Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prayer

Well today we had Andrew's 3 Year Assessment review at his school. Academically he is only a year behind - which we knew already and was why he repeated Kindergarten. I am so proud of how well he is doing. It seems that he has continued to progress with this group of children and is even ahead in some areas.

However, our last meeting was with the Occupational Therapist. Her test results showed he has extremely poor muscle tone, probably has some issues with his inner ear which doesn't allow him to hear certain tones such as those on the lower end of the spectrum and may be a contributing factor to his high voice pitch and inability to even use a lower voice, among two other pages of not great news regarding his physical body. This also effects his ability to process other sounds and creates some of his issues with sensory overload.

He has some serious fears resulting from loud sounds and that is something we need to address with some therapy as well as finding some additional OT services outside of school to help him gain some muscle strength and motor skills.

I hate these meetings - after a period of time I forget some of the more serious things that are still not working properly in his body. We are of course so so so thankful for the cognitive skills and communcation that he has improved on and which makes it so much easier for us to forget the still difficult things he endures daily. Things we don't see, but that he struggles with. Since Hawaii I have been able easily let go of Andrew's disability, to trust in God, but it is days like this that truly test my resolve to trust in Him. The days where his every area are thoroughly examined and laid before us in paragraphs of comparisons. The disappointment seeps in and covers my heart, but I can let go of that. It is the sadness only a mother can experience of knowing there are physical things going on his little head and body that I cannot fix, that I don't have the faintest idea how to help him with, and they don't really have any good answers either that gets to me. Mommys fix boo-boos and I can't fix this one. So, I'm going to go spend some time in the Word, spend some time in prayer, pouring out my frustrations and fears, and know that if I truly let go He will take them. I know that my struggles can't fix him, and a struggling mommy makes a rough time for everyone. Please pray for Andrew, for his muscles, for his intestines (food sensitivities), for his inner ear issues, and for his short term memory. I can't fix him, but God can.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mamaskills May Baskets

So - Courtney's teacher requested 6 May Baskets for May Day from each child in her classroom. I thought long and hard about what Court and I should do for these baskets.....paper plates, egg cartons, the list was endless. However, there was a little vision in the back of my mind that I just couldn't shake - so I grabbed some supplies - pulled out my Quikutz Silouette machine and off we went.

Courtney didn't actually help as much as I had anticipated, but in her defense, I went a little overboard myself. I won't be making these May Baskets again for a long time....it took almost 5 hours :)








Friday, April 24, 2009

Amnion Walk For Life

Ok - so I have no idea how many people actually read this blog.....Amanda, Conni, and Bryan I know you are my faithful followers....he...he.

But I wanted to post this in case there are those of you who read this that I don't email regualarly. My family does the Amnion Crisis Pregnancy Center's "Walk for Life" each summer to raise funds for their center. They have an amazing ministry by providing free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, pregnancy/abortion education and more to mothers/fathers/and extended family who are dealing with an unplanned/crisis pregnancy. But more than that, Amnion gives these families what they need most - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are committed to sharing God's salvation and giving a Bible to everyone who enters their doors.

My hope is that each of you will consider a donation towards "The 4 Skills Walk" on May 16th. You can give simply and securely at this link http://www.firstgiving.com/amyskillestad.

Thank you for your consideration.....God Bless.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tuesday Adventure




Well on Tuesday we set out to help Courtney learn to ride a bike without training wheels. We attempted last fall, but quickly decided she was definitely not ready for the big time yet. So, I went with high hopes and low expectations to the end of the driveway to embark on try #2.

The first 15 minutes were torture. Us bending over, jogging, holding onto the back of her seat as she proceded to pedal around and around leaning to one side or the other. Uggg.... no back was meant for this job. Decided to take another approach. Put feet down and wander around cul-de-sac just trying to figure out balance. After a slight improvement in that departement Eric took over and decided he'd use his recently formulated motorcycle skills to teach her how to balance. Whatever he told her it worked. Within a half an hour she could ride straight for a hundred feet or so without any assistance. We attemped some turning and stopping with some success and called it a night. She was so excited and we were so excited for her.

Wednesday, immediately after school she just wanted to get back on her bike to perfect it of course. Though not perfection - she's definitely got it. My baby is growing up!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Memories....

Tonight I was looking thru some photos to hang and I found several old videos of the kids. We don't have hardly any videos of them as little tikes - sometimes I think it was because I knew I didn't want to go back to that place with Andrew. However, I did find some.

It brought back vivid memories of Andrew wandering around the house doing his funny little dance. We thought it was cute.....how was I supposed to know it was a way for him to grasp his surroundings because he was high from the gluten and dairy in his food. He danced and danced around the slide until Courtney's wails interuped his trance. He tottled on over to her - threw something at her - and then bent over to kiss her head. He then held both her hands and said something in "Andrew talk" and caressed her head only to give her several more kisses.

I remember begging God to allow him to speak - to allow me to hear "I love you mommy" at least once in my life from him. Oh how far we have come, but at the same time I wonder how many of the little ways did he express his love for me that I missed. The video made me cry, because though he couldn't speak to us, he obviously had so much love in his heart. Her cries pulled him out of his autism place to a place of intimacy with her and I had no idea that existed.

I often hear "I love you mom" from him now and rarely much sympathy and love for his sister...he...he. But, I am grateful for the reminders that despite what we think is the worst part of our lives, God gives us little bits of himself, little glimpses of love and hope if we just keep our eyes open to it. I intend on keeping my eyes peeled for the little blessings, the little clues as to what God has in store for us, and I'm not going to do my best not to get overwhelmed by the seemingly overwhelming obsticles that arrise.

Despite the autism....there is no child with a more beautiful and captivating smile.

video video

Saturday, April 11, 2009