Our Family

So, here's the deal.  I have two special needs kids. They are like all kids in a lot of ways-joyful, bright, sweet, frustrating, mind-boggling and so much more. However, their challenges are sometimes so overwhelming, that I am not sure I would guess right if you asked me to point to which way is up!  Johnny, our 11 year-old has autism, Elizabeth, our 10 year-old has a chromosome abnormality.  The only similarity they have is that they are nonverbal-otherwise their vast needs are incredibly unique.  And then there is Jacob who is also a very special, albeit "typical" 13 year-old (who's anything but, by the way)!  We are a complicated, chaotic, messy family, but we are a fun happy family!  I hope in my over-sharing I will accomplish some peace of mind for myself and solicit some ideas about how I could do better. Even if we are mothers first, we are also wives, friends, sisters, daughters and so much more. I hope to use this as a tool to get my story and emotions out there and more importantly, get out of my own head!  This life is great, but sometimes it is quite a journey and I am not sure how or what to do next. Lastly,  I want my children to someday understand what I learned from them. How they taught me to be a better mother, wife and human being. And probably most importantly, I hope they know I did the very best that I could for them and I loved them so very much, even though I am flawed and made SO many mistakes along the way Cool!

Thanksgiving 2014
Best Dad Ever

The "A" team

We like to think of ourselves as a team rather than couple, spouses, husband and wife. Adam always has a good attitude, supports us all in every way, and is truly a gift. I honestly don't know how he does it. He doesn't complain, adores our children, and I don't know what I would do without him! He has taught me that complaining and negativity is a waste of time. He truly lives by, life is what is, might as well make the best of it! The Ecard describes him perfectly when I start talking nonsense about things that don't really matter in life!

Whenever I see the below quote I think of him:

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
-Lao Tzu

A letter to my husband on his birthday

Dear Adam,

Sometimes it feels like lifetimes have happened in our 12 years together, yet you grow stronger. When heartache has hit our family, you are a rock. When disappointments have come our way, you become more optimistic. When the good happens, you embrace it-when the bad happens you take it head on, handle it, learn from it, move on from it. You lead this family by example with love, strength, commitment, and loyalty. You are the man that I dreamed of, the person I strive to be more like, the friend that I can count on day in and day out, without question or demand. You give selflessly. You love our children in the way that children deserve to be loved-endlessly and without condition. I hope you know how much I adore and respect you. Thank you for always caring, listening, respecting me-day in and day out. Even when I know you are so tired and I think you might break, you stand taller for me and more importantly, for our kids. You are our life.

I love you,
Mary Claire

Is it bad that I thought of my husband when I saw this?

Just had to add this one............
Our Kids (or that's what everyone keeps telling me!)

Jacob, Jake, Ja"kobe"
Ball is life......or so he thinks

This is the last I remember.........

And now we are here..........

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny
Stuck in the Middle

"Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg."

Paul Collins

Wonderful Quotes from Johnny's favorite author:
Dr. Seuss

"Fun is good."
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."
"It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become."
"I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you."
"When he worked, he really worked.  But when he played, he really PLAYED."
"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."

Our baby

"A person's a person, no matter how small." - Dr. Seuss

What an inspiration the book and movie The Help are! Really, the lessons are endless. I hope the above is what I reiterate to my daughter every single day.

This little one packs a serious punch. She is the most determined, hard worker I have ever met. She just does not quit, even if the deck is stacked against her. Every day I learn something new from this sweet girl, but most of all-never ever quit. She just doesn't have it in her. Some days this almost breaks me, but most it motivates me to do better and be better.
Oh my, this quote is so Elizabeth!

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