Wednesday, August 20, 2014

your pace or mine?

I'm starting a new exercise program -
and boy do I need it!!

I have been excited to join some friends 
for the 75 miles in 35 days campaign!
Today was day 2,
I went to bed on time,
got up early 
and was ready to go...

out ran Elijah from our room,
"Momma, I get dressed.
I go with you."

Ummmmm - 
so not what I had planned! 

I also knew that if I told him "no" -
then I would have an insecure little boy on my hands all day long,
so I said with a fake smile on my face, 
"okay, get dressed."

It's amazing how God can turn a fake smile into a 
sweet sweet time with my boy!

He was so excited to go with me,
and to my surprise did not move as fast as I hoped!
Usually, I can't keep up with him!

We had a good talk about his new school 
and his new teacher,
we checked out the ants that were crossing the sidewalk,
and chatted about the neighbors dogs too. 
And stopped by the playground and the pond.

As we walked and I encouraged him to catch up -
I had to stop and think... 
maybe it was me who needed to slow down.

I need to take life at his pace -
I need to take his healing at his pace,
not at my pace,
or the pace that I want him too -
or the pace I expect him to heal at.

But to really, slow down and let him lead.

Who knew that though I really wanted to be alone and 
spend time in prayer -
that God had a much more important lesson for me!
And he blessed me with this sweet time with my boy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Hagan had a hearing test in May,
he had lost the tube in his right ear,
but the left tube was still in.
His hearing had declined from when he first had his
tubes put in.

Yesterday, we went to have another hearing test,
the tube in the left ear was still in.

He failed the hearing test.
(severe hearing loss in the right ear.)

Lots of wax and fluid.

So, it's another set of tubes...

and another hearing test.

Discussion about setting Hagan with hearing aides
has begun.

Hoping and praying these procedures will help!

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I can't believe my baby turned 4!!!
(he's been waiting 2 months to wear this shirt!)

Griggsy is one amazing blessing in our family!

What a true gift he is!

Giggly Griggsy is what we call him!
Even when he is mad,
he is easy to get laughing - 
course then he gets mad because he is supposed to be pouting...
and well,
he just can't keep that pout going when there 
is someone to laugh with!

The other day I was leaving the house for a bit,
and he came running to me...

"kiss an hug!!! kiss an hug!!!"

Melt my heart!
I can't get enough of this boy!!!

and neither can anyone else!
These are some of Griggs' biggest fans!

and who can resist a party hat!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Family Day!

One of my goals last September when I started my new business 
with Plexus -
was that I would be able to treat the entire family to 
a day a near by water park!
And guess where we went a few days ago!!!

the entire family was there!!!
even our "honorary son" Alex!

Dad was able to take the day off,
which made it extra special!

I think this face says it all!!!

And to see this boy,
run around the kids area,
without a care in the world!!!!

I love to see him be independent!!!!

Needless to say,
this boy was in heaven!!

Barely stopping to eat lunch -
Elijah had the best day e.v.e.r.!!!
Have I ever told you how much he loves water! 

Dad loves water parks too! 
(Mom not so much - but I was happy to stay in the kid area and 
hang out with Elijah, Hagan and Griggs!)

Jailyn is finally 48'ish inches tall 
and able to ride some rides!!!
Ohhhh happy day!!!

Dad and Jailyn

Jorja and Kenzie

Brady and Alex spent most of their day in the Lazy River!
Needless to say -
Brady got more sun that he had expected -
especially on his feet. 

Captured this beauty,
when she was running from one slide to another!

Sweet girl,
helped momma with the younger kids! 
It's been a long, emotional summer for this girlie -
but she is getting back to her sweet, spunky self!!

And these two are inseperable!
Ohhhh how are they going to be a part from each other 
when Kenzie leaves this next week for college. 
sniff! sniff!!

We all had smiles on our faces all day!!! 
We needed this!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Today would be good!

In case anyone is wondering...

today would be a good day to hear that our paperwork
is finally on it's way to China!

This has been our slowest boat to China ever!!!

I cannot really pin-point why we are going at a snails pace,
but we are! 

And this momma's heart is aching!! 

Lately I have had a sick feeling in my stomach 
that something is just not going right.
I fear for my daughters life!
We have no updates,
only these first few photos from almost 2 years ago!

We have so many questions about her 
and her health.
I keep reading her file over and over
trying to learn something new about her.
I wonder how much she has grown.
Is she able to feed herself now,
is she still working on walking? 
or is she walking on her own?
Is she getting more talkative or is she still super shy?

How I dream of holding her and 
watching her grow,
helping her overcome her medical questions,
and just love her precious self!

We just can't wait to get her home!!! 
We are still hoping to have her home this year, 
but that hope is fading quickly -
it's looking more like 2015.

So, if anyone of authority is reading this...
today would be a good day!! 

Thank you again to those of you who are helping us raise funds to bring
our baby girl home!!! 
For those of you who would like to help -
we have a paypal account set up on the right hand side of our blog.

God will bring her home!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Praise God they are sick!

Back to our training from Dr. Purvis...
at one point of the last day Dr. Purvis said,
"Does anyone have a child with a super-sonic immune system?"

I raised my hand with 2 fingers raised!
I have 2 kids who seem to not ever even get a runny nose,
and these two happen to be my two who 
have the hardest time with trust,
and who live in a constant state of stress.
They have horrible,
horrible histories..

Dr. Purvis said,
"Be ready - with this training -
they are going to get sick!" 

Well, guess what!!!

One of them,
this precious kiddo of mine!!!

Has been a little out of sorts,
and yesterday,
when he thought he was in trouble 
(but really I just wanted to divert him from getting into trouble),
ran to his bed (per usual),
covered himself with his quilt and hid (per usual),
and feel asleep!!

He took a 2 hour nap! 
This boy n.e.v.e.r. naps!!! 
He barely sleeps e.v.e.r.!!!!

And when he woke up,
I asked him if he was okay 
and he told me that his throat hurt!

Praise God! 
Of course, I don't want him sick - 
but his guard is being lifted,
and his body is responding appropriately -
and for that I am completely thankful!!!!

The other 4 have runny noses,
even Kenzie and Conner have runny noses!
There is still one,
who we are mindfully working with and praying 
that their guard is lifted! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pirates from the I DON"T Care-ibbean!!

We just love to participate in this summer music program
at a near by church! 
Jorja and Jaiilyn did it last year -
and this year, 
to our surprise...
Donovan decided he would go too -
and if Donovan goes then Elijah will go.

And well, 
Hagan loves to sing - 
so we signed him up too!

They all had so much fun! 
And loved learning the songs,
we have our own little musical group!

Last night was the performance...

I must admit,
I was surprised that Elijah got up there!
Last time he was asked to do something on stage -
he was terrified and wouldn't have anything to do with it.

I'm so proud of my boy!!

Jorja, Donovan and Jailyn acted like pro's!

(Let's just say,
Jailyn needs to take voice and acting lessons!)

And Hagan,
though he had many emotions during the week -
came out of his shell...
and rocked it out on stage!!!

After the program,
Donovan and Jailyn asked if they could audition next year for larger parts,
Elijah cried that it was over,
and Hagan said,
"That was work!
Hard work!
I did goooooood!"
You sure did buddy!!!

And the biggest part is that they proved to themselves that they could do it!
Donovan even, with a good attitude, 
missed a soccer game for the performance.
Sometimes doing things outside of our comfort zone 
is more fun then things inside our comfort zone!

And Griggs and momma got to hang out just the two of us 
each morning running errands,
meeting with other friends for play dates,
and just hanging out!! 
A great week for all!!

Thank you Amy for all you do to make this program happen every year!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Every 2 hours

Enough food? 
This is always a huge question when it comes to children from hard places. 
Are they hording, are they just eating to eat?
I give them 3 meals a day 
And snacks in between,
That should be plenty!

But really,
no mater what the reason,
Dr. Purvis believes and practices,
that our children be fed every 2 hours.

I thought that I had this in the bag -
I have snacks with me all the time,
I pick up the kids from school with a snack
in the car because I know that even driving
a short way to home -
that is enough for their blood sugar to drop,
emotions to fly
and meltdowns happen.

I admit,
I don't always offer a snack every 2 hours.

Soooo, when I went to Sam's Club to get Double Bubble,
I also bought a ton of snack food,
everything from animal crackers,
to granola,
and trail mix.

Getting my kids in the habit of eating every 2 hours has been difficult -
they are used to being told "no",
and being on a certain schedule.

This week 5 out of 6 of our younger kids are at a day camp
for half of the day.
I drop them off at 9am and pick them up at noon.
They get a snack half-way through the morning- so we are good
and normally I wouldn't have brought snack -
as we were heading straight home for lunch...
they could wait!
But after last weeks training,
 I decided that this is something I need to work on.

Picking them up
I let Griggs pick who we would pick up first -
he chose Elijah.

Good  choice!

Elijah was in a great mood and happy to see us!
As we walked around the church to pick up the
other kids -
I saw that he was quickly spinning out of control
and needed to be regulated.
Rather than,
being stern with him - like I normally do,
I handed him a packet of cheese crackers.

and guess what...
that was exactly what he needed.
Even though he didn't know he did.

Was he starving?
Probably not.

Was his blood sugar low?

Did I just leave him for 3 hours?

Was his security taken away?
you betcha!

I'm not sure what this snack did for him at this specific time -
but I can tell you that he was then able to calm himself,
use his words,
and talk to me while looking in my eyes.

I will take that any day!  

And since we are talking about Elijah...
here's a funny for you!!!
Sometimes mom just has to pick her battles!
Elijah loves to clean toilets and such -
especially with bubbles!!

Yesterday he got caught writing his name!

I love this boy!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Double Bubble!!!!!

When we got to our training on Thursday morning,
all of these were on our table...

and I thought - 
"I have these things at home...
in my closet."
Bad mom #1!!!!

Through out the training we played with 
these figits 
as we listened!! 
And many, many times they helped us keep our focus!! 

So, I have pulled out the box of figits...

and we are all enjoying them!

One exercise that Dr. Purvis talks about is chewing gum.
More specifically Double Bubble!!! 

The sense of chewing is calming to the brain,
and while chewing, the brain is getting constant proprioceptive input.
The act of chewing gum also provides the sensory input to the muscles 
in the jaw and ears 
allowing children (and adults) concentrate better!

Dr. Purvis asked us to play a game with our kids this first weekend home...

Every time our kids asked for a piece of gum...
we have to say "yes"!

The reason for this is to build bonging with our children.

Children who have a beautiful infancy learn that if they ask -
their momma will come.
If they are hungry - they cry - and are fed.
If they are bored - they cry - and are played with.

Our children from hard places -
did not receive this care,
they learned at an early age that if they were hungry -
their cries were not heard,
so they didn't cry anymore.
They never received a "yes" from their caregiver -
the caregiver was always in charge,
our kiddos learned in infancy
that their opinion didn't matter - 
that they were unworthy of having an opinion. 

They don't know what it is to actually hear "yes",
and have the brain develop healthy.

So, this weekend we have implemented this exercise!
I told the kids whenever they wanted some that I would say "yes".

They all cheered!!
There was one child, my negotiator, who saw some other gum...
and asked if she could have that gum. 
I allowed this because I know the flavor of gum is 
something that this child is constantly craving. 

Another, chose a ring pop -
again, the sucking of the ring pop is something this child also craves.

This has been an amazing experiment...

we went to a soccer game and Donovan realized in the car,
that I had really brought the bucket of gum with me.
"Momma, you brought the gum with us?"

"Yes, I sure did Cowboy."
(that's what Dr. Purvis says, and well, to add humor to the situation -
I thought I would channel my inner Purvis! haha)

He sat back,
completely relaxed in the car 
and responded,

I laughed and laughed! 
But realized that just doing what I said I would do has built trust 
between Donovan and I.

As the day went by,
I heard,

"I don't want any more gum...
I am on a sugar overload!"


"Can I have some crackers."

This morning is day 2 of our experiment...
peoples attitudes have changed...
(kids and parents!) 
People are taking correction as correction,
not with the fear of failure 
and the fear
that something terrible will happen to them.

And, some are good with not asking for gum...
but are willing to help me remember to bring the bucket with me! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A bib? Really?

This week has been amazing at TBRI Training,
(Trust Based Relational Intervention).
This training is essential for anyone who parents,
or works with children from hard places!!

What is "a child from hard places"?
Any child who has experienced early risk factors...
- Difficult pregnancy
- Difficult birth
- Early hospitalization
- Abuse
- Neglect
- Trauma
(most of my younger kids have experienced at least 4 of these if not all of them).

Our kiddos have not had the needed nurturing 
that average middle class American infants/toddlers have experienced
and thrive from.
their brain development is completely different and needs to 
be nurtured where they are,
not where society says they should be...

when my sweet boy wants to have a bib on at every meal...

you betcha'!!!! 
He can have a bib!!!

Giving him the baby stage that he missed out on 
and so richly deserves!!!

I just love this kiddo!!! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SHOX and a surprise!

Sweet Griggsy had to have blood work done 
for SHOX testing - 
(our mystery man this may be his diagnosis)

Griggs was one brave little guy -

but ohhhh so sad!!

momma had something up her sleeve to cheer him up!!

Christmas in July!!

We happened to go to the hospital on the right day!

And boy did the little boys and I have fun!!

Making I-Spy Containers,

 and decorating door hangers with Santa!!

Nice job Hagan!!

Way to go Griggsy!!!

Elijah did a great job -
making an "Elijah snowman and
a momma snowman"!

The boys each left with stuffed animals and
another present too!

We sooooo needed this!!
Thank you Children's Medical!


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