Thursday, April 30, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} - Art Show Edition

~Capturing the context of contentment in every day life~

~Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

{Pretty}

Elijah's art show was this week.  I love seeing his work.  There is a theme here, do you get it?  It involves puns.

{Happy}

We all went to see the artwork and his Grandparents were able to make it too.  He was really happy to have all of us show up to see his work and enjoy his classmates work as well.  There are some amazing artists in his school.

{Funny}
We dance the line between should we bring Ben, or not.  We want for Ben to be included in as much as possible, but sometimes it is asking too much of him (and us).  We brought him and it was a struggle, but worth it.  We ran into one of his teachers at just about the time he was losing it, and it helped him regain focus.  Trying to get a photo of Elijah's artwork with Ben not photo bombing was a nearly impossible so I finally just went with it - I mean it sums up perfectly the evening.  

Do you get the puns yet?

{Real}
*Salad Dressing* & *Cherry Bomb*

*Wisdom Tooth*

*Pound Cake*

*Firefly*

Above was also pictured *Gatorade* and *Rib-eye*



Please join Leila for this week's PHFR over at LMLD









Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Yarn Along


~Joining Ginny for this weeks Yarn Along~


I'm still working on this Christmas Stocking, and I'm still enjoying it.  Maybe it's the constant rain and strangely chilly weather which reminds me of Christmas or maybe it's the fact that Ben has finally quit asking if it will be done tomorrow? tonight? when? now? ever? So I've gotten to settle in and just enjoy the process.
I do know this is a 'yarn along' and technically I should be knitting or crocheting something, but my sit down and craft time has been taken up with this project. I do have a knitting project I'm hoping to begin, but not before this is finished.  I'm really happy I started this and am looking forward to working on each one, no matter how long it takes me.

I'm reading, rather listening to Melanie Shankle's books via Audible and I'm loving and laughing the whole way through.  We are the same age and I also grew up in Texas so I get all of what she is sharing.  The funny thing too is that she had her daughter one year to the day before I had my daughter -  it somehow makes me enjoy her more because our daughters are the same age (kinda) and I get what she shares in that regard too.  I can't recommend her books enough, but I do suggest you listen to them if you can because the way she shares, in her own voice, is the best!


 

 

Please join Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.
*Amazon affiliate links*

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Updates


Each of the kids are doing well, here are some updates.

Noah will not be coming home until July, and even then only for a week.  I am so happy for him that he continues to find opportunities within the theater community and he is learning so much.  I cannot wait to see him again. July seems so far away but, it will be here before I know it.

Jonah is doing well, he tries to video chat with us as often as he is able, which relieves my heart to see him and visit with him.

Isaac is finishing up his freshman year of college and working hard at a local bank.  He bit off quite a lot this year, but he is happy with how everything has come together.  He plans to live at home one more year, and then continue on to a 4 year college to finish up.  He is still pursuing a career as a Math teacher, and I think he will be great at it.

Elijah is working hard at Braums, ready for Summer to arrive and finally begin his senior year next Fall.  He is so focused on each step and has not yet decided which college path he will take, but he is narrowing it down.  I suspect he will have plans in place before December.  We have an art show he has his artwork displayed in at the high school tonight, I'm always in awe of what he creates and cannot wait to see the rest this evening.  Elijah has recently expressed great interest in auditioning for a play, so we are waiting to see what next season holds regarding productions - maybe he will be in one.

Simon is not ready for everything about school to end for the Summer.  He loves track, cross country, chess team etc.. He is ready for the academics to wrap up.  He took some challenging courses for his Freshman year and plans to continue on that path, but is ready for a break.  He is also still working at Braums and is looking forward to lots of camping and swimming this Summer.

Tobias.  We began the year homeschooling and then switched gears at Christmas break.  He enrolled in our public Jr. High and it has been a great fit for him.  He has loved school for the first time in years.  We had a rocky road for so long, I'm really happy he found something that works for him.  He is also working at Braums, and still taking part in our local Theater group Supporting Cast.

Faith is almost done with 4th grade homeschooling.  This year has been challenging as we ended up spending a large amount of time going to and from testing and Dr.'s appointments for Benjamin.  I'm really impressed with how much she has rallied on her own the last couple of weeks and hit the books.  She should be finished by the end of May, and I originally thought we would still be schooling in June.  We've wrapped up another semester with SHARE and she is starting a small book club for her girlfriends, the first book is Anne of Green Gables *love*.  

Linus has been inspired by Faith's zeal to finish the school year and not one to be outdone, he has hit the books hard too.  I love that his competitive nature is what appealed to his sense of responsibility to be diligent about his school work.  He is very eager to take part in another theater production, so I hope we can figure that out soon.  Scouts has been a real blessing for him, and despite our inability to take part in every aspect, he is very happy with it and loves that he gets to do this.  

Benjamin is thriving in his new school.  We love his teachers and the whole program.  We've seen a lot of regression at home, but also a lot of great strides.  I've come to understand that processing so much can lead to setbacks, but it will all even out.  We are really excited swimming lessons will be starting in June and cannot wait to begin.  

Samwise.  What can I say, complete and total mess who is utterly lovable despite all his shenanigans. If we can ride out this final phase of puppy craze, then we will be fine. He managed to chew the cord off a brand new Tiffany style lamp my mother-n-law gave me as an early birthday present, as well as chew up the remote control, homework - yes, he actually chewed up school work, and I could go on and on.  He also thinks it is reasonable if we've left a plate of food on the table that we must not mind if he helps himself (so he fits right in because it seems to be the law of the land around here,,,you leave it, you lost it).  We love him, we can't help it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in every day life~

~Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

{Pretty}

We plant a new rose bush every year.  We plan to have 9, one for each child.  They are just now starting to bud up and bloom.  I love them.



We were gifted these Plum saplings from my good friend Karen.  We are really happy they made it through the Winter and seem to be thriving.



The field behind our house is full of wildflowers right now.  I love watching the tall grass sway in the wind, and all the flowers are just beautiful.  It won't be long before the owner comes to cut it and bail it up for hay.  It is lush and green this year thanks to all the rainfall.  I bet that means it will be longer before he is here.  I always think of The Secret of Nimh when he comes through with the mower and drive my teens crazy as I shout like Auntie Shrew "It's moooving day" - I like to keep things interesting around here...we can be so boring otherwise.  *not*

{Happy}


We have a tradition in our home for birthdays.  Everyone selects a dollar store item and the gifts get hidden throughout the house.  


Clues are given and the birthday boy (or girl) gets to hunt down their gifts.  It is a lot of fun!  It also keeps the cost low, and the "You are Special, We all Love You" high.


We also treated the birthday boy to a grilled cheese from a favorite spot.  City Limits!


Earlier that day, he got to go to Chuck E Cheese with Grandma Truby and Papa Dave.



The Bruce cake was not attempted this year.  Maybe some other time.  He did not care at all as we blew out candles and sang Happy Birthday, or when he devoured the cupcakes.  It did come up as he shared with Dr. Breeze it was the worst birthday ever. (Thanks Ben, just throw me under the bus)

Want to know why?

For the last six months every time we went to Target, Ben walks over to the display with the game Simon Says.  He tells me (constantly) that is what he wants for his birthday.  Soooo, he got Simon Says. 
 On Monday I received a text from his teacher worried because Ben was telling her he had the 'WORST Birthday Ever'.  What???  Then he told Dr. Breeze his birthday was 'bad, so so bad'.

See, Samwise decided to eat the nerf gun that Ben won at Chuck E Cheese.  Benjamin is not great at keeping track of his belongings but, Samwise IS great at eating the items Ben does not keep track of.  Bless it!

So I reminded Ben he got the Simon Says game that he has been wanting, for forever and he replies,

"But I didn't get a wallet"

A wallet?  This was the very first I ever heard of his wanting a wallet.  A wallet??

So I asked him "A wallet Ben?  I didn't know you wanted a wallet" and he answers me "Well you're my Mom how come you didn't know that"

This is when I'm glad I didn't agonize creating the Bruce cake...I can just see pouring myself into that confection only to be greeted with "Why isn't it a Nemo Cake" or "I wanted ice cream" or whatever.  

He did have a great birthday, despite the lack of a wallet (which I've not quit hearing about since).


{Funny}

*not my photo*

This could be classified as funny and real (but I have another real, so for today - this is only funny. Until it gets real)

Yesterday the kids turned the TV on after school.  I let them know that NO they were not watching a movie.  I turned the TV off and directed them outside.

Linus elected to practice piano, Faith elected to play with her fingernail polish...Ben headed right out the door and then came running back in shrieking about 5 seconds later.

He was very upset about a bee.  I assured him that it was that time of year and that Bees are going to buzz around as he is pointing to the window and shrieking some more.  He finally gets out, "MOM LOOK".

I turned around and Great.Balls.of.Fire - when he said there were bees as in plural, more than one bee, he was not joking.  There were hundreds of bees flying around the windows all across the back of our house.

I was fascinated and worried all at once.  
(I'm more than a little allergic to bees, go ahead ask me about it - because I am just like Old Reliable in Lady and the Tramp...I love sharing this story)

I quickly texted my cousin Julie, she keeps bees and asked her what this meant, what should I do etc..etc..
It was high drama around here.

She and I texted back and forth over this phenomenon as I watched those bees just buzz all over outside from the safety of inside my home.  It was killing me not to go outside and get some great photos but if I got stung then it would have actually killed me, and as much as I love a good photo that was a risk I was not taking.

While we were texting I had a flood of memories from when we were kids rush into my mind.  Our family had an uncanny knack of taking an ordinary situation into the dramatic.  When anything got dramatic our Grandma Ruth swooped in.

So I was trying to help her gauge the situation and the hysteria going on what with all my little kids running around like Prissy from Gone With The Wind so I texted her -

"Remember growing up if there was a "situation" that rated 1 alarm, Grandma Ruth was there...but a 2 alarm meant Auntie came too?"  "This is a 2 alarm"...and just like that she got it.

I love family, and I would have given anything to have Grandma and Auntie show up to weigh in on the bee "situation".  We also had an uncanny knack of chewing on something until all the flavor was gone to figure out how to handle the 'situation'.  Great memories now, but maybe not always then.

Stay tuned, we are worried there might be a hive under one of the eaves of our home. (that would be the real part)

{Real}



Pete surprised me for our 24th anniversary with a date to Painting With A Twist.  We had such a great time and despite my lack of any artistic ability my painting actually turned out okay.  I love him!  A wonderful gift, and a truly wonderful husband.

Please join Leila for this week's P,H,F,R over at LMLD!



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Gig Is Up


We had Ben's well child check up this week.  I quit going to those a few years ago.  Yes, I did.  I couldn't bare going through the questions at the beginning of the appointment, those benchmark questions.


We did go to the Dr. and we did discuss my concerns, but I avoided the 'well child visit' like the plague.

I bit the bullet and went yesterday.  I still detest the questions at the beginning.


Diane our nurse walks in and checks Ben's vitals and then starts asking me bullet point questions.

One right after the other, and I answered them - those questions I always avoid...the very reason I started skipping the darn well child visits in the first place.  I realized at some point I could talk to the Dr. about my concerns without the darn questionnaire that made me want to spit nails.

What is even harder is that Ben is sitting there, fully aware of the discussion and hyper sensitive to anything that might be perceived as negative about him.  This has me on melt down awareness like a Navy Seal on a mission.


Diane asks, "Does your child know his opposites"
I answer:  "Somedays, not everyday"
Diane gives me this blank stare.  She knows me, she knows my kids...this is not the answer she is expecting.  It was not the first curve ball this visit.
I wanted to say, "Ask me about his art, he creates amazing artwork"


"Does your child understand water safety, can he swim"? asks Diane
"No, my child has no sense of danger AT ALL, but we are setting up..." I start to say as Ben interrupts to share "I'm going to learn swimming this year, this year I am learning it" and he smiles this broad smile that makes me so proud of him. 
Diane is trying to be deadpan unsuccessfully and looks at me..then asks "He hasn't been to swim lessons"?  If you profiled me, I"m so very the 'swim lesson' Mom.  So her learning that we've not done this was surprising.  
I again wanted to interject, "Ask me about how well he knows patterns, and I'm talking patterns you may not have even realized existed"


"Does your child understand fire safety"?
"My child has no understanding of Danger" I reply again (remember our earlier exchange)
"No stop, drop, and roll"? she asks and I try very hard not to laugh a very sarcastic laugh.
So I say instead "He is more interested in the actual fire than listening to us explain Stop.Drop.and.Roll" 
Inside I'm hoping this little fire discussion doesn't translate to a vigilance later about keeping him off the subject of fire.

'
"Does your child do well in school, how does he do with homework"?  she is starting to hesitate as she asks
"He never has homework" I reply and I leave it at that.  She then asks "What about reading"?  
Ben replies "I can read" and I reply "They have sent home some books, and he is working on it"
I want to say "But, get him to tell you a story, he has an amazing imagination"



"Can he ride a bicycle"?  she asks.
I answer:  "With training wheels" and Ben starts sharing all about his bicycle and how he hates his training wheels but that he has to have them and he hates that too.  

We went on and on with more questions and more uncomfortable answers...while Benjamin is sitting there.  It was painful for both of us, but I think we navigated it fairly well.  Poor Diane though.

I realized early on that Ben's chart had not been updated to reflect immediately the whole 'Autism' diagnosis we have going on now, but that has always been.  

Diane is wonderful and we love her, she has to ask those questions and with all of my other children the questions are an easy answer...with Ben, not so much...which is why I hate them.  I do not want some questionnaire pigeon holing my child.  I'd like to create a different milestone questionnaire, or opt out of it all together from now on.

The Dr. finally came in the room and was awesome as always and really on board with everything we've got going on for Ben.  We survived the obligatory Well Child Visit and I had the success of answering those questions I've avoided, for the first time.  Poor Diane, I should have called ahead and warned her.

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