Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A New Year...and Some Teeny Tiny Not Resolutions

 Zac and I celebrated our 11th anniversary this past week. The whole occasion was rather "chill" - just a drive with our littles to look at neighborhoods and have a coffee, but it was perfect. Sometimes the perfect date is being alone and just focusing on each other...but this anniversary was nice to just do something low key and celebrate what we have built in the last 11 years ... a strong marriage and a lovely little family.

 I guess what 2015 holds for us is the possibility of buying a house, Zac beginning paramedic school in the summer, and the continuation of helping each one of our children with their trials and celebrating their triumphs.
 We have started the gluten free/casein free diet - so far so good! We all feel really well and within two days I was already feeling more energized...my stomach feels awesome and even my skin looks better. Zac also seems to feel better and has been enjoying our vegan lifestyle. That's saying a lot for a steak lover ... he watched the documentary Earthlings and it changed his perspective on a few things - we will just leave it at that. He is more energized however on this plant based diet and I think i'm on my way to helping my candida situation. The kids hopefully will also reap benefits as we work on strengthening their bodies and figuring out their vitamin deficiencies.

  We have finally kind of narrowed down the area that we think we would really like to live - and we've pretty much decided that it won't be in the mountains. I do love being in the trees and seeing the deer but I'm NOT a fan of curvy icy roads. Zac and I went up to look at a house, and although it was in a good location and the house was lovely, all we could think about was our teenage daughter someday trying to drive to youth group on those roads and....shudder. No thank you , I don't think I could take the stress.
 What we both really would like to have is just an old little house that we can fix up. Somewhere that we can have a massive garden and learn about agriculture...somewhere that we can have chickens and have really good quality eggs by hens that we love and that actually get to have fresh air and awesome living conditions. We can't help it...we are just country at heart - but also love to be able to go get a coffee or utilize rec centers for our kids. So, that's what we will try to find.

 Zac going to paramedic school will just add to his list of skills, will give him a raise, will make him better at what he does. NOW, what this DOES mean is that it will basically just be me and the kids for at least 6 months - our summer and fall might feel and bit bland and lonely. I'm very supportive though and would like to remain that way - sacrificing 6 months so that Zac can be better at what he does isn't that much in the long run (we'll see how I feel around October...).

As for helping our kids besides their diet, we are focusing on building up our homeschool curriculum and also finding them a few more social outlets - we would love for Brady to have a friend.
 We are trying to read more to the kids, play more games, include them in what we do around the house. They are all doing really really well at NORMAL family activities which is very encouraging to Zac and I. We went to a big indoor place for our nephews birthday party and my kids participated in laser tag and ice skating and even bumper cars and did incredible.
 We are still helping to build life skills with our boys...from tying shoes to pulling up pants, to brushing teeth...just some things that are kind of simple but challenging for them. We are trying to be understanding and even accommodating with some of their sensory issues and their OCD - we are trying to embrace thoughtfulness instead of changing them to suit our needs, and at the same time we are having to try and teach them healthy ways to deal with some of their challenges (like wearing headphones when a room is too loud, or calming down in different room when they are overly sensitive to the noise and lighting...things like that.)

  As for our little miss, that's a whole different ball game. I have had comments from a LOT of people that seem to make me think that THEY think that Zac and I don't consider her needs...that we are so caught up with our boys that Trinity gets left behind. I can assure anyone that ever wonders...this is far from the truth. Yes, when you have several special needs kids a child that is neurotypical may feel not as "special." Trinity has said to me that she wishes she had autism and we have very open conversations about this with her. Her reasons for wanting autism are pretty much the same as a blond little girl wanting brunette hair like all of her friends. It's wanting something that sets someone else apart from everyone else. I'm pretty sure that we all struggle with this in some way or another. I spend SO much time trying to make sure that Trinity has play dates with little girls, one on one time with me or Zac, that she can pursue her dreams and so that she can also see they things that are special about her.
   In all of this however we still do not feel like it's best for our family or even for her at this point to go to school full time. Yes, she would get out of her house and meet more people. Yes, she would like the activities and she is a social butterfly.
 But...she wouldn't ever have us. When she would come home from school, her parents are still going to be taking care of three special needs boys. Her weekends...same thing. That will always be a part of her life. Homeschooling allows me to have tid bits of the day with her. When the boys are chill and occupied with something I can take her aside and do a craft or bake with her or watch a show and cuddle on the couch. If she were gone all day, and then also involved in activities, the chances of me having that kind of relationship with her goes to about a zero. We are not going to let her get lost in the mix and school would make that mix even more concentrated for our family at this point.
 We also love the fact that Trinity loves to be around the house helping and being productive and that she has value in our home - kids need to feel accomplished and needed. Most childhood depression comes from kids not feeling like they have worth, like they are forgotten or when they are so busy they can't ever just "be."
  As far as the social aspect, I don't think that it matters what quantity of friends that one has, it matters the quality. She has said that she would really like to learn the violin so we have kind of made a "deal" that when Zac is out of paramedic school and she is eight that we will start the ball rolling on voilin lessons. I'm excited for her!
 So, for now, homeschool is still the right choice for our family. Zac was telling our kids how lucky they were yesterday because it was freezing cold outside and they were all cuddled on the couch reading their lessons, smiling and having fun...in their jammies. Jammies are definitely a perk.
 This doesn't mean that this choice will stay constant - it could definitely change someday as the kids get older and we sense different needs that maybe could be met at a nice school.
 So, ways that we are resolved to being...
1. To continue to be open with our kids, to have a home where they feel secure and where they can be themselves.
2. To look for opportunities to do good, to give more.
3. To be mindful of what we put in our mouths, in our minds, in our hearts.
4. To make education fun and meaningful yet not let it consume us...but instead to focus on good character and raising children that our stable emotionally, hard workers, and love those around them.
5 To survive Paramedic School

Happy belated New Year friends!


  1. I am loving this post, you have some big plans for the year ahead, and I can feel how positive you are about each and every one of them. Wishing you and your family all the best. Happy New Year!

  2. Hi Alyssa, great post! You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and that you know what's important for your family, like you have a very good perspective on things. With five little ones, I usually feel like my head is spinning! How do you do it? Also,
    You mentioned something about candida. I have been researching this. Do you struggle with candida yourself or are you just being preventative? Thanks and happy new year to you, Catherine in KS

  3. Oops, forgot something, what are your thoughts on vaccinating? Do you feel like there is a connection between them and autism? Catherine in ks

  4. I love your heart towards your children - building character and growing in sacrificial love. May God grant you the perfect home for your family.