Thursday, August 26, 2010

school is in session

we are one week in to all 4 kids being in school. i think i am getting all 4 different schedules down. the anticipation leading up to that first day of school was HUGE. the kids asked every half hour when was it time to go to school. it was just lovely. we took out a small loan to fullfill the endless school supply lists and dividing it all was a task in itself. ray insisted on the princess backpack (not my first pick but oh well. this "class clown" shirt for brady was a must have, and the hysterical blue shirt for caden just made the shopping bearable and worth it. we loaded up that fateful morning and headed off for the drop offs. they were excited and proud. preschool, kinder, 2nd grade, and 4th grade here we come! have mercy on those teachers. just kidding, they will be amazing and we are so happy our kids love school.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

seriously??? school already???

it's 7:28 a.m and i just packed caden's specific lunch (5 homemade PB cracker sandwiches, fresh fruit, rice cake and a juice) combed his handsome hair, reiterated his plan for the day's events, squeezed him repeatedly and waited for the bus. it was only yesterday that i was chillin' in bed, cereal being everywhere and cartoons going all morning. dang it, the summer is over. but this morning the chant was, "HOORAY for second grade". he insists on waiting for the bus by looking out the back window. he spots it go by and we get all excited to grab the backpack and go get buckled in. since it is frequently asked what is going on with caden's school, i will quickly explain. when we got his diagnosis he was turned over to the county for special education. there are several programs in the area for autistic children. i had a big meeting with the principal and various teachers from these programs, they invited me to check out a couple of recommendations then we all made our decision. he attends New Republic elementary school out in North Salinas. the county has 4 classroom there for this specific program. it is the least restrictive program for caden, since he is pretty high funcioning. they dont really like to label the program but just know its a perfect fit. he has one main teacher and 4 paraprofessionals to assist him and the other 8 or 9 students. these women are WONDERFUL and i've watched them work tirelessly and so lovingly with these special kids. the tools they use and their cirriculum is a perfect blend of mainstream education and all the avaliable materials specific to the needs of an autistic mind. we are totally thrilled for caden's second grade year. i hope that explained things. now i wanna share just a couple little quotes he's said lately that have warmed my heart. i was hanging with some girlfriends one day and he came in to ask for a snack. i took him over to the cabinet and i inquired of his desire, he said, " mommy i want milk's favorite cookie, of course". i always double check to make sure i hear him right, and he repeated it. i cracked up and said, "oh you want an Oreo?!?!" well of course, him being so cute, he got one and went on his way. the other funny ha-ha was when i was prepping Brady for his tidbits he needed to know to start kindergarten. he needed to know his address. i said, "Caden, can you tell Brady what our address is?" he glanced at me not fully engaged yet, so i added "Caden what are the numbers on our house, where do we live?" and he looked at me and picked up a book, saying, "well it's right here in the Book of Mormon" and he started thumbing thru the pages. Oh man, i just died. it's like he's on a stage. he innocently just recites lines and phrases that don't always match up but are almost there. even though it's challenging at times, we see him as such a unique blessing in our lives. we love our funny funny little guy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Eleven years ago this very hour....

saturday,august 7 1999 i was in a hotel room in oakland with my bridesmaids getting all primped up for my big day. of course there was no sleep the night before. i was up and starting hair preparation between 4 & 5 in the morning. the nite before we had just settled the HUGE fiasco with the tuxedos. the shop was closed and all te men's tuxes were locked inside. gotta have a few little hangups along the way. anyway, i did my bridesmaids' hair, steamed my dress (again), stressed over every little detail of the reception then finally put on my dress and finished my hair. i remember looking in the mirror and telling myself to take a big breath and headed with the entourage to the temple. the most beautiful moment was about to occur. i'll spare all the super personal details but just know that jared and i had a quick second to look at each other and smile as we sat outside our sealing room. it has been 11 years since we walked in, and shared that wonderful event with the perfect people in our lives. we are celebrating our anniversary today apart, unfortunately, but for good reason. i am off to the temple to witness one of my young women repeat this for herself and her soon to be hubby. after that i will enjoy a few hours of alone time, probably school shopping for the kids, then i'll be doing the music for the reception. jared and i had our weekend away a few weeks ago, and this thursday we are having a big ol' long date at Raging Waters and the Cheesecake Factory. we are both super stoked for that. this morning as i woke up i couldn't help but reflect on how much we've been thru these years together. i think we've done pretty well, 2 apprenticeships for him, 4 kids, great church callings, making great couple/parent friends and just as in love with eachother today as we were years ago. this year he has proved to me in a huge way my favorite quality he has. i've always told him he is the most understanding person i have ever met. he totally gets me, understands why i do what i do, and he thinks it's all amazing. i got him fooled huh? nah. anyway, cheers to us. love you my little honey pot.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the BIGGEST day of my life!!!! --next to my wedding and childbirths

so i might slightly be exaggerating but MAN it was so UNBELIEVABLY EXCITING to show up at a 30th birthday party for a friend and end up meeting a player for MY DENVER BRONCOS! if you don't understand my sheer enthusiasm you can stop reading now. what a STELLAR nite schmoozing it up with a STAR--it was like a glorious gift from above for me to get to know Ephraim Salaam, a starting left tackle in the NFL!!!
oh my heavens, i'm still pinching myself wondering if i just imagined this or if i'm in some sort of warped reality. now i'll tell my fairy tale.
my family and i headed over to Seth Word's birthday get together. we got our plates of food, the kids ran off and played, so jared and i headed out to the patio to sit with the birthday boy and chat. seth introduced me to his friend sitting at the table with him. he explained that he's the football player that he met while he was at the Biggest Loser Fitness Ridge. i thought--oh yes, seth has mentioned him before, thats cool. then seth says, "oh yeah, Ephraim here played for the Broncos a couple years ago". WHAT!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I slammed my hand on the table in disbelief, stood up, picked up my plate of food, and relocated my little self scooting my chair even closer so i could sit right next to 300+ pounds of utter AMAZINGNESS!
as i was literally rubbing shoulders with him, the fellas at the table were giggling at my star-stricken behavior. so we sat and ate and most importantly talked "shop". he blocked the left side of the offensive line back in 2002 and 2003 when Jake Plummer was the quarterback and Clinton Portis was running for us. Oh yeah baby, I was so in my element and LOVING every second of it. we discussed coaches, his teammates, and the fanatical fans (like me of course). It was just one of the most phenominal moments EVER!
it is true i followed him around like a little puppy, but he was totally chatting it up with jared and i all nite. he told us about what its like in the NFL, his injuries, his upcoming plans, his house in Texas (he has played for Houston for the past 4 years) and his engagement story --his wife was in WA with her family--she sounds awesome but would've been in my way. hee hee
anyway, he's a completly down to earth kind of guy. he's extremely humble and very personable. he made me feel like we've been friends forever. i wish him luck in his pursuit in hollywood. i'm so glad him and seth are friends--i can tell it's a special connection that they have. they are both wonderful people. and now i'm privelaged to know them both, #74 wants to be in MY fantasy football league this season, now that he is not the one making the stats. its gonna be of pure EPIC proportion! as i said my fond farewell Ephraim said, "oh no sweetheart, you're getting a hug". ummmm OK!!!!! i melted, seth photographed, dont worry jared laughed and holy happily ever after!