Monday, November 24, 2014

Reading EVERY Word

Kalisha loves to read. She currently has at least 15 books checked out from the library.

 The stack on the table are the ones she is currently reading. I have written in the past how she reads 5-6 books at a time; one chapter in each one and then she starts with the first one again when it is her next 'reading time.'
She has certain times during the day when she has to read.
She also likes to read aloud. That is ok with me, most of the time. If we are watching TV together, she reads aloud during commercials, then she closes the book until the next commercial. If it is a program she doesn't care about watching, she reads to herself between commercials so I can watch it. I don't watch many programs, but as we watched the Colts game yesterday, she would read during every commercial. It is a bit annoying but probably better than the commercials anyway.

The ones she hasn't started yet are in her bookbag. They are there because her mother gets tired of seeing 15 books on the floor by the chair or couch.

If you are regular readers of this blog, you already know those facts. However, last week, she amazed me. She really does like words and perhaps the sound of the words swirling in her head.
I purchased a paperback for me to read this Christmas season. It is 4 stories, loosely connected from one generation to the next. It has no pictures, very small print and 397 pages. Kalisha asked if she could read it. I said, "Of course, but it might be boring for you." (I had not read it yet so I was hoping there weren't any steamy love scenes in it)

I really didn't think she would finish it and I wasn't sure if she would 'get it.'
When she used to read books I had read, such as Little House on the Prairie and Boxcar Children, I would occasionally quiz her to see if she had retained any of it. She could nearly always, give me a fairly accurate, Cliff Notes version.
She stuck with this book. She read every word, probably 50,000 at least. I was impressed. I read it one afternoon (when I start, I finish, if it holds my interest) and later asked her a few questions about some of the events. She didn't know the answers. That's when I realized part of her reading is just to see and hear the words in her head, even if the sentence structure may be difficult. This novella would have been difficult for her because due to the time periods, there were words she has probably never seen or heard. I praised her for finishing it. I don't think I would read that many chapters of something I didn't understand. It would be similar to reading a medical journal for most of us. She is my daughter for sure; she loves words. YAY

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Music To A Mother's Ears

I was very pleased when Kalisha was approved, last school year, to be a helper in a morning kindergarten class at a local Lutheran school. She has a staff person accompany her. The first few weeks were a little rocky, as she became accustomed to her duties. I think it was a learning experience for the teacher, also, as she had to figure out what exactly Kalisha could do.
She was required to wear slacks and a nice (no logos) shirt. At first, I thought that might be her undoing, but she complied and has never complained since the first week. Of course, we call the black pants and shirt, her 'uniform' because she has ONE short-sleeved shirt with no logo and ONE long-sleeved shirt with no logo. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from her about how many clothes we really need. They are always clean, so I'm pretty certain those little shavers don't remember what she wore last week.
During the summer, Kalisha volunteered at a local preschool/daycare. She really does  well with young children. At that age, they are still accepting and don't really notice 'differences.'
When she comes home, I ask, "So, how did it go today?"
 Her stock answer is: "It went great."
Usually, Kalisha is ready when her staff person picks her up and goes directly to the car.  But last week, I had an occasion to talk to her staff.
She asked, "Has Kalisha told you about her new responsibilities?"
"No, she hasn't. What are they?"
"The teacher allows her to take the children to recess and bring them back, by herself; she even gets the whistle. (Her staff is always close by) And, she takes them on their restroom break; allowing only so many in at a time and making sure they wash hands, etc. She also files papers and takes things to the office and makes copies."
I stood there with this grin spread across my face. "Kalisha, why didn't you tell me?"
She looked at me and shrugged, as though it was no big deal.

Recently, I received a letter from the preschool/daycare director. She complimented Kalisha; saying she did an outstanding job with the children. She wrote how she was always pleasant and smiling and the little ones loved her. She hopes she will come back next summer.
(At the preschool, she could wear jeans and her Colts shirts. YAY.)
None of those duties or accolades were a big deal to her, but it certainly made this Momma happy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hello Kitty...chapter 2

I realize I have written about Kalisha's new fascination with Hello Kitty before, but I thought it might run its course. Silly me; what was I thinking?
She has definitely not given up her Colts love; she has branched out. I suppose it is a 'growth' thing to have more than one obsession. I would never have thought Hello Kitty would be the choice. She didn't even look at HK when she was a little girl. All that really doesn't matter because this is now and Hello Kitty is the 'thing.'

She attended a Halloween party as HK. She asked if she could buy the wig for it. I agreed. Little did I know it was a child's wig. Some times, I don't think too far ahead. Of course, it was a child's wig. Getting it to stay on her head was a trick, but we persevered and here she is.
She also decided to hedge her bets for Christmas. She typed a list of items she wanted, printed them off (obviously from the size of the font, she thinks all relatives are nearly blind) and sent a copy to all siblings and her father. I helped her with addresses and put the stamps on. Am I enabling her? Of course, I am; but I think it's only fair this obsession be spread around to other people besides me. Right? Okay, don't answer that.


Kalisha is on a mission to obtain all things Hello Kitty. Her budget does not allow that, but that fact doesn't keep her from talking about it.
I have given up on the idea Hello Kitty is for children. If that were true, would they make t-shirts in size 2X with Hello Kitty on them? I think not. Kalisha does remind me of that fact occasionally.

Today, in the mail, she received a newspaper clipping from the local newspaper, sent to her by my cousin and good friend, Mary.

According to this, I guess Kalisha is not the only Hello Kitty groupie. I should be happy; there are a lot worse things she could be addicted to, me thinks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

There, But for the Grace of God......

We have probably all uttered that phrase at some time in our lives; "There, but for the grace of God, go I." We say it when we see something happening to someone we know or identify with. And, we usually say it with a note of thankfulness in our voices.

Occasionally, other people's circumstances can serve as a much-needed wake-up call to us. If it doesn't change our actions, it will at least, change our thinking as we ponder what happened to someone else.

Kalisha has a friend, Laura, (not her real name). Laura is several years older than Kalisha and has some disabilities, also. They aren't the same as Kalisha's but in many ways, these two young women are similar. Laura lives with her mother, as Kalisha and I live together.

Laura's mother and I are considerably different in age and in abilities; nonetheless, we both function as a family unit with our daughters. Laura's mother rarely left home and had very little input into the running of the household. (Okay, we know we are worlds apart there, right?)

Laura is as crazy about country music artists and concerts as Kalisha is about the Indianapolis Colts, games and players. She had a huge collection of memorabilia from those concerts.

I could tell you some hilarious stories about some of their adventures, but that isn't what this post is about.
Several weeks ago, Laura's mom had a seizure and fell while home alone. She was in the hospital for weeks and ultimately, moved to a nursing home. She is not coming home.
Laura has struggled with decisions and what to do about a lot of things. She has no relatives near, but is getting some advice from a cousin in a southern state. She can't stay in the house, so she has applied for an apartment and will be moving there in a few months. She had 2 dogs, but had to find a home for one of them because she could have only one at the apartment.
She decided to sell everything at the house; appliances, furniture and a basement full of decorations. The house will be sold also. She needed to become her mother's POA, which is not a particularly prudent thing, since Laura probably needs a POA herself.
Yesterday, she gave Kalisha all (and I do mean, ALL) of her country music memorabilia and treasures. Kalisha and I sorted it and advised her to keep some of those things, for memories. Nope. She doesn't want it.
Laura will be fine. She and her mother should have (in my humble opinion) moved to an apartment a long time ago. The thing that has bothered me the most about the whole scenario is this: this could be me and Kalisha in the future. What will she do when I am suddenly not available for advice or company? The one huge difference is Kalisha has 4 siblings to advise her and help her make the best decisions. of those will be : "Okay, what home do we put Mom in?"
I'm laughing, but not really. This has brought me face to face with wondering if I have prepared Kalisha for being alone? Will she know what to do with our belongings? Will she be able to sort and pitch? If you are my friend on FB, you know I have been 'uncluttering' for over a year. This is precisely why.
None of us can predict the future and I trust the Lord with our lives, now and in the future, but seeing it first hand, does make you have some sobering thoughts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Pancakes/Coupons Fiasco

Wow. It has been nearly a month since I posted on this blog. I'm not sure why; believe me, it isn't because Kalisha has not provided new material. (Joke intended)

I want to tell you about the last two days and a pancake obsession by the Coupon Queen. In this case, that would be Kalisha; however, in all fairness, her mother, (that would be me) does use coupons occasionally and she has seen and heard me do that.

Kalisha and I went to IHOP for lunch one Sunday after church. When she got home, she went online and took a survey, for which they rewarded her with a free stack of buttermilk pancakes, no purchase necessary.
Then she joined the IHOP CLUB (or something similar) and printed off another coupon for a free stack of pancakes with fruit on top.
Now she has 2 coupons for free pancakes. She invited me to go with her and use one of them. I accepted the invitation but told her it would have to be the weekend. Not soon enough, apparently.
Two days ago, I read her post on FB asking what friends would like to go with her to eat free pancakes. She received several replies. One friend didn't have a way to the IHOP on Coldwater and Coliseum, but she had 2 other friends who wanted to go, if their mom could take them. In the meantime, she was going to hedge her bet by calling a 'driving' friend and inviting her.
Okay, now we have 4 people eating pancakes and 2 coupons. Who gets the coupons? Of course, Kalisha was going to use one of them, but she still had a dilemma. She wanted them all to go and wasn't going to uninvite anyone. (I wouldn't have allowed her to do that.)
 I told her the only solution was for her to pay for the other 2 friends' pancakes. She agreed. I know her so well and was having visions of her getting there, being caught up in the moment and ordering bacon, eggs, sausage to go with the pancakes.
The mother of the 2 girls texted me and wanted to know the details of this outing since she was making a 50-mile round trip to IHOP. I told her my plan of having Kalisha pay for ALL the pancakes with her debit card and if they wanted anything else, they had to pay. She agreed and said she would send cash for their drinks and they could give it to Kalisha. I started laughing before I even answered her.
 This was my text: "No, No No. OMGosh, Patty, do not have them give Kalisha the cash for the drinks. There is no one on the planet who gets more confused about money than Kalisha. LOL"
She totally understood and said her girls were the same with money. Okay, now...I am having reservations about how this will all go down. So....ever wanting to be in control, of course, I texted Anna and told her she would need to be the financier for these 3 girls.

Anna arrived to pick Kalisha up, had NOT read the text and said her coupon could be used by someone else because she liked French Toast and would pay for her own. A little more confusion for Kalisha.

I rehearsed the scenario with Kalisha about 6 times.
"What are you getting with your pancakes?"
"Just a drink."
Who is paying for ALL the pancakes?"
"Me. With my debit card."
"Why are you paying?"
"Because I invited everyone on FB."

Off they went.
I often wonder how many times God will humor me when I get like this about a situation? She came home and said they had a wonderful time. She had pumpkin pancakes with fruit and the girls had their choices. Everyone got just the pancakes and a drink, they paid for their drink and she paid for pancakes.
She asked the manager how to make pumpkin pancakes. He told her. She said he was a wonderful person and so nice (kudos to IHOP) and after all that, she could only use one coupon per visit.
So.....she has a coupon for another visit.

Are you rolling with laughter yet?


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