Carter’s Trip to the Bank

A dear sweet friend of ours gave Carter $20 last week to sow seed into his life. She had heard that he never wants to spend any of his money because he is saving for a condo at the beach so she wanted to bless him. She ended up blessing us just as much as she blessed him.

I took Carter to the bank Friday to put his $20 in the bank. Here in this picture I made him do all the talking to the teller. 😊

When he was done he asked “Now do I have enough money to buy that condo?” I told him not yet but to just keep saving his money, and one day he will have enough to buy that condo.

It is sweet people like this that bless us every single day. Just the smile this put on my sweet child’s face made my day. My prayer is to be a blessing as well to other people I come in contact with.

Carter’s Play and Social Interactions

I woke up around 5:00 this morning, and I laid there watching Carter sleep beside me. (He got in the bed with us last night). I never get tired of watching him sleep, and he’s 7 years old now! I got to thinking about this week, and Carter asking me every single day this past week to take him to play with Hunter and Harleigh (his cousins). He has started this thing at home lately where he will come down the stairs and get to the 3rd step and then jump down to the bottom floor yelling “Hulk smash!” I asked him where he learned this, and he informed me it was a game he played with Hunter and Harleigh. He then told me he played Hide and Seek and pretend nap with them.

A few weeks ago we helped out at a yard sale at church, and he played with his sweet friend Aubree the whole time. They played with a beach ball or hide and seek. He was wanting to go home with her to keep playing and was sad when we had to leave. He threw a frisbee with the older guys when they showed up.

My niece Katelyn has stayed with us a couple of times this summer, and he has loved every minute of playing with her (See the post Carter’s Sleepover).

I see God working in this area of play and social interactions. My heart is so grateful to all these kids who play with Carter because really he is just now learning how to play with others. I see their love, patience, and acceptance. A few months ago, he would’ve been content just off playing by himself somewhere, and now he is seeking out these play interactions. I see the miracle in my child when he goes up to hug everyone he sees when he used to just walk right on by people and we had to cue him to just say hi. God’s not done with him either. We learned right from the start to never take anything for granted. We have celebrated every little victory or success, and we give God the praise!

Swimming Lessons

Carter had swimming lessons this week. This was a huge step for him considering a few years ago he wouldn’t hardly get in a pool, and if he did, he would just sit on the very top step. This picture was 2 years ago in Florida, and this was all he would do even with my niece Katelyn playing with him.

I took Carter to a teacher at his school this week that gives private lessons. Her name is Mrs. Patton. She was wonderful with him. Carter was so comfortable with her from the very beginning. Her and her husband were so welcoming to us this week while we were at their house. Carter loves garage doors, so her husband Mr. Jason let him listen to their garage doors open and close. This just made his day.

Carter didn’t learn how to swim this week, but I’m so proud of how brave he was. These lessons got him used to being in the water. He was all over the pool with Mrs. Patton. He did what she asked him to do. Some things made him a little scared, but he did it. I took this picture below because he was laughing as she was teaching him to blow bubbles in the water.

One of the days we were there, his extreme best friend ( see the post Carter’s Extreme Best Friend) even stopped by to see him a few minutes during his lessons. This made him so happy.

Carter may not have learned how to swim this week, but I’m still just as proud of him. I hope I can get him in a pool somewhere and maybe build on some of the things she was working on this week, but there is always next summer. I’m grateful Carter had this experience this summer with Mrs. Patton. So many people are so wonderful and accepting with my child, and my heart is so full of gratitude. In Carter’s own words “I loved swimming lessons, and I love Mrs. Patton.” 😍

Carter’s Sleepover

My 12 year old niece Katelyn stayed the night with us Thursday night so Carter had someone to play with besides us Thursday night and all day yesterday. He had the best time. She is so sweet and patient with Carter. His favorite thing to play with right now is to count money so she played right with him. She got him to play Pop the Pig and watch roller coasters on YouTube with her. They went out several times to pet our cat Tinkerbell. I got to enjoy drinking coffee with her. 😊

Katelyn used to stay with us a lot before I had Carter. I have all these memories of her being a little sweet toddler. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know and is beautiful inside and out.

She called me into Carter’s room to show me what she had wrote on Carter’s board, and this brought tears to my eyes. I told her I would probably share this on my blog. Here is what she wrote:

Of course she had to add a little humor at the bottom! And Carter probably did do this to her. 😂

Everyone needs a Katelyn for a cousin, and I’m thankful Carter has her!

Carter’s First Pet

I always thought Carter’s first pet would be a dog one day. I pictured him having a golden retriever or a black lab or something like that. Well with the abundance of mice we have out here in the country (see the post Country Living), my brother suggested we get an outdoor cat. He said we should never have to worry about any mice ever making their way in the house if we have a cat outside. So we contacted places looking for a grown outdoor cat that was already spayed. We had to have a female because Carter had already named it Tinkerbell.

Well we got our cat Sunday afternoon, and she is super sweet and friendly. We are keeping her on the back porch for a week to get her used to us and her new home, and we will turn her loose running around out here next week. We love going out there to pet her. Carter has been so sweet to her. We went out to tell her we were going to town yesterday, and he repeated me and said “Tinkerbell we are going to town.” Last night he went out there and said “Tinkerbell I just ate pizza for supper.” “Tinkerbell come over here.” It’s been so sweet watching him interact with his first pet that he named Tinkerbell.

Don’t Give Up On Your Miracle

I have shared before that Carter hated the beach a few years ago (See the post Never Give Up). He hated everything about it! I found some pictures of our trip to the beach when he was 2 1/2 years old not long after he was diagnosed with autism. He had to be carried on the beach and even then he was not very happy to be near the ocean.

He was pretty content just staying on the balcony of the condo and not ever venturing out to the ocean.

We have come a long way since then praise the Lord! This was almost 5 years ago. I love the beach, and we didn’t let this stop us from ever going back. We just kept going back every year and venturing even closer to the ocean, and we got him used to walking on the sand with lots of encouragement. We went to the beach back in November, and Carter absolutely loved it. He even got in the ocean and let the waves hit his legs. He came back home after this trip in November saying he was going to buy that condo and live at the beach one day. Every time he has gotten any money since then, he puts it in the bank to save for the condo. 😍

Carter just had his first week of summer break this week, and he’s been asking me this week if we could go back to the beach. It got me to thinking again how far we have come on this journey. God is so good. My sweet little boy who hated the beach 5 years ago is now wanting to go to the beach. I want to encourage others to not ever give up on their miracle. Keep asking and believing. We ask God for the big miracles, but He is doing little miracles like this every day.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

 

 

Country Living

We moved out of town into the country last summer. We now live in the middle of a field. We are so far off the road that we were able to name our road which we named Carter Ln. This picture was from last summer before we moved. Carter was so excited to have our road named after him.

People asked me before we moved if Carter would be ok with the move. I wondered at first because we were taking him away from the only home he had ever known, but he seemed so excited to move. We were driving out to the land every day and packing and talking about it a lot. So he was just ready to get moved. I grew up in this area so I guess it was calling me back, and I wanted Carter to experience the country. We had lived in our house in town for 13 years so I had forgotten about country living. I had gotten used to living in town. The good thing about where we live now is we get the country living, but we are still convenient to town. We can be to town in less than 10 minutes which was something I wanted when we were looking for land in this area.

We got moved last summer, and Carter was so comfortable at our new place. We wondered why we waited so long, but God’s timing is always perfect. Carter would tell me everyday “Mama I like living in the country.” One of the first things we noticed after we moved was how bright the moon is in the country. Living in town in a subdivision with the street lights, we never noticed the moon. The moon is beautiful. When the moon is full, you don’t even need to turn on any lights in the house at night if you get up. Sunsets are even more beautiful coming across the corn field in the evenings. Carter will say “Look at that pretty sky!” The farmers just planted corn a few weeks ago in the field behind us, so now we get to watch it grow. We love watching the sun come up in the mornings over the mountains (hills). (We call them mountains. They may just be hills.) Seeing the lightning bugs come out by the hundreds across the field in the evenings reminds me of being a little girl catching them just to see how many I could catch. I tell Carter stories of me doing this. There’s a little killdeer that has built its nest in the middle of our driveway. This is the second time this year. I don’t know if it’s the same bird or a different one, but she has built in the exact same spot in our driveway twice. We get to watch her get mad at us every day we drive in or out. Carter will ask me why she is getting so mad, and I tell him because she is a Mama protecting her baby eggs in her nest just like I’m his Mama and would do anything to protect him. This little killdeer is like family. This second time Jeremy even took some left over bricks and put it around her nest to keep it safe. We had so much rain late winter and early spring that the front part of our property became a pond for a little while that attracted ducks and geese. We were able to show these to Carter. It’s these simple things of living in the country that I’m thankful to share with Carter and teach him. We didn’t see any of this living in town, or we just didn’t stop to notice them.

Of course there are the minor annoyances of the country like MICE! Jeremy pointed out they were here first in this field and then we showed up. 😂 Last summer not long after we had moved in, I was walking up and down the driveway and noticed a piece of tire buried in some dirt. I decided I would be helpful and “clean up.” I lifted it up and there were 2 sets of beady eyes staring up at me! I think they were just as scared of me as I was of them. I slammed the tire back down and the men (Jeremy and Carter) took care of it. 😆 I’ve only seen one snake at the end of the driveway. I think it was just a black racer, but I don’t care. I don’t like any snakes. Carter was trying to see it too, but it was already gone before he could look out the car window. But we will take these minor annoyances for the blessings of this home and land God has given us.

Since we’ve been living here almost a year now, I’ve just been reflecting on these simple things I’m grateful for with our country life.