Taking the Scenic Route

Thursday November 30, 2006

30th November 2006

Thursday November 30, 2006

I ordered a book from Amazon that I have never seen in real life and it greatly exceeded my expectations. (linked in ‘currently reading’)

It tells the biblical story in simple sentences and includes the whole story, including the indication that Jesus was a few years old by the time the wise men got there.  (although it does show three wise men, it does not actually indicate the number).  I have been struggling to find something that told the actual story but wasn’t really wordy.  This is it. This is really good.  If I had the money I would be buying it for all of my nieces and nephews and about any kids with Christian parents that I know.   

The book itself is also higher quality than is typical for kids books.  I noticed that he wrote an Easter version and will be releasing a “My first story of Jesus” soon too.  I think we will try and find a way to get those in the coming months.  I could not be more pleased with it.

eta:  one of the only negatives about the book is that the illustrations show a white holy family instead of a more brownish one, which is just wrong to me.  (they can be in-between and I don’t notice much, but light pinky peach is stretching it a bit IMO…at least give them a tan)  However, at least Mary is black haired instead of a blond.  Josesph & Jesus are both brown haired. 

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30th November 2006

Thursday November 30, 2006

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Not much on the ground yet, but there is a lot of wind and it is drifting the powder around making driving pretty dangerous.  The wind direction is making it look more bare outside our door than it actually is.  The college even cancelled classes, which almost never happens. 

I think we will make chili today.  Mmmmm.

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29th November 2006

Wednesday November 29, 2006

Busy working on Christmas gifts so I haven’t been posting much.  Quick update for now:

  • The semester is winding down.  Zach is on the last week of new material for some of his classes this week.  Next week is review, then finals.  It went fast this semester.
  • That also means that there aren’t very many preschool days left either.  Zane is going to miss it over the break.  (so are we)
  • Yesterday, when I was getting Zora’s jacket on her after Zane’s therapy, he asked to get his lollipop (they have them at the reception desk).  I was really happy that he asked verbally, but he wasn’t done yet.  When I said “wait just a bit while I get Zora’s jacket on”, he said ” ‘kay “  (as in “ok”).  I did a double take as I realized he actually replied.  Makes me happy! 
  • My cough is still there, but improving.
  • Zora can now crawl over the medium size totes that we use to block access to the hallway and bedrooms.  She crawls up on top, then wiggles her butt and her feet until she slides off the other side, hands outstretched, head first.  The girl has no fear.  She protested quite dramatically when we put the bigger totes in her way tonight.

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25th November 2006

Saturday November 25, 2006

We have done the bulk of our Christmas shopping for the kids.  (which is the bulk of the shopping).  Made the ‘leftover casserole’ today with the last of the Thanksgiving dinner.  (gravy, turkey, a bag of veggies and some cheese…pretty tasty) This evening we hope to put up the Christmas tree. 

My cough has gotten annoying enough that I spent the night on the couch last night.  The night before I had to leave the bedroom because I kept waking everybody up, so last night, we planned it, so I could have a blanket and some pillows and sleep sitting up.  (as long as I remaining vertical, the cough is only annoying)  So, I am not getting stellar sleep, but it was better last night than the night before.

I really like shopping online.  My folks said it was ok if we delivered everything out there so I don’t have to try and hide boxes coming in the door.  We refer to their front rooms as “Santa’s storage shed”.  lol.  Either we will head out there on Christmas Eve, or they will visit us, although considering the only way we could do it is if we didn’t have anybody else in the car except the driver (our trunk is pitiful), I am guessing they will come here barring illness.

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25th November 2006

Saturday November 25, 2006

‘Autism Is A World’


Nominated for an Academy Award, “Autism Is A World”

is a rare look at autism through the words of a young woman who lives with it.

Tune in Saturday and Sunday at 8 and 11 p.m. ET.


edited to add after watching it:  I have seen this before.  In fact, I think it is one of the shows that made me think people were crazy to think that Zane had autism because that is not what it looks like in our house.  I don’t know if it is because she is a lot more severe than Zane, or just because it is a lot different, with a different permutation of symptoms. 

I did find the way her para’s interacted with her to be a bit grating though…condescending.  It bugged me.

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23rd November 2006


Thanksgiving has been decidedly casual this year.  Originally, we planned to have the big family dinner at my SIL’s house in McPherson, like we did last year.  I guess SIL decided that the place was too small for both families, so at the last minute she decided to just have her parents and not my brother’s family.  Since mom is dealing with her mom in the hospital, she sounded a little overwhelmed on the phone when calling to let me know about the change of plans, and it is no big deal for us to host, that is what we did. 

So, last night, we run to the store for supplies.  I have never been to the store late the day before Thanksgiving.  It was a little insane.  We didn’t have time to thaw a turkey at that point, and only two extra people,  (plus, without warning, I didn’t have time to borrow mom’s big roasting pan) we decided to just get a turkey breast and two drumsticks.  We grabbed a bag of potatoes, some bread to make stuffing, some bacon for the beans, a can of sweet potatoes to dress up, and a pumpkin pie.

It was sort of weird to not plan it and have everything from absolute scratch (especially the pie…that was sort of hard to buy a pie for me) it felt really scaled down to me.  It was nice though.  I wanted them to have a nice, relaxing time since they were so highly stressed, and that is what happened.  We didn’t get hung up on making everything ‘just so’, just made it.  It was good. 

The notable ‘moments’

  • It didn’t start well this morning.  After I cubed the bread for the stuffing I put it out on three cookie sheets to toast it in the oven.  I got distracted and had a pan of charcoal.  yum.  We still had plenty though.
  • When we asked Zane this morning if he wanted to take a shower with Daddy, he said “no”.  When I asked if he wanted to take a shower so he could smell nice for Grandma and Grandpa, he jumped up and ran to the shower.  hee hee.
  • We discovered two rather mundane things we need to buy…a new salt shaker (now it is plugged up in addition to not having the plug on the bottom.  Only I would have a salt shaker that is duct taped on the bottom.  lol) and a turkey baster.  For about two seconds we debated whether to use one of the medicine syringes that we have for Zora, but decided that sucking the juice out 1/2 teaspoon at a time would probably not be the best use of resources.
  • Mom brought some flowers, which greatly pleased Zane.  While I was reaching in the cabinet for a mason jar to put them in, Zane grabbed the bunch and ran away with them.  I went after him and found him at the bathroom sink trying to give the flowers a drink. lol.  He helped direct where the stems should be cut and put them carefully in the vase.  He was quite proud of himself.
  • After setting the table, Zane grabbed his yogurt pretzels out of the pantry and carefully laid one at each place setting.  It was sweet because he really loves those and isn’t usually too willing to share them.
  • Zora was ready to go and reached an impossible length to grab her tray off the table.  We caught it in time, but were amazed at her reach.
  • We realized as we were ready to sit down we forgot to make the tea.  Bottled water all around.
  • Zane didn’t recite the prayer with us, but he did fold his hands, close his eyes, and bow his head.  It was very sweet.  He didn’t eat anything, but sat nicely at the table the whole meal. 
  • After the meal, both of the guys zonked out after dishes.  Grandma played with the kids, read to them, snuggled, and generally just had fun.  When I went to show her the clothes I had gotten the kids for our Christmas pictures, Zane enthusiastically got the sweater and pulled it on to show her, with no prompting from me.  It was cute to see him so carefully smoothing the sweater and arranging the shirt under it.  He also let me take it back off of him with no fuss.
  • After a while, Zora did give a display of her dramatic tendacies.  She is so very intense at times…going from absolute joy, to utter despair, back to giggling in a blink of an eye.
  • We never did eat that store-bought pumpkin pie.  We were too full.  I might have some for supper tonight if I do ever get hungry.

It was just a nice, quiet, fun time.  I think it was the first time that Zane didn’t get overwhelmed and didn’t escape to his room until after they left.  He is now having some ‘down time’ and relaxing.

We were able to share some of the updates of some possible job opportunities with them, and although I know they will be sad if we leave, they made it clear that they support us, even if it means moving.  Mom even managed to do it without crying.  (although if it does happen, I know she will be sad).  I just know that this is the time in our lives that we are the most free to move if we feel like it would be best.  Right now, my parents don’t really have the choice because my mom’s mom needs help and they are far too deep rooted in the community and it would be very difficult to leave that.  Also, Zane doesn’t have a network of friends, and his school is private and he would have to go to a different, public school after this year anyway.  (maybe the fall semester next year, but the spring one he would be too old).  At any rate, we are here through the end of May, when his teaching contract runs out and he graduates.  There are several exciting possibilities, but we won’t know what is realistic and what is not for a while yet. 

The meal

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The playing

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The guys…proving you don’t need football to fall asleep after a big turkey dinner.

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(the lamb nestled in dad’s arms still has me giggling)

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23rd November 2006

Thursday November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving evening, in 1989, Zach and I had our first date.  We saw Harlem Nights and ate at Jimmy’s Diner.  I didn’t realize at the time, but it was also the first time Zach ever drove at night. (eeeek!) The night that changed our lives.

Happy Anniversary to the person I am most thankful for.

x1990 Engagement Pictures

 17 years.  Where did the time go?  wow.


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23rd November 2006

Thursday November 23, 2006

I will never tire of the miracle.

That magic moment, when sleep blankets the busyness of the day.

I feel the squirming, energetic body growing peaceful.

The breathing quieting into a deep rhythm.

My arms growing warm with her weight.

Snuggled.  Soothed.  Serene.

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22nd November 2006

Wednesday November 22, 2006

see Zora’s options…

this thing…

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this crate of balls and various odds and ends…

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lego table with stuff to knock down and take off…

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a few of the books…

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but what does she want to play with?


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home of sharp pointy objects and buttons. 

double pointed needles, tapestry needles, needle & thread for quick fixes, fingernail clippers, tweezers, pens, pencils, scissors, remotes, themometer, lip balm, mouse, keyboard (off to right, under monitor), phone/answer machine, jump drives, tower

…all the stuff I am trying to keep out of reach.


To add insult to injury, the only way she can access them at all is if she is on the loveseat.  So, she comes up to me with those lovey-dovey eyes to get me to pull her onto my lap.  She lets me snuggle with her for a second, then dives towards the ‘no’ objects.  I feel so used.  lol.


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22nd November 2006

Wednesday November 22, 2006

_coffeeWhy is she cute and sweet during the day (well, most of the time at least…ok…when we are out of the house she is mostly happy.  inside, not so much)  and a crying, screaming, refusing-to-sleep, back arching, body flinging mess at night.  I have seen 5 am several times this week.  There are a couple of days I got 3 hours of sleep, and only that much because Zach got Zane up and ready for school and let me ’sleep in’ until he had to go to class.  This is insane. Why can she not sleep?!?  _banghead

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