Saturday, April 21, 2012

Making Music, People, and my Kitchen

I had planned to sit down and dash off a quick blog.  Then I discovered that in the week since I last posted, Blogger went and changed everything, so I had to learn the whole site all over again.  Grrr....

We have had some respite kids the past few days - a 4 yr old girl and her 2 yr old brother.  They have been the sweetest little things and I have enjoyed them very much.  However, their presence meant I didn't get to go out with Melissa last night as planned because Paul had to work late.  And today I'll have to miss a wedding shower at church.  I guess I'm starting to see some of the sacrifices involved in doing foster care!

Above are Ben and Will at the last Sp. Olympics event.  I didn't already post this picture did I?  My mind has not been functioning lately on all its cylinders, so I honestly do not know.  This was after they ran their unified race and got first place.  We'll be going up to Ames on May 19 for the state meet.  Then that afternoon we will have 4 graduation open houses to attend.  It is going to be one busy day!  On May 3 we're going to Drake.  Ben's coach arranged with the school to have several students plus Will run in another unified event.  She said she ordered me a t-shirt for that, too.  I actually just bought a Sp. Olympics tee and of course, I have one that matches the boys' in that fluorescent green.  I only wear that one at events because that color does horrible things to my complexion!

We have a new piano.  I should have taken a picture of that and posted it.  It is 93 years old - and gorgeous.  And huge!  It was in Indianola, in a house Paul was sent to for his job.  In talking with the homeowner, he found she was willing to let the piano go.  So, last Sat. was a workday at church.  Paul rounded up the people working there and they all descended on this house and loaded the piano into the truck.  I guess Paul had our music minister inspect it first and he said it was in good condition.  I have a friend who tunes pianos for a living so I want him to get it just right sometime when he's in the area.  And then when Paul got home he was able to round up a bunch of neighborhood guys, including one of Will's football coaches, who was visiting relatives in Swan, I guess.  They all brought it into our house before the rain came.  All week long the boys have been picking at it and Will has had me reminding him how to play the basics.  It had been 5 years since I had touched a piano, so I'm a little rusty too.  I feel so guilty to see his interest.  He's been teaching himself the guitar since last fall and now he wants to learn the piano.  We should have bitten the bullet and made sure all the boys had lessons.  It's probably too late for Will but maybe we can do that for David and Sam.

Tuesday night was our moms group.  Jenny came with me again.  We had a special speaker who spoke on marriage.  Part of me wanted to say, "Lady, you have no idea..." because this is a younger mom whose oldest child is only 6 and all her kids are perfectly healthy.  She lives in Ankeny, which usually implies a higher income bracket.  However, I immediately chided myself because a person doesn't have to be in my exact position in life in order to be able to learn from them.  Some things I shrugged off like when she was talking about looking for ways for your family to minister together.  Quite honestly, we're just looking to survive!  But she did have a number of books she has learned from and the next day I even ordered one called "Love and Respect."  That's a book that has been around for quite awhile, but I've never read it.  Paul said he'd go through it with me, so we're going to do it.  It was funny - the next night at church I told Jenny that I had ordered one of the books and she said she had done the same thing that day!  After the meeting was over Jenny and I visited this new place out at Jordan Creek called "Orange Leaf."  We were fearful it was a joint that served things like wheat grass smoothies, but it wasn't.  It's a frozen yogurt place where you serve yourself soft-serve yogurt, choosing as many of the 10 or 12 different flavors they have and then top it with any or all of the candy and fruit and nut toppings they offer.  They weigh your container when you're done and that's how you're charged.  They have all these couches or cool little tables and stools to sit at.  It was neat - can't wait to go back!

I have been dealing with terrible canker sores all week long, ever since I had that tooth removed last Thursday.  I have had a hard time talking, even.  I have two of the sores on the tip and underside of my tongue - incredibly painful!  But I think they're getting better.

Next Friday I am taking Ben out of school and we're going up to Jefferson to visit this chiropractor who has the reputation of being very good with allergy issues.  I think I already mentioned that in an earlier post.  Thursday, I had a meeting with Ben's case manager and his new contact at the Respite Connection, who is hiring a young man from our church to be Ben's new case worker.  Have I written about that yet?  It is kind of interesting how that has all come to be.  But anyway, she was needing a health history on Ben so I happened to mention our plans to visit this guy and she asked me, "Is it Dr. Miller?"  I said it was and she told me she had a friend who had been to see him and had been totally cured of her allergies.  She, herself, was thinking about going to him.  So that really boosted my confidence.  I have hoped that I am not wasting time and money to go see this guy.  I've just had such a rough time this spring with my own allergies, which is unusual this time of year.  I don't want to live like this.  And Ben doesn't even get the blessing of feeling good most of the year because his nasal allergies are just constant.

Oh, I have cupboards again!  Paul has them all up.  I am LOVING have all this additional counter and cupboard space!  He even put up lights underneath the cabinets.  I haven't had those since leaving our house in Loveland.  What a treat!  Now, to get the floor done and new counter tops...We also need to order some brick facing for the wall.  My neighbor walked in the other day to ask me something and suddenly gasped, looking over my shoulder, "Your kitchen!  You re-did your kitchen!"  Well, technically, I just maneuvered around the mess and Paul did the work, but I'll take credit for it, just the same!

Well, I need to intervene with the little people at my house.  Arguments spring up whenever you leave too many of them alone for too long!  It's been funny - ever since they got here, Sam has been going up to the little girl, knowing she is the same age as he is, looking her over, and then turning to me and saying, "Well, I'm still taller than she is!"


  1. BLESS you for having the fortitude to say that! I use to serve here there and everywhere before Cannon started cycling and his life stress outweighed his ability to mask his HF Asperger systems. Now as I "age" (I know with you as well) my health has declined. There are times I literally pray my way through the day-then there are moments of progress-Cannon is A LOT less physically violent-WHEW! We have been on a wait list for over 2 years for services-we finally got APPROVED! So now Jewel can reciprocate having friends for play dates and sleepovers (last time we tried (a non cousin anyway) Cannon threatened to kill the girl when she laughed at him). I mean SCREAMED "I'm going to blankety blank kill out" etc. So.. when we get preached at during church about service ,etc. I think-seriously we barley make it to church. I don't pray with each child at night anymore.for a variety of Cannon related reasons. But I still try to learn from others but there are times when they talk about a "difficult teen" I want to SCREAM-really? But.. each person has his or her own struggle. The toll on my marriage was so great, but partially unnoticed until God slapped us in the face and redeemed it! When I see a child/person throwing a "tantrum" in a grocery store I no longer chide them inside my head-stores are AWFUL for most folks with autism. Often, I stop to ask the caregiver/parent if they need help and to tell him/her they are doing GREAT! One time, I touched a lady's back while saying "hang in there" she teared up. Years before I would have thought of 'oh they need training" I was so clueless...

  2. Wow! Sounds like you're super busy, Sarah! I admire your ability to take in foster kids while raising your own! The piano sounds like an awesome find - hope you're able to get David and Sam into some lessons.

    Orange Leaf sounds a lot like the yogurt places that are popping up around us - Menchies & Yogli Mogli. Whatever name they choose to use, it equals yummy!

    Thanks for the comment over at Jewels of Encouragement! I'm so thankful the Lord used the post to encourage you! Marriage is such a wonderful relationship - one that requires work and nurturing. Reminds me of a garden. It is designed to be beautiful, but each partner must be committed to doing some 'weeding.' Have a great weekend & God bless!