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In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

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“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Healing Begins At Home: Being A Therapeutic Home


In my last post, I talked about my own person views on Attachment. I didn't feel it was worded very well, because I am not feeling very well right now. But I do believe I must have gotten across what I wanted to say, based upon a couple of responses. :)

One of the questions was from Diana. She asked, "How have you dealt with balancing this need for kids to process their trauma and express anger over it, with keeping things loving, present, and compassionate in your home?"

This is a very good question. I remember when I was little, I would feel rage inside, but I wasn't allowed to express it in any way. It was perceived as rebellion. Much of it was hurt. Was there rebellion. Yes, but not just because. There was reason behind it.
I remember going into my closet one time and saying 3 curse words, 3 x's each. I laugh about it now, a little, but I still remember that hurt child. I remember the incident, well and I remember not being allowed to "feel". So, in that closet, after I was finished with my secret tantrum.... I was consumed by horrible guilt and shame. How could I , a Christian girl at that, dare to do something so awful. And, I repented to my Lord. I was 8.
When I finished praying, I actually felt better, and left my closet to go back into my real world.
But that feeling of being pushed to the brink has stayed with me for my whole life.

Honestly, If the person who hurt me had just said they were sorry, or apologized, or if somebody ELSE had recognized that I had been mistreated, I don't think I would have needed to rage. That is important to remember. I think a listening ear, can be enough. Just to understood, can be enough.

God can use the terrible things in our lives to bring about Good! In me, he brought about repentance and dependence upon HIM, and in the long term, he later brought that recollection and understanding of what happened and how I could better understand children in my care.

As we took the parenting classes preparing for the worst with our Anna, I could identify so much with the hurt child. I cannot go into details, but I remember moving so much as a child that I stopped making real friends for a while. I figured, "Why bother, we will just move again and I'll have to start over all over again."

There were many other things I identified with. I also remember during a couple of years in my life having a dog. I remembered spending time with her and caring for her.
She was where I would go when I was upset, and she could help settle my heart when I was upset.

So when the girlies came, one of the first things we did was get animals. Animals have a way of reaching the heart of a child. Even the hardest of hearts can be taught to be loving and compassionate.
When Anna came, she was so full of rage that she would put her hands in the air and stiffen her body and shake. Sometimes she did this several times a day for no reason at all. She nearly looked like she was having a seizure, but she wasn't. I remember giving her, her very first pet chicken. I watched her like a hawk (no pun intended) to make sure she didn't hurt the chicken. I would sit and listen to her play, and realized she had no idea what to do with that chicken, just like she had no idea what to do with her first baby doll.
With her doll, she held it by the foot and asked me to baby sit it, because she had to go to "wook"...
I told her no, I couldn't because mommy's need to stay with their new babies and love them. She got so mad at me and said, "BUT I HAVE TO GO TO WOOK!" LOL
I said, "your baby is your work!" "She said, "Are you gonna watch my baby or not?"
I said, NO, I am not. TO which she picked up a fake phone and called a fake friend to watch her baby! " LOL

I didn't intervene at that moment. I just cracked up and figured, we have much work to do. LOL

So, I said, Anna, how do you hold a baby? She didn't know. So we wrapped that baby up and placed it in her arms. And she learned her first lesson in nurturing.
I also told her lots of stories in the rocking chair about bringing her brothers home and how we cared for them. We would just talk and converse and she learned during our rocking chair experiences.

With her chicken, she would stand over it and shake at first, but with learning how to care for her baby and speak kindly to it... (this was work too) she learned to talk to her chicken in the same way. She fed it, gave it water and made sure it was cared for.

We added sheep. Oh my goodness, you would not believe how she became Mrs. Boe peep!

One day she couldn't get them to do what she wanted them to and she cam in all red faced just sobbing, "LET's KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL! Let's just EAT THEM!!!!" LOL
I calmed her down and learned that they were not cooperating with her animal school.
So we washed her face and got her cooled off, and we sat together in the rocker.

I asked her how she would feel if we got mad at her when she didn't cooperate? She thought about it. I asked her also, "do you think maybe they don't understand?" "It is your job to help them understand and teach them." So we went over ways to help animals trust us. Repeat repeat repeat! And she also learned about animal behavior, what is normal etc.

After that incident, she became known as Anna the Animal Whisperer.


She can make those animals do ANYTHING and she is kind and gentle to them. She is always studying some sort of book on animal behavior. LOL

When Sarah came,
we purchased a Play School Family Doll House for her and Anna for Christmas.

We bought lots of family members so they had enough to play with, and I would watch them interact. You can learn a whole lot about what is in your child's heart, by watching them pretend "family". There were some pretty interesting interactions that took place with that doll house. This was our "therapy" house. They just didn't know it. :)

I would observe, and most of the time didn't need to intervene too quickly. But when somebody would pretend to yell at a child, or get violent, I would intervene....
I'd say, "oh dear, that is sad." Do you remember that? The answer might be yes, or "no I was just playing."
Either way, we would talk about how that kind of thing in real life isn't ok because it hurts us. I would let them know, of course it is ok to feel hurt if that happened to you, and then I would guide them about what to do with that hurt.

God does not want us to keep our hurts. He wants us to give our hurts to him. Do you know that he holds our tears in a bottle? They are so precious to him, he doesn't forget even one! And we would have a simple lesson in giving our hurts to God and forgiving those who hurt us.

These times took place in our home 24/7. There came a time when I didn't have to worry about how the girlies would play with that doll house because they received what I shared with them readily, and learned new ways to be "mommies".

I also read them lovely books on wonderful mommies. The Mennonites have wonderful family books that are read a louds. You can find many of their readers here.
The girl's favorite was Annette and Samuel on the Farm and Kitten in the Well.
Another fabulous book was "Conduct for the Crayon Crowd" by Edna Gerstner.
They are little stories about family life and how it is related to God.

One of the things we have done a lot of is singing songs like "Stop and let me tell you!" and when you say "stop", we say something positive. It is a fun game that makes us think on the positive and not concentrate on the negative.

I also came up with our imaginary tool box. We put inside the things we need at the moment. This was a huge help to them. I told Anna, 6 years ago, "Daddy has tools to use to work on cars and he keeps them safe in his toolbox. You don't seem to have any tools to help you". So we went through the motions of opening our tool box and putting in, "Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness,Self Control, Faithfulness and many other tings.... tell the truth tools, keeping our hands to ourselves tools. Etc.
If she were going to start a rage, I would say, "what tool can you use?" Many times this would stop her in her tracks and she would think about a tool to use, and use it.

The girls also keep journals. We started journaling about 2 years ago. They can write anything they want and it will not be erased or corrected. Many times they have written about their past experiences, and they bring it to me to read. I always ask, "Are you ok?" And I get a smile and a yes mom, I am fine! We have wept together, and laughed together. And of course, we always pray together.

I do not try to give them all the answers, like I understand everything, because I don't.
Some of my deeper conversations with Erika have included us weeping together and me saying, I don't understand why you had to go through so much. But I DO KNOW, from the bottom of my heart that God intends it for good. And I do believe that, I know that she does too.

We repeated much of the same things with Erika that we did with Anna and Sarah, and frankly, when she first came home, I thought I was going to be glued to the rocking chair for life. LOL It didn't take too long to get everybody settled.

We have also added painting and art to our lives, and dancing. It is a great outlet.

Erika's adjustment has been amazing.
But honestly, she is one of the most steady, resilient, content people I have ever met. She is at peace. And it is apart of her natural makeup.

When I mentioned in my last post about our son being incredibly sensitive,
that is the same description I would give Anna.

She and our son Joe, shared a lot of the same types of behaviors. So while trauma is a trigger for those, I think how a child heals, is greatly dependent upon what their natural makeup is like.

As Sandy spoke about traumatized horses, I'm sure there are some horses that recover easier than others, yet have been through very similar circumstances.

I think the biggest thing I have learned is, "If it isn't going to matter in 100 years, don't sweat it now." Sort of a take on "he won't be going to college in diapers." :)

We want to focus on healing yes, but we want to focus on future. I knew when my daughters were whole, when they stopped looking at the past and started planning for the future.
Before, there were no plans for a next birthday or a next holiday. That had never happened to them. But now, oh my, they plan way ahead, and we are in that plan!

I think emotional healing is like that onion I have talked about before. There are layers of understanding to it. You heal what you understand, but then, as you gain more knowledge, you may revisit and need to heal some more.


I like to see our home as a beacon of light to show the way out of a very dark place.
I try to make sure my arms are always open for hugs, endless hugs, even though sometimes I am tired. I want to be available in the middle of the night, or anytime, to just be there if they need me. Because that is what mothers do. I want them to remember my smile, to remember me warmly caressing their hair, and to remember that I always always love them, even though I am not perfect.
I also try to model what I want them to do. If I am wrong, I drop what I do and I apologize, sincerely and ask their forgiveness. In doing that, it opens the door for them to do the same.
Healing starts at home.

The wounds this life causes are not to be forgotten totally, lest we repeat history.
They however can be used as a crutch for life, or, can be used as a spring board that can launch us into a wonderful life.

I'm sorry this is so long. :)

My Thoughts on Attachment


I have been thinking about posting this for a long time, but I was worried about response. I don't know why I do that. I just do...... But it is still on my mind, so here goes:

If you don't read my posts often, I am mom to 7 children. Our first 4 children were boys. One was full term, three were preemies, born at around 30 weeks gestation.
My first husband and I divorced. I will not give the details here, just that it was a traumatic event for everybody involved. My children had no father.

I remarried, after 3 1/2 years. My wonderful husband Mike, adopted our sons.

Then, when our youngest son was 19, we adopted our first daughter through the foster care system. She was 5.
Then, we adopted a year later, a little girl almost 6, who was from Ukraine.
Then, we went TO Ukraine and adopted her best friend 10 months later.

So, all 7 of our children have had trauma issues, adoption issues, and really have had varying attachment issues.

Before I understood what attachment issues were, I knew we had some sort of problem with our 3rd son Joseph. I never connected that him being hospitalized, for a few weeks could effect him, but it did. And THEN, what really effected him, was ME being hospitalized for almost 2 months. He was not the same when I left the hospital and went back home.
In fact, all of them, were clingy, but he is the one who didn't recover quite so easily.

He is also the child who is very, VERY sensitive. And this is what brings me to this post.

We have 3 very different daughters, all who have experienced EXTREME trauma.
Being taken away by the police, and going from foster home to foster home is traumatic.
Being born and abandoned, not being touched and loved, living in a TB Sanitarium (dungeon) and finally an orphanage and then being adopted and having that adoption disrupt, is EXTREME TRAUMA.
Being born and abandoned and being in a "left to lay" room for her first 4 years, and then being transferred to an orphanage, and finally being adopted at nearly 8, is EXTREME trauma.

Yet, they are all flourishing.

We did our homework. We studied and studied. And some of what we studied made us cringe. Is it true that you have to use tactics like "strong sitting" or "forced holding" to make a child connect with you?
I tried to put myself in that position of being forced to hug a person I may not want to, and it made me feel nauseated. If I didn't TRUST somebody, why would a therapist think it was ok to force me to hug them or be held by them?
That doesn't make any sense to me.
Ok, it DOES make sense, if you are only thinking that by EXTERNALLY controlling another person, their heart will eventually line up with what they are doing on the outside..... I think this is false and dangerous.
Can it work? Maybe. But why would we want to do that?

I can understand the idea of limiting things for a newly adopted child. Too many things can overwhelm. Too many choices can overwhelm, and can backfire. I know when I get overloaded with too much in put, I cannot function well. How much more is that true for a child on stimuli overload?

I think as parents, many times, we want our kids to heal, NOW. We want them to just get over the past and move on. After all, we are good people. We are doing everything we can. So what is their problem?

Back to putting myself in my kid's shoes. If I were a little kid, and had never been able to trust anybody. Why would I trust me? I went and looked in the mirror. WHY SHOULD I TRUST YOU???
I was looking at my expression. Am I frowning or do I have a welcoming look?
Do I look happy or grouchy? I was making all these faces to see what somebody else might see. Frankly, if I were a little kid, and didn't know me... some of my faces might be scary.
Noted something to work on. Looking inviting. Looking welcoming. Making sure my face lines up with my mood. :)

Of course parents have to be parents, by leading and guiding, and we cannot give in to every whim of our children. But sometimes I think we make our no's so many and our yesses so few, we frustrate our children unnecessarily.

Instead of waiting for our children to ask for something. Why not be pro active and provide it? Why not get them a 2 dollar ball that will bring them joy? Why not have a snack ready for them BEFORE they ask? Why not help them with their bedroom to get it clean or help them put their clothes away or help them make their bed? Why not help them put shoes on if they are frustrated? Why not help them pick up toys by singing a fun song and coming along side to show them how?As you help them, they will learn to do it WITH you. This is a form of bonding and attachment. Why not try and keep our no's few and our yeses many? Why not?

Why do we have to be drill sargents?

Feeding them, comfort foods, giving them a bottle of warm milk, rocking them, are ways to facilitate attachment. I think they work much better than forcing a child to talk about things they don't want to talk about and then give somebody a hug.

This is one of the huge issues I have with formalized counseling. There are so many different people out there, who hang up a sign and call them selves a counselor. They have the degree. Therefore that makes them a good counselor. NOT!

Our children are not to be experimented on. Try this? Oh that didn't work, well try that? It is horrifying.

How about treating them like you want to be treated? How about getting to know them?
I didn't get to know my husband overnight. I learn something new about my children every day.
I have to study what makes each one of them tick. What are their thoughts ? What are their feelings? Who are they? What has shaped them? I don't like to make assumptions.

If we assume we know somebody elses feelings, they can feel stomped on, and why try?

I don't know if I am being clear or not.

I am not against counseling. I am against most counseling that aims at a child and forces them to face things they are not ready or prepared to face.
They have their whole lives to come to terms with past issues. And you know what?
Many times those issues resolve themselves.

If we keep telling our children,"YOU MUST DEAL WITH THIS NOW" and not just let them learn to trust first, I think we remain in a flux of trauma that they can't get out of. It is almost like a trap that will induce anxiety and inflict more trauma.

I could see with my own girlies, that if I were to require they talk about something they weren't ready to talk about, it would shut them down totally. I don't see why we would then try to force them to talk. Some would say, "it is a control issue". Well, maybe it is. But can't a kid have control on how they feel? Do we have to take that away from them too?

Maybe WE are the ones with the control issues? Sometimes, I think we unnecessarily induce the rages in our children, by being confrontational, or impatient. A typical child may not respond in an external rage when they are "manhandled", but I can tell you from personal experience, there is internal rage. Just learning to control the external does not change the heart. And I certainly don't want my children to feel so "controlled" that they cannot express themselves to me.

What I have experienced over the years, is that both in my own life, and those of our 7 children. When they are ready, they will talk. And it doesn't surprise me at all, that some of how they felt, they didn't know why or understand why, they just knew they felt it. I would never want to put words into their mouths and tell them why.
It may not be why!

I can only lead them to the source of all healing. I CAN do that. I CAN guide them. I CAN love them and help them learn to trust me, through example.

They WILL come along eventually. It may be just a little at first. For our little Sarah who had so many hurts and reasons NOT to trust, I just love it when today, 5 years later, she trusts me with her most personal secrets and feelings.
She didn't do this at first. In fact at first, we didn't even cuddle.

I could not just pick her up and expect her to reciprocate a hug or snuggle.
She was more stiff. She would try, but I could sense it was too much for her, so we used lots of distraction, like painting toenails or counting fingers etc. She was VERY independent, and took care of herself! Number one FIRST! In working with her over the years, much of that behavior has subsided and she is a real true integral part of the family, showing love and care for everybody. But it didn't happen over night.

I keep hearing that love is not enough. It is spread all over the news. If you are talking that "Love the emotion" is not enough, then, I can agree with that.

But true LOVE is not just an emotion. It is the action of doing what is best for the other person, and yes it is enough. It will not fail. It will eventually reach the most wounded heart, because we are designed to be loved. It is just that some of us are convinced we are not worthy of that love.

I guess, this is a long ramble to say, our children will attach, when we give them the room to do so. We cannot have expectations that will hold our children to this litmus attachment chart. They are people; complex little people. They need to be respected too.
Our children can do much more than survive. They can THRIVE!

Recent Events

These girls are so funny sometimes. As they grow up, it is just so cute to watch their thought processes.

Erika fell down yesterday while trying to get to the crayons.... She used to get really scared when she fell. Now, she seems to be taking it more in stride. :)


Anna has discovered she can get great information if she googles. She googled "sore throat, and blemish" She came up with 2 things.

If you use raw honey and vinegar, you can get rid of your sore throat. She tried it.
She came in the bedroom gagging! I'd rather have the sore throat! LOL

Then, she read that if you take raw honey and put it on your blemish and cover it with a band aid, the blemish will go away. :)

I went to check on the girls last night before I went to bed, and this is what I saw.

Isn't that precious? :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Chickens and the Chickadees!

Alright, SOMEBODY is a Cannibal!
Yea, YOU Roxanna!  I have my eye on you!

A Fun Visit, An Uninvited Visitor!

On Saturday afternoon, our new Pastor and his family came over for Dinner and to fix brakes on the family car.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship.  Justin and Lee Wheeler came to us from Alabama, where he was an associate pastor.  They are a wonderful young family.  Their children were introduced to chickens and goats and had a wonderful time throwing balls in to buckets and teetertottering.  They also fed goats. FOR HOURS they fed goats... Goats never refuse food. LOL

About 2 hours before the Wheelers arrived, we were out smoking a pork loin, and Sarah yelled SKUNK!!!!!  Sure enough, the biggest Skunk I have ever seen was walking right by our fence. He came from the property behind us.  We have known he was around for a while..... any guesses as to why? :)

He walked right up near our front porch and then, CLIMBED UNDER! ACK! That is where we were going to eat and play!  After a couple of hours, we didn't see him, so we just prayed the kids wouldn't startle him and make our food taste bad.  We decided it would be best to eat inside.

Well, he must have gone to sleep, because with all the noise from children playing, and laughing, he never made a smell. :)


 On Sunday, we are going to have a BBQ again with a different family..... I hope our uninvited guest has gone his merry way by then!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

WELL LOOK AT HER!!!


These were the words a little boy of about 12 spoke to me tonight after I asked him to please stop staring at my daughter.
Sarah was getting ready to play at a church function.   This young man walked right up to her and said, "WHAT THE HECK IS THAT! "  He then repeated it, and I asked him to stop. He then said, "WELL LOOK AT HER! SHE HAS  A LIKE, WOODEN LEG!  I don't think he got, that I was her mother.
Honestly, I don't think he saw her as human, with feelings.

She ignored him, but I couldn't.  He continued to stand over her and stare down at her. How humiliating!
I asked him to stop and move. And then I asked him again, more firmly when he didn't.  I also told him, she isn't a wooden person, she has feelings. She is a little girl, WITH feelings. You are out of line and being unkind.

He moved over and got busy doing something else.

Sarah went on to play with her friends, seemingly unscathed by the incident. I'm so proud of her.
On the way home, she told me that he climbed into the jungle gym and waved smelly socks in her face and said, "Smell them"  She said, "I do, they stink, now get them out of my face."  LOL
GOOD FOR HER!

Erika then told me that she had a few kids ask her "What happened to you".  She said she explained that she has arthrogryposis,  and said, "end of subject!"  LOL

There is nothing we can do about this kind of stuff. It happens.  Of course, my mama bear defense went up when I felt Sarah was being bullied.
There is a difference between asking a question and being rude.
In Erika's case, there was an honest question and it was over.
In Sarah's case, it was bullying.

Why as a human race are we like this?  Why do we wish to torment those who are different from us?
Why does my heart burn with anger when I know very well, this child most likely has good qualities too, and was just being foolish?

Part of me is angry that it happens at Church! For heaven's sakes, is there no safe haven?
No, there isn't. As long as there are sinners, there are those who sin.

So, what CAN I do?  BLOG.... and ASK, No BEG you to please PLEASE, remind your children that those who are different are normal. Those who are different love, and feel, and hurt just like you.
Remind them to love those who aren't like them. Remind them that they are not perfect either, and there will always be someone who is available to tease and torment.  Remind them to put THEMSELVES in the place of the tormented, and remember it isn't a desired position.
Remind them that questions are ok, but be considerate. Remind them that if they stare, please smile.
They may make a friend.

And I need to remind myself that this will always be the case. That I need to be understanding of those who are ignorant. That even though we wish  we weren't, we are walking bill boards for children with limb differences.
We are also representatives of the Lord and we must WALK IN HIM!  He was despised and rejected.
There is identification with that rejection, even if the reason was different.

I pray that my precious girlies will not be swayed by cruel remarks.  I pray that they will love those who persecute them, and reach outside of themselves for strength to endure, when their feelings are hurt.
I too pray that I will love those who are unkind. That I will show love and understanding to them.

I also pray for this young man, that he will have learned a good lesson. As he watched our daughter play  and run and jump with her friends..... his tactics didn't work, and she was having fun, while he was standing watching....
That is a mom's observation of the evening.

We will be going back next week to the same place. I hope things are better for them next week. ;)
I hope they make a new friend in a 12 year old boy, who can learn much from them.

In the end, the girlies had a wonderful evening, and I do look at her.... I look at her every single day, and I see a beautiful flower, blossoming. I see a beautiful girl, full of life, and fun and love and energy. I see that she is not slowed down one bit by her limb differences, and honestly, I forget she even has them.
She SHINES....  JUST LOOK AT HER!  SHE SHINES!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Four Wonderful Years Ago

Four wonderful years ago, through a series of Miracles You came into our lives.
You bring us Joy, and Happiness. We are so proud of all that you have accomplished in such a short time.

Four years ago, YOU took a chance on two crazy Americans who traveled to Ukraine, said they would be your parents, and knew nothing more about you than, you were Sarah's best friend, AND "Your joint don't work." You had to tell the Attorney that you were willing to leave your orphanage, fly to a new country, learn a new language and be our daughter. You were scared, but you were brave. You took the chance at life and a family. We knew it was right from the very first time we saw your sad face sitting next to your best friend.
She was leaving. You were staying. She was going on to a life in America with a mommy and daddy. You were stuck.

Even though you were 7, you were smart enough to figure out that WE were not the people who took Sarah to America. You had lots of questions. So did the orphanage workers.

You had seen other children leave over and over again, and then, it happened for you. You told us you couldn't believe it. You told us you have been waiting for 50 years. All we could do was weep and see how precious you were. We wept for what you had lost. We wept tears of joy, for what we were about to gain.

You had lots of questions on the way to the airport. "How long will it take me to learn English?" "Will I have to have surgery?" "Will Sarah remember me?" Those were very good questions.

Of course, it didn't take long to learn some English.... your first phrase was "That's not mine!" Sarah DID remember you! And yes, we knew you would have surgery.

However, we had no idea, when you got home, that 4 months later, your feet would need to be amputated. But God prepared us ahead of time, when we got Sarah. She already had a prosthetic leg. So it just wasn't that different. We knew it would be the best way to give you the ability to walk freely and without pain.

You were so brave. When the doctor mentioned amputation, we both smiled. You said, "I'll just be like Sarah". I think he was relieved. It isn't easy to tell somebody that they have to have their feet removed.
All you cared about was having purple tennis shoes!

Erika, you have been a our joy. You bring happiness to all around, and we are SO GLAD that God prepared our hearts, prepared the way and even prepared all of our family both related and church family, for us to bring you home. :)

Happy Anniversary!!!!
We ALL LOVE YOU!

Would You Adopt?

My friend Christine, over at Smiles and Trials, has asked for help in locating a family for 2 sweet children.

Oh how I wish we were able to do this ourselves. But it seems the Good Lord wants to spread His blessings around, and we can't keep them all. :)

This little boy and girl are 10 and 12 years old, from Eastern Europe. They have been home 3 years.
The details are HERE
If you think you may find it in your heart to take on a couple of new kiddos, PLEASE contact her ASAP....

Disruption is considered a private adoption. It is not as costly as International Adoption. Many times the families will help out a little with the financial part. Sometimes not, but it is a doable thing.
Our own Sarah came from a disruption. We have been so blessed to have her with us for almost 5 years now.

You will need to have a home study done, just like a normal adoption.
You can find out from Christine the details.
I can say, just from reading what I read, this is a very doable situation.

Soooo, Where do you stand when it comes to James 1:27?
Who will care for the orphan or the widow, if we don't?

Do you have an extra bedroom? Empty nester? Big empty house?
Why not put it to use? It is rewarding and wonderful.

You only get to live your life once. Why not make it filled with love and laughter?
Afterall, there is only so much quiet a person can take. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Hair Designer


Anna has been busy designing different hairdo's for her dolls. She loves doing it and likes to add accessories. Sarah is just glad she is still playing with toys.

We had that conversation the other day. Sarah was crying because "everybody is growing up and nobody wants to just stay a kid!" LOL She really does take change hard.....

Anna is fluctuating between child and pre-teen. She will say, "I don't need toys anymore".... and then, "she takes them all back." I love this stage. It is fun watching them explore.

Erika is in full fledged Pre-teen-dom. No more toys for her. She is into music and knitting....and blogging and talking to her friends.

My how things change in such a short time. :)

Here are some pictures of Anna's hair designs.





Monday, April 19, 2010

Teaching Empathy



I came across a Time Magazine Article today through CNN's Website.

The article was Titled "How Not To Raise a Bully". It was about modeling and teaching empathy to our children.

There was a significant part of the article directed at children who have been neglected or raised in orphanages or foster care.

I found this to be very interesting and in line with our own daughters. I did disagree with the article on one front. They said that empathy cannot be taught, but it must be caught"..... I believe it can be taught and caught. We can teach it through role play. Our children will catch on, through our own concrete example. They will mimic and follow what they see, especially if teaching and role play go along with what they see in us.

This is how we managed to teach our own daughters empathy.

It became very apparent to me over the course of a couple of weeks that our daughters did not understand empathy. They did not know what to do, or how to react when somebody else was hurt.

In the first situation, the girls were playing outside. Anna came running into the house out of breath. She seemed to be searching me out for a big hug. I thought, cool.... sat down with her in the rocking chair and she was hugging me, but breathing rather hard. Something was not right, but she never said what. After a couple of minutes, I asked her, "Where is Sarah?" She had this glazed look in her eyes and she said rather dryly, "Oh, she is in the driveway crying. She fell and skinned her knee."

I could tell by Anna's reaction that she was scared. So we both held hands and went out to check on Sarah, who was in the driveway crying, because she fell and skinned her knee, just as Anna said. :)
My thought was, why didn't she tell me?" But I didn't ask that. I didn't want to shame her for not saying anything. She was obviously upset, but not in a typical way.
Just heavy breathing.

About a week later, the same thing happened but in reverse. This time it was Anna who was crying, and Sarah who came in with a look on her face. Somehow, this time I knew to ask, "Where's Anna?" So, we repeated the driveway experience. :)

It dawned on me, that the girls, for whatever reason....most likely neglect and fear, that the girls needed help to learn what they missed; what seemed to come more naturally to the boys.

So we did some role play. They had great fun pretending to get hurt and getting REAL bandaids. They loved being asked, "Oh sweetie, are you ok?" They liked pretending to be mommy, but also learning to ask if somebody else was ok. Because of that role play, they learned to take care of each other.

Then came Erika. :)

After she had been home for about a week, I left for the first time to go to the grocery store. The girlies were all home with Daddy. He was working on the front porch and Erika had come in to go to the bathroom. Sarah, for some reason was inside blowing bubbles in the bathroom mirror.
When I was bringing in groceries. I heard a loud thump. I knew it was Erika, falling somewhere.... I went to open the bathroom door, but couldn't get it open. I could look through about 2 inches. It was just enough to see this scenairo: Erika laying on the bathroom floor quietly whimpering. Sarah blowing bubbles in the mirror, as if nothing had happened.

So I inquired,"Um, Sarah, do you see your sister on the floor?" She said, "Yes mommy, but she is just too big for me to move!" LOL I realized, she had not connected showing empathy to everybody, just to Anna, because she was shown how.

So, through the bathroom door, she and I asked Erika, who spoke no English at this point if she was in pain. "Bolitz"? "Nyet". So I asked Sarah to try to slide her back. She did, and we rescued Erika from her predicament. :)

We then ALL had brushup lessons on empathy.

I am happy to report that though it had to be taught manually, it now seems to come naturally.



Role play can be a huge help in teaching our children how to respond in social situations that can make them feel fear.

When I despaired long ago....


These verses spoke loudly to me one day, when I was in despair:

Sometimes the circumstances of life cannot be put into writing. At the time of my despair, I felt like I was being devoured, torn in two, and destroyed by the heaviest of waves.

Isaiah 55 1-3:
Come! EVERYONE who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without price. Why do you spend yoour money for that which is not bread and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear to me, HEAR, that your soul may live.

John 4:1-44
I won't type all of this, but a few highlights:

Jesus asked the woman at the well for a drink. (She was a Samaritan)
She replied, "how is it you ask me, a Samaritan for a drink?"

Jesus replied, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink', you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."

"EVERYONE, who drinks from this water, will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give, will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will be come in him the Spring of water, welling up to eternal life."

The woman went on to talk about where to worship. and Jesus said, "God is spirit, and those who worship him, must worship in spirit and truth".

She then said, "I know the messiah is coming,when he comes he will tell us all things."
And Jesus said, "I who speak to you, am He."

John 6:51 Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give, for the life of the world, is my flesh.

6:52-58 Jesus said, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life. Whever fees on my flest and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day. FOr my flest is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever fees on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in meand I in him. As the living father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died,. Whoever fees on this bread will live forever.

In the circumstance of my life at that time. I had no life. I was looking at my circumstances and not putting my eyes on the Lord. Like the woman at the well, who was empty and broken....I was distraught, empty and broken. As I read those words in Isaiah I came across another verse that screamed at me.
Isaiah 43:1-3
FEAR NOT! For I have redeemed you! I have CALLED YOU BY NAME< YOU ARE MINE. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. ANd through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you, when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Fir I am the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel, the Savior.

This time in my life, I don't share in public. It was a dark time. It was a time where I felt like I was being destroyed. Yet the Lord, held me and kept me in his hand.
I was compelled to read this:
Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven, and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory, he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit, in your inner being. So that Christ may dwell in your hearts, through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the Love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with ALL the fullness of God.

Psalms 139:7-18
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from you presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "surely the darkness shall cover me and the light about me be night", even the darkness is not dark to you; the night as bright as the day, for darkness, is as light to you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well. My frame is not hidden from you, intricately woven, in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, in your book were written every one of htem, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious are your thoughts , Oh God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.I awake, and I am still with you.

And then, I went to Psalms 86:15- But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

And, when I awake, each and every day.... God is still with me. He holds me in his hand. My circumstances do not matter. My God, in Him do I put my trust.
When I feel despair today, I am reminded of my journey to wholeness.
And once again, I am reminded that He holds me in His hand.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our Throwaway Society



This picture haunts me. Why? Because the little boy in this picture was found on a deserted gravel road about 2 miles from our home, DEAD.

All that is known is that he was about 6 years old. They do not know how he died yet.
He was a special needs child, who had evidence of a G-tube. A G-tube is used for children who are unable to eat on their own.

We live in a throw away society. I am usually a happy person, but not today. Today I am saddened that somebody took their baby and left him on a road by the lake. WHY?

The news paper went on to say how stressful it is to raise a child with special needs. They went on to say how 80% of marriages end in divorce when a child has special needs. They went on to say it is impossible of for a single parent to parent a child with special needs.

This sounds to me about like all the articles about the woman who sent her son back to Russia,because he had "special needs".

I'm telling you.... I am so tired of hearing how hard life is for those with "special needs." WE ALL have special needs. Some are more apparent than others. But along with those special needs children, come special blessings. But if we are too closed focused on ourselves and how WE are effected by them, we will never see the blessings a special child can bring to us.

I went to a party today at my Son and Daughter's house. Her sister was there with her 7 month old "special needs" baby. She is ADORABLE. She has Smith Lemli Opitz syndrome and has a new GTube. But this baby is LOVED. Deeply loved and cared for. Her mama is the best mama, and we both enjoyed talking about her new baby. She said she is a good baby and content. They are taking in stride what many would find devastating.

The life of a special needs child does not HAVE to be devastating. It is what it is, and it can be BETTER and BETTER!
It just depends upon what side of the coin you look.

When our son Tim was born, I could have looked at all the negative. Brain dead isn't that good of news. LOL He was declared brain dead. Obviously he isn't or he wouldn't be teaching high school. :)
We decided to take it one day at a time. He was considered retarded.... He does have some brain damage but is hardly retarded. He just doesn't fit in to the NORM of most.
Tim is a delight and always has been. So he didn't walk until he was old. So he didn't sit up until he was 2. So he didn't do many things others could. SO WHAT???

That didn't give me permission to leave him on a road to die! OR send him back! In my case, I couldn't send him back, he came from me! :) NOR WOULD I HAVE EVER WANTED TO SEND HIM BACK.

Our other daughters have special needs. It just makes life more interesting.
I am tired of people looking at special needs as the end of the world.
More accurately, it is the door to a whole new world with wonderful people that you never knew existed. AND, special needs children are WONDERFUL children.

They bring us joy and sunshine, if you open your heart and let them.

I feel so sad for this precious loss of life. I feel so sad that somebody in the paper tried to justify why his mother may have dumped him. Oh boy, that makes me angry.

GOD DOES NOT MAKE JUNK. This baby was not born to be thrown on the side of the road.
I hope He is in a better place. And I hope they find who did this.

If they had only reached out....
Whoever it is must have a huge burden on their heart. I hope they now reach out to
God for help.

If you recognize this baby, please call the Missing Children's hotline in your area and let them know. His story needs to be told. He needs to have a name.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

JOY


We have been visiting the local nursing home for about a year now. We have made some new friends. Our friend Phil is living there now, and he has a friend named Joy. She is delightful.
It makes us feel better to visit and talk with some of the ladies, because we can't be close to Mike's mother who is now in a nursing home. So, while we can't be with her, I 'm sure there will be somebody else that goes to her nursing home that will visit, because they can't visit their mom.
The girlies love Joy. She is as sweet as they come. She has dementia, so if we don't go more than 3x's a week, she forgets who we are, and is pleased to meet us once again. :)

Tonight we had dinner with the ladies at their table. They love seeing children. They don't get to see them much. The girls are very good with elderly people. At our old church they each and a "gramma" to sit by during the teaching hour and they exchanged letters with those precious ladies.
They miss them, since we have been attending a new church.
Today, they brought cards to Miss Joy, and she just loved them.

I am glad they are willing to go and spend some time with those they don't know. It really blesses those who cannot get out, and don't have anybody to visit them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Can Anybody Identify this Cute Little Guy?

I say he's green. Mike says I 'm color blind. :)
Any Ideas? He doesn't look like a typical rat snake to me.


New Skates for Sarah


Sarah has been saving her money to buy a pair of roller blades. She got the skating bug after our ice skating treat in Februrary. She saved over 30 dollars over this year and decided that Skates would be a great buy and something she would love. So she and Daddy went on a skate hunt on Saturday night. He told her they would go and "look" and price them. Well, when they got there, skates were on sale, and there was this fabulous pair marked down that even expand as you grow! He couldn't resist that good of a buy, so he helped her out with the rest of the cost. They both came home excited with their news. I think Sarah is a bit taller these days. :)
I had to turn the camera sideways to get her all in. :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

BCLC Creativity :)


A little girl who shall remain Unnamed gave me permission to write this. :)

Over the last few days, I had noticed our sweet little Noelle's (all our girl's middle names are Noelle which means God's Gift) behavior taking an unpleasant shift. She was being grouchy, only thinking of herself and not others, and just had a dissatisfied countenance. If you knew this little girl, you would never think these things about her. She is carefree and fun, always smiling, always happy.

I had to correct her 3 times by taking her aside to my rocking chair and talking about her attitude. For some reason, I didn't feel like I was getting through.

In the back of my mind, I was thinking, something is up... Is she beginning the emotional swings of puberty? Is she just plain being sinful? Is something horrible bothering her? What is it?
I would ask, and she would just say, "I don't know!" She also seemed abit confused when I talked to her about her attitude, as to what I was talking about. She wasn't seeing it the same way.
Another Noelle had bothered her, or she simply just felt she was RIGHT.....Yikes! :)

I had been observing and watching and praying and trying to figure her out. One thing that kept coming to mind was that she was angry. Dissatisfaction is another type of anger or resentment, as is entitlement. She seemed to be feeing rather "entitled"......

In the morning, all the Noelle's had slept in the same room on the same bed, and this happy sweetie pie, woke up grouchy. She was bothering her sister, and I was hearing from the other room, her singing a non sense song loudly, and finally I was feeling like "this is the last straw".
She was doing it to be annoying and laying on top of her sister to tease.

I called her, and I heard a louder song. I called her louder and heard a LOUDER song! GOOD GRIEF! This had not happened before.

So, I went in and asked her to come to my room. She was in the rocking chair with me, and Mike was in the room getting ready for church. He sat down and we both wanted to talk to her.
It was like trying to reach a brick wall.

Then, I felt like the Lord Showed me that she was hiding anger, and the events since Friday, the reading about the little boy being sent away, the news reports etc. brought a lot of anxiety and anger flooding back into her little heart. She mentioned it to me, about the little boy the day before.

Mike got a balloon out of the package that we are planning to make our Solar System with, and I aksed her, "Would you like to see how Anger and fear, can effect you?" She was intrigued by the game.
And took the bite.... "Sure!" big smile......

So, I blew up the ballon a tiny bit, and I said, all babies cry when they are born. They are probably a little scared and a little angry because they are cold. So this is your baby anger.
Then we talked about how babies need love and affection and attention and food..... I blew into the balloon a little more..... You were afraid being all alone. Then, I talked about how when she broke her hip she was MAD MAD MAD because they tied her in bed at the hospital. (she was in Ukraine and Papa Dima told us about it) So we blew some more air into the balloon.
Then, I told her that it was her adoption day and she had so much hope for going with a new mommy and daddy! And we let some air out of the balloon..... not all of it, just a little, because she was still scared.
Then, after she was here, things didn't go so well..... I added a LOT more air, as there was A LOT of anger and fear at that time. We went over some certain stories she has told me, and added air for each one. Our balloon was getting quite big!

Then, I told her about when we went to pick her up she looked so scared! More air.
I talked to her about how she smiled and covered it up, but I knew she was terribly scared.
But she became happy when she was home just 1 day! So we let some air out.

Then, we talked about when the family wanted to come and visit her and how she burst into tears for fear they would take her back.... More air.

We talked about how mommy and daddy left to go and get Erika, and she had to stay behind.
She told me blow more, I was REALLY scared. She was scared we wouldn't come back. :(

She was really getting into this balloon thing now. :) So, we talked about her fears of not having blankets, of going to the bathroom on her own, of being in the dark, of being alone, etc. etc.

Our balloon was VERY Large!

And then, I asked her, "What do you think happens when a little girl holds in all this anger and fear and needs to keep adding more to her list?" She looked at me and said, "She explodes?"

YES! YES!
"You see sweetie, you cannot hold all those fears and all those hurts inside, sooner or later, they will make you explode. BURST! And that is not good for anybody. But there is a way to let it go... let the air out.... safely. "
So, now she was totally engaged. :) We talked about things, many which we had talked about before. We talked about forgiveness, and moving on, and we talked about how we can try on our own to forgive, but REALLY, we need the Lord to help us. We cannot do it on our own.
She began to cry, and she prayed with me and asked the Lord to heal her wounds and her heart and to help her not to be afraid or angry. She was serious and sincere in her prayer and then we snuggled. Our hearts met once again, and we SLOWLY let the air out of the balloon, giving it to the Lord and letting HIM bear our burdens of sadness, fear and anger.

I'm telling you, ALL DAY, she has been a sweetheart of a girl. She is back to her normal self.
I am learning that healing takes place in layer after layer. We think things are conquered and we find that there is another layer like in an onion. One thing is exposed and dealt with, and there still may be a scar on the layer below. :)

I am so thankful for my sweet little girl. She teaches me so much about love and compassion.
I cannot see how there would have been any other way to reach her heart, other than to compassionately point her to the one who can HEAL all of our wounds and make us anew once again.
HIS mercies are new every morning. :)

Thank you my Sweet Noelle for letting me share part of your precious life so others can take joy with us. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

A BLACK EYE FOR THE ADOPTION COMMUNITY


I am so angry right now. Yesterday, news broke out, that a 7 year old boy who was adopted from Russia last year (Late September) was returned to Russia BY HIMSELF, with a note in his backpack stating that the mother no longer wanted him. I have read several articles that are now hitting the American newspapers today, and the ramifications of what happened are going to effect the Adoption Community in a huge way.

I know of several families who were in the adoption process, have already MET their children, and the agency they were using, just happened to be the same agency this mother used.
Their license is now suspended. This means, these poor families are now in limb and must wait.
How long? We don't know, but my gut tells me, long.
So now, the children they long to hold, are 1/2 a world away, and will also have to wait to have parents, because of another's selfishness.

Everybody is wondering about the Post Placement reports.... WHAT ABOUT THEM? They should have had 1 by now, and how did it go? Nobody knows.
The note stated that the little boy was violent and the mother was lied to.
I do not know if the circumstances are true, if they are made up, if the child was simply adjusting or anything specific. I was not there. BUT I DO KNOW that there is HELP available
for those who need it and are in distress. If this little boy needed psychiatric care, it IS available. There are also those within the adoption community willing to help.

It appears that instead of reaching out for help, as any parent would do, IF that is truly the case,
they just shipped him back to Russia ..... how is that in HIS best interest?
As parents, we are to do what is best for our children, to protect them, to care for them and love them. How was this any of those things?
Parenting is not easy, adoption isn't easy. Parenting an International Child isn't easy.
In the worst of cases, there is dissolution/disruption, where the child finds a family who may be more suited to meet his needs....

This baby was home for 6 months. That is hardly enough time for him to get settled in! He spent 6 years with a single parent who was an alcoholic, 1 year in an orphanage and then here to the United States. Wouldn't you EXPECT him to have some trauma behaviors?

I am so sad for this broken little boy. I am sad for his future, and I am terribly sad for those parents who cannot fulfill their dreams right now because Russia is planning to Halt U.S. Adoptions.
This time, I fear it is for real.

On my side bar, there is a Beyond Consequences Button and link to the Beyond Consequences chat area. If you are having problems with your children, adopted or not, this is a great resource for help. Heather Forbes offers phone counseling , as do many of her aides.
I too am a BCLC (beyond consequences logic and control) trained parent coach.
My friend JJ is also. There is also Christine from Smiles and Trials on my sidebar, and Jeanne from Blessed by a Child, ALL of us would be willing to help, if you need help.
OR, at least give some ideas for more professional help.

There are resources for those who need them....
Dr. Bruce Perry
Dr. Karyn Purvis
Dr. Daniel Hughes
Heather Forbes LCSW
Bryan Post LCSW
and many, MANY more.

For a newly adopted child, I would certainly say, we MUST MUST MUST be ever so cautious to be tender and gentle with them. They are terrified, in defense mode and come with loads of baggage. Untangling that baggage is a true art form. To just jump in and expect a normal child is insanity.

PLEASE PLEASE LOVE YOUR CHILDREN!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Our Mom

Our mom, Lois Minich is in the hospital tonight. Mike's Dad, Ed, died a few months ago from the treatments for a Brain Tumor. Our mom, has had many health problems over the years, and in December, was found to have clogged arteries in her legs. She had JUST moved to Arizona, to be near our dear sister Carla, and brother Dave, but is now in the hospital with chest pains. We are saddened that things are going down very quickly. :(

Please pray for her, as she is having such a hard time. Pray also for Carla and Dave and their families as they work hard to help her get the care that she needs. :(

I am so thankful for them.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Love and Life Giving Water


So what is it anyway. Is it an action? Is it an emotion? Is it action because of emotion? Is it an action in spite of emotion? Is it a noun? Is it a verb?

Yes. :)

We do not have enough words in our language to describe love. We use the word love for everything from "I love potato chips" to "I love my husband". We certainly don't love potato chips as we would our families?

Corinthians 13 tells us what love looks like. "Love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It dos not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful.
It doesn't not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth. Love Bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love NEVER ends.

John 3:16 tells us what Love looks like: "For God SO LOVED the world that he gave His only Begotten son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
"For God so loved" - This is how God showed His love- by sending His son.

1John 3:1- "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called "children of God"...
1John 4:7-9 Beloved let us love one another. For love is from God and everyone that loves has been born of God and knows God. He who does not love, does not know God because GOD IS LOVE. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent HIS only SON into the world that we might live through him.

Tonight we studied more of the Woman at the Well in John chapter 4. Jesus was so kind to her. He did not condemn her because of her lifestyle. He was willing to drink water from her "contaminated" Samaritan water vessel. She knew he should not even be talking to her, yet she was drawn to him. As he talked to her about "water", she was intrigued..... "give me this water so I may never thirst again and won't have to come here to draw water"........
He gave her that water that day, and her life was changed forever.
She didn't know much, but she knew enough to know that this was no ordinary man asking her for a drink.

Oh to drink from the life giving well, to have our thirst satisfied by the only one who can satisfy.
What an amazing event in history. Jesus Christ, came to heal the broken hearted, to restore to make whole those whom he came to restore.
Jesus is such a wonderful example for us to follow. Well, the PERFECT example to follow. He
did not run around with an attitude of condemnation, but an attitude of restoration. He loved people and reached into their very souls and brought to them that life giving water.
Thirsty?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dance Class




The girlies started attending a small dance class at Scottish Rite Hospital. It is an adaptive class for special needs kids. They really enjoyed it. There were mostly younger children, but they still had a good time. We are looking for a local dance class close to home, but decided to give this one a try. It is only for the month of April.

The teacher was very good and kept the children engaged in all sorts of dances and games and they came home well exercised. :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What a Wonderfully Full Week

I am rejoicing in the wonderful week we had. It was BUSY, but a good sort of busy.
We started with our Seder on Tuesday night. Then we had an Easter Lunch with friends and the girls had a wonderful time. We watched the movie Jesus of Nazareth over the week, a little at a time. It is about 6 hours long. (just finished it tonight)
We were able to visit our Children's church in Mckinney and had a wonderful Easter dinner and musical. We then went to Ministry Group last night and came home to collapse at around midnight.
Easter Sunday morning was wonderful and the message was awesome. After that, we went over to a friend's house for an Easter Lunch. What a wonderful season to remember the Resurrection of our Savior.

Spring is certainly here. Everything is alive and greening up. Such a wonderful time of year.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Song

I remember when Easter song was written by Annie Herring. She is one of the sisters in the group 2nd Chapter of Acts, which was quite popular during my youth. The video was taken in what looks like to be the 70's.... But the sound is great. They were AMAZING and this still remains one of my all time favorite Easter Songs.
Annie said that she asked the Lord for a gift for Easter, and He gave her "Easter Song". :)

The Power of the Cross

Erika Made a Basket This Time

Without the bounce first. She just threw it in! :) Yea Erika!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

We attended Good Friday Services with our older children at McKinney Bible Church.
It was really a neat time. There was a pot luck and then a singing time. We enjoyed the Adult Choir and Children's Choir. What a nice group of people. We especially enjoyed seeing our children and grand children.


You Are Still Holy

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