Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wiggin' Out With Jokes and Pies

Today we worked on finding our new normal. Home school is over-- summer school has began. Some kids get up to go to school-- others beg to sleep in an extra hour. No more driving Adam and Caleb to school-- the trade off is driving around our 15 passenger van all the time. My toe feels so much better, but I can't stand to wear closed toe shoes.

Life is ever changing. Today I am realizing all over again-- change is hard.
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The night we came back from our dinner out with Rachel, we walked in on the kids playing Musical Chairs. I thought it was cool.

Cheese and Fruit pies are so simple. But they are the bomb! Roll out a ready made pie crust. Fill with cream cheese beat with powdered sugar. Top with lemon or strawberry pie filling and bake! Oh my-- you will love them!

Do you like my new wig? Just for the fun of it, I am wearing it on our shopping trip to Target tomorrow. Won't that be fun?

I am a happy as a bee tonight because I have my new teeth! Doesn't that sound weird? But it is true. My three crowns were cemented today. Now I can chew!
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Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who have donated to our fundraiser. I went ahead and bought our tickets before the prices went up any higher. We are leaving on July 13th. My desire is to share everything with you so that you can feel like you are with us because in a way you are. Does that make sense? Thank you for being a part of showing God's love to the least of these in Crimea, Ukraine.

Thank you Rachel for all of the toiletries! They will surely bless a multitude of children and their families.

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We are a fun, joking family if you don't already know that. The kids shared two funny jokes today. My brilliant idea for another fundraiser was to charge $1 to read them. Just kidding. LOL-- nearly rolling on the floor as Caleb and Adam are over my shoulder reading this.

Annalyn says, "You are such a party pooper! So make sure you bring lots of toilet paper!"

Caleb says-- "Now where is my buck?"

Aunt Tanya asks, "So Anna, do you remember any of your Russian?"

Anna, the brilliant sarcastic girl that she can be answers-- "Choot-Choot!" (which means a little bit)

Last but not least, John says-- "Did you know that diarrhea is hereditary? It runs in your jeans!"

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Knew The Day Would Come

One of the older kids walked in on Dennis trying to catheterize himself. Sitting on the toilet he was trying to go pee-pee-- or so he says.

"Dennis, those are not for you. You can go pee-pee all by yourself!"

"No... I need help... like Alex."

I'm still chuckling at the thought.

P.S. Thank you for those who have entered our "Handmade Craft Raffle Fundraiser." So far $115 has been raised. I appreciate your support so much. Thank you for partnering with us. It is not too late to enter.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rachel Moves Up

Rachel has graduated! She is now an official high schooler. Since we are homeschooling her, she didn't have a traditional graduation ceremony, but we did do something special for her. We took her out to dinner, a little shopping, cruising in the parking lots, finishing the evening with frozen yogurt!

We got her a pretty jewelry box with some nice earrings.

Isn't she beautiful? We are so proud of her!



Stay true... stay beautiful... inside and out. We love you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

**Handmade Crafts Fundraiser**

Julia and I have been busy crafting. So has Rachel, but her fun, cute project is not quite done. The other girls have been practicing their crocheting too. Now that school is done for us girls, we can focus on fundraising now. Honestly, it is a very humbling thing to do... but we remain hopeful that some of you would like to partner with us. So... we are doing a fundraiser. We have six things that we will be raffling off. Last day to enter is June 10. Our goal is to raise at least $300 ( a portion of that will cover the cost of materials, Paypal fees, and postage). By donating $5 you are entering your name in a raffle to win one of these handmade crafts. Every $5 donation gets your name in the drawing. The money raised will go towards sending us over to Ukraine to help out with the village folk and kids over at River of Joy this summer. Thank you ahead of time for partnering with us. Winners will be announced the morning of June 11th!


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Julia made this underwater trio! Set comes with pillow, octopus and starfish.





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Julia worked nearly every evening for a week on this beautiful blanket.



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Though it is getting warm, this adorable scarf and hat will be perfect next winter!



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These three cotton dish clothes are wonderful. Not only are they durable, but the holes pick up crumbs very well!

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It was so fun picking out the colors for this owl bag. After learning how to blanket stitch, creativity flowed from my needle. Perfect for books, toys, yarn-- use it as a diaper bag, a lunch bag, or even a purse!


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Another owl bag-- just different colors!

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Just Like It


I have thought about making Galina's adoption video. The more pictures the better. Here is one that I took recently. I think it's cute.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Apples of My Eye Can't Com-Pear

The kids were so excited to go to art class today!

Why?


They got to finish their latest paintings-- that's why!

Anyone Else?

I am having trouble leaving comments on other's blogs. When I log into my google account, my ID comes up as Anonymous and then won't let me leave the comment after all. Anyone else having this problem? Argh!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Absolute Treasures

Our kitchen is always bustling with life. I love it.
I love to cook. I love that my kids enjoy hanging out in the kitchen and cooking too.
I probably love it a little too much evidenced by the extra weight I'm carrying around. *Big sigh* but I choose to not focus on that.
When Galina's cake was done baking, Anastasia, pot holders in hand, asked if she could take the cake out of the oven. I showed her how to turn off the oven, pull out the wire rack and take out the cake and set it on a pot holder. Then I showed her how to push in the wire rack. Her face beamed with warmth and joy as she hugged me afterwards. I was all happy inside too.
Later, as Paul presented the cheese he grated, I was doubly blessed by his proud accomplishment.
What treasures these two are.
Absolute treasures.

Go ahead and try it. Have you any blessings today?

Wow oh Wow!

Adam passed his driver's test today! Our oldest child can now drive all by himself! I am proud, I am happy.... I am nervous. But today, I am choosing to thank God for my amazing son who is driving himself and his brother to school tomorrow. Oh wait, as Adam was reading this he told me that he preferred Friday to be his first day.

Glad to see I am not the only one that is a bit nervous. He is such a responsible boy that he offered to pay his first month of insurance with his birthday money.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We're Doing Well

Dennis is home! His quick, little surgery went well. It was a new hospital that we went to, but the staff was spectacular. We got there early-- so he had surgery half an hour earlier-- unheard of this day and age. He did wake up groggy and in pain, but did not throw up! They even let us go home early rather than stay the whole hour in recovery. One ear is in a lot of pain, but with Tylenol he is tolerating it grumpily.

As for my toe-- though it looks worse, it is actually feeling so much better today. Last night, the girls prayed, massaged my foot, applied ice, and rubbed hot muscle cream all over. Today, I am thankful.


Annalyn is beginning to take an interest in cooking more. I asked her to cut up the pork chops for dinner and she watched me marinate them. Thank you sweet heart!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Those Silly Trials

Last night Galina made a cake for desert. This is the fork Paul used to eat his! What a funny boy!
Chasing Dennis up the stairs after he got into trouble (got down pointy darts for him and Alex to play with along with getting into his brother's drawer and my closet) to make sure he went to his bed, I stubbed my toe really hard. I am pretty sure it is broken or it at least feels that way. It hurts to even walk. Yea yea, yea, if I had only not chased him this would not have happened-- I know. Definitely a trial rather than a smile, as I need to get past the constant throbbing.

P.S. Thank you Sarah! You've got mail.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beginning Tuesday

After a year long break, I guess it is time to start again. I am referring to Dennis having surgery, beginning with new tubes this Tuesday. He should be in and out before afternoon, as long as the anesthesia goes well. I know that tubes require only light sedation but Dennis still throws up-- so I'll bring an extra change of clothes just in case.

About two weeks later he will be undergoing an hour and a half lower lid surgery which will require a skin graft from the area right above his clavicle. Thankfully this too will be an outpatient surgery. About six weeks after that, Dennis will have a similar surgery for his upper eyelid.

My hope is to have this all done before school starts in August-- with a new prosthetic in place!

As for Alex-- I hope that I can get an appointment this week for his leg braces. His newest pair which are a year old have rubbed off a patch of skin on the top of his paralyzed foot and caused a huge blister on his heel. Thankfully he can't feel it, but if he did he might not have let it get so bad. We'll never know. I am having him wear his old braces but the straps are falling apart. I wish that he had two pairs-- one for play and one for school-- you better believe I am going to ask. He will see the Spina Bifida clinic in a few weeks.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just a Phase

Dear Mom,
I am sorry that I am going through the "I think it is cool to break and disassemble everything" phase right now.  I know it drives you crazy.  I know it makes you angry.  But I can't help it.  It is just too cool to smash my toy cars with the rocks from the rock river.  Hey-- it is kind of your fault anyway, the way you put all those tempting rocks out there. 
Oh, and about all those screws in the washing machine.  Did you forget to check my pockets again?  They came from the plastic green motorcycle outside.  Those screws holding on the dashboard were just begging to be unscrewed.
As for those three flashlights you had stashed away for when the power goes out-- who knew they were made up of so many different little pieces.  Kinda sorta reminded me of a puzzle, except I couldn't cut them up.  Trust me, I tried-- that is why the little light bulbs in the flashlights are broken.
Since you can hardly keep up with my little shenanigans, I thought I'd give you some pointers.  Hide all of the scissors in the house including the pair I hid in the cereal box behind the couch.  Unplug the pencil sharpener so I won't be tempted to sharpen Dad's screwdriver again.  Get those band aids that already have the ointment on them and get rid of the tube of Neosporin.  That stuff sure is messy!  Oh and don't leave rolls of toilet paper right next to the toilet-- they are too tempting.
Just like the "change my own diaper" phase and "refuse to let you feed me" phase-- this too shall pass.  Please be patient with me. 
Oh, and thanks for letting me mosey on into your bed almost every night around 4 in the morning.  I'll outgrow this too.  But for now, it is nice to know that you are there when I need you.
Love,
Dennis
I think the saying is true. You do learn something new everyday.

Did you know that farmers in Ukraine will keep dirt on root veggies to make them last longer? It tricks the veggies into thinking they are still in the ground.

What a smart idea!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mostly Smiles

I think we have a clown in the house!
Or two!
Dennis sleeps in the craziest positions.  You should trying sleeping next to him!  He always has his head tilted way back--probably to breathe better.  What is so sweet is that you can go up to him and give him a thousand kisses on the cheek, nose, and forehead and he will sleep right through them all!
Anna in her little jail--or so it looks like it.  She had to go to her bed early as a consequence. 
When I opened the door to Adam and Caleb's room to tell them something, I saw this-- Adam messing around with Paul on the guitar.  What??  To a Mom-- it was a sweet moment.
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As I was driving under the overpass, I looked up to where Ben's home was.  Everything had been cleaned up.  Ben is gone.  I wonder where he went?  After a few times, I never really had the opportunity to help Ben again.  Every time we went by, we did not see him.  Now he is gone. Hope he is okay.

Keep Knocking

Yup. Definitely like a yo-yo.

I took Dennis to a pediatric dentist yesterday. He did so well, bless his little heart. It probably helped that Toy Story 3 was playing on the ceiling. He has seven cavities, needs a baby root canal, and another tooth needs a crown. Add to it the cost of general anesthesia and we are looking at over $1000. This would most likely be done in August, but I mentally still think we need the money for it now. When I think that way it seems like there is more to bite than we can chew. When I worry about today, tomorrow, and the next all at the same time-- life seems impossible.

Christine, think of just today. Do what you are supposed to do today.

Take that leap of faith.

Be thankful for your provision today and trust for tomorrow.

I am trusting that we are going to serve on this trip... and having Dennis' teeth worked on in August.

What makes you so sure? Why do you trust Christine?

Because God is good. He is bigger. When you stop and listen, when you remain faithful... He is right there next to you. You know, He loves us right?

Amen.

Last week or maybe the week before that when I was at the dentist, I asked the hygienist about donating toothbrushes for the children's camp this summer. They didn't do that, she said. Check out Oral B's web site and request the toothbrushes directly from them. Defeated, I did what I was told and sent the manufacturer a nice email. Their answer was no too.

But I didn't give up.

At the dentist today, I asked the women at the front desk. Immediately one of them came over to me... an open door. I can help you. Did I hear that you need toothbrushes? How many? When do you need them by? Is it okay if they come in this pouch with floss and toothpaste too?

Keep knocking and the door will be opened. Seek Me and you will find Me.

She seemed genuinely interested in hearing what we were doing and suggested setting up a booth to sell baked goods at the appreciation picnic they host in June.

Thank you Lord!

A few of you asked about making ziplock gift bags for the kids. I could sure use your help with that. Don't need toothbrushes or toothpaste. :)

Here is a list of suggested items that can go in the bags.

pencils
pens
erasers
sharpeners
crayons
activity pads
small coloring book
hair accessories
gum
marbles
rubber balls
deodorant
toy cars
deck of cards
jacks
hard candy
brush
combs

If you would like to bless a child this summer with their very own gift bag, please email me at
thereed8@yahoo.com

I am trying to work out a kink with Paypal so that I can do a raffle for the owl bags.
I am also making the Cinnamon popcorn to sell. I double coated it for added yum! Do you think pans of cinnamon rolls would sell?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sibling Love

A picture says a thousand words-- or one can hope.  This picture does not do justice the sweetness I witnessed between William and his little brothers.  Right now there is Toy Story madness going on in our house with Alex and Dennis.  William is watching it with them.  Anything and everything has to be Toy Story.  So glad to see five year old toys being played with to death all over again.  I thought Sharpie markers were only taken to the bottom of Buzz and Woody's shoes. Oh well.

Galina and Rachel are being cuddle bugs in this picture.  It is amazing to see how well Galina is bonding with all of her new sisters.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The School Year is Finishing Up

The kids are finishing strong this school year.    Adam's hard work was recognized by a few of his teachers.
He received three awards-- in AP Euro, Biology, and Math!  Next year his math teacher suggested that Adam take Calculus.  And guess what?  Adam is up for the challenge.

Alex is so showing such an interest in school now.  At the beginning of this year, it was a struggle to get through his homework.  Alex would cry with frustration when it came time to tackle his work packet-- he did not know his letters and could hardly hold a pencil correctly.  Fast forward six months-- Alex now asks if I have additional stuff for him to do! 

Alex's excitement has Dennis asking for homework too!  It is awesome! 

Alex recognizes letters and numbers.  He is learning to make a pattern, what bigger and smaller is, and phonics.  He can recognize a few sight words too!  Way to go Alex!

My homeschoolers were tested last week to see how much growth they had made since they began homeschooling.  All of them made progress-- some by giant leaps!

Jonny who is finishing up first grade began homeschooling at a second grade level.  We went with that and had him do Saxon second grade math all year long.  Now he is testing at the fourth grade level!

Sveta is not far behind him!  She grew by leaps and bounds this year too!  My plan is to have Sveta, Anastasia, and Jonny all doing Saxon third grade math next year.  I am so excited to have the three of them doing the same math.  It should make things easier.

As for my newest daughter, it was great to see her testing beyond her grade level.  Had she just slowed down a little during the test, I am certain she would have scored even higher.  And Anastasia-- oh my!  She has learned to tell time, count money, borrow in subtraction, carry in addition, multiply, and round.  She is reading, writing, and has learned cursive.  I see the difference in her and Paul's progress so I continue to work with him on the weekends.

Seeing the growth that my homeschooling kids have made this year is confirmation that homeschooling is going well.  Honestly, I needed to see that.  So often I feel like I am not doing it right. 

I often think of bringing home the rest of my younger boys, but I know my limits.  So... I am working little by little to bring them home.  Next year, I am homeschooling William.  Next year, Dennis is going into kindergarten.  An even trade.  If that goes well-- who knows what the future will hold!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crafting With My Girls

Crafting can be so much fun. Julia, Rachel, and I have been doing it all weekend. Annalyn has been doing 300+ puzzles right next to us... the other girls have been crocheting and knitting.

Julia was busy making an octopus "night-night" buddy with matching pillow.

Rachel worked on a felt project that is adorable-- just wait and see!

I worked on hand stitching my own version of these adorable owl canvas bags that I saw in an expensive craft shop-- boy is there intricate detail involved. Now I know why they cost so much.


We all got a crack out of Julia's octopus. Sveta with her fascination for these sea creatures wanted it for her very own. I reassured her that it was cute-- especially with the pink pouty lips she added.


At first, blanket stitching was challenging for me. As time went on, I got the hang of it.


Here is the first of four bags that we are making. I think they are cute.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

At a Glance

I swallowed one of my temporary crowns.
Rachel began testing to see if she qualifies for an IEP.
Paul and Andrew's baseball team have another game to play in the tournament.
Alex has had three weeks worth of green cards for good behavior is school.
I backed out of going to 6th grade camp with three of my girls because two of them don't want to go and it will be hard for me to be gone while the kids are still in school.
The dogs smell nice and feel fluffy now that we gave them a bath.
The kitchen is busy once again. By the end of the morning we will have made and eaten at least 80 waffles. Topped with strawberries and sweet milk... and syrup for those who eat them the plain ol' boring way.

This is our life at a glance.

What does your life look like at a glance?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Going

Thanks to Molly who showed me how to retrieve my old post! Thank you so much! Sorry, the comments are gone but I would be greatly encouraged if you felt like leaving a new one. Blessings!
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See.... I knew I would be on the hook to share once I said I would. The excitement and blessing of this whole upcoming Ukraine trip feels like one big giant yo-yo.

It is hard to explain the ups and downs without sounding a bit like a yo-yo-- which I pridefully don't want to do. But God is bigger-- He always is. And I trust him completely to use my words how He wants them to come out-- even if I don't do that great of a job.

So please forgive me. Truly, my intention wasn't to keep some big ol' secret as much as my not telling you was because I was waiting for my perfect words to come to me before I shared it. But what do you know-- they never came-- and so as I type, I am completely relying on Him to share what He is doing in Ukraine.

Remember hearing the name River of Joy? Does that ring any bells? Well this is where Julia and I are going this summer. It really came about in the most unexpected way-- but God had it planned all along. As my eyes were opened to this little ministry in the beautiful peninsula of Crimea, the concept of reaching out in fellowship to the surrounding neighbors and families to show them love... hope... and the grace and salvation of Christ-- I was drawn. The beauty of something so simple as a summer camp for children where they can play, have three meals a day, and learn about Christ so that in the end they can go back to their families filled with hope-- well that just sounds absolutely amazing. The camp is so important to the kids. For most of them, it is the one thing they have to look forward too.

I figured that we would just help send a child to camp through sponsoring and that would be enough. And yet I felt this gentle nudging. This whisper.

Go.

Not only did River of Joy need sponsors, but they could also use a few extra hands to help during the camp. Cook. Wash dishes. Show a smile. Help with crafts. Sing. Apply band aids. Be the hands and feet of Christ.

Go.

Once I shared with John we both agreed that this was something that we should do. I made the commitment that we would go.

Over the last few days, things have come up that have made me wonder if going is really a possibility. Just when I was calling out to God-- How Lord? How?-- he answered through an email showing His provision.

Christine, you have got to trust.

I know that God. That is my verse that I cling to. Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart....

I know the good Lord will provide. He always does.

He will provide for the sponsorship of not 30 but hopefully 40 children to come to camp this year.

He will take mustard seeds and grow them up in the lives of these children.

He is calling us to plant those seeds. Will you help us?

As I was sitting in the dentist's chair the other day, I was in near tears trying to decide what was more important. Getting my broken teeth repaired or planting seeds in Ukraine this summer. I crazily contemplated just having the dentist pull the teeth that needed crowns because it would be cheaper-- and what's the big deal not having a couple of teeth? I would still have most of them.

But as I sat in the dentist's chair waiting, I realized that I was trying to figure things out for myself... take care of myself... and was absolutely not trusting God to manage the bigger picture. Have I really surrendered my life to Him?

A part of me knew that my fear of the dentist was feeding into my thinking.

But our Lord says not to fear.

So I went ahead with the dental treatment telling God that I would trust.

I trust you God.

I trust you with the plans for my life. And I trust you for the plans for River of Joy. And I trust you for the plans you have for the rest of your children.

I trust you. I don't know how.... but I will trust.

When I got home and opened up my email, the first one was from a friend who simply asked,

"What is the best way to get funds to you to help support your Ukraine trip?"

I am in awe.

He does provide. He calls other to be His hands and feet too, and they are doing.

In the next few days I hope to begin a few fundraisers. Julia has crocheted this beautiful blanket, and I am designing these cute owl canvas bags.

There is also a wonderful fundraiser in the works to help raise scholarships for the children going to camp.

A friend has offered to help make something to donate for a fundraiser.

It would a wonderful way to show the kids love by making them a personal gift bag with toiletries, art and craft supplies, and some little treats. All could be gotten at a dollar store. A handwritten card.. a note.. a picture.. from the family who gave the gift bag would make it personal. Imagine getting a gift from someone who you didn't even know just because God loves?
I have goosebumps running up and down my arms as I type this.

God is working. He is all around us. Let's be his hands and feet and reach out to those who can use some hope and encouragement.

Will you partner with us?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yes.... Everyday

Three of the youngest boys were taking a bath. After running around at a baseball game, they were stinky! As I picked up their dirty clothes I was certain that one pair of underwear had been worn multiple days.

"Boys, you need to change your underwear everyday. Do you understand?"

"Every---day? That's a lot Mom."

Monday, May 9, 2011

FAS Rears It's Head

My daughter Sveta took a five dollar bill that she earned to the baseball game. She loves to buy things at the snack bar. She doesn't understand the concept of money other than if you give it to someone selling things, you will get something back. When she younger, this wasn't such a big deal. As she has gotten older, I thought I could teach her the basics.

Yes, she can now add by carrying and subtract by borrowing, but the concept of money has not gotten any clearer. I have tried to teach her the concept of "change"-- not the correct calculation of change just when she should know that she is owed change.

She doesn't get that either.

Back to the snack bar. She went up to it to buy a Gatorade for $1.50, handed the guy a five and ran away completely oblivious that she just paid five bucks for a drink.

Forget trying to explain things to her. Trust me, I tried.

This is where I get angry. Angry that fetal alcohol syndrome could be totally prevented, angry that even if I teach her to stick around for change someone will take advantage of her, angry that I can't fix this for my daughter.

I can love her, shelter her, and help her till I am blue in the face... but what she wants is to be like her sisters.

In most ways she is. In most ways her disability is invisible.

The Visible Kid with the Invisible Disability© 2003 Teresa Kellerman

Hey, look at me! Do you think I'm cute? On the outside, I look just like any other kid - friendly, playful, and full of energy. But there's something about me on the inside that you can't see - how my brain was messed up before birth by alcohol. You can't see the tangled connections and all the little empty spaces in my brain. Unless you can see inside my head, you can't see that I have - what's it called? Static En-ceph-al-o-pathy.
But what you can see is how silly I act when I am out in public. You can see how immature I am, especially when you compare me with other kids my age. And you always notice when I get out of control and "lose it" when things get to be too much for me to handle.
Can you see how embarrassed I get when I can't control my behavior? And how frustrated I get when I forget the rules - again? And my anger when I get blamed for trouble over and over? You probably can, because you can see my feelings plastered all over my face.
You say I'm a problem. But I'm not a problem. I have a problem. I have Static Encephalopathy. The doctor told me what that means - my brain damage won't get any worse, but it won't get any better either. It's forever.
You can always hear me, because I talk a lot, to anyone who will listen. When you ask me a question, an answer just pops out, whether it's true or not. I'm good at telling you what you want to hear. I can fool people into thinking I really understand what they are telling me. I don't want anyone to think I'm stupid.
I also act like I can take care of myself. But it's hard for me to figure out time and money. I can't even make change for a dollar. I can't remember what I got in trouble for yesterday. You probably think I should learn from my mistakes. But I can't. It's not that I don't know the rules - I do. It's not that I don't understand consequences - I do. I just can't make myself do what I know I should do. I don't know why - I just can't.
Maybe you notice that I don't have a lot of common sense. I'm the one who goes along with the wrong crowd, who gets sucked into doing some really stupid things. And I'm the one who usually gets caught.
My teacher always tells me, "You should know better than that!" And I do know better. I just can't be better. The doctor says it has to do with "lack of impulse control and poor judgment" are from damage to my brain before I was born.
My Dad says, "Just grow up." He says I act half my age. The researchers say "arrested social development" is common in kids like me who are alcohol affected. That means the only thing that will grow up will be my body.Everybody can see that I'm friendly and affectionate. But nobody can see how lonely I am. I have lots of "friends" but they never come over or call me. I don't have a best friend. But I pretend like I do. I wish I had a dog.I'm not afraid of anything or anybody.
I'm not afraid of strangers, or of heights, or of unsafe sex. I'm not afraid of the dangers of the real world.
Should I be? Maybe I forget. Even when people tell me things over and over, I still forget. The psychologist says I have a problem processing information, that I have memory deficits and attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. Yep, that's me all right!
You probably think my mom is over-protective. But she knows how easy it is for others to take advantage of me. Sometimes I think my mom is too strict, because she doesn't let me go to the park by myself or spend the night at my cousin's. I guess she knows that I can't behave properly unless she's right by my side, and she doesn't want me to get into big trouble. Like last year when I got too "friendly" with the little girl next door. I didn't know that was "inappropriate." (I hate that word.) Mom said I could get arrested for doing something like that, which really scared me. But my conscience doesn't seem to work right. I don't want to make people mad. I don't want to be "inappropriate." I don't want to be bad.
I just want to be accepted, and understood. Not blamed and shamed. I want to be appreciated for the good things. Do you notice those?
I want you to care, even when I act like I don't. I want to be respected. And I need you to be a good role model for me so I can learn to be respectful too.
And most of all I don't want you to say bad things about my birth mom because she drank when she was pregnant. Maybe she couldn't stop drinking. Maybe her doctor told her it was okay to drink when she was pregnant. Maybe she just did what everybody else was doing. I'm not making excuses for her behavior, or for mine. Maybe she didn't think about what she was doing. Maybe she had Static Encephalopathy too, just like me. But nobody could see.


At this point, I will have to monitor her more closely and go with her... role play at home more... and just keep pressing along.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Perfect Day

"Hi Everyone! Happy Mother's Day! In celebration of this special day and Adam's belated birthday we headed over to the beach to rent surreys and enjoy some fun in the sand."

While I took care of the rental agreement for the three surreys, John and the kids played volleyball.


William and Andrew were excited to do a little exploring.


Time to put on our helmets and head out!


We got a quick lesson on driving before taking off on our journey.


Going up hills was a bit challenging so the guys got out and pushed! It was pretty hilarious-- but I know we will remember this adventure always-- and laugh about the crazy driving.



We were all pretty tired and were ready to turn in the surreys early. The woman we rented it from let us ride other bikes for our remaining time free of charge--- which was a huge treat!




It was so nice having Grandpa and Grandma with us.





After bike riding, we ate lunch.








The kids ate fast so that they could go and play!


Galina hit the volleyball! Way to go!


Grandma and Paul out for a walk.


Grandpa, John, Andrew, and Jonny walking along the shore skipping rocks.










Jonny collected these pine cones for the little boys. They loved them!




By two o'clock we were all ready to head home. It was a wonderful family day spent together!