Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So proud of Baby T!

We have been trying and trying for a few months to get her to go on the potty. She finally went in there today after lunch and went pee pee on the potty! YEAH! I am SO proud of her!


Monday, January 25, 2010


Baby Melina is one active little girl. She loves to dance and thump around in there. She's much more active than Deidra ever was, but I love feeling her move around in there. The girls love to feel my belly and Josiah gives her kisses. Deidra was snuggling with me on the couch one day and she reached over and poked my stomach, the baby kicked her back, but her kicks arent' strong enough for anyone but me to feel right now. I just thought it was cute that she'd poke her and the baby would kick her back each time. Deidra so cannot wait until she's here. We're all so excited for her to come! I can't wait to hold her!

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It's working! It's working!

Last week, when we went to behavioral therapy, I brought my logs of each day like the one I just posted. I wanted to document the behaviors, the consequences, and the reward strips. I wanted them to see the frequency as well. The therapists gave us some homework to do this week, they wanted to see whether it was them seeking attention or just being defiant or if it was both. They told us to set the standards for the behavior we expected from them before appts or whatever and then when the kids starting acting out, they told us to ignore the bad behaviors unless it was something that had to be dealt with right then and there. They wanted us to start praising the kids that were doing what we asked of them and to ignore the bad behaviors and see what happened. Little E has picked it up right away and will correct the behavior right away to get her praises. Baby T, threw a fit in the car on Wednesday and literally threw a fit for 45 minutes. Every couple of minutes I would say "thank you, Little E, for sitting so quietly and nicely in the car and not yelling at Mommy." I was trying to give Baby T verbal cues as to waht I wanted from her without giving her direct attention. Once she quieted down for a minute, I gave her the praise that she was seeking. It was kind of funny because in regards to my thank you for settling down adn sitting quietly, I got "no, thank you!" She hates it when I can't praise her, but she's still continuing to throw her fits, but I notice that they're not lasting near as long as the days go by that we've started doing this. Today, it's only been a matter of a couple of minutes and she's done. She wants her praises more. Josiah does really well with it some days and other days it irritates him and he acts out more and more. He's been spending a lot of time in his room today as he just can't get it together and I refuse to listen to him scream and carry on and start throwing things and whatnot as he hurts my ears, so I've been putting him in his room. It's been hard, but I definitely see improvement and I will keep carrying on. It's hard to deal with all the temper tantrums somedays, but I just have to prepare myself mentally before they start. But their behaviors are improving and that makes this Mommy happy.

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A typical day at the Hoffman House...

This is why we're in behavioral

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kids were up at 7:10 am. I told them when I got them from their rooms that Daddy had to go back into work the night before and that he didn’t get home until really early that morning and that they needed to be quiet so that Daddy could get some rest.

7:20 am Little E gets time out for making loud noises after being told to be quiet as Daddy didn’t get home until 4 am.

7:40 am Little E gets time out again for making loud noises.

8 am Baby T gets a reward strip for eating breakfast nicely and quietly

8:10 am Little E gets time out again for making loud noises

8:30 am Josiah gets time out for not listening. He wouldn’t leave the couch pillows alone after given 2 warnings. He wouldn’t sit in time out without kicking the cupboards and throwing a fit and so I sent him to his room to calm down and finish his time out.

8:45 am Baby T gets time out for being too loud.

9 am Josiah gets time out for jumping on the furniture and kicking the back of the chair

9:05 am Little E gets reward strip for playing nicely and quietly

9:20 am Baby T gets time out as she wouldn’t’ leave the tv buttons alone

9:30 am Josiah gets a time out for throwing toys at Baby T. He threw a temper tantrum and so he was sent to his room to calm down and finish his time out.

10:15 am Josiah given a time out for fit at snack time

10:30 am Baby T given a reward strip for eating snack nicely

10:50 am Josiah given a reward strip for taking shower without throwing a fit and for listening well.

11 am Little E gets time out for not staying out of the bathroom and for trying to get the toys wet

11:15 am Josiah gets talking to about safety and that he is not to open the door without a parent present and giving him permission

11:25 am Baby T gets time out for touching Mom’s computer buttons.

11:35 am Baby T gets another time out for touching Mom’s computer buttons.

11:37 am Josiah gets time out for lying. He said that Tracie was touching my computer again even though she was still sitting in time out.

11:50 am Baby T gets time out for not listening and causing distractions at story time despite reminders to be quiet and quit playing with toys. She threw a total fit and was sent to her room.

12 pm Little E and Josiah get reward strip for good listening during story time. They got to watch a half an hour of Batman.

12:30 pm Little E and Josiah earned 2 gummi bears for quietly watching Batman while I made lunch.

1 pm had to keep reminding Little E to eat and use manners during lunch

1 pm Josiah and Baby T earned reward strip for eating well during lunch

2 pm Josiah gets time out for refusing to pick up toys

2:10 pm Baby T gets time out for refusing to pick up toys.

Nap/Quiet time from 2:30-4 in their rooms

4 pm Grandma comes over, lots of not listening, climbing all over Grandma, crying over books that she brought, me having to keep telling them to use inside voices.

5 pm Little E and Josiah get time out. Grandma had car trouble and was trying to call someone to find out what was going on or to possibly come look at her car and they kept running all over, being loud, ignoring reminders to be quiet as Grandma was on the phone.

6 pm All the kids ate dinner very well. Given cherry crisp for dessert and lots of praise for doing a good job. They got to play with Grandma a bit more and then we got in bath, jammies, and bed.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Abba, I don't understand...

Little E has always thought discipline was funny. We got her meds figured out and she had gotten a lot better with that. She hadn't seen her birthmom in a few days and she saw her on Thursday. She had a total attitude with me (Little E, not her mom)once she saw her mom. It changed once she realized that she really wasn't leaving with her mom and then she didn't even tell her mom good-bye when she got in our van. She wanted to be cuddled and loved on when we got home and she told me that she was happy that we all came to her sing-a-long at school. However, she's really had an attitude since then, she doesn't think she needs to listen, she is back to laughing when we discipline her, and the time outs are not doing anything to change her behavior. It's almost like the naughtier she is, the funnier she thinks it is. I just don't's been constant. I feel like I must be doing something wrong as she's not learning appropriate behavior...she just wnats to continually defy what we're telling her and when it's time for discipline she laughs. Granted, sometimes she cries when she realizes that she's getting something taken from her or something...but she really finds it quite funny. All the kids have been handfuls the past few days and I decided to start logging our days...all the praises, all the time outs, what we were trying to accomplish, good and bad things that they were doing...I wanted to see if I could see any patterns or if the behavioral therapists had any advice on stuff. I can't believe how much stuff happens in a's making me realize why I am so drained at the end of the day. I love these kids with all of my heart...I just really wish they would understand that the good behavior gets them more in life than acting out constantly. I just don't understand why they act like this. Abba, please fill me with patience, love, kindness, and me to keep going and for them to understand that I love them unconditionally. Please help them to have more obedient little hearts.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Why can't they learn?

Why can't they learn not appropriate behaviors and appropriate ones? I am SO tired of putting these kids in time out and taking privileges away over the same things day after day after day. I am SO tired of the temper tantrums and hearing "You don't like me." when I have to get after them. Josiah is really getting an explosive temper. He doesn't take NO for an answer. I gave them a cup of cereal this morning for part of their breakfast. After 45 minutes, I told Josiah that he had 5 minutes left to finish up his cereal. He continued to dink around and when the timer went off and he knew I was going to take his food away, he started screaming and kicking and flung his food all off his tray and onto the kitchen floor. I told him he was now going to clean up his mess that he made which totally put him into a rage. He was kicking, screaming, and flailing all over the place and flinging the food all over the place even more. I told him he could choose to stop his fit and pick up his cereal or he could keep making an even bigger mess because of his fit and it would become harder to clean up. He chose to keep throwing a fit. 25 minutes later he finally calmed down enough and the cereal was finally picked up. We talked about why that happened and how he needs to start making good choices and learn to control his temper. No sooner is he out of time out, he goes into the playroom and snatches something from Baby T. I told him to give it back and he flings at her, slams into the window, and tries to kick me all while he's screaming and crying because he can't have the toy. I put him back in time out until he can calm down. He continues to scream and cry and I tell him that the timer isn't being set until he calms down. He finally calms down and does his time out. Now he's screeching and crying because I won't let him play with the cords on the vacuum cleaner. I'm keeping a behavior log so I can give it to the behavioral therapists that work with our family as I want them to see the consistency of everything...all the time outs and the repeat behaviors. I just don't know how to fix it all anymore. I don't understand why they just can't learn...things would all go so much more smoothly if they could learn. They are all good kids when they want to be. I try to give them as much attention and do fun stuff with them and I praise them up and down when they do good. I hate it that I have to stay on them like this and that a 5-minute chore turns into something taking me 3 times as long because I have to stay on top of them and get them out of things. They no they're not supposed to be upstairs without permission, that they don't go into Deidra's room, that they are to stay out of our room, that they aren't to touch the computer without having to permission to use it and without having one of us next to them, they know they're supposed to stay out of the pantry and the refrigerator and that they're not to touch the tv, DVD player, and the DVDs. Yet, every 5 minutes they're doing something or they're having issues playing. Why can't they learn? I hate having to keep saying the same thing over and over, I try to keep them occupied playing, learning, doing games together, therapy, getting to do fun things, and they earn their rewards strips and gummy bears for good behavior. I thought all that would be enough of an the meantime I keep plugging along, we keep doing therapy, we keep talking to counselors and therapists, and we try to come up with new strategies to try. I just don't understand...I love them with all of my heart, they are all given plenty of love and affection and praise. Yet, it's the same things we deal with over and over and over.... Abba, give me your patience and your love and compassion and fill me with your Spirit today. Help me deal with all these tempers and help them to have more obedient hearts. I know they're going to get it eventually...I'll keep plugging along. I just get frustrated sometimes.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

So Proud of Little E

She had a sing-a-long last night with all the pre-k classes. She sang every word and did all the motions. I was a proud Momma. Last year at her Mother's Day Out program, she refused to sing or do anythign but stand there and at the end, she started crying because she was so scared. She's really come a long way in the past few months and is really blossoming. I was so proud of her!

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Abba, I pray that our homestudy will be turned into CPS very soon. It's been waiting to be signed off on since last Thursday. Please let CPS get it soon, so that we can do the girls adoption on February 2. I am just ready for them to be ours and the visits with the family so much is really starting to stress me out. Please let our homestudy be turned into CPS today or very soon.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bible reading

Please Abba, help us to be better about our bible reading as a family. I got a book to start family devotions and I figure that's a good way to start. I want us always to remember to put You in the center of our family. I try my best with the kids to do daily devotions and prayer with them, but I do stray away from it after awhile. And it's something that Andy and I never have done I ask that You will give us some time and put it in our hearts to make this a definite point of our day that we all come to enjoy.


Guidance and prayer

Abba, so many of my friends are struggling and worrying about things right now. I ask that you give them all your peace, love, and guidance during their struggles and that you keep them and their families under your hedge of protection. Please protect them and give them your loving guidance to make the right decisions or to cope with whatever comes their way.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Deidra's been really struggling with reading lately and this year her teacher wanted to put her in tutoring once a week and so we went ahead and did that. She gets embarrassed at reading aloud and so I know she reads very slowly, but she's gotten to the point where she'd rather read to herself than read aloud to us and so I'm not truly aware of how well she's reading other than catching her in a rare moment of when she's wanting to read to the littles. She'd rather listen to us read to her, than read to us. Well, last week, the school sent home a letter wanting to test her further on her letters, sounds, and writing various letter combinations and so forth. We consented and I went up to get her early from school one day and her teacher came in to talk to me about my pregnancy and so forth. I had sent her an email earlier asking her if Deidra was struggling with reading further and if that was why they wanted her to do more testing. She never got my email and so I asked her about it there. It came out in the conversation that her teacher was suspecting that Deidra may have dyslexia. Her grades are good. She's gotten all As and Bs up until this last grading period, she brought home her first C. It floored me as I always thought dyslexia was writing your letters backwards and upside down. Granted, she does make some of her letters/numbers backwards at times, but I thought it was still normal at times for this age group. But I've never seen her do any of them upside down. More often, she flips some of her letters around in her words and we just tell her to slow down and focus better. The teacher said that she's doing it consistently enough to warrant further testing. It just blew me away...she started her testing yesterday and she's supposed to finish it up today. I hope the school tells me something soon. I've been worrying about it and I even talked to our occupational therapist about it yesterday and she told me "honey, don't worry about it, all the worrying in the world isn't going to change anything. Just take things as they come and it'll be ok." I really need to start practicing that one and quit worrying about all these little things. I just don't know much about it and how to help her if that's what she does have, but I guess I can talk to the school and the school will give us some guidance if this is what she does have. Deidra came home yesterday and asked us if we knew that George Washington had dyslexia. She thought it was kind of neat.

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Abba, please help us to keep a running list of prayer requests and to be better about praying and coming together in prayer as a family.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

I really don't understand...

the weather is cold, but the roads are dry...the girls family cancelled their visit with the girls today because they were scared of the weather and the icy roads. I hasn't rained in a couple of days. I wasn't going to argue about it, we'll just make the visit up next week. It's a good thing I don't tell the girls until we're on the way to the visit that they have a visit that I didn't have to explain to them that their family wasn't coming today after all.

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Pleasing to God

Abba, I pray that my children will long to please God, and that they will desire to walk in His ways as the Psalmist wrote, "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." ~ Psalm 19:10.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010


Lord, help me always to remember to praise my children and to always let them know how proud of them that I am. Never let there be a doubt in their minds how much Andy and I love all of them and shine with pride when we think of them.

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When they grow up...

We just did our devotions about how God helps us grow into the people He wants us to be and we went over what the littles wanted to be when they grow up...Little E wants to be a teacher, Baby T wants to be a doctor, and Josiah wants to be Diego. :-)

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Standards and Healthy Boundaries

Lord, I ask for your help in setting healthy standards for my children in learning modesty. Help me to teach them to dress modestly. Help me also Abba, in teaching my little ones healthy boundaries. It's been a struggle to teach them personal space, that we don't take things from strangers,fear of strangers, and just appropriate boundaries in general and how to act appropriately in given situations.

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Monday, January 04, 2010


Lord, each of my children are their own individual. Please help me and guide us in helping to develop each of their own individual characters and helping them grow.

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Saturday, January 02, 2010


Lord, I lift my children up to you and I pray for their salvation.

as the prophet Isaiah wrote, "Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it." ~ Isaiah 45:8

I pray that you will help Andy and I to be good parents and to be good examples to help our children learn to live Your Word and by Your Example. Amen.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Battles and patience

Abba, I ask that you will help Andy and I to choose our battles with our children wisely and that you will give us the patience to deal with whatever comes our way. I ask for Your guidance and wisdom in disciplining our children as well. Amen.

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Happy New Year!

I can't believe we're in 2010. I fell asleep last night and woke up 20 minutes before it was time to ring in the New Year. Then, I went back to sleep and woke up shortly after that and couldn't fall back asleep. I tossed and turned on the couch last night because it was too hot upstairs in our room. Not feeling too great this morning...I have some sinus crap going on and my neck is hurting along with my ears. Deidra had her own NYE party with the girls down the street. Made me a bit sad, but I was happy that she's having so much fun.

I can't wait to see this year unfold. The girls adoption will probably be in Jan/Feb and then we welcome our new baby girl in May. Wow!

Hubby made me laugh this morning. He said he's kind of disappointed with society with it being 2010. I asked him why and he said he thought we'd be further in technology than we are and more futuristic. He wants his flying cars. ;-) I thought it was cute.

Didn't make any resolutions this year. Just want to work on my prayer life and praying more for my family and friends. Keeping my marriage and my children covered in prayer.

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