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Happy New Year!

 Happy New Year from the Eddy Family!

Throughout 2023 we were all focused on living as a family of six with Sunshine, 12, home from three years of residential treatment (She returned home November 11, 2022.). 

Unfortunately, due to Sunshine’s unsafe behaviors and aggression towards family members, she was admitted to her fifth residential placement on October 31, 2023.

We are thrilled that her residential placement is in the state of VA, only 2 hours away from us, where we can visit easily. Sunshine can call us every day if she wants to. 

Happy New Year!

We have a Zoom session with her weekly.

Sunshine’s treatment plan states that the goal for discharge is October 31, 2024. 

All on her team understand she may be in residential care for much longer with an IEP placement. 

When she reaches a point where she is ready to discharge from residential, she will step down to a group home and practice living in a family type setting before her team entertains the idea of her returning to home, which we support.

Residential Visit with Sunshine

We are so thankful for this past year with Sunshine at home, despite how difficult it was. 

It helped us build bonds and lasting memories that will last a lifetime and beyond. 

Sunshine knows she has a family who loves her unconditionally, and that we will be there for her no matter what.

This year Sunshine has been very passionate about How to Train Your Dragon, Dog Man, and Jack Skellington

She loves crafting, playing with Barbies, animal figures and stuffed animals. 

Sunshine showed an intense interest in the constellations this year and loves finding them in the sky.

Jason and Renae

Jason was devoted to Sunshine’s care while she was at home. 

He was her one-to-one at home for more than half the day, homeschooling her, taking her to swimming (which she loved), playing for hours on end, and doing her bedtime routine while Renae attended to the other kids, their homeschooling and work tasks. 

Sunshine Swimming

When Jason wasn’t caring for Sunshine, he was preparing delicious and diet-friendly meals for all in our family. 

Now that Sunshine is no longer home, Jason is diving back into working with Renae full time.

Renae and Jason

Renae continues to be Sunshine’s person. 

When Sunshine wasn’t with Jason, she was with Renae doing anything and everything together and did not like to share mom with siblings.

Renae had a challenging year with her health. 

A severe infection was found in Renae’s vocal cords. 

Once treated, it was discovered that Renae’s vocal cords no longer vibrate or close together. 

Surgery came next to try to fix vocal cords, but was unsuccessful. 

Renae has been taken off all allergy medications and asthma inhalers, in hopes that might help. Severe reflux may also be a reason for the vocal cord damage. 

More procedures are in Renae’s future. 

An autoimmune disease has not been ruled out.

Dinomite, 16, has also been struggling lately. 

Both of his shoulders, especially the right one, keep partially dislocating while doing daily activities and exercise. 

He is participating in physical therapy and been encouraged to spend more time at the gym lifting weights and in the pool swimming to help increase strength and muscle. 

Dinomite at PT

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome has not been ruled out, especially as Dinomite is on the autism spectrum.

Renae and the kids try to go to the gym 4 days a week and love working out together. 

We are hopeful our efforts will help all in the family with health struggles.

Dinomite continues to work with the local college football team helping with spring ball, filming, and editing during fall practices. 

Dinomite during Football Season

He plays the role of manager and water boy at home games.

Dinomite is working hard to complete his lifeguard certification, so that he can next obtain his scuba diving license. 

His plan is to go into filming and photography and be able to do those things in the water. (Think Shark Week!)

When he’s resting, Dinomite loves reading the Dune series, watching sports games, organizing his football card collection, and hanging out with friends.

Bulldozer, 15, joined his older brother attending early morning seminary class this year. 

Seminary is a religious class for teens held at 6:45 AM, 5 days a week during the school year taught by instructors from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Like Dinomite, Bulldozer looks forward to seminary every morning and loves being with his friends as often as he can.

Dinomite and Bulldozer attended a week of For the Strength of Youth Camp put on by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at our local college campus during the summer. 

This was their first time ever being away from home longer than a day. 

They said it was the best experience of their lives. 

So many friendships were formed.

Boys Return from FSY

It was at FSY that Bulldozer fell in love with a beautiful girl from Brazil (and also a friend of Dinomite’s) who lives in the area. 

She felt the same way about him and the rest is history! 

Though she moved to Utah in July, the two have kept up a long-distance relationship expressing their love for each other daily.

When not texting his girlfriend, Bulldozer loves watching his favorite youtubers, playing video games and building LEGO figures. 

He also enjoys watching sports games and collecting football cards like his brother

Bulldozer has not been without his physical challenges as well. 

He is constantly struggling to maintain his weight and gain. 

Part of this has to do with his food allergies and sensory struggles related to autism. 

Working out at the gym and eating countless protein bars seems to be helping. 

He’s finally at a safe weight for his height. 

Dinomite and Bulldozer at Steak House

Now we just have to work on him eating more dairy to help his bones.

Princess, 14, has blossomed into an amazing young woman, who is developing beautiful friendships. 

It has been incredible to watch her brain heal from Reactive Attachment Disorder. 

Neuroplasticity is real!

Princess participates in activities with friends almost as often as her brothers. 

Princess at Stake Dance

She can’t wait to join them in seminary next year. 

A cell phone has done wonders for her ability to communicate effectively with others.

Princess has not gone unscathed with health issues this year. 

Constant ear infections, illness, eczema, and panic attacks have prevented her from participating in as many activities with friends as she’d like. (FSY, Youth Conference, etc).  

Thankfully after many doctors and specialist appointments she seems to be doing better.

The highlight of Princess’ year was a night out with Mom and friends to go see the Taylor Swift Eras Tour Concert at the local movie theater on opening night. 

Taylor Swift Concert

She is a huge Taylor Swift fan. Princess continues to love music, art, writing, and reading. 

When she’s not doing those things, she’s baking or watching Marvel movies. 

She is constantly singing and dancing around the house.

If we’ve learned nothing else from 2023, it’s that the body really does keep the score

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2024!

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Happy Holidays from the Eddy Family! Happy Holidays from the Eddy Family! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

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