Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Everyone else...

I have been posting a lot about Callie and her new therapy, mostly because it is new and different and because it is taking up a lot of my time!

Everyone else is on the mend. They have moved past uncontrollable, inconsolable sobbing over losing Lilly. They are now able to say they miss her, and wish she were here, but choose to praise God through their mourning. I am so proud of how they are handling this!

I took each of them out for a date over the last few days because they were needing a little extra TLC and time to let their own personal feelings out without competing with their sisters...it was a wonderful time of sharing and connecting with each of them!

The older 3 are enjoying piano lessons. Brianna is thrilled to be old enough for choir. Callie and Justice remain 'along for the ride' on Thursdays (lesson days). Hoping and praying for good weather so we can go to a park tomorrow during at least part of the lessons...

What does Callie's therapy look like?





I had a very interesting question posed to my email..."What does Callie's new therapy look like?"

That question has inspired today's first picture! Here are many (not all!) of the things that Callie's new therapy utilizes...lots of strange items that have worked together for the last 2 weeks to bring about results that are nothing shy of miraculous! We also have not completed a couple projects for a couple of the activities, such as a trike and skis...I am not in much of a hurry, as I am pretty busy with the rest of this stuff, lol!

The rope for example. She walks holding that for 10 minutes each day. The first day, she was barely able to keep her balance while holding it and taking little steps. Yesterday and today, she was walking (quite confidently, with both feet pointing forward!) while holding on with only 1 hand!

The scent jars...Apparently, Callie had very little sense of smell. I have been performing a massage on her face and scalp, then having her smell natural oils. The result is that now she is smelling all kinds of things! (She really loves this activity!) Callie rely's very heavily on her hearing as her primary sense, which makes sense considering she really couldn't see anything for most of her first year...We are now trying to build up her other senses. We use a vibrator on her arms and legs to her develop her sense of touch, and picture card memory games to help her eyes, as well as lots of eye exercises to hopefully avoid a 3rd eye surgery for Callie! We also play verbal word games to help Callie continue to grow and develop her sense of hearing.

Other things use nothing but her person, such as log rolling, knee walking or army crawling. Or use something that doesn't travel well, such as the set of hanging rings downstairs or the visits to the chiropractor.

Callie is sitting up straighter, holding her trunk stronger, not turning her feet in nearly as much when she stands without the support of her AFOs and taking steps with greater confidence!

It is a lot of work day in and day out...you can see how far we get each day by looking at the therapy chart we have kept for the last 2 weeks. But it is so worth it to see her confidence and abilities growing right before our eyes!

I can't seem to get videos to upload, but I will keep trying! The differences really are amazing!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Callie's new gym!






Cyndi Ringoen, the director of the neurodevelopmental therapy program Callie is participating in, is allowing us to borrow some equipment to help Callie. We had no idea that we were agreeing to have our own pint sized gym...she dropped off 4 pieces of equipment today, all of which needed to be assembled. Here are pictures of getting it set up and getting Callie going on it! Callie was even able to help with some of the assembly! Right now, she is only able to do the health rider type one by herself. The others, she needs help to get good form, which is part of the point. It should help to develop strength through her legs and get her to move her legs independently of eachother.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chiropractor, Daughter Dates, and Serenity

I feel so much better after going to the chiropractor! Friday was adjustment #2 to try to get Serenity to flip in a head down position for birth. When I was there on Wed. I was looking at many of the charts and posters that explain different ailments that chiropractic care can help with. Some of them seemed to be describing what I was imagining to be happening to Callie...stress or strain, or tight muscles that cause torque and tension on joints for example. She has had almost 3 years of constant torque...and now that we are seeing it loosen up, I decided to do some research on it.

Turns out, I was right! Callie's poor joints and back have been under a lot of strain and tension from her high tone. Another part of it is that it can effect her nervous system by blocking signals or blurring signals trying to go through the parts of her body that are under stress.

Friday was Callie's first appointment with the chiropractor. I confirmed what I had read about online. This chiropractor is very familiar with neurodevelopmental therapy, which is very helpful! He added to what I had read to say that what we are trying to do through the new therapy program can be hindered or slowed because of the tension in her little body. I was a little worried about letting him adjust Callie...but it was all for nothing! He did 2 different adjustments on her, and after both, she said, "I like that, could you do it again?" And walking out of the office seemed easier for her than walking (she was walking while holding her rope)..it is hard to explain. She was faster and more confident in her steps! The plan right now is that the neurodevelopmental therapy and the chiropractic care will work hand in hand in helping Callie's progress - at least until the insurance cap is hit for the chiropractic care for the year...

Everyone has been off the last several days...weepy, on edge, trouble concentrating, etc. I know it is from the stress of the last couple weeks. A great deal of my time is now spent with Callie doing therapy. Their time is spent helping with therapy and doing extra chores. Then there was the trauma of this week with losing Lilly thrown on top of that...I decided everyone needed a special time to talk one on one, without distraction, so I took each of the 5 girls on a date...starting with taking just Callie to the chiropractor. (I know not a real exciting date, but she really did enjoy it! And she got to pick a special prize from their treasure box.)

Then it was Ashley's turn. She choose to go to a McDonald's and play pretend with me. She loves to pick out 3 things for each of us to play pretend with. It is also very interesting to see how she is coping with life through her pretend...

I took Bailey out after that. We went to Red Robin and talked. She wanted to talk about a lot of stuff going on in life right now...definitely something she really needed!

This morning, I took Anna out to breakfast at Denny's. She wanted to show me the art work she has been working on...mostly picture of Lilly and favorite memories she has of Lilly. She also wanted to talk about the new schedule I have been working on...and how she can best help out at home right now.

After church, I will be taking Brianna out. She also wants to go to McDonald's, where she can get a happy meal with a toy in it...

In pregnancy news, I have made it to the all important 32 week milestone! YAY! Each day is so much better for Serenity. We are hoping and praying for at least another 36 days before this little blessing makes her appearance. Serenity has made it further than Callie did, and is just 4 days earlier now than Brianna was when she was born! The next big milestone is 34 weeks, when she would be preTERM instead of preMATURE, which makes a big difference for her!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life goes on...








I am glad the girls had a couple of low key days to really mourn the loss of Lilly. Yesterday and today we are right back in the swing of normal life! They have had moments of being sad and down, but overall, I think things are getting better. No one has gone into the uncontrollable, inconsolable crying/wailing for more than 2 days. Next week, when we add school into our new busy schedule filled with therapy and appointments will be the real test!

Yesterday it was a dr appointment for me, then a picnic at the park where we played for awhile until my chiropractor appointment in the afternoon. By the time we got home, everyone was pretty tired! The park trip was awesome though! We pulled in just as a retirement home van pulled in. There were 8 people who had walkers that got out to enjoy the beautiful weather and have a picnic. Callie walked by them saying things like, "Oh, I like your purple walker!" and "Your walker is like mine!" (meaning it is the same color as hers.) I think she made their day as much as they made her day! The elderly people would smile at her and tell her how great she was doing with her walker and wave as she went back and forth near them! She talked about seeing so many people with walkers through the next couple of hours while we were out! I love it when she feels good about having a walker because of encounters like this!

The chiropractor was awesome! I have had lots of pain and pressure and discomfort this pregnancy...I just thought it was the way it was going this time around, and am grateful for this tiny person that God is knitting together in my womb. Come to find out there is actually something going on! 1 of the uterine ligaments are twisted...making it so Serenity can't get into a good position for birth (she is currently transverse). The chiropractor I saw has an 85% success rate in getting this to untwist and baby to turn head down. Even if that doesn't happen though, I feel so much better with what he did! All of that extra pain and pressure has been minimized and I am able to move around much easier!

Today it was piano lessons, then eating lunch in the van on the way to choir, and choir...which is going to be quite a challenge this year, since they have no where for families to wait during choir...we spent the first hour at the library today and the 2nd hour in the van, hoping and praying the tired, whiny, crying babies would fall asleep (no luck though!).

That is basically it. Life keeps going on as much as the girls wanted time to stop, or even to back up so we could prevent the tragedy of this week, life keeps moving forward. The blessing is that time really does heal all wounds. It is nice to hear the sound of playing and laughter be the norm once again!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Neurodevelopmental therapy - 1 week later






We started implementing this program the day of our appointment. We were only able to do a limited amount that first day because of time, but we still tried to get it started as soon as we could, while it was fresh in our minds!

In preparation for this, I have read countless sites on re-routing brain pathways, brain injury, brain damage, neurodevelopmental therapy, and brain research. Most of them have a statement similar to the following...

"The process of rewiring the brain causes many behavioral or emotional changes." Or
"Due to the extreme amount of change this brings about in the patent's brain, it is common to find behavioral, emotional or mental setbacks, that should resolve themselves." Or "The changes occurring in the client's brain tend to bring about a change in any or all of the following areas; sleep, behavior, temperament, mental acuity, emotional state such as outbursts of anger or temper tantrums, ability to follow directions or do tasks that were once mastered, such a potty training for a child and more."

I think we are seeing some changes...my otherwise very sweet natured, compliant 2 year old has turned into a whiny, disagreeable 2 year old who is not sleeping well...everything I have read says that we need to push past this and that it will get better, and even that it is a good sign. It means changes are taking place to her brain organization.

But we are also seeing other changes! Like she is not nearly as tight as she was. Doing her stretches in the morning is much easier now! She is able to consistently climb up in her highchair for breakfast (something she was often too tight to do first thing in the morning before). When we hold her hands to walk, her legs are not crossing like they were. We are also seeing changes in how she is able to do the program things...such as she is now able to walk in a high kneeling position by herself, for a short period of time! She is also much more tolerant to some of the activities, too!

Callie still has a long way to go, but we are making definite progress with this program! We are so glad we were able to do this for her! Thank you for everyone who contributed and prayed to make this happen!

I am continuing to work on finding time in our schedule to get it done each day - that is proving to be a real challenge, as it is taking about 4 - 4 1/2 hours in real time to get everything done, including set up, clean up, and distractions that happen throughout the time we are working with her...but I am determined to get there!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Distractions




Today has been a day to look for distractions...what ever form they may take! The girls are going back and forth between playing and sobbing uncontrollably. 2 of them told me they had nightmares about watching Lilly get hit...oh, if only I could take that image from their minds!

Yesterday, we went to McDonald's just so they could play to distract their minds...that was another good distraction. Callie was so pleased with herself that she could climb up the stairs and play up high like a big girl!

They went outside to play today and found a frog, a snake and a caterpillar. That made for a pretty good distraction for a little while.

Right now, they are watching a movie, and 3 of them have fallen asleep. They are seriously getting to a point of emotional exhaustion!

One of the saddest things today for me was watching Justice grab Lilly's ball and make kissy noises to call her...Justice and Lilly played amazingly well together! I almost took pictures of it 2 days ago, now I wish I had!

My focus today has been on Callie's therapy...she is doing great with it today! More about the new therapy tomorrow, after we complete 1 full week!

For the rest of the day, we have Linda, Callie's current therapist coming over to administer the last of the birth to three graduation tests. Then we may try to head out to a park for another distraction...

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Sad Day


Today started like any other day. The sun was even out (at least partially), so everyone was playing outside while I started Callie's therapy. Brianna brought Lilly outside and all the girls were taking turns running back and forth with her and throwing her ball for her. Callie walked outside while holding a rope for 10 minutes (one of her therapy activities. Then we came in the house.

Lilly is able to open the back screen door if it is not latched well. We heard her collar jingle from outside, so we went out to get her. (Something that happens frequently. By the time we put shoes back on to go get her, she did something she never has - she crossed highway 2, which is a major highway. I called Chris to let him know what had happened. I could see her, but decided it was too dangerous to go get her as it is not a safe street to cross on foot.

The girls were all witness to Lilly seeing us, and trying to come back. In the process, she was hit by a car. I ran to get her, not knowing her condition, and not wanting her to get hit again. People stopped on the road so I could get to her. She was still alive when I got there, but died shortly after.

It has been a very emotional day. The focus for our week off has changed from hoping to train the girls in Callie's therapy to working through grief.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Callie's pt

Callie's therapist was here today.

She wanted to look over the new program. We went through several activities that Callie is doing that are more on the pt side of therapy. The pt thought that it was a very thorough program and didn't know anything she could really add to it. She said she needs to administer one last evaluation test next week, and thinks that will likely be our last appointment.

I was kind of hoping to learn as much as possible about what to expect next from Callie's gross motor development, but I suppose we are just transitioning to the CAN-DO team at this point...

On the other hand, I really do not have much time for more therapy activities right now! We are having to really work hard to get all these new things incorporated into our day!

I suppose it is all just part of the transition!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Feeling a little overwhelmed...

I used to think that "those women" with lots of kids must have it all together...and who knows, maybe some of them do - but the majority of the ones I know, DON'T! Or at least don't feel like they do.

I am no exception to this. I love my life, I love my children. I enjoy spending time with them. I am blessed to get to spend my days encouraging them in their weaknesses, cheering them on in their strengths, learning side by side with them each day as we homeschool and playing games together. I thank God for each one of my children!

Each of my children are unique. They each have their own 'special' needs. One of them need more cuddle time, or story time to sit on my lap and be close physically. Another need me to do an activity with them while they talk about what is on her mind. Another needs me to recognize her accomplishments and praise her verbally, very frequently to know she is loved. Yet another of my girls needs to know she is loved by me taking the time to step into her imagination. My little boy needs to wallow all over me, and show me what he is playing with all day long (ok, it only seems that way, lol!)...

Then there is Callie. She needs me to sit and read books to her, just like one of her big sisters, but she needs more than that. She needs help to get her body to work the way everyone else's just does because that is what is natural for them. She needs me to help her stretch every morning. We often (usually!) skip weekends, especially Sunday, and it is Callie who pays the price for this with an inability to move as easily as she is accustomed to moving. She needs help for some of the basic things in life, like going to the potty or clearing the table. She needs us to help her learn to use her body and to work hard to 'program' her brain to understand how to move her body.

The new therapy program we have just started is supposed to help with the programming of the brain. In some ways, we are trying to take her back to basics. Having her do things she never did to lay the foundation the brain needs to grow off of. In other ways, we are trying to re-route pathways around the damaged areas of her brain (the cerebral palsy) to compensate for her disability. If this is completely successful, her cerebral palsy would be nothing but a distant memory. Even if it is only partially successful, it is worth the time, money, energy, etc! I have not yet decided if we will continue trying to fit in both the physical therapy and the neurodevelopmental therapy everyday...

The challenge is meeting every one's needs all at once. Callie's new therapy program is taking about 2 hours each day. Most of the items are TIMED things, so getting 'better' at them, won't change how much time it takes.

At the end of the day, I have a mental check list I go through...Did I make sure every one's needs were met today? Did we get school done? Did Callie's therapy get done to the best of my ability? Did everyone have the nutrition they need for the day? Did we forget any activities that need to be made up? Do we have everything together for whatever tomorrow holds?

With piano, choir and this new intensive therapy program starting all at once, and only a few weeks before we are likely to have a baby (while I should be trying to take it easy no less!), I am admittedly feeling a little overwhelmed! It is only by God's grace that I am able to get through each day. Now is no different! I need to continue to rely on God's grace and mercy. I thank God that they are new every morning! I praise Him that great is His faithfulness, and that nothing is too difficult to Him. I thank Him for orchestrating things so that I get to stay home - I couldn't imagine trying to meet every one's needs if I only had evenings and weekends available to my family!

Now, off to make dinner, read at least some of a book assigned as homework from the neurodevelopmentalist, get the house picked up before DH, FIL and MIL get home, and get the rest of Callie's therapy done for the day (not to mention facilitating baths/showers, laying out school for tomorrow since some needs to be independent for me to be with Callie and her pt, making a menu plan and Costco list, making sure things are ready for Callie's physical therapist to here in the morning, taking a good individual picture of each member of the family, sending them to Costco to print, making a list for Callie's new therapy items she needs, and work on Bailey's scrapbook a bit tonight before bed)...ok, in a perfect world, that is what would happen...we shall see how far I get tonight, lol!

God is good all the time! When I rest in Him, my days go better! Working at getting back to that place where I trust Him to get done through me all that needs to be done.

Therapy, Piano and a picnic at the park!











It has been a full, but good day! Callie has done almost 1/2 of her therapy activities so far today, along with stretches and normal physical therapy things.

The girls had piano lessons (first lesson), and most of them did really well. I may have to pull Brianna out of piano because she is not quite ready to sit and pay attention...I will play it by ear for the next couple weeks and see what happens when I work with her at home!

Then we took a picnic to the park, where we were able to feed the ducks and play until it started raining on us. We took the hint, canceled our walk around the lake, and came home to finish up our Bible (scripture memory), piano practice for the day and more therapy activities for Callie...

Now I need to assist Brianna and Ashley in their practice while the babies are napping and the twins are enjoying some much needed free time!

After working with Callie's therapy activities a little bit, I am very gald we have next week off of school to focus on really learning how to do them and who will be able to help with which ones...by the end of next week, my goal is to have a schedule in place that will include Callie's therapy, the girls' activities and our regular school stuff.

Speaking of goals...I got an email about the twins' scrapbooks...Yes, I am still working on the twins' scrapbook journalling. It is pretty slow going at the moment, but Anna's is done up until her 5th birthday, and Bailey's is done until she is about 1 1/2 years old. I hope to get Bailey's done up until her fifth birthday by the end of the weekend. I appriciate the email to hold me accountible! I think if it were not for trying to learn as much about brain development in prep for Callie's therapy appointment, I would be further along than I am, but progress is being made! I do have faith now that I will make it to be caught up by the twins' birthday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Good day, but very long!

Today's appointment went pretty well. The therapy program we were assigned is very different from anything we have yet done for Callie. Many of the activities seem a bit strange right now, but I am hopeful that this will bring about some good changes for Callie. They said we will likely see some changes within about a month's time.

They have given us almost 2 hours worth of things to do with Callie each day. Some of them will very much be me needing to be there, but many of them are things the girls will be able to do with her.

After the appointment today, I was able to make a chart of all the things they want us to do with her, with the correct number of repetitions for her to do. It is a pretty intensive list, as you can see from the picture! I even had to put 2 different activities on each line. At first, I wasn't going to start anything until Monday, when I coudl make sure we were ready to get it all started, but decided to start with some of the activities tonight, just to see how she would do with them, while they are fresh in my mind. Some of them she really liked, and even asked if she could do it again...others (one in particular) were more like trying to torture her! (And we only do it because we love her and want to give this program the best chance at working...I hope one day she understands that!)



Some of the activities will require that we get her a few things, which I will be trying to assemble from freecycle and craigslist or purchasing, but overall, we are able to do most of the activities with her right now!

With the chart done, my notes read over, and having practiced parts of this new therapy program, I am going to bed...my head feels like it is swimming with all the new information I am trying to process through! Hoping to get through at least 1/2 of the activities tomorrow with Callie. I will update how she does with them at that point! (We did about 1/3rd of them tonight.)
I think last night falls under the category of 'be careful what you pray for, you just might get it' or maybe just Murphy's law!

I praying that Callie would have a good night's sleep...it didn't occur to me to pray for anyone else, lol!

Fortunately, my wonderful husband was able to sleep through most of the events, and I should be able to sleep in the car...

First, I just couldn't get to sleep.
Then, Brianna woke up saying she was very hungry.
After a very light snack, she was sent to bed...where I had to go in 3 times to remind her it is the middle of the night and she had better go to sleep! By now, it was 2:30am, and I had not yet been to bed!
Shortly before 4 am, both Ashley and Brianna came in. Ashley said she had a nightmare, Brianna said (in a rather chipper voice!) that she did too. They crawled in bed with us, where Brianna fell asleep, but Ashley didn't.
At about 5, we sent Ashley to bed, and I was finally able to really fall asleep...
Now it is 7:30, and I have 1 1/2 hours to get everyone ready go to. DH, Brianna, and Justice are still in bed.

Maybe I should have prayed that EVERYONE would have a good night's sleep, lol!

Praying for a great appointment despite being tired!

If you think of it, please pray that Callie would be cooperative to whatever they need her to do, that Cyndi Ringoen would have the wisdom she needs to create a program that will work for Callie, and that Chris and I would have the ability to understand what we need to do and how to do it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Their latest catch...





So the girls' grandma has told them if they see a mole, or the dirt coming up from a mole hole, to whack it.

Well, my girls, being the compassionate children they are, decided just to catch it instead. I (once again) didn't really think they would be able to catch one...but they did!

This makes a rabbit, countless snakes, many bugs, and now a mole...

Callie's big appointment tomorrow

The girls are busy with independent school work while I figure out their assignments for tomorrow (making it as independent as possible to help my wonderful MIL out!). I am also trying to get everything figured out as far as what to bring and get it all gathered! The video camera is charging. Paperwork is all assembled. My amazing husband is picking up the book from the library that I am supposed to read the first few sections of for tomorrow...I am also trying to come up with a list of questions to ask about the program and how to implement it. As long as MIL doesn't get a job between now and tomorrow that starts tomorrow, the childcare is all set! I have a crock pot meal to get going before I leave tomorrow...

I am excited and nervous about the appointment at the same time. I hope and pray that this will help Callie in big ways!

Meanwhile, poor Brianna is in tears on and off because I am leaving her tomorrow, for most of the day...she keeps coming up to me in tears saying, "Goody-bye, Mommy. I will see you later." She will be fine once I go, but for her, the anticipation of me leaving is making today a hard day!

Now, off to get the school day finished up while Justice is napping...Bible, reading, history, language arts, science, writing, math, spelling, stretches and therapy...before packing up DH's car for tomorrow's appointment!

Friday, September 10, 2010

3 lbs Already



This is just a cute picture of my Little Man! He has lost that little baby look, and is looking more and more like a toddler!

We have been tracking Serenity's growth since we found out she was here. In the beginning, we used butter to show about how much she weighed. Now she is up to about 3 lbs, and today, instead of me finding things to make 3 lbs...I had the twins do it! They have learned about weights and measurements through science, math and daily life long enough that I was able to let them go through the pantry, add up the oz and lbs to make 3 lbs...here is what they came up with! Another week or so and Serenity will be as big as Callie was when Callie was born...hoping for many more weeks for Serenity though!


We are also to where we are counting down the days until a safe delivery! 52 more days until November! To keep the "When is Serenity going to come out?" questions to a minimum, we made a paper chain! The girls are having fun getting to rip off a ring each day! Here's a picture of Ashley and Brianna making it. We have done this for each baby, and it remains one of the things the girls look for!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Science




I love new curriculum! I love the excitement it brings both to me and to my girls! We started a new science curriculum on chemistry. I can't say that I LOVE the curriculum as much as I love the change of pace! We have studied the solar system for the last year...it was a majorly intensive science (and we are still trying to finish it up - but wanted to start the new one so it will end just before Serenity is born, we shall see how that works, lol!)

The Solar System study we did was Creation based, and was absolutely awesome! I highly recommend Apologia's Exploring Creation with Astronomy!

Chemistry is much harder to find for mid elementary aged students...we went with gravidas publication, which has a 'neutral world view.' This means that I keep having to throw in how awesome our God is that He has set up the universe in such an orderly way that we can study it the way we can! Today was lesson 2. Here are the girls, learning about how molecules (the marshmallows) can form together to make different shapes or molecules! They had a lot of fun building things with marshmallows and toothpicks! Even Callie had a great time, though I think she was just using the toothpicks to pick up the marshmallows to eat them!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Praising God!

I am very pleased to report that Callie's appointment for her new therapy is FUNDED and SCHEDULED!

We get to go to Anacortes on Wednesday 9/15 @ 1 pm.

Thank you to everyone who contributed financially and prayed for this to happen! Now I am working on finding childcare for all day...but that seems easy in comparison! God truly is a God of miracles, Jehovah Jireh, who provides all our needs according to His riches and glory!

In other news, the twins were able to pick up all of the things they entered into the fair. They wanted me to post this picture of them with all of their things!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Family Night this week - choosing friends wisely






This week really built off of what we did last week...the importance of Godly friends and choosing them wisely.

We talked about what it means to be equally yolked. That close friendships should always be equally yolked, especially marriage. We played a 2 player game with a lightweight ball and 2 targets. Each player drew for what target they were going for, A or B. Then they had to blow the ball onto their target. If they both got the same target, this was an easy task. If they got different targets, it was much difficult (though more entertaining for those who were watching, lol!).

Then we talked about 'just a little sin.' If we have close friends who are not living for God, they are still influencing us. We started off with some milk. It was white and pure. Then we added just 1 drop of green food coloring...the whole glass of milk turned a light shade of green. The girls tried to make it white again, but couldn't. They tried stirring more, adding more food coloring, etc, but that influence of sin, was still there...in fact, it just got worse!

Finally, we talked about characteristics and qualities in friends they have now that make them good choices as close friends. We talked about how none of us are perfect, because ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but we still strive for that goal. A good friend who is a godly influence is not one that is perfect, but one who admits their mistakes and tries to learn from them. We made paper doll chains and labeled them as to who they were and wrote those godly characteristics and qualities on them.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to Callie's therapy fund! We are pleased to report that we are almost there! We have truly been blessed by strangers, family and friends!