Thursday, January 03, 2008

Been WAY too long

I can't believe how long it has been since my last post here. Yikes! I can't even begin to catch up on everything that has been going on. I think it is safe to say this blog is probably not going to be updated often anymore. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

However, you can still keep in touch. :) I still have my designing blog that is updated every so often. I am sure I will start my ramblings there, and I need to be better about updating it more often as it is. So, please come on over and leave me some comments there every so often. And feel free to grab some of my freebies while you are there! LOL I want to know how all of you are doing as well. :)

There is also email: cpkmelissa AT gmail DOT com.

Things are going ok. The boys are having a lot of medical issues going on right now, some of which have me a bit worried, but I try not to panic unless I have to. Please keep them in your prayers, especially Joshua. The girls are doing great. My designing career is doing well, and I have been having thoughts of expanding into some other areas. Still not positive on that though. Time is my biggest factor right now. Handbells are a blast, and we have a conference coming up that I am really looking forward to.

So, I hope you will come over to my other blog and keep in touch over there. I miss everyone over here and you often cross my mind. I hope all is well with each of you. :) "Talk" to you soon!

Friday, May 25, 2007

How about some pictures?

It has been a while since I posted any, so I figured since I have nothing to really blog about, I'd post some pics. :) Just ignore the background. It was laundry day. LOL

Jacob, who turns 8 next week:




Thursday, May 03, 2007

Evaluation time!

I can't believe it is the end of the school year already! I took the boys in for their annual portfolio evaluation. This was Jacob's second and Josh's first. It went great!

Sorry I haven't been chatty lately. In Florida, we have to have the homeschooled kids evaluated one of 5 ways each year. I decided last year to try the portfolio evaluation, and I loved the woman we saw, so we scheduled it with her for today. So, I have spent the week trying to get their portfolios ready and prepare Joshua for what would happen. It's really not a big deal, but he needs a TON of preparation because of his autism.

Jacob is in second grade. He is doing math on an advanced 5th grade/average 6th grader level. As we were leaving he was doing multiplication in his head. No lie! Out of nowhere he tells her that 72 x 4 = 288. I am sooooo not mathematically oriented, so it's nutty to me that he is so advanced in that subject. LOL His phonics is a bit advanced as well (probably third grade) and she was totally impressed with a story he wrote and illustrated, because it had proper punctuation and such. LOL She even gave me the name of a book that shows us how to make our own binded books, because she thinks it would be great for him.

Joshua did well also. She said he is fine to move on to 1st grade next year. Yay! I was worried that I was going to have trouble showing what he had learned, but he willingly went and read a page from a book for her, and she said his reading is "phenomenal". He still doesn't really write, but she reiterated that was what is so good about the homeschooling - I can work at his pace and our goal for next year is to actually have him write on paper instead of on dry erase boards like we have been doing.

Whew! I'm so excited they are doing so well. I can relax a bit now. :) We are continuing through the summer only because I need to keep them on a schedule/routine. I learned my lesson last year! Maybe now I can actually find time to update this blog a bit more than I have been doing lately. :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How awful am I?

Yep, I'm a blogging slacker! I have never denied that, though. :P I really believe that I need about 36 hours to my day to get everything done. There is always a huge list of "to do" items on my list at the end of each day.

Things are somewhat improving with Joshua since my last post. He is doing better with concentrating on his schoolwork again, though we still aren't back 100% to where we were before our trip in February. It's crazy how two weeks can totally undo a year of hard work. I'm sure the spring weather is not helping his concentration level either. I think it is getting to all of us!

Jacob has been doing awesome on his math. It boggles my mind how we have struggled to get through adding and subtracting this year, and yet he totally rocks on the multiplying and dividing. I was talking to my little brother, Willie, about it last week and he replied that subtracting is HARD! He and Jacob are so similar in so many ways. Their brains do not work the same as mine, that's for sure! Willie is gifted and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Jacob were to be tested that he would test highly.

The girls are well. Cassie was backtracking on the potty training after our trip, but I think we are finally back on track.

Silas and I attended a symphony concert last Friday. It was Russian night and they ended their regular program with Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. I LOVE that piece!! So much fun to play, and even better to get to sit and hear the orchestra from the audience. It did get me missing my clarinet though. So I took it out this weekend, not remembering why I hadn't touched it in so long. Turns out one of the pads is missing. Ooops! So, I need to get that fixed up sometime, so I can get back into playing. :)

I will be taking Jacob to his first symphony concert next week. He's excited, as am I. I am hoping to start teaching him an instrument of some sort next year, and maybe this will help him to decide what he would like to learn.

Other than that, I have been designing like a mad woman. My new store is a store I thought was way out of my league and I only dreamed of selling in one day. I was so excited, shocked, and happy when they hired me! I had a CT call and have a group of about 8 ladies using my designs in their LOs. So exciting! I have separated my design blog from my personal blog for many reasons, so if you would like to peek at my designs and/or keep up with me over there as well, just shoot me an email and I'll send you the link. :)

Guess that is about all here. I need to get back to designing some before the kids get up from their naps and rest.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Getting back into a routine

Well, trying to at least. School has gone well for both boys. Joshua has completely moved on from the Dick and Jane stories and I am trying to find things for him to read that are on his level. He's doing very well. Jacob has been playing catch-up on some things. We finished our measurement unit today and he enjoyed it for the most part. Cassidy and Elena have been keeping each other occupied, thankfully. :)

Since returning home from our trip, Joshua has some of his unusual behaviors return. One of them is turning my lights on and off repeatedly at lightening speeds. He had stopped that one a while back, but for some reason he has gone back to it. The other one that he seems to be doing more and more of is watching a particular blade on the fans and following it with his eyes. Sometimes he will even go so far as to try spinning along with it directly under the fan. He stopped this one a couple of years ago, so it bothers me that it is back. He was doing so good before our trip and even while we were gone. It's not something that he does only once or twice a day. It has been very consuming of his entire day. *sigh*

Other than that, I'm trying hard to get back into some sort of groove. I have been designing some since our return home, and should have a total of five new items in the store by the end of the week. I'm still not finding time to actually scrap some pages, but eventually I will. I need to get some pages done for Wendy's CT.

So, boring update but an update nonetheless. :) I hope everyone is doing well!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Long time, no post

Thank you, Kim, for checking in on me! That was so sweet. No, I haven't fallen off the planet. I have just been incredibly out off schedule lately.

About three weeks ago we were put on alert that my grandmother in Louisiana was extremely ill. By the end of the week we were told if we wanted to see her, we needed to make the trip. She was in CCU and on a ventilator, and they believe she had one, possibly two strokes. We left on Friday, spent the night in a hotel and then made it to the hospital on Saturday afternoon. From my understanding, she was in multi-system failure.

We only had 4 half hour periods in which we were allowed to visit and kids under 12 years of age were not allowed in the CCU, so keeping the kids occupied was a necessity. Luckily, we happened to be visiting during the Mardi Gras season, so we were able to bring the kids to parades starting that first evening. More on that in a little bit. ;)

On that first Monday, they took Grandma off the machines and she was alert. She told all of us that this was what she wanted. She asked several times for a Coke, and the nurses eventually gave in an let her have it. There were a lot of tears and laughs. Three days later she was moved to a private room. I was happy that my kids were finally going to get to see her after all this time. She had only met my boys once and had never met the girls, so it was good for all of them. She loved seeing them. Jacob didn't know what to talk to her about so he started talking about cars. Grandma was a Nascar fan, so that seemed to fit nicely. Joshua was so silly and cute. He was curious about the oxygen tube in her nose and so we explained that it helped Grandma get some air. He went over to the bed and proceeded to demonstrate to her how to breathe. She chuckled about it, as did we. Cassie was shy, but Elena took to her nicely.

The kidney doctor checked in on her one day while I was visiting and he told us that he felt her kidneys were going to eventually begin functioning again and they would continue dialysis until they kicked into full gear.

I think it was last Friday (the 16th) when I went to visit that I was alone with her for about an hour and a half. I noticed her breathing seemed more labored than I remembered seeing in the days before. She pretty much slept from that day onward. On Sunday, we went to visit after a parade and some lunch, and my aunt greeted us with news that Grandma was running a fever and was not waking up still after basically three days of sleeping. At some point the kidney doctor had come in and said he thought she had aspirated some food. After a short visit with the kids, we went back to my aunt's house debating on whether or not we should go home to Florida in the morning like we had planned. At 11:30pm my mother called and said that Grandma had passed away. They funeral was on Wednesday.

The kids did pretty well with everything. I'm not sure that Josh and Cassidy fully understand that Grandma is gone. Jacob seems to know what is going on, especially since we lost Meemaw only a year and a half ago. I will have to dig up the papers that I read to Jacob back then that answered a lot of question kids have about death. When told them about Grandma passing away, Joshua had a sad look on his face and said "Oh no". Cassie looked sad and hugged me, but didn't say too much. At the viewing, she wanted to go up and see Grandma. We let her and it didn't seem to really phase her too much. Joshua was concerned about the fact that she was wearing glasses, and in the hospital she did not have them. That was all he has really said to me about all of it. On the day of the funeral, as we were getting dressed, Cassidy smiled and said she couldn't wait for Grandma to wake up and see her in her pretty dress. I tried explaining again, but it was obvious she still does not get it. So, we will just keep working on explaining it when she asks questions.

I mentioned our entertainment during the past two weeks - the Mardi Gras parades. Our first one was on the night we got into town. The kids had a blast, but poor Joshua had a complete meltdown. He was tired from the trip, out of his normal routine, we were directly next to a DJ with the music blaring, and it was night, so the police cars and their flashing lights and noise from the motorcycles were just complete overload to his system. He did eventually find a small wagon one of my cousins brought, and he happily sat in it behind the crowd.

As time went on, there were more and more parades. Almost every single time, he would bounce in the trucks that were were sitting in or would run around on some grass behind the crowds, completely oblivious to what was going on. However, at the last parade we attended (the night before the actual Mardi Gras celebration) he let me hold him while the floats passed. The little stinker actually caught some beads. He was so excited, and in typical sweet Joshua fashion, he put them around my neck and gave me the biggest smile. I told him I would keep those since he caught them for me. He later got a toy helicopter and a toy ATV. That completely made his day. He just beamed and kept telling us he liked Mardi Gras now. LOL

Jacob and the girls enjoyed the parades from the start and those kids racked up on so much junk. LOL We have bag after bag after bag of beads, pixi sticks, stuffed animals galore, cups, doubloons, yardstick sized bubble gum, footballs out the wazoo, little purses and flowers for the girls, tons of toys, and who knows what else. We actually had to have my parents take most of it home in their van since we didn't have room for it all. Needles to say, we are giving a ton of it away!

That was a long update, but in all fairness, it has been a long month. We did no school while we were gone, so we will be playing catch-up next week, which should go over great with the kids, I'm sure. :) Hopefully it won't be so long between this post and my next one. :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

We have Reading!

Joshua is now reading. I could hardly believe it when I took out a book today and he was able to read some of the pages. He has come so far this year, and if he goes no further, I will be satisfied. However, I have no doubt he will continue to progress further than I can imagine. He was so proud of his new accomplishment, and we quickly called Daddy at work to let him know. :)