Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today's Discovery

Our day has been all about social workers. The first was a health and safety check, the second was the monthly visit from AAI's worker and the third was our adoption worker on the phone doing our post placement study....

Anyway, while visiting with social worker number 2 I had both children working on puzzles and suddenly the social worker turned to me and asked, "Which of them is singing?"  It was obvious to me that it was Missy, but it is the VERY first time I have ever heard her sing on tune. She sang Jesus Loves Me from start to finish completely on pitch and all the words were perfect. This child COULD NOT SING ANYTHING not that long ago except an off -tune version of the  Alphabet song and bits and pieces of Jesus Loves Me. This IS HUGE!

Hmmm.... So what did it? The music therapy or the light therapy or the combination?

She has been so combative but mellowing out as the day progresses.

Twelve Hours Later

She's still asleep after one terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. She started screaming in the morning and she never made it to school (speech, ot, pt) and I could not take her to choir so she went to a hospital staff meeting with dad, came home and resumed her screaming which landed her in bed for the night.

I'm praying for a better day today for her and for me.

We have two different social workers visiting today - oh JOY :-)

My hand is pretty much useless this morning after my fork accident of yesterday.

Buster demonstrated some problem solving skills this morning. He's our garbage man around here. The garbage truck was to show up at any minute, so he was out the door taking the trash can to the corner. Well, half way down he dumped it over, but it was too heavy to lift back on it's wheels. I didn't know what was taking him so long so I glanced out the window to find him carrying garbage bags, one at a time to the corner to lighten his load. He wasn't screaming. He wasn't crying and he wasn't even calling for help. He just figured out a way to get the job done and I am quite proud of him. Brianna went racing down to help and they had everything to the corner in the nick of time and Buster was rewarded for a job well done when he watched the whole process of the trash being dumped into the truck. With a honk and wave the trashman was off and Buster came up with a smile and story.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Go Figure

I'm not sure what's going on exactly. Missy's decided to see what I would do if she wets her pants.  She's done it a half dozen times in the last few days for no reason - and usually directly after I ask her if she needs a break to go potty. So far I haven't reacted much. I'm hoping it will just go away. Somebody please tell me it will!!

Are you tired of her one liners? Sorry, I'm keeping a record of my favorite new sentences. Last night she was playing with a magnet/ marble game on the fridge and she couldn't get the tracks set quite right to keep from losing the marbles, but instead of her usual, "I can't know how to do dis"  line she said, "I don't know how to figure out how.....  um..... how to set this up."

It's the other speech class, ot and pt today and then choir.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We went to speech therapy today. I warned the therapist that we've been doing some therapy and that I'm seeing some changes then I left Missy with her for an hour. When I came back the gal was standing there looking at me with gaping mouth. "You have to tell me what you have been doing. It's amazing!!!"

Apparently, Missy's accuracy last week in answering WHY questions was about 20%. Today she her accuracy was 90%! For example: Why do you wash the car? Missy used to repeat the question, "Why you wash the car?" and about 20% of the time, with a lot of prompting, she could come up with an answer. Today she did not repeat the questions. She answered, "Because the car is dirty". Her over all score was 90% accuracy. The therapist also found her more spontaneous in offering information and comments and they were clear and easy to understand.

After Buster's turn the therapist was shaking her head saying, "Well, he met nearly every goal I had planned out for him, I might have to retest him, because my plan is no longer relevant". I suggested she wait a couple weeks to retest since we've only been doing the light therapy for a few days.

I wrote Dr. Wylie a quick note to let him know how things are going and he was pleased. He says the combination of the music and the light therapy is interacting  virtually the whole brain and nervous system and he suggested we try adding essential oils to stimulate other aspects of the brain through the sense of smell.

I played with letter cards with Buster while we waited for Missy at speech. He got tired of me arranging the letters into words and he started spelling words himself. That was a new step.

Missy was throwing out new sentences left and right such as, "I want to eat yogurt at the Poulson's house." I didn't even know she knew the piano teacher's last name. It seems that words were all stored up in her head waiting for the day when she could begin to use them.

OH, and I have to add that the twins behaved like perfect little angels all day today! Thanks for the prayers!

Something's Happening

I am NOT just hearing things.
The latest Missy quip: 
"Is Daddy coming home late tonight?" 
Usually she would have just asked, "Daddy come home 'night?"

What's a mom to do? I can barely stand to correct cute stuff like, 
"Tomorrow, can I have little bit punky pie?" 
And stuff like  
"May I have a pear a apple, peas?" 
which is interpreted, may I have a piece of apple, please? 
This is ALL new folks. 
Somethings going on in that head of hers. 
New words are spouting out all over the place.
Some of the words she tries out are misplaced, but generally speaking she's right on.
This wasn't happening last week...

Both children finally could not stay up until 8:30. The were both out before their light therapy was over around 7:30. Perhaps this is why we've been dealing with some behavior. I have cut their sleep time by a whole 2 hours and yet amazingly they haven't seemed that tired, but it has finally caught up and they just could not stay awake tonight. Buster fell asleep and Missy was begging to go to bed. To be honest, I am thoroughly exhausted, too and that's why I'm having a harder time with the silliness, maybe. It's not the sleepy kind of tired, more like the deep, down, bone tired.

Vanessa witness two car accidents yesterday. One in the morning and one in the evening on the same road, in the same place. She saw everything. The first involved a pedestrian and was pretty serious. The second was a head on at a slow pace. Both girls were okay.
Next she was NEARLY in an accident on the highway.
Some guy came speeding out onto the highway  nearly hitting her and then slowed to a crawl in front of her making her break really hard to avoid hitting him. The people behind
nearly rear-ended her. 
We are thankful for guardian angels!!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Well, well.... all hopes of a fun productive day with the kids have been dashed to pieces as Missy threw a unexpected curve ball at me in the control department. I've tried everything. I've decided to bury myself in the laundry room for the next couple of hours and ignore her completely. It won't be hard to get lost in those piles....

The fining pot is for Silver, and the furnace for gold; but the Lord trieth the hearts. Proverbs 17:3

Beds are Made!


We got through the bedmaking without a fiasco this morning!

Thank you LORD!

Yesterday during the upheaval over the bed thing in Buster's room I prayed with him and told him that HE COULD make the bed right because I have seen him do it before and that God would help Him if he asked. He did pray and he prayed for a new heart and help to make the bed. When I prayed I thanked God that Buster had hands that would make a bed, legs that could walk around a bed, strength to pull up the blankets and a smart brain to get the task accomplished. I also thanked the Lord that he had a bed to make, that he had a room for a bed, a house to live in and a family to love him and give him what he needs.

Things turned around. He made the bed beautifully.
Then we knelt once more and thanked the Lord for helping him do such a good job. I also pointed out that since he just showed me that the bed could be made well that I knew tomorrow and the next day and forever he would not have any reason to not make it perfectly again.

This morning when I announced bed making time he instantly clouded over and refused to look me in the eye.  I waited for eye contact then reminded him of his success the day before. I reminded him of the help he has in Jesus and then I left the room and shut the door. Ten minutes later I checked in to find him playing on the floor with a truck. The bed was perfect. The stuffed animals placed just right and all the pillows lined up nicely.

Who'd a thought I'd write a whole blog post on the trials of making a bed?
Thanks to our God, that this is a positive post.


Steve didn't think Missy's sentence was so remarkable an example. He figures she's heard that line once too many times, so I kept my ears tuned and shortly after that she said, "Mommy, can I take a nap in my bedroom?"
Was she serious?
Not on your life!
She's only excited about having a bedroom downstairs and it is all hers.

A few minutes later she asked, "Mama, may I have some food to eat, please?"

These were totally intelligible sentences. 

Well, it's time for Monday's therapy to I ready for this?
Actually, the kiddos chose to be happy and cooperative after what I wrote yesterday. All in all it was a good day, but I'm finding the pace exhausting.
Here goes!~

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quote of the Day

Christina was being silly and fooling around on the computer saying,
"Help, help help!!"

Missy looks at her and retorts,
"You a big girl, Christina, you don't need help!"

I wonder where she's heard that?? 

I had just finished saying to Vanessa, 
"You know, I think she's finally expanded her sentences past 4 and 5 words"
and along came the perfect example. 
Count them;
That's 9 words in one mouthful.
I wonder if the new therapies are doing something already
because it's been pretty noticeable the last couple days.
You can see she still leaves out the verbs of being,
but I'm seeing growth!

The Least of These

We were blessed by a very good sermon yesterday. His title was Unremarkable Losers and basically he was speaking to us of our heart responses to the "least of these". It was a good reminder.  When  in the midst of the shenanigans of our twins we need to remember that however we respond to the least of these we are responding to Christ.

I have a child in a time-out chair at the moment. 
This is her 2nd time already this morning.
She's defiant, fussing and whining and choosing to be naughty. 
She crying out that she's "happy" while making the ugliest faces possible.
She knows what I expect and she is choosing to do the opposite. 
She's in timeout and will stay until she chooses to change her outlook.
I am holding my peace....I mean, I'm hanging on to PEACE!

Her brother, for the third day in a row couldn't figure out how to make his bed. 
I've been consistent about requiring that his bed be made every morning for 6 months and made right. 
He knows how. 
We've taught and retaught and he is quite capable, 
but for the third day in a row he has chosen to "forget" how to make it right. 
When reminded that the wrinkles needed to be smoothed 
he ripped everything off in a huff 
- for the third day in a row,
And then he bunched them up and and asked,
"Like this?"

 And the King shall answer and say unto them, 
Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, 
ye have done it unto me. 

Am I treating you right?  
We are only half-way through our morning therapies...Both children are taking turns at balking.
Lord, will you stand by me and teach me how to treat
the least of these?

Friday, September 24, 2010

MEGA Therapy :-)

 Note: if you are truly interested, I have included links to everything we are doing.

As soon as I can get organized we'll start the light therapy with the twins. When they were tested the other day it was quite clear, even to me, that they are like horses with blinders on. They are in a tunnel. Dr. Wylie and the therapist were not at all surprised that their peripheral vision is so reduced. They totally expected it given their history of trauma and developmental delays. They have found light therapy, or syntonic phototherapy very effective in opening up the peripheral vision. Buster chose an orange filter, Missy chose pink. We'll be doing 20 minutes of light therapy while doing school work, listening to classical music (the listening program that Witcombes gave us from Sharper Minds)  and other things every day for the next 4 -5 weeks. Missy's new prism glasses will be ready by the end of the 4-5 weeks so we will go back to pick them up and re-evaluate things. This light therapy should also be a help in Buster's strabismus (eye turning) but also he is to be patched an hour a day. His left eye strains so hard to match the other eye even with his new glasses that his brain has turned that eye off and he is seeing very little if anything with that eye. Both children were given a few exercises to enhance their neurological development. The duck walk/ pigeon walk, etc.. are very difficult for them. Their hands and arms totally react when they try to duck walk. Eventually this won't be so difficult and the rest of the body will be able to relax.

I mentioned to Dr. Wylie that the Buster loves music, but Missy doesn't seem to even notice it in the least. He explained that her brain has basically shut off that stimulus right now. Both children have not been able to cope with stimulation in various forms (due to trauma, medication, and neglect, so the brain has shut it down to only what they can handle. He says she absolutely NEEDs to listen to the music program to wake up that part of her brain. (I'm doing a TERRIBLE job of reiterating what I learned!! Sorry for you!) The progress we have been seeing is their brains waking up. It's so interesting to me. I mean this kiddo never used to even noticed if a phone was ringing right behind her head. She would not know that Vanessa was playing her harp unless she saw her hands moving, but this is changing!! So, yes, she may have some hearing loss, but she had also shut down the auditory part of her brain and we are seeing it slowly come to life and we think her "hearing" has improved, when actually her brain is now taking in information it formerly blocked out.

I thought it was amazing that Dr. Wylie asked if there were any issues with Missy's digestive track. Oh, wow! G I issues??? Yes sirreeee!! He suggested we look into bioray cyto flora.  Okay, now that is expensive stuff, but if the raves on the website is true about how children are suddenly developing speech from taking care of the toxins and troubles in their colon, then I guess it's worth looking into.

I'm a little tired just thinking about all these things we have to do besides speech therapy and the homework, pt -Physical Therapy and ot - Occupational therapy. I'm thinking the bulk of our "school" will be just  keeping up!!

What a Week

I'll be so glad when this week is over! The pace has been  nothing but sheer insanity.

Steve's off the hook for the court case now. Funny, the music teacher spent an entire day wading through the process of selecting a jury, then near the end they asked if anyone knew the witness, Steve F*** and she was like, "I do, I do, I do!!!" and she felt lucky to be let off scott free. Then the next day Steve had a full plate -first he did  the blood draw for the CHIP Program (Coronary Heart Improvement Project) at 6 AM, then he ran the blood to the lab, attended  a staff meeting at the hospital, and rushed to the  court only to be told that he wouldn't be needed after all. Yes, after all those months of subpoenas, and interviews and meetings, etc... he isn't needed. The prosecuting attorney told him the defendant had one witness on her side and that witness had just died of a brain aneurysm.  Okay!

Today Steve starts his new job at the little hospital in tourist town nearby. He's doing conscious sedation 2 days a week for 4 hours a day. The pay isn't quite like he'd get at his main job, but it's better than a kick in the pants. Here's the interesting thing, he had to spend a good part of day this week in a class on how to orient  newly hired nurses  -- BUT they said, "just hang on to this information because we are on a hiring freeze and in fact we are going to start bumping some that are already hired."  Steve's asked "BUMP them to where?"  They're like, "Well, you know, lay them off." Hmmmm. Interesting considering they just built the hospital twice as big. Now they are closing down units.

All that to say, I'm not the only one crazy busy. The twins have been much more even keel since Monday. I am grateful. We moved bedrooms around. Steve picked up a really, really  nice twin bed for $50 yesterday and so Bri and Vanessa are officially rooming together. Missy is in her own room and looks like a mouse in that great big double bed. She's happy, though.The girls played a trick on Buster since he was quite jealous of the new room. He got into the bed in his pajamas to try it out last night and quick as a wink Christina took his glasses and turned out the light and said, "goodnight". and suddenly he did NOT want the new room. He was relieved to be sent to bed in the safety and comfort of his OLD room right next to mom and dad's. I'll have to say he's a little on edge this morning and I believe it's because of the change. He did okay with Missy not being in his room, but I don't think he liked waking up this morning to find himself the only one in the room.

For those who are interested, the church is looking WAY different! We still have a long ways to go before we can meet there again, but it's nice to actually see a difference and now we have an offer on the school... so if it does indeed sell, we'll be back to meeting with Valley View, I think.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Almost Bedtime

The clock reads 7:56 and I'm counting the minutes until 8:30. A few nights ago I resolved not to put the twins in bed before 8:30 anymore. Ending their day at 7 PM when they first arrived, and for the first 6 months, proved to be a good idea. It worked for me. I needed it as much as they did. When the learning curve was steep and their little brains were exhausted from all the new expectations and changes in their lives, going to bed and staying there for 12 hours showed itself to be a good plan. The routine is established now. The expectations are in place. Nothing is very new anymore. We're still learning at a quick pace, but it has a kind of rhythm to it and bedtime and wake time is providing opportunities to get into trouble, because the kiddos are not as tired as they used to be. So, anyway, it's now 8:10 and it took me more than 10 minutes to write that measly little paragraph because the twins are sitting at the desk drawing and coloring and insisting on TALKING my head off. Did I ever mention how hard it is for me to write when someone is looking over my shoulder? I just can't do it!!! (even if they can't read.)

We drove three hours to yonder city to have both children's eyes checked at Dr. Wylie's Advanced Eye Care Center. We were there for quite a LONG time. We came home with our heads buzzing with new information on children who have experienced trauma, neglect and over-medication and how that can effect their vision (not eyesight) and their learning, etc... We are starting some new therapies and Missy gets new prism glasses (not to help her see better but to retrain her brain). Oh my! There is so much to talk about, but now that it's 8:16 I will head the kiddos up the wooden hill to finish up the last of the night time routine and then it's GOODNIGHT!

Will share more later.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Head Troubles!

I survived town day with a whopping migraine. Unfortunately for us, the speech schedule was screwed and we had to leave the house by 7:15 AM, then  race home at 10 to pick up the other two girls and run back to town for music and writing classes, etc... The piano teacher was called into jury duty (called at 10PM last night!!!)... same messy case my husband is a witness on, so no piano lessons today. Vanessa's getting into the swing of college. She's great-grand-parent sitting with Dakota this week and only has a few blocks to travel to school.

Things went from bad to worse and finally came to a head last night with Missy. No matter what I did, no matter what I said, and no matter how I handled things, she grew more and more resistant, insolent and defiant. We actually started the day over towards the middle .... like really started over. I put her to bed for a nap then woke her with a cheery "Good Morning", and she went through her whole morning routine, including breakfast. It was novelty enough for the first half hour to bring out a smile or two, but she soon reverted to her angry, disobedient self and 10 PM found her and I on the very tippy top of our mountain after having raged and screamed bloody murder all the way up! Steve found us up there and we had a serious talk and a prayer. I finally found her vulnerable spot. She's afraid of the dark. She would have NEVER admitted it in a hundred years, except that we were on the mountain in the dark and an owl was hooting and then when Steve arrived she didn't know what was coming towards us. Even then she did not react as a child would.... she only cowered a bit and stood her ground and did  not really seek me for protection. The night was actually beautiful with almost a full moon and the air felt warm. If I had to be up there in the night, it was the night to be up there! She came down much subdued and followed through on the tasked I had asked of her, but not without trying to manipulate Steve and I all along the way,  thus my headache, but today has been better - much better. She started her little mind games a couple of times but we managed to remind her of the seriousness of such business. She and I had an hour to wait for Buster at Speech, so we sat in the front seat of the car and I made every attempt to connect with her. It's hard. She's sabotaged the relationship to the point of almost having to start over from scratch. She did get cuddly right at the end of the hour.  It's anybody's guess as to why things went downhill the last few days. I've stood my ground, but Steve figures she thinks she was winning until the mountain trek in the dark.

In the car we talked about adoption and her new name. She likes her new name and doesn't want to be called by the old one. She hardly remembers her bio mom. I mean, she knows who she is, but ask her to tell about her memories and she can only come up with going to the park - and in that, she means the time Steve and I took her to the park to say goodbye to her bio mom. Ask her if she misses her? "No". Ask her if she likes her? "no". and the conversation invariably quickly turns to memories of living with "Grandma", her last foster parent.

We stopped at Goodwill and I picked up a few educational games for the twins. Buster became painfully hyper-focused before we even had a chance to play them and I had to put them away already. He had been doing pretty well with that for the last few weeks, but he's certainly unbalanced at the moment and is forced to go out and ride his bike all teary-eyed. Missy found a perfect pair of pale blue Mary Janes at the Goodwill .... she's quite content to wear them without getting deranged in the head. Thank goodness, we have enough troubles!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Steve was wondering if this regression in behavior is on account of the social worker coming to do paperwork with us and also my discussing adoption with them. I also talked to them about their last name changing to be the same as ours.  At first I was like, no way... they don't even act like they understand what that means, but maybe it's simmering in their thought processes. They both woke up with a hint of self-defense in their eyes.  It's to be expected to have a rough day. They both went to bed later than usual, they want to see the new baby ducklings but the mama duck is NOT letting anybody see her tribe this morning, and we have no car  and in their minds that means we are STUCK at home. Funny! I love days when I don't have to go anywhere.... they still want to be on the go all the time.  I read in the piles of papers that the last foster mom said they were best behaved when she was out on the town, so she was out on the town .... I'm a homebody. We have school work to attend to, a house all out of order to right, and pears and tomatoes to can.

Steve was working on a project in the garage yesterday. He was painting a shelf he was building for Brianna's little desk corner. Buster kept saying, "Dad, that's pretty awful." Over and over he'd ride in on his bike take a look at the project and say, "Dad, that's pretty awful."  Steve was puzzled, I mean what was so bad about it?  Finally, he asked, "Do you mean awfully pretty?"  "Yes, Dad, that's awful pretty!!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010


The wedding was lovely. The bride and groom have personality! It came through in a big way. My girls did a great job of the music despite the weather. The instruments held their tune pretty much.

Little Miss Muffet did not get to go to the wedding. Yesterday she and her brother were naughty and so I stayed home with them from church and potluck and all the fun stuff. It was me and the twins all day long because it was a big weekend of meetings and fellowship. I was quite firm with them and let them know that if this particular naughty behavior happened again they would also miss the wedding - which was a big deal especially to Little Missy. However, she's been testing me hard for several days and she has been really, really looking for an opportunity to get away with something (anything at all) and then thumb it in my face. Well, she promised to be obedient, but she just has to be in control. She did the very thing I said not to. I was stunned. I asked her what the consequence was and she told me, but she was hoping for mercy. Sorry! This was blatant. I got a babysitter. This threw her into a rage that took both Steve and I to contain.  After that she was fine, though she was sad about missing the wedding.

Buster on the other hand was an angel.... or so I thought. Upon arriving home he had great pleasure in telling me that he had peed his pants before ever he left for the wedding and that he did it on purpose just because. . . .

Whatever trust I may have had in these two is gone. GONE.  I'm devastated. 

They don't even care.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Brands Plucked from the Burning

Read the kiddo's files late into the evening. 
These children are brands plucked from the burning. 
They hadn't a chance in the world, 
not one in a million! 
Some of my suspicions are confirmed. Some of what I read helps make sense of what I see. Some things make me wonder why no one did anything sooner.
The stories are heartbreaking and hard to read,
but the progress they have made since is amazing considering.!!!
 I am sad
but I am glad.
It could have been worse or prolonged or they could have been left to grow up in that environment to become the next generation to create another generation just like the last several.. . .  
They could have been left with no hope,
no future,
nothing to live for,
except themselves 
repeating the shameful cycle of ignorance, neglect and violence,
or to be institutionalized eventually.


God saw fit to save them and give them a hope in Him.
The work of breaking the chains that bind them is hard, 
sometimes painful, and has it's ups and downs,
but for the most part it has it's rewards.
These kids are learning to be happy,
peaceful, joyful, learning to serve, and most of all learning to 
behold the LAMB of GOD that 
takes away the sin
and changes them from the inside out.

There are NO regrets on our part.

I found out who Buster looks like, and I mean LOOKS LIKE!!! 
I typed a name into the computer and a photo popped up that is pretty amazing.
(It isn't his bio-dad. There are no leads on him). 
I saved those pictures and will tuck them away in the file just in case someday this kiddo needs to know who he looks like.

Today is busy. I made a ton of practice cd's for choir. I've got to get my act together and start choir up again. I filled out paperwork for Brianna. Her bills are starting to fit into the "catastrophic" category. One of the blood tests cost $950! EEEEYOW!!! 
I have boxes of pears ready to can, but we have a wedding rehearsal this afternoon so don't know if I'll get to it today or not. The girls are playing harp, violin and flute at this outside wedding Sunday. (Well, okay, make that mostly harp and flute... the violinist is doing good to play one song).
I have a whole lot of paperwork to do for Christina's schooling. Don't know what happened there .... why am I just getting to that now? Anyway, her online teacher is grand-daughter -in-law to the people who started International Children's Care. Which is really cool, because we support three orphans through that program.
I best quit "talkin" and git workin!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


One of the speech teachers and the Pt teacher are concerned because the kiddos don't have their shapes down pat. They know what a circle and a square is, but they get confused beyond that. I have spent at least an hour on the triangle. We held foam triangles in different colors, we drilled, we ate triangle shaped foods, etc... and we still get it wrong!!! I cut up a couple of granola bars into triangle shapes and every time they got it right they ate one. If they got it wrong I ate one. I saw a couple of sparks of anger in Missy's eyes when I ate the first couple. She literally threw her foam triangle out the door, but almost as quickly as the impulse to get upset came she decided to pull it together before I said anything. I do believe she is learning to control herself.  I might have been all discouraged with teaching them the triangle if I didn't know from experience that sometimes it takes three days to stick. That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.

When it Rains it Pours

Paperwork, paperwork!!

Apparently, we are due a bit more money than we've been getting for foster care (like maybe double) and that means a lot of phone calls and some paperwork and digging up of old paperwork.

We are approaching finalization. We have adoption support paperwork to fill out and that means a lot of figures and numbers. I hate numbers and dollar signs, but we have quite a lot of stuff to consider. These kiddos have medical needs and transportation needs that go with their "special-needs" and everything must be calculated. We also decided to have them tested for learning disabilities, etc.... so I was doing some research and making arrangements in opposite, yonder big city from where we usually travel to children's hospital for this testing. This will help us figure out some of the numbers and figures needed for the adoption support paperwork. We are working on all that today.

Adoption finalization worker dropped off the children's file this morning. It stands 2 feet tall on the table. There is some very interesting information in those papers, but it's like an extraction process to find those tidbits. We signed and signed and signed our life away this morning.

Our foster care license was being audited this week and they discovered that Vanessa is 16.... so had to fill out a bunch more papers to get her background clearance done. All those papers are scanned and emailed today...

Steve has been applying for jobs all over the place. Normally he works full time and one to two overtime shifts a week, but it's been really slow at the hospital and he was barely getting full time for the last couple of months, and suddenly, he's been called off, so much that for the last few weeks he's hardly worked. Last week he worked 12 hours. He has interviews and job offers that would fill in the gaps when the hospital is on low census, it's just deciding which job is the right one. There's too many things to think about.

I'm tired.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reverse Psychology Anyone?

Someone mentioned reverse psychology. I think they're on to something.


This evening I did Missy's speech homework with Buster....
and what do you know?!
She could pronounce just about anything he could.
Since I was focusing on her brother and "ignoring" her
there were no control tactics to deal with,
no sudden onset amnesia,
no blatant disobedience (since I was requiring nothing of her)
just a LOT of striving to win my recognition and get my FULL ATTENTION!

Too funny. Well, I guess encouraging competitiveness is not exactly the best idea
BUT she sure showed me a thing or TWO!

Words - Are We Playing Games?

We were on our way home from town on Sunday to do barn duty at the fair. Little Miss in the backseat was beyond excited.... and she was asking questions as a way of getting people to talk...

Missy: "Where ('s) the barn?"

I think you know where the barn is. Where is the barn?

I was truly expecting her to say, "at the fair", but no...

Missy: "On Western (street)"

Christina was sitting in the passenger seat next to me and she looked at me with the most incredulous look on her face, "I didn't even know what the name of that street is!!!!"

So Monday Christina found a water cooler on the deck that had old lemonade in it. It was almost beyond recognition and rank. She was joking around and hollered : "Alcohol, we're serving alcohol!" Then she proceeded to dump it and clean the cooler.

Just so you know, we are teetotalers of the extreme so alcohol is not a usual household word.

Missy never missed a beat, "What ('s) in there? Alcohol?"

Is that a word from her memory bank of long ago? Or did I just hear her repeat a new word with NO trouble at all?

On the flip side... Missy said some things at the table yesterday that NO ONE, not even her brother could interpret. We didn't pursue it too hard, because she was clearly embarrassed. The shame is not a good thing, but perhaps the realization that she is not clear will be impetus to move forward and try harder?

We're off to speech X's 2, piano lessons X's 3, Writing classes X's 2 and harp and I am meeting with someone from the Apollo club, a men's chorus, regarding Journey to Bethlehem. It's a full day.

Brianna's lab work mostly came back normal. One test came back low in two areas suggesting something isn't right. We are probably not dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis though, and that's a relief. The pool is officially closed but the management is letting her swim for one more week... all by herself. She couldn't even do laps yesterday, she hurt so bad, but getting in the water helps. She was too sick to go the meeting at the church last night as well with nausea and stomach pain.What to do. It's worrisome.  She said, if the doctor says there is nothing wrong I'm just going to die.Well, of course she won't but she's suffering. Poor kid.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I rewarded Buster Brown for not wetting his pants for three weeks in row and within two hours he wet his pants!


In Creative Mode

I'm in creative mode.

I've been sewing and I've just finished making a dress for Missy. I used an old worn out dress as my pattern, changed a few things and, voila, here it is!

So anyway, so I sent out my photographer to get a picture
of the dress on it's model...
and she totally got fixated on the cute kid
and forgot all about the dress!

Well, who could blame her?
She is beautiful.
Problem is, she can't be seen in bloggy land
and so you get nothing.

Not being able to show pictures of my kids
is getting really really old!

PS.We did manage a few pictures of the dress. Photos are so much nicer on the other blog, though, so
 check out Harmony Hollow.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Barn Duty

 Barn Duty is like the best job in the whole world!!
At least, if you are 6 1/2 and it only last for 3 days.
First you have to clean cages and dump manure.
 Then you have to collect new bedding materials...
 You get the critters all comfortable and happy in their pens and cages.
 You sweep and sweep and sweep until the fair visitors say,
"Are you still sweeping?"
 Ah... job well done, now it's time to visit all the animals.

 Notice yonder pointy mountain in the background?
That would be our mountain ---
ol' tantrum hill.
SO happy I haven't had to climb that with a screaming kid in a couple of months.
I'm counting my blessings!!!
Isn't God good?

But what was HE thinking when He created this?

Friday, September 10, 2010

At the Fair

Little Missy was beside herself with excitement last night. I'm sure she dreamed of the fair all night, which would be interesting since she didn't know what a fair was. She knew of course, that there are chickens and rabbits and horses there, but when she told me she couldn't wait to see the bears, I knew she hadn't a clue what a county fair was. She was a dream child all day yesterday. Her dimples were showing all day. She smiled and chatted and played and cuddled very cheerfully ALL day! So, she is at the fair right now, in her coveralls and pigtails cleaning up after her chickens. Later we'll all go as a family and visit all the animals.

Little Miss sat on my lap and told me all about her hour at speech. This was very interesting. Since she never goes anywhere without us there's always someone to talk for her, but I leave her at speech alone for optimal concentration and it's the most amazing thing; she told me she fished, she caught three fish and the teacher caught 5. The fishes mouths open and close, open and close (and she demonstrated with her mouth).. She talked about a story of a little boy sick in bed, then he had a bath because he was very dirty all over his face and all over his shirt and got washed up. He played outside and picked apples. - Amazing! All this from a kid who "can't" communicate. I was thrilled.You can bet I listened very intently and drew this talking session out as long as possible.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

To the Utter Ends of the Earth.... and MAGDA from Poland

Hi Magda.... I found your comment, but I have no way to respond directly to you since your profile is private so here we are. I was able to get the contact information for the author of the little book, Naughty Heart, Clean Heart as the Review and Herald no longer has the rights to the book. I am asking the author if she has some copies I can buy, or if she will allow me to make some copies of the book. I'll be sure to include you in my count. Either you can leave me an email address or I'll get your info from my dad. As a side benefit I FINALLY know who reads from Poland!!!!  :-)

So, who is reading from London? Is that you, Miche?
Actually, there are 4 places in the UK that are reading...
HINT, HINT, HINT~~!!Wouldn't it be fun to know who is reading in Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, Iceland, Germany, Guatemala, Uganda, Argentina and Spain??? Pretty please??

It's always interesting to know who would actually care to read the monologue of a mom in the trenches with two children from the hard places. It also makes me think I aught to be careful what I say. I desire that what I write will only have an impact (if any)  for good and not evil.

I pretty much know who you are in South Africa, Tanzania, Belgium, and some of you in Canada. It would be nice, though if the rest of you in Canada would come out of the closet and tell me who you are - especially if you are a relative!!! As for the USA. I give up. :-) You are all welcome, of course, but I'm still surprised that people return regularly.

God's blessings to all! ( And do think about leaving me a comment and telling me who you are :-)

Speech Evaluation Results + The Fair

Both Little Miss and Buster Brown tested at 2.5 years below age level in language comprehension. That puts them at about 4. The other part of the language test Buster came out at nearly 5 yrs. and Missy at about 4. Truth be told the score totals cannot be less than 50 ... and they scored 49 and 48, or as low or lower than the test can actually go.

The speech therapist is as mystified about Missy's inability to come up with words as I am. Missy understands mostly, but cannot spit out the words on her own  -- or isn't willing to try as a protective measure. She is showing some signs of embarrassment and frustration over her speech issues. Today she came to me and asked for "shoes".  I thought that was odd because she knows where her shoes are.

Me: Did you want new shoes?
Her: No.
Me: You can't find a certain pair of shoes?
Her: No. Please may I have 'shoes'?
Me: Do you mean SHOES like this? and I kicked off my shoes.
Her: No.
Me: What do you want?
Me: Shoes, shoes, shoes.... racking my brain.....  Is there another word for it? Could you tell me the color?
Her: No.
Me: What do you want?
Her: NUTTING!  - Walks away....
Me: Wait!! can you show me a picture or draw one?
Her: NO! Frustrated and hiding her face.

Later I asked the girls what they thought she wanted.... and they figured out she wanted ---


She doesn't have the ability to come up with alternatives such as..."Something to drink, grape juice, I'm thirsty, something in the fridge...."

Every once in awhile last evening Buster would come to me and say, "I prayed  my chicken can go to the fair."

I prayed that God would honor his faith. I think this is the first time he's made a point to pray for something like this. No one called from the fair last night and when the kids went to take care of the rabbit this morning it was still a no-go. The girls persisted (Vanessa I think really pushed the management) and finally the lady looked at them and said, "How soon can you get those chickens here?"

Vanessa quickly responded, "5 minutes!!"

"Okay, you have 5 minutes and not a minute more or forget it!"

Vanessa called me on her cell in a panic... and I had to hold the phone 2 feet from my ear (She's just like my mother in that way.) Steve rushed out with Bri and they had those chickens at the fair in 5 minutes.
So "farmer Joe" in his overalls and straw hat is quite proud to be going to the fair to do "BARN DUTY" this afternoon. If you ask him how his chicken got into the fair he'll tell you, "Jesus did it".

Little Missy has chilled out a bit and is talking about going tomorrow.  I keep saying, "Yes! Tomorrow you are going to the fair because you are going to make good choices today" and she always agrees. (Isn't that nice?)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

There's Something about Control

Little hot tempered Missy has been fighting me ALL day.
I'm exhausted.
She wants control.
I need her to obey.
I'm tired of the manipulations.
I don't fall for it and it makes her mad.
She's had few good moments, too, but.
She's jealous of her brother because he's been so good 
that she kicked him in the head.
He merely stuck his tongue out at her.
She tattled and got herself in trouble.
She was angry for getting caught and  lying about it.

I'm so tired that I put her to bed.
Well, anyway, she's the one who told me she was too tired
to talk about kicking her brother in the head.
Hello!! You just woke up from a nap...
I'm the one who needs to go to bed,
I think.

We'll try again tomorrow, kiddo.

oh dear,
There's a glitch in the fair thing.
Apparently, you now have to register your chickens
a month ahead of time
to have them in the fair.
They said they'd call if they decide we can enter them in the morning.
For Buster's sake I hope they make room.
As for Missy...
with all the screaming I've endured...
She probably won't be going for the first couple days,
at least.
She and I have to come to some sort of agreement

In Control

*** Sigh ***

Little Miss so badly wants to be in control it makes for some very interesting moments. So long as nobody crosses her will, and lets her do whatever she pleases, she's fine, but of course life won't cater to that mentality.

The county fair begins today. We're lucky - or not so lucky, depending on how you look at it, to live within walking distance. The grounds are at the end of our little road. It's great because through the years the kids have entered numerous animals and vegetables and learned a lot working in the barns. The drawback is only the amount of traffic that is attracted and the noise level on Saturday night.

The twins are ecstatic!!! They are entering their chickens today. This will open up a whole new world to them. The big girls are kind of getting into it, too. Posters were made, animals caught, toenails clipped, critter baths given... The girls will be taking the twins morning and evening for chore time, show time, and barn duty, etc... so consider this "school" for the twins this week.

Unfortunately, Little Missy has had a real control issue all this week. It comes to light over the silliest things. She was controlling toys and taking them away from brother this morning, and it was no big deal but  she was asked to share and be nice. This angered her. Big sis took her out of the situation and made a small request which Little Missy refused to comply with (because, after all,  she's in charge). She was instantly handed over to me, then she was furious that I was  involved because she knew she'd lose, but that certainly didn't mean she'd give up without a fight. My desire was only to de-escalate the situation... but she was going to show me she was in control.

As I present the choices - obedience and the blessings that go with a willing spirit, or disobedience and the curses that follow wrong choices, she can, and will, usually tell me which is the correct choice to make, but that doesn't mean she will make that choice.

And so it went again today. It's a tough job to be mom sometimes. Things were ratcheting up and I finally had to give her the ultimatum that I really, really did not want to give her. Choose to obey and be done with the battle or continue the current course towards insanity and lose the privilege of  going to the fair to get the critters settled in after lunch. She thought about it. She really did. She very, very nearly made the right choice, but apparently control is more important. She would not concede. I waited silently for her to realize her mistake. She realized alright, but she was determined to get her way and go to the fair, too. It was utterly amazing display....I put into action my very best cool down methods and in a little while she was snuggled into my shoulder heaving with relief that she had not won  - Truly! I prayed with her and held her close and shed a tear or two as I could see her soaking  up the security .. . And then, she started to laugh.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 2 - Success!

All is well~! She's doing it.

I'm painting the office walls tonight. We are starting to shuffle the furniture towards moving Missy downstairs.  Putting Brianna and Vanessa in one room is fine, but since we no longer have a school room it's kind of cramped to put two beds and two big desks in the bedroom, so we have rearranged the office to make a study space all for Bri. Artist that she is, she needs a LOT of space. Water color paintings, drawings at various stages of completion, nature magazines, laptop, camera, sheet music and algebra books all compete for turf on her desktop. It would stifle her style to have it all neatly in drawers and baskets! It's not uncommon to find the cello and the violin resting on her desk (make that desks- end to end to fill an entire wall) as well. It's shuffle, shuffle, shuffle to figure out the how to accommodate this family's needs and create an efficient living space within the budget. We still have to come up with a twin bed before the official switch can happen.

Okay.... back to my paintbrush.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 1 - She Chose to Be Responsible!!!

It's the first day of a new era and Missy chose to be responsible. 
I can hardly believe it, though the fact that this is the last day of swimming just may have played a roll in helping her to make the right choices today. 

Maybe she just needed to be handed the reins??

I would hardly think it possible that she could just transition into suddenly being responsible just like that without a hard lesson or two.... but I can hope, right?

Holding my breath.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One of THOSE TMI Posts

Sorry! It's my blog. You go right ahead and skip this entry. In case you don't know what TMI is, it means, TOO MUCH INFORMATION. That fits this post completely.

So, after a string of "untidy" underwear accidents for no other reason than unwillingness to use the toilet unless forced absolutely required for the big jobs, Little Missy is being given full control of her destiny in this area - starting tomorrow! I will no longer tell her to go at a certain time. Yes, it's on her accountable kids peg board to remind her, but after a whole weekend of changing underwear over and over and hiding them (unsuccessfully, I might add) rather than taking care of the problem in the bathroom I've decided it's time for her to start being responsible to read her own body cues. Lest you think she's pooping in her pants - it's not as bad as all that, she's just not going to the bathroom when she needs to and trying to hold it and the underwear is smeared. It's true, we are eating straight out of the garden and orchards. . . one visit a day to the "twilight" is insufficient... All plums and prunes and those delectable pluots are banned from this child forever!~ Poor kid. That's all I'm eating these days.

Really truly she's on her own. The consequences for not taking her body hint in time will be the same as that of Buster's for peeing his pants, which by the way, he has pretty much quit doing. (He even earned his underwear back.) Little Miss will be required to clean up her mess, shower and will get to stay in her room the rest of the day since she'll have used up her allotment of underpants for the day. I think over all, Buster only spent parts of about 4 or 5 days in his room over a month's time. He quickly learned to only pee in his pants when he was away from home.  :-) Okay, so he still does that on occasion.Most notable is his great pleasure in wetting his pants in the doctor's office.

Missy's a smart kiddo. She's shown me in the past that she can do this.... so, the ball is in her court. I'm pretty sure this is a control issue. In fact, we had a tough morning this morning as a result of her desire for control and I won't be controlled. Her rage was not pretty. She lost on all counts. Sorry, kiddo. I'm the mom around here and I aim to keep my job.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Just So You Know

Buster Brown was a very good little boy today. 
He did not hurt anyone or anything all day. 
I don't think he'll be looking to hurt anyone anytime soon, either.

Little Miss took something shiny and bright from a friend's house.
It was a little key,
and it fit just nice in her jean dress front pocket.
I'm banging my head trying to figure out the best way to make it clear to her that that is stealing.
I have no way of knowing if she knew she did something wrong.
It's in such moments that I realize 
how devastating her poor communication skills are to her life.
So, does she perceive the enormity of the weight of what I'm trying to get across?
Sometimes I think I'm too hard on her-
no, sometimes I know I am too hard on her, 
simply because I'm not sure if she understands words.

And then I feel terrible.

I just went back and read some old posts from when the twins were really into giving me a run for my money....
Then I re-read yesterday's whine...
And I roll my eyeballs at how pathetic I am.

I have nothing to be exasperated about -
only much to be grateful.
 Little Miss remembered the girl in the story's name all day.
She still can't remember the boy's name, though.
She reiterated more details of the story to me this evening.
She's grasping it bit by bit.
I'm not so into wasting her time with unessential details if her capacity to learn is somewhat constrained...but I'm thinking by exercise the brain will grow stronger.
To be completely honest, though, I haven't a clue what I'm doing.

Buster read CAT, MAT, BAT, PAT this afternoon.
I'm pleased.

My Bri had her big appointment this morning.
No answers yet.
Blood was drawn for a ton of tests.
We'll be referred to a specialist in the near future.
Keep praying.
Nothing would make me happier than to see her pain free
and a little meat on her bones.
Oh, to hear her playing her violin again.
Christina is out backpacking with her dad and
Vanessa's out backpacking with Nikki and
the weather is perfect for such endeavors.

I called my friend about the key.  She's a sensible woman, but very kind hearted so I just wanted her know the behind the scenes story so she would not brush the misdemeanor  off too lightly. Little Miss was nervous. I asked her if she was scared. She nodded so I prayed with her and told her she would do fine and we roll played a bit, then tied a bright string around the key and tucked it into a zippered purse. She did not hesitate to approach this friend. She returned the key and apologized very solemnly. The friend talked to her about not taking things without asking and forgave her, then gave her a big hug and it was over.

There's Hope

In the middle of breakfast, during a lull in the conversation, 
Little Miss Muffet suddenly called out,
She remembered!
She was very, very pleased with herself.
Her eyes just sparkled.
No one had even prompted her
or given a single hint.

Brianna had gone over the story one more time before bed.
She'd also promised her a little heart shaped tic-tac
if she could ever remember 
the name of the girl in the book.
It was so random and out of the blue
she got two!

I'm appreciating all the comments and suggestions.
I'm going to be talking with the speech therapist about it,
plus I am going to talk to someone about further testing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Tears!

Oh dear! I don't know how I'm going to survive this.

I can't teach this little girl ANYTHING! We spent an entire hour trying to teach her the name of the girl in the story we read yesterday.

For the hundredth time....
Me: "This is Mina and this is her papa and this is her little brother Clemmy. What's the little girl's name?"
Her: "I don't know..."
Me: "Her name is Mina and this is her dad and her brother and her mother. What's the little girl's name?"
Her: "Ummm....."
Me: "Her name is Mina. Can you say Mina?"
Her: "Mina".
Me: (Turn the page) "What's the little girl's name?"
Her: "I don't know"...

Gasp!  For an HOUR! Groan...

I wasn't going to give up. I thought she could do it. Eventually she remembered long enough to turn the page, but not long enough to read what is on the page . . . She sometimes even called her a boy's name and the boy a girl's name.

This is the way it is with everything when it comes to words and I'm trying to figure this out. She can follow directions, so if I said, "go downstairs to the laundry room and get me the green bowl", she would be back in a flash with the green bowl. She understands. She can remember enough to do what I say, but to recall words and sounds (our little round with blanket vs. blanketet of yesterday is a good example) we are completely sunk. She can hardly repeat directly after me.  If I give her a list of choices she can choose the right answer, but if I ask her to come up with the word herself it's not possible. Even if I've been telling her what that answer is over and over for the last half hour she can't come up with it.  I'm not really into labels and looking for labels, but I DON'T KNOW what I'm dealing with. I haven't the faintest what this is all about or how to approach it.

I would forget it and let her just be for now, except that I just got a call from the adoption worker and he's pushing the adoption through quicker than he thought he could . . . and if we need financial help with her learning issues it would be good to know right now so it can be part of the agreement.

She's fine for learning to do chores and physical activities. She'll be a hard worker some day. She's smart enough in other aspects of life. It's just that WORDS elude her. It's not a discipline issue. I've ruled that out.

So here's my other challenge.... What in the world do I do with her while everybody is doing school and brother is soaking up the phonics? This kid doesn't entertain herself very easily.  She's disrupting the girls at study, she's getting into mischief ( ie, using her scissors to cut up everything in sight) and sometimes getting naughty just for attention. I'm going to have to really think hard and line up project after project to pull out of the box to keep her occupied. Any bright ideas?

So much for teaching twins at the same time.

I'm a little frazzled at the prospects of everyday being just like today ....

Accountable Kids

Buster struck out at sister first thing this morning once again. I don't think it hurt 'cause she was just not that upset. The principle of the matter counts, though. You can not solve your troubles by lashing out at others. It almost seems like he has traded wetting his pants for hitting and hurting others. This morning I made the avoidance of this this new strange behavior a part of the accountable kids program we have recently launched.

My sister bought twins the Accountable Kids sets. Accountable Kids  It's quite a nice program. We've been on it three days. Each chore / activity the children are required to accomplish in a day is in a tag that hooks onto the board. This has freed me up from saying, "Did you brush your teeth? Did you make your bed? It IS time to go poop!" etc.... Now they run to the board and move the next tag and they know what needs to be done. At the end of the day if all their tags are in the right place they get a star towards going on a special outing with mom or dad. There are bonus bucks for extra chores, there are tickets for earning privileges (such as getting to play with the train set -  LOL!), there are good behavior cards. The twins like it! So far, I like it too.

An update on my efforts with Missy's listening skills last night. This morning I had her tell the girls a little bit about our special story time. With painstaking effort I drew out details of the story from her. It's difficult at best. 

Me: "What was the little girl in the story's name? "
Her: Shrug
Me: "Was it Sarah?"
Her: nod
Me: "No, it wasn't Sarah, was it Mary?
Her: "no"
Me: "Was it Amy, was it Susie, was it Jenny?"
Her: "no"
Me: "Was it Mina?"
Her: "yes!"
Me: "What did she make?"
Her: "A doll"
Me: "What did she make it out of?"
Her: "red hair".
Me: "Well, she did give the doll red hair, didn't she? What happened to her daddy?"

Yup.... painstaking! But she got better and better at answering and I did my best to make her feel successful. We'll keep working on this. It think it will do something for her. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blanketet and Jacketet

Spent time reading a story to Little Miss - just the two of us tonight. She really, really struggles with concentration. She's very "audio" challenged. She can hear what is important to her, she just has never learned to really listen well. This storybook has beautiful pictures so we took our time reading the story and discussing the pictures. I had her point out the characters of the story and asked to her tell me what she saw. She really did try to listen. In fact, she shifted her eyes to my face during the most intense parts of the story so she wouldn't miss the visual clues.  No one was home but her twin who was already in bed so it was quiet. I felt encouraged. I'll read her that book over and over and see if we can build on what we've started tonight.  The story mentioned quilts so I wanted her to understand that quilts are blankets and her threw a lap quilt over her legs to help her get the feel. She called it a blanketet. Over and over I tried to help her say blanket to absolutely no avail. I even promised a small green, heart shaped candy if she could say it, but alas she could NOT remember long enough to repeat me. She couldn't say jacket either. It was jacketet.

Brother twin is in bed early for stomping on the dog's toes with his shoes on. I'm not sure what to do... all week he's been either deliberately hurting his sister or the dog or the cat. His sister gets the worst of it. I wish the cat would teach him a lesson... there's more hope in that than the old golden retriever putting him in his place.  If his sister dare retaliates she's in trouble, too, so I'm really hoping the cat will teach him a lesson. He tried to hurt the dog in front of about 6 teenage girls and a couple of adults. It was sort of like, "watch me!"  - What??????


We've been playing around with phonics the last couple of days.

I'm amazed and excited about teaching Buster to read. He's thrilled beyond words. He learned one sound for each of the 26 letters in an hour. The next day he still knew them and was happy to tell them to anyone who would listen. Today we mixed the alphabet up a bit and he still knows them. He's so eager it's hard to stop, but I don't want to overwhelm him. We'll do little bits at a time and hopefully keep that interest burning.

Little Missy, to her dismay, is no where near ready to learn to read. There's still too many blanks and she's missing most of the readiness signs. I'm okay with it. She's not. There's a silent competition going on about who is the best twin - or something of that nature. I told her we'll try again later, but that I want her to work on her artist skills. So then she wouldn't share the watercolors with Buster. :-/

Without a shadow of a doubt this girl child will have learning "differences".  We'll work with it. My older two girls struggled to learn to read well. One really learned to read after 6 weeks of vision therapy, at age 11, the other took years to really get it. My third child taught herself to read at the age of 4 ( and nothing has ever slowed her down since).

I expect Buster to crack the code fairly easily, but I don't know if he'll be able to maintain that same speed beyond cracking the code or if some learning challenges will show up about then. We'll see, I guess. By the way, he LOVES his glasses. He can hardly stand to let me have them long enough to clean them.

Six Months Today

The kids have been home 6 months today.

It was yet another speech evaluation. . . but we are now on the schedule for weekly speech with the hospital for one hour a week. It was kind of fun to tell the gal just how far they have come in the last 6 months. The first time I took the kids to speech 6 months ago I didn't know what  their capabilities were, I didn't know what kind of future to hope for them, I had no idea if I could ever expect them to communicate like other individuals. This time was different. I know they are capable. I know they will one day communicate clearly. I know how far they have come in a few short months. They have come SOOOOO far and I know they can progress very quickly to the next level.

I have the okay to move Missy downstairs.  We had a family counsel and discussed every possible combination of room mates possible... It's come down to Vanessa and Brianna rooming together. Missy in her own room and Christina in her own room. I need a piece of furniture, or two to make it work, but it has to happen soon. I'm dealing with some sibling  rivalry in the twin's room. The hardest adjustment for me in having the twins come to live with us has been in the first morning hours. The hours between 6 and 8. I need that time. It's my devotional time, and computer time and it's often the time I get my best work done...  in my pajamas. The big girls use that time similarly. The twins used to play quietly. Now they are fighting. Yesterday, Buster stomped on Missy's black and blue toe just to hear her scream. Later her jabbed her really hard. There is some jealousy, I think. Not sure what it's about. Something to do with being twins and the competition to be recognized first, I guess. I'm really working them over it, but I need those quiet hours in the morning where I can just not worry about what's going on in the bedroom. The minute I let them out of the room our day has to begin.

We sorted toys yesterday. I have a huge pile to get rid of. Don't know where they came from!! I bought a couple of big clear containers for Buster's race track and his train set. My sister brought him the Gears set, and a town set. He has his cars and trucks, puzzles and games. EVERYTHING else goes. For Missy she has her dolls and puzzles and dishes, and a big clear container of poly pockets. She's not so into toys which is good. Buster's hyper-focus on toys  is about to END! The sets are not in his room and to play with them will be a privilege earned. It's just not healthy the way things are going.

I found quite a pile of toys that carry the logo from the movie CARS. They are all going. We don't watch movies in this house. My girls grew up loving birds and flowers, leaves and snakes... They love simplicity and nature and the Bible. They have a ton of hobbies and love to learn. They are creative and musical.

WHO has time for tv?
TV is such a brain rotter and so are video games so we don't have any of it.

I can honestly say the girls have never seen a Disney movie or any of the like. And guess what? They have never missed them.

When the twins came they didn't talk too well, but they definitely let us know they knew about movies. Everything Buster came with had a CARs logo on it.... even his blankets, shirts, underwear, sock, whatever. Missy had Cinderella stuff. They didn't seem to know the names of many of the movie characters, but although they could not talk well, those names were in their brain because suddenly they know them all and they have not been exposed for a solid 6 months.

Yesterday Vanessa, the twins and I stopped at Walmart . The twins are drawn to Disney garbage like magnets. They know every name!!

It was "Squeal.... there's Sponge Bob, Oh mom, look!!! Toy Story. Hey I want this Spiderman thing.... "  I want, I want, I want...etc, etc...

What has society done to kids?

Vanessa was like, "YOU CAN't BRING THESE KIDS SHOPPING!!!"

No matter where we turned there was that garbage!! The desire to have it all is strong. The tv's were not too far from the container department, the towels, the pillows, the placemats, the lunchboxes, the clothes, the shoes were full of it.... and we never even went near the toy department!! I don't ever remember my girls being attracted to that stuff ever.

OH for the simple old days of the rag dolls and wooden blocks.