Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ACTS Praying, out of the mouths of babes...

So last night our scout troop had a Court of Honor, and also an Eagle Scout Board of Review. I was in charge of doing both so life was hectic; I was sort of in two places at once. (The scout passed his BOR, congrats, Harris!)

At the COH there was a lot of food, much of which our youngest son couldn't have, since we're still trying to do the Feingold Diet with him since he's not on any medication (since he's only 5). But Rebecca made some lasagna he could eat, and I enjoyed some of that at 9pm when we got home.

Someone in our SmallGroup mentioned that they were beginning the ACTS Prayer Method with their family, so we thought we'd try that as well.

Follow the link for a breakdown on each point, but I'll give a 1-liner on each point:
A - Adoration
Each of us give some statement of love and adoration to God.

C - Confession
Each of us give some confession to God. Dad had quite a bit to confess. We did this out loud, so there were a few interesting revelations, but nothing earth-shattering.

T - Thanksgiving
We all had a chance to thank God for something He'd done. Our little man thanked God for his Webkins. :-)

S - Supplication
We each had a chance to ask God for something. First, for someone else, then for himself/herself.

When it came to little John's turn, He said 'Gimme a sammich'.

I told him you didn't ask God like that. You didn't demand things from Him, and it was usually for, like, strength to do right, to fill our needs, etc.

He said, 'Gimme a sammich, PLEASE.'

Hmmm. Give us this day our daily bread.

...out of the mouths of babes...


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where's The Cat?

Yesterday, we had an interesting and bizarre set of ADHD circumstances that I thought I'd share.

I came home from work, and on the way, picked up dinner for the family - PapaJohn's pizza and some 2-liter drinks. I was tired, and I have a laptop and case to carry in, usually stuffed with papers, camera, and various projects.

So I decided not to carry all the food in, but instead send the kids out to get it. After all, they were hungry, right?


So I stumbled in the dark into the house and told the kids to go get the food in the van. Kissed my lovely wife, and set my heavy laptop case in the corner. I could hear my teen son playing the piano in the other room, another videogame sonata.

Teen daughter was yabbering on the cordless phone to one of her many friends. My 5yo son seemed more interested in his Webkins Hamster. Yes, the Webkins now have taken over Habitrail, it's all digital.

So, I hollered a little louder to go get the food from the van, and collapsed in an easy chair, the king's throne (every home has one of these, I'm sure.) Closed my eyes and relaxed. After several minutes, I noticed I still heard yabbering, story-telling, hamster-playing, and Final Fantasy 27.5 Notoki No Papaya, or Don't Touch My Fruit.

So, I hollered a great deal louder, scaring cats, dog, and children with the bellowing bull voice. Or the Voice of Doom. Whatever you want to call it. Finally got the kids rousted to run out and grab the food. We all ate at the dinner table, then the wife and I ran out to get our 21yo daughter from college.

I noticed the ADD kids had left the sliding van door ajar, so I slammed it closed and we went and got the dear daughter.

This morning, I went through my usual routine, stumble downstairs, start coffee, let cat in, let dog out. Only, no cat. Cat didn't come in. But cat ALWAYS comes in. And he's a loudmouth.

Side note, don't ever, ever, EVER get a siamese cat. Or one that looks like one. Or one that had Siamese up to six generations back. Or move next to me if you have one. Because they are loud. Insistent. Obnoxious. Persistent.

Only, today, no cat.

Normally, I wouldn't care. He's a happy cat, if loud, takes care of himself, and sometimes dear daughter locks him in her room so that he'll be forced to spend the night with her. He's her pet, but he doesn't seem to know it.

Anyway, I called the kids to come down for bible. No cat. I opened the front door again, no cat.

I remembered that we have some big neighborhood dogs that sometimes get loose. The kind of big dogs that eat little loudmouth cats. So, I prepped myself to give dear daughter THE SPEECH. But I decided to wait 24 hours before filing a missing cat APB. After all, that's what the police do too, right?


So after bible, I head to my van to drive to work. And this is what I see:

The combination of the ADD kids, the neighborhood dogs, and the ADD dad, conspired to trap the poor loudmouth in my van. All night.

And without a litterbox, too!

Poor baby. Him just couldn't help himself, and now the ADD Dad is driving with the windows down, and not just because his A/C in the Van went south again.


I know you're wondering, if you even read this far, how I can possibly pull this around to a spiritual lesson.

Well, never fear. Looking at the cat in my van, I was reminded of a verse:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. - 1Cor 10:13

And I'll try to remember that everytime I get in my van, from now on, at least until the... memory... of the cat's night in the van fades.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Life in HyperSpace

Well, now it's official.

I've started work on a bold new concept - I'm going to include these stories of my family in a new non-fiction ADHD book to help and entertain others with similar issues.

With all the fun and experience we've had with diet remediation and medication, coping and structure, some of this information will be beneficial to others with similar ADD/ADHD parenting issues.

Dr. Louise Seals has graciously agreed to lend her assistance in the medical side of this work, so I'll be leaning heavily on her as a resource. I hope to have a proposal and a significant portion of the work written by the time the ACFW Conference comes around, as it may be of interest to the agents and editors I'll meet there.

Wish me luck! I'll post a widget here once the words start cranking, so you guys can hop in and see where I'm at on this non-fic journey!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Identity Crisis

Ever lost your Identity? Not, as in, having your Identity stolen by theives, but just, well, 'lost' it?

This has been a recurring comedy for me. About two weeks ago I couldn't find my company ID badge. Looked all over the house for it. Finally went to to work and parked in the Temporary parking area and had to be let in. (Our badges have a swipe entry on them).

The next day I looked again and couldn't find the badge, and mentioned at breakfast that I was going to have to order another one. Which meant parking in Visitors again. And paying for the badge. And a new number. Headaches for me, and headaches for HR.

It wouldn't have been so bad except it's about the 5th time it's happened. My 14yo son was listening and said, "Oh, Dad, I forgot. I found your badge and clipped it on the vine."

"What vine?"

"The vine in the back yard. The one at the back fence at the extreme back of the back yard. Out back."

I went out there to get it. Here's a picture. WHY wouldn't a person think to bring it in?

Well, I can understand it; he was cutting the lawn and found it there on the grass from when I was cutting the lawn, right? And then forgot to bring it in because he had an ADD moment.

But I guarantee I never would have found it out there. Not until I'd bought yet another ID badge.

Well, so Monday I couldn't find my ID again. Looked through the whole house, everywhere I would normally put it and many places I wouldn't. I even checked in the fridge.

Couldn't find it. Went to work, determined to try again that night to find it.

When I got to work, I called home and asked my 14yo son whether he might know where it was. Clipped on the roof, perhaps? On the swingset? On the cat's collar?

No. He checked all my usual places for the crazy thing for me while I was on the phone. Long story short, he couldn't find it, and I had to buy another one. For another charge, get another number. Another hassle for me and HR.

When I got home, I found my ID badge (the old one) sitting on my nightstand. Momma had found it clipped to a laundry basket. I took the old one and cut it up (not good anymore) and clipped the new one on the basket and took this picture to post on this blog.

Right after that, I had to rush to eat breakfast and head on to work. Where I discovered, lo and behold, that my ID badge was... You guessed it... still clipped to the basket for the photo.


I wonder if anybody else out there has days like that?

But if you've lost your own Identity, let me lay a few verses on you:

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.2Cor 5:17

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:16-17

What a glorious identity we have in Christ! Children and heirs of the kingdom, Adopted children of God Himself.

And that is reason enough to rejoice in this day God has made. :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Giving the Cat a 'Shiny Coat' and a Visit to the ER...

Today is a 'Two-Fer', because I haven't posted in a while. This may lead some to think that life in the Solaas house has been pretty normal, but that is most definitely NOT the case.

Several weeks ago, NBC put on a Family Friendly show called 'Secrets of the Mountain'. The American Family Association sent me a personal email letting me know that this was a good show to watch.

I watched the trailer and was quite excited about this movie. So I called home as I was getting ready to leave, and talked to my 11 year-old daughter. I told her I wanted to watch this movie, and I wanted to DV-R it in case I missed some of it due to traffic etc.

She told me the DVD Remote was missing, not unusual in our household (or any other I should imagine). So I sent her searching for the DVD Remote, and informed the family I was on my way home.

Now, before you start asking what watching a movie has to do with a cat's shiny coat, or a visit to the ER, bear with me. Watching a movie isn't hazardous to your health, some experts say.

About the Cat. You should be careful what you say. We mentioned in our 5yo son's hearing that the cat's coat was no longer shiny. Tribble, our 11yo longhair Himalayan Tabby mix was about to shed his winter coat.

So I get a call on my drive home that they are going to have to give Tribble a bath. In a hurry. Seems that our 5yo wandered into the garage and found a can of clear-coat our 14yo son had left lying on the floor of the garage, and SPRAYPAINTED the CAT. Yes, you heard right. Only in the Solaas home.

Gave him a nice shiny coat. A coat of clear-coat. Poor Tribble. If that wasn't enough, he then proceeded to turn Tribble into a leopard by using a dry-erase marker to give him spots.

All of this washed off with no problem. Good thing - cats give themselves baths too, and clearcoat is very poisonous.

So, WHY was the clear-coat lying on the floor of the garage? Well, our 14yo son was working on a car. Here's a picture of him working on it. Very focused. Covered in sawdust, making his Awana Grand Prix car. (Like Pinewood Derby in Cubscouts).

It doesn't look much like a car though - more like an upright piano. Here's a picture of it in the competition. Nice and Shiny. But the paint and clear-coat never got put away. Always put away your tools when you're done. BIG ADHD rule. Otherwise, someone might come along and spraypaint the cat.

On to the E.R...
I'm almost home, about 5 minutes away, when I get another call - they're about to pack our 11yo daughter up and rush her to the ER. Seems she was searching for the remote in the van. Yes, the HOUSE DVD remote. In the van. Don't ask me why. In fact, don't ask her why. She didn't know. It was just someplace else to look.

She got in a hurry and jumped out of the van, slamming the sliding door on her finger. Cut it on both sides. Our 14yo dear son, always helpful, provided the information that they could see the bone in the wound.

I faint at the sight of blood. I'm driving on the highway. Don't tell me you see bone while I'm driving on the highway.

I ask if it's spurting blood, while trying to keep from fainting while driving on the highway. It's not, so I tell them to wait and stop any bleeding like a good boy scout, and I'd be home in just a few minutes to do the driving to the hospital.

The time was 7pm, right when the movie was starting.

I got home and we drove our precious daughter to the LeBonheur Hospital downtown, where they are always nice to kids. It's a kids' hospital. Even their logo has kids on it. Here they all are on a license plate.

Anyway, we get to LeBonheur at 7:30pm and check into the ER. The nurses mention they've seen us there before. Oh, really? We're the Solaases. You should recognize us, we've been here too many times.

Unfortunately, when you've brought your kids to the hospital too many times, they get just a trifle suspicious that perhaps you've been hurting your kids, rather than them hurting themselves.

This is expected, especially when they recognize you but they don't 'know' you yet. Usually (isn't that a scary word when talking about hospitals?) they take us to the left to the Disney rooms over in the 'lacerations' area of E.R., where you are treated to a TV playing the Disney channel, and a sweet lady comes in bringing toys and stuffed animals, and the rooms are painted nice kid-friendly colors, with Disney characters painted on the walls.

This time, a Drill Instructor with a Major Payne haircut came out with a clipboard, and said, in his best Drill Instructor bark, "You will follow me, please."

He led us to the right, through a huge blast door that banged behind us, into the Trauma Center.

There's a reason they call it the Trauma Center. You go through trauma when they take you there.

The room was completely white, with a rollaround gurney pretending to be a hospital bed. No TV, no Disney characters. Just a row of 'Bob the Builder' heads stickered on the window. Nothing to look at or entertain us except the screams.

Next door to us was some poor child someone had beaten in the head. I only know this because I heard the nurses discussing it just outside our room.

They went in to examine the poor child, and she began screaming like she was dying.

No, I'm serious. Like she was dying.

Shortly thereafter, four police officers came running around the corner, holding their nightsticks. I presume they wanted to survey the damage to the child and then go arrest Dad or Mom or whatever monster was responsible for the horrible act.

My poor daughter began laughing nervously, saying "That's comforting."

There was little comforting about the trauma unit. It was all business. The business of saving lives, and my jokes here are not intended to disparage their efficiency in helping kids survive trauma.

We were there for several hours. During which time they dressed our daughter in one of those hospital gowns intended to cover the least amount of body. To stitch up her finger. And, I expect, to check her for bruises and such.

But, we're actually a pretty good family. No bruises, no abuse. Just ADHD kids who get in a hurry.

Then they said they were going to have to look at the wound again, and stitch it up. At which point, Dad had to leave the room and stagger back to the waiting room. As I said, I faint.

We got out of there at 12:30am. Needless to say, we missed the movie. Good thing we got it on DVR so I could watch it the next day. Oh, and the funny thing is, we didn't need the remote to record.

The lesson here in both of these stories, I guess, is two-fold. First, Think before you speak. If I'd known what our son would do if we mentioned the cat's coat wasn't shiny, I'd be cleaning the garage. And if I had just thought about the fact that we didn't have to have the remote, maybe the visit to the ER wouldn't have happened.

Second, and more importantly, God is watching over us. He sent our 20yo into the garage to find out what our 5yo was up to. He preserved our daughter's finger, which is now fully functional, no nerve damage or broken bones or severed muscle. And He's watching over the rest of us too, with eyes of compassion.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Late Night Snack??

This morning, when I came down to fix coffee, There was an empty jar of Peter Pan peanut butter (creamy) on the counter, and this mess in front of it...

My first thought was, which of my four kids got up in the middle of the night, to make themselves a sandwich? And why a fork? a Spoon? A bowl??

So, I hollered up at my oldest dear son, asking him what was up with the PB sandwich late at night?

He really had no clue what it was about, and blamed the 4yo.

Hmmm. I couldn't see the 4yo doing this, and the finger smears through the middle of the bowl didn't look like toddler fingers...

Then I went into the bathroom.

It appears that the peanut-butter culprit also wanted some hand lotion. But why in the world? And with peanut butter all over their hands, too! What in the world?

So, then I looked next to the Lubriderm, and there was peanut butter smeared on the gargantuan Sams bottle of hand sanitizer. Looked like whoever the culprit was, they desperately wanted 'clean hands and a pure heart'.

Next to the hand sanitizer, it appeared the water faucet had been turned on by Peter Pan also, and there was also peanut butter under the tap, dripping down into the sink. Yuch. Peter was desperate to get those hands clean.

So, I started asking questions of the kids. Finally, R, the 11yo daughter, admitted it was her. Apparently, she'd gotten some of this stuff called 'Zing' gum. Here's the packet of it, pulled out of the trash.

She decided that if one stick of gum was yummy, then all 15 sticks of gum would be even more yummy. So, she crammed them all in her mouth, and sat up reading a 'Charlie Bone' novel until 2am, when she started to fall asleep in her gum and in her book too.

She knew it wasn't good to go to sleep with gum in your mouth (A baseball-sized wad is such a choking hazard, you know...) so she pulled it out of her mouth. But gum that's been chewed all day and all night tends to gain in stickiness, or at least, that's some of the 'Zing' in 'Zing'. It turned into a goo on the level of taffy, with an adhesive coefficient of tackiness equal to that of Gorilla Glue.

First it stuck to one hand, then the other, as she attempted to get it off the other hand. One finger after another was imprisoned in the wad of goo, until she had a cats cradle between her hands, like a pink spiderweb.

Eventually she managed to get downstairs, open a jar of peanutbutter, and sacrifice all its contents to remove the glue from her hands, her arms, and her face.

The peanut butter worked, but removing slimy peanutbutter from your body at 2am apparently requires liberal application of Lubriderm, Hand Sanitizer, and Cold Water.

Lucky for the rest of us, chemical reactions involving lanolin, alcohol, and peanut oil do not in fact cause fires or spontaneous explosions.

Or so their packages seem to imply. But I think I'm going to write the manufacturers of 'Zing' and 'Peter Pan', requesting that they please add to their verbage on the package, 'Keep out of reach of Children'.

On a side note, R's late-night foray into cleaning up this sticky situation should have turned into a teaching opportunity, because, just as King David found out, trying to cover up your sin, and deal with it yourself, leaves a much bigger mess than getting help and forgiveness.

R should think about this as she attempts to clean the downstairs bathroom before homeschool starts...