Friday, October 28, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Relevant


Today's topic is relevant.  I am not sure about this one but committed to just start writing.  First, it's the rules for 5Minute Friday, and secondly because it's what I love to do. 
I have to tell you tho' my mind is till circling the late night visit to the ER and thinking WHAT HAPPENED?  One minute things were normal and the next everything with Isaiah was off. Our gut told us something was wrong, but our brains told us we were over-reacting.  Upon arriving at the ER, one look from the triage nurse at our kindergartner sent her running down the hall.  A Dr.  returned with her immediately.  I commented that his quick presence was concerning- he commented that with non-responsive little ones, they come quick. 

Isaiah's actions last night were relevant to the concerns.  Take one of his bizarre behaviors alone, and we wouldn't have given it a second thought- but together, the relevance to a possible emergency was obvious. And real.

We left the ER with a mystery to solve. Thankful, but still concerned. 

Some days, I go to bed scratching my head wondering WHAT HAPPENED?

When I look at the bits and pieces individually, they don't always seem relevant. But, when I take all the moments, all the pieces together they become very relevant to the bigger picture.   

All the moments are the threads in the tapestry God is weaving in the lives of the 5ALLENZ, and they are all relevant to the beautiful work He is doing.  Even, when we just see the underside- the mess, the scary emergency.


I'm linking up to Lisa Jo- at - it's where those of us who love to write, take five minutes and just go with the topic. No editing. No rules. Just 5 minutes of freedom. Click on over for more 5 minute breaks!

Happy Friday Y'all!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Beyond


I like spending time there, when I'm intentional about seeing it.  I could easily get stuck in the right here.  Right here appears ugly.  It appears impossible.  It appears unlovable.  It appears unwanted.  Right here is almost too hard.  Right hear is sometimes disappointing and always exhausting.  But right here is an illusion to what is Beyond.  Beyond the right here, is love that the world can't understand.  Beyond the calls from 561-8165, beyond the tantrums and the tears, Beyond the chaos is a hope and a future. Beyond what looks like the impossible is the belief that God is working all things for His glory.  That He is going to heal the hurts and one day, Beyond the right now we'll laugh about struggles in the right here. Sometimes, we already do.  Sometimes I see the life and the light in the smiles and the eyes of my family.  I hear the joy.  I get a glimpse of Beyond.  But sometimes, I get stuck in the right here, in the gunk of the realities of our choices.  But, Beyond - Beyond what y'all can see when you look in,  is a beautiful tapestry of God weaving pasts and futures, hurt and healing, brown and white, young and old.  And Beyond the right here is forever.  Forever with my Savior, who already bore all this for me.  I think I'll look Beyond today.


I'm linking up to Lisa Jo- at - it's where those of us who love to write, take five minutes and just go with the topic.  No editing.  No rules.  Just 5 minutes of freedom.  Click on over for more 5 minute breaks!

Happy Friday y'all.  Go Beyond.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

History Makers

561-8165- on my blackberry is never good.

hhhhhellllooo- as if saying it real slow would change the reality. 

"Mrs. Allen- I hate to have to call you today"


So far, this has been a fairly normal daily call from the school- what came next, well that's where the history making comes in.


Exactly what does "out of control" mean? Oh, you're not sure.  You need more details- I see.  But my boys are in your office and we need to come get them.  Okay.  

Yes my friends.  My boys are the first two kids to be "kicked off" the special ed (small) bus.  Makes a momma proud. (insert sarcastic look)  

The driver - not sweet morning driver- returned them to the school after hardly getting to the end of the street. 

Kicked them right off. 

Seems she felt it was "unsafe" to proceed any further.  Mind you, these aren't big brawny teenagers- they are 5 and 6 year old little boys.

This is such a first, the assistant principal didn't even know how to handle the "one-day suspension" that is supposed to follow being kicked off a bus.  In her own words, "I've never had a child that had to be removed from the special ed bus before."

I sat at my desk, stunned by what I was hearing. 
Do I laugh? 
Do I cry? 
I hung up the phone and literally paced the hallway.  
Never have I felt so helpless. 
I don't know what to do.

Everything I believe to be true in parenting is turned upside down every time 561- 8165 flashes on my caller ID.

Several conversations later and we're still unclear on today's reality.  Even got the Special Education Transportation Supervisor trying to figure out exactly what happened.  The stories are a little, well miss-matched if you will. 

According to my kids, one buckled his seat belt into the empty buckle next to him, and the other was, in his own words, "singing from my lung"

Allen's = history makers.
Perhaps this is why the chiropractor thinks I'm tight as a snare drum and keeps reminding me to relax.  Sad, when you can't relax during a chiropractic adjustment.  Think I need the e-stim and roller bed to go.

I'm heading off to bed.  I've got to pray up and rest up for the promised phone calls tomorrow. 
Nightie Nite!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From the Mouths of Boys.

During a recent game with Rex during Play Therapy, Elijah was asked two questions.
What's your easiest subject in school?  
What's your hardest subject in school? 

Isaiah to his babysitter during a tantrum-
"If she colors with me, I'll calm down."

Happy Tuesday y'all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The _______--bus.

So, a few weeks ago, while I was all alone on the other side of the country, I wrote about growing pains and decisions.  At home in VA, my sweet husband fielded phone calls, made and kept appointments, trips to the school, etc. while I was learning multi-media.

I'm not sure if it was easier or harder being thousands of miles away during that particular week.  I left Roanoke all confused and stressed out. The school had suggested my kids ride the short bus

When I realized this wasn't a flip suggestion, or a joke- I was freaked out! I couldn't  even say the words without bursting into tears.  I don't remember exactly when I heard the term, short bus, the first time- but I knew it was sarcastic and was used to poke fun.  In all the years we threw the phrase around at home, over dinner, in the office, at church- I never thought about the kids, or their parents.  Now, I am going to be the mother of not one, but two kids on the short bus.  Yep, I felt guilty.  I felt sorry for all the jokes.  And, I felt scared. 
Let's keep it real people, I didn't want my kids on the short bus.  

Now what do I say when I hear a joke about the short bus? This changes everything. 

Back in CA, each night as I sat in my hotel room I mulled over the decision.  The pros and the cons.  In my heart I knew at least for now this was probably the best thing for my kids.  I was still struggling. 

Finally getting home after a week apart from Rex, we teamed up that Friday afternoon and headed to the kids play therapist .  The goal was to talk it through without the kids and come to a final decision.  Even in talking through it with her, I couldn't talk about it without crying then I'd giggle.  I was all over the place with this. 

She asked me what the short bus represented to me.  I admitted it represented -abnormal; mentally or physically disabled, less than.  I don't want my kids to be the "less than" kids.   The reality is they aren't less than kids.  They just need some extra things to help them successful.  Things not available on the regular bus.  The decision was made.

Now- how to talk to the boys without mommy bursting into tears.  How to make this a positive thing for them.  Talk to them about what they might see on the new bus. 
Oh, she also suggested we call it the small bus.  Worked for me.

It's been a couple of weeks now, and I can talk about it without tears.  My boys miss their friends, but they are doing well on the new small bus.  Which, by the way isn't as small as I had imagined. I am past the blue handicapped sign that at first seemed to flash and announce to my neighbors that our family is different.  The new driver is awesome.  He actually speaks to us, all of us every morning.   He smiles.  And, while they say they hate the bus they are not fighting against it.  They run down the driveway and sometimes forget to get the 2nd and 3rd kiss.  (Isaiah still needs his wave) It is clear the new bus gives them safety and security.  I'm sure the extra adults and seat belts help with that.  And if nothing else, the convenience of the bus stopping at our own driveway almost makes it worth it, no more walking up the street.

So this week, I'm continuing my 1000 Gifts with being thankful for more hard decisions, new perspective and finding the positive in what seemed so negative.  For all the moms and dads of special needs kids and their ability to make the decisions that are right for their own kids, knowing that sometimes it makes them the center of a joke to those who will never take a ride on the short small bus.

1000 Gifts #574-602

learning new things, engine fixed before boarding plane, calls home, anticipation of seeing my husband and kids, hotel vouchers for unplanned overnights; the cheap hotel is not my home; plastic hairbrushes, a lesson in humility in the busiest airport, meeting the hard rocker on the flight home and a chance to share a bit of my faith, teens making good decisions, early early morning coffee in the airport, people watching and the reminder God created all of us unique, surprising Shayne and the smile on his face, Ms. Caldwell and the encouragement and nice things she said about my middle son, announcement of Baby Kirchener, warm fall days, Sunday lunch with my boys, a teenager who drives, rain falling on pumpkins, insurance OOP met for the year, playing bus and police with Elijah and Isaiah, a surprise visit from Audrey & making pie with Nae.

Okay, I"m all caught up now!

What 'ya thankful for?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

On Apple Pickin' and Pie!

We have a tradition 'round this time of year.  Apple Pickin.

It started when the little guys had been with us for about a year - they were both still in strollers when we started.  This is our 5th year.  Where? you ask.  
Nichols Farm --otherwise known as the Apple Barn. 

The first year we went they had a big festival- pumpkins, hot cider, homemade apple butter, music, hay rides.  It was so much fun we were hooked.  The next year we were a  little disappointed to find that due to family illness, the festival was dwindling, but the pick-your-own apples remains unchanged and is still a favorite for us. 

My kids love it because they have both freedom and control.  They pick what they want.  Eat what they want.  Climb where they want.  Carry their own apples (DON"T get them mixed up, and yes- they know who picked which apple).  They play, and fight, and taste-test.  They giggle. They discard the imperfect. 

Rex and I pick too, but mostly we just watch, listen and enjoy. 
This has become one of my favorite days of the year. 


Help me Daddy!

My sunshine.


My sons, including my borrowed Phillip!

Our Family, Apple Barn 2011


Peace out.
So,  what do you do with 55lbs of apples.

You give a lot away, and then you make pie.

My recipe is really fancy.  So fancy, I don't know where it came from.  So fancy, it is written on a yellow post-it note:

5 apples
1 cu sugar
2 tblsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1 tblsp lemon juice
pie crust (I cheat, and use Pillsbury Refrigerated Ready Crust)

Peel, core and slice the apples. 
The apple/peeler/corer is worth the $19.99 I paid

Mix it all up in a bowl (this made 3 pies)
the kids like to help, and grab the sugar covered slices

Fill your crust, then cover with another, pinch edges and sprinkle with sugar

not sure exactly how long, just keep checking until browned and bubbly.

And this is the result. 
It does taste as good as it looks.
 I hope your Fall includes giggles, freedom and homemade apple pie.  


Friday, October 14, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Catch



my breath

the milk from falling off the table

the toy hurled at his brother

the boy falling off the stool

my breath

the silly look exchanged

the phone before the answering machine picks up

the pizza from hitting the floor

the boy hiding in the store racks

my breath

the elevator

the shuttle

my cell phone from falling in the toilet

the drive-thru teller before 6pm

the last flight home


I spend a lot of time catching things- and my life moves so fast I often catch myself thinking about breathing.  (that's supposed to be automatic, you know)  In all the craziness of our day to day, I know when I fall, or when I fail, or when I do both my God Daddy is going to catch me, safe in His arms. 


I'm linking up to Lisa Jo-  at Click on over for more 5 minute breaks!

Happy Friday y'all!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

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