Monday, November 29, 2010

Social Group

Joseph started participating in a social group a few weeks ago.  This is an opportunity for Joseph to be with other children on the spectrum.  It is a safe place to learn, grow and make mistakes without being judged.  One of the goals of this group is also for him to have the opportunity to learn to make friends and to keep friends. 

This group has been difficult for BOTH of us.  While the kids meet with their facilitator the parents have a meeting with a behavioral psychologist.  Dr. Boggs is WONDERFUL and I enjoy her immensely.  However, just hearing myself say some things has been difficult and listening to other parents talk about their issues at home is hard too.  All of this is exhausting to tell you the truth.  Each week upon leaving the group I have cried on the way home.  I honestly feel as if I am grieving Joseph's diagnosis afresh and anew.  I am glad that Joseph is getting the support he needs.  He has speech and occuptational therapy. He is now a part of this social group.  He meets monthly with a therapist. The real issue is I don't think I'm getting the help I need!!!

What  I mean by that is I need to really talk to someone about my feelings towards Joseph, about Joseph for Joseph.  Having a child with autism can really take a toll on your family, your mental stability, your relationships in general AND so much more.  I really think I need to talk to a counselor about all of this.  Nathan and I talk quite frequently about it, but we are on MUCH different pages with the whole issue.  We are in agreement when it comes to discipline, etc but emotionally we are obviously two different people.

Social group "making and keeping friends" this is an issue that I have struggled with for the last few years.  Some of the people I have known the longest in my life and have shared the most with no longer even call me, text me, email me, respond to my FB posts etc.  This brings me much sadness.  I am working through these lost relationships/friendships.  The good thing though about this is that I know that Joseph more than likely won't experience this kind of pain because he processes friendship differently.  In some ways it is a BLESSING that he won't be hurt by people the way that I have been. 

The two relationships that I LONG for Joseph to have are a meaningful relationship with his Creator.  I pray that he will be able to love the things of the Lord.  That he will be able to read, retain and understand His WORD.  I desire for Joseph to be truly in love with Jesus and have a heart for Him.  I also pray and hope that Joseph will know love for a spouse.  I pray that he will experience love, marriage and parenthood.  Big dreams for my lil' man, but I serve a BIG GOD!!!

So I don't want Joseph to be "social" just to be "social".  I don't expect him to be me...a mouthy, loud at times, center of attention, charismatic kind of person.  I just want Joseph to be comfortable in his own skin.  I want being around other people to not bring him such anxiety and stress.  I pray that he learns to communicate with others effectively and express himself openly, creatively and spontaneously.  Once again....BIG STUFF. 

Today we geared up for another meeting.  We got out in the cold rain and drove to the Huff Center.  No one else showed.  I was disappointed.  Joseph didn't even miss a beat.  This meant mommy and Joseph time going to Chick-fil-A for a Sprite and or me a short, de-caf Christmas blend with cream from Starbucks.  For you frugal people I spent less on my coffee than on Joseph's small Sprite :-) YEAH ME!!! We did have some really neat conversation in the truck.  We took turns on speaking/telling stories, singing and listening to music.  It was a good time that I might not have had with Joseph if he had participated in social group.  Being in situations like that are taxing for him.  So today I had him focused and fresh. 

I am blessed to be able to work a crowd AND I am blessed to the mother of a little boy that NEVER WILL BE.  Isn't life good????

December's "Challenge"

I just love reading Courtney's blog.  She is a real inspiration.  I am also looking forward to her new "challenge"

I am vowing that THIS December is going to be different.  I want to enjoy the peace of this season.  The peace that "The Prince of Peace" came to bring.  Be blessed and join me in the challenge. 

Merry Christmas,



Sunday, November 28, 2010


Advent-"a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas." (per Wiki)

Once again we are going to try and observe the season/period of Advent here in our home.  I have a wreath that I am hoping to set up today.  That is if I have time between changing diapers, cooking a couple of side dishes for our afternoon lunch with our out of town family, sucking little snotty noses with a bulb syringe, catching up on "Mount Washmore" (thanks Traci), and general household stuff.  One tradition/observance that I miss from our time in the UMC denomination is the "Hanging of the Greens".  Basically it is where the church is prepared for the Advent/Christmas season.  Sometimes it takes place in a ceremonious way.  Other times depending upon the church preference it takes place as a communal gathering complete with carols, cookies and fellowship.  It was always a lot of fun.  Hoping that we can finish up some decorating stuff around our house today. 

I love the expectancy and hope of Advent.  "Shepherds Abiding" by Jan Karon from the Mitford series is a tradition for me.  It is a lovely tell of the hope and joy found during this season.  I am praying that as the years pass I will be able to plant within the hearts of my children the expectancy, hope, joy and mystery of Christmas. 

For those of you who have been reading my blog for sometime I am about to start my annual "Favorite Christmas Carol" posts.  Should be staring those on the 1st of December.  Happy Advent and Merry Christmas to all.

Emmanuel is with us,


Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

So I have friends who have been shopping since the WEE hours of the morning.  Some have been waiting at various stores since midnight, 2am, 4am etc.  I find this RIDICULOUS.  However, I admit that I keep company with some pretty funny people :-).  I even have one friend that I KNOW stayed up past midnight to do her "Black Friday" shopping online.  Once again, not my cup of tea.

So why the post you ask?  Well I was thinking this morning as I woke up on this gray, overcast, gloomy day that some people don't HAVE the ability to shop this day.  Maybe it's physical limitations that keep them from going.  Perhaps it's an anxiety disorder that keep them away from crowds.  Some folks I'm SURE are kept away for financial reasons. Maybe some people just don't want to shop.

However, I bet for some folks depression is an issue.  It's not just "Black Friday" that makes them sad.  It is the ENTIRE "holiday season" that brings them pain.  They are missing a loved one this year.  Perhaps a divorce is/was just finalized.  Maybe they are away from home due to work or study.  Some "nests" are a little empty this year.  My prayer this year is that in the midst of shopping, fighting crowds, wrapping presnts, getting "deals", not paying shipping etc. that we would ALL take some time to think of others.  That we would pray for someone we know that falls into one of the categories/situations I mentioned. Why not spend some of the money you were going to use for an "awesome deal" and do something kind for that person that just came to your mind.  That person that struggles with anxiety and crowds, why not take them a meal and eat with them in their home?  Send that college student a care package that couldn't come home for the holidays.  Send a card to a soldier.  Catchin' on???

Let's all work together to make this day NOT so "black".  While at it why don't we pull together and make EVERY day a little brighter this holiday season.  I believe there are MORE then "12 days of Christmas".  Share the love of Jesus Christ and the news of his birth with someone TODAY and everyday.  Emmanuel came so that we could have the BEST DEAL OF ALL.  Eternal life through Jesus Christ is FREE for the taking EVERYDAY.

Merry Christmas,


Thursday, November 25, 2010

On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me A....


Ok. Ok. I realize I haven't blogged since August. I could go through the typical disclaimer, apology poo-poo BUT I wont (the crowd goes wild). So anyway...I'm back!!!

I just recently discovered Shutterfly. I actucally received a coupon at Ingles Markets with my receipt for a FREE photo book from Shutterfly. I made one of the family dedication that took place this last May.  Stephanie and Darrel Prescott took the pics that are included in the album.  I am forever grateful that they were there to share the day AND took the time to capture it on film.  I was VERY pleased with the quality of the book.  I only had to pay $8.61 in shipping.  Granted, it did take some time to make the book, but it was fun and I think I could really enjoy preserving our memories this way.

Well a friend of mine (Sarah Massey) has also been bitten by the "shutterfly" bug :-).  She just received 50 FREE cards from Shutterfly.  They are beautiful and I am so excited that she found this affordable way to showcase their "growing" family.  She blogged about her experience and suggested that I participate in an offer that Shutterfly was featuring. 

Well here I am, blogging in order to receive MY 50 free cards.  This is an exciting Christmas for us.  Last year James and Jonathan were merely five days old and in the NICU critical care unit weighing in at less than five pounds each.  This year our chunky monkey (James) and our lean mean walking machine (Jonathan) are the joy of our home.  I can't wait to get a family pic of all seven of us.  We have YET to have one made and the boys were 11 months old last Saturday.  So I am going to have a friend of mine take some candid family photos and we are going to use them on our cards.  YEAH!!! 

Keep your eyes posted to my blog and/or be on the lookout for your envelope from the Flint family.  Happy early Merry Christmas and thanks again for taking the time to read my ramblings.  Oh and take some time to check out Shuuterfly's website. They have GREAT gifts and are able to help you with any stationary,invitation or photo needs. They have Christmas Photo Cards,Personalized Wall Calendars,and Graduation Invitations.

Enjoy this season,