Joy in the Journey…Justin prays in Primary

Through the years I have had my moments of being fearful of the future with Justin, of listing all the “never going to happen” with him, and my fair share of pity parties.  Most of those moments were concentrated in the early years and before we had a diagnosis, but I remember them very well.  And those rough valleys we went through make moments like today worth celebrating!!
Justin has not enjoyed attending church since he was 3, and allowed to play with toys the whole time.  So we’ve had about 6 years of chasing him through the halls, having him burst into tears(sometimes as early as just pulling into the parking lot!), and numerous in-and-out-of-the-car episodes, just trying to find a way to teach him to enjoy—or even tolerate church.  In the past month, we had a breakthrough with Justin in teaching him to “wait” and that he has to do things “our way.”  We downloaded an iPad app called iPrompts, which is a visual learning prompt program.  It allows us to create visual schedules for Justin for him to follow, and also allows us to create a visual timer.  For example, if Justin needs to sit at the table to complete a worksheet, we can put a picture of outside on the iPrompts scheduler and set the timer for 5 minutes.  Then we tell Justin he has to wait until the timer is done to go outside.  It is amazing!
My husband has been using this program with Justin for the past few weeks and we have seen a lot of success!!  He’s been able to sit for 10 minutes in his class with his peers in Primary, and about 10 minutes during singing time with a group of children in the past weeks.  However, this week he sat with his class and Primary group for almost the entire 90 minutes.
Today, Justin was scheduled to say the closing prayer in Primary—in front of a group of 40 children between ages 8-12.  He wasn’t in the best of moods at the point when it was his turn, so my hubby just had him say the prayer where he was sitting instead of going to the pulpit.  Justin folded his arms and repeated word-for-word the prayer as my hubby told him what to say.  He finished it by saying loudly, “Amen.”  He did it!!!!  My hubby, who is not a crier, said it was quite emotional for him as he felt the Spirit as he listened to Justin pray.  He wasn’t the only one who felt moved by the experience as some of the kids tried to clap, but then refrained;).
It is moments like these, where I feel the Savior’s love so powerfully, where time stands still and all the worries and fears about Autism no longer exist.  It is in these moments that my testimony of how eternal our spirits are, and how temporary this life is, grows immensely.
And it is moments like these, that give me the strength to keep fighting the fight until the next moment of joy arrives.  Today was worth fighting for!!

Sew and Show Saturday—#1. Bull’s Eye Quilt

My mom and I started quilting when I was about 15 years old and we were hooked the minute we started.  I have always loved piecing quilts together and coordinating fabrics, and my mom does exquisite applique and her hand quilting is amazing.  I’ve decided to make Saturdays my “Sew and Show” day.  I will be sharing quilts that I have made, and showcasing my mom’s quilts as well.  Some of them have a story behind them, and some of them are just eye candy beautiful;)  I hope they inspire you to go sew something sweet!
This Bull’s Eye quilt was part of a class I took.  I ended up redesigning the quilt because I didn’t have enough fabric to make all the Bull’s Eyes.  I introduced some 9 patch squares in black fabric to separate the Bull’s Eyes and create a diagonal pattern.  Then I backed the quilt with a soft, brushed cotton plaid fabric.  I wanted it to be super comfortable because it was the first quilt I made for my husband.  I made it for him when we were newly married and he was still in school—I thought he needed a study blanket!
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I had someone else machine quilt this for me with concentric circles around the Bull’s Eyes and then stippling on the 9 patch squares.  The border is pieced with browns and reds and quilted with an oak leaf pattern.
Because of the intentional rough sewn edges of the Bull’s Eyes, it frays every time you wash it and makes it looked worn and loved!  That’s my favorite part of this quilt!

I am linking to the following parties!

Ladybird Ln I Heart Nap Time Keeping It Simple Raising Oranges Making A Diamond in the Stuff Pincushion Creations A Crafty Soiree Fine Craft Guild mop it up mondays Creative Itch Photobucket It's OVerflowing Whipperberry Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Sew Happy Geek The Taylor House Design Dazzle wednesday's wowzers One Artsy Mama Goings on in Texas I'm Topsy Turvy

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Remembering Winter…

Since we didn’t get any snow this year, sniff-sniff (I don’t want a snowy winter, just one good snow storm a year!), I thought I could post about little Miss’ Winter party.  Ironically, she loves snow even though it is rare that we see any where we live!  So when it was time to decide a birthday party theme, she was thrilled to have a Snow Party.
I am not an expert at decorating cakes, by any stretch of the imagination, but I really enjoy trying!  I love the book Hello Cupcake!  It is very easy to follow, and has the most beautiful pictures.  I ended up modifying one of the ideas in the book to make my snowmen cupcakes…
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I used one regular Oreo and one mini Oreo for the hat, mini chocolate chips for the eyes, a candy coated sunflower seed for the nose, fruit roll up for the scarf, and a mixture of white sparkling sprinkles for the body.  It is made from one mini cupcake and one regular size cupcake.  We served them with hot chocolate and the kids loved the combination!
They turned out much better than I expected—so much so that I did cringe a little bit when the kids ate them!!
I am linking to the following parties!

Ladybird Ln I Heart Nap Time Keeping It Simple Raising Oranges Making A Diamond in the Stuff Pincushion Creations A Crafty Soiree Fine Craft Guild mop it up mondays Creative Itch Photobucket It's OVerflowing Whipperberry Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Sew Happy Geek The Taylor House Design Dazzle wednesday's wowzers One Artsy Mama Goings on in Texas I'm Topsy Turvy

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Birthday Balloon Wreath

If I wasn’t on Pinterest so much, I might have more time for dusting my house—
BUT, I wouldn’t have this cute Birthday Balloon Wreath.  Check out my inspiration from How Does She and here.
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I added a painted monogram letter J, and I can switch it out for the initial of each of my kids on their special day!
Here’s the supply list to make the wreath:
  • Straw wreath
  • 4 small packs greening pins
  • Ribbon to wrap around the wreath
  • 100-120 balloons
  • pipe cleaner
  • Monogram wooden letter
I wrapped my straw wreath with red and white polka-dot ribbon first and then started pinning the balloons with the greening pins until I thought it was full enough.  Then I wrapped different colors of pipe cleaner around a pencil to make them spiraled, and pinned those into the wreath with the greening pins.  My thumb was so red from pushing all the greening pins in—but half-way through I got smart and used a rubber mallet to pound them in.  Save your thumbs and use a mallet!!
Wrapping the wreath with ribbon will help you use less balloons on the sides and it just looks cute!
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My most cherished compliment came from a 10 year old boy who asked me if I had made this wreath because he thought it was “cool.”  I thought he was amazing for even noticing there was a wreath on the door!!  It’s a crowd pleaser!

I am linking to the following parties!

Ladybird Ln I Heart Nap Time Keeping It Simple Raising Oranges Making A Diamond in the Stuff Pincushion Creations A Crafty Soiree Fine Craft Guild mop it up mondays Creative Itch Photobucket It's OVerflowing Whipperberry Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Sew Happy Geek The Taylor House Design Dazzle wednesday's wowzers One Artsy Mama Goings on in Texas
I'm Topsy Turvy

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