About Me

I have adopted 4 children from a specific orphanage in Eastern Europe and I want to see more children redeemed from that orphanage and brought into families. I want to make sure that the children who are still left behind in that place are never forgotten.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Do you ever get a song stuck in your head and you just can't get it out???? I mean this song has been stuck in my head for days!! I think I may very well lose my mind! You probably wonder what song could be so important, spectacular, or catchy that it gets stuck there for so long. Well, I mean you all know that I am so very cultured, right? I mean I have a brain centered on adult things, right? (Maybe no one should answer those questions. lol)

It could be a religious song that is stuck there in worship to God. It could be a song like the "God Doesn't Make Mistakes" song that I love so very much about Down Syndrome. Maybe it could be a song about adoption or parenting since those things are so dear to my heart. Maybe it would be a song that I sing to my kids as a bedtime song.

NO. If it were any of those type of songs then maybe I could stay sane. I've had those type of stuck in my head before and while it can make you a little batty, at least they are enjoyable. The sung stuck in my head is . . . . . . . .

The Veggie Tales "I love my LIPS" song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I may very well be going nuts. roflol

Long Weekend - Smile and Sob

We have a long weekend this week which is awesome! I love three days off in a row. The kids are still doing awesome and my wonderful hubby took care of stuff this morning (the kids didn't get up till 10 am since they were up late lol) and let me sleep until 11 am! Andrew didn't go off the deep end like I had feared. They are all playing well and getting ready to go outside in a little bit because it is BEAUTIFUL!!!

All of that makes me smile, but I could also sob. Homeschooling is keep me busy when you add it to my normal tasks. I can handle all of it and enjoy it, but to add what I need to do in the next month on top of it makes me need to sob. I have to do the dreaded "seasonal clothes sort and change out"! I despise this task. I had hoped that our addition would be done and I wouldn't have to put up the summer clothes all the way. I had been loving the thought of the extra storage space. It hasn't happened yet though (NOT EVEN STARTED) so I must go on with this task.

Here is what it entails. I must pull out part of the summer clothes that are in the closets and have heaps of clothes ready. Then Brent must go into the attic (he's done the first trip last night as I did the first "heaps" last night) and pull out around 10 huge tubs of clothes at a time. Then I pull the winter clothes out of the tubs, sort them into colored laundry loads, and put the summer "heaps" back into the tubs that then go back into the attic. Then I spend the remainder of my life washing the sorted laundry loads. I use the tiny remaining sanity to decide who can wear those items this year and give them to kids to put away.


I am starting this weekend since it is a 3 day weekend. I don't want to tackle the task while I homeschool, so I need to move it. The worst is that at the same time, I can't put up all the summer clothes because it is still warm. The warmth is short lived though, so I must begin.


All is Great Here

This time last week I would have never guessed I'd be saying that. This week has been awesome though!!! Really the whole school week went well. Jose came around early in the week which was awesome and is back to acting like his normal loving self. Crystal and Andrew have behaved quite well all week. They have both completed their school work and stayed up until just a few minutes ago watching a movie with most of the crew.

I can honestly say that this is one of those times that it is completely pleasant and no one is acting up. That is scary to say in a house with 3 RADishes and some others with milder attachment issues. It always seems like one or the other is having some small issue and if not that then a full blown "moment" as I call them. Andrew was feeling a little too good about getting to stay up for a late night movie. I am hoping he doesn't blow it over a little bit of privelege. I am going to just hold onto to this moment just in case he does. lol

Homeschooling has gone so well that Dayton, Forrest, and Crystal are getting to work on Spanish. I don't know Spanish which makes it extra interesting. I do have workbooks that are very good at explaining. I also have DVDs and a computer program. We haven't tried out the computer program yet, but hope to soon. Another plus is that Denzell is learning nearly the same exact stuff (maybe a little more since it is high school) in his online school. That is great because he can help with pronunciation! They are loving the privelege of choosing an extra subject. Andrew got done with his assigned work and was able to get a start in a workbook yesterday, but just a little got done. I'm hoping Jose will want to get started this week and speed up his pace. They are really picking up the pace since the "work or walk" policy came into effect. Dayton always speeds through and I'm figuring is going to do me in with his pace. lol

I'm just so glad that they love to learn. I'm also glad to have them here with me. Watching them learn and getting to be the one to teach them is awesome. I have always been amazed over the years how much we can accomplish behaviorly and educationally when we homeschool. I am see God move in amazing ways for sure!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good RAD Stuff

Well things have gone really well today. Everyone worked well today. Jose is still behind from where he didn't work for several days. He is however back to eating and back to working. I am seeing glimmers of normalcy return in his eyes, which is very much a praise!

Andrew and Crystal both managed to participate in the AWANA Carnival tonight. All the kids had a blast! Just a short time ago, neither of them would have been able to handle this tonight, but both did and had so much fun. They started to "go RAD" because the clown would love to give them attention, but with a reminder to keep themselves and their attention seeking in check they headed off to play. I was very proud of them. Andrew was helpful and threw away trash to help me with the little ones. He asked about extra drinks or treats instead of just sneaking. Crystal let me help her to get herself looking nice and seems to enjoy that right now. This is a huge improvement over trying to look pitiful and drab! I have to say that she is becoming a beautiful young woman.

I just can't help the fact that I am genuinely pleased. I wish I were still naive though to some degree. Even though I am pleased, I also know that the "RAD behaviors" will return before too long. I just keep reminding myself that even when they do return (again) they will also leave again and the more times that the good stuff happens and the longer each time gets, the sooner they will get into good habits. It was nice on the "old days" to just enjoy the good thinking the hard times were over, but being blown out of the water isn't something I enjoy so I will just stay realistic.

God is so good and faithful. I am seeing Him work in their lives and I love it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Major Progress on the Homeschool Front

Crystal, Andrew, and Forrest are doing awesome this week. Crystal actually started at the end of last week. Andrew and Forrest didn't have a good weekend because they had lost priveleges as a result of not completing their school work. This week they have all three kicked it into gear!

Forrest is a kid that it comes easy to in most subject areas now. Years ago he had a hard time with learning. We homeschooled for 1st grade and he went back into school right on target. His problem with homeschool is that he wants to keep score. He thinks that if Crystal (who needs a little extra help with learning, but is his age) gets a little extra time one day then he should be able to fool around the next day and I shouldn't require more. He also thought that whining about correcting his work should equal out to him not having to do it, but it didn't work that way. He has seemed to get in a groove now and I am so pleased at how well he is rolling along.

Crystal has a harder time, but is still a lot more capable than she even knows. Before she came to us they had determined that she "couldn't" when in all honesty she just never got to stay any where long enough to learn. She was moved so much that she never got some of the stuff. She missed some stuff in early childhood because of the neglect and situations. Kids can't learn when they are in termoil, but it doesn't mean that she was really that slow. Since coming here she is beginning to realize that she can. We had some awesome teachers at school that helped for awhile. Then homeschooling has allowed for attachments to improve so that she can concentrate even more on learning. She also can't get by with doing less than she is capable of doing. She is still a little behind, but she is coming a long way. She wrote the other day "I am smart.". That just shows that she is going to go far. She is very proud of her progress. She is reading better, comprehending better, and trying harder. With the "trying harder" in the mix, we can gain ground a whole lot faster. If we can keep the RAD from regaining control of her, then I have high hopes!

Andrew is working hard. For years he played a game with learning. He would pretend he couldn't do math until he realized he was close to failing so then he would do math and pretend he couldn't do reading. He is overcoming it though! He is working much harder. He is being a more pleasant person to be around. He is much more respectful during school time and even during daily life. He is wanting priveleges back. I am trying to let him regain things slowly so that he won't "blow it", but also trying to keep him from getting discouraged. He's just making a few mistakes on papers and then willingly correcting them. I am quite pleased and encouraged!

All I can say is that God is so very good!!! I don't know how long these "progresses" will continue. I do know that even if they fall back into old behaviors, they are closer to make these their "normal" behaviors as a result of practicing them. They are seeing how much nicer life can be when they allow it to be. I am just praising God for that and keeping my eyes and ears on the alert for the first signs of the "RAD" rearing its ugly head. God is good and I am going to allow Him to use me to see these things become their "norm" though!!!

Jose and the Great Food War

Jose decided at the end of last week to wage another food war. He made it very clear after I sent him outside to walk, that his plan had been for me to send him to his bed. He definitely did not want to have to go outside and walk. I figured that he would raise the white flag or even just end in a truce. It didn't happen. He continued to refuse anything that I gave him to eat. He also refused to do school work. He in turn got to go out to walk the next day. He didn't get to play over the weekend because his school work wasn't done and he still refused to eat.

We've had these wars before. He refuses to eat. He used it last year and made himself vomit until I realized that it was just to get out of going to school. He would also do it over homework to try and get out of it. I can't imagine vomiting if I didn't have to vomit. I just couldn't do it! Kids who have been in foster care can often call up vomit, pee, or poop at any given moment. They use it as a form of control over their world since they had very little control in foster care over any other aspect of their lives. I am a veteran at these wars. I hold my ground and make sure they stay safe. As a result, I make a concoction of a milk shake that has tons of protein, fat, and calories. I mix whole milk, protein mix, and baby formula and insist that they drink it even if they are not "eating" because if they refuse that then I would take them to the hospital to "keep them safe".

Jose will push his wars farther than anyone I've ever seen. Yesterday, I thought we'd get a fresh start at the week. I served up homemade chocolate chip muffins and bananas for breakfast. Definitely one of the kids favorites, so I thought surely he'd cave. He said he'd rather have peanut butter and crackers (this is what I had offered for breakfast on Sunday that he refused) than that and threw a tantrum while heading out to walk. He also refused lunch. I decided that he pushed it too far by a whole lot. I informed him that he wasn't walking or doing anything else for that matter. His desire for control had gotten way out of hand and he was proving that control was something that he couldn't handle at all.

I told him that he had obviously let his bad decisions push him to the point that he wasn't even as able as a baby to make choices. As a result, I am making all his choices for him. I started with liquids only as options since he didn't want to eat. Today he moved to baby food that I fed him and the milkshake mixtures. Tomorrow will be more of the BRAT diet (literally if I do say so myself). We will then work up to regular food. He has been told that besides eating he does have another option. We could always take him for a gtube to be put in like Julianne was fed through. He has seen one of those, so he has decided to eat. I am doing it gradual because he really may have made himself where eating became difficult physically after making that choice for so long.

He has also been told that he will have the same options for school. He can either get his butt back in gear and do his 4th grade work, which he is more than capable of, or he can go back to preschool level. If he chooses the latter then he will have to work nonstop to get through all the grades and back to 4th grade before he gets his priveleges back. He didn't look thrilled with that option so I guess we will see what he chooses as of tomorrow.

He is such a good kid most of the time. Then the littlest thing can set us back this far again. The spells of food wars have gotten a lot farther apart recently. I will celebrate the day that they really are over though. Jose doesn't often show signs of RAD, but he definitely has some RAD behaviors. He is attached now I think, but he definitely still has some behaviors that are very RADish. He has even written about hoping that other adults will "pity" him and does this food thing, which are the main behaviors along with a very large LAZY streak. He'll get past this though!

Julianne's Cardiologist Visit

Julianne went to her cardiologist today. I was so pleased with the whole visit. First of all, SHE DIDN'T SCREAM OR CRY! She was very pleasant for the most part actually. She let the doctor in training listen to her heart. She also let the doctor himself listen to her heart. She was fairly cooperative about the EKG as well.

The sedated ECHO that we had done back when she had her surgery was our main reason for the appointment. I've never had results from one before with her since they were all done before she came to us and our doctors' offices have been unable to obtain the records. I am quite pleased that the results were great. Of course her mitral valve is leaky (it flows both ways which is why she needs blood pressure medicine to keep the pressure in it ok), but it isn't bad at all.

We don't have to go back for a whole year! That makes me very happy!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Bought Christmas Cards!

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I just can't help the fact that it makes me 10 kinds of happy. I love everything to do with Christmas. I am so smitten with it that I put up Christmas trees before Halloween (I really don't like that holiday.) For Halloween, I let the kids dress up (in non-scary costumes) and we go to my grandparents' house. They eat candy that I buy them and my grandparents have for them. Then we come home and watch a Christmas movie. lol

Brent started talking about Christmas movies last night as we were going to bed. He was saying that he was sure the kids would want to see "Jingle All the Way" first again and quoting parts of the movie. That got me going in my "oh so happy Christmas mood" and I could barely get to sleep.

Imagine my joy today when I arrived at Sam's Club and saw CHRISTMAS STUFF! They have been getting in toys for Christmas for a few weeks. This was the REAL stuff though. There were Christmas cards and wrapping paper among other items. I used a lot of self control and walked away with just two boxes of beautiful cards with manger scenes on them. I can't wait to get more Christmas items though!! lol

Anyone else a Christmas looney? (Tracie, please know that I know how badly this part of me calls 'crazy' to you, but I just can't help it. lol) Is there really no one else in the world who starts to put their decorations up before Halloween? Its okay if not. I am fine with being different! :)