Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A favorite Picture


Went for a walk the other night with Pepper and Kirby and took this picture with my cell phone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Right, Wright, Write, Rite?


My 9-year-old really wanted to go to his friends house today. He got the address and made all the arrangements on how and when to get there. I did not think it would be too hard. The friend rode a district bus to school, meaning he lived in-district, so I knew there was a limited radius he could be.

Dill told me that the friend lived on Right Road. I did a quick Google search. My computer thought a minute or two then popped up a marker not too far from our house. I also had to drop KC off at a friend of hers so they could head to a movie so I did that first. I used my phone’s map program to get directions. It said there was no such road as Right Road. Dill checked with his friend and Dill said: “Its Write with a ‘w’ not R-I-G-H-T” Ok, so I programmed that into the phone and off we went.

Well, an hour later and with my low gas light on, we still had not found the house…. Or road…. or even stayed in the right town. And in all this time we had not passed one gas station. Things were not “right” with my phone’s directions!

To make a really bad day’s experience short…. My phone auto-corrected my road name by spell checking and finding the road “White" instead of "Write”! White Road is three towns over and is the very, very last road in a very off the main road mobile home park. There are way too many ways to spell the the name of the road Right! (get it?!)

Poor Dill got to see a very impatient and frustrated mom but at least we found a gas station before we had to walk! We finally found the house and Dill got to hang out with his friend. In the end the bad situation turned out alWRIGHT!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Matter of Perspective...

I have been working with a student that is probably one of the top 10 most challenging children that I have ever worked with. His language is non-existent. He cannot follow even the simplest one step command so his behavior appears poor. His comprehension and capacity for learning seems very low. Although he is much older, he functions at about the 9-12 month level. Even after years of trying, he is not potty trained. He bolts without much warning and has no danger sense. He bangs his head when he is upset- so much that he will make himself bleed or bruise. He eats non-food things like sand and crayons if not watched carefully.

I met his mother the other day. She was very nice. Both mother and son are beautiful. He has her eyes and good complexion. She noticed another child that was in the building. The other child was in a walker and had obvious physical limitations. The Mother shook her head in a pitying way and told me how grateful she was that her son was mobile.

Since I know both of these children, that comment surprised me. The child with the walker is bright. That child is progressing rapidly, becoming more independent, making friends, and will, in time, be able to do most things by himself. This mother will probably always need to care for her son.

It must be true that God only gives us what we can handle and that everyone sees things differently. I remember seeing my children in the hospital for the first time and knowing… without a doubt, knowing that mine was the best. Of all those babies in their little bassinets I got the best one. Every time! To this day they are still the best ones of all the ones I could have gotten.

One thing I used to tell parents when I had to break the news to them that their child was eligible for special education services was that EVERY child had issues. No child was perfect. They were lucky that they now KNEW what their child was going to struggle with and they could deal with it. I hope it brought them comfort.

As I watched this boy and his mother head out the door they did do very well together. She gave him boundaries and expectations he could handle and he seemed to sense how much space she was comfortable with giving him. I am glad this Mother feels she got the best one. He will need her love and support for a long time.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Worst Case Scenario


Dill is our worry wart! He is the one that stresses at the little weather warning signal on the TV and gets nervous if there is a dark cloud over head or the wind picks up suddenly. Every morning we go through a ritual at breakfast. He asks what happens if it starts to rain. We tell him he'll have inside recess. He asks what happens if swimming after school gets cancelled. We tell him to ride the bus home. He asks what if no one else is home. We tell him to call us and then make himself a snack. He asks what if he has to go to the bathroom really bad when he gets off the bus. We tell him to go.

Dill has never seen that game about Worst-Case Scenario.... but I think he could either write a great version of it or win every time.

One of his last routine questions is to check to make sure Pepper has her phone. Pepper always has her phone.... but Dill likes to make sure. One day, he was distracted and forgot to ask about the phone before he got on the bus. Before the school bus was even out of Pepper's sight, her phone rang. When she answered it Dill asked, "Mom, do you have your phone?"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ball pits and Waterparks

When the kids were little I was always envious of them getting to play in ball pits. Now, I know that ball pits are gross and there are probably all kinds of germs in them but they sure looked fun! All those bright colored balls all mixed together like a happy rainbow and the kids getting to dive in and run all through them- I wished they had them when I was a little kid.

Its not like I never went in a ball pit. Looking like a good mom I went in and “rescued” my kids a few times….. even when they didn’t need or want my help. Come on, I had to have some reason to get in there and if I grabbed other people’s kids…. That would have been frowned upon!

But I have discovered something that is even better than ball pits. And it is completely appropriate for an adult with kids in the pre-teen to teenage range. A Lazy River. These things are great! Traveling around in circles with an undercurrent that keeps you moving along, There are little sprinklers along the way to keep you from getting too warm. Then there are the jets that spray up and tickle your feet or whatever body part you have float over them. The kids buzz around to try to time it so the adult gets caught by the dumping buckets, but once they soak you once they laugh and move on to other victims.

Waterparks in general are very enjoyable. There are the little shallow sections for little littles. The slide and sprayers are so small and simple it discourages older kids so the little kids have their own area. There are dumping buckets of all sizes and super huge slides for the older kids. Wave pools and water basketball are other diversions. Then there is the hot tub. I don’t know why there always seems to be 3-4 pre-teen type kids that love hanging around the hot tub with mainly adults. They jump in and splash and have a wonderful time bugging the adults. (At least one of these kids is usually one of mine, so it isn’t that big a deal)

I’d love to go to a waterpark that had two hot tubs. One for the kids that want to be rambunctious and another one that was adults only. If I owned a waterpark I’d make sure to have two. One with a trampoline or diving board or one of those big floating islands in the middle for the kids and the other one adults only….. maybe with a bar at one edge and a Starbuck’s on the other. Maybe I will even put a giant ball pit for kids and adults to play in… I can’t be the only adult that thinks those things look like fun! ☺

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cherry stem knot


Recently, the family went out to dinner. After dinner, we all got ice cream that had a cherry placed on top. Pete and Macy were discussing how being able to tie a knot in the cherry stem with just your tongue is an indicator of being a good kisser. Pete put his stem into his mouth and after a couple funny looks and scrunching up and furrowing his eyebrows a few times he stuck out his tongue and there was a perfect knot in the middle of his cherry stem.

Macy, not to be outdone, then stuck her stem into her mouth, saying she knew she was a good kisser. The rest of the family continued to talk and eat their ice cream waiting for Macy to finish tying her stem. She also made a few faces and looked like she was getting that stem knotted. Suddenly, with a surprised look on her face, Macy said, “I swallowed my stem!”

Oops, guess Macy needs more practice…. At tying knots in stems—maybe kissing too! ;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

KC taler godt engelsk!

KC does really well with English so when she says something that isn’t quite right, it is pretty amusing…. And in my head -bloggable. (That fact often gets me in trouble with Pepper and is why she gets ‘veto power’ or all of my blog posts!!)

Two things have happened recently relating to KC’s English. The first one wasn’t that amusing, but made me take more notice of her speech for the second one. KC called Pepper about getting rides for weekend activities. The rest of the family was going on an overnight trip, so the options for KC were to either 1) come with us or 2) find rides and someone to stay with while we were gone. She called to say that a friend would give her a ride on Friday to a birthday party and on Saturday for a Halloween party. Pepper asked if she wanted to just spend the night Friday as well as Saturday. KC relplied, “Yes, that is what the parent recommended.” Then she said, “no wait a minute….. that’s not the right word….. suggested?” (As a speech therapist I can say those words are pretty close and shows how good KC’s English really is)

The second time I noticed KC’s semantic challenges was when Dill asked KC to play football with him in the yard. He said, “Wanna play catch with me?” KC said ok and as they were walking outside she asked, “So you are going to throw the ball and I am going to bring it back to you?” Dill, looked at her for a minute and said, “No, that is Fetch {stress on the /F/} We play that with a dog. People play Catch {he stresses the /K/}where we just throw the ball back and forth to each other. “ KC smiled and heads out to the back yard looking very pleased that she wouldn’t have to go scampering after the ball for Dill!! ☺

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Things Are Possible


Last week we went to dinner with a couple other families from church. The idea is to break bread with people we don’t know very well and share a bible passage after we eat and then discuss it. Our church does this for 5-6 weeks in a row twice a year. It is a nice way to meet people we might not normally get to know at the church and see them on their “home turf”. It’s held on Friday nights, so it is not a bad way to end the work week either.

The weeks passage was Mark 10:24-25. The passage is a little different, depending on which translation you use, but the gist of the message is that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle then for a wealthy person to get into the kingdom of God (Heaven). This passage bothered me a bit…. Being a well-fed, healthy American that has been well educated and pretty darn lucky in this life.

The other members of our little group discussed Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt- all of whom they felt gave back, trying to help less fortunate people. Then they talked about wealthy people they knew that lived well and had more than their share. We totally avoided talking about us. Were we in a mansion? No, actually we were in a modest condo in an moderately affluent part of the city. We had just had appetizers and wine and a very nice dinner….. we all ate more than we needed and extra’s were put away in heavy duty self-closing Tupperware containers. Dessert, 3 varieties (plus popsicle’s for the kids) were waiting for us when we finished our conversation and digested a bit. The house was warm and the chairs were comfortable. The kids were running around playing X-box and then hide and seek having a good time. In my mind, we were bigger than those camels. And the doorway into Heaven seems mighty small.

I was thinking about the church conference I went to a couple weeks ago. There was a break out session about a church-wide outreach service project. Everyone in the church was invited to do community projects and help out others and improve other people’s lives. I was attracted to the idea and have even followed up with a few emails and conversations at church about doing a similar event in our church. But is that enough? Can anyone with a decent job and a checking account ever get to Heaven?

Another person at the dinner mentioned that Bill Gates planned to give away 90% of his wealth before he died. If Bill Gates gives 90% of everything he has to charity he will still have kept millions for himself and his family to live on. That is still more than most people will ever even see in their lifetimes. Will the door be opened for him? How about the guy that walks away from his family to live on the street and beg for money to buy beer…. Will he get in? He isn’t wealthy. What about the people we know that have a modest amount and share nothing? Or the people with very little and share as much as they can?

That passage is only one line in the bible but makes me wonder what chance any of us have of truly living up to the expectations the message sends. Is anyone doing enough? In my mind I see Heaven as empty as a church on Monday morning.

Luckily, I am a bit of an over-achiever so I read a little further. The next two verses explain that the disciples were a bit shocked to hear this news too. So they asked, “Who can be saved?” Jesus answered… “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible” Whew! That helps….. ☺