Thursday, February 21, 2013

What is Normal - I've forgotten!

Esther trying to smile while in the ER
Poor Baby!
Just when I thought things would get back to "normal" after the flu (upper respiratory kind) swept through our family, Esther got a second round.  She had been doing so much better, and then over last weekend she tanked again.  I ended up taking her into the ER on Monday as there were no openings at her doctor's office.  It all worked well and I even got new instructions/dosage on her ibuterol treatments.  She required steroids to help open up her airways and she was doing better by the time we were headed home.  She still had a couple of rough days Tuesday and Wednesday, but today she was definitely on the mend.  Anyway, normal is over-rated and our family seems to need a new "normal" every few weeks.  I just need to "roll with it"!  I'm getting good at doing that, you know!
On the way home from the ER, we stopped in at Walmart and I found PJs for the girls for just $5 ea, in cotton too!  Esther can't wear polyester,and it can be challenging to find cotton pjs, and I don't think I've ever gotten these two matching outfits yet, so this was fun!

Since I started recovering from my bout with the flu, I have been able to do some preparation for our home study visits.  I was able to move Carese into the big girls room and I found a "like new" rocker that I got for a song.  It was wonderful to rock Esther last night instead of perching on a folding metal chair in the middle of the night!  What a blessing!

Speaking of blessings, I was pondering on the blessing of adult children yesterday and was so thrilled that all three of my older boys are gainfully employed!  Not only that, they are all in the field of work that the love doing!  Jeremy has a custom made position doing website and programming work surrounded by dedicated Christians.  Jason is a machinist and he's good at it.  He was always good with working with his hands growing up, and this job is something he was made to do.  Jonathan's job has just become his dream job.

Jonathan struggled in homeschooling due to a reading disability.  This runs in my family. He has outdone what the reading specialist said he could accomplish.  He worked hard last year studying "the book" on commercial driving and passed the written test with flying colors the first time and was awarded his commercial driving permit!  But the hoped for opportunity to work for a friend of the family did not work out and it looked like his life long dream to drive truck was fizzling.  That all changed this week!  He has been given the opportunity to get his driving experience right where he has been working for the past 3 years!  Praise God, such a blessing! Today he got to drive the "little" truck and he was in such a great mood when he came home.
These two dresses used to be Elizabeth
 and Esthers about 4 years ago -
they were so cute matching the last Sunday
we were able to attend church!

I've been homeschooling now for over 25 years, and I have about 18 to go yet!  But I think my most difficult years are behind me.  I have never been an ideal homeschooling mom as I have been on the more un-schooled type of mom.  Our times of book work would never add up to the amount of hours most homeschooling families put in, but it hasn't prevented my sons from being gainfully employed.  They have excelled in spite of me.  I did give them the tools to learn, and they have the ability and knowledge to learn anything they want to learn.  Jeremy self taught himself several computer programming languages - I could have never taught him that!  Jonathan earned his CDL without any help from me (I encouraged him, but I did not teach him anything!).

I believe that most book work that children are expected to do in "school" is a waste of time. I know, I know...that sounds ridiculous   But let me ask you this - how much of what you learned in a classroom do you use in your everyday life.  If you hear about a country with political strife, do you immediately recall what you learned about politics and that country and it's government from what you learned in school, or are you like me and run to the internet to "research"?  I had an excellent education - one of the best around.  It has been a great value to me, but mostly because I was taught how to learn.  Most of the book work and things I studied I no long remember.  When my children reach high school and beyond, I'm not really going to care if they completed every page in every subject every year, but I am going to care about is whether or not they have learned what they need to know to be a hard worker (chores), care for their family (even boys need to know how to cook and clean), balance the checkbook, make good purchasing decisions...and know how to learn.  When they find the they do not know something, are they capable of learning it without having to take a class on the subject?  I've never taken any accounting training (well, accounting 101 in high school, but that doesn't really count and I've never applied what I learned there), but I now do all the bookkeeping for our family and my small business - including all our payroll!  I do hire an accountant for our year end tax preparation, but I know I could do that if I tried...but I'd probably miss new tax laws.  I hope that my children will also know when it's time to hire an expert - like difficult car repair, wiring in the house and such!

Anyway, that's just my two cents about it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shrinking to Gain

I'm double posting this because this blog has a larger readership than my new, adoption blog!

Last night I was once again so tired but unable to sleep.  This flu is the weirdest illness I've ever had.  I get so tired by I can't sleep.  It's probably what I have heard as "adoption brain."  There are so many things to do and things to think about that my brain won't shut off even when my body is screaming for sleep!  I console myself with thoughts of "at least I'm resting," and "it gives me time to think through things and remember things that I might forget in the busy-ness of my life."

Last night I had an inspiration - at least I hope it was inspiration.  I saw over the last week or so that another adoptive mommy was doing a "per pound" pledge type fundraising effort.  I thought that was an excellent idea.  But that wouldn't work for me for two reasons - I don't have a scale, and with T-Tapp my weight has been slow to come off, but the inches came off incredibly fast!  I know sugar is my weakness, so I decided that I'd do it either by inch of by day of being sugar free.

Sugar free for me doesn't mean worrying about the insignificant amounts of sugar in things like ketchup, as going truly sugar free would be expensive and thwart our budgeting to save money for our adoption.  I am talking about no desserts, no mochas, no cookies...nothing that is a sweet.  Not even sugar free alternatives. That means no splenda or diet soda either!  I did this for a month late last summer, so I know I can do it!

When I consider spending in excess of 12 hours in an airplane at my current weight I have visions of claustrophobia!  Airplane seats are so cramped!  I am tall too, so that doesn't help either!  So I really want to shed lots of inches and get stronger in order to endure the ordeal of flying to the other side of the world without compromising my health (physical and mental ;).

Lord willing, I will physically shrink while our adoption fund grows!

So this morning (when I once again couldn't sleep), I created a Facebook Page where my supporters can pledge either per inch or per day.  It will renew at the beginning of each month, asking that you donate your pledge at that time.  The following month you can re-pledge, or drop out, it's up to you!

Please consider pledging to encourage and support me in this endeavor, and if you can't commit to that, then please share this blog post of the "Sugar Free For Priscy" Facebook Page!

If you aren't on Facebook but want to pledge, then please email me with your pledge and I'll track it for you and post here at the end of each month!

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Home Preparations

We have been very busy around here with preparations for completing our home study!  But first, in case you missed it, we have officially announced which little girl we are adopting!

Do you see her in this photo?  I know, I did a terrible job, but I tried!

Anyway, here's a better picture of our Priscilla (that's not her real name, but it's the name assigned to her by Reece's Rainbow - we plan to give her a new first name and use her real name as a middle name).

Priscilla is 2 1/2 years old, she is tiny for her age.  She has had her congenital heart defect repaired, but has suffered 4 bouts with Pneumonia already.  She looks healthy, but in videos you can hear that her breathing is junky like Esther's was before we started thickening her liquids.  She also have extreme laxivity of joints/flexibility and will benefit from the use of the hip huggers like we used with Esther.
We have been getting ready for our first home study inspection, but preparations stalled last week and this week due to the invasion of the flu - the real flu....respiratory and digestive, YUCK!

Here's what the two rooms I finished look like.  The first photo shows our bedroom and the crib that Carese sleeps in.  Eventually this crib will be moved into the girl's bedroom, but probably not for a few months yet.  The second photo shows the girl's sleeping arrangement.  Elizabeth sleeps in the top bunk, Esther in the lower bunk.  The crib will be for Priscilla, but she also has the option of the toddler bed that is behind the crib.  Right now we are installing Carbon Monoxide detectors and a smoke detector and I hope to tackle the boys bedroom with them today/tomorrow.  Then we'll be doing a thorough cleaning of the bathrooms, oh joy!

Carese is in full walking mode now - crawling only over rough terrain!  She's so little it's adorable watching her walk around!  She loves to play with her siblings, but for some strange reason she is a super momma's girl - I guess I must be doing something right.  In our studying for the adoption I have learned that babies and toddlers form attachment to the people who consistently meet their needs.  So, contrary to popular beliefs about large families, I do the majority of her care, hence the strong attachment to me!

Reuben has such a good heart.  He dotes on Esther and Carese more than any other of my boys.  You can tell too, as Esther is very bonded to him and will generally go sit by him or ask him for a piggy back ride.    

Jonathan is working full time, so we don't see him much.  I love that this new coat from the company he works for (Perry Pallet) is glow in the dark!  You know I love the piano and most of our children have taken at least some piano lessons, well, one of my favorite things to do with the babies is sit them up to the piano in their highchair or whatever and let them bang away.  Carese is not exception and she loves to play!

Recently we invited a very special family over - the family of the girl that Jeremy is courting.  Yes, that's right, our first child to officially court!  Not, that's not dating, but if you want to think of it that way, it's dating with a purpose.  But it doesn't include just the two of them spending the evening all alone.  So we invited her family over for dinner and some games.  We used the incentive to do some early spring cleaning, like Jessica cleaning the ceiling fan!  

Can you believe it, as of next month, we will have been living in our new home for 5 years?????  I just can't believe it!  Time has just flown!  In 5 years with our busy family things can get pretty dirty, especially in the vicinity of the kitchen.  A scrubbing of the cupboards made for so much improvement, especially after canning this year!  I hope to break out the paint soon and do some touch up painting, especially in the diningroom and kitchen! I wanted to do that last year, but Carese's arrival got in the way!