Tuesday, June 28, 2011

not another kitchen untensil!

Yes, it happened again. Only this time, he asked. This utensil is normally called a collander, used for draining.

However, add this piece of equipment, and the collander becomes a skimmer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

IEPs, ESY, DVDs, and PICs

Okay, so Ian is now in summer school!! Long story short (for real this time), after a couple phone calls, the summer diagnostician called us Monday morning to let us know she was completing the amendment paperwork (PAPERWORK only, people) for Ian to begin ESY (Extended School Year - summer school). She said the bus paperwork would take an extra day, but if we could transport him, he could start the following day (Tuesday). So, Tuesday morning we took Ian and Benjamin together. Wednesday he was walking out to the bus with Benjamin...soooo cute. Benjamin actually went without hesitation when he saw his brother going. So, all worked out. Now was there some huge ARD committee meeting needed? NO! Know what they did? One piece of paper changing his start date to ESY. ARG!!! Lesson???? Well lots. However, the most important one for me...is to stop being so anxious about things. Although things will not always work out the way I want in life, I still know Who is in control and should leave that up to Him. I may not always like it, but I can always trust it's the best. So I've got to learn to give up my anxiety....can that really happen with our special kiddos???? Hmmmmm. I'll at least keep trying.

Other news: I don't have a picture of this, but hopefully will at some point. I actually watched Ian one day open the DVD changer, take out the DVD, put in a new DVD, start it, and hit play to start the actual video. I couldn't believe it! Downfall is he hasn't quite gotten to where he puts the DVD's back where they belong, so we could easily be swimming in a pool of DVD's by the end of the day if mom didn't come to the rescue.

And lastly, here are a few pics:

Daddy walking Benjamin to his very first bus ride. Benjamin was not amused or excited by it.Daddy carrying Benjamin onto the bus. The noise from the bus was too much for him. Daddy ended up taking him to school that first day.

This may look like a kid on a microphone. I suppose in a sense, it is. The 'microphone' is actually the handle of a Barbie vacuum cleaner. Yes, cute. Very cute. Benjamin will not be out-done!

Oh, let's not forget the drums...the very, very, very, LOUD drums! And we're going to get him a drum set for his birthday?????? What are we thinking!

Ian continuing on the 'microphone', praising God along with the Mercy Me DVD in the background.

Summer fun in the backyard with a friend.

Umm, a good friend of mine, who would KILL me if she knew I posted this pic. Kristie and Tammy....don't say a word!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Okay, I know I've always bragged that we've been so incredibly blessed to not have to have gone through what many of you have with school districts with my children because they go to the school where my husband teaches...until now. It's not a HUGE thing, but I'm just afraid it'll be the first of many.

As most of you know, it's hard to just boil it all down into a nutshell, but I'm gonna try. I'm just so frustrated. This is where I don't like having my husband work for the district. At the same time, I am glad, because it helps me to see both sides. But when smoke is undoubtedly being blown....look out! This mama bear gets MAD!

So, let's start with the ARD, which went relatively well (obviously until I signed off on it, which I will NEVER do again without my 5 days to dispute). But from what we were told (incorrectly), we were under the impression that Ian could only do one session of summer school (probably our stupid mistake since he went both sessions last year). But with all the budget cuts, my husband didn't seem too surprised. So, it was decided best for him to go the second session (dates listed as 6/27 - 8/4).

Then, after school was out we received paperwork from the district's Special Ed department listing both boys' summer school dates as 6/13 - 8/4, which is both sessions. Well, we were happy. The bus people came around to introduce themselves and let us know what time they would arrive, blah, blah, blah. They had listed that Ian would start the bus second session (date listed as 7/11 - 8/4). Jim just showed them the paperwork we got from the district and they changed the dates to list that Ian could get on the bus 6/13 with Ben...per the district paperwork.

Then at the end of Ben's first week of summer school, we get a phone call from one of the teachers at summer school because some there were under the impression Ian would be starting first session, some that he would start second session. That started the whole stinkin ball rolling. So, I keep up on calling to check the status of things. I was told by the teacher that they had begun the process and that Ian should be able to start by Wednesday of the following week.

Following week starts, haven't heard anything. So, we call one of the 'higher ups' for the program. She sounded clueless in him starting and told me that based on the ARD, the "data" only supports him going second session. My husband then told me that the word "data" is the buzz word and I'd probably hear it a lot. I did. She must have said that 4-letter word at least 5 times in our conversation. By the way, this woman wasn't even in our ARD meeting. I continue to tell her that the dates on the ARD paperwork are wrong for the start of the second session. She blurbed something and basically made it sound like that was the start of the second session. Yep, I'm supposed to believe her. After a few more minutes, she finally said she would research the "data" more and get back with me. Oh, and let's not forget she mentioned she'd have to contact the ARD committee to do this....Ummmm has she forgotten that I, as parent, am part of the ARD committee????? Now, I want to be sure to add in, that this woman is very nice and I (at this point) do have respect for her, and it's a very amicable conversation.

In the meantime, my sweet husband, having to deal with both ends of it, doesn't want to make too many waves. I can totally understand that. BUT man do I feel totally alone in this. I don't even want him working on it cause I'm afraid he'll be too soft and Ian won't get what he is due to get...especially because it was the district who screwed up. Now, there are some areas I am being careful on because one of the teachers in particular should not catch the fall for this and I want to be sure she doesn't. But I don't feel like he is pushing enough. It's not like we're asking for something the district didn't already say he should be getting!

Okay, on we go. I pull out our ARD paperwork. Long story short, the "data" DOES support he would benefit from summer school. The only thing it DOESN'T support is why he should only get second session.....which has the wrong dates anyway. So, per my request, my husband emails this administrator I had been talking to and informs her of our information and requests an admendment to the ARD be started. I think the only reason he did this was because he gets angry that the district just isn't honest because basically it's all about money, not the best interest of the child, but they throw around words that they hope we have no idea what they're talking about...which is true in most of the cases for me!

I get a message from the administrator telling me after further research, the "data" supports that both sessions would benefit Ian. DUH! She would begin the process for an amendment ARD...which by the way, I do understand might be a pain for those they have to dig up to attend. But seriously, just fill out some paperwork and have us sign it! Curse those parents who have made it soooo difficult for things to be done without the districts all being so afraid of being sued! That's the reason you can't drop a pen without an amendment ARD. Uh-hem. Back to the facts. Administrator says she'll work on getting it done in a timely matter so that Ian would hopefully be able to start Monday. Ok, mama bear happy.

Okay, so another 2 days go by. The summer school teacher calls to let me know that she'll be gone next week, but she has already updated the sub for when Ian starts. Have I heard anything from the admistrator yet? NOPE. So, Jim emails her. Ready for this???????? He gets an automated response back saying she will be out of the office until the 27th!!!! That's the straw that did it for me! Mama bear REALLY angry now. Repect is diminishing. But what this woman doesn't know is that I inadvertantly got information that she WAS wrong on the start date of the second session. And I believe she knows it's wrong. That's the last week of the first session, not the first week of the last session. So anyway they want to slice it, the ARD paperwork IS wrong. And the district DID goof.

I told my husband when all this started, that I would bet him that they planned to sit on their "you know whats" and try to appease long enough until the next thing ya know it's the start of the second session. And then Ian would have missed the entire first session. He was going to agree to that bet....until he got the automated response email.

I could go on and on. But I'm really angry right now and probably shouldn't. So I'll end instead. I'll let ya know what comes next....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vacation Agenda

We were going to go to New Mexico this summer and rent a cabin, but ya know what? Sounds too exhausting for me this year....the drive in particular. We did a longer drive last summer to Colorado. It was okay, but exhausting and long. So, we decided to go to San Antonio (only 4 hours) and go to Morgan's Wonderland. Heard of it? If not, go to www.morganswonderland.com and check it out. (Sorry, couldn't get the link to come up.) If anyone has been there and would like to give us your opinion, please do. If you're like us, we just can't do the 'normal' parks and vacation spots...at least not at this stage in kids' lives. So, we've got our hotel booked and 2 days booked at Morgan's Wonderland.

The other great thing about not going so far away is not having to worry about what we're gonna do with Ellie (the dog) for so many days. This way, only being gone 4 days, we have our wonderful college babysitter (turned dog sitter this time) coming to stay at the house. Now we have no worries. House and dog will be well taken care of.

Vacation, here we come!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I have 2 kindergarten graduates this year. I never really understood, or got into, the whole kindergarten graduation thing. I think it's a bit silly, but that's just my opinion. I go along with it. And yes, they do look really cute in the cap.

This was Ian's second (and last) year of kindergarten. Next year is going to be a whole new ballgame for him, including a new school (where he will no longer be with Daddy.....Mommy's not a happy camper). Ian did such a great job during his 'ceremony'. They sang two songs first. Ian sang the words (I watched his lips) and did the right hand movements. He never touched or annoyed anyone around him. Then he sat right down with the rest of the group. He walked back up to stage to get his 'diploma' and back down to his seat again. It was great.

Avery will also be doing something new next year. Still pondering our final decision. She has done fabulous at her school over the last 4 years.

Okay, Avery's graduation experience was not quite as easy as Ian's. When both classes got on stage to sing their songs, I noticed Avery was not there. When I saw her teacher, she had a horrified look on her face and was asking me if I'd seen Avery. Uh-oh. Well, we found her in the hallway. She refused to go in. Another teacher finally coaxed her in, but she was NOT about to get on stage. When it was time for her to get her 'diploma', the music teacher had to coax and lead her up. Ugh. She walked ever so slowly to her teacher, then walked ever so slowly down to the "X" for her picture. When it was time to walk off, my wonderful mommy friends all clapped for her.

Benjamin obviously did not have a kindergarten graduation or kindergarten anything since he's still in pre-K. He had a beach day. Lucky for me, Daddy took the pictures and I did not have to endure the heat. Benjamin, who typically LOVES water, was way more interested in the trikes. Oh well, he had fun.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with school, I know. I included her because she's so darn cute. This is my great-niece. Adorable, huh!!!