Friday, October 29, 2010

Interesting Article on adoption

As we have another day of testing God provides something interesting to read about adoption. I must say that some days this article has a lot of truth for our family.  I do "fake it 'till we make it" but along the journey the truth is some days you don't like your children very much.   I have walked this walk before so I am not stressing because some days I don't like much less love a child.  I know that with time, boundaries, structure and love God will change the child and everyone else to mesh us together.   I do want to point out how "mean" this mom had to be to help her daughter attach.   It is HARD always being the bad guy.  If your child needs painful procedures to help them grow up to be a "normal" adult you see that they get them.  Some times you even have to give them.  This is much the same. It is painful to be the bad guy day after day as you teach boundaries and structure.  It is exhausting listening to a child scream and yell at you because he isn't getting his way.   That said, I wouldn't trade my walk for anyone else's walk!   Some days I might consider trading kids :)

Thoughts?  Commits?   All I ask is don't judge an adoptive family until you have walked a mile in their shoes.  May of them have issues that most people wouldn't even believe if you tried to tell them.  


It was interesting this week as our family dynamics changed. MJ has started working part of the time helping older brothers. I think this is wonderful! He loves it. What happens is he is gone a lot. He worked Monday. Tuesday he got up early to work on school so he could go again. He left here about 7:30 with his brother. He came home from working Tuesday, last night (Thursday) about 9:15. So we were short MJ on Tue, Wed, and Thursday. By Thursday I had children walking around whining "I miss my MJy" It was funny. D11 was one of the loudest whiners. MN knew he was coming home last night and wouldn't go to bed until he got here so she could see him. Thursday in town it felt strange. I had 4 of mine plus grandson and kept looking around because I was "short".

I think he was more than a little tired last night. I didn't get much conversation out of him. No one had to suggest he shower. He came in turn the hot water heater down, dodged being mobbed by siblings that missed him and headed for the shower. He came down and said goodnight. Not only did they do the normal Tue. night run which got them sleeping about midnight and up again about 5. He got a free trip to New Mexico that afternoon. So he not only got to work he got to see the world. J who needs the army to see the world when you have brothers that have a trucking company. Since it wasn't planned that he would be gone so long he didn't take extra clothes. He is my "Mr. Clean". I did get some serious chuckles in at thinking how dirty he was getting. Did I mention he was riding/working in a bull rig? A bull rig for those that don't know the term is a livestock hauler. He was helping haul sheep and goats. These trailers have 4 decks, meaning they have 4 floors. There isn't enough room for a grown person to stand up in the sheep and goat decks, cows there is only 3 and you can stand up. You have to either crawl or walk very bent over to go in and push the stock out. It is a dirty job! The "flooring" leaks from above besides the stuff on the floor of the deck you are crawling in. See why he was so ready for a shower!

What I found so interesting is how our "adopted" family all were missing MJ so much. Both Ds kept talking about it along with MJ's bio siblings. There was no difference after 10 months of being "family" in who was missing MJ the most. I really think it was a tie between one adopted and bio sibling. Being a family really has nothing to do with "blood" and a lot to do with what you make of it. Isn't it cool we can all be family as we are adopted into the family of Christ and are adopted brothers and sisters of Jesus?
Ephesians 1:4-6
Just think, we have the same inheritance that Jesus does in the Kingdom. I think we miss the boat way too often. We put importance in the wrong things of life. We worry about "blood" instead of being thankful for THE Blood of Christ and how that allows us to draw near to God.

Just morning ramblings as I start my day. Hope everyone will spend some time today considering what is really important in life.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For Cowgrannie......

I couldn't resist!  She took such beautiful pictures today I had to share with you Tammy!

Beautiful fall weather......

This morning was so pretty I took the camera out with some of the grand kids and kids that were home and done with school.  

Kitties are much loved around here.   We really do watch them close and they don't seem to disturbed as kids seem to re-catch them pretty often.  

 She isn't a baby any more!  She is one year old but looks so grown up today.   :)    She is walking everywhere and having a wonderful time climbing in and out of the car. 
 This car was brought out by a friend when her yard got to full of toys.  There were two of them.  Her kids played on them out here until they moved away.   Not long after that we got the first kids.  That is when one of the cars finally bit the dust.  We have had the kids almost 6 years.  Only T really "fit" when we got them.  She was 4.   Then along came grand daughter by marriage.  She "fit" so more playing with the car.   By the time she was not fitting grand son was toddling into it.   So now we have 3 again fighting for it.  
 No, my children do not have pants with knees in them.   Are boys suppose to?

 Kitty LOVE!!!!!!

I love this picture.  If you could have heard the chatter going on.  This was a flower pot of mine full of dirt.   As you can see the dirt migrated to the porch.
See the "cowboy" sitting on the 5 gallon bucket?  He isn't sitting there just for fun.  He was not listening and Granola parked him there.  He doesn't look to distrubed.  

"It wasn't me!"

I know better than to ask some questions, but seems even after 8 kids I forget and ask. 
The question of the day was, "Who trimmed the cats tail?"
 Bet every mom out there knows who did it!  I don't even know who did it.  I do have ideas.   I don't really care.   I just goofed and ask, knowing even as the words were leaving my mouth I wouldn't get an answer that pointed to anyone but a ghost.

As I was taking tail pictures Grand son offered to help show the cats tail off.   :)  They were two cute not to show off. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Joys of ODD and Attachment Disoroder.

This morning D8 had the assignment of sweeping the kitchen.  Remember he is 8.  He can do it.  He didn't want to.  He had other things he wanted to do.  So mom said he would have to finish sweeping before he left the kitchen.  Funny then he needed to go to the bathroom.   I wouldn't budge.  Just calmly told him guess he needed to sweep faster.  Finally he got all but one LARGE clump of mud pretty well swept up.  I caught him looking at and sweeping around this nice oh maybe 1/2-1 cup clump of mud more than once.  I had each other child walk around the kitchen to see if they could still see mud that needed sweeping.  They could!   I enjoyed the computer time at the bar where I could keep an eye on him holding the broom up.  He told me he was "thinking".  I agreed that was a good thing.   TWO and 1/2 hours later after much yelling on his part and stomping and trying everything to get out of the kitchen he suddenly "saw" the mud.  Quick as a flash it was sweep up his pile put in the dust pan and life was good.   Funny he never did go to the bathroom after he was finished, yet HAD to go a long time ago!   He did get a drink. I'm sure all that yelling was drying on his throat. 

This is called ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Symptoms of ODD may include:
Throwing repeated temper tantrums
Excessively arguing with adults
Actively refusing to comply with requests and rules
Deliberately trying to annoy or upset others, or being easily annoyed by others
Blaming others for your mistakes
Having frequent outbursts of anger and resentment
Being spiteful and seeking revenge
Swearing or using obscene language
Saying mean and hateful things when upset
In addition, many children with ODD are moody, easily frustrated, and have a low self-esteem. They also may abuse drugs and alcohol.

The only one of these things that D8 doesn't do daily is the swearing.  He has stopped that.  When he came he did that one too.   That said I see so much improvement.  It is a daily battle in all these areas, but most days it isn't an hourly battle.  

As you think about dealing with these you will see many of them look much like what is known as the terrible 2s.  Much of his actions seem to be emotionally that age.   Think about how you would handle an 8 yo who did all of these things not when they were tired but 1-50 times a day.  

As you consider ODD and how it looks let me add another layer to it.  It is called Attachment Disorder, and ALL children coming out of the foster care system have it to some degree.   Here are the signs of it.

Signs and Symptoms of Attachment Problems

A child who exhibits several of the following signs and symptoms should be evaluated by a licensed therapist:
Superficially engaging and charming
Lack of eye contact
Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers
Lack of ability to give and receive affection on parents' terms – not cuddly
Inappropriately demanding and clingy
Persistent nonsense questions and incessant chatter
Poor peer relationships
Low self-esteem
Extreme control problems—may attempt to control openly or in sneaky ways
Difficulty learning from mistakes
Learning problems—disabilities, delays
Poor impulse control
Abnormal speech patterns
Abnormal eating patterns
Chronic "crazy" lying
Destructive to self, others, property
Cruel to animals
Preoccupied with fire, blood, and gore
 Would anyone like to guess how many of these D8 has in spades?   ALL but the last 2!!! The next to last one he may have, he gets to rough with the kittens but I don't see it to bad, more as not knowing how to play.   The blood, gore and even death isn't a big deal.  Maybe a little more than most boys but not to preoccupied.   

Next time you see/deal with a child that has never met a stranger.  That hugs and hangs on strangers and ignores mom and dad don't feel flattered they "like" you.  They are playing a mind game.  They will also tell you how mean and abusive mom and dad are.  How they don't get to have any fun.   Remember the "Chronic "crazy" lying"?   You just got a dose of it.   When you are flattered and allow this child to hang on you, hug you and otherwise treat you better than they are treating the parents you are not "befriending" the child but hurting the child and his parents and the parents attempt to teach this child to attach. 

The good news is with consistency and no middle ground these children can usually heal.   What the world sees as grace these children see as weakness.  The floor is a good example of these battles.  If I had allowed him to go to the bathroom, which he didn't need to do he would have gained "power".  In his eyes I would have just proved to him how much smarter he was than I am.  I would have confirmed his mindset of why should he trust me, I am not smart enough to control him.  If I can't control him, how can I keep him safe.  Once he saw I really was standing firm, yet not battling him, or being upset by his choices then he  willing and even joyful  finishing his chore and starting school. 

School became the next battle ground.  He made a 25 on a history quiz.   Funny he is quite capable of passing these subjects, or at the very least coming close.   He did this the other day and mom was slow at catching on.  I re-did three times before I told him if he failed it he would be setting the rest of the day.  He failed it!  Next morning he made an A on it the first try.   Power struggles are part of my day.  Some days we have few, some days, like to day every breath is a power struggle.  I am learning, (after 6 adopted kids), to short circuit them as much as possible.  Today D8 will spend his day on the stool in the living room.  He will watch the day go by.  IF he wants to converse about life then he is more than welcome to talk with us.   If he wants to play games he may sit and just watch and think about his choices.    We do lots of talking during the day about why what ever child is sitting and what they could have done instead of the choices they made.  This is something we talk about to help them come up with ideas on ways to deal with life and make good choices.  

This link has lots of information on attachment and how important it is.

I just ask those of you that know people struggling with ODD and Attachment issues to prayerfully seek God and see if you are helping or hurting with your words and actions.   I know until I walked the attachment walk I hurt others in words and actions as I thought "befriending" these children was helpful.  It is harmful!   It feeds their power and their understanding that their parents aren't in charge. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Where's the Beef?

 DIL made Cherry cheese cake for granddaughters 1st birthday.  While grand daughter thought it was OK.  As kids scarfed their cheese cake and went on to "desert" she wanted her share of desert.  She wanted a RIB!   She was much happier with a rib than with cherry cheese cake.  

Such a clean face and hands!  It WAS yummy!   I thought both the cheese cake and the ribs was yummy. 

Daughter in love figured out why I am so willing to make this for birthdays.  It is quick and simple and yummy!  Not counting pretty!  

Recipe is as follows, but remember we are making grandmothers cobbler pan full, which is a bit larger than a 9x13 rectangle pan.  

Graham cracker crust squished into pan.

In a large mixing bowl mix 2 packages very soft cream cheese with about 4-5 cups of milk.   Once the cream cheese is mixed well add two large packages of instant pudding mix.  I like vanilla or lemon and vanilla (one each).   Mix the pudding mix into the cream cheese mixture and pour it in your pan.  Chill!  Once chilled top with two cans of cherry pie filling.  You are done!   If your pie filling is in the frig it is much better.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Daddy's Fault!!!!!!

I got the privilege of watching almost 2 yo this evening/night while son and DIL went off to have fun.  Son was concerned since there wasn't any dirt for grandson to play in.  We had been blessed with a wonderful rain this morning.   I assured him his son could adjust to mud instead of dust/dirt.   I think he did a great job adjusting!  What do you think?
 Not even sure he needed "instruction"  I really think he managed this all by himself!  He was one of the kids that didn't come in willingly or without prompting way after dark.  He was busy "cooking"  
There is a chance he might have even sampled some of his own cooking.  I can't be for sure but judging by his face there was a slight chance. 

He was one of a zoo of kids having fun today.  We had kids ages, 5 weeks,1,   almost 2, 3, almost 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14 here this evening.  Did I mention the mud?   People quickly come to understand why I have no carpet once they are out here after a rain.   Tonight my floors have a thick coating of dust.  It came in as mud but quickly dried and was crushed into dust by the high level of traffic. 

We BBQ ribs and link sausage.  The ribs were great!  The sausage was OK I guess. I ended up with pork and it was to greasy and just wasn't great.  

Hope every one is having a blessed weekend.  We are! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I'm running late on getting started dreaming of Thanksgiving.  I have invitations printed, but not mailed.  I think I will e-mail many instead of using the post office.  It is just easier.   I haven't bought anything yet.  I did print out my grocery list this morning.  

Anyone want to join us?   

Thanksgiving   Menu



Giblet Gravy


Cranberry Sauce

Sweet potatoes with and without marshmallows

Fruit Salad

Pies: Pecan, Cherry, Chess, Pumpkin, Apple

Grandmothers Dip

Tortilla Roll-ups

Grocery List







Cranberry Sauce

Sweet Potatoes

Marsh mellows



Sour Cream

Cream Cheese


Big Tortillas

Cool Whip

Cereal for Trash




Apple Pie filling

Cherry pie filling


Do Ahead




Cranberry sauce in Ice box

Cook Pumpkins

Make Trash


Crumble bread

Thaw Turkey

Thaw Ham

Chop onions

Chop Celery


Make pies

Cook Sweet potatoes


tortilla Roll-ups

boil eggs

slice eggs

Wednesday Night

Cook Turkey

Cook Ham


Slice turkey & ham

Make dressing

Make gravy

Heat Sweet Potatoes

Fruit Salad

cook giblets

slice giblets


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Country Bumpkin or City Slicker?

This picture will separate the country bumpkins from the city slickers.   If you know what is about to happen with the picture below then you are totally a country bumpkin.  
If you guessed "tutoring" cats!  You are right!   We started out on dogs.  Just one.... for now.  Then we moved on to cats.  The cat in the picture is the ONLY male cat I didn't "tutor" that we could find.  I have one more to fix, but he was unavailable this evening.  

I did laugh as I had two girls helping me.   This seems to be a job boys (of all ages) have issues with.   Girls on the other hand... well it is done!   I guess siblings are getting along pretty good since I didn't hear any suggestions of "tutoring" male siblings.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Think PINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And a very Happy 13th birthday!!!

Really it started as a joke!  MN does NOT like pink.  She was running her mouth about pink one day a couple of months ago and I threatened to give her a PINK birthday party.  Well from that it seems she didn't hush but kept bringing it up.  So some of us figured she was really secretly excited about having one.   Since she was wanting it we decided to give her her wish.     I didn't pan anything, I just turned it over to DIL's and a friend.  From there well......

Doesn't she look excited about her beautiful PINK Barbi cake?   She was just a little bit shocked when we arrived at the park to find this.......

 Then there were the PINK gifts.  She got some really cool things........... all PINK.   Fuzzy house shoes, 3 new shirts, two did have horses, some pink unmentionables, a pink book light..........   Those are some of the pink gifts all in pink bags :) 

It was a great day!  She decided she might as well find her happy pants as she couldn't stay mad at everyone!  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Some things I am learning ....

You know how you have a mind set about something.  You just think of it as being a certain way.  Then someone says something or you read something that changes your outlook or your thoughts on a subject.   That keeps happening to me as I dig deeper and pray harder for more of God.  Some of this is just really random, "wow never thought of that", some is more serious.  I would love to hear others thoughts or others revelations.  

I think of Daniel as being this handsome young man.  A year are so ago I heard a teaching he was a eunuch.  I was like do what?   So off I went to read carefully and yep he was.   So there went my picture of this handsome hunk of a young man.  Then I heard a teaching yesterday that took me even further.  Again I have this picture, I know from children's Bible stories of the handsome young Daniel being tossed in the lions den.  This teaching said Daniel was an old man when he was tossed to the lions. I never connected the time line of this. I never stopped and thought about how long he was in Babylon. He served more than one King. According to one verion he lived to be about 77 years old. He was well into his 70s when he was offered as lion food.   So it rocks my vision of Daniel in the lions den when I think of this 70 year old Eunice instead of this handsome young man.  

Ezekiel 47 talks about a river that leaves the sanctuary.  What I dots I didn't connect until I heard it read yesterday and went back and read it for myself is that this river wasn't being measured in the same place, but further and further from the sanctuary.  The further it goes from the sanctuary the larger and deeper it becomes. I realize we are to be that river. We are to leave our comfort zone and go into the world and share about Jesus and as we share we bring others into the river. The river becomes more and more the further we are from where it starts. Where we go we bring healing and life. I know I need the  Lord to help me take this knowledge into my world. Into my daily life. I do want to be this River.  I just struggle with getting my feet wet, much less becoming a river that can't be crossed it is so deep. 

I have so often said I want to reflect God, but that isn't what His word says, It says shine forth
Matthew 13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! 
As I think of what a reflection is I realize that to be a reflection is to be backwards. Instead I want to be like the Lord and I must shine forth with His Holy Spirit shining from me not reflecting off of me.

Hope this encourages someone else to dig deeper and think harder about what God's Word is speaking to them.   Be blessed!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Healthy Chicken Strips

Last night I made chicken strips that were so good.  I had to share the recipe.  Of course I modified and didn't measure so it is a sorta recipe. 

Cut chicken in strips.
Soak in a mixture of milk, honey, (very little like a table spoon), and Tabasco sauce.  Said to soak it 10 minutes.  I tossed in some black pepper. 

Next add seasoning of your choice.  I added spicy stuff, like chili powder and garlic to corn meal.  It called for corn flakes but.....  I never have that.  I dropped pieces in the "shake and bake" zip lock and shook.

I planned on cooking them in the oven on a greased cookie sheet, but my oven knob broke off as I planned to turn it on.  So I used the grill on top of the stove and covered it.  

The review was it is better than chicken nuggets!

I'm not sure what the honey does, if it makes it cling better or what.   I know they weren't spice.  The last batch to cook I added cyanne powder to them trying to get some zing.   Still needed more.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heart of Motherhood Enrichment

~Mark your calendar for~

Heart of Motherhood Enrichment
February 4th - 6th, 2011
Heart of Texas Bible Camp
Brownwood, Texas
(This includes: Food, lodging, and much more)

Our theme this year is:

A Day in the Life of a Mother

There are about 17 weeks before retreat. If you can stash $6.50 per week in a H.O.M.E. retreat envelope you'll be paid in full.:)

We are looking forward to what the Lord has for all of us at this years retreat. See you there!!!

May today's rising of the sun mirror the rising hope in your heart of God's emphatic desire to be a part of your life in a very personal way.


Email me for contact information!  This is an awesome weekend for women of ALL ages!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Into The "Bat Cave"

When we moved out here years ago we had a storage area under the stairs that you accessed from outside.  We found a dead bat caught in the spider webs even before we moved it.  From that moment on it was the "bat cave"   This is what it looked like this morning as I attacked it.
I store all my canning jars in here.  I have stored and collected for years.  When my mom died I brought all hers over here.  Then I might have picked up a few along at garage sales but only if they were a really good price.  Like $1 for 10 boxes! 

Problem is I have decided to make use of this area.  I plan on it becoming a 1/2 bath/changing area/family closet.  It is just off the pantry where the kids clothes are all kept.   One hole in the wall and I will have access from the house.  Water and sewer are right there DH even agrees it won't be an issues.  He even suggested leaving the door to the outside so that we can change or run potty from outside.  In time he wants to build a porch in that area outside.

We attached the bat cave!  We pulled jars and jars and move jars out.  We sorted them according to size.  I started out pulling jars out, then T helped me.  T and I both ended up frustrated at boys as they couldn't tell a 1/2 gallon from a gallon from a quart from a pint from a 1/2 pint.   Not even discussing the trash jars like pickle jars that didn't fit any of those descriptions.  We ended up making boys more or less the slave labor.  They carried what we said and put it where we said.  They took trash to the ranger.  They did all the jobs that didn't require you being able to size jars, OR dig jars out of the bat cave.  Seems boys weren't as gung ho to invade the bat cave as T was.    
Notice T's are pointing out something for D11 to do in this sorting picture. 
Once we had them sorted and re-boxed in boxes that weren't falling apart we loaded them in the elevator.   

I would then lift the elevator to the top of the sea container.   MJ would off load the elevator onto the top of the sea container.  Stacking them neatly. 
This picture is when we were just getting started.  Maybe 2 or 3 loads on top.  We put some where around 10 loads!   Some BIG boxes are tubs of jars.  These are just the good jars.  The jars that aren't canning lid size or gallon size didn't make the cut.  They need to go to the dump.   I haven't gotten them there yet.  

 I would bet some of my jars or well over 75 years old and possibly closer to 100.  I can remember some that we canned with when I was a little girl that were MY grandmothers.  I saw some of them.  I smiled some over the finds and the memories.  No tears!  Which for me is pretty good.  

We worked from about 9:30 until 2 on this project.  Then kids came in had a quick bite of lunch and started school.  MN escaped all the fun as she had worked ahead and spend the day working sheep and goats with her older brother.  

Tomorrow I keep grandson so won't work on the last of the bat cave junk.  I also have a produce run to do since for some reason she changed it from Friday.  Maybe I can finish getting the junk and hanging insulation down along with a few zillion spider webs on Wed.

Being Christ Like

In one of the books I am reading, Crazy Love, he suggest this exercise.  Write out 1 CR 13:4-8 Once you have it written out substitute your name for the word Love. 
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

_____  is patient and kind.

_____   is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

_____   does not demand her own way.

_____   is not irritable, and keeps no record of when she has been wronged. She never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

_____   never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
How true is it?   Need some work?  Mine sure did!   Some of it I can say I fit pretty well, but others well I need a LOT of work to come up to Jesus standard.  I think I will make some bookmarks using the fill in the blank above only instead of a blank I will have my name.   That way I will have more reminders I need to strive toward these things daily in my life.  

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pizza in the Park

Yesterday we had a park day with some friends and pizza.  Sure was cute pizza!

Grand daugther wanted someplace to play.  The box with one piece of pizza left looked perfect!   She played and played and ate and ate.   She likes pizza!   She is just to that walk a few steps and plop on her bottom.  Since there were way to many ants around the park for that Granola had to be creative.   This kept her happy for a long time.