Monday, September 29, 2014

Car Rides and Iphones

Last night  car ride....











 


 


 
With the extra chairs gone, Sarah has much more room to play and she is taking advantage of it!
 
 
Y'all know I walk most mornings, here are some pictures from today's walk
 
 
 
 
 
 
You can not tell by this picture but this is a steep hill.  It makes it look flat, but it is not
 
 
 
 
my fav spot LOL!
 
 
 
Ok I'm not a big liker of birds.  I do not understand why folks want them in their homes at all!  I don't mind seeing a blue bird, or a cardinal, or an owl flying around but birds don't do much for me.  However I do like the sand hill cranes AKA SWAMP BIRDS LOL
 
This morning there were two couples out eating while I was walking and they let me get right up on them to take pictures.  One couple was ticked off at each other.  They were making noises I'd never heard Swamp Birds make before.
 
 




 
 

 
 
 


 

And there were some other birds out
the baby ducks are almost grown up








 
 
 


 
 
I think the pictures turned out great with my new Iphone 6 camera!  Yes I have an Iphone 6 and NO I did not stand in line.  And it was basically free with the exchange of my old Iphone 4 and I have waaaaayyyy more data for free on it!  Our monthly plan is less expensive than before. 
 
I'm so NOT the one to have to have anything new that comes out.  I was quite content with my old phone that I've had for a few years.  When I first got the Iphone I was mad and felt tricked!  I liked my "old dumb phone" so much better.  It took me about six months before I could get used to it.    I was mad all the time dealing with it.  Technology and me do not go together.....
 
But last week my son Steve got a text saying he could trade in his phone for a basically free new phone.  I agreed to go with him to the Phone store because he promised to rub my back through a Dr Who show....I'm a sucker for having my back rubbed!  So we went in the store to LOOK....and walked out with two new phones and a 2 year contract (I've been with the company since 1997 so I didn't mind the contract)  I have to say I LOVE the phone.  It is bigger and I can see things on it!  That is the best part LOL.  Plus most of the things are the same so no new tech shock for me!   So I'm glad he talked me into getting these.  I didn't get the one that is bendable but just the Iphone 6, it's nice.  I do like the picture quality on it too. 



So if you already have an old Iphone, or any smart phone, you might want to look around and see what different companies are offering.  I couldn't believe the deal we got.
 
 
Well today was another crazy busy Monday.  We've all been busy.  Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy Sunday!

We worked yesterday and went through ALL of Jon's books and the boys' stuff.  Managed to pry a big box of clothes/games/junk from their hands.  We also  ended up with 4 boxes of books, one box went to the chapel library.  So with the exception of the one box, I put everything in the church foyer this morning and told folks to go through it and take stuff.  I had a little jar so folks could give an "offering" if they wanted to.   I made $11 for the Orphan fund!!!!  Whatever is left after the Spanish service will go to Habitat for Humanity's thrift store.

 
 
And look who is standing at church!
I think it is a HUGE step for her to be standing somewhere besides home. 
 
 
 
 
we start by holding hands
 
 
 
 
 
then she pushes my hands away
 
 
 
And Claps!
 
 
 
Look at those little legs!  so happy to see them straight and supporting her!
 
 


 
 
then she takes a step into me for  a hug!



 

 
 
A few weeks ago Jon and I discussed the fact we'd probably have to buy her a wheelchair.  She had reached a plateau with even using the walker.  THEN she surprised us and begin doing this standing, we literally play the standing game hundreds of times a day.  She will hop/crawl over and reach for my (or anyone's) hands and pull up then push away and stand and clap till she falls down. Then we start all over again.....and again.....    She is doing it just like a baby does.  NOW she will take a step towards me before she falls.  Sometimes she falls in towards me and sometime she goes down on her bottom.  But she even seems to anticipate the fall and many times can right her self up before she falls.  We are thrilled with this new progress, it's beginning  to click with her!
 
 
After church we headed to our favorite local spot with some friends!
 
 

 





 


Sam loves his daddy!




 
 
Hope you all are having a good weekend!  We are here, just wished that the weekend was longer!  Monday is our crazy day....so time to get ready!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Remembering Boot Mama

On September 27, 1899 Bertha Hines was born in Dixie county Florida near the Taylor county line.  Today 115 years after her birth and 32 years after her death, I remember her.

She was my "Boot Mama".  You know us Southern have our funny names for folks, her nickname was "Boots" for whatever reason.  So when she took me to raise at 66 years of age, she had me call her "Boot Mama" 

Boot Mama was not the most demonstrative person but I remember sitting with her one morning waiting for the bus to pick me up from school and she told me she loved me more than she'd ever loved anyone in the world.  I'm sure she had told me over the years that she loved me, but that memory sticks out in my mind.  I even remember what I was wearing that day. 

So when she took me as a small infant to raise, her husband was still alive.  I called him "Poppy"  He was already sick and died when I was just two years old from cancer.  I actually have two memories of him.  One of him putting me on his lap and letting me "drive" the car through some fields.  The other is me standing in the parking lot of the Tallahassee hospital waving to up  his room & he was standing in the window waving at me. 

When people think that Jon & I are crazy for adopting our kiddos, they should know my great aunt and uncle LOL!  So old and sickly and they took a newborn to raise! 

Boot Mama was an old time Pentecostal.  I never once saw her in a pair of pants, she wore a dress to work in the garden even.  She had thin hair, but it was long and she'd put it up in a sort of a bun.  No make up, just a little face powder , nude lip gloss and some Windsong perfume.  I have to admit I bought a bottle of Windsong ("Windsong stays on my mind") perfume at Walmart one day, just to smell it, it brings me back to my childhood. 

When she took me to raise her sister, one of my other great aunts, Ruby. was already living with them.  The two of them were at church every time the doors were open.  They had me there for Sunday School. church, Sunday night church, Wednesday night "Family Training Hour" Thursday morning Women's Prayer Meetings, every night of Revival and anything else that was happening. 

Boot Mama was not one who was demonstrative  in church either, although to this day I can repeat some of the "speaking in tongues" that she did.  She had a certain phrase that she would repeat.   But she was not one to shout or run around the church, which would have probably freaked me out a little if she had!  But you knew if the doors were open, she'd be there!

Sitting here, so many memories flooding back over me, I feel like crying.  Good memories...

She saved my life, quite literally, of that I have no doubt.  Oh I might would have made it to adulthood (or maybe not, I was a sickly kid)  if she hadn't taken me in but I would not be the same
person I am. 

She nor her sister Ruby had any children and not a lot of ideas about raising one!  But somehow they did it and installed in me some core values.

I told my boys about her today and reminded them not to forget her.  If it had not been for her, my kids would not be here today.  I am sure that God used her example to open my eyes to adoption and to help me not have fears about adopting children that had medical issues.  She taught me courage. 

She lived through the Great Flu Epidemic, two World Wars, the Great Depression, Korea, Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, two husbands....and me!  All the history she knew first hand.  The stories they all used to tell, stupid me, I should have written them down!  Now I try to remember them and can only in bits and pieces. 

When I was 12 almost 13, she began fading.  She spent some time in the hospital and came home, never the same.   She shook a lot, I investigated her meds and found out she had Parkinson's and looked it up to figure out what it was.  She began losing her mind to Alzheimer's.  She soon began to call me "Evelyn"   That used to freak me out, then I actually got to liking that name.  I even thought about naming one of my girls Evelyn but since we kept all "S" names I didn't. 

When I was 17 years old and a senior in high school, she died at home with lots of family/friends  around.  The pastor had asked me if I wanted to go to his house with them for the night.  I didn't think she was that close to death but she died right after we left.  I can not remember anything about her funeral, not one thing...  I'm not even sure where it was held.  I think we had it at the funeral home, since our church had split and we were going to the new church that didn't have a nice sanctuary. 

I know she was buried in our family grave yard in Dixie county out in the woods.  I don't remember the burial at all or the long ride to the cemetery.   What I do remember a few days later was being in class, and just busting out crying.  It hit me from nowhere.....I left the classroom and went home.  I cried and cried and cried.  I felt like an orphan. 

It somewhat freaks me out that I have absolutely no memory of anything after she died, until a few days later.  I can remember the day before quite clearly and the weeks following....but nothing else. 

But I thank God for Bertha Hines Phillips who raised me and loved me.  I hope that on my 115th birthday someone will still remember me and I hope my legacy lives on like hers does.   She was strong in adversity, did what she needed to do, was courageous, kind and a bit sarcastic too.  She was very self sufficient and goal oriented. 


“One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
How much I had in my bank
Nor what my clothes looked like.
One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of school I attended,
What kind of typewriter I used,
How large or small my church,
But the world may be ...
a little better because...
I was important in the life of a child.



― Forest Whitcraft
 
 
 
And the fact she was so important in my life, has help lead me down the path God had for me so I can be important in the lives of my five children. 



 
 

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Couches...and a story!

Today was just a day that can not be made up......


Some time ago I had decided our decade old living room furniture had to go.  I love my soft big cushioned blue couches (bought on clearance)  and the big soft rocker that I used to sleep with my baby Sam over my shoulder.  Now Sarah had claimed it for her own....  BUT a decade of Clantons...and the Clantons' little ones in diapers had brought those pieces of furniture to its knees!  There is not a spot on it that had not been peed, pooped or puked on.....All four pieces have been professionally cleaned several times, as well as cleaned by our own wet vac. 

Have you ever seen one of the news specials where they go into hotel rooms with a black light and all the germs light up?  Well we figure they'd condemn our furniture if they ever came to our house!

We had thought to give it to Habitat for Humanity for their thrift store, but since volunteering there, I was afraid they'd turn us away and we'd be shamed!  (Yes thrift stores have standards!)

Luckily for us, we know a few college students, one in particular that is in his first apartment so once his dad gets a day off, our loved furniture will be headed off to Tallahassee to be a part of this FSU college student's life.  College guys, don't mind a little pee, poop or puke it seems LOL!!!!  Until then, it is hanging out in our fellowship hall  ( a good thing about living near our church)

A few days ago one of my besties called me and told me she was rearranging her house and asked if we wanted her leather couches!   We had decided that we needed to buy leather so it could be cleaned easier so this made us really happy!  These couches were owned by my friend's sister, then my friend and now us....they are about 25 years old, but you could not tell it! 

So today we went to go get them.  On the way, I got a call, I looked up to see Steve was pulling into Chick Fil A's parking lot.  Well he tricked me into lunch LOL.  I figured he was going to work hard so it was his payment.  We finally got to my friend's house and had to visit a little bit out by the pool and see their new landscaping that my friend and her daughter have done.  Then with a look at the clouds, we thought we'd best get a move on!  Remember we live in Florida, where it rains just about every day.....

So let's just say those couches were not light.  They were quite awkward to move.  The smaller one fit inside the van and the bigger one went on the trailer.  Then it had to be strapped down.  By this point, I was sweating like a pig!  I already had junky clothes on this morning when I did my hair, my curling blow dryer basically died on me, so my hair was flat as it could be.  I just looked gorgeous.....LOL 

I call this beautiful picture "The Florida Hillbillies" 





Here Steve is quite proud of his hard work!  He did a great job, I was pretty amazed how he could pack things and work all the straps.  I couldn't even figure out how to thread the straps. 

 
 

So after we got packed, off we went.  Remember it rains in Florida....every day.....  so we were planning our route home.  We got all the way to the next town over, and saw a wall of water down the road.  LUCKILY we were right by the mall that has a covered garage!  We got in just as the first rain drops fell!   Well you know me, I don't want to waste time, so I thought I would go shopping.

That shopping trip might not have been the best decision!  I had to get wet running into the store, so by that time, I was really looking "movie start gorgeous" NOT!  I've been looking for the "right" shirt to go with a pair of brown capris for weeks.  So I started looking around and found a few to try on.  As I am walking back to try them on, I could tell a store clerk was eyeing me suspiciously, I looked rough.  Steve was cracking up.    Anyhow nothing fit right or was too "see through"  (what is up with the see through look?  So over it!)   By then the rain had stopped so we went back to the van,

So we are driving, not a drop of rain but Jon said it was raining at home.  We mentally planned our trip so we could seek shelter under a gas station awning if needed.  We finally passed the last gas station about 4 miles from home , it was still drizzling at home but it looked like it was clearing.  We got home to just the slightest misty rain and hurried in with the big couch.  It was not easy to get it in the door and we had to sit it down and take the legs off it.   In the process, I broke off a nail, beyond deeply, blood was pouring off my hand but I hardly felt it till we got the couch in....then I noticed!   OW!   Finally we got it inside and wiped it down and it was as good as new. 

Sarah couldn't wait to climb on it, we'd moved out our old furniture yesterday and just had a bean bag on the floor and she didn't like that!  As you can see, she liked it!







 
HAHAHA....you can see how relaxed she is:)

Well in all the craziness, Shad got left at school!  No we knew he was there but there was no way we could pick him up, we didn't have room and Jon couldn't leave the little ones, nor could they ride in the old van, the seats are out so .....first he stayed with his teacher till she had to leave, then he went to the Aftercare program, where he played and played and came home with a dirty face LOL  Jon went and got him after we got the couches in. 

Shad got rewarded....


my friend's daughter gave him a game system and some games she was not using.  When I handed it to him, I actually thought he would pass out from excitement.  He was in awe!  I guess it is a system that he'd wanted but never imagined he'd get!  LOL  I HATE video games but the boys loved them.  He is walking on cloud 9 tonight! 

At school today they had "water day" and I let him participate even though he had been on restriction.  The last week, he has done really good and he is earning back privilege.  He was not going to ask me about participating in water day, he thought he'd have to spend the day inside but last night, I surprised him.  It's such a fine line to teach a child responsibility and doing the right thing but also trying to teach them Grace too.  He and I had a really good heart to heart talk last night and I felt really good about letting him earn back some privileges. 


Anyhow that was our big day!  Jon went and bought me "Killing Patton" by Bill O'Reily that I can't wait to read, sitting on our new couch!   I have liked all his books (except I didn't read "Killing Jesus" and I love WWII history and I liked Patton.   I've been buying a lot of books lately, working at a thrift store is dangerous:)  The whole "Little House on the Prairie"  set was there last week and I got them.  I hadn't read them in a long time, boy they should be required reading for children now!   The books are filled with common sense, bible verses, self control, and examples of bad children who got SPANKED LOL!   I never cared for the TV series "Little House on the Prairie" it always seemed too sad for me, but the books are so good!   I love reading!!!!   I thought about writing a blog about the "Little House" books! 

Well hope everyone has a great weekend! 






Wednesday, September 24, 2014

House News!

Happy Day!

Got a phone call today and was told the walls will start going up on the house on October 17th!  Before then, the foundation will be laid and lots of things will be done.  This is exciting and really overwhelming to me.  We 've been talking about it for months, but now it is really starting to happen!

So if you live in this area and would like to help work on our house either individually or by bringing a team, could you please email me at theclanton5@aol.com  asap so I can get your info to Habitat!  They have to work on schedules and making sure they have qualified people there to help the groups.  Also they want to stagger the groups I'm sure so they don't have 75 people one day and 2 the next day. 

You do not have to be qualified in any kind of way to come help.  They have staff that will teach simple jobs to you (and to me too!)  But if you have a particular skill, please let me know in your email.

Also since we have all of our family's 400 volunteer hours in, we will be donating our work hours from now on to other families who have had a hard time getting their hours in based on their work schedules or other issues.  I'd love it if everyone who works on our house as a volunteer could also donate their work hours to another family.  We would not have all our hours in if we didn't have our son who had a free summer to work for our family at the Habitat Thrift Store.    So it would be a way of helping not just our family but other families as well!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Amazing Experience

Yesterday some dear friends in a war torn country contacted me about finding out how they could immigrate to America based on the fact they have been threatened with death and have had to leave their home.  So I began working on it and praying as I worked.  I have no idea how to go about it but I knew I should probably start with our state Senator Marco Rubio.

Since Selah had a doctor's appointment in Tampa, it seemed like it would be perfect for me to run by his Tampa office today since I had to sign some paperwork and a waiver to get any process started.  I knew that because his office helped out with the girls' homeland security clearance.  (his office got their clearance done in 3 days....between Christmas and New Year's....unreal!  So we have a great loyalty to Rubio!!!) 

So the nurse and I took Selah to her doctor's appointment.  Everything was great with Selah, the doctor was thrilled with how well she has been and how little storming she has had.  He's a sweet guy, he and my nurse are long term friends.  So I told him what we were doing after we left his office.  He was interested as he immigrated from Cuba as a child and has a strong conservative leaning (I know this from some conversations we have had on various things)

Anyhow he whipped out some paper and began writing a note to Rubio's office!  He and a good friend are great supporters of our Senator and his friend is Rubio's child's godfather.....  The note encouraged the office to help us and our friends out in any way possible!  I was just in shock, I'm not even sure I thanked him enough!!!!    That really encouraged me that God might just be opening a door for our friends.....

Then we were off to Rubio's office
 
 
Beautiful building right?  Try finding it.....Oh my gosh....I have a good sense of directions as does my nurse who lived in Tampa for years....let's just say we drove around for almost an hour!   AND we had the address and mapquest.  Then when I called the office, they told me that the name of the building was another building....LOL  It was a comedy of errors BUT we finally made it there!!!
 
I signed the wavier and gave them my info so they can open a case to start the ball rolling.  I'm hoping to hear from one of their immigration lawyers very soon.  I know it is a long process and many people are telling me that it's almost impossible BUT I believe that God can open doors in this critical situation.  Please pray that we will find favor as we work on this.   If you have any experience in this area, please let me know. 
 
 
As I said, Selah is doing just great.  I'm thankful when the doctors tell us "just keep doing what you are doing with her"  because she has been so stable.  I really believe that comes down to her daily care as well as the miracle drug Tobymixcin.  She has full time nursing and recently I made some changes in her nursing that I think will benefit her.  We are concentrating  on keeping her healthy and her body flexible.  She has some upcoming doctor appointments to try some botox on her knees as they have been so tight.  Just in the last few days we have tried some new resting positions that have seemed to help quite a bit.  She will also be getting a knee brace and a new hand brace to help her thumb. 
 
Some days she looks so healthy, it seems like she'll just get up and hop out of bed......  This is one thing we say, we are keeping her body healthy for her and we just pray she'll come back to us one day and be able to fully use her body. 
 
On the way home, we stopped by the property since this nurse had never had a chance to go out there before.  The property was "staked" with wooden stakes showing the outline of the house.  I went and stood in where will be our bedroom LOL   I know it had to be staked before the foundation goes in so now I'm really excited to hear about when that will happen!!!!
 
Today has been a long day and NO I did not cook supper!  We ordered Chinese and I ate almost all of my container.....I had not eaten all day long and yes I do that too often I know.  I'm one sleepy girl tonight.  But it was a productive day. 
 
So please pray that we will be able to help our friends and that God will protect them and provide for them!  Thank you!!!!!!
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

An Explanation to some readers

Another busy Monday.  It should be against the law for a pastor's family to have to do anything on Monday but relax but it's our busiest week day.  We had our usual teachers/therapists for Selah, Sam and Sarah.  On top of things, Steve is a bit sick.  How ironic he just went to the doctor on Friday for his 18 yr old check up.  He did get the flu mist instead of a shot.  Our doctor said the mist is supposed to be more effective this year.  He was not too sick as he asked for pizza and Pepsi LOL and then was playing video games.  It could be a small reaction or he could have picked up a little bug while he was at the doctor's.  Anyway he seems better tonight.  I get anxious if anyone starts getting sick as they are all in the same room and right next to Selah.  Poor Shad woke up throwing up sometime last year and I had him take a bath, and then go outside and sit under a tree LOL!  It was fall and great weather, I brought him drinks and soup all morning until we could tell he was going to be ok but I was petrified of Selah getting something and ending up in the hospital.  One great thing about the new house is if someone gets sick, they can stay in their room and not share the disease!

Speaking of the new house, I think the foundation will be laid soon, maybe this week!!  I know they are going to "stake" the house this week so we'll see what all will happen.  We can't wait!

Just wondering if anyone has any contact with Duck Dynasty???   My boys love their show & so does the rest of the family.  We'd LOVE to surprise the boys with a visit from one of them to our house's dedication.  The boys have given up a room for almost 2 years without complaining and I think it would be great to surprise them with getting to meet one of the DD guys.  I do not know how to get in touch with them but if anyone has a contact, please let me know! 

Sarah's new thing is to have me or Jon help her stand up and then she pushes our hands away and stands by herself for a few seconds.  She must have done it 100x last night.  I should have videoed it long before she got tired.   Maybe she will actually start to walk!

 
(look at her little grin at the end)
 
We had a little visitor today.  Look what Steve found by the church door.  It is a baby snapping or we call it an alligator turtle.  They get large, this little guy is very small.  I took it to the edge of the swamp to let it go, then realized I had on flip flops so I didn't put him as far back as I had wanted to!  I didn't want to step on a snake!
 

 
if you were wondering, the nail color is "Hong Kong sunrise" LOL













Tomorrow Selah has a doctor's appointment with neurology, more of a check up but we always seem to learn something from Dr F.  He is interested in Selah and helpful to us in many ways.


=======================================================================

Someone asked why I don't mention Selah as much as the other kids, particularly Sarah.  It didn't make me mad but let me explain if that thought had ever crossed your mind.  For the first nine months or so after the accident, I talked about Selah all the time.  In fact I had a few remarks asking me why I didn't talk much about the other children.  It was not that we didn't love all our kids, but our whole focus was on her at that time. 

Now Selah is stable but unfortunately her days are pretty much the same.  There are no new things to report.  That hurts to even write it.  She is healthy and content.  She has 24 hour nursing care, any major decision we make from a vacation to cleaning the house (the fumes) we take her needs into consideration.  I feel like our whole lives revolve around Selah and her care and well it should revolve around her! 

I wish I had great things to report....you have no idea how much I wish that.  I'm thrilled on the days she is more responsive. 

Yes we did go to Ukraine to adopt Sarah.  Selah was our little surprise that we learned of right before we left.  While she had profound special needs, she was different in that she could see and that was different for us, since we were used to a child with special needs who was blind.  With Sarah we understood her and her needs very easily because of Sam.  BUT we loved Selah from the get go- and knew that God had orchestrated things to bring her into our family, even tho we had not originally planned on adopting her. 

Now since the accident, it is a strange life.  Selah is here, but she is not here....  We were just getting to know our funny little girl when the accident happened.  Now we love the memories and often wonder "what if" and how would she be today had the accident not happened? 

We are committed 100% to her care but it is hard to explain the emotional side of living with a child who is in a "persistent vegetative state "   There is not a "give & take " emotionally.  There is not a building of mutual memories and love.  There is just us, loving her, being committed to her, making sure everything is perfect for her comfort.....  And when you add the fact we only had 13 weeks with her at home and 5 weeks in the orphanage visiting her....we were just getting to know her.  We relay on those memories now to help us make decisions about what she likes/dislikes, what is comforting to her and what might bother her.

So I don't know if that explains things to everyone's satisfaction.  But sometimes not having something to share, other than medically about Selah, hurts me more than you would know.   I can truly say of Selah that I have cried and prayed over her, much more than I have any of my other children.  

Our lives were far from "normal" before the accident.  But it was ok, cause we were in "OUR" normal.  Now it's like no matter what there is a sadness that will never be erased until that day when God will make all things new.  Even when I'm reporting all the happy news, I'm sad I don't have happy news to report on Selah.  I'm NOT sad that we have Selah to take care of, I'm sad that she has suffered an injury that she can not recover or change from.....  

So I hope you understand my heart about this matter. 

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.  LOL.....so 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 Lord......help 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....


Sooooo.....today 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!

 
Hola!

 
 
 
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:)