Monday, August 31, 2009

"Thank you, Lord for your blessings on me"

I know the graphics and the spelling are a little corny on this video, but it's the words of the song that I love. This song has been floating around in my head all morning, and I wanted to share it with you!!!

More of God's Provision

Yesterday afternoon, my mother-in-law called and told us she had a "trunk full" of things from a couple of sweet ladies at her church (which we used to attend) for our children for school. I thought I would share with you what these ladies just gave to us.

Now, I didn't tell anybody that we were completely out of pencils, and had no paper yet, and no glue, and that our crayons were all gone. But the Lord knew. He knows the needs we have. He laid it on the hearts of these ladies to think of our family and to collect all these things that will be immensely useful to us this school year, as well as to encourage my heart with such an abundant supply that I won't have to go shopping for all this now. He knew that this very weekend we would be setting up our schoolroom and that the timing was just perfect for all this to arrive! Thank you, Lord for knowing our needs and always supplying what we need!!! How has the Lord supplied your needs lately, even those you didn't even mention to Him?? Have you thanked Him?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday's Super Mom

I really have enjoyed reading this week's "Super Mom's" blog and website. She is very industrious and organized, and has tons of tips and ideas that are fun to read through. In fact, I will be referring back to her very soon in an upcoming post about a project I've been working on that has been so very helpful for me. I think it will be encouraging and inspiring for you too. Read about this interesting lady here and here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

God's Provision

Last week I was praying for some specific needs our family has. There are several things that were on the "urgent" list, and the bank account was empty. I spoke at length about how we live on one income here, and here I was again praying in some needs. I wanted to share a picture with you of what the Lord sent our way. In the last 2 weeks or less, a couple friends just gave us
all this school related stuff. Honestly, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. In reality, it happens several times a year!! I wasn't praying specifically for school items of this sort, but these were "bonus" items that came in. I thought you might be encouraged to pray for your needs too!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday's Super Mom

I've never met this lady either. Don't think I'd recognize her if she was in line next to me at Wal-Mart. But I happened unto her blog one day a while back, and I always come away encouraged, challenged, or inspired. I think you will too. Meet Kim Brenneman here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe

Oven Fried Chicken

Oh, and it's not just's finger-lickin' good!! I have to be honest again though, and tell you that even though I grew up with this recipe, it is NOT an old family recipe passed down through the generations. It's not even a recipe handed to me from a friend. You might even have this recipe in your own kitchen, and never even knew it!! It comes from the pages of my handy-dandy "Betty Crocker Cookbook"!! But boy, can Betty cook!!!

1/4 c. butter or margarine

1/2 c. all-purpose flour (or more if you have more chicken)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 1/2 to 3 lb. broiler-fryer chicken, cut-up

(I used about a 4 1/2 lb. package of chicken drumsticks)

Pre-heat oven to 425'. Place the margarine in a 9 x 13" pan and heat in oven until melted. I lined my pans with tin foil (shiny side UP) to cut-down on the extra scrubbing afterward.

Mix flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a bowl. I actually skipped the salt, pepper, and paprika here and used lemon-pepper seasoning instead. Can you say YUMMY?!

Coat chicken with flour mixture.

Place coated chicken into pans, skin sides down. Of course, if you're using drumsticks, as I was, it's always going to be skin side down!!!

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Turn chicken to other side, and bake until thickest pieces are done, usually about 30 minutes longer. When using only the drumsticks, it doesn't take a full 30 minutes after you've turned them over. My oven took about another 20 minutes.
This isn't super crispy unless you let it stay in the oven a little longer, but it's crisp enough for us and so delicious.

We love this the next day for lunch either warmed up or cold from the frig!!
So wonderful served with garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, some green beans, and strawberry shortcake for dessert!!!! MMMMMM.......
(And did I mention that the crunchy stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan is a taste sensation too?)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More summer fun on a shoestring!!

The Village Green

Apparently this little fun spot is well-known in our area (though it just opened up in the last year or so), but we just found it this summer.

We ventured out here several times this summer, and I have mixed reviews about it. It's really hard to entertain an entire family full of mixed ages. In my family, either the older ones are bored while the younger ones are having a ball, or the older ones are thrilled and the younger ones are scared out of their minds!
My older ones tried really hard to be bored last night, though the water really pulled them in eventually. My 3 year old isn't as enamored with the water as he is with climbing and running around the entire area, hence, giving me a heart-attack when he ventures out of our sight! This place is really cool because it has bathroom facilities right there that are usually nicely maintained, they offer a "guest towel service" so if you're shopping and happen to have a hankerin' for jumping in the water you'll have a way to dry off, plus it's surrounded by some really fun shopping!
The only kicker is that everything is pretty expensive. There's this really awesome Italian ice cream shop nearby, but it's so expensive we'd have to take out a small bank loan to feed all our children. The macaroni and cheese shop is the same way!! So we just take our snacks and drinks with us. It's a really fun family atmosphere and I love visiting if I could just get all my children to feel the same way!!

Here we are bored and posing because Mom made us.

....and now we're silly.

Okay, so this is fun after all!!

Loving the water!!

Enjoying water spraying water up his hind-end......

Though much preferring to climb on light poles....

.....all around the area!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Snack management 101

Sometimes I think I have OCD when it comes to keeping stuff organized in my house. But let me tell you, 6 young children will literally TAKE OVER the house if I'm not about 4 steps ahead of them at all times. So when it came to snack time, I had to devise a system or these children would eat me out of house and home. I have to be honest and tell you that these little ideas are not uniquely created by me. I found my ideas from other please don't get enamored with my creative prowess. I copied.

First of all, I bought this little erasable board at Wal-Mart for less than 5 bucks. I used sticky tack to stick it to a kitchen cabinet where my children could easily see it. On it, will be posted the snack for the day, the time they are allowed to have the snack and where it is located.

You see, my sons especially have developed this nasty habit of refusing breakfast, becoming starved around 10 am, then rummaging around the kitchen for whatever was quick, and grazing through the morning. By the time lunch comes around, they don't have much of an appetite, and the cycle begins again around 2 pm.
With this system in place, my goal is get these children to actually eat well at their meals!! I want them eating the healthy food I've taken the trouble to prepare for them. Snacking too much in between is sabotaging my hard work!!

So now, I buy snacks in bulk form and break them down into little sandwich bags and stuff them into their personalized "snack jar". Sometimes we do snacks that I would not store at room temperature, and it would be written on the snack board where to find that particular snack. At the appointed time, they can help themselves. I bought the plastic jars also at Wal-Mart, and painted on their names with fabric paint.

I then gathered up a hodge-podge of assorted cups in the kitchen and painted their names on, so they have their cup for the day. Gone are the expensive plastic disposable cups. I found my children would run in the house and grab a cup, get a drink, and then leave it on the counter. Do you know many cups I went through in a week? And then people are drinking out of other people's cups!!! This way, they already have their names on them. I have tried writing their names on with permanent markers, but that washed off over time and wasn't nearly as bright and cheerful. I do have to wash these by hand though, as the paint seems to come loose after a couple runs through the dishwasher.

I then proceeded to the bathroom and personalized some cups for them there too. Now we can keep our toothbrushes together with our cups, and they are used to using their own cup and toothbrush.

My thought with all this is to also cut down on the sharing of "sick germs" when we
have illness start creeping through the house again.
It's not a guarantee to prevent the spreading of sickness, but at least I'm trying!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's August 15th!!! Are you ready???

"It's Opening Day...."
(click on the above links to read the articles)

It's no joke, folks. If you're like me and you live with allergies, then you know why it's really important to know this!!

My battle with allergies began back about 15 years or more when I was still living in Ohio.
My parents live in an old farmhouse completely surrounded by corn, soybean, or wheat fields depending on the rotation for the year. I didn't really notice any problems until I was in college. The sneezing and itchy eyes would start near the end of August and subside near the first frost.
I went to college in South Carolina and had no problems there at all.
After college, I moved to New Hampshire. During the two years I lived there, never a problem.
But the fall I moved back to Ohio, I about went insane from the itchy, watery, swollen eyes, and consequently experienced my first lovely encounter with a steroid shot. Ahhhhh.....almost instant relief. I honestly don't remember taking any other medication after that, but surely I did. After that, I lived in Michigan for 4 years and I don't remember ever having a problem during that time.
When we moved to Texas, nearly 9 years ago now, I initially had no symptoms. But as the time has gone on, things have gotten increasingly worse for me. I would end up with pink-eye within 24-48 hours, and the sneezing, itching eyes, itching skin, itching ear canals, itching skin on my face about drove me to the looney bin! Within the last 2 or 3 years, I've had to see an allergist to get to the bottom of what was going on and why.
On my very first visit, they started the skin prick test for environmental allergies. I have to say....THAT WAS AN EXPERIENCE.
They poke your bare back about 30 times with these tiny little needles that inject the tiniest amount of allergen they are testing you for.
Well, my back practically exploded and I looked like I had been whipped because of all the welts. And the ITCHING....oh...the ITCHING!!
Anyway, it was that test that told us I'm allergic to practically all of the flora in our area. This list also included dust mites, and CATS (which didn't terribly disturb me because I'm not a cat lover.) That came like a bolt out of the blue because on the farm where I grew up, I was the chief cat care-taker.......albeit they were barn cats!! How did THAT happen?
Anyway, 4 days later I went through another series of "skin pricks" to test for food allergies. I remember telling the nurse, "You're not going to find anything, 'cause I'm not allergic to any food." Well.....WRONG.
How was I supposed to know I am allergic to mustard?
And rice.
And soy.
But you know, I don't have anaphylactic reactions to these things. I just get itchy. I can handle itchy. And not even severely itchy, just mild enough not to even notice.
The allergist wanted me to think about allergy shots. I had no idea what that even was, and after I heard what it entailed, I thought, "You MUST be crazy."
You start out with a syringe full of the things you're allergic too, custom designed for you and injected several times a week for like a couple months or something. Then they wean you down slowly over a period of time to where you end up with a shot a month. But the entire series has to go on virtually uninterrupted for like 5 YEARS before you're essentially "immune" from the allergic reactions you have. BUT, and here was the kicker for me, IT'S NOT A GUARANTEE!!! What? All that, and you still might experience some symptoms? Uh-uh!! No way....not me!!! Plus, you can't do this while you're pregnant. I couldn't guarantee them that wouldn't happen again to us, and I'm glad I did because I was pregnant with #6 within 2 or 3 months.
That fall, I had the WORST reactions EVER. I think being pregnant just exacerbated everything. In retrospect, I think what the PA at the allergist's office did was overkill, but I walked out having had a steroid shot (which I practically BEGGED for) plus literally a shoebox FULL of all different kinds of medications to take at all different times of day. Most of the medication she gave to me and it lasted until the worst of the season was over, but some of it required a prescription and would be an ongoing expense. I had no idea how much it would cost us over time, and how we would pay for it.
By the time ragweed season is about over here in Texas, Mountain Cedar blooms as a lovely Christmas present and brings on a whole other set of symptoms, albeit, very similar to ragweed.
By January of 2008, I was having constant sinus infections and did multiple rounds of antibiotics with no relief. My wonderful parents-in-law felt so sorry for me, they even had all the air vents and duct work in our house cleaned and sanitized. I was so thankful for that!! I'm not really sure if that helped me or the fact that our baby was born near the middle of that month, but my sinuses cleared up pretty quickly after that.

At the present time, I've been back to my allergist only a couple times, usually in September and then again in February or March. This last February, I was down to just taking a Zyrtec a day, using "Rhinocort Aqua" nasal spray, and "Pataday" eyedrops. The allergist told me I should only really need the nasal spray as it's an excellent defense to blocking the absorption of the allergens, but I have a tremendously difficult time with my eyes, so he okayed the eye drops if necessary. He also suggested that I get started on my medication several weeks in advance of the upcoming season. So on August 1 of this year, I started my spray up again along with taking a Zyrtec a day, in hopes of nipping this thing in the BUD this year. I have to say here that I've tried just about every nasal spray from Flonase, to Nasonex, to Nasacort, and I find Rhinocort Aqua to be far better than all the rest. No funny smell, no dripping down your throat, no burning. They work well on reducing allergy symptoms, but all have these weird things that you notice about them. Not the Rhinocort. LOVE it!

But these medications are EXPENSIVE. Now that Zyrtec is over-the-counter, it's not AS expensive, but nevertheless, it's an added cost every month. The spray costs me $25 a bottle with my insurance, and it lasts about a month. I don't need it as much in the summer time, but just about the other 9 or 10 months of the year, it's my best friend!!
So every morning, I'm spraying one shot in each nostril before I leave the bathroom, and I'm good to go. At night, it's one Zyrtec, and another spray in each nostril before I turn off the light. That seems to keep me operating pretty much like a "normal" person!!
I've also had to switch over to daily contacts because of the allergy issues with my eyes. There's another $100 every 90 days!!
Talk about high maintenance!!! I should be the poster child!!

SO...I'm always on the lookout for ways I can save money with all of this.
And look what I just found a couple weeks ago.....I about passed out I was so EXCITED!!!

Here is a picture of your typical bottle of Zyrtec:

$24.95 (Wal-Mart) or about $31.99 for this and a bottle of 30 bundled together (Costco).
So I thought I was doing really good with the deal at Costco on the Zyrtec.

Until I saw this....

This is the Costco brand of Zyrtec, the generic, if you will. I see the same ingredients listed as on the brand name Zyrtec. The main difference is the number of tablets.....365 in this bottle.

But the cost you ask??



This saves me SO much money. If I do the math, a year's supply (365 tablets) of brand name Zyrtec at the Costco price would cost me roughly....$155.73. The Wal-Mart price would be $203.37. Costco Generic price for a year's supply.....$15.95.

I just get goosebumps when I see this.
Thank you Lord!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars
I remember my mom making these when I was young, and they are a taste sensation!!

1/2 c. peanut butter (we prefer creamy)
1/3 c. softened margarine
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 c. chocolate chips

In large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, margarine, and both sugars.

Beat until creamy. Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend into peanut butter.

Spread into a greased 9 x 13" pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top.

Place into preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; swirl knife through batter to marbleize.

Return to oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven when nicely browned and knife comes out of bars cleanly.
Mine always end up a little browner than I would like, but it never stops anyone from eating them!!!!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lord, I need you

(click on this title to hear the song)

This lovely song has been on my heart since last night as I really began looking through all the material I received at the Child Study Center last week. I'm overwhelmed.

Here are the lyrics:

By: Ron Hamilton

Sometimes when life seems gentle and blessings flood my way,
I turn my gaze away from You and soon forget to pray.
But when the sky grows darker and courage turns to fear,
My anxious voice cries upward with words you long to hear.

Lord, I need You when the sea of life is calm.
O Lord, I need You when the wind is blowing strong.
Whether trials come or cease, keep me always on my knees.
Lord, I need You. Lord I need You.

Lord, help me to remember I'm weak but You are strong.
I cannot sing apart from You, for Lord You are my song.
Although I'm prone to wander and boast in all I do;
Lord keep my eyes turned upward so I depend on You.

Lord, I need You when the sea of life is calm.
O Lord, I need You when the wind is blowing strong.
Whether trials come or cease, keep me always on my knees.
Lord, I need You. Lord I need You.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

.....and even MORE answers!!!

Here is my boy-of-all-boys!! Pardon me if I'm biased, but since birth I've thought he was a gorgeous boy!!! I'm not sure exactly how he ended up with such lovely chocolate brown eyes, but they get me every time he looks at me!! This is my high-wired, high energy guy who is as equally highly emotional! He is certainly all boy and climbs on everything. He wakes up running and jumping, and loves to play outside. He likes to play with cars, and figurines, and play games on the computer. He likes to watch TV, and he eats a LOT!!! He does not like schoolwork of ANY kind, and he does not like raw veggies of any sort either. He is so very gentle and tender with babies though, and always LOVES holding any new sibling that joins our family. He is not afraid of holding babies, and loves to kiss them and play with them too. Here you see how happy he was that baby Aryn fell asleep while he was snuggling her! He ate this up!!!
But his daddy and I have struggled so much with him for such a long time in so many different areas. He has always been much more easily angered, screams more, and cries WAY more than ANY of his 4 sisters did/do. You can't tell me that boys are easier than girls, because I just might slap ya!! EVERYTHING is a fight with him. It has taken us a long time to figure out that you have to remember (along with all the other gazillion things you have to do everyday) to give Grant some warning before switching activities or you can just plan on a big 'ol blow-up. Every time. Oh, and if you get the blow-up, which you will, don't expect a spanking to be the answer. No matter how cooled off, in control, unangered you are. We've tried. Many times. It only makes things worse. It takes an enormous amount of time, but what does work is to completely separate him from the issue, and let him cool down in his room.....alone. Then, once he's calm, you can correct his behavior with some instruction and removal of something really important to him......i.e. computer time. So does grounding from playing outside and having to stay in his room. But even so, he still has daily struggles with anger, and usually ends up screaming over something and crying. I've gotten to the point where I started when the crying is going to stop? He's 7....SEVEN!! My five-year-old GIRL doesn't cry as much as he does. And now that he's school age, the frustrations are worse. He NEVER has sat down calmly at the table when I ask him to. Never. It's always a big-ol' emotional fit throwing circus which finally ends up with him dropping hard into the chair and slamming his hands on the table. But once I start to rub his back and show him that his work will be easy for him, he will calm down and get it done. Now, I do have to set a timer or show him he only has 2 or 3 pages of things to finish and then he wants a break.
And then, there's the tick. He used to squint both eyes sometimes, and when I asked his pediatrician about it, he chalked it up to just a thing that kids have sometimes.
Well, now it's just his right eye. Whenever he is in any situation that is even the tiniest bit uncomfortable for him, his eye is a winkin'. Whether he's sitting alone with his tutor, or standing on stage with his little choir in church.....he's a winkin'!!

There are many other things that have struck us as a little unusual too, so I decided I needed to rule out my worst fears and confirm my suspicions.
So Grant was seen by the D.O. at the Child Study Center this past Friday, the day after his older sister was seen. I gave the doctor an extensive history of things that have concerned us, and he tested Grant on his academic ability as well examining him for any anxiety and depression issues. They did a physical on him as well to rule out any physical problems that could be contributing to his troubles. And what he found was this: Straight up ADHD (as opposed to the Inattentive ADHD like his sister) which I was pretty sure of anyway. He also said that he showed high levels of anxiety. Not crippling levels, but higher than normal. No depression. No autism spectrum disorders, and no physical/genetic diseases or handicaps. He also said that he looks to be a "slow learner." Not learning disabled, just "slower". So, in a nutshell, we're looking at a precious boy who has many anxieties about things, much of which being because he struggles being able to learn quickly and to interpret and conceptualize what is going on around him. So things worry him, which cause him the upset stomachs, the crying, the anger. The doctor did not want to recommend medication for him because of his higher anxiety levels. He didn't want to see the medication exaccerbate his anxiety into depressive/suicidal thoughts. But he DID recommend counseling for Grant. To help him learn how to understand what he was feeling and why and how to work through those things in a calmer, more constructive manner. The doctor also suggested we get more comprehensive educational testing from our public school district to determine exactly what he needed educationally. Hmmmmm.......have to think through all this!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday Night Family Movie Night

When my husband started a new job that requires he work every Friday night from 5pm - 5am Saturday morning, I realized that I needed to come up with something to do with six children who have seemingly endless amounts of energy!! So, I started implementing Friday Night "Family Movie Night". It's so much fun to sit down with everybody, a bowl of popcorn, or some ice cream, and watch a great movie. I'm all for good drama and humor. I think drama and humor can really be a terrific way to teach children important life lessons, so I'm always on the look-out for wholesome "family" films. I know I'm not the only one to come up with this idea of movie night, and I thought I might share some of the films we have watched that I would highly recommend. Here's a few from the top of our list:
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Lessons to be gleaned: Good triumphs over evil. I also love the Biblical analogies that are woven throughout this story!! Really well made, and even our 3 year old enjoys it!! There are some scary scenes though that might be hard for younger ones to enjoy!!
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Lessons to be gleaned: This is the sequel to the previous movie, and is as equally well made!! Continues with the theme that good triumphs over evil. All my children were captivated. Some of the battle scenes are a bit scary for very little ones.
  • Cars

Lessons to be gleaned: That real friendships are more important, and more valuable than any material possession or notoriety!! Helping others in need without expecting anything in return brings true joy and happiness. Sometimes your most loyal friendships are found in those who are a little different from you!!
The music in this movie is very thematic and certainly not "church" music.
All my children enjoy this movie especially the 3 year old!
  • Any of the American Girl Movies. Samantha, Felicity, Molly

All of these films are extraordinarily well-made. The girls who are in each film are smart, clever, well-mannered, well-dressed, respectful, and resourceful young ladies who figure out really wonderful solutions to problems facing them in the time period in which they live.
Not exactly exciting for the boys, but my boys will watch when his sisters are.

  • Because of Winn-Dixie

Lessons to be gleaned: A story about a girl who accidentally comes upon a dog in a Winn-Dixie grocery store. She and the dog befriend some of the local residents in town that have become separated from the rest of the townspeople and bring them together. It teaches we should'nt be afraid to reach out to others and be the friend they might need!!
  • Pollyanna

Lessons to be gleaned: Accepting and loving people for who they are always brings out the best in people. Really, really a cute movie, though my older girls are a bit bored with it now.
  • Facing the Giants

Lessons to be gleaned: Give God your best ALL of the time and leave the results with Him.
Even my youngest enjoyed this movie!! Very challenging!!
  • Radio

Lessons to be gleaned: Every person, regardless of mental/physical ability, regardless of race, is valuable and has something positive to offer to society. Love this story of a football coach who took a wandering handicapped young man under his wing and the lessons of tolerance and patience this young man taught some of the arrogant fellows on the football team.

My littlest ones aren't captivated by it, but my older ones enjoy this one too.

  • Iron Will

Lesson to be gleaned: Perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds!! Good overcomes evil. This film does have some scary scenes in it, so you may want to preview it before you show your children. My oldest was upset when the main character's father drowned, but she did watch it through and saw how that contributed to the story.

  • Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken

Lesson to be gleaned: Determination in the face of the impossible. It's been awhile since I've seen this, so my memory is a bit foggy. I believe it's based on a true story of a young girl who learned how to do the horse diving trick on the boardwalks of the 30's or 40's. Really amazing.

Will be the next in the rotation of our Friday Night Family Nights.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday's Super Mom

Today's "Super Mom" is one I saw on the Duggar's Program on TLC. If you've been watching their program lately, you've also seen the Bates Family. They are as equally amazing as the Duggar Family, and I think Mrs. Bates seems to have such a patient, sweet spirit even with an addition being built on the front of their teeny house, while pregnant with their 17th baby!!! You'll be as inspired and encouraged to be a great mom as I was. Meet the Bates Family here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

FINALLY.....some answers!!!

Okay, so this is my wildly creative, super-social, highly energetic, almost 12 year old.
This is the child who at 12 months old was handing me colored nesting cups with numbers embossed on them as I asked for a certain NUMBER!!
We started homeschooling the week after she turned 5, and we loved it. We started her in piano lessons the following fall, and the next spring she took all-state in the Texas Music Educators Spring Festival. She had ice flowing through her veins....she was unphased on stage.
This child has NEVER in her life complained of being tired or asked to go to bed. In fact, she can survive happily on as little sleep as you ask her, and gets up ready to go and excited to see what's in store for the day.

She will take anything out of the trash and make
it into something interesting (to her)!! I remember
one particular time she went through the neighbors
trash and pulled the front grill off a round
oscillating fan and tied ribbon to it
so she could hang it from the ceiling
and store her stuffed animals in it.
She's always thinking outside the box.
She's a mess! Literally. She keeps EVERYTHING.
When I told her once, that we were going
to bag up all her stuffed
animals and that she was allowed to
keep 4 animals on her bed, she told me,
"Don't throw anything away that has a face,

She loves to give gifts!!! She feels it is a great social "faux pas" to go to anyone's house
without a gift of some kind....even if it's not for their birthday.
She saw how much her baby sister loves satiny fabric of any kind and how it brings her great comfort. So, it was her idea to design and sew this blanket for her sister's 1st birthday as her gift.

But this last year, we STRUGGLED with school. It started getting more frustrating around the 3rd grade. By then, she was bored with the curriculum we were using and I noticed that it was taking her longer and longer to complete her work. She could do the work; it wasn't a matter of not understanding what was expected of her. I would just find her daydreaming or under the table or doing anything BUT her schoolwork. I thought it was a discipline issue. So we tried a myriad of things to correct her behavior with absolutely no success. Then, her piano teacher started asking me if she was tired or something because she just wasn't focusing during her lessons, and wouldn't seem to be listening to her. I struggled keeping her seated during practice time, and just didn't have time to sit with her for ANOTHER 30 minutes when I already had 4 or 5 other children under her who needed my attention also. So we eventually gave up the piano lessons.
As she got older, I also started noticing that she rarely EVER finished something that we asked of her unless we went back and checked on her. I figured out that if I asked her to go clean her room, brush her teeth, and get dressed, she wouldn't even make it to her room before something or someone caught her attention. She was never thorough in any chore she was expected to do and always has to go back over it to get it done correctly.

So this year when we added our 6 year old to the
school mix, things just got completely crazy!!
Not only was it difficult to keep Lexi focused
and organized, but the her brother was a terrible
disruption. He did NOT want to do anything
cooperatively, so his noise completely distracted
her. With all this plus, adding in Ashlyn's diabetic
issues, Lexi was just falling farther and
farther behind.

So I started to talking to other homeschooling mom's and doing some research on the internet.
I started seeing a ton of things that looked just like my girl..."chatty cathy type", disorganized, unable to stay on task, leaving tasks unfinished. I wouldn't really classify her as hyperactive, but definitely had an attention struggle.
I heard about a place that would test her in lots of different areas and that might be able to confirm my suspicions. So I filled out a gazillion pieces of paper, made a thousand phone calls, and took her to the Child Study Center today. IT WAS SO HELPFUL!! I've praying that the Lord would lead me to the right people who could guide me in how to help her effectively, and He has been answering my prayer.
Today we learned that she is classified as "Inattentive ADHD" which is apparently the new classification used in place of ADD. He (the D.O. who examined her) said he thought she might have a borderline learning disability in Math, as well as dysgraphia!!! EUREKA!!!
I was pretty sure I was dealing with an ADD issue, but it was SO helpful that he recognized an issue with her ability to write. I'm wondering if she didn't test as well in her Math as her Verbal and Non-Verbal skills because she has fallen so far behind in Math, so I'm not completely panicked about that.

So what does all that mean? Well, I'm not entirely sure.
I was given a bunch of information to read.
Now I need to get some answers about what is at the bottom of some issues we've been
struggling with in regards to our son. Once I've got some direction, I can formulate a plan.
But that's for another post.
I've got to go wrap my brain around all of this.