At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Saturday, December 26, 2015

24 Hours of Christmas 2015

Christmas Eve Isaac fell in love with Norma Jean a VERY patient and loving little boxer who spent an evening playing with Isaac as they chased one other around the living room and then they would take breaks, so Norma Jean could rest, and Isaac could learn how to pet-a-puppy. Needless to say they both had fun.


Storms slammed our region here in the deep south
 and Christmas Day was spent inside with happy Christmas clutter.
 Isaac did,...ok,...with opening the presents. 
Was it his favorite thing to do?
Nope, but he humored us this year,
and really, really, REALLY liked watching his Cinderella movie,
lots and lots and LOTS of giggles,
 while the rain poured down upon our state. 


How much rain?
Enough to flood everywhere,
including our basement.
25 years in this house and such a flood had only occurred once during a hurricane!!!
But it wasn't too bad,
we had put down vinyl plank flooring in our basement on purpose,
so no damage,
and while my guys vacuumed water with a shop vac downstairs
I got to do 'this' - upstairs.


Snuggling with I.I.,...safe and warm and dry
on Christmas night,
couldn't help but feel
very, very VERY 
blessed.



Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas & Autism: A Perspective

Our five year old son Isaac has been diagnosed with Apraxia (the inability to say what you want to say when you want to say it) and Autism, which means Isaac experiences the world in a different way (including holidays) and he makes sure YOU do too. 


This is our fifth Christmas with Isaac,...and we've learned a lot in five years,
about ourselves, and our son, and about what is important in life. 
The gift of autism is that it strips away EVERYTHING but the bare essentials,
No social-mumbo-jumbo
No insincerity
Life - as is.


Photo shoots in the morning,....



Santa Isaac is still sleepy,...it's tough being a Kindergartener


Putting on a fake-furry cap before school, not exactly sure why,
but let's humor Mama,...'cause we're such a nice guy. 


Our Christmas tree has been up two weeks,
and it's still up,
with most of the ornaments intact,
that's a first for us,
and we're delighted with Isaac's interest in the tree
"Christmas tree," says Isaac, "I fix."
Of course, Santa Isaac has to put each ornament - jussssssst so.


How much does Isaac 'get' about the entirety of Christmas?


We don't know,...Isaac can't tell us. 


We're assuming the holidays and celebrations are ALL going into his busy little brain,
and perhaps one day
Isaac will be able to say, 
"Remember,...that Christmas?"


For now,...we set up the nativity sets,
read books,
sings songs,
watch Rudolph,
and giggle. 


Presents and gift-giving don't connect with Isaac,...yet. 


Although Isaac can sign:
God loves me and you!




We're only FIVE YEARS OLD,...
and there is a lot going on for a little guy. 


However, no worries or anxiety about TOYS,...
for good little girls and boys.
Isaac tries to be good,
because he loves us,
and it's the right thing to do. 


Take Isaac through THE most tempting toy department,
and he admires everything,
and yet asks for nothing,
he's five and content,
and that's a WOW,
and perhaps
the greatest 
gift.



Cookies and cakes and goodies,...galore.
To Isaac all that kind of stuff is a bore. 
A game of tag,
giggles,
let him 'teach' you some words,
or show you 'his' world,
"WOOK AT THAT!"
Our son lives in a wonderland,
everything is exciting,
and new,...



The gift of discovery,....


What is truly important in life?
What matters?
Why does it matter?
And is it essential?
Apply the above to Christmas.



Baby Jesus was born,
shepherds came,
and kings bearing gifts.

Isaac knows this,....



And for him and us,...it's enough,...



Thumbs up for love and kindness,...the most essential essentials,...



Holidays for us are forever changed,...Isaac's perspective,
makes us stop,
and think,
and appreciate,
the gifts,
and blessings bestowed upon us,
especially our little guy's overflowing joy,
life is to be lived,
and Isaac lives his  life to the fullest,
and he makes sure YOU do too!



Yes, our son has autism,
but it's not the end of the world,
it's the beginning of a new universe.

That includes celebrating Christmas,
with every tradition stripped down to the
the bare essentials:

For God so loved the world,
HE gave his one and only Son,
that whosoever believes in Him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16


From our family to yours:

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!











Friday, December 11, 2015

Woes Turned Into Wonderland

Last winter plumbing woes took out all of our downstairs floors and nearly half of all the walls,
simply put
it was a mess!


And it's been a lonnnnnnnnnng haul setting things to right,...
Isaac has learned the proper use of a measuring tape,...which he calls "Counting Tape" 
But the results have been worth all the trouble,
here is nearly the finished project 98% done,
with just a few more baseboards left to do,
the tricky ones that take lots and lots of measuring 
and even more patience to get right.


Of course as far as Isaac is concerned the living room is complete, 
and there is plenty of room for him to zoom about in his super-sonic style.
And now flip-flop
as the upstairs space where we've had our living room becomes an office/study/library
supposedly 'mine' with the understanding I'd be sharing with I.I.,
but I.I. 
considers this space to be HIS personal WONDERLAND
and who is going to argue
when Isaac is enthusiastic about working on
he-he-he,...therapy stuff.


Actually Isaac's therapy space was going to be located in a different local,
but serendipity has turned woes in wonderland,
and this office is working great as 
place to work on skills, 
especially since Isaac doesn't consider his time spent in the office as work,
Oh no,...this is fun stuff.


Forget kiddie books like Cat-in-the-Hat, Isaac wants to read more 'interesting' stuff.
Rocks and Minerals, anyone?
You have to admire any verbally challenged individual who wants to 
learn how to say
"Wenlock limestone with trilobite fossils"
and
"Hematite, Garnet-chlorite schist, Cinnabar, and Labrodorite."
Thankfully all can be easily categorized under the title
"ROCK." 


Woes to Wonderland,
the woes are never fun to go through,
and they have made a tough year even tougher,
but WOW
the wonderland for Isaac to explore



 As it usually happens in house renovations,
one project
turns into other,
and our  current project is
Isaac's bedroom
It's time our little big boy has a big boy room
and no doubt,
in Isaac's eyes it will be another wonderland!!!



"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" - Romans 8:28


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!





















Friday, December 4, 2015

'Snow' Busy

Ok, gotta get the obligatory 'corny' seasonally title in there, but it's just for fun and Isaac is ALL about fun. 

In fact we are so very blessed with the light-heartedness Isaac bestows upon our lives, because many of the issues concerning our little guy are very serious and there are not a lot of answers out there or any easy pathways, to the point it would be a struggle not to become discouraged, but Isaac brings so much infectious JOY, JOY, JOY - to the party -it's impossible not to be be upbeat and positive,...especially as we go into the Christmas season. 


How much does Isaac get about Christmas? We don't know, but we do know that Isaac knows that whoever rides IN the sleigh controls where the reindeer go,...so where else would Isaac chose to ride?


Deconstruction is still easier than construction. Why? 
We don't know,...just is, for now,...but that's OK,...Isaac can say,
"Merry Christmas!"


Visiting a regional mall to see the Christmas Decorations.
Scanty decorations, sigh, a little better than last year, but no cigar.
Thankfully Isaac doesn't care if the mall doesn't look like yester-year,
which was a WINTER WONDERLAND,
instead of looking like the day after New Year's Day
Mr. Macy and Mr, Gimble would be horrified!!!! :)
Anyway even if there was a Miracle on 24th Street and the mall 
was gilded like last century,
I don't think Isaac would have cared,
not when he discovered the ARCADE!!!


Snow-much-FUN!!!!!!


Great form for a five year old!!!!


And gee the balls were returning down a chute,....COOL!


See what I mean,...a couple of bored looking ornaments hanging from a majestic atrium,
and the holiday wreaths kinda scattered about would have looked tiny on our front door.
We want I.I. to learn how to say, "Merry Christmas to ALL!"
Not, "Bah humbug!"


Stopping to get gasoline, Isaac helped himself to the front seat,
intent on driving - now he knows how 
after all the practice in the arcade,
but safety first,
"Buckle-Up!!!"


More 'snow' business as we try to finish our house renovations,
downstairs is 98% complete,
upstairs, 
my new office space had been the location for a major coup,
as Isaac thinks all this 'bounty' is HIS,
oh dear, I knew I'd be sharing 'some' 
but as Isaac has fallen in love with this office/study/library,
I'll have to be content with my desk in the corner for my 'office'
and let Isaac enjoy HIS library,
which actually is going to work even better than I anticipated as a space for therapy,
but don't tell Isaac,
he thinks we're just playing


Thank you whoever donated this heavy-duty check embosser to the thrift store,
Isaac is in LOVE!!!
Hello, numbers you can manipulate and emboss on paper!!!
COOL!!!
Number-theory studies,...here we come!!!



Isaac has really enjoyed his first 'official' science project,
and shock-shock, he actually participated more that I would have ever dream 
when we put his project together,
granted Mama had to do the gluing (sensory-stuff) 
but Isaac gamely put everything where it was suppose to go,
and HE put the FROG/ISAAC poster letter exactly were he thought they should go,
it was 'snow' much fun!!!!


As people of faith, it is important to us for Isaac understand the 'true' meaning of Christmas.
We tell the stories, we sing the songs, we read the books, and have the naivety,
and KNOW it is all going into that sensitive little heart and soul,
because Isaac already knows how to say:
God made you special and He loves you VERY MUCH!!!


Naivety match-up?
To be perfectly honest it NEVER occurred to me to make a 'match' game
with naivety sets,
one glass, one traditional,
but Isaac's always three steps ahead of us,
as he matched each figurine 
with the book,
and each other,
to quote Isaac, "GREAT JOB!!!"


Special Christmas Party from the adaptive P.E.
Santa GOR-RIL-A
(think Clayton's articulation in Tarzan movie)


Did Isaac get the 'snowball' fight,...not exactly 
but as always Isaac makes his own fun,
and check out the ADORABLE,
mustache-christmas-tree shirts,
Mrs.B's husband made for the guy's in Mrs. B's class
for the field trip,
Too cute!!!


Daddy got to show-up for the field trip 
even though Daddy is 'snow' busy with work, he always makes time for I.I.
and I.I. always makes time for FUN.

Putting up our Christmas tree this weekend,
and as always 
it should be interesting,
as Isaac experiences the world in a different way,
and he makes sure YOU do too,
including the Christmas season

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!