Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back packs- check
Lunch boxes- 2/3 checked
Essentials folders- check
Clothes for the morning- check
Why did I not make a list of absolutely everything I could possibly need for our 1st day of CC? I tell you what, tutoring 2 years prepared me somewhat for directing, but honestly, I have a lot of nervous moments thinking about all I need to gather. We're quite a bit farther away from our meeting location than we've been in the past. Also, in the past I've been able to leave during opening ceremony and run home to pick things up if I forgot. Now it would be at least an hour drive time to get home and back, not to mention the digging time. I've really made efforts to prepare- making lists, printing out good ideas, having supplies in one central area, but my lists are sometimes in different places. The Lord knows and will help...

...24 hours later, and our 1st week is done. The Lord was very faithful, and in spite of Buddy taking a wrong turn to our meeting place (he stopped to get a flag for us so he wasn't following us) and missing our family presentations, we had a fairly smooth day. I really enjoyed seeing the kids, basically total strangers, having such a great time playing together at recess. Being our first day, we have some kinks to work out, but all the kids did great, and from my children's reports, they enjoyed me tutoring Essentials! That was one of biggest concerns, so that made me feel much better. Now to find someone to keep Caleb company while I'm tutoring... it's a little difficult to tutor while your 3 year old is climbing on you, in spite of the back pack full of fun things to do. Something we will be working on.

On another note, I made some really fun Mexican dishes this weekend. I had gotten a BH&G magazine that was 143 Mexican recipes. I made Enchiladas Suizas and Grilled Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas. Sadly, the recipes are not online, so I can't share with you. We really enjoyed them, even though the Enchiladas were a bit spicy, sometimes that just hits the spot. I'm looking forward to my next recipes from the magazine- pozole, something I first ate in Acapulco in 1993 and have been wanting to try to make ever since.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Working in the store they set up. They did a great job. C was just sure we would write real checks and give real money to her for the things we'd already purchased to give to her! It kept them entertained for 2 days. Samuel came up with a "yarn rewards card" that got an "X" everytime you came, and gave you 50% after your card was full. I'd come to his store a lot!Here are some pictures from our time at the Battlefield. We were a little surprised at the way the battle went, not understanding the nature of the guns and their method of fighting back then. Fortunately, we were standing right where the Confederates, who won the battle, were standing.This nice young man let Caleb hold his gun, Samuel got to see his very large knife,and everyone got to shoot his .58 caliber black powder rifle.

We enjoyed listening to these participants talk about different places they'd been and their knowledge of this particular battle. Wish we would have talked to them before...All the kids tried on hats. I think she'd make a good cowgirl!How do I look as a southern belle?Hannah had her 1st day of school today. It was nice to meet all the people who will be helping her at her new school. We actually decided to keep her in K, she had so little of it last year, and has so many skills she's sure to pick up with more exposure on a daily basis. No, her name is not Abby, but we did some switching around at the last minute, and the name didn't get changed at her table. She had fun. When I picked her up from the bus I asked her what she did. "Played." "What else did you do?" Silence. "Did you do something else?" "Go potty." Those were the highlights. :) I'm glad it was quick for her and that she now gets a few days to rest up before we start the long days of school again.

We started in earnest for the others today. Of course, we're going through the adjustments of little one needing to keep out of the way some of the time, learning to listen while mommy is teaching the others, and remembering how to play by himself. It'll come. I'm so glad we've been doing spell and reading together most of the summer. It truly would have been a shock to start cold turkey!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Here's our silly family pic. Good times.

If it's raining outside, and much cooler than we're used to, out come the jackets- even for the animals!
I think one of the issues that you deal with when you adopt an older child is the "training," which is not the right word, but the essence is there, to please, to smile sweetly, and to say the expected answer so people will like you. In our case, H is great with new people. She smiles and is very charming in her demeaner. She answers "yes" to questions that are obviously "no" answers to those who know her because she has learned that mostly the questions require a yes answer to make people happy. We're still dealing with her being able to leave anything on her bowl/plate. There is always more for her later, and she is getting better about it, but it bothers her if she has to stop before the last crumb is gone. We recently went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Since she never says she doesn't like something (except her Daddy's oatmeal shortly after she first came home) and we're trying to see what she really does like, Buddyasked her if she wanted to try a salsa that was on the hotter side. I told her it would be ouchy in her mouth, but she looked at Daddy and smiled. She took a bite and I could tell when she wasn't looking at him that it did not feel good. He asked if she liked it; she smiled and said yes. I asked her if it was ouchy and she didn't smile and said yes. When we asked if she wanted more, she said no (after I asked her a few times and reminded her it is ok to say no) and yet when she had more on some rice, I told her not to eat it because it would be ouchy. We let her do what she wanted and she ate it, even though it hurt her. Just to get the last grains of rice.

We went to see a second ortho surgeon a few weeks ago, who gave us a different, more extreme idea for H, but also said we don't have to do anything and could just come back in a year. It's been challenging deciding what to do, but we're trusting God to show us. We've been working with the orthodics and prosthetics people to develop a shoe for her while we're figuring things out. She's so pleasant with them and "yes" to this, "yes" to that. She was actually able to walk faster with her new shoes, even though it is a little different for her. She has a flat surface for walking, giving her a better sense of balance. She still has work to do because her core strength is still low. They velcro on her feet and when they're open, her feet slide right on down into them. They are lightweight and full of cushion, which is a great change. We left there and went to the store to get dinner and some groceries. When we got in, she was crying because her feet were "ouchy." Why didn't she say that to the orthotist? We got home and Buddy asked her about her shoes. "Good," she says. Wait, I thought they hurt you. Do they hurt you? Finally, "yes." When I took off her shoes, there was no swelling or redness, so we'll try it again. Here she is with her new shoes. You can tell she's a little tired.

Another thing we're still working on is the whole communication issue. She's improving, but learning to express herself is a challenge. If things are challenging for her, she says "ouchy" and cries (for me and not her therapists.) Distinguishing between pain and it's hard or I don't like this feeling is something we're working on. Asking for help instead of crying or just sitting there not doing anything is coming along, too.

Yes, things are a lot better, and I enjoy looking at something we've worked or struggled with for a year and she's finally doing it. Sometimes in my busyness, it takes me a while, and it comes as a realization that I haven't had to remind her to do or not do something for a while. She is full of smiles and a willingness to please, tries to do whatever you've asked her, mostly obeys without complaining (although she has picked up "why" and "aaaah!"), is thankful for whatever she gets, and stays in bed after we say good night. She knows about 1/2 her ABC's and sings little made up songs while she's on the potty or by herself. These are the joys

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One of the benefits of having hot weather is that I can avoid looking in the backyard at all the toys, balls, and various things that need to be picked up. A side benefit is that the little red wagon gave us a wonderful show of the rain that came last night! I was awake during the night listening the the thunder and looking at the lightening. We were all so thankful for it.

This year in CC, we're studying American History. I just like history, but in particular, I like to see the hand of God as He brought our nation into being and guided it through the years. We are blessed to be living really closely to Wilson's Creek Battlefield. When we went to check out the library last month, I saw a big poster advertising the 150th anniversary of the battle that occurred there. I planned on going with the kids, but let the date slip from my mind. Sadly, Samuel was planning on a camp out, that I agreed to, the same weekend. A friend reminded me of the event last night so I could let the Scout Master and Samuel know he'd miss out on this camp out. Seriously, it was quite upsetting to him. In the 6 months he's been a Boy Scout, he's been camping 6 times, I think, so it's a bummer to break the streak. However, I'm pretty sure that while he's watching the reenactment he will forget about his camp out and the barf-in-a-bag that was to be his breakfast.

Monday, August 8, 2011

We're back to OK for a bit. We were going to leave earlier in the day, but we first did some spelling and reading, decided to try out the track at the high school (it's basically brand new and made with rubbery material, which is really nice.) I have no idea how far it is around, but I RAN twice around it. If you know me and my hate (no love at all) relationship with running- even at ORU when you were supposed to run 3 miles, I managed to get out of it with my fellow nursing students- that is a huge deal. Caleb did an amazing job. He ran around twice, too, all but the last 100 feet. He actually wasn't very far behind me. ;) Hannah made it around once, and ran for a nice portion of the way. Samuel beat us all and could've gone around again, I think. We all left with orange/red shoes, and tired, thirsty bodies.

After we had a beautiful rain during the night, we were able to continue our yard raking project. There are a lot of rocks in it that are painful to big and little feet. We decided to see how much we could get off the ground and make it more enjoyable to be outside. Of course, wearing shoes would solve a lot of that! We made some nice piles and will do more when we get back. Just looking at the piles makes my feet feel better!

Just before we left, we got a call Catherine had been waiting for. Off and on she had complained about her eyes bothering her, so I finally made the call and got her eyes checked. She needed the very slightest correction, so it was very quick to get them in. She thinks they're pretty cool, so she wants to wear them all the time instead of just when she reads. We'll see how long that lasts!

So far we've had them for 4 days and they've not been lost once! Great job, Catherine!

Yesterday we went to a big back to school bash, complete with funny family pictures, give aways, face painting, and crafts. The line was entirely too long to wait for the face painting, so I promised to do it myself this morning. Caleb wanted a tiger, so with my limited makeup, here's how he turned out.

Catherine didn't tell me what she really wanted and told me something else that made her entirely unhappy when the results were completed. Hmmm. I think there's a lesson there. Soon afterward, it was forgotten in the midst of wearing a fabulous long red dress from Grandma!

As we drove home, we hit about 45 minutes of a totally cloud filled sky and fabulous rain. The temp dropped to 72*. What a nice drive! As we got closer, the temp climbed 30*. We stopped at a friends for a little pool time and enjoyed the water. Hannah sat on the side and didn't complain once about being splashed! That's a first for her, which was so nice to see.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

After days and days in the 110's, I was so relieved to only see 102* on my car's thermometer today. Funny what 10 degrees can do for you! It was even nicer to drive northeast a bit and watch it drop even further. I was on a call this morning, getting ready for the school year and heard people talking about the 90's being so hot. It made me laugh. We probably would think it felt cool. ;)
I agree with one of my friends, who said one of the benefits of this hot dry spell, among other things, was that we no longer stick out on our block. All the yards look scorched.
And so, we pray for rain. God, Who created the universe, Who is said to bring rain to the just and the unjust, will hear our prayers and bring relief. I keep telling my kids they need to do this or that, because if it rains, we don't want it ruined. Maybe I should hold of on washing my car...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If God can use a donkey...

Yesterday, Catherine had the great idea of putting something large and fun on Buddy's key chain, since it is sometimes misplaced. Great idea. Kind of. Fast forward 3 hours and he needed to get something from his truck. Where are those keys? All the kids are in bed by now, supposedly asleep. We looked all over and couldn't find them. We decided to just trust God to help us. (That's what we're supposed to do, right away, right?) We stopped looking and went onto other things we needed to be doing, and in a little while I heard the dog whining at the back door. A minute later I heard keys jingle outside the door and drop. Low and behold, the dog had the keys for us. Isn't God good? Funny how He brings things about when we trust Him.