Thursday, August 28, 2014

There Goes Summer!

Once again everyone in North Dakota is lamenting the near-end to another busy summer that is quickly fading away along with the hot summer sun. A couple of days ago we had an unusually cool late August day and I actually had to put a sweatshirt on Faith before going outdoors. I was reminded this would soon be the norm everyday and it wouldn't be long before we are digging around in the closet to find hats and mittens.

Where DID summer go? This seems to be the question everyone asks each year as if there might be just one summer that lasts forever. I think most North Dakotans would relish at least one year-round summer considering winter weather lasts over half the year. But alas, it's never going to happen so we can either move to Arizona or grin and bear our near-approaching cold weather.

Spending time with family - me, my sisters and dad at Perkins
For us, we had a summer of transition as I quit working my full-time job at the health insurance company. Both my husband and I are now full time writers. These last three months have consisted of lots of prayer, trust and being completely dependent on God to meet all of our needs. And of course, as always, He has come through.

Besides focusing on our business, we have had some great visits with friends and family. While I didn't make it to Watford City for their Centennial Celebration, I did get to see my sister who came up from Lincoln to join in on the festivities. We even had a visit from Rob's cousin and her husband who flew here from Vancouver on their way back home to Waterloo, Ontario. It was the first time they had ever been to North Dakota. Someone else Faith had lots of fun seeing was our friend from Kansas who used to do respite care for us.

Faith and Kimberly
Faith and I have made a point to go to the library at least once a week. Her favorite books to check out are Arthur and Franklin and of course we have to get a few DVDs too. I've enjoyed having a much more flexible schedule and it's been fun to spend more time with her. We even have fun going to our weekly chiropractic appointments together!

Between me and Michelle, Faith also enjoyed going to several parks in town where various churches held special events. We discovered that face-painting is a pretty popular attraction and she never failed to get something colored on her face. Another very special time she had was going to a tea party for our friend JoAnn's birthday.
Faith getting her arm painted at the park
Faith having fun with friends and a kitty cat at a tea party
All in all it was a good summer and as the leaves get ready to change color, we too anticipate some changes taking place this fall. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five of Faith's All Time Favorite Books

We've been reading books to Faith ever since she was a baby.When she was little, she had to wear an eye patch for 30 minutes a day in the hopes it would help strengthen her eye muscles so they would no longer turn inward. Reading a book to her while she was wearing the patch was a great way to keep her distracted from having to wear it. Even after she no longer had to wear the patch, she continued to love being read to.
Reading to Faith when she was little
As Faith got older, we had hopes she would learn to read on her own. She is ten and that still hasn't happened. We continue to pray and try to find ways to help her be able to read. Her music therapist is trying to do all she can to help us with this endeavor. We know her vision is fine but we think her eye muscles might not be working properly to enable her to focus on seeing a word long enough to read it.

Instead of reading, she spends a lot of time memorizing. For this reason, she likes shorter books and even though I've tried to read chapter books to her, she quickly loses interest. She even memorizes the name of the author and the illustrator which is handy when we go to the library to look for books!

Daddy reading one of Faith's favorite books to her
Through the years, she has especially liked these five books:

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish - Even though there is a younger and more modern Amelia Bedelia, Faith still likes the old-fashioned funny housekeeper who works for Mr. and Mrs. Rogers and has a habit of taking things way too literally. There are a lot of times I roll my eyes at Amelia Bedelia's silly antics but I must admit, she is pretty hilarious.

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone - I was amazed to see that this Sesame Street book featuring Grover was first published in 1973. That means the story is older than me! One of Faith's former respite care workers loved this book as a child and I'm glad she recommended it to us. Ever since Kimberly came for a visit last month, Faith has been wanting to read this book again almost every night.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen - This modern classic is not only a book but a video as well. There are a ton of videos on YouTube where kids do their own rendition of this popular book. (Check out one of our favorites below). I must admit when I first read it to Faith I wasn't overly impressed but she absolutely loved it. It started to grow on me though and for as many times as we've read it, I'm still not tired of it.

Curious George's First Day of School by H.A. Rey - Curious George is a cute little monkey "who's also very curious." Faith loves the most of the Curious George books but the one where he goes to school to be a helper is one of her favorites. She also likes to watch Curious George on DVD and Netflix. It's also on PBS at 7:00 a.m. but that's a little too early for us!

Franklin Makes a Deal by Paulette Bourgeois - Franklin is a cute little turtle who has lots of animal friends. There are lots of Franklin books but this one is Faith's favorite. I think it's because we're always saying to her, "OK Faith, here's the deal..." She also likes to watch Franklin on DVD.

I'm curious to know what some of your child's favorite books are. Also if your child has special needs, what are some things you are doing to help them learn to read?