Sunday, April 22, 2012

Friday the 13th

I'm generally not a superstitious person, but it "just so happens" that something INCREDIBLY weird happened to us on Friday the 13th.  Here's the story:

At 4:00 a.m., I heard a door bang closed.  I guessed it was Joel, too tired to be quiet after getting sick (he still has a digestion problem that sometimes causes severe nausea).  At 4:44 a.m. (yes, I still have a little ocd problem that won't allow me to set my alarm for 4:45, it MUST be 4:44), my alarm went off, meaning I needed to get in the shower and Jason needed to go for a run with his friend.  There's a little problem with our timing on these mornings, though, because I really want that extra time to get ready, but Jason and his friend have agreed to leave their houses at 5:10 a.m. and meet in between the two houses.  This wouldn't matter for normal families, but we're not normal.  We have two little boys who could VERY easily wake up while I'm in the shower and go right out the front door without anyone knowing.  DANGEROUS!!  When I'm the only one in the house and need to take a shower, I have to chain lock the front door.  So Jason, being the easy-going guy that he is, said that he would just leave whenever I got up and do a little extra running before meeting his friend.  I overslept a little, got up at 5 a.m., sent Jason outside, chain locked the door, got in the shower.

And that's when the real "fun" began.  Jason went into the garage (which, by the way, is connected to the house by a wall with no door -- there's no way to get into the house from the garage) to get his running jacket.  Connected to our garage is a very small shed.  There's a window between the garage and shed, but no door.  The back garage door was dead-bolted from the inside of the garage.  As Jason was grabbing his jacket, the shed light came on.  He looked up and was shocked to see A MAN IN OUR SHED!!!!  He yelled, "HEY!!!  GET OUT OF THERE!!!!" and proceeded to dial 911.  Normally, Jason doesn't take his phone outside with him, but "for some reason" (a.k.a. "because of God's providential care"), that day he had.  He waited out in front of the house to make sure the guy didn't get away out the front way.  Jason was pretty much a "sitting duck" because I had chain locked the front door and there's no key for the back door.  There was absolutely no way to get into our house without breaking glass.  It "just so happened" that the intruder didn't have a weapon or violent intentions, so Jason was safe outside when the police drove up less than five minutes later.

When I got out of the shower, I heard Jason calling up the stairs.  I was SO irritated!!!!  I was thinking, "What in the world??!!!  He's gonna wake up the kids at FIVE SOMETHING A.M.!!!!"  He knew I'd be thinking that, so when I got closer to the door, he quickly said, "There was a guy in our shed.  The cops are here!"  Obviously, that stopped any tirade I had planned!

The police were looking around the shed, shining their lights in the shed, looking for evidence telling where the guy had come from and where he'd gone when they realized that HE WAS STILL IN THE SHED!  The guy had buried himself under all the boxes of junk in there (this is our garage sale junk/summer equipment storage shed).  When they get him out of there, they realize that the guy was NAKED from the waist down!!  He had on a shirt and coat -- that's it!  Since there were no footprints in our front or back yards or on our deck, he must have jumped the fence NAKED (we have a 6-foot wooden fence, and the gate doesn't open).

He didn't seem to be trying to steal anything (who would want our garage sale junk or plastic kiddy pools?); he was apparently trying to hide from someone.  He had gone up on our deck, probably looking for food since the thermoses outside the door were opened (they had seven-month-old creme soda in them that I had meant to throw out six months ago) and the grocery bag of dirty diapers was off its hook.  He had set up one of our camp chairs inside the shed behind the door and unrolled an old sleeping bag.  Apparently, he was getting good and comfy in there.  For "some strange reason" (again, God's working), he turned the light on within the 30-second timeframe that Jason was in the garage, otherwise we wouldn't have known he was in there.

One of the police officers "just happened" to be a friend from church.  This made me feel so much better in this crazy situation because someone we knew and trusted was helping to take care of everything.  After the shock wore off, we could see all the terrifying "what if's" of this ordeal.  The guy was high (track marks on his arms, needles in his pockets, and unintelligible thinking), and therefore completely unpredictable.  He could've broken into our house; he could've had a weapon; he could've been violent; he could've NOT turned the light on right then and it might've been ME that found out he was there AFTER Jason and the kids left for school; he could've not gotten caught at all and broken into our house after we ALL left for school/work.  BUT none of those things happened.  It all worked out so that we were all safe.  He was arrested, charged with burglary (because he was caught "red-handed" inside a building with our stuff), and taken to jail.

This all made me (1) thankful for a God who watches over us, (2) thankful for Jason's quick thinking, (3) thankful for a good police force, and (4) thankful for locks and alarm systems (which is now also installed on the shed, not just the house).  Of course it also made me feel violated and angry, but I'm choosing to focus on the gratitude!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

toothless Seth

Seth lost his other front tooth while he was eating his goldfish crackers.  He's such a little cutie!

We had Seth's IEP meeting at his school last week.  Up until that meeting, I was thinking of trying to move him to a different school because he seemed to not like it at all.  Plus, he's in a "life skills" class instead of "extended resource," which I thought meant that he's not really getting much academic education.  I learned at the meeting, though, that the only real "life skills" thing he's doing is potty training.  Everything else that he does is academic.  He goes to the regular kindergarten class for reading.  He goes to an adaptive P.E. class with his special ed class, but also goes to regular P.E. with the regular kindergarten class.  He gets speech therapy twice a week, occupational therapy twice a week, does reading and writing and numbers with his teacher and/or teacher's aides.  He has also started feeling more comfortable in his new school and playing/teasing with his teachers and one of the other kids in his class (the other boy with Down syndrome).  My only real concern is that he is more advanced than anyone else in his class.  Several of the kids in his class can't speak at all.  They make sounds, but can't speak.  I'm not sure if this really matters in Seth's development, though, since he's with our family, church family, and the regular kindergarten class so much.

I believe that God's purpose for Seth is encouragement.  Seth makes people smile, feel better, feel happy.  That's why he was born, this beautiful gift.  He probably can't accomplish that purpose, though, if he's miserable.  I was afraid that being in the new school made him miserable, but maybe it just took some time to adjust.  Everyone there likes him and is glad that he's there, and Seth seems to be liking it more all the time.  Maybe he's in the right place after all.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

wrestling tournament

Luke wasn't supposed to wrestle this weekend because Jason had a big track meet, but Luke decided that he DID want to wrestle. So we all got up early and got all ready to go out to Palmer. One problem: I couldn't find the baby leash. There is NO WAY I can go to a wrestling tournament with Seth without the baby leash. We looked and looked EVERYWHERE in the house, but couldn't find it. I finally decided that we would have to stop by the store on the way to the tournament and buy a new one. One problem: The store didn't have any. I think I won't get in trouble for this because I used it around his tummy like a baby leash, but I had to buy a dog collar and leash. Some people will be appalled by this, but even more appalling would have been to lose my sweet Seth in that crazy wrestling tournament! He had his wrestling singlet on under his shirt so that the leash didn't scratch up his skin, and he doesn't mind wearing it at all. He knows that it keeps him safely close to me when he forgets how important it is to hold my hand. I got plain black so that it didn't look like dog equipment. I could have put him in a stroller the whole day, but he's really too big for a stroller. He would've been uncomfortable all day, he would've had no exercise and no freedom to move at all, and we would've had a VERY difficult time getting around all the wrestling mats.
Luke did really well in his first two matches. Click HERE to see Luke's first match and HERE to watch his second match (and once again I must say that girls should NOT be wrestling!!!! I do NOT like it that my son who has anger issues has to take that aggression out on a girl!!!! He tries to hurt people when he wrestles. He usually follows the rules, but he IS trying to win). I didn't put the third and fourth matches on youtube because Luke lost and also because I don't know how to edit out the sound of me yelling like a crazy mom who wants her son to WIN. Gavin got second place in his age/weight division, and Luke got third place in his division.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

recorder and tooth

At A.C.S., the third graders learn to play the recorder for their music class. Every time they successfully play a song, they receive a "belt" like in karate (the teacher gives them a colored piece of string to tie onto the bottom of the recorder). Each consecutive song gets a little more difficult. Today, Luke played "Amazing Grace" to earn his black belt :-)

Another reward of all the practicing is striking the gong. Luke LOVED that part!

Seth's teacher and I write notes back and forth about what Seth did at school, what he needs to bring to class, or any questions I might have. Today, one of his teeth was taped to the notebook. Seth apparently would rather endure the pain of ripping out a loose tooth before it's really ready than feel it wiggling. Now he's looking a little "snaggle-toothed" :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

Let's compare Easter over the past few years :-)
2008 (I think):

2010:Not sure why I don't have a picture of Joel for 2011:And now for 2012: I asked Joel to move everything away from the fireplace. The next thing I knew, he was vacuuming without being asked! WHAT?! My teenage son was doing something that needed to be done without being asked???!!!! Weird, but GREAT!
And then for the cousins pictures :-) I have more somewhere, I think, but here's what I could find tonight. 2010:
2011:And 2012:2012 after Seth scratched Luke in the eye because Luke was trying to get Seth to look at the camera by grabbing his chin and turning his face. Apparently, Seth didn't like that. Not sure why we keep putting Seth and Luke next to each other. It pretty much never turns out well.
Our girls sat nicely, though, and posed SO sweetly:Makayla looked BEAUTIFUL :-)Gavin posed very nicely so I could get a picture. He didn't really want to because it was time to eat, but he did it with such a sweet smile :-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Luke's wrestling tournament

Luke wrestled yesterday and got SECOND PLACE!!! He won his first four matches, but got pinned in his fifth match (and a little bit hurt when the kid pulled on his neck to hold him down -- just like a couple of the kids probably got a little bit hurt when Luke pulled on their necks to hold them down). My camera's memory card was full in the middle of the fourth match, so I didn't get to video him winning that one, but here are the links to the first three:

Luke's 1st match -- a pin :-)

Luke's 2nd match -- a win (after almost ripping the kid's head off -- he really didn't mean to do an illegal, dangerous move). You might want to skip the video from 3:50 to 5:40 unless you really want to see butt cracks of people who don't wear big enough clothes.

Luke's 3rd match -- a pin :-) And of course, I can't let the opportunity slide to say AGAIN that girls should NOT be wrestling. It's just plain WRONG!!!!!

I was SO VERY proud of my Luke!!!! He was quick and sometimes listened to his coach (his dad) :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

a tooth and two blond cuties

Seth had a loose tooth and apparently got tired of my telling him "sorry" because I am completely unable to pull teeth. I can't even look at loose teeth. So he went to bed and yanked it out himself. Luke got up from bed to blow his nose, so I went to put something away in his room real quick. Seth was sitting up in his bed, and I told him to lie down and go to sleep. He held up his tooth and said, "I did it!" This child is constantly surprising me!

Earlier today, we got to spend some time with these two little blond cuties :-)

Those pictures are from last Wednesday, but they were just as cute today :-) They came over to play with their cousins (Seth took the day off school to join the fun, but my other three didn't have school today). Gavin and Luke played the wii -- both of them were VERY excited. Wednesday when I told Gavin that Luke was really looking forward to playing the wii with him, he ran over to his mom (who was only a few feet away and heard me tell him) and was almost jumping up and down saying, "Mom!! Did you hear that?! Luke is really looking forward to playing the wii with me! And I am really looking forward to playing the wii with him, too!" Those were pretty long sentences for a five-year-old. Makenzie and Makayla watched a Barbie movie and played with Princess paper dolls and magnetic dolls (which Makayla called "maggots" -- lol!!!) in Makenzie's room :-) After play time, we went to the library -- the big library that has TWO elevators. The kids took turns with the button-pushing, which made Makenzie and me laugh SO hard. We didn't realize that pushing a button was such a privilege. Oh, but it IS! For the entire library trip, there were twelve buttons to divide between the three children who wanted to push buttons, so they were all happy.

The Hofacker Family 2008