Tuesday, April 3, 2012

American Soldier and Our Friend-Dave VanCamp

We visited a friend today.
It’s truly amazing here in Virginia. It’s early enough in the day that the tour buses haven’t made their way through the streets and the shadows are still cool and dark. We walked streets lined with the most beautiful Weeping Willows and tulips; the reds, pink, greens, yellows and purples are so vibrant and true it’s almost surreal. Warm breezes brush our face and arms and the robins sing as we are reminded spring is making way for summer. I am thankful for the time I’m spending with my family and reflect on life, freedom, and tradition.
The poignant sight of the final honorable ride of the fallen with the Caisson Section is a perfect depiction of sacrifice. Military life is filled with many opportunities to be part of all types of ceremonial acts, traditions and events. American military traditions are handed down to carry on the honor and respect of those that served before us in the name of freedom and democracy. Just as the passing down of family traditions emphasize the historical and genetic map of those who gave us life, the Salute, Spurs, Stetson and Anthems sung in the name of American freedom reinforce the respect and reverence symbolized by the American flag.
As far as I can see there are tombstones outstretched across these beautiful rolling hills, history floods our senses. Reveille and Taps so appropriately run through my mind as this was etched in my memory daily the last 7 years at Fort Carson. Conflict arises inside; I have a sense of pride and grief all at the same time. I search deep for the appropriate words to explain to my children what these Soldiers and American Patriots mean to us as a military family and a Nation as a whole. As a wife of an American Soldier who has served three tours overseas, the reality of such an event is present but thankfully not a reality. I’m proud to be part of such a great country and I feel grief for all those who have lost due to the untimely, but profound, death of a service member.
We came to visit a friend laid to rest here in Arlington. My girls and I were honored to know him and his bride. Dave and Chelsea were our first neighbors at Fort Carson and we served together in the 2nd Squadron 9th Calvary; we later followed them to Fort Knox for Captains Career Course. Kaley and Mari Katherine can remember the night Dave took them trick-or-treating the afternoon Evan was born. We have a picture of the girls and Dave, with “his scary mask”, we occasionally look at when we rifling through the box of family memories. As a couple, Dave and Chelsea were a refreshing reminder to Michael and I of a newly married couple. I have many memories of Chelsea talking about their trip to Disney on their honeymoon, and I watched their relationship grow with excitement. I was always in awe of Chelsea’s strength of a newly married Army spouse; she always walked around with an undeniable honor to serve along with Dave.
Thank you Dave for your giving spirit to our girls. Thank you for the wonderful memories of our new life in the Army and for sharing your wife with us.Thank you for reminding us that life is precious and fragile and that we need to cherish every moment. Most of all thank you for the ultimate sacrifice to our Country and our freedom. Chelsea, thank you for your continued picture of grace and strength, thank you for sharing your life with us and for showing us that we can face our biggest fear as a military spouse.~ hugs and love from the Poche’s

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

No Doubt He Is A Boy!

It is amazing to me how much you get to know your child when you homeschool; no doubt a blessing in disguise. I have learned so much from my wild man in the last two weeks. I definitely enjoy playing more not to mention the recall of the many memories I have with my mom when she stayed home with me my kindergarten year. I have armed myself with the many interviews of other homschool moms, research from the computer and library. We eased into the first week completing short spurts of school work until our goals for the day were completed. This week we have become more diligent in longer work periods. Adapting to his amazingly high energy and need for kinesthetic learning opens my eyes to the many reasons traditional school did not work for him. Therefore the reason I am blowing off the dust on my ever so neglected blog. So now on to what I have learned about my son…in a word, BUSY!

Evan has an amazing way of bringing noise and action to a room; now I’m feeling very sorry for his ex-kindergarten teacher. Talking and spontaneous physical outburst are a given. No doubt he is a boy. We usually start off the day with a set of push-ups, not so much because his dad is in the Army, mainly because it is what works to realign this strong willed child. Skating and scootering in the house is allowed and often while doing schoolwork. He is allowed to fidget in his chair when he is at the computer completing his lessons on time4learning.com. Don’t get me wrong, I do ask him to practice sitting still daily and remind him about the importance of manners and kindness. I thinks he is eating twice as much and I’m pretty sure he has grown an inch since the beginning of our time together. Evan tires himself out by 3pm and I often find him asleep on the ride to pick up the girls from school. Disciplining Evan is nowhere close to the experience I have had with my girls. Unfortunately because I am an only child and our Soldier has been overseas off and on, I think I was a little behind the curve on setting him up for success his first year of school. Oh well, never too late right?

I have read about these creatures just recently in Hal and Melanie Young’s book, Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys. I had no idea that attempting daring and challenging feats were developmentally and behaviorally crucial to a boy’s development. Evan walks this line all too often pushing the boundaries to find where the limit is and where my patience ends. There is no doubt my child may be ADHD but I don’t know how I feel about labeling him so young and personally I am not in favor of medicating a young developing brain if I can get away with it. Our latest activities have included skating while wearing a cap over his eyes, to increase the difficulty of course, while labeling the house with sight words. Don’t be surprised to find a sight word or two in the fridge. Singing is a must! Evan is not only a kinesthetic learner but primarily an auditory learner; he is constantly talking to himself. It is very interesting to me that when a sight word is presented to him that he is unsure of, he will spell out the word under his breath and that helps him to recall it. His rote memory skills are amazing if you present him with a list of 15 or so sight words on note cards lined up on the table. He most often can recite them after reading through them three or four times, the trouble is when you mix them up he may only know half of them so you have to change up the method of learning often. Book work is completed in less than 10 min if you have given him a start and stop page, he lives for the completion of a task…AH HA! I have conquered it type attitude.

This journey is amazing and I don’t know how teachers teach a room full of children if my one child is this diverse in his personality and learning styles. Kudos to all of you out there who take an interest in teaching anything at any level. I can’t wait to get to know my girls the way I have only begun to know my son. Please PRAY for me EVERYDAY lol  that has been my number one tool of the day. God has given me amazing knowledge and insight while wearing my mom and teacher hat and I am very grateful.