Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Trouble in Paradise

It's strange how a sweet, little 10 pound itty bitty baby girl can derail plans. I started the Love Dare and it was going well... at least, the first day went well.  I do want to write about it sometime when I get back on track. Baby Girl showed up and things are on hold until her foster parents get back from their retreat on Friday. She is a such a good little girl. So calm and happy and well adjusted one has  to wonder why she's in foster care. She sleeps 10 hours at night and is a total joy in the day. But she is a baby and babies need a lot of attention and loving.

James is on the up and up, doing well and pulling out of his funk.

Missy is not. I got a text from school yesterday that they were having a hard time, so I went to investigate and ended up taking her home. Her eyes were real red almost like pink eye, but she has a habit of sticking her finger in her eyeball when she's unhappy and her nails were a bit long so I couldn't be sure if she had physically done it to herself or if she had introduced a germ with her finger. There was another kiddo with red eyes there, too, but they said it was not pink eye.

Missy will NOT obey anybody right now. She will appear to obey some of the time, but she WILL NOT give 100%. It's a real problem at school. The teacher is a so sweet and kind hearted but I could tell it was starting to really, really frustrate her and she was stressed out. Seeing I know exactly how that feels it was enough reason to take the kiddo home.

I worked with Missy all afternoon but got absolutely nowhere with her. She's as prickly as a cactus and guarded and unwilling to give an inch. She knew she had to be ready for school this morning on time and I let her know if we had problems with obedience then she would not be going to school to continue to give the teacher a rough time. School is on break Thursday & Friday this week, so she had one chance at showing me she would cooperate. You can guess what happened this morning. It was not pretty.  She "appeared" to be getting ready and she totally thought she had me fooled.... in the end she raged for about 45 minutes. We have a whole 5 more days to work on this together. Sigh.... :_(  She isn't planning on giving in. Her world has shrunk to the bare minimum. Choir, swimming, her class at church, and Pathfinders are all on hold until we can trust her not to defy the volunteers and teachers.

Speaking of swimming, she sabotaged our outing Monday night. She went for her swim lesson with the teacher fine, but then between the lesson and the open swim she got out of the pool and warmed up in the shower. She never came back to swim with me. I  kind of had a feeling that something was up. I kept on eye to make sure she was safe but I did want to approach her and call her on what was up. She wants control and there are some things she can control. After 45 minutes I went and told her to get dressed that it was time to leave. And of course, we had to deal with her "song and dance" as she " hadn't had a chance to swim yet"....  She loves swimming. I was very surprised. I have really enjoyed swimming with her but it's too much of a good thing, apparently.

I'm getting geared up to plant seeds. I bought some used chrome, metal racks and I need to get more grow lights, but this year's set up is going to be OH, SO MUCH more EFFICIENT!! I've been listening to the Agriculture Conference on www.audioverse.com and I'm inspired. Interestingly enough, there are a few lectures and classes on homeschooling and child raising included in that seminar. I'm feeling convicted that our best option for James next year is homeschooling. I'm frightened and have ideas all at the same time. I know how to do this.... but will he cooperate? A lot of my ideas center around real work... agriculture and hands-on learning. I just know it's going to be hard a lot of the time. There was one sermon that was very, very encouraging and insightful and helpful on parenting by some of our friends with an adopted child. It hit home hard and I had Steve listen to it as well. If anyone is interested, here's the link: 5 Principles.

Blessings,

I must go deal with a Missy.... She is cleaning some tiles in the mud room in preparation for our bedding plant grow operation.

Friday, January 23, 2015

School Saga Update

"Mom, I did reading, and writing and spelling and math yesterday".

It's true.

Her teacher texted me that Missy was working hard on her school yesterday.

When she told me this morning that she had done all those subjects yesterday I just had to ask what she had done on the other days. She shrugged. I asked again. She said, "Nothing".

And I totally believe her.

BUT hopefully, this is a new trend.... at least for a few weeks.

She has been to breakfast twice. She's a crabby girl, but she's doing what she needs to do and at this point we'll just take that. I asked her to change her shirt and it took a full 15 minutes of arguing and fussing and both mom and dad and Brianna's intervention to get her to ACTUALLY change her shirt. That's the way she is.

James, was at breakfast, too. He even told me that he was out of chicken feed before the next feeding instead of his usual, "oh, I can't feed the chickens today, there's no food." (Or not telling me at all).

Speaking of chickens, he has 14 new hens. Last week the quail lady gave him 6 white leghorns that are amazing layers. They are nearly a year old and they all lay every day. Then yesterday she gave him 8 fancy hens that are 7 months old or so. Two are olive-eggers, there's a Polish, a Blue Easter-egger, a silver-laced Wyandotte, a couple of large white, and a few fancy, expensive breeds - like a Crested Creme Legbar, which I had never heard of before. I was going to order chicks this spring as he has had a few casualties with his original hens via neighbor dogs, etc... and his hens are getting older and not laying as consistently. Business was doing poorly this winter, but he's back on a roll. I might not get chicks.

 I've been texting with James' teacher and all is not good on the homework scene. Apparently when he tells me he doesn't have homework he probably just left it at school. The teacher has been keeping him out of certain activities and doing homework with him every day... Funny I had to ask to know, but I think she might think it's a battle we can't manage right now as we have had some pretty hard mornings getting him to school at all and she has been aware of that.

There's a Youth for Jesus vespers and supper tonight at the church. Leasa and Viviane will be here. We should have about 20 youths attend...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Montessori Honeymoon is over

"The honeymoon is over." Said, Missy's teacher. "I had so hoped we could make a difference...... But she just won't do her work."

Missy has been a trial at home, too. She does not answer to anyone if they call her name. She does not do what she is asked and she feels she is completely independent of everyone and chooses to go with the whims of her own appeal.

So, we upped the ante.

Both the twins had not shown up for breakfast in 3 weeks. They dawdle and sit and waste time and react negatively to promptings, and then do a song and dance when it's time to leave and they have not eaten. It's a rock and hard place kind of a deal. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.  So, often I make a shake of all things healthy and tasty for them to drink up as they go out the door. It's full of nuts and seeds and fruit and protein and even greens, but  they started fighting that. And the last straw was James gagging and vomiting all over because he didn't want a shake, he wanted a regular breakfast while the bus waits at the gate. So for a few days I made NOTHING when I saw they wouldn't be on time. They could have a glass of milk on the way out the door.... but they were hungry and it's not healthy to skip breakfast, especially at their age. So, with the news from school and the culmination of Missy giving Vanessa such a hard time while I was sick in bed with a migraine I told them they would be climbing our mountain next time they did not eat breakfast with us.

Apparently they hate climbing the mountain behind our house.

Because both children ate breakfast this morning.

We had pancakes with peanut butter, applesauce and whip cream.

I won't hold my breath tomorrow. I know that it's only a motivator for one day, maybe two at the most. At some point we will be climbing that mountain and it's not going to be fun. And truth be told, I don't know how hard they will fight me, or if they will run away, or what will happen. And I don't know how that is going to help for school.... but the teacher has some ideas and the fact that we are collaborating has Missy on alert. Really, there's no answer to her heart trouble... she needs a new one by God's grace. Today in exchange for being balky she is smart-Alec and a Know-it-all.

We went swimming last evening. Even James swam and he got brave and went to the deep end with his paddle board and even jumped off the diving board. BUT the mean lifeguards (haha! Brianna and Christina) said he could not swim in the deep end until he took the swim test. He wouldn't try. One little step at a time....

My book has arrived. We start the Love Dare tomorrow.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Love Dare

I miss blogging, but I've really struggled with it at the same time. Mostly because I've really struggled with everything the last 9 months or more. I've been worn to an absolute frazzle. I have had no strength or energy or will and my patience is paper thin. It's not good to have paper thin patience when your children require an inordinate and incalculable amount of patience just to get through the morning to 7:30 am....   I've been exhausted to the core. . .

Sleep had been a problem here for several months. I was averaging 4 to 6 hours of sleep and laying in bed frustrated and anxiety riddled for the rest of the night. Nothing was helping very much. Recently, I had a B12 and B complex shot and lo and behold I have slept fine every night since! I feel like a new person!!!!

I've been working out hard. Exercising hard nearly every day of the week and yet try as I might I could not lose an ounce. Finally I have dropped one pound. WHEW! I don't know whether to cheer or cry.

We're working with a Naturalist doctor to do something about my migraines. Praying to find something that lasts.

On instagram I have learned about a book called the Love Dare and it's about a marriage dare for 40 days. I thought it sounded like a neat idea, but I really needed it to be a Love Dare for parenting.... and so I went and looked and sure enough, there is a book on just that. So, I'm taking the Love Dare on a certain little Missy. To be super honest, sometimes I shut her out because every interaction is hard. She is still so very much about control and manipulation and pushing buttons. She doesn't trust me for a single second and that is harder than you can ever imagine to deal with.  But I'm taking the dare and I'm going to post about it... I'll take that as a dare, as well.

Last Wednesday after her swimming lesson I invited the twins to try lap swimming with me.  James was freaking out and crying and saying he couldn't do it no matter how much I assured him I would be right beside him taking care of him. He can swim just fine. I saw him doing the breast stroke just minutes before, yet I was not the teacher, so he could not trust me - even though I gave him a kick board to hold. So, he got out and sat on the bench.  Missy on the other hand, LOVES the water. And she swam laps with me and another little girl for an hour and half - laughing and happy the whole time. REALLY HAPPY. The only time you see the real happy kid is in the water.  It was a time to wish it was always like that for her.....


Friday, January 9, 2015

Oxymoron

If Christmas was smooth, the transition back to a routine and school was not. My kids fight an oxymoron: Change and Routine.

It was a LONG week, but we ended it with another visit with the naturopathic doctor for James and we have a whole plan that gives me hope.

If a mom is only as happy as her least happy child I don't have a lot to go on... :-)  BUT you may notice on instagram and facebook I am not putting my focus on the kids troubles any more than is healthy and I'm enjoying finding joy in taking winter photos. I joined the #capturinglifelaughterlove instagram challenge and it's fun.

The girls and I are on a real exercise program and we are enjoying it a lot. We are tired and sore and happy.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Easiest Christmas

I am here to report we had the easiest Christmas break with the twins that we have had yet.  They are learning to be easier to live with than before, but we also know how to be pro-active.

I scheduled Missy's care-giver for two and half hours at least every other day which is VERY helpful. Steve spent as much time as he could with the twins... helping them do their chores, reading to them, playing with them... He had a whole week off. I pretty much do not give Missy opportunity for argument and crabbing. She follows her schedule and all goes as planned or she doesn't and life hands her natural consequences and I walk away. I don't talk about it or engage. Period. I also don't try and make her keep up with the family schedule. We eat with or without her and I don't fret if she skips meals, but I don't cater to her later if she does that because she really likes to play that card.

Missy had a major meltdown when she missed her ride to church last week. It was what we call a royal tantrum. I was alone with her and put her to bed which was not easy and it took over an hour  before she finally calmed. She did not miss her ride to church this week, but  Steve had to turn around and bring them home again when he saw both of them had food all over their faces and had skipped brushing their teeth. Not sure how they managed to get in the car that way... :-) Once back at church she tried to bargain with me over which class she would attend like she does every week. (We have moved her down to primary because junior is over her head and she is being a distraction to the rest of the kids).  I just told her,  "you go to Your class or I drive you home" - and then I walked away. I do not discuss anything with her in order to keep things from escalating. It's not ideal, but it is a way I can keep things peaceful.

We went skiing and we had snow for sledding so they spent large portions of the day outside. Missy is good at skiing, but doesn't sled so much. James is not as good with the skiing and sleds a lot. He had one major meltdown/ unreasonable screaming fit on the ski slopes for Vanessa. This is fueled by fear but not anything you can really put your finger on.  She just walked away and left him where he was because that is the ONLY thing she could do. Eventually she went back to get him and he had stopped screaming and we put away his skis for the day. The next time we went skiing he did a lot better and he even learned to ride the chair lift with Missy instead of with an adult. It's kind of crazy to watch him bossing the chair lift guy around out of his anxiety. The chair guy is like, "Just get over here. You are fine!" lol

So, they had one major meltdown each for the whole holiday break and that is an excellent record for us.

I kept them away from sugar almost completely. I let them have a cookie on Christmas day and New Year's Eve. And we made snow cones one day. The results are calm, healthy kids. Missy has yet to be sick since her cold in September. James has missed a day of school - the last day before the holiday.

Steve has been having the twins watch a Bible DVD first thing in the morning for 15 minutes. They like it and it's working so far. I did find a large stash of dvd's in Missy's room. We have to collect the player or she will sneak more time on it. Fifteen minutes is all she needs of screen time... more is not good for her.


Friday, December 19, 2014

School ~ Fever ~ Candy ~ The difference in Schools

Today is James long awaited appointment. . .  and he woke up sick with a fever. The kids in his class have been dropping like flies. In fact over a hundred kids in his school were home sick by Wednesday and every day more succumbed. I should have just pulled him out of school.

Missy is not sick. It is one of the things we have noticed about her new school. There is no candy stream there at the Montessori. There are no cupcake and root beer float parties, either. She has had only one cold since September. Normally she is one snotty-nosed-kid most of the time. Her behavior is much more manageable. She does not have huge tantrums and kick and try to hurt anyone anymore. I think there are two factors at work here. LESS stress - and that is the most obvious thing, and less junk food being fed her. It really frustrated me last year how little control I had over her diet and sugar, dyes, dairy and "garbage" were a constant. She has no self-control. If you put it in front of her she's going to eat it all and her neighbor's portion, too. The Montessori teachers are all health conscious people. It makes a difference. The kiddo only eats what I send her. Nothing else is offered. 

Missy is still trying to learn place value in math. She demonstrated her ability to use the abacus to us last night. She can count money, and tell the time and use manipulative, but her understanding of place value is still non-existant. She has beautiful handwriting and she can spell okay, but her writing exposes her disorganized brain. She really cannot put her thoughts in order. The teacher has sweat with her over this, but to no avail so far.

I'm glad she is in this school even if it is expensive. So far, every month I have had enough little jobs to cover the whole thing. This is thanks to the providence of God.

We had a couple of Brianna's friends spend the weekend with us last weekend. It was great to get to know them. We had a really nice time. In a few hours Vanessa's friend, Glesni is arriving for this weekend. Hopefully we can keep James quarantined. I've made everyone kale, lemon, ginger, garlic, spinach shakes for breakfast and I'm dosing them all up with herbs and vitamins as if they are all sick. What won't cure will kill...

The sun is shining. What a blessing. We sure miss the sun when the grey fog settle in. We have had rain all week until this morning.

Monday, December 8, 2014

MTHFR

I have entered a world of which I have no desire to experience, but here goes... I had the twins DNA tested at 23andMe and it took me a couple of weeks but I found a website that interpreted the raw data for me. And it goes without saying they have mutations of MTHFR and several others. Missy has 7 heterozygous mutations and 3 homozygous and James has 5 heterozygous mutations and 3 homozygous mutations. Even though they are twins their mutations are not all the same...  I had a sneaking suspicion that James was having issues with B12. This shows that that could VERY well be the case.  I have an appointment for James next week with a doctor specifically to look at this data and to look for ways to support and help him. I have not made Missy's appointment yet. One thing at a time. Otherwise this gets overwhelming.

It might not be Greek, but yikes...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Help Me Out

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, 
but war was in his heart: 
his words were softer than oil, 
yet were they drawn sword.
Ps 55:21
~ First, this hilarious picture. 
I was trying to get them to stand back to back for a picture but they had their own ideas. Half an hour before someone had been doing a maternity shoot in this very location. The boys had been running around and it was not very apparent that they had been paying any attention, 
but Monkey See Monkey Do!

I am going to share a few scenarios of something that happens at our home multiple times a day. Nothing we have done has made a difference at all. It's exhausting.

Scene 1: 
School was cancelled for Missy yesterday because Montessori meets in the a part of the downtown museum and the museum was having all its hardwood floors refinished. The fumes were a good reason to cancel. Missy needed something to do so I asked her to clean the bathroom. She can do a very good job. Persistently teaching the kids to work has actually paid off. They can confidently do things about the house and yard pretty decently and they take pride in a job well done. Missy seemed fine with cleaning the bathroom. She accepted her task and went off. And then it started... She could not find a single container of cleaner, or a cloth to use in the whole house. I didn't say a lot. I'm used to the routine. I gave her suggestions here and there, but I honestly knew what it was about. After an hour of her "fruitlessly" searching upstairs and downstairs and through every cupboard fussing and complaining all the while,  I  went to the bathroom and the first door I opened revealed plenty of cleaner, but I could not see the comet. I acted as if a huge search party hadn't already happened and asked her to run downstairs and grab the comet. I didn't tell her where to look or anything. I figured after all her searching she would know where it was better than I did. She came back in 20 seconds, comet in hand.  It was all a stunt. I concluded her motive was that she was feeling lazy, and as kids are apt to do, she used up twice as much energy trying to figure out how to get out of the job as it took to clean the bathroom. Or at least that was my thought originally....

Scene 2:
When I had Missy work on her memory verse she suddenly could not read, she could not pronounce simple words no matter how hard I worked with her, and she could not remember all the little words like A, an, and, in, the AT ALL. The harder we worked the worse it became. She acted like she was totally happy to do it, but her brain would not cooperate. Nonsense! I'm quite familiar with that routine, also. She did not want to put forth effort and she worked three times harder than she needed to do the job to frustrate me. She enjoyed that. She didn't want to learn it - she never wants to learn anything from me. Was there more to it than just not wanting to learn?

Scene 3:
This scenario was from a different day, but it is a classic example of this behavior. I picked her up from school and as we are pulling out of the parking lot I asked her about her her day. She rarely offers any information. She just says it was fine. If I probe I get pat answers and often she will deny she did any reading.  She tried to have me believe for an entire month that her teacher does not ever have her read to her, that all her reading was done silently. Right! Anyway, this particular day she had nothing to say about her day, as usual, but then she remembered that tomorrow would be library day. "Oh mom, I need my library card. I don't know who took my library card! I looked everywhere and it's not in my backpack or anywhere!"  I suggested places to look and assured her that no one else would want her library card because it was in her name. I turned my head slightly and saw that all the while she was talking she was facing out the side window with her library card in her hand. When she saw that I noticed she gave me a triumphant grin. Sigh. Duped again. What is the purpose of this kind of exchange? She made no attempt to hide the library card while she made up the story. . . .

Scene 4:
Back to yesterday. After finishing her bowl of soup at lunch she asked if she could have something else to eat. I told her she could have a banana or an orange and packet of fig bars. I've been trying to teach her not to yell at me from across the room or house and call "mom, mom, mom, mom" over and over, so I have been using the same plan they use at school for consistency. She needs to come to me and talk with me not just shout. She's not interested in changing anything, of course, but when she wanted something else to eat she did come put her hand on my shoulder like they do at school and asked nicely. We were face to face, six inches apart. I clearly told her she could have a banana or an orange and a packet of fig bars. She acted like she didn't hear me. This is typical. I just said, "You heard me." So, she went and found a banana and then walked over to where the fig bars are kept. She came out with corn nuts and asked, "is this what you said?" I just shook my head. She went back and then the shouting began. "I can't find them. I don't see them anywhere!" She paced up and down the kitchen, but she never ever came up with a fig bar nor did she actually ask for help. I ignored the charade. It's all too familiar. I know that if I say what she is trying to get me to say it only gets worse. Eventually, she stopped shouting, and sat down and waited...( as if I was going to get up and get the fig bars for her! She did not ask, just sat and put on the silent pressure. This is an intense kind of battle that you could only know if you have experienced this. Mostly no actual words pass between her and I and yet the battle feels fierce).  I reminded her if she wanted a fig bar she could go get one, but after a certain amount of time I would be sending her to brush her teeth. When the time allotted passed I did send her out to brush her teeth. She fussed and fumed and cried that she was hungry. I just told her I didn't understand why she hadn't gotten the food offered if she was so hungry but it was time to brush her teeth. When I looked in the cupboard later I noticed that she had actually pulled the box of fig bars half way off the shelf and the box was ripped more than before.  IT was all an act.  This crazy charade had been more important to her than the treat. This from the kid who covets and LOVES food.


I could type scene after scene, some of them I get and some of them have me completely puzzled, but you get the drift. Can someone tell me the purpose of this behavior and how to turn it around? I'm so done with it. It's crazy making.

Their tongues are like deadly arrows;
they always tell lies.
With their mouths they speak friendly words to their neighbors,
but they are really setting traps for them.
Jeremiah 9:8

I know that most of the words out of that child's mouth are pure lies.  I don't like the idea that she is out to get me and is setting traps for me, but that is exactly what it feels like. So often she makes me out to be a fool. I want to be a good mom to her and give her the benefit of the doubt sometimes (not always, I'm usually pretty confident I know her game), but usually that backfires.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teacher Conference and Coping with a Structure Resistant Child

We had James' parent teacher conference last evening. James is thriving with his teacher. She's the same teacher he had last year and she is really putting everything she's got into helping him succeed. He is making steady progress in everything. She gives him achievable goals to work towards.  She's moving him up one percent at a time. I know this sounds crazy, but I see how hard she is working and how much she is putting into him and it scares me for next year because no one is ever going to be able to do that for him again on that level. She has her own style and fights the system where she feels it would be a detriment to him. She knows what he is capable of and allows him to give her nothing less and really holds him accountable for that and even his behavior at home. It's making a huge difference. She suggested we should get a sleep study done on him.

We have a little foster baby. He arrived at 2 am yesterday. His case should move along quickly as this is not about abuse or neglect, but something outside of the child. I really don't know the story but mom was picked up Monday night and the baby had to go somewhere. She has been released and now has to go through the hoops to get her kiddo back. The SW is pushing for sooner than later, but the judge, or whoever must agree and go along with the plan.

The little guy is cute. He's 14 months old and gets into everything. He's funny and a copycat and very steady on his feet. He has a few words and a lot of teeth and he sleeps well. My house is a wreck. Drawers and cupboards had to be tied shut.

Steve is in Canada because of a family medical emergency. So far he has been able to prevent the hospital from discharging the family member way too soon in a  very dangerous situation. Patient advocacy is super important these days. You almost have to know all about your medical situation and terms and treatments so that you are not denied what is due.

I've gone back to making smoothies in the morning.  I tell the twins they can have a hot regular breakfast if they show up in the kitchen on time, but if they show up after 7 AM then they get a  smoothie because they can drink it fast and still be on time. Structure-Resistant-Missy's response when I remind her in the morning that she has a choice is to yell, "NO!!" which is basically letting me know that she doesn't want to be on time and she doesn't want the option that goes with being late. Well, don't we all, but that isn't how life works. We wake her up in the morning and then we let her do her morning however she wants to and whatever speed she sets herself on, because with that kid, if you push she pushes back hard. The consequences of her choices don't go away and she has to deal with it the best she can because, though we let her do her morning however she chooses, the expectations that certain things must be done before breakfast never change and she knows they are concrete. It's just up to her how she plans on getting that done. Her being late every morning feels like an attempt to push against me and the structure of our home and so we are trying hard to not push her  or offer any resistance personally to her manipulation. Fighting with an oppositional child like her can really make a person really, really frustrated if you are not careful. A funny thing is, she NEVER gets to school in pajamas, though she knows full well I would not have a problem with that if she chose not to get dressed. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AN UPDATE on this GANG

My dad has been writing in his blog several times a week recently and I promised to start writing again if he kept it up... and so here I am. My mom even said something about my lack of writing. . . .  Problem is there are only so many hours in my day and it's been crazy busy and when I finally have a little down time my brain doesn't actually want to get in gear.

There are still a few boxes of apples and pears in the garage that need attending, there are still boxes of tomatoes to pick out in the garden and even a few potatoes to dig and pimientos to pick, but the fall harvest duties are nearly over. My kitchen "remodel" is pretty close to finished, thanks to my mom, and also the barn is clean, the potting room has more shelves and is neat and tidy. The summer accumulation of branches and boxes have been burned and a trailer load of stuff has been carted off to the dump. My mom was here a few weeks and she's a go-getter a lot was done. We even cleaned houses that are not mine - some for pay and some for not.

I have a small job with a card company stocking a couple of stores, I've been selling books on Amazon which keeps me running to the post office, and I play the piano for a Sunday church and do other odd jobs such as cleaning and babysitting to keep Missy's tuition at the Montessori covered. So far I have had sufficient money on time and even a little start towards the next month at each due date. I know that God has been providing and because He has I am more than sure that Missy is where she is suppose to be.

Missy is less intense. She is who she is, but she's not raging at all. I'll take it!!! She is liking the new school, though sometimes she tells me she wants to be homeschooled. She's heard that it's the "IN thing".  I laugh and ask her if she wants me to boss her around all day and she most definitely does not. It's not just me that needs her to go to school She really needs the break from being oppositional and antagonistic during the day. . . at school she is not, but she picks up where she leaves off in the morning  when she gets home. She still cannot just obey her parents. period. But she can obey a teacher. Somehow we need to shift that thinking, but I am at a loss and I am sure it is the RAD at play. She is constantly seeking attention. I am plain not good at handling negative attention seekers... Poor kid.

Those who have been reading since the twins were adopted will be glad to hear that James is doing well. He's happy, cooperative, and doing his homework without being told. He's offering to help and sings about the house. I see much growth towards maturity. He's also maybe a wee bit too giddy sometimes, not sleeping a lot, talking incessantly, and has me wondering when the crash is going to come. It happens every now and again. A few weeks ago it happened at church. I didn't notice at first but the girls were frustrated with his behavior in the service. It became obvious by potluck time and he grew more and more intense by the minute. By the time we reached home and were preparing to go for a bike ride he was screaming. There's no other way to explain it to anyone except to say he was "mentally unstable" there was no reason or reasoning and we had to keep him by Steve and even have him ride in a separate car from all the other kids. This lasted more than a week and then suddenly one morning he woke up happy again. He went from lethargic and extremely unwilling to offering to help.  I wish I understood why.

We had a little scene one morning that was a bit hard to figure out but he did not know how to handle some big feelings and it got a little dicey, and I ended up walking him to school and the teacher backed me up in a very helpful way. He came home and wrote me a letter of apology for being disrespectful.  First my mom read it and I could tell that she was quite taken aback by it and she indicated that I needed to read it. The letter was well written and quite amazing, actually. James was sobbing his little heart out and I held him and we talked for quite awhile. He bonded with me in that moment more than he ever has. He wants a real relationship with all of us and he hates it when he is filled with rage and anger, but of course he does not know how to handle it and I do feel sorry for him when he's helplessly engulfed.

Vanessa turned 21. She is moving along in her Registered Nursing program. Today we drove a few hours away so she could write her LPN exam. I was sick as a dog with a migraine and even though I was going along to help with driving I mostly did the crying and she did all the driving. We left at 5 AM in the pouring rain. We wondered if we would see our first snow of the season on the mountain pass but we did not. We didn't see anything, actually. It was so dark in the pouring rain.

Christina turned 17. She was doing too much, working and college and mentoring, etc... and she had hard classes and she was struggling.  She had to back off on work and mentoring and weed out the extras to keep her ultimate goal in sight. She has been finding people who can help her understand her classes. She was telling us that it's not the smart people who accomplish big things, it's people with grit. So, every time she started to share how she was feeling overwhelmed I would remind her that she's a person of grit. She would pull up straight and say, "YES! I AM!" Today she got the results from her latest calculus exam and it was an A. I reminded her it's because she has grit.

Brianna has finger in every pot. It can be a challenge when you have too many interests. Keeping herself organized is a task and a half. I haven't a clue when it comes to Spanish, but I was duly impressed when she read me a story in Spanish and translated it to me. She did a couple of photo shoots for people and the quality of her pictures has improved a lot due to her online classes...

Steve is determined to save money by riding his bike and the bus. It's a little harder now that it's dark when he leaves and when comes home. It's sort of yucky now that we are getting our fall rains, too. I'm wondering how it is going to pan out when the snow falls.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Missy

http://snapandquack.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-love-that-is-inspired-by-our-love.html
Brianna posted this picture of Missy on her blog because she enjoys photography and this is a great picture.
 Maybe not everyone can see what I see, but
 I'm sharing this picture because it is a window into Missy's soul. . .
 I love this portrait of her because it's real. 
There is no fake smile, 
or cheesy grin, 

it's the raw deal...
REAL.

This child has more internal struggles than most people I know, 
but her eyes are beautiful even if they are not joyous. 

The quote Brianna posted below the photo is truth, too.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Almost 21

and almost an RN. 

We are so blessed to be Vanessa's parents. 
She is dedicated, single minded, and compassionate,
and very capable.

So thankful to be her mom.

Friday, September 12, 2014

We are Traveling

This photo depicts one of our favorite get-a ways!! 

We enjoyed a wonderful visit with friends in Idaho and took time to canoe Priest Lake and the Thoroughfare to Upper Priest Lake...

When we left home we were enjoying decent summer temperatures. As we traveled Idaho it coold a bit, but as we turned North to 
"Alberia" the temps dropped by 40 degrees and we drove through fields and fields of snow for hours. It's pretty much winter here.

We are visiting family. Yes, we pulled the twins out of school for a week when it's hardly started, but we feel it was necessary as Grandma is getting older.

Missy has had some sickness, so in all she has enjoyed 2 days of Montessori! James has been in school 2 weeks.  His days are long as his bus ride is LONG because he's on the regular  bus in the afternoon. By taking the special-ed bus he was missing half of math class. School is all of 3 miles away, but his ride takes him up and down all the canyons and he's dropped off last. I may start picking him up on days that I am not running to the other town to get Missy from the private school.

All in all the twins are doing well. Putting them in separate schools has cut the intensity of their competition by three-quarters. I'm serious!! It's wonderful. They have so much less to compete about.

We've been listening to a series of CD's by Dave Ramsey while on the road. It leads to a great deal of discussion with the teenagers in the car. We are not the best at finances.... we hope they learn something from this series than we have failed to exemplify.

Our big discussion has centered around the crazy schedule coming up when everyone returns to school. It's like having a household of adults going a hundred different directions and 2 kiddos needing some stability.  If we think we are busy now~!!

We have been canning applesauce and tomatoes and pears and peaches.... I'm not getting too far on the new blog. September has to be the busiest month of the year.