Monday, October 17, 2016


I am going to start making a daily committment to myself...I want to spend time with God daily, I want to work on my physical health, and I want to work on a committment to making my house feel like more of a home.  I'm going to try to post updates here and there as to how it's going.  But, with having kids that don't always pick up after themselves, hubby and I tend to be pilemakers, as well as running a resale business out of our home...there is just so much clutter and I'm not always as consistent as I'd like to be to stay on top of everything.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A hospital stay and a plan...

Josiah really struggled behaviorally at school...the end of the school year is always a very trying time.  However, he began on a path of self-injury behaviors and threats to others that we just could not ignore.  We went back and forth to our own psychiatrist several times trying to make med changes and the behaviors continued and I was getting several calls from school over his behavior and concerns over the things he was saying/doing until finally I didn't know what else to do but to take him in to be evaluated at the hospital.  They kept him for 9 days...I didn't eat or sleep much.  We were only allowed to see him 3 days a week and only at certain times.  It was rough and I hated every minute of it.  I did meet an angel while we were in there though.  One of the workers came in to do paperwork with us and got to talking to our son.  He told him that he was black and had been adopted by a caucasian family too.  He said that he got angry and got into some trouble, but he realized later that he was angry because he didn't know how his birth family could have given him up.  Josiah really didn't say much, but I started to cry.  The gentleman told me that he'd talk with him and that he knew that we just really wanted what was best for our son.  I felt like God sent him on our path for reassurance for both of us and that our son could have someone to possibly relate to.

When he got out, they wanted him to do their day treatment program for 4-6 weeks.  I felt like the daily accountability for his behavior was really good for him, but sadly once he was done things went back to the way they were and we struggled all summer with him.  It got to the point where we could hardly go anywhere as we never knew what was going to set him off and what would happen.  We had a pretty big incident happen at the pool and it pretty much put summer at a stand still for everyone.  Back to the doctor we went.  I kept praying.  His behavior only continued to escalate.  After one day of taking them to the movies and then to get treats afterwards, he asked to do something and after all the money I spent taking them out, we didn't have anymore to do anything else and I told him that would have to come at a different day.  He threw a fit in the car, I managed to get him in the house without running and he went up to his room and broke his window....on purpose.  Came out bragging about it thinking that was going to get him his way.  I made an appointment with our counselor that moved her practice 5 hours away, but who had been with us since the beginning.  We drove out to see her and she had recommended before that we place him in a residential treatment center so he could work on his issues.  She had suggested it a couple of times actually, but we didn't want to do that before and fought it with everything we had to keep him in our home.  However, I told her that I think I was ready to look at placement for him.  I couldn't live like this anymore and hubby and I were in agreement.  I'll share that in another was totally a God thing and He deserves the glory.

I hate being a crab...

I've had horrible PMS this past week.  Add in the fact that all last week, I kept waking up between 4 and 4:30 am  Today, it was 3:30 am after I tossed and turned for a long time before that.  It makes the days extra long and tiring when the kids are up at 6 am.  Andy very nicely took them all to the grocery store to give me some peace and quiet to rest.  I did doze for a little while, but I don't want to risk not being able to sleep tonight, so I got up to get some work done.  I have some things on my mind too that I just need to keep giving to God.  I hate being crabby and I've had to apologize a few times to my kids for being impatient.  Thankfully, they forgive me and we go forward, but I hate feeling this way as I'm typically not like this.  I think I'm fighting coming down with allergies/cold as well.  I'll be glad when I feel like myself again though.  Thankfully, my hubby has been very sweet through it all and my kids have been understanding.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Testing for Melina

We brought Melina in to get educational testing done in April.  Her teacher was concerned about her writing delays and that she was regressing a little bit in school.  I still think it's due to her selective mutism and anxiety, but there was talk about her being held back without a diagnosis, so I called a place and asked for it to be done.  Somehow though, the educational testing was never done and it had turned into a psych eval instead.  They called us in for the results and they confirmed the selective mutism and expressive writing delay as well as the sensory integration disorder, but they wanted another set of eyes to see her in play therapy to rule out Autism.  I got really upset over that one as I just didn't see her having autism.

I took her to her play therapy session and the lady worked with her and said that she thought she got enough and that she didn't need to come back for anymore.  They ruled out autism.  I was so glad!  Reading The Highly Sensitive Child to try to help her more.  Can see parts of myself in that book...even some of Deidra too.  However, Melina is by far the most sensitive of all of us.

Is Personality Passed Down?

Josiah got to be a real hand full this year, even moreso than normal.  He was getting more and more out of control and we were in and out of the psychiatrist's office non-stop for a couple of weeks trying to get a handle on his behaviors.  The psychiatrist came out of her office while I was checking out and came over to me and she put her hand on my back and she said "there is a special place in Heaven for people like you that take in these broken children and have it so hard, I don't know if you are a believer or not, but I just wanted you to know."  I looked up at her choking on tears and said "I do believe...that's the only way that I get through some of this."  I asked her a question about genetics and wondering if something was passed down.  She answered me and said to me "honey, I deal with other adoptive parents and the parents are nothing like the kids that they are dealing with, so you can't tell me that personality is not passed down...nature wins over nurture sometimes, but don't stop."  I still ponder that one sometimes.  I'm not willing to stop praying for heart change though, as I know my God can do all sorts of things and I know if there's heart change, there will be personality change too.

Tonsils and Adenoids No More

Over spring break this year,  Melina had her tonsils and adenoids out due to getting strep throat so often.  She was getting it 1-2 times a month.  She was a trooper and refused to take the meds that the doctor prescribed for her pain, but she would only take motrin.  We finally figured out that the tylenol burned.  She spent a lot of time in Mommy's lap and she slept with me at night too.  I could see the pain on her face and she was pretty tempermental at times, but that was to be understood.  I think she has a pretty high pain tolerance.  It took her about a week to bounce back...we rocked a lot.  She'd get down to go play a little bit and she ate ok, but she just wanted her Mommy and so I didn't really do much but hold her.  Thankfully, Daddy was home with us too and so she went back and forth to Mommy and Daddy and we babied her all we could.  She hasn't been sick really since they've came out though, other than allergy related stuff and a bad upper respiratory infection since.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My #1 Tip for Doing Laundry with 5 Kids

A lot of people have commented on what our laundry piles must look like or the fact that I am always doing laundry with a family as big as ours.  Here is my #1 laundry tip that I started doing when we were fostering and I could no longer keep track of what laundry item belonged to who.  I gave everyone their own laundry basket to keep in the laundry room.  All dirty clothes were put in there and the kids were responsible for getting their own clothes in there.  Each person then got assigned their own day, including us parents.  I would run a load of colors and a load of whites for that specific person and then go put them away when they were clean and then laundry was done for that day.   Their bedding would also get washed on their laundry day if needed.  Made things tons easier as I only had that one person's laundry to fold and put on hangers and put away and I didn't have to overthink it on who's pants were these or who does this belong to?  It was also a good way to know that each person had their laundry done each week.  Try it!  It works and it takes some of the stress off of climbing Mount Laundry!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Self Care

We had a not so great week last week.  2 kids sick with strep, one kid pretty badly.  My youngest is still fighting it and it's been over a week now.  We are getting her tonsils and adenoids out over spring break and this Momma is a little anxious about it as she is my very sensitive child (sensitive momma here too, but she is much more so than even me).  One of my children has anxiety about upcoming state testing and this is her time of year to begin to act out.  Another child has been having a lot of behavioral struggles and I was getting calls in the middle of doctor apoointments to come and get them from school as they were too angry to ride the bus home and stuff like that.  Andy was having to work a lot of extra hours and I was feeling very empty.  Then comes Valentine's Day and I had something fun planned...took the kids to Jurassic Quest and they over-sold it to the point that our family had a very hard time enjoying it.  The bad news too was that a family of our size to go out and do anything spends a lot of money to do so.  I felt like we had wasted all that money, but some of the kids did enjoy it and so I had to realize that it wasn't all for naught.  However, my youngest was still not feeling the greatest and although she wanted to go, she was having a lot of meltdowns too to just not feeling the greatest.  I told hubby that I needed a break when we got home and we got his Dad to watch the kids while we went to Red Robin for lunch after we got kids happy meals for lunch.   We were both on edge and some things were miscommunicated and I wound up fighting tears at the table.  This was just not how I had planned Valentine's Day to go.  Thankfully, the day eventually got turned around and things were a bit better, but we were still dealing with a lot of illness, meltdowns, and behavioral issues.

The kids were off Monday and we all had a great peaceful day.  Just what this Momma needed.  I spent a lot of time in prayer and we've used some essential oils that the kids really seem to respond too and I've tried to give myself time to just sit in the quiet and talk to God and asking to see some answered prayers.  And I've been giving myself at least an hour every day that the kids have been in school this week just to sit and relax and focus on what I want to do so that I feel that more rested.  God has given me a great week this week.  We've gotten a possible piece of the puzzle from the psychiatrist about the behavioral issues and hopefully the next 4 weeks of monitoring will bring us answers.  I'm praying over that one.  My youngest is still fighting her illness and she is getting a lot of extra cuddles to keep her still as when she is more active, she starts fighting nausea and coughing and throwing up.  Still having to give her zofran every day to fight throwing up.  I just want her to feel better.

To top all of this off, I came down with a raging yeast infection.  I can't tell you the last time I've had one of those.  But, it's horrible.  I put myself in the tub after I got all the kids to school today and soaked in a hot tub of water with a couple essential oils to help soothe.  I also listed to my podcast of "At Home with Sally" and really felt like God was just allowing me to rest in Him for a little bit.  Self Care is so important.  I know this, yet it's always the first thing to slip when I get overwhelmed with juggling the kids issues.  I let myself just slip to the backburner.  Mommas...let me speak directly to your hearts...we can't put ourselves on the backburner.  We have to take care of ourselves first so that we can serve our families.  I had the vision in the bathtub of just cuddling right up to God and letting Him fill me and comfort me and fill all the emptiness and voids that I feel.  I came out of the bathtub feeling so much better.  Please don't forget your self-care.  And most of all, don't forget to spend time with God...He knows what we are fighting and all that we have on our plates and He wants to bring us rest.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Please don't drink while pregnant!

This is a topic near and dear to my heart.  I have adopted children that are speculated to have this...I won't say who as that's not important.  We have also fostered other children that we didn't adopt, that struggled with this.  It's not fair to these little babies to grow up with something that there is no cure for....they live with this for the rest of their lives.  They struggle with learning difficulties, behavior struggles, brain damage, a hard time focusing on things for very long, and they have poor judgment and very big impulsivity problems.  They lack social skills and don't perceive social cues well at all and a lot of times they don't connect their behavior with consequences to be able to correct their behaviors.  They struggle with emotions as well and are very often over-the-top.  It's not an easy life for them, or for the people that have stepped up to try and help them through life.  I know as a Momma I am always worrying about their futures...will they be able to pursue a career in what they are talking about?  Will they ever be able to live on their own?  Will they ever be able to learn certain life-skills?  Will they ever make certain connections?  Will they ever be able to drive a car?  These are just a few questions that I ask's a very difficult life at times...yet I have to constantly remind myself that we just take it one step at a time and some days it's one moment at a time and I take the glimpses of hope that I get and go from there.  All I can do sometimes is love them, pray a lot, and hope that one day we will achieve the goals that we want for them and they want for themselves without any major troubles getting in the way.  I'm not a quitter and we will keep pressing on.  But please, if you think you can become pregnant...please don't drink...9 months is not that long of a time to give up drinking...think of your don't want them to struggle in life any more than they have to.  It's so hard to watch them struggle through life with so many challenges....

Monday, February 1, 2016

February's Love Challenge

In honor of Valentine's Day being in the month of February, my challenge to us this month is to do one nice thing for your spouse and for each of your children each day.  I'm going to try to post what I do each day.  In the past, I've read The Love Dare and did the assignments each day for my husband.  I recently got The Love Dare for Parents and plan on doing that one for my children as well.  If special dates are required it may take me a little bit to stay on one day for awhile longer since I have 5 children, but this is what I plan on doing.  Regardless of what you choose to do though, focus on showing your love.  I'm going to try to post each night and I challenge you to join me and post in the comments or in my Facebook community.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Devil--the Father of Lies

I've been going through some things lately and God has really been ministering to my heart.  How it's easy to fall into the hands of the Devil and sometimes not even realize it.  God has called me to be a Mom to 5 children...4 have special needs.  One of my children has been a very hard child to parent and they keep me on my knees.  Someone who is supposed to love me and care about me and my family, has said some very critical and judgmental things for quite awhile now and is constantly dragging me down and making me doubt myself.  I'm not going to go into all that this person has said, but some of it is not so nice and some of it is not something I even consider appropriate and they refuse to allow me to educate them on the things that we are dealing with and why.  They put it back on me and try to insinuate it's my fault...I don't have control, we must not be good parents if we can't even control our child, we must not be good parents if the police have been called on our child.  This person has said a lot of stuff that has caused many tears and lots of heart-ache and I finally had no choice, but to put a boundary out there.  I can't continue to allow this to go on any longer. Our child struggles with reactive attachment disorder (we have 3 with varying degrees of RAD) and life isn't always easy, but we are trying to help them through this.

 God has been ministering to my heart though.  I was listening to "Our Daily Bread" on the Laudate app the other day and the priest mentioned that a lot of us have been called to do hard things.  God doesn't always promise that we are going to have things easy in life.  Sometimes He calls us to do hard things.  However, He promises that He will be here with us, He will see us through it, He will give us grace, and He will equip us with what we need to go on.

In my Revelations study, we have been talking a lot about the Devil the last couple of weeks and how he wants to devour us and take us away from what the Lord has in store for us.  He uses the people around us to speak lies into our lives and take our eyes away from God.  It hit me this week, that I just needed to continue doing the work that God has set out for me to do and to keep my focus on Him.  Yes, my days are not always easy, but God will see me through them.  I will not allow the Devil to steal my joy and I will keep pressing on.  I'm anxious to see how God uses this one day as I strongly believe that even my child's story will give God all the glory one day and God will use this all for good.

I say all of this to let you know that if God has called you to do a tough job...keep your eyes focused on Him, and don't allow the Devil to speak lies into your life and make you feel that you don't matter.  I'm still trying to work on feeling respected, feeling like I am good enough, and feeling like I am making a difference...feeling like I do measure up...however I am going to start focusing on who I am in Jesus and that I am doing all of this for Him and that He loves me.  It doesn't matter what others think of me, even if they are supposed to be people who love me and my family.  It only matters that I am doing the work that Jesus called me to do and that I am obedient to His will.

The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson...Thoughts on January

I am so excited to get this book.  It doesn't come out until February and I knew it was broken down into months and it was just bugging me that here we are in January and I didn't know what the January section said.  I went over to Amazon to view the book and I discovered that they had some of the January pages that you could read.  I found some things that I definitely want to incorporate.  We do some of her suggestions already, but I really want to work on getting the kids to set the table and lighting a candle at dinner time.  And I want to get back into reading out-loud with them at night and praying together.  With so many distractions going on around here, I've gotten away from that one and as a lover of reading myself, I want to get back into that.  I also got some ideas for play-dates for the kids and although this is the last week of January, it gives me ideas to plan into our days and make into routines.  Gosh, I am SO excited to receive this book.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hard day...

We had a really bad afternoon yesterday.  One of my children chose to run off and we wound up having to call the police to help locate them.  Thankfully, about an hour later they were found.  They chose to cross a major high way on their bike.  Very very scary and I am so glad that they were not hurt.  Today, I am pretty shaken up still.  Having a runner sometimes is very hard.  Staying in front of their thought process and all this stuff is very hard as this child is very smart and can be very manipulative.  The thing that really gets me is that the child had gotten angry, I thought they were over it, and just a few short minutes later they were gone.  I had 3 people looking for them and we couldn't find them.  After 15 minutes and asking another older child walking down the street and asking them if they seen my child and finding out that they were seen by the field behind our neighborhood that can lead back into some stores or some other neighborhoods and driving back there and not seeing any sign of them...we decided to call the police.  Another citizen, called in to report a small child that was riding their bike on a side of a very busy highway and they matched my description that we just gave the police disbatcher.  They found my child about an hour after they left!  So thankful for another citizen's call in as that helped us find them.  They had stolen money from one of their siblings and had spent the money in one of the shopping strips.  The cops major concerns was that they had crossed a major highway.  My child still doesn't seem to understand how serious all of this could have been.  He almost ran at school on Tuesday at recess and we had this problem a few weeks ago and the cops had to be called to locate my child as they got into a neighborhood behind the school.  Now, this happened and I had to go inform school that they may still be a running risk.  I'm having a hard time getting my head around all of this still, but I am just so relieved that my child is ok.  However, I'm going to spend the day trying to bless others and spend a lot of time in prayer and self-care today.  Taking time to not focus on my problems and just be thankful that my child is safe, but I'm just going to get out there and try to help someone else and bless others.  I have a headache too, so I see some self-care in my near future too until the kids get home from school later.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Own Your Life Chapter 10

We are in chapter 10 of Own Your Life and are discussing Tending Your Heart and Investing In Your Soul and Owning Your Emotional Health.  She convicted me right away with "You cannot pour out what has not first been placed inside."  Then she goes on to say "Women who grow more lovely with time have practiced pouring into themselves all that is excellent, wise, graceful, good, and true."  I loved her story of her grand adventure and that she said that "creating memories, planning times of grand celebration, and placing myself in the pathways of great people fill and enrich my soul, so that when others draw from me, they find interest, insight, fun, and wisdom."  It makes me want to plan fun adventures and take my family on fun memory making trips all the more.  It even allows me to dream big.  Memories can never be taken away from us and it always gives us something to look back to and share with others.  We were meant to enjoy life and this chapter just spoke to me and got me dreaming of places to visit and things to do and see all of God's creation.

"Owning the boundaries of what fills our hearts and minds must be a commitment that we honor every day.  When we constantly pour out our energy, time, service, and work for the sake of others, we must realize our need to fill back up so we can maintain our spiritual vibrancy, hope, and emotional health."  Here God speaks to me again, I must practice self-care.  It is a must with all that I have going on every day.

"Music actually improves the ability to concentrate, lowers blood pressure, and just brings a whole lot of fun."  I need to listen to music more often than just in the car.  I love it.  As a matter of fact, last week at BSF, I had a ton of fun singing with the girls around me.  We were in such harmony together that it brought a smile to my face.

"Building mental strength comes from developing a habit of reading every day...Reading is the primary way our brains take in ideas, build paths, develop connected thoughts, and expand our vocabularies and nuances of knowledge."  This is why I encourage my children to read 1 chapter a day and I want to get back to reading to them before bed.  One of my goals this year...

Lord, I praise you because You came to restore life to our bodies, souls, and minds.  May we be refreshed by Your Word, Your Creation, and all that we take in through our senses.  Lord, help us to become life givers within our homes, neighborhoods, and churches for Your glory.  Amen.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cancer Novena

I am starting a novena today through the next 9 days and am praying for those with cancer.  If you have any prayer requests, please leave it in the comments and I will be glad to pray for your intentions.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Own Your Life

Just a quick note to say that we will continue discussing Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson next Tuesday.  I'm going to start doing book club posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  :-)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Just had to brag on my hubby for a minute...

We've been passing all sorts of sickness around our household over Christmas break.  I had the kids go take their showers and baths last night after dinner and then I had them come down and I did an Aromatouch Technique "massage" on them last night.  It focuses on relaxation, building immunity, inflammation, and reaching homeostasis.  I just felt like they needed an immunity boost and they really enjoy getting them.  I put the nature radio station on Pandora while they get them and they just love it.  After they were all done, my hubby asked me if I wanted him to do one for was nice and relaxing and completely unexpected.  I returned the favor and gave him one too as he stayed home sick from work today.  It was nice though and I got a few minutes to feel pampered and loved too.  That is my healthy habit #2 that I am working on.


One of my goals is to spend just a few minutes a day to declutter.  Today, I tackled the kitchen sink area.  I set the timer for 15 minutes and this is what happened.




Makes me smile!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Life Giving Home

I plan to finish up my bookstudy on Own Your Life throughout the month of January.  However, I just pre-ordered The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson as well as the companion 12-month guided journey that goes along with the book.  It's something that I really want to do and am truly excited about.  I have a lot that I want to get my act together on in 2016 and I really want my home to be a blessing to all who enter.  I discovered  Sally Clarkson a few years ago and really have gleamed a lot from her.  I plan on posting on this book monthly throughout this year.  If you want to join me, I'd love to have you.  My affiliate links are posted in case you need help finding the books.

Look Great Feel Great by Joyce Meyer

I am developing some habits out of reading this book Look Great Feel Great 12 Keys to Enjoying a Healthy Life Now by Joyce Meyer and the first was spending time with God daily.  The 2nd habit I want to develop is learning to love myself.  She says "Never forget that God wants you to love your body and yourself.  He expects it no matter what the world has given you.  As the Bible says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).  I am determined to be the best "me" that I can be and quit trying to be what everyone else things I should do or shouldn't do.  I'm going to quit focusing on the fact that I'm overweight.  I'm going to start viewing my body as a friend and doing what I can to support my new friend and know that it's going to be a journey that I need to embrace and enjoy.  I really feel that God is calling me to eat healthier and that is one way that I can truly support my body (my new friend.) that is one way that I'm going to be friendly to myself.  I also need to really start focusin on self-care.  I've put myself on the backburner for so long that I know that I really need to start taking care of myself...I have high blood pressure, diabetes, am very overweight, thyroid is majorly out of whack.  I did get my knee fixed so I am very happy about that.  My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.  Darn insurance anyway.  I'm getting off track...but I know that if I start treating myself as a friend and I do what I can to support myself with healthy eating that my health problems can only improve.  So my daily challenge in learning to love myself is going to be choosing to eat more healthy.  It will do my family good too and they all deserve to have a healthy wife and momma.

Will you join me for 21 days of learning to love yourself?  You could focus on self-care or on something that God is telling you that you need to let go of the world's view of what you need to look like or be.  Just pray about it first and I'm sure God will speak to your heart as He did me.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Joining Declutter 365

I'm joining Declutter 365 this year and am going to focus on decluttering this house 1 small step at a time.  This morning, I tackled the silverware and the utinsel drawer.



Saturday, January 2, 2016

Praying for my children

My Mom got me this as a Christmas gift this year.  I woke up early and decided to come downstairs to pray and I opened up this book.  Oh, how it truly spoke to my heart and I love that the person that wrote it is also an adoptive mom.  I plan on making this a daily prayer book as I try to improve myself in the area of motherhood this year.  I loved it so much that I felt like I needed one for my marriage too.  When I get that one in the mail and have a chance to look at it, I'll write a post on that one.  I really did love this prayer book though and you don't necessarily have to be Catholic and say the rosary to gleam anything from it.  It just reflects on the life of Jesus and shows how as a mom, we can take things from Jesus' life and apply it to motherhood.