His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

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

Prayer Quote

“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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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fun At The Lake With Daddy

Anna and I stayed home this time. Anna has a cold.  Everybody else went to the lake for one of the last days before Spring.  It was rather cool and I was surprised 2 of our girlies wanted to swim! But they did!  Erika took pictures, and they all had a wonderful time.













Thank you Erika, for the great pictures!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Voice of the Martyr's Conference 2012

Today, we attended "The Voice of the Martyr's Conference" in Irving, Texas.  It was once again, a wonderful experience to be with a very special group of believers. 
This year they also had a teen conference that the girls attended.  They all had a special time and enjoyed the speakers.

There was a surprise guest speaker who came to America from China.  He was one of the former prisoners featured in the VOM magazine.  This man was so full of joy.  He brought with him several boxes of cards and letters that had been sent to him and his family while he was imprisoned.  His joy was infectious.  His daughter translated for him and she had a face that shone with joy.  She also spoke about how the encouragement of believers from around the world helped her family so much during such difficult times.

The other speakers were from Iran, Pakistan and Columbia.  The final speaker was Gracia Burnham. She spoke at the last conference about 4 years ago in Oklahoma.  She and her husband had been kidnapped by Abu Saief rebels in The Philippines.  Her story of imprisonment, wandering in jungles, and the subsequent death of her husband was gripping.
She talked about the importance of prayer and praying for those who are suffering.
She also said that a good way to pray for other countries is to go into your closet and when you get dressed, check the label in your clothes to see where they have been made and pray for that country that day.  :) 

I will never forget about Richard Wurmbrand's shock at how little the West was praying for those in chains behind the Iron curtain.  He started The Voice of the Martyr's to make Christians in America aware of what is going on world wide.  The Lord has prospered his ministry  over the years, and it is one of the very few that I trust and support.

One thing that I did not know about Richard Wurmbrand was that he was an orphan! The Lord saw fit to use an Orphan from Romania and use him in a very BIG way!  I also did not know that Sabina was from Ukraine!  

The wonderful things we were told today will stay in my heart forever.  What a refreshing and encouraging time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

GLUTEN FREE- NIGHT SHADE FREE Lettuce Wraps

 ( I need to dice everything more carefully)

This is a recipe that would serve 2 people.  After eating at P.F. Changs last night, I was really interested in recreating the gluten free Lettuce Wraps.

I found a few recipes online that seemed to go in the right direction, and then I decided to give it a shot and recreate the taste from last night.....

My first try was DELICIOUS!  I think there are many things to do with this recipe.....and many ways to tweak it according to dietary needs.

So here is my "loose" not etched in stone Recipe. :)

Lettuce Wraps:  GLUTEN FREE and NIGHT SHADE FREE

2 chicken tenders diced into very fine pieces
1 green onion , including green part finely sliced
8 shitake mushrooms finely diced
water chestnuts finely diced ( I used about 15)
1 TLB of freshly minced garlic
1/4 tsp pepper  (still experimenting)
1/4 cup RICE WINE
1/4 cup GLUTEN FREE soy sauce... ( I used tamari) 
I think Braggs liquid aminos would work fine.
If you are soy free, I don't know.....
Lettuce

Put all ingredients into wok, and stir fry until done. (about 5 minutes0
Serve with lettuce leaves  (like tacos made of lettuce) :)
It will make about 8.....small wraps


Ideas I have flowing:
Add finely diced carrots, finely diced celery, MORE mushrooms and NO chicken for vegan,
more pepper and maybe some horse radish for spice......and possibly nuts. 

I know that PF Changs puts sugar in their recipe. I think the rice wine is sweet enough.

I made this tonight for Friday night movie night and didn't miss the old card board pizza that everybody else gets to eat. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fun Night Out

I'm telling ya, a new phase has begun and you can see it in her relaxed posture and joy. 
Tonight was Alli and Daddy's turn for a special time out.  Thursdays are also my turn to go to support group, visit grand kids or visit a friend.

I left earlier than usual, because my dear friend and I  went to have a nice gluten free, night shade free, sugar free, caffeine free dinner! And it was wonderful! We went to P.F. Changs. I have never been there, but I know when Mike and I go out on a date, that will most likely be the place of choice!

So, Mike and Alli left an hour later and Erika caught these photos of them getting ready to leave.



They had a wonderful time.....and they got back BEFORE ME! LOL

My friend and I have known each other for 23 years.   They moved away several years ago and came back to Texas!  We had a lot of catching up to do! :)
I am so thankful for dear friends that have prayed for us, and that we can pray for too. :)
It was just wonderful to sit over tea and talk, and talk and TALK...... :) 
Both of us got phone calls and texts requesting we stop at the store on the way home to get something. LOL
We parted ways to go to our homes, both encouraged and refreshed in the Lord.

Daddy and Alli found a lovely wooden box for her to paint and keep special things in.  She has already painted it, and daddy is going to help her put a clear varnish on it tomorrow.


I think it looks beautiful!  She painted it in about 15 minutes!

My Erika.

 Erika is working on an essay.  This is her first draft, but it is so sweet, I couldn't wait for the final one. :)
This shows Erika's heart. She is such a sweet young lady. I am so very proud of her.  Erika is the kind of big sister that anybody would want. I think she has some really great examples on being an older sibling.


Young people sometimes fail to appreciate the blessing of having and older brother or sister.  I have four older brothers and I treasure them with all my heart.
I look up to them and learn from them. They are my example. The have grown up and have kids of their own.
I love it when they come to visit. I get to spend time with them and hear the things that have happened to them.  I treasure them so very much.
I ponder the time I have with them because in the blink of an eye, the Lord could take it all away.

I love to see my brother Chuck watch football, and see him get so excited when they hit a home run. Just to see him filled with joy makes me light up.


I love playing cards with my brother Timothy. Playing Spoons is the game my brother and I played last time and when he would win he would always scream with joy. It makes me laugh.


I love it when Joseph comes over. He is always so kind. I love to watch him tell mom not to pick up anything and he will do it. Or when he plays cards with me and when he tried to take us to the library and didn't know how to get there. It makes me smile.


I adore it when Marcus comes over. He is always so tender. He can play a game with me while holding his baby girl. I love his respect and love to his wife and children. He amazes me with the many talents he has.

I learn so much from my older brothers.
  
Erika, you are my sweet heart....

Antique Alli


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Another Alli Update

 We are almost at 19 months. (October 2nd)
Alli is doing WONDERFULLY!   She is embracing school, family, and everything about life.  She is making up for LOST TIME! LOL

Her passions are art and animals.   Tonight we put out some "Live Animal Traps" for stray cats.  She was a little upset that we plan to send the stray cats we catch to animal control, but held it together VERY WELL!

This week, Mike and I had a serious prayer issue and told the girls we would not be eating.    I saw Alli's face INSTANTLY turn from happy to fearful.
I went over and asked her, "Are you afraid our prayer issue is about you staying or leaving?"  She said, yes.   TRAUMA!
That made me so VERY sad!  We both hugged her and said, "Sweetie, you are NOT going ANYWHERE! We LOVE YOU! You are here for good! No matter what! :)

She responded VERY well with a trusting heart once again. 
That reminded me of just how fragile she still is. :(

The great thing though is that she is responding WELL in general life!  I am truly amazed at the hard work she has done, and how GOD has worked in her life.
Mike and I were talking tonight about just that.  She has come SO FAR it is amazing!

When we started on this journey, we figured due to her extreme background, we would not see attachment for a LONG time.... But this little girl has exceeded that idea big time!
She is definitely a MINICH through and through. :) 
One of the newer things she is doing is going out to seek affection from her daddy. :)  His heart just grows 10 sizes when she comes to give him a hug or kiss or just sit with him.  I have seen her do this over and over, where before, she wouldn't accept any affection from him.

Today I spoke with our pastor, and in that conversation I told him it is hard to fathom and understand the backgrounds of our girls. They seem so surreal.... But they are VERY REAL.
Trauma HURTS.....
But the Lord can HEAL HEARTS!

I am so proud of our little girl.

Holy Spirit Breathe New Life In Me

Amen

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Precious Times

We have been having some really precious times with the girls.  School is going well, the girls are doing well.
This a.m. in our morning devotions, I asked the girls to write 3 things that are qualities they see in each of their sisters, and then 2 things about themselves. Then I asked them to write down a sin that they personally struggle with. 
They each went through this exercise and it was a good time together, learning from each other.

Tonight at Family Worship, everybody participated so nicely.  It was just a great time in the Lord. 
We read Galatians chapter 5 vs. 6- Galatians chapter 6 through verse 19.  What a great group of scriptures.
We all talked about the grace of our Lord Jesus and Walking in the Spirit.

When Daddy asked, "What did we see when Jesus walked by the Spirit?"   Sarah said, "Nothing, you cannot see a Spirit!"  ROFL.....

She needed some explanation that when we say, "walking in the Spirit" or "by the Spirit" doesn't mean NEXT TO a Spirit, but walking IN CHRIST.  And by Walking, we mean LIVING and focusing ON Christ in every day life.

Then she got it. :)

I watched Alli and Sarah playing with their dolls, combing hair and braiding it happily.  I saw Erika today washing a car for her dad.  I saw Anna teaching Bella new tricks, and helping her sister. 
And I have to say, my heart was full of amazement in how the Lord has brought these girls to two very imperfect people and we are all blessed together.

Such changes have occurred!  I am so thankful.  My heart is full.  Don't let anybody ever tell you that teenagers are awful.  We heard that constantly when raising our boys and found it to be UNTRUE.
We are finding the same thing with our girls. They are awesome!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Nightshade Issue

Well, I have done REALLY well not having night shades.  I didn't have salsa at the restaurant the other day which was very hard.

I think I am such a FOODIE.  I like flavor and spice and HOT..... So I am having to really think about what sorts of spices to use that are safe.

The truth is that so far.... my pain has really diminished in the last 7 days.  I will KNOW if it is coincidence, IF, when the rain comes, my pain doesn't increase!
I am a true weather vane.

If it is true that I am actually allergic to night shades, I will not weep the loss of egg plant.  But the loss of peppers and tomatoes and potatoes will be a different story. :(  You know, it is one thing to give up coke.  It is quite another to not have staples..... like tomatoes, which are in everything!

So, I thank the Lord that we have FOOD!  I am thankful that I am finding answers to health issues that I have been plagued with.  And, I am thankful that I have the internet to find recipes for foods I CAN have, and to find alternative sources to SPICE! :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Art of Discipline part 4

Today I'd like to bring up the importance of communication  between a parent and child.  Communication has everything to do with disciplining a child.  It has everything to do with discipleship and relationship. 
Communication is one of the most basic tools we have in order to relate to another person. 
When a child cannot communicate, the result can be very much like that of an infant before they can speak or sign.

We need to REMEMBER that our children who come to us through TRAUMA and many times from foreign countries where they spoke another language or not at all, will be infantile in many of their behaviors at first, because they CANNOT communicate!

I read an article a LONG time ago by Dr.Boris Gindis that stated for a child to MASTER his new language, just double the age at which he or she arrived in this country.  I would say that is pretty true!
Sarah arrived in the United States at 5 years old, and while she was speaking English well after 1 year, she was not comprehending most of what was said to her.  She'd just smile alot and guess.
I felt she achieved MASTERY at around 10.  And since has gained much more in her vocabulary and language skills.
Erika came at nearly 8.  She will most likely not reach mastery until 16.  She is 14.  She still will struggle with trying to explain something in detailed terms. 
Alli, didn't come to America until 3 years ago, and had a very difficult start.  She didn't REALLY start to learn, because of all the past trauma until around 18 months ago.  Even if she came at 9, she won't have mastery until 18.  I feel it might be even later than that.
This is NOT limited to international children by any means.  It is also for children who are speech delayed due to neglect or abuse.  Anna was woefully behind verbally when she came home at 5. It didn't take her as long to catch up, because English was her native language, but it still took considerable time.

ALL of that background was to say that Communication is so very important and it is extremely important that we don't ASSUME that our children understand us.

As parents we need to teach our children to communicate in their new language with great patience.
"Sweety, use your words.. tell mama what is wrong."  Many times these children will act out because they are so frustrated not having the words to say what is going on in their heart.  Carefully offering ideas and words and explaining the meaning can really help solve a problem and diffuse behaviors that are really unwanted by them and you!

It is also important to remember that children who have had much trauma in their background have a VERY difficult time distinguishing "tone of voice".  They many times do not understand that they have sounded snotty, and they may think you have raised your voice at them when in fact you haven't.
They have a hard time understanding the difference between a firm yet gracious voice, vs. somebody yelling at them.
Sometimes when the situation fits, I may say to them, "You may NOT!"   That means, stop what you are doing.  It could be somebody acting out or raising a voice.  
The other day, I was speaking, IMO very softly and tenderly, but because somebody named Miss Alli was on the receiving end of my correction, she felt that I was "yelling" at her. 

I asked her, "Was mama yelling? Or did you just not like what I had to say?"
She really had to smile at that one.   Because when she thought about it..... it was the latter.

In communicating with a child that is woefully behind in communication skills, we really need to be patient and gracious with our children and take GREAT efforts to help them understand what we are trying to convey.  Here is where the art of discipline comes in.  We need to discipline ourselves to be patient and very, very careful to make sure we are understood.  We ALSO need to be painstakingly patient in helping our children FIND THEIR VOICE, so THEY can be understood too.

I have been really surprised sometimes to find out that one of our children wasn't really upset in a disobedient way, she was upset at not being ABLE to express herself how she needed to. The words were just not there and she was frustrated.

I can compare it to a person who was fully functional and then suddenly due to a terrible accident, lost the movement in their body.  They can not longer run and jump or do simple things for themselves.  Transitioning  can be VERY trying .
This is the very situation that presents itself, right before many people decide to disrupt!
Right about the 1-2 year stage, the child is speaking English quite well and it is ASSUMED they understand everything perfectly.  They don't.

Communication through words, facial expression, touch, tone, and body language can go a LONG ways in helping our children feel loved, nurtured, and accepted.
Working hard to teach THEM the very same things can go a LONG way, and in  a mutual effort of meeting each other somewhere in the middle, we can achieve a satisfactory relationship while we discipline ourselves to continue to learn the LOVE language needed to establish relationship.

I have found in talking to Miss Alli if I use a soothing, reassuring voice to patiently wait for her to express herself, it puts her at ease and the words start to flow. :) 
I make sure to tell her that I am not mad at her or that I know she is having a hard time telling me what  is in her mind....  This has Helped her greatly! 
Sometimes the words are there, but if she feels stressed she can't remember them; at least not on the spot.
It really is up to us, as parents, to set an example in communication; being very careful with our words, tone and expression, in order to convey the right message.  It is up to us to teach these skills to our children also, so that they can get to a place of peaceful safety and rest.

Communication is an art form under the umbrella of Discipline.

An Interesting Predicament.....


Today after church, we went to a nice Mexican Restaurant.  I normally do not go into public restrooms, but nature was calling; so I did.

When it came time for me to reach for the Toilet Paper, the contraption that holds such paper, which is GIANT by the way, AND two sided so when one runs out there is another.... was TOTALLY EMPTY!

So I sat there contemplating my predicament.   Do I wait for somebody to come in?  Do I scream for help? 
Awww. I have my cell phone, WHICH was charged up thank goodness.
I called my husband WHO DIDN'T ANSWER!
So I called 411.  I told them the name of the restaurant and they said it didn't exist.  Ummm... yes it does, trust me on this one!
He gave me to another person and they gave me the number and put me through.

So I carefully said, "I am in the ladies' restroom in the first stall in your restaurant, can you please send in a girl to bring toilet paper? I'm a bit stranded here."  

The man on the other end of the line profusely apologized and about 15 seconds later I was rescued.
I was walking out to wash my hands and Anna came in to see what was taking so long. LOL
I got to the table and Mike said, "Was there a long line?"

All that time I was in distress and my family was 50 yards away happily sipping soda and eating chips and salsa! 
I AM SO THANKFUL for my cell phone!

And next time, I'll remember to check for TP before I sit.  :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Watching Prince of Egypt... I Think!




Lady Bella Sure Is Growing!


She is no longer Baby Bella. :)  3 months old

Hacked

My friend Hevel's server was hacked and his blog deleted. I deleted it from my side bar to protect anybody just in case.  Hoping that he gets his blog back soon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Alli's Day in the Kitchen

 She made her famous mashed potatoes last night, with loads of toppings.   And fruit salad for desert.
For lunch she made salads and gluten free pizza.
Today Alli finished her science project. For breakfast she made bacon, eggs and toast.  (mama couldn't have most of but what I had was great!   And now, mama has to start cooking again! It was a rather nice vacation! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cooking with Sarah

Sarah completed her science project by cooking breakfast for the family. :)
She is such a sweet heart.


Oh my goodness she is growing up!   Sarah made pancakes, eggs and bacon for breakfast.
(Mama couldn't have any. :(  but I KNOW It was wonderful.  :)

The Art Of Discipline part 3 Correction

In the third part of writing about discipline, I wanted to talk about correction.  EVERY child, no matter how wonderful needs to be corrected. And I have never met a child who WANTS to be corrected.  But those teaching moments are the job of every parent to carry out in order for our children to understand right from wrong, make good judgments and be safe.

Correction can serve as a healer, or a destroyer, depending upon HOW you go about correction.
This a.m. in our morning study, we read 2nd Samuel chapter 12.  This is the chapter where the  the Prophet Nathan confronts David about his sin. 
He begins by telling  a story.  An analogy.   David can CLEARLY see the analogy and makes a right judgement.  Nathan then says, "You are that man!"   And David's heart sinks at the weight of those words.  HE REPENTS.

With our children, many times during a time of correction, we can take them into our arms and tell them analogies that fit what we are trying to correct.  If they don't make the connection, you can help them by saying, "in the same way, this is what I want you to understand about....."  
"Can you tell me what you did that was not ok?"
( for children who are prone to anger fits, this talk would have to wait until they were calm)

All the correction that takes place can be done with tenderness and kindness, yet with a clear direction and seriousness needed to weigh heavy on one's heart.  Not just our children's hearts, but our hearts too. As the keepers and protectors of our homes, it is a serious matter how we conduct ourselves towards our children, and how we instruct them in truth.

I believe that this is an area where most parents struggle, by either not wanting the conflict and letting things go uncorrected, or by going overboard and crushing our children's spirits.
I cannot emphasize enough the use of a video camera so that you can watch YOURSELF and how you sound to your children.  It a greatly beneficial tool!

I have used it regularly with Miss Alli.  She is used to it now.  She knows that I will not keep the video after watching it unless I feel it is necessary to go back to.   She also knows that I am using it so I can keep checks on MYSELF, not just her.

The video camera is a great tool for our children too, because if they are prone to trying to finagle out of something by changing the subject or pulling a Bill Clinton, "I didn't sleep with THAT woman".....
(sorry)
You can go over it and they can see first hand what they are doing. 

Our goal is to pass along SELF DISCIPLINE to our children.  When I go to the grocery store, I expect those who choose to stay home to behave the exact same way they would if I were in the room.  A child who has self discipline will not suddenly decide to watch TV or use the computer or run through the house in a manner they know they shouldn't. 
They will be responsible citizens of their family.

Passing this along to them IS an Art.  Being careful and thoughtful in how we speak to them during a time of correction can bring about a wonderful and caring relationship built upon acceptance, trust and love.
The Art of Discipline part 1
The Art of Discipline part 2

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Alli Math Funny

Alli was doing a simple review sheet just to keep her up on her facts.  The instructions were : Add 8 to each of the following numbers. 
9, 19, 26,42, 34 27 etc.
She added it all right:
98,198,268,428,348,278...... LOL

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Startled!

You would think after all these years I be used to extra legs laying around.  I guess not. 
Erika left her legs in the van, after we got home from the hospital. She didn't have them on because she is testing out her new legs for a week.

So today, I got into the van and while waiting at a light, I glanced down to get something from my purse and saw feet right behind my seat.....and for a split second, I was really startled!  LOL
They are now in the closet where they belong!
My van needs a bath!

The "Live It" Plan

I wrote here about my latest Dr. appt. and what I need to do to make changes that are lasting.
I actually started my "Live it",  4 days before my appt.  
After doing a little research on arthritis, I have found that eating "night shades" is a no-no. 
I had heard this before, but wasn't aware of how many foods were actual night shades.

So now, besides being gluten and dairy free, I am also going to need to be night shade free, which means, no more tomatoes, potatoes or peppers.  I need to check if that means all peppers or just a few different types.  I thought this would be really hard because I adore peppers and onions sauteed and put over rice.

Last week I had tomato sauce, and juiced bell peppers, but non this week.  I thought it would be hard, but so far, it isn't.
Juicing is fun. I just don't like the cleanup part, however the chickens LOVE it. :) 
Does anybody use the pulp from juicing to make into something else? 

I wonder if it can be made into pesto?

Last night I was experimenting because Spaghetti was on the menu.  I have never tried pesto before.
But I figured I have nothing to lose and need to try some new things!
To my delight, it was delicious!!!!  Even Mike liked it and he is cautious about trying new things.
I was scouring recipes over the internet and many call for cheese.  I just left the cheese out.

I came up with a really good pesto by using
1/2 bunch fresh basil, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1 TLB of freshly minced garlic, 1/4 small zucchini shredded, kelp granules, 1-2 TLB olive oil and a little water to thin it out.
I put it in the blender and it came out wonderful!  I used it over my rice noodles for my spaghetti and everybody else tasted it and liked it. :)

AND, it is GOOD for you. :)

The next thing to eliminate or GREATLY reduce is corn.   I don't believe there is any corn available that has not been Genetically Modified.

After just a few days of no night shades, and a week and a couple of weeks of juicing, my arthritis is starting to calm down.  Now that COULD be coincidence, but I am wondering if it is.  I was in so much pain I could barely do the treadmill.  Today, I walked over a mile in 16 minutes and I didn't have pain. 

I feel better and am hoping that when I go back to the Dr. my cholesterol levels will be back in the normal range and I will have better and continued range of motion.

Monday, September 17, 2012

THE ART OF DISCIPLINE part 2: Role Play

Yesterday, I wrote part one of this series.   I want to cover several areas of discipline and what it looks like in our home. 

Today, I want to write to you about ROLE PLAY.    I have written numerous articles on the importance of role play.  In the search engine, I came up with several, but not the one I was looking for! LOL   (Sometimes I think those search engines just don't work very well.... any ideas on that?)

Role play is engaging for our children.  We have been doing role play for many years, not as much with our boys, though we did do it some.... but CERTAINLY we have done it for the girls since Anna came home almost 9, yes NINE years ago!  (coming up in December)

When I ask somebody to do something, or see that they are really not understanding what I am saying, we try role play.  This has worked VERY well for all of the girls.  I need to do it MORE with Miss Alli. 

When the other girls were smaller, I introduced them to role play just by playing in the van on a drive.
They would pretend to turn the channel on the radio, and I was the radio.  So every time they turned the channel, I had to sing a different song, speak in Spanish or give the news.  If they turned it UP, I had to be LOUD... If they turned it down, I had to whisper.... They LOVED this game!

Role play does not have to be hard.  It can be quick and simple.  "When we put the glass in the sink, we do it this way."  That is modeling.    Role play however goes a step further.  
"This is how you put the glass in the sink and show them what you are talking about by pretending to be them. MAKE IT FUNNY OR FUN.   Then, have them be YOU and MODEL to YOU how to put a glass in the sink.

This example can pretty much go for ANYTHING you are trying to teach them. 

For instruction in respect, it can be a little more complicated.  Having the children by you and you be the children can always be funny and instructional.  There is nothing more funny than to see daddy or mommy pretend to have a tantrum, or say things that are often said by a certain family member.
Be careful not to be mocking.  But be real.
This opens the eyes of our children who really don't see things the same way. 
Miss Alli has benefitted from this NUMEROUS times over the last 18 plus months, as her sisters did when they were first home.

I remember having to teach Anna and Sarah how to be compassionate through role play.  If sister is hurt, you always ask, "Are you ok?"  ( we pretended for one to be hurt and the other caring and then switched places)  They learned to come and get mommy if somebody was laying out in the drive way bleeding. :)

For Miss Alli, she has had to learn through role play, verbal instruction.  Her voice can sometimes sound demanding or rude and she doesn't like it.  She forgets, so role play has really helped her.
At first she would say, "I don't sound like that!"  And I would have to say, "Ummm, yes you do! And I know you don't want to!"

Practicing walking calmly down the hall, practicing putting dishes in the dish washer, practicing asking questions with the correct tone or complaining with the correct tone can DISCIIPLINE our children to be respectful, kind, and gentle.
Miss Alli's verses for this week is Proverbs 15:1  A gentle answer turns away wrath! :) And, Philippians 4:13-" I can do ALL things Through Christ who strengthens me."  
I can role play with her about speaking gently vs. harshly and it makes the verse REAL for her.

Role play can also be used in learning chores.   This week, each of our girls are taking over mother's role in the kitchen.  I am offering LIMITED help. :)  
They are having fun being "Queen of the Kitchen". 
Tonight was Erika's turn.  By the End of the week they will have all had a day in the Kitchen.  I hope this helps them not only learn cooking, but how much work it is to prepare healthy meals for a family.

Here is Erika, busy at work! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

THE ART OF DISCIPLINE Part 1

Anna works very hard with Bella using BCLC. :)  She has learned well!

Teaching our children, instructing , discipling  and encouraging them are all part of the Art of Discipline.  
As Parents, it is THE biggest thing we will do to influence the next generation.  We are the gatekeepers of the future!  It is a HUGE responsibility to bring up our little ones to be productive, well adjusted people.
And,  NOT ONE CHILD comes with an instruction booklet attached.  NOT ONE!
Working through the maze of books available on the market,  and techniques offered for every situation can be dizzying and confusing! 
One book says "Don't give an inch or they'll take a mile!" This kind of book is big on high control!  Another one says, "Why do you insist on bedtimes and curfews?"  It is the opposite of high external control.
 Then there are the books for those who want to raise their children in the Lord that are MISGUIDED nonsense and make parents feel FULL OF FEAR and CONDEMNATION because they put a child's salvation in the hands of the parent, where it NEVER CAN BE; because Salvation is of the Lord!  These books say "Do it this way or you are not obeying God." 

I have read numerous books and have found that each kind of book has something to offer.  But RARELY do you find help in dealing with extreme situations, adoption issues that are outside of the realm of "norm" (or are they?)  or post trauma issues.The one book, that I trust the VERY most is my Bible. It is after all, God's word. :) 
I have found more loving instruction on patience and kindness in reading the word than in any book I have ever read.
God DEMONSTRATED HIS love towards us in sending His son.  Jesus Christ was the PERFECT REPRESENTATION of God.  He "tutored" us and showed us what a loving life should look like. He was full of compassion! He had all the emotions that we do.  EVERY ONE, including Anger.  But HE did not sin.
He carefully walked his disciples towards life, instructing them all along the way.  And in 3 years... THREE.... He influenced the world for eternity.  Whether you believe Jesus is the Son of God or not,
He has influenced generations for over 2,000 years!
That is pretty incredible for a man who's ministry only lasted 3 years!
So how did Jesus instruct the disciples?  He told them stories, and talked with them as they walked along the way. He spent many, MANY patient hours teaching them by talking to them and then by SHOWING them and demonstrating His love in very tangible ways.  

If we carefully look into the way Jesus Christ  "brought up" the disciples to maturity, there is much we can glean for our own lives and style of parenting.

I believe that Jesus MODELED what He wanted us to be like.  He didn't just say, "You must do this!" He showed them what obedience and love looked like through EXAMPLE.

That folks, is what WE as parents are called to do! It is a MISSION, and it is not easy!

So HOW can we teach  our kids and reflect to them love, kindness, patience, diligence, joy, peacefulness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, self control?

WE  MODEL IT!ARE WE EXPECTING SOMETHING FROM OUR CHILDREN THAT WE ARE NOT MODELING TO THEM? ARE WE EXPECTING KINDNESS AND PATIENCE WHEN WE ARE IMPATIENT AND UNKIND?  Are we expecting them to keep rooms clean when our own room is a mess?  (three fingers pointing back at me) :)  

It is a HIGH Calling to raise our children and model to them right behavior and lifestyle.  And it is one that we will all fail at from time to time, because we are not perfected creatures.
But when we do fail, we can repent, apologize and get back on track. 
And we should NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER give up! NEVER EVER! EVER; not on ourselves and not on our children. :)




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Can Anybody Say High Cholesterol??


UGH.... something new to worry about.
Doc wants me on a vegetarian diet.  Let's just say that I used to be and my cholesterol was fine.  I have been eating meat and eggs and now.... after 5 years not being a vegetarian, it is HIGH..... The ratio is within norm, but frankly, heart issues plagued my father until he died at MY AGE!  YIKES!

Soooo, here is to my new Gluten Free AND Vegetarian lifestyle.  Yippee.

I actually started making some changes about 2 weeks ago and have been juicing vegetables and drinking them for breakfast.  I guess I'll be doing MORE of that.
Started back with exercising again too.  Because of arthritis I just haven't felt like it for awhile, but honestly, once I got going and putting it into a routine, I feel better.

Hopefully, I can get this cholesterol level down to an acceptable level soon.

When I Blow It

I pray and brainstorm.....

I think I have gotten too relaxed around here and have not been vigilant are careful in keeping up schedules, written and unwritten.  I also noticed some certain little girl who does not do well with that kind of a lifestyle. 
Soooo, my vacation from being relaxed and go with the flow is over. Done.... GONE.....

WHY?  Because I have seen somebody slipping back into old behaviors and last night I blew it by getting angry with her.  Yep, me, the hypocrite who says not to get angry and be patient. :/


One of the great things about having RELATIONSHIP is that we can talk afterwards.  And talk we did.  I apologized to her and she apologized to me; then we pinky promised to start over in a new way. 
I am so thankful that she has come so far that we CAN make errors in judgment and it wind up being ok, without her climbing up a tree or questioning our love. :)

I never thought of seeing success through my own failures! LOL

So, we had a family meeting (dad and mom first) and then the girls and it is settled. We are going back to written schedules that are tangable and spell out each expectation for the day. 
Our days will be more structured and our sweety that needs it most will know what to expect.

Sooo, my relaxed lifestyle, go with the flow experiment is over.  

But it is what is best. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Orphanage Talk

This morning after Language Arts we were transitioning to another subject.  Sarah stepped behind me and started to massage my head.... Ahh that felt sooo good!
Then Erika said, "I used to get candy for massaging the orphanage ladies' heads"..... "I put one of them to sleep!" 
Then Alli said, "Our worker had us pick out  all her gray hairs because she didn't want any."  "It was really gross!"  
LOL....
The things I learn in school!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A September Funny

Miss Alli was abit overwhelmed with her science project.   We are studying NUTRITION.  Part of our assignment was to copy the food pyramid from 4 different countries.  She likes art, so this was no problem. 
The problem came when I asked the girls to write a menu for ONE DAY..."breakfast, lunch and dinner"  and to have it go by the pyramid guidelines that they picked!

Oh My! Miss Alli was very upset.  I think mostly, she didn't fully understand what she was supposed to do.
So in trying to help her, she said, "You just don't know how hard this is!"
My reply was, "Of course I do!" 
Her reply.... "I really don't think so! I'd like to see YOU make a menu and cook dinner for a family!"

ROFL......
I didn't need to say anything else.... she looked at my astonishment and said, "Sorry Mama".  :)

IT'S HERE!


The couch arrived.....

It is red. :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

THE EGGS HAVE ARRIVED!!!!

This morning Sarah and I were sitting on the front porch and we heard a chicken singing the chicken happy dance song.  It is the sound chickens make after they LAY AN EGG!!!!

We knew we were close to getting eggs  because our 2 roosters have started to crow.  Young roosters are so funny.  They have that "teenage boy" sort of sound to their crow. :)
 Sarah ran to check, and sure enough, they were laying!!!  It is Pay Off time at the Minich Family Farm!
 Oh yes! Oh yes! We are doing the happy dance!
No more buying those awful tasteless eggs at the grocery store!  No more paying premium price for an organic egg that doesn't taste any different than the cheap ones. 
The funny part is.... I broke down yesterday and bought eggs. We went without for almost a week because I was just SURE they were going to lay! 
This is my omelette cooking.... :)   We learned in science last week that eggs contain all 9 essential amino acids!

Thank you Lord for our fresh eggs and for chickens willing to let us have them!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Special Time....

I witnessed something about 2 months ago that has been on my mind but I could not put it into words until tonight.....

I took Alli out for a "special time" and part of that time was stopping at Taco Bueno and the Art Store.
While we were at Taco Bueno, TRYING to mind our own business, we witnessed a scene I shall not soon forget.
There were 3 women.  2 had small children under 4.  One was an older woman, my age, that I might assume was the younger women's mother, or a mentor.
They were QUITE LOUD in their conversation and we could not help but see and hear their overt antics.
The children, 3 of them were rather ill behaved.  The little boy, I would guess was around 3.  The little girl was around 2 and the baby was MAYBE 8 months old at the most.....
The 3 women talked amongst each other and ZERO attention was payed to the children except to THREATEN them with a SPOON! In fact, EACH of those women had a LARGE WOODEN SPOON!  They had them laying on the table and in diaper bags.....
The little boy crawled under the table and they threatened him with a SPOON!  Then the little girl was yelling and she was threatened with a spoon....
The thing that was so DISTURBING was that the women were "laughing" about it, as if it was FUNNY!  It was rather creepy!
They went on to describe a brother who had a LARGE paddle with holes drilled in it, because spanking was supposed to hurt!
Alli and I looked at each other after that comment and she whispered to me, "I'd rather live in an orphanage than live with THAT woman!"
For a kid who has lived in an orphanage, that was saying A LOT!
We quietly talked about normal kid behavior and how certain situations could be managed without
the threat of spankings....
I was so proud of Alli, who TOTALLY understood.

The next scenario still makes me sad. The little boy was asked, "Do you have to go to the bathroom?"
He replied no.  His mother insisted he did and off they went.  She took that LARGE WOODEN SPOON and tucked it into her trousers as the older lady and other woman laughed..... I felt like crying. When they came from the bathroom, the little boy had been crying. :(
I don't know what happened in that bathroom but my heart hurt for that little boy.
They came back and by then, the baby was hungry.
The one mother began to feed the baby his bottle. One lady said, "He is WAY too old for you to be feeding him! He needs to feed himself! He is MANIPULATING YOU!
REALLY???????
The other mother immediately, Like a ROBOT, I might add, put the bottle in front of the baby and he shrieked with frustration.... He tried to get it, but didn't have the skills.  The mother THREATENED him with the spoon..... "Do I need to SPANK YOU?" 
I felt ILL.  I also had this vision of walking over to their table and telling them I worked for social services..... but that wouldn't have been true.  I thought about talking to them but knew it wouldn't have been received. I would have been dismissed as a liberal nut.

Several things went through my mind and honestly, I didn't know what to do!
I had not witnessed them actually HURT any of the kids physically....but I knew that was most likely
what was happening.
It is an AWFUL feeling to watch such IGNORANCE.
A couple of days ago, I talked to a friend who is truly worried about somebody SHE knows that is also under the delusion that the only way to discipline children is punitive.  She is PROUD of that "control".
My friend's heart was HURTING and she is fasting about what to say. Yet, she did not feel worthy to talk to her friend because she was not a perfect parent herself.
 NONE of us are perfect parents.  NOT ONE OF US..... Sometimes I think the unrealistic expectation of perfection keeps us from rightly speaking truth.

The truth is, I believe in both of these situations, the people have intentions that are "good".
They WANT their  children to do well.  They are hopelessly MISINFORMED that corporal punishment is NECESSARY to achieve success, when the truth is, that it is just NOT TRUE!
They have misconstrued some PROVERBS and taken scripture totally OUT OF CONTEXT!
And I would BET... they have read "To Train Up A Child" by the Pearls.
Somehow, they think that "GOD" has "spanked" them... which is ABSURD!
Corporal punishment may wind up having "IMMEDIATE RESULTS" based upon FEAR!!!
That does NOT build relationship. 
GOD is EVER PATIENT, EVER LOVING, SLOW TO ANGER and ABOUNDING IN GREAT LOVE....
God does NOT spank us!  SORRY! It just IS NOT TRUE!
FIRST TIME OBEDIENCE is JUST NOT IN SCRIPTURE!!!!  Look at ANY ONE OF the Patriarchs in Scripture..... it just is NOT there!
God has ALWAYS been long suffering and patient in regards to mankind.

As Alli and I drove home from our special time, even though it was distracted by women who would have caused EXTREME TRAUMA in Alli's life, she talked about how thankful she was that she was NOT in that situation.

God wants us to have RELATIONSHIP with our children, as HE has relationship with US!
We are HIS children!  Our relationship is RICH and based upon LOVE! 
I would be very sad if my children's obedience was based upon "fear" and not "relationship".
I do NOT want them to obey because they FEAR me!
I want them to obey out of Love!   I also want them to obey out of their love for Christ. 

I am still saddened by what I saw.  I can only hope that these women will come to a true knowledge of TRUTH that LOVE is the answer and not some misconstrued need for "control". 
I am still creeped out that anybody who would spank a child would also be "joyful" about it!

Alli's response to all this gave me great hope for her future that she TRULY understands LOVE. :)
I just feel badly for those little ones who are being subjected to such ignorant cruelty in the name of Christ!






Thursday, September 6, 2012

Anna the Teacher

Today, Erika and Sarah had to go back to Scottish Rite for appointments.  Anna and Alli stayed home with daddy and I gave instruction for them to do certain subjects  while we were gone. 
Anna was a really great teacher! She helped Alli with her spelling and Language Arts and they both read and did history.  They finished before we got back, so Anna took it upon herself to give Miss Alli another Assignment!  Wow..... And the surprising thing is, Alli "played school" and did the extra assignment!
She had to interview daddy about how we met and got married.....  She then had to write a report on it. LOL
So here is the report... As far as the facts???  Ummm... not quite..... misinformation comes to mind. :)

"In 1984 dad became a christian.  The church was Calvary Chapel, Dallas. Mom and dad met together there. And they got to know each other from church and from sharing the gospel with utter other people. 
My brothers and mom  went out with our dad and played baseball and dad threw the ball to mom and mom hit the ball hard and it hit dad in the head and he was mad.  After everybody got to know each other well, my brothers got together  with mom and told mom "we want you to date Mr. Mike".  And mom said, "we do not date." 
Mom and dad knew each other less than six months before they got married in their house."

LOL.... and there you have it. Our lives according to Miss Alli!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Playing Spoons

 Ilse is always a joy!  She is getting so big!!!  And she smiles at her ya-ya in the most adoring way!
 Em's.

 Tim playing Spoons
 Sarah
 spoons..... :)
Sarah shuffling cards
 Showing off those hands

You Are Still Holy

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