Dyslexia

Well, I got the results back from Catfish’s 4 hour testing.

It was worse than I had expected.

Now, I mull over the results.

I cry.

I eat cheese.

I cry more.

I drank a coke.

Then my sister called….and I cried more.

It isn’t really the dyslexia (okay, so that is a huge part of it).

It is all the other alphabetical letters he has because of the choices of his birthmom.

I just wasn’t as prepared for all of this.

I was hoping against all hopes that he would outgrow his labels.

Tomorrow I will be over it and I will find ways to help him.

Or, I could just stay under the covers and be very very quiet in hopes that the children don’t find me.

Dealing with Special Needs

I am a hard-headed person.  I know that.  I embrace that.  I hate that about myself.  Growing up, I had (have) wonderful parents.  I was blessed with Martha and Pop.  Pop’s work ethic was amazing.  He knew that he needed to do what he needed to do to provide for his family.  By being dedicated to his job, that meant, giving up a lot of ball games, band concerts, and awards ceremonies.  My mom made up for his absence because she was always there…she is everywhere….even when you don’t realize it!  I also am a privileged kid because I had an extra set of parents; Susie and Frank.  They lived across the street from us and my mom and Susie are the best of the best of friends….my siblings and I would flit between houses and we were held to a high standard by both sets of parents.

I, too, have high standards.

I set the bar really high for my kids.  I do so because I believe in their abilities to reach for the stars and to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves.  I do not want perfection out of my kids.  That is unattainable…only One perfect Person walked on the face of the planet and that Person is my Jesus.  I do, however, expect my kids to work hard and to do what I know they are capable of.  I do not believe in using bad beginnings (for my kids born in the heart) as a crutch to get by in life.  Overcome, forgive and move on.  I live by that and I want that for my kids.

One of my children had a bad beginning….full of prenatal abuse and post-natal abuse.  The problems that this particular child has was not so evident when this child was younger.  There was a speech issue, but pretty much a happy, inventive, creative, chubby little piece of work.  As the years have moved on….the differences between this child and other children the same age is like an ocean.  I see my child in a little dingy riding the waves of the ocean, while his peers are on yachts zooming to a private island.  There is a huge gap between this child and the children that he has grown up with.

It hurts my heart to know that he will struggle every day of his life when it comes to academics, reading, learning, remembering small details.  I wonder what he will do…will he ever be able to function outside the walls of our home and away from the bubble that we keep him in.  He has been picked on because of his speech impediment.  He has cried many tears because he just can’t remember and he says that he can’t do things because his brain doesn’t work or that he is lase (he spells using phonetics….the word is “lazy”).

Today, as I was sitting in the dark room watching him in speech/reading therapy….I felt weepy.  He went through a battery of testing that was to determine if he had dyslexia.  Dyslexia is the developmental reading disorder is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols.  He has been in therapy for a while now…we started him in PT, OT, SLP when he moved in with us.  He has been in some sort of therapy ever since.

We have been blessed with an amazing “overseer” and some fantastic people who work with him.  They have been so patient with him and so loving.  This testing was hard on him.  He sat through 4 hours of testing over the course of a couple of weeks.  His “results” will be in on Thursday.  Today, I have been informed that he is EXTREMELY dyslexic and that we really need to focus on his strengths because his weaknesses are so bad.  It is something that I needed to hear, but didn’t want too.  I have to face the truths and I have to get over it so I can help him be the best that he can be.

And I will.

Eventually.

But today, I’m pissed. (sorry mom…I know you hate that word but I didn’t say dyslexia sucks…which it does cause I know you hate the word sucks too).

I’ll accept it tomorrow.

Maybe.

Then again, tomorrow I may just drink chicken broth and play a game.

Menu Planning

I asked for some new recipes on facebook and I got some!  I will be trying them out over the next couple of weeks.  I’m super excited. I will try and remember to post recipes and pictures….but there is no guarantee :)  Thank you to all who sent me some recipes!  I’m already excited for after these two weeks because I have a few more to choose from!!!

Monday:

Chili

Chicken Noodle Soup

**These were recipes that I already had the ingredients for and I needed to make them…all about saving money and using up what I have to pull together suppers**

Tuesday:  Bug cooks this night

Lasagna

Bread

**Again, this was a meal that I had meant to cook a week ago, but didn’t**

Wednesday:

Church

Thursday:

Pizza (by Big Daddy)

Crockpot Pizza for kids (new recipe)

Friday:

Going to my mother-in-laws

Saturday:

BBQ

**I will be out of town, so Big Daddy is getting BBQ from a new joint that opened up**

Sunday:

Don’t cook

Monday:

Philly Cheese Steak (new recipe)

peas

corn pudding

ranch potatoes

Tuesday: Bug cooks this night

Parmesan Encrusted Chicken (new recipe)

Green bean casserole

Mashed potatoes

Garlic Monkey Bread (new recipe)

Wednesday:

Church

Thursday:

Pizza

Deep dish pizza casserole (new recipe)

Friday:

Crispy Cheddar Chicken (new recipe)

Lima Beans

Macaroni and Cheese

Potato cakes

Saturday:

Baked Mostaccioli (new recipe)

Bread

Sunday:

Don’t cook

Monday:

Crockpot Cheeseburger Supper (new recipe)

Fries/tots

Tuesday: Bug cooks this night

Pizza bake

Garlic bread

Wednesday:

Church

I will also have a few “go to” meals for when a particular night I need something quick to cook and what I have on my menu just isn’t going to cut it.  I always choose a few “staple” meals….just in case life happens.

Spaghetti (always a staple)

Breakfast for supper

Tacos

Layered Chicken Divan (new recipe)

1234 Soup (new recipe

I. Am Tired.

Wowser what a day!  I haven’t been sleeping well for the past few nights and last night…I just didn’t feel well.  Nothing major just a lot of minor blechs.  Big Daddy let me sleep in till 10:00 :) Yay him and yay me!  Once up, my feet hit the floor with correction for one child (enter go to Canada looks, pouting, stomping, deflecting, and whining)…those choices landed this particular child in the realm of cleaning out my vehicle, writing 3 chapters of Proverbs, and writing “Honor Thy Father and They Mother” many many MANY times.  It seemed to calm said child and the chores were done without complaining.  Score one for me!

Today was the day to switch out clothes (screams of horror and terror).  The little boys were first because, though they are 2 years apart, they wear the same size.  They have grown tremendously, yet they still have clothes to wear.  We had several bags of good…too small…clothes that we will donate.  Once we got their stuff done; I moved onto Boo.  He is fairly easy because he can try on clothes quickly and he accepts the “too small; too tight; too big” comments with grace.  Once the clothes/drawers were done…Boo pulled out the sterilite containers from the attic and we went through those.  I hate doing this.  Gigi was the last to go.  As we were shuffling through her MOUNDS of clothes and I observed the scowls and bad looks because these were “not her style” clothes…I told her to get over herself and she would wear what we had because these are good clothes and money does not grow on trees! While going through her things…we did find all of Bug’s missing underwear.  Why Gigi had them…I don’t know.  I don’t care.  We returned them with strict instructions to watch what she throws in her dresser and to return clothes that were mistakenly put in her clothes basket.  She doesn’t pay a lot of attention….to anything…ever.  She whined a lot during the clothes trying on session.  At one point, about 8:30 we all (Big Daddy, me, Peach, and Boo) got the giggles every time she walked out and therefore she started giggling…this made the time go by so much faster.  We were laughing over stupid things and frankly, I’m just slap happy because I’m so tired.

My kids get a few pieces of clothes for their birthdays and Christmas.  We live by hand-me-downs and consignment stores.  The thing about now is that Peach (child #2) is taller than Bug (child #1) so they can’t switch out clothes.  Gigi is lightyears away from how tall Peach is, so we are storing clothes for what seems like forever.  Boo is hard on his jeans/shoes/socks so none of that can be handed down.  It’s hard, but we do sales and we buy off season in hopes that something will fit someone at some particular time.

Peach did her own thing with her clothes and so did Bug.  Peach decided to move her furniture around and as she moved her bookcase…there we found a lovely mouse nest.  That pesky mouse that would run between Bug’s room, Peach’s room, and the bathroom…yep…it lived under her bookcase (nasty nasty nasty).  Though, now, I’m chuckling a bit.  This is a picture of what a mouse nest looks like…not the one we found in her room.

As the boys were playing in the garage, Little Man came flying in and said “guess what guess what guess what???”  Big Daddy and I said “WHAT?”  He threw something at my lap and said “Look what I found in the garage by those things that are big in the garage!”  I looked and it was the hearing aid that he had lost almost 5 mths ago!!!!!!!!!  I am THRILLED!  We had a replacement made, but still, this is a backup and when you have a kid with complete hearing loss, unilaterally, a backup aid is EXCELLENT.  Bonus…it totally still works.  We popped it in his ear and made him turn around.  We were whispering “can you hear us?”  He had no response, so I turned him back around and I said “is it working, can you hear better?” and he said “yes” because that is what he always says, but we knew that wasn’t the truth because Boo was talking to him and he couldn’t hear him.  About 5 minutes into the “can you really hear me?”  His eyes lit up and he said “Holy Crap…it popped and NOW I can REALLY hear you better!”  It was hysterical.

Thanking God for miracles and provisions!

The mantle is cleaned off.  A Christmas present arrived.  The clothes have been gone through.  The laundry is done.  I made a PHENOMENAL supper (pork chop and hashbrown casserole, mac & cheese, lima beans, and garlic bread).  My kids are groomed and bathed.  The dogs are asleep.  Big Daddy is cackling to the show Chrisley Knows Best.  Big Daddy also put up our MOUNDS of clean clothes (my personal pet peeve).  Peach asked if she could write Scripture on her wall…I said YES!  She is happy.

I am tired.  Life is good.  Never dull or boring, that’s for sure!

Christmas List Time

Good grief…..my kids are making their Christmas lists and this could be the death of me.  I have one child whose list is 3 pages long….did you read that?  3 PAGES LONG.  Wow. It is nothing massive…a lot of little things so really not that big of a deal.  It just looks like a big deal when you have pages handed to you.

Over the years, we are very mindful of the reason for Christmas.  We read the Christmas story and we do focus on the birth of Jesus.  We have, in the past, done a birthday party for Him.  On the top of our tree, we put a crown of thorns and I love it!  I love that reminder of the sacrifices that He made for me and my family.

I do not buy junk.  We do things that are necessary, clothes, shoes, books…things that will last longer than 5 seconds.  We do not overspend for our kids because that is not what our focus needs to be on.  One thing we do, as a family, is the shoebox ministry.  It is through Operation Christmas Child (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/).  Each child does a shoebox and fills it with items such as:

  • Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
  • School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
  • Non-Liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
  • Accessories: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
  • A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
  • Do Not Include: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

They also place letters, drawings and $7 to cover the shipping.  It is something that is precious to my heart and I want my kids to know that there are children, in this world, that are less fortunate than they are.  I enjoy watching them choose what goes in each box.  This is a part of MY kids Christmas…giving to others.

Another thing we do is we adopt a kid (or two) from the Pima Reservation.  Eric and Brittany Gibbs (http://liveloveaz.blogspot.com/) are friends of ours who have left everything they know and love to travel across the states to ministry to these wonderful people.  My daughters have gone on summer mission trips to Arizona and it has forever impacted their lives.  Most of these children, in the reservation, do not have “Christmas” because they are so poor.  We want to share in our abundance and be able to put a smile on the faces of these children!  Soon, the Gibbs will be posting on how to adopt a kid for Christmas.

It is so important that we look past the commercialism of Christmas and we return to the true meaning.  Loving Christ and loving our neighbor.  Giving back.  I encourage you to find a place, in your community, to serve (a food pantry, a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, nursing homes, etc.)  I also encourage you to find a way to help others. Get some people together and do the Operation Christmas Child (our church does this).  Gather up gently used or new stuffed animals and donate them to the police department or your local DCBS office for when children are removed from their homes with nothing.

By serving others…..you can be the hands and feet of Jesus.  How awesome is that!