Friday, April 17, 2015

First Week TBRI

Well, that is a bit stretched....should say "First Week After TBRI Refresher".

So after a weekend of "drinking from a fire hydrant" I was trying to remember and use some of the connection principles as well as prepare for a speech on Wednesday and finish the next issue of Adoption News.
So Tuesday found me baking bread and Shekinah was right there "helping". I wanted to put supper in the crock pot too, so I left her play with a cup of flour.

Thinking all the while "what a good mama! getting things done and daughter is doing some sensory stuff, we should be good to go for the rest of the day."

Silly mama...
So the floury mess got bigger and bigger and finally it was time to clean up.
While I washed the dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, I asked her to get the dust pan and brush and clean up the mess down the front of the cupboards and on the floor.
She cheerfully found the tools and was sweeping away. I turned and saw her dumping the contents of the dust pan on my freshly wiped counter!

TBRI went straight out the window, "Shekinah! you know better! you don't put dirt on the counter, now go get your dress like I told you to!

Way to go mom!

She fled, down to the basement to get her dress (earlier she just couldn't go down there without me).

I spent a couple of seconds...well maybe 120 of them, thinking   about connection.

So I went down to find her hiding in the dresses, you know, just the feet showing below the skirts. In her hand she had a "going away" dress. (groan, I had told her earlier not to get that dress, but to leave it for the evening when we were going away).
One thing at a time...."Come here, I see you found your dress"  Held her and then, "Is this the dress you want to wear?"  She nods.
I held her a bit, then said "come, lets get you dressed and clean up the counter together."
She came with me,  and we cleaned up the flour together, then she wiped her hands and said, " I'll go get an everyday dress and save that one for tonite."

Yes, dear, this time we both "got our act together"

There have been more times this week, when the mindfulness is paying off....chug, chug, chug, chug.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


In a little town in the eastern part of PA we dreamed of holding a Karyn Purvis 
Empowered to Connect seminar.
Thing was....the office space was still not painted
the floor was still "messed up"
the potties were still in the boxes
and the lighting wasn't finished.
AND there was no internet connection in the building.
Some very energetic men
finished the last of the painting
on Thursday night.
A son who was willing to try some set ups and a lady who said "well if it doesn't work, 
we will watch the Karyn Purvis videos."
A dad who hadn't thrown away that old lamp yet.

We received the internet from across the street at my son's house via that beige box on the old lamp post. If the dumpster would have been moved back 12 inches or the pile of rubble had been 12 inches higher,or if our windows would not have opened, OR if my son's router had gone out on Saturday instead of Monday... We would have had no internet connection. (his router did go out on Monday morning and he quickly replaced it and borrowed a backup.)

 Below is a better picture of the little house across the street.
I think 20 families were represented in the 28 people that attended.
We were part of an audience of 20,000 according to the simulcast folks.
So much stuff to process and remember, this second time around was good for us.

 This afternoon we took advantage of the sunshine.
The girls picked some bluebells on the hill.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Motherhood is the Necessity of Inventions

So I thought I was so smart when I came up with the perfect hostess gifts for Zeke to 
take with him this weekend...
The school's Gospel Team is going on tour for five days and the students usually take a gift for the host/hostess. I usually am scrambling the night before because this is one thing we forget.
This year Zeke reminded me early, I ordered "hand poured soy candles" from our local soy candle manufacturer (otherwise known as son#1 and his wife)

I thought I would quickly find some easy gift box on Pin*rest....did I say quick?

So I dug out some burlap,
crumpled up some grocery bags for the lining

 Then decided they need something extra

 Even re-used the handles from the grocery bags

Then for some more inventions...
You would think we are adopting again, for all the crazy things that have been happening this week

We are helping to host a Karyn Purvis seminar this Friday and Saturday.
The wheel bearing on the van gave out AGAIN...

thankfully it was 3 weeks before the warranty was up.

We all came down with a wonderful-stick-around cold

The main drain for the gray water clogged and our bathtub has filled up with washing machine water three times now. We have hit the clog with some powerful stuff, but it is stubborn.
So am I
Zeke needs his clothes washed so he can go on the aforementioned tour.
I decided that the wash water can just get pumped out into the backyard via a garden hose
you can't just connect those two hoses.
So I spent 45 minutes wandering after a helpful hardware clerk
came home with $11 worth of connectors and clamps.
Their universal washer drain hose was a different size than mine
of course it was
so nothing fit.
So I found some stuff that was on the sink and managed to keep the two hoses together long enough to finish two loads of laundry.
Now hopefully the high powered stuff that hubby brings home does its thing.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

He is Risen!

Happy Easter!
Resurrection Sunday!
The whole reason that Christians can face tomorrow. 

In the last week we had some additions to our family.
The post office called early and I went to pick up the babies. Put them in their cozy home but first I needed to remember to dip their beaks in the water in their waterer so they know where to find it.

Parker and Shekinah were highly entertained.

Then while I was doing book work Shekinah decided to play Apples to Apples. I figured it wouldn't get too bad....yeah, well there are 900 some cards in that box.
So I told Shekinah to help clean up...she didn't want to. I told her that is OK but, we won't be able to go see the peeps later if she can't help. It took her awhile to decide but she decided that it sorta looked like fun to clean up after all. Even Parker got in on picking up.

This is the snow we had left on Thurs afternoon. I am happy to say that it is all gone now.

On Saturday the cousins came! Faith told me she is glad I wasn't an only child.

Parker was impressed by the youngest of his daddy's cousins.
He said "arf, arf".

On Friday, dad and Zeke decided to used car shopping. Zeke's car was older than he was and was coming apart at various places, and needed weekly infusions of various fluids.
They settled on a 16 y.o. car instead.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Life is Crazy

Sometimes you just need your own wash basket!

And cleaning out grandma's cupboards is great fun.
I'm hoping this week is a bit more relaxed, last week I over-scheduled and left people down, so I'm hoping this week is better. 
Two weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a lady who wanted to order a quilt for her 83 y.o. grandfather. She needs it to fit on his hospital bed and really other than the size she know that she wants it in the color of blue. AND to help ease my mind (not really) she doesn't want to see pictures of the quilt in progress, she wants a surprise.
Oh, and since he is 83 and just coming home from the hospital....I think I'll work on that this week.

I only plan to teach ONE   CPR class instead of four- what's with that anyway? Why all the classes suddenly....ah well, keeps me out of trouble.

Science Fair project is finished...did you know that ...

these interesting designs are made with sound and water...called cymatics 
not sure  where the pictures are of the salt and sound.

Then...on the day Spring began! we were blessed  with more snow!
The picture is from Saturday the morning our drive was completely covered.
Thankfully even though the township opted NOT to salt the bridges or anything for that matter...Ezekiel and I made it to our destinations without actually hitting anything.

QOTD:  Joe to Zeke: " So why were you taking sermon notes in that weird hieroglyphics?"
Ben: "yeah, you still use that? Is it a 26 letter alphabet?"
Zeke:" No, now it is....32 I think...5 'O's' and then one for that sound the Scots make in the word loch...or like the the Dutchmen make when they say 'ach'.... just in case. 
Ben: " I dare you to hand in your physics homework written in that script" 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

So Why? or What?

Did you ever wonder what God is thinking?
Like why does he take one family's young-very-much-needed father?
Why do some families seem to get hit with one thing after know, illness, surgeries, things over which we really have no control.

We stand on the outside and look for the bright spots

"Well it could have been worse."

"At least _______didn't happen."

Then our minds go to...."maybe God is trying to tell them something."

We studied Job in Sunday School recently and Job's friends came to that conclusion too.

God wasn't impressed with their ideas.

Then my mind goes to something else....Job's friends were miserable comforters...

Do you think God is ever testing friends...churches... communities

Yeah, everyone rallies around during the first illness and maybe the second calamity

but what about the next time and the next?

What about people who live every day with high needs individuals?

Do we give them breaks?

Ouch, just stepped on my own toes here.

And just some snow pictures to enjoy....I would be happy to share some with those of you who don't have enough.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Now Let's Analyze

So if anyone was watching Ray and I on Sunday morning, I want to explain
why we were shaking with laughter... Missy Shekinah was drawing.
First she gave me #4 "it's for you mama." Ok how sweet! but more than
this person has a body, hips and all extremities

Then she quickly drew # 1 and 2, this is where we lost it

#1 is daddy singing

#2 is mama jumping (but later she said I was singing too and that was a
hat on my head)

#3 anyone want to guess?

Why it's a caterpillar of course! complete with a chin!

We will have to work on drawing hair and those teeth need a dentist

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Birthdays, and Growing Up

The growing up would be this guy, who just swiftly crawled up on the kitchen table this past week. He doesn't even walk most of the time! (He can walk, just thinks it's a bit slow.)

Shekinah thought he was funny...then I looked at the back drop of my lovely children...

Put them down for a nap and cleaned up my kitchen sink.
It's as good as it gets folks.

Then we had a birthday in this house.
He wanted sticky buns "with that good icing on" (he means buttercream with real butter)
I had seen a neat "cake" on Facebook where they used Nut*lla for the spread between the layers
and decided that you probably could do the same thing with the sticky bun recipe...
and you can!

The other thing he wanted was that expensive that he had to combine Christmas and birthday gifts into one....and add a bit of his own (young is a good idea for them to have to invest something into big ticket items like this)  ---that's your free advice for the day--
and no, he is not allowed to use the wi-fi unless he is supervised....old meanies we are.

I heard familiar music and realized that Faith is playing one of Zeke's old favorite games.
It should help her learn some long as she doesn't get too much help from the big kids.

Last weekend we visited with the family from OH whose son Tyler had external fixators on both legs. The feedback we got from the children was interesting. Tyler confided in his mom, "mom, that little girl doesn't have many fingers."
Mom: "Are you glad you have your fingers, even if they don't all work properly?"
His mother told me that he had been having quite a problem lately with the idea that he was going to need to be on a wheel chair for some time and was very sure there wasn't a child ANYWHERE as bad off as he was. Then he met my two children and suddenly felt that he didn't have quite as many problems...
My children...
Shekinah: "mom that boy , why doesn't he have elbows that bend?"
Me: "Well, that's how God made HIM."
Shekinah: "Well I'm glad God gave me elbows."

A bit of background on this ...Shekinah has been talking about her hands quite a bit lately and wishing she had more fingers...."or hands like your's mom." She usually comes to the acceptance "God made me this way, right mom?" So to hear her reason this through was interesting.
I mentioned the fixators to Joseph and said, "I looked at those pins and were glad they didn't live in my house. How about you Joseph?"
Joe:" Well his pins weren't as big as mine and they didn't go through the bone like mine, but yeah I'm glad I don't have to do that again."
I realized that the trauma of the ex-fix apparently affected his memory, but we'll let him go.

Have a good week! Rumor has it that the temps might hit the 50's, but as DH said "I'll believe it when I see it."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mennonite Chinese New Year Party

It still involves food

fancy clothes, 
but just fewer people
and in this case people from further away.
We skipped the dragon and the bubble wrap in favor of lots of talking 
and discussing wheel chairs and external fixators.

So glad to meet Tyler and Rachelle tonite
Mr Gabe went home early and I didn't get a picture

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Keeping Warm

 Keeping people warm and well-fed is a daily challenge.
Ben works outside/inside he never knows, but mostly he is in the cold.
When the weather was first getting colder he requested "something other than
cold sandwiches"
But there is no microwave in the work truck
So I bought another thermos not quite the same as the other kids have.
I ordered one for Shekinah awhile since the price seems to keep going up.
But ...
"Mom, it's not very hot when I eat it."

I came to realize that these thermos' aren't made to sit in a work truck in below freezing temps
for 5+ hours. So I made a thermos jacket!
I was quite pleased with the not the looks
but it works!
Took some thinsulate, covered it with some waterproof fabrice (that whole bolt I bought a few months ago) stitched on some velcro and viola!
The other thing that helps keep this boy warm...besides the seven layers of clothes...
is something we call a neck ruff...?? 
It's a piece of fleece that is tighter than an infinity scarf, but looser than a turtleneck
Stitched it together real quick one morning and it is right up there with the credit card
"never leave home with out it"

 My friend gave me "wall words" and I finally got up the nerve to
read the directions and put them on my wall
Zeke: "you just couldn't stand and empty wall?"

Then...on to feeding these hungry people
40 pounds of sour cherries will start us off
The local orchard is selling frozen fruit this winter
along with a bunch of other close-to-date items.
It is sales like these that help the bank account.

And someone reminded me tonite that next week they will be half way to 30
Actually it was I that reminded him he is not only getting close to 16, but 
30 as well and a third of the way to 90.