Friday, October 31, 2008

Seth on You Tube

I was trying out the digital camera's video capabilities and my own limited ability to use all this technology. IT WORKED! Here it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWdKStg3pDo
I'm going to start doing this all the time!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Luke's exciting news


Luke asked Jesus to be his savior today! I'm so very excited about this. He's really happy, all smiles when he talked to me and then to Aunt Amanda about it. He's a very smart little boy, so I think he understands what we're talking about. He knows that all people, including him, are sinners and that only blood can clean away those sins. He knows that Jesus died and to pay for everyone's sins with His own blood, and he "confesses with his mouth that Jesus is Lord." He also said that he "believes in his heart that God raised Him from the dead." I explained to him that being a Christian is to follow Jesus as Master, to obey what God tells us to do in the Bible. I said that's called "righteousness," and he said, "yeah, we sing about that word." PRAISE GOD!

Seth's surgery


Seth had his third surgery this morning. This one was definitely the best, easiest, shortest one! I got up at 4 a.m. to get myself ready and everything for Joel, Makenzie, and Luke's breakfast and lunch. I woke Seth up at 5:30 a.m. He's the GREATEST little guy -- he didn't complain, cry, yell, or fight. He just smiled and let me change his diaper and clothes and put him in the van. He sat nicely on a chair in the waiting room until the nurse came to get us. He cooperated perfectly with all the pre-surgery "stuff," and never once got upset about anything (it helps, of course, that there were no needles involved in today's procedure!). He was nervous to go with the anesthesiologist, but he didn't cry. Putting the tubes in only took 20 minutes, and he was awake in another five minutes. He was a VERY brave little boy, and he made many people smile this morning. And praise God Seth can hear again!!

reading in the waiting room

cute little hospital gown
playing with the hair cover

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ICE CREAM


Seth showed how VERY smart he is tonight!!!! After he finished eating his bowl of spaghetti, I asked him if we was all done with spaghetti or if he wanted more spaghetti. He signed ICE CREAM!! That's a REAL accomplishment for him -- 1.to answer a question, 2.to answer a question with his own desire instead of just picking one of the things that I said, and 3.to remember the the normal sequence that we follow. I'm SO proud of him! This picture is of Seth at the very end of his signing "ice cream."

uneventful


Today was uneventful:
kids ready for school
Seth ready
laundry
Carrs
library
Luke's lunch
work
naptime/housework
pick kids up

Today was my second day of work. I'm running one of the computers during Joel's lunchtime. It's easy and short (only 20 minutes three days per week); plus I get to meet lots of kids for just a few seconds. If I get to do this all school year, I should be able to remember each child's name that has a meal card. Everyone likes for someone to remember his or her name :-)

Tonight will have to be an EARLY to bed night! I have to get up at 4 a.m. tomorrow so that I can get Seth up at 5:30 a.m. to head to Providence. He's having tubes put in his ears because of the fluid built up behind his ear drum. He's not hearing very well right now, so I'm excited for him to have this done. This will be the second set that he's had. Tubes stay in place for a few months, but then they are "sloughed out" like ear wax (gross, yes, but a natural process). I'm also glad that he'll have these tubes in his ears because of all the colds he gets. Without the tubes, we run the risk of ear infections and reduced hearing because Seth has a cold almost all the time (not a bad one, just a little one). With the tubes, the "gunk" drains right out -- also a pretty gross process to have to wipe snot out of his nose AND out of his ears, but it's SO much better than getting infections. Seth's colds have gotten so much better over the past year or so because we all started taking some liquid minerals. They're expensive, but worth every penny considering that Seth used to be on antibiotic and steroids every couple months before he started taking the minerals and hasn't even been to the doctor since he started taking the minerals. It was a horrible experience to see the poor little guy trying to breathe without those steroids. His airways are smaller than normal, so any little bit of congestion caused him to almost be in distress. I'm thankful that there are no problems with that anymore!

I'm SO tired of cooking!!!!!! I've never really enjoyed cooking, but someone has to do it and I'm the only one here, so I guess I have to. I don't feel like doing it, though. I wish that good meals could just magically appear on the table at 5:30 each night. I don't have the energy or the desire to make interesting meals, so we keep having the same things over and over all the time. Oh well, at least we're not starving!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

another busy day


Today was a "rush rush rush" day! Seth woke up early, so as soon as Joel, Makenzie, and Luke got out the door for school, I quickly got everything necessary done so that we could do early morning errands. "Necessary" today meant clean the upstairs bathroom! The tub had pink in it, for crying out loud! Last night the kids had to take showers instead of baths because I didn't feel like cleaning the tub yesterday, and it was too gross to sit in (well, that might be a little exaggerated, but I felt better knowing four little pairs of sweet cheeks would not be touching the germs in that tub). Getting in and out of Walmart before 10 a.m. is one of my favorite accomplishments! The only negative to that philosophy is that there are fewer checkout lines open because there are fewer shoppers. I still got in and out of there fast and early! Then we stopped in at the bead store (one of my favorite shops in the WORLD!) to get black beads for the necklace I'm going to make for my mom. Next was my daily helpfulness mission to ACS. I help Mrs. Anker's kindergarteners with their lunchtime (get straws, ketchup, etc.) and give Luke lots of hugs and kisses :-) I get to see Makenzie before and after the lunchtime, but second graders can pretty much take care of themselves, so I mostly stick with Luke's class. Tuesdays are Seth's occupational therapy days, so we had to run from Luke's lunch to the van to get out to Dowling on time. Seth did get to have a nice little nap while I had some lunch, worked on the laundry, and put away all the Walmart stuff. Then we picked up the kids, helped with homework and signing papers, made dinner, finished the laundry, gave baths, got kids to bed, read a chapter of The Long Winter (we're reading all of the Little House on the Prairie series), sang our goodnight songs, and now here I am. I think the telling of this day is more exhausting than the actual living it. This is a typical Tuesday. fun fun fun :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

someday



Someday, I hope that the kids' leaving for school and their bedtime are not the best parts of my day. Someday, they'll be able to do some things for themselves. Someday, they'll be able to be in the same room for more than thirty seconds without fighting. Someday, they'll either clean up their own messes or stop making messes. But will I make it to "someday"?

All four of my children are BEAUTIFUL little people with their own positive and negative personality traits. But when they're asleep, they're all perfect ANGELS!

Yesterday and today, I've been rearranging my living room and dining area. Friends from church bought new kitchen furniture and gave their previous set to us. I've been wanting some kind of display case for my snowman collection for years, and now I have a beautiful lighted hutch that matches my floors and wooden ceiling beams perfectly. For months, I've been looking on Craig's List for a larger kitchen table set. Not only do I now have the perfect set for us, but I also sold the old one just a few hours after receiving the new one. So THANK YOU to the Powers family for your amazing generosity! My mom and step-dad visited about a month ago and helped me paint my kitchen, dining and living areas, hallway, and both bathrooms. I hope to paint the rest of the living room and the entryway this weekend to finish the redecoration of the immediately visible areas of my house. I feel like I'm in a completely different place.

I read a lot lately. My most recent book was
The Living End by Lisa Samson. It was the story of a woman whose husband died minutes after showing her his list of goals to accomplish while he lived. She decided to complete the list for him. One important point of the book was that for a time, she felt completely alone. She had no children to take care of her after her husband's death (reminding me that I'm thankful that I DO have children). Her plan was to complete her husband's wish list and then kill herself. Partway through the list, though, she realized that she didn't want to die anymore, mostly because she wasn't alone anymore. She had made two new close friends, had reconnected with her two cousins and brother (who had Down syndrome), and had come to more fully appreciate her neighbor and old friend.

seth understands


I'm trying to "study up" on how and what to teach Seth at home (since I've become anti-school district and anti-preschool). He still sees a speech therapist and an occupational therapist weekly, so I feel ok with using this year as mainly my education time. Today I learned that recognizing the fact that words are symbols for actual things, people, actions, or ideas is quite a complex and difficult process that children with Down syndrome may have trouble with. Seth seems to be getting it, though! Looking back, I can see the progression from his imitating my signs just to get a positive reaction from me to now making signs because he knows what he's seeing or thinking or wanting. This is one of the most amazing and exciting aspects of having and observing a child with Down syndrome. This same process occurred in my other three children as it does in all people, but I missed it because it happened so quickly without my realizing it. With Seth, all processes are spread out, lengthened, making observation of his learning and growing so much easier.

And now it's time to get that smart little cutie out of his crib so that we can go pick up the other three cuties from school :-)


nothing exciting

Keeping a journal is a good thing, I think. I'm not exactly sure why, but it seems like a good idea. So I'll keep posting funny or really important things to my "my space" blog and start keeping a regular "this is my day-to-day life" journal here. Generally, then, this one will be on the boring side since my day-to-day life is pretty monotonous. I'll journal my Bible study, too, though -- that's something worthwhile and even exciting. I wonder how long I'll be able to keep up with this. I keep adding "just one more thing" to do and keep reminding myself that there seems to be less and less time to sleep every day. hmmmm . . . . .

The Hofacker Family 2008