Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stop The Violence Start The Love

Mission Abilene is hosting the 2nd annual “Stop the Violence, Start the Love” Rally on May 31, 2009 at the Abilene Civic Center from 10:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The purpose of the family-friendly event is to shine a light on violence and crime within our city and to raise awareness to the devastating and long-term consequences of violent crime. Proceeds will benefit the Regional Crime Victims Crisis Center.

Admission is free. The event will begin with a community-wide worship service at 10:45am with Mission Abilene Pastor Chad Mitchell and the Mission Band leading the service. Throughout the day until 6:00 p.m., citizens may enjoy live music with bands including Words in Windows, Counter Clockwise, and our own local DJ MexMix as well as experience local known artists painting, drawing, and creating on site.

There will be free children’s activities - air castles, balloon tricks, a ventriloquist etc as well as a tattoo contest, concession stands, t-shirt sales, and merchandise.

Team players from the Ruff Riders are taking a stand against violence with the community. They will be on site to sign autographs. A featured exhibit of local non-profit agencies and organizations will provide needed information, education, and resources to the residents of Abilene and the surrounding communities. A city-wide memorial service will be held to honor those who have been killed by violence followed by a special concert by up and coming rap performing artist Ryze following the service.

The local and national television news stations and newspapers broadcast story after violent story every day but all too often viewers remain unfazed until violence personally touches their own lives. Gang violence is dismissed because viewers perceive both the killed and the killers as criminals yet each one of those is someone’s child, brother or sister, father or mother, or beloved friend. Too often, society easily forgets that the consequences of violent crime reach far beyond those directly involved until they hear about innocent victims who have been blamelessly and unwillingly targeted by driveby shootings, hit by stray gunfire. Far too many are wounded or killed in the midst of gang warfare—battles that are not their own. Viewers and readers shake their heads in dismay and pity at the cruel and endless stories of domestic violence and abuse when an abuser finally hits one too many times or too hard or loses all sense in a rage and kills. Yet they remain unaware that those victims who silently suffer for years are the next door neighbor or the women who quietly sit in the same at church or the child who plays with their own children. If people suspect, they often look the other way because they are not willing to get “involved.”

Chad Mitchell, pastor of Mission Abilene grew restless when too many of the church members victims or were family members. After Albert Cadena’s death last year, he and Mission Abilene decided it was time to take a stand against violence—to get involved. Change is not the sole responsibility of law enforcement or the legal system. Change begins with each and every citizen—in their own homes, in their own neighborhoods. Change begins when one makes the choice to stop the violence and start to love. The first city-wide rally was held last August and people began to see their ability and responsibility to make a difference and be the difference. Mission Abilene invites each and every citizen to join them as a community to honor those who have been senselessly murdered, to help those who still suffer as victims through raising funds for the Regional Crime Victims Crisis Center, and to take a united stand against violence.

Event: Stop the Violence, Start the Love Rally
Date: May 31, 2009
Time: 10:45 – 6:00
Location: Abilene Civic Center
Host: Mission Abilene and partnering sponsors
For information, contact Mission Abilene at 325-232-8258

If you have a local service - please come afterwards. The children's activities are all free.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Slight Update On Raina's Therapy Stuff

OK we had our ARD last week and they want to evaluate her. I took that to mean that they didn't agree with the PDD NOS diagnosis but a couple of moms with autistic kids have reassured me that they always have their autistic team evaluate the kids. I just got weird about it cause she said her tantrums didn't sound autistic. Um she's not autistic. She is on the spectrum but she has Pervasive Development Disorder NOS which means she doesn't fit classical autism. So we'll see. F they say it's not PDD I found a developmental ped in Lubbock (2 1/2 hours) that I am going to take her to and compare the diagnosis from the School of Psychology and the school district.

That evaluation is tomorrow at 9:30 and at 1 we go for the speech/OT referral. She'll qualify easy for the latter so that should start next week. I will feel GREAT applying for financial aid for summer speech/OT considering I already owe $1300 (we pay as much as we can each month but last year when they didn't have CHIPS we racked up a $3K bill and had that hospital bill). but they'll give it to us thank God. And I'll rack up a bill for her for summer. I am hoping they will let her diagnosis stick so she can do speech/OT through PreK in the fall. Right now we are qualified so unless there are loopholes she'll go to Headstart 8-2 five days a week starting in August.

She had a hearing exam last week and wouldn't really cooperate but from what they saw she's fine but will retest her in 6 months. They said incomplete results are common with this age and this diagnosis.

She got shots today and they have everything but chicken pox so we have to go back in June. And with our new insurance we'll have to get all new Dr.s. Lovely. But it's all in progress thankfully.

Speech camp is June 15-19 and 22-25 for an hour and a half and King David's Kids Camp (a lot of autistic and other disabled kids go) is the 22-25 too. from 1-4 At first I was worried with her separation anxiety and tantrums but at least all these people are professionals and are able to deal with it and know to let her hide and chill. Salem will go to the sibling camp hopefully at King David's Kids. They consider them at risk since the affected child gets so much attention throughout the day just in normal day to day circumstances.

So I just thought I'd update ya'll!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Three Months Ago - What A Difference

3 months ago I started really working. That week I did:

2/15 - W1D1 (20-30 minute workout)
2/17 - W1D2 (20-30 minute workout)
2/18 - Walked 2 Miles (took 45 minutes)
2/19 - W1D3 - 45 Minutes Strength Training
2/21 - Walked 1/2 Mile and Stretch - having a hard time walking/exercising through the soreness.
2/22 - Rest

My baseline was:

Plank: Held for 15 Seconds
Wall Sit: Held for 25 Seconds
Pushups: 10 (struggled)
Squats: 16
Crunches: 20
Running: Couldn't finish 3 minutes

This week I did (or have planned to do):

May 17 - Rest
May 18 - Ran 2 Miles, Walked 1 Mile - 50 Minutes
May 19 - Ran 2 Miles, 50 Minutes of Strength Training - 90 Minutes
May 20 - Ran 2 Miles, 45 Minutes Strength Training, Ran 1 More Mile - 90 Minutes
May 21 - Strength Training 60 Minutes, Run 2 Miles 30 Minutes - 90 Minutes
May 22 - Rest
May 23 - Strength Training/Cardio - 60-90 Minutes

And we did my baseline today and I have SO improved:

Plank: Held for 1:15 Seconds
Wall Sit: 3 Minutes
Pushups: 50
Squats: 56
Crunches: 100 (but I do 500 here and there)
Running: I can run 3 miles

What a difference in 3 months!!! If I can do it, anyone can!

My prayer this week

It's so easy for me to have compassion and hope for others. So why do I punish myself? For the sins of a child trying to find someone to love her? The sins of a teen that had zero maturity and role models to show her the right way? For the sins of a young woman moving forward and looking for her place in life - yet on the wrong road. I could see that life I wanted parallel to the road I was on. I just couldn't get there so I stayed where I was. Forgive me Lord for my part in my self destruction. Help me let it go. Help me not blame myself and walk in shame. I want to walk head lifted high - there is no scarlet letter visible on me. The past is truly the past. I don't know or understand everything that happened and I am almost past the point of wanting to understand. I just want to move forward. Today I am sad. And that's ok. I went to bed thinking of our lives (mine and Brian's) and the children we once were. Then I saw my own girls laying in between us and I knew that our goal was to give them more love and attention than we ever received. Healthy beautiful love and attention. We don't want them to be broken adults like we have been.

God please glue us back together. Help us find our way. Help us grieve what we need to grieve, let go of what we need to let go off and move forward. I want to cherish my life today - even where it's at - even the sadness I am feeling. There is something to be joyful about even in the midst of my turmoil. Life is a gift. Lord help me turn my intentions into actions. Jesus gave his whole life for me. Help me to not short change him and hold onto things that need to be let go of. Your word clearly says you have a plan and future for me. A plan to prosper me and not to harm me. You call me by name. (Jeremiah 29:11-14). I have been in exile and I am on the long journey home. Please sustain me. I feel as if I have been in exile my whole life and now I am returning home.

Lord these tears I am crying are old tears
Tears decades old yet never fallen
Tears afraid to fall
I was wrong
There is no weakness in my tears
They cleanse me - they strengthen me
They give me hope.
Thank you Lord for the beautiful garden springing up from the darkness in my soul.
Let my tears fall freely bringing this beautiful garden up.
Help me not be selfish wanting the garden for myself.
This road I am on is long and so often very hard.
But I am at the end of this road.
My tears have a purpose.
You have a plan.
Thank you for not forsaking me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Learning to Be

Life is changing for me at such an exponential speed. I wake up each day and something is amazingly different. Perhaps I just never noticed before but things are moving SO fast. My weight loss is fitness level is moving fast...I am driving 250-300 miles a week in my van to various commitments or therapies for the girls...once again too fast.

But in the one area left that I want to see massive changes...I feel like I am in slow motion. I desperately want it to move as fast as I feel the rest of my life is moving. I want to be whole and feel like I am "fixed". I am such a fixer...why can't I fix myself? Sigh.

It can be quite overwhelming. It's becoming a challenge to really learn how to just "be". A wise person recently told me that it's not a question of when when I feel as if this last major issue is "dealt with" (my paraphrase) but when.

But I am the black and white girl who lives in a shades of gray world who wants to know WHEN.


I need to just's amazing how hard that can be.

But I am trying.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I think I've decided what I want to be when I grow up!

It's at least a year from now cause I am still out of shape and need to lose 40 pounds. And I will then need plastic work on my stomach but I think I want to be a personal trainer especially for bariatric patients.

I am LOVING workout out and this would couple my love for it with some money and it could be totally flexible around the girl's schedules.

I am also toying with going to school online and getting an undergrad degree in psychology and eventually becoming a LPC or LMFT to give me even more credibility but I am not sure. That's 5-6 years. I think with the training I could use the skills I learned when I studied to become a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (as food can be an addiction). I just know I don't want to specifically be a LCDC - I deal with drug addicts enough at church and know I don't want to work with that.

I will also check into a nutrition certification. This is all new and I am just researching it right now. If anyone has any feedback let me know.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Raina & Salem

Salem has had a great few weeks. She's so empathetic, caring and considerate. She's doing well in school and tutoring and I know we made the right decision to move her forward to 1st. During the summer she'll do Camp Rehab, Swim Lessons and 2 Art Camps.

Raina - well we got her diagnosis back and she does have sensory processing issues but her diagnosis is Pervasive Development Disorder. We have appointments for OT/Speech etc and we will have to have an ARD visit at Headstart.

It was a stressful week dealing with her new information. I actually really do know that she'll be fine eventually but truth be told I am at the end of my rope some days and totally stretched and I keep thinking, "how am I going to survive the next few years with them both in therapy?" Therapy is really helping me. God is using it to save me cause I am really bad about not sharing how I am really doing with people. I tend to say we're great, I'm fine, yadda yadda yadda...

Sigh... Please keep my beautiful girls in prayer.

Exercise Update

I've had a great two weeks of exercise!!! I have finished Couch To 5K so my goal now is to run 3-4 times a week at least 3 miles and then do strength training those days and 2 more days. A total of 6 days at 500 minutes. I am down almost 60 pounds in 4 months (tomorrow). Here is a quick pic taken today and I will try to take a good full body pic tomorrow.

Salem's Baptistm Today!

I think I mentioned last summer that Salem asked Jesus into her heart. For the last several months she's been asking to be baptized and we've worked with her on the meaning and she "has it". The actual baptism was BEAUTIFUL. I have a video and I'll see if ya'll can hear it. I don't think it got most of the sound. So was so sweet and peaceful and while Brian prayed with her before she was so tender-hearted. Then during her childrens pastor mentioned how beautiful and sweet a heart Salem had and then when Brian asked her why she wanted to be baptized she said cause I love Jesus. So sweet!

Here are a few pics. We had family and friends over for a celebration dinner afterwards. That as so sweet.

The drama was RIGHT after church we were trying to leave in a hurry to get home as my inlaws were waiting to get in. I had the van open and then a fight broke out in front of church (our church is considered an inner city ministry so we get ALL kinds of people). I yelled at them to stop and they wouldn't so I yelled at a girl to get my kids in the van and tried to get a staff member to get Brian and Chad and they kept fighting. Well somehow they turned around and ran straight into me and I fell off the curb and turned my foot and the bottom of my dooney got tore, my new heels got torn and I strained a tendon in my foot. The sad thing was the girl got Raina and a friend's daughter in the van but not Salem and she saw it all and thought they were hitting me and was hysterical for about half an hour. On her baptism day. Like we say - Only At The Mission but it really pissed me off. Sad thing is Brian about lost it and Chad had to get him away from the guy and Chad is going to have to make a rule if you cause problems at the mission you won't be allowed back.

Sad huh? Anyway I think Salem and I talked enough about how the enemy just wanted to ruin her day but that God was SO proud of her and look how many friends and family showed up to show their support and love. And then we came home and she had a few gifts from friends and the meal so I think she's ok with it all. I hope so. I am SO mad about it though. I also had all her family and friends write her something in her birthday birth as this is kinda like her spiritual birthday!

Anyway...lovely huh? Oh and I got a phone call that someone found Salem's cat dead. I don't think we're going to tell her. Definitely not today anyway.

Before the baptism before Brian put on his robe.

Praying With Daddy Before:

Waiting her turn:

Then right when she came up she grabbed day and we all started crying. Actually Brian and I cried the whole time.

Click on this link to see a video:

Salem's Baptism Video