Thursday, February 26, 2015

Deep South Snow!!

This winter has been very enjoyable so far.  We have had lots of rain but the temperatures have not been terrible.  The month of February has been pretty cold and we have  had several times they predicted ice or snow but we didn't get much from it. 

Yesterday, they had predicted that we were going to get snow by the afternoon and that we were going to get as much as eight inches.  Very rare for here.  This time they got it right.  It did indeed start to snow in the afternoon and it came down fast and hard.  It was breathtaking. 
By bed time we had a good four inches and by this morning we had at least six or so. 
Williams car and truck are covered with snow.
The ponies all had snow all over them.
Carolyn and her pony Millie!
Buck-a-roo the pony we have for the toddlers and baby K.
Yellow in the new dog house my dad built for him this past summer.  He loves it.  It is very warm in there and large enough for him to stand and sprawl out.  It is pack full of straw.

I let the children go out to play in it before breakfast, as the temperatures were already rising and going above freezing and I know by this evening most of it, if not all of it, will be gone. 
Carolyn is very good with the toddlers.  She helped "B"  have a good time out in it.
William helped "B" make this little snow man.  The snow was not packy enough to roll.  Carolyn is by it.
Zeke and Carolyn out doing barn chores in the snow.

Snow ball fight.
"B" with his little snowman!
Of course, hot cocoa for everyone afterwards.
Of course my goats decided to deliver during all of this.  If you have not read it yet or wish to read about all the farming type details,  you can go here to our farm blog.  But for this blog, I will just share a few pictures of them.
At least I don't have any more goats that will deliver so I can relax.

Psalm 51:6-7

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

May the Lord God in heaven be with you in all you do.  May He lead and guide you all the days of your life.



Saturday, February 14, 2015

Its Not Always Easy

Our life is a mix of sorts.  I think if you ask any family, that has a special needs child or is doing foster care,  they will tell you that there are good days and harder days.  Days of struggling and days that are easier.  Days of sadness and days of joy.  Days of wondering what in the world was I thinking, of doubting.... and days that you are so over come with joy, that you are bursting at the seams and could not imagine life without these children in it. 

We not only have many special needs children but are doing foster care again as well.  On days when I am feeling physically well, we stay in our routine and all the children are being what is normal for them, I feel very content and happy.  Praise the Lord that is a better portion of our days.  But there are days, weeks even, when I am not feeling my best, a child or several children are acting badly, or I am dealing with the other hard things that come along in life...and I feel very defeated and exhausted.

I am not going to lie.  I have had a hard past few weeks.  The doctors are having troubles balancing my thyroid.    Several of the children are acting up.  My uncle passed away and I was processing a lot from that and this is the day my daughter passed away on many years ago.  Sometimes the days coming up to this day are very hard but the day is always hard.  Everyone is celebrating a day of love and lovers and me thinking on one of the worst days in my entire life.  Very few people, that knew us back then, acknowledge or remember what happened on this day for us and that is ok...

Needless to say, I am sad today and down.  So I am staying close to God and His Word.  I am praying a lot and I am taking extra good care to eat right, rest more, spend close time with Tim and do special fun things with the children.  I know from the past, tomorrow I will feel much better.  So, because I really have no words to say and am not feeling my best...I will leave you with a poem (a song really) that I wrote on a day when I was feeling particularly down and needed to put my feeling down and get them out in a constructive way.  I have never shared it with anyone in all these years but I hope it blesses someone.

No more tears to Cry

I have no more tears to cry, no more tears to cry
We were never made to feel such hurt,  with pain we can’t describe
When I’m numb inside my heart and mind, a desert deep inside
I just reach toward heaven crying out, There’s just no more tears to cry

I have no more tears to cry, no more tears to cry
When I reach deep down inside myself, asking why oh why?
When we run and search our whole life thru, asking where does peace reside
I just reach toward heaven crying out, there’s just no more tears to cry

I have no more tears to cry, no more tears to cry
 I’ve been crushed by life and those I love,  Only God is by my side
He just reaches down and lifts me up, in His peace I abide
I just reach toward heaven crying out, There’s just no more tears to cry

Life just strolls along, peace seems always there
Out of nowhere life comes crashing down, full of deep despair

Reading through Gods Word, His promise to never leave
I start to take some tiny steps and finally start to breathe

His hand is always true, my life He does renew
I’ve grown closer to my God and King, with all I have been thru

 I have no more tears to cry, no more tears to cry
Walking daily with my Lord and King,  I know I’ll always be fine
I have learned this world is not my home,  To heaven I will strive
I just reach toward heaven crying out with no more tears to cry.

There be no more tears to cry, No more tears to cry
When in heaven up with God above, there’ll be joy we can’t describe!
With the saints of old, on streets of gold, in a mansions we’ll reside!
I’ll just reach toward Jesus, hold His hand, with no more tears to cry

With loved ones by our side, with Jesus we’ll abide! No more tears to cry!

I pray if anyone out there is going thru a hard time in their life, a season of pain, hurt or sorrow, that you know God loves you and is there.  It is so much easier to go thru things with Him carrying you.  Joy does come in the  morning.  With God in our life, life is good.

May the Lord God in heaven heal the hurts in your life.  May He be your high tower and rock that never will be moved.

Revelation 21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

2014 Was A Very Busy Year!

Every year, at this time of year, my husband and I sit down with the previous years calendar and add up the mileage to doctors appointments, therapy appointments and such.  Most years we can deduct this on our taxes.  So it pays to sit down and do it.  As we sat adding them up, I kept a separate sheet just for fun, to see how many single appointments we had last year at various places.  I am not surprised at the numbers, as before going back into foster care, we had a lot of weekly appointments already.  I felt the strain last year of adding three children suddenly to our home and meeting their needs.  Getting them the evaluations, therapy and doctors appointments that they needed to have done was exhausting.  When a child comes into care, there is always a lot of appointments revolving around them for the first many months, till all their needs are met.  This, is where we are at, with our three foster children right now.  The bulk of the running and work has been done in that area and now it is just maintenance of therapy and an occasional specialist appointment.  I must say, I can smile for now, as our calendar is  much lighter so far this year.

I can not even think what it would be like, to have any of our children in sports that eat up calendar days, like soccer, football or baseball.  The things we have chosen to have our children involved in, are things that will help them some how, like ballet for Carolyn and Elizabeth to help with their balance and strength issues.  Or something that we feel strongly they should be in because it is important to them.  I did not even add up things like trips to take William to drivers ed classes or his archery meetings with 4-H.  Carolyn's occasional riding lessons, free gymnastics she participated in for a while or ballet tutoring she receives in our home.

So here are the approximate numbers, to the best of my figuring, for 2014:

Appointments with CASA, Case workers, and Panel for foster care: 22
Visitations for foster care : 9
Foster Meetings:  10
Dental Appointments: 16
Antonio's meetings with his school teacher: 35
Therapeutic Massage Therapy for Antonio: 44
Orthodontist: 11
Doctors, Specialist and Hospital Appointments: 51
Physical, Occupational, Speech and Feeding Therapy Appointments: 145

Kind of amazing really.  I will explain the way I try to stream line my schedule with such a big family and so many appointments. 

Years ago, when we started doing foster care and the number of children and appointments started to climb, I became over whelmed.  I had to pray fervently about it all, as stress was taking a toll.  I was trying to get to all of these various appointments, keep a home up and running, home school and still have time to have meaningful family time together.  Also, every time we left the house for an appointment, it chopped up the day, so when we got home, we had no time to home school or the children were to unfocused to do it.  Something had to change. 

What I learned is that I don't have to go to every appointment.  The appointments that would come to the house, had to.  And I stacked all those type appointments on one day. We have Antonio's home bound teacher come to the  house in the morning to work with him.  Then his Therapeutic massage therapist.  Any CASA or case worker that needs to come to the house, I try to get them scheduled on that day too.  That way, the children not involved in that days appointments, can work at their schooling with out interruption.

Then we attacked the PT. OT and various therapy appointments.   About 10 years ago, I called the therapy place and had them start working all of the therapy appointments, for all of my children, onto one morning or day a week.  I would rather give up one morning than many.  So it took a while but as people dropped off or were willing to change days, we got all of the kids on the same day.  For many years we got to the therapy place at 8:00 a.m. and didn't leave till 3:00 p.m.  As the children have grown and been discharged from a few therapies here or there, we now get to our therapy place at 8:00 am and leave by 12:00 noon.  Not to bad really, considering we get in 8 therapy sessions.

I always keep one other day of the week totally for doctors and specialist appointments.  

So on my schedule, three full days at the beginning of the week are fully scheduled days and we home school those days as well.  Sometimes creatively by bringing stuff with us or schooling late but it gets done.  Thursdays and Fridays I try to keep open for home schooling and so I can get the house cleaned up before the weekend.  Also, if an out of the blue appointment does need to be made in a pinch, I know I never have anything on Thursdays and Fridays and don't need to check my schedule to make the appointment.  This also leaves me Thursday-Sunday as more relaxed type days so we can gear up for the three harder ones that are back to back.  This is what works well for us and our family.

William is now driving so if he is feeling well he drives himself to GED classes and many of his doctors appointments!  Yippee!

Most years are not as bad as 2014 was but I  have had much worse with many more appointments, surgeries and hospital stays than we had last year.   So, I will take it in stride and as a blessing.  God is so good.  I am praying for a slower more relaxed type year.  A year for us all to spend more time in the Lord and His Word.  A year for making happy family memories, helping to guide a few of the children out of bad behaviors and time for teaching them skills they will need and can help with, in our home and out on the farm.

I pray the Lords blessings on your 2015.  That it will be the best of years for us all.

Isaiah 43:19  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.