Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Old Story Tapes

Yesterday Buster woke up ornery.

Wouldn't wash his hands,
wouldn't brush his teeth,
wouldn't wash his face,
wouldn't speak clearly,
wouldn't be respectful....

His sister was down in her room
unwilling to make her bed,
unwilling to get dressed,
unwilling to get any kind of speed going....

So, after praying with them,
talking to them,
going over the Bible verses
and encouraging them to do right
with little results

I decided to stop prodding , told the big girls to make sure they didn't leave their rooms and I hopped in the car and went to the licensing department a couple miles down the road and picked up the registration for the suburban.

I was back in 15 minutes, but it was enough to turn Missy around. She didn't want to miss out on any other "outing" that just might happen.

But alas for Buster. He dug in deeper.
I'm begging the Lord for more patience for this child. He definitely pushes my buttons. I had to set him on a chair and just walk away. He would discuss Bible verses with me. He loves to talk. He was interested in what I had to say about planting good seeds and had some of his own thoughts to add to it, but head knowledge doesn't magically turn into heart responses and he refused to obey. I thought maybe if I put his memory verses on a cassette he could learn them faster and I went in search of an old tape.... what I found was a treasure trove of OLD cassettes the girls had when they were little. Your Story Hour Bible stories, Gospel moments, Janice Attic, Children of the King, etc.. I popped one in Buster's player and "time out" lost it's sting as the little guy got lost in a story of Jesus and the Storm. I wasn't sure he would listen to a story tape, but he's listened to this one 3 times over and wants to tell everybody about it. He even went looking for the Bible story books and found the pictures to match the story. I'm only going to give him one tape at a time. He can learn the stories well before he gets the next one.

His attitude brightened around lunch time, but when I asked him to do a little chore he fell to pieces and was back in time out. A couple hours later he was "cured" and went sledding with Bri.

Missy on the other hand was great most of the day... and then turned nasty around 4:30 pm and ended up in bed and slept until 7 when I woke her up.

Every day is a surprise as to how it's going to go. I wake up with great hopes and see them dashed to pieces at my feet or I wake up dreading the day and lo and behold, they are sweet and happy.

I went out with Christina to the J2B rehearsal and had a fun time. Her dad couldn't make it and Christina had to do his whole script as well as her own. She did  amazingly well. Bethlehem is beautiful! I'm taking the twins through on the Wednesday night dress rehearsal... they'll talk about it for days, I'm sure.

Monday, November 29, 2010

This Week's Verse

The kids don't have last week's verse completely memorized, but they can fill in the blanks and understand the content. We'll keep plugging away at it. We know it as a scripture song and that helps and I am teaching them to use it in their prayers.

We don't do well with long verses, but I know we need to understand the concept of planting what we want to harvest. The twins are very familiar with the gardening process and we'll take advantage of their knowledge base to drive home the lesson they so need to learn. Depending how things go we might only learn the first verse and save the second one for another time.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: 
for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. 
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; 
whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:7,8

We are enjoying some peace with the kiddos. We go over our verses again and again and I point out how it relates to their experience at the very moment and where their choices will lead. I deal swiftly with rebellion. They don't get away with "white lies" or "pretending" or any act calculated to deceive. It's particularly difficult to know what is going on with Buster because when caught he will agree with every scenario you present. If you ask if he lied he will say yes. If you reverse the question he will say yes. If you come at it from another angle he will agree with you. He's missing the connection there somehow. I don't want to falsely accuse the kid so I have to be dead certain and sometimes I just have to let it go - but usually if it was deceit it comes around again and someone will usually clue in.  For Missy it is black and white. She deceives deliberately. She knows exactly what she is doing, but when caught will own it.  I see progress. It's so easy, though, to slip back into old habits that I must stay on top of everything at all times or they take full advantage. Their hearts are softening... but the old ways are ingrained.

My biggest quest is how to help them "see" Jesus for themselves. How do I make Him real to them.  Right now to them it seems like a bunch of stories and I want more for them. Even the stories get mixed up. She say the baby Jesus in the nativity and called him baby Moses. When asked who Joseph was he said he was a boy with a striped coat.

Missy is having a trial with her gut.... For two days I've been concentrating on emptying her out. She goes, every day, but obviously not enough. She's on a lot of fluids and fiber and made to sit  a half dozen times a day. We may be revisiting mirelax.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On Picking a Christmas Tree

I'm almost embarrassed to post this, but hey, we can't have ALL the fun. Every year we have a memorable Christmas tree. We can't help it. We're the best at making memories.

First off, it's important to wait until it's nearly dark before you go out looking for the best tree. 
You don't want this to be too easy.
But, anyway, you can't see them this year for all the snow.
Is this a good one?
For once, everybody agrees that this is the right tree... except mom. 
She keeps her mouth shut. After all, she doesn't want to be here all night.

Isn't this like the first clue that something's different about this year's tree?
Does it always take 5 people to drag your tree to the car?

Second clue... Where are you planning to put that thing?

Many belly laughs later....
 Whew! Did it. 
Um.... is it really okay for it to stick up that high while we are driving down the road?

 It's official. The suburban is now a peacock.

 And we trimmed, and we trimmed, and we trimmed.... 
See those boots? They are attached to someone buried under branches.
Guess we won't be having a lot of room for company...
 And we trimmed, and we trimmed and we trimmed some more....
Even the palm tree lost about 10 feet when it got in the way of the clippers.

 Okay, guys...
I guess I can live with that.
Happy memory making from our house, to yours.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Taking it All in Stride

Vanessa is calling it a weekend of disasters...

She and Steve were in an accident last night on our road. We have a very narrow, private road and we have some very young, interesting teenage neighbors who are testosterone driven... and their driving is irresponsible at the best of times.  I constantly worry because we have kind of a blind corner where their driveway comes down and they don't stop to look. Anyway, Vanessa was nearly taken out by one of them yesterday and she freaked out!!! She wouldn't go out and feed the animals she is taking care of until her dad could come home from work and drive her. Well, same reckless driver that nearly crashed into her earlier in the day crashed into them while her dad was driving. Steve was going SLOW. In fact he had come to a full stop anticipating a problem but the guy still managed to convince the police that Steve was 50% at fault. He'll fight it if he can. Vanessa is shaken... my suburban needs repair.

Okay, so Steve also realized last night that the registration on the car was over due. Not good. So, we didn't use it today to go to church, instead we used the Honda and made two trips all the way to the Abundant Life Church. The girls had special music there.

Buster and I were the last to get a ride. He was being slow which is for some reason a problem every Sabbath morning. Not sure how to solve that trouble. When Steve finally came for us I heard loud quacking coming from the barn yard and an investigation proved that the ducks were out and NINA was stuck between two strips of fencing. Her mate was LOUDLY calling for help and of course we obliged. She was easily taken care of, but HE was a real stinker. He refused to go into the barn. I have to tell you Steve LOVES these ducks and he's really worried after all they've been through something is going to happen to them, so while there is all this snow they have to be in the barn. He's a flying bird, for crying out loud! He'd let me get within inches of him and then he fly big wide circles around the yard.

Trying to catch a flying duck FEELS just like trying to make Buster and Missy behave. It leaves you with that same exact powerless awareness that I've become accustomed to of late.  There's NOTHING you can do without some sort of consent on his part. You can sweet talk and cajole, you can show the way, you can explain all you want how it's for his ultimate good, but unless he CHOOSES to comply there isn't a thing you can do to change the heart. We finally left the duck to his own will. (It's safe to give up when there are no eternal consequences at stake, :-) He was fine when we came home, though  and was finally ready to go and warm up under the heat lamp in the barn, but of course, he made us thoroughly late for church.

We were blessed with not one, but 3 dinner invitations for today. We took rain checks on two.

Steve again drove Vanessa to take care of the animals of two different families this evening and on one door there is a police summons on account of their barking dog annoying the whole neighborhood. The dog is smart. Don't even bother to try and kidnap her. If Steve wasn't a dog owner he would have never been able to get her in his vehicle. She's with  Holly and NOT happy about it. She's strong and not anything like our dog in disposition. I wonder how much sleep we'll get tonight.

Christina found whole can of white paint spilled on the tile downstairs. Not sure how long it's been drying there, but it had to be cleaned up. Unfortunately, I am of no use. A migraine hit me like a train and nothing I did eased the pounding until Steve doctored me up and I'm so dizzy I can hardly move my head.

Missy was concerned about me being sick...  she helped Vanessa prepare a bath for me and then she kind of fell apart and got naughty for no reason. I called her to me and she sat on my bed for awhile and finally realized that it was not unto death.

She asked, "You eat too much food for lunch? Not good eat too much for lunch!"

I assured her it had nothing to do with how much I had eaten... then she thought of something,

"You eat that gluten pie? You not eat that gluten pie it make you SICK!"

LOL! It was just pumpkin pie I wouldn't let her eat because it had a wheat crust and might have had dairy in it.  Dear child, you have so much to learn.

Thoughts, Quotes and Scripture Songs

... that I am contemplating this morning,
preparing for the next round of spiritual battle  for the saving of souls -
that of my children

and mine.

We know this whole experience is not for the children's benefit only. 
The Lord has chosen this path for the refining of the characters of the rest of us, also.
May we all strive to be obedient 
so that we may be worthy of working side by side with God. 

For we are laborers together with God.
1 Corinthians 3:9

"'We are laborers together with God', 
He provides us with all the facilities, 
all the spiritual weapons necessary for the pulling down of Satan's strongholds. 
Present the truth as it is in Jesus. 
Let the tones of your voice express the love of God. 
Lead, but never drive. 
Approach the most obstinate in a spirit of kindness and affection. 
into the oil of Grace, 
and let them flow from your lips in 
{Letter 105, 1893}

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, 
but mighty through God 
to the pulling down of strongholds; 
Casting down imaginations, 
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, 
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:4 & 5

Let your speech be always with 
seasoned with a little bit of salt
that you may know how you ought to answer every one.
Colossians 4:6

Being confident of this very thing,
that He which has begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Being confident!!
of this very thing.
Philipians 1:6

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mad Hatters and Knitwits

 The twins have caught onto something fun to do!!!
Ah, blessed occupation!!!

The challenge of keeping them pleasant and cheerful is cut dramatically when they are busy with wholesome employment. Right now we have plenty to do. 
Daily sledding is enjoyable and good much needed exercise.
They are also discovering our family holiday traditions and 
going out in the woods for a tree, etc.... making pumpkin pies and Christmas wreaths, etc.... has kept their minds engaged and has been a boon to the happiness of the rest of the residents of this house!
 Also, life's hard lessons have had some effect.
Really, they are trying harder.
I see them begin to follow their old ways 
and suddenly there's a change in attitude.
They don't want to go down there
and it's making a huge difference in their day.

 We haven't heard much screaming.
Yesterday, Buster thought he had reason to lose his temper,
but he made an actual decision to reverse his course.
I thank God for moments like this. 
It gives courage for pressing on.
For the past week or more, lying has all but disappeared.
One lie and the whole incentive deal is off for that day.
Missy has the harder time with this, 
but I was thrilled two days ago when she had done well all day and was about to receive her reward
when she blew it.
I looked at her.
She looked at me.
Her eyes grew sad and she accepted immediately that she had done wrong.
She admitted and owned it.
She resolved to watch her tongue more carefully.
I constantly remind them that God is on their side ready to aid them.


I know there are more mountains to climb, more crevasses to ford,
But it sure is nice to have peace for a few days!!

And to whoever invented these niffty-knitters
I owe you one.

It's Snowing Again

New thick, fluffy snow reminds 
me of Isaiah 1.
For the next two and half months we shall be constantly reminded...
Are you ready?
Apply it to your soul.

 “ Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
      Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
      Cease to do evil,
       Learn to do good;
      Seek justice,
      Rebuke the oppressor;
      Defend the fatherless,
      Plead for the widow.

     “ Come now, and let us reason together,”
      Says the LORD,

      “ Though your sins are like scarlet,
      They shall be as white as snow;
      Though they are red like crimson,
      They shall be as wool.
      If you are willing and obedient, 
 You shall eat the good of the land;
       But if you refuse and rebel,
      You shall be devoured by the sword”;
      For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 1:16-20

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Joy to the World - It's finally Out!

Joy to the World DVD - Fountainview Store

The girls and their friends had a blast last February with the Fountainview Master Class preparing this awesome DVD. They should be in three songs, but we only saw the last half of this DVD on 3ABN today so we not sure exactly. It was a wonderful experience.

Here's a post I did when we were in the thick of things:  Fountainview 
and another: On top of the world

PS. So we saw the first half and they only included ONE of the songs the girls were in. So what was the point of freezing their toes for three days if they discarded the rest of the songs?

Slowly, Ever So Slowly

The church remodel is taking shape.
Do you think we can be in it for Christmas?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Scarf Solution

 My sister is a very creative person and she posted a solution to our scarf dilemma here !
It's perfect.
Fun to make
And cheaper than buying them.
 It was suppose to be a dress rehearsal today, but as you can see.... lots of kids forgot. 
Oh, well. We try.

Kids came early for a chance to make their own scarf 
and to learn how to knit with their fingers.
We didn't use a single knitting needle in the making of these 17 scarves...

 We didn't manage to finish all of them before choir,
but the moms sat in the back and finished up several.
I think they were enjoying themselves...

No, the boys aren't wearing scarves for the program,
but Caleb likes knitting and we gave him some other yarn to work with and he did a good job!

 Aren't they cute?
Julia - the long blond smiling in the back won the prize for being the quickest to get her scarf made.
I think she made it in 20 minutes flat.

Now if we can't just iron out a few of the wrinkles in the speaking part of things...

Thanks, Julie.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SHE's FLYING IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The murderous marauders were on the warpath again. It was horrible. The last chicken, poor little Quack, was killed right in his cage. A disgusting neighborhood dog was in the cage with what was left of him. Someone saw Nina fly off over the valley. Clickitty-Clack found saftey on the barn roof.

There ensued a vigorous chase - some shouting, tears. Different ones went out looking for Nina, but how do you find a single duck in a valley of orchards covered in snow in the dark? I mean, where do you even begin to look?

Could she survive? Would she dare come home again if she survived the cold night?

 Clickitty-Clack grieved silently.  alone.

Twenty- four hours later the cry was heard - "She's flying, in! Mom, she's flying in!!!"

It's a sight to behold... a duck circling in closer and closer... but still taking wide sweeps high above  the valley floor.  She's come back for her mate - but she's afraid. Afraid of the marauding dogs.

And so she continues to circle.

"Let Clickitty out!! Quick, let Clickitty out!!!" Instantly he's aloft flying in a low, wide circle matching the higher pattern of his mate. . .

and suddenly they are together. Flying, flying, flying...

They are still flying.

I don't know if they'll come home. Maybe they shouldn't have let Clickitty-clack out. Perhaps the ducks will try their luck elsewhere, the river is not far away, but who would feed them? Is home enough draw them in? Is it attractive enough?

We could have clipped their wings so they couldn't fly.
We could have severely restricted their freedoms with more fencing.

We would have lost the joy of watching them fly - and skidding to a stop on the pond. We'd have missed their dashing back and forth  across the water in sheer delight then jumping up and flapping away in tandem quacking happily. And too, had they been restricted to the ground they might have died as the chickens did and ducklings did.

I can think of  an object lesson or two... something to do with home and children...  I bet you can, too. Is home attractive enough? Is there enough love to draw them in?

PS. It was. They are home safe and hungry.

You Decide

What a day!!!

We've been dumped on and the roads are interesting. I lost track of time trying to get the kids up and going this morning. You have no idea how much prayer and energy goes into having a smooth morning with no explosions and disobedience. The kids wake up combative and telling them to get a grip doesn't help :-) I pray and call for the heart, pray and talk, pray and remind them of their Bible verses, pray and require obedience, pray and call for the heart... It's work. And then I look up and see that it is 8:58 and we were suppose to be at the dentist in 2 minutes a mere 30 minute drive from here and the kids hadn't even eaten breakfast yet! I wrestled with the car.... the piles of snow all over it, the ice on the windshield, the frozen shut doors... Told the kiddos, "no you cannot wear shoes - it's wintertime and you have to wear your boots" only to find Miss Moo up to her ankles in snow in the very shoes I specifically told her not to wear....

Buster's teeth are fine, but his mouth is full of canker sores.  (I looked in Missy's mouth and she has them, too. Clearly we are doing something wrong around here.) He came out with a trove of treasures.... a balloon, ball, new toothbrush, etc... Which was a tad annoying to his twin, but she handled it ... mostly by being in my face. Anyway, she kept asking after speech "where are We going? " This is her way of saying, "I want to go somewhere and I want to go somewhere special that Buster didn't get to go!!" I just looked at her and said, "I don't know, I haven't decided yet. Where do you want to go?"

This kid loves to be in control. She loves to boss everybody around. In fact, so much so, that she gets up out of bed and goes from room to room telling people to "get up and make your bed and  wear this, and don't come out of your room until it's all done, etc...."  every morning, and I expected she would have capitalized on being given free reign on suggesting our next hour's adventure.

She got a huge grin. Thought for a second and  then said, "You decide mommy."


Did I hear right?

She actually gave up an opportunity to have a say-so? WOW! I was stunned. I'm still stunned. So, we went to the health food store for her favorite soy yogurt.

We're home and now the kids are going out sledding. They should last about three and half minutes in the freezing cold.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Power of Choice

All day long we are faced with choices.

We choose our attitudes. We decide how we will respond to the children's choices. The children decide how they will respond to the parents...

The natural inclination cannot be trusted for two seconds.

I've been trying to impress this fact on the minds of the twins. They can choose happiness or misery and if they choose to go the "way of the sinner" and life is hard it's no one's fault but their own. The habits are formed.... and unfortunately, inclination reins, and inclination is not of the higher power...

"The will is the governing power in the nature of man, bringing all the other faculties under its sway. The will is not the taste or the inclination, but it is the deciding power, which works in the children of men unto obedience to God, or disobedience.

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 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 ye will serve". Everyone may place his will on the side of the will of God, may choose to obey Him, and by thus linking himself with divine agencies, he may stand where nothing can force him to do evil. In every youth, every child, lies the power, by the help of God, to form a character of integrity and to live a life of usefulness."

Child Guidance pg. 209

Buster had one moment yesterday when I thought he was going to allow his old habits and inclination take over.... but I had him stop and think. Did he want to go the way of the sinner? Or did he want to choose happiness.  Amazingly, he made a conscious choice to do the right thing.  If we can somehow work through those moments until his habits have been reshaped.... unfortunately,  I know from experience he will not choose right every time and this rebuilding of the character is going to be a slow and arduous process.

Missy too, had a moment to decide.... and she chose to go the way of the old habits. I acted swiftly and gave her opportunity after opportunity to make a new decision and change her course of action. She was in full blown tantrum not caring or thinking and trying desperately to kick me. I was dodging successfully and I just asked her, "Are you really, really trying to hurt me?" It was a jolt to her senses and she stopped. I asked her to make a decision and she started screaming again. . . I started praying and singing aloud and we were interrupted by someone  needing to know something. She stopped and I took the opportunity to once again show her where her fit was going to take her and that she had a choice. She chose to obey. I then put her in pajamas and put her to bed and she went right to sleep and had a good nap. She woke up happy.

It's morning again and we start the whole process again. I'm cringing inside 'cause I have a feeling she's not in a cooperative spirit and who knows what she will DECIDE today.

One verse I wrote out for me goes like this:

Not by might, 
nor by power, 
but by my Spirit says the Lord of Hosts. 
Zech 4:6 

It serves to remind me that there's nothing by my might, or authority, or strength or anything that I can do to change these kids.  They were formed in the womb of a woman who made poor choices and their prenatal influences had their effect. They endured 4 years of neglect and chaos and trauma, they were removed from all that they knew and put into a foster home for a year and a half and then, before they understood what was happening they were dropped off here where life resembled nothing they could ever recognize and they now have a mom who makes them face their choices over and over and over. Only by the Spirit of God can I expect results.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Verse for the Week

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:10-12

Regardless of their language issues, the children have pretty much memorized last week's verse. Missy puts it out of order, but she understands the meaning and intent of the verse.  
We'll keep working on it to keep it fresh. It applies to nearly every situation and is a fact of life.
I appreciate that it shows the positive and what could be if one chooses good. It's kind of funny to hear Buster pray; he gets the meaning. He frequently uses the word 'understand or understanding' in his prayers now.

"Good understanding gains favor; 
but the way of the sinner is hard.  
Proverbs 13:15"
We are in a very tough place with both children  and it may be testing to see how secure their place in our home is, or it could be a number of other things. Most often they choose the way of the sinner.... Whatever their goal, we've tightened the ropes and we are going for the heart.  
I prefer to teach the children from the King James or the New King James as I love the flow of the words, but I'm having to replace some difficult  words with words they can understand or there would be recitation without thought and that would defeat the purpose. 

I actually slept last night. It felt good. I never heard the girls feeding the kittens in the night or anything. We've lost one kitten. It died in my hands during church.  We think this one was injured or something and it lost it's drive to eat and it was too late when we started force feedings. The other four are thriving on the goats milk Brian brought us. 

We were invited out for lunch yesterday. It was a real blessing. We always enjoy our time with Tom and Cindy and their family. We didn't get there without a battle.  There was screaming and throwing cups and refusing to change clothes, etc.... Buster had to stay by dad for the entire visit. We didn't give him opportunity to dominate conversations or anything. He sat by dad and looked at books and did a few puzzles and such while his sister, who thrives on "going out" played in the snow with the big girls and fed the horses and was good as gold.  I tell you what, good understanding gains favor; but the way of the sinner is hard!
 Tom and Cindy's happy kid!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Took the Day Off

Well, sort of. I did some running around town and left the twins with Steve to deal with. Ah, yes!! I needed that. I laid awake a good portion of the night praying for the kids and for us to know how to deal with them. A few hours of screaming in a day gives me a disturbed feeling all over. I get sick to my stomach and I can't get away from the echo of the screams in my ears. I get to second guessing everything, because it appears nothing is working. So is it me or them or is it normal to feel so yuck after such a traumatic event?  I knew I had done my best and I knew that I had held my ground and both children were fighting for nonsense sake. There was no rhyme or reason to their shenanigans and even though we got through safely, I still was perturbed by the insanity of it.

Steve's plan was to drag the twins outside with him to  get working on the water tank first thing in the morning. I came home after 11 AM and he was just finishing morning chores with them and breakfast dishes. He hadn't even combed his hair yet. Should I have been surprised? LOL! It takes me all day to get anything done. I sent the kids - and Christina out to help him carry gravel in their little buckets and Brianna and I puttered around in the kitchen. Bri had picked the last of the beets and carrots and leeks in her garden so I made Borscht amongst other necessary type of foods ... Brianna made a fancy cornucopia from bread dough and a bunch of little tiny pumpkin pies, and other fanciful eatables.  I  did make gluten free brownies for the twins that were as good as any other brownie I've ever eaten.  They've been pretty good about not complaining if they can't eat something, but I'm taking the time to make sure they have an alternative.

The twins were outside working beside dad all day and it kept them out of trouble for the most part. There were no major upheavals, anyway. Buster's quite embarrassed about yesterday's antics and very, very ashamed of the tiny visible reminder that he bit me.

Our mother cat is struggling to feed her kittens. We are now hand feeding them goats milk. One kitten in particular is sick and dehydrated and her eyes are goopy. I was worried it might not live, but it started to revive and warm up after the goats milk. My plan was to feed it every two hours, but it's been more than three hours and it won't take a second feeding. I don't know.....

Buster started to have a melt down before the company arrived, but Steve gave him some juice and talked him through it. He thought he might be especially hungry and tired since he really got into the running up and down the hill with his pail this afternoon. I bribed him to use the toilet with a fresh-out-of-the-oven brownie and all was right in his world again. Bed was a little late, so morning might be rough.

We had company tonight for soup and worship. It was good.

The snow is softly falling. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Sabbath comes early these early sunset Friday nights... It's a challenge to be prepared and ready to meet it by 4:30, but we were. I'm grateful for the Sabbath rest. My work in regards to the twins doesn't get set aside for Sabbath, but it's a family day and we are together, so it's mom and dad together and that makes a difference.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh Dear!

So Buster could not let Missy outdo him. His tantrum was worse. MUCH worse. All because I said he could not play with Mr.Potato Head. He bit me and called me names and raged out of control. I was sick to my stomach, but  I stood my ground. He had to give in and then he fell asleep on the floor beside his bed instead of in it.

The Way of the Transgressor is Hard...

and unreasonable.

Missy lashed out at Christina for no reason, then turned it on Brianna.


I haven't a clue. They just made her a plate of lunch and asked her to wash up and sit on her chair.

I held her on my lap for a long while. I told her she can't talk like that. She continued to rudely yell that she wanted to "eat now". I waited until she was quiet, asked for a smile and told her to go and ask Brianna nicely for her lunch.


I left her to think about it on a chair in her room while I went up for something to eat. I guess the more she thought about it the madder she got. Then she started screaming.

There's a chair behind the house where there are no windows. We call that The Crying Place.  You want to scream and holler? Go right ahead. No one cares to listen, though, so you have to sit in the crying place.

She had a royal tantrum for a couple of hours. Every once in awhile I'd ask if she was done yet. I told her to come in once when I thought she had been quiet for awhile. She wouldn't.

It's the stupidest thing I've ever seen.

The way of the transgressor is hard.

I asked what she gained by all this?
How did it help her?
It didn't.
Why does she do it?
Don't know.


We drug the kids out of bed and they barely had time to dress because we needed to get both cars in for snow tires, oil changes and most of all to fix the silly driver's door handle. Do you know how inconvenient it is to always have to wait for someone else to let you out of the car, or have to roll down the squeaky, sticking window in the rain to reach out and open the door from the outside? It's getting old!! Steve had a meeting at the hospital so the kids and I ate hash browns in the cafeteria while we waited. As soon as one car was back in use we came home and the twins have been playing outside while I'm trying to get some work done. I'm starting to have midnight panic attacks about the music program for Journey to Bethlehem. They are hoping for 3000 visitors over the three days... and the music better be good!! Guess who was silly enough to think she had time to head that up?! Well, you know.... they asked like last year. How was I to know what life would bring?

My children's choir (possessive, aren't I) is doing well preparing their part. . We worked out a few more bugs in the sound yesterday and made a rough plan for entry and exit, etc...We're planning a dress rehearsal for next week. If I could only find  nice red scarves for the girls.... Have you noticed that a LOT of scarves have so much fabric in them these days that you could practically make a skirt out of them? Little girls get lost in the fluff. I want narrow red scarves. (Like I have time to make them!)

The twins are determined to "gain favor" today and earn a pick out of the incentive jar, so the lying has nearly disappeared for the time being. One lie and the deal is off. Each day is a new start, though. Missy was able to cut it from a "thousand" (give or take a few :-) to 2 yesterday. I'm helping them to experience yesterday's verse. Buster has gained favor two days in a row.

I 've caved. I decided I'd have to be super woman to even start to think I can do everything that's sitting on my plate and I have asked for help. The person I have asked said yes and a weight has been lifted. Nancy, our retired church school teacher, has agreed to teach Buster to read. He's ready. He wants to, he is even dogged enough to carry little books around with simple words to read to whomever will listen. For some reason I feel completely wrung dry and can't focus on that when ugly character issues have taken front and center stage. Not only that, there are a lot of gaps in his basic knowledge so that it takes a ton of patience and insight to teach the kid. I just don't have what it takes right now. We have three teenagers in the house and two are homeschooling. They need me, too.

Vanessa is doing wonderfully at the college. She's LOVING the challenge.She's organized and on top of everything and  pulling straight A's.

Christina has a symphony concert coming up. I have not been to one practice, so the concert will be a big surprise for me. She enjoys it very much.

Brianna amazed me with her dogged persistence in writing a scientific paper in a format that was unfamiliar to her. It was some sort of contest and her paper is excellent. I don't know what she's up against, though.

The snow is coming down the mountains lower and lower every day. We expect to see a dusting here soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Gluten

I returned Gluten to Buster's diet Monday. I thought I hadn't seen any difference in him since being strict with his diet, but now his flaming red cheeks are back. Is that a sign of a deeper problem? Can he live with red hot cheeks?

I have not returned Missy to the regular diet ... except that I realized today that at Friday supper I gave her two fajita wraps. It never dawned on me what I had done. In fact for the next couple of days I was wondering who had inadvertently fed her something on her on her "no-eat list". Her rash returned, her breath went South, and her congestion returned for about 2 days. In fact I was even wondering if soy could also be a problem for her.  I can't believe it. The culprit was me!

I'm to the point of deciding that there is enough evidence to take the plunge and have them tested for allergies. I'm thinking of using  Entero Lab . It's just the $$ that kind of play into how soon I do this.

Today's Verse

Good understanding gains favor;
but the way of the transgressor
is hard.

Proverbs 13:15

We are putting their little brains to work.  They have a lot of memorizing to do.

Buster had the awesome experience of showing understanding and gaining favor yesterday. He was a very happy boy enjoying the fruits of his pleasant behavior.
Missy is a true example of living the hard life. 
She could be so happy. 
She could enjoy so much, 
but she has chosen to be unhappy and miserable.
Last night she saw it  when her brother gained a blessing 
she could not partake of and this morning she chose to be happy. 
Amazing how simply the power of the will works.
So far she's enjoying her day.
 {consequently, so is everyone else!}

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Keep 'Em Busy

 We got through this morning and
even arrived at speech less than 15 minutes late.
Missy decided it was in her best interest to obey and
get dressed rather than arrive at speech in pajamas.
I had to stand up to the therapist and tell her that no,
Missy was not going first as she had expected and had prepared for. 
Missy was NOT ready. 
The therapist was then ready to just cancel and I said no.
This wasn't our usual therapist, so whatever.
Missy would have never have guessed that
she was going hiking in the city on flat ground,
but she was still in a stand-off attitude with me
and I didn't think it was right to let her proceed in such a state.
She fussed and cried and stomped her feet,
but we walked for nearly an hour and by the end the ice was melting.

I gave the kids a job in hopes that they could keep
busy and happy while I prepared lunch. 
They liked enough to decide to go out and do it again after lunch,
Missy was caught telling TALL TALES to her brother about the exciting things she did in speech as opposed to him. Total lie. I asked if she would like me to confirm her story with the therapist and she backed down from her story.

So Buster's out having fun and Missy and I are thinking about what truth means.

Thanks to each of you for the words of encouragement and prayers!


I'm just really sad today. I can't go in Missy's room and see the horrible defiance and not start crying all over again. Yesterday I had a small victory with her in that she let me have her heart. It was through a lot of prayer and work. She came to see herself and asked forgiveness and prayed with me. She was very sweet and happy. Half way through the day she decided it was too much and she's once again grasping for control.

Steve says these kids don't know how to love. Control is their security.

I'm just really sad.

Monday, November 15, 2010


God makes no compromise with sin. 
A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong.

Christ's plan is the only safe one.
He declares,
"Behold, I make all things new."
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature."

Letter 105, 1893

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Up and Coming Preacher?

So, Missy's chosen to have a hard day... but it's getting better by the minute. She intrigued by the video of a little 4 year old who asked her dad for a pulpit for her 4th birthday and he, not sure what to make of it, made her a cute little wooden pulpit. He set up the video camera and the little girl stood by her pulpit, prayed, sang and preached then knelt and prayed. It was amazing. This little girl has memorized a lot of scripture and it came through. She must have been watching her daddy preach. Too cute!

Several days in a row Missy asked to see the video again.

Today she's had to spend some time in her room thinking about obedience and telling the truth, etc... and she's been caught "preaching" by her desk. She's telling the invisible inhabitants of her room that "Children must obey their parents in the Lord, for this is right." In between times she sings and prays.

It's a good sign. She's an unlikely candidate for a preacher given her speech issues, but God can use all kinds. And maybe, just maybe the Lord will use her own preaching to speak to her heart.

The Hike

It had been a rough few days with Buster. 
It came to a head yesterday morning and I knew it was time for a hike.
I packed a back-pack with some food and water jugs
and a book for me.
And we left.
I had no idea how long it would take.
It wasn't exactly fun.
The attitude was STRONG.
We went up our mountain and down the other side,
up the next and down the other side 
up the next mountain
and followed the deer trail along the ridge of the chain.

Here are some of our pictures:

After some rather major climbing, Buster puts his hand on his heart
and says,
Oh mom! My heart is beeping!!

 We sat and watched the deer for a long time. 
They were not afraid of us and actually came closer to have a better look.
 The mushrooms make me think of miniature forests
 Found this tree when we were having a hard time finding our way out of the thick trees.
I thought, great!!! 
This should help us.

Yeah, think again.
It had no instructions on it.


Buster and I were very glad for home
and hot food
and bed.
PS. Buster is doing great today.
But here's the problem:
Since I gave everything I had to work with him,
his twin is a complete wreck today.
If I spend too much time helping her get over the constant screaming and defience,
he'll backslide.
I just can't seem to be enough.

Words of Life

This is a verse I constantly claim for Buster.
Truth is,
I have to claim it less and less.
The boy is growing in faith and trust.
I saw this verse on the Trading Phrases web page 
and I knew it would be perfect for his room as a constant reminder.
Not that the kid can read well enough yet, but the rest of us can
and eventually he'll just know what it says.

It looks lovely.
Just know that applying the wording to rough textured walls is a challenge.

A little further in the catalog I found this:

Basically this is a summary of Psalm 139 which is something I've been trying to impress upon Missy.
And so, Brianna and I spent a couple hours last night getting the words up
just right.
The texture in this room is minor
and we were thankful.

I love it. 
If they were less expensive I think I would have Bible verses in every room.
I'd love to the verse found in Galatians 6:9 
somewhere prominent.

"Let us not be weary in well doing
for in due season we shall reap if we faint not."

I had looked for it in the catalog but I'd have to special order it
so we'll do the responsible thing and wait until I've earned the money for it.

May the children be surrounded with the Words of LIFE!