Monday, July 31, 2006

Aqua Therapy

Pics of Crew's weekly aqua therapy session with T.

Crew standing against the wall. T is making waves.

Crew walking through the water with his ladder made out of PVC pipe. Also, he has 1/2 lb weights attached to each ankle. Way to go Crew!

Climbing the ladder isn't really what T had planned. Boys will be boys!

bloggin' stress

I'm learning patience here.... or am I. I've been trying all morning to post pictures and it's not working. @&$*!!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's Signing Time with Alex & Leah.....

Oh yeah! We were lucky enought to go see Signing Time live at the zoo. Okay, we are huge Signing Time fans. If you haven't seen it, I'm sorry. I didn't know about the famous DVD's until this past spring. Since I was introduced, we have fallen in love with Rachel, Alex, Leah & Hopkins. Rachel Coleman's daughter Leah is deaf. Alex is the cousin. Their family started learning sign when they found out Leah couldn't hear. Two years later, Rachel's daughter Lucy was born. Lucy has CP. Rachel teaches simple signs through music and it is awesome. My kids are all hooked especially Crew. Crew has a bilateral mild/moderate hearing loss. We are trying to teach him sign. He has learned to sign a few words. He loves watching the DVD's and I know his receptive language is higher than his expressive. So, we keep plugging away with the sign language in hopes that he will keep learning more signs. I think it is so neat that Rachel is helping so many people with her music and sign. She is a hero! The picture shows Rachel with Alex (orange shirt) and Leah (purple), my 3 boys, and cousin E(stanger anxiety) :) If you want to know more go to

Heartache and Peace

I have a dear friend and neighbor named Renay. I've only known her for about 10 months. We kind of connected because she has a daughter with special needs. I can't describe how it seems that moms of children with special needs feel a sisterhood of sorts. Even though each child is different and has different needs, challenges, strengths, it seems that "we" as moms feel a connection. Anyway, Renay's daughter Brinlie has been very ill. It's been one thing after another. Over the past 6 years she has had numerous operations and has been hospitalized many times. The last two months have been very hard as she has been fighting several infections. On monday, as I was leaving the lake, Renay called to tell me that Brinlie wasn't going to make it. She asked me to bring the little brother down to the Childrens Hospital to see Brinlie. I drove him down to the hospital, about an hour drive, to say his goodbyes. It was so sad. We stayed a short time and then I drove him back home. Brinlies mom and dad were able to hold her over the next 24 hours as she peacefully slipped away. I am sad for this family. They will miss their daughter and sister but I know that Brinlie is happy now as she has moved on from this life into a far better place. It is my prayer that this family will feel peace and comfort during this trying time.

Sandy Beaches and Lots of Sun

The boys and I spent Monday afternoon at a really cool private lake. The lake is manmade. It was designed and built for waterskiing. The lake is fed by a natural spring. Clean water comes in one end and goes out the other side so the water stays pretty clean. Not stinky like most of the lakes around here. The family who originally owned the land invited all families with special needs children in our area to a day at the lake. Wow! It was really neat. The water wasn’t really too cold and the beaches are sandy. They had a pavilion with BBQ grills and nice tables for eating lunch. S & H enjoyed a ride on the tube, jumping off the deck, sliding down the slide into the lake and soaking up lots of sun! Crew loved sitting on the beach and playing in the sand. He had a blast! However, he wasn’t very happy when it was time to go home:) I enjoyed getting to know some of the other families and watching the kids play. What a great way to relax and cool off in the hot hot July Sun!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Planning for the IFSP

Our summer so far has been a bit crazy. I haven’t had even one day where we didn’t have somewhere that we had to go. Some would say it’s my own fault. I’m the one that signed the boys up for baseball, swimming, golf, gymnastics…. True. However, I still feel it’s worth it to give them the opportunity blah blah blah. On the other hand, we are also running for Aqua Therapy, Mobility Class, Special Needs Gymnastics, etc. While this can be taxing, I really am happy that Crew has these opportunities for more therapy. He loves it all and I really can say that I think he’s the happiest kid ever. We are lucky enough to have a great team of therapists (through Early Intervention- EI) to help him progress. With EI there is an evaluation (IFSP) every six months. At the IFSP meeting, all his therapists come to the home to determine in what areas Crew will continue to need services. We discontinue or alter some goals, check others off as completed and make new ones. Our IFSP meeting is to be held next week. We will have about 8 therapists here at the home. Some of these therapists have bent over backwards to help Crew any way that they can. Mainly the PT. I want to show my appreciation to them. Because Crew is about 2 ½, this will be his last IFSP, I think. In the past I have been really lame and haven’t provided these people with anything when they come, like drinks or treats. Okay, can you tell I’m really crappy at this kind of thing? So…… I’m hoping you’ all can give me some ideas on what to do for these people. I can’t really afford gifts (saving that for Christmas) but would like to treat this awesome group. What should I serve? Lisa, I know you did the pizza thing which is a really good idea.! The appointment is for 10:00 am. Which is pretty much between breakfast and lunch. Any ideas? Help me! I'm begging for comments here:)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Trails

The 3 boys are trying to prove to their dad that they can be happy in the car. We have a trip planned for San Diego in the fall. Carl doesn't want to go. He thinks the boys will be fighting the whole time. This past saturday, I took these pics to prove that we really can be happy while traveling at least for a minute or two:) We've never taken the family on a trip longer than 7 hours. However, we'll be doubling that here soon. Any tips, advice or ideas for entertaining 3 boys while traveling?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mango Salsa

DH and I made Mango Salsa tonight! I tasted it for the first time last summer at park days. My friend, Kristen, brought some. I've tried a couple different mango salsa recipes, but this is my favorite. So, I finally asked her for the recipe. It's so fun to make and so yummy! Carl cut up the mango and papaya and I did the rest. I used a Pampered Chef chopper thingy to chop up the fruit. Crew gets so excited when I use the chopper. I think he likes loud noises. Is anybody surprised? Anyway, here's the recipe:

1 C mango diced
3/4 C papaya diced
1/2 C chopped pineapple
1/4 C diced red bell pepper
1/4 C diced green bell pepper
1/2 C diced green apple
1 T cilantro
2 T rice vinegar
4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients, chill and serve with tortilla chips, or over fish and enjoy!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Redheaded Cutie Pie

In my previous post my sister moved away. Well, recently my brother moved back after 3 years in the mid-west. It has been so fun getting to know his cute little redheaded daughter. E is a cousin to Crew. They are exactly 6 months apart. E is gentle and so sweet! She has an adorable husky little laugh that is contagious! So much fun to be around. I just love her!

The Move

Little sister and family have moved! I am always amazed at how much stuff we all have once it's loaded onto the truck. It's almost a little embarassing. When Carl and I moved a couple years ago we filled more than one truck and that was after I had "thinned things out". Anyway, we will miss you! Good luck in Wisconsin? And for my readers- is that considered the north east?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Time Together

The weekend was great! Carl had 5 days off and we played hard! From roller coasters to swimming, fireworks, parades, and boating. We are all exhausted, yet happy. We were able to spend time with cousins. So fun! It's going to take a few days to get these kids back on a normal schedule. Oh whatever, that's what summer is for, right? We came back from playing on the 4th of July to find that Carl's precious peach tree had been broken off during a wind storm. Our little pool gone. The neighbors flag pole tipped over and a giant Russian Olive tree lay across the road. Oh, and apparently, we missed our garbage day! Who knew! Don't those hardworking guys ever get a day off! Well that's enough from a tired, rambling mother of 3 boys!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Building Patriotism

As a child, my school district asked the young people to write something (essay, poem, etc.) about "What America Means To Me". Being only 8 years old, I sat down and wrote me feelings of living in a free country. My understanding of this great freedom, at the time, was small. The purpose of this contest was to "build patriotism" in the young people and at the time really made me think about "What America Means to Me." With some coaching from my mom, this is what I wrote:

I love America

I love America because there are so many choices I can make. Here are some:
Because I get to choose if I want to go to Primary and what school I want to go to.
I get to choose who my best friend will be.
I get to choose what I want to be when I grow up.
But most of all I love America because it is a beautiful, free country.

Okay, it's pretty simple but for an eight year old.... it's a beginning. The beginning of patriotism which throughout the years has continued to grow. Luckily for me, I was selected as one of those who got to read their writings over the radio. I was happy.

Today, I am indeed grateful for all of these freedoms. For religion, family, friends, relationships and a beautiful country. I feel privileged to have the opportunity for education so I can learn and grow. There are so many freedoms that I can not mention them all. The feelings of patriotism abound in my heart. I feel it the strongest through music & testimony and I feel it when I see our great flag. What a blessing it is to live in America and I am grateful!