Thursday, September 29, 2011

Released for Play!

One of our doctor's visits netted great results today!
Kolton has been released to play again!
We are praying the muscle continues to heal without further injury...
and the bone chip repairs itself.
Let's go, 25!

She's Back!

Little Beast is back and good as new (except the need for a wash)!
So now we can fill two ginormous tanks with gas on days like today with 4 different doctors' appointments - oh joy!
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Name Game with Kasidi ~ video :)

video

Weekend Randomness

Mr. Herdsman! Congratulations, Kolton!
Mr. Awesome :)


Friday night ball game.

Unloading, reloading... don't be

jealous ;-)


Stadium seating, re-invented! *disclaimer ~ it only took a few minutes to realize Kasidi's foot was caught*




Saturday morning was Michelle's Celebration of Life, and Saturday evening was Noah's birthday party!


Yikes ~ the pinata busted!




Every little body is happy now...right?




Okay, he's always happy.


Gotcha, Kolton Tee!


Have a wonderful week!


The end.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Envelope




I love it when the Lord impresses a message upon our hearts...and then backs it up with the Sunday School lesson...and then just in case we missed the point, He further confirms it in the sermon :)




This week has been tough. And yet, we know God is sovereign, and He brings beauty from ashes. *Thank you for your prayers, and can I ask you to continue praying for the Nichols family. I want so desperately for the body of Christ to continue to reach out to this precious family.*




And that has a lot to do with my original topic...the Lord has really shown me changes He wants expects to make in my heart. And I have agreed to surrender my will. And I'll be darned if He just doesn't give me a chance to do so... immediately. I guess He's going to take me at my word! No doubt, He'll give me many chances to prove myself.


Compassion ~ love in action.

Hurt Healer

~Tony Nolan~


And speaking of compassion, as we left church today, Brother Brian handed Clayton a plain envelope and said someone asked him to give it to us. Inside the plain envelope were ten $100 bills! Yes, read that again, ten $100 bills. For our trip to BG Center in November!


We don't know who you are, but we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We are so humbled by your generosity. So.very.humbled.


We can only assume this gift is from someone in our church family. WE LOVE OUR CHURCH FAMILY! And how they love us! May the Lord bless you abundantly!


Let's go out and be "Jesus with skin" this week...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Specs

And on her special day, she got these:

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Seven Years Ago...

You were placed in our arms and changed our lives forever!

You add a little glam to everything!
KAYDEN FAITH, we love you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reality

Every time I start whining to God, He shows me someone who is really hurting. Every.single.time.

We lost a dear friend this week in a tragic accident, and I just can't wrap my mind around the reality of it. Before noon Tuesday everything changed for that family.

A wife, a mama, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a community-state-nationwide helper and lover of people went to be with Jesus.

I think back to when we were both first married and thinking about starting a family. When our boys were little and showing heifers that towered over them. When our boys played sports together. In February 2009 when we woke up to a flooded house, and she and her husband brought hot cocoa and muffins. And so much more.

Michelle made the most of every day! She lived and loved life.

God, I pray you will blanket this family with comfort and peace. Help them to find a new normal and keep the memories alive. And draw them near to You as they cling to the hope of seeing her one day in heaven.

Do you know Jesus? Do you have the hope of seeing your loved ones in heaven? It's the most important decision we will ever make. We don't know if we have tomorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Courageous




If I had to think of one word to describe our Joy, it would be courageous.



She has no clue how rough her tiny life began.



She doesn't know the orphanage director gave her the name Chun, the character "meaning 'effect a miraculous cure and bring the dying back to life,' which bears our hope that she would recover upon treatments."




Kasidi officially started physical therapy today, and she accepted every challenge! The therapist showed me how to use stretching and standing techniques in play. And Kasidi totally responded to her. The only onslaught of panic was when she asked me to remove a cushion from the couch - ack, how'd that get in there?!?


Kasidi Joy, you are a child of the God of redemption!
He has amazing plans for you, baby girl!
And the fact that I get to be your mommy leaves me in complete awe!












We also received letter confirmation of her appointment at Shriners on October 28th. Who knows ~ maybe by then she'll be walking!

No life, no past, no heart...

"We need to also cling to the truth that no life is too broken, no past too imperfect, no heart too wounded for our loving God to redeem and begin to heal. Jesus has extended the invitation: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' (Matthew 11:28) We need to accept his invitation and find rest and hope in him and all that he has made available to us.
~Dr. Karyn Purvis~
Created to Connect

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hail Damage



The night sky left something behind.

As evidenced on the Beast.

And Little Beast, who goes to the shop tomorrow for damage caused by the sprinting deer.

Coulda been worse.

Praising the Lord there are no windows broken and our new metal roof isn't on yet.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Truth in words

Somehow this morning I stumbled onto this blog and read this post.
I am so grateful.
Though I don't know this family, I know their struggle.
I know their joy.
I know their hurt.
I know their LORD!
Our closest friends know we are still "after the airport."
It's an amazing articulation of daily life in the trenches, on the mountaintop and everywhere in between, especially for parents of kids from hard places.
Go ahead, have a read.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

100%

Pure JOY!


Okay, back to work...if I must.



Princess Road Trip

Yesterday was Kennah's first appointment to meet her surgeon. So we made a day of it.
We snagged a little friend (Miss Emily).
And had lunch with a big friend (Thanks, Susan!).
Dr. Miller's nurse is so awesome she made 'little girl sized chairs' for the princesses.
"The wheels on the bus go round and round..."






Sorta like a tea party




Poor Emily saw her doctor earlier this week and was not interested in seeing another, so Mr. Clayton's lap was the safest place for her, thank.you.very.much.



And they all lived happily ever after, as princesses do.



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PT Cruiser

Yep, she cruised through Physical Therapy ;-)



The therapist showed us a mini parallel bar set that a family had constructed and donated, and Kasidi wanted so badly to get on it...so we tried it. The little squirt grabbed the bars and slowly walked the length of the thing. Then she went backward! I guess next week we'll get a new piece of furniture...

And, Kuyler-son, the rest of this post is for you. Finally, the three pictures of your car I've promised :)













But I digress.

I'm so excited for Kasidi to start PT. I think she'll have her wheels in no time!

BUT...Shriner's called yesterday and told us her clinic appointment has been moved from next Friday, September 23 to Friday, October 28 :( Another month we have to wait to see what's really going on with our Joy.

It also happens to be two weeks before we go to BGCenter in NY.

Which happens to be 10 days before we take two princesses to the cleft clinic.

I hereby declare November removed from the calendar...except it holds Kolton and Kasidi's birthdays, so maybe not.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mum's the Word!

Remember these beauties from a year ago? All 150 of them!
We are selling mums again!
We've pre-ordered 50 large mums ~ 25 yellow and 25 orange.
Mr. Greenthumb is also growing pumpkins, and they will go nicely with a mum (or 10).
All proceeds go to our trip to BGCenter in November.

Yellow
Orange. (actual mum from last year) They are ginormous!


Only $15 each!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

She's Gonna Do It!

I am confident our Joy will walk one day very soon!
Last night she made it to a squatting position...then stood up for a second!!! Of course, I missed the photo, I was so excited!

Tuesday we meet with PT to outline the therapy plan. I'm excited to learn ways to encourage, strengthen and teach her how to get upright. She's already gotten so much stronger in the three months she's been home.

Thank you for praying for Kolton. Got a call from radiology today that when his muscle tore, it pulled a bone chip with it. We'll know more tomorrow when we see ortho.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday Night Lights...in the ER

Let me just say I praise the Lord we are home this morning! Last night's game was a bit more exciting than we'd hoped. We were one touch down from ending the game, and Kolton was making his third TD run down the field when he stumbled and fell just short of the goal line. He said he felt something pop and couldn't lift his leg to finish the drive.

Dad joined Kolton in the ambulance...and we followed in hot pursuit in the Beast. (Which I now think you could add flashing lights and it would serve as an ambulance. Or add a flip-out stop sign and it would serve as a bus. Or maybe it's the new Winnebego.)

At first the ER doc was talking about breaking or seperating the growth plate in his hip...and that just doesn't sound good. X-ray revealed there is no bone involvement and the plate is fine! (thank You, Jesus!)

He's apparently torn, strained or seperated muscle(s) near his hip bone. You can actually see it move. He's really bummed at the thought of finishing the season on the sidelines...but we are praising the Lord it's not any worse! We see the ortho team Monday to learn more...

By the way, the Devils did score the touchdown to end the game!

*Thank you to everyone who gathered Kolton's things, hung around waiting for the news, followed us to the ER, prayed for Kolton and offered to take our kids! We so appreciate each one of you!!!*

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bags to Bring Kalia Home!

My friend Mandi is on day 100 of the wait for LOA to bring their daughter Kalia home.
It's been an excruciating wait, full of trials, but Matt and Mandi are fighting for Kalia to come home.
There are two ways we can help!
1) Pray for God to continue to move mountains on Kalia's behalf, including miraculous provision.

2) Join their fundraising efforts to pay the orphanage donation by getting a shot at these beautiful Vera Bradley bags.
But hurry, the fundraiser ends September 29th...and I'm praying they have LOA before that!
Please check out Mandi's blog for details.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

*UPDATE* Beyond Love ~ Redemption and Remediation Required!

*update at the bottom*


This is a really tough post to write. I struggle to keep a balance between my child's privacy, informing and encouraging prospective and adoptive parents and living out the purpose of this blog, which is to glorify God in all things. You may not share my opinion, but if you have not shared my experience, please be kind.


I remember when God broke my heart for older children waiting to be adopted. It totally caught me off guard. He showed me the plight of many left in their birth country with no family to care for them. He drew me to families who had walked this narrow path. He opened my eyes! While there are many ways to ‘defend the least of these,’ Clayton and I sensed clearly that God was asking us to open our hearts and home to an older child.


So we jumped in with both feet, armed with the Lord’s strength, the faith of a mustard seed and total dependence upon His provision.


We educated ourselves, prepared our children and soaked in peace beyond understanding, even though our son’s file was full of gaps and we were taking the road less traveled.


It was a gloriously exciting day when we met our son 22 months ago. He was scared to death, and so were we, but we soon warmed up to each other. We could tell right away that he had suffered neglect, and as much as he tried to hide it, the scars of his many losses were evident in his eyes.


We were probably naïve – no, we were naïve – in thinking if we just love our son enough, he will be whole again. We’re pretty laid back folk. We tend to take things in stride. Although we were prepared to fight for our son’s life and soul, we had no idea how big the battle would really be.


Early on we noticed immature behavior. Pretty typical for a child experiencing delays due to institutionalization. Then there was anger… Defiance and disobedience… Disrespect... Disconnect. .. Memory and language processing issues… Frustration…and anger.


Based on what little we’ve been able to understand about his past, his behaviors over the past 22 months, all the testing and treatment we’ve sought and the counseling consultations we’ve had, we believe we are dealing with an attachment disorder and other issues.


For this reason we have decided to take our son to the Boris Gindis Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment & Remediation in New York for a Combined Developmental, Neuropsychological and Educational Assessment


A combined developmental,
neuropsychological and psycho-
educational assessment conducted by
Dr. B. Gindis is recommended for a
child, exhibiting symptoms of certain
cognitive impairments (memory,
attention, comprehension, language
issues), behavioral problems or
emotional disturbance, the nature of
which needs to be understood to
develop a comprehensive remedial
program for this child. Our multifaceted
assessment includes developmental,
neuropsychological and psycho-
educational evaluation components; it establishes the diagnosis and provides detailed analysis of the neurological impairment in question as well as remedial programming and school-related educational recommendations for your child.
Bgcenter.com


Our hope is that we will get answers regarding our son's educational/emotional/social/developmental needs so that we can implement the plan formulated by the BGCenter, allowing him to live a productive adult life of independence. Time is not on our side!


The only problem with this plan is that it’s costly. We estimate the trip to and services at BGCenter will cost approximately $6,300. Our insurance might refund some of the costs, but with our high deductable we aren’t expecting much, if anything. We know the Lord will provide the dollars we need to help our son in this way.


Since we believe this is necessary and we simply don’t have the funds, we have decided to hold some short-term fundraisers. This is a decision we’ve struggled with. We are willing to fight for our son, even if it means humbling ourselves once again, asking for prayer and support and working like the dickens to raise the money for special medical care.


The Lord is always faithful, and He never changes! We know that nothing and no one is beyond His redemption!


Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1 (KJV)





*update*


I'm ashamed of even questioning God and His faithfulness!
Just this morning I set our BGCenter appointment for mid November and reviewed all the details of the trip. Meanwhile, Clayton and Kasidi were in town getting some things done to the van when he decided to go to lunch, turning into one place but realizing there wasn't much for Kasidi to eat there, he left and went elsewhere. He saw a family that buys corn from us, and they spotted Kasidi and started asking about the kids. He asked them to pray about our trip, and the woman said she wanted to help and would we accept a substantial amount of money toward the treatment?!? She wrote a large check and said, "It's from God!"


Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are renewed every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lam 3:22-24

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Resting up from Labor Day :)

What an awesome weekend! The Corkern family visited us, and we solved all the world's problems and got caught up on family happenings :)
Our two families have grown by four kiddos since we were last together in April!
They arrived in time for our first football game of the season.
Saturday we went to the parade.
WTG, freshman class! Float champs you are! But that 'Class of 2015' thing is kinda weirding me out!
The theme: Around the World in 2011.
This cool pic netted Kenzie a champion ribbon.


Sunday we celebrated Kuyler's birthday with lots of friends.


Monday we celebrated Clair's birthday! She turned 8, and it's the first time her birthday has ever been celebrated. What a blessing to be a part of that.


And to add to the coolness, Clayton and Doug drove to OKC Monday morning and picked up the Beast! She has arrived, has 150 car seats installed and a cool decal on the back window.


Tuesday was Kasidi's physical therapy assessment, and she scored higher than expected!


Today we meet the insurance adjuster to estimate the DDD (dumb deer damage) to Junior Beast.


Kenzie's softball tourney starts tomorrow.


And we have our 2nd Friday Night Lights after that.


Seems like I should post more pictures, but I'm resting up from Labor Day!




Thursday, September 1, 2011

Up in Your Grill

Literally.
He left his DNA.
And possibly more.
Up in my grill...my door...and the door behind me.
Kasidi, Kennah and I were making the one-and-a-half hour trip to the pediatric dentist this morning, when in broad daylight, from the trees sprang a deer. (that sounds poetic, but it wasn't)
He was fast.
Not fast enough.
In a split second I felt I had two choices: swerve and risk rolling my car, possibly injuring my babies, or hitting the critter and taking the damage.
I've never hit anything before, and I was surprised by the impact. And surprised at how sore my arms are from gripping the wheel...and my leg from mashing the brake.
Praise the Lord we are ok! I was able to drive the car, and the girls wouldn't have known anything happened but for my scream.
The up side: I get my exercise climbing over the console because my door won't open.
The adjuster will meet me next Wednesday *sigh*.
But we may be picking up the Mamavan at the airport Monday!!!!!
Lord, thank You for your protection!


Midweek (and More)

For several years our Ministerial Alliance has hosted a community picnic during fair week. There's good food, fellowship and fun.
Well...it's not always fun trying to get this many kids to eat when they want to play...


There was singing



Lots of water


And it was hot (like 109)!

But we survived!


And we'll do it again next year!

On another note, thank you so much for sending me your prayer requests! It's my privilege to lift you up! We serve an awesome God!



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