Thursday, December 17, 2009
The first photo is with me, Aunt Amy, and Bella, who is wearing the cutest hat on earth, made by my mom. Find hats as cute as this at www.atouchofheaven.etsy.com. The second photo is me and Asher, the third is of us going Christmas tree shopping!! And the last one is Bella's first birthday party. I was in denial for about 2 weeks!! I can't even believe she's a year already!
And yes, you all guessed what my insanely clever picture from a few posts ago was!!! I am about 6 weeks along with baby #4!! Pray for a good, healthy, non-morning-sickness pregnancy for me and grace for my kiddos as they deal with a moody mommy. :-)
Bless you guys!
Friday, December 11, 2009
2. Watching episodes of Monk, the Office and Gilmore Girls on hulu. The only 3 shows I could watch over and over again and laugh every time at all the same jokes. (ok, the office can be off color, but when it's not, it is flippin hilarious!)
3. Selling things in my shop (hint hint.)
4. A good book. I just finished the most informative book about autism that I've read to date!
5. the Bible, since we're talking about books. :-) I just started reading through it again. Just. I'm on chapter 2 in Genesis. Love it!
Bonus photos!: 2 of my newest creations in my shop
i absolutely love the retro flowers on this diapers/wipes travel case. Tempted to keep this one for myself!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I started making a new kind of item: I go thrift shopping and fine nice, cute kids clothes. Then, I bring them home, wash them, and the sew on cute little animals or shapes that make it even CUTER! Then, I post them in my shop. :-) Here are a few examples of my latest obsesison! I tell ya, it feels dang good to make old things new again. And did I mention that they're CUTE!
These are just a few of the other things I've made lately. When motivation hits, I run a marathon with it till I burn out. Probably not the best way to do it, but it gets'er done!
Oh yeah, one more thing....Do you know what this is?!
Friday, December 4, 2009
5 Things I love Friday:
1. Fresh motivation to sew! I just got a burst of it yesturday and got a TON done! Christmas presents, orders, etsy shop listings. I LOVE being productive!
2. My sister-in-law, Lauren. She is such an amazing mother, wife and friend. I love being together and going through life struggles with each other. She is a priceless treasure!!
3. Remembering good times. Every time I talk about fun things from the past, I get a renewed love for those people that they happened with.
4. Frosted Mini-Wheats. Who DOESNT love them?!
5. House-hunting. It may annoy some people, but i LOVE the process of learning what I can live with, without, change, etc. I get inspired thinking about home projects! I've read alot of DIY magazines. :-)
Random photo of the day: My doodle.
Monday, November 30, 2009
You can also leave a comment on mine, and here's how:
Win this cute handbag from my shop! (and if you win, you will also receive 60% off of the item you commented about! see instructions below)
1. Go to my etsy shop and take a peek. Then come back here and comment on this post about the item you like the best! I'd love to get your opinions, my blog friends!
Friday, November 27, 2009
2. how asher says "Sa-mi-yo!" when I go to take a picture of him
3. Bella's suprise face. Check out my pictures in the past few posts...
4. Blue's Clues. Some days, Steve is my best friend.
5. God's mercy on me when I lose my patience. He'll never give me more than I can handle! (RIGHT?!) :)
Bonus: yummy thanksgiving days with family. nothing beats being together.
Monday, November 23, 2009
As i've mentioned in the past, we are pursuing in-home ABA therapy for RoMo. So far, we actually have several therapists and a supervisor lined up to do the program, but we only have the funds to provide about 8 hours a week for him. So, for now, we are considering half-day preschool. Now, here lies the pickle:
The pre-school is at least 20 minutes away, which means at least 1.4 hours of driving for me every day, since i pretty much know Rowan will not do well on the bus. (us moms know our kids!). It sounds like an ok program, except that he wont be getting much 1:1 attention, its not ABA, and the amount of driving for me pretty much negates the whole joy of having alone time with my other two kiddos.
My other option that the school district offers is 1.5 hours/day of in-home services. That is sounding really good to me right now! We already have one therapist lined up to do 3 hours/day of ABA, so that would make 4.5 hours/day of therapy at home for Ro! That seems to fit Rowan's needs better than the preschool that only kinda fits.
Honestly, the main draw for me was this: Ro would be out of the house for 3 hours. You moms know what i mean! When you have a high-maintenace child, the thought of them being under someone else's roof for a few hours a day is highly appealing! And I thought it might be good for him, but now i'm wondering if it'd actually be better NOT to do that. And the more I think about it, the more i realize that I'd really miss him.
So, in an effort to do whats best for Rowan, not ME, :-) I think that Joel and I have decided instead to keep Ro home and better prepare him to go to preschool by doing as much 1:1 ABA as possible.
The kicker here for me was that I don't feel a peace from God for sending him to preschool, and i really wish i did!! My good friend Liz always says "Let peace be your referree". So, Holy Spirit, you got me on this one.
I'll keep you posted on if anything changes.
PS This photo is in case you've forgotten what a good-looking husband I have.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
(more to come soon...)
Me and Bella at my sister's house in Texas! We visited for a few days last month. It was an awesome time! Good sisterly bonding, lots of relaxing (can you say Gilmore Girls and The Duggars!). Bella had fun with Aunt Laurel's dogs. She loves barking at all dogs now! It's very cute. She's awesome.
Bella having fun playing out on the deck. Look how cute my daughter is! They don't come any cuter.
A huge tree was cut down and Asher loves the mulch. What kid wouldnt?!
Love photobooth! Asher likes to say "Sa-mile!"
My new product in my shop: scrap packs and fabric bundles! Just one of the many new things coming.... check it out! www.makemineblue.etsy.com!
Friday, November 6, 2009
J&J Greutman October/November 2009
Hello Dear Ones!
Greetings from the Greutmans. We hope you are all doing extremely well! I know it's been a long time, but we're back in NewsletterLand! We have some major updates for you that may not know yet. Here goes:
The Greutmans have moved back to NY! Thats right! On October 30th, we relocated to Oswego, NY, Joel's hometown. There are several things that led to this choice, but the thing that really made the decision for us was everything with Rowan. (For those of you who may not know yet, our oldest son Rowan was diagnosed with moderate autism in June.)Let me expand:
When we learned that Rowan had autism, and after we got over the initial shock, grief, and all other feelings that come with that, I quickly became faced with several new daunting realizations. Among them was the realization that I was soon going to be thrown into the world of paperwork, meetings, appointments, testing, etc. and that I was very ill-prepared for such a task. I think that if Rowan were our only child, this task wouldn't be so daunting, but since I have 2 other little ones to care for, I really didn't know how all of this was going to happen. I began longing for the people that I knew would be willing to help at any cost.
But, we still have Joel's brothers on the same street, and our dearest friends right next door, so I didn't doubt at all that we would have help and support around us. 2 months after Ro's diagnosis: Ben AND Mark (Joels' brothers who lived right on our street) both announce that their families are soon moving away!
It's not just that i know they'll help us, though. They will love my kids like nobody else can. We really feel like that is important in our lives right now. I haven't lived near my family in almost 6 years. I miss my sisters and brother alot!
Oswego has a special needs preschool right in town, and is near Syrcacuse, which is good for Joel's work. Although he'll be keeping the jobs he has now and working from home, it is good to be near a city where there are more opportunities. On top of that, Joels' mom is the new principal at the fantastic Christian school there, so when my kids get of age, they'll be attending there. It is hard to imagine my kids going to school, but the day will come! As for a family update, all I can say is that we are truly blessed. Asher Daniel is talking a lot and is the comic relief in the house. He loves attention more than any other 2 year old I've seen. And Bella Rose is almost a whole year old! She's got 6 teeth, is walking around everywhere, doesn't like when I leave the room, and is sleeping 12 hours at night! Joel is still loving what he does. He loves working from home and he loves web programming.
As for prayer requests, we have a biggie: financing for Rowan's therapy. We are beginning this journey believing that God is going to provide for his therapy, but unable to begin at the right amount of hours due to lack of funding, and the state will not pay for any of it. (Dont get me started on that!) The therapy is called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and is considered the gold standard of autism treatment. It is a one-on-one intensive therapy, and the best results come when the child gets at least 30 hours a week, and so that is what we are aiming towards for Rowan. However, the therapy is so expensive, with the therapists minimum hourly rate at $15/hour. Now you can imagine, we simply don't have an extra $1800 per month on hand. It is almost maddening knowing that there is something out there that can dramatically help your child, and you just can't afford it. I'm sure many of you know people with similar situations who may have a physical or mental disability. So, our prayer request is that the money would come in, and soon. I am not interested in wasting time here. If you don't know much about autism and the struggle a parent goes through, one mom of an autistic child puts it this way: “There is this perfect child on the other side of a dirty window that you just can't seem to clean. Sometimes you can't see through at all, some times you squint and get a glimpse. But, so help me, I will tear that window out of the wall and pull that child out." We are determined to pull our son out!
Bless you! Thanks for listening (reading). I'd love an update from you all as well, either via a letter or email! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to hear from you all soon!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
We are living with Joels' parents until a house comes on the market that suits our needs. The kiddos are having a blast hanging out with their cousin Andrew. I know that they're going to miss their friends in SC, just like we do.
It has been very hard leaving our house on Durand, and our friends there. I already miss them all terribly. It was so difficult saying goodbye to the house that our children ALL took their first steps in, first words, first teeth, birthdays, holidays, etc. Lots of sweet memories. Thank God for photos and videos!!
Off for now, pretty tired and did i ever tell you i HATE halloween? well, i do. More updates soon!
Monday, October 19, 2009
October 30th!! That is next week, people!
Can you believe it? I can't. It's coming very quickly! I've been packing like crazy, hence the post title. We've accumulated more stuff than I thought in the last 4 years of being here in Fort Mill. Which doesn't bother me, except that its alot to pack. And get this: tomorrow, I go to Texas with Bella Rose to visit my sister Laurel! We've been planning the trip since July, and we've both been looking forward to it very much. So it looks like i get to squeeze in a little vacation before we move! My first, and probably only for severeal years, vacation with just me and Bella!
So, please pray for us in the next few weeks. We have alot of mixed emotions about moving, as we are leaving many people we've come to love so dearly in the last 4 years of being here, and our closest friends that we've lived either with or near for the past 5.5 years. There is no way to put into words the sadness in our hearts thinking of leaving all of these precious people, but we know the Lord is leading us in this next season, and everything He does is good, for EVERYONE! But pray for our hearts, that we feel him in the midst of all the crazy-ness.
On the other hand, and a more positive note, we are SO looking forward to being with family and friends in NY. We'll be living with Joel's parents until we find a house. We know it is going to be really good and can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for us there! We really feel like Rowan is going to thrive there and the kids are going to really love being with their grandparents, and Aunt Lauren, Uncle Mark, and their cousins Andrew and Hannah. Yay!
(a photo from last years' one day of snow here in Charlotte. a snapshot of what our future holds!)
I will update sometime soon about TX and then our move...stay tuned!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The first few days, we spent in my hometown, Westfield, for Betsy and Andy's wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and perfect. My sisters and Cait (my brother's sweet girlfriend) sang a few songs in the ceremony, and let me tell you, that was such an honor. Here are some photos from the day from Cait's camera:
the beautiful bride herself, getting ready to see her man
i stole cait's camera and got a couple of sister shots
father of the bride holding Bella, the flower girl
The bride and groom sharing a moment. They're awesome!
While in Westfield, we stayed at this really great inn-type place. Like an old fancy bed and breakfast, only no breakfast. It was so cool. The boys had their own room, and we shared one with Bella. When we weren't there, we were playing in the church nursery or running around the park. While Joel graciously agreed to stay with sleeping kids, I helped my family with set up and clean up. It was too short of a time, but still it was a good time!
The second half of the trip was spent in Oswego, the town we will soon be moving to. We did alot of sitting around, visited with good friends, checked out some houses, and got pre-approved for a mortgage(!). All in all, a wonderful trip. But get this! On our way back to SC, the van broke down while driving 70 mps down route 81 in PA. Yeah. The power just stopped. No dash, radio, lights, windows, etc. Turns out it was the alternator, which of course Joel knew but was confirmed by his dad. The Lord got us all the way off of an exit and to a McDonalds (so the kids could eat and not totally freak out the whole time. Thanks for that, God!). Here's how the next few minutes went:
We complained alot while pulling off the road.
Parked. I went in to get food.
Joel went up to this guy and asked where an auto parts store was. Next is the abridged conversation:
"Sir, can you tell me where an auto parts store is?"
"Sure. How about I take you there, you buy your alternator, and I'll bring you back. Then, after that, you can use all the tools in the back of my truck to put it in. Then how about after that, I give your car a jump and then wait with you to make sure its all working right?"
Definetely God ordained. I just love when He does that stuff! I could have done without Asher throwing up 3 times, but whatever. It's life.
Now we're back, and me and Bella are getting over a cold. Ro is back in school and loving it. I have a Ro update too, but I'll have to do that another time.
Here's some photos from our time in Oswego
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Our house went on the market yesturday. It was bittersweet for me. I love my friends here. I love my neighborhood. I dont necessarily love living in suburbia, but thats trumped by the amazing people who I share this suburbia with.
Joel and I made a decision the other day. I know I mentioned before that Rowan is going to start in-home ABA therapy as soon as possible. Well, right now, in our current living situation (meaning, our rent payment is freakin huge), we can't even come close to affording the cost of this therapy. We realized that when we move to NY, if we buy an inexpensive home, all of the extra money can go towards this therapy. Then it dawned on us: we have to go SOON. The sooner we go, the sooner we can start his therapy. It is incredibly frustrating knowing that there is something in existence that can help our son tremendously, but money is preventing it. If you all dont know, ABA therapy is the gold standard of therapy in the autism community, and ALWAYS helps. Always. It may not always recover a child with the diagnosis of autism, but it always always helps. The Lord spoke really clearly to my heart yesturday while I was praying and said that I am laying down my life for my son.
I never looked at it that way, and I certainly wouldn't say that I'm doing that. But HE said that. He said that all of the sacrifices we are making leaving here, leaving our closest friends and a home and church that we love, is an act of laying it all down for Rowan. He's worth it.
So, we are praying that this house would sell quickly for WAY more than it should, so that we can take that extra money and use it for a down-payment on a home in NY. God can do it.
One more thing: We will soon be starting to send out a newsletter with all of our Rowan updates, prayer requests, etc. If you want to receive that, just comment on this with your email address and i'll get in touch with you about where to mail it.
Love you all, thanks for bearing with us in this journey. Keep praying, our family needs grace in this time!
Friday, September 11, 2009
2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Forgot how good it was!
3. vacuuming. It is so gratifying.
4. Our friend from New Zealand, Phill, is visiting! We love having our friend visit us every year! His presence in our home is so sweet!
5. Talking with Asher about all sorts of things. He has such a wonderful voice and is so cute when he tells us things!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
on our way!
This is before he realized I wasn't going in with him. (yes i let him take his blanky the first day!)
Well, sort of!! He started pre-school yesturday. I can't even believe it. My first reality shock was when I had to get him sneakers to wear to preschool, and find a backpack. A BACKPACK! seriously?!
Luckily, I only cried a little when I dropped him off yesturday morning. He, on the other hand, did not only cry a little. He cried loudly, and then much throughout the morning. But the teacher, (who rowan already loves) said that when he did cry, it didnt' last long, so that is some consolation to me!
He is there from 8-11 am, 4 days a week. I think he is going to start loving it soon, as they do have a lot of fun. I'm very excited to see him grow and learn to do and say new things. And my time with the other kiddos in the mornings have been wonderful. I'm not much of a picture-taker, or I'd post more pictures of my amazing little munchkins. I know some people (Lora!) who include a picture in every post. Thats probably a good idea but I just dont think to take them! maybe someday I will.
My etsy shop has lots of super cute new bags listed. You should go see! I love these little vintage handbags. I will probalby keep one of them if they don't sell soon.
In house news, we recently staged the house and took photos for the realtor. I guess it's going up on the market sometime within the next couple weeks. Wow! We could be in NY any day now. Cant wait! I'm really looking forward to being up there again. Although, the weather and company down here as of late is truly delightful. I always get second thoughts when I think about the friends here whom i love so dearly. And as for the weather, this week it has truly begun to act like fall. Nice and cool in the mornings and stays relatively temperate all day! I haven't turned the AC on yet and it's almost 3 oclock. thats new!
Alright, time to go sneak a nap. Bless you all!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Lora told me to post a picture. :-)
and now for some shop-y stuff!
I got these quilt squares from Lora's shop (www.eagerhands.etsy.com). They came all cut and ready to sew!
My latest favorite bag; a simple little tote made from up-cycled vintage ticking and some wild green and white polka dot fabric!
i love being crafty...:-)
Friday, August 21, 2009
anyway, right now we're trying to figure out how to move forward with therapy. His preschool offers speech therapy and occupational therapy, which is going to be so good for him. However, we've been feeling like there needs to be more one-on-one, intensive stuff. So the past few days, i've been looking into ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis). This is the 'gold standard' for autism therapies. In one study that the founder of this therapy, Dr. Lovaas, conducted, 47% of the children who were in intensive ABA therapy shortly thereafter became mainstreamed in school without an aide and lost their diagnosis. Thats a big number, folks!
So, we're really trying to figure out how to make all this happen. The Lord has to provide the money to pay the therapists, as it can cost up to $30,000/year to do this. It's not covered by the government, although I am going to try to apply for a waiver. The waiting list for that is over a year though, so I wont count on it. It is actually infuriating to know that, although this is an EPIDEMIC, the government and most insurance companies simply will not pay for most treatment options. 1 in every 150 children have autism. 10 years ago, the number was 1 in every 10,000. That is simply not a genetic disorder, that is an environmental illness and for heavens sake, what is the world thinking by not trying to find the root cause!!
Ok, off the soap-box Jenn.
So pray for us, that we can get all of this worked out. From researching, I already know that Rowan is going to respond amazingly to this therapy. I am so excited to start it but have no idea how it's going to happen. And i dont want to waste any time! ya know?
On a non-Rowan-related note, I have been sewing like crazy! For some reason, my motivation level is WAY up there right now. So if you have a friend's birthday coming up, or a baby shower, let me know! I'd love to make you a custom bag, purse, blanket, whatever. Seriously. Its fun for me!
Bless you guys, and thanks for trekkin' this road with us.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The picture doesn't do the green justice. It is the juiciest lime green I've ever seen on a fabric! Just love it.
Next project on my list: a pillowcase dress. I have seen them made in lots of etsy shops and I'm really excited to try!
The other day, my good friend Lora was visiting, with her kids, for a playdate. She was trying to change her very squirmy 2 yr old daughters diaper and she said "Be still, I have to change you!" All of a sudden, she realized that that's what the Lord would say to us. Be still, He wants to change you! Isn't it great how mommy's can encounter the Lord and recieve revelation by changing poops?
:-) I love God. He's funny and He speaks, and sometimes He speaks funny. Poopy diapers can be prophetic!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The Greutmans are moving back to NY! Thats right! Sometime within the next few months, we will be relocating to Oswego, NY. There are several things that led to this choice, but the thing that really made the decision for us was everything with Rowan. Let me expand:
When we learned that Rowan was autistic, and after we got over the initial shock, grief, and all other feelings that come with that, I quickly became faced with several new daunting realiztions. Among them was the realization that I was soon going to be thrown into the world of paperwork, meetings, appointments, testing, etc. and that I was very ill-prepared for such a task. I think that if Rowan were our only child, this task wouldn't be so daunting, but since I have 2 other little ones to care for, I really didn't know how all of this was going to happen. I began longing for the people that I knew would be willing to help at any cost: the grandparents. But, we still have Joel's brothers on the same street, and our dearest friends right next door, so I didn't doubt at all that we would have help and support around us.
2 months after Ro's diagnosis: Ben AND Mark both announce that their families are soon moving away! Ben to Kansas City and Mark to Oswego, NY. Now, if I wasn't already longing for the grandparents, this just put me over the top. I have always felt strongly about living near family, having the grandparents around to watch their grandkids grow. When Mark and Lauren made their plans to move, I knew it was time to seriously consider this, because let's get real here. I know alot of parents with autistic children can do this without the help of family, but if we DO have the opportunity to be near them, then by golly, I'm taking it!
It's not just that i know they'll help us, though. They will love my kids like nobody else can. We really feel like that is important in our lives right now. And on top of all of that, I long for the days of spending holidays with family, being a short car trip away from my own family, having gatherings at my home with them, taking weekend trips to my parents' house, waking up on Christmas morning with SNOW! ;) so many other things I'm looking forward to. I haven't lived near my family in almost 6 years. Maybe that's ok for some people, and necessary for some. I'm very excited about that not being the case anymore. I miss my sisters and brother alot!
Oswego has a special needs preschool right in town, and is near Syrcause, which is good for Joel's work. Although he'll be keeping the jobs he has now and working from home, it is good to be near a city where there are more opportunities. On top of that, Joels' mom is the new principal at the fantastic Christian school there, so when my kids get of age, they'll be attending there. It is hard to imagine my kids going to school, but the day will come!
To all of our Charlotte friends: Thinking about moving truly is bittersweet. We have had such an amazing 3 1/2 years here. The people we've grown close to, the lifetime friends we've made, our time with ZHOP, our church the Well; there's no way I'd change any of that for anything! This has been an amazing ride in South Carolina. We arrived here without any children (and are leaving with 3!), lived in a huge home, housed 20+ missionaries, worked at a House of Prayer full time, lived 8 feet away from our best friends, only a few meters away from family, made friendships that we know will never end, and most importantly, we experienced the Lord in so many new ways. I could sit here for a week trying to tell you everything else the Lord did for us here and it still wouldn't be enough time.
As for timing, we don't know when we'll be moving, although we are feeling like it will be sometime before January. We should know more about that in the next few weeks, but for now, we're just waiting on the Lord. Many things have to take place before that can happen, but I will keep you posted. Our main prayer request is that the Lord would make a way for our house to sell.
I'd list all of the other things that happened to get us to our decision, but then I'd feel like I'm explaining myself, and I dont need to do that. All you need to know is that we prayed. :-)
Bless you! Thanks for listening (reading). It's good to get that out in the open!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I love the way you love to be wrestled.
I love how you laugh when I tickle your face with my hair.
I love how you crack up when I come to check on you before you fall alseep at night.
I love when you sit on my lap, look straight into my eyes and then squeeze me as tight as you can.
I love how playful you are.
I love that you love your Daddy.
I love your smile.
I love when you hug your little brother and sister simply because you want to.
I love that you love to jump.
I love that you never lie.
I will never stop loving you."
My son is so beautiful and wonderful. Pray for Joel and I, that we don't forget to be patient and longsuffering, loving our kids unconditionally at all times!