Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blessed Week

On Friday I am going to be picking up Braden for another home visit. He is not coming home to stay at the end of this month as we had hoped. We knew the return date was tentative at best and after speaking with his therapist and Miss Sharon we all feel he will benefit from a little more time there. He has begun taking medication for ADD. He had a very difficult time focusing and Miss Sharon felt it was interfering with his school work as well as his emotional healing. Yesterday she sent me a picture of him working on his lessons while there were various activities going on around him. Praise the Lord!
   Yesterday Tristan's class went to September Farms for a field trip today. The children were allowed to take money along to buy cheese. We went onto their website and I wrote down what kind I wanted Tristan to buy. He came home with these cheeses as well as a container of peach rings and one of bubble gum! :) The cheese is delicious!


This is what Kiana does during our afternoon nap/quiet time. She enjoys looking at books and trying to sound out the words. All of our children like books. I have read stories to the children from the time they were babies. Tristan still likes to curl up and listen to me read aloud.


My freezer is well stocked with both beef and pork. We are so blessed to have such a variety of meat.


Friday evening Dean and I had a date night. We exchange babysitting with another couple from church. One month we care for the children and the next month we go out. Tristan thought it is weird that married people need to go on dates. We went to the Outback Creamery and Grill. Their sandwiches are delicious. We decided to share a dessert and when it arrived I was glad we had, it was huge! Afterward we did a little shopping before we picked up the children.









Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thank You

Our week hasn't been anything like I planned which isn't necessarily a bad thing, unless you take into consideration all the work I could have done if I would have had more motivation. Tuesday we enjoyed a snow day. Kiana and Joseph couldn't figure out why they weren't going to school on Wednesday. I told them they go on Tuesday's and no one would have been there cause school was cancelled. They were sure somebody would have been there. We made cards and colored pictures to send to Braden since we suddenly had a free morning. He enjoys getting mail so I send him pictures, cards or treats and letters telling him what we are doing and reminding him that we are looking forward to the day when he comes home to stay. It seems every time he comes home for a home visit I forget to send an article of clothing along back with him so those items usually find their way back down to TAP by mail.





         Tristan came home from school on Monday with a box under his arm and a huge grin on his face. He handed me the box and there were whoopie pies and cookies inside! The mother of one of his classmates has chosen to bless our family with baked goods. Last week she sent a bagful of treats and now this week we get this! May God bless you! 
             Today I had another appointment that was canceled because the person I was meeting was sick. Rather than stay home and get some things done, I dropped some things off at a neighbor and stayed to chat a bit before taking my books back to the library and stopping at a consignment shop.
On Monday evening Joseph heard the local weather report. He asked me how those men know what the weather will be like ahead of time. I told him they go to school to study it. He looked puzzled then brightened and said, "Those are probably the men that tell God what to do!" 

We have received much encouragement these past months and it all means so much! Once Tristan said, "You mean all those people are praying for our family when they don't even know us?" Yes Tristan, they are. What a blessing to be a part of the family of God!



Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Braden!

We had the privilege of having Braden home over his 7th birthday. I love his expression on this picture! He was answering a question when Dean snapped the picture.








Braden was beyond thrilled with his flash light and his brothers were beyond jealous! :) 
He also got a Bobcat skid loader from my parents. I didn't get a picture of it but trust me, he was beaming! 
When I awoke Braden on his birthday I gave him 7 big kisses. His eyes were barely open but he gave me a sleepy grin... is a moment I will cherish!
I asked Braden what he liked best about this visit and he said my birthday gifts and cuddling with you n daddy! To think that only a few months ago he couldn't accept our affection and now he welcomes it and tells us so! I am so thankful God led us to TAP and Miss Kate. 
Things about Braden:
He loves anything that has an engine
He builds creative Lego vehicles
He is quick to forgive
Loves to have me read to him
Enjoys helping me in the kitchen, especially when he can taste what I am making
He is a gentleman
He gives awesome hugs
We love you Braden and are proud of the hard work you are doing in therapy. We look forward to having you home to stay.





What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31 











Sunday, January 12, 2014

Thoughts on Life

Ever feel like your blog is boring and you have nothing interesting to say? I am currently in just such a slump. There are lots of things I could write about but due to the fear I have of having my words misinterpreted I shall remain quiet. Then there are things I know I should write about but don't know how to put them in blog language, meaning I don't know how to relay what I mean and don't want the content to be offensive. There are many disjointed thoughts floating around in my brain, some of them I have even attempted to write about but deleted it all before I posted anything.
   One of the topics I feel led to write about is depression. On Friday during the three hour drive down to MD. I listened to a Focus On The Family program about depression. It has been almost ten years since I got an up close and personal view with postpartum depression. It isn't something I dwell on but I have gained a respect for my emotional health. When something is always in good working order you tend to feel it will always be that way. Have something break or go wrong and you will be on the look out for signs and symptoms of things beginning to malfunction. There were days I thought I would never be healthy again. Dean and I spent hours upon hours talking. Going over the same thing time and time again until eventually I began to believe that there is hope that I will  overcome. While I would never wish for anyone to go through depression, God has brought good from that tough situation. Our marriage has grown deeper and we both have a greater sympathy for those going through tough times. We also learned a great deal on how the mind works and have had the opportunity to encourage others who  are going through similar struggles.
   If someone you know is struggling with depression here are a few tips:
- validate their pain, do not tell them it is all in their head (even though it might very well be so)
- encourage them to seek Christian counselling
-check in with them, ask how their day is going and if there is something specific you should pray about
- tell them it will get better, even though things may feel hopeless  at the moment
- assure them God hears their prayers and He will also hear their internal pain even if they have no words to describe it
- get them the phone numbers of places to call for help or make the appointment for them. Drive them there if necessary.
- offer a listening ear and promise to pray

I am so grateful I had people who could walk me through the steps to healing, people who had walked the same path and had proof that there is hope of a brighter tomorrow.

As a family we are enjoying Bradens latest home visit and look forward to having him home to stay. On Tuesday we will be celebrating his 7th birthday. Children grow so quickly!
         
Braden built this Lego car Friday evening and has played with it ever since


Braden and I. He is truly a changed boy!


Our three 6 year olds!


Kiana and Joseph


Dean and Braden flying the helicopter


Dean helped Tristan make a frame for the puzzle he got from his teacher









Monday, January 6, 2014

Weekend

On Saturday Dean smoked a chunk of venison in the smoker. It was good for something different. He said if he makes it again he will soak the meat in brine for at least 24 hours and then smoke it at a lower temperature so the smoked taste draws the whole way through the meat. 
 

Sunday evening we made wings and fries for supper. What a greasy mess! It was good though.
Afterward we played games with the children; 7 Up, Mother May I and Red Light, Green Light. :) Dean and I were a tad bored but the children had a blast. Several years ago a therapist told me to play Mother May I and Red Light, Green Light with the children as it helps them follow directions and they are "unknowingly" practicing obedience. 

On Friday I am going to MD to pick up Braden. He will spend a full week at home this time. The home visits are getting longer and longer which means we are making progress! Braden will celebrate his birthday while he is home for his visit. I am tempted to have a big party to celebrate but I know it wouldn't be in his best interest. Big events (and sometimes small ones) make it hard for him to keep himself in check and we don't feel it is right to put him in situations that will cause more excitement than he can handle, as he is trying hard to regulate his emotions.

Joseph went along with me to run errands this morning. When we came home he played nicely for awhile then began to get into trouble. I sensed something was bothering him so I sat down with him and we talked about our morning. He said he doesn't like when people ask him how old he is. I told him they are just being friendly and he retorted, "They say I am old!" Aha! A few months ago when our neighbor passed away the children wanted to know why he died. We told them when people grow old their bodies wear out. Poor Joseph thought now that he turned 6 he was old and would soon die. Poor boy! No wonder he was so upset. I explained that people mean is that he is growing up, not growing old.



Friday, January 3, 2014

Snow Candy

Tristan was thrilled to have a snow day. I was glad there was enough snow to cancel school because our big raft of a school van does next to awful on snowy roads. When Tristan saw the snow he immediately asked if we can make snow candy like Laura Ingalls did. I made a deal with him; help with the cleaning and laundry and we will make candy. Till we were finished with the housework it was time to take Joseph to therapy so candy making had to wait until this afternoon. Here is the recipe:
     SNOW CANDY
1 cup Maple Syrup (which I didn't have so I mixed pancake syrup and corn syrup)
1/4 cup butter

Boil 6-7 minutes, remove from heat and let set two minutes then pour over a dishpan of clean snow






The candy tasted alot like taffy. It was surprisingly good considering we lacked the main ingredient.