Saturday, May 13, 2017

More Birthdays and Happenings!

At the time of the writing of my last post, Elizabeth and Carolyn had just celebrated their birthdays.   We have since had two more birthdays take place.  Kinsley celebrated her third birthday. 

She wanted blue and red flowers for her birthday from daddy.  He had to special order them.  :)
She wanted a character from her favorite show on her cake and my very talented sister made it for her.  Thank you Aunt "S".  Kinsley was so happy with it. 
I can not believe she is three already.  God has done a huge work in this child. She has come so far!

You are a huge blessing to our home Big Girl!  May God have His mighty hand on you all the days of your life and may you dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

Anna-Kate turned 2 on her birthday this year. 
She came to us when she was less than 48 hours old.  What a change in those two years.  She had so many issues when she came to us and is now thriving and developing well.  God does His thing in these children's lives and I just sit back in awe as I watch.

She is a huge fan of the purple dinosaur.  I personally, am about burnt out after 20 years of the "I love you" song but it brings her so much joy. My sister did a beautiful job on Anna-Kate's cake and she absolutely loved it! 
Thank you Aunt "S"  and family, for all you do to make our children's lives special.

We love you our littlest Princess!  May you be held in Gods mighty hand all the days of your life!

Zeke recently participated in the local Special Olympics.  This was his second year taking part and he really enjoys doing it.
He had quite a cheering section.
He placed second in the shock put, second in the 100 yard dash and his relay team placed first in the relay race for his school against the other schools relay teams.
Congratulations Zeke!  We love you so very much!

William had his graduation ceremony from the GED program! 
So much hard work and determination went into it for him.  He wore a gold cord for being inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society. 
Tim's parents and brother came to the ceremony.  Carolyn was not there.  She had a ballet class and is only a few classes from recital so could not miss it. 
What an accomplishment and milestone. 
We could not be happier for him or more pleased.

While everyone was dressed up for the occasion I took a few pictures.  The boys are growing up so much! 
  Pure sweetness.  They are all very close and play very well together...most of the time!
It is very hard to get Kinsley to smile for the camera with a real smile.  She is pretty shy.

Elizabeth is changing so much lately in so many ways.  Quite the young lady lately.

We also took Antonio to Repticon.  The reptile show that comes to our area once a year.  He loves reptiles.  He was saving his money for a tortoise but once there decided to get two more crested geckos.

I am looking forward to summer.  It has been a very busy spring and our calendar is still full.  We are going to try to take it slow and easy this summer.  We have been diligently tightening our belts and saving our money.  We are going to try to take a vacation this year.  We have only had two vacations in the last 14 years.  We went to Jekyll Island in 2011 and 2012 and have not have a vacation since.  I would love for our four youngest to see the ocean and play on a beach as they have never been.  Also, our older children work so hard around here helping with the farm and younger children.  A vacation would be so good for them and us all.  God is so good.

Hosea 6:3  Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.



May the Lord God in heaven be with you.  May He give you wisdom in making decisions for your life.  May He give you peace and joy in Him as you live and grow in the Word of God.

Blessings,

susan 




Saturday, April 29, 2017

Birthdays!!...Events!! and Other Things...

All four of our daughters, that are here at home, have birthdays within three weeks of each other!  It is a flurry of cake and celebrations back to back.  My children are all so precious to me but I never realized what a gift daughters are to a mother.  The comradery as we work side by side.  The love, support and friendship that develops over the years as they mature and grow.  I am blessed beyond measure.  They are all treasures to me.

Elizabeth turned 14 this year!  I see her blooming into a beautiful woman with every passing year.  She loves to do ballet and color.  She likes to help me garden, cook and keeps the kitchen in great shape.
Tim always gives the girls flowers on their birthdays!
Elizabeth wanted a cake with flowers on it, so my sister made her a very beautiful cake, for her special day.
Elizabeth has always been one of our hardest children to raise.  She has RAD and was so difficult, day after day her whole life...at times her behaviors were out of control and very taxing on our whole family.  Just exhausting.  We have staid the course all these years and been steadfast in prayer, love, discipline and hope, only by the grace of God.  I am overjoyed to share, that God has done a miracle and great work in Elizabeth, over the last six months.  The change has been nothing short of remarkable.  Her heart has been totally changed.  She is working very hard to be a new creature in Christ Jesus and the difference it has made in our home is breathtaking.  God is so faithful and true.  His Word does not return void and His mercies are fresh and new every morning.  Only our faithful God can change a heart and mind and make it truly His.  From her very fragile beginnings to now, she always was and will be my miracle girl!
Kindly helping Antonio to bowl the other day.
I thank you and praise you God for our precious daughter Elizabeth and the new work you are doing in her life.  May you have your hand on her, her whole life, leading and guiding her every step of the way.

Carolyn had her birthday next.  She turned 17 this year!  My sweet hearted, young lady is almost an adult!  Where does the time go?
She is still my right hand girl and so helpful around here.  She loves to do ballet and ride her pony Millie.  She is very good with children and animals.  I can honestly call her one of my very best friends.
Carolyn and her little spoiled dog Bella.
Carolyn collects these little rubber animals and her very favorite one is called Perry.  I guess he is from some TV show but we don't have piped in TV, so she has never watched it.  She carries that little rubber Perry in her pocket everywhere.  He is quite worn out.  She likes him so much, she wanted him on her birthday cake.  My sister did a great job of making her a Perry cake!  It made Carolyn's day!
Thank you Lord for my sweet and sassy daughter.  May she serve you all the days of her life and dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

William finished his GED recently.  Praise God!  He has worked so very hard at it all.  We got notification a few weeks ago, that he was going to be inducted as a member, into the National Adult Education Honor Society.  Tim and I got a sitter for that day and went to his pinning ceremony.  As all Williams teachers stood to speak about him, I almost cried.  God is so amazing.  He chose Tim to do the honor of pinning him.  He will wear a gold cord at his graduation ceremony.  Tim's parents came to it as well.  The school put on a luncheon for William after the ceremony.  It was such a nice time for him.
  William we are so pleased with you!

My sister took some of the children on two outings last month. She took this crew to the Etowah Indian burial mounds.
She took these two to Amicalola Falls.
Thank you Aunt S for enriching the children's lives and for all you, your husband and family do for us.

Tim and William went away for a weekend recently.  They left for their yearly trip to Bug-A-Paluza.  I am always amazed at all they do around here.  I really feel it, when they both leave every year.  It makes me appreciate them so much more.
William always takes hundreds of pictures off all the bugs and wants me to post so many of them.  I told him to pick two this year.

The weather has still been pretty and the flowers are in bloom. 
It is almost time to plant our garden!

God is so very good.  I pray God will lead and guide you as you learn and grow in Him.

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Blessings,

susan
 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Happy Spring! 4/2017

Spring has sprung and we have been spending a large amount of time outside.  Summer is too hot and humid for my children with special  needs to be outside and winter to cold.  Spring and fall are our "get outside" and enjoy the weather months!

It has been so nice to see things green!
We had such a long, harsh, drought last year, things were brown, dead and dying for months.  We have gotten a lot of rain this winter but our water table is still not up to where it should be for this time of year.  There is a hay shortage around here because people had to feed hay to their livestock all summer and winter last year.
There was no grass.  There was no second cutting of hay either.  Everything just turned to dust and blew away.  This year I am stocking our barn with hay early, just in case.  :)
We are preparing all the raised grow beds for planting.  Lots of weeding to do!

Speaking of weather...on March 3rd we had a terrible hail storm in our area.  Carolyn and I were out in the barn when it hit.  It was terrifying.  We prayed fervently for safety.  It was the largest hail I had ever witnessed in my whole life.  We found many pieces that were tennis ball sized but most were the size of a peach.  Here is a picture taken of a few next to a quarter.
It did a lot of damage in our whole area.  Everyone's roofs in our area needed to be replaced, as well as our house siding.  Our is vinyl siding and it was cracked, pitted and full of holes.  Others had aluminum siding and it was dented terribly.  Our vehicles were also dented and the mirrors were broken off Williams truck.  The chicken coop windows were broken, as well as some windows down at my dads house.  (We live on the same piece of property)  It made us all think of the scripture in Revelation 16 that describes the hail storm that will one day happen with hail stones weighing 100 pounds each...Lord help us.

Tim and I both had birthdays recently.  We are the same age and born about a month apart.  We celebrated by spending the day together alone!  It was so nice.  I am so blessed to have Tim as my husband.  Tim's health has stabilized and he is doing well.  He has to eat a special diet for his kidneys and make sure he gets enough rest.  He still needs to put on some more weight but is doing well.  God is so good!

Anna-Kate, our youngest, is getting to be such a big girl.
She used to carry around a burp cloth with her where ever she went and a stuffed Kermit the frog.  Now she only needs them when she goes to sleep at night.  She will not go down without them.  The Kermit always looks like he has this huge smile and is having the best time.  Often when I do my rounds to check on the children for the night, Kermit is in hilarious positions that crack us all up.  I never pose him.  It is just where he happens to be from her rolling around in her bed.  Here are a few of his pictures.  Hope they make you smile like they do us.
Caught, up and playing when he should have been sleeping!
Hi-ho Kermit the happy pillow!
Squished Kermit.  :)
He has her foot in his mouth.
They are too funny!

Here is a silly snail I have in one of my salt water tanks.  He has a long black rubbery trunk that he cleans around in my tank with like a vacuum.  His eyes are up on two long stalks.  He is looking at the camera as I took this picture of him.  God sure made some interesting creatures.  For those children who like to google what things are, he is a Tiger Fighting Conch.


I love to garden and nurture things.  It is a huge part of stress relief for me.  The children and I garden outside.  Here is Carolyn's lemon tree named John.  Its her first lemon.  :)

I have fish tanks and large fish bowls all over our home.  Gardening in them is a very relaxing hobby for me.  I will leave you with a picture of the one by my desk in the kitchen.  It is a 3 gallon Walstad bowl.  It has plants, a few shrimp, a zebra nerite snail, two dwarf cory catfish and a few Chili Rasboras in it.  Very fun to watch while working at my desk, doing the tons of paper work, that come with having a home full of wonderful children, with special needs.  :)

James 1:2-3  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.


Blessings,

susan