Friday, November 28, 2008

My first Turkey Day post!

What is not to love about a day dedicated to food and your blessings. Oh sure the whole pilgrim thing is cool too but I think society has done a wonderful job with commercializing this holiday--it is much to my liking. Our Thanksgiving started with the Anderson 15 gathering in my home and Rodney, Karen & Nicholas joining us. Balloon fun kept the children happy while the cooking team finished prep. After gorging ourselves I made all the family do the whole gratitude tradition but Jared turned it into a fun game where we all annonomously wrote down our fave blessing and then we all guessed who said what. Lots of laughs and we all felt good after a nice brisk walk down trail 41 in our back yard. It turned out to be a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am a TROTTING TURKEY--yea for my first 5K race!

Cute Cute Stephanie asked me to run the "Turkey Trot 5K" (3 miles) with her--I accepted the challenge even though I had much self doubt--this being my first race. Steph & Sheila were super supportive and made this so so fun. It was a chilly morning run down the scenic coastline of Santa Cruz. We did it-- I ran every step. Jared & Ann rallied the troops & headed down to be the cutest cheerleading section ever. I'm sure I will never forget turning that first corner on the course, seeing my precious family jump up & down & smiling with such excitement. As I passed them I could hear Caden's ever so sweet chant of "Go Mommy, Go Mommy!" Number 336 didn't win the race but I felt like a HUGE winner in a whole different way.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friend or Sister? you tell me

I grew up with 2 brothers. Tonight I went out with a couple friends. When I came home I told Jared what a great time I had. I said, "These girls are like my best friends ever, (no offense to all my other bffs) Jared chuckled and said, "You always say that"--I quickly replied, "Ok no, they're like my sisters". So I ask you--what's the difference? I kinda feel like the baby sister in this trio. Miss Tammie, Sista Jenny and I spent a week in the woods with 21 silly wonderful amazing young women. But come on, it was the WILDERNESS with no husbands or electricity etc--good thing we are such outdoorswomen!! major ha ha Girls Camp bonds us for life but it goes much deeper than that, and I'm so lucky to realize this blessing after our awesome dinner out. When we 3 goofballs get together we disclose a lot of personal stuff. I revealed a couple major life changing moments and they lifted me up and supported me in such a loving way, it felt more than just a friendship to me. I don't know what it's like to have a sister but right now it doesn't matter since I've realized the quality of connection I have with the right people in my life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh yeah, we went to Disneyland!!

The much anticipated trip to the Happiest Place on Earth--courtesy of Big Papa. The VonForell 17 member mob of us wound ourselves thru both parks and had an absoulute blast. Us Andersons were so glad that all 6 returned to each other safely each night. These 41 pix capture most of the moments but I'm so glad we have the coutless memories that we do.
We were lucky to have Roxi as a tour guide and Dan as a photographer for the trip. There's nothin' like spending time with my wacky bruddas and their crazy kids. Thank you so so SO much mom and dad for the great idea, the wonderful arrangements and for the SUPER supervision on this most loved VoFo outing to date.

Friday, November 7, 2008

We FINALLY have a diagnosis for Caden!!!

It's been a long 3&1/2 years of questions and concerns for our oldest son Caden. We've been referred to different specialists througout this journey and we have found one who (in my humble opinion) knew what he was doing and more importantly what Caden was doing and why. Yesterday at 3:00p.m. after hundreds (literally) of insightful questions on Caden's behavior, Dr. Herrera concluded, "He is definetly Autistic". I don't think I will ever forget that moment--it wasn't exactly what I had expected to hear. Jared and I were both leaning towards Asperger's Syndrome--that is an Autism Spectrum Disorder--differing with it's symptoms and neurological causes. Caden is HFA (high functioning), his academics and motor skills are stellar, but the speech delay, sensory issues--that's a big one for him, and his social set backs are clear indicators of Autism. Who would think that his fascination with fans, twirling my hair, watching a square of toilet paper float down and spontanious recitations would be Autistic qualties? So now what--you might ask? Sensory Integration Therapy, more intensive speech therapy, occupational therapy and social play groups are the directives from the child pshycologist. Several doors have already opened; our heads are just swimming with information and our hearts are flooded with emotion. Jared & I have always known that Caden is a very special spirit that was sent to us for a very special reason. We are so excited and relieved to not be lost in the "GRAY" anymore! We are anxious to get him the help he needs. Now when I look at his sweet face I hope he feels this lyric to a new favorite song of mine: "You know you're perfect to me".