Families Again
Families Again
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Families Again
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Our First Advent Night
Mood:  chillin'

I wouldn't say it was a complete success, but we experienced our first Advent Night last night. We decided to go to "Christmas in the City" earlier in the evening and had a blast, but by the time we got home for the Family Advent Night, Mom, Dad and John Allen were ready but Joshua and Jacob had reached their limits. It wasn't a total loss. The lighting of the candle and the reading of Scripture went fairly well. Unfortunately, after the candle meltdown, we had a Joshua meltdown. The craft was less of a success. John Allen made his own, but I ended up making Joshua's and Sarah made Jacob's. We postponed the story until later, but everyone seemed to enjoy the snack! We learn from experience, and, next time, we will for sure start earlier and not have two big family events planned for the same evening. I'll keep you posted as to how Advent Night #2 goes. Have any of you had one?

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:43 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, 6 December 2008 11:23 AM CST
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Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Joshua's Diagnosis
Mood:  not sure
Topic: The Kids

Well, it's official. We got the diagnosis today. Our middle child, Joshua, has Asperger's Disorder. Asperger's Disorder (sometimes called Asperger's Syndrome) is in the autism family or clinically referred to as in the autism spectrum. We have suspected this for a long time, and even hoped that this would be the diagnosis. We  have (or maybe I should say he has) struggled for so long, and we have gotten so many opinions and diagnosis that didn't seem right. All of our reading about Aspies (as they are commonly called) seemed to fit Joshua. We were hoping that this was it - finally we would know what it was and how to help him. Well, finally we do know.

It's funny. At first I was relieved. Now, having typed it out, the reality has sunk in and I don't know how I feel. I guess kind of sad. I don't know why. Aspies are generally very bright kids and can function very well in society. Many very successful people are Aspies. Bill Gates is one. They just move to the beat of a different drummer. We just have to recognize that and learn how to teach, discipline, and guide to that beat. Some idiosyncrasies we can allow and just chalk it up to him being made from a different mold. But there are some areas where he is going to have to break out of that mold. Some social behaviors he will have to learn. There are some things that he just doesn't "get". He doesn't read social cues or body language very well and sometimes becomes very frustrated when things don't happen the way he thinks they should happen. Aspies can sometimes seem very selfish, but they aren't trying to be. They just don't understand. It's going to be an interesting path that God has given us to take. Please pray with us and for Joshua as we travel down that path.

I have mentioned just a few characteristics of an Aspie. I'm sure in the days, weeks, years to come, I'll blog about many other things. Until then, I have found a couple of articles about Aspies that you can read if you want to find out more. One is a very short definition and found at www.aspergers.com. Another longer but touching article written by a 48 year old woman who just diagnosed with asperger's is found on the CNN website. (Don't tell anyone that I just linked to CNN. I'll be kicked out of the FOXNEWS fan club!)

Thanks for letting me ramble and being a good listener. Please do pray for us. Remember John Allen, our oldest. This whole thing has been tough on him. Jacob, our two year old, just goes with the flow. Remember Sarah as well. She may seem tough on the outside, but she has a tender mother's heart on the inside. She has shed many tears for her children (and for me as well). Thanks, beforehand, for all of your prayers.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:06 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 4 December 2008 1:15 PM CST
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Monday, 1 December 2008
Now is the Time to Buy! I Love Vision Forum!
Topic: Favorite Links

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Posted by tink38570 at 5:53 PM CST
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Friday, 28 November 2008
Shopping Opportunities!
Mood:  caffeinated

I know that I have been blogging a lot about different companies that I have affiliated with and I want you to know that making money is not the primary reason for this blog. However, this blog is fairly new (just over a month old) and I am constantly looking for companies that meet my goal of strengthening the family hence the reason for so many announcements of late. This is, also, the holiday shopping season and I want you to be aware of some shopping opportunities with retailers that offer good wholesome products. Below are some links to "Black Friday" sales that are currently going on. Some of these are affiliates where we get a percentage of the sale when you link to that company through our blog. As I said before, money making is not the primary purpose of my blog, but as full-time missionaries, we could always use the extra money. The links to all of my affiliations and other companies that I support are located to the left of my blog. Thank's for shopping with these companies and again have a Blessed Christmas.



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Posted by tink38570 at 12:20 PM CST
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Black Friday doesn't have to mean Bleak Season
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: General

As I am writing this, my wife, Sarah, and my mother-in-law are taking advantage of "Black Friday". This seems to have turned into a Thanksgiving holiday tradition for them. For the past few years they have awakened and left the house by 4:00 am to take advantage of all of the pre-Christmas sales. And, they have had a BLAST. They enjoy people watching, enjoy the prices, but most of all they enjoy each other. They vow not to get caught up in fighting for the last toy, haggling over prices, and the general stress, and just go to have fun and look for bargains.

Four in the morning is just too early for me, I need my beauty sleep, but I do recall past enjoyable Christmas shopping with my family. I remember as a child I would make out my Christmas list while looking at the Sears Christmas catalog and then shopping with my family and enjoying the festive displays. In the little town where I grew up, we actually had a multi-floor department store with a real elevator man that would announce "going up" or "going down". I may be getting older, but that was an usual sight even in my day. Later, I recall a shopping experience with my sister, Carol. We were having a snack in the mall, food court when she suddenly looked up and announced "Tim, your getting gray hair". Carol always knows how to make people feel good. Really, though, these are all pleasent memories of shopping with my family.

Although I agree that Christmas has since become extremely commercialized, and many families are forgetting the true meaning of this Holy Season, we don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water (besides it's much too cold for the little guy Smile). Many people go to the extreme and have nothing to do with shopping but the holiday season can still bring good family experiences. Here are a few ideas that may help turn holiday shopping into a fun family time.

1. Don't neglect the many charities that are out and about during the holiday season. Choose wisely, but let your children see you (or have your children do it themselves) putting change in the charity buckets for the less fortunate.

2. Choose an angel from an angel tree or choose a local family and go out shopping for them. Have your children pick the toys out for the kids. Use it as a teaching opportunity.

3. Instead of focusing on themselves, involve your children in shopping for their siblings. Maybe have them make out the wish lists for their brothers and sisters rather than for themselves.

4. Teach your children patience and politeness (or at least try) while shopping. There is so much pushing, shoving, and grumpiness during the shopping season. A pleasent smile and "thank you" go a long way when you are a tired, weary, sales clerk (I know, I've been one of them).

5. Focus on the religious displays and themes in stores. Yes, some stores, malls and shopping centers still have them. I know that Santa Clause and selfishness are still the chosen themes these days, but there are still some opportunities to discuss the true meaning of Christmas with your young ones.

Enjoy your children while you're out and about this year. Remember the fun times you had when you were younger and don't let this be a bleak shopping season. If you have any ideas on how to make Christmas shopping a more pleasent experience for families, leave a comment or send an email and I will share it in a later post. Merry Christmas!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:03 AM CST
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