Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy With School

The twins are happy with school.

They leave excited. They come home with stories.

Missy has been happy, helpful, sweet, anticipating people's needs and just a fun kid to be around.

You never thought I would say that, did you?

Her teacher told me she's trying hard in classes and even when she was held back from recess to finish her work she kept at it until she was done.

I realize this is the honeymoon stage, and we wonder just how things will shake out over time, but I have a feeling she will do well. Having to meet the bus is BIG! It's not about me dragging her into the car, or anything, it's about her running down to meet Miss Mary on time.

James has less one on one time, so I wonder how he is actually doing. He's thrilled, though.

I'm enjoying the peaceful mornings. We just relaxed all morning and read and did whatever this morning. It felt so good and so weird. I finally got going and started organizing a plan for Christina's tenth grade year. It's her last homeschool year. I want to make it her best.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1st Day of 2nd Grade


They were very excited.
I had a lump in my throat.
It wasn't suppose to be like this...

I had every intention of homeschooling them like my homegrown kids...
*
A dream lost.
A stark reality.
But relief at the same time.
*

The lump didn't last long.
I managed to get hot pepper in my eye
and that was the end of anything on the emotional level
even as the tears were pouring out of my burning eyes!!

The bus driver is WAY too nice. 
She decided to drive right up our driveway and so the twins won't be walking at all until the snow flies.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Three and a Half

This deserves a post all it's own.

It's THREE AND A HALF miles to school.



I blame the font and not your eyesight. :-)

The punctuation does not show up correctly in this font.  Sorry for the confusion.

Truly *I* have no plans to walk 35 miles anywhere, and especially not all in one day!!!
'Cause if a kiddo is walking anywhere,
I'm going, too :-)

I hope that I would never be mean.

Girls are Home **** Blue Eggs ***** First Melon

So good have the girls home. They are tired from their 27 hour journey. They missed their first flight because of the disorganization of the airport in Hungary... Therefore the trip was much longer with the reroute.  Good to have them home.

James' first blue eggs are showing up! 
Two today.


The girls picked our first melon of the season.
YUM!


I'm sick as can be.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

School Prep and James Update

We are working a bit at a time to making the transition to going to school smooth and easy.

I went through all their CLOTHES and replaced the too small items. We organized James' drawers into school clothes and play clothes and church clothes. For Missy I simplified it even more. I only left pjs and play clothes for her and one church dress in the closet. The School Clothes are all paired up and hung as sets in MY closet. I will hand her an outfit every school day.

We shopped for LUNCH foods and then cleaned the small pantry and organized our lunch things. Next we plan on making patties and cookies and various healthy foods to freeze in small portions for the lunch kits. We hope to get started on that today.

We bought new SHOES for both kids and have their BACKPACKS all ready to go. This morning Missy cleaned out the bench of work gloves, junk, dog leashes, zip line harnesses and winter hats. She wiped it down and I labeled the two sections. One is for James and the other for Missy. Their school shoes, backpacks, library books, light jacket and extra school supplies fit comfortably in their sections. This is right by the front door and hopefully they will learn to put their things right in the bench when they get home and won't need to search for everything every morning!!

We trimmed hair and clipped Nails.

School only starts Wednesday.... we aren't excited or anything...

They can't wait to ride the bus. It is the "short bus", thankfully. It will pick them up about a quarter of a mile from home and not a mile away as the regular bus would have. They will learn to be on time. The plan if they miss the bus is to WALK the 3.5 miles to school.  This should ensure that we are only late a couple of times, as apposed to me driving them to school late every other day :-) We can always pray that they learn, anyway.

*****



Since the stone throwing episode on Thursday James has been avoiding his dad. He knew he was responsible to tell him that he had thrown rocks at the van. He knew he needed to apologize for attempting to damage his Dad's property.

ONLY he didn't want to fess up.

I had him on tight restriction. Friday you wouldn't believe how helpful and responsive the kiddo was. He was at my right hand offering to help always.... It was a tad over the top, but I didn't blink an eye. I'm not the brightest.... it didn't dawn on me why, until Dad came home and the kid wouldn't greet him, or acknowledge him in the least. And I went "OH! That's what that was about."

I didn't push him. He wasn't ready, but obviously, his guilty conscience was at work.

Sabbath morning he was crazy. We couldn't trust him for a second. He had to stay with dad and miss his own class... I didn't feel safe allowing the little ones near him.  At lunch when I was serving Bri's great, gluten free apple pie, I reminded him that he was on restriction until he cleared things up with his dad and he realized I wasn't going to forget.

We had an wonderful hike in the mountains with friends all afternoon. I think the hiking was good for his brain, if not for my feet :-P.



It wasn't until this morning during our family worship where the lesson came close to home that James showed signs that he was really feeling uncomfortable with that load on his heart. After dismissing the rest of the family we continued to talk with him. He told Steve everything. I was very impressed with his clarity of detail starting with what day of the week it happened and everything. You cannot know how these signs of thinking and ability to express himself means to us...  He did have to have the consequence that Steve had laid out for him a few weeks earlier about throwing stones to destroy or hurt. BUT he feels so free and is happy again.

As much as we would have liked him to clear things up immediately, it may have been a priceless lesson worth even more to feel the weight on his heart and how uncomfortable that was.  He knows how much better he feels and it may have impressed a wee bit more that the responsibility of his actions rests with him.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Off His Rocker

The brain is plain not working.

SLOW. SLUGGISH. IRRITABLE. UNCOMMUNICATIVE. SLEEPING. TANTRUMS. DEPRESSED. BLAH. Prone to violence.

That's what I mean by a lethargic funk.

Yesterday we had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger in the trenches visiting a camping spot in the area... I had two and a half hours to spare. Brianna packed a lunch, and I got the babies ready for their family visit. Then we headed out to meet with this other family at the park on the river.

We live by the fair grounds so I made a quick stop at the office to find out if we could register some of James' chickens for the fall fair. Bri ran in and I absentmindedly looked back to see that James was NOT in a car seat. Now, we live in a state that requires a weight, height and age bracket to be able to sit in a car without one. We often joke that you almost have to be an adult around here to be legal without a booster seat. I asked him why he was not using a seat and he whined that Carissa was sitting in his. I reminded him that we have two sets of them and he probably should have gone in the garage and gotten his other one, but at the least he should have let me know that there was a problem. I told him to get out of the car and go in the office with Brianna. I instructed him to tell Brianna that I had run home to get his car seat and I would be back.

He lost his mind.

The incredible high pitched screaming totally scared the ladies in the building. Brianna guessed it was James and calmly explained he wasn't being killed, or dying of a mortal wound... I tried to calm him and get him to go in the office with Bri to no avail. I told him to sit on the step and wait for me, then.... He screamed louder and longer.

I walked towards the car and was almost in when he picked up a handful of stones and threw them at the windshield with an amazing force (for someone who can barely lift a finger). I thought for sure the headlights had smashed. A woman came out and I quickly explained and she told me she would talk with him. James covered his ears with his hands and screamed ear piercing shrieks. Brianna sat by him and I ran home to get a car seat.

Only, there wasn't one. They were in the other car with Steve. I felt like, at this point I had to follow through or we would be in a bigger pickle.

I ran to the neighbors. They have 8 kids. I asked if they had an extra car seat I could borrow for a few hours. Turns out they did.... because apparently they don't use car seats for most of their children... !

We finally made it to the park but we had lost a lot of time and we couldn't find the family at first so we ate our lunch. James hung his head most of the time.


We did find the family and enjoyed visiting with them, but we didn't have enough time at all!! I had to run home to collect the babies. We were ten minutes late and I was praying all the way that the driver would be late, too :-) She wasn't but seemed unruffled by our lateness.

James skinned his knees on arrival home falling in the driveway. He was miserable. I suggested he lay on his bed with a story tape on for an hour. This was almost 4 o'clock. He slept the rest of the day... At 7 I told him to get under his covers and as far as I know he didn't move until 7 this morning. Something tells me this is not a good sign. We've had quite a bit of crying this morning already.

Steve wanted to have a pretty strong consequence for the stone throwing and I do too... but I honestly don't think it will do anything... I will keep him close and have him work beside me. He won't be allowed to go off and sit and do nothing. He's lost the privileges mature behavior brings. Basically, we don't trust him and he can't be unguarded.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

James Has an Announcement ! !

The first eggs
were found this morning in the nesting boxes.
His birds are 4 months and 1 week old
and it seems 
1 hen is laying the tiny eggs, 
so far.
One egg was cold
and the other was warm.

The Twin Powers

That is what Steve has taken to calling the twins lately.

Missy's sleep over went really well. She was away for 24 hours... and when I picked her up just in time for her orthodontist appointment she was clean wore out from playing table games with Peggy. She lay in the dentist chair half asleep. If they asked her a question she didn't even bother to answer.

They had trouble getting molds made of her teeth. Her mouth is so very tight and her lip has NO give whatsoever. The techs gave up and let the orthodontist do it himself. She can't WAIT for braces. I can. She still puts up a fight about brushing her teeth as it is.

We had an hour to run some errands without the babies. It was just her and I, so we headed to the mall to find some school clothes. She really woke up then and got busy asking for everything in every store. :-)  I had washed all her clothes and gone through all her drawers in the morning and decided that she had grown out of nearly everything. We were looking for simple, classic, no-fuss, no-muss kind of clothes (I was anyway, she wanted all things glitz and glam!) and we ended up at the Children's Place and bought school uniform style clothes.  You can't get more classic than that.

Next we found shoes with velcro latches for James. Tying his shoes is still an issue. He can do it, but they won't stay tied and he won't retie them without pressure. I had searched the town over for these!!!

For our last stop we visited Bath and Body Works. I told her she could pick out one lotion. OH MY! We investigated every smell in the place and then she set about filling her arms with bottles of lotion, perfume and shower gel. So typical! I reminded her that we had agreed on one small lotion and nothing had changed on my end of the agreement. Believe me,  fireworks were lighting up already. I simply said, "One lotion, or nothing." She threw out a few more arguments and I turned away to leave. She quickly glued on a fake smile and settled for ONE lotion.

Thus ended our mother, daughter outing and she was happy as a clam. It wasn't till this morning that she assumed her old tricks and she pushed me a little too hard. Steve had to take over and I walked away with my blood pressure pounding in my head. I was disturbed to find my whole body reacting so intensely to the stress. Really, what she was up to was nothing new or out of the ordinary.... and I came to realize that I am just plain exhausted. While it was nice having a little break and we had fun just the two of us shopping, James more than made up for the lack of her presence in the house.

James is in a lethargic funk. . . I'm starting to see a pattern; End of August, Christmas, and March. Some pretty big things have happened to him in his little life. The Christmas he was four years old was when he and his siblings were taken away from his bio mom by police in the night. March is when he moved in with us - it's also a time of season change around here. The end of August is a season change... I don't know what else could contribute. I just know he is really struggling to move his body around and be interested. Anything that hints of work is cause for a great trial.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Weeds

You would not believe it, but there are two big boys out there weed whacking and mowing our "grass"!! These boys belong to our music teacher. They attend running start with my girls.

I have NEVER in my life had more people offer to help us than I have in the last few weeks. I have made it a policy to not say no. That would be the easiest thing to say, but hey, we've needed the extra hands, and why rob them of the joy of service?!  :-) People have been very kind hearted!

We picked over 200lbs of tomatoes yesterday. About a third are not #1s so, I give those away for canning. You are next on my list, Katie :-) Of the two thirds that are #1's I give so many away that I'll never make any money at this, but it is kind of fun... I know I'm no business woman, but if I can cover my expenses I'm good. :-)

Missy is going to spend the day and night with Peggy. She doesn't know yet as that would generate about five thousand questions. I think she'll think she's going on vacation. I'm afraid she won't actually want to come home.

I'm drinking green drinks to try and keep up with the extra garden produce. Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, Kohlrabi, kale... We are also enjoying fresh dug potatoes, eggplant and soon the melons will be ripe. It is definitely night-shade season, but I have to say, this year they are not bothering me. My joints are not swollen or painful in the least and I haven't the foggiest why. I am thankful.

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Day

Things got a lot worse yesterday before they got better.

Well, okay, maybe they never got better.

I was able to bring Buster Brown to a decision to change his course by the middle of the day and to pray with me, but unfortunately, he did not stay the course long. After doing a half job of sweeping the garage he went into hysterics when I asked him to go over the corners and around the edges. He struggled with this for hours...

The real tantrum started about 8 o'clock when I let him know that dad would be home soon and would available to see how the job they had agreed on was completed. He turned violent and I required him to go sit up on the trampoline away from the house (to protect the little ones from the noise and the windows from his fists.) He went up the bank but escalated and was spewing ugliness towards me... just as Steve drove up and saw everything. He took over. It took a long time, but the job was finished and the animal chores were done. After, we threw away his shirt that he had mangled in the course of the day, which was a little sad, since it was the tie-dye shirt he had made recently.

Missy is improving on the Omega 3's, and vitamins and herbs. James is still way off his rocker. This morning he has been preparing to go to school. There is no school today. Summer school ended last week and regular school doesn't start until next week, but he's  definitely not thinking right or he's wishing really hard to escape home chores. :- P

A friend is going to take Missy for an over night away this week. I think it will be good for all of us.

I spent an hour on the phone with a woman out in West Virginia. She runs a school for at-risk boys and girls. They take children as young as 6 with attachment disorders. I am not thinking to send the kids, I wanted her suggestions in helping them. She gave me several things to think and pray about. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Warfare

I have been seeking the Lord as much as I can over my children. Praying especially for patience for the fact that I don't have as much time as I would like to devote to prayer and study.  If this isn't spiritual warfare, then I don't know what it is. The more effort I put forth the more difficult things become.

I have had some encouragements along the way have have carried me through. People have pointed out quotes and scriptures that do speak to me and encourage. I have been listening to the North West Youth conference online that I had every intention of attending, but could not. My dad was one of the speakers and it would have been nice to visit, however, the sermons were good and a blessing - at least what I could hear between the noisy children and their constant needing attention.

I remarked to Steve that Missy is leveled out a wee bit, but we both agreed that neither of us were really asking anything of her. She isn't making the morning as big a deal as usual, though. James is the one having a problem. (We always flip-flop like this).  His problem is trustworthiness. The more Steve has tried to address this and work with him on it the deeper he's digging in his heels over it. Steve has been praying with him, going over what the issue is and what is expected and talking to him about it very  earnestly every time it comes up. James is pretending to do what we ask, assuring us with many words that he is in fact being trust worthy, but when we check he hasn't done a thing. It appears that he is going down into one of his lethargic phases and is seeking the easiest route all day long.

Friday I had asked Brianna to go and check up on the chickens and make sure that they were cared for properly. James very convincingly persuaded her that he had done everything and that she did not need to go check. She fell for it. Friday night it came out that they did not have clean water and some did not have food. Steve talked to him about the suffering of the animals... and asked him what his consequence should be. He said that he would go without dessert for three days. I was secretly rolling my eyes... dessert? what dessert? It's been tomato sandwhiches around here and you are lucky for anything else, BUT yes, I do dole out Popsicles and lollypops sometimes but only for stellar behavior. I thought it an easy out. Steve seemed to think that this was sufficient and it was the little man's choice, so I agreed.

I had forgotten it was Steve's birthday.

In fact, I couldn't figure out why the lovely flowering plant  on the table until Steve reminded me it was our 21st anniversary!!

Steve turned 25 the day before our wedding... I should have remembered his birthday, but it only dawned on me the next day that I had missed it altogether.

Well, Steve had a bought a gorgeous cake with strawberries  and whipping and had hidden it at the back of the fridge (forget gluten free, we are celebrating :-). James had no idea and Steve could not have guessed this would be James' solution to the idea that he needed to experience some sort of suffering  to understand how the chickens felt. As you can imagine dessert time is kind of sad around here for at least one little boy, and since he's not helping to eat it, the cake is lasting a few days...

BUT he's challenging us on his trustworthiness even more. It needs to be more work to do something wrong that it is to do it right in the first place. THUS our battle this morning. He has not been doing his morning routine  because he knows he has to sweep out the garage after breakfast and he doesn't want to... At ten o'clock I announced that breakfast was over and he was too late because the restaurant closed. This angered him and he proceeded to vomit water all over the bathroom... so now he's cleaning the bathroom, too.

The child knows that he's digging in. He knows that avoiding work causes more work, but right now he won't accept responsibility. The same goes for not coming to breakfast. It is his fault not mine that he's hungry right now. I set his place, I filled his dish, he chose not to come, but he blames me. Talk about disheartening.

I believe this is spiritual warfare. I know it is. We are battling for the child's heart and soul and eternal life. I feel like prayer is going to have to win this one. I have nothing else and no wisdom on the subject. I have a lot of hope for James. I know he still has major issues, and this is a reminder that indeed he has MAJOR issues. I just know that he is so much happier when he is open to God working in his life.

We are dealing with a light cold. I held the baby most of the night.  He's not terribly sick, but little noses were not made for congestion.

Last evening I was standing on a beach watching a great Salmon jumping out of the river and plopping down with a great splash over and over. Behind me was a small inlet of water  kind of like a two foot puddle. The twins and Buddy were wading around and building a sand castle on the edge of it. Steve was watching them and holding the baby. He started to yell for me when Buddy tripped and went under. I ran and pulled him up and he was fine. He looked a tad frightened but nothing bothers him for long. I took all his wet clothes off and he promptly went over and gave the baby a very cold, wet kiss. OH my!! talk about insulted. That babe cried mad tears for 20 minutes straight!!! It was pretty funny, but we could not console the little guy. It's moments like this that makes me think his nervous system is still on edge. He's doing better, but he certainly is a needy baby.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Being { REAL }

Visited the post adoption clinic yesterday.

Steve thought it was helpful.

I was discouraged.

The doctor gave some suggestions that Steve thought were great. I think we've been around that bend before.

The thing that is most annoying is that these professionals keep telling us who might be able to help, instead of seeing how they can help. With every place we come out with another list of contacts...

She didn't quite say we were crazy.... but she more than alluded to it.  She also suggested I need to see a psychiatrist because surely someone "parenting at the Olympic level" needs more support than the average mom. She asked what kind of support I was getting and wasn't impressed with my answer.

Truth is, my support is unseen... something I don't think she can understand. I got the distinct impression she is not a Christian and she ended the visit with, "May the force be with you." which caught me off guard. How do you respond to that?

She wants me to keep things "fun". I see her point (in her sterile world) . I've gotten to the place where it's "make your choice, kiddo.  YOU CHOOSE right or wrong." and we go from there.  I'm not fun anymore. I don't even care to be at that level. It just plain isn't fun working with a child who chooses to be a grump a great portion of the time.  I know that it hasn't really worked for us before, it isn't going to do much now, but I can see that I could lighten up a bit. I can see how I need to get back the desire to even work with the issues, but nothing is really making a difference right now and it's hard to see that anything will.

We went back to the zoo and I walked off some of my disappointment. . .

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sleep study



She slept like a log which is what she doesn't always do. . . But the nurse, Vanessa, told me that it was good we did the study. She watched her all night long, but can't discuss what she saw.

Went to the zoo yesterday. Decided to get a membership since we are here all the time. Beats hanging out at REI!!!!

Today we visit the post adoption clinic. It was suggested by our adoption agency that we get Missy's neurotransmitters tested. And on research about the amino acids involved and second thought, I realized that Missy was doing fairly well in May and June... I was really faithful at making sure she was getting the Omega3's, etc... Then I got sidetracked with family visiting and then super busy with the babies as the girls left... She got her vitamins and all when I remembered, which wasn't often. As you can tell things have been going downhill from there. As the bottles have emptied I have not replaced them and I think that is a mistake.

We'll see what the day brings... Hopefully a little more zoo ;-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Power of the Will

Missy made the decision this morning that today would be different.

And it has been.

It took her 5 minutes after she woke up to find something to complain about... A most silly little thing about the color of her cup, and I said,

"whoa there! There is no way I'm going down that road with you today. You have a decision to make. You'll either be nice or you go outside."

She decided to be nice.

She CAN be nice.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wow

Funny how you get used to something and begin to think that it's almost normal. Then you go away for awhile and come back with a fresh look and what seemed doable is suddenly NOT okay.

I had thought that maybe today Missy would be so happy to see Brianna that she would skip some of the nonsense that makes me so tired. Sometimes it works that way. Alas, 'twas not to be... We even had a full blown screaming and tantrum session that got her left home for the first hour of school.

Before the tantrum even started though, Brianna was aghast!

"WOW!! There is something wrong with her!!!!!!!"

Sigh.

Can't wait till Thursday's appointment at the post adoption clinic at the university hospital.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Counting the Hours

Till Brianna gets home today!

I missed her cheery smile.

I missed her enthusiastic energy.

I missed her ability to use some silly to get Missy on board.

I missed having her willing, helpful hands.

This has been a very, very long 5 weeks...

it became doubly challenging the day the other two left and the baby came back.

Missy has been hard. Very hard. I don't have any therapeutic anything left. I'm too tired. I warned her this morning; any manipulative games or fits about anything and she would find herself outside to figure out what to do with her time. I simply would not deal with it today.

I leave you to guess how long that took.

Steve says he's proud of me for keeping a positive outlook, for pressing forward and not letting it get to me and handling the shenanigans well....

But truth is I am very weary and so close to tears a lot of the time. I would do anything to get this kid some help. This is some pretty serious stuff we are dealing with. I am more and more certain that a good home and love and patience is not going to do it for this kiddo.

If she were open to the Spirit of God, as her brother is, I would have a better future pictured for her.... But she is not. Her heart is sealed tight. Only a miracle from heaven can change that. I pray for it daily.

We believe her behavior is actually contributing to her stunted growth intellectually and emotionally. It seems backwards... But she cannot grow so long as she holds tight to her patterns of destructive habits. She is so resistant to any kind of input in her life that she immediately bristles when I so much as say her name.

I am encouraging James to think a little about his day rather than aimlessly wandering through it and melting into a puddle if tears every time someone asks him to do something.

I wrote JOY on the top of a page. I show him how happiness in life is putting a particular order of importance in your life.
Jesus
Others
You

He liked the idea of it. I showed him how his quiet time, prayer time, bible memorizing time, was time devoted to Jesus.

For Others chores, surprises for people, offering help, etc would make him happy and others around him happy as well.

Under You we wrote play time, practicing skills such as reading, piano, bean bags on the balance board etc, is time devoted to improving himself and his brain.

I showed him how just wandering about was a waste of time. Going with inclination- how we feel at the moment, is a very bad habit that needs to be broken.

He likes to explore this sort of thing. He's busy on the Others aspect of his day right now. He's putting things away without being asked. This willing sprit gives me so much hope for his future.

The Buddy split his forehead open Friday. Super glue to the rescue!! :-) it was a little traumatic. Head wounds and blood --- oh my! But he was an absolute angel for the nurse and doctor. He's such a rough and tumble boy bent on breaking his own face. He has to be watched like a hawk!!!!

The Duckie slept 9 hours Friday night. He didn't do so well last night, but he is really headed in the right direction. He's very sweet and cooing and smily. He's grown out of last week's clothes.

I'm watching Joyanna today, which should give Missy a different focus for awhile.

Yesterday I spent the day with Jackie and Gordon, an elderly couple, so that Peggy could go to church. I had a time of it keeping the Buddy out of their things. Buttons, knobs, cords, switches, hearing aids, etc... Nonstop. Oh, my!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

On a Roll

I have been blessed to find a customer who will buy ALL my #1 tomatoes for a dollar a pound!
This is better than I had hoped for!
And I don't have to go to the farmer's market!
Today Smallwoods bought everything I had picked - 102 lbs worth!
They said they would be sold within 24 hours.

I have my restaurant orders and I have orders for canning tomatoes,

And you wouldn't believe it but I have an order from an out of State blog reader.

I trust the Lord will fulfill those orders with beautiful fruit. I've got to get out there and take care of those plants!!

I managed to can a dozen quarts for us today.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dead

The computer hard drive is kaputt...

Now I can't talk with the girls.

And my big plans to watch ASI just went down the drain.

All I have is this phone.

Oh, but did I mention summer school started back up today? It's awesome.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Beauty of Sacrifice

We listened to the whole YFJ final program and baptism online yesterday. It was thrilling to hear of commitment of the young people that have been working together for this whole month. Brianna had done her final sermon the night before. My dad being the president of ASI was there, he proudly texted us a few times during that sermon. For the final program last night my Dad had the sermon and it was a variation on one I have heard before, but so timely for me.

He spoke of the beauty of sacrifice.

Actually, it was the sermon on the Son or the Hireling.... but you know, the part you need to hear is the part that stands out most.

Well, on Friday sacrifice was seeming to be anything but beautiful.

Sacrifice is beautiful when viewed in others. HA! Not so beautiful when it's my lot.

I don't really call letting my girls go to these experiences a sacrifice, because it is everything I want for them .... though, in a sense it is, because of how everything turned out with the foster kids this time, but just the fact that God called us to have these children, especially Missy, who is frustratingly NOT learning to obey. She is choosing sin over love every waking moment and it is HARD.

I want to do what is absolutely right by these kiddos. At every step I'm asking myself, "Is this the right response?" I beg for wisdom but am not really thrilled that what I have to do is not pleasant and the outcome is not any more pleasant than the process and no true headway is made.... And I am second guessing everything and sometimes losing my focus in frustration and not doing the right thing.

At the risk of sounding like a martyr...( I remember that I don't have to do this, but I do feel like it is God's call on our life right now). To have children that are not of my making or temperament, all screaming and crying and being needy at once .... demanding and not caring that you give your ALL to them. This past Friday Anna-Joy was throwing tantrum after tantrum., James threw a doozy, and Buddy is entering the terrible twos... truly I have never seen an 18 month old in my care throw himself on the floor and bang his head in angry protest!!! My own head is pounding with a migraine.... In the midst of it the baby must be fed and burped calmly and kept from the noise. The church expects me to provide a meal for visitors on the 1st Sabbath of the month and I couldn't even do Friday's lunch dishes....

And then came a text message.... "Hey, I'd like you to join me on a trip to Hungary for the last ten days of YFJ. I'll buy you a ticket!"

At that moment sacrifice was anything but beautiful.

I'm a gypsy at heart, not to mention escape seems so attractive!! I would love to actually share in the girls' experiences and be a part of it instead of just hearing about them.


I long for time to sit and read my Bible without interruption... for just praying is almost impossible. I try to journal because my train of thought is jumbled with the demands on my ever waking moments - but something must give in order for me to sit and write. Mostly I jot words in short spurts... interrupted constantly. This post could take all day.

I wept tears over the baby and told him he was worth it... because they all are, but this is a pretty tough season, especially when appearances point in the direction of losing the battle for a certain little girl's heart.

Missy hadn't been up five minutes this morning when she gave her dad a real run for his money. He came into the bedroom (she was up way too early) and told me I had to get going because she had to be monitored. He said, "I love you, and I'll pray for you, because human patience is not enough to survive this. " - his parting words as he left for work. God has graciously given me a verse to hang on to today. 2 Cor. 12:8 -10 I claim it as mine.

Then there are those moments when you wonder... Is it all just me??

We enjoy chatting with the girls in Hungary via the facebook skype. It works very well. Vanessa was concerned about the twins behavior that was so obvious Friday afternoon as we connected. She took a moment to speak directly to Missy. She told her that when she was 8 she was mommy's right hand man and has always been and since she isn't there to help me Missy needed to take her place. Missy wasn't listening... I thought. I kept redirecting her back to the video screen... but she appeared to have her own agenda for the conversation. However, after we clicked off she went straight to the kitchen. She said, "Sister says I need to help you do the dishes because she isn't here to do it." She set to work and did it all with a pleasant attitude.

Say what? WHY? and I can only shrug and be thankful. She did a good enough job that I didn't have to redo them. Thankfully for her, there really were only a few. But if I had asked her? We would have had yet another war such as we have been having all day every day.

I don't usually post regarding the trials of my life on facebook. I save it all for here, BUT this morning I posted a little something. You would be amazed at the kind comments and PHONE calls I have been getting along with offers to help. I accept all of them ;-)

My little sacrifice is real, though on paper it sounds MORE like a whine... and it's probably real because I have yet to attain the Mind of Christ, but I trust He'll get me there, by and by. I'm reminded that God sees and knows and blessings of obedience will be greater than if I did my own thing. I have to believe there is a purpose in us working with Missy and should she give her life to Christ it would be NO sacrifice at all.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ear Surgery Today

Missy goes into surgery in a few minutes.

Had quite a time getting here!! Tantrum city.....sigh

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

To the Doc Again

Little Bo Peep has thrush.

It's so bad he lost his voice.

No screaming from the Duckie.... :-)

I went for a hair cut while I had the chance. Steve had the rest of the brood. HA. Could have cut it better myself. Came home and did just that. Oh, well. Live and learn.

Took the opportunity to go school shopping for the twins. Wow. Who would have thought getting an education was so expensive? The list from the school is specific.... certain brands of pencils, etc....