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.


Monday, November 26, 2012


Collecting 22 eggs in a day from 23 hens 

and it's late November.

While the days are short,
it hasn't been cold
there's no snow.

There is a lot of grass...

So, I guess that makes them happy!

 And so is James. 

His first major purchase was a set of Legos.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What to Make of It

a leafy row next to a naked row all in one orchard  ~ 

We're flip flopping here.

Missy is doing fairly well today. She's even singing Christmas Carols.

Yesterday was interesting. Not even sure what I make of it yet. She was crabby and extremely unhappy to start with.  Everything brought a snarl and un-thankful words. I got the idea that I should curb the ungrateful spirit by bringing out the opposite in her somehow, someway.

Christina did her hair for her. I prompted her, "What do you say to Christina for doing your hair for you?"


lol.... and we were on a roll.

I had her sit down and think of some nice things to say to Christina. It took her a full hour to finally come up with something worth speaking.

Minutes later she was crabbing at everybody over her bowl of oatmeal. Actually she was claiming James' bowl which he'd already eaten out of and saying it was hers and was having a fit for no other reason that I could see other than to just cause a raucous.

I had her come sit by me to think of something nice to say to each one. This caused her to lose it a bit. She refused and the ugly words came pouring out. I could bore with details, but I won't.... this was most of our day. I worked with her patiently. I talked with her. I sang happy songs. I kept her on the piano bench near me always encouraging her to think of something nice to say in place of the awful words.

And she spiraled.  DOWN. DOWN. DOWN.

Even when her favorite person from church showed up at the door she was surly and nasty and did not even greet her. 

I had to go help the girls with something outside for a bit and I mentioned that I didn't know what to do anymore. Everything I had tried only brought out the worst in her.

Christina said, "Well, she is really enjoying all the negative attention!"

*Light bulb*

I was like, "YOU are SO RIGHT!"

And I sent the child off to her room and I drove away to run an errand. So glad I moved her to the room closer so I am aware of all her doings in there.  Things got better. I only let her out to eat and stuff like that. I did not allow her to stand in the doorway and shout and whine at me. She had to ask for every little thing. She played with her dolls and talked to herself and by evening I could let her out of the bedroom to play with James because the attitude was dissipating. She woke up different this morning and she had a decent day. Occasionally she started to use negative language today and we had her think of something kind to say in it's place, but it hasn't been anything like Friday.

We went for a walk down the road in the dark. She laughed and played running and jumping on our shadows very much like a happy child should. I have no idea what I am suppose to learn from the last two days. The harder I try the worse things get. If I have her play alone for a few hours she might decide to change her attitude so she can join the family. That is so opposite of what the experts tell us we are suppose to be doing.

She's asked a dozen times if she can go back to school on Monday.

Friday, November 23, 2012


It's not going super well with me and a certain child....

It's intense. I wake up with a feeling of dread and panic.

I see it as a vicious cycle. The acting out is unlovely... I instinctively pull back... I try to help her see what she is doing is hurting her, too and she gets worse.  I give myself a talking-to and try to come in close, she pulls another prank from her stash and I am disheartened and nauseous and shut her out. I know I need to do the opposite thing I feel like doing. Easy to say.....

I see my tolerance level shrinking by the hour.

For the most part I remind myself that she has some mental deficits. I give her a lot of room for those... The thing is, she is completely different for me than she is for people outside the home. She performs sparklingly well for those that she wants to impress. She flips the switch and bam, she's totally capable, but for others she makes herself a sweet needy child who is desperate to be held and coddled. I see her manipulating people and I get a knot in the pit of my stomach. She slithers onto someone's lap and looks over at me like, "and what are you going to do about it?" Or sometimes she won't look at me at all because she doesn't want to catch my signal that she is being inappropriate because she is smart enough to know right and wrong. (I'm learning to speak directly and clearly in public. )

I received a kind and appreciated comment from my sister-in-law telling me she was praying that the Holy Spirit would protect me from bitterness and resentment. I am grateful. I am soul searching for bitterness...  I do find resentment. (especially when meanness is directed to her twin brother. He does nothing to deserve being hurt by her. He was all she had and there should be some kind of love between them, but she doesn't see it that way, she sees him as competition. I know I am way off base here. If her attachment and love is missing, then there won't be any for anyone no matter how deserving.) I do find her behavior as repulsive as apparently she intends and I agonize over separating her actions from the child in need of love and kindness. I do want the best for her, but it is amazingly and incredibly frustrating to work with her to that end.

My prayer for today  (and it's going to be LONG day ) is that I can treat her like Jesus treats me. No matter what she does or says or how hard she tries to put me off, I pray I will not lose my patience and not emotionally shut her out. She's on the bench nearby for not answering or coming when I called, and it looks like there might be a lot of that today. We also moved her to the room upstairs near my room yesterday so that I can be more aware of what she is doing at all times. I pray that I don't give in to the temptation to mentally block her out, give up and lose hope.

We didn't do anything special yesterday. Steve worked. I worked on a Xmas present. Christina cleaned the refrigerator, Vanessa helped Missy move her things upstairs. No fancy meal. I thought of baking a pie and stuff, but gluten free is discouraging because it is so much more work and to do it twice is too much... We'll have our dinner Sabbath when Steve is home.  The girls took the harp/violin/flute to the hospital and played music until their fingers blistered. Oh the stories they come home with. Music can be such a blessing.

We baked the babies' family a pie and they brought us a sweet gift. So thankful for them. They were visiting a relative at the hospital and heard the music and even before they saw who it was just KNEW!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Never Give Up

It was way too exciting!!

We invited a few neighbor children, and Buddy's sister to join us for Christina's concert with the symphony. Few of the kids we brought with us had been to a concert like this before.

This was a BIG deal!

Caroline and Tori were also playing this concert. Two of the little friends pictured are Christina's flute students. She invited them to be inspired to keep practicing.

Besides being very interested in Christina's enjoyment of the whole evening, and the success of the young people I know involved, I was really, really touched by something.

A few years ago a teen just graduating from high school, the son of a doctor in the hospital where Steve works, was in a horrible, devastating  car crash. His head injuries were severe. The young man everyone had known was no longer the same. He was flat and expressionless. It shook up the community. Everyone grieved for his losses.

His mother is amazing, though. She has been his greatest support, his strongest advocate, his untiring ally. She has never given up. She has been at his side constantly. I used to take Missy to the hospital for speech. Often the young man would come in for his therapy during our time there. He would walk in  with an aid of some sort - walker, cane, or something. His affect flat. He struggled to communicate. But his mother would be at his side.... ever reading to him, ever teaching him, always pushing him forward towards progress.

We were gratefully surprised to find this young man on stage playing music.... His mother was by his side, keeping his place in the music with her finger, but he was handling the bass well, all by himself. He kept up with the orchestra just fine.

And we were blessed. VERY. VERY. blessed by such strong determination and dedication.


School's Out for the Holiday. . .

I knew it was going to be hard, 
but I didn't anticipate I'd be almost in tears so soon.

She wasn't home 15 minutes from school on early release 
and we were in the thick of a full blown 
complete with screaming, throwing,
door slamming, running off,
and everything...

over corn chips.

My first clue that Thanksgiving was going to go over like a lead balloon
was her question this morning.

"Where are we going and what are we going to do for Thanksgiving?"

"Um.... Thanksgiving is a time to stay home
and be with your family,

"We have to stay here???!!"
 But she had to run to meet the bus.

And then before you know it the bus comes back
and the screaming starts
and for a minute I'm desperate.
 I'm panicked  and there's a rush of

And I walk away. Breath. Vacuum like crazy. And pray it doesn't last.

Monday, November 19, 2012


So the word is ambitious....

but before we toned it down by mixing in some brown paint and some red paint....

it was plum CRAZY!

The Mess Continues

One of the tiles broke.
I doubt if I would have thought to rip the whole thing out on account of one tile,
but the fact that the tile ends right where the bar stools dent the wall big time
did give me the idea to rip it out and start over.
We'll extend it right past the place where the wall looks like it's been in a few battles.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shattered Heart

(Click on the Link above to hear the song!)

But maybe not,

Not today

Maybe You'll provide in other ways.

And if that's the case.....

We'll give thanks to You

In gratitude

For lessons learned in how to trust in You

That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream

In abundance or in need  *

Though my heart is heavy, there is comfort in trusting Him. He holds the future in His capable hands. Even in the decimation of a horrible disease** that offers no future and no hope there is yet THE blessed HOPE.

BUT how do you offer words to direct the mind to that comfort without seeming insensitive to the enormity of the trial? I'm not that mother with the shattered heart. It's not my beautiful daughter in whose genes lurks the terrible tragedy.... I am not that sweet girl with the large, expressive eyes, who has watched her father's mind and body destroyed in the ravages of the very disease  now being handed her as a sentence. I'm not one of the the younger siblings wondering if they are next. I can barely begin to understand depths of their pain having never walked through it. I can pray that He who comforts me will surround them with His great embrace.

I'm having a hard time making this post make sense. . . We pray that we will always have house and bread and health and life, but it isn't guaranteed. Do we still trust when life is unfair? HARD, PAINFUL, and death reaches through our door?

 Daily bread, give us daily bread

Bless our bodies, keep our children fed

Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight

Wrap us up and warm us through

Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs

Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time

Or maybe not, 

not today

Maybe You'll provide in other ways

And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You

With gratitude 

A lesson learned to hunger after You

That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread


some way,

there is a mandate upon us to help those in pain, perhaps "perplexed with doubt, burdened with infirmities, weak in faith, or maybe unable to grasp the unseen; but as a friend, someone they can see, coming in Christ's stead, we can be as a connecting link to fasten their trembling faith upon God.

OH! This is a blessed work!

Let not pride, and selfishness prevent us from doing the good which we may do

if we will work in Christ's name and with a loving, tender spirit."

5T 246 (paraphrased)

*Nicole Nordeman - Is the author of the song Gratitude. The words have captured me. I love the Nebblett's Family recording of the song which can be found here: on the CD called I WILL GO

** Huntingt*n's Disease

Friday, November 16, 2012

Major Projects

Christina decided to refinish my cupboards.
They needed it.

She is doing a great job.

It looks brown wet, but it is the same stain as before.

I decided to fill in the decorative crack around the edge of the table that only fills up
with food, with black wood filler.
LOVE it already.
Why they put that crack in there, I'll never know.

(If you look at the pictures in the previous post,
you will notice a line three inches from the edge of the table.
It just fills up with gross stuff!!)

Now i have to varnish the top of the table.

But the little guys are coming for a visit this morning... so my project is on hold.
Ask my how I am going to keep Buddy out of Christina's???!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What's on Your Table?

I think a glimpse of the table in a person's home can tell a lot about a family.

Food doesn't seem to be what's on ours.

Perhaps my table would tell you that nobody puts their things away before bed.

Perhaps our table would inform you of how busy and creative my children are. 

Perhaps you would notice our table is the center of our home. . .

. . . that everybody likes to be together even if they are doing their own thing.

Or maybe you would just think we're a messy bunch.


I snapped these pictures at 6:30 AM 'cause I wanted to remember someday when they start finding their own way and making their own families what our table looked like when our kids were home.

Signs of a busy evening.

a messiness to be grateful for

calculus homework, a couple of computers, calculator, charts

homeschool chemistry, watercolor paint supplies & kid paintings, a Christmas flower to pot, modeling clay

2nd grade homework, rush hour game piece, a little girl's violin with tapes & flags, rubber band & foam rest

craft projects, the recent Frontiers mission magazine - the children's edition, candles 

a Bible, notebook and pencil

a stack of potential music for the upcoming wedding, a flute

What's on YOUR table?
I dare you to share.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Went to court. As I thought, mom was sitting alone .... sat with her for 30 minutes while the round table discussion happened behind closed doors. Then I waited for 10 minutes in the waiting room while she was called in.

I was called in and told I was needed. Mom was crying tears of happiness. She got the good news. Everyone was on board... she told me later that my written statement regarding Buddy changed the CASA's mind. We hugged!!

It was the same judge that we had for our adoption. 

I was asked to speak. I kept it short. I couldn't keep the emotion out of my voice. I told them I was very proud of the parents for working so hard for their children's sake.

It was brought out in the hearing that we have a fabulous working relationship between me and the mom.  The judge told the mom to ask for help if she needed it, that all parents have problems and not to hide them. I know she will seek help. In fact, I'm babysitting today haha!!... (Counseling appointments, etc...)

Going to do the laundry and pack some baby clothes today.

IF you prayed for us at anytime in the last 10 months I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This has been a real experience for us from start to finish. It's not really over, it's just beginning a new phase. One based on friendship and the love of two kids.



I'm getting ready to go to court. The dad is out of town, the grandma is out of town. My husband is out of town.... but Vanessa offered to babysit so I could go be with mom. She's nervous for the outcome. Someone was talking a little negative towards her and her ability as a mother... Just someone in an irritated mood, but someone who could have put in a negative word where it counts if they wanted to.

Coveting your prayers for the Lord to overrule the outcome. May it be in the best interest of the children and not the adults who wish to sway things in whatever direction they please.

** PS. no pinches this morning, but still looking for advice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Anyone have a solution for a pinching twin?

Every single time she passes her brother she pinches him. Every single time she's mad at me she goes and find him and pinches him.

It's getting OLD!!!

The poor guy is pathetically defenseless. He won't touch her. Used to be he pinched her. He grew out of it. Now she pinches him and he neither defends himself nor knows how to avoid her. Once this week he managed to duck out of reach. He was quite proud of himself. As funny as that sounds, it's plain sad because she is ruthless and he's defenseless.

I can't encourage him to pinch her back.... that wouldn't be right, but I hate that he can't figure out how to protect himself from her.

On a brighter note she has pulled up her britches on the violin playing. After I clued the teacher in that she was being manipulated, and talked straight with the Missy, she made a complete turn around and learned a Christmas carol in one week. I've told her she can play it for church with her sisters sometime before Christmas. She's pleased as punch. I don't quite understand. She doesn't usually care what I say about anything.

If I were being real I'd tell you how I'm struggling to like this kiddo right now, but I'm too tired to go there at the moment.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thinking Christmas Already...

The count down is on....

1. Reserved 3 cabins on the beach. Wishing it was somewhere tropical  like Lake Malawi, but it isn't and we take a chance with the weather, but with good company we'll have a good time whatever the weather...

Last year at Christmas we made a lot of little rock collections there. My parents will come from Colorado / Africa. My sister's family will drive the very LONG road from the Yukon.

2. We had someone "draw" names for us so that each family member is responsible for 1 gift. That simplifies things a lot!

3. I made our Christmas Nuts and Bolts and sealed em up tight and stored them in the freezer today.

One thing at a time. . . It's going to be a Christmas to remember especially since it ends with GYC and I get to go this time!


We woke up to this today...

now you know why we've been thinking Christmas.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I Was a Kid Once

back in the days of polyester....

Feeling the Grief

 The babies are with their family for three days and nights.

It is as I expected with the Buddy. He's doing great. He's handling the transition. He's happy to be with his mom and dad. He feels secure with them and we've transferred the bond. I picked him up for Sabbath School yesterday. He was cute and coy and full of mischief, and tired. He loved his class. He was just as happy to be returned home. I feel completely at peace about him and it's easy for me to let him go.

I don't even know how to describe how it's going with the babe.

It hit hard when I returned Buddy home to find that the Duckling was having a rough morning. He was so happy when I first saw him earlier. He wanted me. He was all smiley and sweet as I greeted and held him.... but then I left him with his mom and took his brother to Sabbath school.... and apparently he screamed himself into exhaustion. When I went back he was sleeping in his mother's arms.

I know that because he is small people don't thinks as much about our bond and his attachment to me as much as they worry about the bigger kid. It isn't as easy to recognize his distress . . . A friend, who is a mental health professional, and has had infant mental health training, talked with me about him last evening at the church. She pointed out several things that show he is stressed about this transition.

I told her that when the CASA recommended that we return the babe but keep the Buddy for another month I felt completely at odds with her. The mother expressed to me that it was the Buddy she needed back first. She felt horrible saying it, but her mother heart was just longing for this child back. My friend validated her strong emotional desire by reminding me that the mother's primary bond is with him. He has lived half his life with her, whereas the baby has lived with me nearly since birth. The mother is still building a bond with the baby. She is going to have to actually work at building that attachment. She loves him dearly... but there is work to do to help that baby transfer.

And because that little duckling is experiencing some pain, I'm feeling it, too.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Don't Feel Bad Saying No.... { It could very well be a God thing! }

Today I was greatly relieved that I had said no to the little emergency respite fellow. I ended up having the babies most of the day.... and then there was the question over whether the parents were suppose to have their babies all weekend or not.  Mom thought she was approved for one night. I thought she was approved for three. In reality it was probably only two, but since we were not sure and we had to go through the on-call social worker. She ended up being allowed all three. BUT what if ??? Then I would have had more kids than beds for at least one night. Not a big deal except it is when you are dealing with foster care.

BUT here's the neat thing.

The little emergency respite fellow visited our house this evening anyway!!!

Our friends were next on the call list and they said YES! They said it was a God thing. They had just barely finished fixing up their guest room when the phone rang and they just knew they were suppose to take him. He's a great little match for their little boy and the children are having a blast playing together.

Several days ago we had invited them for supper for this evening and I was never so surprised to find they had this little boy that I had said no to. It was like, "You don't have to feel bad saying no when you have asked for direction from the Lord and you feel strongly that your answer ought to be no." God had another plan all along. And His plan is perfect.

As it was, we had the babies nearly all day and still got the brush pile burned, the grass mowed, the leaves all raked and moved, the potatoes dug, the house cleaned for company and food prepared for the Sabbath.

James did an amazing job with the rake today!!

Catch UP!

Got a call for an emergency respite situation for a two year old for the whole weekend. Oh, my! We haven't even given back the first kids and they're asking us to take more. This kiddo had had a major organ transplant, couldn't drink liquids, had a nut allergy, plus other allergies. We sent up a quick prayer, discussed it and said no. It was horrid to hear the disappointment when I called them back. I hate disappointing people, but I just am not ready to take on more.

We're trying to prepare for the advent of snow. As of last night, the garage is clean and by Vanessa's request the Honda is parked in there. We might actually get my van parked in there after we return the borrowed canoe. We finished painting one side of the house - trim and all. The water project is finally completed with gravel over the whole area to cover the black weed cloth.  The summer tires are stored and the odd bits and pieces of various projects taken down to the barn. The new gutters are up and the old ones taken down to the barn.

We still have a LOT of leaves to rake. They started to pile up this week. The garden needs some attention. There's mowing to do. There are irrigation hoses to roll up and put away. The chicken barn needs to be cleaned and winterized. The other barn - especially the tack room needs organizing. We have a very large burn pile yet to go...  It seems there's no end, but it is amazing how much we can get done while the  babies are with their parents!!

I'm sad there are no winter greens in my green house, but it was one too many things to take care the last few months.

This week has been tough on Missy. It is parent/teacher conference week - ALL WEEK. It means the kids come home at lunch so the twins have had to work with us and they would rather be at school. Missy has really struggled with the whole change in schedule, as I knew she would.

James' report card and conference went well. I am very proud of his accomplishments already. He is doing so well. Everybody reports that he is super well behaved.  He still struggles with writing - as expected. The hand coordination is difficult because his fine motor skills have a long ways to go. He is slow and that is also expected with his slow processing.. For math he is pre-taught everything alone- and then he is allowed to go to the regular math class and he can do the work.

Missy is reportedly the happiest kid in the school.

YUP! You read that right.

The look on my face must have spoke volumes. The teacher laughed and said, "I know, you are thinking we are not talking about your kid. But it is true."

Good. PTL! actually. I'll go with that. Maybe someday it will rub off on the home Missy. :-)

She desperately wants to do what the other kids do, but cannot. They see that all the time. It is frustrating for her. She is pulled out of class dozens of times a day for her special one-on-ones and she is really starting to know that she is different. It's kind of sad.

The court hearing for the babies is on Wednesday. We totally expected the babies to go home for good that day - until the mother's attorney clued her into the knowledge that the CASA is not on the same page as everyone else and doesn't want the Buddy to go home for another month. I called the social worker and it was a surprise to even her because the CASA had said she was in agreement with the plan!! We don't know what the CASA bases that decision on. She hasn't been to my house or talked to me in months. I wrote a strong recommendation against the CASA's idea. She does not see what I see. It's now up to the judge.

The Buddy is ready for the switch. The transition has been long and he's starting to feel insecure about going back and forth. He wants to know where he is going to sleep at night. He wants to be with his mommy. One day as she brought him back to me in the evening we both knew he'd made the leap in his mind. He is ready.  He knows his family is his. He cries every time his mom leaves him now. She comes in and plays with him and the other kids and then when his attention is averted she slips out.

Buddy's brother, almost 7, came over and played Legos with James for a couple hours. The only one not comfortable coming to our house is the 9 year old sister. She gets super anxious and almost frantic  - stranger anxiety or something, even though we are certainly not strangers. We visit back and forth a lot these days, but she has been really affected by the whole situation and I think she may have some long battles with anxiety to face yet.

Grandma Tall's funeral is this weekend. I have to get cooking for the potluck meal...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Revisiting: Biology of a Behavior {for Rachel}

Rachel asked for the regimen we used this spring. I will recommend a CD called a Biology of a Behavior found at this link: Biology of a Behavior

I am pleased to tell you that some of the physical symptoms that Missy experienced before we did this regimen have not returned. Her over-all health definitely improved.  The twins still take a combination of vitamins and herbs, but not exact as the regimen. It kind of gets expensive, but I do replace the bottles as they run out. The most powerful of the regimen for her was the acidophiles and the GSE with Olive Leaf extract. Dragon breath, gassy, bloatedness disappeared and bowel health has greatly improved.

Her behavior has improved, but I can't say the regimen is what did it necessarily. It may be one more key to helping her feel better, to helping her behave better. I can't say for sure. She has days where she regresses and explodes and  is resistant to anyone asking her to do anything. She still operates on a three year old level. James is more even keel. He is pretty well behaved as a general rule... the thing that makes him angry is being asked to work, or someone (his twin or the Buddy) touching his stuff.

I talk about the regimen here: Biology of a Behavior 

Friday, November 2, 2012


I never grow weary of it.....

Happy Sabbath!


I don't know where it came from exactly, 
or who took it. 
It was sent to my dad and he sent it to me. 
Someone wanted to know what the year the picture was taken. 
I couldn't tell you for sure.
But by my dress I am guessing I am about 9 or 10. 
I remember when it was made and I remember which house we lived in. 
It was at least a year after my dad became president of Woodland Park Foundation.
My mother looks like a kid herself. 
The sun must have been bright. 
We all look squinty-eyed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Creative Project

It took me awhile...

but I finally finished Christina's music bag.  I just don't have time to sit and create off the cuff anymore. Too many interruptions, I guess.

Christina bought the front picture panel in Tanzania from a street artist. It's silk screened and waxed. I love it and I thought it would go great with a bright contrast.

the back

I managed to finish James' music bag much sooner.
He uses it to tote his stuff to piano lessons and back.