Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I just finished reading Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. A finalist for the National Book Award, this young adult book is captivating. The story is told from the perspective of a fifth-grade girl with Asperger Syndrome (AS). Because I don't have AS, I can't guarantee that she has captured this point of view accurately, but based on my years of working with students on the autism spectrum, I found the portrayal very believable.

I have to add that as a special education teacher, I found the story fascinating. Hearing the words and phrases of the adults in the story, words and phrases that I am sure I have used with my own students, from the point of view of the main character was quite educational. If you work with young people with autism spectrum disorders, you should read this book. There's a chance you might hear yourself in the story.

In the story, Caitlin and her father are trying to cope with a personal tragedy. In addition, Caitlin is faced with many struggles related to having AS. This is a story of courage and hard work. I guarantee, once you start reading, you won't want to put it down. Good thing it is a quick and easy read. If you live in Sioux Center, you can find it in Dordt's library.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Luke

Luke Before


Maria and Jon Felipe waiting for the school bus

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Afternoon

Jon Felipe and I baked cookies this afternoon. What a great way to spend a cold January afternoon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Convocation January 2011

Convocation for second semester was today. The speaker was Dr. David Dockery, president of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. His message on global awareness and global engagement was thought provoking. (This picture of me in my "finery" is especially for my mom. Thanks Ed for taking it for me.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

I have committed to reading through the Bible again this year. This time I am following a reading plan that is organized chronologically rather than sequentially. That means that I have been spending a lot of time lately in the book of Job. I do not claim to have great understanding of this book, but it has made for an interesting backdrop to some other things that have been occupying my thoughts lately.

I have a friend that lives a long ways from here. We have gotten to know each other through e-mail and keep up with each other through our family blogs. I think of it as a modern day pen pal type friendship. She has 9 children, some biological and some adopted. Almost all have special needs. Her son has been seriously ill and in the hospital for more than two weeks. His condition is serious, potentially life-threatening. This week her daughter was also hospitalized. Both children are extremely ill. I pray that both will be healed, that both will be able to get back to doing typical childhood things. Many others are praying also.

On a note closer to home, my niece is in the hospital. She, like my friend's children, is in pain. She has had more than her share of surgeries and hospitalizations this year. She had surgery again this afternoon and will likely be in the hospital for a few days. We are praying, as are many others, for healing and a return to typical teenage activities. My own children, too, have been having greater battles lately with their own health struggles. We continue to pray, knowing that God hears our prayers, and we wait for the answers. Meanwhile, these thoughts, these children, weigh heavy on my heart.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Wednesday

I've decided that God intended the good people of northwest Iowa to stay indoors during the winter. Brrr! It is cold out there, not to mention that there is also a lot of snow. My kids were all home for two days this week for snow days and the roads are still pretty slippery. All in favor of spending the rest of the winter inside reading books in front of the fire, say "I."

Now that we've got that settled, what good books have you been reading lately? Someone just lent me Jodi Picoult's book House Rules. I've had several people recommend it and I am looking forward to reading it. I'm also reading a devotional called Going Places with God. This book looks at the people in the Bible and how their lives were shaped by the places where they lived. Since I am still getting used to living in a new place, it seemed like a good one to start the year with.

I'd love to hear about the books you are reading!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Fun

You can check all sorts of things out of the Dordt library. Need a GPS? They have a few. Want to try out the Kindle? They've got one. How about an ipad? They've got a couple of those too. They've also got games, movies, laptop computers, even books. Tonight I checked out a Wii game system and a few games for a family game night. Of course, after all that exercise we needed an ice cream break. For the record, the girls totally rocked the bowling tournament!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Have you made any resolutions for the new year?