Friday, June 20, 2014

Josiah VS The Dinosaurs

We kicked off the summer with Josiah's 6th birthday. It's hard to believe he is already 6 years old. He wanted us to do another construction site theme again this year, which wasn't too hard to put together since we had most the supplies from last year. He ended up choosing tacos for his birthday dinner, and a strawberry flavored cake. He had a great day!
A few weekends ago Josiah went to stay with his Auntie, Uncle, and cousins. They took him to see an exhibit called, Discover the Dinosaurs. This was his first time that far away from home, and he had a wonderful time. I think he got thoroughly spoiled. ;)   





 

















Monday, June 9, 2014

Christian Light Education Update

This school year went well. I learned a few things about how Josiah learns, and I know Josiah learned a lot! We are still working on first grade. I didn't want to push him too hard this year, so we ended up doing half lessons for LTR. We are going to keep schooling through the summer. We will take Fridays off for sure. If it seems like he needs a break then we will still be able to take one. I think, at this point, schooling through the summer is the best way for us to go. I still really like Christian Light for the core subjects, Reading, LA, and Math.  Josiah loves completing each Light Unit and being able to start fresh with a new one. This year for History and Science I have been reading a lot of books in those areas to the kids. We ended up not doing anything formal. I will start Apologia science in the fall. Josiah loves, loves, loves listening to me read. so I'm thinking for history doing a Charlotte Mason approach for him.  One thing I have learned about Josiah is that he has to have absolute silence in order to concentrate. So he now does his school work in my room at my desk, while Jada and Juliet play in their room.

Jada will occasionally work on Christian Light's KII curriculum. I let her work on it whenever she asks. She is still young so I'm not worried about her completing it in a certain time frame. We still do circle time, usually not everyday though. I am still loving being able to spend this time with the kids. 

                                      
Read my original review of Christian Light Education here.

Family Fun

This last weekend we took a trip to Durango. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was doing a Dinosaur Train theme this year.  So we loaded up the kids and took a little trip. First stop was the Four Corners Monument. We had each child stand in a state. Josiah stood in Utah, Jada stood In Colorado, Juliet stood in Arizona and Jameson stood in New Mexico!
                                    
Next we headed to Durango. Durango is very beautiful. Lots and lots of green! It's always a treat for the kids when we stay in a hotel. They love it. I think Jada enjoys it the most. 
                                     
We still had some time to kill before bed time so we took them to cute little park to play.





After the park, we got ice cream cones and headed back the the hotel. All three of the older kids ended up sleeping in one bed. 
The next morning everyone was up by 5:30. They were super excited. We did a lot of waiting, grabbed some breakfast, packed up and then headed to the train station.
Once there we got checked in and waited until it was time to board.
Buddy the dinosaur was there waving at everybody right after we boarded the train.

There weren't a lot of people in our train car, which was nice. We also discovered that we could flip the seats around so we were facing each other. As soon as the train started moving they played music from Dinosaur Train. They served us fruit snacks and juice about half way through the short trip. The train did not go very far, maybe to the edge of town. It does go along the river, which was pretty.


 After the train ride, they had some areas set up for the kids to play and explore. At one of the areas, the kids got to dig for dinosaur bones, which was Josiah's favorite area. Jada's favorite area was digging for sea shells. (She has been asking if we can go to the beach for the past year, and she asks at least once a week.) The three older ones got their faces painted, and Josiah got to hold a real alligator. They also had a train museum that Josiah really enjoyed. After we looked through the museum we headed back home. It was a whirlwind trip, but we all had a great time!






Thursday, May 8, 2014

Garden Time!

This week we prepared our garden for planting. We added some more nutrients to the soil, and Justin tilled it. This will be our fourth year having our own garden, and every year the garden does better and better. The garden is all planned out and ready to be planted. Jada saw a picture of an eggplant and decided that's what she wanted to plant. Josiah is all about the corn! If we planted the whole garden full of corn, he would be one happy boy. He loves corn. Jada was so excited to find a few sunflower seeds on the ground, and even more excited when she got to plant them. We also planted some boxwoods, hydrangeas, iris, rose bushes and a few sunflower seeds. We are getting excited for summer time!
                                        
This picture has nothing to do with the post I just wrote, however I think it is too cute not to share. Whenever Jameson sees Josiah sitting in the recliner, he hurries over to him just to sit with him.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

We're Still Here!


It's been a while since my last post! I really like to try to keep this updated not only for our own little memory journal, but also for family members that don't live close to us. However, I have done a terrible job at that lately. It's my goal to try to keep up with this blog better.
Anyway on to more exciting things. The weather started turning nice, and it was wonderful to get outside. The kids can spend all day playing outside. They just love it, but then it snowed and now it's cold again. :( During the little snow storm we had, we got to witness lightning and thunder. This was a first for the kids and me!
                                       


Earlier this month Josiah got to "help" Dad pour concrete! He loves going to work with his dad! Josiah is quite the hard worker. It is in his personality. He thrives on work.  I just started a new chore system with the kids and Josiah loves it. When he starts doing his chores, he means business. I hope to write a post on the chore system soon. The system we use is called Managers of their Chores.
                                                

Jada's old cat ended up dying so we got her another one. She seems to love this kitty as much as the last. However, she is scared that something might happen to it. So she doesn't even like to let the kitty go outside, for fear it may get ran over or something equally devastating.
Lately Jada keeps asking for a baby sister. She asked for one for her birthday. She can't understand why we can't just go buy her one. 

Juliet is such a sweet little girl. If you ever need a snuggle, she is your girl. Thus far she has been what we like to call, "Our low maintenance child." She is easygoing and has a sweet personality. She loves playing with her big sister, and holding Jameson's hand to lead him around.
                                              

Jameson is all over the place! He's not really talking yet, but he is into everything. He is also very quiet when he is getting into mischief. If I don't hear him I better see what he is doing.  He loves throwing anything and everything into the toilet. He quick about it too. He also thinks it's hilarious to make his siblings scream. He really thinks they are playing with him, so the more he makes them scream the funnier it is to him. 
                                        


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Museum and a Makeover!

Jada and Juliet are in need of bigger beds. We ordered them bunk beds online and decided that this would be a good time to replace the flooring in their room and paint the walls. So we planned a trip to town. While there we met up with my mom and brother. The kids are really into dinosours so we also planned a trip to the museum. 
We left Friday afternoon and stayed the night in a hotel. Always a fun time for the kids. Jada absolutey loves hotels. The next morning we met up with my mom and brother at the museum. The kids were so excited to see the dinosaur bones. Josiah and Jada were naming dinosaurs left and right. Early on I question whether Josiah was accurate on one of the dinosaurs he named, and when I went to check I realized he was right again. That was he last time I verbally question whether he was right. It was incredible. They learned all the names of the dinosaurs from Dinosaur Train.
The observatory was open so we all got a chance to look at the sun through the museum's powerful telescope! That was really neat, probably more so for the adults than the kids.
The museum also had a temporary exhibit called "Grossology: The Impolight Sciece of the Human Body."
The Grossology exhibit had a "rock" wall that the kids could scale across, which was Josiah and Jada's favorite part. Juliet's favorite part was the area where you could recreate tooting noises. They had a great time at the museum.
After the museum, went to eat at Tim's Place! If you are in need of a hug Tim's Place is the place to go! Then we went to the store to get supplies for the girls' room. They wanted pink walls, but they already have a lot of pink in their room. So we went with a light purple. It was a packed weekend, but fun!
Too excited to hold still for the picture!

Making animal footprints with Grandma!

Oh Jada, silly bean.


Looked what hatched!

It's hard to get them to line up perfectly. This is good enough!

The talking faucet freaked them out a bit.

Operation with Grandpa Uncle Paul!

The places that you grab on to are things like a wart, a pimple, a scab etc.

Looking at the sun!

You pump the handle to get the big guy to drink which makes him burp.


 The tooting exhibit. A fun time had by all!

All tired out!
                                                            






Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sunny Days


The weather has been fairly nice lately, which means lots of playing out side! Josiah spotted this rainbow. It was directly above us. 

Jameson loves swinging.
 

Josiah loves hauling Jameson around in their wagon. He even picks him up to put him in the wagon. Jameson thinks it's a blast. When Jameson wants to go outside he finds his shoes and bring them to me. It's so cute how could I possibly say no.
I caught them filling up their water cups and taking them outside to mix with dirt so they could play in the mud, and play in the mug they did. Juliet and Jada required a shower afterwards. Jada has been able to find a few caterpillars that are still alive. She loves them! At night when I ask her what her favorite part of the day was she says, "Finding my caterpiller!"
Juliet has been collecting rocks. She calls them her special rocks. She put her hoodie on backwards the other day and was delighted that she could put rocks in the hood and carry them around in her newly found "pocket". 
Josiah has been working hard at digging giant holes in the dirt. I completely underestimated how deep he could dig a hole. He absolutely loves being out side.

Josiah fell off his chair and hit his lip on the table. He received a big fat lip. Poor guy.


Jada and Juliet are loving being together. I caught them snuggled up in Jada's bed together.
It's so hard to get Jada to take a serious picture.


That's better!






Saturday, February 15, 2014

Out for a walk

It was such a nice day today that we couldn't pass up the opportunity to go for a walk!





Thursday, February 6, 2014

Justin (Part 3)

Part 1

At the time of my accident I weighed 155 pounds.  I was in very good shape with very little body fat.  As you can imagine after 9 days in a trauma ward and 2 days in an orthopedic ward I was not the same.  Not to mention all of the pain meds I was on were knocking my appetite right out.  Going into the rehabilitation center I was all of 130 pounds.  When you are 5'-11" and 155 lbs. you don't have much to lose to start with.
    I will say it again, therapy is tough!  Anyone who has been through physical therapy, that truly wanted to recover, will agree.  Along with P.T. I had to under go Occupational Therapy as well as a few visits with a Psychiatrist.
    Occupational therapy was just as difficult, if not more so, as P.T.  For those who don't know what O.T. is let me share my real world definition.  Occupational Therapy is learning how to go about your life with your newly "acquired" disability/limitation. As you can imagine O.T. takes a lot of retraining your brain to understand that you are not the same person physically.
    When I said that therapists are "well intentioned torturers" I meant it.  Don't get me wrong, I know they're good people.  I am just not sure that I have what it takes to do their job.  I broke down and cried through the pain of my therapy several times.
    I began to dislike my therapists until I witnessed an elderly patient crying through their therapy after hip replacement.  I think it was about 3 days after my arrival and I noticed a new face in the morning group warm up.  I didn't know how old the man was but he did look frail.  His therapist was coaching him to raise his leg off the mat just a couple of inches.  I remembered when they asked me to do the same thing and they had to push me until I complied.  Ohh it hurt!  Then again and again and with each repetition the pain seemed to dissipate.  Then I saw it, the man had hit bottom and tears began to flow.
    I imagined the same thoughts that ran  through my head were now running through his; Why am I so weak?, I used to be strong!, I can't take this pain!......etc.  Then it happened, his leg left the mat.
    All at once the atmosphere in his little corner of the room went from nightmarish to a family hug, tears of joy and all.   The people he once considered to be his captors were now his source of encouragement and strength.  It was this moment when I fully committed myself to my recovery.
    The next 18 days I put all I had into my therapy sessions.  I had so many motivators as well as a couple of setbacks.  Friends came to see me, letters of support were delivered and progress was being made.  I was getting stronger every day and learning how I was expected to get around and accomplish every day tasks.
    The decision had already been made for me to move in with my sister outside of Albuquerque and continue to get better.  After a while there I lived in Socorro for a few months then back in with my sister and brother-in-law.  I had to "wear" an external fixator  on my left leg for about 165 days.  This device is screwed directly into your bones.  I have been told they are usually taken out after 90 days max because of infection.  I also had several casts on my right leg  as well as the left once the ex-fix was removed.
    Not long after the ex-fix was removed I joined my family on a road trip to Seattle, WA. to visit my aunt and uncle.  I was now able to walk around on crutches or walker but I would still tucker out rather quickly.  So when I needed to move around a lot I still used the wheelchair.  We had a great time but I was still not sure how much I could ever truly recover.
    Before we left for the trip my dad had convinced me into getting my real estate license and make a new career for myself.  So as soon as we got back I was enrolled in a RE school.  I then started a career in real estate.  It was nice but my heart longed to be doing something with my hands and working outside.
    One year had past since my accident and I was now able to walk without any assistance.  Every step still hurt mind you, but I was happy to be unassisted again.  I was not doing as well in real estate as I had hoped, but that is to be expected when your heart isn't in it.  I needed to make some extra money so I applied for a part time job at Home Depot.  I was hired about 14 months after my accident.
    My first day on the job was excruciating!  I was sure I had made a mistake.  After and between shifts I was still working real estate and pushing myself pretty hard.  There were times I was not sure I could walk up the stairs to my apartment in Albuquerque after working.  I will say this, working at Home Depot made me realize that I was not that far from being able to do the work I loved to do again.
    The path I was on eventually lead me back to where I was before the accident.  Back home doing what I love.  Back to working with my hands!  When you love what you do the pain, for me, is worth it.
    My mother had convinced me to join our local VFD & EMS as a way for me to give back to those in our community who supported me in my time of need.  I have loved being able to serve my community this way.  I have been in these services going on 11 years now.
    Like anyone who goes through a traumatic event, change has taken place in my life.  I have tried to imagine what my life would be like had I not fallen, but that sort of imagining is best left to fiction writers.  When I look back on the accident and the recovery of it I realize I would not be who I am had I not been down that path.  I truly believe this.  Our past experiences make us who we are, for better or worse.  I remember my past but I don't live there.  I look to my future but I don't reside there either.  I embrace the present, because this is what matters.  What you did yesterday is done, right or wrong.  Who knows what will happen tomorrow!  The present is all that we are guaranteed.
    I thank my God and family for all they have given and done for me.


    P.S. This was written on the 13th anniversary of my accident 2/5/14

To see what I do now, click a link.
Log Stick and Steel
Stool Bus
Fire Dept.



External Fixator

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