Saturday, December 31, 2011

My One Word 2012

It's New Year's Resolution time for a lot of us. I did My One Word last year, and am doing it again for 2012. I think 'Reckless Abandon' worked well for me, even if it didn't accomplish what I thought it would. I chose it believing it would help me to lay aside fears I had about writing, losing weight & witnessing about my faith in Jesus. It did work for the latter two, but not the first. I made the decision to lay aside the writing dream for now. The harder I tried to pursue it with reckless abandon, the more I found I didn't want to do it, didn't have time to do it and just was not ready. I hope I can come back to it in a few years, but we'll see what God has planned.
Theresa told me that her One Word for last year was 'rest', from Matthew 11:28-30. I am praying about what my Word should be this year, but I'm already feeling like God is directing me towards something similar. Time and again I find myself praying in the foxhole, but neglecting that daily quiet time. I've been looking for a verse today and found this article on doing quiet time. I like the acronym of 'ASPECT' and how you can use that as a tool for bible study. I'll post again later when I have my One Word.

  • A – About God – What can you learn about God through this passage?
  • S – Sin – Does it talk about any sin?
  • P – Promise – Is there any promise in the word?
  • E – Example – Is there any example, I can follow?
  • C –Command – Which command I need to obey?
  • T – Teaching – What can I learn from this passage?
  • This & That

    Pen removed from woman's stomach still works after 25 years. How is this not the lead story on the 6 o'clock news?! I would watch more of the news with stories like this.

    I found this great video while searching for info on Weight Watchers. My thanks to Heather at Leading the Weigh, it's an excellent video and worth watching. I especially liked what he said about reducing hypertension (after minute 6) since Tom was put on medication for high blood pressure a few months ago.

    Certainly there was nothing Tom could have done to prevent getting appendicitis, but it was a big reminder of how important it is to take care of our bodies. He works too much, sleeps too little and knows that he needs to lose a few pounds. But that's all easier said than done, as we all know. He needs to have a sleep study done because the ENT thinks he has sleep apnea. Add that to the list of fun things we can do while he's off from work for a few weeks, haha!

    Anyhoo, I'm sure I'll be making Tom a to-do list very soon that includes taking charge of his health. I do so love a project. :)

    Friday, December 30, 2011

    The New Normal

    I said to my father yesterday that I just want to get life back to normal, as I'm tired of the chaos we've been living the last few weeks. He said that won't happen. This annoys me, even though I know he's right. The new normal is that my grandmother is gone. The new normal is that my husband is not bulletproof.

    As I watched my husband sweat and shake and groan on that hospital bed, and I thought about what it must have been like when my grandfather died at the age of 43, I wondered at what Gram's new normal must have been like.

    What I don't want is for the new normal to be run by fear. Tom wanted to drop his car off for an oil change today, and he needed me to pick him up once he did this. I didn't want him to drive since he's not supposed to yet less than a week after surgery, but he said it's a short drive and no big deal. He left the house first and I got the kids into the van. I went to the dealership, but he wasn't there. I thought, 'oh duh, wrong one' because I had gone to where we get my Kia worked on. I headed over to the Chevy dealer where they would service his Cruz. He wasn't there either. I called his phone; he didn't answer. I drove back to the first place, not there. Then back to the second, still not there. I went inside and had them look his car up in case he had gotten in quickly and already left. He hadn't. They called Chrysler next door to see if he was there. He wasn't. I called his phone again, no answer. Nearly an hour had passed and I couldn't find my husband. I felt sick to my stomach and the kids were hungry and antsy, since we were supposed to be at the mall for lunch by now. I went to the first place again and called his phone again. I was panicked, where was he? Did he get sick while driving? Was he pulled over somewhere, unable to drive? I drove home, near tears.

    Once inside my daughter got on the computer and found a coupon for Goodyear on the screen that he must have printed.  I left the kids and flew up to Goodyear, where he was watching tv in the lobby. I wanted to throw things at him. He was baffled, and said that he had told me he was going to Goodyear. I hadn't heard him. I don't hear a lot of things lately that are said to me, because I'm in the fog. I noticed it while still at Gram's nursing home, when a nurse asked me if I was getting on the elevator. The doors had opened and she stood in there waiting, while I stood in front of the open doors staring into space, completely lost in my own thoughts.

    I spend so much time thinking about everything that I am lost inside my own head.  Maybe this is a way to protect myself too, I don't know. Like I can draw myself away from the chaos into a peaceful place. I did that when we made a second trip to the emergency room on Monday, after Tom had spent the day throwing up. His throat was raw and swollen from being intubated during surgery, and he couldn't get any food down or keep it down. We were in the ER for 4½ hours and I lost myself playing games on my Kindle as much as I could while we waited.

    I don't want to live my life in fear. I need to pray about this, a lot I think, because in my heart I know that God is sovereign and has me in His hand. But my head takes over with practical facts and reminds me of the frailty of our bodies and the brevity of life. Whatever happens, I know I can trust Him. But do I? I have to keep repeating to myself that He is faithful. He is to be trusted.

    I'm so thankful for the friends & family we have that have called to check on us, prayed for us, sent cards of sympathy or get well messages, or fed us. Two girlfriends took the boys for playdates yesterday too, giving them some time out of the house and giving us some much needed quiet.  Mary called while I was writing this and asked if she could do anything for me. I told her that her phone call was what I needed most; that emotional support, knowing that our friends are holding us up when we cannot stand on our own.... that is priceless to me. ♥

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    Well, that was fun

    Because we didn't feel like our December had been exciting enough yet, what with funerals and last-minute packing & traveling hundreds of miles, we decided it would be fun to cancel yet even more Christmas plans, and head to the hospital instead. Or rather, Tom's appendix decided that we would.  Tom had an emergency appendectomy on Christmas Eve. It was all we'd ever dreamed it could be, and more. Honestly, I was thankful that it was his appendix, because when he was lying on the hospital bed, sweating, shaking with chills and excruciating pain, writhing and groaning, I thought he was having a heart attack and was going to die in front of me. So I'll take acute appendicitis for the win.

    We are blessed with wonderful family & friends, who have cared for us so lovingly through this. I admit that I burst into tears when my friend Keri walked into the surgical waiting room with a hot coffee & bagel for me, saying that no one should have to sit in that room alone. I think that was the first moment that I felt it was okay to stop being strong and just cry and admit that I had been scared to death.

    {opening presents with Daddy}

    I have not the slightest idea why God had all of this in store for us at this time, and I don't care. I was mad at first, since I was already grieving for my grandmother and really couldn't believe that this was happening less than a week later. But it is what it is, and it could have been so much worse. His appendix was about as bad as it can get before it ruptures, which it thankfully had not. He was able to have it removed laparoscopically, which shortens recovery time. And I'm so thankful it happened while we were at home, and not travelling. We went through that in Vegas when we lost Lily, and I never want to deal with a situation like that again. Thank God it happened after we had come home from the funeral, and before we were supposed to travel to my sister's house 8 hours away. (Which of course is cancelled now.)
    Tom's recovering but in pain, and his throat is raw and hurting from being tubed during surgery. He's thrown up a lot today, either from the throat irritation or what feels like a lot of phlegm that's lodged in there. Not sure if that's a side effect from the vicodin or what, but he's a bit miserable. He's thankful though, as he feels a million times better than he did beforehand.
    During Gram's funeral the minister said that she was faithful, courageous and loving. I have always felt that she was amazingly courageous, facing the loss of her young husband and going on to raise their children alone. She was strong and faced the hardships of life nearly always alone. My step-grandfather died three years after they got married. She never let anything stop her, and was always active, involved in her church, traveling all over the globe.
    Gram left me this legacy of being a courageous woman, and I very much want to be like her. I feel like the past few days have been my very ungraceful initiation into that role. I see more and more how that courage comes from God, because I sure didn't feel it on my own. I just keep whispering these quick prayers, asking God to give me what I need to face it all. I was leaving the pharmacy this morning and when I turned the car on, 'Courageous' by Casting Crowns was playing. I cried, because it felt so affirming. He gives me strength, again and again. We were made to be courageous - I have that line from the song in my head, and I think it over and over.
    Now someone stick a fork in me, because I am DONE.

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Psalm 147:3

    My Gram has passed away, and we are mourning. If I owned sackcloth, I think I'd be in it. It's completely surreal that she is gone and I think it will be a long time before my heart really believes it. The strange thing is that it has felt like she's been gone for a long time, and I've been mourning small pieces of her for years.

    {1943, three years before she had my mother}

    We began suspecting Alzheimer's years back, when she would forget the little things, or repeat herself. It crept up slowly, stealing her a little at a time. It is a hateful disease. Her personality changed as she lost her memory, and she wasn't the same Gram I had known as a little girl. I would see the woman I knew when she would talk with my children, loving and sweet. She just adored the children.

    My earliest memory of her is of the smell of Ivory soap, as I took a bath at her home. The smell of that soap is her, in a tangible way to me. I have a colored pencil drawing of a small blue bird that hangs in my bedroom. I look at it every morning when I wake up. It hung in her house for a long time. She loved birds, and had pictures and figurines of them all over her house. I think of her every time I look at that picture.

    {Gram in the center, between her brothers & parents}

    Gram was our Matriarch. Grandad Raymond died when he was 43, and Grandad Clayton died three years after they married. It was really only ever Gram for us. I learned how to sew with her and my mother. She went on trips with us. We lived with her all summer long in the country.

    {With Grandad Clayton, 1978}

    I spent those summers on her farm playing in the barn, crick and woods with my brother Ted. I have a stockpile of happy memories from those summers. I remember playing Uno and Rummikub together, and rescuing baby mice in the garage under the house.

    {With all ten of her grandchildren, about 1984 I think}

    I have hundreds of letters from her. She wrote to all of us all the time. When we cleaned out her house, I found lists of who she had written to and when, so she wouldn't forget anyone. I found piles of church bulletins from her ceaseless church attendance. She had a box full of notes from when she taught Sunday school. She loved Jesus and served Him her whole life. I am blessed to be her granddaughter. She left us a wonderful legacy.

    {With TC, on Mother's Day, 2007}

    She adored all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She would touch TC's red hair and croon to him about how we would keep him. She and her brothers all had red hair. I know that we all have her blood, but I love that my son has her red hair that I can still touch, and remember Gram, remember being in her arms and feeling so loved.

    {with her brothers Hesson, Ord, Keith}

    I miss you so much already. My heart breaks anew every minute. I am happy for you, reunited with so many people you have loved and missed. I can only imagine your reunion with Grandad, since he was taken from you much too soon. And my cousin Owen, how you must be holding him in your arms with such joy right now.

    I love you so much. Be at peace, my sweet Gram. We will be okay. You raised us all well, to know and love Jesus. We will be okay.

    Monday, December 12, 2011


    {Gram with her four children}

    My grandmother is in the hospital with pneumonia, and it doesn't look good. I hate living 400 miles away, because I'd really like to just go sit with her for a bit, and hold her hand, and talk with her while I still can. She could pull through; she's awfully sturdy that way, and even pneumonia at age 92 could just be a nuisance to her rather than a dire illness.

    They're giving her increasing amounts of oxygen. They're making her comfortable with morphine. She is gasping for breath but pulls the oxygen mask off if they try to put it on her, only tolerating the cannula. Maybe it will be days or weeks. Maybe she'll surprise us all and recover.  The waiting, the not knowing.... it's very hard.

    I've prayed for a long time that God would be gracious to my Gram, and that He would not let her reach the point with the Alzheimer's that she is a vegetable, wearing a diaper in a lockdown unit with no idea who she is anymore. I asked Him to let her die with dignity when the time comes. I know that this could be part of His merciful plan. I know all of this. Now I just need strength to face it.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Raising Boys

    What I found when I went to vacuum the couch the other day. That's an apple core on the left and a Nerf dart on the right. 

    Opened the fridge the other morning and found these.

    Came home from errands and found TC running a power sander. Oddly enough, Tom had given him permission to do this.

    I love raising boys. :) 

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    This & That

    An Apology From Your Child's Former Teacher - This was written for parents of autistic children, but I can really appreciate it from our perspective as well. The 'Binder of Epic Proportions' statement caused me to literally laugh and cry at the same time. We have one of those binders. ♥  Thanks to my friend Julie for sending this my way.

    Social Thinking - I just came across this site the other day and have found it incredibly helpful already. It's for parents of kids with autism as well as those with ADHD. I'm trying out the chart that Michelle blogged about, where you have the child list their strengths and weaknesses.

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    This & That

    Back to School with ADHD: Article about what it's like for this woman's ADHD child to go back to school. Our experience is something like this, although ADHD has a broad spectrum of behavior & reactions. E tends to get wound up the day before, as he did last year where he didn't sleep the night before and subsequently missed the first day of school.

    Meet the Dubiens: This gal has some really cute ideas for presenting food to kids. LOVE the apple smiles!

    I have a meeting on Monday with our senior pastor to discuss the logistics of coordinating the Facebook page with the office staff. I presented Facebook pages to the co-leaders of women's ministry who are totally on board. And I got the meeting with our pastor with no problem. I'm telling you, either they are messing with me or taking pity on me because they know how stressed I've been lately. Either way, score!

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Random Grumblings

    I have the Mondays again. Not feeling good, just blahhhh. A longtime online friend of mine passed away, which is just heartbreaking. She was in her mid-40s, had 3 teenage children. Some of us are sending flowers. I co-managed a message group for Christian SAHMs with her for a few years, and was so fond of her. I called her once for advice about something or other, and she was so encouraging to me. I'm so glad she's with Jesus; happy for her. Just sad for us, and so very sad for her kids and husband.

    The vanities of life have felt very painful to me lately. I don't like feeling like this; melancholy and wishing Jesus would just come back already. Not because I'm longing for His return, but selfishly because life is hard and I hate seeing people hurt.

    We're having a hard time with A lately, as her grades suck and she hasn't been too bothered by it. It was so much simpler when I could just put her in time out or take away her binky. We don't want to take away good things from her like youth group or student council. So for now she has lost her screen time during the week, her phone goes on the kitchen counter until homework is done, and we want more open communication weekly about what she's doing, what's due, etc. Tom and I have struggled with this because we don't agree on how to handle it. Which is also hard, because since he's frequently not around, I have to make the decisions on my own and then tell him later, which isn't fair to him. I had a good chat with Mary about it and she was very helpful. I feel very unprepared for this new phase of parenting, and Mary hasn't killed even ONE of her kids, so I'll listen to any advice she has to give.

    I'm very thankful for my Jesus today. He's such a comfort to me when I'm having a pity party, just the right balance of patting me on the back while also smacking me and telling me to get over myself. He's good like that.

    Friday, December 2, 2011


    So last week I mentioned that I was speaking at my home group's anniversary meeting. Based on questions from my best friend and husband, I thought I would explain some things. There are anniversary meetings, and then there are anniversaries of the meeting. The first is when we celebrate people's sobriety time, usually done once a month. People are acknowledged for how much sober time they have, and given a coin (medallion).

    The second is when we celebrate how long that actual meeting has been in existence. My home group has been around for over 30 years, and that's what we were celebrating last week. When we do that, it's a huge crowd, kind of like Homecoming, where people come back who have moved away, everyone brings food for potluck and there are two speakers who sit up front with the meeting chairperson. Family members often come to this as well. Hence my crazy nervousness since I knew it would be a hundred-plus people.

    God was sympathetic to me, as my sponsor was chairing the meeting and she gave me the most beautiful introduction. At one point I mouthed to her, 'You're going to make me cry!' I mostly focused on her while I spoke, and she just has such peace about her that I felt much calmer. It was great to have Tom with me, since he has never gone to an AA meeting before. It's much easier to understand me if you go to a meeting with me and see what it's really like. I am always intrigued when I see fictional AA meetings done on tv or in a movie, because they aren't always realistic. There are also many different kinds of meetings too, such as open or closed. My home group is an open meeting, which means anyone can attend. A closed meeting would be only where alcoholics can attend. You may wonder why someone would go if they weren't an alcoholic, but we do get family members who are curious, or medical students or people writing on the topic.

    There are Big Book discussion meetings, which is the format of mine. We take turns reading from the Big Book (actually titled Alcoholics Anonymous) and talking about what we read or sharing whatever is on our heart and mind. Other meetings use the Grapevine or As Bill Sees It or some other AA approved literature. Some are Step meetings where they focus on a particular step each time and how it can be lived out. There is a women's meeting I sometimes attend that uses the Joe & Charlie tapes, listening to a portion each week and then sharing on the step or topic.

    Any questions, feel free to ask. I'm happy to educate people about this program, because it saved my life!

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Where I Belong

    I haven't found a great video for this song, but just listen to it and enjoy. It fills my heart up with joy every time. I've been starting my day with it a lot lately.

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    The Mondays

    I didn't gain over the holiday weekend, yay! I took Janet's advice and piled on the veggies, which I think really helped. I of course ate 3 pieces of pumpkin dump cake, but it is what it is. (That's one a day, before you judge me!)

    However, I got both a cold and my friend (WHY do we call it that?) yesterday, so I'm now wallowing in pain, tissues and self-pity.

    Shay's College Experience

    Yeah, it was pretty much like that.

    Saturday, November 26, 2011


    I know I've talked about this a lot lately, but whatever, it's my blog.  So I started Weight Watchers in July. I'd been trying to take of the 'baby weight' for a long time and making no progress. (Yes, the baby is five. Shut up.) I tried to eat right, and I tried to fit exercise into my schedule. I walked a ton with a friend. But the scale had yet to move in a few years, so it was time to face facts.

    I was down to a lovely weight after I had E. I felt great and life was manageable. When we decided to try for our third child, I foolishly let the emotional rollercoaster of trying to conceive throw me off course. I gained 20 pounds by the time I got pregnant. Then during my period of depression a few years ago, I took an antidepressant that shot my weight up another 20 pounds. Needless to say I wasn't taking that prescription ever again, but by then the damage was done.

    I worked hard to lose weight in my 20s, but honestly it just came off. I did the right things and every week the scale would move a tiny bit more. However, I'm now 37 and those pounds didn't want to budge. I had been encouraged by many friends on the program to join WW, but I honestly didn't think it would work for me. First off, I need to attend more meetings like a hole in the head. And with my digestive problems, any increase in fiber is difficult for me to tolerate. The first two weeks on WW I complained to Janet that it was like being in the first trimester: I was cranky, hungry and constantly had to pee. However, I soon figured out (thank you Google) that I wasn't drinking enough water. I started pushing 100 ounces a day, and suddenly the scale was my friend.

    I'm hoping to hit the 20 pounds lost mark by Christmas, and I'm really really hoping to maintain over the holidays. I don't have any pants that fit, which is great but annoying. I don't want to spend the money on transition pants, but everything is hanging off me so I'm in sweat pants a lot. Which I just realized makes me look like a slob, lol.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011


    TC: Can I have a peanut butter spoonful?
    Me: Not right now buddy.
    TC: But it's not even raining.

    Me: You're my favorite redhead, buddy.
    TC: You're my favorite bluehead, mom.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Land of Confusion

    I've been a hot mess of indecision lately, and it was making me crazy. It's all good things, but good things that I can't choose between and feel immobilized by. I hope that makes sense and doesn't sound manic or stupid. I have too much free time during the day, and even though I have plenty of things I can and should be doing in that time, I waste a lot of it with stupid stuff. I have no accountability during the day and it's not good. My youngest is going to kindergarten in a year and I need to decide what I'm doing with my life. I did decide that I'm not going back to school to finish my degree, at least not at this stage of life. A will start college herself in six years and I just can't see spending the money now when we need to be saving it for her. And I'd really like it if my husband could get a 9 to 5 job. His hours are ridiculous. I'm thankful he has a good & secure job, don't get me wrong. But yesterday he got up for work at 3:30am and didn't get home until 9:00pm. And his whole week looks to be the same, just as it was last week. I just don't see how his body will take that abuse indefinitely, and I would rather go back to work and get ourselves in a position for him to work less. I know that won't happen overnight or anything, but it's something we have agreed to work towards.

    I started reading the Dave Ramsey book again (Total Money Makeover) and the good news is that we make a lot of good financial decisions. We don't have credit card debt, just house, cars & camper. Tom's car was a leftover so it was a bit more, but mine was used so the payments aren't terrible. I just want Tom to come have a life with us, rather than visiting us.

    I'm pondering medical transcription, since I could do that from home. Jill's sister is awesome and got me some contact info for the one she works for. I need to touch up my sparkling resume (ten years at home, oy) and give them a call. I'm a bit worried because the office is an hour away and I don't know how often I'll need to go there. We shall see; it's a good opportunity that I won't waste.

    Thanksgiving = going off plan with my food choices, as I posted about earlier. I need to really focus on it, or I will slide right back into bad habits. I am allowed to have dessert, I just can't eat a piece of pie and then cake and then cookies and then some more turkey with gravy. It's so easy to mindlessly eat when you're sitting around with family all day....

    Thanksgiving Gluttony

    My major dilemma this week is to try to stay on the Weight Watchers wagon over Thanksgiving. Even with the weekly extra points they give me for special occasions, I am pretty sure this is impossible. I'm making oven roasted vegetables to take, so I know they'll be healthy. (olive oil, sea salt, pepper)

    Any suggestions? Drink a gallon of water before the meal? Wear my tightest pants?

    Sunday, November 20, 2011


    When I was a kid I was not the graceful swan you know today. No really, I was a dork, it's true. So I can look back now and see how it made sense that I didn't fit in with the other kids. That said, it still sucks to get picked on and back at that tender age, I took what was said to me to heart.

    I was sitting in lunch one day in fourth grade and two boys sang to me. They sang the tune of "Pretty Woman" but changed it to "Ugly Woman" and modified the lyrics from there. It hurt, certainly, but what was most difficult was continuing to go to school with the one boy for the rest of elementary, junior high & senior high. He never said anything else to me, but every time I saw him I would think of that taunting song.

    Fast forward 25 years.  We went to our favorite diner for lunch after church today, and the serenader was there with his family. As I enjoyed lunch with my husband and kids, I reflected on this boy turned man, with his own children climbing on his lap. If a boy treats his little girl the way that he treated me, I wonder how he will feel? Conversely, of course, is the possibility that he is raising his daughter to be a turd just like he was, and she'll be the one doing the tormenting. I'd like to believe that fatherhood has made him into a better person, although I doubt it.

    What I found really satisfying was that I could look at this man and not remember at all why his words ever caused me hurt. The guy's a tool and always was, and I could care less what he ever thought of me. I have the perspective that comes with time, and what a blessing it is to be free.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011


    I just ate what had to be the fattiest pork chop ever sliced. Seriously, I felt like I was dissecting something with all the work I had to do to cut all the fat off. And then I could still feel it here & there, somehow lurking between sections. What the crap, Redner's? It's my own fault, really, as I swore long ago to stop buying meat there. My laziness takes over, however, and I just don't feel like going to another store.

    I'm speaking at my home group's anniversary tomorrow night. I really love public speaking; I just can't decide if I should vomit before or after. I'm leaning towards before due to time constraints, since I have to go straight from the meeting to pick the boys up from Awana. Ugh, why did I let myself be bamboozled into this? And I do mean bamboozled, because a woman nominated me out of nowhere during the business meeting a few months ago. I have never seen a faster vote. I considered throwing a tantrum to get out of it, but that didn't seem like it would go over well. This is when having 10 years of sobriety works against you; people expect adult behavior.

    I'm feeling a bit better about driving the past few days. Not loving it, but surviving. I will say though, that it's hard when everyone decides to drive like a moron around here. I'm sure I've complained about all of the construction before? It's really swell how they decided that all of the major roads around my hood need to be repaved at the same time.

    E had a rough day at school last week and the principal called me. I can only conclude that I must have forgotten to medicate him that morning, based on the colorful description she gave me of the day he'd been having. And I may be cheap, but I'm not throwing his shirt out just because he cut the cuff off of one sleeve. It gives it character, really. She was quite grateful when I offered to come pick him up. I'm betting she's thinking that next time she'll call me earlier, because this was at 2pm and school ends at 3:30. The whole thing made me laugh; what can ya do?

    In happier news, my master plan to get my church on Facebook is finally coming together. *twirls mustache* The funny thing is, after being shot down for two years for various reasons, they're all acting like this isn't a big deal and of course we'll get the church on Facebook. I'm pretty sure they're toying with me.

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Psalm 91

    I couldn't sleep last night. I've been struggling with some anxiety since the near-miss last week. Anxiety has really never been an issue for me before, and I hate it. I'm finding it hard to drive in traffic, which is unavoidable with the high level of road construction in our area right now. Tom has his work truck this week and we had to go pick up his car from the parking lot at work last night. On the way home I found myself clenching the steering wheel, feeling very afraid. Traffic was really heavy, it was dark, it was raining. It was like the emotional trifecta for me, ughh. Laying in bed later, I kept thinking of how ridiculous this fear was, but I couldn't shake it.

    I got out of bed and went to get a book from my office, figuring I would read for a bit and try to settle my mind. I noticed the Shorthand books on the shelf. They belonged to my Gram, and I took them when we emptied her house before she went in the nursing home. I thought it would be fun to have them and maybe pick up a few ideas. I had never actually opened them past the first few pages, so I had no idea that they were workbooks, or that she had written in them.
    There was something very comforting about seeing her handwriting in that watery blue ink. I looked at the date, and realized that she took this class two years after my grandfather died at the age of 43. She wasn't much older than me. I flipped through all three books and found that she had not only completed them, but tucked in the pages was an envelope containing her certificate of completion. I know Gram worked at a flower shop, but I never knew that she did this, or even how she went on to use it. I'll have to ask my Mom. It's just funny how God would show me these books now, when I am anxious about many things, one of which is the decision to go back to work after a decade at home. I felt so comforted knowing that my decision isn't based on what hers was. I was reminded of what it was like for her, and how hard it must have been.

    I put the books back on the shelf, and noticed a tattered bible next to them. It's one that was given to their church in honor of my grandfather, and has his name in the front. Old books are like a blankey for me; I love to hold them and smell them. (The church later closed, and they got this copy.) I took it back to bed with me, and opened to Psalm 91, my favorite. The bible wasn't labeled but I knew immediately that it was the King James. I hardly ever read in that version, but for some reason the old beauty of those words moved me like I had never read this passage before. 

    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

    I cried. God is so good; He is such a comfort. He knows. He just knows. And that was what I needed.

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    ADHD Awareness Week

    Red Light

    I pulled up to the red light and waited. In the back seat were my 5 year old son and the 3 year old son of a friend. The light has a long cycle. The boys were chattering away to each other while we sat. The light turned green just as a car was coming from the right. I hesitated for an instant, as she didn't seem to be slowing enough to stop for the light. She did stop though, and I moved forward, about to turn left.
    I heard the truck before I saw it. The giant dump truck had blown the light, probably not even seeing it as it was next to another busy intersection. I heard his wheels locking up and then saw him as he turned to the left to avoid me. I was pushing the brake pedal through the floor, sure that we were going to collide. His tires were smoking and screaming as he stopped.
    Then silence. Deep breath. He hadn't hit me. Our vehicles were so close that I couldn't even see the driver above me. The boys were still chattering. I thought I was going to vomit, but as he moved out of the intersection, I moved too. We were okay.
    A minute down the road, I pulled over. I didn't think I should drive until I stopped shaking and crying. The boys continued to be unaware of what had happened. I pulled myself together and took them to school.

    That moment could have changed our lives forever. It didn't; God spared us. I thought about what this could have done to my family and the family of the child whose care I had been entrusted with. I thanked God for the brand new brakes in my husband's brand new car that I was driving. I thanked God for the woman who hadn't been slowing down for the light, which made me hesitate before going through the intersection. I doubt that that woman knows she may have saved our lives. The young men in the car behind me were undoubtedly stunned by what they saw, as I saw their eyes wide and mouths hanging open in my mirror at the next light. Did God use what they saw to remind them to be safe & alert drivers?

    We have a logo for our church, of a cross touching a pool of water, creating ripples. It reminds me that God can use everything that happens to us to impact not only us, but those around us. I don't know what that truck driver was thinking after we had both come to a stop. My husband works with large equipment and I know that he fears hitting someone when he drives his enormous work truck. He's had people pull out in front of him many times, not understanding that these large trucks cannot stop quickly. I will pray for the driver from this morning. I don't know who he is or anything about him. Whatever is going on in his life, I think it's likely that God got his attention with this. He could have killed us. I don't doubt that he knows this. I know God wants me to pray for him, and I will. And here's hoping that the rest of my week is quiet and uneventful!

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    {this moment}

    {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Love Worth Fighting For

    Last month Tom took me to meet my first love, Kirk Cameron. Ok, so he really took me to a marriage seminar, but he agreed that he knew ahead of time what he was getting himself into by surprising me with these tickets.

    Aside from making a fool of myself when I got to meet Kirk and shake his hand after he signed my book, it was a perfect evening. And really, even making a fool of myself was ok. Fourteen year old me is so proud of 37 year old me.

    The message was good and directed mostly towards the husbands, which was a surprise. It was kind of refreshing though, because I have honestly read a ton of books and heard a ton of speakers on the topic of what wives should do. Not often have I heard strong messages about what husbands are supposed to be doing.
    If you get a chance to attend this, go. It's not earth-shattering but it is meaningful and we really enjoyed it. Kirk has a great message, as does Warren Barfield who provided the music.

    Saturday, October 8, 2011


    TC: I want to play Epic Failure of the Races
    Me: I don't think we have that game.
    TC: It's also called Mario Kart.

    TC: Mom, when I grow up I want to be a scientist of worms and live with you.

    TC: Look, a squirrel!
    Me: Yep
    TC: He's looking for a mate so he can lay babies.

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Blog Traffic

    I always find it interesting to see how visitors found my blog.

    Searcher of 'ashes snack', I worry about you.

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    13 Things my ADHD Child Wishes You Knew

    I was reading this list recently called 10 Things My Autistic Child Wishes You Knew. I love this list; I think it's up to us as parents to educate others about who our kids are.  So here is a list of things my son needs you to know about him, and to be honest, things I need you to know about me & Tom as his parents. A quick disclaimer: This list is about our son, and it is not all true about all children with ADHD. Many kids have co-morbid conditions or their ADHD symptoms are milder or more severe. There is a wide spectrum for this disorder.

    13 Things My ADHD Child Wishes You Knew

    1. I may not meet your eyes when we are talking. That doesn't always mean that I'm not listening or that my parents haven't tried to teach me manners.

    2. My impulse control is 3 to 5 years behind that of other children my age. Take my age and subtract 3 to 5 years, and think about what a child that age is like. I may be 9, but my ability to control my impulsive actions is that of a 4 to 6 year old. I need you to be patient with me.

    3. I don't have ADHD because of too much sugar or lazy parenting. ADHD is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder. You cannot prevent it or cure it. I have a long road ahead of me to learn to live with ADHD.

    4. My mom says this man named Ben Glenn has ADHD and teaches other about it. He says my thoughts are like airplanes circling an airport, just going and going and unable to land. You know how sometimes you can't turn off your mind to fall asleep at night? I have that problem every night.

    5. I take a medication every morning to help me settle my thoughts and emotions, and to help me sit at my desk. My parents thought about the decision for a long time, and did a lot of reading and talking to doctors before they started giving it to me. Before I took medication I could not sit still long enough to do my homework. I was like this and it was really frustrating for me and my parents. Please don't judge my parents for giving me medication or suggest that I could be 'cured' if I ate less gluten or more vegetables or only organic foods. The medicine helps me. Mom says it's ironic how judgmental people are about medication for kids like me, when those are the same people who would complain if I can't control myself in public. I don't know what ironic means, but I like that my medicine helps me to do what my teachers need me to do.

    6. At the end of the day, when my medication wears off I can experience something called rebound. I may lose control of my emotions and be unable to calm down for a long time. My mom & dad try to keep things quiet and routine that time of day so I am able to transition more peacefully. At any time of day I have trouble modulating my emotions and may overreact to things. Once I get upset sometimes I just stay that way, even if I don't remember why.

    7. I'm not stupid; in fact, I'm actually very smart. I don't like writing because my hand cannot keep up with my mind, and I get really frustrated. I also have trouble spelling. I use a writing tool called a Neo, which is a lightweight word processor. I enjoy using it and love that I can get my ideas down quickly.

    8. I have a best friend who has Asperger's, which is on the Autism spectrum.  We get along really well. My mom had to have me screened for Autism because ADHD can be like it sometimes. I'm glad that he is my friend because I don't have any others. Most kids think I'm weird. Sometimes I get made fun of and I cry. I'm not allowed to go play with kids in the neighborhood anymore because they bully me and make fun of me. I don't understand why other kids don't like me. I think a lot of kids are my friends when they really aren't. I don't get invited to playdates or parties. I'm glad that Z and I are friends. We play computer games and go to Stockade (Awana) together.

    9. I have an amazing memory. I can tell you a lot of details about things that I'm interested in. I saw an infomercial for an organizing purse once, and I told my mom all about it, including all the reasons she would find it useful and what colors it was available in.

    10. Once I start talking about something that I'm excited about, I usually can't stop. Even if you interrupt me or walk away from me I will just continue talking until I'm finished.

    11. I'm a great problem solver. I can figure out puzzles really well. My mom and I play games together on the computer and she always tells me how smart I am for finding the clues or solutions.

    12. I'm really bad at organizing things. I lose jackets and notebooks a lot, and have no idea where I've left them.

    13. I'm funny and sweet and I love my family. I like to laugh and play games with Mom like Battleship, or work with tools with Dad. I make my big sister crazy but she still loves me. I like to play with my little brother; we have fun together!

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011


    Me: You need to go up to your room because you're being disobedient.
    TC: *Sulks and begins trudging towards the stairs.*
    Me, quietly to Tom: This is why he still needs to take naps, because he's being a toad.
    TC, loudly down the stairs: Do you know that I heard you?!

    Me: Please don't give the dog noogies.
    TC: But they're funny. And they're good for her.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Overheard, or How I Lost My Mind

    TC: Can I play the Wii?
    Me: No
    TC, 90 seconds later: Mom, can I play the Wii?
    Me: No
    TC, 12 seconds later: Mom, can I play the Wii?
    Me: TC, I've already answered you.
    TC: What was the question?

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Jesus Gets Around

    Let's just file this under 'things my mother might almost snicker at but would ultimately be horrified by':

    I laughed so. hard. at these, and I'm sure that's wrong. But honestly, why are people putting Jesus on all of these products???

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Breaking the Silence

    Today was PRO-ACT's 11th annual walk to celebrate recovery. The Walk celebrates individuals who have sustained long-term recovery and honors people and organizations who make recovery possible. I LOVE this walk and I'm already thinking about next year's walk and how I can motivate people to get involved and participate. I walked two years ago for the first time. (I had to miss it last year since I was still recovering from sinus surgery.) I walked with Livengrin, the Foundation for Addiction Recovery. My sponsor works at Livengrin and I am planning to start volunteering there sometime soon. (I wanted to wait until TC was in school, and he's now doing three days a week.)

    I want so much for the stigma and misunderstandings about recovery to be wiped out. I avoided getting help the first three years of my sobriety because I didn't want 'the stigma'. I barely made it through those white-knuckled years, and I should have gone to rehab and started a program of recovery from the beginning. I let other people's ideas about recovery affect my decision, and that was a mistake. I thank God that I never relapsed, because I was doing everything wrong.

    Now that I have some time under my belt, I have thought more and more about how I can help to remove the stigma, so that people will stop being afraid to get help. I didn't have to suffer alone, and I want to share recovery with others.  I was reading on the Faces & Voices of Recovery web site and this line struck me: "By our silence we let others define us."  I don't want to be silent about my success in recovery because my story can help someone else.

    There are more than 20 million Americans in long-term recovery. Isn't that amazing? What we have is worth talking about and worth sharing. I recently heard Warren Barfield, a musician, talking about mistakes he had made in his marriage and he said, "I don't tell my story to relive my shame. I tell my story to relive my victory." Amen, brother.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Back to School Night

    Last night was BTS Night for A's school. I've really been looking forward to this because last year we only had an open house with a boring assembly. The teachers were on a work-to-contract action last year. This year they are again but it's been modified so as not to affect the events where parents or students are present.  (Thanks, teachers!)

    As Theresa said, there were some groups of teachers picketing out front due to the three-year-never-ending contract dispute. There were police and security by the front doors. But overall, it was quiet and peaceful and people were happy to be there.  My Dad stood that picket line back in the early 80s as a contract negotiator for the NFT (teacher's union). Whatever goes on now, however ugly this 'negotiation' has been, I know that my father was a man to be proud of when he went through it. He is a godly man of integrity.  And I know how it felt during his strike, and how people treated us because of it. Months of no paycheck combined with people egging our house or calling at all hours to say rude things might have broken the resolve of a lesser man. My father was firm, and was willing to go to jail. In fact, when we got the call that the board had accepted the contract and a deal had been made, my father was getting dressed in a suit to go to court; a court where the judge had stated he would be sending them to jail if they did not go back to work.

    Maybe times are different; maybe it's really the same fight all over again, I don't know. I don't really care. What I know is that I will not be a character assassin and tear down the teachers who educate my children. I know what it cost my father to stand up for he believed in.

    So, moving on! It was lovely meeting all of A's teachers, and Tom was able to go with me, a rare treat. We had a few very surreal moments, like when a girl he had homeroom with came bustling in late, and he said it was just like old times. How funny that they spent years sitting next to each other and now their kids do the same, in the very same school.  It was odd for me too, sitting in those same classrooms where I learned 23ish years ago. And A's gym teacher is the father of a boy who used to make fun of me in the lunchroom. He seems nicer than his son, thankfully. I was pleased to learn that they now teach them CPR and first aid, and that A will be CPR certified by the end of the school year. I liked what I heard in all of their presentations, about the importance of homework (compared to practicing a sport), and of building a community to teach the kids to respect each other. Kids are still going to be kids, but I like that the district is making an effort to reduce bullying.

    Praying for a great school year for my kids and for a resolution between the teachers & the board. Thanks in advance, God!

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    He's asked me 7 questions in the time it took to post this

    I was mad at Tom for an hour this morning because he didn't call to explain why he was so late. He's usually home from work about the time I'm waking up. I knew he probably got hung up at work with some stupid emergency (translation: someone broke something that he has to fix) but I was still annoyed that he didn't at least call to mention that he wasn't dead.  
    I later remembered that they moved him back to day shift yesterday, so he wasn't late, he was at work like he was supposed to be. I then found this picture which explains why I'm irrational and crazy. So Tom, I forgive you.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Hurricane Irene

    So I had intended to post last week about the hurricane, and I know it's old news at this point. But I thought I would bore you with it anyway.

    The brunt of the hurricane hit us overnight. It was a wild night for sure. I am not generally a nervous person, so even when the reports suggested extreme winds and rain, I wasn't really worried. I was chatting with friends on Facebook, all of us keeping tabs on what we were all seeing in our areas. Around 10:30pm it got more serious when a tornado watch was issued, and then a tornado warning shortly after. I was truly afraid, as we have no warning system here. I thought about what I knew about tornadoes, which isn't much. I decided to move my children downstairs and have them sleep in the living room. I told the big kids very little, just that the storm was pretty heavy and I'd feel better if they were closer to me. TC never woke up and I just put him on a quilt on the floor.

    The power went out just before midnight. My friend Keri texted me a while later, complaining that there were noisy helicopters keeping her awake. (We realized later that it was the sound of many generators running in the neighborhood.) I had a hard time sleeping with the threat of tornadoes and wind damage.
    {The crick that runs through the bottom of our neighborhood. This is a shot of our friend's back yard. The water reached their back patio.}

    In the morning church was of course cancelled, so we decided to get out of the house and drive around to see how bad the damage was. Surprisingly, we didn't see a ton of storm damage in trees or houses, but there was high water everywhere.
    {The levee along the Delaware River. You can see water being pumped over in huge tubes. One is from the crick and the other is from the storm drain.}

    We got high winds at the tail end of the hurricane that arrived in the afternoon. This was when a lot of people began losing power, as trees lost their footing in water-logged soil and came crashing down. Tom helped a neighbor clean up when a tree fell in his yard.

    We are so thankful to have come through the storm with no damage. We lost a few things in the fridge and that was it. The number of homes without power in our state alone was over 300,000, let alone all the other states affected. Our power came back on after only 15 hours. We were relieved because ice was hard to find, as most places had sold out quickly. (We're in the process of researching & buying a generator for the future. We seem to lose power every summer with storms, and then every winter with snowstorms.)

    We had an earthquake a week before the hurricane, and have since gotten deluged with rain from Tropical Storm Lee, which flooded much of our area. Our friends who avoided flooding with Irene have since been flooded with Lee. They had at least a foot of water in their house. All the houses along that street now have huge piles of ruined furniture and rolled-up carpet at the curb as they clean up.  I know that as Christians we are all thinking about what the Bible says about what it will be like in the last days. And truthfully, I cannot remember a single year of my life where we had so many natural disasters. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan were unprecedented. We had 'snowpocalypse', followed by a brutal tornado season,  the east coast earthquake, and then these hurricanes that have brought massive flooding and destruction.
    {Our favorite park under water from Lee.}

    It's all a painful reminder of the need to spread the Gospel before it's too late. We can't know when the end of days will come, but Jesus told us to be mindful, to keep watch, and to tell others about Him. Complacency sneaks up once the sun is shining, and I don't want to forget the big picture. A friend of mine accepted Jesus as her Savior this past weekend, and I have been grinning and praising Him about it for days. It also encourages me to keep talking to others about my faith, since no matter what the weather, we don't want to waste any of the time we are given.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011


    I saw a convertible Smart Car on the road this morning. I was actually afraid for the little guy in traffic. I felt like I was watching a preschooler cross a highway alone.

    My four year old, who cannot read, can use the Wii like a pro, navigating menus and playing complicated games with no help. Yet he somehow expects me to believe that I need to brush his teeth for him because he can't do it.

    E has his first real friend. He's had some kids before that he played with, but nothing that could be called a friendship. There is a boy from our church who has Asperger's that we have had over our house a few times. They are like peas in a pod! They get along really well, I guess because they have some of the same quirks and both share a love of video games. They have been on the phone the last few nights playing Roblox together.  Last week at Stockade (Awana) E fell during a game and hurt his arm. Z stayed with him as he got ice and a band-aid. When a leader said Z could go back to the group while he took care of E, Z refused saying that E was his best friend and he would stay with him. I cried when they told me that.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Weight Watchers

    Debby has been gone six months. I've been thinking about her the past few days, finding that the passage of time has not made me miss her less, but has brought the peace that God promises.

    Debby was one of those people who lived to serve others. She never married and had no children, so her church was the central focus of her life. She gave a lot, worked hard, and no doubt received the, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant' greeting upon entering Heaven.

    The downside of this is that Debby didn't take care of herself as well as she should have. She was morbidly obese up until the cancer treatments began taking pounds from her. Having fought my weight for many years now, I know that struggle all too well. When my emotional pain overwhelmed me in my early 20s, I was not at a point where I was willing to drink at work yet. But I could eat. I would get takeout from a pizza place several times a week. A pizza was not enough, since I shared with a coworker. We would also order potato salad and fried side dishes like broccoli bites. I gained 70 pounds in a year.

    I don't know what impact Debby's weight had on her health. She was healthy as far as I knew up until her breast cancer diagnosis. I know there are statistics that say cancer rates for the obese are higher. I don't know if this is true for her, and it doesn't matter in the end.

    The good that I can take from this loss is that I have to take charge of my health. I must pursue the healthiest life that I can, in order to serve God the best I can. I must take Reckless Abandon seriously, and it was that which led me to join Weight Watchers. I hate having to rely on a method or tool to lose weight, but on my own I made no progress. But my Reckless Abandon plan means doing something that makes me uncomfortable now, in order to achieve my goals later.

    I reached my first ten pound goal this morning, and it felt really good. Really, really good. I know Debby would be proud.

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    School Drop Off

    Every year I get cranky about dropping my son off at school. He's in 4th grade, so I'm sure by now my husband is tired of hearing me complain about this. The short version is that people quite frankly are morons and cannot grasp the concept of pulling up as far as you are able, stopping, letting your child out, and then leaving. This is not rocket science.

    You do not need to get out of your car.
    You do not need to exchange long and loving goodbyes. (Do that at home if you are seriously still that joined at the hip.)
    You do not need to get out of your car and go into the school. I don't care what the reason is. That's what the parking lot is for.
    You do not need to get out of your car to talk to another mom.
    You do not need to put their backpacks in the trunk of your giant SUV or minivan, which then necessitates you getting out of the car & popping the trunk, or worse, using the auto-open/close feature, which you then have to wait for. Your little darling is able to keep their backpack with them in the car. Really. Unless you drive one of those ridiculous Smart Cars, you have room. Stop showing off the auto-open feature and move it.

    Finally, I understand that your sweet little princess is the light of your life, and as such she can't possibly be expected to walk further than seven feet to enter the school. But here's the thing, she CAN. You do not need to wait to drop her off until you are directly in front of the doors. Nor do you need to stop the line halfway through the drop off circle and clog up the intersection next to the school. Move to the end of the circle if you have room, and drop off there. Your child WILL make it into the school without you. If they can't, then you need to think about cutting the cord. I'm just sayin'.

    And if you don't have to deal with this situation as your kids are too young or they take the bus or you homeschool, let me assure you that this is not just me. I have found plenty of other mom bloggers ranting about this too....

    Mom-Peeves: The Pick-Up/Drop-Off Zone at School

    10 Steps to a Successful School Drop Off

    Dropping off Kids at School – or my own personal H%#$%

    10 Things parents dropping their kids off at school can learn from Jesus - This is a nice list of scriptures to use in application with the ridiculousness of the drop off line. If that doesn't clue you in to how frustrating this process is, then come over some morning and get in the car with me.

    I also found post after post on all kinds of message boards where parents expressed total frustration and exasperation with drop-off at their school. The only helpful words I can offer are these: I also drive my 7th grader to middle school fairly often. And guess what? This problem does not exist there. People pull up, the kids get out and walk into the school, and the driver leaves. And at my daughter's school, there's only room for two cars to drop off at a time, and it STILL goes ten times faster than the elementary school line.

    So take heart mamas, there is an end in sight! Until then, I promise I will try not to let this get under my skin for the entire school year. I know in the grand scheme of things, this is minor. I may need to write myself a reminder note and tape it my steering wheel....

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    Teacher Letter

    {TC eating a s'more on a stick, our new favorite treat.}

    Tomorrow is the first day of school for my oldest two, and I just finished emailing E's new teacher. I am already very pleased that he is sound asleep, as last year he missed the first day after staying awake all night. A and I spent the afternoon finishing up what we weren't able to accomplish during the hurricane weekend (which I will blog about tomorrow). She now has new shoes, freshly cut hair and new earrings and I am at the top of the mother-daughter food chain. Wait, no, that sounds like I may eat her later. I just mean that she thinks I'm awesome.

    TC doesn't start preschool for a few weeks, so I'm looking forward to some extra one-on-one time with him. He is such a super love bug right now that I could just eat - wait. Seriously, what is wrong with me, maybe I need a snack. Anyhow, he must tell me he loves me about seven times an hour. *swoon*

    Weight Watchers is going well and I got some breathing room in a pair of jeans today. And speaking of jeans, hooray for the cool temps we got today! I do so wish that they would stay, although I know it's too early for that to happen.

    So here's the letter. I liked this teacher when A had her, and my prayer has been that E would get the teacher that would be the best fit for him. He's been medicated for over a year now, and I'm really looking forward to seeing his growth as a student. The changes last year were amazing.

    Mrs. B,
    I wanted to send a letter to you to say hello and reintroduce myself and my son. You may remember that you had my daughter A a few years ago. My name is Shay and my son E will be in your class this year. We’re excited about 4th grade and looking forward to an enjoyable year.
    E is bright and inquisitive, and loves to talk in detail about subjects that interest him. He has an amazing memory. He lives with me and his father, along with two siblings and various pets. He loves computer games and is an excellent problem solver. He loves to be a helper and being given small tasks.
    E has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly called ADHD. He takes a daily medication for this that helps him enormously. Still, you will see the disorder and I wanted to give you some information that may be helpful.
    E can at times have great difficulty remaining seated or need to be given multi-step directions more than once.
            Behavior charts, where E has to be accountable (with his participation in marking them) seem to work well for him. In the past his day has been broken down into 30 minute increments, with certain requirements for that time. Examples would be staying in seat, following directions, completing assignments, etc. This is of course just a suggestion, and you may find another approach more suitable.
    E is a story-teller, and loves to tell tales in great detail. Sometimes you will find these are not true. We have been working on teaching him that it’s ok to be creative in story-telling, but that he cannot portray wild stories as reality. Mrs. KB has experienced this several times.
    If E does not complete work during classroom time, we have found it ineffective to have him kept inside at recess, or sent to do the work with Mrs. KB or Mrs. O. E loves one-on-one time with adults as his captive audience, so this is more like a reward for him. Feel free to send uncompleted work home with him and we can work on it with him, or to handle it in another way of your choosing.
    E does not make friends easily. He wants playmates, but frequently will talk another child to death and not realize that he isn't really having an interaction. He has participated in a social group with Mrs. O in the past.
    E has good and bad days just like any other child. He sometimes will only need redirected once to stay on task, while other days may need multiple reminders.  I know that we are of course quite biased, but he really is an amazing young man.
    My email address is...  My home phone is.... and my cell phone is... Please feel free to contact me at any time; I am at your disposal.

    Many thanks,

    Saturday, August 27, 2011


    So far we've had lots of rain since early afternoon, but nothing major. The wind is picking up...