Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Guess I'd better catch up

Someone pointed out to me that I haven't posted anything here for a while. So I guess I need to catch up!

Most of my writing time is devoted to my "Just Another Clay Pot" blog. It's beginning to grow, slowly but steadily. That's an encouragement.

Let's see. What news is there?

We're definitely chilly at night now, and the leaves are changing colors full-force. Unfortunately many are also falling already. The color is lovely around here, but it doesn't last as long as it does in, say, the Carolinas. Or so I'm told.

Goodness, I can't think of much to say. Life is busy with three outside-the-home Bible studies, the blogs, the kids, the house, the cooking, writing a weekly poem based on spelling words for Andrew's class, the weekly writing contest...

Nathanael is in Lego Robotics. LEGO mindstormImage by Jinho.Jung via FlickrHave I mentioned that? He could use prayer in that, because he's finding it really hard to work with others. Of course we talk and talk and reason with him about it, but right now he's just not getting it. His meetings are 2-1/2 hours long, twice-weekly after school.

Going to the orthodontist for braces repair is also a weekly thing. Nathanael doesn't usually abuse them. Yesterday morning a wire broke when he was eating Cheerios! So needless to say, I'm a bit frustrated with how often they're breaking. I don't understand why it's happening.

Phillip's latest project is designing a city he calls "Rat Collins." That's not intended as a disparaging comment at all. Phillip loves rats. They're his favorite animals. When he mentions them, he pronounces it, "Reeeeaaaaaats," and he puts on a funny creaky voice. Anyway, he's designing all sorts of details into Rat Collins (mostly street maps and charts of all of the railroad tracks). You just never know what he'll be "into" next.Rail tracks.Image via Wikipedia

I can't think of anything else. Perhaps something new and exciting will happen tomorrow.

I hope not. We have enough excitement around here...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What is rice?

Uncooked pre-steamed long riceImage via Wikipedia We were eating dinner tonight when Phillip looked up at me and said, "Rice is basically shredded starch."

I just figured I ought to share that so you all could become as enlightened as I became.

Things are going pretty well around here. Today was an incredibly busy writing day. Of all the times to get hit with inspiration, I got it this morning while the kids were getting ready for school. I was able to get a good start on the next contest entry before going off to Bible study. After the study was the leaders' meeting, and then once I got back I worked on the entry some more. It's still not done, but it's coming along. Unfortunately so is the deadline. I have to get it done tomorrow. But in addition to that I also finished writing the answers to the interview questions for the FaithReaders site.

Oh wait, I looked through my earlier entries, and it seems that I never wrote about that. I really thought I had. Okay, here goes. The FaithWriters site has a sister site called FaithReaders. It's just a site that provides family-friendly reading material that people can read online or download for free. It's all stuff written by FaithWriters people. Anyway, they wrote and asked me if I was willing to be interviewed as the featured author for their site. I would be "featured" for a couple of weeks in October. I said I'd be honored to do that, so that's the interview that I just finished. It was done in writing, not face-to-face or anything like that.

So anyway, that took a while to write, and then I worked on writing the weekly spelling word poem for Andrew's third-grade class to use. Then I finished writing a blog entry for Just Another Clay Pot, and now I'm writing this. Whew! Good thing I use a keyboard and not a pen, or I'd have permanent writer's cramp by now.

It's been a good day. Well...except for one problem. Phillip has a way of "blacklisting" people. Once you're on his blacklist, you tend to stay there. And I seem to have been at least partially blacklisted. He won't do homework if I'm the adult in charge, but he'll do it for Dad. And he doesn't want me to spend time with him at bedtime...only Dad. Oh well. Kids do these sorts of things. I give consistent consequences, but only he can make himself learn from them. And I make sure we have good times in other ways, so the lines of communication remain open.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Mary and I have started attending a once-a-month Beth Moore Bible study. I would not have dreamed of taking on another Bible study, but since this one meets so infrequently, I figured I could handle it. It's nice to get to go with Mary, too. The Study is called, "When Godly People Do Ungodly Things." I think it will be very good.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Home and Happy

Phillip and John got home around 2:00 this afternoon.  Phillip was all bubbly and happy over what a great time he had.  I asked him to tell me about it, and even asked some pretty pointed questions, but I didn't learn much about the things he did.  I DID learn a street-by-street account of the route that they took home, the layout of the camp, and the fact that he had belched loudly in the cabin at the exact moment that his father had been reading in a book about children who belch loudly in public.  He also informed me that he wasn't afraid of heights anymore, but I didn't hear why.  He's been up in the mountains plenty of times before, so I'm not sure what made the difference here.  Anyway, it was good to see him so happy.  And the best part was his report of what he liked best about Eco Week.  "The best part was being with my DAD at Eco Week," he said (with great enthusiasm and emphasis on the word "Dad.")

Then at 6:00 all three boys were at "Pit Stop," the once-monthly fun time that Faith E-Free church puts on for special needs kids and their siblings.  I went to a monthly crafting group meeting and did mini jigsaw puzzles while the kids played themselves silly at the church.

I imagine Phillip will sleep like a rock tonight.  I know I will.

Have I mentioned that Nathanael has started doing Lego Robotics again?  That is a good thing for him, I think.

That's all I can think of right now, probably because my noggin is so groggy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ok, I'll admit it, I cried...

When Phillip's bus left this morning, taking him and his suitcase to school, I cried. He'll be gone until Friday afternoon. When I think about how far he's come, and how little hope there seemed to be for him back when he was two or three...how can I not be moved?

Now it's about 8:15 at night, and I've gotten a brief email from John. It says, "Having a great time."

I plan to get to bed early tonight. Maybe I can shake this headache...

So glad things are going well at Pingree Park!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Too busy to write much

View from the trail of the Koenig Homestead at...Image via Wikipedia
Life has been just plain busy lately. Lots of running around. No point in getting too boring with the details. You all know running around as well as I do.

I did manage to get an entry written for this week's Writing Challenge. I'm not too thrilled with it, but oh well. It was what I could do with the time I had.

Today we had our first meeting for this semester of the WOW Bible study. I'm an assistant leader this semester, so I will have a 1-hour meeting to attend after each 2-hour weekly class. The meeting is optional for assistants, but I plan to attend pretty regularly. The study also entails homework during the week, so it's a bit of a commitment, but it's well worth it.

Tomorrow Phillip and John start their Eco Week adventure! Oh wait, I just checked back over previous entries, and I never told you about Eco Week. That's probably because I had thought that Phillip wouldn't be going. Eco Week is a three day, two night rustic experience at Pingree Park, which is at about 9,000 feet in elevation. (The photo above was taken there.) The entire 5th and 6th grade will be going. Phillip hadn't wanted to go, and I wasn't going to push for it. There are many complications involved in sending him. But bless John's heart, he decided to rent a cabin for himself up there and go along, so he could be there for Phillip if needed. The biggest help is just the fact that Phillip can sleep in that cabin instead of with the big barnful of other kids. His fear of the dark and his incontinence will not be nearly as big an issue that way. And we won't be worried about him having major meltdowns and ruining everything for everyone else. It's a two-hour drive each way, winding through Poudre Canyon a lot of the way, so it would be a real bummer to get a phone call at 11pm saying, "Come get him, this isn't working!" Phillip is pretty excited about it now, especially since finding out that the bathrooms aren't outhouses!

As for funny kid stories, well, I've got one. Andrew got some dirt and put it out in the middle of the cul-de-sac this evening. He explained to me that, "if any of the dirt is gone tomorrow, we'll know that lightning struck there."

Au revoir for now!
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Friday, September 5, 2008

Another happy contest result!

I'm thrilled to report that my entry in this week's FaithWriters challenge, "Puttin' Up With Patience" came in 2nd place overall out of 191 entries! I wasn't sure how well a story set in a hard-drinking Wild West saloon would go over, but I guess they didn't mind.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday already

This is getting a bit old. Nathanael is not eating contraband foods, but his braces are needing repair on a weekly basis. This time instead of a wire, it's a whole bracket that has come undone. Grrrrr.

Last night we had a meeting for all of the workers in the "Women of the Word" Bible study. This is my first time acting as an assistant, so I had to get a feel for my new responsibilities. They don't sound heavy.

Several days ago I went to a parent orientation with Andrew's teacher, and I told her that I wanted to find some way to volunteer, but that I was not designed to interact with groups of children. We talked about how I might be able to use writing to contribute to the class, and I came up with an idea that she really liked. We implemented it for the first time this week. She sent home a list of the week's spelling words, and I wrote a poem around them. Every time I used a spelling word in the poem, I replaced it with dashes. The kids would have to figure out which word it was based on what it had to rhyme with in the rest of the stanza. Well, it worked out great. The teacher and the kids loved the poem, I enjoyed writing it, and Andrew was thrilled that Mom had contributed. An all-around positive experience.

Fall is definitely falling around here. It's lovely, cool weather, but we're not seeing changing colors yet.

Phillip has been doing better in children's church. He's not been causing any problems for the past two weeks, and so both John and I have been able to stay in the service and enjoy it. Hooray!