Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Ball

Our homeschool group's Spring Ball was the weekend after Brittany's birthday, so her visiting friends were able to attend the Ball with her. They were excited about this because, before moving, they were members of this same homeschool group. Attending the Ball, and all of the pre- and post-Ball activities, gave them the opportunity to hang out with a lot of old friends.

Brittany's TEN day Sweet SIXTEEN Celebration!

On March 15th, 2009, our first-born turned SIXTEEN years old!

How can that be??

I find parenting quite strange and somewhat scary when I, as the parent, vividly remember being the age of my children (it was only yesterday, afterall). I'm delighted that Brittany is so much different than I was at sixteen. NOT that I was a horrible sixteen year old, but I certainly wasn't as quiet and gentle spirited as she is (nor am I today...ugh...the quiet and gentle thing just isn't in my genetic code).

Some other things I love about my sweet, sixteen year old daughter:

She is selfless,






always truthful,



easy to please,



a great big sister,

a parent's delight :o)!

I so badly wanted to do something special for Brittany on her 16th bday, and I thought and thought about what would thrill her the most. Unfortunately, Joe Jonas had other plans on Brittany's bday, so I came up with something I thought she might enjoy almost as much -- a visit from her best friends who moved to New Jersey last May...a TEN day visit!! She was SO very, very excited to find out that they'd share her special day/week with her! Another best friend who lives here was able to stay almost the entire ten days at our house, too. It blessed my heart to hear them giggling late into the night, making memories that they won't soon forget.
The Jonas Brothers did show up after all!

Happy Sweet Sixteen, Miss Brittany!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just Another Day at the Goodrich House?!?!?

Yesterday afternoon, I was out with Brittany and her friends when I got a call from Brant.

His words were, "Mom, the weirdest thing just happened. I am upstairs reading, and I just heard a big crash. I looked out the window, and there is a blue car stuck in our garage."

My response, "What do you mean there is a car 'stuck in our garage'?"

He proceeded to describe to me the following scene....

Brant said he hadn't seen anyone exit the car, and he voiced concern that someone might be hurt inside. He was home alone, so I really didn't want him going out to check (by the way...the last time I left him home alone, he and his friend locked themselves out of the house...do you see why I'm not fond of leaving my kids home alone????). I was about 25 minutes away, so I called two friends who live nearby, and they both agreed to come over to assess the situation. However, someone must have called 9-1-1, so the fire department and first responders showed up at our door first. Poor Brant! He handled it very maturely, and it wasn't long before my first friend showed up.

I, of course, was speeding home, getting updates from Brant and my friend along the way. The first update was that "someone was hurt and they couldn't find him/her". Oh great. Thankfully, they soon figured out that this was not the case. Instead, a car parked on the road a few houses up the street must not have been in gear, and it rolled downhill...right into our garage! For those of you who've been here and know the layout of our house/garage, it is actually a blessing that this car hit our garage instead of continuing to roll down the ever-steeper hill, gaining speed and causing much more damage to whatever finally stopped its descent.

Here are some more pictures of the scene...

Hmmmm...."roll for damage"...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hoping to Win a Book and Hoping You'll Get One, Too!

Since going through the paperchase to bring Brock home, I've followed the blog, "Owlhaven", where I've been inspired, challenged, and received a lot of ideas/advice about raising and homeschooling children.

The author of Owlhaven has TEN kids - from three different countries - and she has homeschooled them all! A true hero in my book! You can imagine how excited I am to find out that the author of this inspirational blog has authored a new book titled, A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family.

Because I WANT and NEED a copy of her book :o) and because I think you do, too :o), I've linked to her blog (click on Owlhaven or her book title) where she's outlined "rules" for a Book Giveaway. Check it out!

**Please see the "I hear you!" post below if you haven't already...exciting times at our house!**

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"I hear you!"

This afternoon, Brock FINALLY got his Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) on a softband!!! I will spare you from all of the frustrating details of why we are just now getting the BAHA (grrrrrr......I never dreamed that working with medical professionals and insurance companies could be sooooo impossible).

This is what a "softband" looks like:

You'll note that Brock's BAHA came with a "sky blue"softband. I can't imagine me ordering that, but that is what we have. I'm looking into getting him a different color.

Here is a picture of the different colors that the sound processor comes in. Brock has a black processor, to "match" his dark hair.

The sound processor snaps into the softband, and the softband is then placed on the head like a headband, with the processor resting against the head. The sound processor changes sound waves into vibrations which are transmitted through the skull to the inner ear.

It has been so much fun seeing Brock's reaction as a whole new world opens up to him. In the doctor's office, he looked a little overwhelmed with all the new input and strange noises. But once we were out in the car, he kept saying, "I hear you!" with a big smile over every new sound. It is amazing to find out which everyday, ordinary things he had never heard before.

Some of the things he heard for the first time:

- music in the lobby of the doctor's office

- me moving the sun visor in the car

- me popping bubbles with my gum (which I do all the time)

- the noise of the car while driving along

- the noise of other cars/motorcycles passing us

- the sound of the beads/stuffing of a stuffed animal when you play with it

- clapping (I can't believe this one, but he was clapping in the car, smiling and saying "I hear it!")

- my cell phone ringing in my purse

- leaves rustling across the grass

- the different sounds made by knocking on different materials (believe me, he experimented all the way home from the doctor)

- us calling him softly when his back is turned to us

I'm sure there were more, but that is what I can remember off the top of my head.

When we got home, Max and I were talking in the kitchen, and the first thing Brock did was to walk out of the kitchen and into our entryway on the other side of the kitchen wall. There he yelled, "I hear you! I hear Mommy and Daddy talking!" It was so interesting to see him experiment like this. Then, he went upstairs, and there, too, he yelled down, "I hear you!", and we proceeded to have a conversation with him from downstairs -- something we never could do pre-BAHA!

After wearing the BAHA for about three hours, he asked if it could be turned off. Truthfully, his little face looked quite exhausted. The audiologist told us that this would likely happen, as it can be a lot of work receiving and processing all of the new input (especially in this noisy, noisy family!). He suggested we come up with a schedule of on and off times as needed.

Baba sharing some of his favorite music with Brock in hopes of winning someone in the family over to his poor taste in music :o). Poor Brock! He now thinks the sound of the Bee Gees is what constitutes "music".

Last month, I took this picture of Brock's dictation lesson. The messy handwriting on the top two lines belongs to me :o), while the neat penmanship on the bottom two lines belongs to my eager student. Every day, I give him a sentence or two to read, then I cover it up, and dictate it back to him while he writes each word. He loves to do this, and as you can see, he is quite good at it.

Brock also likes to spend his free time copying books like, "Go Dog Go!" .

Today, while I was working with the big kids, I looked over at Brock and found him composing all of these little notes on the chalkboard.

Might we have two enthusiastic writers under one roof?!?