Appreciation Saturday


While the guy is painting our living room downstairs, Riley, Seth, Jingle, Yippee, the cats, and I are piled into the bedroom. The kids are watching TV while I type away. Seriously, why don’t we do this every day? So cozy and fun! I am in love with technology. How is it I can sit here wireless, writing under a big down comforter? It is still such a miracle to me. How is it we have electricity? Phones? Cell phones? Plumbing? It is all so amazing. Someone figured it all out, and I didn’t have to. I don’t have to do everything! I can just come along and reap the rewards. The Universe is abundant, I tell ‘ya. People who invented these things, wherever you are…I appreciate you. I love brilliant minds. I love learning.

Did you know there is a website called Khan Academy where you can learn just about anything?

I am really loving the whole learning at home thing lately. I admit we did it out of necessity initially, but more and more it makes sense for our family. And cue sunshine and rainbows please….we recently were approved for the Ohio Autism Scholarship for Riley which will allow us to have a tutor come to our home during the week to teach her(at no cost to us). I cannot tell you how much this will help our family. This is the best case scenario. She gets to be home, but we don’t have to bear the full responsibility of teaching her. We don’t have to do everything! This will afford us more one-on-one with Seth, and allow me to get things done around the house while the tutor is here.

I used to joke, “I’d love for her to be homeschooled; I just wish someone else would do it.”

Dreams do come true.

I’ll never forget the relief I felt in her pre-kindergarten year, when the wonderful private teacher we hired said, “I’d like to take care of the educational piece, so you can just be her mom.” She was a special needs parent too, so she knew. For so long I’ve had to be everything. Doctor, advocate, attorney, teacher, nutritionist, coach, you name it. I am feeling sweet relief.

We are finding now that Riley doesn’t have to keep it together 35 hours a week at school, (with homework on top of that) she is much more sociable. She is starting conversations (in small groups). She is joyful. She can follow a conversation through lots of twists and turns. We belong to a co-op which meets on Fridays and has anywhere between 40-60 kids each session. There are very small classes. Each child picks two classes and there is an hour long recess in between where children can eat and play. At first she stuck with her brother like glue but the last couple of weeks she’s been hanging with the girls her age. An outsider looking in would never be able to pick her out of the crowd as “the kid with autism.” She is more relaxed. Part of it has to do with the company.

This is what I’ll tell you about the homeschooled kids we have met.

-They are polite.
-They are kind.
-They do not feel “entitled” and are respectful not just of adults but of other children.
-They are not particularly competitive.
-They are creative.
-They seem to nurture each other.
-They happily eat nutritious food.
-They are accepting.
-They are happy with a big long thick rope, playing tug of war. Piling on. Dragging each other around, all over the gym, for as long as we let them.
-They are enthusiastic learners.

So, it is going well.

And of course, one of the very best things about being home is the ample time the kids get to spend with their animals.






Some days are more challenging than others, but today is a good day, and it deserves a mention. Good coffee. Good kids. Good dogs. Good computer. Comfy bed.

Date night tonight with Hot Toddy. We’re seeing The King’s Speech.

Life is good, yo.

For real.


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13 Responses to Appreciation Saturday

  1. Wanda says:

    I love how your dreams come true and I know you’ve not been passive in making them happen.

  2. Susan says:

    Reading this post made my day.

  3. Heather says:

    Thanks, Michelle. I needed a refresher in “appreciation” today..this was timely. :o)

  4. I love this! I love the idea of piling in to bed together. I love that the cats claimed the windows. I love that your homeschooling decision is paying off – in buckets. This all made me feel so … relaxed.

  5. Chris Vartorella says:

    I definitely needed this today…thank you

  6. Courtney says:

    Reading this made me so grateful.

  7. naomi says:

    Life is good, especially on that cozy bed! We have an afternoon story time in mumma’s bed ritual, hands down the happiest part of our day!

  8. amber says:

    I am so selfishly happy to know all the info on your clan again. And yay that homeschool is going so well! I knew it would. I knew it!!


  9. Lydia says:

    Isn’t the “it’s coming together” feeling amazing? I’m starting to get it too… 4 hours of BSS a week, 15 or more hours of community inclusion, ACCESS to take me to appointments within the county… finally.

  10. Carrie Link says:


    (Jingle does NOT have a peace sign hanging from her collar, OMHOG, love it!)

  11. Congrats on the scholarship for the tutor! So happy for you! xo

  12. Chris Vartorella says:

    I keep reading this… it MUST be good…. gives me so much hope … thanks!!!!!!

  13. Kim says:

    Wow, that’s so wonderful that you are able to get a tutor for at home–what an amazing scholarship! Love reading this whole post, it just makes me so happy that you are blogging again! Love your energy girl!

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