Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hosting V.

Hosting has been an extremely emotional experience for me. We prepared a lot physically for this little visitor who would be in our home for 11 weeks but probably not as much emotionally. Or maybe there is no preparing for seeing a child recoil in horror as you try to touch them or cry because they are so overwhelmed, even with good things. "V" has come so far in just 2 weeks. When we picked him up from the airport it was one of those stories you read about.....and I do NOT mean the good kind. He was airsick, completely exhausted (to the point of almost collapsing), overwhelmed and overstimulated. He did not want to come with us but he obediently did. He did not want to eat or drink even though he had been traveling nonstop for 2 days but fell into a 12 hr. sleep. The next morning was much better. I am actually thankful this was our experience so we can use it to help others. 
From what we have seen and understand, "V" has a wonderful missionary friend who takes him to church and visits him. WHAT AN AMAZING BLESSING!! He really takes his beliefs in God seriously, never missing an opportunity to pray or talk about the Lord. However, this does not erase the hard things he sees and lives everyday that weigh on him. They are his story so I will not share them here but living in an orphanage is not a cheery life.

One week here we saw the typical reaction a hurting child displays when they are feeling too comfortable, lashing out, anger and fear. While we wanted to handle these behaviors like we would our other kids we could not. They have to be navigated with the understanding of what is going on inside the child that is making them do this. I am telling you, my head wanted to call it quits but my heart, the part we knew God had called us to this particular boy for the summer, screamed keep loving and pushing through. PRAISE GOD he answered in a big way. We have seen no more of the behaviour, even though we aren't expecting a kid to be perfect ;)

"V" loves the trampoline, swimming, playing soccer and eating. Did I mention he LOVES to eat!! Oh and 30 min. showers are the norm but who's counting :) We are so blessed to have seen him go from a quiet, stoic boy to a funny, silly, little boy who is enjoying a safe place. Healing is a process, but one that the end result is so worth it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Magic of Childhood


MORE COUSINS!! Cousins are the best!

Eliza's Birthday Party

It's times like this that I truly believe the camera is one of the most genius inventions of man ever.
Life can go by in such a blur....especially with young children. Each day can lapse into the next and one can slip into the feeling of monotony, but for the invention of the camera. I have to remind myself that these little people entrusted to me will not be little for long. Whoever said "The days are so long but the years are so short" knew what it was like raising children. So, I have made a conscious effort to grab my camera during these sweet moments sandwiched in between feedings, laundry, schoolwork, housecleaning, time outs etc... These pictures show the Magic of Childhood. Why do we adults forget what it is like? When does that happen? I am so thankful for these snapshots that help us remember.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kindergarten Graduation!!


She was not happy about wearing the hat :)

Her WONDERFUL teacher!!

Laurel graduated Kindergarten in her Co Op today!! I can hardly believe it! She is such a miracle kid. We were so blessed to find a great Co Op that had a wonderful teacher and a small class (she had about 6 kids in her class-a few weren't here).
Noah had his State testing this week for First Grade and Rocked it! I am so proud of him. He didn't get nervous and tested at grade level to very advanced in everything. Smart Boy! It is such a relief to this Homeschooling Mama to know we are on the right track! Blessed!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Noah getting his Tiger Cub Badge

Reading a bedtime book with of the NFL football books Daddy used to read when he was a boy

Coolest thing EVER! Vet school open house (Fistulated Steer)

Granny's Wisteria

Laure'l's Bad Bicycle accident. She ended up in the ER with 6 stitches and never cried!

Floating boats in "Crocodile Forest" Best day ever!

Spring and Fall are my favorite season's! Spring is so beautiful around here so as soon as it gets warm enough to be out without our jackets we slip our mudboots on and float our boats down the creek! Mud is so therapeutic!
We took the kids to the Vet school Open House and had a nice time. It was SUPER crowded and rainy but by all accounts the Fistulated Cow (cow with the plug in it) was the favorite!! I remember seeing it when I was back in college and they did a demo today for everyone. So gross and cool!!  
Laurel fell on the first hill of our first bike ride this spring. She never used her breaks going down a huge hill and went face first into gravel. 6 stitches later she looks bad but never cried. Ukraine tough I tell you!
The Wisteria and Azaleas are in full bloom and I am in heaven. Laurel says she wants Wisteria for bouquet when she gets married. A true Southern girl! :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wendy Needs A Rescuer

    Close your eyes a moment. Imagine never being able to open them again. How would you get around? How would you get your food and drink? Now imagine not being able to walk AND being blind. It is reality for a little child that I cannot get out of my mind. I am not even sure of her real name. She is known only as "Wendy"  to me, but I assure you that she is very real. I have seen her.
    I will back up a bit and tell you that 4 years ago, we adopted our daughter from an orphanage in EE. She was in a group of about 7 Special Needs children and "Wendy" was one of them. As far as orphanages go, we believe this was a "good" one. The director was very nice and although the  caregivers were not very friendly to us, most seemed to care for the kids. We saw "Wendy" several times being pushed in the stroller (see pic above). I know it's a bad picture but photos were NOT allowed. We also watched a scene that broke my heart. All of the kids from this group were sitting in the outdoor shed (pictured above) and played very quietly by themselves on a blanket on the ground. They were each given 1 "toy" (ie...spoon, plastic bottle, broken truck.) "Wendy" has CP and obviously had trouble sitting up by herself. They would give her a toy and sit her up and she would stay a minute and then fall over and cry and cry. She couldn't get up and nobody helped her. She would lay there and just cry. Broke. My. Heart.
    We know "Wendy" has been transferred to an Institution. It is a cruel reality in her country. Usually her orphanage transfers kids that have some type of disability at the age of 4. It is horrible but in their eyes the only way to handle special needs. Typical orphanages cannot handle special needs and so Institutions are where they go to live out their shortend lives. Life in an Institution is horrible. For Wendy it is a death sentence. The children and adults that are not mobile are kept in beds and cribs. With very few staff and very many children it is not an option to get them up and out. Their diapers are changed maybe twice a day. They never have therapy to learn to eat solid food so bottles are quickly shoved in their mouths and taken away just as quickly no matter if they are done or choking. It is real. I have seen it.
  We have to help Wendy get out! I know it will take a special family who will love a child and expect nothing in return but I believe Wendy is capable of so much more. Even if she never walks, talks, says "I love you Mama" she is a soul WORTH saving. She is a life and she deserves to be loved!
    So, for the month of March and April I will donate all of the proceeds of my Etsy shop to this sweet girl. Please visit it to see if their is anything you would like. If you are a local friend, please email me @ for a coupon code to avoid shipping and I will deliver! If you feel lead to give a tax deductible donation you can do so here She has $1600 in her account right now and needs approximately $22,000 in order for her adoption to be paid for, it will make the financial burden so much easier on a family! Yes, it's a lot but tell much is a child's life worth?

Etsy Shop: