Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Clifford the Big Red Hug

 Before Courtney left, we asked Sophia to pick out a stuffed animal from her Stuffed Animal Zoo that she could hug when she was missing Courtney. 
I rounded the corner into her room to put away laundry the other weekend, only to find her standing in the middle of her room hugging Clifford in a tight squeeze.  Talk about heart break.  She has had her as her sister since before she was 2.  She only knows her as her sister.  She misses her greatly.  She knows why in a child’s sense that we needed to do this for Courtney and us.   
She asks when she’ll get to see her again. She talks of her daily.
She was playing on the ipad the other morning while I showered and when I checked on her, she was pouting then started to cry.  She’d gone to photos, found a picture of Courtney and was just staring at her.  Again, she asked when she’d see her.  I said – let’s take a picture of Courtney and put it on your bulletin board so you can see her and pray for her when you miss her.
Tough moments….and I know they aren’t over.
Winnie the Pooh says it best “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”
 Courtney is in our hearts.  But we will be together again! Until then we'll keep hugging Clifford.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hanging On

Hanging On
Hanging on like the last leaves of fall.
Clinging to my branches of faith.
Knowing God has plan for us all.
Working to let my worries fall.
Working to release and trust.
Knowing God has a plan for us all. 

Questioning my heart as I feel it fall.
Learning to listen to God.
Knowing God has a plan for us all.

Praying to grow from this season of fall.
Hoping  for restoration to unfold.
Knowing God has a plan for us all.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.     Psalm 1:3

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frozen by the past, hope for the future.

Frozen by the past, hope for the future.
Difficult parenting moments.  Painful realizations. A time of grief. A low beyond anything as parents.
3.5 years hasn’t changed anything tangible.  We persevered believing love can change and fix…..we read books, created goals, worked with our local mental health provider wrapping a plan of support above what we could do, we created mentors, church connections, gave family and community. We prayed. We struggled. We feel failure. We feel hope.
Thank you to our encouraging, understanding family and friends who have supported us. Many don’t know or understand. Many can’t see – because that is what it is.
A church friend who I value, shared that if a loved one was addicted to drugs or alcohol, we’d pursue to find a treatment plan to help them. This is no different. Mental health issues are real. She needs help. She needs to want help and want us. She wants to leave.
So – she is leaving this Thursday for a time unknown as we get her what we hope is life changing help. It won’t be easy for her, nor us, nor our children at home, nor extended family who don’t fully get what this means. We’ve great optimism in the treatment for her– we’ve heard good things and have friends who’ve had success there with their daughter – hence the great hope we hold onto.
There is stigma too – I’m strong enough to put the good front on, but the pain will exist and be there. I know people will talk – people will be mean – people don’t know. It doesn’t matter, we are doing what is right for her, for us and our remaining children at home.
The first 30 days will be the hardest – she can’t contact us nor can we contact her. I know the grief we’ll feel – it is the grief we have now. BUT….hope is the key word here. We have hope.
Pray we have strength to meet this challenging time head on. Pray we grow and become better from this. Pray she finds healing. Pray God’s direction for all of us in our unknown future. We desire reintegration…..but don’t know 100% that it is in the cards. She’ll need to miss us, want us and to work her way back...changed. We’ll all be changed, we need to change. This hurts.
Please respect our pain. But more than anything,  just lift us all up in prayer.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Saturday, October 27, 2012

First Lost Tooth

Besides the leaves falling, we've had something else important "fall" at our house.  Sophia's first lost tooth!  October 16th she was eating an almond when her bottom tooth got VERY wiggly.  Steve had to help her pluck it out as it was dangling there.  It was upsetting to her and she cried and cried.  Later when I connected with her at tumbling – she showed me, then cried again.  Poor baby. 
So we hyped it up for her, making it a positive thing.  Such a big girl, first tooth, new bigger one will grow, tooth fairy, etc. trying to ease the idea and give reassurance it was all a part of God’s plan and she will be just fine!  
Grandma B had just given her a dentist sticker book we’d done.  She’d been to the dentist and they told us she had two wiggly teeth.  We talked about her wiggly teeth, but she was still emotional about it when it happened. 
Last night the tooth fairy delivered the cash goods, even though she wished it would be been a toy instead (so she told me).
The boys shared stories of their teeth falling out, the tooth fairy etc.  Courtney remained quiet.  I realized that we didn’t get to experience her baby teeth coming out and the tradition of those experiences.  She was interested in seeing Sophia’s fallen tooth, but just didn’t say much. 
Change happens, some we celebrate, some we agonize over….but nature does it’s thing even if we aren’t ready for it….my body reminds me of this all too often!
Another step in life, reminding me my little girl is growing up all according to God’s plan and design.
Song of Songs 6:6   Your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing.  Each has its twin, not one of them is missing.

Anything falling out in your neighborhood?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Plastered Leaves

Plastered Leaves
This is what I hear the leaves saying:
1.       Help!
2.       I can’t moooovvvveeeee.
3.       Will you please move your right leaf off my bottom leaf.
4.       This is what a soccer mob feels like.
5.       Why is this fence here again?
6.       I just want to fly!
7.       If you are wondering why I’ve called you all together today……
8.       Staff meeting. Did someone bring the agenda?
9.       At least the dogs can’t get me up here!
10.   I’m so embarrassed.
11.   Stay positive – you do control your destiny!     
12.  Who let the trash in? Who Who Who, Who let the trash in? Who, Who, Who...

Feel free to add your own Leaf voices. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Find the joy, find the joy, find the joy...

Fall is a hard time for some folks.  I’ve seen a lot of sorrow and pain around me.  Experienced my fair share too.  The world and economy are just downright depressing….so how do we stay focused on the joy in our lives?  

I strive to “find the joy” every day.  I love the days at work we take breathers and do or have funny things happening…the laughter is such a stress relief.  Then too, my kids can give me equal joy (or pain)….so I relish the joy filled moments more and more when they happen. I love it when time allows me to enjoy the things that I find creative and soul filling, from painting a cabinet to taking pictures that inspire me.
It is a challenge for all of us to “find the joy” in our lives every day with so much of Satan around us looking for ways to throw logs in our Christian walking paths.  What gives you joy?
So, here are a few pictures of my flowers I’ve struggled to keep alive in a drought filled hot Kansas summer.  They help me “find the joy” so I’ll share them with whomever visits in hopes they give you joy too.

Isaiah 58:14    “then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Crooked Tree

The Crooked Tree
This summer at one of our favourite family places - while hiking I saw this tree.  I loved the way it cuuurrrrvvved around then continued on its growth path - growing straight up like the other trees.
 This tree spoke volumes to me. Some of us start out this way in our Christian walk, going the wrong way until we “see the light” and grow towards it.  It is only in growing toward the light that we have life.  Some Christians don’t have those early on struggles; they’ve just been planted and grow like the other trees around this one.  But the testimony of this tree that struggled to get its start shows the reality most of us face.  Trials we need to overcome before we can stay on the straight and narrow. Ironically beside it is a stump of a not so lucky tree.  Ah, Jesus parable of the good seed all over this hike!

This tree also made me think of my children.  I’m a Mom – so naturally I’d think of them, right?  Each of my adopted children had struggles right from their beginnings.  Saved through foster care, I think OK – like this tree you had that rough beginning, but now you should be able to grow, grow, grow – straight in the light and love of your family and God’s saving grace for a greater purpose in your life!
What this tree doesn’t show that we can only predict, is that it might not live as long as the other trees, it might be more prone to insects or disease or notwithstanding the elements of life that will come it’s way and challenge it’s being.    What this makes me realize with my children, is that no matter the light and water we give them, they still have factors that may change their direction.  Some more than others find it harder to go toward the light….the darkness is so tempting and pulls at them constantly.  I want to be the safe forest to harbor them in safety, but elements still remain in the world I can not protect them from.
This summer presented me challenges and parenting moments that continue to astound me (and my gentle husband!).  I can’t even write them here – for the sake of the ones struggling, I won’t write those journeys here….despite my friends telling me “write that down!”  Maybe in years to come….but not now.   Some are too painful, some while funny, just need to wait.
Back to the tree…..I wish and pray for all out there, that God’s calling is greater than Satan’s and that my children (and myself) have the strength to continue to want the light….continue to grow in faith and forgiveness.   
Be the tall tree.  
Be the good tree. 
Genesis 2:9  reads:  The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Monday, August 20, 2012

First PreK/K Split Day! ~2012~

When I asked her what she was doing with her hands, she said she was driving a car.  Of course!  Why didn't I guess or know that!  My creative bug - may this year of learning be a blessing to you and may you spread sunshine to all the people's paths you will cross as you do ours!  Luv Mom & Dad XOXO

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to School 2012-2013!

Momma is happy, back to school!  Back to routine!  For a week until the homework hits, this is all good!  Little one starts next week.  Smilie icons show their feelings about school starting.  I'm with Courtney - big grin!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Can't post

I can’t post.  There is so much happening right now in my life, my energy is forced elsewhere.  Taking a break.   I hope I’ll be back.  I hope… much…of many things.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pink Gorilla

Pink Gorilla Days
My load has been full again…..if the water looks calm on top, believe me the undercurrents are strong!
 So I’m grasping for life’s simple joys ~ like this pink gorilla.  
You see, I had a whopper migraine on Sunday.  After I set up all the kids with a quieter activity I went to lay down and take a long snooze.  Before I fell asleep Sophia visited me, tucking me in and giving me her pink gorilla to have for my nap.  Sweetness.
Some days, all I need is a pink gorilla to fill my cup.  What is filling yours these days?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Corn Stalks

I drive by this soybean field, with the random corn stalks, sticking well above the soybeans.  It is interesting how quickly I disliked this field in my mind, used to seeing such uniform even fields of crops whether it is wheat, corn or soybeans. 
Some days I think the field yells to me “be your own person, stand tall, you are beautifully made by God, don’t conform to the way of others….”  Oh, yes, those corn stalks talk to me.
Other days I hear them saying “Look, I represent all the sin in your life, no matter how hard you try, there will always be a corn stalk sticking it’s ugly head up among the soybeans, making life harder.”

Then a few days later, I realized the farmer was slowing whacking those stalks down and there were less of them.  The remaining ones cried out to me “live today, you know not what tomorrow brings!” 
 Jesus talked about “weeds” and the difficulty of separating good plants (believers) from weeds (sin and wrong spiritual choices).  In the parable, Matthew 13, I especially like verse 30 ”Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”     Such a good reminder that it isn’t until harvest is brought in that the Lord separates them out.  With Jesus as my savior I can daily “weed” out through repentance and start my field again. He will help me bundle my weeds and burn them constantly allowing me to live off the good harvest of life.
 May the corn stalks in your life be pulled, parted and burned as well!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kansas Wheat Harvest ~2012~

Photo by my friend Bev Froese.  Isn't is lovely?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Moment

Monday Moment:  Driving at 7:30 a.m. and cranking down the AC thinking....I hate hot flashes, then realizing the heated leather seat has been turned on!  lol  Gonna be a looonnggg week. ;-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Great Rhinoceros Hunt

The Great Rhinoceros Hunt
While hubby sleeps by day from working nights, my challenge is to keep 4 rambunctious kiddos quiet.  So when the sun shines, I’m thinking of places we can go do inexpensive fun things and leave Steve to sleep in peace and quiet.
Hence….The Great Rhinoceros Hunt.
We headed off to a Kansas Town that boasted some 60+ Rhinos around town. The kids “hunted” these concrete creatures, some decoratively attired to match their place of business or not.  The kiddos got in place, planted their smiles and ran on to the next one.  After 42 Rhinos found, with the Kansas sky erupting with thunder, we headed home – happy, tired and adding another memory for the books.
So I bring you our fave Rhinos:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

School is OUT!

School Year 2011 – 2012 Ends today!
I don’t know who is happier, the kids or the parents!
I will love it when school approaches again I will be excited and eager for the routine it will bring back. Just as I love it when it lets out, like now. God creates seasons in nature and we as humans need those seasons too…..
So, to summer – let the swimming, T-ball, reading, camping, family time, playing, life begin!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Love You Ritual

I need more patience….or tolerance...
 Every day if the timing is just so, I get to stop for a school bus on a regular route.  This doesn’t bother me EXCEPT…..the one stop is a couple of girls and it looks like this:

Mom and Dad drive both their vehicles up the SHORT driveway and sit there with the girls in the vehicles, waiting for the bus to arrive.  They don’t get out until the bus is actually at their drive way stopped.  Then each girl gets out as the parents get out of their vehicles, and respectively they go through this ritual of hugging each parent before they slowly walk across the road to get on the bus, we wait for them to be seated as the bus will then move on.  The cars line up behind watching and waiting for this ritual on a daily basis.
A couple of things that burn my hide are, if the parents KNOW the bus is coming, why don’t they start their ritual sooner so we all don’t have to painfully watch this while waiting.  Or, do it BEFORE they get in the vehicles at the house… gal is in 6th grade, soon to be 7th….okay….old enough to walk up the drive, wait for the bus and just get on it when it arrives!  Seriously. Don’t the parents see us all watching and waiting to continue on our daily commutes?  No respect for that – I think they love the audience….”see how much we love our children!”  Yikes.  Drives me nuts as you can tell. 
I’m not opposed to “I Love You” rituals at all, but at the expense of others who are waiting on you every day I find this one annoying and over the top.  TIME magazine just featured a model breast feeding her 3 yr old who stands on a chair.  Yikes....disturbing photo of a ritual gone too long.  
We all have rituals we do with our children, they are healthy for children to have.  There comes a time we release some of those as our children outgrow them.  It is the journey of letting go of the apron strings… is hard, but we do it.  We move from blankies and bottles to cups and good night tucks. I'm talking to myself here too as Sophia still crawls into bed with me too often and it is a hard habit to break.  We all have habits.....a reminder to myself to review more of them.
I think God is working to teach me a lesson in patience that I clearly am rebelling against….because for many years now I’ve witnessed this same bus loading ritual over and over and it burns me every time.  I’m human and so are these parents who are driving me nuts.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Millers Oh Millers!

I’ve said it before, I’ll whine again…I strongly dislike (yes HATE, a word I don’t let my kids use) moths. Right now for a good two weeks the millers are migrating through Kansas – they are basically the adult stage of the army cutworm heading to the Rockies.  Kansas birds love them and in Colorado they are bear food.  Their fancy shmancy name is:  Euxoa auxiliaris.       Shooo, go away soon!

·        They flit.
·        They are too random.
·        They have this dusty stuff on them that gets on walls, fingers, etc.
·        They are ugly in my eyes.   Yes, I know I need therapy on this issue!

Sophia on the other hand, LOVES them.  Basically she loves bugs too.  We are so opposite on this issue like one end of the spectrum way different!  So, despite my dislike, I’m actually pleased and kind of proud she isn’t following my paranoid obsession with disliking insects, especially moths and spiders. To support her in her healthy curiosity I purchased a new net to catch them in  - because I wouldn’t want to touch them.  She finds her hands and little fingers work easier as she just snatches them up.  
Then a new “cage” – mesh to allow them to live and flit away from me.  A new bug inspector gadget.  She is set to play with her rollie pollies (no, not Polly Pockets!) and moth friends.

I’ve got to go now….heading to the big “W” to buy a gallon of hand washing disinfecting soap for her bathroom as we’re gonna use it all up this summer!
PS:  To all my "Miller" friends this post is NOT about you...sorry you share a moth name though! :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

D.A.R.E. 2012

Today was D.A.R.E.graduation for our 6th grader.

I was proud of her.  She wasn't a special speech speaker.  She didn't do anything but blend with the class.....but I know how hard this class was for her....forcing her to deal with the demons of the past and experiences I'd wager not many in her class have lived, but one never knows.  She could have written a "wow" speech, but hers was more text book...hiding those feelings/experiences she doesn't want anyone to know about.

SOOO.....I'm very proud of her and I've told her so.

Yup.  See the smile....says it all.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Man With Wise Eyes

My man with wise eyes    
Tells me no lies
He is faithful and true
Even when life paints blue.
My man with wise eyes 
Holds me when my soul cries
He is my strong hold
Who allows me to live bold.
My man with wise eyes 
Loves his sweet potato fries
He is charming and funny
I love it when he calls me “Honey.”
My man with wise eyes.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! ~2012~

Easter bunny - The rabbit, or hare, was a symbol of abundant new life in ancient times, and reminds us of spring and new life.

Easter eggs & baby chicks- Eggs and chicks symbolize new life. Eggs have been a symbol of spring since ancient times. An egg also is a symbol of the rock tomb out of which Christ emerged when he arose again. The chick, hatching out of the egg, symbolizes new life or re-birth. 
May you have a year ahead of new life in Him!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bubble Gum Car Wash

When Sophia was little she was scared when we’d go through a car wash, we’d have to give her a stuffed animal to hold, hold her hand and talk her through it…..dark tunnel, loud noises and splashes of water against the windows can really be a little frightening.
 Now at a ripe old 4.5  yrs old – she BEGS to go to the car wash, she LOVES the wax treatment of two colors that blend into one and the kids say “Mom it smells so good….like bubble gum!”  So – every now and then I indulge in an overpriced car wash to “entertain” the kids and save my arm from the cheaper wand wielding version I can get in town with a slew of quarters.
Recently was just such a day – I sprung for the expensive one only to have it rain the next day…..wish that van washing trick worked to bring rain in the summer when we are hitting day 23 of 100 degree weather in a row without a whisper of moisture in the air!
The frugal part of me gets annoyed that I didn’t believe the weatherman at the chance of rain and more that I “wasted” my money on the car wash when I won’t get to enjoy a clean vehicle as long as I’d like. 
Does God feel that way about us – annoyed that we didn’t listen to his forecast like the people of old when he told them he was sending his son and they didn’t accept that miracle son when he did come?  When I’m worrying about wasting my money, do I relish in the joy of a 4 year old laughing at the car wash enjoying the water washing our van clean.  Am I able to see Jesus washing away my sins like the dirt from my van?  I answer “yes” what do you answer today? 
So, instead of a Starbucks moment….I think I’ll save on the expensive Mocha Fraps I like and take in a few more car washes this year….Blub Blub
 1 Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
   blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
   and cleanse me from my sin.   Psalm 51:1-2

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