Friday, September 28, 2012

A Journal Post

Life has been crazy busy recently and I feel like I've been neglecting to do updates.  So, I thought I'd do a journal style post.  You know the journal entry where you try to catch up on the last 10 months all in one page?  Or, am I the only one who kept a journal that way?  :)

Many of you know that I put all the kids into public school this year, and some of you have been asking how it's going.  Thanks to some great advice the school year started very smoothly.  If I had to pick just one tip as the most helpful, I'd probably say it was when one of our new friends recommended laying out an entire week's worth of outfits for the younger ones.  Since public school requires the little ones to be up more than 2 hours earlier than before, it helps when they can just drag their sleepy selves into their closets and choose from pre-selected outfits.  Deborah adores her teacher, is "getting used to" classmates, but has made quite a few friends, really dislikes music time, loves art, and is very invested in getting her daily smiley faces from the teacher.  Johnathon is enjoying the academic side of things and is making great grades. I worried a lot about his handwriting skills, but they have improved significantly since starting school. He has struggled a little with figuring out the playground system and seems to be getting a handle on it now.  David found his lunch table immediately and is really enjoying latin club.  He is also in the high school's first play of the season.  So, he's busy and very happy.  Jessica is a senior this year and just anxious to be done.  Ryan is back in Mrs. V's class again and loves it.  He has a new Physical Therapist at the school who seems to be trying some new equipment with him. The same Vision, Occupational, and Hearing Therapists as last year continue to work with him.  They are all really fantastic!  So, we're very lucky that way!

Overall, I'm very pleased with how things are going.  I think the schools have a nice balance on how much homework they are sending.  I think the extracurricular activities at the high school level are WAY too time consuming, but other than that, I'm content.

BUT.... if I could traditionally home school, it would still be my preference.  Why?  For all the same reasons that I did it before.  I'm thankful that we live in a good school district where I feel comfortable sending my kids to school and I'm especially thankful that they have good teachers and good people in their lives. I feel comfortable ... well, only because I know I have done what is best for them at this time.  It was tough, and is still tough to have them gone all day.  I enjoy having my children around.  I enjoy learning with them. I enjoy their company.  I like them. 

 I might miss them, if I had time to miss them.  I have been asked several times what I'm doing with "all my free time."  Well, folks, the reason I put my kids in school was because I was severely over-scheduled and even with them in school, I have only managed to squeak out a few hours of free time in the past month. During that time, the first time, I cleaned my house for 4 hours.  The second time I went to the pool by myself and floated on the water for an hour in total peace.  And, the third time, I went to a friend's house and visited with her a few hours.  All three times it was really wonderful! 

So, you might ask what's keeping me so busy?  Most of you can probably guess.  Ryan's appointments, my appointments, the stacks of neglected paperwork, and my school work.

Ryan is mostly stable right now, thankfully.  He has not been seizing lately. I've been asked why. We haven't changed his medicine since that awful spell in November of last year, except to add a mid-day dose of the Lamictal.  Maybe it's the right medicine combination.  Maybe he's growing out of the seizures.  Maybe it's the blenderized whole foods diet.  Maybe it's a combination of all three.  Or, maybe it's just a tender mercy of the Lord.  I would prefer to attribute it to the latter.  Maybe due to His tender mercy He provided all that we needed in the way of medicines, the Doctors, the Doctors' intelligences, the knowledge for the diet, etc in order to help right.  However, we look at it, I can see God's hand in this miracle.  I'm sure you can, too.

After the most recent hospital visit for Ryan, which was due to low oxygen levels, we received new equipment at home for Ryan.  A few days after it was delivered it occurred to me that having oxygen delivered to our house, an oxygen concentrator, and a pulse oximeter really didn't even seem strange to me and that it probably should at least seem a little odd, or something.  It just seemed normal.  That is until I had to use it on Ryan. 

The Oxygen Concentrator
 There's really nothing normal about having a pulse oximeter attached to your 4 year old at home, and there's definitely nothing normal about being startled out of bed several times during the night to a loud noise that means his oxygen level is too low.  And, it really isn't normal to attach a nasal cannula to your child in middle of the night so that they can get their oxygen level back into the 90's.  But, it sure beats the heck out of rushing to the hospital, being stuck their for a minimum of 24 hours, and having Ryan pocked several times for mandatory blood work "just to be safe."  I'm thankful it's an option to have it in our home, as odd as it might be to have to use it.

The plan when I put the kids in school was to use the time to get caught up on stuff, take care of Ryan's medical stuff, my medical stuff, and do my school work.  One of the challenges I'm running into is that I'm spending far too much time doing my kids' chores.  They are gone for the majority of the day and the older kids have so much homework that I have struggled to figure out how much responsibility is fair.  I think I've leaned too far in the direction of leniency and now no one is even helping with chores.  So, those of you with kids in school, how do you do it?  Especially high school kids?  Are you the only one who cleans your house?  I've had someone suggest hiring someone to come in once a week, but right now we just have too many medical bills and besides it doesn't teach our children the responsibility. I really love the idea of serving my family, but I don't think I should be their servant.  I think there is a difference. 

As for college, I am loving it and this week I have at times wondered if I should have waited a little while longer to go back.  I am only take two classes -- just six credit hours.  I love the people I attend class with on Thursday night.  I love the subjects we are studying.  I am anxious to continue.  On the other hand, this week it has felt overwhelming to fit it into the schedule.  It has been hard to focus and to do my very best.  It has caused me to wonder if I was being selfish in going back right now.  

BUT ...
Here's what I know ... I know Heavenly Father asked me to go back and finish my degree. I know He led me to this specific path, and thus I know He can prepare a path for me to do it.  So, I will work hard to cheerfully do all the good that is required of me so that I can see the miracles that He will work in my life.

Have you had times like that in your life?  Times when you have had to just act in faith knowing that if you pushed through He would work miracles.  I know it works because I have seen it in my life before.  So, I'm counting on it again.