Monday, October 1, 2012


So I realize it has been a really...really...really long time since I have posted anything.   The thought has crossed my mind maybe twice since then that I should post an update, but just never got around to it.

I can honestly say life is pretty chaotic right now.  Between homeschooling Court, chasing around Tanner (whose favorite phrase right now is "I tooted"), dealing with dietary issues for all three kids, keeping up with housework, working through life changes and heartaches of friends, and feeling all around exhausted almost every minute of every day - I'm not left with much to say by the end of the day.   But I shall try to think of something profound to share with those of you who actually continue to check

The last 12 months have been really hard in some ways, and so full of blessings in others.   Eric has become such a strong spiritual leader in our home this year and I am so proud of him for the man of God he is becoming.  I know that our family will be impacted in soooo many ways, by his obedience and heart for the Lord.   He went to Israel in April with my dad, brother and Kory (bro-in-law) and loved it.   Recently we decided that he would be going to Swaziland, Africa in December on a missions trip with our church.   One of the reasons we chose River Valley (and there are many), was that they offered at least one mission trip (most overseas) each month.  With so many opportunties, you don't really have an excuse not to find one that draws you in.    We threw around me taking a trip in 2013 and I was interested in China or Spain.  No real good reason, but sounded interesting.   However, I recieved a text this afternoon from a close friend who saw God orchestrating her to go on the trip to Cuba in March and she asked if I wanted to come along.   I got goosebumps - not sure if it was because I was so excited to see what God is doing in her life or if it was because I am indeed supposed to go.  But Eric and I discussed it - or rather Eric said - let's sign you up 3 seconds after her text - and we decided that I would go.  This has been a crazy week.

I spent the weekend at our church's Women's Coference called "Sparkle" and I could have stayed there for a month if they ran it that long.   I have been so dry and wiped out, that being there, worshiping with 1000 other women felt like standing in a rolling river and I just wanted to keep drinking it in.   If anyone wants to hear 3 amazing, amazing messages you should check them out at - media page.  There will be a banner for Sparkle - Charllotte Gambil.    I was with two other women - both at really hard stages of life - completely different from my own, but equally touched and renewed by the experience.   Anyway, part of what I came away with is that I have to step out of my comfort zone and go do.   It helps my hubby is almost pushing me out the door - but I'm actually not afraid - I'm excited and I know these trips will only lead us closer to God, and spurn us to do more, love more, take care of others more, and do so many of the things that we aren't doing enough of.

Go do my friends....go do! 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Journey

Well now that I am done working.....again.....I hope to have more time to sit down and write out my thoughts.   It's very theraputic for me - and I am often thinking how much I need therapy...he..he...

As I sit to write this post I am heavy hearted.   About 5 or 6 weeks ago Tanner had a low grade fever for two days and spent most of them sleeping in my arms. When the fever finally subsided, he had such weird behavior that I sent him up to Children’s with Eric to make sure there was nothing serious going on in his little body. He was screaming in pain, arching his body from head to toe, wouldn’t let me change his clothes, put on or off socks, and started hating baths and started screaming in the car again. Though they didn’t find anything but some enlarged lymph nodes in his abdomen, I was fearful that the immune response brought on by the fever had triggered some sensory issues and I had hoped that I was wrong and that it would just go away.
But it hasn’t – he now hates sand or anything stuck to his hands or feet, hates being wet, and screams like crazy when I try to apply lotion or sunblock. He still hates getting dressed or undressed and hasn’t been sleeping very well. Though I am not saying Tanner has Autism, sensory issues are a sign that the potential is there or that future infections or diseases could trigger further Autistic symptoms as long as his digestive system/immune system aren’t functioning properly. He is still progressing, talking more each day and very engaged socially – but today I could no longer deny that he was having sensory issues.   I find myself cherishing his eye contact each day....just in case it should go away like his big brother's did.   I'm not dwelling on this though, we have already formulated a plan to get his gut, damaged by the large amount of antibiotics he's had thus far, back in shape and will be starting some tactile/reflex therapy which I have been told is usually successful if caught early. 

Prayers are definately needed though.   The new diet we have to embark on to fix his gut will be brutal on all of us and likely expensive.  Prayers for a miracle to stop Tanner’s sensory issues would be welcomed, but also prayers for patience and persistence for all of us as we embark on this plan, as well as peace for me, that I will continue to trust God’s plan for him despite the things I have no desire to go through again.  I am grateful I knew what to look for, and a network of people who could answer questions I didn't know the answers to.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Guest Suite

So with the addition of Tanner -  guests with kids have become a bit more challenging.   Not that we mind, but I'm not a big fan of sleeping in the same room as Tanner :)   Being he is teething again, he's often up and fussy in the middle of the night and its a lot harder to ignore in the same room.   After seeing a few great guest room ideas on Pinterest, I decided to embark on a Skillestad Extreme Makeover for the guest room.

It actually took me a whole week to accomplish - which is like 6 months in Amy time - leading to many a night up till 2:00am with thoughts of projects yet to finish or start for that matter.

Task one - repaint.   The room was pink - yes I said pink - and at the time I painted it I thought that was a splendid color.  My husband has never been so excited to paint anything in his entire life.   He HATED the pink.   The room is now sporting cream and dark brown walls and my husband is much much happier.

Before                                          After

As I said, space for children was the needed addition, so after several long, cold hours at the Builders Material Outlet I found some things to make myself a great kids bunk that wouldn't take up too much space.  And my other most hated thing about the previous room was Eric's old college fridge in the corner, full of refreshments for entertaining that needed to be camouflaged.  A little breakfast nook and extra cabinet door took care of that problem.   Now all we need are some guests to test it out!

Breakfast nook - fridge hidden on left.

Pinterest Idea - serving tray from old cabinet door.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Quiet and Worship

There aren't many quiet moments around here these days.   If the house is quiet - I'm usually sleeping along with the rest of them.  But a much needed Sunday afternoon nap has me enjoying a true quiet moment - time for reflection and prayer tonight.

My favorite quiet time place is in the dark, laying next to the fire with some great worship music on the Iphone.   Tonights favorite worship song was "WHO I AM" by Jason Gray, which probably spoke to my heart because of another meaningful sermon this morning.   I am so thankful for our new church, not that we didn't get fed at our previous one, but I am brought to tears each Sunday morning during worship - seriously, every Sunday.   And the sermon series have been so targeted for things that I have recognized as struggles I have or things that have been on my heart.

The new series started this week is called UNthink and will be teaching us how to take our thoughts captive and how to foster a Christlike thought life.   My life is FULL of negative thoughts.  Body image, wife abilities, mother abilities - you name it I'm sure I tell myself that I suck at it.   I think I do a pretty good job of covering up all these insecurities - YEP overacheiver comes to mind.   And I do feel good about the things that I accomplish.  Maybe that's why I'm so driven to finish things I start and to do them well - I need to be able to tell myself "Good Job".   

But God didn't create me to be able to be good at something just so that could take his place as the reason I am worthy.   I'm excited to learn how to stop the negative thoughts and to replace them with ones that are spoken from Christ's perspective.   I have always struggled with intimacy with God, OK, if I'm realistic intimacy with most anyone.  But I feel like if I get it figured out with God, everyone else will follow naturally.   So, my goal this week is to be praying I will see, feel and know that I am a truely loved and wanted daughter of Him.  The song I mentioned above will be my prayer this week.   Lord, Remind me who I am to You.

WHO I AM - Jason Gray

Verse 1:

When I lose My way, And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror all I see, Is who I don't wanna be,
Remind me who I am.
In the lonliest places, When I can't remember what grace is.

Tell me once again who I am to you.
Who I am to you.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to you.
That I belong to you.
To you.

Verse 2:
When my heart is like a stone, And I'm running far from home,
Remind me who I am.
When I can't recieve your love, Afraid I'll never be enough,
Find More lyrics at
Remind me who I am.
If I'm your beloved, Can you help me believe it.

Tell me once again who I am to you.
Who I am to you, Woh.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to you.
That I belong to you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bigger than Me

Our sermon last Sunday has been a thought provoking one for me this week.    He talked about having a dream or goal that is bigger than what we can make happen on our own.   That our faith is strengthened and required when we bring something to God in prayer that He alone can make happen.   So I left there wondering what dream or goal I have that is bigger than me.   I do have dreams.....sitting on a beach in Hawaii would be the foremost one I can think of....but I know that is not the kind of dream he was speaking of.   What I've discovered about myself is that I don't really have dreams or goals to speak of, at least nothing I cannot physically do myself in a rather short period of time. 

I think we all have an imaginary jar with our dreams and goals - and I think there are many kinds of jars.  Full ones, ones with tons of ideas and ambition and there is no lack of God sized ones to pray about and have your faith increased by.  Half full jars, with mostly small and attainable dreams/goals, but maybe one big crazy one that God can't wait for you to come to Him with.  Then there is mine, which some may consider empty, but I consider even less.   See, I had a jar of dreams, it was growing all the time - from the moment we started trying for  a baby they were just multiplying like crazy.  Big ones, little ones, short ones, and long ones, all kinds of wife and mommy and grandma dreams.   Phew....  I can't even remember them all.    But I felt like the moment I finally let it sink in that Andrew had Autism, I dropped my jar and it shattered into a million pieces.    And it hurt so bad to even think about all the contents, that I just swept it up and put it somewhere I wouldn't have to think about it again.

The Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder this week and reminded me I have a jar - that God can fix my jar - and that its time I asked him to fix it and help me start to fill it again.   I know my faith will never be strong or growing if I don't have dreams/goals that require I ask my heavenly father to help me or accomplish them for me.   The hardest part of this is not letting him fix the jar, I actually miss it.  But it is revisiting some of the dreams that are still dangling from the shards and debris that are already making me FEEL and REMEMBER and bringing me back to a place of sadness and pain.   It doesn't last long anymore, and I know that God will use this to purify me and bring me to a place of deeper trust in Him.   Maybe that is my God sized goal for 2012 - to open up the hidden and stuffed places I don't even know are there and find some more freedom.   

I really do want the God sized dreams/goals - but my "I can do all things by myself" moto has kept me from wanting them or even asking for them.   However, 2012 I'm going to try and tell myself each morning that "I can do all things through Christ" and to ask him for a God sized dream/goal - and then see what He gives me.   Ask and it shall be given......