Sunday, June 28, 2009

Through Their Eyes

The kids have found, and claimed, two of our old digital cameras. They spend hours (and a crazy number of batteries) roaming the house taking pictures. I'm finding many of their photos surprisingly good, they are beginning to understand the need to be still while shooting, and seeing the details they choose to photograph is a fun glimpse into their lives.

Image Hosted by
A selection of photos by George & Emma

Emma tends to wander further in her pursuit of subjects: the yard, the basement, each of our bedrooms. George stays mainly in our main living areas, but is more adventurous with his angles and use of the timer. I was surprised to see more blurry pictures from Emma, she is so anxious to capture the next thing, that she forgets to wait for the shutter. But her pictures are getting better, and I've been watching her wait for just the right shot as she watches the dog playing, cars driving by, etc. George is fascinated by snapping shots of the TV, viewing the still frames of his favorite videos, and close ups of his toys and clothes.

I love seeing their creativity evolve and their understanding of technique grow. Thank goodness for technology, I don't think we would be able to afford this much film!

Friday, June 26, 2009

More Horseback Riding photos





The horses have been moved to their summer farm, and WOW is it gorgeous there! I don't know of many activities better than being out here in the evenings. The kids get to go every week during the summer (we were going every other week) and their eyes just light up when they see the horse picture on our activity schedule.

Theoretically, this is therapy for George. Emma wouldn't be allowed to take lessons with this organization if not for him. But honestly, I see more changes in her when we go to the farm. She sits up so straight in the saddle, responds to correction without being crushed or embarrassed, and she is learning to not be so timid with the horses. I would have killed for horseback lessons when I was a girl her age. I'm so very glad we're able to do this for her. For both of them, but especially for her.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

That's a BIG wish!

IMG_0959 wa

I woke up to lots of nice emails and a continually ringing phone. A necessary self-portrait shoot yielded this photo, which doesn't show too many wrinkles. Lunch with family, during which the kids behaved beautifully. I am a happy, lucky girl. Bring it on, 34!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


And the livin' is easy.


Quilts and sheets on the clothesline, windows open to catch the breeze, kids laying in the grass with bubbles at hand. Love it.

It's funny to me that I always dread summer with it's lack of schedule. Every year we manage to stay busy in a way that makes us all happy. A trip out of the house at least once a day to get us moving, but never so booked that we get stressed out and cranky. It takes George a week or two to get used to not going to school, but then it's as if a switch has been flipped. We all sleep in (and are, therefor, much happier in the mornings), no one complains when it's time to do something, and everyone is excited by the choices they're given.

Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt I'll be dealing with boredom and tempers from time to time. But for the most part, we like being lazy and watching the clouds float by. Gotta go, I've got bubbles to blow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Note to self:

Blue swim goggles

Blue swim goggles and a chocolate cookie make it muuuuuuuch easier to get through the store.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Two Sides of a Family

Two sides of a family

(Sent to each other this afternoon via phones)

Everyone was taking a break today it seems. At least for a bit! The kids and I received this photo from Jason as we headed home from the beach. (And yes, if you look behind the kids and dog, you can tell I took this while driving. I promise I just held it up and clicked, my eyes were on the road!)

It will be good when we can all fit inside one photo frame again.

Friday, June 12, 2009



A couple of days ago, I met with a case manager from a local Autism support organization. He will be assigning therapists who will be coming into our home several days a week to work with George. The meeting was for me to get to know him and a bit about the organization, and also for him to learn about George (from me, George was not there) and discuss our goals for him.

One of the questions he asked me was about George's interests, so that they can use them to make the learning more interesting. I heard these words come out of my mouth, "He's a typical almost-six-year-old boy. He likes robots, space, dinosaurs, and being active." Typical. Somehow I never thought that word would be used in conjunction with George. And yet, he is. Typical. Just a boy. At the playground today, he played on a merry-go-round with another five-year-old boy. And no one looked at him funny. And no one asked me why he wasn't answering the rapid fire questions the other boy was hurtling at him. If anything, that boy seemed odd!

He will never be cured, he will always be different and have to work hard to keep up. But maybe, just maybe, that's more typical than I ever thought.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Peace Reigns

I had all kinds of plans of things to do today, both to keep George busy while Emma was at school, and simply a mix of errands. However, due to one child's onset of strep throat:


and the other child's lack of desire to get dressed:


We are, instead, happily playing with a Christmas gift that had been forgotten behind a myriad of other art supplies in the deep, dark recesses of the art shelf.


And, after viewing the video Madagascar 2.73 times in one day, the TV has been replaced by a Norah Jones Pandora Radio Station. The windows are letting in a warm breeze. The dog is resting beneath the table, no doubt under the mistaken belief that the specks of blue and purple falling from above are tasty treats. And I'm not breaking up any fights, nor plugging my ears against the sound of the TV, nor doing much of anything really.

There's something to be said for sickness induced tranquility....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All things come to an end


I started this post yesterday, full of ruminations on the school year and my experiences working in Emma's classroom. Yesterday was my last day in her class, as George is now done with both preschools and my time is no longer my own. I posted the picture above to show the lovely gift her teacher made me. Such a thoughtful, homemade present, I really appreciated it.

When he handed it to me, he asked if I have a green thumb. I told him it was more grey with a tinge of green, but that I would do my best. I took it home and found a nice partly shady area for it to live, watered it, and took it's picture.

Good thing I did, because that home I found for it? Was in the unfenced part of our yard. Have I mentioned that we have several families of deer that travel through and sleep in our field? Did you know they love fresh flowers for dessert? Yeah, I actually knew that, but failed to remember it. So now, I have a planter of nice greens and some dirt. I think I'll find it a new home and hope for regrowth.

Here's hoping my brain starts working again now that I can catch up on some sleep!

Monday, June 08, 2009

My future lizardologist

The weekend before last, in her own words:






We call her the bug/lizard/snake/slug/creature whisperer.

Okay, so maybe we don't, but I swear that's what this girl of mine is. Most days after school, she can be found in the fields next to our house rounding up anything that moves and will fit in a jar. Snakes, dragonflies, caterpillars, pill bugs, earwigs....anything and everything. And they gravitate to her. She walks around with cicadas on her arm, dragonflies hanging out on her shirt, and lizards in her hands.

When we went to Sunriver (where these pictures were taken), the park was just a couple minute's walk from our condo. She would ride her scooter ahead of us, and by the time we joined her, she was walking back in our direction with a frog or lizard in her hand. She sees things the rest of us don't and she knows how to gently explore and learn about them. Spring is an amazing season for her, the earth is hopping!

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. - John Muir

Friday, June 05, 2009

Walk the Diamond Day

Every year, George's early education program runs a fundraiser called Walk the Diamond. All the special needs preschools under this program join together at the local team's baseball stadium. They sing songs, march around the bases (hence "Walk the Diamond"), play games, and get participation ribbons. This year, George brought Daddy with him.


He had asked if Daddy was coming with us today. When I said no, he ran to get his Daddy doll and said, "now Daddy walk the diamond with George". I know. Bring on the tissues, this kid slays my heart sometimes.

The U of O mascot always comes by, as well, to walk the bases with the kids and get hugs. Many of the kids are too scared by the giant duck, so he usually hangs out way back in the outfield. George has never wanted to get too close, but this year, he was really intrigued. He slowly made his way across the diamond and through the field, talking to himself and gesturing to the mascot the whole time. When he got close to the line of kids waiting for hugs, I asked him if he wanted to get his picture taken with the duck, and surprisingly, he said yes. So we got in line. Waited patiently for several minutes as we moved forward, kid by kid. Got to the front of the line. The duck looked at him and opened his arms. And George took off screaming.

He didn't go too far though, he still wanted to look and have a (long distance) conversation.


Other than singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game, his favorite activity proved to be hitting a ball off a T-ball stand. His form was good, but his angle needed a little finessing:


Ah, there we go, much better! Great concentration:


He got pretty good with it, hitting it well, more often than not. And asked me to "say hooray, very loud". Which I did. As did he:


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Last Day #1

Image Hosted by

As we drove away, "[Afternoon preschool] is allllll done."

Image Hosted by

Holy smokes, he's a KID!! When did that happen????

Tuesday, June 02, 2009



It's June.
May kinda sucked.
I have to say, I'm glad it's over.
Today we set George's IEP for next year.
I have to say, I'm glad that's over, too.
It went REALLY well, and I'm very happy/excited/nervous/etc. for next year.
But preparing for those things is very stressful.
And I'm kinda full up in the stress department.
Two days left of afternoon preschool.
Six days left of morning preschool.
Nine 1/2 days left of second grade.
Then we can sleep in.