Sunday, December 13, 2015

If You Change Nothing, Nothing Will Change

Where did this year of 2015 go?

It is crazy to think that in nineteen days, we will be saying Happy New Year! Wow! The Holidays for the month have come so quick! Our friends who celebrate Chanukah, celebration began on December 6th and twelve days from now, we will be gathering and celebrating for Christmas. The statement "Time sure does fly" seems to be an understatement right at the moment.

I am sitting here as I have been given a rare moment of silence while everyone is still sleeping, thinking about what is to come for the upcoming year. So many things come to mind though not so hard when my mind never seems to stop. My mind races to the old items that have been left and unturned then my mind races to the upcoming New Year and what new things will bring change and excitement to our household?

Given most of us have New Year List's, the New Year's Resolutions; I know that our family plus my own personal list has items that have been written down year after year. Partially accomplished, some just pushed down the list waiting to be cracked. Now, it's make or break it time, needing to look at the list differently. Tackling the lists with full force like I look at my clothes closet. If I have not worn the article of clothing or turned the hanger in six months, time to purge. Hence, the list definitely needs to be purged. How many reading this can relate? I understand there may be perfect explanations of why items may not have been accomplished or have not been fully completed throughout the year or explanation is Life! Now, is this time to step up and make lifestyle changes.

Like I said, life happens. Life is a very interesting as it tends to repeat itself and having the same thing placed on a New Year's Resolution year after year seems a little redundant. To see a difference, make CHANGE! As the first of the year continues to approach quickly, think about your New Year's Resolutions, I know I am not only for myself but for my family. Think Family, Think Spiritually and Prayer, Think Health and Wellness, Think Well Rounded Happiness, Think Financial, Think Travel, Think Friends, Think Security, Think Positivity...Whatever you have on your New Year's Resolution for the upcoming year, PUT IT INTO ACTION! Make a CHANGE,
Surprise yourself as to what your Roller Coaster Ride can be, it may be just what you have been missing....GOD BLESS

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Senseless Tragedy - Prayers for All Involved at Inland Regional Center

Today is a very sad day! What is going on in our country or for that matter our world? Today, it just hit closer to my home. Yes, I live in California but Southern California to be precise. This tragic incident is where my little's receive special need support and services as do many other children and adults. I have been blessed for many years by being able to utilize the services provided by Inland Regional Center but also have been able to utilize the services through the foster care system.

I have worked and also know many of the workers and therapists plus with my own children having their own case managers; this truly saddens me. I keep checking social media of every kind seeing whatever changing news, checking the TV for updates as my case workers have become like family. They may not be family by blood but with all the time and effort spent they are close to family as you can get. They know my children's needs, their services and my needs for resources as well as just being my sounding board at times. I just spoke with one yesterday and had a meeting scheduled for this Thursday. The other I just had meetings with two weeks ago and just spoke to last Wednesday. Many times they go out of their way to do great things and many countless hours spent for my children and all the children and adults in their case load. Many emails and calls back and forth. I am very thankful.

This is just an unnecessary situation as so are the other many tragedy's in our society today. We can ask ourselves why but it will not change what happened today. I do not know what is or is not the right question. I do know that I can pray and continue to pray for fourteen that have been taken to be with the Angels (possibly more per the press conference) and to the fourteen that are being care for in area hospitals as well as to all the families of this senseless tragedy that has made a mark and will forever stand with the unknown of WHY? GOD BLESS!

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy." Eskimo Proverb 

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Smiliarities through Different Circumstances are Right in Front of Us

Twenty one years ago today, I sat in a dental chair and had the worst experience that one could image. It started with a molar that was bothering me. So, like normal, I made an appointment with the dentist whom I had used several times before. This appointment started out well but as I received the shot to numb the area, the numbing process just was not doing its thing. A couple of injection later still nothing. The dentist ensured me; all would be okay. With full assurance from the dentist, the drill started. In the beginning all okay then I felt it; a sharp, tingly feeling of pain. First thought, it was all in my head. Nope! I began to wince with every touch of the drill to my tooth. The more I winced and scowled, the angrier I became. Why was the dentist not noticing? Then finally he spoke, he stated there was no possible way I should feel anything. Really, was he a part of my mouth! Did he feel the pain? I felt everything. So much I punched the drill right out of the dentist's hand causing a cut to his arm. Well that lovely experience with the dentist was my turning point. I was ruined. My trust for the dentist and any part of dental field was broken.

The story of my tooth; yes, I had an issue with my tooth. A toothache which became more agitated due to the numbing shots and the drill. Ultimately causing an abscess. Within twenty four hours, my left side of my face was swollen with some black and blue tones. The real kicker, my birthday was coming up and we had plans to travel to Las Vegas. Also, pregnant with our first born, unable to take pain medication plus sporting this new look made it an interesting trip. Interesting but not surprised how bold people become after a few drinks. One gentlemen out right asked how many times I was beat by my husband for not listening. Did I mention, David was sitting right next to me? Another time, I was given information on women shelters. We were not sure if it was the setting of Las Vegas or just the perception of Las Vegas but the world is sure funny and the versions people come up with.

Now fast forward to my recent appointment, sitting in the dental chair having work done by a dentist who has not steered me wrong, knows my anxiety level, my fear of what I am not able to control. A dentist who works on my entire family, takes his time and for me takes every precaution especially knowing my disability and what it does to my system. Things just do not go as smooth when your body has been through many things or as I say the coo-coo clock is not chirping right. The projection of My FEAR, my HINDERANCE is now passed on to this dentist. A dentist who does a great job but has taken the burden of someone else's mistake. His patience and respect for me and my family, I am beyond grateful and thankful.

It reminds me to look through the looking glass of life. Our family has been doing this daily. We choose to care for another person due to a mistake of their parents or caregiver. We give back through the foster care system, a child who comes into our home with what we believe as their UNKNOWN, their FEARS, their ANXIETY but what makes it all worth it is knowing that we have the power to love, support, listen, provide safety, and stability for whatever time period is needed. Just as my dentist knows his patience, efforts and time to get me through my FEAR; means the world to me. It goes to show there are many circumstances in this world which are the same but not the same; we just have to look a little harder to see the similarities and be thankful for who and what are put into our lives. As I always say, there is a reason for everything, we may not know why at the time but in time the reason will be revealed. GOD BLESS

We go on and on about our differences. But, you know, our differences are less important than our similarities. People have a lot in common with one another, whether they see that or not. - William Hall
Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Jumping in With Both Feet

 Yesterday, I walked into the hair salon gung-ho just wanting something, not really sure what but just something. The stylist who also is part of my family looked at me like what? Can you give me a clue? I could not answer, I did not even know. I just knew I wanted a CHANGE! As I have been many shades of blonde, I have been red, hair of two colors (light blonde with a merlot under tone) she said what do you want? Color of blue, silver, darker, just give me something? As I think it would be fun to do the in colors of blue, silver, green or even a multi-color; I am not sure if would be able to pull that off. So I opted for some lowlights of red and highlights of blonde (my safety net of color).

Starting the foil process of colors which continued for approximately two hours then off to the wash station to seal the product. All the while I trying to figure out a cut, all I said was I want you to cut it but leave it long. Was that a fair assumption to give? It is just hair, right? One thing about your hair is, if you are having a bad hair day, everything feels off. You may have the cutest outfit on or wearing the best shoes but when your hair is not in your good place, nothing else matters. Well, that is how I feel. Plus, it is hard for me to manage my hair. I say that lightly having naturally curly hair as flat irons, curling irons or even the round brush when it takes twenty plus minutes to style my hair thus causing my hands to go numb often. This is what make is not manageable. Hence, why I wear my hair up a lot not because it is the faster route! Just a side effect from my accident, disability and the many surgeries I have had. I do take the time some days, it is a nice feeling when you hair is done and styled. I am lucky though, I have an awesome daughter who when she has the time will do my hair, love you Bay!!!

Now, the waiting has come to an end and it is time to see what the color process created. Towel off and at first I felt I made a mistake. What was I thinking telling her I wanted something new? I just keep staring. It was definitely different. Usually, I am used to seeing all blonde, many many light shades and red underneath. I thought, what would my husband say? Would he like it? I did not know and I did not care because did I like it? As I kept looking in the mirror she began to joke about if my husband would even notice, would he notice the colors, would he notice that she was cutting more than the normal half inch I usually allow or all the layers that just starting to occur. I knew he would, he always noticed. If does not, he makes a good argument as he always states his opinion whether he likes my "new" hair or not. One of the many things, I do love of him. Well this time, it would not be hard it was not just a few blonde highlights.

I definitely got change I asked for. With the color, cut and style, I left with a smile genuinely. Thank you, Tina. I took the risk, the risk many times I wanted when I sat in that same exact chair but did not have the courage to take. This time, I leaped all in. Change is something that is needed from time to time. Just have to jump in with both feet. Knowing, there are times it may be what we are not expecting or wanting but you never know until it happens as you may be surprised with the outcome in a great way. You just have to have Faith!

In the end, almost four hours later (the price of beauty and keeping up), I came home to my husband telling me my hair looked great and I was beautiful. My three old year daughter looked at me and said "hair beautiful mommy" so I will take that all day long. Yes, it is just hair and there are bigger things in life to worry about but sometimes taking a risk or making a change when you are not sure what the outcome will be; pays off with great rewards. GOD BLESS

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. ~Wayne Gretzky

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Our 20th Anniversary....

Today is a very honored and special day across the country, it honors our veterans who have served and are continually serving as well as those who have sacrificed and died for our country and freedom. Today also is very special as twenty years ago, I married my husband. We hit the Twenty Year Mark, a milestone of Marriage! However, we have not hit that milestone without going through plenty to get here.

Marriage defined by Webster's:

n.1.The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony.
Marriage is honorable in all.
- Heb. xiii. 4.
2.The marriage vow or contract.
3.A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king which made a marriage for his son.
- Matt. xxii. 2.
4.Any intimate or close union

I can still remember the first time we met, the place, the people (thanks Randy). Basically the day the seed was planted. Only a couple of weeks later, after several late night telephone calls, was our official date. Our life began and the seed sprouted (quickly might I add). From getting engaged after four months of meeting and dating, then finding out we were going to be parents eight months into our relationship. Yes, sometimes protection just does not work! Well, with wedding plans in full motion, we decided, well I decided that I just did not want to be a pregnant bride. So, we held off for little over a year and our little family of three was officially one!

Twenty years, two decades, many years for many things to happen. I can say that these past years have been many emotions, some super great, some super not so great, it is Marriage, it is our Marriage! I do find it is interesting as the above definition says nothing about work. Marriage is somewhat work. Every day I feel you must work at your marriage, you cannot sit back and think that all will be okay. Otherwise one or both becomes complacent! As anyone married will tell you, there are days of utter bliss and there are days of pure annoyance. Marriage has many rewards but one of the biggest rewards comes when you can get through the toughest times knowing that when it is all said and done your marriage is that much stronger.

I can vouch, we definitely have been through some tough and interesting times. From scary pregnancies, premature babies, lost employments, medical issues, a separation, reconstructive surgeries, extended family drama, a life altering accident and long term permanent disability, crooked attorneys, passing of family members; all leading to life changing moments that have made us who we are today. US!!!!

Despite all the riffraff of life, our roller coaster ride has been ridden with plenty of love, prayers, support, laughs, tears, and smiles. Here is to another twenty years and another twenty years, through the downward spiral and the upward climb, either way, our safe place is our family unit. Which was started with just you and I. For that brings the butterflies in my stomach and tears of joy.

Through it all, we have marked our milestones as at five years we threw a huge party, at ten years we celebrated in Cabo while celebrating a new marriage of Alison and Tony while getting new rings a kind of new beginning, at fifteen years we celebrated quietly at home with family and now our twentieth we are getting away for the weekend (no kids I might add) to enjoy our time together. I know when we first met we talked about everything and our plans for the future, never in my wildest dreams, I thought we would be where we are today. I can truly say, looking back, I would not have it any other way. I am so thankful for everything that has happened, what we have seen, shared, done, been given and been able to do.... ALL TOGETHER!!!!

Twenty years is a lot of time. Some of the time, we have taken for granted but for the most part we have done Awesome! I love you always and forever, Happy Anniversary! xoxo

So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard; we're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday.” - Nicholas Sparks 


Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veteran's Day to All...
A Day to Remember with Gratitude and Pride,
All those who have Served, Men and Women,
Who are Serving
Who Have Sacrificed
and Died for Country and Our Freedom.
Thank you for your Service.
May Your Days be Filled with Peace and Blessings!

Special Thanks to my Family
My Father, Father in Law and Brother who have Served.

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Honoring National Adoption Month

With November being National Adoption Month it brings up a whole slew of memories, memories of all the little's who we have had the opportunity to love, watch, keep safe, then to be a part of their reunification or adoption.

I say adoption is not for the faint of heart as the process is not always the easiest. The emotional roller coaster or the process of the court system through foster care either wanting you to keep your guard up many of the times but keeping your heart open always. When we first started to foster several years ago, it was suggested that we be an adoptive home, we kindly replied "no". We did not think that adoption was our calling; little did we know then. We knew for a fact, that we wanted to help and give back to children by way of fostering and at that time we were not sure if we had any intention to adopt. Surely, if we were to adopt, would it be our first child placed or the one hundredth child placed.

Now, fast forward to the present, our family since the day we started fostering has grown from a family of five to a family of nine. It is interesting how life turns and your path keeps changing. The path GOD has placed for you. We have fostered several babies, toddlers and young children over the years, experienced many things and have been greatly fortunate in our life. Have had many ups and downs. Generally experienced life while having gifts through the foster care system. Fostering is such an abundant and joyful experience when you are able to be involved with the process to watch a child be reunified with their parents, grandparents and relatives or placed with adoptive parents. Do not get me wrong it is also a bittersweet process too. Plus being part of the process to see a mother and father lose their child under any circumstance is very overwhelming. Then becomes all too real when you are the adoptive parents. Bittersweet is such an understatement!

We as adoptive parents have closed adoptions, though we choose to maintain contact with our children's families. In my heart it is the right decision and the most important for our children. We now have a huge extended family. GOD could have placed any child with us, but he chose to place the children we have. I have learned so much, been humbled in many ways, been down many roads, I continue to deal with my own disability daily and it works (not and I am reminded many times there is still so much more.

I wake up each day and know that I have experience child birth, blessed beyond belief as some are not so fortunate then I think I am more blessed as we have been given blessings of the heart many times over. As I continue to walk my path along with my husband and children, I (we) will continue to foster or adopt if called upon but it will be as our family unit! GOD BLESS

"The love of a foster mother for her charge appears absolutely irrational.” - Winston S. Churchill

“Families don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them.” - Leigh Anne Tuohy”  

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloweeen - 2015

Please keep in mind, a lot of little people will be visiting your home tonight.
The child who is grabbing more than piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills.

The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have planning issues.

The child who does not say trick or treat or thank you may be non-verbal.

The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have any allergy or is diabetic.

The child who is not wearing a costume at all might have sensory issue (SPD) or autism.
Be Nice.
Be Patient.
It is Everyone's Halloween...Have Fun and Enjoy!

Until Next Time...Make it A Great Day!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fall Back Season Top it off with the Full Moon

As each day passing the night falls earlier and earlier and the morning seems to be darker than lighter, we are being reminded that our clocks are falling back this Sunday morning, November 1, 2015 at 2:00am. The true sign that Fall and Winter will be fast approaching. However, for most, it is a normal day and we move on. Then there is another vast group that sees another side of the fall back process; children with special needs that do not deal well with routine changes and/or transitions of change. In a nut shell, Be Prepared!

Time change is a major situation in someone who looks to the time, daylight or night for guidance. The change may also take a toll on one's body, sleep schedule and/or exercise times. Understanding change is inevitable for everyone; the best way to deal with this never-ending issue is to be prepared with our children. Our best friend in this time of chaos, is to make the transition better for our child or children. Again, Be Prepared!

With the colors of the leaves changing, we are reminded the cooler weather is coming, along with the winds and rain during this time of year. A Seasonal CHANGE! Is it possible to refer seasons to an Internal CHANGE? Anyone who has had surgery, may comment to this, myself included, feels different when the weather changes. I also see differences with my children when the weather changes. Is it because the pressure in the air, the humidity, moisture, I do not know. I always say our bodies are like the German Coo Coo Clock striking at 12:00, if there is something that is off, it does not strike proper. Having my analogy, it could be just me, but as the weather is too hot, too cold, too wet, too humid, some people feel the difference and the effects. It does not matter where you live. What state or part of the world, the weather is changing. Again, Be Prepared!

Then the belief that a Full Moon's contributes in one's behaviors and how we feel. I am a believer. Some might think I am full of it! It is okay to think that and if you agree with me, Great! Interesting enough, earlier this week, I came across a post in a group that I am a part of and it read something like this "is there something in the air... my kids have been on fire the last couple of days". With many comments posted, the majority read... "full moon". Whether it is a fact or just the psychological make of what someone wants to believe; it is ones perception and that is someone's reality! Again, Be Prepared!

On that note - Be Prepared by doing some of the following:
  • Breathe
  • Smile as often as you can (they are contagious)
  • Communicate
    • Explain the time change difference and the expectations before, during and after the transition
      • Non-verbal children create extra flip picture cards for explanations
  • Post a schedule reflecting new routines. For example, dinnertime, sleep schedule, playtime, etc.
    • Schedules can be moved in small increments help with the time adjustment until a full hour has been achieved, if needed
  • Keep busy; exercise and play. Both always works wonders - whether this help when it comes sleep time or it can help by keeping all occupied
  • Try to maintain your specifics routine but if something goes array breathe, smile and go minute by minute - nothing good comes when all is in chaos
Remember life is busy, has craziness in itself, things change constantly. At times, when we think, we have the schedule to a tee, a monkey wrench gets thrown in. It does not matter, if you have one special needs child or five or not even a special needs child, LIFE IS LIFE! We are all trying to do what is best for our children on all levels.

We cannot get back yesterday, we only have right now and we do not know what tomorrow or the next minute may bring. All we can do is take in this moment, cherish it, love, laugh, play in it and be blessed in our own world and those who also share in it. GOD BLESS

"My children taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.” - Yvonne Pierre 

Until Next Time...Make it a Great Day!

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

I am a Foster/Adoptive Parent but Truly Just Me

For the past three days I have been in the company of a select group of individuals that are in a class above. Individuals made of Foster Parents, Adoptive Parents, Kinship/Guardians, Guest Speakers, Therapists and my own surrounding county's Social Workers and County Representatives. This year's Annual Conference was a true grace for me. One, it was a mini getaway but in all reality I really appreciated the training given. More so, each year I completely enjoy meeting, listening and learning from other parents that are on the same journey that my husband and I chose several years ago. The journey to give back - to be a Foster Parent!

The journey has been and continues to be a navigation of learning. Everyday my belief is you should learn something new. I instill this in my children, in all my children - homegrown, adoptive and foster. Learning something new; though it may be something really small or it may be something really big but in the end it is something. Do not take it for granted. Knowledge is power in my day-to-day life. It should be in everyone's. As I had time to speak with fellow peers, I was excited to learn more on how to navigate the system in different ways as well in sharing on personal experiences thus being able to help or provide information that I had been given. In a nut shell we were doing basic 101 networking.

I know that foster parenting is not considered a "job" but our group conference was so like a business network meeting. We had the opportunity to see others from across the state, others from within our own county and others from the surrounding counties. When not in training meetings, we were able to meet many peers, therapists or county representatives. Honestly, for me it was nice to put faces to the people that emails have been sent to or many telephone calls have been spoken over our journey. On the other side, you understand the years reflected in many children's lives. How they were touched and changed. Also, it was a chance to step away from our normal daily routine to learn of upcoming events, system changes, take in our own experiences or just chit-chat. Some decompression of our own 24/7 routine that is sometimes so needed but may not be able to have the chance due to many factors of the system and/or the child in your care.

Reflecting on the meetings or engagements I had these past few days, I feel thankful for all our children (homegrown, adoptive and foster). There is a sense of reaffirmation that we are all in this together. We are all doing the same "job"; however, there is the quick realization on how much our "jobs" are different. Whether it is from county to county or home to home. Things are definitely different.

Using my own home as a rough comparison. Take into account having five special needs children. All with varying degrees of needs. Break it down further, my three youngest children (almost like triplets) who are so close in age is a great example. It is amazing to see how much they are the same but so very different. With each milestone or development stage, one soaring right through most with flying colors but having issues on others while another is behind and the last is hitting some while missing others. Their common dominator - love, stability, early intervention and therapy.

Just as I noted above, we gathered at the conference as group that in essence do the same "job" but in reality we all are so very different. It is not because each child is different with their own needs or circumstances; the differences comes because of the road blocks we face along the way. Our common dominator - love for the children, stability to work within the system, advocacy and our own therapy and help amongst one another. The struggle is real but we always seem to manage, we are Foster, Adoptive, Kinship/Guardianship PARENTS!!!!

Yes, we are all different, all different walks of life, ages, backgrounds and life experiences but being a Foster Parent, an Adoptive Parent, Kinship/Guardian is not for the faint of heart. As with parenting it takes love and patience but it also takes a guidance within yourself to know that the infant, toddler, child or teenager that may be placed into your care has needs or situations that you may not understand. Nonetheless, given the opportunity, to be a temporary place called home for an infant, a toddler, a child or a teenager even for a short period of time, a place providing love, safety, shelter, food and stability is a gift all in itself. The ability to make a difference in that relative short period of time. To have the chance to be a part of the reunification process with parents or family or an adoption process for someone who is growing their family in better terms is PRICELESS!

So when it is all said and done, at the end of the day through the thick of everything, I have had great revelations as I am a parent, a foster parent, an adoptive parent but truly I am me who just wants to make a difference with giving back in a person's life and I am surely honored to be in the company of many others who have the same outlook.

It is awesome to be a part of this huge family not only in my county, my state but more importantly across the world and to that I Thank you ALL the Foster Parents, Adoptive Parents, Kinship/Guardianships, Social Workers, Judges, Attorneys, All Representatives and Everyone else riding this carousal by working to make a difference whether big or small! GOD BLESS

While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.  ~Angela Schwindt

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day! - National Foster Parent Association - California State Foster Parent Association, Inc.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Timing of Life with Seasons to Change

Here it is already October, only seventy one more days until Christmas. It is hard not to think about it though Halloween is only seventeen days away but with every major retail store having both types of decorations for purchase; what are you to think? I am not sure if it is me or a vast majority of society but each year seems to go by quicker and quicker. Leading to my own countdown; this is the time of year where my reflecting truly hits home. November 19, thirty-five days away. A day held for celebration; a family anniversary, a friends birthday but for me a mere reminder that life can change in a moment.

This year will be eleven years that my life changed in a mere instant. Though it was not just my life, it was my family's life too. When it first happened I said GOD was knocking for me to make changes in my life as weird as that sounds. Yes, changed happened. My circumstances greatly changed my outlook of life, how I viewed things, who was in my life but when it is all said and done, I have been truly blessed disability and all. With life being like the seasons, I am currently trying to figure out what is more to my life. What season am I in? With that comes, remembrance of what I am not able do since the accident but then it is overshadowed by all the things I have accomplished living through a life alternating event. Nothing can beat it. Yes, the roller coaster of ups and downs, the good and bad. Interesting enough it seems that feeling I first felt of GOD knocking is back. Wake up there is more, be patient there is something coming. Well patience is not my strong suit. Is it anyone's? If it is yours I commend you!

Just in the last week, I was reminded by a message, the toll my accident had on my three older children. They were young when it first happened. Nobody wants their children to grow up faster than they have too but my children had no choice. Troopers beyond belief. Though it has made and shaped them into who they are today; living with a tragic situation day in and day out, adds pressure to anyone. These are the times I wish I could change everything but then where would we be today. The grass is not always greener, just another set of weeds which need to be mowed. Then I received life alternating medical news of a friend that put me at a crossroad of testing my faith. A place I have been before. As much as I feel heartache and sadness, I feel emptiness as I have no real words. The only words that keep coming to mind is "I am sorry" and who really wants to hear that...I did not when my accident happened. As I keep praying for guidance, there is just a sense of loss for all.

I know there is an answer and more to come. More by the way I know my mother is with me every day as she flies in the hummingbird that comes to the window every time we sit down for dinner. More knowing that GOD has the path already mapped out. More when I truly listen to my little's speak in their own made up language to one another. More when I get a "Mommy, I Love You" from my older children. For me, all I can say is embrace whatever is thrown your way, embrace your faith and make the best of it. Your best, not someone else's best, YOUR BEST! GOD BLESS!

"God has equipped you to handle difficult things. In fact, He has already planted the seeds of discipline and self-control inside you. You just have to water those seeds with His Word to make them grow!" Joyce Meyer

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Everyday of the Unknown

This morning came across my Facebook page an article titled "My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About" by blogger Bonnie Zampino. (The link is posted for you to read as well) This article truly hits home. Having three children on the Autism spectrum, all with various degrees, I have been through this and continue to go through this. It is hard to comprehend and to process that at any given moment something may or may not trigger a tackle, throw of an object, a hit or an elopement of some kind.

Our days consistent of routines but as we all know things can and do change. Anyone who knows having an autistic child change is a major issue. Changes can cause many things, meltdowns, elopement, screams, crying, behavior changes, etc. With all that said, what about when you are just outside playing and change happens there, then what? Right, then what? Parents are supposed to know their children the best so if your children have behavioral changes then it is the parent's responsibility to ensure everyone's safety. We have had to do this in the past, made several changes with how we did things and how we approached things. Today, our autistic teenager has overcome many obstacles but a lot of road blocks were on the way. He still has things he battles but we just have our routines on how we battle them. Every day is a learning process.

Now being on the spectrum road again, we are figuring out what works though I have not completely isolated us; I have changed how I approach things and what we do. We have stopped going to church (we watch on livestream) as I cannot leave him in the social setting as he needs one and one. Play dates are minimal as it needs to be in a controlled setting. When we go to the park, I am right there like glue making sure there is distance from others. Kids could be playing in the sand including his own siblings and he just grabs and takes, possibly hits and elopes. I am there to ensure that does not happen. Most of the time I am successful but I miss a few. Nobody is perfect and there is a lot of redirection. He is obsessed with balls or just running around so I direct him in those types of things while my other children play other things. Nothing is fool proof but improvising comes in handy, definitely not the mom you see sitting on the bench drinking coffee talking to the other mom about their week or what will be for dinner while their kids are off playing.

Their brains are wired differently.

Truly the kids all can be playing and next thing you know a toy is flying across the room or at your face. I now have things I watch for but I have to say I do not always catch it or see it and things fly. I have been hit many times, many times without warning, the therapist in our home have been hit just out of the blue; the part that is hard is the understanding of why it is happening, there really is none.

Their brains are wired differently.

The kids can be playing and running around and next thing I know, a full running push to whoever is right in front for no rhyme or reason. Once I catch him (I am not very fast now), we talk about it as that is not nice, do I am sorry, we do not hit or push our sissy, brother or our friend, we have done time out, then two second later it happens again. This can happen over and over and over almost as it just does not click.

Their brains are wired differently.

Interesting part he can be sitting, next thing jump up, jump on, jump where ever. If someone was sitting there oh well. It does not matter. If he wants to lay on someone, oh well it is his world and to him that is okay. To see it this on a day-to-day basis, it is not done to be malicious or done to hurt anyone, these actions are done no awareness of social etiquette or social clue. Then factor in the part of high pain tolerance or no feeling of pain. That in itself is an issue.

Their brains are wired differently.

When it all comes down to it, the autism spectrum is wide. Many sides, good and bad but maybe the next time when you hear the screaming child at the grocery store, the child eloping and screaming "I hate you" or the child hitting and running away with the sand toys at the park or a child who appears to be having a tantrum in the parking lot (Is it a tantrum or meltdown? Do you even know the difference?). Maybe think a little differently as this maybe this is the only time they came out to a public setting for the week or maybe the parent had enough courage to try again. I have been there just recently too. I have received the looks, the stares, heard the comments but nevertheless these my beautiful children.

My children brains are wired differently.

GOD BLESS...Until Next Time Make it A Day

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Keeping An Open Ear

At first I went to write about a different subject then upon opening my page another post popped up regarding National Suicide Prevention Week reflecting a kind gesture of thanks to the person who posted. As today being World Suicide Prevention Day, the post struck a chord as over the course of the last couple of months, I have been dealing with someone who has been in such a tornado of emotions that the word suicide has been brought up. Before anyone can say it or think it, yes, a long list of resources for the person has been addressed. I will write nothing more on the person’s situation but I will on my own feelings.

Being on the receiving end of someone who has entrusted their feelings of many or whatever it is at the time, is very overwhelming. I felt sadness, a bit of being scared, anger and at a place of what am I do to. I found myself checking in to make sure all was okay many times. To top it off, a very heavy load to carry.  With that being said, I am also a mandated reporter, though it would not have mattered, I did what I was supposed to do, I reported the information. Plus it is not just about reporting the information, you are finished, and you wash your hands of it. It is about still being there, listening, really listening, providing resources when necessary and letting the person know there is someone just there for that moment in time when needed.

I became that person for that someone. I was now advocating for someone in unknown territory. This was out of my day-to-day routine but GOD entrusted this in my life path and I was going to be there no matter what. I understand truly that you can only do so much for someone. As they say, leading the horse to water but cannot make the horse drink but when you can truly support someone genuinely with their good or bad; things tend to be different. I do not mean doing, giving or helping their bad habits. I mean sometimes it just lending an ear, a text message exchange, a late night email chat; a basic support that they are not alone in our world of everything and nothing. Just a reminder time and time again that somewhere out there, the WATER EXISTS! 

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell


Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

College Move-In Day: New Chapter Beginning

Yesterday, I was privileged to watch my baby girl well really not my baby girl; my beautiful young lady step into the next chapter of her life. She moved on her college campus. Just another reminder how fast time flies.

As much as I wanted to be the "cool parent" as they give you the versions in the college orientation, we dropped off her and two car loads of personal belongings, I was good on holding back on most opinions on how to make her dorm room work, did my best on holding back on shedding minimal tears, chalked one up on taking minimal pictures for minimal embarrassment; sum it all up, I was dying inside.

After leaving her dorm, got into the car and the tears came. Not from sadness but from the graciousness that we were her parents doing our job. Sometime good, sometimes not so good but in this instance our child had left the nest to do more in life. This is what we or I had ever strived for. A successful milestone was completed! 

I have to say, I could not experience this with our first born. Yes, he left during the night of his eighteenth birthday as I woke up to a note. He stated he needed to be on his own, independent and referenced we were great parents. Kind of the same thing, right? Did we do our job as parents? Though the note he left stated he needed to be on his own and independent there still is a disconnect still to this day. We did not have preparation, no goodbye, nothing. Nothing ever has been truly communicated about his departure, the issue has been swept away. Well anyone reading this, knows sweeping away issues frivolously only causes bigger piles. With our daughter, my belief was nothing could feel any worse. I had already had felt pain, sadness and emptiness with our first born. So I believed I was ahead of the game and the mere fact that that with our daughter we have been given the opportunity to see her journey to begin to unfold over the last several months. We have been being prepared for this day in many different ways but are we really prepared for the departure? After yesterday, I will have to say, No.

When I woke up this Saturday morning, the house felt different for some reason. She has been gone before but this time I knew she would not be returning today, tomorrow or next week. I did not even have the heart to open her bedroom door. I just looked at the door knob and walked away. I know in my heart, mind and soul this is where she needs to be. Starting her life, spreading her wings of independence, beginning to learn life through her eyes not ours. Succeeding and feeling proud, falling then learning to get back up. Whatever the case, everything will be okay as this is her time to SHINE!

NO matter what age, she will always be our Baby Girl. For now I will keep in her prayer for her safety and guidance thus knowing that at one point her dorm room refrigerator will need something and laundry will need to be done. "There isn't a child who hasn't gone out into the brave new world who eventually doesn't return to the old homestead carrying a bundle of dirty clothes.” ~Art Buchwald


Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Routine, Change, Structure, Routine

With the first couple of weeks of the new school year being over, my seemingly busy life is slowly getting back into the "normal" routine, With that said, I find myself feeling unsettled. Yes, summer break is over but the summer season is not. As it is said, time to get back to the "normal" routine before the summer chaos happened of no structure. Really, what is that, a "normal" routine for anyone?
Most find their daily routine of getting kids ready, school, stopping off at the local coffee house, driving to work then home to make dinner then find a period of time for some relaxation, if they are lucky. Then the next day the routine starts all over again. However, for the stay at home mother with children add in special needs, our day is getting the kids ready, fed, playing referee, off to school, checking in the in-home therapist, checking the schedule, making lunch, making appointments, checking the calendar, doctor appointments, drinking many Pepsi's (for me), playtime, school afternoon pick up, afternoon sports, husband home and playtime with the little's, more in home services, making dinner, playtime, more referee time,  reading, , conversation with my husband diaper changes, bedtime when is the question....I can name more but I think you get the gist. By all means I am not saying a stay at home mother does more than a working mother just a different routine. I do not think anyone can compared the two; it would not be fair to anyone. My issue is right now, this moment in time, I am finding that my routine is not settled, not jiving; it feels off. Why? I am organized, very organized! I color coordinated my calendar, I color coordinate my closest, my little's therapy schedules are down to a science, I organize way too much but why won't this feeling of uneasiness go way. What am I missing?

What am I missing? Recently, I received a very long text message from one of my sisters. She brought up how her recent travels abroad, staying in a place was a reminder of our mother. Reminders down to the colors of what my mother would have in her bathroom, but the she spoke of how our time together in my mother's last days were a gift, gift we should cherish and love. I took those words to heart even when her text stated our family is not the "Norman Rockwell" picture.

I read that text over and over. She was so right. My own extended family, my family I married into is definitely not the "Norman Rockwell" picture and that is where my uneasy feeling sits. We get into a routine, the routine of life but some families are the "Norman Rockwell" picture. They see one another all the time, make time for Sunday dinners, once a week Sushi night outs, family movie or bowling nights but my huge family that I was so blessed to be in just is not that family. Do not get me wrong, we see one another, birthdays, holidays, occasional BBQ's but most of the time our busy schedules get in the way. Have to say thank you to social media for keeping me updated on most of the family that I keep in contact with.
So, why can' t my immediate family of seven be the "Norman Rockwell" picture. My husband and I have been blessed so graciously. I have written previously, I do not know what GOD has planned for the future but I know when I received my sisters text it validate that my calling to foster. We have fostered and adopted not only to help precious gifts that have been blessed to our family but to be our family. We are given the opportunity to be blessed with a gift of a baby or a child through fostering thus providing a safe place to call home. Whether that is for an hour, a day or a year, ultimately an impact that instills, Home is Where Family Is! So it may not be the perfect "Norman Rockwell" picture but it is our little "Norman Rockwell" Family!

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Until Next Time...Make it A Great Day!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Extended Waiting Periods

I was pondering how valuable time is especially when it comes to medical appointments and having to wait. Keeping a very organized calendar, I know that our doctor's offices make reminders by calling, text messages and/or email messages with our appointment information; even asking to arrive fifteen to thirty minutes early for any paperwork or just to complete the check in process. So, why then do we often find ourselves sitting in the waiting area fifteen minutes, twenty minutes or even thirty minutes after our scheduled appointment time? Only then to be called back to a room and wait again for another fifteen minutes, thirty minutes or even forty-five minutes; what is the value of our time?

Having to go to the different doctors at various locations with all my little's and even myself with my knee, I see notices stating..."If you arrive 10 minutes after your scheduled appointment time, your appointment may be reschedule and you may not been seen today". What about when the doctor is running late? What are our choices? To Wait or Reschedule, not very favorable. Usually no apologies are made by the staff; however, each time you see the door open and the nurse comes to call in the next patient, you hope it is you. Finally, when your name is called, though some frustration has set in, you are just so happy to get to the next step. The happiness only lasts for so long as it becomes deflated because you are in the abyss of the unknown of not knowing how much longer? Where is the doctor, actually? 

Finally the doctor arrives to your room, a quick sorry or thank you for being patient is expressed but that is not helping your six year old who has been repeatedly asking "am I getting a shot and how much longer"? Your crying toddlers who want the same toy or ate the snacks you packed, your baby who just does not want to be there or you at your appointment sitting waiting, reading magazines, checking social media, texting, somewhat enjoying the time but knowing there is a lot of other things that can be done than sitting and waiting.  All of this in an 8X8 room, for an appointment that you know will take less than twenty minutes total. Wasted Time!

I do understand emergencies do happen or someone needed more time than what was scheduled thus causing days schedule to go out of whack but truly it is not okay for anyone. Especially the extended waiting created because the office just plain overscheduled. I know nothing will change, some offices are better than others. I now, for the last couple of years, I do tend to try to make appointments, right before lunch and right after lunch, I found that the schedule starts new right after lunch and right before lunch the staff wants to eat or take a break.

In the end, everyone's time is valuable and there is no price to be had on missed out time. Time is something you are unable to get back. There is no time machine, only the time we have in this minute and hopefully the next as you just never know what is planned in your path of LIFE! We live today in a world of fast paced everything, fast-food restaurants on every corner, smart phones, Skype, Face-Time, social media of every kind, whatever it is, please remember to take a minute or a few when your waiting to know through the quiet or the chaos to enjoy a minute without technology (maybe easier said than done). No matter what your time is just as valuable as your doctors!

Old Time, that greatest and longest established spinner of all!.... his factory is a secret place, his work is noiseless, and his hands are mutes. ~Charles Dickens


Until Next Time...Make it A Great Day!

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Fork in The Road

It has been a litte over two months since I posted. Though it has not been without good cause or because I truly did not have anything to say. I simply have not posted because my heart nor my mind was not in place to have the words come together.

I believe life is like seasons or as I always say, riding a roller coaster. The ups, the downs, the twists and turns. Truly just been trying to navigate my Mother's passing while trying to navigate day to day stuff, family, friends and most important myself.

Honestly at the end of the day, whatever is not complete, it is not going to make or break me, right? Just so happens, it is another day starting again whether new things happen or picking up from where I left off from the day before. I can post many things that have happened in the last couple of months; the highs and the lows but it is not about the past; it is about today and what tomorrow may bring.

I can share with you one thing though, a gift that was bestowed upon me this past week...a dear friend gave me some very valuable information. She reminded me no matter what happens in my life all I needed to do was lay down everything to GOD and put my Faith in Him always! In those words I knew my Mother was somewhere there as she would always say in our conversations, lift it up to HIM and he will always be there for you...Words to so live by!

My daily life is still a roller coaster ride. Sometimes a slow ride, sometimes a fast ride but a ride I would not change for anything. Choices of Life, the path of the Unknown to ME but Known to HIM! GOD has given me this path, where sometimes he places a fork in the road and that is what makes it all WORTH IT!

Here is to today, tomorrow and whatever the next minute brings! Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”  - Walt Whitman 

Until Next Time...Make a Great Day!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Acquaintances or Friends

Lately I have been trying to find ways to take a moment here or there for myself. Some days it works and some days not so much. This week I was able to have a moment to spend with a really great friend. We had adult conversation without any interruption from the little's or anyone for that matter, just the waitress.

During our conversation, it reminded me how much I despise drama and gossip. Since my accident I had a rude awakening when it came to friends and family. Truly I was made to realize and understand who I thought were friends necessarily were not and family was no better. After the sadness and the whys, my guard kept crawling up to a high point keeping me very distant to the outside adult friend world. This was not only for myself but for my family too. Now, I have many acquaintances not friends. So, when I do actually come across someone that I feel and think I can trust enough, it makes my OCD a thousand times scarier. Really just wanting not to get burned but knowing somewhere I will. Have to take a chance every now and again too.

We, women, are very interesting human beings. There is really never a dull moment with a bunch of women. We are so quick to be by each other side but all so quick to throw each other under the bus. When one is having issues, several others jump on the band wagon just because. Why? Men do not act this way. They may have an issue amongst each other but they find a way to talk it out, argue or even throw blows but when all said and done...their issue is usually over. Women not so much or let me say most women.

Many movies and television shows have depicted how women can be when drama is in the center mix. Usually in the end when one decides the drama is not worth it then they seem to be the happier one or the one coming out on top. This is usually not before many cat-fights, emotional digs, caddy exchanges, rumors spread, etc. Something about drama that is attractive in the literal sense amongst women. Leading who on what side has the better story, though may not be completely factual but has or can make the better argument seems to be the one who comes out on top. Plus if a woman stands ups, speaks bluntly or to the point that does not win any brownie points either.

I believe having really have a few awesome and great friends versus having many friends where sitting around having dinner and a glass of wine is listening to all the weekly or town drama and gossip but you know as sure if you were not there your name could surely be thrown in the mix. Is this a true friendship?

Life is too short to have drama and gossip. If someone constantly wants to add your name in the mix then maybe they should be looking in the mirror. As the say, "Don't get angry when others are talking behind your back...because they're just proving that your life is obviously more interesting than them." - Ritu Ghatou


Until Next Time...Make it a Great Day!