Saturday, January 31, 2009

A quick cry...

Ok...this post on LPM Blog totally made me cry. Hormonal? Maybe, but still...sweet post :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Testing Love...No, Really...Testing...Love

So, Love has been home with us now for 10 months. We are beyond pleased with her transition, her loving and sweet demeanor and her level of will blow you away. But, she struggles with communicating. After discussing this with our social worker she suggested we have her tested through ECI (Early Childhood Intervention).

Today was that day. The ladies arrived here at 12:30 on the dot and were here almost 2 hours. They overwhelmingly concur that yes she is most definitely behind in cognitive, language (both expressive and receptive) and personal/social. What does that mean? Well, according to their screening and evaluation she is only at a 13 month level for cognitive and personal/social and a 20 month level for language (both areas). They also agreed that she was much younger which technically makes her not quite as far behind. On a positive note, she is at 35 months for both fine and gross motor development.

She will begin therapy in a few weeks. They both believe her hearing is the main cause of her delay. She had tubes placed in November but has still had 3 ear infections since then. They believe the secondary cause is that she lived in China for the first 20 months of her life.

Anyway, she will begin therapy soon and I am hopeful that we caught this in plenty of time so as not to delay her any further. At least it is on the radar now and we can make every effort necessary to help her communicate. I can only imagine how frustrating it could be to know what you want or even what you want to tell someone yet lack the skills to communicate it. I am hoping with her therapy and the tools they are giving us to help her here at home she will progress quickly. They do want her re-evaluated by the ped. ENT again though. Hmmmm....

No worries :)

As for tonight, I went to our Thursday night Bible study - He Speaks To Me. Probably the biggest thing to hit me tonight was a Bible verse that Priscilla (not Patricia?!) shared:

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1 (The Message)

I absolutely love the -take your everyday, ordinary life and place it before God as an offering. Is that asking too much? Well, technically...its asking for everything, isn't it? We don't have to have fancy titles or homes or heritage. He just wants the everyday, ordinary life we all have to give. That means who we are all the time- a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend, a housewife, a carpool driver...what we do- how we spend money, how we make decisions, how we live...what we say- how we speak, what words we use, how we say them....all of our many offer it ALL to Him. And really, isn't He worthy of that? If we just think about what God has done we have so much to be thankful for. Isn't the best way to show our gratitude is by living a life that truly honors and glorifies Him? I pray that my everyday, ordinary life is a pleasing sacrifice, a life of worship in which Christ can be seen.

Oh, Brother...

Thankfully I had my camera within reach when I walked into the livingroom and found this situation. It is a tad bit rare to find Hunter with both little girls for more than 10-15 minutes. He is at that old age of 14 where "babies" usually bother him. He sure loves them but they are "babies" no less. He sneaks in a hug or a kiss when he feels like it and he is a great player of hide and seek or chase. All three girls look up to Hunter and seek his approval. All I could do was smile when I found him reading to them...the entire book and he held them both so sweetly. There is just something pretty special about having big brother.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Day Without School...

I know what your thinking...boy that didn't last long!
But, we actually had an ice day here and public school was closed so...we did it up right. It isn't often we have everyone home for such a long stretch of time without work, school, errands or illness. So, we had a big breakfast, played games, watched movies and just hung out. It was a great day and I know the Lord knew we could sure use some good uninterrupted quality family time. Such a gift :)

On another note...we all watched Fireproof last night, well all but the little girls and it overwhelmingly was a hit. If you haven't seen it and are big into blockbuster type movies this one is done by volunteers so there is a little adjustment period before you may settle completely into the movie. How refreshing to see a film that actually cares enough about the commitment of marriage to do an entire movie about how to save one or even how to breathe new life into a stale one. The book that the main character goes through is The Love Dare. I hope to add it to our collection soon....I dare you to do the same :) Here is a video that does a much better job of describing it:

And yet another note...Faith is reading this:
She is soooo excited about it. She finishes a chapter and then tells me her favorite part about the book. So far she has seen the reality that a God honoring relationship is very difficult to have. Even what seems harmless can take parts of your heart that you didn't even realize you were giving away. The part so far to stick in her mind is a dream of a young lady who is getting married. She is there with her groom, he has her hand and then a string of 6 other ladies on the other side of him standing with him at the altar and she asks why they are here. He tells her that each one took a piece of his heart. She tells him she thought that she had his heart and he told her she does...all that is left of it. Isn't that the truth? That even at a young age you can give away parts of yourself (not even physically) and not be the person that God intended you to be as a husband or a wife. This book is powerful and relevant and I am thrilled she is not only reading it but truly understanding what we have tried to teach her. Needless to say, it has my endorsement, for what it is worth :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wonderful First Day of Class X 2...

Well today marks our very first day of homeschooling. Can I share with you something? I am worn out! But my heart is filled with thankfulness that we were able to get through it. I won't lie to you...we had a bit of a rocky start. But, at the end of the day, we ended on a high note. And our little Faith - far brighter than she lets on. It amazed me to ask her the open ended questions at the end of her first sections and the answers she shared....amazed. I can tell you this she learns VERY well one on one. The curriculum we chose for her is filled with scripture and I love it! Now that is a concept...teaching on the very principles that this country was founded on...hmmm. Oh, and a little tidbit for separation of church and state here :)

Had my very first class for the Esther study...y'all I am so excited I want to do my whole week of homework tonight after everyone is asleep...I am not even joking. I will refrain and do it daily. The video series tonight - sooo good. Did you know that in the book of Esther that there is NOT one reference to God...nowhere in it. I am sure I knew that at one point but apparently it didn't make that big of an impression on me before. Tonight it was most all I could think about.

Now I know that Beth is big on not letting herself be the idol or the one which we get caught up in during the study...that she is merely the vessel. It can be hard not to get so tied up in her and what she has been allowed to open so many eyes and ears to. I really would love to have her as a mentor...can you even imagine? But, since I can't be there one on one I will gladly share these 9 weeks with her. I just love her....really I love what she does for me in my walk...using His Word and her gift she pokes my embers...gets my fire going real good again...brings me on a journey to love Him even more or understand Him on a new and deeper level. She sharpens my iron :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gifts Abound....

Can I let you in on something pretty special about Big Daddy?

He knows how to buy gifts. Not the type you maybe thinking of...but really meaningful gifts. He recently purchased Priscilla Shirer's He Speaks To Me member book for me. I have been hanging with some sweet ladies on Thursday evenings and we just started this video series and having the book is something I had wanted but didn't necessarily need.
He didn't stop there....he purchased the Your Girl Bible Study for Mothers of Teens by Vicki Courtney for me too. I am overjoyed with the information in this book! It has hit my hot little hands not a moment too soon. What a wealth of information. With Faith being home all day we are planning on taking advantage of the extra time with a shared bible study :)But, it gets even at church...guess who let his wife sign on for a 9 week course on Monday nights? Yep, he sure did. And y'all it is my all time BFF (although she doesn't know it)Beth...ya know...Beth Moore. Our women's ministry is just starting her Esther bible study. I wanted it so bad when it first hit press but was hanging on for our church to facilitate a group and lo and behold they have. You have no idea the joy that brought to me today :)

Beth Moore's Esther, Web Promo from LifeWay on Vimeo.

Ok, pretty impressive, right? He also made some purchases for our oldest daughter Faith....but she wants to tell you all about visit her here if you'd like to hear more about it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Can You Believe...

This is what our girls had to wear to play outside less than a week ago? Crazy. It has been in the high 70s the past few days. So, you see, that is exactly why we have so many different types of clothing out of storage. Never assume you are in winter for a season...a week here and there, maybe, but never a season.

Oh...and I have stumbled upon my new *favorite* saying...

Some say that blood is thicker than water....

I say that love is thicker than blood.

Dontcha just love that? I sure do. Had to share :)

I'd give props to the author but I can't find the origin of the saying.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Catching Up From Christmas....

Wow! Christmas seems so long ago already. We had a lot of visits to make. We had my Grandma Totsie's, Bambi and Paw Paw's, our house and MiMi and Grumpy's (and yes the name fits).

Christmas Eve I was feeling pretty awful with an upper respiratory thingy. My Mom, bless her heart, came over to help me get ready for Christmas day. We were having family over for dinner. The little girls and I baked tons of cookies and cupcakes. Love really enjoyed herself. She was so proud just to have the freedom to make a huge mess. A smile stayed on her face the whole night. Hope would burst into Christmas songs and Love would try to follow her. It was a really precious night. I loved being able to share that time with them and they were both so tickled with what they had made. We were watching The Christmas Shoes. I snapped a good pic of MiMi and Faith on the couch...both of them tearing up. That movie just gets us every time, even though we know the ending.

Christmas day the kiddos didn't roll out of bed until around 8. We have quite a bit of video but not many pictures...our camera is on its last leg I am afraid. We had a nice morning of just hanging out and I was hitting the Dayquil pretty good at that point. We had dinner and I ended up falling asleep for an hour or so while watching It's A Wonderful Life. I was a terrible hostess but I was pretty sick so I forgave myself and I even shared my illness with a few people...see I had the giving spirit :)

Faith's favorite gift was her new cell phone from MiMi and Grumpy. Unfortunately or fortunately (which ever you want to see it) she had lost her cell phone privilege back around Thanksgiving, so she has yet to really use it. Hunter's favorite gift was his paintball gun. Hope's was her motorized helicopter and Love's was her Big Wheel. Big Daddy was supposed to buy a coat which he has yet to purchase and I got a super cute necklace with the kids names stamped into it like this but with a puffy silver heart in the middle instead. I love, love, love it!!

With all the commotion of moving and illness at our home, this holiday season felt a little diluted and foggy to me. I am so excited to finally be in our home and beginning to really get settled. There is a very comforting and exciting feeling of being able to plant and grow some roots here. We are looking forward to what the new year holds for our family :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A New Do....

I had finally come to realize Love's hair was in need of a haircut. I had been waiting and just enjoying her cute little pigtails. But, bless her heart, her hair is the finest, thinnest hair and it is just so brittle. I took her in for a trim and we left with the most precious bob haircut. I love it!! Her hair is in so much better shape.Her hair right before the cut
Faith and her BFF and Hope stood near for support

She smiled the whole time...didn't bother her a bit and she sat soo still Ta-Dah! And she even got a sucker for being such a good girl for Miss Emily
It is just the sweetest little bob.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fried Hard Drive and Home School

Quite the title, huh?

Oh y' lap top's hard drive is fried. Thank goodness my sister's boyfriend is a computer man...he has hooked me back up but he may not
be able to get my photos off of has all my photos of our trip to China to receive our sweet Love and about 1000

So, we will be getting the new hard drive tonight, yes! But those photos have me a little bit upset. I vow now to never ever put them straight on my computer...they will be sent directly external. It is heartbreaking but again makes me thankful beyond belief to even have a blog. I had made the 15 minute slide show of Hope from when we first met until her 3rd year...thank goodness and that is saved for good :) And we had Love's blog with some photos but there are some that I don't put on there that I love, I will recover if in fact we lose them forever but it will hurt...a lot.

Other big news...Faith will be home with me full time beginning next Monday. I will be homeschooling her. I know. I know. I. Know. It is something that I had almost vowed against completely almost campaigned against for our own home. You know the "I am not disciplined enough", "I am not smart enough", "I don't have the time or the patience", "They need to be in the world now to survive in the world as an adult", "How can you minister to the world if you yourself can not function in it". If you can think of a reason...I have either thought of it or said it out loud. And this isn't a slam to home school moms and families...I admire you, I always have. I just never pictured myself as one.

So the why...well, to be completely honest..she has been begging us to take her out of public school for months. She has shared so much with us and knows she is drowning in the world...I feel like we will fail her if we don't throw her the life preserver. It unfortunately is more of a social and surroundings issue than that of an educational issue. But it is affecting her education immensely now. I know there will be those that completely disagree with our decision. I understand and have probably had those thoughts myself. However, please know it has been covered in prayer and our family has been covered in prayer. So knowing that and with very intense consideration we all have such a peace about it. Which I certainly did NOT have before. Faith has a spirit of relief as well. Of course she has been away from school for 3 days now for the extended weekend.

And y'all, the ones of you who went to school here in our have NO idea just how much things have is mind blowing. I could not begin to make this stuff up. It will make your stomach turn.

I guess the thing that has been on my mind most has been something my good friend Shay just reminded me of lately. That our daughters are being abused by society...television, internet, views toward young girls sexually that are far more accepted, the expectations to be sexy even as a young girl, the world is devouring their innocence...well the ruler of this world is. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 Now it is our job to pour the Word into her half empty cup. To overflow her cup with the love of Christ, to help her remember she is the DAUGHTER of the KING. I can be far more effective controlling what enters her heart and her mind in our house full time. I know the current condition of her heart and she is wounded. She is growing weary. She needs to be renewed, refreshed and restored....and I know just the One to do it ;)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just a Sec....

Hey y'all!

I just wanted to stop in for a sec and let you know we are doing fabulously! We have been without Internet for a while...since the last post...we will be getting the hook up this Friday!! PTL! Is that totally selfish to say that? I think not...praise Him in all things...I know he cares about my Internet connection. It has become the portal to so many new, established and rekindled friendships, a place to collect thoughts and a scrapbook for our family.

So, this weekend I should be all caught back up. I have had sooo much to tell you guys. And though I knew it was going to make momentous posts (at least for me) this mind of mine has done purged and reset.

We did completely move out of the rent house on New Year's Eve and hosted a small little soiree that same evening...I have such forgiving family and friends...the house was a WRECK. So we are still moving in, and I fear it will take longer than I had anticipated with all the new Christmas toys the little girls received. Where to put them...and I have already phased out the other toys it is just toys are so much bigger now.

Well, I could sit here and ramble but I really must go and check up on my emails....3340 of them...mostly junk but still to filter through them is so tedious.

Until Friday...I have missed you guys so much!