Oct 31, 2007

Migraines.....Can anyone spell relief....

Ahhhh it is quiet and peaceful in my house right now...finally!
All I hear is the fan and the fish tank. Everyone (the kids) is sleeping. Thank goodness. I have had a terrible headache today and my knee well its in so much pain that Tylenol has not helped! The PT says its all part of the strengthen and healing process...I am beginning to wonder though. I know I did way to much today! To many flights of stair climbing getting ready for our big party tonight!
Sean got called in to work tonight and tomorrow night. I know he was
looking forward to the extra time off this week but we are grateful
too that God is supplying for our needs! Honey if you are reading this tonight or tomorrow, I just want to publicly say once again
"I LOVE YOU! THANK YOU for working so hard for us!"
Today is Halloween. It is a tough day for most Christian parents. Do you let your children trick or treat or not. If you grew up following the traditions of dressing up and going out for candy this night brings back happy childhood memories for many. I know it does for me. But as a Christian and as a Mom I find it hard to allow my children to go through the neighborhood asking for handouts. Since we know for sure there are some drug dealers and addicts in our neighborhood we have no problem saying NO! But even still if our neighborhood was the safest in the world I am not sure I would let them go out.
There are so many myths out there about Halloween. In fact if you write me I can send you info on the truth of Halloween via the research my husband has. Some people call this night satan's night. Honestly NO night is his because he did not create day and night. The Bible clearly states God created day and night! No, satan owns nothing and as far as I am concerned Halloween is just another night to celebrate my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
So tonight instead of going door to door we held an alternative party at the church. "Light Night - Jesus is the light of the World" party. The kids that came had a grand time playing a variety of games. We watched "The Roach Approach ~ The Mane Event!" Lesson on standing up for what you believe in. We have a TON of candy! We have enough candy in our house now to fill 4 shopping bags! Then we went on a hay ride through town, out in the country and past an old abandoned log cabin. The kids loved it!
Eli was the most excited! He thought it was fantastic to be sitting on the hay looking up at the stars. It was chilly but oh so much fun! It's been a long time since I have been on a hay ride. The first time for the kids! We are considering doing it again at Christmas time if the weather permits and go caroling.
So now it is quiet, my head is still pounding but not nearly as bad. I did take pictures of my kids all dressed up(but my camera stinks and they turned out all fuzzy)....We had King Eli (dressed in his tux from my sisters wedding), Queen Sara (in her flower girl dress), MnM Boy-Kris was dressed as a bag of MM's and had a yellow MnM as a mask, and GB-Jaron has Godly Boy. He created his own costume. They had a blast, ate way too much candy and are now crashed out in their beds.
So tonight we celebrated Jesus and the freedom we have in Him.

Oct 28, 2007

How to Eat Fried Worms

If you ever read the book in school you have to
get the movie! It is one of the best kid/family
friendly movies. We all love watching it!
There are not too many kid movies that I like
to watch over and over again, but this is one
that qualifies as one of my favorites.
My kids love digging for worms.
Something they were never able to
really do in Florida but here in IL we have
a plethora of night crawlers. These things
are huge! Well they kids love this movie.
Naturally they do not want to eat the worms
but if theycan keep them as pets it makes
them even happier! You want a great family
movie, go to your localmovie rental
place and rent it! It's great!
Oh and don't forget the popcorn!

Oct 27, 2007

The Astroid that Got to close to Earth by Kristofer age 5 1/2

Ok, the kids got out of school yesterday at 11:30 and did not have school today either. Teachers training days or something like that. needless to say it has rained here all week and has been dull, cold (high of 60 was the highest all week), and rainy. Does not produce a great time for the kids to be home. Specially Kristofer cause it means I have to get really creative on how to keep him from coming unglued.
But today has been a relatively quiet day today. Tonight we carved out a pumpkin and added cross ears. The kids love the smells, I always add Cinnamon inside the pumpkin and on the lid, it smells like pumpkin pie in our house right now. Kris has been quiet and calm most of the day and then at at 10 pm (Friday night is the only night they get to stay up late) he became a wild talking man! He did not stop talking for 1/2 an hour! Honestly I didn't think I would ever get him to stop talking! It was actually very funny!
Needless to say during all the talking he was drawing pictures as well. That is when he began telling Jaron and I his story! Hope you love it as much as we did! It's the first time he has talked so much, so clear and had a purpose in the talking. He wasn't rambling just retelling us the story over and over again!

The Asteroid that Got to Close to Earth
by Kristofer age 5 1/2
One day two spacemen went into space. They saw the sun, all the beautiful planets, the starts and the big dipper. They saw 100 thousand asteroids, they were going around the planets. Then the spacemen traveled around the planets. There was a huge asteroid and it was heading to earth to crush it. They used the magnets and pulled it to the sun. They saved the earth. They were the biggest heroes in the universe. Then their spaceship ran out of power and they were heading to Pluto. They landed on Pluto and fixed their spaceship. Then they hurried back to home on earth. They were happy to be home and to be super heroes. They were given $10,000 million dollars so they could buy a bunny.
The bunny talked to them and they screamed, "ah ah ah!" and the bunny said to stop screaming and then he went to outer space.
The END!

Oct 25, 2007

PT...Physical Torture....

Just an example of some of the exercises!

PT is killing me! Ok, honestly this is what I know...I have prayed that God would help me lose weight and would help me be committed to exercising. SO what does He do, He lets me experience pain (gall bladder) that I have never in this world, had ever experienced before and never want to again! Wakes me up...I change my eating habits! Then what does He do? He allows me to not only find a mole trail a few weeks earlier but also a stupid gumball nut!
I am thankful that He did not let me injure myself more than I did but He allows this to happen. With the full intent to use it to "help" me get committed to exercising!

Now if I don't do the exercises 2xs a day I have a really high probability of having knee surgery. I DO NOT WANT SURGERY AGAIN! So, I am committed to exercising twice a day and have included workouts for my arms. I don't have to add anything for my stomach yet. At least 3 of the movements already include my stomach muscles. The PT has added 3 new exercises for me to add to the first 9. Plus I go to the "gym" and work out with my PT's help. Not only do I do the "now" 12 exercises but also have started riding a stationary bike. Right now it’s to just loosen up my knee 7-10 mins. But in 2 weeks I will be riding to gain more strength. Plus there are a few other exercises that we do at PT that I have been told not to do at home just yet. Which means when she does instruct me to do them at home I will have almost 15 and she says there are at least a total of 20 that I will be doing in total. She told me today that we will be adding weights to these exercises possibly next week...yea!
Here is what I also know...it is working! Each week she has to measure the strength and the joint movement/flexibility in my knee. Last week when we started I was in the negatives for the movement. Now I am in the 100's. Not sure what that means completely but from her reaction and smiles I know it is good. She said it was really good so what does she do...she increases my sets to 2 sets of 10 and for a few of the exercise moves increases them to 3 sets of 10. Gotta love it! I am seeing a difference in the stability and the time I am able to stand. Before last week I could only stand maybe 5 to a max of 10 minutes at a time. Now its at least 10 to 20 mins. Makes being a mom a lot easier! That's for sure.

I am still extremely sore and even more so on the days of PT. But there is purpose behind the pain and I have committed to continuing these exercises until I get to a healthy weight. If my knees benefit fantastic! Thank you God for using the measures, You see fit, to get my attention and "help" me like I asked!

Oct 21, 2007

House Cleaning

I think we all as mother's sturggle with the idea of a clean house and time to play with the kids. This article from Hearts at Home I think states the best advice ever!
~ Melissa

I have to admit, when I saw the topic that I was assigned to write about for this newsletter- homemaking-I chuckled more than a bit. Homemaking-or cleaning as I was thinking about it- is the part of the stay-at-home-mom job where I am at my worst! I excel at the nursing duties, homework help, and snack making, but cleaning is just not my thing. It just seems like the one task that falls to the bottom of my priority list in our busy household.However, one day, a little girl freed me to be at peace with my clutter. She had come over for dinner and an evening of play. During dinner, I told her not to worry about spilling. Thankfully, our house has all brown carpet...at least I think it was that color when we bought it!Then, she and my son went off to play, and I told her not to worry about messing anything up. After all, if most things in the house are already out of place, who would notice one thing more?At the end of the evening, I took her home. I have to admit, when I saw her mom in their spotless living room, I felt a bit inadequate. I tried not to feel insecure when the little girl recounted her evening with glee, and told her mom about my housekeeping standards. Then with a serious face, she asked her mom, "Why can't we live in a house like that?"I'm sure she really didn't mean that. After all, I'm sure she really doesn't want to have to spend six weeks looking for a lost library book. (true story) But, it reassured me that the things I did do that night, like joining in a game of hide-and-seek, were important, too. While homemaking might include washing jelly hand-prints off the walls, making a house a home also includes the things we do for our families while they are inside those walls. I still aspire to having a house that looks like it came out of magazine, and I do continue to work toward that goal. However, I also realize that I can call myself a good homemaker, even if housekeeping isn't one of my top priorities.

Keeping hearts at home,
Patti Welander
Wife to Jim
Mom to James, Sam, Sarah, and Sarina
Hearts at Home Online Newsletter Editor

Oct 20, 2007


Just an update for those of you that I did not write. I saw the doctor thisweek for my knee. I have dislocated the knee cap and it is now traveling. In other words it does not track right and is not in its correct position. So I am going to PT (physical therapy) or maybe it should be called PT (physical torture). Now don't get me wrong the exercises I have to do are easy BUT due to the lack of strength and the kind of injury I have they are extremely painful.
I am suppose to excerise twice a day and on the days I go to therapy the PT pushes me for more reps and will eventually add more exercises and weights. Right now it takes everything I got to do 12 reps of each movement and by Tuesday I have to be up to 15 because the PT wants me to do 20 with her. I have 9 different movements that I had to do and she told me she plans to add one new one every appointment. In total I will eventually have 15 different exercises to do with my knee and since my other is not in the best of shape either I am doing the same exercises with that leg.
Anyway just say a prayer that all of this works so that I do not end up having surgery and having to start all of this again!

Grades continued...

Well we found out that Kristofer does not get a report card this grading period. Apparently here in IL the kinder gardeners only get two report cards during the year. We did how ever get his reports from his speech therapist and OT. He is doing well. Progressing in some areas and in other still struggling. He'll get there we know he will. Behaviorally he is doing great in class!
Which is a real encouragement since we have the problems at home. His OT is great! Jen really helps and listens and offers suggestions on how to help with the transitions from school to home. She gave us a very long list of activities for him to "get the fix" he needs sensory wise and another long list of calm activities that should help him transition into doing homework, eating dinner ect... Thank you Ms Jen!

Oct 17, 2007


Just want to brag on Jaron tonight. He is such a great creative kiddo! He is a great big brother though at times he still says he wishes he was an only child. A few weeks ago we got his mid term grades. All A's except penmanship which was a failing grade. He just didn't want to take the time to write slowly...
too many pressing things to do outside you see. Well we took his bike away from him and told him he had to start taking the time to do his work neatly. Well he got his grades today and I am pleased to announce he got straight A's and turned that failing grade into a B! I told him he did fantastic! He was pretty hard on himself wanted it to be an A. We reassured him that we are very proud of him and next time he can strive for that A.
Honestly I want him to succeed in school and if he does his best and only gets a C that is fine with us as long as he has done his best! Jaron is a great kid, brother, son and student. So YEA JARON! WAY TO GO BUDDY!

We haven't gotten Kristofer's yet will let you know how he did for his first grading period of kindergarden!

Oct 14, 2007


Sensory Integration Disorder....that was the diagnosis just 2 years ago.
Had I known how our lives were about to change for the better I would have pushed for evaluations much sooner. Had it not been for our close friends, Mike and Marty I may never had even pushed for the evaluations.
So what does living with a child that has SID look like....well it depends on each child and family. The spectrum for SID is very wide just like autism. Each child deals with sensory experiences differently.
For Kristofer it varies from day to day and moment to moment. We have some days like Thursday that he is off the wall wild. Nonstop activity. Constantly jumping, climbing, running into people, pacing, humming, screaming just to scream and then screaming because everything is too loud, screaming because everyone is too close to him or they are touching him. Then the very next moment he is crying cause he can't get close enough to me...so I cradle him as he nestles into my arms with his face pressed into my neck. Occasionally I have to cradle him like I use to when he was a baby breast feeding. It gets harder to hold him like a swaddled baby with his legs hanging off the other side of the chair. Days like this day it is hard to bathe him. He hates his hair washed and screams the whole time..."it hurts...you're killing me!" On days like this one all he wants to do is eat. Great you might think but all he eats on any given day is apples, Tyson chicken crispy strips, hard sliced cheese, and right now his favorite is Doritos. Nothing else! No soft foods at all and definitely no veggies! Just fruit, chicken and cheese usually! oh and a must is chocolate milk.
Then we have days like yesterday. Days it takes everything we have to get him to pay attention, stay in the moment and come out of his little world. He gets immersed in his world, plays quietly (meaning not constantly moving) and doesn't want to be disturbed. He will play for hours at one thing; usually with his dinosaurs or with his legos. He lays around, wants to just watch TV or a movie and is at peace or should I say we are at peace because he is quiet (not constantly moving). On days like yesterday we have to repeat his name many times at varying levels of volume to get his attention. Usually we have to touch his shoulder or even tickle him to get his attention. On days like this we can bathe him and wash his hair without too much argument and on days like this he barely eats. Just wants "chocolate milk and that is all."
When he is at school I am not sure how he is acting. His teacher has not complained of nonstop activity but when he comes home he is a wild man. Guess I should be thankful that he is not a wild man at school. The biggest problem is that he has once again lost 5 lbs. He is not very heavy as it is. He is at a very healthy weight according to his doctor but he doesn't need to loose weight either. So when he is on the starving to death mode we feed him as much as his tummy wants. Right now we may have to increase his calories again with Carnation Breakfast drinks instead of just choc. milk. Anything to get him the extra calories his growing body needs.
So when it comes to SID everyday presents a different challenge at home and more than likely at school too. He receives OT, Speech and has Resource help. He seems to be learning alot and he is very smart. Once he sees it and hears it he knows it. Somethings take a bit longer to learn but he pretty much gets it quickly. Kristofer is such a blessing to our family. There are times when he completely wears us out...us meaning all of us including his sibs. But without him our family is not complete. God blessed us when He gave us Kristofer and although I wish things were easier for him I could never imagine my life without him in it!

Oct 12, 2007

Friends from home and then some...

Yesterday we were blessed to have some friends from home come to visit us!
Tammy and Tim came and it was like a breath of fresh air all the way from Florida. It was great to see how God has been moving in and changing Tim. He was a very struggling teen who desperately needed God. He found Him in a real sense in a program through Teen Challenge. Thank God there are programs out there that can reach these struggling teens!
It was great to have time to talk with Tammy. She is a dear friend and prayer warrior! She is a true blessing to Sean & I.
Then today out of the blue (ok so they called Monday to let us know they were coming) our dear friends, Mike and Marty came to visit us for a couple of days!
They are our best friends! I went to college with them and they were in our wedding. They have to wonderful kids who also struggle with some issues such as SID and PDD-NOS. Their kids have made such strides! They are a blessing to us! If it had not been for them we probably would not be were we are today with Kristofer. They encouraged us to seek help for Kris and get an accurate diagnosis. Mike is a special ed teacher on top of that! It's so cool how God orchestrated that one! God knew Mike was going to need his special ed training for his own kids!
Watching the kids playing together...Lucy with Sara and Jay with Kris. It was especially nice to watch Mike and Sean playing kick ball with all the boys while Marty and I were watching the girls and talking! I am so glad we live so close to them now. Just 5 1/2 hrs away! YEA!

Oct 10, 2007

Fall is in the air!!!

We awoke this morning to wonderful crisp fall air!
The temp was 50 degrees and the high is only
suppose to reach 70 today. Later this week we are
suppose to have highs in the low 60's!
AHHH fall is here!
The leaves are starting to change. Some have
actually lost all of their leaves. The picture above
is from last year. It was taken just down the road
from where we live now.
I love fall! I love the crisp air, the falling leaves,
the variety of colors all around and of course all of
the pumpkin patches! Fall is one of my favorite seasons.
It is why I love the northern states. Florida can not
compete when it comes to fall!
In a few weeks Sara and Eli's pre-K class has a
pumpkin patch field trip that is open to the whole family.
It is actually on a pumpkin and apple farm which
will be lost of fun for the kids. When we lived in
Florida we would go to a local church that sold
pumpkins for missions. It was so much fun to go
and take pictures of the kids sitting in the midst
of the pumpkins. This year shall prove to be even
better. I have been told that it is a wonderful
farm and the kids will have a great time!
So be looking for those pictures at
the end of the month!

Oct 7, 2007

We're gonna get married and have some kids!

On the first Sunday of every month we have a fellowship dinner after the first service. It is always fun and full of good food. Tonight Kristofer showed interest in one of the little girls at church. Yes our 5 yr old has fallen madly in love with a little blond named Koreena. She is a cute blond haired brown eyed 5 yr old. She is in his kindergarten class as well. He was a sweet gentleman with her. He pulled her chair out so she could sit down and then he went and got her and himself a piece of cake. It was like watching teenagers trying to impress each other! Just on a smaller and much younger scale!
Tonight the older boys were teasing him. He didn't care he stated matter of factly that "Yes I love her! I think she is beautiful!" Then later that night after she had left Jaron asked her do you really love Koreena and he said very boldly with a HUGE smile, "Yes I love her. Some day when we get older we will get married and have us some kids!" Just smiling away. Every adult in the room just lost it. The way he said it was too funny! So proud and full of smiles!
Now the night would not be complete without Sara trying to kiss Jordan, another 5 yr old little boy who comes to the church and is also in Kris' class. Sara has a small crush on Jordan, she bats her eyes at him and tries to sit close to him all the time. It's sweet!
Now Mom and Dad are thinking slow down you two! Sean said he we wanted to pass out when Kris said what he said. Had he seen Sara try to kiss Jordan he might have! I am just really happy to see Kris reaching out to others! Sometimes because of his SID he seems to be in his own world most of the time. Sometimes so much so that it takes us a while to pull him out of his world and into ours. So to see him actually showing an interest in someone else other than family is GREAT!

Oct 5, 2007

Sing Praises to God!

God is so good!
God is so good!
God is so good!
He's so good to us!
He loves us so!
He loves us so!
He loves us so!
He's so good to us!

Just have to sing His praise tonight!

How can I How can I keep from Praising Your name
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love,
How can I keep shouting Your praise
I know I am loved by the King and it
Makes me want to sing....

God has been blessing our socks off this week!
We always tithe! God always provides. Sometimes not
how we want Him to but He does provide!
But this week we received "two" not expected blessings!
Actually it was 3 blessings not expected...

1. Sean got a 25 cent raise!
(not expected!)

2. Sean received a retro active
check associated with the raise
(not expected!)

3. Sean received another check today based
on no workman comp claims for the quarter
(not expected!)

How can we not say thank-you Lord for
all He does for us!

Oh another blessing my children have received!
Today we received a play climber for outside.
Plus we were told this same couple
(a daughter of one of our deacons)
will be bring us a large swing set!

So you tell me:
How can we keep from praising His name??
How can we ever say enough
how amazing is His love!
How can we keep from shouting His name
We know we are loved by the King and
It makes us want to sing!!!

You can't have my friend!

Yesterday I heard the best statement from Eli when I went to pick him up at school. "You can't have my friend!" he said to Sara. Why you might ask do I think its a great statement...Well because Sara and Eli are twins! They have shared everything from the start of life. Eli has always been passive to Sara's dominate personality. Yesterday he asserted himself without hitting, biting or kicking his sister! YEA ELI! You use those words!
I learned from their teachers that they behave so well at school now. Sara plays with the girls in the home center, art center and book center. She loves playing house, cooking and doing art projects. In fact they have to usher her out of the art center so other children can have a turn. Which doesn't surprise me! She has been the one out of 4 kids to color on almost every wall we have. Thank God for Clorox Color Erasers! Right now her favorite thing to draw is teddy bears and mice and self portraits.
Eli has been playing with just the boys. He has so good buddies, Mick Jagger (yes that is his first name!) he comes to play with the kids 2-3 days a week. He lives down the street. Eli also likes playing with Andrew and a few other little boys. He truly loves going to school. He primarily plays with the cars, trucks, trains and planes in the block center, book center and listening center. He likes art but its not his favorite thing. In fact Eli is the 1st of our three boys that truly enjoys cars and toys of the like.
I am proud of them that they have separated themselves and have found their own sets of friends. Sometimes twins tend to stick to each other and that is what they did for the first month of school. I am so happy that they have become individuals and can play with others without needing each other exclusively. The teachers shared the only time they even look for each other is when they are on the play ground. That is when the kids are being picked up at the end of the day.

Oct 2, 2007

From Golfballs to crutches

Today was my follow up with the surgeon today. I learned a few things. First of all God has been protecting me and kept me from serious injury. He also kept me from having a terrible infection! THANK YOU JESUS!
My gall bladder was holding two large stones. One was just over an inch and the other stone was 2.8 inches almost 3 inches in diameter! He said my gall bladder was in terrible shape and reiterated to me how amazed he was that I was not in more pain and more sick. He just kept saying how bad it looked and how enflamed it was. He also said the pressure it was putting on my liver was not good but I have NO damage to the liver. I told him it was due to God's healing power and all the people that were praying for me! Thank you for your prayers! I do feel so much better! I don't have the constant pain after eating now although my system is a mess. I am sure in time it will get better!
As for my knee...I was suppose to see the Orthopedic doc today but he had an emergency and had to cancel all appointments this week so I go to see him on the 16th. My knee is feeling better. The ligament pain is no longer there when I sit down or stand up! YEA! BUT I do still have pressure and pain insdie the knee. It feels like it is always ready to let go and it often times goes backwards on me. It is not pleasant and it hurts every time it does it. So keep praying for that!
God is a big God and He can do anything! Even heal my knee completely before I see the doc in 2 weeks!!

"It slipped out of my teeth and went down to my tummy!"

The title says it all! Last night Kristofer came to me and said those exact words. I just looked at him, my initial response was "What?" He then handed me one of two of my wrist watch batteries! I had put them in a cup in my craft closet at the top! I thought they were safe there...I was wrong!
All kinds of things went through my head as I tried to get him to tell me when this happened. The story of when and where changed with each question the only thing that stayed the same was how the battery slipped down and is in his tummy. I just kept thinking about a friend's little boy, Jonathan. Jonathan was 3 and got into his mommy's medicine. I watched this little boy go into seizures while holding a newborn kitten in my home. His mom took off to get his dad and I was left with this small little boy who was literally close to death. It scared me so bad. It was just a year after we lost our little boy Sean Patrick. I swore I would never go through something like that! Thankfully and his parents will give all the glory to God he is alive and well and a very smart young man now.
So I being a calm parent...not! Called Sean and then called poison control. Ok Poison control was of no use! The guy just kept saying is he choking...well no! Kris at the time was laughing and screaming in delight as he and his brothers had a pillow fight! Trying to get him to just sit and not move is like trying to tame a wild mustang! So after many different phone calls we finally talked to the pediatrician and was told not to worry. It will pass. We just have to check the stool! Oh yea! Can we just say "GROSS!"
Sean told Kristofer this morning that he was going to have electric poop. Which he and Eli thought was funny. Tonight we took our family to church for prayer night. Usually its just Sean at church for prayer of Tuesday night. Actually he always says "there was 4 of us, The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit and me." We have decided that from now on he and I will go to prayer and the kids can join us at the end. They play in the nursery. Eventually we are praying that other members of the church will join us!
Anyway, we had all the kids come and we prayed for each child and they prayed for each other. It was soo sweet to see them really praying for each other. We prayed for Kris and we prayed he would "poop" out the battery. Which sent Eli and Sara into giggles! If there is one thing I have learned from this it is this: NEVER under estimate your kids and their curiosity! Kris told me he just wanted to see if it was hard!