Monday, March 26, 2018

Mission TripS

This summer is going to be a busy one for our family!  Our two oldest boys are going on mission trips!  I may need a prescription for Valium or at least be praying A LOT!

Steve is going to Haiti with Southeastern University in May.  They will be doing orphan ministry in several orphanages.  One of the orphanages is for very special needs kids.   He is looking forward to this trip because he knows what a little extra attention can do for children.  He is hoping to take his video camera (a real professional one) and do some promos for the ministries he will be assisting.  He hopes to be able to show the supporters of the ministry the needs of the kids and what their giving does to help them..  So he will be using his skills as a videographer & the skills he has learned with his little sisters.  The rest of the summer he is hoping to work full time.  Steve will be graduating in December- a semester early!!!

In July Shad will be going to El Salvador on a missions trip.  He will be working with career missionaries from our denomination.   He will be assisting in door to door and street ministry.  This is something he does on a regular basis at home.  Since January we have been going door to door in our neighborhood and giving out packets and inviting people to church.  Shad is very bold and never gives up (even when I want to lol)  Our neighborhood is rural so we have made it to about 400 homes thus far.  That's probably equal to 20 miles worth of walking!!!   Recently we drove through a more suburban area of our small town and Shad said with great awe in his voice "it would be so easy to do door to door here- there are no fences and the houses are so close" LOL   He also will be going to Miami Fl for a week outreach to the homeless and will be doing street ministry.  It's cool to me because when I was in college I spent one spring break week in Miami doing street outreach!  I think he will even be staying at the same church we stayed at!     Shad also will be going to youth camp for a week.  He is going to be a world traveler this summer!

Often I've wondered how effective mission trips are - but I know from my own experiences that it is a time for the person who is going to learn more and often (and my case and my husband's and many others) leads to a career path of missions and helping others.  Plus you never know how effective and life changing it can be for the ones ministered to.  It's eye opening for young people and time and time again I've known of people who committed to a life time of service after going on a trip.   As hard as it would be for me not to be physically close to my children in the years to come, I'd be honored if God called one of my boys into ministry/missions work.

So if you'd like to help our boys raise their funds We all would really appreciate it!
Steve has already raised all but $600 for his trip.  Shad needs about $1300 for El Salvador and $245 for his Miami trip.   If you are interested in giving please send a check to
Grace Church
7060 Berry Road
Zephyrhills Florida 33540
 Mark on it clearly that it is for their trip and you can specify which boy if you'd like to.

But above all please pray for our boys.  It is not an easy thing for me to send my kids off believe me!!!  Please pray for their protection as well as the teams they will work with. 

Thank you all!!!

Monday, March 19, 2018

The People of Perry Documentary

This is the video that my son and his small production company did last summer in my hometown.  Steve was teh producer and worked the cameras also.  I am so very proud of him!!!  Please watch and share!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

All kinds of new things!

Look on who made it back to church!  this was the first time he'd been out of the house except to go to the doctor for 7 weeks!  He still is having issues getting his tummy back in order and is on some stool softener and laxatives.   We are working hard on decreasing the amount of meds as we know his belly needs to get back to work on it's own.  

 The other night Shad and I were out walking/running the new to come... and I took these beautiful pictures.  It was amazing! 
What else was amazing is one of my neighbors saw me and then sent me a message the next day to tell me that she had spotted a Florida panther  down by the river less than a mile from my house and only about a quarter mile from where I was walking!!!!  WOW!   At least I enjoyed the night!!!

Oh Lord!  Am I crazy or what?  Last week I got a call about this girl.  She is a  refugee from Puerto Rico.  She got sent here and a lady adopted her.  The lady lived in an apartment and the dog is not an apartment dog!  LOL  So I agreed to take her after talking with my husband.  He was gung ho  about her but you know who does the hard work right?   It took a few days for us to come up with a name but we named her Molly.  

Molly is a handful to say the least but she is sweet.  She's learning commands already.  We were told she only knew Spanish LOL  She is crate trained which is wonderful.  We have a huge crate that she sleeps in under our car port. We are planning on transitioning  her to a doghouse but want to make sure she won't go out the fence at night.   She hasn't tried to dig or jump the fence which is good.  Our Lab Brownie was a wonderful dog but she loved to dig!  Molly is way too excited  to be around the little kids yet.  We are really working on her not jumping up.  She has scratched all of us and knocked me down once. 

I need to take some videos of her and the cats-they have firmly put her in her place :)  

We have tried several times to find a dog for our family.  We had Brownie for many years, she was 16 years old when she died.  We just have not been successful with dogs since then.  We have been able to find homes for the dogs that didn't work out with our family thankfully.  It takes a special dog to be around my little ones.  I think Molly may work out but she is still a puppy- a 50 pound strong excited puppy .....   

Sam and Sarah got a lovely gift from our local Lion's Club yesterday!!!
The Lion's Club gave them a new swing set!  It's 8 foot tall and came with 4 swings.  We replaced two of the swings with the kids' swings they got for Christmas for now.   We are going to put a foot of mulch under the seing set, so it's not quite finished. and that's why the seats look so high.  
This swing set will be something they can use well into adult age.  Sam and Sarah both crave swinging.  - it meets their Vestibular movement needs.  

Vestibular ,movement  is necessary for us all but especially for kids who are vision impaired.

From the website above

The Power of Vestibular input

Vestibular input (movement and balance) is critical for brain development beginning in utero. Then after birth, it is how we calm infants and also how we make them smile and giggle. We rock them, bounce them, swing them, and sway them. All of this movement is doing a whole lot more than putting them to sleep or making them smile. It is creating a foundation for the brain and development. This need for movement continues throughout life and is especially crucial in the developmental years, but it is essential throughout our lives to support self-regulation.

Key Points on Vestibular Input and How to Make a Difference

  • Everyone should have the opportunity to get up and move every 15 minutes. Even just a quick stretch is beneficial. 
  • Inverting the head is very powerful and an excellent tool for a quick dose of vestibular input. 
  • Fifteen minutes of swinging can have a 6-8 hour effect on the brain.
  • There are 3 vestibules, all which detect and process different planes and directions of movement: back and forth, side to side, rotary, diagonal, and vertical input. It is important to incorporate all of these planes of movement, but allow rotary input only in controlled doses.
  • Vertical vestibular input (bouncing and jumping) is typically the most accepted form of vestibular input and is very regulating and organizing since it also involves a great deal of proprioception. 
  • Whenever possible, offer options besides sitting in a chair…lying on the floor propped on elbows, standing on a balance board, standing on a BOSU ball, sitting on a ball chair or T-stool, etc.
  • Spinning needs to be limited and supervised. This can be very disorganizing for the brain and can cause delayed sensory overload and dysregulation. Monitor spinning and limit to one revolution per second and a maximum of 10 revolutions, then switch directions. This is referring to single point axis spinning. 
  • Respect a child’s reaction to vestibular input as it can be very powerful and cause a systemic reaction such as nausea, a headache, flushing of the skin, and even a low grade fever. Stop means stop if the child has had enough. Watch closely for signs of sensory overload, especially if the child is unable to verbally communicate.

Thank you Lion's Club!  I know Sam and Sarah will have many years of enjoyment on this swing set!!!!!  I'll post again when we put the mulch in!

Friday, March 2, 2018


Boy, Born September 2004
Nolan is such a handsome boy!  He needs a loving family!
Listed: August 4, 2010
From his medical records:  long-term effects of some early trauma (right-side hemiparesis), mild mental delays, seizures, flat feet, farsightedness
He has fine motor skills, understands everything, he talks but it is hard to understand him.  Nolan is very physically active, happy and cooperative, friends with other children.   A family living in the states who has 3 children, one who is significantly disabled, has taken a special interest in Nolan but cannot add Nolan to their own family due to the needs of their children. Per the family, “Nolan’s eyes and smile caught our heart. He is close in age to one of our own children. We hope this gift will enable someone to give Nolan the chance to live outside an institution.”
A family must have a completed homestudy to commit to Nolan.  Due to the size of Nolan’s grant, 50% of grant funds will be available upon receiving a travel date, and the other 50% upon passing court.
Nolan has a grant of $19,597.50 available towards the cost of his adoption!

This was written by a family who had hosted him and wanted to adopt him.....
(hosting is a program where the child can come to America for a few weeks with the hope of meeting a family who will adopt him/her

As some of you know, we were going to adopt Nolan. HE ONLY HAS 2 YEARS BEFORE HE IS TOO OLD! ALSO: WE DON'T KNOW HOW LONG INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION WILL BE ALLOWED. He is an orphan with very mild special needs who lives in Ukraine. In fact, we had spent many thousands of dollars to do that, but some bad things happened financially. HIS ADOPTION IS FULLY FUNDED! YOU WILL JUST NEED TO PAY TO HAVE A HOME STUDY AND FILE A USCIS FORM AND BE FINGERPRINTED! We're in a lawsuit with a Chinese factory who committed fraud against us and I don't really know what will happen to my family right now, as essentially, they stole so much, we are actually thinking of buying a cheap RV to live in with our 4 kids as a back up plan. I hope that gives you some idea of the magnitude of what we're going through. I hoped this would all get settled fast, but right now, I just want to know that he is not going to be left behind.
I tell you this ONLY because many of you also know that we hosted him and I don't want anyone to think that we backed out because of him being difficult or anything besides the issues we are facing.
I visit his profile several times a week because I can't stand the idea of THIS child being left I am writing this plea for him.
There's a lot I want to tell you. He lived with us for a month. WE LOVE HIM. He *really* needs medical help. His jaw is out of alignment very very badly, so much so that when he eats and drinks, it comes out of his mouth.
1. He sat on my lap every single night and listened to Gospel music. His favorite is "Amazing Grace." He knows when it's a Christian song, even if it's in English and he says "Christo!" Somewhere, someone has told this child about Jesus.
2. He was calling me Mama from day one without me telling him to. When I had to send him home, he was crying so hard, they were not going to let him get on the plane.
3. He cried when I went anywhere and actually got insanely upset ( he self harmed) BUT...This is actually a good thing, because he bonded with me so easily.
4. When he first came, if he got hurt, he would keep smiling and tried to take care of himself as if they are not allowed to have feelings, but after awhile, he cried and came to me.
6. He is a very fast learner, having learned the English ABCs in 3 days. He has mad building skills.
7. He bonds with women and sees men as a big brother and likes to harrass them.
8. He is a vegetarian.
9. He is a food hoarder and also hoards other things. I worked with him on this and it got much better.
10. His sense of humor will keep your family laughing, but also, he is sometimes very very naughty.
10B. You HAVE to give him work to do or he will get in trouble. He LOVES working. He can not take a minute of boredom or he starts rocking.
I wrote about him extensively while we were hosting him and I am here to answer questions to anyone about him. He never had a seizure while he was with us.

I am not advocating for any program or adoption facilitators JUST for this child.