Monday, December 31, 2012

Youth on Fire

Two Thousand, five hundred young people joined together for outreach in Seattle yesterday. It was quite a process to get that many people on buses...

There was a Youth For Jesus reunion last night which the girls enjoyed very much.

We were really blessed by the speaker last evening.

Yesterday my day started off by following Vanessa around to get the piano in the main meeting hall re-tuned. Good thing we actually know the tuner. For us he was willing to rearrange his schedule and meet us at 6:45 AM at the convention center.

I am meeting people all over the place who read this blog... I am in shock really! I know family read this blog, and I know people in the adoption world read this blog, but there really is a WHOLE 'nother audience I have been less aware of. Here and there I knew you were out there, but this is way more than I had any idea.

We had breakfast with a family that we met in blog world yesterday... it was fun to meet in person.

There is too much going on to encapsulate in my alotted 5 minutes of internet this morning so that's all you get.

Buddy ended up in the ER last night. Four stitches later, and his mom stretched out on the bed to keep from passing out, he's just fine. I tell you that little guy is too active for his own good!

Okay. off to breakfast before they run out of potatoes :-)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Generation of Youth For Christ

Warm ups,
Finding pianos in far off corners,
Practicing in the Sheraton halls...
Praying together,

Backstage jitters...
But God blessed the girls with peace and they sang well.
I felt they were precise, but they did not lose their purpose and they communicated well.
It was another opportunity to serve and be used.

Friday, December 28, 2012


At the Generation of Youth for Christ in Seattle. Pretty exciting. Suppose to be 6 thousand dedicated young Christians here...and a few of us " young at heart" people... Couldn't handle the volume in the main auditorium to start with. The mics were really hot. By the time they got them calmed I had a major migraine. Decided to go to my room and watch online, but hotel is wanting to charge an arm and a leg for wifi... So slept until a gaggle of girls crashed my sleeping party. The girls are singing tomorrow so they practiced their nervousness away. Anyway, I feel better and I'm ready to take it all in. Might not get on here much since I have to use my phone:-(

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I have to say Missy is handling Christmas very, very well. 
Couldn't ask for better. So thankful.

Monday, December 24, 2012

One Big Party

We are having a great time with family.

Art and Julie and the kids came from the Yukon. My parents are here. We have a ton of wet snow.... so the kids have been sledding almost constantly. They come in to eat and throw their wet clothes in the dryer and then it's back out on the hill.

We have people coming and going constantly...

We've seen the babies and their family everyday. Yesterday they came for sledding. Last evening Christina had a flute recital for her flute student next door. I'm hoping to get some good family pictures on the beach, but for now, here are a few of the recital.

That would be 16 kids in the house for the recital!! The girl does have 3 sisters and 4 brothers :-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Shopping

We shopped till we dropped - and my mom managed to get past some jet lag and to bed at a similar hour to the rest of us.

The big purchases??!!

A washing machine and a dryer.

LARGE capacity. The washer is a 4.3 cu and the dryer is a 7 cu. I'm so excited. We have been limping along since spring when my side loader washing machine and dryer set died. We had an old used top loader set in the garage  to replace it with - which have been the MOST inefficient pieces of equipment EVER!! Can't wait to dump them in some landfill somewhere. :-) I'm sure the old washer was holding 12 pounds of water in each load after spinning.... (give or take a few)  and the dryer took two hours to dry a load. When there were 7 kids you can imagine how that went... even now that there are only 5 kids you can picture the overflowing baskets of dirty clothes.

They will be delivered today. Well, I hope, anyway. How they are going to make it up our snowy hill is yet to be determined.

The washer is a Maytag, but the salesman convinced me that the Speed Queen dryer would last me 20 years instead of ten for less $$. Which is funny, because our last washer and dryer lasted 10. It looks plain Jane compared to the fancy ones out there, but it's built to last. I'll let you know in 20 years if the promise held up.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


My parents arrived. Mom flew from Tanzania to Colorado and was home long enough to pack her suitcase to fly with dad here. The pass was snowy, but Steve managed to drive it there and back okay. Today he gets to do it again for Andrew and Peter.

Went to hear the twins' Christmas program at the school. I was a tad late. Couldn't find a parking spot anywhere. Finally drove around the block and parked at the pool and hiked through the playground through the snow. As I got close you can imagine my surprise to find Missy out there alone all dressed in her snowsuit. There was a 4th or 5th grade class out on the playground, but more to the other side.

I asked her what she was doing out there and why she wasn't singing in the program....

She just thought it was recess time and since she had performed the program in the morning for the kids she thought she was done. I had a hard time convincing her to follow me into the school and to the gym. I was confused. I was so sure the program was at 2 PM.  Low and behold they were at least 10 minutes into the program. James was up there doing his part. I pulled her snowsuit off and nudged her forward in between songs. I saw her teacher come around looking for her. When she saw me push her forward the teacher turned back.

The realization that Missy was just going about her usual routine and no one had noticed and she had fallen through the cracks hit me pretty hard. I could not quite figure out what the program the kids were doing was all about until about half way thru... because I was frightened by the prospects of what could have happened. This is a very vulnerable child.

I was stuck in this gym with this huge crowd with no way to escape so I fought my composure the whole time. Someone came and asked if the twins were taking the bus home or going with me. I told her what had happened and she said she would take it to the principle and the special ed director.  I know they will have to figure out something.  This kid is pulled from one person to another all day and no one person is watching out for her all day. She's not smart enough to take care of herself if the routine changes in the least. I don't blame any one person. I could totally see how this could happen. Unless they come up with a good solution to this issue, I will be asking them to retain her next year for sure if there is any hope she could stay in the regular class more.

I kept her home today. It's early release, party day.... and they are building gingerbread houses. I could just see this kid eating 5 pounds of candy before anybody noticed. ha!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Late Night Call

My husband answered the call....

A baby 6 weeks old.


But until I have the assurance that I'm suppose to get involved in another family I need to keep my focus on the kids already under my roof and the two little munchkins that are still very much a part of our lives right now even though they are with their family. I'm still very involved in a supportive way and it takes time and effort. They are still as busy as ever and take an enormous amount of effort to  keep out of mischief and from hurting themselves and happy and fed. Buddy is such a little messer! And the Duck takes Herculean strength to carry around he's so fat and round.

Besides, I'm behind on my educational hours. Ack! I'm WAY behind.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Has Arrived!!

It took it's time getting here, but we had a real snow day. I'll have to update my header. It no longer depicts the season.

The girls almost decided to go skiing. It was a good thing they did not. The power went out on the ski hill and the chair lifts sat dangling all day. Instead they announced a snow party at our house. There was no set time.... just come when you can and stay as long as you wish, kind of invitation.

Afterwards I recounted how many people came and went ~ not counting myself.


They started arriving at 10 AM and the last straggler left at 6:00.

I think we'll set a time next time. I got tired :-).

Anyway, the snow was used up and worn away by the end of the day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Finals Celebration

The college girls planned a fun night out on "Tourist Trap Town" after their finals were over. 
and they invited their younger sisters/cousin to liven it up a bit. 

It just happen to be Local's Night.

A party always has to start at the "HAT SHOP", of course.
Ellie knew where all the free taste testers were and
they made good use of that information.
They eventually found themselves at Gelatos  (non-dairy ice-cream shop)
BUT they managed to make decisions after taste-testing nearly everything there.
Bri, who is made of ice-cubes, 
went against the grain and got herself a hot chocolate instead.
While browsing in the bookshop Natalie discovered 
a chemistry book that showed pictures of a certain type of molecule 
and seeing she has ALWAYS 
wondered what that particular molecule looked like just HAD to have the book.
(Sometimes you have to wonder what planet these kids arrived from!)

They ended the evening with a waffle feed at the house
and a rousing game of hide-an-seek in the dark.
There were WAY too many good pictures.
The sugar may have affected their brains... just a little.
Judge for yourself.


Way too much laughing!
Thanks Katie

Friday, December 14, 2012

Half Mast

A day like today reminds people just how precious their loved ones are.

As we feel the pain and sorrow of the loss of so much life it makes us wonder just how much more the heart of God can stand. This whole sin experiment on this earth is exposing itself for what it really is. The enemy of God is indeed our enemy whether we ally ourselves with him or not. All celestial beings observing the destruction and hate and sorrow happening here must be, by now, convinced that allegiance to our Creator and a steadfastness towards the law of LOVE is a much better way to live. Watching that .... that...., well, he can hardly be called a man ~ being so devoid of respect for life and bereft of sympathy and love till there was no reflection of his Maker left... but seeing that criminal mow down the lives of those little ones for what? hate? revenge? notoriety?  It must have made the angels wish they could hide their eyes. Even the loss of the soul of that reprobate caused our Lord pain. He would not force the guy to choose Him, though, and Satan continues to wreak havoc and kill through agents given over to him. He's reveling in the agony of the sleepless victims' families tonight. What a horrid thought. Regrettably, it's the truth.

Behold the Lamb of God ~ His heart ripped to shreds over humanity tonight.... and every night over humankind everywhere. One day soon He will say, "It is enough." It is time to collect the true and faithful and make an end of sin before there is nothing left. The law of hate has proved itself despicable. Sin and sinners will be no more. LOVE will reign supreme.

It can't be long and I can't wait. I've seen enough.

I stood by the front desk of our community school. Parents came and went. They couldn't wait for the school bus to drop their child off by their driveway. They had to connect with their offspring directly ~ to give them a hug and to say they loved them. The phone rang, more parents calling for reassurance. There was a strong realization that no school is immune. The principle sat in a chair designated for visitors talking to the kids waiting for mothers and fathers. He'd already dropped the flag to half mast.

It hadn't crossed my mind to check on my children, actually. I have placed them in the hands of God and I have peace in that arrangement. I was there for an IEP. As irrelevant as it seems at the moment, Missy has met all her previous educational goals listed on the IEP. She is making strides. She is learning. She's even holding her own in the 1st grade reading class with the other 6 kids. With that report I suggested we consider retaining her in 2nd grade next year to give her a second chance at being successful at her level without all the pull-outs that interrupt her day continually and make her feel like she's so different from the other children. I felt like my idea taken well... it's a matter of waiting to see how the rest of the year goes. They don't see the anxious, angry, stressed out child we are dealing with at school, thankfully, however they do realize she is somewhat overwhelmed with all that is expected of her.

Today we didn't see the anxious, angry, stressed out and tired child either. She was bright and interactive and genuinely cheery. How thankful Steve and I are. It surely makes us wonder though...

Thursday, December 13, 2012


LONG day.

Left the house at 6:30 AM and arrived at Children's Hospital at 9:20. Part way through the day we switched cities so that we could make our last appointment at the Children's Hospital Sleep Study Clinic. We finished there at 5:30. Fourteen hours later we arrived home at 8:30 PM.

Missy's hearing in the ear that was patched in August has IMPROVED!! YAY. It was so much closer to the normal line. Not there, but closer.

Unfortunately, here was significant notable loss in the other ear beyond what she already had.

We are set up with appointments for the hearing aid trial.

There is much discussion about the bone graft happening in a couple months. There is decisions to be made about keeping or pulling certain teeth so we didn't set a date yet.

The CPAP is having major problems. Air leaks, poor fit, pressures not high enough, etc... All she has to do is open her mouth and she looses pressure. I believe that it was providential that Kris at the Sleep Clinic called me yesterday to see how things were going and that he was able to fit us in today. I told him I believed it was clearly providential. We'll be trying a new mask, etc... The stats were spotty. The therapy is being broken up all night long and it could be contributing to her extreme exhaustion. Tonight she goes without. There is some hesitancy to use a mask that goes over the mouth. If she ever got sick in it she could aspirate. However we have to weigh the pros and cons of her not getting proper rest and other options not working out for her. We are scheduled for another full sleep study with the CPAP this time.

In the middle of the day, God gave me a gift. Tomorrow I'll show off.
(Another gift besides the attention to Missy's trouble  - as I couldn't ask for a better gift than a little help for her. BUT this was something special that was  for no reason but love).

We came home to a house full of teenage girls playing hide and seek in the dark. They were have a blast.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Clue?

Missy  came home from school in a sorry state. I decided a nap was needful.

She was instantly asleep.

When the sleep clinic called I let them know we would be at Children's tomorrow and hoped against hope they would be interested in that piece of information.

They were.

We know have an appointment for the sleep clinic tomorrow as well as the dental clinic and the ear clinic.

We will be checking to see if the pressure on her CPAP need to upped.

With Pizazz

Back in the day when she had such such adorable, utterly fantastic style....

Back when she used to make glasses out of pipe cleaners and then wear clothes in all the colors represented by the beads,

Back then she was too small to use a regular flute. 

So much has changed.

Especially the glasses.

Yesterday she ended the piano and violin recital with an amazing rendition of Greensleeves on her flute that just rang through  the cathedral style church.

That's what I heard anyway... *sigh*

She also played her piano pieces VERY well (no freaking out). So proud! I knew she could do it.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to use the camera on James and the rest of them. James was quite pleased with his recital.

As for Missy.... she and I never made it into the building. All because the guy at Taco Bell forgot to give her a fork. . .

Okay. Not really!

Because she chose to flip out over the forgotten fork. It was quite amazing. Like we have not seen in a long time.

She kicked and screamed and said nasty things about not eating her tostada because she didn't have a fork. She was most certainly was not going to eat it like a pizza.

She was the one who gleefully suggest we go to Taco Bell because we didn't have time between school, lessons and the recital to eat the dinner at home that I had made. It was not car worthy food either. Borscht. I really hadn't thought that one through :-).

Steve and Vanessa drove up and asked if we had ordered anything for them. I had no idea we would end up meeting, so "No, sorry... Oh, wait, there's a tostada here that Missy won't eat."

I handed it over to him through the van window and she. went. crazy. Steve opened his door came around and opened the side door of the van. He too her into his car and tried to work with her, but there was no saving her from herself. He wasn't fast enough and she managed to crush James' foot on her way past. Stomping hard and purposefully. We've since decided that our first priority in these situations is to protect James from danger. He was okay... but he often gets the punches and such that she would like to use on us.

In the parking lot by the church I waited for Steve for awhile and finally went to his car and asked if he was coming and he said Missy couldn't get herself under control enough to go in. Brianna was devastated as she has worked so hard to get this kid (who has been balking her every effort) ready for this recital on her violin. I took over and relieved Steve so he could go in. He doesn't always get to recitals and all the practicing that I hear and it was important he go in for the other kids.

I told Steve I didn't believe this was a rage.... I knew she could stop at any time if she chose to. This was what they call an upstairs tantrum (been reading The Whole Brain Child). Most certainly if she got her way right then ~ she would stop instantly, although, nobody knew at this point what her way would have been anymore. However, as I pulled the Honda out towards the street we flipped into a downstairs tantrum, the kind where she LOST IT and nothing but time would make her sane again. It was enough to wring me to tears. The intensity was unreal. I never said a word. I just drove slowly, made sure the doors were locked and prepared to stop on a dime for safety. 

When sanity returned she was still angry and looking for something to blame. She started yelling that she hated school. I know for a certain she does not hate school. Right now it is her most precious "treasure" and it was kind of her way of saying that she hates herself for all that had just happened... the lost treat, the lost recital, the loss of control. So, I would not let her go there. We talked about what happened and how she would get a hot bowl of soup at home, etc...  She was still crying and wailing and yelling things, but I stopped at the chicken barn, gave her back her shoes and asked her to close up the barn for the night. She went off in a huff and came back with a different tone. The whole demeanor had changed. The crying was gone, though for the next hour as she ate and got ready for bed she was manipulative. She did everything opposite of what is normally required and she still was NOT happy with her food.

By the time I was ready to put her to bed I just looked into her eyes and asked, "Are you trying to hurt me?"

She admitted so.

I told her I hurt for her and then we prayed together.

When Steve came home we prayed together for a miracle. We need one desperately.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Walk In December

Home-Care Respite

Today is our second day.

Our schedule changed as I realized Friday would not be okay for us. The Sabbath comes in early during the winter months and we come together as a family as  the sun sets and the focus is very much family time and sunset worship, etc... I couldn't have respite here during the Sabbath hours.

I prayed for a homecare worker that would understand our peculiarity. I admit, we are a little different... no TV, movies, we avoid pop- culture, etc.... I needed someone who could appreciate our need for wholesomeness and purity and not have a problem with feeding the kids a vegetarian diet, etc...

I actually asked a friend if she would be interested in the job. I would have paid for her training, but when that didn't work out for her, I considered another gal from church. I didn't  feel the go-ahead from the Lord to ask, though.

Well, God brought us a young gal, a mom of a couple kids, who is a Seventh-Day Adventist.  I never met her before, and she didn't recognize me or the twins, but when the three girls walked in the door, she was like, "Oh! I know you."  I guess from their singing in various churches. Anyway, she's easy going and happy. She's had an instant repoire with the kids.

The other respite worker is Vanessa's age. She is quiet as a mouse and lets the other gal lead the way. She is James'  home-care worker and so it works out fine because he is less needy.

I write out a list... homework, reading, teeth brushing, whatever and they check off the list as they go. The rest of the time they get down on the floor and play with them. Lego have been the focus thus far. They built a police station yesterday. Today they built a hospital.

I'm totally relaxing into this.


I've been reading on the brain again.

Warning. I am trying to make sense of my jumble thoughts by writing.

I've been reading and watching lectures and trying to understand the brain in an effort to understand the best way to work with Missy. I want to know if it is possible for a person like me to facilitate change in another person's brain and help that person make better choices.

Seeming rather impossible right now.

Without the Holy Spirit we haven't a chance in the world with Missy. I understand that.

We are changed or transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) . Scientists can actually see those changes taking place as positive thoughts take the place of negative thoughts, as pathways are built for new thought patterns.

This renewing of the mind...

It isn't instantaneous ~ Poof! All of a sudden the entire brain is remodeled after a quick conversion prayer. God works the change in us as we learn through His help to bring all the thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ. This is the "Grow in Grace" experience, "from Glory to Glory".

This bringing into captivity our thoughts...  ~this seems to be where the GREAT difficulty lies.

A person has to choose which thought to think, but when the pathways and grooves are DEEP in the wrong patterns, a person with little understanding of the issues at stake will naturally flow with in the old channels. They go with the path of least resistance, so for this little person whose hereditary tendencies, and nearly 9 years of cultivated negative thought, this child that has been handed a cognitive impairment to boot, WHAT HOPE has she outside of a TRUE MIRACLE?

It was a HARD day yesterday. LOTS of screaming out of control for little reason that I could even see. There was a good couple of hours while the respite workers were here. The screaming stopped when they arrived. The screaming resumed shortly after they left. NOTHING was ever right or good or happy from the moment she got out of bed. She was a misery. We allowed her to go back to bed to avoid a major blow up in front of our company. She chose to get up at around ten but was demanding and snarly still. Our company was gone by then. She never greeted them or showed her face....they even had a little girl.

Giving her space and time alone did not work. Allowing her to just play did not work. NOTHING.

We worked hard with her. We talked about choices. Finally last night we started to make some progress.... we could hold up two fingers and give her the choices. She was starting to actually choose the good one of her own will. BUT this pointing out of choices had to be done every thirty seconds.

I am not exaggerating.

"Choose."  (holding up two fingers) "Cry and give into your emotions, or do what daddy said."

Each choice took about 20 to 30 seconds to make. The face would reflect her thought exactly. There's no guessing.

We would have her state her choice, repeat after us, whatever, and eventually she would do what her dad asked. Then we had to start all over again because she refuse to acknowledge me. I had to call her on her manipulation every little bit. Sloppy, inaudible speech, using an imaginary physical ailment to escape the hard work, pretending not to hear, giving just enough to make it look like she might be obeying, but reserving some portion of her obedience... eventually she stopped and she hugged me.

This morning she was refusing to get out of bed for the sister who was going to help her get ready for school again.... I called her to me and we hugged and we prayed and she said she would make the right choice. I dismissed the big sister and decided to work through this with her myself. We were able to get a good choice about three times and then she shut down on me.

She and James went to school in pj's. Their hair was not combed, their teeth unbrushed, she refused to drink her shake and she managed to dumped it on the counter and floor. We scooped up off the counter and tried again to no avail.

I called the school and told them how they would be arriving and that I needed someone to tell them that it was not acceptable to arrive at school like that.

James isn't struggling so much. He's just slow. He did cry a lot when I asked him to do anything that took him away from his Lego yesterday.  Both in the morning and in the afternoon they were both crying very loudly for a long period of time. I pretty much ignored it. He finished his tasks and did them very, very well and then went back to his Lego and was fine until to the NEXT time. I didn't try to work with him on it. It seemed superficial and likely to become a "THING" if I pushed it.

A friend wrote a sweet story on him... I know this kid has a good heart. He has habits to overcome and self to put aside, but he is a genuinely caring person. You can read the story here.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


 It is looking like this might actually work. The in-home care is going to send two care-givers at a time. One to work with James and one to work with Missy.  Our tentative schedule looks like 2 hours Monday, Thursday and Friday. They'll keep them in their usual routine as much as possible. They will do homework, and household chores with them. She even said the care-givers can do our laundry.

HA! Like a dream come true!!!
Who would have ever thought??!! 

I'll keep it to the twins laundry and they can work with the kids on folding their own and putting it away. I had to show the lady the kids rooms. They do make their beds as I require, but we found Mount Everest of Jeans and shirts. Funny how that kid wonders why there are no clean jeans in his drawer often, but he won't take his dirty clothes to the laundry room without a crisis to prompt him.

Yesterday he was all proudly selling his eggs to the choir kid's moms.  The first lady bought two dozen and I told him that would be $4 and I went about my business. After that he sold to everybody else at $4 - no matter how many or few they bought. 

I'm still laughing. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Funny Bone Quotes

This is one of Bri's photos from the wedding Sunday.
More coming.

My thoughts don't run too deep lately.
Really, there isn't time for thinking.

My three top quotes of the day:

is the sound you don't
make while eating soup.

If you know me,
you know this is MY kind of sign.

I bought it immediately. So glad it was half off.
I am the MOST sound sensitive person in the world
~ well, along with a couple of cousins and a few aunts and uncles.
A tyrannical hereditary trait handed down from my grandfather
that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

If it were up to us,
little kids whistling in the house would have been outlawed eons ago, too.


Who ate your bowl of SUNSHINE this morning, Thundercloud?

Ha! I never heard that one before.
I will refrain from pointing out who it applies to.

Some of you are good at guessing.


And now a quote from the artsy one in the family;

"I'm kind of a Chinese artist."

Me: And whatever does THAT mean?

"Well, when she spills her paint,
she takes her brush and makes a smile out of it."

Apparently when she took Chinese watercolor classes they taught that
a splotch of paint landing on your picture is not considered a mistake,
but an addition to be incorporated into the scene.

I'm thankful she feels so secure and confident in who God has made her.
She rarely worries about what she isn't.
She throws herself into everything wholeheartedly and nothing ruffles her
and I'm very proud of her for that!


Tomorrow our respite agency will be out to the house to get us started on the in-home care for the twins. They've upped James hours and adjusted hers so that they will both qualify for 27 hours a month. These hours are not concurrent, which is sort of weird. Fifty-four hours a month is A LOT when you think about people in your house. I'm still feeling like this is going to be a great invasion of our home. I like quiet. It isn't actually how I grew up, though, so I'm not quite sure why I am so apprehensive about it. When I was a kid our house was so full of people there were at least 20 people at the table - breakfast and dinner every day of the week. It seems like I might take up exercising again as a way to take advantage of the time.

Finals are approaching. The girls are bent to their studies.
We're ALL looking forward to the HOLIDAYS and a change of pace.

Missy has done fairly well the last two days. Last night a trial came up that set her off however, and I realized I had not given her chores to work off her attitude in quite a long while. I forgot how well it worked for her. We cleaned the bathroom spotless last night together.... like toothbrush and bleach to the tile grout, sort of clean. The place sparkles and she totally worked her misery off. I happily suggested that bathroom number two was needing just such a job as well, and she didn't take me up on it. Once today she started to open her mouth to squawk and I saw her close it resolutely. I complimented her up and down for her "nice save and awesome self control". She barely acknowledged my acclamation but I know she got the message.

Monday, December 3, 2012

One of THOSE Days

It seems i have a serious problem with numbers.

The funeral was NOT scheduled for for 2 PM as I had written down. It was at 1 PM.

Um, yeah.

What can I say?

It takes me fifteen minutes to drive to that church.

The place was packed out. There was no sneaking through the side door near the piano. I had to march right down the middle aisle as my arrival was announced.

Embarrassment is one thing, but it felt so completely disrespectful of the family.


All I could do was ask God to take care of those people and bring them comfort in this time of sorrow.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

On the Home Stretch...

Steve's at a meeting on the ski hill. He's on volunteer nurse ski patrol.

The girls are doing the music at the United Church of Christ at this moment.

The wedding starts at 3.

Journey starts at 5:30.

The girl's concert is at 8:30

The funeral requesting music is tomorrow at 2.

It's busy, busy. It sort of makes one's heart feel very full and empty at the same time.

Full because:
of all the amazing people we are interacting with,
of the abundant JOY and PRAISE everywere,
of the blessings poured out in encouraging one another,
and so much more...

But consumed and aching because ;
of the pain so obvious in people's lives. People are so hurting way down in the deep parts of their being that it's overwhelming.
for the simple fact that this pace is exhausting. One works hard and long and there's a tendency to forget the purpose in the moment.
there's no time for quiet introspect.  Little time for kneeling and filling up on the WORD.

The approximate numbers of people served so far in Journey:
Thursday 600
Friday 850
Saturday 1200

It's not about numbers, though, it's about hearts.

One comment card read this way:

"I haven't been to church in years and years, 
but after what I've seen tonight I really want to learn about Jesus".

There's no other purpose for what we are about. No other reason to be out there.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Said No Again

Two children ages 3 & 4....

It isn't even possible to take the children right now.... but it sure is hard to say no and NOT know where they'll go. 

My friend, the social worker, called. She knew I would likely say no as J2B starts tonight and I'm so busy, but she had to call so she could say she tried everyone! I guess there are never enough foster parents.

I wonder if Manda said yes again. I'll have to call her tomorrow.

Hurry Trina, and get that license.!!!!!!
Apparently we are needed.

* Since I smashed my phone it does weird things. I just accidentally posted an entire choir program script on the Heritage of the Seventh Day Adventist church to this blog... Might have made some interesting reading, but not nearly as interesting without my 35 singers and all their talent. You'll just have to wait for the concert.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Season is Upon Us

I could hardly get my 12 passenger van up the driveway this evening because there's a half an inch of snow out there!! What does that tell you?

I worked with the choir without my regular pianist (Vanessa) but those kids are stepping up to the plate very well and we have some real up and coming pianists among them!

The big girls were at home practicing with Natalie and Ellie and Dakota for: two concerts, a wedding, and 4 nights of Journey  to Bethlehem (all for this weekend) plus they are practicing a song for GYC.

Brianna bought a NEW lens for her camera with aperture capabilities down to F1.4. Her new flash should arrive any moment. Fancy pants! She is so excited. She is the photographer for the mentioned wedding. Her first. She has friends backing her up to keep the stress levels down.

Vanessa left her lights on and drained her battery. I drove into town with the jumper cables and waited around for Steve to get a break from his work at the hospital for a couple hours to help me.... and when we finally got to the Honda is started just fine without a boost.

I was really proud of my purchase of a really nice dog blanket at Goodwill. I was NOT so very proud of the fact that walking to the car I dropped my G3 iPhone and shattered the glass. I took it into Verizon to see what they could do about it and they took a piece of packing tape and covered the glass and said, "There! Come back when you are eligible for an upgrade on Dec. 5th." Ha. I could have done a better job with the tape than they did. :-)

James missed the bus this morning because he was not in any hurry to listen to anyone, but when the bus left without him he hit the ceiling and apparently, it was all OUR fault. Well, he then had time to clean the chicken barn and he did get a ride from Buddy's mom because I had the babies for a couple hours and I couldn't walk him. He's lucky.

Missy made the bus by the skin of her teeth. However, she managed to lose her temper good before supper and is already sleeping before 6:30. She looked whipped anyhow. Not sure how the twins are going to manage with us in Journey to Bethlehem and the long nights.

I need to make 5 dozen cookies before tomorrow night for J2B.

After Sunday night my husband will look 15 years younger. Absolutely guaranteed.  As will most of the rest of the men in our church.

Since I bragged about the chicken's laying habits they cut their production by three quarters. We have customers in line waiting....

That's all for now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Three hours.

Three hours of answering questions about the twins.

On one hand they were easy .... but on the other hand, how do you paint a realistic picture answering that kind of question?  They weren't exactly open-ended. I'm one of those that wants to give the whole depth of the issue so we can get exactly what is needed but agonize about not overstating it.

He actually asked how long we plan to keep Missy and gave the possible answers as 3 months, 6 months, 2 years???  I drew a blank. He rephrased his question and apologized for having to ask it.

I simply said, "She's ours."

Later he told me the questionnaire was originally for people on the verge of entering a nursing home and it made a lot more sense.

And then there's the inquiries that go like this:

"Just how stressed are you?"

How do you even measure that?

Today? I'm great today. I haven't cried since Thursday, but it would be safe to say before school started in the fall I was crying every day.  These days I just have migraines so bad all my usual remedies fail me...  but I feel like I've learned to handle  stress in crisis moments.

He got a shorter answer. "I'm fine right now, but before school started I wasn't."

It's looking like Missy might be eligible for 30 hours in-home respite per month. James will be due some also, but I don't know if I will use it. Also, they will be exploring some behavioral management instruction.

Went to town twice for different kids. Had the babies most of the day. Decided I don't like the color I painted the rest of the walls in the kitchen and entry yesterday. Looked at new colors, but decided to bring the paint chips home to anguish over once again.  *** I'm so bad at this. *** I will say I am smitten with the orange. Now if I can just get the beige right. The last one came out all pinky. Like I say, I'm pretty sure those guys at Home Depot don't know how to stir paint. ha!

Day Ahead ! ! !

 Today's photos have nothing to do with the post. You just have no idea how many thousands of pictures are taken within a quarter mile radius of the house
that don't go with anything.

Little Miss Muffet woke up on the wrong side of the bed.


She turned it around and was EARLY for the bus.

With a smile, even.


Today the little Buddies are spending the day with me
even though I need to run Christina to town for algebra tutoring,
and have like a 3 hour assessment meeting with the DDD.

Scheduled Missy's IEP review...
had a good chat with the special ed gal.
Not wanting to change directions in her education necessarily,
but talked about
adding LIFE SKILLS to the mix.

Told her I was meeting with the DDD today
(department of developmental delays)
And she wanted to know how they could better serve the kiddo in conjunction
with what the DDD will be offering.

TRUTH is I don't know what they will offer.
I get the feeling they only give what you ask for 
and won't tell you what else they could do.
So, I'm trying to educate myself and find out....
I know I want respite, but looking at perhaps some behavioral management stuff would be helpful?

James is being assessed as well.
Not really concerned or feeling any needs in regards to him at this time,
but I am not shutting the door on anything yet.