Monday, May 30, 2011

Much Better

Things improved after an hour of total crisis. I didn't know if I could handle a whole 'nother day like yesterday. I had a good cry and that scared them into making a change.

James apologized sweetly and planted a kiss right on my cheek. He did scream and holler at Brianna on their bike ride a little later, but I think his fear of thunder, whether or not he will admit it,  was the real cause of that trial. He isn't near as terrified as last year, but he's on alert.

James has been working or doing school work and playing educational games all day with  no other major melt downs. Both kids were going to play "dumb" but a couple quick aversion tactics and a handful of carob chips later we made more progress this afternoon than we have made in a dog's age. They found out how capable they are.

I am thankful that the Lord has helped all of us in a real way today.

Not Finding It

Not finding a whole lot of love today.....

Tired of the constant battle.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Don't Leave ME!

The Time-Out Bucket

It's just one of THOSE days!

I ♥ Skype

We skyped with the gang in Africa this morning. Antionette, Jason, the little girls, Caleb, Mom, and Christina. We can't actually see each other, but the sound is welcome. It's hard to know what to think of to say in a crowd, as you can imagine....and then everybody tries to talk at once. There is a slight delay, so you have to be patient. At one point we actually did a three-way with Julie in the Yukon. Hey, the world is shrinking, let me tell you.

Christina finally updated her blog. Mom's had the kids doing school every day and journaling is part of the routine. This is a bit of surprise to me. Christina did take science, handwriting, and a few other things with her, so it's good. She needs to really study her science as I just signed her up for Mr. Fitch's high school Biology labs for the fall.

Mom's computer was worked on, so hopefully when they get back to Mago, we'll be able to chat more regularly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

All About Jesus

I really enjoyed the "All About Jesus" meeting last night.  Since the twins came to live here I find myself skipping most social and spiritual events. Dealing with the irrational behavior after a later-than-usual night rarely makes it worth it. Sometimes I feel completely cut off of friends and friendship, and I feel sad about missing a spiritual feast... I have to keep the ultimate goal in mind, though, and sometimes that means staying home and putting the kids to bed and keeping their lives simple and uncluttered, and sometimes that means going out regardless of the fallout. Yesterday, Steve convinced me that going was in our best interest. Yes, I have crabby children this morning! They weren't even in bed all that late, it's just the way it goes. Interestingly enough, a few months ago this same speaker we heard last night did the same series in another nearby church and I was only able to attend maybe 2 of the meetings and it turns out last night's meeting was one I had previously attended, so it was repeat for me. However, I decided that it must be the Lord's doing and that I needed to hear this message again.

Having a fulfilling relationship with Jesus is the theme of  Venden's series. 

In summery of last night:

A Christ-like character is something we receive, not something we achieve. Relying on my own efforts to form character is worth nothing and we can't fix ourselves (Isa. 64:6). All our promises to reform are ropes of sand, as we can do nothing without Jesus (John 15:5). All our obedience comes from the heart, but all comes through Jesus (Philippians 4:13). We are told to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:13), but the truth is, God does the fighting for us (Isa 59:19). It' not by our might or power (Zech. 4:6) that we are changed into God's image, but by beholding Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). God finishes what He begins, (Philippians 1:6) but it is for us to abide, abide, abide in Him (John 15:4-5).

All true obedience comes from the heart. 
It was heart work with Christ. 
And if we consent, 
He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, 
so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, 
that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses.
The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. 
When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, 
our life will be a life of continual obedience.
Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, 
through communion with God,
sin will become hateful to us.
{Desire of Ages 668.3}

I understand what that means for me and my personal life, but I still wrestle with  trying to wrap my brain around what it means in my parenting of these twins who have not yet learn to "KNOW" Him as their Savior, yet.

See, I'm working to remold the character's of these kiddos for obvious reasons. They wouldn't stand a chance in their old way of thinking in this life or the next, and yet, is there anything I can actually do to change that? I certainly can't save them. Requiring obedience when it doesn't come from the heart... what does that actually do for them? Is that just force? God never employs force of any kind with any of us. It is true that they are certainly nowhere near sin being hateful to them, nor are their impulses akin to that of Christ's. I keep coming back to this... What's my part.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Forwards or Backwards?

There was no point in sending her to speech and her other services this morning, not after yesterday's lovely trial for the speech teacher at the hospital, and not after the royal tantrum she threw first thing this morning....

She was in a pretty rough state and completely non-responsive to anything I requested of her. Steve was home and we worked together. One of the things he brought up to her was that as long as she isn't willing to do anything anyone asks she will never make progress in the way other children do. She can't learn to read if she won't cooperate with school work. She'll never get past kindergarten if she isn't willing to follow directions. He basically let her know she isn't keeping up with her friends in anything and it's up to her to decide to go forward and not backwards.

It's really interesting. When she cycles down her speech goes downhill. It's hard to know what she's saying and she allows her tongue to be in the way. She makes a lot more nasal noise and the pronunciation is very indistinct. Basically she goes backwards.

Boot camp started this morning. The twins had a list of things to get done that kept them occupied. They were out with Brianna feeding the animals and cleaning cages, they helped with dishes and cleaned the bathroom, etc... It was great. Actually, Missy did finally get to business on her tasks and she seemed to mellow out some, but I still didn't think there was any point in sending her to speech.

While James was gone, I brought out a little workbook for her to work in. She was combative about doing the parts she didn't want to do. She had to match some shapes. She knew what to do, but was putting up all her walls....

Steve and I prayed with her, and Steve reminded her to go forwards and not backwards....

What a struggle. It was all over her face. She knew exactly what to do, but the war that was waging in her head!! Brother.

I pulled her chin up towards me and said, "You need to give your heart to Jesus. Don't let Satan win this battle!"

.... after a few seconds she picked up her crayon and did it. She was smiling and showed her that I was very happy that she chose to do right. ... after a moment she said, "Pretty soon, I go to primary!'


Okay, well, NOT until you learn a few more lessons and we are sure that they stick.


Happened to have the camera in hand when the ducks decided to go flying.
I only saw Klickity-Clack take off from the barn yard, 
but soon saw a second duck join him in the air.
They had the greatest time and flew far and wide.

But eventually, only Klickity-Clack landed on the pond by the barn which was a little concerning
because we had seen them dip down to the ditch...

On second look:

that's two males flying.
The darker bird is ours.
The lighter bird on the left is wild.

An investigation proved that Nina was sitting where she should be,
on her big pile of eggs.
Wishin' I could fly.

PS. Check out the pics on the garden blog - top right link  for Harmony Hollow :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

At Least I'm Smiling

Some days only get harder, but now it's bordering on comical... so, I'm smiling.

Yes, got Bri to her appointment on time and left her there and was only 3 minutes late to speech at the hospital.... where I proceeded to lock my keys in the car.  No problem. Steve works there. Oh, wait, big problem... couldn't find him and he didn't answer his phone. Anyway, turns out he didn't have a key, either. Brianna by this time was late for writing class. Fact is, she never made it 'cause I couldn't get a hold of her to make other arrangements since she left her phone at home. Vanessa had a key, thankfully, but I had to wait until all her classes were over.

So, Missy was so hard to deal with that the speech therapist came out and said, "Oh, wow!! I think I made a horrible mistake! I let her have some treats and I think it really set her off."

I assured her it had nothing to do with treats.... though, she probably shouldn't have them.

Came home to more grief. Put the children to some tasks. James came through like a trooper!! Awesome job, awesome attitude.  He enjoyed his free time on his bicycle in the sunshine later.

We're still screaming and we are still at it with Missy. I asked her to put the storybooks in order. There are 5 with 5 big numbers on them. She will put four of them in the right order, but will NOT put the fifith in the correct spot. Sometimes it's the one she won't have in the right place. Sometimes it's the three. She knows how. We've prayed. We've cried. We've had consequences. We've been firm. We've been sweet. We've done everything possible to help without actually doing it. Here's the kicker - she already put the other set of 5 in order. She knows how. She can count. She just won't.When I shake my head and say, "sorry sweety, that's not quite right, is it?" She shakes her head no and then reaches for the one that is wrong, however she WILL NOT put it in the right place.

Tell me I'm insane....

PS...She finally did it. She battled furiously for so long I lost track of time. I kept praying. The breakthrough finally came when I was begging her to give her heart to Jesus. I explained (for the "hundredth time) that she had a choice to give her heart to Jesus and do what was right or to allow Satan control of her life and continue in sadness and misery. She caved with a big smile. I then mixed them up again and she could do them right the first time every time after that. So, I gave her a different pile, a set of 6. She did the first 5 fine and then stumbled on the last. It was so obvious what she was doing. It was without a doubt the last one so she would only put it perpendicular to the pile since lining it up with the rest would spell defeat. She knew she could not mess with the first 5 as she just proved  she could do them. Once again I worked and worked for her heart. She did it. Next she put the set of 10 in order without a hitch. Which was BOLD proof that she had been playing games all along.

CHILD, CHILD. Whatever are we gonna do with you?!

Today is a Bomb

I had high hopes this morning. There were lots of smiles and happy promises of a great day ahead.

In 5 minutes things went completely to pieces....

Both KIDS.

Both Blatant rebellion.

And I am really struggling. I've taken it quite personally. It was all calculated. It's the one-up-on-you game. Neither children succeeded for more than an instant.... but I was already upset and frustrated, and that discourages me more than anything.

Brianna is suggesting that their morning is not structured enough, because they start this stuff every single time they have a moment to play around. She's suggesting they have a long list of chores, inside and outside that must be accomplished, rather than the little morning routine of make your bed, get dressed, put away laundry, brush your teeth, drink water, use the toilet. These should be the incidentals to the bigger picture.

In a sense it was a huge deal to get to this point where they could manage those little things. Things have changed, though, they've aged in short amount of time ( can't get myself to say they have matured. Ha!). Since they are smart enough to play games to cheat and lie and come up with manipulations to get out of brushing their teeth, it's time to bring out the big stuff.  They are not babies. They are 7 years old! They are no longer 6 year olds who haven't been taught anything. In the last year they have learned to capably handle a lot . It's about to increase.

Boot camp here we come.

He's doing the dishes, and she will make my bed for starters.

Monday, May 23, 2011

By Beholding

Yesterday was not so good for both kiddos. We did not make it to the party.

It was the resulting hang-over from a fun weekend having company.

This morning Missy is having a huge tantrum in the bathroom. I refuse to participate in that. I had a prayer with the other kids asking God to help us endure.... I asked Him for wisdom. I could go in there and threaten with a consequence and give her the negative attention she is seeking... and eventually put an end to the tantrum but it would not put an end to the over -all attitude. OR I could let her scream it out and possibly eventually she would see the folly of her actions and notice that it won't get her what she wants. At this moment I have nothing to say to her. I've said it all a million times before, so I'll pray in this other room and wait and outlast. The issue that created the tantrum is a moote point. I'm not even sure I know what it really was. She is after control.

In my quiet time this morning I was contemplating how By Beholding We Become Changed. I'm wondering if I need to up the amount of time I spend beholding Jesus to counteract the amount of sin I am beholding at this time!! Seriously.... I do think it effects me and my reactions and outlook. I'm finding my patience at a low ebb.

I choose to look up.  
I read a verse in Jeremiah that I thought was interesting:

If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, 
how can you contend with horses? 
And if in the land of peace, 
wherein you trusted, 
they wearied thee, 
then how will you do in the swelling of the Jordan? 
Jeremiah 12:5

If the trials of this relatively easy life upset and weary me, how do I ever expect to have the strength and the courage necessary for greater trial and severe testing of my faith?

It brings me to my knees and I pray,
"Lord, teach me to run with the horses."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Part 2 of Schadenfreude

"What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one such a word is found. ... In the Greek epikhairekakia,  in the German, 'Schadenfreude.' " 
[Richard C. Trench, "On the Study of Words," 1852]
I'm almost timid to be summarizing the sermon here, not because the preacher's gonna read it, but there is a pretty real possibility his wife might :-) Hey, at least the guy would know he didn't waste his breath and the thoughts made an impression. I find the best way for me to organize my thoughts and to learn to apply them to my life is to write and this so applies to raising these twins ... The point is not to copy someone else's thoughts but to make them my own.  So, on to part 2 and if you don't know what schadenfreude is then read part 1 here.

At the heart of schadenfreude is this tendency of human beings to compare themselves with each other. This leads to envy, which turns to elation when the fortunes of their rival turn to misfortunes and disaster. 

2 Corinthians 10:12

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. 
But they, 
measuring themselves by themselves, 
and comparing themselves among themselves, 
are not wise. 

I wasn't actually at church on the day of the sermon on schadenfreude as James was sick,
but the family told me all about it and I was interested enough to make the effort to acquire the CD. 
Vanessa came home and exclaimed,
"Mom! there's a whole lot more to that verse on comparing ourselves 
among ourselves than you always quoted."

The condensed version has been well used since the girls were toddlers....

To understand the seriousness of the matter,  I quote:

In heaven none will think of self, nor seek their own pleasure; 
but all, 
from pure, genuine love,  
will seek the happiness of the heavenly beings around them.
If we wish to enjoy heavenly society in the earth made new, 
we must be governed by heavenly principles here. 
I was shown that there was too much comparing ourselves among ourselves, 
taking fallible mortals for a pattern,
when we have a sure, unerring pattern. 
We should not measure ourselves by the world, 
nor by the opinions of men, 
nor by what we were before we embraced the truth. 
But our faith and position in the world, 
as they now are,
must be compared with what they would have been 
if our course had been continually onward and upward 
since we professed to be followers of Christ. 
This is the only safe comparison that can be made.  
In every other there will be self-deception. 
If the moral character and spiritual state of God’s people 
do not correspond with the blessings, privileges, 
and light which have been conferred upon them, 
they are weighed in the balance, 
and angels make the report, 
 {CCh 80.4}

As I've been studying and thinking I haven't come up with a "magic cure" for this schadenfreude. It permeates the character at a deep level. There's actual brain activity going on and pathways in the thinking are grooved in deep and steadfast.

The two things that keep coming to my attention are these:
1 -Our only security is in right thinking. *
We need a constant sense of the ennobling power of pure thoughts. The only security for any soul is right thinking. As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The power of self-restraint strengthens by exercise. That which at first seems difficult, by constant repetition grows easy, until right thoughts and actions become habitual. If we will, we may turn away from all that is cheap and inferior, and rise to a higher standard; we may be respected by men, and beloved of God.
 —The Ministry of Healing, 491

2- We must keep our focus on the TRUE Standard, our Example and Pattern.
I saw that many measure themselves among themselves, and compare their lives with the lives of others. This should not be. No one but Christ is given us as an example. He is our true Pattern, and each should strive to excel in imitating Him. We are co-workers with Christ, or co-workers with the enemy. We either gather with Christ or scatter abroad. We are decided, wholehearted Christians, or none at all. 
{1T 126.1

And so as I think about the schadenfreude issue with the twins, I am reminded that it's my work to endeavor to keep Jesus before them as the one to emulate and compare themselves to, so that, rather than striving to measure themselves in competition with a peer as flawed and susceptible as themselves, they are encouraged to reach a new standard and forever attaining new heights in their experience as they imitate their creator and Savior. Won't it be something when they begin to encourage each other to better and better things rather than reveling in the folly of the other's sin and consequence? Isn't that what siblings were meant for?

Of course, all this thinking has led me to contemplate my own life. Is it possible that I indulge in schadenfreude, envy, or that I compare myself with others and measure my life by my friends? The remedy for my sin is Christ.

In beholding the Lamb of God, I am changed into His image...
There is no greater standard to attain, no higher measure to reach.
Everything I do must be done to the best of the ability which Jesus has given me. 1Peter 4:11
It is to be done heartily unto the Lord and not unto man. Colossians 3:23
And the power to live that life is given through Christ - 
Every way we look at it, Christ is the answer to the very root of schadenfreude.
On a side note: I found a newspaper article written yesterday with the word schadenfreude in it. I don't know anything about this online magazine, it just came up in my google search. 
Yesterday was May 21, 2011 and a great many people were expecting to be raptured, but it didn't happen and there is a great disappointment happening among these deceived people. Others are indulging in ridicule and even, as this one writer put it, schadenfreude: Article
An amazing example of this topic.

Calling Africa

I finally managed to get a PinZoo card and called Christina this morning. They can't connect to the internet anywhere on the property for some reason, thus the silence. Talking to her on the phone was reassuring. Everything is fine. The kids are doing well.

Christina has been cooking with another little girl, Joya. She's learning to bake her bread in a wood cook stove.  When all goes wrong, she said, then she ends up using the little propane stove, but she's learning. I asked if they were eating a lot of beans and rice and she said no. She's cooking and if she makes the same thing twice memere complains, :-)  so they've been having as much variety as they can come up with.... which as we know would be spaghetti, potatoes, rice, beans, and corn meal. She said there isn't much fruit but they do have some.

Christina said that so far, Metu and Debora, and Christina are the only three of the kids that she knew from the last time that she has connected with. Metu didn't remember her, but he warmed up real quick and is as naughty as they come.  Barasa and Miriam had a baby girl 2 weeks ago and Justin, the guy who was just going to pay his labola for a wife when we were there now has a baby girl.

Hopefully the winds will blow the right direction soon and we'll be able to connect on the internet eventually. I don't mind letting my kids go places, but certainly like it a lot better if I can connect somehow and keep updated. I sleep better at night.


For those who care.... Missy is a control freak this morning. She's not allowed more than a foot away from me. It started with me having to put the clamps on her for trying to dominate big, kind Uncle Bob's attention to the point of seriously annoying. She went so far as to pee her pants to be noticed. . . She is fighting for autonomy, but unfortunately she isn't self-governing and is only bent on self-destruction in her current course.  She's lying in an attempt to manipulate  A LOT. She's also cheating on her requirements and cannot be trust to so much as wash her hands or brush her teeth without being watched.  The Uncle Bob and family  left to go home, and the kids were invited to a little birthday party today, but I'm not sure that she can handle it. I'm not very inclined to go. I'll have to see a drastic change of direction and it can't be fake...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Asking For Prayers

A friend, Ann, just learned today that her 4 year old son has leukemia. They are on their way to the hospital. Pray for the little guy and pray for his family. This is a hard, scary road to walk. Thankfully they know Jesus walks it with them.


Home is Where the Heart is

Shopping for groceries at the first store....

Missy asks,

"Can we go home now?"

Excuse me. Will you please repeat yourself? The child who longs to be out-and-about is actually  asking to go home? Have you finally realized home is the best place to be?

A half embarrassed nod and bored eyes confirms the truth.

Home's the place to be.

**** I consider this a milestone for a hundred reasons ******

Crazy Busy

With all the rain we had last weekend the grass grew a foot tall over the whole 2.5 acres. We've been mowing (push mower) and weed wacking like crazy, plus trying to get the market garden finished planting. Planted another 40+ tomatoes and 24 peppers and 20 eggplant down there. It's looking great. The weather is perfect for gardening! Vanessa, Missy and I cleaned out the tack room last evening. How long has it been since we've had a horse and we never put the horse tack away... We put all the tack in a plastic tote, except the saddle, of course, and we turned it into a nice little garden shed.

Missy's been right there helping us. She's really getting the knack for transplanting and is my specially assigned gopher / go- for-this -&-go-for-that...

James not so much. In fact he was crabby about everything so I set him to work moving the haystack. He's moving it with the big wheelbarrow from the barn area down to the market garden. It's an awesome job for him, if I don't say so myself. He actually put his heart into it and he only has a half a day of work left on that job.

I had a reality check yesterday.

The twins had pt/ot/speech at the school yesterday. The ot gal asked me how the twins were doing in general. I told her Missy had been on a good streak for a while and is doing well. James, I told her, is on a down trend, "but it's not so bad, he just cries every time I ask him to do something or when I say no, and he wets his pants if he doesn't get his way, and stuff like that.....otherwise not so bad." 

The teacher got this concerned look, "Wow, that's a pretty serious behavior!"

My turn to look surprised.  

"Oh, well, in comparison to what he was like in the past, and in comparison to Missy's down trends... it's NOTHING, really!"

And I walked away wondering how I had become so immune to think that wetting his pants when he's mad at me for saying it's time to go play outside is "nothing, really".

We have company coming this evening for the weekend. Steve's sister and family are coming from Canada, so now we have to have the house looking at least as nice as the gardens... lol.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


There's quite a bit of that around here.

How do I know? I mean, how do I even know what that word means? lol

I heard about it in a sermon recently. Tom Kahler's been studying the brain and it makes for really good sermon material.

You ever wonder why when one of your children is being really, really naughty the other one is sure to be really really good?

Schadenfreude. That's why.

I was amazed to see that Wikipedia pointed to a verse in Proverbs in connection with that word.
"Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him." Proverbs 24:17–18

Schadenfreude is malicious enjoyment derived from observing someone else's misfortune.

For Missy seeing her twin in time out brings her great satisfaction. It makes her feel good because she looks better than he does when he's in time-out and she's being sweet. The poor kid does struggle with her emotions and she gets herself into a lot of hot water that her brother often avoids and it creates in her a strong feeling of envy and jealousy.

The brain is actually stimulated, and the hormone oxytocin  is involved...

Copying from Wikipedia; Brain-scanning studies show that schadenfreude is correlated with envy. Strong feelings of envy activated physical pain nodes in the brain's dorsal anterior cingulate cortex; the brain's reward centers, such as the ventral striatum, were activated by news that the people envied had suffered misfortune. 

Wikipedia also mentions that people who have a poor self-image are more likely feel schadenfreude than someone who is secure.

Ah, so that explains a lot around here! 

Now what?

Sorry, got to run. Look for part 2 later.

P.S. I can say my kids experience this, BUT it isn't always the case AND sometimes it is quite possible that it SEEMS like it more than it is an actual fact. Sometimes both children are doing well at the same time, and sometimes they both struggle at the same time, and sometimes one struggles and the other does not. We do see a lot of horn tooting and gloating by the one who isn't struggling though, when the other is.

That said, I think it is important not to discount the work of God in the children's lives when a child is doing right and is peaceful even if the sibling is having a rough time. IT IS POSSIBLE for the child to be doing right for the right reasons! We can't lose sight of that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My LEGS!!! Groan.

My legs HURT!!

What in the world?

Took me awhile to remember I went running with Mr. Cranky Pants yesterday.... You know, I ran and ran like nothing. I never felt a thing. It was pouring rain and my lungs were completely free. There wasn't the slightest tightness or wheezing and not even a single cough. I could have kept going but for compassion for the fellow half my size who was making his running harder by screeching and squawking and carrying on. He was too tired to run any more and so we walked.

It's the middle of the day and I am suddenly this OLD grandma who can hardly walk!

Missy's Prayer

On Sabbath we were going for a hike on a mountain trail. Kind of a little spooky as we came across the very, very  fresh insides  of a deer. There was a trail of blood and the intestines and stomach and NOTHING else. You would expect to see bones, or hair or something. Cougars, cougars everywhere! At least the critter had just eaten so we wouldn't be target. Anyway, that had nothing to do with my story.....

... Except that we were going for a walk when Missy asked if she could go to the kids Bible meeting in the evening with James. Really, there was NO reason to say no. She's been content and happy and easy going. But I hesitated. Only because I am always looking at the future and what might happen if I should allow her that privilege and I want her to think about that also. I suggested that it was quite possible that she could go, but that I was really worried how she might act the next day if she experienced that kind of freedom.

"I want to be happy tomorrow!!"  she said.

"Yes, honey, I know you want to be, but that isn't enough. You can't just say that and everything will be fine. You have to make a decision, and even then you don't have the power within yourself to stay regulated. You need to ask Jesus for help."

She took my hand and asked, "Will you pray with me?"

Of course I said that I would, but she was insistent. "No, will you pray with me right now?"

Steve overheard and we gather in a little circle and held hands and each prayed that God would give Missy the strength to make good decisions and to keep her regulated and happy tomorrow even though she was going to be enjoying some extra freedom that night.

The meeting was the last of the series. They loved it and both were given little Bibles and other treasures. HOWEVER, we had brought some people with us who are seeking to know Christ and my husband wanted them to have the full effect.... you know, the visiting afterwards, the refreshments, etc... yeah, it meant we were LATE going home. I was not very happy about that. I let him know that I was going to have a trying and rough time with the twins the next day on account of our getting them to bed so late.

And yes, Buster Brown had a rough day yesterday. We ended up running in the pouring rain for a mile and a half and walking for a few  more before he decided to cooperate and stop the misery - after we were soaked through - even through our rain coats. He also had a long, needed nap. Missy, though, was an angel  ALL DAY! She reminded me a couple of times, "Yesterday we pray. Today I happy!"

What made the difference? I pray with her all the time. I have her pray with me all the time, too. Why was this prayer time so much more effective to her little heart?

The difference is SHE made the decision,
SHE asked to pray,
SHE put her will on the side of right,
And it made all the difference.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

the only secure foundation

In every generation and in every land 
the true foundation and pattern for character building have been the same. 
The divine law, 
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart;
... and thy neighbor as thyself”
(Luke 10:27)
the great principle made manifest in the character and life of our Saviour, 
is the only secure foundation and the only sure guide. 
“The stability of thy times and the strength of thy happiness shall be wisdom and knowledge” 
(Isaiah 33:6, Leeser’s translation)
 —that wisdom and knowledge which God’s word alone can impart.
It is as true now as when the words were spoken to Israel of obedience to His commandments: 
“This is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations.”  
Deuteronomy 4:6
Here is the only safeguard for individual integrity, 
for the purity of the home, 
the well-being of society, 
or the stability of the nation. 
Amidst all life’s 
and dangers 
and conflicting claims 
the one safe and sure rule is to do what God says. 
“The statutes of the Lord are right,” and “he that doeth these things shall never be moved.” 
Psalm 19:8; 15:5. {Ed 229.3}

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I"m posting pictures of the goslings for Christina to see.They are nameless as yet. Brianna is thinking since the ducks have Swahili names the geese may end up with Spanish names. We'll see. They are really, really friendly and  OH, SO needy!!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Missy's little surgery went well. She was a trooper. She was on high alert, but only became anxious 15 seconds before they put the mask on her to put her to sleep. She went right out and woke up groggy as could be, but as soon as the nurse mentioned juice and popcicles the kid came back to life and scarfed two popcicles and two juices in under 5 minutes. That's the part she's been anticipating.
The BEST part about surgery.
She should know.
She's had some 21 documented surgeries.

The doc prescribed an antibiotic that is a relative of one she is allergic to. I asked him if he was sure she is allergic to all the medicines that her file defines. He said he didn't really know, but he had noticed that one med that he knew for sure that she is allergic to wasn't on the list. (So, why in the world was the poor baby subjected to vancomycin - the drug of last resort? Makes me sick... but she had MRSA in her ears for an entire year!) He said she'd  had a severe reaction and Red Man's syndrome. It's weird when a doctor knows more about your kid than you do. He's been a big part of her entire life. Today he announced that her ears are no longer inflamed, and completely free of infection and fluid. Praise the Lord!  That was a long time in coming. The patch was put over the hole in her ear drum and we are good to go.  I'm just still hesitating on the anti-biotic. Can you blame me? Hey, for 14 months we've been working towards healing in her bowels. The damage came about as a result of 6 years of almost constant anti-biotics for her ears and now her ears are great. He's just concerned that the patch might not do well if it gets an infection. *sigh*

I also asked the doc an off the wall question that has nothing to do with Ears ... But who am I to ask? I wanted to know if he thought it possible that  Missy  had been exposed to alcohol or drugs in utero.  The Social worker who knew the family best has denied it completely when I have asked point blank, but was she just worried I would walk away and not give the kids a chance? Or did she truly believe that? Or did she not know and just wouldn't make a guess? The Doc said he didn't know really, but his impression was that it was possible and likely.  He said Missy has suffered as a result of poverty, lack of education, poor nutrition, cigarette smoke, and neglect, most certainly, but he said his nurse had some suspicions of a "certain drug" based on her observation of the mother. It was light bulb moment. Steve has seen this "characteristic" in some of his patients. So, if the connection  rings true, did it happen before, during or after the twins development in the womb? NOT that that we can do anything about it now... it's just that irreversible brain damage can happen, though I am not at a point to say that this is so about Missy, yet. The child is making strides. Minuscule as they may seem at any given moment, they add up to something. All this to say, I don't have any new information.

We happened upon a vegetarian Thai buffet at lunch. It was lovely and all our gluten free people could eat their fill.

Next we had an appointment for Missy's dentist and a cranial facial doc. That over, we endured rush hour traffic for hours...

Stopped by a feedstore and brought home a surprise for Brianna; a pair of 6 day old geese. TOO CUTE and SOFT. They just want to be held all the time, or they cry. Missy held them on her lap in a tiny box all the way home talking and singing to them.

Vanessa and Brianna had a wedding rehearsal and dinner this afternoon. They spent a lot of time sharing about their faith and who they are with some really interesting people. Vanessa and Dakota are taking care of Grandma Jackie this weekend, but in between their special music at the Evangelist meetings in East Town, and the wedding music/ harp / piano/ singing... so a little hectic at best!! Bri is already, ever so slightly, feeling better from her treatments. YES!

Just have to mention this tidbit.... the ducks are setting on a clutch of 15 this time around, and Clickity-Clack is getting quite protective of this pile of eggs. Steve and I watched him take off after a crow that just happen to fly over the barn.  He chased him well into the valley and dive-bombed the poor hapless bird!! Never saw such a sight! He's been seen chasing quail on foot even into the neighbor's cherry orchard. Don't you go counting those eggs -You'll have to take my word for it, it just ain't safe down there these days. (So actually, if you've ever been attacked by a duck you'll know that there's no pain involved, but somehow it's no less frightening to have a big bird pound his wings on you and quack is displeasure. I have my phone ring tone set to duck. It sounds just like Nina when she's mad and we have to stop and think... is that the phone or is that the duck? It makes people smile.

Talked to Christina on facebook chat in Tanzania tonight!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Change of Direction

I am grateful.

Missy was happily playing WITH her twin this evening.

PTL! I think we've averted the trial for a couple of days... tomorrow she'll be obsessed with Friday's little surgery at Children's. Friday she'll be very concerned about not being able to eat,  and then after that she'll be recovering...

Planted 36 tomato plants out in the new patch today and the wind has been blowing a gale ever since. I tied each one to a stake and I pray they survive the night. If they weren't nearly 2 feet tall I wouldn't be so concerned. There's still a lot of tomatoes left to plant tomorrow; about 40 of 50 more. Twenty-five of them are cherry tomato and I don't think we'll plant all of them.

Held In Check

It hasn't happened yet. We're looking at a total crash.... the thing that is holding her in check is the fact that she would not get to go to Sabbath school at church on the weekend if she let loose. Otherwise, she has no qualms about going to pieces.

Praying for grace and wisdom. I'm holding the reins close. If we can avoid the plunge that would be a huge victory for her. Not sure she would really get it, though. If she could only understand how much misery she can avoid.

It seems the root of the issue is jealousy. Brother James can't do a thing without raising dander.... and it all started because he can get out of the car faster than she can to help me open my broken door handle.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oh NO!

I think we are getting ready to spiral downward and out of control....

The signs are all lining up.

Got to have a plan of action.


What do you all do for competitiveness?

I LOATH IT!!  It's always been there, but it seems to be growing instead of diminishing.

Children's Hospital called during lunch and I turned my back for a second. I've just started letting the twins make their own sandwiches. Brianna had made them some nice gluten free waffles and Missy was spreading peanut butter and jam on hers. I glance over at the counter and lo and behold she's scooping up the jam with the knife eating it as FAST as she can, just scarfing it down like lightning!!

I removed the food from her completely and finished my conversation. Amazingly, Missy said not a word. She KNEW!!! and she didn't ask for her waffle back either.

I sent them off to wash up. She beat him to the bathroom. He stood outside the door waving a lollipop at her. She had been given one at the bank, too, but of course she ate it lickity split while he saved his.

He definitely got the desired reaction!

I pulled him away to wait his turn. She stood by the sink running the water for a very long time. Next, I watched her stand in front of the mirror and splash it all over because she knows it makes it dirty and she isn't suppose to and she was annoyed 'cause life is miserable...she got caught with the jam, and her brother has a lollipop in his pocket and she doesn't  and so she'd  just camp out in the bathroom for a VERY LONG TIME so that he couldn't wash up, and while she made him wait, she would look for as much trouble as she could find.

Too bad for her, that I was standing there watching everything. It's really a pain for her not to have much peripheral vision. I can stand right beside her and she has no idea I'm there.

It's been like this all day. She's looking to compete with James constantly. She's looking for things to do that are not allowed that she can do in secret JUST to see if she can get away with it.

Is that because I have a migraine and it's town day?

Oh, and new policy at the hospital for speech sessions.... the parent has to stay on the property while the kids are in their therapy. That's two hours, folks. That's when I drive the other's to their classes, take Bri to her treatments, and get my banking done. Steve's an employee there. I put in a plea to consider that their dad is on the property and within radius, couldn't that count?

So, anyway. Missy is in bed for a nap. Next she'll clean the bathroom.

If you all have ideas on how to curb competiveness I'm all ears. Thanks.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Musings

I am blessed to be a mom! What treasures I have in the children God has given me.

I really don't know what people are talking about when they say the teenage years are hard. It hasn't proven to be true in this family yet.

Responsible. Happy. Content. Hard working. A servant's heart. Sensible. Solid.Talented. These are the words that describe our oldest. Vanessa (17)  is so in demand around here she finally broke into tears Friday evening after the third time of driving into the driveway and the phone rang again with a request that she please be in neighboring town in an hour to play prelude music for meetings at their church. She hadn't even unloaded her harp from playing for the elderly ladies at their mother's day tea in a retirement home, yet. "I just want to be home with you  for a change and help in the garden!"

Artistic. Original. Diligent. Conscientious. Practical. Economical. Naive/ innocent. Candid. Able. Joyful. Those would be the words that describe our Brianna Grace (16). Not only did she pass the college entrance exam on Friday, Saturday night she found out that she had won 1st place in the Young Writer's Contest of our local newspaper in the grade 10 -12 category. She was so, so surprised!!

Spontaneous, Witty, Smart, Spirited, Confident, Leader, Adventuresome, Knowledgeable, Techi. Christina (13) embodies those words. She's flying over the Atlantic on her way to Tanzania. We hope she remembers to put all her techi to work and keeps up her blog so we don't feel so lonely. She's the family clown and we miss her constant chatter.

Happy. Chatterbox. Singer. Singleminded. A pleaser. Tenderhearted. I was reminded yesterday of mother's day a year ago. What a difference! I don't mean to overuse the term. It's just true. Apparently I was too discouraged to blog about it, but it's memory is seared into my brain. It was the LAST day James swore at me or anyone. It wasn't the last screaming, raging hike on our mountain complete with spitting, swearing, running away, and it wasn't his last defiant stand, but it was part of the process of bringing him to the new person he is today. If anybody cares to remember what life was like back then here's a post from this week last year: TMI... A Morning in the Life Of....  I am grateful for the sweet boy we've found under all the layers of fear, anger, hurt and distrust.

Determined. Strong. Hard Worker. Helpful. Persevering. Cute. Describe Anna-Joy.  If she didn't have those qualities I would be really worried. Because she is strong, and persevering, and determined, making a difference and change in her character has been difficult.... but because she is strong, persevering, and determined, once she makes a conscious decision to put her will on the side of God's she will be victorious and conquer. We see steps and movement in the right direction. We celebrate her milestones and her progress towards becoming whole. She can be very sweet and affectionate and even joyful and we see those moments stretching into hours and days and maybe soon weeks of happiness and surrendered will. Yesterday she wanted to join Vanessa and Brianna singing the Lord's Prayer as they practiced for an upcoming wedding. At first I was chuckling as I watched her - she was so happy, so "into" the singing and being a part of the big girl's efforts. But then as I continued to watch I crumpled into tears. Her off-key "singing", her making up of mumbo jumbo words, her enthusiastic pretending to read the music was so appropriate  -

for a two year old.

At the moment she was blissfully unaware that at the age of 7 she was but a toddler, however, this is not always the case. Sometimes it's obvious even to her she isn't keeping up with kids her age. I was just sad for her. Sad to think of the difficulties that lie ahead for her. She isn't toddler all around. Some of her skills are age appropriate. Some of her thinking is that of a 4 year old. Some of her thinking is more immature than that.  Sad that I don't really know what the best course of action is to help her bridge the gap. I am reminded as I work in the garden that a lot of things require a wait. You plant, you water, you feed, you protect, you weed, but then in the end you have to wait for the fruit. And so it is with little Miss Muffet. After nurturing, watering, feeding, stimulating, and praying we have to WAIT.

 Missy was so happy that it was mother's day that she was good as gold all day. At the end of the day I thanked her for making my day special by just being happy all day. She threw her arms around my neck and was giddy with herself.

Just for fun, here's another  post from last year  worth a laugh. Can We Just Call It A Day?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I have a pretty incredible mother.

There are few woman in this world as strong, as versatile,  as capable, as determined, and as passionate as she is. She works like a team of horses and nothing scares her. Almost single handedly she has carved a school in of the wilds of Africa in place nobody else wanted to go. If you think of all the money raising, foraging of relationships in a foreign country, building an entire school brick by brick, and all that it entails, it's a pretty amazing feat. While other families could barely managed to last a few short months she's held out on her own (my dad being tied up with his own work in Colorado. Thankfully, another gal has joined her in the last year and has what it takes to live and work there.)  I've been there, it's a tough place, but my mom is there and I'm happy Christina has the opportunity to experience the mission once again.

There are a zillion stories, but I think of the time of the Rwandan Crisis. My mother offered to be of service in Zambia for ADRA to help the refugees. She was turned down. She lacked education.  Somehow, she found her way to Goma, Zaire  and in the face of millions of suffering, sick, dying, lonely, needy people, ended up as the director for ADRA because she had what it took and she knew what to do. God obviously needed her in a place of greater calamity.

I always knew I had the best mom. She wanted the best for her kids. Not so much in materialistic things, or in what money could buy, but in character qualities, in principles, in skills, in strength to stand for the right. Her vision of eternal realities was her anchor.

That's what kind of mom I have.... and it's a lot to live up to. :-) I love her and pray that God continues to go with her and bless her efforts to bring light into a darkened spot on the globe. She likely won't read this post. She hasn't time. She's been pulling all-nighters getting her container filled and ready to ship, and packing her suitecase for the flight this evening. When she's home my dad reads the posts of all the family members to her... but he's in the Ukraine right now preaching his heart out and so, she'll leave for Africa today with Christina and Caleb and we'll all meet together the first week of August from our various and sundry missions that God has lead each one on.

I'm blessed with a pretty amazing family all working towards the hastening of Christ's return. Sometimes I look at families all settled within miles of each other and think how wonderful it would be to be able to celebrate birthdays and milestones together and just have that old fashioned kind of family support, but when I look at the big picture I can see that God has us each in His intended place doing His work and we are blessed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Communication is Essential...

Last evening James was acting a little strange - as in peeing his pants instead of going in to the bathroom, etc... It's always hard to know why a kid suddenly starts doing stuff. Is he just lazy, is he seeing what he can get away with, or what? You can ask all you want, he'll never give you any useful information.

This morning he looked grumpy and then every time I walked passed his room he was laying on his bed instead of making it. Is he extra tired, is he mad about having to stay close to me at church today ( I figured he needed to stay close to me if he was not going to be trust-worthy enough to use the bathroom), is he sick?

So the hundred-and-twenty-question-game started. This kid still almost always tells you what he thinks you want to hear, so to try and get to the real issue I have to phrase and rephrase the questions in order to figure anything out.

We decided he was sick, or so tired he felt sick. He said his tummy hurt, but that could mean anything.

I gave him water and told him to get under his covers.  He and I would stay home.

Meanwhile Missy-who-hasn't-been-to-her-Sabbath-school-for- a-long-time on account of having to stay beside me, was doing her jobs -sort of. Well pretty much doing everything but there was this sense of something not quite right. She was TELLING me that she was going to Sabbath school, not asking. She was TELLING me she was doing her morning routine, but it was on her terms, in her time. Also, we have a pretty strong rule about not opening my bedroom door  when it is closed and we have made that very clear ever since they moved here. They did not learn it very easily, but they absolutely know without a doubt they are NOT to open the bedroom door any more than you would open a bathroom door if someone is in there. This morning, even as I am on the other side saying, "DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!" she opened it and when I went to call her on it, she was going to run away. It was the clincher. She had shown me she could not be trusted out of my sight, though I said nothing about it yet.

When we decided James was sick I went and talked to Missy and told her that she was staying with me and we were staying home. It was like a major volcano eruption! Tantrum city.

Steve wasn't convinced that James is sick. He figured the kid was upset about having to stay by me instead of going to class, but I think the wetting is from not feeling good. He threw up his water all over his bed.... and yes, I had to play the one-hundrend-and-twenty-questions-game to figure out why the bed was wet! So, who knows??? LOL  Of such is life with kids who do not know how to communicate their deepest needs. Regardless whether Steve's right, or I'm right, the treatment is the same. He gets to stay in bed today until he "gets well" one way or another.

Missy's in bed, too. And I'm enjoying the quiet and watching a robin build her nest next to the window.

Friends Survive Tornado

When we began this adoption journey I wanted to connect with a family of our faith that had adopted from foster care. I am not sure how I found her, maybe through the The Adventist Home Educator e-list? Anyway, I found a gal in our state that had adopted a sibling group. They were now a family with 6 kids and moving away to Alabama. It was good to talk to her and connected on facebook as well, and found out we have a lot of mutual friends.

Last week they were hit by the tornado and they have quite a story to tell. Their house destroyed, but still standing, while the homes around them leveled to the ground. She broke her ankle but their family is alive. The trauma has been difficult on the little ones, however God's care has been evident all around them. She writes a bit of the story here: Canaday Family Adventures

Signs that we are in the last days really hits home when it hits your home!!
Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Running Start Here She Comes

She did great!

Okay, there mom, Where's your faith in your children? LOL.

I now have 2 college kids.

She didn't pass the math part.... but she had a much higher score in math than Vanessa did last year. She will try that part of the test again in the fall.

Family Update

We met up with my sister, Julie and her son Caleb at the airport... we took a quick trip to REI and Taco Bell and then we put Christina and Caleb on the plane to Colorado where they were met by my mom. (Yes, after the escort service lady we paid for, threatened to call the police and have the kids picked up and taken to the police station at 11:30 at night because mom was looking for the kids in the wrong part of the airport and it was taking a bit long to connect.)

Christina at 13 years old is on her way to Africa with Mom and Caleb. We won't see them until August.

Vanessa had a hard time getting into the classes she wanted at the college this quarter. She reluctantly started a Spanish class. She had no previous knowledge of Spanish and everybody else in the class had taken Spanish in high school or they were Hispanic.... She was totally lost. Anna-Marie took some time to help her figure out what was going on. As the first test approached she was all panicky.... but she made 100%. She's been getting between 100 and 95% ever since and is now talking about the next Spanish classes, along with Latin.   Her history class is another story. The guy is all over the place and not very clear in his expectations and then he whammed them with 1/2 inch thick test. Everybody failed it. He said there was only one person in the class who actually got one whole section right. Yup, that was Vanessa. She went and talked to him... he assured her that the worst is over that she'll do great. LOL! She's yet to be convinced, but she takes advantage of every extra point she can earn. He's trying to give them ways to make it up.

Brianna is at the college taking the compass test (college entrance exam). I am not sure I'm ready to let her start college :-) She's younger than Vanessa and her strengths and interests are widely different than Vanessa, also. As her mom and homeschool teacher I'm a bit worried that she's not ready for this test. I told her that she if she doesn't pass it's all good. The Lord has another plan for next year. She was determined to try.

The big news on Brianna is that she is getting some help for her neck. She had X-rays done and the specialized chiropractor told her her spine looks like she's been in a bad car wreck!  He subscribed icing treatments and told her NO ibuprofen, etc... and a very intense 4 days a week treatment for the next 8 weeks. His treatments are like nothing I've never I've ever seen before. Lots of decompression stretches etc... He told her she'll feel worse before she feels better and that it will be kind of like having braces on her teeth. Same analogy for the cost... *sigh*

James is doing super duper well. He's in 7th heaven watching the neighbor plow our new market garden patch with a tractor as I write.   He's been pretty pleased that his twin has finally decided that bike riding is fun and they ride their bikes up and down the drive at break-neck speed. They crash, they burn and they howl and then get right back on.

Missy is doing okay. She gets insecure and starts grasping at control at the slightest change, but I'm staying home, home and home as much as possible and trying to keep her from all superficial excitement. She loves to help me with the greenhouse.

Steve is trying his best to keep up with all the jobs I give him. I am gardening, and so, I'm happy ;-) Actually, this is the first spring I have an inhaler. Has made a huge difference already. No chronic cough for me this year. I even wear that dumb mask Steve gave me when I'm mowing and weed whacking.  The Lord has blessed the plants in the greenhouse and I have 12 to 15 inch tomatoes all in bud ready to plant in the market garden.  Today we plant the barn garden with seeds.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Another Cougar

There are so many cougar stories this year. Cougars in people's yards, driveways, patios, in the playground, in town, on our hill, stalking a morning walker, and today, from what I gather, during daylight hours one was spotted in a yard in the valley right between our house and Tall's. We've been taking precautions. The kids do chores in the evening together and I don't let the twins play off by themselves.  We haven't been hiking the hill much and certainly not at night.  Several have been put down because they've been young, underweight animals. Someone actually took a photo of 8 cougars one county over last winter.

Our duckling troubles, as of yesterday, are all blamed on the weasel Missy and I had a strange encounter with. What a feisty creature! He was up on his hind legs dancing around Missy's feet, screaming his little head off at Holly. The dog just couldn't get a hold of him. I called Holly off because I noticed some pretty evil looking teeth and I figured we didn't need the vet bill. The weasel is a beautiful little animal and has a lot of character. I'm just not sure we can co-exist together on this property.  He's been a ruthless killer.

The Cliff

You can't know how every moment that my children are peaceful is treasured as a gift unless you have lived through the horror of the chaos and turmoil they can create for themselves, (or with a similar child). The calm peaceful moment seems to stretch and last because I've learned to appreciate it to the fullest (and perhaps because I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop:-) A day seems like a week. I begin to think maybe she's learning, maybe she's enjoying the calm as much as I am, maybe that last battle was her last hurrah....

We go about our day digging dirt - her with a little shovel, me with my big one. We plant flowers making the hole just right with our fingers. She chatters non stop."Why we plant flowers here? Why the flowers yellow?" I pull the hose, she waters....  I take the opportunity to explain God's creativeness and power.  We pull weeds and roots and talk of little sins that take root in the heart.  She plays happily. She brings a little joy to my heart when I see her bend over to tie the shoes of a smaller girl. I read her a goodnight story and she's off to bed with a happy heart. I am blessed and hopeful...

But the next day starts out all wrong. She comes up with a frown. She wants to wear what she wants to wear and big sister had the audacity to suggest it doesn't match. She comes up to see if I will side with her, only to find me cuddled up on the couch with her brother having quiet time with a book. She's instantly jealous. Anger spills everywhere. I make room for her on the couch. She rants. I shush her. I give her options... but I hold her close. She melts and stiffens in turn, over and over. I know it has nothing to do with matching or unmatching clothes and everything to do with her choices in dealing with being crossed and of course jealousy. I work, I pray, I sing, we sing together. She chooses the song Into My Heart. I think we've brought her back from the edge of the  precipice... She decides to wear a more coordinated outfit and runs off to dress.

She happily shows off her outfit but at a glance notices brother is ahead of her in the routine. Without warning she completely hurls herself off the edge of the cliff. There's no turning back. It's an all out battle to save her. Every ugly emotion shows itself; jealousy, hate, rage, anger. I give myself a split second talking-to, "You can do this. The Lord will give you the calmness you need."

I work, I pray, I am immovable and firm, I recognize we are beyond sanity and I hold on and wait. As reason returns I ask for her 100% cooperation. . . and I hold out for it.... I remind myself to outlast and  expect a complete turn around. I pray for me, because at this point I could, and probably will, lose my patience if I am not completely submitted. It's crucial that I don't or everything I am working for is lost. She will feel vindicated in her anger. She'll justify her behavior . I speak from experience.  We've been down this road fifteen hundred times already.

She begins to relent. She repeats after me - special Bible verses, prayers, calming words, words that affirm that she will obey and do what is right. I ask her to smile. It's oh, so hard! I stick to my guns. I will accept nothing less. It's fake, but it softens her further. We sing. She agrees to a consequence and restitution. I resolve to keep her within inches of me all day. She's harnessed and tied in close, but she could cut the rope and throw herself over the cliff once again at any given moment

It's 9:30 - two hours since she came up the stairs with her frown. I'm still in my pajamas. Breakfast is cold.

But the rest of the day promises good things.... if I can just gather myself and find my motivation again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


OH, dear.

They're burned to a crisp.

This family just never thinks of sunscreen when the temps are under 70 degrees... We don't need to.

That's got to change real quick!

Poor kids.

That's the thing about adoption, you can think that taking care of these kids just like you take care of your bio family will be the ticket, but it's not. The gene differences show up to surprise you. The pasties are now little red lobsters with a million new freckles. Tomorrow we'll break out the sunscreen and  straw hats.

At Last Count

Our new neighbors have 7 children. They are 12 years old on down to age 10 months.

There were 7 kid cousins helping with the move and they stayed over night, so that is why we were so confused. We have officially met them and the kids have met our kittens. They are indeed a homeschooling family . . . and dad is a logger. Not sure what there is to log around here, but there are probably some logging operations going on in the mountains. My husband was a logger back in the day.

And so our adventure of having kids in the neighborhood begins.

I sort of feel like we're on display... they all stand at the edge of the hill watching us work the gardens. It's an odd feeling, but they seem like innocent, and considerate  kids.

Kittens Anyone?

We have 6 and only 2 are spoken for... choose your mouser today!
 cute and cuddly
 sweet and content

healthy and good mousing stock!!
Choose your kitten today!! :-)