Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Two-day Post Today

I am trying to get my life running on a better schedule, so I am going to try to blog earlier in the day, which may mean you will be reading about yesterday instead of today, or part yesterday, part today.

At any rate, I am staying up too late at night to tell you my UP.

Yesterday was epic!

OK, maybe not epic, but it was stupendous!

Hmmmm, maybe stupendous is not the word either...



That's the word.

I got the email yesterday telling me that I made it into the Mary Poppin's play at the Scera Shell!

Wahoo! It's gonna be fun too because I get to be with 5 others I have been in the last two plays with and really enjoy! Yay! Our first rehearsal is tomorrow!

I was preparing myself to be turned down after not making two other (Night of Broadway and Guys and Dolls) auditions.

I have to admit that when they say that you just have to keep auditioning so that you can learn how to audition, it's so true. Even though I was thinking I might not be cast, I was feeling more confident at the audition because I am learning better what I am doing and what is expected.

Maybe my confidence showed through, or maybe the just needed a girl who is five foot ten inches tall... not really sure, but I'm in!

I don't have a speaking part or anything, but hey, this is only my 3rd play, I'm just excited to be in the cast! I think there were like 100 people who auditioned and we have a cast of about 40 so I feel really privileged!

Another UP for yesterday was getting a message from Sister's teacher showing me a score she got on her test in her mainstream inclusion class and then he upped the UP by sending me a picture of her Student of the Week Certificate! Yay!

Dr. H said she had no help on this quiz and even read all the questions herself! I almost cried.

She was so excited to bring this home and show me

Then after those two fun messages I got another one that made my day:

I love her observations and her humor. She always keeps us on our toes whether it's good or bad.

But all of this awesome news also makes my heart ache a little knowing that this amazing teacher won't be here for Sister next year.

I get anxiety just thinking about what I need to do to advocate for our daughter now that having the person there that I trusted leaving and the situation that occurred still looming over my daughter and the school in general.

I tried not to cry when Dr. H sent me a picture of the new display they will be hanging their work by over the next while. He doesn't want to focus on the sad, but, instead, wants to be all in for the kids.

I'm sure that any one else who passes by this will think, "Oh, what a fun spring themed display for the Life Skills class." But, to me, and anyone else who knows the storm that has hit in that classroom knows that this has deeper meaning. Oh, and to boot, those flowers were made by he and his wife with paper! Ya, he's that cool.

Anyway, it brings about new thoughts as I take pictures around town on my walks and during photo shoots.

This was taken with my phone on a walk yesterday.
I love how the blossoms are growing so big and full and the sunlight is still peeking through.

Like these trees I will never stop growing. I will change, wilt sometimes, bring forth fruit (good and not so good—hopefully never bad), I will bring beauty into someone's day, I will bring life to someone's world, break in the storms, stand strong in the wind, spring new branches, but my roots will forever be grounded to keep me growing and reaching toward the light.

So, if you want to remember to never stop growing, here is a little pin for you to use and share:

Day 90 of 365 Days of Up

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Style, Swing and Sweet

Just pictures of my UPs today!

Sometimes Marc lets me take pictures of him just because I love how handsomely he dresses. Sundays are always a good day to get his modeling on...

Went to my parents today and loved watching the pure joy on 
Baby's face while she was on the swing!

My Sweet is two-fold.

The first one was Baby asking grandma Judy to get this cradle out of the garage. We thought it was so she could play with the baby dolls... she had other plans. Aw. Fer sweet!

And the other sweet, we had to stop both on the way to and on the from my parents to get a good look at this brand new Buckskin foal. It was fun watching it run!

Day 86 of 365 Days of Up

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Kick Your Knees UP and smile!

Oh, today has been such a busy one!

Packed with all kinds of fun things.

Callbacks for Mary Poppins were this morning and I had a blast! I am amazed at how much I am enjoying theater! Even callbacks are fun!

This was my token picture I took at the red light on my way home because I forgot to take one while at callbacks.

I had to laugh, though.

Part of callbacks was learning a tap number.


Let me tell you, I tried hard to get it.

All I tried to focus on was kicking up my knees at the right time and smiling all the while as if I had complete confidence!

Funny because I realized I just saw an analogy of my life.

That's what you have to do through life sometimes.

Kick your knees up and smile.

I don't always know what I am doing raising 3 children with special needs.

Heck, I don't even know what I am doing with myself sometimes.

I have learned, though, that dropping everything and pouting doesn't get me very far.

Jumping in and trying as hard as I know how, even while fumbling, all with a smile on my face has just got to, at least, stand for something.

It kind of brings a new meaning to that quote I've heard many times, "Life is a stage."

Sometimes, even when life is hard, if we can keep a smile on our face then, maybe no one will notice all the mistakes we are making along the way and they can just focus on our attitude and not so much our imperfectness.

Day 86 of 365 Days of Up

Friday, March 27, 2015

Just Evened Out

Well, I'm gonna be honest...

I know, that's not a surprise.

Today was not a good day for me.

I talked to Sister's Principal.

He was kind, nice, and diplomatic.

I was tough, blunt and honest.

Then he was kind, nice and diplomatic again.

Then I cried while I tried to explain the situation we are in.

Maybe he understood.

Maybe he didn't.

All I know is I'm on edge.

This "surprise" has kind of overshadowed all the UPs of today.

I mean, I got called back for the Mary Poppins Musical!!! That would usually have me bouncing off the walls, but I think because of the stress, I'm just evened out for the day.

But, really that is a pretty amazing UP!

I made callbacks! Wahoo!

And they start early in the morning. So, good night!

Day 84 of 365 Days of Up

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I didn't see that coming...

I tried out for another play tonight!

Mary Poppins!

I'm not sure if I am cut out for being turned down 3 times in a row so I am hoping that the third time really is a charm. Callbacks are Saturday so I am assuming that I'll hear something tomorrow.

That was my UP. Auditioning and seeing some theater friends.

My nervous face just before auditioning.

Now for what I didn't think would be an UP and the only thing keeping me getting through was the thought that I had to be on the mode of "practically perfect in every way":

Sister's IEP.

Duh. Duh. Duh.

When you have a child in school with special needs you have something that is called and Individualized Education Plan (IEP). You sit with a team of educators and discuss all the goals that you want your child to be able to accomplish. It sounds nifty, but it can get hard because in needing to get all the help for your child that they need, you sometimes, have to focus on what they can't do.

It's not really the funnest time to sit and talk about the negatives in your child's achievements or lack thereof.

I stayed positive even through the negative and it actually was a very successful and motivating IEP.

I walked away feeling so thankful for Sister's teacher, Dr. H and how he knows Sister so well.

I took my positive energy home and stayed UP until it was time to head out for my audition.

Then I got to my audition and a bomb was dropped.

Or so it seemed.

While I was waiting for my turn to audition I decided to check my emails.

An email from Dr. H and it wasn't a happy one about Sister's successes in class that day.


It was a letter informing me and the other parens of the kids in his class that he had been told this very afternoon that his contract was not going to be renewed.


I am shocked.

I hope it didn't show in my audition.

I don't think it did.

But, I am still feeling it now.

So, after all the success Sister has had with Dr. H this school year and the amazing IEP goals he had written up for her he is only going to be around until the end of this school year.

I. Did. Not. See. That. Coming.

I just got done telling you all about what an answer to prayers Sister's teacher has been.

Now I am telling you that he may not even be able to help her through the 5th grade.

To say I am shocked might be a bit of an understatement.

And, yes, I did send the principal a letter.

I just hope I get a response.

A Leap of Faith

My UP today didn't really happen today, but it's one of those things that was so UP that it carried into today and just kept me smiling.

There has been a REALLY TOUGH situation the last while for Sister at school.

I put "really tough" in all caps because I need to emphasize how awful it has been.

To protect my daughter I will not go into detail, but I have learned that Sister is greatly and heavily and thoroughly affected by her environment.

It's part of her Fragile X Syndrome.

Part of her mental impairment.

Part of her personality.

Anyway it has been no where near slightly easy to help her through some tough times.

There was a point where I had no idea what to do, how to handle the situations or how to move forward.

I finally put my faith in the hands of the Lord.

That is the best way I can explain it.

I took a complete and total leap of faith and let my Heavenly Father guide me blindly to what should be done for our daughter to improve her situation.

This was not a bandaid fix.

It wasn't going to be a quick fix either.

And there was not just one way to solve or handle the issues.

So I just leapt.

I know we are not supposed to mix church and state or church and public school, but this is my side the story, my blog and I'm telling it how I feel best.

We, as parents of children with special needs, tend not to trust our children's educators. We worry that they are just worrying about the budget, the legalities, the regulations the red tape and not really thinking of the best scenario for our child.

I'm telling you that it is possible that your child's teacher can be capable of doing great things, miraculous things, if you trust them and have faith that God is leading you the right way.

I have been amazed and inspired by the compassion, care, concern, concentration, and effort that has been put into action on behalf of Sister by her teacher Dr. H.

After talked bluntly with him and expressing my feelings and concerns he has implemented inclusion time for Sister, techniques, and behavior plans that are bringing about HUGE changes in her and showing confidence I thought she had lost.

I've seen miracles.

Not gargantuan ones.

Little ones.

But little ones are so welcomed.

I am feeling incredibly blessed that because of Dr. H's efforts that not only am I seeing the differences in Sister, but my parents and siblings are too.

I am so grateful for the path that Heavenly Father has led me on. A path that is leading to Sister's success.

I love seeing pictures of Sister doing fun things at school, showing her cute personality.

Today I received this one:

Those are all books she brought from home or borrowed at school. She even has a book mark for each one! I love it.

Along with her enhanced reading fetish lately, she also LOVES to bring home little "stories" she has typed up and printed from the computer. She is always so proud.

When she started bringing these home I thought it was just another way to keep Sister happy at school.

It was much more than that.

Yesterday Dr. H sent me this link to his recent blog post and I was so happy to see there was a much larger purpose to her typing.

I highly suggest you read his post.

I also am so excited that he is starting a GoFundMe account to help work towards his goal of helping his kids succeed! I think it is awesome that a teacher, who really gives so much of their time and talents already, to want to raise money to help his students even more.

And hey, it will help our daughter too... so of course I'm gonna ask you to check it out.

Day 83 of 365 Days of Up

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Can't Last Too Long...

Remember my "Quick Bike" post?

Well, it really wasn't a quick bike ride. Just the post was quick. We were actually gone for an hour or so. We took our niece, Yaya, with us.

See he cute little face smiling through the window of the bike trailer? She was so happy to be along for the ride.

We took part of this new biking and walking trail they finished here in Orem.
It goes through several cities. We went through three.

Just like a typical Y2K kid, she could only handle the scenery for so long. This is her "relaxing" with a good show on Netflix on my phone. Ha ha!

After our fun outing her mom came to pick her up and then Marc and I were getting ready for our big outing for the night.

Marc had been planning to take me to a local Thai Food restaurant and I had been planning on taking him to The Secret Garden musical at the Scera.

The food was great!

The play was great!

The company was impeccable!

I sure love this man!
I really, really love this picture of us! Marc always like to commemorate our dates with a photo.
 I was trying to teach him some of me photography skills with angles, who to hold the camera and lighting. It was tough teaching him the importance of angles in the harsh overhead lights of the theater... but he was having fun with it...
He's trying not to squint here. Ha! 
I was showing him how the lighting changes the shadows with our angle and then he just started getting goofy.
We decided he looks like a younger Kenny Rogers here...
 Anyway, we had a great time. We had never seen the musical before but have been fans of the movie and the play was great! We took a commemorative picture out front with the nostalgic Scera Billboard.

On Saturday we went and picked up Marc's parents in Santaquin and thenvheaded out to my sister, Jessie's new place and had sloppy joes and had a great time out there.

Our kids love it out there. It's fun to see the kids doing so many creative things together. They were building huts, playing games, feeding and brushing the pony, playing with the dogs, Ranger and Gunner, and they even started making movies. I can't wait to see the movies they are working on. They still have to finish them.

I'm getting super excited for the annual Easter party Jessie has at her house! It's gonna be epic this year! Especially since Daniel will be here! Yippee!

So those were all the UPs I didn't take the time to write about over the last few days.

Quite a few good ones, huh?

I think so.

Today I sent Baby to school since she had no more fever and woke up happy as a clam and ready to go to school. I took Ranger to his vet check-up and got the word that his ears are all good now, so no more meds! I got our tax info turned into our tax people. Then I popped into the Thrift Store and found a couple spiffy little things for me that I was quite happy about. I came home and got a bunch of schedules, pictures and charts laminated for the kids and some of their needs.

It was all UP.

Then, just before leaving for a meeting Marc showed me some hives that were all over Baby's torso...


It can't last for too long you know.

I might actually think life was easy.


Day 82 of 365 Days of Up

Monday, March 23, 2015

I lied

I said I would give you all the low-down today.

I have an excuse.

So last night Baby started acting sick.

This morning she had a fever of 102.

So, she wasn't exactly a happy camper.

I spent a lot of time snuggling her and holding her.

I didn't exactly get anything done today.

It was one thing to get things done with her in my arms when she was a baby Baby, but at five and a half, she is a little too much to lug around.

So I did nothing except for spend the first 4 hours of my day snuggling, holding, and calming Baby.

It was actually nice.

The fever medicine kicked in and I was able to take her to her dentist appointment.

That's one thing a lot of people probably don't think about much when it comes to special needs children and dental issues. It can be pretty awful when you are dealing with hyper-sensory and hyper-arousal.

She wasn't really happy at first.

Then they put in My Little Ponies and she was good to go.

This moment was my UP today:

Smiling in a dentist chair... yup. That's a good one!

Day 81 of 365 Days of Up

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What I Remember

Gee wiz!

Sorry everyone... I just seem to be finding it a priority to go to sleep these last few days.

I know, I hate leaving my fans feeling unfulfilled, but that is life, my friends.

(I REALLY hope that you all sensed the sarcasm in that)

So, again, this is short and sweet.

My goal, tomorrow, is to sit down and give you a real blog post.

I will do it.

I must do it.

OK. OK. I don't have too. I just really want to.

Is that OK?

Is it OK that I want to tell you all about my weekend, as much as I can remember at this point.

Which might not be much by tomorrow.


I think I am just getting old.

I forget things I did yesterday.

In fact, funny thing I read the other day that I must share:

My UP today?

Well, it was quite simple, really.

I didn't get my arms tugged on all through church.

That was nice.

And we had a family over for dinner tonight that we have not had here before.

It's always fun to have new people for dinner.

Old people are a little tough...


Get it!

People for dinner?



Day 80 of 365 days of Up

Like a gazelle

I promise, I am doing well.

I just haven't made blogging my priority the last few days.

I have so many UPs to post about but, I'm tired.

I want to go to bed.

I love blogging.

It's just not worth staying up till 1 in the morning to spill my guts.

Sleep is good.

I will give you one of my UPs from today though...

I mean, I wouldn't want you to go to bed disappointed...

I went to dance this morning and today we did and African Jazz-type dance and even though I don't think I was very good at it, it felt amazing! I can't believe how much I love dancing.

Now remember people, I am doing this to be better in musicals, I am, by no means of the word or thought, a dancer...


Trust me.

One of my outbursts at dance today was,

"I feel like a gazelle! ...

... In labor!"

We all had a good laugh.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Quick Bike

My big UP today!

I'll explain more tomorrow!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throw-back Thursday

I had another rough day with Sister this morning taking her into the doctor.

I took a selfie because you could still see the stress on my face.

So this morning felt like a throwback to the last time I took Sister to the doctor.

But the day definitely got better.

A lot better.

I was able to go watch Brother's first track meet of the year! I always look forward to that. He is only one of three who are actually participating in the adaptive track from his school this year.

I can't even explain how amazing it is to watch Brother run down the track while the entire crowd is cheering him on! It brings tears to my eyes ever single time.

I didn't get a photo of him running, just a video so I'll get that to you later but I did get pictures from his long jump.

Watching all the junior high kids at the track reminded me of my days in track and field. I LOVED that sport! LOVED it! My favorite was the high jump. I was the record holder for quite a while at Spanish Fork High... I'm not proud of that or anything.

Then, after Marc got home from work, we all piled into the van and drove down to Marc's parents to visit with his cousin, Randy, and his wife, Sharon who were down from Idaho. When we got talking I was reminded that we haven't seen them in 10 years! They've never even met our two daughters! Crazy how, even with all the technology we have, that you can still lose touch with special people.

It was, oh so fun, though to look through old pictures of Marc's family. We laughed and revisited memories. I started taking pictures of the TV screen because I wanted to have some of the pictures to show you.

One of my favorites was a photo of Lynne and Gary when they were younger. It was so adorable and it was good to see them like that.

Marc is the one in the white t-shirt on the left.
This is with some of his cousins and all of his sibling, Amy, Aaron and Amber 
Marc's sister, Amber, standing on her daddy's hands

Now forever my favorite picture of my in-laws.

Marc's brother, Aaron. Just because he's cute.

Before leaving Sharon got pictures of the kids. They all sure loved her and Randy.

Ha! ha! Brother looks like he is wearing a hat from Aladdin!

The lighting in this pic makes Baby looks like she has the biggest pink lips and it makes me giggle!

Sister's hair is getting longer and I hope she keeps letting it grow. I'm crossing my fingers.

We, of course, had to get a few group shots after being inspired by all the great snapshots we had just seen.

So this entire Thursday was a Throw-back Thursday and I didn't even plan it that way.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Hero!

I had an experience with my sister, Kirsten today, that brought me to my younger years of being a mom of a child with Fragile X Syndrome.

I hope she doesn't mind me briefly sharing her trial today with Zac, but he had a bit of a rough time at his little pre-school class this morning.

I was watching Millie and she was a chatter box. It made me smile to hear her talking non-stop all about her brother, her sleeping, her trash cans, her toys, her dinners, her goals in life... ya, she's that cute. Not to mention, it is especially a treat to sit and talk to her because typically she is very shy and very quiet.

Listening to this soon-to-be 4-year-old talking non-stop left me for a longing to have conversations like this with Baby. It was just so funny to hear all the thoughts of a 3-year-old... and she really did give me all her thoughts.

Then when Kirsten returned from Zac's little class I could tell right away that something was wrong. Talking to her and comforting her made me think of all the times I had cried on my mom's shoulder wishing that people weren't scared of Brother and could just see how cute he really was.

Brother bit people a LOT. Randomly. Just bite. Or hit. Or pinch. Oooh, the pinching really hurt.

Now the crazy thing is that Brother was a bouncy, happy, constantly grinning and flapping little boy who people were drawn to. But, if you ever got him anxious in any way, it was the fight or flight reaction and everyone better steer clear.

That's Zac.

I love that kid.

It's hard to think that anyone couldn't.

It was just weird within one hour to be jealous of Kirsten's blessing of having Millie around and within the next moment to completely empathize with her about Zac.

I thought a lot today about my kids and what they are like.

I'm in a melancholy-try-not-to-get-depressed mode right now, so thinking is what I did.

Sometimes thinking about Our Life can get kinda dangerous for me.

If I think to hard I get overwhelmed.

If I get overwhelmed I get stressed.

If I get stressed I go numb.

If I go numb I'm not very good at finding the UP in my day.

I've been having a bit of a rough time lately anyway, so going into deep thought on the situation of my children didn't exactly give me the warm fuzzies.

Until I got really thinking about it.

Now I am laughing inside (because Marc is asleep next to me) about when Sister got off the bus today.

I wish so badly I had been prepared with a camera so I could capture the moment but you will just have to use your imagination.

When Sister came bounding off the bus she had her red cape on and it was billowing behind her in the breeze and her Power Ranger gloves were on to top off the ensemble.

This is her go-to super hero outfit.

I didn't know she was planning on wearing it off the bus so it was quite a surprise to see her in it when she came home.

She was smiling from ear to ear and giggled when I commented on her outfit.

Then she was my hero again when, after Brother and I got home from the Youth Activity, she wanted to help me sort laundry and was so proud of her self for knowing whose socks were whose.

Thank goodness I know my kids.

I am grateful that even as hard as the can be, I still get to see the real person they are and enjoy the good moments. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for giving me so many blessings and continually showing me reasons I have to smile.

I love my little heroes so much!

A Green Reading

I want to go to bed. It has been an interesting day.

There have been ups, but I have recently (within the last hour) had a bummer of a time so I am not in the mood to post ALL the UPs of my day.

So you get the one that I have a picture for.

Sister's awesome teacher sent me this picture today:
She's been bringing her big chapter books to school (sneaking them really) and Dr. H sent me a picture of her reading. He said she had read one page of all her books (you can see the others in the stack on the floor.)

I also love the leprechaun footprints in the back.

It's good to see those, not for me, but for her. She would have been devastated if he hadn't shown up to cause havoc in her classroom. I told her he only goes to school because he knows I wouldn't be very happy with him.


Day 76 of 365 Days of Up