Monday, September 25, 2017

Lyric...gluten free 

Just wanted to document that we decided yesterday (after a couple weeks of praying, researching, asking Lyrics teacher, and some trusted resources) to put him on a gluten free diet. GFCF(gluten free/casin free) diets are very beneficial to help with kids that have any sort of set backs, delays, disorders, spectrums etc. We currently aren't doing the casin part of it as we want to slowly step into just eliminating gluten to see if it helps and we have tried a few products here and there to see how he would handle the change of it. Apparently when that is removed from their diet it can improve symptoms from whatever they are going through. Like anything else... all we can do is try it and see if it helps and if it doesn't then we'll just go back to his regular way of eating. We don't feel stressed out about it because after doing lots of research and getting an app and scanning lots of barcodes in our house so many things are naturally gluten free that he eats that we use all the time and already had (such as ketchup, peanut butter, jelly, dum dum suckers, fruit snacks, Fritos, spaghetti sauce, Tostitos, white cheddar popcorn, chocolate chips, yogurt, cheese, pistachios, fruit, veggies, hot dogs, milk, apple juice, applesauce packers, yogurt pouches, butter, etc, etc!) the few things we did but for him that are gluten free musts is a different loaf of bread, different pasta noodles, different taco shells, different pancake mix, different mac and cheese, frozen pizza, and chicken nuggets! We are not going to be paranoid about the fact either if he rips like some goldfish crackers out of another kids hand or something like that and gets one because it's not like it's an allergy. We are keeping a food journal and trying it until the end of October and we are going to see how it goes!

I will have a gluten free cupcake for him for my moms birthday party here this week and will be finding a gluten free cookie to give him after church this week and we bought special gluten feee bars for his school snack and brought fruit snacks and starbursts(which he has never had!) to school for potty treats today  and the good thing is he really isn't picky about much so I think it should go good! ☺️

Oh And He can have crunch bars a, starbursts, suckers, butterfingers and all sorts of good Halloween candies still too in a few weeks!πŸ˜† 

So with all basis' covered we are thanking God for blessing Lyric and anything we put our hands too on HIS behalf that HE will get all the glory for any and all benefits! 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Finances and Kids

Since last school year when Lane's teacher used "tickets" to encourage good behavior and then allowed them to "spend" their tickets at their classroom store we have been doing the "Decker Family Store" at our house. I bought a big ole' roll of tickets and the boys made cute little ticket containers (recycled out of oats containers) and decorated them to hold their tickets. I put things inside there like candy, matchbox cars, dirt bike toys, gum, movies, a "trip to the movies" etc...just basically random little things that they could "buy". Our smallest being one piece of gum for 1 ticket...our biggest item being a trip the movie theater for 50 tickets. (toys were 5-20 tickets, to earn a dvd 20-30 tickets etc...)


It was basically a way to kind of teach our two oldest how to spend and save. We had tried money before...Lane and Luke have had red solo cups for save, spend, and tithe since they were 3...but I am not sure they were "getting it". It was more of ritual than the respect of money and how it works and knowing how to save and spend. So when Lane came home so excited about tickets last year I just knew I had to follow suite. (*parent tip of the day....do what your kids are excited about when it comes to learning! Basketball? Well then shoot hoops while you work on spelling words, Race Cars? well then use the color of the car, counting the wheels, sounds etc! ) SO with his excitement about tickets... I jumped on board and wow did it take off. "What gets rewarded gets repeated" and the boys were all about being helpful, respectful, responsible, and going above and beyond what is expected of them to earn the tickets. (It was a fabulous way to stretch out the holiday candy too!) And best of all it taught them exactly what "saving" up was like. They both LOVE gum! But if they really wanted something for 10 tickets and had 8 tickets...did they really want to use that ticket for a piece of gum when they were so close to earning that 10 ticket item? Once they looked at it like that and had the tangible items in front of them...it clicked.  I think what helped them most was SEEING it!

All kids visually learn and audibly learn...but some kids are more visual and some are more audible. Lane is for sure an audible learner where Luke is more so a visual learner. (they both are kinetic learners...they do better when they DO what we are talking about. Boys tend to be movers and shakers and just goers in general so the more physical the better.) But I have to say they both really thrive when they see the transaction taking place when it comes to  spending and saving.

Well through out the summer I would add things here and there but their ticket store wasn't on the fore front of my mind because like most things summer just becomes more relaxed. Well the last week of summer we were going over our new routine for school. (I always hang it on the side of the fridge...seeing it helps them both!) And that is where our "D-tickets" list hung. We got to talking about it and I added some stuff to the store and wouldn't you know they got all jazzed again about the store. (Luke is currently dying to earn the movie "Walle").

Around that same time we had registered Lane for flag football for the fall and Lane was begging me for under armor football gloves (that he see's the NFL players on TV wear.) I kind of went into a mommy mode rant after signing him up reminding him...

"Lane, we registered you, got you the shoes, jersey, pants, and all the things you need (including the sweat bands and sleeve that you got last year)...BUT YOU DON'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT...If you want those gloves than we can ask for them for Christmas or your birthday. Well of course that followed with him reminding me that Christmas and his birthday are after football season and I kindly said I understood but that then he would just have to wait til next year to wear them because we just don't always get what we want and as I am reminding him of this life lesson my sweet hubby blew me away...

He interrupted me telling Lane that he can have whatever he wants (parent approved of course), whenever he wants it, as long as he works for it.

It was such a great statement. It was so perfect for that moment...and it is so true.

After a more in depth discussion Daddy told Lane that he could call his Poppy, Papa, Uncle's, go to his neighbors etc...and explain that he is trying to make some money to buy his own football gloves and ask if he could do a job for them to earn a dollar. The phone calls were SO adorable. Time stood still watching him call them and he even left his Uncle J the cutest message while laying on his bed chatting on my cell phone and he just looked so big.(one of those stand still momma moments ya know?!?!) And low and behold...

HE DID IT!

3 WEEKS LATER AND LOTS OF LITTLE JOBS....HE EARNED THE MONEY!!!

We are so proud! We of course bought the gloves that first week and I have been hiding them in our dresser. I know we could have just gave them to him the minute he "X-ed" off the last square on his envelope (and man did I ever want too) but I knew that wouldn't teach him the transaction...

"the visual" like the tickets...

is what helped him learn.

So he had an envelope that I drew 24 boxes on and he had to personally put his dollars in there and put an X for each dollar in each square. Once that envelope was full it was off to the bank to make the deposit and THEN order something on amazon and then wait until it comes in the mail! He knows somethings come in one day and some things in a few days...so once he earned the money, deposited it, we gave him the gloves that came in the mail!!

To say I am proud of him is an understatement. But it's more than just earning the money. It's the understanding that things are worth working for, that if you want it...there isn't a limit if you have the determination to work for it(such a good daddy), it's that sometimes it takes even years to complete saving for something and that isn't a bad thing....it's a GREAT thing because it's worth it (a good reminder for all of us), it's the understanding that you can't use amazon like a game...you have to have the money BEFORE you click buy now, it's being proud of what bought with your OWN money and learning a job you may have not known before you tried to work for something...it's just so so so much more than making money.

And now...as the 7 year old (like all things thus far) he will pass down his knowledge of this to his brothers and encourage them to work for something too. Right now Luke does great with the tickets! He SO gets that way for earning and spending and I think for 5 we will stick with that...but some how in just one short summer...our sweet Laners is doing laundry, mowing the lawn, and braving up the courage to call someone and ask if they have a way he can make some money and working for it.

I think my next step for Lane is doing monthly allowance. At the end of September (and each) month he will receive $10.00 if he keeps up on all his chores around the house. He will give $1.00 to tithing and he will be able to save or spend the other $9.00. (We have helped him understand this for a while. We believe we give God the first 10% off our pay day and we want our boys to do that as well and understand that theory and when they are little it's just been understanding offering, giving, etc...and since they were 3 those tithe cups have been a blessing showing them put some in this cup first if there is change but the tithe principal and earning and actual money is so much more teachable now at  age 7.)

And of course if he wants to earn more than $9.00 in the month of September he can always call around asking for work. :)


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What it is like to have a "different" child. 

It has taken me a long long time to write this post. I have considered writing one for almost a year now and never really had the courage to. But today I have finally found it. NOT because anyone gave it to me but because I realized that putting this out there may help somebody.









My current circumstances do not stay concrete just because I talk about them.









Just because I speak about the facts does NOT mean that my faith isn't greater.




(because trust me it IS)









I am writing from a place of faith and flesh. Before I begin I have to get it out there...what's been there all along....I KNOW, THAT I KNOW, THAT I KNOW....my son is going to be fine and live his life to the fullest potential that God has called him to. AND For no other reason than...




I KNOW the creator as my father, as my family, and as my friend and HIS words and true and HIS promises will never fail.









So now that everyone knows that about me and my truest of truest feelings....let me elaborate on what goes underneath that.









Other feelings....and other thoughts....(still with all that said above in highest regards...)I am human and I have a fleshly nature....and even with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and with all my hope in HIM and all my faith in HIM and all my trust in him and all my burdens casted upon HIM....









I worry about my children.









(and I presume some of you reading this do to.)









I have never wrote about this before because I felt like maybe putting on paper...or on our family blog would then solidify it. Which I am realizing now...why haven't I put this on year yet? Don't I want him to know someday all that he(they) have over come???









So today's the day.









Today









Is









The









Day.









So a little over a year ago (the end of last summer to be exact)...I will never forget the moment I said out loud what I had been thinking for about 6 months. The thing I know my husband was avoiding too, and the thing that I know without doubt people were thinking. (looks...especially the ones your own family try to cover up and pretend they aren't looking when they are....don't lie).









I said it out loud to my husband while laying in our bed....









"Something is wrong with Lyric"









A quick little preface for you...Lyric is our third son. Our oldest was still 3 when he was born and our second oldest turned 2 years old four days prior to his birth. He was an AMAZING baby! Easy to calm, snuggly, loving, kissy, giggled on time, clapped on time, rolled, sat, crawled, walked, waved, "so big", babbled all the things on time. He was breastfed for 13 months...ate homemade baby food and toddler food like a champ. Self feeding and always loving all foods. (We actually nicknamed him the "crumb dog" because this kid would eat anything of his, anything of yours, and when he would get down out of the highchair he was looking on the floor for crumbs! I'm so serious!)  He went with the chaos so well. He LOVED to watch his brothers...loved taking baths and swimming or playing outside...he loved stroller walks...being worn in a baby carrier....loved to swing....laugh at his doggie...went down and took naps wonderfully with no problems and went to bed like a dream child...book, song , pray, lay down with blankie and pacifier and right to sleep on his own (still is a rockstar sleeper at 3 1/2 might I add). So all good things! I have videos of him at 1 year old saying colors of things, repeating some words, and babbling but not a huge talker. Not super concerning...but then at about 18 months I noticed he talked a lot less than his brothers did at that age. And EVERYONE (even his pediatrician) told us that he is the third child, he doesn't need to talk because his brother talk for him, he'll catch up etc etc.









One of the first red flags for me besides noticing a delay in his speech was his 2nd birthday party. I will never forget how much he didn't like the candle on his cake. (He wasn't that way at his 1st birthday or anyone of his brothers birthdays) He also did NOT want rip the paper and open his presents. And now looking back at Christmas 2 months prior he did not like to open them either. We did go to the water park that Christmas though and he had a blast. No red flags. Totally an angel boy and had all the fun and was exceptionally behaved for an almost 2 year old at a water park!




Really everything up to 18 months was grand. He turned 18 months in August. Lane started 1/2 day kindergarten that year and Luke started preschool 3 days a week that year. I have so many pictures of Lyric and Lukie being sweet playing in my car waiting for Lane to come out of school and of me and the little two at the park and playing in the leaves before pick up time and stuff like! Such a fun fall! But then a few months later is when I noticed like I said the aversions to the wrapping paper and then the super sad meltdown about his candle.









After I said that sentence to my husband I elaborated on what I was feeling. We had just moved into a new house and Lyric handled that wonderfully as well. I was newly pregnant with our 4th child and we were getting ready to go on a lake house vacation with my whole family. I told Matt that by the time Lyric was 2 1/2 if he wasn't speaking more I was going to see about getting him some speech therapy. Clearly all the reading I was doing to him, the flash cards, and all the things I did with his big brothers was not impacting him enough in the area. And while my husband STILL(and still does today) thought he would catch up on his own...he agreed to see about some therapy.









Sure enough after vacation (and 2 very dramatic- never had I ever before seen a melt down like that melt down from any child in my life-melt downs while we were at the beach (wet sand, I believe now looking back,was the culprit) we decided to research about some therapy.









A friend of mine had a son with speech delay issues so I reached out to her asking her how she went about starting therapy. She was a wonderful source of information (thank you Katie Deets) and I went ahead with her suggestion and called the learning early intervention program. After TONS of paper work, multiple meetings, multiple evaluations from a developmental therapist, a speech therapist, and an occupational therapist,  and psychiatrist, we went ahead and started speech therapy.









We started speech the last week of September 2016. I took Lyric to therapy in Clinton 2 days a week and one day a week a therapist came to our house for an hour and worked with him. He had speech a total of 3 days a week equaling 2 hours a week.









We got about 8 weeks of therapy in before our sweet little Levi made his surprise arrival 5 weeks early! Then when Levi was 4 weeks old and things had settled a bit(by the way Lyric LOVED his little baby brother with his whole heart. Said his name when we asked him too right away upon meeting him and he handled the transition like a champ! All our boys did and that is because God is good and we asked Him all through out my pregnancy to work in the hearts of our children to prepare them for change and HE DID! All the glory goes to HIM)  we continued the same therapy for Lyric for 1 more month until Jan 25th when Lyric was still two years old....he (again after an evaluation, a big ole' IEP meeting with lots of people, and another boat load of paper work) started preschool in the special needs class(that is blended with a regular needs class) here in our town. Putting him in a "special needs" preschool was honestly embarrassing for me at first. SO was him having a one on one aide. But after this whole past year I can reassure you that I feel SO very special in a GOOD way.









Lyric completed roughly 13-14 weeks of school last year as he started in the 2nd half of the year (because they don't accept you unless you are almost 3 ) AND because we had a week of for spring break AND he had a week off for strep throat (that poor boy grew his immune system fast last year) so it was right around 13-14 weeks of school total. Preschool was 5 days a week receiving speech therapy 60 minutes total a week (being pulled out of the classroom and going into a classroom with only the speech teacher one on one either in 15 minute increments, or 2-30 minute increments...what ever worked for them that week) and then towards the last few weeks we did request an OT(occupational therapy) evaluation to see if he qualified for services (because it was very odd to me that he doesn't like play doh and things of that sort and apparently there are sensory aversions that people have in this world. This was all kind of new to me. I mean I had a sister that would yell at me if I slid my fork between my teeth because the sound made her cringe and I have a husband that doesn't like tags, which are all a thing similar, but Lyric had straight up aversions to things...like gagging over touching play doh) He did not qualify for OT with the learning intervention program because he was very "physically" qualified in all areas and while I explained my concern to them about the aversions and they did agree they should be addressed....I would have had to take him an hour away for services and the waiting list was 6-9 months to get in and he wasn't even going to the correct age to receive them by the time we would have received a spot. (Learning intervention through the state of Illinois is birth - age 3).









Lyric did great in school last year. His one on one aide was (and is) an angel and his teacher was (and is) incredibly gifted, talented, and so amazingly passionate about helping these kiddos.









Lyric had a FABULOUS summer!! He seriously developed and thrived  SO CRAZY MUCH withOUT therapy! (God told me not to do therapy with Lyric this summer but that's a whole other post for a different time.)









So here we are. The start of his first "full year" of preschool. Him and his 2 older brothers all go to the same school. Lane is in 2nd grade, Luke is in kindergarten, and Lyric is in preschool.









A good friend of mine (thank you Katie Tucker...yes two good friends named Katie AND a sister in law named Katie and yes I often screw up text messaging the wrong Katie) sent me a podcast from this page called "Focus on the Family".( If you listen to KLOVE radio maybe you have heard of it. I read a book a while ago called "Bringing up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson. Incredible read and his Focus on the Family Christian station, websites, books, AND APP is so amazing.) Anyways the podcast she sent me was a podcast of a mom and her son speaking about a book called "Different" that they wrote together.









Listening to this mother and her (now 28 year old) son speak about him being "different" and the disorders he was labeled with and suffered from....it effected me like nothing has ever EVER effected me before. And not because I am experiencing the same things she is...because while some yes...a lot of them no...BUT because of the feelings she talked about. They were very spot on. My heart sits in the same spot with my 3 year old as hers now sits with her 28 year old.









And that is where this courage is coming from. It's coming from a place of wanting to share (not my perfect heart or my perfect parenting ways because I can assure you that is very far from the truth) how I am completely and honestly 100% ok with DIFFERENT.









ALL OF MY BOYS ARE SO VERY DIFFERNT. I am VERY different from my sister. And the word different is NOT BAD!!! Why is that a thing? It always has been. I have always thought "bad" when someone would say "you and you're sister are very different aren't you?" Like when a teacher that she had a few years before me would say that to me when I was growing up I would instantly think different meant that she was smarter (she was) but maybe different meant...she's an more of an introvert while you're more of an extrovert. BOTH GREAT THINGS....different ...yes....but both wonderful. And quite frankly both so very needed in this world. I mean hello can you imagine all introverts (insert crickets chirping) or all extroverts (Lord help us all). I mean we are different and that is so great. One of the many things this lady said in this podcast that touched my heart so deeply was "God is NOT a cookie cutter God. I mean look at creation. All different kinds of plants, animals, people...you name it! Different!!!" All good....but different.









My boys are the same way. Lane is SO different from Luke and that was SO very evident right away. And now that I have four....all 4 of them are so different. Currently Lyric doesn't "fit the mold" per say of some other 3 year olds....BUT he also is crazy brilliant and blows our minds about some stuff he can do that neither of our "mold fitting" older children ever could have done at 3.









My sister ( like I said is extremely smart) is a teacher...not only a teacher but has her master's degree and is a reading specialist, and sits in on IEP meetings all the time and is just is a wealth of information on children and their learning abilities etc....had told me this (long before I even had Lyric)









"That to make an average there is a high...AND...a low"









Let me repeat that...AND.A.LOW.














Actually I think she said this to me when I was possibly talking to her about some "difference" between Lane and Luke...which by the way Lane was a CRAZY early talker and like a 25 year old by 15 months old so there was that...but obviously now at 7 and 5 Lane and Luke talk just the same even though Luke was not high above average at 15 months like Lane was. And now Luke is a fabulous reader and I think may have knocked his "smartie pants" brother out of the water with his ability to ready by age 4 so there's thatπŸ˜‰ 

Where one might excel in one area at one age, one may seem delayed or struggle in that area at that same age. Again....a high, and average, and a low. 




Where one of my boys may play sports, one may not be gifted with the desire, talent, ablity, or passion to play sports.









AND THAT IS A-OK.

 Actually that's more than OK....that is GREAT.









Because what I have come to realize as I have to relinquished my sweet Lyric's "situation" into God's hands. And like the momma that I listened to speak of her son...I LOVE Lyric and ALL our boys NOT for what they can or can not do but simply and deeply for WHO. THEY. ARE.









They are God's children, who He gifted to me to be a steward of. For a short time...a very short time. And while I know delays, differences, and challenges look different for everyone....I pray that you too can realize that it isn't about you. It's about them...it's about their life and what GOD has for them....if you can let go and let Him have the control.









Maybe your struggling with a mouthy daughter, or maybe your son bites people at daycare, or maybe your pre-teenager is lying all the time(sorry mom that was me), or maybe you have a delayed child with a one on one aide in a special needs preschool(me)....whatever your current situation is....









guess what....









We are all more alike than different.









and the even better news than that is.....









WE have the God of this universe that (Psalm 77:14) who still performs miracles; who displays His power among the people.









I fully believe with my whole heart that HE will get me through every situation...with every child...with every struggle...no matter what the lable...no matter what the disorder....no matter what issue may be...HE created these boys. They are all unique parts to the puzzle of our family and if we were all the same we wouldn't fit just right. I am thankful....BEYOND thankful....for each and every season I have with them. Even the challenging ones.









Lyric may be a little bit different right now. He currently doesn't like to use his fork...and somedays its a struggle to get him to wear shoes...however God will see us through. He will overcome those things with God's help and all our boys will overcome their struggles in due time. In God's time. And by God's grace(....which I know I need ALL. THE. TIME.)









If you read this...just know...no matter what...with God...the struggle and issue is still there...but it's easier and it's a better road when you follow Him. He want's to carry your burden and lighten your load.




Someone once said...




"The pressence of trouble isn't the absence of God"









God is ever present...He is ALWAYS there....and quite frankly I don't know how I could ever parent ANY of my children without Him.

Listening to this mother and her son talk about all the years and the things that they went through during his many disorders and many dysfunctions, was so eye-opening not because of all of the struggle but because the one thing that he has to say that I vow to live my life the same way... was that no matter what box culture tried to fit him into or what mold he was supposed to be a fitting into and more often than not...was different.... 

when he came home he was loved exactly for who he was, and for exactly the way he was wired. 

And he had parents that tried their best to get him through and to bring him to where he needed to be to have a fully "acceptable life"...he never once Felt like his parents were disappointed or sad about the situation. And the mother spoke so much about relinquishing guilt that she had put on herself and how she had learned to live fully in the joy of what it was to be a parent to her 4 children NO matter what! 

And that is why I am OK with putting this on paper because after listening to that podcast I realized that I am fully OK. I truly and honestly am....

I am ok with different. 

Sure...Before I wasn't and before I didn't want to write or talk about this...but now I want to remember where He has brought me from and I am excited where these little boys will end up. And I am SO thankful I get to be apart of it and be their momma along the way. 

If you are a good friend of mine, a grandparent, or an auntie or uncle to sweet Lyric (and all our boys!) please know God has placed a calling and a special role for you to play specifically for each of them and we are so thankful for you and the part you play in their lives. 


Friday, August 11, 2017

2017 Summer Recap 

How can summer be coming to an end! Every year I think it will go slower and every year it goes inevitably faster. 

I was taking a load of laundry out of the dryer and my eyes fell on a sandy little digger (Luke) that was sitting on top of my washer and I felt completely overwhelmed (in a good  way) thinking about how much I have loved this summer.


These last 2-plus months have been such a sweet balm to my soul, I wanted to record a few memories here for the 5 people  – other than my mom – who might care. πŸ˜‰


Vacation

We tried not once but TWICE to go on vacation! Poor sweet Luke had strep throat 4 times in a row and ended up with mono for over a month of his summer. And little did we know when you have mono it is very important not to rough house or do sport like activities due to your spleen being enlarged and the possibility of it bursting. Lyric also has strep throat then later on and a double ear infection (twice which ended up with him bursting his ear drum) 


SUMMER STAY-CATION 

That was more like it. BUT this year was so great. We swam and read books and baked and ate a ridiculous amount of cookies and popsicles. I took the boys to a small trips through out the week, and we went to the park or pool almost every day when we were all healthy!  We went on more bike rides than I could ever count and, when we felt we had burned a sufficient amount of calories, we went and ruined it all at Dairy Queen. I even got to slip away for an hour to have my nails toenails painted before our family pictures we had taken (which turned out amazing!!!) 


After a massively stressful end of the school year, I finally felt my head clear and my breath lighten! Summers are always refreshing but THIS summer was needed more than any summer thus far. πŸ™‚


The Boys


I was telling a friend recently that one of my favorite things about this summer is that it has been the summer of best-friend-bonding between all four boys. Lane  is now  7, Luke 5, Lyric 3 and Levi  is 8 months.  The four of them have become so close as they have had so much more time together. Case in point – they wake up at absurd hours that the sun doesn’t even think is acceptable, so they have plenty of time to destroy the house with their shenanigans before Mommy and Daddy get out of bed. Ok not really they don't destroy the house and Lane is the only one up that early BUT they have bonded and made more messes through out all the extra hours and I wouldn't have it any other way. 


For starters, the big two are really into creating their own stories and scenarios and using their imaginations like crazy. This typically involves them jumping on Mom's bed while making up storylines followed up with a lot of wrestling. Pretending Luke is Lane's pet is pretty typical. And riding "dirt bikes" (regular bikes while making sounds I can't even begin to attempt to make) out front and around our house is a daily event and usually before 8am! 


After breakfast on the daily we played outside and usually it was baseball while I was either the pitcher or the cheerleader. I'm loud by nature but Lane ALWAYS requests louder cheers! We are currently into football now and I'm always cheering the "big red rumble" super loud and super early...I wonder if our entire neighborhood thinks we are seriously WEIRD.

Lyric is SO into sports now and playing tball or playing football! I love seeing him interact with his brothers and him and Lukie have spent many hours digging in the sand under the slide. And Levi is a swinging machine soaking it all in....loving every single kiss, tickle, and fly by his brothers give him! All three of them never cease to amaze me at the attention they give that babe and we are so blessed by the love they have for each other!! 


As I type this, it is 5:30 am and I just can't wait for them to wake up and start another and the final summer day as the day to follow will be like a school day technically because it will be a night to get ready for bed for school and I just wish I could hit rewind. I love seeing them all grow close. I tell them all. the. time. that having a brother is like God saying, “Here is a best friend forever. You’re welcome.”

Other great memories from the summer besides lots of doctor appointments was visiting Papa Goose, vacation bible school, a million rounds on the fire swing, Lane's first year of coach pitch and lots and lots of play dates with friends, enjoying our annual day at the Oregon splash pad, multiple cookouts with family and going swimming and to the pool with Ammy and Poppy and they boy's cousins and also We took the big boys to their first drag racing experience too and they absolutely LOVED it. 

The memories that sink deep right into my heart are the lunches in the toy room, all the books we read before nap time, the morning walks, the after dinner family bike rides, and the sleepy summer sun kissed cheeks in the morning. Oh how my heart aches of summer being over. 

 

My prayer for this 2nd grader, kindergartener, and preschooler of mine is that they would be kind to their classmates and teachers, that they would be surrounded by people that are loving and the ones that aren't so nice....that they would each show those people love anyways. I thank God that HE is with them when I am not and that He is calling these boys to be a light in dark places. I pray they thrive not just survive the school year and that their school would be invisible to the eyes of the enemy. I pray they know without hesitation who's they are and how much HE loves them and how much mommy and daddy love them too! At the beginning of the year we picked a them song! Our summer song this year was The Cure. We listened to it daily and even sweet Lyric knows the words except he sings "YOU ARE THE JOY" so that is what we have sang all summer! It's been the best! So many dance party's to that song!!(and many others!!)

We're all related, brothers and strangers,

The king and the beggar bleed the same.

We've all got a sickness, a terminal condition,

We medicate it but the pain won't go away.


See the eyes of a million faces,

Looking forward in a million places,

Only one can save us, Jesus.


You are the cure!

Everybody's searching for it,

Everybody's reaching out,

Trying to grab a hold of something real.

You are the cure!

Only you can satisfy us,

Fill up the void inside us,

Never been a heart you couldn't heal.


You are the cure...


You are the doctor, healer and father,

To the orphan without a home.

We feel in the darkness, lost till you found us,

You are the remedy we've been looking for.


You are the cure!

Everybody's searching for it,

Everybody's reaching out,

Trying to grab a hold of something real.

You are the cure!

Only you can satisfy us,

Fill up the void inside us,

Never been a heart you couldn't heal.


You are the cure...


Cure for the broken, the hope for a hopeless world.

The meaning, the purpose, the peace that will make us whole.


Don't have to search no more.

Don't have to search no more.


You are the cure!

Everybody's searching for it,

Everybody's reaching out,

Trying to grab a hold of something real.

You are the cure!

Only you can satisfy us,

Fill up the void inside us,

Never been a heart you couldn't heal.


You are the cure...


You are the cure, cure

Never been a heart you couldn't heal.

You are the cure, cure

Never been a heart you couldn't heal.


It's so funny to even read it with the word cure because we always sing JOY in place of that word! But that song has been just that...a constant reminder in our summer that Jesus is our joy....the giver of all Joy and the one who takes away all pain!! So very thankful for each and every summer moment with my boys. And while I will mourn it being over and feel so sick to think about two being gone all day and one every morning...I won't let that steal my joy of having my special time with sweet Levi every day and soaking up the precious moments of lunch with just my little two and making some wonderful memories with them just like I did with their big brothers before they started school. I am going to CHOOSE JOY.  (even while I am missing them at school)