Thursday, May 31, 2012


Yesterday we had to show absolute tough love.

This morning we have a different kid. She dressed, did her chores and came to breakfast. She was full of syrupy words; "I love you mom!",  "Have a good day!", "I will obey".... She gave hugs and was out the door on time. I was able to make her a lunch, so today she gets to eat with her classmates before coming home. I even had her favorite treat on hand to put in her lunch.

She was also wondering, since she was obeying if she could have dessert for breakfast. And if not for breakfast could she secure a promise of dessert for lunch? And then supper? LOL

 I believe she realized that she was "biting the hand that feeds her". All special privileges were suspended and she felt it. Some things can be reinstated immediately upon cooperation, some things have to be earned back. When you destroy the trust, one must rebuild from the bottom up.

This is not to say the trial is over. Only she decided to do something different this morning. If she likes how it goes she might stick with it, if we cross her will at any point she could go scuttling right back to where she came from. Basically, I'm holding my breath.

The verse we are considering as the children weigh their choices this morning is Psalm 40:8.
 I Delight to do THY will, Oh my God; 
yea Thy law is within my heart.

Then we sing the little song that goes with it. When we use verses and ask them to repeat them with us, sometimes it is cause for a battle, but regardless, it seems to help sometimes by putting new thoughts in their minds. Above all I believe there is power in the Word of God. For James sometimes it is enough to turn him around, but sometimes we have to stick with one verse for a long time. I pray eventually they will be thankful for the little store of learned and applied scriptures.

And here is picture of my nephew in the news:

the photo was taken by Ian Stewart / Yukon News

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

RADiculous For Sure

 The girls are having a little fun with the photography!!


It only gets worse. We are on a downward spiral.

I messed up. I told the twins a couple of days ago that we would be seeing their biological mom in June for the yearly visit. I called her by her first name. James smiled and asked where. Missy started asking tons of questions in rapid fire without waiting for answers. Missy's first question was "is that my OTHER mom?"

She started obsessing.

And then she started rejecting.

Would this downward spiral have happened anyway? Could it be the adjustment to yet another baby? How do you decide what is the trigger? And does it matter?

When I picked up James from his teacher she whispered that he had wet his pants twice and she couldn't figure it out because she had sent him to use the bathroom twice. I was surprised. It has only happened a handful of times since January and always when he was playing with kids or got over excited. I didn't mention it to him, only when we arrived home I sent him to take a shower and change.... as I ALWAYS do when he wets his pants.

He blew.

He ended up folding clothes after cleaning up. We talked about everything and it came out that when the teacher asked him to the use the bathroom, he only walked in and shut the door. Then came out and wet his pants.

The logic defies me. I was brokenhearted.

Last night we talked as a family on how we were going to handle the morning with Missy. We decided that no one would be pushing her. No one would mind the shenanigans. 

 I let everyone know that the breakfast menu was pancakes and oven potatoes. Anyone could have a pancake at 7:20, but if they were later than that there wouldn't be any left. Missy declared she wanted two.

She had come up to me with smiles and a cheery good morning and I had split second of hope. Then she literally sat at the breakfast bar in her pj's for more than half an hour without moving a hair watching me cook.  She put forth zero effort. Her twin was working through his routine happily chatting about his pancake. The girls were busy, busy getting ready for school,  Buddy needed to be ready for his visit with his dad, Steve for his appointment. Suddenly with 5 minutes to spare she decided to get with it.  She went down to get dressed and asked Vanessa what she should wear. Vanessa got an outfit ready for her, but Missy decided she wasn't wearing it. She wandered all over the house in search of phantom clothes. Finally she put on an unmatching bunch of clothes and I had to tell her to please put the original outfit on. She demanded that I do the buttons. The baby was squalling for his milk. I told her I didn't have time but she could start working on them and I would do half of them when I got a chance. She laid down on the floor of her room and Steve caught her doing something she knows she is not allowed.

At 10 minutes until 8 o'clock Steve started the car and James buckled up. Missy was not half dressed, hair still not done, teeth  not brushed, she hadn't come to breakfast ... I suggested he just leave her home, but he didn't think that was the right choice. In the middle of this discussion she started demanding "her pancake"...(of all things!) and wailing about it.  Steve almost took James to school without her thinking to return home later for her so that James would not be late, but that would jeopardize Steve's appointment, and maybe that wasn't the right thing either. He came back in the house grabbed a brush, a face cloth and a pair of shoes and picked Missy up and buckled her in.

At the school he washed her face in the car, brushed her hair and asked her to button her dress. She wasn't doing it and went through great pains to show him that she could not, so finally he sent her out of the car. On the sidewalk she buttoned up in a minute.

Steve called me. His assessment is that she believes she is in complete control.

She's completely ditched relationships again.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Because I Know You are All Dying to See

his little feet....

Such a RAD day !

I am so thankful Missy is off to school this morning. She did really well on our regular days off school, but starting yesterday she went into RAD mode and by this morning I'm starting to feel RAD. I don't even want to look the kiddo in the eye. I can be so grateful my husband was called off work and he's the one getting her to school.  It's so hard to bite my tongue and not tell her that her dress is on backwards before I realize that, of course she knows it's on backwards, she put it on that way. If I would just keep quiet it would magically turn around before she entered the school building (and it did). I fail miserably by reminding her what time it is and telling her to hurry, when in fact, she is purposefully dragging everything out.  Somehow I feel impelled to tell her she's going to miss breakfast if she doesn't show up at the table. Duh. She knows that so why do I fall into the trap of trying to get her where I want her when?

BUT isn't that what a mommy is suppose to do?

This is why it is so hard. A mom is suppose to help their child get things right and fed and dressed proper. A mom is suppose to give the child many little attentions and feedback at every turn.

Everything is so backwards in a situation like this. Everything you are suppose to do backfires. Instinctive mommy responses have the opposite desired effect. Pretty soon I'm so confused I just want to withhold any attention whatsoever and I'd like to pretend she isn't there. This isn't right either, of course, so we blunder on praying she'll snap out of it sooner than later.

My husband often says, "I fear for that kid."

We all fear for that kid. She is so unhappy and bent on trying to make the rest of the family unhappy. BUT she is oh, so charming and sweet to outsiders. As they say at school, "we just adore her".  People at church do too.  It's hard believe that she is in such great need of a miracle.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lessons from the Goslings

James: The geese are always with their babies.

Mom: Yes. They want their babies close to them at all times. Why do you suppose that is?

James: They don't want them to die.

Mom: That's for sure. They want their babies safe. Does that sort of remind you of mom and dad?     Why do parents want to keep their kids close?

James: You don't want us to get lost.

Mom: That's right. If you are close then we can help you stay out of the mischief that might harm you in some way, or cause you problems.  Some day you will be old enough to make safe choices on your own.

James: Yup.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

That's US!

Yay for the timer on the camera.

It was kind of funny,
some lady offered to take our picture for us and when she handed
back the camera
there were no new pictures on it.

Note to self; show them where the button is next time.

I decided I had no time for major hair-dos anymore.
And me thinks I cut off a few years.
Should have done it sooner.


A very encouraging statement I rediscovered yesterday:

Our time here is short. 
We can pass through this world but once; 
as we pass along, let us make the most of life. 
The work to which we are called does not require 
wealth or social position or great ability. 
It requires a kindly, self-sacrificing spirit and a steadfast purpose. 
A lamp,  however small, if kept steadily burning, 
may be the means of lighting many other lamps. 
Our sphere of influence may seem narrow, 
our ability small, 
our opportunities few, 
our acquirements limited; 
yet wonderful possibilities are ours 
through a faithful use of the opportunities of our own homes. 
If we will open our hearts and homes to the divine principles of life 
we shall become channels for currents of life-giving power. 
From our homes will flow streams of healing, 
bringing life and beauty and fruitfulness 
where now are barrenness and dearth.

~ The Ministry of Healing pg. 355 ~


I could come up with a lot to say about sleepless nights, but I'll spare you. It comes with the territory. I will share that by 6 AM I let the girls take over... Not that I get any sleep with 7 kids banging around getting ready for the day, mind you, but I try. It is a blessing to hear the big girls take charge of the younger set and to hear them managing quite well. I heard Missy get put on the bench for a time out for griping as she usually does... and what do you know, we only heard that kind of communication from her that one time this morning. I heard the lawn being mowed before 8, some were working another row in the garden, and Christina was preparing a breakfast of hash browns, strawberries and cereal.  God has been good to Steve and I to give us those precious girls.

The babe is gaining weight and showing us more of his wakeful side. The Buddy is very intrigued. He can't seem to get the "gentle" thing under control, yet, but he's trying. He got the baby sling on himself yesterday, and then went straight for Missy's baby doll. He was mimicking our love and care for his brother on the doll. TOO CUTE! He was let out of the backpack on our hike yesterday. He was so HAPPY and proud to walk the trail himself. Observing the world through the eyes of a 15 month old is refreshing, indeed. Waterfalls, sticks, bridges, leaves... they are all worth a moment's contemplation.

The mood record:

James had a problem Friday. I went to the grocery store and he chose to revert back to old behaviors to get his way while I was gone. It didn't go well for him after that. The girls put him in time-out up at the swing set until I got back and then I put him in time-in working beside me for the rest of the afternoon. His consequence was early bed even though we had company for supper. 

Brianna brought out her old camera for the twins to use. It totally gave James a new focus on the hike. He started noticing the little things - the tiny flowers, the insects, the details.... he's so proud of his pictures. Some of us had been a bit skeptical about them handling a nice camera like that, even if it does have problems, and Brianna's response was, "Well, THEY NEED to develop their photography skills!"  She's right. :-)

Missy was regulated Friday, agitated all yesterday, but seemingly calmed down today. We're all in on a plan to curb the complaining and whining.  She knows this, too and is trying.

Though it seems negative to keep a record like this, it is helping me to recognize that the twins have made huge gains even in the past few months.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Learning to Play the Supportive Role

I drive past their house nearly every day to drop Missy off at school. It seemed like the natural thing to do.... so I drove into their driveway and let Grandma get acquainted and cuddle with her newest grandchild. Before long the other family members have gathered in a little bunch to get a good look-see. They introduced themselves and put out a hand in greeting - cold, clammy, nervous hands. I'm jarred into realizing this is a tad weird and awkward situation. We're not strangers to grandma, but to the rest of them, it's an uncomfortable reality to see the youngest members of their relations drive up with outsiders. It kind of jerks me into realizing I'm the one that has put them on edge, but it doesn't last. Soon we are chatting away. We realize the children's uncle, their mother's kid brother, hangs out at the college as a tutor. The my girls know him. Brianna has benefited by his expertise. It's really a small world... and definitely small town.

This initiating of connection felt like the most important thing I had done all week.

The success rate of a family's recovery is dependent on many things, but one thing that is showing up in the statistics fairly consistently is that the support and involvement of the foster family in the recovering family's behalf is super important.

Just how does one go about giving that support? I see it as a tag team effort, but  it's really taken a long time to get to even meet the boy's parents. So far we've been able to interact with the Dad twice. Last night I called the number the mom wrote on the little man's records and left a message for her and my phone number. I hope that she will call me. (We're trying to arrange shipment of her mommy's milk. Seems a little daunting, but should be worth it if it can be done correctly. ) A this point the best we can do is take good care of the little ones, be as positive as possible, and let them know that we are praying for them and their family, and then pray.  We can work together with the Grandma supporting each other as we each take care of some of the kids.

Apparently the mommy thinks she offended me with an emotional and tactless comment on our first meeting, but she's dreamed it up because we just plain have not met yet. I guess it tore her up to find that the Buddy calls me Mama. Actually, he calls anyone who will give him food Mama. His vocabulary is limited, you understand.
Speaking of the Buddy, he's getting four... that's 4 new molars. He is not sleeping so well.

The little Duckling is calm, and sweet and oh, so sleepy.  Except right now, he has the hiccups and his eyes are open. He's eating well and often. We got up just as tired as we went to bed this morning. Not used to those night time feedings.

James is learning to weed whack! So exciting. He also cleaned my van for me. He trimmed a pile of radishes and has generally been a happy kid.

Missy is mostly okay. She blew a gas-git over doing a minor chore and screamed loud and out of control for about 10 minutes. She's completely in love with the baby. She wants to hold him every second and will badger continuously even while I'm talking on the phone or to other people. She loves to show him off.

One or the Other

When I have a minute to sit

do I type up a post


rock a baby? !


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Soft, warm, tiny..... Quiet baby sounds.


Everybody begging for their turn to get their fill.

Such a little miracle.

Thinking of his mommy tonight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It Made My DAY!

I received this beautiful little card in the mail today.
It was from one of my young choir students.
She must know that gardening is my other hobby.

It's more than a hobby it's my therapy.....

Inside the card says,
"I will never forget these glorious songs. They're stuck to my head like flies on a fly trap."


I haven't stopped smiling since.
A compliment I will not soon forget!
it just makes all the work of choir so worth it.
Speaking of my other hobby:
Radishes, turnips, Russian kale, cilantro, tendergreens, mizuna, parsley, salad
and even a cucumber here and there are keeping us healthy and happy.

I'm always impressed with the colors and variations...

And if you aren't into chewing you can chug it.
Well, actually, we all drink our green smoothies nearly every day.
This one is made from a combination of
lots of cilantro, Russian kale, mizuna, parsley, turnip greens
fresh lemons,
1 emergen C packet
1 banana


It seems like I have been on the phone a lot. There was a big go around with the hospital policy about releasing a baby to a foster parent. They won't do it without overseeing the foster parents training - about 6 hours - which is mostly sitting around waiting for the baby's next feeding. I guess the last one they released to a foster home in a small town somewhere out in the wilds the foster mom went into panic mode and had no support. Well, this is a  bit different. First off, we are in a big town with a couple of good hospitals and great support. We have social workers and professionals coming out our ears. In fact, my husband is well qualified on his own to deal with infants in NICU and has.  We have a lot of other kids with a lot of other obligations... dropping off and picking up children at school, a toddler that I can't just send off to the local babysitter, etc... So, the social worker (the one on call for our social worker) here went to bat for me and it was decided that I would meet the transport worker from the town where the infant is HALF way. That transport worker just called and told me since I didn't call her back in time she won't be setting up the transport. Basically, "Sorry, Charlie.You blew it."

Well, okay, I talked to so many that I didn't realize she was out of the loop and that she  was a program apart from the myriads of social workers and hospital staff that we were trying to communicate with.

I'm saying, "That's fine, I'll go all the way and  pick him up at the hospital, but I can't stay for hours. And anyway when we called this morning, the hospital wouldn't say if he was being released until this afternoon."

She is insisting that he is being released today, so she knows something I don't, but now she said she's going to tell them he can't be released today because she isn't setting up transport today.

Oh, MY!

Then there's that other glitch, the other policy where they infant must be placed in the car seat for 90 minutes before they release him to see if he can handle the car seat. They say this is standard procedure. Sure makes a lot of sense to me to put a baby in a car seat for nearly 2 hours just before he makes a 2 hour trip in that car seat. He'll be tired of it for sure after a total of 4 long hours.

I don't mind waiting for the child to  be ready to go. I am just not enjoying the RED TAPE created to make life complicated and difficult.

How was it I dropped the ball on calling the transport worker? Well, in the midst of all these phone calls the little Buddy's face swelled up. He looked like a chipmunk with nuts tucked in one cheek. I called the pediatric clinic and got him in even though he was suppose to be on a visit (yep! a whole bunch more phone calls) and then picked up the prescription and took the Buddy to his visit, raced home and picked up the girls for the recital and drove all the way back to town, just in time to wait for the Buddy's transport worker to bring him to me... and I missed half the recital.  I did get to see the Buddy's dad again and I think it is a positive thing for our family to build a working relationship with Buddy's family. Anyway, I wasn't sitting on my hands ignoring the transport lady as is thought.


The latest word is the baby was ready to go, but transport worker is bringing them the car seat to do their little test and she'll meet me tomorrow half way.

Fostering is a riot, just in case you were wondering.


Mood Record: Missy's mood yesterday was excellent. James' mood was reminiscent of days gone by. He was just struggling with transitions. He was allowed on the computer for a few minutes. Christina had shown him a map program (possibly Google) where you can "drive" down the roads in town and see all the buildings,etc... then when Christina needed the computer back for her school work 10 minutes later he couldn't transition away... It happened a few times. He was playing the piano when I suggested that his chickens and ducklings needed to be checked for water and to make sure they were okay and he couldn't transition again. This time he got mad and let all the chickens out of the pen for spite.... and started to act wacky - as in hitting himself upside the head. I closed in on him and was super firm and made him catch every single chicken and put them back. Brianna took over as I had to leave and put him on a bicycle and exercised him hard. He doesn't like gray, rainy days and tends to sit on the couch and do nothing (which sounds kind of familiar).

Today Missy is not grumpy, but quite "RAD" like. She did everything opposite of what she was suppose to. We struggled over the toilet issue, too. James is fine.

****I'm editing this entry to say This afternoon Missy is CRABBY and Grumpy and wailing on the bench. She's mad that the baby isn't here yet. She's spiteful to her brother. She's yelling at me over a cup of water, and actually put some good dings in the bench banging it with  her cup. I finally had a enough of the growling and constant noise, so her new time out is on the swing set away from the house. It's less jarring on the nerves for the rest of us. I actually started her one day later than James on the GSE. Again, they say that toxins being released can cause grumpiness.


Well, I think James and I will go set up that brand new crib. Did I tell you about the crib fiasco? Oh my. Did I waste a lot of time and gas on that one.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gut / Brain Connection

Been reading a lot.  It's grey and raining and that effects my "mental health". I get LAZY, have migraines and zero energy, but I read.

Here's an interesting link: 

Missy did not come immediately when I called and I put her in time out for 5 minutes to make her think. She would start to whine about her next chore and then she would start laughing at how silly she was being. She gave me many precious smiles. She worked away at getting ready for school. She's slow. She will take a lifetime to learn to use time wisely, but she was not fighting me. Like I said, every time she started to resist and start emitting those irritating whiny noises she stopped herself and laughed.


Well, she had a secret. As we were about to leave she handed me a card she had made yesterday and a chocolate. The card said, "I love you mom" and something about being happy. Brianna had put her up to it, but it was a pleasant surprise. Bri left at 5:25 this morning, so I know the kiddo had to remember on her own this morning.

Today I started them on the anti-fungal. We are using Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) by Nutribiotics.

We continue the Primadophilus capsules by Nature's Way.

At this point Missy has been over 2 years a vegetarian.
Almost 2 years off dairy.
A year and half gluten free.
We started the melatonin Friday.
I make green drinks fresh from the garden several times a week (almost daily)
We are pushing water.
We are back on fresh ground flax and lecithin daily.
I make nuts and seeds and avocados, and other healthy fatty foods more available than any kind of "sugar".
I've cut Missy's fruit intake some.

We are wondering if Missy has sleep apnea. She makes the most startling noises in her sleep! It scares me spit less in the middle of the night if we have to sleep with her in a motel room. Could that contribute to her poor sleep? I have seen that child lay awake ALL night, so it could be multiple things and of course that would make her crabby.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

For the Record / Serotonin

Both my acidophilus experiment subjects have undergone a major and thorough gut cleaning out today. They are in shock and awe. Even giggling about it. My husband is quite impressed with acidophilus. I remain slightly skeptical as I have seen a cyclical pattern in their bowel health. I'm doing the program wholehearted like I think this is a piece to the puzzle we've been trying to find, but I will only analyze it's effectiveness from the other side of the experiment looking back. It can only be helpful and not harmful, but I will hold judgment until I see the desired results. For now I will record what I see.

Did you know that 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gut? It is used to regulate intestinal movement, but not only that, of course, it also regulates moods, sleep, and appetite. It also has some cognitive functions for learning and memory as well as bone and blood functions.  If the health of the bowel is compromised and the creation of serotonin messed up you could see how many things could be off kilter throughout the body. Who's to say that the 5% of serotonin made in the brain is more important than the 95% made in the colon?

I am thoroughly pleased with the Buddy's new transport driver. She's a mommy at heart. He was completely at ease with her in seconds!


From that great pile of 20 eggs
we have 3 live baby


Missy was so incredibly calm and peaceful yesterday. I had to point it out several times to my husband and friends. She was just content. She was just one of the kids and I didn't have this sense that I had to be on constant guard. Something is happening with this regimen. The kids bowels are cleaning out!!  Missy is a little oppositional this morning, though nothing unusual.

We enjoyed a lovely hike in the meadow and discovered many varieties of wild flowers, including several with genetic aberrations. Variegated violets, Balsam root with unusual fluting of the petals, etc...

We ended the day with a wonderful picnic full of happy discussion and then a couple of songs from our favorite girls :-) They sang Power of the Cross as Steve's request, and then  Before the Throne at Tom's suggestion. The whole outing was just so peaceful.

Don't ask. I just noticed the black think stuck to the center of my picture...

identifying a little frog that jumped out of a hole at them...

deciding that it is a tree frog

when he suddenly took a flying leap right over the cliff

a rubber boa

I was so thankful and pleased with the kid's last concert of the year. We were only missing 4 kids. It may well have been our best performance of the whole school year. The message came through strong and clear. The kids gave it their best. There  is nothing like singing and presenting on the theme of the Great Controversy! The mics were hot... but the people like it that way there. The girls joke that the Valley View people are deaf and need it loud. I thought my ears would burst when we had Brianna, Christina, Ellie and Natalie singing the The New Jerusalem, but then I was right up in their faces and no one seemed to think it was loud out in the congregation.

The little Buddy has an all day trip to see his mommy in another town today. It's weird not having him all day. I hope it goes well.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 2

Let's hear it for the cheery girl who got up on the right side of the bed for once!!  This is a totally different girl than yesterday. Yesterday she was a misery ALL day. There was no let up except when she was at school and when she rode in the car with me to town.

It took me awhile to remember that I was suppose to expect irritability early in the program. As the yeast is dying off it can produce a lot of toxins and this can be irritating to the nerves and make the child feel yucky.  Let's hope that's what it was.

We are faithfully following the protocol. James is on the program as well, but we don't see expect to see anything one way or the other with him, because I don't think he has the problem to the same extent, if he has it at all. He was even keel and happy all day. He made a huge mess of dirt with his dump truck by the front porch and I asked him to clean it up and he did without complaint and cleaned it well.

We have a choir concert this morning at a neighboring church, then we're off to the mountain meadows to see the wildflowers, hike and have a picnic.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Day in the Life of US

I'm going to journal a bit each day (okay, what's new. ha!) a little of the journey we are starting with the nutritional plan. I am also going to record the moods and attitudes.

We started yesterday with a brand new bottle of acidophilus. We think our old bottle is just that... old. We are giving one capsule per meal. We managed to get it in lunch and supper. I also gave Missy a melatonin last night with a hope she would sleep all night. She went out fairly quickly, but no one knows if she stayed that way.

At 6:20 James woke up cheerful. He was thanking me for bringing out his summer clothes. He's excited to wear his flag shirt. He's doing his jobs quickly and well. He's very hungry.

Missy woke up okay. Ignored me when I said good morning, but begrudged me a greeting when I kept repeating my extra cheery salute. Her whole body stiffened and body language spoke volumes about her resistance when asked to start her morning routine. She dragged out some of her chores really slow, but chose her clothes and dressed quickly. When I spoke to her she whined and snarled. I asked her if I was speaking kindly to her. She ignored me, but I insisted. She finally agreed that I was speaking sweetly. I asked her how she was speaking and she flat out turned her back and ignored me. She threw a fit because I asked her to run to the greenhouse for me to pick a turnip... (my attempt to give her a moment alone in the fresh air and sunshine and to get her body moving). I was firm. She is out there somewhere... ***

Came in fresh and smiling with no turnip, but a handful of parsley. Don't know if she knows what a turnip is or if she was up to tricks. Whichever, I accept the parsley . Went off to the next chore appropriately, but it didn't last. Had the usual tug of war over using the toilet. We didn't accomplish much. She wants to turn washing her hands into a major negative "event". For a split second I feel the frustration rise. I walk away.

Time to leave, but she's not ready. James is in the car buckled up and happily full of breakfast. Missy's hair needs help. She hasn't eaten. She crying and not moving.  I tell her I"m sorry she is having problems getting ready. I quick throw a banana, some milk, her parsley and some protein powder in the blender for a shake so she doesn't starve. She's mad. She doesn't "want it". She doesn't "like that stuff". The crocodile tears are rolling. I just tell she will like it and to get over here and taste it. She drinks 24 oz in 45 seconds flat.

She falls to pieces because I have to fetch the van at the bottom of the driveway while she ties her shoes... I come back and she puts on a happy face. I remind her to take the school bear and she grabs the nearest stuffed bear. This is the very bear she has tried repeatedly to convince me is actually the school bear. She almost had me fooled once, and she was so outrageously convincing the next day that her dad actually took the bear to the school and asked the teacher himself. I remind her that I know this is not the school bear. She goes into fits. I remain firm. She cries and nearly throws herself on the floor, but then runs to her room and shows up at the car with the right bear.

 She tries to engage me in happy chatter over weekend plans. She's all the way at the back of the van and I don't have the energy. James is 23 minutes late for school on her account. She's 12 minutes late for hers, but she smiles and says "see you later" as she waves goodbye.

On my way home the Buddy sticks his fingers down his throat... a very naughty thing he does for attention, and suddenly he threw up, all over the seat of the new van.

I arrive home... only to be called to pick up Christina from the dentist where she had a molar pulled to make room for her braces to do their work. As I am cleaning up and dressing the Buddy and organizing he pees on the carpet no less than three times in the space of 5 minutes... Don't ask how come it took that long to get the diaper back on!

It's a good morning.

No one raged. The kids did get to school, even if they were late.  I took it in stride and chalk it up as just another day in the life of adopting special needs kids.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I've been thinking of doing it for some time, but today I finally did it.

I went and cleared out Missy's drawers and closet and left 7 outfits, 1 church dress and 2 pairs of pajamas, plus a few essentials. I gave away all the too small stuff, put away the winter things, and put a handful of dresses up in my closet to rotate with.

I'm tempted to label the hangers by the days of the week, but decided to leave her the choice. If she decides to make that an issue we'll label them.

I like it.

I don't like that my side loading washing machine quit and Steve put the top loader from the garage in its place. I'm not impressed. It isn't washing well.

Was able to get an infant car seat, but still have not resolved the crib issue. Oh the rules and regulations on cribs!!!!!!

The Biology of Behavior


Before I get into the biology of behavior, an update on the baby.

It will be Friday or Monday before the baby is released from the NICU.

I had made up my mind that the judge was going to rule in favor of the mom and she would get to keep the baby in the center with her, but that was not to be. Seems like if I would have been the judge... well, I don't know the whole story, I guess.

I'm almost ready for the challenge.

I have ONE more choir program to go before we let out for the season. We'll be doing the Great Controversy program at Valley View this weekend.

We have one more English as a Second Language school night to go, also. Not sure how I will make that actually. It's also the night Christina has a recital and I really should be there. Christina does really well at flute recitals. She usually struggles with piano recitals and she has had TWO of those recently.

 Christina's math class is winding up. She has one more.

I'm pleased with my new weed-whacking man. Even his weed-whacker is better than ours.


I have been listening to a CD set on the Physical Causes of behavior and attention problems in children. Interesting because it is validating my concerns about the imbalance in the natural flora of the colon causing mishap in the brain. Some of the things brought up are:

sleep problems (check)
Dry skin (in patches check)
Stomach-aches (check)
canker sores (check, check)
sugar cravings ( don't know what they crave, but don't all kids like sugar?)
rashes, athletes foot, (check)
allergies (check, check)
leg pains
Enuresis (maybe?)
constipation (CHECK, CHECK and then the opposite also)
Much antibiotic use (CHECK, CHECK - before we got them!)

They aren't taking all the sugar away necessarily, but they are doing a probiotic 3 times a day for three months. That sure sounds easier. Even a child who has only been on antibiotics twice in their life can have an over growth of yeast.  Missy lived on anti-biotics the first 4 years of her life. This could well be the main cause of her intolerance for dairy. It could contribute to the gluten intolerance, also.

I don't expect that at healing her body she will become a perfect angel. She has definite issues with attachment, but I do expect to see some improvement in her irritability. It has become habit to be resistant, though. She knows no other way. There has to be some retraining of the thinking and of course surrender to Christ to become whole. So, in other words, it's going to take some serious parenting still.

There is a whole program that involves acidophilus the first week, and anti-fungal agents (grapefruitseed extract) the next, reducing sugars and carbs and increasing proteins the third week, and replacing minerals on the 4th week. The Magnesium we have been doing. When we run out of CALM I notice a huge difference in Missy. She needs the magnesium. By the 5th week we work with the B vitamins. The 6th week increasing the Essential Fatty acids - which we have been doing, Omega 3, etc... in the flax. Week 7 you add lecithin, which is amazing because I started it last week before I heard this. Week 8 the add pycnogenol to help with focusing. I have yet to understand what this is.

Basically I have had bits and pieces of the information, but this will help to put the puzzle together.

I mentioned that the therapist we saw once mentioned that James could be ADD and needs help with stimulating the brain so he can transition easier. This cd set is suppose to go into that as well... using natural things. So looking forward to learning more!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Crabby But Cute

Don't you just wish they would make some of those cute clothes in bigger sizes? When the little girls grow out of size 6 it's just so sad. So many adorable, feminine clothes are now all too small. The dressed they like the most, and the ones they gravitate towards in the store are all for the "little" girls.

Someone gave me some hand-me-down kids clothes... there' s an outfit I could see Missy wearing - if it weren't so small! So much for sweet and feminine, but how fitting. (no pun intended.)

I can't seem to do this no-sugar thing. Every time I turn around we are in an impossible situation. How can you deny a kid a banana? Anyway, I have her off of refined sugar as much as I can control.

We are fighting over the toilet issue again. I'm super, duper consistent about the schedule. Nothing has changed that way. We're pushing the water, because she needs it and she is fighting it. She's with holding...  and then she's messing her pants. Then she explodes when I ask her to clean herself up and shower.

This morning everything I said to her was met with resistance and fussing. I turned my face away every time and walked away. Eventually she noticed and started to "chatter" in a different tone but it was still super annoying because she felt so controlling. She knows that I am not very friendly to this. I cannot bite the bate for an argument, but I struggle to balance the relationship part because I don't feel like interacting after awhile. She senses that I feel negative ...

Last night she put herself to bed after the battle with the poopy pants. She was in a miserable mood and tired. I was in the garden and when I came up she was asleep. I had hoped that extra sleep would help her cope better in the morning, but alas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


*He hadn't actually scored the test yet, but the reading specialist said that James made huge progress in reading since January. I am so proud of him. We have worked on it, but not a ton and very carefully so as not to cause him to put up walls.

*The reading specialist told me they are going to offer Missy two extra weeks of school in June and a few extra weeks in August. I couldn't be happier :-) It took him awhile to get the funding in place to offer summer school, but he finally got it. His efforts are well appreciated.

*Missy arrived at school only about 10 minutes late. She was not crabby and mean. This is a  greater success than arriving almost on time. We decided she didn't sleep the night before. Why else would a kid roll over in bed and scream, "I hate you!" when Christina was trying to get her out of bed?  She does have a problem with sleep. Some nights we wonder if she has slept at all. She talks and plays and rolls around. She gets into a lot of  trouble, too. Anyway, to see if it was true I had her lay down after lunch on the couch with a blanket. She was asleep in 5 minutes.

*We went to a wonderful fund raising dinner and auction for orphans in Belize last night. It was a success. The girls were servers and Vanessa played her harp. I gave a hand where I could. Namely upping the bids :-) and sweeping the floor after. I lost the bid on a gorgeous flower pot that I thought would look great on my new porch.... and then the gal who won the bid gave it to me in exchange for the girls doing special music in her church. Awesome.

*At 11PM Steve was out in the dark fixing the water system in my market garden. I was freaking out about the wind. Such a gale!! There are some casualties amongst the tomatoes,  but I am afraid to look and see how many. The wind blew warm and hard all night long.

*I admitted defeat and hired the neighbor boy to mow and weed whack until the girls get out of school. His brother lasted 10 minutes, but he stuck with it for an hour and half and finished one whole section. I expect to see him this morning.

* I requested more consistency in drivers for transport to visits.... and so we are getting a new gal. This is number 8. She will be doing ALL the visits including the all day one a few hours away from here. There are some nasty things about foster care that cannot be helped. He must see his mother, but she must be in this other town getting the help she needs.

*I'm getting tired of being told by all but two friends so far that they could not do foster care because they could not give the child up. What? Does that make me some heartless witch because I feel I can? Can't helping put families back together be a ministry, too? It's not about us.

*Waiting to hear if I pick up the little one today.

*James had a problem. I asked him to take out the compost ... and then I saw him climbing the mountain with the bucket. As I guessed, he was trying to avoid meeting the goose. Now, mating season is over. The goose is calm and cool. The kid not so much. I had him come back down the hill and told him to go through the orchard, which is far enough away from the barn yard that the goose wouldn't do anything, even if he saw him. He freaked out and started insisting that he is NOT afraid of the goose.  We went around and around on this. Him refusing to go, but not admitting the reason. Finally, I took him to the barn and we confronted the goose. The kid was screeching in total panic but still screeching that he was NOT afraid of the goose. The goose didn't appreciate the behavior and started biting at his jeans and flapping his wings. Hilarious, really. I was the one getting the beating from the goose because I really didn't want to make the fears worse, but I wanted him to confront his fears and acknowledge them. We have found that with him, it's the only way then can he figure out a way to solve it. He has to face it. Well, the goose got good and riled up and I got bit enough and I picked him up by the neck and threw him in the cage and locked it. After he calmed we brought him back out and James fed him and walked beside him. We let the goose be with us all day as we worked around and things are a bit better for James. And wouldn't you know it, now Missy acting afraid.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Not Released

I won't be getting baby today. He is not being released from the NICU.

The communication from the hospital to the Social Workers has been very poor. 
We can't make out what they mean when they explained why.

I have one more day to get organized. RIGHT?

A Whole Hour Late / Pictures of Homestead Projects

The grief has begun and the baby isn't even here, yet.  She didn't even clue in that we were getting a baby until yesterday. That's really weird because Miss -hypervigilence does not like surprises and makes sure she keeps abreast of everything going on. We weren't trying to keep it a secret or anything. In fact, we were given a nice load of newborn baby things, and somehow it never dawned on her that they were not for Buddy.

Missy was a whole hour late to school this morning.

She is SO crabby this morning. Not nice or cooperative at all. I found myself being caught in the snare of cajoling Missy into doing what is expected every day and it was like, "oh, wooops! I sure fell into that trap!!"

Then I told her we were not starting the day right and we had to re-do. I put her back in pjs and back into bed. She was ugly about it. There were nasty words and wailing and nashing of teeth.

I took James to school.

It was exactly what I needed.

I needed to pull away from the situation because I was feeling very reactive and a little nauseated because it was quite upsetting me.

As I got into the van with Buddy and James I noticed that Christina had started it for me and the cd was just starting at the 11th song.

MY SONG right now.

The very song I needed to hear at the second. And I breathed a sigh knowing God had cued that cd up for me. I'll only type the words that were applicable to me:

When you feel that the enemy's come in a like a flood
And you don't know what to do
You feel such despair, your heart's breaking in two
. . . .

There is an answer my friend
there's peace that will never end.
Jesus will comfort you
Surrender to Him

Now I know you've been battered and bruised from the fight
and you feel there's no way you can win
But the battle's not yours and the battle's not mine
How we need to give it to HIM.

He is my rock and my strength
I will wait upon HIM
He is my refuge my God
I'll trust ever in HIM

Yes, He is the answer my friend
His love - it will never end
Jesus will see you through
Surrender to HIM
Ralph Henderson

I came home and we started over  right from scratch.... and she got to school ONLY one hour late.
I am very relieved she got there because it will help to turn the attitude around. It is important that she is successful in as many things as possible. Steve and I believe she carries a lot of shame for the way she behaves.

There has been a LOT going on here... I'll share a few pics to give you and idea of all the spring projects happening.

 Steve rented a backhoe to help him put in the new water tank.
James was in 7th Heaven!!

The next step to the porch work was completed.
 But we are dealing with this...
We managed to plant 145 tomatoes in the market garden
But we still have a lot of this:
Actually, people have been giving donations
towards Christina's trip to Hungary in exchange for plants.
She has been my right-hand-man working very hard for me and
this is one of the ways for her to raise money for the trip without getting a job
away from home (since she's only 14).

The garden is doing well.
I've been making daily green drinks straight from the garden.
Just how healthy can one get?

The chickens are growing well!
We did lose one.
A bunch of kids ran through the enclosure we had them in and stepped on one.

Can you find Waldo?
They think nothing of trespassing!
There's one duck less, too.
They have a story all of their own... a story of foster care and attachment issues.
We'll save it for another day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Nobody could find the checkbook for two days.

We looked everywhere.

And then Missy found it in a bag in the fridge.

Way to go!

I'll Call Him Duckie

My mother is out in the middle of "Timbuktu"in the wilds of Africa managing things at the school she's carved out of nothing with God's help for the young people there. There's not much chance of wishing her a Happy Mother's Day, or a Happy Birthday, or to tell her how proud I am of her. It will have to wait.

My mother -in-law is an old English woman to whom everyone is "Luv" or "Duck". "So glad to see you "Duck"... She's earned the nickname Mother Duck and I can see her chuckling and enjoying the warm fuzzy memories the name has garnered her over the years every time she hears it.

New little baby coming tomorrow has a name I'm not fond of. Not too many people are, I think, at least not amongst my friends. I looked up it's meaning in hopes of salvaging some sort of sweet connection... Alas, the meaning is worse than the sounds of it. Way off at the bottom of the list of origins and languages and primary meanings was mention of a mallard. Okay, we'll go with that and "Duckie" he will be, (at least on here, and I know that's not how you normally spell it, but if I'm making up the name, I can make up the spelling, too.)

We've been blessed with gifts already from generous people that will make taking care of the little Duckie much easier. A beautiful, new fan-dangle swing (I had one of the crank up ones for Vanessa), itty bitty, cute clothes, blankets and burp clothes, stroller and other things.

We're getting excited to meet the little fellow. I pray the Lord will give me wisdom and strength and patience as the appearance of a new member of the household is sure to bring on some upheaval in the life of a certain little girl.

I was able to meet the father of the Buddy and his new little brother. It was a good thing. This family is very positive towards us. They only express gratitude and actually, our home was their first choice of placement if they could not keep the newborn themselves. I was able to share with the father how we are lifting them up in prayer and to encourage him in the journey of the recovery of his family. He's not a hardened, or bitter man. He's found himself at the bottom of a pit with many, many regrets and tears. I have not met the mother yet, but I spoke to her on the phone. I think her challenges are overwhelming . . .  However, we do believe in miracles.

It does scare me that things could go in the right direction, they could pull it together, and meet the expectations imposed on them by DSHS and they get the children back only for things to go bad and the suffering of the children would be worse the second time around. I have to trust that God cares more about these babies than I do and He will be there for them. Children get hurt. People do stupid, selfish things that destroy innocent lives so it's hard to wrap my mind around the faith that the Father in Heaven will see these kiddos through. I can't think about it too much, I believe we have a part in their lives for a reason, though.

TODAY I'm planting tomatoes...   Blessings to you this mother's day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Baby!

Thank you so much for the prayers. Felt incredible peace about the decisions that took place over the course of the morning!

The little Buddy's newborn baby brother will join our family on Monday for a minimum of 30 days. Good things are taking place in the family. The baby is healthier than expected, but will need some special care. I'm busy getting my ducks in a row.

I have a big children's choir concert this evening. Went to a special adoption this morning. Attended Missy's big mother's day program at school. Spent two hours in a CPS meeting. Had social worker visit.... Plus

- So much for getting my two hundred tomato plants put out in the garden this afternoon.

Leaving Much Unsaid....

Am I crazy?

Do I think I'm super woman?

Is this GOD's call?

Make it clear, LORD. MAKE IT UTTERLY CLEAR!! I can't do this without you!

If there is anybody out there reading this morning, would you lift us up in prayer?

BIG Decisions

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

One Thousand Posts

This is it! 
The one thousandth post!
My, but I sure talk a lot!

Praying my reasons for writing diminish
as the children continue to settle more fully into our family.
How Far We have COME!

 If you look real close you will see that
Clickety-Clack and Nina
have a right to be proud.

There are 11 and they are a week old tomorrow.
The pond is a busy place, now.
at one day old
 Enjoying the babies. (Missy has CALMED right down, by the way! We are all breathing easier!)
 the ducklings at 5 days old

They sure add variety and interest to our lives.
So thankful God gave us this lovely piece of earth to call home.
Waiting for the arrival of his own brood.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


This little Buddy has become an incredible screecher!!

It's downright nauseating. Nearly splits my head open.

It happens a lot at meals. You can't feed him fast enough, but he hates everything except sweet.

He screeches for you to feed him. (I'm desperately trying not to reward this behavior but good grief, it's not easy when he won't stop screeching for half a second.) Then I bring the food to his mouth and spits it out ferociously. I expect it. What I don't expect is for him to fling the spoon from my hand at the next bite!! It goes flying against the wall. Milk and porridge dripping. I play airplanes, I distract him. I sneak in a spoonful. He eats it, and I 'm on a roll. I get about 5 bites and the shrieking starts again. He spits, he pushes me away. He wants milk and only milk will do... unless you have some sweet blueberry yogurt. He signs "all-done" over and over. And he's kept about 5 bites altogether.

He will eat applesauce and he will eat sweet yogurt. He might even eat a blended fruit, but forget veggies and forget cereal and anything with any kind of texture, though, he'll eat crackers and baby cookies which lack any kind of nutrition.

It's exhausting.

It's not like I didn't have a screamer way back when the girls were little, but I could at least feed her.
I started putting him in his bed for shrieking. If he wants to let out blood curdling, ear splitting screams he can do it from his bed.  As soon as he stops I bring him out. It worked for touching things that were not supposed to be touched, I sure hope it works for this.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hey, there, HONEY, sugar pie....

So, our Missy-on-a-no-sugar-diet....

was caught  
red handed down amongst the leftover bee trays with her dipped and dripping fingers just a fraction of an inch from her tongue.

That was close!


Well, we could always start over again tomorrow, right?

This isn't easy business... for me or her, but she is surprisingly content today.  She isn't very excited about green drinks, either, but she's all for probiotics, and garlic caps, and anything else that makes her feel like a pill popper.

Vanessa and Christina have booked their tickets to Europe. 
Youth For Jesus, Hungary and GYC Europe
here they come.
Brianna has tickets to Texas.
Better enjoy these last few weeks of school while these kids are still around!

Missy and Vanessa  looking out over the valley.
Blessed to live in one of the prettiest places of the world!