Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Swimming and Life at Home

Life has been a whirlwind of busy activity, and when I have moments to write all I can think about is all the things I need to get done still. We got back from our week and half vacation on Sunday. Monday VBS began. Brianna is in charge of VBS, so that has meant our family is on the front lines. My field tomatoes and garden and yard are all needing serious attention after our vacation, of course. This coming Sunday Brianna and Christina leave for Michigan to prepare for their speaking engagement through YFJ. My sister and her boys begin their journey here today. We plan to attend Lightbearers Campmeeting next week and then I leave on Sunday to join the girls in Michigan for several weeks as the girls' dean of Youth for Jesus.

We made the decision and filled out the registration packet yesterday for Missy to go to the Montessori school this fall. She likes the idea, but is a bit sad to leave her old school and the people she knows. I am signing her up for the Montessori day camp at the end of July and I think that will convince her that this is the right decision for her.

If you look at our pictures of the road trip you will notice we had a few extra kids with us. We took Buddy and the Duckling and their siblings with us and they were real troupers - all of them! Even the two year old was a good traveler. We did a lot of swimming. We tried to get some swimming in every day. We traveled to Arizona and camped at Lake Powell where my parents joined us. We visited the Grand Canyon and Arches National Park. We drove through Monument Valley in a dust storm and camped at Daystar. We visited a hot springs and ended the trip at campmeeting. It was a once in a lifetime kind of trip for us. 

I probably prayed more for those kiddos and their future than ever.  They are precious kids. When we returned we dropped them off at their new place with their dad and grandparents. The kiddos were happy to see their family. Court happened yesterday and so, it's all settled for the next 12 months that their dad has custody. Mom needs to go to treatment and stick with the program if she expects to have any part in their lives in the future. She didn't try to keep in close contact while we were on the trip, but yesterday she called crying before court as she was about to lose everything. I reminded her that the best thing she could do for herself and her children was to go to treatment. AND WHY NOT? There are no excuses left. Please pray that she goes. As long as she has life she has HOPE. Her hope lies in what Christ can do for her if she will but let Him.

The twins handled the whole trip very well. They really had no major melt-downs that could not be redirected. Missy could get intense sometimes but if we sandwiched her between the big girls in the van, or had her ride in my parents car we could keep her from getting into the other kids business and annoying everyone. She had a moment where she could have had a real problem. It was over a piece of clothing at a KOA, but all the other kids were headed to the pool and she knew she was on the brink of losing the privilege if she didn't choose to make the best of it so she did. All in all, the kids enjoyed the trip and I saw no sign of depression or manic behavior. They were pretty much happy.  They even calmed down about food near the end of the trip and were not pushy and hoarding so much.

We visited the twins' bio-mom for our once a year visit just before arriving home. It was a short visit. She was disappointed the kids were not interested in her at all. She told us a story about her health .... therefore, "could we up the visits to 2 a year?" In the end she spent so much time on that part of her quest it shocked her when the visit was over and she hadn't really spent any time with the kids. The answer was no. The kids found it awkward at best and it will only get harder as they get older. While we think the visit is important, once a year is enough.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Road Trip!

We took a vacation.  This is the gang and our mode of travel.

I have a ton of pictures

but I also have a 

ton of weeds to catch up on. 


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Certified Scuba Divers

Another thing crossed of Christina's bucket list.
Her goal is to become a rescue diver.
Not sure what Ellie's goal is, but it is kind of a natural for her as her dad dives as part of his job and her mom does it with him for fun when they go to interesting places.
Diving is not something that has ever crossed my mind... I doubt Steve's either,
so Christina is more adventurous than we are.
She got the idea during her lifeguard training when she learned how to rescue a diver.
The divers were impressed enough to offer her a partial scholarship...
and the rest is history.
Everything is always more fun with a friend!
Missy would have joined them if she could have! She's adventurous like that.
- Jame on the other hand... not so much.
My job was to sit on the beach and enjoy the sun.
What a job!  :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A New Instrument

has Been Added to the Collection . . . 

It's obviously very portable (as compared to concert harps and pianos), and will take a beating, I'm sure (as compared to treasured violins and flutes). This was one of the unexpected side benefits of Brianna's African sojourn. One of the student missionaries had a ukelele and she shared it with everyone. Brianna caught the bug. :-)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

It's Done

It was very painful. Gut wrenching hard.

The kids are now in their father's custody. 
I prayed with my whole heart that the right thing would happen and so I totally believe that this was the best move that could have been made under the circumstances.

I won't see the kids any less. 
In fact he needs to be at work early, early tomorrow morning 
and I need to get to the house by 6:30 to see that the children 
are dressed and showered and fed and taken to school/ daycare.

One weight was lifted. 
The children are safe.

One weight remains.
I worry she won't go to treatment as no one is going to force her. 

Meth is slow suicide and she is its poster child. 

She's so very thin, so very, very sick, her skin raw with rash and open sores. 
She despises her addiction but is so helplessly bound by unseen fetters,
 an evil villain stronger than life. 

It's truly heartrending. 
It doesn't seem so long ago
that she had dreams and goals,
plans for her children, a vision of what life held for her family.
When healthy she is a most beautiful girl. 

The children's father don't think she will seek help.
 He thinks she's gone - gone for good. 
So many told me that once released from her responsibility
she would run for freedom.
There's no joy in it for her, though, if it is actually so.

I still hold out hope. 
For all the prayers we prayed,
this penniless, homeless, rock bottom could be her start for a new life.
For with God all things are possible.

Still praying.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Garden Help

We have been so busy that it's all HAND-ON-DECK!  
This is the 2nd driest year ever recorded in this area
and I can tell.
BUT the sprinkler system is going now so we won't be watering each plant by hand anymore.
Mulching is next on the list.
How can you tell we are a little behind the times?

I have no idea what will happen at the FTDM tomorrow at CPS.
I am confident that all our prayers are heard.
I trust that what is needed will happen.

I am so thankful for all who have prayed for this family.
Please don't stop praying for them.

 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean:
 from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, 
will I cleanse you.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: 
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, 
and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, 
and cause you to walk in my statutes, 
and ye shall keep my judgments, 
and do them. . . . and ye shall be my people, 
and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:25- 28

 "Christ can look on the misery of the world 
without a shade of sorrow for having created man. 
In the human heart He sees more than sin, 
more than misery.
 In His infinite wisdom and love He sees man’s possibilities, 
the height to which he may attain. 
He knows that, 
even though human beings have abused their mercies 
and destroyed their God-given dignity, 
yet the Creator is to be glorified in their redemption."
- 7T 269.3

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Screeching Halt?

I thought something big was going to happen.

I was so sure.

But the days passed one after another . . .  and the horrible roller coaster ride appeared to be going off into infinity. No one could stop the madness.

I don't know if I have ever prayed so much. I know that ultimately God can and will over-rule. He sees. He knows. And He is holding His hand over those kids.

There's nothing like watching someone get sicker and sicker and sicker and being helpless to stop them from destroying themselves - And destroying themselves so fast!! I've been saying to Steve that at the rate things are going she won't live to see her children grow.

Today DSHS scheduled a meeting for later this week. No one knows what is going to happen. . .  As grateful as I am that someone is finally going to throw out a life-line and attempt to save this person, the timing is awful. I wish it had happened months ago.  I have obligations and plans and a plane ticket...

I know that everyone is going to need a lot of guidance from above. Pray for us.