Good News: Our Guitarist

Personal Reflections

Our son Justus just got back from a week at our local Baptist camp. One of the highlights for him was learning some worship songs on the guitar from one of the leaders. Justus came […]

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Good News: Thankful For Cadets

Personal Reflections

Justus just got back from two weeks of camp with army cadets. He joined cadets last September and we weren’t sure how he would do with it. He likes his freedom and we wondered how […]

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Good News: I Have an Amazing Wife!

Personal Reflections

Today is Amanda’s birthday (I won’t tell you which one). The bad news is that I didn’t get to see her. The good news is that is because she is studying in Lebanon for the […]

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Good News: Feeling Content

Personal Reflections

My Good News for this week is that I am simply happy with where I am at in life. Professionally, I have achieved my goals. I’m happy with how things are going at Queen Street […]

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Good News: Mama Bear

Personal Reflections

When I think of Amanda as a mother, I think of the phrase “Mama Bear.” I think Amanda identifies with this as well, as she has a sweatshirt with that. She is a Mama Bear […]

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Good News: Some Kid Time

Personal Reflections

One of the challenges of having two of our children live 1.5 hours away is that we don’t get to see them near as often as we would like. Saturdays have generally been our day […]

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Another Teenager

Personal Reflections

Today another teenager was added to the family. Justus is now thirteen years old and enters a new chapter of his life. It seems like only yesterday that we brought this tint baby home from […]

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The Day is Here!

Personal Reflections

I can’t believe that the day has finally come. My oldest son, Logan, is now an adult! I kind of feel old having an adult son. It’s hitting me more than when I turned fifty. […]

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Good News: Family Fun

Personal Reflections

We had an enjoyable couple of days visiting with family. As an only child, my only opportunity to be an uncle is on Amanda’s side and thankfully there are nephews for me to play with. […]

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Good News: Discovering Family

Personal Reflections

I recently signed up for Ancestry and did their DNA test. I have always been interested in my family background and there is much that I don’t know. It is interesting that I am writing […]

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5 Personal Goals

Personal Reflections

I have been thinking a lot about what I would like to see happen in my life in the near future. These are not just wishes but things I really want to happen. Here are […]

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Good News: The Wife is Back!

Good News

This has been a interesting week. Amanda was away for a week for her studies at McMaster Divinity College. That gave me an opportunity to spend time with the kids for the week. Thankfully they […]

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Good News: I Love My Wife

Good News

As I write this, we are just a couple of days away from Amanda and my nineteenth anniversary. It was a cold February day, just after a snow storm that we pledged ourselves to each […]

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Good News: Family Workout

Good News

Working out is something that is important to me, especially as I’m now in my 50s. I have been a part of a gym in the past. The struggle I had was that it took […]

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Good News: Fun With the Family

Good News

We have not had many opportunities get away as a family but this past week we did. It was only a night and two days, but it was amazing. We went to Niagara Falls, which […]

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The Year in Review

Stephen Bedard

I am writing this on the last day of 2018. It is a natural point to look back on the year and reflect on what has happened over the last twelve months. Family This has […]

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Good News: Thankful For Extended Family

Good News

My Good New shouldn’t be inspired by a funeral but it is. Yesterday was my Uncle Fred’s funeral. That is not Good News as he was one of my favourite uncles. My dad was 18 […]

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Christmas Reflections – 2018

Christmas

This has been a good Christmas overall. Of course there have been our share of frustrations but there have been some great things as well. Last night, our church had a major outreach to our […]

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Good News: The Boy in Uniform

Good News

Justus joined army cadets at the beginning of September and it has really been going well. It is such a good fit for him. He has long been interested in the military and this has […]

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Good News: The Best Party Ever

Good News

It has been many years since I had a birthday party. Until last night. My wife Amanda threw my the most amazing party to celebrate my fiftieth birthday. It really was overwhelming, in a good […]

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Good News: Logan at Church

Good News

I had a number of options to talk about for my weekly Good News post. I could have did it on a Roger Hodgson concert I attended with a couple of my cousins. I could […]

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Good News: Our Cadet!

Good News

When I was a kid I always wanted to be an army cadet. Unfortunately I never had the courage to join. I did end up joining the army reserves as an adult. My son Justus […]

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Autism and the Double Meltdown

Autism

We went to visit our two children who have autism and who live in a group home. Logan is 17 and Abby is 16. The visit didn’t turn out the way we expected. Abby was […]

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An Autistic Thanksgiving

Disability and Faith

I suspect that most families have unexpected situations and uncontrollable factors when it comes to family dinners and holidays. This is definitely true when the family includes autism. This past weekend was the Canadian Thanksgiving, […]

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Good News: Thankful For Everything

Good News

Every day should be Thanksgiving and yet it is good that there is an actual Thanksgiving weekend. It is appropriate to take time to be intentional in giving thanks. There is so much that I’m […]

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Good News: How I Was Introduced to Tolkien

Good News

This past week was Tolkien Week. You may not even be aware that something like this existed. This week included Hobbit Day, which I blogged about here. How is this Good News? It all goes […]

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Good News: Sweet Sixteen!

Good News

Although her birthday is not for a couple more days, we had the kids for a visit yesterday so that we could celebrate Abby’s sixteenth birthday. It is hard to believe Abby is turning sixteen. […]

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Autism and the First Day of School

Disability and Faith

Like many parents, we sent our children off today for their first day of school for the year. We took the obligatory pictures of our three children and posted them on Facebook. Except we have […]

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Good News: Labour Day in Merritton

Good News

A big part of my childhood was going to the carnival in Merritton (a neighbourhood of St Catharines) during the Labour Day weekend. I looked forward to it every summer, it helped make up for […]

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Good News: Writing a Novel

Good News

I have written everything from biblical studies books to devotionals to scholarly journal articles to magazine articles. I love writing. But one thing I have never tried was writing a novel. Until now. Am I […]

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Good News: “Go Away!”

Good News

How many parents think it is good news when their teenage daughter tells them to go away? This one does. A couple of days ago, I was visiting our children, Logan and Abby, at their […]

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Today is a Hard Day

Family

Today is eight years since our daughter Abby moved into a group home. She was only seven years old at the time. That means she has lived away from us longer than she lived with […]

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Good News: Cirque du Soleil

Good News

Today we went to see Cirque du Soleil. This was my first time seeing them but Amanda had seen them before. She was quite excited when she heard that they were coming to the city where […]

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Good News: A Really Great Day

Good News

It is difficult to predict what a day will be like but today turned out to be a great day. It started with Queen Street Baptist Church‘s annual Praise in the Park at Montebello Park. […]

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Good News: Having a Ball

Good News

This weekend the girls were over at a friend’s house for a sleepover. That meant that we just had Justus with us. So what do we do with our boy? We ended up going bowling. […]

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Good News: A Happy Father’s Day

Good News

I don’t have big expectations for Father’s Day. I don’t want presents as I have lots of stuff (although I could always use some more books). Today after church, Amanda had the idea of going […]

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Good News: A Great Victoria Day Weekend

Good News

This past weekend was a lot of fun. After church we went up to visit Logan and Abby. We had a great visit with them. We then went to visit some friends that we hadn’t seen […]

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Good News: A Visit With the Kids

Good News

Today was our son Logan’s 17th birthday. I can’t believe how fast the years have gone by. It seems like only yesterday that he was our cute little boy and now he is our handsome […]

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31 Days to Become a Better Pastor: Focus on the Family

Pastor

There is much respect given to pastors who work long hours and who are always available to their congregation. But that doesn’t mean they are good pastors. What about their family? At one time there […]

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Good News: Sunday Night Fun

Good News

Sunday nights are one of my favourite times of the week. Over a year ago we started a tradition of going swimming on Sunday nights. This is something that breathes life into me in a […]

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Good News: The Final Test

Good News

Much of my Good News lately has been about moving into our new home. Does this make me materialistic? Am I too focused on possessions? This weekend was a reminder that our new home was […]

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My Daughter Reading a Comic Book

Today was a big day. Today was the day that my ten year old daughter read her first comic book. As a long time comic book fan, it made me smile. So what comic book […]

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Good News: All Moved In

Good News

This has been a great week for the Bedard family. We moved into our new home. We have been renting for the past two years and have been hoping to buy. Things worked out and […]

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The Year in Review

I have never had a boring year yet in my adult life and 2017 was no exception. I thought that with the year coming to an end, it would be a good idea to share […]

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Good News: Candlelight Service

Good News

One of my favourite parts of Christmas is the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. We had a wonderful service tonight at Queen Street Baptist Church. Not only is the image of lighting candles meaningful, it is […]

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Stay Engaged With Your Special Needs Child (Part 2)

Special Needs

This is the first of two-part guest post by Bryan Stoudt. Visit Bryan’s website at the link found in his bio at the end of this post. You can find the first part here. Last time, […]

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Good News: Take Me to Church

Good News

Our son Justus has been trying to figure out his own way when it comes to faith. We have purposely not pushed him. We don’t want to pressure him to be a certain way just […]

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What a Rush!

This should have been a rotten day. We have been trying to buy a house and today we found out it wouldn’t work. Part of this was because of results of a home inspection that […]

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The Power of Little Victories

Autism

What are the things that you celebrate as a parent? It may be your child getting their driver’s licence or graduating from university. We may be looking for the big things to get excited about. […]

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Good News: Ride for Refuge

Good News

Over the past number of years, I have had the honour of getting to know the work of Christian Horizons. Just a month ago, I was able to be the speaker at their family retreat. […]

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The Hardest Job I Have Ever Had

I have been engaged in a number of roles throughout my life. I have been a pastor, teacher, chaplain, salesperson, warehouse worker, painter and numerous other things. But there is one job that I have […]

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It Never Fully Goes Away

One of the most frequent questions I get as a pastor is whether the grief from losing a loved one ever gets easier. I can only answer from my own experience. Today, I had to […]

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Good News: A Joyful Visit

Good News

As I write this, it is two days before our daughter Abby’s fifteenth birthday. It is hard to believe she is well into her teens. It feels like only yesterday she was our little baby. […]

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Good News: Family Reunion

Good News

A number of years ago, our daughter Emma casually remarked, “It would be neat to find out that you had a brother or sister that you never knew about.” Little did she know that was […]

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Disabilities and the Innocence of Children

Disabilities

We had an interesting conversation the other day. Our three youngest children are aged 9-11. We were talking about what it will be like when they get their driver’s license. Our youngest, Faith (aged 9), […]

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Returning to the Place of Sorrow

I led a funeral service today. That is not a surprise as I am a pastor. Some pastors do a couple of funerals per week. Thankfully that is not my experience. But this was different. […]

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Good News: Good Cheap Fun

Good News

We get a visit from Logan and Abby every other weekend. Abby is happy to come for day visits but Logan likes to stay over night. Whether it is the autism or being a teenager, […]

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Seven Years Ago Today

Disability and Faith

Today it is seven years since our daughter went to live in a group home. She was seven years-old at that time. That means that she has now lived half her life away from us. […]

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Good News: Fun on the Beach

Good News

Recently I brought my children to the pool where I learned to swim. Today, I took my son to the beach where I also spent many hours as a child. We went to Lakeside Park […]

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Swimming Down Memory Lane

Personal Reflections

I will confess that I’m a nostalgic kind of guy. Moving back to St. Catharines has only intensified that. We have had a membership at an indoor pool but they have been closed for a […]

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Good News: A Proud Dad

Good News

This past week, our three youngest children were away at camp. When I arrived to pick them up, the leader of Justus’s cabin immediately sought me out. There was a moment of panic as I […]

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Why I Tease My Daughter With Autism

Autism

My oldest daughter is 14 years-old and has autism. And I like to tease her. Don’t worry, I don’t tease her about having autism. I’m not that much of a jerk. Abby doesn’t like it […]

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Good News: Fun With the Kids

Good News

School is finished for the kids and summer is upon us. What should we do? They often ask us to take them shopping (usually for toys). The truth is they get bored of what we […]

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The Tech-Wise Family – Review

Leadership and Ministry

I remember showing up for a job interview just after I completed my undergraduate degree. The job was related to something I had never heard of before, something called the internet. I had no idea […]

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Good News: A Good Father’s Day

Good News

Father’s Day is always a mix of emotions for me as I miss my dad. Although it has been thirteen years since he died, I still feel the loss every Father’s Day. Having said that, […]

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Good News: Bedards Assemble!

Good News

This past week was our annual assembly of the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec. I have only missed only a couple of these assemblies in my twenty years with the CBOQ. This year was […]

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Autism and Quality Time

Autism

Last weekend, our children with autism were visiting from their group home. It is always great to have them with us. At one point, Our daughter Abby was playing in the backyard. I grabbed a […]

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Good News: Bringing Our Son to Church

Good News

Today was one of the happiest Sundays in my life. Many people take it for granted that they can go to church as a family. In our case, our two oldest children have autism and […]

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Good News: My Wife is an Amazing Mother

Good News

My tendency on Mother’s Day is to focus on how much I miss my own mother, who died almost ten years ago. But in doing that, I would miss the incredible blessing of my wife […]

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Good News: 4 Things I’m Thankful For

Personal Reflections

My plan is to highlight one thing per week that I’m thankful for. Today I have decided to share four things for my Good News. The first is that today is our daughter Faith’s ninth […]

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Good News: Our Son is Back

Good News

Although I don’t talk about it as much as our children with autism, we also have a child with ADHD. Some may think that ADHD is not near as serious as autism but there have […]

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Good News: Double Shot

Good News

There are actually two things that I want to share for my weekly Good News post. The first is that I want to share how much I’m enjoying my role as pastor of Queen Street […]

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My Six Favourite Autism Memories

Autism

Our two oldest children have autism and our experience with them has shaped our entire family. Although there have been some hard days, we have also had some great times as well. I may share […]

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Good News: Daddy-Daughter Date

Good News

I have mentioned previously that we plan to go swimming as a family every Sunday night. While that doesn’t always work out, sometimes it is for the best. Amanda is still recovering from her surgery […]

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Good News: Recovering Well

Good News

It is easy to come up with Good News this week. A few days ago, Amanda had some surgery. It was a planned surgery and one we have been waiting for. It was serious enough […]

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Good News: Finally Got a Date!

Good News

It’s pretty easy to come up with Good News today. After a long dry spell, I finally got to go on a date with Amanda. At one time we were able to go out on […]

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Good News: Seeing the Big Picture

Good News

The purpose of my Good News post is to pick one good thing that has happened as a way for me to keep positive. While there is often one thing that stands out, this time […]

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Good News: Introducing My Son to My Church

Good News

Normally, when a person begins as a pastor at a church, they bring their entire immediate family with them. But our family is not normal. Our two oldest children have autism and they live in […]

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Good News: Being Uncle Steve

Good News

Family has always been an important part of my life. Being an only child, I do not take family for granted. Aunts, uncles and cousins were important relationships. Unfortunately, being an only child limits my […]

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Good News: Proud of Amanda

Good News

My wife has not tried to hide the struggles she has experienced. I won’t go into them here, but you can read about it in her words at her blog. I’m proud of Amanda for […]

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Good News: Long Lost Family

Good News

I thought I knew what my Good News post was going to be. It was a year ago that we were making our move from Cambridge to St. Catharines. Although there have been some challenges […]

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Good News: A Great Birthday

Good News

Normally, I don’t make a big deal of birthdays. While I reflect on a new year of life, I don’t expect much in terms of celebrations. However, this was one of the most enjoyable birthdays […]

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Good News: Being a Model Parent

Good News

My good news for this week actually brings together two other things that I have recently gotten involved in. I have started keeping a Sabbath, as described in this post. My Sabbath keeping (which I […]

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Good News: Rhythm Section

Good News

My good news for this week has to do with a decision my son and I have made. I am very sensitive about trying to force my children to go to church. There definitely is […]

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Good News: The Present of Presence

Good News

One of the highlights of my life is our regular visits with our children Logan and Abby. Logan and Abby both have autism and they live in a group home about an hour away. This […]

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The Biggest Need For Families With Disabilities

Disabilities

I may be too presumptuous in making a judgment about all families with disabilities, but I’m at least confident that this applies to a good majority of families. I believe that the biggest need for […]

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Faith Living Up to Her Name

Our youngest daughter’s name is Faith. Yesterday she did something that me very happy. Her class had to do a Thanksgiving assignment that included the things that they are thankful. It includes many of the […]

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Disability Ministry is Not Just to Those With Disabilities

Disability and Faith

Disability ministry is extremely important. Churches must be reaching out to those with disabilities. But that should not be the only goal for disability ministry. While not taking away from the needs of those with […]

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Good News: Happy Birthday Abby!

Good News

Tomorrow is our daughter Abby’s fourteenth birthday. It is hard to believe that she is this old already. It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital. Abby is a […]

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Good News: Love My Kids

Good News

This past week, we had our two children with autism come for a visit. It was nice in that our other three children were away at camp and so things were a bit quieter in […]

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The Hardest Thing About Autism

Autism

I want to make it clear that what I’m about to say is my experience and is not meant to describe the experience of any other autism parent. I understand that there is pressure from […]

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The Assumption of “Normal”

Autism

It is common that when you meet new people, that you ask each other about family. I tell people that I have five children and they respond by asking about ages. When they hear that […]

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Autism Can Include Good News

Good News

I post a weekly Good News post. I started this a number of years ago during a dark time in my life. It was a way of looking past all the difficulties and finding something […]

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Good News: Vacation Time!

Good News

It is easy to come up with good news today. Today is the start of three weeks of vacation. What makes this better, is that my excitement is not about the chance to get away […]

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Good News: A Gift to an Introvert

Good News

This has been a different kind of a week for me. For the past week, three of our children were away at camp. That by itself is good news as they had a very fun time. […]

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The Other Side of Being an Autism Dad

Autism Dad

I won’t deny that there are difficulties that go along with being the parents of children with autism. We have had quite a few crisis moments over the years. The fact that both our children […]

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Good News: A Much Better Week

Good News

Last Sunday in my Good New post, I shared that it had been a difficult couple of days. I did not give many details about what happened and I will not in this post either. […]

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Good News: Glimmers of Light

I started my Good News posts a couple of years ago when I was going through a very dark time in my life. At that point, I posted daily about something that I could be […]

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