Sunday, January 13, 2013

Santa photos

I am still working on catching up here. My Mom reminds me daily that she hasn't gotten photos. Then my Dad tells her to hush up because I am busy. Hah! 

Here are pics of the boys with Santa Claus. Every year our subdivision has a special 'Meet Santa' party for all the kids. They have it at the golf course clubhouse. Santa rides in on a fire engine, then he reads the Night before Christmas, we sing carols and the kids get to sit on his lap and tell him what they want this year. Mrs. Claus is there to help out and all the kids get a present. It is something we all look forward to every year. 

Levi laughing it up with the big guy.

Ahren looking a bit pensive. He told me later he couldn't remember what he wanted so he just asked for a truck. That child has the most gorgeous skin. 

 Seth looking worried. Gee I wonder why???

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


My Dad sent this to me in an e-mail today. I have no idea if it is a true story, but honestly it doesn't matter. The message is still valid either way. In a day and age when man's crimes against one another seem to be all around us, isn't it time we teach our children about humanity?

Here is the story:

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do
Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued.. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game..

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first! Run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!' Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

"A" Baby Birthdays

Yesterday was a special day. Ashley and Ahren both had birthdays. Ashley turned 18 (noooooo!!) and Ahren turned 7. It's hard having a birthday right around Christmas. They just got a bunch of things and that makes shopping for something special really hard. Ahren got a tablet computer and new shoes. He loves shoes! Ashley hasn't decided what she might want. I am thinking maybe some money and a weekend for us girls at a spa. There won't be many more years where we would have the chance to spend that kind of time together.

  Right after the school tragedy our elementary school had a very large police presence. A policeman stood at the front door, two more cruisers sat in the front parking lot and one in the back lot. There were police patrols thru the hallways during the day. I was worried my boys would be scared but they all said it made them feel safe. Now, after the holiday break, we don't even have the traffic cop that works the car rider line. What is up with that? My kids noticed and they are worried. They don't feel safe now. Good lord what have we come to? I don't even know which way is better, cops in the school or not. Kids scared of killers with guns learning how to hide and play dead? Teachers keeping the blinds closed and doors locked at all times? Backpacks made of Kevlar so they are bullet proof? I am so sad, so angry, and so confused.

Seth is continuing his slide down the rabbit hole. He spent yesterday in the principal's office for bullying another child. He pinched him, punched him, and screamed in his face. And this isn't the first time he has picked on this child. When Chris picked him up from school Seth told him he had a great day and was on green. Chris already knew the truth so Seth got to sit on his bed until dinner. When I got home we talked to him. He looked really scared so maybe he gets it, but maybe not. We are cracking down on him. No social events, no playing with neighbors, no play dates, and he has to go to bed early every night. We explained this is not necessarily punishment, but what we have to do to keep him from hurting others and to keep other children safe until he can control himself. he has been picking on Ahren, too, so Seth has to sleep in his room alone and Ahren is in with Levi. It will stay like this until Seth proves he can handle interaction with other children.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

It's all good

  I had my moment to wallow in pity and then by the next morning I was over it. I have been at work and it's been good. I overdid it yesterday, though, and by evening my wrist was swelling and the cast was getting really tight. I took some meds and propped it up and it helped. All in all, it's not so bad. Plus I got a purple cast. Purple power!!!

  Seth has settled down and is back to his super sweet self. He went to camp this week and the routine helps him so much. Routine is the glue that holds him together. He got a little award at the end of the week for being the best helper and having great behavior. He has been a little anxious and it comes out in a need to know I am still there for him. He will randomly come to me and just lean against me for a moment or he will call out to me and when I answer him he says "I love you", I answer back and he is reassured. He just needs that little bit of comfort to know I am still there for him. If that is all he needs then he is doing great.

  Chris, Levi and Ahren have all had a cold this last week. That triggered Ahren's asthma and he has struggled all week with that. We have a new combo medication for his nebulizer and at first it really helped but this week it didn't seem to do much. He was taking oral steroids, his allergy meds and breathing treatments but he still struggled a lot for several days. He was exhausted from just trying to breathe. I think it's time to look at changing up meds again. He is feeling better now and ate everything in sight yesterday. He had two breakfasts, two sandwiches at lunch and a big dinner. Seth is usually my biggest eater but yesterday Ahren beat him. (go figure, the littlest guy is the biggest eater!)

  For Christmas this year I focused on getting gifts for the boys that would get them outdoors and active. The kind of things that we could all use together or they could use themselves. We got a huge sandbox with bench seats. We got a badmitton set, a soccer goal and croquet. The biggest outdoor gift, though, is named Rio. He is an eleven year old gelding. A horse! He is a Morgan and not real big. He is super sweet, calm and loves attention. I will put up some pictures soon. He is a doll and hopefully will be an awesome way to teach the boys about responsibility. They all love him but need to learn how to care for him and be safe around him. Ahren and Seth have been taking riding lessons for a while now, and Levi is excited to learn to ride too. We have horse trails all throughout our subdivision so we can ride for miles plus our acres around our house to ride around.

  I start my next semester of school tomorrow. It is going to be a bit challenging since I can't type well with only one hand. Chris told me he can get me a voice activated typing program for my computer. I am going to hold off on that for now until I see what this semester will bring.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


  I was so excited to see the surgeon today. I would get my first glimpse of my hand post-repair, x-rays to see if everything was in place, and a hard cast that would protect my hand and allow me so much more freedom. Two out of three came true.

  Most of the swelling is gone. I have a lovely 2.5 inch incision down the back of my hand and a couple more poked holes where wires went in. My whole arm is still bruised and my fingers are black and blue but everything is feeling better every day.

  What did not happen..... I do not have any increased function in my hand. Instead, I have LESS function. I cannot lift, twist, pull, or place any strain on my hand. I am released to work with restrictions but I am not allowed to drive. that is huge.

  Essentially, I have figured out three things that I can do with my right hand.

1) I can point at something (so handy)

2) I can pick my nose ( not so handy)

3) I can flip someone the bird

  So tonight I lay in bed, feeling sorry for myself and scarfing down cherry vanilla ice cream. I have a lovely purple cast on my hand. By tomorrow things will begin to fall into perspective, but tonight I am allowed to be pitiful. Oh woe is me. I cannot even get my own pants on. This is going to get interesting.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Wild Animals of Southern Texas

Such lovely boys.

Springtime view in our backyard.

The view in autumn.
Jackie in her outdoor play area we built for her.

Right after I finished cleaning the laundry room. You will never see it this clean again.
 This is NOT normal.
That poor dog.

They wuv their Daddy.