Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Quinn had camp a few weeks back, so she got to hang out with friends for a few days while Denali and Isaiah went to camp.

 We love good friends.
 Then here we are at camp.  Talking about the 9 fruits of the spirit.

 going for hikes up elephant steps

 rode horses

 hung out in tree hammocks

 jumped on the jumping pillows

 we did some slip and sliding
 We did get powered up with the Lord!  I know I needed that time to refocus on the important part of life, and it was so good to re energize our spirits!
 This was a camp that Grandma and I got to go to also, and the grown up's got to ride the zipline, that was fun.
 Aww how cute are they.

 working on team building

Riding home from camp, camp is exhausting!
If you want to reenergize your soul and play out with the bugs.  (the bugs were not our favorite part)
Go to camp, or check them out over fall with the corn maze.

Monday, July 27, 2015

We had a girls day at Paint Yourself Silly!
It was very fun!
I even ran into an old student who is simply amazing, and it was so good to see her!
 Quinn and I painted a cup with her finger prints and flowers and bees.  Denali painted a teacup and saucer full of dots.  They are both pretty cute!  

 Nadean went with us, and it was so wonderful!  Good friends are so important in our lives.  We are thankful for our good friends!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

After such a mushy post last, I wanted to get real.  I am a positive person, and want to share our story in a positive way.  At the same time, we all have our frustrations and hard knocks.

I will say it gets frustrating having to continue to share how smart Quinn is, and continuing to teach tolerance and acceptance.  At the same time, I am more then capable of doing just that and will continue to do so.

It's been wonderful having a great support system, and I'm so thankful for that.  They get us through a lot.  Yet, we have folks that try to pull us down at times, as everyone does.  I don't always understand why, but I'm getting much better at letting that go, and focusing on the positive.  Thankfully again people around us really do help build us up.

It gets hard lifting Quinn and making sure she gets her walking in, her studies, her driving, along with all the basics of meds, and such.  However we have folks that help with quite a bit of that as well.  We also are fortunate to have lifts and special chairs and such to help us as well.  I am so thankful to live in America where we have insurance to help provide us the lifts and such.

Life is not easy for any of us.  I am thankful to have my faith to get me through it, as well as good friends and family.  I've also found that my kids sure do stick up for each other in hard times.  I know I am fortunate, I choose to see it that way.

I could choose to be frustrated with finances, as it's expensive to raise kids, special needs kids are even more expensive.  I could choose to be frustrated dealing with insurance and paying for all the appointments we have, as there are quite a few of them.  I could choose to be frustrated and ask why me, why do I have a special needs child, or why is my child acting out.  I could choose to be negative, but with the grace of God, and a positive attitude, I will choose to send out love.

I will choose to give all of myself to my kids.  I will choose to love all my students, even the ones that are hurtful.  I will choose to forgive, as it let's my soul be free.  I will choose to live my life to the fullest and share my love and experiences with others, as educating and loving others is the only option I will choose.  I will admit that I am not perfect.  I make mistakes, but I try my best.  I will continue to fail at times, but I will pick myself up, learn from a new experience, and be stronger because of it.

When I do get discouraged or frustrated, which happens, I rely on my faith, and go back to the quote from Mother Teresa.  I love this quote and try to live by it!

if you can't read it very well, click on the image.  It's a great saying that inspires me, especially if I'm struggling.

Actually I will type it out too, just in case you can't read it.  The one below is worded a bit different, but is the same idea.

 The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.
-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my kids lately.  I think back to when Quinn was in Kindergarden and how the teachers thought I was making stuff up about how smart she was, and how now her goals are so high, and I leave the meetings thinking, wow, Quinn you have your work cut out for you!  I'm so proud of how smart you are and how you are showing folks around you how smart you are.  At the same time I thank her teachers who take the time to get to know her and love her.  At the same time, she puts that effort into everything she does, therapies, walking, standing.  She amazes me and I'm so lucky to have her in my life and so very thankful she is as healthy as she is.  I do not take it for granted and am prayerful it continues.

Denali in this picture is working so hard to help Quinn.  When John and I started the foster care / adoption process, we knew we needed to be careful, as having Quinn we wanted to keep her safe.  When Denali came into our lives, she was a high stress kid, who did not know how to control her emotions, and she was so emotional.  Right away, she loved Quinn, and I remember her crawling into bed with her, and crawling over humidity tubes and feeding tubes.  Wires checking her pules and pressures.  The wires did not phase Denali at all, she saw Quinn for the kid she was, and loved her through it all.  At the same time, Denali would scream and cry and over odd things as she had every right to for what she has gone through in her short 5 years at the time.  Now seeing her so loving, and such a mother hen to Quinn in a good way.  Always talking to her and helping others see Quinn for being a hard working kid and nothing more or less then that.  She is developing into such a caring kind emotional (in a good way) child.  Granted her room is a mess and she likes checking boundaries at times, but seeing her in a happy place with her emotions and having her love her brother and sister unconditionally makes my heart so happy.

Isaiah just makes me smile in this picture.  When we met him, he was 6 and he told us how he had to be the grown up and take care of his sister.  He hardly ever smiled and was so serious and melancholy.  Now seeing him embrace childhood, jumping into the picture with a big smile on his face still surprises me, and makes me so happy for him.  He understands the importance of being a kid.  He loves his sisters and wants to be a good role model, but also gives himself permission to play and giggle and be silly, and that was something he did not let himself do for so long.  He is so loving and smart.  He reads for hours, only because I won't let him use electronics all the time.

I see all three of my kids feed off each other in great ways.  Denali finds her caring side and can't wait to help Quinn, I am so thankful for that, and at the same time am so careful not to push her to have to care for her.  Isaiah is great at being there for his sisters while still being a kid and understanding that he does not have to be the adult, that is our job as parents, so he gets to be a kid, while loving on his sisters and playing with them instead of having to look after them.  Quinn just comes to life with them.  She is so much more excited and happy with them in her life.  She will watch what they do and break out in the giggles.  Isaiah loves to tell her things to tell people in the store, he loves to have her ask people about their underwear, and she thinks it's so funny.  So if we run into you at the store, be ready to tell us what color your underwear are.  (I love that!)  Denali on the other hand will be sure everyone in our family has their fair share of hugs and drawings.  She wants to share her emotions in a healthy way and shower her love onto our family.

I don't feel like we have ever really been a broken family.  We have gone through a lot with surgeries and almost loosing Quinn and John with in a few months of each other, over 7 years ago now.  To deciding that we wanted to add to our family, and I would tell anyone to foster kids.  They are amazing.  I won't say it's easy because raising kids is hard work and most nights I go to bed exhausted, but I will say it's worth it!  Every minute of it.

I have so many folks tell us how well behaved our kids are, or how well they act with each other and how much they love each other.  I agree, I have three beautiful, amazing kids!  Sometimes I think wow, we are great parents, then I think we are just lucky, then I thank God for the family we have and the support we have.  I am so grateful!  Our life is busy, it's not always easy, we are grounding our kids regularly, and will continue to help them learn, but there is a lot of love in this family, and we accept each other for who we are and the love we bring, and really what more is there then that!  Acceptance and Love!  Phew, what is going on with me.

Thanks for reading!  We will see if this makes any sense in the morning, but tonight I'm just feeling very thankful!  Thanks God!  We have it pretty good!

Monday, July 20, 2015

We played with friends this week.

 I also played with a new app, well new for me.  Called Enlight.

Wow, I've got three beautiful kids to model for me!

Hey say some prayers or get ahold of me if you know of anyone.  I need to have someone get my kids onto the bus in the morning 3 mornings a week.  We are going through 3 different nursing groups and can not get anyone to cover for us right now.  Thankfully we have two mornings covered, but need the other three covered.  So prayers or suggestions would be wonderful!

Friday, July 17, 2015

On the way back from Memphis we hit bad storms.  (We drive through them on the way down there too)  but we ended up stopping in KC because I could not drive any more.
So we had a couple hours in the morning before we had to get back to Lincoln, so we had to play.
 So we ate at the train restaurant.

 and made it back to Lincoln to work on Quinn's wheelchairs.  We are sure lucky to have folks here who can do that, as we have had to get them worked on a lot this summer!

So we have a bit of time now to stay home, and relax and play and enjoy summer from the calmness of our house.  It's nice to get out and explore the world, but it's nice to be home too!

Monday, July 13, 2015

I posted about Addison's prom awhile back.  They got professional pictures taken and they are in.  It was an amazing event.

 This is much more us.

here are just a few.  I'll post a few more.  I've learned I need to keep my mouth shut more, as there are some pictures I'm not adding where I look ridiculous!