Friday, May 31, 2013

Quinn has started her driving classes, and today her goal was:
1.  Drive with Dynovox on.
2.  Drive around the hotel in the parking lot at Handprints.
3.  Drive through 10 doorways.
4. Drive through the grass.

She did it all, and got an Ariel sticker, and was exhausted.

The fun story from driving is one, she is doing great, and two, when she was about done with her first session, I had the van ramp down and ready for her, Chrissy asked her to drive to the van ramp, and she drove right there and started up the ramp.  Wow, I am so excited to see what she does by the end of the summer.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Well, I know I am a bit of an organizer and control freak, but I am ready for summer.  We have our list of a couple hundred things we are going to do, so far we have:  made cloud dough, (see below picts, and the recipe is 8 cups of flower and one cup of baby oil, it's pretty cool), we have a sand box, we did the farmers market, eat snow cones, and jump rope, and puzzles.  
We also have our behavior chart, our chore chart, our weekly schedule, and wow, are we busy.
YUP, even as I look at the fridge, I think it is a little bit much, but at the same time, I know that we all need a bit of structure this summer, how I love my structure.

Quinn helping measure out the flour.

Oh she is loving it.

We had a special guest join us, and that was fun.

Chrissy was also here helping us start summer out in a fun way!

Cloud dough is kind of like sand, but super smooth, but can be formed into stuff.
So we are starting out busy, and I don't see it stopping any time soon!

Blessings and Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

 Welcome to Summer!
 Quinn's hand prints!  I love them, if you want to read the cute poem, just click on the picture.
 We are ready to lounge around outside when we have time, as we are going to be busy on so many things this summer, we are working on our schedules and everyday is full of something!  It is not better homes and garden beautiful, but for us, I love our little space on the porch.
Here is Quinn and her 5th grade helper, I hear they were great together!  

Finally again her teacher was so amazing and was sending things like this home all the time!  How lucky we are to have had her!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Isn't she lovely!
I hear they spent a lot of time and quite a few people working hard with Quinn to get such a wonderful pose.  I'm grateful for their patients.  We sure do love the picture.

Grandpa, Grandma, Grandma, Quinn, me, our other graduate, and the amazing nurse Nadean.

Getting ready for the party to start, Grandpa, Chrissy, Quinn, and Nadean.

Quinn and her amazing teacher, Mrs. Gruhl

Wow, it has been a busy week!  Quinn and our other kindergartner had their graduation parties and they were wonderful.

One of the other students in Quinn's class told her mom that she only wants one thing for 1st grade and that is to be in Quinn's class.  Her mom shared that with us at the party.  Oh I could share so many wonderful stories about how Quinn is really a part of her class, and how there were different kids that would come over and talk to Quinn or tell her, see you Monday.  I can not say enough good things about her classmates or teachers or nurses.  We have had an amazing year.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Oh we had fun this last weekend.  Amelia came over and hung out with Quinn.  I love to see those girls hang out with each other.  How I love those girls.

We also can finally say that summer is getting here.  We dipped strawberries in chocolate, along with making out lists of things we are going to do this summer.  Our list is over 200 things long, so we will see what we get through.  We are looking forward to reading some chapter books, going on a few mini trips, swimming, and the list is long.  

Quinn's big job is to get her body regulated.  She had a seizure at school yesterday and we are still working on figuring out the best meds for her, without over doing it.  She was so tough when she got her blood draw yesterday, and she still opted to go to therapy afterwards, so part of me was so proud of her, but  I think more then her working hard, she loves her therapists and loves all of the attention, so I don't think she sees it as work at all.

The other big job for her, is that we are going to do some in depth therapy sessions with Chrissy so Quinn can start driving her chair more then any attendant.  Right now when she is in the right mood, she will do great driving, but is use to the adult driving, so we are hoping to change that mind set for everyone.   

So a couple more weeks of school, and now the weather is nicer, the kids are turning into monkeys, and so it's all kinds of fun.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Our Family.

My beautiful girl!
Vulnerable -  I have been thinking about this word a lot lately.  At our last staff meeting, we talked a lot about this word.  How making ourselves vulnerable is good.  It is not easy, and sometimes we hurt because of it, but the opposite is also true, where we can experience so much joy when we open our hearts.

As parents of a medically challenged child, we are vulnerable.  We are vulnerable to illness, to "norms", to going somewhere but having to figure out if her wheelchair can get into where we are going.  We are vulnerable to the future, as we can't plan to far in advance, we are vulnerable to medical supplies, as insurance only does so much, and as soon as the word handicap is added to anything, the price skyrockets.  So thankfully we have what we need, but some of the extra's that could help in so many ways, are simply not a possibility at this time.

Because of those issues that make us vulnerable, we are thankful when she is well, we don't take it for granted.  We are grateful for locations that are handicap accessible.  We use what we have available and share what we can with other families when Quinn outgrows things.  We also get to see the generocity of others, and how one family sharing wheelchairs with other families, and the huge change it makes in their lives.  Oh it is a powerful gift.  We are thankful for good days, we are thankful for the kids in Quinn's class that love her so.  We are thankful for birthday invitations, for therapists, for nurses, for teachers, for every moment.  (Well, not every moment, but we sure try not to take them for granted)

As foster parents, we are vulnerable.  We put our hearts and souls into our kids and don't know what is going to happen in the future.  They are visiting their bio mom right now, and we don't know what the future holds.  That keeps us all vulnerable.

Again, we try to put our hearts into every moment.  Helping them learn coping skills, play with all our might.  We work on how to learn, and to develop a love for learning.  Develop love for themselves, and  giving them the sense of security and love.

Being  vulnerable is hard, but so worth it.

Well, mothers day is coming up and I read this beautiful letter from a non-mom to her pastor.  I understand that feeling, as the article talked about how so many non-mom's have a hard time with that day.  I can totally relate, as I had a few of those years.  I wanted to be a mom so bad, and did not know if it would happen.  I can say I don't have the life I wished and hoped for at that time, but at the same time, I am so thankful for the life I currently have, and truly think I would not trade it, if I could.  I would love for Quinn to not be sick, but will be grateful to have her in my life, she teaches me so much all the time.  I also wish our other two would have the stability they both need so much, and we can only give them so much, as we can't promise a specific future for them.  We can however give them  stability and love for the current time.

OK, back to the article, it talked about how to acknowledge mothers, and at the same time acknowledge women in general, as being a woman is hard, and we need to love each other.  So I'm totally stealing the rest of this blog, I love every word of it, and share it from my soul.

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who step-parent, we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who want to be moms - we hope with you
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

loved and borrowed  from

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hmmm, I guess it's a bed theme this time.

Over the weekend we went to hang out with Grandma Vicki, and oh how we all love story time.  

Then this morning I went in to check on Quinn and I love seeing her so peaceful.  Granted she woke up and freaked out, I thought she was over her phenobarb withdrawl, but something was going on.  Here is hoping and praying it gets better.

Monday, May 6, 2013

We had our first experience going to the Roller Derby, and we had so much fun.  We saw the Bruizin Betty's, and the best part is that our friend Michelle, Kaleb's mom was on the team, and she was amazing.

 Grandma was trying to sing with the music, but that did not go over very well! :)

Quinn, and the Star, Michelle, and her cousin.

 And Kaleb and Kloe have made an appearance.

May be some day we won't have to blur these beautiful faces, but everyone had lots of fun, and did such a great job with their behaviors.

 To top it off, John won a free shirt, and did not even give it to me.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Good Morning!  Last night we got to go to Beauty and the Beast, put on by our local High School, Southeast.  I had lots of fun watching it, as there were quite a few kids in it, that I taught for years and years when they were at Zeman.  We almost did not get to the show, as we had some issues with behaviors at home, but we all pulled it together at the last minute and got to go.  The show started at 7:30, and did not get done until 10:30.  I wish I would have taken pictures before the show started, although they would not have been great, as we still had 3 grumpy kids.

I would love to say by the time the show was over, the three kids had their acts back together and were perfect little angels.  That is not the case.  10:30 is late.

Quinn made it through to intermission but could not hold out any longer.  Sometimes when she is in bed, she stays up way later then 10:00, which is frustrating to me, as I know she needs her sleep, but tonight was a night that I was hoping she would stay up, and it was not going to happen.  The kicker is that every time the crowd would clap for a song, it would startle her away, she would jump, it would startle me, and then she would go back to sleep.  Ugggg, not the best way to see her 2nd musical.

The rest of us were not much better.  I asked for a good pose to put into scrap books and this is the best we got.  Crazy kids!  Hey 10:30 is late, and life is no fairy tale, but we will keep every minute of it, all through the time out's and the temper tantrums.  With all the startled wake up's and the I can't stay awake moments.  There are also the snuggles, the love you's.  The bright idea moments, where understanding takes place.  Tonight was a night with lots of love for the frustrating times where we had kids fighting and exhausted from not understanding whey they are in foster care, and the situation around it, and that affects Quinn, as she understand that tension.  Then we also have the love that we all have for each other and that is pretty amazing.  Throw in some good music and that yellow dress that both girls were so excited to see, and only one of them saw it, and all in all, it was a night that I would take again in a heart beat.  Life is not perfect, but rather then dwell on the frustrating parts, we are going to try to find the silver lining.  We have some fun things we are planning on doing today, so I hope to get more pictures on here soon.