End of the daily Vlogs already- Getting a “Bad Yelp Review” for our parenting.

Jason and I have decided that since we are on this journey together we would vlog it TOGETHER rather than separately. At least once per week we will post a compilation video with updates from the week, vlog snippets, weigh ins, meals, family life etc. These posts will be a bit longer but equal to watching several shorter videos through out the week. Thanks for following along!

 

Two Vlogs Become ONE!!

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Hunting for answers

EPICLY LONG Jessie Post ahead—if you read to the end- thanks in advance- Love you peeps and am grateful for your comments, thoughts input and support more than I could ever express. I am also going out on a limb and posting pretty personal medical battles that my son is enduring-I am very mindful of and respect his privacy whenever I post- so I have asked him for permission to write about this and he is ok with it.  He says me sharing about the concerns on my blog so that we can keep our loved ones in the loop and connect with others that may help is actually good.

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I write this post from Cardon Childrens- where Ty is now in his 26th hour of hospital clean out from a major bowel impaction (this is the first time he has been so impacted from his bowel issues that he required hospitalization for assistance)–We tried our normal home remedies for 24 hours prior to admitting defeat and coming in for professional help. That defeat has been soul crushing for me- especially since all we are currently doing here at the hospital is everything we were doing at home– just slightly more frequent. ( I just wont have to do the laundry that we are creating so I guess there is that)

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I have so many things I want to say about this all- but not sure where to begin- this is going to be an exhaustion fueled rambling novella for sure.

Hospital nursing and tech staff so far are good (our current nurse is actually amazing) but I am the one primarily taking CARE of my son—they come in for vitals and to administer meds and pretty much to see if there is anything else we need- I handle the bathroom trips- I mop the floor when we can not make it there in time- I change the linens and help him clean himself in the shower after every trip to the toilet—if it was all left to the staff we would have to call them every 5 minutes—I know we could have chosen to do a clean out at home- but I feel more equipped to get it done correctly and completely here-so I feel compelled to be as involved as I am (besides I feel a sense of guilt being here at all) Plus I wanted to advocate for this visit to be more than just getting him to poop clear- I needed it to be the time where we work towards real answers and stop with bandaids.

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Part of me opted for admisssion for clean out rather than continuing to try at home because I figured we could get the ball rolling on investigating issues deeper and begin collecting information through tests. If we are gonna have him admitted, hooked to an IV, getting cleaned out and already here in the hospital- why not make the very most of the resources and people in the building- why not schedule the colonoscopy and endoscopy that our GI will want in a week when we follow up with her so we can be ready with info and not make him go through a clean out for the procedure again- The hospitalist and the GI Doc who came in for consult though are “adequate ” at best and are providing their very best “holiday weekend baseline minimal care” and have made that bluntly clear to us. I do not know that my patient advocacy would have been more effective on a week day but based off of a very heated conversation with both of them that is exactly the sentiment they each expressed-repeatedly.

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I really wanted a neurological consult as well- but it has been made very clear to me that my son will be receiving the least staff involved “care” during this visit possible-anything beyond basic clean out is considered elective” and will have to be scheduled later after discharge. We have been flat out denied a colonscopy/endoscopy because — and I quote– “It is a Saturday on a Holiday weekend.” So the best course of treatment for my special needs son who is already in the hospital, already undergoing a clean out, already hooked up to IVs is for him to undergo ALL of that again in 2 weeks once his GI decides that is her next step- all because of the day it is on the calendar. I love healthcare.

Things need to change for Ty and a real good hard look at the things we have truthfully avoided (dietary and naturopathic options) are likely our best hope right now for that change. Along with dietary changes I need him tested for neurological issues related to these impactions. I know that gut issues and autism are common and many of our kiddos on the spectrum suffer with bowel issues- but I feel like many of us all get the same cookie cutter treatment plans and it can not be all the same like that–everyone is different our spectrum kids especially. I truly think something else may be going on with his nerves and his muscles that exacerbates this and now that he is 15 we need to be moving towards treatment and not continued dependence on care and meds that only work on the symptoms and not treating the actual issue itself. (whatever that may be) This should have been something we approached long ago but to be honest were lazy. I will no longer settle for more of this cookie cutter B.S. reactive treatment plan we have followed for years. I have done so because it was easiest and I could justify it using blind faith in a system I have always questioned (except with regard to this issue apparently)–somehow I fooled myself into just saying “this is what doctors are telling us to do- they know best”—but I need to yank myself out of that denial and buckle down for the real hard work if I want to see my child heal. It boils down to I want answers or at least to be on a path towards answers and I really expected to be able to successfully work as a team with the caregivers on this campus during this admission to move forward in that direction. The LAST thing I expected was for a medical professional to flat out deny a course of action simply because of the day of the week it is and nothing else.

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During this hospital stay I have also discovered that for Ty to eliminate urine he has to push down on this bladder—I asked him if this is an always thing or only when he is constipated and he said “always–that’s how I start my pee” Since it never would have occurred to him that it is not normal to need to press on your bladder to initiate that, it has never come up as a concern before (and I don’t routinely watch my 15 year old pee-so would have not known had it not been for this clean out.) So that is now reason #2 for wanting a neurological consult as well to see if maybe he has some issues with nerves in his pelvic region where his faculties are just not responding etc—this would explain a LOT of why he tends to get backed up easily-maybe he has no muscle control–match that with him being overly stimulated but any sensations of even the softest or most liquid stool coming out (what we may feel as “uncomfortable” or just pressure and he is in tears crying saying its an 8 on the pain scale) and all of this is a recipe for withholding.  That will have to be pursued after discharge though- The most we may get is possibly a urology consult and that depends on who is on call on a Sunday of a holiday weekend.

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My heart has ached this visit because daily I see the independence he is capable of having as the high functioning individual that he is—and then in this environment how utterly dependent on a caregiver he is when faced with these trials. So then not only do we have the medical scenarios to work through in and of itself- but I have to be “training him” and using this as a life skill training session which just adds to the exhaustion (I know I do not HAVE to– but one day I wont be here and he will need to know how to be his own advocate without a mother hen hovering so I kinda do HAVE to that’s part of parenting with special needs) So finding the right balance of my just caring for him and showing him my love in that way and also using things as teachable moments so he is becoming equipped for life later is utterly exhausting. I do not know how those of you with kiddos who manage life living with consistent medical issues deal with hospitals regularly- in some ways even live most of the time in them. I am only 2 days in since we arrived  (3 dealing with the issues if you count what we tried to do at home before coming in) and I am just spent.

I do not know exactly where to go from here- but I suspect I will be reaching out for direction in the autism community from those who have travelled the dietary and naturopatic (probiotics/supplements etc) routes with success for their kiddos gut issues. I am a needle in a compass furiously spinning looking for true north—anyone with a map that has been successful for them I would love a glimpse.

Thanks for reading.

Jessie

Transitions.

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We had Ty’s annual IEP* Meeting yesterday.  His end of freshman year, looking at sophmore year of high school IEP.  For those counting that means we will technically only have TWO more IEP meetings and then, no more IEP meetings.  TWO MORE??  When? HOW did this all go so fast?  I know alot of my blog posts lately have been very nostalgic in nature. I can not even really explain why, that in this season of my life I am as cognizant of the passing of time as I am.

Maybe its because on Wednesday night our family welcomed our new niece Cadence (first girl for the Geroux side!)

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Our first Geroux Side Niece- Born 3/25/2015

Maybe it is because my “baby” Connor is now solidly and officially taller than me-

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even with sunglasses on my head.

Maybe it is because this May will mark the 18th anniversary of me setting off on my own meaning this side of childhood has now been longer than my childhood.

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Throwback to May 1997- CHS graduation I left for NAU 2 days later.

I don’t know why my go to emotion has been sentimentality. I am not “sad” about any of it though- just mindful.

This IEP Meeting was different in many ways.  Number One is that Tyler “led” it for us.

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he caught me trying to sneak this quick picture

Number Two is that we had so much positive focus on Ty’s strengths that I did not even feel like we were in an IEP meeting.  Is that sad?  That in all these years IEP meetings have been dreaded BECAUSE of the fact that it is a known time to highlight the areas where he has “NEEDS?” I think it is sad- but this year was different.  The shift in focus has a lot to do with

Number Three- we talked about the T word.  Transition.

Be still my heart.

I just teared up writing that.  You know, because of my nostalgia and all.

Overall we feel good about it-  With all of the upheaval in GPS with budget concerns we thought there might be some changes proposed (not sure what but we just prepared anyways)  but nope, things seem to be working well the way they are so we really talked a lot more about his future plans so we could be sure that he is enrolled in the right classes to earn him the proper credits to move forward on the path he wants to move on.

Ty wants to go to EVIT*. for Video Production (http://www.evit.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=20222051&pageId=20598733 )  so how that works is that come junior year he would have 3 academic classes at Campo and then head over to EVIT for 3 “vocational” type classes in his program.  In order for him to get all of his academic requirements satisfied we had to scrutinize his class choices for sophomore year and agree that he will likely need to take a summer class next year. (EVIT recognizes this is an issue with EVERYONE that wants to attend and so they pay for a summer class)

EVIT will be different because they will only provide the bare minimum in IEP accommodations (so we are told)- there are no “para-pros” not even roaming ones- but there are a few special education teachers that will assist with the general accommodations.  So this last quarter and all of sophomore year will be really focused on Ty’s Independence levels. He needs to be self initiating to a higher degree and require less “cues and prompts.”   Ty does really well in both of those areas now- so this next 16 months will be good practice to get even better.

Oh baby bird- you are sprouting feathers left and right- I should probably stop calling you baby bird and start realizing the young man you truly are becoming.

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*IEP= Individual Education Plan
*EVIT= East Valley Institute for Technology

Here We Are- Send Us

Am I the only person simply beside myself that it is the end of March already?  How did this happen?  How are we now squarely in the true season of spring and already flirting with summer temps?  How is it that plans for how to recreate the kiddos during summer vacation are already underway, prime camping spots in the White Mts. are already booked for June and class schedules for NEXT school year are already registered for?  I know they say as you get older the time seems to go faster and the advice is to relish every bit of it you can.  When we take a good hard look at the time we logistically have left with two sons living under our roof, my heart races and I begin to panic about all of the experiences we still have yet to have with them. The “bucket list” so to speak, begins to look daunting.

Every year around January 1st I sit down and make a list of “intentions” (not resolutions but more thoughtful genuine goals) for different areas of our life. Parenting is one of those areas that gets a lot of pondering in the New Year.  As much parenting of teenagers advise as I can cram in- the basic foundation of all that sound sage always circles back to “being intentional.”  I have written about our “Fit Family Fun” goals for the year a few times already- those are meant to sculpt and mold our bodies and help reshape our minds about the lifestyle choices we make.  Jason and I both plugged in at Sun Valley as youth leaders in junior high and high school as a way to help shape the boys (and our own) hearts spiritually.  Along those goals we have really tried to instill charity and generosity in the boys and we have been praying about having a family perspective experience together to truly let those lessons sink in.

So coming this fall, we will get a huge check mark on a big ticket item on our Parenting Bucket List.

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In just seven months from now, we will set off to serve together in Monterrey, Mexico on a short term mission trip.  We began the process of planning by attending some informational meetings at church just before the holidays last year to get the basic info and began praying about if this was the right time for our family to embark on something like this. The trip happens to fall exactly during the boys fall break from school so it was a really good fit for us time wise. Let me be raw and honest though- the praying was filled with lots of doubt at first- “but God, that is pretty expensive”  “But God, we have a son with autism- how will we work through all of that?”  “But God, the boys passports are expiring this summer” “But, God, we do not speak Spanish, even though we are all native Arizonians.”  “But God, we already have a Disney Cruise with family booked at nearly that exact same time, who would we be disappointing if we choose this instead?” “But God, I am scared of stepping outside of my comfort zone and having my eyes truly opened to this new perspective”   The more we prayed on it the more our hearts seemed to be hearing God softly wash away all of the doubts and resolve all of the “buts” and we began to hear Him more clearly simply saying “Go.”

I plan to blog about our journey as much as I can beginning now. I hope to share with all of you about the logistical leg work, our fundraising efforts, our prayer requests and much more over the coming months.  I know as a family that will be embarking on this journey with a special needs teenager our perspective along the way may be unique and valuable to others that find themselves in similar life circumstances.  Maybe one of the ways God plans to use us on this trip is to encourage others like us that keep saying “but” to listen for their own “Go.” Maybe he plans to have someone meet His Son through a conversation with one of us, and maybe He plans to break off some of the hardening around our own hearts that we have selfishly clung to.  Who knows- but I am excited to find out what it is- whatever it will be.

We will be going with a short term Mission Team from Sun Valley Community Church in partnership with Back2Back Ministry.  Back 2 Back exists to love and care for vulnerable children, by meeting their spiritual, physical, educational, emotional and social needs so that they might overcome their life  circumstances and break free from the cycle of generational poverty.

In order to help make this trip a reality, we are in charge of raising a total of $5,800 to cover the costs for all four member of The Geroux Crew to participate. We are trying to do this in a number of creative ways (and we will share more about those soon), but we are also looking for people to join us on this journey. If you would be willing to make a financial contribution to our trip, you can do so by visiting www.sunvalleycc.com/onlinegiving and making an online donation using a debit card, credit card, or e-check. After creating an account, and logging in, please select, “Monterrey 2015” from the “Fund” drop down menu, and then one of our names (Jason, Jessie, Tyler or Connor Geroux) from the “Sub Fund” drop down menu and we will be notified of your gift. All donations are tax deductible and documentation will be provided by the church at the end of this tax year. Any funds donated will be designated to our team, due to IRS regulations, cannot be refunded for any reason. Alternatively, you can mail a check made out to “Sun Valley Community Church” with our names in the memo space and send it to the church directly at 456 E Ray Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85296.

Will you consider joining us on this journey in prayer?  There are many tasks to complete and ducks to get in a row between now and October so prayers for all of the logistics to go smoothly would be greatly appreciated.  Our special needs are not the only unique individual challenges on the team that will be traveling. Many members have their own hurdles to overcome to make this trip a reality for them and theirs as well. Prayers for health and safety are also greatly appreciated.  Even if you cannot make a financial contribution, please let us know that you are praying for us.  It would be just as valuable!

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Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. Matthew 5:13-14 (MSG)

We know this journey, this step to be obedient to God will season our lives and we can not wait to share those flavors with all of you.  Thank you for reading this far.  Simply put- we won’t be able to do with with support.  Both financially and spiritually in the form of prayer so we thank you in adavance for walking along side us!

Much Love

J2 Tyco Geroux Crew

 

 

 

 

With the stroke of a Pen- a new chapter begins

…and with that- DDD therapy services “terminated” January 26th, 2015- Fastest Annual ISP ever.

Why?

Honestly we do not use them- with the exception of a social skills group we had for a few brief months in 2014—nearly all of our hours just sat, unused. For nearly 10 years now we have hung on to “just in case” hours of both HAB and respite for Tyler…but ever since he has been in school full time (since kindergarten) we have barely dabbled in any DDD related therapies.

Why not? Is he “cured?”

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No, and we don’t like that word anyways (different post altogether)- life just changed when he hit school age- what had been his full time job of nearly 40 hours per week of therapies from the age of 3-5.5 years old had to change because of the education system. At the time we lived in AJ and in home services were a joke out that far and there were only a handful of therapy centers that were in within a justifiable driving distance…so we plugged away through kindergarten and even most of first grade still trying to get to those speech, ot, music, and hippo therapy appointments…those COVETED “after 2:30pm before 5pm closing time” appointment spots. We continued to recruit, hire and train people to come into our home and do “hab” only to lose them to marriage, pregnancy or other families that could offer them “more hours” and pay their bills.

So sometime in 2nd grade after his music therapist and speech therapies at the same center that we were driving into Gilbert to see each week decided to leave the company we just stopped looking for replacements.

Shortly after that we had to fire a Hab worker that had begun “calling off last minute” regularly with a new excuse each time..and I just didn’t go hang up the fliers or post the ads for a new person.

Over the years I would come across some sort of new group therapy that could take HAB hours and we would try it on– usually for the summer months so the program was “seasonal” and while they were good time fillers none of them were hugely life impacting and often times we would see “new autism” behaviors in Ty when he was in those settings anyways so we stopped looking for those programs. Every now and then we’d find a great one with great peers and great staff and next thing you know, the staffer has decided to changer career paths and the program disintegrates.

Our 90 Day evals with DDD were just becoming silly. “nope, no provider” Yeah we have these goals, but we are just working on them as a family unit– in most cases it would be infinitely more work for me as mom or Jason as dad to bring a hab worker on at this stage and train them to do what we do on a regular basis—if there was some magical HAB provider unicorn out there that had their own transportation and wanted a whopping 4 hours a week worth of pay to come to our house 2 days a week for a couple hours each (like 4-6pm) to work on some stuff with Ty I’d just fall over myself…but that treasure has yet to be discovered.

I trust my support coordinator enough that when I asked her “if a program comes along and I need to get like 10 hours of hab a week I can just call you and you can add them on again right” and she said “yes”–I believed her.

So with that- we signed our names on the lines and terminated DDD therapy service

Essential Oils- Where Do I Start?

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What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plants.  The oil can be obtained from the seeds, roots, and entire shrub, flowers, leaves and trees.

Why did we look into using oils?

Our family has its share of ailments and we have been hearing about the amazing benefits of essential oils for a while now. I also see tons of posts on Pinterest with bath salt recipes and homemade cleaners to make that are better for your household etc.  A couple of years ago I got a trio set of essential oils off of a silent auction so we had played with a few of them and some good friends provided us with samples of a ton from another brand to try out as well.  We even dabbled in using Thyme to help alleviate Jason’s snoring.  The main things that sold us on oils was the effectiveness of pain relief we both felt using them to alleviate headaches.  After a severe headache was knocked out cold by essential oils we contacted a friend of ours that we know uses them herself for lots of the same issues we would be using them for and she was extremely helpful, kind and generous. Thus began our journey so if we can give the gift that we have found in essential oils for our family to anyone else we want to  and are sharing about it far and wide.  Some things we have seen benefits in while using Young Living Essential oils for just 3 weeks:

Allergies:

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Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint: When used together, these are referred to as the “allergy trio.” Not only have both Jason and I felt more opened up, cleared out and simply refreshed but my mother in law has visited a few times when we have been diffusing this trio and she says it really has opened up her head and provided her with relief and she has battled with sinus issues for years!

Autism*** & Anxiety***:

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In our home a lot of our emotional distress comes from various diagnosis  and mood disorders and while essential oils are not like pharmaceuticals and meant to target any specific disease or disorder- there are many aspects to the different ailments we are afflicted with that have been helped through the use of essential oils.  Ya’ll also know that Tyler has autism*** which comes with a variety of different “symptoms.” After reading about the different aspects of each oil we have played with Valor, Stress Away , Peace and Calming and Lavender.  You can use each of those as a single or you can blend stuff up to help support you moods.  Jason has felt tons of relief from panic attacks and his general feelings of anxiety using the Stress Away and the Valor.  We have put these both on Tyler at different times of the day and while we can not report how he feels about them since he seems indifferent, I think the act of putting the oils on itself is a calming one, so I look forward to seeing how continued use may improve things over time.  Obviously oils do not “cure” autism, they are intended to just help lessen some of the more difficult symptoms like mood swings, melt downs, attention span and have added a nice routine to our schedules that is pleasant etc. Connor however is absolutely addicted to using peace and calming every single night at bed time. He has asked to stop using his melatonin because he says he sleeps so well with the oils on that he is afraid he will sleep too well and sleep right through his alarm.

Cleaning:

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Thieves-the super cleaner. There is a really cool history with how this oil got its name. Young Living’s Thieves essential oil blend was created based on the historical account of four thieves in France who protected themselves from the Black Plague with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing victims of the killer disease. When captured, they were offered a lighter sentence in exchange for their secret recipe.  We used it when Tyler was down with a stomach bug, we spray it on our hands (and feet)  like hand sanitizer and we use it as a house holder cleaner as well.

 

Mood Lifting:

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Joy, Purification and Lemon. I have to admit I am not a big fan of the smell of Joy (by itself) but we played around with some blends and found that combining it with Lemon and Purification is pretty much the perfect wake me up.  Whenever we are  diffusing this in the office I feel extremely productive, on task and motivated.

Pain Relief:

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The Pan Away oil is by far the easiest for me to praise.  Within minutes of applying this to my temples any headache be it full-blown rager to a slight stressor is gone.  I am not exaggerating. It is like GOLD. I almost couldn’t find it to take this picture and I started to panic

Purification:

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Living  with  14 year old, & 12 year old boys, 2 dogs and my husband, I battle “odors” all the time.  Not since we started diffusing oils though.  Just the other day we came home and the house naturally smelled fresh and clean like essential oils (I had been diffusing purification earlier that day hours before)

How we got started with Essential Oils:

We jumped in heads, feet, wrists, necks and noses first and simply ponied up for a Premium Starter Kit. Why make a big purchase like that right out of the gate?  For us it was an investment.  We truly want to stop running to the medicine cabinet for all of life’s ailments and instead reach for something more natural and pleasant. The kit comes with 11 different oils (5 mls size each which contain at minimum 80 drops each) which is just a phenomenal value if you price out the cost retail or even whole sale of buying all those oils individually. Plus you also get a diffuser, some samples, and some great literature all come in the Premium Starter Kit.

Why did we choose Young Living Oils over other brands– especially since we had longer term experience with the other ones?

It pretty much boiled down to quality for us. There is a significant difference between essential oils that simply smell good and those that are Young Living Therapeutic Grade™

Independent laboratory testing proves that YLTG essential oils  meet and often exceed industry requirements, and as stewards of nature’s plant remedies, Young Living maintains higher internal standards, built upon the magnitude of our own rigorous quality assurance requirements. This standard is known as Young Living Therapeutic Grade. In order to achieve YLTG classification, each essential oil must achieve the designation naturally, without excess manipulation and refinement, and meet specific criteria in four key areas: Plants, Preparation, Purity, and Potency

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How do you Use them?

Since the essential oils from Young Living are all therapeutic grade oils you can diffuse, apply topically, and ingest.  What does that mean?  Diffusing is essentially putting the oils in water and vaporizing them into the air similar to how a humidifier would work.  Topically is simply rubbing it directly on your body, whether that means on a pressure point, the actual spot of concern or just in your hands to inhale deeply from.  You can use them “neat” which means you are applying the oil directly to your skin or you can use a carrier oil such as coconut (I bought a jar of organic coconut oil at Wal-Mart) You can also ingest them by either dropping them directly on your tongue, cooking with them, adding them to water or placing drops of oils in capsules to take like a pill.

How to get your hands on the Premium Starter Kit like we did:

1. Click over to the sign-up page (it will open in a new browser window so you won’t lose us here)–>  Young Living- Sign Me Up!

2. Select “Sign Up As: Young Living Wholesale Member” (this secures you the 24% off discount on all future orders)

3. The “Enroller ID” and “Sponsor ID” boxes should already be filled in for you.  If they aren’t, fill in 2040532  in both spots.

4. Fill out your name, billing address, shipping address, and contact info. (The reason you are asked for your SSN is for tax purposes; if you make over $600/year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail, as is required by law.)  Young Living never shares this info with anyone, and you’re not obligates to sell anything if you do not want to.

5. Create your password and pin which you will use to log in to your account and order your oils.

6. Select your enrollment order.  This is where you can specify which starter kit you would like. I recommend the Premium Kit because we really wanted a diffuser and all of those valuable oils to start playing with but there are several different options to get you started and all of the starter kits are full of great essential oil samples, usage tips, and all-new product and business literature.

• The Basic Starter Kit is $40 and contains the newly re-imagined product and business package, which includes Essential Oil Sample Packets, all-new product and business literature, and other popular product samples.

• The Basic Plus Starter Kit is $75 and includes everything in the Basic Starter Kit, plus an easy-to-use Home Diffuser.

• The Premium Kit is $150 and includes everything in the Basic Starter Kit, plus a Home Diffuser and an Everyday Oils collection.

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7. It will ask if you want to sign up for the Essential Rewards program. We are happy to explain this in more detail but in short it would be that you commit to spending a minimum of $50 per month.  This also opens the door to some additional bonuses and ways to earn free products.  Feel free to say no right now if you want to think on that.

8. Agree to Terms & Conditions

9. CONFIRM YOUR ORDER. Some folks miss this step and end up not fully checking out.  To confirm, the tool will log you in and it will show you your order again and it will make you enter in your payment information again.

10. Wait for the mailman to arrive!

**Bonus for those of you that like detailed instructions on each step listed above here is a handy PDF that can help walk you through the process visually.

Lastly-

If you have not done so already, please like our AZ Living with Essential Oils page on Facebook so that we can share some fun oily facts and info with you as we journey to better health through Essential Oils together!

 

 

***These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Drugs can make claims of treating, mitigating, preventing, or alleviating disease, because of the rigorous testing protocols and procedures they undergo. The majority of Young Living products are considered dietary supplements, which contain limits on what can be said.  It is merely our intention to share our testimonial about how essential oils have contributed to a healthy lifestyle in our family and not to make any specific medical claims.

Sabercat Pride

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Tyler has now been at his new public junior high school for a month and is settling in well.

2013-10-02 14.07.59We started off in all general ed with practically zero supports just to see what was what—At the end of the first week it just happened to be Shadow an 8th grader day so Jason and I were able to go in and essentially follow him to all of his classes (it was a half day) but we got to see each setting and get an idea of how he was adjusting.

He really made me proud- I cried at how quicky he had learned his routines and the campus etc.

I also observed very specifically to see if I thought any of the placements were “not right”

At first the only concern I had was his science class whch academically was very “over his head” espcially since he had zero science th first quarter at the private school- but as the next week came and went and as we prepared for the transition IEP meeting- the amount of work, homework and slipping expectations in several of this classes stared to show. There seemed to be a lot of expecations that he was not able to grasp (or was ignoring altogether out of being so overwhelmed with all the change) Everything was SOOO new and he was transitioing so well in a LOT of areas- but others not so much -Like in the areas that really matter-this new school is much more academically forward  then his last (or even then the previous public school we were in) so I started to worry

We only have 3 quarters of 8th grade to get Ty back up to par for public school expectations so he is really prepared to enter high school. As much as I did not want to admit- the private placement set him back significantly from where he was both academically and socially in just the 9 weeks he was there. So we have a lot of catch up to do just to get him back to where he was at the end of 7th grade at our old public school.

As a team we all decided to try out some resource classes- I am still trying to learn how GPS labels all of the special ed stuff and how that compares to settings we have been in before- but he is essentially in a step between “SPICE” which is an autism specific special ed program in the district and “iART” which is a program for really high functioning kids that don’t need very many supports but still qualify for some sort of special ed services. He doesn’t need the full on supports of SPICE but needs more then what iART provides so we are in “middle limbo land” and its basically “resource”

The new classes and accommodations seem to be geared more to his learning abilities and the home work load has improved SIGNIFICANTLY- He seems to be thriving with the PRIDE program (came really close to getting 9th hour but his language arts teacher let him have one more slide) and I think that scared him enough to know its serious business cause he has come home every day that he has had homework and gotten right to work- needing hardly any assistance and is being successful.

For now- things are doing really well.

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Change is in the air

How will you know if it

 

When we moved into the new house (yes I know I still owe the blog an actual New House post) We found ourselves in a weird “gap” year for Tyler as far as schooling was concerned.  He was going to have to be going to a brand new school regardless of if we had moved or not so his 8th grade year was simply destine to be this “crap shoot” before we feed him to the wolves in high school.  We took some time over the summer to research some options to see what was out there for him that may help us focus his sights a bit better and give him a good target to aim at next fall when he is a freshman.  Thanks to the many school choice options here in Arizona we had a variety of schools to weigh into our decision.   Extra thanks to the Empowerment Scholarship Account program we even had our pick of private placements.

We landed on a school for kids with autism because we wanted to see if a school that was dedicated to educating students on the spectrum could offer Tyler something that had always been difficult to get from the public school setting.  Friends.  We really wanted him to make some friends (like so bad my heart hurts at the thought of how bad I want friendships for him) we thought that since he has just always been quirky enough that friendships in the typical school environment never seemed to blossom that perhaps being surrounded by other quirky kids something would take root.  We completely downplayed the whole “social difficulties” aspect of autism that manifests itself with nearly everyone on the spectrum and thought that the autism that they all shared would be glue enough to really get some bonds to stick.

Ty was stoked out his new school, its lack of homework, its half days every Friday, the field trips, NO AIMS etc.  We enrolled and were really excited at what this next school year would bring.  We got to meet with other families at a summer pool party, I became online friends with many of the moms who have kids that go there and we couldn’t wait for school to start.

Then it did.

When Tyler came home from his first day of school and told us that “he had a great day, but he actually LIKES AIMS and can’t wait to go back to regular school” We were floored.  We thought- oh its just an adjustment period, let’s give it a few weeks.  What we came to learn about our son is that -wrapped up in this young strong bold man of ours, is a very compassionate uncompassionate personality.

What I mean by that is this- it literally sent him to tears to learn that several of this classmates simply could not talk.  He felt so very badly for them and just could not grasp why their autism would make them so they could scream or cry out, but not make any words that anyone around them could understand.  He has autism and he talks just fine- they need more speech therapy- why didn’t they go to speech therapy when they were little and learn to talk like he did? His compassion quickly wore off as he began coming home each day annoyed and frustrated.

We had to implement several strategies for Tyler including sending in ear plugs for him to use to help stay focused when other students were having outbursts.  Eventually I think some classroom shuffling relieved some of the issues- but the campus being as small as it was- the distractions were still very present. We had to have many long talks with Tyler about patience and understanding and remind him that there was a time when he would melt down at school and now he sees what that felt like for all of the other students around him.

We started to think that perhaps this placement was going to be more detrimental to Tyler then any potential benefits could bring.  The idea of segregating him from “typical peers” for four quarters to “maybe make a few friends” began to sound crazy to us. By week four of school we already started talking to one another about the possibility of not staying at this school for the entire 8th grade year but making a change at mid year- or even at the end of the first quarter.  We vowed to pay close attention to Tyler and watch and see if he started to “bring different autism” home with him or if he started to “stim” more then usual.  We did see a sharp uptick in attitude- but it is very difficult to blame that on anything other than being a 13 year old boy.

So as the weeks went by and Tyler’s annoyance and frustration with students who have a level of autism that impacts their lives much more severely then his impacts his continued to grow we began to doubt our decision.  The decision that had come so easily only a few weeks before.  A few issues popped up with regards to communication and misunderstandings from teachers that had to be ironed out with an in person meeting around this same time.  This was when we realized that we were no longer under the familiar umbrella of public school where we are aptly armed to go to battle for our son.  We were now in private school which has a totally different ring to do battle in.  Part of us had hoped to shed that armor because it is a school all for kids with autism- what battles would we need to face there?

I don’t write any of this to rip on anyone- just to be candid about our experience.  When we realized through discussions that some of the members of Tyler’s team had likely not even read his IEP and MET (because they were completely unfamiliar with some of his medical issues) we were frankly disappointed. (in ourselves)  We expect that from the state funded public school (not that its right but its to be expected), so we felt stupid for having assumed that a hefty private school tuition would make a difference in that so we let our guard down and we honestly somewhat unplugged.

We have only 4.75 school years left to make an impact on Tyler- if we are going to have to fight any battles- it will have to be done in public school where we have certain rights afforded to us. As much as I would love to stick it out and help guide the team- if we are going to be involved to that level it’s gonna be at public school where he has access to typical peers and the environment is not so starkly different then that of the high school setting he has his sights set on for next year.

We will head to Disneyland for fall break and when we get back- Tyler will begin his 2nd quarter of 8th grade at our home junior high school.

Wish us luck!

 

 

The Big Dunk

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Lots of family and friend’s celebrated with us on April 16th 2011 when both Tyler and Connor made the choice to get baptized

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Connor’s BIG moment!!
a new creation!!!
a new creation!!!

Thing is- with autism- you can never really totally prepare for everything— Both boys were SO very excited for their big outward proclamation that they have Jesus in their hearts- and we did everything we could to prepare Ty for “going under” complete with letting him wear goggles for the event

WAIT- I can NOT get my SHIRT wet!!!
WAIT- I can NOT get my SHIRT wet!!!

We had not prepared for the water to be so freezing cold for the services (a problem that the following year was corrected by the addition of heater to the pool after the campus pastors own daughter chickened out from the chill)- So that day- Ty never “went under”

The very first dip in Grandma and grampa’s pool later that summer we tipped him back- but he never did do anything “publicly”  That changed this summer when the youth group pastors put together a pool party baptism event- complete with letting Ty go shirtless and wear goggles.

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Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Matthew 28:19

 

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So proud of both of my amazing Christ filled young men.