Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Week One

We survived the first week of school. All of us in one piece. Its after 8 this morning and all three kids are still sleeping. One thing about starting school again is that it keeps them going so much through the week that sleeping in on Saturdays is a given. When you add football, volleyball, soccer, and baseball practices to the mix then all the running from here to there makes me want to sleep in on Saturday too. For some unknown reason I've been up since 7. Whats my problem?

As you may have guessed from the photo Ashley Kate DOESN'T love school. She pretty much crosses her little feet under her desk and lays her pigtails down on the top. After a few minutes of peeking at what they have in store for her she does this. It cracks me up. I really and truly wish I knew what was going on in her mind. If only she could talk!

Her schedule is just as busy as the older kids. Thankfully most of her goings on go on right here in our home. The teachers and therapists all come to her and that makes things easier on her and me. The way our new house is laid out I only have to have the front half of it shiny clean and in order each morning and that makes my life much easier. Once her make a wish room is complete(it hasn't been started yet. The start date was moved back into September.) then everyone will work in that one room which is directly off our foyer area and then life is going to get ever better for me as far feeling as though the house has to be in order every morning by 8:30.

So what does her week look like?

Monday's classes begin at 8:45. Then she has OT and sign therapy beginning by 11:00.

Tuesdays she has OT and sign therapy followed by PT from the school district.

Wednesdays she in class by 8:45 again. Then her private PT comes to work with her.

Thursdays are free for the moment. Praise God for Thursdays! I'm loving Thursdays at the moment. Although I'm sure its not going to last much longer. She still has another OT and Speech and Feeding therapies that have yet to be scheduled. I'm thinking our Thursdays are going to be stolen by someone soon.

Fridays looks as though it will be her riding day. I think she will ride around 10:45 on Friday mornings out at Wind Ridge.

Our decisions at this time have been to keep Ashley as a home bound student. Many, many reasons for this, but primarily for her safety. Ashley isn't a "normal" 4 year old student who runs around. She is confined to a chair and does not have the ability to protect her self from other students. She can't just walk away and she can't tell a teacher if she is being hurt, touched, bothered, or mis treated. Putting her in a class room with other students isn't safe for her at this point. In addition to those issues we are approaching flu season and the fall has proven to be the hardest time of the year for her health. Lots of runny noses, coughs, and sneezes are things she doesn't need exposure too. So this is where we are for now.

Wednesday morning Ashley Kate is being measured for a new chair. We have lots and lots of different emotions about this issue. Its taken Dave and I over a year to adjust to the idea, but we have and now we are working with the older children. Ashley needs the independence that a chair can bring. We are looking at a motorized chair. She wants to move. She wants to get up out of the chair and knowing how much she wants up is breaking our hearts. She asks to stand up over and over again throughout the day but her legs and ankles just don't support her weight. Its a very difficult place to see her in. She is developing the desire to get up and move and at this time she is unable to follow through with that desire. Our hope is that this desire will push her physical ability to the point that she will eventually stand and then walk someday. We are not giving up on this. The chair is merely to make her life easier and to allow her the opportunity to move about our home without having to be carried. We really believe it will help her be an even bigger part of our family. It will also help to keep her safe when we are out and about.

So Ashley's life is busy. Really, really busy. She is sleeping well at night(needless to say).

Blake had a great first week. He had no issues with the new school. That is a blessing. I knew he would do fine. He's just that kind of kid. He has a good base group of friends who are there and he is meeting new kids too. A few he would rather not get to know that well, and he is quickly learning who those kids are. Yesterday he learned an important lesson and even though I hate that he was misjudged by a teacher as a result of meeting one of those new kids I know he learned a huge lesson through the experience. That's part of growing up. Knowing who you can trust, knowing who your friends are, and learning humility as you are corrected for something you did not do. It was a learning experience. Needless to say the "other" kid will not be sitting next to Blake again. I'm pretty confident Blake won't be allowing this to happen again.

Allie is doing well. School is school. She is a mess. Making us laugh each and every day as we listen to her nonsense about the goings on there. Learning humility in her life as well. Volleyball is not proving to be a good experience for her. She does not love being placed on the "B" team. She does not love being thought of as not good enough. She does not love not being allowed to play soccer. She just doesn't love any of it. Yesterday we figured out that she may not being playing in any of the games. Apparently the second string girls get a scrimmage game after the A teams games. This is placing her scrimmages at the same time as her soccer practices. Not good. So when we found this out we both looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and said "Oh well." The reason we were given for her not being allowed to play soccer for her school is that there wouldn't be enough girls to make a volleyball team if they were given a choice. There are 17 girls on the volleyball team. Only six positions on the team. Forcing them to make up a second string and placing all of the new players (6th graders) on it. Life lessons, right? She's learning them too.

Life is good. Busy and blessed. Ashley Kate is happy. So very happy. She's the sweetest thing and we love her more than I can share. I still can't believes she's not a baby anymore. Just look at that face! Its all grown up. The kids are all "healthy" (Blake has a miserable head cold, but other than that they are all "healthy"). Dave and look at each other daily and share a smile or two. Sometimes its hard to believe that life is settling into a normal and routine is back for us. We are so grateful. So very grateful. We have great kids. The best around. Honestly, we do. God has been so gracious to our family and we are undeserving of it all. I'm just so thankful for each moment, each day, each everything we are given together. Wow, I've rambled on and on. Sorry for that. Not what I intended to do. Hope your day is blessed. Ours is going to be filled with yard work and such. Yeah, us. Take care. Trish


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