Sunday, April 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Carolyn!!!

Happy 14th birthday my dear, sweet, young, lady!

Before we started doing foster care, many years ago, I was surrounded by little boys.  I had two sons. My sister had two sons.  My brothers had two sons. I love little boys, so I thoroughly enjoyed them all.

When we first started doing foster care though, I longed for a girl and wouldn't you know it, the first many foster placements we had were all boys!!!   We eventually did start having a few little girls trickle thru after a while.  I enjoyed them all.  One of our first "girl" placements was Faith Anne.  After being in our home for two years, she, thru adoption, became my very first daughter.  God had blessed us mightily.  I was so happy.  We were all so happy.  Pinks and purples, dresses and bows had finally become a part of our lives. 
She was such a blessing to all who knew her.  We deeply miss her.

In 2000 we got a call for a placement for a little infant girl.  We said yes!  She was another girly gift to my heart, from God, from the first time I held her.

Such a tiny precious little one.

As she grew she was a cuddly, clingy, joy to have around.

Always a pleasure and often behaviorally/emotionally a challenge because she was born with FAS.
She officially became our daughter at almost three years old.  We were overjoyed.

Some things, she had terrible deep fears clowns and people dressed in costumes.  But other things you would think she would be afraid of, she was not.   She begged to do this on a trip to Gatlinburg that year.  He kept gently jumping her up and down. 
She kept giggling and telling the guy.."Higher...Higher!!!"  He would just look at us and do it.  She was not big enough to be secure in that seat!  Finally the guy just pulled her all the way down and let her go! 
Talk about making my heart go pitter pat!  I thought he was going to shoot her to the moon...her laughing hysterically all the way!  Yup.  That's her!
That's our girl!

She has a special bond with her dad, as she is his little princess and they both like computers and electronics.

She was a sweet child with a good heart and kindness about her.

As she matured she followed me everywhere and wanted to do what I did and learn what I knew.  Very endearing.

She has matured and grown into a great help around here.
A trusted confidant. 
A good friend.

 Always willing to lend a hand.

She goes with the flow of the family, now, no matter what we are doing.

Our treasured daughter for sure.

She loves farm life and animals.  Here she is with her great friend, her pony Millie.

But yet she is always the young lady.

Here she is with her little dog that is almost always in her arms when she is in the house.  Princess!  All she wanted for her 8th birthday was a chihuahua.  She was given Princess and has raised and house trained her all by herself.

She loves animals, riding her pony, hanging out in the barn with the animals, cooking, loom knitting, writing simple short stories and farm life.   She is a homebody that likes to be home and not go out much.  She is a domestic, down to earth, kind of young lady.  She is helpful and kind.  She has a bit of attitude and sass sometimes but over all, a very obedient daughter who just wants to please us and help in any way she can.

She knows that I can not eat out at all and have to pack a lunch to take with me when I have appointments.  She knows I have blood sugar issues and need to eat regularly.  If I did not pack a lunch and my errands run past a mealtime, she texts me to check on me and asks if she can prepare my food to have ready for me to eat when I get home.  Bless my heart she is a sweet and caring young lady.

We combined a birthday meal out for Elizabeth and Carolyn last week.  They chose Mexican and then ice cream out after wards.

We grilled out today on her actual birthday and had cake.  My sister is so talented when it comes to cake decorating.  Thank you sister for making this beautiful cake for her,  just how she wanted it done and making her day special.

I don't know where the time goes but our little girl is not a little girl anymore but a young woman.  She turned 14 today!  Happy Birthday my treasured daughter and friend from all of us....

Proverbs 31:29-31  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Love, Daddy, mom, Stephen, Antonio, William, Zeke, Elizabeth and two little foster brothers!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

This is a very special time of year.  A time of remembering the fall of man and sin entering into the world.  A time of remembrance of the fulfilling of prophecy.  A time of year we remember and think about how Jesus came down to earth as the Son of God, as a sacrificial innocent Lamb.  To not just cover our sins but to wash them all away, if we receive Him as our Lord and Savior!  Now that is something to celebrate!  There are no words for the thankfulness and gratefulness I have toward God and all that was done at this time of year so long ago at the cross.  Thankful for Salvation, healing, mercy, grace and abounding love.

The old testament is full of prophecy.  All pointing forward to the coming of the Messiah.  So much, that if we read just all the prophecy scriptures, there would be absolutely no doubt Jesus was the Christ.  Here is just one example.  When you read this old testament chapter, written long before Jesus birth... think about all the prophecy in this and similarities in it about when Jesus died.

Psalm 22

To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Deer of the Dawn.”[a] A Psalm of David.

22 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.
But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
“He trusted[b] in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
11 Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced[c] My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20 Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!
You have answered Me.
22 I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!
27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.[d]
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.
30 A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this. 

These are just a few verses in the old testament that are so shockingly accurate about Jesus, His life and deathPraise God for His mercy and love for us all.  That God loved us so much that He provided a way for salvation and eternal life if we would just except it.  Thank you God!

So where is Jesus now?  It says in the Bible that He ascended into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father!

Mark 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

So what is He is he doing now?   Two things we are told.  Interceding for us!  The Son of God is advocating on our behalf!  Praise be to God!

1 John 2:1-11  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
The second thing it says in the Bible is that He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us!  A place to live with Him forever!

John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

And what is He going to do?  He is coming back again!

Revelation 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.


1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

He is also going to judge the whole earth.  May we all believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, live for Him and be counted worthy!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Yup, She's Broke

On the day before Elizabeth's birthday she had ballet class.  After class they were released to go to the back to get their shoes and coats on to leave.  As she hurried to the back of the studio she flipped her ankle and fell.  She has low tone Cerebral Palsy.  Her muscle tone is very loose and floppy.  When she falls, her reaction time is to slow to catch herself.  So when she falls, she falls very hard.  When she was six she fell down two steps, at the feed store and couldn't even catch herself fast enough to protect her poor face and broke her nose and arm.

I was not in the studio when it happened but Carolyn said Elizabeth sat and cried.  When I came in to pick them up at 5:00 p.m., she was putting on her shoe and limping badly trying to get out to the car.  By the time we got home it was too painful to bare weight and walk on.  Sigh.

I thought it looked broken and she acted like her foot was broken.  I could even see the spot I thought it was broke on the top of her foot.  Once I got all the household settled down for the night I ran her over to the ER.  (Tim, the toddlers and Antonio all go to bed at 7:00 p.m. so left after they were all in bed for the night.)  It takes forever in our ER to be seen, treated and released.  But I knew we needed to do this as she was in so much pain.  Also it was easier for me to do this now with Tim at home and everyone in bed than during the next day with seven kids with me.  We drove over and checked into the ER and waited.  Got called to have vitals taken and shown to a room and waited.  When the doctor finally came in to see us, Elizabeth showed him where on her foot it was painful.  The doctor left...we waited.  The X-ray tech came in to do X-rays and left and we waited.  The doctor finally came in and said it was not broken but a sprain.  That she should use crutches for a week or so and then push her self to start to walk on it.  They splinted her ankle and a guy came in and fitted her for some crutches and we were released with a paper on how to care for a sprain and a number for the ortho doctor to get her sprain looked at.  I still felt her foot was broke and could not wait to get the appointment with the ortho doctor to get a second opinion.

Elizabeth can not do anything to strenuous as it over taxes her heart.  When she over exerts herself, she breaths very heavy.  She used to be trached and has a narrow airway, so this sounds just horrible like she is suffocating...she turns red, her skins gets very cold/clammy and she sweats profusely thru the top of her head.  Her hair literally gets wet.  Well...we left the room we were in, with her using her crutches.  She struggled horribly with them, her muscles are just so low tone.  We had only made it part was down the hall when she was breathing heavy and hair getting wet.  We struggled to the door and I pulled the van up to pick her up and take her home.  Elizabeth has a wheelchair/stroller that we own for when going to the zoo, on trips that require a lot of walking or for when she is sick, on oxygen or when her heart is giving her trouble.  Needless to say, I got her wheel chair down from the attic for her to use when we leave the house, as she just can not do the crutches safely for more than just a few hops across the room with out getting wore out.

On Thursday I took her in to see the ortho doc.  Praise God the toddlers had a visitation that day so I could take Elizabeth into the doctors and give my total attention to her. 

The orth doctor came in and Elizabeth showed her the same area she did to the ER doctor.  Explaining how it happened and where it hurts and where it did not.  The doctor said..."I think what we have here is a broke foot and not a hurt ankle."  I said...Yes,  that is what we showed them in the ER.  The doctors said... "I just reviewed the X-rays the ER took and they did not even X-ray her foot."  "Just her ankle."  Sigh.  So they did an X-ray of her foot and bingo!  There was the break. 

This gave Elizabeth great relief and a feeling of validation.  As she kept saying it hurt so badly and she felt it was broken.  They splinted her foot with a temperary splint to wear for one week till the swelling goes down.
Then we will go back and they will put a cast on to wear for the next 6 to 8 weeks.  Sadly, she is going to miss being in her ballet recital that she has worked so hard to be in.  But it hurts and she understands. 

I have told my children that no one else is allowed to hurt their leg or foot.  As when Tim is at work, if we go out, I have four children now that need to be pushed in wheel chairs or strollers and only four of us to push them! 

God is so good.  Elizabeth didn't need surgery or have any complications from this injury to deal with.  It is minor comparatively really in our life.  All is well.  God is faithful.

Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

11 Today!

 Happy Birthday Elizabeth!!

Today is the day we celebrate Elizabeth's 11 years on this earth, since the day she was born!  What an amazing 11 years it has been.  Full of many days of laughter and joy but also with so many scarey and prayerful days as well. 

She came to us as a medically fragile foster placement. 
She had a trach, g-tube and so many life sustaining tubes and wires attached to her.  I prayed so hard because the responsibility of her care was so intense and overwhelming.  She was so much work.  Caring for a baby is a full time job but add in all the machines and their upkeep and cleaning.  The settings, the feeding pump, the suctioning machines, the oxygen settings, breathing treatments,.  She was around the clock care to keep her healthy and alive...But God helped us and helped her survive and grow.

So many times we were told by doctors bad things about her prognosis.  We were told she would never talk, eat by mouth, walk or be normal cognitively.  So many times she was so very sick or unhealthy we prayed fervently for her life.  So many life threatening surgeries we sat thru in prayer and tears and God carried her and us thru. 

Her case was one of the hardest and most serious we had ever had to go thru.  It was so hard to function every day in faith that God had her in the palm of His hand, with all the awful and scarey things DFCS kept telling us about the family and her case.  I had to keep reminding myself that God was in total control.  I had a very good friend at that time going thru a hard case as well and we tried very hard to keep each other encouraged.  We prayed and fasted for each other on our court days. (Thank you so much L. Love you always!)  Every court day was draining and emotionally exhausting.  But Gods plan was for her to be our daughter.

She has been the hardest child we have ever raised medically and behaviorally.  She has been a challenge on every front with her high activity and strong will....But...she has also brought us equally as much joy and laughter.  Raising her has brought us much closer to God.  We have seen literal miracles and had regular answers to prayer on her behalf.  Raising her has taught me so much about myself and what love really is.  I mean, unconditional love for another, no matter how they treat you or what they say to you.   I learned the lesson that we need to treat everyone with the love we show to the ones in our life we cherish the most, no matter how we feel.  I have learned that love is an action and a choice.  That, is the love of our God.

Elizabeth has grown, changed and matured so much over the years.  She had such a ruff start.  She has used her tenacity to push herself to do the things in life that were hard for her to do, but she wanted to do.  She is spunky and funny.  She is very social and loves to be right in the middle of gatherings and whatever is going on.  She loves ballet, wearing jewelry and dressing up nice every day.  She happily hums when doing dishes or is doing yard work.  She loves being in the kitchen cleaning or helping prepare a meal. She likes to be outside doing yard work or swinging on our playground swings.  I have seen her in just the last year playing with toys less and leaving childhood behind and embracing things like knitting, cooking, recreational reading and bead work.  She primps before going to town and spends time with her sister doing each others hair...trying out new styles.  She is really becoming a young lady now.

For her birthday we surprised her with letting her get a parakeet.  Here is Charlie!
She has wanted one for a long time.  I was very glad we took her to pick it out early yesterday as after ballet last night,  she flipped her ankle and we were in the ER till 11:00 getting it x-rayed.  They do not think it is broken, only sprained but are sending her to the ortho doc to make sure.  She can not stand to put any weight on it, it hurts so badly...and is splinted and using her wheel chair and crutches for now.  (Not a good way to end being 10! and your first day to be 11!)

Tim brought home pizza for a special supper and my sister made one of her delicious and beautiful cakes for her! 
Thank you so much sister for all the special effort and love!

We love you so much dear Elizabeth!  You are a blessing to our home and life.  We give glory to God today for you and your life! Gods blessings be upon you now and always!

Romans 8:35-39  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Love, Dad, mom, Stephen, Antonio, William, Carolyn, Zeke and two little toddlers!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

They Are Home!

I can not say how overjoyed I am to have my husband and William home once again.  Our long weekend started out when the guys left on Friday at noon to go on their trip.  All went very well till about 4 on Saturday when we had a few hours that really wore me out.  The older children were bickering and the toddlers fussy and naughty.  Sigh.  I was so tired and still had to get the babies asleep so I could go out to the barn late and milk the goats.  After a good night sleep God helped me get thru Sunday till 2:00 when the guys got back home.  I am so happy.  Just very relieved and happy.  Once again this reminded me that I do nothing in and of my own strength.  That I rely on God for it all and that we all do our small parts around here making life flow smoothly and everything gets done.

The guys had a wonderful time and came back well rested and sunburnt.  On Friday they had lunch at Steak and Shake and went bowling.

They ate junk and watched real TV in the hotel room.  On Saturday they walked around and looked at VolksWagens to their hearts content and ate more junk.

William said I had to put these two pictures on the blog.  This one because he is trying to make his bug into one like this.  Herbie!
Then this photo he wanted on here as well.

On Sunday they woke up and went back to look at more VolksWagens and then came home after lunch.  A quick and wonderful get away for them both.

I am grateful they had a great time but also that the once a year weekend is over with and we can get back to normal.  Thank you to all of you who kept us in your prayers.  All went well!

1 John 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.