week's end again

Baby, it's cold outside.

Yes, I covered all of Janneke for the trip from the driveway into the house.  Loading and unloading with the bus in these extreme cold temps isn't cool.  Actually it's downright freezing.  And her boot forever keeps popping off.  That kid.

I am so thankful for our drivers and riders who work quickly to get our kids out of the cold.  With all the snow falling this winter, I am so thankful for their skill at bringing our kids safely to and from school.  Maybe the drivers in this story should take note.  The story is about Chantal and her recent transportation nightmare. Chantal Huinink is part of my extended family, and her experience with traveling from Toronto was terrible.  Thankfully, there's a follow-up story.

Speaking of transportation....

Rachel came home from school with her Kub car and some great news.  They had races at school today with the Scouts, and her car won!  I love a school that works to include the ordinary in with the extraordinary.  

I did have a chance to "spy" on Rachel at school earlier this week.  I was able to observe a session (without Rachel seeing me) while the therapists worked with her on activating a switch.  This switch would allow Rachel to communicate simple concepts such as yes, no, keep going or stop.

You can see in this enlarged photo that they are currently trying to use her feet as cues with the switch. They sing a familiar song to her, but they only sing the first line.  The therapists then wait to see if Rachel will activate the switch to encourage them to keep singing.  She is learning pretty quickly that the switch means they will keep singing. If she doesn't like the song, she bangs her hand on the tray.  

Outside of the switch work, I am seeing Rachel use her hands and feet more.  She is learning to pull us toward her or push us away.  I laid Janneke in bed alongside Rachel the other day, and Rachel immediately pushed Janneke with her hands and feet, as if to say, "Beat it, kid." 

Rachel is quite tolerant of Janneke invading her personal space, but I guess sharing her bed was beyond the limit.

Emily shared a little about a speech she did for her class recently.  She chose to speak about being a sister to Rachel and Janneke.  This life with special needs isn't just about Ralph and I figuring out how to parent kids that are so unique; it's also about Em and Soph sorting through being big sisters.  It used to be Emily and Sophia would say how thankful they are that Rachel -and then later Janneke -don't steal their toys.  Seven years later, it's deeper questions and issues.

Makes me think - and give thanks for people in their life who are sensitive their feelings.

peace for your weekend.