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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reflections of New Life

015 Everything is starting to bloom around here…

new life…      bursting forth.016

 051 Even in the midst of storms…

there is beauty and grace057

062 In those open places or spaces in our life… 

The son’s light still shines through 060 

064His grace and beauty continue to turn…

and bring us the fresh breeze of His love065

We have started to plant our garden in these new places…076

075new life in new places

Areas that will one day be fruits of righteousness 079  

078  trees planted by living water …  trees of life…

  which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.

014and yet, ever so reminded of the greatest tree of life… 

                                                                                                     the cross

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

And it was so…

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Our World with Autism

Autism RibbonIn order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.

What is Autism:
Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.

Autism Facts & Stats
  • Autism now affects 1 in 88 children
  • Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls
  • About 40% of children with autism do not speak. About 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood
  • Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike)
  • The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last twenty years
  • Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, yet most underfunded
  • Children with autism do progress
  • Autism is treatable, not a hopeless condition
Living with Autism is just as complex and challenging as the spectrum itself.

529489_10151864980533957_1336530411_nI love these posters because they highlight
                    the multi-facetness of living with Autism.

    Autism is both Challenging and Rewarding

          Complex and Lifelong

                Yet Simple and a Day to Day Living

      Beautiful and yet Ugly at times
                       Bitter and Sweet

        Filled with Love yet Distance
 A Blessing yet a burden at times
                   Amazing and Confusing

autism is2[6]Living with Autism is definitely a journey in:
                                and love… 
                                    the unconditional kind of love

I shared a little about our special guy in these post:
Happy Birthday Jonathan
kids 1

Our World of Autism looks a little like this:

Our special guy wants to be
              close and a part of things
                           yet a little distant.

He rather eat his meals outside…   
                         by himself.

Most days he eats nonstop which is a job in itself keeping him out of the kitchen some days. 

Yet it was exciting when he got a little belly because he normally would loose weight instead of gain.

DSC00268Doing things as a family can be challenging, keeping a constant eye on our special guy, yet wanting to just relax and enjoy the day. 

But he lives life to the fullness and finds joy in the simple things of life. 
A bowl of ice cream,   
    a walk to the park,
         a drive in the car,
      a drink at 7-11 or a movie from the library. 

He finds contentment in little things.

fam 5We will take him to the store with birthday money and he will buy one or two simple things… just what he needs for now. 
He knows how to live in the here and now and wears his emotions on his sleeve.   
When he is happy…  he is full of joy.   
When he is sad… he weeps with a depth of sorrow.

He loves to watch movies and t.v. – an odd combination of different selections.
             Which should not surprise us because that is his world… 
      from Veggies Tales  to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle all the Way... 
                                 from Blues Clues to Daddy Day Care.
And he has his favorite parts, whether it be a line or a song, or a sound or a word…
               he will play these parts over and over and over and over…. you get the idea.
This can be funny, reveling, interesting and annoying all at the same time.

Then there are those quirky, strange things that fascinate him,
                  for reasons we sometimes can’t fully understand.
The breaking of glass bottles… we think he likes the sound the glass makes when it breaks.  But when you get a visit from your neighbors every other week because they find broken glass on the side of their house… it is a challenge to get him to stop this fascination that has become an obsession.
And there have been many of those fascinations that have become obsessions…
               just when you get him to overcome one a new one pops up.

Yet the wonder he has for life is intriguing and I am often left wondering…
what does he see that I do not and I feel as though I am missing out on some great          mystery that he sees and I can’t.                 
His energy level is unending and it seems at times that his insides want to explode out of his body…   like he can’t contain or control it.
But that same energy he takes into worship and he worships with and abandonment
                        that brings people to tears.  

I know he feels the presence of the Lord in a way we wish we could,
but we allow obstacles, that he does not have, to get in the way.


Above all the challenges and trials, we know that he has been fearfully and wonderfully made,

our special son is a marvelous masterpiece of a God who has created him with a great purpose…
to be a reflection...
                 of his Heavenly Fathers Glory

Reflecting and Celebrating Autism...
as He continues to reveal Himself to us through this world of Autism…   
                       Our World with Autism

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins

I love making muffins and I have not made them in awhile.  I was cleaning out the panty and I came across a can of pumpkin, so we made these delicious muffins.

2013-4-18 Pictures 008   Pumpkin Muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water or orange juice

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 36 muffin cups.

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.

BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store muffins in covered container or resealable plastic bags. These made 36 regular size muffin.

PREPARE as above; filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.

PREPARE as above; filling 3/4 full. Bake for 33 to 36 minutes.

2013-4-18 Pictures 009    The muffin holder is from the dollar tree.  I have been 2013-4-18 Pictures 010getting these for different holidays.  They are so fun and add a little pizzazz for your buck.  The tulip placemats are also from the dollar tree.  We have two different tables that we have put together to make a bigger table to fit our family. I buy 4 of the patterned placemats for different holidays and place then across the middle of the adjoining tables to cover the seam.  I love the dollar store for supper cheap and cute ideas to celebrate the seasons and holidays of life.  The Calla Lilies are from my garden, one of my favorite flowers.

2013-4-18 Pictures 011I found The Family Dinner Questions  at Chickabug Blog. They are a free download for subscribing to How Does She. I only put about 1/3 of the questions in the jar, so I will be able to rotate them with the other questions not used later on.   

I also found this faith based family Dinner Question kit. You can download this at Happy Home Fairy.

I think it is really important to celebrate seasons and holidays and everyday life.  We serve a God who loves to celebrate, we see it throughout His word.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.    Psalm 16:11

Enjoying the little things that make life a celebration~

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Morning Devotions

One of the goals I have had for a very long time…

has been to have a “consistent” morning devotion time with my children. We have had a short seasons of this or times when we did a study, but to have it consistently, has been a struggle.   I do things well for short term but long term has always been a stretch for me.

With the move, we have been able to establish this.  I have a short time reading to my special son from his favorite “Veggie Tales Bible Storybook Devotional” and then praying with him before he goes to school. 

I have a time of prayer, devotion and reflection by myself and then the girlie girls and I have our devotional time together. We start by reading the current devotional we are on and then we go around and share what we think God is telling us personally.  After each one of has had a time to share we have a time a reflection.  One by one we go to the tree (cross) to look at the added ornament and spend a few minutes reflecting and praying.  Then it is off to our rooms to fix our beds, and get ready for the day. It has been a wonderful way to transition into our day.  I am loving hearing by girls hearts.


During Lent we used Ann Voskamp’s  “Trail to the Tree”   036devotional and the Youth Walk Devotional that we got from our youth group.  They were a great combination together.



095We just started a new devotional, also using the Youth Walk Devotional.  The focus on this devotion is the names 094of God.  I made ornaments and devotional booklets for the girls and I.  We will be adding the ornaments to our new “Devotional Tree”   I am really excited about this devotion and how God is going to move in us. I am planning on making 093devotional books for097 future devotions we do. 

If you would like a copy of this devotion, send me a message and I can email it to you.



Enjoying spending time in and with the “Word” together~

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Real Kingdom

Last week we finished the second book in the Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy…

The Tales of the Resistance.   I cannot not say enough about these books, I have been moved to tears… Deep places have been touched.   I so highly recommend this series.                       

No wonder she had fallen in love… hopelessly in love with the King.  the one who was strong but not brutal, who could laugh with joy and weep with freedom, who never leered at beautiful women, who told stories to children and gentled the fears of the old, whom the young men followed because he was the bravest of all, who found beauty in the ugly, and whose very words spoke hope.

His voice was wonderful, filled with the echo of faraway hills and laughing country streams. The man standing in the gallery shadow seemed to be standing in his own light.

~ the people  in the gallery were clothed in warm garments, their runny sores were healed, they were clean and healthy.  This couldn’t be true. She blinked her eyes and stared again and realized she was seeing the people through the flow of the man’s light. 

“Follow me.”  said the man.  “the real kingdom is wherever I walk and whenever anyone walks with me.”                                           Tales of the Resistance

As I ponder this… 

The real kingdom is wherever I walk and whenever anyone walks with me…

              in this place there is…

                            deep, everlasting love

                                          joyful laughter

                                                     freedom to weep at the things that break our hearts

                                                               peace for those everyday concerns and fear

                                                                        beauty and hope

                                                                              warmth and healing  

                                                                                         light for even the darkest places…

                        this kingdom…..  

                                    this real kingdom is with Him

                                                     the real King…     wherever He is…   wherever He walks

and because He is with me…   living in me…

                  this kingdom…

                           His real kingdom is here with me

    not only for me to receive…

              but for me to give away.

What a beautiful concept…         ponder this…      treasure this…        

fall in love with your King…

                   hopelessly in love.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

365 Days – Days 92 -98


Living in the moment…

Day 92 – Sharing with youth what cross means to me

Day 93- picnic at the park

Day 94- challenging self in exercise

Day 95 – friends spending the night – noise of youth

Day 96 – leadership meeting – hearing dear ladies heart on special son

Day 97 – fighting bladder infection – 5 hours at doctor –

Day 98 – medication and sleep – healing that comes from resting

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
                                            ― Maya Angelou

This week I had the opportunity to be thankful for All things…

Heath, increasing strength, youthfulness to body fighting infection and loosing, sitting in urgent care for hours, lack of strength and needing to sleep for two days.  But in it all I was able to take time to just rest in the moments and enjoy those precious moments in the week.

Thankful for all things~

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

365 Days 85 - 91

Living in the moment…

Day 85 - morning devotions together
Day 86– praying together
Day87 – garden work
Day 88 – hanging out and watching tv together
Day 89 – Easter egg hunts
Day 90 – Easter meal together and celebrating Passover
Day 91 – enjoying park walk


Being a planner, I often struggle with living in the here and now.  I have to remind myself to set aside time for planning (limit it to what is necessary) and then to be present and enjoy those daily moments.  for example, not to worry about that dirty oven, (I can scheduled it in to be cleaned) and just enjoy making these delicious Easter treats with the girlies.

“Forever is composed of nows.”
                                                                                                     ― Emily Dickinson
Living in the moment~ Pin It

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Reflections of Easter

001We decorated our mantle with our Easter Banner and Subway Art.  You can find these at:

He is Risen Subway Art

Easter Subway Art

He is Risen Banner

2013-3-30 pictures 036We had our monthly co-op at our house and one of our co-op families brought a bunny cake… so cute!!!   We also made our traditional Resurrection Buns.  You can find the recipe here:

Resurrection Buns

2013-3-30 pictures 030



We read Benjamin’s Box and used our resurrection egg items to put in a special box like Benjamin had.  



They had an abundance of daffodils from our Easter Service at church so we were able to take some home and decorate our home with them.  I love fresh cut flowers…  so pretty!!!!  


014   We celebrated our Easter meal by having a Christian Passover meal as part of our dinner. 007

A Holy Experience has two different free printable for your own Christian Passover meal.

We enjoyed a delicious meal together and then ended the meal with one of our favorite Easter Desserts –




Easter Peep Casserole.   


It was a good day celebrating life …

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Before & After

I have been meaning to post before and after pics of our new house. 

So I decided to take you on a tour…

Let’s start with the front of the house – Beforepics 993

After - 053054

The Living Room – Before pics 925 pics 928

After - 038045

  046 050 047 036 037

The Kitchen – Before

pics 933 pics 936 pics 937

After -

029  043 

The Family Room – Before pics 940pics 941pics 939

After - 034 031 035 033


Bathroom 1 – off the family room

pics 944 pics 943

After - 060 057 061

Bathroom 2 – Hallway by bedrooms - pics 951

pics 952 pics 953

Both the bathrooms have a real retro 50’s tile in them, whick I love but can be a little challenging to “tone down” a bit. This bathroom is not done yet, we want to finish the wainscot and put up a wall paper border that will tie in the green tile with the blue we painted it. I will post pictures of this bedroom along with pictures of the bedrooms in Part 2 of Before and After.

We really love our house and are so enjoying making it our home.

Thanks for looking~

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