Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer draws near

We are less than a month out from school ending. The past few weeks have involved many an IEP meeting and also we had Keith's triennial and then his IEP transition meeting and Iryna's IEP transition meeting. Brace yourselves: the twins are moving up to MIDDLE SCHOOL! Where has the time gone?! It's amazing to me that they have been mine since 2008. I am so blessed.

Another fun thing about this next school year: both twins will be attending the same middle school, but in different classes! Iryna is in an L1 and Keith is in an L2. They will have the option of taking an elective course, which will likely be choir since they both enjoy singing.

Last week, we changed Keith's disability to Intellectual Disability instead of Multiple Disabilities. We did the same thing for Iryna a year ago.

Silas' IEP meeting last week went well. He is gearing up for 1st grade. My youngest is in 1st grade!

Calvin will be in 3rd grade. He is my only 504 kid. His teacher still describes him as a "model student."

Last week was TOUGH for Iryna and, consequently, her teachers. She was physically harming her teacher and the aid repeatedly all day. There was pinching, kicking, hitting, head-butting, screaming, saying "poopy" over and over, throwing desks, etc. I received phone calls two days in a row. I didn't know what to do! I went to pick her up the first day from school. Iryna was beside herself. She cried on the way home. We talked about how we all make mistakes and that we need to be praying for forgiveness for the things we do wrong. She prayed and asked God for forgiveness. Then she said, "I feel a little better!" That was a wonderful experience for us to share together.

Now that it is warmer, we have put away the winter clothes and pulled out the summer clothes. Iryna LOVES shorts. She's obsessed with them. So I have been hanging the shorts carrot in front of her - if she doesn't hurt her teachers all day, she can wear shorts the next day at school. And so far, it has worked! Of course, if seems odd that I would have to essentially bribe my daughter to be nice to her teacher - a teacher that Iryna loves! - but it's working, so we're going with it. Let's hope it is motivation enough to make it until the summer starts.

I wonder what it is that makes Iryna feel out of control in her classroom. She doesn't act this way at all in the home. Maybe her teacher isn't firm enough? Maybe she doesn't feel safe. I don't know. I certainly don't have all the answers. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is so hard. And she is frustrated with her own actions, too. Poor baby girl. :( But, her birthday is coming up and that is a super happy topic for Iryna right now. She has selected a Matryoshka theme and we are running with it! (I am just happy it isn't another Mario theme, like the past several years...)

Anna has decided to try the BYU high school online program for the fall. She has been needing a more structured homeschooling curriculum and with our adoption process of 5 more kids, I won't have as much time to dedicate to our daily courses. I am hopeful it will be a good fit for her.

Happy Birthday to Keith

Keith wanted a police-themed birthday party this year!

The balloon fairy came!

New shirt from mama.

Gifts from daddy.

Keith's favorite part of the day was hearing the siren go off. He is SUCH a happy boy!

This police officer was so kind to give us a tour of the police station and to let the kids get inside the police car.

Cake made by my best friend, Nichole.

I wore Keith's favorite color - yellow! Sure do love him!

Dear Keith, it's hard to believe that you are now 12 years old. You are such a sweet and tender boy. We love your excitement for life! You are the sunshine in our family. We love you. Happy Birthday, bugaboo!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sprained knee

We have had an incredible amount of rain the past two weeks. Calvin's baseball games and Silas' tball games have been cancelled...and it's been nice to be able to be home with my kids without running to and fro all the time. 

The day before Mother's Day, I was walking downstairs and my left foot slipped and I fell on my bum as I slid down about 4 stairs. My right foot was bent behind me and I turned sideways on the stairs. Although it was scary to fall, I felt as though I had heavenly help there with me. I felt and knew that it could have been much worse - I only fell down a few stairs instead of the whole set of stairs. 

My poor kids were terrified! Iryna and Silas were right there in an instant and kept asking if I was okay. I feel very blessed to have children who care so much about me. After a visit to the doctor, I have a sprained knee. He gave me some stretches to do and said to take some motrin. I have also been icing my knee and elevating it when I can. 

I received a priesthood blessing which stated that I was being watched over, which I felt in the moment. I am so thankful for my testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am blessed to have His gospel in my life. 

Tonight, Calvin threw something in the trashcan and it went in.
Calvin: Mama! I made a strike!!
Me: That isn't called a strike. That is called a basket or a point.
Calvin: Oh. But I thought in bowling it is a strike if it goes down. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

FHE with the kiddos

FHE tonight on priesthood. I tried to ask questions to have the kids guess the topic. I told them that it was something only men had over the age of 12 and that it started with a "p."
Calvin's response: a penis?

Then later on, I asked who was the first man on earth to hold the priesthood.
Silas' response: Satan.

Clearly I was having trouble getting my points across. 😳😂

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Today was a very low key day. One reason is because I fell down some stairs yesterday. I hurt my toe and my knee and today it was still painful, so we stayed home from church and had some family time. We watched The Other Side of Heaven and played dominos and Chinese checkers. 

Anna made me lemon bars and crockpot beans with cornbread muffins for dinner. She is becoming quite the cook! 

Bryan and Matt came over to give me a priesthood blessing. Immediately afterwards, my knee started feeling a bit better. I am so thankful for the priesthood. 

Because I was pretty much down today, the kids had to do everything. They were so sweet and helpful in making me comfortable. Some even drew me pictures!

I was able to visit Keith's school for muffins on Friday. We had fun together! I brought some GF pumpkin muffins for myself. 

Silas' school had a fun little program with cookies and punch for the moms. He was so excited that I could attend. He is growing up so fast. 

I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be a mother. I love each of my kids and I look forward to bringing home more precious children sometime this year. 

Saturday, May 07, 2016


At the baseball game:
Silas: Mama! Did you see me hit the ball?
Me: Yes! You did a great job!
Silas: Did you see me catch a ball?
Me: No...did you catch a ball?
Silas: Uh-huh! I got one point!!
I think it's clear that Silas is unsure how to earn points, er, runs in baseball.


Silas: Mama, I am full. I can't eat anymore.
Mama: Okay...but you won't get any m&m cookie bars unless you finish your tacos.
Silas: Mama, I'm not full anymore.


Me: Silas has this daily habit of picking his nose and eating it. 
Tyler: Don't worry. Social shame will take care of it soon enough.


Silas: Mama! I found my jean blanket! I haven't seen it in eight years. 


Friday, May 06, 2016

Calvin's best game in baseball (guest post by Tyler)

The summer that Calvin was 5, we had just adopted him and he had very poor oxygen saturation in his blood from his heart defect.
The summer that Calvin was 6, he was recovering from heart surgery.
The summer that Calvin was 7, our family moved states and spent 2.5 months in Oklahoma waiting for the AF to figure out where to send me.
The summer that Calvin was 8, the local little league did not have any openings (apparently you have to register in the middle of winter if you want to play baseball).
Calvin is now 9 and playing baseball for the first time in his life. He is smaller than the other kids and is several years behind in learning the game.
His first game did not go well. He struck out twice and got hit by the ball while trying to field a grounder. He just finished his second game. He got on base twice with a walk. The second time that he was on base, the game was tied. He made his way to third. When a wild pitch got past the catcher, the coach told Calvin to steal home. I'm not sure he knew what exactly everything meant, but he ran for home plate. He made it and won the game. His teammates were cheering for him, and his coach lifted him up on his shoulders as the hero of the day. Afterwards, Calvin excitedly told my wife, "Mama, I got two homeruns!"