Sunday, May 22, 2011

No more pencils, no more books...

"Jakob hates homework"...Shari Hanson

When my friend, Shari, posted this a few months ago, my heart went out to her poor boy. Before my girls were school age, I dreamed about how fun and productive homework time would be. I saved my cute extra workbook pages and math manipulatives from my classroom and kept them in a drawer in my office. I envisioned my girls and I at the kitchen table, them working on their homework with me assisting and poppin' out the homework helpers. What child could be better equipped to do homework than one with a former teacher for a mom? It's like free tutoring! Score!

Well, that bubble went the way of the bursting many years ago. My little Heather, exhausted from six hours of school didn't like homework. She'd been struggling all day and didn't want to continue the torture at home. Of course, I was kind and supportive. There were M&M's when she'd reach the end of each sentence, and treats for getting work done at school. I was fiercely protective of her self-esteem and cheered her on no matter how small the accomplishment. She was a good sport for a long time, but the discrepancy between what was required and what she could produce became problematic.

I never envisioned dropping my child off at school and worrying if her teacher would be kind to her during the day, or if other kids would tease her for not getting her work done fast. I didn't foresee spending hours on the internet researching terms like executive dysfunction, ADD and dysgraphia. I could never have envisioned the frustration of knowing that what was in my daughter's highly intelligent brain would not ever translate from her brain to her paper. And worse than that, that she would feel stupid because she couldn't express herself like those kids for whom public school was designed.

When I started this post, I was not quite sure where it was going to go. Our journey isn't finished yet, and most writers wait until the end of the journey to write about it. The perspective gained is what others like to read about. I don't have that perspective yet, but I know that it will come. There are four weeks of this school year left, and I'm not sure if Heather or myself will be more relieved on the last day?! Heather is done with homework and tests and rigid teachers. I am SO done watching our public school try to force my square peg into an inflexible round hole. I have become twitchy and defensive expecting the worst from a teacher instead of the best. This is not a good way to promote personal sanity, so I've got to re-wire this summer and do some positive thinking!

I want to take my girl and Shari's sweet Jakob and all those other cute, darling, amazing children out there and open my own school! I want to nurture them and love them and help them find success! I am weary and over being told that if a child can't add it up, write it down, or color it to perfection, their intelligence isn't valuable. Something has got to give, and I'm going to keep pushing and pulling until it does!

If you made it this far, thanks for listening!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Art Contest

Aaron Brothers is having an art/photo contest. I entered in three categories. Since the prize was a frame for my photo, I chose those which were ones I'd love framed. I don't know if they are my best, but I love looking at them. You can vote for the photos through Sunday night. Click on the link below the picture if you want to vote for us (you can once vote for each).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Donny and Marie

Do you remember Donny and Marie? We used to watch their show each week on television. I loved their voices, the comedy, and I thought Marie was so pretty! Donny was kinda cute too. My sister and I got the dolls and t.v. stage one year for Christmas, and I was so excited. I can still hear their voices saying, "Good night everyone!"

So what's a girl to do when she randomly hears on the radio that Donny and Marie are going to be at the Huntington Beach Walmart on May 19 signing their new CD? Well, go of course! I called my friend, Michelle, who I knew was a Donny fan, and we put it on the calendar. We lined up an hour before the signing, and the line was already three aisles deep. We weren't sure if they would pull a crowd here, but they sure did! Television crews, security and all. They were both so warm and friendly, and Donny's voice, whoa! So velvety and deep. I'm so glad we went!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update on "The Blahs"

Back in March I posted about having "the blahs". I wasn't really sure what was up, but I was getting weary, and my doctor's appoint was still over a month a way. I'm back to report that I have met my new doctor, and I really, really like her. She listened to me, and I sensed that I was in good hands. She sent me off for blood work, recommended a B6 and B12 supplement and scheduled a follow-up appointment. At the follow-up appointment, we reviewed my blood work. My Vitamin D3 levels were very low. They like you to be at a 30, and mine was at 18. She suspects it has been that way for a while. I'm told they are seeing a rise in Vitamin D deficiency due to not being able to be in the sun during the peak hours (10am to 2pm) or being in the sun, but using high potency sunscreens. At any rate, one side effect of Vitamin D deficiency is depression. You can read more about it here. I've also read that cognitive function can be impaired which may be why I feel like I'm losing my intellectual edge.

I've started a massive dose of Vitamin D3 that will last 8 weeks. After that, we'll check blood again and talk about a maintenance dose. In the meantime, I'm trying to be more positive and look for small things I can accomplish each day. I've started back on a regular exercise program and will slowly, but surely get back to healthier eating. It's kind of one thing at a time right now, but I'm optimistic.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Today was haircut friday for the girls. Our stylist, Chelsea, is back from South Africa and the girls were excited to see her. Heather went first and lost an inch or two. Not too dramatic. She was loving it.

While Jenna and I waited, Jenna tried on the items in the boutique. This ensemble reminded us of our friend, Mrs. Mosher.

I also took some photos of Jenna's hair. She had it long until, at age 5, I consented to a shoulder length cut. It was very cute and fit her personality. Several months ago when she decided to grow it out, I was happy to see her again with her lovely, long locks. However, it didn't last too long. She reached the point where tangles were too painful, and once again, short hair became a topic of discussion.
Cousin It

Chelsea determined that about 8 inches were coming off, so we bound it for Locks of Love and took the plunge.

Here is one happy girl. She's feeling sassy tonight!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Mother's Day

Mother's Day began with a great breakfast prepared by Kelly and Heather. After church I got to lounge while Kelly prepared dinner. I had accidentally signed up to have the missionaries over for dinner, so we dined with them. Kelly made chicken fettucini Alfredo with mushroom-garlic Alfredo sauce. Very yummy.

After the Elders left, we opened gifts. Heather made a gigantic card and gave me some slippers; Jenna's card was awesome and she wrapped a box of tissues for me to use while I read her story she'd written at school (the tears just didn't come, but we did need some tissues). Kelly presented me with an iPhone4 which I was needing. My 3G was one of the originals and wasn't running the updates anymore. All in all, it was an awesome celebration. I felt very loved.

After presents, we had a small family night lesson/family meeting on having a house of order. We listed all of the things from Doctrine & Covenants 88 about the kind of house we need to have, and then we graded ourselves with a check system. Order got a resounding check minus. We discussed chores, pitching in and made a plan for everyone to help out. We'll see how it goes.

Dessert was yummy pie from Claim Jumper. What a great Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

All week, I've seen profile pictures changing on Facebook from the familiar faces of my friends to those of their mothers. The popular message for the week was to change your profile picture to that of your mom's to honor all mothers. For those who know me, they know that although I can appreciate things about my mom, she is not the primary person I think of on Mother's Day. That would make her sad if she were here, but the truth is that I've had many, many mother's in my life. There have been many women who filled in where my mom was not able to with an abundance of nurturing and love. I couldn't fit all of the pictures of my mothers into one small Facebook profile spot, so I didn't change my profile picture.

I haven't stopped thinking about this all week. I've thought about my mother, my aunts, my mother-in-law, my grandmother and great aunts, and many church leaders who have given me a more complete view of motherhood. It was yucky celebrating Mother's Day when I was growing up because it was the one day during the year that we were supposed to forget the way my mom really was and honor her in the Hallmark greeting card way that everyone else honored their mothers. It felt fake, and it took me many years as a mom not to feel yucky when Mother's Day came. I never wanted to be celebrated unless my kids really wanted to celebrate me. Fortunately, I have gotten over the yucky feeling and enjoy Mother's Day as a celebration of the gift it is to be a mother to my little girls.

Today as I sat and thought about my mom, I found some pictures of her when she was a new mom. I think it was a time of promise of things to come, and a time she was happy to be a mom. Things weren't as emotionally stressful for her yet, and I found that I liked looking at these pictures of her when she was a little happier and finding joy in motherhood. So here is my "profile picture" of my mom that didn't go on Facebook. I was happy to find these and happy to see my mom happy being a mom.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Soccer Parents?

We have never been soccer people. We have nothing against soccer or people who love soccer, it's just never been our thing. The girls have never expressed an interest, so we've not really thought a lot about it. I've actually been glad because it looks like a huge commitment to be a soccer family. We have family and good friends who love soccer, but it's always looked like a bigger commitment than we have been willing to handle, so we've stuck to other activities.

This past year, Jenna has expressed an interest in soccer, and because she has been so passionate about it, I made some inquiries. Our friend's husband was coaching and allowed Jenna to practice with the team to get her feet wet. She loved it. The running, falling, getting kicked in the shins and anything else we thought would be a deal breaker for her has not dissuaded her in the least.

We just returned from AYSO soccer registration this morning. I think this means we're going to be a soccer family. Oh boy.