28th December 2010

Thank you

The whirl of holidays and birthdays are complete, the only thing left to do is catch up on the blog and clean up the messes. Thanks to friends and relatives, this was a wonderful holiday season for us. I was so distressed going into it with no money, but people came through for us in a big way, and my kids are happily playing with their new toys.

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25th December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Santa came!

Club Penguin membership that he has been asking for since summer

And the “WOW” gift, my parents got each of the kids a DSi, Zora’s was the regular size one, blinged out by my mom, Zane’s was the XL one, which means that motor issues are lessened with games that require writing/manipulating with the pen/stick.  Zane’s old DS died and we had been unable to replace it, and it was Zane’s constant companion.  The kids were THRILLED!

Zora and Oma had a tea party

A huge thank you to friends and family this season.  After nearly a year of unemployment, and the kids having to go without, we were very worried about how we were going to be able to afford Christmas.  We were blessed with friends and family that really went the extra mile, sending presents, sending giftcards, and especially my parents, who spent more than usual getting the DSi for each kid.  We were very blessed.  It was a happy season because of others who cared about our family.  We were humbled by the generosity.

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24th December 2010

Twas the night before Christmas…

I tried to convince the kids that Santa would like Birthday Cake just as much as cookies, but it was a no-go

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19th December 2010

Christmas & Birthday at the Farm

Although we will have my parents over on Christmas day, this is the official family celebration, including Grandma and Steve & Nora.  Since Steve & Nora won’t be there on Christmas they brought along the kid’s gifts.  They really made a huge impact with their gifts this year, and we are very thankful because we didn’t have the ability to do it ourselves.

How to drive a (almost) 5 year old crazy.  Tell her that the big box is hers, but don’t let her open it *right now*

First glance under the big box (after pulling off all of the wrapping paper and then realizing that she just had to lift it up…we are so mean)

Zane was also very pleased with his gift.  It was a building toy that Nora loved as a kid.  She helped set it up and they played with it together for a while.

Grandma and Zora talking about her jacket (the pattern)

The other thing he got was the connect four game he has been asking for the last few months.  He was quite happy.

After building with Zane, Nora (and Steve) went outside to help Zora learn to ride the bike.

Great day, great food, wonderful family.

posted in At the Farm, Autistic Life, Birthday, Christmas, Extended Family | Comments Off

18th December 2010

Christmas Dinner Preparation Time

Zach had to run back to the store to rescue the entire Schrag family from fudge made with Sweetened Condensed Milk instead of Evaporated milk at the Christmas dinner tomorrow. (my teeth hurt just thinking about it)

cherry pie filling done. fudge done. still have toffee and the pie crust (and then bake the pie). I have the energy now, but I am thinking church might feel a little too early tomorrow morning. lol.

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11th December 2010


Zora’s theory:  If you make it out of food, it is meant to be EATEN.  Yum.

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9th December 2010

Preschool Gingerbread House Party

The last time I will have an architect at the preschool Gingerbread House party.  As usual, Jennifer (the lead Clinical Educator for the preschool), went all out making each of the gingerbread houses.  They all include a light inside.  She bakes and assembles all of the houses herself.  That is commitment.

Designing the decorations is very serious business.

She included a hose on the back of the house.   :thumbsup:

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7th December 2010

Christmas Pageant Awesome-ness

The kid’s Christmas Pageant was great. Zane was “Wise Person #2″ and had lines, Zora was “Angel Chorus” and just stood there looking cute in her crooked halo.

The pageant was called “Backwards Christmas Pageant” and was a “play within a play” type thing.  The plot:  a group of kids are putting on a Christmas pageant and one of the Wise People has to leave early for a soccer game.  Since his part isn’t until the third act, they do the play backwards, so the Wise People go first, then the shepherds & angels, then the whole Elizabeth/Mary get pregnant & angels.  They all gather at the manger in the Epilogue.

Our first victory was to get Zane to stop saying “And then I say…” before each line.  Then we had to get him to understand that it was not the time to replace words for comic effect.  He got a kick out of the script and got the giggles, even when we were just running lines, especially the part where the Wise People show the gifts they are taking:

WP#1:  Gold

WP#2(Zane): Frankincense

WP#3:  Myrrh (but holds up a soccer ball instead, then corrects it with the right prop).

He thought that was so funny.  Apparently he still thought it was funny during rehearsals and would still be giggling 10 minutes after the exchange.

He was also greatly amused at the lines about a “Herd of Sheep”, where his next line was “Of course we’ve heard of sheep”, followed by a herd/flock exchange.

He actually had all of his lines memorized, but carried the script on stage with him (a  lot of the kids weren’t off scripts, so it wasn’t a big deal to carry it on stage).  He did a decent job of following the blocking, and didn’t stim as much as I thought he might.  (he did rock back and forth, but he was grinning ear to ear and obviously paying attention, just made him a blur for photos most of the time.)  The best part was that he so obviously was having a ball, grinning happily and very “in the moment” through it.

Zora did a good job too, but she was upset that she had no lines and that it was “boring” having to wait backstage.  She looked so adorable in her costume and did a good job of following the blocking.  You could hear her singing (they had mics set up backstage so that all the kids could contribute to singing the songs), so I know she was doing a good job of paying attention and participating.

Some pictures from dress rehearsal

Waiting backstage (unseen from audience)

The production:

We didn’t get a picture of the ending, but we wish we would have gotten video.  Instead of being nearer to the edge of the stage, like he was in rehearsal, he ended up next to the manger.  As they sang the last medley/finale, he opened up his box of Frankincense and”grabbed” stuff out of the (empty) box and, to the beat, “threw” it into Jesus’ manger.  As the song finished up, he upturned the box and shook it out, as if to make sure all of the contents were given to baby Jesus.  :laughn2:  It was hysterical.  (and a big deal to us, when we weren’t sure if he would ever do “pretend play”, to see him pantomime this with total spontaneity and showing a sense of humor)

I do have to give props to all the kids in the church.   I am so impressed by them and how generously they help my kids.  They treat them respectfully and are just very sweet.  There isn’t a bad attitude in the bunch.  The older kids all help the younger ones and make ventures such as these enjoyable.  I also appreciate the adults who do such a great job of including Zane and giving him the best chance of success.

posted in Autistic Life, Christmas, Giggle, On Stage, The Kids, Zane, Zora | Comments Off

7th December 2010


Getting a hug from Oma after rehearsal.

posted in Christmas, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), Zora | Comments Off

7th December 2010

Christmas Pictures

After the last dress rehearsal for the Christmas Pageant and before church I decided to attempt a picture of the kids in their Christmas outfits.  It was marginally successful.

posted in Autistic Life, Christmas, Giggle, The Kids | Comments Off

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