Monday, December 30, 2013

Word for 2014:


  definition:  Done in a way that is planned or intended.  I also saw on another definition that it meant purposeful.

I thought about a focus word last year but never did anything with it.  This year I am.  I prayed about what God would have me focus on.  I ran through a list of words but they only covered that specific area....I needed more.  Then "discipline" stayed awhile.  But even more than discipline, my life needs to be more "intentional."  I feel like I sort of lost my way in 2013.  Nothing major, just little bits and pieces here and there throughout the year.

Mom guilt seemed to attack me more often.   I couldn't get or keep my house clean, couldn't get or keep my health under control (weight included).  I couldn't keep my daily walk with God on the forefront.  My parenting skills went down the toilet or I hit a wall and became a screamer, a yeller, no patience, no tolerance for kids asserting their independence. I lost control of my life.  There was no purpose.....nothing planned.... nothing intended.

2014  will bring purpose, plans and most of all-an intentional life.

First up because without no other can succeed.  My daily walk with God has been planned and implemented.  It is intentional.  If this is not in place I might as well give up.  My life has felt out of control because I tried to take back control this past year.  And that never works.

Second up, my health/my weight.  The two go hand in hand.  I am armed and ready to tell the doctors what I want.  I'm tired of them telling me to do this and do that, when it has NOT helped.  They will change a few things and I will handle the eating and exercise.  People, when you have a thyroid disease research everything!  You are not fat just because.  It is harder to lose weight, feel energetic and be happy, happy, happy.  Get the doctors to actually hear what you are saying, do something about it then get yourself in check!  Time to get intentional with my physical health.

Third up, my parenting.  I have been such a "reactive" parent this past year.  Talk about failure. That ever present guilt strangles me some times.  I must be more intentional in giving them over to God-more.  Pray over them more.  Our days must be planned with purpose.  I must let go of Cade.  I must give Jenna more responsibilities.  I must give more understanding and structure to Cloee.  I must give more structure and discipline to Luke.  I must parent with intention.

And there you have it.  Do you have a word for 2014?  Care to share?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My blog is back.

I've decided I need to come back to my blog.  It's my open diary and I need to write. 

Jeff and I are beginning a new chapter in our life with one of our children.  Today, Cloee was unofficially diagnosed with Autism.  We are in the process of making an appointment with a developmental pediatrician, which of right now is next to impossible!  The one we were referred to is not taking new patients right now and is booked through February 2014.  So our Pediatrician is working on getting OT initiated for her. 

I also called the PPCD program to begin that process.  I am waiting on the diagnostician to call and set up the evaluation appointment.  If they find that she needs help, we will have a second appointment to set up an educational plan for her.  And then she will begin that program.  She is developmentally delayed and speech delayed so I'm fairly certain she will begin PPCD once the testing is complete.

I decided to come back to my blog because there may be another mom out there doubting her gut reactions.  I am here to say, "please don't."  You know your child better than anyone.  If something seems different, start documenting.  I sat down one day and wrote out 2 pages without thinking.

My anxiety levels have hit an all time high when taking Cloee out in public.  Not knowing if something would set her off or when it would set her off.  My mother finally saw one of her epic meltdowns (as I like to call them) in the car going home from my brother's wedding.  Once started, it lasted about 45 minutes, in the car.  Yes I did have to pull over and yes I had to get out of the van so I could breathe.

Along with the validation I feel, is the overwhelming feeling of heartbreak for my sweet girl.  I feel anger, a lot right now.  I'm not equipped for this, I'm scared for us, I'm scared for Cloee.  I don't know anything about Autism.  I feel like my whole life right now is spent educating myself on how to better parent each of my special needs children. 

I feel like I'm not a good enough parent to handle these challenges, why was I chosen to raise these beautiful children who need so much that I don't know about??  I'm reeling and I'm rambling. 

I've studied today.  Autism has to do with brain development-our Cloee had an extremely rough start in life, probably plays a huge part in it with some genetics mixed in. 

Would you please be in prayer for my sweet girl?  And for us as a family?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Seasons of change

We have started back to school.  Made the official move to year round schooling.  This allows us a great deal of flexibility when we want to take time off.  It's so hot in Houston in the summer so why not do some school so we can take time off when the weather is nice?

Cade's schedule this year (7th grade):

~Horizon's Pre-Algebra.  I LOVE Horizons math.  And apparently I forgot I really like Algebra-for real!

~Switched on Schoolhouse (SOS) - Language Arts.  SOS is computer based.  LOVE it.

~SOS - Bible

~SOS - History & Geography

~Apologia Science - Swimming Creatures of the Fifth day.  He really wanted to take this class and I've planned some fun fieldtrips.

~Writing - Can't find it right now.  Oops.

~Art/Nature Study

Cade runs 3 days a week- typically M, W, and F.  Basketball tryouts are in September-hopefully he will make the team.

Jenna's schedule this year (1st grade):

~My Father's World - 1st grade.  This is a complete curriculum that covers all classes with alot of wonderful read alouds also.

~ Science:  This is included in MFW but she will also participate with Cade in Apologia.  I think she will enjoy the projects and science experiments.

~  Nature Study will also be included and she has her own sketchbook.

~Her PE consists of playing outside with her friends everyday and walking around the lake.

Daddy doesn't know this yet but I really want to have our science experiments on the weekend and for him to lead them.  I will get all of the stuff ready and he will just conduct it.  I think all of the kids will enjoy watching them.

Other changes:  My blog.  I think about it everyday.  I feel like I'm headed towards closing it down.  Sometimes I think I will post once a week but right now that even seems alot.  So, rather that closing it down, I think I will just take a hiatus for a period of time.  Not sure how long.  When I come back I'm sure I'll link it up to facebook.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

End of School


Yes, even homeschooling moms look forward to breaks in school.  It will be a short break but that's okay!  We are officially moving to a year round homeschooling schedule.  The new school year will start after July 4th.  And Cade even wanted to do this.  He has realized that we can take more time off during the year.  We will also be schooling for 5-6 weeks and taking a week off and take atleast 3 weeks off around Christmas.  The summer months will be lighter but still include Math and Reading and probably Writing.

So, this year Cade made the A/B honor roll.  I was very proud of him.  His study habits were pretty much non-existent prior to this year and he has improved quite dramatically in this area.  Actually, when Cade studies just a little his test scores really, really improve.  I was talking to Jeff about this: how little Cade actually has to study to make A's.  I think I'm jealous!  I used to study and study and study to make A's.

This year, after reading another homeschooling mom's blog, I decided to have a meeting with Cade and discuss his strengths, weaknesses and interests.  We will focus on a couple of weaknesses this year.

Weaknesses:  Reading Comprehension is the big one.  Spelling and Vocabulary tie into this also.  Cade has dyslexia and auditory processing disorder (which typically goes with dyslexia).  He hates to read.  Because he has to work so hard to "read", I believe the understanding of what he is reading gets lost along the way.  We will be working on that this upcoming year.

Strengths:  Math and Science.  It's odd that Cade does so well in Math but is dyslexic.  Math is typically not a strong subject for those with dyslexia.  He will begin Pre-Algebra in July.  Crazy kid asked to start this week, but I'm not ready!!  Because he likes Science, I am really going to focus on making it as interesting as possible with experiments, documentaries and field trips.  He seems to be very excited about it!

Interests:  He indicated that he would like to start Art, so I will add an Art class this upcoming year.  This will also include nature journaling as well.  His other interest was basketball.  I'm not sure what I can do with this.  I will look on Netflix for some documentaries and see what I can find on the history of basketball as well.  He will tryout for the Houston Homeschool basketball team-tryouts are in September, I believe.  He plays EVERY DAY!  In the Houston heat.  All of the boys in our neighborhood play basketball-this has been great for Cade.

Jenna is still doing Kindergarten.  She loves to do school every day.  She works on the computer and has worksheets she is still working on.  She has started reading, counts to a hundred, learned to tell time (to a point) and is doing addition/subtraction.  I know there are other things, but I can't think of them at the moment.  She will not get a break like Cade.  I think she is okay with that.

That's it for now.  Next time I will post about our curriculum choices for 2013-2014.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

More catching up

Still catching up!  Life in Houston-I'm actually loving it.  I especially love the area where we live.  There is so much to do if we choose.  We typically reserve Fridays for park days/field trips and they usually include the Wood kids from .  School generally is Monday through Thursday.  Cade can usually be done by lunch.  We start late, after we burn off energy!
Jenna and Cloee-they found the rainwater and had some fun!

Cloee, Luke, Jenna and our friend Haley creating art

Luke-he loves body art

Jenna-when she started reading the Bob books.  She loves it!

Manny, Haven, Jenna and Grace-silly

Jenna and Luke at the splash pad

Cloee having lots of fun

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Catching up

I think it's time to do some catching up.  We've been busy living life and getting used to living in Houston.  One of the reasons I haven't posted is because I don't know how to get the pictures from my phone to the computer.  So if you have a Nokia Windows phone and know how to do this, I sure would like to know.

We are wrapping up our homeschool year for Cade.  He is down to just his Bible curriculum and Math. Jenna will finish sometime this summer.  They won't begin on the same day.  Jeff doesn't want much down time for Cade in school, so it will probably just be a 1-2 week break and he will begin 7th grade.  Jenna is on track to begin 1st grade probably in August.  I will blog about their 2013-2014 curriculum in another post.

We've been visiting Churches, trying to find a new church home.  It's so hard when you loved the one you were in.  We visited one for a few months but the format doesn't work for us and Jeff was having to miss too much of the Wednesday night group.  We are visiting another one, we think this one may be the right fit for us.  Still praying about it.

I've joined a couple of the homeschool groups and we've gone on a couple of pretty cool fieldtrips.  But they are slowing down for the summer.  Tryouts for basketball are in September.  Cade is very excited about this.  I think the boy would play basketball all day if he could.  Hopefully we can get Jenna back in gymnastics in August.  She misses it.

Cloee and Luke are doing great.  Cloee still is not interested in being around people she doesn't really know.  And Luke doesn't know a stranger.  Interestingly enough, Cloee walks right into her new Sunday school class without any hesitation.  It's such a shock for me to witness, but I am so thankful.

Luke's 3rd birthday

Cade's 13th birthday

Kids love to play in this creek

Jenna's 6th birthday


Jenna, loves the bounce houses

Cade, Jeff and Cloee

Cloee-not sure why it was blurry

Jenna and Cloee-fieldtrip, they loved these big trikes

Cade-they even had some for the teenagers

Jenna-another blurry picture.  She actually did the zip line.
That's all I have time for.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Week in review

Last week was a busy week, getting ready to be off for Spring Break.  We are behind in our schooling with our move but I have it worked out where we will finish school on June 17th and be off for 2 months, restarting a new year on August 17th. Our days aren't dictated by a schedule but more of a relaxed routine.  Cade has his schedule for the week and if we want to do something fun, he simply doubles up before or after.  Jenna's schooling is fitted in throughout the day.  Sometimes she's in the mood to do alot at once and then go play or sometimes she does a little and then wants to go do something else.  I'm okay with that.  Sometimes we even do school on the weekends.  Whatever works for her.

We can tell Spring is here.  This is what I saw on my walk/jog last week.
Aren't they the cutest things EVER???  We like to walk over and feed them.  They're so cute the way the chirp and run around to grab the bread.

We also head to different parks on Fridays to play with friends.
Sometimes we take breaks and play in front of our house.  It's just been too beautiful to stay indoors.
Cade is so good to play with them most of the time and of course, they love it!

Some of the Friday playdates include a round of HORSE or something with Mr. Brian.
Jenna has been asking to get her hair cut.  On a mom and Jenna outing we decided spur of the moment to do just that.
She's so beautiful, don't you think??
and then the final.  She loves it and so do I. It's still long enough to make a ponytail and braid. And she can brush it herself now.  She had problems when it was so long. 
One day we had a very very spur of the moment decision to go to the park in lieu of naps (we won't do that again!!)

And one snapshot of our sweet Maggie.
Her walks around the lake wear her out. :-)

I caught pink eye last week. How?  Who knows, but it's so contagious it could have been at a store.  The doctor said it was one of the worst cases she has ever seen, if not ever.  My eyes were so swollen-top and bottom. They are still not completely healed, but now they look like I have allergies, so not so bad.