Monthly Archives: March 2007

two peas in a pod
Do you ever have those sit-down-and-want-to-vent moments, but then you
read something that makes everything you have to complain about fail in
comparison?  Well, this is such a moment.  I’m a part of a “support
group for parents of autistic children seeking biomedical treatment”
(are you lost yet?)  It’s been so helpful for me, and at times
completely puts me to shame at the lengths these parents will go for
their children.  One such mom just wrote about how her 4 yr. old for
the 1st time today waved bye-bye.  She was in complete exhiliration,
celebrating her daughter finally understanding what that means. 
Lately, as we’re looking into allergy elimination, chelation, etc.,
it’s been so frustrating talking to insurance, drs., nurses…All they
want to do is give him a prescription for prozac, but they’re so
unwilling to cover treatments that are actually CURING children and
treating more than the symptoms.  I hate to talk about his autism
diagnosis, because there is alot of stigma behind that word.  We’re
seeing improvement everyday, since hearing that word a year ago.  Wed.
he had 4 cavities filled, without nitrous oxide (I was concerned with
connections between that and brain development).  I wasn’t allowed to
be in there with him.  And it was so hard to see him walk away carrying
his headphones with grandma singing lullabies to the dentist chair. 
The next time I saw him, he walked into the waiting room with a huge
smile, saying “Dr. fixed my teeth up.  The dr. was wearing an orange
shirt and said ‘hi little handsome.’  He brushed my teeth with a gray
toothbrush and it hurt.  Then he said ‘bye little handsome.”  Miles has
an incredibly high pain threshold.  He’s been through so much, but he
brings so much joy to our life.  I think I say all this because I would
never have asked for a child with autism, but sometimes I think we’re
so paranoid “what if that happens to me?”  Well, if having a child with
autism is this child of mine who remembers what color everything is
he’s ever seen in his life and wraps his little arms around my neck
every night to say “I love my momma baby, and that will never
change”…we are so blessed.  I’ve learned so much from him about
loving and accepting people.  He has a heart of gold, and I’m so proud
to be his mom.  Anyhow, it feels good to write all this, as the kids
are in bed and Andy’s at the Venture.  So, excuse my rambling. 

SO…Over the Rhine is in Goshen tomorrow, and Andy is taking me on a
date!!!  I’M SO EXCITED!!!  Although, I do feel a little guilty–Jack
has fallen asleep listening to Karin and Linford since he was a baby. 
So, we just can’t let him know what we’re doing 🙂 

Ok, I’m glad some of you appreciate the funny things our kids say.  I’m
still laughing about a classic Jack-line at dinner tonight.  We’d built
a fire outside and were going to roast marshmallows, but they had to
finish their rice first…So, I told Jack 5 more bites, and he could
have a smore.  He was chugging away and on bite 5, he choked and gagged
up the other 5 bites of rice (apparently, he hadn’t been chewing).  It
was pretty gross, but not wanting to miss out on his smore, he looks at
me and says “Can I have number 5 again?” 

Ever since we said goodbye to Dave and Trish, our kids are convinced
we’re going to Cambodia.  We kept saying the next time we see them may
be in Cambodia.  So, Tues. we get in the car to go to the library, and
they think we’re going to Cambodia.  I say “Not now.”  Jack says “After
nap?”  “Probably not.”  Wed., Miles tells people we’re going to
Cambodia in a few weeks.  It’s sweet they don’t understand the
complications of money, flights, and such…but I wish it were that
easy and often daydream of it when they bring it up…

Well, I’m going to enjoy this quiet house tonight.  But here’s some fun
pics of the week!  Oh yeah, our kids had stickers on their foreheads
all day today.  Seriously, people in Wal-Mart looked at us like… like
they’d never seen kids with stickers on their foreheads!  Come on
people, they’re kids!  Anyhow, hope you all enjoy your wknd!!
sticker head
a m smore
j smore
m smore


Saturday evening.  10.45 pm.  What are you all doing?  Andy’s waxing the car, procrastinating on the 3 lessons he has to teach in the next 2 days.  I’m procrastinating on the piles of paperwork here beside me.  Speaking of procrastinating, last year I didn’t take our Christmas wreath down in time and birds made a nest and laid eggs in it…well, I was so proud of myself for remembering this year to take it down (after only a few initial twigs had been laid for a nest)…and then I found a pkg. of tulip bulbs in our garage I was supposed to plant last fall. They actually have green sprouts on them, so I may still be in luck…if I get to them soon…
        Anyhow, I know it doesn’t sound like too much of an eventful Saturday evening, but considering all the events of the past 2 weeks…I’m thankful for the ho-hum night.  And we’re going on night #2 of Jack sleeping in a big-boy bed.  I know, he’s way past the time you’re supposed to switch him over, but for some reason, this means he’s not my baby anymore…It was seriously hard for me–I was no longer lowering my baby (now 38 lbs., will be 3 in June) into his crib.  He climbed up into bed all by himself, just like that.  I remember the switch as much harder than this–Guess Jack was more ready for it than me
        Our kids are so into Goldilocks right now—today they were
very impatient for lunch to be made. 
Andy was trying to distract them by telling them Goldilocks.  Listening in the next room, I was pretty entertained as well…especially when he couldn’t remember how it ended, so apparently
Papa Bear ate Goldilocks.  The kids
thought that was funny, but we need to figure out a better ending.
       Another distraction that worked amazing the other night.  Our kids are serious monsters when they’re hungry, but I came across a phone number to call Elmo, and it was so cool!!!  1.866.ELMO TIPS.  There’s a lady talking at the beginning (Miles says it’s Elmo’s mom), and then Elmo gets on and talks for awhile.  Go ahead, try it, even if you don’t have kids.  It’s really cool.
        I’m really excited to wear a skirt to church tomorrow.  I’ve worn jeans/pants all fall/winter, so last week when I broke out a skirt, Jack looks at me and says “Mommy, you’re a ballerina?”  I guess I’m excited because it means it’s warm enough to bare my legs…and my 2 yr. old thinks I’m a ballerina.  Enough of my random ramblings…off to put on some Jergen’s Natural Glow 

EDIT:  One more funny twist.  I didn’t mention Andy was waxing the car to put it on the market.  I went out to check his progress.  By the look on his face, I’m guessing we won’t be selling it. 

catching up with our boys.

i’m not sure anymore whose christmas gift it really was…
and one of my favorite times of day–singing songs to jack before bedtime.
Sometimes I don’t realize how much my life has changed since having
kids, but …Everyone’s been asking me what I want for my birthday. 
The other day when my mom asked, I laughed because I’d just gotten into
our van and thought we really needed some floor mats, so I was
seriously gave that as an option.  But I really can’t think of anything
for me.  I can think of a ton for the kids or Andy.  And I don’t mean
that to sound holier than thou because I thought it was always strange
when moms would go and shop for others and not themselves.  I thought
surely they can get something fun now and then.  But now I’m totally
blank…well, except really corny things like floor mats, herbs to
plant in our herb garden, yarn for knitting–maybe I should go ahead and ask for a great
big oversized “soccer mom” sweatshirt.  Sigh.  All that to say, it’s not a bad change–just different, and I actually like it 🙂

Hey all!  We’ve been having such a good time with Andy’s parents.  In
the 6 years we’ve been married, we’ve been to Brazil 3 times, and
they’ve been back for births and such, but I’ve never known them for a
whole year!  I’m excited for them to be around for a year.  Our kids
are so pumped out of their mind as well!  As I write this, they’re
rattling off some portuguese in the next room to each other.  It’s so
cute to hear.  This morning, I
overhear them telling them “I love my grandma becky and grandpa dan and
THAT will never change.”
We have a youth retreat this
weekend, and they’ll watch our boys Friday night and my parents are
coming out to watch them Saturday night.  I’m really excited to get to
go, undistracted, to get to know the girls better.  I’m still figuring
out (and probably always will be) when’s best to keep our kids, when to
bring them with, and when to leave them.  Since they’re with
grandparents, this was a pretty easy decision for me. 

We are
thoroughly enjoying the warm weather!!!  I’ve killed 3 flies and 1
mosquito today in our house, and I don’t mind too much–as long as that
means we can play outside!  I do feel kinda guilty.  Yesterday, we went
to the park, played outside for a really long time on our swingset, ate
popsicles, swang in the hammock,…and Andy sat in meetings all day. 
But then today there were some rough tantrums when it was time to come
inside for naps, so I guess it all evens out   Hope you are enjoying the springtime.  Ritter’s is open!!!

Oh, and one more thing…Do you all remember the 3 NTM men who were
kidnapped in Panama and later killed by Colombian guerillas.  Mark Rich
was 1 of the men taken hostage, and his wife, Tania is Andy’s cousin. 
They had 2 little girls, and for 7 years didn’t know if he was alive or
dead.  It was confirmed in Sept. 2001 that they were dead.  There’s
more recorded on this story here. 
Anyhow, Saturday Tania got married.  She was the last of the 3 widows
to get remarried.  I love Tania’s words in this article “My faith has
been tested and stretched more than I ever dreamed.  This whole ordeal
brought me to the realization that I had to
believe in the truth of the Bible or else deny God. I don’t believe God
wastes pain.”  What a testimony to all of us.  (Cherith, I met Mark’s
brother, Paul Rich the other day.  He lives in Elkhart, but was in FL
for Tania’s wedding.)   (Jen, she goes to Northwood too.)

Ok, and this is getting longer than I’d intended, but Tara and Heather, I’ll try to explain Curses.  It’s a game with 2 sets of cards-challenge and curse cards.  Someone starts with a challenge card, acts it out until people guess it.  Then draw a curse card and hand it to someone.  That person has to do whatever it says for the remainder of the game.  The game doesn’t stop until everyone’s out, so at one point a guy gets a call on his cell, has 1 inch arms that are glued to his chest, can only talk with his teeth clenched in a french accent.  A japanese exchange student had to talk with his nose pinched, and could only shout everything he said, and anytime someone stood up, he had to yell a pizza topping.  Being from Japan, he had no clue, so was like “CORN!”  We were cracking up.  I don’t know if that’s too confusing.  But here’s the website to get it, if you’re interested.  It’s either a love/hate game for people.  We’ve played it with some really shy people who I think regretted coming to our house that night, and then some groups we laugh so hard and have some fun memories with. 
I love these guys more than I ever knew possible.


We got to play outside today!!!   It’s maybe 40 degrees?!?  I don’t know, but warm enough to spend a few hours outside today!  Our couch and beds need a break from 2 boys with lots of energy jumping on them constantly. 

Yesterday, we went to Chicago, ate a donut, and came home. 
Well, we were hoping to come home with a car for Andy’s parents.  BUT…Andy talked to the guy on the phone, asking what we’d need to fix to get it running perfectly.  “Oh man, it’s a great car.  You could get tires if you want new ones, but the ones it has are fine.”  So before dawn…we wake up our kids, load them in our van, drive 2 1/2 hours, get there 1 hour before they open because we forgot about the time change (boo, hiss, coulda slept in), test-drive the car, Andy does the whole Randy-Jackson-thing “Ya, I don’t know man, something about it’s not quite right.”  And the guy has the nerve to list the things that are wrong with it.  WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL US THAT BEFORE???  I’m sure he thought we’d buy it since we’d driven so far.  But, no, load kids back in van, drive 2 1/2 hours home, and still searching…  All in all, it was a surprisingly fun trip.  Our kids thought we were picking Andy’s parents up from the airport, and then they thought we were going to fly to Brazil.  It was hard to explain we were just there to get a donut (which is how we passed our hour when we got there too early, thanks to a Krispy Kreme across the street)  Usually road trips don’t go that smooth for us, but our kids didn’t seem to mind being strapped to a chair for 5 hours. Andy and I had some good time to talk.  I, of course, was knitting!!! 

Last night, we had the Manchester students over for a wild game of Curses.  It was hysterical, and is always fun to see people’s personalities come out.  I seriously think I laughed all night, my cheeks were hurting. 

The other day, I was doing dishes and heard the kids happily playing, so kept plugging away.  After 15 minutes or so, I peak in on their game.  Jack is hiding under a laundry basket (or a cage, as Miles was calling it).  Yes, Miles decided Jack was his pet hamster and was saying “You lie down, and I’ll get you some food and water.”  You can see from the pictures, Jack was having a blast.  I’m still not sure what I think about the whole game.  Jack says he likes it, but I think he just loves the attention from his older brother…So, for now it’s banned from our house.

you know things are crazy when…

you find vomit on the floor 3 days after the fact… 
I know, I know, this may gross some of you out, so you can skip to the next paragraph, but I think it’s kinda funny, and illustrates my week a bit.  Thursday one of our boys’ little friends was over.  She and Jack were playing in his room while her mom and I were out in the living room with the others.  She started crying pretty hard, so I went to see what was the matter.  She, part of Jack, and lots of his floor were covered in puke.  Her mom was feeding the baby, so I cleaned up the mess and the kids.  They’re staying for dinner, so I throw something together.  Bathe kids, put them down, my HS girls’ small group comes over, go back in Jack’s room to check on him, and it smells horrible in there.  Spray some lysol and leave door open.  Next day, smells really bad in there.  Spray more lysol and open window to air it out.  Get them around and out the door to a friends’ house.  Come home and see Andy, catch up on our days…and on and on…until Sunday morning, I’m getting the boys around for church and open Jack’s closet door to find a shirt for him.  Yuck-O-LA.  Puke everywhere!!!  I guess I hadn’t looked in the closet.  This would explain why lysol wasn’t doing the trick.  So, I’m cleaning up crusted vomit off the floor, toys, stuffed animals, trying not to lose it myself from the smell…and getting the boys ready for church.
Aaaah, the sabbath.

Needless to say, today has been spent cleaning every nook and cranny.  Bless my dear husband’s heart, who on his day off has been dusting up a storm and cleaning right alongside me…the kids were really eager to help too.  (In these pics, Jack was saying “It’s happy-family-cleaning-time.”  I thought that was really sweet.) 

jack cleaning
Miles was trying hard to scrub off all the art he has added to our walls…but another day will have to be devoted to painting over the random sketch pads that used to be our walls.
miles cleaning
miles scrubbing
I’m SO into KNITTING!!!  Saturday I went to HOBBY LOBBY (I’m saying capitalized words in high-pitched voice as it was so exciting.)  They had 4 ROWS OF YARN!!!  I think I spent 2 hours in those 4 rows.  It was so much fun, and I know that sounds insane.  But if you ever start knitting, you’ll understand.  The only problem is I’m not like the normal knitter who kinda does it on the side, I’m in such a strange hurry to get this blanket done, it’s become somewhat an obsession.  Andy told me I can’t take it to church, or else I may have (just kidding, it’s not that bad.)  But today, he had some errands to do and was going to the car wash, so I went along because I LOVE the car wash and had never been to one until my adult life….and I brought along my knitting 🙂  I didn’t get as much done as I thought I could because seriously, the car wash is so exciting.  Miles shares my love and appreciation for the huge octopus and sea urchins that soap up the car.  Jack was terrified, scooting away from the window because he thought he was going to get wet and cried the whole time. 
Anyhow, if you have some extra time on your hands, you should learn to knit.  And even if you don’t have extra time on your hands, it’s still fun 🙂

But really I haven’t been able to get online because our internet wasn’t working.  There’s a ton of fun stories to tell you from last week, but that blanket is CALLING ME!!!  Have a good week, guys.  Andy’s parents are coming back NEXT MONDAY for a year furlough.  We’re SO EXCITED!!!

Brasilian Lemonade

(I found this online–I’ve never measured mine out, but I’ll get some limes and let you know if it passes the test 🙂

2 limes**
1/2 cup sugar*
3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
3 cups water
*Okay, just looking at this, I would probably start with 1/4 c. sugar.  Brazilians make theirs very sweet, but I like it better tart.  You could always add more sugar to taste. 
**I use key limes, and maybe use 5-6.

  1. Wash limes thoroughly. Cut off the ends
    and slice into eight wedges. (Or for key limes, put them in the blender whole.)  Place limes in a blender with the sugar,
    sweetened condensed milk, water, and ice.
  2. Blend in an electric blender, pulsing 5 times. (They will become bitter the more you blend.)  Strain
    through a fine mesh strainer to remove rinds. Serve over ice.  (You can decorate with lime slices or sometimes we add seltzer water or ginger ale to make it sparkly–not really Brazilian, but fun 🙂 
    Drink while fresh. This lemonade should not be
    kept on the fridge (It gets bitter).