Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another year coming to a close

I said i was going to attempt 170 post in the past year. I managed 86. not the number I had hoped for but it is an improvement from last year. Things were a little hectic this year with Scott's second surgery, then the car thing.

Looking back I am ready to not only close the door on this year but this decade. It plain and simply sucked donkey D****.. I am looking forward. Who knows what the future holds?

This coming year - I am making plans to go to Disney with my oldest friend from grade school. I have always wanted a girls weekend at Disney and I can't think of a better person to do it with. I have our class reunion this summer. Number 25. WOW!!!!! Phil turns 21 in May. that makes me feel just as old as going to my 25th reunion.

My goal for posts this year is 100. I think it might be more doable than 170. so I will set the goal low and feel great when I surpass it.

May your New Year be filled with all you wish for - health, happiness and love. What more is there?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Please see this blog

I rarely refer you to another blog but please read this and understand why we need healthcare reform

Connor and Helen Grow Up


Cathy

Friday, December 18, 2009

Polar Express

I feel like time is slipping away. It is the first time I have felt that with Phil. I am becoming aware that Christmas on Christmas may end in the next couple years and I am trying to savor every minute of this Christmas. Next year we have plans for a family vacation Christmas but I have a sneaking suspicion some one new may be joining us. (all I am going to say on that) I actually found myself crying yesterday to "slipping through my fingers" from Mama Mia.

So this Christmas I resolved to make it memorable. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Polar Express thru one of the home school groups for the 4 of us.(there are 14000 tickets available every year and they sell out in less than 6 hours) We had lunch, toured the California State Railroad Museum, the took a train ride to the North Pole. It was a wonderful afternoon and evening.Let's get this party started
The engineer asking for directions.
My handsome boy
The chefs handing out cookies

Hot! Hot!Ooh, we got it!Hot! Hot!Hey, we got it!Hot! Hot!
Say, we got it!Hot chocolate!
Just love this picture
What can I see?
We still believe.
Listening for the magic
This is where the magic is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Officially Happy

Phil arrived today. We all went to the airport to pick him up. As we were waiting for Phil to get his bag Drew looked at Scott and I and said "We are a family again."

What more is there to say?

Monday, December 14, 2009

just when I think he can't surprise me

Every once in a while Scott really surprises me. Today was one of those times.

I am not a big comedy fan. Can't stand most stand up comidians. There is one exception to the rule. BILL ENGVALL! That man can make me laugh so hard I fall out of bed.

He knew I would NEVER EVER spend the money to go see him so for Christmas he bought us floor seats for his show. Feb 27 can't get here fast enough.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME.

I LOVE MY HUSBAND

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Everybody's fine

If you happen to go to see the movie "Everybody's Fine", keep your eye out for a train scene. Scott's aunt Jayne Houdyshell has a small part. She is currently starring on Broadway with John Stamos in Bye Bye Birdie.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas dinner

Shock of all shocks - I have most of Christmas dinner planned and I have 25 days to go. It will be a departure from our normal calorie laden heavy cream and butter meal. I hear my arteries unclogging as I type. I have invited our priest and his wife, Father Ray and Deb to Christmas dinner. Their kids and grandson were with them for Thanksgiving so they were going to be alone for Christmas. Can't have that so I invited them to ours.

Scott wanted something lighter than our normal fair. He wanted an Italian flair. Italian flair for Standing Rib Roast? OK let me think about it....

Gotta love Facebook. I saw my friend Judi was online. I knew her from High School and she currently lives in Italy. I asked her what there traditional Christmas dinner was. She told me on Christmas Eve they would be having Lumache. UMMMM Don't think so. Snails have never passed these lips and never will. Next suggestion.

We came up with:

Polenta with marinated mozzarella
Prosciutto with Brie and Cantelope
Butternut Squash soup with sour cream
Standing Rib Roast
Zuchinni (something) it is browned in olive oil and salt and then sour cream in added at the last minute for a nice sauce
fresh green beans

Something decadent and chocolate for dessert. Maybe mini chocolate lava cakes. or Creme brule?

Now Drew won't touch any of it so for him....Is McDonalds open on Christmas day?

Friday, November 27, 2009

shopping

I have come to the conclusion this year if I can't get it online with Free shipping it isn't going under my tree. Amazon will be my best friend by the time I am done.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Be Thankful

Be thankful for those who you share the day with. They love you.

Say a prayer for those who are alone. Say a prayer for those in harms way.

Be safe.

I know my family is thankful I am not in charge of the gravy this year.

I am thankful for my family, my friends. I am thankful for the blessing that have been granted to us.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Every day

Every day God shows me why He chose the path for me that He did and for that I am grateful.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

OK Update time

OK I have been MIA for a while. Just haven't had the motivation to say much. Shocking for those that know and impressive for those that don't.

We spent several days at Disneyland. Great time but we agree that Disney World is much much better. Even Scott who really has had no opinion on my Disney obsession felt that in the future a weekend trip for a fix to DL was fine but he would prefer to take the time and money and spend a week (10 days in my opnion) in Florida. We are kind of looking at that option for next Christmas. HAve to see how money pans out. Pictures from Disneyland soon.

We still love the church we found in July. They are the best most genuine people I have come across in a long long time. We have truly found a home.

I have been dyeing yarn like a crazy woman. I have 2 craft fairs coming up in the next couple weeks. Don't have nearly enough yarn but I am supplementing with some other stuff. Hoping to make several hundred dollars to pay for Christmas.

Home schooling is gettng better. We are finally getting a routine and Drew is working really hard. He struggles with Math but we are finding ways around that. We do lots of unit projects. Right now we have one on Dinosaurs, one on forest animals. We do English every day. We are also working on a health unit.

I have Christmas projects in various stages of completeness. ML's is done except for snipping threads and having it blocked. Sues needs to be sewn together, Jane's needs to be finished and blocked and I need to be knitting like a fiend on Phil's. Drew also wants a scarf done. ACK! Once the yarn is dyed I will be knitting like a fiend. Knitter's elbow here I come again.

Phil will be here December 16 for about a month. Can't wait to see my kid. Haven't seen him since June. That is a long long time.

OK you are now up to date. I promise to be better about this. I have realized I will not make my goal for posts for the year. But there is always a new year tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Trees

Last Monday and Tuesday we had a very bad storm. 60 MPH winds 3 inches of rain. It doesn't rain much here so while 3 inches may sound like nothing to you in Sacramento that 3 inches put us at 442% of normal precip for the year. So it was significant. We lost a tree so it also did lots of neighbors but here are some pics from the storm damage.
Neighbors yard
Our lost tree - the roots
The tree from our yard
Our tree laying in the neighbors drive way.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

balancing check book

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate keeping a check book balanced? to me it is the most annoying thing in the world and I can NEVER get it correct. I find when I try to keep it balanced I obsess over ever detail.

I know what the register says I should have and i know what the bank says i should have but the two are never in agreement. Then I spend HOURS trying to figure out what is wrong. To me that is a waste of time. I wish the bank would buy the excuse - I still have checks left so I should have money left but since NO ONE uses checks anymore that excuse/joke has gone by the way side.

As you know I never make New Years Resolutions because every day is the start of a new year. My daily resolve right now is to keep this stupid check book semi current.

But you know thinking about who really uses checks any way? I maybe write 3 checks a month so maybe I just won't worry about it and assume as long as my Visa Debit card goes thru all is good

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A dream for a little guy.

If Drew looks happy it is because all he talked about was getting to meet Levi Leipheimer at the Gran Fondo. And Levi made my little guys day. Unfortunately Scott was not able to ride due to broken collar bone from being hit by a car last week. But he wore his number anyway.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I don't get it

I just don't get it. Joe Wilson, Serena Williams, Kayne West. What ever happened to common courtesy and civility? The past week has brought up a side of people that wouldn't have been tolerated 10 years ago.

There is a time and place and correct way for disagreeing or stating your opinion or protesting something that you feel is incorrect or an injustice or plain wrong. Calling the President a liar in the Congressional Chambers during a joint session of congress, threatening a line judge for what one feels is an incorrect call or stealing the spotlight from a young talent because you are an egotistical asshole are not the aforementioned correct time or places.

Joe Wilson says he won't apologize again for his actions - hey Joe, you have to apologize in the first place to say you won't apologize again. Saying the Republican leaders say I have to apologize so I guess I will say I am sorry does not an apology make.

Serena, you have yet to issue an apology. Threatening to ram a F####ng ball down someones throat isn't exactly a class act.

And Kayne - what you put on your blog - try again - and then leave it up. Take your medicne and negative comments like a man. Not some punk who is now running from the media. you wanted attenion well you got it. Now deal with it.

These are just three incidents in recent weeks that made me wonder when did it become OK to act like this and why do the rest of us allow it. All of these "celebrities" need to be held accountable for their actions.

Kids see Joe Wilson and think it is OK to disrespect those in authority. Young athletes see what Serena did and think it is OK to call out and threaten a referee because they don't like a call
against them.

Then there is Kayne. What he did was so wrong. He has been called a racist and that he hates white people. I don't think that is it. I could be wrong. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, for now. But to steal a young lady's thunder on what should have been one of the happiest moments in her young life is a totally classless act.

Society needs to tell these people that their actions are out of line and will not be tolerated. That as humans we each expect to be treated a certain way. Only when we stop allowing others to be treat people this way will there be true change in human kind.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

no respect

I am a democrat. I will admit it. I am proud of it. I know there are many republicans out there and they are proud of it as well. Same for the libertarians, etc.

I have watched the health care debate over the past few weeks. Something has really bugged me.

I did not like the last president. But I never disrespected him or the office he achieved.

Why do so many people think it is OK to disrespect the current president just because they don't like him? OK, don't like the man that is fine. Disagree with his policies, fine by me. I have heard the president called a socialist, a racist, and worse just because a person doesn't like him or his policies. I know it happened with past presidents but never to the extent is has happened lately.

For me the final straw came tonight during the presidents speech to congress on health care. I wanna know something.

WHO THE HELL HAD THE AUDACITY TO CALL THE PRESIDENT A LIAR IN THE CONGRESSIONAL CHAMBER?

WHO EVER YOU ARE I HOPE YOUR MOTHER IS ASHAMED OF HOW SHE BROUGHT YOU UP. Disagree all you want but show the man and the office the respect they are due. Maybe someday you will be in position to be the person with the most power but I doubt it. Because I know no one who can respect someone who has no respect for themselves and that is what the person who called the president a liar is - someone who truly has no respect for themselves.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

looking forward to tomorrow

My family tree is a little off kilter. My grandfather was 16 years younger than his sisters. So the branches are kind of lopsided. My generation of cousins (second cousins) are actually around my dads age or a little younger. Their kids (my third cousins?) are my age - very strange. But I digress...

Tomorrow we are going to Tracy to see my cousin Jane - actually my dad's cousin. I haven't seen her in over 23 years. She lives in Tracy - about an hour south of here - with her husband Pete and their kids who are all in their 20's and 30's. I have never met them. They have kids Drew's age. So we are going to spend the afternoon, BBQ and swim.

My extended family used to be close. We all lived in the same general area and would always get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Parties were notorious. While no one was alcoholic everyone loved to get together over food and booze at the old Cork club in Topeka - which was over the Gage Bowl Bowling alley. I remember sitting next to my grandmother stealing sips of her Mai Tai, or strawberry daquiri while the grown ups talked and laughed and argued (we should have been italian)

I am sorry my boys never will have that experience. It taught me much about family and love. I will post pictures later.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

had actual text books

Today we finally had Drew's textbooks. What a difference that made. Less meds made it more difficult but I will take more difficult over what I have been dealing with any day. We did English (listening, speaking, writing skills review) Math (basic review of time, money, add, shapes, estimation) We have been doing a unit on maps. I had found a book at a school store that was by Weekly Reader. It is a great book for beginning map skills. Today was in intro to NSEW.

I couldn't imagine being a teacher in a regular classroom that had several kids with ADHD. Keeping Drew on task was a monumental effort. We did make it thru the day with out tears or fights. Candy Corn works wonders for bribes.

Looking at his Math book I can see he has done much of it in Kindergarten so maybe parts of this wll be easy and he will feel some success. He can do time and shapes already. He has a real problem with money.

Tomorrow we tackle what a sentence is. And what a Family is as well as the beginning math (need to go look at that one still) Friday we will tackle some science as well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

play day

This morning Drew and I went to park day with a bunch of home schoolers. Drew was in heaven because out of the 25-30 kids there 6 of them were 7 year old boys!!!!! What a gift for him. For 2 hours he played romped, got dirty, never once fought or cried just played and played and played. He had a great time. It is a Monday morning thing from now on.

For me it was great because I got to meet other HS moms from all walks of life - some very artsy and folksy, and some just like me. I got the inside scoop on activites for us, upcoming South Sutter sponsered things, things that I missed the dead line for like Montrey Aquarium HS days. I learned about ART BEAST.

It kind of reminds me of the ARt Center back in Lawrence. Miriam would be very much at home there. Maybe she needs to ask Linda about travel money to check it out. HINT HINT!!!!!

I think we are going to Reno Balloon Festival in a couple weeks.

We will be headed to Levi'sGRANFONDO This one is for Scott. He will ride in his first "non race" event in years. It will be exactly 51 weeks to the day of his colon perforating and getting sepsis. What a way to celebrate life again.

I have contacted the ES to get us signed up for a day at Sutter Fort. Not sure how I will do but we will spend the day living like they did when this area was founded making butter, blacksmithing etc. It is a family activity so we ALL will be dressing in period costumes and having roles for the day. Haven't mentioned it to SCott yet because we don't have a day set.

We will be going to the railroad museum and going on the Polar Express

I am beginning to understand the whole unschool thing and learning as a process but still part of me believes in tradtional subjects as a basis for life. I used to think unschooling was being lazy and just not wanting to teach your kids. I was wrong. It is about embracing life and learning as you go. I will still stick to a tradtional basis but will be throwing in lots of unschooling so we can experience life as we go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

phatfiber

I am trying really hard to be good. Scott says my craft looks like it is about to pop at the seams but..... There is one more(at least) craft I want to try my hand at. Needle felting.

Phat Fiber as an amazing give away that I am hoping to win. if I dont I am going to have to break down and get some roving to try my hand at this.

So if you are a crafty check out the give away - she ususally has one a day on some great yarn, roving etc. Do me a favor and DON'T enter this one I really want to win.

after much discussion

As you know we put Drew on Ritalin this past week for ADHD. The side effects have been horrenduous. I WANT MY LITTLE BOY BACK!!!!!

Last night was the worst. He was having massive anxeity attacks and there was no calming him down. My heart was breaking. His doctor was out of town and the on call doc was no help. I had been thinking for a couple weeks that Drew's personality had been changing and I was questioning the "wisdom" of all the doctors. After yesterday and Scott and I talking long into the night we have decided there has to be a better well to help Andrew. I am calling both his peditriican and his Neurologist tomorrow and telling them we are weaning him off all meds. In a couple months AFTER all meds are out of his system we will re assess what we feel is the right course of treatment - if any for Drew. We think the Ritalin was the culprit for the anxeity attacks but we think it was in conjunction with other meds.

We are taking control of this and not the docs. Some of the drugs have not been tested on kids - they are what is called off label. So we have no idea what they are doing to him. I am wondering if the twitching is a side effect of one or a combo of the drugs.

I know we may be in for a rough couple weeks but for Drew we have to do what we were meant to do as his parents. We have to do what we feel is best and right now it is to get him off all the poisons and let his body figure out what it needs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

the ADHD adventure

This week we started the ADHD adventure with Drew. Been there done that with Phil many years ago. I can honestly say in some ways Drew is worse than Phil. I think it is mainly due to personality in general. Phil is/was pretty laid back. Drew can be pretty intense and gets frustrated more easily than Phil ever did.

The MIND center wanted me to take Drew off his meds for a few days so Drew's reg doc could see the Tourette's in full glory. Boy, did I get a talking to by his Doc. I was informed if the MIND center wanted me to do such as that again I was to call Dr. Hacker and HE would make the decision as to what he wanted me to do. 3 days without Respirdol and Prozac makes for a very long YEAR.

Dr. Hacker has started Drew on Ritalin. We are on Day 2. I am to call Monday with a report. I am going to report we need a higher dose in the AM and a Dose Midday as well. Right now it seems to be holding for about 2 hours then I can almost tell the minute it wears off. Scott and I are also talking about adding a DIET MT. Dew to Drew's morning routine. NOW NOW before I get all the comments about this. Let me explain.

Caffine is a stimulant like Ritalin. It has been proven to help ADHD kids. In fact there are studies out there about how college kids who were never DX'd with ADHD until later in life learned on their own to "self medicate" with Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper. I know it works. Phil after medical problems brought on by ADHD drugs switched to Mt Dew and had very good success. My dad, who never was offically DX'd with ADHD (it wasn't around when he was a kid) took my advice and started drinking a Dr. Pepper before a bridge game and he and his wife can see a marked difference.

I will post updates as this journey progresses as well. Man lots of new journies this year. Thinking maybe I need a blog dedicated to Drew/Homeschool/ADHD.

AS always
Faith Trust and Pixie Dust.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Time to live

Most people who have read this blog understand why we chose to home school. As I have started to work with Drew I have come to see more and more the constraints of a traditional school. There is no place for REAL self expression. No place to be yourself. A kid is expected to conform and learn exactly what is taught to them and not question how or what. This has begun to bother me more and more. I remember my favorite teacher in elementary school created places in the class room where we could escape and read or just veg.

Drew is already asking more questions about the why of things. Sometimes they can be difficult to answer but we go into my "annex" - Scott's office - and search on line to find out why. Somethings are easier to find than others but we are making it.

While I believe in a traditional approach to teaching Drew at home, I am beginning to see where the unschooling approach has a place as well.

Auntie Mame had the best philosophy "LIVE!!!!!!LIFE IS A BANQUET AND MOST POOR SUCKERS ARE STARVING TO DEATH" While I am Drew's mom I can also be his Auntie Mame as well. I want to show him all that education can be. I will give him a notebook and tell him to write all the words he doesn't know and we will discuss them together. I want to show him the injustice in the world and help him find a way to fight it. Going on this HS journey with Drew I have realized there is so much potential to show him how to live. The world is for living. I haven't done enough living so today I start.

So dear reader how are you going to LIVE today? Or are you slowly going to starve to death?

Faith Trust and Pixie Dust
Cathy

Monday, August 10, 2009

got off track

So last week was an iffy week in the HS world. We started off on a great note. Then things went South. Way South. Drew's Tourette's was in full swing. Even with the meds. Waiting to hear from the docs. We did finish our unit on sharks. YEA!!!! We did spend Friday at Discovery Kingdom. That was a great day. Still had some major twitching and Drew is showing some new tics. He is becoming aware of them and is becoming frustrated he can't control what is going on.

I haven't worried too much about not being in school full swing since it technically doesn't start until Monday. Still doing daily reviews. Only thing I don't like about South Sutter is that they don't order books until school officially starts. So that means we don't get curriculum for a couple weeks and I am having to supplement until then. Lately been working on vowels. He can recite them and sorta gets the difference but we shall see what this week brings.

I am looking to start writing articles on homeschooling. I have found that while there is lots of info out there not much pertains to those starting out. All the articles assume the reader has knowledge of how it all works. Guess what most don't. Everything I have learned has been by trial and error or by lots of research or time on the phone. I want to start sharing what I have learned and help those just starting out not fall in to the same pitfalls I have or just share the home schooling adventure with others. The budget issues in CA are forcing more and more families to HS and I would like to be a source they can turn to for easy reading and to know there are people out there who understand their journey as well. Our journey has been difficult but I have tried to deal with it in a humerous way that I would like to share.

Phil starts school in a week. He is back in the fraternity house. Not sure if I mentioned the alum board bougt a new house. The old KAT house. I guess the guys love it. I like the fact he is not living in a fire trap anymore. He is not happy about having a roommate. First time in 20 years he has had to share a room with someone. This could get interesting. He is glad to be out of Mike's house. Away from Hunter. I am glad they had the summer to build some sort of a relationship. I think now that Phil is out of there it will continue to grow. But Phil did see why I left Mike all those years ago.

I realized over the past few months I havne't been ending my posts like days of old so....
Faith Trust and Pixie Dust to all my readers

Cathy

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Six Flags

While I don't ever think Drew will be totally finished studying sharks I am. We still have shows to watch on the DVR so I am sure we will return time and time again. It is Shark Week at Six Flags so where to go to celebrate our unit on sharks? A day at Six Flags seems in order. It also helps that I won tickets to feed the seals. That helped to convince Scott we needed to take this day trip. We have season passes so technically we can go when we want but this is only the second visit of the season. Drew is excited to feed the seals. I will post pics after we get back.

On the other hand I forgot that we were to be at a family cookout with church tomorrow night - we may stop in when we get back to town.

I have almost finished my Clapotis. Look at the pictures lower in teh post to get the full effect. I am just sick tho. I had been saving this really incredible yarn to make the Clapotis with. it was 50.00 for the skein. I am almost finished maybe 40 decrease rows and I ran out of yarn. so I have to buy a whole new skein to finish it. Oh well have an idea for another project to use the remaining second skein. I will be teaching this class in September. Hopefully it will get a good response.

ME

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Week 2 of Homeschool

Well we made it thru week one of our home school excurision with only a few butt heads and foot stomping - more so on my part than Drews.

We have entered week 2 and Drew is discovering the benefits of this more and more. Yesterday he had gotten up ungodly early and was exhausted when the timer went off to start school at 9. We attempted to work on some stuff and he finally looked at me and said " I just can't do it. I need more sleep." At first I thought it was a ploy to watch more TV so I told him he could go lay on the couch BUT he had to turn off the TV. To my surprise he did and was asleep within 5 minutes. He woke up about 90 minutes later and said OK ready for school. He did all is work no problems and was in a much better mood. HE actually told me it was an advantage to HS because he couldn't do that at WildHawk. Because you know you have to do what the teacher says and they don't have nap time at school. But sometimes mom, ya just gotta get some sleep.

Drew has a facsination with SHARKS anything shark. So Sunday Scott programed the DVR to record a bunch of shows from Shark Week on Discovery. Drew was very surprised when I told him his science yesterday was watching TV. We went up stairs and watched a shark show together. He didn't believe TV counted as school and wanted me to double check wiht his Educational Specialist because he thought he was breaking the rules.

Today we are going to the Post office to pick up a box of books I ordered from a dicount book place. THere are some more workbooks to get us thru until his textbooks get here as well as lots of hard cover reading books. To me it will be like Christmas opening this box.

I am learning lots about Drew as we go thru this journey together. He is a hands on learner. I tried for 10 minutes to get him to draw on the face of a clock different times to no avail but when i handed him a clock wiht moveable hands he got every time I gave him correct. He hates to write things down. Holding a pencil is hard for him so I am already learning to be inventive.

Today we are making slime, and watching a shark show, and who knows where the wind might take us....

Monday, July 27, 2009

first day of school

Yes it is only the end of July but Drew decided he was ready to start school. Nice thing about homeschool we could start today. Scott and I scrambled around and got the class room set up. I got some work sheets put together. ( I was chastised this morning because there was nothing in the plans about sharks or science)

Drew worked hard, did find out I was not going to cut him slack. We did have a couple meltdowns - drew not me. We managed to cover language arts, math, handwriting and social studies. That was in a 2 hour period with 20 mintues of playing out side, a snack, and 2 water breaks.

Our actually books for the year won't be here until around September 1. Our ES will put in the order as soon as Drew's account is funded somewhere around August 17. I do have some other books on order, workbooks, reading books etc to help fill the time.

I am going to the old school this afternoon to officially withdraw Drew from the school. I am also sending a letter to the district telling them why we are withdrawing him. The lack of help with getting a 504, lack of willingness to work with Drew's disabilities - which we are finding out are different than we originally thought. Both good and bad. Another reason we are pulling him is the lack of funding for schools. His class this year if he was in main stream school would be about 25. There is no way for a teacher to give the kids the attention they need to grow and succeed. We are working with a couple home school groups for social interaction as well as swimming and sports.

I know that HS will be a challenge but it is one that I am willing to invest in for Drew's future.

all thumbs give away

I love this idea. How do people come up with these ideas? Check out this give a way at All thumbs.

I have always wanted a personal shopper and this one seems to be with in my budget.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Drewism

Many days Drew says something and I think I need to blog about it and then later I can't remember what he said or how he said it that made it funny but here is what he said today.

We have always told Drew that stupid is a "bad word" and you shouldn't use it.

Tonight we were watching the local news and they were discussing the fact that the Govenor had furologhed all state employees 3 days a month BUT the departments were bringing in Contract workers to supplement on furlogh days.

Scott said: That is just stupid.

Drew said: You shouldn't said stupid, It is a bad word.

Scott: When we are talking about the government stupid is the only word that fits.

Drew: Say pathetic because that is the word that should be used when talking about the government. Because, dad the government is just pathetic.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Luke Yoder

This is a friend of a friend son. It shows how fast life can change on a dime. Please pray or send positive energy for recovery and healing.

http://lukeyoder.wordpress.com/

Saturday, July 11, 2009

two post day

I have to tell you about this awesome give away I found this morning. I have mentioned PhatFiber before but this is one of my fave stores they promote.

Silversunalpacas on ETSY is one of my all time fave shops EVER!!!! The fibers there are a must have. I drool over every thing and wish I had the talent to do some of the stuff they do. MAybe some day - I am dyeing yarn this weekend - but I digress. This weekend only they have a special code that gives you 20% off your purchase (phat7) Not only that if you order a drop spindle kit it comes with 8 oz of fiber instead of 4. The 20% off doesn't apply but it is such an awesome deal who cares?

Check out this give away on Phat Fibers website. If you win I want one month of the fiber as a finders fee.

New Church

AFter being back at St. Margaret's in Lawrence while we were on vacation I knew we had to get back to an Episcopal Church in Sacramento. While the church we were attending was all right we (I) never felt a connection to the people. Plus the sermons were too far to the right for me.

There is a little Episcopal church abotu 2 miles from the house that I had been wanting to try for a while. Scott finally agreed and we attended 3 weeks ago for the first time. Last Sundya was a church wide breakfast(best zuchunni fritters ever) and I learned why the church was so small. Sad story of betrayal. Anyway the church is trying to restart.

Me being Me I immediately got involved. I worked the firework stand on the 4th, helped with VBS this past week and will be helping with the rummage sale in August. For VBS I helped with snack and was also the official photographer. I took almost 1000 pics in 5 days.

Yesterday I was paid a compliment. One woman who is very involved in the church looked at me and said "It feels like you have been here forever and fit in so well" It made me feel like we had found new home.

Scott is out on a bike ride this morning with church members. They are wanting him to start a men's bible study like the one at St. Margaret's. I think that would be a good thing for him to do. LEt him get involved and feel useful in the church as well.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

win 250.00 visa card

My friends at All Thumbs are at it again. They have a 250.00 visa gift card from Capri sun they are giving a way. Check out their site for details

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where o where has Cathy gone

I am back. Long month. Drew and I left June 9th for 10 days in Kansas. It was a mixed trip. The weather was hot and humid but we had a good time with family and friends.

Right before I left, I got a letter from the State Department of Education letting me know they were launching an investigation in to my allegations against the Elk Grove School District. That was something at least.

Drew is very excited about home school. He is already wanting to do workbook pages everyday. Hope the interest holds. If anyone wants to donate stickers it would be great. They are a big help and motivator. I had to break into my private stash of Tinker Bell stickers today. They did go to a good cause. He now knows the proper way to form a manuscript G. In school they were told to copy the letters but not told the correct way to form them. So that is what we are working on now.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 42. WOW. Not sure what to think of that.

CAthy

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Glutton for punishment

I have been working on my 25th class reunion. It is next summer but you know me. The early bird gets the worm and in this case all that is done is to plan the food and get the registration info out. then count the people and hope everyone has a great time.

Well, I am also very enthusiastic. (keep your sarcastic comments to your self - ANNA) I got to thinking there were people in the class of 84 and 86 that I would love to see and if Iwanted to see people then I am sure others would feel the same way. So I sent a couple emails and now defintely the class of '84 is in for the reunion. Waiting to hear back from the class of '86.

Next thing I knew - members of '83 and '87 were saying what about us? I can't handle that many classes so they are on a case by case basis. If they hear about it and want to come then the more the merrier but I am not seeking them out actively.

I figure it is a win win. The costs go down the more that come and we get to see people we haven't and wouldn't see. With the advent of Facebook I am in touch with more people than ever that I can't wait to see next June.

HOY HOY!!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009

yoga

Anyone who knows me knows that I think exercise and yoga are evil words. I don't sweat I glisten - to quote Blair from Facts of Life. I do walk on a regular basis now. Yea for me.

One of my fave sites has a great give away if you are in to yoga. Check out all thumbs.

http://allthumbsreviews.blogspot.com/2009/05/yoga-roundup-1-with-giveaway.html

I am sure they are up someones alley.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Revenge of the MArble Maze

We love our friends Faith and Tom and their Daughter Clara - who according to Drew will some day be our daughter in law. (fine by me)

Before Drew's birthday I was talking to Faith (rather venting) about an incident at Toys R Us that involved a toy that Drew wanted for his birthday. It was a rather expensive 500 piece marble maze contraption. Online at Toys R Us it was 49.99 and according to my research 49.99 at Babies R Us Brick and Mortor Stores. Silly me I thought it would be 49.99 at Toys R Us. It was 79.99. They refused to price match in any way. I knew they hadn't sold any since Drew first showed me the toy several months ago - the dust that had accumulated on the top was evidence enough but also that one of them was a taped box that was there. My reasoning was if BRU and online had it for 49.99 then TRU would do the same just to move the stupid toy. WRONG!!!!! They refused to even discuss it.

So I called Faith to complain. She took note and guess what showed up on our door Thursday night. A giant box and in the box was this marble maze. Drew was beside himself. I wish I had a video camera because I would be 100,000 dollars richer. He immediately proposed to Clara over the phone - please note she accepted.

Fast forward to last night. Scott started to put this thing together. I had seen the reviews on teh website and was warned it would take several hours (up to 6) to get this thing togheter. After many "Good Lords, Damns, What in the worlds"and a few words I can't put here it is now together at 930 on Saturday Morning. Drew actually tried to wake Scott up at 630 this morning to finish it. In the assembly we also found out this thing made noise. GREAT (sarcastic)

So my husband now has me on a search for the most annoying multi piece toy I can find fit for a little girls birthday - I have till November. I have looked at Legos but Clara is such a girly girl they aren't for her.

So my wonderful (few) readers - any suggestions for a multi piece, noisy toy that will take Clara's engineer father HOURS to put together?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

better alternaitive

after more research we have finally figured it out. There is a charter called South Sutter. It has the most hands off approach to HS. I have to meet with an educational specialist once a month. but other than that I am free to teach how and what I want. PLUS we get a 1800.00 a year stipend to spend on what we sit fit for his education. cirriculum, lessons, camps, supplies, field trips etc. It is our choice. Definetly the way to go. It has the best reviews of all the charters in the area. So it is the way we are going.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Learned a lot today

I spent the majority of the day researching our home school options for Drew. I found a great Yahoo group that cleared up lots of misconceptions that I had about the California Virtual School. We won't be under this districts umbrella which for us is a huge bonus. It is free and we only have to report to a teacher once a quarter. There is a place on line where I will record daily attendance. They organize field trips. If we choose to take a vacation we bring Drew's books with us and he does his assignments there. And plays catch up when he gets home if needed.

We work at Drew's pace. If we can ever get an IEP the Virtual School has to follow it as well. We can opt out of standarized testing is we want. If he doesn't quite finish a subject during the year we can finish over the summer or pick up where we left off in the fall.

I have already had several moms contact me about Drew and the problems with the district. I will have a support group locally as well as thru the state.

I feel more comfortable having a teacher to help me if I need it so I don't fee so alone esp during the first year. If later we choose to go it alone then great but I think CAVA will be what we do this year.

I still wonder about the charter school but I don't like the fact we have to meet every 2 weeks to be monitored. That is a HUGE drawback. I will call them tomorrow to see if that is truly the case. The pros with the charter are there is a stipend for activites for Drew, and the language arts and math are the same that he uses now.

So that is where it stands.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Changes are a coming

After the latest problems with the school district we have made a decision. We are going to home school Andrew. The district has violated any trust I had with them. I will always be wondering what they might be up to next. And IF we were to ever get an IEP we would have to fight for everything and I worry that the districts disdain for me will have repercussions for Andrew. His teacher told me she has been told no child will get an IEP before 3rd grade. Forget the fact that early intervention in most developmental and learning disablites are better served in the early years they just won't do it.

We have filed a complaint with the California Board of Education on the violations. But who knows what that will get us.

We have several ways to home school. We could do virtual school, which would be free but that still puts us under the districts umbrella and we have to follow their rules, regulations, testing and calendar. I guess I am becoming a rebel in my old age. The schools don't believe in Life Lessons so we can't go on field trips etc.

I think the option we are seriously looking at is a program K12. It is what the district uses BUT we pay for the program and can make our own rules as to hours, days, field trips etc. We just have to file an afidavit with the state in October and then we are on our own. We are going to start easing into it in July and go full steam ahead in Mid August. when we get back from Kansas we will be getting together with a couple differnet home school groups to find one we jive with. Drew has several friends from church who are home schooled and so he seems to understand the concept.

My biggest concern is keeping him socialized as much as possible. He thrives on it. So it means outings wiht homeschool groups, karate, swimming etc. But I am very excited about the idea. I feel a certain freedom with his schooling that I haven't before.

Here we go.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

School district tried to pull a fast one.

I am so livid. In the mail yesterday I got an envelope from the school district. In the envelope were 4 pieces of paper. On top was a pink sticky note attached to a consent for release of medical information. All it said was sign and return. They want ALL records from Drew's neurologist. Medical tests, medical records, history, meds psych notes, Mental health records ALL of it.

Under that was a letter the school sent to the doc with out my knowledge requesting his records. Under that was a letter of refusal from the doctor saying that I hadn't signed a release for them to have the records. That was all that was in the envelope.The director of special ed asked me for all the records about 6 weeks ago and I in writing told them to put in writing what they wanted and I would obtain it for them. The neurologist has the entire history of Drew (BM issues etc) that is no ones business.

So they tried to circumvent me to get the records. Our advocate is out of town. I am trying to reach him now. The school has a letter from the doc stating Drew's DX of PDD. So why would they need his entire medical history and records? Do they really need them if they have a letter stating what the DX is.

They are already out of compliacne with federal guidelines because I requested and IEE on MArch 31 and they had 15 days to comply and they haven't.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

knit one purl 2


Thought I would post a few pics of things i have made lately.

My first completed sweater
Two views of Holding Hands Feeding Ducks

The above is a Debbie Bliss Bag
And this one right above is a wrap that is 95% done.

I have a couple others done but no pics yet.