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Thursday, March 29, 2012

School Musical

As this school term ends, Elora's class has been working hard at their end of the term play. They performed the Gingerbread Man and when the teachers asked the students "who would like a speaking part?" Elora rose her hand and then she "auditioned" since she projected the loudest and had such enthusiasm she was cast as the Little Old Lady. Everyday Elora came home reciting her lines and the lines of the other students as well. We didn't realize until we saw the play yesterday that she has the biggest part. She had the most lines and the most acting on stage.

Elora with her "boyfriend" Aaron, he was a narrator
She was in her element, when they would run off stage to chase the gingerbread man she would pass us and never once broke character. She is soooo dang cute!! I only recorded the scenes that Elora was in, and once again it took all night for the videos to load but here they are. After Elora's scene, the gingerbread man encountered some donkey's & some horses and then the fox. They are supposed to be in High Definition but they aren't on my computer, hopefully they are on yours, Enjoy :)

Gingerbread Man part 1
Gingerbread Man part 2
Gingerbread Man part 3
Gingerbread Man part 4
Gingerbread Man part 5
Gingerbread Man part 6 (this was the very end of the play & I didn't know Elora was up again so I missed the beginning trying to get my camera ready, but basically she decided to bake another gingerbread man and put him the oven... then the video shows the rest)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Elora has discovered her talent and what she really enjoys. Musical Theatre. After only attending a brand new school in a foreign country for 2 weeks she decided she wanted to join singing squad, an after school chorus program. She never really talked about it much, but was always singing the songs she learned. As long as she wanted to go and enjoyed it, was all that mattered to me.

Yesterday she had her first performance. I got to attend the rehersal at their school and then Steve went to the city wide chorus concert last night. They sang 5 songs and I took video of them all at the rehersal, for some reason over here in England it takes an extremely long time for videos to upload so after 24 hrs they are all done, you can see them below.

To answer the 1st question; YES that is Elora that you hear above everyone else! LOL. 2nd comment, yes Elora was directly in the middle and the instructor stood in front of her and blocked the view, but I moved so the last 2 songs you can see her very well! :)

I wasn't completely shocked at her performance you may remember seeing videos of her at 2, 3, & 4 singing VBS songs. She was hilarious and had everyone laughing. Afterwards a mum told me she's going to be a star! This morning as I was walking Derek & Elora to their classes, I had about 4 different parents tell me how Brilliant Elora was and that she stole the show last night; the entire audience went mad they almost couldn't finish their performance, lol. So enjoy all the video's :) We are very proud of our little Star!!

London's Burning
April Showers
Australian song bird
Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
Busy Body

Monday, March 26, 2012


I can't believe my baby is 2!! I keep telling him he's not allowed to grow, he has to stay my little baby boy forever, he smiles and says "Noooooo!" Which is his new favorite word, he answers No to everything, even if the answer is yes, he still says No. I don't remember his brother or sister liking that word so much. Another word he likes is Dummy. Yep... that cute little blonde blue eyed boy says it in the right context. He used to call Steve & I that when he'd get upset with us, but after spending numerous 1.5 minute timeouts and explanations that it's ok to be upset but not to call us mean names, he now resorts to calling his cars dummies when he gets frustrated at something. In England, they call their pacifiers, Dummy's. So what I've been doing the past couple of days when he says it is distract him by saying "what you want a dummy?"Then I give him his Binky, he's all confused but it's working!

We had his 2 year check up today at the Dr's and he weighs 24.6 lbs and is 33" tall. How does he go from 6 lbs 10 oz to 24.6!! He's a normal little boy, obsessed with cars & dino's. He loves playing outside and the weather has been gorgeous in the low 60's. He has stopped signing since he is speaking more, he's saying 2-3 word sentences now. Dylan still loves to snuggle & read books, when Elora & Derek are gone to school he wants to read OR watch "HOWWW" aka House. We swear he's going to be a Dr when he grows up he'll sit and watch a good 15 mins of it and then he'll go off and play but when he hears the music for the end of the show he'll come running "Howw ober! OBER!," and grab the remote to try to change it to the next show.

We just had his 2nd Birthday Party and it was a construction theme, he had a great time playing with the stuff, I'll post pics and details in a diff post. :) With all the news about Derek, I felt I had to post something about the other 2 :)

Dylan is such a sweet little boy and I thank God every day for surprising us with such an awesome Blessing :)


<--- Keeping busy at the Dr's
Derek saw the Dr. today, it was just a check up since he turned 4, but I expressed our concerns about Derek and he was helpful in some ways and not in others. I got the feeling that he didn't really want to take the time to "diagnose" him, and was quick to give us the referral. Could have been that he was already behind, we didn't end up getting out of there until almost 2 hours after our appointment time. He listened to what I had to say and the only thing he replied with was "Some of what you described is normal behavior for children his age." So anyway he gave me the referral as soon as I got home; put the boys down for a nap, and called EDIS where I was informed that because he is older than 3, they can't evaluate him there, that I need to go to Child Find, a program affiliated with RAF Lakenheath Elementary, the school on base.

I called and turns out this is quite the process as if it wasn't already. I have to pick up a packet to fill out and bring in the required documents, at the time that I turn it in, which is only a 2 hour window in the morning, Derek will need to have a visual & hearing test. Then once all that goes through we will attend a group & individual session that only takes place once a month, which she also notified me they are full for April & May. If he qualifies, then the only way to receive "treatment" is to enroll him in the DODD's American school on base. SIGH...

Trying to keep the story short but when I called EDIS they had to call me back because they wanted to make sure they couldn't treat him etc. so when I got the call back she explained some of the procedure and had mentioned if he needs an sort of treatment he'd have to be enrolled into the DODD's school, and asked if this was something we would do. I replied with "Of course we want to make the best deicision for him, however we live in Ely and the school he's attending right now is willing to work with him they have put him on an IEP and we've had a couple parent teacher meetings, he's actually done so much better in the past 2 weeks since they've started him on it and it's the same school my daughter attends, we love it out here and are very happy with their school, so it may just be that we make that decision when and if need be, but again Derek is our top priority and we'll do what has to be done to help him." She replied with "Wow, that's the best answer I think I've ever received, you sound like such a great mom, your children are very lucky to have such a strong advocate for them!" AHHHH I about lost it on the phone, I got all choked up and just told her she made my day!                                        

Thursday, March 22, 2012


For as long as I can remember I have always been told that I should be an events coordinator. I've been planning and throwing parties since I was 9 years old when I planned my sister's 4th Birthday Party.  After I had children I heard this more often. Planning parties is what I LOVE to do. No matter what type of party; weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, hooray for potty training, tea parties, business. You name it I love doing it. A few years ago I considered this as a job opportunity but after figuring out the costs of all the party supplies, and then the time that I invest in each party the overall price is higher than what most parents are comfortable paying. Sadness I know. So I've decided to share all the events that I've thrown, with pictures if I have them and all the details so I can share my passion for parties with you :) I just finished a pretty awesome Batman party and then this Sat I have a construction party, can't wait to start sharing all that goes on in this CRAZY brain :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Derek 21-Mar

We drove 25 mins to base, were right outside the gate when I got a phone call that Dereks appt today has to be rescheduled due to his Dr. being sick. SOOOO I know some of you were praying and awaiting an update so I'll give a brief one.

2 weeks ago after meeting with Derek's teacher, he was put on an IEP, individual education plan. Steve & I and the teachers have noticed a huge improvement. (For details on his prior behavior, check the previous post) Instead of pointing out the bad behavior they have been giving more praise when he does what he is supposed to. Derek has a new dinosaur sheet everyday where he earns stickers that he gets to put on the dino & they write a little note explaining why he earned the sticker. At carpet time, he is pulled into another room with 3 other kids where they do the exact same thing as the rest of the class, just on a smaller setting and this has really worked out for him. Instead of receiving bad reports when we pick him up it's all been positive.

There are 2 teachers and 4 teacher aides. 26 students in Derek's class, the butterflies, and 26 students in the ladybird class. The layout of the classes is like 2 really BIG rooms, with a cloak room & restrooms behind it, the classes are combined until carpet time where they read stories, do a group activity, etc. then they seperate. They have their own playground and outdoor rec area, seperate from the other grades. There are numerous centers all around the classrooms and the kids pick what they want to do/play with and the teachers integrate a teaching lesson into what they are doing. Very close to Montessori style. The teachers have an AM class, AND a PM class, so on a daily basis they deal with 100 different children!! So the fact that they are willing to work with Derek is so awesome, and I truly feel blessed and grateful.

We still have our moments of course, Derek has good & bad moments and a lot of it is a reaction to how Steve, Elora, or I are acting. If we're running behind in the morning and we're frustrated and anxious then he is as well but he doesn't just keep going to make up the time he just melts down and it seems like he is stuck in quicksand and it takes a lot of coaxing, & patience before we can even get out the door.

He doesn't respond to yelling, in any way, which in a way is a blessing in its self, because this is an area of my parenting I've been wanting to change, When our kids grow up and when they talk about "mom and dad" I don't want them to say "Remember how mom and dad were always yelling!"  So now I am forced to change, God answers prayers just maybe not in the way we want them to. The best way we've found so far to get him to calm down is a time out, and by the end of his 4 minutes he's back to his happy self. Recently, when we put him in time out he said "It's time for me to get out now!" We replied with "No, you are 4 years old now,you have to stay in time out for 4 minutes." He said "No,I did not have a batman birthday I am 3, no I'm 2, so only 2 minutes!" LOL Nice try kiddo,

So for now, Derek is doing awesome and even though it isn't about us, Steve & I are becoming better parents because of him.

p.s. another cute Derek Story,we were having company stay over on Saturday so I told the kids they needed to do their chores so their rooms and playroom were clean. Derek jumped on this and cleaned his room and then he cleaned the playroom all by himself. This is amazing since normally Derek hates cleaning and he'll cry & whine the entire time, but not this day. When he was all done he said "I get my money now!" I said yes, I'm so proud of you! He replied with "Yeah I did it all my self, Dynan & Rora didn't help. I get 1, 2 monies now since Rora did not do it?" Smartie pants

Thursday, March 8, 2012


As some of you have read on facebook the past couple weeks have been rough, I said I'd post more details about it in the blog, but I keep putting it off because honestly I don't know what exactly to say or how to say it... Steven & I both think Derek may have Aspergers.

After thinking about all Derek has gone through, his attitude, behavior etc. my first thought was he might have Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, TSC, the same disease that my sister has. However, the more research I've been doing(which has been hours and hours every night) Steve and I both feel it may not be TSC and are leaning more towards Aspergers.

We've made him a Dr's appointment on the 21st, I was going to wait until then to post something so I could have something more substantial, but my friends know me too well and have been bombarding me with messages asking if I was ok.(I love you guys!) They say there are steps when dealing with bad news, an illness, etc. Denial/Isolation; Anger, Depression, & Acceptance. I think this is 100% spot on.

I've always heard that boys and girls are so different etc. so when Derek wasn't doing things around the same age as Elora was I didn't think much of it, I knew boys & girls were different and all kids were different. Then his speech was really delayed, which a few months of speech therapy helped. He would also get so upset so easily and then whine & cry, again I thought this is normal toddler behavior, and just thought he got frustrated because we couldn't understand what he was trying to tell us and it would get better as he got older. (I guess this is the denial part, although honestly I never really thought about my son having Aspergers)

For a few months now he tries to tell us something but gets stuck and repeats the beginning of the sentence, like if he is trying to say I want a drink, he'll repeat "I want" a few times before I tell him slow down and think of what you want to say and then he'll say it.

At nap time, he has been a ninja and sneaks into other rooms, on Sat he got into all my makeup and nail polish, and while the majority of it was on him there are bright pink nail polish spots all over our bedroom carpet, when we asked why he did it he just replied with "I wanted to wear makeup" he didn't think it was wrong and when we explained that it was very naughty I could tell he just wasn't understanding. Derek has always snuck things into his bed, some of you may recall the purple puffy paint incident, again we just thought it was contributed to toddler behavior.
He has a hard time sleeping, he won't fall asleep until like 9 or 10, wakes up a few times throughout the night and then is wide awake at 5, also again I've heard of some kids being great sleepers and others that aren't.

Derek's been going to school for 3 hrs every day for about a month, and last week we've been pulled aside at the end of every day by his teacher and she tells us his behavior is terrible. When asked to stop playing and clean up he replies with No and carries on what he's doing. At carpet time, he can't sit still and always is touching the other kids. I met with Derek's teacher today and she said he does show some signs but at this age it is hard to tell whether it's just a lack of maturity, or just lack of concentration, or if it is a degree of Autism. So we agreed that he'll go on an IEP, and they'll start praising his good behavior and rewarding him with stickers and then during carpet time he'll be pulled along with 4 other students who are also struggling and have their own carpet time. So at least the school is willing to work with him.

The past couple of weeks, I've been heartbroken and I think I will be for a while for him. I think about his future and what kind of life he may live and I get angry. He won't be able to enlist in the military, how will he do in college when it's so hard for the average person? Will Derek ever truly be able to be on his own?  So many questions and only God knows the answer. I am trying to be patient for/with him and teach Elora & Dylan patience. I think this is going to be my biggest struggle so for now lots of prayers for Derek, and for us.

Derek just celebrated his 4th Birthday!! He's having a Batman Birthday party on Saturday where 12 of his school buddies will be attending! :) Should be tons of fun!! :)