Family

Spring Tea: Spiritual Ambition

This past Saturday, I attended the Spring Tea at my church. It was a get together of about 500 women – we got to enjoy tea, brunch and a great message from the wife of our lead pastor.

Initially, I was nervous to go – I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know many people going to this event. However, I really wanted to be a part of this and get to hear the message of “Spiritual Ambition”.


Arrival and Mingling

On arrival, there were men leading everyone to the main auditorium to find their assigned table. Once I found my seat, I left my purse to wander and admire all the beautifully decorated tables. Each table had a different theme and was elaborately styled – I had to wander to each and take a picture. It felt like I was at a wedding expo, viewing all the different styles and themes you could choose from. I ran into a few of my friends and our pastor as well. I’ve know the pastor since I was about 4 years old so it’s like he is family.

Me and Pastor Mike

My table


Brunch and Some Humor

After about a half hour, the servers brought out brunch and tea for everyone. Pastor Mike came and spoke for a minute and prayed for us before we ate.

It was so enjoyable to just sit and be able to chat with other likeminded women. Then they played a few comical videos for entertainment. One of my favorites was a video about the difference between a man and woman’s brain.


The Message

After brunch was cleared away, Pastor Mikes wife – Carlynn – began to go into the message for the spring tea.

She started by explaining who Charles Spurgeon is and what he did with his life (I love him so I already knew so much). But then she started to tell us about his wife, Susannah, and all she had to endure during her lifetime. As busy of a man as Charles was, she rarely let that bother her because she knew he was doing what God wanted him to do, preach the Word to people. She was also bedridden for 20 years of her life! She didn’t let that stop her, she went on to help get Charles sermons published and out to other pastors through her charity called “The Book Fund”. In one year’s time, Susannah distributed 3, 058 theological books to impoverished pastors. Nine years later, she distributed 71,000 copies. When Susannah passed away in 1902, she had distributed throughout England a total number 199, 315 theological resources.

I found this story to be amazing and spiritually moving! It made me question “In what way could we, as Christians, use our lives for the expansion of the Gospel?”

So I pray,

Lord,

May we each develop a drive and passion to share your Word and draw closer to You.

May You guide us and give us the tools to do Your Will.

Let us learn from Susannah, that even in brokenness and suffering, we use it to grow closer to Him and be able to open doors for others. Doors that wouldn’t be there without the suffering we faced. She always felt during her sufferings that Jesus Christ was  β€œa very present help in trouble.”

Amen.


I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this even and hope I was able to share some valuable information and inspire you to find what God has called you to do.

Cloe πŸ’‹

*This post was late due to a medical emergency. All is ok but didn’t get to update post until later.

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Family

Autism Awareness Month: More than a Diagnosis

I am privileged to know so many wonderful parents that have children on the spectrum. I thought it would be interesting to ask parents of kids with autism and people with autism as well, to describe them using one word/phrase. What I got back from everyone was such an amazing array of descriptions 😊 I have listed 75 of the responses below.

  1. Amazing and wonderful
  2. Hilarious
  3. Very emotional 😭 she is so extra
  4. Crazy
  5. Passionate
  6. Caring
  7. Charm
  8. Lovable
  9. Cannot use one word to describe my two x although my no diagnosed husband could be described with the word ****head
  10. One twin is wild and the other is special
  11. Thoughtful
  12. Genius
  13. Sweetest
  14. Crazy, crafty, cheeky, lovely, snuggly, on the go 24/7 if he could
  15. Happy
  16. Intelligent
  17. Content
  18. Kindness
  19. Insightful
  20. Energized
  21. Gorgeous
  22. Explorer
  23. Awesome
  24. Perfection
  25. Unique
  26. Extraordinary
  27. Compassionate and kind
  28. Inspiring and fearless
  29. Creative
  30. Curious
  31. Messy
  32. Exciting
  33. Strong
  34. Outgoing
  35. Brilliant
  36. Worthy
  37. Fun
  38. Loving
  39. Special
  40. Empathetic
  41. Sociable
  42. Talented
  43. Intense
  44. Fascinating
  45. Bubbly
  46. Unstoppable
  47. Quirky
  48. Sunny
  49. Happy feet
  50. Focused
  51. Determined
  52. Handsome
  53. Advocate
  54. Wonderful
  55. Unpredictable
  56. Spirited
  57. Miracle warrior
  58. Giggles
  59. Friendly
  60. Innovative
  61. Encyclopedia
  62. Smart
  63. Truthful
  64. Comedian
  65. Tinker
  66. Strong willed
  67. Stubborn
  68. Exceptional
  1. Brave
  2. Adventurous
  3. Enthusiastic
  4. Quiet
  5. Ray of sunshine
  6. Animal lover
  7. Best friend

All of these responses melted my heart, made me laugh and were so honest. Thank you to all that gave me their response and this shows just how an autism diagnosis isn’t all that defines them. They are so much more and I am so blessed to have the children I have. This is my last post for Autism Awareness Month πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

Advice/Tips, Family

Autism Awareness Month: Long Term EEG

For those of you who have children that are on the spectrum or know someone with autism, then you know the struggles and challenges that come with it. For those of you that don’t know or want to know more, I’m going to give you a sneak peak into our life and some of the things we experience.


What is a Long Term EEG?

My middle child, Lexi, was scheduled for a long term EEG this week. Long-term electroencephalographic monitoring (LTM) is used most frequently in the diagnosis and management of seizures and “spells,” but has also gained wider application in the evaluation of sleep disorders, cerebrovascular disease, psychiatric conditions, and movement disorders. 

We were scheduled for a 48 hour LTM to rule out brain seizures since Lexi has staring or dazing spells. She can zone out for a few minutes and only physical touch will bring her out of it.


The Prep and Setup

We were scheduled for 1pm on Wednesday at CHOC in Mission Viejo. As we arrived, we are greeted and shown to our room on the Pediatric floor. Lexi was enjoying all the attention up until we walked into our room and saw the hospital bed; that’s when she sat on the floor pouting. Took a bit to get all her vitals and finally get her onto the bed. That’s when the technician came in to hook her up to the machine. We put a movie on and had her lay down so the tech could start working. It took 1.5 hours to get all the electrodes attached but surprisingly she did well. Once attached and wrapped to secure in place, we are giving all the instructions for our stay and I was given a tour of the rest of the floor.

Lexi as we arrived at the hospital
Finally all attached and wrapped

Making it Through the 48 Hours

For the next 48 hours, it was a lot of fussing and trying to entertain with movies and games. She was brought meals 3 times a day and I was given a $10 food voucher each day for anything in the cafeteria. While in the room, there is a camera that records our whole stay to be able to go back over and review anything that came up irregular on the EEG. It was a long process but we made it through and on Friday late morning, we were given the all clear to be able to leave.


Finally Going Home

After the all clear, we had to wait for the tech to come in to start the removal of all the electrodes. They have to put a solution in her hair to dissolve the glue used to hold everything in place. It took about 30 minutes to get everything off and we were left with messy hair.

After quite a bit of washing and brushing, I got her hair up and get her dressed to head out. Due to policy, she had to be wheeled out of the hospital to the car in a wheelchair. However, Lexi was loving all the positive attention as we left.

All dressed and ready to go

Little diva getting wheeled out

My husband picked us up and we finally were done and going home to enjoy the rest of our Friday afternoon.

Thankfully, the results came back all good so we can check this off our list as an issue and move on! As much as it was a pain and tiresome, I’m glad we were able to get this done and not have to worry about any underlying issue.

Well, I hope this gave you a better insight to some of the issues parents with kids on the spectrum deal with and what the process is like. Let me know if you had a different experience or want more information in the comments!

Thank you and hope you enjoy your weekend!

Cloe πŸ’™

Family

Long Lost Family, Finally Found

My father was never a part of my life growing up. My mom told me about him and always said that once I was older she would help me contact him and reconnect if I ever wanted.

Through the years, my mom tried to keep as much current information on my father available for when the time came. In her searching, she found out he had another child. I had a half brother and we were close in age.

My mom contacted his mother and told her the situation. She did not want us to tell her son until he was 18 years old. So, we played the waiting game and when he turned 18 we started the search for him. After a couple weeks of sorting through what must have been hundreds of Facebook accounts, we found him!

I sent him a message explaining everything and it took a bit to finally confirm that we were related. He is in the Air Force so it was difficult to set up a time and place to meet. So over the next 6 years we kept in touch and finally, over this last summer, we met face-to-face.

My half brother spent a little over a week at our place, spending quality time with me and the kids. We share so much in common that I don’t share with the siblings I grew up around. He got to celebrate Lexi’s birthday and we surprised him on his birthday. Also, we got matching tattoos together. It is in Japanese and means family – he got it on his left chest area and mine is on my left shoulder blade area. We chose Japanese since that is the strongest shared ethnicity between us.

While he was here, my mom was able to find and get in touch with our paternal uncle. We all met up and got to meet his daughters too, so our cousins. It was a crazy few weeks meeting all this new family.

A couple months passed and in that time, my mom got a hold of my biological father. We planned to meet for dinner and to make it less chaotic, my husband kept the kids while I went with just the baby. I was nervous to meet him and hoped things would go ok. When I got to the restaurant, it was like seeing an old friend. We hugged and just started talking right away about what our daily lives are like and about ourselves. We ended up having so much in common! It turned out to be a great meeting and we plan on more in the future.

He works a ton and usually is out of the country which means long periods of time between us seeing each other. But we keep in touch, by text and email. Another thing to look forward to, he visits Japan often and said he’d love for me and my family to go with him sometime so I could meet other relatives that live near Tokyo, Japan.

From all of this, I learned a lot about my family but also about myself and where I get certain characteristics. I now have even more family than before and am so thankful for each of them. I keep in touch with all of them and am looking forward to what the future may hold. I even learned about my extended family.

Some of the most interesting things I learned about my family and ancestors was that many were put into camps on Hawaii during World War II due to being Japanese. My grandmother also witnessed Hiroshima but was far enough away to not suffer the aftermath. My grandfather was close friends with Jimmy Hoffa and supposedly worked with him. All of these things amaze me and really strengthen my pride in each nationality.

I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity to meet them all and get along with each one. I am also very proud of where I came from and the journey to this point that has made me who I am. I never would want to be different than who I am today.

Opinion

Autism Awareness Month Q&A

So I’m just going to post a few questions I received and my answers. All answers are my opinion or point of view, not all my experiences will be the same for someone else dealing with autism. No two people with autism have the same symptoms or issues. 

Q: What did you think when you found out he had autism?

A: Surprisingly, I was more relieved than anything because now had a plan of how to deal with whatever was thrown my way. If you are wanting more of my diagnosis experience, check out my past blog post on it. 


Q: How has that changed your life?

A: It hasn’t changed that much. He goes to preschool like other kids but it’s a mild special needs class that works on speech. My life with autism isn’t that much different besides making sure he gets therapy to help in the areas he has delays. 

​​
Q: Is there anything he isn’t able to do since he’s autistic?

A: Not really. The only thing I can think of is maybe some independent things since he can’t talk too much yet and isn’t potty trained yet. 

​​
Q: Is he on a special diet?

A: Yes, but very mild restrictions. He can’t have dairy but that is it. I substitute milk with coconut milk and chocolate with carob chips. Cheese is the only hard one since there are substitutes but he doesn’t like the taste. 


Q: How did you know he was autistic?

A: When he was about 1 years old, he was very antisocial, didn’t babble or make eye contact, didn’t play with toys but was fascinated by wheels and light up toys. He didn’t respond to his name or understand simple instructions. Had issues with textures and restrictive clothing. They just seemed odd and I asked to make sure he was ok. Nothing wrong with those behaviors unless they would interfere with his future life. Started therapy and saw major improvements. 


Hope this was informational and thank you all for the questions. Let me know what you thing in the comments!

Happy Easter!! πŸ£πŸ‡πŸ° 
Love, Cloe πŸ’‹

Family

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and you can show your Awareness by wearing blue.


April is Autism Awareness Month, so for this month I’ll be posting about autism and doing a Q&A for any of you with questions. 

Autism has good stories – thankfully. But it also has its heartache, challenges and tireless effort. I’d like to share both sides to having a child with autism. 

Many people don’t understand autism in the least. I’ve had my share of experiences with people not knowing what it is he has. 

Autism is the least funded disability in the U.S. effecting the most children. 


So, please send me your questions for me to answer and I’ll be posting more soon on autism. 

Love, Cloe πŸ’™

Family, Relationships

Family Reunion: 100 Years, 5 Generations, 1 Blessed Family

My family is close and we all keep in touch no matter the distance between us all. So it was no question whether or not we would be flying to Texas for a family reunion that was taking place along with my great grandmothers 100th birthday. 

We planned to fly out there a few days before the reunion/birthday to settle in and plan everything. We wanted to make the most out of a 4 day trip without too many complications.

So when it came time to fly, it was my whole family all together on the same flight; this includes my mom and sister, younger brother and niece, my husband and our two toddlers plus myself. It was a large party all trying to rearrange our seats so the kids were happy but had an adult with them. 


Once we landed, my aunt and grandpa were there to drive all of us back to my grandpas place for the night. We all stayed up late talking and just spending quality time together. 

The next day was spent with my grandpa since he wasn’t able to make it to the reunion. We had dinner with my aunt and her kids; we were a huge group considering it was just my mom and aunt with their kids. 

The next morning, we packed everything up and drove from Dallas area to near Waco for the reunion. It was a blast being reintroduced to distant relatives and getting to reconnect with others since we all live far away. 


And lastly, celebrating My great grandmas 100th birthday was an amazing milestone and quite the experience. 

​​
It was a wonderful trip and will be lasting, loving memories for the years to come. 

Please comment below or feel free to share your own family experiences. 

Thank you πŸ’‹

Family

Autism: First Day of Preschool

My son, Leo, started preschool on Wednesday and I was nervous because he has had a hard time with other school like classes. He hates going to speech and cries when therapists show up at the home for ABA. So I was nervous for how he would be with school. 


He was excited to get his backpack on and there was no complaints walking to his class. We had met his teacher prior to Leo’s first day so when he saw her, he ran right up to her and held her hand. 

​​
Without any given directions he followed her to the door of his class and saw everyone else hanging their backpacks up on the hooks and he did the same. Turned and waved at me and walked into class. 

It melted my heart! I was so proud of his independence and confidence but sad that it was that easy for him to say bye to me! Haha a silly thing but only a parent would understand. 

​​

It was a strange feeling being without him for a little over two hours but also a little freeing. When it was time to pick Leo up, I was so excited expecting him to ​​be happy to see me. However, I got the opposite response. He held his teachers leg saying “school, school,” and motioning for me to leave. 

Finally got him to leave but he was crying and pointing back at his class. I guess I can be thankful that he really loves school and his teacher. 

Crying because he saw the car and didn’t want to leave school

If you have any funny first day of school stories, please feel free to share them in the comments below. Or if you have any comments or questions, go ahead and comment below. Thank you!

Family

Miscarriage: Born into Heaven

I’ve decided to share my story of miscarriage. I feel it help with the healing process and let’s others know they are not alone when it comes to this experience. You may feel alone in the hurt you feel but there are so many other women out there going through the same thing each and every day. 

I’ll start at the beginning, when I found out I was pregnant. I was actually attending a wedding in Lake Tahoe when I felt all nauseous but I brushed it off as just a long drive there. However, the next day it was worse so I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. 

This was a stressful and very unexpected pregnancy but still a joy to us. Once we got back home to Orange County we started organizing for this pregnancy. 

At 10 weeks pregnant I had my check up with my OB/GYN and we listened to the heartbeat. Everything seemed to be going fine. Then on Tuesday, November 29th, I had my first ultrasound. During the ultrasound I felt a little uneasy because I couldn’t get a clear view of the baby and I wasn’t able to see the usual fluttering of the heartbeat. However, the ultrasound technician didn’t say anything and that was it. 


That evening however, I got a call from my doctor. I could tell from the start that something was off. But he finally broke the news to me, “the baby is not viable, we couldn’t find a heartbeat and there was some head abnormality.” My stomach sank but I kept my composure while we finished our conversation agreeing that a D&C was the best choice to handle this situation due to the age of the baby. Based on the size and development, they estimated the baby to be 13 weeks and 3 days when it passed away. 

Once I hung up the phone, all the emotions rushed and hit me full force. My husband came into the livingroom as the tears streamed down my face and came to my side, not knowing what was wrong. Just happened that my sister and mom were both there too and came over to comfort me as well. My husband gave us space to handle some of the emotions and came back for us to talk about what had happened a few minutes later. 

I had my mom call my side of the family to let them know what happened and my husband called his side of the family. The emotions were too raw for me to have to talk to anyone. 


The following two days seemed to take forever and bothered me knowing the baby inside of me had passed away. So when Friday came for me to have the procedure, it was almost a relief to know some of this journey was coming to a close. 

I was lucky enough to know my nurse, my anesthesiologist and of course my OB/GYN so I felt like I was in safe hands for this operation. They all kept me in a positive mood, even down to the last few seconds I remember before going under. Once I came to from the anesthesia, most of my pregnancy symptoms were gone and a feeling of emptiness filled me. 


An hour later, I’m heading home, acceptance and relief filled me knowing I could move forward from this. Knowing God has a plan and a reason for everything is comforting. I know nothing happens by accident and everything has a purpose. I may not see that purpose but Gods plan isn’t meant for me to understand. Plus, He has already blessed me with two wonderful children that I am so thankful to have. I am taking this opportunity to focus more on them and enjoy every moment I’m given in this life to live in each moment. I can’t turn back time so I don’t want to waste the time I’m given. 


I hope other women can learn and feel hope from this post. I hope everyone else has a little more understanding of the pain but I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. This is the life I was given and I have learned to love all that is thrown at you, even the bad. 


Times may get tough and this tragedy may surface the emotions again, but I won’t let this hold me back from enjoying every second with my family and being thankful for the life God has given me. This child that was taken too soon will never be forgotten. I may not got to hold them but they will forever be in my heart. However, I couldn’t ask for a better husband and children than the ones I have. 

Opinion

The Worlds Wrongful View of Christians

In today’s society, everyone argues for equality, fairness and tolerance. If anyone disagrees with a viewpoint then they are a “hater” or are being “racist”, “sexist” or “homophobic”. I don’t have a problem with anyone stating their opinion but there is a difference between stating an opinion and stating something but not accepting a different opinion. This is where I get frustrated with today’s society. 


I am a Christian and really try to hold true to what Christ has laid out for us to behave like. That does not mean I am perfect. I fall and have to work better the next time. But, I do have a strong opinion on controversial topics as it relates with my faith. The topic I want to cover today is homosexuality. I am wanting to clear up the issue with why we believe against it and touch on some of the common responses from homosexual people. 

The most obvious and most heard reason is that it goes against the Bible.

  • 1 Timothy 1:10
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9
  • Leviticus 20:13
  • Leviticus 18:22
  • Romans 1:27

These Bible verses state that it is immoral to have sexual relations with the same sex. But there are many other verses that tell us, as Christians to not judge others. For this reason, I do not “hate” homosexual people – in fact, I have a few friends that are homosexual and bi – but they all clearly know I don’t agree with them. We stay away from the topic and neither one of us shoves our opinion down the others throat. More people need to be like that. 


Without further ado, I just want all homosexual, bi, and transgender people out there to know that we don’t hate them but we can just agree to disagree. I don’t tell you how to live but don’t tell me I need to be all for homosexuality either. Just as some people like a certain style doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it’s just what they like and stand for. 

So I will not and do not post things like “Love Wins” or “Love is Love”, not because I hate them but because I won’t post something I don’t believe in. 

I know many of you will have different opinions and I welcome them! Please be kind as I have been. 😊