7 Quick Takes: The Exhaustion Fairy Visits, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Back to School Night

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Brett. The seriously good news: HIS FAMILY IS FULLY FUNDED AND CAN BUY THE PLANE TICKETS HOME! After two years of praying for him, this is amazing news. God willing, his adoptive family will send me updates on how he does.

— 2 —

Kindergarten. Daniel is in his second week of school and seems to like it. I’ve run into a couple of his aides while out and about and they are in love with him. His transportation is worked out as of last Friday and I think today was the first day he didn’t get on the bus in tears. (I figured there would be a week of adjustment that way.)

— 3 —

Back to School Night. Jon and I went on Wednesday and got almost individualized attention from Daniel’s teacher. Jon was able to network a bit and it was a reminder for me that my kid is not that weird. It was totally up Jon’s alley (he is a people person and a networker) and he actually had FUN at the impromptu PTA meeting afterwards while I curled up into Laura Childs’ New Orleans.

They were talking about Common Core and the implementation at the school. As one who has the possibility of moving between states or halves of states, I’m actually all for the standardization of curricula and we’re being given the chance to review any Common Core curricula that our kids will be using. I know a lot of my homeschooling friends are up in arms over this and that’s understandable; but I’m not finding any problems with any of the material that I’ve seen.

And seriously, our kids are not learning how to twerk in PE like some people have claimed.

— 4 —

Laura Childs. I’m almost completely through her scrapbooking mysteries and have requested her Cackleberry Club mysteries from the library. Yes, she is that good. Her author website is here.

— 5 —

Exhaustion fairy. I somehow missed a dose of medication on Wednesday and had a really bad time sleeping that night so I spent Thursday like a zombie. My mother-in-law took one look at me when she and Jon got home at 6 and ordered me to go to bed. I wrote a couple of these last night but fell asleep typing. I’m still tired this morning but functional thankfully.

— 6 —

Bill Gothard. I’m reading stories on the Recovering Grace website and it’s showing me how much of a bullet I dodged when I converted. I had pen pals who were part of ATI and while they thought I was strange, I’m seeing that they were part of a cult. *shivers*

— 7 —

Bill Cosby and Victoria Osteen. Is anybody besides me convinced that Joel Osteen and his wife are the Christian version of Oprah? (By the way, my church attendance is *TOTALLY* about God, not about making myself happy.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

What Marriage is Teaching Me: August 2014

Mi amiga Amanda @ Worthy of Agape has a new link-up called “What Marriage Is Teaching Me”. If you want to take part this month, go here.

So what is marriage teaching me right now? Well, we’re currently living with my in-laws and waiting for another call while Jon makes his living supply-preaching, performing funerals, and performing marriages. It’s nerve-wracking for me because I’m the one who handles all the finances and I’m having to mentally calculate how we’re going to do certain things like pay insurance, make the car payment for my car, and pay for things that are necessary like prescriptions and school clothes for Daniel. (He is in a public school but they require a uniform so I had to pick up things for that.)

One good thing about this situation is that it isn’t new to us — we were in a similar situation 4 years ago and I know what is absolutely essential and what I can cut to save money. My anti-depressants = essential. Pedicure = kind of sort of essential because of the potential for things to go badly with my feet very quickly. Manicure = not essential. Eating out (other than date night) = not essential. We don’t watch TV (my in-laws don’t have one connected to an antenna or anything) and we don’t have smartphones so we’re not looking at huge cell phone bill for a potential data plan.

I’m learning in my marriage that we do much better if we tackle things together rather than me tackling them by myself. Money is a painful topic to discuss but putting either of our heads in the sand and hoping that it goes away is going to make things worse instead of making them better. Together, we can come up decent solutions that aren’t going to cause one of us resentment and force the other to be the enforcer.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 24, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY August 24, 2014

Outside my window… dark and cool. A nice change from the heat of the day.

I am thinking… about the errands I have to do tomorrow morning while Daniel is in school as well as the dental work that will be coming up.

I am thankful… for my mother-in-law watching Daniel this afternoon so I could have a much needed nap.

In the kitchen… pesto tortellini tonight.

I am wearing… a plum heather shirt from Old Navy and black capri sweats from Target.

I am praying for… a new parish for Jon, healing for some of the people in my life, and for some special intentions.

I am going… on “epic errands” tomorrow morning.

I am reading… Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs. I’m binge-reading all of her scrapbooking murder mysteries.

I am hoping… Daniel does well this week at taking the bus to school. I’m also hoping that we have the same bus driver as last week because she was very nice.

I am hearing… my girls being nocturnal.

Around the house… silence as I’m probably the only one up.

A favorite quote for today… “Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and go well with ketchup.”

One of my favorite things… ice chips.

A few plans for the rest of the week: working on my proficiencies for ODesk, doing errands as needed, and whatever else comes up. I don’t know that I have any really major plans.

Hosted by The Simple Woman’s Daybook

7 Quick Takes: Kindergarten, Grumping, and Murder Mysteries

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Brett His family passed court a few days ago and are now in the 10-day waiting period. They are, however, not fully funded and need $2500 added to their FSP before they can book their plane tickets home. Here is the link to their FSP. Could you please share it on your blogs/Facebook/Twitter and let people know that the number needs to read $13,000? Thanks!

— 2 —

First week of school. In case you missed my post on Monday, Daniel started kindergarten this week and it’s been a mixed bag. We love the school, his teacher, and the aides. What we don’t love: the transportation hell that we’re in. They hadn’t gotten him on any of the class lists last Friday so I had to bring my BINDER OF FUN down to the school to fill out paperwork and give them every recent evaluation of every kind. This also meant that they hadn’t gotten him routed for the school bus… and I’m glad my mom suggested I call and find out. Well… Claremont Unified decided to use their transportation instead of Bonita Unified doing it. On Wednesday, we put Daniel on the bus… which then refused to start. OK… one more day of taking him to school. We put him on the bus again this morning and it was fine… except that they screwed up the pick-up time and Claremont Unified decided not to call Daniel’s school back to let them know that they were dispatching someone. I realized that his bus was in front of me and called the school to tell them not to put him on the bus. The school secretary was spitting fire over the whole transportation screw-up (as I would hope she would be, given that Daniel is non-verbal and people had seriously screwed up) and I got a call from the principal personally apologizing for what happened.

Is all of this making me wish I homeschooled? OH HADES NO!!!!!!!!!!!! I have no regrets about putting him on a bus and sending him to school — I just wish the person coordinating this stuff (the special ed person for Claremont Unified) was actually competent. I’m at the point of asking for her head on a platter and I don’t think the people at Daniel’s school would mind helping me with that! (They’re pissed with her as well.)

— 3 —

Special intention. I had a seriously painful dental appointment today… and it was just the consultation. Blue Shield of California also screwed up my insurance so my dentist can’t even refer me out for treatment because they don’t know what insurance will cover or who of their endodontists I can see. Could y’all please pray that they can get their acts together so the office manager of the practice and I can hammer out a treatment plan on Monday? I’d also love prayers for my headache to go away.

— 4 —

Sleep deprivation. You know you’re sleep-deprived when you swallow your handful of night pills and then realize they were your morning pills for the next day. God willing, I’ll sleep OK tonight…

— 5 —

Baseball. The Giants are only 3.5 games back from the Dodgers right now. They could conceivably take the division if LA starts playing as crappy as they normally do. The Cardinals are also 2nd in their division though it’s fairly close with them and Milwaukee — only 1.5 game back.

— 6 —

Murder mysteries. I’ve gotten addicted to Laura Childs’ scrapbooking murder mysteries about a scrapbooking store owner in New Orleans named Carmela Bernard. There has already been some crossover between these and her tea shop mysteries and I’m wondering if her tea shop people (in Charleston) are going to make a trip to the scrapbooking store in New Orleans or vice versa.

— 7 —

Special intention. Could y’all keep praying for our special intention regarding ministry? Please and thank you!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

Why I’m Not Homeschooling: Socialization

Several of my homeschooling mama friends are blogging about their upcoming school year and a conversation with my mother-in-law coupled with all of their posts on the subject brought to mind a large reason why I am emphatically *NOT* homeschooling Daniel right now: socialization.

Before I go into my reason for saying this, can I get something out of the way first?

I’m fully aware that in most cases, homeschooled children have no issues with socialization and are capable of getting along with other kids and adults.

Mine is the exception. One of the things that Daniel’s preschool did was mainstream him during recess and field trips so that he was able to spend time with neurologically typical kids. The point of this is to show him how to behave in certain situations, to help develop play skills, etc. We could have probably done preschool with him at home except that I really wanted him to have this opportunity. Thankfully, there was a preschool only about a block away that had the exact program we needed and he thrived there.

Living with my in-laws this summer (and dealing with the incompetence that is Special Education in the Claremont Unified School District) showed me that there is a big reason why I do this. When Daniel is around other kids, he behaves better, focuses better, and is starting to take social cues from them. If he were around other kids in places other than at school, we might be able to consider homeschooling. However, my normal for church is this post by Kathleen and the churches Jon has pastored lately do not have any kids that are Daniel’s age. (We haven’t been in a parish with really any kids period since 2010.) As much as I *love* getting the stink eye from people (/sarcasm), it gets really embarrassing to be asked by people why I’m not making my kid try to behave while he is spending storytime at the library running around trying to open/close doors because that’s his autistic stimming behavior of choice. (Well, it’s that as well as opening/slamming drawers and flipping light switches.). It’s also incredibly mentally tiring to still be in “parenting a toddler” mode when your kid is five and to constantly be trying to figure out how to reach your child who is largely locked up in their own head because they can’t talk. (Autistic kids tend to deal with apraxia of speech and Daniel is no exception.) Without being in school, he is around his incredibly introverted and quiet mother (me), his dad, my father-in-law who has cancer, and my mother-in-law who is trying to take care of my father-in-law. We’re not exactly the best people to teach him how to be a 5 year old.

Additionally, Jon/Daniel/me are in transition mode at the moment and school is pretty much the one stable thing right now. Autistic kids tend to do the best with a very set schedule and the easiest thing to do right now is to give him that in the form of a school day. It also gives me a chance to try for some freelance work to help with finances and I tend to be a much more mentally healthy person when I can contribute to the family financially. (OK… getting out of the house by myself also helps.)

I’m not trying to justify my decision to myself or others in the least — it’s one of those nights where my brain won’t shut up so I’m up blogging to get it to calm itself.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 17, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY August 17, 2014

Outside my window… sunny and incredibly hot. It was 93F earlier and that’s warmer than I like.

I am thinking… about the messes that I have to sort out tomorrow. There’s the SSI mess, the car insurance mess, and the mess with Daniel’s transportation. I am so NOT happy about this.

I am thankful… that we went to the teacher meet n’ greet on Friday at Daniel’s elementary school — we found out that none of his paperwork had been processed yet so I had to go back over with my BINDER OF FUN and give them copies of Daniel’s IEP, his immunization record, his birth certificate, the most recent school psychologist report, and copies of the most recent evaluations for PT and OT. We also got to meet Daniel’s teacher who was a bit shocked that she now had one more kid in the class. Apparently, her class roster has been shifting around quite a bit and Daniel’s placement in her class on Monday hadn’t reached her yet.

In the kitchen… I had to put the Skittles up high because Daniel was trying to climb on the counter to get them.

I am wearing… charcoal-colored “Strike Out Cancer” shirt from 108 Stitches and khaki shorts.

I am praying for… guidance, the ability to forgive someone, for Daniel’s first day of school, and a few special intentions.

I am going… out to dinner with Jon for his birthday tomorrow.

I am wondering… who put me on the Rick Perry for Governor mailing list. I got an email from Ted Cruz today asking me to stand up with Rick Perry. I traced it and apparently, my email address was put on a Romney for President list without my permission. I was tempted to email them back and tell them that I’d rather chew ground glass than support Rick Perry but that would be wrong. #bluestateproblems

I am reading… Motif for Murder by Laura Childs. My mother-in-law also lent me Designated Daughters, the latest Margaret Maron book, this weekend and I couldn’t put it down.

I am hoping… to get some freelance work once Daniel goes back to school.

I am looking forward to… my dentist appointment on Thursday so that maybe we can get to the source of my jaw pain.

I am hearing… Daniel talking to himself and looking through books.

Around the house… robots vacuuming and cleaning floors.

From the learning rooms… working on writing letters and numbers.

A favorite quote for today… “I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” — C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite things… ice chips.

A few plans for the rest of the week: taking Daniel to school in the mornings until transportation for the district is worked out, probably dinner with Jon tomorrow night, dentist appointment on Thursday, and whatever else life throws my direction.

A peek into my day… Here’s my “What I Wore on Sunday” picture.

Me pondering the grandfather clock.

Shirt: Old Navy
Skirt: Kohl’s
Shoes (not pictured): Naturalizer

Then there’s the cute little boy who will be starting kindergarten tomorrow…

Mommy loves Daniel.  Daniel loves Mommy.

What I Wore on Sunday

Hosted by The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

7 Quick Takes: Literary Cats, Daniel’s School Sitch, and A Quote About Depression

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Brett. Brett’s family is facing court in the next few days to adopt him. Prayers would be appreciated.

— 2 —

Explaining suicide and depression. I blogged about my depression on Wednesday and I finally found the quote I was searching for:

— 3 —

Dormition of Mary. Today is the Dormition of Mary in the Orthodox Church(or Assumption if you’re Catholic) and one of my friends posted a link about how Protestants need to embrace Mary. I thought it was pretty interesting so I’m linking it up here.

— 4 —

Daniel’s school sitch. While I was in San Jose this weekend, the cogs were moving as far as getting things worked out for Daniel schoolwise. On Monday morning, I was on a walk with Mom and Daniel when I looked down at my phone and saw that I had 5 missed calls. One of them was my mother-in-law so I called to ask if she knew anything about it. She did — the person who was responsible for getting all of this worked out had called her and told her that Daniel was back in the school district next door to us and they had a placement at a school in San Dimas. I made the call to this person and found out what had been happening. Apparently, they try to keep the ASD (autism spectrum disorder) classrooms capped at 10 kids and they had an opening in this one. They’ll also be transporting Daniel to school and back which means he gets to ride a school bus and we’re not going to have to fight traffic.

His IEP was Wednesday and while the special ed person for our home district was there and screwing up Daniel’s information, the other people were sharp and on the ball with everything which makes me feel much better about all that has to happen.

Serious prayers answered here!

— 5 —

Baseball take. The Giants are now 5.5 games behind the Dodgers. *grumps* At least the Cardinals (my other boys) are only 2.0 games back from Milwaukee (the leaders in their division).

— 6 —

Cute kid story. My mother-in-law has family pictures on various bookshelves and surfaces which fascinate Daniel. Recently, she put the palm-jousting pictures down on a shelf where Daniel can see and reach them. He goes over to them and starts talking to them and when we’re gone, he goes over and says “Dada Mama?”. She’ll explain that we’re in the car and will be back soon. I saw him talking to the pictures yesterday and it was just about the cutest thing ever.

Recently, he has been taking the family pictures of us (the ones with him in them) off of the mantle so we put them down on a table at his level and he’ll take them and look at them.

— 7 —

Harry Potter/cat fun. My mother-in-law and I were talking about school stuff and she made a comment about “if an owl flew through that window and said something about school”.

My reply: “An owl delivering information about school would be a totally normal and rational thing.”

She looked at Edda, my black cat who she has renamed “Bellatrix”, and said, “But an owl is not going to fly through that window. And if one does, LEAVE IT ALONE! DO NOT MESS WITH IT!” Edda looked at her as if to say, “I am a literary cat and I know better than to eat any owls that come delivering messages.”

Yeah… I married into the right family, Lutheran clergy Mudblood that I am.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.