Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Start of Our Country Vacation

Day 1

Our first morning on the farm started a bit later than our mornings at home thanks to everyone being extra tired.  Before, I was even out of bed; David was quizzing me on the finer points of free ranging the chickens that he convinced me to bring with us.  He is sure that a “free ranging” chickens is a bad idea without a fence, even if we are in the middle of 40 acres.  During these morning “free ranging” instructions, Mark came in the bedroom and curled up in my covers as I said, “Give them about ½ the regular amount of food because they are going to be eating a lot of bugs”.  Then Mark suddenly flipped over and looks at me with a very angry face as he says, “I am not eating bugs!”  Well, Daddy and I lost it laughing and quickly explained to Mark that we were talking about the chickens!   
The boys outside playing.
(Yes, this means that we traveled with our family, plus supplies, plus 2 dogs and 2 chickens in a box…until the chickens escaped the box and ran around the back of the bus.)

Then while Daddy got kids dressed,  I started what I thought would be a modest breakfast of about 18 blueberry pancakes, but then Vanessa wanted eggs and David wanted bacon.  Finally, after two hours of my playing the role of Cracker Barrel short order cook, I got the kitchen closed!  Then we started a busy day of unpacking, organizing and fixing (just in time for the air conditioner to freeze up).
It took what seemed like forever to get settled.  David was busy sheparding the chickens like sheep because he is sure that they will get killed or wander off.  We had a light lunch in the midst of our work, but by dinner, we were done and ready to relax with food, lemonade and time sitting in front of the fans!

Jon with his lemonade

Day 2
Obviously the kids aren’t eating bugs because they had a 52 pancake breakfast to start the day and they were back for cheese sticks and popcorn for a snack by 10:30am.  Grace and David went berry picking and ended up hitch hiking back home.  Apparently, no matter what you teach your kids, the rules don’t apply on the farm and with Cousin Carl…of course, I did not care if they rode with him!  However, if I was him, I’m not sure that I would have made room for sweaty kids in my car (who I found out later had “forgotten” their deodorant)!

5 cent ice cream and 10 cent soda!
Then a lighter lunch of Ramen noodles with veggies and leftover grilled chicken from dinner last night.  The boys, Vanessa and Hannah settled in for some movies in front of the fan with Daddy while David, Grace and I snuck off to town.  We went to the Ava Drug first.  We ordered our 5 and 10 cent ice cream and coke and Grace also opted for a $3 tuna salad sandwich with chips.  (Of course being a dieter, I skipped it all and was the big spender because I ordered a 75 cent iced tea.)  Our total for the outing was $4.26!  Then we picked up a case of popcorn for $3 and bought some cards and toiletries.  Finally, we headed to Wal-Mart for a head of lettuce and a wading pool.  They had a pool on clearance with 3-D sharks on the bottom and it came with 3-D goggles.  I expected David to want it, but I laughed when 17 year old Grace wanted that one too!

Pool fun


The kids spent the afternoon in the new pool.  Then we had slow roasted pork tenderloin, collard greens with pinto beans, mashed potatoes and pumpkin custard pie for dinner.  I’m not sure why the kids eat so much here, but once again they cleaned their plates a couple times and emptied the pots and pans!
I can't decide if I should caption this one as
"One of the sexiest photos of my hubby ever"
"This is what teachers do poolside on their
summer vacations...wading pool side".

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It Came Back!!!

Jon in his stroller right after it
was returned.
We are so happy and excited and relieved!

Jon's medical stroller was left in front of our garage this morning.  Some wonderful person returned it to us and just in time for vacation!  I was dreading the thought of vacationing without it, but now I am ready for our trip to the farm and family reunion.

Many thanks to everyone who prayed with us about the return and to everyone who passed the word through fliers, Facebook posts and word of mouth.  It has been so uplifting to see so much concern by so many.  We are thankful for the police's help and for the media's work to bring this to the attention of the public to help us find it and for the person who brought the stroller home.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"I've lived in the US for most of my life"

Today is an important milestone in my list of David's life events.  However, he disagrees.  David insists its just another day, but he happily accepts the special lunch out with Daddy and he is not complaining about a dinner of his favorites. 

As of today, David has been in our family for longer than he lived in Haiti.  As of today, he can say, "I was born in Haiti, but I've lived in the US for most of my life." 

It seems like David has been a part of our home forever, but the unfortunate reality is that his adoption took a long time and he was an older orphan.   David has a real history that started before he got to America. 
David using chopsticks the "American way"...LOL!

In truth, this day is bothering David a bit too because it makes him realize how much of his younger years that he no longer remembers.  And in truth, it bothers me a little too.  It makes me realize just how much time he was not under our loving care and how much time he was not building memories with our family that we can share with him after he has forgotten his early years.

Despite the bitter sweetness of today, it does mean that David has been in our family for 5 of his birthdays and Christmases.  This will be 4th of July #6.  He is already planning what fireworks are needed with Daddy.  Better yet, he doesn't remember that he was the little boy who hid in the basement his first Independence Day and he kept yelling in fear, "They coming."  He wouldn't even look out a window and we all slept downstairs with him that night.  This year, David will be making the noise and loving it....No one could convince me that adoption isn't one of the best outcomes after early tragedies.  I'm so blessed to be a small part of it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Managing Stress and Wheelchair Thieves

The missing chair.
As most of you know, we are planning to move later this Summer and the stress of packing, fixing up, cleaning up and finding potetial buyers is a bit crazy right now.  Add to this that we will soon go on vacation and my house has a true circus of boxes!  Ring 1 boxes are packed to move.  Ring 2 boxes are sorted to give away or sell and include things like clothing that our youngests have outgrown, homeschool books, and regretable home decor that I purchased while under the influence of the 1980's. Ring 3 boxes are stuff for vacation like water wings, swim suits, board games, crock pots, extra bibs, diapers.wips, Oxygen tanks, feeding pumps...the uniquely, usual stuff that our family takes on vacation.  Then there is sometimes a Ring 4 accumulates, which is often placed beside the garage. It is the ring where we put stuff that we are moving to make room to make my Ring 1, 2, or 3 stacks bigger! 

So it was out of Ring 4 that someone came in our yard and took Jon's pediatric stroller that we use all the time so we don't have to always take the lift-equipped, deisel-gussling bus.  Yes, I was actually stupid enought to sit this valuable piece of our lives in our yard.  It was folded up like an umbrella stroller folds and I am thinking that the theives thought that they were stealing a jogging stroller.  I have been praying and posting on facebook in hopes that the person would realize what they have and bring it back!  Please be praying with us.  It was purchased for Vanessa and we passed it on to Jon when Vanessa outgrew it.  It seems that insurance will cover most of the replacement costs, especially since Jon needs it.  We have actually just been saving the insurance company money and saving us the co-pay money through "hand-me-downs".  However, we have been warned that it will take a while to get it approved and ordered so please pray that we get the replacement before Daddy's summer vacation is over.  There is never a "good time" to have something like this happen, but having Daddy home to help lift/carry Jon is going to make this problem much more manageable.

This situation has angered so many people, but I'm not angry.  I'm disappointed by the realization that people do steal things, even our stuff. I'm frustrated by the inconvenience to us and limits that this puts on Jon's summer activities such as the water park where power wheelchairs are really not a good idea.  But what I really want and am praying for is for it to just be returned....afterall, we really are very blessed, Jon wasn't in the chair when it was taken!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 162: Weight Gain & Kids Who Cheer Me Up

Today was a REALLY bad day.   It was the worst that I have had in a while so I guess I was overdue, but "Wow, oh wow!" 

If I had know, I would have stayed in bed this morning with the covers over my head.  I won't go into all the terrible highlights but the day got rolling with weighing in and having a dreaded and feared gain.  My first gain in 162 days of dieting.  I am not surprised because trying to sell our house/buy another has me stressed and I've been staying up late packing so I'm not getting my rest and of course, my kids are at home eating all day long!

Other highlights were a professional group's error that is causing me to look like I don't pay my bills.  The dryer went out.  I broke my key off in the ignition.  I had a terrible headache and the kids seemed to be extra loud.  Plus we added more "to do" to my list for getting the house ready.  I tried to turn the day around with a diet approved lunch salad from Subway, but Nate got it and dumped my drink into my salad which made it wilt to an icky, slimy meal.

One last highlight (or lowlight, more appropriately) was finding out that our realistic first option for a house in Kansas (not the dream group home) is going to be auctioned for cash so we may not be able to get this most affordable home. 

My Kids to the Rescue

The little guys just knew I had a headache, but they brought some much needed comic relief to my afternoon. 

First, Mark let me know that his tummy was hurting and a few presses on his tummy revealed that he was obviously constipated.  I asked him if he had pooped today and he said no.  I asked, "When did you poop last?" and he said "In the potty."  (I love these funny "still learning language" conversations.)  So we reviewed that I was not asking where, but when...like yesterday or Sunday...and his answer was "Someday".  I think he meant Sunday so after drinking a cup of warm water and a bathroom visit, he let me know that the water fixed his tummy ache. 

Then Luke crawled on my lap as I was on the computer looking at the newest Camp Kivu pictures and saw this picture of Grace in a raft.

He asked if Grace is still at camp (for the thousandth time since she left 9 days ago).  I said yes and he pointed at the picture and said, "This is Grace at camp."  I said yes and in a very concerned voice he asked, "Her camp flooded?"  Now I must tell you that I was tempted to just say "Yes!"  As a mom I find my kids going rafting to be terrifying.  Frankly, I would prefer that Luke think that he should only do that if the camp floods!  However, I was a good mom and explained that camp did not flood and that she was having fun.  Much like I feared, Luke let me know that he wanted to go to camp and do that. 

Lastly, at bedtime, I kept hearing cricket sounds and I started checking all the windows to see which one was open because the air conditioner is running.  I climbed over a bed and around moving boxes and still found no open window.  This whole time Matt who was supposed to be going to sleep, kept trying to tell me something and I kept telling him hush so I could hear the cricket.  Finally, he insisted on telling me something and he said "The noise is from Jon's crib toy."  I almost died laughing because sure enough, Jon had activated it himself and it was playing a lovely cricket's tune.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 155: Weighing In

Well, today was my 21st week in a row that I have lost weight and it has been a tough week.  With the kids home from school for the Summer, someone is always eating and I have to cook a lot more than usual.  Tonight, we had supper that included 1 pound of hamburgers with cheese, 1 pound of sloppy joes, 3 pounds of grilled chicken, toasted buns, raw veggies, 2 pounds of pasta and cookies for dessert.  It was hard to JUST have what I could have and nothing extra!

As of today, I have lost 72 1/2 pounds since I started planning my diet carefully on January 8th.  This means I am now 35.5% of my way to reaching my goal weight and today that goal seems a long ways away!  But I continue on my journey to better health through what seems like the "Summer of Kids' Endless Snacking".

My dinner plate...Lots of raw veggies to curb my hunger!