Tuesday, July 26, 2011

GratiTuesday- Reminded of My Healing

We cleaned out the garage this weekend.  We’re selling our pop-up, because we just don’t fit in it anymore (too many people LOL) and we’re going to build a room in the garage and make it the older boys’ room so they can have some more space.  As we were cleaning we came across an old companion of mine….


If you’ve been reading my blog at all you know I’ve been walking a LOT lately, in fact over 30 miles last week!  It’s a major accomplishment, and certainly one I couldn’t do without my walking buddy, Sandy.  But above that, I could not even imagine doing this just a few years ago before God Healed Me.  You see, this little guy went with me everywhere, because walking was a constant struggle.  Driving was a struggle, and I can remember clearly how humiliating driving the cart in the grocery store because I couldn’t walk it was.  It’s not that I have a problem with driving them, it’s just that I was SO YOUNG, and appeared completely healthy.  People would look at me and wonder why I was in it.  I wondered the same, to tell you the truth.

It’s been 5 years since I was healed.  I believe in healing through medication, but that is not how I was healed.  I was completely healed, and I am on no medications!

I hope this encourages you that God still heals today, maybe you’re waiting for His healing.  I am forever grateful, but not immune to the fact that with this healing comes great responsibility to live my life fully for Him…..

And then there were 6 Smile  Couldn’t have even thought of chasing these babies around if I was still in the shape I was in 5 years ago….  I would have been in a wheelchair by now!

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Monday- 7/25

Well, it’s been a week.  I’ve stayed within my points range, in fact had 30 of my weekly points left at the end of the week.  The scale has been up and down all week at home, which is VERY frustrating, but I’m trying not to let it get me down.  I’m doing everything right.  I’m drinking my water, eating the 5 servings of fruits and veggies (the only thing I could improve is more veggies- so I’m going to add spinach to my smoothies this week-, walking etc….  So, I’m just digging in.  Last week at my weigh in I lost .6 pounds.  I was a bit disappointed at that, but it’s still in the down direction, so I’ll take it.  Let’s take a look at last week’s goals:

  • Eat at least 3 servings of fruits every day  DONE
  • Eat at least 2 servings of veggies each day  SOME DAYS, NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
  • Walk 25 miles  WALKED 32!!
  • Limit myself to 4 dessert items over the week  DONE
  • Lose at least 1 pound  LAST WEEK’S WEIGH IN .6
  • Do 1 other exercise activity besides my walking  FORGOT Winking smile

So, for this week here are my goals:

  • Eat at least 2 servings of veggies a day and a total of 5 f/v servings
  • Walk 25 miles
  • Limit desserts to no more than 4 over the week
  • Journal before eating
  • Journal moods
  • Try a new food

Here’s my menu:

Monday:    Tuna Casserole, Baked Zucchini with Parmesan

Tuesday:  Steak and Potatoes

Wednesday:  Southwest Chicken Salad,

Thursday:  Baked French Toast -Auston’s choice, cause he’s leaving town for 2 weeks Friday Sad smile

Friday:  Pizza Night

Saturday:  Sautéed Chicken and Potatoes

Sunday:  Snack Dinner

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Singing Saturday- Do Everything

For the harried mom who feels like she can’t get ahead Winking smileFor the husband who doesn’t feel like he provides enough for his family Winking smile  Love this song! 

Before you watch the video of the song, you should watch the video of the story of the inspiration for this song:

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”-1 Corinthians 10:31

Do Everything- Steven Curtis Chapman

You’re picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips and head out the door
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all
We’ll let me remind you it all matters just as long as you

Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you
To do every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace with every move that you make
And every little thing you do
Maybe you’re that guy with the suit and tie
Maybe your shirt says your name
You may be hooking up mergers... cooking up burgers
But at the end of the day
Little stuff big stuff in between stuff
God sees it all the same

And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all
We’ll let me remind you it all matters just as long as you

Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you
To do every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace with every move that you make
And every thing that you do
Well maybe you’re sitting in math class
Maybe on a mission in the Congo
Maybe you’re working at the office
Singing along with the radio
Maybe you’re dining at a five star
Or feeding orphans in Myanmar
Anywhere and everywhere you are
Whatever you do it all matters
So do what you do and don’t ever forget ... to do

Book Review- Max on Life

I recently received a copy of the book “Max on Life” by Max Lucado.  This book takes many of the questions that he has been asked throughout his career and answers them in a frank manner.  Each question has it’s own chapter and the chapters are relatively short.  I like this.  This a book that you don’t read in one sitting, rather, it’s meant to be enjoyed over a period of time I think.  I think this is a good book to take a chapter a day and digest.  It would even be a good book to discuss at the dinner table with the family, especially if you have older children who will understand the concepts.  Some of the concepts would be too much for younger children.
The book is separated into 7 sections:  Hope, Hurt, Help, Him/Her, Home, Haves and Have-Nots, and Hereafter.  You can jump to a particular section if you have certain questions, or read a chapter a day Smile
All in all I’ve really enjoyed this book.  I can almost hear Mr. Lucado speaking as I read the chapters.  I enjoy the frankness and candidness of the writing.  And, it gives you some things to think about.
I would recommend this book for personal use, and for gifts.  It might make it on to my Christmas List this year Winking smile

I received this book from the booksneeze program in exchange for my honest review.  I was not paid for a positive review and this review is my honest opinion.

I review for BookSneeze®

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday- Adoption Story Part 9

If you’ve been following along so far, it’s been a wild ride!  Nearly 2 years after Shea came to our home and 18 months after William came we finally went before the judge to finalize the adoptions.  It was so important to us that they have this day to share with each other.  We really pushed to have their adoptions take place the same day, and now we were able to realize that goal!

The day of the adoption was an amazing day.  We invited our close friends and family to share with us, and were so blessed by all who came….

Me holding William while attorney asks me to testify

Michael with Shea during testimony

Before we went into the courtroom our attorney took us into a room to sign papers and go over what was going to happen.  He verified information with us, and told us he was going to ask me the bulk of the questions.  He went through the questions he was going to ask us as we testified.  I remember him telling me the answer to all of the questions is “Yes” except the first question when he asked my name.  He told me not to freeze up on my name.  I laughed and he smiled.  When we got before the judge and he asked me to state my name----- ALL I COULD THINK OF WAS YES!!!  LOL  I finally remembered my name and we went on with the testimony Winking smile

I have no idea how long the whole process took because it’s still a blur to me.  I just remember the judge commenting on how lucky these babies were to have us and so many people who love them…

Everyone who came to supports us on adoption day!

Can you believe that crowd?  It was truly amazing…..

But, this story is not complete without me telling you about Shea’s first foster family.  Over the almost 2 years from when Shea came to our home until our adoption there was not one person who I felt truly understand where we were with her than Dave and Misty.  Misty has been my friend and my should through this whole process.  Dave and Misty have been supportive to us, and in my heart and mind are Shea’s other mom and dad.  With the finalization of our adoption we didn’t just gain 2 babies, we gained more than that.  We gained Dave and Misty and the kids too.  I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through all of the scary parts without Misty, and I can’t even put in to words how much their continued support and friendship means to us.  We owe where Shea was in her healing to them, and we understand that she experienced a loss when she left their house to come to ours and we are so glad we are able to continue a relationship with them.  It’s good for Shea, it’s good for them, it’s good for us.


So, this concludes our foster story, but the real fun is just beginning Smile  It’s now been about 6 weeks since the finalization, and we had a service at our church praising God for the gifts of these two babies.  It now is beginning to feel real.  Just today I got a call from the therapy place and their names are now changed with Medicaid.  In just a few short months we’ll get their new birth certificates.  And, as I get ready to start planning for Christmas, I don’t have to worry about court, or CPS, or wonder if they’ll even be with us.  They will!  Forever.  I’ve finally started telling them we’ll be there for them forever, never could do that before.  And, as time goes by I am noticing more and more walls come down as I’m able to be their mom the way I know in my gut is right, not worrying about what CPS says is right.

Yes, it’s good to be a family of six.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

GratiTuesday- Adoption Story Part 8

So, we continue along, going to court, having our multiple CPS visits every month, still having 2 CPS workers, since Shea’s case was transferred to Adoption Prep and Will wasn’t there yet.  All the while we’re hopeful.  There were a couple of court dates that were pretty scary for us.  I remember one in particular, it seemed like things were going the opposite of the direction we wanted and I felt compelled to speak up.  I talked out of turn to the judge, but he listened to me.  It was so stressful to go to court and have our lives in someone else’s hands.

As we neared the end of our case we were set for trial (termination of parental rights) 4 times!  Each time we left the courthouse scared.  Setting a goal to make it through the next court hearing.  Finally, when the rights were terminated it was such a relief.  We felt bad for the biological parents, because we couldn’t imagine this ever happening to us, but we were glad for our family.  There was a relief that the next time we went to court it would be to finalize the adoptions.  But, it wasn’t done yet.

Finally we had only 1 CPS worker!  Yay!  We had to wait for records to be retracted and go through the motions.  We had to have an updated homestudy done.  There was a lot to be done before these adoptions could be finalized.  Honestly, this period of time is all a blur to me. 

There was a sense of relief, but still it isn’t over until it’s over with CPS. 

To be continued…

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Monday- 7/18

Well, this week went quite well in the WW department Winking smile.  When I weighed in last Monday I was down 1.6 pounds, which wasn’t as much as I wanted, but still in the right direction, so I’ll take it.  That loss also put me over the 15 pounds lost mark again, so I’m thrilled to be there.  My weight loss is definitely not happening at the speed that I want it to, I want to lose 15 pounds this week!  But, I feel good about the progress I’m making, and my body is changing more than the scale is letting on….

So, for my goals last week here’s how I did:

  • Eat at least 5 servings of Fruits and Veggies every day DONE~
  • Walk at least 20 miles WALKED A TOTAL OF 26 MILES~  :)
  • Limit myself to one dessert type item per day DONE!
  • Lose at least 1 pound I’LL KNOW WHEN I WEIGH IN, BUT I THINK SO!
  • Journal everything before eating it DID OK, COULD IMPROVE
  • Journal moods as well STARTED DOING THIS, NEED TO DO MORE

Ok, my goals for this coming week:

  • Eat at least 3 servings of fruits every day
  • Eat at least 2 servings of veggies each day
  • Walk 25 miles
  • Limit myself to 4 dessert items over the week
  • Lose at least 1 pound
  • Journal before eating
  • Journal moods
  • Do 1 other exercise activity besides my walking

So, here’s my menu- our garage fridge died, so I’m going to have to cook some of the foods in my freezer to make room….  It’ll be a weird menu week….

Monday:  Snack Dinner (Eating up food from party and fridge)

Tuesday:  Tilapia, Zucchini Fries

Wednesday:  Garlic Chicken (Freezer food)

Thursday:  Ravioli, Salad

Friday:  Breakfast Burritos

Saturday:  Steak, Potatoes

Sunday:  Snack Dinner

Told ya, weird menu planning…  Winking smile

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Singing Saturday- Move

I love this song.  It's what it's all about.  Keep your eyes on God, keep on moving. 

Move- Mercy Me

I'm not about to give up

Because I heard you say

There's gonna be brighter days

There's gonna be brighter days

I wont stop, Ill keep my head up

No, I'm not here to stay

There's gonna be brighter days

There's gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but wont break

As long as I can see your face


When life wont play along

And right keeps going wrong

And I cant seem to find my way

I know where I am found

So I wont let it drag me down

Oh, I'll keep dancing anyway

I'm gonna move (move)

I'm gonna move (move)

I'm gonna move

Ive got to hold 'er steady

Keep my head in the cage

Everything is about to change

Everything is about to change

This hurt is getting heavy

But I'm not about to cave

Everything's about to change

There's gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but wont break

As long as I can see your face


No matter what may come

Gotta move to a different drum

No matter what life brings

Gotta move gotta move to a different beat [x2]

I just might bend but wont break

As long as I can see your face

[Chorus x2]

Friday, July 15, 2011

Family Time Friday- Marriage

Today is a very special day in my house.  It’s my anniversary with my husband.  We’ve been married for 15 years today! 

When I got married I, like every other woman thought I was going to live happily ever after.  Nobody tells you how much work marriage is!  My husband and I have been through some tough times.  Times we didn’t know we’d make it through.  Times we didn’t know if we wanted to make it through.  I’m sure just about any couple out there who’s been married for any period of time would say the same.  I’m a firm believer that we don’t talk enough about the tough stuff we make it through.  I mean the general rule in our society is, “If it isn’t working out, get a divorce”.  The promise of marriage isn’t for the good times in your marriage.  It’s for the tough times.  The storms. 

Some storms last a while.  Some are short.  Some linger in the background for years.  You know when it rains real hard, and the next day everything is SO GREEN?  That’s how it is in marriage too…  You make it through the storms and everything is SO GREEN afterwards.  You have to do the work to reap the benefits.

My husband is my best friend.  He is the ONE person who knows EVERYTHING about me and loves me anyway.  He’s seen me at my worst.  He’s believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.  When I see myself through his eyes I feel so loved.  When he’s at work I miss him.  When our lives are busy and we don’t see a lot of each other I feel like I’m missing part of myself.  It was not like this when we got married.  It has gotten this way through navigating the storms together.  We are reaping the rewards of our hard work right now. 

When I promised forever I didn’t know what it looked like.  I would have never planned our lives out how they have turned out.  I don’t know what I would have planned.  But I do know that 4 kids and 15 years later it’s better than I ever imagined. 

Thank you honey, for being my best friend, my husband, my safe place, and for giving me someone wonderful to raise our children with.  I can’t wait until they’re all raised and it’s just you and me Winking smile

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday- Part 7


The story begins Here- and continues Tuesdays and Thursdays....

Having a preemie and an active 10 month old was definitely an adjustment for us.  One thing about these babies is they are often drug exposed, or have any number of issues related to their past.  William tested clean for drugs when he was born, but shows many signs of a drug exposed baby.  One of those signs is he had some real issues with sleep.  Now, newborns are not known for their sleep…..  But he has some sensory issues that made sleep very difficult for him.  For the first 3 months that he was in our home he only slept if we were holding him a certain way and in a certain position, and that wasn’t even a given.  He had to have a certain kind of pajama on and a certain sheet on his bed, and he was (is) very sensitive to being laid back.  We were blurry eyed to say the least.  He’s my 4th baby and I’ve never experienced anything like this.  It was difficult.  We had several friends come in and help us get some sleep here and there.  And, Shea didn’t adjust well to having him here at first either.  She was used to being the center of attention, and it wasn’t like we had time to prepare her that he was coming…..

I found myself wondering if we had made the wrong choice by taking him.  We started attending court hearings and the biological parents were saying they were going to work their plan.  Fear began to really set in.

But God.  God told us to take him in, so we kept on keeping on.  And falling more and more in love with him.  Shea and William began to bond more and Shea got over her initial shock Winking smile of having a brother.  Now she was really getting in to the big sister role.  CPS kept telling us their plan was for him to stay with us, but biological parents kept showing up to court.    Every court hearing they’d give another 3 months for the parents to get it together.  It was, to say the least, incredibly frustrating and scary. 

Meanwhile, Shea’s case was ready for Adoption. ……

To be continued…..

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

GratiTuesday- Adoption Story Part 6

The story begins Here- and continues Tuesdays and Thursdays....

Here we are with a VERY active 10 month old baby girl, and CPS is asking us if we want her baby brother, who was born premature and is currently in NICU.  We had to really think about it, because Shea commands a great deal of attention herself.  I wasn't sure, honestly, if I could handle them both.  But, we prayed about it and really asked got to give us direction.  Our intent has ALWAYS been to be obedient above all else.  With in about 2 days we knew we had to take him too.  Already, we loved him because he was a part of Shea.  Time went by and we didn't hear anything from CPS.  We still didn't know for sure if we were going to get him.  So much is always up in the air with CPS.  It's truly a lesson in patience ;)  About 3 weeks after he was born I began to nest.  Weird, huh?  I cleaned my house from top to bottom.  Rearranged my bedroom, cleaned the baseboards, etc.  Put the pack and play in my room for him, "Just in Case".  I started seeing boy clothes everywhere, premie stuff.....  I was still not sure we were going to get him, and still not sure we could handle it, just leaving it totally up to God.
It was a Monday, about 5:30pm.  My sister in law called and we were talking and she asked if we'd heard anything, I told her no, and it was after 5 now, so I didn't expect to hear anything that day.  As we were talking the call waiting beeped.  I looked, and it was my agency.  I told my sister in law I better take it.  It was my case worker, and she asked me, "Are you ready for your world to change?"...  I said, "It depends, how is it going to change?"  (This is a very valid question when you deal with the system!)  She said, "Wanna get the baby brother tomorrow?"  I told her I had to work, but I could get to the hospital by about 3ish, if that was ok...  but wait, I don't have another car seat!  She said she would go buy us a car seat and go to the hospital early because he had to have a car seat test, which would take a couple of hours.  So, if she got there early he'd be ready to go when I got there.  Shen gave me the number to the nurse in charge and I called the nurse to get any information I would need for the next day, and gave her all of my information.
I went to Walmart and bought some outfits, diapers, more bottles, smaller bottles, premie pacifiers, another diaper bag etc...  I came home and packed up the diaper bag for the hospital, because I just had no idea what I would be leaving the hospital with.....  I remember taking the diapers out of the package and about passing out.  If you've ever seen a premie diaper you know what I'm talking about.  It was SO tiny!  I quickly became terrified!  Could we do this?  Oh well, too late now!!!!
The next day I went to work, with almost no sleep.  I told my boss I had to leave right on time and why.  They all prayed for us...  Word traveled fast through the school, and when classes were over one of my former students' parents came and asked me for the keys to my car.  I asked why as I was handing them to her and she told me she had bought me a double stroller!  She told me the minute she heard the news this morning God told her to buy it for me.  I was SO grateful.  Another parent of one of my students brought me a gift bag of items and told me her daughter was a premie and it was very scary, but not to worry, I wouldn't break him.  If I needed anything to just let her know.  Several other parents expressed their joy and prayers for us.  It was truly amazing.
I drove straight to the hospital and got there right about 3.  My case worker met me outside and paid the valet parking.  She walked me up and I signed in.  I remember being terrified as I walked into the NICU.  I had no idea what I was walking in to.  Everyone was smiling at me.  I remember seeing William for the first time.  He was so beautiful I just cried.  What an honor to have God entrust this beautiful child to us as well.


To be Continued.....