Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! Its second to Christmas, of course.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We only did one meal this year. It actually made that time much nicer and easier on the kids. When we are lugging everyone from place to place, I feel like we miss out on each place because we are in a hurry.

I got to see so many people that I don't get to see very often. Some I haven't seen in years!

I have so much to be thankful for.
~ A wonderful supportive family
~ A beautiful little family of my own
~ A husband that loves me and supports me
~ 4 really great kids that become more special to me everyday

I could go on forever. God has entrusted me with much!

Here are some pictures of our fun!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Day At a Time

It is 11:37 on Wednesday night. Taylor has been in bed since 9:30. Over those 2 hours she has had 2 dizzy spells, needed her shirt changed, asked to be "made comfortable" 6 times, asked to have her socks on her knees (socks with the toes cut out to fit over her knees to help relieve the pain) and needed a drink twice because she couldn't get rid of the tickle in her throat.

Its a normal night. This will all continue through the night. I have become used to it. Its a good thing God made me to be able to survive on little sleep. I wonder though sometimes if Taylor can hear the exhaustion in my voice. Once tonight, she must have because she said "I'm sorry, mommy. This will be the last time I will call for you". I laid with her and told her it was fine but she knows better. No matter how many times I tell her differently, she feels like she is a burden.

It was much easier when she was little. She didn't ask me the hard questions.
"Mommy, will I be able to have a baby?"
"Will I be able to get married?"
"Will a boy even think I am pretty?"
"Mommy, can they tell that I am still in a diaper?"
"Where will I go when you die?"

Its heart wrenching. How do I even answer those questions? Is there a right answer? I pray. A lot. I pray God will give me the right answers as these questions arise. I pray God will give me strength because I know I could not do this with out Him. It would be impossible.

Ever since she was a baby she has suffered from separation anxiety. Its prejudice though. Its only from me. She has been going through a lot of medical things lately and it has made this much worse.

I remembered a quote earlier today from Mother is something like....I know God will not give me more than I can handle, I just wish He didn't trust me so much.

Ain't that the truth! He trusts me a lot more than I trust myself. I worry that I do not do enough for her or that I do too much. I worry that I can not care for her like I should. I worry that I do not give her enough emotional support. Worry, worry, worry.....the list could go on for miles.

I ran across this poem today....

God Chooses Mom for Disabled Child
Written by Erma Bombeck

Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
"Armstrong, Beth; son; patron saint, Matthew.
"Forrest, Marjorie; daughter; patron saint, Cecelia.
"Rudledge, Carrie; twins; patron saint.... give her Gerard. He's used to profanity.
" Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped child."
The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."
"But has she patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it."
"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence. She'll have to teach the child to live in her world and that's not going to be easy."
"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
God smiles. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, there is a woman I will bless with a child less then perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says "Momma" for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations." "I will permit her to see clearly the things I see---ignorance, cruelty, prejudice--- and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in midair.
God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Obviously, that made me cry.
I get asked a lot of questions. One of the most famous is "How do you do it"? I ask myself this a lot but its not towards me, its about Taylor. How does she do it? How does she watch her siblings run and play and be ok to stay in the house with me? How does she hear me complain about my back hurting when every muscle in her body is so tight and painful? How does she feel safe with me when I am so poor at this parenting thing? How does she hear people ask me questions and talk about her as if she is not sitting right beside me? How does she trust God like she does when He has the ability to heal and she struggles so much to do anything? How does she wait patiently to be fed or given a drink because she physically can not do it herself? How can she hear siblings talk about the cars they will drive someday and instead of feeling self pity tease them that her wheelchair will always be able to beat them in a race?

"To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." - Heather Cortez

I am the world to her in more ways than one. My prayer is that I make this journey as fun, exciting, loving and safe for her as possible.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Monday To Remember....

This year we are using Weaver for our main curriculum. I can not express how much I love it. I actually looked into it when I first started schooling Taylor. I didn't end up using it then. We used Five In a Row which I also highly recommend. We have used Five In a Row for the last 7 years. We still use it along with the Weaver.

Between Five In a Row and Weaver, schooling is not a chore for the kids. They love it! We make so many memories and I love it as much as the kids do.

We have been studying language and communication this week. We made a cuneiform out of homemade clay. The kids then used toothpicks to write their names on them. They said they would much rather write in English than have to ever write their names in symbols again!

I sprayed them with hairspray and when they dry out we are going to hang them up.

Although it would appear otherwise, Taylor really did enjoy herself. Haha....

If she is not doing school, chores or helping me, you can usually find Alyssa like this.
Taylor pulling books out of the bookshelf. :o)
Carter left this note on the bathroom mirror for Alyssa. I love how much my kids love each other. Carter will make a wonderful husband someday. I found a similar note on the printer.
I made apple bread for dessert after dinner. The loaf didn't last a day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Lazy Sunday

We had a lazy Sunday today. We had homemade pancakes for breakfast. We sat together and listened to a sermon by Doug Phillips. We just hung out around the house and we listened to the Browns lose a game they should have won.

We are big Cleveland Browns fans and will stay loyal but man, I think they get worse every year! Its pitiful. We just listen to the games on the radio because we do not have cable. In the case of today's game, I definitely prefer it that way so we don't have to see them fumble the ball more than once and miss a field goal in color!

My external hard drive is broken so my posts have been far and few between lately. I have this phobia of posting with no pictures.

Recently, we made applesauce for the first time. Everyone enjoyed making it but only Brian, Taylor and I enjoy eating it. That's alright, more for us. They don't like store bought applesauce either. Silly kids, applesauce is like a staple to most kids growing up! They would much rather go to the fridge and pull out a whole apple and eat it to the core.

Carters football season is over. I will miss watching the practices and games. I am so proud of my boy! This was his first year playing and you would never know it! He is a natural at sports. He is like his daddy.

Over the years, I have received my share of criticism for homeschooling. Especially, the socialization debate. I have to say, watching Carter walk out on that field the first day and seeing him over the last 6 weeks, proves that those people have no clue what they are talking about. No offense if you are one of them. ;)

He made friends right off the bat. Everyone on the team talked to him. He talked to the coach with respect but with no intimidation. He wasn't afraid to speak up and ask questions. He laughed and joked with the boys. He fit in just fine.

We did the team photo but we didn't pay for personal pictures. I just took those myself. When he went up for his personal picture the lady only had to take one. He smiled his big smile right away. She laughed and was very impressed. Brian told her "his mom has him very trained when it comes to pictures". Ha!

This is my favorite!

I got this urge to drag out my snowman decorations. We have not had any snow yet but I just couldn't help it. I resisted the urge to bring out the official Christmas decorations. Although, while I was taking down the Fall decorations the kids found our Christmas music! I think I start with the Christmas excitement sooner every year and the kids are right along with me!

I can't wait to visit with family this year for the holidays. I have some homemade gifts I really need to start on! Maybe I will just give them all applesauce. ;)


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