Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Fools!

SO this is what we are sending to school with the 2 older boys on April Fools Day.
The napkin will be at the bottom of the lunchbox and their real lunch will be in the office!
BTW, that is a rutabaga (sp?).
And please ignore the large koolaid stain mkay?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Here's a cute pic of Colby at the park the other day...

Tyler's class took a field trip to the Capitol. The kids had fun, although I think they were a little bored by the tour guide. Kyle and I thought it was really interesting though! This was a relief map that was right when you came in the door with all the parishes around the outside.

There's our parish!

Here is Tyler in front of the House of Representatives...

the roof was made from sugarcane to help with acoustics!

Here's his class in front of the Capitol.

We also went to the old Capitol too. After the tour the kids got to eat outside underneath some huge oak trees. It was beautiful weather!

One of the moms in Tylers class arranged for us to tour the Governers mansion.

Here is the dining room...

and the "living room"... although I don't think they do much living in there!

Our last stop was the USS Kidd on the Mississippi River.

This picture is really neat. It was taken by a doctor on the USS Kidd. A kamikaze plane looked like it was going to crash into the ship in the background. It pulled up in the last minute and started for the USS Kidd. The doctor didn't realize how close the plane was until he looked away from the lens and he barely had any time to move before the plane hit. He had severe injuries but survived...and so did the camera!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Helping a mother that is grieving...

From CompassionateFriends.org:

What Can You Do to Help?
There are no easy answers, no standard approaches that are universally helpful. There are no magic formulas that will make the pain go away. It is natural to feel helpless when the child of a friend or relative dies. Remember that showing your loving concern can be very comforting to a grieving family. Please don’t avoid them because you feel inadequate. Families are more likely to reach a healthy, positive resolution of their grief if they receive continuing support and understanding. The following suggestions may help you provide that support:

— Don’t try to find magic words that will take away the pain. There aren’t any. A hug, a touch, and a simple, “I’m so sorry,” offer real comfort and support.

— Don’t be afraid to cry. Your tears are a tribute to both child and parents. Yes, the parents may cry with you, but their tears can be a healthy release.

— Avoid saying, “I know how you feel.” It is very difficult to comprehend the depth of the loss when a child dies, and to say you do may seem presumptuous to the parents.

— Avoid using “It was God’s will” and other clich├ęs that attempt to minimize or explain the death. Don’t try to find something positive in the child’s death, such as, “At least you have other children.” There are no words that make it all right that their child has died.

— Listen! Let them express the anger, the questions, the pain, the disbelief, and the guilt they may be experiencing. Understand that parents often have a need to talk about their child and the circumstances of the death over and over again. It may be helpful to encourage them to talk by asking a gentle question such as, “Can you tell me about it?”

— Avoid judgments of any kind. “You should . . .” or “You shouldn’t . . .” is not appropriate or helpful. Decisions and behaviors related to displaying or removing photographs, reliving the death, idealizing the child, or expressing anger, depression, or guilt may appear extreme in many cases. These behavior patterns are normal, particularly in the first years following the child’s death.

— Be aware that, for parents with religious convictions, their child’s death may raise serious questions about God’s role in this event. Do not presume to offer answers. If the parents raise the issue, it would be better to listen and allow them to explore their own feelings. They will need to arrive at an individual philosophy about this.

— Be there. Run errands, help with household chores, provide child care, and help in whatever way is needed. Don’t say, “Call me if there is anything I can do.” That call will probably never come. Be aware of what needs to be done and offer to do specific tasks.

— Give special attention to surviving children. They are hurt, confused, and often ignored. Don’t assume they are not hurting because they do not express their feelings. Many times siblings will suppress their grief to avoid adding to their parents’ pain. Talk to them and acknowledge their loss.

— Mention the name of the child who has died. Don’t fear that talking about the child will cause the parents additional pain. The opposite is usually true. Using the child’s name lets parents know that they are not alone in remembering their child.

— Be patient. Understand that grieving family members respond differently to their pain. Some verbalize, others may seem unable or unwilling to talk, some withdraw, and others strike out angrily.

— Sharing fond memories of the child through statements such as “I remember when she . . .” or “He had a wonderful gift for . . .” can be reassuring to parents and show that you appreciated their child and are aware of their sense of loss. Relate amusing anecdotes about the child. Don’t be afraid of laughter. It helps to heal the hurt.

— Remember the family on important days such as the child’s birthday and death anniversaries. Send a card, call, or visit. Let them know you remember, too.

— Gently encourage a return to outside activities. Suggest a lunch or movie as relief from the isolation of grief. If your invitation is declined, don’t give up! Ask again and again, if necessary. The third or fourth time you call may be just the day that an outing would be welcome if someone took the initiative.

— There is no standard timetable for recovery. Grief usually lasts far longer than anyone expects. Encourage bereaved families to be patient with themselves. They often hear, “Get on with your life; it’s time you got over this!” Those demands are unfair and unrealistic. When parents express concernabout being tired, depressed, angry, tearful, unable to concentrate, or are unwilling to get back into life’s routines, reassure them that grief work takes time and that they may be expecting too much of themselves too soon.

— Be sensitive to the changes a bereaved family experiences. Family members will adopt new behaviors and roles as they learn to live without the child. This is a painful and lengthy process. Don’t expect your friends to be unchanged by this experience.

— Refer a grieving family to The Compassionate Friends. Many types of support are available, both online (www.compassionatefriends.org) and through the nearly 600 TCF chapters in the United States which are ready to offer friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved families. Call the TCF National Office toll-free at 877-969-0010 for chapter referral information and to request a no-charge customized bereavement packet.

— Continue your contact with the family. Grief does not end at the funeral or on the first anniversary. Stay in touch often, and in conversation, as easily as you would mention any other member of the family, don’t forget to mention the name of the child who died.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some Pictures...

Here is a poster that I...ahem...Tyler made for his report on Orleans Parish. Cute huh?
The boys at Locke Park...
Walking to the parade...
Waiting for the Childrens Parade to roll through...
Jackson eating 3 suckers at once...

This is Leia!

This is Aidan and Leia!

Monday, March 2, 2009

My 100th Blog!

Yay! My computer is working...for the time being.

And I have nothing interesting for my 100th post. Once I print some pictures off my camera I will post those, thats all for now folks!