I Have Four Kids

I'm sitting on the couch, cuddling with my kids while we watch a movie. Ronell is at a meeting. It just hit me (again) that we have four kids. With Thatcher asleep on my chest and the other three tangled up with me on the couch, I started thinking about raising these amazing kids. My first thought was, "Well, I just want to survive this last month of school and the summer with FOUR kids!" But then I started thinking about what I expect from and want for my kids to do/have/become. And I got a little scared and really overwhelmed. 

Between my expectations and the expectations of everyone in my kids' world, there is a lot expected of our kids. I think about teaching them to have high standards, be a good example, and preparing for their futures. And I realize that sometimes the best thing I can do for my kids to just cuddle them and enjoy the moments when they still prefer cuddling with me and with each other over the other craziness vying for their times. I could stress about screen time and healthy snacks and Portia's reading progress. But for now I choose to enjoy their squishy cheeks, sloppy kisses, and sweet innocence. And with four kids I have lots of squishy and sloppy! 
Three of the four. Number 3 had no desire to sit still and watch brother because, as she said, "he isn't doing anything!" 
Teya and Thatcher. She's already obsessed with holding and kissing him. He tolerates it. 


Thatcher's Birth Story

Since today is Mother's Day and my family is at church while Thatcher and I rest, I thought this would a perfect time to revisit the birth of our son.

Last Friday, May 3, was a crazy day...to say the least. I woke up to contractions, about 5-6 minutes apart but not painful enough to stop me from getting the kids up and off to school. They had all but faded by the time the kids left for school. I told Ronell to go to work and that I'd call him if things got worse. I spent the morning folding much-neglected laundry, putting the last few things into my hospital bag (hand-quilting project and yes, I did whip it out during my stay), and hanging out with Portia and Teya. The contractions came and went. They were regular for about an hour (10 minutes apart) and then they'd stop for a few hours. This was all new to me. With my other three, the second the contractions started, everything progressed regularly. This little guy just wanted to keep me guessing. When Portia went to school (have I mentioned that I detest half-day Kindergarten) and Teya went down for a nap, I sat down to quilt and had contractions on and off the entire two hours. I called my doctor and he said to come in when they get painful enough that I have to stop what I'm doing and when they're 5-7 minutes apart regularly.

Meanwhile, Ronell left work at noon to pick up Paul Winterowd for a guys weekend with he and Oliver Christensen. We'd been joking for the last two weeks that our baby was just waiting for Paul to come into town to be born. (backstory: When I went into labor with Teya at the end of our BYU MBA experience, Ronell was at Oliver's house playing video games with Paul and Oliver.) But the joke was on me. After picking up Paul and meeting up with Oliver, they went to lunch. All the while, he was checking in with me and seeing how things were going. They were planning on going to see Ironman 3 after lunch and I mentioned that maybe he should come home and go out later. But then, second guessing myself and these ridiculously fickle contractions, I told him to go to the movie, but to "stay close". I suggested they take two cars, just in case. So, off to the movie the boys went.

Because the contractions were painful but not close, I held off on going to the hospital. It was a gorgeous day outside and I thought I'd rather be outside than stuck in a hospital, impatiently waiting for things to start. So, I walked to the bus with my neighbor, Kim, got the kids a snack and sat outside while they played. Contractions were getting more painful, but again still not regular. However, while the kids were watching TV around 4:30, things started to pick up. By 5:00, they were really painful, but I was trying to hide it from my kids. I texted Ronell to come home and he left right away...and got stuck in traffic while rubberneckers watched an accident get cleaned up. Kim came over, sent the kids to watch a movie at her house, and stayed with me (Thanks, Kim!) while the contractions got worse and were on top of each other. Right around 6:00, Ronell pulled up and I hopped into the front seat (Hopped=walked slowly while riding the non-stop contraction waves). As we pulled out of our driveway, I thought, "We're not going to make it." I must have said it out loud, because Ronell kept saying, "Hold on, Hold on. We'll make it." Not more than a mile from our house (and about 10 miles of freeway from the hospital), I had that first urge to push. Again, I must have said that out loud, because Ronell said, "Don't push! We'll make it!" Uh, clearly he had amnesia about the births of our other children. When it's time to push, it's time to push. But I really didn't want to have my baby in the car (HA!), so I tried to breath deeply and said a prayer that our baby would be healthy and make it to the hospital. When I opened my eyes from that prayer, I saw how crazily Ronell was driving (as in up on curbs, driving around red lights, flashing his brights, running the hazards and honking the whole way), I shut my eyes again. By this time we'd made to the freeway and Ronell was flying (85 in a 60!!) down the freeway. True to style, Seattle drivers were taking their time, even in the "Fast" lane. I felt (still had my eyes closed, trying not to push) Ronell change lanes, still honking and flashing his lights. I felt the baby crowning and told Ronell again that I had to push. He just kept saying (I think), "Hold on. We'll make it. I'm sorry. I should have come home earlier." But this baby had decided he was coming and about 3 miles from the hospital exit, I HAD to push. I remember very clearly that once I committed to pushing, I had to do it. So I pushed once and delivered his head. The clear thought came to my mind, "Okay, there's his head, now I need to get his body out." I pushed again and delivered the rest of our pipsqueak. At this point, I realized that I still had my pants on! I quickly pulled down my pants and lifted baby up. My two biggest concerns were to get him breathing and keep him warm. Ronell looked over and I think he said something like, "You just had the baby." Yep, and our baby had a great set of lungs. He started crying almost immediately. I reached back and grabbed Ronell's sweatshirt from the backseat (which, if you know my husband, is a miracle. He keeps his car immaculate and never keeps things in the back seat. The fact that he had a sweatshirt sitting on the backseat was a rare blessing) and started rubbing the baby down.

At this point, we'd exited the freeway and drove to the maternity wing roundabout. Ronell jumped out and ran faster than I've ever seen him (he's pretty fast) into the hospital. I just kept rubbing our little guy and talking to him while he cried. Almost immediately, a couple of doctors and three or four nurses came running out. I handed off the baby to the doctor and she cut the cord (I hadn't delivered the placenta yet) and rushed him inside to get checked out and get warm. I got out of the car (Pretty sure I flashed a few people with my pants around my knees) and got on a gurney. They rushed me into the delivery room and the doctor delivered the placenta and examined me, all while I listened to the healthy cries of our baby boy. Because his core temperature was a little cold, they had me strip and laid him on me. He cried the whole time. Then they realized that they hadn't weighed or measured him, so he was whisked off again to the scale and was quickly returned to my chest. Somehow, after an hour or so, he calmed down and got warm. I listened as Ronell answered the nurse's questions (like what time was he born...uh, we weren't really looking at the clock, lady. I was delivering my baby and Ronell was flying down the freeway) and the L&D nurses try to figure out how to bill our insurance (No charge for delivery, just recovery and a local!). I think they put the baby under the warming lights for a few minutes, but I can't remember. After checking to make sure everything was healthy and that we were comfortable, I was able to nurse the baby and he got a bath. And then things slowed down drastically and Ronell and I were alone and able to talk.

While we didn't have a "normal" birth story, I felt the Lord's hand throughout this experience. I am so grateful that our baby was healthy and head down and that his delivery was smooth and easy (as "easy" as birth is). I'm grateful that we were able to get to the hospital and have no complications. I'm grateful that, since this is the way our baby chose to come, that he was small and had a small head! I'm grateful that Kim, my neighbor, was available and willing to take our kids overnight! I'm grateful for Ronell, who got us to the hospital without any accidents (really that was a miracle). I'm grateful for doctors and nurses, whose training equipped them to handle our situation calmly and efficiently. I'm grateful for the miracle of childbirth and this amazing little boy who has joined our family. He's a good, easy baby who  still likes to cry when having his diaper changed or when he's disturbed. He's healthy, strong, and beautiful. I feel so blessed with an amazing husband and four healthy, incredible children. I am grateful to the Lord for His blessings and the big but seemingly insignificant miracles He shows us. I know that He rejoices in our joyful moments. I have felt His hand in my life so many times and this incredible birth just reminds me that He is mindful of me and each of His children.

The only "delivery" picture we have. The doctor clamping Thatcher's cord before taking him inside. 

Thatcher David Hugh.
About 2 hours after delivery, he finally calmed down. 

Getting weighed and measured. 6 lbs. 14 oz. 17.5 in. He's a pipsqueak.

Hanging out under the warming lights. 
Meeting the crazies. They haven't stopped trying to hold him since he was born. 

Teya and Thatcher. She kept telling us all to be soft and be quiet. 

Portia and the pipsqueak. She wanted to hold him the whole time they visited. 

Palmer was a little concerned about me and why I was in the hospital, despite the fact that we talked about it beforehand...all the time. He wanted to sit on my "cool" bed and cuddle. He wins for best phrase of the visit: "He's so little and precious." 

Hanging with Dad after the chaotic trio left. 

We sat by this window a lot during the hospital stay. Thatcher liked the light and I hated missing all the beautiful weather outside. 
Thatcher and Nona. 

Cuddling with Papa, aka the baby hog. When he wasn't cuddling with Thatcher, Papa was playing the pied piper with all the neighborhood kids. They all loved playing outside with him. 

Four days old and he already found his thumb. 


It's been a little crazy

So, I realize that so much has happened since I last wrote on the blog. So, as a quick recap, here's what's happened to the Hugh family since August.

1. Ronell accepted a new job with microsoft's Xbox team. He flew out in mid-October and we stayed in AR to get the house ready to sell.

2. The kids and I moved to Seattle in November and set up camp in corporate housing for three months.

3. We spent Christmas playing catch up on all our missed family visits. We drove to Portland for Christmas (in our much-anticipated new minivan!!) and Utah for the week after. We drove back to Portland, dropped the kids off at my parents and flew to AR to pack up our home and close on it.

4. After lots of deliberation, we decided to rent for the next year or two while we figure out exactly where we want to buy here in WA (can you say serious sticker shock ?!). So, this next week, we'll be moving a little north to Bothell and setting up camp there through July 2014. Yes, this means switching wards and schools...again. Luckily, the kids have Been troopers and are excited about all our "adventures".

5. We've spent this crazy holiday season exploring all the amazing sites in our new state. It actually doesn't rain as much as we thought it would, but it's definitely colder than AR. We've been to children's museum, museum of flight, and a college basketball game (can't wait to see an NBA game sometime soon!!!!). We're excited to keep exploring and can't wait to ride the ferries (grey's anatomy, anyone?), explore the beach, go to the mountains, and check out the islands! We're loving living near a big city and all the fun that comes with it.

6. Ronell and celebrated our 10th anniversary! it's been a wild ride, but I wouldn't change anything. Our plan was to celebrate by treating ourselves to a mediterranean cruise but that will have to be next year (see #7)!

7. Our biggest adventure this year is getting ready for baby #4! He'll be joining the craziness in mid-May and we're so excited that he's healthy and strong. We can't wait to meet him and welcome him to the fray!!


Back to school, back to school

I'm not sure why, but my blog titles seem to bring to mind Adam Sandler movies. Anyway.....

Because we're now on day 3 of school, the craziness has died down and I have a few moments to think about having two children in school.

First, Palmer was beyond excited because they moved 2nd grade to the "big kid" hallway (formerly only for 3rd & 4th grade). When he saw that, he was definitely ready to go back.

Portia has been ready for kindergarten basically since birth. But this summer, Portia asked at least three times a week when she would start kindergarten. She was ready when we got the school supply list in the mail. She was ready at the Meet & Greet last week when she met her teacher and saw her classroom. She was ready when she received her Father's blessing Sunday night (which was the "real thing" now, because she's in "real school" now). She was ready when Ronell and I walked her to class. She was even ready to do it alone on the 2nd day yesterday-she wanted Palmer to "come check on her and make sure she got to class okay", but she didn't need Ronell or I to go with her.

Teya has vacillated between hoarding all the toys and picking whatever show she wants. She is a little upset every day when she wakes up from nap time to find just mom there. But we've stayed busy and had some fun playdates, so all is well in teya's world.

The real question: did I cry when Portia went to kindergarten? Not. A. Tear. Lest you think I'm a de-sensitized, uncaring mom, I must say that the first was crazy busy and I barely had time to think, much less cry. But I also know that Portia is ready for this step. She may not be reading before kindergarten or doing math in her head, like Palmer was, but she is socially, physically, emotionally, and academically ready for this step. Even when the principal stopped me later in the hall to tell me someone pinched Portia and made her bleed (her mother hen tendencies were not appreciated by a classmate), I wasn't worried about her. I am excited for this step because I know that she needs to be there. I miss her kind heart and her contagious laugh and her crazy comments, but it would selfish of me to expect to keep her home. Plus, with PTO duties (somehow I got suckered into being the PTO president), I'm sure I'll see Portia enough during the day to satisfy all my curiosity.

I'm so excited for this school year. I'm ready to get back into the routine of exercise (a little less excited about my cleaning duties), having a little time to do things, and the atmosphere of school. It's going to be a good year.!


Summer, summer, summertime (can you name the song)

It's summer. It's hotter than hell (seriously, I think my vision of outer darkness involves 100+ temps with wicked humidity, aka the south). We've been chilling, swimming, napping, crying, and I've been trying to sneak in some quilting while the kids nap/play/kill brain cells while watching phineas and ferb. I'm trying to be more substantive and keep a better record of our family. So, here's attempt #472 at restarting my blog presence. And, if by some miracle, you actually checked my blog instead of giving up on me in April, here's your reward.



Yesterday was Easter. I didn't post, well, because I decided to nap on the couch. But the kiddos had a fun weekend. We learned about how they do Easter in the South. (you have to watch this video, Palmer is pretty funny). 

The egg hunts were awesome. The kids had a good time. Festivities accomplished. 
The kids wore their clothes from Nonna. 

Church yesterday was a bittersweet time. We've had lots of conversations with our kids about death in the last six months. They get it. They understand that Holland, their cousin, lives with Heavenly Father right now. They still get confused when I cry while telling them how happy she is to be with Heavenly Father. So, they were confused when I was crying during church yesterday, especially when I told them I was mostly happy (the number of people in our house who understand my emotions is at zero right now). The emotional landslide continued in primary, where the kids were learning "I Feel My Savior's Love", one of the songs we sang at Holland's funeral. Not only did I have to play it about 30 times in a two-hour period, I had to do it through tears and fighting the desire to run somewhere dark and warm and safe.  

I found myself reflecting, yet again, on death, resurrection, and what exactly Jesus Christ has done for us. As I took the sacrament that symbolizes His sacrifice for me and my commitment to Him,  I thought about whether I really believe that He really did all He said He would. Did I believe that, because of His sacrifice and resurrection, my sister would see her child again? Did I believe that His grace is sufficient to save me and carry me through anything? Honestly, the words to the song above were the answer to my questions and confirmed, yet again, that I know that the Savior's sacrifice was real and that He has the power to do all the things He promised He would do. I don't have much in the way of profound, deep comments. But I believe simply that He has made all things possible. 

Below I've attached a video of my sister's choir singing with Alex Boye'. Watch it. It's probably the best song to describe the hope the atonement and resurrection give me. 



The other night i was quilting, which is when I do my best thinking, and I started thinking about why I have such a hard time committing to blogging. No excuses, just thoughts jumbling and wrestling in my head. And I realized  at least one of the reasons why. I've never openly, publicly expressed my thoughts and feelings about our son, Palmer, and his journey thus far in life. It dawned on me that, while I've had lots of conversations with family, friends, teachers, therapists, etc., I've never written it down. And trying to ignore that aspect of our family and attempting to blog about our lives seems a little incomplete. I've started this post so many times, it hurts my head to count that high. But it never felt like the right time or I wasn't in a good mood or I didn't have the time to give it the careful thought it required. But it's been on my mind a lot recently, so....... here goes nothing. (WARNING: this is long. Feel free to skip to the end).
Palmer: our blue boy

This is Palmer. He's almost seven. He's a genius (That's not a bragging mom speaking, he's actually a genius. His IQ is currently 128). He's in first grade and LOVES school. He also loves to read, write math problems everywhere, investigate how things work, and share details of all kinds of random facts. He loves to run as fast as possible, ride his scooter, play video games, and he's extremely affectionate. 99% of the time, he's a "normal" kid. But then someone disobeys a rule or doesn't follow the right order or disrupts his routine and he's unglued. He fixates on ideas, activities, and rules to the point of exhaustion. He's a literal, linear thinker. He struggles to relate to other kids sometimes, especially if they're being sarcastic or using idioms. He loves playing with other kids but doesn't always know how to insert himself into a group or a social situation. He loves watching and playing sports but struggles if someone doesn't follow the rules (he'd make a great NBA ref, right?). If you haven't figured it out, Palmer has Asperger's Syndrome.

Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is one of the many diagnoses on the Autism Spectrum. The evidence of many ASD "Symptoms" is so hard to pinpoint because it manifests so differently in every kid. But I'll tell you about our journey thus far with this amazing kid.

When Palmer was a baby, he was extremely easy. He ate well, slept well, was happy, loved baby food, books, and balls. If he was every fussy, you could turn on a sports game and he'd watch the whole game without moving. He would sit and look at books for hours on end. Initially, I patted myself on the back for effectively using my English teacher skills to teach my son to love words, letters and reading. He loved puzzles and would put together the alphabet puzzles repeatedly. He signed over 50 words and talked pretty normally. He was a late walker (16 months), but I assumed that was because he was so chubby.

As Palmer moved into the toddler stage, I started noticing a few things. When he was excited, he would flap his hands. I thought it was because he trying to sign "excited", which looks a lot like hand flapping. But he kept doing it. And he would jump excessively instead of sharing any emotions. If he was frustrated, he jumped. If he was happy, he jumped. If he was angry, he jumped. Then he taught himself how to read. I'm not kidding. It had nothing to do with me, though I watched the progression in awe of his mental abilities. At first, he just knew sight words (run, cat, dog, mom, dad, me, hi), but at two years old, he started learning how to rhyme words and replace letters (run, bun sun, fun, etc.). I will never forget going to TJ Maxx one day when Palmer was two. I had a newborn Portia in the baby bjorn and I was trying to shop for some kids clothes. Palmer was sitting in the cart, reading a book. I was looking for the kids clothes and mumbled to myself, "Where are the boys' clothes?" Palmer looked up, pointed to the sign, and said, "Boys!" Sure enough, he was right. I thought it was a fluke until he pointed to another sign and said, "Toys!" He was right again.

Because he seemed to love word and number games, as he got a little older, I would play more and more advanced games with him, just to see what he could handle. He taught himself to write and we had several incidents where he practiced his letters on the wall with crayons. He was so happy when he was writing, reading, and doing math, I thought nothing of it.

But I started noticing some things. I'd ask him to clean up the Uno cards and I'd come back to find he'd lined them up by color in numerical order. He'd play with cars and line them up in rows by color and shape. He wouldn't play with blocks unless they were all the same shape and color. He would try to take apart his cars to find out how they worked. He would play one game for hours on end and didn't mind playing by himself. He would asosciate a game with a person and ask for that game every time he saw that person (i.e., every time he saw my dad, he'd ask to go bowling because Papa bought him a small bowling set one time).

I didn't think too much of any of these things, other than he was such a little smarty pants (another pat on the back for mom). But then Portia got a little older and started wanting to play with Palmer and interact with other kids at the park and church. I noticed that Portia, at 13 months, would walk up to another child at the park, look them in the eye, and say "HI!" and they'd run off playing together. She was (and is) my verbal child, so I kept telling myself not to compare. But Palmer never acknowledged that he had to interact with other kids. He did what they call parallel play. He'd follow a group of kids at the park, thinking he was interacting, but they didn't think he was participating. I saw at preschool that he would be playing with a puzzle next to another kid who was doing another puzzle. He didn't speak to the other kid, but if I asked what he was doing, he'd say, "I'm playing with ______" (naming the kid). He wouldn't look you in the eye and would get frustrated if you didn't know what he was thinking or feeling, despite the fact that he never expressed those feelings.

He started gagging on food, especially things with rougher textures like meat and chips. He would make himself throw up if we tried to get him to eat something he didn't like. He wanted the same meals every day (that's not that abnormal for a preschooler, but he would throw up if he didn't have certain foods).

I also noticed that Palmer had a hard time with some motor skills things. Portia could easily hop on one foot, skip, and do jumping jacks. Palmer couldn't zip a zipper, cut with scissors, skip or do jumping jacks. He refused to ride a bike (still does).

So, this was Palmer and I was frustrated but feeling like I didn't know if I was just paranoid and hypersensitive or if something was wrong. But then my mom mentioned a couple concerns she had. This was followed by some concerns mentioned by my mother-in-law. The last straw, for me, was when Palmer's preschool teacher mentioned that she was concerned with some behaviors and issues he was having in school. She recommended we have him evaluated by the child development specialists and school psychologist. After nights of worrying and praying and counseling with Ronell, we decided it wouldn't hurt to know if Palmer was progressing normally and was just a quirky little smart kid or if there was something more "serious". When the diagnosis came back as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), I was okay because they repeatedly told us that his symptoms were minimal and he required minimal amounts of therapy. What they failed to mention, and I've since learned, is that SPD is often a diagnosis they give many kids who haven't quite developed in full-scale autism or Asperger's. Because his symptoms weren't over the top and he was still thriving in the school settings, they made it sound like six months of therapy and he'd be fine.

So off to the Occupational Therapist we went. And he did very well. He loved his therapist and did everything that was asked of him. Because his symptoms were so minimal, there wasn't much to "fix", other than the social stuff. But I also learned that it's very common for kids with autism spectrum disorders to have weak core strength, and they usually need some extra help strengthening their core and they struggle with some of the things that require developed core srength (i.e., bike riding). So Palmer had his therapy, did well, and then we moved to Arkansas and got ready for Palmer to start all-day kindergarten.

Needless to say, he LOVED school from day one. He loved the routine, the kids, everything. But I was worried about whether he'd be fine socially and whether he'd be academically challenged. He walked into kindergarten reading on a first grade reading level (actually 1.4, based on his mommy's testing....I'm such a nerd. I tested him just to get my own "baseline"). He wasn't really challenged at all academically and he had a few incidents where he missed some social cues and either the kids or the teacher didn't know how to handle it. But he survived and still loved school. So, I let it go.

Then first grade came along and Mrs. P was his teacher. I literally thank Heavenly Father several times a week for this woman. At the beginning of the year, Palmer seemed to be fine but I started noticing more and more problems with his ability to cope in social situations and his inability to explain or express his frustrations.

Mrs. P asked her students' parents to write her a letter with some details about our students. There were several questions about home life, family, talents, favorites, etc. I'll never forget the last question she asked us to write about. "Are there any special concerns regarding your child that I should be aware of?" I spent days agonizing whether I should talk to her about Palmer's social "stuff". I didn't want her to have a pre-conceived expectation (or lack of expectations) of him. But, I felt prompted to share some of his preschool experiences and some of my concerns about how kindergarten had gone. She called me the day after she read the letter and said she wanted to meet with us. She recommended that we should have him tested by the school. Her main concern was that, while his social deficits weren't affecting academics now, they would start to, as academics became more and more socially oriented. She also expressed her desire to know how to challenge Palmer without frustrating him and that she wanted to know if there was anything between home and school that we could work together to do for him. And then she said something I will always remember. She said, "Palmer is an amazing and incredible boy. I've only known him for a few weeks but I realize he has the potential to do and be anything he wants to be. He is kind and gentle and so good-hearted. I just want to make sure we put him on the path to be successful and to accomplish any goal he wants to accomplish". So,again, I went home and Ronell and I fasted and prayed about how to help this amazing and aggravating child. In the end, we decided we'd rather know and help him than let it go.

So, here we are, after six months of collecting data, completing family history surveys, and evaluations. Palmer has Asperger's Syndrome and goes to therapy twice a week during his school day. His therapy is primarily social thinking therapy, teaching him to become a more flexible thinker. I've learned a lot in the last two years. I've come to two conclusions through this process; first, that there is no "cure" for autism spectrum disorders and social deficits, only tools, skills, and resources to help our children adapt, function and thrive. Second, I've learned that Palmer will be just fine and will be able to accomplish anything he decides to do. This journey will not be without bumps and bruises and some more difficult moments. But I believe in Palmer and know that, while we may always have to do things a little differently, he is capable of great things.

I'm grateful for all that I've learned thus far in our journey with Palmer. I am constantly in awe (when I'm not frustrated with him!) of the things he is capable of and the joy with which he lives life. I'm grateful the Lord gave me the preparation of being in the education world, so I know how to navigate that world to benefit Palmer. I'm grateful for family and their love and support. I still have lots of worries about Palmer getting older and my momma bear instincts kick in when I see him struggle. But I'm learning that this aspect of Palmer is a small part of him. I'm trying to learn from him how to glean all I can from everything and everyone around me and let the rest go.

A few days ago, I came across Enoch's story in the Pearl of Great Price (Moses 6:31). The thought occurred to me that the Lord didn't take away Enoch's disability ("Slow of Speech"), but He used that weakness to bring people to the Lord. Because of Enoch's faith, the Lord was able to use him to do great works. I am certain that the Lord has a great work for Palmer to do, and  I know that if we can give him the tools he needs, he will do amazing things.