Well, it’s February 1st and we’re enjoying our second big snow event of the season. Except that this is more than just snow – it’s a pretty layer of white under which is a very thick layer of ice. It sleeted against our windows most of the night, which is how I know it’s thick.

What’s different about this particular snow event is that my mom is here! She came in town last week when Brad found himself in the ER with a kidney stone. (I had all sorts of blog articles written in my head about that day, but in the end, no words can do justice to the feeling of watching your better half suffer through pain that did not let up until they gave him pain medication through an IV – lots of pain medication.)

Anyway, it’s been a surprising turn of events to have mom snowed in with us. I was really worried about her because she has been feeling pretty lousy with a cold these past few days, but she woke up feeling a little better this morning and now is playing Monopoly with the boys.

You know what’s even better than a day home from work and school? A day home from work and school with a built-in babysitter!

And she’s done way more than babysit. She’s also made her famous homemade beef stew and cornbread (made from scratch), as well as a bunch of other stuff. Which translates into me not having to cook!

It’s in moments like these that I have to stop and wonder at the goodness of God. Not to downplay my mom and her contribution, of course, but God has been exceptionally good to us lately. The weird part about writing that is knowing that the “exceptionally good” has happened in the midst of the exceptionally bad.

In short, Matthew is still going through a lot of testing to determine if he will be placed somewhere on the Autism spectrum. The not knowing is the hardest part for me. How do you parent a child who may or may not have Aspergers? On top of all the phone calls, emails and mounds of paperwork, there is the daily living with Matthew that can be challenging, to put it mildly. Our latest difficulty is that he has begun biting again – mostly Samuel since Peter would whoop up on him if he dared come anywhere near him with his teeth.

Of course, this has its up side. Not the biting of course, but the fact that we are working toward figuring out a diagnosis for him. I try to keep that in mind when I feel like pulling my hair out. Also, on Monday, a lady from Frisco ISD is coming in to begin the process of providing us with in-home training as parents of a child who (we think) has Aspergers.

Then there are the ongoing health issues. Brad’s kidney stone put him down for almost a whole week, followed closely by an infection that thankfully the doctor caught before sending him back to the hospital for an ultrasound. Meanwhile, I’ve been on antibiotics for a sinus infection and Matthew has been home with flu symptoms for a couple of days. I’m starting to feel like we’re running a convalescent home around here. But these are all things that will mend in time.

Oh, and a note about Brad’s kidney stone. Lest you think he merely has a low threshold of pain, I met a woman in the midst of our trauma who has delivered 8 kidney stones and 2 babies without drugs. She said the kidney stones hurt worse than natural childbirth, mostly because the pain never lets up like a contraction – it’s constant until it’s over. So there is the official answer to which pain is worse. Brad wins. (Not that I ever, for an instant, even considered natural childbirth. I only know the pain of having contractions for an hour or so before they got the epidural in. And I was a total baby about that pain.)

So there’s been some bad stuff. But here’s the amazing part. God has provided us with family (Brad’s dad came to drive him to the ER when I was not able to be here and he stayed with Peter several weeks ago when Brad and I had a parent interview we couldn’t miss and Peter had strep.). God has provided us with a warm home in the cold weather. We have a fire in the fireplace. We have money in our bank account. We have health insurance. When the battery on my car died twice in one week, Sears replaced it for $5. When the pain hit Brad so hard he was throwing up, it happened on the morning he had to go into work late – otherwise he would have been at work when it hit.

And we have our friends who have checked on us, called us and offered to help in every possible way as we have been through all of this. Most importantly, they have prayed for us, which is – I’m sure – the only reason I’m still sane. So thank you to everyone for being God’s hands and feet and mouthpieces. We have never felt so loved.