Rose Colored Glasses

Adoption paperwork has been filled out now for a year and a half.
We have prayed and prayed and prayed.

We have wondered - "Has God said 'no'?"

We have continued to pray - and wonder - and wait.

God has heard our prayers...

We are seeing pink!!!


The Meeting

Today I would meet her. The new pastor's wife.

I have prayed for her for the past 7 months.

I have wondered:

...who she was.
... where she lived.
... what she looked like.

I prayed that God would give her:

... grace for the unexpected. for the unknowns.
... peace for the future.

Today we met. Today we embraced. Today God showed me the answer to my prayers. I stand amazed by God.

"He hath made everything beautiful in His time!...

Tonight, I will pray for her once again. Only tonight, I will pray for her by name!!

"Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good..."


We have been so busy here. So much to do. We plan to put the house up for sale this next week. (We had planned to do so this week - but we all have been battling some sickness) With the prospect of open houses and interested buyers we have gone into cleaning and packing modes.

There are items to pack away that we do not use on a normal basis.

There are winter clothes to get put into boxes. (May I add to this - now that they are all in their boxes - the weather forecast is calling for a high of 39 degrees on Sunday - go figure! :)

Door jams to paint up the nicked areas - and shelves to be polished and dusted.

Children to be lectured about the need to put everything away as SOON as you are done with it. Trying to train them to have the house presentable within 30 minutes for unexpected showings.

So much to do. We will be busy this weekend. Rob has a few days off as the church gets to know the Pastoral candidate that will be here for the next few days. Sunday we will visit our "new" church and try to get acquainted with people there and make plans for our move there.

A lot to do - too busy to think - and perhaps it is better that way.

Blessings to you my friends,


Bribing 101

I had to wash the beloved blanket. It had to be done! Have you ever been there? Well, nap time came and the blanket was not clean - I thought you would enjoy the conversation that took place before he headed to bed... (His speech at times is broken and hard to understand; but I will interpret for you!)

Zak: I want my blanket for nap.

Mom: It's downstairs in the laundry. You will need to use your other car blanket for nap time.

Zak: I want my other blanket.

Mom: It is not done yet. Tonight for bed time it will be done for you; but for nap time you will need to use your car blanket.

Zak: (Tipping his head to the side and saying rather sweetly) I'll give you a treat if you go down and get my blanket.

Mom :(Trying to suppress a smile) You don't have a treat to give Mom - your blanket's not done yet.
Zak: (A little sweeter - head tipped a little more to one side) I will give you a treat if you go and get my blanket.
Mom: Not today, Zak - you will have your blanket tonight for bed - but just use your car blanket for nap time.

Zak: OK, no treat... (Heads upstairs - as happy as can be)

Go Figure. Where do they get these things? Hmmmm I wonder.

Blessings to you,


Autims Tips of the Week - April 21 - 27

This weeks Autism tips will be for those - Friends of Autism. Perhaps you do not have a child challenged with autism; but you know someone who goes through these challenges. Sometimes it is not easy to know what to do - or how to help those going through a difficult time that we ourselves have not experienced. These tips are for you - our friends. The ones who make life a bit more livable - you encourage and pray for us - and we will be forever grateful!

Autism Tips for the Week


April 20 - 26

21. Please don't expect a child challenged with autism to 'act his age'. Each child is unique - and most of the do not function at the same level generally seen for their age.

22. Educate your children about special needs children. Explain to them that at times they act 'different'; but this is makes them special - not scary! (There are a lot of books out now that help with this endeavour - check out your local library for helps.)

23. Consider special needs children a blessing and benefit for your children. How wonderful that God has given your children the opportunity to grow up around a child with unique and special needs. This is a perfect way for your child to lean compassion and unconditional friendship.

24. Realize that parents of autistic children have different demands upon their life.

*Socialization is more difficult for parents with autistic children. (Play dates may turn into

disaster dates. Ask them how best you can spend time with them and their child that will

not bring stress upon them - but also allow you to enhance your friendship.

* Phone time - or unplanned get together may not be possible. Autistic children thrive on

routine. Often times parents of autistic children find it difficult to go with the flow and

have interruptions in their daily routine.

25. Talk TO autistic children. Sometimes we get so used to talking about our children's

challenges - rather than directing some conversation to them. They love to be noticed and appreciated.


(Our Zak has certain people - quite a few may I add -, who come up and talk right to him every time he is at church. His eyes light up when he sees them coming - he knows that they are going to acknowledge him and talk with him. Many times throughout the week he will mention these people - it really does mean a lot to him - and a lot to me too!!)

26. If your friend's child suffers a melt down - don't judge the parents for the child's behaviour. Melt downs happen with autism - they come and they go - sometimes for no apparent reason. Often times parents are just as confused as to why their child is acting a certain way as you are. Encourage and understand - but don't judge.

27. Pray for families who are challenged with autism in their homes. At times, it is not an easy road - we all need as much prayer as we can get!

If you have a child challenged with autism I would love to hear your tips too!! It is nice to know we walk this road - not alone; but together. Thanks so much for stopping by - I am glad you did.



Time Away - Time to Plan

This past week my husband and I went away - just the two of us. I would like to say it was just for a romantic retreat; but it was more for planning than for romance. With that said, anytime my husband and I are together - it is romantic!

Our lives are changing as we speak, a new ministry to start and a current ministry to become a closed chapter in the book of our lives. All changes bring happiness and sadness. We are excited about what God has in store for us and also acutely aware that life is starting to bring us a lot of things that we will be doing here for the last time.

We needed time away - to pray and plan for our future. God graciously allowed us to be able to go to a bed and breakfast in Door County. It is completely and totally romantic, secluded and a perfect spot to 'get away.' We checked in early, and went right up to our rooms placed our suitcase on the chair, took a few pictures.

After about 2 hours of planning, it was time for a break. My husband had phone calls to make, and some appointments to plan - I needed a cup of coffee. I walked to the main house and got a cup enjoying my saunter back with my camera. The garden was not as beautiful as it is in summer; however, it was lovely because in it's silence it spoke of promise. Promise of things to come - just like our future is with God.

With phone calls made, meetings planned and a hot cup of coffee accompanying me in my nook - we took some time of personal Bible reading and prayer time. It was wonderful. I read in I Timothy 6. Somehow verse six blessed my heart.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."

I have learned a great deal about myself throughout this whole process. This week the house will go up for sale - to move into a house we know not of - our belonging will be packed into boxes unsure of where or when they will be reopened. We are following what God has called us to - but following in faith. We have so many questions unanswered, so many paths unknown. As I finished my quiet time with God I felt complete peace - for, no matter what happens - it will be for my good. He does nothing TO me - but always FOR me!

Later that evening, we started a fire in fireplace and the room took on a beautiful glow. We talked and planned and prayed as we enjoyed the warmth of the fireplace. Throughout the night it burned.

Breakfast was taken at the main house. What a breakfast it was! I will not even talk about the breakfast with you - for the pictures seemed to say it better than words could.

Before heading out for home we took some time to go to the bay. It was beautiful but windy. Here are some shots from the water. Water always makes me feel calm and reflective.

So, we are back. What a profitable time we had! Trust you are able to find time to come away and meet with God. He has the directions -we need but follow.



Blood work - Bible study - Baseball

Today was a busy one. Zak had lab work this morning at the hospital. We were there for quite awhile. He came home with a little less blood - and a couple of cool band aids!
I hosted my ladies Bible study tonight. We had a good time fellowship around God's Word and talking about how we can become better wives and build stronger relationships with our husbands. We enjoyed some tasty treats supplied by one of the ladies - and wrapped up our evening before the kids and Dad got home.

While I did my Bible Study, Dad surprised the kids and took them to a baseball game - they could not have been happier! Their arrival home greeted me with giggles and exciting chatter as they told of the evening out with Dad. To make everything just a little bit more exciting, foul balls were able captured by two of my kids - and memories were made that will last a long time.

So we finish up today - Blood work - Bible Studies - and Baseball - and in that order too.
Trust you are able to be making memories with those you love. Thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you did.

Gluten Free Lunch

If you follow my posts you will know that I am dedicating the entire month to Autism Awareness on my blog. I decided to continue with the few themed days that I participate in - but use these days to bring autism to the forefront. For this Kitchen Tip Tuesday I wanted to post an link over to another post I did about a lunch I made for the kids one afternoon. This lunch was gluten/casein free (GFCF) - and delicious to boot! Only our son Zak is on the special diet; but on this particular afternoon all of the kids enjoyed a GFCF lunch! Many children with autism do significantly better when on a GFCF diet.

Gluten is found in wheat flour and wheat byproducts. Casein is found in dairy products. There are many theories out there why kids on the spectrum do better on the specialized diet - but there is no hard fast rule as of yet why. My son's autism doctor has found that 65% of all of his patients do better on the diet. We are giving it a try - and having great success with it.

Thanks for stopping by this week. I am glad you did. If you have not done so already, let me invite you to view the video we made about our journey through autism.

Dining with Neighbors

Tonight we were able to enjoy guests once again around our table. We have two elderly neighbors that we invited for supper. They have been such a blessing to us and we have become quite close to them throughout the last six years we have lived here.

Here is our menu for the evening:

Tossed Garden Salad w/ Dressing
Dinner Rolls
Baked Chicken
Baked Potatoes
Relish Tray
Steamed Broccoli
Ice Cream

We had a wonderful time listening to stories they told of the neighborhood from years gone by. (They both have lived in their houses going on 50 years!) We shared with them the upcoming changes in our life and told them that we would be moving. It was a bit sad to know we would be leaving such nice neighbors that we have come to love.
As they left tonight and I began clearing away the coffee cups from the table I thought of how uptight and nervous I used to be hosting guests into my home. Funny how ministry will change that!! Through the years of being a Pastor's wife, I have had to open my home so many times that I have grown used to it - and so enjoy the time.

I am so thankful for the many opportunities God has allowed me to have in this area of hospitality. I am glad I did not wait until I was completely comfortable with the concept - because I don't think it would have ever come on it's own. No, being comfortable hosting guests did not come until it was practiced over and over and over again.

As I watched the two elderly men walk slowly to their homes, I felt a strong assurance that this is what God desires from us - inviting those around us to come into our homes - sit around our tables and see the love of Christ in our hearts as we interact one with another. I committed this evening to the Lord that no matter where He takes us from here - no matter the size of our house or the work that is involved - I am going to use my kitchen and my dining table to show the love of Christ to those around me.

Trust you are finding ways to be a blessing to those God brings into your path. Such a sense of purpose I find in sharing Christ with others.


Dining with Friends

This Sunday I was blessed to be able to enjoy having guests around my table throughout the day.

After the morning service we were able to open our home and enjoy talking, laughing and 'catching up' with some friends visiting from out of town. How we have missed them - and how we enjoyed the afternoon. I kept the lunch simple - more out of necessity than desire - for I had just gotten home the night before and lacked the time for proper preparation of a normal Sunday afternoon meal.

Pizza was ordered, paper products brought to the counter, and ice cream purchased on the way home from church. It was much nicer enjoying the fellowship than stressing out about a meal and washing dishes. I left for church with a smile in my heart - what a wonderful afternoon!
Sunday night after church we were blessed to have missionaries sitting around our table. There are many things I love about being a Pastor's wife - but having the blessing of missionaries enjoying meals with us - rates right up there at the top of the list! We enjoyed a simple bowl of soup served with dinner rolls and vegetables. Such sweet fellowship we enjoyed; and as they left that night from our home they took a part of our hearts with them.

What a blessing to be able to open our home to other believers and be edified, and blessed by the fellowship of like minded brothers and sisters in Christ.


Ladies Weekend Out

This weekend I stayed occupied attending a ladies retreat. We had a wonderful time. It was wonderful fellowship filled with food, laughing and fun! The guest speaker was especially encouraging to me. She spoke on the theme "Beauty of the Heart". I must say it was one of the best ladies session I had ever attended. I left with my spiritual cup overflowing.

We were pampered and treated like queens. That is always how it is at Camp Joy. The first night there we enjoyed a wonderful meal that included all the fixings. After the first session we were able to enjoy fellowship time and a craft time where we made bookmarks. It was an easy and yet creative craft. We headed to our room about 1:30 in the morning.

The next day was filled with sessions, gift exchanges and wonderful meals. We attended a session on how to use bake goods as gifts for others. It was an informative session filled with recipes, giveaways, and lots and lots of sugar cookies.

We headed home later than planned - (we had all gotten to talking at the table and did not realize that 2 hours had passed!) - but the trip home was just as refreshing and encouraging. I came home tired - but blessed. This was my last ladies retreat with the ladies here at the church. It will not soon be forgotten and the memories treasured in my heart.

It was nice to get home and sleep in my own bed though - even if it was a short night! :)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by.



Autims Tips of the Week - April 14 - 20

Autism Tips for the Week

April 14-20

14. You can get frustrated, cry or laugh at the repetitive things your child does: CHOOSE TO LAUGH.

15. Accept your child for who he is: but challenged him to reach his full potential.

16. Don't allow autism to run your home - make time for others in your life.

17. Cultivate your marriage.

18. Count your blessings: name them one by one / day by day.

19. Have an open mind about treatment options.

20. Know when to draw the line with treatment options.

Weighted Down

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

If you follow my posts you will know that I am dedicating the entire month to Autism Awareness on my blog. I decided to continue with the few themed days that I participate in - but use these days to bring autism to the forefront.

This Friday, I wanted to share a "Weighted Vest" I made for our son Zak who is challenged with autism. It is a theory that has held up in a lot of studies that children who are challenged with autism have a hard time feeling the pressure of things ( this explains why sometimes when they go to touch something they push too hard, or pull to forcefully). It is like they do not feel the chair upon which they are sitting - or the ground upon which they are standing.

Some parents have had good success in using weighted vests and blankets to help the child have more weight pressing down upon them - they call this making the child feel 'grounded". I looked into the weighted vests and was not willing to pay the price for something I was unsure would work. So, I decided I would try to make my own weighted vest for Zak and see how he did.

I headed down to the local Goodwill store - (my favorite place to shop) - and purchased a child sized vest that I was sure would fit him but be a bit on the big size for him.

Then I headed to the local Shopko - (Wisconsin's local 'Target') and tried to find something to weight him down with. I was thinking hockey pucks when I entered the store (although the thought of Zak actually having pucks within his reach kind of scared me!) However, in the sporting goods section I found bean bags for yard games. I thought this would be even better because they were soft and would be more comfortable in the vest; and not as destructive in Zak's hands! I purchased a box of those and headed home to try out my new "therapy vest'.

I placed a bean bag in each of the pockets of the vest. So far that is all the weight that he has needed - and YES, we have seen an improvement with him sitting and paying attention better. We leave the vest on for around 30 minutes and then off for a while. (That way he does not acclimate to the weight of the vest). Our therapy times have been much better. He also brings his vest to church and I put it on him before he goes into his Sunday School class. So far, we have seen improvements there also. I use the vest during the preaching time of the church service. Zak knows that when Dad gets done preaching - he can take off the vest.

(Here is a picture of Zak in his SS class with his vest on. I love how it blends into normal looking clothing. You can not really tell that it is a unique vest! :)

Last week we found that he was playing with the bean bags a bit more than normal. I may have to pin the pockets shut so that will not be a problem; but I am happy so far at this little homemade therapy creation we have here.

Thanks so much for stopping by my S&T. I am so glad you did.



The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men....

The best laid plans of mice and men... I have found my organized self - disorganized and my days filled with schedule changes for which I had not planned.

To start, I have been sick. I am feeling better - although not back 100%. However, a busy Mom is only allowed so much time in bed!! I have spent the day trying to attain completion of laundry in the basement laundry room. How can there be so many clothes- after just a few sick days!!??

Our plans also have changed for the entire month. It was looking like April would be a quiet - stay- at -home month; but alas, it has turned out to be much different than planned. I will be gone quite a few days here in April. I am looking forward to the time away; as it will involve making plans for our future ministry. So there is a lot to do in April. Lists are being made, Realtors being contacted; and an old house touched up - for future inspections of prospective buyers. How I hope that the new owners of our home will be a family that will love our house as much as we have loved it! We will see.

With this in mind, I have decided to change me plans for a tip a day with the autism project. I am going to do the tips at the beginning of the week - and for the entire week. So on Monday's I will post the Autism Tips of the Week. It is the only way to get it all in with everything that we have going on here at the home front!

Well, that is an update of how I have been, where I will be - and what I plan to do. Thanks so much for stopping in. I am so glad you did.


Autism Tip of the Day - April 8

Autism Tip of the Day


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

8. Give the Gluten Free/ Casein Free Diet a try.

A lot of kids are helped a lot on this diet. We are seeing some huge success with it. We did try it before without a lot of success; but in looking back - I was 'cheating' on the diet with him without really knowing it. There are a lot of hidden places where gluten is found.

It might help you to know that if a child is on a GFCF diet there are other things than just foods that can trigger adverse reactions. Play dough, crayons, hand soap can all contain gluten. I never would have known this without researching. We also found that Zak's hands broke out horribly bad every time he used the soap at church - after looking at the ingredients we found the hand soap contained wheat. We are working at getting everything gluten free that pertains to him. It has not been nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

This has been a great resource for me in helping get Zak to gluten free living. TACA

Thanks for stopping by.



Autism Tip of the Day - Monday, April 7

Today's Autism Tip


Monday, April 7, 2008

7. Establish a routine.

I would include this in any tips for raising kids - on the spectrum or not! Kids need routine - schedule and predictability. It adds security and understanding of "what comes next." You take a child with autism and this only will help things out! I posted here about our schedule. I love our schedule - our kids love our schedule and it really does help Zak too. On the days that we are not "on" schedule I can see a difference in Zak's behaviour.

Another valuable website that I would highly recommend is The Maxwell's.

"Let all things be done decently, and in order."




Spring is coming - spring is almost here!

The weather was so nice today. Sun shinning - gentle wind blowing through the trees.

Our yard has been filled with kids playing catch football in the afternoons; and a little five year zooming his scooter around and around the side walks. Rachel has been busily practising her violin and the piano was freshly tuned this week. Music seems to fill the air of our home along with the birds chirping outside.

Spring is coming - Spring is almost here.

The mud is drying out - and the grass will soon bring a quilt of green blanketing the ground around the house.

Spring is coming - spring is almost here!

Along with the warmer weather comes the reality that packing and moving are just a few short months ahead. Excitement and anticipation fill the air with talk of our up and coming changes; along with the realization that there are so many things that are now to be our lasts here at this house.

Spring is coming - spring is almost here!

Trust you are able to enjoy the promise of life that spring offers to us. Thanks so much for stopping by - I am glad you did!