Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Video the Opposite

Can I tell you how brilliant Dawn is?? (and this time I am not just biased ;) You may remember we talked a bit about the importance of video taping or photographing your RADish. It is soooo important. But today, as my RADish was spiraling, grandma came over to help with home schooling (yes I heart her!!). I was chatting with Dawn for a minute while they were busy and she said you need to go video them. Your attaching kids need to see one day all of the + moments of their lives. Their memories cannot just be filled with yelling and pain of their sister.

We can get so distracted by the center of attention child, that we forget to capture (for us with video not pictures) all the special quiet lovely moments for them.

I want them to remember their great-grandmother's voice and hear the way they encouraged one another and learned new things. The little moments that are in the middle of the pain.


Charging the camera now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Comforter

I love Spurgeon. His words never fail to freshly explain God's Word or communicate my heart through the trials. You can read his devotions daily here. This one, however, can only be found in this:

And who comforts like Him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder that doesn't listen to the voice of the charmer, even though he charms wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and no matter how you comfort him, you will only get a note or two of mournful resignation from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance, and the mourner's eyes glisten with hope. Do you not hear him sing-'tis paradise, if you are here, if you depart, 'tis hell.'

You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; He is the "God of all comfort." There is no balmin Gilead but there is a balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvelous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is like the gold beater and can hammer that promise our for weeks. So, then, poor Christian, you need not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter and ask Him to give you consolation. You are a poor, dry well. You have heard it said that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all and then you will get water; and so, Christian, when you are dry, go to God, ask Him to shed abroad His joy in your hear, and then your joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, you will find them to be Job's comforters; but go first and foremost to "God, who comforts the downcast," and you will soon say, "when the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul."
I was so humbled by the realization of how often I seek comfort from creation and not the Creator. On my longest days of frustration and pain with my daughter, it is easier to seek out a friend than it is to wrestle it out with the God. In my flesh, I know it is my anger towards Him for not 'fixing' this trial or my own attachment issues of trusting that He will deliver the comfort my heart is seeking. I don't know where you are on the attachment journey or if there is pain in your heart tonight, but are you truly seeking Christ to be the comforter in your downcast moments? I know I have stumbled here. It is not that we are not to comfort one another. This blog would not exist if we thought that. We are to help carry one another's burdens. But first, our hearts should seek HIS consolation because it is deeper and sweeter with Him. To His feet I run. . .

. . .My words appeared slowly as I typed. I glanced up and through the sprinkle of rain, the sun shone fiercely. I could not see a rainbow from my yard. But knowing the Lord's faithfulness, it surely is nearby.

P.S. I am working on several posts about the conference. Coming soon this week!! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Discipline Cleverly

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting a child who is struggling alongside siblings who are the discipline factor. What works for the rest (or most kids) does not seem to work for this one child.

Now, we know we must discipline our children.... out of obedience.

Coming up w/clever "disciplines" goes w/the territory.

Try this one...

If you have a child who.... "fill in the blank w/an action/behavior/choice" which requires discipline...

....inform that child that you will be choosing their clothing for the day/week/month/year (j.k.)

Last week, I chose an adorable pink skirt and floral pink top for Girlie to wear to co-op. It was a lovely outfit. She looked very nice in it.

It's not that the outfit was's the fact that I was choosing it...that drove her wild.

She tried a few times in her most honoring unsubmissive way reason w/me....explaining why the adorable outfit was not appropriate for her on that particular day etc.etc.etc.

Eventually, when she hit the Mom Brick Wall ...she submitted.

It was an awesome moment when she arrived at co-op to hear one of the other mom's comment on how cute she looked.

Girlie and I had eye contact. We shared a smile. I moved over and whispered in her ear, "Thank you for submitting....and because I am a good Mom...I chose an adorable outfit for you today."

I got a hug and then she ran off to class.

We've tried the wear this TOTAL DORKEY LOOKING RIDICULOUS CENTER OF ATTENTION... WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE BEING BTW SO WHY THE HECK NOT APPEAR LIKE IT IN ALL IT'S GLORY??????.... OUTFIT out in public also....and because I am a good get to wear striped socks and mismatched Crocs just to finish off the look.

There are many options available to our arsenal of parenting tools.

If one things for certain we must remain consistent while constantly switching it up :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Over the years we have developed and maintained a close knit circle of friendships. Obviously, the "acquaintance circle" has been larger...but the actual 'friendship one" has been tight.

Some struggling kids attract mean spirited kids like flies to poop. Two kids in our history come to mind. Bullies (emotional not physical) from the word "GO."

A while back, it was almost as if Girlie was asking for the bullying. She'd step directly into the line of fire... and then not even realize she was getting hit smack in the forehead.

She'd even defend the bullies.

It broke my heart. It made me angry! At the bullies..... and at Girlie.

This momma don't raise no dummies!!!!!!!!!

Now, I am very well aware of the fact that my kids are sinners. From the word "Go." Girlie is a big time honkin' super duper-sized sinner.

She is not a bully, however.

And now...because we've had practice dealing w/them.... she recognizes one when she sees one.


If your child is not a bully....BEWARE because they may attract them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Progress Report

So, unsolicited I got another Progress Report from a co-op teacher. She has noticed great improvements in Girlie's academic work over the past year & simply wanted me to know. It took all my might not to leap for joy while twirling and kissing this sweet lady all over her beautiful face!

It was just the encouragement I need to keep on keepin' on because you can tend to think you might be deluding yourself when things appear to be going well.

Peer relationships seem to be going well too. Lots of play dates and sleep-overs here at the house...w/no trouble to speak of. If something minor pops up (as it does w/all kids) Girlie is now very quick to catch herself.

Yesterday, Girlie came to me and told me she had a need (private mother/daughter kinda need.) When this need has popped up in the past....sometimes it's taken Dear Old Mom a few days to find out about it....but now, Girlie sees and understands why moms should be & can be trusted in this area.

At one point in the afternoon....I got a big tight hug. From behind...kinda sorta I was unable to hug back. I thanked Girlie for the affection...mentioning that it was a bit weird though...the way she offered it. Twirling her around...I modelled what true hugs look like. She's seen them/had them (full on frontal swoop you up in overwhelming love giant hugs) a bazillion times before. She relaxed in to it w/ an..... "Oh, Mom"....then, sauntered off as teen-aged girls tend to do. Only thing missing was a flick of the hair.

Last night, I was tucking lil' sister in when Girlie came to me for goodnight kisses. Oh and btw....she also mentioned that she had done the dishes for me.

Without asking?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????? I just about died..... but instead, remained outwardly calm and said, "Why thank you very much."

This is your encouragement:

At one point in time...a few years back...Girlie had me VERY worried. There were days when I was depressed...when I could not see the forest for the tress.

There were days when I was frightened. When I was sad. When I was angry. When I was numb.

One Mom's Attachment Testimony....

Evidences of deep and lasting change did not become apparent until the Lord drew Girlie into a saving relationship with Himself.

Without the Holy Spirit leading the way...all our work/energies/efforts ....good as they were/might be....

....were/are in vain. Built on sand.

We must continually check ourselves. Are we operating in the flesh?

And, we must remember the fact ....that our unsaved kids.......... are most definitely operating in the flesh.

Stay close to the Lord, that you hear His that you recognize His promptings. Obey what He is showing you.

Plant the seeds. Water the seeds. Pull the weeds. Prune.

Pray parents. Pray siblings. Pray grandparents. Pray friends....for the Lord to heal hearts.

Our kiddos and ours.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sensory Rooms

Girlie had a sensory room in her orphanage similar to something sorta kinda like this one...except not quite as elaborate, polished, or fancy.

It was hardcore...though. Just a bit more rustic and folk arty.

Anybody have experiences w/spaces like this here in the states?

What I am Reading

Like with most other books...I find myself weeding through all the info...digging for nuggets of gold.

There is a thorough checklist.

Lots of assessment tests ...many of which resemble games.

And now (1/2 way through) I am getting to the good stuff....

...looks like there is plenty of practical hands on helpful suggestions for.... at home.... brain building activities.

Fun stuff.

Stuff we can do w/all our kids...struggling or not.

Let us know if you've read it. Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

Are You Exhausted Spiritually?

Whenever you are exhausted....visit this link (specifically Feb 9th).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Do Not Panic

So we have been at this "attachment thing" for ten years now. For those of you following our lives or our know that we seem to have/have made great strides.

It has not been easy. Far from it. It is still not easy. Far from it.

We have failed again, and again, and again. We have gotten up again, and again, and again. We have seen healing again, and again, and again.

For a very long time I was very worried about Girlie's academics. She is the kid who bombed every standardized test (we home-educate) put in front of her....always scoring 2 levels or more behind where public schooled children of her own age would place. PANIC!!!!!!!!!

She is the kid who needed to read books twice...once alone and again w/ as to pick up on not only the nuances but the over all themes as well.

Not anymore! At fourteen...she is thrilled to have recently gotten a B on her Saxon Algebra 1/2 Progress Report...and an A on her Johnny Tremain unit. These grades were not given by me...but by co-op teachers. HUGE news for Girlie!!!!!!!!! She is quite proud of herself and we are proud of her.

Girlie has not figured out her passion yet. It may be horses? It may be dance? So far...she is not excelling in any area. We do not have a w/horses....or play w/horses. The rest of our family could give a flying hoot about being near horses...CONVENIENT HUH??????........... & although she is in dance classes
twice /week....she is not naturally graceful. Hard working? Yes. Graceful? Not so much.

Being the insightful writing teacher I am (co-op IEW)...I assigned our class a 5 Paragraph essay....My Passion. This sent Girlie into a spiral.

( I kinda knew it would....there is usually a method to my madness.)

After talking through it...she decided her possible passions weren't yet passions...but areas of interest.

Her passion is ....Being A Good Student.

And, her essay is well written.

And, as we think about standardized testing (first time in 5 years?)...I am not having a heart attack.

Do not PANIC.

Be consistent. Strive for excellence...while allowing grace to cover imperfections.
Slow & Steady.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can't wait to hear more about the conference Cate went to.

Over in our Book'll find Sensational Kids. Lots of ah ha moments for me. Lots of practical advice. I highly recommend the read.

Check your local library before purchasing because I would much rather you call in respite & spend the $$$$$$$$ on a pedicure & a latte.

I'm thrifty that way :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Connected Child

First, I want to say I am sorry for the long silence. I've been here, sort of. ;) We are working through some pretty major stuff over here..... more on that soon.

Now! I have been wanting to share some of the new nuggets I learned at a Karyn Purvis conference. She is one of the author's of the Connected Child. WOW! It was so encouraging. Last year, I wrote a bit about this book. It is one I recommend to Christian parents because within the secular world of attachment theory, it is highly practical. It also, unlike others, hints at biblical truth. I want to share lots of things from the conference, but this is the one that was so surprising.

She immediately began speaking of the Lord! She referenced the Shema and spoke about the Lord wanting us mind, body and spirit and ministering to the wounded child completely, mind, body and spirit. She speaks about kindness, playfulness and a zero tolerance for disrespect. You can read more of her heart here.

more to come when I have a free minute. Gotta get dinner on. :)