Watching Rebecca

Today’s note is personal. Today our baby, the same one that you have watched with us, has grown up. This afternoon we are going to attend The White Coat Ceremony for Rebecca’s Medical School Class of 2016. It’s hard to believe time can go so quickly. Because of our program with Matthew our family and friends have been closer than most. We’ve all watched Rebecca grow into a beautiful young woman.

So today, I share the note we tucked in to Rebecca’s White Coat. A note to remind her of how her dreams have never wavered and how close she now is to reaching them. The letter to Grandma was written about age five. The Institutes we mention was the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential where we took Matthew all those years.

Thank you for your continued support of both our children.

Dearest Rebecca,

It’s been a long road since you wrote that letter to Grandma. At age five it must have seemed like forever.

Yet, here you are. No longer a pre-med student. No longer an undergrad. Here, at such an exciting point in your life.

We knew you would be accepted by the school of your choice, even if you didn’t. We have watched you blossom and grow into a beautiful young woman. You can’t begin to imagine how proud we are of you. We always have been.

Your love of learning made homeschooling so much fun. Your sense of adventure kept us from becoming too set in our ways. Your conversational skills and willingness to reach out to everyone also helped us (including your brother) be more outgoing.

There has been no challenge to difficult or mountain too high. We are proud of how you managed to keep your eyes on the goal all the while continuing to walk forward to this point.

Years ago, at the Institutes, they told us about you. That you would be a Super-Kid. That you would learn lots, be sociable, and at the same time be filled with empathy for others.

They were right.

Congratulations on this next step in your adventure.

Love always,

Mom, Dad, and Matthew

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At Our Secret, Undisclosed Location…

This week Matthew and I escaped the tireless heat of the Arizona desert. Most people don’t realize that just two short hours away from the hustle and bustle of Phoenix can be found rural America. Here, the closest grocery store is three miles away and the closest bigger town is a windy, two-laned twenty miles. Here, there are no fast food restaurants just around the corner. Here, most everyone has a pick-up truck, an ATV, or both.

Watching the afternoon rain from the front door.

This is Big Sky country. On sunny days the azure blue sky seems to continue forever. On cloudless nights there are more stars than can be imagined and the easily visible Milky Way reminds us how small we are in the universe.

I love it up here. There’s a quiet you don’t get in the city. When someone drives past it’s so infrequent that you look up to see who it is. All the neighbors know each other by sight and most by name.

Each time I sit on the covered deck of the folks log cabin I am reminded of the effort it took to build. Logs were delivered, all one length. It was up to my parents to design, cut and bolt together. The result a rustic mountain cabin just as you would expect to find yet inside modern enough for the most ‘connected’ individual.

Yep, I could ramble on and on. But I’ll save it for another day.

My friendly squirrel friend. He has been busy since we arrived finding acorns.

This is one of my favorite months in the mountains. Monsoon storms rumble in almost every afternoon, cooling it from the low 90’s to the 70’s in minutes. The clouds open and showers will drop from a few sprinkles to three inches within an hour. Suddenly the crispy crunch grass turns vibrant green with life. Dust washes off the ponderosa pines and they sway in the breeze enjoying the respite.

This week the animals seem particularly focused on winter preparations. Drinking my morning coffee I watched a bushy tailed squirrel chase off a dozen red headed woodpeckers as both moved the prize acorns to their stashes. The squirrel in the back yard doesn’t seem to mind the tiny baby bunny munching on grass next to him but continues to chew out the bossy blue jays who want to steal his treasure.

Matthew adjusts to this quiet life readily. Of course, he has his cable TV so doesn’t miss any important programming. There are also plenty of videos, books and puzzles which are as usual good conversation starters. He loves wildlife and was especially excited to see the large elk munching grass beside the road.

In a few hours we’ll head back to the valley. Bob says the kitties miss us. (He is a dog person—need I say more?) There will be a stack of paperwork calling to me. But for now, I think I’ll refill my coffee cup and sit on the front porch and just soak in a little more fresh air.

Helping Autism

My friends at Conservative Daily NewsImage have accepted my idea of adding a Traditional Values page to their website. It will cover everything from family finances and frugal living to education and child rearing to work ethic and finding the best job.

Please help make this a popular web page by both visiting it regularly and by sharing your ideas for topics.

This is my first contribution to the site. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Originally airing in October, 2011 Sixty Minutes replayed a special on Autism this week as part of their follow up on Apple and Steve Jobs. As a parent of a young adult, who is non-verbal with autism I am always on the lookout for new and better ways to communicate and converse. As can be seen in the report, not all children respond the same using an iPad to interact and learn. But for those who find computers something with which they can engage these new technologies can be life changing. We have seen first-hand how fascinated our son was with the iPad and how quickly he figured out the programs.

Read the rest of the article here.

Why I am Against Obamacare

I don’t usually post political articles on this website but this is a serious time in America. If you are interested, please click on the link below. If you aren’t, well, maybe next week I’ll something more exciting to talk about.

A number of people have noted that I am outspoken against the Affordable Care act (Obamacare).  Some have even asked why, why when this is such a good program that will provide health care to all, am I against it?

So here are my key reasons. Many are from personal experience. Many are from discussions with health care providers and some are just from anecdotal information.  I’ll back up statistics with links and my opinions with common sense.

The rest of the article can be read by clicking this sentence.