Monday, September 10, 2018

Growing up: Going off Intuniv

It has been a good minute since I've talked about this guy.
He is so precious to his Dad and I, but my goodness, the things
we have had learn since he joined our family.

He has easily been our most challenging.
The one who brought the most tears and frustration to the table.
The one who struggled the most in our homeschool.
When we had him evaluated several years ago for learning differences,
it was a relief to learn that all we were dealing with
was ADHD - Combined.
I did a lot of research and came up with all kinds
of issues we could "possibly" be working with,
but thankfully, it wasn't as big a deal as I feared.
I cavalierly thought we could manage his emotional outbursts
and terribly aggravating impulsivity issues by ourselves,
with our "magnificent" parenting techniques.
We tried so many things to bring peace to our household,
and to his inner anxieties without medication.
It was just too much with 5 other kids (the oldest with
ADHD - Type 1, and another with Type 1 Diabetes)
to handle on our own.

We researched and prayed, and decided to try a non-stimulant
ADHD medication called Intuniv.
You can read about our journey with this here.
What a terrific tool this was for our family and for our son.

He was on this medication for several years and did so well on it
that I began wondering if it was time to take him off of it.
You can read about that journey in the links above.
He just wasn't ready for it.
But he's 16 now.

He is much more mature and has had clearly better brain development
to take another look at getting off of it for good.

He sleeps much better now, and is focusing so well on his school work
that we've seen a dramatic improvement in his output.
He is much more confident in social settings,
and was even able to talk to complete strangers on a flight this summer
during our missions trip and to lead them to Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Talk about victory!!
Talk about Mama tears!!

So this summer we had a conversation with him.
I pointed out all the good strides he has made over the last couple of years,
and asked him if would consider going off of it.
He agreed.

We visited with the pediatrician several weeks later who eagerly
approved our endeavor to get him off.
We kept the leftover that we had just in case he felt he needed
to wean off slowly, but there was no need.

He went off cold-turkey with absolutely no problem.
No disruption in his sleep.
No disruption in his ability to focus on schoolwork when necessary.
We have had to remind him that his behavior
reaches annoying levels sometimes,
but he very compliantly makes the adjustment and we move on!

I am happy to announce that this marks the end of an era for our family.
No more posts on Intuniv.
It is finished.
That part of the battle is over.

And we thank God for what He is doing in this young man's heart!!
God has driven us to our knees more times than I can count begging
for wisdom in how to guide, correct, and teach our son,
and He has done marvelous things in our eyes!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

When life is changing

You know, it's true what the Bible says,
"Life is a vapor."

It's there, loud and overwhelming, and then poof,
it's gone.

We moved our first child to her student apartment last week
so she could begin her junior year of college an hour away from us.

I hope we taught her everything.
I'm not sure we had time.
Maybe we did?
But did we use our time wisely?
Did we waste too much time not infusing those things into her life?

Those thoughts keep nagging at the back of my mind
worrying me at two in the morning when I should be sleeping.

But, all-of-a-sudden, here we are.
With our bossy, sassy, messy, excitable 8-year old.
At least, it seems like she must still be 8.
I don't feel that much older.
And yet, it's that time.

That time I seriously believed would never happen.
I never thought we would survive homeschooling
and all the terribly long days of mind-numbing discipline and correction.
Those days that were fruitless no matter how much I poured
into planning, and creating, and trying, and re-trying.

And yet, time keeps marching on.
And it's time for her to start her new university classes.
I remember (yes, please indulge my motherly reminiscing)
like it was yesterday the exact day I moved into my dorm
when I was a freshman in college.
I was so excited, fearless, and ready to go.
Of course, there were a few nervous tears as I swallowed down
that huge lump in my throat,
but I had worked for an entire year to earn all the money I could
to pay for this, and I had reached my goal.
I couldn't wait!
New things and people were all around me and I knew that God
had clearly led me there.
What was there to look back at?

I feel the same way for my daughter,
and I dare say she feels the same way too.
Goals set, goals met.
Fun shopping.
God providing!

Yesterday, we all went up to her apartment to spend some time with her.
Younger siblings got to try out the pool.
We played games, ate pizza, and enjoyed meeting
the girls who share the apartment with her.

We couldn't be more thrilled for her and finally reaching
the culmination of years of pouring
God's Word into her, staying on our knees in prayer for her,
and hard academic work.
The praying won't stop.
The encouraging to stay faithful to the Lord won't stop, but
the adventure begins and we can't wait!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

First Day of School

Last week we began our 16th year of homeschooling,  
and our 5th year of homeschooling through
the homeschool program at Galilean Baptist Academy.
Because it is a homeschool co-op, I get to participate in teaching
a Speech and Drama Elective to the high school students
on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as help out in the 
learning center for part of those days.
My girls get to play volleyball through this program,
 and my boys will have opportunities in a vocational shop class
as well as some basketball.

My goodness, how blessed we feel to have this opportunity once again!!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Fall volleyball

My girls love their volleyball team!
They could not wait for the team to start practicing
and started "working out" at home the week before just
to get ready!
Our volleyball season is very short this year.
Their team lost two seniors last spring,
and they have one brand new player this year.
It's a season of adjustment for them.
But they have won 2 of the 4 games they have played so far
and they are learning new skills and growing stronger every game!
We are thrilled for this opportunity for these two lovlies
to learn team work, perseverance, and great sportsmanship!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Summer Recap!

And just like that the summer is almost gone!
The 4th of July came and went.
The temperatures soared in our neck of the woods forcing
us indoors where the air conditioning blasted cold.
For the next 6 weeks we didn't do anything spectacular.
We slept in late most every day.
I have an intensely large Christmas dinner theater I'm directing at our church,
so my focus has been on getting that up and rolling cohesively before school
starts and we are swept up in the busyness of those days.

We did manage to find some fun things locally to help us cool off,
and to keep the cabin fever from getting too fierce.
Our second daughter bought her first car.
Our oldest daughter took me with her for her college orientation.
We celebrated my Mother-in-Love's birthday!
School clothes were dragged out and tried on.
School curriculum was ordered and delivered.
Ice cream was eaten, and slurpees slurped.

We have an exciting fall season racing toward us that has at times
overwhelmed me with its scope and ferocity.
I will not lie and deny the fact that I have awoken at 2 am more than once
and my mind raced with a million things that still did not have solutions.
The "what ifs" snarled at me of all the potential catastrophes that could happen.

But after years of episodes like this, I've learned to receive those fears as flags.
Signs going up to remind me to pray.
To give all my worries, and all the problems,
and all the things that haven't even happened,
and statistically can't the Lord!
The work of prayer often wears my mind out and empties it of all those thoughts
and then I'm able to go back to sleep.
I know that I can trust all those details to the One who I have followed
to this place and who I know won't leave me stranded.
He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me.
He has promised to provide our needs.
I can follow Him in faith and confidence
because He has never failed!!