"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hangin in There

Thanks for hanging in there with me, since I haven't been able to post much lately.  Life kind of threw us a curve ball, but we're doing well, given the situation.  I've been living at my in-laws' house caring for my father-in-law, who has advanced Alzheimer's, while my mother-in-law has been in a hospital about three hours away from home.  For the past month, I was first at their house from breakfast to bedtime, trying to help them out, and then this past week I've been living here full time.  So our life is a little bit chaotic right now.  But "it is what it is" (that's my mantra lately). That, and "playing it by ear."  I've caught myself saying those two phrases almost on a daily basis.  

Every time someone asks me how I'm doing, I'm surprised by the question.  I can honestly say I've been at peace with the whole arrangement.  We're not getting everything done that we should be doing at home, and I really miss being with my little guys full time, but it will all work out in the end :)  Thankfully my daughter (21) and my husband have been able to help out with the home-front and take care of the boys.  And they do still get to spend several hours a day with us.  It just doesn't work out very well to have them here overnight.  We did try that, and it was a disaster.  No sleep for anyone - ha.

So, here's what I have managed to take pictures of (which isn't much - ha).  This was my view of the sky the day of the solar eclipse.  I was really looking forward to using the eclipse as a great homeschool teaching opportunity, but the clouds did not cooperate.

Last week we had a few snow flurries.  Nothing on the ground, but it was a reminder of what's to come.

See - not much accumulation.


We're still making great progress on the adaptive swimming program.  He's still very nervous in the water, but he's trying new things each time, and allowing her to take him deeper and deeper all the time.  (She's crouched down here, but he's okay with it, and even kicking!


Kids with autism are all about routine, and his routine is pretty much nonexistent right now, due to the family chaos.  But he's handled it well.  One routine that he has now is to go to the gas station after his swimming sessions, and get a chocolate milk.  He likes to drink it in the yard - under the tree where the squirrel usually is.  He tried to convince the squirrel to come down and be his pet, but the squirrel didn't care for that idea :)

I'm sure life will settle down eventually, but it might take awhile for that to happen.  For now, we're working on getting through one day at a time. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

He Got in the Water!!!

 I was a little concerned with how the swim therapy would go this time around as this was what he looked like first thing this morning.  He insisted that we buy him goggles and a "mouth golf" - that's what he's always called it. :)

I convinced him that his helper probably needed to see his face, so he just kept his flippers on.

I think this was our fourth or fifth session, and we finally got him to touch the water.  It started with convincing him that flippers are made for being in the water.

At first he would only get the front edge of them in.

But it didn't take him long to ease in further.


He needed to use the bathroom, and I was able to convince him to take the flippers off so he could walk better.  Then he never put them back on.

She asked him if he could put his elbows in :)

 We sure carried a bunch of stuff to the pool. But I was glad he was able to leave it in a pile and just enjoy swimming :)

 Eventually she got him to reach farther and farther into the water to pick up toys.  This part of the pool just slopes slowly deeper.

His lessons are supposed to be half an hour, but she has taken a full hour with him nearly every time because he gets more and more comfortable with it.

He really had a good time once he got comfortable.


This is what success looks like :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Not the Only Artist

So it turns out the ten year old isn't the only artist in the family.  These were done by our 21 year old daughter.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Adaptive Swim Therapy for the 5 Year Old With Autism

 We've just begun therapy at the pool for the five year old.  He is and always has been extremely afraid of water.  Baths have been a real challenge, but typically once he's in, he's good to go.  But this summer we got him into a pool and he was riding on an inflatable toy and fell in over his head.  Now we're back to square one on all water.

These pictures are from his second therapy session.  He goes twice a week, and has a great lady working with him - she is very patient and encouraging.  He hasn't actually made it into the water yet, but at least we're making progress.

 The first day we went he played with a toy that looks like a diver - and he has been obsessed with divers ever since, and dressed up like them.  But the second time we went, he had a complete meltdown just going into the pool room.  Thankfully he eventually settled down.

A second grade group from the school came in for swimming lessons, and at first he was pretty overwhelmed by the number of them, but then he became interested in watching them, and didn't want to leave.

He even let his helper carry him over to the submarine.  You can see how shallow it is.  But he hasn't even dipped his toe in the water yet.

 He was pretty timid in the sub.  The therapist suggested allowing him to come to the next lesson dressed as a diver.

So this was how we came to the next lesson.  The temperature was in the 20's, but I brought him in shorts so we wouldn't have to change.  He had a shirt and coat on, and we cranked the heat in the car.  Normally at home he wears a ski helmet and ski goggles, and puts gloves on his feet for flippers.  But he spotted these flippers at the grocery store the day before, and when it was time to leave he couldn't find the ski helmet.  So he grabbed the ski mask.

 It was SO hot in the pool room - steamy - but he never took off the mask.

 He played on the sub again - still not touching the water - but the therapist said the mask seemed to give him confidence to move around and interact more, rather than just standing in one spot like he had before.  See him in the front circle window?

He was much more calm.  So, this is our swim gear.  Lessons again this coming week.  He is insisting that we go back to the grocery store for the goggles and "mouth golf" - which is what he has always called the scuba tube you breathe through.  So after church, we're getting those.  :)   Ahh.  Never a dull moment in this thankful Mama's life :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fire Department Open House

 Last Saturday I took the little guys to the fire department open house for a quick bite to eat and a ride on a firetruck.  Had a great time :)





 We got to ride in the fancy new ladder truck - which I failed to get a picture of from the outside.  We rode in the seats facing backwards, which was a fun change, and a couple little friends from church rode with us.

 Horrible picture of me, but look at how excited he was :)  This was at the beginning when they took off fast like they would for a fire.


 I didn't realize until I looked at this picture how close the three year old's eye color is to mine.



 Fun times :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It Never Gets Old

 From today -










Yesterday (or was it the day before) - our spiderwebs were frosted over. Can you see them?



 That same cold morning...



 It even looks cold, don't you think?  Our hummingbird feeder even froze over.  The feeder had been empty until our overzealous ten year old thought he could lure them back for Grandpa :)

 And these are from a few days ago...








Like I said, it never gets old :)