Monthly Archives: April 2015

Last day of Co-op


Yesterday was the last day of our home school co-op for the year. After 30 weeks of meeting, teaching, sharing and learning the co-op school year has officially wrapped up. In a few weeks we will meet together for our end of the year picnic and then we will be on break until we resume the first week of September.

The last day of co-op is always met with mixed emotions. There is an air of excitement because summer break  is coming, as well as a sadness that another year has come to a close. The moms tend to feel a bit of relief. As wonderful as our co-op days are…and they are…they are also a whole lot of work. As moms, we put a lot of time and energy into preparing to come each Wednesday. There are lunches to pack, book bags to stock, lessons to prepare, and supplies to purchase…and that is on a typical week. 🙂 Throw in a “theme day” or a holiday party and the workload doubles.

But we do it because we love it and because it is such a blessing to our children. What we get from this co-op group far exceeds what we put into it. We have families that drive from  an hour away to attend. The sacrifices that are made for the benefit of the group as a whole are enormous. The group of ladies that participate are amazing women that share a passion for this method of teaching and raising our children.

Through this co-op we have developed some of our deepest friendships and made special memories.

The end of another year always brings a bit of reflection as we say good-bye to the families that are moving on and remember the families who have left us over the last 10 years. We have had such amazing families call this co-op “home.”

This final co-op was more relaxed than a “typical” co-op day. Many of the grades were done with their art, history, science and music curriculum…or very close to being done. The sun was out and so by the end of the day the kids had worked their way outside to enjoy the last bit of time with their co-op friends before we break for summer. Here is a look at our final day:

A few days ago Molly came to me asking if she could plan a surprise for the moms who do so much for our co-op. I asked what she had in mind and she told me her thoughts. I asked her to put together a shopping list of what she needed and we would make it happen. We arrived early so the girls could set up.


They planned a little brunch buffet for the moms to enjoy while they were on break from teaching.

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The day began, as all our co-op days do, with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

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And then it was off to class. Ozzie had his Science PSSA test in the morning but then he joined the second graders for art when he was done.

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While on break between classes I took the second graders outside to go butterfly hunting. They didn’t have much luck finding butterflies but they saw many bees.

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By the end of the day everyone was outside enjoying the beautiful spring weather. The moms visited while the kids enjoyed a game of kick ball on the baseball field behind the church,


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Dandelion picking and flower crown making,

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and a little tree climbing fun.

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Ozzie was tickled to receive this end of the year gift from his music teacher, Miss Wendy.

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It was a good year. It was a year of change as we added Ozzie to the mix halfway through the school year. Next year will be an even bigger change as we transition our large 8th grade class, who has been together since second grade, into high school. We are losing some wonderful families and our study hall group of high school students will double in size. Change is always hard, and with each passing year our co-op changes and evolves to meet the needs of our families…

but what doesn’t change is who we are at the root of it all:

A group of dedicated home school mothers teaching, sharing, and growing together on this journey called motherhood. How blessed I feel to have found this co-op and how blessed I feel to call this group, my friends!

We are very blessed.

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“Blue Bunny”


“Blue Bunny” is the word of the week.

This past week, in therapy, we talked about how quickly escalating emotions have become common place, particularly following therapy sessions for Ozzie. He can go from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds over what the untrained eye might see as unimportant or trivial. With Ozzie out of the room I shared with Tina my struggles to properly parent these hyper-speed mood swings.

She explained that part of what we are dealing with, in addition to the other diagnoses, is classic PTSD. The trauma he has experienced is the cause of  much of the behaviors we are dealing with. Angry outbursts are one of the symptoms.

She called Ozzie back into the room to share with us another tool to add to our “tool box”… and I eagerly agreed to give it a try since we have had such amazing success with all of our other homework.

(Have I mentioned how much I love this woman!)

She told us we need a safe word…a word that can be uttered by Ozzie or I (or any other member of the family) when emotions are starting to escalate and we need to push the pause button. It is, in essence, like calling a time out. Everyone stops the conversation, retreats, applies the coping tools we have been working on like the shoulder tapping and deep breathing, and when everyone is back at their baseline we come back together to try the conversation again.

It has been amazing!

We had multiple opportunities to put it to the test this week. Each time when things were just beginning to get heated (The key is to use the safe word as early in the escalation as possible) one of us would yell “Blue Bunny” and the conversation stopped.

Its effect is much like throwing a bucket of cold water on fighting dogs. It snaps the brain out of its current mode, makes you smile at the silliness of the word, and allows everyone to decompress and then try the conversation again.

You hit pause, rewind the tape, and press play again when both family members are ready.

While this has been hugely effective with my traumatized son I would imagine it would be a helpful tool to add to any parenting toolbox…or marital toolbox, for that matter.

Just imagine the look on  your defiant 18 year old’s face if in the heat of the moment you yelled out,

” Pickled Platypus.”  🙂

It certainly derails the tantrum, if only for a while.

All of these coping tools we have been working on with Ozzie are in preparation for the EMDR work that his therapist will be beginning with him soon.

Here is a little summary of what EMDR is according to WebMD:

“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. It’s growing in popularity, particularly for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents.

At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient’s own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.

Your therapist will move his or her fingers back and forth in front of your face and ask you to follow these hand motions with your eyes. At the same time, the EMDR therapist will have you recall a disturbing event. This will include the emotions and body sensations that go along with it.

Gradually, the therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more pleasant ones. Some therapists use alternatives to finger movements, such as hand or toe tapping or musical tones.

People who use the technique argue that EMDR can weaken the effect of negative emotions. Before and after each EMDR treatment, your therapist will ask you to rate your level of distress. The hope is that your disturbing memories will become less disabling.

Although most research into EMDR has examined its use in people with PTSD, EMDR is also used to treat many other psychological problems.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has noted that EMDR is effective for treating symptoms of acute and chronic PTSD. According to the APA, EMDR may be particularly useful for people who have trouble talking about the traumatic events they’ve experienced.

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have jointly issued clinical practice guidelines. These guidelines “strongly recommended” EDMR for the treatment of PTSD in both military and non-military populations.”

Ozzie’s therapist is hopeful that Ozzie will experience emotional healing as a result of EMDR work, but she has made it clear that the road to healing is a long one,  a hard one, and the effects of opening those doors to the memories of his past trauma will affect the entire family as we help him cope with the emotional fallout.

It is a delicate dance…

opening the door to the past.

If you open it too wide, too quickly, Ozzie will shut down. Yet if we leave those doors firmly shut the pressure just builds until the force of those traumatic memories push the door open with explosive force. I would love to just lock the door to the past, throw away the key, and never open that door again, but for Ozzie to heal we must open that door and walk into a very dark, scary place to face the demons.

Oh, how I wish I could do it for him and let him remain untouched by the darkness,

but that is naïve…for he has already been consumed by a darkness that I will never fully understand and the only way to loosen the hold of the nightmares that consume him is to face those nightmares again by revisiting those memories.

I can not protect him from his past…for he has already been scarred. All I can do is walk with him on his crusade toward healing and promise him he will never have to face those demons alone again.

At the end of a hard therapy session he crawled into my lap and whispered, “no more.” The therapist, seeing we had gone to the limit, ended the session

and I just held him.

This was turning point in our relationship. Ozzie, who never shows me pure, emotion-driven, physical affection, initiated a hug. In the midst of overwhelming emotion he clung to me for comfort.

And that means he is bonding…

slowly, but surely, he is seeing me as his caretaker, his protector, his ally, his Momma.

We both left therapy completely drained.

This past Monday we also had our adoption support group for parents of traumatized kids. In this week’s session we talked about giving them a new internal voice. A voice to drowned out the voice of their past that whispers:

“You will always be a bad boy.”

“You can never be trusted.”

“They will get rid of you as soon as you are bad, so you might as well get it over with.”

“This is all your fault. If you had been good your father wouldn’t have hurt you.”

“You’re just stupid and worthless.”

“No one will ever love you.”

As we talked about the importance of affirmation,  kindly correcting, looking for opportunities to say “yes” instead of always saying “no,” and looking for behaviors to praise more than you notice behaviors to correct, we also worked on a project for our kids. Every set of parents was given one mirror for each child they had.

Around the edge of each mirror we were told to write words that described that child. As Toby and I sat and worked on each mirror we gave much thought to the adjectives that best described the positive attributes of each child. It was a powerful exercise and we found ourselves reflecting on the blessing of each child and the special, God-given attributes, they bring to our family.

When we arrived home we sat the kids down and told them about the activity we did upstairs while they were meeting downstairs. We then gave them their mirrors. It was touching to see the impact our words had on them. When I asked the kids which word (That we used to describe them) meant the most to them it was fascinating to hear their answers,

and I believe reflective of the traits they value most in themselves.

Grace chose: Diligent


Molly chose: Generous


Rusty chose: Talented


Ozzie chose: Imaginative


Tyler chose: Strong


How we see ourselves, when we look in the mirror, is on point with the self talk we hear in our minds. I hope each time my children look into these mirrors they will read the words and be reminded of their great, infinite, divine worth.

Mirrors are powerful things and have great influence on how we see ourselves.

So we must remember to turn the one who holds the only mirror which is true, and clear, and NOT distorted. It is here we will see ourselves as He sees us and we will see those we love through His eyes. It is through our Savior that we see the divine beauty in ourselves and others.

As Lynn G. Robbins said:

“Heavenly Father sees our divine nature. We are His children. They way He sees us, because of His love for us, is perfect. The mirror which He holds constantly before us, if we would only raise our sight to look, is the one in which we should trust. Its image is always true and never distorted.”

Spring Soccer


“Some people have to wait their entire lives to meet their favorite player,

I am raising mine.” 🙂

Prior to Tyler joining our clan I was completely anti-organized sports. It held little to no appeal and I just didn’t understand why a family would put themselves through the hassle and headaches of juggling practices and games.

 I uttered those dangerous word that inevitably come back to bite you…

“My child will never…”

Then we adopted Tyler and every “My child would never,” or “I will never” came back to bite me.  Tyler was a child unlike any other I had raised. He was high energy, impulsive, competitive and physical…

and he needed and outlet.

So I had to swallow all my “Nevers” and give him what he needed: sports.

There is a genetic gift and drive in Tyler that is so foreign to the rest of us. He is a gifted athlete and when I watch him play with his biological siblings I can see where that talent comes from. They are all talented athletes and you can see that sports are in their DNA.

So after a winter break from sports we have begun Spring Soccer, and Tyler is in heaven. 🙂

He loves his new team and this year he has a woman and a man for his coaches, which is new for him and very good for him. I’m finding that having a female coach brings another level of awareness to Tyler and I see him becoming a better team player.


He is the biggest kid on his team this year and it is funny to see him lined up next to his team mates. The next tallest kid is also named Tyler but to avoid confusion they call him Ty. Tyler and Ty are best buddies on and off the field. This week they got to be team captains together and call heads or tails on the coin flip.


The weather was extra chilly this past Saturday and the spring temperatures that we enjoyed at last week’s game were gone. It was chilly! Tyler bundled in my coat waiting for his game to start.

Tyler played a great game, scoring 5 goals for his team, but what made this Momma proud was the growth and maturity I have seen this year as he works to pass to his teammates and be less of a one man show. I see an awareness of his strength and size in comparison to some of the littler boys and see him adjust the power of his kicks to match the player he is passing to. These things all reflect HUGE growth in Tyler as he overcomes the limitations and deficiencies of his past. It is such a blessing to get to watch his growth and see God working on that little boy.



Tyler making a goal


Tyler’s favorite position to play is goalie. He loves diving for the ball and likes the high adrenaline thrill of jumping in front of a flying ball. His fearlessness makes him very good at this position. This week after stopping a goal he had a goal kick and kicked it so hard that it flew to the other end of the field into the other team’s goal earning his team a point. He was ecstatic. 🙂




So after years of years of saying I will “NEVER” be a soccer mom

I guess I can now say:

I am a…

“Shin guard findin’

Uniform washin’

Gatorade gettin’

Dirty boy drivin’

Picture takin’

Always cheerin’

Soccer Mom”

And I have learned

Never say Never 🙂

Always causing a “Racquet”


Friday the sun came out and although it was cooler than we might of wished we decided to try to finish school by 2:00 and go outside for some vitamin D. We made plans to get together with co-op friends that live 15 minutes away and meet at the tennis court. When the kids woke up I shared the plans for the day, letting them know that the playdate would only happen if all the schoolwork for the day was completed in time. I hoped the promise of fun with friends would motivate everyone to work in a timely manner. It was even more effective than I expected…

After getting the kids started on their morning chores I hopped into the shower for a quick minute. No sooner was I fully lathered, with shampoo in my eye, that the first heavy-handed knock was heard at my bathroom door. I yelled out of the shower and asked what was needed. I strained to hear who was knocking and what they needed over the sound of running water.

It was Tyler’s voice I heard as he pressed his lips under the door,

“Momma, are you almost done? I need to do phonics!”

Needless to say that was the first, and probably the last, time Tyler has ever sought me out wanting to do school work. He returned a few more times before my shower was done. When I emerged MINUTES later he told me I was “So Slow!”

Well it turns out that Tyler misunderstood. He thought that as soon as HE was done with school we would leave for the tennis courts…

I’ll admit I manipulated this confusion to my advantage and we got his schoolwork done in record time (with no battles) then I told him the truth. He was disappointed to discover that he now had to wait for all his siblings to complete their lessons before we could leave. I must admit, though, it made for a wonderfully easy school day.

I may have to promise outings to the tennis court more often. 😉

At 2:00 we packed up bottles of water, camp chairs, balls and racquets.

A few months ago I stumbled across used tennis racquets at a thrift store near my Mom’s house. I bought them to use as decoration. At a dollar a piece I couldn’t pass them up. Surprisingly, however, we have used them quite often to play with. No one in our family “plays” tennis. We don’t even know the rules. But the kids love going to the courts and hitting the balls back and forth. It is also a great way to burn off excess little boy energy!

We met up with our friends and enjoyed about 30 minutes of tennis fun before we had to clear out for a high school tennis match.

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Rather than ending our playdate early we walked over to the playground where the kids spent the next 1 1/2 hours playing tag and sardines.

Counting for the game of sardines.

Counting for the game of sardines.

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How many kids can you fit in a tube slide?

For one round Molly hid in the slide causing all the seekers to hide with her in that small space  as they discovered her one by one. The end affect was like a clown car and they filed out one by one. 🙂

After that we headed home to meet Toby. We decided to go out to Rogers, Ohio to the flea market/farm auction. We were almost there when we received a call from the scouts asking where they should pitch their tents on our property. Toby hit his forehead with the heel of his hand, in that classic “Oh crud, I can’t believe I forgot” gesture.  A few weeks ago he told the scouts that they could camp on our property but had forgotten all about it. We turned the car around and headed back home where the boys gathered tents and sleeping bags for a night of camping. I could tell that sleeping on the ground, in the cold, was the last thing Toby wanted to do after a long work week but being the trooper and great dad he is, adjusted his plans and began the process of setting up camp.

Ozzie was especially thrilled since this was his first Boy Scout camp out. The big boys had a great time but Tyler was devastated that as a cub scout he couldn’t join them. Instead he spent the evening hanging out with us “boring girls.”

By the time bedtime rolled around he was struggling. I don’t know if it was from being overly tired or not having Toby in the house, but by 11:00pm he had been tucked in a dozen times, came out of his room a dozen more, and was in tears. Out of desperation for sleep, and pity for him missing the camp out, I told him he could sleep in my bed. He was excited to sleep in Daddy’s spot, having never slept in our room before. I turned off the lights and was just starting to doze off when he spoke up…in what became thirty minutes of pre-bed chatter.

Tyler: “Momma, if a bird only had one wing could it still fly?”

Tyler:  “Momma, have you ever gone surfing? Why not?”

Tyler:  “Momma, do you snore?”

Tyler:  “Daddy says you snore. I hope you don’t keep me awake.”

Tyler:  “I don’t snore but sometimes I toot in my sleep and I may make your room stinky.”

This banter continued until he finally passed out. He woke up in the morning with his typical Tyler enthusiasm and informed me that,

“Daddy’s wrong. You didn’t snore even once!”

Thank you, Tyler.

(See, Toby)  😉

Camp McCleery is for the Dogs!


This week it is Camp McCleery for four furry friends that we are dog sitting. Four friends asked us to watch their canine family members while they were out of town, and it just so happened that it all fell on the same week. Add our four visitors to the three dogs already living here and we have seven…yes, seven!…fur balls running around. Luckily we are a family of dog lovers and it has been a really fun, though crazy, week. All the dogs have gotten along pretty well and seem to enjoy doggy camp at Patchwork Farm.

But let’s see what they have to say as they write home 🙂

Hello Mudder- Hello Fadder

Here I am at Camp “hootNholler.”

And it’s very entertaining,

They say we’ll have some fun when it stops raining.


There are kids here-

Oh, such kids here!

Tyler calls me

little deer, here.


There are many

hands to hold us,

Even when we’d rather hide

from all the fuss. 😉

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We do school with

all the wee ones,

And they hold us

through their lessons.


Then when school is

finally over,

They take us out to play

in all the clover.

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The food here

tastes like dog mash,

for this “food” here

I wouldn’t waste cash.

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But the staff is

nice and clean,

and the beagle is the only one who’s “mean.”

(Grumpy, that is)  🙂


There are seven

dogs at  camp now,

big old dogs and

a “chick a wow wow.”

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We are having

fun with our friends,

but at night we go to sleep

in our own dens.


There is one boy

who is fox-like,

his name is Mojo

and he is Alright!


He is sweet, and

kind, and gentle,

and for enduring Ellie’s crush-

should get a medal!

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Sweet Jemima

hangs with Buddy.

She loves to play and

 he is cuddly.

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When he wants a

little lovin’

he dances, spins, and does

some friendly shovin’.


Then there’s Nevis…

he is teeny too.

He’s the piglet,

to our Winnie Pooh.


He is timid,

and so nervous

He likes hiding out

with dear, calm,  Mr. Russ Cuss!

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Wait a minute-

it stopped raining.

Dogs are running.

 Dogs are playing.

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Maybe things are

not so bad here…

Mudder, Fadder,

 kindly disregard this letter.

 dog print

“He’d Fly Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease”


“Mom, look at me!”


That was the last thing I heard before I turned toward the sound of his voice and saw it…

Tyler flying through the air,

arms outstretched,

shouting an enthusiastic, “Whee!”

My heart leapt to my throat,

and then I heard *THUNK*

From where I stood it looked like a trip to the emergency room in the making.

Then he popped up with a huge grin and a fist punch of victory,


It was only then that I realized how my mini superhero achieved his feat of bravery:

Couch cushions…

eight of them behind the chair,

lined up like a squishy runway to catch his falling form.

Once I realized that the risk of a broken bone was minimal

I grabbed my camera to record the show.

Now Presenting

for your viewing pleasure…


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I love having boys!

Life is NEVER boring. 🙂




There are certain things in life…certain smells, sounds, experiences…that transport you instantly back to childhood. The smell of play-doh. The taste of certain foods.  A brand new, never used crayon. The smell of pool chlorine. The new plastic smell of a doll or Barbie.

 and balloons…

I remember, a few years ago, experiencing this phenomenon when Toby and I earned a free Caribbean cruise. We were seated one evening, as we waited for one of the night-time shows to begin, when hundreds of balloons were suddenly released from the ceiling. It was unexpected and in an instant this crowd of well dressed men and women all became 9 years old again. Men in tuxedos and women in gowns rose to their feet to hit the balloons and participate in an epic game of “don’t let the balloons touch the ground.” It was magical and delightful and left a lasting impression on me.

Bubbles are another one of those “childhood time machines.” It matters not whether you are 8 or 80, there is nothing more delightful than chasing bubbles on a warm spring day.

On Wednesday we took a break from our co-op lessons to head outside and enjoy some bubbly fun

(and let the second graders run off some energy.)  😉

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Bubbles just make you happy.

Because, let’s be honest…

“There is no angry way to say bubbles”  🙂

Now, go outside and blow some bubbles!

Life’s a song


“Musicals: because who doesn’t want a world where everyone breaks out into song and dance”

We are in the season of high school musicals in Western PA. As a home school family we are not usually involved in the musical scene but this year Grace and Molly had friends from church performing in two of our local schools’ musicals so we decided to go and cheer them on.

On Friday night we went to Rochester’s musical. They were performing “Into the Woods.” The girls and I decided to attend this one on our own, unsure of whether the little boys would sit through the story. It was fun to have a girls’ night out. On the way to the show we listened to Molly’s cd of the “Into the Woods” soundtrack. It made us all the more excited to see the show.

When we arrived I was disappointed to realize that I forgot my camera. I had to “steal” a picture of the cast from a friend’s facebook page. Our friends, the Tames, were all involved with the production

with Zach playing Jack, Gracie’s friend, Stephanie, playing the Baker’s wife, and Heather, Molly’s friend, playing Jack’s mother.

They all did a great job and we had a lot of fun!

"Into the Woods"

“Into the Woods”

On Saturday night we drove over to Beaver High School to watch their production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The entire family attended this show. I thought the little boys would do better with this play since they were familiar with the story.





For this show Molly’s friend, Taylor, was playing a menu, and Gracie’s friend, Haley, was one of the dishes (in addition to a few other minor roles.) Both girls did a great job and the show was superbly entertaining. Even the little boys were engaged… particularly Ozzie, who watched with wonder.

beauty and the beast

Another photo “stolen” from a friend’s facebook page. 🙂

Afterwards we stayed long enough to meet and greet our favorite two stars.

Good job ladies!

Good job ladies!

All this “culture” was good for us farm folk 😉

Both shows were a lot of fun!

“Musicals take you to another world and give you a tune to carry in your head.”

Tyler Tales


This past week was an unusual one. We were out of our “typical” routine, as a result of…

(Cue scary music)

PSSA testing..

the bane of our existence and the source of much anxiety for the kids that were testing this week. The PSSAs are the state mandated standardized testing that is required for all students 3rd grade-8th grade. This week Molly and Ozzie had their testing. This required daily trips to the testing center which is 30 minutes away. Luckily they were able to test at the same church where our co-op is located so they at least were in familiar surroundings.


All this extra time on the road gave me some extra one on one time with Tyler, as he tagged along. It is funny how he opens up and becomes more animated when his siblings aren’t around. He becomes a regular chatterbox and is so funny! Here are some of the highlights from my time with Tyler this week…

We are dog sitting this week for two families at church that are on vacation. The kids have all enjoyed the added pups. They have been taking turns having the visitors sleep in their beds. Tyler was especially enthralled with Nevis. He is a chihuahua. Tyler loves Chihuahuas, due in part to the fact that he used to have them in his old foster home. He doesn’t call them chihuahuas, however, and no matter how many times we correct him he stands firm.

When he saw the kids walk in the door with Nevis after picking him up, Tyler squealed with delight,” Oh boy! It’s a chick-a-wa-wa! I love chick-a-wa-was!”

As he scooped Nevis up he said, “Momma, he looks just like a baby deer!”


Buddy is our other adorable visitor. 🙂


On Friday Tyler had an appointment with his therapist. Last time he met with her she was astounded at his energy and impulsiveness. She hadn’t seen him since we switched to the name brand medication and she was amazed at the difference in him. He is calmer, more attentive, can stay on task, and have a conversation. The meds are working!

After leaving the appointment we stopped at McDonalds for an ice cream cone. We had time to fill before we had to pick up Molly from testing. As we were sitting in the drive-thru, two soldiers dressed in uniform passed in front of our car. Tyler was concerned:

“Look Mom, those two men escaped from the Army!”

I reassured him that they hadn’t escaped and they were allowed to stop at McDonalds.

“Yeah, you are probably right. They are just going to order food and then go back to war.” 🙂

As we drove around town, killing time, Tyler began to take notice of the signs posted on the poles at each intersection. He asked why there were pictures of dogs and cats. I explained that people post papers like that when they lose an animal so if someone finds it they can call and get the animal back home. He was saddened by the pictures of all the lost cats and dogs and kept commenting on each one we passed. When we approached the next intersection he sighed and said in his most concerned voice,

“Awww, look, someone lost their piano.”


(It was sign for music lessons) 😉

This week was the start of soccer season. Tyler is definitely happiest and more manageable during sports seasons when he had the opportunity to run off energy. Saturday was his first game. He did a great job and his team won. It is so funny seeing him next to his teammates. He is so much bigger and stands a head taller than the rest.

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His favorite position to play is goalie. Here he is blocking a goal.


It was a beautiful day to sit and watch him play.


Tyler and Ozzie made some  headway this week with their relationship. They asked if they could have one on one time together. They decided to play dress up and have a fashion show, They wanted me to vote on the funniest outfits. They played well together for a  half an hour (that is HUGE for them) and had a lot of fun. I couldn’t resist taking some pictures, which they gladly posed for,


although Tyler did issue this warning,

“Momma, these pictures better not end up on Pinterest.”

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Oh, I love that kid! 🙂

Go Play in the Dirt


“I grow plants for many reasons:  to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty, or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” – David Hobson

Last night I got dirty with some of my friends…

because you know what they say:

 “Life is too short to have clean fingernails.”  🙂

I have a new calling at church. (A new responsibility)

I’m the 2nd counselor in Relief Society and am in charge of working with a committee to plan classes and activities for the ladies at church. I am so excited for this new responsibility and last night was our first activity. We planned a container gardening class.

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The committee members worked together to come up with creative containers to plant in, which then served as the centerpieces for the night.

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The class was taught by Sharon, one of the creative ladies at church. She has been container gardening for years and did a wonderful job of introducing us to the basics and the benefits of gardening this way.


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After Sharon’s class we made our own “upcycled” container garden using old milk jugs. We planted them with lettuce and when they mature we will be able to pick off leaves of lettuce to enjoy with our meals.


Our finished "craft"

Our finished “craft”

For our treat …to end our fun night… we had edible dirt which Hannah, another committee member, made. The pudding/oreo trifles were topped with gummy worms, thus completing the look. They were charming.


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It was a nice night and all those involved did a great job. I think it gave us all spring fever and the itch to start planting. It was a fun night with a fabulous group of ladies!

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