8 Spunky is 8 I can't believe it. We have loved the last 8 years with our darling daughter. If you have ever met SPUNKY you know what a treat she is to be around. She can always make you laugh either with her or at her, it doesn't matter and she doesn't care. Here are her best photos from the last year.
That's ME! That's ME!The other day when the Rock said "ma ma" I thought time stood still! He was looking right at me (awesome accomplishment) said "ma ma" (MIRACLE) and then ran away up the stairs for me to chase him. I had to wait 26mo to hear him say my name and mean it and it was worth the wait. I am the MaMa! I am the mom of 4 beautiful children, each one is so unique and talented, they are amazing and I am blessed to be their mother.
It is common place in our house to be bitten by the little vampire. Last night I went downstairs with the fam and Heman asked if I saw his head. I teased and said no and started laughing because his eye brow was red and swollen with bite marks. The day before, I ended up with a black and blue bruise. You might be saying to yourself don't let him do that, well I say DUH!!! I would stop him if I could, but this kid is SO fast in every aspect. The Rocks' therapists have said that they will be excited when he bites them, because then they would have really bonded. If you find yourself with a bite of love, consider yourself a LUCKY person.
I forgot to share this sweet story of love and understanding while we were in Colorado. I have to start out with saying THANK YOU to our brother and sister and their kids for all they did for us and for their desire to love all of us so much. After the first day of being with our family in Colorado, our brother said something like "I can't tell the Rock is autistic." Autism has so many different faces, they say if you've met one person with autism you've met one. Then comes the next day, our brother kept saying the Rocks name to get him to play with him and of course he wouldn't after at least an hour of trying, our brother asked us "Why won't he look at me? Can he hear me? He looks at you guys." I looked at my brother and said "He can hear you, to the Rock you just don't exist. You are an object in the room. He doesn't understand that he can and should have a relationship with all people. The only way to get into his world is to play with him. Make him look at you while you play. You have to force yourself into his world." So our brother took the challenge! Heman and his brother spent the next 45min to an hour playing all of the Rock's favorite games and making him ask our brother for more if he wanted more playing (more is the most common word the Rock has). At the end of play time everyone was exhausted, it really is work for the Rock and everyone else involved. Our brother succeeded!! Shortly after play time was over our brother asked the Rock for "5" and the Rock slapped his hand. The bond of love was made forever, the Rock kept doing it the rest of our stay. Heman and I sat back in awe of the progress the Rock has made in such a short period of time and also in awe of the tremendous desire of love our brother had to make sure his nephew knew he loved him. Our sister of course never stopped waiting on us hand and foot, for which I will always feel guilty and appreciative of her sacrifice for us. All of our family everywhere is amazing and I never can share my deep appreciation with all of you enough. Hug someone near you and feel our love for you from them.
Last night Heman got to sit down to dinner with Punky and Spunky, who turn 10 and 8 this month. While eating they started talking about life and both the girls expressed a desire to one day serve an LDS mission so they can be the right girl for the right guy, SOMEDAY! Heman was blown away by their mature atitudes and while explaining this to me said "They are such wonderful young women." To that I replied in my head "Not so fast, they aren't near womanhood yet, RIGHT?" I think they are closer than I want to except most days, but I have to agree that some how a little bit of the good things we are teaching them is seaping into their brains. I love these girls!!!
Miracles happen every day it's just a matter of recognizing that its not just a coincidence it's God's hand reaching down and blessing your life, even if for just a moment. Last night we were putting the Rock to bed (you know Taz's monster, who now sleeps in a big bed) and he didn't want to. He was crying(this is not normal behavior, when the Rock expresses any kind of emotion it's a time of JOY in our lives) and got out of bed, so Heman put him back and shut the door, as always, well the Rock banged on the door! This is huge!!! He understood that we left and to get our attention he should bang on the door (I know you are thinking every kid knows this, but not every kid especially our autistic child). I'm not even to the BIG miracle yet! Heman went back into the room and picked up the Rock and he hugged Heman tighter than ever before and didn't let go. SOOO Heman started to sing to him just like he has with all the other children (the Rock has NEVER wanted to be held and sung to or rocked to sleep). The Rock calmed down and was then able to lay in bed and go to sleep. Oh how it's the simple things that are the biggest MIRACLES in our lives. Heman was over JOYED to be able to hold his son just like he has with all the other children.
All holidays the last 6mo have brought anxiety and sadness for me when it comes to the Rock. His inability to understand what is going on or even wanting to be apart of any party is difficult. I want so badly to be with all of my children and yet he wants to be by himself. So this Easter was approaching quickly with a little bit of dread and yet when it came it came with JOY. Porter woke everyone up at 5:30am and everyone was excited to find goodies, but the Rock was still sleeping and I let him sleep. The Rock sleeping was a tender mercy for us, because I didn't have to be pulled between my little ones. The Rock was able to rest and join us when he was ready and Heman and I were able to participate with the older ones and their happiness. Keeping on the sleeping theme...... Isaac is always a fun kid to hang out with and enjoy, even though he has an bottomless stomach. This stomach cause much of my exhaustion and as I have to battle the never ending opening of refrigerator and pantry. After two days I was tired, so on the third day when Brig was leaving I was worried, but God gave me a tender mercy (picture of isaac asleep on the lazyboy) at 6pm, just as priesthood mtg. was starting.
(i can't make this look the way I want but it's here!) We have been blessed and spoiled by Dhana and Ben this Easter weekend. Dhana is truly amazing, thank you for catering to our every need, I say the Dhana Dickinson Hotel is a 5 diamond experience. We had so much fun watching the cookies rise and decorating with mounds of frosting, dying eggs was enjoyable, filling and hiding the eggs was funny (watching "Benny" hide them), hunting for 100 eggs was a free for all and the inner animal came out in all the monsters. The suprise of all was our manly men bringing home beautiful flowers after priesthood session last night for both Dhana and I. We have been blessed with inspiring messages from our Savior's Apostles and other church leaders and other tender mercies. We are all so grateful for our Savior and his resurrection this EASTER MORNING!