Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Friday, February 27, 2009

Li'l Dragons

For as long as I can remember I've loved martial arts. I have to admit that I don't know much about it, but I find myself mesmerized by the way they can move their bodies to do those seemingly impossible moves. (Especially impossible for those of us who have had a few babies!)

Well, I will now have the opportunity to learn a whole lot more...without ever having to throw a punch or do a kick! (Eventually I would love to participate in a program myself, but not until my youngest chitlins are a little bit older!) We decided to sign up Ethan and Joshua for the Li'l Dragons program here in Manchester at Steve White's Manchester Karate Studio. This place came highly recommended to us as one of our babysitters, Nicole, currently attends classes there.

To say the boys are excited about this opportunity would be an understatement...just look at their faces. They were so proud to come marching out in their uniforms at the end of their orientation, I could feel my own heart beat with pride...and they hadn't even done anything yet! We look forward to the next year in this program as we watch our little boys become confident, and strong with better focus and coordination in all areas of their lives.

For anyone who has an Asperger child, this type of program is an excellent way to have them participate in something with other children yet still have the structure and one-on-one time they need to achieve their goals. For some Aspy kids, competitive sports...at this young age...may not work out well as it can be difficult for them to adhere to the rules of the game. This is definitely one of Ethan's weaknesses, so instead of exposing him to a sport that relies on team effort to accomplish a goal, we decided to introduce him to an activity where the outcome directly relies on his...and only his...ability to follow direction and improve himself one step at a time. Once he learns some self-control, reaction skills, and respect for himself and others, then he may be ready to take on a group sport if he is interested. So far, I believe he will really enjoy this program...at least for the next year. As for Joshua...he just loves to do whatever it is his brother is doing and even though he is technically a little young for the class, he showed that he could grasp some of the basic concepts during orientation. It may take him a little longer, but once he gets it, he should go quite well. Besides, that kid has a mean kick and a deadly accurate punch...those kick bags won't know what's coming!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Rug Race

It is amazing how much fun can be found in the simple replacement of a rug!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What a Handful!

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A moment with their grandkids!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gluten Free and Growing

These two are just too cute...don't you think? Every chance they get...which is pretty often...they reach out to each other and hold hands. I can't tell you how many pictures I have of them doing this. It is just so amazing to watch them interact. They've begun to really notice each other. When they make eye contact they actually smile and sometimes grunt or coo at each other. I think I'm beginning to see just how much mischief they will be causing! :) Developmentally they are right on target if not ahead of the game in most areas. Considering they were 4 weeks early, we are extremely happy about their progress. The picture above was recent...within the past week. The one at the bottom is from last month...see how well they are holding up their holds?

As for how they are growing...amazing. Here are their stats from their 4 month check up, (yes they are 5 months old now...see previous post!): Caleb is 12 lbs. 12.5 oz and is 24 1/4". Elijah is 12 lbs. 14 oz and 24 3/4". WOW! Some of you may read those stats and think it's not that big of deal, but let me tell you why it is. First of all they were 4 weeks early so being twins they tend to have some catching up to do. Having said that, they not only caught up, but have passed their siblings. At 4 months old Ethan was 11 lbs. 9 oz and 24", Joshua was 11 lbs. 15 oz and 24", and Rebekah (who you can't really compare because she is a girl, but just for FYI) was 11 lbs. 7.8 oz and 23 1/4".

Why are they doing so well? It's because I'm gluten free! This is truly the healthiest I've ever been in my entire life. And I still have a long way to go to continue achieving better health. But, being gluten free has introduced me and my family to a whole new world of "good for you" foods that we may not have tried had we not been gluten free. It's made me read labels a little more carefully and eliminate useless ingredients that cause more harm than benefit to our bodies. Some people, I'm sure, have scoffed at me on more than one occasion for what they've seen in my cabinets and fridge...but as they say...the "proof is in the pudding"!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Where Are They??

Howdy all! Happy New Year! Yes, we know it's February...but somehow January came and went while we went about trying to get into the swing of this new year. I'll do my best to be brief, but hey I do have a whole month to catch up on!! :)

In any case...we are all doing just dandy. It has been a whole three years since we started our gluten free journey, and yet we feel like we've been doing it our whole lives. It has become so much a part of us, that I can't imagine ever eating any differently. Our diet, for the most part, has become even healthier than I thought could be possible. Even Mike has commented that he never would have pictured himself eating and drinking the things we do. From gluten free, to casein free, and from gogi berries to amaranth grains, and from multivitamins to DHA fish oils...we are doing our very best to ensure not only the health of our children, but ourselves as well.

My goal this year is to try to incorporate more about our gluten free lives than I have in the past. I think it's important for other families to realize that if (or when) you find yourself having to switch to a gluten free lifestyle, you see that not only can it be done, that it can be done well. We enjoy what we eat. As I mentioned it's quite a bit healthier, but gluten free foods have come a long way even since we started three years ago! We now have restaurants we can eat at, take out food available, and almost every grocery store you walk into now has a gluten free section!

Now, don't think you won't get to see some great pictures of the kiddos, as well as some very funny video clips...you should see the stock pile I have! I know that most people probably click on here just to see the pix of the kids...and why not...they are pretty darn cute if I do say so myself!! It's more that I want others who visit this blog, who are gluten free, get a sense of security in knowing that others have walked the path they are now on and have survived it. Trust me, there are far worse foods out there as you know, that people can die from if they eat them...that gluten, to me, is a walk in the park! As with any kind of change, it can be difficult, scary, and intimidating not knowing where to start or how dedicated to it you have to be...but it's always nice to know someone else who has gone through it, and come out on the other side alright...a little banged up...but alright! :)

As for the other issues in our family...Asperger, SI Dysfunction, and Stuttering/Speech Delay and Developmental Delays...I'm sure I'll be getting into more of that to. It has become so much a part of our lives, that a lot of times I just forget it's even there. Ethan is Ethan...Aspy or not. But the roads he has led us down have taught Mike and I some valuable lessons. We are not the same people we were 6 years ago when we brought that little babe home. Which can be said for any parents out there. Our path is just a little different. I think I've steered away from talking about some of it simply because I didn't want to "deal" with what others would think, or how they would respond. I've had my fair share of cruel comment posts, and I'll admit it has made me a little gun shy with regards to some of the stuff I'm willing to write. I'm hoping that now I have a thicker skin and am able to shake off or take on whatever comes my way. (Something Ethan has taught me.) Tomorrow is another day...one with a whole new beginning.

Having said all that...now that we have been able to get a whole month of therapy for the boys under our belts, I find our weeks a little more predictable. I'm hoping to get here to post more pictures and stories of our days about therapy, homeschooling, activities, and the general goofiness and chaos of having 5 children under the age of 6! Not every day is a great day, but it's still a day that we have together, and I truly can't imagine any other way to be.