Here are a few Christmas-time shots of the family put into a slide show that I forgot to post (amongst numerous other posts waiting in cue).
 

Happy Birthday Dylan

Picture
I cannot believe that I have a 17 year old (as of Aug 28th).  How did that happen?  I mean, really?!  When did I become the mother to a 17 year old?  I still feel like I'm 20.  Well, maybe not that young.  But still...!
I'm not sure what you are thinking...but I'm thinking that this came WAY too fast for me.

Yet, at any rate...we celebrated Dylan's 17th Birthday this past week and he had such a fantastic time.
Picture
It began by him receiving a mountain bike in the mail. 
Well, not exactly the style he was hoping for....
{which is a "pink" BMX with white tires}. 
Picture
well, not exactly like this... although I think he would really like this one too!


So he awaits for his mom (that's me) to get it together and send the bike back so that his BMX can get ordered.  Sorry, not so certain it is going to be pink though.  We shall see.

In my defense...I'm not really Wonder Woman {which I totally have my husband convinced of... although I cannot fathom why}
 So...
 I will get it done amongst all the diaper changes & feedings of Dylan's infant brother, potty training of his little sister, homeschooling of his youngest 5 siblings, laundry, oh and decluttering, purging and cleaning of the house...oh, and did I mention dinner...something I know Dylan enjoys greatly....I will get to it then.  Right after I do all of that.
Picture
Reserved especially for his BMX that he so patiently awaits
Moving on...
Picture
Next came the most coveted item on his birthday wish list....
THE iPOD NANO!


Way to go, Dylan!
Picture
Now for some cool tunes to listen to.
How bout a bit of the BeeGee's?
stayin' alive, stayin' alive...
Picture
What?....No?...Are you sure?
Well then how about some GnR?
Picture
Ooooo ok, a bit more towards your taste...?
Picture
Ha ha...

Add a little bit of the Gospel (scripture set for Seminary) to that...
Picture
soooo serious
Add a cool new "Animal" hat
and you got One Cool Happy Birthday Boy...

alright, alright...
One Cool Happy Birthday Guy!
Picture
Happy Birthay Dylan...
Your Family Loves You!
 
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
I just finished the above book & was thrilled to be able to have got a sneak peak into the eyes, ears & mind of an adult who dealt with & grew up having Asperger's Syndrome like my 16 year old son, Dylan.
   
What is amazing is that the author, John Elder Robison adapted himself without having a clue to his disability since his diagnosis didn't come until he was in his 40s.

Through the author's experiences within this book, I have gained a better perspective to how my own son views his world and how others (including myself) have interpreted him & his actions ~ which are nearly never positive.  In doing so, it has allowed me opportunities of acceptance & understanding to his sometimes upsidedown, backwards & yet strangely straight forward reasoning.

If you are wanting to know more about Asperger's Syndrome (or Dylan for that matter) this is a interesting as well as entertaining read.

I am now looking for a book the author read called "Thinking in Pictures" by Temple Grandin that sounds interesting.
Temple Grandin herself is an Apergian not to mention a very intriguing woman.
Thinking In Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
 
Picture
A lot has happend over this past month...

...like for instance, Dagyn's birthay celebration.  

Since Dagyn got a 'newly refurbised' bike for her birthday, we decided to celebrate by taking a bike ride to the nearby park (or should I say, water retention area).  Chris had painted Devyn's old bike purple, added some bells & whistles (well a bell, a basket & some streamers) & I drew some silver pin-stripping decals on it ~ she loved it! 

Devyn, unfortunately, wasn't home to join us (he was at football practice) when we got the spur-of-the-moment idea to go.  Even without all of us there we still managed to have a great time.

Chris left me with the 2 little ones while Dylan, Dagyn & Dyson followed along with him to Mickey D's for some burgers & fries.
During that time Dyxon, Denym & I enjoyed playing 'chase down the mountain' (running down the slope/hill), hide-n-go-seek behind the trees (well actually, Denym just curiously watched Dyxon & I) & catch with the soccer ball that we brought along with us. 
Afterwards, when Chris & the others got back & we had eaten...we all played a very short game of (one-base) kick ball.  I think everyone ended up just kicking the ball 1 time.  If Devyn was there, I know we would have had to drag him away from playing all into the night... Even if he had just finished practicing football for 2 hours.

The kids also enjoyed playing in the trees & running around while Chris & I got to chat for a moment or 2 in between all the action.

We all knew it was time to pack up and head home when Denym spotted the moon.  Good night moon.
(more to come...)
 
This past week we have celebrated 2 birthdays, Dylan is now 16 and Dagyn is 6.  10 year gap and only 1 week apart.

I cannot believe that 16 years ago I would have been laboring on a hospital bed scared outta my wits not knowing for sure how any of this "baby stuff" works.  No plan, no security, no choice but to push ahead.  But that is my life.  Life provides choices, I make choices, choices bring forth consequences, and I push through them.  Thank goodness most choices have been good ones.  Like Dylan; he is a good choice.  Mind you, he has not been a very easy choice.  You see, Dylan has Asperger's Syndrome.

He looks the same as other 16 year olds at first glance, he even comes off as (at times) behaving like other young men his age.  But Dylan is different...he is special.  He is hypersensitive, hyperfocused (at times when it seems most inconvenient to others) and hyperdriven...well atleast he used to be.

So we celebrated another year of his life with him this past Friday.
Dylan's thoughts:  "today is [pretty much] the best day of my life".
If only we could all have that attitude about our birthday.  I mean, really, how many of us approach a birthday with an attitude like this:  "oh great, yet another year"  or even better (or should I say even worse), "it's just another birthday, no big deal" or "I stopped counting at 29"... what is it with this 29?  Is this some magic # that is supposed to immortalize our youth?  Come on, we all know that we all grow older.  It reminds me of that Primary song, "one year older & wiser too...happy birthday, to you!"  Shouldn't we be celebrating that fact, "wiser too"?  How wonderful for us that we have been blessed with another year here on Earth.

Ok, we digress...
And so that is how Dagyn feels.  She is the epitomy of sweetness.  She is so greatful to be blessed with another year here and to become 6 years old.  To her that means, no more carseat, a bigger bike (with no training wheels ~ she might add), a bigger girl to help Mommy & Daddy, and yes...she feels much wiser too!
So, who would have to question that after labor with her, when still loopy from the whole thing, that when asked by my most wonderful OB, C.Hunt, if we were going to have more that I would respond with a resounding, YES!!!....you would too with a child like her!

So today, I take head of action to when my birthday roles around in a couple of months, that I may celebrate life as it should be and accept my time here on Earth and turn (dare I say it)...39...too late.

Happy birthday to any & all of you whose birthday falls in August!  Know that I send you good tidings of joy as you celebrate yet another year (& become wiser too)!
 
Sorry, I got to posting this a couple days late...
Picture
New Haircut ~ $15
Picture
New 'Size 13' Shoes ~ $65
Picture
A Smile on Dylan's face on the 1st Day of School ~ PRICELESS!!!
Picture
He's feeling 'SO COOL!!!'
The first day of PS (public school) was on Wednesday, August 11th, 2009.
 
Picture

11:00 am and still in bed....Teenagers....Geesh!

Who would give for a chance to sleep in again besides me?

I remember the day when given the chance to sleep in.  But that was usuallly because I was up half the night doin' goodness knows what, with goodness knows who at goodness knows where. 
For those of you who knew me well then, probably already know the answers to those questions because you were the ones I was with.  And your not tellin anyone what you know or else you would end up dying a slow and painful death (atleast that is what I hear).

So who here says that this boy needs to be woke up in the following manner:
a)  gently coax him out of his deep slumber by sitting next to him on the bed and talking sweetly to him while patting his back and nudging him nicely.
b)  wait until the baby is crying uncontrollably and set her down next to his head and wait until he can't stand no more that he either wakes up to pick her up and gently comfort her (or) else put her outside his door so he can then shut his door and get back into bed.
c)  have all the little kids armed with pots & pans & any other loud noise maker march into his room to perform their rendition of "Reveille".
d)  wait patiently until he wakes up on his own as to not disturb his precious beauty sleep.
e)  dump a bucket full of iced water over his head.

I'm sorta leaning towards the last one...what do you think?
Cast your vote now by leaving a comment with your favorite choice!

 

Sorry that last post was just a jarbled mess.  But then again...So were my emotions that day.

Things have thus settled down and Dylan is doing GREAT!  He is enrolled in a Yoga class.  He says its really hard but he likes it.  He also just started taking private lessons of Tae Kwon Do (sp?).  Carrie & my dad are planning on joining with him next week.

We just got a call from him tonight saying that he went bowling and scored an 80.  Not bad for him since he doesn't regularly play.  He says it is a result of practicing on the Wii.  Hmmmm...could be right?!

Speaking of the Wii...his grandparents have got him a couple of really cool games to play...one (my fave) is the Wii Fitness (hence the bowling practice).  It will also help to provide him with more physical activity.  He is going to be a completely differnt kid when we see him this coming Summer.

Oh, and about the Summer...he is thinking of going to a Summer Camp in California (Big Bear) for a week.  What a brave kid!  This is not something he would have wanted to do without a lot of coaxing in the past.

He is enjoying school...Likes his teacher...Making friends...the kiddo is also on a gluten & dairy free diet and doing very well!

I don't have any recent pics of him...so I will share the ones we took when he first arrived up there...and then you tell me...is this the same kid?
(getting tired so I will be adding pics soon!)


 

Paragraph.

This is an interesting video my mom sent me.

Makes you wonder...what does this all mean?

Today I pack my 15 year old son who has Autism (more specifically, Asperger's Syndrome) to go live with my dad & his new wife whom I have only spoke to on the phone.

Am I leary or uneasy about this decision?  Not in the slightest.  Does that make me a bad mom?  I think not. 

Dylan struggles so hard at living amongst such a 'busy' family that he is constantly being stimulated.  He never receives a break from us.  I believe that is why he chooses to go to his room and sleep most of the day away.  We are just TOO MUCH for him at times.  That seems to be his only way of debriefing from everything.

It is sad that we cannot have him here near us & be comforted at the same time.  He needs the stimuli decreased or better yet removed. 

Without being able to remove the stimuli, we are left with removing him from it.  That is where my dad & Carrie come into the picture.  They are such loving and charitable people.  I know, they are family, one should expect it from family.  But this is different.

I have not seen my dad in years.  Haven't really been around him much in my lifetime.  But, for some unknown reason I am greatly comforted by the willingness and openess my dad & Carrie have towards this decision.  Well we all know why.  This is how Heavenly Father wants it to be. 

I've always known that I would not be able to keep him.  I mean, I've always had a deep rooted feeling; dreamed about it even (although I felt they we like nightmares) that he would be taken from me.  I never thought I would be needing to send him away.

But away isn't so far off.  My dad lives in Nevada.  That's about 6-8 hours away.  And Dylan deserves this chance...more like this opportunity to succeed.

My dad will be an excellent mentor for him.  He is a devoted christian and has come far from knowing the depths of darkness that he can endure this trial or test or possibly even a blessing that comes his way this day.

I have

)



 

Having 6 children, more than 1/2 of them under 5, there was NO way we were going to be able to make it to Midnight.  So, we decided to celebrate Mormon Style with sparkling apple juice & a countdown at 10pm (and that was stretching it).  Towards the end, I wasn't quite sure if I was going to make it either.  We may be shooting for 9pm for 2010's celebration.

As you will notice there are no pictures of Devyn.  That is because he was not there.  He was spending time with his dad, Wayne this year. 

I was there however.  I am in the last picture (well, my hand is).  I was taking the pictures of our family's event so you will only get a glimpse of me.

Enjoy!