Sunday, September 25, 2005


A ask my supine patronise
A fly be affinity mercury
Of try an pileup preterit

I need neither viagra nor a rolex.

How's school going?

I like this large font, I hope it doesn't look like I am shouting, I think it's easier to read.
Anyhoo, I am hard at work with daughter's teachers, all 6 of them, staying in contact, helping them to understand her difficulties. For a lot of them it's is the usual- if she would just ..., and you have to explain to them she can't do ...whatever that is. I would like it if she would get to class on time, have her planner (their answer to everything), her text book and the assignment she worked on last night for several hours ready to turn in when she arrives in class.

The reality is this,

She is late because she (pick one)
1) Couldn't get her locker open
2)Had to run back to her last class to get something she forgot
3)Got lost
4)was looking for the right book and realized after the bell she left it at home
5)I could go on

once she gets to class, she doesn't have her planner because she (pick one)
Couldn't get her locker open
2)Forgot it in her last class
3)left it in her back pack
4)left it at home
5) grabbed the wrong book
6) Etc.

Then they ask her to take out her text book which doesn't have because (pick one)
1)Couldn't get her locker open
2)Forgot it in her last class
3)left it in her back pack
4)left it at home
5) grabbed the wrong book
6) See the pattern here?

And last but not least, they collect the assignment that she worked several hours on last night and she doesn't have it because she (pick one)
1)Couldn't get her locker open
2)Forgot it in her last class
3)left it in her back pack
4)left it at home
5) Put it in the wrong folder/notebook

And she does this at least 5-7 times a day, every day. I get tired just thinking about it. And they say ADD isn't a disability. I would ask any one of them to spend 1 month like that and see if they have a job at the end of the month.

Set up a reward/accountability program, is one suggestion. It's a good one and probably would work for most kids. The problem is, it doesn't for her. Rewarding good behavior implies that they can change their behavior. To some extent she can but much of it is not something she can. It's like asking a blind kid to stop running into things. If they could they would. So you give them tools to make that easier. She needs brief, single step instructions and assignments, minimal clutter, short deadlines (no 2 month down the road stuff, this is a kid who can't remember what she had for breakfast), written and verbal instructions, minimal distractions, positive feedback for the simplest smallest achievement,a nd little negative feedback for incorrect work/behavior. I could go on.

Basically it goes against the grain of every teacher's best instinct, ignore negative behavior, reward partial success, forgive lateness and partial work, grade how they did on what they did not how well they met your expectations.

I have been grateful for email as it makes the conversation easier for all concerned. They will be spending the next several weeks evaluating her and seeing how she does with behavioral and environmental modifications. If that works, great, she'll have a 504 plan to address the modifications she needs to function. If that doesn't work they will have her evaluated for a learning disability and IEP. I don't know, if the the 504 works I will be happy, but the IEP gives her more protection against being forced to comply with expectations that might not be fair to her, or that might be unattainable. I don't know if her problems amount to a disability, but it sure seems disabling to me. Time will tell.
God bless all, keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

thunderbird thinks this message is junk mail (strangely enough, so do I)

Re: Is organise go cell seismic
Is that your girl? rxwjhycl
Is try as perpetuity girlhood
Re: He send is bourbon handbill

Who sits and thinks this stuff up? I wonder if you could make a poem out of these headers. Or a story, you know like in grade school, start with this sentence and write a short story about ......

Friday, September 23, 2005

Every good gift

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

I don't know about any one else but this verse from James I like. When I wonder if God knows or hears me when I am having trouble, or when I am tempted to think that even a good thing is probably going to turn out bad, I remember that he sends good things, that I matter to him and that he isn't turning away from me. He is steady as a rock, he doesn't have good days and bad days. That gives me hope, that all is never lost. Good will prevail, in fact, it has. I read the end of the book and God wins. The enemy's only real tool is that he can try to fool us into thinking that is not true, and act accordingly. We can ALWAYS choose not to believe him. no matter what our circumstances. All God asks is that we have faith enough to trust him, to take him at his word. He doesn't ask us to jump through religious hoops, he doesn't play word games with us. The answer is in our hearts and he knows it. Have faith, believe in me, believe that I will do what I say. And he does. He does.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Today is, of course, 9/11/2005. We watched a DVD recounting the events, in memory of the day. Today I wonder, what have we learned? What do we remember, has anything changed? I remember some very specific, striking things.

First, the silence over the skies. I found it kind of peaceful, the complete absence of air travel overhead, my husband didn't, it bothered him. Maybe it just reminded me of an earlier time in my life when the constant din and hurry-hurry was not yet. There was a peace, maybe it was the stillness that hangs over a place just after a terrible crash has just occurred, that pregnant silence, that waits to see if any more is to come.

Second, the unity of the country. For one brief moment in time, the bitching had stopped. The country was in mourning but they were doing so in unity. The blessed peace was good, even if the circumstances were terrible. We looked at each other as Americans, as people who for a short time all shared a common bond, a grief that everyone could understand. It didn't last but while it did it was good.

So what do we remember and what have we learned?

I see the bitching has started again. I for one repent of my own complaining. It is exactly what the terrorists, the ones who hate us for what we are and what we believe, want to see. It is what gives them a warm feeling in what passes for the cockles of their hearts, watching us rip each other up one side and down the other.

It's that secret, sweet joy you take when someone you truly hate gets caught publically acting badly. I hear people say they listen to others, that they really want a diologue, but it isn't really true. If they wanted a dialogue, they would have one. No, what the sides want, liberls, conservatives, Red or blue, Republicans or Democrats, is to be right. They want acknowledgement, they want to "inform" others who differ in their opinions of the "right" opinion.

There is no middle ground, no common ground, no understanding. It isn't there. It could be, but it isn't. People are becoming zealots, religiously, slavishly bowing to their own private vision of "the world as it should be". Be careful of the god you worship, for you will become like the god you worship. This close mindedness knows no affiliation, no borders, it takes hold of any and every mind it can. It isn't sticking to ones principles, one can stick to ones principles and still allow others the freedom to voice their belief. It is the incomprehensible, incoherent need to silence any voice that offends, disagrees or threatens your belief. We can be more brave than that.

If the god you serve is real then no person can threaten you by voicing ideas contrary to your own. Seek wisdom, guidance and the god you serve will provide or not. If he does not, then perhaps you need to look for a different god. If the god you serve is so insecure that he can't handle criticism, you need to improve your standards.

I don't know where we are headed, but I know that our inability to come together as a nation despite our differences, despite our lack of conformity, is a bell tolling. We should be able to gather, not just in spite of but even as a result of our differences, we are like a huge animal eating it's own flesh. It is a sickness, a terminal illness. I pray that we see healing of this illness, speak unity and understanding over this nation, not the unity of sameness, but the unity of heart that comes when one knows that we are different but loves the other anyway.

We who are Christian bear a big responsibility in this. We serve a God who is able to change the heart of an individual, a city or a nation. We can trust in his ability, to pray for that to happen, to begin speaking that instead of speaking the problem, always the problem. We know the problem, speak the solution. If you disagree, speak understanding and clarity, if one is angry, speak peace, take a stand against the enemy and stop doing exactly what he wants. We don't need to be alike, we were never made to be alike, we aren't! Speaking the solution in the face of a problem may seem counter intuitive. Oh well, God sometimes doesn't make sense. If we always do what we've always done, we'll always get what we've always gotten. How's that working for you?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

School days

Well, the kids started school this week, it has been a busy week! Of course this week I had to do a bunch of training stuff for my new job which meant full days instead of the half days I am supposed to work. The kids had to go to school the first day without me at home to meet them. That stunk. I feel like a bad mom with latch key kids when they come home to an empty house. The fact that we really need the money and I am doing it so we can afford better things for them doesn't make it better. It isn't forever. Tomorrow is the last long day, for a while. We still have occasional afternoon meetings, or a full day of work which means the next day off but that happens maybe once a month.

One good thing is that my daughter's psychologist suggested I go to the CHADD website and find their form letter to request an evaluation for learning disability and develop an IEP or 504 plan. Previous attempts I made were rebuffed by the school, probably because I was asking verbally instead of in writing. They are required to respond to a written request. I found it and sent it in. Her middle school counselor called to let me know their "team" will be meeting this friday, and will review her case. Based on what they decide there, they will schedule an evaluation if appropriate. I am not sure who does the eval and what exactly it entails, but it is required before they can consider her for an IEP or any special ed type help. I am so looking forward to that, because it is the first ray of sunshine in this kids schooling. If they can get her some kind of designation they will have to provide what she needs based on her learning ability and limitations, that is approriate to her needs. That has never happened before. She has always just had everything kind of shoved at her and she has been unable to keep up with the work or absorb what they are trying to teach her. It has been kind of futile. The best progress has been made via things like Title I math and such, where she has small group or one to one help. Otherwise she just flounders. Her attitude is better too. I mean, it's only the first week but, hey, so far so good.
I pray that all is well with folks, this is a tough time, but there is always hope!

Oh, yeah, I forgot, we got in another car wreck, this time we were rearended, so not only do I have to get the scratches fixed, but I have to get the bunper straightened out. I got kind of sore in the neck after this, the Doc says it is a cervical muscle strain. It still hurts, and I am sore. I have injured joints before that have given me trouble ever since, and it worries me. I hope that all will be well.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thoughts on tragedy

There is no easy answer to give those who are suffering, who have lost everything but their lives or those who have lost loved ones, that doesn't sound trite. It is at those very times that our faith is tested to its fullest, stretched beyond what we think we can stand. It is at those times that we must realize that it isn't our strength carrying us through, it is God's.

We can ask ourselves all we want "why?". Why does God let these things happen, why doesn't he stop it, if he can't then why is he so weak, and if he can and doesn't, why is he so callous? We are not in a position to know all that there is to know, as God is. Part of faith is accepting that he is in control, that there are reasons why things happen and that we cannot understand all those reasons. Our inability to grasp the fullness of knowledge and understanding does not negate God's goodness, mercy and goodwill toward us. My kids don't understand why they need shots sometimes, and they cry with pain and fear, wondering why I am not stopping the situation. All I can do is hold them and comfort them. It isn't the why questions that will be answered, it is the what questions. What do I do now?

I don't know why tragedy happens. I know this, GOD IS GOOD. God is in control and has a plan and a purpose for everything. The bible says "all things work together for good, for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose." We are all called according to his purpose. He wouldn't go to the trouble of creating someone for no reason. I believe that there is a reason for things, even things we think are bad. Perhaps this bad thing circumvented a worse thing. Perhaps it wakens people to a compassion they would not have developed had they not been pushed to do so by circumstances. That is a good thing, even if it comes out of something bad.

Death is painful for the living. We suffer the loss of our loved ones. The bible says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. In the view of eternity, our death places us with God. I don't think he sees that as a bad thing, it is our hope and our longing, and there is no place I would rather be. When he comes and takes me home I will be joyful. That does not mean that I would hasten my end here, I have a purpose and a plan for being here. It is a blessing all the way around. My life was given to me by God and it is his to take away.

The challenge is to find the blessing that exists in all the pain, and embrace that. Nurture the blessing, while it carries us through the pain and out the other side.

stupid kids

We were vandalized a few nights back. Some drunken 18 year olds keyed both our cars as well as cars up and down the street. Luckily neighbors saw them and called the police, who knocked on our door at 3 am monday night and had my husband assess the damage, and asked if he wanted to press charged. He did. I suppose we could have just let it go but so few times do vandals get caught, and I would like to see them held accountable. Why? Because they stand to learn a good lesson, much more cheaply than if they thought htey could get away with it and move on to bigger and better things. And because it's our stuff and they just messed with it because they could. No grudges, no inter neighborly fight, they just were drunk and stupid. Stupidity can get you killed. I would hope they can learn a lesson before their stupidity leads them into greater danger than a few nights in jail and a few thousand dollars worth of restitution. It actually works out ok, we have comprehensive, and the insurance co will pursue them for damages, but it's really a matter of principle. People need to learn respect. They ripped out my rose tree too. We were planning on moving it anyway, so it also worked out ok but still. Once again, wanton destruction fo the sake of destruction.