Moving forward

I’ve shared my love of IEP meetings here, before, but this last one was particularly hard. Monday morning before vacation, I met at Knox’s school to go over his progress from this year and discuss next year’s plans. He’s been at this elementary school since he turned three as a part of their special needs preschool class. He’s been in the same classroom with the same teacher and assistants for two-and-a-half years. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to this meeting!

We discussed the typical things and how well Knox had met (or not met) his goals for the year. It’s never super fun hearing your child talked about in such a clinical manner, but at the same time, there were some awesomely familiar faces around the table that always go to bat for Knox and love him dearly. It was all pretty normal until we started talking about where to send him next year. The past couple IEP meetings, I have not had a hard time because I knew Knox was still going to be in preschool and likely at the same school. This time? Not so much.

I feel like kindergarten is something that most moms have anxiety about, but add to that an Autism diagnosis and a child that can’t voice his own opinion or thoughts well, and you have a recipe for some major mom tears. There’s a new program beginning in our district next year that’s a transitional program for kids with Autism. He’ll be in a small class (about nine kids) that works a lot on communication and social skills, then, he will go to a regular-ed class for a few classes. The idea is to work him up to a full day in a regular kindergarten class. He is going to be using general education curriculum (that’s a praise) since he’s considered on grade-level, academically. hearing a little bit about how things work in transitional programs made my anxiety levels skyrocket. The thought of my kid having to walk down a hallway to another class makes me want to throw up. I brought up my concerns, like Knox’s running away/bolting habit, and hopefully concessions will be made for those types of things. I left the meeting feeling very uneasy and unhappy with the plan. It just doesn’t feel “right.” But I also don’t know what does.

I know this program has what Knox needs, educationally. It’s just so different from what we had hoped for him. We have always planned to homeschool or send him to a private Christian school, so there’s just a lot of change and some things we feel like we can’t control. For a control freak, that’s an uncomfortable place to be. Knox’s well-being is and will always be our primary goal. We still haven’t decided what to do, but that’s the recommendation that was made by the school. I’m trying to focus on the positives here, and the fact that it is a step forward for him because remaining stagnant isn’t a positive thing. But… oh, big change, how lame are thee.

So basically, I was a basket case the second I left the meeting.  I cried all day after the IEP on Monday- I feel so badly for all of those people that accidentally got cried to all day long… and when I got home. It was one of those days that takes every ounce of your energy away. Then, Tuesday was Knox’s last ever day of preschool. Picture me a hot mess by then. I had to write Knox’s teachers “good bye” letters and deliver those, and I could barely look at them for fear of boohooing like a crazy person. My mom picked Knox up from school and reported that every one of his teachers (and she) was crying having to say good bye. Good-byes are the WORST.

Why is having kids so hard? I mean, for real. I’m going to have a little reality vacation this week and pretend like Knox never has to go to school again and can just hang out with me for all of the days. I think I am going to visit the teacher Knox would have in this program tomorrow, accompanied by his preschool teacher from this year (because she is a amazing person who loves our kiddo so much she offered to do this with me) to get a better feel for how his year would go. I’ll be able to see the school, his class, etc. I’m pursuing a couple different ideas, as well, including homeschool and a private school-ish situation. I’ll let you guys know how it goes- please be praying for us as we make this decision!

Because this kid deserves the very best life has to offer

Knox being silly

The Woman on the Beach

Trevor and I arrived on Saturday to the beach for a week alone. It had been an absolutely awful, stressful week. Stressful to the point where I wondered why I hadn’t had an anxiety attack yet. After an afternoon of getting our groceries together and settling into our home for the week, we decided to take a walk down the beach. We walked and talked for a while, then I said that we should sit. So Trevor picked out the perfect spot on a dune, up away from the water and the wet sand. We sat and we talked while the coastal breeze blew our hair all over the place. We talked about how much we miss our kids and all the things they’d love here (because isn’t that pretty much all parents do on vacation alone??). Then we took a selfie- because we did.

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As we were sitting on our dune, talking, this woman sat down in front of us. She was far enough away, that I couldn’t see anything about her, aside from the fact that she was a “she” and was sitting facing the ocean. As Trevor and I talked, I couldn’t stop glancing over at her. Before long, I realized that she was crying. Every now and then, she’d grab her own sleeve and wipe her face. Then and there, an intense need grew in me- I had to talk to this woman. Beyond what I could have ever drummed up on my own, I knew God was prompting me to say something to her. I had to tell her. I immediately told Trevor “we have to talk to her.” He had the reaction typical of a sane person and said “what?!!” I told him “she’s crying. I am supposed to talk to her.” He sat there, obviously about to offer up an excuse, when she stood up. And I jumped. Instead of making an excuse to stay seated and comfortable like I would almost always do, I pursued this person, step after step, a woman compelled. I said “ma’am??” she glanced and kept walking (poor girl, probably thought I was nuts). Then I said “Ma’am??” again and she stopped. I said, “I know this is weird, but I just had to tell you that you are not alone. God is with you in this.” I told her the very words that filled my head and that I knew were for her. Her face just exploded in a smile and she said, “that is so cool!” and laughed. Then she said “So I take it you’re a believer?” I said “yes, I am.” Then she told us, “ I am called to ministry. I was just sitting here- I am writing an online bible study for the fall- and I just said ‘God, please just speak to me.’ That is so cool,” she laughed, as tears welled up in her eyes, and I knew that right then, I did exactly what I was supposed to do. Thank you, Jesus, that I didn’t ignore that still small voice and the forceful push of a God that loves me, you and that woman crying on the beach. Our God is huge. He is amazing. And his attention to detail blows my mind. Never doubt that you can be a part of something bigger than yourself.

What’s Up Wednesday

This week has been a blur- how is it Wednesday? And the fact that it’s almost May? How?? Here’s what’s up with us:

What are we eating this week?

So far this week we’ve had spaghetti with gluten-free noodles. Knox loved it. Oh wait (remind to tell you a funny story about that later), in fact, he did not love it:

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We had a super quick dinner last night of Publix Rotisserie chicken, hash brown potatoes cooked in coconut oil, roasted broccoli and sliced avocado. Tonight I’ll make myself something quick (likely Mexican because I am addicted) since Trevor is at work, and tomorrow I have a dinner with friends at a Greek restaurant, so Trevor will be eating an organic frozen pizza whilst wrestling children. I’m actually working on a food post, so I’ll wait to post pictures to that one!

What am I reminiscing about?

When my babies were babies. They’re five and three, now, and that just seems really wrong to me. Look how squishy they were?! My favorite Brody stage was the crazy curly hair and the gapped front teeth. And Knox had no teeth for an eternity and was so, so cute with his gummy smile.

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What I’m loving

My homemade lip balm is still rocking my favorites list right now. It’s tied with my Young Living Ningxia Red- it has really given me a boost in energy and mood since I started it. Anything essential oil-related, I’m pretty much obsessed with right now.

What we’ve been up to

What haven’t we been up to? Mainly working, making sure our children stay alive, fed and don’t hurt themselves, and planting our garden. Speaking of, we have tiny little plants popping up everywhere! Here’s the beginnings of a green bean plant:

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What I’m dreading

Waking up tomorrow too early to start the dreaded “routine” of getting the kids ready for school and out the door by 7 a.m. I maintain that life would be better for all people if school didn’t start until 9 a.m.

What I’m working on

I’m teaching a breakout session at a conference in three weeks on social media. So I am preparing that presentation. In addition to working on 1) my job 2) freelance writing 3) Young Living 4) blogging. I make myself tired.

What I’m excited about/looking forward to

Trevor and I are going on vacation ALONE BY OURSELVES JUST THE TWO OF US ALL ALONE next month! Did I mention that we’re going by ourselves?? Bliss and lots of sleep will be mine! I am positive that we will miss our kids, but I am also positive that we need this time away as married people pretty badly. Looking so forward to a week at the beach with lots of relaxation while the boys have a great time with Gigi and Papa G!

What I’m watching/reading

So many things. I’m neck-deep in four books at once right now BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I DO TO TORTURE MYSELF. Why can I not just read one, finish it, then start another?

I’m reading all of these right now:

What I’m doing this weekend

On Fridays, I work a half day, so I generally go the grocery store right after work, then Trevor will be working on the backyard fence with his dad that afternoon. Maybe we’ll have a date night once the kids go to bed on Friday and watch a movie and eat gelato together- those are the kinds of dates we have nowadays! Trevor is working on Saturday, so that day will be spent praying for patience and chasing two little boys around the house, but Sunday, we always go to church and Sunday School in the morning, and then we have a Night of Praise that night that I cannot wait to attend.

I’m linking up with Mel, Shay and Sheaffer for “What’s Up Wednesday”

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My Daily Routine

Each day, I start off my morning with 1) COFFEE and 2) Essential Oils. Here’s a quick video I made (with several not-so-subtle cameos by my boys!) talking about which Young Living products I use each morning, as a part of my daily routine. What’s sad is that, as unprofessional and distracting as this video is, it’s probably the fourth one that I made because I kept having to get up to rescue Brody from himself. Everything he could have done, he did. Stand on the counter? Check. Try to jump off of the counter? Check. Tempt fate by stealing toys from your much bigger brother? Check. This video still caught him with an armful of Knox’s toys, then being ceremoniously chased by him. Kids are a mess. Anyway, after much ado, here’s my video:

If you have questions or want to know more about using oils, click here for more information, or feel free to ask specific questions in the comments!

Country Life

I love, love, love living out in the country (remind me of that next time I complain about how long it takes me to drive to Publix). Having space is not overrated. We have about four acres, and I would seriously love to have 100. I think the only way I’d move away from our house is if we were able to move to a legit farm. Because then I could have cows. Yes, I have lost my mind, at least I am aware of it.

This weekend, we planted our garden. By garden, I of course mean small farm.

IMG_1267 IMG_1270From the picture above, our house is to the left and back some. Here’s a quick photoshop creation to show you how it’s laid out (don’t you like my polka dot woods? LOL- this is not my best work).

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I did a ton of research this year before buying our seeds. It was important to me to do as much organic and non-GMO as I could, and I was very successful, which was awesome. I feel great about the quality of what we’ll be growing this year. We did mostly seed, but we planted tomato and pepper seedlings. I *may* have filled up my car with them when I went shopping… I get carried away by food, I can’t help it.

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We planted corn (heirloom varieties of white and yellow), tomatoes (I got a little out of control and got about seven heirloom varieties…so excited!), green bell peppers, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, purple bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, two kinds of green beans, lima beans, two kinds of cucumbers, zucchini, crookneck squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and watermelon. We are really hoping it all takes and does as well as our last garden did two years ago- it was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. There was a torrential downpour the night we planted, so we are a little nervous, but I did see the first green bean plant breaking through the soil yesterday, so hopefully it’ll be good! I cannot wait for this summer when we will be picking tons of fresh, healthy produce!

I’m excited to look into canning this year and try my hand at that- we bought an extra freezer when we moved into this house strictly for freezing our garden goodies. I hope to fill it up and then some!

 

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