Friday, May 30, 2014

School's Out For Summer!!!


What an incredible year it has been!

Not only are we looking back at the 2013-2014 school year, as our first homeschooling year, but next month also marks one year of us living in our new southern location. 

So much has happened this year!  It has gone by haphazardly fast...I can hardly believe it! 

I started out diving head-first into Hashimoto's disease when we moved here last summer, and have been trying to claw my way out of that paper bag since. 

I frantically began to volunteer for my church, pleading for God's blessings from self-less service to help get me through my darkest hours.  Soon, I became the leader of the teenage girl's youth program, demanding Sunday, Wednesday and many Saturday requirements.

I was wonderfully blessed when I read a blog by The Thinking Mom's Revolution's magnificent DragonSlayer, giving me crucial answers to help me get my health back on track and regain some of my sanity!

While struggling with the ups and downs of  autoimmune disease, I somehow managed to find myself part of TEAM TMR, a non-profit grant program to help families with the financial burden that is all things autism. Before I knew it, I was immersed in writing a chapter for the book that would be sold to fund the grant program, and forever nicknamed Green Bean Girl. 

My autism activist blood runs deep and I soon found myself at the Give Autism a Chance Summit in Austin, Texas, where I was graciously welcomed in the home of my new warrior buddy, Lone Star, and her adorable family. There, I was introduced to another strong warrior member of our team, Chief, who writes about recovering her daughter in our book.

Just making it to the summit on the heals of yet another protocol I was trying to ease my health issues proved daunting, but I MADE IT!!  I was so excited to see some of my much loved/ FB stalked heroes, like Kim Stagliano, managing editor of Age of Autism, and  Ginger Taylor, co-author of Vaccine Epidemic.  As I anxiously observed from afar, I was soon greeted with warm, energetic hugs from The Rev and Tex, co-authors of The Thinking Mom's Revolution: Autism Beyond the Spectrum.
(for more on why I love these ladies, see the video below)

Then, with the help of my new TMR buds, I was able to get my first picture with a movie star...hmmm do you think I was nervous?
 I had actually focused so much on meeting my autism mom heroes in preparation for this event, I failed to prepare myself to meet celebrities like Aidan Quinn and Rob Schneider!

I also had the privilege of meeting other TMR BFF and her brilliant family, not to mention the sweet walking-miracle, Sophia.

Around the same time, I started working for a respite care center in a nearby city.  I am called in as a "fill-in" on short notice when a staff member is sick or needs a personal day.  I work primarily with autistic children and adults.  Because of our homeschooling schedule, I am often asked to work the 4-12 shift and some over nights and weekends.  This proved difficult, as I also took my son to an early morning scripture study class each day from 6-7 a.m. It immediately became more responsibility and time away from my family than I had anticipated.

The school year comes to a close at the same time we are promoting the launch of our book, Evolution of a Revolution: From Hope to Healing.  That's when God thought I needed a bit more love in my life, and left a tiny kitten with it's eyes still shut, outside our neighbor's house. 

You can imagine we did the only thing possible....bring him inside, keep him warm and dropper feed him formula every two to three hours.

Wow!  It HAS been quite the year!  And we are not through!  My husband is actually excited to make plans to take the family to the Autism Education Summit in Dallas in October!  Bring on the activism!

As the boys and I danced and sang "School's Out" to celebrate our last day of school (well, one boy danced with me while the other commented on how school wasn't really out forever and other snarky realisms that truly fit this un-official Aspie kid)  I couldn't help wonder what in the WORLD would be in store for us in the year to come!


“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings    

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