Sunday, December 1, 2013

To be friends with an Aspie

People with Asperger’s Syndrome or Aspies as they are lovingly called, are some of the best friends you can have. There are a few things I have observed that, once you understand them can open the door to a life-long friendship.
First of all they are intelligent. They often receive all A’s and B’s on their report card, if they are still in school, or excel in the technical world. My son often helps others with homework or troubleshoots their computer. He helped me figure out why my blog wasn’t working right.

They prefer to follow a schedule. As with other things, they can be obsessive about it. It gives them a sense of security in a world that doesn’t always understand them.

They will usually hyper-focus on a subject, obsess over it; will know details that most of us never think about. My son has obsessed over Harry Potter, Mario Brothers, the Greek gods, Pok√©mon, back to the Greek gods and most recently something in American History class. Yesterday, he was going on about Mario’s mustache and love interests. He has a hard time understanding why he can’t go on about his video games at dinner or wear his Bowser shirt that is 3 sizes too small.

They follow the rules. If you are in a new situation, like the first day of school, they can tell you where you can park or pick up, how long you have for lunch and which teacher requires that assignments be typed and double spaced. They don’t like to break the rules themselves. That could mean a confrontation which takes them well outside their comfort zone.

They often have sensory issues. They will wear clothes that are way out of style or don’t fit right because they feel good. My son will often wear his jacket indoors, with the hood up while he is reading or concentrating. Sometimes they are picky about food for the same reason; it doesn’t feel right in their mouth. My son often prefers his food simple. While others are reaching for the butter to spread on a warm roll, he prefers it plain. He also eats pancakes and waffles without syrup.

A friend with Asperger’s is loyal. My son has a few friends that over the years have looked past all the quirks and loved him for who he is. He is in the ninth grade now and most of his friends are at different schools. But get them together, no matter how long it has been and it’s like they were just hanging out yesterday. One plays football in the local children’s league. My son has difficulty with crowds and noise (remember sensory issues), but would not dream of missing a game. The last game we went to, his team had made the finals. The noise and the crowd were extreme, even for me. We tried hanging out behind the bleachers away from the crowd. He finally gave up and asked to wait in the car. But he didn’t ask to go home. He wanted to be there to greet his little buddy after the game.

I think the most important thing to remember about Aspies is that they are all different. The examples I have given here are of my son, some of the students I work with and stories I have read online. We are still looking for a youth group that is a good fit for him. One group we took him to did not work out at all. We sent him to a church nearby on a Wednesday night. He called about halfway through and said he was “done”. His word for telling me he had reached his limit. We tried the next Wednesday night and he stayed longer, but was not happy. I spoke to the youth minister and tried to explain his difficulty. She cut me off and said “Oh, we have 3 students here with that, we know all about it” So I sent him one final time and was surprised that he did not call for a pick up. When we went to get him, he was not with the other students. He was in her office, clearly shaken and upset. He had wanted to call me and they did not allow him to. We never went back. Over the last few years, he has learned to tolerate crowds, but he still does not enjoy them.

One way I have watched him deal with a crowd is to be louder and/or sillier that everyone else. At the end of the day, his school always has a quick assembly and prayer. Everyone gathers in the main hall and they play a video countdown with upbeat music. It is normally difficult for him to stand still and wait to the assembly to begin in such a boisterous atmosphere. So, he puts his backpack down and begins to dance. Now he is not trained in dance in any way, but he can match the beat. He gets in the middle of the room and jumps, poses, kicks and flails. Sometimes other students join him, sometimes not. His biology teacher calls it “The Daily Kyle Dance”. The best part is, nobody seems to mind and he can just be himself.
So if you can find an Aspie to be a friend with, take the time to understand them. Revel in the things you have in common. Realize that the things they do that are different they do to survive in our society. If you can do these things, you will have a treasure for life.

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.
Proverbs 22:11, NIV

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Best Poundcake!


Pound Cake

Things are pretty tight around here, so I often find myself going to the pantry and baking with what I have on hand.  This week, it was my first pound cake.

I may have tried one years ago. But if I did, the results were not memorable J

I pulled out my favorite old cookbook.



But then found the recipe online here.


Now if you know me at all, you know I will be switching out some ingredients. I use organic as often as possible, if the ingredients are available. And I do not use cooking spray. I just haven’t found a natural/organic one that works for me. So, I use the old fashioned method of greasing and dusting my pan. For cookies, I swear by parchment paper, but that’s another post.



I used my old Bundt pan for this occasion. I hate that is has the Teflon coating, but for now, it’s what I have. I use a paper towel to grease the inside and up over the edges. Then I dusted with flour. I can still remember doing this part for my Mom <3



I love my mixer! A Christmas gift from the guys a few years back, it’s the only pink item in my kitchen. It makes fast work of creaming together sugar, shortening and then eggs. I knew my guys would not like the lemon, so I substituted with more vanilla.



Next come the dry ingredients. I have found the best way to add them is to sift them onto a paper plate, or piece of parchment paper. With the mixer running, pick up the edges and tip to add the ingredients to the bowl. I wish I could have a picture for you, but I don’t have enough hands.



I thought I would save my parchment paper and used wax paper instead. I won’t make that mistake again! The wax paper was too flimsy. Some things are better off not being photographed. What a mess!

After combining the wet and dry ingredients, I spread it in the pan.



Another reason I was baking was because it was raining. Baking on a rainy day gives me a cozy feeling. Indoor photography on a rainy day? not so much L

It raised nicely in the oven, but settled a bit when I removed it.



But it turned out beautifully.



A light dusting of powdered sugar,



and slice.



Delish!

Next time I am switching out the shortening for coconut oil. YUM!
Do you have a favorite old cookbook? Please share in the comments below, or on our Facebook page. <3

Friday, October 4, 2013

Halloween


Halloween will always bring back warm memories to me. For as long as I can remember, Mom has made hot chocolate (if it was cool enough, Florida after all) and baked sugar cookies for the neighborhood kids. She tinted them orange and added a raisin face to each.

We decorated the house and yard every year. When we grew to be adults, we often bought unique decorations to add to their collection. Some of our friends have returned to visit with their own children in tow. I look forward to seeing who attends each year.

For my own children, we would go to the local church festival or trick or treat the neighborhood (or both). But we would always end up at Mom and Dad's for sugar cookies and hugs.

The celebration has grown into a family gathering that goes far beyond cookies and quick visits. Mom still bakes cookies, but we all bring finger foods to share and put the grand children in a row for pictures. New memories are created at each gathering.
What are your family's Halloween traditions? Leave your favorite memories in the comments below for a chance to win a prize......
The light colored ones glow in the dark!

 
A set of 4 "After Trick or Treat Soaps"
Creepy critters, encased in Lavender scented soap, to sooth your young ones to sleep after a long night of festivities. 
See more pictures at my shop on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/RootsInEden
Like us on Facebook for another chance to win. Have fun!
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Perilous Pasta


Have you ever made homemade pasta?

I read that it’s so easy. And once you try it you will never buy the dried stuff in the store again.

So, I was really excited to find this pasta roller at the thrift shop for $2.


And the recipe only called for like 3 ingredients. And I use organic flour and have the freshest eggs on the planet. So, what do I have to lose?

Part of the fun is mixing up the dough right on the board.


You make a well in the center. Then go find those fresh eggs!


Or use the ones in the fridge J

Break them right into the well in the flour. Add the olive oil.


Then stir to mix.
 
 
 


 

 I used my bench scraper, it made this much easier.


Once it comes together, roll it into a ball and flatten slightly into a disk.



Wrap it in plastic and chill.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now this is when it all went wrong.

After I chilled the dough, I removed it from the fridge and sprinkled some flour down into my new pasta roller. Then I carefully divided my dough with my bench scraper and started to feed the pieces into the roller while cranking with the other hand.

Maybe I didn’t get enough flour down in there. Maybe I didn’t clamp it tight enough to the counter. But pasta rolling turned ugly!

The roller kept shifting. So I had to feed the dough, turn the crank and stop to grab the evil thing from time to time.

Then, I think the dough stuck. The sheets that came out of the roller seemed to have bubbles . The pictures I was seeing on the internet showed lovely sheets of smooth pasta coming out. Then they cut them with the bench scraper into perfect rectangles. Mine? Not so much.

By now I forgot all about the camera and blogging and was just trying to dig my way to something of sustenance that my family could eat for dinner. So I cut them into ugly, odd shaped sheets and set them aside to fill.

The results were actually not bad. I rolled the filling up in them and laid them side by side. By the time I completed the recipe, all the ugliness was covered by sauce and cheese. So much so, I remembered the camera.

All in all, it was actually kind of fun. My family loved the meal, so I will probably try this again. But I think I need more practice with that pasta roller!

Monday, September 16, 2013



Back to the barn
Trail riding around the pasture at Saddle Up Riding Club.
 

Saturday was the first class for the fall season. With highs in the 90’s, it seemed anything but fall. The front ring is not shaded, so temperatures are often several degrees higher. Still, there was a beautiful feeling as students arrived with their families. They greeted friends with high fives and shoulder hugs. Parents shared stories of the summer and first days of school. The horses lowered their heads to nuzzle the children. In return, they received hugs and pats and I saw at least one kiss on a velvet nose.

This place has breathed new life into my son. At age 12, and newly diagnosed with Asperger’s, he hated to be outside. He was a bit small for his age and very sensitive to sound, sunlight and anything touching him. At school, he hated recess! He could usually be found in the shade talking to the teachers or at a table reading a book. Participating in a game with other students often left him angry and sometimes in trouble. So he preferred to avoid it altogether.
 
Then came therapeutic horseback riding.
Kyle ready to ride.
The summer before we started, we were on vacation with my husband’s family. During a quiet time, I was sharing with a cousin how sad I was for Kyle. I told her about his struggles and how getting a diagnosis didn’t seem to be of much help. She suggested horseback riding.

How on earth could I afford a horse! I knew there were horses in our county, but could not imagine how much lessons would cost. She went on to say that there were programs for special kids that he may qualify for. So when I returned home, I did an internet search. Kyle started riding in October that year.

After a year of riding, Kyle had changed completely. I don’t think I realized how much until I paid a visit to the playground after lunch one day. There was my son, playing football, happily, by choice. I turned and went back into the building and watched through the glass. I didn’t want anyone to see my tears of joy and think something was wrong.



Now almost 3 years later, he loves to run. Even as a teenager, he loves to play chase games with younger kids. He goes to the gym to work out with his dad and run on the treadmills. I recently picked him up from a friend’s house covered in dirt from swinging on a rope swing and landing in a dirt pile. His meltdowns are not
gone altogether, but we can usually link them to a lack of sleep, extreme change in schedule or a poor diet choice. What is even better is that he usually figures them out himself.
Hercules and Kyle saying Hello.
 
Back to Saturday, Kyle’s horse greeted him in their usual way. It almost seems like a mutual benefit between Kyle and his horse, Hercules. As he licks Kyle’s hand, it helps him calm down. And who knows, maybe Hercules is benefitting from the salt on Kyle’s sweaty hand. Regardless, that horse will lick his hand until Kyle pulls it away.
While waiting to ride, there are other animals to visit. Pigs, a miniature horse, goats, rabbits, 2 turkeys and plenty of chickens. Families can also walk through the barn and visit the rest of the horses. Out in the back arena, there are more types of donkeys than I knew existed. They are new to the barn and very sweet.
A sweet little hen and her baby, who has also grown!

Our friend Gina on Danny Boy.
In spite of the heat, everyone was glad to be back. Since the arena was so hot, we trailed through the pasture instead. I was blessed to be the photographer for the day, so I walked along snapping pictures under the trees. The horses were excited and distracted by the grass. But it was a good day.
As the weather cools I know the sessions will be even more enjoyable. My handsome son is now taller than me.  I can’t wait to see what this year will bring.
 
 
 
Kyle on Hercules
 
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
 
To learn more about therapeutic horse back riding, please visit the link below:
 





Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering September 11


I can still remember sitting in our home office when my husband burst into the room. He had our cordless phone pushed to his ear and had a terrified look on his face. He looked at me, but addressed the person on the phone “They attacked the Pentagon?” Then he said to me, “Go turn on CNN!”  I jumped up and hurried to the living room and picked up the television remote.

Then I just sat there, staring at the remote in my hand. I didn’t know what station CNN was on. You see, I really don’t like watching the news. I especially loath world news or news reporting the state of our country. I avoided it whenever possible, so I really didn’t care what station CNN was on, until now.

Impatiently, my husband again instructed me to turn on the tv. I did, then asked him what station to turn it to. He looked shocked and took the remote from my hand.

The next few minutes are a blur. I remember crying in disbelief. I know I picked up my then almost 3 year old son and trying to hug him close. He only tolerated that for a few moments, then he wiggled to the ground to go play. I remember my husband pacing, cursing. We watched the towers fall again and again. He had been retired from the Coast Guard for only 3 years. I prayed he wouldn’t be recalled.

For the next week, it seemed that most of the people I talked to had been affected in one way or another. Most had lost acquaintances, a friend of a friend or simply a voice on the phone. So many companies had an office in the World Trade Center; every business I went to was shaken.

Others had lost loved ones; parents, brothers, sisters or other family members. For the first few days after people hardly spoke. We had actually been attacked on United States soil. Everyone feared more was coming.

 When our shocked subsided, our fierce determination took over. People became closer, neighbors more neighborly. Flags flew everywhere. We are Americans and are not going quietly into the night.

 

Fast forward to this morning, my wiggly tot is now almost 15. On our way to school we listen to our favorite Christian radio station. Instead of the usual contemporary Christian music, they played a timeline of events from 9/11/2001. I couldn’t help but let the tears fall. The broadcast was well done, but full of emotion and raw accuracy.

My son listened too, sending an occasional look of concern my way. Finally he said “I was about 2, right?” I nodded and we spent the rest of the drive in silence. Just yesterday, he had explained the situation in Syria to me in great detail. Today, he seemed to know that most words to describe 9/11 have all been said. Wow! My boy is nearly grown!

The rest of this day has been quite the emotional rollercoaster. Everything to launch my business seemed to fall in place. As I took each step I was filled with excitement. I found everything I needed to package my products, completed my photography, set up my online store and made my first local delivery to the feed store who has agreed to sell my products.

But each step was punctuated by reminders of the day we can never forget. The overgrown flag at the shopping center is at half-mast. More posts than I can count on Facebook, instructing me to “like” this post to show I haven’t forgotten. And beautifully written accounts of how some of my (very talented) friends remember the day. At each stop, the tears threaten again.

But life does go on. So I can’t feel guilty because this is a good day for me. But I do promise you this. I will never forget. We are so blessed to live in the Land of the Free, because of the brave.

God Bless America

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Homemade Dog Soap

The idea of washing my dog with a bar soap seemed strange to me. But when I discovered some recipes online, I had to try them out.

Of course, I was also inspired by these adorable little dishes I found at the thrift store.




The page I chose gives recipes for four different fragrances. I decided on the one called “Walk in the Woods”. I had all the ingredients on hand and the dog really needed a bath. So the timing seemed perfect.

I do have soap molds, but I decided to re purpose a single serve peanut butter container. It fit perfectly on the little paw print dish. If you look carefully, you might be able to read the brand name J





The recipe called for Castor oil, but I seem to be out. So I put in a bit of olive oil instead. I did have plenty of Shea butter. I used only 2 ounces of soap base, because I just wanted to make a single bar to try out.  I guessed at the amounts of the rest of the ingredients. I also added a couple drops of Neem oil. Mosquitoes have been extreme this year and it just might help with the fleas.

When I removed the bar from the mold, I showed it to my family. My husband smelled it and said “Nice, very manly”

LOL!

“So you would use this?” I asked him. He said that he would and I broke up laughing! My son wrinkled his nose at it. But I thought it smelled nice too.


Now, time to test it out. I called Percy into the bathroom and filled the tub. He has really short hair, so I have a hard time getting it wet. He is a coon hound/ beagle mix we think, so the water just runs off his back. But I got it wet enough and started to rub the bar right on his coat. It worked much better than using liquid shampoo. I could rub it right into areas that I usually can’t get at. Rubbing the bar right on the wet fur causes it to suds up. I think it might be more successful on a different coat.

The next step was to see how it rinsed out. Again, surprisingly well. I was concerned that it would cling to his fur, but it washed out completely. It was also nice to see a few fleas wash away with the suds. And I love the idea of not using chemicals on my dog.

Another cool thing was that I used very little of the bar on my rather large dog. And remember, I only made a 2 ounce bar.



I will definitely make a full batch next time. It will be interesting to see how it lathers by using the Castor oil. I am thinking the olive oil may have subdued the suds a bit. I also used a melt and pour soap base. Eventually I plan on making my own from wood ashes and coconut oil.

 If you would like to try to make your own, the link to the original recipe is below:


I’m off to mop up puppy prints!

Beth

 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 3 & 4


March 29 & 30, 2013

We actually accomplished a lot the last two days. We were so busy that I took very few pictures and didn’t post until now. But we also spent time with family and friends.

It started with me just fussing over the details of the projects I already did. I ran out of edging, so I can’t get the lamp post to look quite right.

I did have some fun with the path up to my front porch. I got a great deal on some flat stones a few years back. I swept and raked to uncover them, then got an idea. I had a bag of chia seeds which I never did try on my cereal. My original idea was to plant chamomile seeds between the stones, but they require direct sun. This path is in dappled shade. Our chia pets were always supposed to stay out of the sun. So, I poured seeds all over the path and swept them into the dirt between. I thought it would be fun to have a little greenery in between the stones. I don’t know if it will work, but I love to experiment.

The funny thing was, they began to gel before I got them all off the stones. I had to spray them with the hose to release them. We’ll see how they do.

We did get the chicken coop moved into place, but broke the bottom board in the process. I moved most of the compost into the space between for the chickens to enjoy (and turn it and add their manure, get to work girls!). I read that some people never give their chickens commercial feed, just kitchen scraps and foraging in the yard. I can’t let my girls free range unless I am out there, but I am hoping to cut back on the feed quite a bit.

My dear little brother came over and pulled out a stump for me. We had been working for some time cutting down this oversized bush at the corner of the house. We spent most of a Saturday cutting it down to size and hacking at the roots. We wrapped a tow strap around it and hooked it to our SUV and tried to pull it out. It laughed at us. Hubby started the car and tried to pull it out and it did not budge.

My brother came over in his work truck and wrapped a chain around it. He had that stump out of the ground before I knew what happened. Yay! Now I have another planting bed or new location for my garden shed. Still haven’t decided which.

Hubby also got most of the broken fence down and the bamboo cut down and dug up. I wish I had taken pictures of that.

It’s been wonderful seeing my home reborn. I find it fitting that it is taking place in the spring, the season of new beginnings. As I pause to celebrate our risen Christ, I am overwhelmed with joy.

Thank you Lord for sending your Son, Jesus! Thank you for my family and friends. Please give me the strength and resources to celebrate with my family. Help me to remember what is important.

Amen

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 2

March 28, 2013

Today, I raked leaves.

I raked and raked and raked.

With 2 mature oak trees, it's a never ending job. But, it does make for lots of free mulch. I filled most of the driveway, around the lamp post and around the bed out back.

There are several reasons I rake these leaves. It uncovers the lawn so it can actually grow. It picks up all the trash that finds it's way into the yard and then there's the free mulch benefit. It also clears all the kindling from the lawn so we can stow it in the brush pile until needed.

Thank you Lord for the energy and stamina it took and for such a beautiful day :)

Amen

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day One


March 27, 2013


My journey starts at the curb.

Not only should this please the neighbors, but it is the first thing we see when we arrive home. I have a neglected bed of roses along the left side of the driveway. I used to have 12 rose bushes that I acquired and purchased over the years. Most of them I rescued from a friend who did not want to care for them. They were in a soggy, over watered bed at her house. Unfortunately, their new home is the most inconvenient place to water on my property. Many of them have died, the mulch overgrown and decayed. It is difficult to see where the bed stops and the weedy lawn begins.

So, I pruned the remaining bushes back, pulled out the weeds and freshened up the mulch with oak leaves. The oak leaves are free and I have an unending supply. A neighbor gave me these pieces of cement garden border a few weeks ago. So far, I have spent nothing but about an hour’s work. There are only 4 roses left so I will need to plant the rest of the bed with something to help sustain my family.

The mail arrived with a notice from our local utility company. We have new watering restrictions and can only water one day a week. This is an added inconvenience, but does not make it impossible. I have a rain barrel, but it is out back. I will just have to carry water around for now.

So, what to plant in the bed? I have a large pot with Rosemary and Lavender growing in it. They are quite large and would do nicely in that location. This bed receives morning sun instead of afternoon, but if I plant them towards the road they should receive the same amount. This will be a nice start. Perhaps I can plant more flowering hers to finish it off. I’ll see what is in my seed stash.

I also repaired and straightened our mailbox and post lamp. Both items had encounters with vehicles and were tilted and broken. I still need to do a bit of work on them, so pictures will come later.

We thank you Lord, for such a successful start. Thank you for beautiful weather, energy and plentiful resources. Please continue to bless my endeavor. Amen.


 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Suburban Neglect to Homestead


March 27, 2013

Welcome! You are invited to follow along as I take control of my little piece of the planet. Since I will now be working from home for the foreseeable future, I need my home and yard to work for us too. People on the spectrum need order, peace and nutritious food.

Much of our corner lot is a collection of misplaced plants, unfinished projects and honestly……..just plan neglect. I hope to conquer our jungle and turn it into something that nourishes my family spiritually and physically.

I also need to accomplish this for next to nothing. I have already acquired so many items for my chickens and gardens that I know it can be done. I plan to work hard, barter, yard sale and Craig’s List to get the job done.

But first, I lift this endeavor up to you Lord:

Father God, thank you for entrusting me with this beautiful piece of your creation. Thank you for spreading oaks to shade and climb. I love the size and location, the lush plants and flowers. Please forgive us for not being the stewards that reflect our love for You. We love You Lord.

Beginning today, help me to shape this into the nurturing environment I crave. Give me the strength, endurance and resources I need. It is the desire of my heart that this plan is your will, not mine.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tears and Hot Chocolate

March 6, 2013


My boy is growing so much this year, and in so many ways.

When we came home from school today, Kyle immediately grabbed the leash and announced that he was taking Percy for a walk. When we got this dog, it was difficult for him to handle all the energy a 10 week old puppy can dish out. He would try to play with him, get scratched or nipped, then stomp off to his room to read a book or something.

Now here he was offering to spend time with the dog, go outside and actually walk down the street without being prompted. I do suspect he was trying to avoid dealing with the news I had given him on the ride home.

Earlier that day, I went into our den to get the vacuum cleaner. We keep our pet gerbil, Goldie there on Kyle’s desk. Whenever I am in there, I take a peek to make sure all is well. Normally, I tap the cage door and she peeks out at me. I usually give her a pumpkin seed or one of the unidentified pellets from her seed mixture. She particularly liked the pinkish ones.

Today it was very quiet in there, so I tapped the cage door. I could see her curled up in the shred at the bottom of her cage. She didn’t move so I tapped again. Nothing. She was gone.

I picked Kyle up right after school. I wanted him to have plenty of time in the evening to shed tears and say his goodbyes. There would still be homework and evening chores, so it would be better if he met with his friends another day.

I told him in the car while we were still in the school parking lot. Even though she was almost 5 years old, he blamed himself for not taking better care of her. Now he was taking this walk before he chose to go see her.

He was only gone about ten minutes. I was surprised and asked if everything had gone ok. He said it did, but he decided to turn around before he reached the end of the road. “There was a girl walking in front of me. She kept turning around and staring at me. I think she thought I was following her and I was freaking her out. So, I turned around early.”

Something people with Asperger’s have difficulty with is reading social clues. Especially, non-verbal ones. The fact that he noticed that he was making her nervous, even though she didn’t say anything to him is a huge step forward for him.

So, now it was time to take care of Goldie. He approved of the box I found, but insisted on putting clean bedding in it for her. “That’s to apologize to her for not taking better care of her” he said. I chose a place in the garden behind the gardenia. He liked the idea that the bush will have white flowers soon. I had dug the hole already when he came out with the box. Then he suddenly decided she needed a toilet paper tube in there with her and ran back inside.

You see, empty toilet paper tubes were the only chew toy Goldie enjoyed. We spent more money on that silly little rodent than I ever dreamed I would. But she ignored every chew block, biscuit and stick we got her. Finally, one of us stuck an empty toilet paper tube in there for her to crawl through. She promptly chewed it to bits! From then on, we couldn’t use tp fast enough for her. Sometimes I would even bring one home for work.

Kyle was back outside in a few moments and gently put the box in the hole. He took the shovel from my hands and covered the hole with soft dirt. He gave it a couple pats and looked at me. I raked the mulch over and gave him a hug. Then we walked inside.

In the kitchen, we made hot chocolate. We whipped some cream, heated the milk and stirred in the chocolate. As we sipped together, we talked of hot chocolate and how to make the best cup. No more was said of the little golden ball of fur that had gone on without us.

Dear Lord, thank you for my wonderful son. I pray he will continue to grow strong, wise and to be a man chasing after your heart. Amen

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Aspie Friends


My son has a friend. A best friend, a very special friend. Someone he can be himself with, obsess over video games, talk in rapid fire monotone while pacing the floor with his DS in his hands. Basically, someone he can be autistic around.

They met in 2nd and 3rd grade. They are the same age, but his friend is a year ahead of him. He is very smart, so his parents gained permission to enroll him in Kindergarten early. He and my son were in a combined second and third grade class and a bond was formed.

A year later, his friend switched schools. The two remained friends, going to each other’s birthday parties and hanging out during school breaks. They continue to be friends to this day, even though they are in eighth and ninth grades. My son is still in a small Christian school; his friend is in a magnet high school.

They can go for weeks, even months without a chance to speak to each other. But when that call comes, the joy on my son’s face is unmatched. He will snatch up the phone and march to his room and stay for hours if we let them.

Most of the time, my son acts and speaks pretty normal. He has learned over the years what normal is supposed to look like. He can sit quietly, pay attention in class, make eye contact and even extend his hand when meeting an adult. I am so proud of him.

But when he is interacting with this one, special friend, everything is different.  My soul is torn apart by emotion as I watch him joyfully slip back into his autistic behavior. My heart soars to see him so happy, but breaks with the reminder of how different he really. My prayer for aspies everywhere would be for them to find that one special friend.