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