Friday, May 4, 2018

Week 33 ~ Riding Through the Bumps of Life

This was one of those weeks when the daily trials and triumphs of life took priority over "school time". Of course, there was plenty of real world learning, just not tons of learning that I could record into our current coursework. That is okay. I love the flexibility of homeschooling. This week also found us being reminded that there are many bumps in life, but the real lessons are overcoming the bumps and pushing forward.

A Celebration ~ Dean turned 16 this past weekend! My adorable little boy is growing into a handsome, tall young man. I came up with several exciting ideas to celebrate his big day, but he just wanted a simple affair. He wanted donuts for breakfast instead of cake later on. He wanted to go boffing with his brother at the Wandering Swordsman like every Sunday and to go out to eat with his family and his "sweetheart" to Red Lobster like every year. He likes routines and traditions. It was a lovely day, and the young lady in his life is so good for him and sweet as can be. They are not allowed to date unchaperoned, but she naturally just fits into our family activities. So they have plenty of social time. It is all very sweet.

The Bumps and the Triumphs Over Them ~
  • Our dear dog got out of the yard and was attacked by a pit bull. Thankfully, The owner was present and got his dog off, Boomer is a Great Dane/Lab so he wasn't knocked to the ground, and he didn't attempt to fight back. Unfortunately, the man got away without telling us if his dog was updated on shots, Boomer's face was badly torn open and it was the weekend. We ended up tending to him at home and taking him to the vet at the beginning of the week. They had to sedate him and give him six stitches, antibiotics, painkillers and a booster rabies shot. Thankfully, he is home resting and recovering.
  • Dean, Anne and I ended up with a stomach bug. The blessing in this event was that I got to see how my son can rise to the occasion when necessary. I was at the vet with the dog when Anne threw up. Dean came and attended to her, even though he was feeling ill, too. He cleaned her blanket; mopped the floor; and then got her water, an empty bowl and a towel. He even cleaned out the mop and texted me to buy soda. It is a delight to see growth and compassion in him!
  • I have had a tangled mess for months with Goldilocks' disability claim. She was approved but then they got the services and funding all wrong. I took the checks in to be voided and they were thankful for my honesty. Then they cancelled all of her services because my returning checks that they had accidentally sent me had been returned. This triggered the system to shut down her services! After another hour or so of talking to them on the phone, they supposedly got it right this time. She has been approved for the past five months, and so far they have only gotten it right one of those months. Exhausting...
  • The were many other bumps, but they were quickly managed or accepted as unchangeable. 
Anne Performed in the International Children's Festival and Was Selected to Be an Apprentice ~  Anne was also selected to be an apprentice with the adult company at her dance studio next year. She is the youngest ever picked to apprentice and she is overjoyed! She will still be in Junior Company with the teens but will do additional classes and performances with the adult company. We are so pleased for her.

Anne Took a Pair of Discount Overalls that Were Too Big and Made Them into Shorts ~ 

The Circus ~ My children had never been to a circus before this week. There were multiple reasons for them to get to be teenagers without this particular event happening in their lives. Not only can the circus be costly, but the stimulation with some of my sensory kids would drive them over the edge in a heartbeat. I also am not a fan of animal circus acts. I just think it is a hard life for the animals. This week a small, one ring circus came to town. It worked with our schedule, the early bird tickets were affordable, and best of all there were no animals. This was a clown and acrobat circus. Dean was rather resistant to going, but enjoyed himself once he was there. It wasn't very loud and we had earplugs for the motorcycle acts. It was a perfect introduction to the circus for my crew. I can check that one off the bucket list with the kids.

Update on Goldilocks ~ Goldilocks is having a harder time than usual in her mental health residential placement. She is lying, stealing, snooping, refusing to do things or purposely doing them incorrectly. She is depressed and her grades are slipping into the failing zone even in the subject she loves (choir). I imagine she is scared (although she denies this) about the changes that are possibly coming to her life over the next year or so. I know we as her parents are very concerned about how to secure her future while keeping the rest of us safe. We know we can't let her come back home and she says she wouldn't want to come back anyway. Knowing that her life could be at risk or she could become much more unstable after she turns 18 in a few months, we decided to start a "traveling hope chest". This month we bought her the largest suitcase left at Sears going-out-of-business-sale. Over the next few months, we will fill it with things that will make any home she may have more comfortable ~ her own pillow and pillowcases, a small photo album, a sleeping bag, first aid kit, hygiene kit, towel and wash cloth, etc. The last four years have gone much more smoothly than we were told they would by all of the professionals. Her housing has been pretty stable. Hopefully, we will be able to continue to get her into helpful and safe programs. I am told that this is much harder with adults.

Anxiety ~ I have been much more anxious the last few weeks. I think it is just the reality of mothering teens. There are so many milestones right now. Many of them, like Goldilocks' milestones, are scary and unpredictable. Other milestones, like Dean turning 16 and Anne's many successes, are wonderful but timely reminders that they will soon be ready to launch. The cutting of the apron strings hurt, even though it is a good thing. Even our adult disabled son has been talking about the possibility of moving out but doesn't want to go to a group home. We are discussing renovating a small outbuilding on our property to give him more freedom but still keep him within a few hundred feet of family support. It is all good, just hard for this Mama, who never wanted to do anything but mother and teach, to see this chapter coming to an end (at least in the very hands-on way that it is currently).

Friday ~ Today we have a doctor appointment, chores at Grandma's, ballet shoes and groceries to buy, and a bit of school to accomplish. We plan to wrap up the day with Star Wars The Last Jedi in celebration of May the 4th be with you day. What nerds we are!

A Glance at Next Year ~ I have combed through all of my shelves and resources, and the first box of new curriculum has arrived! It is going to be an exciting year. I will be posting our plans in a few weeks.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Oh! When you describe Goldilocks, I feel as if I'm reading about my Rose Red, but we have Rose Red in our home, and it has been so bad this week, that we've actually discussed taking her to a homeless shelter. At this point we're not doing that, especially as she's spending more and more time out of the home, but I can't protect anyone from her! I'm so glad that Goldilocks accepts help and is working (however poorly) toward some sort of success.

    The bumps of life took precedence over bookish school for us, too.

    And that Hakim Story of Science book is AMAZING! We read it a few years ago, and it is so, so good. I hope you all like it, too.

  2. Aw, it sounds like a hectic week and I'm sure most of what you had to deal with was not easy at all but it sounds like you came through together as a family. I love that your son wanted something so nice and low key for his birthday.

  3. I know how you feel about the bittersweet signs that your children are growing into adulthood all too well. I am certainly feeling as if I am retiring soon from the best job in the world. There are so many indications that you have done your job well, as your kids are turning into fantastic adults. They really seem like people I would be blessed to know.

  4. Sigh. Luke's new adoption was finalized this week. While our situations are different, I empathize with the feeling of wishing things had turned out differently with your child.

  5. A belated happy birthday to Dean and congratulations to Anne. Sending sympathies regarding Goldilocks . I can't imagine how stressful it is for her and for you.

  6. That is terrible about the dog being attacked! Did you notify the police? Thank God the owner was able to get his dog off...this could have been tragic in so many ways!

    I'm glad the bug didn't last long and that everyone is feeling better.

    Prayers for finding the right programs for Goldilocks!