Monday, September 28, 2009

Sick Day

Well, it's our first official "sick day" of the year. Katie is home with me. It's so hard for me - even at her age of soon to be 7 - to know exactly when I should keep her home. She has an off and on cough which I attribute mostly to allergies - and this wonderful sinus thing that I have had for the past week. She seems happy - just kind of spaced out...I'm hoping to be able to send her back to school tomorrow.

Not too much else happening around here. Girl scouts starts this week. Mary is also going to be playing on a volleyball team -- she is excited about that. We are trying to "steer" her towards sports in which her height may be an advantage. I"ll keep you posted on that one.

I continue to read, read,read. Just finished "Catching Fire" - the sequel to "The Hunger Games" - if you are looking for good fiction, I highly recommend this series.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Back to hanging out with Katie and trying to get her well....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Know...

I know...I haven't quite gotten back into the blogging routine yet. We are barely getting into the school routine, so hopefully the blog routine will follow soon after. The school schedule is basically kicking my butt - there is no other way to put it. Between my haphazard work schedule which has me working all kinds of assorted hours and having to get up at 6 am every day to get Katie ready for the bus, I am basically spent.
The girls are both doing well. Katie is loving school. She is so is a great thing to see. Bill and I went with her class to the fair last week and it was amazing to see her class as a whole and how the teacher and aides are so awesome with the kids. I can see why Katie loves it. We are so happy to have her there - and she really seems to be fitting in as well as she could anywhere. At this point I believe she is in the best, most ideal place for her - and that is such a great place for her to be.
Mary is loving 4th grade - although she did make me aware that 4th grade was a bit "too stressful" for her. (I think she is over that now). Homework is not something many 4th graders are fond of, but Miss Mary would much rather be riding her bike than learning how to spell marvelous or let's just say --- we're still working on the routine. Maybe we'll have it down by Halloween. :)
As I mentioned - I am back to work for the most part - but my hours are kind of all over the place. I am thankful for a good job, so no complaints - but I do find myself needing a nap here and there to get caught up....
I continue to be reading some amazing books. My most recent book club book was a mystery - which I don't usually read or like - but I really enjoyed it. "Whispers on the Bayou" by Mindy Starns Clark.
Hope this finds you all well - and I will try my hardest to get back into the blogging routine!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Back into a routine

Yes, I'm back. Hopefuly blogging will once again become a habit for me. It seems the summer was so crazy -- between Katie's new school schedule complete with summer classes and Mary's desire to always be going somewhere and doing something - I didn't find myself blogging too much. Well -- now both of the girls are back in school. Mary is in 4th grade - which is mind blowing to me ---she was so excited and nervous this morning. I'm praying for an excellent year for her. Here we are this morning in one of Bill's famous self-portraits ---

I am continuing to be a ravenous reader - it's almost like I just can't get enough of a good book. :) My book club keeps me in great Christian fiction and my "want to read" list of new releases continues to grow.
Here's to a great school year for all of our kiddo's out there....and hopefully to more regular blogging from me :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vacation Rocks

Yes, I'm back. Guess I'm not doing so well at blogging in August. We are finishing up a great week of vacation - complete with a trip to the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway. If you are my facebook friend, you have possibly already seen this picture ----
It's no secret that I love when the opportunity was given to Bill and I to once again go to the race and spend time on pit lane and in the garage - we definitely jumped at it. Thanks know who you are!
We also just got back from three days in the Wisconsin Dells at Great Wolf Lodge. This was our first visit to the Dells - and we loved it. I don't love the Chicago traffic (hard to believe I lived there for 6 years - and for all practical purposes that is really where I learned to drive!)...but now, Chicago traffic does nothing for me. We got home a little after midnight last night and let me just say we are all a little tired - and I may never get the laundry caught up - but oh well, that is what vacation is all about.
I hope all of you are enjoying your summer .....more blogging to start is almost back in session!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

August Already?

Sorry for the extended absence from the blogging world. Sometimes I get a little caught up in the girls being home (Katie's two weeks at school went very fast!!! She is now beginning her second week at home before heading back to school for two more weeks). I also have been tryinig to knock off some projects around the house. Bill and I drained the pool today - scrubbed it out and are in the process of re-filling it. What a lot of work! But it was definitely needed. Hopefully it will make it until school starts and then we will take it down and put it away.I have a feeling we are about at the end of the life of this pool anyway -- and a new purchase will need to be made when pools go on clearance here in the next few weeks.

Not a whole lot else going on. I've just been spending way too much time on facebook, reading (see the new additions to my reading list) going to movies and just having a good summer with the fam. More as it becomes available. Hope you are having a great summer, too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Schools In ....for the Summer

Well apparently Katie is taking to this new school thing much better than we had anticipated. Today is day 3. She loves the bus, so that has been extremely helpful. She has over an hour ride in the morning...which we aren't thrilled about, but unfortunately that is really our only option. We could drive her, but it's 30 minutes each way - not the ideal situation either - so for now, she is on the bus.

I talked with Katie's teacher from last year yesterday. She has been going to school with Katie to help the new school and their staff get adjusted to Katie and vice versa. She is pleased with how things are going - and so far, we are too.

Mary is still at camp, so this has been a pretty quiet week around here. I have actually been able to dig into a few projects - like organizing Mary's bedroom. Wowza - I think she likes to collect things - like rocks, paper, etc. She'll be surprised when she comes home tomorrow :)

Have a fabulous Thursday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back to School? What Happened to Summer?

Well, you read it right, Katie started her new school year today. She was a little confused - and there was some whining when she saw the bus pull up to our house. But once she was on, she was good. Happy. We are thankful that she enjoys riding the bus.
Mary is off at camp this week, so the house is quiet. It's almost strange. It's a little weird for summer break. The good news for Katie is that she is in school for 2 weeks and then she will have another 2 weeks off. It's an unusual school schedule, but I think it will work for her. She only had 5 weeks off for her main summer break - and let me tell you, she is ready (needs) to go back to school. She has loved the pool and watching videos, but trying to keep her actively engaged was starting to become a struggle. I'm sure she will run for the pool as soon as gets off the bus this afternoon - and that will be just fine with me. I'll post more once she's home and I find out how her day went...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

4th of July 2009

It was definitely a fun-filled afternoon and evening at the lake. Mary enjoyed lounging on the back of the boat while we watched fireworks.

Bill and I had our "annual" 4th of July picture taken by Mary -
and we added a new one - a family shot.

This is one of my favorites from earlier in the day - an underwater shot of Katie swimming!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Well, it's a cool morning here - only in the low 60's. So much for a warm holiday weekend - but it's supposed to be a little nicer this afternoon. I hope so. We are looking forward to our traditional "fireworks out on the boat at the lake"evening. This was the event last year where we took these great pictures :
Katie truly enjoying fireworks for the first time :)

matching swimsuits - wow they look so young here!

And this picture that Mary took is definitely one of my most favorite pictures of Bill & I - enjoying the sunset on the 4th.
Happy 4th of July everyone - and here's hoping for some more great pictures tonight!

Friday, June 26, 2009

So much for the lazy days of Summer

So far, Summer vacation has been a good one. We are keeping Mary very busy which has helped a lot - but there certainly haven't been very many "lazy days of Summer" for us yet. Next week should quiet down a little bit as Mary only has "obligations" on Tuesday and Thursday. I can hardly believe that the 4th of July is next week already. Katie only has two more weeks off and then she will be starting at her new school. Crazy!

This picture is of Mary at basketball camp last week - I never posted a picture of her. She enjoyed that camp so much!
The girls (especially Katie) are also enjoying the pool --this week it has been 90 or hotter each day, so it has gotten a lot use. I had to invest in some really good sunscreen for Katie because she is spending so much time outside. I'm sure she will miss the pool when she goes back to school. The weather here is supposed to be much cooler - and wet- next week, so I'm not sure how much swimming she will get in.
Well, here's to a great summer weekend....and maybe even a lazy day or two.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swimmer's Ear

Well, I am learning a lot about what swimmer's ear truly is. Katie has it, in both ears. Yikes. I almost thought she had a "regular" ear infection because she was acting like she was in so much pain. We went to the pediatrician today - and she has true swimmer's ear -- which is not water trapped in your ear - what people often call swimmer's ear. It is an infection in the skin that lines the ear canal. Basically when the ear canal gets exposed to water it reacts as the rest of our skin does by "opening" and becoming puffy or shriveled. When in this "state" it is more able to pick up bacteria -- and some bacteria that we normally carry on our skin can actually cause swimmer's ear. I felt very educated by the time I left the office. We now have some drops for her ears that act similar to how neosporin would act on a cut if it were on our skin. She isn't too fond of the drops, but I am hoping that it will do the trick -- and quickly. I am actually amazed with all the swimming she does that we haven't had to deal with swimmer's ear before....but to the best of my knowledge - this is the first time for either of the girls.

On a brighter note, Mary is having a splendid time at her first VBS of the summer. She is a big fan of vaction Bible school, just as I was as a kid. She has at least one more in July --possibly two. It's a great way to keep her busy. As I've said before, she gets bored far too easily in the summer.

Well, that's about it for now. Hope everyone is enjoying their summers. The heat here the past few days has been almost unbearable for Michigan...but it could snow tomorrow (just kidding), so I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Muggy Thursday

Yep, it's muggy. We're expecting a doozy of a storm tonight, so I guess that explains the humidity. Yick...but Katie loves it. She has spent the afternoon outside teetering back and forth between the pool and the sandbox. I am so thankful for a fenced in backyard, a huge bonus that is for sure. Mary is loving basketball camp. I wish it was for more than one week. I was able to get a sitter for Katie so that I can go watch her last day of camp. She is pretty excited about that. She wanted Bill to come see her, but he is so busy at work right now (which we are thankful for) so instead she gets me -- but that's okay.

Not too much else going on. Just trying to keep up with laundry and work on some projects around the house. I need to shampoo the carpets, but in this humidity I'm not sure that is a great choice.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pool Time....

Well, after the fabulous "mud-day" (see previous post) we broke down and put the pool up. It hasn't exactly been a warm May/June here in Michigan, so we were hesitant to put it up -- especially knowing that Katie is unable to stay out of the pool - even when the water is freezing. The pool has been up 4 days and Katie has a better tan than I will get all summer. The next stage is that her hair will turn this fabulous blonde color -- and the best part is, she doesn't even realize that she is so adorable with her "tanzilla" look as we like to call it.
Hopefully the pool will hold out for the whole summer. It's our third summer with it. The girls are both ready for a bigger pool - especially now that Katie can swim - but for now it does the trick.
I'm glad to be on summer vacation (well - truly, I am not on vacation as I continue to work on a limited schedule) - but I'm happy that the girls are on break. Mary starts basketball camp this afternoon -- and we have several VBS's scheduled for her to attend. We are trying to keep her busy this summer - as boredom is usually quick to set in with her. I always tell her - if you were an adult you wouldn't even know what it is to be bored!!!!

Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

When it rains.... pours. How true, how true. It seems as this past week has been a whirlwind. I know the last week of school is always crazy, and sometimes a bit overwhelming, but this week....well, it's been a doozy...and I still have a few days left.

Bill is in Chicago today (well, Joliet actually) at the NHRA race - and I am home with Katie. Mary went to church with my parents and I am home - trying to recover, re-coup, figure out how to proceed through the next couple of days. I must say that I am so thankful for my parents and how they help Bill & I out in so many ways. They have Mary this morning (they actually kept her overnight last night). They watched both the girls last evening as Bill & I needed to attend visitation for his grandfather who passed in the night on Thursday. His funeral is tomorrow - so that will be most of our day tomorrow. The girls have school (Katie's last day) so that complicates things a bit, but this week hasn't been anything if not complicated.

This picture is of Bill & Mary right before they headed out on her 13 mile 3rd grade bike trip. They biked home after the trip so it turned out to be about a 15 mile ride - and they had a great time. I'm not sure about Mary's "angry" face - but it makes for a funny photo :)

Katie's school transitioning seems to be going well. She had a visit last week and we have another on Tuesday - as well as her new IEP - so more things to make a full week. I'll be ready for summer vacation by Wednesday. I guess we need to get our pool open. I'll just make that number 99 on the list. :)
Have a great week.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Just keep swimming.....

Yes, to quote Dorie in "Finding Nemo", "Just keep Swimming, swimming, swimming." That is truly how I feel these days. Big "to-do" lists and I just have to keep "swimming" away at them. Life is good, just busy. Katie visited her soon to be "new school" this morning, and even though there was a considerable amount of crying, it was a good visit. It's going to be a HUGE transition for her, and for us as a family too. This will be the first time Katie has changed buildings in over 4 years - so this is a big one considering she's only 6 :). She has another visit next week, so that will be good. I'm just taking things one day at a time as we figure out what Katie's future will hold.

All else is good. Bill is crazy busy at work. I am juggling work, the kids, the house and trying to wrap up all of the end of year activities including parents club, Katie's school change, girl scouts, soccer, etc. Yep, we're busy.

4 1/2 days of school left for Mary. Only 3 days left for Katie. Can't believe that the school year is over already!!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cloudy Thursday...

Yep, it's a cloudy Thursday here. I'm home with Katie today because she is supposed to have a picnic with her class this afternoon. I hope it clears up because I'm a wimp when it comes to having picnics in the rain!

On some brighter notes, Katie is adjusting to her new meds fabulously! We are so thrilled. Hopefully once she is completely off the risperdal we will see the weight she has gained from the meds start to slip away! We have already noticed a decrease in her appetite and I personally am really excited to see the cool gestures she is making and new sounds she is saying on this new med (abilify).

Also, Mary had her awards ceremony for girl scouts this week. Due to another commitment I was not able to attend :(, but my awesome parents filled in for us and my Dad took some great pics.
Oh, and by the way, gas is back up to 2.66 here. Bummer!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Holiday Weekend Update

Well, the weekend is already flying by - as holiday weekends often do. I wish we had more than just tomorrow left :) I wanted to update that Katie is doing really well on her new meds and I am hopeful that this will be a great transition for her and one that will help her shed some of the pounds she gained while on risperdal.

This pic is of Katie and her fabulous teacher, Heather. Notice the chocolate ice cream on Katie's shirt. This was their field trip/walk to the local ice cream store. Yummy, yummy!

This, on the other hand, is the result of Katie's new meds (which are making her tired as she is not yet used to them) and swimming for 2 hours at our neighbor's pool party. Thus, falling asleep in the sandbox. You can laugh, I think I'm still laughing ! Don't worry. I brought her into the house so that her legs wouldn't get sunburned. What a precious one she is! Hope you are having a fabulous Memorial Day Weekend. YEAH SUMMER!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Just a quick note..

I don't have much time this morning, but I wanted to update that we are still working on regulating Katie's meds and life has been a little crazy. We had a horrible weekend of tantrums when she was off of the meds - but we have gone back to the "old" routine of meds and she is doing much better. We are going to try a different new med that seems to work well for a lot of children with autism. It's called "Abilify" - but we wanted to once again wait until the weekend to try the meds so that we have her at home in case of any weird side-effects - and so that her teacher doesn't have to deal with her if she freaks out or reacts to the meds.

She did really well on her field trip to the nature center earlier this week - and we are headed out on the annual "ice-cream walk" in just a few minutes - so hopefully later today I will have great pics to share... But, if I don't make it back to the blog world before then, have a great Holiday Weekend. YEAH SUMMER!!!

P.S. - Yes, I was disappointed that Adam did not win American Idol - but that is a whole different post!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Katie Update

I am happy to report that our ENT must know what he is doing (we know he does, and actually he is great)....the antibiotics seem to be working for Katie. Her nose and sinuses seem clearer than they have been in months. She has been on the "mega-dose" for one week now - 5 to go. That seems amazing to have her on antibiotics that long - but if means not having to put her under anesthesia to "flush her sinuses" (doesn't that sound like a great time) I will continue to (slightly) battle her to get the antibiotics down. :)

We are also changing around some of her other meds - so we are are having some good days and some not so good. I have talked about risperdal before on this blog -- Katie has been on it for probably 18 months now -- and as a result has gained about 25 pounds - not a great side effect of the med. We are trying to reduce her to nighttime only on the risperdal and are going to try an ADHD med for her during the day. I wasn't sure how I felt about this -- especially after I read a few of the possible side-effects (and let me just tell you they make weight gain seem like a walk in the park) -- but after a good talk with Katie's neurologist, and realizing that this new med is in and out of her system in 10 hours - and if we don't like how she reacts to it, we can just choose to stop giving it to her. Risperdal is different in that it builds up in their system over time and it isn't really safe to just take them off of it cold turkey.

We are still in the process at looking to change Katie to the new school for their start of the year in July. We have 2 visits and an IEP to try to squeeze into the next 4 weeks - so I'm not sure how all of that will unfold, but we would like to get Katie's meds regulated before the switch .. so basically, we have our hands full for awhile... I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Finally some pictures, and a Happy Mothers Day

Here, as promised are the blue eyed Mary's from the Nature Center.

Now to Mother's Day. It was very good. Katie got to ride on a wagon with Bill's cousins' son Brandon's horse.

So did Mary ...they both loved it..can you tell?

A great day for Katie - it's hard to ask for anything more than that....

Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Crazy Week

Well, what a week. That's all I can say. I have oodles of pictures that I need to upload...I'll try to get to that later today. Mary has a soccer game this morning, but it looks as though we are in for a major I'm not sure the game will happen. A bunch of 7 & 8 year olds running around in a rain-storm is not my idea of a splendid Saturday morning :)

Mary had a field trip to the Nature Center on Monday. We did the Spring wildflower tour which was actually very cool. I got some great pics. One flower we saw was called the blue-eyed Mary..and everyone in her class thought it was very cool that Mary has blue eyes - so it was kind of "her" flower. That was the highlight of the field trip for her.

I also toured a new classroom for Katie this week. If all goes as planned she will be starting at a new school mid-July. They are on a year-round modified schedule where the kids never have more than 2 weeks off during the school-year. It helps for autistic kids not to have long gaps in their routine, so this schedule will be very nice for Katie. It will be kids who are her age, and no-longer in a preschool type setting. They also have a pool in their building which will be great for her to have access to each week. They also have a great sensory room that she will love. I'm praying for a smooth transition, but expecting a few bumps along the way. New things are always difficult for her, so we will do everything we can to help ease her into it. We also finally had our visit to the ENT for Katie's ongoing sinus infections, and for now, no surgery. We are going to a mega-dose (literally -- 6 tsp a day) of an antibiotic for 6 weeks.. He feels confident that this will clear her up. The next step if that doesn't work would be taking her to the OR to have her sinuses flushed. That doesn't sound too exciting, so we will pray that the antibiotics do the trick!

My foot pain is also back which had added to my crazy week. My last cortizone shot didn't seem to provide any relief at all, and actually the pain is worse than it has been in the past 6 months. We feel kind of lost on how to proceed. I really don't want to have surgery, but unfortunately if they can't find a way to help with the pain, I may have to consider it. The pain has gotten to the point where it interferes with my ability to work, walk, and even take care of the girls - especially Katie. You should have seen my trying to "run" after her as she tried to escape the hospital yesterday. Running in birkenstocks (which my Dr. says are the best things I can wear for my feet) after a 6 year old with athletic speed while wanting to scream with each footstep - yep, hilarious for spectators, I'm sure :)

Well -- I'll try to get those pictures up as soon as I can - maybe this morning if we don't have soccer. :) Happy weekend!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sickos...but no, not the swine flu :)

Yes, I live with sickos. Bill has come down with this icky Spring cold thanks to his friends at work that like to share their germs with each other. He took Nyquil 30 minutes ago and is completely crashed out.

Down the hall I can hear Katie hacking away. Her story of sickness is one that may truly be the end of me...I'm serious. Her ENT appointment is still a full week away. I called our pediatrician today (and thankfully, because he is our friend) and talked to him for about 15 minutes about if we have any other treatment options for her until she sees the ENT. Basically, the answer is NO...unless she starts running a really high fever or something of that nature. I'm pretty sure both of her ears are moreso than the other as she is tugging it constantly. Her nose is disgusting, as it basically has been for the past 3 months. We get a brief reprieve each time she starts antibiotics (which, yes, she is on as I type this) but after awhile they stop working. She has a lovely "allergy" cough as I call it a result of all the post-nasal drip that she is suffering from. There is truly nothing I can do for her. She is already taking so much medication. (risperdal for the autism, claritin/xyrtec/singular for allergies, omnicef -antibiotic and ibuprofen for pain. It's getting a little ridiculous at this point. I'm definitely pro-medication if it works, but now nothing is working. I am bracing myself for the fact that Katie is most likely going to need surgery. I'm guessing tubes/tonsils and probably some kind of sinus surgery as we are probably looking at some sort of sinus blockage. I can't really worry about it until it happens, but as I said, I'm tring to brace myself.
We also are considering some different options for Katie's schooling next year, even though 2 months ago I would have told you that we were locked in for next year. I'll give more details on that as it develops. Here's praying for a healthy Saturday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Morning Update

We were able to pick up Mary's glasses yesterday (thankfully) and when she put them on, all she could say was "Woah!!". (Which tells me that her previous prescription was completely wrong!) We are so happy that she can see :) She also scored two goals at her soccer game...and Katie had a pretty good day, too. It was nice to have a "good" day... it felt like we had been on a bad day stretch there for awhile. Well, it's a new week, and I'm praying for a great one. Hope it is for you, too.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Busy Saturday

I shouldn't be posting...too much to do this morning. But sometimes I think it is almost therapeutic for me to write about the crazy-ness in my life :) We have basketball and soccer this morning....and Katie would prefer to be outside already. 70 degrees at 8 am - pretty good for Michigan in the Spring! Katie's week continued to be frustrating, so I'm not really sure where we are at with that...praying for a better week next week, but as the weather improves her desire to be in school continues to diminish. Thankfully she has a great teacher who works with her daily to help her maintain her focus.

Speaking of maintaining focus, if you remember back to October, Mary had to get glasses. Here she is back then, proud of her new specs :

In our county the kids get an eye exam in the Spring of 3rd grade. Well, only 5 months after getting her glasses, she failed the eye exam. Seriously? I was floored. We took her back to the eye doctor and her prescription has changed 3 full prescriptions in 6 months. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? No wonder she is having so much trouble with her handwriting, she can't see what she is writing. I about flipped out. We don't know if they messed up the original exam, or what happened, but after some persuasive conversation, they agreed to give her new lenses (and the re-check exam) at no-cost. The downside is that she is completely without her glasses for a few days while they swap out the lenses, but hopefully with the warm weather, she'll be outside a lot and won't miss them too much :)

Happy Saturday....(I hope!)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kind of a Blur...

Yep, my life, a bit of a blur right now. It's been a crazy few days. Katie has been having some trouble in school because of her stimming activity. It is very common in autistic children, but right now it is interfering with her ability to function in school. She stimms to the point that she is not willing to participate in classroom activities. She doesn't want to be directed. She isn't sleeping (she woke up at 3 am today and 4 am yesterday) and basically - I'm spent. She came home from school early yesterday because they weren't able to get her to "engage" with the class - she just wanted to stim. But then she comes home and she is "fine". She only wants to be outside (and that will increase as the temperature rises into the 80's over the next few days) and while she is outside all she wants to do is stim. She picks grass and watches it fall to the ground over and over again...when you call her name she screams, as if we are "interfering" with her agenda. Not sure where we are going to go from here. We may be able to change some of her meds...she has a neurology appointment in May - but that's not a guaranteed fix, either. So until then, maybe I can learn to nap in between work and the girls getting home from school......

Friday, April 17, 2009

Too Long...

It's been a week since I've posted -not intentionally, but more due to the craziness that is April. Back to school, back to work, back to soccer, basketball, Girl Scouts, Girl Scout cookies, and the list goes on and on. Today was my first day off since Easter - and I needed it! Katie was off, too...but she's enjoying the warm weather out in the sandbox and on the swingset. So ready for Spring, yes we are!

I promised a little blurb about Chinese food for Easter. Let me begin by saying that I have also had Chinese dinner for Mothers' Day, my birthday, Father's Day, possibly Thanksgiving,(but that is a bit blurry....) My parent's love Chinese food and they have instilled this love in their grandchildren (not Katie). I like Chinese food, but LOVE would be too strong a word for it. Bill LOVES chinese food and orders something different everytime we go. It seems that for holidays when you would often have a family dinner at home, we end up going out. Mainly this is due to the fact that my parents are extremely busy. My dad has a "normal" full-time job in addition to being a full-time minister - and as a result, the prep for cooking and having people over is often a lot for my mom to manage in addition to all of their church responsibilities. The result is that we end up going out...and almost always for Chinese food. The waitresses know my parents by name there. That makes me laugh. Mary loves to read the menu and figure out the animal that represents the year each of us were born. My mom and dad always say that the chinese calendar explains why my brother and I have never really gotten along all that way... I know he's kidding, but it does make for good conversation. So....there it is a nutshell....and check back with me...Mother's Day is on the horizon and we could very well be heading to First Wok.....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunny Saturday

Hard to believe that Spring Break is already drawing to a close. It's been quite the week. I wasn't able to post yesterday due to all of the craziness that was happening here -- and then I had to work last night...but today is a different story. The sun is shining, Mary has soccer practice this morning and then the rest of the day is going to be just about hanging out together. I'm looking forward to a little relaxation. I also think I'm going to make a "pre-Easter" or "Easter-Eve" as I like to call it, Dinner tonight. A little ham, some potatoes....we're going out for dinner with my parents tomorrow - so the pre-Easter Ham will be a good thing! (We're actually going out for Chinese food for Easter - but that is a whole different story - a blog post in and of itself :)

I've also moved on to my 3rd book in the Twilight Series -- I've read over 1000 pages already this Spring Break - that might be a record read for a week for me.....but I'm loving it - I'm just a little tired!

Happy End to Spring Break - and if I don't blog again before then, Happy Easter.

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrated His own love for US, in that while WE were yet Sinners, Christ DIED FOR US.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Spring Break Day 4 - Is it Friday yet?

Can I just say ..... I AM TIRED! This Spring BREAK has not really been a break. I'm beat! Between hanging with the girls, doing eggs, watching movies, going Bowling (I haven't told you about that) and stay up 'til wee hours of the morning reading my books (I have almost read 1000 pages during Spring Break alone)...and getting up at 4 am for work today - I am done! Tired, Spent, Kaput! Finished! I took pictures at the bowling alley - and no, Katie didn't bowl. If I am still awake after supper I will upload them for your viewing pleasure :). I may need to take a nap so that I can finish another book tonight! And by the way, the weather was actually beautiful today. What a treat for Michigan during Spring Break!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Spring Break, Day 3. Same Song, Different Verse

Is this starting to look familiar?
Katie's up!

And Mary's not! It's only 9:30...but it's starting to make me laugh!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Break, Day 2

Well, it Tuesday. Spring Break Day 2. No sleeping in today. At 8 am Mary asked me why I wasn't boiling the eggs yet? Go figure, I thought sleep was a bit more of a priority! Anyway, by lunchtime, the eggs were boiled and colored and the girls were fully into the Easter mode! Even Katie got into the fun!

No snow today, so that's a bonus. But it's really cold out. Not quite the warm sunny Spring Break we had hoped for, but for now it will have to do. We did go see this yesterday. It was okay. The kids seemed to like it more than the adults. I have no desire to see it again...but it was a fun outing and a good start to Spring Break. No other big plans for today. I WILL finish this today. I cant wait to start reading this. Happy Tuesday...see you tomorrow!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Spring Break?

It's the first "official" morning of Spring Break. 9:45 am...and here is what I see...

In Mary's room....

and out my bedroom window...

Katie's been awake since 6:30. Happy Spring Break!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Fabulous Friday

Less than 2 hours until Spring Break. I'm actually excited even though we aren't really going anywhere. I won't have to work very much, and it will be nice to just hang out around the house and read (yes, my new favorite free-time activity.) I'm reading this and this. The latter for book club and the first for personal enjoyment. I just wish I had more time to read! I also have several "autism" books scattered around, but I have a feeling that Spring Break will be all about reading for pleasure -- and those books tend to be more for education - to help me better deal with Katie's autism, if that makes sense.

Wishing everyone a happy Spring Break!

As an added note....the reading is going really well...and I actually was able to take a nap this afternoon! Gotta love Spring Break!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday....

So it goes, another Monday and more events to report on....I didn't have to work today for which I was very thankful. I was able to run some long overdue errands and even get a little reading done. I'm on a huge reading kick lately. Not sure why, but so much so that I had to go out and buy a pair of "readers". I'm nearing the big 40 and my eyes are not what they used to be. I bought a cute purple pair of 1.5's and let me tell you how much easier the reading is now :)This isn't the greatest picture but it gives you the idea....

I am not going to do any more posts stating that we are all healthy because without fail that has proven to be a bad move on my part. Katie has an ear infection as earlier reported, but she is doing much better. We have her on "permanent" allergy medicine now too - and I think that is helping a lot. Mary started with congestion yesterday and a cough today - so I'm not sure where that is headed. Spring Break is next week and it would be nice if they could both be healthy so we might be able to do some fun things. We aren't going anywhere out of town, but maybe we can catch a museum, a movie, you, fun, local things :)

Also, because this is really Katie's blog - I have to share this picture of Katie putting her own coat on because she wanted to go "out" (this happens a lot). When she takes her coat of she just slips it off of her body so the bottom remains zipped. As a result, this is what she looked like when she tried to put it back on without assistance :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

What a week...

It's been a crazy one here. Katie has had quite the week. She has an ear infection .... I know, it seems to never end. We couldn't get her into the pediatrician's office - so I ended up taking her to immediate care yesterday. I think that was a great move actually. They got us in and out in less than 20 minutes. They gave her the numbing drops for her ears that seem to work amazingly, as she seems pain free for several hours after using them. She wasn't a big fan of having the drops put in, but once she realized that they made her feel better, she liked it :) We've also had to change her allergy meds in hope of improving her overall health. 6 months of the year with cough and a runny nose are getting a wee bit tiresome!

Mary also has had a busy week. Her third grade musical was last night. I will post more pics once I get mine uploaded..but here's a small sampling. She's the serious looking elephant :)
Bill and I finally got to watch "Fireproof" tonight. I would highly recommend it for anyone who is married, who is getting married, or who hopes to be married one day. Great movie. Great reminder of what God truly intends for marriage to be.
Well - that's it in a nutshell. I post more pics hopefully tomorrow....Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Almost back to "Normal"

I hesitate to write this, but I think we are finally getting back into the routine of life. Both girls have recovered from influenza (which was the cap-off to a month of illness) and are back to school. Katie thrives on routine, so after 11 days off between winter break and illness, it has been a bit of an adjustment but she seems to be loving the predictability of school. Mary always loves school, so for her it's now all about finishing 3rd grade well and making her "AR" (Accelerated Reader) goal for the last trimester.

Not too much else happening here. Bill is headed out of town for a quick trip to Alabama -- flying down and driving a car he'll be gone for about 36 hours. Not quite enough time for a room remodel or anything, but I may see how much CLUTTER I can get out of the house. I keep seeing the Oprah episodes with that organizational /de-clutter guy who talks about how much easier it is to enjoy life when you don't have all the clutter. I started today...but I'm saving a few of the big projects (linen closet and kitchen cabinets/drawers) for his absence...I think he'll be surprised. I probably need to do before/after pictures so I can realize and take a bit of pride in how much work it's going to be ...but it will be so nice when it's done :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So...we're back. My pictures were delayed because Katie came down with a 105 degree temp while we were away. She's still struggling a bit - missing the entire week of school. Her class is off on Monday, so she'll have been out 11 days by the time she goes back on Tuesday. That will be a difficult adjustment for her....but part of life that she needs to learn. Mary had the temp before we left (the pediatrician says they both have/had influenza...yucko!) but was fine while we were there. She still has a bit of cough, but is overall doing well. She went back to school when we got back from here. This is one of our favorite vacation spots...

I've got the LYSOL out again today, trying to kill all these germs that have plagued us all winter. They are forcasting warmer weather for the upcoming week, so hopefully we will get to air the house out and get some "good" germs in here!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I Almost Forgot

I almost forgot...this is what Mary learned to do when she was home sick (the first time) with Grand-moo :) She actually made a pillow-case for herself!!!!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Almost Unbelievable

Well, no sooner had I written the previous post that we were getting healthy, and BAM, Mary woke up Thursday morning with a 103 degree needless to say, we must not have been healthy yet. She missed school Thursday and Friday - which makes 5 days in the last 2 weeks. Thankfully, she did get a good report at conferences so I guess not too much damage was done... we are happy that 3rd grade is going well....

The girls have Monday and Tuesday off - and we have some fun activities planned - I will post on Tuesday or Wednesday complete with pictures and give you the full update... It's raining here - but I guess that is better than snow...enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Onward and Upward.....and maybe even healthy!

Yep, I hesitate to say this, but I think we might actually be getting healthy. Wow, it's been a long time coming. Katie is back on antibiotics, but they actually seem to be working this that is a huge bonus. Mary is on the mend, I think we're getting there.

School for Katie does continue to be a challenge. With two new children in her small (6 students) classroom - and her routine has been blown to bits. She has been a bit uneasy, naughty, and almost irritable. She didn't eat anything today at school, but when she got home she pigged out. She's been "hitting"( I hesitate to use the term hitting as I think it is more of an expression of dislike as to what she is being asked to do. Often when she is stimming and someone -- a teacher etc-- asks her to stop stimming, she almost slaps or hits them in a reactionary way as if to say "NO, I'm not stopping". ) and actually did try to run away as she often did in previous years. Only once though..teacher put an end to that at the first sign of fleeing.... We have conferences tomorrow and that will be a good time to see where she is. We do have that classroom locked in for next year, so that is a good thing....I think we are just in a period of adjustment for her as she gets used to the two new students that are finding their own way into this unique class.

The girls have half days tomorrow and Friday - and then are off Monday and Tuesday, so we are looking forward to a little family time. We have some fun things planned there will be a lot to report on next week. Happy March!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy to be Thursday...

Well, I'm honestly glad that it's Thursday. It's been a week, as usual. Mary has been out sick from school for 3 days - she is going back tomorrow. She showed vast improvement today. We do have a re-check with the pediatrician tomorrow, so hopefully we won't be headed to the ENT for tubes.

Katie was home sick today too.... she was a "vomit comet" sometime in the middle of the night... we think it was just from her sinus' and her stomach couldn't handle all the drainage. It's hard because even at age 6 she isn't able to blow her nose independently -- so sometimes she becomes victim of more "toddler-ish" issues. She should be going back tomorrow too -- as she had a great day and according to my mom didn't appear to be sick at all... :)

I have the next 3 days off of work. After a week of 6 am's and taking care of "sicko's", I'm looking forward to it. The girls only have a half day tomorrow - so I'm going to get my butt in gear in the am with a nice latte' and get my errands done before we head off to the pediatrician in the afternoon....

And can I just tell's going to be a great season of American Idol!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sick of Being Sick

Well, I'm just back from the ER...has this been a winter or what? Mary has some weird infection in her ear where there is a bunch of fluid that has actually bubbled or blisted on top of her ear drum. It could rupture (we are hoping not)...and she has a fever and feels horrible. Her wonderful teacher had the office to call me to pick her up as she was so lethargic the teacher was concerned she wouldn't be able to ride the bus home successfully. She got a shot of rocefin in the ER. If you've never had the pleasure, I call it the miracle antibiotic. It truly knocks the bacteria out of their bodies - and considering that she has had 2 other courses of antibiotic in the last 6 weeks, I am ready for this to be done....

On a lighter note, I received a note home from Katie's teacher today which read:

"...Katie took all of her clothes off during circle time :), but other than that she had a great day!"

How can you not laugh when you read that!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Day Off

So it's Friday - and finally a day off for me this week. Katie didn't have school today (her teacher's get one day a month off in lieu of planning time each day) so we are "hanging" out, running errands, etc. It's actually been nice to just spend some time with her. I should be cleaning my house, but at least I'm getting caught up on laundry (no pictures this time) and I think (cross my fingers) that we are all almost approaching the healthy stage! Woo-hoo! It's been a long-time coming. This has been the snowiest and "sickest" winter I can remember in ages. We are expecting another huge snowstorm tonight into tomorrow - isn't Spring supposed to be here soon?

Well, enjoy your Friday....more later.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This About Sums it Up...

These two pictures pretty much sum up today. Mary has been in a crazy mood...she must be feeling better! Katie got into Bill's "slurpee size" kool-aid and basically turned herself into a purple "joker-ette".....she thought it was funny, too!

A Long, Hard Winter

Well, yes, it is February and it is definitely still winter here in Michigan. We got several inches of snow yesterday -- and 8 more are predicted for Wednesday - yes, 8 inches. I was ready for winter to be finished about 2 months ago--- so for now we are just taking it day by day and praying for some significant sunshine :)

We have all been very sick lately, too. Bill, Katie and I are all on antibiotics. Mary finished her second round earlier in the week. I'm not sure if it is because of the weather, or the kids' school, or what, but it just seems like we have all had a lot of trouble getting healthy this winter. I invested in a jumbo size can of Lysol at the grocery store (1/2 off this week - so that was an added bonus) and I've been walking around the house spraying everything with Lysol. Window sills, sinks, doorknobs, remotes, telephones...all that hopes of eliminating whatever germs have managed to set up shop in our home. I really wish we could just open the windows and air things out - but at 30 degrees I don't think that is a realistic option!!

Not too much else happening here....Mary is going to be an elephant in her 3rd grade musical in March...too funny! Can't wait to see it. Katie continues to be doing well, and we are happy with the fact that she is now "locked in" to the same classroom for next year with her amazing teacher!

Hope you had a fabulous Valentines' Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Father Daughter Dance 2009

They had a great time this year - complete with dinner at Applebees'. No blizzard this year - the weather was perfect. Hard to believe this is their third year going to the dance.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Patience - Part II

Well, the lesson in patience has continued today.

Mary has lost her snow pants - or should I say, someone "accidentally" took them out of her locker. And remember, I work in retail - there are no snowpants to be found in the store right now. I am praying that maybe they will show up on Monday when someone realizes they picked them up...the whole situation is still a little unclear - but I spent 20 minutes digging through "smelly" lost and found - and no snowpants.

I am sick. Whatever this cold is that Bill and the girls have had is now fully engaged in my body and is kicking my butt. My head throat, my sinuses. Okay, I'll stop now.

I think I just need sleep.
Happier posting tomorrow - it's the Father Daughter Dance!

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I think God is teaching me to be patient - and no I didn't ask Him to...but I think that is where we are headed. Trusting, depending, walking daily. Waiting. There are so many components to this, but I think that is what God is trying to teach me.

First - I have plantar fasciitis - I think I have mentioned this on the blog before. My foot is in pain - a lot of the time - especially when I am working a lot. I am seeing a great podiatrist, but it involves taping and meds and insoles and stretching and icing, and a night see where I am going with just takes a lot of work to help reduce the pain - and a lot of visits to the doctor. When I have a few days off work the pain tends to reduce dramatically - but unfortunately, we are not in a position where I can just stop working.

Secondly, I have a very emotional 8 year old living in my home. (And no, we don't wonder where she gets this from.) She has always been an emotional creature, but since her acceleration to 3rd grade it has gotten a lot more "constant". There is just a lot of crying..and often over just very small things. Like I said, she has always trended more toward the emotional side - and I don't know if this is just a phase or what, but it is one of those things that we just don't really seem to be able to get a handle on.

Have a mentioned winter yet? (and no, this isn't meant to be a downer post - it's just where I am right now.) We have good things happening in our life --Katie's progress is great this year and we have a great situation locked in for her again next year -- so that is positive and encouraging. Mary is doing well in 3rd grade despite some emotional challenges, and Bill and I both continue to be employed in good jobs - so yes, we have a lot to be thankful for. I think I just have the February blah's and I need some sun.... It's been a long, cold winter in Michigan -- with no end in sight thanks to that little groundhog:) So, I'll be thankful today - for the good things in my life - and hope that I will quickly learn my lessons in patience and move on to a new life lesson! Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Katie's World

We have been having a few really great days with Katie -- complete with a lost top front tooth (literally lost - we think she swallowed it!) and lots of smiles - You can see her purple kool-aid mustache in the last picture...she wears that around a lot...we've gotten kind of used to it.
It seems since we pulled her out of kindergarten and changed her daily programming at school she has just generally seemed a lot happier. That in and of itself is enough confirmation to us that we made the right decision. So all this to say, it's been a happy place in Katie's world lately - and I'm loving it!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A little life lesson....

My college friend Jennifer wrote an amazing post on her blog today, and I wanted to share it with all of you. She, too, is a parent of a child with autism, but a few things that she said really hit home for me. God knows what He is doing, even though when you are dealing with a situation like infertility, or a special needs child, or whatever the problem may be, we don't always remember that God is truly in control. Thanks, Jen, for sharing this great reminder with all of us.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another week gone by...

I really need to try and blog more than once a week - so I will work on improving that. But honestly, between work and trying to spend time with the kids & Bill ( whose birthday is today:) ) I often don't feel awake enough by the end of the day to sit down and write... So here I am, before 10 am, trying to get myself up and going with a blog entry.

Lots has happened this week. After pulling Katie out of kindergarten last week, we have been very pleased with her progress. She is spending about an hour a day in an early childhood classroom with non-autistic children - and it has been great. She spent 2 years in that classroom with that teacher before she was moved to the AI classroom - so she is very familiar with it. We think this was definitely the right move - at least until the end of this school year - and then we will have to wait and see what next year brings.

We went skiing on Tuesday - and Katie is really starting to get the hang of it. She can do almost the entire bunny hill now, but stopping is a fine art she has yet to learn. We were going to go again on Thursday, but the girls (especially Mary) have been fighting ear infections and we opted out on that this week!

Mary's adjustment to third grade continues to go well. She is keeping good pace academically - so as soon as work through a few social adjustments we think she will be just fine. She is working on multiplication tables and just finished a unit in Earth science (which she absolutely loved). She has always had a thing for rocks -- it's kind of funny. Who knows, maybe she will grow up to be a geologist !

Well - I think that is it. We are just going to spend a leisurely day at home enjoying Bill's birthday. There is about 3 feet of snow on the ground now - with more to staying nice and warm inside is a great option! Hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What a week...

Well, it has been a week alright. 5 days of work for me (which is a little much when I'm trying to balance everything else.) Trying to make adjustments to Katie's school schedule and deal with Mary's transition to 3rd grade - basically, I'm spent. Seriously...a mini-hibernation sounds ideal right now - but that's not in the plans anytime soon.

Bill is gone today - slot-car racing. He loves it....and once you have purchased the cars for each class that you race, it's really not that he's gone and I'm here --- doing my favorite hobby (just kidding) laundry. It seems like with work and all I end up spending either one of my days off or Saturday just trying to get caught up on laundry. I also did our taxes today - and e-filed them, so I guess I should be proud of myself for accomplishing that. And no, we don't usually have our taxes finished and filed before the end of January - but I guess I was just feeling motivated - and so while Bill was away, I did them. There is so much good software out there now that basically if you can fill in the blanks you can do your own taxes and e-file them too -- so that is one more thing I can mark off of my 'to-do' list!

If you are wondering about Katie's continued progress, well, all I know right now is that she is officially not going to Kindergarten (probably for the rest of the year) and that her teacher (whom I adore) is trying to find some other options for her. I have been invited to the AI (Autism Impaired) monthly staff meeting for February where they are going to discuss the plan for Katie for next year - so hopefully after that meeting I will have a better idea of where things are headed. To be honest, I'm just glad that she is happy and enjoying school - and that she has a teacher who is all about helping these kids be the best they can be. I couldn't ask for much more than that :)

Well, I should get back to that laundry and probably think about something yummy to make for dinner.....but at least I did get some big things accomplished today ! Yee-hah~

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Step in a Different Direction

So today we decided to take a new step in Katie's educational plan. For the past year and a half Katie has been spending time in a kindergarten classroom for a period of time each day. Today I had a really candid conversation with Katie's teacher about the fact that Kindergarten is just not relevant for Katie - and as difficult a decision as this is, she needs to stop going. It is only frustrating to her - and we certainly don't want school to be an unpleasant thing for her.

A few examples of the frustration would be last week when they were working on money concepts during circle time. Each child had a bowl of pennies. Money has no meaning to Katie so she chose to play with and throw the pennies - b/c she didn't know what else to do with them. Today they were talking about the inaguration during circle time. Okay, seriously, what does a non-verbal 6 year old child care about the inaguration? So of course, she was bored, frustrated and started being a distraction. Basically - kindergarten isn't working for her. She is making excellent progress in her Autism Impaired classroom - but the mainstreaming attempts just aren't working right now. And the good thing is - I'm okay with it. For the first time in this long journey with autism, I'm okay with where she is - and it's okay that it's not where I wish she could be.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bloglifting, Part II

Okay - here's the continuation of the bloglifting post. Once again, credit to Alysa for the idea.
Items in blue are the things I have done.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud. (football even).
54. Gone to a drive in theater.
55. Been in a movie (yes, I have).
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (sorry, no desire to do this.)
58. Taken a martial arts class (no, but we are getting ready to start Mary in one).
59. Visited Russia (1991).
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies (Mary is a Girl Scout)
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Donated blood.
64. Gotten Flowers for no reason.
65. Gone Sky-diving.
66. Visited a nazi concentration camp.
67. Bounced a check (thank goodness for overdraft protection!)
68. Flown in a helicopter (would love to).
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (thanks, Mom.)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (several times).
71. Eaten caviar (in Russia -- it was disgusting.)
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (yes, but it turned out to be a very good thing.)
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London.
77. Broken a bone -- yes, 6 in my foot when I was in fourth grade.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle -- yes, very stupid, but I was young.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon - yes, but I don't remember it.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had my picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House (I've seen it, but have not toured it.)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chicken-pox.
89. Sat on a jury.
90. Saved someone's life.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.

93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Own a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee. (more than once).
100. Married the love of your life...yep!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Life In A Snowglobe....

Yes, it's a cold winter's day here. I should be doing part 2 of my "bloglifting" post, but I"m too tired today -- the girls are home with a "snow" day, but it's more like a "sub-zero" day. I think the teachers were getting tired of having indoor recess all week. I went into work for a few hours and came home so Bill could go to work. The girls are doing crafts, watching videos and basically just chilling out. I, on the other hand, am doing this:

and this:

and I'm really glad to not be out in this:

Well, back to the laundry...and hopefuly more of the bloglifting post later. Happy Friday!