Friday, September 23, 2011

Seth the little turkey

The back yard used to be the safe place to let Seth play without total supervision. Now that's not safe either :-( He has learned to climb better -- so much better that he could possibly try to jump off the deck. He has learned to hike up a leg and pull himself up onto the kitchen counter, so I'm quite sure he is capable of pulling himself up onto the deck rail. Scary!!!
How can such a cute little kid make SO MUCH TROUBLE???!!!
I showed Seth how to rake the leaves into a little pile. It really didn't matter that the tiny little plastic toy rake was almost useless for actually raking because he decided to rake them back into their original spots. But I'm pretty sure he thought he was doing something helpful.
This morning, one of Seth's aides walked into his classroom, and Seth SMILED so huge and said, "SAWAH!!" (Sarah) He refused to sit down and eat his fruit snacks until he had gotten Sarah a chair to sit in right beside him. SO CUTE!! I could tell right away that it would be a better day than yesterday. The special ed teacher had to call me to talk to Seth because he was being SO uncooperative! Today was MUCH better!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


yes, i know this is my "soapbox," but here i am again yelling to the world about this word. my son is mentally retarded. that does NOT in any way mean that he is stupid, worthless, messed up, or any other negative word. so if there's road construction that makes me wait and wait and wait, it is NOT ok to say, "Man, this is so retarded!" NOT OK!!!!!! (and that's just one tiny little example -- i could go on and on, but i'm sure everyone gets the point)
warning: if you know my baby or anyone else who is mentally retarded, or if you have a beating heart in your chest that does not have icicles hanging off it, have a box of kleenex handy!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

running & sleeping

Yesterday afternoon, Joel had a cross country meet. I forgot to ask how far they have to run, but I'm guessing it's two or three miles. Poor Joel really doesn't like to run any more than he likes to work, but he did it. I'm proud of him for trying at all. I hate to run and refuse to do it unless one of the kids are in danger!
I decided this morning that Seth is too old to be sleeping on a baby mattress. He still fits in the baby bed, but it just seems wrong to have a six-year-old in a baby bed. So I took off the rest of the crib parts, brought Makenzie's mattress upstairs (because she wants to sleep on the air mattress until we can get her a good soft mattress -- maybe for Christmas), and put on Scooby Doo sheets and a soft blanket. He's very excited to have a big bed like everyone else!

Friday, September 9, 2011

school pics & silly Luke

It's school picture time. I made the kids dress up this time. Makenzie was pretty upset with me that I wouldn't let her change into the school uniform after pictures were over. I'm a "one set of clothes a day" kind of person (since I have to do the laundry), but my kids think they can just wear however many changes of clothes they feel like (I really need to teach them how to use the washer and dryer -- I've started, but I need to do more detailed lessons!). Luke didn't mind having to wear a shirt and tie all day. Joel didn't complain at all, so I'm wondering if he has some sneaky plan. He's a junior higher now, so this is always in my mind.
Joel wanted Seth to be in a picture with him, but Seth kept yelling and hitting him:
or being just plain crazy:
Yesterday, Luke's teacher named him THE BEST BOY IN THE CLASS at the end of the day!!!! I'm pretty sure that NO ONE has ever said that about Luke before!!!! I was SOOOOOO proud of him (and happy with his teacher for noticing how great Luke is). He got to pick two things from the prize box. He got a sucker for himself and a cool eraser for his friend. He's always doing things like that, thinking of other people. I wish this good behavior would carry over to home after school! He's back in the bad habit of piddling around instead of getting his homework done. This is how Jason found him right before dinner last night:
I seriously doubt that fireman hats were part of his homework assignment! I might have helped the problem a little today by putting a chair and a tv tray in his room for his own little desk. He'll have to be in room all alone with the door closed (which he hates) until he gets his homework done. I'm hoping this makes him go faster so that I get to see him more than just to kiss him goodnight!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

thinking of Dale

There was only one thing I really needed to find at the 1/2-off sale at Value Village: a t-shirt to match some sweats I had bought at the last sale. I'm weird about matching clothes -- my pj's have to match. These sweats have an off-white stripe down the sides, so I just couldn't make myself wear a white t-shirt with them. The sweats are an army green, so I couldn't wear a red, blue, or pink t-shirt with them. I knew Value Village wouldn't disappoint me -- there's always something good there, and Monday was no exception. I found this John Deere t-shirt that #1 matched my sweats and #2 made me think of my step-dad, Dale (who LOVES John Deere!):
So every time I get out this shirt, I'll think of Dale :-)

Monday, September 5, 2011

fair day

The Hofackers always go to the fair on Labor Day, the last day. So that meant that I had to get up super early to do a super fast run through the Value Village 1/2-off sale so that I didn't make everyone late :-) We like to get there right at 10 a.m. when they open so that we miss the crowds. Joel and Makenzie went with me this year and picked out some clothes, movies, and books for themselves (I'm LOVING having maturing kids who can do things on their own!!!).

I'm guessing from this flower structure that this was the 75th Alaska State Fair:
There were no lines for ANYTHING when we got there. The kids got to walk right up to every ride they wanted and get right on.

It was REALLY cold today!! All nine of us had on bright green or yellow Buddy Walk shirts, but we had to wear coats which covered up our great matching :-( Seth actually got to walk around a lot of the time today -- usually when we go anywhere, he has to be in a stroller because he either runs off or refuses to hold someone's hand. Seth especially liked holding hands with Jason's mother since she was the only one with gloves. We all warned Joel to wear pants, but he insisted that he'd be plenty warm. He was ok once we were walking, but he was a little concerned when we first got out of the vans.
I wasn't exceptionally impressed with the food this year. I tried a turkey leg because it seemed like the right thing to do, something everyone does at the fair. It was ok, but definitely not one of my fair traditions. There were several things that I wished I could eat -- elephant ears, funnel cakes, different oriental foods, and different kinds of bbq. Having celiac disease doesn't often irritate me, but it does bother me a little when there are LOTS of great foods to try that are off-limits to me. I'll have to try again next year to find something great that's gluten-free!

Seth liked the free inflatable hats that Alaska Airlines gave away:
One of my bosses offered to give me extra hours any time I needed them. I'm pretty sure I'll be taking him up on that offer after spending the day at the fair with its overpriced tickets, overpriced food, and irresistible booths (yes, I did buy more jewelry). These were 1/2 off:
And I saw these at the Saturday market, but decided to put them on my wish list. But then I was wishing that I'd just bought them. They have little forget-me-nots inside (I don't think they're real, but maybe they are. If they are, then I like them even more). So I looked up and down every trail of the fair, but couldn't find them. I gave up and was headed back to the van when my phone rang. Joel had found a building full of more booths, one of which had the necklace and earrings that I wanted! Yay for a thoughtful child who remembers his mother :-)

Friday, September 2, 2011

beautiful children

Jason reminded me that I forgot to put the kids' 2011 birthday pictures on here. oops! How could I forget that?! We went to the library this year to take the annual pictures. Taking pictures of Joel and Makenzie has always been super easy. They follow directions and smile nicely, although they do sometimes give a fake smile. Luke and Seth, though, are a little more difficult to get a good shot. I'm so blessed to have these four BEAUTIFUL children!!
My big 12-year-old junior higher:
My ten-year-old princess:
My eight-year-old cuddle bug:
And my six-year-old sweetheart:
Tonight Seth was talking to me and I noticed that HE HAD LOST HIS FIRST TOOTH!!! I called his special ed. teacher to find out if she had put it somewhere, but she didn't know that he had lost it. So I think it fell out while he was eating his snack at home after school and he swallowed it. That means it'll be coming out sometime in the next few days, right? GROSS!! I'm not going to search too much, but if it's right there in plain sight, I'll probably get it and wash it REALLY well because I keep the kids' teeth (I think that might be a little weird, but I don't care).
Yesterday, I weighed and measured Seth (like I do for all my children sometime near their birthdays). He is SIX inches shorter than Joel and Luke were when they were six, TWO inches shorter than Makenzie, six to nine pounds lighter than the older boys were, and two pounds heavier than Makenzie was. Crazy how one extra chromosome can make such a physical difference. Seth's speech therapist did a standardized language test over the past two weeks' sessions and found that Seth is speaking and showing the understanding of language like a 2 1/2-year-old. She said that Joel, Makenzie, and Luke would score somewhere around the 115th percentile, meaning that their language skills are more advanced than 115% of the rest of the children their ages. Seth scored in the first percentile. That seems like a bad thing, but it really isn't because Seth is doing VERY well for Seth. Comparing him to other people is interesting as far as "getting some facts" kind of information, but the truth is that he's doing GREAT! He's adorable, sweet, gorgeous, AND he can say a lot of things, follow many directions (if he feels like it), show an independent will (including likes, dislikes, wants, needs, pain, happiness, sadness), count to 10 usually, identify colors, write and color (scribbles, but he knows how to hold a writing utensil), feed himself several kinds of foods, and probably so many other things that I can't think of because I've been awake since about 3:30 this morning. I never expected to be the parent of a child with special needs -- I'm sure no one does. But I really am glad that God gave me Seth!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Luke and Makenzie are amazed that Seth can touch his nose with his tongue:
This is how I found Luke and Seth in the middle of the night when I went in to change Seth's diaper and take Luke to the bathroom. Seth was about to slide right off the side! They were both sound asleep :-)
And HERE is a funny blog post by a friend from church. I laughed out loud on some parts!

The Hofacker Family 2008