Life Starts Now.

Living each day to the fullest, because we know first-hand just how fragile life can be.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Very Sparrow Christmas

I know it's the end of January and all, but I've been thinking about what to say about Christmas for the whole it came late. 
Christmas was very different this year.  Usually it starts before Thanksgiving, with crafting, decorating, and baking up a storm...(near hybernating) indoors with my kiddos all day...(= bliss.)  This year it started November 1st...because this year I was not home, I was working my tail off at Harry and David.  Trying my hardest not to screw up any orders, pointing the public to 'that perfect Christmas gift'.....and rushing around like a chicken with my head cut-off.  Needless to say, I was not in the Christmas spirit.  AT ALL.  I love my job.  I love what I do....but I do not necessarily love doing it over 40 hours a week...and not during my hybernation season. :)  But I did, and we made it through.
As the nation knows, (thanks to ABC & Extreme Home Makeover,) we are a Sparrow family.  I love everything that Sparrow Clubs stand for.  Joel and I were able to go to Hedrick Middle School in early December to say hello to the kids and give an update on Joel's recovery.  It was overwhelming to watch them run up to us, and call him by name.  They took pictures of him with their readily-available cell phones, and gave him high-fives.  I can't describe what it's like to have perfect strangers care about you.  I can't describe it.  It's not something that can fit into words.  We knew that Sparrow Clubs would be blessing our family for Christmas with a gift for each of our children, a project called 'Bless-A-Nest.'  We emailed them a few suggestions of things the kids might like, with no hopes of what actually ended up happening... A CAR LOAD OF GIFTS.  And checks.  And cash.  And giftcards.  There were far more items for each child than we put on a 'suggestion list.' When you hear the saying, "It's the thought that counts," this is one of those times where it means exponentially more than it sounds.  The kids didn't open just loads of toys on Christmas morning, they opened gifts that were specifically picked out for complete strangers.  Someone bought a miniature backpack full of books for Joel.  An art set for Mia.  Perfect flannel pajamas for Logan. All of the kids were blessed beyond what we ever predicted.  My mom and I peeked at a few before Christmas (they were wrapped,) to make sure that there were no duplicates....and we cried and cried together; so touched at the gesture handed our way.  One gift in particular was my favorite....a little sippy cup, placed in a box, and marked "from cyrus" a child's writing. 

Of all things, a sippy cup was the one present that had me sobbing my eyes out the most.  Someone was thinking of us over the hectic holiday season.  Having a fragile child can feel so isolating, and while they may not have fully understood the things we've experienced, they wanted us to know that someone out there cares about us. 

If you have ever participated in Bless-A-Nest, or know someone that has, please give them a hug from me.  'Bless a nest' is an understatement.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  The thought that counts, did... more than you'll ever know.

Monday, January 9, 2012

School's Out

We took Connor out of public school today.  It was a family decision, not a parents' decision, and for some reason, I feel like I need to state my here it is. 

We're choosing to home school Connor....

#1:  Because he wants to be home schooled.

#2:  I don't like the talks kids are having at school.  Now, I know I can't shelter him from all of life's bad apples...and honestly, I don't want to.  But at what point is it appropriate for children to talk to each other about sex?  Age six?  I think not....and it's been a subject brought up more than twice, and Connor continues to question me about it (and other things), and we finally sat him down and had an age appropriate discussion...using words and scenarios that he can actually grasp.  This is shocking...and it's not just the 'let's talk about sex' discussion that is inappropriate.  It's the kids' mindsets altogether.  When it's not sex, it's something else.  Daily.  I think today's youth are being exposed to things they shouldn't. 

#3:  I think Connor needs a little debriefing from the last two years.  I think our entire family does.  We need to stick together, and I think he's feeling that as much as Adam and I are.  A move out of state, job promotion, job demotion, sick baby, separated family, in-home nursing, job change, job loss, move in with parents out of state, mom goes to work, dad works from home ....move from big house to small's a lot for an adult to handle, and I don't think I've fully processed all of that yet.  In fact, I know I haven't.  So, why would I expect a six-year-old to?  He's needing to be home with us right now; I think that's OK.

#4:  This was the original plan.  Before Joel graced us with his presence, we planned to home school.  I was at home, enjoying my crafting-cooking-cleaning-diaperchanging-life, and Connor was excited to be home schooled.  Then Joel came, and we knew that our house was chaos.  Nurses, appointments, a fragile baby...Connor needed the opportunity to 'show off'.  Have something for him to bring home and say, 'Look what I did today without you, see how wonderful and grown-up I am...'  We had an incredible kindergarten teacher for him, and public school suited him well last year.  But during this last Christmas break, I felt that urge again...that gut feeling, telling me what I already knew.  I am the one who is to be teaching my son right now.  He felt that too. 

#5: We feel like this is the right thing for our family.

Thank you for all of your concerns, opinions (even negative ones), & private messages.  Know that I've taken them all to heart.  I hope that you will respect this decision, as it's a big one.  We've given this a lot of prayer and time to think this over, and we're prepared to do what it takes to make sure our son is getting the education he needs.  We have faith that this is something we will succeed at, and I hope that you can have faith in us too.