Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Way They Play...

One of my favorite parts of the boys being so close in age is getting to see how very different they are while only being 19 months apart.

The other day, they were both off playing, doing their own little things, in their own little worlds. Later, after they had abandoned their play to partake in a little baseball with Micah, I went to see what they had been up to. It is these instances that always make me smile, laugh and celebrate the differences in my boys.

Remi has never been my child who fits in 'the box'. Never wanted to, never tried, and never even comes close. He is constantly pushing the limits, challenging anything he can and constantely spilling over 'the box'. When he plays, it is very rarely with toys. It is almost always with tools, batteries, wires, duct tape, wood, rope and anything else he can get his hands on! On this particular day, Remi made a little water siphon. I could not tell you where this idea came from or how he figured out how to make it work, but I can tell you, he had a cup underneath this little gadget collecting the water.





Roen has always been my child who is more than happy to fit in 'the box'. He would also be happy to fit into anything else we expected. Roen is a child who has the tenderest of hearts and loves to share his love. When I went upstairs, I saw that Roen had created a farm. He had carefully put up fences the keep the cows safe, had taken the time to line up each farm vehicle and made sure that every single cow had food in their trough. This little boy has a heart of gold!





I find things like this all the time, so none of this is surprising, but it never gets old.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Football Rivals...

Last weekend was full of football fun when our school played some of our best friend's for their Homecoming. Right as we walked up to the game Friday night, a storm rolled in and the game got moved to Saturday. We ended up winning both JH games, the JV and Varsity games as well! The boys are to the age where they love going to all the games- eating dinner at the concession stand, running around with friends and trying their very best to catch the footballs the cheerleaders throw!







This picture of Roen reminds me of the very first time he met Sir Henry 3 years ago!
-Click Here to See that Post-

Monday, September 17, 2018

One of a Kind...

Right now, Remi has a favorite song. We have been listening to it the minute we get in the car, over and over. Between the melody and the words, it never ceases to bring a little tear to my eye and smile to my face.

This song that he loves so much, seems to be written about him...

"I'm one of a kind,
I'm tough as you can find"...

"Fire and passion,
good old fashioned"...

"I can be stubborn
And lock up sometimes"...

"Put me on a bullseye
Baby I'm dead on"...

"When your world gets dark
I'll be your spark"

And ironically enough, the name of this song is Remington.

I'm going to be honest and say, that 3rd grade has be tough. As in tears more nights than not kind of a way. I don't mean tears because we are throwing a fit, I mean tears spilling out because of inner frustration, shame, heart-ache...deep down, sadness.

Y'all, this year has been been so extremely hard for Remi. The emotions he is experiencing and trying to sift through are something I wouldn't wish on any child.

This year, we are finally seeing the magnitude at which Remi's Dyslexia truly affects his daily life. As his peers make leaps and bounds in reading, as they bring home 105's on Spelling Tests, Remi is seeing the difference and wants nothing more than to be able to bring home a 105 on his Spelling Tests, wants nothing more than to be able to check out a 3rd grade level book from the library, and be able to read it. The reality that things won't come easily and never will, has been hard for us all to come to grips with. When Your 8 year old is crying in your arms over a 67 he made on a Spelling test after at least 6 hours of study time is the most heart-breaking place to be. Holding your child as he falls asleep crying because he got made fun of at school because he is always the last one to finish his work hurts my momma heart in ways I can't explain. Wanting nothing more than to march up to that school and give those kids a piece of my mind, but choosing to love those kids out loud in front of him, is not easy. Wanting to fix something that can't be fixed is frustrating and unfair. The truth that Remi's Dyslexia is far worse than we had initially thought isn't what any of us want.

Dyslexia can't be cured. This won't go away. Remi will learn tricks to keep in his pocket, but the reality is, if you give him a sheet of paper with small font, small spaces between sentences, with no color, it will swim around into a fuzzy blur and will always be extremely hard for him read (put it in a fun font and it's hopeless). It will be so downright exhausting that by the time he gets to the end he will mostly have no idea what he read. When someone asks him to spell 'shopped' he will write down 'shoppted' because that is how it sounds- and that is how his brain tells him things are spelled- how they sound.

When he is doing a math paper, he might write a 9 when he meant to write six. When he is copying from a list he might write 'for' instead of 'forty'. He leaves things out when he writes. He flips and reverses things constantly. He asked at dinner one night 'What is 1A?" and after looking at what he was seeing I said "Oh, you mean the A1 Sauce". He might accidentially write Rmi instead of Remi. He can come home and write his spelling words 3 times each every single night and by Thursday night might only be able to spell two.

But...

he might also go out back for hours, take apart his old go kart, and create a Tom Sawyer style raft with the tires, wood and rope. He might understand electricity in a way that even we don't. The same little boy who can't learn to spell 15 words in a week, falls asleep building rockets that can get him to Mars. This same little boy was piling his Gator with junk taller than he was in impressive heights at less then two years old. This same little boy brings home 100's on his math test and could lead his class in Science lessons. Remi's little brain processes things differently. Remi's mind is a colorful mixture of art, math, science- an engineering genius. At 8 years old, Remi has invented and created more ideas than anyone I know. Remi gets things in a very grown up way. I would trust that boy with my life, because he just gets things. If I need it done, he will do it perfectly- every single time.

On the days that are filled with tears, we feed him full of the good things. The things that come so easily to him, that others can't fathom. The things that you don't get graded on, the things not witnessed in a school setting. We take our focus off of grades because at the end of the day, those silly spelling words won't get him to Mars- but that magnificent mind of his- yes, that is where it's at.

So this little song, has silently become our daily anthem. The four of us singing our hearts out, saying, "Remi, we are behind you, we believe in you- rise above and set yours sights on higher ground, because baby, you truly are ONE OF A KIND."


.............................


I truly think there is a gap between knowing about Dyslexia and understanding Dyslexia. I am sharing the following because without parents as their advocates, these kids don't stand a chance- and without sharing, no one can understand. (I have since met with teachers and we have put some modifications in place to help make the classroom a successful place for Remi.)


Remi's Spelling List looks like this each week. The first thing I do, is retype it in Dyslexia Font, bigger, more spaced and in a different color than black. The first list he came home with, he said 'Momma, I can't read that list'. Lists of words, all in black, that are stacked closely are a nightmare to a dyslexic. He was working on writing his words in alphabetical order- copying from a list requires the upmost concentration and probably took twice as long as it would have taken a typical student...



I also make a second list with his words. I sort them into 'families' and color each family in a different color. This helps him recall the words. When I test him orally, he will often say something like 'this is a green word'. He has to have something he can visualize to set the words apart from each other.



This is a math paper. Remi excels in math and it comes to him easily. This is a prime example of how all the words on this paper got him a bit mixed up. On the first problem, he left out several letters/words. The list on the left might as well not be there- trying to find anything he was looking for would have been almost impossible. On the last problem, I can see he flipped the six and wrote down nine instead of six. If you were to ask these to Remi orally, he could tell them to you quickly and easily.



This is an example of one of his Spelling Tests and Math Tests. On this particular Spelling Test, I bet we spent nothing short of an hour a night studying these words. In fact, on Thursday night, he could spell them orally almost 100%. When he starts having to write letters/words things get mixed up very quickly. Dyslexias tend to spell what they hear and struggle with the short term memory to learn the words. If I were to ask Remi to spell any of these words today, I would be shocked if he could spell even one. Retaining these words is not a reality.

On this Math Test, the words were spaced out enough that he was able to show his math knowledge and made an easy 100. Had this test been set-up differently, he could have easily failed it.




Remi's teacher have been amazing. We have been working together to get some of these kinks worked out to make his success as easy as his peers. Often times, people do not understand what it means to be dyslexic and although I am still learning, it is my goal to spread what I learn to help these kiddos get the break they need!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Grandparents Day...

Although not all the grandparents got to join the boys for Grandparent's Day at school, they sure were happy to have their Pops there!





Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Sunday Funday...

These four boys just love that their daddies like watching football together. It means afternoons full of scooters, swords, sweaty faces and boys being boys...





Friday, September 7, 2018

Kraut Bowl 2018...

Every year, our little bitty town plays the little bitty town next door and we call it the Kraut Bowl. It is a long-standing tradition and the rivalry is fierce!

This morning, all the students were buying spirit ribbons and sporting their Black & White... Go Knights!





Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Labor Day Weekend...

We spent Labor Day Weekend with friends and relaxing. Saturday, we took the boys to Top Golf for the first time- they had a blast. We spent the rest of the evening at the lake where we ended our night with a little boat ride. Sunday, the boys swam and then later that evening, we had a few friends over for dinner and more swimming. Monday, we slept in, and spent the rainy day at home watching E.T. and just enjoying having nothing on the agenda.













Sunday, I caught these two out back visiting, about life, Minecraft and who knows what else...

Monday, September 3, 2018

Knight Football...

Friday, was the first pep rally of the season, followed by a win from the Black & White. I go to all the pep rallies, if and I can, and love watching all the kids fill up the bleachers and picking out my two little Knights. They still have big smiles and happy waves when they see my face across the gym... and that is probably the very best part!



Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Time Spent at Pop's House...

Time spent at Pop's house looks a little something like this...






Wednesday, August 22, 2018

First Day of School...

Last Wednesday, the boys had their first day of school where they became official 2nd and 3rd graders. I always thought that when Remi entered 3rd grade it would feel so weird to have a child that old. Funny thing is, it doesn't really feel weird. You see your children learn and advance and you know it is time for them to move on, move up. And there is really just something comforting about the natural order they follow in their growing up. The older the boys get, the more and more I love them. So, for me growing up is something I love watching them do!

However, I do not really handle them doing it away from me so well. For me, dropping my kids off at school on the first day, in a new classroom, with a whole new set of rules and expectations has not gotten easier. I like my babies home with me so that I can be a part of their days- not a little part, but a big part. I like to look out my widow to see them playing, I like fixing them PB&J for lunch, I like taking care of them in every way and to know that someone else is doing that for me feels unfair.

I walked Roen in first and I teared up. Then I walked Remi over to a different building and the tears got bigger as I walked out of his classroom- bottom line, this is a hard day for me!













Both boys had wonderful things to say and big smiles when I picked them up. This is going to be an amazing year- maybe the best one yet and if I have to hand my boys over for the day, I full have confidence their teachers will do a fantastic job of loving them until they can get home to their momma!