Friday, July 31, 2009

And we're off...

we're spending a few days at Turner Falls and we are leaving this morning. I think the get away will do us good. My Mom is going with us. I pray that we all have a good time and that the weather cooperates and that everyone gets along.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

What a day...

I got a call saying that the girls were supposed to be at play therapy right then. Our worker had forgotten to tell us. I meant to ask her earlier and one of the kids sidetracked me and I forgot to ask. She felt horrible, but I understand with everything that these things happen from time to time. She told me when we got up there that I wasn't allowed to apologize. Anyway, the play therapist took them together to work on playing together nicely as Little E loves to badger Baby T. When they got done, I asked how things went. She said that she asked them to help pick up and Baby T started immediately. Little E went about her business and the therapist asked her again to pick up the toys and Little E continued right on about her business. She said finally after asking 5 times, she had to get up close to her face and tell her again that she needed to pick up the toys or they would end the session early and she'd no longer be able to play. I told her that lately I feel like I'm just talking to a wall...I try to redirect her and take her by the hand and to bring her to what I want her to do. She throws a fit and refuses to do what I want her to do. She gets a time out and laughs all the way through it. I try to get down to her level and I ask for eye contact as's all a laughing matter to her. That I guess is what is so frustrating to me and it's all day constantly. She told me she knows that it's got to be hard sometimes because she sees how head strong all 3 of my little ones are. I'll keep praying a lot and keep plugging along. :-)

Then, we went off to meet Daddy for lunch and then over to Pets Smart and the whole way there Baby T is screaming "no, go that way" and everytime I'm stopped at a light or behind a car she's screaming at me "drive, Mommy, drive." It's a good thing I had some tylenol in the car. Anyway, we go get Lucy's dog house and I get home and I'm trying to get stuff inside and Deidra's throwing a fit that none of her friends are home and she wishes we were going on vacation today instead of tomorrow. I get the dog house assembled and I get the kids back inside and I tell Josiah to take off his shoes as he's got mud all over them. He proceeds to tell me "I don't WANT to" and when he sees that I'm coming over to him to take his shoes off and put him in time out he starts throwing a fit. As I bent down to pick him up, his kicking feet caught my big toe and it immediately started throbbing. I got his shoes off and him into time out and told him that we don't talk back to Mommy. I look down at my foot and see why it's throbbing. His shoe had hit my big toe just right and it split the nail in half. I wanted to cry. He went in time out and Little E refused to listen to what I was asking her and so I picked her up and put her in Baby T's high chair. I put Baby T down for a nap. I told Josiah and Little E that Mommy needed a time out and that I needed them to just sit quietly for a few minutes. I wound up having to separate them after a couple of minutes because they kept trying to fight and argue with each other. I called Andy to talk for a few minutes and I decided to journal to take a time out. Now, I'm going to spend some time in God's word and have a cup of tea and pamper myself for a few minutes and then see about doing some therapy homework with the kids before it's time to get dinner started.

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Baby T

Kim, I brought up what you thought about Baby T possibly being tongue-tied to the speech therapist yesterday. She said that is what she is thinking, however, she was hesitant to bring it up to me until her supervisor came out next week to give her some pointers on how to get Baby T to move her tongue to form her sounds, because she didn't want to worry me over something she wasn't sure about. I told her that I honestly didn't know what to look for and never even thought about it being a possibility as I've never known anyone with that condition to see the signs. Anyway, she said she'd bring her supervisor out and see what she thought next week. I told her I'd just get her in to see the pediatrician so that we can get it taken care of if it does turn out to be the case. So, she goes in on Monday morning to see the doctor. I just wanted to say thanks for suggesting that as it's something I never would have thought of.

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How do I get her to listen?

Seriously...Little E is 4 and just doesn't listen...we may as well be talking to a wall. She's been up for a half an hour and she's already in time out. Why? Because I told her it was time to eat her breakfast and she needed to stay in her chair. She got up within 2 minutes and I reminded her of where she was supposed to be. (ignore). I counted to 3 and she ran back to her chair just as I was about to say 3. 2 minutes later, she's out of her chair again. I started counting to 3 and she blatantly ignores me and then when I get up to send her to time out she screams "no, I will sit and eat." Sorry, it doesn't work that way. So, I send her up to her room. 3 seconds later she comes out "can I come down now?" I told her that she needed to finish her time out. 2 seconds later she's back out "I need to go potty." I told her she was going to have to go back in her room and finish her time out (and she already used the bathroom right before her time out, so she's just using it as a tactic to get out of time out). 2 seconds later I hear "I'm ready to listen, I'm coming downstairs." Um, child you are 4 and you are not going to tell me what you are going to do. I asked her if she's heard the timer go off and she says no. I told her to get back in her room, I was restarting the timer and once she heard it go off and I told her that she could come down, she could come down then. It's like this with her all day long and the behavioral doctor says she's probably a little ADD and she's confused and it's just going to come out in behaviors. I completely understand all that, but it just gets very frustrating and with the fact that it's constant and all day long makes for some very long days. Any suggestions on how to get her to actually listen?

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Working on not watching so much tv and more play...

Josiah doesn't watch much tv...he doesn't have the attention span at all. Little E however would love to watch tv whenever she WANTS to. Baby T really doesn't care. Deidra when she gets bored loves to watch tv. I started limiting tv a few weeks back because I was noticing that it's on for background noise far more than what the kids are actually watching it. I usually have it on the educational channel, KERA. However, I started limiting them to watching Sesame Street in the mornings and then the tv goes off. Right before nap time, they can watch an episode of whatever they pick. And then, when I'm making dinner, they can watch an episode of tv then. I'm trying to get Deidra to read more...I wish she shared my love of reading, but she just doesn't. So, she's always complaining that there isn't anything fun to do. I've been giving her chores to do when she complains. Little E has been trying to turn the tv on whenever she wants to and hates it when I tell her no. I'm trying to get them to play together and "pretend" more. Josiah is doing a little better with constructive play, but it's still very hard for me to let him out of my sight for too long as he'd much rather be destructive. Babt T plays really well by herself and with others...give her her baby dolls and her pretend food and she'd play just with those all day long and be happy.

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Kid Fitness

I started getting some fitness videos for kids last week on Netflix. I couldn't get over how much they loved doing them. We did them every morning and at the end of the week I sent it back and got a new one. This week we are doing Yoga Kids. I can't get over how much they love doing them. I joined in this time since I've never tried Yoga. We had a lot of fun doing it together and I can't get over how quickly the kids catch on to everything.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

To my blog stalker...

I am SO glad that you are back and it was so good to catch up with you last night! Can't wait to do it again sometime soon. I really did miss you!



So, I went up to the school to register Little E and Josiah for pre-k this morning. I ran around getting a couple things that I needed beforehand and Andy was very helpful as he worked from home this morning so he could watch the kids for me while I went up to register them. Anyway, I ran by the doctor's office to get Josiah's shot record (I could have sworn that I had a copy, but for the life of me I couldn't find it) and I ran up to get Baby T's birth certificate and social security card as her CPS worker thought I shoudl try to get her into some sort of pre-school as well since she'll be 3 soon. I figured I'd try, but I really don't feel that she's ready by any means so I figured that she could always go to MDO like she was doing before and I'd spoil her while the other kids were at school. Well, I get to the school and it was crazy busy. We had to wait in a line for someone to check their birth certificates and my driver's license and then she gave me a free lunch form to fill out. I went and filled that out and then I had to get back into another line. She checked their social security cards and their birth certificates and let me know whether they qualified for free lunch. Little E did just because she's in foster care and when they looked at Josiah's form and saw our income she didn't think he'd qualify. I told her I didn't really care about paying for lunch, but that I had a letter saying that he qualified for free pre-k because of the fact that he had been in foster care. She put down that just based on that he'd qualify for the free lunch program. Then, I go to the next line and they check our proof of residence and she said she couldn't take our phone bill, it had to be water, sewer, or gas. So, I get Andy to run me up a copy of one of those as she tells me if I leave I lose my place in line. I had already been up there for an hour and a half. Anyway, he brings me the water bill and I go back in and she looks at Josiah's birth certificate and says "um, he doesn't qualify for pre-k as he's not 4 yet." I showed her the letter that I had and she said "well, that must be for a district that has a 3-year program." I know other foster parents that have gotten their 3 -year olds in, but I ran into the same problem when I tried to get Little E in pre-k last year so I guess I'll just put Josiah in a different program. I don't have a problem paying for it. It just frustrated me that I had been up there so long and all these other people had checked off my forms and never caught that he was only 3 and wasn't eligible. Anyway, she finally told me to go have copies made of a zillion papers and then I could fill out the application for pre-school. I got that filled out and back in line I stood. Got everything checked off and I requested PM session for her since her visit is in the mornings and I didn't want to have to have her miss that school day since we have to travel so far. She said I could request it but there was no guarantee. Then, they give me some hand-outs...if you don't qualify for the free lunch program, then you don't qualify for pre-k. Oh ok.... I'm making sure to hold on to Josiah's letter from the state so they don't try to pull anything next year when we enroll him. He really struggles with his social skills and with listening so I was hoping that 2 years of pre-k would be good for him. Anyway, they told me at orientation if Little E got put in the am session, to talk to them and they'd see if they couldn't re-arrange it to get her put in the PM session because of her visit time. They said they've had kids miss one day of the week due to visits for a long time, yet they give you an attendance policy to follow and threaten to report you if you miss so many days...that doesn't make sense to me at all. It would make more sense to make sure that you get her into a PM session so not only can we make sure she gets to school, but that she accomodates her visits as well as her visits are court ordered. UGH! Anyway, she's excited about getting to go to school. I hope she does ok!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

10 Days to a Less Defiant Child by Jeffrey Bernstein, PhD

I am really having some problems with Josiah on defiance. It's always been there since we first got him, but it's gotten worse. Little E is really struggling with this too. I stumbled upon this book and am going to give it a go. I'm going to post about our daily adventures here so I can look back and see the progress as we work on this.

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Acts 29: Humility

Back on the Repent command...our developing character was humility vs. pride.

Developing Character
Humility vs. Pride
Humility is recognizing that in myself I am nothing and have nothing, and therefore, everything in life is a gift from God's hand.

We got a hand-out on humility.

Definition: recognizing and acknowledging my total dependence upon the Lord and seeking His will for every decision.

The natural result of being in the presence of God.

Expressed by a servan't spirit that is excited about making others successful.

Humble--Hebrew words

Anah--to stoop, bow down, to be afflicted, to weaken oneself

Kana--to bend the knee, to be brought into subjection

Philippians 2:5-11
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. Therefor God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Specific ways to humble ourselves
--Welcome critics and bless those who curse you
--Volunteer for mental tasks
--Ask others about blind spots
--Express gratefulness
--Listen to others instead of talking about yourself
--Kneel in prayer
--Let authorities make final decisions
--Ask forgiveness for wrongs you have done
--Praise and honor others
--Take time for prayer and fasting
--Give sacrificially
--Give testimony of God's grace
--Deflect praise
--Be a servant.

Personal Evaluations:
How humble are you?
I think there's always room for improvement...I hate being in the spotlight and I don't always receive praise well from others. However, I've found that lately I have been craving praise and thanks for all that I do around here from my immediate family. I need to take more time to realize that God sees all and that He thanks for me all that I do. I don't necessarily need to hear it from my family.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Acts 29: Repent

"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17).

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent" (Revalations 3:19.

"Have mercy upon me, Oh God, according to thy lovinghindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest and be clear when thou judgest" (Psalm 51:1-4.

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19.

"Repent therefore of this thy wickedness; and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee" (Acts 8:22.

"Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you" (Proverbs 1:23.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10.

Personal Application for Command 1
Praying the Names of God
Holy God--Joshua 24:19-21
Passage Joshua 24:19-21:

19And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

20If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

21And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

Advocate--1 John 2:1
Passage 1 John 2:1:

1 John 2
1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Examining My Heart
Have I cried out to God for salvation?
What is God convicting me of right now?
Have I confessed my sin?
Do I have a spirit of repentance rather than just a feeling of regret?
Have I turned from the sins of which the Holy Spirit has convicted me?
Have I asked God for a clean heart that follows after me?
Have I spent time in prayer over my sin?
How can I demonstrate my repentance?

Developing Character
Humility vs. Pride
Humility is recognizing that in myself I am nothing and have nothing, and therefore, everything in life is a gift from God's hand.

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Acts 29 Base Questions

This is what they went over their first meeting that I missed, but my Mom and I went over a couple of them with the Bible Study Leader and I thought I'd post them all here.

First Base Questions
1. Do you know for sure that you are going to Heaven when you die? Why or why not?
I would like to think that I am. I was baptized as a child of God when I was 12 years old and I try to live my life for Him. However, I do think that in certain situations if you quit living your life as you should that God's Kingdom can be taken from you. I strive to say on the path to Him and I hope to live with Him one day.

2. Briefly share your testimony if you have accepted Christ: What was you life like before Christ? How did you get saved? What difference has Christ made in your life?
I can remember early memories of being a little girl and going to church with my Grandparents and my Parents. I always loved going to church. When my Mom got sick and she passed away, we quit going. It was something that I missed. When my Dad got re-married, I can remember going in their bedroom and asking if we could go to church on Sundays. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't. We tried out different churches...non-denominational, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist.... When I was 11, a friend's mom that I went to elementary school with introduced us to the Catholic church. We wound up going to the traditional Latin Mass with them and a year later we converted. When I was 12, I was baptised with my baby brother, Zach and it made a profound impact on me. Wow, all my sins were washed away and I was like a baby again! I was a true child of God! The very next day, I made my First Communion and I was very excited! There have been a lot of things that have happened in my life that if I didn't have my faith and my relationship with God, I don't know how I would have gotten through them. Yes, there have been times that my relationship with Him has been distant...yet, I always make my way back to Him. I need Him in my life!

Second Base Questions
1. Describe your relationship with Jesus. How is your quality time? How do you interact with the Word of God?
I try to spend time in prayer and in reflecting over God's word. This is something I don't seem to devote a whole lot of time to with all my little one's, but I am trying to be better about it. He is someone who always has time for us and who always wants us to spend time with him and I need to remember that when I am feeling off or down that He is always truly there and wants to spend time with me whenever I can. I love teaching my little ones about Him too.

Third Base Questions
1. Are you a disciple of Christ?
I think I am a true follower of Christ...well as true as I can be...I am human after all. I know that I am not perfect by any means, but I try to follow Him the best that I can.
2. What does that mean?
To me it means trying to keep His Commandments, loving one another as Christ loves us, doing good deeds, and teaching God's word.
3. What attributes would you expect in a disciple?
Someone that loves everyone, somebody that you constantly see good in, somebody that makes you also want to do good and live your life for Christ. Someone that is willing to help others and is willing to teach God's Word and practices what they preach.

Home Plate Questions
1. Articulate the Great Commission: What did Jesus command us to do as his disciples? Serve Him, Know Him, and Love Him and teach that to others.

2. Read these Scriptures:
Passage Matthew 28:16-20:

16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Passage Luke 24:47-49:

47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48And ye are witnesses of these things.

49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Passage John 20:19-23:

19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.

21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Passage Acts 1:6-8:

6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

3. Are you doing these things?
I try to do them, sometimes not as much as I should.

4. Share examples and results of recent experiences.
Andy and I have been baptized and we have baptized Deidra and are getting ready to baptize Josiah. It is important to us to raise our children as children of God. We go to church every Sunday to worship as a family. When I do wrong, I ask for forgiveness not only of God, but to the person that I have wronged. I am trying to teach my family to the same and to be a good example. One thing, I think we all need to do as a family is read God's word together and pray together more often.

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Acts 29 Bible Study

My Mom invited me to attend a Bible Study that had recently started with her. We missed the very first meeting, however we picked up 2 weeks ago with their 2nd meeting. We are going to be doing a year's study on Gods commands in the Bible. She playfully named it Acts 29 (there isn't an Acts 29 in the Bible).

I think I'm going to post my questions and so forth here, so I can come back and reflect from time to time and see my growth.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Andy and I seem to be in a slump...

Things aren't horrible by any means, but man things seem to be dry between us lately. The kids had vacation bible school this week and we could go out 2 hours and actually have date nights if we wanted was a fight just to get Andy to take me out. He just wanted to come home. We talked last night and he wound up hurting my feelings about some things. I wound up crying and I went to bed. He came to bed a few minutes later saying that he didn't mean to hurt me or upset me.

I told him last night that I've been trying to be so much better about meeting his needs. I learned a lot in reading The Love Dare and I've been working my butt off doing so much around here trying to show him how much I love and appreciate him. Guess I'm not doing such a great job after all. I'm really down about it too. I guess it's time to pray for my husband and ask for some help with God. And like I said, things aren't miserable or horrible...I just don't feel like we really meet one another's emotional needs right now. I told him when he comes home and when the kids go to bed, it's like pulling teeth to get him to talk to me about anything...he'd rather be on his computer or if we go somewhere he's messing aroudn with all his iPhone apps. It would just be nice to have some of his attention lately.

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Little E's 4-year check...

I took Little E in to get her 4-year well check yesterday. Deidra had been bugging me that she wanted the neighbor to go with us. She couldn't understand why I kept telling her no. We get there and the kids are all into everything while I'm trying to check in, we finally get called into a room and they were all trying to turn off the lights, run up and down the hall, use the bathroom, screeching, I just had to laugh. Then they tried to test her hearing and vision...she hadn't a clue of what she was supposed to do no matter how many times we tried to explain it...finally we gave up, but the doctor thinks she's ok Then they had to give her shots and do her TB test that we had to do. I told them that she's a fighter. The nurse attempted the TB test while I held her and each time she'd manage to pull away and she was just screaming bloody murder. We had to get another nurse to come in and help and even with 3 of us, we couldn't get it done. Finally, they said they were just going to do her shots and we'd have to come back for her TB test. The doctor poked her head in and said "no, we're going to get her done now...I used to do pediatric ICU...we'll get it done." It took 5 people to hold her down and she was still managing to squirm. Our ears were all ringing when we were done. I told Andy when she goes back in another month for 2 more, he's taking her in there or he's at least going with me as he's stronger than I am to help hold her. We sign her up for pre-k next week and I just kept trying to explain that if she wanted to go to school, she'd have to get her shots. I even tried to hold her on my lap...nothing seemed to help. Poor thing!

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Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm going to see if I can get Josiah and Little E in Headstart this year...

I got letters in the mail that they both qualify for free pre-school programs since they are/were in foster care. I'm not sure that they'll take Josiah since he just turned 3 in Apfil, but I'm going to try. Little E, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get in. I talked to the occupational therapist today to see how she thought they'd do. She said that either Josiah is going to learn not to seek all the extra input that he seeks (sensory issues) during school and fall apart once he gets home or I'm going to be getting calls left and right to come and deal with his behaviors in school. She said that she thinks that Josiah may need some sort of resource room if his behaviors are anything like they are at home because he'll need somewhere to go to regroup or whatever. I told her that part of me is wondering if I'm not going to wind up having to homeschool him. I've been toying with the idea of homeschooling way before this anyway with Deidra, but Andy is not onboard with that. Josiah is definitely a smart little boy, however the OT and I both know that his behaviors inhibit him a lot. We talked about Little E and she said that the way she's been so defiant and doing things so intentionally lately may cause a problem in school and she is definitely way behind where she should be. Therapy continues... We'll keep working on trying to catch her up. She is making good progress though...just not as fast as what I'd like to see her go. Especially if there's a chance they could be going home soon. I am praying that they will stay for awhile longer yet though.

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Baby T's New Speech Therapist

The new speech therapist is great! I wish we would have been able to switch sooner. She said she's going to bring her supervisor in sometime soon to see what we can do to get her to move her tongue more when she speaks so that she will begin to make the sounds that she needs to on the ends of her words. She said she still doesn't have a real clear picture of how she talks as Baby T is still warming up to her, but that she can definitely see that she needs to be shown what to do with her tongue but that she doesn't like to poke around inside their mouths so she brings her supervisor in for that. I told her that she's always chewed her food sort of funny as well, so I would guess the 2 are connected.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

We painted and decorated our little bathroom this weekend

BEFORE...I decided that since we've been in this house for just shy of 2 years now, it's time to decorate and paint and give this house our personality.

AFTER....the walls are a pretty Blue Feather. The picture we used reminds me so much of Michigan with the beach scene and the lighthouse. The hutch is complete with a bowl of sand and shells. I even put a little vase up on the top shelf filled with Sea Mist potpourri. Now to just get a blue Yankee Candle for the very top.


An Update on Little E's Appt...

We met with the behavioral treatment director last week on Little E. She is becoming more and more defiant, she laughs when we discipline her, and she never takes anything seriously. Her hands are constantly into everything and she flat out ignores us when we are trying to redirect her. Yes, a lot of this is her age, however she's pretty constant and more over the top than a regular 4-year old. The play therapist thought she had some ADD stuff going on. The CPS case aide had commented at her last visit and wanted to know if she was always so defiant because she was laughing when they tried to put her in time out. Various things made me just want to go in and talk to someone about her behaviors to see if we should continue the things we have been trying or if he had any other things to recommend to us as far as discipline goes. I told him that she's always been a little like this, but I really saw that her behaviors escalated when her Mom missed a visit in April, however they have seen her at every visit since then so I thought maybe I was way off-based. We talked for a long time about what she was like almost a year ago and where she is at now. He agrees with me that visits are starting to confuse her. He thinks while she gets excited to see her Mom on visit weeks, she's also terrified that she has to go back and to live with her and that I'm going to leave her. I told him that I always make sure to tell her that I'll be back to get her in a little bit. He thinks that she is scared and confused and because she feels safe with us, it all comes out in acting out behaviors. I told him too that she seems to be stuck in the e and 3-year old temper tantrums and she just shuts down and won't talk. So, he gave me some help with how to get her to talk a little bit more. He said it may work a bit better. I don't notice too much of a difference yet, but I will keep trying. Poor little thing...the good news is that we should know what's going to happen with them in another month or so.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I hope this appt can give us some answers...

Last Thursday, was really a rotten day. I was up at our agency for Josiah's last med check with the psychiatrist up there and Little E had just had a horrible day and it just continued to go on and on. I was hoping to talk to our caseworker about Little E but she was out. I wound up talking to our old foster care director about some things to get some ideas on what to do behavior wise with her. She ignores any type of redirection we try to give her, discipline doesn't really get through to her or she laughs her way through it and the minute she's done she's right back to misbehaving. She's started tearing her blinds in her room, she tore a huge chunk of drywall off the wall at the doctor's office last week. I told him that I just was out of ideas...reward charts don't seem to work, time outs don't seem to work, loss of privilege doesn't work...if anything that just creates a battle as she's determined that she's going to get whatever you took from her anyway, low attention span, she runs around waving her arms everywhere and laughing and at times she'd appear as if she was almost drunk and during these times you cannot get through to her to make her understand anything. When the case aide expressed some concerns last week, I figured it was time to ask for some help with her behaviors as I've tried everything I can think of. She either doesn't care that some of her behaviors need to be corrected, or there's some thing prohibiting her from understanding. Her play therapist thinks she's got some ADD as her attention span is incredibly short and she changes from one thing to another awfully fast. Her defiance has been awful lately and she's started spitting in our faces when we tell her no or that she can't do certain things. Yet, she just laughs about it. He gave me some suggestions and it's stuff that I have already tried, sticker charts, loss of privileges, time out, time ins. He asked me when she was due for another developmental and I told him it was probably August as that would put her at a year in care. He told me to go ahead and get an appt with the behavioral doctor at our agency so we could bounce some things off of him. So we go this afternoon. I hope he can give us some insight so we can get her back on track. Her Mom missed one visit in March when they changed the visit weeks around and that's when I noticed that her behaviors started getting out of hand. I put her in play therapy, but her behaviors are still all out of whack. I am just wondering if the visits are confusing her or if there's something else going on now.


Baby T and the New Speech Therapist

We asked last week for a new speech therapist and she came out yesterday for the first time to see her and she came out again today. Today, at the end of the session she asked if there was anything that happened to Baby T at birth or anything. I said not that I knew of, but then again we're not always given all the details. I told her about her Mom's history and told her I've begun to have some concerns about both of the girls and asked her what her concern was. She said that all during session yesterday and today she noticed that Baby T doesn't say one complete word as it's supposed to be said. I told her that when we first got Baby T almost a year ago that she barely said 5 words. Her speech is coming along, and she is putting some words together to form 2 word sentences. However, she fails to say almost anything but the vowels. "u ew a" means "put shoe on." and "up" really means "cup." She just started to say "water" last week however she says "a-er." I understand her more than anyone, but that's only because I'm her primary caretaker. She leaves a lot of her word sounds out. You primarily hear the vowels and occasionally you get a few consonents in the end, but she never puts them on the beginning of words. She's come a long way since we first got her, but she still has so much longer to go.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Love Dare--Day 40

I did this one up tonight so I could leave it in his car for him to find tomorrow morning.

Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps, if appropriate, you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God’s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

Good morning, Andy! I love you!

I, Jessica, take you, Andy, to be lawfully wedded husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease, where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child , I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I promise you, Andy, that I will always give you my unconditional love. I will love you for the rest of my life!


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The Love Dare--Day 39

Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what. Leave it in a place that your mate will find it.

July 12, 2009

Dearest Rew,

I just wanted to write you and tell you how very much I love you. We have been through our ups and downs, but we have always weathered the storms together and come out on the other side seeing the sunshine together. I am so glad that I have you for a husband and I cannot imagine my life without you. You are a dear husband a great father and I couldn't love you more.

I don't ever want the word “divorce” to be part of our vocabulary or for either one of us to see it as an option. I want our children to always have their parents together and for us to set a great example for them that marriage can indeed work. I know that each of us has seen the effects of divorce on a family when we saw our own parents split up. That is something that I don't want to see happen to us ever and I vow to you that I will always try my best at making our marriage work and staying faithful to you. I will always try my best to do my very best by you.

I hope that our marriage will continue to strengthen and that we can keep Christ as the center of our marriage. I know that if we can do that He will always see us through. And I want us to see each other through this life and into the next where we can live happily ever after with God in Heaven with all of our family and friends.

I love you, Rew. I hope that you will always know that.

Your loving wife,


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The Love Dare--Day 38

Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.

I asked him and he said he wished there could be more time in the day. Obviously I can't make the day longer, but I can keep plugging away at learning better time management to give us more time that is free.

One thing that he was talking about to his Mom today about was that he was teaching himself to play his harpsichord and how he wished he would have taken advantage of the piano lessons they wanted him to do when he was young. It got me to thinking...a lady he works with also gives piano lessons. I'm going to see if I can figure out a way to surprise him with some lessons.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

The Love Dare--Day 37

Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Talk about the best time to do this, whether it’s in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord. Don’t forget to thank Him for His provision and blessing. Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.

We pray nightly when we put the kids to bed, but I think it would be helpful to also have our include our own prayer time with just one another as a husband and wife and pray for things in our marriage and for our children and other things that we want to express in prayer together.

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The Love Dare--Day 36

Commit to reading the Bible every day. Find a devotional book or other resource that will give you some guidance. If your spouse is open to it, see if they will commit to daily Bible reading with you. Begin submitting each area of your life to its guidance and start building on the rock.

This is actually something that I would love to start doing as a family. There is also a marriage devotional that I have that I need to start doing, so maybe now is the time to start that as well.

This chapter also says the following "God has a plan for the way you handle your money. A plan for the way you raise your children. A plan for the way you treat your body. A plan for the way you spend your time. A plan for the way you handle conflict. Isn't it just like your Maker to know exactly what you need?

These are all big things to work on and I want to start taking the babysteps to be better about all those things with the help of the Lord. Lord, help me to become a better person and to be better with all of these things.

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The Love Dare--Day 35

Find a marriage mentor—someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel that counseling is needed, then take the first step to set up an appointment. During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.

I have a couple Christian girlfriends that I share things with and we give Christian advice to one another. However, I think if we ever truly needed some real help for any issues, we can always talk with our priest.

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The Love Dare--Day 34

Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way. Verbally commend them for this at some point today.

I thanked him for helping support me in taking care of our children. He's always there to help out with anything I need (99% of the time). I wanted him to know that I appreciated that. He is a great father and husband!

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

What a hard week...

Tuesday, we took Josiah to his T-ball game. He was so defiant with his coaches. They'd put his helmet on and he'd jerk his head and toss it off. They'd tell him to do something and he'd throw his glove on the ground and tear his hat off. He was running up and hitting the coaches and I was so embarrassed. To top it all off, Little E's behaviors are escalating and she refuses to listen to anything, she laughs when we try to redirect her or discipline her and she cannot sit still. We were sitting in the bleachers while Andy was trying to talk to Josiah. Little E was all over that bleacher, then she was trying to get into other people's cups, and she just doesn't have any sort of boundaries. We've been working on it, but she just doesn't get it. Then, one of the ladies turned around to talk to her and she wanted her sunglasses. I told her no. Everytime the lady turned her head, Little E would try to grab them off of her face. She got Baby T pointing fingers in the ladies face because if Little E wanted them then Baby T had to want them to. I got so frustrated that I finally sent Little E down to stand next to Andy so that she could burn off some energy without bothering the people in the stands.

Today, was visit day. The kids got up and I got them dressed for their visit and Little E was in a mood, she was trying to dump water all over my bathroom and I told her that we weren't playing in the bathroom. I was down on her level talking to her when she spit in my face. I wound up putting her in time out and explaining that her behavior was not acceptable and that we just don't do that to people and that it's not nice. She laughed. She did her time out and I finished getting everybody ready. I got the kids loaded up in the van and I realized that I forgot something. I told the kids to keep their seatbelts on and I would be back in 2 seconds. I literally walked into the front door, grabbed what I needed, and walked right back out to the van. I get out there and Deidra is crying. She had went in the back to help Little E get her seatbelt back on and was telling her that we were about to leave for her visit and Little E had kicked her and spit at her. She yelled at Deidra saying she didn't want to go. She had just been excited about seeing her Mommy when she first got up. I'm thinking that visits are starting to get very confusing to her. We get to the visit and I ran the kids in and she was doing ok. I talked to their Mom for a minute and I told the girls I'd be back later. Went to pick them up and the girls come outside. Little E tries to run into the street and the case aide and I both ran after her. I told the case aide that she sounded just like me because I'm always saying her name at least 3-4 times before she "hears" me. Anyway, she helped me get the girls in the van and she asked me if Little E was always so defiant because I guess she was a real handful in the visit today. I told her that lately she has been SUPER defiant and refuses to listen. The case aide said that she put her in time out for something and was shocked that Little E just laughed about it. I told her that's how she's always been. Discipline means nothing to's very hard to get through to her...everything is hilarious. I told her that I'm starting to wonder if something isn't going on with her and I was going to bring all this up when I took her for her phsyical next week to see if the doctor could shed any insight. I know some of Mom's history too and I'm wondering if that really hasn't affected her brain to where she can't process consequences and right and wrong in some way. I had to run something up to my Mom at work afterwards and she came outside and met me. I asked her if she'd sit with the kids a minute while I ran in to use the restroom. I came out and they were all acting up and I was trying to discipline them and talk to her about some things on Saturday that we all had going on. She kept telling me "I feel sorry for you today with all that to listen to." They would not settle down, so we finally left so I could go feed them lunch and so forth before we had to be at doctor appts. We had to bring Josiah up for his doctor's appt and the doctor was just watching the kids for a minute and then he'd look at me. He finally said to me "you have the patience of a saint, I don't know how you do this obviously have 3 of them with some things going on." I just nodded and said I do what I have to do. I love them dearly and I try to do the best that I can with all of them. He was trying to take Josiah's blood pressure and she kept reaching over and turning the machine off and I couldn't do anything as I had Baby T fussing in my lap and I was trying to keep Josiah still enough with my other hand. Then Little E threw a fit when she couldn't play with the machine. We kept trying to tell her it wasn't a toy. The nurse finally got up and told the kids if they coudl sit still she'd give them a sticker. Too bad, she didn't come up with that plan at the beginning of the appt. lol. Then, I had to take Baby T to the doctor for a diaper rash that wouldn't go away...she's got a bacterial infection. We had to wait 45 minutes for the appt and Little E was defiant as ever over anything and everything throwing fit after fit after fit and badgering her sister to make her cry the whole time. Then, she started clowning around in her chair and wouldn't sit still for anything, she was trying to turn the lights off, tear the posters off the wall, get into the cupboards. She threw the toys at the kids. I put her in time out and it was a battle and a half. When she wouldn't sit still in the chair and kept flailing around everywhere in it, I put her on the floor. I turned around to deal with Baby T who was way overtired and screaming and crying over everything to hear Deidra tell me that Little E had just torn something off the wall. I turn around and she's got a whole strip and chunk of drywall in her hand. I told her she was going to tell the doctor what she did and apologize for it. All she would say was "no." The doctor finally comes into the room and Baby T didn't want her looking at her diaper rash and Little E kept trying to push the doctors charts off the counter. I was about ready to pull my hair out. We finally got out of there with Baby T's prescription and the doctor asked me how many kids I had and she told me how she was also an adoptive mom to her youngest child. She asked me if I had any others besides the ones that were there today and I laughed. She said she has some patients tell her that they have 6 or 7 more at home, so she was just curious. I told her I had my hands full with who I had today, but we'd see what the future brings. She smiled and told me I was doing a good job. I packed up the kids and Baby T proceeded to scream and yell all the way to the pharmacy and back home. I put her and Little E down in their room for some quiet time and they both took a short nap before we had to go to Deidra's volleyball practice. Josiah didn't get to go to his t-ball practice tonight since he has also been very defiant and not wanting to listen today. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be better. Like I told my Mom...I know that all this has got to be so hard for these kids to go through at their ages and I try my best to remember that and not take it personally, but days like these are hard. She told me "I feel sorry for you today, but just remember that God sees all your hard work with these kids and He will reward you for all that you do." That was the breath of fresh air I needed to hear. Now the kids are in bed and Deidra is about to head there too. I have a stomach ache and my lower back is hurting. I think I may go head for a bubble bath. I'm thinking about hiring our own respite person that can come in and help out and watch the kids while I'm dealing with other doc appts for the other kids and who can come in at times to give Andy and I a break. Maybe go on a date and have some time to connect without constant interruptions. All this said, I do feel extremely blessed to have these kids in our home and to be a family together. I just have my hard moments sometimes.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Introducing Josiah...

Intoducing our toddling baby boy, Josiah! We adopted him officially yesterday! Sorry, I was so busy uploading pics to various places yesterday, that I realized this morning that I forgot to update my blog!

We had to be to court at 8 am yesterday morning. We waited outside the court room and met with our adoption workers and the attorney before court. Court began at 8:30 am and we were the 2nd family to adopt. Josiah was very excited about his adoption day, but once we got to court and in front of the judge he got a bit scared. The whole process took maybe 5 minutes and I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but when I was answering the attorneys questions the tears started. we got photos with the judge and Josiah thought it was cool that he got to sit on the judge's desk. The judge let Deidra and Josiah pick a stuffed animal afterwards and then we just had to wait for our copy of the adoption decree. We headed back towards home and went and got our family pictures taken. I'll e-mail those shortly. Then, we headed over to our foster/adopt agency where we celebrated Josiah's adoption with everyone. We did a candle lighting celebration and lit a candle for his birth family, for Josiah, for our family, for our caseworkers, for our foster agency, and for everyone else that had been a part of his life. Then, we walked out to the bell tower and our family rang the bell to signify that a child had found their forever home. Then, we came back inside and did gifts and cake. We took some pictures and then we wound things up. They put a leaf with his name and adoption date (however, I just noticed that they had his adoption date down as yesterday, so his date is wrong...emailing them to see about fixing that) and who he was adopted by on their wall. It was really nice.

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