Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Amanda Update

Recently our family held a fast for our daughter Amanda and I had a number of people ask "how is she ?" Here is some feedback... As you can see from this picture she is beautiful and continues to grow stronger everyday. We attribute her strength to the fact that she is in constant motion... imagine doing aerobics 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This girl is rarely not moving and it is difficult to keep up.

Her autistic characteristics continue to be lack of speech, doing repetitive tasks and limited comprehension. That is not to say she doesn't make sounds, understand what you are saying to her or respond to you - it's just in her own unique way. Thankfully she is still very loving and is open to hugs and kisses.

The most challenging aspect for our family is that with the busy "going ons" of the other six members of the household Amanda can get lost in her own little world. To truly know her you have to go to that world and "pull her out" by engaging her and understanding her. If you aren't willing to work at it - you won't get in.

She has all of our love, but she needs more of our time. Other than Katie, our entire family needs to work at this... we owe it to ourselves to know our youngest daughter and sister. She is such a riot. Her favorite pastimes include:

Watching Arthur DVD's
Getting Dressed
Doing therapy with Roseanne and our other fantastic therapists
Going to Ms. Angie's house
Streaking (you get the idea on the streaking - it's a common thing)

Every evening is an adventure with Amanda. Many times I'll ask "is she asleep" and when the answer is yes my heart jumps, knowing that Katie will be sleeping with me rather than on a bean bag, couch or the floor with Amanda.

Katie is so incredible and as I have mentioned before, she makes our experience with Amanda a blessing and a learning experience.

We love this little girl.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Thank You Curtis...

This is my nephew Curtis and his new wife Alisha who were married this past week. I so am inspired by this picture and by the possibilities that lay before them. These are truly awesome people; however, they are not unique in our family. They are in fact part of a legacy of incredible young men and women and I want to thank Curtis - again.

You see I already thanked him right after he was married. I thanked him for being an example to my children. For being an Eagle Scout, for serving a mission for his church and for being married in the right place at the right time.

I knew exactly what I wanted to say to Curtis because I said the same thing to his brother Chad, and his cousins David, Spencer and Jared. Each Eagle Scouts, each missionaries and each has made their mark on the lives of my children.

There is nothing so powerful as a positive example... so I say thank you to each of the nephews and nieces of my wife Katie and I... thank you Christine, Catherine, Chad, Curtis, David, Spencer, Kristin, Chelsea, Nicole, Jared, Jeremy and Justin.

Thank you so much.