Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday evening 9/22

I have time to write this entry only now while Dale is in the tub.  He still needs assistance getting in/out of the tub, and I feel better being nearby in case he needs other help---so I'm upstairs for the next three-quarters of an hour or so.  Perfect time to update the blog!  ;-)

Seriously, trying to find time during the week to blog is getting to be rather hard to do!  I'm completely tied up during the day while at school with teaching, testing, and grading; and by the time I get home in the (late) afternoon, I just want to collapse on the couch and relax.  I don't have a computer in my classroom yet, so updating the blog during my break at school isn't an option, either.
And, so, here I am, FINALLY, on Saturday night, letting you folks know how our week went.

It went well.

Just kidding!  We had a great week, both at church and at school.  I am more focused on school right now, so forgive me if I fail to mention any church news.  Our church buses are doing particularly well right now, which is encouraging seeing as how we are not starting our Fall Campaign for another couple of weeks.  Church attendance has been up, too, and that is encouraging as well.

At school, we reached the point of our 1st Mid-Quarter.  Progress reports will be going home to parents next week as well as invitations to come meet with teachers if that is the parents' desire.  I am always anxious to view my kids' grades, but I'm especially so this time to see Dale's progress.......or lack of it.  Judging by some quizzes and tests I've seen, he may need to adjust his study habits!  I will also be speaking with each of his teachers, first telling them how much I appreciate all the extra effort they have put into this year for Dale and second possibly tweaking our game plan for his eighth grade education.  This year is our time to figure out the best way to achieve success for Dale academically, physically, and spiritually before the necessity of earning high school credits hits next year.  Chad and I have been discussing this a good bit lately and have agreed that, in order for Dale to succeed this year, his teachers are going to have to treat him differently than their average, ordinary student.  Not that we want preferential treatment given, but Dale certainly cannot perform quite the same way as he used to.  We are all still working to find the best kind of testing to use with him, the most effective method of conveying notes and information, and even how best to get him from class to class.  I cannot express enough how thankful I am for each of his teachers who are bending over backwards to help make his reentry to school (and life!) as doable as possible.  They are listening to what I have to say; they are changing the way they teach sometimes; they are doing what they can to make him successful right now.  What a blessing and a relief to have godly people in our classrooms who are willing to be flexible and helpful! 

We don't know what the future holds for any of us, especially Dale.  We are trusting God to show us His plan as it unfolds, and we are taking each day in faith that He knows exactly what He is doing and what we need that day.  Can you imagine if we didn't have God at the center of our lives, our thoughts each day?  Can you imagine trying to face Dale's accident, the traumatic weeks in the hospital, and these months following without knowing without a doubt that He is not only in control but has a definite purpose for all this?  I don't have that kind of strength or determined attitude on my own.  I wouldn't be able to face the unknown future, having had my plans for my children changed so drastically, without the grace and comfort of my Heavenly Father surrounding my very being.  We are so blessed to have our Lord, not just as a Sunday morning figurehead, but as a daily part of our existence.  Thank You so much, Father, for calling us Your children.  Thank You for Your presence and help.

One last silly thing:  Yesterday we hosted a football jamboree at our school which began around 11:00 a.m. and didn't end until after 6:00 p.m.  Teachers were encouraged to take their classes to the bottom of the hill (where the football field is) to watch the games and cheer our team to victory.  About 1/3 of the way down the hill, we built a drainage area and surrounded it with a fence.  The hill then continues after this drainage area for a short space, and a lot of the kids were clambering to the top and rolling down the hill.  This is a very popular occupation and, frankly, looks like a lot of fun!  Dale wanted to roll down the hill and spent at least two hours trying to convince me, his sisters, or anybody who would listen to take him up the hill so he could roll down.  I finally gave in, despite Katie's concern that Dale would spaz out and Mandie's concern that he would have a seizure.  I told Dale, "If you have a seizure, I'm telling Dad it was your fault!"  (I wasn't truly concerned that would actually happen, or I would never have agreed to it.)  So, I helped him up the rather steep incline---I nearly fell myself---waited until he got seated, and then made my way back to the bottom.  Dale lay down and began his roll.  I have to say, he did pretty well!  I could tell he was in control of himself all the way down, except for one thing---he couldn't keep his face from smacking the ground each time he rolled over!!!  He wound up at the bottom with grass in his mouth, a few scrapes on his nose and forehead, and a cut on his lip!  He, of course, started to cry, but I told him to dry up quick; he wanted to roll down the hill, so a few bumps and bruises are a small price to pay for getting to do what he wanted.  It took us a few minutes to make our way over to the bleachers to sit down, and by that time Dale had composed himself enough to accept the congratulations of those who had watched his rapid rolling descent.  It's times like these that make me glad Dale still has his desire for life.  He's not so scared of consequences that he's content to sit on the sidelines (pardon the football pun) but is willing to take risks in order to just have fun.  On a side note:  I really thought Chad would be upset that I had allowed Dale to roll down the hill (you know, seizure scare and all that) and even more upset that Dale had been slightly injured in the process.  When we told Dad about it that night, Chad sat there and laughed his head off!!!  I guess the image of Dale's face bouncing off the ground each revolution was too much for him to contain his laughter.  As always, thank God for silly moments!

Matthew 20: 28  "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."


  1. I am glad Dale had some fun, sorry he got his face slapped around abit, but at least he is having some fun and that he is even able to do that!!!!!! things were sure different one year ago, and I praise God, it seems God has done a lot for Dale in only a year's time, and He will do even more!

  2. I never post on here but I read. I am a certified special ed. teacher and teach special ed in a high school.

    Some ideas you might want to try that we use for students with special needs are:

    Read the test to him and let him verbally give answers or read the test to him and let him write the answer/select multiple choice.

    If there are 20 questions - let him do 15 and let him choose the ones he wants to answer...or if 10 have him answer 7 - so on and so forth.

    If he has problem taking notes - there are note pads you can obtain that have the duplicate sheets between them - have a student who is good at note taking and has good handwriting to use the duplicate notebook - then they both have a copy...

    Tell Dale in advance that they are going to call on him and let him know the question before hand so he has time to process and when he is called on he can give the answer.

    Some things I have used in the classroom are giving multiple assessments - the student then can choose which one he wants to do to show me he has mastered the concept. For example: teaching the gold rush - I allowed the students to write a letter home telling about what is happening at the gold mine - write a song about it - make a diary entry - for lower level kids draw a picture showing me the gold rush.

    Just a few ideas......not sure where his problems are in school...there is a really good book called The teachers guide to inclusive education - 750 strategies for success. This book gives ideas how to differentiate the instruction to meet the needs of the student.

    1. Thank you so much for your valuable tips. I appreciate your input because I know you know what you're talking about! I think we'll need to make some adjustments for Dale, especially with his tests. I'll suggest some of these methods to Dale's teachers as well as reiterate some ideas his neuro-psych doctor put forth. Thank you again! Kirsten

  3. I think you will find looking back in a years time, Dales progress will be palpable, the same as now compared to last long as he doesn't give up, then the progress will continue much like his roll down the hill...he may get banged up a bit but he won't quit. Dale, our prayers are with you young man and we are very proud of your courage and progress.