Monday, June 27, 2011

Week in Review June 20

I'm not sure where the week or the month went.  This week seemed calm.  Of course my idea of calm is not the same as other peoples   Two days we had 10 kids 1.5-14 years old.   Most people would think that was wild.  It wasn't. 

One day I found a small rat snake and passed it to MN to share with all the kids before they let it go in the barn. 

 Spaghetti is always good, but for this small child she really enjoyed it!
 Last week I ask the kids where my infinity loom was.  I was wanting to do something new.   I didn't have anything but basic yarn to do with but figured I would get some I liked next time we went to town.  I discovered this on clearance! My plan is to make a shawl out of it for this/next winter or the winter after.  When ever I get it finished.  I have started it.  I am using two strings, and doing  a black and a color,  I started with the purple, which looks more blue in this picture   I haven't decided if I will keep the black thread running through out as I use all the different colors.   It should be pretty and very warm!   I have a light weight shawl I made I love for cold mornings.  It is amazing how much warmer you can be just with a simple shawl.

Funky bird?  What is it?   We saw it in the baby pen with the peacocks and chickens.  He wasn't overly afraid.  We took pictures and went back to life.  

Life included working on the windmill.  Right now the well has no water, but the windmill still needs to be fixed and ready when it does rain and we do have water again.  The mil was sounding like a bucket of cats with their tails mashed in the door. 
It is nice that our 24 yo son use to work on windmills with an expert.  So he volunteered to go up.  First thing was tying it off as the brake isn't holding well.  The wind wasn't blowing a lot but enough.

 Once that was done he called for reinforcements.  That was our 14 yo son.  His first trip up the tower.  At this point mom decided her nerves would work better IN the house and not watching.  :)  
 DIL was also watching and taking pictures. 
 Grand daughter was busy climbing a mountain.  :)
 Back to the goofy bird.   It moved from the baby pen to the side porch on top of my swing! 

I got within about 6 ft of him taking pictures.  He wasn't to worried.  We then got the bird book out and looked him up.  We think it is a Juvenal Yellow-crowned Night Heron  like this one. 

Last and least is our new "pet"   MJ caught it Sat evening.   It was in the front yard.  They kids have been catching grasshoppers and such for it.  I don't think they will keep it long, but it is interesting to look at it for a couple of days before they turn it loose. 

Only other news I can think of is that I sold a few more of my livestock.  We loaded a cow that didn't calf when she should and a big calf to go to the sale.  We are finishing off a bull calf at my son's feed pens as that is easier and safer than trying to pour feed out for him each day. 

Monday, June 20, 2011


EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It is proposed to help people deal with PTSD. It seems that somehow it helps the brain to process trauma in a much faster, more complete and less painful way that just traditional therapy.

Memorial Weekend we spent at the Council on Adoptable children camping trip. One of the parents is also a therapist and he was talking about how much help he feels EMDR is on PTSD. Most/all the kids adopted through the system have some forms of PTSD it seems. Our therapist has used it some. This dad talked about how to access the memory by just touching on it then do the EMDR causes the pain/fear/anger/sadness to go away yet the memory remains. I ask him how do I learn to do it. He gave me the wrong answer. "You can't. It is JUST for trained therapist." I filled that away with a, "OK, God if I am to learn this You will show me the way."

The next Thursday at therapy we were talking about it. I ask our therapist to explain it to my child that is very reluctant to get help. He is struggling with checking out from the world. I told her to stress that he doesn't have to get into the yucky memories, just touch them. She was skeptical, but was willing to try. She gave me some guidance in learning to do it. We have worked together for 6 years toward healing these children. She knows what we do all time and how much reading and research I put into things.

She was quite skeptical of it helping my child. I sort of pushed her to try it once with him. I ask her to stress he doesn’t have to go deep into the memory, just touch it. She explained it to him. He point blank said, "You mean a memory like ___?" Once she picked her jaw up she said yes and jumped into the EMDR. She has them rate the emotion from 1-10 with 10 being worse. Then they do the EMDR a few minutes and stop and rate it again and talk about it. She did this with him until his anger was a zero. That was his assessment of his anger. Since then over 2 weeks ago he hasn't checked out. HE is different. It is hard to explain how he is different other than he is in touch with reality in a better way. He is willing to help BEFORE he is ask.

Since then I have read one book and have three more on order for me to read on EMDR. I have used it on most of my other kids. My 13 yo dd won’t allow the therapist to do EMDR with her. She is afraid. She is starting to come to me with stuff and more than willing to do the EMDR with me. The first thing we “experimented” with was inappropriate thoughts. She ask me what to do about them, she didn’t want them, but they pop into her head when she is trying to do school or reading. We talked and did some very BASIC EMDR and off she went. I ask her daily and she hasn’t had those thoughts since. This is HUGE for her. She has since come to me and we have experimented with several other areas of her past that haunt her day and night. Each time it goes way and so for hasn’t come back. She is very honest with me on this stuff. We have been fighting it together for a couple of years, before that I fought for her as she didn’t even know she was supposed to fight.

All the kids are giving me positive feedback on how it makes them feel as they think of the past. How it helps them not dwell on stuff that happened before we adopted them. I see growth in all of them in ways that we were struggling before. I am not saying this is a magic bullet, but I am saying consider this if you have issues that “traditional” therapy isn’t reaching or that you struggle with reliving enough to deal with it.

One of the things I thought interesting in the EMDR book I read was the fact they don’t even try doing it on adults that don’t believe in a higher power. I really had mixed feelings going in with the therapist doing it on the kids. As I have read and studied it I find no harm, you aren’t hypnotizing them. They are very aware and will talk to you while you do it. It just seems to give them permission to look at memories and file them away without the pain and anger and other emotions connected to PTSD memories. One of the suggestions as to how it works has to do with stimulating both sides of the brain at the same time. It allows the different sides to see an issue from both the right and left side of the brain and then file it correctly.

This isn’t a standalone therapy, but a trust has to be established before this is even done. For us it is a answer to prayer on reaching one of my children that I was very concerned about spiraling out of control into mental illness brought on by abuse in their bio home.

Like everything there are good reviews and bad reviews on the net. I am just sharing what I see it doing in our home where issues are a dime a dozen and PTSD is a reality.  

Be gentle if you disagree :)


Week In Review June 13-20

HOT is the word that best describes this week.  Our temps have been over 100 every day, some days closer to 110 than 100.   It isn't cooling off at night either.  Our lows have been in the low 80s.   We have been close to 100 at dark.   That doesn't leave a lot of energy for things.  

The one thing we did this week was tie dye t-shirts.  
First kids decided how they wanted them folded or twisted or tied.
 Then we dropped the wet tied up shirts into washing soda.   They recommend this happening before you tie them up, but with all the littles doing it I decided to just soak them in the washing soda instead of having the kids fold them with the washing soda which can be caustic.
Some of the different fold styles....


Isn't she pretty?  She is also very very tired.
 She is rocking herself on the footstool of the glider rocker.   I think if I hadn't gotten the camera she would have went to sleep.
 Yesterday we went to visit DH step mom, who has always been a awesome women.  It seems her life and ours haven't meshed in a long time to visit.  Either she is traveling, or we are busy or we get sidetracked.  It is so easy to put off stuff like a visit.  Sunday it worked out where we could go visit.  Older son and his family went too.   He was so nice as to wash my windshield in the bus as I took his picture.

Grand Mother Gene has always had box turtles.  People rescued them off the roads and give them to her.  She keeps them in her back yard.  She feeds them and they even come when she calls them to eat.  She numbers them with fingernail polish.  I think she has about 15 this year. 

 The t-shirts have to soak in the dye for 24 hours in a warm place.  We have done two batches.  Last batch I suggested sticking them in the BBQ pit outside.  I figured that would be WARM.
Here is the results of that dying party.  The shirts are beautiful. 

Aren't they pretty?   We are thrilled with the results and they really aren't that hard, or messy to make!

One thing I want to try this week is grinding mesquite beans and making flour and bread.  We have been blessed with a bumper crop.  They are a good source of livestock feed in this horrible drought.  I know the Indians used them to make flour. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Week in review 6-6 through 6-12

Not even sure what day these pictures were taken.  I thought they were so cute.    She didn't build it, but was really wanting to take it apart. 

Like I didn't have more stuff than I need going on in 100 degree weather, I found THIS in my feed barrel. 

 There are about a dozen chicks with her.  The kids didn't want them to be cat food so she and her babies are now in a cage in the barn. 

 This picture had to be Tue or Wed.  Aren't they cute?

On Thursday we went to town and did a petting zoo for our favorite Librarian.  She ask us to do it.   We took the donkey and a few other critters.  I couldn't get good pictures since I was holding a milk goat in one hand and a horn toad in the other.  

Love the shoes!!! They belong to T.   This child loves shoes!  She wears any ones shoes that aren't on their feet.  Some times it is interesting trying to find your shoes if you took them off and she is here.  

I am a fanny pack person.  I need one to keep up with the stuff I carry.  Like my 5/7. I don't like them so thick.  The ones you buy are to fat.  I don't need bulk space, just enough for my gun, my phone, my CC and licenses.  So I have spent a week or so designing in my head.   Yesterday I started assembling it.  I have to say I am VERY pleased with the end results.
It has three compartments, one in the back for my toy, then a center pocket that would really hold a lot if you wanted to bulk it out.  on the front I have three small pockets.  Two are phone size one is phone size sideways.  

In non picture news the adoption matching party was a bust.  I did cross off a few kids that I had wondered about.  I met some case workers and maybe will have something down the road from that.   It was a nice day of just Dh and I.   I totally enjoyed it.

This week I don't have much planned.   Just avoiding the heat.   It is way to hot, 100+ every day.   Thursday is town, and Sat. we will go to the flea market.  I know it is hot, but hey we eat Chinese and then maybe dh will go look at RV's.   I am dreaming again. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shhhhhhhhhh Don't tell anyone.....

My husband and I are sneaking off ALL day ALL by ourselves! I even have a child monitor ask and she accepted.  She is going to hang out here and oversee life.   They all KNOW what is right and wrong and as long as there is someone here to watch over them they will do right and not wrong.  

Where you ask are we going.  I  almost am afraid to tell.  Some of you may call the psych. ward on us.   But, some of you know we are already certifiable and will just shrug.   We are going to an adoption matching party near Austin.  

We got a notice about it then it was followed by a notice saying it wasn't for everyone you had to be invited by your case worker.   :) not a problem!  I fwd. the email to our case worker and said, "How do we do this?"   She had NO clue, but she did figure it out and we did get the invite.  So off we go.....

No we haven't been matched with a child or children.  We don't even have any specific children on radar.  Now if it was another region I do have some on radar.  I do not have the sibling group of 8 on radar!  It did cross my mind, but oldest is 10 and there are 8 of them.   That blip on the radar lasted about 5 seconds.  

Why are we considering adopting again?  My first answer is "Why not?"  Beyond that as I pray and seek God on what we are to do with our life, is it meant to be work x number of years, retire and spend all your savings, or does He want us to leave something positive behind?  I just look on the TARE site and see all the need out there.  I think of having no one to call mom and dad when you are 20, or 30.  No one to share the good news and the bad news of your adult life with.   I know I can't be there for them all.  I know that some of them don't even want what we offer.  S proved that.   :)  But even with the tears and the sadness of her leaving at 18 I don't regret adopting older.  I know these 5 at home will bring me many more tears.  I know they won't always make the choices I want, or even healthy choices.   I also know that what we do does make a difference in their lives.   Especially in the lives of those that want to receive it.   Even S left here with more skills than she came.  With a better understanding of family.

So we again open our hearts and our lives to the possibility of another child or children.  Someone ask what we were looking for in a child?   Simple answer is, "A child that will mesh."   So join with us in praying that if it is to be, it will be, that God will give us eyes to see and the heart to receive His direction on this.   We don't want just any child, (OK, I do, but know just any child won't work.)  We want the child God wants for us, if He even wants this to happen again.  Each child has their own version of what they want.  D9 wants a boy his age to play with.  T wants a girl with her skin color, D12 hasn't really said.  MN wants a girl her age that likes reading, writing and God and would be a buddy.  MJ hasn't really said.  What I see and the kids agree the down side is that we will have CPS back in our home/lives for 6 + months. 

Yes, I know there are no guarantees that we will be there when the kids are 30 or even 20, but life doesn't come with guarantees.   I just know as I seek God on the good days and the bad days about adoption my heart doesn't change.  I have come to the conclusion that children are going to have issues if we adopt again or if we don't.  We will deal with each issue as it comes up.  It is much like waiting to even have children until you are "ready".  It just doesn't happen like that. 

Keep this Saturday in prayer for us and keep this journey in prayer as we seek God and listen for His direction. 

One of my favorite lines out of a song is, "It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you,

It's what you leave behind you when you go." from Three Wooden Crosses.  This rings so true with me!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Week in Review May 30-June 5

Random snap shots of life around here.  I have decided if I get one blog post a week that re-caps our week I am doing good.  I haven't been spending much time on the computer.  I find with my smart phone I can quickly check email and a few of the forums and face book in a matter of minutes then on to the next project I am working on.   I don't often reply to anything on the phone, my texting is slow to say the least.   If I have a long post I will boot up the 'puter or wait.  Usually I wait then forget it.  I didn't even turn this 'puter on this weekend.  

 No he really doesn't own a pink hat, but TJ does!  Possession is 9/10 of the law right?

 Guess he has started potty training?  I hear he is doing awesome.  Guess I will find out on Tue.  

The other day I was using the sprayer.   I had small children that wanted a "drink".  DIL got the camera and took way to many cute pictures.  I couldn't decided which of them to share.

This might be my favorite.  

 D9 was reading to grand kids.  Really just to 3 yo.   He was pointing the words out and telling him what they were.  I wouldn't be surprised if he picks up sight reading before long.   Grand daughter loves books but her version of reading is flipping pages faster than you can get the first word read. Yet, she is the one carrying books around wanting some one to "read" to her.
 We were playing peep eye.  I couldn't resist this picture from my phone as she popped out at me.  
Seems I have pictures of all the grand kids "cooking"  she loves to spend time in the outdoor kitchen.  That little kitchen center I bought for T about 4-5 years ago for a whopping $5 has more than paid for it's self.   Same with the cookware she got for her birthday one year. 

 Dog days of summer?   Gotta stay cool some way.  I don't think this dog ever drinks except with all 4 feet in the water. 
 Look close at this.  See the scooter?  See the wheels of a tonka truck?   T came up with this idea.  She hooks the tonka truck on the scooter, then allows small children to ride in the bed of the dump truck as she scoots around the porch.  Dogs help with everything around here. 
They have decided riding tricycles on the dirt is tough work.  They ride many miles back and forth on the porch with the two trikes.  I do think one of them bit the dust yesterday something about spokes breaking from years of use.  These were OLD when we bought them.  The have had hard use since we got them.

Life not in pictures includes selling some of my sheep.  It makes me really sad, but we are SOOOO unbelievable dry.   I first cut about 1/2 of them to sell, amidst lots of tears.  DH didn't want me to sell that many as my sheep have evolved into a breed unto themselves that have lots of qualities I like.  They don't need shearing, they seldom need worming, they usually produce twins, and usually breed back before the lambs are weaned, which means instead of a lamb crop every year I am getting 2 in a year to 18 months.  Most breeds of sheep don't do that.  Not even counting that the lambs are extremely hardy and grow very fast and bring top $$$$.  So I resorted this morning and got rid of about 10 head of my "crazy" sheep.  Some of them just go nuts in the pen.  I have no tears of selling them. 

One was extremely crazy this morning.  She jumped out of the working chute, then jumped OVER it, then went over two more 4x4 panel fences.  I sent MN, T and D12 to get her.  MJ and I continued putting scabies tags in ears.  They have to have one in any sheep or goat over a year old.   I couldn't find my pliers so was using a make do method.   Finally T came running to say MN had her and needed help.  W went and got the ranger and found MN laying on top of the crazy sheep.   I grabbed front legs MJ got back legs.  Then MN got off the sheep.  We hoisted her into the ranger where MN again got on top of here while boys held legs.  I took her straight to the trailer.  She didn't get an ear tag.  It will cost m $1 but well worth it not to have her escape again.   MN is starting to feel the pain of her sheep adventure.  She thought it was fun until the rush wore off now she is finding pains here and there.  

This week is shaping up to be interesting.  We are doing a small petting zoo on Thursday for the County Library.  We are just taking a few of the gentler things.  Peg, our black goat that came to us as a newborn with no hair or muscle on one leg.  It really looked gross.  She grew hair but still limps on it.  She loves to be loved.   Then a sheep of some age so these kids can see and touch a real sheep.   I am not sure on the donkey.  It will depend on how she loads.  I want the kids to catch a chicken and maybe a goose or duck or Guinna.  It isn't a big petting zoo, lasting maybe an hour.  It IS in the middle of the afternoon so it will be HOT.  I told T she couldn't bring her rabbit.  I think it will just be to hot for a bunny.

Not much else going on this week.  Just continue to try to stay cool and avoid the heat.  We are right at 100 every day and no end in sight.  Please join me in praying for life giving rain for the areas so stricken with drought.  Drought monitor  If you look at how much is the dark brown you will see how much prayer is needed.