Thursday, January 31, 2013

They had fun even if they looked like they killed something with the color they created

This am Jesse and Judah created by finger painting. They had a blast doing it. You can tell to0 which one was the most comfortable with messy hands and making a picture ( mess ) . It was also hard for some of the others not to get in there and play. I guess we will have to have a bigger art time with finger painting.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Do you know what this little pow wow is about ?

I can not tell you how much seeing these kids sitting around planning their birthday makes me. They came home tonite from choir practice and I shared that on Friday was Sari's and Selah's b-day. This will be the first time Sari will celebrate her day of birth ever. She and Selah are turning 8. Last year was Selah's first b-day celebration. Can you imagine what that is like to have a day to celebrate your life and who you are for the first time ever ? They both are beyond excited...of course the others have told me their ideas for their parties ( even though they are many months away).

The smile on the face of a child who knows they are special, loved and wanted is priceless.....

Friday, January 25, 2013

Too many dependents and not a computer program to handle this many on Aetna insurance ???

We have had an issue or should I say Aetna- the big insurance giant has an issue with the size of our family....Well they give us insurance and it is good but they don't have a program in their system to be able to name all of our family who is covered. So every so often ( sometimes every 4 to 6 weeks) when we see a doctor, fill a prescription, order therapeutic equipment, schedule a surgery ( remember we have done about 115 surgeries total in the last 10 yrs getting our kids healthy or walking I get a call that the system shows that person has been terminated. This all because for every other family but ours the computer system puts the names of the covered dependents in . For us it would "cost this insurance giant to much to rewrite a computer program to input this information. " Instead one of the employees for Hewitt who is the HR middleman for First Data inputs our family manually...and as I shared they often miss one of us. This causes hours of phone calling on our part. It has also delayed getting a medicine but fortunately all of our medical providers know us well and know of our issue but sometimes it can be so is to the point of being humorous because otherwise we would go insane trying to work it out.

Also our vision insurance only has enough in its program for 10 in a when I take someone for that type of medical I have to call and make sure they are one of the ten and take off someone to make room if they are not. Even to fit glasses.

Tonite Paul was going thru our taxes and he uses Turbo Tax...funny thing this year for the first time after trying for days to put in our dependents he gets an email from them saying they don't have a computer program to allow him to use Turbo Tax because we have more dependents than their program will allow.....  :)

Are we being discriminated against because we are a mega large family ? I mean are there not other families as big as ours...It is hard for me to believe that but since I am on a blog called, Mega Family Bogger and I do know there are at least 2 other families who claim to have more children than we do....
Now I don't think there are as many children still at home as we have or maybe they don't claim them on their  medical benefits but don't you think it is sort of funny or odd ?

Actually we deal with these issues most of the time as just routine. I have learned more about health insurance and the ins and outs of it than I ever knew. Also I have had some really encouraging phone calls with many Aetna receptionists and supervisors sharing about our family and our now I wonder who the Lord will bring to us thru Turbo Tax?   :)

Just for the record we claim 22 dependents and there are 28 of us on our medical plan.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I love when we get blessed by the unexpected...

We have been studying birds in our science. I was sitting in a room I don't usually teach in because the littles were doing play dough and were very loud this am.. We were going over the parts of a bird and I looked out the window and saw this hawk. It was am amazing site. I told Josiah to get the camera and told all the kids to look out the window quietly so we did not scare the hawk away. We watched him as he actually sited a bird ( sparrow) and followed it into the bushes...The sparrow got away and then the hawk flew into our large blue spruce and came out with a bird. Then about 10 minutes later I went outside to check on a dog that was running loose ( our neighbors dog) and I spotted the hawk again sitting on the weeping cherry tree stalking again.

It is so bitterly cold outside . We even had snow and getting more tomorrow. Our wind chills are to dangerous for us to let anyone go outside...and a hungry hawk shows up in our front peace garden where we feed the birds. We even got to look up our hawk and have identified it as a Coopers Hawk. What a educational am it was and it came to us naturally.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I can't tell you how happy this little guys smile in his new wheels makes me

 Yesterday our OT and her assistant came to the house and met with us and an assistive technology professional to "try" some different equipment with Andrew. For now we are trying this wheelchair. We needed something to hold him upright and also something he could not get out of. We call him our Houdini and it has been difficult to manage him  for months. Actually we have not seen smiles like this in over a year. We see a child psychiatrist whom we have trusted and respected. She finally has him on a med that he sleeps most nites all the way. We have tried many meds to find something that would help his non sleep issues and also regulate his moods to a more peaceful or happy state. Today we had the best day ever with him. At first he hated it but we knew we could get him used to it. I think we all are amazed at what a great day he did have. I love his smile in the top picture. He was sitting with the rest of the kids "participating " in their exercise video - having a blast . 

He would sit in his chair for 45 minutes to an hour very content. Tonite was the first time he sat beside us at the table while we ate dinner. He did all of his exercising , sensory stuff in such a great mood.... and the best part we have been weaning him totally off of all the mood meds. I think seeing him like this today has been so encouraging. He has not been content with any of his favorites like music, being outside for any length of time in a long while. This past year was very hard but , we are beginning to see the light at the end of this least for now. Having special needs children is like this...You go thru periods of fast progress and then a plateau for awhile. I am excited to see the changes in the next few months....maybe potty training :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Took advantage of the warm weather and ....

We took advantage of the warm weather and took the kids to the park...well at least some went. Some of us are still sick . I think I have seen many families struggle thru this for 2 weeks. Fortunately no one in our family has been compromised with their health by it . I know several families with special needs children who have suffered or even died because of this type of flu. So I never take our health for granted. I am very careful about washing our hands, using hand sanitizer and teaching the kids to sneeze or cough in their elbow, eating healthy and getting good sleep. I hate when the kids get sick and so grateful for healthy kids. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Our week started out well

We have started a unit on birds and bird watching. 

This is a puzzle they put together and wanted me to take their picture afterwards.

We made a craft called Rainbow Squeeze which was alot of fun and very clean play. Recipe down below.

Then to end it we have been chewing bubble gum around here ( a Christmas present ) and some of the kids have made some big bubbles that popped all over their face.

Actually I got the flu on Wednesday and just got out of bed this our week ended differently than I planned...but thankfully the kids can go with it quite well without me. Thanks to my older kids who manage this mega family almost as good as I do. 

Here is the recipe for Rainbow Squeeze :

several colors of food coloring
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup cornstarch
4 cups cold water
medium sauce pan, wooden spoon, measuring cups, small bowls, resealable plastic bags

Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in the saucepan until well blended. Add the water, Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. 

Divide the mixture into several bowls and stir a few drops of food coloring into each one. 

When the mixtures have cooled, spoon some of each color into a plastic bag and seal. Then mush and squoosh. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When Andrew is doing his exercises Kloe thinks she needs too also :)

Kloe loves to repeat everything she hears and sees...this am she was watching Cate do his exercise routine...and so she went over and began to attempt it as well...then Aunt Mya came over to help with her leg lifts....aahh I love these little moments in my life.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It was all about these 2 on Saturday...not really because when we celebrate birthdays everyone does

Ava ( turned 6) Mya ( turned 11)

You might be wondering why in the middle of winter are the girls dressed in bathing suits....the theme for the party was a summer or beach theme. What do you wear at the beach but a swim suit :)

Everything was in pairs...both got a brand new bike ( they were bought on sale months ago and hidden) . New bikes are not typical here. People have loved on our family by sharing their used and outgrown bikes with us which we have always been grateful for. These new bikes were just so cheap and both girls needed the next size bike. 

We sang to all 3 b-day kids :)

and because it was a summer party we had a 
Chocolate fondue- and it was yummy! We danced to music and played some games too.

Like I said ...even though it was their day we all get to have fun and celebrate. Sharing joy and celebrating life is important in our family. Everyone gets just as excited as the birthday person because we all know it benefits all of us :)