a Difference.
I am not perfect and I have a lot to learn. I am the first to admit that I can be just as sinful and crazy as the next person, but I hope that somewhere along the way, I have reached out to someone. I hope that I have encouraged someone in this journey we call life. I know that there have been others who have encouraged me with their posts and prayers, and I hope that I can do the same for others as well. Isn’t that what we’re here for? To make a difference? To show God’s love?

While it may look like I spend a lot of time on my blog or on social media, and while I have been accused of neglecting my children to spend time on it, I would like to say how easy it is to quickly post a status via my phone. Or upload pictures while I am sitting on the floor playing with my kids or in one of the many waiting rooms I sit in for my children’s therapy and doctor’s appointments.

I would never ever choose social media or my blog at the expense of my family. I spend time online yes, but what many people don’t know is that much of that time is spent trying to make money to help my family. Or that a lot of blog posts and social media updates are scheduled out sometimes days and in the past even weeks in advance. Every little bit of time online counts and the $2,000. I have made so far this year via “spending time online” or what I call working and having a job, has been a huge help.

I know that things may seem dramatic when it comes to my children, and I don’t mean to make it sound in that way. Sometimes I get worked up, I am anxious about my children and about getting all their needs met, and I am willing to do ANYTHING to help them have their best chance at life. If that means taking them to therapies, doctors, and specialists, and yes even traveling all over the country, then I will drop everything to do it.

If there was only one thing I could say to all of you my friends, it’s that all we ask for is a little understanding even though you don’t understand. Yes, you don’t have special needs kids. Yes, we live a different life than most. And yes, it’s hard. But just please, try and understand. Please be understanding before you pass judgements or say things that are hurtful. And please know that we love our kids so very much and just want what’s best for them just as every parent does and should.

Social media can be a time-killer that’s for sure, but it can also be used for many good things. It’s all in how you use it. It’s all in your priorities. Maybe for some it’s time you stepped back a bit. Maybe for others, it’s time you came out on it a little more. For everyone it’s a little different and that’s okay with me.

 

The post The Past Three Weeks & Why I Choose Social Media appeared first on Singing through the Rain.

Aug 18

Modest Monday: My Top Picks Of Where To Buy Modest Clothes

Modest Outfit Links-1

There you are, staring at your closet because you have decided to get rid of clothing that isn’t modest.  The excitement fills the air as you begin your new path to modesty. You fight back the “what ifs” – you know, all the reasons not to rid yourself of immodest clothing. You are triumphant in your war against the “what ifs”, but then the next thought creeps into your mind….where do you find modest clothing?   Personally, I have found that obtaining modest clothing is easier than you think. I shop just about everywhere, which we will get to in a bit. I have also found that you can take otherwise immodest clothing, layer it, and make a beautiful modest outfit.

Where do I shop?  Here is a list of my FAVORITE stores:

  • Macy’s – One of three (if not all three) thoughts just popped in your mind: the parade, the location and the price.  Macy’s can be pricey, but there are ways around those expensive price tags. I have shopped at Macy’s for years. However, I never shop there without COUPONS and SALES!!! I LOVE a good bargain. I watch and wait for the sales and take advantage. If you don’t have the RetailMeNot app on your phone, you need it! That app saved my mom and me a bunch of money the last time we hit up Macy’s! Macy’s has a great selection of shirts, skirts, and modest clothing!
  • Dress Barn – I love this store!!! I can always find nice dresses, skirts, blouses/tops and so much more here. They have sales often – both online and in store. They also give a military discount which I can combine with the sale price.  The Dress Barn has clothing through plus size as well!
  • Christopher & Banks – They have great sales often, which can also be combined with not only a military discount, but also a teacher discount! I have bought so many skirts and outfits from this store. Christopher & Banks also carries plus size clothing.
  • NY & Co – This store was named X prior to NY&Co.  I have shopped here for about 20 years! This is another store that gives a military discount AND you can combine it with sale prices! You can always find outfits that are modest or with a bit of layering, you can make a beautifully modest outfit.
  • JcPenny’s – A wonderful selection of clothing to choose from. Sadly, they don’t give a military discount but they often have sales AND coupons!!! JcPenny’s carries clothing in all sizes from infants to adults.
  • Old Navy – I have found a lot of maxi skirts and dresses here. They also have very cute and modest tops. I love their tank tops for modesty and their tights! Old Navy also gives a military discount which again can be combined with coupons and sale prices!!! Old Navy carries a wide range of sizes too!
  • The Gap - When I wore jeans, this was my go-to store. The fit of their jeans was honestly one of the best outside of my Miss Me Jeans.  They have a wide selection of tops to choose from and carry seasonal skirts. I prefer the outlet stores because I can combine sales, coupons, and military discount! I once bought over $300 worth of clothing for less than $50!
  • Ross – A great place to get clothing at a good price! You can also find name brand items at a fraction of the cost you would pay almost anywhere else. Most of the clothing is priced very low.
  • Wal-Mart – Believe it or not, Wal-Mart has some really nice options, but just like any other store, you have to look. I have bought skirts, dresses, sweaters, and tops here that I really love! You can save a lot of money during sales.
  • Target – Similar to Wal-Mart, but more coupons available. I love their clothing and can always find something that is modest or I can make modest! Again, watch for those sales and coupons! Many times they can be combined if you just pay attention.
  • Goodwill – If you have been following me for a while, you know my love for Goodwill…LOL.  For me, half the fun of shopping here is the thrill of the search.  I have left Goodwill a few times empty-handed, unable to find anything, but I always have fun searching for those things that shout “Here I am! Pick me! I am a $30 shirt for only $3!”  There have also been times when I had to make choices of which things to buy because I found so many great bargains. That is a good thing, right? I have found ALOT of modest clothing, such as culottes, skirts, shirts, blouses, and jackets. I have been VERY successful at finding name brand clothing VERY cheap. In fact, I have also found clothes with the tags still attached….never worn! On a few occasions, I have found the cutest shoes. If you haven’t tried a Goodwill, don’t miss out! Also, check with your local Goodwill for certain discounts. The one I shopped at in Washington gave a Facebook discount on certain days. All I had to do was bring in my smart phone, pull up Facebook, and show that I had “liked” them.  Go out and see what discounts your local Goodwill gives.  You will be surprised how much money you can save.

Ok as much as I love to get out and shop in person, I also LOVE to shop online.  Most of the stores mentioned above also have an online store.  Keep in mind, some stores have In-Store ONLY specials, as well as Online ONLY specials. Keep an eye out for both to save the most.  Here is my list of my favorite online stores:

  • Dainty Jewells – I have shared many outfits by my friend Charity who owns Dainty Jewells.  I absolutely love the dresses and outfits for church especially! They are beautiful and Christ honoring.  Charity was a homeschool kiddo who learned to sew as a child. She opened up her own business and it soared! Now she is married and her business continues grow! God has truly blessed her and she continues to bless many by providing Christ-honoring, modest clothing options!
  • eShakti – You can personalize much of the clothing before ordering.  You can alter the length, sleeves and neckline before it is even shipped! It is amazing to be able to get a dress that is just right! I have several of their dresses and adore each one of them!
  • Zulily – A wonderful online store that constantly has great deals! I have bought a lot of shoes, skirts, and other clothing at a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere! Did you know that you can earn points from Zulily be referring them to your friends? You can then use those points and cash them in and save even more!
  • Apostolic Clothing – This is another store that I just love! I have been very satisfied with everything I have purchased They have beautiful skirts, dresses, blouses and other pieces. The customer service is fabulous, too!
  • NoVae Clothing – NoVae has a mix of clothes from pants to dresses. This store is run by a stay-at-home mom who is super sweet and has great customer service as well. I have not been displeased with anything I have bought from them.
  • MikaRose – I have bought several dresses and skirts here. They carry a GREAT selection of modest choices!
  • Kosher Casual – They have great clothing options, including workout skirts!!! All items are made in Israel.
  • Sexy Modest – Don’t let the name fool you, because it fooled me for a long time. You can find some really nice modest clothing options, such as pants and skirts/dresses and nice blouses/tops! I have loved everything I have bought.
  • SweetSalt Clothing – This site was recently featured on Fresh Modesty’s blog and I am LOVING their clothing! They have a great selection of modest clothes and I am THRILLED they are a sponsor of the giveaway today!!! I also cannot wait to take part in more reviews of this company’s clothing. Check them out and you will probably be hooked too!
  • Junie Blake – Another great modesty site to bookmark!
  • Sierra Brooke -I personally have never ordered from here but many have recommended it.
  • Deborah & Co - This store is owned by Caroline Allen, who is a super sweet stay-at-home mom. I have always loved everything I have purchased from Deborah & Co and the customer service is wonderful as well.
  • NeeSee Dresses – I just stumbled across this site and I really like it so far! I cannot wait to review something from them :)
  • Jade MacKenzie – A great online modesty store with such lovely items!  Wait until you see what she is bringing out on the site for FALL!!! I can hardly wait until it is released! :)
  • DownEast Basics – I personally have never ordered from here but many have recommended it.
  • ThredUP – Similar to Goodwill, but with even higher end clothing options for an affordable price! I have placed orders several times and have been more than pleased with my purchase! On a side note, it helps to have a plan when you go on there. You can find yourself overwhelmed with the options and choices. Also, this is another company that YOU can make money when you refer them!

Skirts and Layering

Make-Up

I posted my views about Make-Up HERE. I personally love Mary Kay  Make-Up!!!

So those are some of my favorite places to shop for modest clothing. I put this together just in time for the Fall 2014 color selection!!! So what are some of your favorite modesty stores? Comment below and share where you like to shop or find deals on modest clothing!

Ok here is what I wore and THEN you can enter the Giveaway! lol :)

On Fridays we do a light day in school until our Co-Op begins in September. So we have been doing Fun Friday’s and going on field Trips. This past week we went to the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. We also visited a few memorials from the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War! I did a little pattern mixing with this outfit. It was so comfortable!

Modesty Links-3

 

Modesty Links-4

Modesty Links-6

Xander Modesty-2

Modesty Links-8

 

Modesty Link-5

Headband: Lilla Rose

Stripped Top: I.N.C from Macy’s

White HalfTee from: HalfTee

Skirt: I.N.C from Macy’s

Shoes: Sperry’s from the Exchange in Oklahoma. I linked to amazon in case you wanted them.

Now you can enter the giveaway! :) Please be sure to follow all the steps  and thank you again to Sweet Salt for the giveaway!!!

In Christ, Laura

The post Modest Monday: My Top Picks Of Where To Buy Modest Clothes appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 17

Cranio-Sacral, energy work, and recovery

Its been a while since I have posted anything. We have been busy, and Isaac has kept us busy.

he has been doing some rather awesome things.

For one, he has acted like a brat on purpose and for that I am happy.
I want him to act typical , so that I can see him.

I am quick to tell him that we don't act whinny, and that if he wants something he has to ask for it, just like the girls do.


We have started cranio-sacral massage therapy. In fact-- it all happened so fast, I am still pinching myself.

I have been praying and wanting to get this kind of help for Isaac.

I read a book called "Your Inner Physician and You"


I read it-- and what  a book! Remarkable stories of recovery from paralyzing disabilities.


I am a firm believer in letting the body heal itself.
I believe that God allows the body to heal.


We need to stop being afraid of what we don't know and embrace what The Lord has given us.



Well to tell you how we have this massage therapist-- she moved into our neighborhood. She is a military wife.

I am so glad that God answers prayers.

It hasn't been in our time, but His time, and I am so glad that he gives us what we desire.


Isaac is afraid of doctors. I think his body remembers what happened to him. I think he needs to release those emotions in order to heal.

I know it can be done.

Sometimes I think I still have those emotions trapped inside of me-- of that fateful day that he was changed forever.



Can I let go of what my son "could have been" and still yearn and work for recovery for him?


Absolutely.


In fact, I think its one thing I have been scared of most.

Giving up on my son.


I will never give up on him, but I do know I need to let go of what I thought he would be--- but that doesn't mean I am in no way giving in to mediocre care.

I want recovery as much as he can handle.

I want him to be able to speak.

I want his voice to return-- even if its in the form of a communication device.


Part of me believes that If I just give in to what other believe (  that Isaac will always be this way)
that he wont get better.


But I expect great things to happen for Isaac.
I believe in recovery.
It matters not what others think.







Aug 17

The day I told Autism to F*CK OFF…

I know that I am going to get a lot of flack for the title alone. But please hear me out. I, like many other families out there, either are struggling with how to correctly care for our autistic loved ones or dealing with the outside world's prospective of what living with Autism actually is like, are tired. Tired of a lot things that get associated or even our reality when it comes to Autism. That doesn't mean to say that we dislike or hate our loved ones, but its to say that we are run down, tired, exhausted and quite frankly just a tad annoyed, again not at the person, but the disorder. Autism, like many other things that a human can have, has its moments of "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT??!" We can hate a disease, as we see what it can to do people we love.  So with that, the day I told Autism to fuck off.

Anyone who reads my blog or follows me on Facebook and or Twitter, knows that I am a mother of three very awesome children. Three amazing little persons that I am truly in awe of.  But as a parent, especially looking at the two that are on the spectrum, I see their struggle with trying to find themselves. Trying to navigate through this world, that is magnified beyond my own comprehension. I see their struggle just to feel part of a group, no matter how hard they try, there is always going to be a time where they are not going to be accepted. I see their struggle just to try and understand tasks that are put in front of them. Things that can be so basic to you and I, are some of the toughest for them.No parent wants to see their child struggle, and yes I know that struggle is a part of life, but its two fold for those who have Autism. They have to work harder more than the average person.

I always say that life is what you make of it. Its going to be challenging at times or it can be breeze. Most of us special needs parents are presented with a nice wide range of difficulties when we try to make sure our children prosper and grow. It doesn't matter where we are or who we are with, since a good portion of  the general public refuses to educate themselves, we are always going to be up against those who feel the need to cast the stares, whisper under abated breath or even have the balls to come and tell us our children need to be institutionalized. No one is going to do that if your child isn't stimming, flapping their limbs or screeching like a banshee because they can't help it. No one is going look at you twice if your child is sitting quietly in a stroller. For some reason, its ok to do that to parents and caregivers of those who are Autistic.

As a parent of special needs children, I am well within my right to be annoyed and angry at something that causes my children strife. I am allowed to feel the way I do, as I am the person that eats.sleeps and breathes what causes my children to struggle. I know in my heart that it isn't my children's fault that this is the life they were given. But god damn it, in my sleep depraved state, I am allowed to not like disease or disorder my children have.

So on those days, where the ignorance is running high, I am working on maybe 2 hours of sleep, the stimming is off the charts, the perservations and the scripting are enough to make a saint lose their patience and I am holding it together with a cup of coffee, a prayer and the strength to know this too shall pass, yeah Autism can fuck off.

Again I will state, that I love my children with every shred of my being.  I will go to the ends of this god forsaken planet in order for them to have a fulfilling life on their terms. It ain't going to be easy  and the path is going to suck, but that is my job as a parent.

Aug 15

Odyssey Adventure Club iPad Mini GIVEAWAY!!!!

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The end of summer is in sight, and OAC is giving away an iPad Mini back-to-school bundle!
It might seem like summer just began for your kids, so if they need some added motivation to get their homework done, remind them they can jump on the Odyssey Adventure Club after their papers are written and their math problems are solved.

As members, your kids can also listen to Album 58 before the album is released to the public! Sign up today for just $5!

Here’s what part one is about (which you can listen to for free HERE):

It’s a time of surprises as Wooton becomes the celebrity guest at Comic-Connellsville and Whit finds himself in conflict over the upcoming “Let’s Get Together Festival” in Odyssey. Plus, hear an interview with writer-director Paul McCusker about the entire 14-part series.

Album 58 was inspired by Focus on the Family’s The Family Project, a 12-session small group experience that explores the theological, philosophical, and cultural underpinnings of the traditional family, and combines that information with inspiring stories and practical tools to help 21st-century families thrive.
Plus, here’s a sneak peek of a new episode called “The Lone Lawman”!

LoneLawman_Final 2

Jason, Whit, Red and the gang rustle up herds of fun while performing a new Kids’ Radio show set in the Old West. “The Lone Lawman” features a confused boy getting mixed up with a shifty band of bank robbers. Can a hero on horseback set things right? See just how wild the West can get in this action-packed send-up of old-time radio dramas.

NOW . . . on to the iPad Mini back-to-school bundle.
One grand prize winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini

Hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. All winners will be announced August 28th on the widget on this page.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit this page again on the 28th to see if you won! (You’ll see the winner’s name in the widget.)

In Christ,

Laura

The post Odyssey Adventure Club iPad Mini GIVEAWAY!!!! appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 15

Shocks, Needles and Surgery

Some of you may remember back in April that I went to see a neurologist about possible MS symptoms.  The neurologist didn’t think I had MS but he wanted to order a brain MRI just to rule it out because of the symptoms I described.  He also wanted to do a nerve conduction test on both of my wrists due to the numbness in both hands.  Both tests were scheduled and then May 1st happened……Brian’s colonoscopy that led him down a road of bleeding, colitis and more testing.  Everything for me was canceled and put on the back burner until now.

Today I had my appointment with my neurologist for the nerve conduction test.  I didn’t read about nerve conduction tests before my appointment, but I figured being shocked was involved and I was right!  He tested both of my wrists and my left leg as well due to some pain I’ve been having in my toes.  After a ton of electrical shocks and needles inserted in my muscles (ouch!), he diagnosed me with carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.  My right wrist is severe and my left wrist is moderate.  He was surprised I hadn’t come to him sooner, I am too since I’ve been having numbness in my hands for over 15 years.  It all started when I was mountain biking several times a week before I got married…..long, long ago.  The pain and numbness has increased over the years to the point now that my hands almost immediately go to sleep if I grip something.  The pain became so severe during the last 2 months I was pregnant with Molly that I had to sleep sitting up in a chair and had to take pain medication.

I need to have surgery in both wrists to release the transverse carpal ligament.  Fun stuff!!  I have my consultation with the surgeon in two weeks and then I’ll most likely have the right wrist operated on first due to it being severe.  I hope the recovery time isn’t too bad.  My mom had carpal tunnel surgery on both of her wrists many years ago which was CRAZY!  I don’t think Morgan would be too thrilled if he had to do everything for the kids plus help me go to the bathroom….bahahaha!  He also tested nerves in my lower arm to make sure there wasn’t neuropathy from something else and luckily my arms and leg were fine.

The neurologist wants to go ahead and have the brain MRI done to rule out MS due to other symptoms I’m having.  I’m sure everything will be fine, but I’m glad he’s being so thorough!

Have a great weekend!

Aug 15

I Saved a Young Man’s Life, But I Cannot Explain How

time_travelWhen I was 17 years old, I saved a young man’s life. But I cannot explain to you how I knew what I needed to do to be there at the right moment to save him. I just knew. My brain works differently than most. Whether it is autism or something else, I just know I have always been “different”.

November 1992

I struggled as a teenager for a lot of reasons. But I was smart, I managed to hold a part time job most of the time, and I had a crap Hyundai to drive. I only got into major trouble once during high school. I lied to my mom about sleeping over at a girlfriend’s house when instead a different group of us girls were hanging at a house of Navy boys renting in town. They were nuke students working at a facility away from the sub base. Uber smart. Nerdy cute. I digress.

It was totally innocent, I think we were all too geeky to get into any real trouble. We picked a movie to watch all together in the living room. The guys had been showing us around the small cape, telling us about its hauntings. Yeah, like ghosts. They told us about glasses of water being moved, doors being opened and closed, that kind of thing. Sounded fascinating, but I don’t think anyone was buying it. Except me. I kind of always kept an open mind about those kinds of things. Who am I to say something does or doesn’t exist? Besides, I had seen things before.

Anyways, I had forgotten to call my mom and tell her I had made it to my girlfriend’s house after work for the sleepover so Mom had gotten worried. Even more worried when she realized I had only been to this girl’s house once before and my mom couldn’t remember exactly which house it was. So by 11pm, my worried and pissed off mother was driving through the streets of the entire town looking for my car. And me.

After about an hour of searching, she found my car. I have no idea how, but this woman found my car on a street hardly ever traveled, miles from home. She wasted no time knocking on the door.

I had been upstairs with two of the boys talking about the ghost activity, one of the other boys had opened the front door as I was coming down the stairs. The look in my mother’s eyes was something otherworldly and I was terrified.

She followed me home and of course she made it clear that I was grounded for life and not to ever EVER EVER go back to that house or see those boys again. She didn’t care that “nothing happened”, this was the first major lie I had told and been caught in the middle of and there was no discussion.

About three weeks later, the day before Thanksgiving, I was at the public library after school. A rare exception to my punishment, but back then we didn’t have the internet for school projects.  My mother had reluctantly allowed me to drive myself to school that day so that I could go downtown to the library before the long holiday weekend. I was told to be home by 5pm or else death. And I believed her.

I was wrapping up with my note cards and a flash went through my head of one of the Navy boys, Drew. I had never really exchanged so much as a word or two with Drew but I had heard he was the only one of the boys not going home for Thanksgiving.  That thought made me sad, but I knew that there was nothing I could do.  I gathered up my backpack and all of my papers and I set out to my car in the parking lot of the library. What happened next, there is no simple explanation.

I was already running late. I was due home at 5pm and my mother did not mince words. If I took the most direct route home I would probably make it with a moment or two to spare. But that’s not what happened. I started driving and I just didn’t go that way. I started driving in the opposite direction toward the Navy boys’ house.  I felt like I had no choice, like I was numb or on autopilot.  In my mind I was terrified of my mother’s response to every action I was taking at this point, but still I could not change course. Though I was scared of getting into trouble with my parents, I was at the same time very calm, my body felt relaxed.

I pulled up to the house where the boys lived and it appeared all dark and quiet.  I went up to the door and knocked, rang the bell, and waited a few long moments. Every moment that passed I was assessing in my mind just how much more pissed my mother was going to be.  No answer.

But I couldn’t leave.  I just couldn’t. I felt I was connected to that space in that moment and I just could not leave.

I stepped back and looked for a light somewhere upstairs.  Nothing.  I walked around the side of the house. Nothing.  I made my way to the back and a light in the upstairs bathroom caught my eye.  I walked up onto the back deck leading to the kitchen slider.  I banged on the glass and grabbed the handle and pulled as hard as I could to see if I could open it.  Nothing.  I stood still and pressed my ear against the glass listening for anything that would tell me if Drew was inside, if he was ok. Because now I knew there was nothing ok here even though I didn’t know why.  Through the glass I could hear music. I banged even harder, I yanked on that door handle with all of my strength. Nothing.

Now I panicked.  My heart was pounding and I felt time slipping away.  I felt urgency and my entire body was shaking.  I jumped back into my car and drove to a pay phone a half mile away and I called Drew’s number.  Nothing.  I drove back to the house and went next door to get a classmate that I knew was friends with one of the other boys. I told her I thought Drew was in the house and something was wrong. She quickly came with me and as we both walked up onto the back deck I showed her the light in the upstairs bathroom. I was telling her about the slider door being locked as I reached for it one more time in desperation – and it opened.

We ran into the house and flew up the stairs to find Drew on the bathroom floor unconscious. He had taken an entire bottle of sleeping pills. He was still breathing but his pulse was very weak. The other girl dialed 911 while I held Drew’s hand.  EMS was quick to arrive.  We were told Drew likely had only minutes left.  He was lucky.

After Drew was taken by ambulance, I drove myself home. I was exhausted. My mother was bitterly angry and unwilling to listen to this experience that was pulling me apart inside. I didn’t blame her. Who could understand? How could I explain it? I was drowning in the enormity of the sequence of events.  The exact calculations of so many events that made this one, singular outcome possible. It was all I could think of. Over and over.

I was most certainly grounded again. Punished for saving a life. That was so totally aggravating and confusing.  Though the entire circumstance felt out of my hands from the very start to the very end. I begged and begged to go to the hospital to see Drew. To hold his hand. That is all I wanted to do. I just wanted to hold his hand one last time and tell him he is loved.

So I did what I had to do. I skipped school on Monday and went up to the hospital to see Drew.  He was still in ICU so I lied and said I was his sister so that I could see him. He was still unresponsive. I sat beside him and I held his hand. I told him I was so grateful to be there in that moment because he was not supposed to leave then.  I didn’t know why, but I just knew that was the truth.

As I left the ICU wing, walking down the long hospital corridor, a woman had gotten off of the elevator and was making her way toward the ICU.  She looked so very tired and yet relieved at the same time.  We were maybe thirty feet from each other, getting closer, when she just stared at me and said, “You are her.”  She ran to me and threw her arms around me.  “You saved my son.”

I froze.  I could feel her warm hug and all of her emotions enveloping me, but I was suddenly breathless and rigid.  Hours went by, days even, before I felt myself allow my body to soften and accept this woman’s embrace.  It felt like an eternity in what I am sure lasted only a moment.

Drew’s mother and I talked for a little while. Their family was from Pennsylvania and she and Drew’s dad had been by Drew’s side all weekend.  The hospital had only told the family that a young girl had found Drew.  She asked me “how” so many times and I just didn’t know what to say. There were no answers. I just did what I did.  And what I didn’t understand I just knew I had to trust was important.  She told me that Drew’s brother had died the year before in a car accident.  She couldn’t have survived losing another child.

I was able to see Drew one more time after he had recovered and before he was released from the hospital. It was awkward, but it felt right. We didn’t exchange any contact information and I have never heard from him or his family again. But they live in my heart forever.

I have learned to not question these events, or my feelings.  If something is meant to be, so be it. We are all here for many, many reasons. Each day, each action causes a reaction that can have a lasting impact on another person. Make every action a loving one.

Peace, Friends.

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“What you experience on your journey depends greatly upon what you allow your eyes to see.” – Rachel Leslie Kenyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[If you are experiencing feelings or thoughts of suicide, please know there are people standing at the ready to help you. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by clicking HERE or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) where you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. Remember, whether you can feel it in your darkest moments, you are loved, so very loved. *I* LOVE YOU.]

suicide

Aug 14

What We’re Currently up To: Week 40

Over the past little while, we’ve been…

mommy-panda-blog-boy-train-table

Searching all over for The Bean’s binkies (pacifiers). I’m pretty much over these, but The Bean is still in love. The Munchkin kicked the binky habit cold turkey the weekend of his second birthday, but I keep telling myself that he had all of his teeth before he turned two. The Bean is still popping them through his gums, so I just need patience. Patience. One perk to him still using them while being so old is that he can tell me when he drops one. Over the weekend, we were walking from Red Lobster to Sam’s Club, and he apparently dropped the beloved binky while we were crossing the street. I was carrying him, and he started to climb down. I put him down so he could walk, not knowing that he’d dropped it, when he started tugging on my arm to go back the other way. I told him that we had to cross the road now (Holla at the un-busy street!) and he said “Key! KEY!” while pointing, which is when I realized he’d dropped his binky. Whew. We walked back over to pick it up, no biggie, but if he hadn’t said anything, who knows when I would have noticed?! And Mr. Man does NOT like sleeping without a binky, and we’re down to three (I found the third one Tuesday in a corner of the living room!) which sounds like we should be fine, but then…you must not know how easily binkies get lost. CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW THIS. These things disappear for days. Weeks, even, in the case of #3.

Wearing outfits with a purpose. Over the summer, I fell into a habit of throwing on easy clothes because it was hot so WHATEVER, but I started feeling really down about it. I know that sounds silly, but clothes make the girl or something? I felt sluggish and lazy because my clothes were sloppy and thoughtless, so I’m trying to put together cute outfits again. I even took some outfit photos again. I took some a couple week ago, but felt fat, ha, so I started running again a little. I took some more yesterday, and they came out better! Oh, fickle fickle me.

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The Munchkin has been needing school to start. His morning ABA tutor has finished, and his afternoon one starts tomorrow in the morning, because he’s in the afternoon class at school, which starts next week. His teacher did an in-home meet and greet kind of thing on Tuesday, which I’ll have to write more about later. About a month or so ago, I mentioned how The Munchkin found his backpack, and wanted to ride the bus, and he’s pretty much been on the same train of thought. School, school, school! He can’t wait for school to start. The afternoon class is a little longer, so while I’m bummed that he won’t be going into a full day program, I think it will be good for him. Having mornings off allows for more ABA, speech, and OT, which is always good too.

The boys have been moving all over the place! Frick and Frack, those two. They chase each other while sword fighting, roam the house in a pack while making animal sounds, and play “Pop Goes the Weasel” with John’s physical therapy bands. I love watching them play together, and John and I can’t help but wonder if The Bean’s play skills are advanced for his age…there is no parallel play here! Monkey see, monkey try to do.

We’ve also been exploring new parts of Kansas…so moving around Kansas? We’ve checked out three parks, two waterfalls, at least two lakes, three or four playgrounds, and a nature center. I really think I should start keeping better track of things and doing a “[Month] by the numbers” post. Those would be cool to look back on, I think!

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Eating food from the garden! Have I written about this before? Probably. BUT OH WELL MY BLOG HERE I GO AGAIN. I’ve prepared a lot of zucchini for the freezer, so that will hopefully keep us fed during the fall, if not into the winter. I’ll have to add it up, but I’d guess I have well over ten cups of zucchini, and the plant is still going! We’ve had a couple of breakfasts that included hash browns made with the potatoes I grew, and some pasta sauce as well. ACTUALLY, I made zucchini pasta one night, and the boys even ate it! The whole meal (except garlic and spices) was from the garden. It warms my heart, you guys, seeing my family eat the food I’ve worked to grow for them. Hooray gardening!

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Pictures: The Bean with his train table | Sleepy pets | Snuggly Bean
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Aug 14

Wherever The River Runs {Review and GIVEAWAY}

Wherever the River Runs

I have really enjoyed Kelly Minter’s works. In fact, I have participated in a Bible study on The Fitting Room    not once, but twice! She has an amazing way of writing that isn’t so deep that it gets lost in translation, but is spot on with the Word of God. She draws you in, encourages you to seek, learn, and grow.   When I saw Kelly’s name come up in my email for a review team, I jumped on it!

Here is what Amazon says about Wherever the River Runs:

This beautiful journey through the Amazon invites readers to search their souls and follow Jesus wherever the river runs—experiencing the adventure of knowing the poor and forgotten people He loves.
In Wherever the River Runs, Kelly Minter invites us on a jungle adventure down a river teeming with piranhas, caimans, a beautiful people, and, especially, God’s presence. Her honest and engaging narrative pulls back the curtain on one of the most captivating places on earth as well as on parts of the gospel we may be able to recite but have never fully believed.
For anyone feeling complacent in their American Christianity, Kelly’s story of the forgotten people of the Amazon and how they transformed her understanding of the gospel, is sure to inspire.
Some of us search to see God in our every day activities, while others look to find Him in unusual places. Sometimes we need to see God through the eyes of others to remind ourselves to look for Him throughout the community that we may have never expected to find Him.  In this book, Kelly faces some challenges and is forced to confront areas of her life that needed much attention. Specifically, her pride, selfishness, and her unbelief. As she encountered the poor and less fortunate, she realized that God sees and does not forget those in need. After the completion of her trip, she was then faced with finding ways in her own community to help the needy.
Kelly was forever changed by the “forgotten people” through their deep faith in God despite their circumstances. These dramatic events encouraged Kelly to draw closer to the Lord and laid the foundation to her servitude. Reading her story as someone whose husband is finishing up seminary, I am inspired to do more, to reach more, and to be more of what Christ calls me to do.  Her story gives us renewed hope in the gospel. Come, be inspired, renew your hope!

I really enjoyed her story and would for sure recommend it. I give it a 5/5. If you need a book to give you hope and renew your thrive for the gospel, pick up a copy of Wherever the River Runs. You can buy a copy HERE and also enter the giveaway below! :)
In Christ,
Laura
*** I received a copy of this book from Propeller Entertainment in exchange for an honest and fair review.***

The post Wherever The River Runs {Review and GIVEAWAY} appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 13

Pica

The first developmental pediatrician that saw Brian years ago diagnosed Brian with autism as well as pica.  For those that haven’t heard of pica, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as, “an abnormal craving for and eating of substances (as chalk, ashes, or bones) not normally eaten that occurs in nutritional deficiency states (as aphosphorosis) in humans or animals or in some forms of mental illness.”  I can’t remember a time in Brian’s childhood where he didn’t put everything in his mouth.  He kept his pacifier to sleep with at night until he was close to 5 years old, and would have kept it longer if I would have let him.  He went through several surgeries when he was younger and I didn’t have the heart to take it away from him when he was dealing with so many other problems.  One of Brian’s first speech pathologists lectured me about taking it away every single time she came to our house to give him therapy, which she did out of love for Brian.  In many cases, taking away a child’s pacifier can speed up speech progression due to more opportunities to try and speak, as well as the appropriate positioning of the tongue and mouth muscles to produce the correct sounds.  I know she had Brian’s best interests at heart, but this is one area where I’m glad I listened to my mommy gut over professional opinion.  I knew Brian needed to be soothed and we can see that the pacifier didn’t keep him from talking since he will be 8 years old in 2 1/2 weeks and he can still only say a handful of words clearly.  I’m not saying you should let your child have a pacifier until he reaches college, but sometimes you have to go against professional opinions and trusts your instincts.

Like I said, I can’t remember a time when Brian didn’t constantly have something in his mouth.  We tried to keep small objects away from him for years due to his pica, but the ironic thing is that one of Brian’s absolute favorite things is tiny objects.  He loves playing with Molly’s Barbie accessories because they are miniature every day items.  He shrieks in excitement when he watches small model train displays and soaks in each little detail of the minuscule scenes.  Little doll houses are another favorite of his and it makes me so happy to see such joy in his face and delight in his eyes as he studies each piece.  When he studies something, he seems to experience the whole of it by using all of his senses.  We teach young children to look with their eyes and not touch items in stores, but that social skill is so much harder to teach someone on the autism spectrum because they tend to experience many things with no inhibitions and it’s such a beautiful thing!  My son finds beauty and wonder in the simplest of things and he helps me realize that life shouldn’t be constantly rushing from place to place to try to fit in as many things in a day as possible.  Brian teaches me to take a deep breath, slow down and really experience things that I often overlook.  He finds beauty in the simplest things and I often envy his gift.  I’m glad he takes the time to share it with me.

I’ve never been too worried about his pica because he always seemed to mouth things but never swallow them.  At one point his doctor ordered an abdominal xray to make sure he hadn’t swallowed any objects that may be interfering with his digestive system since he’s always had issues with constipation, but luckily for him the xray didn’t show any objects.  As much as I talk about Brian’s “poo art”, I think most of my readers have strong stomachs, but if you don’t, you may want to stop reading now.  I’ve never seen any objects in Brian’s bowel movements until recently.  Within the past several weeks, Brian has been tearing and shredding his clothes with his teeth.  It would start by him chewing on the collar of his shirt and then progress to actively trying to tear a hole in his shirt.  That no longer satisfies him, and he makes it a point to try and shred his clothes.  A few days ago I was changing his pull up, and after I wiped away all of the poop I noticed something hanging out of his bottom.  I pulled it out and it was a piece of cotton string from his clothes that was about 8 or 10 inches long.  I forgot to mention it to Morgan and he was changing Brian yesterday and also pulled out a piece of string that Brian wasn’t able to push out by himself.  With the constant ripping of clothes, I can just imagine a large mass of string getting stuck in his intestines.  I guess I officially need to start being more concerned.

photo (1) photo (2) photo (3) photo

String is one thing, but Brian’s new infatuation is the rock garden we have in the front of our house.  Some houses on post have dirt, but we were lucky enough to get pebbles.  Ha!  It really is a great sensory activity for Brian.  As you can see in the pictures, he likes to put rocks over his head and feel them between his hands.  I don’t mind that at all because like I said earlier, he likes to use multiple senses to experience things.  It wasn’t until this past week or two that he lies face down on the sidewalk, grabs a pebble, places it in front of him and sucks it up like a vacuum cleaner.  He always spits it out, that I’ve seen, but it makes me wonder if he’ll start swallowing pebbles next?  He’ll have an appointment with his pediatrician for his 8 year physical, and I think I’ll request that he get tested for mineral deficiencies to see if there is anything that stands out that we can possibly supplement to help curb his pica tendencies.

Aug 13

Junction City Special Needs Rodeo 2014

Oh, hey! I’m finally posting about the Special Needs Rodeo we went to almost a month ago.

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When we first got there, we weren’t sure what to expect. We signed in, and The Munchkin was given some swag: a shirt, a cowboy boot key chain, and a bandanna. Both boys got hats and handkerchief slap bracelets.  Then, we headed into the rodeo. One of the first things we had The Munchkin do was ride a horse. He’d never been on a horse, (or pony, or anything of the sort…) so we weren’t sure how he’d react, but…

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He loved it! Man oh man, that little guy was in heaven! So much so that John and I started talking about finding The Munchkin some horseback riding lessons ASAP. He just looked so happy, so joyful up there. It was awesome to watch.

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The Bean, however, was not so enthusiastic about horseback riding. In fact, he was quite miserable, and wanted down IMMEDIATELY.

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After The Munchkin did a couple of laps, we moved onto the riding bull thing. It wasn’t mechanical, so John and one of the people working the rodeo were the ones who rocked it back and forth. The Munchkin had fun, but got bored with it pretty quickly and wanted to try the next thing.

The Bean wasn’t interested in having a turn, ha.

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The next event was cow tying…or something. I’m not sure what it’s actually called. We watched a real cowboy show the boys how it was done, and then it was their turn. He was really good! Threw that lasso and hooked that plastic cow head like it was nothing.

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Then, it was The Munchkin’s turn. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t as skillful as the cowboy, haha. He didn’t get discouraged though, which is one thing I love about him. He got some good loops with John’s help, and just kept trying; until finally… he walked up and put the loop around the cow head by hand. Well, that’s one way to do it!

Once he got the rope around the head, the cowboy encouraged him to pull back to tighten the lasso. Eventually, The Munchkin got so far back that he pulled the head clean out of the bale of hay! He thought this was hilarious, and did it three more times before we stopped him and said it was The Bean’s turn.

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Once The Bean got a hold of the lasso, he walked up to the bale of hay and tried to put the lasso over the head. He wasn’t going to mess around with throwing the lasso when he saw how “easy” it was for The Munchkin to just place it over the head! However, since he is so much shorter than The Munchkin, he couldn’t quite do it. Big brother to the rescue! It was pretty cute watching them lasso the cow together, walk backwards together, and then pull the head off together. Because, of course they pulled the head off. SIGH. Boys.

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Look at that proud little cowboy!

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There were also some calves in a caged in area, which of course, The Bean loved. We peeked in at them, but they weren’t doing much, so we moved on. We rode a wagon ride (no pictures though) and had a light lunch. By then, the crowd had thinned out, so we went over to the horses again.

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Turns out, The Bean is game for riding a horse if he rides with a pretty lady someone. He was all smiles, and went around for a couple laps. That second picture makes me laugh; the girl was trying to make The Bean lift his arm like “Ye-haw!” but he didn’t do it. It was almost like he saw me with the camera, and knew it was time to look at it and smile.

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We had such a good time at the rodeo. During lunch, we picked up some tickets to the real rodeo, and went to that later that night. The boys were good during the first part, with horseback riders lassoing bucking bulls and stuff, but then the beauty pageant part started, and the boys got booooored. We left shortly after. I think the girl above in the blue plaid shirt won? I don’t know.

We weren’t sure what to expect from our rodeo day, but it was a lot of fun. And very Kansas, if that makes any sense. We’ll be sure to go to next year’s!

Aug 12

Robin Williams: Why his passing means so much..

It isn't a well kept secret that  Hollywood with all of it's glamour, lights and sparkle has it's dark corners. It's stories of scandal, drugs and infamous torrid tales of jealousy and murder. But there are few good gems that have come out of the celebrity mish-mash.  The ones despite their own demons, still try effortlessly, to use their fame for good. One such wonder was Robin Williams.

As many of us are still in shock from last night's announcement, I, myself, am floored. He wasn't just a man of many comedic talents. Yes he was a funny, funny man and earned the right to be called the King of Improv.  His talent wasn't just thinking on the fly. He had brought so many great performances to our screens. From John Keating from Dead Poets Society to Hector from Being Human. But it was Perry from The Fisher King that resonated with me. He portrayed a man bound by mental illness, but who managed to help another from the depths of suicide and depression. A relationship that both helped, Parry and Jack. In a way, his experiences in life and being so open about them have helped so many with their demons. In my mind it was one of Mr. Williams best roles. Which says a lot as there are so many.

The passing of Robin Williams is a tragic loss. Not just to Hollywood, but to the many people he helped. From St. Jude's Hospital to doing USO tours. He was one of the biggest champions for mental health. He battled his demons on a very public stage. He didn't shy way from admitting that, he too, was depressed or that he had used drugs to self medicate. If anything he wanted people to learn from him. If not from his public battles but from the roles he took in life.

Like so many tragic deaths that happen in the Celebrity world, its the ones that touch our lives in the most honest ways, that have the biggest impact. Robin Williams' death hit like a wave. A wave of sudden sadness. For those of us who suffer from depression, anxiety or any number of mental illness, we know the pain Mr. Williams had felt. We know that point of no return. If anything should come from this man's passing, it should be more education when it comes to Mental Health. It should be that people aren't always what they seem. The funniest man in the world was also the saddest.

Mr. Williams, I hope that the pain you felt inside your heart has lifted. I hope that you are now able to soar. I hope that when you look down upon us, you will see the light you have given us. Through your generosity, your smile and your immense talent to bring love and laughter to the world that solely needs it, we are grateful for the gifts you have given us.


"It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he can become king. Now while he is spending the night alone he's visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the holy grail, symbol of God's divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, "You shall be keeper of the grail so that it may heal the hearts of men." But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible, like God, so he reached into the fire to take the grail, and the grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the fire to be terribly wounded. Now as this boy grew older, his wound grew deeper. Until one day, life for him lost its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself. He couldn't love or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die. One day a fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. And being a fool, he was simple minded, he didn't see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain. And he asked the king, "What ails you friend?" The king replied, "I'm thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat". So the fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink, he realized his wound was healed. He looked in his hands and there was the holy grail, that which he sought all of his life. And he turned to the fool and said with amazement, "How can you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?" And the fool replied, "I don't know. I only knew that you were thirsty."- Parry, The Fisher King (1991)





Aug 11

I’ve Been Scrapbooking!

Sorry the blog has been quiet, guys. We weren’t sure if this was going to be John’s last week home before he deployed, so we spent a lot of time together as a family. As of right now, though, it looks like he won’t deploy until next week, so yay another weekend home!

Meanwhile, any computer time I’ve had has been spent digital scrapbooking. ScrapbooksPlease.com had a $.99 print sale a while back, and I ordered some pages. They came, and holding new pages for my “Travel” book always gets me in the mood to work on new pages. These are the ones I’ve made recently, depicting some of our trip to Florida in 2o13:

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The Bean’s first time at the ocean. He wasn’t so much a fan, haha.

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Easter 2012. This page took foreveeeer! So many little pieces!

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An awesome park in Boca Raton, FL. I actually might change this page a bit – move the date to sit over the tape, and swap the top Munchkin splash park pic with the Bean one on the blanket. Thoughts?

I unfortunately can’t credit all of the sources for the items used to create these pages, as I’m not good as organizing them that way. I just put papers together, embellishments together, etc… Not necessarily by author. I have quite the collection of digital scrapbooking freebies that I’ve accumulated over the years (yes, years!) but some of my favorites are:

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ll pop back in soon though. Just wanted to update you guys!

Aug 11

Save the Date! StimCity Reopens Friday, August 15!

pinkHello, Friends of StimCity!

It’s been a while and I wanted to catch you up on all that’s been happening here in StimCity.

A lot.

SGM left me and the kids last October. It was sudden. Like, he woke up one morning and said he was out after 12 years together. It’s been more than nine months now and I have to tell you, the kids and I are happier than ever. I won’t be discussing anything about the kids or details of the divorce process for obvious reasons.  It’s not been pleasant and I am fighting each day for what is best for my kids.  But outside of that mess I do wish to invite you to the GRAND REOPENING OF STIMCITY, my home, on August 15th. That date is special to me because it is the day we moved into our actual home twelve years ago.  Both are spaces that I have created to be loving, accepting, forgiving, fun, expressive, and open-minded.

I have so much more to share with you beyond my daughter’s autism, harassing Congress, and fighting her school district.

So I hope you’ll join me on this new journey as I share with you some of the more intimate parts of me as an autistic woman, mother, and crazy, happy human.

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”
Robert Fulghum, True Love

Aug 10

Mercy, Grace, and Sacrifice

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Welcome to another installment in Clay’s Corner.  Recently, my wife posted about my past struggles with addiction to pornography.  I will elaborate more on that topic at a later date.  During this installment, I will be speaking about the mercies of God.

My God is a merciful God and I tell you this because I am living proof.  I was an enemy of God.  Although I never denied the existence of God, I denied His grace and mercy through my lifestyle.  I was an alcoholic for many years.  I was addicted to pornography.  I was an enemy of God through my lust for each.  Through prayer, acknowledgement and repentance, I have been forgiven and God has shown mercy.

I want to talk about Romans 12:1-2.  I hope to break these scriptures down as to provide a better understanding of what Paul was saying.

Romans 12:1-2 states: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:1-2 summarize the response to God’s grace and serve as the introduction for all of Romans 12:1 through Romans 15:13.  They encapsulate what it means to live in a way that pleases God.

For eleven chapters in Romans Paul has written at length about the mercy of God.  When people were lost in their sin and enemies of God, He opened a way of salvation to them through the gift of His Son.  Christ died on the cross, taking their place and paying the penalty for the sins of their lives.  It is in light of this awesome mercy of God that Paul now urges his readers to live a life worthy of their calling in Christ Jesus.

Let’s break this verse down. 

A.  I appeal to you:  This reminds us that Paul appeals to our will.  God calls us to make a choice about the way that we live for Him.

B.  Therefore, brothers:  Therefore is usually a significant word in scripture to indicate something important is about to be said.  It is particularly true in this case.  Everything Paul has written so far in his Epistle is the basis for what comes next.  His focus has been on what God has done for humankind; now he explains what believers can and should do in response.  It is Paul’s pattern to begin a letter with a strong doctrinal section and follow with exhortations to Christian living.  Paul begs Christians to live a certain way in light of what God did for them.

C. By the mercies of God:  Paul reminds us that we do this because of the mercy shown to us by God (described in Romans 1-11), and that we are only able to offer ourselves to God as He works His mercy in us. God commanded us to do this, and He makes it possible for us to do it.

      Think of all the mercies of God Paul has explained to us thus far:

     - Justification
     - Adoption in Jesus and identification with Christ
     - Set under grace not law
     - The gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit
     - Help in all affliction
     - Standing in God’s election
     - The certainty of coming glory
     - The confidence of no separation from the love of God
     - Total confidence in God’s continued faithfulness

D. Present your bodies: Connected with the idea of a living sacrifice, this calls to mind priestly service. Spiritually speaking, our bodies are brought to God’s altar.

    I. It is best to see the body here as a reference to our entire being. Whatever we say about our spirit, soul, flesh and mind, we know that they each live in our bodies. When we give the body to God, the soul and spirit go with it. Present your bodies means that God wants you, not just your work. You may do all kinds of work for God, but never give Him your self.

    II. The previous appeal to the will (I appeal to you) means that the will is to be the master over the body. The thinking of our age says that our body must tell the will what to do; but the Bible says that our will must bring the body as a living sacrifice to God. The body is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Keeping it at God’s altar as a living sacrifice keeps the body where it should be.

    III. A Greek would never think of presenting his body to God. They thought that the body was so unspiritual that God was unconcerned about it. Paul shows here that God is concerned about our bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:20 reminds us that God has bought our bodies with a price.

E. A living sacrifice: First century people, both Jews and pagans, knew first hand what sacrifice was all about. To beg that they make themselves a living sacrifice was a striking image.

     - The sacrifice is living because it is brought alive to the altar
     - The sacrifice is living because it stays alive at the altar; it is ongoing

F. Holy and acceptable to God: When we offer our body, God intends it to be a holy and acceptable sacrifice. The standard for sacrifices made to God under the New Covenant are not any less than the standard under the Old Covenant.

    I. In the Old Testament, sacrifice had to be holy and acceptable to God

     - He shall bring a male without blemish (Leviticus 1:10)

     - But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God (Deuteronomy 15:21)

    – An offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD. (Leviticus 1:9)

    II. The idea of a sweet aroma to the LORD is almost always linked to the idea of an offering made by fire. There is a “burning” in this matter of a living sacrifice. It also shows that Paul has in mind the burnt offering, in which the entire sacrifice was given to the Lord. In some sacrifices, the one offering the sacrifice and the priest shared in the some of the meat; but never in the burnt offering.

    III. The holiness we bring to the altar is a decision for holiness, and yielding to the work of holiness in our life. As we present our bodies a living sacrifice, God makes our life holy by burning away impurities

G. Spiritual Worship (reasonable service in KJV): The ancient Greek word for reasonable (logikos) can also be translated “of the word” (as it is in 1 Peter 2:2). Reasonable service is a life of worship according to God’s Word.

    H. The sacrifice of an animal was reasonable service, but only for the one bringing the sacrifice – not for the sacrifice itself. Under the New Covenant we have far greater mercies, so it is reasonable to offer a far greater sacrifice.

 

I implore you to think about the mercies God has shown in your life.   Grace is not a quid pro quo.  However, just as stated previously, under the New Covenant we have far greater mercies.  Therefore, it is reasonable to offer a far greater sacrifice.  When you became a Christian, did you remove all of your old life, or are you still holding on to some of it?  Jesus sacrificed himself for us – all of us – and we must sacrifice our sinful natures.

In Christ,

Clay

PS: Keep Scrolling for my wife’s Modest Monday Outfits

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What Laura wore:

Headband: Lilla Rose

Sweater: Yes, I know it is August but she freezes LOL Bought at Wal-Mart on clearance.

Line Green Under-shirt: Christopher & Banks on clearance

Lime Green Blouse: Christopher & Banks on clearance

Skirt: End of Season Sale at Christopher & Banks.

Shoes: Dress Barn bought last year.

 

The post Mercy, Grace, and Sacrifice appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 08

Stop Putting Your Kids In A Spiritual Bubble

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I see so many posts about protecting our children from the sins of the world, or what could be considered a contributing factor to sins.  I agree that they need to be protected. Most of you all know that we are a homeschool family and we believe strongly that God has called us to that.  We also agree with the documentary “Indoctrination” and the decline in schools today. We are very particular about what shows are kids can watch, music they listen to, books they read, and activities they participate in. However, with that said, I am constantly seeing posts about not letting our kids have sleepovers, not allowing them to attend VBS because someone else may be teaching other than Mom and Dad, not letting kids go to camp.  I am NOT beating down anyone’s decisions about this. We all have to follow the path that God has placed us on, but Mommas, what if you’re placing your kid in a spiritual bubble?

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(After VBS one night—all my kids, my sis’s kids, and my BFF’s kids)

A spiritual bubble is impossible, right? Or is it possible?

I grew up in a different era, as we all did.  My mother allowed sleepovers, but it had to be at houses where she knew the parents personally.  She was very strict with who she allowed me to stay over night with. Actually, she was pretty strict about whose house she allowed me to even go play at.

My mom also let me attend VBS and never worried about what I was being taught or who was teaching me. We attended a small country church and many of the members were my neighbors. We were all very close. In fact, this is the same church that I am a member of today. I sometimes wonder if part of the reason parents are nervous about their kids attending church activities is because they don’t know the volunteers.  I often wonder if some of these parents drop off their kiddos instead of interacting with their child’s youth leaders, and getting to know them well.  Many families now are too busy to get to know each other as neighbors, so that would mean any chance of getting to know the members of the church are cut off as well.  I also wonder if part of the reason parents worry about their kids being in activities at church is because so many churches now are HUGE mega churches. They are so large that it is almost impossible to build rapport with the leaders and volunteers who work with kids in mega churches at all. So I wonder – must we put our kids in a spiritual bubble? Or do we need to find a smaller church, or perhaps take time to get to know who our kids’ leaders are on a personal level?

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(My BFF on the left, Me, My Sis on right)

I grew up attending church camp. I attended my first camp when I was 5 years old because my mom was a counselor. Technically, I had to be at least 9 years old to attend, but since my mom was volunteering, it was okay for me to go.  Many church camps today are much the same way, although the ages may be different.  I have the absolute best memories of church camp. I made friends and those friendships have lasted these many years.  I witnessed many kids I attended camp with offer their life to Christ.  One memory that I will never forget is of a girl who came to camp one year. She was a teenager and unsaved.  My good friend, Bethany, was the daughter of the camp director that particular year.  Her Dad spoke at church service and the girl went forward. It was a matter of days after church camp that she was killed in a car wreck.  My friend’s dad continued as the camp director for many years after this tragic accident.  When he spoke at the camps, he always shared this story.  He would say look to your left and look to your right. Some of you all will not make it back next year. Don’t miss your chance to accept Jesus as your savior right now! Our church  camp, while it had many fun times with water fights, practical jokes, and games, it was full of Jesus! From the moment you got there you felt closer to the Lord. The whole week was a time of reflecting and getting closer to God for those of us who were saved. However, there were also kids there who were not saved.

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(My Oldest and ME at church camp this year)

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(My handsome young man, oldest son at Church camp)

At our particular camp, we had many children from all walks of life.  There were kids who had been sheltered; who had been exposed to things that no kid should have to see – EVER; who went to church faithfully each and every week; and those kids who may not have ever been to church – yet they were at camp. We sincerely and truly loved them all.  I was not harmed from exposure to these children who came from many walks of life.  I was in a safe environment with adults my mom totally trusted.  Allowing me to attend camp was one of the best things my mom did for me spiritually. It was at camp that I saw life outside my bubble. I saw kids who hurt, kids who needed attention, kids who didn’t have a Bible so I gave them mine.  I saw kids who didn’t have clothes-so I gave them some.

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(Campfire—they said they needed someone old to lead songs, I ended up leading HA!)

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(For many years my Sis and I sang in church. This picture is us and my niece!)

As a child attending and participating in these different youth activities, I learned what it meant to go WITH someone to pray.  I learned compassion as another child was feeling remorse from difficulties at home or school or whatever they were going through. I learned how to actually lead someone to Christ and was given many opportunities to do so. I learned the importance of servitude – service to the community and service to the church.  As a 16-year-old sophomore in high school, I began my transition from camper to counselor.  As an 18-year-old high school senior, my friend Bethany and I (with the help of a dear Pastor in our association) began planning the church camps.  Church camp was when I embraced my love for singing.  This was also the time we launched our platinum recording group (ha..wouldn’t that be nice!) “The TwelvePole Valley Girls.”  I have so many fond memories of spending time and singing with these ladies.  I cannot imagine how my life would be if I was not permitted to attend camp, or any of my youth activities for that matter.  Some of my greatest Christian influences and mentors came from our little church camp.  I am thankful to have had these Christian men and women in my life.

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(Fishing with his friends at Church camp—so much fun!)

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(My niece and I going to Chapel at Church Camp—love her so much!)

The torch has been passed to my children.  This was my boys second year attending camp.  Bookworm is now 10 years old.  The difference between this year and last year is his maturity.  In fact, he had matured so much that everyone was talking about how much different he was.  It was at camp this year that the whole meaning behind these planned activities clicked for him. Sure, he knew what it was about last year, but this year it really hit him how powerful it was. He, too, learned that you don’t always go forward because YOU need to pray; you go forward because your friend who just went up needs your hand on them to know you care.

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(My oldest in the orange—despite the aspergers etc, he LOVES camp and has made many Godly friends!)

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(I learned to bear another’s burdens in this same way, on the far right in blue is my oldest his first year of camp.  It is so precious to be a part of a prayer circle, it is even more precious to see your children “get it”)

Parents, Mommas, friends, please stop putting your children in a spiritual bubble. I do not think kids so young need so much pressure on them to be the “salt and light,” but how do they learn to do the Lord’s work if they are not around it and witnessing it first-hand? How do they learn to serve if they are not serving in ministry themselves? Kids going to a sleepover may be the very moment that they get to share the gospel one on one with a friend. I DO think you need to know the parents well and trust them before letting your child go, but I know from my experience at sleepovers that it is a wonderful time to talk and have those heart to heart moments. Attend a church and get to know the volunteers and leaders and allow your kids to attend VBS.  This may mean you have to leave your “Six Flags Over Jesus” mega church and find a smaller church, or this may mean you find yourself volunteering to fill the important roles (FYI – every role is important).  VBS is an excellent place to learn and grow in faith and see “hands and feet” working for the Lord. If it is at all possible and your church does a church camp, this will be the best experience your kids will have. Let them grow in the Lord.  If you are nervous about it, volunteer and go with them—I challenge you to go!!! :)

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( My niece and my youngest after church one night)

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(My oldest and my nephew after church one evening! You may not want to ask about the broom—LOL!)

Most importantly, take your children to church. If you are a family who doesn’t go because of past hurts, please don’t think all churches are like that.  Many of us have been hurt from past experiences (I know my husband and I have), but those experiences should make us stronger in the presence of the Lord.  We are all sinners, but remember that Christ died for us.  Scripture tells us to not forsake the assembly of one another. It also tells us No greater love then this, that a man would lay down his life for a friend. Going to church, connecting, getting to know one another so we can carry each others load, so we can learn to be a good friend is so important to us as adults; however, it is also important for our children, too.

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(During my time as a camper I met many wonderful Godly leaders. I still keep in contact with many of them. However, it is Denny Brown who still helps with camp. I have attended the same camp longer then any other camper, this guy gets second BUT he is a first class Pastor, Godly man, Coal miner, and dear friend of our family.)

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(I grew up attending this same church all through my childhood!)

I understand that we must practice caution and protecting our little ones is at the top of our list of priorities.  They are precious gifts from God entrusted to us for a short time.  We must pray and ask God to lead us in decisions for our babies that will honor Him and bring Him glory.  We also have to follow the convictions that God has placed on our hearts and family.

However, are those convictions given to us through prayer, or are those convictions we have placed upon ourselves to protect our children?  Are we putting them in a Spiritual Bubble and doing them more harm than good?

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(I love this picture of my mom and I, from the clutter on the floor, to the old brown couch, to our clothes. I am so glad my mom made sure I was in church, that I was surrounded my Godly friends and activities, and that she let me spread my wings within the confines of church)

In Christ,

Laura

The post Stop Putting Your Kids In A Spiritual Bubble appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 07

Following Through Has Never Been My Strong Suit

Ideas…..I have them all the time.  They usually encompass some elaborate preparation that would take months and months to complete if I actually followed through with all of my initial plans….but I don’t….because I either don’t have the time, lose interest or become discouraged and make a 180 degree turn.  Anyone that has known me for a fair amount of time, especially family, could tell you story after story of plans I’ve opened up and shared about losing weight, becoming organized, doing the 40 bags in 40 days challenge, making busy bags, writing a book, running, having a clean house, starting a business from home involving making an assortment of different things at different times in my life, getting back into tennis and mountain biking, reading books for enjoyment, having playdates, creating more crafting time for the kids, reading more to the kids, volunteering, setting aside time each week for friends, writing thank you notes, scrapbooking, starting Molly’s baby book…….the list goes on and on!  Following through has never been my strong suit.

Until…..Race for Hope!  Finally, a HUGE vision that I followed through with, and besides a few hiccups, declare it a success!  I envisioned it much grander than it was, as I always do, but I have years and years to keep adding to it and making it better.  I had envisioned Brian’s 3rd birthday with the carnival games, clown, face painting, bounce house, popcorn, cotton candy and even a dunking booth.  Ha!

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A little overboard for a 3rd birthday?  Yes!  I couldn’t help myself….I LOVE to throw parties!  Why is my degree in Biology when it really should have been geared towards event planning?!? Ha!

So back to not following through on things…..I guess when it comes to things for myself, I’m a little less stringent about following a plan and making an idea come to fruition.  After following through with Race for Hope, I realized I need to start following through with things one by one.

I did finish my 40 bags in 40 days challenge after getting rid of many big things, but I never finished taking pictures and posting about it.  Suffice it to say that even though I have no proof, I did clean up the garage a little even though my husband doesn’t believe I touched it during the entire 13 months he has been gone.  Blogging…..I still need to blog about our Disney World trip in December of 2013!!!  I really do want to let other families with special needs children know how things went with us…..I’ll just say that it needs improvement and eventually get to that post.  Looking for an awesome BCBA in or near Watertown, NY?  Dr. Michael Friga is amazing and I’m going to blog about him one day.  Best pediatrician in Watertown, NY?  Dr. Ochotorena……I miss her more than words can express!!!!  She is hands down the best doctor that Brian has ever had!  I have lots of blog topics in the back of my head that I will eventually make time for one day.

For now, I will just say that I’m going to make a concerted effort to follow through on more of my ideas and realize that I’m worth it!

 

Aug 07

The very tip of the Iceberg. Just barely scraping the surface

We all know the anatomy of an Iceberg thanks in part to the Titanic. Where you have this beautiful, floating body, just slightly skimming across the surface of icy, cold waters. What you really miss, is the body of the iceberg that is below the surface. It is this massive portion to that majestic ice castle above. No one ever sees the fully epic grand scale of an Iceberg. They just see what is on the surface.

Humans are much like those floating majestic ice palaces. We seem to have this way about us, where we present ourselves with a facade, much like an iceberg. Not saying we all have an icy way about us, but beneath our forced smiles or seemingly healthy nature, we have our own epic mass that is hidden. Who we are and what makes us, well us, is much like that convoluted, hidden portion of iceberg. The complexity of it can be the same. Uncharted, unexplored but yet it can be a dangerous place.

When we look at each other, we only see the surface of that person. That marginal tip that is exposed for the world to see. Its when you start to take a closer look at someone, that's when you start to realize the complexity of that person. You get know who that person is, besides what is just on the surface. You begin to understand what makes them, them. There are so many times where people are misjudged, as other have only seen what is on the surface. These assumptions are very dangerous and harmful, just like the sharp edge of an icy shelf.

When you see someone, don't always assume that they have their life put together. Don't assume that just because they are able to walk down the street, that things are happy or that they aren't in pain. Everyone, and I mean everyone has their own icy shelf beneath the surface. Doesn't matter if it is visible or not.

Like the Titanic, people assume that their judgments are valid and sound, when in fact its always the opposite. You may not realize until its too late, that you have just barely scraped the surface to someone's nature. Think about your words. Maybe that harsh criticism to the parent in the store about their child misbehaving, is you not knowing that child has Autism.Or maybe insensitive remarks about how you wish your partner would just go away are said to a military spouse who's significant other is deployed. Or maybe that look you give someone who has a disfigurement, you don't know is a War Veteran. Sometimes you can just look at someone and not know they have an invisible illness, that prevents them from doing certain things or that cause them great pain with inside their bodies.

When you are out in the world, take a good look at people. Open your mind to the possibility that the people around you, only give you a portion of who they are.

Much like an Iceberg, most of us are only scraping the surface.





Aug 06

Difficult to Get to Sleep, but Even More Difficult to Wake Up!

Brian stopped napping when he was only 2 years old, but that was mainly my fault.  Morgan was about to leave on his 2nd deployment and was heading to Iraq, so I didn’t want to deprive him of missing more milestones than he had to miss.  We transitioned Brian’s crib into a toddler bed, and from that moment forward Brian stopped napping except for the occasional nap on a long trip in the car.  Was it worth transitioning Brian to a toddler bed so soon?  No, but when you’re a military family you have to be flexible especially when it comes to making sure the deployed/TDY/training soldier parent is present for big events.  Brian is almost 8, and Morgan has missed close to, if not more than, half of his life.  Morgan will finish his staff course this Friday and be home with us for what we hope is a long time……Only time will tell.

Brian slept really well as a baby and then things became challenging as he hit the toddler years.  Often he would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep.  I remember those 1am/2am mornings and they were miserable!  We found out he had sleep apnea which only compounded the problem.  After a tonsillectomy and partial adenoidectomy, his sleep apnea has gotten much better.  Sleep eventually found Brian and we haven’t dealt with middle-of-the-night-awakenings in several years.  I know many parents of autistic children deal with little to no sleep, so I know how incredibly blessed we are to no longer have that problem.

The problem Brian has had since starting different medications for OCD is not being able to go to sleep and being too tired to wake up.  I give him 5mg of melatonin a night and it has always worked in the past, but it seems to be less effective than before.  Once I do finally get him to sleep, it’s nearly impossible to get him up in time for school at 8am.  Before these recent sleep problems, he would wake up between 5-6:30am every morning.  That was rough and it’s been a bit of a blessing having him sleep longer (especially on the weekends).  He’s been going to bed as late as 9:30pm on the nights he just seems over-stimulated and can’t keep his body still.

Last night I tried to put him to bed early since the new school year has started and he was asleep by 8:30-8:45pm.  He was refusing to get out of bed this morning, and I actually had to get him fully dressed for school while he was lying in bed under his covers.  Tonight I had him in bed by 7:15pm and he never came out of his room, but several times I heard him screaming as if he was over-stimulated which lasted until nearly 9pm on and off. We’ll see if he can get up in the morning.

You definitely have to have a flexible and fluid kind of life……  

 

 

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