Thursday, December 4, 2008

Taking on the Quads!

Well...Dad and I took the kiddos out to the desert this past holiday weekend and exposed them to the world of quads, rhinos, and motorcycles! Man oh Man!!! We had such a great time. The girls really enjoyed zipping around and exploring and racing each other. I must say, Madi, took to it rather quickly! She loved the quad and was driving around alone. Now..the little one, Boo, scared me half to death! She wanted to ride alone but it was obvious that there just isn't enough fear yet. She was able to drive with an adult holding on to the back. And I mean HOLDING on to the back! haah! I wasn't sure how my oldest, K, would take to this activity. She LOVED it! My goodness...the Rhino was her sense of enjoyment. She loved the big hills and jumping those jumps (small ones mind you!). I was able to get on a quad with her in front and me in back. However, it just didn't feel too safe. But we putted around for a bit. I did conquer my goal. I am now a motorcycle mama!! Haha! I have always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle..and NO...not on the back! So, I managed over the two days to get it down! That was a ton of fun! My sister was able to make it out with her two little ones. They loved to ride as well. Her daughter was quite apprehensive with all the loud engine noise, however, got over that quickly after riding for a bit. We ended both nights with a great big bon fire. We ate tri-tip, potatoes, and of course had some smores for desert! So....guess what...we have bought two quads for Christmas! They should really enjoy that gift. SHHHH..they don't know yet! Christmas surprise!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Opening a can of worms....

We (my husband, myself, and a few friends) have been having a few conversations regarding the very controversial subject of "What causes autism?" I know...I know....touchy subject. Are they "born" that way?....Is it the shots we give them at a certain age?? I am not here to debate either issue. I have my feelings about both theories...and really have not come to any certain conclusion. I was forwarded an email from a friend the other day that said "rainy places" are seeing a rise in Autism...and perhaps the rainfall has some type of effect on our children! Areas like Washington state are seeing a huge rise in Autism. The theories are endless.

But we ended up having a rather lengthy conversation about God's will. As a Christian...I believe that God knows what is going to happen in our lives...He knows what our choices will be before we make them! So, put that into our Autism conversation....Was my daughter always meant to be Autistic OR was it a choice that I made that caused her to be autistic!?? Oh my....I just opened a can of worms!

One friend believes that God had that plan for my daughter before she was born. The other friend feels that it God could have planned for her to "normal" but due to my free will and choices (getting shots, living around farm chemicals,etc), I could have changed my daughter's future! I can honestly say that I see both sides.

However, as a mother of a child with multiple disabilities, it is much easier for me to believe that God has always planned for my daughter to have these disabilities. For if I knew it was my choices, the guilt would be endless! Maybe that is a cop out for me....maybe I need to own that perhaps I did "do" something to causes her disabilities.
But, I know right now...that there is nothing certain. And as I said in my previous post...."When you know better, you do better." If I had known, I obviously would not have chosen to do anything to endanger her health and well being.
So, in that, I find comfort...whatever God's will for her life was and is to be......

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Medication and your child...

Deciding to put your child on medication is such a personal and heavy decision. Each set of parents must weigh all the pros and cons of this huge issue.
We have struggled for years with my daughters OCD issues that cause serious health issues(Putting thing in her mouth edible and non-edible). We have worked for years with a behavior specials, wait...not just one...but two! I am a teacher and am knowledgeable about positive and negative reinforcement...etc. However, nothing we have done for the past EIGHT years has helped!
So I finally agreed last year to give a psych med a try! Wow....that was a tough decision. Could this pill make her act strange? What if it causes another problem? Would she still be the same ol "k" I know and love? I have struggled with the fact that my daughter lacks communication skills. And if this "pill" is causing headaches, stomach aches, etc, she wouldn't be able to tell me. And what a horrible mother I would be to have my child take a med each day that makes her feel bad. did I overcome that dilemma?? Well, my behavior specialist looked me in the eye and said, " know your daughter inside and out! If she feels bad, you will see it!" And with that.....we tried our first drug. However...after a year of testing out that pill, we really didn't see any results. So this past two months, we moved on to another drug. Now...I don't know if it is the pill...but the main behavior that was so dangerous has STOPPED! Literally...overnight!!!!!!!! Who knows if it is the pill, her growing up....etc....but something has clicked and it is working!

Now....being a mom...and always worried about what we have or haven't done all the time....the guilt has hit! WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS YEARS AGO!?? I can only say...I wasn't ready to go there then. And didn't feel it was right for my daughter at that time. And be ever thankful that it is working now!
So...we as parents must learn to trust our gut, do what we feel is best for our children, and when you know do better!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Brillant Daughters...part 2

Well....I have shared with each of you the joyous moments that my daughters show their utmost intelligence! on the way home from school we had another one! So, let me share!

My middle daughter, is an honor roll student, even though she is blonde! haha! :-) So, she can hold her own..right??? Well, she has a binder that the school purchased to log all of her daily assignments. Part of this binder has little tid bits of information on famous Americans.

Well, as she is showing me her binder, this weeks famous America was Albert Einstein. She notices his picture. I do you not notice Mr. Einstein's crazy hair do! So she says, "Mom, is this really Albert Einstein?" To which I respond, "Well, yes, does he not look like you expected?" comes the brilliant part.....she responds..."Mom, I didn't know he was a real person...I thought he was a cartoon character!"

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Am I falling down on my parenting or what???? I guess there is a cartoon whose characters are actual people from history. She never realized that these cartoon characters actually were part of history!

Again....those brilliant genes are running through my veins...OBVIOUSLY!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All about my hubby...

I thought I would make my return back to the blog with this interesting little tid bit about my hubby. It looked like fun. It's a chance to showcase the man I have been with for 9 years and been married to for 8. Let's see how accurate I am on these questions... :-)

1. He’s sitting in front of the tv, what is on the screen? is ALWAYS sports. He is a baseball fan at heart, so if it that season that is what you will find here at our house. However, even when baseball season is over, there is always another sport to take up the nice big screen! Grrr! How can you honestly like EVERY sport? He watches baseball, football, basketball, racing, and even golf if there is nothing else on!

2. You’re out to eat what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Oh no...the hubby won't touch a salad! Go figure he is weird. If there is a salad bar he will create his own salad. An odd combination of boiled eggs and bacon bits! Gotta love that one for the ol' arteries!

3. What’s one food he doesn’t like? He won't eat most fruits! Now...he will have a banana every once in awhile, and he will drink juice of most kinds. However, he doesn't like the texture of most fruits. Again...he is an odd one! Gotta love him!

4. You go out to the bar, what does he order? He is a whiskey guy. He has a double shot of jack with a Coke chaser.

5. Where did he go to high school?He went to a Christian College Prep high school in Florida. He moved into the dorm room when he was in 5th grade.He lived there until he graduated and then off to college.

6. What size shoe does he wear? He is a size 11. He is a big guy...gotta have big feet to support those manly shoulders!

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? He loves anything electrical. We always have the news gadgets in our home! And you gadgets are always the most expensive. If we didn't have to be the FIRST people to play with them we would save a ton of money! Oh ya...anything thing Dodgers would be on the list too!

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?Again...the man doesn't like veggies. He generally likes just meat and cheese. He loves pastrami sandwiches or anything with pepperoni, sausage, etc. His grandfather was a butcher and grew up on meat!

9.What would this person eat every day if he could? Not so much eat but drink. He is a die hard coke fan. He drinks at least 3 to 4 a day! Terrible I tell ya!

10. What is his favorite cereal?He doesn't eat cereal

11. What would he never wear? A fanny pack! And I would kill him if he did!

12. What is his favorite sports team?
Football-Miami Dolphins

Basketball-college teams (maybe Wake Forrest?)

13. Who will he vote for? McCain/Palin

14. Who is his best friend? That would be me...I hope! :-)~ Guy wise...his dad.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? Pick pimples. And I am sure he wished my OCD side would go away sometimes! haha!

16. How many states has he lived in? 3-Florida, Penn, and Ca

17. What is his heritage? German

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake? Cheesecake...or something with peanut butter

19. Did he play sports in high school? He did it all. Baseball, basketball, swimming. (but they didn't have a football team...too small of a Christian school)

20. What could he spend hours doing? Messing around on the computer...finding new techno garbage. And spending time with me...he loves me! :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All moved..

Been awhile since I have posted...we moved this past weekend. GRRR! I am just feeling like I am getting my head above water! Isn't it amazing how it seems all craziness has to occur the same month!
1.) Moving
2.) Parent Teacher Conferences
3.) Multiplication in a Week seminar
4.) Daughter turns 13
5.) Mtg every morning and afternoon
It just never ends! And to kids are not behaving well. So I feel the the grouch of the year!
I hope to return to some type of normally after Oct 4th! Until then...I will be checking in and out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Questions for you bloggers.....

Ok...need some help here. So I am going to post a few questions and see if you can help me out.

1.) How do you know if someone has read a blog of yours and left a comment? Do you have to look at all your articles every day and memorize how many comments you have on each to know if a new one was added?

2.) I hate my ugly page! It is one of the generic ones from Blogspot. So...where do I find a new one? Can you download a design from somewhere? I looked up one ad for someone who does custom pages. It was like $100 to redo. Is that a good price? Any ideas?

Thanks for input! :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

I hate to complain...however...I am going to!

OK...well I shared with you all that hubby and joined a co ed softball team. We have really enjoyed ourselves. I usually just play on the women's league, so playing with the men has been a real treat! The mix of guys really changes the game!

HOWEVER...HOLY SMOKE! We went out for a game tonight. We recognize a lot of the other players from the women's league. Well, I happen to like the other team tonight and their coach from the women's league. Seem like decent people....because as you can imagine sometimes people get pissy and nasty over sports. is common courtesy to try not to hit the ball up the middle to the pitcher. The pitcher can be seriously injured. Well...I laugh at this because I have NO clue where I am hitting the ball! I am just glad that I hit the stupid ball! ha ha! Well, at tonight's game one of our guys was trying to hit up and over second...didn't work out as planned and went straight at the pitcher...HARD. Well, thank goodness the pitcher caught the ball. It wasn't done on purpose and they got the out...good for them right? hubby goes up to pitch the next inning. Their pitcher goes over to coach third base. He then yells at his batter...."Hit it up the middle". For those of you that don't know..the middle is the pitcher! He was telling them to HIT my hubby! So my hubby stops and looks at him and replies..."Hey now...let's play a fair game. Don't encourage your players to hit me!" So the guy yells back, "Your man hit it right at me!" Hubby replies, "It wasn't done on are encouraging your players to hit me!" Then the guys says, "Hey it's a game...the ball goes where ever..." So hubby says, "OK..I will remember that." and the guy replies..."I got you big worries...I will take you out!" Holy crap!! So the umpire gets in the middle and says.."Now guys...let's play a good game. Knock this off. Understand? Play ball"

So the game goes on and this team WILL NOT STOP! Every time a player comes up to hit, they talk about hitting it up the middle. Let me just throw this in there...they were a bunch of thugs! Several had been arrested many times. There are several police officers on our team that recognized several of them. So this may have added flames to this fire.

I went to the ref and said, "I am so sorry about this! This is suppose to be a fun game." He responds.."It doesn't help when they have been drinking for many hours." So he was well aware that they were taunting and playing horribly.

So finally, they are kicking our butts..14 to 4. As I walk out on the field this putz starts talking smack to my hubby again. He says, "A real man plays outfield..not pitch! I got news for you, I will take your head off at next bat!" Now...I am usually a calm lady, and my hubby was holding his cool so well....however I lost it! I looked at the ump and said..."Good Lord, are they allowed to threaten my husband in the name of softball??"

So the ref says to the other team..."This is more word and this game is over!" And of course...being the pricks they were...they did! So the ref calls the game..looks at us and says, "Winners...Game over!" Holy smokes! They were screaming their heads off at us! They were wanting to fight!

So, our entire team packed up quickly and left. What in the world is up with people!?? Now..I know a few of these guys are sleese bags and obviously put their manly hood on the line in the name of softball....but I must ask...WHY? Come on people!!!!!!! It is a game!

I am gonna say it again...SOME PEOPLE SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!
PS...It must have really gotten their goat to leave as LOSERS! hahahah!! :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gossip....why do we enjoy it so much?

I live in a rather small town. And if you have ever heard anything about a small know that gossip runs amok! I am not sure if it is just me growing up but it is really beginning to bug the heck out of me. And we women are the worst ones at it!

Why do we enjoy hearing ugly things about others? Is it really because it makes us feel better? I was getting my nails done last week and heard two women talking about a local woman here in town. She is a teacher with two small children. The rumor mill has it that her hubby has been cheating on her with a married woman in his office. The affair is now out in the open and I guess there have been some vandalism on someones part. The "other woman" has been granted a restraining order. What a mess right?

All I could think about was that woman's kids. And why are we talking about it? The conversation I overheard was not about building up this woman? Or helping their kids...or helping their marriage! It is really none of our business. I literally stopped right there and said a prayer for this woman.

I went to high school with this lady...and I really don't like her. She isn't the nicest woman...and I think my opinion is shared by others as well. But that didn't make me feel any less sorry for her. Or for her children. And to be honest...for her husband too. For all we know..he could be truly remorseful. And if he is doing his best to fix his family.....why would I want to do ANYTHING to hinder that process.

I am trying VERY hard to make sure the words that come from my mouth are for building others up....and not for tearing them down. Believe me...I have been a gossip...a good one! (Hey...when I do something I do it well! :-) But God has really laid it on my heart...this is not what He is hurtful! It is not Christ like!

I have worked hard these past few months to watch my mouth and hold myself accountable. Gossip is hurtful...why is that such a hard characteristic for us to loose???

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Flashback

I always find it amazing just how far people can remember back in their lives so today I thought it would be interesting to flashback to our earliest memories. How far back can you go? father was in the USAF so I was born in Germany. We were able to do lots of traveling while we lived there. One of the places we visited was Spain. So we decided to take in the "cultural activities". ask what that might be. Yeah.....we went to a LIVE BULL FIGHT! read that right...a bull fight! Hello! Wow...this activity is so wrong on SOOOO many levels.
Did you know that the bull is put in a back pen. While he is there as he runs by the junior matadors they stab them with large spears with decorative fabric on the ends. So by the time the bull gets to the main ring he has at least a dozen stab wounds. Then the senior matador takes over in the main ring and finishes the bull off.
This was my first memory...sitting in an outdoor stadium in Madrid, a bull getting stabbed over and over again until his death! Nice huh!!!!
However...being the girl that I am...I do remember the gorgeous red crocheted shawl that I wore to this event! I looked cute at this horrific event! I have pics to prove it!

PS....I think was I almost 3 years old!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A blessing for your ears....

Great news! Ayiesha Woods - have you heard of her? Well, if not then you are in for a treat! Her music is beautiful. Awesome and powerful lyrics, a beautiful voice, and a sound that everyone will enjoy. Blog Mommas is having a great Giveaway this week. You can get her new CD for FREE! That's right people!!! Go check it out...and stay for awhile! You will be sure to enjoy the reading!

It's 'Give Away' time at Blog Mommas!

The Queen Momma at is doing another fantastic giveaway! Up for grabs is the Crayola Digital Camera Scrapbooking Kit! It's an amazing kit perfect for kids 4-8! Check out all the great features!!! A camera for the "just starting out" sect, scissors, fancy paper, stickers, glue, an EZ Type Keyboard for clumsy fingers, and so much more ...amazing!!!
To win this phenomenal giveaway, visit Blog Mommas, write your own post about the giveaway, then leave a comment on the blog. While your at Blog Mommas, stick around awhile. It's great blog!

A time for something new... I am at 35 taking on new activities. And I must is kind of fun. I have been playing softball on a women's league for the past few years. I have really enjoyed it, even though I have found out that I am a slow runner! (Blog entry from before) :-( ha ha! But I am getting better at hitting and I have really enjoyed the pitching!

So the women's season ended a few weeks ago. I had a friend of mine hit me up to play on a co-ed team. Wow...that is a new one. She and her hubby wanted to start up a team and asked my hubby and I to join. So we have. We just had our first two games this week. We won both! It has really been a lot of fun. I have really enjoyed getting to play with hubby as well. We usually do our "own" this new turn has really been enjoyable.

It really is a whole new game with the guys involved. Man...they can throw those balls hard! Your hand gets that huge sting when the ball connects! And you don't wanna show that it hurt like the dickens because you don't wanna be perceived as a "sissy la la". And to boot..they hit the ball way the heck out there.

So, we shall see how the next two months go! Adventures abound!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Some people are just MEAN!

Ok..I wish I could come back from Back to School Night with a positive thing to say...but I can't! I am pissed! Let me start with you with day today.

My oldest daughter, K, had several doctor appointments today. So I had to drive 50 miles to the local city to get these tests done. I start on my way down and of course...there has to be road contruction! So I am booking it to get there on time! I did make it on time (are you impressed Chrissy?).

That appt lasted about 20 min and I was off and running to the second. I get to that appt and the lady tells me that I was late. I wasn't late...I was actually early! Like 20 min early! What the heck. She said that I was suppose to be there an hour before the appt time for prep. Well heck...NOBODY told me that! So then she acts like she is doing ME a favor to get us in. We had to sit for an extra hour, but they were so kind to see us. Grrrr!

K only has one kidney, the other was removed when she was eight months old. So this is a scan of her other kidney to make sure things are working properly. She is having some trouble. Being that K has had 18 surgeries, she is quite scared of the doctor. Getting on the gown and crawling up on the table sends her into tears. I finally get her all calmed down so they can conduct the test.

So test is complete and we go back to get dressed. K is happy to be done...clothes are back on...and KNOCK KNOCK on the door. They forgot to run one test and need us to come back. I am thankful they caught it before I went home, but come on people! The clothes had to come back off...and the tears fly again! They had three medical technicians in watching this procedure. They were doing a lot of whispering. I don't wanna be paranoid, but it makes me feel uneasy....could something now be wrong with her one good kidney?

Now...we drive the 50 miles home and I am off an running to be ready for Back To School Night. I am not in the best of moods. Hubby is at work, I am trying to get myself dressed for work, and I look out the window and my two youngest children are jumping on the trampoline with the garden hose! So I run downstairs to make my unhappiness heard, when isee that my oldest has ripped her brand new outfit in half and is standing there in just her pants!

Are you screaming with me yet??? So, I get the kids dressed, myself dressed, and we are out the door. I took the kids to my parents since hubby was at work. I wait....and wait...and no parents. So I call their phone to find out they are 20 min away! Good gosh!!!!!! Now Iam only 15 min early to Back To School Night...and that doesn't make me happy! (Remember too...I wasn't at work because I was at the doctor all day!)

So..first session starts...I give my little speech..and all is well. So the parents begin to leave and this father comes up to me. He has written me two nasty notes already and I can sense by his body language that he is not happy. He starts to lay into me....for several reasons. But let me share his main complaint. On my weekly communication home to the parents I have a portion title "Discipline Log". He finds the word "discipline" to be quite negative and as an elementary school teacher, I should know better than to use such "negative" verbage!

OK>>>GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After the day I have had...WHO CARES! After I politely told him he needed to schedule a conference with me to discuss these matters later and not at Back to School Night...I looked...It says on my folder "Conduct Log"..SO THERE!

People sometimes SUCK!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A to Z about me...

Attached or Single? the hip sometimes!

Best Friend? That would be my Hubby.

Cake or Pie? well that all depends on the type of cake or pie! I love them both!

Day of Choice? I think I would have to pick Friday. It is a down day at school. And I know the weekend is next...and I get to sleep in the next morning!

Essential Item? Birth Control~Because God knows I don't need anymore babies!

Flavor of Ice cream? Not a big fan of ice cream. I know....sad huh! But if I had to pick one it would be Rocky Road.

Gummy Bears of Worms? Would have to go with the bears. The darn worms take forever to chew!

Hometown? In the mountains of California

Indulgences? I do get my nails done every other week. I love them...and I think they look professional. Do I need I love them!

January or July? Would have to go with July. It snows here in January..and I have to work in it. And if it snows..the kids don't have recess...and I get ugly!

Kids? Three gorgeous girls!

Last Movie I saw in a theater? Sex in the City ....Love IT!

Middle Name? Same one my youngest daughter has....

Number of Siblings? One younger sister

Oranges or Apples? Love both! But if I had to pick...oranges

Phobia or Fear? My kids dying

Quote? The only one I quote often is by Chrissy's mother.."Smile sweetly, agree completely, then do as you please" Thanks MOM!

Reason to Smile? My kids. Waking up each day. Seeing a student "get it"

Season? I like Fall. I love to get the pumpkins out....and make the scare crows!

Tag five more: ??? Chrissy?

Unknown Fact About Me? I just asked my husband to answer this...and he said I am obsessive about zits! Come on now! It is true...but...why would I say that on here? I would say...I don't drink coffee! Yuck! Stinky breath!

Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? I love my MEAT!!!!

Worst Habit? again with the zits! Shesh! But I might have to agree this time! I hate looking at zits on peoples faces! Gross! If it is on hubby...I make them disappear!

X-rays or Ultrasounds? Love ultrasounds of those babies!

Your favorite Food? usually anything Mexican! Loving Italian these days! My hubby is a fabulous love his cooking too!

Zodiac? I am a Libra....balance is my life!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday's Tip Jar

Now...I have on my teacher hat here! But I started a year ago with giving each of my children one night a month to cook! This is something they all just love! We begin by getting out the famous "cook books". There are many "kid" cookbooks on the market. They get to pick the meal for the night. They must read the recipe, create a shopping list, and actually get their own grocery cart and find all the necessary items. I always help them in the kitchen as they get their meal ready to present to the family. This encorporates reading, writing, math, reasoning skills, social skills, etc.

You have no idea how long it has taken them to master the organization of the grocery store! We have also learned about fractions (measuring cups), how to double a recipe, etc. This is a great activity for the entire family. It has boosted their self esteem as they present their dinner for our family. They have become more open minded into trying new food. is the best part..they now love The Food Network! They are always looking for new things to cook!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Making life a tad bit easier!

Now...I will never claim to be a "techie" kind of gal. The "techie" title belongs on my hubby's head in the form of a crown! I can however, hold my own, but don't go out looking for the newest technology out there. But, I thought I would give a shout out for my Blackberry Pearl. It has become quite the life saver for our family. My hubby and I both have one. His is black..and mine is pink of course! :-)

My favorite part of this phone you ask???? The calendar! I know, sounds silly, but it has helped us manage our lives! First of all, I have a date calendar. So I am able to add all my appointments. I can view the calendar by my day, the week, or the month.

My 2nd favorite part....I receive all my email on this phone. So when my secretary emails me an appointment, and I adds it to my phone calendar! It will even let me know if there is a conflict with another apt on my calendar. Ya gotta love that feature.

Third, when I add a date, I can then, through a simple button, send that appointment to my hubby's phone! It then puts all that apt information onto his calendar! have NO idea how great this is! Now, understand, between cheer leading practice, gymnastics, Physical Therapy, Dr apts, Dentist apts, my own work meetings, IEPs, evaluations, football games, junior high dances...there is SO much to schedule. My hubby then knows what is going on daily. This is really helpful because we are always on the same page. He knows what is coming and all the places I have to be. He has often said, "Well, I see you have a nail apt tomorrow at four, and one daughter has cheer leading. I will pick her up and get her there." Do you just LOVE that! It has really helped to get us both actively involved in every ones crazy schedule.

OK...last thing on the calendar~then I will shut up. On the front page of the screen, it lists my next three events. So I always am aware of what my next three commitments are going to be. I can also set the phone to send me a reminder...15 min, 30 min, whatever works for you.

So...for those of you that have crazy lives, need to manage your schedules a little better, and get hubby involved in the "taxi" cab driving of our lives...think about a HERS and HIS Blackberry! There is my tech advice for the year! ha ha!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Flashback Friday..

For most of us there is a defining moment in our teen years when we suddenly feel we have gone from being a kid to being an adult - it happens around the age of 16 when we get out driver’s licenses. Suddenly we feel this surge of freedom that we never had before - that is, until we realize we don’t have a car. But somehow along the way most of us do end up with our own car - maybe not at age 16, but at some point. This week I thought it would be fun to flashback to that time when you got your first car. How old were you? What kind of car? What led to the buying of it?
Well...I must say, I was in love with my first car. It happen to be a red Ford Escort GT. Now, let me help you here...the 'GT' part meant it was kindof sporty! It had the whole spoiler on the back! I loved that car! My parents began shopping around for a used car for me. I was thrilled! I, of course, tried to be the polite daughter, "Any car will do..I am not picky, just grateful!" But you and I both know I wanted a "cool" car. My parents went to the closest big city. They came home with my red little sporty car! I was in love. I will never forget that a friend in high school said to me, "Heather, that is my dream car! You are so lucky" And I really felt that way. The only sucky part was that it was a stick. My mother and I spent hours at the local elementary parking lot stopping and starting over and over again! The car lasted me about three years. I took it to college and it began to over heat all the time. So, they kept the car and gave me an older two seater truck...that I hated. Oh well, the first car at 16 was great!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I got an award....

Thank you, myinnerbitsy , for such a cool bloggy award! This is a great new world for me and I am so excited to be here!

Part of the award fun is in passing it on so here are some blogs I love:

1. Chrissy at Cali Girl Momma (Best way to stay in touch with your best friend)

2. Bitsy at myinnerbitsy (Love to hear all those TMI stories!)

3. Burg at burgsbuttonup (Says all things out loud that we want to say)

4. The Queen at TheQueenofMayhem (Keeps me in stiches with her life)

5. Amazing Grace at ccdmom (Enjoy all inspirational ideas)

6. moms and dads at 5minutesforspecialneeds (A place for support)

And there are a few award rules for those who choose to pass it on:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog. 2. Link the person you received your award from. 3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs. 4. Put links of those blogs on yours. 5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.
Thank you again Bitsy! I am so excited!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ready for a laugh??

Well, I have to share this story with someone! I hope you see the humor in it as I do and it makes you smile today!

My hubby had the day off and I came home to an excellent dinner of steak, butter noodles and corn! It was delicious (and not just because I didn't have to cook it! :-) ! So the five of us sat down for a family dinner about 5:30. We start each meal with a prayer. Our girls fight each night because they always want to be the one to pray. It is great that the girls fight about who gets that privilege! Well, my oldest, Kailey was the winner tonight. Had I only known....

Kailey (Just FYI..this is my 12 year old daughter who has autism and cerebral palsy) begins her prayer,.."Jesus, Thank you for the family, thank you for our home, thank you for our food, and thank you for my penis, my wonderful penis." (Insert laugh here)

I about fell out of my chair! I looked at my husband in utter confusion and ready to bust a gust at the same time! Where in the world did that come from??? So we raise our heads and my husband asks the question that I just couldn't make myself say. "Kailey, where have you heard the word penis?" Oh no... she doesn't answer the question. My six year old daughter pipes up, "Oh, dad, they say that on The Simpsons Movie"

Now, I have never watched this movie (I know...obviously I need to pay more attention) but I had no clue that this kind of language or content was used. She enjoys her movies and had Tivoed this movie on her personal TV. I had no clue she had MEMORIZED this great quality programing! know the next question to come. So I have to ask the six year old because she obviously has viewed this program as well, "Boo (who is also a female by the way), do you know what a penis is?" Well...before she could answer the question my 10 year old genius daughter pipes up and says, "Boo, are you serious? You don't know what a penis is? We all have one!"

(Insert laughter here!) family dinner table tonight was filled with conversation about who has a penis and who has a vagina. Wow....never a dull moment!
PS...the genius middle daughter thought a penis was another name for a bladder!

Monday, August 25, 2008

What a busy week... you can see I didn't post for a week. The first week of school always seems to run me down! I was in bed early each night and slept hard! For those of you that are so understand!! It is a great week...but draining!

I had a great first week. And I must say...I had all 28 names memorized with faces by the end of the day! Yeah me!! I try very hard to know them so they feel welcomed. the way..I had three moms say thank you for the postcards. One mom even told me that her son was so nervous about starting and that the postcard really made him excited and comfy. So...take the time to make that initial contact.

But I must complain for a few sentences here. I was able to get back my emergency cards this week. I always make a point to look them over, check names, employers, emergency contacts, and allergies. I was a little saddened this year. I cannot tell you how many of my students don't like with a mom or dad. Out of my 28 students 10 live with a relative or guardian! That is ONE THIRD of my class! WOW!! It really saddens my heart some of the situations these kids live in. Now, I must tell you. I live in the mountains of central California. We are not an inner city. We are not a "city" at all! We are a small community (45,000) that is what I would consider middle America. Our families seems to just be disappearing. Just thought I would share how in the last 14 years of teaching...times have changed! I am onto week two of school! And I am excited!
Softball is over tonight....
Cheerleading is in full swing...
Gymnastics starting too....

Here we go again...another year full of adventure!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First official day of work...

Wow! What a day! It was my first "teacher" day back. The kids don't start until Wednesday. It always feels like such a huge task to start over each year. There are always so many "little" things you can not forget! Those "little" things help to create a smooth classroom. I actually spent all of last week in my classroom so by today I was actually finished! Tomorrow is tying up loose ends and helping out a new teacher.

Not only do I have to get my "teacher hat" ready to go by Wednesday, but my "mommy" hat has to have all in place as well. Trying to make sure the backpacks, shoes, socks, lunch boxes, lunch items, etc...are all ready to go! The checklist for THREE children seems to be endless! Thank goodness for the blackberry and my lists upon lists to help my pea brain!

And ya know...I want my house in tip top shop to start the year off...and I just don't feel I am so successful in this area. Not that it is horrible...but all I want is a perfect house. That isn't asking too much with three kids, four cats, a dog and a hubby??? I really need to learn to deligate more jobs to my children. They are all old enough that I really shouldn't have to touch another dish! Yet....I was up at 9:30 tonight doing dishes! Time for a chore chart I think!

Does having 75% of my goals in place mean I am successful?? Can I hire a maid to do the 25% of my failing areas??


Saturday, August 16, 2008

New teacher hints...

I thought I would share some advice for those of you that are newer teachers. There are several things we can do as teachers to make our school year go a bit smoother. And hey...let's admit it...we all need things that make life and work a bit easier!
1.) Always make a positive contact with a parent first!---It is always easier to make that dreaded "I have to tell on your kid" phone call, if you have made a postitive contact first. How can you do this? Well, I do it in two ways.

  • I always begin the school year by sending out a "Welcome Back To School" postcard. I write something like, "Hello there! I hope you have had a great summer. I sure have. We enjoyed our visit to the Grand Canyon this summer. But it is time to head back to school. I am so excited about getting to know you. This is going to be a great year. I will see you bright and early on Aug 20th!" This is a personal note to each child and parent.
  • Secondly, I make a point in the first three weeks to send a personal note to each parent. Now, I know we are all busy, the note does not have to be more that a few sentences. I try to find something I have learned and enjoy about their child. Here is an example, "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I just wanted to send a quick note to let you know I am sure enjoying getting to know John. He is such a well mannered young man. You have much to be proud of! Mrs. R" I usually write three a day the first three weeks. I actually keep a copy of each note.

These two tasks really help to set the stage for parent support when you are dealing with children. I don't think we realize how much parents need to get those positive stickers! Especially if they have a troubled child those positive notes are few and far between. So, set the stage, make your first contact a postivie one!

Another hint....KEEP EVERYTHING!!!!

I bought a few crates that fit legal size file folders (You could just use a filing cabinet). Each child has a folder. Any information that goes between home and school goes in this folder. You just never know when a parent will come in and say they never saw a note or paper. Here are the items I keep in this folder: Begining of the year letters that went home with parent signatures, any and all assessment, progress reports, personal notes from home and school, referrals, copies of emails, excuses for not participating in PE....etc. You get the picture. Let's face it, dealing with irate parents is difficult. This organizational technique has saved me several heart aches. I have had a parent go to my adminstration saying they wanted their kid moved because I didn't communicate that their child was failing. When I walked into the parent meeting with my administrater I had a file full of progress reports (I send these home every two weeks and require a parent signature) and all the chapter tests (I also send home and require a parent signature). Come to find had been hiding from dad all of this information. Dad ended up apologizing and said he obviously had issues at home to address. So, take the time to set this up! With sue happy people these days, you can't afford not to cover yourself in every way! Make a paper trail!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wow...feeling older every day!

Today...........I taught my daughter how to shave her legs! Who knew this would rouse such emotions for me! She has started cheerleading. Which means lots of time spent with girls (of the same age) whom are developing at all different rates. Several of the girls shave their legs. Now, my daughter has very light blonde hair so you really can't see it. But, when the sun hits in right, you can. So she asked when she could start shaving her legs. Now , I am also aware that her step sister is shaving and this has aroused some interest for her as well. Is there an appropriate age?? I am not sure. She has started to grow in other why not!? I wouldn't want to be out on the football field with the sun shining off my blonde filled legs! So we dove in this evening and fixed her all up! Boy...they grow up fast! Time to start having those "talks" that every parent hates. I just keep telling myself take it one day at a time. We have had several of those dreaded conversations. I have tried very hard to make sure she feels she can ask me anything without freaking out. I try to play it cool and make sure I give just enough info to answer her questions, but not too much information that she has too much or more than she was searching for at that time. Amazing how shaving one's legs now has me be concerned about the next step of development! For right now...I think the next question will be when she can wear mascara. I can handle that one! :-)

My summer passion....

I really have enjoyed my summer passion of gardening! We have really enjoyed getting to watch the vegetables grow. And it really has become the family's passion. The girls just love going outside each day to see what new thing has bloomed. What a great teaching opportunity too. My little six year old now understands what happens when we plant seeds. The girls have also learned patience ( too). We want to pick the produce because we are so excited. But waiting and letting them get bigger and bigger sure has been fun. The girls just love to go out and pick the squash and then see it on their plate that night for dinner! The watermelon has just started to grow. There are little baby watermelon everywhere!! They are so cute! I know..dumb! But I now see why gardening is such a relaxing enjoyable activity...even if you are under 50! :-) Here are a few pics of our current growth!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It never ends...

Well...I always have these grand ideas about how much stuff I will get done during the summer and it just never seems to work out! I know I have accomplished a lot, but I always see the things that I didn't get to finish! I was able to teach a month of summer school, paint my mother's entry way and hallway, painted Boo's room purple (you like that Chrissy?), cleaned out the kitchen cupboards, moved Madi to the down stairs bedroom, went through all the old clothes, donated clothes to the local guild, and built and maintained a new garden.

I have 10 days before school starts! AHHHH!!! I have much to do to finish up my end of summer projects. I wanted to help Adam get the garage all cleaned and organized before winter hit. Not sure I will get that done in the next 10 days. But I think we can get it done in the next two months. I really want to hit all my cupboards and get them all cleaned out. It is nice to start a new school year with the house in order. Because we know how quickly the schedule of work and the girls extra curricular activities come and the organization starts to deplete quickly!

Here is the worst part....I really don't feel like I have 'relaxed' this summer! Between teaching summer school and vacationing with three kids, and chores...I don't feel rested! Think I could fit some rest in the next week? It has dawned on me...this is my life...there are no more "down" days! With three kids at home, continuing my education, and a full work never ends! And that is is good! Tired...but good! :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our Parenting Goals....

Raising our children is a huge job. Each day brings new challenges, that are always covered with those kisses and hugs that we all love so much. But adding a disabled child into the mix really can shake a parent to the core. I have known about my oldest daughters "issues" since birth. I knew "something" was different, but took years to finally get a diagnosis.

One evening when she was three, I was really struggling with my daughter. Nothing that she had done, more struggling in my own head. I was morning....which every parent must do who has a disabled child. We morn all the things that a "normal" child will succeed at that our child will struggle to attain. This process is a must so that we are able to move forward and accept.

As I was in this valley, I began a very tearful conversation with my father. I was upset my daughter was unable to climb the ladder to the slide, she couldn't hold a pencil, and she couldn't ride a bike. It just all seemed so unfair! I wanted my child to find success! I wanted her to be "normal"!
My very wise father sat me down and said, "What is your goal as a mother? Not just for your handicap child, but all your children. Is it that they graduate from college? Is it that they make $50,000 a year? Is it that they have three kids and are a stay at home mom? What?? What will you see as success when they are 30 years old?"
After much only answer could be..."I want my children to be happy." My father looked at me and said..."Don't you see have already won with her! She is the happiest child one could meet!" And if you have had the pleasure to know my would see this to be the truth!

You see, we must put things into perspective....We often see things through the worlds eyes. We must get back to basics and view them through God's eyes. I can honestly tell you today, that I am content with my daughter working at McDonalds, greeting at Walmart (which she would be fabulous at might I say! As long as she didn't kiss all those that enter!), or even wrapping napkins and utensils at a local restaurant. Above all the worldy goals which we all strive for, I want my daughter to be happy, to see meaning to each day, and to feel happy with what she has accomplished. No matter where that might lead her.....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reality check....dont they suck sometimes! :-)~

Ya know...I know God has a great sense of humor and sometimes the people He brings to deliver the humor is often my husband! :-) I joined a softball team a few years ago. My thought is you are never to old to learn something new. I am not a great athlete by any stretch, but I can usually hold my own. So, I learned to pitch and have enjoyed the team and the friends I have made.

My coach, Mark, is a great man. He puts up with us "thirty-something, non-athletic moms" even though he wants to win so badly he can't stand it. And to be honest, so do we! We have, as a team, improved greatly! We are actually winning some games these days! haha!

Well, at a game last week, I hit the ball and get onto first base. My coach is standing there as the first base coach. He says to me, "Now Heather, you know you are a slow runner, so you need to get out there and get a big lead so we don't play into a double!" WHAT?? I am slow? Was I suppose to 'know' this? Now, I know I am not a sprinter, but SLOW? Come on now!

So, letting this thought roam around in my head for a few days, I finally tell my husband yesterday, "So, Mark told me I am a slow runner. You think that is true?" His words to me this carefully...hear the tone..."Well, you aren't the slowest runner on the team." What the HECK? That was a, "Yes, are slow!" have to take into consideration that I have also begun working towards a marathon. I have been running a few 5K races this past year. So to hear that I am "slow" hits several areas of my life! Reality time I guess...I am a slow runner...what ya gonna do!? I really don't have any desire to head out to the track to work on sprinting. So, today...I am ok with knowing, I am not the slowest runner on my team! :-)~

Monday, August 4, 2008

My Favorite Things

My favorite things tends to change each year. So I will give it a go for this current year! :-)

1.) Having a family sit down dinner-With our busy schedules and my hubby working evening it isn't often we get that family dinner time. So on the days it comes, I enjoy it! It is great to watch each of the girls interact with each. I also get a great sense of their personalities as they tell about their day and their friends.

2.) Getting to sleep in-Again...with those busy schedules it seems there is not much time to just lay and rest. Saturday mornings are always filled with activities in town and Sundays are spent at church. So when those days come, I enjoy it!

3.) A date night with Hubby- I just love getting dressed up and heading out with hubby. We love to have a great dinner. We both appreciate cooking and enjoy trying new places (Stop laughing Chrissy! It is true!) Catching a movie, finding a great place to dance the night away, or just walking the mall and people watching are high on our list!

4.) Laying in my bed with my girls watching a movie-I have been on a kick to make sure my girls watch all the important movies from my day! Haha! I want them to appreciate my sense of humor and my hints to shows. This past Christmas they all got an 80's movie in their stocking! Goonies, Grease, 16 Candles, ET,Footloose, etc...I have having to wait on a few...the sexual content is just too much for now! haha! I sound like my mother now!

5.) Any Kiss from a kiddo-I will never tire of these! Each are so different and yet so special. My oldest is loving "eskimo kisses" these days! So we are always bumping noses. My middle daughter has decided that a kiss is a way of saying thank you. So we kiss a lot these shoes, new hair bow,...kisses start flowing. And the little one is a little more stingy. She loves to kiss her daddy the most. So when she shares with me, I appreciate them greatly!

I am supposed to tag five other people, but I don’t even think I have five readers over here so if you are out there reading then please join in the fun and leave me a comment so I know you did.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's August...back to school time!

Whenever the calendar turns to August, I begin my back to school projects. I have quite a few projects as a mother. But also as a teacher, I have much to do. I thought I would shared some helpful hints to make life a bit easier.

Let's start with our Mom hats. With three children starting school, it can be quite costly. And let's face it, the older they get the more they want the trendy clothes. I have found that Ebay has helped our pocket book out greatly. My girls are loving the Roxy, Volcom, and Hurley clothes. These shirts are quite costly. A new one can go from $25 to $40. I have found several "lots" of these clothes on Ebay. For those of you Non-Ebayers, a lot means a "group" of clothes. I bought my middle daughter a "lot" of 15 Roxy, Hurley, and Volcom shirts and two sweatshirts for $45. That is $2.64 a shirt!!! You have to be quite careful to read the information about the items. You want to make sure the clothes are not stained or ripped and that the seller has a good reputation. This has really helped me to cut some corners on the girls clothes. I am unable to do this in the jean department. I always take the girls to the store to make sure they fit comfy and appropriately since they grow so much each year. But hey...that is ok when I am saving in the shirt department!

Ok...the teacher hat! One thing I have found to cut corners for me is the number system. I know many teachers use this system in their classrooms, but if utilized well it can help prevent having to buy new things each year. Not to mention this system saves me a lot of time in preparing for my new students each year. We have been getting our class lists two days before school begins. This leaves most teachers in a scramble to be organized to begin school. I know this is harder with younger grades, but second and third graders take to this system quickly. I label my cubbies, folders, desks, books, pencil boxes, folders, journals, jacket hooks, etc. with numbers starting with number 1 all the way to the number of students I have entering my class. The students quickly learn their number and are able to use this organization system. I am to set my room up without knowing my students exact names! And once you have done this, it works year after year. The only thing I must do before school starts is the name tags for the desks.

One more teacher hint...on your back to school items for parents to send it...add a box of Wipees! I know...sounds crazy! But it is SO helpful. I start the year with 3o boxes! We are able to clean our desks weekly to help with those cold germs that are rampid in a classroom. Also helps for quick clean up after those dirty art projects in our classrooms!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Having a Child with Medical Issues seems another round of medical testing is on the horizon for my daughter and the hubby and I. We have been contending with some behaviors of hers for years. She has an obsession with putting things in her mouth. It is any and all things! And I mean ANY!! She has digested things such as a matchbox car, stuffing from her pillow, and once attempted a plastic bag from the local grocery store (Thank God hubby caught her!). This has been a 10 year struggle for us. I have tried every type of behavior modification I have in my repitour as a teacher. This is the one behavior I am unable to conquer.

We have a wonderful behavior specialist that comes over once a week. I get to do my complaining to her and she helps me to correct these behaviors. She has been sch a blessing to us! She is the cheerleader when things are great and the truth teller when I need to hear things that are hard to accept. She recommended that we try some medical intervention, IE...medication...with my daughter and her OCD with putting things in her mouth.

This was a really tough decision for my hubby and I. Putting my 12 year old daughter on medication for something that is not life-threatening was difficult. But after 10 years of frustration it was time to give it a go. We did several rounds of Prozac. This medication seemed to have little effect on her behavior. So...about two weeks ago we went to the Dr. and he decided to go a different route. Well, before we could start this new medication we needed to have an EKG and some blood work.

No problem...right?? Well..we did both tests and got the phone call. The EKG came back bad. She has two issues they are not comfy with and are sending us to a pediatric cardiologist. Of course.....nothing can be easy. So I spent the week getting all the appointments needed to start this process. Then...another phone call came. Her bloodwork came back bad as well! OMG!!!! Are you kidding me?? She now has high cholesterol and triglycerides. Wow....Wow....I was just thinking to myself...Seriously, does EVERYTHING have to be an ordeal????????

Well, trying to be the responsible parent I have googled all these conditions. I feel a little more educated on the subject. So now it appears I must really monitor her diet even more closely. And to be honest with you, I already do. Which I guess is where my greatest frustration comes from. She has had weight issues for years. Hubby and I had made a commitment to watch her weight and exercise with her more often this past year. So, I am just unsure where I am able to "cut" things out for her. I walk two miles with her three times a week and she works out with her physical therapist twice a week for an hour.

Given her disability, what more can I do with her?? Well, I have decided to get her on the treadmill each day for 30 minutes each morning. I hope this will help start up her metabolism each day. Hubby and I had already volunteered to start a special olympics swim team. She loves to swim and this will help to work some calories off as well. But it won't start until Jan.

It appears I am going to have to really watch my cooking as well. I will start shopping a little wiser. For example, I know I need to cut out noodles, but they are her favorite. There is so little in this life that she LOVES. And not letting her have that once a week just hurts my heart. So, I have decided to switch to the whole grain noodles. Hopefully, these kinds of changes will help us control her cholesterol levels.

There are just some days where the frustration level is so high. I know God has a plan for her...and for us. But sometimes I just wish God would give her a break. She is 12 and went through surgery 17 and 18 this year. It feels so unfair sometimes, and my heart hurts for her. She is my baby...and I hurt when there are so many trials she faces each day. So many trials that I can't hurts.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Taking time to enjoy life....

It is so humorous to me how much our likes change as we get older! The idea of planting a garden was the farthest thing in my mind. Especially planting a garden for enjoyment! My how things change! I thought about it a few years ago. But never took the time to plan one out. Never allowed myself to really think about "actually planting" a garden. Gardenting is for older people...isn't it! I mean the grandparents on our block all have one! And the stories we must hear about these gardens go on forever!

But there was this great appeal for me this year. I am not sure as to why! But there is! So, I finally caved and decided to give "gardening" a go! Wow! I had no idea how much of a family activity this garden has began with our family. As you can see here, the girls were very curious as to my activities and wanted to get involved. They helped me fill this box with soil because they were so curious as to what it would become!

Hubby even got involved! He was bound and determined to have a sprinkler system run off into the box. After a few trips to the ol' Home Depot, he did it! We began by planting mostly full plants and not seeds. However, there were a few seeds we wanted to try. We weren't sure if we planted too late, but Hubby really felt it would be great for the girls to see the plants start from seeds. So we planted a few rows of veggies from seeds.

I must confess...this garden has become the high light of our summer! I planted the box so that it can be seen through my kitchen window. So each morning as the day starts, I look through the window and enjoy watching the ever changing look of our garden! And it isn't just me...the girls and hubby are also actively involved in watching and reporting any new growth!
You can see below some of our first fruits!
And what a joy it has how times change! This is how I am enjoying spending my the age of 35!