Thursday, November 12, 2015

Phoebe's heart

At Phoebe's summer check up the doctor thought she heard a heart murmur. So we were referred to a pediatric heart specialist, same one we go to for Paisley :)

Her appointment took months to get, and today was the day.....

She indeed does have a heart murmur. And it's no biggie. Just a "different sound" to her very normal and well functioning heart.  They did find she has a tiny area of narrowing of a vessel coming from her heart to left lung. What does this mean?

Nothing, really. She was born with it, it's very, very minor. If they weren't looking for the cause of heart murmur they wouldn't have ever seen it. So good news all around. She has no restrictions and doesn't even need yearly follow up, it's that minor. And this issue is not the cause of the murmur.  

She was quite happy, she had tons and tons of questions about everything they did (EKG and Echo for us medical folks) and the only part she didn't care for was the icky gel she somehow got in her hair. Thank goodness it was clear gel.... her hair collects color quite easy since it's got no pigment.

It was an opportunity to spend some 1 on 1 time with Phoebe, there isn't a whole lot of that with 6 kiddos at home.

She said at one point something about the "girls" all wanting clothes? I thought she meant us buying them clothes, but no, she meant that Chloe has eyed up my new smaller duds, yes, some are in her size.

And besides it being a pain that they give all my clothes to Chloe when they sort clothes, apparently Phoebe was eyeing up my top I had on today, said she liked it,  and was hinting she wanted to be able to "borrow" my clothes.

Stinker.  I think not. Although, she's growing like crazy.  Her and Kat both.  Almost as tall as me, both of them. That happened way too fast!

Paisley started her new medication last week. She goes again next week for another infusion. Unfortunately she was not able to get joint injections/ do the rehab hospital stay because of insurance issues:(

But she's been doing daily exercises so something sunk in to her stubborn brain about maintaining her own health, thank goodness for that. And that the new med seems to be helping so far. The weather here is turning colder which is hard on her joints so it's an uphill battle right there. We are praying it get ahead of her arthritis issues and gives her the best relief she can get.

Football and Field Hockey are over.  Chloe is working more now that she doesn't have field hockey.

Camden is "borrowing" my new exercise machine, my treadmill which allows for exercise when we are having bad weather. It took some getting used to for me, having walked all summer outside. And I still prefer that, did 4 miles today when the sun peaked out after pouring rain this morning. 

But it's a wonderful alternative for our healthy living and we are going to get plenty of use of it this winter. It's got some neat work out settings that are quite challenging, and yes, I've fallen off already--- no injuries.

Just had to laugh at myself for not paying attention and falling off:)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

1,000 steps

Took a hike today, to a trail called 1,000 steps.  PHEW.

I have news--- it's more than 1,000 steps up.  And it's hard to take a kid who is legally blind on uneven stone steps.  But trooper DAD, as he always is, handled Phoebe while I kept up with the speed girlie, Kat.

Worked out well and we all made it to the top and more.  Trails after we got to the top and amazing views.

I'll leave you with picture proof---- God's amazing creation for us to enjoy, WOW.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Birthday and Anniversary

Yes, the party (ha ha) continues around here.

This week was my birthday-- 48 years young, feeling like I don't know how that happened?  Where did my 30's go?

On my birthday I hit 80 lbs of weight loss.  Yes, I did.  And yes, I had it to lose. That seems to be a big thing everyone says "I didn't think you had that much to lose."

 Okay, I did:)

And I'm happy to say it's gone. Continuing on to my healthy lifestyle, no magic around here. No pills, drinks, surgery, nada.  Exercise and eating healthy.

Can't say it enough that the benefits are HUGE for this family to have me as healthy as possible.

And then today we have a wedding anniversary-- 16 years for me and hubs.

Now it's not always been smooth sailing through blending of families, adding in more, adoption, fostering, just writing it seem like a bunch of crazy. 

 But it's one thing that's been so solid and good. Hubs and me. We both had been deeply hurt before and it was hard on us both. 

We have one of the neatest " love stories" because we dated very young then went our separate ways and met up years later then married. 

I believe we have always appreciated each other more because we knew what we had was special and I couldn't love this guy more.

I thank God for the blessing of him in my life:)


Saturday, October 17, 2015


Our 2 precious later October birthday girls--- Malaree is now 24 (today) and Kat is 12 tomorrow.  So this evening we had M & M ice cream cake and pumpkin pies:)

Both girls are special TREASURES to us, no matter how they came to be family members. They are close to each other, just like their birthdays and have always had a special bond from first becoming sisters.

Happy Birthday girls!  We love you both sooooooo much. You are wonderful blessings to us!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mid Autumn Moon Festival and October Birthdays begin

We couldn't see the "blood" moon because of the clouds but it was no less special that Mid Autumn Moon time was here.

I had the moon cakes all ready. No trying to make them for me this year, they were purchased at a local Asian store where the lady who rang up my purchases was given the story of our kiddos. 

Not something I usually share randomly but when I told her I couldn't read the sign in Chinese of pricing for the moon cakes but my kids could (none  of the kids were with me, wanted them to be a surprise) she wanted to know how that was.

And she said she had thought about adopting a child herself. I just love when God plants a seed :)

So we had our kumquat, green tea and orange moon cakes. YUM.

Next was the first birthday girl of October, there's FOUR of us birthday girls this crazy month of October as well as a wedding anniversary (WHY NOT? I said as we planned that) for us. 

Crazy, I tell ya.  I didn't even factor in football and field hockey would be up and running within October as well. But as we always do, we manage.

Paisley was the birthday girl up first, if you were wondering.  18.  Yep, I know, hard to believe. She's still (and will always be) the size of a 9 year old. I do believe her face is maturing though, but that might just be because I know she is 18.

Most people don't believe it. In a way that's good for her, because the maturity is not there.  Just isn't caught up yet and may never be. It's part of older child adoption, the endless "catching up" that never quite gets there.

Add in any issues of any kind-- attachment, physical, learning, intellectual delay--- even just orphanage care for so many years and you are going to see this lack of maturity for a long, long time.

Even so, there's a ton of good within this child/ now called adult and she had lots of room to grow. We love her unconditionally and now can show her that even though we are not legally required to take care of her any longer, we will be continuing to take care of her.

Sounds kinda weird huh? But seriously, this is a HUGE way to show her what being a part of this family means.

 She will continue to receive the care and love that she needs when we do not HAVE TO do it.  It was a big eye opener for Chase when we continued to love and care for him though some really rough waters even after he was 18.

Paisley has been making more effort to increase her strength lately, and we are thrilled to see her doing more.

A monumental birthday for our precious Paisley girl. 

18 years old.  WOW. She's an amazing person, stoic and strong in so many ways.

We love her and hope she enjoyed her 18th birthday celebration!! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Paying the Piper

Who made up that phrase anyway? Paying the piper?

I guess it doesn't matter. What matters is we have a child who is now paying this unknown "piper."

I mentioned before that Paisley was refusing to move all summer.  Flat out refused. Was told she had to be moving. Shown the huge example of her very own family getting healthier by moving.

Yesterday's doctor visit was time to face the music.

She has lost 8 lbs of MUSCLE.  She's barely walking. She is swollen and actively inflamed in multiple joints.

Her (lack of) action over the summer made the injections done in late May null and void because she should have been moving the joints injected to get the maximum benefit of those injections:(

It was quite painful to hear what all her stubbornness has caused. The doctor and her nurse were very kind but also very frank with Paisley. Told her she is going to have pain. She's not going to ever be totally healed. And no one knows why she has this issue of arthritis but she DOES have it.

And she's got to take care of her own health as best she can to preserve her ability to walk. Thank God for school because it's helped with forcing her walk and gain back a slight amount of mobility. 

It becomes even more difficult when you add in the attachment/ emotional issues and the fact that we will see her turn 18 in a few weeks but is functioning at a much lower mentality.  Creates all kinds of issues because she's expected to be responsible for her own health decisions/ needs when she is 18. YIKES.

She was asked if she was willing to go inpatient because her doctor wants to inject her joints, start a new med infusion ( that she can only get once 18 years old due to insurance approval) and then make her do physical therapy in a rehab type setting to get maximum benefit for her.

She did agree. And they want to work on some of the emotional baggage she's got from being in chronic pain. Depression is very clearly a factor for her. The problem has been ongoing as to getting her any help because she refuses to talk about anything. And there has to be some willingness on her part to want to work on any of her issues.

We've walked this road of stubborn/ emotional growth stunted/ attachment difficulties before (sigh) and aren't surprised to see this.
 We live with the difficulties daily and continue on with her care and loving her through God's grace.

It's sometimes the road we must walk with an older adopted child. It does not mean she's a "bad person" or that she's not a blessing. She most certainly is a very special and treasured part of this family and is given unconditional love :) 

We  want what is best for her and would love to see her get more mobile to be able to enjoy something we got to do this past weekend. UPRISE 2015.

At Shippensburg PA, multiple Christian bands over 2 days (stayed at my brother's) while grandma stayed here with the ones who didn't go. (THANKS  again, grandma) We had a blast.

It was hot, yes, but to see 15,000 people in the first day  (last year was 10,000 the whole 2 day event) worshiping God  through a favorite venue of everyone in our family ----MUSIC, was AMAZING.

It was really special. And Paisley loves music so it would be so much fun for her to be able to go to a gathering such as Uprise.  Hopefully it can be an incentive for her and we can see that happen next year.

Always we will pray for and we WILL have HOPE for the best for our precious girl:)

Will you please add her to your prayers as well for her health, mind and body and her upcoming treatment plan? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Camden is 15!

This past week was Camden' s birthday! He's 15 ....So hard to believe. 

Phoebe asked him on his birthday morn if he was "sure" it was his birthday, hmm, yes. He was sure.

Guess when you have kiddos that don't know for sure of birth dates, that's what questions get asked even of the bio kids? 

 I am pretty sure she knows he's not Chinese or was ever an orphan?

Camden is a great big brother and little brother to all though, no matter how he's become their brother, through birth or adoption. 

We had delicious ice cream cake, of course. His is different from the others with chocolate chip cookies crumbled in the middle layer.

I've heard Kat already requesting mini M&M' s for hers next month. 

 This year brought amazing growth to Camden, he's got contacts for the first time, although he only uses them for football because he prefers glasses. He's gotten braces on. He grew taller than me. 

 My redheaded boy growing up too fast. Couldn't love him more, he's a very special dude:)
 Happy 15 th Birthday Camden, our precious SONShine!! 

Someone else growing up way too fast-- Chloe.  She's got her first car.

YIKES world, watch OUT!  Ha ha!  She's thrilled to be a car owner. 
Although when her and dad came to pick me up from work HE was driving. To "check everything out." 
 But then we stopped to show her how to pump gas and not put diesel fuel in her car-- she told me to drive it the rest of the way home-- you know, to "try it out." 
Might be a TINY bit scared of her new-to-her wheels?

Guess she has time to get used to them:)

Between football (Camden) and field hockey (Chloe)  it's been a whirlwind of practices, games and washing stinky sports equipment.

 It will be helpful to have Chloe able to drive if needed.

Halfway through September already, leaves are starting to turn colors and fall.......