Thursday, March 28, 2013

Enchanted Attic a 10 Year old review

Well for today we have a guest blogger :-) Little Miss Sunshine has written a review of a book I got at the Allume Conference. I hope you enjoy it.  I did my best to leave it fairly untouched, & unedited.

Her and her brother are twins, and they are book worms. They found an enchanted attic.
The attic belonged to a mad scientist. Their mother and father shipped them out to their aunt and uncle for 5 years.  They were studying butterflies and they really didn't care about their children. 

New kids came to the school and their names were James and Claudia. When MCG goes to the attic and reads a book about Notre Dame. A circle appears on the floor and it's glowy Quasimodo appears in the circle and then faints. The MCG was shocked she went to get her brother and James. They didn't believe her. So they came and saw for themselves, and they we're even more shocked. They had to keep him a secret. They have to return him back into the circle in 3 days at 11:11 AM. 

When I read this book it was exciting. The cover was scary looking. I decided not to read it when I was going straight to bed. You should read it in the morning or afternoon. Some of the names were kinda hard to read, like Quasimodo and Esmeralda. Sometimes I had to re-read a page to really understand it. (So it was a tad over her reading level but it was such a tasty and exciting book she tried to read it all in one sitting) People who like exciting books should read this one. I do recommend you read this book, I can't wait for the next book. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Feedback is Good

I got a letter from Toyota of Lewisville last week requesting I come by for a visit and see if they couldn't put me in a NEW CAR! for less of a car payment than I have now. Can we say Lease anyone??? If they couldn't meet or beat our interest rate and or car payment they would give us a gift card or 2 free oil changes!!! This tickled my funny bone, I decided to respond to this mass mailing with a letter of my own.

I wrote him back proclaimed my shock and amazement that he would even contact me. Since I did blog about our pretty rotten experience last spring. Found here under search for a car.  If you read that post you would know they wanted to charge us 18% interest (oh but it was so hidden in the paperwork it took me a while to find it).  They did not listen to our needs. We have large pieces of medical equipment to tote around for Sweet Potato. When they refused to move on price or interest rate and tried to sell us a convertible we heard the message "We don't want to sell you a car today."

This afternoon I got a reply to my letter I was tickled pink. True to their word I had proven they couldn't put me in a new car for less than what I was paying now and they sent me a Chili's gift card so My Knight in Shining Armor and I can go out to dinner. Also Scott asked me to call at my earliest convenience, so I did. We had a frank talk about how our "not buying a car experience" was. How his sales rep really didn't listen to our needs and was trying to sell us something, anything. Scott was polite and said all the right things, he wants us to move from having our service done at Toyota of Plano back to Lewisville. Ya he noticed we shifted, we used to get our old Toyota occasionally serviced at Lewisville but ya know Toyota of Plano has these great coupons for oil changes... it's not that tough a call. If I had a need for another car anytime soon I might go back to Toyota of Lewisville, but not until I had my financing in place first.

I'd like to put in a note that we did buy a car last spring from Huffines Kia Denton. They were open honest and upfront about their costs they listened to our needs. We did at that time have financing in place, and we didn't play the game.  We called them, asked to take the car to our mechanic, set up that appointment, took the car to the mechanic, came back with a short list of repairs that needed to be made. They repaired the car gave it a 30 day warranty and sold it to us the day after it was repaired. Being missionaries we appreciate like minded people and the sales rep and My  Knight in Shining Armor hit it off.  It was a GOOD car buying experience

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Watercolor Tutorial Unit 28

Ahh so this week we are going to be painting hills at sunset. You might think brown for clouds and painting the colors all the way down the page on the first day is a bit odd, but hang with this technique. See the really cool results you get. 

Day 2
 Ok the supply photo is missing a small flat brush for day 2 and some paper towels I think the daylight savings time thing is still fogging my brain. 
Wet your paper down with clear water. 
Blot dry...  Oh look I don't have any paper towels!
 that is a Starbucks napkin I ran and grabbed from the car. 
 Mix up some wet blue... use a pallet with partitions this flat one let me down! 

Brush blue on top 1/4 of the page. 
Uh oh what a mess, this is why you need a pallet that is not flat! 
 Blotting and washing with clear water helped get this spot off (somewhat). 

 Then I painted over it with yellow... it still showed though but I now know where the hill will go. Make sure you let your yellow and blue merge wetly.   
Clean your brush and load it up with red, over lap the yellow and let it merge as well. 
 Here I did not clean my brush out well and I got an orange but since we are going to be painting over it I didn't stress. 

Set your painting aside to dry.  

Day 3
These are the colors you will need for Day 3.  
 Make your green wet. Don't worry about the "shade," but do make sure your paint is thin. 
 Paint hills anyway you like. 
Keep adding water to your paint. 
I made nice rolling hills. 
See how the under painting comes through. 
I added another hill. 
and another. 
ooo happy hills. 
Using brown paint make small thin clouds. 
Further away from the hills make larger clouds with orange paint. 

Be sure to mix up some nice wet orange paint.  
Notice how even tho its orange paint on the blue its still looks brown 
Ok here goes the kids...

Sweet Potato made humpy hills 

Little Miss Sunshine did not make the clouds thin near the hills.
She got caught up in making them look like last nights sun set.
When I mentioned it she said "OOPS!" 
Sweet Potato as always went for the calligraphic look,
I actually like her treatment of the clouds. 
When your masterpiece is finished put in a safe place to dry. 
Here are our finished paintings.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Looking Back to Move Forward.

This weeks TBRI homework was watching an awesome DVD on attachment. As per usual it's another fantastic video on how we can help ourselves, help our children.  Sadly it involves looking inward and sorting through your junk history.   I took heart when the author of The Whole Brained Child talked about how when we choose to process our memories step back and really examine them. As opposed to wallowing in them. 

When we process our "stuff, baggage, history" we actually change the nuro pathways in our brain! I wonder if that is why after a while if we deal with our grief the grief becomes less.  For example, when my grandma died last October if I thought about her I would burst into tears. This went on for weeks, but I blogged, I talked to my friends, I remembered her with my family. All those activities allowed me to identify my feelings in a healthy way, with people who I trusted and loved.  Each time I walked through that grief it got less raw, less painful, less overwhelming.  I bet that was the incredible amazing brain God gave me pruning and messing with my nuro pathways to move me from grief to acceptance.

These last few weeks I've been able to really look back at my attachment style, sort through my history and see wow I don't think I have ever really dealt with "not putting away the hose".  I can see I have horrible guilt buried deep down I have not processed. Just so you know "not putting away that hose" sent some one to the hospital and plastic surgery was needed. I know I have been granted forgiveness for that act, but I never put in the work to process it. Just thinking about it brings so much emotion to the surface. I realize I need to process this, think about it rationally pick it a part and remind myself. I am forgiven and I have been forgiven for a very long time. Knowing that each time I go through that memory those feelings that the horribleness will start to dissipate and I can truly own that forgiveness that was granted. Just think; writing this blog helped me prune a few of those raw synapses that I need to process through.

Its never fun to dig down and examine ourselves in fact Karyn Purvis and David Cross both said this is hard work, It's not going to be fun, but it will make you a better parent, it will release things inside of you that is holding you back from a great relationship with your child and people around you.

Friday, March 8, 2013

No Water Color Tutorial for Units 26 and 27

Here is a cute painting I did of a Tanger. I still have trouble with legs... Sigh.. 

Irrational Fears

Last night at TBRI training we talked about implicit memory and how memory can be laid down early in life, as early as in the womb. Ok to remove the psychobabble: implicit memory, is memory you don't think about.  Remember when you were learning to ride a bike?  You thought about your balance, how to move your feet, how to keep the tires pointed in the right direction.  But now if you hop on a bike you just ride it. You are no longer actively thinking about all the parts and pieces of the act of riding a bike. Once you learn how to ride a bike you don't forget.   Implicit memory is that type of memory, memory you don't think about.

TBRI is encouraging us to look back and think about baggage/stuff we may have in our journey that can be hampering us or holding us back from a great attachment with our child(ren).  We as the big person need to face that stuff, realize it's there and move forward. It also helps us to look with compassion on our children when they are looking totally out of their minds.

I remember my first aha moment about implicit memory (tho I didn't call it that at the time).  When I was a child I hated to put my face in the water. I was in beginners swim lessons I believe 7 times! Go ahead feel sorry for my long suffering Mother :-)  In fact I remember the day my mom (made a very good decision) to just sign me up for advanced beginners. It was at the pool complex in E.A. I wasn't tall enough to look in the window without standing on my toes. Much to my shock and astonishment she LIED to the woman behind the counter. Well it was more of a lie of omission The lady assumed I had FINALLY passed  and Mom just let her believe it. I was a pest, I started to pull at my mom to tell her to correct the lady that I was still a failure and I had not passed. Mom shushed me with a twinkle in her eye. Can you picture my childish face with a big O of astonishment that my mom would trick them into letting me into advanced beginner classes. Still even more shocked, mom was deceiving the lady in the window!

As we walked back to the car I was adamant that I had not passed, My moms response was "Oh I don't like your teacher,  and you can do everything you need for advanced beginners it silly he's not passing you. It's time for you to move on."  I felt like mom believed in me, the teacher was right I had not passed one part of the test. I would not put my face in the water.

The teacher in advanced beginners was not so strict and only asked me to do it for a split second. I loved her, if I didn't put my face in for rhythmic breathing she wasn't so hard and encouraged me to do as much as I could. I also did not want to get left behind anymore so I'd screw up my face and try even tho  inside I just wanted to scream because it was so hard to do. I hated putting anything over my mouth. But water was the most scary thing on my face. I had no idea why water on my face was scary but it used to freak me out down to the core. Can we say irrational fear? I love playing at the pool but not if it involved putting my face in the water. I loved the back stroke the side stroke, the breast stroke etc. I even went on to become a life guard and everything. (Much to the astonishment of my long suffering mom.)

But I have a confession to make; every single time I'm swimming with my face in the water I'm counting 1. 2. 3. Breath! when I turn my head I get such relief Yeah Air!  Then I have to count again till I can breath again. I'm still deep down inside fighting that fear from rising and hating the water in my face. I'm in my late forties you would think I'd be over it by now. I'm not.

I had No idea for years why I have this deep irrational fear of my face being in the water. Till... one day were sitting around telling stories. Mom tells a story of me being 2 years old and falling in a pond. I wasn't in long and she pulled me out by my diaper. (Inside I was saying THAT IS IT! that is why I'm afraid.) Mom said I was fine and nothing bad happened.  I mentioned my aha moment and Mom dismissed it as You can't possibly remember that, you were to young. You young lady were just stubborn. (I'll grant you she was right I was stubborn oh boy was I stubborn!)

To this day I still hate water in my face. I won't put my face under the shower cause why feel so stressed that early in the day. I love swimming but I will get out of a pool if my face gets too splashed by the kids. When I swim I use life guard strokes. In life guarding you keep your head out of the water so you can keep eye contact with the victim. I rejoiced when I discovered the lifeguard strokes were like that. I did a happy dance inside.

So here I am, I have this irrational fear from an event that took less than 3 minutes (cause I'd be dead if it had taken longer) it was probably only a few moments that laid down this memory that is so nebulous it is only emotion water in face = fear, I do not have enough air. No I cannot recall it as a moment in time and relive it and re-experiences the sounds and sights but I do have an implicit memory.

So much of our adopted kiddos history and behavior is wrapped up in these types of irrational fears. I need to learn too not dismiss my daughters fear of tornadoes. She really thought we were going to get hit and die. We didn't and nothing bad happened. I need to recall dark clouds and high winds and the monthly siren test will give rise to this fear in her.  I just need to let her talk it out, express herself and hide my rolling eyes and desire for her to be over this already.  Rather I need to think back to how I still feel about my irrational fears and look with eyes of compassion. I can ask her to "Tell me about about it." and then shut up and listen with compassion, because ultimately that is all that is needed.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Better Mondays

So after re-evaluating our Mondays, I now have Sweet Potato do 3 things from Mondays school day on the Friday before. What she gets out of this, is she has a very short school day on Monday. She also is not required to be at the school table till 9:30 am. That equals an extra half an hour of sleep.

Yes we have had a few protests of it's not fair, but now after 3 weeks of Mom and Sweet Potato not melting down on Mondays, she is beginning to like it. I also have been rewarding finished school with an episode of Phineas and Ferb.

This Monday she woke up with the attitude of I'm going to have a bad school day. I think the TBRI  parenting classes are kicking in. One we all got more sleep. Two I was having more "compassion" not to be confused with pity/feeling sorry for my child. Three I did put on my Private Eye hat and really think about what is triggering her.  Lately when we get to math instead of handing her the work book. I put one problem at a time on the chalk board.  This totally helps her think I can do this its only one problem. Instead of being faced with 5-10 problems on a page that may overwhelm her.

And wallah we have better Mondays. She did get anxious a few times but I was able to calm it down.  Also she was done by 1:30pm had plenty of free time.

Mama didn't feel like doing primal screams in the back yard. :-)  I wonder how long this technique will work for but I'll take it, for as long as it works.