Here we go!!!!

by Dani

First day of homeschool year 2014-15, Aug 11th, 2014.

My 4th and 3rd graders...

My 1st grader.


Week one went pretty well. We easing into things since we still have a lot going on (therapy, doctor visits, etc) and have yet to have a day go as planned. But over all, my plans seem to be working well. So far, so good. :)

From The Archives: A Reflection on Loss: Part One

by Dani

This post was originally published Aug 3rd, 2011 about a week after the death of my grandmother. It is reposted today on the third anniversary of her death.


I’ve had occasion to think about loss a lot over the last week.

I lost my grandmother a week ago. My children lost their great-grandmother, their beloved Grandma K.

So I’ve found myself thinking and talking a lot about family over the last week, about genealogy. And I find that I am in a rather interesting position.

On one hand, half of my genealogy, my ancestry, is almost completely unknown. The few things I think I know are not even proven. I can relate, even sympathize, with adoptees who feel the sting of closed birth records and birth certificates that tell lies. Part of my history is covered and changed or simply left blank.

My knowledge of another fourth of my genealogy and ancestry is severely limited. I know a few names and I know they are fact, but I don’t know stories or a real history. There is no relationship because that part of my family is mostly cut off from me due to the hurt and pain of others.

Three fourths of my story is so similar to the situation my children are in, to the information they have or more accurately do not have. I pray that this will help me in understanding their pain and loss as they grow.

But then there is the other fourth of my genealogy and ancestry, the part that passes through my grandmother. That part I know so very much about. There are numerous (and huge) books that can tell me all kinds of things about my ancestors. I can trace my roots back through 7, 8, 9, even 10 generations to the men and women who sailed across the ocean from Switzerland and Germany to escape religious persecution. I can claim to be a descendant from names like Treyer/Troyer, Hochstetler, Schmucker, and Klopenstine. I know names and details. My great-great grandmother died in childbirth at the age of 38 leaving 8 children. One great-great-great grandfather was an Amish bishop who’s writings were actually published. A historical fiction book was written based on the events in the life of one of these ancestors. And standing at the head of my grandmother’s grave I can see the graves of 2 great-grandparents, 3 great-great-grandparents, and 2 great-great-great-grandparents.

That’s crazy deep roots, ya’ll.

And when I think about those crazy deep roots, my heart hurts for all my children have lost.

June In Review

by Dani

Wow, summer is flying by so quickly! We've been so busy and I've not even had the chance to blog about it!

After Memorial Day at Grandma's and the end of school (YAY!), we took one week off and just chilled around the house. But that didn't last long!

The second week of June was VBS #1 time. The boys went to one VBS where they had a blast and the older 2 girls when to another VBS. As a side note, the locations of these events were on opposite ends of town and, yes, started at the same time! That was a bit crazy, but we made it every morning! Anyway, the girls VBS wasn't really a VBS, it was more a musical intensive workshop. From 9 to 2 each day, they learned the songs, words, motions, and dances to a short musical. At the end of the week there was a 45 minute production for families to see what the kids had learned and done. Butterfly had a solo and was in a dance. Ladybug was also in a dance. Then Butterfly also played a sailor in the story of Jonah while Ladybug was one of the people mocking Noah. They both did a great job and, mostly, enjoyed it.

Here are a few pictures from the performance.

That week was also birthday week with both Butterfly and Cricket having birthdays. We had their big, joint, water birthday party that Saturday. So while all the kids were gone at VBS, I was busy making cakes. This year Cricket wanted Batman, and Butterfly wanted Ethiopian Girl. I had a lot of fun with these cakes once I figured out how I wanted to do Ethiopian Girl. I'm better at copying cakes then designing them all on my own, but since Butterfly was happy I guess I pulled it off!

After another week off to just chill, we had VBS round 2. This time at least all 4 older kids went to the same church. Having them all gone during this time was helpful because Dragonfly had some Doctor appointments and evals by OT and PT as well as visits from her Early Interventionist. We had some very positive news including that Dragonfly is now all caught up on her vaccinations (YAY!!), and she will be getting OT and PT twice a week. I plan to wrote more on her therapies in a later post.

We ended the month of June by spending a week with Mimmi on the farm. It wasn't our normal week visiting since Mimmi is having back issues and unable to run all over the place like we usually do. Still, the kids love spending time with Mimmi, and we were able to do a trip to Chuck E Cheese. Alas I didn't get any pictures!