April 30, 2008


Renee over at Life with My Special K's  has tagged me.  I am supposed to share 6 little known facts about myself.  Soo.... here you go.    
1.  I can't sleep unless I'm covered with at least a sheet.
2. Dh and I lived in 11 different places in the first 6 years of our marriage.
3. My favorite TV series when I was in college was Little House on the Prairie.
4. My first experience with special needs kids was when I volunteered for a week at Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Camp when I was 18.
5.  When I was in high school, I helped build (did volunteer hours finishing woodwork, etc.) Camp Courageous (camp for special needs children and adults)...... which is where Nevin goes for a week during the summer.  See his blog...where he recently gave Grandma and Grandpa a tour of camp.
6. My beautician keeps me from being mistaken as Lily Munster.

I tag:
Marilyn at Mixed Bouquet

April 24, 2008

Many Hats

I am at a state conference today and tomorrow.   Today we had a speaker from North Carolina.  She spoke about "Natural Learning Environments: Roles of Therapist and Caregivers".   Sometimes it is hard to hold my head up, because I have so many different hats on at the same time.   I know we all wear many hats as mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, teachers, etc.    But sometimes it seems I'm wearing the team hats of opposing teams.

Hmmm....... let's see if I can explain it better.

I work with special needs children ------  I am a parent of a child with Down Syndrome.
I work in the public school system ------ I homeschool my child.

So, I find as I listen........ I juggle my hats.   

Today we seemed to spend a lot of time reviewing research and proving that children learn best in natural environments and if the learning is child directed, interest driven and parent mediated.   Hello? ....... that's called homeschooling.    

 I truly, truly feel privileged  be able to homeschool Nevin.   We have the freedom to pursue his interests.   We can learn in the natural environment.   And all learning is parent mediated.  And EVERYTHING is individually designed specifically for Nevin.

Not only that, but it's fun!   hard work....... but fun!   Nevin lives life with gusto, so we homeschool with gusto!

April 23, 2008

April 22, 2008

the extra measure.........

I am touched when people take extra time with Nevin..... when they give him a little extra compassion, a little extra attention.    When they make him feel valued and important.
Tonight we were planning on going to a band concert.  It was going to happen at a local bar and we had heard that if we got there early and ordered food........ and kept the food on the table....... we'd be able to bring Nevin in and stay through the first set.   He was SO excited...... a "Rock'n Roll" concert. 
But, tonight we found out that rules had changed and NO one under 21 would be admitted.  Nevin was disappointed...... but Jon (the lead singer of Midnight to Twelve) met us outside the bar as they were unloading and gave Nevin some extra special treatment!!   He got to watch them unload their equipment, got a tour of their bus, got an autographed CD, pictures with the band and with Jon.    Definitely a night to remember.    
Jon is the son of a friend of mine (they live in CA)....... but doesn't really "know" Nevin....... yet he was WONDERFUL with him...... actually the whole band was great with him.  It just warms my heart!!
   Be sure and check out Nevin's blog for more pictures.  

April 15, 2008

30 years ago today.........

30 years ago today, I married the man of my dreams. 
*we were high school sweethearts
*We were young and had no idea that it was "tax day" 
*it was spring break of my junior year in college
*I had just finished a week of finals
*Kevin worked at the Anamosa Reformatory as a guard.
* He had just finished his AA degree in law enforcement and THEN was told he could never work in law enforcement because he was color blind.
*we had an apartment rented for the summer, but had no idea where we were going from there.
*we were anxiously waiting to see if I had been accepted into PT school at Iowa, Duluth or St. Louis.  If none of those accepted me as an undergrad, my plan was to return to Wartburg College and finish my Biology degree and then reapply.
*we had a two day honeymoon in Iowa City (30 miles away) and then returned to spend the rest of spring break moving into the apartment before I went back to school for a month.
*we were young and in love and none of the above things seemed like that big of a deal.  :)  We'd "figure it out", no worries.
*We did find out two days later that I had been accepted to Iowa, so amid great celebration, we started looking for apartments in Iowa City, where we would live for the next two years.

April 13, 2008

Back to "normal"

We are feeling better!   Praise the Lord!   Nevin seems to be back to normal, although he's been sneezing a lot today.  I'm hoping he is not coming down with what I had.   After a 4 hour nap yesterday and 10 hours of sleep last night...... I finally felt better today.   Whew, it feels good to have some energy.  

I was actually able to get some grocery shopping done, some wash done, have a decent meal cooked when my hubby got home from work and begin to get caught up on my blog reads.
But, it's midnight and I better get to bed......... good night!

April 12, 2008

Sometimes a blessing.....

Nevin doesn't seem to "own" his calendar.   He is able to identify the month, day, year........ but he doesn't own it.  He hasn't learned to "use" it, rather he still relies on me.   So I've been thinking about ways to make it more usable for him, like moving his calendar to his room, so it could become more of his "wake-up routine" to figure out what day it is and what the plans are.   Maybe changing our "bingo stamping" method to something that would be a little easier to correct if any over eager stamping happened.

But today, it's actually kind of a blessing that he doesn't know that he's missing Special Olympics track and field day.  The doctor recommended no running after our visit yesterday.   After a sleepless night Thursday night, we figured out that he needed to go to the doctor for pain and swelling in one of his testicles. Doctor thinks ..... maybe just bruised or slight torsion, .... who knows... he gave us a script for antibiotics if it gets worse and said to rest   ........... anyways....... no special olympics today.    And Nevin didn't notice...... that he missed it.    The weather wasn't good (cold and rainy/snow flurries) so I don't feel too bad about missing it (especially since I'm still feeling so yucky with my cold).    

I just talked with Nevin about it and he's a little disappointed, but okay with it.  There's always next year!


I've had a nasty head/chest cold for a week. I felt a little better Thursday and yet a little better Friday. I went to bed last night with the assumption of being "all better" today. NOT! :( Sooo...... I guess I'm not going to be able to convert my "to do" list to a "taa daa" list.   Bummer.  Hmmm....... chicken noodle soup, I haven't tried that yet. That's probably what's missing, I'm not going to be all better until I've had chicken noodle soup.  ......off to put the chicken out to thaw and go take a nap.  

April 3, 2008

My Motorcycle Man


Nevin and I are participating in a Research Study on Communication Skills in adolescents with Down Syndrome, being done at the Waisman Center in Madison, WI. This was our fourth year (and last.... he aged out of it, now that he's 18). So we got to travel to Madison and stay at the motel and then go through some different assessments. This year we were blessed to have my friend, Amy accompany us..... so the whole trip was fun..... even the drive. Except for a minor detail (we got lost on the way home)..... not really...... we just missed a turn in the fog, and because of the fog it took us until Maquoketa before the fog started to clear and the scenery did NOT look familiar. We then figured out that we were going the wrong direction! It only added about 30-45 minutes to our drive, but we were still glad to get home!

It is very interesting to watch the assessments that they perform. And Nevin works very hard for them. We get to listen/watch through a one way mirror from an adjacent room, where they are taping the session.

Soooooo..... do you think he knows we're on the other side of the mirror? :)

He was very serious about work time..... but would get his "sillies" out when she allowed him to take a break.