Friday, May 31, 2013

We interrupt this crazy schedule

To bring you some pictures from around the garden.

Until the June 15th race is over - you will have to deal with me being sporadic!

Flowers on my Chives are starting to open up.
 Creeping thyme- smells so good!

 My first Knockout Rose of the season:
 Perennial geraniums.  I had no idea I had so much purple in the front yard:

 Purple Iris.  Last year was a growing season for these bad boys.  This year they are super happy and I am getting TONS of blooms:

 Brown and white Iris.  This didn't bloom last year:
 Dark purple/redish Iris:
 White iris:
 Growing season is over - now it is time for flowers!!
 The front of the property - I love the Smoke bushes we have.
 When all of these Iris bloom together it is going to look so good!
 New area I planted this year.  We are at the end of the season for daffodils, and behind them are my new Shasta daisies. 
 End of season for our Lilac bush.  It just doesn't last long enough but smells amazing:
 End of season for my Primrose as well.  These little suckers love the shade.  Wish they bloomed longer:
 I have a love/hate relationship with annuals.  I always put in impatients, but they are so needy!

 This vine is twice the size it was last year.  I love it:

 Annual yellow thing I thought was pretty for my few pots:
 My Hosta Hill:
 My favorite - Jack in the Pulpit:
 Jack in the Pulpit flower:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another IEP under our belt

Well, it is done.  We had our annual IEP meeting this past Tuesday for Finley.  I won't say much because that tends to get me in trouble, but Mat and I are in agreement that we are moving in the right direction.  We got most of the things we wanted into the IEP, and the school is working on the other things in ways they feel is a good compromise.  I wasn't 100% satisfied with the meeting, but I was 80%.

My saving graces will always be her Teacher for the Vision impaired and her Orientation and Movement specialist.  I trust them both very much and I think they are great.  And her teacher this year has also been great.  She is very warm, and understanding, and very sweet to Finley.  We have had an overall much better year because of her and I wish I could take her with us to second grade.  We will be having her same aide next year, so that will help ease the pain of getting a new teacher.

Yes, we are going to second grade.  I wish I could tell you I am 100% sure of that decision, like Mat is.  I am about 85% there.  I think it is my constant worry about Finley in general that makes that other 15% stick around.  Every day is so different with Finley's vision, that I send her off not knowing what kind of school day she will have.

So...we are getting there.  I think each year the school will learn a little more about us, and we will learn a little more about them.

Moving on.

We are really in fundraising mode right now.  The last few weeks I feel like I might start to drown, and now I feel myself going under.  As we get closer to the June 15th race, and get deeper into preparation for the August 24th race, I sometimes just walk in circles around the house trying to decide what to do.  Very productive, I know.  Race registrations are pouring in for the Massachusetts race and we are gathering things together for the absolutely huge basket raffle.  We are sorting volunteers and hanging signs.  Banners are going up and the town will be seeing "Finley's Fighters" everywhere over the next few weeks.  It is exciting and terrifying all at once.

Today, though, a nice surprise was at my door when I arrived home.  A local pottery artist - Lemonbee Pottery - made me the most beautiful pieces to raffle of in our basket raffle.  Take a look:

Aren't they amazing?  Beautiful color and handcrafted magic.  The thing in the middle is a little cupcake colder - isn't it adorable?  There is a berry strainer, and a soap holder.  All amazing.  Someone very lucky is going to win these!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Well, it finally happened.  I am NEVER sick.  I think my last cold was about 2 years ago.  All those years of pediatric nursing I have a steel immune system. 

But both of the girls have been sick this past week, and with trying to run two fundraisers, manage the house with Mat being out of town almost a whole week, and just general every day matters, I obviously had a moment of weakness.  So here I am.  It isn't bad.  The worst part is that I have no voice left.  I can hardly talk above a whisper. 

My kids think this part is awesome.

Tuesday is Finley's IEP, so my voice has to be back by then.  I have things I need to say darn it!

But for now - I am trying to stay quiet.  Mat arrived home safely at 1am last night, and it is good to have him back for a few days before he leaves on his next trip.  Next year someone remind me to tell him no trips at the end of May when we are so close to a fundraiser.

This past week was:  Softball game, gymnastics, girl scouts field trip, I worked on Friday, t-ball, softball practice, Kumon, yard work, fundraiser prep, fundraiser get the idea.  Too much in one week.

I am done complaining.  Moving on.

I have been terrible with pictures lately.  Our camera is really winding down its life.  It doesn't take very good pictures any more.  But I did manage a few!

During a rainy, cold softball game, I tried to get some shots of Arlington up to bat.  She is #2 there - in the white:

 I volunteered in Finley's classroom this year, and this past week was my last week assigned.  So the class gave me this sweet gift.  They all signed the back of the award, and the cup is one of those ones you freeze.  Pretty cool:

 Cainan posing:
 Finley looking her normal self - mismatched clothes she picked out herself, and her glasses sliding off.  She is so silly:
 Caught Arlington mid-laugh:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Has it really been 12 days since I blogged?  Between the nice weather and the count down to the June event for Finley, I have been a really bad blogger!

I had a wonderful mother's day today.  Well, it became wonderful AFTER the fact that Finley woke us up at 7:15am crying that she didn't have anything for me for Mother's day.  This wasn't true, of course - she had just given it to me on Friday.  But she had to have something TODAY she told us.  She woke up her sister and brother and asked them to help her make something which just made them grumpy.  Broke my heart how hard she was trying but I was not overly joyed to be up so early.

After I talked with her, she settled down.  But by now - the whole house is awake.  Mat made breakfast for the kids and we went off to church.  It was a beautiful service - the men of the church sang Amazing grace for the mothers.  And the pastor talked about mothers and even about being an adoptive mother, which I thought was really great.

After church, we went out to lunch.  I picked my new favorite Chinese restaurant.  The girls whined (a lot) about eating there, but then discovered that the food was good and they would survive.  Cainan, who eats anything that resembles food was happy to go wherever.  Lunch was delicious and fun.

This afternoon we spent outside.  The rain passed and the sun came out, so we went out to enjoy the warm day.  Yes I did yard work on Mother's day, but for me, this is not a chore.  I was planting some new plants (I even got MORE on the way for my mother's day present from the family) and letting the kids dig in the dirt to their hearts content.

This evening we went for ice cream at our local homemade ice cream parlor.  It was jammed, of course, but worth the wait.  Yum.  Yum.

This evening, Arlington helped me make sure all the baskets for the basket raffle were correct and added the new things we have received over the next two weeks.  She was a big help.  Things keep coming and the raffle is going to be AMAZING.  I can't wait to post all the goodies!

No picture today.  So sad.  I wanted to take a picture of me with the kids, but unfortunately we ran out of time after lunch before Arlington had to be at tennis practice.  Hopefully tomorrow I will get a picture of us together!

Happy Mother's day to all of the mother's out there.  I hope you had a wonderful day.  I enjoyed my day with my three beautiful children.  Arlington, who made me a mother, Cainan who taught me what it meant to be a mother no matter where your baby was born, and Finley who finished our family.  I couldn't be happier.

"Mother Love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible" - Marion Garetty

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Wonderbaby

A few weeks ago, I was contacted to add a little blurb about how much we like Bookshare.  For those of you who are not familiar with this amazing app on the Ipad, it helps kids who have vision problems with reading.  It will either read to the person, or enlarge the print so that the person can read it.  It has thousands and thousands of books - we actually haven't come across a book yet that we couldn't find for Finley.  And older kids use it for their homework.  It is amazing.

Our Teacher for the Vision impaired told us about Bookshare last year when she first started to work with Finley.  It is a FREE app for people who are vision impaired.  We really do love it and use it all the time.

So I was contacted to write this little blurb and video tape Finley using book share to read and to listen.  Of course, this was done on a day where Finley wasn't really in the mood to do anything for the camera.  But she finally came around and gave me 85% effort.

We try everything to get  Finley to love reading.  She struggles with print and she struggles with braille.  She doesn't like reading either.  But this has helped.  She LOVES listening to books, and it is usually a reward if she has had a good day.  So Bookshare has helped increase her love of learning.

Wonderbaby blog posted our information and our pictures and video on their blog today.  I always tell everyone that Wonderbaby is the NEw York Times of blogs about vision impaired kids (and disabled kids in general).  This blog is well known and has tons of great information about vision impaired children, IEPs, you name it.  It is associated with Perkins, and many of Finley's doctors and associations for the blind mention this blog as an invaluable resource.  So I was excited to be a part of it today.

If you want to read the post, please click HERE.