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 25, 2010

A Great Fall Day

Today was just beautiful outside. I would like it just a little cooler to be honest, but I will definitely take it. We had an awesome day. You just have to look around at all of God's blessings and be thankful.

Today started off a little slow, but that was a good thing. I slept in, which is my favorite Saturday morning activity. (Thanks Brent!) The kids played for a good while this morning. I got them to clean their rooms before they headed outside. I took lunch outside to them in the early afternoon and lots of drinks. There were even caramel apples for those who would eat them!

I came back in and got to cooking. I had decided that today was the perfect day to have our first pumpkin pies of the season. I got 4 pumpkin pies made and then put some soup on. Wild rice, chicken, and vegetable soup with lots of spices sure did smell good on the stove simmering. I then made some biscuits with shredded cheese and garlic in them. I spooned the dough into muffin pans and they were so quick and easy! I took all the food outside and we ate out on the picnic tables. It was the perfect setting for a fall dinner!

Everyone is cleaned up and tucked in bed now, except Denzell who I don't believe would want "tucked". The bedrooms that I had planned to sweep did get swept. The family room got swept late this evening. I am getting ready to go finish cleaning up the kitchen, but most of it has been cleaned up.

It has been a great day. Right now I am listening to Julianne giggle in her bed. She has been in bed for a long time already. I wanted her to get to sleep early so she wouldn't be cranky for church in the morning. It doesn't seem to be working out because she is having a blast in there. I would love to go join her, but I know I shouldn't. lol She sure is a joy! I am so incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful family and I have to just praise God for bringing them all here. So many backgrounds, pasts, and from so many places - all brought together by God to form one big family. Can't wait to see who He has for us next! As Denzell said tonight, "It really is time for some more kids, 'cause just having 12 is getting kind of boring". ONLY HERE! He is so right though - It is time for more! I am so excited to see who God has for us. I am already praying for them and I don't even know who they are!

My Kids and Construction

As you all can imagine, the construction adds a whole other layer of "stuff" going on around here. I want them all to be able to see what is going on with the construction, because it isn't something that you get to experience often in your life. We have two windows and a big sliding glass door that are right against the construction site, so they really are enjoying watching.

There has been a lot to see so far. The've watched jackhammers tear up the concrete and then trucks lift the concrete out and discard it. They've seen a big truck drill long piers 21 feet into the ground. They've got to see the foundation dug out and then poured. The most recent has been the laying of the blocks.

What is hysterical is the things that get them all worked up. As interesting as things have been to watch it is the small things that draw the most excitement. The man "spitting in their yard" that caused them disbelief. The man who was "smoking a cigarette" that shocked them.

Then most recently the people who came to lay the block caused us all some grief. The men seemed nice enough I guess, especially since we stayed inside. The problem is that from the time they arrived they began to play their stereo out back of our house. They arrived bright and early on Thursday morning. I immediately heard it and thought "Oh crap. How will we survive!". I knew that a normal school day was not in our near future. I quickly improvised. We would use pattern blocks and cards in the family room. We would work on some other "brain teaser" activities. They could work on their book report books wherever they could find the most quiet. We would learn about Jupiter like we had been planning to, but they would write 5 things they "thought" were true and then look them up to find out. They would copy down some real facts and then write about Jupiter.

I let the kids sleep a little later in hopes of missing some of the noisy time. As soon as they got up, they started to mention the noise. Dayton was first to say "How will we concentrate for school?". (Of course, because he is my studious child who loves to learn!) Then soon I was hearing grumblings all through the house. I must admit that it was driving me nuts too! I am not good with background sound and love the quietness of my outside surroundings, while listening to the bustle, chatter, and giggles of my kids. I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that the jackhammers and trucks didn't bother us. It was the music and commercial of the radio that drove us insane! Soon Jose was saying "Gosh, can't he pull up his pants, put a shirt on, and break that stupid radio!".

By afternoon, I prepared myself for the fact that I would have to say something. I went outside and waited for them to look my direction, since I couldn't bear to yell over the music. I did what any good mom would do and explained that while I hated to ask it was becoming necessary for me to do so and if they could turn it down some we would really appreciate it a lot. I even explained that with 5 out of my 12 children having autism, I feared that one might go nuts soon. Now, I did not however explain that I was going crazier than them all and that the only verbal complaints were from my "typical" kids. I just know that my children with autism must have felt nuts if the rest of us were headed there. :) They did turn it down some. We did live through today. The kids were uninterested in watching any of the rest of it and I truly think it is because the one man didn't have on a shirt and his pants hung down a little low.

I really do love this crew. We are all a little different than most people I guess. I have sat and thought about why that specific sound is the sound that we have been unable to bear. Here is my conclusion! I think that the other sounds (jackhammer, trucks, etc) have all been sounds of progress. We as a family love to see progress. We can handle autistic style fits, RAD ramblings, and music that is for learning. This particular sound wasn't progress. It was monotonous and useless. It didn't give praise to God. It didn't teach anyone anything. It didn't accomplish anything at all. We are people who love to do anything that "helps", but music about cheating, beating, and drinking just doesn't accomplish anything. We had lots we wanted to learn and it was distracting.

I wonder if the nail guns and other building sounds that should be starting soon will bug us? I think we'll be fine as long as they don't play music loudly while they work. I'm just glad that God does give us lots of good noise in this house. There is lots of talking, giggling, pretending, babbling, and singing about good stuff!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Talk with the Two Non-Mute RADs

Crystal and Andrew have decided that they are completely incapable of homeschooling right now. It is amazing that knowing there are other adults OUTSIDE is still enough to make them play these games. Our construction will still be going on for a while, so I don't know if they'll pull out of this before then or not.

Crystal is amazingly ridiculous. She is 11 and was doing well with her homeschool curriculum for quite a bit of the time. Now she mysteriously SUBTRACTS and gets a BIGGER number than she had originally. I never knew that something like 1,345 - 642 could give you a number something like 9,803! I just have to laugh about it, because . . . . well, what else is there to do. I know she knows better.

Andrew has also mysteriously lost his brain function. He can't "round" numbers any more. He might round 15 numbers while you have him do them on the board, but when given his workbook he is brain dead. I mean I guess I have to laugh at this too. There really is nothing else to do.

I wish I could tell you that they are distracted, but they aren't. This is just one of their "games". They are completely in control of it and if they chose could do it all tomorrow correctly. They are just little pains. They are still hoping with all of their might that someone might really see them pretending to be dumb and rescue them from this mother who knows they are smart. I tried to tell them that no one really cares, but they have to try it for a while to see for themselves.

Tonight I asked them both about what they hope to accomplish and where they think this is leading. I asked Andrew first off by himself. He said that maybe he could just stay in 3rd grade forever. I told him that while he could stop himself from learning, he would still have to be an adult some day and that by that point he would have made himself truly ignorant. I asked how he would get a job, get a house, buy a car, or buy food. He looked truly confused. I reminded him that every day he wastes is making him one more day behind the other people his age and one day closer to living in a box down by the river because he took away his own opportunities.

Crystal was different when asked about what she planned to do when she doesn't learn what she needs to know and then can't get a job or succeed. She shot back with a head bob and sassy 11 year old tone (still better than a ten year old tone because I really have never had much joy with 10 year olds and they are beyond sassy lol), "Well, I don't know!". I reminded her that she says she wants to be a mommy some day and give her kids a safe, good place. I reminded her that the choices she is making right now are not helping her with that goal. I reminded that you have to learn to succeed and that she seemed like she was working more on the goal of living down by the river in a cardboard box as an adult than she was at overcoming her RAD and being successful and happy.

We'll see what tomorrow holds. Maybe they will think about all the discussions we've had lately on how to finish getting better. Maybe they will think about our discussions tonight. Maybe they will think about all the priveleges they are missing out on right now. Maybe they will do their school work and go back to the good progress they were making in so many areas.

I guess I will find out. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Child with Autism is a Smartie Pants!!

I am a very proud mommy tonight. Zeeky is going to be 6 on Monday. He will have been home 3 years in November. He has come so very far that I can't help myself as I watch in astonishment. We still have some hurdles to cross (potty training is the main one and boys with autism are notoriously hard to train). I am just so excited at what I've seen God do and what He's let me be a part of doing.

Zeeky is able to tell you the phonetical sound of every letter! This is a huge thing here and I have had him do it so that several loved ones could hear it by phone late this evening. I've always known that he was a smart kid, despite the fact that he was diagnosed as 'severely mentally retarded' and 'nonverbal autism' when he came to us at age 3.

I knew that there was a lot in there and that we had to find a way to get it out. Autism is funny like that. Their little brains have lots of information in there that is unable to show through to the rest of the world. They are often mislabeled as 'mentally retarded' because of lack of speech and inability to interact with the world around them. I have always known it. I could just see it in there. I've always felt like God chose me to be the parents of 5 children on the autism spectrum because He knew that He made me very stubborn too. I just can't accept that there isn't more that we can do.

What I've found is that there is always a way to get it out. There isn't a formula. I don't even care what caused it. I don't care what any doctor or scientist says. I just KNOW that they can accomplish a lot. (I actually think this is true of a lot of people with special needs that are overlooked or outcast because of preconceived notions of people who know nothing.)

Each child is different and learns different. The same goes for children with autism. You just have to find out what 'makes them tick' and go with it. For Zeeky the answer is MUSIC and ELECTRONIC SOURCES. He learns things best from DVDs, musical toys, and electronic toys. There are some specific ones that I have found to be best. I will try to write about them specifically another day, but today is just to celebrate his accomplishment. I have bought every learning DVD and learning toy known to mankind. I have watched his interaction with each. I have watched for signs that he was getting the information into his brain and then worked on ways for him to demonstrate that knowledge to me.

Today was another huge "tear jerking moment". Zeeky can name the phonetical sound to every single letter. Some letters he even volunteers a word that starts with that letter just to make sure you know how much he knows! He is proud of himself and I am very proud of him. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be his Mom!