Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Local Vintage Treasure Trove {Glory Days Antiques}

Most of you know I live in Oregon, and one town over from mine is the most fun, most amazing little  giant shop ever!  It's called Glory Days Antiques.  It's huge!   It takes a couple of hours to get through every booth. 



My girlfriend Krista and I consider it our little mommy escape.  It usually goes something like this....

Sunday afternoon Krista Calls "Hey Jenn, wanna run out to Glory Days?" (que the Bruce Springsteen music)  We giggle about that everytime!!  It's our theme song of course!!

She heads down the hill to my house, and we set off on a "quick" run through the shop.  3 hours later, they are turning off the lights as we make our way through the last few booths, and packing all of our loot to the cashier. (yes we often shut the place down)


I cannot tell you how fun this shop is. Here are a few pictures I snapped the last few times we were there. Some of them are from the Holiday Season, but they are amazing!!


This happens to be one of our favorite shops in the store!  Colby Cottage!  I just want to move this whole set-up into my home!  Today!


This is a new one!  What a cute idea with the clipboards and book pages!  Why didn't I think of that?  I love clip boards and book pages.....  hello!




Are you dreaming or inspired yet?



These are some fun soy candles that they put in these adorable jars!  I have an idea in mind with this style!   Love them!!


Here are some fun holiday shots.  It was so much fun during the holidays, and I was so inspired for my own decor and tree this year!







My Latest Find was this vintage school desk! It is the perfect fit for my littles to do homework while I cook dinner! They love it!



And for just over $15, I too was in love!!




So, if you live in the local area, you must check them out!


GLORY DAYS ANTIQUES
143 21st Street
Springfield, Oregon 97477
(541) 744-1112


 


OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK
Monday through Saturday 10-5, Sunday Noon to 5
Over 10,000 sq. ft. of Fantastic Merchandise offered by 50+ Dealers

Glory Days Antiques is a family business that has been in Springfield for 16 years. Attention to detail, customer satisfaction, and innovative merchandising are our priorities.

Whether you are a local resident or a traveler, please visit our store.




Once we've shopped out hearts our, we head to our favorite Mexican restaurant and grab a tasty margarita and some table side guacamole........  And depending on our service we may sit there for an hour or two, you never know!

By the time we finally make it to our last destination (home) the kids are all snug in their beds, and the husbands are usually sitting on the couch, and just give the "look".  You know the "Oh, sure, quick trip huh?" look!

But what is most important is that we both have 3 children, and both need that much needed mom time to talk about school, the kids, the husbands and ourselves!  It's such a treat, and I adore our Friendship! 

I look forward to many more years of this!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Valentine's {a week late}

Things have been a tad hectic in our lives, but I was determined to get the Valentines completed.  I did however hold off on posting them!  So here they are!  ENJOY!!

For the little miss we created Kool-Aid Play-Doh kits!  I used some of the pencil boxes that I picked up over the summer during the back to school sales.  They were $0.01 each!  I grabbed 30 (the limit) and knew I could use them at some point in the future!

I created a Label using Picnik... sad to see them go!


We took little ziploc baggies and placed 1/2 cup flour in one, and 1/4 cup Salt in another.  Added one pouch of Kool-Aid and a heart shaped cookie cutter and called it good!


Using my Xyron machine, I created labels for the backs with the instructions.  This worked so well!


  Here is the "slogan" I came up with...... cheesy I know, but this was a hard one!




The night before Valentines day I was frantically trying to get everything finished up (remember I said it was hectic) and my sweet husband came into the kitchen, placed his hand on my shoulder and said "babe, why don't you put these valentines down, and I will go to the store and get some easier ones, you need to rest"  and of course, I said no way!  I was determined to get these puppies completed.  Gabi did help with most of them, but as usual she lost interest and moved on....

The day after Valentines Day, Gabi came home with this note.  This is a perfect reminder why we do the holiday crafts that we do!!


This is from a little boy's mom from her class.  He is the sweetest boy ever, and is special needs.  Every time I am in the classroom, I see all of the children take to him, and treat him with such love and care.... it melts my heart.  I will admit, I shed a tear when I read this!  I also got an e-mail from another Mom about her valentine as well.  So I had a great Wednesday!!


For Gage I found an awesome Idea via Pinterest, here!  It was so simple and I knew he would love this!  And he did!!




They were so simple, turned out amazing and everyone loved them!!

So back to the hectic part.  I had all of the supplies for these lightsabers at least a week in advance, if not longer.  After school about 4 days prior I had asked Gage if he was ready to work on them... he told me "not right now, but later" so I moved on to baking. 

About an hour later he yells "mom, I am all ready, I have everything we need"  as I turn the corner into the living room al excited to start working with him I find him sitting on the couch surrounded  by 75 glow sticks, all glowing ever so bright!!!!   AAAAHHHH Gage!  You aren't supposed to do that!  I did not yell, actually I laughed... and what do you do?  I told him to take them all and get in the tub in the dark!  He grabbed his sister, and that's exactly what they did!

They spent a good hour in there!  Such a great time and an even better memory!  I needed the laugh!



Moving on to the next item of business.  Classroom parties!  I had to create a Tic Tac Toe game for the 3rd grade classroom.  While I was at work, I just whipped something up real quick in Excel.




If you may be wondering.... the blue and white M&M's were for my son who is no longer allowed to consume Red40 artificial coloring.  He was very happy to be different that day!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my very late Valentine's post!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Moment for the Children... {update on Gage}

On February 2nd, Allen and I had the biggest meeting of the year, maybe even our lives.  It was to go over the Special Education testing results and to see what plan was going to fit our child best.

I did not sleep well the night before, and that day I felt I needed to express to all of my followers and friends (YOU!) what I was going through.  As a mom (many of you can relate) it was one of the most fearful days of my life.  Was my child different?  Did I do something wrong in raising him?  Is he not as smart as all the other kids?  Would he be made fun of?  The fear was filling my brain and it was tearing my heart into pieces. 

But, I did what I had to do.  Swallowed my pride and walked into that room filled with familiar and unfamiliar faces.  At a big conference table sat, Myself, Allen, the Special Education Coordinator (she has been my saving grace, and an amazing advocate), The Title1 reading specialist, his current teacher, the speech therapist, and the special education teacher.  The principal unfortunately could not make the meeting, however I wish she had!

I think Allen was actually more nervous that I was.  I have met with most of these ladies on previous occasions, just never for this big reason.  As we started to go over the test scores, Allen grabbed my hand under the table and squeezed it tightly.  It was then that I felt at ease.  He was there for me, and would be there no matter what was said.  I knew that already, but trust me, that hand meant the world just at that moment.

Our advocate went over many test results, one at a time.  And I kept hearing "He is above average" or "he is not in the area of concern"  As I type this post, I am fighting back the tears.  My son has been through too much this year to have results like this.  How can this be?  His teacher was SURE he had a learning disability.  As she kept going I kept hearing positive comments from the specialists in the room on his work samples.  You mean I have a "normal" 3rd grade boy?!?

The final outcome was NO our son does not qualify for special education services, and does not even come close to being below average!  And he does NOT need speech therapy.  Which, I must say, I knew.  But again, the teacher was sure he needed it.

So, now what?  Well he is still on his meds that have done great things.  However, he is still not staying focused in class.  He is full of energy,and lately has been having a few anger fits at home.  These worry me, because they have not been the normal temper tantrum.  So this Friday we go back to the pediatricians office to see if we should try another medication.  But again, this will come with horrible side effects that we must prepare ourselves for.

I feel like we are on the home stretch!!  I want to say thank you to everyone for the sweet comments,and the prayers.  They are helping me through each day.  Truly!

Now onto something else that has really been a big part of me........ 

Most of you know me as Jenn, who is addicted to blogs.  If you only know me as One Thrifty Chick, then you now know something new today!

I have been a blog follower for a few years now, and over the years I have come across some amazing people.  There are a few of them that need your prayers!

James and Kellie Staats lost their baby girl Maddie to SIDS at 4 months of age last February.  They are now expecting their precious little boy named Jackson, and will need many prayers as they reach the one year angelversary of their precious Maddie.  You can click on their names or the picture below to go to their blog. 



Next up is Kendra and Ryan Webster.  They too lost their baby girl Makenzie at 4 1/2 months due to a rare medical condition.  Kendra is pregnant again, after trying for so long, and has not been feeling well lately, and needs some prayers.  Go visit their page, oh and listen to the music she has picked for her  player.  I listen to it everyday, and it has helped me in soooo many ways!



The last one for today is the King Family.  Mom Lisa has been through so much in the last 4 months.  They lost their little boy Noah on the 8th of October to medical complications he had faced since birth.  Then on the 26th of January, Lisa lost her husband and her best friend of a sudden heart attack.  Please take the time to visit her blog and leave her some words of encouragement. 


Although I have been through my own struggles, I find it important to take time out of my day to show support of others who have been faced with their own struggles.

And to end this bittersweet blog post, here is a video with an amazing song that fits how I am feeling about my little boy right now!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs to you All!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life's Hard Choices... {a cry for help}

Did I get you with that title??  First I want to start with saying that I have been MIA from the blog for GREAT reasons!!  I went to Las Vegas for 5 days with my husband, Mom and Dad!  Our very first true vacation with no kids!!

Once we got back I realized I had sooo much to do, and the blog just had to wait.  I have so many posts lined up, and all sorts of projects in the works that I cannot wait to share with you!!

Today I wanted to share a story with you all that has been a giant hurdle for our family this year.  Also, today is the day we make the final decision.... (please pray for me will you?)

It starts with this little boy.......... 

Meet Gage:


He has always been such a happy, yet reserved child.  He worries about everything, and does not like to take risks.  This is a child that gets worried when driving over bridges or down steep hills.  Love him to pieces!


We never thought it was an issue as he grew up, however he also does not like to go into public places, or even to a park if there are too many kids.  He has always slept with his sister.  Even when she was a baby, we would find him curled up on the floor in front of her crib.  It was so sweet at the time, and to this day he likes to sleep in her room.  Good thing she has a trundle bed!


We had asked our pediatrician about it in the past and he reassured us that he was going through a "phase".  Yes all kids go through them, some worse than others.  When Gage started school he never had any problems all the way through the second grade.  He did need help with reading, but once he was placed in a program, he excelled all year long!


We had no idea that this year would bring a whole new ballgame, and a mass heartbreak.  It started about 2 weeks into the school year.  

His teacher asked me to come in and talk about Gage.  She brought to my attention that he was having a hard time doing anything in class, and not paying attention.  She also told me that she found he has a speech impediment.  Her suggestion was to see our pediatrician and talk about medications. (although she did not directly say medication, she said everything that comes along with that) 

As a mom this all came as a huge shock, being that he has been in this school for 3 years now and never had any problems.

I took a few days to process everything that was said, and even talked to some friends of mine that are teachers as well.  I decided I needed a second opinion and also to have the principal involved.  And I did just that.  She talked to the teacher, and things quieted down for about 3 weeks.  Then came the parent teacher conference....


I had no clue what was about to hit.  Things were said that may have caused my jaw to drop to the floor.  I wont go into detail, however to sum it up, my son was now not able to do anything in her classroom.  Even the basics of school.  But now, he has a learning disability.... so she is claiming.  She also informed me that my son had been moved to a new location at the front of the classroom with an empty "buffer" desk between him and the other kids.  His desk had also been turned around so that he would not fiddle with anything inside of it.

Don't get me wrong.  I am all for finding ways to keep children focused in class, but this was all being done the wrong way, and with horrible communication.  I could talk for hours about the negatives here, but I am trying to stay on the point.



At this point we agreed to have him tested for Special Education as she had suggested, and we also had agreed to see our pediatrician.

During the next few months Gage was having emotional breakdowns in the morning, and even physically trying to make himself sink in order to avoid school.  We would spend a number of mornings sitting in the office just to calm him down.  My gut told me that this was not right.

Two months went by and we were nearing Christmas break.  Gage wanted to take me into his classroom to show me the salmon eggs that were hatching, and while in there he said "oh mom, I had to move again, that's where I sit now" as he pointed to his desk, I felt this sense of anger and disgust fill my body.  She had now moved my child to his own "island" in the front of the classroom, still turned around.   Keep in mind that all of the desks are connected to each other, except my child!  This has now been taken too far.

I went home again, talked to my husband, talked to the principal and asked Gage how this made him feel, and wouldn't ya know it.... NOT GOOD!  He felt embarrassed, humiliated and confused.  He said he just wanted another chance to sit with the other kids.  But no such luck. 




Over the Christmas break we had contemplated taking Gage out of that classroom, and placing him in another classroom, but the Principal had urged us to give it another try after the break.  We had plans to see our pediatrician on the 5th of January, and so we had decided to stick with it.

January 5th came, and it was a very emotional yet informative day.  We sat down and talked about it all.  And Gage was diagnosed with Child Anxiety in the form of Social Phobia.  What?   As he explained it, it all made sense.  Why did I not catch this sooner?  Why is it so elevated this year at school?  Well his school merged with another school which brought it over 200 new kids, and a bunch of new teachers, one of which was his.

This poor child is suffering and I did not even know it. I felt much less of a mother, but my husband was right there to pick me up off the floor and reassure me I am a great mother and have done all I can for my child.

Then came the talk of all talks.... medication.  My heart sank, as I held back the tears.  We talked about many kinds and decided to go with Zoloft.  This terrified me, I know as an adult how strong that drug is, and I am supposed to give it to my child?  He told us to give it 3 weeks for his blood levels to even out... so we did it.

I was terrified of the possible side effects, and having to explain to our daughter what her brother would be going through.  At this time I went to the school and said exactly what the doctor had said and that we had another 3 weeks to wait. I explained the side effects and how important it is to pay attention to his behavior and to let me know right away if anything seemed off.


Well luck would have it.. at the end of week ONE, yes ONE week his teacher pulled me aside in the front of the school (in front of other people) and let me have it.  Told me my son made her feel like a failure as a teacher, she had the worst day, actually week ever.  He had horrible behavior, yet she never sent him to the principals office.  The last straw for me was this comment "When he comes in next week, he will be moving back to his "island".  I know this will not help his anxiety, but I have no other choice."  

Excuse me?!?!?  I have another choice!  Well I kept my cool, and waited until I got in the car to let out my tears.  Did she really just do that?  She couldn't have waited, or maybe nicely told me he had a rough week?  And now she wants to dis-regard his medical diagnosis for her own good?

As you can tell, I was D.O.N.E with this teacher.  The following day was my birthday, and my children were headed to my parents for the weekend.  But I was so upset that I spent most of the time in tears wondering where to turn to next.


Luckily for me, it was a three day weekend, so I had time to think.  We had come to the decision to yank him and I mean YANK from her classroom.  I sat down to my computer and drafted an e-mail to the principal wiping many tears as I typed.  I had to take breaks along the way, just to re-gain composure.  

My exact words were "He will not be returning to school until he is placed in another classroom"  and low and behold, Tuesday morning, he did not go to school.  I was not willing to put him through this any longer.  I now knew that my gut feeling was right all along.  I felt horrible for not acting sooner.


I got a call from the Principal that afternoon, and right away he was moved!  His new teacher is WONDERFUL and so positive.  I know my son may have a few problems, but being negative will only make things worse.

Today is the day we meet to discuss the options for an IEP or a 504.  These will be specialized education plans for him to help him get back into the 3rd grade groove.  This has been the hardest journey with school so far.

So many times I was asking myself, how did this happen?  What am I doing wrong?  Part of me now thinks it's not me.....

Now the questions for you all are:  Have you been through this?  Am I doing something wrong?  What would you do?


Thank you so much for stopping by!  I would love prayers or even good thoughts sent our way, it may be a rough night.

I promise to be back soon with some new crafty fun!!!