Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 28

Day 28: My siblings' spouses and all of their children!!!
I am so thankful for my siblings-n-law and my nieces and nephews!!! They too add something to my life that could not be replaced or reproduced!!!
My brother, his wife, their son. Richie has introduced me to the wonderful world of Coffee mate, we've had fun shopping trips together, we get our Christmas trees together, we watch football together......once we scheduled birthday parties for the same day (oops!).....we've boated together, we have fun family times together. I would also say I am closer to my brother now, because she brings him along too!!! haha! And of course, there is no one else quite like Anthony Cooper, that sweet and spunky nephew of mine!

My sister, her husband, their children. Steve has been my other big brother since 2002, and has done a mighty fine job. He's always looked out for me, and we even worked together for a year or so. We have several inside jokes, and have had lots of fun times. Through the fires of his life, rather than coming out smelling like coal, he's came out smelling like refined gold, and I am so proud to have him in our family. He's added two precious children to our bunch, and I love those kiddos just like the rest of  'em. And of course, Aunt T's Boo, pictured in the middle, has always been my sweet girl.

My sister, her husband, their son. While all of this is new, I can already say that Jason is one heck of a guy. He seems to really make Tiffany happy, and be a superb dad to Austin. They both have a great sense of humor, and family togetherness. Noah asks me all of the time when he can go back to Happy Harbor with Uncle Jason!!! What a wonderful memory they made together! Roll Tide Austin!!!
I have an awesome family, with great ones married in and born to, and for that, I am thankful!!!

Day 27

Day 27: Noah's SPEECH!
That's not just any turkey #3 pictured above......that's Noah, and when he was a toddler, I was told he may not ever be able to talk!!!! On days like the one above, I was more than thankful that my boy can talk, and he did a mighty fine job of it!!! This may take a while for you to read, and if you are me, a big box of tissues......but read on about God's goodness.
      When Noah was 1, he could say Mama, Dada, juice, cup, bite, cow, pig, dog, plane, you know, about 10-15 baby gibberish words. By 2 years old, he couldn't say any of them. In between there, he had a bunch of the regular immunizations. I don't know if it's related or not, maybe a coincidence. He's had all shots since then. Anyway, Dr. thought he needed to go to a neurologist because he wasn't talking, wouldn't always answer to his name, would scream when someone approached him, say in a store, like "hey little guy, what pretty eyes!" he'd scream as loud as possible and not look at them. He would get bored easily with his surroundings, which was a sign of a “high-functioning child.” He also lined up everything he played with, organized by shape and color, and had lots of "autistic spectrum tendencies".
    Dr thought maybe asperger’s syndrome (a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to verbalize and communicate with others). First, we took him to have his ears checked (to rule out hearing loss) and believe it or not, we were at the audiologist's for 1 ½ hours, and Noah wouldn't be still or quiet enough to do the test!!! Let me say this, WE SOUGHT GOD ON EVERY CHOICE WE WERE MAKING WITH NOAH! We gave Noah to the Lord, and didn't want to do something that wasn't of Him, or in His will. So, we left. I had asked for the confirmation that if it was God’s will, show me. There was no way I’d know on my own. Then, someone told mom at Dr. Craine's about the school system, and an early start type program they offer. I thought that sounded like it was worth a shot. We try to stay away from doctors as much as possible, and if the neurologist suggested therapy, none of it would be covered by insurance, plus it'd be in Mobile or Pensacola. So, I decided to try the school thing, and if that didn't work, or if they suggest neurologist, we'd go. Otherwise, we didn't feel lead to go to neurologist.
            So, I met with about 7 people from the school at the Loxley office (including the school nurse, and a student nurse!) and they felt he qualified for further evaluation, and that they would start by doing a hearing test. We got there to the hearing test about a month later (Noah had just turned 3.) and he sat there good as gold, did the test, and had 100% hearing in both ears! So, it wasn't that. He started in January at speech in Summerdale, his paperwork, which I still have, says "totally nonverbal at this time, can make around 7 sounds of the English language. He grunts, and speaks broken gibberish!" Speech teacher said he really needed something more to help him, even before the further evaluation (which took about 6 months to get!), so in March of that year he went to Robertsdale elem. special ed preschool (which is at the elementary school, Summerdale doesn't offer it, only bigger schools have the program).
            I called the Dr., and told him all of this and Dr. Eberly said "well, good luck with that because without proper medical care, he may never get better, he'll probably never talk" and I told him thanks!
            Noah did great at the preschool program. On the first day I took him, I told God I needed physical confirmation, if this was God's will, I wanted Noah to tell me bye, and blow me a kiss, and I told God if it wasn't His will, to let Noah cry so hard, the teacher would call me to come get him. When I left Noah, he waved, said "bye bye mama" (he hadn't done that in forever!) and he blew me a kiss!!!!!
            I cried all the way down the hall, all the way to the parking lot, all the way home, and all the way until 11:15, pickup time!!! GOD IS SO GOOD! HIS PROMISES ARE YES AND AMEN!
            Noah went 2 days a week, half days. That summer they evaluated him, a special ed teacher, and a psychometrist maybe, it's in the papers, I just can't remember who did it right now. They diagnosed him with having a developmental delay. He went the preschool that year again, 3 days a week, ½ day. He turned 4 that year. Within months, he was talking. He would substitute certain sounds where he couldn't say one, like "frog" was "stop", "Noah" was "Waddy", we still don't know why, but with speech it's been corrected. He went that whole year.
            Then in 2009, he went again, 3 days a week, full days. They started doing something called "inclusion" where they'd put him in the regular K4 class for about an hour a day. They said it was good for him to be around “typical peers.” I asked that teacher how he was while with the “typical children,” and she said, "Honey, I don't know he's any different!!!" After years of special ed, she didn't know he was different!!!
            He turned 5 that year in October, and in January 2010, he no longer qualified for special ed services.
     He now has articulation delay, not developmental delay. So, he quit preschool, and went to speech at Summerdale again (different teacher now! she's amazing!) and did that twice a week. August of 2009, Noah had 52 articulation errors, in September 2010, he had 13!!!!! PRAISE GOD! In May 2011, he was down to 4 errors! It’s almost over!!!
      He started regular ed kindergarten August 2010, his teacher did not believe me when I told her he was special ed, she read his paperwork, and still didn't believe it! He's so normal now! we had his yearly meeting in January 2011, and his speech teacher noted all of his progress. She's amazed at how fast he's caught on to new sounds. And, his K teacher (Maria Parsons, her hubby is a pastor in R'dale at Family Harvest Church, and her little boy Caleb went to be with the lord after battling cancer in 09) told me that Noah made the highest score in her class on the dibels test, which is a statewide test giving by the reading coach. And he continues to amaze me everyday with his learning progress. At the end of his Kindergarten year, Noah had an IQ test, and I sat across a table from a psychometrist, a speech teacher, and his K teacher, and I was told that Noah is in the upper average range overall for his IQ. He scored above average in one area, and close to it in others. We always knew he was smart, but these ladies shared with me that Albert Einstein didn’t talk at all until he was 5 years old, because he was just too smart, his mind moved so fast, that his development was delayed!!! By the way, we switched pediatricians, he now goes to Dr. Skinner in Fairhope, who is amazing. My cousin is a RN at Thomas in the women and children's dept, and she recommended her. Also, while I would never blame Noah, but one reason I didn't have another child sooner was because of this battle. But it's all God's timing anyway! I’ll also tell you that God has changed me so much through all of this!
       Hopefully, if you knew me before,  you wouldn't even recognize me anymore! First of all, I have enough faith, that one day, I’m actually going to walk up to a physical mountain and tell it to move, and I’m positive it will. And think of Noah's testimony, when he stands before hundreds in a church, or even behind a camera, and says "Look what the Lord has done!" I'm thankful for the battles we've been through. God took our pain, and pulled us closer to Him with His ways! I would sometimes wonder why Noah had to go through such torment. But, it's for such a time as this! It was hard when he would want something, and I couldn't guess what it was, and he couldn't tell me! Try going a day without talking, and see if you could do it! He'd start screaming, and we'd go to the fridge, and I’d have to point at everything until I could get it right, whatever he wanted. He couldn't say, milk or juice or food or water. He couldn't say he was hot or cold. He couldn't tell me where he didn't feel good at. Now, he won't stop talking!!! hahaha. He used to not play with others, he'd be in a room full of children, like at the church nursery, and would go to the corner by himself, now every weekend he wants to have a friend over. Oh, and the reason he'd scream when folks talked to him, is because he was self-conscious. He couldn't say hey back to them. Anyway, all is well now! He loves speech, does great at school, and drives me nuts at home, like a typical child!!!! 
    And I really can’t believe I didn’t trust God enough without the physical confirmations, but you know, my Father cared enough about such details, He looked out for me, just like I would for my children. Ain’t God good?!? Let me tell you, all the time He is so good, nothing could separate me from His love, and He will never ever forget His promises to us!     
             I’m so thankful that we have done well enough the first time with our child, of course with God’s leading, that's He's given us another blessing to raise for His glory!!!
            I’m sure this whole experience will touch so many lives. There is never a way I could forget all that God did for us over these years. This is a shortened, compacted version, of a very long story and battle. We didn’t do much talking about it while it was going on, we had no reason to give the devil any room to boast. The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue...” We wanted to only speak life over our son. We would not settle for less. Was it tip-toe through the tulips?Absolutely not. When the Lord be a blessin’, the devil be a messin’! We are still constantly attacked. But let me finish with this, “Greater is HE in me!”
I wrote all of that when Noah was in Kindergarten, when a friend of mine asked me why Noah had speech troubles. Some of it has local locations and people in it, only because the person who asked me knows all of them. I will add to it as he grows. My boy is a non-stop talking 2nd grader, and for that, I am thankful!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 26

Day 26-Healing
 I am so thankful today for God's Healing touch. He has more than one time healed my body, He's healed my spirit, He's healed my mind, and He's healed my heart!!! I know that without Him, I would not be here, and I would not have been made whole. I know so many people who suffer daily in their bodies and minds, and I do not, and for that, I am thankful!

Day 25

Day 25-Outlaws/Inlaws!
I am thankful for my inlaws! My husband has his parents, his sister, her husband, their 3 children, and a nephew-n-law, and this March we will add a great-nephew! I am thankful for all of them. It has been amazing to watch his niece and nephews grow, and to be with this family through its life seasons. I know that no family is perfect, and they all have problems, but I can truly say it could be worse!! haha! Derrick's family is my family, and for that, I am thankful!

Day 24

Day 24-Cookbooks and Crock pots!!!
I am thankful for my cookbook collection and for my new crock pot!!! My cookbooks have rescued me many times, whether at home, what to take to a potluck, or when a friend is coming over, I have made very good use of my cookbooks. And my trusty ole crock pot finally hit the fritz on me, so Thanksgiving night, I was at Wally-World getting myself an early Christmas present for $9.44!!! I cannot wait to open it. I also have a couple of wonderful taste testers, one of whom is pictured here, and for that, I am thankful!!!!

Day 23

Day 23-Siblings!
I am thankful for my siblings.....old and new!!! I look pregnant in this picture, but I was not, and I have lost 18 lbs since then.....and I am thankful for that too!!! Anyway, I am thankful for my siblings. They are each unique, and they each play a different role in my life. God could not have blessed me any more with any better ones, and for that, I am thankful!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 22

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!!!!

Day 22....Thanksgiving......I am thankful for EVERYTHING!!!!
I think Noah definitely summed it up!!!!
When I look around and see the good things God has done for me,
I know, I am unworthy of them all.
For His blessings He so freely gives,
I know I owe my life to Him.
I have so much to thank Him for.
I have so much to thank Him for, so much, to praise Him for.
Can't you see?!?!
He has been so good to me.
And when I think of all He's done, and where He has brought me from, I have so much to thank Him for.

Day 21

Day 21-Sunshiny days!!!
I am thankful for days filled with sunshine. Some places, such as the rain forest, never see such a beautiful site. The sun shines upon my face, and for that, I am thankful!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Days 17-20

Day 17: Heritage. I am a good mix of Native American and German.....the red-skinned and the pale-face!!! Haha. But, I am thankful for my American heritage, as well as my family heritage. I am forever proud of my family, my roots, and where I came from. Those before me had to fight for their heritage, and I do not, and for that, I am thankful.
Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA 

I like to think my descendants would have looked just like this!!!
 Day 18: My hubby!!! I know, you just lost your lunch, but I could never begin to describe to you just how thankful I am for my husband. I was very young when I got married, and I definitely found out quick-like that my husband is "different" from most people from my "generation" but I will tell you that what doesn't tear us down will make us better, and I am thankful for all that I have learned from my husband. I am thankful for all we have shared, for all that we have acquired, for lessons learned together, and for being together!!! Some people do not have such a determined, knowledgeable, and hard working person to serve the Lord with together forever, and I do, and for that, I am thankful!
Mr and Mrs 01-01-04

I truly am just as happy now (well most of the time) as I was then!!!

And he's still that same ole stud!

Day 19: School Holidays!!! I am so thankful that I get a few extra days during the year, to have my firstborn home with me! I do miss Noah when he's at school, some days more than others, and I love having him home on days that are not busy weekends. We are all still in our jammies today, and it's after lunch, and for that, I am thankful!!!  
School holidays also give us the opportunity to visit NaNa!!! She was ready for the picture to be over, and Nicholas kept calling the pumpkins behind him "balls"
 Day 20: Grace. I am so thankful that God reached way down in the miry clay, and chose to pull me out, and put my feet on solid ground. I am thankful that no matter what, God is married to the backslider. He holds our pain, and uses His ways to pull us closer. I am very thankful for God's Grace. I have been forgiven, and given a second chance, and for that, I am thankful.
Grace-noun-Mercy, Pardon.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ok ok....days 14-16

Sorry I've had to interrupt this blog....but motherhood calls!
I was somehow called upon to be the costume creator for Noah's Thanksgiving play that I am going to later on today! I cannot wait! Anyway, here are Days 14-16...
Day 14-Vacations! We have been so blessed to be able to save and travel, even if it's just staying with family, and I am so thankful! We've been on big vacations to Ft. Walton, FL; New Orleans,LA; Gatlinburg,TN; Baton Rouge, LA; Helen, GA, St, Augustine, FL; Nashville, TN; Waverly, TN; Bowling Green, KY; Jackson, MS; Orlando, FL; Ocala, FL; and Chattanooga, TN. We've been on several weekends and overnighters all along the way! It's fun to get away, and have nothing to do but spend time with the ones you love! Most young families cannot say the same, and for that, I am thankful.

Day 15-Parents/Grandmother! Here's Nana, with me and the boys, and she has always been such a hoot! I love her dearly, and while I am just recently realizing that she won't be around forever, I am so glad I've had so many wonderful years with her. She's feisty, she's been through a lot, she always makes time for us....and for that, I am thankful!

It's mom....with  a cake! ha! Words could never tell how thankful I am for her! I truly do have the world's best mom, and for that, I am thankful!

It's daddy.......with a cake! ha! My dad has been a powerful influence in my life, and is always there when I call! I suppose he's there when I don't call....but either way, I have the #1 dad, and for that, I am thankful!

Day 16-Humor! Funny pictures and stories are so important in life. Laughter doeth good like a medicine. These are some of my most recent favorite funnies! I have thousands! I have a sense of humor, and for that, I am thankful!

Looks like my attempts at recipes!


Another one that is definitely me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Days 9-13!!!

Sorry I got behind....I have been busy volunteering to teach Noah's class, going to see Bama play with my husband, and spending Sunday and Monday together as a family......and for that I am thankful!!!! Here are days 9-13...
Day 9-The Bible: God's Holy Word. I am so thankful that while sometimes, things may get tough or out of hand, we always have the guide written for us to follow and refer to. And I have stood on the Word so many times through life. I have a living God, and I hide His Word in my heart, and for that, I am thankful.

Day 10-Music. You've seen this picture already, but I am thankful for music. Not just that I can make music, but I love to listen to music. I am thankful that so many people have the talent to put together words and make lyrics, and put together notes and make music. Music moves me, and for that, I am thankful.

High School Band Seniors 2003!

Music Humor!!!
Day 11-Military/Veterans. I am thankful for all of the men and women who serve or have served in the military, in any way, shape, or form in order to keep this country free. Freedom isn't free, and we've had many people pay the price, and for that, I am thankful! 

Day 12-Football. I absolutely love watching football.....particularly Alabama Football!!! I enjoy watching all of it though. I remember when I was a little girl, I would stay with my grandmother a lot during the summer and on school holidays, and my uncle lived next door to her. He came over one day, and wrote down x's and o's on paper, and explained the fundamentals to me. I love football, and I am so happy that Noah had the opportunity to play this year. Things weren't perfect for the team, coaches, or players, but we made the best of it, and we are looking forward to next year. Touchdown Alabama.....and for that, I am thankful!

Derrick and I went to the Bama vs. Texas A & M game, and even though our team lost, we had an absolute blast!

I am also thankful that I found this "Nick Chick" visor to wear, as we both forgot our sunglasses!

Roll Tide!!! Here we are with over 100,000 of our closest friends!

Still the greatest coach to ever walk a sideline!!!

Day 13-Birthdays! I am so thankful that every year, after another trip around the sun, I wake up on July 23rd and celebrate another year of my life. I hope to continue to have birthdays for a long, long time. I have already been given more time than others, and for that, I am thankful! Here's my 27th birthday.

My 26th birthday.

My 25th birthday....don't worry, that's all the further I am going back!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8

I am thankful for my education!!!!

Even though this is my second shot at continuing my education....I am so thankful to be able to do so now!!!
To some, it may not seem like much, but I was always a straight A student.....OK, with the occasional B.....and I always tried to do my best in school. Kids now a days are totally different. Not all kids, but there are some children who think it's funny to get in trouble at school, we were embarrassed to get in trouble (not that I ever did...hah!) and we certainly didn't want to make bad grades. So, I put forth 100% and did my best. That was apparently A's and B's. And, when I graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA, I think I really took for granted all of the scholarships I was offered. I had scholarships to 4 year Universities, and I turned them down, simply to stay close to home and "get my basics out of the way" at Faulkner State Community College. There isn't a thing wrong with that either, after all my brother, one of my sister's, my sister-n-law, one of my late aunts and my husband are all FSCC graduates. It was hard enough going to school as a newly wed, but when I found out soon after that I was expecting, I thought the best option would be to put that on hold, and it still was the best option as having a baby slap in the middle of a semester would've been difficult. And then, I really never gave a lot of thought into going back to school. Again, after all I know lots of people who did not go to college and are doing "just fine" without it!
Fast forward to today. I am continuing my education, with a different major, and I am glad. I am very happy that with a little financial assistance, and a little babysitting help, and a lot of family support, and even a sister for a tutor, to be back at it again. And this time, I really know there's a lot of effort going into it. It's not quite as easy to me either. I also know that this could be one of my last shots at it! And mainly, I most definitely see that rather I get a career or not, rather I work in my field of study or not, I will complete my degree, however long it takes!!! Two of my siblings, and my husband both went on to 4 year universities after finishing FSCC (USA, UWF, and TROY!), which is something I doubt I will do. But, you have my word, I will have a A.A.S. in Computer Technology one day!
The other day, when I picked up Noah from school, I told him I had just taken my Math test (it's online) and that I made a 95 (I am as shocked as you are!) and Noah smiled, and replied, "Mom, that's great!!! I had a math test too! I hope I did good like you!" That right there is one of the main reasons I will finish my degree, and graduate with my husband, children, parents, and whoever else comes looking on, I will!!!
I am a Sun Chief again, and for that, I am thankful!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7

I am thankful for Noah Bryant and Nicholas Brees!
I know I should've given them separate days, but I would be here for 10 years talking about each child, a day or two doesn't give justice to how I feel. So I simply decided to do it all at once.
I am thankful for each of my children, who are nothing short of miracles and blessings. I am thankful that God chose me for motherhood.We've had family who have suffered miscarriages, and have had stillborn babies. Several women go through this daily. Recently we've had a family member endure something so tragic, and I have cried daily for her these past couple of weeks.  I don't know why God chose me to be a mother, but I am truly thankful that he chose me to raise up 2 children for His glory. I do my best daily to not let Him down.
My children have so far been very different from one another. Each with his own personality, weaknesses, and strengths. I wouldn't have them be any other way. I am very proud of my children, and very protective over them. I know they are not perfect, but they are perfect to me, and will always be!!! Nothing will ever change how I feel about my boys!!!
I had 27 pictures uploaded of my I narrowed it down to the following:
Mama and Baby Noah
Noah now!!!

Mama and Baby Nicholas
Nicholas now!!!
 And out of those thousands of pictures I was going through earlier, I found these to be interesting:
Noah at 7 months old in the grass!
Nicholas at 7 months old in the grass!

 And a couple of my favorites of the 2 of them together!

My children are an heritage from the Lord, they are my boys, and for that, I am thankful!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 6

I am thankful for the right to vote!!!
I chose this topic today, for obvious reasons.
Some people feel they do not need to vote, that their vote doesn't count or matter......I feel that people bled and died so we could have that right. I believe that rather than a duty, it should be your honor to vote. Other countries don't get the opportunity to do so. Also, if you don't vote, don't complain!!!
A family friend of ours passed away this last Sunday. He suffered with cancer....I HATE CANCER by the way.....and he leaves behind his wife (such a sweet lady and woman of God), 5 daughters, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. That man made arrangements and voted early!!! What's your excuse for not voting?
Arriving at the polls
Heading in


I have the right to vote, and have a voice, and for that, I am thankful!