Monday, August 30, 2010

Sort of

Missy hurt her toe. She actually came for comfort. She actually cried in my lap.

A funny thing, though
she acted more mad than hurt.

She acted like it was very uncomfortable to come for comfort.
She didn't know what to do with it.

I eventually asked her if she was mad and she said no.
I told her to stay in my lap for awhile.
She got all fidgety
but the mad face didn't change.
Finally told her that she could go when the face matched the occasion.
She didn't get it.
She put on the happy face instead and the attitude followed suit.

Funny kid.

Well, at least she tried the comfort thing rather than
the silent, stoic thing the twins usually fall back on.

Someday she'll figure out the difference between 
hurt and mad,
sad and angry,
disappointed and furious,
and will know which facial expression goes with which.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I left Steve home with the twins for an overnight trip.  We were all suppose to go to a wedding but Steve threw his back out and couldn't make the trip at all. I ended up going with a friend and the three big girls came with. It was quite interesting to take in the twins' reaction to being left behind. This is the first time in the nearly 6 months they have lived here that I have been gone for an over night trip.

As I was getting ready to go I explained everything to Missy. She instantly turned from her amicable self to a very naught child. She became selfish, picked fights, broke rules, pouted and cried loudly when reprimanded. It was amazing really. She suffered the consequences of her actions and she decided to change her outward "look" but I could tell she was steaming mad! In fact, I got down on my knees and tried to look her in the eye and said, "You are mad at mommy because I am going to the wedding aren't you?" She kept her gaze averted and nodded ever so slightly. I promised to return. Later when I tried to hug and kiss them goodbye she refused to acknowledge me.

Steve had quite a time. After we let both children tried to take all control into their hands. They told him what they were going to eat and how to make it and where they were going. They rattled around like that for a few minutes while he took stock of the situation and then, he told them to sit down, be quiet and drink a glass of water while HE decided what they would eat. Furthermore, he told them they were all going for a nap directly after lunch and then they were going for a bike ride.

Both children regressed in behavior. They started talking non-stop about "grandma do this and grandma do that, and Grandma have this and grandma have that ...." They used to talk about foster mom like this all the time, but we have not heard it in about 2 months. Buster started asking obvious questions left and right again.

First thing this morning they asked, "Mommy come home today?" and when they were reassured that indeed I was coming home today behaviors returned to normal. Whew!!

I had a great time at the wedding and with my friend. We visited with some of her friends and her son and went out to eat at a Thai restaurant, etc... It was good for the twins to experience my absence and realize my return. They were perfectly fine with dad. The break was good for me.


Missy learned to ride her bike without training wheels.

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's Just the 7 of Us Again

All good things must come to end... and today was the end of a very fun visit. Buster came to me, his face all crinkled up, "They are LEAVING?" and broke down and sobbed his heart out. Certain other little fellows were not happy about leaving, either.

As soon as the car was out of sight both twins immediately said, "Let's go to town, let's get in the car, lets, lets, lets...." They are conditioned to cover pain and sadness with busyness. Steve and I both don't think this is  necessarily a healthy way to deal with such emotions, so we all gathered in the living room and talked and read for awhile and just let the quiet reality set in. I'd rather experience and face the feelings not just run away or create a frenetic flurry of activity to cover them up. There were a few more tears, but they have adjusted.

Buster's obsession with toys is driving me crazy! He gets into one thing and it lasts for days and that's all he can do and think about. If I ask him to go outside or do a little job - even if it's the usual routine, it gets him annoyed because it interferes with his hyper concentration on one thing! When this happens the toy disappears for a long while. I don't know how else to deal with it. My nephews had a game that he LOVED! After the 2nd day of not being able to do anything else I forbade him to play it at all. The last few days it has been his race car track. It used to be he could only play with it set up the way the diagram on the box showed. In fact he could only use certain cars in certain spots and there was absolutely no varying it. The three nephews however, have an imagination and wouldn't think of using the track in the same way twice... He finally got the idea and then it became an obsession.  First thing in the morning he popped out of bed and played with it ALL day insisting that one or another of the kids play with him at all times right until it was bedtime. Swimming, biking, picking berries, eating, stories.... were all annoying because it interfered with his focus. The race car track disappeared yesterday before lunch and he has asked for it dozens of times since, but I don't see any benefit in letting him have it back for awhile. It's use will be a privilege earned and for set amounts of time. I can't remember my three girls ever being very interested in toys, really. These kids weren't too interested at first, either, but now it's gone the other way totally crazy and I'm not really liking it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Milestone

Warning! TMI
But in light of 3/4 of the content of this blog, it's mild and must be announced!!!

We are celebrating the fact that Little Missy went and did her job all by herself 
this morning and took care of it all!  
No reminders, no promptings, nothing. 
She felt the urge and she went.


That's a first.

There's something about having a houseful of cousins for the last two weeks that has made her decide to grow up a little. It's great.

The significance of her big accomplishment was not lost on twin brother who prayed at the close of worship:

Dear Father in heaven, 
Thank you for the special day that Missy went poop all by herself and nobody told her to. 
In Jesus name, 

Note to Self:  Don't expect twin brother to follow his sister's example very soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Discipline and the Will

"The object of discipline
is the training of the child for self-government.
He should be taught
self-reliance and self-control.

To direct the child's development without hindering it by undue control should be the study of parents.
Too much management is as bad as too little. 
The effort to "break the will" of a child is a terrible mistake.
The will should be guided and molded,
but not ignored
or crushed. 
Save the strength of the will; 
in the battle of life it will be needed.

Every child should understand the true force of the will. 
He should be led to see how great is the responsibility involved in this gift.
The will is the governing power in the nature of man, 
the power of decision, 
or choice.
Every human being possessed of reason has power to choose the right.
In every experience of life,
God's word to us is,
'Choose you this day whom you will serve.'

The parent who by such instruction trains the child to self-control
will be the most useful 
and permanently successful."

Education page 287, 289

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You've Come a Long Way, Boy!

 He shed a tear or two
at first.

Someone tattled on Buster. He'd been seen not being nice to the cat.
He's not a mean kid, so I'm not even sure the cat knew that someone was not being nice to her,
but it's the principle of the thing. 
Everyone deserves respect, 
even the cat, 
whether she knows it or not.

We talked and then the timer was set for a little chair time.

He spent the majority of the time in the chair happily singing
Jesus is All the World to Me.

You have come a LONG ways Boy!!

Remember the days when a time-out evoked
anger, rage, hateful words, screaming, kicking and hours and hours of temper tantrums? 

I let him off early.
There was no attitude to deal with.
He promised to be nice to ALL animals from now on.

Blow- Out

Little Miss Muffet's bad ear ruptured once again!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Checking In

Most everyone around here is starting school today, except us. I'm not ready and I'm giving myself an extra two weeks to get organized. I'm thinking, praying and planning. For the twins getting more than a couple days of speech a week is my goal. We're working with the department at our local hospital where Steve works to get them scheduled for individual therapy. The school can do their combined classes if they want, but I know they need individual attention since their speech issues are so different. Buster is understandable. His speech problems are in the language structure and stuttering and slow recall. For poor Missy it's all about articulation. We went hiking the other day and Missy hiked a long way with my dad and she talked NON-STOP and he could not make out more than half of it.

The twins are doing well. They are going with the flow. We still have cousins here so there's lots of activity going on. Buster has only wet his pants 2 times in the last week. I'm happy with that.
The habit of using the toilet is forming. :-)

I've kind of noticed that Missy is not such a control freak anymore. She isn't telling me how things have to be done or what she wants so much. She's been pretty laid back lately and it's nice. She's also learning that ignoring me, shrugging her shoulders or saying "I donno" doesn't work so well when I'm asking her a question and so she's making an effort to use words and answer. Her inclination to pretend she doesn't know is not necessarily the easy way out anymore.

Well, there's work to do, so off I go....

Friday, August 20, 2010


We are enjoying our house full of company.
Tuesday was Steve's birthday.
Wednesday was our 19th anniversary.
Thursday was Caleb's 11th birthday.
Swimming, tubing, hiking, canoeing, picking plums, shopping, and eating have filled our days. 
And the fun continues...

The twins are doing great with the company. Little Miss has been challenging me just to see if she could while we have company. It took us a long while to bring her around to a happy attitude that was genuine yesterday.  Buster has been fine. He's wrapped in fear... so incidences happen, but they usually stem from fear or forgetfulness, not necessarily to challenge anyone. Christina is plain annoyed with them right now and frustrated to no end....  I keep working with her. Basically, she's my issue at the moment. Part of it is being over tired since she wants to be up until the last person goes to bed when there is so much going on, but she needs her 10 hours of sleep! The other part is the attention the twins take away from her... and having to share the cousins with the kiddos.

The hot nights are giving way to cool air, but the days are still warm and sunny.

I need to go make breakfast for the gang so that's it for now.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to Daddy

The twins sang it all day!

Steve's idea of the best kind of birthday? An ALL DAY hike. Needless to say there are a few of us who can hardly walk this morning.

44 years old.

My brother, minus his family who are still in Africa, My sister and her boys, minus her husband still at home in the Yukon, My Dad, minus mom who is in Africa, too, and my gang.

Quite likely the coldest water on earth!

A very attractive climbing rock. :-)

It was a good day.

Hope it was all you wanted, Steve! I gave my feet for your day!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The River

It's plain sad
when fear dictates.

Someday he'll not let fear get the best of him.

Claiming II Timothy 1:7 for Buster.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mutt and Jeff

These cousins are 20 months and 20 inches apart :-)
Notice both pairs of  knees are about level,
however something weird happens between the knees and Christina's hip bone.

They had just finished hiking the mountain in 94 degree heat. They were Hot, RED, Dirty, and tired!


The twins have been in bed since 6:30.... they  barely made it to their beds with their eyes open. Little Miss was past talking, hugs and saying goodnight .... she just wanted to SLEEP. The pace is beyond what they are used to.  I just knew Buster would fall apart today. I just knew he would, but he surprised me. He was annoyed that I expected them to follow our usual routine in the morning and there could be no play until all was completed... but I sat in his room and watched him make his bed and fold his pajamas and he soon decided that nothing was changing regardless of who was here and he got back into the mindset I expect.

He's kept his pants dry for 4 days now, which is great and I think it's partly due to the no underwear trick and partly due to the fact that he knows he would not get to go swimming with the boys if he wet himself - and that would be devastating!!!!

Buster's really not thrilled with the choice of fruit this week. The two fruit trees that are currently ripe are both plums; purple and yellow and he HATES fruit with pits. The nectarines were okay last week because you can cut them off the pit. Plums are too messy for that.

My sister and I took the youngest and went to buy peaches and other fruit for canning. She brought her canning jars from the Yukon. The rest of the kids went out and picked a big bucket wild blackberries. So, I took all the kids to the pool for a good long swim while my sister canned and made jam all afternoon. It smells like dill pickles in here!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

THIS is SO Good!

The twins are doing their utmost to keep up with the boys.

Did I mention the boys are fast, smart, and energetic "little" talkers? Speed and muscles are everything! It makes up for the lack of stature :-) We won't mention that the twins at 6 are as tall as certain fellows.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Full Discloser Day

Kind of a let-down.

Drive 2.5 hours to get to read the file and then only have 1.5 hours to read 3 FULL file boxes. Needless to say we only only got through a few hundred pages.

My vision of what happened is fleshed out only a tad.  Will wait for the redacted copy to read at home.

My sister and her kids are here from the YUKON. Lots of excitement around here.  Going to feed the gang.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What Can I Say?

Things are going well outside of the fact that Buster has a barky cough and he's still peeing his pants every chance he gets. I took away the underwear thinking that would make him feel yucky quicker. He kept dry for a whole day. Yesterday he wet himself twice. The only thing it's helped is that we notice sooner. Little Miss must have thought there was something she was missing out on so she tried it.... only she was sitting on her bed and well, I can't say she enjoyed stripping, washing and remaking the bed. She found out there's nothing really fun about it.  I have watched super close and am positively sure that Buster does it out of sheer laziness. It happens when it is most inconvenient to leave his play. We ask him to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so, but he can go more often than that.

I wish we had one more bedroom in this house. It's becoming more and more evident that putting the twins in separate rooms would be a positive. They were like infants noticing nothing when they first came. This is no longer the case. They are noticing, even if there is a certain innocence about it all. I'd like to keep it that way. I'm teaching one to dress in the bedroom and the other to dress in the bathroom with the doors shut. Not so easy since they still need guidance.They still don't shut the door when they use the bathroom and I'm still wiping bottoms. The day they learn to do it themselves is the day I'll lose knowing where we are with the constipation management. So, I'm okay with it for a little longer. We are still requiring regular bathroom visits at the same time each morning.They do it, not always with a smile. The bowels are still healing. It's a long process though they never have accidents.

I think that both kids would benefit from being in separate rooms for their developmental progress. I don't know if this just comes with having twins or what, but I think that he relies on her as a crutch, like he can't go to sleep unless she is in bed. He's dependent on her for his security. He's stuck in this holding pattern all based on fear.  For Missy, I think his babyness is hindering her growth. They don't seem close - as in sharing secrets and playing together a lot. They can play together, but it's more competitive - especially on her part. Somehow still, they have to know where the other is, which is fine, but I do think that they hold each other back. The big girls are that.... so much bigger they seem like adults, so it's unrealistic to try to live up to them. I'm curious how they will respond to having my sister's boys here for a week. They are 7, 10 and 11, fast, smart, energetic and super verbal. It's going to make the twins' heads spin. I expect there to be a ton of wet, peed on pants from one certain little boy who will be standing, watching in awe.

Once the kiddos turn 7  - or the adoption is finalized, I can let Missy be in a room downstairs. Foster care rules require kids under 7 to be on the same floor as the parents.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Contemplating the School Year

I have to homeschool the twins... or I should say they are required to be in a school program of some sort this fall by the State and I choose homeschooling. I actually feel like every day is an education for these two. Life skills are on the top of the list along with character development, but they are required to attempt to learn to read now... or by September, at least.

Every day the kids are learning and doing new things; drawing, coloring, cutting, games, projects, imaginative play, chores, counting, putting together alphabet puzzles, to name a few and learning is taking a very natural, easy course that I would prefer to allow more time to develop on its own. These two have been in public school for years and look where it's gotten them. I'm not exaggerating when I say years either... somewhere I read that they've been in pre-school programs since they were 2. My guess from reading their IEP they were completely lost in the crowd and only built up coping mechanisms and protections against being forced to learn anything. It's very evident that Missy especially did so. She has more tricks to make one think she can't understand, doesn't know the answer, and is clueless than you can shake a stick at. Tiny bit by tiny bit I see the real Missy emerging and she is shedding thin layers of insulation and actually desiring to grasp ideas and skills.

Learning should be enjoyable. Little kids naturally want to grow and know, but this ambition can be squelched. For these two, trauma, circumstances, an artificial learning environment surrounded by bunches of kids their own age- but far in advance of them, lack of security, and a loving, nurturing parent and even inclination to only do the easiest nearly killed their growth and development.  Time in nature, time to play, time to just be at home without running hither and thither can restore ordinary longing for new thought and I'm seeing it happen.  Just wish I had more time.

It's not the end of the world, of course, but I'm looking for a program that won't "feel" too much like school. I'd make up my own unit studies if I had time. I've done that before.... takes time that I don't have right now. I'm searching, searching, searching. Today I've been looking at Five in a Row. Looks like a ton of fun. Anyone have a used copy of vol 1 they would sell to me cheap? :-) We have some learning "differences" going on here.... Homeschool materials abound. It doesn't get any less of a jungle out there as time goes on.

Searching, searching, searching....


So, it seems that lessons in self-control are being taken to heart.


It's so nice.

Of course, school hasn't started yet, but then, they have learned to make beds happily and carry out the compost, and empty the trash and run errands up and down the stairs for me without a major ta-do, so I'm hopeful and we'll try not to make it too tedious.

This morning Buster made his bed and his sister's bed all by his own choice.

It's so nice.

When I think of our battles of the past few months I realize  God has been VERY good to us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In Tune

We are a musical family. The girls play harp, violin, flute and piano and the CD player goes non-stop with either inspirational music, or classical music and Buster LOVES music and appreciates it. He sings a lot. He's learned a lot of nice songs and he sings parts of songs all the time. He often chooses which CD's he wants on and asks for them to be turned on in the car.

We have this one set of classical CD's that are meant for improving the brain function. They come from the Sharper Minds program that friends gave us a while back. The music has nature sounds mixed in, so out of one speaker you will hear bird calls and the next thing you know it's a flute, and out of the other speaker is the cello, etc... The music goes soft, then changes speed, and volume. A child is suppose to listen to them with sound canceling headphones for 15 minutes a day, which Buster enjoys. He likes them  enough that we listen to them on the stereo as well.

Little Miss on the other hands, can't carry a tune, could care less if music is playing, doesn't even noticed if someone puts on a CD, and doesn't learn songs very easily. Her hearing seems to be drastically improved lately and she is noticing sounds she had not paid attention to before, but I'm wondering if all the years of poor hearing has effected her for life. She pays zero attention to children's story at church and even gets little out of Sabbath school. We keep working on her to listen when we read stories to her. It's a funny thing, though, if she thinks someone is having a conversation about her, or we're talking about some place we are planning to go to, or any other private conversation she has no business nosying into, she HEARS everything!! Truly, selective hearing at it's best!


Getting ready to go anywhere is a big job around here. The gardens, the animals, everybody's responsibilities, etc... have to be squared away and it's overwhelming sometimes, but so worth getting away. We realize we all need it. Camping is special time with just the kids and it's all so new to the twins.

The twins took to back-packing pretty easily. We chose a pretty smooth trail and it wasn't long. I packed the twins each a small back-pack with just their clothes and a bag of trail mix each. They were so excited about them that they wanted to carry them around while we got ready and I told them absolutely not. They must put them by the door so that when it was time to load up we would have everything we needed and nothing would be forgotten.

The trip didn't exactly start off on the right foot. I was NOT happy with Buster for peeing all over his clothes and his car seat before we even left the driveway! I was thinking it was a good thing I had packed a couple extra changes of clothes for him - until we arrived at our first camping place only to find that his back-pack was not in the car at all. He had been carrying it around and it was not by the door when we loaded up. No one had noticed. He was really disappointed not to have a back-pack. For any other child this would have been a lesson in obedience. For this child, I'm not so sure. He continued to pee his one pair of shorts over and over even though we were vigilant about taking him to go pee.  By the end of the second day he stunk big time and was raw! (Lest anyone think I should have packed pull ups, they would have been in his back-pack at home anyway, and I have a good reason for NOT using the pull ups.) We were camping on the beach and it was an hour's walk to any sort of clean water source and it was all we could do to keep up with the drinking and cooking demands so I had to wash him in ocean water (We were not in Florida or any other warm ocean State, by the way!) then dress him in flowered panties and purple leggings.  Cute- NOT! Anyway, we had found Vanessa's book bag in the car and put a few odds and ends in it for Buster to carry so he could be a part of the back-packing. He liked it for about a thousand feet then he announced he was "tired of the pack-pack!" Tough, luck, Charlie Brown, that's what back-packing was all about - I got tired of mine, too :-)

We loved camping on the ocean. The roar of the waves within a few feet of the tent in the night was incredible. The twins played in the sand a lot. On the last morning Steve helped them build a huge castle. Missy asked for a hot shower first thing in the morning. It's hard to know what she was thinking. There wasn't even an outhouse.

Little Missy learned a great lesson in obedience. I know for her it hit home. I was cooking supper on a little canister stove between a rock wall and a board Steve had set up for me. We're talking fire, wind, boiling water, and a very tippy board - in other words: Danger. Little Missy kept tipping the board. I asked her to NOT touch. After the third time of not obeying I thought of the worst consequence possible to instill a little fear in her that would make her mind and keep us all safe. I never thought for one second she would challenge that. I said, "If you do that one more time, you will not get any noodles."  Maybe I should have banished her to the tent, or maybe I should have made her sit in her Dad's lap, or whatever, but obviously this was not well thought through.... and within 5 seconds she was without noodles. She waited till I had my attention on the pot then, according to the girls, she looked at me and quick as a flash she flipped the board. When I glanced up she was looking away as though nothing in the world had happened.  She was shocked and surprised that she lost her noodles. How's that?

Anyway, memories were made.  Generally the twins handled everything like troopers and according to Buster,  back-packing is fun. There were few melt downs or reasons for tears. Buster lives in a constant state of fear - so new situations do highlight those fears, but over all he did well and did not fall apart. It's good to rough it sometimes.

P.S. Did think of a time when Buster nearly lost it, and the only value I have in writing this particular episode out is in what I am trying to learn from what happened after more than what happened during. We were walking the beach and when we came to a fresh water supply Steve and the girls went to work with the water filter filling up our water containers and the twins and I turned around to head back to the camp site. The further we got from Dad and the girls the more anxious the little guy appeared. Pretty soon he was acting freaked out; Jumping at the crash of a wave, startling at the call of a seagull, flipping out if his sister got behind him where he couldn't see her.  Pretty soon he started crying and I figured we were headed towards hysteria. I tried comforting, tried everything in the book, actually... He refused to talk. Would not answer questions, couldn't come up with why he was getting worked up, etc... I knelt on the beach and decided the best thing was to have him STOP crying because he was only making himself feel worse. I was a tad frustrated on not being able to get him to converse with me. Finally he stopped and we carried on.

As soon as the girls were within sight Buster ran to them and told him the whole scenario... no details missing! "Nothing to be afraid of. Take a deep breath, breath slow, stop crying...."  All the words I had used he repeated. I'm trying to figure this out... he could verbalize NOTHING for me and yet he could tell the whole story and repeat me word for word for the girls.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Twins' First Back-Packing Trip

Good stories to follow :-) Some interesting lessons were learned, but the green beans are calling.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


He finally got them!!

He's excited.
"Look mom!
Hey, slug-bug.
Look at the road!!
Did you see the rainbow on here?"

I cried.
I'm sad that no one ever checked his eyes before.
I can't see a thing through those coke-bottle glasses.
The prescription is VERY strong.
 It's going to take a lot of getting used to - for me.
His eyeballs look huge. LOL
He likes them.

We celebrated by going out - just him and I for ice-cream.
A soy-vanilla bar all carob coated.
He was a mess.
But very, very pleased.


The day started off with her bonking him on the head because he picked up one of her things. They weren't even out of their room, yet. I thought I would be a good mommy and teach her that hitting and not sharing are really not okay... A few minutes in time out and an apology should have done the trick, right?

*** Sigh ***

It was only the beginning.
I should have seen it coming.
She's been playing her luck the last few days.
Just to see if I would notice.
Nothing big. Just being a wee bit contrary. Staying just under the wire. Not rocking the boat too much - but rocking it just the same.
A word, a look, a motion.
Sometimes even a conscious act.

I have noticed.

I've tried to deal with it fairly;  reminding, restating, reprimanding and showing her a better way.

The glint in her eye has only grown harder and more unwieldy. I prayed, I hoped, I tried to avert a total derailment, but today she pushed the envelope a bit too far. She spurned my entreaties. She refused her time out.

Showdown time.

I prayed and prayed and prayed. All the discipline in the world is worthless if it does not bring about a positive heart change and healing. It took the whole entire morning and it included a lot of holding and love, and redo's. She was given chance after chance after chance to show that she could obey and be respectful. Each sneer, negative posturing, or pout returned us to the beginning. I was looking for 100% willing spirit not 50% or 75% or even 98%, she needed to give me 100%. This was very hard for her. She doesn't trust anybody that much, yet. I decided I had all day.


By the end I loved her more and she saw that I won't give up on her and it ain't the end... to be sure.

PS. I thought we were done for the day.... but I was wrong. She is now having an afternoon nap. She fell asleep in under 5 minutes! All the shenanigans have her clean wore out. Yeah... what about me?
My time at the doctor's office yesterday is paying off. The inhaler is working beautifully! I can breath... even though the air is yucky and the a/c quit on us.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

5 Months Today!

Today the children have been home 5 months.

It's amazing to think back and remember how far they have come.
Five months is a relatively short amount of time,
their progress is nothing short of amazing.

Here's an example of progress:
Neither children knew what to do with a box of crayons and a blank sheet of paper when they first came,
nor were they interested in finding out what to do with them.
Coloring books were not interesting, either.
I put the crayons away for awhile, since there were MUCH more important things to work on. About 2 times a month we would bring them out and try again.

About 6 weeks ago they had to wait for me and someone handed them each a clipboard and a set of colored pencils. Little Missy managed to draw a triangular shape with a couple of lines through it. Buster stared at the white paper. Three weeks ago we had the same scenario... only with better results.
In fact I was impressed enough to label and date them.
Here's Buster's. It's something, anyway.
 Here's Missy's. Flowers... pretty good ones, too, and the letter "N" backwards as usual.

Imagine my surprise today when they both loved my suggestion that we spend a few minutes drawing today, but imagine my greater surprise when they both turned out great pictures in full color! These are Buster's pictures (with one of mine to inspire him).

My favorite?
He said this is a HAPPY HEART. 
The rectangles on the side he said are doors - you know, the doors that Jesus is knocking on.
The smiley face, I think that's Buster when he's chosen a happy heart. 
Funny how his heart is bigger that he is.
I like that picture the very BEST!

Here's Missy's with one of mine - inspired by one of hers :-)
I love that they are bright and cheery and full of color.

You know what is most surprising? 
They did this for nearly 2 hours!!
I finally said it was time to do something else 
and that led to an incident that also showed growth....

Not, right off, but when I mentioned Buster had a car track set to pick up he started whining that he couldn't do it by himself and I reminded him that he certainly could. I knew that it wasn't really about picking up the toys, it was about his fear. He's really struggling with fear since our big  thunder storm. He could have asked for help, or left the door open, or whatever, but that's not what he chose. He threw himself on the floor and started crying and I quickly picked him off the floor and removed him from gawkers. He was ramping up to an all out tantrum and possible rage session.... I asked him to stop and told him he COULD control himself if he chose, or he could go out of control and end up with consequences, but it was totally his choice. He chose to calm down. I put him in time out for 5 minutes to give himself time to cement his decision and in 5 minutes he was out picking up his toys. I was excited! We talked about what he did right and how he turned the situation around from what could have been.
Little Miss had a time out session today, too. She sat quiet and chose to obey. In the past this would have been cause for screaming "No, NO, NO!!!" at me and flailing and beating the walls and breaking things and could have taken several hours to a few days to turn around.
In 5 minutes she was happily playing once again.

It seems really slow
Until you think that it's only been
5 months.

2nd Day - Happy Kid

He woke up happy again. Looking like we have a good day ahead.