Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Twas The Week Before Christmas Break

'Twas The Week Before Christmas Break
Donna M Cooper

‘Twas the week before Christmas break
And throughout all the schools
The children were naughty
And breaking the rules

The students who once were
Well behaved, never pouting
Have become like wild animals
Running, jumping, climbing, shouting

"They begin in the morning”
The teachers declare
And continue all day
"I’m pulling out my hair”

"They must be loaded
With sugar and treats,
With Candy Canes, and Chocolate Santas
And Even Snowman Peeps”

The once loving children
Who gave kisses and hugs
Are spoiled and evil
And looking like thugs

The teachers are crying
They don’t know what to do
"Would we be in trouble?
If we got cages like a zoo?”

Then one bright young woman
A teacher extraordinaire
Decided she could figure out
What to do, because she cared

She put on Christmas music
And laughed with them all
They played games, ate candy
And pranced through the halls

She knew she must join them
Or go out of her mind
So she put on her smile
And was loving and kind

Then the last day of school came
The children went home
She thought to herself
When she was alone

"I’ve made it to the break
For two weeks I’m free
Now the Moms and the Dads
Are all climbing the tree!"

But even with all
The chaos in my class
I love all my children
And they’re really a blast

I miss them already
I’m lonely and blue
I can’t wait ‘til January
And that’s really true

But for now I’ll dream
Of the little angels I love
And hope they are blessed
By God up above

Friday, May 8, 2009


What a blast!

Jonathan's school had Field Day yesterday. Parent's were invited, so how could I miss watching my little guy in action? It was very organized with tons of fun games and festivities, including water balloon tosses, relay races and tug-a-war.

Jonathan participated in everything, happily and willingly. He was part of the team in every way. He listened intently to directions, and joyfully cheered his team on.

One of the best things I witnessed was a game that they needed to pair up with a friend. Several students tried to be Jonathan's partner! He was not left standing in the middle of the field without a friend. I can remember my childhood The time when once I was the last person picked for a team. Not fun! But Jonathan is loved and accepted and wanted.

Does a Mama's heart good to see with her very own eyes!

I am...


Monday, May 4, 2009

Gentleman Training 101

I've been working on Gentleman Training 101 with Jonathan.
Teaching him to open doors and wait, and what to say after he is thanked.

It is working!

Mike was sick yesterday, so he did not go to church. Only Jonathan and I went. Jonathan held the door open for me as we were coming into our church, I thanked him, to which he replied, "My pleasure," With a sweet voice.

I had no idea there was a group of 10 or so ladies standing in earshot. There was a simultaneous "awwwww" and then they clamored to adopt him, with offers of candy.

When we got on the elevator Jonathan said, "Man, this gentleman stuff has great benefits!"

That's my boy!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Letting Go...

As a Mom, I find that I'm often having to let go.
If I got a report card for Mommying, I'd probably flunk this subject. Letting go is not always easy. As a matter for fact, sometimes
letting go is extremely difficult, even when it is about seemingly little things.

I have dark hair...well, God is in process of highlighting my dark hair, but before He was doing that it was a deep dark brown, almost black. I always admired blond hair, and although I'd never change the color of my hair, I guess I'm a bit jealous of those who have beautiful blond tresses.

To my surprise and delight, my son was blessed with blond hair. He was bald for a long time, but when he finally grew hair it was BLOND! I found that cute little bowl/surfer cut fit him so well. I loved touching it. I loved looking at it. I loved it. Just a melt-your-heart-cute-kid look.

This was then...

Deep sigh.

As Jonathan gets older...the blond hair is changing to more like blondish brown.
He's also outgrown the little boy look of the bowl/surfer cut.
Sniff Sniff.

Yesterday, Mama gave up the cute look. He's now got a more grown up, tousled look. Very appropriate for a 9 year old...

This is now...How did I get so attached to a hair style? And why are my eyes leaking as I write this?
Because inevitably this is visual reminder that my son is not so little anymore.

We seek, teach, pray, hope, desire maturity in our kids. We really don't want them to stay 3 years old forever. But then there are times we mourn the fact that they are growing up.

So yesterday was one of those big days for Mama. I conceded.
Big boy look.

However it doesn't matter
how old he is or
how tall he grows or
what size he wears or
what grade he's in or
even the grown up new hair style...
I will comfort myself with these words...

He'll ALWAYS be my baby!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Victory in the Lunchroom!

There have been some issues brewing at Jonathan's school. It came to a place that it needed some Mommy intervention. I prepared visual supports and updated a stagnant token system to help my son become motivated to participate and cooperate. I went to the school yesterday morning to share the new plan with the teacher. I ended up staying until noon, helping Jonathan to get back on track with our expectations.

The new supports helped Jonathan to change some of his behaviors and attitudes, and the morning went amazingly well. I was so proud of him!

One challenge he has had all year has been the lunchroom. He gets easily overwhelmed with the noise level and smells, and he would often have strange and unusual behaviors! The Resource Teacher decided to let Jonathan pick 2 friends each day to have lunch with, and eat at a smaller table. Since that decision was implemented, things have been peachy! (All I knew was that there were no longer bad reports about the cafeteria, but did not know the new strategy.)
As the children were lining up for lunch, the teacher reminded Jonathan to pick 2 friends. ALL, not a few or some, but ALL the children raised their hands and exuberantly asked Jonathan to pick them to sit with.

"Pick me!!! Pick me!!!!" they all begged. Jonathan picked 2 boys for Monday, 2 different boys for Tuesday and then said, "I guess I need to give some girls a chance Wednesday." HA!!

It was so comforting to me to see that all the children clamoring to spend time with my son! And I think it helps Jonathan's self esteem to know that all the children want to be his friend.

While we were at lunch, Jonathan interacted appropriately. Laughed, listened, asked questions of his friends and stayed on topic, even when it was a subject he wasn't so interested in. I was impressed at his ability to interact and converse in a much more sophisticated way than I've observed in the past.

It was a very good day!



Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Touch of the Master's Hand

Many years ago I read this poem, and memorized it. I felt the words speak to my soul. The masses may judge on the outward appearance, but God sees with different eyes and hears with different ears, and HE knows the intrinsic worth and value. It's been years since I thought of this poem, and once again it has touched me, on a different level. How appropriate to relate this to our children with special needs. Many might view the child as less than desirable...but oh the amazing change that can be wrought by the Touch of the Master's Hand!
The Touch of the Master's Hand

It was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
Hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three",

But, No,
From the room far back a grey haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,
All battered with bourbon and gin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Master's Hand.

by Myra Brooks Welch

So grateful for His Touch and


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Autism...A Diagnosis of HOPE!

A few years ago, I was asked to teach a class for parents of newly diagnosed children. These families felt frustrated and had little hope for their children. I had an idea to make a PowerPoint presentation filled with pictures of my son, to document his progress. As he was growing up, we worked very hard to have beautiful pictures of him. Often (Always) we would take 30 - 50 pictures to get one we loved. The others were in files on our computer. Who wants to look at not-really-so-wonderful pictures that slap you in the face screaming there is something wrong with your child?

So in order to make the PowerPoint, I had to go through those files. What a shock! It became so obvious how far my son had come. You could see when LIFE was breathed back into my son. We are so grateful to Early Intervention for being there to help Jonathan. We are even more grateful to the dedicated teachers and therapists who have done more than required to help our kids. And we are ultimately grateful to the Lord for His touch on our precious son's life.

Today I finally figured out how to add music to my two year old PowerPoint Presentation (A miracle in itself!) and also learned how to convert the Powerpoint to a movie I could upload!

(First click the arrow to start the video. Then if you click the rectangle on the bar at the bottom of the video, you'll be able to see it full screen. Makes it way easier to see the pictures!)