St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September ends

Where has this month gone?  I don’t think I’ve ever had a September fly by quite so fast before, but then maybe it’s just a sign of how busy this month really has been.

We began our schooling Sept 12, and it seems to be going well.  I see the need for some added adjustments here and there, mostly added work in areas that Mark needs more practice.  We are using some great resources this year in addition to our core studies and that is making school fresh and interesting.  We love our timeline (see post_HERE_)  and Michael is doing a lot of his history through living books,  loving and learning through great literature.


So, Michael’s history study this year is ancient Greece and Rome; right now it’s focusing on Greece.  And these Jeanne Bendick books are so great to use for history study, I am just so happy with great literature that teaches lessons and elevates the reader’s language. 

We are also using this great little resource for reviewing and practicing cursive penmanship and incorporating art study, AND it’s correlated with Greece and Rome historical facts and architecture – who knew!? lol!  what a great little addition to this history study!  I just wish I had found this resource YEARS EARLIER!! I would have been using it all along.

Draw and Write Through History: Greece & Rome

You can see several more of these resources for different levels and different history eras at this LINK

In addition to our regular studies, the children have also started back to their religious education classes at our parish, and I am once again teaching 2nd grade (for the 18th year now…)….wow, where has the time gone!?  This year I have my youngest son in class with me; he is doing well, and it’s interesting and good for me to see him compared to his neuro-typical peer-mates, as he has high functioning autism.  We continue to go to language expression/communication therapy for him, weekly.  We’ve run into a few glitches this year, namely recently, the dentist.  Mark has a cavity and it needs addressed within a certain amount of time but he did not cooperate with the dentist a couple weeks ago for the filling.  I have a few options, none of which I’m too thrilled about, but will pray further and accept what may be the resolution.

Weighing in on things….

I have also put Mark on a restricted low fat diet, just to see if we can taper him down some to make the neurology visit more successful in early December.  She was concerned about his chunkiness – it’s adorable there is no doubt, but maybe he would be more coordinated and do better physically with a little less chunk.  I’m okay with that, although in time it would disappear as it has on my other children.  So, I tell Mark he is now on the Special K diet :)  We replaced his wanting of three chewy Chips Ahoy cookies for breakfast with Special K cereal bars instead.  Way less calories and far more nutrients.  And by the way, Weight Watchers String Cheese is awesome and delicious!  …and half the calories of regular.

As this month ends for us, we begin October with three family birthdays and an anniversary.  Mark starts the month off on the 1st with his birthday, my mother and brother in law on the 2nd, and our 23rd wedding anniversary on the 8th.  As we make way for a more colorful and beautiful autumn, I look forward to a more relaxed school year, minus college preparation, which took up most of my life and school time for the last four intense years here.   It’s absolutely all worth it as it pays off in students ready to do well in college, but I will not sugar-coat it:  IT IS  A LOT OF WORK! 

God bless you this day and in all you do!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Knowing who you are….

It has been an interesting last several months.  SO much has happened, and while we have been very busy with home remodeling, therapies for children, seeing off college kids, and beginning our home school, I have also been very absorbed in family genealogy.  With the use of family tree information from relatives and the great resources at, (immigration/travel documents, federal and state censuses) I have found out SO much and put so many puzzle pieces together.  It’s been incredible, and because of Ancestry’s website, a long lost cousin who was given up for adoption at birth by a second cousin of my mother, found me and it was great satisfaction for her and myself as well.  A few mysterious solved, and few more relatives located.  I’ve been able to go back to the 1700s on my father and mother’s side both, on my husband’s side – his paternal side, golly, all the way to the 1600s on my father in law’s side, which seems to be very well documented all the way into Germany (and France).
Here my Slovakian great grandparents, their daughter seated (my grandmother) and her aunt at her First Communion day.

It has been so intriguing to read immigration information and see where family was born, come through to the US, settled….Smizany Czechoslovakia was the birthplace of my great grandmother, and Uzofce Czech. my great great grandfather (this side of the family has German roots also).
My father’s side is completely German on one side, (his mother’s), and completely Irish on the other (his father’s); it’s incredible to see that when my paternal grandparents met, their marriage broke that lineage of nationality…my dad was truly half-German, half-Irish in the most serious sense!

Paternal great-great grandfather….on my father’s mother side….
Reynolds, Charles K.1906-1972
Grandfather – paternal, my father’s father
So, my research will continue and hopefully once I am satisfied with information I’m hoping to have a nice family tree portrait made for our home, and perhaps a book printed.

A Special Mother is Born: Review by Patrice Fagnant McArthur: Why the World ...

A Special Mother is Born: Review by Patrice Fagnant McArthur: Why the World ...: How many times have you heard an expectant mom say, “I don’t care if it is a boy or a girl, as long as the baby is healthy?” But what happ...

A Special Mother is Born: The book cover is in!

A Special Mother is Born: The book cover is in!: My daughters Gabbi and Bella agreed that this was the best photo for the cover. The rest of the design is courtesy of the talented designers...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Ten Commandments for Parents of Handicapped Children | Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)

The Ten Commandments for Parents of Handicapped Children | Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)

1. Take one day at a time, and take that day positively. You don’t have control over the future, over today, or over any other day, and neither does anyone else. Other people just think they do.

2. Never underestimate your child’s potential. Allow him, encourage him, and expect him to develop to the best of his abilities.

3. Find and allow positive mentors: parents and professionals who can share with you their experience, advice, and support.

4. Provide and be involved with the most appropriate educational and learning environments for your child from infancy on.

5. Keep in mind the feelings and needs of your spouse and your other children. Remind them that this child does not get more of your love just because he gets more of your time.

6. Answer only to your conscience: then you’ll be able to answer to your child. You need not justify your actions to your friends or the public.

7. Be honest with your feelings. You can’t be a super-parent 24 hours a day. Allow yourself jealousy, anger, pity, frustration, and depression in small amounts whenever necessary.

8. Be kind to yourself. Don’t focus continually on what needs to be done. Remember to look at what you have accomplished.

9. Stop and smell the roses. Take advantage of the fact that you have gained a special appreciation for the little miracles in life that others take for granted.

10. Keep and use a sense of humor. Cracking up with laughter can keep you from cracking up from stress.

11. There is no 11th, silly. (See the 10th).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Different Year life has been taking a new direction these days.  It certainly has a different feel to it.  With two older children not here in the daily dynamics of the household, and just two younger boys 24/7,  it's a change for sure. I realize how much busyness happened the last 15 yrs in our daily homeschooling lifestyle! Wow!  A lot of work for sure!  Now, this year isn't anything like I had thought it would be.  We are rather free this year; as I did not spend the tuition enrolling formally in home study program we use.  We are still utilizing the lesson plans of the program, with very few adjustments.  But because we travel to so much therapy a couple times a week now - and this will continue throughout the school year, I just couldn't bear the stress of being quite so accountable/documenting school for the program.  It's enough to have to follow protocol and documentation for the state of Ohio at this time.  So in a way, it feels good to be "free" from that particular aspect, free to move about without the pressure of deadlines and accountability.  

The boys have started school and are really liking what they are doing.  I will just have to enforce us sticking to it.  It will seem like a lighter year than most, but because the program is so accelerated to begin with, they are likely to remain right on course.  

So, as I prepare to face the day of school and therapy today, I keep our progress and successes in mind.  I still feel so blessed to have the option of home education and the freedom in this country to do so as I see more of a need of it in my younger two children.  They are growing healthier and happier - and with their special needs, I wish to continue to give them uniquely and individually all they need to grow into independent adults capable of being responsible for their selves in this tough and challenging world.  I hope and pray.....

Have a beautiful day wherever you are!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day Blessings

Happy Labor Day Weekend to all!  May God bless you in your travels and relaxation both!

New things new beginnings...old things made new!

So much has happened since I last posted.  We finished our attic project, and re-did the extra room Doug moved out of and made it our own.  It's so peaceful and pleasant in this room.  And the attic is so insulated and quiet, I hear, that it's quite the haven.  Now I have one more room to dress up, only need to paint one wall in it and tidy up.  The boys need another dresser, just a small one will do, and we're good to go.  This week I will begin some school with them, not full days yet, that begins next week.  This week we also go for language therapy for Mark for the first time.  I'm hoping all will go off without a hitch as it was discovered my neurology script for language therapy had expired by two months.  It apparently happened while I was on the waiting list to get into a particular facility that is closest to us.  Doesn't it figure!?  And, I because Michael wasn't doing really well a few months ago I neglected to get back in for Mark's neurology follow-up (there wasn't must to report, so I didn't attempt hard enough to do so), and apparently this neurologist is a real stickler for follow ups.  Now she's out of the country and can't personally renew the script.  The nurse was going to have an interim doctor do it if he could.  They are aware of waiting lists all over the place for such treatments, so that might get us up and going again.  I will be so heartbroken is this therapy appt. falls through :(  It's also with a gal from our church who Mark knows and we are very excited to get started with her.  Say some prayers for us!

So....a few pics of the attic remodel, and the re-done room.....

Doug's old bedroom - pretty cramped up -- that we changed into our room.

Such a pleasant peaceful room!