Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ramona and Brother


Brother followed Cousin Ramona every where she went when she was here for a visit with her mom. It was so good to see them. Ramona has the same spell on Brother as Cathy does.

They are sisters.

It must run in the family.

I love when Brother really loves someone. It is so fun to witness.

Side Note (because the name, Ramona, reminded me...): 
My favorite books to read growing up were the Beverly Cleary, Beezus and Ramona Quimby books

As I was saying...

Ya, I had this huge long (funny, I might add) post all written up and then it wouldn't post. I tried and tried, but to no avail. So I just figured I would save it and then publish it this morning.

Wrong.

No go.

Funny thing is, the post was titled "Weird Day" and I explained how my day was full of weird happenings... then I couldn't get it to post... weird.

I don't want to post it all again, I'm just not in the mood.

Last night I was feeling it.

Not this morning.

Although, I do have to tell you one part about it:

I sang to shrubbery last night.

Really.

We sang for customer appreciation at a local Garden Shop.

We got rained out so we sang inside to a bunch of plants.

Because of the rain not many people were venturing out to the garden shop.

So, we sang to shrubbery and a few passersby.

I couldn't really get into it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Wild Flowers and My Wild Card

sI LOVE to clip my flowers in the back yard to bring into the house to enjoy... I kind of feel old when I say that, but, nonetheless, it is true. I love bringing the beauty of the flowers inside.

Now that the lilacs have stopped blooming we have our wild flowers coming up like weeds. Some of them are as tall as Sister. Which makes bring them into my house and setting them on the the table all that much more dramatic.

We have to move them so we can eat and still see each others faces... tee hee.

Sister hasn't complained of them smelling like balloons yet, so I think we are good so far.

Which brings me to the Wild Card:
I loved playing UNO when I was a kid and the WILD card was the best card to get. I would do my best to hold onto them till the end so I had an easy win... shoot... now you know my secret if we ever play together.

Anyway, now that I am a mom my WILD Card is not part of my UNO game.

It is part of my life.

Sister.

I never know what she's gonna give me.

I can try to guess.

I can stick with the routine.

I can even predict possibilities by utilizing the ever increasing, important, picture schedule.

But, sometimes....

Sometimes... she throws out whatever she wants to without warning.

Like yesterday she woke up going on and on about sleeping over at grandma Judy's. This started at 6 am, mind you, and she would NOT let up. Finally at 10 am I called my mom to tell her that Brother and Sister were sleeping over there and we would be there at 2:30... I stayed there until 6pm with the kids and then my mom was on her own.

She was thrilled. (Really, she was, I am not being sarcastic.)

Brother was thrilled!

Sister was ecstatic!

Baby came along for the ride and she loves playing with grandma's toys!

I had everything set:
Meds set out for my mom to administer.
New toys were there waiting for the kids.
Their cousins, Jman, MrT, and LittleB were also coming to spend the night.
I brought and set up the picture schedule for Sister.

My mom had arranged to take the kids to see all the local neighbors pets -- baby deer, momma deer, parrots and various other birds, cows, tortoise, and a bunch of baby horses (foals). All 5 cousins sang in the van going from place to place.

All was well...

Until 10:45pm my mom called and I could hear Sister wailing in the background. I thought, maybe she had fallen of the bed and broken her arm.

Nope.

She had woken up and was scared about where she was.

So I hopped into the car and went to pick Sister up at 11pm.

All the other kids were awake too.

I wonder if her incessant screaming woke them... ?

So I got her home and she went right to sleep.

No problem.

I am hoping that tomorrow Sister lays down the SKIP card so we can just avoid any fall-a-parts altogether. Or even a red 8 card would work... that's my favorite color and number... could bring good luck, right.

Anyway, here is my way of signing off tonight, letting you enjoy one of the beautiful sunsets on one of my beautiful days.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Furniture and Peas as High as an Elephants Eye and One Sad Chicken

My mom sends me pictures of her and Dad's endeavors and accomplishments and it just reminds me of the redneck that I truly am....

My mom refurnishes old furniture and resells it.

This is an example of one of the 5 truck loads that went to this particular yard sale...


I don't know how my dad does it, but he puts those pieces together like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle. How could you not laugh?

Anyone need help moving?

Then my mom sends me a picture of my dad in the pea patch. She is so proud of how well they are doing. You just have to understand our love for peas freshly picked from the garden! Ah, the best!


My mom buys her furniture that she refinishes from yard sales. She usually picks up some other things while she is there... all kinds of things. But, this particular gadget (it helps to roast the chicken)  just got me laughing for some reason. It wasn't the gadget itself, it was the picture on the box.

Poor chicken...

So They Say...

I had a good laugh at Brother a couple weeks ago when we were going to an activity with other kids his age. He refused to come in to the building. He was nervous and didn't quite know what to expect. I asked him if he would rather have us go into the building before him and he could come in on his own terms. We stood in the foyer where we could see him and watched him standing next to the car wrestling with his fear of joining the activity. After 10 minutes I decided to go out and encourage him to come in.

This is what he told me:
"Satan is tempting me. He doesn't want me to go."

I try to repress a laugh and say, "He is not tempting you. Just come in."

"But, he is tempting me, because I am not going in," he responded.

I got a good laugh and he realized he had made a funny and he walked in with me smiling, hesitant, but smiling.

Yesterday he ran over something he shouldn't have with his toy four-wheeler and I got upset with him and grounded him from it today.

He told me, "Satan made me do it."

Ppppfffth! That's going to be his excuse for everything now... but it does make me chuckle.

At least I know he has a conscience.

Now, Sister is another one.

She has a very sensitive nose. She can smell anything. It's great for when Baby needs a diaper change. I don't have to do the hold-the-baby-butt-to-my-nose routine. Sister will always inform me, even if she is no where near Baby.

Well, my sweet friend and neighbor brought me some flowers and I placed them in a vase on the table.

I was so enjoying the smell. And the next morning it was so nice to wake up to sunshine and great smelling flowers.


Then Sister comes waltzing into the kitchen ready for breakfast and announces, "Ew, balloons! I hate the smell of balloons!"

She was referring to my lovely flowers... tee hee hee!! After that, I couldn't stop thinking of how the smell did remind me of balloons... they didn't last much longer in the house...

And Baby, she is really good at telling us "no." Only, "no" could mean "yes" so we really have to guess a bit, but, as funny as this may sound, it is good to hear "no."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Slippery Slide, The Monkey and The Captian




Finally Father's Day

This is what me and Sister gave Marc for Father's Day:


Sister loves chocolate chip cookies just about as much as her daddy so she made some for him for father's day.


Marc, thanks for all you do and have done. We LOVE you!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fast Wagon

This is how Brother gives his sister's a ride on his four-wheeler. It's a pretty powerful little thing for a toy! It's a Razor Dirt Quad. Here's a short video of the fun.

Fun!

p.s. I reloaded the video, the other one was sped up for some reason, and no, he is good not to tip it over.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Successes

Success is measured in so many different ways.

For Baby it is that she sings the ABC's with enough enunciation that people other than me can tell that's the song she's singing. She'll even say "B" if you say "A." Amazing! But, the neatest part about all that is the fact that she is putting her lips together to make the "B" sound!

Success!!

For Sister it was that she played with a neighborhood friend for 5 hours without any situation that had to be handled with swinging, time-out, or physical restraint. (Not to mention the fact that she made me laugh this morning as I was enjoying the smell of the flowers my neighbor had brought me from her yard, she said, "Ew, it smells like balloons in here. I hate the smell of balloons!" Tee hee!!)

Success!!

Or Brother, who today, rode his bike willingly and excitedly with his friend to scouts today. It was a whole 3 blocks away and I didn't even follow him. He was so proud of himself. So were we.

Success!!

Marc and I made it through the entire day without having any melt-downs ourselves.

Success!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weight. Lifting.

Marc LOVES weight lifting and exercising.

Our kids have really taken an interest in it too, but Baby with her little, pink weights... oh too cute.

It's amazing how much you can love your children, yet feel such a weight on your shoulders to do all the things you should as a parent.

Weight on my shoulders can sometimes get me really down.

Literally.

Sometimes I actually notice that I slouch when I am a bit depressed. Crazy isn't it? That you can show physically how you feel emotionally and mentally.

It's actually physically impossible to feel depressed or down when I stand up straight and keep a smile on my face. So, if any of you see me walking around with pulled-back shoulders, chest out, (like we all did in high school...)  head held high and big smile on my face, you will know I'm just keeping the "weight" evenly distributed.

Sometimes when I do let the "weight" get me down I like to find something to inspire me, because sometimes I really just need some "lifting."

Tonight it was this.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tiny Cooper

No, no one had a new baby.

This is what Brother calls a Mini Cooper.

He LOVES his cousin Cathy (Marc's cousin, actually).

He loves to hang around her as much as possible when she comes to visit.

You know it says something about you as a person when Brother clings to you.

It means that you have a special spirit about you.

He doesn't just gravitate to anyone.

There are those that he loves over time.

And there are those he loves immediately.

Cathy has always been one of the immediate ones.

Brother, Cathy and her hubby, Jerry

Brother was so excited just to get a picture with the "tiny" cooper

Cathy and Grandma Lynne were reading a story. I had to post this pic because it is sans Brother.

It didn't take too long for him to join in to listen to Cathy read.
It is so sweet to see the love that people have for my children.

Sure there are those who don't understand them, or like them,
or are scared of them, or are disappointed in their behavior.

But, really, do I need to focus on all that when there are so
many people who want to be my children's friends?

As Brother would say with quite a bit of gusto,
"I think not!"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Not so deep, but definitely not shallow

I was going to post something deep and meaningful tonight.

Then Marc had me download pictures from his iPod.

So many things I had forgotten about in the mayhem of daily tasks.

How could I possibly forget the third successful camp-out with Brother and Marc?

This is his third time without me.

Just Dad.

This is his second camp-out with his scout troop.

I cannot express how exciting it is for our son to be doing these things. I wish I could express how huge this really is for Brother. A HUGE milestone.

He is being social, going out of his comfort zone, emulating his peers, learning scout stuff. I mean, this is like a dream come true... and I don't even like Scouts! But, I am very happy about the opportunities it has brought about for Brother... more importantly what it has done for father and son.


...and here's the big hug!

yes. he is using a pocket knife... yay

Is he really lining up to make sandwiches with his scout troop? Sweet! He didn't eat it, but, hey he made it... along with his friends! Wahoo!
Oh, and Brother was very excited to tell me that they were able to drive through a creek to get to their campsite (OK, so Marc actually told me, but I am sure Brother was excited that he did). I was a bit worried that it was deep, but Marc assured me it was shallow enough to drive through.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Curl Up

My hair is naturally straight.

So what is up with these two little curls in the back?

Perfect little ringlets.

I either have to pin them up or spray them into curls or else they just FRIZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Go figure.

I guess it's genetic.

My mom has the very same curls.

So does her sister.

I am just hoping that Baby's curls stay all over her head and don't reduce themselves down to two in the back.

Although, maybe two in back is better than two in front...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flipped Over My Favorite Movie



I love to ask people about movies they would recommend.

I usually get quite an array of movie styles and tastes... sometimes I am disappointed and sometimes I am happily surprised.

Last night I flipped when I watched a movie my sister, Jessie, and my sister-in-law, Amy recommended.

I LOVED IT!!

For so many reasons!

It is called "Flipped."

Simple, sweet, down-to-earth, heart-warming, funny, thought provoking.

It isn't a big blockbuster, or a sit-at-the-edge of your seat thriller.

It's just a family movie.

There was one part that really got me crying.

Not because it was touching or moving but because I could relate so completely with a situation between a man and his mentally impaired brother. I sobbed. I know Marc was touched.

It was one of those movies that I just really felt I could relate to on so many levels not only the impairment of the brother but so many other life situations — young love, neighbors, gossip, standing for something, service... I loved it.

I usually don't do a lot of movie reviews but, I do have to say that this one is worth watching.

It is always refreshing to see something that doesn't involve so much yucky... just the bread and butter of life.

Anyway, it was a movie that warmed my heart.

And it was 2 hours with my hubby. (smile)

If you have seen it, let me know what you thought of it.

If you haven't seen it, rent it, watch it, and then tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My new summer hat

I was so excited for warm weather and finally having a chance to wear my new summer hat.




It was really fun to be barefoot in the grass too.


I wanted the kids to come enjoy the sunshine so I lured them out with water. We don't have a pool so I thought these big bowls would suffice... tee hee! They did have fun, though.



When Marc got home from his meetings he helped the kids put away their little four-wheeler.


He even helped Baby get her shoe back on. What a cute dad he is. (And I do mean CUTE!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

CenTerpiece

Here's is my new table centerpiece...
Baby has learned how to climb onto the chair and then to the table. Funny, because I am so excited she has made it to a new milestone of climbing up on things but know it just adds a whole new element of "fun" at my house. (smirk)

This is how Baby woke up from her nap yesterday. It must have been a good sleep...
 She signed and said "go." And just this morning she signed and said "milk," more like "ick" but, I was so excited to hear her try to tell me what she wanted. I do a LOT of guessing and mind reading with her when it comes to fulfilling her needs. I am so thankful for even the little bit of speech that she has. Oh, and her newest talent is when I say, "one" she says, "two" and sometimes, "three (dee)" right after. My mom started her on this one but, I think she has now perfected it.

After getting tubes in her ears her sense of balance is a lot better. She walks better and can even handle swinging better. She has even started to try to jump. This jumper is a good starting place for her. So exciting to see her moving forward. I think the tubes have also contributed to her sudden burst in chatter. Sometimes it sounds like she is singing the ABC's.

 Baby is such a comedian. She loves to makes sounds and faces to make us laugh. And she laughs even harder when we laugh back.

I took the kids to a splash pad park. It was a bit windy so I didn't think they would actually play on the splash pad and maybe just the playground equipment but they had a blast getting sprinkled on too.


Later that night I was getting ready for Brother's big Scout campout with dad and thought I should make some granola bars. Sister asked me if she could "cook too" and then asked for her frog apron. I had to come up with something else to make and the oats were already out, so we made granola. She still wanted to cook so then we made oatmeal cookies! This was a first for her. I was excited beyond happiness when she wanted to cook with me. It shows so much interaction and a need for socialness on her part. It was so awesome. These pictures will forever be priceless to me:

You know, I am so thankful that I have taken all these pictures. I so often feel that I don't do enough for my kids. There is so much to be done. So much therapy that I need to do as a parent, so much educational play, techniques to help stop stimming, techniques to encourage speech, techniques to help develop physical milestones, techniques in helping communication and transitions, teaching appropriate behavior in light of anxiety and hyper-arousal. Man, I seriously feel each day that I don't do anywhere near enough for my kids. I wonder how much better off, or further ahead they would be if I had all the time, money, patience and creativity it would take to do all the things I should do just to help them keep up with their peers.

But, then I see pictures like these and I feel a sliver of hope.

These pictures remind me that my children are the centerpiece of my life.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Top of the World...

... or at least the parking terrace.

I surprised even myself last weekend when I went out with just the girls.

I was so extremely excited to get out on my own, no kids, no hubby (love you, honey), no responsibility, no curfew!!!!

YEE HAAW!!

Then, to top it all off, I was going to a FREE concert to see MINDY GLEDHILL!!!!!!!!   AAaaaaaaAAAaaaahhhhh!!!! If you don't know how much I love Mindy Gledhill, or you don't know Mindy Gledhill, check this out.

The place was crowded when we got there (the top of a parking terrace), but I refused to sit way in the back so me, and my 3 friends, (yup that's all of 'em) walked right up to the front about 4 feet from the stage and planted ourselves where we could see right up Mindy's nose! Yep! Right there.

I was so hyper I think I may have embarrassed myself and my friends. My sister, Kirsten joined us soon after we got there and I know I embarrassed/shocked her with my free spirit.


CJane was the one who was in charge and I made her laugh a few times with my excitement. In fact she thought I was so funny (crazy), I won a CD of the opening act, Ryan Innes.


I loved his "Butter" song... it was even funnier because Mariah brought some of her homemade bread and store bought butter (I say "store bought" because Kirsten asked if she made the butter too... hee hee). We were so sad that we didn't bring it out during that song and give him some bread and butter, bwa ha ha ha ha!!!

And then Mindy Gledhill came out!! Aaaahh!!! She looked awesome! Before her performance there were a view technical glitches with her microphone so she came out and shook our hands! At that point I was so glad that we were in front. I am stealing some pictures from my friend for those pictures!
This is one Mariah took as she was passing over us to shake more hands.

Her guitarist/back-up vocalist was amazing!

I tried taking one of myself and, wow!, that was just absolutely hilarious. I was not going to post it but, I just had to because it makes me remember how goofy I was. I think I am saying, "Did I get it?"
Yup that's me in the bottom left-hand corner... with my mouth open... hmmm
Crazed fan? No. Just a stay-at-home mom of 3 children with Fragile X Syndrome who got out for a girl's night. (smile)

Well, the night just got better and I was in heaven being out on a beautiful summer's eve on a roof top, mountains cascading the skyline, wonderful music blaring into my ears (remember, we were in FRONT), and my sister and friends to laugh and sing with.

We even got to see Meaghan Smith. I was so looking forward to hearing this song, but she didn't perform it because the instrument she needed for it wasn't working. I yelled out for her to play it anyway, she gave me a courtesy smile and went on with her encore performance of moon river.


Kirsten had to part ways after the concert because she has a wee one at home.

So the rest of us went to party on and celebrate Wendy's birthday some more.

I think I just got more hyper from there.

In fact, I was a bit embarrassed... when I was asking the waiter what they did for the birthday patrons that come in, I was a bit giddy and apparently he thought I was drunk so he offered me a marguerita or something to that affect (see I don't even know how to spell it). I looked at him and laughed, "You're offering me alcohol? I don't drink." He laughed and walked away. I turned to my friends and asked, "Good heavens, if I am like this without a drink, why would he think I needed another?"

It was then that I realized I may be a bit out of control... but when I walked to the bathroom there was a partition wall at the bottom of where we were eating so I acted like I was going down some stairs and then back up... I just couldn't help it, I was so happy, my humor was running rampant!

Hopefully my friends will still hang out with me. (wink)

Seriously though, I had a ball. I had had a tough week the week before and so this was a real pick-me-up.

Yay for girlfriends and sisters!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fast Sunday

So I just have to start this post of with a little funny memory of home.

As I have mentioned before, we were very poor when I was growing up. We didn't have much but we sure got creative with what we had and had a lot of fun with it. But, my brother, Daniel, was probably the most creative... We had a long hallway upstairs that led to all the bedrooms and the bathroom.

Daniel came into the kitchen from the hallway and excitedly instructed my mom to, "come look at this!"

When she entered the long hallway she saw feminine napkins (pads) lining the wall in an array of patterns and angles. He then picked one out of the bag and proclaimed, "you just go like this (he peeled of the backing from the adhesive) and stick 'em!" Funniest part was, he had NO idea what they really were, he thought they were really cool stickers, and then to see my mom's blushing face as she started peeling them off the wall...

Bwa ha ha ha!!!! Sorry, Daniel, but it is pretty darn funny!

Anyway, the reason I thought about this was because last Sunday we had a Family Home Evening for the entire family (minus Daniel and Tynelle as they are far, far away). It was all Aaron's idea and it was fantastic. We reminisced, cried, laughed, shared and had a great time even among the restless kids. I recorded the entire 45 minutes of this and wanted to show you it all in FAST forward... therefore the "Fast Sunday" title.

Things to watch for:
--My nephew, MrT, who really hams it up in the camera
--Notice the kids going from fairly descent to completely restless, I love when LittleB and Brother go flopping over the couch
--Rocking Melly (it's funny when it's fast)

Oh, and I tap my foot a lot towards the end, that looks funny.

I don't know maybe it's just funny to me, but anything made faster is entertaining... I mean, check out Alvin and the Chipmunks... (smile)


This is, almost, my entire family at my house for a Family Home Evening where we talked about memories, events, recipes, family history, safety, food storage and everything in between. There are 8 grandkids here, 4 siblings, 4 in-laws, and our parents. It was 45 minutes and I fast forwarded it to be 5 minutes and added some fun music. (smile)

Monday, June 6, 2011

'Desert'ed

Where we live there are so many different landscapes: to the east is desert and to the west is mountains, to the south is redrock and to the north are lakes and mountains. We have had a goal the last two years to really explore our state. This "spring" (I put Spring in quotes because I think we had more of a wimmer, winter straight to summer kind of thing) we decided to explore the desert areas. You, hopefully, already saw our first big desert trip, which actually included 2 deserts that day.

Well over the Memorial weekend we brought Kirsten, Jeremy and Melly with us and we deserted. Yup, that's what I said, "deserted." My knew term for exploring all things desert... anyway... it was amazing.

We went to this place they call "Little Moab" and watched dare devils in their four wheel drive rock crawling truck and jeeps climb rocks I would NEVER guess were climbable. Honestly, we were surrounded by rednecks... and it was AWESOME!!! Yee Haw!!! (Listen to Brother's commentary in this video clip... it will make you laugh.)

video


We got some great pictures and video of some of these crazy rednecks. My favorite part was when Brother yelled out to a driver we were watching crawl off a steep ledge, "Be careful!" Tee hee! He was so worried for their well-being and kept saying how scary it was to watch them, and it was. I don't know why a desert brings out the redneck in me, too, but it does... maybe it is all the engines revving, over-sized tires and egos, big hair, and 80's-style clothing but, man, it was fun!

We also went and picnicked and did a little climbing on Chimney Rock. Sister was the most adventurous and made it to the top. Brother was not too excited about looking from the top so he looked at the top from the bottom...

Here's some pictures! They are so awesome, by the way, check out the scenery behind us in some of these:














These 3 pictures of Melly just make me laugh. I was hoping she would smile but she wasn't happy that mom had to stop moving... ha ha

Jeremy at the top of Chimney Rock

Kirsten joined them

Sister had a blast getting to the top and definitely showed me she is not afraid of heights

Baby even came with us.  Brother decided to stay back with Kirsten and Jeremy and hold down the fort
 Make sure you do something fun and easy and inexpensive with your family this wimmer... these are my kids best memories... the ones we make all together.  Here's a cute little video about Family Time.