Monday, October 31, 2011

An Example and Update

He's wailing in time out.

Here's the story.

We did three quarters of his little lesson correctly. He gets the concept.  I begin to feel he's starting to control our lesson - me actually,  little by little. Rather than answer the questions directly, he turns the questions around. He wants me to answer them but I am not the student.

I pull back just a hair.

I get a little silly to try and redirect the focus. I feed him grapes as we talk about the exercise. I try to keep it light.

He won't budge. He lifts his pencil,  he states the problem and the answer with a question mark on the end of his sentence.

I don't bite. I tell him to mark it the way he thinks it should be.

He restates the question.

I reinforce that he should just mark it as he thinks is right. The steam is seeping out of his ears just a little.

I feed him another grape. I laughingly tell him that he's the student, I'm the teacher. I already did my school work once upon a time. I ask him if he knows the answer.

He says that he does.

I tell him to mark it.

The steam is beginning to billow.

I ask him point blank if he is trying to get me to do his school work.

He agrees that this is so.

I remind him that this is simple and he knows the answer. With two swift movements he could be done and he could have lunch early.

(This goes on for 20 minutes at least...)

He digs in his heels.

I walk away. I tell him to mark it or choose time out as I leave his side.

He chooses time-out. And cries like I'm killing him. I take him by the shoulders and make him look me in the eye. I ask, "what were you trying to do?"

Get YOU to tell me the answer.

You wanted me to do your work and obey you?


Who's the mom?


Who's the student?


I don't do your school work. You are mixed up in your head about that. Take time out to think about who is to obey who.

He's quiet in time out now. But his twin is screaming her head off trying to get me to obey her over her issue.

It's a circus.

She's going into a full blown rage complete with beating the walls.

I already did my crying this morning. I'm not mad and my blood pressure is fine. It's rather random when it comes to that..... they are causing their own trials and I refuse to participate.



So, a half an hour later she is till screaming her head off.

I go and talk to James. I ask him what he thinks of what she is doing. I point out that she is trying to force me to do what she wants. I ask him if he knows someone else who is doing that. He gets the connection. He realizes it is stupid. I tell him I'll take his place on the bench if he'll go do his page.

He gladly leaves me there.

Goes into the room where his book is and promptly throws Christina's flute on the floor in a show of anger.

I again trade places with him.

This time I'm shaking.

she is still screaming

High Sabbath

at our church this past week.... 6 baptisms with our Spanish congregation.

What if we had never remodeled and enlarged our church?

Applesauce and Fall Delights

Free apples for the picking....

 A box of grapes from the Stewarts - sweet and tart at the same time.
A box of nuts from Paul. These are well cured and tasty.
 A box of Red's from Stewarts. There's nothing like a red picked ripe after the first frost.
These are all water core and SWEET!
Grocery store reds don't even come close....

Dealing with Stubborn

I see how James is progressing in so many ways so it seems as though I should be encouraged and not so discouraged with him, but the facts are, he's fighting me tooth and nail all day, every day, over everything from doing up buttons to eating what is set before him. He is fighting hard for control. Nothing I do is making a difference. Everything I ask of him is a 20 minute fight. Getting him out of bed, getting him dressed, getting him to make the bed.... everything.

I tried changing it up. Yesterday I had him bring his Bible and come sit on my bed instead of getting dressed and making his bed right off. He's reading Genesis to me verse by verse. He enjoys that. He's excited about that. BUT the second I asked him to do something slightly different then what he wants to do we are in a battle. He was done with reading Genesis for the day and was reading James 1:2-8. This has been his memory verse for school this past month. He knows it by heart, so when he finished reading it, I asked him to say it from memory for me and he instantly shut down. With about 15 or 20 minutes of working with him to give up his fight he finally decided to obey - cause he didn't want the consequence of sitting on the stool in his room. He said the verses with hardly a mistake. We then went on to other things and school and chores and he fought me on nearly everything ALL.DAY. including lunch. Trying to do some phonics was a nightmare because he purposely does it wrong and says,

"I DONT want to do SCHOOL!!"

"I DON'T want to OBEY!"

"I DON'T want to!!!!"

When in a better mood we talk about those stubborn feelings. We talk about where it comes from. Why it doesn't help him to give in to those feelings. WHILE he's talking about it it all makes sense to him. He promises to do it different, etc...

This morning I called him out of bed several times. He had his clothes all laid out the night before, but do you think he would actually put them on? or make the bed? I gave him consequences, tried to use a little logic, used the timer, and finally let him know I had had it. I was angry. I got loud. AND when I get loud he moves. BUT I HATE IT!!!!!! I bawled my eyes out driving all the way to school and back. My tolerance level is at an all time low and I'm frustrated with that, too.

I was just as frustrated and loud with Missy because she also is purposely doing things to see if she can get away with it, but it's different than what James is doing. She does stuff behind my back, he is doing it to my face. I understand that she has trust issues. I understand that she won't make progress until she learns to trust. In a sense that makes it easier and I even have a little sympathy for her predicament because she is missing some basic building blocks in her life (understanding, intellect, trust, etc...). While he is being disrespectful and testing, lazy and wanting his own way. The strange thing is, it's like a switch. He's happy, sweet, having fun and in an instant he's stubborn, disrespectful and ugly. We have lots of good time. He finished his first real reader yesterday. It was exciting. He also fought me over long vowel words pretending he didn't understand the concept while I was working my tail off to help him. After a time-out I handed him the book and said I wouldn't help him at all because of his attitude and he did it fine. He loved picking apples, but when he decided he was done he was no fun after that.

Anyway, he is at school and she is on the time-out stool because she isn't lucky enough to have school to escape to.

Interestingly enough, he has not wet his pants in two days, which is the thing he was testing me with before.

I'm begging the Lord for a breakthrough. I'm really struggling to keep my head above water. I need a complete overhaul of methods. I need a complete overhaul on myself before I just fall apart.

Rainbow over the house yesterday

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cement Truck is here....

The progress on the porch is making big headway today.... Pictures later.

So, yesterday I only had one opportunity to use my new get-your-mind-off-yourself tactic. The kids were almost totally walking the line. I think my hiatus made a temporary impression and it made for a pretty calm day and there were no wet or otherwise messy pants, either. I was quizzing James in the car on something and he unconsciously slipped into his I'm-not-going-to-answer-you-if-I-don't-want-to mode and I just pulled off to the side of the road and just like that he made a conscious choice to change modes. lol

I just started talking about how Mrs. VonBergen's horse had died and that I was thinking of making her a card because she was so sad. Not only did her horse die,  but at the beginning of the week  Mr.VonBergen's  little dog died also. I couldn't see any  kind of response to know if they were thinking at all, but this morning Missy went to Christina with some pretty card stock and asked for help to write Mrs. V a sympathy card. It's all ready to deliver. A pretty sure sign that her naval gazing has been interrupted with the noble thought that perhaps she could do a little something to make the day brighter for someone else, you think? Better get mine written, eh?

I want to post some encouragement from a friend found in my comment box. Thank you, Sharon. I pray the Lord makes me into a Godly mother worthy of such an honor.

The day of God will reveal how much the world owes to godly mothers. . . . {Mar 308.3}

When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened; when the "well done" of the great Judge is pronounced, and the crown of immortal glory is placed upon the brow of the victor, many will raise their crowns in sight of the assembled universe, and pointing to their mother say: "She made me all I am through the grace of God. Her instruction, her prayers, have been blessed to my eternal salvation." {Mar 308.4}

With joy unutterable, parents see the crown, the robe, the harp, given to their children. The days of hope and fear are ended. The seed sown with tears and prayers may have seemed to be sown in vain, but their harvest is reaped with joy at last. Their children have been redeemed. {Mar 308.5}

I also found this little poem by Elder Frazee on facebook, of all places, and found food for thought.

Dear Lord, 
I do not ask that Thou shouldst give
Some high work of Thine, or some noble task.
Give me a little hand to hold in mine,
Give me a little child to point the way
Over the strange, sweet path that leads to Thee.
Give me a little voice to teach to pray,
Give me two shining eyes Thy face to see;
The only crown I ask to wear, 
Dear Lord,
is this:

That I may teach a little child.

I do not ask that I may stand
Among the wise, the worthy, or the great;
I only ask that softly, hand in hand,
A child and I may enter at the gate.

- Sermon #0281

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How is the 14 Day Challenge Going for You?

I can say, like GB's Mom, that my children have benefited from this challenge. I have as well, but I haven't been able to go many days without emitting something negative. Sometimes in the heat of things- and there's been a ton of heat - I forget and I just tell them what I think of their foolishness. Yesterday was one of those times. I do believe it is possible, but it might take me a few years!! lol. I'll stick with it, though. The Lord has promised to help me.

I received more comments than usual yesterday.  I appreciate the encouragement. As, for Jason's comment, we know God doesn't think about us the way I think or we would have all been zapped out of existence long ago. I actually went back and read something I wrote out last year about how God deals with us in our stupidity and it was convicting to me. This was principles I found in the book The Desire of Ages chapter 1.

~It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love.
         - The law of self-renouncing love is the law of life.
         - That love "seeks not her own" .
         - It is the glory of our God to give.
         - Even the angels of glory find their joy in giving, - giving love and;
             tireless watchcare to souls that are fallen and unholy.

SIN originated in . . .


Lucifer was                                         Take note .....
   - desiring to be first                        {Me First Attitude}
   -  trying to gain CONTROL             {Control Issues}
   -  deceitful                                       {Lying}
   -  rebellious                                     {Rebellion}


The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government;
He desires only the service of love,
and love cannot be commanded; 
it cannot be won by force or authority.

~ ONLY by LOVE is love awakened.

To know God is to love Him.

The high and holy God became our servant. This was voluntary sacrifice. 
Or, as we like to say, Voluntary redemptive suffering.

~ Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves.
If you think it through, it's a lesson in parenting.

How should I deal with the sins reflective of Satan's character:

Me First attitude
Control Issues
and Rebellion?

The same way God, our Father, deals with mine. Not with force, but with self-sacrificing LOVE.
Not with what I deserve, but what He deserves.

I understand, it's not that consequences and discipline are out the door - on the contrary; We love our children so much we are compelled to allow them to suffer from the small, safe consequences that teach valuable lessons when they spurn the kindly admonition of their loving parents, but that's another study for another day.

So today is a new day. I'm ready to face the battles again. James came into our room early complaining of a tummy ache. He's vomited his water a half dozen times, but is eating breakfast no problem.???  So far he has not been obstinate.

Missy wants to go to school today for pt,ot and speech and she's trying to be congenial to that end.  She pulled a new one on me. "But Mom, I DID do my poop!!!! I did my big poop.............................yesterday." Oh, man, what does she think I am?  lol. We all had a good chuckle on that one. She also came upstairs turned on James' light and told him he had to get up and get up now! Now she's telling him he can't have a tortilla but she can. Sorry kiddo. If he can't have one, than neither can you because, in my long reality escape yesterday,  I  decided she's going too far with this and I have come up with a plan that may seem contrary to the principles I just pasted above and so I'm still thinking it through...however, it just might get her attention to understand what she is doing. Whatever she tells James to do or not do, or tattles on him, etc... those very words she uses will be applied to her.  She doesn't tattle for fear of him getting hurt, etc... she tattles only to cause him trouble. She bosses him to no end in an effort to stir up the pot. He for the most part ignores it, thankfully. (So, No tortillas for you this morning, kiddo, this be the result of your own doing. In the time it took to write this last sentence she told him him that she was FIRST. Oooops. Sorry, that makes you last.)

I decided one more thing in my hiatus; I prayed about it and this is what came to mind. For the obvious manipulative games we endure I am going to give them grace and turn a deaf ear. (Easier said than done - might have to give myself a sticker for each one hahah!!). I am going to, out loud, think of ways to help someone else in an effort to turn their minds away from themselves. "Mrs. VonBergens' horse died yesterday and she's feeling so very sad, I'm going to send her a pretty card."  "Mrs. Stewart is  sick in bed, I think I'll pick her some tomatoes. You know how much she loves tomatoes!"  "I wonder how Mr. Matthews is doing since his surgery. Let's see, where's his phone number, I'll call him." "Vanessa has worked so hard to get ready for that chemistry test, I 'm going to bake an apple pie." etc... We'll let you know how that pans out. You would think I would say, "Why don't you send Mrs. VonBergen a card", but for now I am going to see if they don't think of it themselves when I state what I am going to do and ask if they can also.  The other thing is, the manipulation comes when they are suppose to be doing something already and don't want to.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

There Comes a Breaking Point

And I have reached  it this morning.

Not good.

I've been dealing constant with defiance by one or the other since last week. This morning was the limit. Life has been put on hold. All privileges revoked. No school, no choir, no church supper, no evening meeting, no playing with friends, no nothing. They have lost it all. I am not available to talk, respond, or help. They are outside with dad working and I am on vacation (in my mind). Today I will not be disrespected, ignored, disobeyed, tricked, screamed at, yelled at, whined at, stomped at, defied, or pushed, or manipulated because I have put myself emotionally out of reach, and I will not acknowledge any of it.

Yes, it's that bad.

Christina is not doing well with it because I am not doing well with it.

It a terrible thing when you realize nothing you do or say will make a difference. Nothing you've done or  will ever do - though you work your tail off, makes the needed change in the heart. Even when it is for their very own good and betterment.

All the developmental miles stones and victories gained mean nothing if their hearts continue to be hard as stone.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Speech Evaluation

This week our speech therapist at the hospital returned to work from her maternity leave.  I asked her to do an evaluation to see where we were as compared to before. Obviously she was going to do that anyway since she hadn't worked with them in some months, but I wanted to know her honest opinion on whether she believed James needed to continue seeing her as he is  doing so well and he has speech at the school once a week, too.

Amazing. He almost doubled his scores from last time. I think since he is reading he is so much more aware of sounds and letters and the way words and sentences work. He learns fast.

He went from way out there to within normal range in every area but one. He is still struggling with expressive language.  Well, that was no surprise, but I do believe he'll get there.

So, no speech at the hospital for him which is great, because the teacher at the little school would like to use Tuesdays as make-up day when she needs to.

Missy didn't make any progress whatsoever. She stayed absolutely the same. Speech therapy continues.

James did school in the car today. Actually asked to do it. Alas, every time I have something good to report, there is the opposite as well. We did quite a bit of school, but then he decided he didn't want to do it anymore and Whala!! he suddenly could not figure out how to do it at all. I took it away for about 15 minutes. We sort of tricked him into giving the right answer, but then when I handed him the book again he went straight into stubborn mode. I prayed and decided to take my own advice... and marked the spot with an X for wrong and put the book away. He's been doing laundry since we came home. There's never a shortage of that.... and the dirty clothes absorb the silent tears  well enough.

Missy has had a hard lesson today, too. Nothing new. Didn't come to breakfast. We left at 8:30 AM and so she had to go to speech without eating. After speech, though, I had her container of crock pot beans ready for her. That's what we had eaten for breakfast. She was feeling all smug eating in front of James. A while later I brought out James' sack lunch and bought him some hot potatoes to go with it. She was certain that I should have bought her hot potatoes, too and wailed loud and long. She was so offended!! I talked her through.... eating now would be for gluttony since she had eaten well an hour and half ago. She had not come to breakfast when I called her, so whose fault was that?  She knew. Hers. I asked what she was doing in her room that kept her from coming. "playing with dolls". Oh, Doesn't mommy give you time every day to play with your dolls and play what you like? "No".... oooops! WRONG answer. So, this evening she is playing dolls in her room even though she doesn't really want to. I told her I insisted so that she knows that it isn't necessary to be playing dolls when mom calls for breakfast. She has other time to play. Watch next week she will be there for breakfast on Tuesday and then she will insist that I buy her hot potatoes for her lunch. She won't forget!!!! And woe unto me if I do. lol.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What To Do, What To Do ???

He peed his pants at the teacher's house today.

He did it Friday, also.

It used to be he only did it outside at our house.

Next he started being more random about it at home.

Now he's doing it at school....

I don't know what to do.

He's almost 8 years old.

I called the teacher right away when I figured it out and we talked.

On the way home I talked to James about it. AGAIN. He knows the consequence is that he has to take a shower. This makes him so angry. He will stand and scream at me for 15 minutes about it.  I asked him if he planned on screaming at me this time. He said no.

I also added a chore for him to do. To finish clearing out the gravel from the trailer for dad. There isn't a lot, but it is an extra, unusual job. And then, I will have him help me do the laundry from our weekend.

Well, when we got home he feigned that he could not open the car door. I told him to work on it. I went in the house to pray because this I knew, was the beginning of his anger over having been caught and having to take a shower. After 10 minutes I went out and suggested that there were in fact 4 other doors on the suburban if he really truly could not open that particular door.... half an hour later he finally came out. I made him go back in and practice opening the door. It kind of sticks, but he knows how to get out when he wants to.

This drives me to tears. I don't know what to do about it anymore than I know what to do about Missy's messy pants.... (though she has gone a few days without doing that.) We've ruled out so many reasons why this is his problem. It keeps coming back to laziness. He says he doesn't feel like going to the bathroom. This is something I have been praying specifically with the kiddo about. At this point I'm the only one who sees the need for change. He doesn't care - except when has to take a shower.

Making Sense of the Weekend {learning from my mistakes}

Lesson number 1.

As crazy as it is dealing with the child when she has been told we are going somewhere, it is the better of the two options. I think waiting until the day of travel is probably a good idea, but it doesn't work to try and make the day a normal, usual day. Her radar is too keen for that. Dealing with her anxiety of NOT knowing all the details is more traumatic than dealing with the  crazies that come with knowing.

Lesson number 2.

Always keep dairy free, gluten free food on hand. We were late arriving at the camp and so the cafeteria line was closed, however, they kindly had a hot pot of soup and crackers waiting for us. It was lovely, hot, corn chowder. Obviously, there were no options. It was eat soup or not eat. I'm more than sure it had dairy in it. Upon reflection, I have decided this is most certainly the cause for Missy's severe case of insomnia. That coupled with her high anxiety level. She used to require clonidine to sleep at all, and the more active lifestyle only fixed that to a degree, paying attention to her diet has been key.

Lesson number 3.

Get Missy a babysitter next time(wishful thinking) , but do not fail to take James with!

James loved the weekend. He learned much. The survival skills are, of course, very much a guy thing, so he had a grand time. Not only that, he is interested in people and strangers are not really strangers for long. He will talk to people and ask questions. People were very accommodating even though the class was for teens and youth, they took the time to include him and  they told me as we were leaving that they really enjoyed working with him and getting to know him.

Lesson number 4

This is something that the children themselves clued into. I was able to give James much more freedom because I could trust him. He could sit with the big sisters. He could go out in the woods with his group. He could play ping-pong, he could go to the meetings and join in the fun of the obstacle course, etc...

Missy was tied to me. End of story. And she fought it with everything she had. She was contrary and fighting restraint entirely the whole time, even when she did get some sleep.

I finally asked her, "Why do you think mom can let James do things that I can't let you do?"

Because I not obey.

Later I asked James the reverse question. "Why do you think that I can let you have some freedoms that I can't let your twin have?"

Because she doesn't want to obey.

"How right you are. There is safety in following the rules. There is just one thing that you are not careful of and for that I have to be on alert and it does effect your freedoms."

His head went down and he blushed, but he didn't wet his pants that day, all day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Looking Up

Missy had a long sleep in the middle of the day and James really got into the wilderness survival skills being taught in the woods - even in the pouring rain. Later the sun came out and even Missy was able to get out in the woods. And last night, both kids slept. Thank you, Lord!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The girls are part of the music team this weekend at Mivoden.

I had to take the twins with me because Steve has to work Sunday....

I did not tell Missy where we were going or if she even was going... There's a dozen reasons not to tell her stuff like this.... and twelve reasons why you should. I figured out all the reasons why I should have yesterday. Last time I figured out all the reason why I shouldn't. She could see we were going somewhere and she was on high alert. She barked orders for me to pack her suitcase, etc.... James took it in stride... or so I thought.

It all culminate in both of them screaming hysterically right when it was time to leave. He had wet his pants and she had messed her pants... which is a common daily occurrence that I am pulling my hair out over. I would not let them in the car until they were dressed in clean clothes, shoes tied and buttons done up. That's all it took to put them into hysteria.

It would be lying to say that I was okay with that.

They were both benched until they could control themselves. When they finally dressed properly I let them in the car on the condition there would be no talking. Period. They rode in the car all afternoon and were nary allowed one word!

We arrived late. So registration was put off.... finally at 9pm I asked if someone would please let me know which room I could take the kiddos to because they were making it impossible for me to concentrate on the meeting and I was worrying about what they would be like the next day if they didn't get to bed. As it turned out there was not much point in rushing them off to bed.... they would not go to sleep anyway.

Brianna left the meeting with us and was snoring in seconds. The twins not so much. In fact, Missy was not into sleeping period!! Finally I had enough.... and I stuck her in the spare room across the hall at 5:30 this morning. I suppose she slept some, but my outlook on today is not exactly positive... I'm asking for grace to be nice. Some children will either be hiked to the point of exhaustion or they will gladly take a nap to appease their growling, sleep deprived mother. Ha! ha!

Missy has big black circles under her eyes.

Tonight I'm putting myself in the spare room and leaving the twins with Bri since it appears she can sleep through anything.

The other girls are excited about the meetings... They said it got better and better as the evening wore on. They let out at 10 pm. I'm asking the Lord to give me a blessing somewhere in all this....

Friday, October 21, 2011


Happy Birthday!!
It doesn't seem possible that it's been 14 years since she made her entrance~!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

That Boy

James came home last week from his class with a project he's been working on for a few weeks.
I am amazed. 
Aren't they beautiful?
The first one he made for me and the second one is for dad.
I framed them both.
He knows the names of the flowers.
He'll tell you which are bell flowers and which are petal flowers, etc... too.
Every day he surprises me with his knowledge of the wildflowers and leaves and bugs. 
Just the fact that he can recall all the names of these things and go out and identify them is mind boggling to me. He's been doing this class for what, 5 weeks?

He was kind of having an up and down day.
I'm guessing he's over tired.
Got mad when I said no more veggie chips for lunch.
When he didn't recover in a timely fashion I sent him to time out
and he lost his cool.
So a little thing became a great big thing. 
And to make a long story short,
Dad had him moving some rocks and clearing dead branches and leaves for awhile.

When he was done, he came to me with his hands behind his back.
"Mom, close your eyes.
Okay, open them."
And he hands me two furry, grey-green leaves.

"See, lambs ears.
Aren't they soft?"

I love it!

Once again he had a problem.
 Had trouble with obedience and respect.
This time I had him write 4 sentences.
Took him awhile.

 He was soon plunking his melody out on the piano, again.

Next we went out to supper for Christina's 14th birthday....
And if Buster Brown didn't find something to cry about!!

Oh, well some days are like that.

I'd say he's tired, wouldn't you?
Too much learnin' is exhausting, I take it.

Positive Words. {It has to be taught}

I love this picture!!!
I'd give photo credits, but I don't know who they go to.

May it brighten your day!

Something I have been doing while we have been working on positive thought/speech in the adult world the last week is teaching the the little kids to replace their negative words with positive words.

I realize I actually have to do this by rote,
as in, 
give them the script,
especially with Missy as they don't necessarily have 
much in their "file" they can pull up at a moment's notice.

When they say something negative I ask them to say 4 nice things to replace those ugly words.
Often I then proceed to give Missy 4 positive sentences to repeat.
It's all done with a smile.

If left to figure out how to come up with 4 nice things to say she'll end up with 
"Yes mom, Yes mom, Yes mom, Yes mom." 
But after a week of working on phrases and sentences that I give her, she can almost beat me to it with,
"I love you."
"I will obey."
"I'm sorry I disobeyed."
"I would be happy to feed the dog."

I'll be content with just a few concrete lines for now until they become a part of her and she is ready for more.

In truth, I'm the one who had to teach her to say, "Yes mom."
So, it should not be a surprise that I have to continue to teach her set lines
and responses.


James has taken on a NEW pastime.

Playing the piano.


I didn't know if he would ever be able to match pitch,
but he is getting there.
And today, I hear the first line of Immanuel being played 
over and over and over again.

He is so intense in choir that he makes people laugh.
Seriously don't know what I'm going to do with his exuberance.
He has no concept of blending in
and sounding as one voice.
I have my work cut out for me :-)

{Music is Good for Me} So Blessed

Vanessa has had the happy task of listening to and voting on music submissions for the upcoming G*Y*C Convention. After her invitations to the files quit being tagged by the server and dumped, and we figured out how to use Google Wave, her little ibook was hooked to the sound system the music started to flow.... We cranked it up. The mariachi band filtering up from the orchards had competition!

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as we listened and peeled carrots and potatoes and scrubbed beets from the garden. The whole family got into it.... nobody's asking for our votes, but that doesn't stop any of us from expressing our sentiments!! In the end we let Vanessa make her own decisions.  :-)

Music speaks to me. There's nothing like it to lift my spirits towards heaven. How blessed we are to have such wonderful music.

There's this one group Vanessa did not vote on, called Echoes of Heaven.....

They've got my vote.....

not that I'm partial
or biased or anything,

but then,

nobody is asking for my vote.  :-)

Echoes of Heaven

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I keep typing and deleting. How do I even start?

It was a full on battle of the wills. James verses mom. Over one word. Mane.

He refused to read it.

I knew why and I wasn't going to let him win.

He loves to do his phonics and reading with me and we have a great time together doing it, however, when he decides that he isn't going to do anymore, he isn't going to do anymore. Period.  Different things make him decide to shut down on me.

*Doing it somewhere that he doesn't think is the place to do it, ie, in the car waiting for someone, in a church lounge during Christina's biology, outside on the porch, etc...

*Not doing it in the order he thinks it ought to be done.

*If I choose to skip a page to show him a concept explained better on a different page....

*Or, if he feels lazy and plain doesn't want to.

It doesn't happen often, but it is becoming more frequent and I can't really be in bondage to his whims. It just doesn't work.

I let him know that I was the teacher and he was the student and it wasn't up to him to decide what he will do or not do. Using deceit and pretending he was incapable was also out of bounds. And so, the battle ensued.

The word was  MANE there was a picture of a horse with long tresses. Above was the word MAN and below the word MANE. We had been discussing how the e on the end make the vowel say its name. It's not a very new concept. We've been talking about it for a week.

He said "man" everytime. We went over the LONG vowel sound of A. We talked about his name and the long A sound. I called him Jams instead of James to make a point and that only made him the angrier. Read this word as MANE.... and he would say, "MAN".  He was utterly disrespectful. I disciplined and did everything I knew how and he would not.

Steve came home from work and worked him him and through the whole, entire scenerio the kid was oh, so bull-headed, disrespectful, and obstinate.

I normally have low blood pressure... !!!!

He finally said it for Steve and I just wanted to be sure this battle was over and I asked him to read it for me and. he. would. not.

And so we continued to work with him.

He finally did.

Steve and I decided we won't battle like that again. We'll just assign hard labor until he yields. I don't have the energy to do this and I cannot win and if Steve isn't home, then what? It's also ugly. Very ugly. He was not completely out of control as one might expect, but acting as though we were asking the unreasonable and there was a lot of self-pity, crying and stubbornness and disrespect.

While I was at my appointment Vanessa took the twins to walk in the park. This was the twins' second walk of the day. So they probably got in two hours of good exercise. After my appointment I ran to Costco and Vanessa let them play on the monkey bars and stuff. Three or four little boys invited James to play tag with them. As it turned out he was always it because he wasn't fast enough. He was standing on the playground equiptment platform when all of a sudden one of the little kids said, "Put your hands up!"

He lifted his hands and this kid pulled a toy gun on him. James went ballistic. He SCREAMED all the way down the slide and went running for Vanessa screaming hysterically. It was end of their good time. We don't have tv and we don't do guns. We're vegetarians so my husband doesn't hunt. We can't even legally own a firearm considering we are not Americans. So, whatever James knows about guns and the danger he associates with them, he learned before ever he moved here. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?


Last night was opening night of our English Language School. It was VERY, VERY well attended. More people showed up then were registered. Everything went super well and the whole church was humming with activity.  The children I had in my group were great kids and very easy to please. They loved the choir part of our program. I was kind of concerned that the 10 year old might think my craft was a little lame.... OH, NO! I guess they don't get to do this kind of stuff much.  Even the boys ate it up.

Magnesium. We figured out that magnesium was helpful to Missy quite by accident. I use it for me and well, Missy has to drink a lot of water and if she doesn't get enough things go South quite quickly. To encourage her to drink sometimes we change it up a bit and give her a vit. C packet, or a little lemon juice in her water, whatever. The magnesium tastes good in water and we discovered it keeps her regular without the use of miralax or prune juice and all those other wonderful things. Anyway, it has taken time. A couple of months of just a little magnesium in her water first thing in the morning to make a difference, but we see it now. And we definitely see it when she doesn't have it. You can look it up. There are claims that magnesium helps with behavior, moods, ADHD, etc... 

Life's been a crazy. Yesterday, I left the house by 8:30 am.... got home about 9:30 pm. Good thing I ate a good breakfast. There was no time for lunch or supper. It was crackers and apple slices and yuck... so, have to organize my Tuesdays better.

I LOVE all your comments on the Positive Word Challenge. They are so much fun to read. Who would have ever thought this would be so, so.... challenging?

I'm not even certain where I stand at the moment. 

Hang in there!

Monday, October 17, 2011


I'm back at square one.

I shouldn't really tell my child 
what I think of how she looks 
with beans smeared all over 
her lovely yellow dress.

Tomorrow is a new day.

On a side note:

It appears there is something to this magnesium thing. We missed two days and little Miss Muffet was on a downward spiral from the moment she woke up... by mid-morning I realized I had not given her the CALM so we took care of that and things started to look up after a few hours.


Some of the twins' foolishness actually gives cause for hope.

Missy was hollering, "I want TWO tortilla's. Not one, TWO!"

Okay, no problem.

Just sit quietly and wait.

Missy: "I want peanut butter and jam on them!"

Missy, just sit down and wait quietly, while I get it, please.

Missy: "Margarine has dairy in it! I want peanut butter and jam."

Anna-Joy, that's called using information, (or misinformation,) to manipulate people into giving you what you want. Mama knows what you are doing.

Missy: "I want peanut butter and jam!!" whine.....

The hope part of this scenario is she really did just use her brain to put all that information / misinformation together to influence me to do her bidding. It means her brain has the ability.....  AND I'm always on the lookout for that! She heard someone say that one of the containers of margarine had a byproduct of dairy in it, and we are pretty careful about her diet. However, I don't think she would have been concerned if she wanted margarine.

The sad part is she doesn't trust me to give her what I know she would like and feels she must control the situation as much as she possibly can to get her needs met.


The Lord has given me an opportunity to put to practice what I'm preaching. I'm being tested in where I let my thoughts go and have been since Tuesday. You see, one of my daughters had someone video tape some lectures, but then in good faith they loaned us the camera so that she could watch those videos. We could not ever get the thing to work for us at all. Eventually we just returned it....

At least that is what we remember.

Tuesday this family asked for their camera back.


Sadly, both houses have been ripped to shreds in an effort to find it and it has not been recovered. Neither of us have it - such a mystery!

I just keep pulling my thoughts back to this one truth; The Lord KNOWS where it is and He could choose to reveal it to us whenever He wishes. There has got to be a reason for this trial. Only, I hope the reason is for the other family's sake and not mine, because this is a GREAT BIG deal to them and I hate to be the cause of their trouble! (Is that selfish of me??)

I'm at the point of buying them a new one.

All this while I'm fighting off thoughts that sound super silly on paper.

Over-generalizations such as:
* "I'll NEVER let anyone in this house borrow anything EVER again for as long as I live!!"
Mind-readings such as:
* "I bet they just think thus and such of us!!"
Fortune-Telling thoughts such as:
"I just know this is going to ruin our friendship."
"This is the end of the world!"
"This is enough to make me really upset!"
Etc, etc......

BUT nope, while those thoughts do come and seek permission to enter, I refuse to to let them in. I refuse to believe them and I won't own them. Maybe someday those kind of thoughts will cease to beg entrance. I'm thanking the Lord that I'm not totally stressed out by this, but I'm still praying for a miracle.

For as he thinks in his heart,
so is he.
Proverbs 23:7

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Where to Get the BOOK

The Lost Art of Thinking is a book by Dr. Neil Nedley.

Amazon currently has 5 copies.

You can also get it straight from Nedley's website. I didn't have good success ordering through them, but I don't know what happened, I could have made a mistake. It ended up that a friend went to one of his seminars and was able to get me the book for $10 dollars less.

It is also available as an ebook.

I think one could probably get the book from Life Style of America and or Weimar's bookstore.

It's expensive but excellent.

Distorted Thinking - Speak the Truth

That I know of,  about 10 people have joined the 14 Day Challenge to Improving Thoughts. That in itself is a boost to my commitment to the challenge. Thanks for joining the journey with me. I hope that each person will let God be the one to help you decide just how far to take this exercise. I am going to be really strict with myself as I am convicted that God is wanting to purify my heart and mind and words and I am convicted on certain thought patterns that often find their way into words. For another person, the parameters of the challenge may look slightly different for their struggle is not mine, mine is not theirs. Once we did this challenge with our whole family and we had to make it absolutely clear that no one could monitor the progress of another. The smallest member of the family at the time, was feeling like everybody was ganging up on her!!

Taking note of everything that comes out of my mouth is an interesting exercise, because I am finding out that I say things offhandedly without much concern for what they really mean. Distorted thinking is more common than we realize.

Yesterday's funny incident highlights the truth of that. The girls were planning their music selection for Abundant Life and Brianna was pleading to be excused so that she could study after sundown. Steve offered to sing while the girls played their instruments. I don't know how serious he was, as he rarely sings in front of people, but they went back and forth on what they were going to do for quite awhile. Meanwhile, they are making supper. Steve, who is not often in the kitchen, either, was helping. He was blending something and it came exploding out the top because he turned it up too high, too fast making a bit of mess. His reaction?

"I can't cook! I shouldn't be in the kitchen, and I don't think I can do special music either!"

The explosion of laughter as everyone, including Steve, recognized the distorted thinking in that statement was greater than the explosion of the food from the blender!

There are categories of distorted thinking.

If you read the story of Esau in Genesis, as suggested by the book The*Lost*Art*of*Thinking,  you can quickly recognize the guy indulged in distorted thinking. In his hunger he was overcome with a bout of all-or-nothing thinking and in his mind it was "lentils or death". What good is a birth-right to a dead man?  Actually, he wasn't dying or he wouldn't have been able to walk to Jacob's cooking pot hanging over the fire. Death by starvation is a long process, so his thinking wasn't truth.

Perfectionists are often all-or-nothing thinkers. They won't do something unless they can do it PERFECT! They often can't be happy unless everything they do is an ultimate success, but life is full of trial and error, mistakes and missteps to finding the way to success and these people can't deal with what they view as failure, so they won't attempt what they can't be 100% sure will succeed the first time. They say, If I can't do it perfectly, then I can't do it at all.

It is suggested in the book to write on a 3X5 card a list of ALL-OR-Nothing words you frequently find yourself saying. Always, Never, Awful, Terrible, Totally, Everything, etc... Then keep track of how often you say these words for a few days. Watch yourself for things you may say that are NOT really true such as;

"That ALWAYS happens to me!"
"I NEVER get to go."
"EVERYTHING is going wrong."
"This is a TERRIBLE day!"

Learn to speak the truth even to yourself. Be reminded of Philippians 4:8 Whatsoever is true and honest.... think on these things.

Psalm 51:6

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: 
and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Fungus we found near a forest trail.

Proud of the Kiddos

Yesterday incident gave the twins an opportunity to prove how far they have come in how they handle disappointment.

Vanessa and I had a funeral to play piano for....We were gone about 4 hours. We were starved and cold and tired when we returned home. The rest of the family needing to get out and go hiking or something and we discussed taking the twins' bikes and heading out to the loop trail. The twins were excited at the proposal. However, by the time Vanessa and I ate our lunch and my frozen feet were finally thawed it was  getting late and the sun wasn't going to be out much longer. Driving out to the loop trail was going to take too long since the girls had a music appointment at Abundant Life, so we decided to hike the pinnacles instead, which meant no bikes.

Missy's reaction was whine and fuss at dad which was quickly remedied by my prompting for her to say 4 nice things to him, instead. Her eyes revealed the utter disappointment, though, and I was proud of the fact that after all these months she can handle the letdown without losing total self-control and screaming her wrath at us.

As it happened, brother was not in the house at the announcement. James' reaction was total silence. One could see he was clearly disappointed. He was also asked to switch shoes since sandals were not appropriate for the Pinnacles. He would rather wear velcro shoes over hiking boots any day, because he doesn't want to be bothered with laces. He stood there in silence and thought through how he should act or react to the two disappointments facing him. He did nothing.  He did not frown, or curl his toes, or make a sound. He turned and opened the closet and pulled out his boots. I was very proud of him and let him know that I knew he was sad, but he handled it very well.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Today is Day 1

Again. For me, anyway.


It occurred to me that I did not title that last post correctly. It was because I ran out of time that I did not get on to the POWER part of positive filters. More on that tomorrow.

For today

here's a verse to meditate on:

Philipians 4:8

Think on whatever is 
worthy of praise.

Joyful 13 year olds~!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Power of Positive Filters

Once again I picked up the book The*Lost*Art*of*Thinking  (asterisked to protect the droves of people who google this book and who are not looking for me and my prattle.) This of course, is the book on improving Emotional Intelligence.This time I did not pick it up for the sake of the twins. It's time to assess my own mental filters...I'm sure I'm due for a spring cleaning. Anyone who works very long with distorted, unbalanced and inaccurate thinkers must evaluate their own thought patterns from time to time. Of course, I believe that is what regular Bible study and prayer will do for people, but it doesn't hurt to take a conscious look at our thinking and perspective to be sure we have not become an overgeneralizing, negative, "mind-reading", magnifying or minimizing, critical labeler. How's that for a mouthful?

My brain hurts.

I've decided to take a piece of advice and do a 14 day thought improvement plan. Who is with me? Anybody want to try it?

14 Day Plan to Improve Thought Patterns

The topics of our conversation really can have a negative or positive influence on our health.

  1. For fourteen consecutive days decide to say nothing critical or negative about anything or any person.
  2. Not one critical word is allowed to be spoken to others (not even “constructive” criticisms.)
  3. Speak to others using positive or neutral words or speak nothing at all (use the same rule for thoughts.)
  4. If you slip upon any day during the two weeks, you begin counting again until you achieve all 14 consecutive days.
  5. Don’t get discouraged if you have to start over; things will get easier as you become more aware of your thoughts.
  6. After completing 14 consecutive days, constructive criticism is allowed and you will be a far better judge of what that really means.
This exercise may seem impossible for those raising children or leading in a business environment. It is possible, however, to communicate expectations and enforce consequences without critical words.

To be perfectly honest.... I've done this a few times in my life, but have yet to be very successful since the twins came to live here. Poor kids get blamed for everything, don't they? Okay, enough of that. Only positive and neutral words from here on out....

Guess who turned 18 this week? Wow! When I turned 18 and Steve turned 21 (a month apart) we  began our courtship... my mother was 37 and my dad 39 at the time, if that tells you anything. . . According to Brianna each generation gets a little bit smarter.....  No fellows on the horizons. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Maybe I'm tired of feeling harrassed.


Maybe I'm just tired.

But both kids are in time out for 10 minutes and they are not to shout any orders or command a single move in my direction.

We've worked on this since day one, but, while we have made a ton of progress in this area, we are far from having reached our goal.

I hear Mom, momma, Mommy, MOOOOOOOOOM, Mama! all day long. The expect to be served in an instant. They have no patience to wait for me. They scarf down the first plate of food in a nano-second and start hollering for more food.

Please! Just wait. Just be quiet. Close your lips and wait.

SO, before lunch even started I said, "Please, don't holler at me. Don't ask. I WILL take care of you. I will bring you what you need. I might even ask you what you would like, just DON"T ASK for anything right now or I'm going to put you in time out. I am SERIOUS!!"

Fifteen seconds later...

They are both in time out.

So hard to break bad habits!

What would you do?

At potluck I served them each a plate, but only having two hands I did not have their forks and had to go back for them.  I asked them to wait quietly. Thirty seconds later I come back to find them eating with their hands!!


I took them away from the table to talk in private and warned them they could be driven home . . .

I made them fold their hands and wait until the other children at the table had their food.

In a sense it's going after gnats in comparison to some of the stuff we deal with, but it drives me batty.

* Missy has not had an accident since I told her I was serious about not letting her play with friends until she chose to keep her panties clean. This is proving my mind-over-matter theory. She also has not screamed much lately. She isn't obedient, so unfortunately, it isn't a change of heart... :-p, I'm thinking the magnesium is calming her nerves, though, maybe she is recognizing that she just plain doesn't need to scream.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Little Nerd {Who is God}

Truly I have a little nerd on my hands. He LOVES to read. He loves to cuddle up close on the couch and read his Bible verses, Dick and Jane and the Rod and Staff Readers. He has the Lord's Prayer down pat; memorized in one week. Yesterday he memorized John 10:11. His big passage in James 1:2-8 that he is learning for school is going to take him a bit longer, but he can pretty much read it with the exception of a few big words and those he just memorizes. He would rather have pencil and paper than play outside. Playing outside is just one of those things he HAS to do, like it or not. Once he is out there his imagination usually helps him make a big mess somewhere.

Missy is so jealous of the time I spend listening to James read. She doesn't learn the same way he does. She is not an auditory learner and the way he learns his Bible verses simply doesn't work with her. Her memory is not quite as sharp as his, though, she seems to remember whatever is important to her. I haven't figured out the best way to do this, except repetition, repetition, repetition and lots of time.

This morning is going hard and slow, like every morning. She is currently crying and carrying on because for the 30 minutes I asked her to get dressed she did not, and now that it is time to move on to something else she wants to get dressed. Today is town day. Unfortunately, both children paid me no heed this morning and both will end up going to town in pjs. Oh well. I can't force them to obey.

Vanessa and Christina had an interesting Bible study with a lady yesterday. She had a lot of pent up frustration, and fear over her perception of who God is. Her thoughts came pouring out in a torrent of accusations and misunderstandings.... The girls were there 2 hours. They gently led her to see a different God. They were able to point to the Bible and show the inconsistencies of her own jumbled thoughts about Him. She was grateful that they could direct her to the Bible for answers. 

This woman lives in utter fear. She had a dream the other night that Jesus was coming. She dreamed that she was with her family on the lawn playing with the children when a light came out of the sky growing bigger and bigger. The light was so bright it was burning and in the dream she dropped dead. She said, "I was dead right there! DEAD!!! I could see myself lying on the grass!" She felt she was lost. She could not get out of bed the next day. She lay in bed in pain and fear all day, still burning from the bright light. She asked her husband if this dream was a sign she was going to hell. He, unsure of what to make of it all, decided to be silly and said, "Yup, it's a sure sign."

How many other people live in that kind of fear? Wow! I pray that God will show Himself to her as He is; loving, and desiring a relationship with her.

May God help us to understand the Bible and who God is so that we can share the preciousness of our Saviour at every opportunity.

Christina was effected by the experience. She came to our room last night to ask for guidance to get to know her Bible better. We ask that God will guide us on our journey to Him.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Choir

I was kind of getting excited about teaching English in our new language school. I have really enjoyed meeting the people and conversing with those who could converse, finding out what country they are from and talking about their kids. Wow! I almost feel like I'm working in a foreign mission field in the comfort of our own church building as the people flowed in the front door to register for classes. Some stayed for a plate of food and talked. Most were tired from a long day of hard work. 

I looked into the face of one gal my age yesterday and thought, you know, I bet we could really build a neat friendship. She's just that kind of person that you want to get to know.. She's from Guatemala, she works nights in the fruit packing industry, and her pride and joy is her ten year old daughter. She believes this child has potential to be a great Christian singer one day. I'm as curious as anything to hear her.

It has come clear that my place is not teaching English, however. All these people have kids and the needs of the kids are as great or greater than that of the parents even if they speak better English.  Delores simply would not be able to surround the kids  on her own, or even with a couple of teen helpers. We decided to split the kids by ages and have two classes.Things have evolved.... a few kids have already started coming to church and are looking to join Reflections, our kids choir,  not all the children can come on a Wednesday but they want to sing! The solution is to start a new choir with the ESL kids! We'll do more than that, though, we'll do a whole Bible School program.

Vanessa spent time with a 9 year old yesterday. The girl didn't so much as know the song Jesus Loves Me.Very bright and musical, she caught on to the simple piano lesson Vanessa gave her when they switched to the more familiar Mary Had a Little Lamb tune. The proud grandfather whispered his earnest thanks for the interest Vanessa showed in her. And it makes me want to cry because it was nothing really. Just a little time.

Our beginning ESL class is full to capacity. We have enough to start an intermediate class  and even have some advanced students. Just think. What if we had not gone through the pain of expanding and developing our church building into a more useful place? What a missed opportunity we wouldn't even have known.

I spent 20 minutes shy of twelve hours at the church yesterday... We ended with a recording session of Echoes of Heaven. Funny girls. They think they still need me to direct them.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Not All Fun and Games

but we got through the morning.

My hard lined approach to Missy's trial backfired on me this morning. She tried, she fussed, she used every tactic known to mankind to let me know she could not go and did I believe her?

Well, of course not.

I did not because I'm stubborn like that, and because she's used it all on me before when she was being dishonest. I soon found myself backed up against a wall and had to concede.

YUCK! I really do want to be fair and being unfair is not going to get us anywhere.

She wasn't exactly all sugar and spice before this situation  to boot, so I assumed....

James did two days worth of phonics and reading today. He started off with a chip on his shoulder and was doing stuff wrong just to be wrong. Threatened with having to write lines he snapped out of it and did wonderfully.

If I only have one piece of advice to give to new adoptive parents it's this. Don't try to do any serious kind of homeschooling until you have earned at least a partial respect and a working relationship with the child. Until they know where you draw the lines, and that they can't push you past those lines, you will only be up to your armpits in the mire of testing, testing, testing. For me, this testing is easier to deal with in every day living than concentrated into school. It's a recipe for a head on collision. I know that by only giving them minimal amounts of "school" work in the last year and half I have saved us much heartache. Now the twins are ready to do more, be pushed, and they understand what happens when they don't cooperate. It's makes it a thousand times easier. We're really going places with it now. I'm actually not hating the process as much as I feared I was going to even a month ago.

Missy did have a melt down when I sent her to play in her room for an hour. She can't always tell me what the trouble is, so we had a long conversation - mostly a monolog. It finally came out when I asked, "Are you mad because I am doing school with James?"



Because you are not doing school with ME!!!!!!

The competition is so real that I am committed to only working with one little soul at a time. The other must find something to occupy their time.

Chicken Dance?

My kids surprise me sometimes.

The rule for class, of course, is your cell phone must be turned off. If your cell phone rings during class your consequence is to either to treat the whole class to donuts or you can get up front and entertain everyone with the chicken dance.

Except in the math class where Brianna's loud cell phone disrupted everyone.
Some little old lady called the wrong number and got Brianna in a whole lot of trouble.
She was all set to do the chicken dance.
She doesn't eat donuts.
She doesn't think anybody should eat donuts.
Donuts cost money,
And she isn't about to spend her hard earned pennies buying donuts.
(Cut and dry, that's just who she is.)

BUT the teacher said no chicken dance in her class!

But hey, Bri, can you show us what the chicken dance IS?

Brianna has had dozens of feathered friends in her life. A lot of them were chickens....  Her dance was a pretty realistic demonstration of a rooster's irritated strut and a whole lot more entertaining than the chicken dance we checked out on YouTube. I do believe the kid has a little Pepere in her. Did you know he can tap dance?

The teacher did agree to cookies so Christina set to work right away to make ginger snaps to get her sister out of a pinch. She even called Kristen, the cookie baking guru, about the problem she had with her cookies getting too hard last time. The problem was that they were not sealed tight enough last time.

Again, this morning the cookies were hard as bricks.

What to do.

At 6:30 AM this morning she was up making a whole new batch. They look great. Hopefully the zip lock can keep them soft until class....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hip-hip Hooray!

She made it to breakfast!!!

She did her whole morning routine without trying to drag anyone into any battles and she wasn't distracted. She did it with lightening speed!!

She came sat down to breakfast just after the rest of us had gathered. I couldn't believe my eyes and I quick whispered, "On the count of three clap and cheer!!"

So we did.

The look was priceless. She didn't know why were clapping and cheering at first and her face was a picture of confusion while she clapped and cheered with the rest of us. You wouldn't do that to most children for fear of embarrassing them, but this one thrives on praise. She loved it. She's repeated the performance on her own since and let everyone know several times that SHE MADE IT TO BREAKFAST ON TIME.

She's all dressed for school because today is speech class. And oh how she has waited all week to be able to go to school!

She was fairly successful in the other department yesterday, too.  She almost had an accident but she ran to the bathroom hollering at me that she needed to go. She talked all day about keeping her panties clean so she can play with the neighbors. This is 99% mind over matter. This morning there was no trouble using the toilet at all.

Do you know how much energy these kids waste trying to fool people playing mind games? It's exhausting just thinking about it. BUT for today we will just celebrate the cooperation.

I'm convinced that when I write about things on this blog people pray about it because often after I write about something it gets considerably better for awhile. So thanks, whoever you are!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One of THOSE Posts.... {You Know, TMI!}

I'm doing the best I can figure out how, 
but if could get a hold of a magic wand I certainly know what I would use it for. 

Just kidding....

I wish.

This pooping the pants bit has been hard.

I know she has a bowel problem, but she also is not cooperating much in this regard.
We're dealing with some sort of mental block or something.

I've tried a number of different things.
During the summer I reminded her and made her go poop about 5 to 7 times a day.
I know! Crazy. My mom says, 
"I don't know how she can go poop on demand!
I don't know anybody else who can do that!!"

Well, most people go when they need to go and they empty out.
Not this little Miss.
She goes mostly only when I tell her to,
and only stays long enough to produce what she can in 3 seconds flat.
I also sent her when I saw certain signs.
It wasn't usually random.
Picking at her pants was sign number 1, 
but there were several other signs to remain high on alert for.

This fall I decided that although we were not messing the pants often,
it was not solving the mental block issues,
or teaching her to be responsible for herself,
or helping her to experience the great feeling of having gone fully and emptying out,
so I changed tactics.

In the morning after her water and all that, 
I won't let her off the throne until I have decided she has done the job.
Easier said than done.

Like yesterday, 
She begged and pleaded and whined and cajoled Steve to let her off...
she knew better than to do that to me.
I went in there and declared that she had not done her job well enough and if she just couldn't there was always miralax to resort to...
Oooooh! The hated miralax. No thank you!!
Two minutes later she had done the job and Steve and I were congratulating each other for having stuck it out. Mind you, she had already pooped her pants, so it was a real dicey situation where you have to guess at what is an appropriate expectation....
Believe me, she exceeded my expectation,
but DON"T tell her that!!!
I don't want to be unreasonable.
I also don't want her to get mad and push her bowels out as she has done a few times.
It's so HARD to be the judge!!
She still pooped her pants last night.
Yes, we get a lot of fiber since we are still pretty much eating straight out of the garden plus some beans, so it isn't abnormal to need to go twice in a day,
but I don't want to ask her to go at night and then expect a full job in the morning.
I'm trying so hard to be reasonable in this unreasonable situation!!!

And like this morning,
She sat and sat and sat and did a little and declared she just couldn't, etc...
Finally I let her off the toilet but not off the hook.
I sent her down to the barn on the run three times in the pouring rain.
I thought maybe she needed to move around a bit,
and maybe relax 
or something.
And I put her back on.
She teased and tried to get off,
but I would not let her
and suddenly she did the job.
Was it really the exercise, or was it she finally saw that I wouldn't be pushed and she was tired of sitting there?

That's the way it is.
CONSTANTLY second guessing my expectations and her motives.
CONSTANTLY being put in the position of judging the impossible.
If we were just working with a physical condition it would not be half as frustrating
but no, this is very much a mental issue as well.

Last night when she pooped in her pants while standing watching us work on the porch,
Steve and I just looked at each other and shook our heads.
What does this do for her?
It really is hard to wrap the brain around this.
She has at times been good about going on her own - but usually with a threat hanging over her head.
I seem to have no other alternative but to keep plodding along,
keep trying,
keep guessing,
keep making judgements,
and keep praying that some day this will all click in her head.