Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Busy Week

The week is only half over and I already feel like its been at least a whole week if not 2 weeks that have gone by the last few days. We have had a lot of good things going on and I thought I'd share.
Monday was a huge day. It started with being Daniel's birthday. My the last 5 years have gone by SO fast! What happened to this cute adorable baby?
(Daniel with his friend Preston)
It was also the day that we got a Neurological Psychiatric Evaluation done for him. It meant that he spent 5 hours with a doctor doing testing. He was exhausted by the time he was done. (Unfortunately for him his day wasn't done yet.) This will hopefully help us to determine several things. It will help us learn how he is going to learn the best and what his strengths in various areas are, tell us if he has any further diabilites and help document the ones he does have so that we can get the services and support he needs. It's a good test and we are hoping that we will get some good feeback from the doctor. Unfortunately we have to wait a month for the results.
While he was doing testing, I took Reagan over to her dance and music class at The Music Machine. We had found out that she had gotten a scholarship for the first session of the summer the week before. I had presigned her up for this planning on doing it but then found out we had some really unexpected expenses come up and didn't think we would be able to do it. But then they told me about the scholarships and I had one happy girl! She sings and dances all day long (and all night) so this was a really good fit and I had been wanting to find something for her to do  as we are always taking Daniel to stuff and she doesn't get to participate in those things. It's a M-TH class and quite a time commitment. But she loves it! When they get older they can choose music or dance (or both) and they either do a musical review or a play with dance.
We did take Daniel to lunch for his birthday so that he had something fun. Unfortunately the resturant took so long to bring our food that he had to eat it in the car on the way back to the doctor and then it made both kids sick. Not so fun for your brithday!
After he was done with his testing we ran over on base and got his TB test read so that we could enroll him in Kindergarten. After the TB test was read we took him over to enroll him in school. We are enrolling Daniel in a Homeschooling Charter School here.We have decided to homeschool Daniel this year for several reasons. One is the school that he would go to has used condoms and hypodermic needles all over the playground. Not exactly safe. And while I fully support him being around children and adults of other races and ethnicities I really don't want him to be the only white kid in his class. Which, literally he would be. I've been over to the Elementry school on a couple of occasions and there is 1 white child per class. Also currently with Daniel's issues, the school district will not recognize them until they actually see him acting out to the point where he is on the verge of being expelled. I've had several advocates in and out of the school system tell me this and I really don't want to set him up for failure before he can get the help he needs. I'm also told that the kids in kindergarten and first grade in this school use the foulest language you can imagine and it isn't corrected by the teachers. It's just not an environment that we want to place either of our kids in.
 Alaska is really a great state to live in as they will actually pay for your homeschooling. For Daniel with the school that we will be going through it's $2600 a year, and it just goes up as he gets older. Half of that can be used for things like music, dance, art, and sports classes. They will pay for our internet as well as a few other things as well. We will be picking out a sponsor teacher who works with you to make sure you are on target and that you have all the supports and help you need to succeed. Daniel will get a report card (not that I'll need it as I'll know exactly where he is) and diploma just like kids going to school. We are really excited to start this new adventure. He's already been learning how to read ,write and add and subtract we'll just be doing it more formally.
Poor Daniel didn't get a cake that day because I never could make it home to get one baked for him. But he got presents that night and he helped me bake the cake the next day.
Tuesday we started out with Reagan's music class, came home for lunch and left again about 45 minutes later for Daniel's first Occupational Therapy apt. What a revelation it was! Why haven't we been doing that all along!? They were able to see things with Daniel immediately and understand. They work with him on doing normal kid and life stuff that are hard for him. The therapist asked how he was in a store. I just looked at her and said, "they are both usually crying by the end of it." She said that they take them to the store and work on going through the store, and acting the way they should. They will take him for bike rides and work with him on sticking to things that he thinks are hard. It was with such a sense of relief that I left there yesterday. They knew what he needed and how to help him. What a blessing!
After OT we rushed home as I had the Young Women from church coming over to learn how to make Banana Bread. We had a really good time with them and got to play one of my favorite games -Spoons, while we waited for it to bake. That night we went and picked up a fishing rod for Paul and I to share so we can take the kids fishing. We have a fishing trip planned for next month. Daniel can't wait that long, so we are going this weekend...
Today Daniel had Speech Therapy. He has that on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-11:45 a.m. It's through the local University with Students who are getting ready to finish their schooling for Speech Pathology. So far I've been pleased. We are still looking for a private speech therapist as we still feel that Daniel needs some more help. While Daniel was at speech, Reagan and I were off to her music class and then rush back for lunch and then off to OT again.
In the middle of all this I've been trying to schedule Physical Therapy for me, find a speech therapist that will take Daniel, schedule a sleep study for him (he is still occasionally having problems where he will sleep too much), interviewing sponsor teachers for school, getting ready for girl's camp... It's been crazy but good!

Kids Free Fishing Day

Daniel has been BEGGING to go fishing ever since we moved up here. We haven't taken him because I just felt like he was a bit too young and with the issues that he has the thought of him having something with a sharp hook on the end of the line terrified me. However now that he was almost 5 I felt a little more comfotable. A couple weekends ago the Forrest Service put on a a Kid's Free Fishing Day in Portage AK which isn't that far from here. Paul had drill that weekend so he wasn't able to come with us.
They had shirts for the kids to paint rubber fish and then apply to the t-shirt. Reagan put a starfish on hers and Daniel had a small slender fish on his. They fed us lunch, and then they had games to play with fishing poles, and they had tanks with fish set up for the kids to actually go fishing and catch fish. Unfortunately the fish weren't hungry at all. Daniel and Reagan's favoite part was just going to the river and practicing casting as you see in these pictures.

Smokey the Bear made a visit too and they were really excited to meet him.It was a really fun day though we really needed winter coats it was so cold and it kept sprinkling on us. We spent about an hour and a half there.(Reagan couldn't take any more of the cold.) But Daniel didn't want to leave. He was "hooked" so that say. He thought fishing was the best thing ever. Fast forward a couple weeks to his birthday and what did he get but a fishing pole. He has been asking for it for at least the last 6 months. Paul is going to take them fishing this weekend while I go on the Girls Camp hike. Daniel wakes up every morning asking if today is the day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pardon us while we play

Since I lost my camera I haven't been taking as many pictures... And until the last 2 days we have had the most gorgeous weather! Long days at the gardens and parks. I have everything planted now except for my radishes in my garden. Somehow they keep getting left out. So pardon us while we live in the sunshine and bask in the opportunity to go outside and play and discover the world around us. We'll post as we get a chance, but summer calls!