Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"I want to share my balloons with God!"

It was so sweet! She wanted to let her balloons fly up to Heaven for Jesus to enjoy, too!

So we went outside to watch them fly away!

Ashley's big day

At our house, everyone keeps track of whose birthday is 'next' then it is typical for one to really count down from that point.

For example, now that Ashley's birthday is done, it is just 3 1/2 weeks until J's birthday...then 5 weeks until Brianna's...then we take a bit of a break for just over 2 months until my birthday, followed 1 week later by Callie, 2 1/2 weeks later by Serenity, and then 5 weeks later by the twins...

But Ashley has it rough...she has to wait from Dec. 4th until May 29th...That's almost 1/2 a year of her birthday being 'next.'

She has been waiting and asking when it would come for months, and with the day finally approaching, the excitement was almost too much for this sweet little princess, lol! Here are some pics of her long awaited big day, when she got to wear her favorite outfit, pick out what we would have for dinner, and choose the type of cake (complete with the colors we would use) and ice cream type for dessert.


We went to the dollar store and picked out a few things we knew she would like...but the truth is that she will have a party at a secret location of my choosing next month...it will be a combined friends party for Ashley, Brianna, and sort of Justice, whose birthday is right in there, but he won't really get to invite any friends...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Little Bit!

Today we have a very special birthday for a very special little girl! Ashley is 7 years old! Today, she woke up to her cake being done, her scrapbooks being out to look at (and mostly updated), a boquet of 7 balloons and her presents, wrapped and placed on the table.

She is very excited! Now, I get to make her special birthday dinner, lasagna, w/a veggie platter (specifically she wanted to have carrots and celery).

Ashley tends to be on the quiet side. She loves to play pretend, and will spend hours all by herself lost in her imagination! She enjoys reading, playing outside, and being included with the twins in the big girls. Even though she is quiet, she has very deep thoughts! Her ability to ask deep questions that she has been pondering often surprises me! She is truly a blessing to our family!

Happy birthday, Little bit! We love you lots and lots! I hope and pray that you have a great day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

All about me - NOT good :-(

Well...the month started off really good...but hasn't ended that way.

I have been putting a lot of time in on the computer, mostly on my book, which I just need to finish taking pictures for and inserting them! I am really nervous about this project. I do not consider myself overly capable when it comes to a project like this...I barely PASSED English classes in school, and yet, I am considering writing a BOOK?! Me? Who struggled for YEARS learning to read? Whose own mother frequently said, "I don't know how I could have produced something that could possibly spell as poorly as you!" (Only 1/2 joking!)

The computer time hurts because it means I am not being active...and the stress of the doubt I have put on myself for this project, is the other way it hurts me...and I have not handled it well! I have not been making healthy dinners. I have not been cutting out sugar or processed foods. I have been eating to deal with the stress...and it shows on the scale.

But, God's mercies are new EVERY morning! So once, again, I get to start over...but really it isn't starting over, because I am already better off than I was when I started this weight loss journey!

Now, with a quiet house, nothing to do to get my book ready to send to publishers, and my breakfast eaten, I am going to have a good workout!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Questions for you...

There are those in real life who knew I was working on this, and this is now my 3rd reference to writing a children's book (or my 'project') on my blog...so now I am feeling like I really need to accomplish this, lol! I have a couple of questions as I am getting ready to submit this book to a publishing house.

For those of you who read children's books...and I am guessing that if you take the time to read my blog, you probably read or have read children's books, lol!

1.) Would you be interested in a children's book designed to introduce the idea of disabled people not being all that different that might be able to open up discussion with your children about disabilities? (yes or no)

2.) What do you think of children's books that have actual photographs? Do you prefer drawings or photos if given the option for a children's book?

3.) Do you like having scripture verses sprinkled throughout a children's picture book (that isn't about a bible story)? (yes or no)

I will write my thoughts on the 3 questions in another post in a couple of days!

"Mommy, I did it all by myself!"

Hearing Callie say those words is amazing! It is unlike any of my others gaining independence. It is a miracle! We are watching God's healing hands at work on Callie each and every day at our house! We are thrilled.

I have said it before, but it is so true: When we are at home, no one sees Callie's disabilities - just her abilities and her accomplishments! We see how hard she has worked to do something, and celebrate accordingly!

When we are out, people stare, and some ask questions. Last week at the park, was no exception! There was a man with his son. He had a *LOT* of questions about Callie, her walker, her disability, what she can do, what she can't do, etc. His son is developmentally delayed. His son wears glasses, which are the 'external showing' (as his Dad put it) of his "disability." They do not know if he is truly disabled or just delayed, as they have recently adopted him from the foster care system and are waiting on results on tests to come back. His dad wasn't even real sure what normal is, or how far off of normal his son currently is. He was also concerned about his son getting picked on at school, as he is to start kindergarten in the fall. He really wanted to know how people perceive Callie and her disability.

I have thought about this encounter several times through this week. This man was very concerned about how his son would look to others mostly because of his glasses. When people see Callie, they DO see her walker first. Some are really put off by the walker, and only see limitations. Others look beyond it, to her bright smile, infectious laugh, or even have a conversation with her. For some of them, they see the walker first because Callie doesn't always know where her walker is (it extends quite a bit away from her body), and will often run the sides into people or run over their feet/shoes...those people DEFINITELY see the walker first, lol! These days, I go around behind her telling her "look, if you keep going, you will hit this person with her walker...you need to stop and say 'excuse me' to get them to move over for you." Then she runs into them, and I apologize for her, explaining that we are working on understanding where her wheels are, lol!

There are even times that I find myself feel kind of sorry for her, or cringe at 'just how delayed' she is. Like yesterday, while at a friend's house...her 3 year old (who is 5 months younger than Callie) was asked to put something away in the bathroom. She got up, ran over, took the item, and ran off to complete her task.

I forget just how capable a 3 year old is! I forget how much my others could do at 3. For just an instant, as I watched this, I was in awe of how much she could do...my heart sank, as I thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be nice if Callie..." It was one of those moments, like when the receptionist at the pediatrician's office marked the box for 'permanent' on Callie's disabled parking permit form, when I realize how 'delayed' and 'behind' she is...

But I stopped myself short of even completing that thought. I took a moment and smiled as I remembered all the progress she has been making...the way she is able to WALK into the bathroom, the way she can as of the last few days (unless she is too tired!) pull her pants and panties down (this take a HUGE amount of dynamic balance!), climb up on the toilet by herself (with her panties and pants around her ankles, no less!), get herself down and pull her pants up, all on her own! She is now able to ride a tricycle (though she does get a bit stuck still at times), which is a HUGE improvement from just 3 weeks ago when she couldn't go at all! Callie can stand up, hold onto something (small), and walk across the room, while holding it! At the children's museum, she is able to bring the balls from the drop area to the ball tower, because she can now walk far enough to do it!

No one would likely get very excited if Callie's friend did any of those things listed in the last paragraph...but we are thrilled when Callie does it because of where she is developmentally! There are things that her friend does, that her family gets excited over...that Callie can't begin to do.

It is so hard at times not to compare, even though they really are not comparable at all! We know several little girls that were born shortly *after* Callie, meaning they are all younger than she is, and one by one, they all surpassed her physical (mostly gross motor) ability. Having Callie has taught me just how individual each of us are! God takes each of us as we are, where we are.

Callie is a wonderful example at our house of sheer determination, and perseverance to accomplish a goal! It is because of these lessons she has taught me that I am working on a new project...writing a children's picture book. I hope to have it ready to print in about 2-4 more weeks (I have been working on it for the last few months in my spare time). Please pray that we would have the wisdom on who to send it to for printing and that God would give us favor in getting it published.

Now, while I have 4 nappers, I need to get back to editing my book! I will likely have a Q&A about what you like or dislike in children's books in the next few days...

I have been spending way too much time thinking lately - I will spare you and get back to the regular 'daily life' kinds of posts soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Epiphany

So I have always said that I don't work, I sit around the house, playing with toys all day...and in part, that is true.

But the whole truth is, that I DO work! I am the sole caretaker during the day for 7 eternal souls. My job description includes, but is not limited to being a cook, maid, trainer, teacher, secretary, personal assistant, butler, chauffeur, scheduler, play mate, counselor, "devil's advocate," coordinator, nurse, hair dresser, triage, nanny, menu planner, mentor, role model, example of Christ (albeit not a great one), basic house maintenance, physical therapist, running damage control...when we are in Shelton, the list includes painter, and demolition work. And so much more!

The deep cleaning on the house, just is not something I am able to do on a daily basis as I have always WANTED to be done, but never found the time to do! My epiphany is that just as any other 'working mom' I just don't have time for that during the week! When there are therapies to do, school lessons to be taught, training in righteousness to be done...I don't have time to get to the mopping and scrubbing the tubs! So I am now attempting to set aside time on Saturday morning for the deep cleaning...when we have a 1/2 day of therapy and no school...hopefully this is something that will work out for me!

Though when people ask in real life, I may stick with my standard, "Oh, no, I don't work, I sit around playing with toys all day!" answer...especially when someone is saying something about me trying to help my husband relax - like not asking him to change the babies, etc, after a long hard day of work!

That's about all the time I have at the moment, off to keep going on our list of to do's today!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Extremely busy day!

As you can tell from the following 2 posts, things are really busy around here, lol!

We are working on potty training with J. Serenity is working on becoming mobile (not to mention all the normal baby care stuff!). Callie and Brianna have therapy for several hours each day. The older ones have piano and school.

Today we got *most* of it done! Piano, most of school (I hope to get in some science and history this evening as well as listening to Ashley read, still, but LA, math, reading, Bible, 1st grade and piano were all done), potty training, playing with the baby, facilitating therapy, all went really well...the housework on the other hand...let's just say it needs some pretty serious work!

First full week of 2+ in therapy...

I have made it wearing the eye patch for 6 hours today (yay!). I had no idea how incredibly difficult this would be! According to my last (several) eye exams, both of my eyes have the same vision, 20/40.

But when I cover my dominate eye, I feel like I can't see. My vision is 'splotchy' and blurred, sometimes even double vision. I have ZERO depth perception (which I figured would happen). What I had no idea would happen is how hard it is to LISTEN, THINK and even give directions to people! I really hope this little experiment pays off and helps me be more organized overall!

Brianna has done AWESOME with her therapy! She is on track to finish 100% today of the activities we can do (we do not have a trampoline for her, and we do not have all of her audio activities ready to go for her just yet (need a way to record our voices onto either a cd or the computer...which make up 4 more activities for her to do.)

Callie has had a great start to this week of therapy! She has 10 activities left for the day (again that we have set up for her, she only has 2 that are not ready to go right now though!), and if I had either Chris or his dad here tonight, she would finish, but because both of them are currently gone, she will only get about 1/2 of what is left completed tonight...

Serenity can only do about 1/2 of what she is supposed to do without someone here to help, so she is being 'skipped' for the day, mostly.

So proud of Justice!

My little man had day 1 of potty training today - and has done GREAT!~ So far (and I am about ready to put him in a diaper and call it a day!), he has peed in the potty 5 times, had 3 accidents on the floor and went poo on the potty once! (He also pooed in his diaper at nap time.)

All in all, I would say this is a GREAT start for a boy who has shown ZERO interest in potty training! Here's hoping he catches on quickly!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Poor baby!

Ever since Cyndi and Naomi, (the neurodevelopmental therapist and her assistant) helped with Serenity, she is no longer content to play with her fingers when she pushes her toy out of reach...now she wants to go get them.

The only trouble is that she can only go in reverse! Getting farther and farther away from the item(s) she wants to get...poor baby! She is still happy when someone talks to her though!

First piano recital for the older 3

They all did such a great job! They worked hard on their pieces, and played them very well!

They played for quite a crowd!

The videos are all a bit cut short, as I first took a couple of still pics for their scrapbooks before recording for the blog...I also have a better recording of their whole performances that I am not able to put on youtube at the moment...but this is a good sampling that I made for the blog, lol!

Justice fell asleep at the VERY end...about 1/2 way through the very last performance.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Miracles really do happen!

Callie woke up this morning and said, "Mommy, am I still a walker?"

I assured her, "Yes you most definitely are! You are a big girl who walks."

Callie said, "So I am not a crawler anymore?"

"No, you are a walker! I am so proud of all the hard work you are doing to walk."

"Oh, ok, I am a walker! I will stand up and walk then."

She then proceeded to stand up with only SOCKS on her feet and walk about 2 1/2 feet - without her AFO's and shoes on, while on the hardwood floor! This is nothing shy or a miracle!

Friday, May 20, 2011

1st day of new therapy programs

Callie and Brianna have full therapy programs from CAN-DO...and yes, since the question was posed, it does take a lot of time to complete them! BUT the results are worth it, we already know that about Callie's program! If Brianna has those kinds of results, it will totally be worth it for her as well...as was also said in the comments of my last post by those who actually know her!

How do I plan to work through 2 programs you may ask? I have completely restructured our schedule so that we have the time to complete at least most of it at least most of the time...expecially now that it is getting to be summer, and we don't have our regularly scheduled activities to work around!

For example, if you add up all the individual times for Brianna's program, you come to 472 minutes, or a little over 7 3/4 hours...BUT many of these can be overlapped and/or do not require me to be right there getting her to do an activity! Such as, she needs to wear an ear plug in her right ear for 4 hours minimum each day. And she needs to wear weights for 30 minutes at a time, 4 times/day. She also listens to 1 ear bud for a total of 26 minutes each day. For these things, I just need to get them set up and she can do them while normal life is continuing on!

Other things, I need to teach her HOW to do it, then she is good to go with it...such as she has to crawl, but before each step forward, she takes opposing arm/leg and extends them out from her body. Right now, this takes someone sitting with her, doing it along side of her saying, "other leg, Breezy. Great job!" to help encourage her to keep going. Another one she has is to skip and tap her opposite arm to the knee that comes up...then we will need to teach her to do it backwards. I *think* that once we teach her these things, we will be able to say, 'Brianna go do ___" and she will do it.

Then there are the items that will always take my direct supervision and attention, such as deep pressure, trigenimal stimuli, rub w/tactile gloves, mouth stimulation, and hot/cold on limbs. These items (and a few others), are either too sensitive or too much for my twins to even help with...

Overall, she really has enjoyed her therapy program! I am very glad, and so relieved that she WANTS to do it! Definitely makes my life easier than having to fight her for each item, lol!

Callie has more activities that require that I am right there with her...or another adult. Not all of her things can even be supervised by the twins...I also have a lot of cards to make up for her that I am not quite ready for. By Monday, I hope to have those done though...as I said in my last post, Callie is making HUGE strides, so I want to get her whole program ready to go to help her continue in the progress department!

All in all, I think it was a really good first day for both of them, though!

Serenity had her 3 activities done as well today...wow, this baby is changing very quickly! She went from yesterday morning, being very content to lay on the ground and play with even her fingers if toys were out of reach, to really trying to MOVE...she now wants to go get things, is not content to just 'be' and is getting frustrated at the going backwards, lol!

I managed to muddle through my 6 hours of eye patching today...it is unbelievably HARD to see out of my non-dominate eye! When I am reading, the words will actually VANISH as I am trying to track across the line, or things will suddenly start to even dim and get blurry/fuzzy as I am looking across the room...but after several hours, I could actually tell a difference! I did 2 1/2 hours this morning and 3 1/2 this evening. I hope and pray that I am able to get some positive results soon! It is very frustrating not being able to see well!

Such fun at the park!

What a beautiful spring day we had! Everyone worked super hard to get all of their school and therapy and piano lessons done so we could take our lunch to the park!

Justice had absolutely zero hesitation and was all over the playground! He had a blast pushing the merry-go-round!

Callie was amazing! Her walking is getting better, almost by the HOUR! At the part today, she walked about 4 1/2 feet on the WOOD CHIPS (a very unstable, uneven surface). She got off the slide by putting her feet on the ground and standing up (she normally would end up in kind of a 'puddle' at the bottom and have to pick herself back up), then proceeded to WALK back to the ladder to climb back up and do it again. It was a wow moment for all of us to watch her do this!

The twins had a great time playing tag, helping younger children, and pushing the merry-go-round.

The middle girls were busy playing an elaborate show that went from one side of the park to the other. I love their imagination and the way they play together. I also love that they are always willing to include others they may meet along the way!

Serenity even got to swing and play in the grass for the first time! She has had some major changes in the last couple of days, too, but that is an entirely different blog post!

After playing for about 1 1/2 hours, we decided to take a walk around Tye Lake. It is about 1.8 miles around. Callie walked just shy of 1/2 of it! I was amazed! We stopped along the way to talk to fishermen, we even watched one gentleman catch a fish, reel it in, and put it on the stringer! The girls were fascinated. Now they want to try fishing...they also spent some time chasing snakes through the long grass.

The middle girls were fading as we got to the far side of the lake. They asked if we could stop at the Subway...I agreed as I was thirsty! We got cookies for the 5 girls (J was sleeping), and waters all around.

We walked back to the park and everyone played for another hour or so before we packed back up and headed for home.

As we were heading home, the school was just getting out. The girls were asking questions about the long line of cars waiting to pick up children after being apart all day. As I explained to them that these were parents or caregivers who were there to pick up their children, and heard the girls' response that they have been gone all day long, and are just now getting done...when we had done school, piano lessons for 3 children, therapy with 2 children, had a picnic lunch, took a walk, spent a long time playing at the park, went out for a special treat (cookies at Subway), and were now heading home...I felt sad for them (the parents) and what they are missing out on by not spending their days with their children. Sad that these few years that children are small and under their roof is very short, and that these parents are missing out on such a large portion of their children's lives by sending them to school. I absolutely LOVE spending time with my children! What a blessing to be able to homeschool them and live life side by side with them! I am so blessed for the opportunity to learn along side, laugh with, and share in the excitement my children have each and every day. What a blessing to be the one to dry their tears, witness their milestones, celebrate their accomplishments and teach them about our awesome Creator!

The girls asked me what the parents did all day if their children are away at school. I told them most of them probably worked, but that I honestly didn't know what the others did, lol! I definitely have enough to keep me busy during the day with 7 children who are all at home, all homeschooled, 2 in intensive therapy, 4 in 'real' school, a toddler boy who loves to see what he might be able to explore next and a breastfed infant! I would get bored and lonely if it weren't for my children keeping life interesting and fun! I praise God for all He has blessed me with!

I learned so much today, my brain hurts...

Yesterday, my sister, Kelly, Serenity, Callie, Brianna and myself headed up to Anacortes to see Miss Cyndi Ringoen. For Callie it was her next eval. For Brianna, it was her initial eval. The rest of us were just along for the ride - or so we thought...more on that later!

I have actually done a great deal of research on cp and the effects it has on a person and the brain. I have read all kinds of research on ways to help the brain route around the damaged section, different therapies to help a person cope with their disability and to gain as much funcitonality as possible and lots of anecdotal stories of what others have done.

Callie is doing well...and now that we FINALLY have her healthy, we hope to see more (fast pace) progress in the coming weeks. She has missed a LOT of therapy because of the whole string of illnesses that kept her from having enough energy to do anything at all. I suspect that we will continue to see some great leaps in what she is capable of in the coming weeks! Cyndi was thrilled with her new found control, and gave us some tips on how to help it continue. She also wants to see us really challenging her newly acquired balance to help her keep improving.

Brianna has some, shall we say, issues. She is not the most coordinated 5 year old...she can trip on level ground, going up stairs, downstairs, or even fall off a chair when she is just sitting in it! She also tends to have poor judgement for a 5 year old. She has a tendency to be overly emotional and not understanding what it is that someone might be thinking or feeling based on their body language and how their face looks (even if I am smiling at her, she may say, "You look made at me." in tears because she really doesn't want to disappoint me, and feels like she has - it may be because something broke, or she spilled a glass of water, nothing at all major, and nothing she is getting in trouble over, it is truly that she THINKS she is in trouble). She struggles with understanding limits on things, such as when it is time to leave the babies ALONE (such as when J is screaming, "NO! NO! NO!" while pulling away.) Breezy is pretty immature for an almost 6 year old. I was glad when Cyndi said she sees these things in Brianna, too. (Kind of like a validation that I am not just making up things because I can't handle what is going on, or something like that - I have had people tell me she is fine and acts just like any other 5 year old.)

Cyndi talked a great deal to me about dominant side of ears, eyes, hands and feet, and how it should all line up to give us the optimal brain organization.

Brianna is right handed. This is a good thing and the way she is 'supposed' to be. She is mixed footed...meaning she doesn't have a strong dominance. The problem with this comes in to play with the lack of balance and coordination.

The next area is eyes. She is mostly right eye dominant, but not 100%, so we are working to push her to 100% to the right on this one! If one is dominate in the wrong eyes, it will make organization very hard...you won't be able to organize the information in your brain. You will have trouble with memory, knowing where you put things, even such tasks as keeping a home orderly, or a sock drawer, or anything else for that matter, lol! (This is one I greatly struggle with and am now starting the process to change everything over to my dominate side!)

The next one is ears. Brianna is dominate in her left ear. We need to change this over...being dominate in the 'wrong' ear means she will have a tendency to be very emotional, not understand what an appropriate response is for whatever is going on, have trouble reading people, and struggle with really high highs and low lows...definitely something she needs help with, lol!

The programs for Callie and Brianna are very different to meet their very different needs...I look forward to seeing how it helps both of them over the next 4 months!

While we were there, both Cyndi and Naomi (her assistant), looked at Serenity, who is now trying to rock back and forth on her hands and knees. They both commented that she needs to 'crawl' (which actually means army crawl) before she creeps (which actually means crawl...). They gave me some things to do with her to help her figure out how to crawl before she creeps.

Then there is me...we talked about how hard it is to see when using my non-dominate side. They said I needed to switch it around to gain optimal organizational ability! I am supposed to patch for a minimum of 6 hours/day! Wow! I wore it yesterday for 1 1/2 hours, and it was really hard! So far today, I am up to 2 1/2 hours, and it is still frustratingly difficult!

Brianna likes most of her activities so far. Hopefully that will continue!

Callie had a couple things she really DISliked taken off, and overall, seems pretty content with the things she needs to do - at least for now, lol!

Ashley said...

"Mom, I think I have one of those not-so-chicken-poxy things, you know, the black tocky things!"

That would be the THIRD tic I have had this displeasure of removing this week. Not sure I like the idea of living in Eastern, WA at the moment... :(

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This is truly miraculous!

Callie walking:

Those who have never had to really work at helping a child learn to walk, will likely not understand the incredible accomplishment that this is for Miss Callie. Or the hours upon hours of effort that she has put into learning to walk, or the effort that the rest of us have put in with therapy and helping her acheive this goal.

I am looking forward to taking her back to her neurodevelopmental therapist on Thursday to see what she has to say.

I am glad I was able to find a cranial sacral chiropractor, who has invested a great deal of time in researching how best to help Miss Callie.

I am so excited to see how things progress for this special little girl and the plan that God has for her life!

Attitude is Everything!

Today was a busy day...and really, not much had changed from yesterday...the house is still a mess, I feel buried under a mountain of laundry, there are school lessons and therapy to be done, diapers to change, meals to prepare and clean up after, questions to answer, books to read, and so much more.

But today, I started with God at the center of my day. I even still had a run in with a tick! But being grounded in Christ, helped the day to go much better!

While we were at Miss Heidi's office, Ashley said, "Mom, I think I have a chicken pox." (In a very LOUD voice.)

I whispered back, "I really don't think you do, but I can look at it in a minute, come over here."

"No, Mommy, I really think I have the chicken pox! I can feel one right here on my head!" (Again with the really loud voice.)

"Ashley, come here, and use a quiet indoor voice...we wouldn't want to disturb anyone in the waiting room." (Yeah, I had ulterior motives!)

Now, truth be told, I tried to expose my children to chicken pox 4 weeks ago, but because the incubation period from then is up (10-21 days), so it really couldn't be chicken pox now...30 days later.

"But Mommy, I feel the chicken pox. It is a bump." (Practically yelling at this point...while I am shushing her...)

"Ashley come here, please." She came over, I looked at what she was looking at and yeah, she had a bump. No it wasn't a chicken pox, it was worse - a TICK. "Ashley, you have a tick, and we will take care of it, but I first need some tweezers."

This is when Miss Heidi comes out to get us - and meets everyone for the first time.

"You need some tweezers?"

"Yes, but we will have to wait until we get home."

"Do you need tweezers for a splinter or something?" Miss Heidi asked.

"Yeah, we need them for something like that." I say, not wanting to bring any attention to what is going on. She volunteers to go see if they have any. They don't. We get settled into the room, and I take Ashley, who now can't leave this tick alone, to the bathroom to see what we can do.

I was able to take paper towels, get ahold of it and pull it out. It really didn't have much of a grip on her, and it didn't bleed at all like J's did.

We went back to the room, and helped with Callie's therapy.

But attitude really is everything! I could have been as grossed out today as I was yesterday, but because I had had that time with God, and was grounded in Him, I was able to rest easy in His grace and strength! Praising God for a good day!

A very busy day!

We made it getting everyone up, dressed, and out the door at 8:30 this morning. I would be in SERIOUS trouble if I were expected to do this every day as it is feels like a real feat, lol! (Though when we are on our schedule, it is much easier - today I let everyone sleep in as they just needed it! Everyone is still trying to catch up on sleep from the choir concert and the Waterville trip!) The getting to be on our own schedule is just one of the perks of homeschooling! I do not have to start when someone else says to start, lol!

Anyway, I digress...our first stop was to the new chiropractor. He asked how she has been, and I said we are very impressed with both her control and endurance! He was, too! He said he wasn't sure how long it might take to see results from this technique, but that he is thrilled with how quickly we are seeing results! I showed him after he was done the way she was standing - without her AFO's and with a very typical stance. She wasn't pronating her feet (rotating her feet in) AT ALL on the right one (the one that tends to be the worst!), and only slightly pronating on her left foot! We will continue to allow him to work on Callie for awhile as the communication between her muscles and brain are forming new pathways, and then to maintain those pathways. Not sure how long that will take, but it is definitely helping her!

After that, we went to see Miss Heidi - who was absolutely amazed by Callie's progress and control! She thinks whatever it is that her chiropractor is doing, is awesome! She said that with the tone more under control, we just need to help her build up strength and work on better form. She had a pretty good session today, although, her attitude wasn't the best...She gave us lots of homework this week (something pts tend to like to do when they start to see progress I have noticed, lol!)...lots of strength and endurance building activities.

Since we were all right there, next to the Children's Museum, we decided to go play for awhile! Everyone had fun, as usual!

We ended our big day with a trip to Costco...I have put it off about as long as I possibly could...but now, it is done! :) All in all, it was a successful day, and we got a lot accomplished! I even got a video that shows the control Callie is gaining with her walking - but that will be a post all its own!
For the first time EVER at the Children's Museum, Callie was able to go get a ball (2 at a time), and bring it over to the 'ball tower!' She was so thrilled with herself! She walked back and forth over and over. She has done so much walking today!


As the last week has unfolded, I have let the worries and cares of this world get to me. 2 Babies with pneumonia, sleepless nights, DH being kept away working (leaving me feeling very alone in taking care of everyone and everything), being stuck for hours in thin mountain air with babies who have pneumonia, and a panicking preschooler, not having the time or energy to workout or even have my quiet time with God...school lessons, therapy, housework, fussy/teething/sick baby, rainy days that have kept everyone indoors, lots of activities...

And I have handled it very poorly. I have gone to food, using it to drown out the stress, which only adds more stress. I realized during the night that I really NEED to refocus. I was unable to get back to sleep after giving breathing treatments at 4 am. What a perfect time to have that time with God and refocus! It was a great time...some of which I posted on facebook as the following:

"Needing to re-focus today. Here is part of my quiet time with God: Deut. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

"Diligently: constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistence in doing anything

"Prov. 1:7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

"For me to train up my children in the way that they should go, so that when they are old, they will not depart from it, (pr. 22:6) means a constant effort on my part. Living my life in Christ out before them. Not putting them under someone else to be instructed, but trusting God, who has equipped me for every good work He would call me to do (2 Tim. 3:17).

"Oh, Lord, I feel so inadequate to raise these children you have blessed me with. I pray that you would come along side me today, remind me of what is truly important and help me to let the rest go. I pray that You would give me the eyes t...o see and ears to hear what I need to for both praising and correcting these precious ones You have placed in my care. I pray that You would give me the wisdom to know how to handle each moment of this day, from sick babies, to those dealing with emotional turmoil and upset, from those who need help in math, reading, spelling, and scripture memorization. I pray that You would help me to take advantage of training their character in each and every moment of today.

"I also pray that You would help me to be the example that You would have me be to these little eyes who are watching me so closely. Help me to deal with those many areas in my life where I fall short as a Christian, as a Mother, and as a wife.

"I pray that you would be with me, guiding each step I make today. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Looking forward to a great day, after all, THIS is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!"

With breakfast made, school lessons laid out, my shower done, a plan for dinner underway, a list of errands to be run made (and the school packed that will accompany us today), I feel much better about the day ahead of me!

Father, God, help me to remember to seek FIRST the kingdom of God and Your righteousness. Help me keep perspective on my day, the temporariness of this world, andthe importance of an eternal, Heavenly mindset.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Fun Saturday!

Chris is thinking of building on his parents' property in Waterville, WA. They have 150 acres of, well, pretty much nothing right now, lol! There are lots of rocks, and dirt/mud, oh, and some cars his dad is storing over there, but not much else!

The property is at the top of a hill, and it is fairly steep to drive onto it...the bus didn't like it. It started to slide almost at the very bottom - so we left it there and continued on with our day! To get up the hill, is about 1/2 mile from where we parked to where we needed to get to. I tried to take a few pics of the trailer to the bus from the middle of the hill, but you can't make out either of those things in the pics, they are too far away, lol!

We saw where Chris is thinking of building. We looked at the cars and trucks on the property (J was especially happy about this - he kept saying, "Look!" very excitedly, while pointing and running up to another vehicle! He really liked anything he could climb up on!) We got to fly kites. We got to play a bit of baseball. Everyone got to run until they were exhausted (which wasn't real long as the property is at almost 4,000 feet elevation, lol!). We got to see Chris' '66 Mustang (his first car, named Fry - look at the license plate), and got some pics of Callie and J on it. Everyone was getting a bit hungry and fussy/tired, so we decided to start the walk home...

Back at the bus, we found it was a bit more stuck in the mud than we had originally thought...but that is an entirely different post with an entirely different tone...so I will leave this one on the happy note of a wonderful day together as a family! Check back soon for the *rest* of the story!