Tuesday, March 4, 2014

WOW... just WOW!!

First off, can I just say I am so very glad January and February are over! "Sickness" would be the theme of both those months! The last time I was at the doctors, I asked him what the heck is going on because I can't possibly be sick anymore? He asked me if I had any younger kids who just started school? Um... Yep! He said that's the worst time cause the kiddos bring all sorts of stuff home that we're not use to being around. Supposedly, it gets better in a couple years... Oh great!:)

But this big news is...we had the biggest blessing happen... I still really can't believe it! As you can see on the countdown there's only 194 days until it's time to go get Benjamin's doggie and so preparations are happening! We met this awesome family around Christmas time through some mutual friends, and they heard about Benjamin and our service dog journey. We've already raised the funds for the dog (thanks to our incredible village!) and so they wanted to help us with our trip. This amazing family paid for our plane tickets! Seriously, we are constantly in awe and reminded daily of God's amazing love for us and His special plan for Benjamin. I tend to be the frettin' and worryin' type and my mom always reminds me, "God is in control, and He will take care of His children". We are so grateful to this family and their testimonies in our lives! It inspires us to want to be a blessing to others even more!

This family sent us the sweetest letter. I don't know if it was the pattern on the card or the writing but Benjamin was enamored with it and would NOT take a nap! haha            

In other news... it's spirit week at school... Backwards day was today:

Another school day

And do you see all those lovely books in the corner? Nope... my kid wants to read the manual to the projector machine! He is sooo funny and particular about these things! Love him!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Holiday recap

I know, I know... the Christmas tree should be taken down and the decorations put away. But how? When this is happening every day after school: 

Benjamin is LOVING this train set that my grandparents let us set up under the tree. The first thing Benjamin does when he gets home from school is crawl into the living room and start clapping  for "more" train. I'm having a little trouble though... Gobah (My dad) came over the other day to play and connected all the train pieces together AND had Elmo, Ernie, Burt, Big Bird and Kelly riding in them! I can't compete! Benjamin claps and hands me train parts and Sesame street friends and looks at me like, "C'mon! Get it together mom! Gobah can do it!" 

Christmas absolutely flew by around here. We had a great time. Christmas Eve we went to my church's candle light service and it was awesome! Then we headed over to my grandparents for dinner and presents.

The following morning we had Christmas Brunch at our house. It was a blast! Ben and I love having people over (my mom is going to laugh reading this, because I may have had a small stress melt down that morning trying to get everything "just perfect") But a great, small melt down! And totally worth it! I forgot to take pics before brunch (I was having that melt down, remember?) But here's a couple shots of after:

Christmas Table - with 14 people we had to get creative... but we did it!

Drink table
So the last couple years we had a Bingo tournament. We decided to switch it up and play the Oldie-Wed Game! Ben, Hannah and I hosted it and we asked the married couple questions about each other. Let's just say they need to spend more time discussing where the wives' want to go on vacation and the husbands' favorite power tool!!! hahahhaha

Benjamin getting a foot rub from Auntie Hannah!

Winter break was great! It was so fun having "not so much" to do and having free time to make spur of the moment plans. Like... go to Wet Spot... Benjamin's fish Utopia!

Where's Benjamin?? :)
We also decided last minute to head to Cannon Beach for an overnight. And I mean last minute! This was a couple days before New Years and we were suppose to be cleaning up Christmas and we just decided we needed to get out of town. (plus it was our 6th Anniversary!)  It was so fun... cause no time to stress about packing. We threw a few things of ours, and everything of Benjamin's in the van and headed to the Wayside Inn (the cheapest hotel with a swimming pool and the last room!) Benjamin went hot tubbing and swimming with us and loved it! We watched movies and I kicked Ben's butt in Marbles and Canasta (although to be fair, I guess I should mention we found out the decks were completely screwed up so we need a re-match!) We ordered Moe's to go and had clam chowder cannon balls in our room (chowder in bread bowls).

We are so excited for 2014! Much to be thankful for and much to look forward too! 
Here's the last pic:
Benjamin's new preferred way of taking a bath... he is sooo funny!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Some thoughts from my sister...

Some of you know my younger sister, Kristine, and some of you have never met her. She's married and lives in California with her husband Matt. I don't get to see or talk to her nearly enough but we try and stay in contact the best we can. Last night she sent me some thoughts and experiences about her weekend... and they're just too good not share... in fact, I picked up my Bible first thing this morning... thanks for the reminder sista!! 

Just a note... this was a quick email sent to me last night at midnight with some thoughts from her heart. She graciously agreed to let me share because I think it'll be a blessing and reminder to somebody else like it was to me:

"Got to spend the weekend in Truckee and visit our old home church... was so blessed by Pastor Wayne's message. He spoke on humbleness... and how Jesus becoming a man, could not have chosen a lowlier rank. You see, because had he come as a tree, or flower or worm... those creations exist the way God created them to exist. They bring HIM glory because they do exactly what they were created to do. We, mankind are the ONLY creation that rebels against God. So Jesus could not have gotten further from his highest position of being GOD. Pretty cool. He literally became man... human, and there is nothing that he did not encounter... there is nothing he does not know or didn't feel. Talk about humble. The pastor then showed a picture of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and said, "if you are not willing to wash the feet of anyone in this church, you are not in the right place." Such a good reminder, especially in ministry that we are to be of one mind... considering others better than ourselves. We are to take that mindset so that one day God will be able to exalt us High like he is...

one more thought... from my awesome friend Rebekah.

She was comparing us and how we are so like the Israelites. Many comparisons but this one in particular had to do with the Mana God gave them. Each morning he would send mana from heaven and if they did not gather it then, the sun would spoil it and it would be gone... the mana is God's word.. each morning, if we do not put God very first and desire him more than we desire food, sleep, whatever, then the busyness of the day will soon be upon us and the time will be gone. He also only provided the Israelites with one day's worth. He gave them what they needed for that day. It's the same with his Word. There is no, "I'll read God's word on Saturday and catch up from the week..." No, He gives us the Word each day and if we miss the opportunity, it's gone... we've missed that day the blessings God had for us...

I heard a sermon by Francis Chan who was just so passionately begging his church to stop everything... don't do anything tomorrow if you don't spend time with God.. he's THAT important... don't eat, don't sleep, don't go to work if it interferes with your Holy and Almighty Savior. So challenging... I had to ask myself, "do I love him that much?" that I would be willing to not do anything if it meant that I couldn't spend time with him."

Crazy huh? We live and tell others that we are Christ followers yet we forget the necessity of spending time asking God what He has planned for us today?? And asking Him to fill us with more of Him and less of our sinful nature. Blows my mind - how can this be? I'm a mom, would I dare leave the house without a diaper? Would a teacher dare leave her house without her lesson plans? Would a fire fighter dare leave his garage without his gear? Why would we even think about leaving our houses or starting our morning without God's blessing on our day!! Let's pick up our Bibles!! 

By the way, I don't claim to have it all together as a "Christian" and I KNOW I fail in many areas. But I know God has put this special boy in my life for a reason, and that I want to be the best mom and wife I can be... and it's dang hard... and I need all the help I can get. So I'm going to try and start asking God every morning for help by getting some wisdom from His word. Because He promises He will!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bah Humbug!!!

"She's a mean one, Mr. Grinch!!"  Yes... me. Grinchy and bah humbugging here. What the heck??  I hope nobody else is feeling this way... but if you are, you are not alone! I am majorly overwhelmed this year. Maybe because Christmas and Thanksgiving are so close together? The fall decor is still not completely put away and there are Christmas boxes everywhere! And don't even get me started on Elf on the Shelf!! Yeah right... Santa's MAYBE getting store bought cookies this year. Better yet, there's Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough in the bottom freezer... Knock yourself out Santa!! 

 HAHAHA, just kidding... sort of! But seriously, this year I would much rather spend a much needed family day together playing and watching movies then 5 hours in the yard trying to put up lights only to spend the next Saturday taking them all down again. That doesn't even sound fun and we just don't have that kind of time right now. So this year... Simplicity. I'm going to take away all "expectations". If I don't feel like doing it, if my hearts not in it... if it's more stressful then it is fun... it's getting cut. We have our tree up... still not decorated, and I'm thinking one manger scene and I'm calling it good! And then if it feels like fun or might be a good family activity... we'll put something else up.  (This is from the girl who usually changes out all her normal dishes to Christmas dishes!) All those Christmas boxes are going back in the garage. Check, check and check! And now... I can actually function and breathe and spend more time with those I love and heck, maybe even focus on the real meaning of Christmas! (Don't worry, I'll have my over the top Christmas spirit together next year I'm sure!!! Ben can NOT believe I'm boycotting Christmas decorating!)

This REALLY IS going to be a great Christmas! Benjamin is changing so much! He's noticing and into everything and I don't want to miss these new adventures because my "to do" list is soooo ginormously huge and I'm so stressed out and grumpy. I went in this morning to wake him up for school and came back to this: (video below -  it might not show up on some devices - go get on a different computer, this will put a smile on your face!) 


What?? My kid likes to color?? News to me!! :)

By the way, I'm totally doing Elf on the Shelf one of these years with Benjamin when he's into it! 

By the way again, I mostly just wanted to share this awesome video and it turned into more of a diary entry. Thanks for letting me vent. I feel much better already! 

Much Love, 
Grumpy, stressed out mom who is having an attitude and life adjustment TODAY!! :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November update...

How is November over? I've been trying to manage my time better and figure out where it all goes... I just counted that Benjamin has had approx. 129 appointments since January (and by approx. I mean there's probably more) and this doesn't include anything related to school. And he has at least 10 more in December!! We are busy and I'm not kidding! :0) Benjamin is changing and learning so much right now. I'm so thankful for all the therapists and specialists we have helping us! Here's a little of what we've been up to:

Here's our Woody for Halloween (couldn't get him to look at us!):
I had to work that night and the boys hung out at home to give out candy so a quick trip to Costco had to suffice for a little Halloween dress up!

Isn't this just adorable? Turned out pretty good for his first school picture:

Now for some updates on Benjamin.

For the past few years, all of Benjamin's specialty doctors keep telling us that we need to revisit genetics. So, the first big test we did  this last month was some genetic testing. (btw, we go up to Doernbecher and all his tests so far have been either blood tests or urine tests) Chromosomal Microarray Analysis was the name of the test they just did. When Benjamin was first born they did a test similar to this. Basically, if Benjamin's genes were a big set of Encyclopedias (remember those!!) the first test checked to make sure Benjamin had a complete set of books A-Z and he did. Now this last genetic test was a deeper look checking to see if Benjamin has all the pages in each of the Encyclopedias. And the test came back NORMAL and he does. There is one more test that would check to see if each page has all the words in the Encyclopedias but the geneticist doesn't think that would be helpful. (Thank goodness because these tests run around $2500 a pop! I'm checking my EOB's everyday hoping insurance will cover most of it! Those stinkers wouldn't give us a definite answer on exactly what they would cover.) We're glad the test came back normal but we are at the end of the road as far as genetic testing goes. They told us to come revisit in 3 years to see if any other tests or new info has come to light. It would be nice to have some more answers about Benjamin or maybe a syndrome that would help give us some direction. For example, if Benjamin was diagnosed with X syndrome, and studies show that 95% of children with X syndrome never develop their speech, that would help us focus on signs and pictures and his communication device. Not that we would ever write anything off, but knowledge is power and the more we understand about Benjamin the better we can help him be the best he can be. But for now, Benjamin seems to be a mystery to almost everybody and so the sky is the limit!!

Next, allergy testing. So Ben and I both have pretty bad allergies. Ben is allergic to grass and I'm allergic to dust. So Benjamin's results - grass, trees, dust and dust mites. hahahah... But no allergies to dogs!! :) In a way I'm so relieved because Benjamin would get sick every time we go to Camp Attitude. Of course, we're practically living in trees and grass! Next time we go I'll be able to manage it better for him. Benjamin is not eligible for allergy shots because of his heart so we will be managing his allergies with some good ol' Zyrtec.

Thanksgiving came and went way to quickly this year. It was absolutely crazy with everyone's work and school schedules, plane flights and of course that blasted Black Friday!! So we officially had Thanksgiving with the Silvermans on Wednesday. Sarah and Raul (Ben's sister) flew in from Texas and we all just have a blast when they're in town! It was busy and short, but the time we did get to spend together was wonderful and we're grateful for that! I had to work on Thanksgiving for a few hours, but when I got off we headed to the Pences (their first Thanksgiving living in OR) and all the cousins were there! Sooo fun!
Below is Max and Benjamin. (You, know, the cool, older cousin, Max.) Benjamin crawled over and sat very close to Max to watch him play on his iPad:

Below is my buddy with his hat and glasses on! Making huge progress here!! Thanks for all the prayers and continuing to be our village!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October update...

I have to say, I was SO excited for Benjamin to start kindergarten! I would have 3 hours a day to get all my stuff done! I could start a consistent workout routine and lose some weight - well, I've gained ten pounds. All my cleaning chores for the day would get done first thing in the morning leaving the weekends free for family time - I'm actually looking at the pile up of chores around me and blogging instead because there is so much to do!! (plus if I procrastinate a little longer... the DUCK game will be on!) Turns out... kindergarten is kicking my butt!! Benjamin has to be up for school every morning by 6:15!! A little too early for this mama!! Hence... the gap in blogs, but I hope to be better because I want to journal/blog everything so I don't forget one thing!!

There have been some major news and changes going on around here!! First off, we have our official class dates to go get Benjamin's service dog!!  SEPTEMBER 15 - 26TH of 2014 is our actual class date and we'll be in Xenia, OH!!!! This is so exciting!! I don't want to wish a whole year by... but boy are we excited! 

That brings us to preparations for the SD (service dog):

- We are trying to get our 30 hours of video recorded so we can send that off to 4 Paws.
- The yard was terrible when we bought this house. Wouldn't even call it a yard... mostly spots of grass here and there in the back and the ground was really uneven and unsafe in the front. 
So this happened!!

backyard before
backyard after
backyard after
front yard before
front yard after
Still have some major yard work to do and a gate to put up so our front and back yard will be fenced in completely but that will probably all happen next spring. (btw... the dog doesn't get to go potty on the grass! We have a long side of the house where we will train it to go. We want Benjamin to be able to roll and crawl around in his yard!)

Now onto other events! 
Benjamin's 2nd day of kindergarten. First day he thew up everywhere 10 minutes before the bus came!!

Benjamin at school with Teacher Mary

Benjamin's new AFO's!! Definitely helping! He's almost standing by himself without holding onto anything!

Waiting for the school bus with his new basket on his walker - that's to hold the iPad if anybody was wondering!

Apparently my kid wears hats now! This hat's his daddy's!

Waiting for the dentist. He grinds his teeth all the time. His back molars were down to his gums (OUCH!) and he was starting to grind down his front teeth too. So caps on everything! (Dr. Mo said this is a very common problem with kiddos on medication) Poor boy! The dental procedure went great, however, the coming out of anesthesia was terrible! He had a really weird reaction to it and went crazy psycho on us! It was everything Ben could do to hold him down. He tore out his IV...  Needless to say, we were at the hospital for quite a bit longer than planned!

I think we might have found what we should be for Halloween! WOODY!  

Benjamin is really changing!! He is learning so many new skills at school! We are still doing quite a bit of private therapy as well. Benjamin gets out of school at 10:40 (he rides the bus there and I pick him up). I get him home for quick nap (which he needs because he is exhausted!) and then we pretty much have a a therapy appointment or drs./specialist appointment every afternoon. And then we come home, Ben gets home, and I head to work. It's craziness... but it's worth it!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Finally... an update!!

Man, oh man... the Silverman Family got sick... I mean really sick, and it has taken us about this long to finally get it back together! So let's do a little blog catch up!!

First of all... ALL THE MONEY HAS BEEN RAISED FOR BENJAMIN'S SERVICE DOG!!!!!!!!!  We are waiting for a pretty large Employer Match to be sent to 4 Paws for Ability and that's suppose to happen at the beginning of September. Then we will get the "official" phone call from 4 Paws saying we have met our goal and giving us more info!!! I swear... 2 1/2 months of fundraising has to be some kind of world record! I thought it might take 2 1/2 years!! We are so loved... and we feel so grateful to everybody who has helped us on this journey. This was a big item on our bucket list with Benjamin and it's actually happening! So we're probably looking at getting Benjamin's dog sometime in September of 2014 but I'll let everyone know as soon as we get the details. For now... we have to get a yard in!! Because... well, as you can see:

Except there is no grass, just all mud in the front and back. And Ben was going to put it in the spring, but his wife had him running around doing doggie fundraisers! So come fall, it's going to be seedin' time!

Camp Attitude: The third week of July we headed out to our much anticipated week at Camp Attitude. Benjamin was a little sick but that's very par for the course before we go on vacation. We were able to spend 2 1/2 days there before Ben and Benjamin were really sick and we had to come home. Such a BUMMER!! It's my favorite week of the year but it wasn't meant to be this year... Camp Attitude has to have it's own blog. There's way too much share and some great pics! The days we did get to be there we had a blast and Benjamin had a great buddy named Lizz! (pic below)

Newest Family Member: We have another small addition to our family... A much needed sucker fish named Sluggar. I think sucker fish are totally weird so I told Ben if we have to have one, can it at least look pretty?? Ben sent me multiple pictures of these beautiful sucker fish that were options... and then he came home with this guy: (Pic below)

I about died... REALLY? This ugly thing? He is now my absolute favorite!! He is so fun and has a ton of personality!! Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder! We love our Sluggar!!

Glasses progress - I am happy to report we are making SOME progress... and I'll take SOME over NONE!! Benjamin is actually having a good time when we "play" with them. But we haven't gotten over the 20 minute benchmark yet! There's lots of counting and games and clapping happening about glasses over here! It's really quite comical how much we do to try and get this kid to wear his... especially gobah and gammy-my dad and mom!! (I hope somebody in the government is getting a good laugh peering in on us! ;)
 (video below)

AFO's (ankle/foot orthotics) - Benjamin was fitted for a pair of these a few weeks ago. They think this might do the trick to help him be able to stand with out any support (well, except for his AFO's) They should be done here shortly and I'm hoping we can get use to them before kindergarten starts on the 9th.

First Theatre Movie: We took Benjamin to see Despicable Me 2 in the theaters. He did pretty good for the first time! (Really, really good with the minions were on!  (pic below)

Canby Fair - This past week my sis in-law Hannah came up and stayed with us for a night. We went to the Canby fair and had a blast!! Hannah got Ben up on stage in two different shows! HAHAHA!! He had to hold a stalk of celery in his hand while Crazy Alex cut it in half by throwing a playing card and then had to do an awkward chest bump! BAHAHA If you know Ben at all... you know chest bumping another sweaty guy is NOT at the top of his list!!! (video below)


And here's my little cutie boy: (p.s. the cow is not real!)

The summer has seriously flown by and I feel like we were sick for half of it. There's still a few months left of good weather so time to make the most of it!