Tuesday, December 20, 2011

gluten free cookies :-)

Ok I been messing around with some Phase Three cookies for Christmas

This is a very delicate cookie so be gentle :-) it's a modification of my families polish cookies.
Makes about 15 cookies.

Filling 1: Pit about 4 dates and pull in half.
Filling 2:
4 dried apricots (ok I cheated and used sulphured one cause they are prettier for the photo we were out I had to use the old ones )
1 tablespoon of hot water
1 table spoon of honey.
Soak Apricots in hot water till softened.
Blend in a blender with honey, till you get a filling like consistency.   Crystallized honey works best! so this years crop of drought honey was perfect. 

Cookie Dough:
2 tablespoons of Cream cheese
3/4 stick of butter
1 cup tapioca flour (also know as powder)
Parchment paper is almost a necessity!

Using a pastry blender mix the cream cheese butter and tapioca flour till it its crumbly and looks like pie crust. Then using your hands press it together.  It is a very soft dough.  Then follow the photos below.
Normally you would role the dough out into powdered sugar (a NO NO), so we will skip that step. I found it was firm enough to shape it by hand.

Using about a scant tablespoon shape them into squares 
make the square by gently forming it  
Now its ready  for a filling  
Add a scant half teaspoon full of filling  
Add then press opposite edges of dough together. 

You can do the same thing with dates.  
use half a date a whole one is to much  
The dough is very delicate but easily pushed back into shape   
This is how many cookies I got.  They do not brown up.  
 After 18 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F.  I decide to pull them out.  I cooled them outside.  Cool before you try to remove them from the paper.  They get very hot! and will fall apart.
You could try a higher temperature for a shorter cooking time.  They ended up being a flaky and soft cookie.

Even tho these cookies have no sugar in them Sweet Potato declared them to be sweet! I found them very yummy.  Please note they are very very delicate, crumble and melt in your mouth calorie bombs. So let the SBP target eat most of them!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Water Buffalo Update

Well my last post was about Little Miss Sunshine's' project of getting a water buffalo for Christmas.  Its a beta testing program For GFA's Web Team. I can say it was successful! We found a few bugs, and  got feedback and A water buffalo has been secured for a family in India. Woo hoo!!! Everyone Wants a Water Buffalo

On another note the kiddos are being themselves, were doing home school lite... Which means I'm checking work as I prep meals for the ministry and bake cookies.  All but my Christmas cards are done.  Woo hoo! Only a few presents to wrap and its all finished.

Just in time too, as Sweet Potato has been cheating with her meds. *SIGH* Now she is sick and running a fever.   Ugh I'd hate to be in her shoes. Medication night and day, Doctors are mystified as to the cause, thus no answers just medication, and The Vest, to ease the symptoms.  I hate it when she decided shes right and I'm wrong because what I said didn't happen immediately.  No you cannot chew your medication! It will hurt your body... So she chews her medication. "My body isn't in pain, so you must be wrong Mom." Sigh... Picture me banging my head against the wall. She doesn't even believe the nurse on the phone.  I had to switch it back to the neti pot which does the same thing as the medication just in a much more gross way.  

Then I see posts on Neti pots that use tap water, giving people brain eating amoebae. *LOVELY!* Now I always use the reverse osmosis water because the amount of  "dead" mold spores in the local water makes my allergy's worse. I know occasionally Sweet Potato doesn't, instead she pushes the easy button and uses tap water.   So now I have one more thing to be paranoid about. NO MORE TAP WATER!! even tho we don't live in Louisiana. 

I had a talk with her today about when you don't take your nose medication your nose itches. (then you rub it, and never wash your hands, and the family is all ewww gross!!!)  When you  fake taking your inhaler; your lungs hurt. Taking medication isn't fun; but not taking it, is worse.  The Orthodontics nurse had to talk with me on the condition of her teeth, as in she isn't brushing well enough either.

And I know why this is all manifesting itself  because it's Christmas!!!  Oh the JOYS of the Christmas Season.   This being all gross and unlovable is so true to form.  time to Repost #1   and   Repost #2

Last night I started singing like my youngest.  A repetitive annoying song which Little Miss Sunshine had been doing all day! Muhahaha... She was reading The Silver Chair a bit above her reading level There I was next to her belting out a silly made up Christmas song. Priceless!!!  She at least figured out what I was Doing.. "MOM stop pretending to be me!"  ROFL!

We have decided that Christmas is NOT the most wonderful time of the year, as people act even stranger than normal. The added pressure to Be Happy  just makes everyday worse.  Mom is even more busy than normal and cannot be disturbed. Bah Humbug!

That is why this weekend instead of doing cards I sat with my kids and painted Christmas bulbs. We all had a blast got paint on our clothing and Sweet Potato ruined one of y best brushes. Ahh well it's only a brush right???

Christmas will come and go, I for one will be so happy to see the back side of it, and a return to "normalcy" if anything in this world can be called normal.

Friday, December 9, 2011

All I want for Christmas is a Water Buffalo

First a commercial :-)
A blogger I read has found THE Coolest race track called Blu Track and is giving one away! Head over there for a chance to win. you totally have to watch the video on how it works.  I so want one but if I do win it will go to my young nephews :-)  I love how this mom let her boy make the right decision too.. Coolio Momsie!


Now since this is all a big link up blog post I do want to share what Little Miss Sunshine wants for Christmas. A Water Buffalo... NO not for our back yard, but for an impoverished family in India.   Daddy has been hard at work getting a project called Activate My Faith started over at GFA's web site  So here is your chance to give my daughter what she wants for Christmas (Oh bless her heart!) and do some beta testing as well.
This is your sneek peek at the future of GFA on the web :-)

She has her project here  https://www.mygfa.org/waterbuffalo/  she saved up $96 herself from her stinky allowance of $3.25 a week (if she did all her chores) and by doing extra jobs at .25 and .50 cents apiece is no small feat!.  Yes its a stinky allowance but we are missionaries and kids having money is not a big line item in our debt free budget.

Don't forget 100% of your donation will go to buy this water buffalo.

When I sat down with her yesterday and asked if it was ok that Grandma and Grandpa give her less/less expensive presents and donate more to her water buffalo she happy danced and said yes oh yes!

Oh what a blessing it is to have a child who feel this way, that giving is what Christmas is about, not the getting. It really keeps my "greedy heart" in check.  Thank you Lord for this child of mine who sees the world with your eyes.  Ok she not all that pure and holy but she can be really sweet :-) And she really really really wants a Water buffalo So a donation of 1$ is greeted with the same joy as $20 or $50.

Go you know you want to... and please remember it is beta let us know if anything is not working!!!
KNOWN ISSUES: pictures missing in video.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent Calandar

So I dug out my Paddington Advent calendar yesterday while decorating for Christmas.
But what to fill it with??? as now I have 2 kiddos and one can't eat candy, artificial colors or flavors, nor gluten or chocolate, and the Playmobile Advent calendar was $35.00!!

Well this season is supposed to be about Christ so I thought I'll fill it with bible verses. Then the thought of writing out all those verses. I can picture all the spelling errors I will make. Bah!  Then one google search later and woo hooo I found a cute set and just printed them out.
You too can find them here!

So this week were gonna do Homeschool Lite.  About half speed so we can bake piles of cookies and get the cards and presents out. I also need to bake the fruit cakes.  Maybe I'll post that recipe tomorrow.  This is not fruit cake we all make fun of.  But one that gets gobbled up every time I take it places.  Considering it does not contain that weird looking plastic like fruit they sell in the store. But rather a nice mix of real dried fruit, and no molasses.  (Which I have discovered  people don't like in fruit cake. :-)

So have fun printing out bible verses and making a Advent calendar this morning.  I know I will... after I make about 30 sandwiches for the staff.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A multi week check in

Ok I've been on a Quilting kick determined to finish a 2 month late wedding present, and yes those are all hand appliqued leaves sewn down with silk thread :-) I also have a first... this quilt is perfectly square. Now that's never happened before.  But its done and delivered Yeah!!!

So this will be a photo show of the last few weeks of Heart of Dakota
 a spontaneous poem I found in sweet potatoes notebook. 

Little miss sunshine making a secret message like the Romans. Took Dad a good long time to figure it out.  

 Look Mom a Cell! 

Fossils in bread

 The girls are trying to put together each others line drawings.  The discovered it was impossible... they did manage to separate out the pieces but not knowing what they were putting together made it very difficult. 

 Can I stop now Mom. this is impossible...

Ok I'd blog more but I'm totally swamped today!!! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Faith and Fear

So its 1 AM and I can hear Sweet Potato coughing, *sigh* The Vest (huh what is The Vest?? click here) is working, much less coughing but the night time coughing is still interrupting her sleep.  A few days ago she was complaining of stomach aches and My Knight In Shining Armor was worried about Appendicitis (Because it can strike at any time!!!)  He made her do the kick and cough thing. And Sweet Potato's response just reinforced my believe in her "sympathy cough."   She looked at Dad and said "But I can only fake cough right now I don't have any real coughs."  (Ahhh Ha!! I was right! She does cough extra when it gets her extra attention!!! And do you blame her!)

Were still working things out with the insurance company so far Cigna looks to be stepping up and doing the right thing. I hope it continues in that vein. But looking at a piece of equipment that is a huge chunk of change to this missionary family gave me personally a few days of fear! How will The Father pay for it! (no Dad I don't mean you ;-) but thanks for the braces check we appreciate that.) I can see it may clean out our emergency fund and missionary mobile fund. But I don't think we will need to take on debt. Whew!  But then we will have to start all over again rebuilding those, yes yes I know that is what they are there for.

Part of me wishes I was more mature and had less of a fearful reaction to the exorbitant cost.I keep thinking if I was more of a mature christian, this "walking by faith" wouldn't be so scary. Why can't I just look back and see He is gonna be there for us.  I mean He provided in so many ways to pay for Little Miss Sunshine's adoption. And giving credit where it is due Who knew a cartoon about Dogs locked up in the pound click here would cause support to come into our life. By the way Way to Go Mike! on winning all those awards for your animations.   (We'll put it to good use buying medical equipment.) May "Pound Dogs" go on to amuse the men of this world and gross out the ladies for many years to come. *wink*

I sometimes wonder what was the agency thinking "Sweet potato was labeled as "Mild" but parents must be open to unknowns in the future.... then I think What was I thinking!!!  that our family would be fine normal and never have any problems. Life is NOT assured to be happy and fine all the time. People get in car accidents and end up with brain trauma, cancer hits very young children, and even me the child of my parents has learning disabilities that still make me use spell check far more often than your average Joe.

Not picking anything "rough" on that form of how: severely damaged a child are you willing to take. Was more of a self assessment of what we thought we could handle. God knew we had far greater depth.

What I can stand firm on is the fact that God knows Our hearts, Our limits, and He put these children in our lives to raise as best we can.  Ahh well the coughing has awoken her so I'm off to tuck her back in and pray this time she sleeps without coughing herself awake again.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Worth it

I was watching a video last night at All Night Prayer. It explained the terrible conditions of the Dalit community in India and one thing struck home. I don’t know who the man was who was speaking but it really pulled at my heart. He was speaking about the mental state of a child raised in a world that sees them as little better than animals and only worthy to be enslaved. His main point was by the time the children are 11-13 or so they have a skewed world view of themselves. 
Then I was on face book and a message from last year popped back up due to the changes in the inbox thing.  Here it is with the names changed to protect the repentant
I heard from XXXX XXXXXX via facebook. She said to tell you how bad she felt about how she was mean to you back in HS. I said I felt bad too about how I sometimes treated you. So apologies from both of us.
This is the 3rd apology in as many years.  It seems to me every year I get something like this in my inbox from people of that particular town. 

We were challenged last night to understand that we (and I’m paraphrasing here) raised in one of the wealthiest countries in the world could have sympathy but maybe not truly understand how it feels to live in a community that vilifies you.
I think he is right.. even tho I was called “Ugly” every day of my High school career. I was only slightly higher than Pond Scum* in High school hence the apologies I keep receiving. (Sometimes I suspect a 12 step program to be involved.) My mantra as I walked the halls and heard politically incorrect epitaphs tossed at me was “God doesn’t make Junk, God doesn’t make Junk.”  I still had that to hold on too. I had parents that reinforced that belief system. I was Not junk… But a Dalit child, his belief system says you are slightly better than an insect and you are only worthy to do the dirty jobs in this world. (For example you can clean latrines with your bare hands.) *Evenually I was able to raise my level, I started winning races in track and cross country then I was allowed admittance in the Jock clique. Not so for Dalits their position in society is more or less fixed. 
I have experienced a village who decided they didn’t want us to live in their town.  I won’t go into the gross and unkind things a few families in our community did to our family to try to drive us out of town. (gross and unkind things....that is putting it pretty mildly).   But in no way does it compare to the loss of the Christians in Orrisa during 2008 village burnings.  The insurance company here In America paid to repair the damage done to our home and car. Meanwhile many Christians in Orrisa who lost everything are still waiting (3 years later) for relocation and a home.
My family has known the pain and suffering of loss, heart break, rejection, and violence. Our faith pulled us through and helped us overcome the words and actions of others. My Sainted Mother often said to me: “What doesn’t kill you makes you grow stronger.”   
I feel like Paul I see through a glass darkly of the plight of Dalits,
YES My family has been persecuted in America but, the police were willing to protect us. 
YES We suffered loss but we could earn enough money to set things to rights again.
YES I was vilified and told by my peers I was worthless every school day for years (and even if you don’t believe it, it still affects you). But my God did not reinforce that message.  I cannot know their level of pain and suffering but I can sympathize and help.  
It just reinforced my belief that helping those in Asia to be better educated, to learn there is a God who says they are NOT junk, to change the outlook of even one child is worth all the effort being a missionary in Texas.
If you want to watch the video click here http://nolongeraslumdog.org/dalits/
If you feel moved to help click here http://nolongeraslumdog.org/engage/

Friday, November 4, 2011

Surmountable: Capable of Being Overcome

Ever have days when you feel stalked by sorrow?  I have been feeling this way lately. I wonder if it's due to the narrowness of my view? Its like I have the Mommy Blinders on and I have no Idea of the world around me. It was a HOT summer where we have been stuck inside. Now the weather has flipped and its cooler than normal and yet I'm still daily praying for rain, Oh where are the October rains??? Oh no wait it's November... So I keep diligently praying for rain. Who's idea was it to build a city in this arid landscape anyway?

Last Sunday I ran into a friend I used to work with on a daily basis. She was sitting outside on a perfect evening. I was feeling lonely and sad. I had totally messed up my schedule and had just completed a task I was supposed to have done hours before that I had forgotten about.  Yet here in Gods perfect timing was my friend.

She looked at me and said "It feels like 2 years since I really talked to you last." Oh how true that was!! She was so right it has been 2 years. My focus has been so turned into family, fixing the issues at home, healing Little M...... I mean Sweet Potato's brain.  Side note here: I have been lovingly rebuked (isn't it awesome to be Truly Lovingly rebuked :-) by a dear friend and as per her suggestion I am officially changing Little M.' moniker to Sweet Potato, but I digress.  So back to the story... Yup its been a good bit more than 2 years to bring about real change in her attitude, hurts, learning disabilities.  I'm still amazed at the flexibly of her brain and it's ability to change, grow and heal. I just love these Nuro typical days..... upon day, upon day, upon day...we are enjoying them so much.  It was wonderful to sit and talk to my friend about dogs, and the weather. To pass the time pleasantly in the company of  one who loved me even when I wasn't available. 

I feel like I have been under water for a long time holding my breath and now I can see the surface all sparkling in the sun. Soon I can burst forth from the water and breath again.  Only just a few more strokes for a clean full fresh breath of air. Ever dive really deep and look up, feel the pressure of the water actually propelling you upwards. Yup that is how I feel now, ever since the last evaluation at Little Giant Steps. Not that we don't have bad moments brought on by her issues. But now I suddenly feel confidant again they are surmountable.

It's been a season at home and it's been worth it. But today I so enjoyed a fuller day at work.  C. took my kids with hers to a petting zoo (woo hooo field trip I didn't have to chaperon!!!) And I got to go use part of my brain that hasn't been used in a good 5-6 years. Once I found where Adobe hid the tool I was looking for in Photoshop. I was able to then train a talented artist in a different way to silhouette... Old school style...cause lets face it... it's the only way I know how and that select tool just wasn't cutting it.  I swear my brain made happy juice as I was remembering how I used to do this. At one point I was bouncing back n' forth between tools.  I KNEW there was an easier way and of course once I stopped trying to actively remember, my reflexes took over. And bingo!! My fingers had not forgotten the key strokes even tho my brain had. I had the tools I  needed at the stroke of a key.  The Brain is Amazing!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fighting On

If I believe in God, in a Being who made me, and fashioned me, and knows my wants and capacities and necessities because He gave them to me, and who is perfectly good and loving, righteous, and perfectly wise and powerful -whatever my circumstances inward or outward may be, however thick the darkness which encompasses me - I yet can trust, yes, be assured, that all will be well, that He can draw light out of darkness, and make crooked things straight ~ Thomas Erskine

These words are from a wonderful devotional my parents sent me. They really ministered to my heart today.  
Sometimes we get so wrapped up  in our lives as homeschooling moms/wife/missionary. We have so many concerns at home and ministry, we loose touch with the outside world. When we realize it and come back out of our little shell its like a whole new world out there. Being at the ministry were already in a bubble/fishbowl/glass house.  Were always encouraged toward transparency with one another yet we rarely get it. And if you give it people are so unsure of how to assimilate it.  We live in a world of unreality where we say were fine when we are hurting inside. 

People are so afraid. 

I'm So glad my GOD is so much greater than any of my problems I'm so glad He So REAL. I'm gonna repeat that HE IS SO REAL.  Even when I'm at my lowest point crying over a chair that won't get put together right or a relationship that seems doomed from the start. God is still SO REAL.  So close. 

I often wonder how other people relate to God.  I have heard the Holy Spirit described as a continuous shower we can step in to and out of by Aunti Gisela.  But for me the presence of God is like a deep well.  Not deep in the ground mind you, but so deep and full. Filled to the brim of  that living water we can go a quench our thirst at anytime. You don't even need a bucket to drink from it. 

Yet how often we get wrapped up in out little hurts our little fears, and big fears, or fears that are little that we dwell on so much they become big.  Don't you do this? I know I do.  

I was so freaking out this week about how to pay for yet another  expense for Little M.  It's a lifelong piece of medical equipment she will need for of course the rest of her life. It has a huge price tag. It's something that needs to survive for many decades to come so I can understand the expense. Ok at first I railed against God and man at the huge cost but I came around eventually.  

At the moment God has it totally under control.  Isn't that how it always is?  Doesn't He always have everything under control? Our kids, Our families, Our ministry, Our relationships.

I believe he cares about the minute details of our lives. Take for example a book I needed for Little M's therapy. Amazon has it for 80$ new or $27 used. A  begging email to the ministry homeschooling pool of resources came up blank.  So a bit a prayer and the next day took my feet to our local Home Educators Resource book store. Guess what book they just got in yesterday and priced at 12$ and before they even put it out on the shelf I was holding it in my hot little hands. 

God cares so much about every little detail of our lives and he loves us so deeply.  I shake my head in wonder at my stupidity.  Why, oh why!! Do we even waste one minute in worry?  I know I do it and after ward think Doh! Why am I so short sighted???  I must need more faith, or wisdom or discernment.  

But I'm keeping on, keeping on trying not to be afraid of being a real person and thinking I need to spend more time sitting next to the well drinking deeply of the living water. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Little M's Evaluation :-)

Her last evaluation in the spring was a bit of a disappointment  I was bummed that she did not progress as fast I expected. As I look back I can see she was in the regression/reboot phase so I'm not surprised she did not preform well.

This time I restricted her to phase one foods for about 4 days before the evaluation, because I'm paranoid. Don't want any "Bad Mood Food" AKA Maganese and Phytates to effect her evaluation. She still snagged a few finger-fulls of my birthday cake when my back was turned. I was saving her a piece for after the evaluation!!

Wednesday was her evaluation and Jan was so pleased. She said Little M is blossoming, and that she could name all the Star Wars characters LOL!

We still need to work on removing the Babinski Reflex tho (so stubborn!) and a few more tactility things that always seem the last to go.  Her dominance is all lefty now Woooo hoooo lets hope it stays that way.

We still need to work on visual detail and conversations. I love how now her profile has so few yellow diagonal lines across it!!!!! And Jan kept saying Oh this one would be gone if she gets rid of "x" (one thing not many things.) Or this one will go when this goal above it is complete. This one will go when the detail in the other column is better. It makes me very happy :-) I'm  much encouraged by this all.

I feel a bit sad for people who believe Spectrum Issues like ADHD, ADD and Autism is NOT"cure-able or fixable, and will be a life long struggle for their child."   As I see Little M growing in ability,  slowly loosing her carefulness in tactility issues, looking people in the eye, articulating her feelings and emotions. Identifying how other people are feeling, being generous, compassionate. These things were almost non existent before. Now she wants to share! has fewer issues and is slowly but surely becoming more nuro-typical.   She is much less afraid of the the world. I like that I like it a whole lot.

Her reading comprehension is mid 5th grade and her math is slightly higher. So only about 6 months "behind her peers" so to speak  which makes me happy :-)

And we saw her orthodontist and they have managed to grow her bottom jaw to where it is supposed to be. So her eating and biting ability is much improved.

It's been a week full of bad news and wrangling with the insurance company and I sure did need this good news right about now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mystery of the Missing Math Book

So school ground to a halt today as I left Little Miss Sunshine to "FIND" her math work book. I'm a big believer  in taking personal responsibility of your stuff. I don't actually remember being responsible for my own stuff as a kid, I just remember yelling "Mom Where is My......" an awful lot. Not wanting to suffer my Sainted mothers fate of being the Go To person when something is lost. I don't help until all hope is lost... then we usually find it with in 5 minutes or it's lost forever. Oh the tragedy of it all... 

LMS and LM searched for the missing math book for 30 minutes while I snuck off to the bed room and had a 20 minute power nap. After a while the silence woke me up and they had moved on from looking to hey mom is sleeping lets get in some play time. Oopsie!  I walk in to find them dressed for Laura Ingalls, too cute...

The math book was still missing so I glanced around and saw the spine of it lurking in Little M's drawer. *sigh* Little M then proceeded to take a long swim in d'Nile and ended up all washed up. Long story short. Yesterday Little M broke the rules (in a really obvious way).  Mom asked who did it? Both children denied doing any of it. Both got time outs until the perpetrator confessed.  Dad convinced the guilty party to throw herself on the mercy of the court. Verdict 30 min to bed early...

But did she really Go To bed early last night? Nooooooo well she did sort of... but got up to brush her teeth because she forgot too. Then she primped in mirror for 15 minutes and still wasn't in her PJ's by the time the usual bed time rolled around.  Ya know some days you just have to let them play out the line.. then you hook em.  We pointed out since she didn't actually go to bed early Monday night she has to go to bed early Tuesday night... But Mom!!! it's Prayer meeting night!!!!  This kid is sooooooooooo Smart! She knew it's a big deal to miss prayer meeting and that we often chose prayer meeting over discipline and by Wednesday Mom and Dad will have forgotten she still has an early to bed payment due.

Anyway at some point during the getting ready for bed last night.. (She was mad her sister got to stay up to the regular bed time.) she decided to be Darth Anikin... yes the Dark side took over. She stole her sisters math work book and hid it in her special drawer. Knowing full well it will be a big disruption and Little Miss Sunshine can suffer the consequences of no recess (oh the horror!) because she wouldn't find her math book because it was not put away. Muhahahahahahahaha   can't you just hear it.. the dark side laughter.  But of course that is not how it turns out because the Light Side always wins out. *plays Star Wars theme music*

During our conversation about why we don't steal (is this becoming a weekly theme or what???) She told me all about wanting to be Darth Anikin last night, but in the end she decided she wanted to be Luke rather than a "Darth"

Some days ya just gotta meet them where they are at.. it was all I could do not to burst out laughing while discussing how to have self control, using dark side and light side examples.  She has had to be extra kind to her sister all day and Yes! she is going to bed extra early tonight and missing prayer. can we say backfired!

I was gonna take photos of the sputum sample we got this morning for the lab but Hubby confiscated the camera... Hope those germs stayed alive during the trip to the hospital.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Lung Report

Yes its that time to update you on Little M's Little Lungs.
She had a Dr.s appointment today. Her lungs still sound the same, she is definitely coughing more.
So if you work at the U of R's pediatric pulmonology department... could you please forward My kids records!!!! Dr doesn't want to do a battery of tests over again since she had pile of them when she was 3.

So we wait some more... Grrrrrr....
I feel so Stupid... My knight in shining armor could have harassed them every day for 2 weeks that would have moved the records into my Dr's hands. Ahh well we play the waiting game.

So tomorrow morning I get to try and convince Little M to spit up lung mucus into a cup. We tried the hospital
lab but she just couldn't bring her self to spit. Sigh.. Who know Motherhood involved making your child spit up in front of people.  Isn't my life so super exciting.  So now were gonna try the spit up into a specimen cup in private.   Then as soon as it gets in the cup we have to go go go go deliver it to the lab ASAP so the germs don't die before they can culture them.

At least it is for a good cause. They get to grow it in a petri dish and see if there is a bacteria causing the mucus to form.    Then they will test it because she has notorious bacteria that seems to be resistant to every Antibiotic out there.  Ever wonder if germs are really aliens??  So were back to wait an see... wait for records and getting gunky stuff out of her, wait for culture, wait wait wait... And the Dr doesn't want to wait he thinks there is good chance of reversing her troubles and making her lungs even more stable.  I really like that he is optimistic.

Mean while the Vest thing is not yet billed (its pending) so we still have no idea how much this costing us. *sigh* But if it helps her breath better its worth every penny God is going to give us to pay for it. 

its a busy week with her Little Giant Steps evaluation Doctors visits, and Orthodontia.  Will school get completed? do do do do  doooo do dooo  stay tuned for the next installment of The Lung Report...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekly check in?? What, Who, Where?

Well this week I have no photos and no funny stories.  I had a birthday tho. That was fun. I was sick this week so we did a lot of bed side schooling. I love the portability of  HOD.  I can tell my wee ones to go get book X and I can read it to them. Their science was done totally independently this week. And I know I looked at it at the time but I have no recollection of what it was about. No photos either!

UGH don't you hate pain medication???
I hate how it makes me push "The Stupid Button."  I wander around in a brain fog, and feel like a complete looser. But then my choices are act like a brain fogged looser or level 8+ pain... The looser bit is suddenly  looking mighty fine.  O.K. A digression: How come when the doctor asks my Hubby about his pain level and its a 6 or higher he gets a bottle of pain medications.  Where as I have to see 3 doctors all of whom said "I'll give you something for it." then proceed to NOT write any prescriptions for pain relief and tell me to cut out chocolate! I mean I've already given up Coffee!!! What more can they expect?? What is the point of going on if Chocolate has to go as well... really???

I'd exercise more since that seems to be the cure for everything. Wait I have a problem, the gym only has child care up to age 12. My 12 year old is not nuro typically ready to be by herself for 2 hours while I head to the gym. Go ahead call me over protective and paranoid. Hey I let her ride around the block by her self 3 times today.  I'm letting go... really I am... The Dr also said I need to loose weight and keep off my feet due to my plantar fasciitis. Ok anyone else out there think those statements are Antithetical???
For those with a dictionary not handy... Antithetical:

  1. Directly opposed or contrasted; mutually incompatible.

Solutions???? Anyone???  I was walking 3 miles a day but it was making the foot pain worse. Ever wake up and look at the floor as if it is your worst enemy?  So do I!!! Everyday.  I got though my week by the grace of God and the ease of HOD. 

I finally started to feel better, and Saturday I was looking up.  Hubby threw me a come over and eat cake party  where only 2 people showed up.  Ever get the feeling if this was the school yard and they were picking teams for kick ball you'd be the last one standing?  I think the Evil Dude is trying to disrupt my peace and make me feel out of place, I feel I should buy a one way ticket to the island of misfit toys but then who would do therapy with Little M?.  He's a trickster,  Ya gotta not listen to him. I feel like yelling SHUT UP at him right now. But then the neighbors would be positive I'm crazy, not just suspect it. 

Sunday rolled around and EVERYTHING fell apart literally. I even have broken kitchen cabinets to prove it. But God is Good All The Time and I think we have solved it for under 80$  I put my birthday Adirondack Rocking chair together wrong 3 times. It used lock nuts!! I think I now know why my father hated lock nuts.  I think I'm still pushing the stupid button.. am I sitting on it or something?  My knight in Shining Armor sent me off to eat dinner which he made as well  he's definitely a keeper!  He only put the chair together wrong 2 times. In our defense: we had the worlds worst instructions.  The good news is I'm tapping away on my keyboard outside, sitting in my now properly assembled rocking chair.  I wonder if rocking counts as exercise?  

Hopefully this will be a better week :-) I keep telling myself "Keep hanging in there the end result is worth it." 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Christmas Is Not An Emergency

One thing I love Dave Ramsey says, well actually he tends to yell it. It's a wake up call.  He asks why do you get a credit card... "For Emergencies" is invariably the answer. Then he asks something like "IS Christmas An Emergency?"  Then he yells "Christmas Is Not An Emergency!"

So the last few years in October my Knight in Shining Armor and I sit down and tighten up areas of the budget so we can save up for Christmas. This is our wake up call, time to save up for Christs birth, cause I don't want to pay "Santa" after January.

I saw a shocking statstic while watching this video called  Forgotten Christmas   460 billion was spent on Christmas last year. Ok lets see if my math skills are up to that Number 460,000,000,000.   That is a lot of zeros!!!  Then I think that children all over Asia that are in virtual slavery to the local moneylender. Working for no wages to pay back a debt their parents incurred. A debt that is often equal to only 15-20$ but high rates of interest extremely low wages paid and cost of food and "sick" days, and out right fraud perpetuated on those with little education keep them enslaved.  Twenty bucks is less than your average cost of a tie, or a Wii game.

Used with permission copyright Gospel for Asia
So for the last few years I have painted Christmas bulbs and made ornaments out of clay for my friends and relatives,  I will buy something from the stable like chickens or rabbits and make a corresponding ornament. Last year I blew the Christmas budget on one goat and everyone on my side of the family got goat oriented things. I have a fondness for goats.  One of my love languages is gifts.  You know I love you a whole lot if I give you a gift, and I think you love me a whole lot if I get a gift. :-) Part of my make up wants to give a tangible gift and balks at sending "just a card" that tells you a gift was sent in your name.  A card can in no way truly show you a  life stuck in perpetual poverty will be rescued because a family received a pregnant goat in your name. Or a pair of chickens produces enough eggs and chicks that the new chickens can be sold and mom and dad can now come pay off  their debt and redeem their child from the money lender.

I love my brothers reaction to the first time I gave him a rabbit ornament (11$ to buy a pair) He was delighted. He showed his kids the rabbit and said "Look I need nothing, I want for nothing this is a gift that gives twice." Every year those kids will put that ornament on the tree and know a family was saved from poverty due to a pair of rabbits.  My brother did not want yet another wallet, sweater, tie, or aftershave he will never wear cause I have no idea what he likes anymore.   Let's face it we all have been there and done that. The dilemma of what to buy someone we never see anymore due to the fact 1300 miles separate us. We hope upon hope it won't end up in the basement or attic or get re-gifted because they hated it. I am the queen of finding my gifts in other peoples homes, and in basements, it's a talent I wish I didn't have. Really if you hate it give it to the local thrift store! 

But year after year I know I pull out my ornaments, hang them on the tree and think of the lives saved that they represent.

From the website below describing quarry workers in India:

Contractors working for quarry owners secure the labor of poor, landless migrant families. The workers are required to purchase their own materials, including drills and gunpowder, and provide for their own medical expenses and housing. They often have no choice but to borrow money from the contractors, moneylenders or quarry owners. Dependence on loans and advances leads to a high incidence of debt bondage, with debts ranging from 100 to 10,000 rupees (approximately $3.00 to $300.00).104 No records of the debts are kept. Bonded families are not allowed to leave until their debt is repaid, but low wages and high interest rates make this difficult.105 Physical threats are sometimes used to intimidate workers and prevent them from leaving.106 Bonded children are sometimes sold to other contractors.107
Sometimes children are born into bondage because of a debt owed by their parents to contractors.108 In stone quarries in Faridabad, near Delhi, "three generations may be seen working side by side in conditions of brutal debt bondage."109 Most of the youngest generation receive no wage.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekly Check in Into Unit 8

This week we had a mixed up messy not following the schedule kinda week.
Daddy returned from this years support raising trip (Y'all can take a moment to pray people will send in their pledge cards now).  So I let the kids have a day off, they were supposed to clean their room but that didn't happen LOL.

On Monday I mixed up my days and thought I had to make soup for the GFA kitchen for Tuesday.  When in reality it was for Wednesday... The good news is I got it all prepped on Monday and finished it on Tuesday and the soup was better for one day of spices melding in the pot over night. So Monday I go to pick up the girls from their play date. This is how they looked. The queen and her handmaiden...
Now I did that Stupid thing we do as Mom's I asked them... "Do you want to wash your face before we go shopping for the soup?"  They replied "NO."  Next time I will just tell them "Go wash your face." So these two freakishly painted um adorably cute, hate to be stared at children followed me around the local grocery store.  I think they figured it out, Dress Up is fine for home and weird outside of the home.  It was days before it was all completely washed off. 

The science experiment worked really well, tho this shot was hard to get! But you can see the condensation beading up on the glass.
Science Note book pages, I like how Little M solved her problem, she ran out of room on the first page so she turned it into a spread. Nice thinking! Her crossing of Jericho seems to have lost its Ark but she did it independently with only verbal instruction from me. Which is a Huge step  in the right direction.  She also did 7  ADSB (audio digit span backwards, this is where I give her 7 random numbers like 4126730 and she has to say back 0376214) This is phenomenal, amazing, shocking.  Makes mommy happy moment type stuff.

Draw Write Through History work from Little Miss Sunshine

AND LOOK RAIN!!!!   I'm very excited!!! 
On Thursday the day they normally do their school work at GFA they got invited to go to the Fort Worth Zoo.  So No photos but they had a blast and enjoyed the day.  Mama enjoyed a quiet lunch with her knight in shining armor.  Win Win for all! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Twilight Zone Day

So Yippie I can Jump For Joy Because Hubby is HOME!!! He's HOME!  Yes my Knight in Shining Armor is back from his support trip and my single parenting days are at an end.  All I can hear from the girls bed room is a male voice "pick it up, put it away, a tornado hit this room" type comments and noises of shutting drawers and crumpled papers going in the trash can. It was partially clean this afternoon. Glad I'm in here and not out there. You know how they name hurricanes I think this tornado can  be named as well :-) I know exactly who messed up that room.  Little Miss had a play date today with J.

You see I let Little Miss go back in time to the 1970's today. You know the good old days where children can ride their bikes over to a friends house on the spur of the moment, knock on the door and asked that age old question... "Can you come out and play?"  I wonder when did this simple question transform into emails and phone calls from mom to mom. When did we start planning play dates for our children like they are orthodontist appointments that need to be scheduled 1 month in advance?  Really?  J. rode her bike back here and they had a great time pretending to be a tornado and scattering toys, doll clothing and Legos to the 4 winds.  I could hear them having so much fun and giggling and acting NORMAL... Wow Little M acting normal!!! (do do do dooo twilight zone music is playing in the back ground).

The whole "play date" thing was started because Little Miss Sunshine was over at a friends and Little M was lonely.  Playing Laura Ingalls by yourself at the store is pretty boring. Ok Ok I did let her talk to me because she is not the one who pulls or tugs on me.  If she wants something she may ask, but she takes No for an answer (in the store at least).  I just realized this today. Little M takes disappointment so much better than Little Miss Sunshine. The tears, the emotional blackmail was not present. Oh the drama of not getting what I ask for Oh oh I'm dying here... I know she feels things so deeply maybe too deeply. When told "No." Little M. may say "But I want it!, Or  "Pullllleeese" in a joking tone Or best of all "O.K." in a already reconciled to it tone.  A hey I tried, got a no, Didn't think I would get it, but it never hurts to ask additude.

School today was topsy turvy! I'm flabbergasted could the kids sleeping in the same bed while Daddy was gone caused them to rub off on each other??? Little Miss Sunshine could not do Math, Could not do her research project, horribly mixed up narration, but did great on dictation (spelling).  Little M. Did a fine narration, breezed though her math, got all her school work done and did her chores without being reminded.  (do do do dooo twilight zone music is playing in the back ground again).   

Sometimes I tell my friend C. I wish I could mix up and stir my children to give them equal parts of what they both have too much of and to level out those areas of difficultly they each have.  How odd today it looks like something in that direction was achieved. It was not at all as I envisioned it!

Icing on the cake was I had a whole 20 minutes to myself!!! alone!!! in the house. It was pure bliss!!! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Door to Door sales

Today a man ignored my No Soliciting sign to tell me that I needed to have him repaint my house number on the street. I love my No soliciting sign.  It reads
If you are TALLER than this arrow ---->

All my friends get a kick out of it. I really don't mind the kids selling Thin Mints.  In fact Next cookie season I think I'll put a sign in my front yard that says Thin Mints Needed!!!! Please sell me some, Please!!! 
I have always followed the advice of a family friend and previously an IRS auditor who now does peoples taxes. Just give them money don't buy the stuff. My dad also reinforced this when he showed me how much money the fund raiser people get 50% -80% of the sales. eeeeppp!!! That's crazy.  Then we sold cookies door to door. Because we were the top rated group in our whole area we got .60 cents per box... Himm let me think... $3.50 a box... bet the cookie manufacturer got $1.75 to cover his costs.... we got .60 cents that leaves a $1.15 for corporate...  we sold over 2000 boxes... $2300.00  not bad for corporate eh?
This is why when I pass a club selling stuff to raise money, or a kid comes to the door. I give them a few dollars and ask for a receipt.  Tax man said ask for a receipt. Boys scouts are the only ones ever to give me a receipt.  Always be prepared!.   

One day this cute cub scout came to the door selling popcorn. He was arguing with the scout master/father/den dude??? ok I'll just call him The tall guy in the the scout costume "But the sign says No Soliciting." He kept telling them see it says kids are welcome that means it's ok.  When I opened the door and little cub was about to go though his carefully rehearsed bit on the fabulocity of his popcorn. I stopped him.  We can't eat it here diabetes. braces, not on SPB diet, my hips don't need the extra poundage, the list is endless.  The cute little guys face fell, then I added but I'd be happy to just give you a donation.  The little guy looked up at The tall guy in the the scout costume  and said I don't think I can take money now.   Meanwhile The tall guy in the the scout costume is grinning ear to ear Yes mam' we'll take cash. Then he says to the cute little cub. What ever she gives you goes straight into your account all of it...  little cubs eyes got wide ALL OF IT???  who knew he could get that excited over 3$

So this guy today is pressing me to buy one of his fantastic curb edge house number designs that he and his wife will paint just for me. I thought about asking him his age he was a bit to tall for my sign, but I think he totally missed it. This curb number painting could be a pretty good gig.. 10 bucks a shot a few stencils and cans of paint and your good to go, ok and a permit to solicit...  I told him I would do it myself.  It's not like it's a requirement or anything... but it's good to have. Since all the houses on the street look exactly alike. I think the local contractor only had one house cookie cutter. Its good to put your Number where the fire department can easily find it. The brick house in the middle of street is not! a good enough description.

So he goes away and on my list of things to do today is paint house number. So I get out my paint and brushes, and I head outside. I repaint my number really pretty.  I added a flower. It's exactly what I wanted.  And while I'm doing it. The guys wife is like Hey Honi look she really is doing it herself. It kills me my acrylic paints lasted 2 years. It took me exactly 10 minutes.   Maybe I should go into business for myself

Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekly Check In Unit 6 starting Unit7

 We had a fun experiment in science this week. I'm combining my girls in Preparing science this year. To save time while they were working on grammar I set up this experiment.  Here are our "Saguaro Cactus" flowers. In the bottom of the glass they have nectar (lemonade) and the outside edge has sugar for pollen. As you can see my kids had a blast

Be a bat and get the nectar!  Mom my straw is to short! I have to put my face on the glass to reach it!
 Sticky faces LOL!

 So Mom my face would get all sticky with pollen if I was a bat.. then the pollen would make new seeds.  YUM I love Sugar... she hasn't had sugar in like 6 months so this was a real treat. And she licked her lips... that is a rare sight.
I have no idea if the pyramid is done correctly. I think we used to much water in our glue mix. It looked so cool with a thick layer of salt on it, very sparkly.When I moved it to take a photo, it started shedding it's outside layer right away.. Just makes it look more authentic right??? He he he he he  They have already started stealing the limestone for  new buildings :-)  

My dd Convinced me to make her a Egyptian dress-up outfit She's not wearing it authentically but that's A O.K. with me.

Shocker of shockers I opened up Little M's Desk last night to grab her CTC and maybe, just  maybe all the lectures on: "Put it away then you will find it!" are sinking in... Note the fake cell phone in the desk, an important piece of school equipment. I can see how the Spectrum Balance Protocol diet has been making huge improvements in her focus and ability to function in society.   But neatness, caring for her stuff that is icing on the cake.

On Thursdays my kiddos do all their school work in the kids corner while I volunteer at GFA. Little Miss Sunshine forgot her bible and asked in one of the offices close by if they had one for her to barrow.  She was Complimented with "WOW you girls are in there?  You are so quiet." I love that I have girls they are not constantly loud or rambunctious. They quietly go about their work.  Maybe it's because I never tolerated screaming, maybe it's just because they are girls but it sure is paying great benefits now :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm Nefertiti

Little Miss Sunshine wanted a Egyptian outfit and God placed all the materials in my path at just the right moment. Almost everything she has on was in a This is garbage and I'm tossing it pile.  Even the paper for the collar, the yarn for the fly swatter. Only thing not in toss pile is her Scepter.    She made the collar herself, and the fly swatter thingy.   So for those of you eagerly awaiting this post here it is

Her friend put face paint around her eyes. I would have done a much nicer job :-P Not that I approve or disapprove of make up. It comes under "wants" not "needs" in our missionary household.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oh NO not THE DRAWER again...

Ever notice how tape gets legs and wanders into your kids bedroom and then manages to loose half of itself in big rolls of messy taped stuff everywhere.  Earlier today I was looking for the tape. Little Miss Sunshine said well mom maybe its in Little M's drawer.   (It's her special drawer.)  I open the treasure trove and find... a Super Secret project Little Miss Sunshine is doing for me.  I'm doing my best to pretend doesn't exists so she can surprise me later with it. The book Little Miss Sunshine has been looking for for the last 2 days, and a purple princess shirt that no longer fits her.  None of these things are Little M's stuff...

Little M suffered an immediate loss of a grace token, and a repetition of the Why We Don't Steal talk. An amusing side note when I asked her why she took this stuff. She told me she covenanted it...  Oh Man I'm still smiling over that one... I said in a happy voice "Ooo  you made a special promise to your sister? Wow great what did you promise her."  She wasn't amused But LMS was. No Mom covenanted  it!! I wanted it so I took it. Ohhh you stole it because you coveted it??  Yes I want nice things too. Now she has plenty of things that start out nice, but degrade rapidly in her presence. She's one fantastic catalyst.  After some discussion she got to keep the out grown purple princess shirt since she was saying it made her feel safe. Everything else had to be returned to owner.

This evening I was not surprised when she was having a hissy fit that her sister stole her Water Bottle.  That whole imputing on others, the feeling we ourselves feel, coming into play. So Mom says "Hey look at the time!!! Your 10 min late to bed scoot! scoot! I will look for the missing water bottle."

I think the Holy spirit works over time in my house. I really do, It's not really mommy radar it's God tapping me on the shoulder saying Hey look at that... go look in here. Check on the kids. I think they are alive today because God has assigned us extra guardian angels to watch over us.  One just changed my ENT appointment from the morning where I was double booked, to the one spot in the afternoon I had open that day. It was on my list of things to do this morning and I wasn't able to do any of that list today.

I went and  looked for water bottle in the last place she had hidden it. Yup you guessed it -THE DRAWER.  Nope it wasn't there... I'm thinking I should take pictures of The Infamous DRAWER. She's at it again. *sigh* A handy wall got a few head bangs for good measure. Can you guess what I found in the drawer this time?  Well it looks like she took a really wet soap and rubbed the insides. Shall we give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was trying to clean it... Ahh don't bother  she already confessed... but... because on top of the big mess of dried soap scum is half a tube of sunscreen. I don't think I'll be assuming anything. It's bad to assume, facts are so much more factual.
The Infamous Drawer

So I go to get her up out of bed yet again so I can do the whole quiet parenting thing and just make her look at it. Behold!!!! before I get to the door, a crying child comes flying out of the bed room. Oh my Little Miss Sunshine Crying? it happens really. Mom shes being so mean and Shushing me whaaaaaaa... Wait let me get this straight your in bed the light is off your supposed to be trying to go to sleep and YOUR talking??? (Weeeeeee some misbehavior woo hoo oh wait will non-adoptive parents understand that it is a reason for rejoicing.) But since I can only handle once crises at a time I say Go sleep on the couch.  Huge smile child runs off happy problem momentarily solved, and yes I can deal with it tomorrow.

Little M come here... Not even dealing with the whole meanness to sister, I point her head in the direction of THE DRAWER. "I didn't Do IT!" she yells...  So I took her to the grace tokens and pulled one for tomorrow.  For wreaking stuff and then lying about it.  Now I took a peek in that drawer yesterday and last night at 1AM I heard her open this drawer and then close it. Earlier today they had 2 soaps on the bathroom sink, girls girls you can share a soap and tooth paste it's not hard, just no sharing of the tooth brushes. I moved soap to the shower which had none, when I picked up the soap I noticed it had bits of particle board stuck to it.. Really I should have been a CSI investigator.

We had yet another talk about heart issues, and she started crying that her heart hurts. Oh thank Heaven, praise the Lord, Grief!!! Yeah Grief!!! true Honest Grief! She cried  for an hour clinging to me like I was a rock in a storm. What??? A hug! Seeking comfort From Big Bad Meal ol Mommy??? Whoa Nellie!!!  I of course wept as well when did I turn into such a watering pot? She needs to cry all the rocks out of her heart. We don't listen to pop music and she certainly doesn't read twaddle. So when she tearfully said "Mom I think my heart is broken." She didn't mean she lost her non existent boyfriend, but rather she sees such messy ugly sadness in her heart and it is truly broken, that it doesn't work right. Loss of a birth family will do that. This child's grief is profound and bound up to much in her heart. I told her to cry it all out and when it gets full again she needs to cry it all out some more, but it will heal if she chooses to let it. It may not stop hurting forever but it will heal.

I'm wondering if  the stealing, the lying, and the destruction is a direct result of the praise I lavished on her yesterday. I did say I was ready for it. Ahh the 2 steps forward and 1 and a half back life I lead.