Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Sunbeam


I think Sarah had too big of a lunch to want to stand in her sunbeam.  Today she was happy just lying in it:)   I love this picture of her.  She is so precious
Yep that big bowl of THICK chicken noodle at our favorite restaurant followed by a big bowl of ice cream did the girl in:)  We say all the time she loves America for its ice cream!

I just love this girl and everything that she does, even poopy diapers.  She laughs every time I change her and sometimes it is hard to get her clothes back on right but I love how happy she is, no fear, just complete trust and love.  She was fearful when we first began changing her, I think she expected to be hit for soiling herself.  (from what some other children adopted from there told us)   Now she knows she has no fear of punishment so she is just happy all the time.  The only thing Sarah is fearful of is the vacuum cleaner, we have to move her from room to room & shut the doors while we clean  (don't' worry that doesn't happen too often LOL)  She loves to have her hair blown dry, as long as I start on the low setting first.  She is just so sweet, what a blessing to be her mom!

Sam has just been doing amazingly on his strict schedule.  He literally has quit biting his fingers and they've almost healed up.  Last night he was able to sit beside me contently while I watched tv without getting hyper or going crazy having me rub his back for an hour.  Today at the restaurant, he was able to wait for his food, without getting upset.  This has worked better than anything ever!!!!   We work on keeping to the schedule as close as possible and it is so worth it.    Those two years that we had so many eye drops (44 a day) I had him on a crazy tight schedule and things were really good with him.  Then since then, he's always been on some type of schedule but the past two years.....well....I'd get into a habit for awhile of doing things one way but then something would change it.  But now I'm determined not to let anything change his schedule.  I had stopped giving him daily naps, one reason was the teachers who come after 3 pm and the other was having to pick up Shad from school.   So some days were more structured than others.  But that was no good for him, he craves structure.  I fully understand that now. 

I let the school know, and of course I was asked to CHANGE his schedule. I met with a behavioral therapist who told me to put him back on a schedule...but OOPS don't put him on one that would work for HIM...but rather work for the teachers.   The beauty of IEP (Individualized Education Plan- only the individualization is for the teachers not the students IMO)  I'd always resisted having teachers come after 3 pm because I felt it upset his schedule plus it is winding down time at our house, getting supper, clothes ready for the next day etc.....   

Sam is on homebound services and some teachers who do homebound only do it for extra money AFTER they finish teaching for the day so you have a tired teacher and a tired child....not good.  As you can tell, nothing is for the comfort of the child, but rather the teacher or the school schedule.   Can you tell that I'm just a tiny bit sarcastic about all of this?

Well it's Sunday night and we are gearing up for a busy week of teachers, therapists, doctor appointments and school.  Hope you had a good weekend and will have a good week. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Birthday presents


Birthday cake and presents for Shad
I confess I am NOT a good present wrapper at all and absolutely hate to wrap things!
But Shad is quite a good present UNwrapper LOL
this was his favorite
a real walkie/talkie
We have had a good time with that WT set.  Jon took one in the woods with him today but it didn't quite work the promised "32 miles away" but some channels are better than others so we are working on learning it.  It has a weather channel (NOAA) and now Shad is the weather announcer for our family LOL.  He was confidently telling me we would have rain today until 1 pm with clearing skies LOL  He was right!
Yesterday was a long day for me.  Sarah, Selah and Steve had appointments with our pediatrician.  They all had check ups and vaccines to get.  Selah had to get FOUR shots and she cried a tear.  I felt bad, but yet a little glad to see a reaction like that.  She seldom sheds a tear, I think the last time was last flu shot.  Sarah got the flu mist which is supposed to be stronger this flu season.  She did not appreciate it going up her nose at all!  Steve had to get an extra booster shot too.   
For the FIRST time EVER....Sarah is on the growth chart!!!!!  She is at the 3rd percentile in weight and the 9th in height for a 7 year old girl:)    When we first adopted her, she was so OFF the chart it was scary!  I'm so happy to see her on the chart!
Last night I went out with a friend to celebrate both of our birthdays although she is a year ahead of me ....  I had not eaten all day except for a left over piece of cake so by 6pm, the food tasted very very good to me!  Then we ended up going on a mission of mercy to get a key that was locked in a vehicle.  It was all fun, we were out and that was all that mattered! 
Today was grocery store day for me....I HAVE got to get back to couponing!  Although it is rare that coupons help with wholesome food.  Most of the time, the coupons are for unhealthy things. But we spend so much money on food!     I was HAPPY to find Sarah's organic baby food!  Sometimes I can find it and sometimes I can't.  I bought the store out:)     I try and cook things that I can puree for her, but some things just don't work out that good.  When I do a roast or something that purees good, I freeze a couple of small containers of it for her.  The best things I cook that work for her are chicken & rice, roasts. spaghetti, and of course soups. 
Tonight I'm cooking a BBQ pork roast.  My best friend's daddy used to cook that all the time and it was soooooo good.  He's been gone for a long time but I thought of him today:) 
I also bought some raw peanuts to boil, that is just a southern comfort food to me.  Nothing like fresh hot boiled peanuts.  They take forever to cook and you have to watch them and stir them all day but it is so worth it!   We love them around here. 
Hope you all have a great weekend!!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

49? How did that happen?

Can I really be 49 years old???  Ok that just sounds OLD!  This is the last year I can say "oh I'm in my 40's"  49 sounds grown up LOL  TOO grown up. 

I really don't have many regrets in my life.  But I do wish I'd let myself have more fun in my teen and 20's.  Looking back, I was way too serious and old.  Oh I had fun but I took LIFE far too serious and worried too much.  I worked too hard.  I guess being raised by old folks, colored my views on life.    Now I'm not saying to be lazy or anything like that, but I should have lightened up some and enjoyed myself more.  Even into my 30's, I needed to "let it go"  Believe me, I truly have some good friends who put up with me in my teens and 20's when I was trying to get the whole world saved......  (they will read this and laugh and know EXACTLY what I mean!)  And the shocker is they are still my friends! 

Looking back, I was just too intense, about everything, from saving the world, to college, to work.....   I couldn't put things in their place and leave them there.  What I mean is I'd worried about my job, while I was at college or I'd worry about a class when I was out with friends.  Or I was a little too involved in ministry while trying to do all these other things.  I can remember my friends going out and they'd try and get me to go and I'd stay back and work or do something with the ministry.  I could never give myself any time  off.   Even later on, I felt like I had to do perfect on my job and I'd bring work home all the time......really so much of that stuff I should have just "let it go"

Let me clarify about the ministry part......EVEN with ministry people can be too intense.  When Jon and I married, we were both too intense about ministry.  Oh dear us.....!   LOL  We both felt like we always had to be "doing"  Having kids helped us to realize you have to focus on relationships before anything else. 

NOW with heavier responsibilities than I ever imagined I'd have, I'm a much more relaxed person.  does that make ANY sense???    I'm glad I found more of a balance, but wish it had not taken me so long to do so.  I look back and think "there were drugs for That"   LOL 

Another regret I have is ever worrying about what someone thought of me......yeah that is gone LOL.... I took cookies to Shad's classroom because it is his 11th birthday!!!!

Hot sweaty boy, just coming from PE
(no they were not homemade!)
then I rode around as I was waiting for our pizza to be ready to be picked up
(got some good church boys who come and do the yards every week for volunteer hours for college and they get pizza!!!!)
Rode out to the property.  Got behind a tractor and had to go slow.  It made me think that it is so nice to live in the country and the only traffic jams you have is behind a tractor changing fields:)
the picture below is the road we will live on, see our fence line on the right?
Country Roads, take me home! 

And you know we have to live near a swamp:)

then got picked up the pizza, got home and ate lunch with my friend while her boys worked hard!
Later Sarah showing off standing in "her" window.  I hope she has a window with a sun view in the new house!  Sarah is standing more and more daily.  She even will stand by the window and deliberately  let go and stand by herself for a few seconds before falling. 

The day is ending with Shad opening his presents once Steve gets home from college tonight and we have a cake to share:)   I guess I can tell you that Shad is getting a REAL walkie-talkie set.  He saw a junky one at a store and wanted me to buy it.  I told him I'd get him a real set.  Well I didn't know how much a "real" set cost LOL but I know he'll have fun with it!  He also likes "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and has the book set, so we got him the DVD set too, along with a Lego movie, The Green Lantern movie,  Two Percy something movies....LOL  And a Kung Fu Panda movie. 
Again I want to thank you all for your gift of the Well in Ukraine.  That makes me so happy!  Pray as they are getting everything done with the permits (even with war, Ukraine loves its paperwork!)  They are making progress! 
And I want to say how much I appreciate God's hand in my life from my birth just minutes after reaching the hospital, to this very day, God has been with me, helping me, every step of the way.  He's been and will be a Good God to me.  I don't understand everything that has happened in my life but I know He has walked with me through it all.  And there is nothing I can look back on (except Selah's accident) where I do not see how God allowed or caused things to be.  Even some very hurtful things,  today, are a thing of beauty to me.  Even with accident, I can say I know God was with us.  And maybe as far as the accident goes, that will be all I can say is "I know God was with us"  Maybe that is enough......

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Big Scare-Big Relief!

Monday night as I was changing Sam for bed, I noticed a lump on his chest.  He has "Pigeon Chest" anyhow and his chest is a bit misshapen.  I showed it to Jon, we both thought it was odd.  Then Tuesday night, it seemed like it had grown and we showed it to our nurse who was serious about it.  Of course I researched the heck out of it after we put the kids to bed.  It actually made me feel a little better, and I thought it was probably that he had some growth and one side grew larger.  But it was so odd and so sudden, that it was worrisome.  (come to find out it does happen very quickly)

Today Jon went with me to take him to the doctor.  Our doctor sent him for x-rays to be sure, but thankfully it is just his rib cage growing abnormally.  I know it sounds crazy to say that but it sure beats a tumor!  From the reading I did, he may have some problems as he gets older but "we'll cross that creek when we get to it" if we have to!

I'm just glad tonight that there was an answer for the lump.  And I am thankful as always for our pediatrician Dr W and his office staff.  They got us in, seen and got us the results.  His nurse told me when I thanked her for calling after hours "girl I wouldn't go home without calling you and telling you"  Now that is a friend!!!!   I've said it before, but it is such a blessing to have a team to work with who cares about your family.  I'm so thankful for our pediatrician and his team! 

Shad and Sam had the flu mist, first time we've ever done the mist.  Sarah, Selah and Steve actually all three have appointments for various things on Friday with our doctor and will be getting the flu mist then. Well Selah probably will have to have the shot.....

I'm very PRO vaccination and I encourage you to take your kids to get the flu shot and get it yourself.  We've been getting the flu shot since I was pregnant with Sam (I didn't get that one) and never have had a reaction NOR have we ever had the flu. 

Here's some happy pictures from last night....I went out with one of my besties for my birthday. 

my friend looks GREAT!  And  I've learned nice big comfy shirts....make me look like I AM pregnant with the triplets I dreamed about!


Look who is standing every day!

Vermont the cat

We are a thankful bunch around here tonight.  I'm sleepy, found it a little hard to sleep last night, worrying about Sam.  I think he & I need to cuddle tonight:) 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Just Another Manic Monday!

Today's schedule:
Sarah OT 9-9;30
Selah PT 9:15-9:45
Selah Brace specialist 9:30-10:15 (overlapping on purpose)
Sarah PT 10:15- 11:15
Sarah Brace specialist 10:15-11:45
Sam Academic teacher 11;30-12:30
Sarah Academic teacher 12:30 1:30
Sam Vision teacher 1:30 - 2:30
Sarah speech teacher 3:00-5:00...
(took Sam out of speech so he can nap and stay on schedule.
Plus drop Shad off at School 8 am Pickup 2:00 (thanks Steve)
Steve college 10-1:30
Add eye drops, diaper changes, breakfast, lunch and supper....
and Selah's nurse....
Oh did I mention the Alarm company came to fix the church alarm?
And one delivery of diapers via UPS........
Jon working late at the prison.....
Welcome to my you know NOW why I am crazy?????
This is my NORMAL Monday minus the braces fittings and alarm company......  WHEW!!
This is a picture of Sarah having a plaster made of her feet.  Her PT was holding her. 
Sam was sitting on my lap just a few feet away.  We never know exactly what he sees/understands BUT he got so upset that he broke out in HIVES!!!!   I guess he thought he was NEXT!  I went to stand up and as I was getting up, I moved him towards them and he shrunk back.  We couldn't help but laugh at him.  I kept telling him it was ok, no braces for him!
We tried braces for him when he was about two and he became hysterical.  I only got ONE brace on ONE foot after about 30 minutes of fighting him and I absolutely gave up and threw the braces away.  There was no way I was going to upset him like that daily.  Sam was so sickly & tactile just was not going to happen!   He learned to walk completely normal without braces.  The difference with Sarah is we are at a point where she is not improving.  IF these can help her, it might make the difference in whether she ever walks alone. 
Sarah is not as defensive about touch as Sam was.  He didn't really wear shoes until he was 8 years old.  Even if it was cold, he could not handle them touching his feet.  I was so happy when he started wearing them!
Selah got fitted again too.  Since the hip surgery, she is so much stiffer.  We can't bend her knees hardly at all.  She is getting knee braces and we have her scheduled for Botox shots to try and get the knees back where they were before surgery.  I've been worried about it but wasn't sure that it was a battle that was worth fighting.  We don't ever want to cause her needless pain, just because of how something may look.  But her PT assured me that it would only get worse and would begin to cause her pain and other problems.  So our plan is to get the knee braces to start having a slight pressure on the knees as much as possible to get them to bend.  Then we are on a cancellation/call for the Botox shots so we can get in sooner than our appointment.   
Selah also got fitted for a different kind of hand brace.  She tends to clutch her hands and bring her thumbs in too tight which can also end up hurting her in the long run. 
Here's a sweet picture of Selah asleep last night.  She looked so peaceful and relaxed. 

Please pray that the Druz Orphange will get the clearance to start on the well this week.  There is always so much red tape in Ukraine to get through.  They have someone to do it for them, just got to get all of the permits/permissions and they want to hurry.  Please pray that God will work a miracle and that they will get the signatures they need very quickly!!!!!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Grateful Heart!

My heart is thrilled! Got a call from a friend Mike,  and his church took up an offering today for the orphans of Druz Ukraine. His offering made up the difference in Life2Orphans, Inc., goal and they have now fully met the goal of $3000 for food/diapers and the $2000 for the well. Mike's church will also be participating in the future fundraising for the orphanage. Sometimes we say little Christian phrases, and we mean them but it's not "alive" to us. But GOD IS FAITHFUL AND HE IS A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS" is very alive to me tonight! My eyes are filled with grateful tears even as I write this tonight!

Thank you to all who participated, I really mean it when I say this is the nicest birthday present ever:)   (Now Shad is happy but he also told me he can't wait to open his presents LOL)  

Yesterday, 25 years ago, I walked into the Talbot House Homeless Shelter to apply for the job of assistant director.  I didn't know that in one month, I'd marry the director!!!  It amazes me how everything came together for us to meet each other.  I look back over the paths of our lives and it is incredible how God worked everything out. 

We haven't had the "perfect marriage" we've had our ups and downs but the last decade has really been what I imagined marriage to be.  I'm so thankful for the man God gave me & that He helped us work out problems & become the couple He meant for us to become.  I am so grateful that we stuck it out through the hard times & now when we have the most stresses on us, we are the happiest together.  Does that make sense? 

We're still not perfect but we are perfect for each other.  We've forged a bond over the past quarter of a decade, that is so strong.  We are a team & that is what I wanted from the beginning. 

It's funny in the first ten years or so of our marriage, many people tried to come between us.  The worst was from other people in the ministry.  They'd try to pit us against each other, can't tell you how many times that happened.  It was unnerving.  But that is one thing we watch for now, we don't allow anything to come between us.  It's so good to look back and see the journey we've taken together since that first meeting so long ago.  God has been good to us and He has been faithful.

So tonight I have a grateful heart for the goal being met for the Druz Orphanage and for 25 years of sharing life with Jon.  (our wedding anniversary is next month- we got married after knowing each other for only ONE month!)


Oh let me tell you the FUNNIEST dream I had......  this shows how much the orphanage is on my mind.....

Last night I dreamed that the orphans & their caregivers had moved into our house/church.  AND we were having some type of ministerial meeting and the ministers were NOT happy with the orphans being there.  THEN I found out I was pregnant with triplets!  ALL three GIRLS!   In the dream, I was gratefully telling everyone I was going on bed rest LOL    

All I can say is I had a tuna sandwich before bed LOL!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Here is George, our wonderful friend in Ukraine, giving the assistant director, Olga, the money for the well!!!!!   Life2Orphans went ahead and sent in to them the money based on what we knew was coming in directly to me. I'll be sending a check to them on Monday!  We may have a bit more come in over the weekend!     I want to thank my friend in Virginia for the check of $310 that came in today as she promised!   We went OVER the $2000 mark by about $100 or a bit more.  That is all going to Life2Orphans to help buy food for the  children. 
Please pray that they will be able to start on the well THIS coming week!!!  Pray that nothing goes wrong and they will have quick success.  We are hoping for pictures soon!!! 
Just so you know, Olga's family has moved to Kiev to safety.....she is staying with the children at the orphanage...that is love....  pray for all of their safety!
Being a parent has some wonderful moments....but there are times that are not too wonderful also.....

Last week Shad got in trouble at school for not scoring correctly his daily work, this is like a felony charge at his school!  LOL  So we put him on total restriction at school & home.  TOTAL!  This week we talked to him about the "possibility" of earning some of his privileges back...

Then yesterday he was caught playing the Xbox (which was bad enough) and he completely lied to me about it (the worse sin).  The Xbox is in my room right now, he hooked it up, changed the channel on the TV and had all the remotes out (that I'd put up)  So when confronted, he said Steve did it....Steve who had left at 8:30 am for I'd been watching tv as I cleaned my closet out earlier.    So he had to do chores, and went to bed as soon as supper was over, no movie night for him.  (BTW Jurassic Park was a good movie!  I JUMPED several times, can't imagine seeing in the the big theater!)

THEN today while I was gone and Jon was with the little kids, he went back in my room and was caught watching tv.......

Sooooo  off to weed some sections of the yard and do chores.  I'd have him weed the gardens but the weeds are so high, I'm too worried about snakes for him to be in there.  Darn it!

I'm at a loss with him!  We've tried so many different things to thwart this manipulative/lying behavior.  I guess my yard will end up the nicest one if he does not change!  He is not rebellious nor does he talk back, and he'll do the work but I'd rather him just behave and not get punished.

Last year he was going through a time like he has been lately and he remarked to one of our nurses "I don't know why ANYONE wants to smoke weed, I don't even like pulling weeds!"   We almost died laughing.  But he is getting a lot of "weed time" right now. And plenty of rest too, as soon as supper is over, he'll be in bed! 

If he doesn't see the errors of his way, I may start hiring him out for weeding jobs!!!!!!

Steve volunteered at Habitat today even tho we have all our hours in.  I love that he is such a good worker & enjoys being there!  It's really like a family to work together in their thrift store. 

I went by there, hoping to go to lunch with him but he dissed me and went with a friend.  So I took my tuna sandwich from Subway (no one else eats tuna in our house so I don't bother) and sat all alone in the break room and ate......did I say ALL alone?  It was like a gourmet meal !!!!!!!   I did pick up some books:)  Nothing like thrift store books!


Sarah likes standing in our living room window in the afternoon.  She loves the sunlight, we LOVE that she is standing!!!  She is also starting to stand unassisted for a few seconds at a time, just like a baby does before they start walking.  I had just about given up on her walking without a I'm getting hopeful again.  She is being fitted for ankle braces on Monday.

I think I shared that the neurologist diagnosed her with CP (Cerebral palsy )   HOWEVER the orthopedist disagrees 100% because all her reflexes are perfect.   He told me & also called our Physical Therapist to say NOTHING makes sense to him about Sarah.  By examining, it would seem she'd be able to walk normally.  His conclusion seems to be it's just because she was kept bed ridden for so long. 

I'd be so happy if Sarah could walk.  She really is my best little friend and loves to be with me always.  I hate not taking her places with me, but honestly, carrying her, getting out the stroller it's too hard sometimes.   She doesn't understand how to "help" you pick her up.  Because she can't see & her understanding is limited, she seldom understands how to move her body to help and she is dead weight!  I try not to complain but my body is so sore all the time, that it is hard to take her out alone.   If she could walk, she could go everywhere with me!  She is the happiest and easiest child outside of the whole movement thing! 

Since I've started back walking consistently, some of the soreness has gone away.  The pain in my right side that I've had for years is almost gone again.  I only have it when I'm not exercising!  Talk about a "thorn in my side" LOL  I also use a U shaped travel pillow to sleep and that has helped my neck some, I can turn it now to some degree.  I'm so thankful we have a back up camera on our van, it helps me not to have to turn as much. 

But one thing is for sure, the more I move, the less pain I have! 


Well since I've given an update on everyone else, Selah is doing fine.  No issues, she is at a great place for her.  If her heartrates stay normal, no storming, no sad faces....I'm happy!

Since I met with the behavioral therapist last week, I've put Sam back on his schedule and added outside time in the morning.  Before he was not taking naps every day because of the various teachers who come in to work with him.  He just can not handle not having a nap. 

Also we had been taking him outside when he would get "upset" and then worried we were creating a monster!  We don't think he'd associated bad/upset behavior with going outside (which he loves) YET but ......   so what we are doing, is taking him outside in the mornings for an hour.  We are "making" him walk around the property three times then he gets 30 minutes on the swing. We have had a much happier Sam!

So his schedule is ....
Change clothes
play in room
an hour outside
play in room
play inside or maybe back outside
play in room
bedtime routine.....

This (beside the set outside times) has just about always been his schedule.  But life has been odd for us for awhile.  We had gotten him back on schedule and then school started and I've kept him up in the afternoon for the teachers and that just screws up everything.  I'd actually been trying to not give him a nap for some weeks thinking it would be better for him to be used to be up.  But I think I was WRONG to do that!!!!    We are seeing a much happier Sam.  I think the one hour out in the morning helps him get all the energy out.  We did this before for quite awhile but got inconsistent because life has a way of trying to screw up schedules but this boy needs a schedule! 

So Steve is taking him on the mornings he can take him, Jon takes him on the weekend and I get the other days.  So far it's been well worth it!

Well hope you all are having a great weekend!!!!!!