Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

After a rough night, somehow the day turned out good.

Here is our big surprise for our church .....


The chairs we ordered almost three years ago....came in Saturday night at 6 pm.  the company went bankrupt right after we ordered AND paid for the chairs.  I was SICK about it and fought as hard as I could sending letters to the judge etc....   Well they reorganized and we finally got the chairs...  I was so happy that they got delivered in time for Easter.   I really had doubts that we'd ever see them so I am so thankful that everything worked out!  Now our big remodeling things are done for the church.  My next goal is the yard!  A few years ago the company that did our new sidewalk brought in bad sand that had weeds in it and it has taken over the property.  We are going to work at resoddening the yard one part at a time.  I actually think it's supposed to be done in winter and it will be a big job but we've handled worse:)

Here's my crew on the front row
This is where Selah sits during church.  She likes the bean bag chair

Guy, Anita & Ziggy, Jon singing "The Old Rugged Cross"
After the Egg Hunt

Easter 2013



This afternoon Shad enjoyed his "new" refurnished bike a friend gave him.  It's his "grown up" bile and he loves it!


the guys were going to go bike riding but then my husband's van had a flat....but they got to bond over that LOL

I sat outside with Selah in the swing for over an hour.  She seemed so happy and relaxed but seconds after this picture was taken she threw up on me!  We think (hope) she had a bit of motion sickness!  She got a bath and so did I!

She was given several new outfits today (thanks BJ!) and she is modeling one in this picture.
Since the nurse has left her alarm has gone off several times already.  Her oxygen levels are a bit down (the machine is set at 92 %)  Her heart rate is still a bit too high 110-120  Please pray that she has a good night and that nothing is going on with her. she had a slight temp around 8 am but nothing since except some sneezing and throwing up once.  No gross mucus or anything.   I am so tired, I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night.  Tomorrow she has an appointment for her casts to come off!!!!!!!!!   I want her well for that appointment! 
So hopefully tomorrow will be the end of the casts!!!!!
Ps....Easter is more nostalgic for me than Christmas...I was thinking of my family that are passed away.  Many folks I grew around are all gone now.  I can remember singing some of the same hymns we sang this morning, many years ago with my new dress and usually a hat on.  Wouldn't it be nice to go back in time for just a few minutes to see all our loved ones?  Today gives me that HOPE that one day I will see them all again and we'll sing around the throne together.....

HE is Risen!

This morning I've been up for hours with Selah.  She kept having high heart rates and so I checked her Blood Pressure and it was extremely high.  She didn't "storm" but I had to give her meds  I've never had to give before to get it down.  It came down to normal within 30 minutes but her heart rate has still been all over the place even tho she is sleeping.   Every now and then it will shoot up to the 140's and set off the alarm.  She is pretty much staying in the 120's now but that is high.  My heart rate is in the 120's when I'm speed walking so I know how that feels. 

So with nothing to do but sit, I've been reading FB, amazed that anyone else is up!  LOL  I mean who is up on a Sunday morning at 4:30 am?  Not me!  I can say neither me or my husband have ever been guilty of going to a Sunrise Easter service LOL.   Anyhow, I regress, the posts are all so positive, I mean it is Easter Sunday morning....  my posts are not so positive.  I'm sad and disheartened that we are dealing with this again and unfortunately I understand it shows that her brain is not healing, it can't regulate the blood pressure/heart rate system without help. 

BUT He is still risen.....that is what I hold to....even as her alarm goes off once again....

We have an older gentleman and his wife who attend our church.  They were children in Germany during WWII.  Anita's mom had a child with Downs that they successfully hid from the Nazis.  (he lived to be in his 60's)  Then Ziggy and Anita fled East Germany after they were married.  they have many interesting stories.  But one thing Ziggy always says "Where could I go but to Him?  "There is no one else in heaven or earth..."   That is so true, there is no one else to go one else who can bear our burdens.  I have lots of friends but really who can I go to in a time like this?  No one but Jesus.  It's lonely and yet it is not....

So this Easter Sunday morning, I'm still clinging to the Risen One...

Please pray for Selah....hopefully we will have some good pictures later with the children. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Leaving on a Jet plane....

One year ago today we left for Ukraine......we had many concerns about the travel itself, the accommodations, taking the kids with us, how the girls would react, how we'd handle being at a MENTAL INSTITUTION  daily for weeks,  we left having NO idea when we'd return home,  we left Shad with a close friend, as he had a scholarship for the private Christian school that only allowed him to miss a total of 18 days of school and we knew he'd miss more than that.  We also thought it might be too hard on Steve to watch both boys as we'd be gone for a few hours a day to the orphanage or at court.   We had some real fears of the unknown. 

Dropping off Shad really upset me, then I had to drive to the airport.  I usually HATE to drive into the airport but I felt like my whole life was going to be totally out of my control for the next months or so so I wanted to be the one in control of the car.  It's so out of my character to want to drive through traffic, we just laugh about it now.  We flew out of Tampa to Charlotte NC and from there straight to Munich Germany.  We were  so packed.  Our facilitator (who became a great friend) suggested some gifts for the director of the institution.  He thought he'd like a Map of the US.  So I carried a big map through three airports and two train stations LOL   We also took suitcases of clothes and other things to leave for the institution and a wheelchair.  Coming home was easier :)

In Tampa, notice Sam would NOT wear shoes back then!  Somehow he FINALLY started wearing them in Ukraine and has ever since

See the map? 


I HATE to fly, but once I'm on the plane, I'm fine.  We had a smooth trip until we were over Ireland and those little elves shook up the plane.  The food was AWFUL- we flew on the German airline and they served German food...'Nuff said'....  We had a few hours layover in Munich and the guys were wanting to sleep...  My mantra was "STAY AWAKE or you will have jet lag"!  We also experienced the economy of Germany...$16 for a small bowl of awful soup! 

Munich Germany


Jon was o tired, I told him to keep walking Sam to stay awake, he was not thrilled. 

Then we flew to Kiev, Oh happy day!  One thing I loved on the flight to Kiev, as soon as we taxied off, EVERYONE in the plane did the sign of the cross.  Steve and I looked at each other and did the same!  We thought they might know something we didn't know LOL 

We got to the airport around 4pm on Saturday  and met up with a few other families.  We waited for our drivers to take us to our various apartments.  In Ukraine no one I knew stayed in hotels, they stayed in apartments.  We were lucky and stayed in a ministry's apartment (supported CBN) for the first few days.  It was in the OLD section of town and OLD really means OLD in Ukraine, the buildings there were hundreds of years old and some of the streets were 1,000 years old. 

from our balcony the first night and yes that is a little snow

Across the street from us


Steve and Sam on their sofa bed
Today we worked at the church and boy do we have a surprise for Grace Church tomorrow:)  We also ran and got all the things for the egg hunt after service.  While we were in Walmart, we saw some friends:)


We love Duck Dynasty:)
Selah had a good day today but last night was rough.  She had to be suctioned or changed about every hour.  Jon and I were exhausted this morning.  She is not sick, she seems to be able to make herself sound like she needs to be suctioned at times.  It is odd but in a way we are glad because she makes the gurgle noise and yet her oxygen rate is normal.  Usually when she does it she wants to be changed.  Almost without fail!  So in a way she does communicate with us. 
she looked so cute today.  She has on a skort, one of my favorite things to wear:) 

And here is our other princess...Sarah STANDING!
Love the dress, found it at a Salvation Army store on Half price day for .99 cents

Sarah clapping

She pushed away from the wall a little bit and scared me.  She can stand up by herself as long as she has something to hold onto or to lean against. 
Please say a prayer for Selah tomorrow, I can't help but pray that God will give new life to our little girl on Easter Sunday....
So tonight is bittersweet when I think back to where we were last year (over the Atlantic Ocean)  on our way to get our girls.  Who would have ever dreamed all that laid before us?  But the God who sustained us throughout that trip has sustained us throughout this whole year!  I'll be writing daily about our trip from this point forward with lots of pictures that I couldn't put on my blog last year.  I had issues loading and I was afraid of something going wrong in court if I did anything wrong or said a word wrong on my blog.  I wasn't sure of the privacy laws, everyone told us different things but now I can tell the stories and share the pictures.  I hope you will enjoy it.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Good Friday has always been hard for me to wrap my head around.   I believe everything in the Bible, but I don't understand the "why" of everything in there.  It's hard to fathom that someone, God Himself had to die for my sins!  I am thankful for the Cross and what it means....

Yesterday Jon brought home a beautiful picture of Selah that one of the inmates drew.  I love it, it's in her room, sitting right by her bed! 

Jon and the boys spent most of the afternoon outside.  What gorgeous weather today.  They did target practice wit the bow and with the BB gun.  Then they got a game of basketball in.  I love seeing them outside and playing...

Although this is Steve a few minutes ago ....  he plays Xbox with his friends.  One of his friends lives in NY so they can talk to each other via the headsets.   I prefer him playing outside!
Selah has had a good day today, no issues.  She had PT and did well.  Please keep her in prayer, next week is a big week for her!  Last night we had to suction her about 6 or 7 times during the night, deep suction.  That is unusual for her and we are sleepy today. 
A year ago today we were frantically packing last minute things, realizing we were leaving the next day for a trip that would change our life and grow our family.  It was a warm evening and one of my good friends Jean came and took us out to eat at "5 Guys and a Burger"  It was one of my last good meals for weeks:)  Jon worked late at the prison, tying up loose ends, since we had no idea how long we'd be gone!  I could barely sleep as I was very nervous about the trip and all the obstacles that laid before us.   I had an inking of what lay ahead and it was very scary to me.  Go back and read my blogs of March of 2012!  I was petrified of taking my kids overseas for an extended amount of time, afraid of all the emotional issues of being at a mental institution for weeks, the travel itself, ...oh gosh...everything was flooding my mind that night!  It was an overwhelming place to be at....
So tomorrow starts the pictures and stories that I couldn't share last year.....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lazy Thursday!

Here is Shad practicing with Steve's old bow and arrow.  He is so excited and loves it!  He does pretty good with it too.  Now he wants the BB gun LOL  Now Steve wants a cross bow!  GEEZ!

Shad Hood

Look at that!!!!
Here's my garden today, the collards multiply like rabbits LOL
Selah had a restful night, no issues and has been fine all day.  We are just assuming that whole high heart rate and heart beat was just an oddity....
Today she got a gift from another dear dear adoptive mom who I have just come to love!  Shelly sent her some dresses and leggings.  She sent so much, some of the leggings were solid colors and some had designs on them.  What was amazing is they match things already in her closet.  Her nurse was amazed at all her clothes:)  Selah went from a size 3T  at the time of the accident (we'd only been home 14 weeks) to now a size 6, 7 or 8 depending on the clothes!  So we had to start all over with her closet!  It's been a little challenging to find the right things for her but I love for her to look cute:)  She has an amazing summer wardrobe...we just need SUMMER!!!  BRRRR!  It is COLD here in Florida!  We had frost for the last 3 nights, and we've had to cover the plants. 
Here is Selah's closet:)  I love to dress her nice:)
This is her new bath chair.  It had been ordered for months and I wasn't sure if it was ever coming and then SURPRISE I got a call this morning!!  A sweet reader had sent me her daughter's chair and we've been using it.  It was much larger , I'm almost worried this one will be too small!
Thank you again for your prayers for Selah1!!!
ps...some more Shad pictures!
Sharp Shooter Shad!

Don't worry it is just a BB gun:)  He loves it

Henry and BJ...Henry has beome tame and is fixed.  BJ can only be petted sometimes.  I sure miss all my cats!  I just keep hoping these guys will survive whatever is taking/killing the cats!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Unexpected Problems

Last night Selah had a near "storm".  Nothing was out of place but around 7:30pm her heart rate and Blood pressure just soared!  The nurse called for me and we worked together to get all her meds in her quickly.  It took almost an hour for her to get below 140 beats a minute.  That is where her machine is set for alarms.  She shook some but didn't raise her arms and get rigid.  She also didn't sweat like before.  Thankfully it only took about 10 minutes for her blood pressure to respond, it originally was like 173/96!  All night as we got up to check on her her heart beat stayed at 115!  This morning the same.  I had planned on meeting one of my BFFs to go out to eat and do some things and everyone said for me to soon as I left, her heart rate went under 100 ....LOL  was Selah mad at me? 

We don't know what happened.  Her nurse went back and reviewed all the notes since Selah has been home and it seems every two weeks or so she has a small episode but usually lasting only a few minutes.  It was discouraging:(

She is doing perfect now, asleep and calm!  We are happy!

I did get to go out with my close life long (about 26 year old friend-we've been friends longer than we've been married) friend Jackie and we had some good laughs!  We also ate...first Olive Garden then later Krispy Kreme doughnuts!!!!!!!   I've only been one time to a KK shop and that was back "in the day" when I didn't believe in eating ( during college)  Today I made up for that LOL  I'm ashamed to say how many we ate but they were fresh and just melted in our mouths!  I did take some home to the kids so everyone was happy:)

Please pray for Selah that this is not the beginning of new issues for her!  Monday her casts come off and we have lots of things planned for her as far as therapy goes.  Thank you all!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Our Pt decided to try Sarah on a regular walker...
she worked hard
she was very determined  See how she crosses her feet over each other?  That is what hangs her up from walking good.  No one knows why she does it or how to explain to her NOT to do it.  Sarah's receptive language skills (what she understands ) is probably about a 9 month old level. 

Go Sarah Go!

For some reason this picture just grabs my heart....
So the little ones had PT this morning and all did good.  Sarah really enjoys the new walker and looks so cute in it!!!
Selah is doing good, haven't seen the independent movement like we did yesterday.  Her PT thought Selah smiled at her! 
Late yesterday I finally spoke to the doctor who is over the HBOT center and he'd like to see Selah off the trach if possible before she starts HBOT.  So this morning I hunted down all kinds of leads and may have found someone at our local hospital that could work with her!  She was out today but should be in tomorrow to talk to us about it. 
I got tons of errands done today and am feeling quite productive....I had a long list and went right down it:)   This is unusual for me anymore!  Before the past year I was the energizer bunny but now I feel I've accomplished something if I get a shower and dry my hair.....  I don't like feeling like that but that is how I've felt, just absolutely overwhelmed.  Hopefully, with God's help, I am overcoming that heaviness and being able to get back to the REAL me!
Thank you for all your prayers for us!  We appreciate each and every one!
ps...I feel a blog coming on....I'm very concerned about the direction this country is hurling itself