SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Friday, February 29, 2008

New Home/Clean Home

As I write, Joey and Jamie are closing the deal on their townhouse. Yeah!! I would love to be there helping get the carpets cleaned before the move tomorrow. Keith just didn't think it was the best idea for me to drive the 200 plus miles to clean. He couldn't justify having to take a half day off work to get the boys to science class in my absense and he reasoned that I certainly have plenty of cleaning to do right here at home. Sometimes there's just no arguing against the man's logic!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Name Changes in Order

Yesterday Lisa was doing her reading lesson with me and she began with:


She stopped, looked up at me, and said rather plaintively, "We should do that! We should help Mother!"

Slowly, her sad little expression turned to relief as she wiggled herself off the hook by adding, "You should have named us all Sam!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I finally decided to try to get some use out of our YMCA membership. The children get their money's worth, but I'm definitely a cash cow for their marketing department (interpret that any way you like). I looked through the options. Although I feel it would be right up my alley, the "Silver Sessions" were not available to me, I didn't even think twice about joining "Boot Camp", and "Flower Planting in Pots" would not work with my colorless thumbs.

But I did see one class that caught my eye--"Spinning". I have several friends who raise animals and spin their own wool. I've watched them do it and have thought it might be fun to try. I figured it would also give my arms a workout and I could count it as exercise so I signed up. I showed up yesterday for my class and was greeted by Overzealous Sue in spandex and leather gloves. Before I could open my mouth she had me mounted on a stationary bike and was yelling at me to "adjust to a phase two", "increase a full turn", "set the tension high and pedal while standing for 50 turns", and "remember to breathe"! Maybe I only pretended to turn the dial and counted by twos but I made it through that 60 minute 'spinning class'.

Does panting count as breathing?

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's a "swatter"

A few minutes ago I overheard this conversation that Lisa had with herself:

"Oh look, a fly! Where's the fly snapper? Or is it a fly whapper? Whatever."

A minute later I heard:

"Oh here it is, the fly slapper!"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Dana had her wisdom teeth
removed on Monday.
The 45 minutes procedure
took only 30 minutes and
the 30 minute recover
took only 5 minutes.
She came out of the
anesthesia as if she just
woke up from a nap. She
has no bruising, no nausea,
no stiffness, no bleeding.
She got to take two days
off of school and had a
friend over Monday night
to talk and watch movies.
She gets to eat ice cream,
juice bars, smoothies,
yogurt, and pudding all day.

I think she DESERVES to look like this!

Family Footsteps

I have pictures that capture the decades of memories. Snuggled up under a nightlight, five year old Joey reading to three year old Keith long after their bedtime. Bryce snoozing with his favorite book, "Are You My Mother", propped on his stomach. Dana dozing over her American History book. There are even more unrecorded memories, like my new husband falling to sleep while I read aloud and Lisa tucked in with her entire library. We have a family of readers and now Gabe is joining the tradition. He loves to read picture books, board books, magazines, the church hymnal, you name it. If it has pages he's all over it--without any ripping. I put him down for his nap yesterday with one of his fabric books (my favorite, with the original Winnie the Pooh). Apparently he scooted into a corner for his reading session and Dana found him dozing over it 20 minutes later.

Can't believe I forgot to take off his shoes. And yes, Dana laid him down after capturing the moment. We don't need to start chiropractic on Gabe just yet!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gabe is So Big!!

Mr. Gabe had his two year check up yesterday and, while he doesn't fit a typical development chart, he just charmed the socks off all the nurses and doctor. His pediatrician looked at a growth analysis (made with answers to a questionairre I filled out) and said, "based on the analytical information it appears that Gabe's most delayed area of growth is his personal and social development, but he's done nothing BUT socialize and interact with me since I walked in the room" and gave the chart a dismissing wave of her hand. I like that kind of doctor! Gabe didn't cry when he had blood drawn (the needle up a vein in the arm type of draw), he turned pages and 'read' a book while having his heart and lungs listened to, and squirmed like crazy to get up when he was on his back being checked. And he smiled and jabbered and waved and clapped on cue for everyone. Gabe weighed in at 23.5 pounds fully clothed and was 32 inches long. That's about how big my other boys were at one year! However, for the first time he's made it onto a normal growth chart--at 5%! Go Gabe!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day or Bah Humbug?

I like Valentines Day. I used to like decorating a box for school. I liked exchanging cheap cards with my classmates and giggling about who got which sentiment from whom. I liked delivering singing Valentines in high school and making heart shaped sugar cookies. And I LOVED waking up this morning to a Cadbury chocolate bar and a dozen roses.

But I remember NOT liking the day. It came somewhere between the “this is a fun diversion to normal life” and “what a sweet sentiment from my darling husband”. I remember fearing that someone might express something that I didn’t want to be burdened to gently let down. I remember “breaking up” with a “sort of boyfriend” because I knew he’d go over the top and make me feel guilty. I remembered it being a holiday that just didn't fit me.

My 17 year old daughter keeps saying, “I hate Valentines Day.” She was the one who poured herself so enthusiastically into making beautifully decorated cards just a few years ago. But she’s in that Valentines Day no man’s land. I think her sentiments would match up with Daniel Gardner’s. His “Valentine’s Day Pain” video sort of sums it all up for you non-romantics. But don’t worry, you should grow out of it. That special someone could be out there. And Dana, maybe “Pat” in the second video is the guy for you.....



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To My Boys

This is sent to my boys in honor of your Dad. I almost had to do it in "Memory" of your Dad since he almost died laughing as he watched it. It hits home with his love for fishing and that pesky streak of redneck that I just can't seem to drive out of him.


PS If you care to be humored by this guy's stand up comedy or additional song remakes (Chet--you may know some guys who would benefit from "I Don't Drink Beer") look for Tim Hawkins on youtube.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chicken Pox

Marty and Kelly have ten children ages 10 months up to 19 years. Two weeks ago Kent, number 6-age11, came down with chicken pox. This week the other nine are ALL down. I wonder if they've set some kind of record?

Lost in Translation

Why is it that Moms are supposed to understand the meaning of all things unintelligible?
The baby is crying and everyone looks to me and asks, “What’s wrong? What does he need?” This must be because I’m not actually hearing a cry. I’m hearing, “Please change me, I’m wet,” or, “Mother dear, it’s too cold, do get me an extra blankie.”

This continues into childhood. Yesterday, Lisa (5) came to me and said, “I have a little, it’s not big, they’re mine, they’re really short, and Owen wanted one.” Of course, there was no explanation necessary. It was all clear as a bell to me.

But it doesn’t even stop there. Last week I asked Keith where I could find his laptop computer. “It’s downstairs on top,” was all he said. I knowingly replied, “Certainly! If you need me any time in the next several hours I’ll be downstairs searching ‘on top’!” He chuckled and added, “You know, on the bookcase!”

Ahhh..... Now that I have Kidspeak down I’ll have to brush up on my Husbandese.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kids in Cars

Most people dread long car rides with kids. The bickering and squabbling, the pestering and fighting, the I-have-to-go-to-the-bathroom and how-long-until-we-get-there sagas. Aside from those “minor inconveniences”, I love those long rides. I love having everyone in one place where I know they’re safe and within reach. I love the conversations, the trivia games, and the cooperation that’s necessary to make a drive a success.

For some time our children have tried to get us to buy a DVD player for road trips and we’ve resisted. Last night, as we returned home from visiting our college boys, I was reminded why it is that we’ve stuck to our guns and refused to cave in to the pleading. A DVD may have prevented the “I don’t have anywhere to sit!” (right, in a 15 passenger van?) and “Tell him to stop!” and “Can Shane move back to the front?” But, we persevered, worked it out, and eventually heard six siblings ages 5 to 17 playing an organized turn-taking story telling game. For over an hour we heard the joyous sounds of laughter accompanied by impersonations and characterizations. They had so much fun with it that, after we got home, they asked to go one more round with Mom and Dad before going to bed.

Family relationships don’t just happen by chance, they have to be worked on and worked out and I think ours all got a little stronger last night.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lesson Learned

While I was putting Gabe down for his nap Owen(8) came to me to report a problem between he and Bryce(10). It seems Bryce was "doing something" to Owen, Owen was asking him to stop, Bryce didn't stop, and Owen hit him. Numerous rule and behavior infractions. "Both of you wait for me in your room."

Ten minutes later I entered the room where the two inmates were playing and laughing together. I questioned them, "So you two have a problem?" Bryce replied, "Not any more." While it was obvious that they had worked it out (or just gotten over it) I had to do the Mom thing and get a lesson in somewhere.

So, I asked, "What can you do next time to avoid the problem?"

Bryce answered, "Not fake whiplash Owen."

Looking for, "stop when someone asks me to stop", I pressed for more and asked, "What else?"

Bryce thought a minute and concluded, "Uhh....not tell you."