Life is made up of many pieces, like a puzzle. Here I attempt to put them all together.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autism and Learning with Dolls

L, age 2 1/2, and in the process of being evaluated for autism ( all the signs are there), had a great time learning about body parts yesterday. He never really seemed to care before, at least not when we worked together. But yesterday he found a doll that made sounds and was fascinated.

I found it interesting that when the doll made laughing sounds he laughed as well, and when the doll made crying sounds he hugged it. So cute, and gave a little insight into his perceptions of emotions. As he played I would verbalize that the baby is laughing or baby is crying, baby is sad.

After he had sat near me and played with the doll for awhile he began to interact with me, so I started pointing out the dolls nose, ears, mouth, etc. I would point to the dolls nose and say "Dolls nose" and then tap his nose and say "L's nose." Then move on to ears, mouth, eyes, etc. He loved it. When we moved on to hands, feet, etc. he would double over laughing. For variety we would also point to my nose, my ears, and so on. We kept it light and playful,  laughed a lot and had a great time while grabbing a teachable moment and making the most of it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today went much more smoothly than yesterday although it was still very busy. I was just updating the log book and realized that over the course of the day 18 different children were here in childcare. Then with my own three added to the group it makes a total of 21 children ranging in age from 8 months to 12 years. As I write this at 8:45PM there are still four here. Two will be leaving around 10:30 and two are staying overnight.


A friend stopped by this morning just to say "Hi" and brought along sausage biscuits from Hardees for both of us. It was such a positive way to start the day. Since it's hard for me to get out sometimes she occasionally just stops by just to chat.


Doug took Austin and Michael to the child/youth program at church this evening. Austin's friend Tristan went along this time. This is my weekly break from Michael, who always does wonderful and charms everyone in church and then reverts back to the same oppositional behaviour as soon as he comes home. Although the last few days he's been quick to say he's sorry after an episode, often on his own.


Micheal and I made homemade finger paint early this morning fully intending to use it today but somehow our plans kept being derailed and we never got it out. But we sure did have fun mixing the colors anyway.


And that's about as exciting as it gets today. I'm hoping to hear something a little more definitive about the house tomorrow. Like I said before, I am not very good at this whole waiting thing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This and That

  • We have much more hope right now that  the house we are hoping to buy really will be ours. I'm not good at waiting for answers and it's been rough waiting since Thursday evening for them. But finally this evening we were able to talk to someone and it looks like it's going to happen. Not set in stone yet but hopefully heading that way. I'm excited again.
  • I took this picture yesterday to commemorate the joy of seeing brother and sister getting along. Unfortunately it didn't carry over into today. I know they love each other but Wow! They can really argue!

  • We are happy that two more new children joined our crew this week. Kansas is 7 years old and is here 2 -3 evenings a week and Jayden is 15months old and here 6 mornings a week.
  • But I was sad when this morning, the very first morning that Jayden was here, he fell and bumped his head on the door frame resulting in a rather larger goose egg on his forehead. Why do these things always seem to happen on the first day?
  • We had two children out sick today. I hope they feel better soon and we see them tomorrow.
  • Our new history book The Story of the World Volume 1 finally arrived. We started it yesterday and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately our afternoon school session was interrupted so we didn't get to read any more of it today. We were able to get math, reading and Bible done before I had to call an end to schoolwork for the day because of very cranky babies. I had planned to include history and literature today as well but it just wasn't going to happen. But tomorrow is another day and should be a much easier one. I sure hope so anyway.
  • This afternoon a friend of ours from church came over and had Doug help him work on his truck. Michael enjoyed going out and "helping."
  • And now I think it's time for me to go make sure I have things set up to run smoothly in the morning. First child is scheduled to be here at 5:15AM.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

  • We had a great service in church this morning. A visiting evangelist (whose name I simply cannot remember) brought the message. His opening question was "Are you famous in Hell?" He then went on to challenge us to be the kind of Christ followers who make Satan cringe because of the way we allow Jesus to work in our hearts and lives, allowing His Light and Love to shine to those around us.
  • I made another batch of homemade playdough this afternoon since the kids had mixed up all our other playdough until we simply had a big grayish, greenish, brownish mass. I always think it's so fun to mix the colors and see what shades I can come up with and Tammy and Amanda joined the fun, mixing up some colors of their own.
  • It was a fairly quiet day as far as the daycare goes. One child stayed overnight and left just before we went to church. Another came just before time for church and left this afternoon. Three more came this evening and left around 8:30.
  • This afternoon Doug took Austin to his friend Aaron's birthday party. Austin and Aaron have been best friends for years and spend as much time together as possible
  • I'm looking forward to beginning a new week and hoping it brings us some good news about the house.
I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great week.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Notes From the Last Few Days

  • The last couple days have been frustrating.
  • Everything was moving along smoothly on the house we are hoping to buy until Thursday evening when we hit a snag. Now we're very hopeful but uncertain if everything is going to go through or not. Waiting for answers is the hardest part.
  • Amanda and Doug were both hit by a stomach bug this week. Amanda's started Wednesday night and Doug's Thursday night. It seemed to be a 24 hour bug. They are both feeling much better now.
  • Mona was not so lucky and was unable to come in to work for 2 1/2 days. But we're glad she's feeling better now.
  • Michael has been beyond difficult the last few weeks and I'm at a loss to know what to do next. Consequences and punishments don't seem to work. Extra time and positve attention doesn't seem to work. Ignoring doesn't seem to work. Today has been full of multiple temper tantrums, outright defiance, even a table turned over in a rage. He oftens sneaks out the door and runs away. Doug and Mona have been trying to take him with them often to give me a break which I greatly appreciate but I'm still exhausted.
  • On a happier note, we had some delicious homemade vegetable soup for lunch that Mona made yesterday so I would have an easy lunch. For dinner we had homemade pizza that I made while Doug took the little kids outside to play. Yummy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bits and Pieces

  • We had a new child begin daycare with us today. A big welcome to Gabe. His first day went very well and we're looking forward to Gabe coming back on Thursday.

  • The home inspection on the house we are buying was today. We got a pretty good report. There are a few minor repairs that need to be done, but nothing that causes us a lot of concern.
  • Since everything is moving along so smoothly with the house it looks like closing may be the beginning instead of middle of November. We're planning to go ahead and pay the rent on the house we're living in through the month of November, however, so that we won't be as rushed while making the change.
  • As we're trying to get through all this with as little stress as possible, I am hoping the rest of us don't catch the stomach bug that bit a couple people today. One child had to go home early and Mona, my asssistant, only worked about 1 1/2 hours today because she wasn't feeling well. My house now smells like Lysol.
  • Yesterday Mona loaned me a book to read that I had a hard time putting down last night. Before I knew it, it was 1:30AM. Yikes. The book is A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. Somehow I needed to read the stories of women who faced hard times and perservered. Women who dreamed and prayed and cried and laughed and in the end were used by God to bring about wonderful results. I will be reading some more of this book tonight, but hopefully this time I will stop reading before 1AM. I really need more sleep than that to persevere very much at anything.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recent Reads I've Enjoyed

Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online I had a hard time choosing one or two articles from this site so I am simply sharing a link to the homepage.


Everywhere I look right now this is what I see.

Boxes packed full of whatever we think we can do without until we move.

And more empty boxes ready to be filled.

Oh, the joys of moving.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The best part of today - Austin and Amanda came home from a week of vacation with my parents. Yay! I always miss them a lot. This week however was so busy that I didn't get to spend to much time being sad that they were gone.

Here is some of the fun we had this past week.

The first, and most exciting to me is that we signed the contract on this house.

It's an older house, built in 1901, and I love it. Somehow I always feel more at home in the older houses. There is definitely less space here than the house we live in now but it feels like it's very workable. We will have about an acre of land with a two car garage and a storage building as well as plenty of space for the kids to play. And a garden spot. And room for the kids to each get a dog. I am SO excited.

So with the knowledge that we will soon be moving, barring any unforseen bumps in the road, I began packing. Since Austin and Amanda were gone last week and we were not doing schoolwork each day, I used as much of that time as I could to pack. I know that with the kids to care for, schoolwork to accomplish each day, and everything else that life tosses my way in seemingly random fashion, I will have limited time to pack so I'm trying to get as much done as possible when I have the time.

Also keeping me busy this past week were are tempory boarders. Tammy and her son Dustyn are staying with us temporarily. It has gone well, and she has been very helpful with the kids. But at the same time it calls for adjustments and those have to be worked through. We have a lot of good talks, laughter and evenings when we are both on the computer in quiet companionship.

After our busy week, it was nice to have a quieter than normal day. In a completely unplanned stroke of luck there were no daycare kids here today. It just happened that all the parents had a day off on the same day. It was my turn to be in the church nursery today. Normally Amanda would help me but since she didn't get home until after church Doug helped me. We only had a few children and it went very well. After church we went to the Chinese restaurant across the road from where we live for lunch. When we got home I took a short nap before we went and picked up the kids from my parents and took them to look at the house.

It's been a good day, a good week. I'm looking forward to another busy week with more progress toward the actual closing and moving date.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Today has been full of . . .

 kids . . .

I made a triple batch of these this morning, putting some in the freezer and leaving plenty out to enjoy for the next few days.

fingerpaint . . .

I love making homemade fingerpaint and mixing up the colors.

and making an offer on this house that we hope to call home soon.

It's been a great day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Animal Care Instructions

Amanda and Austin are on vacation this week with their grandparents and other extended family. I miss them a lot but I'm glad they are having fun.

Before Amanda left she wrote me a complete set of instructions for taking care of her pets, It was so cute I have to copy them here.

Remember to put Toby's food on a plate so he does not cut his tongue.

Only put his food near his beds. I am trying to teach him he can't come on the entrance porch.

Please, please, please make sure Scout AND Toby know they are good boys.

And sometimes can you pet them a little bit.

And if you see one of Scout's toys can you throw it for him so he can chase it.

8:30AM - Toby's first meal
Noonish - Toby's 2nd meal
5:30PM Toby's 3rd meal

The rats can eat leftovers from meals or just about anything actually.  Please make sure that they have PLENTY of water.

Thank You.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday's Fave Five

This week I am linking up to Friday's Fave Five over at Living to Tell the Story.

So without further ado here are some of my favorite five things about this week.

1. MY HELPER IS BACK! After being gone Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and then on Monday she was able to come back on Tuesday Her son was very ill and needed her to be with him. I'm so glad he's doing better. And I'm so glad to have her back. Everything just runs so much more smoothly when she's here.

2Sleeping in on a rainy morning. This morning we woke up to rain, rain, rain. My early kids came in and went back to sleep so I was able to catch another hour of rest on the couch. It was awesome to lay there and listen to the rain on the windows and doze. It made my day.

3. Emely. Tuesday was Emely's first day with us and we have enjoyed having her here with us.

4.  The blessing of having a roof over my head.  Earlier this week we found out the mother of one of the kids we babysit had fallen on hard times and she and her son had no place to live. It made me realize how grateful I am to have the security of a roof over my head. We were fortunate to be able to offer her a temporary place to stay while she looks for an apartment.

5. Coffee. This week has been cool and rainy and I have been enjoying lots of coffee. Almost as good as actually drinking coffee is the aroma of fresh coffee brewing. In fact, I think I'm going to go brew a fresh pot now.