Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas, 2011 - Part 3

One more Christmas post! Here's a better glance at a small portion of Luke's Christmas stash. I think he's still half asleep as he checks it out!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas, 2011 - Part 2

Santa was very good to Luke and his family once again this year. We had a great holiday!

First of all - my sister Megan taught me how to do a very pretty bow this year. I think it really revolutionized my gift wrapping. What do you think? (Can you tell I'm proud?)

On Christmas Eve, we celebrated, as always, at my parents' house. We ate great food and got great gifts. Luke scored with two favorites: his Dinosaur Train

...and his LETTERS. (We know the boy loves his letters!)

(Let me tell you: these letters have come in quite handy this weekend while Daddy has been sick and Mommy has had six weeks' grades to finalize.)

Then Santa visited - look at what he left our little monkey!

He also left Luke a very sweet note. Here are some highlights:

"No other three year-old on the Nice List has worked as hard as you have in 2011... Your Mommy, Daddy, Honey, Grand, Grandma, Grandpa, whole family and I are so proud of you, and we love you very much!"

I think Saint Nick was pretty right, don't you?

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, too!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas - Part 1

For whatever reason, the 2011-2012 school year has really flown by. Actually, there are many possible reasons: a new schedule at the high school, a new program I run, a new school for Luke... The to do list runneth over in our world more often than not, but Christmas was still as busy and wonderful as usual!

I have to start with this darling picture of Luke on his last day of "work" of 2011. He was ready to PARTY!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving, 2011

Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful. I am so thankful to work in a school district that gives us the entire week off. It always falls just at the point when we teachers and students really need it. We had a wonderful holiday this year, too!

Monday, November 14, 2011

DFW Autism Speaks Walk

(By the way, I am "cheating" - I am writing this on New Year's Eve, so I fear my details may be a bit sketchy. I am WAY behind on blogging - figure I ought to catch up before 2012 arrives!)

Monday, October 31, 2011

October Updates (better late than never...)

You know how you can tell that time flies when you're having fun? When you are writing an October 2011 blog post in February of 2012!

The two main October highlights were, without question, the trip Jeremy and I made to the final ALCS championship game and Halloween. Here we go...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Romans 5:3-5

The calendar page has turned from September to October, signaling the start of Fall and its accompanying bedlam. I’ve entered the second six weeks of the school year, Luke is about three weeks into his new school, and Jeremy’s entering the final quarter of his year. We’re going to blink and it’s going to be time for Christmas – and rather than that being exciting, it just feels like that’s one more thing to do. I’d bet you find yourself in the same situation these days. Days fly by, but when Friday evening arrives, you know that logically only five days have passed, yet your body tells you five months have. We’re tired. We’re a little overwhelmed. We’re feeling like life’s treadmill is operating at the speed of sound, and there’s so much noise, it’s tough to process everything.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Luke!

The reality of the stressful return to work means it is taking me a lot of time to get things done... including Luke's birthday blog post. Two weeks ago, Luke turned 3! It's so hard to believe. We truly had no idea when we were here:

...what amazing things God had in store for all of us with the next three years of Luke's life. We were so excited to celebrate him! 

Here's the big 3 candle featuring two of Luke's current favorites: Bob and Where-we (or Larry, but c'mon, Luke's pronunciation is way cuter) from Veggie Tales.

Before my guests arrived at Honey and Grand's, Luke fueled up with some lunch. (His favorites for his birthday: hot dogs, chips, and apples.)

We had a great day celebrating with family, each of whom Luke graced by saying their names! (This is a huge development for us, as you might know.) Luke, Mommy, and Daddy celebrated with all of Luke's grandparents (Grandpa, Grandma, Granny, Honey, and Grand), Uncles Chris (Cwis), Johnny, and Bobby, Aunts Lori (Wore-we) and Jackie, Granny, and cousins Alyssa (A-wiss-uh) and J.D., who, as you can see here, was digging some time in his jumper.

After pizza and salad, we hit the pool, and MAN did Luke have a great time swimming and judging his Uncles' Bobby's and Johnny's cannonballs into the pool. If they did not make a big speech, Luke was VERY disapproving!
 He opened his presents (as always, family, you are so generous!),

Was serenaded (to his bewilderment),
 ...and even enjoyed some frosting.

A special thank you to my parents for hosting us - it was a perfect day with loved ones to celebrate our precious, sweet boy! Happy Birthday, Luke! We all love you so very much! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm back at work, and a lot of talk has been going on in our staff development sessions about transforming the way we teach. I'll not go into the details, because Lord knows I am up to my eyeballs in back-to-work minutiae, but the word "transformation" has me thinking about Luke and how wonderfully he has been doing over the past month.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cruise News Part II

Here is the "wrapping up the cruise" blog post. It will be very succinct - I am nearing my return to work (*sniffle*), so it's all about checking things off "the list."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cruise News Part I

Here's Luke outside the dance club, which was surrounded by TVs. Our boy loves an LCD screen, so it's no wonder he'd flock to this spot. :)

Earlier in July, we went on a family* cruise, and believe me, we had a GREAT TIME. A really great time. I mean, the kind of time that, as time runs out on my summer vacation, I cherish and miss already!

Why family*? Well, we were down some members who couldn't attend for various reasons, and they were missed. But Honey/Mom/Janis, Grand/Dad/John, the Griffiths, the Robertses, and Megan headed for Miami, and we had a great time!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Was GREAT about June: iPhones and Pools and Progress – Oh My!

In my previous post, I shared some of the more challenging parts of June. The month has brought some great things, too! I’ll start with the end: Jeremy came home from work Tuesday... WITH NEW iPHONES! It was an awesome surprise! I don’t know what it says about me that my eyes welled up with tears when he told me... but I don't care. : ) It was so exciting. Thank you, Jeremy! Now each Roberts family member has some sort of iDevice. Thank you, Apple. We are drinking the Apple Kool-Aid at our house!

What Wasn’t Great about June: Molar Misery and Other Maladies

The entire month of June wasn’t miserable, but I like to use alliteration in my titles. I’m not sure I’ll ever write that great American novel or be the next David Sedaris, so you will all have to indulge me in my tiny but heartfelt efforts at writing wittily. I try my best. : )

Oh June… what a crazy month you have been. Sure, you’ve offered some good things. The Mavs are NBA Champions. Summer began, and I have enjoyed rare treats like reading for fun and napping. I have had a nice shift from having 100+ things to do to a more seemingly-attainable 50-75. That’s all well and good.

But June, you have thrown quite a few curveballs. Let’s get those out of the way in this post so that I can seem like less of a Negative Nancy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

May - The Uber-Fast Summary

I believe in my last post in late May I'd write about May "soon." It's over a full month later, and I guess that tells you how things have been going around the Roberts' household, huh? We're all a little tired, you could say...

As you can see, in the not-too-distant future, I need to be adding a "look at Luke's new twin-sized bed" post. : )  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A is for April - Part Two

Now that May is almost done, I figure I ought to finish my posts about April. : )

We celebrated Easter at church, and then we went to Aunt Mary's for a wonderful family lunch and Easter egg hunt! Here are some pictures:

Monday, May 2, 2011

A is for April (Part 1)

A is for April... awfully action-packed April! It certainly was a good month overall, but you can tell it was a frantic one if it's taken until May for me to post about it! I'm going to divvy up the month into two entries.

(I'll start with an A: a is for apology, as in an apology for not being particularly witty with this entry. I've just got to get 'er done, as the rednecks say...)

Without further ado, here we go!

A is for around the house...
Here's some pics of Luke kicking it at home. He's still a lover of letters and numbers. These pictures are of some letters he got for Christmas. Below you'll see two of his greatest loves: letters and messes. : )

Another recent favorite around our house: Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Oh how he loves Clifford, Emily Elizabeth, and the theme song. And the iPod game. He is captivated by Clifford and in love, I think, with Emily. : )

Finally - and you know this warms my English-teaching heart - Luke is loving to read. He loves his books, and he loves e-books on the iPod. It makes me thrilled to see this!

A is for Autism Awareness Month
April was a special month for another reason: it was Autism Awareness Month. How amazing to see the things the Lord has in store... I know that last April, I had no idea that this month would be so important in our household twelve months later. We kicked off the month at Joe's Crab Shack. On April 1, they donated 10% of proceeds to Autism Speaks. We were joined by Honey, Grand, Aunt Jackie, Uncle Johnny, Granny, and Jackie's parents, Bill and Alice. Like a putz, I did not get a picture of the whole group, but here's one of Luke. You can see his Uncle Johnny trying to get into the frame, too. (Can you believe that he's a dad now? More on that in A is for April, Part 2.)

On April 30, we closed Autism Awareness Month with a fundraising carnival at Luke's school. He had a great time, though we weren't there too long. He was enamored with the duck pond, I think because Miss Ellen, his favorite teacher, was there. We love Miss Ellen and are so thankful for the care and dedication she has for Luke! He loves his school, and we love them for the incredible work they do to help kids with ASDs.

A is for Audra and Brent's Reception (and Pete and Donna's 40th Anniversary)
On the 23rd, we headed to East Texas for the wedding reception for Brent (Jeremy's nephew) and Audra. It was a beautiful night for a number of reasons - Brent and Audra celebrated their marriage, and Jeremy's parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary! Congratulations to everyone - it was so much fun, and Luke had a blast on the dance floor!

Here are Pete and Donna dancing an anniversary dance.
Here's a family photo - I feel like all I ever show you are pictures of Luke. Here's proof we all exist. Naturally, we can't get a good one of all three of us, but oh well. : ) 

Luke is doing the chicken dance with Dad's help. He got the biggest kick out of it, and I think it motivated him later to bust a move to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Again - I was so proud. : )

Though it isn't the best picture, here are Brent and Audra dancing their first dance with Brent's daughter Halle joining in. Not a dry eye in the house!

Finally, here's my dancing machine. If this picture does not melt your heart, then you are made of stone. How sweet is this little guy?

Phew! Another post is coming with pictures from Easter, the arrival of Baby John David, and a few other updates. I hope all of you are doing well! Take care, and have a great week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March Madness 2011: Nature Bracket III, Part Deux

Since I wrote the first post on this year’s NCAA tourney, the following craptacular events have transpired:

1. Blogger, the website I use for this blog, has been working against me. I post things. Then, given my careful eye for detail, I go back into my post to proofread and revise. At this point, the malevolent Blogger formatting demons wreak havoc on what I’ve done, changing alignments, removing hyperlinks, and even re-ordering paragraphs. Bizarre s—t.
2. I tried to navigate the labyrinth that is health care claims and payments. Fail.
3. I attempted to schedule an appointment to get Luke’s passport for our cruise this summer. This required seven phone calls. For real. Finally got it nailed down, but for real… why so difficult?
4. The printer didn’t work. That isn’t all that catastrophic, but it was an annoyance in that, “C’mon, really? What else can go wrong?” kind of way. And by the way: I strongly recommend you NEVER ask that question. Life will provide you with an answer, such as…
5. There’s a claim filed to my insurance for a three-week long hospital stay for Luke. Do you recall blog entries about Luke's agonized three-week stay in the hospital in January? I don’t either. I’m confident we won’t be financially responsible for it, but it’s just something else to keep an eye on.
6. And, the cherry on top of the poo sundae: today, some broad in New York went to several Banks of America in posing as me – using, I might add, a Texas driver’s license with my address on it and my social security number – trying to get cash. She failed, but if you’ve experienced identity theft before, you know that I have spent hours and will continue to spend hours investigating, changing accounts, filing a police report, etc.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness 2011: Nature Blog III

This marks my third year of creating the Nature Bracket for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. For those of you new to this, here’s the skinny: each year, I make two brackets. In one, I make “informed” guesses about how teams will fare in the tournament. I base these picks on personal biases, teams’ histories (mark it – Kansas will choke at some point), and gut feelings. But the second… well, unlike some girls who make picks based on favorite colors or cutest mascots, I choose victors based on this premise: if the mascots were to actually battle in nature, who would win? It’s like that Spike show Deadliest Warrior except with college mascots. I have no idea why it started – just another output from that fount of randomness that is my brain. But for whatever reason, it’s provided great enjoyment for friends, family, and even me.

Given that this is my third time around, I’ve learned there are obstacles to preparing this blog:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Marvelous March

Hello all! This past Saturday was my birthday... believe me, I don't think I ever dreamed that part of my 33rd birthday celebration would include Sesame Street Live, but it did! :) We had a great time seeing Elmo's Healthy Heroes. You may not know this, but all you need to be a healthy hero is to eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, exercise, and have good hygiene. I think I'm maybe batting .250 on any given day... probably need to work on that. Ha! Anyway, here are the Sesame Street characters in all their splendor...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Flying-By February

It's been almost a month since my last post... oops. = \ The distance between blog posts is always a great indication of how busy things are in the Roberts household. Even though I had FIVE unexpected days off of work due to the snow and ice (or maybe because of those five days and the household craziness that ensued), I still never got to post. Oh well, better late than never!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

There are new years, and there are NEW YEARS...

January is almost over. (Seriously – where did it go?) I cannot believe it. It’s been a whirlwind of a month for two main reasons: Luke started at a new school, and Jeremy resigned from PepsiCo to start working on his own. I am really, really proud of Jeremy for this choice. Since August, he had been travelling a lot, and his new role will give him more flexibility to help with Luke’s new school schedule.

Why, you may be wondering, is Luke going to a new school? Well, I guess it’s time for me to write the blog post that’s been coming for about three months.* Many of you know this, but some may not. In October, Luke was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, PDD-NOS. Though certainly his consistent ear fluid and resultant inconsistent hearing likely contributed to his delayed speech, months of appointments and evaluations led us to the conclusion that Luke’s failure to speak, inability to imitate, easy distractibility, infrequent eye contact, and minimal socialization with his peers weren’t just innocuous indications that he was a late bloomer; they were signs that Luke was born with autism. states that one out of 110 children and one out of 70 boys is born with autism. I assure you, we never thought we’d be one of the “ones”… but we are.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 is Here!

Jeremy and I rang in 2011 as unceremoniously as we have for the majority of our New Years Eves together - we're real homebodies, I guess. Luke was asleep, Hannah was curled up in Jeremy's lap, and the two of us sipped champagne. Not that we are really people to go live it up at the hippest gatherings, but I'm sure that a big part of our low-key NYE came from the fact that 2010 has been exhausting.

Many of you know that this past year has been trying for us in a number of ways. To discuss our journey with Luke's communication delays and ear issues would take a whole other blog, let alone a single post, but suffice it to say, we've spent much of 2010 anxious, even tormented, with worries about our child. We feel blessed that, as 2011 approaches, we finally feel like we're moving in the right direction. Luke has come a long way since his ear tube surgery in November, and we're feeling confident that between his clear ears and his starting at a new school on Monday*, he will make incredible strides in 2011. There is a lot to look forward to in the coming year, and we're so excited to see what the next 364 days bring!

That said, with 2010 in the rear view mirror now, I'm not exactly saying "Good riddance." Was 2010 difficult in ways I have never experienced? Absolutely. But as my Granny wisely put it on Christmas Day, "Nothing grows on a mountaintop." We've spent some time in some valleys this year, but God has used these trials to strengthen our marriage and our faith in His providence. Psalm 139 has been my go-to book through this. Verses 13-18 are particularly powerful:

For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts,oh God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand...

God made Luke the way he is, and to think that He knows what is and is to be for me, for Jeremy, for Luke... it's astonishing! Further, God similarly crafted Jeremy and me so meticulously, and He chose us to be Luke's parents. So many times I've felt inadequate, wondering if I'm the mother Luke needs. But I've found great peace in these verses, knowing that God has a perfect plan for each of us, and that as much as I think about every facet of Luke's life, God's thoughts outnumber grains of sand! And he's significantly more powerful than we mere mortals to make incredible things happen.

The incredible little man that God knit together in my womb is currently a very grumpy bear, so it's time to put away the laptop and pay him some attention (and move him towards bed). I wish you all many blessings in 2011, and for those of you that have really joined us in our valleys this year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your moral support and, most of all, prayers, have worked miracles! We're so thankful to have you in our lives!

(Speaking of prayer, let me hit y'all up one more time: please say a prayer for Luke, Jeremy and me, and my parents about this coming week! Luke's new school is a true godsend, but it will make for a huge change for the little guy, which will mean it will bring huge changes for us, too. We're excited that he's going to get more one-on-one attention to help him build his communication skills, but we know this will also be more trying for him. Please lift us!)