Sunday, December 20, 2015

All ready


We have gotten most everything delivered, wrapped and ready for the big day.  Our Lord and Savior's birthday!

All the food is planned, bought and ready to go. 

The only thing I have really slacked on is the yearly Christmas pictures of the kids. Just haven't found time to do it yet.

Every time I think of a good time it seems, Chloe is working or something gets in the way of all of them being available.

They are a busy bunch, that's for sure. 

I was busy this week making my annual winter trail mix and I also made peppermint bark (2 ingredients, white chocolate and candy canes...easy and sweet!)  Made for family and friends. 

The "girls" headed up by Mal got their annual cookie baking done. They do this for fun, I don't do cookie baking ( just one thing as a mom of 12 I shaved off my list of Christmas to do things years ago) so it's a tradition that the girls get together and do it.

They made chocolate, snicker doodles, and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

Whole house smells amazing again :) 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Giving Thanks

We had to give God multiple thanks this Thanksgiving year. Firstly we had a great day, plenty of food, family and fun.

Not one meltdown for the first holiday in 3 years! Hubby and I were shocked when we talked about it later. Seems everyone was able to handle the day and enjoy the family time...whoo hoo! 

What a nice place to be:) Seeing progress and able to enjoy all of our company on the holiday. 

We had 2 turkeys and a ham again this year. I think for Christmas it will be 2 hams and 1 turkey. The ham seems to be hit harder than the turkey, so might just reverse it so we have plenty. 

Hubby braved the early sales with the kids.... couldn't believe they went shopping after lunch. Makes me sad to see the holiday become a shopping day:(

 But we always eat early so our lunch was over.... Hubby and I did venture out on Black Friday. 

We haven't done that in years and we didn't do any of the "super early" craziness, but arrived later and still got great deals on what all the kids asked for... clothes! Yep, they all are wanting apparel with a few games thrown in there. Made it really easy on us. Just had to try to find what each one likes/fits. 

Did I actually write it was "easy on us?" Uh, no. It's not. They are pretty picky which makes it tough. But we did get wish lists from them and did our best. While we were out shopping the kids so kindly got the tree up! 

Usually we have it up way before now, but I was quite busy last week when I took a wish trip to Florida with a client for work. And I was WARM for a whole week. Thinking I should LIVE in Florida :) loved being in shorts every day, sunshine, warm temps.

I bought myself this from the trip, I mean how could I resist it?  Hubby got a mug with "FATHER OF ALL THINGS" on it.  Just too fitting, don't ya think? I wore my shirt for Thanksgiving:)   

It was a not-so-fun shock to return to 38 degrees, but return I did. Having missed my family tons and next thing I knew it was Thanksgiving so our Christmas decorating waited till after Thanksgiving like it should. Even if we have had Christmas music playing since October....We are just weird like that :) 
             
We are ever thankful to God for each of our family members and for His provisions for our family. Our table held plenty for all to eat and our Christmas shopping is well under way with God always providing for our needs and even giving us quite a few of the "wants"  as well. 

We shared our day with all our kids, our niece and family, even my bro and  his family stopped by later for the "second round" of meal:) 

Derrik missed my pictures somehow but he and a co worker with no family in the area also got the late meal since they had to work earlier. Was happy so many were able to come.

Hoping your day was just as peaceful and pleasant as ours was :) 

Happy Thanksgiving!  

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

BIRTHDAY GIRLS

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.......
 

Monday, September 7, 2015

First week in

First week of school has passed right by. And I have heard surprisingly LITTLE.

 This is a GOOD thing.... No complaints, concerns,  the fears of the "unknown" have been eased.

No one has gone to school and been sucked in to a black hole never to return from it.

We only had one issue we could have done without... Paisley fell and hit her head. She was trying to get through a door and someone who was trying to be kind pushed the door for her without them realizing (or her) that she was leaning heavily on the door and it threw her off balance. 

 A big goose egg knot on her head, trip home early from school and she's just fine. I can't believe she only hit her head, but are we ever so thankful she did only hit her head and not break a hip or something much worse. 

 Speaking of her hip, it was quite sore this week... totally for an unnecessary reason. I was so mad!

We saw a new doctor in our regular doctor's practice and she didn't realize (??)  from me lifting Paisley to the exam table or me telling her she has arthritis all over or seeing her moving that her hip could not, would not, bend up and she tried to MAKE it. Yikes. 

I was saying "She can't do that!" And Paisley was crying out before she stopped (too late!)  And ended up in tears which says a TON because we only see that when she is really really hurting.

We won't be going back to see that doctor again:(  We will just stick with the one who knows us....

We tried to go to a field hockey game for Chloe but it got stormed out. We did get to see a scrimmage for football for Camden. 

 Now that Chloe has gotten her DRIVER'S LICENSE,  she is    (drum roll)........ getting a CAR!  Seriously.  She's excited/ scared, Chance is jealous and stating he wants a job.  Overheard him asking Chloe for help to apply for local jobs:)


Really praying Chloe can drive safely this winter. She is extremely cautious.

Chance is a bit less cautious aka reckless, but he's renewing his permit.  He drove once and thought he would be ready to test? Uh, no.  

Everyone enjoyed the long weekend, holiday break even though I had to work today. We cooked out early:)

Hubby and I went on a hike yesterday, couldn't get any of the kids interested in going? 

 We hiked over 7 miles, got lost, but I was still thrilled to be able to go on a 7 mile HIKE.  So pretty, peaceful and I kept up with hubs!

Back to school tomorrow they go, I'm so thankful they are settled in quickly and fairly painlessly this school year. 

They all seem to be doing well and are liking their teachers/ schedules and handling all the new changes of schools/ classes well:)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

School begins

How in the world did this come so fast? SCHOOL YEAR 2015-2016

Two Seniors- Chloe and Chance

Sophomore -- Paisley

Freshman-- Camden

And the last 2 of our 12 children are SIXTH GRADERS this year. Yes, indeed. Look how grown up they all look!! 

For the FIRST TIME in 25 YEARS there is no child of ours in elementary schools.

WOW.  The kiddos all leave at the same time and come home basically at the same time.

There's football and field hockey this year so 2 stay after for their sports.

The Middle School transition was not an easy one for Phoebe. She was taken to the school previously a couple of times to acclimate herself to the size of school, how she would get around, to ease her fears.

It didn't really work. Come orientation night last week, they sent parents to cafeteria and new 6th graders to auditorium and gave them their first glimpse of their schedules.  Not a wise decision-- at all.

No accommodations made for Phoebe meant she could not even SEE her tiny printed schedule, Kat was scheduled WITH her which I had made very clear was NOT to be.

The girls have struggled to get along.  No secret there.  They do not do well together.  Phoebe wants Kat to do things for her she should do herself.  Kat gets mad being dumped on and becomes snotty toward Phoebe. It's just not healthy for either girl.

So after orientation I went off to work night shift and emailed vision instructor about the schedule print size, the guidance counselor about the schedules, and the ESL teacher about the schedules. 

When I got home in the am, left messages for principal and director of student services about schedules.

Let's just say it wasn't going to be "let go."  So by the time I slept and got up I had a return call and schedule was changed to new team for Kat. 

Phoebe and Kat both were rescheduled a tour of the school for yesterday. 

 There were 3 girls being considered for "buddies" for Phoebe, mainly to get her to the correct classes that they are headed to anyway.

I think it will go well. Not 1 buddy with her all the time because Phoebe tends to be "needy" and sometimes overwhelming people with those needs. So more than 1 buddy will ease that issue and not have her relying too much on any one girl. We hope.

The vision teacher was to be at school for this morning to make sure Phoebe does ok.  Phoebe has known her for years and is very comfortable with her.

We met up with 2 of the "buddy"  girls yesterday at our personal tour of the school which made Phoebe even more comfortable.

  And Kat got to see where her new classes were going to be. And the ESL teacher had made Phoebe larger print schedules in an easier format for Phoebe to follow.

Before the tour yesterday I also met with Director of Student Services to update Paisley's accommodations.

Paisley has not done well health wise over the summer:(

And we have figured out a big reason why she declines every summer when most arthritic people do better from the warm temps and getting out more.......


Paisley refused to move. Even as we enjoyed better health from all our walking  and she saw this all summer. Even when her nurse mother told her she needed to be walking every single day..... she laid in bed and refused to walk anymore than she HAD to and deeply affected her mobility.

 It made me terribly sad, but as I told her doctor, she's nearly 18 and I can't force her.

So we determined it would be better for her to go to school via van.  The bus steps are just too high for her to do herself and we can't expect ( although they would do this if they can) her siblings to hoist her in and out of the bus. The bigger kids aren't always ON the bus to do that.

We also got in place wheelchair use allowed if she wears out today and for the first few weeks, till we see how she does.  I am really hoping to see her gain some strength as she HAS to walk each day in school because we do not want her wheelchair bound before she HAS to be. 

It's a shame the stubbornness can't be channeled in to something HEALTHY, huh?  But hoping to see her "forced movement" throughout the school day improve her mobility soon. In the meantime we make accommodations to try to make her school days be the best they can be for her as well.

So what am I doing with all this "time" I have today?  After the van got Paisley (I lifted her in) I took off for a 4 mile walk..... yep, I did. Enjoyed it too.

Can't wait for my treadmill to arrive next week--- yes, it's going to be a necessity since we get snowed in quite often and if you don't believe me look back at last winter's posts. Not going to be risking it out in THAT. 

I DID fall last weekend. The kids were sooo funny. It was just dad and I but when they saw my "boo boos" they asked if he pushed me?  Crazy kids.  Of course he didn't. 

 But I did tease him that he didn't catch me either...... not nice because he couldn't have. I slipped off the edge of the road and my foot twisted.

Couldn't recover and down I went. I was soooo worried when I first started walking that I would fall and get hurt.

I'm not the most coordinated person:)  But I scraped an elbow, the knee too. Bruised a hip.  Got up, shook off and continued for 3 more miles.... and I am fine. Was happy to know I can fall and it didn't stop me.

So one less worry off my mind, because I survived my first fall and am no worse off.  Still not risking walking in ice/ snow conditions. Just so you know MOM.......

Did you see who is BACK?? Mr. Chance! Arrived YESTERDAY, just in time for school, nothing like the last minute, huh? 

He greeted me with open arms to hug me. Gosh, he's just the sweetest kid.  Such a blessing. Glad he's not too old to hug his momma still. 

Hope you read that Donovan...... not buying that you are too old to hug me!!

I'm betting this year will fly by, Chance is already talking about graduation party, etc... oh goodness, I'm just not ready for that to happen YET.  Guess I don't get a choice, they are all growing up:)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Hubby is 50!!

Happy Birthday to him.  Just the greatest guy I know, a wonderful father, hubby and all around great guy.

He's the rock of this family, always caring and kind.  Has a TON of patience (I'm sooo jealous:)

He's been walking with me more recently, I really enjoy my time walking with him beside me.  And he's lost 10 lbs so far!

We had a cookout with just family-- yes, that's a party right there, I know. 

We did the cookout and had ice cream cake which has become a total favorite of all around here.

Dad got a new and bigger TV from all the kids, they chipped (with help from mom to arrange it) and he was very happy. I got him some other stuff from me.

We are so very blessed to have this guy in our lives, and we are ALL very thankful for him:)

Oh, and got the late "birthday pic" of Chloe and Chance together. So I added that to this birthday post.

Happy Birthday to hubby, 50 looks GREAT on you!!!

 Love you so much:)

We haven't started school yet, almost there-- lots to update on that so I'll save that for the next post......

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Family Gatherings

First it was a family reunion. Those are always fun, seeing  folks we don't usually see often. This was hubby's side of the family. Only sad thing was many less people this year:(

On a happier note, we got to see our Chance--he came with Uncle Mark and then was gone again. Staying to help/work with Uncle till right before school starts.  I think he may have grown taller? Chance, that is, not Uncle Mark:)

Doesn't hubby and his bro look a lot alike? They had the same haircuts this year too. 

Our other family gathering was our local fair. We thought the kids would be a little more excited about going. Hmmmm. They ended up getting food, each picked their favorites. Monkey bread, hot sausage, popcorn, cotton candy, just to name a few of the yummy things they decided on. 

Chloe pushed Paisley in her chair, she sure isn't slowwww  going for anyone to see anything. Girl has one speed and it's fast! We were too slow for her looking around and she had to circle back many times to find us again. 

Apparently the kiddos enjoyed my picture taking efforts of them and their fair foods, I mean do they not look thrilled, or WHAT? 

We have done most all of the dreaded school shopping.  I tormented myself this weekend and took Chloe, Kat, Phoebe and Camden to finish up the needed items.

 Chloe is the one I dread (Kat and Camden are close seconds) taking shopping. She's incredibly picky. Although I was able to pick out 3 pairs of pants for her without her along previously and got them right (size and preference) which was some kind of miracle. 

We got her shoes (3 stores to get the ones she wanted) and  tops ( 2 stores). Kat and Phoebe each got 2 tops, I had bought them all the other stuff (socks, pants shoes, under things, school supplies)  previously. They didn't need many tops because they do have a big tub of hand me downs that are perfect for them to get through the year. 

Paisley hasn't grown and won't so she got new shoes, a few tops and socks, she has tons of clothes since the two younger girls recently outgrew her size so she is overloaded on clothes. 

So in less than 2 weeks we will start another school year. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around having no one in elementary school this fall for the first time in 25 years. Yes, that long. 

Football practice has started and field hockey practices begin this week. 

Other news---Chloe passed her drivers test. Yeah her!! Now she's looking for a cheap car. Her driving could be a huge help with all the practices and her job.

Chase also passed his test the week after Chloe. Chance says he's not ready to test yet. They were all very cautious about driving/ testing which is just fine with us. 

No recklessness needed. 

Camden and Chloe were asked about working for someone, they worked together to dig a 65 foot ditch that was 18 inches deep. They did such a good job the person's neighbor hired them to pull weeds for her!

The kids  were very happy, they enjoy making money but also keeping busy.  Usually Chance is our guy hired out since he's a very hard worker and very strong. But hubby told the guy we had a 2nd crew because Chance wasn't home:) 

That's what we have been up to,  that and lots of walking too. Of course:) 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fessing up time

There's  been some really big changes around here and I think it's time to share it. (NO, not adopting again-- just to clear up that idea) 

This was something a long time coming. Had been "weighing" on my heart and body for many, many years.

 God had "nudged" me (that work in progress stuff, you know?) many times about it. But I just wasn't ready until the day after Easter. 

Yep, that day I was done. I gathered up every stash I had (and there was plenty) of junk food/ candy and out it went. I made a commitment to FINALLY do something I have never done---make getting healthy a priority in my life. 

To accept I am important enough to take time and effort for ME. At first it seemed so selfish. But I made myself do it. 

I realize the blog posts have been lean but some things had to "give" as I made time for exercising and taking time to learn what worked for me to live a healthy lifestyle. 

 And just so MOM knows, this was all done naturally--no pills, drops, pretty drinks, only basic "move more, eat less" change of lifestyle. Changes I can live with and easily maintain. 

And I'm doing it. I'm nearly 60 (sixty) pounds less in size!  For real! Instead of hiding behind the kids (trust me when I say you won't find pics of me out front for years now because I had trouble finding a picture of myself!), I am not in hiding any longer.

Finally taking care of me. My "not so secret" key to this is very simple. WALKING

 It's  improved my stamina, helped with moodiness, hip and knee pain, as well as aided my weight loss. 

I walk at least 2 miles 6 days a week with some other activities thrown in (occasional 4 mile walk, hiking, biking) usually once or twice a week with hubby:)

I feel so much better. And..... It's caused huge "ripple effects" on the whole family-- the kids are learning what foods are healthy to eat, what moderation means, what exercise can do.

How to read food labels and know what carbs, verses protein, what  fat and sugar contents mean. Stuff they need to know for healthy lifestyles even though they are all healthy weights and eat whatever they want. Empowering us all to make food choices that can fuel our bodies not just eat to eat. 

This week I decided to share for those who don't see me because I reached a milestone. Such a special one. Not a "number" because I totally committed myself to this new lifestyle refusing to make it about a number on the scale. It was much more special than that.

I got my wedding rings back on my fingers! Off (if needed) and on, I am wearing them again. I don't recall when (about 13 years ago)  I took them off and realized I had to stop wearing them because they didn't fit anymore. I just remember making excuses for not wearing them and being very upset.

My rings are size  5 1/2 which is small and I never got around to have them resized because I never dreamed it would be this many years till my fingers saw them again. My rings match hubby's and I just am thrilled to be wearing them again.

Some of my motivation (other than my really great family) was in quotes I've read-- I really like this one "A woman should never die without knowing how strong her body really is. " 

And learning it takes 30 days to stick with any change or new habit ( most people quit at 3 weeks) I hung in there and now it seems weird and "off" if I don't walk. It takes me about 30 minutes for 2 miles and it's become a vital part of my day. 

So... now you know. Why the blog has slowed down because I have sped up my priorities for the good of our family. And often I am joined on my walking distance with a few of the kids. So we are spending more time together while getting me fit:) such a win/ win!

Motto here is--- don't give up hope if you are overweight. Don't beat yourself up (I was harder on me than anyone) or feel it can't possibly happen. You don't need fancy stuff, just be sure you have decent (made for walking/running) sneakers if you choose to do walking. Make the time..... NOT excuses. 

Find a motivation you have within you if you want to lose weight/get healthy and go for it. I asked God to give me the strength and started out with 1(very slow) mile and worked my way up. And honestly--love yourself enough to take care of you no matter your size. Please do that because my only regret is not making me important enough to do this sooner. 


Caring about your own health is vital for us moms. We have to be able to give and give and give which can't keep happening if nothing is put back in to us to fill us up. Especially true when you are parenting kids from hard places. Their needs can be sooooo draining. 

Everyone and everything else was "more important" and yet having done this I have such an increase of energy, those "feel good" hormones from exercising at least 30 min a day that my "everyone else" is getting more from me than before! And I had no idea. 

And as Chloe and Chance enter their senior year of school, Kat and Phoebe head to Middle school.....  Mom having tons of energy and stamina is a really, really good thing:) 

Keeping up with all and feeling very blessed that God didn't ever give up on me even when I resisted and just didn't want to do it. Because something a dear friend told me really caused me pause. Our bodies are God's temple because He lives within us. I knew I wasn't honoring Him and yet it seemed so impossible/overwhelming. 

13 years to find my motivation, MOTIVATION FOUND! Living healthy and feeling great! And another perk? I can order adoption shirts (supporting adopting orphans or surgeries for orphans) in regular sizes. My passion for supporting the adoption of orphans has not changed:) Of course not!

Motto here--- never think it's too late or give up because God doesn't and He loves us all IN ALL our sizes.