Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Care About Rare

Today is World Rare Disease Day-- and though Matthew is alone in his diagnosis, he is far from alone being rare.  We are thankful for those that have paved the way before Matthew and we stand beside those that are walking the rare journey.  

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lucky Number 7

Seven.  Today, Matthew is his favorite number- 7.  

This boy is non-stop from sun up to sun down.  He is happy most of every day.  He thrives best in routine.  

He loves...
his scooter
throwing ball
his friends
our neighbors
Phineas & Ferb
french fries
and the color yellow.

Every day is still a good day for Matthew!  Happy birthday!

Saturday, November 19, 2016


With the laundry list of the areas that Matthew needs to work on, we sometimes forget how far he has come. Reminding me to celebrate, last Saturday, I hollered "Where are you?". Matthew replied, in clear voice, "in my room". Walking into his room, I found he had taken off his pjs and put on his undies, his shorts and his shirt. Oh, planned obsolescence- my lifelong parenting goal! 

I need to take a minute and celebrate all the things this boy can do today, many of which we weren't sure he would.

He can...
tell me a joke.
put the cap on a marker.
write letters.
dress himself.
ride a bike with training wheels.
answer questions.
feed the dog.
brush his teeth.
get his snack.
decide on his clothes.
show me his favorite color.
sing a song.
wave hello.
throw a ball.
climb on the counters.
help unload the dishwasher.
wipe down the table.
go potty by himself.
fall asleep on his own.
walk up and down stairs.
turn on the shower.
wash his body.
communicate his wants and needs.
make friends.
show joy.
eat with a fork or a spoon.
jump on one foot.
drink from a straw.
and so much more.

For this moment, I won't concentrate on the 100s of things he still needs to work on, but instead celebrate the 100s of things he can do.  

My little helper

Sunday, November 6, 2016

What I Imagined

Looking around at the kids doing their thing-- reading, working on homework, playing school-- I can finally say that this is what I imagined life with kids to be like.  

Until this year, I often thought to myself "this is not at all what I expected".  Maybe it is because I don't remember when I was really little, and therefore my own memories (or lack thereof) clouded my expectations.  I do remember playing school, and doing homework, and reading.  Now feels familiar.  This is what I expected when I imagined my life with kids.  It only took 10, almost 11, years to see it. 

Hoy Homework Hour

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bright Spot

We often worry if Alyssa and Jackson are getting the raw end of the deal because we spend so much time and energy on Matthew. This becomes particularly worrisome when we hear or see either struggling. This last week, it was "would we have noticed Jackson is struggling in writing if we weren't paying so much attention to Matthew's struggles?"  Oh, parent guilt is real. What has always grounded me (and alleviated a little of my parent guilt) is the knowledge that we--Alyssa, Jackson, Darren, and I-- are better people for having Matthew in our lives and for seeing and helping him grow.  

A bright spot in the parent/teacher conference about Jackson was his homeroom teacher sharing how Jackson helped a classmate. Without divulging too much information, a classmate had a situation and Jackson saw it and helped him. I tear up thinking about the story, because this is the way that Jackson helps Matthew all the time. He may treat him like any little brother (as the almost daily arguing and pushing can attest), but Jackson is so helpful and kind when Matthew is in need. It does my heart good (and lessens my parenting guilt) that he does this out in the world too. What we sow at home is reaped in the world. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

As we begin planning for Halloween, every year I wonder if this will be the end of the Hoy kids dressing in theme.  I am happy to report that the tradition continued this year.  Happy Halloween! 

Halloween 2016- Batman, Robin, and the Joker

Halloween themes of our past--

2015- Harry Potter

2014- Harry Potter

2013- Jake and the Neverland Pirates

2012- Star Wars

2011- Star Wars

2010- Super Heroes

2009- Sesame Street (1st year to theme)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Compliment Sandwich

Oh how I love the feedback sandwich- compliment, 2-3 most important areas for improvement, followed by compliment.  This week I felt beat down as a parent because of imbalanced sandwiches.  Some were missing the bread all together.  Others had way too much meat. We all have areas of improvement and to hear an unprioritized laundry list is just too much.  Beat down.

My first reaction was wanting to crawl in a hole (adulting is hard!), then anger (come on!), then action (let's try to fix it all), and now (hopefully) calmer rational planning.  Of this laundry list of my kids' faults (ranging from Jackson's poorly written book summaries to Matthew's unwillingness to walk quietly in a line because he wants to say hi to everyone), we have to prioritize what is most important and what we need to do to improve. 

I guess a positive about this experience is that it is making me more sensitive to giving feedback in my classroom, to students and parents.  Only hearing the negative and/or too much negative beats us down.  I am recommitted to the compliment sandwich!