Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday afternoon 7/17

Ever feel like yelling, "Stop the world; I want to get off!"?  Yeah, that happens here, too---more frequently than I care to admit.  I am blessed with two older daughters who are able to step in and take over when I have these "I'm gonna melt down" moments, two younger daughters who have learned compassion and how to pamper their stressed-out mom, and a wonderful husband who simply listens when I go crazy and then offers practical suggestions on how to avoid going nuts in the first place.  And then there's Dale..........the at-the-moment cause for my stress!

He and I have been going round and round about school this summer.  He has fallen into some bad habits with his work:  he'll take as long as possible about it while protesting that he's doing the best he can; he'll try to do math problems in his head instead of showing me his work, get the wrong answer, and then expect me to figure out where he messed up; and he somehow thinks that he'll get credit for getting close with his answers.  I tried to explain that "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," but I goofed the saying and only made Dale laugh at me.  Amanda finally sat down with him and explained that, to me, his mistakes and failures to find the right answers are a direct result of my teaching.  She was able to get Dale to understand that he needs to strive for a perfect "10" performance each day, not just once a week.  In other words, doing really great one day and then slacking off the next don't balance each other out.  I think he realized what she was saying because he really tried to pay good attention the rest of today.  I don't want Dale to think, "It's all right if I can't keep up with the class next year in school.  My mom will just tutor me again."  I will do that if he needs me to, but I don't want him to use that as his fall-back plan.  I think (and hope) that being in an actual classroom with a (different) teacher who expects Dale to sit up, pay attention, and learn will be so good for him.  He will, hopefully, shed these bad habits he's acquired and work towards being the best student he can be.

Good news!  After the struggle last week Dale had with walking, he is doing better already this week.  On Friday and again yesterday, in lieu of a walk in our neighborhood, I took Dale out to the trampoline in our backyard.  He had not been on it since his accident, and I wasn't really sure what to expect.  You should have seen him!  I stood by giving hints and support while he threw one leg over the side, pushed off the ground with the other foot, and rolled over onto the trampoline.  I made sure he stayed toward the center for the exercises I wanted him to try.  First, Dale had to get on all fours and bounce up and down twenty times; this required his hands and arms to work with his legs to accomplish the task.  Then, Dale had to rise to a tall kneeling position and bounce twenty times; he was allowed to use his arms for good balance.  Then, I had Dale sit with his legs outstretched, his knees straight (not bent), and his toes pointing upward for the next twenty bounces; this was good exercise for his trunk muscles.  Next, Dale had to stand up.  This is not easy to do on a trampoline!  Once he had achieved his balance, I asked him to walk in place for twenty steps.  He didn't have much trouble with this, although he could only take a few steps in a row without pausing to regain his balance.  He got all the way to nineteen before falling!  I made him get back up and finish that last step.  Finally, Dale got to practice falling:  he had to fall backward and to the side a few times while remembering to protect his head and to try to control the fall.  Katie (who helped Dale yesterday) and I have a mantra about that:  Protect your head; try to sit; catch yourself.  Maybe eventually Dale will remember these things when he starts to fall.........like, maybe when he's thirty-nine!

To my mind, having Dale exercise on the trampoline is good practice---kind of like the Olympian runners who practiced racing on the beach.  The sand made running difficult, causing them to have to dig harder to push their way through their workouts.  Then, when they had to run on the hard track for the actual race, their feet almost flew.  I feel like, the more Dale practices maneuvers on the trampoline where it's difficult to retain balance, the easier it will be for him to walk on a smooth surface.  Maybe that's just wishful thinking......but it seems to be working!  Anyway, our walk today was great although Dale fell once.  On the way out the door to the library, Dale fell again but almost remembered to protect his head.  He got his arms up by his ears just about the same time as his bottom landed on the sidewalk.  In this case, the thought doesn't count for much!  At the library, however, Dale was walking really well, and that's such a wonderful sight.  We just keep plugging along, reminding ourselves to be thankful for what God has done and asking God for more every day.

Side note:  Ron, my husband and I will be able to come to Port Orchard on Saturday, July 28th.  We have a family get-together this weekend and will be unable to come before next week.  Is that too late?  If this does not fit into your schedule, just let us know and we'll try something else.  Thanks!

Amanda, our oldest, has been hobbling around the house for a few days now.  Sunday night after church, she was attempting to take a short cut over the back of the couch on her way to the kitchen (don't ask me why).  What she didn't realize was that someone had left their shoes or something directly behind the couch.  When she put her foot down and tried to stand, the shoe shifted underneath her foot, causing her ankle to roll painfully.  At least, that's what we think happened.  She's injured her ankle before, so we have a good idea what to expect from the injury---swelling around the outside ankle bone, discoloration, tenderness.  This time, her ankle didn't swell that much and the swelling was spread across her foot more, there has been little bruising, and the pain from putting weight on it has been felt differently.  Chad and I had to force her to stay off of it yesterday to give it a chance to heal; the discomfort is easing some, so Amanda wants to walk around on it more today. This is still not a good idea, but she can be stubborn  determined sometimes!  Still, I hope she gives it enough time to fully heal so as not to cause further damage.  She was supposed to go work with a lady today out in her yard, but that lady had to cancel; that worked out well since there was no way Mandie could have possibly walked around all day, working in the garden and such.  A friend had lent Mandie a pair of crutches several months ago from the last time she injured her ankle; they were never returned and are coming in handy once again.  Maybe if we had given them back, this wouldn't have happened, you think?  :-)

Time to go.........I appreciate your prayers and comments.  Just today, I received a little card from a lady down in Texas.  She sent her prayers and best wishes for all of us, and I was touched by her thoughtfulness.  So many people have sent prayers, letters, cards, money, and love our way since Dale's accident that we feel blessed each day to be part of God's wonderful family.  God bless each of you folks.  Be sure to take time to tell Him thank you for His blessings toward you as well.  See you here, there, or in the air!

Revelation 1: 4 - 6  "John to the seven churches which are in Asia:  Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne;  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.  Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen."

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