Friday, September 28, 2012

Our Week In Review

We've had an interesting week, school-wise and life-wise.  In school we are learning about the push for independence among South American countries during the early 1800's.  Little Man and I have enjoyed learning fun facts about the cultures of some S.A. countries, while the older children studied more about each country's journey to independence.  Fascinating how the ideas of freedom and justice spread from the American War for Independence, to the French Revolution, to South America!

For next week's writing assignment, each of the children got to pick a specific South American country to write mini reports on.  The reports will be put onto posters for our unit celebration coming up in a few weeks.

Just had to post this cute picture of Little Man wearing my reading glasses.  He realized that my glasses are called reading glasses, so deduced that they must cause anyone wearing them to magically READ!  He has been working hard to gain fluency in his reading.... it's a work in progress. :)

In life.... most of our week was spent caring for my 94 year old father in law, while his wife (my mother in law) was hospitalized for major abdominal surgery.  My father in law has had quite an interesting and varied life.... he worked in the 3 C's upon graduation from high school, signaling fire fighter aircraft from a watch tower.  Lived through the Great Depression as a young adult.  Served in WWII.  He went to art school and dreamed of becoming a working artist, but ended up drawing auto parts on a CAD machine for most of his working career.  He became an "older" dad ~ having four children from the time he was 40 to 47.  He used to have so many interesting stories to share.  But he is beyond sharing them now.  They have merged with other pieces of information in his brain to make somewhat fantastical, somewhat scary, somewhat sad, and somewhat funny false memories.  He has dementia.

We tried to engage him in activities, such as painting with our daughter like this:

But most of his time with us has been spent like this:

He is very hard of hearing, so even the noisy activities of the children did not always keep him awake.  And sleeping so much during the day has made it difficult for him to stay asleep at night.  Then he wonders where his wife is, and where he is, and what he is supposed to be doing.  Isn't it time to get up?  No dad, it is 3:00 a.m. 

It is sad for us to see him so diminished.  At times his trademark humor still flashes.  But those times are few and far between.  He has loved his family so well for so many years..... it is our privilege to love him well now.

So, look those you love in the eye and tell them what they mean to you, while they can still understand.  Ask questions and record the answers in some way.  Have your children interact with their grandparents ~ even if through pictures long distance, or through skype (mom and dad, I'm thinking webcam?!?).  Because there is a time for everything under heaven.  My father in law's forgetting time is here.  Thankfully so is our remembering time.

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