Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wisdom we can learn from a spider

While I was reading our devotional today. A tiny spider crawled out on the page.  Now I don't mind spiders so I blew it off my page... a few seconds later I saw it slowly descending to the floor.  It landed on the floor and began to crawl away.  I moved the devotional and it was air born again...  I gave it a minute and moved  the pages once more... yet again it was pulled from its path.  Not wanting to still be attached to the spider, I broke the connection to my book and he was free.

It got me started thinking how we can leave our troubles behind yet they still seem to haunt us.  They keep us up at night.   Pull us away from the path we are marching on. Yet once a larger being who can see the big picture breaks the bonds that are hampering us we are free.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:36. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

She has stopped counting

And its is a reason for rejoicing. Working on math with my developmentally delayed DD1 is always a challenge. She has so much trouble holding info in her head it makes it hard for her to remember from moment to moment what she is doing.  Not only that but for so long I would have her count up to say 8 and she would count up to 10. She had a difficult time stopping in between the '10' numbers.   For a long time estimation was near impossible. Only through rote memorization of 4-0 means it goes down and 6-9 means it goes to the next highest number, did we manage to pass that hurdle.

Yet as we were doing math today I noticed when she had to skip count to 80 for 80/10 =?  she stopped at 80 and did not proceed to 100 like she has done for years and years and years,and it occurred to me.  She hasn't been doing that all summer.  This is good... this is really good. I think her brain is developing more and more stability. And I think her short term memory has improved. so that not only can she hold more information in her head. She can hold on to it for longer and longer.  She is able to resist the pull of going to the end of the memorization of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70. 80, 90, 100!

I'm really hoping that she is seeing numbers as holding value.  That is the other hurdle we need to get over. Numbers are fluid, and representational, but in her world black is black and white is white and grey is grey not a combo of black and white.  I'm glad I can see improvements in little things. I need to celebrate them in  my mind or I may just fall into despair.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cough cough cough

I love the 4 day curriculum!!! I was so happy I had a break to day so I could track down much needed paper work for the Dr.

One of my kiddos is in Preparing Hearts for His Glory, and the other is in Creation to Christ (left pages only) both  by heart of Dakota. These programs are 4 day programs. So if they get their school work done and chores done Fridays are actually open for field trips, and I can actually go in and Volunteer At GFA again.  It is takeing a toll on me as it is a longer day for both of them. We still have nuro therapy 5 days a week. And now we have "The Vest"  its a very expensive piece of equipment that makes percussive rhythm to the chest so the lungs can more easily cough up mucus.

I am still in pursuit of "Why has my kid been coughing for her whole life?"  When I was digging through A~'s paperwork I noticed for the first time that she was treated for cough at age 5 days.. yes 5 days... What? Wait why do I not remember this!  But I'm glad I found so many of the reports.  In each and everyone there is a coughing or multiple coughing incidents. Hopefully the Dr can give us a better idea of WHY she always coughs.  THo I do not feel encouraged as to this being a treatable by DR.'s I do still feel it is heal-able by The Healer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scared by Big Numbers

We continue to work on 2 step problems here with DD1.  She is still struggling.  We had very easy problems today. Even tho I had her act it out. I could see the sullen I'm so confused look on her face.  This is a different expression from the sullen I don't want to do it look.  Working with the problem  I rephrased it made it a line drawing tried again in a more Visual Math Method.  Once I did that consciousness began to dawn in her head.
Then she was able to actually understand what she is doing. (15 minutes per problem is a bit of a problem).  So we went on to the next problem.  yet again I got the blank sullen stare...

here it is in a nut shell you sell 500 hundred balloons 235 were yellow and 176 were blue, the rest were red.  How many were Red?
DD1: "The Rest."
Ha ha ha ha shes right
Mom: Ok how many were Red?
DD1:  I Don't Know!
this could go on for hours... I went into more detail but I could see. The learning train had left the station and she was not on it...

I tried it with pictures of balloons but she didn't want to wait for me to draw 500 balloons and have her cross out the various amounts... Then I had a memory flash in my mind of how scared I used to be of huge numbers Anything over 10 was HUGE so 235 and 176 were scaring her.
So I reworded it
you sold 5 balloons at the fair 2 were blue and 2 were yellow  how many were Red?
DD1: One Mom... yes!
Mom: Now you sold 500 balloons at the fair 200 were blue and 200 were yellow. How many were Red?
DD1: 100 Mom... ok what did you do
DD1: well 2+2 is 4 and 5-4=1 same thing for hundreds
Mom: so do that same thing on the BIG SCARY numbers...
DD1: oh add the yellow and blue?
Mom: YES!
DD1: And then take the answer away from 500 to get Red balloons??
Mom: YES!
And that is how she did her word problems today 35 min later she had only done 2,  two step word problems  but hey she DID THEM!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm rejoicing today because were nearing the end of DD1's 3rd grade Math word problems book "Hays Math"  I know shes 12 but she has just not been ready/able for anything harder. This book has been slowly upping the difficulty of the problems. When DD1 was tested a few years ago they gave me some insight into her brain. In fact I was told she had NO math processing for word problems. 

Considering at that time she could only hold 3-4 bits of information in her head. I' wasn't surprised.  Since then we have exercised her brain muscles and gotten it to hold (on a good day) 7 bits of information... Ya that's as much as you can hold before you reach for a pencil... wait let me jot down that long distance phone number of 9 bits of information.. 

Anyway I digress I love to digress... 

So today was the big step into 2 step word problems. You know the kind: Harry plays with his friends. From Mark he wins 4 marbles and to Steven he lost 8 marbles.  Harry had 16 marbles to begin with.   How many marbles does he have now.   And if you have some higher math you might write it  like this 
(16-8) +4= 12  or  Step One 16+4= 20   Step Two 20-8= 12 <---- final answer. 

Well these types of problems have been the bane of my DD1's existence. She can't handle that much information. She just stares at the page and looks like Gomer Pyle from the Andy Griffith Show.  

Today it was a TV repair man problem how much should she bill... So I asked her to act it out as I read the problem.  She had fun pretending to fix my TV. When it was all said and done. I asked so how do you know how much to bill?  Her reply  2 no 3 no that's not right it's 2 and 3 wait... Mom do I need to ADD to find out  how long I have been here?  Yes Darling Daughter!!!  and what is Step 2 Come on kid you can do it...  Mom Do I multiply  the answer to how much I charge per hour??  YES YES!!! O man YES! 

I was way more excited than she was. She proceeded to write the steps down 1 then 2 then "Mom is this the answer?" "YES!" 

Then my DD1 knowing she has my full approval asks "Can I paint my nails again?" (she did that like 3 days ago but has picked all the nail polish off already *sigh*) Oh ya sure it can be your reward for actually thinking today. 

I think I'll nick name her  Little M... For Little Manipulator... Ha ha ha ha ha... 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Winners and Losers

Some times my Rocky Mom persona comes out. Rocky can tell My kids things they would never listen to from Mom. Besides Rocky has a great philosophy of life, its worth perpetuating.

I give my kids chores it teaches valuable life skills and makes them feel apart of the family. This is critical in to their sense of belonging. Now when my kids use the dish washer they tend to be sloppy and not scrape the dishes. I don't really care because the dishwasher has a special function that grinds up all the old food particles and rinses them away.  Of course eggs on stainless steel, when cooked with out sufficient oil actually creates a chemical bond.  And I Quote "These bonds may be relatively weak van der Waals forces or covalent bonds. Protein-rich foods are particularly prone to sticking because the proteins can form complexes with metal atoms, such as iron, in the pan."  So  even tho it has been washed the pan still has egg on its face.

So I go to make my self a fried potato I love fried potatoes with veggies and ham and a wee bit of cheese all melted together. Yum! But I digress.. so I reach for the iron skillet that lives on the stove top. Oddly it has a lid on it. I take the lid off and it is dirty, Noone has scraped it out nor re-seasoned it. I look at DD2 did you use this last? Uh uh... Thought so, well you need to clean this. I get a phone call and come back she's working on the pan.  So I reach down into the cupboard and pull out a frying pan,  it too is dirty, covered in washed egg.  Who put this dish away?

Ok DD2 looks at ground "me"  now the procedure is if the dishes are put away dirty they both get to hand wash the dishes for a week and no more just loading up the dish washer.  DD2 looks crushed. So Rocky Mom to the Rescue.

Yo Yo whats up wit this? Even in my bachelor days I would not cook outta something as dirty as this is. Do youse want to cook outta this? Here give it a feel.... DD2 eeeewww... ya ya that's like pretty disgusting isn't it. Did  you look at the pan before you put it away? DD2 "no..."  ya you see so now how do you feel?  "Yucky." You feel like a winner or a loser? "A loser."
Ya when we don't take pride in our work we feel like losers. You cheated yourself,  you choose to be lazy.  Where is your pride? You know when they choose me to fight, they picked me because I would loose.  I knew I had a good chance of loosing but did I lay down and let that stop me? No I worked out, I worked hard I took pride in my work. If you give it your best shot and still lose are you a looser? or are you a winner?  Did I put everything I had into it? Yes! Of course I did, Did I win No! I didn't, but did I feel like a looser in the end? NO! I was a winner, the battle was within me not with Apollo Creed. I gave him a run for his money and almost won that fight, but the real battle took place inside.

So what are you gonna do wit this pan?  Yup your gonna wash it and wash it well, make it shiny so yous can see your face in it. Take pride in a job well done.

Oddly enough this put a smile on her face and a spring in her hand and she took that scrubber and made it BE-U-tiful... See Rocky can tell them anything.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who knew a 6$ lotion could cost over $500.00

My Mommy radar has been pinging all week because I have a missing water bottle.  Where is said full water bottle.. slowly dripping in a corner on the laminate floor? Did it end up in the wash? Is it in her under her pillow causing the mattress to rot.  These questions and more have made me go hunting for the water bottle.  Now you must think I'm perfectly paranoid. ha ha ha ha  Before you think the following description of leaks were accidental, think again.. once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, more than three times is deliberate. 

I found the water bottle this morning... in THE DRAWER.... Ok why all caps and bold you ask?? Well some day I want to sell my house and before I can do that I have to replace the Bathroom vanity.  THE DRAWER is in that bathroom vanity.  In fact I have already bought the new vanity but hesitate to install it. The wet things leaking in THE DRAWER  has been an on going issue... She puts wet things in the drawer so they leak all over everything.  Most of the time the drawer barely moves... the bottom is no longer flat and is now shaped like a U.  But since we have had such a dry summer its actually working again.  

I had noticed her using the drawer a few weeks ago but since it was hair ties etc. I was letting it slide. But today... Just guess where I found that water bottle!!! Yup you got it...  on its side in THE DRAWER. (thankfully NOT leaking) I also found a ripped open package of wet wipes that leaked into the drawer.  

Why does this happen first thing in the morning?  Arrggghhhh is it to late to run into the closet?  I of course had to evict all the junk out of the damp drawer again... the mixture of residue in that drawer is just scary.  I would not put my tooth brush in there... cinnamon tooth gel, mint tooth paste, cucumber/ bubble gum/ pink hand lotion, various hand sanitizer, and facial wash. Yes it has been wiped out each and every time, but each and every spill  has been hidden so successfully that I can't imagine what kind of toxic radioactive stuff has been created but the mixing/layering of these different ingredients. 

In fact My DD's Aunti use to send her nice smelling lotions. When I requested the practice stop for an indefinite period of time.  I got the puzzled look of why can't I give your kid things that make her smell nice?   In fact the lotion gifts did not cease until she actually stopped by for a visit. When given a look into THE DRAWER! and its rather nasty condition (no matter how much you clean it, its still gross). She was Oh MY! That is where all these lotions I send her end up? Yup except when I get to be big bad mean Mommy. Then I confiscate them.   Thanks... no really...  thanks!  You get all DD's gratification for giving her things  I get the bill.  She is going to abuse this junk and I get to clean up the mess all the while being the big bad mean mommy, and you get to be the great and awesome Aunti.  Way to go! woo hoo!!   Himm maybe this is why I'm never really excited about her visits. I love her to pieces but she has NO Idea I get cast the the roll of big bad wolf when she comes around.

Of course the thought  that a $6 lotion you bought her costs me a couple hundred dollars seems preposterous.  Lets see a new vanity, not to mention the cost of tearing out the old and installing the new... which will lead to having to replace the wall paper behind the toilet (oh joy that will be fun!)  and or re-mud and skim the walls and paint, and the floor will need replacing cause the new vanities do not have the same foot print as the old ones.   Really... buy my kid more lotion too destroy my stuff with... Wait can you send me a check for $500.00 that should help with the clean up the money pit DD triggered.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Did you fall in?

So this morning my lazy one didn't get out of bed. I have found the most effective method of rousing her is sprinkling her with water. I asked my youngest if her sister was awake?  Yes, well tell her to get up, and when she didn't little sister flicked water on her face. UH OH...   Fast forward 10 minutes.

Now little sister is hopping outside the bathroom door begging to use the bathroom cause she has to go and since Her and I are still suffering from the effects of food poisoning she is not faking it. Why is big sister taking so long in the bathroom?  Well I need to change my clothing. (no rather  I need to hide my pull up in the garbage, because I'm suppose to take them outside right away, but I'd rather stink up the bathroom. Because that gets mom mad, And hogging the bathroom  that will get my sister back for sprinkling 6 drops of water on me.)   Like I need this at 7:30AM.

Really darling daughter you need to Change IN the bathroom? DD1: I don't want anyone looking at me, *foot is wiggling but actually doesn't stomp* Mom is thinking "Good thing we adopted you then, cause in the orphanage they have general wards, you'd be sharing with 15 other girls" Of course I'm not buying what she is selling because her sister was no longer in the bed room by the time she bothered to get up. Dd's whole body  from the hips downward is wiggling.  Her facial features are screaming outrage and her legs are doing the I want to have a temper tantrum dance.  Who knew she is 12. Ya 12 can you believe it. I know she looks 5 her inner child is trying desperately to get out.

She then says something along the line of: well it's her fault I'm mad she was bossy and told me to get up. (The fact that I had asked her to get up before some how doesn't come into the picture).  SERIOUSLY??  Ya right. I just have a feeling she woke up and decided it was a good day to die and I'm gonna take my whole family with me. This is something a my good friend Mindy use to say.  It's worse than getting up on the wrong side of bed. if I were to make an analogy, getting up on the wrong side of bed  is like a bucket of cold water , and thinking "it's a good day to die" is like napalm. I better throw cold water on her before this gets out of hand.

So to work it out I told her sister, to not throw 6 water droplets on her if she's not getting up. That is my prerogative. And She agreed to Not "watch" her sister getting dressed and would leave if her sister expressed a desire for privacy. And if I ask her to tell her sister to do something she will use the words "Mom says." To avoid the shrapnel of the war her sister has declared on Motherhood.  Of course DD1 may still choose to shoot the messenger but we will cross that bridge it it come to that.

Oddly enough we got NO concessions or compromises or promises out of the walking wounded DD1, she just has to find the word Misunderstanding in the dictionary and write it out a few times. I didn't ask for any because I think she would just break those promises.  Follow through is not her forte.  I can't help but point out to DD1 that this war she is waging has only one casualty, and its not me or her sister or her father. Talk about self inflicted wounds. 

Essentially DD1 wanted to get Mom all fired up so she could feel sorry for herself and then say "See no one loves me I'm not really wanted in this family see! see! I was right! My life with my first family would be so much better."  The problem is Mom doesn't get fired up anymore (I think I'm just so tired of it all). In fact I haven't in a very very long time.  (Now that I said that I probably will next week *sigh*). I so let go of my hopes (or should I say fantasy) of what adoption is. At this point if she will just give herself permission to be happy I'd be happy. If she would just feel safe with us so she don't feel like she has to manipulate her world.  It would be so much better for her.  If she had just communicated to me "Mom I feel my sister is being bossy." would have put paid to the whole situation. Alas having an expectation of that seems to me to be setting the bar to high.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Drawing with Children

Recently we started using Monarts Drawing With Children method. Those great ladies over at HOD board recommended this book. Then Jan at Little Giant Steps added it to A~l's program. Talk about synchronicity!   I have been so excited to see the results.  Every time I sit down with them to draw one or the other of my children complains that "This project is to hard!"  then at the end they are so excited to see the results.  "Wow Mom I did it."
 I love this book!
One how it matches my philosophy on art.  
Two how it breaks things down into very simple steps. 
Three how my children are learning to "see" the world though an artistic lens. 

Here is the last thing we did which was an old milk bottle, some zinnia's and weeds from the garden.  I let them use their imaginations when coloring the bottle and the flowers. One choose markers the other colored pencils.  The hard part was getting them to let go of "It must look exactly like the vase/flowers/leaves."  Once they let go of the Ideal of Super Realism. They had so much fun and did a great job! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Which picture is true.

So today I did an exercise with my kiddos.  They were supposed to draw a picture of what their life would be like if they had never been adopted.
It’s interesting to see what they drew.  One child drew a picture of a grave and her Mom and her sister crying next to it.  The other drew a picture of her and her Mom dancing. But Mom had been scribbled out twice, because “I drew her too small.”
Wow I’m sure your thinking one of my kids is loopy to draw herself in a grave, while the other one is dancing with her mom.  Odd thing is the one who drew herself as dead is my very attached one, not the one with all the issues. You see she understands that most likely she was abandoned due to the fact that her medical problems were beyond the ability of her parents to pay for her medical care and considering she spent 3 weeks in a hospital which saved… her... Life… She has a realistic picture of what happened in her abandonment and adoption.     
The one dancing  with her Mom, well earlier in the day she also drew a picture of her first Mom as crying begging her daughter to come home to her cause she misses her daughter so much…  Her mothers’ culture would not tolerate an unwed mother.  Things like “honor killings” happen to single pregnant ladies.  The fact that she survived to be born shows great liberation of her first grandparents mind.  But the plight of Mom’s without fathers in her culture is a bleak one.  Living in the slums is a much more realistic plight.  Being label a ____ child.  Zero chance of an education.  How do you tell this child that you can see in her paper work she was shown to family after family in her home country and no one choose her.  
Even widows in this culture are vilified forced to wear white and blamed for the death of her husband.  So First Mom couldn’t even fake she was a widow.    My dd is aware of the plight of widows and single parents, being in the ministry brings her face to face with the reality of life in her home country.   Yet she discounts it all "No! that will not happen with Me and My first mom."  (DD is swimming in de-nile.)
I keep turning back to Sherrie Eldrige’s insights into adoption, I really feel her birth mom was really scared about this pregnancy because My dd spends so much time being scared about everything.  She hides things and her emotions.  I can just see her first Mom hiding her pregnancy and how she felt.   I see it in the eyes of my child every day.
Odd isn't it.  From the first look the picture that looks happy shows a child who still lack the understanding about her adoption.  Fantasy and denial still reign in her heart. Whereas the scary picture of a death, shows how the second child although younger has the greater understanding of her situation and how it is something to be sad about, and something to be happy about.

Monday, August 8, 2011


So I had a long talk with my dd1 about her finger picking… Yes my child picks at her fingers.  It’s a nervous habit that she knows annoys me. So she does it for comfort and because it has bugged me in the past and it may still bug me today.   How putting oneself in pain is comforting I do not understand I just know it happens.  
Today she admitted with tears in her eyes she wants to stop but she just can’t seem to stop herself. So I’m trying stickers and labels on glass jars. Any time she wants to finger pick she can come to this bin of recyclables and pick the labels off the jars.  If there are no jars I have a few glass containers with stickers stuck all over them.   Hopefully this will give the same sensation of picking without doing injury to herself.   
It’s Odd we all have these types of self-destructive behaviors but as Adults we excuse them…
Some I have heard in my life time.
I'm not an alcoholic I'm a Social Drinker…
I Eat for comfort, even tho I’m on cholesterol lowering medication.  
I’m angry so I can drive fast if I want to.
I’m not going to wear my seat belt.
I can grow Pot for myself in my basement I’m not hurting anyone but myself.
My ultimate goal is to train up my child to respect her body and her heart. To see she is worthy of being loved. I fear deep down inside she is has an inward struggle of. My first family didn’t want me. I don’t  feel wanted so no one not even myself feels like I want Me.  I must be Unloveable.  Sometimes I feel it is my job to instill a deep understanding of Gods love for her, And how much we love her no mater how much she pushes us away. 
So many times it truly is 2 steps forward and one step backward. Every time I see improvement she seems to turn around and flee the success.  As if succeeding is scarier than failure.   In some ways it is you know...  if one is a failure no one can expect you to be better than you are right now. But if you succeed then people will continue to expect good things from you.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Everything I needed to know about Psychology, I could have learned from Little House on the Prairie.

I’ve been reading articles written by Laura Ingalls Widler in the years before she was the famous author of the Little House books.   I’m beginning to feel like Anne of the “Green Gables” in that here is a woman who thinks like I think, feels like I feel, and hopes like I hope.  In a phrase “A kindred spirit.”    Who knew I could feel so connected to someone writing in the early 1900’s.  She is forthright, not afraid to be a woman and not afraid of man’s heavy labor if called upon to do it.  She appears to be a bit of a feminist but not so far gone as to be annoying.   
I love how she sees the good in people.  Also like her,  I do not like being beholden to someone.  When she talks about how strangers came to a barn raising (Rocky Ridge Farm) she did not know how she was to pay them back. She inevitably accepted the help but in her heart she was dismayed at having to!  I so get that.  But in a similar turn of her heart she realizes this is just how it is in this community and she accepts and eventually embraces the way this community functions.
One article was devoted to understanding.  Long before I ever went to college and learned about Jung and paradigm shifts... Laura Ingalls had it all worked out.   In this article she expounds our need as humans to seek understanding. How when we do not understand what is going on. We can fall into gossip about our neighbor.  To us they look as if they are doing nothing! Or to us they look like they are being too hard on the child. When in reality, what our understanding is,  is nothing near the truth of the matter.  
She uses an example and shows outside looking in and inside looking out.  The motivation and reasons behind the actions were innocent and pure. Yet from the outside it looked harsh and unreasonable. Then she talks about how once we understood the reasoning behind the action we no longer though as we once did.  What I learned in college as the Paradigm Shift. 
I love how she reminds us to mind our own beeswax, and think the best in people, not assume the worst, and above all to not gossip. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Overheard Adopted kids

My girls are talking about how much they hate answering adoption questions. They are funny! 

So if some one askes you where are you from?  You say the United States and if they keep asking No No where are you from?  We'll say "I'll tell you but its will cost you a dollar."  tee hee hee.  

How bout if they keep asking?? We ask if they are from Scotland?  yeah yeah that is funny. Tee hee hee

DO you EAT with Chop Sticks?   Yes, but only gummy bears...   more giggling... 

Where is your real Mom...  in the United States ... no no I mean your real Mom...In Texas ... no no your REAL MOM.... My real Mom is right over there!!    Ha ha ha ha   More giggling.... 

DO you EAT with Chop Sticks?   Yes, but only popsicles   Ha ha ha ha ha 

Is that really your sister Yes, but she drank to much chocolate milk when she was younger.   More giggling. 
What else is brown that I can eat?  Dunno... Chocolate ice cream?  Laughter..   

Do you EAT with CHOPSTICKS???   ha ha ha Yes but only Jello... Ha ha ha 

Have you ever had anyone ask after just meeting you Any of these questions? 

Where are you from?
When you tell them your current town.  They are annoyed that you didn't give your family heritige?  And pursue knowing where in the whole world your family orginated?  No that hasn't happened to you has it... Happens to my kids almost every time we go out in public. 

Why Don't you look like your Mom? Because She doesn't wear makeup... 

Where is your real Mom?*
Duh standing over there? no no your real Mom.. What you can't see her?  Maybe you need glasses!

Why did your Mom not want you? *
I have 2 Mommies that love me and you only have one.. tisk tisk ... maybe you need two mommies too, so you stop asking silly questions.

Your Adopted?  How awful...  (kids)  How sweet... You must be really lucky (adults) 

Why does our culture see adoption as second best? As Lucky? Like they should be grateful they have a family... Seriously these kids straddle TWO cultures and  TWO families. Its not luck or sweet or awful... One of the Adoptees at Camp Wrote a note in big Bold Letters "ADOPTION IS NOT A BAD THING!"   I wonder who he was talking to? 

*This is common among children. Please educate them! That these questions are bad manners. These questions are very painful for international  adoptees to answer. Typically THEY DO NOT KNOW!  and ask them selves this every day... 

Ok I'll  get off my soap box for the day.