Taking the Scenic Route

Easter Morning

4th April 2010

Easter Morning

“MOM!  DAD!  HURRY!  The Easter Bunny was here!”

The night before they left their baskets with the decorated eggs outside for the Easter Bunny, and in the morning, the Easter Bunny hid the eggs and filled the baskets with a chocolate bunny, a game (for Zane) and craft kit (for Zora) and some candy.

With the  extreme change in schedule, trying to get ready for church turned into a disaster.  A few meltdowns later and realizing we had just minutes until church started, we realized that even if we forcibly got everybody dressed (and redressed, as the case may be), and carried them to the car, it was not conducive to a meaningful morning at church.  So, we switched gears, got everybody into casual clothes and re-booted.  That gave Zora some time to decorate the box she got from the Easter Bunny, which thrilled her.

posted in Autistic Life, Easter, Zane, Zora | 1 Comment

4th April 2010

Easter Day with the Family

Out to my parent’s farm for Easter.  It was a truly wonderful day.  Relaxed, happy, and a lot of fun.  We had a wonderful meal, great conversation (including some fabulous stories from the newest person at the table), and a windy, warm Kansas day to play in.

Upon arrival, Zora wanted to show off the box she made to Great-Grandma, who was, naturally, enthused that her great grand-daughter had a love of arts inherited from her.

After a wonderful dinner the kids were on a mission to find the Easter eggs hidden around the room.

The eggs at Oma’s had booty in them: candy and coins.

And the most fun of all, watching new love bloom.  It is so wonderful to see my brother so happy.  They are so wonderful together, comfortable together on a level that many people who have been together for years don’t get to.  Reminds me of when Zach & I were dating.  Happy times.

Steve spent considerable time pushing Zora around on the tricycle, much to her utter delight.

When we pulled the bicycle out we realized, much to our chagrin, that the tires were flat.  This is a “BIG PROBLEM” for Zach and I, who are not particularly good at stuff like that, but Steve and Nora took care of it for us.  (THANK YOU!)  They probably don’t even realize that it meant so much to us, but it did.

This picture would make me a bundle of nerves if I hadn’t seen it in person.  My dad is going really slowly and being very careful, which made this “hover mom” feel less anxious than I normally would have been about 2 kids, a 4-wheeler and no helmets.  lol.  If I remember correctly, Zora also talked dad into a ride in the tractor, but I was busy talking to mom and grandma when that happened.

They charged up the Hummer Remote Control vehicle, which was formally a point of contention when it was given to a toddler Zane (and was powerful enough to run over the Christmas tree when we tested it out after he got it).  It immediately was sent out to the farm because Zane was using it as a step stool to reach things and was too powerful (and complicated) for him to use at that time.  (plus, who would think a Hummer was the appropriate thing to give the toddler of two hippy type people?)  Now it is  a lot of fun to use, but I still have to laugh at the fact it takes many more hours to charge the batteries than it does to run (seems appropriate for a Hummer, doesn’t it).  At any rate, we had a ball with the Hummer, especailly when teasing the dogs with it.  (The dogs LOVED it…it was so much fun for all of us watching them chase it around the farm.)

And now the kids are both able to control it well, so they have a lot of fun with it too.

After the food had settled a bit, it was time to make dessert…homemade ice cream.  Steve has a great, easy recipe for it and always invites the kids to help make it.  Zane isn’t as interested in the process, but Zora sure is.  She will brag for days later that she helped make the ice cream.

Our favorite boy, with the hair that drives moms and grandmas crazy, was loving the feeling of the wind in his hair.

And then we attempted a group photo.  Apparently, it is asking too much for both kids to smile at the same time and pose appropriately.  Oh well, it is the real deal, which is better any way.

I can’t for the life of me remember the dog’s name, but she was beautiful and very good with the kids.  She also made me want to fall asleep just watching her stretch out in the sunshine.  Nora is a vet and the dog was abandoned by the owner after an injury.  Honestly, it was probably the best thing that could have happened because she has a great life now, including a loving owner and a new friend in Shelby (Steve’s dog).

Steve showed Nora this diabolical game from our Grandpa S.  (paternal grandfather) Nora worked on it for a while, making good progress on it, then Steve showed her the solution.  She fits great in this family…brilliant and nerdy enough to enjoy puzzles like the rest of us.

A fantastically relaxing and fun day for all.  We really enjoyed the day with the family, in more ways than we can say.

The vitality of our Savior risen permeated the jubilance of the day.  It was a fitting celebration, filled with love and peace.  I look forward to more.

posted in Autistic Life, Easter, Extended Family, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), Zane, Zora | Comments Off

3rd April 2010

Easter Eggs

Egg art.  We should have made a few more dozen this year because they really enjoyed it and enjoyed finding different ways to decorate.  It was perfectly messy fun.

Easter “Memory” game

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12th April 2009


It was a chilly, rainy, gray Easter, but we had a good holiday. We just avoid church on holidays (change in routine isn’t really worth it for us most of the time), so the Easter Dress was replaced with a pair of her older brother’s pj’s (she couldn’t decide, so she has half of the “dinosaur” pjs, and half of the “car” pjs). The weather didn’t make for a picture perfect day anyway, so somehow the less than beautiful, but comfy, pjs seem totally appropriate.

We woke up to Easter baskets left on the mantle. Both of the baskets were the same, except Zora’s had some cute hair clips (she wanted to wear all of them to Grandma’s later) and a miniature bowling set for Zane.

Zora wastes no time getting to the good stuff.

Zane playing with the little bowling set. It is the perfect size to work with his marble run stuff.

The Easter Bunny hid the eggs last night, before the rain. When we got up we were hoping that we wouldn’t have to use umbrellas to find them. It was a little soggy, but it turned into a misty drizzle for a bit, so the kids headed out and gathered the eggs. Some of them had candy, and some had little miniature animals.

We ate at the farm, with Mom, Dad, my maternal Grandma, Uncle Steve, and a family friend, Corolla. It was, as usual, very fun and relaxed. She had baked ham, a tasty potato side dish, her 7 layer salad, and lots of veggies for nibbling.

This year Target was selling these neat little “Bunny House” kits. They are like the Gingerbread houses for Christmas, but with Spring decorations. I knew Zane liked things like that, but I still underestimated his enthusiasm. The dinner dishes weren’t even totally cleared yet and he pulled it out and started putting it together.

Resident engineer helps with the chimney construction and a few decorations.

Zora and Shelby

Through most of the construction Zora was zooming around giving her new stuffed bunny a wild ride in the play shopping cart, but she did stop to make her mark on the construction.

The Bunny House complete in it’s candy glory.

Steve had the kids help him make some homemade ice cream. It made quite the impression because the next week, when Steve came up with Mom and Dad to join us for supper, when Zora heard Uncle Steve was coming, her first comment was to ask if we were making Ice Cream. lol.

Yummy Yummy Ice Cream!

Getting every last drop of the ice cream and asking for more.

And, the dreary ride home.

posted in At the Farm, Autistic Life, Easter, Extended Family, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), The Kids | 1 Comment

12th April 2009

The Hunt!

#102 Easter Egg Hunt! A short, well timed break in the rain meant we didn’t have to use umbrellas to find the eggs.

posted in Easter, The Kids, project 365 | Comments Off

11th April 2009

Easter Bunny Gifts

#101 Easter Baskets

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11th April 2008

update: picture from Easter, ST, and Zora moments

Excuse the photo quality on some of these…some were taken by the camera on the phone, some were taken without flash so as not to reinforce behaviors (didn’t want her to see me taking a picture of her. lol )

The church posted a picture of the choir singing Easter Sunday.  I wish they would have captured the smile, but I am thrilled to have a photo to remember the moment.  (my mom is the person in red with light sleeves behind the microphone)



At Speech Therapy…he was a firefighter.  Notice the “firehose” (squirt bottle) in the wagon of things he “saved” from the fires?  From a few weeks ago, but I just figured out how to get the pictures off the phone.

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Ack!  Zora!  The board wasn’t interesting enough I guess.  (washable markers though, thank goodness)

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From today:  In Speech therapy he was a builder.  very cute again.

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A few of Zora, after the rainstorm.

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redistributing the puddle

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Usually I put her to bed, but Daddy was freed up, so he did the bedtime story honors tonight.

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This is why he was freed up:

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One worn out little boy.  He ate some late supper, walked over to the couch, and was asleep in minutes.


posted in Autistic Life, Easter, ST, Zane, Zora | Comments Off

24th March 2008

Easter Day and a miracle just for us.

Although the day started ENTIRELY too early,  (the kids were up before 5am…ugh) the day was really good.  We went out to my home church for the service.  It was a fun, interactive service and the kids both did well enough that we were able to stay in the pews (about 5 rows back) the whole time (until the little ones were dismissed for the sermon after the children’s story).  My dad did tech for the service (pretty normal) and my mom was in the praise choir, so she was up and down a lot as they performed. 

One rather amusing hitch was when the pastor called for the children’s story.  What he meant was children’s choir.  (the children’s story was to follow the choir) but he said “story”, so I picked up Zora to take her to the front, and sent Zane on ahead.  About the time Zane clears the pew and is headed up front, I catch the eye of my mom (standing with the praise choir up front) who is motioning me to sit down.  I was sort of confused, but went back to my spot assuming that maybe the story was too “old” for Zora.  (which was not the normal routine for children’s story, but oh well).  A moment later I realized that it wasn’t children’s story, but choir, and Zane got shuffled in with the other kids standing in the front of the church, front and center.  Zach and I both had the realization of what was happening at the same moment, but were in the middle of the pew and just sort of looked at eachother in shock and “what the heck do we do now?” look on our faces.  As my mouth stood open, in a semi panic, the choir began to sing.  Zane, instead of freaking out or melting down, started smiling the biggest smile and looking around at the kids surrounding him.  By the third verse he was (sorta) singing along.  Amazing.  Our own little Easter miracle.

We went to the farm for Easter dinner.  Grandma (mom’s mom) and Steve and Joy joined us.  It was a fun afternoon.  The kids got another basket filled with goodies from Grandma & Grandpa, and played on the farm until they were so worn out they fell asleep in their tracks.  At that point, we scooped them up and took them home.  A very nice day.

The photos and 3 videos

  (I didn’t start taking pictures until after changing them out of their Easter clothes, so I will need to dress them up again to get some pictures of their Easter cuteness)

As the grownups finish eating, the kids find their way to the piano.  (next to the dining table)

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And a video of them playing: 



The highlight of the day for Zane…Grandpa showing him how to work the backhoe.

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A video of him taking the controls: 



Zora spending time with Grandma while Grandpa and Zane are going for a walk.

The cat (Barnum, our old cat) was curled up in the planter and Zora kept bringing things to her.  (the white planter was the only thing there before Zora started moving things)

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A video of Zora discovering the eggs have treats in them: 


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Grandpa & Zane return, Zora shoots out to meet them.

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Zora snags Zane’s basket when he sets it down.

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Zora shows me that she can drive too.  (the truck was not running, btw)

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The kids help Grandma put birdseed into the feeders.

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Hope your Easter was as joyful as ours!


posted in At the Farm, Autistic Life, Church, Easter, Extended Family, Music, The Kids | Comments Off

24th March 2008

Easter Eggs!

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posted in Crafts, Easter, The Kids | 1 Comment

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