Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Week 2 ~ France

On My Mind ~ This week has been filled with highs and lows. There have been tears shed and shouts of joy (sometimes within hours of each other). Such a roller coaster life is sometimes! One of the lows I am experiencing is the realization that I have "grown out" of a group of friends that I have had for a long time. I had the opportunity to go out with them after a very hard day this week, and I just didn't want to. I came to the realization that I needed gal pals that I could share the intense issues I am dealing with, and many of this group of women just wouldn't get it. They have adopted as well, but their kids are normal. I would just be a downer on their fun girls' night out or would have to fake how much fun I was having when I really just wanted to cry on a good friend's shoulder. Actually, this has occurred to me the last few times I have had the opportunity to go out with them. The majority of these women are fair weather friends, not rainy day friends. (Kristi, you are not included in this rant! You are a lovely any weather friend.) So, it is time for me to move on and stop pretending that I can make myself fit into this circle of ladies. They are nice women, but they are not what I need in my life right now. The upside is that I have been forming a friendship with a new woman who is a mother of two special needs kids. She is a wealth of information, a homeschool mom and she "gets it". I don't have to pretend at all with her. Also, our kids get along well. Happily, when one door closes...another door opens.

Happy Anniversary! My husband and I had a wonderful anniversary this year. We had a special dessert and watched The Hobbit late into the night on the actual day. What a long movie. Then we went out to dinner last night. We went to a Mexican Caribbean place and had a delicious dinner. The arrangement of food on the plates was really impressive. I wish I had taken the camera. We then took a walk in the rain (my practical husband had an umbrella with him) around our small city and enjoyed the night life. Then we went to the Chocolate Lounge and had chocolate macaroons and Chocolate Stout Cake. We finished our date at Walmart. LOL! (We had to go back into our parent roles and get a few essentials before morning.)

Summer Learning ~ On our journey "around the world," the kids and I visited France this week. We started watching the 1956 version of Around the World in 80 Days. So far, it is a great movie. We also watched a YouTube documentary on Paris and a documentary on the Louvre. We did lap booking pages and located France on the map. Below is the list of books we read.
  • The Secret Cave Discovering Lascaux
  • The Glorious Flight Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot
  • Mirette on the High Wire
  • The Daring Nellie Bly
  • Next Stop France
  • Katie Meets the Impressionists
  • The Louvre All The Paintings
We also made crepes, French apple pie and French lentil soup. Almost everyone loved the soup.

The kids completed several more lessons in math, and Goldilocks finished Time4Learning, first grade. I am pleased that she stuck with it and completed one grade so quickly.

A New Adventure ~ We started attending gymnastics with the Special Olympics this week. Tom Sawyer and Goldilocks will probably qualify to compete. Little Red Riding Hood will not qualify to compete since she is "normal", but as a sibling, she is allowed to practice with the team throughout the year. Tom Sawyer and Little Red Riding Hood loved the gymnastics. They had so much fun. They even got to run and learn how to vault. I am sure Goldilocks will enjoy it when she gets to attend (she is in respite care this weekend).

Special Needs Parenting ~ This was a rough week in many ways. Goldilocks had a hard time maintaining herself and even did some unsafe things, including throwing hot tea on her brother. Thankfully, it did not burn him. However, it was obvious that she was in need of respite for a few days and, fortunately, she was able to be removed to a therapeutic respite care provider who has worked with us for years. We are becoming desperate to find some more intensive help for her. It is imperative that our home be a safe place for everyone who lives here. Also, Timothy is having some trouble with a teacher at college in his Traumatic Brain Injury program. She is picking on him for not appearing disabled enough! Individuals with hidden disabilities are often misunderstood, but I didn't expect this to be a problem in a program that specializes in individuals like him. We are really feeling the stress in the parenting realm right now. It is such a challenge to get everyone the help and support they need (including support for Mom and Dad). We just have to keep pushing forward with faith and love.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Oh friend, what a lot you have going on. (((Dawn))) I'm sorry that this is such a hard time in many ways. You are such an amazing mama. I'm glad you have an IRL friend that understands! That is so important to have someone that can empathize and not judge.

    I'm always amazed at all the things you are doing to help your children be successful. You inspire me. Praying for wisdom and peace and strength for all of you. Hoping that Timothy's situation is able to be resolved. How very frustrating to experience that in that setting! :-(

    Sending you great big hugs!

  2. It sounds like you are having a great summer. I love your around the world weeks. I like your special needs parenting section.

  3. Dawn, first of all hugs to you. I know it is tough at times but you are such an incredible Mom. Happy Anniversary! I have a group of friends that I seem to be growing away from also. It makes me sad but our lives are full of 'chapters'. This one may be ending. I love the "Around the World" what an great idea. Also loving the gymnastics. Hang in there friend. I am here in Alabama, praying for you.

  4. This really is a roller coaster post! Happy Anniversary (loved the Walmart trip during your date night!), congratulations to Goldilocks for finishing Time4Learning, your French dishes look wonderful and your trip sounds like so much fun, and I'm glad that the kids are having fun with gymnastics! Oh, and I'm also glad that you were able to get respite so quickly for Goldilocks. I'm sorry about the reasons that you needed it, though. I'm continuing to pray that you can find the help that she needs so that everyone can be safe. I'm also really sad to hear that Timothy is encountering those problems. Like you said, hidden disabilities are often misunderstood, but it's terrible that he's encountering those problems in that setting. Praying that those problems are resolved quickly, and also praying that you find a new group of friends who understand. I know exactly what you're talking about!

  5. A trip to Walmart by ourselves would be the perfect end of a date night for me, though it does get expensive when he is with me!

    Your trip through France looks fun. Around the World in 80 Days is one of my son's favorite films.

    Have a great week!

  6. Oh dear friend!! You certainly have had a roller coaster week. I pray for serenity this week for you.

    The gymnastics looks wonderful. What a wonderful experience.

    I'm so glad that you were able to enjoy your anniversary. What a nice evening!