Monday, November 30, 2009

Yes! It's a Giveaway!!

This Wednesday, December 2nd, one of my favorite crafting websites, sewmamasew, is hosting a Giveaway Day!!   They will be posting a gigantic list on that day of hundreds of blogs that will be having giveaways of handmade items and crafting supplies! Very exciting... And all you have to do is leave a comment on those blogs to enter to win!

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)

Here's how to play!

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!
2. If you want a second entry, post about this giveaway on your own blog and link to my blog. Leave another comment to let me know!

It's easy!!!

(oh, and make sure you leave your email address on your comment so i can reach you if you win!)

I am going to pick a winner at random on December 6th. Have fun and thanks for participating!  And a shout out to my wonderful friend, Lora at Eagerhands for the idea!

Friday, November 27, 2009

5 things I am thankful for!

1.  my kids. every one of them is special and unique! (is that redundant? i dont care, its true!)

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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Ro

He likes Photo Booth. :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

i'm in a pickle...

Here's the current dilemma:
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

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday

(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!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

October/November 2009 Update Letter!!

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!

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. 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.

Rowan is doing great at preschool. We haven't seen any dramatic improvments except that he is happy to go, learns new words sometimes, and comes home happy. I love that he goes to school and is around other kids for a few hours a day. And it gives me some quality time with Asher and Bella. I love it.

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

I hope to hear from you all soon!


October-November 2009 Update letter!!!