Delayed Gratification

I have recently started to can fruits and vegetables in order to take full advantage of the amazing harvest period that we have here. We were over at dinner and a friend offered us tomatoes that they had picked from their garden that day. I had to decline because we already had too many. Now that I am honing my canning skills, I hope to never have to decline fresh, free food again. I really enjoy the process of canning. It is a slow and very methodical process. I have found that with many recipes the longer it takes, the more rewarding it is. Today I made apple butter and grape jelly, neither of which went very quickly. The jelly had to be made in two different sessions because I wanted to make sure and get it right. The apples butter simmered for hours as the sugars caramelized and our home filled with the aroma of harvest. As I sit now and listen to the final jar pop closed I have such a wonderful sense of accomplishment. To go along side that, Jared asked, "So when do we get to eat this?" He had a hard time understanding the concept of making food for later and not now. It made me stop and think, wow, that is so the world that we live in. Maybe that is why it is so hard to set aside time to do this. I am so consumed with meeting the needs of now, it is hard to look to the future. I think that instant gratification is something that has become embedded into our culture and I am seeing that we are slowly starting to break from that, thanks to the forces of Claire. Because of her severe apraxia and dyspraxia (sorry about spelling) she doesn't have the luxery of instant. She has to work so hard and have so much patience. Until we get a more progressive communication system in place, she often has to wait until I figure out the right choices to offer her. Talk about delayed gratification, she sees something that she wants, looks at it, smiles at me. I am in my own world, who knows how long it takes before I figure it out. But she is patient, waiting for me to see the cues. I do think that she has something going for her, that the delay before the reward, certainly makes it richer. Since I assume that you have come to my blog to see and hear about Claire and not my rantings, here are some pictures from Saturday. We went to the pumpkin patch and then to lunch in Half Moon Bay. We had a lot of fun, and soon we will have pumpkin soup.


A rich weekend

It was a wonderful fall weekend for us. It started with the first rain. Jared spent the morning up at Mount Hermon in the trees and Claire and I stayed home and cuddled under blankets and watched the rain on the window. By afternoon it had cleared so we were off to the harvest festival at the farm at UCSC. Jared had been to the campus before, but it was a first time for all of us on the farm. We went with my friend Colleen who studied and interned on the farm and new all the ins and outs and cool things. Claire really liked getting her face painted. My favorite things were the grilled corn on the cob and the squash that I purchased to cook up later this week. Jared enjoyed the fresh pressed apple juice. Of coarse there were so many things to love, the bluegrass bands, the hay ride, u-pick sunflowers, apples right off the tree, and so on. It was so amazing to see how they are training up farmers to go out and use sustainable practices and all of the different aspects that it involves. Sunday we tried to sleep in, but Claire didn't. When we woke the house was 66degrees so we lit our spicy candles and started cooking in the kithcen. I spent most of the day at an amazing canning workshop where I made apple butter, quince jelly, and canned pears. It was such a great celebration of the bounty that God provides. I love that we are preserving it now so that when it isn't growing here in a few months I will be able to crack open a few jars and not go buy fruit imported from Argentina or fake fruit soaking in corn syrup. Jared and Claire went to church, where she made her debut in the preschool classroom, very exciting. To to put an exclamation point on the already great weekend we went to a birthday party for our friend Tim. It was at his parents home which is nestled into a redwood grove in the Santa Cruz mountains. As we arrived there were 4 deer in the meadow about 2 feet from the car. Claire just loved the deer. She also loved thebig red barn and the garden that she got to eat tomatos out of. We left tonight amazed at what a rich life God has given us. Amazing friends to enjoy all of the glory of fall with, we are so blessed.


October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month

It is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month and this holds a very special place in my heart. Last October I received a call from one of Claire's
doctors, the test for Rett Syndrome came back positive. That call did not change Claire, who she was or what she would be. It gave us an answer as to why. Why had she stopped feeding herself and crawling. Where had our sweet girl gone? We learned that she was in the "rapid destructive stage" and that was the cause of her frustration. Today I am proud to report that she has returned and is in the next stage. Daily she is making progress and surpassing any and all expectations. She is able to use her walker with assiastance and has been challenging herself while standing. Claire has made incredible strides in her oral motor skills and recently told her speech therapist that she was "done" once annoyed with the activity, a word that we have been hearing a lot more of. It is amazing to see Clarie do things that we never knew she would do. I love how she is contributing to our lives and the lives of everyone around her. If you would like to make a contribution to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation on her behalf we would be grateful. You can click here and visit the Care and Cure Cafe to see Claire's biography and make a toast to her. Thank you very much to all of the people that have supported us and prayed for us along the way. Thank you also to Mr. Mueller, who was able to capture an amazing picture of Claire, a little girl who doesn't really sit still.