The power of prayer

Raising a Sensitive Child

It has continued to be a very trying week for the family, but also a week full of surprises and miracles.

A snippet into our lives and the power of prayer can be witnessed from my email updates to some of my dear friends:

Monday afternoon

(The following was written shortly before bringing Moses to the ER — he was running a fever and complaining of pain all over, in particular abdominal pain. He was sobbing when we brought him to the hospital.  I was certain he was going  be admitted to the hospital. I was feeling pretty hopeless and felt that our family needed some prayers on our behalf).

We are having a rough week here — been to the ER just about every day for the past week and a half with Moses.
 
Was already there this morning for a consultation with the surgeon re: abscesses.  In…

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Hook Up with Lifelong Learning in Boulder County

Concept-of-Learning-FeaturedSummer is here, and you may be wondering what to do with your kids since school is out.  Lifelong Learning offers fun and educational classes for children and adults alike, and the selection is fabulous.  The choices range from art to science, and are developed to be educational and fun. For instance, Mystery Science is offered at several schools in the district this summer, and here is the course description:

We’ll explore “What if” science with crazy, wacky experiments that you will talk about all summer.  Join the Science Matters CSI team and build your own forensic science kit.  Come face-to-face with an amazing weight lifting beetle!  Join the all-camp “Science Quest.”  It’ll be UNBELIEVABLE fun!

Who could resist a course in the tradition of Myth Busters? This course is for children ages 6-12, and is offered on various dates at Lafayette Elementary, Kohl Elementary, and Monarch K-8.

Visit Lifelong Learning’s website to explore additional courses, register, or to submit course suggestions.

Once you visit their site, I would love to hear your thoughts about their selection.

Erie Hot Air Balloon Launch

Picture it… a crisp May morning, the hazy and majestic Rocky Mountains to the west,  and the prairies of Colorado to the east, vibrating in excitement as the clusters of people starting to gather on the golf course in Erie.  Still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes, moms, dads and kids gathered, anticipating the thrill of  the scenario about to unfold.

Early morning hot air balloon launches have long been a splendid mainstay of hot air balloon festivals nationwide, and this year’s Saturday morning launch in Erie as a feature of the 17th Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival was no exception. The crowd gathered, delighted to be at what some consider the biggest show on earth, well, in Boulder County anyway. It is no wonder Colorado is often called “Colorful Colorado.”

unloading hot air balloons

As the balloonists began unloading in preparation for the magnificent display, spectators rubbed the last sleepies from their eyes, awake now, and eager to catch every detail.  Children gazed in wonder, getting as close as possible to the action, as teams carefully placed their gondolas and began to lay out their brilliantly colored wares.

DSCF0108Crews tested burners and inflator fans with short bursts of flame, and soon folds of fabric gave way to billowing replicas of the miniature trinkets found in  many of our homes. Filling quickly with hot air produced by the dragon-like furnaces, the giant balloons rose until they were towering above the now lively spectators.

DSCF0275

The fans were undaunted when the launch was delayed by unpredictable wind currents, and cheered when the first balloon, a brilliant citron and orange triangular-shaped masterpiece, set sail. But, as dazzling as the hot air balloons were, they were no match for the breathtaking beauty of not only our own Colorado state flag, but also the Star-Spangled Banner, gloriously waving gently in the breeze, capturing our American pride.

One by one, the rest of the balloonists took to the air, gently sailing over our heads towards the foothills, with the morning sun glowing through the thin veil of haze just in time to emphasize the striking patterns and color schemes. The performance was masterful, coming to a close only when the last crown had slipped behind the roof tops of nearby houses. Another year, another tradition.  Yes, it’s fine living in Boulder County.

If you have ever witnessed a hot air balloon launch such as this, it would be wonderful to hear your story.  As you enjoy the slideshow below, please take a moment to share.

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Top Ten Things I Love About ADHD

Creative

Recently, I was pondering the impact of ADHD on my life, and it dawned on me that ADHD turns us into hunters.  Now, not only do I have ADHD, but my daughter does as well, so  We spend a copious amount of our efforts learning about ADHD and its challenges, as well as exploring management strategies.  It’s no wonder there is an abundance of people who customarily view ADHD as a negative and limiting disability, when there is a rather extensive list of positives as well.  Adult ADD Coach Pete Quily, diagnosed with ADD himself, lists 151 positives on his site ADDCoach4U.  151!!  Plainly, ADHD affords a  menu of favorable traits that more often than not get overlooked.

Let me clarify, at this point, that I am very respectful of the challenges ADHD brings to the table; however, I am also a proponent of taking ownership of our own attitudes and responses to the curve balls that life throws us.  One of my favorite authors, Steven Covey, emphasizes this concept in The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People:

“Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”

Caring

We all have choices, and I choose to balance managing the difficult aspects of ADHD with the favorable (and sometimes humorous) ones. I always encourage parents to take this approach with their children as well.  I believe in balance-it’s healthier, and way more fun.  I decided to create a list of those things about ADHD that I personally appreciate. Creating the list only took a few minutes, and I found it quite affirming.  I only listed 10, but I would love reading your lists as well.

 

I completely understand and relate to my daughter, who has ADHD as well.

I am very creative.

I have a goofy sense of humor and find humor in things the average person does not.

I think outside of the box (ok, I live outside of it most days 🙂 ).

I am never short of ideas.

I am seldom rendered speechless.

I have tons of  interests and love to try new things.

I am never bored.

I am tenacious.

ADHD has made me stronger.

Sense of Humor

Help! I’m Almost-Dumpster Diving!

Yep, I ate that!

I don’t know about you, but when I became a stay-and-work-at-home mom, my eating habits underwent a startling transformation, and not for the better.  I ate rather healthily when I worked in an office, keeping trail mix in my desk, fruit and yogurt in the refrigerator, and bringing salads or healthy soups for lunch.  Yes, I was queen of the healthy eaters, even avoiding the candy bowls and Friday doughnut runs.

I remember packing my personal belongings from my office, even checking twice to make sure I had everything, but somehow, healthy eating habits got left behind.  I’ll give you an example of what I am talking about.  I actually made a note of everything I ate today, and here it is:

Breakfast: my daughter’s leftover bagel, 6 Skittles, butter I licked from the knife after buttering Mikayla’s bagel

Snack: a handful of cereal

Lunch: two slices of bologna on the run, a Monster energy drink, my daughter’s leftover Gatorade from the ‘fridge

Snack: an apple (ok, a sliver of healthy made it into the day)

Another snack: leftover popcorn from last night

Dinner: A hamburger, my daughter’s leftover hamburger, and the last two swallows of her strawberry milk

Do you see a trend here? “Leftover” was the theme for the day, and I vaguely remember it making regular appearances in the recent months.  I am almost dumpster-diving.  Seriously, what is the difference between picking the leftovers out of the trash (well, except for the other “leftovers” that may find its way onto the choice item) and picking them off of my daughter’s plate?

I subscribe to the “It’s better late than never” philosophy, and it certainly applies here, so, today, I made a plan.  Not a big plan, but one to remove the more frightening eating habits from my daily menu choices.  I drew a blank when deciding upon easy and health choices for the grocery list, so I cruised the web a bit and came up with a couple of sites that helped me out.  Here are three of my favorites:

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/top10/top-10-healthy-snacks-for-busy-moms (chocolate made it to the top 10…oh, yeah!)

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11375-quick-clean-eating-40-non-processed-snacks-for-busy-moms.html

http://drmommyonline.com/healthy-snacks-for-the-busy-mom

Check them out, and tell me what you think.  And, if you don’t mind, if my story is familiar to any of you, please feel free to share 🙂 !

How I Discovered ADHD

being-different-fWhen my daughter Mikayla was four years old, a good friend of mine, who was qualified to recognize various issues in children, pulled me aside one day to tell me that, through observation and various interactions with her, she thought Mikayla had a sensory processing disorder and possibly ADHD.  Now, while I am no genius, I am smarter than the average picnic basket, and I knew Mikayla was different from the average child in that she was very high energy, bounced from topic to topic often, and was temperamental. She also had a number of idiosyncrasies, such as fiercely shaking her head from side-to-side for entertainment, fought brushing teeth and hair, had what I termed  supersonic hearing, and was very picky about clothing textures, that I attributed to her individuality.  Even at that age, it was also immediately apparent that she was extraordinarily creative, extremely bright and unusually articulate.  While the term “sensory processing disorder” was new,  I was vaguely familiar with ADHD, but I had never connected it to my daughter.   I have always accepted each child as different, with some being more high-spirited and more of a challenge than others, and I simply accepted that Mikayla was one of those children and would require some careful parenting skills to raise her well.  It never crossed my mind that there was something more to it.

Sure enough, after a complete evaluation by her pediatrician and a child development specialist, not only did Mikayla walk away with a formal diagnosis of ADHD, complimented by a co-occurring diagnosis of sensory processing disorder, but I realized I had ADHD as well. I was stunned, and then elated, because suddenly I had an explanation for a number of life long struggles that I had never gotten a handle on, AND I would be able to identify with my daughter, hopefully help her avoid some of the needless problems I had faced. Since then, I have embarked on a quest to learn as much as I can about ADHD, and to share that I have learned with others, in the hopes of weaving the fabric of support around those struggling to overcome.