mommydama: (Default)
We are starting school back up tomorrow after an entire month off. I don't remember when we've ever taken an entire month off of school before. It was nice, but I'm ready to get back into it. A lot of tweaking has been done, some simplifying, due to our circumstances and some decisions for this year's curriculum are still in the air. One of those is a coop. There are two options and I'm not sure which one I will be choosing. One is an Orthodox Christian coop meeting the second and fourth Fridays of the month. The classes offered (art and science) are just what I want, ages are appropriate, and they meet at our parish, but since it is only twice a month, I will have to supplement and build my own curriculum in addition to it. Despite that, I would prefer this one emotionally/sociall as it incorporates weekday liturgies and other services and the parents are directly involved. The other is a Protestant one meeting at a local LARGE Baptist church. It meets once a week, very organized and more like a part time school, the girls would have "homework" and the curriculum would be all laid out for me. It costs a lot though and would not really improve my social life as it is a drop off situation(not that I couldn't volunteer). Both are very Charlotte Mason/Classical in their approach. I'm still trying to decide. I need to figure it out soon.

Here is curriculum for this fall:
Math: Math Mammoth (
History/Geography: Ages of Grace (
Literature/Reading: Ages of Grace
Copywork: Paidea Cursive/Ages of Grace (
Grammar: Easy Grammar (
Spelling: Spectrum Spelling
Science: finish Noeo Chemistry/coop
Typing: Dance mat and various online games
Spanish: Rosetta Stone
Music: Piano lessons/Ages of Grace Eight Tones study
Art: Coop/Ages of Grace Picture Study

The girls also have American Heritage Girls starting in a couple of weeks and various sports (Maria-soccer, Zoe-gymnastics, Luci-karate). Luci will still be in Brain Balance for about six more weeks. Between all this and counseling, doctor, dentist, orthodontist appts and moving into our new home, the next few months should be just about...too busy.

Good thing. I need to avoid as much thinking as possible.
mommydama: (Default)
Opened a Dreamwidth account. Everything the same as here. Just an fyi.
mommydama: (Default)
Some friends and family have asked about this, so here it is.

I'm not sure if I ever posted about this here or not, but shortly after arriving in Kansas, Luci began the Brain Balance program. It is 36 weeks long. We were extremely fortunate in that my FIL is a supporter of the Center here in Kansas and all the pieces fell into place for us to avail ourselves of this. I'm very grateful for that. I was a bit skeptical of the whole process and concept at first, but the more testing we did on her the more I realized that Brain Balance did it ALL. They cover all the bases. It all makes sense. I highly recommend that anyone lucky enough to have a center in their area go attend one of their free informational sessions. If not, check out the books Disconnected Kids and Reconnected Kids.

So I went to Luci's first Progess Report meeting a few days ago. First of all, I was getting a tad freaked out about Luci's behavior about a week before this meeting. Regression does not even begin to cover it. Tantrums, clinginess, infantile was scary. I was about to panic and take her for a serious psych eval, when I happened to overhear a conversation between to moms in the Brain Balance waiting room and jumped in (so rude, but what are you gonna do?) to ask them about it. They were discussing just this kind of thing and smiled knowingly when I described how Luci was acting, telling me it was all "a part of the process" of "making new brain connections." So I asked about it at the progress report meeting and the director said the same thing, that her behavior, provided the negatives go away within about two weeks, is perfectly normal for kids going through the program. Sure enough, about two weeks after it started, I'm seeing these behaviors slowing down and I'm very hopeful. Of course, the director warned me that they have these progress reports strategically placed because these are the spots where parents start freaking out. And that we will probably see more of this before she is through.

Luci's test results show she has moved up at least one "level" in just about every area. Reading comprehension and cause and effect/inferences have moved up TWO GRADE LEVELS! I'm thrilled about this and so is she. It is obvious she is enjoying reading in a whole new way.

What does this program involve? It involves strengthening the connections between the brain hemispheres as well as strengthening the "weak" side of the brain. Luci is weak on the right side. And she tested as still retaining most of her infantile reflexes. The center program includes both academic and sensory motor exercises aimed at her specific weaknesses and the home program they design does the same. Most of Luci's home program involves movement activities for the reflexes. This is apparently REALLY important to brain balance and the connections between the hemispheres. For instance, one of the exercises has her doing a crawling movement and another has her rolling into a fetal position on one side and then the other. There are also eye strengthening activities, balance and coordination, and "midline" exercises as well as upper and lower body strengthening. It is all put together for us, all the issues I could think of put together in one program.

I'm pretty sure we are on the right track. I'll try to update here about the whole process periodically.
mommydama: (Default)
My parents bought me a down comforter for Christmas, but I never got a duvet cover for it. Now, moving into a new home and redoing my life in major ways seems as good a time as any to find one. But I'm remembering why I never did it before. I'm impossible to please.
Read more... )
mommydama: (Default)
This is kind of an interesting way to illustrate some of the differences in the Orthodox Christian and the mainstream Protestant Christian understanding of salvation. Disclaimer: I am well aware that not all Protestant Christians believe or teach the same things about salvation. But the view depicted in this video IS the one I was taught growing up and I was a member of several churches with this view as an adult before becoming Orthodox. I am of the opinion that the majority of mainstream Protestant Churches teach this view. It is most often referred to as the "Substitutionary Atonement", I think.

mommydama: (Default)
Invocation to the Holy Spirit

Come, true light.
Come, life eternal.
Come, hidden mystery.
Come, treasure without name.
Come, reality beyond all words.
Come, person beyond all understanding.
Come, rejoicing without end.
Come, light that knows no evening.
Come, unfailing expectation of the saved.
Come, raising of the fallen.
Come, resurrection of the dead.
Come, all-powerful, for unceasingly your create, refashion and change all things
by your will alone.
Come, invisible whom none may touch and handle.
Come, for you continue always unmoved, yet at every instant you are wholly in movement;
you draw near to us who lie in hell, yet you remain higher than the heavens.
Come, for your name fills our hearts with longing and is ever on our lips;
yet who you are and what your nature is, we cannot say or know.
Come, Alone to the alone.
Come, for you are yourself the desire that is within me.
Come, my breath and my life.
Come, the consolation of my humble soul.
Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.

--St. Symeon The New Theologian (949-1022)


Jun. 5th, 2011 09:15 pm
mommydama: (Default)
The changing fur of a zuchon (shih tzu/bichon mix), for [ profile] mairesue

Puppy coat

Adult coat at its worst, I don't usually keep her this long. She is very short for the summer right now. I'll have to try and get a pic.

She has some gray on her ears still and some apricot on her tail and ears, but for the most part is a "dark" white. Doesn't even look like the same dog.
mommydama: (Default)
I fell asleep on the couch last night watching tv. When my parents starting moving around getting ready for work, I woke up, came upstairs, and crawled in bed with Luci, where I was supposed to be sleeping. She rolled over, opened her glazed, sleeping eyes, saw me and smiled a tiny smile that reminded me of when she was a baby. She curled into me and was still.

Love...or instinct...I'll take it.
mommydama: (Default)
This is kind of random but...

I'm getting super annoyed by the reviews I've been reading of Brain Balance Centers. The bizarre critiques being made are obviously being made by people who know absolutely nothing about the place or its methodology. I was really looking hard for both positive and negative criticism about it and am finding virtually nothing on the negative side that makes much sense.

First critique? That there are no scientifically based, placebo controlled, double blind studies done on their methods. Can someone point me to all the studies that meet this criteria on all the myriad drugs being given to children for these same disorders? Did you know that many, MANY of them have NEVER BEEN TESTED ON CHILDREN? Did you know that is exactly what happened with children's cold medications? They were never tested on children, they were just given in smaller doses and marketed as soon as possible. We all gave our kids these drugs for years before the FDA woke up and realized they were not only unsafe, many of them DIDN'T EVEN WORK ON KIDS! Give me break. Nothing the BBCs are doing is harmful in any way. The sensory-motor, behavioral and dietary therapy they give have just as much support as most drugs and no side effects.

Second critique? Like many of these "therapy" or "tutoring" centers they have not opened their methods up to public scrutiny and are proprietary and secretive. Okay, that one is just plain ludicrous. Dr. Melillo wrote two entire books outlining, in detail, not only the evaluations, but the entire program so that people who were so inclined could do it AT HOME! It is a somewhat complicated program and would take some major work and time to go through on your own, which is why there are experts on it working in the centers. Like any good therapy program, it is not just a "do this this and this and it will work". Someone with a lot of experience and training in the program will probably be better at it. This is why we have tutors and teachers and doctors to help us do things we can't or don't want to do ourselves. This is why BBCs exist. If you hire someone to landscape your yard because they have a natural knack for it, doesn't this make just as much sense? Sheesh.

Third critique? It is very expensive and they are not up front about this. Okay...this one I'm concerned about myself. However...the FOUR HOUR evaluation is not expensive AT ALL. It is true that they would not give me an estimate over the phone about the actual therapy because there were "just too many variables". But having the eval puts you under no obligation to use their program and they were very up front about the possibility that they could not help us. You child has to fit certain criteria. Also, after doing some research, I now have a pretty good idea of what it would cost and it is no more than any other private tutoring/therapy program I have found.

So...I'm done ranting. I'm just so tired of this crap. Why do I constantly feel the need to defend myself? Why am I so insecure? Part of it is that I really DON'T know what I'm doing right now and I freely admit it. I'm trying, desperately, to learn. And you know what? When you are learning you tend to make mistakes. Take wrong turns. Get lost a few times. But I also am trying to have faith in God and myself...that He gave me these kids for a reason and will help me navigate the path to raising them the best way I possibly can. And that I have been given the talents and abilities to do that. So I'm using them. Research and trial and error. It is all I've got right now. I may very well eat my words about BBCs. I don't "believe" in them anymore than I do any other kind of therapy for LDs and behavioral disorders. I just think they have what looks like a good option. So...whatever. I have a headache now.
mommydama: (Default)
Luci has an evaluation with the Brain Balance Center ( starting tomorrow. The place is almost an hour away from us in Golden and the eval takes two days, two hours each day, so tomorrow and Thursday are effectively shot as far as school work and general normal life stuff. When I first made these appointments I was extremely hopeful about this place, but I am less hopeful now. Actually, the sinking feeling I have about it is almost entirely financial. I have yet to read a review that says what they do there doesn't work or is a scam, but I have read a lot of stuff about how expensive it is and how badly it is handled (disorganized, bad communication, etc.) So I'm a little worried now. But I have the book Disconnected Kids which teaches you how to do a lot of what they do at the centers, so I'm hopeful I can implement it at home if need be.

She also has a vision screening/consultation on Friday morning. Looking into the possibility that she needs some vision therapy. There is a school of thought that says dyslexia (and its relatives) is caused by tracking and vision problems. So we will see where that goes. I'm not entirely sure I buy into this, but I'm following all leads and going to look into everything.

I've read a significant portion of The Gift of Dyslexia and think it will be very helpful as well.

Does anyone happen to know of an Orton-Gillingham based language arts program that can be done online? Luci really loves doing things on the computer lately and I was thinking that might be a good incentive for her to actually do the intensive phonics work she needs.

Okay...I have to feed the girls. I'm out.
mommydama: (Default)
A good thing to be excited about? Katherine Johnson's (of the blog Evlogia fame) new Orthodox homeschooling curriculum, Ages of Grace. It will be out any day now. I cannot wait! She did a podcast about it today that is wonderful and enlightening and really stoked my excitement to a fever pitch : You really must listen to it!

On a more sober note, I am almost positive that Luci has dyslexia/discalculia and everything that goes along with that. We are having her formally evaluated, but there is really no doubt in my mind. She fits the criteria to a T. And I am hoping and praying that an actual formal "diagnosis" will lead us to some people that can help me help her. I do not truly understand why, but it seems that one of the biggest downsides of this is already the pressure I'm getting to put her in school. My husband and I are feeling very much adrift in a sea of naysayers. This makes literally NO SENSE to me, as all the research indicates the public schools in this country are failing children with dyslexia...roundly failing. What usually happens, both according to research and my own experience, is that dyslexic children are given "help" in the form of crutches such as calculators and an aid to read all tests to them, so that they do not bring down the schools' testing averages. But they don't actually get TAUGHT how to overcome their disabilities. That is absolutely not okay with me. I am not saying there are not excellent teachers and therapists out there helping dyslexic children in wonderful, successful ways. But how do I find them everywhere we go without losing huge chunks of time? How can I ever, in my lifestyle, ensure that Luci always has one? The only way I can ensure that Luci has an excellent teacher/therapist no matter where we live or how many times we move is if I BECOME that person. And so...with the help of every excellent teacher/therapist I can find right here where I am right now, I will do my utmost to become that person. I've already found some excellent resources and am excited about another learning adventure. I will be a student until the day I die, I think.

Brad is taking the day off tomorrow and we are going to Elitch Gardens (local amusement park) for their "homeschool day". Lots of other homeschoolers there I hope. I also doesn't snow. Heh. Supposed to be sunny with a high in the upper sixties, so we should be good. Snow and roller coasters probably don't mix very well.
mommydama: (Default)
One of the most fun parts of changing seasons is new shoes.

Maria's soccer season is nearly over. One more game and the team party. She is going to do some volleyball and a soccer camp this summer. Zoe had her first week in the advanced gymnastics class and it was pretty shocking to her. It is a big leap in intensity and she was thrown, that is for sure. But after a day or two of recovery, mostly emotional, she is ready to go again. We'll see how it goes. Luci has about three weeks of dance class left, then her recital. She has lost most of her interest in dance. She'll go to a two week theater camp this summer and then we are looking into karate and possibly a different choir, more of a show choir, in the fall. It is called the Colorado Children's Chorale. She has to audition and is pretty excited about it.

I've been doing some research on masters degrees. I don't know yet if I want to commit myself to going back to school or not. If I do, it will most likely be in history with an eye toward research or museum work. Teaching doesn't really appeal to me, but who knows? I feel this sense of anticipation about life lately. Like there is something to look forward to for the first time in a long time. Changes, growth...maybe it is just spring. Regardless, it is a good thing.
mommydama: (Default)

Close enough to start a war
All that I have is on the floor
God only knows what we're fighting for
All that I say, you always say more
I can't keep up with your turning tables
Under your thumb, I can't breathe
So I won't let you close enough to hurt me
No, I won't rescue you to just desert me
I cant give you, what you think you gave me
It's time to say goodbye to turning tables

Under hardest guise I see
Where love is lost, your ghost is found
I braved a hundred storms to leave you
As hard as you try, no I will never be knocked down
I can't keep up with your turning tables
Under your thumb, I can't breathe
So I won't let you close enough to hurt me
No, I won't rescue you to just desert me
I cant give you, what you think you gave me
It's time to say goodbye to turning tables
mommydama: (Default)
I have found a new blog to love. These two posts made me want to stand up and cheer. I wish I had that guts to say these things to some of the intrusive people in my life, but the fact is I don't. I can't even bring myself to post these on Facebook because I'm so afraid of upsetting people. Most of the people I will upset, do not read here or at least not often and I hope if they do read it, they will understand that I love them and think they are doing good in the world and are dedicated, hard working, inspiring people. I have just chosen a different path. And I feel pretty dang strongly about it or I would not have chosen it.
mommydama: (Default)
On the death of Osama bin Laden:

"Thou Who didst pray for them that crucified Thee, O Lord, Lover of the souls of men, and Who didst command Thy servants to pray for their enemies, forgive those who hate and maltreat us, and turn our lives from all harm and evil to brotherly love and good works. For this we humbly bring our prayer, that with one accord and one heart we may glorify Thee Who alone lovest mankind."

And on to other things:
I just spent two hours registering the girls for stuff and coordinating their schedules. It is crazy. The reality is they are not doing that much. I do not feel that they are over scheduled AT ALL. It is just that with three of them, with totally different interests and activities, things can get out of hand. Most weeks there is only one or two activities going on for the whole summer, like a volleyball class for Maria one day a week and gymnastics two days a week, all on different days. So really it isn't bad. But with the camps they all chose, we end up with a couple of intense weeks. For instance, the week of June 13th...Zoe will have to be dropped off at a nature center where she will do a three hour camp starting at 9am. We will pick her up at noon, probably do a picnic lunch in order to get Luci to the Central Library in time for her theater camp at 1pm. The way these places are situated, I can't come back home, eat lunch, and get Luci back up to the library in time. Luci is done at 5pm, so we will pick her up and on Tuesday and Thursday, go straight to Zoe's gymnastics. Ugh. I guess on those days, I'll feed Zoe before we go pick up Luci or something. Or pack dinner again. That week is going to be painful as far as meals go. But I think that is the worst week. As I said, it really won't be that bad.

I hope.
mommydama: (Default)
I'm very confused by something....

I love to make slide shows of my girls and set them to songs that are meaningful to me. But I can no longer upload them to facebook or photobucket because there is some kind of copyright law I don't get. How do I share these slide shows? Is it just impossible because of copyright issues? How are there so many of the same kind of thing on youtube? Family slideshows set to music? I'm so confused. Anyone who can help me with this, I would be very grateful. I'd love to share these with large numbers of family and friends.
mommydama: (Default)
I didn't get a single pic of the girls in their Pascha dresses. I do not know what is wrong with me!

We made it to the Pascha service at 11:30pm despite the fact that I was, as usual, totally unprepared. As it was much colder than anticipated I spent several hours on Saturday evening searching for leggings/heavy tights, sweaters and coat liners, as well as warmer shoes. It is always stressful to do that and I ended up snippy and irritable, but we finally made it out the door. Had to stop at the 24 hour grocery store which luckily carried tights for me, as I had put my fist right through my last pair of black tights. My dress was only knee length and in 34 degree weather that wasn't going to cut it. The line was ridiculously long at the store, they only had the self check out express lanes open and many people had full carts, but I finally got my tights, ran in the restroom and put them on and ran back out to the car where Brad and the girls were waiting for me. Zoe was freaking out that I had been kidnapped in the store since it took so long. Sheesh. Anyway, this, of course, made us late to the service.

Being late, we ended up having to stand in the very back where the girls couldn't see anything and were basically hidden behind a forest of people. As a consequence they all fell asleep after the Paschal processions were over, something that has never happened before, even when they were toddlers. One on the floor, one on a pew that was vacated when the Liturgy began (so many people leave, it is so weird), and one curled in a folding chair. But it made for a peaceful liturgy. Heh. Took some work to wake them up for the Eucharist, but they were bright eyed and bushy tailed at that point. Luci relished her red dyed egg, as it is the only egg she gets to eat all year. We got home about 3am and were in bed by 3:30. I did not sleep well, and was up about five or six hours later. Started cleaning and organizing Easter baskets and woke the girls up about 11:30am so they could go to an Easter egg hunt with Brad on the base. They came home with way too much candy and finally their Easter baskets were out for them. Their baskets this year contained some candy, a few little trinkets and crafty project type things, and they each got a nice Bible this year. They were pretty thrilled.

The rest of the day was spent cooking, eating, watching movies, jumping on the trampoline, etc. It was a good day all in all. Bright Monday is here now. Trying to remember the joy of the Paschal service even though we have to go back to the grindstone now....
mommydama: (Default)

mommydama: (Default)

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,

Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;

How pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!

How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,

For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?

O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,

Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.


mommydama: (Default)

January 2012



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 01:33 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios