Friday, October 28, 2016

Where Has the TIME GONE!!

It's been awhile, hasn't it.  AND SO MUCH has happened.

Right off I'm going to tell you that the kids are doing quite well. A year ago I wouldn't have believed it possible that we could have this level of peace in our home. It's not perfect but let me tell you it is SO, SO much easier to live here now.

James is maturing. Growing physically, too. He and I took a trip to Utah for over two weeks. On the way down no one at the airport questioned that he was 12, but on the way back airport officials questioned his age and commented that he looked 13. One time they even handed him a pass to hand to the TSA worker so he wouldn't be questioned on his age again. Kids 12 and under don't have to take their shoes off, or show ID. . .

James was giddy about flying in an airplane. He talked to everyone and anyone who would, or would not listen to him. I kept having to shush him when it was awkward for other folks. He's not the least bit shy. By the trip back, though, he was calmer and enjoyed it for himself and didn't have to pour his exuberance all over the rest of the travelers.

We went to visit my mom at Daystar. It's a boarding school in Castle Valley near Moab. The farm is beautiful with amazing Utah scenery.  We soaked in the sunshine and 80 degree days.
James got right into the routine with the students at the school. He showered, ate breakfast and went to Bible class and then followed everyone to the farm where they put in a good morning's work before lunch. After lunch they go to classes so that is when he did his homeschooling. On the farm he weeded, and picked, washed, and packaged vegetables.

He drove the John Deer gator, he ran errands, chased cows, threw hay, loaded up firewood, etc... whatever the students were doing he did to the best of his ability. He LOVED it!  We went for a moonlight hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park when the moon was full, and again the next day in the daylight to watch the sun set. We hiked, climbed mountains and sought out dinosaur tracks.
There was a half Marathon that the school was providing assistance to right near by. James volunteered to help in the parking lot. Each car was guided into it's specific spot as there was limited room and it was an odd shaped parking lot in the dessert. James was beside himself with joy flagging those cars into their spaces. He worked for 6 hours straight. They offered him hot chocolate and donuts and other foods and he would have none of it, because he had a job to do and he wasn't about to miss a single car if he could help it. He parked hundreds of cars and his nose burned to a crisp, but he was as happy as a clam.

I saw an amazing amount of learning going on in that kid's head on that trip. He enjoyed every minute and made everything an opportunity for growth. I was very thankful for having seized the window of opportunity to go. There's plenty of pictures and enough experiences from those two weeks to write a book. That's James' project. I have him set up to make a book with Anything to have him write  - an it doesn't even feel like school. He's also busy writing letters to all the people he met and thanking them for all that he learned from them. He actually writes interesting letters. Who would have thought!

So, Missy, on the other hand, WAS not thrilled about our trip because I didn't take her. She is not homeschooled and she absolutely needs her school!!! It was the break the twins needed from each other and a nice break for me and her. She was jealous as all get out, but the girls tried to make her life enjoyable with baking and such.

We saw a dive in her behaviors for a bit but she is leveling back out. Even the school noticed the dive but she really, really does try her best at school to be engaged and cooperative and to do her best. We are thankful. I couldn't be happier with the school and what they are doing for her right now. She missed the bus a couple times, but for the most part getting her out the door is a breeze. If you have been reading long, you know this is a major accomplishment for her.

I don't know if I wrote it here or not, but we recently got the diagnosis from a medical professional that Missy has RAD. I am glad if only that people stop saying she is just dealing with ADHD. No. It's much bigger than that. She is dealing with more than a full plate of stuff. RAD, Developmental delays, plus, plus. People are taking her more seriously and it's helped a whole bunch. For one the thing the medication Guanfacine is really helpful to her right now. It has taken her off the edge of the cliff and given her a chance to experience life more fully.

She is growing tall. The pants I bought her this summer are already showing her ankles... She's trying hard to be clean and tries to fix up her hair a bit. Her favorite sport is arguing so it's pre-teen behavior mixed with toddler behavior and you get yourself a sassypants! What can I say?

All the testing done at the school was not too encouraging. She is operating at her max and her IQ scores are very, very low. She's doing the best that she can.

I am still praying fervently for the hearts of these kids. That's all that matters in the end.


Emily said...

I am so glad you and James got to go on this trip. So glad for the growth in him. And so glad for Missy, too, that you're getting answers and help and support. Look how far they've come! You're doing a great job, lady. And God is at work. <3 Love you!

Jennifer P said...

Love this overall positive update! Your kids are growing and stretching.

Laurel said...

That sounds like an amazing trip! So glad you and James got to get away for awhile.