Thursday, October 17, 2013


I had a Sunday School teacher in my youth who would always start the lesson out by asking the question, "Who's had a WIN this week?"  It was meant as a time we could share any news we were proud of, an obstacle overcome, some way we shared the gospel or were a good example.

This is just some odds and ends of wins we've had lately:

Diddles has been doing great in school!  I'm excited to learn the details at Parent/teacher conferences in two weeks!   I got a note home from the speech therapist yesterday that said, "Diddles did a nice job with the "L" sound today - I asked her to put her tongue on her teeth and say "L" and she succeeded with just a little extra effort!"  This is a huge win for her, especially since her name has a "L" sound in it (she substitutes the "Y" sound)!  I couldn't get her to do the sound for me after school, but the fact that she's ABLE to produce it is a great first step!  WIN.
The back of her head is featured here in their weekly newsletter! :)

She has been down for a solid week with a fever-turned-cough-turned-cold, and is just now getting back to herself.  I even took her into the doctor, fearing she had Whooping cough.  Turned out it was nothing, just drainage in the night that had a ghastly sound.  That Pertussis test was NOT fun ("let's stick this Q-tip down your throat through your nose and then hold it there for five seconds!")  Afterwards Diddles let it be known how she felt.  She stamped her foot and told the nurse, "I be mad at you!"  She gave her a Hello Kitty sticker tattoo, and all was forgiven.  WIN.
A little craft they did at school - cute!

Patiently waiting in the exam room.  This was obviously BEFORE the test!

Yaks feels quite overwhelmed with 2nd grade.  It's a big leap going from the fun-and-games of first grade to serious learning in 2nd.  They have spelling tests and math tests and comprehension tests.  It's all quite a lot for a little boy.  He's expressed several times that he doesn't really find school fun.  Awe.  We finally found a book series he can read and enjoy.  Magic Treehouse books have been a good start for us (we alternate pages), and non-fiction books about animals.  WIN.  

Reading still isn't his favorite, but I'm glad he's at least willing to read with me.  I determined that with that window of time I have in the mornings, I would volunteer in the kids' classrooms.  I signed up be the Art Docent for both Boo's and Yaks' classes.  We come in once a month and teach an art lesson about a famous artist, then have the kids do a similar project on their level.  I went and taught Yaks' class this past week about the artist Henri Rousseau, and had the kids draw tigers in a jungle with oil pastels.
Henri Rousseau's "Surprised! Storm in the Forest"

They all had a really great time, and Yaks was beaming while I was there.  WIN.  After school he said so sincerely.  "I really liked having you in school today, Mom.  Your lesson was fun!  I sure love you."  He's wrapping up his soccer season, and although he won't be joining the professionals anytime soon, he had a great team and coach, and seemed to at least enjoy himself!  WIN.

Boo has FINALLY gotten the reading bug.  I was beginning to lose hope that any of my children would be readers!  She'd read through books, but could tell me few details about them afterwards.  She was decoding, but not really comprehending what she read.  Despite reading through all of the Rainbow Fairy books last year, I don't think she really enjoyed them.  We read some more classic chapter books together this summer: Ralph S. Mouse and The Boxcar Children, and she seemed to enjoy that storyline a little better.  I had the idea to have her start a written list of the books that she's read since the beginning of the summer.  I should have known that for her type-A personality, seeing a list of accomplishments would kick her into high-gear.  She is plowing through the books, and can tell me all about them.

She's found much more interest in the A-Z Mystery books, and has really enjoyed the surprising plots!  She quickly writes them on her list and has enjoyed seeing it grow!  WIN.

After receiving my speeding ticket from our Canada trip, I knew I had to face the music.  I really didn't want to get a ticket.  $113!?  So much money that could be spent so many different ways.  It was so disappointing, but what can you do?  It is what it is.  Reading through the paperwork, I noticed that I could challenge the ticket in court.  It's a 1 1/2 hour drive to the courthouse, but I decided that I would try the option of contesting the ticket by letter.  I quickly outlined a brief defense, my one and only leg to stand on was the fact that I hadn't received a ticket of any sort in over 10 years!  I figured it had to count for something.  Maybe not, but at least it would buy me another month to pay the fine.  Imagine my surprise when I got a letter back in the mail decreasing my fine by $41.  Yeah, it's not much, but still, for me, it was a WIN!

I've never been much of a home decorator.  I don't really know how things should be put together.  I still have original home decor from 9 years ago when my mom and sisters came to stage our house for sale.  I'm sure it's outdated, but I don't have the know-how or money to do much about it.  Our kitchen has a large bare wall on the opposite side that needed SOMETHING.  It's right above the kitchen table.  We spend a lot of time there!  It needed to be something special.  This past summer I splurged and had some family photos done.  I've never paid for family photos before, but I really wanted to let someone else worry about the results.  Mariko took some nice shots, and for my birthday, I bought some inexpensive frames at Ross and had some prints enlarged to put up on the wall!  Boo had the idea to reuse this great President Hinckley quote.  I quite like how the arrangement turned out!  

It makes me happy to look at, and coupled with our new houseplants, this place will suit just fine through the dreary WA winter.  WIN.

Finally our fearless warrior, Josh.  The dear boy is going to school and working a new and VERY challenging job, with very few bright spots.  He's facing unrealistic expectations, difficult personalities and a heavy work-load.  His classes are demanding, time-consuming and often frustrating.  And yet...he brought me home a pint of Pumpkin ice cream the other day, because he knew I'd love it.  He goes to Yaks' soccer games and cheers on the whole team.  He is Boo's piano teacher, and their two similar personalities CLICK!  She's really enjoying that time with him.  He met us at the park yesterday, and he played Diddles' favorite game, "Chased by the monster!". You should have seen her face - pure joy!  

Last weekend, he took Yaks and Boo to a WSU football game.  It was a night game, and it was pretty chilly!  They packed hot chocolate and treats and he bought them pizza at the stadium. He brought along blankets and a thermarest pad.  You can always rest assured that you'll be prepared for the elements when Josh is in charge of an outing!  The kids enjoyed the game comfortably bundled and on a warm, soft seat.  I picked the kids up at half-time (it was late, and they were tired), and they had wonderful tales of all the fun they had with Dad!  I know Josh probably doesn't feel like he's had many WINS in the past several months, but the dedication he shows to loving his family makes him the biggest WINNER of us all!  


Stephanie said...

Hi Ames,

I fell of the earth there for a while. But I was thinking of you and just caught up on the events in your life. The kids are growing and so darling. I love the décor on your kitchen wall, and I love love love the flowers in your backyard. Beautiful. Happy late birthday, too! Love you.

Sarah said...

Those daily details were fun to read through! Always good to hear the positive things happening. Your table area looks great.