Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Ok, thanks to my Mom (Thanks, Mom!) we now have some great text books to use for my daughter for next year, when I teach her at home. It was a lot of fun looking for books, because we got to decide what I want to teach, pick things that were interesting and personalize it. I don't know how this will go but I am looking forward to trying and I think it will be fun. To supplement what we do at home I will be signing her up for a homeschooling program through the school district that will give her a chance to take classes, not for credit but as an adjunct to, her studies at home. I'm thinking PE, or at least some group sport, science lab, maybe a music class. The fees are minima, 5-15 dollars. I hope she is as excited as I am, but the kid has some serious unwinding to do. She has spent years being told she is failing and she really believes, and has the grades to prove it. What I will need to teach her is that it's not the grades that matter as much as what she learns. When it stops being a performance based system of learning, and instead becomes an environment of learning in which learning is a reward in and of itself, the whole rebellion thing will not survive. She has derived so much energy from not doing what she is told, perhaps when she is the one who gets to call the shots, to some degree, and she isn't constantly being held up to the "look at what you're not doing right" mirror, just learning will be fun again. That is my prayer anyway.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I'm sick

I'm sick, I hate being sick. My kids bring things home and they feel fine in a day or two, meanwhile I am coughing and stuffy, my chest hurts every time I cough, my nose hurts every time I blow it, I have no energy to do anything and I just want to feel better. There. sniff.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Just more stuff

Well, nothing earthshattering lately just little things.
I encouraged my daughter, who loves to draw and has a good eye for art, to enter a poster contest for Earth Day at the local recreation district. She is at the top of the age group but still within the range. She struggles so much with self esteem and feeling like she never wins. I thought, even if she doesn't win, it's nice to do something you enjoy just because you enjoy it, not because it's an assignment. Kudos if you win but even if you don't, you had fun. Well, she won. I don't know what place, just that we got a message that she had won and could come down to the office to pick up her basket. I wonder what she won? She was so excited about this and I am glad to see her getting some real positive feedback. When I am able I will scan the picture and post it.

We are in the process of getting my son worked up for ADHD, so I guess I'll have a matched set. I find it interesting to see the difference between how the two manifest their condition. My daughter is so under motivated, although that is improving, very sullen and easily angered but in kind of a passive way. She gets mad that she fails at so many things but doesn't really try to do better. Well, she is trying harder but still not quite hitting the mark. It's like she walks around in kind of a mental fog, never really getting what she is doing wrong. It's like every time it's a surprise to her when something doesn't work out, even though she may have gone through the same process a week before with the same results. You sit and wonder , is she completely unable to learn from her experiences?

My son on the other hand is much more classic hyperactive. I tried rationalize that he is just a typical little boy, rambunctious and not very self aware. He is so smart, as is my daughter, but the difference is, he really tries, almost too hard, but gets so frustrated and depressed. It's like they both end up in the same place but took different roads. In either case the result is the same. He tests off the charts and yet is failing in many subjects he should excel in. He functions much better in school than she does, because he at least tries. But the poor kid can't keep any of his ducks in a row, they just keep wandering off taking him with them. He also cannot sit still to save his life. Church is an eternity of torture for him at times. For everyone. Sitting next to him is like sitting next to a bag full of snakes. When we are shopping he darts off down the aisle doing pirouettes. When you ask him to stand still he'll prostest he is, all the while he is literally dancing in place. I find myself constantly asking him if he has to go to the bathroom because he looks like he is doing the potty dance. He'll launch into a 20 minute expositional speech about something, using no verbal punctuation whatsoever. I don't feel bad about having him evaluated, watching him and all those who have to work with him suffer is enough to make me want to find him help.

I finally, in a fit of frustration, cleaned their rooms and removed all but most precious toys and educational items, in an effort to reduce the amount of stuff they have to keep track of. He kept losing his paperwork in his room, I'd find it a month later undone. I try to explain it's not a punishment, they simply can't handle all their stuff, they need less to deal with. They aren't too sure about that.

One bummer, I found out that now that we don't have dual coverage for insurance, our copay on my daughters meds is now 25 bucks a month, which will soon be 50 bucks if my son gets the same treatment. Yikes, thats alot, in additon to regular office visits and copays. My budget needs revising.

My daughters teacher let me know she is still causing trouble in class, on several occasions. He also, upon finding out that she is going to see a psychiatrist to eval for possible depression, offered that he did not think she was depressed, since he saw her one day crying and sad, then as soon as she was going to a class she liked she was fine. He figured if she could turn it off and on like that it couldn't be depression. Of course he is n't the one sitting and holding her while she cries and says she doesn't think she is worth anything, that it wouldn't matter if she had never been born of if she just fell off the face of the earth. It might be pre teen angst but I won't bet my child on that. Of course, he isn't a mental health professional but it seems a bit presumptuous to make medical judgements on a childs mental health. IMHO.

I am planning to remove her from school, either this year of before next year starts. It is becoming clear to me that although she is making a good effort, there is no flexibilty in the school system to allow for her disability, she continues to fail. They tell me that because she tests ok, 15th %-ile, which to be honest is not too great but, within a normal range, she does not qualify for any kind of special help or IEP, as she is not learning disabled. It seems to me that if there is a big disparity between a childs potential and their ability to perform or function up to that potential, that should be an indication that there is some disability. But that's just me, what do I know? If making things work with 1 teacher is a struggle, how will she do in middle school with 6 or 7? It seems like a recipe for disaster, and a sure fire way to make sure she continues to fail. Especially if the school is as reluctant to offer any help. They will take a year just to decide she is a problem and waste another year blaming it on her or me and by then she'll be passed on the HS to be someone elses problem. Nope, not if I can help it.

So, there we are. I make a quilt yesterday, to replace an old one that my MIL made that fell apart literally, as it was used so much. I threw it away. Sorry honey, if you are reading this, I thought it best to do it while you were gone, but that poor tattered thing was not usable. You'll like the new one, it looks very similar and in a year or two will be just as soft and broken in.

Have a wonderful weekend and a good week to come.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


I don't write about God to try to convince anyone of anything. I don't really think we do a lot of convincing anyway. In my own life it was watching how people lived their lives that affected me. I write about God because I absolutely love him, he is my favorite person, my best friend. I write about what interests me and what is in my heart and mind. I don't write as a means to do anything, I just write. Kind of thinking out loud.

I was reading my bible last night, and the chapter I was on was second Samuel. I read verse 11 and 12, where Samuel has his affair with Bathsheba, gets her pregnant, has her husband killed so he can marry her, which God was not happy with. God tells him that the child will die. Samuel goes into a period of fasting and prayer while the child is sick and dying, for several days. His advisors beg him to eat or drink but he refuses. Finally, after the child dies, they worry, what he do now that the child dies? David, when he knows the child is dead, "arose from the earth, washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came to the house of the Lord and worshipped him".

Ok, the advisors don't get this. He mourns and fasts and weeps while the child lives and eats and worships after the child was dead. David tells them, while the child lived there was the chance that God will have mercy, but when the child is dead, he is not going to come back to me. I may go to him but he won't come to me.

I have read some comments in various places that it doesn't make sense for Christians to be "fearful" of someone dying, why are we trying so hard to keep them from a wonderful place, if we really think that's what is going to happen. This seems to me to be an attempt to cast aspersion on Christian belief in heaven, imply that our faith must not be so great if we don't want to see someone die. Here we have a great example of a man described as being a "man after God's own heart", someone greatly loved by God. He isn't flinging his child headlong into God's hands, even knowing that God had already said the child would die. If anything, it is a character of Christians who know God, to realize he is merciful and to never be far from the hope of his mercy, to ask his mercy is not to go against his will. To accept his will when we find it is important. To continue to cry and fast and petition after the fact is like arguing with God. I don't see a contradiction in that.

I don't think there is any good or bad way to mourn. Some people need to be alone, some need to talk. Neither is disrespectful. Let those who need to talk, talk and those who need to be alone, be alone.

I know when I die I will close my eyes here and open them in another place. I have a beautiful little place by the sea there, and when I die I will awaken there, I don't know much beyond that but that I know. I don't fear death, and I do not care what happens to my empty shell when I die, I would like to be cremated. The idea of decaying grosses me out, and God is more than able to gather my molecules back from the four winds when and if he needs to. My software is eternal and safely in his hands, he can build me a new box later. But I am not running headlong into death, knowing that it leads to a good place. The fact that I am here is God's doing, my life is not my own and it is not mine to take. That is the thing that non believers don't know. They labor under the misunderstanding that they own their lives. We don't. I would love to go home but as long as I am here, my job isn't done. To take it or hasten it artificially is like stealing from God. It is also an act of rebellion, in my estimation one of the biggest you can do, sort of the ultimate temper tantrum. That's not to deny the true suffering that some people have, that leads them to suicide. I don't know if the enemy can have free reign with someone who has not accepted Christ into their life, but I know that the scriptures say that God will not lead us into temptation without also giving us a way through, he won't put us through more than we can handle without giving us means to deal with it.

I don't want to be in pain, I hate pain. If I am in the process of dying, I don't want to have my life prolonged unnaturally. I don't consider food and water to be life prolonging any more than I consider air to be life prolonging. If I am dying anyway the food won't keep me alive, my body won't assimilate it. I know that. People like Terri aren't terminal. She wasn't dying anyway. That is what hospice is supposed to do. Everyine who responds to the situation with anecdotal information about dying family members is talking about dying people. Terri wasn't dying. She was killed. I don't want to be killed. It seems pretty simple to me. If I am an empty shell, so be it. My spirit might be gone, and if it is, my body will follow. If it doesn't, I am in there somewhere. I may be asleep in there and if I am, it's no torture, don't think I would be miserable. It's probably the first really good sleep I get. Morphine doesn't kill people that aren't already dying. Morphine is used for more than pain. It's used to help with breathing difficulty too, and with anxiety, it's a CNS depressant. Some poeple say they killed her with morphine. Please don't say that, it's not true. It's a misinformed opinion.

Valuing life that isn't productive or useful is not a crime, it is a value. I believe that no life can be judged unworthy. We can't compare one life to another, and say this one matters and this one doesn't. To do so is fundamentally flawed. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. In God's eyes, lying is no better or worse than murder, sin is sin. When we try to make the point that some people deserve less value than others because of their acts, we fall into that values judgement. God doesn't do that. Each life is precious, and while he mourns over that harm we may have caused he still loves that person. His greatest hope, I believe , is that the sinner will turn from their ways and ask forgiveness. We are responsible for our own actions, we should be held up to the law of the land, and pay that price, in the physical world. It's the spiritual harm our sins do that God sees and grieves him. Our value is not diminished in his eyes. He already knows we sin (that's why Jesus did what he did), it's how we respond to sin that makes the difference.

The eternal price has been paid, our value is not dependent upon our actions, it is inherent. Even someone who is in a brain dead state has inherent value. If for no other reason than to give us a chance to care for someone who can in no way repay us. The poor you will have with you always, Jesus said. There's another chance to help. The fact that these things exist is not evidence of a masochistic God who hurts people just to give others that chance to help them, it is evidence of a fallen world, and a God who can pull meaning and purpose out of the most heinous circumstance.