Friday, October 31, 2008
This morning I spilled my coffee all.over.the.floor. (Right after Anna spilled her milk all.over.the.floor.) That's when I knew what kind of a day it would be!
Will the Heldt kids be joining all the other little goblins and ghosts this evening for tricks and treats? Only time will tell! (And if you live in Denver and hear faint hacking and coughing when your doorbell rings, I'd advise wearing a mask to answer it. We are a germ factory over here!)
As for me, I think I'll be dressing up as a grouchy, disgruntled stay-at-home-mom. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Yosef and Biniam, we love you so much! God is growing you into such strong boys with big hearts and adventuresome spirits. I remember the day you came into our world and changed it forever with your big smiles and sweet, tender hearts. WE LOVE YOU!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
No picture of them, but our front-loading washer and dryer are great too! Things are coming along slowly but surely with our home. God is teaching me patience in a major way, and that is good! So many things are taking longer because I was sick, and now Anna, Kaitlyn and I are sick with some cold thing. Anna has it worst, poor thing!
Yosef and Biniam's room is painted, but much to my painting-husband's dismay...I don't like the color. Turns out "Basic Beige" is too light and too boring for my boys' room. I'd thought about doing some sort of blue, but their bedspreads are blue. Sigh. Anyway, I'm sure there will be many more pictures forthcoming!!!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Anyway, recently someone (who happens to be in a teacher credential program) asked me where my older three attend preschool. I politely said they don't go, that they're home with me. This person literally gasped, half-laughed and said, "They don't go to preschool?!"
During Yosef's evaluation, it seemed clear at two different points that one of the evaluators sees parents as somewhat incompetent to raise educated children. This made me wonder how many well-meaning experts have essentially disempowered already-intimidated parents, making them feel like they can't in any way contribute to their child's education. Hmmmmm.
I truly have NOTHING against public schools, or preschools. Most kids I know have gone to preschool and I think that's great! But this idea that kids NEED to be away from their parents earlier and earlier seems really wrong to me. I know all about the research touted by proponents of early education--but there is also research demonstrating that the early benefits of preschool are not necessarily sustainable over time. That's no reason NOT to go, but in my mind it's definitely reason enough to not HAVE to go.
Anyway, I read the following words by Ruth Beechick not too long after the above incidents occurred, and the first part had me laughing (okay, so I confess that I love sarcasm. Even if it's rude. What can I say? And in the interest of full disclosure, the above picture is of my kids playing a computer game! Ha!):
Curriculum for a 3-year-old? How about a loving home life that is
somewhat orderly in normal household routines? Add plenty of playtime
which is mostly free exploration...and only sometimes guided to new
activities. Add the outdoors...That sounds almost perfect to me. The
normal home life will include some books and reading...Language learning?
Family and friends are always teaching that.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Because the girl has ideas, and she's tough as nails. And I really, really love it.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I'm sorry if I've somehow left room for confusion. While HIV is CERTAINLY nothing to be ashamed of, out of respect for my children, I also don't want people out there believing something untrue about their health. I feel bad that my blog has already somehow contributed to this. I wasn't going to post about it (I don't want to give the impression that HIV is something I'm wanting to distance my family from, because I do NOT feel that way), but it's been happening a lot lately so I felt I needed to say something.
While I volunteer occasionally for AHOPE for Children, if you look back through my posts you will see that Yosef and Biniam came to us from Layla House, not AHOPE. I have written a fair amount on this blog about HIV and HIV+ adoption, but from the standpoint of an advocate, not an adoptive mother. HIV and AIDS are profoundly affecting our world and it's something we should all care more about. It's also something easy to ignore in our comfy middle- or upper-class American lives.
As for the incident this summer, when I was working at the Mile High Music Festival, Kevin brought the kids by the booth one evening. Someone working for a nonprofit in the booth next to us was sitting there. At one point Biniam had some of my bottled water. After Kevin and the kids left, this person spoke up and said, "I just wanted to let you know, your son drank out of your bottle. I don't know much about how you catch HIV but I wanted to let you know." Um....right. I quickly told him that, first of all, my kids DON'T have HIV, and then proceeded to educate him on how HIV is--and is not--spread.
I do know of some aMAZing families who have adopted HIV+ children. If you would like to talk to someone who has done this, email me and I can give them your contact information.
Okay, that is all. Now back to our regular programming! :)
Monday, October 20, 2008
Go Creston Elementary 6th graders! You're making a difference!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Over the past couple of months I've read some great books, mostly on parenting and education. You know, because I've got those four kids up there from the pictures. :) I just finished up Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. It was EXcellent. And really confirmed some things I already felt and thought, and gave some insight into things from my own childhood. It also suggested ways to stay connected to your kids and promote attachment that I had never really thought of, and that we hope to implement. (Like, starting each morning together just cuddling and talking, etc. That way you don't start off the day's parenting by telling your kids to do this and that and rushing around, while they may not even feel all that connected to you. We really feel like we could benefit from this on Sunday mornings before church, since we're always running around getting ready, and honestly I DON'T feel all that connected to my kids, which makes it harder to deal with them if they're wiggly during the service.) The book also talked about how important GREETINGS are--when your child wakes up, when you reunite after you've been apart for any reason, etc. Both of these things were under the category of "gathering your children". Good stuff.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I took Yosef to some screenings, through the (free!) Child Find program here in Denver, to have him evaluated for a learning disability. He has always been very bright, but has struggled with learning his colors. It's really strange, and I thought it would be a good idea to rule out some sort of issue. (Mostly because if he DID have some type of processing problem, I wanted to know how to best explain things to him etc.) First he had a hearing/vision evaluation (which of course went fine), and then he had two more screenings for speech/learning delays.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday morning we went to the zoo with the homeschool group we've joined. Too fun! Jennifer and her kids are in the group too, and when Anna's headband came off, Jaso decided to put it back on her. Here is Jaso in action, and the girls with the end result:
Thursday, October 09, 2008
And if you want a website to support this awesome program, click here!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Finding a church is really, really hard. So many variables, no place is perfect, not to mention there are two of us needing to agree on somewhere! Plus, the city of Denver doesn't really have that many churches for how large it is. Yet we feel like if we're living in Denver, we should be attending church in Denver (ie, not driving to the suburbs for church.)
ANYway, the church we THINK we might be settling on is really great in so many ways, but a new experience for me in others. I have never attended a church that has membership or is a denomination before. (This one is RCA.) I would say it's the least conservative/Baptist-y church I've attended. Lots of other differences too. But I'm loving having the kids in with us during worship time, the fact that they get a blessing during communion, and honestly, the liturgy stuff is awesome. I LOVE having these responsive reading-type thingies, following the church calendar, singing the doxology every single week--we've even incorporated that into our dinnertime prayer and our kids love it.
We have yet to attend the membership class or anything...I feel so noncommittal about becoming a member at a church...like I'm signing my name in blood or something! But we won't go to a church for years without becoming members, that's just silly. :) The people we've met there are really nice, and I've started going to the mom's group that meets every other week. (As in, I've gone once.)
The last church I attended, I was there for 10 years. Prior to that, I'd been at my church for 18 years. Starting over is hard. BUT, God is faithful, and He is God, no matter where we are!!!
Friday, October 03, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Currently reading a wonderful book called "Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers" (thanks to Lisa for the recommendation, and to the Denver Public Library System for being so totally awesome. Oh, how I love thee and thou limitless availability of free books.) It's written by two psychiatrists and is just plain fascinating. SO insightful, and is making SO MUCH sense to me. Talks a lot about attachment too, which of course being an adoptive mom (and somewhat of an attachment-parenting subscriber) I am very interested in.
Basically the book talks about how today there are all of these "experts" who we parents turn to for advice and in the end, behavior modification. But that ultimately, it is our RELATIONSHIP with our child that will matter most in terms of discipline and our ability to parent. And to maintain a healthy relationship, we need to make sure our kids are more parent-oriented than peer-oriented.
I grant that I was a Psychology major in college who had big dreams of becoming a family therapist :), so I probably tend to love books like this anyway. But I really think this book is an EXCELLENT resource for parents and I'm even finding it helpful in explaining some of how I acted growing up. For adoptive parents who have done their fair share of reading about attachment already, it delves into another side of the whole thing.
So if you're interested, go read it! And let me know what you think.
(Oh and I find that having four children, I DO find myself filling--although also probably needing!--the role of family therapist rather often. That, and policeman...can't say I ever wanted to go into law enforcement, though!)