Sunday, October 29, 2006

Thoughts on Halloween

So since it is only 2 days till Halloween I thought I would write about my
thoughts on the day. I have mixed feelings about Halloween personally. When I was born my mother becamea Christian she was actually prayed f or by the obstetrician who delivered me. My dad was saved shortly after ward about 6 months after a very scary dream of losing his family when God came back and him being left alone. Anyway they decided on a few things after this and one was that they didn't want to celebrate Halloween as they felt God didn't want them to and that it was an evil holiday. So I never celebrated it. I never thought to much about it when I was little only a little jealous of the kids and there candy but my dad had a sweet tooth so we had something pretty often around the house anyway. When i was a little older it only bothered me a little because I felt like we had to hide in the house on Halloween night while people didn't pay attention to the light being out and would ring the doorbell or knock all the time. So we tended to hide in the house watching tv in the basement with the upstairs lights out.
When Kelly and I got married and had Izzak we needed to decide what we would do for Halloween. He had always celebrated it but wasn't allowed to trick or treat past the age of 12 or 13 other then walking with his younger siblings while they did. I decided that I was okay with it, I didn't feel like I needed to eliminate it completely but wanted to make conditions to it such as no evil, scarry bloody etc costumes for the kids. The girls are easy they generally want costumes such as Princesses Kenzie was Belle for 4 yrs, Sleeping beauty for 2 and tinkerbell for 1. This year we have ventured away from the Disney store and she is going to be

an angel!

Madison who has always been a disney character also 1 time Piglet and 4 years and cinderella will be

a fairy!

Joshua has had more of a variety of costumes including army man, race car driver, dinasour and my favorite was his 101 dalmation costumes when he was a baby this year he is:

a white ninja

For Izzak it was a little harder to come up with since he is away again with his dad on the last hunting weekend of the season he wasn't around I knew what he wanted but it wasn't really on my approved list but I gave in he wanted to be a vampire so I decided to go ahead and let him but he will not have any blood on him and won't be really scarry looking. He isn't here so I can't post a pic right now but I will post pictures of all of them again after Halloween.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Update on shopping extravaganza for Kennedy

Please note the location is Mt View Christian church and had been a different location previously
address is
Mountainview Christian Church
1890 NE Cleveland Avenue
Gresham, Oregon

a partial list of vendors is
Big Yellow Box
Pampered Chef
Body Shop at Home
Cookie Lee Jewelry
Creative Memories
Princess House Crystal
Arbonne International
Gold Canyone Candles
Home & Garden Party
Mary Kay
Juice Plus
Stampin’ Up
Usborne Books
PartyLite Candles
Tastefully Simple
Safe Smart Strategies
Home Interiors & Gifts
Michelle Baratta Jewelry
Northern Lights at Home
Southern Home Living

All of these companies have agreed to donate a percentage of their profits to help care for our little girl. Not only will you get a jump on the upcoming season, YOU can make the difference in the life of a child.
I plan on attending sound like I can get some of my christmas shopping done! Also help Kennedy's family at the same time which makes buying things all that much more enjoyable..

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Now what?

So Izzak got home from school today and called me
Izzak: Mom can I have Top Ramen for lunch? (he got out early for early dismissal) Oh and I had In school suspension today. (in a tone as if it is a normal occurance)
Me: Uh what was that?
Izzak: Can I have top ramen? (not sure if he was trying that one)
Me: No the second part...
Izzak: I had in school suspension today.
Me: Why?
Izzak: I got in a fight... with "D"at school today, he hit me in the stomach and I got mad and started hitting back. When they pulled us apart they sent us to the principals office and I had to go to the ISS room today for the rest of the day.
Okay the problem here is "D" has been harassing Izzak physically and mentally for several weeks now, he has tried talking to teachers, the counselor and others but the only thing he has gotten from them was "ignore him he'll leave you alone" . Apparently this didn't work. I don't know does it every really? I mean it is one thing to say that between your own children but when the problem goes over several weeks and one such time involves my son feeling intimidated by this boy holding a pair of scissors when does it become something the school feels needs to be dealt with? It should be long before my son is worried about this kid and a pair of scissors! Apparently the school now thinks there is a problem with the boys only now that my son decides he has had enough and fights back. My big conern here is Izzak has had problems with bullies and just plain bad kids in the past and been able to handle it without fighting himself even though his dad has always told him if someone hit him and he defended himself by hitting back he would not be in trouble with us. Now that he has had the experience of fighting with another child other then the normal fighting with his brother have we turned a chapter? I really don't want my son to fight or have to fight for himself or anyone really. I spoke to the vice principal and he will talk to Izzak tomorrow as he wasn't there when it happened and has promised me he will try to get the boys seperated to different classes but I have heard this before and had lots of promises from the schools I feel like I am holding my breath now to see if anything will happen or will my son have to fight to defend himself again! He is only in the sixth grade now I don't want to worry about fights for the next 6 years, he has enough to deal with at school!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Holiday Shopping Extravaganza for Kennedy Duval!

On Saturday, November 4th, join us from 10am – 4pm at
Mountainview Christian Church
1890 NE Cleveland Avenue
Gresham, OR
Get started on your Christmas shopping BEFORE the big holiday rush with our many wonderful vendors such as Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Creative Memories, Michele Baratta Jewelry and Usborne books. All of these companies have agreed to donate a percentage of their profits to help care for our little girl. Not only will you get a jump on the upcoming season, but YOU can make the difference in the life of a child.
Kennedy Duval was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on 5/9/05 at age 4. Her family originally had no medical insurance but Kennedy was approved to receive benefits from the Oregon Health Plan for 6 months. That assistance was terminated 11/30/05. Although her father had insurance benefits through his employer, they refused to cover any of Kennedy’s cancer related expenses. She started chemotherapy in May 2005 and will continue treatment until August 2007. On June 1, 2006, Kennedy was approved for benefits from the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool/Regence Blue Cross-Blue Shield. Her medical bills and care expenses are continually overwhelming because of the period of time that she had no medical coverage. An account has been opened in the name of Kennedy B. Duval Contribution Fund at Wells Fargo Bank (12005 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97266)/Acct. #2246146969. Donations may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank. The Tax ID Number for the Kennedy B. Duval Contribution Fund is 83-0484895. Any donations to her medical fund would be greatly appreciated. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers! For progress updates, Kennedy’s website is

Kennedy is a great little girl who I have had the pleasure of meeting both her and her mom Melanie. Kennedy is the same age as my Madison and they are actually quite a lot alike and have played with each other as well as Kenzie. The girls pray for her regularly and have t-shirts they love to wear and Kenzie refuses to take off her courage for Kennedy bracelet same with Izzak. Izzak makes a point of telling everyone even his teachers about Kennedy! I plan to come to this event and hope lots of others come too!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I have another prayer request

So am making another post asking for prayer from friends who read this.
I just got a call today from my friend Kara. I have talked about her before and her son Conner comes over to our house frequently. Anyway when I talked to her today she was pretty upset as her house burned down yesterday. Fortunatly no one was inside but the house is a loss. She had needed to leave and left her laptop on not thinking anything of it as she has done this before. It overheated and and at first there was no flames but the house got really hot and melted everything and smoky causing smoke damage there weren't any flames really so no one noticed anything for a few hours till a neighbor notices there was smoking comming from the vents and called 911 not knowing if it was on fire because he didn't see any flames. When the fireman came and broke out the windows it causeda backdraft effect pretty much causing the upstairs of the house to blow up. If anyone has ever seen the movie backdraft that is when there is everything needed to cause a fire but not enough oxygen for the flames but gettting very hot and as soon as the place is filled with oxygen the fire is rapidly feeding off of it. The whole upstairs was a complete loss though what she says is weird is that the bottom of the house has no fire damage only smoke and smelling bad.
What makes it worse is that this is not there first house fire. About 4 years ago their house burned up also due to an electric problem in the gas fireplace that time the insurance company that made the fireplace and it had to pay for a lot of it.
She also had bladder cancer at 19 when she was pregnant with her daughter Acelyn. So obviously she is feeling a little frustrated right now things were just starting to go really well and now this.
Please pray for them they are really close friends of ours and have done a lot for us and I wish there was more we could do to help.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

100 things about the Dunn family

I got the idea for this post from another website I visit:
1. Our names are Kelly, Terri, Izzak, Joshua, McKenzie, and Madison
2. Izzaks first name is Kelly but we call him Izzak because I thought it would be to confusing to have 3 Kellys in the family Kelly, his dad and Izzak to much!
3. Izzak is spelled the way it is because Kelly couldn't figure out how to spell it right and figured he would never remember the right way unless he spelled it himself.
4. Both of Joshua's names are after family members Joshua is Kelly's younger brothers name and Robert is my dads name and on my dads side of the family there is a Robert in every family. I do get the fact that I would not call Izzak by his first name because of the confusion but then named him after his uncle who has lived with us several times and does come around alot....strange huh....
5. Kelly came from a family with 4 kids 2 boys and 2 girls just like ours.
6. Even though Kelly figured Izzak's spelling would be easier for him. It took me over a year to really remember the correct spelling of my own sons name every time I filled it out, sometimes having to check to make sure it was right by looking at his social security card....
7. Izzak played hockey for 2 years and picked it up quick until they closed the skating rink at clackamas town center.
8. Joshua and McKenzie both are in Tae Kwon Do.
9. Maddie is not in anything yet we are still waiting to see what she has the attention span for.
10. In my family I am the baby, so is my dad and so is my mother.
11. Kelly is not he is number 2.
12. Kelly and I were married at the young age of 18, 2 months after we graduated from high school (no it was not because I was expecting Izzak, although I was).
13. Kelly and I met at our high school church youth group.
14. The first time I saw him I thought he was a jerk because he and his friends were duct taping a smaller kid up and taping him to the wall (no I am not sure where the leaders were).
15. Kelly broke up with his girlfriend that summer to go out with me.
16. My parents loved him from the start.
17. His parents didn't like me?
18. I am still afraid of the dark.
19. Kelly loves the dark?
20. I have a half brother and sister I have never met. And a half sister who I rarely get to see, and one full brother who I see almost every day.
21. Kelly's brother Joshua and his 2 daughters lived with us for 2 years when the kids were smaller putting us in a house with 3 adults and 6 kids ages at the beginning of 2, 3, 4, 4, 6, and 7. way to many high pitched little girl voices for me.
22. Kenzie is convinced she is a princess and tells people that is what she is going to be when she grows up also.
23. Mom is a poor sport and daddy refuses to play any games with me as he says I always cheat (I don't cheat, most of the time).
24. We have owned 23 cars since we have been married.
25. We have been married for 11 years.
26. Izzak is a poor sport also and can't stand to lose. so he doesn't play a lot of games.
27. Kelly owns a 78 international scout, it really needs work right now.
28. Kelly and the boys were in a bad accident 2 1/2 yrs ago in said scout, which is why it needs work/restored.
29. Kelly hurt his back seriously in the accident and only just recently had a deposition for the accident for the lawsuit against the person who hit him driving reclesly (I know I spelled that wrong).
30. We all want to move to Alaska some day.
31. Izzak was my only baby born naturally.
32. After Joshua I was only able to have c-sections so I have had 3!
33. Joshua is 2 yrs and 5 days older then Kenzie and Kenzie is 2 yrs 2 wks older then Maddie. Everyone calls them my stair steppers.
34. I liked having my kids in winter.
35. Obviously I wasn't paying attention to it being just before Christmas as Joshua and Kenzie are November babies and Maddie is a December baby.
36. Joshua was born prematurly at 33 weeks.
37. He spent 3 weeks in the NICU at Emanuel Childrens Hospital.
38. Izzak was born at 42 weeks.
39. He is the only one in our entire family not born in Portland, Or. He was born in Pheonix, Az.
40. When Kelly and I got married we moved the same day to Phoenix, Az.
41. We never had a honeymoon.
42. Kenzie and her cousin Kayla are only 9 days apart!
43. Kenzie is shy.
44. Izzak can be.
45. Joshua and Madison do not have a shy bone in their bodies and will talk to anyone who will listen.
46. Madison is in Kindergarten this year and her class already calls her the class clown.
47. In the 1st grade I got a call from the school because Joshua decided to spray pee all over the boys bathroom wall on a dare.
48. The janitor was not happy!
49. Madison has been playing jokes since she was a baby.
50. Kenzie split her lip when she was 15 mos and had 4 stitches. I had to take her and a 3 and 4 year old to the ER with me as I couldn't get hold of anyone.
51. Joshua broke his leg in 2 places above his left knee and below his when he was 6 mos falling down the stairs with Kellys dad.
52. Mom is now very paranoid of stairs and carrying babies.
53. Mom is just plain paranoid.
54. McKenzies favorite princesses are Belle and Sleeping beauty and she has dressed as one or the other for Halloween her entire life.
55. Madisons favorite princess in Cinderella because she wears blue and she has been Cinderella for Halloween every year except her first when she was Piglet.
56. Joshua's favorite movies are the Star Wars movies.
57. I think he has way to many star wars toys.
58. Izzak has always loved Scooby Doo.
59. But his favorite movie is The Dukes of Hazard.
60. When Izzak was in the Hospital last December we watched Dukes of Hazard over and over for 4 days.
61. I am a scrapbooker and Kelly thinks I spend way to much on it.
62. Kelly and Izzak have gone hunting for the last 5 years but have never shot anything.
63. Izzak is a better shot then Kelly.
64. We own 2 cats named Milo and Berney (both named by Kelly).
65. Izzak has a hamster named Harry Potter.
66. I love to take pictures of the kids.
67. Kelly went to school to be an auto and deisel mechanic, but he is now a heavy equipment mechanic working on hydraulics.
68. Kelly has been told he needs to quit his job due to his back injury, but can't since he really doens't know how to do anything else.
69. Izzak wants to grow up and join the army and has told us this since he was 4.
70. He also wants to be a heavy equipment mechanic.
71. Madison says she is never going to grow up because she is always going to be my baby (sweet :) )
72. Kenzie thinks kids are to noisy and don't listen and says she doesn't want kids when she grows up, and says princesses don't have kids they are to busy.
72. Kenzies favorite color is pink, because it is a princess color.
73. Madisons is blue.
74. The boys like camo and insist it is a color, but its not?
75. I used to bake everyones birthday cakes and cookies every week.
76. Now that I work I don't like to enter the kitchen.
77. Madison can count to 10 in spanish and several other words she has learned because she has been obsessed with Dora the Explorer since she was 2.
78. I think she has every singing Dora doll there is and so much more.
77. I work in the staffing dept for Providence Medical Groups and work between 25 clinics.
78. A doctors office is a bad place for me to work because I am to paranoid.
79. Madison refers to the boys as the brothers.
80. Kelly never lived anywhere other then Portland growing up and only in 2 different houses.
81. Pheonix was the only place other then Portland he lived and that was for school for 2 years.
82. I am a navy brat and lived in 5 states including Hawaii, Midway Island, California, Oregon and Arizona.
83. Kelly only went to 3 different schools one for elementry, one for middle school and one for High school.
84. I went to 11 different schools.
85. I became an aunt when I was 7 and my nephew will be 22 this year.
86. Kenzie and Izzak both have asthma and acid reflux.
87. Joshua is the only one of my kids who has never had surgery.
88. Joshua wears bifocals for crossed eyes but never seems to keep them on for pictures.
89. Madison wore bifocals for the same reason when she was 2 until she had eye suregery and her eye dr says she did so well he should use her as an advertisement for great results.
90. Between my kids we see a Family Dr, and opthalmologist, a peds urologist and a peds gastrointerologist.
91. Izzak is learning disabled and has very poor memory skills.
92. Joshua has ADHD and drives me insane.
93. McKenzie is adored by all of her teachers who say she is like another adult in the classroom.
94. I already commented on Maddie being the class clown. She drives her teacher nuts and I wonder what will hapen if she every has any teachers who had Kenzie first, They will be in for a surprise!
95. I did well in school.
96. I did all of Kelly's english homework our senior year and he ended up with a better grade from the same teacher!
97. I am running out of ideas.
98. Right now we own 3 vehicles.
99. Kelly has told Izzak the 78 scout will be his when he is old enough to drive and Izzak tells everyone it is already his.
100. Izzak wants to be just like his daddy someday even at 11 he says this.

Hopefully people found this interesting. It is really hard to think of 100 things about your family like this.

Izzak again

 He is also having problems with his anxiety this time due to another student who is threatening him at school. He decided to tell us about it this week. Apparently this kid threatens to hit him and has hit and kicked him a couple of times and so far Izzak hasn't hit back surprisingly, it is frustrating. He says he tries to tell the teachers and all they say is okay so he doesn't feel like anyone there is willing to help him out. That is just not right. I know it gets harder in middle school and as they get older but with his problems he just doesn't need this! So I need to call the school apparently and speak to someone about talking to this kid or both boys as this kind of thing only makes his anxiety issues worse and we are having a lot of complaints from him about his tummy hurting and I really hate to see him like that.

I am going to try and get in touch with a peds pshychiatrist this week to get him in sometime to try and find ways of helping him cope a little better. I just think we need help to figure out how to help him with his stress or I am afraid at some point the pain in his stomach could really end up finding something physically wrong with him. Please pray that we are able to figure something out for him to feel better.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Possible resolution on the Izzak IEP front?

So I talked to the school for Izzak more specifically the ERC teacher (special ed) to find out what exactly they are doing/going to do for Izzak this year since so far nothing was being done. I was told that as of last week he would be pulled out of 2 classes, reading and language arts, which are his most difficult classes obviously and put in a special education classroom (maybe they have finally decided to do something?, hmm we will have to wait and see) also the ERC teacher was to speak to the teachers of his other classes and try to better explain his disabilities to them and what needs to be done/altered for him to be able to participate in their classes one being making copies of the overheads that they are supposed to be copying and giving him the copies so he is getting a copy and not having to try and copy it himself since he is not able to do that. Make sense to me but I was surprised that I was the one to bring this idea up and she had not thought of it! I mean if he has dyslexia how is he to be able to really read what is on the over head and then with his working memory disability how is he to be expected to copy what he can't read onto a piece of paper which gets to the next problem his disgraphia which means he has a writting disability (basically even if his mind knows what to do it doesn't know how to tell his hand to do it) Those 3 problems make that one activity pretty much impossible for him, hopefully giving him the copies will eliminate two of the issues and he will only be working with the dyslexia portion (which still is a major issue) but at least a little of the stress would be off of him. She is also supposed to explain to them that he needs more time and is not really able to do timed tests etc as like I said sometimes his brain doesn't know how to tell his hand to write things and it takes him a lot longer. Anyway I am pretty happy with the converstation mostly but a little aprehensive still and taking a wait and see approach to it since I know that these have been brought up before and so often it seems that "the plan" isn't always followed through as it should. I am still a little frustrated as it seems it has taken to long to get to this point in this school year as he has already gotten his first progress report for the year and he had mostly F's a couple of D's and an A in choir which is tells us he likes because there are a lot of girls in the class (thats my little man for you, he needs to stop growing up and liking girls!)
I should find out this week how all of the other kids are doing in school this week. They all have conferences on Wednesday to discuss how they are doing and you can be sure i will update on how they are doing as well. Thank you for reading and I will be back soon.
p.s. please remember to pray for Gage.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Please Pray

So I frequently visit several kids websites here in our area that are battling cancer or in remision etc. One of the kids who began with Ewings Sarcoma but has been off treatment for a little while now recently went in for regular follow up scans and blood work only to find that as a side effect of all the treatments for the first cancer he has now developed AML (a type of leukemia) Another mom Melanie who has a website for her daughter Kennedy emailed this message and it was posted on another childs website I am now posting so that anyone who reads this will also hear about Gage and pray for him also...

"I am sending this e-mail in hopes that heaven will be bombarded with prayer for this amazing little guy.
We met Gage through Emanuel Children's Hospital when he was battling Ewing's Sarcoma (a tumor type of cancer). Through very intensive chemotherapy and proton radiation (in Boston, Mass) he was able to beat his cancer and appeared to be getting back to the business of living. His family just found out today that he has developed a secondary cancer as a result of his treatment for Ewing's. This is every cancer parents nightmare and a terrible possibility that we all must face (for Kennedy, the big fear is brain tumors and other forms of leukemia). He was diagnosed with Acute Mylogenic Leukemia and if that wasn't enough, it is a chemotherapy resistant form leaving his family with no choice but to prepare for a bone marrow transplant in about a month. For a BMT to be possible, they must get him in to remission (no active sign of cancer), completely wipe out his bone marrow through chemo and total body radiation (meaning that without a donor it would NOT recover and his body would be unable to make any blood cells ever) and they must find a perfect match. Full-blooded siblings are the best chance someone has for a match and Gage is an only child. Please, please pray that a match is found, that they will be able to attain remission and that the BMT is a success. Also, prayers for protection, healing, strength and all the things you can imagine they are needing during this very difficult time.
My heart just aches with sadness for them tonight and my tears fall continuously. It would mean so much if you could take the time to stop by his website at:
and leave an encouraging message for them as they need it now more than ever.Feel free to pass on this information to can never have enough prayer!
In His hands,Melenie
"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway."John Wayne"

please keep Gage in your prayers....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Simon and Emily

Okay I took Simon and Emily down for a bit but I decided to bring them back for a bit they are just so cute.

Montage from the Beach

We had a great time together at the beach other then the problem I mentioned in the post before see the montage below....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Trauma at the Beach

Friday night we had no plans to begin with the boys (Kelly,Izzak and Joshua) all were going to the woods to go hunting for the weekend and to begin with the girls and I didn't have any plans and I was feeling a little down then my father in law called Kelly and said his boss had given him reservations to a campground in Manzanita at the beach for the weekend. Kelly said no because he had plans but around 7 I started thinking about it and thought it might be fun and a way to get out of town for the weekend. We stayed in a Yurt which I would say is kind of a cross between a tent and a cabin it has heat, a locking door, bunk beds and a futon inside so we didn't have to rough it to much and kind of used it more as a hotel then a camp site we still went out to eat and wandered around several of the towns nearby for some shopping.
We only had one bad experience when we were walking back from the beach to our campsite and had to climb over the sand dunes from the beach to the camp site and Kenzie had run ahead of us and I looked away for just one second then looked up and couldn't find her. I kept calling her (but she does have some hearing loss) and figured she had run up ahead and we would catch up with her on the trail when we got to the other side and she wasn't there I started to panic a little at first trying to call her and look around I ended up having to get the camp caretaker who started looking and getting other people to help and had to get the park rangers to help look for her also. It was terrifying to me as I had horrible thoughts running through my mind convinced she was going to be really lost and I would end up on the evening news as one of those poor parents searching for there kids. Fortunately within the hour she was found walking in the dunes another adult saw her crying (my poor baby) and was walking back on the right trail with her comming back to us. I was so happy to see her finally. Madison was with me the whole time and I can say having another child with you almost makes it even worse because all of your worst fears that you keep to yourself are spoken aloud by the other child she kept saying "she's probably gonna be dead" I couldn't get her to stop saying things like that and I was ready to lose it myself. Fortunatly she was completely fine and we found her I hugged her and cried with her a long time and we talked about how important it is for her to stay close to me and cuddle for a bit then we walked to the park on the campground and it was as if nothing happened for her she was back to playing hapilly like she should be. As for mom though, I would have to say I am still a bit traumatized by it all and didn't not let her far from my side for the rest of the weekend fortunatly she didn't want to go very far after that either.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Okay I am a bad mom I have been writing in here for a few months and have talked specifically about all my kids except my Madison, my baby girl... She is special.... Madison is 5 soon to be 6 in December and time is going by way to quickly with makes me sad as she is my last baby, unless God has other plans....
Madisons full name is Madison Torrie Dunn she was named by her daddy after a lot of changes we couldn't decide for sure up till just before she was born daddy liked Madison to begin with and we tried several diferent middle names but none of them really worked to us then the name Torrie came to us short for victory no not Victoria. She was my 3rd cesarean baby and my pregnancy was okay some nausea and alot of aches and pains but what do you expect when you have been pregnant 4 times in 5 1/2 years? For some reason I was really nervous with her when we went to the hospital I wasn't sure why but something just didn't seem right and when they hooked me up to the monitors it didn't take long and they decided to move up the surgery time. They didn't say anything to me they just let me know they were able to get me in sooner and I was okay with that it wasn't until later that they said she was having a lot of spells where her heart rate would drop and they wanted her out! I went in for the cesarean with Kelly by my side and I could tell it was taking them a long time to get her out. My kids all seem to like to lay sideways, maybe because somehow they know they aren't comming out the normal way so why should they be headdown? They tried the vacuum to get her out and I could hear it popping off several times, then they tried the the forceps and finally where able to get her up far enough to figure out the problem, Her cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times! They got her loose and pulled her out and she was blue (according to Kelly) nobody said to much at the time. After Joshua they knew to not get me to excited as I went into shock with him so they wanted to prevent that. I didn't hear her cry and knew something was wrong and it took a minute to get her breathing fortunatly a lot of stimulation and bagging her was enough and she didn't need to be intubated or anything she was even brought right back to me once they new she was breathing fine! The point of this story is she truly is another one of my miracle babies if she hadn't been born that day by c-section she would not be here today..... They had done an ultrasound the day before so they could make sure she was ready to be born I had a amnio to check levels of a hormone that shows in it when the babies lungs were breathing and the day before the cord was not around her neck so it had happened overnight aparently. So the reason for her name in our minds became clear to us. Torrie short for Victory, victory over death, obviously God has plans for her in our minds! She did well after that was a great nurser hardly ever sick, we thought we finally had a baby that was perfectly healthy and not going to have any issues. That was the case until she turned 2 when suddenly her eyes started to cross, this was scary for me fortunatly it wasn't something as serious as a tumor or anything but she was cross eyed and had a lazy eye possibly something because she was deprived of oxygen as a newborn and we just didn't really notice it till then? Who knows but suddenly I was taking another baby to the drs all the time and I had a 2 yr old wearing bifocals (yes that is difficult, but surprisingly a lot of babies will keep them on when they realize they can see with them on!) The normal things didn't work and she kept getting worse the lazy eye got better with patching but the eyes kept crossing so she had to have surgery on her eyes. Her eye dr calls her one of his success stories as he says usually after a couple of years they will cross again and she is now almost 4 yrs past surgery and her eyes are perfect! She had an appt today so we know for sure and he checks her eyes every 6 months to make sure they stay that way. Once she got through that we thought we were doing good with her again till last year when she still wasn't potty trained, sure she went to the bathroom but she went all the time and was constantly having accidents even though for awhile she was dry all the time. So off the the urologist office did a bunch of tests and apparently she has a neurogenic bladder or over active bladder anyway she has to take Ditropan to help keep her bladder from having spasms that make her lose anything inside and wetting, she is doing a little better but she is almost 6 and has several accidents a week still. It is frustrating because to many people think she is doing on perpose, problem is they are not drs and the dr thinks she has something wrong so that is who I beleive since I see when she has accidents she is just as shocked that she is wet as anyone else is! Oh well I guess things could be worse but it does leave us with all these kids on a lot of meds.......
Other then that she is a great kid with a very funny personality. I took her to the eye drs office today first she was very curious this time about all the equipment and had to know how everything worked and why. When Dr Holland (who is the best eye dr by the way) came in she told him she had lost a tooth (her top front tooth by the way, I will post a pic of it but not right now) when he asked her if it hurt when she lost it her comment? "apparently not" how funny is that? Have you ever heard a 5 year old make a comment like that? He thought is was pretty cute. She is very smart probably to smart and I could go on and on about her but for now I am going to leave it at that. I will write more later.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More on Izzak

So I had to post this pic of Izzak on his 11th bday. why can't they always be this happy?

So I talked to Izzak more last night and he tells me the school isn't pulling him out of class for his reading he is being expected to read in a 6th grade class with large chapter books while barely at a 3rd grade level. Once again according to his IEP he is supposed to be out and in a class reading at his ability level how is he expected to jump from 3rd grade reading to 6th and be expected to have any idea what is going on. Also he is supposed to have in class assistance from a ERC teacher during his writting class that or be pulled out to work on assignments so he can write, the more I talk to him the more frustrated I get....... He is telling me last night he so far has 3 Fs and a D- in his classes he has an A- minus though in choir that is good, right? Oh I am not happy.......I am just waiting for the teacher, any teacher, to try to tell me he is not applying himself or he would do better..............
On a lighter note they have there first Dance/Social on 10/23 and guess who already has a date? He is only 11 how does that happen? Oh my......

Monday, October 02, 2006

Celebrating Holland - I'm Home

I have been in Holland for a while now. It has become home. I have had time to catch my breath, to settle in and adjust, and to accept this different trip than I'd planned.
I reflect back on those years when I first landed in Holland and remember clearly my shock, my fear, my anger. In those first few years, I tried to get back to Italy as planned, but Holland was where I was to stay. Today, I can say how far I have come on this unexpected journey, how much I have learned about Holland. But it has been a journey of time.
I worked hard. I bought new guidebooks. I learned a new language, and I slowly found my way around in Holland. I met others whose plans had changed like mine and who could share my experience. Some of these fellow travellers had been in Holland longer than I and were seasoned guides, assisting me along the way. Many have encouraged me and have taught me to open my eyes to the wonder and gifts to behold in this new land. We supported one another, some have become very special friends, and I have discovered a community of caring. Holland isn't so bad.
I think that Holland is used to wayward travellers like me and has become a land of hospitality, reaching out to welcome, assist, and support newcomers. Over the years, I've wondered what life would have been like if I'd landed in Italy as planned. Would life have been easier? Would it have been as rewarding? Would I have learned the important lessons I benefit from today?
Sure, this journey has been challenging and at times I would (and still do) stomp my feet and cry out in frustration and protest. And, yes, Holland is slower paced and less flashy that Italy, but this, too, has been an unexpected gift. I have learned to slow down and look closer at things, with a new appreciation for the remarkable beauty of Holland. I have discovered that it doesn't matter where you land. What's more important is what you make of your journey and how you see and enjoy the very special things that Holland has to offer. I have come to love Holland and call it home.
Yes, I landed in a place I hadn't planned. Yet I am thankful, for this destination has been richer than I could have imagined!
Don't ever think I would want things any other way I love my kids and they are great kids I just wish with certain ones the world, of education especially would take the time to understand them better and medicine wasn't so hard to figure out when it came to finding out what is going on with kids I hate the answer sometimes that just have it when it comes to my kids. I don't believe there are not reasons for there conditions I just think drs are still practicing and sometimes they just don't know since medicine is changing all the time but I do occasionally run into drs (and teachers) who don't want to deal with them or take the time to really figure out the problem and that is just so frustrating for them and us as parents. I worry that there is something else going on with them and it won't be figured out completely till it is to late to fix or maybe it already is in some cases I don't know but I don't know if I ever will..........

Izzak, school, not so good

So I said earlier on that the school year seemed to be starting off okay to most people I know well not many weeks into the school year that seems to be comming to a screaching halt! I don't know maybe I am just getting upset about it and it really isn't as big but from past experience I really doubt that. It started out with Izzak telling us a couple of weeks ago that he had detention, we thought well okay it happens it is middle school and he was talking in class so he needs to learn not to do that when he is supposed to be doing other work. Well then last week he tells us his teacher threatened to put him in in-school suspension so I ask him why he tells me he was talking in class again when he wasn't supposed to be so I start asking him what he was supposed to be doing in class which gets us started with him telling us what he is doing in that class. He was supposed to be coping notes himself from an overhead board. Um okay there is a problem there, he can't do that, it states so in his IEP the problem is the working memory disorder and the dyslexia and the dysgraphia combined makes that impossible for one he would have to be able to read what the teacher has written which he can't it is above his reading level and if he could get the words his memory doesn't last long enough to get it on paper! Then the problem would be if he managed to read the words and remember the words he can't spell them! Do you see the problem here? This is all adressed in his IEP once again. So then we start asking him more about the class as he is obviously having problems with the class and when he told us the teacher told him he doesn't pay attention and that is why he can't get things done we wanted to know more. Well he is given spelling tests which are the same as the rest of the class. Well problem once again that is supposed to be addressed in the IEP he is at a 3rd grade level barely so how is he supposed to get any words right in his IEP he is supposed to have a spelling list more appropriate for his level with less words since it takes him so much longer to write the words wrong let alone right....... More and more comes out on a daily basis as we talk to him about school that is upsetting us because they are all issues that are not being addressed correctly and if he were to be taught at his level he can understand his behavior would drastically improve. Once again he is getting stressed I don't want to keep reminding myself but it was school stress and anxiety that got him so messed up and in so much pain he landed in the hospital for a week and out of school for the month of December and yes he is already starting to complain of stomach pain and his behavior is getting worse, notably. It looks like we have to set up a meeting now already to meet together with all of his teacher including the counselor and ERC (special ed) teacher which not including us counts up to 8 to get these issued taken care of and find out why he is not getting the time he is supposed to be getting out of class for reading help and in class for the classes he needs which is what he is supposed to get. It is really frustrating hence the Welcome to Holland post prior to this. It is not just a poem for parents with children with severe handicaps and illnesses which including Izzaks very lengthy learning issues and the other kids health, etc issues I think I qualify. I am just really frustrated I don't remember my parents having such a difficult time when we were kids of course we have 4 and they had 2 but it just seems like things are always going wrong something is always comming up with the kids. I still need to write about Madison which I will be doing soon though she is my baby and I had high hopes she would physically be perfect which I beleive she is but she of course has plenty of problems of her own just like the others no definite reason that anyone can really give us why other then they know she has it........ Can I just say I wish we could go back to summer I can only handle one issue at a time either health or education and the education one is just so draining so often I don't know what to do for him anymore I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle most of the time and to many people who think they know more then me because they have degrees but they do not know my son or what I went through with him as a baby and toddler only to keep fighting as he goes in school............I guess I am just really tired.....There are so many things that I actually don't bring up here because I want this to be about my kids that I don't know where to get the energy for it all.

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.