Why? my blog title "Better2me"

As a woman, mother, and wife my first instinct is to take care of those around me. I nurture those I love in many ways through out the day, but sometimes find myself neglecting me. Recently I realized that I need to nurture myself as well. So this blog is about ME!!!!! What fills my heart; my simple life of kids, husband, animals, home, and creativity. For being better2me leads me to be better to those I love.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fighting a system that is suppose to be on our side.

Some events are treasured; ones you want to linger over, save, and rehash with great joy. Others are ones that we spend a great deal of time trying to forget. But the kind I am dealing with today is the kind that haunt you, that even if you try to forget, it keeps replaying in your head and you struggle to but some finality to, but can't.

That of which I speak is the IEP meeting for Keaton. As we gathered in the room it was eight against three, Kevin, Sandra our advocate, and me. As we began to go over the reports I had many questions; sections of the report where copied verbatim from a previous independent report, that the school told us was bogus and not well done, yet no credit was given. Academically she took information, such as grades and stated they were benchmarks, even though I had the benchmarks and grades with me and clearly they were different. The report even stated that he did not have NLD and quoted the prior report for the evidence of that. When I called her on it and told her that I had spoken to the prior dr and that was not her intent, and in fact her feeling was that he def had NLD due to Hydro, she stated she was not familiar with that and so it must not be true. Our advocate who I had sent the reports too, had done her research and contacted two very well known drs to evaluate them. Both concurred that Keaton is a high gifted child with a learning disability and discussed how they reached that conclusion. They also corrected the IQ by showing the errors that were involved in calculating it. Our advocate stated that Keaton was only the second child in all her years that she had seen as gifted in her practice. The school psych denied the mistakes made. However, Keaton's teacher who was trying not to get in trouble(I believe) by remaining neutral, stated that Keaton is a highly intelligent child who she believe can function much higher then his high average status in classwork, and that although other children at that level "get" the concepts and do well on paperwork, Keaton goes much deeper in his understanding of the concepts and that his thinking is much more advanced than most. Also accommodations on his 504 was examined as one, limited work, was on the report but not one of his 504 ever, Two accommodations she stated where provided to the whole class, excel, and therefor not an accommodation at all and there it was proven that he received no accommodations. One thing we all agreed upon was that the reason Keaton is doing so well, was the fact he was getting so much help at home.

Towards the end of the meeting, the head of special ed brought up her contribution by stating that she feels Keaton is getting too much help at home and that the strategies we have found work for him we should give up. This way, allowing him to fail at school, would make him look for strategies of his own. I found it ironic that on one hand he is succeeding because we are helping him, while on the other they want to take that away. That was the only accommodation they were willing to discuss, and then they felt like it was too late to continue. However, they did acknowledge that he has a learning disability in visual processing and speed of processing(7th percentile) according to our advocate, this was great news because now he qualifies for special ed according to the law, of course the school disagrees and feels he does not.

A report of the meeting was typed by the principal and given to us, the school psych tried several times to get me to sign it, but I was advised by my advocate not too. When I got home I read the paper and first of the report of the meeting was all pulled to the side of the school...i.e "the parents questioned some of the finding of the grades, but the school psych was able to clarify them" nothing was clarified as she couldn't fight the proof. Luckily our advocate taped the meeting. Also the paper she wanted me to sign stated, in small print, that by signing I state that I agree with the report and its findings.

Our struggle here is what do we do next. Do we accept that Keaton will receive no accommodations and probably max out below his abilities......or do we fight the system, send him for more testing, and get those things?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What a day

Yesterday my three men went on an adventure. For weeks now Keaton has been advocating for a trip to the simulator at Loft Aviation, the only place a pilot his age will be able to ride a multimillion dollar jet. But he was also very clear that he did not want Andrew, Kevin's college age student that he has been mentoring, to come along. He has been cast to second place during the last few months as Kevin has spent most of his free time getting Andrew rated. Surprising though, he did want his brother, home on Christmas vacation, to go along.

So on Friday Kev picked up Keaton at lunch, while I attempted, and finally succeeded, in getting Kellan, who would rather be sleeping, up and out the door. As they left I expected to hear about the fighting and unfairness of everything that occurred when they got back.

However, I was totally wrong. They came back full of gloating, not of themselves but of each other, with faces of joy and excitement. Kellan was amazed at his little brothers ability to speak on the radio, take off, land and fly the airplane. He was even more amazed at how well Keaton did at flying the simulator. He told me that Keaton had done much better then he and that the instructor had even commented that Keaton was a much better pilot on the jet then even Andrew. He could even get it out of situations that most would have crashed the aircraft in. Keaton loved being better at something then his brother and was open and willing to teach Kellan everything he knew and especially enjoyed teasing his brother when he messed up the radio communication on the way home. Here is a facebook entry that each posted yesterday.

flying down to palomar to fly in a simulator for a couple hrs, just a normal friday :P haha! I'm thoroughly impressed by the flying skills of my younger brother Keaton Rothfus! what a FlyBoy! haha

nice flying with you cj sim co pilot see you in the air next time ps its brackett tower not bonanza tower haha :)

Kevin just came in with a big smile on his face and a feeling of contentment. He stated that it was one of the most enjoyable days ever. The way the boys communicated and helped each other out was amazing. He even caught them several times holding hands and with their arms around each other......

Kellan came up to me and after a big hug and kiss stated "I'm so glad you made me go Mom, I would not have wanted to miss this day for the world."

Nothing, not a trip to Paris, or winning the lottery can top memories such as these.

Friday, January 13, 2012

This week: I blinged my mixer, got an idea for my dish soap from Pinterest, and made a strap cover for my camera.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Each year I look forward to the new year, a chance to leave behind those things that did not work for me and begin with a clean slate. This year the thought of wiping the slate clean brought trepidation and angst. With the death of my sister I thought starting anew would mean saying goodbye to her forever. But then I realized my New Years resolutions had everything to do with Denise, for she was my inspiration. No longer were my goals dependent on a quick fix, they are about changing my lifestyle to live more and be around longer, so here they are:

1. Take pride in my house by organizing it, decorating, and sticking to a cleaning schedule.

2. Plan and implement the garden, in advance

3. Realizing that Keaton's education lies in my hands (thanks Carla) I need to find ways to make learning easier for him.

4. Paint creatively again and not worry about perfectionism.

5. Write more, on my blog, etc. Not worry that it has to be well written. It is a journal of my life.

6. Travel more.

7. Enjoy my friends.

8. Learn photography.

9. Start my young adult novel.

10. Live life more fully.......create daily.

11. Look into an etsy site for jewelry.

12. Let Denise's death be a motivator to lose weight.

about me

Alta Loma, California, United States
I am a wife of 28 years to Kevin, a pilot, a mother of 22 year old Kellan and 15 year old Keaton. I am caretaker to a zoo of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, fish, birds, turtles, etc. I am a gardener, a cook, a writer, a painter, a teacher, and I am truly blessed to be able to live life the way I wish too.