Thursday, March 24, 2016

4-H Fun

My homeschoolers are in a local homeschool 4-H group.  They do all sorts of things.  One day, they made flashlights.  All of them from young to old. 

Summer, showing you her flashlight.  When we go, the older ones help the younger ones which is awesome.  

Nice that all ages get ot participate and learn something.

Nik was so proud of his flashlight.

Nik wanted you to see it with the flash off for obvious reasons.  And yes, they all slept with it that night, even Sofie. 

4-H is a great program.  They do enjoy going and have even gotten to volunteer monthly at the local nursing home.  They learn and have fun.  What more could you ask for?!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jobs & My Kids

I know it is a concern of many parents of what their children will do when young adults.  It was a concern of ours and still is.  One of our many motivations to move was job outlook for when our kids turn into young adults.  We have been told many things over the years.  One being, our kids shouldn't work that much due to their FAS and things of that nature.  I'm sorry but I whole-heartedly disagree with that.  I think if they are able, they should work.  They should have a sense of pride in a job well done.  They should take pride in going to work on time, having their own money, learning how to manage money, how to work with others, how to take criticism (every job has it as we know), and much, much more. 

Irina is my oldest daughter.  She is 23 and works at Revlon.  Yes, the make up company.  It has a veyr large manufacturing plant here and it is assembly line work she does each night.  She works from 3:15pm to 11:15pm with appropriate breaks/ lunch in there.  She talks to other workers.  Has been commended by management.  Does she love this job?  Heck no!  LOL.  She wants something different but as I told her, this gives her a good foundation and do not quit till you find another job first.  Her dream is to still work with animals but reality is, that may not happen.  Irina works Monday through Friday and has off almost all weekends.  It is a good starter job.

Max is my oldest son and works at UPS now.  He drives on the interstate everyday for 20 miles to get to work.  He has to be at work at around 4am.  Yikes!  I know I couldn't wake up at that time.  But, he manages to put himself to bed early so he gets enough rest in.  Usually going to be around 7 so he can wake up at 3:00am.  He loves his job.  And, he even got certified in operating a forklift.  Now, someone may have thought this impossible for a child w/ ADHD and FAS to be able to handle a job such as this w/ a lot of responsiblity and scheduling but he does.  Everyday but Sunday.  And Max even takes Irina to work when he gets home and picks up Bojan from school. 

Yes, both still live at home but I think this is a fantastic job they are doing starting young adulthood this way, learning skills, managing time and money and much more.  Proud of them both. 

Then we have Bojan.  I think the child I thought would be the most successful at holding a job and such is not going to be what I thought. Being honest here.  Bojan is MORE than capable of holding a job and getting a job.  Yet somehow, he does not have one as of yet.  I'm not sure if he is scared or what the deal is but Mom and Dad are going to have to put things in writing soon I do believe.  This child just got inducted to the Beta Club and does remarkable in school.  He needs job skills too though as this would be beneficial for college.  Plus, he needs to save for a car!  We will be pushing the job hunt this coming month to be sure.  I think having a job makes kids want to be more independent and proud of their accomplishments.

Alex and Logan LOVE to work.  Though 15yo, they do neighborhood yard work frequently.  And, neighbors tell me how hard they work and what a great job they do.  Great work ethic and I appreciate that very much.  Isabelle and Reni watch dogs here and there. They are trying to get into babysitting but not much available at the moment.  Well, except their own home but mom doesn't pay :) 

Point to all this is I believe that if able to work, they should.  I do not care what disability you have.  Could care less.  Everyone can do something.  You should have seen just how proud Nik was with those first dollars earned when working with his brothers.  Now, he wants to keep doing more.  Again, I was told many of mine should only work maybe 15 hours or just volunteer. BTW, they volunteer as well places.  I just think having a job in your teens is a great idea and teaches them so very much about responsibility.  Please don't let others say they are not capable or it's too overwhelming.  Work them through it.  Yes, I did help with applications.  And no, I did not mention their disabilities.  Felt they were there to apply for a job on their own merit.  Did they get turned down?  Yes.  More than once.  But that also teaches them valuable lessons.  Perseverance, motivation, never give up, confidence you will get a job.  Just wanted to share a bit as I know many wonder if my older kids work.  They do. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

All Dressed Up

I'm still playing catch up from being out.  This was from a few weeks ago. Bojan went to Homecoming Dance with a friend of his.  A bunch of friends hung out and enjoyed an evening out to dinner and dancing. 

 Sofie was enjoying her brother being all dressed up.  Not too bad looking in a suit and tie.

He is 17 years old in this picture.  Time is flying by for our family.  Needs to slow down a bit more.  So happy they all had a great time. 

Teen Court

This semester I am really focusing on my kids learning the justice system, our government, election process, etc.  So, I signed them up for teen court.  It is a volunteer organization.  Takes first time juvenile offenders and puts them in front of their peers for judging as if in a real court. They learn about consequences for actions, what fines/ service there are for those who broke the law, and learn about the law in general and the judicial system.  They are not allowed to speak about the people in the cases outside of the court.  They have honored this too which actually made me proud.  My teens go every other week to court and this lasts a few months.  So, just twice a month and they had training in the beginning.  

Some of my teens dressed up and ready to go to court.  I think it has been an awesome experience and given them some great knowledge of the law.  Thankful for the opportunity.  

Nate's Results

Got the phone call just now from the doctor that confirmed everything we suspected all along. Nate does not have Angelman's Syndrome nor does he have any other 'syndrome' or genetic abnormality. All of Nate's 'issues' and severe PTSD are explained by one thing. -- past abuse, neglect, trauma, malnutrition, etc. (more than one I suppose) Yes, even that flat head of his. There are many questions we will never ever get answered. Like, what exactly happened to him over there. And that is heartbreaking just thinking about it and probably best that it is not known to us. We love Nate for who he is, work through his PTSD, and all the other quirks/ issues he has. We live for that smile and the giggles. He has the best laugh bar none! The screams will take years to go away, I'm sure. You can't erase his past but we sure as hell can make sure his future is the best ever. We thank our team that went above and beyond to make sure this was not the reason for all his issues. In depth (& do I mean in depth) genetic testing. Watching the new therapist work with him today who specializes in trauma patients and says 'wow!' this poor child more than once, was hard. I knew what she meant. But his fear is so high, he is in a constant state of fight or flight w/ anxiety. We do not know how long this will take to overcome but we will work with him for however long it takes.  Nate does have a purpose in life.  I just know it.  He has already changed so many just by his sheer presence.  Our family has learned a lot from him for sure.  This is the last I'll say anything about this.  It is his past.  Not his present, nor his future.  Those are yet unwritten.  He knows he is loved beyond measure. 

Manic Monday

Gee, events unexpected can truly put one behind.  Playing catch up...again.  This week should be normal in posts.  It's Monday so might as well start with an easy one.

  • laid back dreary weekend but good
  • OT, speech and a new type of therapy this week
  • Max's car needs inspecting
  • Max's car needs repair
  • need to go to bank
  • need to send in Bojan's DMV stuff (has to fill out medical stuff due to prosthetics since he'll be using hand controls)
  • Digby got groomed and looks good
  • did some Easter shopping
  • can't believe this week is Easter
  • Max turns 21 this week
  • Easter is this week
  • need to finish Easter shopping
  • Yana is back home from the hospital
  • Savannah is doing great
  • Nate does not have Angelman's Syndrome (post on this coming up)
  • church events this week
  • Miracle League this weekend
  • going out of town this weekend
  • teen court
  • 4-H club
  • Irina's recheck is great so no more for 3 months on her ear
  • Irina's hearing loss is still there
  • Bojan is getting glasses
  • Bojan was inducted into the Beta Club
  • AWANAS this week
  • Bettie is back in town-- we all missed her!
  • Bojan is off school starting Friday
  • Sent in Bojan's medical stuff for driver's ed
  • need to go to the post office
  • overdue library books-- like beyond overdue...we owe $60
  • Reni gets her knee checked out Friday
  • Warren is on call Friday
  • studying plants in homeschool and pizza
  • calling endocrinology for Summer due to her c-ACC
  • Finding out more about Sofie
  • sorting closets this week
  • Nate is in a contest to win a bike
And much, much more to catch you all up on but this gives you an idea of what's happening this week.