Many of you have been faithfully praying for Abby as she tried to catch up in school. Abby started the summer testing 2 years behind academically. Obviously not good but with all of the time and energy spent fighting cancer it is understandable.
Your suggestions on resources worked beautifully. They made "playing" school at home loads of fun. Abby didn't let the medical problems/distractions that filled her summer slow her down one bit. She was having too much fun and was very proud of the progress she was making.
A few weeks ago the school retested her and she was caught up with her peers academically. We were thrilled with the results. Thank you so much for all of your help and prayers.
Abby is still testing behind in speech and with her (not so) fine motor skills. She loves her speech therapist and occupational therapist. With their help at school and ours at home, she is making progress there too.
In the Riggs clan, ability to communicate is based solely on ones ability to make others laugh. Since she came up with these gems over the weekend, I think she is well on her way:
We were in the kitchen getting supper ready and Brent was horsing around as usual. Abby chimed in with perfect timing: DADDY, YOU'RE INSUFFERABLE.
Yes, she said that. No, we don't know if that's what she actually said or meant to say. She probably said something more akin to her 5 years of age but it sounded perfectly like "Dad, you're insufferable." So we're sticking with that!
Repeat After Me
We were coming home from church and Abby said, "Dad, let's go to a restaurant."
No response so she repeated, "Dad... let's go to a restaurant."
After a 2nd lack of response from Brent, Abby got his attention: "Dad! Repeat after me... LET'S-GO-TO-A-RESTAURANT..."
She got a good laugh, but no restaurant.
A reader commented (politely) that while it's obvious we are good parents, it seems like we (ie. Brent) are always criticizing everyone and not admitting our own mistakes or weaknesses.
If you've read our blog(s) for very long you'll find that we are pretty open about our own shortcomings and freely admit mistakes, both as parents and as bloggers. I don't think anyone who has been around any of my blogs long would argue with my willingness to admit weakness or mistakes. We have NO problem admitting failures... we make plenty. We're just normal folks. I don't claim some magical status as never wrong, or a know-it-all. On the other hand, it's not my calling as a writer, teacher or leader to hide or be timid about sharing advice or wisdom. That would be a waste of my life and gifts.
Our relativistic society evokes immediate suspicion (and criticism) of anyone giving the impression that they are confident they are "right" about something. Having said that, what the reader defined as "criticism" I would propose is simply plainly stated public opinion. I have Biblical and old-fashioned ideas about parenting, marriage and life. Those views are often controversial nowadays (though they worked quite well for a couple hundred years). I'm not shy about them in a world that lacks courageous leadership. I don't equivocate, I don't apologize for my views and I'm not intimidated by politically-correct peer pressure. I CAN see why someone would call my writing style "criticism" given our cultural inability to simply call it what it is: OPINION. Or disagreement.
If it's politically correct, it's a "viewpoint". If it's Biblical or conservative it's "criticism" or "judgment" of the opposing view. My observations and advice are not "criticism" (in the negative intolerant sense that word is tossed around today). My opinions are... my opinions. They are just stated with confidence and without apology for the benefit of whoever feels they are helped by them. Otherwise, they are worth approximately... squat.
FYI... I'm not being sarcastic about the reader being polite. They really were. I took the comments at face value: polite and sincere.
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We haven't taken a lot of photos lately. Hopefully we'll find more time.
Here's Abby going to Cowboy Day at school.