Book Review – #1 Recommendation

For some, autism is a new topic. When Tristan was in therapy, and the diagnosis was not concluded, I read every book I could find at the library on this topic. There were many books. I am still determining how I found the time to read, except being at home full-time required me to keep my brain fresh by soaking in reading whenever possible. I would have reading material nearby if he was in the bathtub or sandbox.

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Practical Tip #52 – Go on a Hayride

As I look back on the years with the blessing of Tristan, I am amazed that the amount of our particpation in family activities has increased! Honestly, for a long time, the list was short. Church, McDonald’s, parks, and two hours at a family gathering. That was all we could muster the energy to do outside our home. Our home was our sanctuary to manage Tristan.

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Practical Tip #52 — Visit a Local Farm

I can not say enough good things about our experience at Thistleberry Farm! It can be safe to visit the same places annually. However, as Tristan has gotten older, we have ventured out to try more places. I am glad we did because there were so many “Tristan-friendly activities!” He had a full day. We are blessed to watch him enjoy different experiences. Thistleberry Farm is located in South Bend, Indiana. This gem of a place was very close to our home. Somehow we have missed this opportunity for years!!! I encourage you to look for places close to home. Enjoy a few pictures from our family outing.

Practical Tip #51 Friendships

I was able to carve out some time over the weekend and meet up with a friend. Not just any friend. A kindred spirit kind of friend. A person who I met later in life and I was meant to meet. It just took a while for our paths to cross! This kindred spirit is one of those rare treasures we both agree that we will always be friends. In fact, it had been months since we had time to chat. We met for a walk. It was refreshing.

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When You Pray…

What a week it has been for all.  As we lengthen our prayers list, could I ask for one?  I received a heart-wrenching email from Tristan’s school.  He lives 3 hours away.  If feels like I sent my giant toddler off to college.  The email sent said home visitation would be postponed for two weeks then re-evaluated due to Covid-19.  School is canceled.  Community outings are canceled.


lighted cross decor
Photo by Aslak Sønderland on

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Contagious Joy!

Parenting is hard work.   Adding an element of any disability in parenting poses extra challenges.  In addition, there are also extra blessings.   One of them is the life lessons that unfold before your eyes.  I encountered one of these “life lessons” the other day.


When Tristan was very young I use to keep him in arms reach in an effort to keep him engaged with people.   He would help me around the house.   I later realized it benefited him in many other ways. (following directions, completing tasks, feeling accomplished, etc.) I observed over time that he thoroughly enjoys doing “chores.”  He is the one person I know that does not dread completing them.

The other month I invited him to help me wash the dishes.  I told him he could rinse them.   He LOVED it!   He was smiling ear to ear.   He thought it was “water play” not work.  We completed an activity together.   I have pondered on his joy and how contagious it was.

Thank you, Tristan, for the life lesson on joy!