Friday, April 29, 2011

Holy Week

It's a week past Holy Week but I'm finally getting to my post. Busy! I keep thinking (hoping) things will get less busy around here....not happening. Oh well.

Confession Friday: This year Holy Week was much different than past years. Cam has always had all of Holy Week off of work. This year he took Holy Friday off and then Bright Monday (to rest). I must confess that I missed going to all the services. We made it to the evening services on Wed. - Fri. but I do miss those years when we went too morning liturgies too. Of course our gas bill is much lower and I wasn't as exhausted but I did

We did have a glorious week. Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen! Spending the time at church in worship with my kids and Cam is so wonderful. To make things even better my Mom and Bill spent Pascha with us at our parish. It was so nice!! Cam and I actually got to stand in the service and hold hands while my mom took a turn with the kids. Blessed!

Palm Sunday was wonderful. My mom, sister and nephew joined us for church. Us parents always wince when we see the palms. Just thinking of all the pokes and tickles I would sustain during the service. Ugh! Not to mention the kids playing light saber with their palm. Oh! I secretly want to lock the priest in a room full of kids and palms. Hehehe! Just kidding (not). It truly is a wonderful day....even with the palms. Hosanna!

Wednesday night is the Holy Unction service and we get to be anointed with Holy Oil. All the services are such a nice time to snuggle our kids. Even big kids get in on it.

I take a Holy Friday picture each year. Here is the newest one! I love it! The best one was taken on the first try!!

The tomb on Holy Friday. Beautifully decorated. We process outside and then walk under the tomb as it is held aloft (by strong and tall men).

Of course Holy Week is Tuba's favorite week of the year. Tuba loves the candle light services and is very good holding his candle.

Holy Saturday morning is my favorite service of the whole year. It's so joyful! My favorite part of the service is when the priests comes out dressed in white and scatter bay leaves about the church as a sign of the impending joy. The bells are ringing and it is so special. To read more about this wonderful service go here.

After the morning liturgy our wonderful friends Vern and Cheryl took us out for donuts! Yum! They wanted to treat the kids for their great attendance and behavior at church. Thanks!!

We went home, enjoyed some much needed sunshine, got things ready for Pascha, took naps, took Tuba to the prom and then went off to church that night.

The next day, Sunday we attended our feast and children's carnival. Bouncy House!! Whooohoooo! After a whole day of jumping and eating nothing but candy (Sis)....the kids were exhausted and slept in the next day. Sis slept until 10:30!!!! I'm thinking her new routine will be bouncy house and candy!! ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sir Tuba

I have so much to catch up on. Holy Week was amazing and Pascha was so fun! Plus, Tuba went to his prom. I'll tackle the prom bit first since I know Grandpa is dying to see photos of him.

The prom was on Holy Saturday. I got Tuba all ready to go and pinned the boutonniere on him (Cam and I got it for him). He was beyond thrilled with his tux...especially the shoes!! The shoes are patent leather and he LOVES them. He could barely walk because he was looking down at his feet. :)
I drove Tuba to the high school. On the way there I got all teary (more like blubbering) looking at my handsome boy. By the time I arrived at the school I had to blow my nose and wipe my eyes. It was kind of fun and nostalgic to take Tuba in for the dance. He goes to my alma mater. The cafeteria looks exactly the same as when I was a student and attended dances there.
When we walked in I was shocked to see so many kids. The dance was put on by the Honor Society and all of the kids in the Honor Society were attending also. I was so surprised to see hundreds of teens dressed in prom wear. I thought the kids would plan the event but it didn't occur to me that they would also attend. It was so special to see all the kids.
I sought out the teacher who is the leader of the Honor Society to thank her. Of course I couldn't talk without bawling. She told me the kids love to do it and that many of the kids say it is their favorite dance of high school. Wow! She also told me how they do a fund raiser and secure donations for the event (including a free tux rental for each boy). So many wonderful companies pitch in to make it happen. The tables were set with matching sets of china. Beautiful. The tables were draped in linen and had stemware, and silverware along with floral arrangements and candles. Beautiful! The dinner was catered and was so nice! The Jazz Band was playing during dinner.
I left Tuba to enjoy himself and ran home to get myself and the family ready for Pascha night. At 9:00 we picked Tuba up and headed to church. When Cam went in to get Tuba he found him red faced and dripping sweat rockin' out to the DJ. The kids had big beach balls blown up and Tuba was throwing it into the crowd and dancing all at the same time. Cam was told that Tuba is quite the ladies' man and had his picture taken with about every girl in the room!
Next stop was church....for Tuba's favorite service of the year. The service starts at 10:00 pm and ends at 12:30 am. Tuba was going strong the whole time. He was so excited to show everyone his tux! He got lots of attention and pictures too.
It was a magical night for all of us.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Holy Friday

Every Holy Friday I take a family photo. Well this morning I'm busy getting our clothes ready...and matching for our photo this afternoon. It gets me thinking of the past photos. Awwwww.
A silly one too. What will this year's photo be like....full of BIG kids for sure.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Girl Time

The boys (Cam, Busy Guy and Mr. P) have been going to TKD classes 2-3 times a week. Baby George has been REALLY missing his Daddy. He asks for him first thing in the morning and then cries if he has missed saying goodbye to him. He then cries throughout the day and asks for Daddy. On the nights the boys go to TKD Baby George about comes unglued. Cam just barely gets home from work and then is gone again.

Well, last week I begged Cam to take him with. On that night Cam first had a class (he is a higher belt level than the boys) and then the boys had a class. They would be gone 2.5 hours and I knew BG couldn't make it without a Daddy fix. Cam took him along. It worked great. The boys sat with BG and looked at books and played their electronic Leapsters while Cam did his class. Then Cam held him and snuggled him while the boys did their class. Perfect!

Meanwhile I was home with just Tuba and Sis! Heavenly!! It was SO easy and fun to be home with just the two of them. Tuba was doing his own thing so I decided to ask Sis if she would like to have her toenails painted for the first time. Well, you can imagine she was thrilled!

We went to pick out a color and then I put her up on the bathroom counter. She sat perfectly still (seriously this NEVER happens). I moved her to the couch and she sat like a statue until I said they were dry. Then at bedtime she wouldn't let me put blankets over her toes. Hehehe. So cute. She thought it would wreck them. All week long she keeps glancing at her toes and saying, "Pretty! Just like Mommies toes!". She also held up her hand and asked me about painting her fingernails. Ahhhhh! I love having this little girl!! I told her we could paint our fingernails for Pascha. She is patiently waiting. I have flowers painted on my big toenails from a salon visit...well of course she wants that too. :)

The boys all want me to do TKD too. I don't think so.

1. They do sparring and I don't want anyone hitting me (I wouldn't mind hitting them). ;)

2. Soon BG will be old enough to go to TKD and participate and Sis and I can hang out and be girly! Oh! Cam is insisting she go to TKD too....hmmmm....we will see what the future brings.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tuba News

Tuba, sweet Tuba. He loves babies. He loves his cousin!!

I have so much Tuba news!! I had his IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting last week. I met with his teacher, speech therapist, physical therapist, school counselor, school psychologist, and vice principal. It was so great to hear all about the improvements that Tuba has made at school. The reported that his behavior has been excellent!! Yipee! He is well liked by all the kids and by the staff. Of course!

Some of the things the teacher had to report to me blew me away! I didn't even know Tuba could do these things.

1. He can count to over 50.
2. He can match numbers 1-12
3. He is learning to tell time using a digital clock. He can say hour number most of the time.
4. He has his student number memorized and can punch it in on a key pad. Wow! They said he sometimes transposes two of the numbers but then corrects himself! Wow!
5. He can write his name with hand over hand assistance. He is very good at the first two letters and can do those with help.
6. And....he was at home drawing on the chalkboard and he turned to me and spelled his name out loud!! Now, his nickname is Tuba but his official name is 6 letters and he got them all right. It was so exciting! I had him do it again and again. He did it for all his siblings, and grandma and Papa! Wow!! So awesome!!

More excitement too! The Honor Society at Tuba's high school is putting on a prom for Tuba's class! So fun! It is this Saturday night....which is also Holy Pascha. A local formal wear shop is giving each boy a free tux rental. Nice! I took Tuba on Friday to pick out his tux. Man oh man was he excited. He had numerous vests picked out and kept changing his mind. He kept pointing and calling out the colors. He chose red! He picked his tux style and is all set. When we left the store with nothing in hand he was say the least! Ha! The prom will be dinner and dancing from 6:30-9:00. Then he will get to wear his tux to Pascha! Life could NOT get better for Tuba. I'm thinking we will have to rent him a tux every year from now on. I can't wait to see him beaming and singing his heart out!

It's Holy Week which means we have lots going on with church services. I'm taking lots of pics so I can post them later. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Other sources

In addition to books there are other sources where I look for parenting tips. For starters I use my faith, my church, and the Bible to guide me. Christ is wonderful example of how I should parent. Although He was not a parent His actions and words are wonderful examples and tools for me to use with my children.

I also observe other parents with their children. Over the years when I meet children that are happy and well behaved I take note to observe how their parents interact with them. I have picked up many ideas from watching and listening....and even asking questions from other parents I admire. Our childrens' Godmother Helen has raised four girls. When Tuba was little I used to watch Helen parenting her kids in church. I loved it when one of her kids would act up and she would have to take them out of church. She would leave with a smile on her face and a calm demeanor. It was especially entertaining when the child in trouble would have the biggest frown. Ha! I also observed how she would bend over and whisper in her child's ear to correct behavior. It always worked and was a quiet and calm and private way to deal with a mis-behavior. She also gave me some great advice once. She told me that sometimes when her toddlers would mis-behave (for attention) she would close her eyes. I started doing this when Tuba was little and it worked so well. Oh, nobody is watching me be naughty so I guess I'll stop!

Another good friend of mine, Joy, who has three girls and one boy is a wonderful source of parenting tips. She has been writing articles for our parish newsletter. I really loved this one. It made me think about what Cam and I could do differently at home. We are the examples for our children.

A few years ago the drama department at Stanwood High School produced “Godspell.” You may not be a fan of that musical, but I love it and try to see it whenever I can. “Godspell” loosely portrays the Gospel of St. Matthew…it’s from the ‘70’s, so use your imagination! J I love the musical because it shows so clearly how the words and actions of our Lord turned the world upside down. There was a new way of living and acting in this world, and the standards were different no matter who you were dealing with…family, enemies, friends, slaves, etc. Jesus talked about it all. It makes me think about how we, as Christians, parent.

Back to my message from last month, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” You can teach this to your children, and their neighbor should start with their Mom and Dad and with their siblings. If children are not showing love, kindness, respect at home, they are not being Christians…Christ-followers. Share with them opportunities to be helpful and kind. Teach them to SHOW their love! “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

Young children are “Me” centered. This is natural. But, they can be taught to be “Other” oriented. When Dad or Mom greet each other at the end of the day, when they come together after being apart all day long, they can take a minute to touch base with each other. The children can be taught that this is “Mom and Dad’s time,” and that they shouldn’t interrupt. They can be close by, and even part of the exchange, but the focus is on the Mom and Dad and their relationship. This can be just a few quick minutes, but it is a positive time that is not centered on the kids and helps the children begin to see that the world does not revolve around him/her. It is a start. (This quick “touch base” time can be a life-saver for a marriage too. Especially a marriage that involves young children! This exchange should be positive and up-lifting. What a great way to start an evening together! )

Another way children can be taught to SHOW their love is that siblings can be taught to look out for each other. If the kids are outside playing and someone gets hurt, the brothers and sisters should stop and make sure that child is okay, OR run and get Mom or Dad if needed. This is not natural for young children. The parent can teach them that those siblings are the most important people in their lives.

Speaking kindly and with respect is another way to SHOW our love toward each other within a family unit. If a family speaks kindly at home, it will be easier for them to do so outside of home. Everyone, within a family unit, should be speaking kindly and respectfully at home. Children, especially, can be taught to reply to a sibling in a respectful tone of voice and this is more easily done if Mom and Dad are speaking with respect toward each other.

This is how Jesus Christ wants us to live--in harmony and love. The words and actions of our Lord were outrageous for the people hearing them. Our lives should be outrageous, too. We should be living lives that are so different from the world that those around us…our neighbors…know we are Christ-followers. We can demonstrate that others are to be cherished and supported. Please take time this Advent Season to show your spouse, children, and neighbors the love of Christ.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Always Learning

I've been a mom for almost 15 years. But, I'm always trying to learn how to do my job to do it differently. I fall short so many times. Too many. The other night I had a short temper with Tuba. I felt so badly. I stewed about it all night and it kept me awake thinking. I said sorry to Tuba and gave him a snuggle. He of course forgave me and life moved on. Except that I still felt bad. I want to do better. When the house gets quiet at night and I have time to reflect on the day I tend to focus on what I did wrong or what I could have done better. Cam tells me all the time to think of at least three things I did well. I do use that exercise and it does help me to see a clearer picture. But, like the example with Tuba. I did do wrong. I pulled out some of my parenting books and read some refresher material. It's always helpful to me to re-read parenting advice or ideas since each kid is different and each situation is new. These are my favorite parenting books. Okay, don't laugh...seriously. I love Super Nanny's book. Really! I love her show and I LOVE her book. The chapters are very to the point. I mean...anyone with a passel of small kids does NOT have time to read lengthy chapters to get to the meat of what to do! I really like Super Nanny's method for time out. It helped me to realize that I needed to get down on my kids' level and look in their eyes. Sounds pretty simple but I was not doing it. I can be like a maniac hollering from one room to kids in another room. Hello? How well does that work. Ummmm....NOT well. She gives steps to follow and they work. I have used the Super Nanny TO system for a couple of years. But, over time and as chaos increased I have gotten sloppy in my method. ie: maniac hollering lunatic. Not pretty. Another of my favorite books is Love and Logic. The authors have many books but the one I have is specifically for toddlers. I find parenting toddlers to be VERY challenging. The book is wonderful and helped me potty train Baby George. I did what the book said and he was potty a day! Okay, it might just be the child but the method was great. Love and Logic is big on choices. In my rushed and sometimes frustrated day I had forgotten to be giving lots of choices. It is amazing how you can get (trick....hehehehe) a toddler into doing what you want/need him/her to do. Yipee! What are your favorite parenting book? Leave it in the comments section.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Little Trip

We have been on Spring Break and Cam is on vacation too. We took a little 3 day trip over the mountains to visit family and relax....and get some much needed sunshine. We rented a condo in town that we got for a great price.
The view from the condo was really nice. Lake and mountains.

We got to spend the day with our niece. We babysat her while my sister worked. We would have kept her both days but our van isn't big enough for an extra person. :( I think we need a bigger van! We were in town so we walked with the kids to our activities. It was really cold....brrrrr. The only hard part about having the baby was everyone fighting over their turn to hold her. She was so good and easy to watch.

We got to have dinner with Grandma and Auntie and cousin three days in a row! Too fun.
The hot tub at the condo was awesome. We sat in the cold air and nice sunshine and relaxed in the warm water. Heavenly.

We took the kids bowling. Tuba loves it!! We had our neice that day too. So fun. My sister asked us if spending the day with a baby gave us baby fever. Ummm....Nope! It was so nice to enjoy her and snuggle her and send her home with her Mama. ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Good Ones

More good questions and comments on the post about Tuba's future. Carrie wants to know of any books or online resources to help explain special needs to siblings, cousins and other children. I actually do not know of any but I'm sure they exist. If anyone knows of titles or websites you can leave it in the comments and I'll share it. We have always told our kids that Tuba has an "owie" in his brain and that it is just the way God made him. All of our kids understand that Tuba is different than they are. He takes medication for seizures every day. The kids can all recognize a seizure and will holler for me if they see one. The kids all help Tuba with things he cannot do put his shoes on or buckle his seat belt. They are a great help...especially Mr. P since he is the oldest. I know that as the other kids get older they will help too. Our kids are very comfortable with other people who have special needs too. Cam and I will always say hello and go out of our way to greet people in the community...especially those with special needs. The kids are used to all kinds of people. The thing I love most about our kids is that they are not embarrassed of Tuba. Let me tell you...sometimes he does stuff that IS embarrassing. He can have a BIG fit in public with yelling, screaming, hitting, biting, spitting, and even tries to pull the back of his pants down. None of the kids are ever embarrassed. That makes a big impression on me. I guess to them it is just the way life is in our family. :) I have often thought that kids will follow the example of the parents. I don't know...I think my kids do better than I do. Of course there is sibling squabbling and teasing with all the kids. Tuba is basically a toddler and we have two other toddlers so it can be a bit chaotic. The difference is that Tuba is a 5'1" toddler and can hold things WAY up the air to keep them away from another kid. :) The other question was from Anonymous and they asked what our plans for Tuba are after we are gone. ARRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHH! Lalalalalalalalalalalala! That is the sound I am making as I plug my ears and go into complete denial. AHHHHHH!!!! DENIAL. It is one thing to be stressed thinking what Tuba will be doing after high school but it's a whole other thing to image after Cam and I are gone. I don't like to go all. I know we have to think it through. Of course we do talk about it. Cam has said that he hopes he and Tuba go at the same time. Really. It is just too hard to imagine Tuba here without us. He does have his siblings. Thank God for them and thank God there are 4 of them. We talk with our kids about them taking care of Tuba. They will all tell you that they are going to have Tuba live with them. They say that they will play video games with him and let him have a fire every day. :) At their young ages they cannot really imagine a time when Cam and I won't be here but as they get older they will understand. Cam and I have some planning to do and we are beginning to find out how to set up a trust for Tuba. Guess I better get going on that....once I take my fingers out of my ears.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why Home?

I got a great question from Carrie in my comments section regarding the post about Tuba's future. She wanted to know why we wanted Tuba to live at home versus a group home. Good question. Here's our answer. Tuba does not talk...not conversational talking. He does say dozens of words that we understand but he does not have the capacity to talk to us in detail or sentences. We feel very protective of Tuba and feel that if anyone were to hurt him or treat him badly he would not be able to tell us. I do NOT trust that Tuba would be safe outside of our care. Also, we enjoy his company and would miss him terribly. Tuba will not ever be able to hold a job on his own or ride the bus. He is very much like a toddler who has to be looked after at all times. He does not understand safety issues at traffic, dangerous situations, etc. I know there are group homes for people such as Tuba but do not want him to live there. I want him with us. His siblings talk about how they will take Tuba for visits with their families when they are Mom and Dad can go to Hawaii alone. :) I do want to say that I believe there are many good group homes out there. I have an Uncle with Down Syndrome who has lived on his own as an adult and thrives with the help of the staff. We have another friend with an adult son who lives in a group home. This man is much more disabled than Tuba and his placement was right for his family. It's a personal decision up to each family and each situation.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oh The Stories

I could write a book about my days working in the lingerie department. "Anonymous" requested I tell some of those tales. Hmmmmm....where to begin. First let me say that I worked with some fun gals! We laughed and talked and ate candy and had a grand time. My favorite part of the job was helping little old ladies. When one would come in everyone would holler for me and tell me I had a customer. I also loved fitting women for a prosthetic after having a mastectomy. I met some great women. Some timid and scared and some vibrant and the woman who came in announced she was "here to get some boobs!". The list of crazy things I saw is endless. Let me way that working in retail you see some crazy things. Plus, because it was Nordstom (known for great customer service) we had to deal with many people who were rude, mean, and downright abusive all with a smile. Here is some of the things that stand out in my mind. Having to tell husbands/boyfriends to get OUT of the dressing rooms while their wives/girlfriends tried on lingerie. Some of the men were so tall you could see their heads sticking up over the tops of the doors! They'd come slinking out. Sheesh. Watching the local "dancers" come prancing out in thong undies to ask how they looked. Fitting men for bras. Anniversary Sale. People can act seriously CRAZY. As the gate would open women would lie on their belly and crawl under it and take off running. CRAZY. One woman was shopping and her son told her he had to go to the bathroom, so she set down a little beach pail for him. Next thing you know she is hollering at him because he went #2 in it instead of #1. Yep. A huge swollen belly of a pregnant woman. Her belly was so huge it made me feel weak in the knees. Numerous men who would say their wife/girlfriend was "your size"....or worse they'd look you up and down and then say, "she's way smaller than you". Drunk men shopping. Drunk men shopping on Christmas Eve...who were annoyed that there was nothing left. I saved the worst for last. Umm-huh. Returns. The returns of underwear. The returns of WORN underwear. WORN OUT underwear. Ewwwwww. Here's a few of the reasons women would give for the return, "I was cleaning out my drawer and I just never wear these anymore", "I ride horses and these undies caused all of my pubic hair to rub off", "These go up my bum" and best of all when a woman returned old undies with stains she got very indignant and gave us a lesson on how stains in undies is a normal thing. Yep. We would use a pencil or some tissue paper to pick up the sick disgusting things and throw them in the trash can. Then we'd ring up the return and hand them the money. Unbelievable! Where do these people come from? And there you have it. Life in Lingerie. One more thing. In the comments my friend Jolene left me a message about WW. I thought I should say I am finally taking some weight off. I'm down to 138 (so that's 5 lbs down). So now only 8 more lbs. to go. Yeah. I've figured out how many points I can eat on this new plan and it's working for me again. In case you are also a petite middle aged woman close to goal weight....I eat 27-29 points a day with NO weekly points and NO exercise points. I work out 4 days a week. Oh, and yeah for you Jolene. Great job on your loss. Go Girl!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Future

It's no secret that I love to plan. I like to think about what next year will be like, or what I'll be doing in 5 years, 10 years, etc.

For Confession Friday I'll confess that I've been very stressed out thinking about the future. Specifically Tuba's future after he is done with high school. Tuba gets to go to high school until he is 21 years old. But, after that there is a BIG question mark. ??? His teacher recently sent home a questionnaire asking what kinds of things we have planned for Tuba's future. Like will he live at home or in a group home...will he go on to higher education...will he work...what type of work do you see him doing??? I broke out in a sweat and got all dizzy. Ugh!

We know that Tuba will live at home with us. We know he will not be capable of riding a bus alone or doing any kind of job without constant supervision. What we do not know is what kinds of programs are out there for him. It's time to start looking into it. It's hard for me to envision what my life will look like because I have no idea what Tuba will be doing. He has been in school since he was 3 years old so it will be a HUGE adjustment.

Recently someone asked me if I planned to return to teaching once Baby George was in school full time. It got me thinking and I would like to go back at least part time. Then I realized that I would have 2 years with all the kids in school and then Tuba would be done. Hmmm. I just don't know.

I have been laying awake at night and thinking about all of this. Did you know that Baby George will graduate high school in 2027? That there will be only one year when our 4 youngest are all at the elementary school (grades K, 1, 3 and 5). That for 3 years we will have kids at the elementary, middle and high school. That in 2023-24 we will have 3 kids in high school....which also means we will have 3 kids in college a few years later. Wow...that will be expensive!

Anyway my brain is overloaded but we will start looking at various options for our sweet Tuba. I tell myself that figuring out what to make for dinner tonight or getting a sitter for my Dr. appt. are more pressing matters. But, I can't help wondering what my day will look like...and how I'll get to the gym...and how I'll stimulate and entertain Tuba...and how I'll volunteer at the kids' schools...and how I'll run errands...and....and...and...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...