A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Our Week With Jack's Last Shoot

Well, hopefully not like last ever, but last for this season.  

Jack Jack's shoot pins from the last 4 years (no shooting in 2020).  

Generally, if Paul's home, he takes Jack to his trap meets.  But this time I got to go.  

It was fun to cheer on my man cub.  Unfortunately, he lost his glasses, so his score that day wasn't great, but he had fun.  

Like my slippers?  When they come up and sniff me, I'm reminded of the little pedicure fish that will nibble off your dead skin.  

The foster kittens went in for a weight check.  

Chubby Quito burrito is 1.8#.  She has doubled her weight since I first picked her up.  Oslo & Cairo are 1.4#.  They go back for another check in a couple weeks.  

Katie's project from the Africa book.

Hannah's project from the Africa book.  

Oslo, peeking out of the bookcase.  

This ball rattles, and we're seeing some epic soccer matches around here.  Quito has some impressive dribbling skills.  

Every educational situation has it's plusses and minuses.  Overall, the kids' private school is a really good fit for them.  But it's always bothered me that they don't have a library.  So I put together a proposal to start and run one.  The school liked it.  I've given myself a crash course in book processing, created a logo, scanned more than 400 books that our family is donating, and I've been processing amok lately.  The school room is a disaster.  

All that to say, look at my cute little pile of color coded readers!  I'll post this laminated sign in the reader section to guide students/teachers to the appropriate levels.  

When life hands you lemons... draw them!  

Book processing... what does that entail?  Well, the system I've come up with is:  scan, stamp, sticker, tape, barcode.  

Most modern books have a barcode on the back that I can scan with my iPad in the catalog app I'm using.  Sometimes with used books, that's not the case.  Either the book is too old, or the barcode has been compromised by a sticker or otherwise rendered unscanable.  These books get entered manually, but I wait until I have a pile of about a dozen or so before I enter a batch.  

Once the book is in the system, I stamp the inside.  

Then they go on my desk for me to create and print spine labels.  The label sheets print 49 stickers on a page, so it can be kind of a leaning tower at times.  I'm manually typing the spine labels with either call # and author, FIC and author, or BIO and person.  Once I have enough for a full sheet of stickers, I print and apply a sticker to the spine of each book.  

I'm reinforcing the paperback books with tape.  This means covering the spine and the long edge of the front and back covers.  The pile above is mid-way through the tape step.  I cut the excess tape while I'm watching mindless tv.  The hardcover books get a clear label protector at this step.  

The final step is adding our school barcode, both to the physical book and to the book's record in the catalog.  

I took the girls to the school carnival during Jack's last week of school.  They were so happy to see their friends again!  That's about the only picture I got, though, because... 

I spent the next couple of hours operating this thing.  I was the Cotton Candy Lady, and was quite popular and busy.  

As I'm clearing out books, I thought I should make sure I don't give away anything somebody wants to keep, so I sent a message to the adult kids group chat.  

*I* think I'm hilarious.  My family mostly rolls their eyes at me.  

This being the last week of school, there's the obligatory program.  That's Jack in the Hawaiian shirt, being recognized as part of the trap team.  

"I need to get a picture of that puzzle that the girls finished...  Oh Grumman."  

There it is.  Coral reef.  At the time I selected it, we were about to study Australia, so I thought it would be a fun tie in.  As it is, the girls have been watching a set of ocean DVDs, which kind of goes with it.  

Library books, with a photobomb from the Grum, who blends with the couch.  

"Hey Katie, can you go get me the cashews?" followed by an exact location where they are.  
"They're not there."  
Raised eyebrow, "I assure you, they are.  There's a baggie of box tops, the big bag of cashews, and a pile of masks."  
"Oh.  I thought you said cat shoes."  
... "Because that's a thing?  Have you seen Grumman wearing shoes?" 
"Um, no."  

Grumman, who is not wearing shoes, came out front with me while I watered the flowers.  He loves to roll on the concrete.  

School is officially out, but my body is still waking up at 6 something.  Looking forward to the lazier days of summer.  I'm enjoying learning everything I can about running a library.  I've even started a wishlist so I can keep track of the books and "stuff" as I see things and think, "Oooh, I'd like to have that in the library!"  

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Book Review & Giveaway: I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD

I'm glad my children are living in a time that's much more focused on inclusion than back when I was a kid.  Since my girls are "different," I'm sensitive to making the world more welcoming to those with special needs.  We received a new book to review, I'm Not Weird, I have SPD which does just that.   

This book was informative, and explained sensory processing disorder in a way my girls could understand.  Amazon lists it as intended for ages 5-7, but I think you could go a lot older than that.  There's a lot of text on the pages for a 5 year old.  Only 13 pages of the book are the story.  I feel like they could have spread the text out and doubled the number of story pages, and included a web site address for parents to access the information in the back of the book.  

My reviewer, Katie, is 10.  She thought it was interesting because she had never heard of SPD before.  I asked her if the character in the book reminded her of anyone, thinking maybe she's been exposed to someone with sensory processing issues at school, but she said no.  

I appreciated that the girl in the book learned to *use her words* through the help of occupational therapy.  We've absolutely had times where we needed to redirect screaming to using words.  

Through Understanding Comes Respect and Love 
This book was inspired by the author's daughter, Jaimie, who struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) every day. It was written to validate Jaimie's feelings and to show her other children feel things the way she does. This book can help children with SPD learn how to explain their disorder to others; help peers understand what children with SPD go through; and also help therapists, teachers and/or counselors learn how to talk about it. Helping others learn about children with special needs brings understanding to them and help to make them seem less... different. 

New 2nd edition includes suggested activities teachers or caregivers can do with children to help develop a deeper understanding of how SPD "feels" plus new pages on vestibular and proprioception systems. 

Praise for I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD: 
"This book is a must-read for any parent who has a child suffering with Sensory Processing Disorder. It also helps your child put words to what they are feeling on a daily basis. Teachers and other professionals working with children who have SPD also come to a better understanding of how to help these children." --Tanya Wilson 

"A heart-touching book, written in a straightforward, kid-friendly manner that provides an excellent insight to the trials, frustrations, and new discoveries children with SPD and their families may encounter. This book has assisted in creating an appreciation and acceptance of the unique qualities within all of us, and that we are not 'weird'-we are 'wonderful'!" --Lillian Baulkham, Grade 3 teacher, Sweet Grass School, Edmonton, Alberta 

"When I read Chynna Laird's I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD, I almost cried. Not because the story of a child struggling with severe sensory disorder is so sad, but because the frustration shared by child and family alike before diagnosis is so heart-wrenching. Ms. Laird leaves the reader with a moment of with a moment of joy and a real hope for a brighter tomorrow!" --C. Hall 

From the Growing With Love Series from Loving Healing Press 
Juvenile Fiction : Social Issues - Special Needs 
Education : Special Education - Communicative Disorders

Available to buy from...

Also available in audio!

Enjoy these excerpts...

About the author
CHYNNA LAIRD – is a psychology/criminology major, freelance writer and author. Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder, mental and emotional disorders and other special needs. You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain. In addition, she’s authored two children’s books, two memoirs (and another in the works), an adult Suspense/Thriller, a Young Adult Suspense/Paranormal series, two contemporary New Adult novels and a parent-to-parent book. Stayed tuned as Chynna has several Works-In-Progress on the go.

 You can also follow the author here...
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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Our Week With Big Truck Day

It's still a Big Deal when I take the girls somewhere these days.  So when I saw that the city had made this year's Big Truck Day a drive thru event, I thought, "Ah ha!  Somewhere I can take them to get out of the house!"  

When I told Paul where I was going, he said, "Aren't they a little old for that?"  And yes, from an age standpoint, they are.  But I had a plan.  

It was more of a rolling career counseling session for us.  "What does a bus driver need to know?  Did you know they're required to have a CPR card?  Why do you think that is?"  

"Why is the cement mixer always rolling?  What might happen if it wasn't?  What does the driver need to know how to do?  What happens if he doesn't wash out the tank after delivering his load?"  

And on it went.  Hannah liked the tree trimming truck, which surprises me, since she's not crazy about heights.  We noted which vehicles had stabilizers, similar to a fire truck, and why.  

The thermoplastic truck looked interesting, and we all learned something when I asked the guy in the cab, "What do you guys do?" and he responded, "We stripe the road."  

We talked about the 3 types of dump trucks.  

There were various diggers, some for big construction, and some for landscaping.  

All in all, it was a positive experience, and while I have no doubt that they were older than the car seat crowd in most of the vehicles, I still think it helped them make connections.  

Speaking of learning new things, I watched a YouTube tutorial to figure out my new labels, and my test run came out perfect.  

So I printed on real labels, and have started applying stickers to books.  

Josiah sent me a text from work.  "Mom, I had a package delivered, can you bring it in for me?"  That sucker weighed 81.9 pounds, and I broke a nail getting it into the house for him.  

I was impressed when he got it upstairs by himself.  I thought he'd need Sam or Jack to help him.  

Grumman, helping me tutor ESL.  

Hannah, retelling the Lord of the Rings to Quito.  

Who is a pretty girl.  

One night at dinner, Sam was telling a story involving Marines at Mardi Gras.  The girls asked what MG was, so I got them a couple library books about it, including one with projects.  I have no idea what these TP tube/tissue paper/dried bean things are supposed to be, but that's what they came up with.  

Hannah made a silver goblet from the Shakespeare project book.  

This week's library haul.  Which happens to include another project book.  [evil cackle] 

Me:  "I think I'll work on the library project."
Grumman:  "I think I'll help you with that.  And by help, I mean get in the way, and make sure there's cat hair stuck to any tape or contact paper you may attempt to place today."  
Me:  "Oh Grumman."