a little background

hi, my name is mandy and I have two amazing little boys. My oldest son, Ty, has been diagnosed with autism (which is what you will read most about in this blog); I also have Tripp, who is an amazing little brother to Ty (who you will also hear alot about). I was encouraged to start this blog to document our journey through life and life with autism... my world has been rocked in last few years and i have responded in good ways and bad ... but Jesus has gotten me through all of it...

i hope i can be an encouragement to you, and for the friends and family that will read this - maybe this will keep you posted indepth on what Ty is learning! :) and the adventures of Tripp too

thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, comments or smart remarks; feel free to post them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A not so new confession...

Let's just get down to it. What do I "covet" most? What am I jealous of?
Kids that can talk, the ones that are 6 years old and able to speak with ease, and read and write and communicate with the world!
I mean I know that Tripp can do all of these things and I've never really thought about this towards him in any way (and that probably doesn't make sense but I guess that's ok to not make sense). Tripp is a chatter box, I took him to the eye dr yesterday. Which means we spent hours in the car together and he never stopped talking; spelling words and asking what he just spelled - He spells an entire sentence and you have to guess where the words start and stop (I guess he's hashtagging and doesn't even know it) and then he's on to something else. Asking where babies come from and why God is in heaven and why the sky is blue and blue is his favorite color and on and on and on jumping from one thing to another and his mind is always moving and his mouth is just trying to catch up, like most kids! But that doesn't make me jealous....
When I see kids Ty's age who communicate freely with their parents and families where all the siblings chat and play and even fight - that's when my heart becomes jealous. Not in a hateful or even an angry way - just jealous because I want that for Ty and for Tripp. For Tripp to have the freedom to talk and seek advice from his big brother, to share their hopes and dreams and talk about girls and to be able to strengthen each other in their faith when that time comes. And so when I see kids Ty's age just being themselves, I kind of become jealous. Some days it's less obvious than others - some days I don't even realize that I'm doing it, it shows up in the midst of life, when we are out and about and a child stares at us in walmart, or when we get a birthday invite from one of tripp's classmates and I wonder if that means Ty can come too? And then I wonder if I should ask if that means siblings are invited and if so do I need inform them on autism and the fact that Ty communicates differently, and then my insecurities take over and I abort the mission all together and decide that we will only go to parties where people know us- I mean that makes sense anyway because most party invites are required to be sent to the whole class and I guess I'm dodging an awkward situation there anyway... Right? Lol... I could list pages of life situations that make me jealous of the ability to talk but I think you probably understand what I am saying....
So tonight when we were at church and the preacher asked "what do we covet? The non-tangible things", a lot of things ran through my mind, but at the root of all these things was this, I covet and am jealous of kids Ty's age that can talk. And that is wrong, and I need to get over it... It creates anxiety, madness and unnecessary grief and all we are called to do is love and share the gospel, so who am I to covet anything? I should be grateful for all that we have and even if all I had was Jesus - He is MORE than enough! And I should be humbled and amazed by the fact that He loves even me...
So I guess I just felt like I should confess that tonight.... I hope it makes sense?! And if it doesn't just call, text or email me and I'll do my best to explain it

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Tolerance is a tricky thing. Depending on what erks us or sends us wishing for our happy place revolves a lot around what we can or should I say what we are willing to tolerate.
Last week was a pretty rough week for my little Ty man. He has issues with tolerance and we have been doing our best to curb his behavior when he is put in a situation that apparently sends him over the deep end. Ty hurt one of the kids in his class during PE last week. He did something he has never done and I do mean NEVER DONE. (He didn't leave any marks on the other student but still it was just unacceptable).This broke my heart into pieces. First of all for the other child, then the parents of that child and then the teachers. This is not like Ty at all - its just not him. The situation was handled very well in my opinion and since then we have talked with his teacher and racked our brains on what to do in the future to prevent this behavior, etc. and so far we haven't had another incident?! I'm going to keep praying that we won't. But the more I think about what happened the more I think about "how can we teach Ty tolerance" now I'm not talking, let everyone run over you and just follow the crowd and keep your mouth shut. I'm talking actual tolerance, knowing that something bothers you but handling it in a way that is socially acceptable or just morally right because lets just be honest, socially acceptable is borderline nuts these days anyway. So how do we teach Ty to chose morals over impulse? It's human nature to get mad and get even and to just express our opinion, even when its not warrented or just let words fly out of our mouths because we are mad about anything and everything. For example, I read an article today about Kaley Couco (Penny, from the Big Bang Theory TV show) and how so many "fans" of the show took to social media to express their dislike of her new hair cut - it apparently ruined some people's day and they felt the need to express that through insults and social media "bazingas". How crazy are we to think that we have a right to tell someone how they should or shouldn't wear their hair just because we may or may not like it? That's just nuts!
So where do we start with Ty, when the world around him is screaming "do what makes you feel good" "if someone makes you mad get even" "they irritate you so it's ok to hurt them" "he started it, you finish it" "how else can you get your point across since words are a challenge" "you have a learning disability so it's ok to act out" "we will ignore it this time because we feel sorry for you" "this behavior is typical for SPED classes" and the list could go on and on! Some people would say a few of these comments are being tolerant of those who can't control themselves due to special needs and I know a lot of people that would be very mad because of the ignorance in some of these comments and the manner in which they would most likely be said. But these so called tolerant comments cripple those that need more structure and more direction than the "typical" kids. Now I am not saying this is the way his school handled this situation - let me be clear - they handled it very well and I am very pleased with our  ability to communicate and work together to solve any issues that come up and the punishment that is given because of that situation. However, when people hear about situations like this, things that happen in a special needs class or with special needs students - most reactions are like the ones above...and sometimes given with a "well that's expected" kind of tone and expression (just to clarify-not everyone thinks these things! And I am blessed to be surrounded by so many people that have the same values and goals that we have, I'm just saying that society as a whole and especially on social media has this "well what do you expect" kind of attitude towards special needs individuals) and it just frustrates me because I expect and demand more from my boys. I expect them to  respect others and to love. So when they are mean, rude, hateful or hurtful to someone, even if it is unintentional - I want to correct it and replace it with a behavior that is acceptable and loving because my ultimate goal is to teach my boys how to intentionally love others in the name of Jesus.

So I guess I'm just saying I wish people were more intentional with their words and actions - and in a good way.  I am number one on the list to learn to be more loving and intentional with my words and actions towards others so please understand I am preaching to myself and just sharing my thoughts.

I mean honestly - of all those people who saw the big bang theory last night and decided to rant about "penny's new do" who would really say something ugly to her face? And why does it even matter if you don't like her hair? I'm sure she likes it and I'm sure she doesn't have time to search social media for people she doesn't even know personally just to comment about how she dislikes what they have done with their hair? How silly is that??? Why am I harping on this? I don't know - I guess it just showed me how messed up we really are and how we all need to chill out and focus on the people in front of us and choose our words wisely, to build each other up and encourage one another so that the love of Christ is shown to each and every person we meet.

And I will say again, I am definitely the one in need of this lesson to be intentional and loving to everyone  ;)

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Hello first grade!
So I'm a little behind on writing a new post. We have had a crazy summer and it seems like months pass by before I know it. So here we are in September and my boys are in 1st grade and k-5!? Is that even possible? Time literally flies by! I had a friend tell me once, that the days get longer and the years get shorter - how true that is!  Sam and I were talking about life last night and it seems like before we know it these sweet little boys will be grown!? It scares me a bit, ok a lot, to think about them getting older. Not because I want them to stay little but because I want them to be men of God and to love and care for everyone they come in contact with so that they will point others to Jesus! I know they will make mistakes and crazy decisions but my prayer is, that when they do mess up, they will rely on Him. My mind swarms with what that means for Ty and for his amazing little brother. How will all of this pan out? Tripp already loves his brother and is his biggest cheerleader! (They have their brotherly fights - but it turns to laughter just as quick as it did a fight). They know, more than anyone else, how to push each other's buttons AND how to arrange an incident that mom & dad can't decide who should get the punishment for, so they go down together in a no man left behind kind of fashion. Well I say they go down together - Ty is always trying to tell me something - I'm not quite sure if he's tattling or standing up to take the blame?! Lol it makes for an eventful discussion. One that Tripp usually tries to interpret  "mom Ty is saying he's sorry, look he's hugging me, he's trying to tell you he's thirsty and that's why he poured water on the bed, and the carpet, and the kitchen floor and all over the counter and.." I'll interrupt with "Tripp I heard you laughing and telling Ty 'here's your cup-get more' and you were right there with him making this mess" and they look at each other in such a mischievous way, eyes wide open with a slight smirk as they attempt to change the outcome of the soon to be wrath of mom or dad - and it almost makes my heart smile - because they are partners in crime - minor crimes of course. But non the less only a bond that two brothers would have and one that communication barriers can't break! Which also worries me a bit! What happens when Ty starts using real words and they still have this silent code?! I guess we will find out...
The older Ty gets, the more I look back on how far he has come! Or should I say how far we have come in understanding his world! We are currently off of medication and he seems to be doing really well. He is very attentive during activities at church and school. He has had a few behavior issues with hitting and kind of being a bully which I am not ok with. But we do our best to address this in a way he will understand and learn the right way to get someones attention or ask someone nicely to play with a toy, etc. Its still a work in progress but the melt downs haven't been too bad and he really is listening and trying his best to communicate what it is that has him so frustrated, upset or mad. He's also responded very well to "time-out"! This is huge for us! It's a big deal because it actually works. He will stand in a corner and hang his head when he knows he's done something wrong. Once he comes out of time out he rarely goes back to doing what got him there in the first place and if he does, he will even put himself back in timeout? I know that seems kind of crazy to be excited about this, but it shows us how much he understands what is going on around him. And for a child who can't tell you that he not only understands but that he also has an opinion on what's going on - it's a big deal ;) The day he starts to communicate in the "typical" way of using words - I'm sure we will all be amazed at what he's soaked up in that head of his! Until then we will continue to play charades, 20 questions and pictionary!!!

I've kind of just rambled on a bit about everything ... So I think I'll end on that. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I think I am overwhelmed by the masses. So many people are angry about something, anything! We get mad when people lose weight and post pics on FB, Instagram, Twitter etc. we get mad when someone doesn't think like we do politically so we attack them with our words on social media and label them an idiot and enemy (because that is how we function these days) . We get mad when someone has more stuff than us because that means they are spoiled or selfish. We get mad mad mad just because .... And for what? What have we accomplished? High blood pressure and labeling ourselves as crazed maniacs? I've been trying to get myself to write a new post for Ty's blog and I just didn't want to because I don't want to come across as just another voice screaming at the masses.... Not to sound too cliche but "where's the love?" I see so many proclaiming Christians berating each other over things that don't matter. For example... I read a hilarious article that was written because a bunch of people got mad over directions someone posted on how to make a cake ? A cake? For a five year old? With a rainbow number 5 in it? Really? I thought the article was going to actually be about how to make the cake and as I read on and on and on I couldn't believe the comments and ended up laughing so hard I was crying because here we are fighting and throwing digs at each other on a cake baking website - I mean it got political and then out right mean FULL CAPS MEAN.... Lol what are we doing??? Why do we result to this? Why do we hate so much? Why are we really here? I believe we are here to serve and love others as Jesus did. Yes we are selfish, naturally. But I really think if we would just slow down and celebrate with each other on life accomplishments no matter if it's the same goal you are trying for and just haven't made it yet or not. Be happy for one another, genuinely FULL CAPS happy! Life wouldn't be so mean. Who cares if you haven't reached your goal? They are not shoving it in your face - they are just celebrating their own victories! I see it in the special needs community too, everyone is on edge and everything is directed indirectly towards someone or something and innocent questions get misconstrued and turn into all out blow out social media fights...we just need to all calm down a bit and think before we speak - give someone the benefit of the doubt, ask "what do you mean by that? Or could you rephrase that statement because I think I misunderstood you" instead of flying off the handle like a wild man or woman... Maybe if we wouldn't be so competitive and harsh .... Things wouldn't be so stressful...

Ty has this ability to just love FULL CAPS ALL OUT LOVE... I think everything he does is to the max and for that I am grateful, we are working on words and we are working on communication and he is coming along really well but I hope he never loses his joy of celebrating. He has the biggest grin,cutest squeal and loudest and longest clap when anyone celebrates and I think that's how we should be - no I am not saying to roll over and play dead and let people just do what they want - but pick your battles and fight clean (not that I am always an example of that bc I am not) but just think of how much nicer life could be if we stop threatening each other over stupid things like "how long do you freeze a cake" yes actual threats went out because someone said "til it's frozen" .... Come on people we can do better than this .... Don't take yourself to seriously, laugh a little and get back to loving people, even the ones we don't want too....
"By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another" john 13:35


I know this post wasn't completely about Ty but just to give an update in his summer stuff - he is going to therapy 3 days a week 2 days in summit and one in Hattiesburg and he loves his baby sitter! Tripp does too! They have played and played and played for the past month and I don't know if I will be able to convince them that school is fun lol! They both had a blast at VBS and I am so grateful for a church that loves on my boys! We are blessed beyond measure!!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 11, 2014


I've heard a lot about Disney World and their policy change on allowing people with disabilities the right to skip lines at the theme parks. Here's the low down - apparently in the past if you had autism or another disability you were allowed access to the front of the line for the rides - I assume you would still have to wait if there was another individual and their group in front of you who also either had autism or another disability?? And now the rule is - that's no good anymore because people abused it. Well first off - how terrible that people would lie and abuse the system. Second - we need to calm down. Now there is a lot of backlash from the autism community over this change and people claiming discrimination and even suing Disney because of it? Really? I haven't personally been to Disney since college, and now that I've done the math in my head I won't tell you how long that's been BUT, Disney was always fun and most of the rides and the lines were overwhelming for a typical person, so I can imagine it would be a sensory overload to anyone with a disability especially autism. However, I don't think that gives you a right to sue. I do think it means that workers should be trained and ready to react in a pleasant way to anyone they come across, whether that's an unhappy screaming 2 year old or someone who is having a melt down because their mind and body physically can't handle whats going on around them. But not to sue. Disney is a business and they are a business that captures your attention and your pocket book from the moment you walk in the gates. From what I remember there are lots and lots of things to do and see and especially if it's your first time - then everything will captivate you! All of the movies and cartoons come to life and you enter a world that is filled with overpriced trinkets and lasting memories. But for an advocacy group to sue a theme park over waiting in line seems a bit much in my book. They do offer fast passes and from what I understand you can plan and maneuver through the park pretty easily with those? Yes waiting can cause meltdowns and an unhappy experience - but what if everyone that showed up at Disney had a disability and they all demanded to jump to the front of the line? How would they choose who got to go first? I'm not saying that this isn't hard and that being granted a straight shot to the front wouldn't be ideal, BUT come on? Let's also think about that family that is coming to Disney because cancer might take them and they want a fun memory. Or the one's that saved up and sacrificed for years just to make their kids happy. Disney takes planning - But demanding to go to the front of the line and not getting it, so you sue is not the answer. Last time I checked I was not given a pass at walmart to skip everyone because we don't like to wait in line, or any other store? But no one is suing them? Disney is suppose to be fun and we are all being a bit selfish and over reacting if this is what our focus is on? How about therapy and funding for schools? Let's advocate for that - not a front row seat to a theme park?

I'm sure I will get positive and negative reactions to this post and I get it. My intention is not to piss anyone off but to just give a different perspective. If they had done something harmful to someone it would be different. But from what I can see from the outside all they have tried to do is make people happy and we all know that you can't make everyone happy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Questions, Words and Medication

I've read a lot of stories lately about children and adults with autism who just start talking in full sentences after being silent for years. Not complete silence, most made some form of noise and communicated non-verbally throughout their life and then one day they just start talking. I love the excitement in these stories, I love to see the joy in the child and the parent as they express how great it is to finally know what it is that their child wants or needs throughout the day. They can ask them why they are upset and they get a very detailed response! Those with autism are relieved that they are understood and most of them are on a mission for others to understand them too. How cool is that?!

Before you read any further let me send a disclaimer - these are just my thoughts and crazy emotions and it is not directed towards anyone and I am just putting this out there to help you understand why we do what we do and it in no way means that I don't appreciate questions and interest in Ty and his education and learning process and I absolutely love when someone shows a genuine interest and will talk about struggles and progress with him! I love hearing and reading new stories of others who deal with autism and I am drawn to them on a daily basis. So please please don't misunderstand or misread what I'm trying to say... just spilling my guts on a screen...

Ty is 6 years old and still not able to communicate in the traditional way of using words. He has some words and will use them from time to time but mainly he makes lots of sounds and points or directs our attention to what it is he wants or needs at the time. He's very smart and has, so far, been able to successfully manipulate his world around him so that we understand most of what he is trying to say, but there are still things that just leave us wondering. When he was younger anybody and everybody would ask "Is he going to talk?" "Did the Dr say he would start talking one day?" "do you think he will talk" etc ... I can type out many different variations of the question but the bottom line is everyone wanted to know "when" and everyone wanted to help us get there by suggesting the latest therapy or sharing stories of others who learned to play a piano and sing, etc. But the older he gets the less frequent I am asked about him talking.

I use to cringe when I heard these questions, I would do my best to respond with my most educated answer but it hurt. Not that he couldn't speak and not that the question was asked but that I can see that he wants to. I can see that he is trying and that the words just won't form. I want to fix it for him and the questions just reminded me of it all again and again. They almost trumped all of the good things and all of the progress because here is this one thing that is so important. So when I hear about these stories of kids and adults who were once silent and begin to find their voice, it fills my soul with joy because I understand the struggle. I hear the kids that come out of the silence and explain what it's like to live in a world where no one understands you and how hard it is to function because of that. And every single one of them are different. Every child had different triggers that frustrated them or made them break down into a tantrum and every child had a different reason for not being able to talk and for not being able to communicate in a traditional way. It makes me think a lot about Ty, it makes me think about those hard questions that I don't like to hear and that I don't want directed towards him. Because if you or I am asking "Why isn't he..... or when will he ...." then it is almost pointing a finger at him and saying his way is wrong and you need to fix that - which I know is not the intention of the question, it's just me thinking. However, now that those questions aren't asked as much it makes me wonder if people have given up? Do others just see him as someone who will never speak? Do they think we aren't trying enough? I can go on and on with my own insecurities of what I think and wonder and of all the things that scare me and can have me balled up in a corner in a matter of minutes but what will that solve? So we try things, we get some things right and we mess other things up but we try. Sam and I have had lots of conversations about therapies, school, possible medications, etc and we go round and round deciding what to do, trying this new idea or method and deciding to either stick with it or realizing that it's not for us. I got to the point that I didn't want Ty to be someones test model to try stuff out on and that if he was happy then I was happy! Who needs all this other stuff and who cares if you like the way I do it... Everyone else will just have to learn how to work in his world or they can take a hike... lol. Not the best attitude, I know. Then we asked the question. Should we try medication? I asked teachers, therapists, Sam.... and then slowly went about the process. Researched, studied and started making appointments and started getting the proper paperwork together. So, we had a Dr's apt yesterday in Hattiesburg. The Dr was friendly, encouraging, straightforward and informative. Here's an excerpt of what our apt was like:

Me: (as Ty is climbing all over the Dr) He loves people and loves to hug and play...

Dr: Well he's not making eye contact with me right now and he really just sees me as a means to an end..

Me: *nod* (thinking... yeah you're right, yes he makes eye contact but not all the time, only when he wants to be engaged and he is currently just trying to get to the door)

Dr: So how does he communicate

Me: Well he points, uses some words, grabs us and takes us where he wants us to go...

Dr: *interrupts nicely* So can he tell you who he is?

Me: No (thinking? seriously are you not listening)

Dr: Can he tell you where he lives? who his parents are? etc

Me: No (thinking ?? these questions are not relevant to why we are here and...)

Dr: ok well he needs an ID bracelet

Me: ah ... yeah you're right... (thinking, i see what you did there)

Our conversation continued in this style, he would ask me questions that made me wonder where he was going, and then he would explain, so by the way you answered these questions this is why I am telling you what I'm telling you. Basically, look mom, this is your idea. Very clever Doc, very clever! Did my husband call you ahead of time and tell you how stubborn I am? Or are you just that good at reading people? He took his time watching Ty and asking questions and then trying his best to get us everything he thought we needed. It was one of the best Dr experiences we've had! He explained what he wanted to try and what side effects were possible and what a good reaction would be etc...

So we left with a prescription for a drug called Tenex, it's a blood pressure medicine that in a very small dosage - 1mg in Ty's case - can be used to treat ADHD symptoms and has had some good results. It shouldn't affect his blood pressure in this small dosage but it should just allow for him to not be as impulsive but to still be Ty. Today was the first day testing it out and I am beyond anxious to see my fella and know how his day was. His teacher has given me updates and a video and it's all been a good report but I wanna lay my eyes on him! I know there are lots of folks against medication and I understand, I was that person. But if this is what Ty needs and if he is still himself while on the medication then I am for it!

So here comes the questions, will he talk? My answer is yes. Not because anyone has told me this but because I'm just going to believe it. Going back to my disclaimer, I hope this doesn't discourage anyone from asking about Ty and asking hard questions, because I am more than willing to answer and to hear them and I love that you want to know! Just be sure you have the time for me to spill my guts or for me to give you bits and pieces as I am chasing my boys in and out of doors or staring them down on a playground to make sure they aren't eating trash or jumping from the top of the swing set .... I really hope all of this makes sense?!

Thanks for reading!!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Africa and perspective changes

So I don't really know where to begin this post... I just got back from a two week trip to Africa. We left the day after Christmas and came home on January 9th. It was absolutely amazing! I learned a lot about myself and about their culture and just life in general. I know that I am distracted a lot from our main purpose and goal as Christians - and that is to spread The Gospel. Just that simple. Love others and show that love daily and to be sure that everything you do points to Christ.

Before I left, I struggled with leaving my boys, and i knew I would get to talk on the phone with them but I wouldn't get to see them everyday. And even though Ty will listen and jabber with me on the phone I wanted to see their faces! There were a few days that we stayed at a place that had wifi and we were able to face time, which made my day and eased the ache of missing them! But I longed to squeeze them tight!

Our days were long and full of activities! We spent lots of time in the villages and would typically end up at school buildings that were just concrete structures with open doors and windows and lots of wooden benches with desks attached to them that would seat about 4 or 5 comfortably but could squeeze 8 or even 10 kids. The children were so excited to see us and even though we didn't speak their language, communication wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I thought about my boys a lot on this trip. I saw kids their age running around with a baby strapped on their back, bare footed with clothes that would literally fall off if ripped in one more place but they were happy. They didn't complain about life, they didn't expect us to watch their brother or sister while they participated in games or crafts they just came as they were, dirty, hungry, thirsty and willing to hear about Jesus. They were eager to hear what we had to say and even though I wanted to take each of them and hold them, love them and just give them food, water, clothes and shelter... All those things would only last for a short while... The most I had to give them of any lasting value was The Gospel. We still fed each village and gave clothes and our church sent money ahead of us to build churches and schools- but when I was there I realized and I could see first hand that the only thing that truly could change any of their lives for the better was and is the Gospel! And that just blew me away.

I am very protective of my boys and I could never imagine just letting them roam through a village without me!? I kept thinking, where are their parents? Why aren't they here!?(some where) but most of the time it was just packs of kids... And everywhere we went they would literally just come out of the woodworks and follow us where we were going and loved to just to be near us. Tripp and Ty are snugglers, they love to be right under neath you and in your lap and want you to be engaged in their world. I could see that in each of these kids! They just wanted to be touched, held, loved! They wanted to carry your back pack or hold your hand and it was so sweet and humbling. As we spent time in each of these schools at the villages, I kept thinking about how selfish I am. How demanding I am for Ty to get a better education - for him to have a swing, trampoline, iPads and smart boards... Yes I know these things will help him and I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice to have. But how can I expect so much when these kids have absolutely nothing. They don't have crayons and paper and crafts to send home everyday. They might get a notebook and pencil if they are lucky! And here I am expecting equipment that costs as much as an entire school building!?!? Who am I to request that!? Who am I to expect that!? Yes I want Ty to flourish and to learn and to express himself and begin to talk and communicate so that his frustrations will be less - but he is happy, healthy, and crazy smart! He has started pointing to things that he wants more, and he will point to me and then a chair so that I will sit down (and does this to ask for things, he doesn't always listen if I say "no you can't have that" he may still take it and run, but he asks!!!)... He has been laughing at movies and making sure that I am watching his movie by grabbing my face and moving it towards the screen and the pointing at the screen as if he is saying "you sit here and watch this with me". And I just can't help but think about those children living on the islands and on the mainland that are in mud huts, sleeping on the floor, taking care of their brothers and sisters, working for food and to go to school, selling everything they can so that they can eat and possibly get an education. And here I am with my boys, in a house bigger than I need, on land that I could easily plant a garden and watch it grow and feed my family without worrying about the fertility of the soil bc if I need to I can buy fertilizer, education is typically free, we have more than enough food in our house and when we run out we just buy more, my dog eats better than the children I spent two weeks with ... And here we are upset when someone looks at us wrong, mad when we don't get what someone else has, demanding more and more - when really and truly Jesus is all I need... And if He is all I have then I should be grateful... Even if all I had was a mud hut and one meal a day... I should be singing and praising His name... Because that's exactly what these people did! I don't really know where I am going with all of this... I guess to say that education is a privilege and we should treat it as that. Having a home, car, toys, tvs, access to medical attention, running water, electricity, beds, ac&heat, food, etc.... is a privilege and I never knew how spoiled I truly am... The bible says that "everyone to whom much was given, much will be required" and these words ring true in my heart so much more than they ever have before... So I am grateful for where we are, I am grateful for Ty's teachers and those we have learned from in the past and we are blessed beyond what we deserve and I hope that I keep this perspective and don't get distracted by the things of this world.

Thanks for reading!!! I hope it all makes since... My mind goes in 100 diff directions on a normal day and is really running ever since I've been home.