Never a Dull Moment at the Tinkel House! Mood:
accident prone Topic: The Kids
Notice my mood says "accident prone", but it really isn't me that is the accident prone one it is Joshua, our middle child. If you follow me on Facebook you will know that Joshua was in the "Forbidden Forest" behind our house. The kids are not allowed in it because of all of the trash that has been dumped in there over the years. Well, you guessed it, sure enough Joshua went back there and stepped on a piece of glass. Three stitches and a tetanus shot later, he is back home with a bandaged foot (pictures of said foot will be posted soon). Hopefully he, his brothers and the neighbor kids have learned their lesson.
I always hate it when one of the kids get hurt. I guess I have the father syndrome that wants to protect my family and hates it when something happens that is out of my control. I was probably as nervous as Joshua was...and that is pretty bad. Sarah said that he was brave for the most part.
Please be in prayer for the next couple of weeks. It is going to be hard to keep our hyper child down and off his foot. Your prayers are coveted. As I said, I will post pictures soon.
What Will I Miss and What Will I Not Miss as My Children Grow Older? Mood:
chillin' Topic: The Kids
Most of you have seen the widgets that I have on the left hand side of my page. What are widgets? They are those things on the left side that you can press and go to a particular site. My "Men's Monday Meme" buttons are widgets, for example. As are the two from BlogFrog that are in the middle of the left column.
BlogFrog is a community of bloggers that I joined partly to gain more exposure for my blog, but also to learn from other, more experienced bloggers. In the blog frog community forums, they have a discussion area. You can either start a discussion by asking a question, or join in a discussion by answering a question or responding to someone else's answer. One of the questions recently was asked by Sarah (not my Sarah) from Kingdom Twindom. Her question was more in the form of a statement "I'm really going to miss that!" She went on to discuss what she was and wasn't going to miss about her children being toddlers. Others joined in the discussion and offered comments such as "I will miss the cuddling" or "I'll miss the babytalk", and then added that they would not miss "Changing diapers" and "Having to buckle them into their car seats".
As I began thinking about what things I would miss or not miss, I became a little more melancholy. Not depressing or anything like that, just kind of sad at the thought of my boys growing up. I thought I would share my response with you in today's post. Here it is in it's entirety.
Hope you don't care if a dad jumps in here!
There are many things that I will miss as my children grow older. We have three boys - 13, 9, and 3. If God chooses for us to not have any more children, I will miss not having a baby to hold, sing to and put to sleep. I will miss the baby talk. I'll miss the running and jumping into Daddy's arms, and, as much as I complain about getting old, I'll miss the wrestling and piggy back rides. As my sons leave the home, I will worry and miss having them under the protection of this home that God has provided.
I could post a long list of what I won't miss, but when it gets right down to it, I don't know if there is anything I will actually not miss - even the diapers. Although it's an inconvenience, I will still miss the climbing into our beds in the middle of the night. Although I want my children to love each other, the sound of bickering is better than no sound at all. All parents want their children to be mentally and physically healthy, but some of our best times and discussions have happened in the waiting rooms and trips to the children's hospitals and traveling back and forth from therapies (my oldest is a cancer survivor with an artificial eye, my middle has asperger's syndrome and my youngest also has sensory issues - currently being tested for asperger's as well).
I guess there is nothing that I would not miss, because, I know that every year that passes, and every stage that is grown out of, is another year and another stage that can't be recaptured again. And, although there are actions and disagreements among my boys that I pray will stop, I can't really say that I won't miss them, because I know that at any time God could choose to take one of them from us. We have been through the darkness, and we are enjoying the light with our boys, and, although there are trials, we really enjoy each day with them.
Boy that sounded really depressing for this season. I didn't intend for it to. But when I got to thinking of what I wouldn't miss, I realized that there really wasn't anything at all.
Ok! I know! It's a catchy title to get you to read my funny story. However, recently, my "First Mate" (group leader) on the TOS Homeschool Crew sent us all a link to a blog post that she had written a couple of years ago. Penny, also has a child on the autism spectrum and she used a funny, but great illustration to talk about the challenges of autism. It seems that a neighbor had put up a lovely light display on his home. Unfortunately, the trees between Penny and the neighbor turned his light display into something completely different than what it was intended to be. I won't tell you anything else, except that it has to do with the word "poop". You'll have to read Penny's blog to find out what I'm talking about! Here's the link - http://notnewtoautism.blogspot.com/2008/12/view-from-my-kitchen-window.html.
Anyway, her story inspired me to write my own post about Joshua, our asperger's child, and the word "poop". Some of you have kept track over the past year of our quest to find ways to help Joshua. It was almost exactly a year ago that Joshua was diagnosed with asperger's syndrome, which is also on the autism spectrum. Some folks classify asperger's as high functioning autism, while others put it in a totally separate category. Whatever the case may be, "aspies" are very challenging to raise. No two aspies are the same, they each have their own peculiarities, but one frequent tendency of aspies is phobias. Although he still has a few, thankfully, Joshua has outgrown many of the fears that he had when he was younger. Some fears that he had were common, like being afraid of bugs - we had to create names for them like "Oh that's just Martha Moth. She would never hurt you. And look! There's more of her family!" or "Look at Betty Beetle. Isn't she cute?". To this day, whenever Joshua sees something flying out of the corner of his eye he'll say "Oh, there's Martha's brother. He won't hurt you."
But, some phobias were completely odd. Like his phobia of bird poop on the car. We used to attend, as a family, a Bible study that had a homeschool group for the boys to attend while the adults were in their own class. One day we were running late so we chose the closest parking space. A parking space that was right under...you guessed it...a tree with beautiful red berries on it. Joshua must have been 4 or 5 years old at the time and when he came out of the Bible study, he would NOT set foot in the car with all of the bird droppings on it. There was nothing we could do! He screamed, cried, ran...he was terrified! Thankfully, we had a good friend that went to the same study. She finally offered to take Joshua in her car and follow us to the local car wash so that Joshua would be able to ride in a clean van while we continued to run errands around town.
As I said, Joshua is doing much better, now, but he still has his moments. We have learned how to spot things that might cause a "meltdown" and stop the situation before it gets out of hand. Now we have Jacob, our youngest. He is beginning to display some of the same tendencies that Joshua did at this age. Thankfully, however, we now know the signs and caught it early and we are in the process of getting him tested now. As I've said before, there is never a dull moment in the Tinkel household. Ah well, at least we don't have to worry about poop on the car anymore but, tomorrow is another day.
Wreaths Of Maine - John Allen's at it Again! Topic: The Kids
Last year, John Allen began his entrepreneurial career by selling Christmas wreaths with "Wreaths of Maine". Wreaths of Maine is a company that sells Christmas wreaths and primarily works with homeschoolers. He ended up earning over $60 from all of his hard work. This year, because of sickness and other difficulties, we haven't been able to do quiet as much selling but, he is giving it good try and hopes to, this week, make up for it. Last year he gave some of the money to us for Christmas. This go around, however, all of the money is going to him to put into savings.
This year, again, we are making him do most of the work and he is doing very well. He's memorized his spiel, learned how to fill out the order forms and paperwork, and is learning to be positive and persevere when no one seems to be buying.
He (and we) would love it if you would think about buying one. If you are interested, you can visit the Wreaths of Maine web site at http://www.wreathsofmaine.com to check out their products. Just enter John Allen's code #4086 where it is called for.
Thanks ahead of time. John Allen would be thrilled.
John Allen's Excitement Mood:
incredulous Topic: The Kids
I've talked a lot about Joshua and his problems with Asperger's Syndrome, but I haven't talked much about my oldest son, John Allen. When John Allen was 15 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer called Retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma (RB) is a childhood cancer that usually hits infants and toddlers between the ages of birth and 5 years old. The primary goal of physicians who work with RB children is, of course, to save the child's life, with the close secondary goal of preserving the eye. However, when John Allen's RB was diagnosed, the tumor was so large that his pediatric ophthalmologist suggested enucleation (removal of the eye). John Allen's left eye was enucleated November 7, 1997. A few months later, he was fitted for an artificial left eye.
One of the problems of having only one eye is depth perception. Thankfully, God made us so that some parts of our brain take over when other parts are damaged. So, although he will never be able to see like a person with two eyes, he does have some depth perception. Nevertheless, however hard your brain works, there are some things that can't happen without two eyes. Like seeing 3-D.
I know that John Allen has never seen anything remotely in 3-D. He goes to the 3-D shows at amusement parks and theaters, and faithfully puts on the special glasses, but they really don't do anything for him. He doesn't see things the way the others do. Nothing comes out of the screen. Nothing has any depth. It's just a fuzzy flat picture.
As a homeschooler, I am notorious for signing up for anything free that I can. Yahoo groups, newsletters, emails, you name it, if it's free and has anything to do with education, I probably am signed up for it. One of the email newsletters that I'm signed up for is a weekly science experiment written by Robert Krampf from www.thehappyscientist.com . In one of his last emails, he talked about...you guessed it...3-D. 3-D chalk to be exact. This prompted me to write to him about something I had been curious about for a long time. Can someone with only one eye see in 3-D? Here is his response:
Up until recently, I would have told you that you cannot see in 3D without two eyes, but I recently was sent a link to a photo (actually an animated GIF) that comes very close to being 3D, and it is easily seen with one eye. Go to: http://www.imgspark.com/image/view/bade/276697/
The image was made with a 3D camera, and the animated GIF switches back and forth between the two pictures. I plan to try making some of my own. Let me know if he sees this as 3D.
I hope it helps.
Have a wonder-filled day.
The link is to a picture taken by Jaime Martinez, the artist who developed this technique. I have since corresponded with Jaime and become Facebook friends (what else?) with him. Click here for more of his pictures including several excellent 3-D pictures. (Be cautious however. Although, the 3-D pictures are fantastic, some of his other work can be quite graphic. Make sure you peruse his site before allowing your young ones to view it.)
When I showed them to John Allen he became so excited! He could actually see depth! They actually seemed 3-D! In fact, when I shut my left eye, it seemed to me like I could see them better. Take a look yourself. Just press the play buttons on each picture. When we originally saw them, they were in a loop mode where they shook continuously. For some reason it's not allowing me to loop these, but I think that the four seconds that it lasts will be long enough for you to get the picture (no pun intended )! This is still in the experimental mode, but someday, John Allen may be able to see a real 3-D movie!
Thank you, Lord, for making us intelligent creatures. Thank you for giving men the intelligence to create things for our enjoyment. Thank you for people like Jaime Martinez who are creative enough to develop this method of seeing 3-D.