Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Card Outtakes!

Every year, I have the intentions of a nice, formal, respectable family Christmas portrait....

This has not happened, yet. :)

Every year I have the dream...

Every year I think of coordinating outfits...

Every year I panic December is quickly approaching...

Every year I fall in love with our impromptu photo shoots...

On the spur of the moment, I will decide that everyone needs to get dressed and take pictures for Mommy.  I use bribes, candy, money, video games, whatever it takes! :)  The kids giggle, argue, push, hug, shove, give kisses ( I think those are kisses).  We laugh, I sweat, they always pick their noses, and want pictures of their "booties" (as adorable as they are).  I always worry that even though I take approximately 200 pictures (198 to be exact for this year) I will not find one that is card worthy.  Honestly, it the outtakes I love the most.  Here are some of my favorites.


(Christmas music was playing in the background)







(This is our new puppy "Lucy".  She did not want to cooperate. :) )



(Not sure what is happening here)


(The party is getting a bit wild!)






(Strike a pose!)



Now I get to spend a ridiculous amount of time in Photo Shop.  :)



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Little Thanksgiving Moment and Stove Top Potpourri

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!!!  I love this time of year.  I enjoy baking, cooking, planning, the list goes on and on.  For the past several years, Thanksgiving has been at our house.  My husband is a butcher (at his family's butcher shop) so you can only imagine how busy he is this time of year.  When we first got married, he made me promise that we would always stay home for Thanksgiving.  It is a tradition that I love and don't plan on changing anytime soon.

We split the preparation of the meal between my mom, mother-in-law, and myself.  Which reminds me, I should mention that we always have both sides at our house, meaning my husbands parents and my parents.  I am sure that is unusual but for us it is the norm for Thanksgiving.  It is great because we are not running between houses eating three Thanksgiving meals. :)

This year, our family has had a lot of stress, especially in the last month or so.  I feel like I have been so distracted just trying to get through each day that I really haven't put much thought into Thanksgiving.  I would begin to think about it and then get distracted by the struggles of the day.  I missed the feeling of being caught up in meal planning, preparing, and baking.  Until this morning... :)

The kids and I had to take our 13 week old puppy to the vet for a check up.  After adopting her from Animal Control, we learned that she had severe pneumonia and possible distemper.  We have been nursing her back to health for the past couple of weeks.  I am thrilled to say that she received a clean bill of health this morning from the vet!  Her lungs are clear and she has even gained 3 pounds in the last two weeks.  We are so thankful for her recovery!

With that weight off my shoulders, I happily jumped into Thanksgiving baking the moment we got home.  I pushed up my sleeves, pulled out my recipes and ingredients, and turned on Christmas music.    It was such a great feeling.  It felt like the first time in months that I had relaxed and just enjoyed the moment.

A little mommy confession here:  I told the kids they could each play their DS or iPad, allowing me to really enjoy my moment in peace and quiet.  I know I could have asked them to join me and "make memories" but I decided to be selfish and keep it to myself! :)

The best part of my Thanksgiving preparation was assembling this year's take home gift.  Every year, I make something for my guests to take home (along with leftovers).  Some years, I make cinnamon rolls, other years I make homemade bread.  It changes each year.  This year, I decided to make stove top potpourri.  Using fresh cranberries, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and a small orange, I made the cutest little gift bags.


(The tag reads: Made with Love - Stove Top Potpourri, quarter orange, place all items in sauce pan with water, simmer)

These are just the best little gifts.  I couldn't be happier with the outcome.  The stove top potpourri lasts for weeks.  You just leave it on the back burner and when you want to fill your home with the amazing scent, you add water and simmer.  It is so pretty and smells wonderful.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!




Monday, November 11, 2013

Raising a Child with ADHD

ADHD...an acronym that has become a daily word in our house.  Often whispered by my husband and I from a long exhausting day.  

ADHD...an acronym with such a bad reputation.  

ADHD...an acronym which so many people relate to "bad parenting".  

ADHD...an acronym that can leave you feeling isolated among fellow parents, teachers, administrators, etc.

ADHD...an acronym that makes it hard to make and keep friends (for the child and parent)

ADHD...and acronym that makes some teachers roll their eyes, moan, and give up on the child.

ADHD...

Let me mention, I am not a doctor, just a parent trying to guide and help my child.  

Our pastor often states that our test will be our testimony.  I have decided that I am going to add a section to my blog for ADHD.  It will just have my own personal stories.  But it is my hope, that other parents will find comfort in knowing they are not alone.  

There are three main types of ADHD:
1.  Inattentive Behavior
2.  Hyperactive Behavior
3.  Impulsive Behavior

I can really only speak on impulsive behavior because that is the type of ADHD my son lives with.  

It is painful to watch him navigate through a society where everyone (including kids) must be politically correct at all times.  He is such an amazing kid with a huge heart and incredible love for animals.  BUT... (and this is where most people get stuck) he does not have the "socially acceptable filter".  If the thought or action jumps into his mind it is going to come out of his mouth.  He says what he feels, cuts to the chase, blunt at all times, lacks tact.  With the comment, also comes the emotion.  If he is feeling angry, the statement will be hurtful and loud.  If he is feeling sad, the statement or action will be crying and acting out.  The list can go on and on.  Unfortunately, many people (especially adults) give up on him.  They feel he has horrible behavior, that we must be awful parents who don't discipline him "correctly".  They give up without even trying to get to know the real child.

Because of this, he has serious trust issues (especially at school).  Too many times, teachers and administrators have given up on him, judged him, looked down on him.  He is extremely bright, therefore, he picks up on everything.  He is well aware that he does not fit in the square box that society has deemed correct.  He has had two teachers flat out quit on him, moving him to a new classroom.  So simple, they get to move on and we pick up the pieces, constantly trying to remind him that he is a great kid (all while trying to get use to a new classroom).  Parents of other students, write angry letters and make concerned phone calls regarding something he said to their child.  Other kids use him as an easy target.  When they get the best of him (which is easy to do) they enjoy the entertainment of his melt down.  

This is a pretty typical day for us.  He does have amazing moments but so few actually see them.  The moments are over shadowed by a "wrong" comment or action.  My husband and I constantly pray for patient and gracious adults to be placed in his life.  We pray for children to look past the outbursts and to see him for the wonderful child and very loyal friend that he is.  

I love that he does not judge others.  It is an incredible gift.  He really does not judge other kids.  He really does look for the good in everyone.  He is beyond loyal and dedicated to the people that put time and care into him.  He is learning to love God above everything else, to trust in Him, and to feel His presence.  He loves that I put Bible verses in his lunch box.  He reminds me when I forget to do our morning devotion.  He gets upset when I swat a fly because to him all living things should be loved.  At the age of 9, he still climbs into his grandmother's lap just to have a conversation with her.  He loves details, the more the better.  He is AMAZING.

It becomes so hard to focus on the good when everyone else is judging the not so good.  As a parent, it is exhausting, discouraging, and frustrating.  There are days we want to give up (even though we know we never would).  There are days we want to put him in a bubble and keep him from the constant judgement.  He will be a successful adult and we will see an end to our storm.  

If you know of a child with ADHD please soften the way you look at them.  They are incredible kids.  The sky is the limit but it takes really special people to help them on their journey.

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." Psalm 105:4

"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature an complete; not lacking anything." James 1:4

"We live by faith, not by sight."  2 Corinthians 5:7

When you see a child who struggles, have faith in them.  Do not judge them on the behavior that is in your sight.  Love them and help direct them.