Year In Review 2016

I apologize for the hiatus.  I feel horribly inadequate to blog, much less make this particular blog look good.  It’s quite overwhelming to me especially that I’m not happy with the way the page presents itself.   Many events have occurred.  High school began for my kid.  College began for me.  Husband was promoted and recognized at his work.

Let me begin with my husband.  He has always been with me, for me, and beside me.  He is driven, just as I am driven.  He has always worked hard to provide for T’s needs and for mine.  When T was born we knew there would be complications.  We knew it would be hard, but we never actually understood or could relate to just how difficult it would be.  As a woman and a mom, I knew that raising the family would be primarily under my charge.  I had fairy tale dreams of how the family would be, but I also had realistic expectations.  Even my realistic expectations didn’t clearly define what being a parent of a child with autism would be.  I really thought I was a “weak” mother because I couldn’t handle the strong willed child he became.  Hubby was right there with me.  We were at a loss.  My hopes of staying at home and homeschooling were dashed.  He supported me along the way.  He supported me when T was in school, he went to the meetings he could attend, he prayed for me and with me, he did everything he knew to do.  He fully supported me when we decided to pull him from public school and I would home school him after the 2nd grade.  With all that, he never really understood what it  was like to live 24/7 with a child who loved one minute and “hated” another.  Even after the diagnosis, all the trainings in the world would not work if the person receiving the intervention refused it.  When we moved to AZ and Husband took a job working with disabled adults, I have to say, I was hopeful and skeptical.  I was so glad when he said he finally understood a tiny bit of what it was like to be home 24/7 with T.  He worked diligently to help the members work and find work, to build relationships with them, and to take in as much experience and information he could to improve our home.  It paid off!  He was honored at the company Christmas party with a speech and a plaque.  He is the employment services of his work.  I am so proud of him and so very grateful for his experience!

Next to my son.  T began his second year back in public school as a freshman in high school.  The school itself is about 10 times larger (I’m exaggerating I’m sure).  He went from about 500 students K-8 to about 1200 students 9-12 from all over the area.  He made it almost to Christmas break without being suspended this year!  Much farther into the school year than last year.  When we had the meeting with the school toward the end of the suspension, we reasoned together and the school gained a copy of the behavior plan and has been implementing it.  T has 12 break cards he can use for 5 minute breaks during the day.  He’s been keeping his grades up, but has let his one general education class slip.  He has been opting out of the class a few times because he is struggling with the other kids.  Sometimes they roll their eyes, don’t let him participate, and don’t listen to his ideas.  Criticism is one of his triggers and can be very difficult to maintain a good grade in Digital Media when he doesn’t understand and interpret criticism correctly.  It has been stressful on all of us as he brings his frustrations home.  I’m usually the one on the receiving end of his rage.  I know everything is in God’s hands.  I know all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.  I know I am.  I know He has wonderful plans for T.  It’s so hard to find where the line is, how much to push or how much to let him be.  Breaks my heart.  Hurts my psyche, even thought I know his issues aren’t mine, but I do have to live around them and support him.

Me.  I am dealing well with my depression; right meds, and positive thinking.  I began college for Associate of the Arts in June part time and then full time this past Fall.  I was going to major in social work and begin a career working with families and schools to be the bridge between home and school.  Then I went to University Transfer Day and changed my entire career path.  After much prayer, talking to cohorts and fellow teachers and social workers, I changed to Special Education.  This degree is technically a dual degree program, Elementary Education and Special Education.  So… Spring 2018 (May) I will graduate YC with an AA and transfer to NAU to complete my bachelors degree plan.

There’s some heavy decisions I need to make about my activity level at the school. If I participate in College Honors program then I will get to the top of most scholarship applications. However, there are traveling requirements, one extra course, and I have to be nominated and accepted.  Second decision, Phi Theta Kappa.I know I know, sorority? I don’t think it’s all about that. It’s a program that if I am invited to, I can also go to the top of the lists, but also will be in the running for All-Arizona/USA Academic Team.  Both will have more activities and community service, but will also help in getting scholarships.  Besides, who doesn’t need more community service hours?  It’s been almost 4 years since I’ve been in full time ministry. It would be nice to get back involved and it helps with getting into the school district I want to teach in.  But, that will put a strain on the time spent at home, time with homework and studies, and increase my stress level. I’m not sure I can mentally handle that with the classes that I have to take.  I know I can get through this too because God is greater than any decision I have to make.

Love AZ more than any other state I’ve lived in.  So very thankful for this move.

Here’s to a New Year and more opportunities.

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