Saturday, February 25, 2006

Happy News/Sad News

There were two stories in the news this week concerning Autistic boys, and both really hit me in a tender place!

This first one is very sad:


Missing Autistic Boy's Body Found in Fla.
Fri Feb 24, 12:51 PM ET
GREENACRES, Fla. - The body of an 8-year-old autistic boy was found in a retaining pond across the street from his home Friday, one day after police launched a massive search for him.

Jared McGuire's mother told authorities she had last seen him sleeping on the couch Thursday afternoon. After she reported him missing, police scoured the area dogs and a helicopter. Authorities suspect the body sank and then resurfaced.
A deputy spotted Jared in the pond Friday. An autopsy was planned Friday to determine the cause of death.
There were no obvious signs of trauma and the boy was fully clothed, Greenacres Police Lt. Michael Porath said. Authorities said the boy had severe autism.
Police has issued an alert after a witness reported seeing a child matching Jared's description being forced into a van.
"We are still looking into the abduction angle," Porath said. But he said because the boy was found so close to home, it appears less likely that he was abducted.
Greenacres is 8 miles south of West Palm Beach.

It's a serious reminder to me of how lucky I have been in the past when Austin and Reece have wandered away from me. The time that I remember most when I read this article was one day when Austin was 3 or a little older, and we were at the park for a playgroup. All of a sudden I just couldn't find him anywhere. I handed baby Riley over to my friend Kristi, and I started searching for Austin with some of the other moms. About 10 minutes into the search, one of the moms found Austin near the Chattahoochee River, standing on a rock and throwing rocks into the river. He could have so easily fallen into the water! When the mom found him, a jogger was standing there with her dog. She told the mom that her dog had stopped her from jogging further when it saw Austin, and then it refused to budge. I never even saw that lady and her dog, but I am eternally grateful that God placed them there to watch over Austin! I'm grateful for all the times God has protected Austin and Reece when they have wandered away!

And now here is the happy story:

Autistic Teen Scores 20 in Basketball Game
By BEN DOBBIN, Associated Press Writer Fri Feb 24, 2:46 AM ET
GREECE, N.Y. - Jason McElwain had done everything he was asked to do for the Greece Athena High School basketball team — keep the stats, run the clock, hand out water bottles.
That all changed last week for the team manager in the final home game of the season. The 17-year-old senior, who is autistic and usually sits on the bench in a white shirt and black tie, put on a uniform and entered the game with his team way ahead.
McElwain proceeded to hit six 3-point shots, finished with 20 points and was carried off the court on his teammates' shoulders.
"I ended my career on the right note," he told The Associated Press by phone Thursday. "I was really hotter than a pistol!"
In recent days, McElwain's phone has hardly stopped ringing. When his family went out for a meal, he was mobbed by well-wishers. A neighborhood boy came by to get a basketball autographed.
McElwain, 5-foot-6, was considered too small to make the junior varsity, so he signed on as team manager. He took up the same role with the varsity, doing anything to stay near the sport he loves. Coach Jim Johnson was impressed with his dedication, and thought about suiting up McElwain for the home finale.
His performance was jaw-dropping: 20 points in four minutes, making 6-of-10 3-point shots. The crowd went wild.
"It was as touching as any moment I have ever had in sports," Johnson told the Daily Messenger of Canandaigua.
McElwain didn't begin speaking until he was 5. He lacked social skills but things got easier as he got older. He found many friends and made his way through school in this Rochester suburb, although many of his classes were limited to a half-dozen students. And he found basketball.
On the varsity, he never misses practice and is a jack-of-all-trades.
"And he is happy to do it," Johnson said. "He is such a great help and is well-liked by everyone on the team."
Even though McElwain was in uniform for the Feb. 15 game, there was no guarantee he would play — Athena was battling for a division title.
The fans, however, came prepared. One section of students held up signs bearing his nickname "J-MAC" and cutouts of his face placed on Popsicle sticks.
The Trojans opened a large lead against the team from the nearby Spencerport. With four minutes left, McElwain took the court to deafening cheers.
The ball came to him almost right away. His 3-point shot sailed completely off course, and the coach wondered if he made the wrong move. McElwain then missed a layup. Yet his father, David, was unruffled.
"The thing about Jason is he isn't afraid of anything," he told the newspaper. "He doesn't care what people think about him. He is his own person."
On the next trip down the floor, McElwain got the ball again. This time he stroked a 3, all net.
He was just warming up.
"As soon as the first shot went in that's when I started to get going," he said.
On the next attempt, he got another 3-pointer. Then another, and another. In fact, he would have made one more 3, but his foot was on the line, so he had to settle for 2 points.
Greece Athena won 79-43, and pandemonium reigned. McElwain signed autographs, posed for pictures and was hoisted by his teammates.
The Trojans begin sectional play Saturday and McElwain will be on the bench again, wearing his usual shirt and tie.
It doesn't bother him. More important, he said, is "trying to win a sectional title for the team."
McElwain will soon be done with high school basketball, then enroll in business management this fall at Monroe Community College.
"I'll go on to college and I'll try to hoop there," he said. "I just love it, it's one of the greatest sports in the world."

I wish I could find the link to the video that Russ had sent me a couple of days ago when he first saw this story on CNN. He warned me that it would make me teary, but in reality I sobbed as a I watched it! It wasn't the fact that the boy did the 20 points, it was the reaction from his school friends and teammates who had come out to support him! With every single shot that went in, there was a roar of cheering and standing ovations for this boy! He has people around him that care for him, and care about him, and want to cheer him on! On the video they interview him, and while Austin's speech is clearer than his, it did remind me a good bit of Austin in the way he looks around when he talks, and especially when he said he was "hotter than a pistol"! LOL That sounds just like something my Austin would say! :)

Speaking of Austin, he is at his baseball evaluations right now! Last night when he and Daddy went to have batting practice, they could only use the Pee-Wee fields because the other fields were all full! Austin hit a ball on that field that hit the scoreboard!!! The scoreboard is in right field and several feet higher than the fence! :) This could be an interesting year for my baseball boy! LOL

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fin

The school week is officially over! We have put in a good, strong 4 days and tomorrow is time for a break! Austin and Riley have only to finish anything from their assignment sheets that wasn't completed M-Th, which is just a couple of odds and ends (some free reading for Austin, and some cursive for Riley). We'll spend tomorrow cleaning up our messy home, and playing some fun games!

Today we had to mail my mother's birthday present to her (pics of me and the children from Picture People), so we did that after we dropped Reece off at preschool! Then we took our school books over to the library and had our lessons there. Also, our library books were due so we were able to check out new books! Both of the kids have been fairly uncooperative this week with school, but I tried to just blow it off as best I could! It's still annoying! lol

Reece's teacher told me today why Thursday is such a hard day for Reece to leave! There are 3 girls in her class who stay for ballet afterward, and they are getting their leotards on when the preschool is nearly over! Reece wants to stay and go to ballet too! She's not ready for it this year, but maybe she can do that next year! Reece got a report card today too! It is really cute! The grades are "G" for "good" and "W" for "working on this"!

Still waiting to hear from the psychologist about Austin's testing next month! Our insurance requires an initial consultation, and that is supposed to be next week, if I can get confirmation from the doctor, and directions to her office! LOL! I hope she's as good as she is supposed to be!

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Engine is finished!



I forgot to add that my dad and Austin finished the engine this weekend while we were visiting my parents! I am so glad too, because the directions for installing the timing belt were incorrect and I wouldn't have known what was wrong! Dad, of course, knew how it was supposed to work and installed it accordingly! Here are a few pictures! Austin just LOVES his engine!

School's In!

We actually did our school work today!! It was fairly painful, but I expected everyone to have a hard time adjusting back into the swing of things! But we all did it, and aside from a few tears shed by everyone (except Mom! lol), it was relatively painless!

I started reading Felicity's World to Riley today as her 'history'. I just could not take one more day of Calvert's excuse for history for 1st graders! Felicity's World is a book based on the American Girl character of Felicity. She is growing up in colonial Williamsburg! The first couple of pages we read today talked about the unfair taxes and the Boston Tea Party and how King George was not pleased with the colonists and sent a blockage to Boston Harbor. I didn't realize that he sent a blockage as punishment! Cool, mom learns something new!!

Reece played with her new toys that Nana gave her for her birthday!

Austin started a new book called Smiling Hill Farm. It's a story of a family moving from Virginia to the 'wild woods' of Indiana during pioneer times! This is the book that concludes the reading program for Calvert 3rd grade. The last 2 stories that were in the basal readers were just a waste of time, in my opinion, so we skipped them. Smiling Hill Farm is a really long book but it's broken into really manageable sections, and Calvert assigns just a couple of sections a day (not more than 10 pages!) so we'll take it really easy. I'm also taking his copywork and dictation from this book since it's written in such a nice flowing language!

I really want to resume Spanish this week, and we may try to get to that tomorrow while Reece is at preschool!

That's about it for our first day back in a couple of weeks!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Away

I'm outta here for a few days with the kids! We're taking the ever-important trip to the grandparents' house before baseball season starts! If we don't go now, we won't have time until the season ends in June! :) The weather is going to be crummy, but I'm taking Prisoner of Azkaban so what else could anyone need? :)

Don't miss me too much! I'll be back Sunday evening!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Art Museum

Well, it was surely interesting! Let me just say that I'm glad I didn't spend $5 per person to get in! The big kids and I went today to the county art museum (not one of the big art museums in Atlanta) because we had the free pass that the library is offering for check out!

The main attraction was a new exhibit of Picasso's ceramics. I didn't realize he spent so much time doing ceramics! Anyway, I went to the library and checked out CHILDREN'S books on Picasso. I had to put them up and not show the kids. Anyone care to educate me on the value of the art of the naked breast? (Oh those two words are bound to get me some interesting visitors! LOL)Anyway, I just made sure the kids knew that Picasso was an artist born in Spain! I just didn't want them walking in and saying "Who's Picasso???" ;)

Then we went over to the "Children's Art Museum" section. I was very disappointed. It looked neat upon first glance, but once I got to walk around a bit I was quickly disheartened. There was a room to paint (and the kids loved it! Wish I'd had my camera!) Each of them painted a great picture and then named the picture and signed it... so apparently they took something away from the Picasso exhibit! There was another table that had some cut designs that they could make prints on. And then another table had coloring sheets printed from "funschool.com" or something like that! There were also 2 computers for "techno art" and an area with instruments for "musical art" and some dress up clothes for an area called "dramatic art". There was also a room with a TV and books and puzzles. Oh there was a big piano thing on the floor (think the movie "Big") but half the notes didn't work.

Well, the main point is the children had alot of fun, especially Austin who complained all week that he didn't like art museums! But I'm sure glad I didn't have to pay $15! The kids are already asking when we can go back, so I guess I'll have to put this pass on hold again and take them another time!

A note home from the teacher

Today, we were in the carpool line waiting for Reece to come to the van... and she didn't come, and she didn't come, and she didn't come. Finally, I saw Miss Donna walking with her, and Reece was crying. Uh-oh. Miss Donna opened the door, and I asked if it was a bad day. Miss Donna sweetly smiled and said "Um, she just doesn't want to go home! She had a really fun day!" I was so relieved!! I told her they must be doing something very right for Reece to enjoy it that much!

And when I checked Reece's bag there was a note in it from her lead teacher, Miss Angie. It says:

2/16/06
Reece had a really great day today! She had been adjusting to transitions in the classroom and sitting at circle time. Today she did a great job listening and following directions! She participated at circle time and accepted directions. Just wanted to let you know! (Smiley face) Angie.
P.S. She got a little red paint in her hair today - she had fun painting!

Isn't that a great note?? Though I hate to break it to her, but it's a bit more than a little paint! ROFL! That's OK though... she's having fun and that's all that matters! :) I really feel that God has answered my prayers about this preschool situation! It seems to be going very well for Reece!

Another big thing for Reece... Miss Alexis re-did the articulation test yesterday. This is the same test she took for her evaluation back in the spring. She had either 42 or 46 errors then, and didn't even register on the age scale that began at age 2. Well, yesterday, she had only around 9 errors and Alexis said that 6-7 of those are developmentally appropriate errors! She hadn't had time to score it and give me an age-norm, but just the numbers themselves show what an incredible improvement we're seeing since she started therapy! I told Alexis how grateful I am to her for helping Reece so much! The therapy is really paying off!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More about Austin

I wanted to share a neat thing that happened with Austin today! As you may be aware, Austin is very interested in engines. To say that it is his passion is an understatement! Weather is his passion! Combustion engines may just be his 'thing'!

Today we took the van in for an oil change. The place was very slow and told me it would take only 10-15 minutes! Austin watched at the window! When they were nearly done, the manager came to get us and they let Austin watch the rest of the oil change! He was totally mesmerized! He asked a thousand question and these guys just ate it up! They showed him the dipstick, and showed him the oil on the dipstick and how to read that it was full. Austin said "Well, that sure does look like clean oil to me!" LOL! When it was time to go, Austin said "OK, guys, I'll be back in 6 years to work with you changing the oil!" The manager said "Hey, you don't need to wait that long... we'll take you now!" I saw Austin's eyes get SOOOOOO big! I had to intervene and tell the manager to be careful what he says, because Austin would take him up on the offer! LOL

But really, the wheels in my brain started turning! If Austin keeps up this love of engines, and putting them together, and maybe taking them apart, this could be something that we really pursue! I would allow him to work under a mentor who is a mechanic (maybe a homeschool dad, or a good friend). Maybe he could work as a teenager in a small engine repair shop? And if nothing else, knowing how to work on engines/cars would come in very handy as an adult! He could use it as a job to work his way through college! Or he could use it to make extra money for his family, or save them money because they wouldn't have to take their cars in for repairs! He could even do volunteer car repair ministry for the church!! Ok, I'm getting a bit carried away I know! But this is the first time Austin's shown an interest in something like this! :)

Austin's OT evaluation

Austin saw Miss Dinah today for his OT evaluation! He did really good, and actually told her several things that he had never mentioned to me before (like his clothes "hurt" him, and when he is walking around in circles all the time in the house, he likes it because he "can think"). She told him more than once that it was so smart of him to find the things that work to help him feel good! But she also added that we want to help him find things that will do the job and have longer lasting results, so that he doesn't HAVE to walk around all the time. Also, she believes that his hypersensitivity to touch has really impacted the emotional area of his behavior and triggers not only the over-the-top reactions, but also this need to control everything about his world. This stuff is all very, very fascinating to me, but I'll spare you all the details! If you're interested, email me! ;)

So our plan of attack for Austin is two-fold: we're going to implement a heavy work/deep pressure sensory diet for him, like we do for Reece. The reason I didn't see results from just including him in Reece's activities is that he is older and bigger, and the things that work for her just aren't intense enough for him! So I have a few ideas to start trying to implement. He will need a 3x a day regimen. I am hoping that once we get a good plan worked for him, that he will be able to implement at least some of it himself. The 2nd part of the plan involves brushing and joint compression. I am somewhat familiar with this because a friend of mine locally did this with her son when he was younger. For the next several weeks, I have to do this brushing/compression regimen with Austin every 2.5 hours while he is awake. This is called The Wilbarger Method and, again, is fascinating! When my friend was doing it with her son, I remember thinking "I could never do that!" but I've already done it twice today, not counting the time at the appt where she was training me to do it! Austin LOVES it! He purrs like a kitten! Miss Dinah told him to tell me when it wasn't enough pressure, and he sure did! He even told me it wasn't enough pressure and which direction I wasn't applying the correct amount of pressure on! OT sure is fun with a child who can tell you if it's working! LOL

Anyway, Austin will not need weekly OT visits... YAY! Miss Dinah feels that I have enough experience with sensory diets to provide him one at home, and just touch base with her periodically to monitor his progress! We know what we're trying to accomplish (fewer emotional outbursts, less walking around in circles, ability to fall asleep easier) so if those things come to pass, then we're on the right track! I know from Reece's experience to expect it to take a few months... she's been doing OT for 7 months now and she is sleeping through the night finally, and is about halfway potty trained! Her frustration tolerance is also increasing! This stuff really works! It just takes time.

I'm a bit overwhelmed about the amount of time these therapies take, and how to still manage to get school done, and keep the house clean, and meals cooked. OK, not a bit overwhelmed! LOL But as I've learned on this journey, I have to take it one step at a time and not get too far ahead of myself!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Who am I?

Saw this on Lisa's Blog and it looks like fun!

--DRAMA DORK--
[X] Ever been in a play?
[ ] Have you ever seen a Broadway show? (I will be seeing one in May!!)
[ ] More than 10 Broadway shows?
[ ] Have you ever been/Are you in school shows?
[ ] Does your current job involve theater in some way?
[ ] Want to end up working in/for theater
[X] Can you recite all of the lyrics to your favorite play/musical?
[X] Do you break out into random songs whenever/wherever!!
[X] Do you like the Sound of Music?
[X] Did you like the Broadway show?
total:: 5

--REDNECK--
[ ] Do you have a couch in your front yard or porch?
[ ] Do you drive a four-wheeler?
[X] Do you ride four-wheelers?
[ ] Do you like to get dirty?
[X] Do you like country music?
[ ] Do you have a broken car in your back yard?
[ ] Do you own a cowboy hat?
[ ] Do you live on more then 1 acres?
[ ] Do you have more then 4 different animals at your home?
[X] Do you watch Larry the Cable Guy movies?
total:: 3

--GOTH--
[ ] Do you wear black eyeliner?
[ ] Is most of your clothing dark?
[ ] Do you think about death often?
[ ] Do you want to die?
[ ] Are you a social outcast?
[X] Are you pale?
[ ] Do you like Hot Topic?
[X] Do you enjoy Tim burton movies?
[ ] Are you mean?
total:: 2

--PUNK--
[ ] Can you skateboard
[ ] Do you wear Vans?
[ ] Do you do stupid stuff with your friends?
[X] Have you gotten in trouble with the Cops?
[ ] Do you watch the x-games?
[x] Do you have any piercings? (only on my ears though)
[ ] Do you like/wear a mohawk?
[ ] Do you wear Band t-shirts?
[ ] Have you called someone a poser recently?
total:: 2

--PREP--
[X] Do you say the word "like"?
[ ] Do you shop at Hollister/Abercrombie&Fitch/AE?
[X] Do the people in Hot topic scare you?
[X] Do you giggle alot when your with your friends/boy/girlfriend?
[ ] Have/do you watch The OC?
[X] Do you like pop music or have listened to it at somepoint?
[ ] Do you want/have a little dog?
total:: 4

--HIPPIE--
[X] Is your hair long?
[ ] Do you own a tye-dye shirt?
[ ] Do you want to save the animals?
[ ] Do you think war is unnecessary?
[X] Do you like classic rock and trippy music?
[X] have you ever participated in a protest? in high school, but I don't remember what it was for!
[ ] Have you ever been overcome with a desire to hug a tree?
total:: 3

--GANGSTA--
[ ] Do you act ghetto?
[ ] Do you wear do-rags?
[X] Do you like hip-hop? (mostly the older stuff from the late 80s, early 90s
[ ] Was Tupac truly the greatest rapper in the world?
[ ] Do you believe he's alive?
[ ] Do you like afros?
[X] Have you ever said "Fo Shizzle"?
[X] Do you like to dance?
[ ] Do you own any Baby Phat or G-Unit?
total:: 3

--EMO--
[ ] Do you cry often?
[X] Do you wear hoodies?
[X] Do you like soft music?
[X] Do people not understand you?
[ ] Do you write your own poems?
[X] Ever dyed your hair red, black or dark?
[ ] Do you cut your hair yourself?
[ ] Are you lonely?
[ ] Is "Ohio Is For Lovers" by Hawthorne Heights?
total:: 4

--SURFER--
[ ] Do you surf?
[ ] Do you wear flip flops year-round?
[ ] Is your hair shaggy?
[ ] Do you wake up before 6 every morning?
[X] Do you own any pairs of shorts?
[ ] Are you tan?
[X] Do you want to be at the beach right now?
[X] Do you hate tourists?
total:: 3

--GEEK--
[ ] Do you wear glasses?
[X] Do you get good grades?
[ ] Do you use an inhaler?
[ ] Do you stick pens and calculators into your shirt pockets?
[ ] Does your mom pick out your clothes?
[X] Are you on the computer often? *innocent look*
[ ] Do you ever get picked on?
[X] Do you look forward to goin to school?
[ ] Are you shy around the opposite sex?
[ ] do you play video games?
total::3

OK, this is interesting! I am an EMO, Prep, Drama Dork with some tendencies towards being a redneck, hippie, gangsta, surfer geek! ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Blimey! I've been tagged!!

I have been tagged by Jan (http://makingscrapbooks.typepad.com/). Goodness sakes when am I going to learn to make a link in HTML??? Anyway, I just finished what I can of our taxes (Need your mileage for the business, sweetie!) and I just stuck in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, so I'll sit down and do some blogging!

1. What is your occupation? Homeschooling mother, Autism expert in training ;)
2. What color is your underwear? white
3. What are you listening to right now? The intro music for HP-COS
4. What was the last thing you ate? Tortilla Chips
5. Do you wish on stars? Nope
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? White
7. How is the weather right now? In the low 40s, and WeatherBug just told me there is Winter Weather Advisory until 6 AM.
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom
9. How old are you today? 29, with 4.75 years of experience!
10. Favorite drink? Mr. Pibb
11. Favorite sport to watch? Baseball
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes, all the time!
13. Do you wear contacts or glasses? No
14. Pets? No
15. Favorite month? September
16. Favorite food? Mexican
17. What was the last movie you watched? Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, at home. Last Holiday, in the theater. (I'm having new release withdrawls!)
18. Favorite day of the year? Independence Day
19. What do you do to vent anger? I yell :(
20. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
21. Cherry or blueberry? Blueberry
22. Living arrangements? husband and three children
23. When was the last time you cried? Thursday night, cried myself to sleep because I realized that some friends feel I'm over-reacting about the children's autism
24. What is on the floor of your closet? My scrapbook stuff
25. Who is/are the friends you have had the longest? Suzanne, from high school in Tulsa
26. What did you do last night? Went scrapbooking at Jan's house
27. Favorite smell? Cinnamon Spice candles
28. What inspires you? Music
29. What are you afraid of? Failure
30. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Plain
31. Favorite car? Late 80s Ford Mustang
32. Favorite dog breed? I loved my parents Cocker Spaniel, and Heather's Lab is very sweet too
33. Number of keys on your key ring? 4
34. How many years at your current job? I've been a mom for almost 10 years, homeschooling mom for almost 5 years, and an autism expert in training for 4.5 months!
35. Favorite day of the week? Monday
36. How many states have you lived in? 11
37. How many cities have you lived in/name them? Let's see, this is going to get long! LOL Quincy - twice (IL), St. Ann (MO), Des Moines (IA), Fremont (NE), Crystal Lake (IL), Keokuk (IA), Alton (IL), Rapid City (SD), Woodbridge (VA), Claremont (NC), Conover (NC), Conyers - twice (GA), Tulsa (OK), Columbia (SC), Irmo (SC), Hendersonville (TN), Norcross (GA), Duluth (GA), Lawrenceville (GA)
38. What was the last book you read? Fiction: Cappyboppy (to the children) ; Non-fiction: I'm in the middle of Teaching Reading Comprehension in the Primary Grades (Oh it's such exciting reading! LOL!)

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you see this and want to do it yourself, please comment so I can read yours!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Socialization??

We're getting so much of it lately, I'm starting to wonder when we're going to have time for academics again! We actually stayed home this morning and got our work done, but that's only because Reece came home with a note yesterday from preschool saying that a classmate was diagnosed with strep throat! Our plans for today involved a playdate with a family that has a newborn baby, and I didn't want to risk potentially exposing that family to strep! I know the chances are remote, since Reece doesn't even have it yet... but I didn't want to take a chance.

Next week it looks like we're going to get about 2.5-3 decent school days in! But we're having fun! Yesterday Reece was getting out of preschool early for 'early release day' (when the public schools have conferences), we took our work to the library and it was very productive! I couldn't believe how much we got done with no distractions and without a certain preschooler around!

We are making some progress in our school work though, since I haven't changed much this year!! I am very proud of myself! :) Austin's halfway done with his math, and Riley's about 3/4 of the way done with hers! I am almost ready to start thinking about next year's plans! The convention is less than 3 months away!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This one is for me!

I usually try to keep personal Christian content off of my homeschool blog, but this has just touched me so deeply, I wanted to share it with anyone who has read some of the struggles I've shared here with the children. Just as some background information, my faith is tied very strongly to music. I FEEL my relationship with God through contemporary praise and worship music! Some songs just strike me in such a meaningful and personal way. I had one particular song that stuck with me through the time of Reece's pregnancy (and before, during the year we were trying to conceive). And I've had other songs that also touch me a good deal.

But I've never really heard a song before that I feel was written for me. The song that I am sharing the lyrics with now is a song I've heard before back in the spring, at a concert. But I heard it last night on the radio on the way home from the meeting I attended about hsing special needs children, and it will not leave my brain. I came home from dropping the kids off at AWANA tonight and downloaded it from walmart.com! The songwriter may not have known it at the time, but he was writing this song for me. Since I'm not smart enough to 'get' things from God through the Bible, I am not good at prayer, and He apparently isn't going to IM or email me, He had to get his message across to me in a way I would 'get'! ;)

Here are the lyrics:

Believe Me Now by Steven Curtis Chapman

I watch you looking out across the raging water
So sure your only hope lies on the other side
You hear the enemy that's closing in around you
And I know that you don't have the strength to fight
But do you have the faith to stand and...

Believe Me now
Believe Me here
Remember all the times I've told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe Me now
Believe Me now

I am the One who waved my hand and split the ocean
I am the One who spoke the words and raised the dead
And I've loved you long before I set the world in motion
I know all the fears you're feeling now
But do you remember who I am?
Do you..

Believe Me now
Believe Me here
Remember all the times I've told you loud and clear
I am with you
And I am for you
So believe Me now
Believe it's true
I never have, I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always beenI will forever be
So believe Me now

I am the God who never wastes a single hurt that you endure
My words are true, and all My promises are sure
So believe Me now
Oh, believe Me now

Sum Swamp


I bought this game several weeks ago, and we are just now getting around to using it! I believe I purchased it from CBD. It's ALOT of fun! It works with addition and subtraction, even/odd numbers, and some basic board game rules!

I could really use something similar for multiplication! Can anyone recommend a fun, fast, board game for that? We have Snap It Up already, so I don't really need another card game!


Edited to add: I had considered, and told Lisa in fact that I might try, just substituting the operations, but that isn't going to work. What happens on this game is that you roll the dice and move the number of spaces that comes up on your dice with the operation. If you rolled 6x6 the game would be over! LOL

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

2nd day down!

We did the carpool line today and Reece really enjoyed sitting in the front seat while the line moved at a snail's pace around the church! One of her teachers brought her out after school and said she had a very good day! It's so strange to pick up one of my children from a setting like this and not hear a laundry list of complaints! I'm still holding my breath! :)

Today when she got into her car seat she was a little weepy and then she said "I am tired!" LOL Poor baby! All she wanted to do when she walked in was to go lay on the couch and watch a video, which I am letting her do! She didn't even want to eat lunch!

The big kids and I didn't do school again today, but we will on the next preschool day! I told them this morning that we can't take every preschool day and run around and do fun stuff! It sort of defeats the purpose! :)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes!

This morning Reece came in to snuggle and said, "I can't wait a go to pea-scool some more!"

Oh that makes me feel good! I can take her on Tuesday now! LOL

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My preschooler!


It went great!

She had a great day! We got to the preschool and her teacher was waiting for her! She said "Hello, Reece!" and Reece said, "I want to go in there!" and so she did! I didn't want to hold her back and try to get a good picture of her in front of the door! I figured we should just let her go on ahead and not press our luck! I snuck into the room for a moment and took a picture of her sitting at the science table, with her coat and backpack still on! LOL Reece said "Bye!" sort of over her shoulder, and never looked back! The big kids and I went to IHOP, the bank, and spent an hour and a half at the library!

When it was time to pick her up, we walked in again to get her. While we were standing at the door waiting to be buzzed in, Reece's class was coming down the hall. We ducked around the corner to hide! She was at the end of the line, holding hands with a teacher. After they were safely pass, we buzzed again to get in! The assistant director was waiting there and told us that Reece had had a very good day! She had to go do carpool, so the director came and gave me some additional information about the papers they had sent home, and the carpool directions for next week! She also said that Reece did very well!

We went over to the door of Reece's classroom! There was a sign next to the door detailing the day's activities, and at the bottom it read, "We welcomed a new friend named Reece!" I really wish I had taken in my camera to get a shot of that! When Miss Donna (the other teacher) came out to take some children to carpool, she introduced herself and said that Reece did so well, and she has on such a cute outfit! I told her it was a case of an excited grandmother, lest she expect Reece to come to preschool every day with panties that match her outfit! ;) Reece saw us at the door and came running! Miss Angie said that Reece had a good day and they couldn't wait to see her on Tuesday! Reece ran for me and told me that she 'wanted me.' She gives me the same line after AWANA and church so I wasn't surprised! I think she just tells me that so I won't feel too bad.

The big kids and I really bum-rushed her so, naturally, she got overwhelmed and shut down on us! I should have known better! By the time we got to the car she wasn't speaking and was grunting anytime anyone asked her a question. I told everyone just to be quiet and give her time to decompress! She was fine after about 20 minutes! She's watching TV right now for rest time! I can't believe she didn't fall asleep on the way home! I know I'm completely worn out!

I am so glad the first day is over! I'm not expecting it to be smooth sailing from here on out... I'm sure they had little expectations of her today, and she was probably reserved because of the new setting. Once she loosens up and gets more comfortable, we'll see if she lets it all hang out! lol But for now, I'm just relieved that the first day is over! She says her favorite part was playing outside on the playground (I'm trying to reserve judgment about the fact that it's not even 50 degrees here today and they probably shouldn't be outside playing IMHO, but oh well....) !

She says she wants to go back, so we'll see how everything goes on Tuesday! :)

A potentially good sign!

Reece woke me up at 6:30 this morning saying, "I excited a be going to pea-scool!"

So that's good right? Maybe not so good considering I didn't really fall asleep until close to 2 AM! ::yaaaaaawn::

But really, I'm glad she's excited! She won't eat breakfast though, so that makes me a bit concerned, but I'm going to pray that she likes what they have for snack today so she can eat alot of that! :)

I'll update this afternoon when we get home!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

This is so cool!


I got this off Laney's blog! http://laneygardner.blogspot.com I just love it! To get your own blog cloud, just go to this website: http://www.snapshirts.com/custom.php and just make sure to save the image to your computer before you go to the actual tshirt page! I had to save it and then convert it to a JPEG before it would work for me! I can't wait to use this for a part of my scrapbook!

P.S. Look how little the word 'autism' is! ;) I didn't set it like that! It did it on it's own!