Thursday, October 29, 2009

love my coffee!! (and my Lukey)

This morning I made an especially nice cup of coffee :-) Decaf pumpkin spice white chocolate mocha in this GIANT coffee mug Jason brought home from Chicago. Delicious and nice-looking :-)

Luke has had a problem with sitting still, being quiet, and obeying in general for several years now. But sometimes he amazes me with his true character. Last night I had a KILLER headache! After he finished his leg stretches, he was going to get in his bed but couldn't because I was lying there reading to all the kids. Usually I sit on the end of his bed to read, but I couldn't handle sitting up at that moment. He ran off, but I was in no condition to call him back to our mandatory family fun reading time. When he came back, he had a cold wet wash cloth for my head! He had remembered that I had done this for him when he had a headache a couple weeks ago. He can be SO VERY SWEET!!!!

Today, as soon as I get this posted, Seth and I are going to TRY to go to two libraries to see which pre-school fun time works best for him -- or if he enjoys either. We have REALLY missed his therapy play group now for over a year, so I'm hoping one or both of these activities will at least a little bit make up for losing that. (It was part of the early-intervention services that ended when he turned three.) Thursdays are usually free days except for an occasional doctor appointment, so maybe this will be a fun weekly activity to look forward to :-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"In This Sign"

This morning, I finished reading "In This Sign" by Joanne Greenburg. This was an exceptionally sad book that, although fiction, held some very ugly truths! The two main characters, Abel and Janice, were deaf in a time right before the Depression when there were no resources or respect for the Deaf. All kinds of handicapped people were dumped in the same institutions, so there were no special attentions to individual handicaps. The deaf, blind, mentally retarded, physically handicapped were all together and barely cared for. The Deaf were not taught to sign, but were rather told NOT to sign because they needed to learn to read lips and speak. If they couldn't do this, they were ridiculed or shunned or thought to be basically useless (yes, I was pretty upset and angry only a page or two into this book!) The story shows the progress that Abel and Janice make when they secretly learn to sign, sneak off to get married, run away from the institution to make a life for themselves, and overcome many obstacles to have a "normal" life. Abel became a printer, and Janice became a seamstress in a factory. All through the Depression, they both kept their jobs and eventually got out of a debt that they incurred because of a misunderstanding when they bought a car. They were even able to finally buy their own house.

What amazed me most about this book was the complete lack of understanding and compassion that some people had (and I'm sticking with the word "had" here because I refuse to allow myself to consider the idea that this kind of prejudice and ignorance still exists). There is absolutely no excuse for people to not treat the Deaf with the same care and respect that they treat other people. These two characters lived most of their lives in confusion and humiliation when dealing with the hearing world. They didn't even receive pity (which isn't the ideal treatment, but preferable to disgust and derision).

I'm very glad that life has changed completely for the Deaf. Many people now realize that the ONLY thing a Deaf person can't do is hear! Of course, there are people who have learning disabilities as well as being Deaf; but there are many hearing people who have learning disabilities also. Now, if a child is born deaf, he or she will be taught to sign immediately and will have access to interpreters to help communicate with people who don't know how to sign. I'm sure there are still people who look down on all people who aren't "perfect," but I'm happy to say I don't know anyone like that!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"birthmark" HA!

Makenzie taught Luke to make "snowflakes" out of paper. He made a few for practice, and then he decided to make me one.

"I'm making yours pink, Mom, because that's your birthmark."

HA! He meant my birthstone color. He cracks me up!!!!!!!!!!

p.s. All four kids had dentist appointments today and were ANGELS!!!!! That NEVER happens, but (praise God!) it happened today :-) Luke has a cavity, and Joel and Makenzie need to brush better. That wasn't good news, but at least they were incredibly well-behaved and cute!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Luke's new tattoo

Jason got this little red Nike temporary tattoo when he was in Chicago for the marathon. Luke wanted to put it in the exact same spot that Daddy's is :-) Wise choice since he won't have to wash it off for school because it'll be covered up by his pants -- unless he decides to show someone which I really wouldn't put past him!

Today was haircuts day. I used to cut the boys' hair; but after years of hearing them whine and complain, I decided to just give up and take them to someone else. I tried trimming Makenzie's hair once and quickly learned that a buzzer is the only thing I'm capable of cutting hair with. (I just re-read that sentence, and it sounds like I buzzed Mak's hair. I didn't! I'm just saying I'm NOT good at cutting hair with scissors.) She went from almost waist-length hair to shoulder-length hair because I couldn't get it to look even. I did a tolerable job on the boys' hair, though. I just couldn't take the complaining anymore.

For the first time ever, I made stuffed mushrooms today. And I must say that I did quite a good job. I do NOT like standing in the kitchen for that long, but it really was pretty much worth it -- plus I got to listen to an entire Third Day cd :-) I have lots of leftover "stuffing," so I need to go get more mushrooms and do it again!

We went to Baskin Robbins tonight after dinner -- the first time I've been there since high school, I think! And (I wonder if Lisa's reading this?) I got my old-time favorite -- daqueri ice (which I obviously have no idea how to spell). It tasted the same as it did twenty years ago :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

lunch date :-)

I wish that I had taken my camera today, but I didn't :-( After OT, Seth and I went to City Diner for lunch. We sat at the counter as a little experiment to see how Seth would behave. He did ok -- he could've been MUCH worse, and he could've been a little better. The funniest part of the whole date was when Seth finished wiping his mouth and hands with his napkin, wadded it up, and threw it over the counter :-) I had to chuckle inside while telling him NO, we do NOT throw things in here!! The food there is DELICIOUS!!!!!! The fries were piping hot right out of the grease, I think. Seth tried to take a bit of one, realized it was too hot, got a little irritated, and threw the fry over the counter. I guess I need to work a little harder on table manners with Seth :-) Someone at City Diner has celiac disease, I think, because most of the people know the term "gluten-free." The waiter told me that the fries are definitely gluten-free :-) I love love LOVE celiac-friendly restaurants!!!! So Seth and I will be returning to City Diner in the near future, I hope. I think it'll be a good place to teach him away-from-home patience and manners (with a huge reward of yumminess) :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

good parts to a bad day

Today looked like it was going to be one of the worst days EVER! I woke up ANGRY at 1 a.m. because of a REALLY stupid nightmare, and I couldn't go back to sleep until about a half-hour before my alarm went off. So with a total of three hours of sleep, I was facing a normally full stay-at-home-mother kind of day (which, by the way, is stressful and difficult enough for me with a good seven hours of sleep!). When I don't get enough sleep and also when I'm angry, I shake inside (not on the outside -- it's a pretty strange feeling). So imagine combining both of those negatives -- they did NOT create a positive like in math! Add to the lack of sleep and unreasonable anger two beds that need complete washing because two little boys drank too much before bed last night. And then add to all that a slightly ill ten-year-old who can't go to school because of a headache, queazy stomach, and 100-degree fever. I was just about to FALL APART!!!! But God kept me going one step at a time, and there ended up being some good points. I got a lot of laundry done; Joel and I got to play some card games; I made a new pillow for Luke with special filling that doesn't get ruined in the laundry; I picked up Seth's ointment refill for his psoriasis (which is getting very close to being gone); Joel returned the library books and movies and got more movies while I got to sit in the van and read; I made pumpkin/white chocolate chip cookies that turned out pretty ok even though the bottoms burned a little.

And, of course, it's always a "good part" of any day to see cutie pies like these:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

finished another one

Last night, I should've gone to sleep MUCH earlier than I did, but I HAD to finish the book ALASKA SNOWTRAPPED by Bailey E. Bell. It was the kind of story that I just had to get to the last page and and know all the information!


The main idea of the book was survival. A widower and his daughter decided to go to the Alaskan wilderness to try to get over their wife/mother's death and get themselves "pulled together." Native Americans took them to a remote location and helped them build a cabin. Before they left, one of the men asked if he could stay and marry the daughter. She refused him, but he came back, killed her father, and tried to force her to marry him. She escaped, but he kept following her. She "held her own" pretty well, but was helped to civilization and safety by a white traveler, another Native American, and eventually her fiance. There was a little side story of the daughter's love life. She fell in love with the man who first helped rescue her and decided that she loved her fiance like a brother. Then she wasn't sure she could trust her new love and almost married her ex-fiance anyway. In the end, she did marry the rescuer and go back to the lower 48, and her ex-fiance stayed in a small Alaskan village because he was a doctor and the village had no doctor. The whole "chase scene" was quite thrilling, and the "love stuff" was very interesting, especially to a reader who usually feels like part of the book. I couldn't completely make myself part of this book since there's NO WAY I could survive on my own through an Alaskan winter out in the wilderness, but I found myself trying to be the daughter's adviser :-)

Next on the reading list are some books about the Deaf culture for my sign language class (which, by the way, I am LOVING!!!!). I did keep a list of all the books that people have suggested that I read, and I'm really looking forward to reading all of them. I'll get to them, I really will -- I'm hardly ever without a book and I don't think I ever let a whole day go by without reading at LEAST one chapter of whatever book I'm reading :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

one more birthday gift :-)

My mom sent a birthday package with a little something for everyone, but my real gift came today:

YAY! I do like jewelry SO much!! THANK YOU, MOM & DALE :-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me :-)

Today's my birthday :-) I'm 37 years old, only three years away from 40 and only 13 years away from 50 -- at which time my oldest children will all be in college, God willing :-)

Anyway, my beautiful birthday cake was too gorgeous to desecrate with candles, so I skipped that tradition this year. Andrea, my next door neighbor, decorated this cake. She does REALLY great work!!!!!

My favorite part of the cake is the little thin green swirls :-)

I bought this watch a week or two ago -- it has abalone on the band. And then today, I received an abalone ring, bracelet, and necklace! BEAUTIFUL!!

Makenzie gave me the movie Becoming Jane -- SUCH a good movie!!!! Very sad, emotional, a little overwhelming to me in a few parts, but I'm REALLY looking forward to watching it again this week!

Makenzie wanted to see how my new glasses look on her. I told her to keep her eyes closed because my glasses are pretty strong. She looks like she's smelling something really nasty!

I also received gift cards to Terra Bella (my new favorite treat -- gluten-free breads, cupcakes, and muffins!) and Boston's (who recently started making gluten-free pizza!). Looking forward to using those VERY soon :-)

So THANK YOU to all the Hofackers & Nelsons for the gifts and THANK YOU to Andrea for decorating my cake and THANK YOU to everyone who sent happy birthday wishes!!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

funny Seth and more new glasses

Seth just makes me laugh almost ALL the time! He HATES to take a bath -- no, he HATES to get washed. He LOVES to play in the water and make splashing messes. Instead of letting me wash the shampoo out of his hair, he flipped over and stood up. So we made it a funny, cute picture time :-)

Last night while Jason was getting the kids ready for bed, I hurried over to Costco to pick up this second new pair of glasses -- definitely not my normal style, but I like them :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I DID IT!!! I got my hair chopped (and got new glasses, but I'm sure that is NOT what people will notice when they see me today). I'll be putting it in the mail tomorrow, sending it to Locks of Love to help make a wig for a child who has no hair. Now Makenzie and I can work together on this project: donate, grow it out for about five years, donate again . . .

So today was quite a productive day: Seth and I returned shoes that were too big (Target is GREAT about returns!!), picked up one of my new pairs of glasses (Costco doesn't have a very big selection, but I did manage to find two good pairs -- only one came in so far, though), bought shoes that fit me nicely (Payless is my first choice for shoes, I guess), found a great jewelry box to organize my beads and a big video cabinet (Value Village is my all-time favorite store!), and then got my hair cut (Marie's does donation cuts for free + tip -- they don't ask for a tip, but I thought they deserved one).

"Teacher Man"

Last night I finished reading Teacher Man by Frank McCourt, the third book about this author's life. Neither the second nor the third book was as good as the first one (Angela's Ashes), but they were interesting. This third book was, as the title implies, all about Mr. McCourt's teaching career. He taught English and Creative Writing in New York public high schools. My favorite phrase from him (about not giving a "fiddler's fart") was in this book a couple times, along with some pretty humorous situations. Overall, this book reminded me to be real with people. I'm not better than anyone else and no one else is better than I am. Each human being has different skills and talents, but being better at something in particular doesn't make a person any more worthwhile or important than someone else. Pretending to be something that we're not or wishing to be something that we're not causes stress and frustration. The wiser way to live is to accept other people for who they are, and accept ourselves for who we are (while, of course, striving to grow more mature and more like Christ). "Fake" has always been a huge pet peeve of mine, and this book reminded me that "real" is so much better, even if "real" isn't exactly "normal" socially.

The Hofacker Family 2008