Friday, October 31, 2008
We actually do not do the whole trick or treat thing. Our children understand that we celebrate Harvest, and not Halloween. (the ghost bag was an old navy gift from her nana) Jordan and Josh usually dress up as something not scary, and we take them to our local church fall festivals.
Any Candy Here???
Tonight the church we went to had so much going on. They had these blow up things for the kids to jump on. Cookie walks, and lots of games. Then they had a table set up for cakes and chili contest...campfire hotdogs, hay-rides and roasted marshmellows. :)
Inside the sanctuary the worship pastor had a little christian sing going on. Anyone who wanted to get up and sing a song, would do so. David and I so enjoyed hearing all of the singers, and then singing worship songs together. The worship pastor, Treva asked me to come up and sing with her. I did a (jenn) revised arrangement of "I Surrender All", and she accompanied me...she is very gifted on the keyboards and we both flowed together so well even though we had never practiced this at all together!
It was so much fun and such a blessing to have sweet fellowship with brothers and sister in Christ.
Hope everyone had a fun night with family.
A friend of mine, Kristina Levi-Thomas has a friend that recently gave birth at 27 weeks. Kristina sells custom baby items at a store called Keep it Gypsy. Carmen from Keep It Gypsy has decided to have a raffle for a Gift Certificate of $500 dollars of Keep It Gypsy Merchandise to help Angela Lensing (Co Owner of Keep It Gypsy) and Baby Brooks. Angela delivered her baby early at 27 weeks last week. Baby Brooks weighed only 2lbs 6oz and was 13 inches long.
Baby Brooks is currently doing well but, will be in the hospital for several months. Possibly even during the Christmas Holidays. Angela is currently staying around the clock at the hospital with Brooks. This hospital stay will be very expensive. Angela is unable to work during one of the busiest times of the year for the store, therefore bringing in almost no income.
Please consider helping Angela, Baby Brooks and Family by purchasing a raffle ticket. All money made from the Raffle will go to Angela's family to help pay medical bills etc.
The raffle tickets are $10 dollars each. If you win, the gift certificate can be used to buy anything at the Keep it Gypsy Store. Keep it Gypsy is known for it's one of a kind children's gifts and apparel.... custom bedding, diaper bags, canvases, clothing, purses, jewelry, photo albums, lamps, bows, hats, frames, bibs and much much more.... www. keepingitgypsy. com
The raffle will be held on DEC 23rd. If you are interested in helping or purchasing a raffle ticket.
Tickets may be purchased from Kristina or the store now through December! Please pass this along to anyone who may be interested. As a mom to not one, but two preemies, I know what this mom is going through. The last thing she needs to worry about is money. I know money is tight for everyone, but please consider brown bagging it a couple days next week, and mail a check in for $10 and help this family.
I appreciate it greatly.
Keep It Gypsy (formerly Snug as a Bug)
914 Garrison Ave
Fort Smith AR 72901
My children's health is a gift from God. I know this.
I have watched a miracle this week, through a blog. A baby that was supposed to die at birth, and have an enlarged heart, is probably laying in his mom's arms as I write this, enjoying a feeding. She had over 600 bloggers praying for her & baby Stellan. If you can't buy a ticket for Brooks, you CAN pray. Please do so.
PLEASE REPOST ON YOUR OWN BLOG!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I'm not real big on photos of myself, but here is one shot where I actually have most of me in it, (without some kind of textures or crop to mask me). ;)
Something fun, and it is definitely a commitment to creativity. :)
She is going to need surgery, and we go on Jan 8th for the pre-surgical appt. Her surgery will be in Jan, and the surgeon will set the definite surgery day when we go on the 8th. He will also take new X-rays to get a better view to see if he is going to do the surgery through her back, or abdomen.
She has the S curve, and the most severe curve located in the lumbar region is at 52 degrees. The thoracic curve is around 30 degrees. He is hoping if we can get the lower curve corrected, then perhaps the upper curve will "behave" and not get worse. The surgery is...he will have to break her lower back to straighten her spine, and then bone graft/fuse a few of her vertebrae together with a titanium rod to brace that portion of her back.
We still believe God is able to heal Jordan completely. Whether it be by a miraculous healing, or through surgery, God has a purpose and a reason...everything is sifted through His almighty hands.
So we continue to have faith, and who knows, perhaps when they take the X-ray's on the 8th before her surgery, her spine will be straight! =)
OK, we haven't lived in an apartment since David and I were first married. So, I guess I don't remember having a roach problem, or in Western NC we just don't see roaches all that much. If we did, they were very small. Here in Eastern NC, they remind me of the roaches we had in Florida...HUGE-I-MOUS!!! I cannot stress that enough!!!
Every day we've been in this apartment I've seen a new critter. So, can anyone offer suggestions on how to keep them at bay! They are spraying today, BUT from what I've been told by the landlord, they always come back. She claims that they come up through the drains by way of the sewer. The first one I saw was actually in our laundry room, so not sure where that fella came from! Is there anyone who has done this apartment living of dealing with roaches, who can offer advise on dealing with them? Thank you!
Despite this whole thing with the bugs, the apartment is really nice, and the people who live around us seem very nice too. Most of them work for the same hospital where David is doing his chaplain residency. It is a real blessing that we could get such a reasonably priced apartment, so close to where he is working (within walking distance).
Today we hope and pray to finish up our move out of our rental home. I can't believe this has been drawn out so long! Yet, only have a few boxes in our kitchen (give away items to take to the Salvation Army/Battered Women shelter) and a few items in the side part of our barn...such as our grill mainly. Then finish steam cleaning carpets and mopping. Last night I washed all the cabinets inside and out, washed walls in the kitchen, master and living rm...still have to do the kid's previous rms, the hall and mudd room 1/2 bathroom. Since we have had to pretty much do our own moving, we've had to take it in steps where we don't over do. I think my migraine day before yesterday was due to my upper neck going out...kinda over did it. Feeling much better today tho.
I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your supportive thoughts and prayers for our family during the move. Also appreciate your prayers for Jordan. Her appointment with the scoliosis specialist is today at 1:15pm. Afterwards, we are heading to our previous home to hopefully finish up all the cleaning! I hope, I hope...
Have a beautiful day in the Lord.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The love affair continues...between Jordan, and her love-y TY kitten "New Spice". Ever heard of "The Velveteen Rabbit"? I've sewed this cat several times. Now, she (New Spice) loses her head so many times, we just tie the strings together (which is all that is left of the neck of this kitty)
Every time I threaten to put tabasco on her thumb, and give the kitty a proper burial...she reminds me that Mandisa sucked her thumb until age 24. Thankfully, Jordan has very straight teeth! The thumb sucking came from taking her "paci" away too soon...at age 2...she took to the thumb, and continues in her quiet moments of rest.
Guess my Wordless Wednesday was not quite wordless...
By the way, these photos are "self portraits"....Jordan took them. =)
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Do you ever find that blogging helps maintain your levels to keep you from going absolutely insane???? hehe...I do!
Here is a little snippet of our mess...
...you can click here to see my flickr streaming and get a room by room of our mess...thought I'd share the wealth. ;)
Enjoy! And if anyone has good tips on making used of small spaces, I'd love to know. We have large furniture, which is not conducive for small rms. =)))) There has to be a better way to arrange.
We are going to use our small dining area as our home-school. We are going to use a card table when we have guests, and TV trays the rest of the time because we can stow them away. Also, we are going to set up our keyboard and digital drums in our lil' home-school rm too. (that is, after I clean up the boxes ;)
Jordan and Josh are sharing a small room. David and I wanted to give them the bigger rm to share, but our furniture would not fit into their room...not even our poster bed would fit!
Any ideas for arrangement of living rm?
Guess laughing is better than crying...right?
I'll keep ya posted on that!
Meanwhile, Josh is feeling great. I just pray no one gets sick in the night and requires a shower....cuz right now that is not possible.
Since we are in a new place with stairs (townhouse), my first thought was that he had gotten up to use the bathroom, and was disoriented, and fell down the stairs! So I ran that way toward the stairs, and guess what...I slipped in something. Oh yeah, ever seen the YaYa movie? Well, I didn't freak like she did, but Josh was in the bathroom alright...vomito grande'!
He is my kid who has always "made it" to the bathroom in these types of instances, but in this case fell short just a tad... right outside of the bathroom, in the carpet. Oh yeah, did I mention I stepped in it?!?!!! Not just stepped, I did some sort of surfing I didn't know I was capable of doing at 4 AM!....Blucky!!!
So after helping Josh get in and out of the shower, and me scrubbing carpet, here I am....at 4AM...blogging...er, am I CRAZY! lol!!!
I'm a tish nauseated myself. Not sure if it is just the thoughts of having to clean that up, or if it is me feeling sick with the same bug coming on...or perhaps fatigue...ugh! Not good timing b/c we have so much more packing and cleaning to do...(today)...
Guess I'll try to get another hour of sleep before getting up at 6 am to go back and pack some more. We have some guys meeting us at our home at 8:30 am to help us load the rest of the heavy pieces. It takes us approx 40 mins to drive one way.
Hopefully you all are snug in your beds and getting good sleep. =) By the way, Happy Birthday Bailey!!! Wish we could be there with you for your birthday. We miss you and love you all!
Friday, October 24, 2008
I'm too old for this by the way!!
Oh, my blog is under some major construction. As it turns out, there is some kind of glitch or problem with my blog. For one thing, no one can comment me, or even click on links that I post. I don't think you can click to read previous blogs either. Only what is on the opening pg can be read, I think. The only clickable link right now that works, is the BlogHer Ad...thankfully that is working!
The problems with my blog began before I changed my template. Drea is trying to help me fix it, but I may just have to delete this blog, and create a whole new blog. So, I'll keep you posted on that if I do.
Until then, if you need to reach me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you have flickr, you can flickr mail me.
Otherwise, you can read my daily blogs, but you won't be able to comment or click on any links. It will be a few days before I have a chance to sit down and really work on it.
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Right now I have gooooot to pack and get some work down. Stayed tuned...
This is what I have been up to lately...photo editing...
My creative juices flow better late at night after the kids are down...I can seem to exhale better, and let the creativity to flow. =)
There are more on my flickr streaming if you want to check it out. I've been practicing with natural lighting, and my Kodak P850...
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Well Kalle, here it is! =) I'm finally getting this posted...sorry it took me so long.
This is my "work" station. Where I do my studying, creating, and learning.
Lately I've been studying up a bit more on photography. I've always loved photography. In the past I took photos for our church events, and if anyone needed some photos for special events. Recently have been asked to do a photo shoot for a worship leader who lives about 45 mins from our home. I'm pretty excited about it!
Her name is Treva Tankard, and she is a talented lady who could have been in NYC performing, but instead is choosing to serve the Lord completely with her giftings. Not only is she a tremendous worship leader and songwriter, but she soooo loves the Lord! I'm very much looking forward to our upcoming photo shoot.
Until we meet, I am studying and learning all I can!
I'm praying about doing photography part time to bring in a little extra income for our family. If so, I would like to specialize in black and white photography or sepia tones with hints of color. Also, with a lots of texture in the mix. I've always been more drawn to the b/w and sepia looks for some reason. Perhaps it is a bit of the nostalgic feel that those tones bring.
Right at this moment my thoughts are on our move. We are moving on Sat., Oct 25th. Most of our home is pretty well packed up, with the exception of some books, linens and the items we are still using.
David will be off from work tomorrow (he pulled an 8am to 8pm yesterday so he has this weekday off) Therefore we should be able to get most everything packed up, and keep out a few bare essentials to get us through the next couple of days.
Jordan woke up with a sore throat. =( So please keep her in your prayers, and that we will all stay well for this move. Jordan's appointment with the scoliosis specialist is on Oct 30th. We remain hopeful in Christ.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
A new photography friend in flickr suggested this cool blog site, The Cutest Blog on the Block, where you can get blogger layouts free.
Pretty cute stuff, and thought I would share.
Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend with family and friends. Monday's a comin'!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Question 52: What is the most important commitment one can make in their life?
My commitment to Christ is most important.
In the Bible Jesus speaks of loving Him first then loving others. When I am truly keeping Christ as the center, and truly "committed", I can better know how to truly be committed to others...husband, children, friends.
Being "committed" to Jesus is not the same as being saved. When we are saved, we invite Jesus into our hearts, and we admit we are a sinner and need Him in our lives.
I believe to be committed is something different, and is in addition to our salvation. Many are saved, but not all "commit" to serving Christ in their daily walk.
Salvation: a: deliverance from the power and effects of sin
Commitment: a: an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; b: something pledged
Dear Lord, You are my first love...and my first true commitment. I purposely choose this day to be used by You. Use me as You see fit to encourage, bless and love others. Every day that I awake, may I remember to say, "My life is not my own, it belongs to You Lord...use me in the way You choose to". My life was bought with the price of Your precious blood when you died for me on the cross, and for all mankind. May I never take this act of love for granted. I can never fully understand what pain You bore for me on the cross. What you endured was so brutal, yet was all out of love for me, and others who choose to believe. You are my first love!
Dear David, I pledged to you... committed to you 17 years ago. We have and continue to share many joys and tears. Some of the sweetest moments are when we are alone side by side...facing one another in our bed...and being real about our heart concerns together. My commitment has increased as we have grown closer to the Lord and closer to each other. Sometimes we thought we would never make it through some of these trials and pains, but we have, and we will by the power of Christ in us.
Do you remember the triangle we learned about in pre-marriage counseling? I still remember...
As we grow closer to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, we grow closer together.
I am reminded to put God first in my daily life...seek to serve Him, and study His Holy word fervently. As we each do this in our own personal quite times, we will only grow stronger and stronger in our commitment to each other. When we come together, it will be a beautiful Holy Spirit connection.
Jordan and Josh, you are my precious sweethearts.
Jordan, you are a true example of servanthood and so willing to always give of yourself and others without ever thinking twice about it. This is a true testament to your love to Jesus and your family.
Josh, you are a true compassionate heart. You see things that many of us miss. You want to know answers to those difficult questions...this will only strengthen you in your faith and knowledge of the Lord more and more.
God has great plans for you both. Always keep Jesus your first thought in every decision you make. Go to Him before you even come to us. We are here for you, but you will find that God will give you the truest love and answers, while we as your parents won't always get it right. Our love is earthly, and God's love is eternal and without conditions.
I am so proud of your commitment to Christ.
It is a daily choice to commit. I choose you Jesus. I choose you my dear husband....I choose you my darling children.
I love you.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Jordan's pediatrician called late yesterday evening after hours. She gave me a little more detail. Jordan's has the "S" curve of scoliosis. One curve is 42 degrees and the other is 27 degrees. This was more severe than she anticipated. This means in her opinion that the condition has been going on for a few years now undetected, even possibly from a very early juvenile yrs. Although, severe curves can also occur rapidly within a few yrs too. The specialist will give us much more on it. She is scheduling the appointment for us to see the specialist.
We were not sure why it wasn't detected prior from our Dr. back home, but now that I think about it, I don't remember Jordan being checked at her past few well visits when she went for shots to be updated. Somehow it got missed, and I sure did not think to ask. I'm writing this part to say, PLEASE make sure your Family Dr./Pediatrician checks at EVERY well visit or physical. The earlier it is detected, the sooner they can treat and possibly avoid surgery.
I don't point fingers at all about it not being found. We know now, and I am thankful so we can do something about it from this point. =) Our Dr. back home was always very thorough, and he is a wonderful physician. Can't be "perfect"...none of us can. ;)
Here is an article from the website my friend Cindy sent to me. It was so informative. Thanks Cindy Lou!
Childhood Scoliosis: Treatment and Recovery
Edgar G. Dawson, M.D.
A treatment plan is determined by the child's age, remaining growth potential, curve pattern and magnitude, anticipated rate of progression, and appearance.
In the past, plaster casting was routinely used to treat scoliosis. Today plaster jackets are used to treat some cases of infantile scoliosis. Casting is generally not used today except in countries where bracing is not available. Bracing is the standard treatment today used to prevent curve progression and improve deformity.
Typically bracing is prescribed for children with smaller curves ranging from 20 to 40 degrees. Bracing may temporarily correct the scoliosis but does not cure the disease. Children and teenagers may find bracing difficult because the brace can be uncomfortable, hot, rigid, unattractive, and must be worn 16 to 23 hours a day. Although well disguised under clothing, it can make a child self-conscious.
Bracing is usually not prescribed when the curve is greater than 40 degrees. Certain types of curves do not respond to bracing, such as high thoracic curves. In those situations, surgical intervention may be warranted.
Scoliotic curves greater than 45-50 degrees are usually treated surgically. Rods, bars, wires, screws, and other types of medically designed hardware are used to surgically control and correct scoliosis. These procedures may enable the child to sit upright thereby reducing the risk for cardiopulmonary complication. Furthermore, instrumentation (hardware) may increase the child's ability to be mobile. These devices are meant to hold the spine straight while the process of fusion occurs.
In infantile and juvenile scoliosis, rods may be implanted without bone grafts. Bone grafts facilitate fusion. Later in life, spinal instrumentation and fusion provide a more permanent treatment. Adolescent scoliosis may be treated surgically using spinal instrumentation and fusion, when necessary.
The goals of spinal instrumentation include stabilization of spinal segments, deformity correction within safe parameters, and to enhance spinal fusion. This type of surgery can be performed safely on adults with spinal deformity, usually with excellent results.
Scoliosis: Preoperative and Post-Operative X-Rays
Whether the treatment course is conservative or surgical, it is important to closely follow the physician and/or physical therapist's instructions. Discuss any concerns about activity restrictions. They will be able to suggest safe alternatives.
Physical therapy may be incorporated into the treatment plan to build strength, flexibility, and increase range of motion. The therapist may provide the patient a customized home exercise program.
If the patient undergoes surgery, written instructions and prescriptions for necessary medication are given prior to release from the hospital. The patient's care continues during follow-up visits with their surgeon.
We need a miracle, and I know who the miracle worker is. Come what may, we will give God the glory. He put her together, and he knows Jordan's every part. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made.
David's sermon was on Psalm 139 Sun night when he preached! How very much God loves us.
Psalm 139. I pray you will take time to watch this beautiful video.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Yesterday my husband preached at a church about 35 miles from our home. We went through a beautiful city, and right at the turn before getting to the church, right at the crossroads, there was a restaurant called...you bet ya...Woogie's! We all laughed together. Imagine that, a restaurant with her lovie name! lol!!
David preached the Sun am and we sang together by request of the Pastor. We sang "Praise You in This Storm" before David preached the AM service. When we went back that evening for him to preach the PM service, Jordan sang with David and I before his evening sermon, "Pour My Love on You". Josh was a little shy about singing with us. ;) It was a beautiful time in the Lord...
Also, on the way to church for the evening service, I was sure to bring my camera to get that photo of "Woogies". (I've decided to keep the cam with me as much as possible these days. I'm also considering that 365 day challenge to take 1 photo a day, every day. I'll probably want to begin in Jan. Until then, I'll have fun getting a lot of practice in. ;)
Here is a photo of the moon I got on our way home from church last night. It was so so lovely that I had to capture it. We had stopped at Wally World, and I looked up, and thought...How BEAUTIFUL!
Today we had a follow up appointment for our daughter Jordan aka the Woogie. (I'm taking things in stages...you know...not worrying until the "next step".) At the appointment for Jordan's well check last week, the Dr. found that she seemed to have visible bulges during her spine check.
We went for X-rays this morning, and I got a call right before lunch from the Dr. to call her back right away. So I did, but the Dr. was at lunch. I spoke with the nurse who advised me that Jordan has significant scoliosis, and they are referring her to a specialist.
This afternoon, I began to first thank God for Jordan's healing, second...that we found out while she is 12, and third...that God is moving our family to a place where there is great medical Dr's and a school of medicine.
We do not yet know the percentage of the curvature of her scoliosis. I guess we will know more when we see the specialist. :)
You know, I was tempted to feel like such a bad mother. After finding this out, I can clearly see now...SO clearly that she is leaning, and one shoulder is lower than the other, one hip higher...I've never looked that close to her body since she is older and you know...for quite some time she baths/ showers herself, and is very modest and all. I've always taken her to her well checks, it was never brought up.
I'm learning that the curves can become more severe during growth of ages of 10-15. I'm thankful...like I said, she is 12. It is a blessing that they did find it soon. I reminded myself that these things can move quickly, and I am a very good mother in fact. :)
We would sure appreciate prayers for our sweet woogie. God has this all under control, and I trust Him for her healing, and for whatever that "next step" is for her in this. He is the great physician and I've experienced His healing power first hand. He is able! I pray God's healing on Jordan's spine, in Jesus name. In all things, God be glorified.
Psalm 121:1-3 (New International Version)
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I've been tagged by Jenny, and so here goes!
1. Where is your cell phone? right beside me
2. Where is your significant other? asleep (where I should be!)
3. Your hair color? dark brown
4. Your mother? Bonnie
5. Your father? Deceased
6. Your favorite thing? My Fam
7. Your dream last night? Don't remember...
8. Your dream/goal? worship leader/songwriter, and to use all of my creative gifts for ministry purposes as well such as photography and learning web design. One more goal is to finish my psychology degree.
9. The room you're in? dining rm
10. Your hobby? photography, drawing, painting, writing, crocheting, singing, learning piano
11. Your fear? idk...try not to focus on fears
12. Where do you want to be in six years? that much closer to my goals
13. Where were you last night? with our children, then here after i got them to bed...blogging...then bed!
14. What you’re not? good with numbers
15. One of your wish list items? slr camera
16. Where you grew up? Central FL
17. The last thing you did? took photos of the moon in the walmart parking lot (tonight we stopped to get a few groceries, and the moon looked so pretty)
18. What are you wearing? pj's that say "share your dreams" on them. haha , how fitting!
19. Your TV? extreme home makeover...only 19" with bunny ears/ not cable in our home...
20. Your pet? had to give her up when we moved here...miss my lucy lulu
21. Your computer? MAC BABY!
22. Your mood? content, but feeling a little nauseated. ( no i'm not pregnant...full hysterectomy )
23. Missing someone? yeah, many someones...
24. Your car? minivan
25. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes
26. Favorite store? target or tj maxx toss up!
27. Your summer? ok, not as great as last summer. Have high hopes for the next summer tho!
28. Love someone? yep, my Pooh, and my two little ones
29. Your favorite color? deep purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? today
I'm tagging Kelly, Shelley, Shane, Drea (if your not too busy), Angela, Kalle, and Jaime P
Saturday, October 11, 2008
This not a weekend for me to write too much, but instead to mostly, "Be Still and Know that He is God".
1 Tim. 5:1-3
1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.
Today's word: Speak kind and respectfully to those who are older than you. There is wisdom to be learned from their experiences. I've learned so much from those women a bit older than me; to listen more, and not think I know the answers. -jenn
Friday, October 10, 2008
Some of our dear friends, (parents and two children) came to visit with us. Also a precious lady from our church. She is such a wonderful counselor and prayer partner. This lady most often has a good word from the Lord to share.
We had such fun with lunching together, and visiting most of the afternoon. We cried together, and laughed together...mostly laughed and it was the best therapy ever! :o) Sometimes I like to just be silly and laugh and not be so serious all the time, or have some grande agenda. To just BE with friends is the best! Especially when I can get all giggly in the process. You know, act in ways that are just not socially acceptable...hehe!
The children were in and out, and playing so well together. They played the Wii sports, then made up games outside. We had a little drizzle of rain, but that didn't stop them!
After our friends left, Jordan and Josh decided to build a tent together.
Josh had a great time stretching the tent, and loading themselves up on the inside!
Jordan hanging out-My sweet girl that I love soooo!
Their "Big Top" - I wonder if they read that Wendy's fam was going to the circus and got inspired???
My Little Buddy that I love so much!
During the early years of preschool, Josh would have trouble controlling his moods. He also struggled with not keeping his mind off of something, while trying to complete a task. It could be just one thing that would consume and distract his thoughts for days, weeks that he would dwell on. This also got worse as the years went on. He would also tantrum...for hours...out of character tantrums. Sometimes it went on for 5 hrs. I never gave in to the discipline, I was consistent with him. We did not go past 2 chances. I always tried to avoid spanking, but sometimes I had to, but lots of times it made things worse. Time out didn't work, taking something away didn't work, redirect didn't work, spanking made it worse...he would kick the wall and yell....for hours...he would have a few good days...and a series of bad days. Somedays I would sit beside him while he tantrumed and prayed and kept saying to him that Jesus loves him, I love him.
We chalked it up to the terrible 2's extending a bit.
But, it continued...through age 5. At about 3, I took him to our Dr., and he said Josh was just very strong willed.
For many yrs, from about kindergarden, I saw symptoms that made me think twice, but they were not strong enough at that point to think "ADHD". The teacher would say that Josh would blank out when she asked him questions that she KNEW that he knew to answer. He would sit there purposely with a blank sheet, and not answer the questions...even with the teacher...even when she would TELL him the answer because she knew that he knew the answer. At that time, she thought he was being stubborn, and I kind of did too. We know now this is not the case.
In first grade, he had trouble focusing. He would say, "Mom, I can hear other kids whisper and I can't work". So I discussed this with the teacher, and she assured me that he was fine. She put him in a place in the classroom where he was not as in the middle of other kids. He still could not get his classwork done. He was always bringing his classwork home to finish. In my heart, I wondered again. The teacher kept assuring me he was fine.
Through third grade he would have the same struggles. Each year his struggles seemed to get worse. I noticed it in Math and Reading...even Spelling with coming up with simple sentences. He could not stay on task. Yet, if you spoke it, he would remember it. He could remember entire books that I would read to him. I would have to sit right there with him...most nights until late at night to do just a few pages of homework (mainly in 3rd grade). In first and second grade I expressed my concerns and asked the teachers to please let me know if they saw things getting worse. Josh could somehow hold things together to get through the day. He would seem fine, then at home we dealt with the difficult issues...and the classwork and reading assignments that he could not complete in class.
Getting close to the end of third grade, I noticed Josh's struggles increasing. Now difficulty controlling impulses too. Again, I talked with the teacher during conferences...she felt he was fine. She said Josh is very intelligent and scored high on his tests, he is just being lazy. But I knew he was not lazy, I would have to work with him until 10 pm with simple tasks that I knew that he KNEW how to do. He would sit there and stare blankly at his paper. He was having great difficulty focusing and comprehending. He was bringing home his classwork because he could not finish it due to other things going on around him. So then he had classwork on top of homewook every night...and since the teachers did not see hyperactivity in Josh, they said he was just not doing his work.
Toward the end of his third grade year, my father-in-law (Josh's grandfather) was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He had found out that Christmas. This seemed to add to Josh's stress even more. Josh entered 4th grade, and we were so busy and concerned with what was going on with our GaGa (we lived across the street from them), and Josh got lost in the shuffle of it all. Plus, he was sad, and very much holding it in. David was in divinity school, and I was working full time.
The second half of 4th grade, he began having facial tics. I noticed it, but family only thought it was because he was wearing his hair long. Then, when my father in law passed away, Josh did not cry. I sat with Josh to tell him about his GaGa, he surprised me and just said, "He's in a better place". I told him it was OK to cry, but is wasn't until after we moved away, that he could not sleep and he grieved a lot here.
Before we moved, Josh had developed a vocal tic along with his facial tic. Of course, I was the only one who really noticed it.
After David finished divinity school, we moved to eastern NC. Josh still had both tics. David begin to notice them. While David was in div school for 4 yrs, I did go back to work full time, but when we moved I was able to be home with Jordan and Josh again. I had prayed about home-schooling Jordan and Josh, and decided to take the plunge!
When my sister came to visit us from FL, she noticed Josh's tics. I asked the Dr. about it here, and also did some reading about in the Mayo Clinic journals and both said that those can come and go in children. So I prayed and waiting. Slowly they began to fade. Sometimes during excitable moments or moments of uncertainty, the vocal one would return, then fade again.
Being at home with them again was such a blessing. Before we moved I had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia...after many years of checking for MS and all kinds of issues going on with me physically, we got answers. The cause is believed to be from my neck injuries as a child. I have instability in C4 and C5 in my neck from an old trauma injury. The spine specialist attributed it to being shaken as a baby/toddler. The injury looked like I had been hit head on by an 80 mile an hour vehicle...and it was a very old injury. Two spine specialists confirmed this. I did not accept the first diagnosis. Then, later, my sister confirmed that I had been shaken.
The way this was found...after Josh was born, I carried my little chubb chubb on me quite a bit. (and I am sooo for baby wearing) One morning I woke up in the early AM and saw a flash of light, right after a pop in my neck...then I could not get out of bed without my husband pulling me out screaming...my neck went out. All I did was open my eyes to wake up for the day, and turn to roll out of bed. And BAM! It took 6 months of intense P.T. to get through it. After my therapy, I had breast reduction surgery to help alleviate the weight from pulling against my upper neck (I used to be 40 EE). The surgery helped tremendously, and I opted NOT to get the spinal fusion, because I was so young. Once you begin those surgeries, you end up having to get more of them due to the spine stiffing in the upper and lower areas of the spine where the fusion is done...this is what my specialist told me. He did not want to see me get into this kind of surgery so young.
What triggered the symptoms of my Fibro getting much worse for me as an adult, was a fall that I had during our move out of our home in western NC. I fallen hard on my left side, and also broke my thumb at the same time. The jolt did a lot of damage to my system. (my thumb was broken, but I taped up my thumb and kept moving because it was a Sunday and we had to be OUT of our home that day) but later had serious issues to the point where I could not walk or dress myself in the mornings. It was so frustrating and still is at times (God has healed me, but occasionally I deal with symptoms), because simple things like vacuuming, would get me in a state where my rib cage hurt so bad I could not breath. I'd have to stop and go in between simple tasks. Anyway...
All of this was going on. When we got here, physically I was in bad condition. And for those who think this is a weight issue, or a diet issue it is not. For yrs I ate organically, lost a lot of weight...my symptoms were still there! There are skinny people, fat people...all kinds with Fibromyalgia issues! One thing that gets to me more than anything is for someone who has NEVER experienced certain issues, come and talk to me as if they are the expert on it. *stepping off soap box*
After the move, I was able to BE with our children. Kind of regroup and put everything into them. My symptoms got better with being at home. Josh's also got better with being with me and out of the classroom setting.
As a new home-school mom, I did my best to study and learn as much as possible, to be the best teacher for them. As Josh's teacher, I began to see his struggles in certain areas more and more. Right in the middle of his lessons, he'd talk about other things that were on his mind. His impulses increased.
Daily we have silent struggles that no one is aware of. Too many to write about.
A few: I would write his assignment on the board...and every day I would have to keep telling him over to write his assignment, while he is sitting right there, "Josh, are you writing?" I'd look up and he would be staring far off...again I'd say, "Josh, look at me...please open your book and write this down, OK buddy?" Not once, but several times in that one moment, with me right in front of him. He has trouble writing, and comprehending what he reads. He does pick up wrong lines of what he is working on quite often. I began to see lots more when we began home-schooling. Many times Josh would sit with a blank page, and I would know this is something simple he could do. Yet, he could not do it. He excels in Math, but struggles with language. Reading is a struggle on his own. I had always read with him as a child every night before bed. So no, it is not due to parenting! I was a preschool teacher, and was attentive to what they needed to know when.
The main concern I kept seeing over and over was focus issues, and extreme negativity about himself, and self control of his emotions.
I couldn't understand what was going on. I'm the kind of mom who loves to build up my children, and remind them what God says about them. Josh struggles with his first response always being negative about himself. "I'm dumb, I'm stupid, I'm a baby". No matter how much I tell him his is NOT these things...This has been the case for many years, and increasingly worse through the years.
Also, he cannot handle a change of plans, or change of rules. No sudden changes, or it throws him off for hours, even days. He has struggled with self loathing, self negative thoughts, and I'd spend hours praying over him, talking with him, reminding him who he is in Christ...night before last this went on three hours. It is hard on him, and I do not mind doing this because I love him so much, and love reminding him who he is in Christ. For every negative comment, I would give truth that God says about him. It just hurts to see your child say horrible things about themselves...heartbreaking. It even hurts Jordan to hear it...she cries about it.
The next day he may be fine and happy...a couple of good days, and several very hard days. No one sees it because he can hold it together for visits and when we are around new things, other people, but then when he can unwind afterwards, he does so in the car or at home.
Josh has difficulty expressing his feelings and understanding simple commands. It has to be broken up in steps for him, and most times recently I have been making lists for him to check off simple tasks because he will get there and can't remember why he went there. Or as soon as he gets to the room, something else will get him off track. I know some kids do this occasionally and from time to time.
Now, I've read and heard comments that ADHD kids can play video games for hours, and thus focus, therefore they must be mis-diagnosed. Just because they have ADHD, does not mean that can't play video games for hours, sports and creative activities for that matter, they can. This is because these are not literature based activities. So to say that a kid is not ADHD because he plays video games, is simply generalizing. Our Dr. encouraged us to use the Wii, in between lessons, to help Josh unwind.
We have to take many breaks during the day with school work, because it gets overwhelming for him. It also gives him a break from the stress because for ADHD, simple copy work can be stressful. Math is difficult. Reading is stressful to them. Writing is especially difficult to them. Not for all kids, every kid is different, but one or more can be extremely challenging. Especially the reading part. Josh can read fluently, but he cannot remember what he read. Most of the time I have to read books to Josh even now, for him to comprehend it. Making simple connections about things is difficult for him. Books on tape have also been suggested for us.
There is so much that I do not understand about ADHD, and for years I have been living with a husband who is ADHD/ with dyslexia (had 2 different batteries of Psychological testings at two different times in his life-his was not diagnosed until college and div school. He struggled all of his life, and was called stupid and lazy...and is one of the most intelligent men I have known) When you call someone this, it really takes a tole on them.
Jenny has talked about it from her perspective on her blog, and yes as she said, there are mis-diagnosis. I can say in our case, it is NOT. For years I've prayed for God to show me how to handle this. To make someone feel off the bat that theirs is a mis-diagnosis, to me is thoughtless really, especially when they are going through the difficult issues and needing answers to HELP their child. EVEN my husband who HAS the condition, and has studied it for counseling purposes, would never dare to tell someone else how to deal with it, or that what they are going through isn't real. EVERY case is sooo different. Certainly someone who does NOT live it, can never fully understand what goes on in the day and the life of someone with ADHD. That is UNLESS one has years of counseling experience....one on one counseling experience as a trained professional. Someone may read about it, or have friends with the condition, or hear others story, but it is DIFFERENT thing altogether living it. It is also different for each person. Unless someone is living it, they can not FULLY know what a person goes through.
Recently, Josh got the formal diagnosis...it was from a physician who has ADHD herself. We are referred to a psychologist for further testings...for things such as other LD's or Auditory Prossessing issues. The main reason I have NOT pursued getting a firm diagnosis in the past is because I did not want Josh labeled, and I did not want to put him on medications. Also, I was not sure...and everyone kept telling me he was just fine...when I am his mama, and I should have listened to my own about it.
He has the ADHD WITHOUT the hyperactivity, and up until now I had been able to understand how he learns and how to work with him on it. It is getting to the point now where we need a few more professional answers, so we will know how to BETTER help him, in a positive way. It isn't to slap him on drugs (of which I am NOT opposed to...this may be totally necessary in someone else's case), it is so that we can better help Josh learn the way HE learns. This does not make him a problem child, or dumb, it just makes him different. We are all different when it comes down to it. : ) Yet society somehow forces children to do things by a certain deadline or be at a certain level or they think something is really wrong with them. That is when the labeling begins.
We all, especially christians can stand to be a little more tolerant and embrace differences in children, and even adults...myself included here! : )
Since we home-school, we are told that we have to pay for our private testings. Would you please pray that God will make a way. I know He can and will. I've got to make some phone calls...our Dr. said the tests were going to be around $1500. Of which we do not have right now with David doing his chaplain residency, we are trying to get moved to the city where he is doing his residency. I'm hoping and praying that our insurance will help us out, but the Dr. did not think insurance would pay for it. I'm certainly going to try...
Yesterday I was so unsure as whether I should tell Josh. After prayer and some good advise from someone else who had ADHD, including my husband, I sat down with Josh. It is important to be real with a child, because they know when something is going on. I think it was actually a relief for him, because he was beginning to sense for quite some time, "on his own" that he was "different" for a few yrs now and not fitting into society's "norm". His negative self image was due to his condition, NOT because I am a bad parent or because he was "labeled".
I reminded Josh that his differences were also blessings. We can celebrate our differences! That while he may need some different ways of learning, he is bright, and creative. I reminded him of many people in ministry who have ADHD, and who are greatly using their gifts for God's glory. One being his daddy.
Also, I posted the question about ADHD previously. Thank you to all who commented. I do appreciate it so much. When someone is going through things like this, what is SO helpful is just knowing that someone cares, that they are listening, and they are praying. Suggestions are a blessing, but when suggesting goes from "suggestion to forcing one's opinion", it can add to the stress of it all.
Knowing someone who has been through it soooo helps, and how they have adjusted. I'm very thankful for the encouragement of friends, and bloggers, and for those of you who have shared on a personal level about what has worked for you.
Blessings in Jesus name, jenn
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
To Medicate or not to medicate??
I came across this below video, and it was quite interesting to me. I'm not saying I agree with all of it, but found some of it to be quite encouraging. Especially the part of allowing children to "feel" and express their feelings (something I was not permitted to do as a child-so I try my best to allow our children to feel)
We deal with ADHD in our home on many levels. Personally we have learned to cope through other positive methods, without the use of drugs. That does not mean we are in denial...nor does it mean that we condemn someone else for going that route of using medications.
I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter, and wondered if anyone else has dealt with it too. If you have the time to view this video, please let me know what your thoughts are on it.
- I'm not a morning person...never have been. As a child, and even now, I need a good hour before I like to be talked to. Of course, this changed a lot after having children. I would force myself to be "happy" in the morning...and sing the "Good Morning" songs to my children...smiling and the whole thing. As a result, my daughter is a happy lark in the mornings...Josh is more like me...grumpy. hehe
- The pupil of my left eye is much larger than my right eye pupil. I've been told that if I am ever in a car accident or trauma situation, I need to let the paramedics know that...??? Gosh, I wonder if I'd even been like coherent and calm enough to remember that! HA!
- Speaking of eyes, I can also make my eyes shiver...yeah, ik... weird!
- (I too LOVE to iron!) For me, there is just something therapeutic about it...
- When I play Monopoly...I'm in it to win! ;)
- Sometimes I am quiet for no reason. Some people aren't comfortable with quiet...they think I'm mad, when really..I'm just being quiet. =)
- I'm shy most of the time. This is especially true in a group/crowd of people. I may look all flamboyant and colorful on the outside, but it takes a while for me to get comfortable enough with someone to just cut loose and be all wild and crazy fun! OR, I pretty much have to force myself to be outgoing. And I DO force this for my own good. Otherwise, I might be a hermit. lol
Gosh, I have no idea who to Tag! Whomever would like to do this...please have fun! ...
Jaimer??? Wendy???? Jennifer????? Kelly???? Shelley???? Liz???? Jaime P.????? anyone??? who so ever will...
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Today is one of those days where I am doing so much thinking...probably too much because I believe I see steam coming from my ears! (need a time out nap)
Actually, I think I may be doing a little grieving too. I'm missing friends from back home, especially missing loved ones who have passed on.
With the recent surgery of my brother-in-law, it has gotten me to thinking a lot more about reaching out to others who are going through struggles. Whatever struggles they may have. The burdens are so much lighter when shared with a friend...when we pray one for another and lay those burdens at the feet of Jesus. Awesome! I want to be available to anyone who needs an ear, or just "Be". To uplift and pray for one another. Also, to rejoice with others who are celebrating too! You know...there are just some people we can be REAL with and just BE with...no pretense or anything.
In my thinking, the Lord reminded me of an important ministry that I used to be more active in. That is in the making prayer shawls.
I actually have two that I need to deliver soon. One of those visits is a difficult one because it hits home with our family. Last year this wife lost her husband to a brain tumor...young family with young children. So heartbreaking. It is difficult for our family to see this happen because only 2 yrs ago we lost our dear "GaGa" (my husband's father, my second father, and our children's GaGa) to a brain tumor.
Even after 1 yr... or even up to 7 yrs...the grieving process is in effect. No one can put a time on it for anyone else. Each person is different. All we need to do as loving brothers and sisters in Christ is to walk beside them, and love them through the process. Not say to them, "shouldn't you be over that by now???"
Grief is not a negative thing...Grief is Good.
Someone taking time to truly care..."spend time", pray...sit quietly with those who have lost loved ones...something as simple as a phone call, or a note can mean the world.
These weeks bring so much busy-ness with our family, with our move and all. I pray that I won't lose sight of the important things...such as taking a little time to comfort someone in need.
Making prayer shawls is such a wonderful experience. Working with my hands, seeing the pattern come alive and take shape, having that special time to pray and lift up in prayer the person you are making it for.
I never knew how special something like this was until I began making them. My great-grandmother made all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren an afghan before she died. I remember as a little girl, going to visit her in the nursing home...I would sit beside her and watch her crochet...such a sweet time that I will never forget.
It wasn't until a few yrs ago that I learned to crochet by a dear (and patient) 60 yr old friend. To be honest, I was going through a lot of working through my past...and it was such "therapy" for me to crochet and think...and pray...listen to uplifting instrumental music...pray pray pray...
Thinking of you all fondly and prayerfully.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Here is a dedication video in response to your post.
No photos, just words to a song to remind that Jesus misses time with us throughout our busy days...
Love in Christ, jenn
Jordan kicks in as mommy #2, and that really aggravates him. I have to remind her to let ME be the mom! ( Jordan, if you are reading this...I do appreciate your mommy type help sooo often! You know how bro. needs some space sometimes though;)
This morning Josh said he might get up if I would come give him snuggles and kisses. So I did. hehe, smooch! I'm so glad he is still young enough to want some mommy snuggles! I love you Jordan and Josh!!!
We showed the house earlier today. Also, we were supposed to show at 7pm, but the family rescheduled for Sat. Our landlord is working feverishly to get new renters in here to take our place. I'm sure this must be so stressful to owners of rental properties...I'm sure they need that money coming in consistently too. So, we are wanting to be as helpful and cooperative for her to show as often as possible. That way, they can get new renters lined up right away. We are hoping to be out by Oct 25th. Lord willing. That way, the new renters can be in Nov 1st.
Today David got a great compliment that was given to his boss from a nurse on the PICU floor. It was for David's support of a family who lost their child. He is so gifted with compassion. I'm so happy that he is settling in well at the hospital, and also very proud of him too! It is a bit stressful somedays on him emotionally to serve in the PICU (he thought Hospice was difficult-it is..but this is even more emotional)...God is stretching Him and growing him further in service.
Hope everyone had a beautiful start to their week! The rest of this week will be more packing... :o)
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I've been going through photos that I've taken in past yrs.
This is one that I took of our precious friends last yr.
The husband Ken, is a youth minister and worship leader in the youth band of our home church. Cindy is a beautiful help mate to Ken, friend and counselor to the youth and parents as well. An awesome ministry team!
Their two boys are so precious! The younger one is my son's true buddy. The older son is an exceptional youth, and both boys are musically gifted.
Last yr, they came from our hometown (5 hrs from here) to spend Thanksgiving with us. A wonderful christian family who is REAL, and has been through some major joys and pains with us. They walked beside David, our children and I, and still do love and support our family.
We miss them so much!!! Hopefully we will get to spend time with them if we are able to make it home for the holidays. I hope I hope!
Friends are such a blessing from the Lord. We should always cherish our friends, and let them know how much they mean to us.
Cindy Lu if you are reading this...I LOVE YOU SISTER! =) Give Ken and boys HUGS from us!