Wednesday, July 2, 2014

~*And She Knew It Was Her Birthday*~

Birthday anxiety is extremely real and extremely severe for a few of my peeps, therefore, when one comes around we keep it to a dull roar with the celebrations. Analina isn't so good with the calendar, yet, and when her birthday came around on Wednesday we didn't do any big celebrations, as we were saving them for this weekend with family, we thought (heh heh) that she hadn't taken notice.

During our yearly tromp over to the East Side of Michigan for our former agency's picnic she introduced herself as having recently turned 7 last Wednesday. Girlfriend amazes me....nothing gets past her and she's always listening and taking it all in...and *never* assume your child doesn't know! *head smack* Duh! They know!
The Joy Boy was down for the count after Detroit's heat on Sat.
She chose a funky mixture of Man with the Yellow Hat, Curious George and Dora for her birthday theme. Many Asian girls have a thing for Dora....she looks surprisingly Asian....and Curious George is the only thing she would willingly sit down and watch during the first year home.

Man with the Yellow Hat cake...ugly but yummy!

Her sweetness was in full-on princess mode. She loudly told me in church, while sitting in the pew, "I'm ready for my gifts now!" She was incredibly bossy, attitudy, and controlling. We know and understand the act is to protect herself, however, it still hurt when she dumped off our gift and acted as if it had been drug through some cow manure. 
That is the look of a very mad child. Our gift of love was rejected.
And to secure our rejection and punishment she loved and adored her next gift. 

 Her birthday was like this last year...all the joy was sucked out of it for us....she pushes away the people she loves for fear that we won't remember her special day. To her the slimmest chance of all the worst things happening is reality in her mind. She does all she can to make them happen. My sweet girl will measure how much we love her based upon how many gifts she has, how big her cake and celebration are.

My hope is that at some point she will feel secure enough to know we truly love her and are committed to her. The hurt and pain are deep, often deeper than we ever realize. She will heal and in the end we know she'll be happy and secure, and while the journey is long and difficult, we get the blessing of seeing her bloom! 
Sweet smile hiding tons of fears.
 Job 11:18

You will be secure, because there is hope;
    you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

~*Camp Summertime!*~

Its that time of year again....Summer Camp! 

Kitty is nervously off to horse camp. I'm so grateful for the surge in technology that allows us to send her countless emails! Awesomeness! She will be tested this week to see where she is compared to the Certified Horsemanship Association, both written and ridden portions, followed by her first Horse Show of the season.

J.J. is off to basketball camp in the morning, which means 10+ hours of driving this week, countless games and tournaments all day Thursday.

Sunshine and Dalton are enjoying VBS this week during the evening hours. Sunshine will have day camp next week. He is extremely scared, however, it will do his confidence quite good. 

Ana and Peanut are either too young for these activities or not emotionally ready. So, we'll continue with summer schooling them and see how far we can get with Ana's reading. I am so very proud of her!

Of course, our dear Donosaur will be busy being the busy boy he is!

Will you please pray over our comings and goings this week and next? 

 Psalm 127:7-8
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Friday, June 20, 2014

~*High Tea*~

On days that start with a T we have a tea time snack. We bust out the tea cups, tea, sugar and milk, and enjoy baked snackies. The rest of the week we simply have popcorn. I've been neglecting this tradition lately due to the craziness in life, yet, I realize we need this tradition to stay rooted. The children like having routines they can count on and does it get any funner than afternoon tea with pretty cups? 
To make up for my lack of consistency I decided that we would have High Tea for our evening meal.

Chocolate Chip Scones
Strawberry Crumb Cake
The crumbs sorta sank but still tasted fantastic!
 Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Cucumber Sandwiches
3 Bean Salad

And, of course, tea!

Normally, I would have added a sausage, bacon or other meat entree to the menu but we're fresh out. Also, we are an egg free home, however, a quiche would be a fantastic addition.

I baked all day and the wee ones swarmed around the food. I struggled to keep them away from the sweets. Afterward they were arguing over who was going to help with the dishes. My heart is light as I see them enjoy yummy (albeit terrible for you) food and joyfully helping with clean up duty.

Grateful for sweets of all sorts....

These little sweets included!
 Psalm 81:16

But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
    with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

~*Of Headaches and Boys*~

Recently, Dalton had a severe headache paired with vomiting, which in and of itself is not a concerning fact, considering we have seven children and viruses travel at warp speed around here. However, Dalton has Spina Bifida and a shunt to treat his hydrocephalus. The main shunt failure symptoms to be aware of are severe headaches and vomiting. I was in touch with his Neurosurgeon and on day 3 the headache and nausea were gone.

When the same symptoms came again just ten days later I was on high alert. He became so distraught the Nurse and I agreed he needed to be seen so we took the three hour drive over to University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital to be seen in the ER. 

He had much testing done, anti-nausea and multiple pain medications via IV, and a troop of people that came and went. The quick verdict is that his shunt is working too well and draining too quickly causing low pressures in his head. According the Neurosurgeon-in-training low pressures would not cause the symptoms. However, the other Spina Bifida moms are saying that *YES* low pressures can cause serious pain and vomiting. 

We know he needs surgery to replace the valve. However, they went with a diagnosis of migraines. I could not have disagreed more. They want a repeat MRI in a few weeks for comparison and a meeting with the Neurosurgeon to discuss the recent events. 

We know his shunt valve isn't working properly. We know he is symptomatic after exerting himself.  In a few weeks we should have a plan.

I want to thank every single person who prayed over Dalton and our family. We are very grateful that prayer warriors sprang to life to cover us in prayer. 

Thank you!
Thank you!

Thank you!

Psalm 32:6
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

~*Spring Birthdays*~

I've mentioned many times how difficult birthdays are for RAD children. Birthdays and holidays are rough....even if there is no celebration, just simply knowing its a special day can result in sabotage tactics and jealousy. Every child the world over struggles with strong feelings with these types of celebrations and for children with an Attachment Disorder it is almost impossible to regulate their emotions.

When my two spring chicks asked if they could combine their party I jumped at the chance! On the day of their actual birthday they pick the meal and their party is always a quiet affair with Grandparents, an Aunt and two cousins...and, of course, all of us! Cake, ice cream, gifts....and a celebration of them!

My fave kind of cake: fruit and angel food cake!

I'm a spring birthday chick, too!

So hard to get a good picture of him smiling!
Combined party cake for these two goofs...

Love her face!

Ice cream face!

Nom Nom Nom
One of my fave girls, ever!

Kitty turned 12 and J.J. turned 11. 
They have a great relationship and it helps they are only 13 months apart. Sometimes they get on each others nerves but they readily say the other is their best friend. 

Imagine that? Siblings that not only get along but they LIKE each other! That is the culture we try hard to create in our family: that your siblings are your built in best friends and it shows in how they treat each other, talk to each other, and get along. 

No lying...they *do* have issues with each other but at the end of the day they are very, very close! 

Hebrews 13:1
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

~*The House Where Hurting (and Healing) Happens*~

Ours is not the harmonious house, the house of accord. It is more like discord.

Ours is not the house of laughter and merriment. 

Ours is the loud house.

The house of hurting one another while we learn what its like to be safe from hurt. 

Ours is the house of yelling while we learn what its like to use our words, softly and aptly spoken. 

Ours is the house of dirty looks, slamming doors, throwing and breaking toys while we learn that no matter what we do we are safe and won't be sent away.

While the hurting is happening there is healing being done. 

Underneath the survival behaviors the wounds are being healed. 

Behind the panic the heart and the brain are learning to trust. 

Right now its a hurting house but we're can't forget we're in the midst of healing. 

Sometimes its ugly and sometimes its loud. 

But its all beautiful; just like them!

Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.


Friday, May 30, 2014

~*Hi, My Name is Priceless*~

We whisper into their hair during impromptu hugs that they are treasured, adored, valued. They are priceless treasures; precious gems. We use these exact words. 
Many times we wonder if they are hearing us. If the importance of those words is getting deep into the depths of their hearts. 
The other day Peanut skipped up to me and introduced herself as, "Hi, my name is Priceless!" 
Oh my heart! 
Yes, sweet one, you sure are priceless! 

Song of Songs 7:1
How beautiful your sandaled feet,
    O prince’s daughter!
Your graceful legs are like jewels,
    the work of an artist’s hands.