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This is the day of the week when the post is a “feel good” piece about our community.

It could be a personal story of inspiration.

A kudos for a job well done by an organization.

Basically, it makes you feel good!  Who doesn’t like to start their weekend feeling good?  Right.

If you have ever been to a baseball game you know that the shout from the umpire signaling the start of the game is


Do you remember this as a child? Do you remember the first time you were at bat with your parents cheering you on in the stands?

These are common memories for all of us.  Memories that we want our special needs children to have as well.

Enter- Challenger Division Baseball.

Established in 1989, the Challenger division of Little League lets over 30,000 boys and girls ages 4-22 years with special needs play baseball nation wide.

We joined Challenger Baseball four seasons ago.  During first season, we questioned if we were ever going to make it onto the ball field.  My son would start screaming as we made the turn onto the road where the ball fields where and this lasted almost the whole season (March – May).  By the end of season his first year he was able to sit in the dugout and watch his teammates.

My husband and I decided that Challenger Baseball would be a good place to work on flexibility with our son.  So we signed up again.  Our second season was a little better.  Some weeks he screamed the whole way there and some weeks he only screamed when we got out of the car.   But he did get out on the field and take his turn at bat most of the time.

By season three, gains were made all around.  His coach called him the most improved player!  He would go up to bat without hand-over-hand help and willingly field balls with the help of his “buddies”.  Buddies are boys from other teams in the little league who would take turns helping the challenger teams each week.

There were still times where he would protest, but nothing like the way he did the first year.

Season four was the real break through!  This last season he was so happy to put on his uniform and would run from the car to the field each game day.  Which gave us a new opportunities to work on parking lot safety 🙂

If someone would have told me that first year would have been filled with screaming and protesting, and then in a few years my son would want to go to baseball and cry when the season was over.  I would have said how? What changed?

Well, nothing changed over these years.

We just stuck with it.

 We made him put on his uniform even if he protested.  We drove to the ball field even with screaming coming from the back seat.  We walked him up to bat even if he dug in his heels and didn’t want to take a step forward.

This last season

he played,

he laughed,

he smiled.

He enjoyed himself.

That would have never happened if we didn’t take it one game at a time.

This is a youtube video about our local Challenger Division.

 We are so thankful we stuck with it.  And even though my son can’t communicate in words that he is happy we stuck with it too.  The enjoyment he had this last season says it for him.

Do you have a Feel Good Friday Story to share?

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Special Needs | Tagged | 1 Comment

Wordless Wednesday

picture used by permission

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Glow in the dark cups

Great craft for 4th of July!

I found this craft from the Come together kids blog via the wahm way newsletter.

I am always looking for craft ideas to do with my kids.  These glow in the dark drink cups are super easy to do and one that everyone from my special needs kiddo to my toddler will enjoy.

Here is the link with the complete set of instructions: glow in the dark drink cups. 

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Wordless Wednesday

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I wanted to share this post from Blue Jeans and Cotton Tees.

The back story.

Country Gal blogs from her homestead in Amish Country.  This post features her three beautiful nieces.  Annie is her biological niece, Katie and Emie are adopted.  They all have Down Syndrome.


“My Daddy”

katie annie emie I loved seeing the world through the eyes of three special little girls this week.

Watching their faces light up as they held baby Rosie at church.

Seeing Emie spread her arms wide and shiver with excitement when she saw the lake. “Big water Aunt Linna, big water!”

Feeling their excitement over ice cream with chocolate sauce and M & M’s.

Catching Emie hiding in the tent with the entire bag of marshmallows stuffing them in her face as fast as she could.

Watching Katie feed the cow and then try to kiss it.

Can you imagine that just a few years ago Katie and Emie had never experienced a beach before? Had never eaten a marshmallow or known the joys of M & M’s?

Emie and the marshmallowsI was struck with the wonder of adoption.

They talked a lot about home this week – especially about daddy.

“My daddy has whiskers.”

“My daddy works hard.”

“My daddy tickles me.”

“My daddy strong.”

“My daddy fix it.”

My daddy.

These two precious girls, rejected by their society because of their handicaps and living in an orphanage in the Ukraine, had no right to call him their Daddy.

He had no obligation to them – they weren’t his children.

But he had paid a great price, traveled many miles, and made them his own.

He chose them. Adopted them. Ransomed them. Loved them.

They are now his. They have every right to call him Daddy, to climb in his lap and snuggle, to sit at his table and eat, to grow and blossom – secure in his love.

“My daddy.”

What a beautiful picture of the heavenly Father’s love for me.

He paid a great price- his son’s life – to ransom me.

He chose me, adopted me, ransomed me and loves me.

I am his own.

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in  fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption  to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

Abba Father.

My Daddy.

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waking up FOR family

Are you a morning person?  You know those people that are cheery in the morning and are happy to start their day with the roosters.

Well, I really wanted to become one but I kept giving excuses why I couldn’t.

  • I’m a night owl by nature, even now I’m writing this after every one has gone to bed.
  • I love to sleep in.
  • I’m in a season with young children with one that still nurses at night.
  •  I have a special needs son that has a hard time going to sleep and staying asleep.  Some nights he would fall asleep at 11pm only to be up at 2 am ready to start his day.

Then I got real with myself.

Why was I waking up TO my family versus waking up FOR my family?

When I wake up to my family – I walk into the living room with children already glued to morning cartoons asking for food the second they see me.

Is this really the way God would have me minister to my family?  Rushing into daily tasks without regard for what His plan is for me or even taking the time to thank Him that I get to spend another day with those I hold dear.

I know a quiet time in the morning is the best way to start  your day as a Christian and it is especially true as a mother.  God asks us to check in with Him first.

Think about it the God of the universe wants a status update.

So I did what any good Christian would do.

I prayed about it.  Don’t laugh!

But no, I really did pray about it, I asked with all my heart

“God make me a morning person.”

I prayed for years.  I can look back in my journals and read over and over again where I asked for victory over my pillow.

Then one day I got practical.  I started reading books on time management, home management and Christian living.

They all said to go to sleep early and set your alarm clock up for just a few minutes earlier each day until you get to your desired wake up time.  Well, I started to wake up earlier, at least for a while.

Until my special needs kiddo would go into a bad sleeping cycle or I would have a newborn and be nursing at night again.

I would fall back into my old habit of waking up just in time to kiss my husband goodbye as he was walked out the door for work.

Again I would pray for victory over my pillow.  I’d start the whole process over again setting up my alarm clock but still not having much success.

When I was able to get up early I was enjoying having some time all to myself with God.  But little things would derail me easily.  And I would go right back into the habit of sleeping in.

Then I ran across the Maximize Your Morning Challenge from Inspired to Action.  I joined the challenge and I wish I could tell you that I am waking up every morning at my goal time and having amazing devotions…

I can’t but what I can say is the accountability worked! I wake up nearly (still having trouble here and there) every morning  to spend time in prayer, worship and devotional reading.

Then I check in with a group of ladies on Facebook and let them know how my morning routine went.

There it was

so simple


Oh there are still days that I don’t get up in time and have to rush to start my day but they are becoming less and less.

Just a month ago I got off track when my son got very sick and any noise from his room would wake me up so when morning came I had a hard time getting up.

But this time I took the advice from Kat over at Inspired to Action and just started at step one again

just waking up earlier.

Not trying to do my whole routine.  I just focused on retraining my body to wake up on time.

Now I know there will still be days where I don’t get up as early as I’d like or where I will just plain sleep in but I know I will shake it off and start again.  Why?

Because I love waking up FOR family

so much more than waking up to them.

I love spending time in prayer FOR them and FOR me.   I love that He speaks to me through His Word so that I am equipped FOR them.

Would you like to join us for the Summer challenge?

Click the Inspired to Action link under blogroll or the HelloMornings button on the side bar.

We would love to have you.

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