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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Our Newest Family Photos

Our new family photos are here and they are perfect!  They came out just how we wanted.  You may notice a "new" addition to our photos; Kyla.  Kyla is actually not new to our family and has been "family" for years.  She was a neighbor who has been in our lives since our kiddos were little. She even lived with us for a year while she finished high school, before Ramya and Deena came home.  She's been close for many years, and has been in Tucson close by while she goes to college to be a Vet Tech.  She's over every day and is our unofficial family, so it was about time she joined us in our family photos.  

A big "thank you" to Katie Reich Photography for the amazing photos.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2018

What's One More Anyway?

For those of you who know me well, I know right now you are thinking what's one more.... child.  Unfortunately this post is not to announce that we are adopting another child (though if God drops a baby in my lap, well, that would be a different story; just don't tell David).  In this case, I'm saying, what's one more diagnosis.

Over the years I've noticed many things in Conner and Madi that lead me to believe they might be dyslexic.  I finally found a good place to get them tested, and it turns out my suspicions were correct.  Both kiddos were diagnosed with dyslexia.  They are both so smart and have done so well, despite their learning difficulties. Most people would never notice, but of course being their mom and teacher means I notice the "little" stuff.  

We had a meeting to go over the results of their psychoeducational testing and we got some great ideas to help us continue to teach them at home.  We will be starting some new curriculum and programs.  I'm excited to watch them blossom with the right tools.  I'm also going to be using many of the programs with Ramya, and I really believe it's going to help her as well.  

The meeting was a bit of a relief for me, and in fact I cried.  I always took their learning challenges personally, thinking their must be something wrong with the way I was teaching them.  Of course I know that's not true, but it was easy to feel.  I couldn't figure out how someone with their Master's Degree in elementary education AND a reading endorsement, not to mention a 1 to 4 ratio and an extreme amount of dedication, could fail to teach her kids reading, spelling, and writing.  Of course they are doing all of those things, but not always fluently or easily, and retaining information is hard for them.  I really know that they are thriving and excelling, despite their challenges, because they are allowed to learn at their own pace, based on their interests and learning styles.  I know it in my head, but my heart didn't always believe it.  

So now it's official, we have added another diagnoses for Madi, and Conner's first.  We haven't let any of the other diagnoses stop us yet, and we aren't about to let any stop us now.  I know it won't slow them down.  These kids will change the world one day, I just know it!

Monday, August 20, 2018

One Year is a Huge Reason to Celebrate

Deena has some great news that we are excited to share....

It's officially been just a little over a year since her last break! 

Now that she has all her major leg bones rodded, has been getting pamidronate infusions, and has good nutrition in her, her breaks seem to be slowing down. There was a time we couldn't make it to a follow up appointment without a new break, and I honestly wasn't sure we'd make it to a year. Of course anything can happen at any time, but for now, we are celebrating! Deena is such a strong, creative, smart, and spunky girl.  We are so blessed to get to watch her grow and share her life with her.

I'll share a little Deena story for anyone who needs a laugh today.  Deena and Madi have been really in to Wonder Woman and are frequently in WW costumes, as seen below (Which is one benefit of homeschooling; they can wear whatever they want to school :)).  They had a hilarious conversation the other day (which I shared on Facebook, so my Facebook friends have likely already heard it) that I wanted to share.  These kids crack me up!

Girls- We are might Amazon warriors!

Conner- So you deliver packages?

Girls- No!  We defeat bad guys!

Conner- Well I ordered a Wonder Woman motorcycle and it's not here yet.

Deena-  It will be here in two weeks.

Deena is a mighty warrior for sure, as are all of my kiddos.  Nothing will slow them down!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Love Makes a Family

As I sit here going through my photos to attempt and catch up on posts (which I never seem to do), one thing stands out above the rest.  Life is messy, sometimes logistic are tricky, and nothing is perfect. Behind the smiles are sometimes struggles unseen. We don't let anything slow us down, though, and we make sure to live life to it's fullest. We try to make each day filled with joy and adventure, even when it's messy. We are so blessed to be going through this journey together. No matter what happens, we always have each other, and it's life's greatest gift! 

Challenger Baseball

We just wrapped up another season of Challenger Baseball and had a blast as usual. The girls really love playing, and Conner is a great helper. The organization is wonderful and we all have so much fun going out together.  The kiddos are so full of joy and each one brings so much to the team.  We can't wait until next season!

Dancing in the Streets... A Dream Come True

Anyone who has ever spent time with my girls has surely realized one thing; they love to dance. Wherever they go, no matter what they are doing, if there's music, they start dancing. Madi's dream has been to dance on stage since she was just a tiny girl. She took dance lessons at the local community center, which she loved, but they never had performances on stage. I called so many studios, but couldn't find somewhere that would include her and also had real performances. Fast forward a few years, an adoption, a move to Tucson, and the hunt continued. A few good friends told us about Dancing in the Streets, so I contacted them. They were excited to work with the girls and included them in their performance of Sleeping Beauty.

Leading up to the performance the girls went to weekly practices. Joey and Soleste, the owners of the studio, worked hard to understand how the girl's bodies move and what they are capable of. They made sure to stretch them to try new things and move their bodies how they are able. 

They performance was AMAZING and the girls were just glowing. They wore stage makeup, tiaras, beautiful costumes, and were radiant! They had so much fun and are still telling everyone about it. We had friends, family, and even therapists show up to watch the girls and they truly felt like stars. It was such an awesome experience and it meant the world to the girls. We feel so blessed to be part of their studio and all that they do.  

Dancing in the Streets does so much for the community; even giving scholarships to kiddos who can't afford dance.  If you are looking for an organization to get behind, this is another great place that needs your help!  You can read more about them HERE.