Thursday, December 21, 2017

Daily Books

G's sport is Battle of the Books.  He'll be trying out for the team at the hearing middle school.  He read 14 books in 14 days.  G loves to read.

Friday, December 15, 2017

serious work

G took the decoration of this cookie very seriously. 

We recently had another FLVS crisis where G was surprised to find that when we say "Do your work" we mean all the work, including notes.  This was a surprise to him and it was a hard process for him to catch up.  Now he is caught up and ahead and enjoying the place of being all caught up and ahead.  It's interesting how clear all of this seems.

I've told the kids to stay off Youtube and G felt like it was a sneaky thing to watch a Studio C sketch as part of his job research.  So all the kids are kicked off the computer for 1 week because that was the consequence I told them would befall them if they went on youtube.  Bummer!

Saturday, November 25, 2017


G is very clever at teaching the younger children.  When the younger children want something G knows how to deflect them and get them interested in something else.  He is also very good at reinforcing the things his parents try to teach the children.  I'm so happy to spend so much time with him and for the helpful big brother he is.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

adventures at home and abroad

G had a good time with the Lorikeets.  He was able to have one on his arm and then another landed on his head.  The little kids were more scared but G had a good time and I'm glad the birds came to him.

G takes his role as big brother seriously.  He makes sure L is safe and I really appreciate how he figures out how to keep people happy.  Sometimes he doesn't do these things and life is hard.  But he's getting to know what's important and I really appreciate his helping our home to be a happy place.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


With G home full time it's fun making time to take him on special outings.

 The instructors gave us really great tips for how to handle the paddle and use our core instead of just our arms.
 It was really fun to see the creek and spend time with G.
  He wore his CI in the water proof pouch so he could hear but it was muffled and had static... 
We were really living the life.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

full time home time

The director at G's school recently told us that he needs to be full time or leave school.  This was after more than a month of telling us that he just needed to enroll and could still have a part time schedule.  G has had a wonderful 6.2 years at the school.  We love the school and we disagree with this decision.  So for now we'll plan for G to be homeschooled full time.  In some ways this is yet more unexpected liberty.  We can just plan our adventures for the day rather than working around G's schedule and feeling bad about leaving him out of things.

G is a great kid and it's very sad that someone has decided that we were breaking rules.  Our state has very inclusive homeschool laws allowing homeschoolers to attend their district school for 2 classes and or services like speech.  Occasionally the school has said "we're not your district school so we don't have to give you anything." which is true, but G is eligible to attend.  It's not like he's a hearing child that wants to go just to take advantage of the wonderful electives.  That is actually why he wants to be in school if we can work it out. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

ups and downs

G's audiology Dr. wanted us to have a mole behind his hear checked out.  We found a pediatric dermatologist in Jtown and had a great experience.  She saw G quickly with no need of referral and biopsied 2 moles on his first appointment.  2 weeks later we returned to get a clear bill health and no co-pay for the 2nd visit.  Very nice!  I am so grateful for Dr.s and appreciate when visiting them is easy, reasonable in expense, and cancer free!
G got to go work with Helping Hands 3 times.  The first time he worked with P and grandpa S. 
The next day M and I took him on an early Sunday morning.  G was not so enthusiastic.  He wanted to be taken home.  Then the angel from SC brought out doughnuts.  It's amazing the change of heart it wrought in G.  Then Sister S brought pizza for lunch.  G was really into this gig, even though he also thought it was a good idea to tackle M into a pile of debris, and got in trouble for it. 

So this week he asked to go and was very willing to go.  He didn't get doughnuts or pizza but he said he still had a good time.

Monday, August 14, 2017

big summer

G wen to a summer camp in Rochester, NY all by himself.  I put him on a plane and he went.  I'm so glad he's very confident and independent.  On the way to camp he flew as an unaccompanied minor which was a relief when a 1 hour delay at LAX became a 4 hour delay...  He will have to add more detail to what he did at camp.  I do know he built a computer and it got shipped to the house.  Nice!

Sunday, August 13, 2017


We found this cool art at the Museum of medical history.  One of the cool things about doing ASL is how it connects us to hundreds and potentially thousands of people.  This world is so big and there are so many people we come in contact with daily.  It's nice to have a little something to have in common with others.

G is starting 7th grade at the deaf middle school.  He'll be there for lunch, vocational (cooking), PE, language arts and science.  He'll be able to ride the bus home.  Awesome!  The bus will drop him off in the neighborhood across the 40mph road, but still very close to our home.  So he just has to cross that road and then he's good.

Going to registration is always fun.  Seeing the other kids and their parents is nice.  Meeting G's teachers and just being in that space with him is special to me.  I'm grateful for this good young man and look forward to him having a great year.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This guy

P has taught G to mow the lawn.  I asked him today if he would mow the rest of the lawn and he just got up and put on his socks and shoes with a perky "OK mom!"  P went out periodically to tell G to come in and drink some water.  When G came in the last time he said "Lawnmower's out of gas."  I gave him an ice cream cone.  What a great kid.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Iron Man

This week G told me that his church clothes were wrinkled.  They had sat in a laundry basket too long and yes, they were wrinkled.  I told him I'd teach him to iron them.  He reminded me a few times but finally this morning we got out the ironing board and learned to iron.  I ironed one half of the pants, then he did the other leg.  Next the shirt, I did one sleeve, then he did the other.  I ironed one side of the front, then flipped it over and he did the other.  He accidentally made a crease in the other side so we had to bust out the steam power.  He ironed the back himself and then the shoulders. 

There have been many times in the past when G's church clothes were wrinkled from being left on the floor in his closet all week.  I'm glad I didn't get too stressed.  And I'm super glad that at 12 he decided to care enough to remind me repeatedly that it needed to be done.  And I'm very glad that I took the time to teach him.  I wouldn't plan to let him do it himself soon since having him accidentally leave a hot iron within arms reach of L, to whom everything is within arms reach(!), is a price he is not old enough to own.  Yikes!

G had a great day yesterday.  When I asked him to clean things, he did.  When I asked him to put away the utensils, he did.  And when I asked him if he was ready to mow the lawn he said "Yes" and put on his shoes.  I need to treasure that day, and this one.  Sometimes kids have bad days.  But sometimes they have glorious days.

Monday, June 19, 2017

life consequences; pay up

G and P are off at scout camp.  We've looked forward to this milestone with a lot of trepidation and excitement.  G communicates well and picks up on things quickly.  He doesn't get shy around new people, if anything he is more outgoing for new friends.  But G's CI hadn't been working well for the last 2 months.  We were trying to get an upgrade but with camp looming, we went for a repair which canceled the upgrade.  P called very annoyed that G had worn his CI in the rain and it wasn't working.  This is unusual for G to be so careless with the CI.  But perhaps like the 3 hour sunburn, G is testing consequences.  It's not pleasant, and I hope he learns to just follow his parents advice.  So the CI is in the dry box and hopefully it works tomorrow.  I know G likes to be as irresponsible as the next boy.  But he can't afford to be careless with his CI.  It's not a $500 iphone.  It's a $10,000 device that is his only way to access sound.  The rest of the week will be pretty miserable if he can't hear.  But that's life and maybe he'll learn to take care of it before college.

Friday, May 26, 2017

3 hour sunburn

G had a fun day at school yesterday.  But he also decided to see what all the fuss was about keeping covered.  He laid in the sun for 3 hours with no shirt.  I don't know how this happened.  Aren't fun days supposed to be filled with activities and games? 

Well now he knows what a sunburn is.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


G had a good experience no Thursday.  He had a discussion based assessment for his online class which is done on the phone, but his CI wasn't working.  So he set up the video phone and asked her to call him on that.  After the call the interpreter said G was really good at math and should get a medal.

Later that night we went to a vocabulary competition for deaf students in the area.  G and his friend D won that competition.  They got every answer correct.  It was nice.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Today G got to go to the temple with the Youth at church.  It was a sweet experience for us both.  I'm so grateful for my reverent and thoughtful boy.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


G had a nice time at the competition in DC.  They did a lot of activities like a scavenger hunt in the Smithsonian, and a bounce house place.  We enjoyed seeing the competitions and watching how the students handled the questions.  Baby was not having any of that so we took turns walking around campus with him. 

G has a big responsibility for next year.  He has been to the competition now and knows the kind of questions they ask and the sort of response that will earn 5 points.  The other 2 youths on his team will be in HS next year.  So G will be the student with experience next year.  It will be up to him to help his team understand how to slow down and make sure everyone agrees on the answer in the first round.  And most importantly it will be his responsibility to teach the other kids how to get the most points in the long response portion.  They can't just say "Because...."  They have to include the title of the book, restate the question, give supporting arguments, state their conclusion, all within the 2 minute limit. 

G is struggling with feelings of spite.  He has enjoyed 12 years of being a sweet tempered child and being generally adored and admired by everyone, especially his siblings.  Now he's a tween and making important decisions about whether he will be a bully, and self important, or whether he will stick to his old role.  He knows that he is very smart, but will he remember that it's more important to be nice than to be important?

In the movie "Moana", the character Maui valued being loved above everything else.  He was rejected by his parents.  Then when the gods gave him a magic hook he used his abilities to gain the favor of the humans.  He created lassoed the sun, he pulled up islands, he planted the guts of an eel to make coconut trees!  He put himself in danger to make the humans love him.  Eventually his vanity led him to steal the heart of Te-fiti which poisoned the earth.  Sometimes our desire for the adulation of others can lead us to do things that don't accomplish our goal!

Sunday, April 9, 2017


G was dressed like the lighthouse the other day as we were taking pictures at the water.  One of his requirements for scouts is to take pictures of 10 animals in the area.  It's been fun to go on walks with him and visit the neighbor to take pictures of wildlife.

G is traveling to DC for a reading competition.  His trip to NY for a math competition was canceled because of bad weather.  Middle school is an exciting time with a lot of opportunities to meet and compete with other students.  He'll also be in a vocabulary challenge in a few weeks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


G likes to set alarms on his watch or phone.  He imagines that the vibrating alarms will wake him up.  Recently he set 5 alarms from 7:00am-7:15am.  On day 1 this woke up dad who threw the phone in the yard.  Saturday and Sunday the alarm wasn't set to go off.  Yesterday the alarm woke me on a day that I was exhausted from waking in the night with the little ones.  Similarly today, it woke me and I was super not happy about it.  I got up and slapped G's leg to get him up.  I told him to give me his phone.  I turned off the alarms and proceeded on a tiring day with the baby who had also been waken by the alarms. 

A little while later I realized I didn't know where my watch was with my own alarm set for 7:30.  I didn't find it in time to keep it from waking P who put it on the kitchen counter.  D'oh!

Later when I realize the need to forgive as I hoped to be forgiven for my own thoughtlessness, I told G not to set alarms.  I explained that he was setting up a Rube Goldberg machine where he sets off an alarm to wake the parents that will then wake him up.  And I explained that his parents really didn't like this cycle.  So if he wanted to stop being waken by angry parents, he needed to stop setting alarms.  If he wants us to wake him up, he should ask us to set our own alarms.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

hard things

G is having a hard time with his online class.  This module has 16 pages with 5 practice questions on each page solving multi-variable equations.  It's ridiculously more hard than previous modules.  He got stuck thinking he had to finish it before having computer time, so he just spun his wheels.  I've been doing the problems along with him.  It's been fun helping each other through mistakes.  We often forget to add a +/- sign or put down the wrong number when we're re-writing the equation.  It takes us about an hour to get through 2 pages!  One of the nights, he went to bed, then proceeded to stay up until midnight reading.  The next day he was grumpy and didn't get any work done.  He said that everyone else has it easier than him and that we don't love him because we won't just let him play all day...  I hope we finish the module tonight and he knows the material well enough to move on.  This is really teaching him that sometimes you can only do part of the work, then rest and try to do more the next day, and the next.  He's used to having it be easy. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

catching up on cuddles

This past week I've needed to lay down with L at night to get him to sleep.  G has been taking the opportunity to come get some cuddles.  For years the girls have demanded cuddles at bedtime.  I give a lot of cuddles!  I'm so glad to catch up with some cuddle time with G.  I don't know if we've cuddled since M was born sadly.  It's a classic case of squeaky wheel and such.  He has been requesting massages for the last year.  So I guess he hasn't been missing out so bad.

I feel like I just barely see him through the day with all the other children demanding so much attention.  We wake up, and briefly discuss what we'll have for breakfast, then G is off reading.  Then it's hustle to school and "go do your work" so they can have computer time.  Then it's dinner time before we know it and activities and bedtime.  I need to get some more routines that get me off the computer and having more real face time with the children.

For the first time in my life I'm looking forward to DST and going to the park in the evening.  L is getting so good on the playground, I can play catch with G more.

G is on a soccer team, math team, book team, scouts and life in general.  He's busy!  He has always had a great attitude and enjoyed just participating without being too concerned with winning or self consciousness.   He's had a few incidents recently of getting upset with his math, or lost socks.  He's learning that it's better to go read a book or better yet; sleep, than fight with his parents.  AMEN!

Today as he tried to check in on the blogs and found nothing new he said "Mom, can you go write some more things about us?" 

G loves to carry L and B.  Too bad his parents don't believe in kids carrying kids.  We just don't want people to get hurt and so we try to avoid things like kids getting top heavy and dropping a sibling.  Another dangerous thing we avoid is swimming with alligators. 

G continues to read a wide array of books and is pleased to have reached the gold reading level.  The challenge is to find books that are safe for a 12 year old who reads like a 12th grader.  G has been reading some classics like "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" series.  P plans to read a really good series with G called "The queens Thief."

G recently read a book version of "Galaxy Quest" and I hear it was awesome.  I took the littles to the park so G and M, who also read the book, could watch the movie.  Today as G was re-reading the book at church... Bro. C used a line from the movie in his talk.

"Never give up!  Never surrender!"

Sunday, February 12, 2017


G is taking a course online.  I ask him to take notes for each unit.  He resists this about once a month.  It gets ugly.  We realize he has been not doing the notes for several days.  He sees he's gotten away with it for several days and is more mad that we are on to his game.

G is a smart kid.  We're trying to teach him good skills for writing things down that will help him be even better at academic activities.  I hope he'll learn.
There was a partial lunar eclipse on Friday.  As we drove home from soccer G tried to take pictures out the window.  He was so happy and exclaimed "Oh this one's perfect!" again and again.  The lunar eclipse didn't end up being very dramatic, but I really enjoyed G's enthusiasm.  He's a great boy and I love how he adds to our lives with his joy and good attitude.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


This is a picture of G from his last pinewood derby race 2 years ago.  G never won first place and over the 3 years he was in the program, he only won a hand full of races.  We don't have a ban saw and so G just sawed the wedge shape himself every year with a hand saw.  The year pictured was the most smooth, he got to spraypaint it after he'd sanded it within an inch of it's life.  Then he decopaged these lego pictures from his magazine onto it.  He'd cut so much off of it that it did need quite a lot of metal added onto it to get it up to weight.  Phillip melted pennies into the bottom of it.  See we're not so mean as to let his car just be under weight. 

G has a tremendous ego.  He is very confident and I like to think we've helped him out be giving him so many opportunities to fail.  He's a great kid.  His lot in life is hard.  He has to work harder than most kids.  And most of the time his attitude is up for the task.

The multiple doctors told me this week that my children are amazing and well behaved.  Yay!  It's been that kind of multiple doctor visit week.  Three to be exact!

Sunday, January 1, 2017


G turned 12 on and got ordained last week.  He passed the sacrament today for 2 sacrament services in his smart long sleeve shirt, gator tye-dye tie, and angel Moroni tie pin.  He knew what to do and was very smooth about it.  I'm so pleased with this young man.

Yesterday we had the deaf families over and it was great.  Unfortunately G was upset that we were upset with him so he didn't come out for the entire party.  While everyone else was helping with last minute preparations, G kept asking for us to fix a toy car.  I kept telling him we were busy and now wasn't a good time.  Finally I was done with preparations, but by that point P was fed up with G's pestering, so he told G that the final answer was "no" for the day.  G didn't like that.

Later G kept trying to help B during his computer turn and B would scream.  So G kept getting sent to his room.  I hope he learns to stop bugging people.  I hope he learns the difference between persistence and pestering.


I wanted to make jam, and like always, I realized I didn't have quite enough sugar.  Rather than go to the store I asked G to calculate ...