Monday, September 30, 2013

Productive day

As I sit here with my 3rd big cup of Java of the day....I've gotten a lot done:)

Did all kinds of paperwork/bill paying/going through paperwork/ time on the phone for various things....then to pick up Shad and we went to drop off library books, bank, dry cleaners, dropped off my laptop, faxed a bunch of stuff and filled out an application for a home through a county program!  There is another program that I'm filling out paperwork on too.  And we picked up doughnuts....hey....sometimes it can't be helped!

So we are looking into some programs that are through the federal government but administrated through our county and a private organization for homes.  Obviously we need a large home and one that is handicapped accessible.  I just do not think I could live in a subdivision. so we are hoping for something out in the country that could be remodeled or built to our needs.  The whole house thingy is overwhelming to me.  I know if anything works out, it will have to be the Grace of God!  But it is exciting.  Steve & Shad are the MOST excited, they would love to be off the air mattresses on the floor of the little ones' room.  Since our home has only 3 bedrooms, and was perfect but tight for us before the accident.  But since Selah has to have her own room, the boys gave up their room and now all the kids sleep in the same room.  I appreciate their willingness and it's not been too bad, the little ones, both are in cribs so their beds don't take up much room.  The worst thing is Sarah likes to "hum" at night, everyone but Steve can sleep through it, so most of the time, he puts the pillow over his head or he sleeps on the living room couch!  LOL   I do remind myself that there are many people in the world who live in much smaller spaces and are content.  Our bedroom is only a foot or two bigger than their room or we would have switched but it wasn't a big enough difference to do that.   So we will see what happens, please pray that things will open up and be clear for us.

Our dear friend Bill Meyer had a heart attack today and is in the hospital.  We worked with him and his wife Eileen in NYC at Brooklyn Teen Challenge  years ago in ministry.  They have a ministry now called Sarah Heart, a home for abandoned children in the upstate NY area.  They visited us several times while we were in Rochester last year with Selah and took us out to eat, brought the kids things...blessed us in many ways.  You can see Bills' "heart" as he leans over and talks to Selah.....please pray for him.  This world needs more Bill Meyers..... Please pray that the doctors will have wisdom and that God would also touch him and be with their dear family. 


Since I was really bad today and got us all doughnuts thankfully I have chicken chili cooking in the crock pot.  I'm hoping that will even things out.  I don't keep junk food in the house but I sure know where to find it at times!  I cooked dinner and fixed lunch all last week until Saturday night!  I really used the crock pot a lot.
I love crock pots, I have a mini, a large, an extra large and the one with 3 crockpots all together.  And I really use them, last week I used all of them but the mini:)  In our family not much is made on a "mini" scale :)
Hope you have a good night and thank you for your prayers for our family and for Bill and his family!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Sunday

Sunday fun day...  great day in church.  Really have to say we missed our music minister....Jon was filling in this week and let's say he had a "moment"   couldn't find the tempo ....the funniest thing was somehow Sam caught on that something was off and started laughing with a belly laugh. Then everyone else was laughing was really cute.    We are not "perfectionists" at Grace Church!   Love seeing our church grow too!   Excited about the new families and folks who are attending.  We have some new things that we are working on and it's exciting. We may have a GOOD BIG announcement in the near future for some new avenues of ministry for our church.  It's exciting as we see things come together in a way we never have before!

Then out to eat at Sonny's with friends and to visit one of our sweet ladies in the hospital.  After that we went to look at a house for sale near us.  GREAT location, in the woods, private, lots of land, very natural and backing up on a state wild life preserve but the house had a pool.  We probably couldn't afford it anyhow but it seemed perfect except for the pool.  I never wanted a pool BEFORE the accident but now knowing what a near drowning can do to someone personally, I barely can handle a bathtub!  Certainly not a pool that I'd worry about all the time.

Our weather is starting to change.....instead of the mid-90's it's like the high 80's LOL  but it feels different.  October is my favorite month and it's almost here....

This coming week will be a busy one, lots of different kinds of paperwork for me and Steve starts Driver's Ed.  I'm a weirdo, I like Mondays....I feel like it is a new beginning for me and a chance to get things done.  Sundays are such work days/long days for us....

We have a night nurse again tonight....oh GLORY!  And our new one will start next weekend.  I am so very thankful!  Sleep is a wonderful thing!!  I loved caring for Selah one on one but.....we've been doing this for 8 months, and at one point doing all her night nursing for over 2 full months so this is a blessing to be able to sleep through the night!  Sleep is a glorious thing....usually by Sunday night I'm about ready to pass out!  It's great not to be so tired.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and hope you have a good week ahead! 

Please keep praying for Selah!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Turtle Soup

Our wildlife of the day....
a snapping or alligator turtle that made it into our yard.  Steve got a shovel and put him over the back fence so he could head off towards the river.....
I tried to pick him up but he wanted to take a piece of me....
But we didn't make turtle soup

Good day yesterday.  I took the boys to a late movie, it was actually a really cute one "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 2"  I LOVE going to movies.  I wasn't allowed to go to them when I was growing up.  In fact the first one I saw was "Blue Lagoon"  I was pretty sure that Jesus was going to come back and I'd be "left behind"  The ironic thing is my best friends' dad owned the theater in our town until it burned down!  When I was a senior in high school and a bit older, I did go and work some weekends at his other theater in Madison Fl.  That was fun to me.  One of my friends and me saw one of the "Freddy Movies" at a midnight showing and were too afraid to run to her car LOL  fun times! 
Anyhow I love going to the movies, we don't go that often, but sometimes it is just fun to go , get a Pepsi and some pop corn and have a good time!  That's what we did last night.
And why was I able to go to the movies?  We had a night nurse:)  and Jon stayed with the little ones who were already in bed:)  It was a good time!!!
And we have a night nurse tonight!!!!  WOOHOO!  You have no idea how good it is to know you'll be able to sleep through the night!
Sarah now will touch MY nose when I say "where is mommy's nose?"   She learned it just since yesterday.  She has the WORST habit of hitting us over and over again.  Not in anger but just to touch us.  It's hard to explain.  Being blind, she now feels confident to touch us but she has to do it quickly, she won't stroke my arm like Sam would do, she would lightly hit my arm over and over again, just to touch me.  Sam did this a little bit but only for a short time.  So now I catch her hand and kiss it and then while I'm holding her hand in mine, put my hand to her mouth for her to kiss my hand....just today she is starting to put her mouth on my hand when I bring it up to her mouth.  It's really cute.   We are really trying to discourage the hitting which a friend of mine described as "being pecked to death by a duck"  LOL  Please understand she is not unhappy when she does it, she just wants contact but can't handle her hands touching someone for a long time.  So it satisfies her need to touch and explore.  She will also hit objects at times, so she can touch them but not too much.  We totally get it and it is a "blind" behavior for kids who can't tolerate too much touch.  Sarah loves to be touched but even then sometimes she will move your arm from around her.  She'll want to sit on my lap but can only tolerate my arm for a little while.  Sam was soooooooo the same when he was little.  Sam totally prepared us for Sarah. 
I've gotten on to her but just raising my voice and saying NO loudly scares her and I can't do that to her.  I'd much rather change her behavior by love than discipline.  I say NO softly then kiss her seems to be helping without scaring her.   She loves to reach out to us.  And she loves rocking herself in this chair.  She'll sit there for an hour and rock happily.  It is actually good for her, it gives her the vesicular  motion she craves in a "normal" way. 
Sam lost another tooth...his third in just a couple of months.  Now he is 9.5 he is actually loosing teeth.  His dental stuff has been quite interesting.  He didn't have any teeth until almost 2 years old...then he grew his front bottom ones and top ones in a short amount of time.  It took a long time for his baby teeth to all come in.  We've seen several dentists and they'd never seen anything like this!  So he is starting to lose teeth about 3 years later than most kids. 
We have often wondered if Sam had a gene that kept him younger longer....  We've all heard of the genetic condition, progeria, that ages kids  faster and they die young looking like an old person....  Well for Sam, it's the opposite, he seems so delayed in his growth that maybe he has a "youth gene"
Sam has so many unusual things that we have actually brought up a theory like that to several doctors and Geneticist.  No one really has taken us seriously but we did see a medical show on three kids suspected of having something like that and it doesn't have a name yet.  Sam was more mentally advanced than the other three on tv but we contacted that Geneticist  and gave them our info.  He did not put Sam into their study since he has a chromnosal deletion in another area....  But they have our info if they ever expand the study.   I tell you our dentist thinks Sam is unique, he'd never seen a child take so long to have teeth.  Just last year Sam went back to the dentist and he said the xray of Sam's mouth looked more like a 4 yr old's than a 8 year old's. 
I think the doctors felt like we weren't accepting of Sam's disabilities.  But that was not the case, there were just so many odd things even like his hair and teeth not coming in.  Yes he is delayed but he makes "normal advances".  Most kids with developmental disorders, as they learn to do things, they dont' do them in the "correct way" like crawling and walking....  Neither Sarah or Selah knew the correct way to crawl and Selah didn't know the correct way to walk....the steps in walking like how to get herself up off the floor.  That is a basic skill how a child learns to stand.  A lot of kids with developmental disorders, "commando crawl" rather than crawl normally, it's like steps are not included.
Well Sam has been slow, but he has done each step in his gross motor skills in the correct way.  He crawled, learned to pull up and walk correctly even with not having good sight.  He has learned to walk up stairs the correct ways.  That is what gives us and a few of the folks we've worked with/seen over the years some questions about an undiagnosed genetic condition.....  Anyhow it is interesting to think about.  We kidded around when we went to St Augustine's Fountain of Youth that Sam didn't need to drink anymore of it!  LOL 
But hey for good luck we gave him some:)
And I guzzled down some and bought a whole bottle of it!
We have a night nurse tonight too!!!!!  Happiness!
Well everyone have a good night, and please remember Selah in your prayers.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Building My Faith

I seldom go back and read my blog.  Some of it just brings up too much emotion to me.  But I went back today for a few minutes and read our adoption story for the girls....  God did so many financial miracles for us and them.  I felt like I was living in the middle of a miracle.....  I just want to share a few of those blogs on here in order....
This one, we realized just how much more money we needed.....Note the date...Dec 28 2011....  note the date on this one.....January 1 2012.....  (and it was written about the miracle that happened on Dec 31 2011  then this note the date...  and this.....

Actually if you read from September 2011 till Feb 2011, there are crazy miracles after miracles's something else.  I'm so glad I wrote it all down, so many little details I had forgotten but reading it brings everything back. 

Reading over those few weeks, was like a balm to my soul.....   God showed Himself to be so faithful to us and the girls. 

I don't understand all of God's ways, I don't know what the future holds for us for Selah but I know God is good and He is Faithful.  Looking back at their story, makes me know there is more ahead for us, not necessarily financially or materially, but spiritually.....this is not it.  God will remain faithful to us and to our girls just like He was in 2011! 

Reading these blogs makes my faith rise and also makes me sad, remembering all the amazing things and feeling like the future was so bright....  This is another time when I just have to trust God and not be afraid. 

I've said and thought so many times that our girls' story was like a Cinderella story but I never thought the story would have this part in it.   Somehow I just have to know this is not how the story will end for us and for Selah.  Please continue praying for our little LaLa that God will heal her mind and bring her back to us. 


Today was 31 years ago that my  great aunt "Boot Mama" Bertha Phillips, the lady who raised me died.  She was born in 1899....took me as a baby in 1965 at the ripe old age of 66!  She loved me and cared for me until she left us first from dementia and then in death.  I hope she knows now what she planted in my heart all those years ago.  I literally owe my life to her and probably three little ones from across the ocean do too.  I love you Mama! 

Good Stuff!

Selah had a great appointment today with Dr Schnapf.  He and his associates like Dr C that we saw last time are out of Tampa General and work at USF Department of Pediatrics.  These Pulmonologists have changed our life!   Our wonderful pediatrician sent us to them (and annoyed me by doing it-I was a bit soured on specialists then) back in April when we could not keep Selah out of the hospital and St Joe's was NO help to us whatsoever....  Dr C put Selah on Tobimixion, an inhaled antibodic and it has just made our lives so much easier and kept Selah out of the hospital.  I'm really grateful to this group of doctors and how they LISTEN and treat the patient!  It's reassuring when you find a good doctor(s) like this. 

More good news we have a new weekend nurse coming to orientation today!   That means the nurse on duty will go over Selah's care with her.  The new nurse is experienced, loved by her patients and a friend of one of Selah's nurses.  She recently moved to our county and was wanting to find a patient to work for in this area so she didn't have to travel.  She is an older nurse, which I prefer and an adoptive mom:)  So after this weekend, we will have Friday & Saturday night covered.  There is a possibility that we may be able to have Sundays covered too.  I'm so happy!   I have discovered how much I appreciate a full night's sleep:)  And we were given permission for our regular night nurse to work tonight:)  So that makes the weekend easier for us. 

I'm still so grateful to all the people who helped us with our insurance/nursing problem.  From all the prayers, to Mike Fasino, Will Wetherford (who was on Fox news this am) to Gov Rick Scott...... we are really grateful for the help all of these folks gave us!   What a blessing to not have to worry about losing our nurses!!!!!!

More good news....
Our kids' Physical Therapist had told me about some type of grant for families to help buy a home.  I called and spoke to one of the staff at the office and was just treated so nice.  She was excited about working with our family and is sending us out a packet, then we will schedule and appointment and they will look at all the programs and contacts to see what would best fit us.  She had lots of ideas and many contacts.  I'm excited.

We know we have to move into a bigger home soon.  We actually live in a parsonage (owned by the church)  We could squeeze in before the accident but with Selah having to have her own room, it makes it hard.  Currently Shad & Steve gave up their room and sleep on air mattresses on the floor of the little ones' room.  I appreciate my boys, they have never once complained about not having a room.  All of their stuff is Jon's office at the church. 

We knew we couldn't live like this forever but we didn't have the 'wherewithall" to even think about moving before.  So many people offered to help right after the accident, emails, phone calls and texts.  We told everyone we could not even think about things being over a thousand miles away with a very sick child.  I've always been told not to make hasty decisions after a traumatic event.  We had to focus on Selah and getting her back to Florida.  It was too much to take in at once.  We knew we'd need to move as we didn't want to make accommodations to the parsonage since we don't own it.   Selah needs lifts and her own bathroom etc...lots of expense that once done. couldn't all be taken with us if we moved.  We've been able to "make do" since being home the past 8 months. 

Once home, none of the help we were offered....ever showed up.  I've had to just deal with it and remember that God is our Help.  And He really is....  He provides when there is a need.

So I've just sat back, really haven't "tried" to make things happen.  I didn't feel like I needed to "work" on things.  As you know I can make some things happen but I 've felt like God would work things out for us, when the time was right.

Also quite honestly a part of me has thought that maybe Selah would just be healed and we could go back to our "normal" which would be so much better to me than anything else!!!!!

I have a good feeling about maybe the way God works things out for us.  We'd love a house big enough for the kids to have their own rooms and a therapy room!!!  We have therapy equipment in all the corners of our house now LOL!   There is even some things I can't use (like a ball pit) because we just don't' have room. 

Our son Steve will graduate this year and his plan is to start work as a correctional officer as soon as he turns 19 years old.  He hope to be in the Academy by his birthday next year.  In all probability he will work nights once he gets hired so he needs a good place to sleep during the day!  Not on the floor of the little kids' room!  Steve has wanted to be an officer since he was 10 years old.   He has never wavered on it:)  He has been in the prison and around it all his life.  We actually lived on the campus of the Polk City Prison when Jon was the chaplain there.  He has seen a lot and is fascinated by it.  Plus "back in the day" I used to take him with me to juvenile facilities when I did my monthly check of the clients.  He loved going with me.  I look back and can't believe I took him with me but he enjoyed it.  He's been to my office, seen me in's all been a part of his life.  I'm just thankful he doesn't want to be a cop!  The only thing he wavers on is COLLEGE!  Sometimes he thinks he wants a BA in criminal justice but he has been told he can move up the ranks just as fast without it and of course have NO debt.  So he thinks he wants to go straight to work.  His goal is to be a warden one day:)    I don't know what would be best. college or just go to work.  Jon & I both graduated from college and assumed that our kids would too but it's a different world in 2013 than it was in the 80's......  Thankfully Steve has no plans of moving out anytime soon!  We really appreciate all the help he is to our family.

So a lot of good stuff going on....

Please keep Selah in your prayers as always.......


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beyond Bizarre Day.... Snake Handling and a Hanging....

This has been a Beyond Bizarre Day..... LOL  All the below is true....

Our day nurse swears he is writing a movie script on our family......

So Jon comes in to tell me there is a dead dog in front of our house this morning....  The ONE thing that drives me crazy about my husband is he always tells me problems.  I am not getting involved with a dead dog.  He and Shad moved it to the side of the road and we have had HUGE buzzards out all day. 
This was the "best" picture I could get of the many buzzards flying....they are huge, the size of turkeys...
Then I go to pick up Shad from school....and see all kinds of cop cars at this other little cemetery down the road.... tons of folks there, crime scene tape being nosy and living near there and the fact we have a cemetery at our church, I called to see if someone had been disturbing graves...No....not that....  come to find out some guy had skipped court this morning, he was to be sentenced to like 50 years for molesting kids and he went and hung himself at the grave yard according to the report I got.....   This may seem very mean but I am very glad he picked that cemetery rather than our cemetery.....  Can you even imagine????   It would have been worse than Jon finding a dog this morning....  Good Lord....   (and for the record, if he molested kids, I don't waste any tears on him!!  And had it been one of my kids....let's say I'd strung him up myself!!!)
Then as we are turning on our road, I see a dead rattle snake.  I'm all about teaching my kids about nature, especially nature that can HURT me and Shad walked down to see it.  A neighbor had cut it's head off so no one would hurt themselves and he offered to hold it up so I could take a picture

Immediately following this picture, it's nerves began twitching and it came up towards our friend....Let's just say NONE of us will be in any snake handling service ROFLOL!!!!! He dropped that sucker and we all jumped back LOL!
It was about a 3ft Diamond Back Rattler...  He only had a few rattles on him. He was young, but not so young, he couldn't have killed someone!   I tell my kids ALL the time to wear shoes outside and watch where they are walking!!!!!
Do any of you watch that show called "Snake Salvation"?  Its about two churches, one in Tennessee and one in Kentucky that handle is a trip and a half.   I have always found snake handling interesting, the whole psychology of it.  For my readers who have never heard of it.....some people feel the bible tells them to handle snake during church.  They take it from .....
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19)

You can watch a video of it here....

this article is the show we watch  here is a link to a book I read recently.  I thought it was very interesting.  The journalist starts out "covering the trial of an Alabama pastor convicted of attempting to murder his wife with poisonous snakes—would evolve into a headlong plunge into a bizarre, mysterious, and ultimately irresistible world of unshakable faith: the world of holiness snake handling.

Set in the heart of Appalachia, Salvation on Sand Mountain is Covington’s unsurpassed and chillingly captivating exploration of the nature, power, and extremity of faith—an exploration that gradually turns inward, until Covington finds himself taking up the snakes."

Can you imagine?  He went to cover the trial and ends up taking up the snakes himself!  WOW!  It was an interesting read:)




Supposedly in my home town years ago there was a strange little Pentecostal church that did snake handling.  We would hear things about it.  My crazy Grandmother and I often talked about going, it was only like a block behind our field.  We talked about it so often but never went, we figured that if we went they probably wouldn't do the snake handling if they even did it at all.  But we were nosy LOL  We laugh and say what we'd do if someone tried to hand us a snake....LOL 
Of course as you know I was raised Pentecostal and my husband pastors an Assembly of God church which is a Pentecostal denomination.  However we do not teach snake handling!  LOL  Our church and the church I grew up in "Church Of God" teach that God does give the believer power BUT we'd say that scripture is talking about accidental things the story of Paul In Acts 28
28 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
Obviously Paul didn't go around picking up snakes, he was working and a snake bit him.  Then God intervened and Paul didn't die.  That is how most people view those verses....Not to go and do those things!  But that God will protect us if the situation arises.....  Actually most folks would say "don't tempt the Lord"!
So these folks also drink deadly drinks like poison and they put fire up to their is crazy!    We have decided that they have really loud music going on when they picked up the snakes and that confuses the snakes and it's almost like charming them.   Although folks get bit, one got bit on a show, when they were going snake hunting....  Ok I don't have much of a life but I like watching this crazy show!!!
So that's all the crazy stuff to share....
Now let me tell you what all the kids are  doing....
Sarah knows where her nose it:) She'll grab my hand and put it on her nose when I ask her 'where's Sarah's nose?"   I don't know WHY she has to put my hand on her nose but she will do it over and over again:)  We had just gotten her psychological assessment back and her IQ was very very low...  However the assessment was done last school year and since then she is walking more, understanding more, drinking out of a straw and now she knows where her nose is!  Her PT feels like her IQ will really take off....remember Sarah had to learn to understand English and she is's quite an accomplishment when I say "Sarah come to mommy" and she crawls/hops over!   Blind kids are evaluated differently than sighted kids, there are so many things we learn just by being able to see. 
Selah is doing good.  She is moving her tongue all the time.  She finally has control of it to some degree and she moves it all the time.  We don't know what to think of it.  It is something she could not do until she had the HBOT!  Yesterday  I felt so sad.  It comes in waves....yet two more people (not wackos) told me they dreamed Selah came back....  I don't' know what to think, I just keep praying!
We may have a night nurse for the weekends Praise God!!!!!!!!!   All the details are being worked out.  It will be amazing if we have full coverage, we will be happy!!!!
Sam has learned to use this little seat...
I forgot what it is called, the little ones got it for Christmas from a Sunday School group and they love it.  Sarah knows how to crawl into it and will turn it around for hours.  Sam is so much more afraid than Sarah is...he just learned how to sit himself in it.  It is adorable the way he slowly sits down in it like a very old man.  So now he plays in it every night, it's become a ritual for him.   With a round bottom, it is easy for them to go around and around in circles and they love doing it.
Steve is waiting to start Driver's Ed next week at the public high school.  Mama is nervous....but it will be good for him.  He is also waiting on his books to finish his senior year of school.
Shad had a field trip today to MOSI in Tampa.  It's a favorite place for kids around here to go on field trips.  The Museum of Science and Industry...something like that.  Evidently they saw all kinds of things about disasters today, earthquakes, tornadoes, fires.... he loved it....   I have never been there, the thought of a bunch of kids frightens's like an upscale Chuck E Cheese LOL  It's probably better than that, don't send me hate mail!!!
So thus ends an interesting day....


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Sitting here on hold with Hewitt Packard about my laptop...... been waiting for about 45 minutes, this drives me NUTS!  Glad I have supper in the crock pot, a beef stew, with garlic bread and a salad.....yum! 

I hate waiting.  One of my BFFs growing up is always late...that drove me batty...then I married my husband.....and continued to wait...throw in a relative or two.... more waiting....    I'm one of those on time people, usually ready BEFORE time even with 5 kids so it is so hard for me to understand why others are late and I'm waiting.....

Like I "see" projects' and how to best do them in my mind's eye.  Say getting ready to got to the beach....I pack the night before, just a few things, and leave out things I'll use in the morning like a toothbrush....then as everyone uses something, it goes on the dining room table to be put in a bag.  If someone doesn't put their toothbrush there, they don't' have a toothbrush....  I have everyone's clothes ready the night's easy.   When I worked I had all our clothes done the weekend before for the next week and ironed...  LOL 

So I'm pretty organized....since the accident, a lot of that slipped, THANK GOD I'm getting back to myself.  I was really worried about my mental status for quite awhile.  I couldn't concentrate and couldn't get tasks done.  I'm still not the person I used to be, but I'm getting better, more organized, more able to get tasks done.   

The past 2 years I feel like I've been waiting....we waited on our adoption, we waited on paperwork, we waited on a travel date, we waited in Ukraine.....then we got home and we were waiting again for a travel date to NY for Sam's exam and Sarah's surgery....then the accident....then we WAITED, waited to see if Selah would live, waited to see if she'd wake up....

Now I'm still waiting...some days I don't' know if I should have any hope for real change in Selah.

I try and remember that God prepared me for this situation by sending the woman to talk to me in the mall months before the accident.  If you just started reading my blog....she came up to me and said she had a "word from God"  on May 30, 2012  She said "Something very big is coming for your family in the next few months, Many will see and God does not want you to be afraid"   Well on August 15, 2012 that word came true....  So many things I do not understand but I know God sent her to me......

The word never told me that we'd get a miracle just not to be afraid.  I figure if God can send someone to tell me that then it seems like there is more ahead....

I dream all the time about Selah waking up,,,,all the time.....  and many others do too......

I don't know.....tonight I just don't know what is ahead.  But I'm still waiting......and I HATE waiting....

Please pray for Selah......

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Facebook Rant

Who likes Facebook?  I do/did.....

When one of my dearest college friends, Todd, introduced me to Facebook, I thought it was marvelous ...   This was back in '09.  I quickly caught up with a lot of my old college friends and high school friends.  I LOVED that about FB.  Folks I though fondly of, but had lost touch with them.  It was was great!  I felt closer to folks than I had for years.  I caught up with some folks I used to work with both as a probation officer and in various ministries.  Sometimes I'd see someone's name and be so excited to be contacted by them or to contact them.  It was a lot of fun to catch up and share stories and pictures.... 

Then the groups started....and sometimes things got a little odd.  I was in one group for my college and left it because I thought there were some real weirdoes in it.  People I didn't think even went to college with us.  Lot of odd ideas, I love a good argument but I'm usually quite "tongue in cheek" about things but some of these folks were like NUTS! 

Then when we started adopting the girls, things got odder still.....  I found the "adoption world" I'd known when we adopted Shad in "06 was not the same adoption world.  Some crazies were out there.....   too much info, guessing and DRAMA....I joined some adoption groups ONLY to get out of them as soon as we got home with the girls.  Too much complaining and whining on there, too many experts....   I was happy, Over the moon...happy with my babies and I really didn't want to hear about anyone else's issues....  I know that sounds mean but hey I'm being real.  I couldn't relate to the issues some were having with their kids. 

I really try NOT to add "friends" if I don't know the person "in real life"....well in the adoption world, you tend to add folks that you don't know in real life...and you probably won't hang with if you did know them ....LOL   As a disclaimer, I've met some great people on line, mostly ones I actually have friends in common with (REAL life friends)   When we were leaving to pick up the girls, after we lost he little guy were trying to adopt, I basically deleted almost everyone that I didn't know IRL....I felt safer. 

Then over time, I started adding people back on...good people....but people I don't really know.  So now my newsfeeds are stuff about folks I don't really know.  It annoys the heck out of me.  I want to hear about my old friends, see their pictures ....  But then I feel guilty if I delete someone.  But I am just going to have to start doing it again.  I feel like FB is an out of control monster that annoys me most of the time now.  It used to be you could "hide" a person but FB doesn't allow me to do that anymore so I have to scroll through all kinds of things....and miss things others wrote.....

I also hate the people that send friend requests, you add them and they never communicate again....they don't "like" anything you write or a picture....  I have two people that I comment on their stuff occasionally and they don't even "like" what I comment or ever say anything to me...WHY? be friends with someone like that?

So for me FB has gone from really fun to annoying.  The only reason I don't leave altogether is I really like being able to be in touch with some friends easily.  Yesterday I added a friend from high school and we actually called each other and had such a good time telling our life stories since high school.  That to me is what FB is all about....

When the accident happened, FB was wonderful to be able to share things with folks, because I couldn't stand to talk on the phone.  Talking required too much energy and I didn't' have any to spare at the time.  That was a good part of FB.

This has just bothered me lately....  Ok my rant is over....

Facebook get on your nerve too??


Selah had a good day, she had physical therapy today.  We got her diapers in and a bunch of supplies. 

I enrolled the three little ones in school today.  I had turned in all their paperwork in LAST school year...but somehow it never got in the system.....  so now we wait and see what will happen....and how soon...or how will take.....

Last night was my "fall out and sleep like a rock night" I'm always so happy to have our night nurse here so I can sleep deep and not worry about missing something Selah needs!  I slept so good last night!  I do not take it for granted! 

Thank you for continuing to pray for Selah.  You have no idea how much we appreciate prayers for our little girl. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Getting the Ark ready!

WOW it has been raining non stop here....ok I love rain but today I started wondering if there was a hurricane coming and I just hadn't been watching the news....  LOL  I only say that because....that happened to me before!!  The year Sam was born, we had so many hurricanes, direct hit ones, and for the last one ( the worst one for us) I totally zoned out and didn't know until just a few hours before it lie...  But hey things were just about as crazy as they are now, Sam was a very sick baby!!!  That was a RUDE awakening for me!!!  We ended up living in the adminstrion building at the prison for over a week  since we didn't have electrify and Sam was on a monitor 24/ times....  Anyhow we are going to have a lot of rain for the next few days.  I went to the thrift store and bought me some books to read, nothing like a rainy day and a book.

Last night I had to get up with Selah a few times, and by the third night (we don't have nursing Fri-Sun night) I was beat.  I think the last time I got up with her, I changed her with my eyes lie.  She has still had a little higher heart rate, but she seems ok.  She still seems more alert for the most part.  Last night she was probably more alert than me!  So this morning I got up about 8:30 and stumbled in her room (our nurse was there by then)  and I'm in my robe, bleary eyed and there is the nursing supervisor and a new worker...LOL  then the Physical Therapist got here, at that point I just took off for the shower.  I had no pride left LOL  The kids also had Occupational therapy today and she worked on that means she feed Sam and Sarah !  WOOHOO:)   I told her she was welcomed to come every day and work with them!!!

I cooked today used my 3 crock's one machine with 3 crock pots in it....I did a chili and a hot nacho cheese and ham & beans , everyone is happy:) 
Yesterday I made chicken noodle soup and it was soooo good.  I think the secret is to use a couple of cans of cream of chicken soup.  Tomorrow I already have the meat cooked for spaghetti:)  We ae only using ground chicken now, very low fat and I get the kind that is grass fed/free range/no antibodics...  I try and keep us healthy.  Then on Wednesday I'm doing a roast.  YUM!  I love having the meals planned out
Please keep praying for Selah.  We appreciate the prayers!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quiet Sunday

Quiet Sunday....

Had to get up several times with Selah last night, her heat rate was up some, in the 90's and 100's.  Usually that means she is sick.  She does seem to have some more secretions than normal but not an extreme amount.  We are hoping see is not getting sick.  She is still on Tobymixion until tomorrow.  She still seems more aware of things:)  We love to see her looking around more and holding her head up.  Our nurse said Selah held her head up, off the bed, as she brushed her hair this morning:) 

The guys went to the river and went kayaking after church.  They had a great time and got lots of exercise:) 

I've been busy with the little ones today.  Sarah loves to play and hold my hands as she stands up.  She wants to do it over and over again:) 

Hope you have a peaceful day....I'm going to watch a movie with the family.

Please keep Selah in your prayers

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chuck E Cheese....

Well I didn't have to go through labor for Shad but I did have to go to Chuck E Cheese....the place that makes me start really disliking children (not mine of course LOL)  Chuck E cheese HAS to be a part of Dante's Inferno.....the 7th level or something like that.....


Sarah was not too sure about the bouncy car



Look at my twins!  Do they not have the absolute small hair color?  And they are about the same size although Sam is almost 4 years older than Sarah.




my friend's daughter

Shad and his bud Andrew.


Shad picking out what he could buy with his 425 tokens....

Shad bought me some sweet tarts my fav sugar candy:)
So the kids all had a great time, I fulfilled the Chuck E Cheese need for a year or so I hope... that place is more than I can bear!
Shad with the spoils of his bday, two of his Lego sets.  He is amazing with putting those together! 
Selah continues to do good.... so much more movement than ever.  Someone asked WHY was it taking so long to find a speech therapist for her....first it has been hard to find one for any of the three little ones.  At one point we were taking her a few times to a local hospital for speech but we were not satisfied with the therapist.  It's a lot of effort to take her out for only a 30 minute session that was missed a few times....  Also I was a bit uncomfortable taking her to the hospital.  So many germs and she is susceptible  to getting ill.   For Selah she has to have a therapist who knows what they are doing with a trach.  Not all ST have even worked a child off a trach before.  Several we contacted had no experience with that.  I believe we will connect with the right one at the right time, if that makes sense.   It can be frustrating to me. 
Last night we didn't have a nurse (the weekend) and Selah woke us up twice by making a gurgle sound in her trach.  She quit doing it as soon as she was changed.  It's funny to us and quite wonderful that she can make a noise like that.  We change her position and when Jon first walked in, the nurse had put her right leg on top of a pillow and she was somewhat on her side.  Selah was trying to move her leg off the pillow!!!!!!!!  We've never seen her do that before. 
Last night I dreamed AGAIN that Selah was back to normal.  I dreamed she sat up in bed, she wasn't' steady and fell over once and then caught her self up on her right arm.  It was so real....
Please keep praying for Selah.  Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for her! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Beautiful Day

We had a bit of a scare today.  Steve found two lumps in his "upper leg area"  I took him to the doctor and thankfully they are just ingrown hairs!  Evidently it can be a genetic problem LOL  And they can be removed, Steve was just fine with them staying LOL!!
Sometimes when you have gone through bad things, you always expect the worse....I always expect the worse and this morning, I was really afraid.  I was kidding around with Steve but inside I was scared.  I had to remind myself that God was still in control even if there was something really wrong...but thankfully everything was ok:)
I got the results back from my mammogram and "things are fine, see you next year"   Good news!
This afternoon our nurse had an appointment so I had a few hours alone with Selah during the day time.  It was great.  I enjoyed being with her and her being awake!  When I'm with her at night, it's different, this was great, it wasn't too hot.  We went outside and she was so alert.  I'm leaning towards we may do the HBOT again....   I did finger and hand exercises then thought about clipping her nails, she moved her hand back from me so quick!  I loved it!



Look at the sky!  Florida is beautiful!
I was going to try and answer some questions......
Yes Selah did have popsicles and things in her mouth in NY.  When we went to the "rehab" they no longer wanted to work with her like that and refused to.  I am not comfortable putting things in her mouth at home.  It could put the nurses in a hard situation since it has not been ordered by a doctor or therapist and Selah too if she aspirated anything.  We live so far out, that it just isnt' worth the risk .  We'd love to get her a good speech therapist to work with her on this...but haven't found one yet.
How does Selah show she doesn't like something.  She will FROWN up, and even cry with tears.  It's obvious when she doesn't like something and we are so thankful that she is able to show us!
So we are encouraged, Selah is moving her tongue and her neck/shoulders more each day.  All the nurses feel she is more alert....  The tongue thing is NEW...completely new so I feel good about that...  I know it's not a lot but it might take more to get her out of the state.
Please keep praying for her!! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lemon Swab

Busy day today... I had my mammogram and of course I am nervous till I get the results.....I have one yearly and no have problems but I'm always afraid of finding out something bad!  But I urge you to go and get one could save your life.  I've also had some issues with my right side again.  I've gone to the doctors for this for years, with no answers.  I don't want to be a hypochondriac but it is scary to deal with a pain that comes and goes and changes somewhat.  The change in the pain, has worried me.   I remind myself that there are real people in real pain and to try and trust God.  Sometimes I think I focus too much on myself  (at least in my mind LOL that is the only place I can do it !)  So I'm hoping this is just the same old thing and it will go away...

I got home to a social worker and nurse coming form the school system to do evaluations on the little ones.  They actually seemed to care about us and helping the kids get some services.  It was a joy to talk about how we found our girls and even our first meeting with them....  in spite of everything that has happened. I can't help but smile when I think of meeting and falling in love with our girls....  Really hoping to get things started as soon as possible.  Sarah continues to do well in PT and loves drinking from a straw!!!!!

Selah has really been moving her tongue around in her mouth.  It is rather amazing.  So our nurse froze a lemon flavored swab and wiped her mouth out with it.  She went crazy, moving her mouth and tongue.  That is pretty new behavior.  She did something  like that a few times in NY but it's not happened for awhile.   she really responded nicely.  We are excited to see if she will do it tomorrow too!

Keep praying for Selah, our hope is in God. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy Birthday to me and Shad!

One of the first things we noticed about Shad's picture was his birthdate below seemed like a sign:)   so now I have a boy to share my birthday with....

Today was a Clanton crazy day...Jon's van broke down on the way to work, just stopped working and he had to coast off to the side of the road.  No other problems, it went from normal to stopped.... Since he didn't have his cell with him, he walked to the prison, it wasn't too far, maybe a mile or so.  He was a little late so no one stopped to pick him up.  I guess they would have thought it odd to see the chaplain walking down the highway!  LOL  when he called me he told me the gas light had come on.  So I told him that maybe he'd ran out of gas LOL  but that wasn't it. 

Finally got it towed, thanks to one of his volunteers for taking him back to the van and staying with him until the tow truck came!  Bet he will remember his cell from now on LOL!

He ended up with the day just about shot after everything he came with us to pick Shad up early from school for a late lunch.  Shad took cookies to school this morning and was happy:)  Shad opened his presents at lunch. 

Look at Steve...he wants a present too LOL


Look at Sarah drinking from the straw!!!!!!  YEAH!!!!!

Sam loves the soup.  The staff came up and sang to us and Sam loved that too:) 

Then we came home and I took a NAP!!!!  A real face drooling NAP!  It was good!
Happy Birthday to me:)
Jon went and got us a cake...
Steve put on the candles......only 8 but they were trick candles...

So we've had a nice day.  I wouldn't trade this day for anything, being with my family is the best thing ever!
SO if you want to really wish me and Shad a Happy Birthday...please consider giving to our orphans of the month.  The two little blind twins from India that Amanda and Chet are adopting.  To give, send a check to Grace Church, mark it Orphan ministry. 7060 Berry Road Zephyrhills Fl 33540......we only have had $200 come in so far and I'd love to give them at least $600 to help them out!!!!  That would make us HAPPY!!!!
Selah has had a very alert day and tolerated being in her stander for an hour!  Her nurses are happy with her alertness.  She still isn't pooping like we'd like for her to do.  So thanks for all your prayers for Selah and don't forget to pray for her poop:)    I'm pretty real on here! She is pooping a little but we don't want her tummy to get upset or dependent on any meds!  We are giving her prune juice in her gtube (per the doc) and it does help. 



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Syrian refugees.....

Yeah today I got to have lunch with one of my BFFs!  The past three weeks of HBOT made it impossible to do see any friends:)  It was good to talk and laugh for 2 hours:)

Everyone is doing good.  No real changes in Selah.  Please keep praying! 

Tonight I felt to share this need with you.......

This is a crazy world we live in....I have no idea where I stand on some issues in the Middle East, I have to fight bad feelings in my heart at times towards nations who would love to destroy our way of life but I have to remember that God loves them JUST as much as He loves me.  Knowing that fact, I received a request from a friend I have known for many years.  He has lived in the Arab World for 20 years where he  faithfully leads a ministry in the Middle East that is directly involved in hands on ministry with those who are suffering and need to experience the love of Jesus.  He, his family and ministry are the REAL deal and they are accountable to others.  I whole heartily endorse this ministry and promise you the funds will be used to meet the needs.  Please read the request below and respond if you can. 


As you know, there are over one million Syrian refugees living in the countries that surround Syria. Over 600,000 of those are in Jordan. About half of these people live in UN refugees camps, but many of them have chosen to live outside of the camps (as the camps are not very family-friendly). Our teams and national churches are actively involved in ministry to these suffering people.
It costs us about $50 a month to feed one of these refugees. Would you consider helping us with this incredible need and ministry opportunity? Our teams are meeting both physical and spiritual needs on the ground, but we need your help to keep this ministry running. If you are willing to help, please clink on the link below to give online.
Thank you for praying about helping us with this need!!


Thank you for reading & thinking how you can help meet this need.  These are real people who are caught up in something they can not control.  It would be an awful thing to be in their situation.   

Monday, September 16, 2013

Catch UP

I don't have a title for the blog today....I guess Catch Up is good:)  So weird not to have HBOT after 20 intensive days of it!  Selah had PT and OT today, as did the other two little ones....

Guess who learned to drink from a straw today.....SARAH!!!!!!
And yes we went to the beauty shop today too!  Mama will NEVER try and cut her bangs again LOL! 
Drinking from a straw is HUGE.   What happened is when we got home from Ukraine, Sarah quit drinking from a cup.  She didn't do it very good to begin with.  I spoon fed her all her drinks.  All her food is pureed so she got lots of liquids.  Our therapists didn't like that I didn't push her to drink from a cup and it was hard BUT I really felt, despite the inconvenience of it, that it was bonding for us.   So I've done it and tried to work with her with a cup too.  BUT now with the maybe changing:) 
I do think she needed the bonding.  I always hold her in my lap when I spoon fed her the drinks.  I also feed her in my lap most of the time at home too instead of in the high chair.  I think it makes up some for how she was treated in the orphanages she was in.  I saw how food was shoved down her throat and it just killed me.  She used to gag after about 3 spoonfuls of anything.  There is NOTHING wrong with her mouth or throat, yet she can not chew.  I blend everything for her.  It would be so much easier for me if she'd just eat food...but I'm not pushing her, just letting her go at her own rate.  She'll get there, she loves food and gets HAPPY when it is time to eat!  Tonight I had cooked chicken and veggies in the crock pot all day and I just blended that for her in my MAGIC BULLET  (Lord knows I had no idea how much that Magic Bullet would get used when I bought it!) and she ate 3 containers of it! 
So today was a lot of running around for me.  First I took the van to the dealership to get the oil changed and the back up camera fixed.  They dropped me off at the mall (and I had NO kids with me  WOOHOO)  I got my hair cut and bought a few things cuz it is going to be my bday this week!  I bought a dress and two pairs of dressy flip flops (flip flops can be dressy....and we live in Florida, I have quite the collection)  And everything was on CLEARANCE!!!  The only way to buy:)

I went to the bookstore and found TWO AGATHA CHRISTIE books that I don't have.  I thought I had everyone of her books but I found one I've never read and one I read but don't have!  I was so excited!   Agatha Christie is probably my overall favorite author.  I love Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot!   
I also got a hair cut and my nails done since I haven't been able to go do anything like that during therapy.  So I have had my birthday celebration all by myself today and it was great:)
Then I picked up Shad from school, got pizza, went home, we all ate, then took the kids to enroll Steve in Driver's Ed, then got Steve and poor Sarah's hair cut! 
she looks better although she did not like me trying to take a picture when she was ready for supper LOL
this is about as mad of a face as she does:)  Love my little Sarah JOY!
So today we got a lot of little things done that we couldn't' take the time for the last three weeks.  It was fun but I am tired!
 Our nurse feels like Selah was moving around more today.  I was in and out so much, maybe she was wondering where I was and why weren't we in the car LOL.  She is still having issues with constipation.... she doesn't seem uncomfortable but it's not good for her!  Please pray that she can go poo easily and that her little mind heals.   Can you also add three friends to your prayer list?  Matthew (brain tumor)  a young man around Steve's age that I've known his parents for years, known Matt since he was a baby....worked with his mom.
Angie (brain tumor) friends for years, she has some adopted children and is a strong advocate for orphans.  She met us at the airport when we got home form Ukraine with the girls.
Sheri (stage 4 ovarian cancer) we went to college together and she has such a sweet spirit. 
When I wake up during the night, I pray for each of these, during the day they come to my mind.  All three are real life friends, all three have not been given much hope at all medically....all three serve and love God.  They all have been faithful to God.....Matt even as a young man has a strong faith....
I don't know WHY God doesn't heal instantly every Christian...Not even going to go there...but I know the bible says "the fervent prayers of a righteous man availith much"  I might not be the most righteous one around, but I try....and I'm calling out to God for my friends....Please pray with me for them!