The Gang

The Gang
October 2008 Sweet Potatoe Harvest

About Me

I am a busy mommy of 6, seeking to be a loving, godly helpmeet to my husband and a biblical discipler to my children. God has blessed us with a child with Autism. May the lessons that the Lord is teaching me and our family be a blessing to you and yours!

My Favorite Books

  • Bible
  • Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl
  • Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
  • Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
  • Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Well we are still waiting to hear from our new land lord as to when we will be able to move into the new house. I just found out that my strawberry plants, rhubarb, potatoes, onions sets and garlic are due to arrive at the end of the week. Phil is going to make sure that we can start planting at the new house if not I have to come up with 50 pots for my strawberries this weekend! How fun!

Today I needed some fresh air, so I re hoed the part of our garden here where I'm planting some peas, spinach, and lettuce for us to harvest by mid June before we move. I wasn't wanting to use our good fencing for my pea trellis so I decided to use our round tomato steaks from last year and planted a pea plant at each of the three tines at the base of the steaks. Now I just have to pray that the rabbits in town here have decided to get some extra sleep these cool weeks while my plants get established.

Samuel will be helping me put our Dill, and some other herbs into larger pots today for his science class. We are also very excited to have some pumpkin, cantelope, musk melon, and watermelon plants starting to grow.
Friday, April 25, 2008
As you know our family has been switching to as much organic as we possibly can. Today I had the opportunity to take some of our raw organic cream to Philip's 4K class and show them how to make butter from cream. The kids shook cream in old peanut butter jars until the butter separated from the buttermilk. Then we salted it lightly and spread it onto homemade corn muffins. I talked with the kids about how we get our milk from a dairy farm right after it comes out of the cow and a little bit about the difference between the milk we buy and the stuff they get from the store. It was fun being in Philip's class and the kids loved having "real" butter and muffins for a treat!

Today a friend shared the following site with me. We use organic expeller pressed coconut oil for almost all our baking and sauteing. As I was checking out their products I read their write up on converting just 10% of what your family uses to organic. For those of you who are trying to make some healthier choices I thought you'd be interested in seeing the information on Pesticides as well as the list of benefits for changing just 10% of your foods to organic. Keep reading for more info on the site and the write up they have on their site.

Below is a site that has a great little write up on how converting just 10% of your food, cosmetics, or other things can impact the health of our environment and farm land. Then it lists several resources for information.

Click on "Support Organic Agriculture". Read this entire page or scale down until you see:

Use At Least 10% Organic For A Better World

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
.........for they shall not break. Our plans for the weekend have changed, we are no longer able to get into the house as we had been told. We hope to find a weekend in May where we will be able to go down and see it. By next week we hope to know when we will be able to move which is exciting!

So, we will continue to Wait on the Lord! Waiting, a safe state to be in, resting in the hollow of His hand allowing Him to work out all the details. He knows the plans He has for us and will reveal them in His timing. So until then..... we wait...............
There are no major changes here with the exception that we are now seeing grass instead of snow. YEAH!! We've pulled out the shorts and are really enjoying our beautiful spring weather! Today it is raining and I have my garden plants on the front walk getting wet. We've had success with most of the plants we have started. Some better than others. Some of the plants seem to have stems that are WAY to long and I'm not sure what to do about it yet. I'm going to put a call into a veteran gardener in our church to see if he can come over and see my plants and give me some instruction on what to do so that they will be healthier. Today I ordered my strawberry, raspberry, blueberry & black berry plants, potato & onion sets, rhubarb, and some romaine lettuce seeds.

This weekend we hope to make a trip down to New Holstein so that I can see the house and property. We are trying to find places for the kids to stay so we can have 1 night away ALONE. It will be an early Anniversary celebration since May is looking to be far to busy. I'm looking forward to seeing the house so that I will be able to pack a little more efficiently, plus we will be able to figure out where we want to put our berry plants. There is already a nice garden plot but I don't think I want the raspberry's, & black berries to be in the garden since they will have smaller plant shoots each year coming up from their roots. Yesterday I dug up 7 raspberry plants from my garden here to move down to the farm.

The kids are all doing great! Thomas is VERY excited that spring is "officially" here, meaning, he got to fly the kite he received at Easter. Nathan and Philip keep wanting to swim in the kiddy pool I have set up to catch rain water for my garden plants. Sam and I are focusing on Multiplication, reading and English as his primary classroom work. We are also tracking the plants for science and he listens to a wide variety of dramatized History lessons, which he really enjoys. Caleb is doing better with his work habits at school and Elizabeth is just plugging along. This Friday I am visiting Philip's class to teach them how to make homemade butter. They are studying how they get "energy" from cows and the teacher heard we make our own butter and other dairy products. The kids will take turns shaking some cream in a Mason Jar until it turns into butter. Then we will spread the fresh butter on some fresh bread that I'm going to make for the kids. I'm sure it will be a fun morning!

Saturday we will be celebrating Nathan's Birthday with the boy scouts at a fishing activity. I'll let you know how that goes hopefully with some pictures next week!

I'm contemplating taking my interests about health, nutrition, and gardening to a different blog. When I get it going I'll list the name of it in my sidebar of this blog for those who are interested in recipes, and other information about those three topics.
Saturday, April 12, 2008

First a funny story: Yesterday Nathan was excitedly walking down the hallway yelling "daddy! Yook what I got!" Phil turned to see him squeezing a bright orange wiggling object gasping for air. THE GOLDFISH! He laughed, rescued the dying creature and threw it back into the fish tank. Believe it or not the fish is still alive today!

Currently the boys are all outside playing in our fresh 6" of heavy snow. Over the past two weeks we've gotten about 1 foot 4 inches of snow at least!! Thankfully next week it is supposed to be in the 50's all week so maybe spring will finally come to the great north. Each morning that we wake up with fresh snow Thomas walks into my room and says in a very discouraged exasperated tone, "Mom, Spring is NEVER coming!" Today the boys have made a snowman and Nathan is standing in front of it singing at the top of his lungs,"Happy Birthday to you!"

Speaking of Birthdays, this past week we had two very special birthdays in our family. On Sunday April 6 Caleb accepted the Lord as his Savior. And on Thursday Samuel, who has really been struggling, realized that he had been trusting in the words he uttered at a young age rather than accepting Christs finished work on the Cross. Samuel too made the decision to accept the Lord as His Savior. We have seen over the past few days evidence of the Lord working in their hearts and attitudes and are praying that if these decisions were true that there will be fruit in their lives evidencing God's changing Grace!

We are waiting to hear from our potential Land Lords as to whether or not we will be able to secure the House in New Holstein and when our tentative moving date will be.

Our garden plants are doing great!! They are still inside in the peat trays NOT under the 6" of snow thankfully!! :-)

So far we have 15 cherry tomato, 13 Beefsteak Tomato, 14 Opalka Tomato, 11 Roma Tomato, & 17 Cosmonaut Volkov Tomato, 11 Hot Beaver Dam Pepper, 3 Gold Peppers, 7 Napoleon Red Sweet Pepper, 4 Utah Celery, 20 American Flag Leeks, 1 Sage, 8 English Thyme, 7 Dill, 1 Sweet Basil, 12 Greek Oregano, 12 Chives, 10 Cabbage, 12 Lettuce, 15 red onion, 9 chamomile, 20 broccoli, 15 Brussels sprout, and 50 Cauliflower plants. Some of the plants that didn't sprout well I'm going to give another week then replant, it will be nice to stagger the harvest times and will still give me a chance to see which seeds were the best. Since this is my first time starting seeds I know I may have over watered the peat pellets which may have prevented some from sprouting. I'm enjoying the learning process and I know I will love it this winter when my pantry & freezer are full of food for my family! Today I will be starting my watermelon, cantaloupe, green flesh musk melon, and pumpkin plants. Fun Fun!!

For now though it is time to make some whole grain banana bread and hot chocolate for my boys for when they come in from our April Winter Wonderland!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I made one loaf regular bread for lunch tomorrow and one loaf cinnamon swirl for breakfast. I used all organic grains and raw dairy products (my first homemade batch of yogurt)in my loaves and do they smell yummy baking right now!

UPDATE: The cinnamon loaf didn't make it through the evening. We had it for an early evening snack and it was YUMMY!! This recipe is a keeper!! I think I am going to try to soak my grains in the yogurt next time. I'm all out of WW Pastry flour now so I'm going to be grinding my grains fresh 1 - 2 times a week now. Tonight Phil is putting together my new grain mill and we are all excited to try it!

Yummy Yogurt Bread

Makes: 2 loaves

7 to 7 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1-2 TBSP Flax meal
1 cup Oats
2 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup sugar -- I left this out but you could use honey or sucanat.
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1 2/ cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 eggs

1.In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, salt, and soda. heat the yogurt, water, and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter melts; the mixture should not be allowed to simmer. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and blend well. Add the eggs, mix well, and then beat vigorously by had or using the stiff hook of an electric mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup oats and enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough, approximately 5 cups.

2. Knead the dough on a floured board (or work it in an electric mixer with a dough hook) until it is smooth and elastic - about 5 to 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and turn the dough over to oil the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

3. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. At this point you may wish to add cut-up dried fruits, cinnamon, or nuts. Form 2 loaves and place each in a well-oiled (I used coconut oil) 8x4-inch loaf pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, until bread is a rich golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I'm so sorry that it has been 5 days since my last post on Autism. When Philip reached the age of about 18 months we noticed that he understood more than Thomas did. He was talking more than Thomas and could understand basic commands. We started to notice these things February 2005. We could tell Philip to pick up a paper and go through it away. We'd put a piece of garbage in Thomas's hand and tell him to go throw it away and he would go in circles and have a blank look on his face. It was at this time when one of my dear friends was taking her child to Marshfield Wisconsin for testing for Autism. I then started to research our Autism because Thomas had many of the characteristics that her son had. The more that I read about Autism the more I knew in my heart that Thomas was Autistic. This led to 2 months of praying, researching, crying, trying to figure out what to do next all while on bed rest for child number 6. Phil and I knew that Thomas was Autistic and we hoped that with some type of official diagnosis that we'd be able to find out what to DO about it! Our public school did a bunch of testing with Thomas and were encouraging me to go see a physician too. So on April 25th, the day before I was scheduled to have Nathan I took Thomas to our family doctor, explained my concerns, which he agreed with and referred us to a Pediatric Neurologist. We were not able to see that doctor until August 19.

While recovering from having Nathan, I started to read everything I could get my hands on about Autism. I first read the book Unraveling the Mystery of Autism & PDD by Karyn Seroussi. That book caused Phil and I to consider putting Thomas on the Gluten & Casein Free Diet. I continued my research throughout the summer months averaging about 40 hours a week of reading and searching for hope that my son would not be trapped in the world of autism forever. In May we were introduced to glycobiology and started Thomas on glyconutrients. This supplement caused some amazing results with Thomas's speech! By July he was adding new words each week! This progress as a result of just one supplement helped to open our minds to the possibility of more supplements. We met with the "autism mom" of our community who had a son diagnosed with severe Autism at 18 months old. She used diet, supplements, therapy, and other natural treatments to help her son progress. She spent time talking with us and helped to guide us toward supplements and other changes that could help Thomas. We were trying to process all this while still waiting for the official diagnosis from the August 19 appointment. We still hoping that the Doctor might be able to offer more information that would give us hope for Thomas's future. I'll tell you about that Doctors appointment in my next post on our story.

My Autism Tip for Today: Try the Gluten and Casein Free Diet. Make sure you are ready to commit to it and give it all you have for at least 1 year. It could change your child's so much, what do you have to loose? If you have a friend who is doing dietary intervention with their ASD child encourage them and find out what treats their child can have. Keep a few of these special treats at your house or in your car for when you see your friend. It will mean a lot to their family to see you willing to accommodate their child's special needs.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
What a title hey?

Snow: Yes that is right it is snowing again in Wisconsin tonight. They are anticipating 4-8 inches for our area so tomorrow may be another snow day. Our school has already used up all their snow days so I'm sure they will try to just delay school if it is at all possible. I just went upstairs to check out the weather and we already have 1" and it is coming down quite nicely.

School: Home schooling with Samuel is going well. Most days we cruise right through Math, English, and Reading. Science & Social Studies are the fun subjects as we are working on starting our plants for the garden and reading whatever interests us for Social Studies. My biggest concern for Sam right now is his reading & math. He is reading better, but not as well as a fourth grader should be reading, and he really does not like reading. He is enjoying the time that I spend reading to him each day, and I hope he will start to see how much fun reading is! For health we are working on eating healthier, drinking more water, and trying to get to a healthy body weight. We've studied the digestive system and are studying various aspects of health & nutrition. The other kids are doing well still in the Public School. Elizabeth was very excited to get a B+ in science, which was actually the highest grade on her report card. I'm looking forward to next year and being able to help Elizabeth feel more confident with her academics. Caleb is doing good but once again I feel he is not doing as well as he cold. He is very smart, yet gets so excited about things that he is easily distracted. For those of you who have see the movie, "Over the Hedge" Caleb is a little Hammy! His energy level matches Hammy to a "T"! :-) Thomas is doing GREAT work in kindergarten which is so exciting to see him participating at a close to normal level with the other children. Philip loves pre-k and I think will be a great Kindergarten student next year when we home school. He seems to be growing like a weed and is at one of those stages where he is ALWAYS hungry! Nathan, our soon to be 3 year old is enjoying playing out in the mud, trying to learn to ride his tricycle and playing with his puppy (Sunny) and "doddy" (Bandit).

Sprouting: Yes, my pepper plants have finally started to sprout. All my tomato varieties have sprouted but some are doing better than others. It is fun watching the little green shoots come up each day now! Thomas is very excited about the plants. When I told him they were tomatoes and not flowers he said, "But I don't like Tomatoes!" So I explained to him that we were going to use the tomatoes to make his katsup. He eats EVERYTHING with katsup! It is fun watching him as he tries to figure out whether or not these tomato plants are really a good thing. :-)

Stuff: We are hoping to nail down the house in New Holstein soon, however we are not sure when our moving date will be since the current tenants don't really know when they are moving out yet. We are reminded once again that God is in control and we have to wait on His timing. He is orchestrating these events and will allow all the dates to work out according to His plan! For now, I'm working on packing and trying to think through the process of how to organize it all to make it as simple and streamlined as possible for getting settled once we are in the new house. Pray that WEAP will be able to find new therapists for Thomas. We have a tentative start date for the week of June 16 to have Thomas's new initial workshop training session with the team in New Holstein. Thomas is very excited about his new house and is telling me every day that he wants to "go home". And on days like these where we are busy with Dentist appointments, homework, and life in general and missing daddy.... I echo his request to "go home". I'm looking forward to our family being together every day, but until then I look to God to give me the strength and grace to single parent while Phil is away.

I'll end this post with one more "S" word...... Sleep........ Good Night!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Yesterday I packed and pitched a lot of stuff from the front porch I still have a couple hours of work to do out there today then it will be all packed up and empty with the exception of my freezer. The porch will soon become my greenhouse for all the starter plants for the garden. I already have 5 different tomato plants that have sprouted. My Russian tomatoes have the most plants sprouted so far. None of my pepper plants have yet.

Today I'll be starting cauliflower, broccoli, red onion, lettuce (I'm hoping for some finished heads by late May), celery, brussels sprouts, leeks, cabbage, sweet basil, chives, greek oregano, peppermint, sage, thyme, dill, cilantro, chamomile, curled parsley, italian parsley, and rosemary.

I'll try to post later a continuation of our Autism Story and more on eating healthy.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Over the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to show our house to three different families that are coming to work at NBBC this fall. This morning we got a call from one of the families. They want to talk with Phil about the house and the possibility of starting to rent it by mid-June. Sam & I cleaned the house for FOUR hours before this particular family came to see it.

Having a renter in this house would help so much to offset the expenses of this place allowing us to apply more finances to debt reduction. The renters we had lined up for the basement apartment backed out. So having the top rented would be such huge help!!

Sam & I will be working hard on completing all his school work by noon so that we can work on packing, cleaning, painting and as many repairs a mom & son are able to do. I think the painting and repairs can count as shop class! :-)

We have a lot of cosmetic surgery to do on the house to get it ready for a renter. Having to get that all done by mid-June along with putting in our garden and moving will make for a very hectic spring!!

I'm off to read about Christopher Columbus to Samuel!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Phil FINALLY was able to see the rental house today. He took a bunch of pictures and posted them on Click on "Click here for Gallery" then on Phil's album, go to the second page of our album and you will see "Irish Road Rental Pictures." Click on that picture and you will see the many pictures Phil took of the house, barn, & property.

I like the house with the exception of its need for a new roof which is evidenced by the BAD water damage to the upstairs ceiling. I think the layout will work nicely for our family. There are 4 bedrooms upstairs with a bathroom and 1 bedroom (the one with all the toys in it ) on the main floor. There is also another bathroom on the main floor and it looks like a toilet in the basement! It makes me laugh... the toilet in the basement. You would not believe the number of old houses that we have looked at that have a toilet in the basement. :-)

We would probably put all the kids upstairs. Eliza & Sam would have their own rooms. Caleb & Thomas would share. Their room would also be Thomas's therapy room, so they'd have the largest room upstairs. Philip & Nathan would have the next largest since their toys will be in their room with them. Phil said there are closets in each room and lots of little storage area's throughout the house. Phil and I would use the main floor bedroom. We'd use the Kitchen as an eat in kitchen just like the current renters are doing. Where they have their living room, is actually the dinning room (where the wood stove is) we would use this room as our living room. The French doors that lead to the official living room, which they are using for a school room, we would use as our school room.

The barn is in rough shape but I guess one of the side buildings is ok and will work for chickens. Phil said he thinks there is an area that will work well for pigs too. I'm a bit bummed but it looks like for now we will have to wait on the cow until we can repair one of the side buildings and/or come up with a different option. There also isn't enough grazing land for a cow unless the field on the corner that isn't being farmed or used is the landlords and he will let us fence it in to use for pasture. For now we've decided to focus on the gardens, chickens and pigs. There is a dairy farm within a few miles of the house that we can buy fresh organic raw milk at and will probably just continue to get milk from them rather than having our own cow this year.

Phil is going to talk with the landlord about the roof & ceiling issues. If the landlord is willing to repair these then we will be renting the house. If not we are back to square 1 and searching for somewhere to rent.
Yeah, it is over 50 degree's today! I've turned off the heat and opened every window that doesn't have a storm on it and smelling the beautiful wet spring air!! Bye Bye icky cold bugs!!!
When Thomas started waking several times a night we also saw many other changes. He started screaming a lot. Anytime someone entered his "space" or touched him. He stopped looking at us, and he stopped talking. He screamed and pointed when he wanted something. The word I missed the most was mama. He stopped asking for me and saying my name. A couple other quirky things that were happening was that he would refuse to wear clothes, he screamed if I put new clothes on him without washing them first, he started to eat very few foods. I took Thomas in for his 2 year appointment at the doctor and expressed concern about his speech. Thomas would hardly sit still for the exam, was all over the office and was fighting me to put his clothes back on. It saddens my heart that the doctor just looked at me and said, "He has so many siblings that they are all just talking for him, he'll be fine." I told her that we didn't talk for him and he didn't talk for himself. I was brushed off and went home thinking well.... I guess he'll be ok. You have to realize that even though all these things were happening, Phil and I really didn't SEE them at the time. I was pregnant again and dealing with 4 children 5 and under. It wasn't until Philip joined us and started to develop normally when we realized how behind Thomas was. I'll tell you more about how the Lord revealed to us that Thomas was autistic tomorrow.

Today's tip: Talk to your children about autism. Most schools and churches today have an autistic child in them. 1 in 150 children is being diagnosed with Autism today. Our public school has less than 130 in the elementary and there are 2 with an Autism Diagnosis. Do some independent research about how autistic children typically behave and teach your children that these kid are fearfully and wonderfully made. Help them to see these children as needing Christ's love and their friendship and patience too! It is tough being a friend to a special needs child but it is needed. Our kids need other kids to not be afraid of them, to realize that they have trouble expressing their wants and desires, to play with them with patience and understanding when the autistic child doesn't make it through the entire game.

My favorite Autism book: Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder by Karyn Seroussi. This is a great starter book for a family who has just been told their child has autism. It gave me great hope that my child could progress and learn, that I needed to do my own research and that my medical doctor might not have all the answers.
I promised earlier this week that I'd post my Taco Seasoning recipe. My sour cream worked!! I took 2 cups of fresh cream and added 2 tablespoons of butter milk (from the butter we shook over the weekend), and let it sit out for a day. YUMMY!! It has been chilling for a day now so we are ready to have Taco's for dinner.

Tonights Menu:
Taco Meat
Grated Raw Mild Cheddar Cheese
Sliced Spinach & Mixed Greens
Sour Cream
Sprouted Organic Wheat Soft Tortilla Shells

Taco Seasoning Recipe:
This recipe is supposed to be added to 1 pound of meat. We find we like it better with two pounds of meat or it is a bit spicy. This can be made in larger quantities and put in an air tight container. Then use about 2 tbsp per pound or as much seasoning as your family prefers!

2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed dried red pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin

If you prefer more of a tomatoey (is that a word??) taco meat, you can add some diced tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes. Currently I have to cook tomato free because of my oldest sons psoriasis.

Today's transform your kitchen tip: Try hot cereals for breakfast. I only buy old fashioned or thick organic oats. Currently only my older two kids enjoy oatmeal. But I torture them all by making them eat it once a week. We add a little raw honey or organic sucanat to sweeten it up. Sometimes I sneak in a little ground flax. If our economy continues to crash hot cereals will be one of the most economical breakfast's. So it is due time that we start teaching our kids how wonderful and healthy "porridge" really is!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I have found a blog of a young mom of 2 little ones, I think they are both under the age of 3. Her husband has gone through a year of battling cancer. She is further along in the nutrition quest than I am and is very inspirational!! If she can do this as a young mom and wife of a husband battling cancer.... ANYONE can!! I hope you'll take some time to visit her blog and read her current and past posts!

Have a good, godly, and healthy day!!
So did you miss my What's for Dinner post yesterday? Well, all we had was leftovers because I made a mad dash into town to do my monthly shopping.
Tonight will be left overs again:
Beef Stew
WW Biscuits or bread whichever I have time for today

My tip for transforming your kitchen into a nutritional feasting place today: Start replacing one vegetable you ALWAYS buy with the same veggie but ORGANIC. If you start one veggie at a time you won't notice the huge change in your monthly grocery budget. Within a year you will have changed your veggies over to completely organic. The cells in your body will thank you since you won't be adding more cancer toxic chemicals for them to fight each time you eat a veggie!
Thomas was born at 38 weeks old weighing in at 7 lb 8 oz and 20 inches long. He developed right on track as a baby. He clicked into a beautiful routine at 6 weeks and was sleeping through the night by 8 weeks old. He rolled over, sat, crawled, and walked all at normal times. His first word was ma, which of course was very exciting for me since all the other said da first! :-) Thomas was a fun, happy baby up until sometime between 14 & 16 months. The first change we saw was that he stopped sleeping at night. He woke screaming 4-8 times a night. This was s difficult time for us, he would scream for 2 hours sometime never seeming to be fully awake, yet he seemed to be in severe pain. Several times we almost took him to the hospital.

We have since learned that these sessions of screaming probably weren't the typical night terrors. They may have been this child having severe intestinal pain as a result of his inability to digest dairy and gluten. As a normal 1 yr old Thomas was having whole milk each day and was starting to have wheat and other gluten grains in cereal and bread. He had loose stools ALL The time. Yet, because we knew nothing of food allergies/insensitivities we followed the suggestion of the health officials and gave him all the "normal" foods. And for the next two years...... never slept.

If you are seeking natural healing for your autistic child. Investigate the GF/CF diet. One of my favorite websites for information is If they are struggling with sleeping well, look into a good clean source for melatonin. I like Kirkman's formula ( If I had known about melatonin then I would've tried it. Thomas uses it now or it is very difficult for him to get to sleep at night, especially during the winter when he doesn't have as much time to play outside because he is in school until 1:15 then therapy until 7:15 most nights.

How could you help a mom with and Autistic child? If she has 1 or more children chances are she is tired! Autism is emotionally and physically draining. Offer to go to her house and play with the children so she can take a nap for a little while.

My final challenge for you today is to ask you to consider praying for autistic families each day this month. Today pray for wisdom for these families that God would guide their thoughts and research as they seek to help their child with the challenges of autism.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
This month if you watch the news you may find out that April is Autism Awareness month. Our family is blessed to have a wonderful almost 7 year old autistic boy. This month I will take some time to tell you about our autism journey, sharing many lessons that the Lord has taught us through this process. I will also share with you the many things we have learned that have been a huge help to Thomas. We have seen so much progress over the past almost 3 years since his diagnosis. If you have a friend or family member with Autism please feel free to share my blog address with them so that they might receive some encouragement through our story.

I have a friend who is also posting about Autism on her blog each day this month. I love how she is sharing and will probably follow a similar format. I hope you will be blessed by her thoughts, struggles, and lessons as well.

For today, I want to encourage you to see children through different eyes. Phil and I believe that a naughty child is one that needs to be trained up and biblically disciplined and discipled! Thomas changed a lot of that for us. Before he was diagnosed with Autism we thought we had failed as parents because he refused to listen, obey, look us in the eyes, and respond properly to his siblings. Anytime we saw a kid screaming in a store or being disobedient, what we thought we used to think.... wow.... that kid really needs a spanking. When Thomas was diagnosed with Autism we were relieved! There was a reason, besides sin, for his behavior and we needed to learn how to train him biblically but in a way that he could learn and understand. We prayed and thanked God for Thomas and asked forgiveness for all those other families we had judged.

Now when I go shopping I still see naughty children that need loving discipline but there are also many times I notice children on the Autism Spectrum, and can pray for that mom that she will have the strength to make it through her shopping that day! And that she will find hope in Christ, He has been our constant strength and power as we travel through the journey of Autism.

So I challenge you, when you see a parent struggling with a child in the store or a child who is 5 or 6 with a pacifier, or even one that seems to be screaming uncontrollably and flapping their hands, rolling their eyes, etc.... that child may be autistic and the mother ready to cry. Pray for that mom and pray for that child and reach out in a loving way if you have the courage. I know that when people would say things to me like, "Oh let me get that for you," while Thomas was screaming and I was trying to haul him back into the cart while trying to grab the katsup. I could smile through the tears and say, "thank you, my son has autism and struggles with shopping sometimes." Then usually I'd quickly finish my shopping dreading the check out and get to the van and cry!

Now Thomas enjoys shopping even though he is still socially not appropriate and talks to everyone or yells things at the top of his lungs as we go through the store, it isn't something I dread. I can now use shopping as a way to talk with him about what he is seeing since autistic kids really don't notice things around them like typical kids. It makes me smile when Thomas says "Look mommy, there are grapes, can I have the grapes please?" This from a child who didn't talk until he was 4 1/2.

If you really want to reach out to a family with Autism in your church offer to sit with that child every Sunday in Sunday school or Junior church. Ask the parents how to do this the most effectively and minister to that child each week. About 2 years ago we had a family in our church who had a special needs son who was 20. She saw me struggling, missing many services because Thomas just couldn't handle being in a classroom with other kids . She volunteered to be with Thomas each Sunday school and was willing to show him tough love while sometimes being hit and bit by Thomas. Ok.... before you are totally appalled I'll talk more about hitting, biting, kicking and other aggressive behaviors and autism in another post. My point is, I was able to go to Sunday School again and be blessed by the teaching and preaching of the Word.

I'll look forward to sharing more each day. I hope you will be blessed by my rambling as I walk down our Autism Memory Lane and share about Thomas's current abilities.