Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Morning! New Hope

My new thing is that I have the children on a two meal a day plan. 

It has been a fight to get them to breakfast. They wake up crabby, ornery and fighting nearly every morning. They Are incredibly oppositional about getting a move on... 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We eat a healthy breakfast that sometimes includes beans or tofu and vegetables from the garden as well as the more traditional breakfast foods such as homemade granola, hot cereal, etc... On different days, of course. :-) but more often then not they are in such a state they miss this meal altogether.

Supper is the meal they love. They tend to want to eat a lot, too... I'm thinking it is not digesting before they sleep. I'm thinking they aren't resting well, and they don't feel great when they wake up, either, and so supper has been cut from the daily fare. It's me and the twins and it works fine this time of year. I just make lunch a little later and make sure they get what they need. No snacking either. So far they have not missed breakfast on the new plan. Steve and Vanessa are not home from work at supper time anyway. Brianna can get what she needs. The biggest hurdle will be social events... We tend to socialize with food in the evening on the weekends.

This morning the twins were pleasant and cooperative. I think the mistake I made the previous day was that I felt really bad about the cold turkey switch and I let them have a tall glass of milk and sent them to bed too early. And also I don't think they got enough exercise, because if I don't make a point of making sure that they do they don't run and play naturally. They sit and do nothing.

This may not solve all the crabby issues... But it might make it a tad easier to try to be friendly if they feel good. 

It seems hard. But actually, I grew up this way. I did not eat supper growing up. We had two  sturdy meals a day when I was a kid. There are a couple of downsides to this plan that I want to avoid, but getting enough nutrition is not actually one of them.

Cindy and Natalie just got back from Dr Nedley's program and they shared that melatonin is formed in the gut Only on an empty stomach in the evening. It is made in other parts if the body, but in the gut only if you skip supper. So sleep issues may actually be solved for some.... My 2AM issues maybe? We'll see.

We are still doing NR... Even though I cancelled our next appointment. Two reasons... Our life has been crazy... The house a mess and full of company, doing a lot of camping, and then the GI bug that laid them flat for a week has kept us from being super focused. The other reason is that Buddy is having surgery on that date and I want to be available for the Duckling and the sibs, or whatever they need.

The downstairs carpet is in. The stairs and livingroom are waiting, but we have no idea when they will do it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

So Much For THAT!

The children are as uncooperative and angry and miserable as ever. Fighting routine all the way. 


Monday, July 29, 2013


I go to bed with great anticipation of the morning to see how the twins will be. Today was the BEST day for both of them in weeks. They woke up cheerful and cooperative, they came to breakfast hungry! I'm not saying what is different until I am positively sure I know it is what I think it is. Regardless, I am grateful to The Lord for this peaceful and reasonable day!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Tomorrow is the day they begin putting in our carpet, so today we get to move everything out and pull up the old finally . . . You will understand how happy we are that it is only  going to be 88 degrees today instead of the 99 degrees we've been enduring with our dead A/C.

Nearly every Friday, even though I have told them I'm pretty much done, or at least taking a good long break to get our life back in order, I get a phone call from DSHS asking me to consider children, short term, or long term. It's fairly easy to say no when the description of the child goes like this: "He is 12 yrs old and he has this *major issue* and this *major issue* and this other *major issue* has escalated to the point he's had to be removed from his current foster home because of the acting out, but he's a cute little thing." Cute little thing does not negate the danger to my own "cute little things". However, it breaks your heart to hear . . . and all weekend long he's on our mind and we are reminded that Christ died for that one, too and Christ's heart breaks at his story. It's not as easy to say no when the call is about innocent tiny little people caught in the whirl of the destruction of their family at no fault of their own. BUT it is even more crushingly difficult when you find out from a state worker at church that these very children are holed up in a hotel room for the weekend with their social worker because there isn't enough foster homes in the Valley and they are waiting for the paperwork to come through to ship them out of town and away from good family connections. . .ugh!

I had the Duckling all day yesterday. He's spoiled rotten. Won't go to anyone but me except on his terms. He's a heavy thirty pounds when I have to carry on my hip most of the hike! BUT he's thoroughly cute and funny. We enjoyed a lovely easy hike with the church group and a potluck supper.  I was blessed.

My sister left Friday for Young Disciple Camp to experience the weekend there with them and then she's off to the Yukon.

We made a LOT of apricot jam Friday. The plums are on now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Church Campout

We didn't take very many pictures. We were too busy just enjoying..... The group site for our two church campout was quite nice. The best part of it was how much cooler it was up there than the valley!!! It is good to fellowship. We had a guest speaker for worships and church service and he was a real blessing.

We came home to HOT, HOT, HOT.... couldn't do a thing but we had boxes and boxes of apricots begging to be done. Towards evening it cooled enough to can 100 quarts. There's more  to do today.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Christina's Day in Florida

Exciting day at the beach! Apparently, this beach is known for its sharks, but no one told the students that until AFTER Emily bumped into this fellow. Thankfully, he was dead. I hate to think 
what kind of battle she might have had on her hands grabbing a 90 some pound creature like this.
Needless to say, she wasn't much interested in swimming after that.

Christina is learning a ton! She enjoys the outreach and the classes.
They have been finding people who are interested in studying the Bible with them
and she always calls so excited about their latest contact.
I think that YFJ is half way over.

Summer Time

Is a busy time ~

and me sick in bed with the flue.
NICE way to get everyone to do my work. NOT!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

HIKE #2 {the one I didn't go on}

**8501 ft**

taken by Jent with his phone

That's what I thought.
Who needs a camera when you can have a phone that takes pictures like this!!!
Well, okay, I think the guy behind the phone is a pretty talented photographer . . .
My phone, on the other hand.... Needs more than talent :-(


I know. This is a weird thing to write a post about, but if you have been following long enough, you know this is a victory!

BOTH James and Missy came to breakfast.

YUP! That's pretty big news around here. EVERY morning is a battle for or against routine - depending on whether you are the parent and older siblings, or if you are one of the twins. I could cry most mornings. I walk on eggshells hoping to get the results I'm looking for. If I push they push back. If I keep my mouth shut and allow them to go with their inclination it only results in them begging for breakfast long after the restaurant has been closed, like 11 AM. It feels like a total sabotage of my efforts at a normal family routine with time for worship and time for meals together and then time to work with them on their reading, or therapy or even fun projects. We have been pretty consistent for the three and half years they have lived here except for when we have been trying a new approach. Summer is harder... there's no bus to catch or school to miss, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a plan for their benefit.

Celebrating today. They came to breakfast after performing their little chores.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hike 1

Round Trip 8.4 miles with an elevation gain of 2200ft. This water is ICY COLD! Great Hike. We made it up to the top in 2.5 hours.... a record for us. I sprained my ankle there and so, today I am not going hiking and the kids have embarked on a bigger hike of 18 miles round trip. I figure they don't want to carry me out....

The twins are amazing hikers, by the way. I can remember doing this hike when the girls were younger and it taking 4 or more hours. We did backpack up there, too. One time it hailed huge stones on us. We hid in a cleft of a rock and waited out the storm. We only had awesome sunny weather yesterday.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Trying Something New

With Missy today. I am not going to talk at all unless she speaks to me ... No asking her to do what she needs to, nothing. No directing her. No offering anything. My very existence calls for her resistance so I'm going to see what she will do without me mothering her. It seems a conundrum as she drives people crazy with "missing" me when I run to town and stuff.  She's in a bad state. My only hope for her at the moment is that she is alive. 

Will be back with updates.

So far she got out of bed at 8:30. 
She came out of her room at 9:28. 
She has not spoken to me yet.
At 8:40 she asked where everybody went.
At 9:50 she asked for a hug. She said "I love you " but the hug as board like.
At 10:17 she started to ask if she could do ... ( her chores?) but stopped and changed her mind.
10:30 she decided to use the bathroom. Yay for bowels that are healing enough to do their job. I could not resist. I told her to wash her hands.
10:40 she asked for juice, which I denied because that is for special occasions. She filled a glass with water and proceeded to sip it for 20 minutes. And she asked what was for breakfast. I did not answer because an hour before she had asked what we had for breakfast.
10:57 she decided to go outside in her pajamas.
At 11:15 she announced she had fed the animals and was going to make her bed and get dressed. In less than 15 minutes she appeared dressed and combed. Now what?
At 11:30 she asked for breakfast. I reminded her she had not done her exercises yet. Normally we do them after breakfast but at this late hour they would have been done by now. Here's where trouble starts. I had to correct her exercises..... As in laying on the floor while the timer ticks away doesn't count.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Catch Up

We are playing catch up big time... Mowing, weed whacking, weeding, tying up tomatoes... It's looking better. We are picking tomatoes but I know the crop will yield less than usual since I missed some critical parts of caring for them. Just trying to tie them when they are so wild and unpruned is difficult but we're getting it done. I'm pruning ruthlessly.

As for the flooring issues indoors ... I am so sad!! Two weeks after we ordered the company hasn't turned in our order yet and it 's going to be weeks before we see any carpet. We are So Very Tired of living like we are camping out!!! The quotes were wrong. There was a mix up on coverage for the labour part, etc. This could take a very long time to settle.

I'm burning out on the drama from the twins. It's daily. It's constant. It's wearing. I'm losing my patience.  I can get through to James and he is sorry and then he tries hard until the next time. There's no in between or good with Missy. She fights therapy the whole time. She's been crying and carrying on for 5 full days now. If I give her a ten minute chore she turns it into a 8 hour circus. If I try to deal with it it becomes an endless frustration. If I walk away and make it her problem it's much better for both of us, but it makes her so mad at me. I can't wait for school to begin. I have goals and plans for working with the kids, but they fight it all. It feels pointless.

Christina was ready to turn around and come home the first couple of days at YFJ which is so unlike her. She travels and does not get homesick generally.... But she felt alone and had nothing to do.  Most people she knows there are actually her sisters friends and she found it hard to make friends with shy quiet girls who need you to do all the talking. i told her to find someone to give her a job... Scrubbing floors, washing dishes, folding flyers whatever.. .And tell them if they don't she'll start crying and then they will have a big problem on their hands!!! ;-) She found a Job vacuuming the dorm and she's been fine since. She found a running partner and they go at 6 am. She just texted and asked for prayer as she is giving a health lecture in a few minutes. Learning and stretching is what it's all about.

I found a free u pick cherry orchard so Julie has been canning cherries. 

Brianna is cooking for the the weekend big time. The plan is to go hiking after church up to a mountain lake with all of us.  Sunday, an all day hike for the young people was planned that an adult friend was going to chaperone as Steve has to work... But that friend had something come up and it falls to me to go with the kids. I told them 15 miles is my max...Too bad cause they wanted to go twenty over Asgard  Pass and the Snow Lakes. I know for a fact it's too hard a hike for me. Payback time. I remember a backpacking trip my mother endured on heel spurs on my account when I was about 20.  Ha! okay... just kidding about the payback. I think I can do this. The  girls are scouting out their options. If I never write again you'll know what happened to me! ;-P

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Brianna and Natalie had a wonderful time shooting each other's senior pictures.
Two precious friends and beautiful young ladies.

I am not biased, or anything!

I get a kick out of this one. The horse was bored with being a model!!
I'll let Brianna post her favs.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Week { In Pictures}

a find on the beach

and another

he makes a great dishwasher.
Yes we fill up every seat in that van all the time.
Yes, we are seriously considering getting rid of it ~ 
Thinking life will settle down a bit if we do?
of course, you can't capture it.

I set up shop on a camp chair . . . I should charge :-)

no lack for friends  EVER

hairdressers generally look like they don't know how to do hair.

touring the printing press

WE LOVE our Tent Trailer

girlies and their braids. I offer other hairstyles. They all want this.

Faith is the VICTORY!

the opening of the WORD


Vanessa was accepted into the nursing program. The competition in small colleges is stiff. It's an answer to prayer. She was so excited she nearly blew out our eardrums... then she cried.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Light Bearers. { love }

We are blessed, so very, very blessed to be here at Light Bearers. We arrived here in Oregon Wednesday evening with our fan dangle tent trailer, my sister and all our kids, minus Christina. We are studying through the book of Acts chapter by chapter, verse by verse and we have been enjoying rich, abundant blessings.

This is a beautiful place for a Campmeeting. The grounds are lovely... The fellowship sweet. There are extra tidbits of niceties such as fruit being served after meetings. There was even a magnificent fireworks display which is likely as good or better than they do on the river at home. The fact that we were sitting directly under the display made it all the more amazing I'm sure. It is quite incredible that they would go to such lengths for us!

Tonight we were treated to a report from Kibidula, Africa by Bill Ross. He and his family work alongside my brother and family. Light Bearers provides books, bibles and literature to their project and to the Bible  workers that go out from Kibidula. It's a cool thing to see how we are a part of a big picture. Our regular donations go through our church and on to Kibidula to help pay for the  salaries of the local Bible workers trained and hired by Kibidula to spread the Gospel in Tanzania. Light Bearers provides the books ... And this week we were able to tour that very printing press. He did not dwell on it, but We know the sacrifices of Bill and his family as missionaries. Most significant sacrifice of which is being separated from their oldest teenage   daughter so she can get an education in Canada as they serve. 

There was an interesting video shown of the latest Bible worker graduation class marching and singing. I admit to being totally distracted by the height of the giant my brother tells about. The guy's head must be in the rafters when he walks in a house. Unbelievable!

Bill shared a quote both Steve and I scrambled to record. After contemplating it a moment I realized this quote was on a card given to us  for our wedding 20 some years ago by another missionary to Africa, Patty Stapleton. This kind of love spoken of in the quote should not just be for missionaries in foreign fields but those at home, in our families and shared in the  communities where we are placed to serve.  Here's the quote:

“Love is a plant of heavenly origin, and if we would have it flourish in our hearts, we must cultivate it daily. Mildness, gentleness, long-suffering, not being easily provoked, bearing all things, enduring all things—these are the fruits upon the precious tree of love.” R&H,  June 5, 1888

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Journey's End. { Foster Care }

As I wrote on Facebook yesterday:

There's a time and a place for everything. And my time as a foster mom is officially over, God willing.

I believe our time was for a specific purpose and a special family and The Lord seen them through! Praise His Name! The little boys are officially reunited with their family. I could not be more happy for them.

Foster care is about reuniting families that have been healed, or given the tools and resources to rebuild and restructure their homes. I pray these improvements last a life time.

We'll still babysit - probably quite a bit, and we'll be the family support as always. We won't have time to miss the kiddos much. They live just down the road.

So yes, I'm done - God willing. We're open to His plan and purpose for our family---------------------- but I'm feeling convicted that for right now it means stepping back, reorganizing, and restructuring our own home on a little bit less hectic schedule.

We are entering a new phase in the life of our older girls. I can see that we have but a few short years left with them all at home together.

The twins are in need of more of me. I expect to homeschool James by next year full time.  Their therapy is pretty intensive. I need to give it my best shot! 

Personally, I need more time with God. I'm looking for more than 4 - 5 hours of sleep at night. I'm anxious to see what kind of garden I have still ( thanks to Brianna for keeping it going). It seems all my favorite hobbies are dead and gone away... I don't play the piano anymore. My houseplants have pretty much all died. I haven't had time to make Missy a dress on ages.

In the grand scheme of things, these little things are not so important as the life of a child, but they do make a house a home and I do have 5 kids and a husband to keep a home for ******** a home built on the pattern in heaven full of love and joy-- serene and peaceful - centered on Christ is our goal.

There's a time to share the family and to help shoulder the burden's of others ... And there's a time to regroup.... I think this is our time.

A Time for Everything
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Off to Florida. { with great trial! }

We camped at a state park 6 miles from the airport. Foster parents get a deal which is nice. The ocean bay was lovely. 

Christina and Elisha are at the airport now having one trial after another.... We thought everything was lined up but the baggage lady refused to take Elisha's suitcase saying she missed the cut off time. It was crazy because I had handed her the bag receipt and she had ripped it up and then turned to a different customer... Anyway, the girls ran off to the flight without the suitcase and one thing after another and they missed their flight. So now trying to get the bag back to the girls and a new flight worked out.

Youth for Jesus is going to be awesome if it this hard to get there!!! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Where Did the TIME GO??!!!! {Graduation}

Where does the time go?Wasn't this picture just taken a few weeks ago?
Isabelle, Sam, Brianna, Ellie, (Christina), Jonah, Vanssa, Natalie
How do we get from that to this so fast?

Ellie, Christina, Natalie, Vanessa, Sam, Brianna, Dakota, Isabelle, Jonah, Kenzie
These were all homeschool/ church chums throughout their childhood.

Last evening we celebrated the achievements of 4 of our youth.

Consider their high school years gone forever! Three of them also have their AA degree because they actually did their last two years of high school in college (Running Start). They have their pre-requisits out of the way for their chosen field of study.
Vanessa - Nursing
Brianna - Education (maybe. That one is up for review :-)
Natalie -Chemistry professor and researcher (beyond my maybe I don't have this quite right. This I know, she has a specially gifted mind for the world of science. )
Jonah - Professional, specialized welder.... He's been doing an apprenticeship in customizing vehicles, etc... and finished up high school.

The rest of the gang from the second photo:
Dakota - one more year for her highschool/ AA degree in Running Start
Christina and Sam: Begin Running Start
Ellie, Isabelle and McKenzie: Homeschooling

We could not be more proud of our children.
They love the Lord
and are preparing for service.
We could not ask for more.

This week Jonah, Sam, Dakota and Christina leave for Youth for Jesus (along with Garhett and Kendall)

Last evening we were made keenly aware that this next generation of children
won't be children long.

The three families that celebrated their graduates have also adopted....
so basically we are on round two
and we are a lot more  aware of how fleeting time is.
Enjoy them while you have them!