Tuesday, September 16, 2014

~*Wondrous Things*~

We recently restarted our bible study fellowship and a wondrous thing happened. Analina had confidence and she noticed something that has changed her (I hope) indefinitely. 

She noticed all these other little girls that were so much smaller and younger than her doing so many things she never does. She is forever acting helpless and tends to have the "I can't do it" attitude. A wee bit of competition has turned a fire on in her that I could never ignite. 

She was comfortable and confident for longer than I have ever seen her be and she didn't go to the other adults to seek out validation or attention. For moms of RAD kids you *know* I'm calling that a huge victory! 

The following day she made some bad choices and had to go to bed early and as she sobbed "I'm so disappointed in myself", I explained how consequences work (again) and today (two days after bible study) she was actually able to calm herself down from a rage because she knew the rage wasn't worth the consequence it would bring. 

WOW! Cause and affect thinking is elusive for these kiddos! So it is a HUGE breakthrough for her to make these connections. 

Following several days of rages, which have been happening since July, Sunshine was able to calm down from a huge rage and even tell me his line of thoughts that caused him to be so scared in the first place. For Sunshine this is enormous due to his intense fear. His self-confidence needed this boost. 

Such difficult work for children that were never taught how to use their words to process emotions. 

Keep covering them in prayer. They are healing one step at a time. 

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

~*In Honor of Sue*~

Last year (9/12/13) my sweet, amazing friend, Sue Talbert was taken home to be with the Lord.

 Her online family was left reeling. She was a connector, you see, someone who had networking down to a science, but not for the personal gain of worldly wealth. Oh no, simply because she gravitated toward those who needed a word from the Lord in dark moments and needed loving support.
She was a lover of all things warm and fuzzy, crackling fires, knitting needles and yarn, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and crunchy Autumn leaves. 

So many times this past year I have thought of something I wanted to ask her about and instantly that deep ache of loss would come back. This last year has been so incredibly difficult without her wisdom and presence.

Her husband and son have felt the heaviest burden, of course, and while we do deal with the sting of her loss, they are the ones who need continued lifting up of prayer.

This week I am drinking my Pumpkin Spice Latte in memory of my sweet friend, Sue Talbert. 
(Last years {post} about Sue)

John 16:20b
You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

Monday, September 8, 2014

~*Menu Monday*~

What's for dinner for the crew this week?

Soup (with homemade rolls)
Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas
Baked Potatoes (salsa/cheese, of course)
Chuck Roast w/roast veggies
Tuna Noodle
Shepherds Pie
Veggie Stir-fry

What are you feeding the family this week?

Psalm 78:24
he rained down manna for the people to eat,
    he gave them the grain of heaven.

Friday, August 15, 2014

~*Fake It Till You Make It: Or Where We Become Real*~

Oh, the fake drivel...the cute, perky laugh, the stunningly fake smile that says "I'll fake it till I make it", the show-and-tell type attention getting behaviors. 

Can't stand 'em!

There are times we have to physically pry our child away from another person who does not understand adoption boundaries or explain to folks that the more they tell this wee one she is cute (over and over and over again) the more difficult it makes it for us as parents. 

I will never forget the time a man told me "What bothers you we find cute". I was floored. This person deliberately would not keep his hands off my child and encouraged the clingy falseness.
Another time I watched as my child was toted around on the hip of another mother...when I was able to free myself from my mob of children and I called this velcro child back over to me this child burst into tears. What she needed was me. Coming to her. Pursuing her.

The charade was too much and the delicate wall of fakeness that had been built was not as strong as my sweet one thought it was. The walls came crashing down and once again my sweet one clung to me. Wandering aimlessly seeking that validation and confirmation from everyone else but always coming back to me...where it felt safe. 

How many times do we wander away from God? Aimlessly seeking validation and confirmation from the world?

John 15:5
 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

~*Sticks and Stones: Repairing the Damage*~

Analina was raised for 5 long years in the largest city in China. We have been blessed to connect with the many mothers of these amazing children. Not very long ago her orphanage was one of the worst in the country and the atrocities were exposed by a hidden camera investigation which became a documentary. A new orphanage was built and is now considered the showpiece of the country. This is the institution that dignitaries are given tours of and is often featured in the media. 

However, the abuse and neglect have continued. We could ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist but the truth is that only allows it to continue to get worse and more children are exposed to these circumstances that no human or animal should ever have to endure.

 These children take years to feel safe and comfortable enough to disclose the information to their families.

The accounts are all consistent.

There are grave atrocities that happen to these children.

Of all the abuses we're aware that have happened to our sweet soul the most damaging have been the cutting words. 

She is so beautiful! 
But they called her ugly. 

A delicate flower that blooms after a wildfire ravages the landscape.  
But they called her ugly. 

I cannot even imagine. It could be defended as "cultural" but no, no culture should demean a little girl to maintain control over another human being. 

    The physical wounds have healed but it will take years to rebuild her soul, her confidence, her ability to trust and believe we are not lying when we call her beautiful.

And the best part? We get a front row seat as this beautiful flower blooms!

Luke 12:27
Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

~*The New Love in My Life*~

I've been rather quiet on the bloggy front and that is simply because I have lost my blogging mojo. In other areas of my life I am finding new inspirations!

Last summer I discovered Bobbi Marie McCormick and completed several of her monthly Shred's. We went camping in August and when I got back I just never really got back into the workouts. In January I kicked myself for walking away from what was a good match for me. The workouts were working and I enjoyed them.

I restarted the Shreds in Feb. and have consistently been working through them. I added running back in a few weeks ago and signed up for a 5K race. Dude, it was the COOKIE 5K! I was SOOO there! 

Through all the setbacks, frustrations, tight and sore muscles I am learning something about myself. 

I love to sweat and like to talk about my workouts in detail with my tribe of people that really don't care for the details! ~wink~ Sweat is not an appealing thing for them to talk about!

I love being outside and am noticing that some of my children will only be outside for an extended period of time unless I am out there, too.

I signed Sunshine up for the 5K, also, when he expressed an interest. He struggled a bit during our runs leading up to the race and I was concerned he wouldn't be able to to it. 

When it came time to go, though, he totally ROCKED that race! We are not able to run the whole 3.1 miles, heck we aren't even up to a solid mile yet, but he was positive the whole time and really enjoyed our time together!
Early morning and nervous about our first race!

Waiting for the start!
Happy to be back home!

Sweaty victory!

Which cookie to pick??

We're looking forward to doing another one together!
Have you ever run a 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon...or an Iron Man? 

    2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

~*July Newsflash*~

In light of certain information, that has now been made available, I have retracted the previous blogpost. An update on the person in question can be found below. 

Kitty: Is doing fanstinkingtastic! She misses horsecamp! She'd move into the barn if she could! She is working on her social skills...as is par for the course for all kiddos at this age (12) she can be a bit antisocial. She's working on it and we sure do love seeing her sweet face and not a closed bedroom door! This past homeschool year was her best yet! We are grateful she didn't struggle and she has excelled in math. 


J.J. (11) thoroughly enjoyed basketball camp, even though he didn't really want to go this year. He struggled through every aspect of school work and is still trying to finish his math for 5th grade. He clams up whenever he is nervous about something, frustrated, sad, mad, etc...and it extends into his homework. This has made learning very difficult for him. We're grateful we can help him through this with the flexibility that homeschooling brings. 

Sunshine. Oh, Sunshine. (9) We thought we were making great leaps forward. Then we slammed into a HUGE wall. We do see some progress in how he handled things when we got the truth out of him. He still had a massive panic attack but he came down from it quicker and without holes in the wall. So, sister fell off the scooter and out of fear of being in trouble he lied and said some boy from down the road did it. As is typical for many RAD kiddos he was quite convincing in his lie. This is a very difficult time of parenting this child, who we still love and adore. Lies and deceptions are not moral issues for our RADiant one. That's the sad thing about RAD. Its about survival and not about matters of the heart. 

Dalton (7) is still giving us much vomit to clean up...we thought it was the Ditropan, nope. We thought it was heat related. Nope. Our Ped. thought it was Urosepsis and the antibiotics have not stopped his symptoms of headaches and vomiting. He's so emotional recently and I would be, also, if I were as sick as he's been. So much uncertainty about his health. 

Analina (7) is still unsure of so many things...we had a recent incident of very concerning behavior that is being addressed with the help of our therapist. She is reading now but is struggling with the fundamentals of basic math. When she "gets it" she zips right through it but the concepts are not cemented in, yet, and that makes retention difficult.

Peanut (4) is coming right along with her preschool work and she just learned to read, too! She is soaking up the reading lessons like a sponge because she hears the other two go through it so by the time I get to her its the third time for her hearing the same information. 
Couldn't get a good smile outta her. 

Asleep on her brother!

Donosaur (1) is trucking right along with the older ones. He truly believes he is one of the big ones! He had several heavy toys dropped on the same toe in the last few weeks and that poor nail is slowly coming off. He handles that stuff so well! He is showing many signs of being ready to potty train and I am looking forward to that. There isn't ever a great time to potty train a child (at least in our household) so in Sept I will work on it with him before the next season of surgeries begin for two of our children.
Caught with Mommy's laptop!
Good thing he's adorable!
Swinging like a big boy

Beautiful baby blues!

  Devin (no age given) is playing paintball monthly and hockey several times a month. He's much happier with his new position at work and received the best review he's ever had. He will be going back to college (again) this autumn via an online course through OSU (Oklahoma State University). It is a certificate fire protection program that it will complement his extensive knowledge of fire protection systems. 

A quick update on me will come later.....