Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Dear Sarah, Hannah, Julia & Joshua,
I want you to know all about what I have researched about Dyslexia. Especially since it is highly inherited. Someday, you may have children of your own that could have dyslexia. Even if you do not have dyslexia, one of your kids or grandkids could. I do not have it but I believe my dad did. Here is the information that I learned:

I went to the dyslexia workshop at the David Marr Theater on Friday to hear Susan Barton to speak about dyslexia. She spoke straight through 3 1/2 hours and I learned so much!

As a previous 3rd grade teacher and now a homeschooling mom of four children, I have to say that what I learned was really profound and so encouraging! I wish I had this knowledge YEARS ago. I know that children in my 3rd grade class could have been helped if I knew this knowledge. I am thankful to know it now to help my own daughter.

Susan Barton explained to parents and home-schoolers and teachers what Dyslexia is and what it is not. She took the mystery out of this "language-processing disorder" so that I now know without a doubt that my 7 year old sweet daughter has dyslexia! Not only that, but my dad also without a doubt had dyslexia!

That is one of the FIRST things to know: Dyslexia IS INHERITED! It is not caused.

It is NOT a vision problem or a letter reversal problem.

Warning signs of dyslexia start to appear as early as age 1. Kids that say pasghetti instead of spaghetti- this is cute at first but is a warning sign. Chronic ear infections is another warning sign. A child can be accurately tested for dyslexia as early as age 5. I'm still trying to figure out where so I can get my daughter officially tested. Here are the probelms that some children with Dyslexia have:

*They have difficulty learning how to tie their shoes. Susan Barton suggested just buying velcro shoes for kids with dyslexia. This was a warning sign to me because my daughters twin sister would always tie her dance/jazz shoes before class.
*Kids with dyslexia hold a pencil an awkward way called dysgraphia. Their writing is not consistent- hard for them to write on a straight line. Unusual pencil grip and letter formation
*They are terrible spellers
*Slow or inaccurate reading
*Writes some letters or numbers backwards
*Can't memorize multiplication tables
*Trouble telling time on a clock with hands
*Highly distractable
*Makes lots of careless errors
*Forgets to turn in homework
*Often confused by oral instructions
*Trouble focusing on one task for long
*Difficulty going to sleep, hard to wake up
*Extremely messy rooms
*Inherited trait

Susan Barton said that if children have 3 or more of the symptoms then that child has dyslexia.

It is also NOT RARE! It affects 20% of our population, which is 1 out of 5. Some have it mildly. Others have it severely. It is the MOST COMMON reason a child will struggle with spelling, writing, and eventually with reading. Because children with dyslexia can read at first, but begin to fail at about 3rd or 4th grade. They developed strategies that got them that far. I had my daughter tested in Reading through the charter school I homeschool them through. She tested right at the 2nd grade level, where she should be since she's in 2nd grade. But Susan Barton said children with dyslexia will memorize how words look. They will pass reading tests in the early grades but show her a writing sample and she will know if the child is dyslexic or not. When she showed samples of other children's writing, I realized that yes, my daughter does have it.

It is neurological in origin. Most peoples' brains are larger in the left hemisphere, but a dyslexic person's right hemisphere is the SAME SIZE as the left!

Dyslexia is Greek and means:
dys = difficulty with
lexia = language

There are materials available for teaching dyslexic children, teens and adults and they work like the orton-gillingham method!

Dyslexic people are some of the most gifted people in our society. They make great: artists, athletes (some of the best athletes in America are dyslexic), musicians (even though sheet music is difficult for them), and scientists. They can have great people skills, are sensitive and are highly intuitive. You can "google" to find famous dyslexics.

This list is what she says is not effective for treating dyslexia:
Hooked on Phonics
Reading Recovery
Read Naturally
Accelerated Reader
Vision therapy or colored overlays
Brain gym or other exercises
Slyvan, Score, or Kuman Centers
Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis

Susan Barton was in the computer field well into adulthood. She became motivated to help her 16 year old, failing-since-kindergarten, nephew, named Ben. She learned to teach adults with dyslexia and then went on to start a second career in helping to spread the word MAINLY to parents so they can help their children, because you will not be able to rely on the schools to diagnose or help your children as they DO NOT KNOW how to do these things. They are not trained, yet. They are well meaning and try with the tools they have to help children, but they just don't have the knowledge, yet!

I am going to train myself with the Barton method so I can help my daughter improve. I'm so thankful that I caught this early. Also thankful that I'm homeschooling her and she has one-on-one help. I have a strong feeling that if she was in a school setting that her dyslexia would have been overlooked for years, especially since I think she has only a mild form of dyslexia. There are 4 types, mild, moderate, severe and pronounced.

My daughter is a gifted artist and loves to sing & play the violin. She is also very caring and great with people. It does not have anything to do with intelligence it is a language processing problem! We are focusing on how God creeated each person with different talents and struggles. Please pray for us as we start this new journey.

I hope this helps someone! Please feel free to comment with any questions! I will share what I have learned and then point you to: www.brightsolutions.us

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Korean Heritage

Dear Sarah, Hannah, Julia & Joshua,
Today in our homeschool coop, I will be teaching about Korea. I want to share the story of your Great-Grandma Peggy & Grandma Sonia's experiences during the Korean war with you. I hope and pray that in your lifetime you won't ever have to experience such sadness.

My grandmother’s name was Woon Sam Sandifer (american name, Peggy Sandifer). She was born in 1923 in Seoul, Korea. She was from a family of seven children. She was the second youngest with three brothers and three sisters.
When she was only four years old her dad passed away and left seven children. Her family was very poor and life was hard. Her oldest brother, now the man of the family worked very hard in a rice field. He worked so hard each day for an amount of rice which would barely feed their large family. So my grandma’s two older sisters went to live and be raised by two different families. Each of the families had a son and when the sister’s grew older, they were to get married in a pre-arranged marriage. My grandma loved her mom so much that she begged not to be taken away for a pre-arranged marriage. So she and her younger sister lived with their mom, but they missed their older sisters. My grandma’s oldest brother continued to take care of their family, but one day while he was working at the rice field, his body twisted and he died because he was too weak. My grandma admired her brother for all the work he did to provide for their family, but I often saw the sadness in my grandma when she thought about how he passed away.
My grandma met my Korean grandpa and they were married. They had two children but the first daughter died at the age of one. My mom, (Korean name:Soonyi, American name: Sonia) was their second child. When the Korean War first started, they had to leave their home in Seoul Korea. Everyone in her town left quickly because the communist were coming to destroy the town. Families were walking like a parade of people with their belongings on their backs, horses and cows. The communist airplanes dropped bombs and many people and animals died. When a bomb came, my grandma would dive down, cover up her baby and lay on the side of the road to try to take cover. She would also hide in ditches with her baby on her back to try to stay alive. Everywhere she walked she had to step over dead bodies. Once she and her family had nowhere else to go and they lived under a bridge. There were too many mosquitoes and bugs. One day, she and her daughter (my mom) were walking and a bomb flew right in front of them. If they were to have walked one step further they would have been killed. A lot of families would leave their babies or little children at the side of the road to die since they couldn’t help them anyway. My grandparents found a five year old little girl. She was very pretty. So my grandparents decided to bring her home with them to Suwan. The little girl had frostbite on her legs. Her legs were all frozen like they were all spoiled. My grandparents bought a wagon and pulled the five year old little girl and my mom along as they traveled to Suwan. The little girl died in Suwan where there were no hospitals.
In Suwan, people lived in empty houses, buildings and schools. Four or five families stayed together inside the same building. There were a lot of bugs, lice and flu going around. There was hardly any food except from the government. My grandfather’s job was to count all the people in each family, in that city. He would then go to the government and tell the count because the government gave so much rice to each family. My grandpa would then go to each family and distribute the rice. He was well liked in that city. My grandma would go to the empty houses, where people ran away from and she would use their stoves to cook the rice. Many people became sick from the flu. My grandparents & mom all had the flu. My grandpa was the last to get the flu and he died in Suwan that year from the flu. When my grandpa died, my grandma was so scared. She cried and cried since she loved him so much. It was like a part of her was gone. My grandma didn’t know what to do. A man who was like the mayor helped my grandma bury my grandpa’s body in Suwan.
After my grandpa died, my mom & grandma went back to my grandma’s home in Seoul, Korea. When they arrived, their home was gone from a fire bomb. So they left and went to my grandpa’s brothers home and stayed there for three months. After that they went and stayed at my grandma’s sisters home. My grandma’s sister would watch my mom while my grandma went to look for a job. She found a job selling perfume and makeup and carried it all on her back and on top of her head. She would get paid by rice, eating some of it, giving some to her family and selling the rest to buy more perfume and makeup to sell. Later she sold civilian soldier clothes and worked as a housekeeper at other places.
I’m so proud of my grandma, who went through so much to stay alive and keep her baby, my mom, healthy during the war. They were still living at my great-aunt’s house when the war ended in July, 1953. My grandma finally saved enough money to buy a 3 bedroom house. They lived in one bedroom while they rented out the other two. In one of the rooms, lived an American soldier. This American soldier, Perry Sandifer, later became my step-grandfather. My grandma remarried in Seoul Korea to this American, and they moved to Kansas, USA. Going to America was a dream come true compared to my grandma’s hard lifestyle in Korea. When they went to America, my grandma and step-grandpa brought with them my mom who was 6 years old, my uncle Ki and they adopted a little half Korean girl named Meeja. My grandma was a very hard worker. She saved all her money to eventually help pay for her siblings and families to move to America.
If it wasn’t for my grandma & mom, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. My grandma taught me to give thanks that we are not going hungry. She often mentioned how it took so much work just to get a portion of rice. My grandma always hated it when people wasted food. I am lucky to live in a world where we have plenty of food. My mom taught me to appreciate things, to never give up and to be positive. I didn't understand when I was little why my grandma seemed so unhappy and negative. Now, I understand more the hardships she endured. I thank my mom & grandma, for making my life much better since they provided the things I needed while I was growing up. I’ll always love my mom and grandma. I will also appreciate my step-grandfather who opened the doors to America for my grandma and mom. I am also very thankful that my grandma and mom were both able to learn about God & Jesus and become Christians in America. My Korean heritage is even more special to me now that both my grandma and mom are in heaven. I love eating Korean food such as, rice, kimchee and bulgogi because it reminds me of them. I hope that the hardship they endured during the Korean war and lessons they learned will be passed on to my children and generations to follow.

Suzy Snow
February 2, 2012

P.S. Here is your Grandma Sonia's (my mom's) Korean Bul-Go-Gi Recipe
4 lbs Korean meat- thinly sliced ask the butcher to use the machine to cut it if you don't get the meat from a Korean market. Use eye of round, beef flank steak, sirloin or rib eye meat
1 cup Soy Sauce
1 cup Water
3-4 T. Sesame Seed Oil
1/2 C. Sugar
bunch of green onions chopped- about 3 strings cut top of the hairy part off. Cut the rest of the green onion, chop into small pieces
dash of pepper
a little garlic chopped

Marinade the meat and then grill it cook on stove.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy January 25th!

Dear Sarah, Hannah, Julia & Joshua,
On January 25th, 18 years ago, your daddy asked me a special question. I was a freshman at Harding University and he was a Junior. He told me he wanted to talk to me after my Biology study session. I was so nervous and feared he might not want to go on dates with me anymore. The opposite happened! We sat on a Harding Swing and he told me everything he liked about me. Then he sweetly asked me if I would be his girlfriend. Of course, I said yes! We dated a couple years and then went on a summer mission trip to Papua New Guinea in July 1995. On our way back home, we stayed and toured Australia for a few days. We went on a date to the top of the Sydney Tower and your daddy asked me a very important question. First, we walked around the top of the tower in a circle once and the second time we walked around he stopped and asked me what that walk reminded me of. He gave me 3 guesses and I didn't know how to answer so I said, is walking around the top of the tower like going around the world from the USA to PNG and back? He said, No. I couldn't guess anything else so then he explained. At the college we went to, when someone is engaged the club has a special ceremony called a Ring Ceremony. The ladies in the club will circle around the fountain and according to tradition, the candle has the ring on it and is passed around the club while members sing the club song. It goes around the circle once so everyone can see the pretty ring. The second time it goes around the circle the girl whose ring it is blows the candle out. Everyone rushes towards her and then she shares her story of how she got engaged. Well, Brian said just like walking around the top of the tower once is like a ring on the candle going around the circle once. The second time we walked we stopped and then he got down on one knee and told me he wants me to be the one to blow the candle out at the next ring ceremony. He told me how much he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Then he asked me to marry him. Of course I said YES! We were married a year later on July 13, 1996. I hope and pray that someday God will lead you to a mate as special as your daddy! One of our favorite books to read to you is: The Princess and The Kiss by Jennie Bishop, a sotry of God's gift of Purity. I am praying for you and the person you will marry someday if that is God's will for you! I love you very much.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grandma Sonia

Dear Sarah, Hannah, Julia & Joshua,
It has been a rough year and I'm sorry I have not updated letters to you on this blog. A year ago today, your sweet Grandma Sonia was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. It was very sad especially because a week previous your Grandpa Bill passed away. Daddy started a new job in Red Bluff so our house in Sacramento was mostly packed in boxes. However, we put our move on hold when we found out my mom, your grandma had cancer. I wanted to be close enough to drive to the bay area to help out during the week and on weekends not be 2 hours farther away in Red Bluff. Plus, all our friends and support group were in Sacramento. We were blessed with Mimi & Ashley who came over every week to babysit you so I could tend to my mom's needs. In February, Grandma Sonia had a dream that Jesus was standing at the end of her bed with black stuff coming out the right side of his mouth. She didn't like that dream. At that point, she was going to fight the cancer. But God had another plan. The next few months was a blur with many doctor's appointments, surgery that was unsuccessful, watching the one we love so much get so weak. On April 15, 2011 she went to heaven. Hours before she passed away, black stuff started pouring out of the right side of her mouth. It was really scary until I realized that Jesus already bore her pain when he revealed the dream to her. At that moment I had a sense of peace. I know you will always love & miss your grandma. When the doctors said there was nothing left but to have hospice care, I remember that she said my children were too young to remember her. I know being only 2 1/2 and 6 is a young age but I promised her you would remember. One day we will see her again in heaven.
I wish she could visit our new house in Red Bluff. She would be surprised to see me, a city girl turning country! Our new homeschool friend, Mary, gives us cow's milk each week. We have been having so much fun making homemade butter, whipped cream and yogurt with the raw milk. We are even getting chickens! I like our new home and especially our backyard. You are starting to adjust and are making friends at our new church and the homeschool programs we are in. All of you are growing so fast. The tooth fairy visited Sarah & Hannah so much this past year that she is probably broke! Joshua loves choo choo's and cars. He is fast at riding his bike. Julia is very sweet and careful. She says she wants to be a princess and a doctor when she grows up. (Julia sweetly sat by Grandma Sonia's bed and held her hand for hours that the hospice nurse told Julia she would make a great nurse or doctor someday). Hannah wants to be a singer & an actress. Sarah wants to be a baker and a singer. Joshua wants to be a firetruck man. I love you all very much.