Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day and High School Graduation Day!

The pictures say it all!

We started out our Memorial Day at a service in the Twin Cities and then to visit the graves of two of my uncles.

Then we had a picnic at the park and the kids played (swam) in the fountain.

We celebrated AW's graduation from high school.

We walked around the lake and then took a streetcar ride (AJ's version of a train).

We ended the day with a tour (compliments of Grandpa) of the lock and dam.

As one of my kids said (in sidewalk chalk):
For that we are thankful!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Shoe Cobbler & Potty Trainer

It's been a week of trying new things.  I started out so frustrated over AJ's inability to wear shoes.  I have purchased so many pairs of shoes for him - but none have worked out. He blisters over and over again on his feet.  When he sees me coming with shoes he screams, "no, owie".  I finally decided to sew him some shoes.  I figured I couldn't be out much by trying; Wrong!  Shoe materials are expensive.  After I finished making them I decided they will work out better than others I have purchased.  I have some tweaking to do but AJ likes them.  They don't blister his feet and he can walk outside in something other than socks.  I hope to try some more styles with lighter fabric that will keep his feet cooler. Here are his cute new shoes (Ok, I could have used a cuter fabric)

With his feet happy, I decided to go ahead and start potty training him.  I'm not sure what happy feet have to do with potty training but I had one success so why not try another.  I headed off to the store and guess what; Target did not have any boy's training pants.  I wasn't about to be undone so I bought cute pink ones.  I threatened the kids with the loss of food for the summer if they dared to tell AJ they were girl's underwear.   (You know I wouldn't really do it but it got my point across). AJ has done great.  He looked at the pink underwear a bit cautiously but he caught on quickly to potty training.  Do I dare say we are over the hump?  I hope so. Here is the underwear:  Pink cupcakes 

What else could a three year old boy ask for?  Answer;  The potty dance.  We do it every time he - you know....  If you have not heard the potty dance - it's a keeper.  We go to youtube and dance to it - you can  watch it here: 

AJ had lots of fun playing doctor in his new shoes and pink cupcake underwear.

Today we celebrated birthdays.  AW turned eighteen.

EE turned Ten - double digit!

It's been a good week, one of rest and achievements! 


Monday, May 9, 2011

This world is not our home...

Today our friend Amber left this world.  As her Mom stated, "Amber's life has finally begun."  Amber was 11 years old and had RDEB.  We met her at the EB conference last year.  Amber knew the Lord and her family has the assurance that she is with Jesus.  Please pray for them as they adjust to life without her.

Philippians 3:20-21 (Today's New International Version, 2005)
But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be 
like his glorious body.

Goodbye Amber, but only for a time; we will meet again.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Whom do we honor?

Mother's Day always brings many mixed feelings at our home.  Some of our children have had many mothers and it get confusing for them.  Exactly whom do we honor?  I personally choose to honor all of them.

  • Birth Mothers;  Were it not for them I would not have had the opportunity to experience the joys and sorrows of parenting my adopted children.    I know their birth mothers all lost a treasured child. Some may have not realized just how treasured their children were until they were gone. 
  • Foster Mothers;  They provided a safe home where my children could stay until a permanent home could be found.  
  • Adoptive Mothers;  They traveled to foreign lands to reach out and help an orphaned child.  Their hope was for a, "happy ever after" ending and it just didn't work out that way.  Today I choose to remember their loss as it ultimately became my blessing.  

Today is a day I especially pray for AJ's birth mother.  She holds a very dear place in my heart.  She went against what most of society would do in a very difficult situation.  She chose to continue with an unplanned pregnancy.  She did not blame her unborn child for the wrong that had been done instead she allowed AJ to live.  I know she suffered in silence; keeping her pregnancy a secret that is still hidden from all that know her.  She expected to feel a sense of relief after his birth but instead was faced with AJ's diagnosis of EB and the knowledge that she was a carrier of the disorder.  She is in our prayers that she would experience the fullness of the gospel in her life.

When people ask to pray for AJ, I often ask them instead to pray for his birth mother because:
Life with EB is possible with Christ.  
Life without Christ is simply unbearable.

So thank you to all of the mothers in my children's lives.  Your sacrifices made it possible for me to celebrate mothers day today.

I Samuel 1:27-28 (English Standard Version)
For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me 
my petition that I made to him.  Therefore I have lent him to
the Lord.  As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.  

May we recognize that our children are gifts that belong to the Lord.  May we willingly place them into his care.

Happy Mother's Day,


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

David vs Goliath

It seems that just as I finish one thing; another need arises. That has been the story of the month.  I did get good news today.  Last fall our daughter had major cuts to her disability services.  This winter we had a judicial hearing to appeal those losses as we believed that the law had not been followed in assessing her need for services.  We finally got word today that we won and services will be reinstated.  We will now have two months of services and guess what - time to have her assessed again.   We are very thankful for a decision in her favor.  Then this afternoon we were threatened with with loss of services for another child.  In typical government fashion, I was told, "You can always appeal".  Easier said than done.

Some days I just want to enjoy my kids without always having to spend my energy fighting to keep their services in place.  It may be school, insurance, county or state programs.  I don't know what happened to the word, "service"  It seems like many of the organizations that we work with make it their goal to reduce their clients services rather than work to meet the needs of the child.  I understand money is short but cutting services that will result in higher costs down the road just doesn't make sense.  Sometimes AJ's insurance gets the idea that they should limit his bandages to fifteen total a month.  We use more than that in one day.  I appeal and we remind them that a hospitalization resulting from an infection will cost more than the monthly bandages.

Since I have many people read this blog, in all fairness I have to state that AJ's school setting has gone beyond what is expected.  I have been so impressed with their planning and provision.

For those of you with children with disabilities, you understand the constant battle to keep services in place for our kids.  We always have to be on alert for threats to their well being.  I'm not asking for extras; just enough to keep us going.  

With that said I remind myself, rest in God, rest in God.  They really are his battles and I need to go out there like David and fight Goliath but I am not responsible for bringing Goliath down, that's God's responsibility.  It's hard to remember when situations get heated but it's the basis for our struggle.

1 Samuel 17:47 (English Standard Version)

That all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.

I encourage you (as I repeat this to myself), if you are deep in the battle; stop, rest and pray. Get direction and remember that the battle is the Lords.  We just need our marching orders.  Like in the battle of Jericho; God's instruction brought about the victory.