As I said in my introduction, my name is Jennifer Callaway. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, autistic, wife, stay at home, homeschool mom to 5 beautiful children. I’d love to list my hobbies, but the truth is, I don’t have time for hobbies. I guess doing Karate, going to church, meeting my friends for coffee (I love coffee BTW) when I can sneak away are my self indulgences. Otherwise, I am so busy cleaning, caring for, cooking, driving, teaching, guiding, and loving on my family, I just simply do not have time to do anything else, unless I want to give up sleep (which I don’t). I live in Oklahoma, and am excited to share what I have learned. I hope you find this blog to be useful in whatever areas you may struggle in. As I write my introduction, I am still constructing this blog to match what my vision is. But one fact that you may or may not appreciate about me is, that I get overwhelmed by too many words. So I will strive to get straight to the point using as few words I can.
My husband of nearly 18 years (friends for 26 years), Richard (aka. Skinny Stud), is an aircraft mechanic. He works very hard for our family, driving one hour each way to and from work. He loves working with the youth at our church. His favorite hobbies include fishing (all types), hunting, flying, and he’s a member of the Civil Air Patrol. He’s the neurotypical in our family. We love him and appreciate all that he brings to the table in our family!
KC, the one who made me a mom. She came out of the womb with this confidence that she knew everything and could do anything. She has always moved to the beat of her own drum. This kid has kept me on my toes from day one. I couldn’t keep up with her. She was always moving and moving fast. When we would go into the mall or the airport, I literally had to put a leash on her, so that I would not lose her. At age 13 she earned her black belt in Tang Soo Do. At 14 years old, she completed a half marathon. That all came to a crashing halt in May of 2018. She got mono and never fully recovered. In fact in April of 2019 she got even worse, and was completely bed bound and could barely make it to the bathroom in a wheelchair. She has seen much improvement over the past year, but still relies heavily on medications to function at about a 60 year old. The chronic illness tab is dedicated to what we have learned on her journey with Autonomic Dysfunction. She is incredibly smart and has been driven to write fantasy for most of her life, despite her severe dyslexia and difficulty in spelling. Her imagination is so strong, she used to struggle with what was real and what was her imagination. She was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and has been taking medication for ADHD and anxiety for years. She loves creating digital art and learning extremely random facts.
CC is my one and only boy. As a baby he was a piece of cake. He ate great, slept great, and could entertain himself with a pair of shoes for 2 hours. If he was playing with a train, he could get lost in his own world for 5 hours. He would get mesmerized by the wheels on the drawer of the dishwasher or the hinge on a door. He loved trains so much. Gradually that intense passion transitioned to the Titanic. He now has about 6 or 7 special interests that he bounces back and forth between including, Pokemon, Starwars, Beyblades, music, golf, boats, and Ninjago. He was the first one in our family to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The middle child. LJ has always been whatever age she is, going on 30. She was born with acid reflux and never grew out of it. She is very particular about the food she eats and clothes she wears. She is very talkative and extremely caring. She loves to draw. She is the only one who will change AG’s diapers or pull her overnight catheter out. She is extremely smart, but she struggles with two types of dyslexia, anxiety, and ADHD. With her sensory challenges and social awkwardness, I do believe that she functions pretty high on the Autism Spectrum.
SR “supposed” to be our last child and CC’s little brother. CC was convinced that while I was pregnant, that I held a little boy that he would name Sam. She may not have been a boy like CC, but she is more like her brother CC than any of the other kids. They both seem to be in their own worlds, able to entertain themselves for hours. Her special interests are not quite as odd or unique, but she definitely gets focused on a specific toy or food and does not want to try other things. She is extremely sweet and caring. She may not always be aware, but when she is, she wants to make everything all better. She was recently diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. I see Autism in her, but as I will discuss in my Autism link, girls are very rarely diagnosed early on in their life. Most women are actually diagnosed in their late 30s. She seems to do very well with math and art. Her favorite toy of all time is doll house with miniature people, where she replays things she has experienced or seen on TV.
And last, but certainly not least, AG. AG was a total surprise to us. I had just finished giving away all of my baby things, and in two short weeks, found out I was expecting. At our ultrasound appointment where we would find out whether we were having a boy or a girl, we found out we were having a girl with Spina Bifida. Our world was flipped upside down. We did not expect so much amazing joy and miracles. Our family is better because of her. She has endured 9 surgeries in just 4 short years. She is the happiest child in our family. She smiles through the most difficult times. I will discuss more of her story in the Spina bifida tab.