Friday, December 24, 2010

A few days with Ronnie

Ronnie came home to New Mexico with me for a few days before Christmas. It was so much fun to have him here and for him to get time to know some of my sibling a little more. I think I kicked him out in time to secure my spot as favorite with the grand kids still. He was starting to monopolize and I wasn't liking it. We had fun doing, uh, nothing much really! I snapped a few pictures of him with some of the kids, "teaching" them to play guitar.
We had so much fun going to a different sibling's house every night to watch movies, play guitar hero (I have been informed I play the drums like The Animal from the muppets), or catch up on some sports center.
After taking him to the airport in Albuquerque yesterday, My little brother Johnathon and I ran some errands and picked up A LOT of Sees candy for my Papa. The Sees lady loaded us up with a bunch of samples and sent us on our way. I feel like a blimp as I have way overindulged this Christmas break. I plan on having a repeat overindulge session on tonight's Christmas Eve dinner. Merry Christmas everyone! Now check out the pictures of my hott boy and admire his bulging biceps.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Person First Language

Here in the special needs world, we have something we call "person first language". I try to abide by it because I think it really does say a lot. Instead of saying I know a Down Syndrome boy, I would say, "I know a boy with Down Syndrome". He is a person first, and then, by the way, he has Down Syndrome. Make sense? Here is what I am trying to get at. Lately I have been having a shift in what I call my coworkers.
They are my friends at work, not my work friends.
There. I said it. I LOVE my job. I love the families I work with and I love the other people who work at Kids On The Move. I love that we swap recipes, text each other when funny things happen, know about each others work and personal lives, and even go to Zumba together after work (me being the worst at attendance to that function). Today is the last day until the Christmas break and I am stuck alone at the office, listening to the silence as I wait for my last appointment. I miss my friends at work. They listen to my dumb stories and make me feel entertaining. They always have great insights when I am struggling with ideas of what to do with a kid, or need a good brownie recipe. I love going to conferences with them and sharing my embarrassing stories with them in the hot tub. It is great to have friends to look forward to seeing at work... now I just wish work would end already so I could go home and pack...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dog 4 Deeds

I was given permission from the mom of a little boy I teach in playgroup to share this link with all of you on my blog. JD "Deeds" attends the structured playgroup I help teach and stole my heart right away, along with all the other little ones in the class. JD has had a rough year: autism diagnosis, the beginning of seizures and another diagnosis of Periventricular Leukomalatia and mild Cerebral Palsy. His parents are trying to get him a specially trained service dog but it costs A LOT. feel free to hop on over and take a look at the blog his mom set up for him and even donate a few dollars if you can.
I have been impressed with how well children with Autism respond to animals. I recently attended a panel of adults that are on the Autism spectrum. A member of the audience asked them their thoughts and feeling on animals. Each member of the panel beamed as they explained why they love animals and what is about animals that helps them. Autism is a neurological disorder that effects social and emotional development, especially the interpretation nonverbal communication that we rely on so heavily when communicating. One person who was on the panel explained it so well why she loved animals when she said,"If a dog doesn't like you he will bark and growl at you. People are different. I have a hard time telling if they really mean what they say. A dog doesn't expect anything from me, he just lets me love him."
Since then I have become a believer of service dogs and animal therapy. What a great way to learn affection and expression of emotions than with an animals known as "mans best friend". Hop on over to JD's blog and take a look!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I realize I have not blogged in a while and I am going to play a little catch up today.
The question is where do I start? Life has been a whirlwind the past few months and I haven't really documented any of it on my blog so I will just hit some highlights.
** At the beginning of November I took Ronnie, Ashlee, and Ty home with me for a weekend so I could go see my grandmother (Nanny) in the hospital. I felt so much better after being able to see Nanny, give her kisses, and tell her how much I loved her. Even though she wasn't at full physical or speaking capacity, it was great to see her personality shine through. My friends and Ronnie had a blast in Farmington and spending some quality time with the Webb fam. I wish I had some pictures to share but I didn't take a single one.
**At work I was asked to get trained to teach a children's group for an agency called Grandfamilies. It is a support group/workshop for grandparents, aunts, uncles, or relatives that are fostering a relitive's child/children. The "parents" attend their group and I will help run the children's group where the children learn about personal boundaries, drug and alcohol awareness, safety, and ect. Although it may be tough to see some of these kids coming from hard situations, I am so excited to be able to be involved with this program as it is starting up in Utah County, and even more excited to step back into my love for teaching and brush up on my teaching skills.
**Thanksgiving. I spent four days in Temecula, CA with Ronnie at his house for Thanksgiving. I had met his family briefly at a wedding reception and was excited to go to their house and spend a few days in sunny California. Although I was still struggling to get rid of a nasty cold I had been fighting for 3+ weeks, I had a blast! I got to see family videos, play the most hilarious/painfully slow game of catch phrase, do a little antique shopping (which by the way- I found some turquoise rings from the 1920's for $15...those Californians could have cared less about all the turquoise treasures they had) sleep in every morning, and laugh until it hurt all week long. Our drive back to Utah took a little longer than expected because of snow, but I was in the company of friends and a handsome man so I didn't mind. Below are some picture from a little trip Ronnie and I took down to San Diego with his sisters. They made sure I got to see the temple:

These next few weeks are going to be crazy but I am looking forward to getting home and spending some time with my siblings and having Johnathon home from Israel. I can't wait to look through all of his pictures and pester him with a million questions.