Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's Been a While

Here we are on Christmas day

Sweet Christmas kidlets

Well, it has been a while. We had a fabulous Christmas and vacation. We were at home together for two whole weeks, and I can honestly say we had the best time and never got tired of each other. Wow!

Ella Grace got her grocery cart and was SO excited! She loved EVERYTHING about Christmas, and it was so fun to experience it through her eyes. She cried when we took down the Christmas tree. =( On Christmas Day, we told her it was Jesus' birthday, and she said with a gasp, "Are we going to see him?" So sweet!

Ella Grace on Christmas Eve

Evan loved having a break from school and played so hard every single day. We weren't on any schedule for two weeks, so he stayed up late and went to bed early. He loved it! His favorite Christmas song to sing was "Jingle Bells" and we sang it A LOT! I think his favorite toy he got was a Gumby and Pokey. I don't know if you remember those. They were even before my time, but he loves them! =)

Derek and Evan on Christmas Eve

My party boy all crashed out with his Nerf swords

The day after Christmas was my birthday. I turned 37, and I never thought I would be happy to be 37! However, for most of December I had somehow convinced myself I was turned 38 until Derek was like, "No you're not. You are going to be 37!" Thank you, Jesus! I just gained a year. Ha! My favorite birthday gift was this card I got from Derek and the kids. It wasn't just the pretty card or carefully scribbled names on the inside, but it was one of those recordable cards that play music. When I opened it, I hear my son, my 7-year-old son who has autism that has had such a hard time talking say so loudly, "Happy Birthday!" Now, Evan has been able to say Happy Birthday for years, but for some reason hearing him say it on MY birthday on MY birthday card made me want to cry! It made me realize just how far we've come, and how happy I am to be 37 and hearing my son tell me Happy Birthday and not back to the 31-year-old mom that was crippled by the diagnosis my precious little boy had received and worrying if he would ever utter one word! It's just the best gift I have ever been given. Happy Birthday to me indeed! Oh, and yesterday he asked me his very first question in 7 years! He was looking for a car and asked, "Where is the car?" I thought I could just fly to the moon! What an amazing boy he is! This was/is HUGE! Oh, how thankful I am for every word!

Did I mention, Evan asked me a question??? A QUESTION!!! What a great start to a new year! I have so much hope for the future!!!


Leslie said...

WOW! What a great start to your new year. I know with teaching autistic children that when they reach that 'question' milestone' it makes you want to stop in your tracks!! Savor it.. That is a great hurdle that Evan has crossed.

Happy "Belated" Birthday

Jacquie said...

OMG, Leigh Ann, I LOVED LOVED LOVED this post. Every word is a gift from God!

Happy belated birthday. I can't think of a better birthday!!

His Doorkeeper said...

Leigh Ann, This is the sweetest post. I love how you thought you were a year older......girl, just wait till you forget how old you really are....I swear it gets harder to keep up the older you get!!

I love that Evan is doing so well. My heart just is so happy for you because he wished you a happy birthday and ask you a question!! I would call that progress !!! May it continue this year!

And I love how your sweet baby girl ask, "Are we going to see him?" We see Him at work everyday, don't we?
Happy New Year to you and your sweet family!

The Garners said...

Oh, Leigh Ann--this is all so sweet--loved this post! What a great start to the new year with Evan's progress! May this be a wonderful year for him and for your whole sweet family!

Kelley said...

What a wonderful start to the new year! This was an amazing and uplifting post! Way to go Evan! EG is a precious little girl. I had a two week vacation and it was wonderful too. Spending time with my 3 year old and my hubby was the best!

Faith said...

This post makes me smile =) So glad you had a great Christmas/New Year with your precious family!

Traci said...

So happy for Evan's progress! What an awesome birthday present! I understand how awesome that must feel! And EG is adorable- I love her precious smile!! :)

Eisbergsk said...

Your post reminded me about the first time my autistic son (now 20) asked me a question (spontaneous, not rote, in context) What a glorious feeling! He was about 7, and we were running errands. I would always tell him our plans and talk as we did them, just to allay anxiety. Just as I hopped into the car, he looked me right in the eye and said "Where we go now?"
Thank you!

Momofgirls said...

I can relate!

What a special card. It DID make me cry to read about it!
You are an amazing Mama and I will be lifting you up this year in prayer as you navigate these rough waters with a child that has special needs and trying to meet the needs of your sweet girl all the while...

Happy New Year!
Your California "blog friend"

Kelly said...

First - I have missed you so much!! Keep posting (when you have time!)
Second - that Ella Grace is the cutest thing ever - I love her sweet smile - I want to squeeze her. She is a little you.

And last - I'm so proud of Evan and that he is doing so well and I'm so tickled that he asked you a question and that you appreciate every last little thing he does. You are the BEST mom. I have been reading so much about autism lately. It's something that can be so horrible but I can't imagine any mother in the world who handles it better than you (and Derek!) Evan is an amazing boy!!!! I know he will continue to grow and impress you daily! I think the sky is the limit of what that boy will be able to do!

Kelly said...

P.S. When did we get so old???? :-)

The Pooles said...

That is so awesome, go Evan!!!! This just made me cry I remember a little boy I worked with a CHEMS having the same success and it was amazing. As a mom I can't even imagine how exciting that was for you:)

Marci @ All Things Wonderful said...

I love this post. What a wonderful birthday gift! I know that made your heart leap. He is just adorable in the photos.
I love the Ella Grace asked about Jesus. If we could all have that sweet spirit.
May God continue to bless you and your family.
Happy New Year.

Candy said...

So glad to get a Horton update! Sounds like ya'll had a GREAT Christmas! My Ella cried when we took down the Christmas decorations too, esp over her pink tree! Happy late birthday--glad it was a GREAT one! Evan is such a sweetheart and you are such an awesome mom!

Abby said...

What a wonderful birthday gift!!! Way to go, Evan!

Megan L Hutchings said...

OH MY GOSH! CONGRATULATIONS!!! In so many ways this is just as big as finding out you are pregnant b/c you have worked toward this for YEARS! GO EVAN!!!!

I can only imagine the fun you had as a family for those two weeks. Maybe one day the kidlets can meet and play together :)

Angela said...

Such sweet pics! So glad I am getting to know this sweet family!

Kandi West said...

Oh LAH, I love you so much! I laughed out loud that you thought you were a year older...every year counts at this point! :-)
You are such an inspiration to me...your sweet spirit has always been amazing and continues to be through all "the stuff". I love how you recognize each and every blessing.
Loved this post...I missed you not posting for so long!

Lauren said...

I'm crying because Evan asked you a question, but also because it would never occur to me to NOT have Dawson do the same. So many things I take for granted.

prashant said...

That is a great hurdle that Evan has crossed.

Work from home India

FrouFrouBritches said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I am knew to your blog and felt a kinship when I read this. My five year old has autism too and has just started talking in the last 4 months. I recently heard "I love you" for the first time and couldn't stop crying. I completely understand what a blessing it is to hear those sweet words! My birthday was yesterday and I got a Happy Birthday for the first time too. AMAZING!