Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer is a Comin...

You know you are a natural teacher when: You get super excited to go to "The Learning Palace" to buy more school books for the kids to work on over summer break. You get a high just thinking about how you will re-organize your home school space... You think about school related things as your trying to fall asleep at night... You get a kick out of watching a child (your own child) grasp a new concept... You enjoy spending quality time with your children (that they will remember forever).... However, we really are ready to relax and play for a few months. I look forward to side walk chalk, parks, bubbles, swimming, friends, camping, cooling off in a nice, dark, and air conditioned house, Popsicles, adventures, and fun with family!

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's a New Day

It is a new day...and just as I remind DJ to "check your attitude", I am reminded that I should do the same. It has been a rough few months since Easter. I'm not sure what flipped the trigger for the kids to cycle into troublesome behaviors....usually they take turns, but this time EVERYONE flipped out. I am tired of guessing why. When I go to the "little Blessings Support Group" I am reminded that I am not alone and that it could always be worse. A family from our group lost their daughter to her disease in April. Every time I go to group I am biting my cheek so that I don't all out bawl. Anyway, it is a new day and I have a choice to make as far as how to handle myself in a difficult situation. One thing is is that my voice is pretty much gone as I have been sick for the past week or so. I suppose if the kids want to hear me they will have to get real close, lol. Alayna is all finished with her school work for the year! I am so happy to let her off the hook!!!! Seth is a few lessons from being done and DJ has a whole lot of work to do still. My newest idea for behavior reform is to put scripture mastery on index cards...file them for behaviors that correlate. When a behavior lying, I would have them pull that card, copy it, recite it, or work on memorizing it. I want to be careful not to cast a negative shadow on the gospel, however, we are trying to teach gospel principles and it only makes sense to intertwine it somehow. Plus, I am exhausted from going over it verbally. It is our hope to have law abiding citizens with good moral character someday. DJ now has a skills trainer who is coming to the house to meet with him a few days a week. I don't mind her coming and working with him, but she also wants to pull me aside for part of the time to learn collaborative problem solving skills. Actually, I have wanted to take that specific class. The kids make it difficult to turn my attention to another adult in the home. What I really want her to do is take DJ off my hands for the 2 hours so I can have a mental and emotional break without having to exert energy to learning more material. I think this is just because I am exhausted. Normally I am very accepting of learning new things.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend

We were blessed to have beautiful weather for Easter weekend. It was SO NICE. I was so exhausted from concerts, eggs, fun with kids. I promise to post pics as soon as possible. The girls were adorable in their new dresses. The concerts were spirit filled and wonderful. It was a little sad for the last song, knowing that we wouldn't sing together again for a while. I think many were touched by the holy ghost. It's back to the routine for now.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Solutions!

I am SUPER relieved and happy that DJ has been accepted into the New Solutions program. This is such a blessing for our family as it will build enormous support around our family and our needs. DJ is primarily the one kiddo who the meetings will be for, but in order to meet his needs they will support everyone in our family. Let me be honest with you (or myself, as no one reads my blog anyway), there are things that pre-adoptive parents are not told. One thing though that Drew and I promised each other is that we would reach out and find support if we encountered issues while raising these precious children. The things they struggle with are not their fault. Sometimes I feel so frustrated that they do not internalize/learn the things we are striving to teach. God is in control. We need to be reminded that we were chosen for this great work and that HE guides and provides. On another note, tomorrow night is another support group meeting. The kids will be so excited as they love doing the activities provided there. I am excited to give such a positive report and to see and love on the other families there. The Easter concert is FRI and SAT this coming weekend. I am looking forward to this as we have rehearsed and worked super hard to put it together. School starts up again tomorrow and I am excited to get back on schedule. Now time to relax with the husband.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Update it's been a few weeks since the last post. We have had loads of Dr. appts and school work though. It feels great to have accomplished so much! Only 1 Dr. appt on the calendar for this week! I have found great therapy working outside in the yard. The sun has been coming out in between bouts of rain, hail, and snow. Despite the unusual weather for the Valley, there are blossoms! I'm afraid my peas are rotting in the muddy soil. I plan to make some jam from the left over frozen berries from last year. Drew teaches tonight so I will work on appliqueing some daisies on the top of my sister in-law's quilt. The nights he is gone teaching are now my craft night (unless I am too tired from kids). The kids loved the ribbon wands for singing time yesterday. We also practiced "Our Primary Colors" with some fun visuals. Homeschool is going fairly well. DJ is writing a speech about George Washington and is also working on a big Social Studies Portfolio. The other 2 kids are breezing through their work with an overall 96% and 97% grade average. I love the connections academy curriculum! I have loads of laundry, dishes, and bathrooms to clean....Mondays are a big clean up day from the craziness of the weekend. Oh..and our foster kiddo is staying at least another 90 days. He is so cute, however, permanency would be best. That's all for now folks!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Hello blogging world. Yes, I am still here....and it hasn't been 2 years since the last post. Things have been up and down around here and busier than ever. DJ has a new mental health therapist and has had 3 appointments so far. My first impressions or gut feeling is good. She has experience in all the right areas and on the case plan we opened up the possibility for tons of wrap around services if they become needed. It feels good to begin building a support team around our family. Dr. Tim (our med management expert) is amazing! We've been working with him now for over a year. We've got IEPs and 504s in place for kiddos who need them. My connections academy students are learning well here in our home environment, although laundry and "made from scratch" meals are suffering a bit. I have been collecting all past medical records in order to build notebooks for each kiddo. This way I can just hand over the notebook and have the specialist do some reading and photocopying as needed. We are getting new neuro Psyche evals on DJ and Megs. How am I doing? I am up and down. I've cried more in the past 2 months off and on than I have in my entire life! Part of that I am sure has to do with coming off some of my own medications. I fight with feeling of guilt for overreacting or not creating the reality of the "vision" for how I always thought my family would be. I'm frustrated by behaviors I cannot teach or love my kids out of doing. I am disgusted with the amount of structure and micro managing that my kids call for. However, I know at the end of the day that God has given me all that I need to be the parent these kids need me to be...even if that does not match the vision in my head (yellow school bus, warm cookies coming out of the oven, multiple trips to the park, dance and sports lessons, etc). I know deep down that Drew and I are doing and have done our very best to provide for all of their needs. We will not give up. Something that I have really enjoyed over the past few weeks has been getting out and cleaning up the yard. The kids have been excited to play in the dirt. The other day while while DJ was raking he said "When I'm serving others I am actually serving God"...he said it with joy and confidence. These are moments to remember that some of what we are trying to teach is coming through. Despite my bad back, the fresh air and new hobby of beautifying the yard has been a blessing. I always like a job that has visual evidence of feels great to accomplish something. I have planted hardy spring flowers, mowed, weeded, rearranged boulders, fertilized, etc. We also got some winter veggie seeds planted inside to get starts going for the garden. Drew promises to get the garden dirt ready soon. I even planted flower seeds inside that stated on the package should be planted indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost. I am looking forward to better 12 mile bike rides with my friend Heather, and to fresh foods from the garden.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Support Group

I had the chance to visit a support group for families with kids who have special needs. The kids had a blast playing in the room next to where the parents were meeting. After the opening prayer I began to feel emotional....I mean they were going around the table talking about their kids and I was really trying not to all out bawl. I mostly had little tears escaping and some sniffles....but by the time it was my turn, I was so emotional that I had to pass. I knew if I opened my mouth and tried to utter out a word I would completely lose it. Anyway, it came back around to being my turn and I got through it. I am so glad they had tissues there. There were a few parents who had kids with autism, lots of parents of kids with rare genetic disorders that cause major disabilities, parents who just lost children, etc. I sort of felt a little out of place in that my kids struggle with behavioral and neurological setbacks in comparison...but I also felt like I belonged because these people have the same type of struggles we do with family, friends, church peeps, ect. Anyway, the Holy Spirit was SO strong there. I did bare my testimony that I know and am grateful for the knowledge that God would not give me more than I can handle. He equips us to do His will and to get through the challenges in our lives. I expressed my gratitude for the love he sends to us through our children and through other people. I do think this will be a great opportunity for me to uplift and be uplifted by others. To top it off the kids had a major great time! If you want to know more about joining this support group just send me a comment. On another dear sunshine, I miss you already! Please come out again soon.