Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Duggar Scandal


So the Duggar sex scandal saga continues on.....

Since this blew up over the weekend, I was determined not to discuss it when I had my family to focus on but since it is still rolling, I will give my two cents.  It's like armpits, everyone has their opinions and most stink!

So Josh Duggar did some type of touching of some of his sisters and maybe someone from outside the family when he was 12-14 years old. OMG how did he escape the death penalty?

I don't want to make light of what he did.  It was a sin, it was wrong and I'm sorry that any girl had to experience it.   We don't know the actual details.  The copy of the police report I saw did not have details, I've heard that he may have touched a girl in her sleep but that's just something I read in a news article, not seen proof of it.  We don't know if in some of the cases there was mutual exploration going on and him being the boy and the oldest was the one blamed.   We don't know and frankly it's none of our business. 

First let me say in the USA we have a JUVENILE  system because we realize a 13 year old will not have the maturity or self control to make a decision as if he/she were 43 years old.....  we realize that juveniles are not fully mature in their mental reasoning abilities.  So while a juvenile may be punished for a crime, it most likely does not carry the ramifications of an adult's sentencing.   And I can positively guarantee that Josh Duggar did not meet the criteria for being labeled a pedophile in any of our 50 states no matter what idiot on the web is calling him. 

For over 13 years I worked within the juvenile justice system in Florida as a caseworker, then a probation officer and then a supervisor of all committed cases.  For over three years as a supervisor my unit had the majority of all sexual cases in our county.  I took classes to learn about sex offenders, one class made me so sick I had to go outside and throw up.  I started on my Master's in Criminal Justice....so I know a little about what I'm talking about. 

In Florida during the time I worked for DJJ, Duggar's case would have probably only been given probation, consisting of community hours and counseling.  I can't say for sure that would have been the outcome but since there was no clothes off or penetration that we know of, the State's Attorney would probably not gone after him for a harsh sentence.  I can only compare it to cases that I've personally been involved with and I can say for a certainty that that's about all that would have happened to him. 

Well I'll be darned....that's exactly what happened to him in Arkansas too.  His family sent him away to do manual labor with a friend who may have also been counseling him.  A lot of rehab programs have a core of manual labor involved in them.  We have a relative who is in a drug rehab program and he works on a farm during the day and goes to counseling and classes at night in the program. 

I don't' get the big outcry from the media and all these "caring folks"   The boy was caught and confessed to his family.  They removed him from the home, and went to the police.  The family can not help the fact that the police did nothing.  They probably did not know what to expect but for God's sake they took him to the police station and did a police report!   People can always second guess what they would have done in the situation but probably most folks would have done far less!  And why do I say that.......just stories I know of things that have happened to myself and friends. 

So over the past few days I've had several conversations about this situation.  Some of my friends gave me examples of things that happened to them when they were younger.  Inappropriate  things happened to a lot of us.  My husband and I both had other children who tried to touch us, neither of us told on the kids but we both avoided them from then on.  One of the kids who attempted to touch me was two years younger but much more mature in that area than me.  Another friend had an older brother's friend who exposed himself to her and had her touch him.  I had another friend tell me that she and some of the neighborhood boys used to play "doctor" , most of the kids were older than she was.   It happens.  It happens to families who go to church and who don't go to church.  That doesn't make it right, but we need to look at it realistically. 

At 12-14 kids are going through puberty, anything sexual is exciting and they want to know all about it.  And yes some kids do things that are just plain out wrong.  But their lives should not be forever ruined because of it!

Now I'm not a big Duggar fan.  In fact I've been told I'm quite mean about that family.  I don't like how they portray Christianity with all their man made legalistic rules.  I was raised with a lot of rules and broke away from that.  I really do not like the patriarchal leadership- where the woman is expected to marry young after "courting" , have little education, use no birth control, have tons of children, at home, not allowed to work a real job, have to have long hair and wear a dress....etc.....   I HATE all of that nonsense. 

However having said all of that, I do believe they try and serve God and do what they feel is right.  I feel the parents dealt with this over 12 years ago and it should not have been brought up again!  In fact I feel that whoever leaked this to the media should be fired if they work for the government and should be sued.  Like it or not, juvenile records are sealed. 

I just hate the hypocrisy of all the media frenzy and the people who jump in and say absolutely stupid things.  My favorite is "well they are just hypocrites- look at them going to church and their son touched girls"   OMG what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?  So if I live as a Christian, I am then condemned if one of my kids does something wrong???? 


 I hate to tell you but the majority of folks reading this blog right now have some type of "sex offender" in their family.  Maybe not in their home, but an uncle or a cousin or someone that everyone stays away from because you've heart things about him.  I had a great uncle that touched me quite inappropriately when I was a young teen.   He only did it once because I stayed the heck away from him from then on out!  I told a few family members once I was in college and they were like "yeah he is like that"  What the HECK?  Why didn't someone tell me as a young girl? 

And don't think it just happens in the south.....I have had people tell me things like that from every walk of life. 

With our boys, I've never worried about "stranger danger" too much.  But I've worried about the people they come in contact with day to day.  Jon and I both had people do things or try to do things to us we did not want them to do but we knew the people.   Most of the sex offender cases I saw over my 13 years dealt with people who knew each other, not the dreaded man in the ice cream truck grabbing a kid.  We've always taught our boys that no one should touch them where their bathing suits go.  We explained that to them when they were really young in a easy way for them to understand, because there is nothing wrong with a pat on the back from someone, but a pat on the bottom would not be good.  Over the years, I've asked them each questions to make sure nothing happened when they were at other people's houses.  And we've always told them they can tell us things and we will not get mad at them. 

With our "little ones' we can't teach them things like that so we keep them close to us.  We now have a babysitter but this is the first time ever we've had one.  Over the years we've left Sam a handful of times for a few hours at the most with people we totally trusted. 

When we got the girls home from Ukraine, we had our doctor check them for any signs of sexual abuse and he saw none.  We were not as worried about Shad since there were only female nannies and all the children in his area were young.  With the girls, there were older teen boys in the same room as Sarah so that scared me to death.  Obviously they were handicapped but one boy was often nude and was fully mature.  I worried that he might abuse Sarah.  The doctor saw no signs of trauma and neither girl acted afraid of being touched or bathed.

I've chosen not to have male nurses with Selah because I just do not want that issue.  she is maturing and I'd rather a woman take care of her.  I know people will say that women can be sexual abusers too but it is so rare compared to males.

Anyhow.....I think this whole hoopla is just that...a big hoopla.  IF Josh Duggar was continuing in his sin then expose him and send him straight to prison.  But I do not believe that is the case.  I believe he repented and learned self control.  He was honest with his now wife Anna when they were "dating" and told her and her family about this so they'd know.  How hard that must have been for him to do but it's so freeing for him to do that.   He shouldn't have lost his job over this.  That's ridicules.  It's not like he was working as a nursery school teacher and there was some concern from parents.  He was working some type of lobbying job, I think children were safe from him.

The world is going to act absolutely nutso stupid if anyone that claims the name of Jesus is found not to be as perfect as He is..... but that is just it, no one is perfect.

I bet NO ONE reading this would like everyone to know everything they've ever done, even while they were a child.  I know I sure ain't going to be sharing all with ya!    For the record, I've never molested any child.  But there are other things I'd be quite embarrassed about if ALL of my past came out.  Maybe it's stuff that wouldn't embarrass you but it sure would ME! 

But as a Christian, I've taken all my sins to the cross, I've asked God for forgiveness and I've made it right with any people I've offended by my sins.  None of my sins were crimes but you might be shocked at them as I might be shocked at yours. 

So I've read some comments to some online articles about the Duggars and I think some folks would like to see Josh Duggar locked up for life, sent to the electric chair along with his family.  It's crazy!

What else I've found that makes me laugh a little is a few folks who were big Duggar fans and now they are up in arms calling for his head.  I think it is funny that I'm somewhat defending him and I don't' even like him! LOL  Some folks go with whatever people around them say without thinking things through for themselves. 

Bottom line, I think his family dealt with this a long time ago and it's beyond old news.  he was open with the people who needed to know, and none of us needed to know about it.  He has gone on to make the right choices in life as far as we know.  Leave him alone and in leaving him alone, the victims are also left alone.  The victims who seem to have forgive him also. 

Now I'll sit back and get all the comments about how hyprocritical I am for defending him and how he needs to have the death penalty etc etc etc......

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Great weekend!


What a great weekend we've had!

We started by going to Homosassa Springs on Friday.  We went there years ago when Steve was just getting ready to go into kindergarten and now he's getting ready to go to college.  The time flies so quickly. 

Homosassa Springs is a small zoo that has a big Manatee rehab department.  They have a few native Floridian wild life species and lots of birds (I'm not a big bird fan)  The main draw for Shad was the underwater Manatee observation area.  We enjoyed that area and got right up by the manatees while they were eating. 








 
Steve and Jon in the observation area
 

 
 
Shad





 
See the owls?




 
My manatee friend

 
 
on our boat ride

 
 
GATOR

 
 
 
I suggest if you ever visit Florida, try some of the Florida State Parks to learn about the REAL Florida! 
 
 
Then that night we went to see the movie "Tomorrow Land"  it was ok-the action scenes were good but the story line not so good in my opinion.  I just love going to movies even if they aren't that good! LOL
 
 
Saturday we went to MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) in Tampa.  I don't care for museums unless they are history museums but Steve really wanted to go, he hadn't been for years.    But before we even left, we had a visit from our Peacock friend!  It must be mating season because he has been all over our country neighborhood.  we have several in the area but this guy pretty much lives on our road. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So at MOSI Steve and Shad did a roller coaster simulator -Jon and I didn't cause we did not want to start the day off throwing up! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hurricane winds
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shad and Steve suited up for the Ropes course and the Zip line!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






 
 
 
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
we then watched the IMAX movie on "Journey to Space"
  I'd never seen an IMAX movie before, wow what a treat!!!!!  
 
What a FUN weekend we had!!!!   We are so grateful for our babysitter Anna and for the respite hours we got from a program!   We had a great time spending time with our older boys and doing some things the little ones would not have wanted to do!  They were happy at home with their Anna!
 
 
Today the girls dressed for Memorial Day Sunday
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
Sarah smiles all the time EXCEPT when she is getting her picture taken.  I love to catch a smile on camera!



Selah wasn't smiling when I took this picture but did fine through the church service.  She is doing so much better.  She's off any prescription pain meds and will go back to see the doctor on Tuesday for an xray to make sure everything is healing correctly.  She has her beloved Rose with her:)  
 
 
 
Well we've had a wonderful weekend spending time with our older boys.  Going to Homosassa Springs again reminded me just of how FAST time flies.....  just a few years ago we were there with our little boy who was just a few weeks away from going to kindergarten.....  the thought of him going off to college was no where near my head....he was such a baby.  But we blinked....and added FOUR more kids....and 13 years later our little boy will soon be leaving for college.  Times flies.....  Treasure your kids "the days are long, but the years are short" 
 

 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Christmas Shoeboxes!



Did y'all notice the Bolts won last night?  It was all thanks to Selah!

Another day in the library study room sitting with Sam as he listens/watches his on line program for speech.  It's so repetitive, the same words over and over and over again.  and today the A/C is not working in here and I have Shad and Sarah with me also...... PURGATORY!!!

He's on his third video.  So we've watched over 80 repeats of the same two.  Purgatory for sure!

I can handle Florida heat is I'm outside.  I expect to be hot but I feel suffocated if I'm in an airless room.  I've told the library ladies and they act clueless at what to do.  Call me crazy but call the repair folks is where I'd start!  I get just a tab cranky when I'm hot......LOL


On top of that, my computer is messing up!  I've already cleaned it but something is off.  Hoe annoying!  I have horrible computer access at home and now away from home, my laptop wants to act stupid!  UGH!

Other than all of that....it's been a good day. LOL

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Christmas Shoeboxes!

We used to do these at our old school.  So a friend of mine put on FB that her mom is collecting for them.  I know you've hear of  Samaritan’s Purse's yearly gift program.  It's a great thing for kids to do for other kids! 

Well this year our church will be gathering things for this ministry.  If you live in this area, please feel free to drop things off at our church- just message me to let me know if you are dropping anything off.  Most every town has a church or two that participates in Samaritans Purses' Christmas Shoebox project.

Overview
http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

This article tells you the best things to give and what not to give
http://garrett.with.sim.org/index.php/archives/1675   

Here is where you can find a drop off point for your area
Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and bring it to the drop-off location nearest you during National Collection Week, November 16–23, 2015. Visit our Drop-off Locations page to find the closest collection site. Or, call 1-800-353-5949

I'm excited to include this great ministry in our church this year! 

Of course in the back of my mind, I'm hoping we could do this for CUBA! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Go Lightening!!!!!!

 
 
 
Selah says "Go Lightening!"
Her Nurse Rose is a big Lightening fan & now we are all getting interested in them:)
 
 
 
 
 
So I'm at the library with Sam, Sarah, Shad and Steve.  Sam is doing his GemIIni program.  The boys are looking for books and Sarah is getting mad, she is ready to get out of her chair.
 
Sam has had a rough couple of days, every 6-12 months he goes through a few days of just being inconsolable, like a baby with colic.   Since Saturday he has been so upset until today!  This morning I actually called the neurologist to set up an appointment thinking we need to try another drug to help him out.   We've tried two different drugs with no noticeable change.  We don't' really like the idea of giving him any meds but if you saw him when he gets like this, you'd be ready to give him anything that could help.   It seems to come when he is making new advances so we've wondered if the GemIIni program he is on, could have been the cause for this.  Not that it caused it but it's awakening some things in his brain and this is Sam's reaction to it.  Well the appointment is not till next month so we'll see how things are then. 
 
 
  We have some special things planned for the boys this weekend.  We are going to Homosassa Springs on Friday and MOSI on Saturday.  It's been years since we 've been to either.  The little ones will be happy at home with their babysitter.   The little ones are on a wait list for Med-Wavier and this year were told that Sam and Sarah could have some respite hours.  Thankfully we know a lovely young lady who can do respite hours for Med-Wavier.  This gives us a chance to do things with the older boys that the Sam and Sarah would not enjoy.  Of course Selah stays home with her nurse too.   When Steve was young we used to take him to all the attractions in Florida but Shad hasn't got to go to as much things since it's not feasible to take the little ones.  We plan on going kayaking next weekend, it will be the first time Jon and I have gotten to go kayaking at the same time.  Usually one of us (usually me) stays home with the kids so this will be a treat!   I'm so grateful for this little break!
 
Well hope you are having a good week!
 
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Random Picture Tuesday

Is it only Tuesday?   I woke up this morning thinking it was Wednesday and had everything scheduled as if it were Wednesday THEN the Tuesday teachers came in!!!  LOL  Oh well it all worked out!

 
For the last few days, Sarah has decided to start exploring the house.  She's lived here for three years and now we're moving and she just decided to go down the hall.  She actually opened Selah's door last night.  I hope she will do ok when we move, but Sarah is NOT big on change!
 
 
 
Shad and the kittens.  They are so much fun!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
this a picture of our neighbor's wind chimes.....all from beer cans.  I don't think a pastor's wife could have THAT in her yard but I love the sound.  I could do it with Pepsi cans :)
 
 
 
 
me and my girl napping after lunch on Sunday!
 
 
 
Friday night our babysitter watched Sam and Sarah so we had some time with our older boys.  We went to one of our favorite restaurants Ling's where Shad ate oysters and frog legs! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hope you enjoyed some random pictures!  And hope your week is going good!

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Funny Story

Recently I was reminded of something that probably has not happened to anyone but ME!  It is quite funny....

Back about 8 years ago our church was going through "a hard time"  It got so bad and disruptive that a few people were kindly asked to find another church home that could meet their spiritual needs.....

So a few weeks later I checked the mail and got a small envelope address to us.  When I opened it, there was a coupon for SPAM and a small sticky note that read something like "I know you'll be needing this"......

Well I absolutely thought it was the FUNNIEST thing ever.....I laughed all the way back to the house.  By the time, I got inside and showed it to my husband I was in tears, from laughter.  I'm sure the person who sent it thought they'd mess with my mind BUT instead it reminded me of the scripture "I was young and now I'm old and yet I've never seen the righteous forsaken or seen His seed begging for bread" 

God spoke to my heart, through that silly little coupon and note that He was never going to leave or forsake us.  From that point on, I had the faith to know things  would change in our church and boy has it! 

As you go through life NEVER EVER look to man to meet your needs. 

We've learned that in ministry.  If you have people in your church that tithes and give that is wonderful, but don't count on that money.  Don't be a puppet or afraid to speak the truth even if it means losing your biggest donors.

We've seen miracles of provision happen in our children's adoptions, but it NEVER came from where I thought it might come from.  The miracles were more like the "widows mite"   Almost every gift that came in for both of our kids adoptions were from people who didn't really have it to give but they sacrificed and gave, 

We've been given two vans over the years.....neither time did we expect it (LOL I actually expected to win that contest last year but it didn't happen)  


Our new house.....really just had let the idea go and then we got a call from Habitat.....
God will provide!  He will use people but He speaks to the hearts of His people to do for others....

Right now I'm battling a little worry about Steve's college tuition, moving and all the expenses that come with that, our yearly trip to NY for Sam's eyes,  and starting the orphan ministry in Cuba.  But when thoughts come over me, like "how will we afford this or that?" IKNOW that God will provide. 
When you can look back and see the faithfulness of God, you can look forward with confidence.   That's one thing I can say, is God has been faithful to meet our needs.  And we've learned to be content with what we have. 

Anyhow I was reminded of that story yesterday, I hadn't thought of it in years but it spoke to my heart. 

Btw, I do not hold anything against anyone- I even thought the note was hysterically funny and something I would have enjoyed sending to someone to be a smart butt :)    But it is amazing how God spoke to my heart through it. 


Friday, May 15, 2015

Therapy and Programs



Sitting at the library with Sam as he does a new video from GemIIni  https://www.gemiini.org/home  We did over 40 views to the first video.  This one is much easier on my nerves LOL although the same funny children and ticked off older ballerina are still with us.  Sam is in 7th heaven watching this. So we down load it at the library and then he can use it on the App.  I can't wait (just 4 weeks and a few days) till we move and have good internet service!   He seems to love this program.  We have noticed two things since he started just two weeks ago. First he is making the B sound and he is babbling more over all.  I'm very glad we are trying this and would recommend it to everyone who have nonverbal kids.

 Although I have to say I'm about over the on line discussion board.  People get so obsessive about things.  There was a discussion about parents who leave the program because they feel it doesn't seem to help their kids and I had to sarcastically laugh at some comments.  For the record my comment was I think it's a good program but it probably won't help everyone. I'm realistic yet hopeful for all my little one with any therapy or program.  I think this might be a "key" for Sam and I'm committed to do it exactly as they recommend for 6 straight months then I will reevaluate.   But some of the comments just made me roll my eyes.  One person wrote something along the lines of "every child has potential in all areas."   I'm realistic enough not to believe that.   Having three differently disabled kids, I realize some things will never be able to be accomplished by them.   I don't expect Sarah to be potty trained, that doesn't mean I'm not going to try but I'm also not going to freak out about it.   Some things help some kids.  And some children are never going to be able to do some things even if you have 24/7 therapy for them AND THAT'S OK!!!!!!

While I always want to make everything accessible for our three little ones and give them the chance to see if a particular program or therapy might help them, IF that therapy or program doesn't help them, that's ok. 

In the Special Needs world, parents are desperate to help "fix" their children.  I get that, we've spent a lot of money to pay for things that insurance won't pay for our kids.  The most expensive was HBOT (Hyperbaric  Oxygen Therapy)  I do not regret trying it for Selah.  With HBOT, I met people who were crazy wild eye believers.....when I see that, I get suspicious. 

If anyone tells me the way to "fix" the kids is to do one specific therapy, my eyes begin their roll.....
When we did dolphin therapy, the therapist was NUTS!  She felt that it would change Sam's life, we saw no change with him.  We did enjoy the experience except for the weirdo therapist.  She was so sure that Dolphin Therapy alone would make Sam normal.....it was uncomfortable. 

So I see that in so many therapies.  Even when he was small we went to a therapist who wanted him to do "suit therapy" ( I think that is what it was called)  It would have involved him wearing an astronaut type suit for hours daily.  It was just too crazy for me and since I felt pressure to do it, I just left and found another therapist. 

One thing I've observed over the years is watch how my child's emotions are in therapy and how a therapist treats my child.  I've always refused to let my child cry in therapy and I've certainly never allowed a therapist to be mean to them.  So if my child is crying, I will intervene.  In my opinion, therapy should not upset a child.  That is not a good thing for a child to associate therapy with!  Now of course my kids have a lower understanding of things and I do not feel they try and manipulate, especially back when Sam was a baby or when the girls first got home.  Sometimes Selah has cried in physical therapy because she is having her muscles stretched out and it hurts!  But our therapist then stops and massages her legs. 

Right now Sam is misbehaving a little with one of his teachers, I think because she is new and younger, she just hasn't quite learned him enough.  But it's something we are working on with him.  He is misbehaving and throwing toys then laughing.  But when he was three, he did not have the ability to be "bad".  He responded more like an infant.  NOW he realizes he can disturb therapy if he is bored.  I actually love it because I think he is growing in his understanding. 

Anyhow if I'd give anyone any advice this would be it.....No ONE thing will solve your child's learning, delays, diagnosis problem.  Try things, try therapy, programs, teachers, look for the right doctors....but in the end, just love and accept your child just the way he or she was wonderfully made! 

If Sam never says anymore words, if Sarah never walks, if Selah never changes......we're are still going to love, accept and have a happy family with things JUST the way things are!!!!!