Tuesday, June 17, 2014

And this is happening!!

And this is happening... and I remember wondering if it ever would... (get on a different device if you can't see this VIDEO on your iphone!)


You know when Tevye dances to "If I were a rich man" on Fiddler on the Roof? I'm pretty much doing that dance right now... although I wish my sister, Kristine, was here cause she has it down much better!!! ;)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Meet our two new favorite people!!

We have some new people in our lives! And boy do we love them!!

Meet Stephanie and Krystal!!

Stephanie helping Benjamin work on his ipad
Potty time!! Not always our favorite thing, but we're working on it!! No potty yet just practicing!  (except at school he actually has gone twice!!)
Benjamin's favorite thing: TENTS!! and Stephanie builds them well!
Watching the Blazers!!
Krystal helping B with self feeding

 These two ladies have changed our lives!!! And most importantly, changed Benjamin's!! He has grown and changed so much over these last two months it is CRAZY!! If I didn't believe Benjamin thrived on a schedule before, I do now!! Even his teachers have noticed a huge improvement in almost every area at school. I am so thankful for these ladies!

And it's hard work! They go to doctor and therapy appointments with me. They help keep Benjamin on his afternoon schedule when Ben is just getting home from work and I'm leaving for my evening shift. They boldly walk beside me and help me with behavioral tantrums in public. They keep B's stuff clean and organized. They work with Benjamin on his physical therapy and his communication therapy... and put up with his grumpiness and tantrums! They've been officially trained by a nurse to handle B's seizures, g-tube and medications. And... Ben and I have gone on several date nights and it's been awesome!

One thing I am really loving: when Ben is working, I often will not do what I would like to, due to being by myself and feeling too overwhelmed to handle B and everything else without help. Well folks, I've got help now! And a couple weekends ago, Krystal and I braved the 2014 March of Dimes walk!                                

6 miles we walked!!!
And Benjamin thought he needed a piggy back most of the way!! And who can resist with that smile?

this boy loves stopping to watch the water!!!

First year "actually walking" the March of Dimes Walk!!! :)

Crossing the finish line!
Happy Dance cause we're finished!!!

So... we may have overdid it a bit!! We were EXHAUSTED!!! You can tell by my hair in the last photo... seriously... lugging around 36 pounds on my back for at least 3 miles was quite the work out! But I'm so glad we did it! And I couldn't and wouldn't have dare done it without Krystal!

 Thanks to all my family and friends who bought tulips and donated! We raised quite a few funds for those babies!!!

Here's a quick trip down memory lane:

Our first walk in 2009

Our second walk in 2010 We're sure all missing that cute boy in the duck blanket! Ryan we think about you every day! ox

2014 Team Picture! We joined another team this year!! Our team raised over $5,000!

I think sometimes people might wonder why the heck we're always fundraising!?! I'm just so thankful for the organizations and people we have met along this sometimes very hard and difficult journey and I never, ever want to stop giving back! I want to remember, and be grateful always... and I definitely want it to be there for the next family... maybe even better and improved for them!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Birthday #6!!

I can't believe I haven't blogged since March! I'm so mad at myself! So much has happened and I want to remember everything!! I'm going to try and do better. I've had this chronic sinus infection that is kicking my butt. After three treatments of antibiotics, a steroid treatment, cat scan and now headed to the ENT. Man oh man... I'm glad it's nothing worse, but it exhausts me... and I seriously feel like half of my brain is missing. How can you blog when you can't even think?? Hopefully we'll get this straightened out soon! ;)

I can't believe this boy is 6!! May 13th was his birthday!

I remember sitting in the cardiologist office at one of our first appointments and Dr. Carlson telling us that she didn't know how long Benjamin would be here with us. And I remember praying to God, "Just please let us have some time with him", and he is six years old now! And kicking life's bootie!  

Birthday at school (video below- may not show up on some devices)


After school, Benjamin had a surprise minion visit at home:

Benjamin with Krystal his caregiver
We went to the beach for our annual family reunion the day after B's birthday so we had a little celebration there too! I love having my sister be apart of his birthday and that's not always possible since she lives in CA. 

The other day we were leaving school, which has tended to be a really hard transition for Benjamin... lots of "complaining" and crying and resisting. He's been doing so much better but the other day he kept buckling his knees down to the ground but wasn't crying, just wasn't cooperating. I was like, "Quit, Benjamin! You need to stand up and walk to the car nicely please".  He did it again so I just left him on the ground to give him a minute to pull it together. He quickly found the perfect pine needle, grabbed it ever so nicely with his fine pincher fingers, looked up at me with a big smile, I grabbed his hand, he stood up, and walked to the car perfectly the rest of the way. Boy did I miss that one!!

How often in life do we misunderstand each other because of the lack of communication? This boy is teaching and reminding me daily to take two more seconds and try to understand the other person. It's not always the case of defiance, or a behavioral issue... or somebody out to tick me off. Sometimes it's just a second to stop and smell the roses... find the perfect stick, look at bird flying... and if I'm in too much of a hurry, I might miss the entire magical moment!

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!! :)