Blogging

I’m Back!!

 Perhaps my enthusiasm will only be met by the virtual chirping of crickets. My supposed “Last Post” for this blog was almost 3 years ago! So, if any of you are still with me and have not removed this site from your subscriptions, let me know.

Well, a lot has happened in the past 3 years, and I’ll try to summarize as best as I could.

Mother of 5

We added another one to our little clan almost 2 years ago. Our baby girl brightens up our home, and not a single one in our family would protest if I told you she is everyone’s favorite.

Once a blogger …

When I flicked the lights off this site, it was actually a relief. It was freeing not to have to think about the next post. But it wasn’t long before the itch to write became unbearable.

I started another blog, a very different one from this. I actually entered the world of income-earning mommy blogs … ok, a few bucks earned for sponsored posts wasn’t exactly enough to be considered income. With the cost of running my own site, I probably just broke even. But I don’t consider it a waste but rather, a helpful, learning experience. If anything, I realized that though I may take breaks here and there, once a blogger, always a blogger.

What’s in a Diagnosis?

Around the time that I shut down this blog, we were readying ourselves for another round of evaluations, assessments, and therapies. At 8 years old, our son was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder, and this certainly explained a lot of things for us and allowed us to get a better grasp on how he processes information and communicates.

However, there still appears to be a long road ahead of us. We cannot shake this feeling that there is something else there besides auditory processing. It has been a roller coaster ride no thrill-seeker would desire to board. Yet, here we are, seat belts fastened and bracing ourselves for what’s to come and hoping that at the end of the ride are some answers we’ve been seeking.

“Hello, my name is …”

When I first started this blog, I wanted to be anonymous. I even used a pen name, but then quickly removed it because it just felt weird to have readers refer to me by a different name, especially since I shared so much of my heart in these posts. I also changed other people’s names every time I shared particular stories, being extremely concerned about the privacy of others … not to mention wanting to keep internet stalkers at bay.

Ever since the notion to revive this blog surfaced, I knew I wanted to start with a proper introduction …

Hello, my name is Aileen. I have 5 children, and my oldest is named Owen. Welcome to a slice of my world.

Blogging

A Year Ago

Point & ClickOne year ago today, I clicked “Publish” on my first post for this site. Before that day, I had been thinking about starting a blog like this for a while, but like I’m sure many of you have felt, I honestly didn’t think anyone would read it. Moreover, I didn’t know how much time I could really commit to writing. Was this going to be just another project I couldn’t finish? So, imagine my delight when I realized that this little piece of cyberspace actually reached its first anniversary!

I have wrestled with so many things, especially in the area of parenting my son, Gabriel. And I needed a place to write down what God was teaching me, not only through Gabriel but through other people and circumstances in my life. Prone to forgetfulness, writing has helped me to remember God’s Word better. It has caused me to think more deeply about what was happening in my life as part of God’s providential plan to bring glory to His name. In short, The Lord has been showing me it’s not all about me.

I could’ve just written all this down in a personal journal, but The Lord has placed in my heart a desire to share His lessons with others. They are not mine to keep and hide away anyway. Through blogging, God has provided another instrument to use for the exaltation of Jesus Christ.

I know not everyone who comes by and reads this blog is a mother of a child with special needs or even a parent or a Christian. But for whatever reason, you came. I believe God brought you here. I have prayed for you, not by name, but I have asked The Lord to use this site for His glory and bring whoever He wills. From the very beginning, it has been my hope that others would read, not merely stories and testimonies of a mother and her child, but an account of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love.

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”  (Psalm 115:1)

 

(Photo credit: PaT)

Blogging

Signing Off … for now

Taking a break (365-366)

I need to take a blogging break. This is the time of year when things get super busy: trying to finish up school, shopping, decorating, Christmas church events, cooking, baking, and the list goes on. In the midst of all the craziness (a good kind of crazy, though), I don’t want to miss those simple moments that I need to savor, especially with my husband and children.

I will miss you all! I hope to see you again when I get back in 2014!

 

(Photo credit: Matthew Sylvester)

Blogging

Thankful Thursday

Blogging can certainly take time that I don’t always have. Throughout the day, I make mental notes of things that I would want to post about, but much of it stays within the confines of my mind. With homeschool back in session, the times to write must fall late at night (which I’m trying not to do) or during the early morning hours. Properly accepting blog awards is also another one of those things that I’m not able to commit to. However, I do want to take an opportunity to thank some of my fellow bloggers, who have nominated this blog for an award. Though not a formal acceptance, this post is a gesture of thanks for coming by this space. If it wasn’t for this cool blogging community, I may have given up on blogging a long time ago. 🙂

Thank you, blog neighbors!

Still Learning Something New
Good Time Stories
wateringcanblog
Walking the Talk

Blogging

Thankful Thursday

I really do like the idea of passing on blog awards. It’s a great way to make someone’s day, and I can testify to that. It’s also a meaningful gift, and (I have to say this because of my frugal tendencies) it’s free! Some of your great blogs I have found through others’ blog award nominations, so I know what a great way it is to connect with others.

However, finding time for this busy mom to post about it has proven to be more and more challenging. But, I would like to take this time to recognize and thank these fellow bloggers for nominating this space for various awards. Though this post is not an official acceptance of the nominations since I’m not following the rules, I wanted to extend my appreciation to these bloggers, not only for reading my blog, but also for what they write on theirs. Thank you!

Lessons by Heart
Clay Tablets
Kerri Chronicles
His Eye is on This Sparrow
Knitting with Heart
Waiting on a Word

God bless and for those in the U.S., Happy 4th!

Blogging

It’s a Beautiful Day in this Neighborhood

When I published my first blog post, I prayed, “Lord, use this as you will.” If God wanted to use what I wrote to encourage even just one person, I was confident that He would bring them here to this space. To receive my first “like” was cool! Then, I received my first comment, real feedback on a post I had written. What a nice feeling! Soon people would continue to come back, and I would pay them a visit as well. And this was my introduction into what some would call “The WordPress Family”.

20130608-092330.jpgIsn’t it nice that there is an award going around that recognizes this type of virtual community? Geraldine from The Valor Society was so kind to nominate me for The WordPress Family Award. She blogs about her life and faith. It is obvious from her writings that she loves her Savior, Jesus Christ. It is an honor to receive this nomination from her. Thank you, Geraldine!

What makes a neighborhood nice is not necessarily the houses or the landscaping; it’s the people and the conversations they have with one another. So for our little neighborhood, who doesn’t love receiving a few comments and having conversations about all the things that we write about? Fellow blogger, Jess from Waiting on a Word had the fun idea of passing this award on to her top commenters. I hope she doesn’t mind that I borrow her idea :-). It’s a great way to recognize those who, not only have come back for multiple visits, but have “talked” with me about the things I have shared on this blog.

Here are my nominees and top 10 commenters.
Morning Story and Dilbert
Our Adoption Voyage
His Eye is on This Sparrow
Clay Tablets
Knitting with Heart
nightlightblogdotcom
One Starving Activist
Peace of My Heart
thethinkingofthoughtsblog
Sweet Rains

If you choose to pass on this award, here are the rules:
1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.
5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

I know there are many others, not on the above list, who have taken the time to read, like, and comment on this blog. With all my heart, I thank you for joining me in this journey. God has answered and exceeded my prayers. Grace and peace to you!

Blogging

Whatever is Lovely

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” My thoughts can go in all sorts of directions, and most of them go in the course that is not in line with God’s way. What a gem this verse is to show me exactly how God wants me to love Him with all my mind! Right in the middle of this verse is the word “lovely”. It is one of the eight things mentioned in this verse that our thoughts ought to be. The original word actually has its root in the Greek word phileo, which means affection, friendship, or love (think of Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love). So, the word in this verse does not mean beautiful or something that is externally pleasing to the eye, as sometimes we use that word in English. In essence, what the verse is saying is this: whatever would encourage a love and friendship towards others, let your mind dwell on those things.

20130531-003155.jpgI have discovered that blogging can become another means to encourage love and friendship. No doubt I have been blessed by a number of bloggy friends, who have taken the time to read and follow my journey, share encouraging words, and offer their prayers. One such blogger is AR Neal from One Starving Activist, who has also further blessed me with a nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award. (There’s that word again, “lovely”). She is a deep thinker and a talented writer, and she shares that on her blog. Thank you so much for the nomination!

Since this blog is a reflection of my thoughts (thoughts that, I hope, are lovely, by the grace of God), I desire that those who come would read words that spur them on to love others. This is only possible because of Him!

I would like to pass this award on to 7 lovely bloggers. Here are my nominees:
Lessons by Heart
The Mom Adventure
Good Time Stories
sarsrose
Unshakable Hope
iChristian
Treasuring MOMents

If you would like to post about this award and pass it on to others, here are the rules.
1. Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” image to your post
2. Share seven things about you
3. Pass the award on to seven nominees
4. Thank the person who nominated you
5. Inform the nominees by posting on their blogs

Last and certainly least, here are 7 random things about me.
1. My husband is my best friend (after Jesus).
2. The Lord saved me 22 years ago.
3. I made my sister’s wedding cake.
4. I like extreme couponing and get a rush from deals gone smoothly.
5. My first job was working in a movie theater.
6. I wore sneakers under my wedding dress.
7. I lost my school spelling bee with the word “connoisseur”.

Have a fun Friday!

Blogging

A Spoonful of Sugar

I’ve always liked sweets. As a child, I ate sugar by the spoonfuls. And sometimes, it would be chocolate drink mixes (without the milk). I remember a day when I was looking for something sweet to snack on in the cupboard. I opened up a jar of chocolate something, shoved a spoonful in my mouth, and gagged at the realization that it actually wasn’t chocolate but instant coffee. Can you imagine the dental bills that my parents received on account of me?

With no dental visit required or calories to count, I received my sugar fix from Knitting with Heart, who nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. In her blog, she shares her creations and the beauty of her world. I am excited to receive this nomination from such a sweet woman! Thank you!

THE RULES:
20130518-010405.jpg1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post.
4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

THE 5 SUPER SWEET QUESTIONS:
1. Cookies or Cake? I prefer to eat cookies, but I enjoy baking and decorating cakes.
2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
3. Favorite Sweet Treat? Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? Throughout the day.
5. Sweet Nick Name? Mommy 🙂 (Of course when you hear it throughout the day, the sweetness wears off.)

No blog award post would be complete without passing on the blessing. I have found sweetness in these fellow bloggers as they have shared their experiences, their talents, their life lessons, and their world. It is with pleasure that I nominate them for the Super Sweet Blogging Award.

Christina’s Sweet Nothings
I Have No Greater Joy
The Valor Society
My Tropical Home
Venti Mocha Moments
Green Light Lady
A Journey of Faith
One Starving Activist
Waiting on a Word
A Homeschool Mom
Heartfelt Reflections
Still Learning Something New
The High Heel Gourmet

To the nominees, if you would like to post about the award, please follow the above rules.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Blogging

Dearest

20130510-081520.jpgStarting a blog can be intimidating. You have a lot floating around in your mind, and blogging can be a great outlet. But will anyone read it? Will anyone care? I mean, if you really didn’t want anyone else to read your blog, you may as well keep a personal journal or diary with a lock on it. So, those comments and likes are no small thing. Blog Awards are also another way to be blessed and to bless others. So, I am sincerely humbled by a nomination for the Liebster Blog Award by iteachspeech, which is written by a speech-language pathologist. Not only has it been a helpful resource for me as I work with my son on his speech and language delays, but the cute and funny anecdotes from this SLP’s experiences have reminded me to smile at the obstacles I face. Believe me when I say it’s not easy to be your own child’s speech therapist. Thank you, iteachspeech, for your thoughtfulness!

My desire to blog came out of a need to record events and circumstances in my life as seen through the lens of Scripture. Not always easy to do because I’m tempted to find some quick fix answers from worldly wisdom or my own inadequate understanding. And the truth is I wanted to blog to help me get my thoughts directed towards God, but also to reach out to others who desire the same thing. The encouragement I have received from fellow bloggers have been an incredible blessing. And so I, too, desire to bless others by passing on the Liebster (means “dearest” or “beloved”) Blog Award. This award recognizes up-and-coming blogs, those that have a good following, but should get more. Here are my nominees.

Sweet Rains – A talented photographer who pairs her beautiful photographs with equally beautiful words.
Esther Out Loud – Encouraging thoughts on God and the Bible.
For Glory Sake! – A woman’s journey with her Lord and what she has learned along the way.
annkilter – A mother of grown children with autism. I have not crossed this bridge yet, but her words are inspiring.
Delight in Truth – A blog that seeks to fill a dark world with the light of God’s truth.
nightlightblogdotcom – Excellent exposition of Bible passages and other thoughts to spur you on.
wateringcanblog – A pastor’s wife, who shares her heart, her life, and the things she loves.
Christina’s Sweet Nothings – This blogger posts, among other things, about cake decorating and frugal living (two of my favorite things).
jemiluce – Beautiful photos, creative projects, and inspiring thoughts.
a sinful woman forgiven – The words of a woman who has experienced the grace and forgiveness of Christ
heavenlyraindrops – Blessing others through her words, including beautifully written poetry.

To my nominees, if you would like to post about this award and pass on the blogging love, here are the official rules:

1. Each blogger should post 11 facts about himself or herself.
2. Each blogger should answer the questions that are asked by the person doing the nominating.
3. Choose 11 bloggers to nominate for the Award and link to them in the post. (I’ve seen Liebsters requiring 3-5 nominations, so don’t feel confined to this number.)
4. Create new questions for your nominees.
5. Go back to their pages and tell them they’ve been nominated.

My questions for the nominees:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What book are you currently reading?
3. What is your favorite quote?
4. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go?
5. What was the best gift you ever received?
6. If you could request your last meal, what would it be?
7. What is your favorite room in your home?

And here are my answers to the questions from iteachspeech.
What do you like best about blogging? The opportunity to testify about how God is working in my life.
What’s your happiest memory? On a quiet beach, when my husband asked me to marry him.
Where do you want to be in five years? Exactly where I am now, at home with my children and serving in our church with my husband.
What is your opinion on exercise and health foods? I’m all for it … now, if I could just be consistent about it. 🙂
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Give birth. I’m not a thrill-seeker or a risk-taker, but labor and delivery has got to be crazier and scarier than sky-diving!
What is the most annoying thing you can think of? Wet socks on my feet.
What inspires you? My husband and children.
Where is your favorite place in the whole world? I’ve been to different countries, but my favorite place has got to be right here with my family.
What would you do if tomorrow were your last day on Earth? Spend the day with my children, talking to them about Jesus.
Name three people, living or dead, you’d like to meet. Jesus, Charles Spurgeon, Susanna Wesley
What is one thing you’d like to improve about yourself? Be more disciplined about getting enough sleep.

I think I’ll skip the 11 random facts about me and spare you the boredom. 🙂

Happy Friday!

Blogging

Beautiful

When I was around 10 years old, my aunt would spend a lot of time with me and my younger sister. She would say to my sister, “You’re so beautiful.” Then, she would turn to me and say, “You’re so smart.” No, I’m not bitter. My sister and I laugh about it now, but at the time, I thought, Why can’t I be the “beautiful” one? For the record, my sister is both beautiful and smart, and I love her dearly.

Well, I’m excited to say that I received my “beautiful” compliment from Elizabeth at His Eye is On This Sparrow, who nominated my blog for the Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you, Elizabeth! We began our blogging journey around the same time. And though we’ve never met in person, God allowed our paths to cross in the blogosphere. She writes with heart and sincerity and comes across so naturally that it feels like you are sitting down with a friend over coffee, having a wonderful conversation.

Beauty can be so subjective. There is beauty everywhere, whether external or internal, but in reality, it all comes from God. Where is true beauty but in the One who is the source of all beauty. “One thing have I asked of The Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of The Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of The Lord and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). My desire is that any beauty found in this blog would be because of The Lord.

To accept the Beautiful Blogger Award, the rules are as follows:
20130428-221824.jpg1. Post the award on to your blog.
2. Remember to thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site.
3. Post 7 random facts about yourself to help us to get to know you better.
4. Nominate 7 new bloggers you consider noteworthy.
5. Don’t forget to leave a message for those you nominate that you chose them.

I’m going to tweak things a bit. Instead of listing 7 random things about myself (because that won’t be too exciting anyway), I will list 7 things that I find beautiful because God made them beautiful.
Moon (2004/12/21)1. The moon. Whether full or crescent, I love staring at this beauty of the night sky that God has created.
2. My children’s eyes. They all have long lashes, and that just makes their eyes even brighter.
3. My son, Gabriel’s smile. As a typical 7-year-old, he has a lot of missing front teeth, but I love how cute he looks when he smiles. I’m savoring this now before all his permanent teeth come in.
4. The passion in my husband’s voice when he is teaching others about the glories of Christ.
5. People in the midst of great affliction but possess peace that surpasses all comprehension. I’ve known many. Whether terminal illness, a broken marriage, or the death of a child, they are immovable in their faith. That is beautiful!
6. A heart that sees for the first time the beauty of Christ.
7. The cross of Christ. He paid for our sins. He conquered death. He tore the veil that previously kept us from approaching the throne of God.

And now, I nominate the following blogs for the Beautiful Blogger Award because in their posts, I believe they display true beauty, the beauty of The Lord. God has used each and every one of them to move my gaze heavenward and behold Him in all His beauty and splendor. I hope you will be encouraged by them as well.

Fragrant Grace
Our Adoption Voyage
Peace of My Heart
Wings of the Dawn
thethinkingofthoughtsblog
noordinaryjoy61
Journey to Amor

 

(Photo credit: s58y)