Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Creeper for a Mother

I am sitting in the quiet of a lonely house, printing multitudes of state award forms for 4-H. It is a 15 page form and it needs to be printed 3x. Times that by 2 kids and....Wala that is 90 sheets of printing. AND that is only for regionals. If they make state, another 90! Thank heavens I have nothing else to do. I have to tell you though, I was so impressed with the boys and how they worked on their award forms independently. Last year, I hand to hand hold the whole time. This year feels like a breeze. Jared even wrote most of his story without me. I figured that I would have to dump the whole thing and start over. Not true! He even used periods and capitals. For those of you who have a struggling student- you know how gratifying it is to see those little grammatical pluses. I can't believe how old and able the boys have become, even under this crazy teacher's tutelage...

Jacie is working through some of the issues that come along with being almost 11 years old. Again, it is difficult to imagine that we brought home a little girl and now have a young lady. Time, no matter how hard we try to hold back, moves swiftly forward at an alarming speed. Jacie has a lot of things that she must work through as she develops into a young lady. Not only does she often lose her privacy (because of repeated Dr appts, surgeries and a creeper for a mother...) Okay, so the last one is not true but it is difficult to maintain any semblance of privacy when everyone wants to see and touch your 12 inch scar that runs down your hip. That, of course, requires shucking of the garb that covers it~

The good news is that Jacie is incredible. She fights things initially but seems to rebound after quickly. That in itself will be her saving grace. On the school front, I have found that she is quite smart and able- when she puts her mind to it. Other times, she is difficult to get focused. I supposed all of us are like that to a point. She continues to buy and make me read Junie B Jones to her daily. This is sheer torture but I recognize many of them because one of the boys went through a Junie B phase too. Thank heavens I don't have 10 children.

For now, I am enjoying the free time that printing has to offer me. It keeps me from having to work to hard.
For that, I am blessed.
~Camo Pants

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Junie B is a Naughty Little Booger

I find myself on the sofa enjoying the quiet stillness that everyone going to bed brings to this house- I couldn't ask for a more relaxing feeling then blogging to the light of my scentsy listening to the sound of silence. Whew! As much as I love being home with the kids, the constant background of bickering can fray these nerves of steel that I possess or is it that I desire to posses...?

We are incredibly busy right now which is not our norm but probably a sign of the age that the kids have hit. As I blogged about last time, the boys are heavily involved in the FFA (future farmers of America) and are really enjoying themselves. They are on a Greenhand Conduct of Meetings team that will compete at the state level in two weeks. This team is amazing, really. There are seven kids on the team- 5 of which had never heard of Robert's Rules of Order until they joined the FFA. The team consists of 2 kids that are adopted and have learning struggles. The first is my Jared who is very dyslexic and has major medical issues. The second is a little gal who is 17 and in the 9th grade She too is home schooled. She was adopted as an older child from an orphanage in the Ukraine, I think.

So this group has worked and worked. They competed in Districts and really did not do well but 2 teams go on to regionals and only 2 competed. At regionals, they did phenomenal. They competed against some of the hardest teams in the state and came out 2nd- so they will compete at state! That is the amazing to this pro-adoption, home school mom! Three of the seven on this team are home schooled. I have attached a pic to this post- enjoy. Jared, of course is the black handsome fella and Loren is directly opposite of him.
The boys are also working on their 4-H State Award papers. This is a 15 page form with a 3 page story, a business letter and a picture journal of their 4-H career. It is a lot of work but oh so worth it. In June, if they are selected, they will go to Michigan State and compete for awards. The boys tell me that the best part of competing for these awards is that they get to 'cut' in the food line past the other 3000 4-H members...Leave it to a boy to think of his stomach first.

Filling out a state award is a lot of work for my resident dyslexic. So it is a lot of work for me as well but I think that it is important for Jared to figure out how to complete a project. Everything that I can do to help him figure out how to compensate for his struggles is worth every bit of blood, sweat and tears- which we are working on drawing!

Jacie has a unique fascination with the Junie B Jones books right now. I keep telling her, "Wow, Jace...Junie B is a naughty little booger."

She replies, "Yes but I sure like her."

She probably sees similarities, as I do...

I love encouraging reading so I continue to invest my time and sanity in Junie B in the hopes that one day someone comes by and swats her little bottom in one of the books. I think that I will be waiting a long time for that one. Anyway, Jacie did read a three line story the other day with some assistance. I was excited. I have to say that homeschooling a dyslexic and an ESL child could put me over the edge some days. I am learning patience though.

I truly love what I am doing here. The kids are learning everyday. For that I am grateful~

~Camo Pants

Monday, February 11, 2013

Back in High School

I am in the process of renovating all of my blogs and websites- streamlining everything if you will. Whew! It is a tremendous amount of work but I am loving the results. Check out our ministry page at: or Jacie's adoption blog at:

On the school front, we are crazy busy. The boys are involved in FFA contests. They have practices several times a week, they are officers in their 4-H club and are completing a very large science project for Michigan State University through FFA. I feel as though, I am back in high school. These are all things that I was involved in- to a point. I did not ride horse two mornings a week. I did not home school. In that regard, they are blessed because they have a lot of paperwork that they are completing that we can incorporate into their school. For example, Jared spent three hours today writing a one page story (he has two more pages to complete) for his 4-H State Award paperwork and that is just the first part of a ten page required form. He will have to work hard for this because of his intense struggle with dyslexia. I am not certain that I am up to this...

Yet, I am determined that he will have all of the opportunities for success that others have. He will just have to spend the time and I will spend the next 11 days trying to 'clean it up' for him. That in itself is a full time job. It is difficult to help him figure his way through his schoolwork. His memory is good, but he struggles to spell, write and complete math. I am at a loss sometimes how to compensate for that lack. This is my patience project~

Jacie is still trying to learn to read. I am trying to help her to love to read- not just learn. She is beginning to get the hang of it but it is another slow process. Sometimes I feel perhaps I am not pushing her hard enough. Yet, we are going from Chinese to English at the age of 8 (10 now.) Between the ESL and the multiple surgeries, she has had a busy couple of months. Top that with therapy, swimming, horseback riding and 4-H- she is a busy girl. Check out her blog-

I feel as though I am truly a rebel in the home school world- nothing is normal here.

~Camo Pants

The boys working on their FFA science project. They planted 180 plants and did an early planting feasibility study. They will present it in March at MSU.