Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reflections from Beach Retreat Leader

I spent that last week with 1,300 7th and 8th grade students from Second Baptist Church in Houston and here are my randoms thoughts, reflections and lessons learned. 

When you only have 15 precious vacation days, it's really REALLY hard to decide how to use them.  I was a bit torn about using them to go to Beach Retreat, becasue let's face it, vacation is supposed to be time off, relaxing and recharging to get back to work.  Looking back now it should have never even been a tough decision.  The Bible says we are to
 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matt 28:19-20

Standing in the wave pool at Schlitterbahn early Thursday morning, I witnessed hundres of lives changed.  Young people who made a decision to walk with Christ.  Think about that for a minute, let it soak in....these kids are the FUTURE, we must do all we can to set them on the right path, one of wholesomeness, purity and a love for The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  So yeah, not so tough a decision when it's put that way.  Investing in our future and more importantly following the Great Commission given by Jesus to his disciples, those that call him Master of their lives.  That's me, and that's my calling and if I'm so selfish to only want to use the gift of time off for my own selfishness, then I'm not living the life I was created to live.  Will I go next year....YOU BET!! (It's also not so hard because it was so freaking fun!!!)

A part of Beach Retreat was one on one time with each girl in my cabin.  I can't share what they each shared with me, but two things resonated in the conversation I had with them. (If your daughter was in my cabin, please know that these observations are not specific to one girl or general to all girls, they are just thoughts that I had after spending time with the girls.  Also, I think all these thoughts relate to boys and their parents as well, just flip the roles)

1.  Moms...your daughters want to spend time with you. Even if they don't act like they like you, they crave a listening ear and sound advice. Moms are so busy running the household, whether you are a SAHM or a working mom...we are the schedulers, organizers and keepers of all things to keep up with everyone and everything. I know we are busy moms, I have two sons, one with Austim and I work full time.  But you HAVE to stop what you are doing and plan time with each one of your kids one on one.  Moms, your daughters need "girl time" if they aren't getting it from you, they will seek it out from their friends.  Those friends will then be the ones giving them advice on all sorts of topics and issues.  Those friends are young and immature just like your daughters.  YOU need to be the one giving advice and being sound ear to listen.  Plan one on one time, a pedi, lunch date, shopping date, or girl time laying on the bed in their room.  If she seems closed off and uninterested, keep trying and no matter what she tells you or wants to talk about, don't judge, belittle or act superior. 

2.  Dads...your daughters adore you!  At this age, girls are looking for attention and acceptance, and as they enter puberty more and more they are looking for it from males.  Love your daughter, adore your daughter, tell her how beautiful she is, take your daughter on special "dates" just the two of you.  If your daughter feels any sort of disconnect with you, she will go looking for it elsewhere.  Even if you don't understand her, think she is from another planet, and feel like you can't relate to anything in her life.  You can "date" her, you can show her how much you love and adore her.  Buy her flowers!!  My dad did all of these things with my sisters and I, although I know at times he was overwhelmed with estrogen in our house, he adored us.  Becuase of that we all have a healthy relationship with and about men.  We know how a man should treat a woman and all three of us are strong women with men in our lives that adore us, because we were adored by our father, we sought men who do the same.

Final thought....WORSHIP at Beach Retreat

1.  Thursday evening, I was standing a little behind Parker during worship.  As the worship band rocked the house, tears welled in my eyes as I was overwhelmed with humbleness. I cannot believe how blessed I am to be given this amazing kid.  I take ZERO credit for the young man he is becoming.  If you were to witness what I saw, you would see a kid whose life is filled with the Holy Spirit.  As parents we dream a lot of dreams for our kids...we want them to be happy, we want them to be successful, we want them to find a great spouse, we want them to be smart, we want them to be great athletes, we went them to go to a great college, we want them to get a great job, we want so much for our kids.  But above all those things listed, if none of them happen the proudest I could ever be of my child is that he lives a life following Christ.  If that means he gives up everything and moves to a remote jungle in Africa, living in a mud hut, then I would be more proud of him than if he went to Duke on a Basketball scholarship, got a PHD and a well paying job with a beautiful wife and two kids and never followed the Lord.  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Marathon Moments--Day 2--7/2/2011

A little more success this morning....Gave up two cookies (of 4..HA!), had a banana, 3 Catalyst, and a Diet Coke.  :)  It's a little better, I guess?!?!

Start Time:  6:55am
Distance:  6.11
Pace: 10.12
End Time: 7:56 am
Calories:  850
Ended the week:  25.48 miles (Sun-Sat)

Tomorrow will be a rest day, which will include NO running, but I will do P90X Yoga X in my garage in 99°, that would be considered Bikram style??  Yes??  (I really think I would rather run!!)

Until next time...grace, peace, hope, love and prayers!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Marathon Moments--Day 1--7/1/2011

Well on Monday I got the news that I was in fact accepted into the Houston Marathon.  I'm anticipating that as the months, weeks and days pass, I will find myself full of excitement and probably on some days full of dread!  Today, I'm excited and full of hope.  I've decided that I really want to have a daily record of this journey, so those of you that get my blog because you love my cute and sometimes witty stories of my kids, it's not always going to be that.  However, just like my life parenting my boys and all that is autism, it's a journey and a struggle that I want to cherish and remember.  So today is Day 1 of my Houston Marathon Journey....

My Marathon goal is to complete it in 4hours.
Official Training Begins Sept 12 using the 26Point2 App for iPhone

Day 1
I've been mostly running at night 8-9 PM about 5-6 miles, 5 times a week.  I'm trying to log about 25-30 miles a week.  I'm a terrible morning runner, my per mile pace is about 30-60 seconds slower.  Today I decided I need to slowly start training my body for mornings.  Got up at 6:00 am, ate 4 cookies and drank a Diet Coke (what am I, an idiot??---dont' answer that).  Ran 4.18 miles, felt sluggish the whole time, but this thought kept creeping into my brain....what if I not only complete my first Marathon, what if I actually meet my goal of a 4 hour finish?  That's a good enough time to qualify for Boston!!  (THE Marathon!!)  Today, I really think I can do it!!  But I gotta start getting up early and NOT EAT COOKIES!! 

Stats for today:
Distance:  4.18
Pace: 10:42 per mile
Calories Burned:  580
Total for the Week: 19.37

Thought for the Day:
Nothing is Hopeless--If you ask me today if I can go out and run 26.2 miles in under 4 hours, I would tell you NO way!!  But this past week I've been studying Jeremiah 18 and I surely don't want to be like the people of Judah in verse 12 "But they will reply, 'it's no use.  We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart'" My lazy heart tells me "why oh why are you doing this silly marathon, what are you trying to prove"...well my joyful heart tells me as does Proverbs 16:3 "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."  So you can surely see where my heart lies with my Savior and Lord and I have hope that my plans will succed.  And if this Marathon isn't part of His plan for me, well then so be it, but for now....I think it is!

Until next time....grace, hope, peace, love and prayers!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh yeah, he's got swag!

The last two days of picking Spencer up from school, he looks over at his Therapist Kori and says "eee, gon-k-ddis".  It's hilarious, he looks at her says it and starts cracking up.  She told me he's saying "redonkulous" and that he will look across the room even when they aren't working together, and say it.  I've been making him say it all the time, becuase it's so funny.  Well, the jokes on me, cause all along what I THOUGHT was a funny little word that he and Kori made up is actually "pop culture slang".  I heard it on TV last night and was like, whaaattt??? that's Spencers word, so I googled it and sure enough the Urban Dictionary has this'u.lous adj. 1. significantly more absurd than ridiculous to an almost impossible extreme; without possibility of serious consideration.

Who knew, my boys got more swag than wiz kahfila. 

Have a REDONKULOUS weekend y'all!!

Until next time....grace, peace, hope, love and prayers!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's the Little Things

It's been almost a year since I last blogged, but found myself reading those old posts and just about kicking myself for not keeping up with it.  The past week I keep telling myself, I'll blog later tonight and I don't.  Today I was going through my notebook..that dumping ground where I take notes from meetings.  It's a total wreck with work meetings, church meetings, etc.  I came across a sheet where I had given Spencer a highlighter and pen to "entertain" himself during one of these meetings.  I didn't think much of it at the time, but today as I was eating my "rabbit food" at my desk, I looked up and noticed a similar drawing from Feb 2010.  It probably doesn't seem like a big thing to most people that my son after 16 months has somewhat legible handwriting, but sometimes you just have to be thankful for the little things.

Drawing from Feb 2010

Drawing from June 2011

A good friend gave me a slip of paper that stays clipped to the first picture that gives me hope...

"I know that recovery lies ahead.  I believe that if we were the ones chosen to endure this hardship, then God will give us the grace to endure...My hope isn't based on my circumstances.  My hope is based on my decision to hope.  Hope is a choice." --Brenda's Choice--the choice to focus on her future beyond the storm.

Until next time, grace, hope, peace, love and prayers!


Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
Jeremiah 17: 5 & 7

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

He Amazes Me When I Least Expect It

Many of you are intimately aware that Spencer is not potty trained. Okay, well maybe he is, but only if I remember to take him. Call me lazy, forgetful, scatter brained, whatever; I'm just not very good at remembering to take him. We (okay so maybe the therapists mostly) have been working TIRELESSLY the past year on teaching Spencer to "mand". (I think I've explained this before, but "manding" is basically the skill of "asking" or "requesting" something.) This is CRITICAL to move to the next step in getting him OUT OF PULLUPS for good! (Cause let me tell you, a 9 year old poo is no fun at ALL!!). This is the one thing that makes me crazy and completely irritates me about having a kid with Autism. I mean, come on I have been changing diapers for 11 years! ENOUGH already! (You might be thinking, geez Tami, if it bothered you that much you would not be so "forgetful" in taking him, but oh contraire it is not that simple...we do really good for a few weeks, but then I give up, thinking it will NEVER happen. The only thing worse than changing a pull up is changing real clothes that have been poo'd on...YUCK!)

Well, we had a little break through at home yesterday. I got home and was a little sleepy, so decided to lie down on the couch and read a little while. Spencer was quietly playing his video game. (He loves his video game, but more than that, he really likes to watch someone else play.) So as I was reading I started to doze off a little bit. Next thing I know, I feel a little tap, tap, tap, on my arm. I think to myself, that it's probably Parker needing something, but as I open my eyes, there's sweet little Lou standing there with the Wii control in his hand looking at me. I asked, "Do you want mommy to play?" He says "ess".

Please pray that we get to see more manding, I feel like we are so close!! More than that please pray we get him out of pull ups before he turns 10!! :)

Until next time...grace, peace, hope, love and prayers


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Amazing Music Man

Most of you know how much Spencer LOVES water, specifically water in motion, like sprinklers and splashing. You also probably know how much he likes music. Well, last night I went to pick him up from my mom’s house and she said he was making music with the water. We talked for a minute about it, but I really didn’t actually witness him doing it. We get home about 8:30 and needed to water the front plants, so I hand him the hose to help me out, his favorite job of all!!

After about 10 minutes my neighbor Bekkah pulls up with her friend Darian in the car. Both of these girls absolutely adore Spencer; Bekkah babysits for us and Darian is his caregiver at Promise Land. They hop out of the car and come over to talk to me and visit with Spencer. We start chit chatting and Spencer goes on about his way of watering the plants. Now that he realizes I’m not watching, he starts watering everything else; the house, the windows, the concrete ground, the grass, ME, the girls, everything. As he was doing so I noticed he seemed to be not only watching the water but listening to the sounds the different surfaces made when they were sprayed with water. (He especially liked the reaction he got out of us when he sprayed us!) I started thinking about what my mom had told me and realized YES, he is making music with the sounds of the water!! He would “spray, spray, spray the grass, then spray, spray the windows, then spray, spray, spray the grass again, and then spray the door, then spray, spray the windows again. I know that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense reading it and you have zero perception of the different sounds it was making. If you were there listening to it though, you could start to recognize he was making a pattern, and I like to believe he was trying to make music!! He is AMAZING….The Amazing Music Man!!! I think he may be on to some cutting edge new music movement!

Until next time, grace, peace, hope, love and prayers!