Saturday, May 31, 2014

Our Projects

                                        Dean has been busy remodeling the bathroom.

Out with the old and in with the new.

Kiana and Joseph used their markers and crayons to draw on the card board that was on the bath tub.

This is my latest project: weighted blankets. 

  1. Weighted blankets are a tool occupational therapists (OTs) often recommend for kids with ADD/ADHD, SPD, and autism spectrum disorders to help with calming. The weight is intended to provide proprioceptive input to the brain, which has a calming and organizing effect on the central nervous system.

I found a Dick and Jane book at the library. Kiana was thrilled to discover she was able to read it. She wrapped her weighted blanket around her shoulders, curled up beside me and read aloud while I typed this post. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Last Day Of School!

We attended the Graduation Program at school this morning and now school is officially over for the summer!!!!
Joseph - 6

Kiana - 6

Tristan - 10


We have graduated from Kindergarden!

Kiana and Joseph received these cute cup cakes from their teachers helper.

Mr. Weaver had devotions before the program started. He talked about the report cards the children would be getting. Those cards would give a report of their grades for the school year. None of those numbers can be changed. However, you can learn from the mistakes you made and build on your success. When Jesus returns for us He will look in the Book Of Life to see what kind of grade we got while we lived on earth. Will He say "Well done?" Or will you hang your head in shame? He encouraged everyone to work on furthering the Kingdom over the summer months and on through our lives.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Back Again

I am back again! The past few weeks have been busy with end of school projects, repainting the kitchen/dining room, working in my flower beds and all the other things mothers do. We had a very relaxing weekend. Saturday was spent working outside. On Sunday evening I had Deans family over.
Yesterday I did some baking,and helped Dean and the children pick up rocks in the "back 40"we spent the evening sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows.

Rows of pumpkin whoopie pies waiting to be eaten

Our camp fire. The children loved listening to the bamboo poles snap and crack. Tristan thought we should cook some bamboo. It is supposedly edible. Dean found a recipe but there were several steps you needed to follow and I am almost certain no one will like it. We decided to leave bamboo off of the days menu.

Joseph posing for me while I played with my camera. Dean got some better pictures on his phone but I forgot to tell him to download them onto the computer.
Tomorrow is the last day of school for the 2013-2014 term. Bring on Summer vacation!  It always takes us a little while to adjust to the new schedule but I enjoy being able to have a more relaxed schedule and picnics, swimming, cook outs and all the other fun things that come with summer!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers Day

                     HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!


This chubby little guy made me a mom 10 years ago

This picture was taken about two months after Mothers Day 2008. The little boy on the right was a boy we kept for one weekend 


Spring of 2010

The children cleaned up the kitchen after lunch.

Flowers from Dean and the children

Lady bug flower pots from Kiana and Joseph

Mothers day quotes | mothers-day-quotes-george-bush — Faithful Provisions

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I love My Family!

The other day Joseph had an appointment with a pediatric dentist. He has several cavities that need to be filled. Our family dentist tried to fill them but Joseph panicked and refused to open his mouth. They recommended the Cowboy Dentist in Lancaster. This dentist kept up a running commentary the whole time he looked at Josephs teeth and just as he had hoped, Joseph forgot about being scared. I took Braden along to the appointment and the dentist told Joseph that he did such a good job that when he is finished they will trade his brother in for a puppy and if mom doesn't agree to that, perhaps you can trade him for a pet rat. My heart sank, even though I knew he was just joking, Braden didn't. When they took Joseph for x rays Braden whispered, "Mom, would they trade me for a puppy or a rat?" I said, "Never, I wouldn't let them!" After explaining that the dentist was just teasing, Braden relaxed a little but he didn't let down his guard for the rest of the day. Prior to going to TAP Braden would have completely shut down after hearing something like that. This time he had the ability to tell me about his fear and my answer reassured him that he was safe.  He is healing, praise God!Children who suffer from early childhood trauma cannot distinguish when someone is teasing  or serious. I remember before Braden started Kindergarden a man asked if he is going to the school where they give all the spankings! I almost told him off but figured I would have to do to much explaining. I did attempt to reassure Braden but at that time poor boy had a difficult time trusting anyone so why should he have believed me?

                                             Some people forget just because we're strong doesn't mean we don't have feelings :(

I tend to be a sensitive, emotional person who lets the world know how I am feeling and/or what I am struggling with. I need deep relationships, not superficial ones. I have often wished I could be more happy go lucky and not let life's experiences shake me so hard. But perhaps if I wouldn't feel everything so deeply, I would not try so hard to develop deep bonds with my children. God had a plan when he had us walk through infertility.... it gave us an intense longing to have our arms filled with lives to mold and impression, that in turn led us to foster care and adoption where we met the little people who have taught us more about love and attachment than I could have possibly have learned in a lifetime without them. To often in our culture, it is looked down on to ask for help. To need help shows we are weak and that is not something anyone wishes to be labeled as. However, admitting you need help does not mean you are a failure, sometimes it means you are strong enough to to put your families needs above your ego. Someone once said that in order for someone to receive a blessing for giving their must first be a willing receiver. God has blessed me with the opportunity to be on both sides of the equation. We have a neighbor lady who babysits for me and then sends food along home for our supper, she stops by with coffee, cookies or packages that warm my heart. She is truly an inspiration to me.


Tristan came home from school with this request, "Mom, you need to go buy me new shoes tonight because we are going on a school trip tomorrow and will be climbing cliffs and my school shoes tore today." He claims he was running, heard a ripping sound and when he looked down there was a big hole in the side of his shoe. Really?? I never dreamed he would be so hard on shoes. Dean resewed Tristan's shoe with fishing line and now it is are as good as new, almost that is.

I put chicken bacon & ranch wraps in the "mens" lunches yesterday. My lunchable containers came in very handy!

This young man is working hard at having a successful home visit. He used to think one rough day meant his whole visit was spoiled and everything deteriorated from there on out. Miss Sharon likened his visits to an apple. If you have a perfectly good apple with one bad spot you don't throw the whole apple away, you get rid of the bad part and use the rest of the apple. The same way with visits, if you have a rough day that doesn't mean the whole visit is spoiled, you can always try again. There are so many concepts that a child learns as they grow and when the child is living in a state of hyper vigilance due to abuse or neglect those brain functions do not grow as they should. Bradens therapists have taught us a great deal about how the growing brain is affected by the various circumstances the child faces. We have been able to use that knowledge to better understand and care for our children (including our bio son!) 

Dean spent several evenings putting in the new floor in our family room. I am so glad it is in and my house is semi presentable once more. I have curtains ordered and am anxious to see how they look.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Life At Our House

Now that we have turned another calendar page, I am hoping warm weather isn't to far away. I usually don't have heavy blankets and fuzzy sheets on our beds at this time of year but every time I think it is about warm enough to pack them away for another year, we get a cold spell and I let them on for another week. There are signs that spring is here: the woods are "turning green," there are less than 20 days of school left in the term and the grass is growing. Kiana has been begging to get the pool out. She came inside the other day and with her nose red from the cold, announced that it is warm enough to go swimming.
    Last Monday Tristan got braces. He was excited about getting them but with in a few hours was ready to have them taken off again. He was grumbling about all the metal junk he has in his mouth. Dean told him the braces cost a lot more than junk and he had better take care of them. He has already adjusted to them and accepts them as part of life. He got yellow and green bands on his braces as he is a John Deere fan.

  This past week was spent working on our family room. The carpet we had installed 8 years ago was totally worn out and the walls were in need of new paint. We finished up last night around 9:00 and then I gave the kitchen floor a quick scrubbing before calling it quits. My house was a mess with furniture sitting at odd places and dirt, dirt and more dirt. The dirt bothered me but as soon as I cleaned it up we made a mess once again so I finally resigned myself to the fact that this is how things will be for awhile.

I will post pictures of the finished project later on.

Tristan brought the 2014 yearbooks home on Friday. All three children were soon engrossed in them. The pictures make school look like so much fun, I almost wish I could go with them!

Bradens Skidloader and "digger" are among his favorite toys. He takes them to and from TAP. Dean gave him a few  leftover scraps from the new floor in the family room. The "boards" are made to slide together. Braden put his scrap pieces together and said, "This is like my wall of control," he then slid them apart and said, "This is like when I open the door to my heart and let love come in." He wants a relationship but is terrified to let go of the control that kept him safe in his early years. Miss Sharon told us to keep reminding him that he is safe and mom and dad will continue to keep him safe. That reminder will often be all he needs to drop his need to be in control. Other times we mentally walk him through a situation that he is trying to control by asking questions such as: what is the worst thing that can happen if you let go of your control? Are mom and dad keeping you safe? Our reward is a big smile, a hug and the huge look of relief he gets.

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