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My First Teen, Autism and Missions

So yesterday I became the mother of a teen! I honestly am shocked at how quickly life passes by. My oldest son is a truly unique and wonderful boy. He loves God, his family and Minecraft so very much!!

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I am so proud of the accomplishments he’s made. He was diagnosed with Autism with P.D.D when he was just 4. Up to that point, I just assumed I was a bad mother. Truly! He was often unhappy and would cry whenever it was time to leave somewhere to go home. I had a 3,2,1 and newborn and I’d have to scoop him up in one arm, grab the diaper bag and car seat and wrangle the two other toddlers out to the car with Frankie kicking and screaming and people staring.

Frankie 2

He has always been sensitive to light and touch. I use to have to pin him down to cut his nails or brush his teeth. Many times my wonderful husband would jump in there to help me. Whenever, he would be playing quietly with his toys, one of his siblings would come up and try to touch “one” thing that Frankie was trying to line up and he would lose his mind and start kicking and screaming. He also didn’t potty train until he was 5 1/2 years old.

Those were very trying days, until he was around 8 or 9 he needed to be reminded of every single thing. His mind wanders constantly. He can get fixated on one thing for hours. He would NEVER complete a chore, or get dressed when he was asked or do anything for himself independently. Most of those things he still struggles with, but now he is able to communicate with me better. He does still think he is right about everything though.

Frankie 3

He is an amazing, mostly self-taught student. When it comes to his schoolwork I just have to tell him what I expect and he will complete it quickly. He loves knowledge. He learned to read and multiply by the age of 5 and he was dividing at 6. By 9 he knew more Geography than all of the adults he knew. He is so much smarter than I ever was as a child and believe me I was no slouch.

Frankie 5

I told him he was autistic all along and really started discussing what that meant with him when he was around 10. I asked him last year if he would have rather I not told him about his Autism. He said “I’m glad you did Mom because it helps me understand why people react to me the way that they do.” So insightful.

I really am so proud of him. He has had to overcome bullying, being left out, being told he couldn’t do things. But he is not a quitter, he has so much self-confidence and gumption. He participates in Scouts Canada, A.W.A.N.A and Cadets. He’ll be starting in Air Cadets this June.

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This boy is going to accomplish great things. He wants to travel the world and bring Bibles to those languages that do not have any. Do you know there are over 6000 languages and only 2000 of them have Bibles translated. That is not O.K with Frankie.

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He’s off to Klondyke camp with the Scouts this weekend. He loves camping and has earned all of his camping permits. I personally wouldn’t find camping in the winter fun, but he is all for it. He’s such a go-getter. I can’t wait to see what else will come his way.

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The Last Few Weeks

10400494_26020195268_5330_n**This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I want to showcase some cute pictures of my kids.**

     My three youngest children got the opportunity to go to A.W.A.N.A’s Winter Camp. They had an amazing time. My oldest daughter Cassandra said that she was so grateful to be going to A.W.A.N.A and that she was so glad that everyone there knows her name. My children have attended this wonderful program for 6 years and I couldn’t be more happy or appreciative of the whole experience. My children study and memorize God’s Word and have an awesome time doing it.

A.W.A.N.A. is one program we will never stop! Monday was Family Day here in Canada and there were so many things we could have done in our county, but we decided ultimately to go to our local hockey game. What a great choice. We sat right behind the visiting team and had a great view of the whole game. It was a devastating 0-6 loss for our local Sting boys, but we were absolutely riveted the whole time.

Afterwards the children could go out on skates and get signatures and talk to the team. Francis took that mission literally and even though he didn’t want to put it skates on, he got permission to go out onto the ice. He got all the teams signature, some of the staff and the mascots. He even requested the Vice President to come down from his office for a signature. I was impressed he was so bold. They ended up handing out free hot chocolate!

It was a great Family Day, we played Sorry at night and the kids and I continued with watching LOST. We are about half way through the whole series now. I enjoy going back and watching it, because the kids were babies the first time the series ran. It’s fun seeing them try to guess or figure out what’s coming next. I must say, they are much quicker than me when it comes to figuring out the plot lines.

Tuesday’s are busy for us because all the children have Scouts, Guides and Cubs. But before that we ended up going for Pancake Tuesday at my youngest son’s Cub church. They gave a free meal! I don’t know how they managed that, but bless their hearts.

On Wednesday the children usually go to A.W.A.N.A but my oldest son had a Baden Powell Dinner with Scouts, so hubby, me and our two boys went to that while the girls were going to A.W.A.N.A (which sadly due to the snow got cancelled, man they missed out on a great meal). Thursdays the boys go to Cadets. It used to be Calvanist Cadets, I believe. What a fantastic program it is. My youngest son got the opportunity to go curling with his cub group…Curling!

Man, I wish I had the opportunities that my kids have while I was growing up. I’m living my life through their happiness though. I love seeing them so excited about all these programs and fun. I have never been the most active person, so I wasn’t on any sports teams and never went camping or hiking. Maybe I can change that someday. I’m not too old yet!

This past weekend we had my best friend’s son sleep over because the girl’s went to camp with the Guides and ended up leading 3 of the girls to the Lord. I’m humbled that they are loving God so much and are salt and light to those around them. I pray for them to be bold, even when it’s not easy!

The boy’s did a Hike for Hunger with Scouts Canada. Citywide they brought in 3700 lbs of food. Well, I will end this post even though there is never a dull moment around here. Till next time.

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Homeschoolers and PENCILS!!

I can’t say for sure whether the horror of trying to keep a sharpened supply of pencils is relevant for all mothers or specifically rests in the homeschooling mother’s category of “Worst Things About Homeschooling”, but I am definately one of the affected ones.

My sweet husband will go to the dollar store and bring home two boxes of pencils and I will think “Good, because I don’t know where all the pencils have gone”. I end up uttering the same phrase about every two weeks! Where are all the pencils going? They disappear faster than the other pair of the socks we never seem to find.

For Christmas last year my husband fortuitously bought me an electric sharpener. I actually let out a yelp. The only thing harder to find in my house than pencils, is the hand held pencil sharpeners. It was like he had just handed me a $500 gift card. (maybe not exactly, because then I could have bought 25 more of them!)

Sadly our electric sharpener gave up on it’s glorious little life after a much too short71qGbYqEwtL._SL1500_ 13 months of use. I don’t know whether to be happy that it survived my 4 children that long or sad that I didn’t have an immediate replacement.

I ended up going to Amazon.ca and ordered a manual pencil sharpener. You know the kind. We all grew up with them in school. I figure if it’s good enough to endure 100’s of children, it surely can withstand the abuse from my four munkiees. Surely!

I have never used Amazon Prime before, but you can be sure I signed up for the trial just to get my sharpener fast!! It arrived in two days! Go check out my little beauty, such clean, smooth points. Pure bliss!