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Monday, November 29, 2010

thoughts by dr. seuss and myself

Have you ever really thought about what the Dr. was trying to tell us in his books? I guess lately, since I read a lot not only to my kids but the sippy cup gang as well, I have pondered over these little helpful hints.

I received an email this morning and this was her tag line,

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothings going to get better. It's not!

-The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Now just sit here a minute and think about it. Doesn't it really hit home for you? I mean with the state of the economy and the world, I feel as if we don't all just stop for a minute nothing is going to change. We can all talk about how we feel regarding our state of affairs right now but what are you going to do to make a change. Big or small, just think about it.

Right now we are entering the Holiday Season. For my family that means Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means "coming".

We took Gigi to mass on Saturday evening at St. Thomas More (Cameron's school parish), yes we are Episcopalian but Gigi is Roman Catholic and is coming on 90 years, it was a beautiful service and it too made me think about what I can do to help prepare for myself but for others. Kansas City has a Catholic Service Center known as Seton. They help those in need and a Sister from the Center spoke and shared stories with us about Seton and those in need. You never know who you come across that might need help.

One change my family is making this year is to up our donations to the local food pantry, could you imagine not knowing when your next meal is coming? We are going to daily put food in a bag to take to church on Sunday. As a family we are going to pray for those families that this food will nourish.

I feel this is one small change that we can make in our daily lives to help with the "coming" meals for others in our community.

Monday, November 22, 2010

bad blogger, bad blogger...

I know it has been a week since I have shared some words with you and I am sorry. I have been preparing for the Deacon and Pops to get here on Wednesday. The other obsession has been our first meeting with the school district for Cameron's IEP.

I am still so confused on everything that goes into this, especially since he goes to a Parochial school and so we have the right to services from the public school. Lets just say a lot of phone calls, emails and door knocking has been going on. I am google obesessed these days with trying to understand all the terms. We love our son so much and want the absolute best for him. We are his voice and we hope to lay the path for other families in our situation.

We have learned from fellow parents that we have to speak up and out. Don't be afraid to take that first step and get the help that your child needs in school. In our case Aspergers Syndrome is nothing to be ashamed of, or for others any learning disability is nothing to be ashamed of. Our children will succeed, it might take a little longer and we might go down a different path but yes they will succeed.

Remember that God gives us amazing gifts in the form of children they just might come in different wrappers. None the less they are all amazing and true gifts.

Monday, November 15, 2010

holy cow...thanksgiving is next week

So I have been busy with school activities, birthdays, cleaning closets, etc. and it occurred to me that Thanksgiving is next week! Wowzers, is that possible? I figured I needed to get on the ball since I am hosting for the Miller sanction.

The Deacon and Pops are flying in next Wednesday morning, I would appreciate all positive thoughts and prayers for their safe travels from Valdosta. Once they get to Green Acres they are going to pick up Cameron and then they are off to Newton to pick up Gigi. (This is her 89Th Thanksgiving as she turns 90 on December 14Th) We couldn't have Thanksgiving without her. I just hope we have decent weather so we can get down there and back with her.

I have always loved Thanksgiving, of course the food but most of all the time spent with those you love. This is going to be so much fun, I am calling it my "Walton's Thanksgiving", and I am showing my age here. Those of you that are young google The Walton's it was an amazing, good moraled TV show of my youth. We are going to go to Church on Wednesday night after we have pizza, yes Pizza! I spoke with Papa Murphy's and told them of our situation with Cameron and dairy, they said just bring my cheese in and they will put fresh gloves and clean the area and top the pizza with our cheese. He said they have a lot of customers they do this for. The sweet bag guy at Whole Foods this weekend told me to try Daiya Shreds for pizza as they melt the best. Any of you tried these?

As for Thursday I have been working on our Menu. I have loved the Williams Sonoma Thanksgiving books forever and I have planned our feast. I have even researched alternative dairy free ingredients and ideas.

Buttermilk Brined Turkey with Bourbon Gravy

Cornbread Apricot Dressing with Rosemary

Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce

Whipped Sweet Potatoes ~ for Pops and Mr. Miller

"Smashed White" potatoes for my little Cam Man

Snap Beans with fresh garlic and Bacon

Pumpkin Crumble

Pecan Tart

Stone Hill Chambourcin

I read that if I use plain coconut milk it will act like buttermilk in the brining process. We did a trial run this weekend on the "smashed white" potatoes with plain soy yogurt and chicken broth and all I can say was "YUM"! I even read up on a dairy free pumpkin custard that I can use in my crumble. Maybe this dairy free won't be so bad. Not to mention I read a testimony by a Mom and Dad who said they both lost about 60 lbs. Hello....

Friday morning the Deacon and I are off to shop and Clark Sr, Clark Jr. and the crew will be doing some exterior illuminations here at Green Acres. We will decorate later that day and just spend time together.

Thanksgiving is about togetherness, love, laughter and good food. I am thankful this year for our bountiful blessings. God never lets us down and he continues to amaze me everyday. Thank you all for being part of our blessings.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

hello 40

Well I entered a new decade today.   I am 40 and I have to say I wasn’t real excited about this mile marker.  The more I have thought about it and the more I have talked to my fellow members in this elite club maybe it won’t be so bad.

Mr. Miller, with the help of The Deacon, Pops, Mimi, Poppa, Aunt Erika and Uncle Randy, took me out of town this past weekend.  We went to one of our favorite places, Hermann.  It is a wonderful little town of 2500 nestled in the valley of the Missouri River.  It has German Roots and lots of good GREAT wine and food.  Here are a few moments from our weekend.


DSCN1737DSCN1745DSCN1747DSCN1758DSCN1785 DSCN1755We had an amazing time.  Thanks to all our family that helped make this much needed mini vacation possible.  I love you all so much!

When I awoke this morning Cameron and Mr. Miller had set the coffee pot and I found this card made by my little man.

DSCN1868I have sung “You are my Sunshine” to both of my boys since birth.  It is our special song. DSCN1869

With this card and all of the calls, texts, hugs from the sippy cup gang and FB messages 40 is not looking so bad.  As Jimmy would say “here’s to another trip around the sun!”.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

what's cookin'

Would you look at the size of those carrots! I received those in my veggie box last week. I couldn't believe the size of them. They are going into carrot muffins and the sippy cup gang will be getting them cooked and candied later this week. I just had to share these with you, and yes they are organic. Who would have thought in this day and age we could grow veggies this size without any help but all natural gifts given to us by mother nature :).

Monday ~ Tuna and Rice Casserole, peas and corn

Tuesday ~ Pork chops, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans

Wednesday ~ Taco Soup

Thursday ~ Leftovers

Friday ~ Meatballs, Mashed Yukon Golds, Peas

Saturday ~ Mac n Cheese, Hot Dogs and Apple Sauce (Mama and Mr. Miller are going to the STM Auction that night)

Sunday ~ Soup and Sandwich

Monday, November 8, 2010

what a ride…

The last 2 weeks have been quite a ride on an emotional roller coaster.  We have been blessed with 2 amazing sons.  Cameron is 7 and Henry is 21 months. 

We always knew that Cameron was special, heck aren’t all children, but Cameron had his little quirks.  He made these little sounds like chattering as long as we can remember, structure and routine were always inevitable, sleeping through the night became a thing of the past at 15 months, loud noises were horrifying and list goes on.  When Cameron was 4 his pre school teacher had suggested that maybe Cameron had issues with ADHD and/or the Autism Spectrum.  I put it in that file we all have labeled “not my kid” and went on about our lives.  It would still come the mind here and there over the next 2 weeks when I had a friend who worked for me sit down and ask me some questions about my little guy.  I was forced to open that file because she was right.  Cameron did have some of the characteristics and you know we might get some answers.

We made an appointment and thus our first ticket was purchased you could say on the Autism Spectrum Disorder Ride of life.


Cameron tested right on the edge for Aspergers, ADHD was a definite and OCD was a great possibility.  We started on a all natural approach with fish oil and behavior modification and we rode that part of the ride for about 6 months.  We did see some changes but not enough to give Cameron the quality of life he deserved.

Back to the Doctor for the follow up appointment we went.  Dr. Hoffman had still decided not to formally diagnose at this time because of Cameron’s age. Unfortunately Mr. Miller could not be there with us and I had to swallow the pill of agreeing to medications for our son.  This was much harder than I thought it would be too accept.  I felt that I had failed as a mother, what could I have done differently?   Answer: NOTHING!  I needed to do this for Cameron and he needed it.  We saw great changes. 

Over the next year Cameron started kindergarten and did great.  He was writing his name and writing sentences.  Doing just great and adapting to life in school.

This year we started 1st grade and have hit a few speed bumps.  Reading is not going well at all and he is behind the other students academically. 

After a disappointing first conference Mama got upset.  Mr. Miller referred to it as they “poked the witch”.  I kept my cool but after being up all night 2 weeks ago Thursday and burning up the Google  button a few calls and emails were made that Friday morning.  We had some positive results and new that Monday was going to be a long day with meetings and Doctors appointments.  We met with the Resource Teacher and Principal, spoke with the Public School District about an IEP and then went to the Doctor.  We discovered that the missing link was a formal diagnosis.  I didn’t think that would be so difficult, after all we all knew it was there but maybe just maybe if it wasn’t written down it wasn’t true. 

Well its true and it is a fact of life, ticket 2 purchased for the ride.   Cameron has officially been diagnosed with Aspergers, OCD and ADHD.  Reality is that just because it is in his file now it won’t keep him from really succeeding in life.  I still found myself on this roller coaster of emotions.  Truth is I still find myself reliving the last 7 years and my pregnancy with him.  What could I have done differently, then I snap out of it and say get a grip and move forward.  I just wish I could on a regular basis.

We have changed a few medications and are getting ready to become dairy/casein free for the next 2 months.  I know we tried the dairy free route before but I found it intimidating and we failed miserably.   We are researching and have found that we should gradually wade into these waters and it will be an easier process.

I am asking for suggestions to help us on this dietary change.  I have a little guy that loves his yogurt, cheese and ice cream.  He does enjoy coconut ice cream so I think I might have that one worked out.

Like I said in the beginning it has been a wild ride we are on.  I wouldn’t change it though.  I have an amazing, smart, bright, silly, genuine and loving little boy who loves life and all it has in store for him.  Who could ask for anything more?