Autism recovered?

Medical experts say it's not possible to recover autism. We have living proof in the form of three children, that it IS possible. In my blog you will find recovery stories, along with information regarding health that I have learned over the years. And sometimes just snippets of life to give hope that yes, life can be normal after the hard work is done.

Sit back, enjoy, and be hopeful! RECOVERY HAPPENS!

**Kids names have been changed to protect the innocent and naughty alike. ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Official Retirement

 Here he is, about to go in to China Buffet, where his work buddies had planned his last meal (lol) as an Air Force dude.  He and I were both giddy by this point b/c this was THE last thing he had to do.  We had spent the morning doing his final out processing stuff so this was the END.  :)

This nice officer gave Daddyman his medals, coins and other assorted farewell goodies.   I forgot to take pictures of everyone else but there were some really great people there. 

One of his co-workers giving him the ole' caulk.  This is a replica of the caulks that go under the jet wheels.  Tradition dictates that when they are "read into" the maintenance squadron, the new person has to wrestle the caulk from the other; and the same happens when they are "read out".  This guy was too nice and just gave Daddyman the caulk.  lol

 Well we didn't realize we had to go back to the base so there could be a flag near him when he was read out by the officer.  It was quick and painless though.   It took the wind out of our sails for a bit to hear the words read.  The really exciting part was I got a few certificates myself, all pretty in the official AF folders and everything.  Daddyman said he requested they give me those.  They made me stand up front while they read them to everyone in the room; that part was embarrassing.  Basically they thanked me for supporting Daddyman in his career.  That was pretty awesome of him to so publicly recognize our families sacrifice.

 Goodbye Air Force!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Not from the workforce, just from the Air Force.  :D

Daddyman did not want a big work party but they sorta did one anyway.  I'll put those pictures in another post.  We planned his family and friends party for the day after the official last day, so my parents were here to keep the kids so I could go with Daddyman to all his retirement stuff.  It was fun and games (mostly lol) until an officer "read him out".  That part was sobering.  It was only a few short sentences but in those moments, I was struck again at the enormity of his service and sacrifice.  Twenty-four years given to the service in defense of freedom.  What a man I am privileged to be married to!

There were a lot of people there but I cannot post pictures from most of the event b/c I do not have permission from anyone to put their pictures online.  Since I want to keep all my friends, I am respecting their privacy here; so just IMAGINE a lot of people in the room.  ;)

So without further ado, here are some pictures from his goodbyes to the Air Force (which by the way, do not do justice to the occasion at all!):

Who is this little kid????

One of MANY medals... this was for meritorious service.  The 9 year old camera girl was not instructed to keep Daddy's name out of the pictures so this is the only one you get.  :)

This was a very important prop for the skit the kids did.  It's a C17 (with a flip-top lid) in case you can't tell.  ;)

Water balloons we felt were a necessary part of a hot July party

One of our favorite people in the world.  THIS lady here is the one who told me autism didn't have to be permanent.  The moment she spoke those words are forever etched in my soul... as is the amazing amount of help she and her husband have given us over the years.   This particular picture is him holding the hammer she gave him, to go with the "Honey do" list she gave me.  :D

The kids and I put together a little silly something for entertainment.  Tony and I read aloud the "Top 10 cool things about being in the USAir Force" by David Letterman, while the girls acted them out.  Google (youtube) it and guess which number this is!  

Tony & I reading the Top 10 things list

Can you tell which number this is?

Somehow this is the only picture that was taken of the skit!  But hey, it was cute and you'll just have to take my word for it.  The kids came up with almost the entire thing themselves!

Eating watermelons before the guests arrived... someone had to make sure they tasted ok!

Oh look, another taste tester!

 Aaaaaaand another. 

Close up of the NOT first piece the two of these were sneaking out of the kitchen.

Kate is somewhere in there... I think behind Grace.  Aren't they adorable?!

The grub

Listening to our friend affirm and encourage Daddyman

My Dad protecting the food.  :D

Ok now for my speech.  :D  I had the worst time coming up with a short and sweet one; after all how can you possibly condense 24 years into a few minutes?  I read my speech off my cards b/c I knew if I didn't, I'd yammer on and on and people would perish from starvation, children would riot, etc.  So here is my short speech.

One of the Air Force motto's is Integrity first & service before self.  His office motto the last few years was "order to chaos".  Those mottos all sound great but they are not easy to live out.  Many people don't even bother trying.  However Daddyman is the very picture of these.  There have been numerous opportunities, both professionally and personally, where it would have just been easier to throw in the towel than to keep moving forward.  But instead, he consistently and with patience worked toward a solution.  These characteristic have been mirrored in our marriage.  Through sickness & health, richness and NOT richness, better and worse, Daddyman has remained strong and steady.  It has been my privelege to walk the military life with him and I am very excited to see where we will go from here.  (Insert mushy ending)

Life is hard. Neither of us is perfect.  But I couldn't have asked for a better partner in life.  He is the exact opposite of me; I'm fiery, he's level headed; I'm hyper, he's calm; I speak before I think, he thinks before he speaks; I am chaotic, he brings order.  He is exactly what I need.

And I am more proud of him than I can ever say. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vacation Bible School

So I told you last week that I would report on our VBS experience and here it is.

When we were told about VBS for this year, it was in a group session with a bunch of parents.  The pastor had told me to come and just listen.  He mentioned food and told me we could just avoid it.  I think he forgot we can't touch or smell it either so I just decided it was no biggie and we would skip.  The kids didn't know I was even considering it so they had already put it out of their minds knowing it would be a food-laden occasion.

BUT a few weeks later, it was brought up again and this time I was asked point blank if we were coming; so I mentioned that the food situation would be dangerous and thank you but no.  Well next thing I know, I'm getting calls from people who want to discuss the menu and some posts on FB telling me they really want us to come and they'll work it out.


I will be honest here and tell you I didn't really have a lot of hope.  Not that people can't do what's necessary but really, it's a heap of children and when you have to feed a heap of children, cheap food is necessary and cheap food contains dairy and nuts.  It's just the way it is and we get that.  But one lovely lady in the church was put in charge of the food and she WANTED my kids to come.  She called a few times and discussed way to keep the kids safe.  We decided that since meals were first, they would eat and we would just come after.  They also ate outside when possible.  I mentioned that we would just skip the pb&j night b/c of the likelihood of Grace being able to smell the peanuts.  Next thing I know almond butter had replaced the peanut butter!  The person who did the food never talked to me face to face about it; we communicated via FB and phone so she couldn't see my face.  I wish she could have.  :)  Every change she made just floored me.  Not b/c she made them but b/c she cared enough about my kids to say (by her action) "Your kids are more important than peanut butter".

This is one thing I think only those with extreme allergies can understand - when others change a food item or avoid wearing perfume or do something out of the norm for them just for you - it is life shaking b/c it really and truly means WE are more important to them than whatever item they just changed for our safety. 

So Daddyman and I decided we would absolutely do VBS... they were making garganutan efforts, we would put aside our fear and do the same.  They agreed to have every child wipe their hands after eating (we provided safe hand wipes) and even explained why it was important.  That was really key as a child who thinks they are supposed to "wipe up" after a meal will miss almost all the food on their hands, but a child who knows that wiping those crumbs off their hands is a life and death issue for another child, will do a good job.  :)

We got together our battle plan... our babysitter extraordinaire volunteered to teach in Kate's class so she could watch her for reactions.  She also knows how to administer an epipen.  Kate wore her epi's on her belt loop so they were easy to find if needed.  Daddyman and I split up between the big kids; each of us carrying a set of epipens everywhere so the kids had freedom of movement while we watched for reactions.  

One night, lessons included a pizza.  The smell of pizza was supposed to be in the building.  When the food coordinator told me this, I mentioned that b/c Kate can't smell pizza without having breathing problems, it would be a "skip it" night, she immediately called the teacher and they made other arrangements so the pizza would be in the room, out of reach of the children, and cooked away from the building so the smell wouldn't be in there.  THEN when the lesson was over, Grace was concerned b/c the teacher had actually touched the pizza, so she asked Daddyman to give the teacher a wipe.  Not only did the teacher gladly wipe up but when given the wipe said "Well, give me TWO!" with a gracious smile.  What a precious heart to make it so crystal clear to my nervous child that he would make her safe.  :)

Another night they started tossing out candy to the children who memorized their verses.  After reading the candy label I immediately started collecting my bag and children and told DH it was time to go (copious dairy and nuts in the candy).  The pastor immediately told me to stop and he would take the candy from the child who had already received it.  I told him "you can't take candy from a kid!" but he insisted.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  I was nearly in tears, first  because I was upset that the kids had to leave over candy and then b/c of the graciousness of the pastor in removing the candy from the room.  He decided to give the candy on the last night at the end so we could participate in the entire thing.

It was absolutely fabulous.  :)  The kids enjoyed their time there so much; I cannot even describe it adequately.  They learned about being salt and light to the world, they learned about hungering and thirsting after Jesus, and most importantly they saw the love of Christ in action.  Actions speak louder than words and that week, they were shouting.

Thank you to my wonderful church and the staff who worked so hard to make VBS possible for us!!!


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