Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Sweet Release of Praise


Music has been a big part of my life since before I was born.  My mom is from a very musical family.  My mother was very musical.  She sang, played piano, autoharp, accordion, organ and the list goes on.  She sang to us while we were in her womb.  She sang solos in church and in nursing homes.  As soon as we could sing she had us going places and singing with her, my mom, my older sister and myself.  I have some very fond memories of those days.

My mother bought new church music books often and combed thru them for songs she thought we could perform somewhere.  When I was young my mom would call to me as she sat at the piano and would teach me new songs she had learned from them.   When I grew up and moved out I always visited frequently.   My visits often were partially spent at the piano singing with my mother.   The music would flow, the harmonizing so wonderful and we would end up just singing and praising God.

When I became a music director at a church she became my pianist.

When my family moved onto my mom and dads farm, she called often to have me walk down and sing with her.  It brought great enjoyment to us both. 

When we did jail ministry together, a large part of it was praise and worship.  When we went to the nursing homes we would sing old hymns.  When we did hospital Chaplaining together, we would sing acapella for some patients. 

I sang with my mother as a toddler, as a child, as a teen, as a young woman.  I sang with her and to her while she was sick and in the hospital.  I sang to her the day before she passed away.

My mom has been gone for 10 years next month and all these years I have not had much music around in our home.  
My moms piano is in my living room and no one plays it.
We used to listen to praise and worship music in the vehicles everywhere we went, oftentimes very loud.  I used to have music playing on the radio sometimes. 

All these years music has been painful to me.  We home church but if we got invited to visit a church to hear my nephews sing at their church as soon as the music started to play or it was time to sing hymns, tears would just start to flow. I could not stop it if I tried.   If I tried to sing the words they would get caught in my throat or I would cry uncontrollably.  The kind of cry that you heave and can’t catch your breath. 

I know I need praise music in my life and in my children’s lives.  I know that praise is a thing they need to see and experience.  We all need it and God deserves it. 

Yesterday was a hard bad day.  We had five appointments for the day, four of them were people showing up at our home for them, so the day should not have been bad.   The one we had to leave the property to go to, was one we had to be at first thing in the morning.   Baby “K” had a swallow study at our local hospital.  We all worked hard to get up and around for the day and I took Carolyn and Elizabeth with me to push the toddlers strollers.  The baby was not allowed to eat anything after 8 am.  We got their early for our 10:30 appointment.  The hospital could not find the orders…they could not get “K”s insurance number…one missing thing after another…on and on time ticked away.  Our little toddlers have come so far in their behavior but their limit to sit is about an hour and I am out of tricks to keep them happy.  Time ticked by.  It was 12:00 noon by the time the hospital had everything in order to let us back to have the study done.  The toddlers were so tired and starting to get hungry.  The baby was beyond hungry.  They moved us to a waiting room and I have never in my life been so happy for Sponge Bob Square Pants…yes you read me right.  The family that does not have piped in TV and won’t even let my kids watch it was so happy to have it playing in that waiting room.  The toddlers zoned out in front of substandard cartoons and the hospital staff came and took the baby back for her study.  We did not get out of there till 1:00 p.m..  I had a headache felt myself having some low blood sugar issues from missing lunch and was so frustrated.  It was not the children’s fault, they did brilliant considering the circumstances.  To be honest I felt like acting the way they did!  The rest of the day was just harder because the beginning started out so badly.  Needless to say I fell into bed last night to tired to even pray for everything I usually pray about. 

This morning was therapy day.  We had to get up early this morning and get a lot done fast to get all the children to therapy by 8:00.  Tim and I drove in separate vehicles because Tim was secretly going to take the older children to see the new Planes Movie after therapy at the theater.   We rarely go so it was a big deal.
They had a friend "J" go with them today as well!
Tim drove the big van and I drove Tim’s mini-van as I was going to use it to bring the baby and the youngest toddler home for the afternoon. 

As we left for therapy and I got into Tim’s vehicle, I started it up and as usual his praise music came on.  Usually I quick flip it off.  This time I could not turn it off.  The tears just flowed.  Song after familiar song singing praise to the God of heaven and earth and all that is there in.  The God of me and the children.  Our God.  I sang and sang.  It was such a sweet pent up release.  Not just because I had one really hard day but a release from almost a decade of running from the pain of hearing this music.  Sadly, praise music for our God.  It was such a washing, a cleaning I cannot explain.  It was a lesson and I don’t know why it took me so long to just go thru it and get past it all.

I feel better.  So much better.  I know I need to bring music back into our home and give the sacrifice of praise to our God…He deserves all our praise.  It is for us as much as it is for Him.


Psalm 92:1  It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:




Deuteronomy 10:21  He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.



Blessings,
susan 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

If The Calendar Does Not Lie...

We had an amazingly busy week.  I knew it was coming.  It was on the calendar for quite some time.  I was dreading it.
 
It was the week of Williams Drivers Ed class.  He had to be there by 8:00 a.m. every day and picked up by 4:00 p.m..  Getting him there would be almost impossible but Tim could pick him up.  I would have to get up and get Antonio toileted, bathed, tube fed and dressed.   The milking done in the barn and barn chores done.  The toddlers up, fed and bathed. My other children gotten up and around and baby "K" up and bottle fed, which takes about an hour.  (She is a very slow nurser.)  I would have to do all that and probably more I forgot and out the door by 7:30 a.m. to get him there by 8:00 a.m..  I would have had to get all of us up by 5:00 or so to get it all done, us all working hard and fast together.    I am so very grateful to my dad for volunteering to take William for me.  Dad took him Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for me!  I did it Wednesday as I already had to be in town for some appointments and wow, it was ruff.  I would be sleeping now and not typing if I had had to do that routine every one of those days.  Thanks so much Dad!!

The one thing I was looking forward to about this week?   I was hoping it would give me a glimpse into what it was going to be like when and if William goes into a program to further his education or gets a job.  I needed to see and feel what it was like for him to not be here as he helps me so much every day.  Wow... Thank you God for William for all he does around here.  God helped me every day do everything but it was much harder without him here.  I want William to not be held back by me needing him here so this was a good test run.  It was also a great opportunity for him to see what schooling would be like.  He has been home schooled his whole life.  So, having to be to a class on time, being in a class where you sit in hard seats and have to crank out information and take notes was very good for him.  He came home very sick on Monday from the stress of it being the first day but did better every day he went.  So this was a good thing for us all to go thru this week.  On Wednesday, when I pulled up to the huge high school the class was held at and dropped him off with his lunch and back pack, I had the feeling like when you drop your kindergartener off the first day of school.  So funny!

I learned that God is with me always and will help us to get every day done.  I will need to make some changes around here to make things go smoothly without him here but God will help us with life and all it demands. 

William learned he can do this (school, job or anything life brings).  That even though he had to step way out of his comfort zone and it was very stressful, God helped him and he did great.  He kept up with typical young people, his age, in a main stream Drivers Ed class and not only passed but did well.  Thank you God!  Great job William!!  He has two days of driving with a driving instructor next week and then will get his Certificate of Completion.  Then he can take his test to get his drivers license.  Yippee!  Another milestone met!

We had many appointments this week as well.  The biggest one for William on Friday.
Actually the room kinda looked like this...
And this...
And this... His wheel chair only fit in the room one way with all of us in it so he had to look back to see us all.  Bless his heart.

The test results do show William has the beginning stages of Addisons.  That is not the greatest news but we have been praying for answers, so it is what it is.  The good news is, now he can get the treatment and medication he needs to help him feel well again.  Praise God we have an answer.

We had an appointment for baby "K". 
See how chubby she is getting!  I love it!  I hate blocking out the children's sweet faces.  Hopefully some day I wont have to do that anymore. 
I thought she had bronchitis but the doctors think she is aspirating on her formula.  So she has a swallow study next week.  She has very low tone and is very laid back and quiet.  They think her muscle tone is weak everywhere, including the muscles that keep the formula down and I already know she has a very weak suck as it takes her so long to nurse.  She fatigues very easily.  She also gulps air when she swallows. So after this study we should have a few answers with her.

We had an appointment for "T". 
The test came back that he does not have Celiac Disease but he seems to be gluten sensitive.  So he is now on a dairy free/gluten free diet.  Hopefully this will clear up his diarrhea issues.   He has always been on the crabby side since he came here.  We tease and say he is crabby but cute.  He just was always walking around fussing unless being held.  Not totally happy on his own all the time.  That has changed already since changing his diet.  I think these tummy issues were bigger than we all thought.  He is happy now and seems to be walking better and thinking more clearly.  So, I pray this helps him.  We have had Zeke on a casin free/gluten free diet for years but it still is not a fun way to eat.

So now if the calendar is correct...if the calendar does not lie... and we have no surprise appointments pop up, we will be back to our normal four or five appointments a week again and things will be slower and more predictable again for a few weeks.  Thank you God!

I pray your summer is going well and greatly blessed!

Psalm 150:1-6  Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.


Blessings,
susan 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy, Happy! Birthday Stephen!!!

Stephen made me a mother.  I was just a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece???? before he was conceived.  I was a selfish child and only thought of myself much of the time before he came into the world.  When I knew he was growing inside me it rocked my world.  I ate better.  I took better care of myself.  I took vitamins.  I used the money I earned to buy things for him instead of myself.  I had always wanted to be a mother and it was happening!

When he made his grand appearance, on July 15th, I was just in awe.  The experience and pain of labor melted away from my mind as they laid him by me.  I could not take my eyes off of him.  He was beautiful.  A crying little thing with a head full of black hair, who quickly calmed down as he heard the sound of my voice.  I was just in awe.  Total awe.  I am still to this day.  The miracle of life and children.  How they progress, grow and learn.  How they become who they are but yet were from the time they were born.  Amazing!  Gods creation is just amazing!

As I have matured and grown thru the years I learned that the bible is totally true.  Children are a gift from the Lord.  They are His but lent to us to raise, nurture, love and enjoy.  Every time The Lord gives Tim and I a child, I have that same feeling I felt so many years ago.  That amazing feeling that I am a mother and what a huge responsibility that is.  The total excitement and joy of that honor being placed in my life.

Stephen was a high energy child from the start.  He was strong and active, demanding and so smart.  It was exhausting at times to keep up with him as he grew and I was very young and supposedly had a lot of energy myself.  As he grew he asked questions non-stop.  We kind of grew up together in a lot of ways.  I made a lot of mistakes on him as my first child.  I got the parenting skills that have served me well all these years from having to be creative as a parent with him!  He was a handful and I learned so much in raising him. 
Yes, he invented his own siblings to play with and do things with!

He had me all to himself for 9 years. 

As he became a young boy we fished and took trips.  We played games and enjoyed each other for company.  As he became a teen we had deep talks and listened to loud music together.  We became friends as well as mother and son. 

He helped me so much around the house and farm as Tim and I started taking in children thru foster care.  It was a family thing.

We always shared with Stephen a placement and got his thoughts on it before taking the child or children.  As it always effected him as well.  As I had more and more on my plate often he did too. 



Even though we don't always agree on things and have had our share of heated discussions.  I know he loves me dearly.  He is a fine son.  We all love him dearly. 

Happy Birthday my Stephen!  My very first child.  You are the one that God chose to use to make me a mother and we became a family.  I love you dearly and always! 

Psalm 127:3-5  Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Some Challenging Days

All of a sudden we have quite a few appointments and places to be daily again.  Life has been so busy that I fall into bed just exhausted every night.  I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, only waking to little miss "K"'s squeaky noises, as she stretches and wakes up for her night feeding.  We have a precious hour together every night, just the two of us while she slowly eats, gets burped and falls asleep into dreamy smiles in my arms.  We both go back to bed and sleep for the last few hours of the night.  Things are busy and sometimes very hard but with lots of wonderful things mixed in every day.  God is so good.

When I have to go somewhere now, we have to pack diaper bags and toy bags to keep the toddlers busy as they do not sit still well anywhere yet.  We have to get all the children ready.  If we are going to be gone over a meal time I have to pack me food because of my food sensitivities.  We have to load Antonio in his wheel chair and climb into the van and over seats to buckle three babies in their car seats.  Then every stop we make we have to unload Antonio, set up many strollers and unload three babies from car seats.  If we make just a few stops I am so tired just from the loading and unloading process.  Praise God for all the other children that help me so much in this whole process.  All I can say is that every week I look forward to Sabbath so we can all have a down day and just truly rest at home.  Thank you Lord for a commanded day of rest! 

Some of these appointments have been for William.  I think we are getting closer to figuring out exactly what is going on with Williams health, Praise the Lord.  His health has been declining for the last four years.  He has all the same symptoms as his dad does with Addisons Disease but the test keep coming back that he does not have it.  One test did show that he has a chronic problem with hypoglycemia that we are trying to control with diet but without success.  (Tim had this issue as well before being diagnosed but it got much better on its own once he started his Addison's med.)  I decided to take William to a pharmacy, in another town, that has a pharmacist there that works with people and their diet to control diabetes and other health issues.  They focus on natural if possible for health.  After a long health interview and filling out a lot of questionnaires about his health, the pharmacist said he felt it was his adrenal system as well.  He suggested a 24 hour cortisol test to be done.  It would show what his cortisol levels are at different times through out the day.  We got the results back yesterday and it did indeed show Adrenal fatigue and insufficiency.  I now have an appointment with his pediatrician to discuss the test results.  We also have an appointment with Williams Endocrinologist that has been trying to help us figure this all out for several years.  I pray we can get to the bottom of this and improve Williams quality of life.  As of right now he has so many "crashes" during the day that he has a hard time thinking, his co-ordination is sometimes off and he is exhausted.   The only way for him to feel better is to lay down or sit quietly for a while to get through the day.  Going out into the heat, not eating frequently enough or enough protein, and physical work, all make him "crash".  Before he can move forward in this very exciting time in his life, of spreading his wings a bit, we have to get all these things addressed and figured out for him.  As of now he can not hold a job or further his education until we get to the bottom of it all and find treatment.  I am very excited and feel we are on the brink of being lead to the core issue and treatment for him.  Thank you God.

(Now for some potty talk, sorry.)  A lot of the running to appointments has also been for "T".  He has had diarrhea since he came here way back in February.  When both the boys came they both had it.  I attributed it to the fact that they had an almost total milk diet and that they both had been on heavy IV antibiotics for staff infections when they came.  I have been giving them both probiotics for a long time and have seen little to no improvement in "T".  "B" did get back to normal but about once a week or so gets diarrhea for several days as well.  Not fun for potty training!  Six weeks ago "T" got his age appropriate shots and his bowels have been almost water every since.  We have had to take him in for blood work and do the whole potty sample routine.  He has been tested for a lot of things and one test showed that he does not digest Fructose at all.  So he can no longer have dairy and maybe some fruits.  I see a difference in his appearance and energy level since taking him off dairy.  No more dark circles under his eyes or red rimmed eyes.  Also, he is not waking in the night anymore and fussing for a few moments at a time.  I guess it was stomach aches from dairy.  But it has not cleared up the diarrhea for him.  The HIV test came back negative, glory to God.  We are still waiting on the Celiac Disease test to come back.  If that test is positive he will need to have a Dairy free/gluten free diet.  Not an easy diet to have a toddler on.  We are praying for answers for this little guy as well.  If "T" comes back positive for Celiac we will have "B" tested as well and that might explain his intermittent bowel troubles.

Lastly, we have had several appointments for baby "K".  Over all she is doing very well.  She is growing and at her last appointment was 10 pounds 11 ounces.  When she came she was 7 pounds 3 ounces.  She no longer fits new born clothing and had to move up into the next size diaper.  She is getting stronger and her eyes are focusing much better.  When she came her eyes stayed to the outside almost all the time.  Her eyes basically looked to the outer sides of each eye.  So I don't know if it is just a weak muscle thing or not.  We might end up going to a specialist about it at some point.  But as time is progressing she is bringing them into a normal position more and more.  We are praying about her reflux too.  It takes about an hour to feed her.  She is a very slow drinker and I have to burp her after every ounce or it all comes up.  Even though we take our time and burp thoughally we still end up with it all back up and all over us at least one feeding every day or so.  It scares me every time.  As babies are nose breathers and she spits up with such force it comes out her nose and blocks her airway.  She can not breath and catch her breath.  I have to suction fast.  I am praying she will outgrow this very soon.   Every time this happens I have to take a shower and bathe her.  Then after her tummy settles, re-feed her.  All that aside...she is a very very good baby.  She is happy and smiley.  She is laid back, content and good natured.  I enjoy every moment with her.  Such a sweet little girl.  She brings us all a lot of joy.

May the Lord God in heaven clearly lead us all in the direction He wants us to take in our lives.  May He help us all to have a servants heart in all we do.  Being Christs hands and feet here on earth till His soon return.

Isaiah 41:10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 

Blessings,

susan

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy 18th Birthday William!!!

Wow!!!  How in the world did William get to be 18 already!  Truly, this birthday of his is hard to wrap my mind around.  I mean it doesn't seem like it but 18 years ago I was in labor hoping he would be born on the 4th and he showed up on the 5th!  Life really does go by so fast.

All of my children are gifts from God.  Each very special in their own way.  William, was given to me by God, when He knew I needed a break from raising children with difficult challenges.  I have only ever had to discipline William a few times in his whole life.  We have had many hard struggles with his sensory issues and learning disabilities (Autism) but even through tears, he would and does always try his very best to do what we ask and tries to please us.

He reminds me so much of his dad, Tim.  They are so much alike in their actions, ways, helpfulness, patience and heart.   After Stephen grew up and moved away, William did his very best to step in and fill Stephens shoes in all he did around our home and farm.  William has done a wonderful job and is my right hand man.
 
He has lost some weight since being on his new diabetic diet for his hypoglycemia.
He looked forward to splurging off his food restrictions on this happy day and eating cake!  Once again Aunt "S" outdoes herself and comes forward with a request in her cake decorating skills.  He wanted a Mega Man cake!  Thank you Aunt "S" for always making the children's birthday special with a cake made with love by you!


William is on the brink of a very exciting time in his life.  So many opportunities and changes.  We just have to pray that God will show us what His will is for William.  He will be taking drivers ed this month and getting his drivers license.  He will be purchasing Stephens little truck as Stephen is getting a new vehicle.  Also when public school starts back in the fall, William will be tested to see what is available for him as far as furthering his education. 

He has grown into such a fine young man.  He is a wonderful servant of God, son, brother and friend.
We love you so much William.  Happy Birthday!!!!

Psalm 112:1-3  Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.  Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lake Winnie 2014

There is a wonderful family theme park an hour away from us called Lake Winnepesaukah (Lake Winnie).


Tim and I, years ago, started taking our children to this wonderful place.  We soon found out, after two years of disastrous trips, that some of our children are not cut out for the fun of a theme park.  Every year we went as a family, Antonio was very sick the whole time from the heat.  Zeke was having melt down anxiety attacks the whole time because all he saw around was people 
in danger on all the rides.  Also, Tim himself would be sick from the heat after a short time because the heat would take a toll on him with his Addisons disease.  Tim always ended up camped out in a very small air-conditioned room they have there as a museum for the park history.  He just as miserable as the two miserable children he had with him in there.  The third year we got smarter.  We did a change of plans and split up.  Tim stays home and plans a wonderful fun day with those who don't do well out at fun parks and I take the crew that really can have fun and enjoy it all.

Thursday was that big day.  I had a wonderful foster friend of mine keep baby "K" for us while we went to Lake Winnie.  Thank you Mrs. "H"!  It takes Baby "K" an hour to eat each feeding with lots of burping her every ounce or so or else none of it stays down.  So Tim and I thought it best to have someone be totally devoted to her for the day, so Tim could totally devote himself to Antonio, Zeke, "B" and "T".  Especially with "B" potty training and needing to be taken potty frequently.  Tim had a wonderful day planned for them all of movies, pizza, pop corn, junk food and games.

I took William, Carolyn and Elizabeth out for the day to Lake Winnie. 

The weather could not have been any better.  No rain but overly over cast and very little humidity.  The lines for the rides were amazingly short too!  They got to ride all they wanted without hardly any waiting at all.
We always take Elizabeth's wheel chair because with her heart issues she lacks the stamina to walk the whole park.  This year she used it the whole time as she is recovering from a broken foot still.

Williams favorite ride is these air planes.
He talked Carolyn into riding with him.
The planes barrel roll, unless you can keep them from doing it, by having a steady, strong hand on the controls.  Carolyn really trusts her brother on this ride to agree to ride with him.  There are many rides Elizabeth can not ride because of her heart condition but so many that she loves and can ride too.

Then of course there is this ride where they can go after each other in a safe and fun way!
The girls going after William!





They all work so hard at life, it is always so good to see them out and having a really good time.

They also have a water park included in the price.  So before we leave we always go and let the kids play for a bit on that side.  With Elizabeth's Cerebral Palsy she was not strong enough to get out of the current of the lazy river.  William had to go in with Carolyn and do a non-emergency rescue.  Well I am sure it felt like an emergency to Elizabeth, bless her heart.
Out of the current she did much better getting to her feet.

They also did the water slides a few times.

God is so gracious to let Tim and I have another wonderful day with the children making happy family memories!

Psalm 104:1-6  Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.  Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:  Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:  Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:  Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.  Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

 

Blessings, 

susan




 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Fun

I have re-learned over the last three weeks that God is beyond gracious and more than faithful.  I am so grateful that He alone is giving me the strength to do all that is required.  We all work together around here but even more so now that we have littles again in our home.  Miraculously the house is kept up and the children are fed and cared for.  Don't ask to see outside the house, in the yard, gardens and barn!  :)  I have also learned I can not home school thru the summer with all the toddlers and baby girls constant needs.  So, much to my children's disappointment...(not)...we are not going to get in much home schooling this summer.  We are all enjoying it though.  We are still getting in two days a week or a few partial days here and there.  But for the most part we are enjoying summer.

One day we went to an indoor gym called KidZone. 
They have six or seven of those blow up slides, climbing and bouncing type things one would see at the fair.
I surprised the kids, took them there and just sat watching them for the morning.  Antonio loves to go there and watch all the other children play.  He is always so happy in life.  Such a nice young man and son.
 My children found out it is a lot of work chasing toddlers all over the place!
I was getting up and walking around once in a while, taking pictures, checking on everyone and found William taking a small break from it all.  He had handed off "B" to Zeke to keep up with for a little while.
It was really nice for them all and they left tired and happy.

If you are wondering why Elizabeth is not in any of the pictures that day...to keep this blog honest and real...she had huge behavior issues that morning and a tantrum.  If I had included a picture of her sitting and watching the other children, it would have made you as sad as it makes me to see her reap the sometimes tough consequences of her actions.

The children have also been spending a lot of time in the pool.
Elizabeth is happy to finally have her cast off her foot so she can enjoy swimming with the other children!
Stephen usually comes to visit every other weekend but thru the summer months comes every weekend to swim with the kids and have some fun with them. 
I can not even step out side when they are having their water fights with out getting wet.  We have a wading pool for the toddlers but allow "B" in the big pool a little with close supervision.  Carolyn loves to help him swim around in the pool.

We have a few other little things planned for the summer I would like to see happen.  I would like to take the children to the Chattanooga Aquarium and maybe to the zoo.  I also take the children that want to go, to Lake Winnie every year.  Only a few of them like that sort of thing.  Tim stays home with the ones that do not want to go and has a fun day planned for them as well.  Of course everything now days has to be planned on the day we do it.  As things can certainly change on a dime around here now.

The children are all doing well.  Antonio is doing amazing in his new wheel chair.  I did not realize how important a seating system is for some chidlren.  His tone is so much better in this chair.  He is not nearly as tight so his joints hurt way less.  Praise God!  This is the best set up he has ever had and I am grateful. 

Stephen is working hard at his job and is buying a new vehicle next month.  He is planning on selling his little green truck to William.  William is very excited. 

William is going to be tested soon by the local school system to see what options are available for furthering his education and any possible careers or job opportunities for him. 
We are working hard at trying to tweak Williams diet so he does not have those horrible sugar crashes with his hypoglycemia.  He is supposed to take drivers ed next month and this has to be gotten under control before he gets his license.  He is embarking on a very exciting time in his life and he is a young man that likes routine and does not like change.  He is a slow mover and has to totally be on board on all levels for things to go smoothly.  So we are praying things go well for him.

Carolyn is taking private ballet lessons thru the summer to keep up her ballet skills for when classes start back again. 
She is also continuing her horse back riding lessons on her pony Millie.  She is still enjoys knitting but with summer here she usually only does it when she looses all her technology privileges when she gets sassy.  :)  I guess knitting is something she does more in the winter months.

Zeke is his usual quiet busy little self. 
He spends a lot of time doing stop animation and making movies.  I have taken him out with me alone a few times with the toddlers and baby and he is very good at being helpful with the littles and I think he enjoyed me asking him to do it instead of Carolyn.  Its hard to tell with him as his face is always very flaccid unless I ask him to smile but for him, he seemed cheerful about it.

Elizabeth is out of her cast and will be going to Physical Therapy this summer to get her strength and range of motion back. 
She might participate a little in the summer ballet lessons Carolyn is taking but we will have to see how much her foot can handle.  She has done a lot of reading while her foot healed over the last many weeks and that seems to have become a habit as she is still sitting around reading a lot.  I know I am grateful to have her back on kitchen duty.  She is the only one who keeps the kitchen clean enough like I do.

"B" is still progressing and doing better and better all the time.
I am amazed at the miracle unfolding before my eyes with these two little brothers.  They are transforming into what little boys should be.  They both still have many issues but they are diminishing with time and bonding in our family.  "B" is extremely active.  He wants me close but likes to play independently some now.  He talks non-stop asking me questions all day long.  He regularly pushes the limits and boundaries to make sure they are the same as yesterday.  He is doing really well with his potty training.  I am so glad to have got that ball rolling before the baby came.  God really does plan out our lives well.  "B" has also discovered coloring and several more mature type activities that keep his mind busy and disposition more cheerful.  He can now sit and play doing those things at the kitchen table happily while I get somethings done.

"T" is a cuddly, clingy, quiet little guy.  He is very stealthy and in trouble for climbing all the time.  He climbs where he should not with no plan on how to get down.  So I bought him a huge plastic thing with a place to climb and slide for in the house.  It takes up my whole living room but has cut down on the "time outs" he was getting for furniture climbing. 
Both boys can now be put down to bed at night with out much of a fuss but I make sure to still sing and rock him to sleep for every nap as he seems to need that time with me.  I also make sure I am available to him after his naps as it takes him at least 30 minutes to hatch out and be happy and he does it much better if on my lap or sitting next to me.

Baby "K" is just sweet, sweet, sweetness.  We have all enjoyed every moment she has been here.  I have had lots of quality time alone, nights, with her for us to get acquainted. :) 

She has a very laid back temperament and her little personality is coming out more and more as she is awake and alert a little more all the time.  She does not have tremors nearly as often as she did but still occupationally does.  She is not needing to be wrapped snugly as much as well and is enjoying moving her arms and legs a bit with out getting upset.  It takes an hour to feed her as she has some nursing and reflux issues.  She has to be burped very well and is stingy with them.  I have to keep her upright a lot.  She has gained over a pound since her arrival though praise God!.  She was giving me four hours at a stretch thru the night for sleeping but has went six the last two nights! YIPPEE! Choosing between a shower and more sleep is a tough choice.

I guess that is it from here in the North Georgia Mountains.

May God make Himself very real to you this week in a very specific way.  May you know deep in your heart that He loves his people and will never leave or forsake them.

Psalm 24:7-8  Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.  Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.



Blessings,
susan