Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years Eve

I've decided since I was so bad at blogging during the Christmas holiday, I'd spend a few minutes getting everyone caught pictures (yes, I took the easy way out).

Christmas morning - we were, yet again, the first family in the neighborhood awake, as best we could tell. 5:45 am- at least we were 15 minutes later this year.
One of the many snow days we had- Delaney and her best friend, after sledding.

Snow, Day 9. Being stuck was not fun, but it sure was pretty.

Christmas afternoon with the cousins

Trey enjoying the snow- his hat was soaked so it had to come off along w/ his implant and hearing aid. Made for some fun trying to get him to pay attention.

Rob and Trey trying to build a snow man (or at least a snow head). The snow was too icy to really make one, but they tried.

Jake on Christmas afternoon

Jake and his cousin Connor

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I'm looking forward to getting back to 'normal' (meaning not having to fight my kids for computer time-LOL). School sure is sounding good right about now.

Have a FUN and safe New Year's Eve everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back Now....

Between putting together all the various toys the kids got for Christmas, and then 3 days of soccer tournaments (27 games in total), I finally have time to get back on the computer. I'm feeling so disorganized, and the house is a sty. But, we had a great Christmas.....

It never fails that there is one toy/game/electronic item that causes problems however. This year it is a little device made by Leapfrog called a Crammer. It's supposed to help your child study for tests, etc., but it refuses to connect for me. I have now invested hours on it, and I'm ready to chuck it out the window. So, here I am, saying 'hello' instead :)

Also for some strange reason NONE of our iTunes gift cards are working....very frustrating. Any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blogging Canceled Due to Snow....

along with everything else in the Portland area-LOL. You'd think I'd have plenty of free time for blogging, since we're still stuck here at home (yes, day 8.....) But trying to keep 4 kids in snow clothes is time consuming, as all of you who live in snow covered areas already know. I'm sure there is a system I should be using, but no.

I have lots more pictures but frankly they look just like those I've already posted :)

Merry Christmas Eve/Happy Holiday

EDIT: We do have a snowplow on our hill- YAY. Of course, it just got stuck in the snow....bummer

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nothing new here....Still snowing

The road to our house is still not drivable (except for the crazy people who have slid down the hill only to get stuck). Thanks to our friends down the hill, Delaney and I got to escape yesterday and make a Target run. It was so nice to get out for a bit. I managed to get the remainder of my Christmas shopping finished, except for one last grocery trip. But, I'm hoping that we thaw by Wednesday...... Even if our hill doesn't completely thaw, I bought Rob some chains yesterday so we *do* have a way to get out now (after a hike down a steep hill to the car :) Snow is not so fun when you live someplace without enough snowplows-LOL

Friday, December 19, 2008

Emily hit the White Elephant gift exchange jackpot....

Off she went to a mid-day Christmas party (thanks to another snow day), and came home w/ a yard of bubblegum. A 3 foot long tube full of sticky, sugary bubble gum. She is thrilled- I'm maybe a little less thrilled.

Our days have been full of lots of sledding, hot chocolate, and loads of wet laundry. I feel like a Minnesotan.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday's snow and Trey's Gingerbread house

He's just so darn proud of it I had to share. I took the pictures so we could make an experience book for school. Of course, that would require school to occur-LOL.

The group picture was from the first round of snow- it didn't last long, but the kids had fun!

Snow day (this time WITH snow)

If we're going to be stuck at home, there may as well be snow

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No School For You.....

to quote the soup nazi. They cancelled school again, and yet, I see no snow. I did have a large garbage truck stuck in my driveway thanks to a lone ice patch. It was all very exciting to the boys, little did they know it would have made sledding difficult, if we do actually get some snow. I've also been informed that some additional kids will be coming over to hang out. One can never have too many kids in ones house, right???

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

School is back on

Which is great! However, as I was getting Emily ready for school, I misplaced her new implant. I have NO idea where I set it down. I hate, hate, hate this feeling, and this time it was all me. I'm still thinking a GPS add on has to happen at some point.

Anyway- hopefully I'll have a better report later, once it has been found.....

EDIT: Rob found it. It was lying under a sock, on the end table by my bed. I think I placed it there while I threw on clothes, and somehow the sock ended up on top of it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

No School Update

I have a HUGE headache (already). It's so loud (shocking, I know) in our house, that even the inflatable snowman has made a run for it, down our slope*. That may actually be the winds fault....maybe.

*For those who are worried about the snowman- he didn't make it far. He's now safely deflated, staked into the ground, but safe from the "Arctic Blast".

No School Today......NEW, pictures of the pioneer children(drawing by candlelight)

It's hard to believe- it's bright and sunny, a thin layer of crusty (icy) snow on the ground, and they decide to cancel school. I guess maybe the 20 degree temperature, and wild, wacky winds came into play. We lost power last night for a short while- my children would have made horrible pioneers. They did not like my fun ideas (hangman by candlelight, drawing pictures, writing stories). Jake kept telling me to go fix the 'lectricity. I wish!

Fortunately, it was only out for a couple of hours. My biggest issue was trying to figure out how I was going to get cochlear implant batteries charged with no power. Rob mentioned the car charger, we probably could have given them a quick charge, but still not sure that is the best solution. Hopefully we won't have that happen again.

We have a chance for some more snow this week, and as fun as the idea of snow seems, I really don't want to kids to miss this last week of school. I know, such a bad mom- it's not for the kids' sake, it's for mine :) I need to finish up some Christmas shopping, and can't do it w/ no school.

I better go tame the wild animals. I'm bribing them w/ a movie trip later....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Soccer Tryouts: Cancelled due to inclement (maybe) weather

which is actually good news to me. Delaney was going to have to be at ODP tryouts, an hour away, by 8:00 am. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be 'o.k.', but Sunday could be bad (if you consider ice on the freeways bad, and 34 degrees on the soccer field during the warmest part of the day). We'll see- they are so bad at predicting, it could go either way. But, for now at least- no tryouts until January.

I've been prepping for my job interview this afternoon. Sort of prepping. I did read through the state's brochure that they give to all parents of newly diagnosed deaf/HOH children. All 100 pages. It is amazing to me how much you learn about hearing loss, through the course of raising your deaf/HOH kids. I remember vividly being so overwhelmed, and so unsure of what to do- what we *should* do, did we make the right choice, etc. I don't feel that way anymore. Never overwhelmed, sometimes concerned, but the big unknown is no longer there. It's no longer scary. Still definitely frustrating at times, but I think there are frustrations with ALL kids at times. I'm still feeling that the timing of this job opportunity is off, but I'm going to go to the interview, and see if they are even interested before I get too worried about all of the logistics.

I need to go try to squeeze into interview clothes now. Two kids later, and the clothes just don't fit the same way :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Update from yesterday

Regarding Em's cardiology appointment. All in all I think it went well. She has none of the thickening that is typical of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at this point. So, the recommendation is that we do not need to have her seen again until she is 12ish. However, he did see some other small things (I say small, because the cardiologist did not really seem concerned about them): she has a small spot that has not closed on her Atrial septum, an ASD, which again he didn't seem to see as an issue, unless at some point she develops a clotting disorder, and then he mentioned an enlarged aortic root, again not really as a problem, per se, but he asked about dislocations, etcs (double jointedness). I think he was trying to determine if she could have Marfan Syndrome, which I looked up, and I really see no indications of. She is flexible, but certainly not double jointed, and no one else in the family has any indications of this syndrome.

So, I think she got a clean bill of health, in his opinion, but I guess I want a better explanation for her remaining heart issues. Maybe they are just very common, and nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pat me on the back please...

I have 6 WHOLE holiday cards done, addressed, and stamped. Yay me! Now I just have to finish the remaining 50 or so. Today is Emily's heart appointment. I'm thinking I'm going to take her out of school a bit early, and treat her to lunch. Not fried, fast food (because that just seems wrong, considering we're going to a Cardiology appt), but maybe Subway, although during soccer season (which is pretty much year round at this point) we eat there a lot. Sorry for the rambling. I tend to talk, and think that way when I'm facing a busy day.

You know....busier than normal.

I'm also debating whether to jump on the tread mill for a quick run, but considering I actually showered, and put make-up on this morning, I'm leaning towards not running. I'd hate to have to cram in a second shower.

We were all getting a bit excited- we had been told by our all-knowing weather people that we might get snow this weekend. But, alas, it is now looking bleak. The cold snap, and the rain are going to miss each other, which is what we need here to actually get snow....or ice. Which I didn't want. It's probably for the best- Delaney and many of her teammates have tryouts for a regional team this weekend. Tryouts in the ice and snow ALL DAY do not sound like much fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our tree is SO crooked-LOL

but that's o.k. It's the little imperfections that give character, right? At least that's what I've always believed, and what I've tried to teach the kids.

Tomorrow is Emily's cardiology appointment. I'll update afterwards. I'm hoping for a clean appointment as a Christmas present :) I was supposed to rush from the appt to a job interview (one that I"m not that sure will really work at this point in my life), but they called and be nice. And make it harder to turn down, IF I actually get a shot at it. It would be working for the state in their early childhood screening office (for hearing loss). I know, sounds great, but Jake is only in half day Kindergarten, and my gut says there is a lot of personal fulfillment, but not a lot of financial compensation, and daycare is expensive, and something we have avoided (after child 2).

Anyway- the biggest hurdle is trying to fit into one of my suits-LOL.

Tree Picture extravaganza continued

Notice the Santa duck....for some reason Trey developed a fascination with it. It is featured in many of the pictures

Can't you just feel the fun oozing out of the computer?
Happy Holidays!

Oh Christmas Tree....

Oh, poor poor Christmas tree....Sorry to torture you like that. But it was sure fun. I promise to re-distribute the ornaments that are all hung on one branch, about to break it off. Trey called it his branch, and hung all his many, many, ornaments there.

I'll have to write a separate apology for the broken ornaments.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wow- It's definitly a Monday!

I just received an email message from our bank saying they 'cancelled the bill pay service, as requested'. Great- except I DID NOT cancel my bill pay. I've been using it since 2004, and would never cancel it. I just called them, and they are going to try to reinstate it (not sure who cancelled it and why. They think it was supposed to be someone else's that got cancelled- scary). All my history may be gone....forever. Sigh. I so do not want to reimput all my bill pay information.

And, the window people came out to replace the window Trey broke, and as they were installing it, they broke the new window. Just a small crack (but the window they were replacing just had a 'small' crack).

Hope everyone is having a better Monday! Especially poor Gage w/ his ear infection......

We had Jake's birthday party last night....

at JJ Jump, and I think a fun time was had by all. As we were driving home however, I had to listen to Emily complain the entire way because I refused to decorate the SOAKING WET tree. It was just too much. We had all gotten up somewhat early, headed out for breakfast (which we NEVER do), drove out to the 'country' to pick out our tree. Took our family picture for the Christmas card (thanks to the wonderful woman at the tree farm), came home, busted out party favors for Jake's party, and headed out to JJ Jump. After 2+ hours at JJ Jump, there was just no way I was going to go down into our very dark crawlspace, and bring out all the tree decorations.

Other than a very whiny Emily, a good time was had by all. I'm always a little bit stressed there, because of the potential for lost hearing aids and cochlear implants. At one point I looked over at Trey, and he had on his hearing aid, but no implant. AAAAHHHHH! Rob saw my look of panic, and held up the missing cochlear implant. He had taken it off *before* Trey started going on the various bouncy slides, etc. Emily is really good at keeping her two implants on- she jumps with her hands over her ears, and Jake just has hearing aids. Anyway, we made it home with all hearing aids and implants accounted for.

Now Jake and I are heading downstairs to find the tree lights, and the ornaments, so we can have more family fun tonight. At least it always starts out fun :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Here's what we did today....

Took our Family Picture

And, assorted other goofy pictures, while....

picking out the (semi-perfect).....

Christmas Tree

Friday, December 5, 2008

All About Hearts.....

O.K. to change direction drastically (and move to the center of the body), we did screening EKGs on the three youngest kids last week. Two came back 'normal', and one came back w/ an abnormality. What does that mean? I don't know, but I'd sure like to. All my pediatrician said was that there was some indication of an enlarged right atria, but it could be nothing. But- based on the family history he recomends following up w/ the pediatric cardiologist. So, I did, but they initially said we couldn't be seen until late January. Which means being in limbo on my child's heart until then, because it's 'probably nothing'. If I had a dollar for everytime I've been told my kids issues are 'probably nothing', I'd be very wealthy. Of course those were all ear issues, this is something I know very little about.

Anyway- I called the ped. cariologists office back and told them that in light of my husband's recent cardiac arrest, and the fact that my child is telling me her heart is bugging her when she runs, they needed to see her soon than January. So, we go next Wednesday. Hopefully, there is nothing going on at all (but a slightly paranoid mom), but better to be safe than sorry. I'm going to have to become an expert on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy at this point. I'm hoping we'll beat the genetic odds the *opposite* way this time (since we're alreay four for four on a recessive gene :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Taking a break from the worst Christmas special ever...

I really have enjoyed most of the series, but "Shrek the Halls" is just too much for me. It comes off as a schizophrenic add-on to the three movies, that is hard to follow, and IMO impossible to watch. It could also be due to the 10,000,000 commercials. So, my three kids are downstairs enjoying it, and I am up here...enjoying it. FYI- for those who keep track, yes I have four kids, but one is at soccer right now.

It is Jake's birthday today (bday post coming tomorrow), but let's just say it was a bit like "Shrek the Halls"- schizophrenic and hard to follow (or at least keep up with). However, he had a great day and loved each and every one of his gifts :) So- I'll put that in the 'good job' column for now. He requested lasagna for his special birthday dinner, which is only funny if you were at our house between 9/26 and 10/15. People were so amazing with their outpouring of help after Rob's cardiac issue and I am truly grateful. But (please re-read the last sentence before reading our family humor), we had lasagna coming our of our ears. We ate it for breakfast, we ate it for lunch and of course for dinner, for about 3 weeks. And, I was always grateful not to have to scramble to cook, but it became a running 'funny'. So for Jake to request lasagna, was just FUNNY! And, I made it willingly, with love.

Certain items are essential in our house- tubing for earmolds/hearing aids being one of them

Yesterday, the tip from Delanley's hearing aid ear hook broke off, into her tubing (which is ANCIENT at this point), which meant she was not able to wear her hearing aid. This was catastrophic to my middle school daughter, judging by her reaction. She was forced to wear her CI only- suffice it to say, we did not feel *too* sorry for her. The great audiologist from Trey's school replaced the now shortened ear hook for me, and we were on our way. At that point, I realized her tubing was so old, it was molded permanently into one position and would no longer work with her hearing aid. You'd think I'd have a stockpile of certain things, like hearing aids batteries, and replacement tubing, but I haven't had to use it in so long, I didn't realize I was out.

And then this morning, Jake's tubing split in two- Cracked right across the middle (obviously caused by me, and the fact that I haven't changed it in a long long long time, and their ears just don't grow as much, so we're not going through huge quantities of ear molds).

Anyway- tubing, for all you hearing aid parents- stock it, and avoid my hearing aid drama!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trey's evaluations.....

is he making progress? Yes- is it enough? At this point I'll take what I can get, but it is a little disheartening to see that he is still testing at around a 24 month level (he's 4 1/2 years old). And, this is the child the school district wants to put into their non-specialized program because they think they will succeed where highly trained people are struggling. Nope- not on my watch.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Major head cold warning....

I woke up on Sunday with the start of a hugely annoying sinus cold. So, that's my excuse for the horribleness (is that a word???) of my updates lately. It's difficult to think, much less translate those thoughts into any sort of semi-entertaining babble put down on 'paper'. But, I'm going to try :) And, now to blow my nose, Bye!

I'm not sure you can see the house from outer space....

but we're working on it. Trey motivated me to hang our Christmas lights yesterday (basically by chasing me through the house with the lights in his hands, yelling "LIGHT"....I just couldn't take it anyore). It's the first time I've done it. Typically Rob braves the elements, climbs up the ladder, and gets them up, but because he takes blood thinners, I decided he's now retired. It wasn't so bad, although when the rain kicked in and it started getting windy I became a lot less picky about how they looked. Not to mention there is one portion of the house that can only be reached by having someone else stabilize the ladder (picture one leg of the ladder off the ground), and I wasn't totally confident Delaney had it totally under control.

We're meeting at some point this week to review Trey's progress to date. I think he's definitely making progress, but he is still so, so delayed in speech/language. (Oops- Rob just called and the meeting was supposed to be this morning.) I had Thursday marked on my mental calendar. Rob left the paperwork for me at school to review, so I'll update later once I've glanced at it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st.....

It kind of snuck up on me this year. 25 days until Christmas, and only four until Jake's 6th birthday. I'm MUCH more prepared for one than the other, and unfortunately it's the one I have a lot more time for. Jake's birthday is sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and is smack in the middle of the holiday activity season. That said, we're having a party for him on Sunday afternoon, at our local Jump/Inflatable place, and we'll open family gifts on Thursday, in between two basketball practices. Happy Birthday Jake, hurry up and open your gifts, shove that cake in your mouth, we're off to Basketball!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoyed some time-off. We managed to, broken dishwasher, window, and all-LOL.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant time with their family. We've had moments :) I just frantically took the turkey out of the oven (two hours earlier than I had estimated) because the meat thermometer read 180 degrees. I rushed all of the side dishes, and scrambled to set the table. As Rob cut into my beautiful HUGE turkey, he informed me that it was raw. Yes, raw..... my meat thermometer is broken.

So, back in the oven goes the bird, and we'll have to reheat all the side dishes in a few hours. I think I'm off to play the Wii, and have a 'beverage'.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trey and I Just Completed our First Turkey Day Item.....

which involved lots of flour, eggs, butter, sugar, more flour, some salt, lots more flour, some yeast, and, oh yes, did I mention FLOUR. That's what my kitchen floor is now covered in: a fine dusting of flour. My other three children should go gaze at it. They've all been pining (and whining) for snow- this may be the closest thing they get this winter.

We have the future rolls safely rising (we hope) in the kitchen, so that we can have more fun with flour this afternoon, when we will roll them out and shape them into perfect Parkerhouse least we hope. If not I'll let you in on a little secret. I have some frozen yeast rolls ready and waiting. I'll just swap them out for mine when no one is looking.

Now, onto the pie!

Make it stop!

This morning Delaney went down into our playroom and discovered a crack in the largest window in the room. The other night, Trey was tossing around a foos ball and we heard it hit the window, but saw nothing. Today, after several freezing mornings, and a windy day we have a window in need of help.

Bad things happen in three's, right???? Dishwasher, bad IEP answer, and the window. I think we're done. (I'm choosing to leave out Rob's cardiac issues in October, because that would put us WAY over the top. )

I was going to switch out my music today but I think Frank is still totally appropriate.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Just because...

I decided my blog needed a little goofiness to offset the bad news.....

I'm going to try to get the Christmas shot this weekend- prepare for MORE goofiness

Deja Vu- My Dishwasher Broke

I seem to recall posting this around holiday time last year! Same dishwasher.....I think it breaks on purpose gearing up for Thanksgiving. We may be going the paper route for Turkey Day this year (only we'd be in big trouble in this neck of the woods- not environmentally friendly at all). I'll just stick to hand washing a LOT of dishes.

For your viewing pleasure, here is last year's post on November 20th:
Here's a funny one for you......
What do you think would be one of the worst times for your dishwasher to start leaking all over the kitchen, making it unusable???? If you answered right before Thanksgiving- the holiday that generates the most amount of mess, you'd be correct. Bummer, huh? (EDIT: Well, I guess the cause of the leaking was the Lysol cleaner I sprayed on the inside of the door to get rid of the bad smell- But, I'm glad they came out because of my note below).

But, I'm choosing to look at it this way- For the first 3 years of my oldest dd's life, we didn't have a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, etc. We lived in a historic 1930's bungalow, that was still quite.....rustic. I'm going to use this as an opportunity to be thankful for the fact that our current house has a dishwasher (that may work again in the near future).

Off to try (ha ha) to get the appliance person out before Turkey day :)

NOW FIXED- YAY! Well, except he discovered my heating element is not working (which explains the not so nice smell coming from the dishwasher, which was the inspiration for me spraying the inside of the dishwasher w/ Lysol), But it is usable, if I pre-wash well.

Finally heard from the school district- NOT HAPPY

They are standing behind their ammended IEP, which leaves us no choice but to take the next step (Due process hearing). I'm disappointed on so many levels. My last conversation with the second in command was so positive, and he conceded off the record that he would support us. I'm not sure what shifted. I guess the other scenario is that he said that, just to buy time, so that I'd back off for a few weeks??? I don't know.

This is new territory from here on out. That said, we have a great attorney working with us, who is taking the case pro bono. He feels really good about everything so we shall see. I just really didn't want to have things get nasty with the school district, as my long term goal is to have all four kids in the district, but it is what it is.

On a more positive note- I'm officially enrolled in school and start in January (M.ED-Special Ed). I guess the bad news is I probably shouldn't count on doing my student teaching at our school district-LOL.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Monday Before Thanksgiving....

Being the smart, organized person I *try* (and usually fail) to be, I planned the entire menu for next Thursday, made my grocery list, and went to both Costco and our local grocery store yesterday. I was assuming they would be horribly crowded, and it was crowded, but definitely not 'horribly'. It was like any other normal Sunday weekend. It was a pleasant surprise. The only downside was I agreed to bring the two girls with me and I forgot how much more difficult Costco is with the kids. They are just too easily distracted.....samples, books, movies. All I needed were cupcakes for the soccer party, and some pizza. $150 later we left Costco.

We had the boys' end of year soccer party last night. It was fun, and Trey was thrilled to get his first trophy EVER! Pizza, trophies and cupcakes as big as their heads- it doesn't get much better than that.

Today, I took the boys on a fun field trip to our local hospital to get screening EKGs done (based on a recommendation from my husbands Cardiologist). The wait wasn't too bad, and the boys got to leave with EKG leads, and printouts of what their heart rhythm looks like. The fun never ends around here :) The technician commented that I "should have brought my camera", and my thought was "yes....cute blog pictures". But, sorry, no camera.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What we're doing today....

Keep your fingers crossed that it stays warm and DRY- games at 9:00, 12:00, and 3:00
More to come :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just finished Trey's evaluations.... (and, special bonus- I'd like to introduce SuperTurkey)

These evals were for his mid-year progress report. He has shown a lot of improvement between his last evaluations and now, but I'm not sure how many months of growth it translates to. I suppose I'll have to wait for our evaluation meeting to really better understand it....again, waiting. Definitely not my strong suit :) Three of the tests were administered by me, here at the house. They are tests I have done before so I have a good idea where he has been at, and was amazed at how many more boxes I could check. This is good, although he has definite holes that show up.

Em's IEP meeting is after school today but the IEP itself (that was sent home to preview), looked pretty good. It is one of the more thorough IEPs I've seen, up to this point.

And now, the part of the post I'm sure you are more interested in, the special bonus!

Today is Spirit Day at the kids' school, and the theme is superheroes. I figured Emily and Jake would just grab one of our existing superhero outfits and go with that, but no. Emily wrote a story in class yesterday about SuperTurkey, and, of course, she wanted to be....SuperTurkey (not sure if that's how it is spelled, I should have consulted the author-LOL). She did the costume all on her own, with the exception of some final taping. She cut up a large piece of two-sided poster board (one side red, one side blue) and created large back feathers, which she then taped together. She also made a large T for her chest. She wore a bright red sweater, and blue jeans. It was pretty cute, and more importantly she really did not want me to help (I LOVE it). And, I'll definitely give her an "A" for creativity.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bad Jake (wow, was my post earlier timely)

I got a call today from B the bus driver, and Jake was not good today. In fact, according to B he was downright defiant. I need to re-read my post from earlier because right now Jake is not real high on my list. He did comment that Jake had taken out his hearing aids as soon as he got on the bus (which to me indicates that *something* was going on in his little head. He has never had a bus issue before this Fall. And, he never gets in trouble on the way *to* school, only on the way home (different driver, etc).


Book Fair Fever....

My children are obsessed with the Book Fair. They've already been to visit it three times (which means I am book fair-ed out). But, this morning I took them for their last visit. It can definitely *only* be described as controlled chaos. They gave numbers out to the kids who wanted to enter without parents, but since I was with Jake and Emily they got to breeze right past the line, much to the dismay of the children waiting oh so patiently.

Delaney came with us, since it was an early start day, and she was greeted by many of the school staff with hugs, etc. (so she was on cloud's nice to be missed). However, what made my day, despite the crowd and the money I shelled out, were the wonderful comments I received about both Emily and Jake. I was told how sweet and polite they both are, numerous times. And, one woman in particular came up to me to tell me how much she just loves Emily. I think sweet and just beautiful was the exact comment.

As a mom, it is nice to hear such positive feedback every once in awhile, especially in regard to their manners. It's a treat to get a snapshot of our children through other peoples eyes in a completely unsolicited manner. I'm sure I'll hear plenty of the opposite in regard to Jake, with his mischievous soul, but hopefully I'll remember the days like today where I got to hear the *good* stuff, and maybe not get too, too mad at him :)

FYI- I've got Comcast coming out today to try to figure out why Rob can no longer connect wirelessly, so if I go "missing", you'll know something went horribly wrong-LOL.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Waiting......still (School District Update)

They *finally* called at 5:30 last night. Basically, still no news. They asked if they could give a final answer early next week, so they could be sure they were looking at every option. I have no idea at this point if that is good or bad, but at least they called yesterday with an update.

The good news is that Trey is currently attending the school we want him to, (he needs) to attend, so really the delay is not catastrophic. But, this has just been the longest process EVER. O.K., not as long as waiting for Emily's first cochlear implant activation. We had to wait one month back then- and she had no hearing. It seemed like an eternity. We had to wait a month with Delaney as well, but she had her hearing aid to fall back on. And now they only have you wait two weeks (which I'm sure still feels like a year).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jake wanted to know how the dolt party was the other night.....

dolt: Definition, Synonyms from dolt n. A stupid person; a dunce. [Middle English dulte , from past participle of dullen , to dull, from dul , dull ... doltish dolt'ish adj. doltishly dolt'ish·ly adv. doltishness dolt'ish·ness n.

I was confused for a minute or two, until I realized he meant the soccer club fundraiser. When he asked why he couldn't come along, I explained that it was going to be quite boring, and really was for adults only. Little did I know he now had us attending a dolt party.....only a small portion of the attendees, I promise :)

Now, I wait (update from the IEP meeting)

The big Trey meeting was yesterday. You know, the one where I was supposed to tell them, yet again, that we did not think the IEP was sufficient to meet Trey's needs. My understanding was that the meeting was more of a formality; however, this was not the case. They had definitely revised the IEP, to include Audiology (once a week, hearing aid check), Teacher of the Deaf in class (one day a week for 45 minutes, more as a consultant), and an FM system. I felt as though they did listen to the suggestions we had made, but it all just fell short. The Teacher of the deaf that they arranged for works with 7 other school districts- not her fault, but still not the ideal situation. The audiologist they have contacted is certainly proficient with hearing aids, but has not hands-on experience with cochlear implants. I brought up that the structure of the preschool class is not set up to facilitate peer interaction, and they didn't see it my way, that's o.k. But, that is a fundamental key to AVT/oral programs. Anyway- I could go on and on, but I'll spare you all the long (BORING) post.

Suffice it to say, I did reject the IEP, stated my reasons why (which were questioned at length, but I stuck to my guns), and I'm now sitting and waiting for the district to get back to me. They offered up mediation, but it's too late for that now. We started this process 2 years ago, rejected the first IEP last June, and are still going back and forth- quite pleasantly, but enough is enough. I have a lot of respect for our school district, so I'm hopeful that they will really think about Trey, and what his needs are.

More later!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Trey's IEP today

We get to formally reject the IEP, even though we've rejected it over and over again- but this time it will be on record. Again, the school district is being great, this is just one of the steps we have to go through to start negotiating on a higher level. So- I'll be doing that at noon today- with Jake (lucky me).

It was a beautiful day here yesterday (actually it has been beautiful for several days), which is a gift for this time of year. So Delaney and I spent several hours yesterday playing soccer outside. The boys rode bikes (dodging soccer balls), until it was too dark to see. It was great....until I woke up this morning and can barely move my ankles. I've discovered ankle muscles I never knew existed. Ouch! But, I think it was worth it-LOL.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We have a babysitter tonight....

Nice headline, isn't it??? If you knew how rarely this occurs you'd realize why it is headline worthy-LOL. We have the annual soccer fundraiser (which may be the last time we had a babysitter), and hopefully it will be a great time. We're supposed to dress up as our favorite rock-n-roll singer, but there is no way that is happening. We'll be lucky to get out of the house, dressed, hair brushed, etc., much less be 'creative' in our dress.

The house is eerily quiet at the moment (which means I should probably be investigating, why!) Delaney invited a couple of the Basketball girls over last night for a sleepover, so I think the boys are downstairs tormenting them. Better that than tormenting me.

I should be gearing up for Emily (and Trey's) upcoming IEPs. I need to pull all my various notes together, because I definitely need to make some modifications to Emily's plan. Her SLP is going out on maternity leave next week, and the new SLP has not worked w/ a deaf/HOH child before. I'd like them to do a consultation with the SLP and Audiologist at Trey's school so she can implement AVT into her speech sessions at school. Trey's IEP we're just going to officially 'reject' (again) so we can move forward with the district. Our district liason (for lack of a better word) is going to take the rejected IEP to the 'powers that be' and plead our case. Keep your fingers crossed.

Anyway- I need to get Emily dressed for soccer........

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just to clarify (and a comment on Cochlear Implant boxes)

There really wasn't any 'new' from my post below....unless you're willing to count a clean room. Which let's be honest, is kind of new these days. We'll have to see if Emily even notices. I wish someone would 'magically' clean my room.

One observation: Emily's closet would be so much more roomy if she didn't have three huge Cochlear implant boxes up top. Can they make those boxes any bigger??? She has a big silver one that housed her original AB Platinum series body worn processor, an Auria processor box, and a Harmony box. I'm thinking I can consolidate, but I don't know- I'd hate to throw something away that I might need. It was such a huge investment I feel like the box should be worth something.

Out w/ the old, in with the new.....

I am motivated ( to say the least) to dig in to Emily's chest-of-drawers. As of this morning, I no longer have room *on top* of Emily's dresser to store her clothing. That's bad. For the last month that is where her clean clothes have been residing, because her drawers are just stuffed! She is so darn skinny, she fits into three different sizes, which makes it hard to fit everything in. However, I noticed the other day she was heading off to school wearing jeans that were horribly short. So out go the 6s (yay!)

Anyway- I hope to be back later w/ a witty and original post, after "Operation Donate", Later :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bug boy....revisited

Last night, after getting the kids settled, Jake came wandering back downstairs telling us there was a big spider in his room and he couldn't sleep. He has used this tactic before and once we 'looked' and assured him there were no spiders, that was it. This time due to sheer laziness, Rob and I told him that it was in his imagination and to just go to bed. We didn't hear much after that, and figured our solution had worked.

15 minutes later, Jake comes flying down the stairs yelling, "Trey caught the spider for me, LOOK", shoving a plastic sandwich bag in our faces. Sure enough, there was a BIG spider....fortunately, safely zipped inside the sandwich bag. Jake, the brave big brother, went to Trey's room, woke him up, and made him catch the spider for him. I asked Jake exactly how Trey caught the spider, and he said that Trey had just held open the bag and waited patiently for the spider to crawl inside- I'm sure there was some spider herding involved. Trey was quite proud of himself- so much so, that he I think he had every intention of keeping the spider. Not on my watch :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Only one more outdoor soccer game to go....

and that's Emily's game this Saturday (which it's supposed to be very nice- what a way to end Fall soccer, 55-60 degrees and sunny). We survived the big game last night, and the two teams tied....again :) It was a great game, but literally played as a whole lotta rain came down (and yes, that's a technical term). The girls were soaked. You could see water running off their clothing, off their hair, etc. The ball was sliding all over the place, but NO MUD. Turf fields are great in the rain!

Now picture the state of Delaney's hearing aid....ugh. She chooses not to wear her implant during soccer games, so it is just fine, but how that hearing aid is still working is beyond me. It is her original hearing aid that she got when she was 3 years old, and it has been through many, many, rainy soccer games. Hopefully it will last through many more. We probably should invest in a really good dry aid kit and not push our luck too much. Maybe another stocking stuffer (my children would be thrilled-LOL)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rain, wind, and lots of leaves....

is the weather story of the day. The local meteorologists are predicting a pretty stormy day, which is o.k. We don't necessarily *have* to be anywhere, although my sister and I were thinking about taking all the kids to see Madagascar 2. Probably the perfect day for that. The exception to not having to be anywhere is tonight: Delaney's soccer team plays their hometown rival (at which point it's supposed to be very gusty, and very wet). Hopefully they're wrong on the forecast, because that certainly does not sound like a whole lotta fun, and frankly at a certain point the game itself deteriorates into a bunch of wet kids running around kicking a slippery ball that is blowing around in the wind. Maybe that is soccer, at least here :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day- I appreciate the spirit of the holiday, but ....

having school on Monday, and Tuesday *only* off, is just plain weird. We can't really get on track. Maybe it's just worse for us because we just got back into town, from a trip away, at 5ish yesterday. Getting everyone back into school mode last night was certainly not easy. And then, tonight I've got Emily having a sleep-over, but needing to get her weekly homework done. It's just a more complicated holiday , again, I'm a firm believer in giving Veteran's their due, but as a parent, kind of a tough one.

Anyway- we're off to finish celebrating the holiday that really is almost more work. And, I have to run P.J.s and a couple of implant batteries to Em's sleep-over. Goodnight!

I started doing some holiday shopping today.....

and found a gift for myself (one that I won't actually *buy* myself until we have no other financial priorities, so basically never :), but it is awesome. It's the will electronically store up to 200 books for you, and it is no larger than a typical paperback book. You can download a full length novel in less than one minute. Anyway- as I was shopping for the kids, I stumbled across it, and being the book lover that I am (and also the collector of piles of books, some of which I know I'll never read again) it just intrigued me. I will say I think I would miss the smell of a book. Does that sound weird? Probably. I love the smell of a new book, I always have, and I doubt the kindle will ever duplicate that, but if they could (and if it wasn't close to $400) I'd be all over it.

Now, back to e-shopping for Christmas. Maybe the kids will be happy with cochlear implant batteries in their stockings....maybe not.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hi! We're back ....

It was a long ride home. After dropping Rob off at the Sea-Tac airport, and then driving the rest of us back home, I must say the hill down to our house never looked so inviting. It was a fun weekend- lots of soccer, not a lot of rain (well, actually, plenty of rain, just not falling during the soccer games), but so glad it's over. We swam, we hand elevator rides, and we watched a whole lot of soccer. Some good, some bad, and some ugly-LOL.

The girls managed to tie the #1 team in the state for their age group (WTG girls), but then had a horrible 2nd game. Their energy level was way off (a few hours after the battle of the century), and then the referee was like nothing I've ever seen. He was cheering for the other team during the game. How that happens, I'm just not sure. He called one of the girls for sticking her 'tush' out too far during a jump ball (probably not meaningful if you are not a soccer person, but kind of an insane call for those who know the sport). Anyway, all in all it was a fun weekend. Maybe a bit frustrating at times, but still fun- AND, Trey has no fever and no ear issues (see last years post if that reference is unclear :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

We're Outta here....(sorta, maybe)

We leave for Seattle tomorrow right after Emily's soccer game. We sent Delaney up with her coach this afternoon- they were going to check out a game tonight and give a full scouting report (actually, I doubt either of the girls really watch-LOL). This is the same tournament we went to last year, where we brought home a very sick Trey (and some girls that lost big time, but were big time happy). I don't mind the latter part, but let's not have a repeat of the first item :)

Have a great weekend, and recaps to come :)

Emily- Slow Down

is the takeaway from the Parent-Teacher conference from last night. Emily's teacher showed me her benchmark testing from the beginning of the year, and she did o.k. Not great, but not terrible. The thing that is frustrating to me (and quite possibly her teacher) is that many of the questions she missed, she just flat out didn't pay attention to directions. Let me clarify for those who are thinking, "Maybe she didn't *hear* the questions correctly...she is deaf/HOH, you know"- Nope, not an issue, these were written directions-LOL. The question might have read, "What color is the sky", and she would answer, "the grass is green." Huh??? Anyway- overall she is doing fine, but she really needs to pay more attention to detail, and not be in such a hurry.

But, it seems I'm guilty of it as well (I know, unbelievable, right?) I received an email from the college I am hoping to 'attend' in January, and I typed in two different social security numbers on my application. I was explaining to the very nice admissions person that I only had 10 minutes to get all my paperwork in that day, so I was in a bit of a rush. We're *still* trying to fix that one (oops). I also just ordered the boys' soccer trophies, and inadvertantely typed my debit card expiration incorrectly. Had to call in a correction on that as well, which took me twice as long as it would have, had I double checked my work......

Maybe I need to learn from Emily's Parent-Teacher conference.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We are off to Seattle this weekend for a soccer tournament....

and of course I am not at all prepared. The house is a bit of a mess, there is a large pile of clothes in need of washing (thanks to the bugs, of course.....), I have no idea where bathing suits are (which of course are a necessity since the kids equate Seattle with swimming pools, thanks to our many hotel stays), and since someone will be coming in the house to take care of the dog I feel the need to steam clean all of our carpets. That is a job I really do not enjoy, but I am always pleased with the end result.

This is also Parent Teacher conference week for Emily and Jake. Rob went to Jake's conference yesterday. Overall he is doing really well, although it appears he does not like to rejoin the class after recess, and sometimes 'lingers' out on the playground hoping someone will not notice him. So far they spot him every time, and the recess volunteers are hoping this behavior will disappear with a little help from mom and dad. He's on par with all his fellow students academically (and a bit ahead in certain areas), although he does have a problem sounding out the letters. Makes sense to me that he might struggle in that area. The overall assessment? Jake is a fun loving boy who is very motivated to get his classwork done- so far a joy in the classroom. I can live with that :)

Now let's hope Emily's goes as well. I'll be interested to see what her teacher has to say since I know WE'VE been frustrated with how poorly she's been hearing lately. I'm hoping that our mapping session on Tuesday has helped.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And, more Halloween (Emily included this time)

Delaney and her best buddy as a Rag Doll and a Madonna/80's girl

Emily and her best buddy as a Candy Corn Witch and a Dark Knight

I couldn't post enough pictures, so this is Halloween, Part 2
Bye Bye Halloween, until next year :)

HAIR today, gone tomorrow (and other assorted Halloween pictures)

Here are the promised Halloween pictures. Notice the change in Trey's hair (as well as the costume change: bottom two pictures)

My 'attempt' at a group picture (does not bode well for a good Christmas shot- the extra child is my daughter's best friend, as an '80s girl)

Ninja Jake

Pirate Trey

Bug boy....I mean Spiderman

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Best School District Meeting....

it almost makes up for the bugs in the hair :) I'm not really at liberty to say much, but let's just say I knew that our school district's heart was in the right place.

Dirty Little Secret- Shhhhh, don't tell anyone

O.K.- I went back and forth on just how much sharing really needs to go on here, but I've decided there will be no secrets. I will share all- even that which may disgust. Be prepared, read at your own risk.

(Hopefully I've built this up enough that the reality will seem like no big deal-LOL). Trey came home from school on Friday w/ an itchy, itchy head- Rob took one look, and sure enough, head lice. (Not sure where they originated, maybe preschool, the other kids are all bug free). YUCK! He had eggs a plenty on his poor little head. So we rushed out, bought the lice treatment, poured it on, let it sit, and then combed away. Let's just say he had plenty to comb away. Just in case our combing was not thorough enough, we then shaved off all of his hair.....well, not *quite* all, but it's definitely cut 'summer style'. You'll notice in the Halloween pictures (which will be posted later today) how hair-free he is. By Saturday we were able to declare him bug free, but then calamity struck.

My head started itching.....yes, I too had bugs in my hair (all those afternoons, when taking Trey out of the car he would lay his little *buggy* head on my shoulder, in my hair, and sleep...sweet, yes? NO). We're talking a whole new level of repulsion. It's one thing for my little boy to have a bug, but on my head???? There has never been a combing so thorough (at least 14 times), and it appears that I caught it early, thank goodness. I will also be following up with every home remedy in the book, and potentially shaving my head (o.k., so not really. I'm not that crazy and neurotic...yet.)

So, there you have it. That said, I am quite confident that I will (or maybe even already have) conquer the bugs. For good, forever.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Soccer Saturday Update

After a fun-filled night of candy collecting, we're now moving on to a soccer-filled Saturday. We have an 11:00 am game, a 2:00 pm, and a 3:00 pm, with the promise of rain just adding to the fun. Actually it's not too bad at the moment, just a bit windy, but I'm sure during a chunk of the 3+ hours of outdoor fun, we will get wet. On a positive note, all three games are here in town so no 2-3 hour drive to Seattle.

I have tons of Halloween pictures to share but probably not until tomorrow. We have one last Halloween party tonight, and then it's on to Turkey Day.

Also, I can't remember if I shared or not, but in case I didn't, Emily's cochlear implant broke last Wednesday. It just stopped working- checked the earpiece, head piece, battery, etc., but to no avail. Anyway, long story short we still don't have it back, so she has been wearing her newer implant only. She's doing better with it, but definitely does not hear as well as she does with her original implant. Please Advanced Bionics, SEND IT BACK SOON :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Jake, Trey and I are off to Trey's school Fall Festival (w/ costumes). We will be leaving there to drive Jake back here for his school's Fall Carnival (without costume), and then later tonight we will all (well, probably not Rob and I ) be donning costumes for a neighborhood Halloween get-together. Trey has on costume 1 of the day- I'll be keeping a running tally of how many costume changes we make. He's currently Spiderman, which was not his purchased costume, but whatever ;)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ready to dive back in.....

maybe. I'm contemplating 'going back to school' in an online kind of way, to get a Masters in Education (specifically Special Education, or Deaf education). What started as a passing thought has kind of grown, to the point where I am days away from starting the application process. Just to make this prospect more interesting, I've also been contacted about a potential part-time job opportunity working with other parents of HOH/Deaf children. Of course I'm sure there are many parents who are interested, so we'll see if it works out, but isn't it funny how when you start opening yourself to new possibilities, opportunities began appearing.

I'm also still working on Trey's school situation, which if we end up in the due process court, I may not be welcomed with open arms to our home school district as a Special Ed. (or any other type) teacher. But, it is what it is.....gotta do the right thing for Trey.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

12 year old daughter= no peace

If I survive this it will be amazing.....she goes from sweet as pie (maybe a 'slight' embellishment) to a spiteful little brat (putting it mildly)- hormones???? I don't know. I only know she doesn't do it do her dad- sigh. I love you mom (from the spiteful brat that I'm sure I was)

Just checking in ...

We had "Teacher Swap 2" yesterday, and I joined them for the first hour. It was fairly interesting to hear the views from the private school team. I was also asked to construct a timeline of events (regarding Trey and the school district's response). It was pretty interesting. This whole 'journey' started a year ago August (well, actually June, if you counting when they were definitely aware that Trey was of school age). That translates to over 30 email chains (and I'm missing email messages from August '07 until March '08 due to a hard drive crash), and many, many phone calls. And we've only had one IEP that has never been revised.

Anyway - I'm going to try to shower this morning so I better get off the computer :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Favorite Day of the Week: FRIDAY!

Why, you ask? (although I suspect many of you out there are also Friday lovers) I love waking up on Friday morning, to the realization that it is the last day you have to wake up at 6:00 am in order to prod your sleeping daughter awake before school. Of couse, that thought is quickly tempered by, "Shoot, I have to get up tomorrow even *earlier* in order to drive the same daughter (and whoever else chooses to tag along) up to Seattle for her darn soccer game, grumble, grumble, grumble". But, that's o.k., because I truly love watching my children play soccer....just preferably here at home.

Then as I'm quickly packing lunches into backpacks, and waking the other three kids, I'm so thankful that it's the last time I have to go through the process for the week. I have nothing but the calm (HA!), relaxing (double HA!) weekend to look forward to. I drive Delaney up to her bus stop (halfway up our hill), hoping the other three will behave for five minutes, drive back down, and then quickly feed them, brush hair and teeth, dress them, *try* (and fail) to get Trey's hair to lay flat, before loading them in a loving manner (a.k.a. throwing the kids and their backpacks into car), driving back up the hill to drop Emily at the same bus stop (although usually missing the bus, so driving to second, or third stop to catch bus), and then heading into the big city to get Trey to school. By this point, all I really want to do is crawl back into bed for another hour or two of sleep, but instead we drop Trey off, and usually head back home and go to the gym (babysitting- it's a good thing).

I typically have an hour to get Jake home, hair re-brushed, lunch made and laid out for the big Kindergarten boy, and then another trip to the bus stop, where I watch Jake walk onto the bus, and breathe a sigh of relief. Four kids, off to school- CHECK. I get a whole hour to get everything done that is on my to do list before trekking back into town to get Trey.

Friday- the anticipation of NOT having to do all of the above for two whole days makes for such a wonderful day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From the oldest to the youngest- gross habit. NOT TAUGHT...

This afternoon, Trey came downstairs in his bathing suit. He was missing a few key components, like his hearing aid and cochlear implant. So, I asked him (MADE him), put them back on. And, what do I observe as he proudly shows off his hearing aid and CI. He took his hearing aid from me, put his two fingers in his mouth, and 'wet' his ear mold so it would go easily into his ear. Gross!!! But, Delaney did the same thing up until a year or so ago.....

Adaptation at its best....or worst.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Delaney's IEP

We had Delaney's IEP meeting last Friday. It was her speech therapist, and Delaney and I. Kind of seems a bit half-hearted, doesn't it? But, I really LOVE her SLP. She was full of helpful hints, and made sure she used verbiage that we could use in the future should we need to ask for more help for Delaney. I also learned some great things- She is one of the top students in her class in both Language Arts, and Math. This is amazing, as last year she was not so great at Math (putting it mildly). She is also doing quite well in all her other subjects, and passed all of the statewide testing last year, which she had not passed the math section the year before. So, all in all it's looking to be a good year for her.

Of course, I will always remember that at the start of the school year they had NO idea Delaney was coming and needed an FM system, and/or soundfield system in her classrooms. Thank goondess I called to doublecheck on things. They also had no intention of doing her evaluations until I called, and I had two days notice on her IEP meeting (and missed the first meeting because no one informed me of the date). But, I guess you take the good with the bad....It pays to be a pain sometimes :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random facts about cochlear implants.....

(as borrowed from the Dallas Otoloaryngology Cochlear Implant Program's web page).

*Research has shown cochlear implants to be one of the most cost-effective medical treatments of our day, far greater than coronary bypass surgery or kidney dialysis.

*Children with at least two years of cochlear implant experience are placed in mainstream normal hearing classrooms at twice the rate of hearing impaired children without implants. This saves the education system up to $200,000 in cost from first through twelfth grade. (Melissa's note- maybe I should just send the school district a bill for the copay on the four implants......)

*It costs $40,000 dollars to implant one child during infancy to the age of three years. Project Hope has calculated that for every dollar spent on cochlear implants, society saves $25.00 in specialized services. This calculates to one million dollars in savings per child implanted. (Another lame Melissa note: Maybe a tax rebate to cover out of pocket costs, like batteries??? I know....just wishing out loud)

*Cochlear implant centers are recouping only twenty-five percent to seventy-five percent of their actual costs from insurance and government programs, losing up to $30,000 per child implanted, and many are facing shutdown. (Ouch.....thats a bad stat)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tomorrow is Delaney's Birthday Party (that's not really a party)....

We decided (well really 'I' decided) to celebrate Delaney's birthday this year, by inviting her entire soccer team to volunteer at the CARRA costume ball ( This wonderful event is to raise money for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (and other autoimmune diseases), which my niece Addison happens to have. The girls have a soccer game in Seattle tomorrow- so after driving there and back, the girls will be meeting at our house, to quickly consume mass quantities of pizza and birthday cake, before donning costumes and heading to our local high school for the 'ball'. They will be in charge of selling donuts, and other tasks, but most importantly making sure all the little kiddos are having a fantastic time. Yes, it's work, but it sounds like fun work, doesn't it? Plus, I truly do believe that sometimes it is better to give than to receive- hopefully Delaney will agree, seeing as I've asked that the girls 'presence be their present'.

I'm hoping it is a birthday they will all remember....maybe even more memorable than the Survivor party of two years ago (involving tents that refused to set up, tribes w/ matching bandanas and an afternoon filled with fun survivor competition), and the Halloween fright night of last year. Maybe......

**The picture is of sweet little Charlotte, another friend who has JRA. Picture taken by Lara Blair to promote the ball. There is another one of my niece Addison, Charlotte and one other little girl that I couldn't find to 'borrow', but this one of Charlotte is just too cute- Any of you local folks, please check out the link above- it should be a fantastic time for all :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Patch......notice the sun (YAY)

Waiting for the pumpkin train to arrive

Feeding the animals at the farm

Riding on the train to reach the hay/pumpkin pyramid

Climbing the pyramid

And, picking the pumpkin.....not nearly as fun as climbing the hay pyramid