Saturday, April 30, 2016

Goodbye Ten

It's been fun!

Birthday Bash

Eleven is pending. In just a few hours. This is hard to believe. Dayna is also getting ready to say goodbye to her best friend since first grade. So today, we partied. Bowling. Arcade. Indoor adventure maze. Pizza Ranch. Lots of giggles and memories to be made.

Guess who hit the Price is Right jackpot! 500 tickets - they just kept coming!

Strawberry Sparkle Cake with a makeshift candle

Face Time with Papa and Nana as she gets her big gift! (Hint - it flies)

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

I like to look back on Facebook and see memories from the past. Lately, I've had some pretty hard memories come back. Like the time I lost my teaching job - but wait - I didn't. Rather, I was given the "choice" between working full-time or not at all. I remember lamenting the fact that my daughter would start school, and I wouldn't have the chance to volunteer in her class, or really get to know her teachers and classmates.

Or the memories that are too hard to elaborate - like this simple post.

I stumbled upon the picture again this week as I was completing my BSF lesson on the New Earth.

The night I stumbled on this again, I was brought to tears. I am even again writing this now. You see - the incredibly hard lesson allowed me to leave. Allowed me to discover an alternate path on my teaching career. One that has brought so much fulfillment. The day I stumbled on this picture again happened to be the same day I subbed in my daughter's class. I've had four incredible years working in her school. Sometimes as a volunteer, but more often as a paid substitute. I've been able to develop friendships with her teachers and invest in her classmates.

And the things I left behind - a little bit of fondness and a little bit of pain. I still have some healing to do. But I am finding myself in a place that is far, far better than anything I left behind.

Senior Recital

No sooner did Dayna finish her last elementary concert, when she was playing in a senior recital at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Fortunately, it wasn't hers...we're not quite ready for her to grow up that fast!

Her cello instructor is getting ready to graduate and invited all of her students to join her at the end. We're so proud of Molly. She's truly an inspiring teacher for Dayna.

April Projects

I feel like I've slowed down a bit this month...then I realized I've been making dishcloths again - some for me (as mine are all falling apart, so I wanted to try a better quality yarn), and some for friends who are moving as a housewarming gift.

I also realized as I washed socks the other day that I have now made ten pairs! (One was gifted to my mom, and two did not make it into this particular load.)

They look so pretty on the line!
I did finish the Vanilla Latte socks (pattern on Ravelry), yarn is Patons Kroy, gifted by my mom for Christmas.

And I've started my Seahawk Socks (Pattern - Geek Socks on Ravelry, yarn is from Stray Cat in New Zealand. Yes. I bought yarn online from New Zealand.)

Bespectacled and Beautiful

Dayna has joined the ranks of those who need some optical assistance. I think she looks pretty darling. It was no small feat to find frames that would work with the structure of her face (i.e. nobody in town seems to carry Asian fit frames, even though 60% of the world's population is Asian.)

But these work, and they sure look good!

From Trike to Bike

The tricycle may have met it's match. Annie is now confidently toodling around on her bike. She has been known to put multiple miles in when given the opportunity - which keeps the rest of us hopping!

Final Elementary Concert

Six years of elementary school have gone exceedingly fast. Dayna had her last elementary program (and second band concert) earlier this month. I'm so proud of the musician she's become (and still continues to grow!)

Fifth Grade Band

Fourth and Fifth Grade Choir

Fifth Grade

With Mr. Jaworski, her band teacher
With Mrs. Krance-Wendt, her vocal music teacher

Empowered to Connect 2016

Dan and I were again blessed to be able to attend the Empowered to Connect parenting conference this year. Dr. Karyn Purvis (who entered heaven just three days after the conference to a resounding "Well done, my good and faithful servant!") has tirelessly researched and developed the TBRI (trust based relational intervention) approach to parenting children from hard places with a trauma background. It was essentially the same conference as last year, but still felt like drinking from a fire hose.

Little by little, we're able to implement more strategies, and we've noticed big changes in every member of our family in the past few weeks. Even discipline has been more productive with happier endings and less stress.

One of the biggest victories I saw was in a little one who absolutely did not want nor need an hour of quiet time...but could she just snuggle instead? In less than two minutes, this happened:

and it lasted about an hour. No fear. No anxiety. A little girl who was so completely relaxed and experiencing felt safety.

We haven't arrived, and I'm sure we'll be drinking a little more from the fire hose in the future. But we're making progress and moving forward more than we're sliding back.

I can't recommend the resources enough to my friends who are parenting, grandparenting or teaching children with trauma histories.

Annie's First Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Annie was so brave when she went for her first "big" dentist visit. It was made easier with the promise of a visit from the tooth fairy when it was all over.

 Well, the doctor couldn't comfortably remove the tooth in question, not knowing what the bone structure looked like underneath. He did manage to remove enough of a fragment, as well as fill the cavity caused by her collapsing dentition. That fragment was enough to put beneath her pillow.

And all was well!