Friday, December 29, 2006

Fri Dec 29, 2006

I'm sooo behind on things.  Sorry about that.  Let me see if I can do a quick recap of events.

Christmas went well.  Kids loved the Santa presents & enjoyed the Jesus birthday party.  Went to the movies & liked the show.  Dog's growing & making me crazy (she keeps getting out of the fence!!).  Kids are spending their days watching TV, cleaning their rooms, playing outside & huddling around Savannah.  Her tonsils came out on Wednesday without any problems.  She's sleeping on the couch to be nearby in case she needs us.  She's really hating the fact that she has to eat ice cream & popsicles so often.  :)

All in all, things are going well.  I'm just too sleepy to keep the site updated lately.  Coco is up by 6:30am every day....even on school holidays when we could sleep later!  I've been hitting the hay by 10-10:30 every night, which is pretty early for me, but I guess I need it b/c I'm not having any trouble going to sleep!

Yawn....I think I'll go take a nap now.  :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve 2006

So much has happened the past few days!  Sorry I've gone a few days since the last entry.

On Friday, we picked up our sweet puppy, Coco.  (Email for pics if you want to see her!)  She really is a cutie!  The first night was a little difficult as she whimpered & whined in the kennel at the foot of our bed all night.  Larry & I are, well.... big wusses.  We ended up putting her in bed with us to get her to be quiet.  LOL!  Yes, seriously.  We couldn't stand listening to her whimper (not to mention that we couldn't sleep through it!)  We got smart last night, though and moved the kennel to the master bathroom.  Although we can still tell she's crying, the sound is muffled by the two doors in between us & her.  We actually slept last night!

Last night while tucking in the kids, Andrew looked me square in the eyes & said "I don't think I want to have Christmas."  (why not?)  "Because it reminds me of my mom.  Christmas is the last holiday I got to have with her."  I was astounded that this finally came out.  This is the first time he's initiated a conversation about his mom.  We talked about how cool it is that his mom gets to be at Jesus's side this year for Christmas--not just here on earth sitting around a big tree!  He was ok with how that conversation turned out, but I was just wow'd by him bringing it up!  Then this morning, we had another one of "those" times when Andrew lost it.  He got frustrated by something & as I walked into the room & spotted him taking a swing at Savannah with a book, I knew I had to get between them quickly.  It was time to leave for church anyway & he decided he wasn't going to go.  Um....yes you are, kiddo.  He drove all the way to church in tears with his fingers in his ears to block out everyone else.  In fact, at one point, he rolled his turtleneck up to cover his whole head.

Yesterday on the way to my family's Christmas get together, something about drugs came up.  Larry & I were giving a little mini "just say no" lesson & referred to the fact that some drugs are deadly.  Kourtney said "I want to take one of those drugs so I can go to Heaven with mommy."  She didn't elaborate & we didn't correct the drug end of that...we just let it go.

So clearly, both of them are feeling the sadness of Christmas without their mom.  It's hard to watch them suffer, but I guess it's inevitable that Christmas is hard after a loss--especially one so great!  Please keep praying for them.

Last Saturday we had Christmas with Larry's side of the family & then had my side of the family's get together yesterday.  They seem equally comfortable in both places and don't appear to feel out of place with my family.  I'm so glad they've meshed well with them!  My mom has made all of my (bio) kids a quilt at one point in time.  Earlier this year, Andrew commented on how he didn't have one, so she made him a special quilt for Christmas with pajamas!!  He was pretty stunned when he opened the bag.  (See the open-mouthed pic above)

Tonight we took a family picture.  I'm posting it along with last year's Christmas Eve picture to compare.  :)  I took 2 this time...and while Samuel's got a goofy look on his face, this is actually the better one.  His mouth was wide open in the 2nd one & Andrew had a funny look on his face.  Enjoy!

We opened gifts tonight so that tomorrow morning we can focus on Jesus's birthday party (we make a big deal out of making sure our focus is on Jesus first).  After the party, we'll go into the living room & see what Santa brings.  Later, we're going to go to the movies & see The Santa Clause 3.

Here's hoping that you all have a very happy, most merry Christmas celebration with your family!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fun afternoon Dec 19

This afternoon when we got home, the kids went into the backyard to play.  I followed them out w/ the camera a while later.  I love getting candid shots of the kids.  I got to watch 2 funny things occur while I was there.

First, we just got a "Dogloo" for the puppy that's coming home to live with us this weekend.  When I walked into the backyard, there was not 1, not 2...but THREE children inside the dogloo.  LOL!  The little goofballs were all checking out Coco's new home & kept commenting on "how big" it was inside.

After they came out of the doghouse, Andrew busily began a project.  I just rewind a bit-- when they moved in with us, we had a tree swing in addition to the swing set.  There was a cable/rope thing hanging from one of the bigger trees with a board on the end.  It wasn't much to look at, but all of the kids in the neighborhood loved it!  When we built the bathroom on this summer, we had to cut down the tree swing because it was right in the middle of where the bathroom would stick out from the back of the house.  We've all missed it since then.  This afternoon, Andrew was trying to recreate the swing. 

He had found a piece of rope & tied a pretty thick stick onto the end.  The stick was tied in the middle of its length.  He was planning to use that for the seat.  I watched him repeatedly try to toss the stick over the limb where our old swing had hung to no avail.  He couldn't throw it high enough or hard enough to get it over the limb.  I pointed out a different tree with equally thick, sturdy branches, but they are all lower down.  I figured that would help since he couldn't throw the stick far enough to get it over the branches.  About that time, Savannah decided to get involved.  In the 2nd tree, there is a fork about 3 feet up, so she climbed into the tree & perched herself across the forked area.  Their plan was for her to take the stick with the rope trailing behind up the tree, and then throw it over the branch from mid-way up the tree.  Over & over she tried only to miss & send Andrew chasing after the fallen stick.  They tried to use tree limbs (from the ground) to push the stick in the right direction,  tried all sorts of different kinds of throws, but nothing worked.  After 40 minutes of this, it was time to go in so I could cook dinner.  I announced that they could give it one last try before we had to go in.  They groaned, but in their enthusiasm to make this work, they got enginuitive.  Andrew spotted a long stick with a little "hook" on the end.  They took the "hook" & stuck it into the rope that is tied around the stick.  They figured they could hook the stick/rope & get it over the brand (via Savannah who was still 1/2 way up the tree).  They get pretty creative when they're getting into mischief, ya know?!  Finally, after 40 minutes of failure, it seemed they had the perfect plan in mind!  At the bottom of the tree, a crowd drew.  Savannah was in the tree, Andrew stood beside it.  The other three kids, a neighbor friend & me all stood, watching in surprise as the hooked stick/rope finally make it over the desired branch!  Hooray!  Victory!  (or was it?)  As we cheered, we heard a thud.  When we investigated further, we discovered that the stick....the one that was tied to the end of the rope....had fallen &  hit the ground.  Alas, the rope was over the branch in the tree, but our "seat" was on the ground.  We were all stunned at first, but then couldn't help but laughing ourselves silly!  After all that work, the very thing they were trying to get up there fell out, leaving the less useful parts behind--yet parked in the right place.

How often do we do the same thing?  We work so hard to get our "stuff" in order, only to miss the point entirely & we end up flopping around, stuck on a tree limb when what we really need is on the ground, totally out of reach.  Of course, had we not climbed the tree to begin with, we would've had easy access to the part we really needed to begin with.

I'm so glad that I know the One who is pushing my swing...the One who is stringing up my tree swing!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mon Dec 18

Thank you to those of you who emailed to give me a "hug" last night & today.  I appreciate the support & prayers.  I think I've been more bummed out the past few days because, well.... (editing since I know there are men reading this) I'm having some hormonal fluctuations that come 12x per year.  LOL!  I'm actually feeling a ton better today (although that may be mostly attributed to what God did in me last night--giving me a different perspective & focusing me on the comfort He's given).  Whatever happened, I'm glad it did.  I feel a lot less harried & frustrated & tired today.

This morning we saw the psychologist & counselor for Kourtney's ADD/ADHD screening.  The psychologist asked me a lot of questions privately & seemed very "business like" while doing so.  When he was done, he put the clipboard in his lap, smiled at me & said "Well, looks like we have another shining example of ADHD."  He then called Kourtney back & talked to her a bit himself and then turned her over to a counselor in the office for further testing.  When she brought her out to us when they were all done, she talked about how bright Kourtney is and how sweet a personality she has.  Larry & I kept waiting to hear a yes/no on the ADD issue, but she talked all around it.  Larry finally asked, "Do you think she has ADD?".  The counselor giggled, nodded & said "Oh yes!".

We're not totally devastated by the news or anything since we've kind of known this all along, but it's good to be able to say "ah ha!  That's what's been going on!".  The counselor said it would take a few days (or possibly a couple weeks since we're fast approaching the holidays) to get the "official" report written up.  Once that's done, they'll mail us & her pediatrician a copy and then we'll see him for treatment.  Since she already sees a therapist, we'll just work this into their talks I suppose.  Andrew has benefitted veryyyyyyyyyyy much from his meds, so if that is an option, we'll give it a try.

Oh, and speaking of Andrew & his meds...after the holidays, we're going to watch & see how he does before we make a decision.  He's sort of up in the air at the moment emotionally & spiritually, so we don't want to make a change now.....but prior to the holidays, we had noticed that his meds don't seem to be keeping up with him anymore.  The teachers at school last spring (& again this fall) have noticed, too.  Even though he's on a pretty hefty dose of Concerta, he is still extremelyyyyyyyyyyy distractable in the afternoons as it begins to wear off.  He's a wild, nasty wooley-booger in the mornings & in the afternoons, so it's like the medicine only works for a few hours before he comes crashing & burning down off of it.  The pediatrician agreed that he probably needs his medicine adjusted.  Since he's on the highest dose of Concerta available for kids, that means he likely needs a "cocktail" of 2 drugs to level him out.  The pediatrician says that he prefers kids see a psychiatrist to tackle issues like that because he's more comfortable only giving simple prescriptions.  Savannah sees a fabulous psychiatrist, we'll go to him if we decide to pursue adjusting his meds.

Christmas gets a little closer every day.  The kids are getting excited.  On Saturday, Andrew started a gift-wrapping train that was so sweet.  He went into his bedroom & found a book he wants to give Savannah (because he destroyed hers just like it).  He wrapped it by himself & labelled it for her.  A few minutes later, he was back with a toy that he said he got when he was little, so he figured that the little girls like it.  He wrapped that & then went and found a Matchbox cars storage box for Samuel & wrapped that.  All of that was completely spontaneous & all his idea.  Before I knew it, all 5 kids were getting books & toys out of their shelves/toy boxes to wrap for one another.  They really can be compassionate & generous when the mood strikes them.  :)  It was just so neat to watch them bring things in, one after another, to give to one of the others.  I think we finished off a whole roll of wrapping paper & a ton of tape, but that's alright!  We can get more!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sun Dec 17

As the months go by & reality of life sets in further, I realize that I need to take more time to relax & find little "retreats" for myself.  I feel like I stay so keyed up, just trying to stay on top of everything, that I'm internalizing stress more than I realized before.  Although I totally love my family, I do carry a lot of the responsibility for the kids.  Larry doesn't dessert me or anything, but let's just face it...moms usually have to tackle a little more than 50% of the parenting.  When I spend more than 50% of that time separating arguing kids or dealing with the big issues in their lives, I end up 100% exhausted.  I won't be surprised if my blood pressure is up at my annual check up Friday.  I guess that just comes with the territory, and I'll deal with it if this is indeed the case.  I know, however, that a lot of the stress is something I bring upon myself by allowing things to "get to me" instead of tackling small battles earlier.  Ya know?  Sometimes we (general we, not just referring to Larry & I) let things go because we're too exhausted to deal with it when it's a little issue....but by the time it blows up into a big giant battle, we *have to* deal with it & then we're so frustrated & angry that we overreact.'s a vicious cycle.  I know that if I can find little mini retreats, I can stay on top of feeling so tired & frustrated all the time.  Back in July, I had a mini meltdown & Larry rescued me by taking me out & away from it all for the night.  That was very nice!  We've been alone since then, but I guess it's time for an "official" break again.  I just haven't sought those little mini breaks out lately...and I'm feeling it.  During the early weeks & months of A&K's arrival in our home, I found myself relaxing in little ways---but ways that added up to big dividends.  If you go back & re-read about the nights that I'd go for a drive late at night & listen to the crickets chirp....the times I sat in the massage chair at Walgreen's....the times I drove around screaching out songs to worship many things that God provided were such a sort of comfort & strength for me.  I have been too busy to focus on "ah-ha" moments lately.  It comes with the holidays....busy-ness that is overwhelming to a point that we forget what's important.
I've been thinking about this the past few days.  In a letter from G on Saturday, he mentioned that he'd be up for parole (the first time) in April.  When I relayed this info to Larry, I teared up.  Although I know that he would love to be out of prison & the kids would love that, too, I get very emotional & heartachy when it comes to thinking about the possibility of the kids leaving our home.  I know that eventually that may be something we have to face, but it's such a heartbreaking thought when we're fighting tooth & nail to break down all the walls that the kids have, watching how painful the holidays are for Andrew, seeing them make progress in school, seeing them develop a sweetness they didn't have before ...only to consider them going right back into the lifestyle that contributed to building up all those walls.  Larry asked if I thought I might need to be on an antidepressant.  Honestly, that had never crossed my mind until he mentioned it.  I don't know what I think about that....but will be considering it until I see the doc on Friday.
Tonight at church, our pastor preached about "expecting a miracle".  He wasn't necessarily talking about the crazy TV evangelist type of "expecting a miracle".  Really, it wasn't at all what he said that affected me, but what the Holy Spirit did while I listened.  A message was spoken in tongues & the interpretation was about accepting the comfort that is here, ready to be taken.  The "comfort" referred to was GOD. 
I felt a sense of peace as I looked around at my children & recognized how much joy they bring me.  The couple behind me was giggling & I realized it was because of Samuel & Sarah.  They were playing tic-tac-toe on Samuel's arm!  They had run out of paper to draw on & got resourceful.  Samuel's sleeve was pulled up past his elbow & there was a row of tic tac toe games all up his arm!  LOL!  Then on the way home, I made an impromptu drive through a fancy neighborhood that has a bunch of Christmas lights.  The kids & I started singing as we drove.  I can't remember the title of the song, but it says "This is my commandment that you love one another, that your joy may be full."  Sarah blurted out that we were singing it wrong.  According to her, the words say "...that your joy may be four".  ha ha!
Tonight, while I lay in bed snuggling with Andrew, we talked about the Christmases in his past.  I asked what his mom did with him to celebrate Christmas.  He talked how she made a lot of cookies & they ate them.  (hmm....check!  I can do that!)  I asked about his dad & what he did for Christmas.  I had to chuckle when he said "dad watched the football game".  I can't wait to see how he reacts to Christmas here.  Our celebration might be different than what he's used to.
Tomorrow morning, we see the doc at the kids' counselor office.  We're having Kourtney screened for ADD.  We have seen soooooo many signs/symptoms of it & her teacher has mentioned it as well, so we want to get her checked out.  I'm anxious to see what the doc says.  I'll let ya know.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

P.S. (about Savannah)

Even though she didn't have strep today, that doesn't mean she won't get it again.  Since she does seem to get strep so frequently, the doc mentioned having her tonsils removed.  I called Samuel's ENT today & made an appointment for a consultation.  We go in next Friday at 3:00.

Something I wrote about Christmas

This is a couple of years old, but I wanted to share.  I love to write & this is one of the things I wrote around Christmastime a while back.  Enjoy!  (P.S.  It's ok to share this with someone, but please give me credit for it!)


The Announcement

By: Elizabeth Reeves 12/21/03

Eight pounds, one ounce. 19" long. 7:53pm. Born in the manger behind the Inn. Mary & Joseph joyfully welcome baby Jesus into their lives. Please join us in celebrating the newborn babe.

Being a mom, I have always wondered about those birth statistics of the Christ child. Was He an easy baby? Did He eat well? Did He sleep through the night from day one or was He up during the night til well into His toddler years? Just what would the birth announcement say if that had been customary in His day? I suspect it would’ve been a hard one to write. How exactly do you word a card proclaiming that GOD is in the cradle in the bedroom? Can you tell the Son of God that He has to "cry it out"? Is it even feasible to try & feed the Prince of Peace on a schedule? How did He react to His first tooth? Did He potty train early?

There are so many questions I’d love to ask Mary when I meet her someday! Surely raising the One who would bear the sins of the world on the cross was a challenge….or was it? With Christmastime arriving soon, I wonder how Joseph & Mary celebrated Jesus’s birthday each year? Did they put up a tree & drape it with lights & tinsel? Did they have a guy dress up in a red suit & bring him gifts every year? Did they shower Jesus with gifts at all? Did they eat turkey, ham, potatoes and pie? How does Jesus feel when He watches us do this? Whose birthday are we celebrating anyway?

Why do we feel the need to write a different birth announcement every year? What if the story in the gospels read something more like this: "Come & celebrate the birth of Jesus with 15 gifts per child. Watch preschoolders throw tantrums in the line at the mall while waiting to see a fat guy in a red suit. Endure lines with a dozen shoppers waiting impatiently, trampling mobs seeking the very last Hokey Pokey Elmo…… binge eat turkey, potatoes, ham, pumpkin pie & assemble ½ a dozen toys at 10:30pm on Christmas Eve so that Junior will be pleased on Christmas morning. Oh and by the way, put a little nativity scene in the corner of the living room if you have time."

Whose birthday is this? This year, let’s try & imagine the birth of the man who would shed His blood for us …….let’s feel the labor pains of a teenager giving birth in a barn surrounded by cattle & chickens……..let’s ponder the birth weight & length of our Savior…..let’s consider the weight of raising GOD and let’s celebrate in a way that honors Him. Make sure He is the guest of honor at your birthday celebration this year.

Savannah & Andrew updates

I took Savannah to the doc this morning.  Before we left, her fever was at 103.7!  But with some Advil in her system, she appeared perfectly fine for the doc.  They did a strep swab (which is what I reallyyyy believed it would be), but that came back negative.  They gave me a Rx for an antibiotic for her so that we can give it to her in a couple of days if she's still not feeling better.  They said that she either has (maybe?) a sinus infection or possibly just a virus.  Not sure what we're looking at really....  After we went to the doctor, we came home & took a 2 hour nap together.  It was a nice day alone w/ my baby girl, aside from the being sick part.  :)

Andrew's school Christmas program was tonight.  He was a penguin (along with about 1000 other kids).  We saw him 'waddle' in & get onto the stage at the beginning of the play, but after the first song, we couldn't find him.  We were all the way at the back of the cafeteria & there were a million people standing up so we had a hard time seeing the stage at all & couldn't spot the area he had been standing after the first couple of minutes.  We figured he was in the mix of a million other kids dressed as penguins & didn't worry about him.  After the play, I took the other kids to the van while Larry chased down Andrew in the crowd.  As he approached him, he told him that he'd done great (the show really was cute!).  Before Andrew could reply, his teacher did.  She pulled Larry aside & said that Andrew had gotten upset during the first song when someone else stood in his spot on the stage, so he left the stage & refused to go back.  He sat on the front row with her the rest of the program.  When Larry asked him what happened, he said that he was mad because someone took his place so he decided it was better to just quit the whole thing.  He's a very "black & white" kid.  If this is my spot, you can't stand there....ever....not even your big toe can be put in my spot.

Hmm....lessons in grace may be wise!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

a few updates

At our 3rd-6th grade level schools, they have a program called "Kids with Character".  Today Andrew received his first character award.  It was an award for compassion.  We're quite proud!  Andrew really is a big teddy bear to Sarah & Kourtney most of the time.  Little kids (especially little sisters) bring out a special softness in him that no one else gets.  I'm glad to see that's rolling over into school.  See the pic above of him with his award.

Did I already post the pics of the kids' programs at church Sunday night?  I can't remember & from the page where I add this entry to the journal, I can't go back & look.  If I haven't posted pictures, email me & I'll send them to you.

Remember last week when Savannah got sick?  I felt like it was all due to the sinus drainage that was bothering her at the time.  It appears like maybe that sinus drainage has evolved into something else now.  This morning, she woke up whiney but we convinced her to go onto school.  At lunch, I had to go get her because the nurse said she was "pale & felt warm".  At the time, I wasn't sure she was *really* sick b/c she seemed totally fine the rest of the afternoon, but I guess it comes & goes.  By the time we got home for the day, she was running 102.3 fever!  I'm going to take her to the doc in the morning to see if we can pinpoint for sure what it is that's making her sick.  It may just be a sinus infection or something like that.  We'll see.

We had our first parent teacher conference (ever!) with Kourtney's Kindergarten teacher on Monday.  We love Mrs. M!  She told us that Kourtney is completely within the normal range on everything academically.  She is concerned about her lack of an attention span, though.  Since this is something we've really had a hard time with at home & it's now getting in the way of her being able to do as well at school, we're having her evaluated for ADD next Monday.  I stronglyyyyyyy suspect that she does have ADD, but will wait to hear from the doc on that.

All of the kids' school Christmas parties are coming up next week.  They're all getting, too!  :)

I better run....Savannah's called a friend on my cell phone so I need to go rescue the phone from overheating.  :)


Monday, December 11, 2006

Saturday--Tap Shoes & Jesus

Tonight Larry had a party to go to so the kids & I were home alone.  Since it's been crazy busy I haven't been to the grocery store yet this week, which means fast food was to be our supper because we're out of everything at home.  I decided that we'd try again on the I announced that we'd go get some supper & drive around to look at Christmas lights while we ate.  Everyone cheered!  Hooray, maybe it would work better than Friday night's Christmas lights excursion.
My kids, being the minimalists they are, all showed up at the front door wearing flip flops, houseshoes or bare feet.  LOL!  Umm, no.  It's 40 degrees outside.  Try again.  On the second round, I got a couple pairs of tennis shoes, one set of church shoes & again, flip flops.  While four of the kids & I went to the car & waited while Sarah was sent back to her closet to try again.  Finally she came out the door.  I could see she was wearing some sort of shoes but from the van, couldn't tell what.  It was after she got into the car that I finally realized it was tap shoes!  LOL!  I couldn't contain my giggles as she made her way to the backseat for the ride.  We drove through Sonic before circling through Whitehouse to peer at the pretty lights.
As we pulled back into our neighborhood, Savannah sparked a conversation.  "What is everyone's favorite part of Christmas???"  She started by saying her favorite part is Jesus's birthday & the celebration we do on Christmas morning.  Samuel & Sarah agreed.  Andrew said he likes all the songs we sing & added that he likes to open presents.  Kourtney's favorite part is "SANTA!!!!!!!!!!"  (said about that loud & long).  I thought it was neat that at 3 of the kids named Jesus as being their favorite part of Christmas.  I hope we can pull off our annual Christmas morning birthday party this year like usual.  I'm getting excited!!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming up quickly.  At least 6 of us in the house are excited about that.  As the day draws closer, Andrew spends more & more of his time pissed off about everything.  (Sorry, mom, I couldn't think of a word that would give a better picture of what I'm trying to say.)  He's angry.  All the time.  He claims he doesn't care about anything, hates Christmas, doesn't care what he gets, doesn't want to enjoy anything we throw at him to get everyone excited about the upcoming holiday.  Tonight we went with all the kids from church to a drive-thru lights place.  On the way there, he was ok.  During the drive-thru, he was ok.  Afterward, though, the anger began.  After hitting/punching/kicking Savannah 3 or 4 times in the McDonald's parking lot, I had to stop the church van & climb into the backseat to separate them.  All he could focus on was his anger with Savannah (who had done nothing to irritate him...she was just the nearest target as best I could tell).  When we got home, we had a conversation that went something like this.
Me:  Andrew, why are you so mad lately?
Andrew:  I don't know.  Everyone is bugging me.
Me:  Are you upset that Christmas is coming & your mom and dad aren't here with you?
Andrew:  No, I don't care.
Me:  Really?  That doesn't bother you?
Andrew:  No.  I don't care about Christmas.  It's stupid.
Me: you wouldn't care if I took all your presents back to the store?
Andrew:  No.  I don't care.
Me:  Ya know what I think?
Andrew:  What?
Me:  I think that you are a little boy hiding inside a big, tough, strong man.  It's hard to face Christmas without your mom & dad, so you're being really tough & brave.  But...there's a little boy in here (pointed to his heart) who wants to come out & enjoy it.
Andrew:  No there's not.
Me:  There's not a little boy in here?
Andrew:  No.
Me:  Where did he go?
Andrew:  He disappeared a long time ago.
Me:  Who took him away?
Andrew:  My friends.
Me:  Who?  What did they do to him?
Andrew:  (in a whiney voice)  They said "you're stupid.  Santa's not real."  Why do people care about Santa?  He's not real anyway.
Me:  Santa may not be real, but he's a magical, fun thing that a lot of little kids believe in.  You may not believe in him, but you need to let the younger kids believe as long as they want to.
Andrew:  Why don't they just grow up & quit believing in him?
Me:  Because they're little.  They enjoy Santa coming, so you need to let them enjoy him without ruining it for them.  (He's made comments in front of the little ones several times about Santa not being real.)
  So are you looking forward to Christmas other than Santa?
Andrew:  No.
Me:  Because your little boy inside disappeared?
Andrew:  yeah.
Me:  So then you don't need any little kid toys huh?  I might as well go take all the presents back & just get you a briefcase & a suit.  Right?
Andrew:  I don't care.
I knew we weren't getting anywhere, so I just let it go from there.  He still ranted & raved, but I let it go.  All I could do was pray.  God, show me how to handle these moments of hurt & pain covered by this "I don't care" attitude.  Larry & I talked later & we believe this is all one big smoke screen for his pain.  I know he has to be hurting and the only way he knows to deal with it is to try & make Christmas miserable for everyone else by being a pain in the neck.  I pray that he sings in the program Sunday night & doesn't stand on stage pushing & shoving those in the risers around him.  He was clearly disinterested in singing when they were practicing Wed. night.  Please keep praying for him.
My prayer, since Wed night, has been more of a mantra, a chant, a motto...whatever you want to call it.  "Only You, Lord....only you."  I want Andrew (& all of my kids) to be filled with Only God.  I want them to see Only God in me.  I want their sights to be focused on ONLY GOD during this Christmas season.  I want them to look back & remember ONLY GOD in their lives.  So, everything has centered around "only you, Lord".  When my gut instinct is to scream or smack someone, I have to pray silently "only you, Lord".  When my frustration level is high enough to choke a horse, I have to remind myself to reflect "Only you, God".  A long time ago, I wrote the words "Less of me, More of You" in my prayer journal.  I recently found that when I was reading back through it. 
Oh Lord, that I could show only You....fill me with your presence daily, give me a fresh filling of the Spirit, wrap me in a warm embrace of your hands, cover my home with your protection, remove the evil & the darkness & the weight of burden from my house.  Hold me, Jesus & help me see the pain in Andrew's remarks, comments & hurled anger and insults.  Help me see when it's a discipline issue & when it's a moment that he just needs to be loved & nurtured.  I can't do this alone, God.  Be with me through every tantrum, every rage, every moment of sadness that is to come.  I can't do this, Lord, but ONLY YOU can.  And with you, I am strong.  With you, I can see the Light.  With you, I can get up again when I am broken.  Lord, empower me.  Show me the path, open my tongue to speak what you'd have me say.  Please fill my home with peace, give us the wisdom to deal with each tough situation as it comes.  God I know you're faithful & will honor this mama's cries.  I love you.  Thank you for loving me!
Casting Crowns' song "In Me" (chorus only)
When I'm weak, you make me strong.
When I'm blind, you shine the light on me.
'Cause I'll never get by, living on my own abilities.
How refreshing to know you don't need amazing to know that you want me.
So I'll stand on your truth & I'll fight with your strength
Until YOU bring the victory,
By the power of Christ in me!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Fleeting sanity....frustration

Maybe it's a hormonal shift in me.....maybe it's the cold weather & being stuck inside more than usual.......maybe it's because we're sooo busy right now & there is no spare time to just hang out & let loose.  Whatever the case, my frustration level was really through the roof all day.  The kids argued & fought non-stop.  If they weren't fighting, someone was crying or whining about something.  I actually got so fed up with a fight over a toy this afternoon that I pulled the car over & said "give me the damn toy".  Talk about a sudden hush in the car.  It totally shocked the older 2 kids who realized that was a bad word.  I can't even believe I said that!  I had no sooner said it than I felt terrible!!!!!!!  I don't usually lose my temper like that & say those kind of words---and certainly NOT to my children.  I was just mortified that I had let myself get so aggrivated.  :::sigh:::  I apologized to the kids tonight.

Tonight, Savannah has sinus drainage/headache/pressure in the worst way.  I think this is the first time she's ever had it.  She's been crying & holding her head a lot so I gave her an Advil Cold & Sinus capsule....right before she threw up.  Ugh....I guess the sinus drainage gunk made her sick at her tummy.  To be safe, she'll stay home with me tomorrow.  Poor baby!  I hate to see her sick.  Please pray for her to get well QUICKLY.  So far, she isn't running any fever, just seems to be really feeling icky due to sinus pressure/drainage.

I am so exhausted.  I know I'm going 24 hours a day usually & that certainly accounts for my tiredness, but having days like today sure push me over the edge.  It's only 9:30, but I suspect I'll be snoring before 11:00.  I'm whipped.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

rough day

    Today was very full & busy.  I spent the entire day running errands & taking care of things.  My dad had back surgery yesterday (same doc, same hospital that Larry used!).  I visited him this morning & saw that he was doing very well.  Pleased with his progress, I went on about my day.  (Note:  Things have changed---see the end of the post for an update on my dad.)  I felt very comfortable & content with my day's work, having been quite productive.  Then the afternoon hit.
    The boys both had homework.  Samuel still needs a lot of help doing his homework as much of it requires reading & while he can read simple things, he can't read super well yet.  Andrew also had homework---studying a social studies vocabulary list.  I got Samuel about 1/2 way done w/ his homework before everything hit the fan.  Andrew was frustrated with his homework, so I shifted my attention from Samuel to him.  I got Savannah to sit & read with Samuel while I worked with Andrew (thank God for big sisters who are good readers!). 
    On top of being frustrated by the work, he was having some serious sensory issues this afternoon.  Every little sound grated on his nerves & sent him into a tizzy.  Sarah walked into the room & said "mommy" & he flipped out, holding his head & yelling that she was too loud.  Every time someone in the next room bumped, banged, said something or made any noise, he'd scream again that it was too loud.  He did that several times until he finally got so fed up with the noises around him that he went to his bedroom to work.  The thing is, no one was being loud.  Really, because he was flipping out so much, they were all going out of their way to be silent so I'm a little curious as to why he was so 'on edge' about every little whisper. 
    Things quickly went from bad to worse with.  By the time a 1/2 hour had passed, he was screaming, throwing things, raging out of control, crying that he didn't care if he failed this paper & all of 3rd grade.  He was screaming that he doesn't care about 'anything'.  When I said "You do care, Andrew, you're just frustrated", he told me in no uncertain terms that he WANTS to fail, WANTS to get a zero, etc.  Of course, I knew all of that was just him blowing smoke, but trying to settle him down & get him calmed was horrible.  I told him that God had a special plan for him & there was no way I was going to allow Satan to confuse him & make him think that he doesn't care about anything!  As I spoke those words, he turned his face away from me.  I asked if he cares about me (he said yes), so I pointed out that he really DOES care about something...and that I know he cares about how he does in school.  I reminded him of all the things he's such a perfectionist at---art, building things, etc--- and showed him how that means that he cares about those things very much, so I knew that how he does & pleasing his teachers was important.  
    This all began at 4:00.  When doors got slammed, I calmly re-opened them & reminded him that slamming doors was not allowed if he'd like to keep his door.  When he was rude to me, I reminded him that I expect him to respect me & would not allow him to talk to me rudely, but mostly I just let him be & through the walls I could hear him crying til he'd scream at the top of his lungs & then he'd go back to just sobbing.  He finally calmed down around 5:00 & I offered my help again (during part of this time, I left the room & tried to allow him some space to just have a fit & get it all out alone--I told him I'd be happy to help him once he calmed down).  I went into the room & when I asked him a simple question about his pencil & immediately he lied to me.  I told him that I couldn't help him if I knew he was lying to me.  A few minutes later, he walked to the kitchen (where I went) & asked me, nicely, to come back & help him.  I went in & the whole thing started over again.  I explained very slowly & quietly what he needed to do & he quickly went into a rage again.  Savannah came to his doorway at one time & asked if everything was ok.  When he screamed at her in reply, I grounded him.  I reminded him that it was OK to get frustrated, even angry, but taking his frustration out on others (or things in the house) was not OK.  I haven't decided yet what he's grounded from.  I have to make him understand that his when his temper is out of control, he loses priveleges.  (Proverbs tells us that a man who can control is temper is stronger than the mighty....we're still working on that!)
    When it reached a point that I could leave the room & go call Larry, I did.  I needed to talk through this & vent a little & call in the back up.  :)  Larry assured me that I was handling it well & gave me some ideas to try.  Once I steeled myself for a little more, I went back.  It was time to leave for church by then, so I told Andrew that he & I would spend some time together at church (while everyone else went to class) and finish his homework there.  I was a little fearful of how he'd behave in the church (would he go into a big raging panic attack again?) but he handled it well and we did finish up at church.  By the time we reached the church, he was calm & happy go lucky & had no problem finishing quickly.
    While I was on the phone w/ Larry, I reminded him that the last time we had a REALLY awful day like this, it was the day that G got sentenced.  Although I know some people don't believe in spiritual warfare, I totally believe that's what it was that day.  So my first question was "what's going on with G today?".  Larry called the prison system to find out if G had been moved today.  (Since he was sentenced, we knew it was "any day now" that he'd go to a prison unit.)  While it wasn't today, he was indeed moved from the county jail to a TDC unit on Monday.  (He'll stay there 2 weeks for "processing" before they move him to wherever he will stay.)  I don't know if there was something significant happening today for G, but whatever the case, Andrew was under a very strong cloud of oppression today.
    When we got home tonight & the kids were in bed, I layed on my bed crying out to God for Andrew.  Please remove the evil, the darkness, the heaviness & weight on this child, Lord.  Please take away the condemnation, the sadness, the shame, the depth of the pain he's felt for so long.  Wrap your arms around him, Jesus.  Don't let anything bad into that circle of protection.  Encamp angels around him.  Cover him with the shelter of your presence.  Please remove all the negative 'stuff' & fill him with only YOU, only YOU, only YOU. 
    As I sat & repeated "ONLY YOU" for a while, I felt a strong sense of peace.  The peace might be permanent or maybe it was just for today...a peace that I did alright in God's eyes for the day & that the rest of the night will be ok.  Whatever the case may be, I feel alright now.
    Tonight as I prayed for my houseful of kids, I said, "Lord, are you SURE about this because I feel so ill-equipped to handle this load you've given me."  But ya know what?  He reminded me that He equips those He calls.  He gives strength to the weak.  He carries the burdens of those who are weighed down with a lot of "stuff".  He shed His blood so that I could carry a load & bring Him glory. 
    Earlier today, before any of this happened, I filled out one of those little silly email surveys that a friend sent.  One of the questions was "What is something you want to do before you die?".  All I could think of was leaving a Godly legacy for my children.  Sure I want to do a thousand other things, too, but really...that's the only one that matters.  I could travel, own a big house, get a fancy car with all the bells & whistles, but if I die with my children not knowing God because I didn't show Him to them, I really have failed in life.
    I am certainly not trying to toot my own horn because I surely fail at leaving a Godly legacy so often.  (& really, I was tempted to cuss a few times this afternoon or fly off the handle & smack Andrew...but I didn't.)  I just have to believe that God had me fill out that survey this morning to get my heart in the right place to handle what was to come this afternoon.  Isn't it funny how God does that?  I love His sense of timing.
    I know that God is in control & reaches into my life every day.  His handprints are all over the people I talk to, the things I see...His love surrounds me daily.  Thank you, Benae, for our talk tonight.  I love knowing that my crazy life somehow touches the hearts of others & encourages them.  Thank you for letting me know that you care & pray for us.  I just adore you!
    And Lisa W.....if you're reading this, please email me (  I'd like to bounce some questions off of you and I think it's still a couple weeks til we come in for our next visit.
Note about my dad:  Tonight he began to run a fever.  The doc has put him on an antibiotic & we hope that this will be enough to kill whatever infection is beginning.  Infection the day after back surgery is not a good thing!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Sweet moment today!

When I picked up the kids from school today, I went to Andrew's school right before I went to Savannah's.  He got in all bubbly & grinning.  I asked him what made him so excited & he said "I got something for Savannah!".  He held up a particular Junie B. Jones book she's been wanting to read.  Awww!  He had checked it out of his school library for her!

A few minutes later when I picked her up & he pulled out the book for her, she took off her seatbelt, climbed across Sarah & hugged him.  (We weren't out of the school driveway!)

It was just such a sweet moment & I am so proud of Andrew for getting that book for her!  He could've checked out something for himself, but he chose to get her something.  :)  What a sweetie!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The boys' cool new beds!

Check out the new beds!  The covers we threw on them are just temporary, but will do fine for now until we buy them a new matching set.  I love the beds!!!

To God be the Glory!

A couple of months ago, Larry & I decided that we hate bunk beds.  Not only have we always worried about the kids' safety on them, we hate having to climb up there (or send a kid up) to change the sheets on them, etc.  They're just a real pain.  BUT, when A&K moved in, it was the quickest solution we could find to get the kids all into a bed.  My parents gave us a set of bunks they had for the boys.  Those bunks proved to be squeeky & just really always made me paranoid because the boys are more apt to see if they can fly when they jump off.  (I say "when" because it's inevitable that a kid is going to try it sooner or later!)  Anyway, when we started thinking about this, we decided the PERFECT solution for the boys' room would be a set of Captain's Beds.  If you don't know what they are, look at these for an example:  This is a picture of a full-sized bed, but we were thinking of twin-sized.  Anyway, they'd be ideal because we could get rid of the chest of drawers & use the drawers under the bed instead.  When we started looking for them, however, we realized how pricey they are & that we can't afford them!  Of course, we should've known that when we say "We can't", God always seems to work out the "We can".  True to His character, a couple of weeks ago, a friend at work (who is moving to California) told me that she was selling all her furniture before the move....and wouldn't you know, she has a set of Captain's beds she wants to get rid of!?  When she told me the price, I told her to hang onto them for me b/c she was asking an AMAZING price for these 2 beds & I didn't want to miss out on them.  Larry & I went to look at the beds last week & told her that between now & Christmas (when she's moving), we'd come up w/ the money & come get them.  Well.......................

Last night at church, a friend handed me an envelope & said someone had asked that he give it to Larry.  I promised I'd pass it on & thought nothing more of it before I put it in my pocket.  Later last night, I remembered the envelope & gave it to Larry.  He opened it & found cash with a note saying simply "To God be the glory!".  We have no idea who it was from.

The funny thing is, the amount in the envelope exactly covered the cost of the beds we're getting the boys (tonight!) plus enough to pay our electric bill that is due this week.  We were going to be fine on paying the electric bill, but it's always nice to get a break from the high cost of electricity!  "To God be the glory" INDEED!  PTL for His provisions.  He truely does care for our every need, doesn't He?

If the giver of that envelope is reading this, please know that we appreciate your gift.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I'll make sure & post pictures of the beds when we get them here & set up!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's officially Christmastime!

The tree is up!  The lights are well...half-way up!  The tree skirt is under the tree & stockings are out & ready to be hung.'s Christmastime!  :)

Friday, November 24, 2006

And now for a serious entry!

There have been a couple of things come up in the past couple of weeks that I thought I'd share.
Tonight I read the first month's worth of my entries to this journal.  Wow, what a difference.  Tomorrow, 11/18/06, makes 9 months since A&K moved in.  Their hearts & ours have changed so drastically.  It's amazing to see how quickly stability & order & boundaries can make a difference in a child's life.  We still have miles to go, but things have changed so much.  It's interesting to see how much of that old stuff still comes out from time to time, though.
A couple of weeks back, I was on the way to the grocery store.  Andrew kept calling me back into his bedroom (I go after the kids are in bed for the night).  I was getting frustrated b/c I really needed to go buy the groceries & he wouldn't let me go.  He finally admitted that he was afraid something would happen to me while I was gone.  He wanted to get up & go with me to make sure I was safe.  Had the next day not been a school day, I would've let him, but it wasn't a good time.  I assured him I would be careful & he finally let me leave.  I gave him a "kissing hand" before I left though---filling his palm with kisses & having him close his hand on them so they wouldn't "slip out".  I told him if he needed more kisses while I was gone, he could get a kiss from his hand.  That seemed to satisfy him.  :)
Tonight I had to run to the store again.  After getting everyone tucked in & heading for the doorway, he called me into his room.  When I reached the doorway, I heard him sniffling & he said "Will you drive safely?"  (Yes, I will.)  "What if you crash?"  (I'll be ok, honey.  I've been to Brookshire's a thousand times, so I know the way well.  I'll make sure & drive the safest way I know, ok?)  "But what if something happens to you?"  (Then God will take care of me.)  "But what if He doesn't save you?"  (Then I will go to Heaven.)  "But I don't want you to go to Heaven."  (Then you should pray for God to protect me while I drive.  Can you do that?)  "Yes...I'll do that.  I love you!  Be careful!"
Boy do I feel like a heel leaving the house after those conversations.
Another sweet one with Andrew---
A couple weeks ago when I got strep throat, I went in to tell the kids goodnight, but reminded them that I couldn't kiss them b/c I was sick.  Andrew really lives for our bedtime snuggles, so that disappointed him.  I told him he could give me a short, quick hug but that I'd have to sort of turn sideways & let him hug me (so I wouldn't be breathing on him).  As I started to stand up from his bed to leave, he grabbed onto me & said "Wait!  I'm going to pray for you to get better."  I sat back down & he put his hands on top of mine, closed his eyes & prayed silently for a minute.  When he was done, he turned me loose & said "Ok, it's done."  I thought it was sweet that he'd even offer to pray for me, but really cute that he wanted to put his hands on me while he was doing it.

I could never be a criminal! :)

On Wednesday, we were busy & forgot to put our trashcans out for pick-up.  That wasn't too big of a deal on Wednesday, but now that it's Friday night and our trashcans are all full, it is a bigger issue.  We fill roughly 1 trashbag per day so we've got a bit of a problem on our hands since trash day is still several days from now.  Knowing that we can't stack the bags on top of the trashcans (b/c the neighborhood cats would get into them), tonight we realized that we would have to "do something".
Coming from his criminal justice background, Larry handed me the bag tonight & said "Take it somewhere & get rid of it."  Now, I realize that I was just hearing things, but in my head, I heard something akin to "take the body & get rid of it".  I was on my way out to the store to get some milk when he handed me 'the bag'.  I reminded him that most businesses frown upon people putting trash into their dumpsters--and I felt sure it was illegal or something, but he told me that my 1 bag of trash wouldn't be a big deal & to just go do it.  Somehow, I just knew that the cops would be watching me 'make the drop' tonight, and so I set off on my covert criminal mission feeling paranoid & nervous.
I felt so sneaky tossing the bag of trash into the back of the van to make the trek to a dumpster under the cover of darkness.  I couldn't think of any business in town who wouldn't have lots of lights & cameras watching me, so I knew I'd have to find something dark & be quick about it.
My first stop was the local Baptist church less than a mile from the house.  From the road, I could see their dumpster sitting at the back of their parking lot, wide open.  Hooray!  That wasn't so hard!  So I pull into the driveway & approach the dumpster.  As I get closer I realize there is a big rig parked next to it w/ the engine running.  No doubt some scary driver was spending his night on the church parking lot.  I was far too paranoid to get out of the van alone in the dark & walk right up beside the big truck (after all, the driver would either A-jump out & grab me to kill me or B-call the cops & report some weird lady throwing her trash in the dumpster, right?) so I drive away in search of a new site for the scene of my crime.
My next stop is the library, but I realized after I got there that they don't have a dumpster!  Ugh.  The YMCA is right behind the library & it hit me that it was past closing time for them, so that ought to be perfect!  I made the short drive to the YMCA & spot the dumpster.  Ah-ha!  That's where I'll toss the trash, I think to myself.  Just as I pull up along side it, an employee pulls into the parking lot.  Unsure of whose headlights I'm seeing at first, I quickly turn around to leave (because after all, the trucker at the church may've called the cops on me, ya know?).
So I move on down the road, wracking my brain on where I can dump the trash.  There's a set of apartments in town with a big Christmas lights display!  I could go there & "pretend" to be looking at the lights & no one would ever know if I lived there or not.  (Ack...see how quickly the criminal mindset rubs off on me--I'm justifying my crime & coming up with alibi's already!!??)  I headed that direction & then realized that I'd be passing another church on the way!  When I reached the church, I pulled into their parking lot & spotted the scene of my drop.  All I had to do is make it past the church van (there's bound to be dumpster security guards hiding in there, after all!).  Those last 20 feet or so, I thought I had made it free & clear.  And then it happened..........the sign was there.
In bold letters, right there on the dumpster's front it says "For church use only".  Now if I use this one, I have to feel like a criminal & a sinner!  What to do...what to do...
And so, as I threw my bag of trash into the dumpster, I told Jesus I was sorry for my unlawful behavior.  I ran back to the van & drove away to get my milk at Brookshire's feeling so guilty.
When I told Larry all this when I got home, he kept laughing & holding his sides.  I guess he found it all funny.  LOL.........hope you did, too.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Day

Last night when the kids went to bed, Andrew said that his TMJ joint-area was sore.  I thought he might have a molar coming in, so I felt around on his gums--nothing.  I wasn't sure what it was, but decided to let him sleep & see how it was this morning.  Unfortunately, it did not get better during the night.  I woke up to his screams of pain as he had rolled over onto that side of his face & realized that it HURT.  He came running, holding that side of his face.  When he moved his hand & I saw the golf-ball sized knot sticking out, I knew our Thanksgiving morning would be an exciting one.  :)  He could barely open his mouth at all & couldn't turn his head from side to side because of the swelling.  I gave him 1 Ibuprofen (for the swelling & pain) & his ADHD med and headed to the after-hours urgent care place.  By the time we got there, the swelling was a lot better & the pain was reduced.  Turns out, it was just a HUGELY swollen lymph node & he has tonsilitis!  Whew!  He's taken 2 doses of penicillin now & seems to be doing fine now.  Thank goodness it wasn't anything worse.

We went to Larry's family's get together today & enjoyed time with them.  We had our big lunch of all the traditional stuff & then (true to East Texas!), most of the crowd went out to shoot guns at targets.  It looked like the Redneck Family Holiday card, I swear!  LOL!

When we left, we stopped at the rest stop at Love's Lookout in Jacksonville, TX.  You can see about 30 miles in one direction, so it is a really neat view.  Now, if you don't know where we live, it's NE Texas, so you'll get a kick out of this.  As all the kids peered off the ledge, they pointed out houses, colorful trees, power lines (that we were up above!), etc.  Kourtney was the most "visionary" of the bunch I guess.  She pointed to the North & said, while jumping up & down, "I can see the ocean!!!!!!!".  LOL!  Larry & I cracked up.  You can see a long way from this lookout, but not quite THAT far.  ha ha!

Tomorrow we will make the trip to my sister's house for my family's Thanksgiving get together!  Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm in love!

I don't know if you will remember (but I sure do!!!), but several months ago I posted about a massage chair at Walgreen's that I loved sitting in one night as a little 'retreat' when things were stressful at home.  Ever since, I've gone in & enjoyed that chair every time I had to get something at Walgreen's.  I'm sure the folks at the pharmacy were reaching a point of saying "Oh, don't's just the massage chair lady again."

Larry bought me one today for my Christmas gift!  I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!  In fact, my upper back is being massaged right now!  aaaahhhhh!  Check it out here:  HoMedics: **Therapist Select™ Shiatsu Massaging Cushion

Monday, November 20, 2006

latest updates--Mon Nov 20, 2006

Forgive me if some of this is repeat info.  I can't really remember if I've already covered all of this, and I am seriously just too busy/tired to go back & re-read everything to find out.  :)  How lazy am I??
As I posted last week, our Aunt Sandy died on Nov. 9th (my birthday--bummer!).  We made the trip down to the Houston area for her funeral & time with the family.  Larry did the service.  Although the trip was pretty hard on him physically & he is having to work to get back to where he was recovery-wise now, we wouldn't have missed it for the world.  The service was beautiful & was such a neat way to remember Sandy.  Her husband & kids are handling things pretty well, but her mother (Larry's grandmother) is still having a rough time.  Obviously I can understand WHY, but it's hard to watch such a sweet woman struggle after burying her only daughter.  Please join us in prayer for Sandy's entire family as the healing process continues.
I don't think I ever posted pictures of the kids from Halloween night, so those are here (above).  Savannah was a Barbie Pumpkin Fairy (not sure what that is, but she thought it was pretty, so we went with it!).  Andrew was The Thing from the Fantastic 4 movie.  Samuel was the Hulk.  Kourtney was a fairy princess.  Sarah was Strawberry Shortcake.  We had a great night at the church carnival despite the fact that it got really COLD while we were out.
Right before Larry's surgery (late Oct), A&K's dad was finally sentenced.  This has been a long time coming.  We are glad to see that it's over & done with now.  He received a sentence of 10 years.  He will be up for parole at the 2 1/2 year mark.  Since he's already served nearly a year, that means approx 18-20 months from now he'll be offered parole.  Larry said that most inmates are not granted parole on the first shot, so I don't know how that will turn out.  He said that they are reviewed for parole again about every year to 18 months after the first shot, so if he doesn't make it the first time, he will have more chances later on.
Larry & I have mixed feelings about the sentence, but overall are just glad that it's done.  The great anguish (for me anyway) comes with considering what it will be like to {possibly} lose the kids after having them in my home for so long (by then).  They are already such a big part of my heart, I can't imagine handing them back.  I'm 100% certain that G will want to take them back when he gets out.  I'm not sure that he is really capable of caring for them, though.  I know he loves them & really does want them to have a good life, but I strongly believe he will want to get them back when he gets out.  I really can't let myself "go there" emotionally, though, as the feelings run way too deep on that issue.  G will have to spend about a year (at least) finding a job, getting a house, hiring a lawyer to file all the proper paperwork to get custody, etc before it's even something we have to think about, so I know it's wayyyyyy down the road, but it's still sad just the same.  I keep having to remember the Natalie Grant song "Live for Today" because that's truely what we have to do at this point.  If I think too much about the future, it's overwhelming & I just can't let myself do that.  So for now, I'll focus on what I can do here & now and trust God to cover all the rest.  (The lyrics to that song are below.)
I wrote to G this past week & suggested that he consider (when the time comes) paroling to our little town instead of to the one where he's lived most of his life & where he is currently in jail.  Moving around, re-acquainting themselves with their dad, starting a new school......that would all be a lot for a kid to handle all at one time.  I sure hope it's something that he at least considers when the time comes.
It's fun to see the kids' relationships continuing to grow.  While they're all still siblings (so to speak) & they still argue & bicker like cats & dogs, the truth is, they really do love each other.  I've had the best time watching the kids all work together to help Larry in his recovery since surgery.  Every time we go somewhere, they all fight over who gets to get Larry's walker out of the back of the van for him....and who gets to take him his glass of tea when he's watching TV......and who gets to carry his cane to him.  Tonight we were playing a Memory game & Sarah kept having bad luck at finding matches.  She started crying.  Andrew quickly grabbed up all of his matches & offered them to her to make her feel better.  A couple of weeks ago, Andrew was upset about something & Savannah went over to sit by him & pat him on the back & offer her condolences for whatever it was he was upset about.  I watched that little conversation which ended with her running to her room to get a 'gift' for Andrew (some empty soda cans she'd saved him from school----because she knows that he likes to shoot at cans when we visit Pappaw Jim's house).  It's fun to see them pull together & love each other so sweetly.  I know that most social workers say 2 years is the time frame for everyone feeling like a family, and I tend to agree.  We're coming up on 1 year and things are going very well relationship-wise these days.  Boy we've come a LONG way from the first few months when I thought I'd have to strangle Savannah & Andrew.  :)
Please join us in praying for 2 little struggles we continue to have.  Andrew tends to lie about things on a regular basis.  Right about the time we think that he's doing better & telling the truth about things, he sneaks one in on us that makes us lose our trust in him all over again.  It's not about 'big things'.  He lies about little dumb things.....whether or not he's wearing socks, whether or not he put the trash bag into the trash can, whether or not he brushed his teeth.  Of course, I realize that most kids will sometimes stretch the truth to keep from getting in trouble, it happens so often & so much here that we really can't trust him at all.  We're working on this & Andrew's counselor gave us some ideas today to deal with this.  We're going to give it a shot & see if it works.  Since nothing we've done seems to have made a dent in the problem yet, we're willing to give it a shot!
The other issue is Kourtney's lazy-ness.  Part of me believes that she's just lazy...and I know to some degree, she is.  But a big part of me knows that it's an attention issue.  Andrew has ADHD & takes med's for it that reallyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy help him.  I really don't think that Kourtney struggles w/ the hyperactive part of it, but she most definately has some ADD-type of issues.  Have you seen the movie "Finding Nemo"?  Remember the little blue fish with short term memory loss (Dory)?  THAT is Kourtney to a "T".  You tell her to go into her room & put her shoes in the closet...she picks up the shoes & makes it 1/2 way across the room before she gets distracted, drops the shoes & goesoff into la-la land.  I hate to have to stay on her all the time, but without constant reminders & redirection of her attention, she just can't stay focused on anything.  She constantly bounces from one project/toy/game/TV show/interest to another.  She is totally impulsive & never considers the outcome of anything before doing it.  She fits all the "symptoms" so much!  We talked to the counselor's office today about having her tested & they agreed that they have someone there in the office who can do it.  I am anxious to see what they think!
:::yawn::::  It's getting late.  I have to work tomorrow.  The kids are all going to day care for the day since they're out of school this week & I'm not.  They will have a ball---they get to go bowling & eat pizza!  By the time I get off work, they'll be back from the bowling alley & done for the day.  The timing will work out perfectly!  They're all excited about it.  I'm anxious to see how it goes.
I know I'm missing something......and after jumping around from one topic to another this entire post, I hope you're not dizzy & seasick.  Enjoy the song lyrics before.  This is one of my favorite Natalie Grant songs.
Live For Today Lyrics
Sittin' in my room staring at the wall
Wonderin' about the meaning of it all
Why is it this thing called life
Has got me goin' crazy?
So I open up your Word and let it speak to me
The purpose and the plan that you've designed
Is clear to see, and I believe

I'm gonna live for today.
I'm gonna follow in your way.
I'm gonna let my little light shine
Like there's no tomorrow.
I won't worry about the past.
I know my future is intact.
So I'll choose to live my life one way-
I'm gonna live it for today.

You told me not to worry
About what lies ahead,
So I am gonna focus on today instead.
Making every moment count and counting
Every single blessing.
I'm gonna set my mind on the
Here and the Now
This is what I want my life to be about
And this is How...

Repeat Chorus

Sunday, November 12, 2006

addendum to the last entry

Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now, God You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth


Sun Nov 12

My mind is full.  We will send the kids to school in the morning, then come back home & get the van packed then go get the kids from school before taking off & heading to The Woodlands for Sandy's funeral.  Larry will be my copilot, my navigator, so I think I can do it with him by my side coaching me.  That part I've driven once before---with white knuckles & clenched fists---but I've done it & I suppose I can do it again.

Now....Tuesday is when it gets scary.  I will have to drive down into & through Houston.  That part has me worried.  I hate long RIDES....really hate to be the driver....and into a huge Metropolitan city, that part REALLYYYYYYYYY scares the crap out of me.  So, if you have time & think about it, please cover me in prayers Tuesday.  I sure wish I could do this all under different circumstances.  I wish Sandy wasn't gone...I wish Larry was driving...I wish, I wish, I wish....

Isn't that how life always goes?  We wish we weren't overweight, we wish we had a bigger house, we wish we drove a different car...and the list goes on & on & on.  But what we have is the here & now.  What we have is what God has given us & the place He has put us.  What we need to focus on and work through is what is here.  If we wish away today & worry about tomorrow, we are never able to just focus on what God has given us right now.  And so, because Scripture tells us to praise Him even in the hard times, I will choose to worship throughout this trip.  I choose to thank God all along the way for the tight spots in traffic, the construction (isn't it inevitable?) on the freeway, the fights going on in my backseat, the husband who is gorked out on pain medicine beside me in the reclined passenger seat.....

If I focus my mind on Jesus, how can any of the driving/travel part go wrong?  :)

Goodbye, Sandy........

I have hesitated to post this the past couple of days because I was afraid that Savannah might read it.  Now that she knows about this, I can say something.
On Thursday night, our sweet Aunt Sandy died.  Gone from this earth is one of the best elementary educators, one of the most involved parents, one of the most compassionate women you will ever meet.  Into the hands of Jesus she has gone.  She's finally healed of the cancer that riddled her body for the past year + several months.  Although she will be greatly grieved, I am thrilled to know where she will spend all eternity, and happiness fills my soul to realize that I will one day hug her again.
Savannah was very close to Sandy and has handled her illness very hard---especially in these last few weeks when it has gotten really bad.  Sandy went home on Hospice Care Wednesday.  When we explained this to the kids, Savannah had a panic attack & was hyperventilating.  It took her almost 2 hours to fully calm down & relax.  Poor baby!  She handled the news (of Sandy's death) alright, though.  She got quiet & it was a very solemn moment, but in the end, she says that "it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be".  I guess we talked it up ahead of time so much that she was ok with the news of Sandy's suffering coming to an end.
We love you Sandy.....may you enjoy your days at the feet of our Saviour until we can see you again!
This song has been running through my head all week.  Somehow, it seems fitting now.  It's called "Complete" & it's sung on Parachute Band.  I don't know who they are, as we sang it in church, but I love the message.

Here I am oh God. I bring this sacrifice. My open heart. I offer up my life. I look to you Lord. Your love that never ends. Restores me again.

So I lift my eyes to you Lord. In your strength will I break through Lord. Touch me now.

Let your love fall down on me. I know your love dispels all my fears. Through the storm, I will hold on Lord. And by faith I will walk on Lord. Then I'll see beyond my Calvary one day. And I will be complete in You.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Nov 7, 2006

This past week or so has been a little...interesting.  First, we thought Larry might have a blood clot in his leg because of some weird symptoms.  As it turns out, it's probably just a weird nerve reaction after being pinched so long.  The poor guy is taking a huge bottle of horse pills now to fix that.

Kourtney ended up with strep throat last week.

Last night, I started feeling a little weird myself & progressively got worse til tonight.  My dad took me to the urgent care place & I found out I have strep throat, too.  The 100+ degree fever was what was killing me.  Man, fever wipes me out!!!!!!

Andrew's walls are continuing to fall down.  He's been crying almost nightly about something or other at bedtime.  He says he's scared of the dark & doesn't want to be left alone in the bed.  I've been laying with him til he fell asleep some nights & other nights I've *had to* get up & let him cry it out.  One night I had to make a late trip to the store & he knew it and he was terrified that something would happen to me while I was gone.  (like his mom)  We're working through this & trying to coddle him a little until this phase passes.  Here's hoping he doesn't get strep throat, too.  :(

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Saturday Nov 4, 2006

Today was Kourtney's 6th birthday party.  We had it at Dairy Queen with friends, family & ice cream cake!  YUM!  Here are some pics.  Our pretty blue eyed birthday girl got a big rolling suitcase from Grandma, a new Barbie and a book from the book fair from her friends.

After the party, we went to the Elementary School for the book fair.  We let the kids (who attend that school) get 2 books each.  Kourtney got a diary as one of her choices.  When we got home, she started telling her neighbor friend "I got a diarrhea!".  They looked at her funny until I corrected her & explained what she meant.  LOL!!!!

More later.....

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Thurs Nov 2

A couple of significant things happened today.  Let me see if I can describe the day:
First of all, yesterday Larry mentioned several times feeling like he had a sock on his right foot (when he was not wearing a sock).  He told me later that it was tingly-feeling, like it feels when your foot is falling to sleep.  We didn't think too much of it, but when I was helping him get ready for bed, I noticed that the weird-feeling foot was HOT (like a fever hot!) & the other foot was ice cold.  Very weird.  We called the doc to see if that was alright.  He questioned circulatory problems & said something about Sympathetic Nerve Pain.  He scheduled Larry to come in today for an ultrasound of his leg to confirm there was no clot.  That was a scary time before we knew for sure if he had a clot or not.  Turns out he does not (thank you, Lord!).  He was really worried about a possible life-threatening side effect to the surgery and the fact that he'd regress if he got stuck in a hospital bed for another several days while they treated a clot.  Thank goodness we don't have to worry about that!
Second, G wrote a letter to the kids that they received today.  Last Saturday while Larry was in the hospital, Andrew & Kourtney spent the weekend with their grandparents (Larry's parents).  They took them to see G and we asked that he tell them about the sentence he received last week.  When they came home, they were both hopeful of their dad's quick release.  His letter today was a little more realistic & while it was a blow to Andrew (especially), I'm glad that he's put a more realistic spin on things for the kids.  He told them that he got a 10 year sentence and that he'd have to serve 2 1/2 to 7 years of that locked up and the rest of the 10 years, he'd have to 'serve' on parole.  I hated for them to come home this weekend all hyped up to the idea that he'd be out in 2 years, when we all realize that even if he does get out that quickly, it'll take him another year or so to reach a place where they could MAYBEEEEEEEEEEEEEE go back to live with him.  Anyway, it was just quite significant to me for them to hear something that was a little more realistic (in my opinion).
Tomorrow is Kourtney's birthday!  She'll be six!  We've got the scooter wrapped, cake on the kitchen table with a little balloon & candles ready to go!  I can't wait to see her giddy little self in the morning.  :)

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Tues/Wed Oct 31 & Nov 1

I didn't realize that I didn't update yesterday, so let me see if I can fill you in on the past 2 days:

Tues Oct 31--- This is what I wrote to a friend:    "...At the moment, he's really stiff so getting up or down is veryyyyyy hard, but once he's up or down, he's ok.  We got out & walked down our street a little ways a couple times today.  He has to use a walker & goes reallllyyyy slow, but he's moving.  Last night was hard.  He woke up every couple of hours w/ a spasm.  He can't turn over by himself or do much of anything alone (read: go potty, take a shower, get dressed....anything), so I really can't leave him alone for very long at all.  I'm going to take the kids to the Halloween carnival tonight but plan to only stay gone a very short time."

Oct 31 PM--- Took the kids to the Halloween carnival @ the church where I grew up & where I work.  They had a ball & got a TON of candy.  We were all cold, though, as the temp dropped 10-15 degrees tonight & the wind began to blow.  Brrrrr!  It's kind of neat to have a cold Halloween!  (Don't worry, I won't get used to it, next week, it'll be A/C & sweat weather again probably!)

Nov. 1--- Today was a little wacky.  The nighttime muscle spasms continue for Larry.  Last night was pretty rough.  He did OK from about 11:45 (when he went to bed) til 2am.  From 2am til after 6am, he woke up about once per hour having a violent muscle spasm.  When that happens, he screams & makes this suddent jerking movement all over, which means an elbow/knee/foot is bound to hit me & the screaming wakes me up.  Not that I'm complaining...but it's hard.  We're not sleeping much at night, but trying to make up for it by napping during the day when I can get him comfortably settled into the recliner & I can stretch out on the couch.

Larry did make some progress during the day, though.  At 1:00, the school called to tell me that Kourtney was in the nurse's office with 102.4 fever!  I told them it might take me a little while to get Larry settled in, but that I would come get her.  At about 1:35 or 1:40, I finally reached the school (it's 2 miles away).  I called the pediatrician before I left the house & said "Please have mercy on me & help!  Three out of my five kids have had strep throat in the past 2 weeks.  The school just called me about #4.  She's in the office w/ fever & a headache/sore throat.  Chances are, she's got strep too.  My husband just came home from the hospital after having back surgery & I can't leave him alone at home for most than just a short time.  Can you call something in for me???".  The nurse seemed stunned by all the information, but said she'd check w/ the doc & call me back.  A few minutes later, she called back & confirmed that she'd call something in.  At 5:45 when I called the pharmacy, they still had not received a Rx from the doc, so I had to call the nurse line back to get that done.  Kourtney & I picked up her med tonight while the other kids were at church.

Back to Larry---when the school called, he was determined to go with me to get Kourtney, so I got him dressed & loaded him into the van too.  We picked up Kourtney & then realized that we were both hungry!  We'd never eaten lunch.  We went to Sonic & got lunch (& a chocolate shake for Kourtney!).  By that time, it didn't make sense to go home & unload everything (including Larry) when I'd be leaving again soon, so we just went for a drive.  We drove out to the lake...or rather, the big hole where the lake should be....and looked at the low water level.  We went to pick up the kids then & came home to a friend from church arriving w/ supper.  (Thank you Cary!)

Although I know it's not a huge step it was a big deal for us--- later tonight, Larry was able to stay home alone long enough for me to take the kids to church (I was gone for about 2 hours).  He couldn't get up or move while I was gone, but I got him settled in before I left & put his cell phone nearby just in case.  I took Kourtney with me to get a couple of things at Walmart & pick up her medicine before we went back for the others.

Tomorrow we will hvae a "helper" home from school w/ us, so please pray that the night goes more smoothly & we aren't both so exhausted (& in need of naps!) tomorrow so we can enjoy having Kourtney home.

Thanks for your continued prayers & support.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mon Oct 30

Larry is home!  Last night & today, he suffered through some HORRIFIC muscle spasms.  They toyed with several different muscle relaxers today before finding the right one.  He finally got released to come home about 7:00 tonight.  PTL, that part is over & we're on home field now!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sun Oct 29--Larry update

Just a quick update before I go get the kids ready for bed---

Larry has had a rough day.  He's pretty stiff & sore.  I'm not sure if it's because he over-did it yesterday or if it's because he had a bad night last night or what.  He didn't sleep a lot last night because he kept getting uncomfortable & without anyone there to help, he was stuck trying to get situated in the bed by himself.  He said there were a couple of times when he called for the nurse but it took them 20 minutes to get there & by the time they arrived, he was so exhausted from trying to get settled that he was hurting more than he was when he called.  I'm not sure if it was REALLY 20 minutes or if it just felt like 20 minutes to him.  Whatever the case, he had a bad night.  Tonight I really felt AWFUL leaving him alone again because I sooo wanted to stay with him, but I know that there are nurses there & they are capable of taking care of him.  While I was there today, he got up & went for a walk twice and I took him for a "roll" in the wheelchair outside.  He's struggling to get comfortable & stay that way today, so I hope that he rests well tonight & tomorrow is better.  He is ready to come home & be uncomfortable here....and I'm ready for him to be here.  They took out his drain, IV and pain pump today, so he's really on his own now.  I will get the kids to school in the morning & then head back up there for the day, and hopefully will bring him home.

The kids are all home now.  Everyone is playing & giggling & enjoying each other, but I've already broken up a couple of arguments...and it's only been a couple hours.  Whew....back to the grind.

One biggie----Andrew called me "mommy" today.  Right after he got home, the phone rang & he was closest, so he answered it.  I guess whoever it was (can't remember now) asked if Larry was home & he said "No, but my mommy is here".  I just about broke down in tears right then!  I got on the phone & answered the question of whoever it was....but was totally stunned the whole time.  Wow.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sat Oct 28--Larry update

Larry's surgery was yesterday morning about 8:20.  It went smooth & quick.  By 9:35, I was in a family consult room w/ the doc.  He said there were no surprises & that everything went great.  (Thank you, Lord!)

Larry woke up from the anesthesia fine (which was a concern of his, as he's been nauseated by anesthesia in the past).  He woke up from the sleepy-part of the anesthesia & felt pretty alert & was cracking jokes when they rolled him into the room.  When the pain-part of the anesthesia wore off, though, he wasn't so happy.  He had a hard time getting on top of the pain at first, but since then it's been manageable w/ the Demerol PC pump.  He hits the happy button faithfully every 10 minutes.  :)

By bedtime last night, they had him getting up to walk to the bathroom.  Today he got up 2x w/ the physical therapist & then another 2x just b/c he wanted to get up & move.  Although it's GREATTTTTT that he's up & moving so much, I'm afraid it may be TOO much.  I hope he's not horribly sore tomorrow after all the movement today.  I guess we'll see!

I'm home for the night to pack up Avon orders and get some real sleep.  The fold-out uncomfortable bed at the hospital is ok, but nothing is quite like sleeping in your own bed!

Thanks for the continued prayers & support.  We love you all!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tomorrow --Friday Oct 27th

Tomorrow morning at 5:30am, Larry & I will be checking into the Texas Spine & Joint Hospital in Tyler.  (If you'd like to see the place, the website is:  At about 8:00am, he will have surgery.  He will be there for 2-3 days before coming home.

We are incredibly blessed in that we have a friend coming here to spend the night tonight so that she'll be here in the morning to wake up the kids & get them off to school.  THANK YOU CINDY!!  We have friends from church coming to pray with us before the surgery.  We have friends from church bringing meals over after it's over.  Wow....we're blessed.

For those of you who don't know the details of this, here ya go.  Larry broke his back when he was 13.  Ever since he's lived with all sorts of back problems (spasms, severe pain in the break area, etc.).  About a year ago, he aggrivated it somehow (we still really don't know what happened) & he's been taking pain med's ever since.  We found out a few weeks ago that he has a tear in one of the discs.  Every time he strains or stretches the wrong way, the fluid in the disc is squeezed out & causes a muscle spasm.  This surgery will remove that disc & replace it with a titanium cage filled with his own blood & marrow, which will in time harden, creating a new bone & fusing the vertabra above & below it together permanently.  (There will also be some screws in there holding the cage in place.)  We are really anxious to get this over & done with!!

Please say a prayer for us.  If you don't hear from me (on the journal) for a few days, this is why!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Prayers for Andrew

Today was a really bad day for Andrew.  He woke up wet (nothing real new there, but still...not a fun way to start the day).  Before he left for school, he got into trouble for not cracking down & getting ready.  He was dilly-dallying around & goofing off repeatedly.  (again, nothing new, but I always hate to have the kids leave the house already feeling like their day is off to a bad start!)  Then at school, the same mean kids teased him.  He's got a few little brats who tease him about being "dumb" or "stupid" because he's in special ed. classes.  This week is Red Ribbon week & each day there is a theme.  Today was sunglasses day, so the kids had something new to tease him about---they told him his sunglasses looked like girl's sunglasses.  He came home upset about all that.  Then he was really frustrated & angry about his homework.  He kept screaming at the paper through sobs, saying "this is all so stupid!", "homework is dumb!".  When I calmed him down & reminded him why we have to do school, why it's important to have a good education, he started ranting about how he didn't care if he got a job or had money to live on, how he doesn't care if his grades are bad, etc.  Once he finally calmed down & we finished his homework, he was okay until the next big blow-up.  When it was church time, we couldn't find his Royal Rangers vest.  He went into his room to look for it & when I walked in 2 minutes later, I seriously couldn't see HIM for all the stuff he was throwing up in the air (& over his shoulders to land behind him) as he tore apart the bedroom in search of his vest.  Every pair of shoes & all the blankets got ripped out of the closet, half the books from the shelf, clothes from his drawers, name it.  I tried to calm him down, but he was just frantic.  He was so totally wigged out that it was almost as if he was posessed.  I went & called Larry to have him talk to him.  They talked for a few minutes & he did seem to get calmed down some.  They hung up & it was time to walk out the door pretty much immediately.  He layed down on the couch, facedown, and began to sob so hard that his whole body was shaking.  When I talked to him, he said he didn't want to go to "stupid church" because he was "too stupid to finish his Royal Ranger stuff" (tonight was an awards ceremony & he didn't get finished w/ this work in time to earn his patches for the ceremony)....and because he couldn't find his "stupid vest".  (Think stupid was the word of the day today?  :::grin::::)  I sent the other kids to the van & continued to try to calm Andrew.  I've seen him meltdown before, but these were more like true panic attacks, like the ones that Savannah used to have day after day.  The things he was saying about himself, the way he said it & the tone he used, I could tell this was a matter of self-esteem & not just a rageful was heartbreaking to watch & feel like I can't get inside his little head to help him see that these things are not worth the panic he was feeling.
As I drove to church, it all finally hit me.  Today was the day that G was officially sentenced & the family (Kelly's family) got to give their victim's statement.  Was Andrew's horrible day any coincidence?  No way!  Satan would love nothing more than to get to Andrew.  He's already got his claws half-sunk into this little boy & he would love to be able to claim him for his own.  Andrew's got a lot of "junk" to work through as he gets older.  He's hard a very unstable past with a lot of 'stuff' embedded in his mind & heart that he's having to break through one step at a time.  I know that Satan would love to carry on a generational curse of sin & shame, but I'll be danged if he's going to do it on my watch!  I spent the entire drive to church rebuking Satan's presence in this sweet boy.  I screamed (silently!) for him to get out of my van, out of my home & get away from this child!  I kept telling Satan "You can't have him!".  The Spirit of God is present & Satan can NOT reside where the Lord is!  I claimed every promise I could muster from memory for Andrew & asked for God to intervene & bind Satan from our home.
After he's been asleep for a while tonight, I plan to go in & pray over him again.  I think I'm going to anoint him and his doorway as well.  I will not stand & watch the Enemy carry away one of the little lambs on my watch!
Grrr.........can you hear the mama bear growl?  :)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sun Oct 22

This week has been a tad stressful.  The A&K's dad had a court hearing on Wednesday.  He was offered a bargain, but denied it.  That meant he'd go to trial in a couple of months.  I thought he was sorta crazy to want to do that given the circumstances of his case.  I really felt like a jury would give him a MUCH harder sentence than the deal he was offered, but alas....that was his choice.
And then on Thursday, the news came that the DA renegotiated a new deal & he took it.  He will be officially sentenced on this coming Wednesday (25th).  He is accepting a 10 year sentence, which means that he will be eligible for parole in 2 1/2 years.  He's already served 8 months, so I'm sure they will apply that to his prison time, which means that he'll be eligible to parole in about 18-20 months.
In a lot of ways, I'm nervous about the future.  I guess one thing this whole saga has taught me is to be calm, rely on God's promises and just relax.  If I try to take this in big gulps, I'm bound to choke.  Going one day at a time is best.  It makes me nervous for the kids.  Unfortunately G & Kelly were not responsible parents and I fear what the future holds for the kids.  I'm certain that G will want to get the kids back once he's out.  There will be a tall & treacherous mountain for him to climb before that can occur.  I suppose if he's able to climb that mountain successfully, it won't be as hard to slowly let the kids go....but I am beginning NOW to pray for that time as I know it will be *EXTREMELY* difficult for all of us.  The emotions involved with all of that threaten to overwhelm me if I think on it too long, so onto something else!
On Friday, Larry is having a Lower Lumbar Interbody Fusion surgery.  I think that's the right name anyway!  It's a lower back fusion if you're like me & don't know all the medical terms.  A friend from church is going to take care of getting all the kids up & to school that morning (THANK YOU CINDY!!!!) so that Larry & I can get to the hospital at 5:30am.  :::yawn:::  Surgery is scheduled for 8:00 & is supposed to last a couple of hours.  He & I are both anxious for this time to arrive & be done.  He's ready & feels very much at peace about it all...just ready to get it done!  He will be in the hospital at least through the weekend, possibly into Mon or Tues.  We have a lot of friends planning to come pray with us prior to the surgery, help with the kids all weekend, and meals coming in for that first week.  We are blessed!!!!!  Please join a great army of friends & family who will be praying for a successful surgery, quick healing and a smooth recovery time.  After he's released from the hospital, Larry will not be able to drive for 2 weeks and will be required to spend most of that time resting & recovering at home.  The doc wants him to get up & walk as much as possible, but not to push himself too far either.  After those first couple of weeks, he's free to slowly ease back into regular life as he feels up to it.  The story we get is that by 6 weeks, he'll be "back to normal" (whatever normal is!).  :::GRIN:::
THanks for your continued prayers & support through this great journey of our lives.