When I talked with Lulu after a long day yesterday about "school" (she brought it up)... she said she would love to go to any school where she didn't have math or work to do. Anyone know of any school like that?
Friday, March 28, 2008
When I talked with Lulu after a long day yesterday about "school" (she brought it up)... she said she would love to go to any school where she didn't have math or work to do. Anyone know of any school like that?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I am trying very hard to not let the memories that I have of Isaac becomes just that, memories, memories as in, non-realities. It is hard to look at his pictures sometimes because it makes me feel lost. Like I am missing something. When we all get in the car, despite counting heads, it never feels like we are all accounted for. Because we aren't. Our son, my children's brother, is missing from the equation.
For now, we are celebrating living within God's plan of waiting the long wait. Learning what we need to learn along the way to be best prepared to parent Isaac, or to let Isaac go. (Having to remind myself of that several times a day yes... I do. I am certainly not that strong!)
We miss you son. We are praying for you.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I have three stuffed Pandy's, one small, one medium and one large. I call them Baby pandy, momma pandy, and daddy pandy.
Monday, March 24, 2008
But for me personally... if I didn't have a plan and set school hours etc. I would feel like we were playing our lives away. My children would LOVE this of course, but I could see some of my children based on their individual needs never picking up a book or doing any math if I did this unschooling method.
So I don't disagree with it, it just isn't for us.
Also my education is in Recreation (rec. therapy, outdoor education too)... so unschooling to me is like recreation education to a certain extent. (I don't know if this made any sense at all. I guess I am just wanting my children to experience something other than constant "Leisure" and I think that education should feel like being educated and not like leisure, because LIFE and WORK won't always be like leisure, it will be structured like "school" for most of us.)
What is unschooling?
Have you ever described 'red' to a person who is color blind? Sometimes, trying to define unschooling is like trying to define red. Ask 30 unschoolers to define the word and you'll get thirty shades of red. They'll all be red, but they'll all be different. Generally, unschoolers are concerned with learning or becoming educated, not with 'doing school.' The focus is upon the choices made by each individual learner, and those choices can vary according to learning style and personality type. There is no one way to unschool.
Unschooling is trusting in a child's natural curiosity to teach them what they need to know. The parent is there to answer questions, talk, infect the kids by their own curiosity about life! (though curious about what you're interested rather in what you think would be good for the kids to be interested in!), bring in cool resources (that the kids can feel free to ignore if it just isn't the right moment for their interest to ignite).
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I am tired this weekend. I might go on a bit of a rampant...
It's been a long week to say the least. It wasn't that the weeks event's were all that eventful, but I have been heavily in prayer this week over many things in life right not. The biggest issues are Bean's health and her not needing another surgery. She had her appointment day at Children's on Wednesday and was able to lay still enough for a CT scan, the area of non-communicating hydrocephalus has been resolves, PTL! I can't believe she laid still enough. My theory was that she was going to need sedated scans until she was five. I am so impressed. Dh and Lauren both stood on either side of her talking to her throughout the scan and I swear, if they weren't there, she never would have done so well.
Bean also got measured for her walker which should be getting ordered this week as well as new AFO's (leg braces). Angeline also say the Neurodevelopmental doctor and nurse. It was a full day. Now we just need to keep praying that she continues to do well and the syrinx resolves and no brain decompression surgery! We will have an MRI in May and then we will know more.... I would imagine that it would take place sometime this summer if she needs to have it done. But I am really hoping she doesn't.
Although we didn't feel that she was doing "poorly" by any means, there has been a marked increase in her leg strength since her surgery. And this just isn't hopeful Mommy wishing, her OT even noticed it. Twice in the past few days she has "let go" of whatever she was holding and just stood. Not for long, but she definitely did it! And she has been using her knees more, bending her knees to stand and sit. Where as before it was a lot of upper body strength getting her into the right position. With the practice walker at Childrens, she just stood up and knew just what to do. She is one smart cookie!
We heard last week through the internet and blogs that there were 100 files released from IBESR. We still have no news on Isaac's file, but we are praying and hopeful! (Keep in mind that the 100 file rumor right now is just that, I am hoping its a confirmed truth soon!) I would love to see my son get out of course, but even seeing some of the families that have been waiting along side us have files move would give me great joy. I want all the children to get to go home!
I have spent a lot of time over the past week (since Monday after a meeting with our family resource coordinator for Angeline) thinking about, and praying about the schooling for my children next year. Some of the children really want to go back to public school, and some don't. I personally would find life a lot easier to have them all doing the same thing. :) But I am dealing with the fact that they might all not respond to the same education and I might need to plan different things for different children. The greatest factor affecting my decisions is that as soon as Angeline turns 3, she will be going to the developmental preschool. I am 100% sure that she will go, she has to go! I am all about getting her as much early intervention therapy now. Not only will she be attending in Feb 2009 between 2-4 half days per week, but she will also have private outside therapy still. (Probably PT with a local PT, but they won't be coming to the house any longer, which I really like!)
So how in the world am I going to be here getting Angeline on and off the bus to her school, and be at the next community over at the home school program with the kids (1/2 hour drive each way). I could drive them there, come home, get Bean on the bus, drive back to get Bean off the bus, drive back to school to get the kids, AND I would need to designate another parent to be there with my children was I was running all over the county. So what do I do?
I really love having the freedom and flexibility of home schooling and I have seen tremendous things come from my children having ample time together as a family. Dominick's reading has really blossomed the past several weeks. And my dear neighbor across the street is starting a tutoring business, she is excellent, and 2 of the children are able to go over there for tutoring so it takes some of the burden off me schooling the other children and spending all the extra time on one child.
SO what do I do? Who knows! Right now I just need to keep praying about it and know that it will all come together.
1. I could keep them all home next year, but my children LIVE for going to the home school program. They love it. They love their friends and teachers. They look forward to being there each week. And would I really want to take on the ENTIRE burden of the education for all my children. (I am NOT an "unschooling" kind of Mom, sorry for those of you out there that do this.)
2. I could send them all back to public school.
3. I could keep some home and send some to public school. (The ones at home would do the K-12 computer school program in our state.)
I would love some advice and thoughts from homeschooling families and public school families... and large families... :)
The other big busy thing for the past week has been all the work for the MAT children. My goodness, there are so many needs. I am so grateful for this awesome incredible group of women that Salem and I are working with. More and more children need help and there are a couple that really need help soon. So keep up with the MAT blog and keep these beautiful children and their families/caregivers in your prayers.
Also if anyone else is wanting to join our team we are going to need fundraising help! I would love to see the fundraising team grow to several women who could work together. This is a huge need!
So now we are just finishing the cleaning up from the day and getting ready to settle in for a movie. My kids ate Ramen for dinner. I watched them and thought... why do I bother cooking? They love Ramen. They each made their very own Ramen concoction, they all eat lots of "hot" things that I wouldn't think most children like. Dominick ate a bowl of four bean salad which was like watching a really good documentary. (He used to literally cry at the sight of eating something that wasn't "white" or "cheese".)
So that was our Easter. It was a great day our way. :)
More updates soon!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
2 Timothy 2:23-25
Thanks so much for your time and consideration.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I now have a "real" job. Can you believe it?
Please turn the music off on the right. Gather your family and friends, watch this, reflect, pray, think about your place in the world and how Jesus loves sick people even when everyone else runs away... share this with everyone you know.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
I managed to get "most" of my work done today, which was a blessing... and my lovely husband took the children to the Beach today to explore... so the house is quiet.
Then the phone rang:
"Is David there?"
(It was a child on the phone.)
"No" I replied, "David went to the park with his Dad."
Phone rings again:
"Hello" I answer it.
"Hi, is this David's Mom?"
"Yes" I reply.
Here it goes....
"Well David's Mom, this is Lamont's Dad"
"Hi Lamont's Dad" I say back. :)
"David was supposed to be here to hang with Lamont and he never showed up." I am informed.
(Side note: David has been itching to "hang out" with his friends more lately. He is really becoming a teenager and has been spending quite a lot of time on the phone lately. And I don't know Lamont, never heard of him actually, so I certainly don't know Lamont's Dad.)
"I am sorry Lamont's Dad, David went with his father to the park and will be back soon. I will ask him what happened. I didn't realize he was supposed to be coming over today."
"Well David's Mom (we never share names)... I just want you to know that I have never met David before and when Lamont asked to go somewhere with him today, I thought it best that I have David come over so I can see what his game's all about. I want all the little shorty's to know around here that Lamont's Dad has played the game and then played it again and again and they aren't going to be pulling any fast ones on me. This homey don't play that way. Lamont's Dad is on top of his game and doesn't let his little shorty's get away with anything. David' s Mom if you and me, Lamont's Dad don't read the same page, then we are going to have a hard time with the shorty's in the years to come. See what I am saying?"
Now I am just speechless... but manage to say:
"Lamont's Dad, David is my SIXTH teenager, so I have been played many times before and feel confident I am on top of David's game."
He quickly cuts me off so he can rope me back into his "moment":
"David's Mom, LAMONT SIT DOWN RIGHT HARE, RIGHT HARE BOY!... don't think that I don't know what I am talking about. These shorty's have been playing a mean wicked game on us today and I want you to know that I am on top of my shorty's game. Lamont doesn't get away with nothing round hare. When I was a teenager, I was the king of the castle, and now, I am the king of castle all over again. I want to see this David and get to know him a little better for I just go up and let Lamont hang out with him. Most of these parents think that their children are all sweet and innocent but I know better. Been there, done that, seen that, lived that, played that."
Now... I am seeing double... and I bust out laughing. I just can't contain it anymore.
"Ok... (tears streaming because this guy is seriously grooving on this conversation)... I will find out what happened and have David call Lamont when he get's home. So sorry for the confusion."
Then I have to just say goodbye, or this could continue on for a long time and I was going to pee my pants, the dad was so funny.
So I say goodbye while he is mid sentence, hang up, call David at the beach/park... ask him what is going on with Lamont and how come he was supposed to go over to his house and didn't tell me... David's replies:
"No Mom, I told Lamont that I didn't want to go over to his house. Have you talked to his dad before?"
Note to self: Monitor David's phone conversations a bit better. And if he thinks he might get away with anything, call Lamont's Dad for an intervention.
Shower... it's calling my name. Calgon take me away!
Friday, March 07, 2008
"Faith is not a belief that everything will turn out to please us; rather it is the confidence that no matter how things turn out, God will somehow use the events in our days for His glory and for our good". E. Stanley Jones
Today while reading a friends blog this quote jumped out at me. I had read the quote on her blog several times before... but after the recent events in "life" it jumped out at me today and grabbed my by the throat.
Yesterday baby Gilbert passed away. I don't know what it is with the volunteer work that I do, and why at some moments I keep on doing it. I guess I would definitely contribute that to God. And I certainly do admit, that the children with Spina Bifida just affect my heart in wild ways. I have this place that I go in my mind and heart at times when I can physically relive the moments of being in Haiti and seeing Angeline for the first time. The way that the diet coke felt in my hand when I handed it to Mary (her escort) and the smell of Angeline (hot and oh so baby sweet). I can remember looking into Leishan's face that first night and seeing fear in her eyes like I had never seen before and the feeling in my heart of fear that I had to figure out how to push away like I was going to throw up and it was going to spew out in one nasty fear fest moment. But most of all I recall the value of life that had been placed into my hands, the most precious gift that I had been bestowed, the honor of being Angeline's Mom.
I have been asked many times why there are so many children that seem to be born in Haiti with Neural Tube Defects (NTD's), like Spina Bifida and Encephalocele. I would base my best hypothesis on the fact that the nutrition that the Mom's recieve is certainly not up to par. In most cases there are no prenatal vitamins and no folic acid... I would also base my guess on the fact that most women don't have ultrasounds and don't know that they are going to have baby born with special needs. Here in the US of course that isn't the case, and in some places, as hard as it is to understand, Spina Bifida qualifies a woman for a third trimester abortion. So quite possibly that can affect the life and outcome of many little souls.
So when I think about the fact that unborn children aren't valued even in our country when they have special needs and of course even special needs children in our children once born, are often not valued... I find a great deal of awesome feelings in the fact that baby Gilbert had the most amazing group of people surrounding him with God's glory and goodness.
There was a time when a child with spina bifida was to come on a medical visa and when the child became ill, the doctor who had agreed to do the care for the child backed out. It was too risky and they were scared. I was of course upset when I heard about this but when Gilbert started to go downhill, I think that those of us who knew this "past situation", all had this great fear in our minds. That maybe Dr. A wasn't going to follow through.
I must admit, I never should have doubted her.
Not for one minute.
Of course she never faltered on her willingness to help, and was there consistently with help and information for Gilbert's caregivers who did an amazing job with him. Although I am feeling great sadness for Gilbert's family and for his awesome caregivers who I know loved him so much, I am feeling incredibly blessed to have such an awesome group of people to work with who I learn so much from, and who help me grow spiritually each step of the way.
Thank you all.
God is already using the events of our days for his glory and our good.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
I looked through my pictures of my Grandma this afternoon and of them all, this one is my favorite. It is my favorite because it was when she was the most happiest, at our family reunion, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and MANY great grandchildren. There was never a moment of being overwhelmed by children for my grandma, she just went with the flow of an army of small people surrounding her, climbing on her, each wanting to have a piece of her... and she was willing to give.
There were of course a few moments of life with Grandma when we would butt heads. Grandma was not about to take any crap from anyone, at any time. She was always the first and last to speak her mind, and sometimes this didn't always mesh well with every life situation that she was placed in. As I mature, I realize that this was one of the greatest attributes that I inherited from my Grandma, the early lesson that I too, don't have to take any crap from anyone. :)
From the time that I was very young I can remember my grandparents giving me cans of peaches. I loved canned peaches and when I would go to visit my grandparents (who often had ALL the grandchildren over for the weekend), they would always have canned peaches for me. Or if they would come over, there they were, canned peaches. I now eat canned peaches and it always brings back the same memories. Tisa, my oldest sister, would always get peanut butter. I am not sure what treat my grandma would bring for Nina, or my brother Patrick... but I can always remember the delight of the canned peaches.
Grandma was never short on good food. Even when I was in college she would make home made fudge that she would federal express me. Other years when I wasn't going to be home for the Holiday's, Grandma would sent her fabulous sugar cookies with homemade frosting and sugar sprinkles. Twice I had asked Grandma for the recipe, both times I would receive in the mail, a handwritten recipe. I have tried many times to make these cookies and never do they come out the same as Grandma made them. Any holiday, irregardless of Grandma's physical health or busy life, she would make a ton of food, and bake non stop, likely for many weeks. It just was the way it was, and of course nothing would stand in her way.
I can remember cooking in the kitchen with Grandma and my cousin Mike. I got to stir, he was to put the eggs in. He didn't crack the eggs, he put the entire eggs in. I thought we were going to get in trouble because I vividly remember us laughing hysterically about it. Grandma saw and lovingly fished out all the cracked egg shells from the batter with her bare hands and we were back to business.
Easter with my grandparents was always my favorite time of year. Always there would be a dish of never ending deviled eggs and a large Fanny Farmer chocolate rabbit for each of us. There would also be the highlight, live animals. One year there was baby chicks, another year baby bunnies, and the biggest memorable year, baby lambs. Of course we would be allowed to hold the animals, feed them, love on them, chase them around etc. I would go home from Grandma's and hide away my chocolate Easter bunny so that my brother wouldn't take it. I would savor it for weeks, always eating the head and ears LAST of course.
Granny and her antiques... where do I start?
Often for Christmas we would receive some antique and always there was a story attached. As much as I am not a collector of antiques, I treasure Granny's gifts. Robert still has a flask up high in our closet from many years ago, each vase and cookie jar has lovingly kept it's place here in our home, here in our memories. The most treasured "gift" from Granny is a world atlas from 1953. We all enjoy looking at it and especially seeing how much the map truly has changed... Siam history anyone? :)
Grandma was a teacher in the inner city and taught both English and P.E.
Even well into my adulthood, everytime that I wrote to Grandma, I would get out the dictionary to make sure that my spelling was all correct. And of course, did the same when her great grandchildren would write her letters! Grandma knew how to spell everything correctly!
Grandma was always there for me. In college I desperately needed a new car and I was $1300 short on money for the car. Grandma and Grandpa lent me the money and told me to pay back what I could, when I could, and never again was a word mentioned about the money. I sent them $50-$100 some months, and other months, just $25. Always in the mail was a return card thanking ME for sending the money. She was always there, without needing to give a reminder, it was just understood that family is family, and we do for one another.
Every Birthday, Christmas, Easter, Valentines, and yes even Thanksgiving, there was always a card from Granny, letting us know that she was thinking of us, and missing us. Although Grandma had email, and surely was savvy on the computer, she always chose to take a moment, to let you know in her special way that she was thinking of you. And after we moved to Washington State from Ohio, on occasion there was letter in the mail, often with a newspaper clipping of a great large farm house for sale, or perhaps a new job for Robert, or something about the good schools in Ohio. Sometimes there would be a note saying "read this, love Granny", other times, it was just the clipping from the paper without a note, Grandma knew, that I knew just who the letter was from. Just a little encouragement to bring us back East, back to family, back to my roots.... back to Grandma.
Granny- You will truly be missed. I am so thankful that you had such a long and wonderful life and were able to make memories with my children, your great grandchildren. I will continue to share these and all of the other memories that you left with us for years to come.
Love always... P.S. tell Grandpa HI and kiss him for me!
Sarah (aka: "Sar-ee")