Tuesday, July 21, 2015

She PASSED!


I got a little message asking if Vanessa had passed the NCLEX.... and I realized I left some of you hanging.  She did! That girl was so incredibly sure that she had failed that she was pretty much trying to plan when she would have the time to re-study and take the test again. She was so relieved she cried every time the thought crossed her mind that she was indeed a full fledged R.N. all day!

Christina gets a bee in her bonnet every now and again to do something new, something big, something she has never attempted to do before. So, for the last 7 months she has trained and worked out and rallied friends and sisters to train and work out with her. The goal was the Chelanman, a sprint triathlon. Of all the friends and sisters who trained and worked out with her, only two were able to actually run the race for a lot of different reasons. Brianna and Anthony and Christina didn't just do it, they did it well! Brianna came in 4th in the 20-24 yr old women's category. She was actually 8 minutes ahead of Christina. She really swam fast - faster than she realized. Christina placed 3rd in the 17-19 women's category. Biking is not her thing. BUT she she can RUN. Anthony placed 3rd in the youth division. It was a really fun day. Very inspiring.  It was a revelation to me to see 70 year old grandmas out there, a man missing a leg, people who are heavy, a lady in the last stages of cancer... What is your excuse to not accomplishing your dreams? Cause really, there are no excuses.

A huge opportunity has opened up for Christina. She is 17. She is pretty close to being done her AS degree at the college and she wants to go to pre-med. The universities that she has looked at were not too excited about accepting her yet, at her age. They want them older, more mature in pre-med school. She thought to take a year out and go to a mission somewhere in Africa and get a feel for medical work in some hospital or clinic. Again, age was a factor in the rejection letters... She tried to get a shadowing opportunity at the hospital her dad works at and it was again a no-go. She was offered a job at the hospital that would have been a great fit until they learned her age and once again that was a road block. But this girl never gives up on her dreams. She heard of a doctor and family in Idaho that trains medical missionaries... She contacted them and to make a long story short, after we visited with the family and learned all that the opportunity entailed she was given a week to think about whether she could handle the responsibilities that come with the position. She didn't need any time to think, really. It is a little overwhelming, but she takes that as a challenge. She was accepted and will begin September 7.  Her duties include homeschooling the doctor's children. The youngest ones, anyway... for the mornings and working in the clinic in the afternoons. She has a place to stay with a kind elderly lady and is getting paid to work. She will be trained in all areas of the clinic and the free clinic that is run for financially hard up families and learning to educate people in healthful lifestyle. She will learn everything from drawing blood to giving health lectures. We are thrilled. This year will be the year she decides if she is cut out to be a doctor or not. She already has an acceptance letter from the Southern University in Tennessee for next year, but we won't put the cart before the horse. This year will be a learning opportunity like none she would find at a university. We are thankful. And thankful that she will only be 4 hours from here and can come home often. There is a stretch of foggy, icy road in the winter between here and there, though, so we won't bank on certain weekends, for sure.






Vanessa is at Young Disciple Camp. She is a counselor loving all her little campers (10 girls age 9-11!) and a young assistant that she is mentoring. She's a great big sister and she knows how to handle children well, but 10 is a lot. :-) She is also teaching first aid with a lot of help from her friends. She is a bit stressed and lacks appetite completely, but texted me this morning that she was able to eat a breakfast burrito today.



Brianna is off to cart veggies fro the garden to Youth For Jesus. She loves showing up and seeing her friends from last year when she was a speaker for the Michigan YFJ.

I've had a rough migraine...  BUT my brother and family from Africa, that we have not seen in a few years is arriving this evening so I need to stop laying around and get busy! We are so very excited.


I'll just leave you with this thought:


~"More than enough GRACE" ~
I loved that the moment I read it. It was paired with the incredibly too familiar, disparaging little phrase, "Not enough" - (You know that insidious little line that endeavors to invade and suck the life dry? ~ “Not enough strength, not enough talent, not good enough, not thin enough, not beautiful enough, not enough brains, not enough money, not enough energy, not enough….” And here was the antidote.

~The disease of not enough
is CURED when you give THANKS
for more than enough GRACE.
~Ann Vonskamp

Grace is a daughter cleaning an elderly church couple’s house when I should have been.
Grace is the other daughter standing by to comfort as I hunched over the bowl on the bathroom floor when I was suppose to be digging leeks and packaging herbs for her produce order.
Grace is my husband’s hand reaching for mine after he is utterly exhausted and spent from caring for patient after patient all day.
Grace is the boy learning empathy and asking, “Is your migraine better yet, mom?”
Grace is the cool breeze fluttering the sheets in the night after a stifling hot day.
Our God is good. How grateful are we for the grace extended us Through HIM day after day? . . . because HIS grace is the only thing that is ever enough.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Are We Having Fun Yet?


This summer is hot. Hot as blazes. It started early and June was a record breaker. There's no hope of a break either. We are on high alert for fire and already our town has lost 28 homes and 4 businesses in a fast and furious wildfire. Things are tinder dry. Gardening is a challenge as nothing is on schedule. We rotor-tilled a good portion of the main garden this morning as we've already harvested most of it and it is time to replant. We do everything early in the morning or late at night. The middle of the day is a bust.
the cabbage patch kid, Isaac.

Today Vanessa took her NCLEX exam, which is the State nursing exam. We'll know the results in a day or two. The test cut off at exactly 75 questions which made her feel better than if it had gone all the way to 265, but there is no way to actually know how she did because it felt hard, hard, hard! But she studied hard and trusted the Lord to bring to her memory all that she had learned.
Vanessa's Nursing Pinning ceremony

Today I found out on facebook that Oscar and Pieter's mom is pregnant. No, nothing has changed. The boys were adopted by their great-grandparents.... She's still doing drugs. She is still going from man to man. That poor baby!!

Lake Wenatchee

Things are good with the other four kiddos and we still have them over every weekend. They like church and they enjoy our Sabbath afternoon adventures.  Their dad now has full custody and there is a certain amount of security for the oldest kids to know there's no going back to chaos. Mom is in jail. She still calls me.

Ancient Lakes

We had a lovely trip to Mt. Rainier. We camped in a forest and enjoyed the mountain both in fog and mists and on a clear and stellar day!


Mt Rainier is gorgeous and the flowers are amazing!!

 Caleb is trying to organize a trip to the peak next summer. We shall see what comes of that.

After we left Rainer and headed for Oregon, though we began to have car trouble. The car stalled in Portland in the middle of the interstate in the middle of rush hour! It would not start until it had cooled for a half hour... We got to the side and it stalled again and again and again ... all evening long as we sought help. It looked very much like we would be sleeping in the camper in the middle of the city as we could not get much help and we could not go anywhere. We actually had permission from Fred Meyer to let us camp in their parking lot. We prayed and the Lord answered in very clear ways. It was quite obvious even to the kids as the events unfolded. Finally, we just prayed that the Lord would start our car and keep us going all the next 90 miles to our destination. We needed to be at the campground for Light Bearer's campmeeting and we were wasting time in Portland. It was a miracle. The car did not stall again that night! We arrived at midnight and set up as quietly as we could and were in bed by at least 1AM.  The meetings were wonderful. We were so blessed by the study of the entire book of Hebrews.


We did get some help with the car and changed some parts and we thought our car was fixed. However, on our trip home we started stalling all over the place again..... And we did what we do and ate.  The first breakdown we ate watermelon. The next breakdown we set up our camp stove and made hotdogs. Each stall took an hour or more to cool the car... We stalled over and over and over as we crept home. It took hours!! The higher the temperature rose the more the suburban stalled. The further North we drove the hotter it got.

It was starting to feel a little rough by midnight....  it was SO HOT!!  and we were making advance by 20 miles at a time. We dragged ourselves into the parking lot of a rest area just before the mountain pass and let the engine cool for a couple hours. Finally, the temps started dropping and the cool mountain air assisted us. We finally rolled into our driveway at 2 am. Little did we know we had started a trend that was getting us to bed later and later....

BUT our troubles seemed to be miniscule in compared to what was happening at home.
not my photo... taken from facebook.





The kids wasted no time getting to work making a fire  buffer around the house as best as they could.

carting off the dry grass.




Our valley is grey with smoke but it does not smell strong and it doesn't bother the lungs. We are at risk all summer long.

Last Friday Steve decided to take Caleb and some of our other young people hiking in  the Enchantments. I decided to join the crew. I shouldn't have. I totally slowed them down. It's quite a hike and it is a good thing we did not take James.

Here's what I wrote directly after.

So stiff and sore! But we saw thirty of these mountain goats on our unbelievable, sort of disastrous, journey. Probably half of them were kids! Number thirty was an old goat asleep on our trail and we had to rudely awaken him to get him to move a couple feet off the path so we could pass. I would not want to come in contact with his horns for sure.



He wasn't the only one we rudely awakened. Some guys sleeping in hammocks had to guide us out of their campsite and back to the trail after we became disoriented.  They were kind fellows, but certainly they were glad to be done with our wanderings around their hammocks. 



Some lessons learned on this hike? Don't take your old mom (me) hiking on hikes longer than 10 miles when there is a LOT of extreme knee exertion. My nephew Isaac at 12 years old is an amazing trooper! Hiked at the front of the pack all day and second on the trail all night without one single word of complaint! When I complimented him on that fact at the end of it all he said, "well, I did complain a couple times!" I had to explain that saying you are tired is not complaining! This kid is incredibly strong and resilient. 

We learned that Brianna can sing All night! She was chipper and never let on that her knees were done many hours ago. Nephew Caleb is as patient and caring as he is strong. He showed unselfishness in giving away his first aid supplies to a woman who sprained her knee terribly, but more than that he stuck by his old aunt through that long dreadful night down the mountain when I could barely move my knees and and my feet were on fire barely crawling along. He even gave me his light. He and I sort of got lost at the end but we made it! Alyssa, bless her heart, was strong and courageous though her knees were so pained she wanted to just crawl off the trail and sleep till morning...she is so sore this today and she might reconsider going any Ford excursions from here on out! Steve and I are proud of these kids. We'll try not to put them in such trying circumstances again.?  We got home at 5:30 AM after collecting the other car and driving home with toothpicks to prop our eyelids open. 

As we crawled in the car at the trail's end and turned on the ignition, the clock said: 3:41 AM. Alyssa said, "HEY!! Do you know what number that is in the hymnal? That is To God Be The Glory!" We sang it with as much enthusiasm as our exhausted bodies could muster. God knows we are grateful!



Are we having fun yet?


(For specs on this loop trail check out : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Enchantments and look under hiking. We hiked up to 7,800 feet .)



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

More Broken Glass

Apparently today is a good day to be mad. At what? I don't know... Neither does he!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Respite

After a very difficult couple of days with James where we ended up with a smashed window and other broken and destroyed belongings I made the snap decision to have him stay at respite while we went away for the weekend. This was our long awaited trip to the ocean. It was such a crazy busy start with Vanessa graduating from nursing school on Friday and us trying to get all our ducks in a row to be able to leave. Mostly we were trying to get the water automated on the gardens and packing for the trip. Packing for a trip for 12 people is no small feat.... especially when it comes to food, and then especially when you have the bright idea that it would be a good idea to feed the whole church (100 people) breakfast Sunday morning in honor of Vanessa's graduation! :-) Yes, our whole church was going on this retreat on the beach. Someone anonymous had rented every single cabin at Rosario for all of us. It was wonderful. Missy somehow is not half as intense when she's not with her twin so it was like have two less kids.  Our next leg of the journey took us to San Juan Island... We stood on the whale watching point and watch more orcas then I have ever seen. It was truly spectacular. We are home now. James was no worse for being left behind. He's matter of fact about it all and helped me clean the garage this morning. Missy on the other hand was as crabby as all get-out and screamed and cried MOST of the day over a 20 minute task I asked her to do. Oh well. You win some, you lose some. And you guessed right, I did not give in. She eventually decided to sweep the porch. It would have been easier before it got to almost a hundred degrees, but that was her choice.

My sister-in-law suggested I really needed to write again... You can see I'm really into it.  Ha! Sorry. I tried.


The kids.

Drakie was so into the whale watching!!

This girl. She was SICK, SICK... lost so much weight and was kind of sedate to say the least, but she is recovering.
I'm watching Drake run from the waves. I don't think he had ever seen the ocean before. He expected the water to stay put.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Stuck in the Pound and Stuck in Jail

I only hear from her when she WANTS something. I've been hearing a lot from the 4 kiddos' mom lately. She was calling me multiple times a day from jail. I couldn't answer every time. It costs me $5 a call. She wanted someone to post bail.... The bond was only $250, but NO one was willing to pay it because none of us believed it would be in her best interest. The charges were stolen vehicle and a burglary, etc... It's all drug driven. At the last moment she found someone to pay it. She is a great manipulator and at court she convinced someone she would do good even though her rap sheet is as long as my arm.  She promised to go to treatment, but her promises are nonsense. A few days later she called me again. Her dog had been taken to the pound and it would cost $190 to get it out and she wanted me to go get the dog and she would pay me back later....  Before the day was over she was back in jail for 3rd degree theft. I did not go get the dog and felt some guilt about it, ugh, I did not want a wire-haired terrier who might chase chickens and is 8 yrs old and has seizures. Her Ex was willing to pay the $ if I would take the dog, but Steve and I agreed we didn't want it and who knew when the gal would get out of jail to claim it again.... so I didn't. Surprisingly she got out of jail the next day (three pending charges) and called to get her dog from me, which I didn't have.  When she went to see the dog at the pound someone had already adopted it.  UGH! I feel bad. She loved that dog more than she loved her kids. She is slowly being stripped of everything of her own doing but she accepts no responsibility for any of it. It's always someone else's problem and this time it's my fault she lost the dog.  It feels yucky, but we're walking a fine line of helping and enabling and sometimes it is hard to know which is which. Here's hoping the dog is with a good family who wants it and will care for it.  I'm pretty sure her old master will be back in jail for a long time soon. One of these days her manipulations will no longer work for her.  It's a sad, sad, deal....  The thing she needs to do the most she will not do.
The view from my garden.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MORE OT

Today was OT again. James' new goal is thirty minutes of continuous play on the obstacle course to increase endurance. He lasted 5 minutes. He was COMPLETELY winded. Done.  He is so weak in his upper body, arms and hands that he is FAR behind his twin in this area.

Missy continues to blow through all the goals.

This is really surprising to me. She's  the one who can swim best, ski best, jump the highest, etc... but I thought it had to do with her mindset and his total fear of everything. Intellectually he seems more on top of things, but apparently, according to the therapists she has WAY fewer struggles physically and does not have so many UN-integrated reflexes. That is a real surprise to me because we've always been told otherwise, but she is proving quite strong and determined.

My sister's kids are here. Today they were riding mountain bikes and doing jumps. Missy joined them... Let's just say she came out a little damaged and learned that 15 year old style of bike riding is seriously beyond what she should be attempting. :-)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gardening Season

 is here. We are busy. I have, as usual, many tomato plants. More than ever, really. We are trying new things in the garden and increasing our plantings by quite a bit. We ordered a new greenhouse, but it won't arrive until the middle of May. It took us too long to decide on which one we wanted, apparently so our limited space has been a real challenge.


My nephews are living with us for awhile so we turned the laundry room into a bedroom with bunk beds.

The twins are doing fairly well. I went to Texas for about a week and it was a rough re-entry with James. And a very, very hard reality to be faced with for me. He usually does well, but when he loses it he can be physical and I usually take the brunt of his crazies. He got in a good punch to my face... but He's not strong or big yet and thankfully on the fearful side yet, so if he threatens me with a stick I will usually use it for my protection once I get it away from him. Either that or I grab the broom and just hold it. No need to use it. Just hold it as a sign that he can't try anything. But it certainly feels like a hostage situation. He zeros in on me and I can't get away without paying the price of a dent to my car or damage to the house. Thankfully, this is not often. I recorded the last tantrum and showed it to him many hours later. He couldn't bare watching it. It upset him and he cried like a baby and was remorseful.  Our quest is to avoid going there in the first place.

The kids are both doing well in therapy. MIssy is especially making strides. Her core strength and abilities are improving very impressively. James needs it for sure. I think he is being helped by it, but it is not so obvious. I take them every time there is a cancellation call, so they get to go about 3 times a week. It's rather disruptive to school, but at this point this is more important.

I learned some concerning things about what is being promoted and taught in Missy's Montessori. It is upsetting enough that one Christian teacher is leaving... (so the gossip goes and I don't have a backup on that.). I have had no issue with Missy's teacher. She's a very sweet gal with an unusual ability to deal with kiddos. I like her a lot, but it is a small school growing too fast (in my maybe not so humble opinion.) And perhaps the number of kids is not conducive to having a special needs kiddo with some behavior issues??  But more importantly, I am really bothered by the New Age-y feel the owner seems to lean towards and seems to be growing stronger in. I haven't spent a lot of time there, and Steve hasn't been there much at all, but he's had this sense that it isn't exactly what we were hoping for. And so...... Oh dear. I don't even know what to write about the turmoil we are in thinking about next year and what we should do....



We had Missy's class here for a picnic on Friday. The balsamroot, lupine and phlox are in full bloom and the kids call our hill Sunflower Heaven. We live on Flowery Divide... the blossoms are incredible. We had the kids collect the eggs and enjoy the chicks and I had them each transplant a tomato seedling and take it home. It was a good field trip for Missy to "host" for her "friends". Poor kiddo doesn't actually seem to be friends with any of them. Same for James at his school.

My kiddos think they are on vacation or something, so I best get off this computer before the behaviors get out of hand. Besides, the tomato plants are calling!

here's a link to the youtube advertisement Brianna made for me: Drakie is our star!  Be sure to watch it on HD.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4I6qoYcQKY&feature=share

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring

Spring break is over for the college girls. Today they go back to school.  It wasn't long enough. There might have even been a few tears because it wasn't long enough, but the calendar moves on. There's only one quarter left for Vanessa and then she prepares to take the Nclex exam to become an RN!

Spring break for the twins is this week. Yesterday they were good and helpful and happy all day. It was nice. We worked together in the garden and yard. James really got into weed-whacking and mowing. The lawn mower is nearly dead. It can barely to do the flat part of the lawn in front of the house so Steve said the pasture had to be mowed with the weed whacker and since the kids are planning a "campout" in the pasture with Vanessa and the bonus kids for Thursday James is all gung-ho to get it mowed. What he doesn't know is his dad is bringing home a used riding lawn mower tonight! It's the kiddo's dream. He even asked for one for Christmas so this is going to be a good surprise.

Missy filled 4 inch pots with potting soil for me to transplant tomatoes into, and planted seeds for me in the square foot garden apple bins. Do you know how much coordination it takes to plant seeds? yikes. lol. I made the holes... and then I had to watch to make sure A single seed got into each hole. I only let her plant seeds that are large enough for her to handle.

The twins are in a good place right now. Hoping it lasts because visitors are coming today.

I'm a little stressed. I have to drive to Seattle to pick up my sister and her kids flying/busing from the Yukon. I'm a country bumpkin at best. City driving freaks me out. I'm taking Christina to help me navigate. She might end up driving!!  The nephews are staying for an extended period of time. . .

Coming back to the bonus kids (the little guys that used to be our foster children and their siblings)... They are doing very well. They are here often and they love it here, still. They have calmed right down and they are cheerful and joyful and enjoying just being kids. It's wonderful. Their dad is doing great with them and he and his parents and sister are doing an amazing job raising the kids.  BUT Their mother is not okay. She's in jail and she might be there a long time. She calls and calls and calls. Every time I answer it costs me 5 dollars... which is not in my budget multiple times a day, but I have been trying to encourage her to look to Jesus. However, I am not answering every call. She is desperate to find someone to pay the bond on her bail. It was only $250 as it is just small percentage of the bail. There is NOT a single soul in the whole wide world who would pay that for her. Not her biological father, not her adopted father, not her step-father, not her children's father, not friend or foe - and I've talked to nearly every one of them.  How sad of a story is that??!!  None of her begging or pleading or manipulating is getting her out of this one. No one believes that paying the bond will help her and no one will be party to enabling.  I had to tell her flat out, "It's not about the money at all. Anyone of us would give it to you in a second if we felt it would HELP you." I have never heard such frantic pleading for something that is in my power to give and yet I stand firm on the principle and turn a deaf ear. She's in for burglary, stolen vehicle and driving with a suspended license. The oldest child says, "Hi mom!" as they drive past the courthouse/jail. She believes her mother is safer in jail than out as drugs is the bottom line for that woman.

The weather has been unusual. We are a month ahead in every way. I try not to think what that means for August in terms of wild fire. We are just enjoying it to the fullest.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

OT Again

After what I wrote last we've been to OT twice and both times were super positive. I felt like the therapists were making an effort to team with us and not change everything.

I'm done my quail job. Whew. Remind me never to really get into animal farming - not really a possibility seeing we are vegetarian, but I do love plants. Plants don't poop. I'm breathing easier, though I have to stay away from dust and hay and such now that my lungs got going with the asthma.

Steve is out getting a backhoe to clear our spot for the new greenhouse today . . .  YAY! (and to work on our water problems~)

Brianna finished her finals early and is in Oklahoma visiting her farmer...
Vanessa finished finals yesterday for this quarter. One to go and she will be an RN.
Christina has finals today and tomorrow. I am particularly anxious for this quarter to be done. Too many sciences. All she does is school and study. We want our girl back. Next quarter she's going to take a lighter load.
James successfully entered the science fair project that took nearly the whole family to put together. I still have a beef about the requirements school puts on the kid. Life takes time for him. He can't do school ALL the time. In fact we had to keep him home from school to finish up his science project - it's true.
Missy got the flue and it lasted 12 hours. She's back to school today.

Well, it's a new day. Have to go take down all the frost cloths from over my hundreds of tomato plants.



Monday, March 16, 2015

OT

We started OT at a very good independent therapy office.  The twins have a lot of basic skills and core strength building and reflexes to work on. It's fun and they love it. I think it is very good for the kids.

We have been going three times a week.

This last week, though, I only took the kids once. I needed the break. I think the therapists think they are going to correct the children's explosive behaviors through their work. And, yes, if life is a bit easier on the kids and they aren't tired out from having to work so hard to do basic things, maybe it will calm them in some ways. BUT it is not going to solve our very deep emotional problems  (RAD) and self-centeredness. I was getting the feeling, though, that the therapists do not have a good understanding of RAD and they kind of look at me sideways, or correct my wording of certain situations when explosive behaviors come up. Like maybe they think I don't know anything. The last session I stayed in the car while Brianna went in and then I canceled other appointments just for last week.

I am not going to say much, I'm just going to get the therapy the kids need. I am grateful they get this opportunity and thankful it is paid for.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Finding Balance

It's hard not to wobble around on the balance thing.

At one end we say, "We have to do EVERYTHING possible to help these kids. We can leave no stone unturned. If we come to the end of the journey and we knowingly did not try something that might have improved their lives how could we live with ourselves? They need every chance we can give them."

The other end of the wobble is that allowing myself to become totally immersed in the their problems and being all consumed with trying to help them is not healthy. It's a recipe for depression and despair. It's not a good place for our whole family. I have to have outside interests and a life outside of the kids.

But those outside interests and that other life can't compete with caring for the kids and their needs.

So, finding the balance is pretty much a song and dance...  always jiggling for the sweet spot.



We have some big projects going...  The barn is coming down today and a greenhouse will go up in its spot. I have over 200 organic, heirloom  tomato plants ready to go next week to the feed store. I have 400 + growing for the next shipment. I have 500 other kinds of tomatoes growing for private sale plus other veggies. Briana and I have been making strides in preparing her gardens for providing Youth For Jesus with vegetables this summer. Spring came a 6 weeks early and we were not as ready as we had planned.

 I've been taking care of a quail farm.... think thousands of helpless, suicidal, fragile babies.  Not actually a fun job. My lungs reject all the smells and dust, so I have to wear a mask or wheeze all day. Now it's giving me a sore throat. I have 5 days to go. 

I've been trying to get the kids more involved in community service, so yesterday we worked hard at the community dinner put on by our church and the evening before we were helping at the food bank. I'm just a little tired and grumpy.




Monday, February 23, 2015

Cause and Effect and Proclaiming Your Own Consequence


Very interesting morning here. Missy was not motivated to get moving until the last few minutes and when she saw that she was 15 minutes late she went into a tantrum and started screaming, "I want to go to school. I want to go to school!" 

 I tried to calm her, and get her to eat breakfast, etc but she was bound to have a big tantrum. So I left and went to do other things. After awhile she followed me and was slamming doors, kicking and stomping. 

Finally I just said, "You know, I never said anything about school or anything. I'm just listening to you and I'm hearing from you that you are late, and you know cause and effect and you have decided that you have messed up and you understand the consequences of not doing what you should  and you are proclaiming those consequences rather loudly. So what I'm hearing from you is that you need to work with me today...."

She went absolutely silent. It was like I had knocked her over the head. It was a new revelation to her. We talked about mercy and people who abuse mercy over and over. I asked her what usually happens the next morning if one day she we allow her to be a tiny bit late. She pretty much said she would be late again the next day. Really, I had wanted to get her to school but the lesson would be lost if I did that. So guess what we are doing today?

It's difficult when the kids ride the edge. I don't want to be rigid and uncaring. I want the kids to know there are times when things don't go right for everybody and it's very nice when others give you a little wiggle room and have mercy on you. I know she was NOT obeying, but she started to at the last few minutes and I was trying to figure out what the RIGHT thing to do was - honor that last ditch effort and give her a wee bit of a break, or be absolutely firm and unmoving over the set time frame. In the end I didn't make the decision. She did with all her hollering.

She's grumpy as all get-out, but we'll get past it.


By the way, we did have the kids birthday dinner last Thursday as planned, but the kids who were going to come didn't, so it was just us which was good. James was a little unstable most of the weekend, but Sunday he started to even out. Today he was up at 5:30 and ready for his day with a good attitude. When he's not quite stable, she is really careful, but when he gets it together she lets her guard down. I think they stress each other out a lot.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

11 years Old Today.

 The twins are 11 today.

Things have been going good. It has been amazing. I was basking in how wonderful it was that they were doing so well.

And then today showed up.



James was celebrating by raging for no apparent reason at all.

He did not eat breakfast. He did not get on the bus, and sadly,  he did not run away, either. (That's kind of a sad joke, but it would have been easier had he gone for a run in the trees and calmed himself down).  He just kept screaming and raging and spitting and smashing apples and beating on the door. I drove away for awhile, but he knew Vanessa and Christina were in the house, so it did no good. He was lock out to keep him from causing bodily harm.

So I had to call the school and they sent out Rhett to come and get him.

Strange how this stuff sucks the motivation out of me. I've done nothing since.

Missy loves her birthday. She wanted to take baby pictures to school today...  All the baby pictures I have are the ones Children's Hospital gave me on a CD. If I had known a day earlier I could have gotten them printed. Instead she had to be content with a little book I made from when she was 6 and first came to live with us. 

As for the birthday celebration... not sure where to go with it. My plans for baking a cake and all kind of fizzled. BUT they are twins. . . . she deserves her celebration even if he wants to sabotage his.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Activating Ski Patrol


Brianna turning over the garden with a pitchfork
Missy has done well! She worked hard every day last week to get ready for school and then church on the weekend. She even started this week out well, too. It is very hard work for her. I could see her wearing out by the end of the week. She had a good old tantrum on Thursday night, but Fri morning she was back to working hard. Friday she was DOG tired...

She does NOT like to miss school. She most certainly does not like to do yard work in place of school.

She was starting to lose momentum yesterday but did okay when I reminded her there are still leaves to rake. Today is going to be a close call as she used up 45 minutes of her time doing nothing. I just shared my plans of the day with her - move rocks, rake leaves, wash laundry room floor, re-organize the shoe closet, move the logs from the barn... and it's like she got stung by a motivational bee. NO way is she willing to stick around for that!!

Here's a laugh for your day. Steve was working the First Aid room up at the ski slopes Sunday. It's been a lousy ski season. Our winter has been too warm, but they make snow up there for the main run every day, however they are closing early so this was Steve's last shift. He had vowed he would not take Missy up there again if I was not there as she was a trial for him last time.  I had been up all night with a migraine and it wasn't getting better so he changed his mind and took the twins with him to give me a break. The first text I got from him made me laugh... I guess James wasn't waiting around for the slowpoke.

"She  didn't know whether to wait for him to come down so she could chew him out or just venture out on her own . . . at last, with tears in her eyes she boarded the chair lift on her own!" :-)

Second text.
"Well, James is up the lift again on his own and she's wondering why she's left behind again...?!

Then it really started to get interesting:

"Missy knows how to activate the ski patrol!! She has had EVERYONE looking for James! Meanwhile, James is having a great time... SLOWLY coming down Mimi!"
Steve said the ski resort administrator came  to the aid room with Missy tagging along behind him. He asked Steve if this was his daughter and then asked about James. Steve assured him that James was just fine. Steve had been seeing him come down the hill and getting back on the ski lift totally focused. James doesn't look around much, he was not the least concerned about Missy. He was there to ski.  The guy was like, "Okay thanks. Just wanted to make sure everyone is having a fun time!"

Steve then had a chat with Missy and told her James was fine and that she needed to go ski. So he sent her off and he watched the chair lift for signs of her pink helmet but she never appeared. He went around the other side of the building and scouted out the area for her. Sure enough... she was back at the administration building.  There was a  poor, cold, office lady outside trying to assure her that they would find James.

Somehow she activated the ski patrol and the whole team was looking for James. And James was totally minding his own business having a great time skiing. **Sigh** Steve was just shaking his head, but he told the woman, I'll take care of it from here. A few minutes later the head ski patrol guy came down the mountain and dropped by the aid room. Everybody had a good laugh when they realized what was really going on.

Missy would not believe, nor relax, or get it out of her head that something dreadful had happened to her beloved enemy... until she saw the whites of his eyes.  She does NOT hear what we say,  and she will take matters into her own hands. She's smart enough to be dangerous and to cause people a lot of work.

Both of the twins started OT at a new, exciting place. James has some pretty big vestibular issues. It was interesting to see how he does not recover from being spun around. He gets VERY dizzy and then does not recover like other people. His eyes jerk and twitch and you know he's got to feel sick. I'm looking forward to seeing what can be accomplished with our new therapists.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Motivation

One day I told Missy to put her lunch in her paper bag. Then she asked if she could add a juice. I said yes. She was very excited....

The next day she asked if she could pack her lunch again. Of course, I let her.

Vanessa said, "Boy, she's really excited about packing her lunch!"

Today, she started to resist getting ready for school.... and I quickly reminded her that if she had extra time she could pack her lunch. And since she got her act together in a fraction of the usual time I let her make a sandwich. That's kind of a scary deal when you are dealing with an impulsive creature... She could be eating out of the peanut butter jar with her bare hands in a flash if you didn't pay attention. And so there are just two rules. No bare hands in the food and no licking the fingers. BUT it got her out the door with a smile. She was quite pleased with her messy sandwich.

Tonight she had an all out tantrum over bringing the garbage can up from the drive and James had two melt downs over homework and teethbrushing. We're  nearing the finish line of this week. I'm banking on the fact that Valentines will be exchanged tomorrow and that, along with another messy sandwich, should pull us through to having both been in school ALL week.

NO candy will be exchanged at Missy's school. YAY  for smart teachers! James is not a real candy eater. He will bring it all home.