Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Total funds raised for RHFH so far..

I did the math and so far the money raised for Real Hope for Haiti is totaling $76.76. That is great, a little goes a long way and they really need the funds. If you can still spread the word about my fundraiser, I would appreciate it so much. New pledges are always welcome, and if you would like, I can start counting today instead of from the start. I also have had one one time donation, which is very nice to be able to send in to RHFH right now. The check should be made to RHFH and it can be sent to their address (I can get it for you). It is tax deductible!
Thanks so much friends for helping me and RHFH!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Summer's gone

But you wouldn't know it here! The kids are outside, K. is dressed up in her bathing suit with a ice cold glass of water in hand laying on the front porch. The weather is certainly a lot cooler now, especially at night. The forecast is predicting NW yuckiness is on it's way soon. We are somewhat prepared with firewood stacked (although still a bit wet) and sweaters out of storage.

Today I took the kids to church by myself. It is the second week I have sat with E. and struggled with his desire to make noise, hit me, whine and walk off. Today he did pretty well for about 15 to 20 minutes. I had to leave with him and give him a time out when the screaming started. A little boy in the hall was clearly concerned and kept asking his mom what was wrong with "that boy?" I was wondering the same thing! I honestly don't really know what set him off. His class was dismissed for Children's Church not long after that, and he was happy again. Anyone with advise on how to keep him still and well behaved during the 25 minutes in church would be helpful! Today he colored on a paper for about 5 minutes before losing interest. Snacks are not really allowed in the sanctuary, so that's not an option. I need to remember to pack some quiet toys in my purse for next week. Would it be a better idea to set up a chair in the foyer instead, or is it important to hold firm and not give him the control to ruin worship?

Also, E. has been asking for water a lot. Is this a novelty or phase? Should I be concerned with this at all, health wise? To go with the water... the frequent trips to the bathroom. Also he had an accident? on the middle of the boys' bedroom floor yesterday. Not sure if it was purposeful or not, but E. happily helped clean it up and changed his clothes.

In a few weeks we are having the boys' dedication. There are some bible verses on the sidebar of the blog. Please take a minute to vote on your favorite for each kiddo. We can't decide which one to use! The inlaws are planning a trip over and we are having a brunch at our home after church with some friends and family. The house will be FULL, but it will be fun.

As far as our thoughts on moving, we haven't heard from our realtor friend. So either her client is not interested or they are not in a rush. It's all good. We are thinking it won't benefit us much to move, unless we can get a lot more than our home is worth. We do like living here, but someday hope to build our dream home on this property, God willing.

I have stepped up my workout routine and even signed the little guys up for unlimited childcare at the gym. I figured I am not paying for preschool, so this can be their little time away from me. The play center at the gym is new and nice and perfect for them!

Tomorrow we have a busy day of dentist appointments and the boys are getting their hearing evaluated. It should be fun! L. has another soccer game too. His team plays 3 days a week on most days. It's a lot for school soccer in my opinion. They have lost 2 out of 2 games so far and their spirits are dampened.

In closing, can I say how much I love fall? The little boys went to the apple farm with me and Sarah the other day. I bought a box of apples and we went on a fun golf cart ride between the groves of apple trees. Candy corn is a food staple for us now, and soon we'll enjoy pumpkin pie and egg nog! The leaves haven't really turned colors yet, but soon! I will be sure to post some pictures this year. Happy end of summer....shhh, don't tell K!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Battle of wills ends with a grumpy mom and 3 year old.

8:00 pm.
In corner one... a lightweight at 30 lbs. Little E. in his pajamas and teeth brushed, story read, ready for bed.

In corner two... mother of 5 kids, wanting some time to herself for a few hours before retiring.


E. comes out fighting, struggling, screaming when put to bed. Would not be quiet, waking his little brother several times.

Mama responds by singing songs, light massage and back rub, playing lullaby music, and swaddling E. with a stretchy sheet. E. wiggles out of swaddle quickly, giggling, then screams some more when Mama leaves the room.

9:30 pm

E. says he needs to go pee pee. Mama takes him and sets him on the toilet. He is there for a long time. Mama asks if he is finished several times. The answer is always no.

E. says he doesn't want to come out of the bathroom. Mama asks if he wants to sleep on the toilet. E. says "yes" or really more like "yets" Mama lets him sit there for awhile, hoping soon his rear will fall asleep and he will want to go lay down. E. sits on the toilet for 3o minutes, Mama helps him off the toilet, unwillingly.

E. sticks his tongue out at Mama. He is put back to bed.

Screaming begins again after mama gets in her bed. Mama goes back in several more times telling him to be quiet and go to sleep. Patience is about gone.

11:00 pm
Mama decides to put him somewhere where screaming will not bother sick little brother. Eventually, E. falls asleep on the floor next to mama's bed. At nearly midnight.

3:00 pm
Papa comes home from a really late night working. I am sure things would have gone a lot differently if he were home. E. seems to listen to Papa a lot better than Mama. Papa moves E. to his bed.

Today, I am grumpy, E. is grumpy. I am praying for more patience, and hoping boundaries will not be pushed tonight. Also hoping Papa will be home on time tonight!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To sell, or not?

We were approached by a friend who is in real estate. She has a client looking to buy property in our neighborhood. We weren't really considering moving any time soon, but if the price was right, and we could find a decent house to move into, we would think about it. We think we can get enough for our house and land and may be able to afford a house in the same neighborhood as our good friends. The kids don't want to change schools, so we would have to drive them for the rest of the year for a short distance. Also, utilities would be a bit higher. We are on a well and septic here, and we burn fire wood for heat. So we end up saving a chunk of money on those expenses. We like country living, but all our projects take up a lot of our time. The kids like living here and have a lot to do, but also miss neighbor friends. What to do? Praying is what we are doing right now.


The 3 big kids went to the corn maze with Dad. They had a lot of fun!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sensory Integration II

Well, we are thinking we have more than one child with Sensory Processing Disorder. S's therapists come over for a home visit yesterday. He sees a speech therapist and now an occupational therapist. We discussed his weaknesses and strengths as a 20 month old boy. I filled out a sensory survey and is seems he is on the higher/normal end of most sections, except for one area. He is out of the ball park in that section (but I can't remember what it's called). It's the area that measures how quickly you react to things. He reacts very slowly. We are not sure if this is due to sensory stuff or just his disability. We will be discussing this more next week. We will be working on his attention span this week by giving him heavy work activities for a bit, then expect him to sit and do something quietly for a minute, then play again. We can do this until we work up to a reasonable time that he can sit quietly and work on a puzzle, read a book with mom, or change his diaper without wiggling away.

We have been having fun at home with play therapy. I bought an awesome lycra stretchy sheet on ebay. It fits over a twin mattress to provide pressure while sleeping, but we are using it as a swing, swaddle, whatever. The kids had a lot of fun with it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A beautiful story about a birth defect

I love how well this article was written... a story by a mother about her daughter born with a basil encephalocele:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My sis

Check out the cute pictures of my sister and her fiance on this site:

If they get 30 comments on their post (Hubba Bubba) on the blog, the photographer will supply an 11x14 mounted print for display on their wedding day.

So, please leave a comment and help them out!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

overheard in the other room...

E.: "You be mean, C." over and over again, trying to get her attention.
C.: "Ohh, that makes me sad" with a frown.
E.: "Sorry....sorry C. You forgive me? I love you!"
C. procedes to read E. a book. This kid knows how to work it!

Bullet point post

  • I am very tired, but can't seem to fall asleep at an early hour lately. Too much to do, too little time (at least while the kids are awake)
  • E. and S. both have been taking naps the last 3 the same time! You can not imagine how quiet my house is for two whole hours!
  • I made homemade laundry soap from the directions in the Duggar's book. It is really cheap and seems to work very well! Thanks Duggars.
  • My girls were 25 minutes late on the bus ride home yesterday. I called the school and they told me the bus left late so they would be about 5-10 minutes late. I said, "they are 25 minutes late!" and they transferred me to the garage. The bus driver drove past our stop, and was going to be driving them home in a few more minutes. K. was really upset and scared. I was too.
  • Today is C.'s birthday. She is 11 years old. She is not allowed to bring treats to class, but did get a surprise slice of bakery cake in her lunch, thanks to her considerate daddy.
  • S. has been really sick the last week. He is finally starting to show signs that he is feeling better. Fever, cough, runny nose, headache... not fun. Too bad our doctor's office was out of flu shots when he had his check up last week.
  • My boys (especially E.) LOVE Yo Gabba Gabba. They don't really like to watch any other show. It's a bit strange.
  • S. is 21 months old. He is into EVERYTHING and it's like watching a pin ball bounce from here to there. Right now he is tearing into a box and pulling out the contents. The bad part is he doesn't stop when I give him verbal direction. I have to physically go and stop him from what he is doing, put the item up high, and watch him throw a magnificent tantrum!
  • I am pretty sure fall is here to stay. We woke to fog this morning, and it was kind of pretty.
  • K. is liking school but is struggling with learning to read. Since I was homeschooling her, I didn't push her too hard. Now that she is in 1st grade and her classmates are already good readers, she will be in a special reading program. I hope it helps her and that she feels good about going to that special reading teacher and class.
  • The little boys are getting dedicated in church next month. We need to come up with life bible verses for each one. Any ideas?
Prayer Requests:
  • My mom has been having medical problems. Pray she is feeling better soon.
  • My friend Sarah has been having a hard time with many things in her life now, and yesterday she got some bad news about her son Isaac. He's been waiting in Haiti for 3 years and it may be even longer.
  • Please pray S. gets better soon and the rest of our family will be spared. It's gone through three people already.
  • Pray that I will hear from C.'s teacher soon and that she will enjoy school more and catch up with her peers.
  • Pray for my friend Laurel who is going through a rough time on top of transitioning to a new job/home.
  • Pray for families waiting for their kids from Haiti and Africa.
  • Pray for the kids waiting for help from MAT.
  • Pray for the missionaries around the world doing the hardest job for the Lord.
  • How can I pray for you?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Natural hair/skin

I found this information interesting on the site


Most of the commercially available hair care products today use harmful, potentially carcinogenic ingredients. In the interest of good napptural health, I list below, what are in my opinion, the 10 worst commonly found product ingredients thngs you can put on your hair (and body). Check the list of ingredients on your hair products. The more of a particular ingredient you have in a product, the closer it is to the top of the list of ingredients on the bottle:

1. ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL: This is a solvent and denaturant (poisonous substance that changes another substances natural qualities). Isopropyl alcohol is found in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotions, after-shave lotions, fragrances and many other cosmetics. This petroleum-derived substance is also used inantifreeze and as a solvent in shellac. Napptural hair reacts very badly to isoalcohol and this ingredient should be avoided at ALL costs. It will dry your hair out and break it off. According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, inhalation or ingestion of the vapor may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis and even coma.

2. MINERAL OIL & PETROLATUM: The best baby oil is made from almonds. But the oil which being sold as baby oil is 100% mineral oil. Mineral oil is a derivative of crude oil (petroleum) that is used industrially as a cutting fluid and lubricating oil. This commonly used petroleum ingredient coats the skin and hair just like plastic wrap. The skin's natural barrier is disrupted as this plastic coating inhibits its ability to breathe and absorb the Natural Moisture Factor (moisture and nutrition). The skin's ability to release toxins and wastes is impossible through this "plastic wrap," which can promote acne and other disorders. It further hinders normal skin respiration/transpiration by keeping oxygen out. This process slows down skin function and normal cell development causing the skin to prematurely age. Holding in large a mounts of moisture in the skin can "flood" the biology and may result in immature, unhealthy, sensitive skin that dries out easily. Petrolatum - A petroleum-based grease that is used industrially as a grease component. Petrolatum exhibits many of the same potentially harmful properties as mineral oil.
Honestly, this stuff belongs in your engine, not on your hair. Regardless of "Well, my Grandma used vaseline on her hair and it grew ", the bottom line is this stuff is bad. It was bad for Grandma and it is bad for you. Period.

3. PEG: This is an abbreviation for polyethylene glycol that is used in making cleansers to dissolve oil and grease as well as thicken products. Because of their effectiveness, PEG's are often used in caustic spray on oven cleaners and yet are found in many personal care products. PEG's contribute to stripping the Natural Moisture Factor, leaving the immune system vulnerable. They are also potentially carcinogenic.

4. PROPYLENE GLYCOL (PG): As a "surfactant" or wetting agent and solvent, this ingredient is actually the active component in antifreeze. There is no difference between the PG used in industry and the PG used in personal care products. It is used in industry to break down protein and cellular structure (what the skin is made of) yet is found in most forms of make-up, hair products, lotions, after-shave, deodorants, mouthwashes and toothpaste. It is also used in food processing. Because of its ability to quickly penetrate the skin, the EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when working with this toxic substance. The Material Safety Data Sheets warn against skin contact, as PG has systemic consequences such as brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.Consumers are not protected nor is there a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than that in most industrial applications.

5. SODIUM LAURYL SUFATE (SLS) & SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES): SLS is used in testing labs as the standard ingredient to irritate skin. Used as detergents and surfactants, these closely related compounds are found in car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers. Yet both SLS and SLES are used more widely as one of the major ingredients in cosmetics, toothpaste, hair conditioner and about 90% of all shampoos and products that foam. They are used in personal-care products because they are cheap. A small amount generates a large amount of foam, and when salt is added it thicken to give the illusion of being thick and concentrated. (SOME OF THE NITROSATING AGENTS ARE: SLS, SLES, DEA, TEA, MEA). Shampooing the hair with a product contaminated with these substances can lead to its absorption into the body at levels much higher than eating nitrite-contaminated foods.
Mark Fearer in an article, Dangerous Beauty, says, " tests, animals that were exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, along with depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation and corrosion and death." According to the American College of Toxicology states both SLS and SLES can cause malformation in children's eyes. Other research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties. It is possibly the most dangerous of ad ingredients in personal care products. Research has shown that SLS when combined with other chemicals can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens, which causes the body to absorb nitrates at higher levels than eating nitrate contaminated food." According to the American College of Toxicity report, "SLS stays in the body for up to five days..." Other studies have indicated that SLS easily penetrates through the skin and enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain. This poses serious questions regarding its potential health threat through its use in shampoos, cleansers and toothpaste,"
Studies show its danger potential to be great when used in personal-care products. Toxicity - A serious problem with these chemicals is that they may be contaminated with NDELA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine), one of the nitrosamines and a potent carcinogen, according to a 1978 FDA report.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - SLES is the alcohol form (ethoxylated) of SLS. It is slightly less irritating than SLS, but may be more drying. Both SLS and SLES can enter the blood stream. They may cause potentially carcinogenic formations of nitrates and dioxins to form in shampoos and cleansers by reacting with other product ingredients. Large amounts of nitrates may enter the blood system from just one shampooing. Contains ether.

6. CHLORINE: According to Doris J. Rapp, M.D., author of Is This your Child's World? exposure to chlorine in tap water, Showers, pool, laundry products, cleaning agents, food processing, sewage systems and many others, can effect health by contributing to asthma, hay fever, anemia, bronchitis, circulatory collapse, confusion, delirium diabetes, dizziness, irritation of the eye, mouth, nose throat, lung, skin and stomach, heart disease, high blood pressure and nausea. It is also a possible cause of cancer. Even though you will not see Chlorine on personal care product labels, it is important for you to be aware of the need to protect your skin when bathing and washing your hair.

7. DEA (diethanolamine) MEA (momoethnanolamine) TEA (triethanolamine): DEA and MEA are usual listed on the ingredients label in conjunction with the compound being neutralized. Thus look for names like Cocamide DEA or MES, Lauramide DEA, etc. These are hormone disrupting chemicals and are known to form cancer causing nitrates and nitrosamines. . These are commonly found in most personal care products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps and facial cleansers. On the show, CBS This Morning, Roberta Baskin revealed that a recent government report shows DEA and MEA are readily absorbed in the skin. Dr. Samuel Epstein, Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois said "repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of two cancers - liver and kidney cancers." John Bailey, who oversees the cosmetic division for the FDA said the new study is especial important since "the risk equation changes significantly for children."

8. FD & C Color PIGMENTS: Many color pigments cause skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and even death according to A Consumer's dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. Debra Lynn Dadd says in Home Safe Home: "Colors that can be used in foods, drug, and cosmetics are made from coal tar. There is a great deal of controversy about their use, because animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic."

9. FRAGRANCE: Fragrance is present in most deodorants shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care and baby products. Many of the compounds in fragrance are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. "Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients. Most or all of them are synthetic.Symptoms reported to the FDA have included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Clinical observation by medical doctors have shown that exposure to fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes," (Home Safe Home).
For better health try purchasing unscented products and for fragrance, adding a natural essential oil.

10. IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA and DMDM HYDANTOIN: These are just two of the many preservatives that release formaldehyde (formaldehyde-donors). According to the Mayo clinic, formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system, cause skin reactions and trigger heart palpitations. Exposure to formaldehyde may cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, Chronic fatigue, dizziness and loss of sleep. It can also aggravate coughs and colds and trigger asthma. Serious side effects include weakening of the immune system and cancer. Nearly all brands of skin, body and hair care, antiperspirants and nail polish found in stores contain formaldehyde-releasing ingredients.

If the above information is not enough to make you read labels on things before using them on yourself of your babies, nothing will.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I took E. to his first therapy appointment yesterday.  The OT is a very nice, gentle woman who basically lets E. do whatever he wants to in the small room EXCEPT touch the cd player and go into the two walk in storage closets. One time he pushed the limits and got his entire body in the closet and the therapist had to get a bit aggressive, but overall he did fine.  He walked around, jumped on wedges, blocks and round cylinders.  He rocked and swung and tooted a horn.  The therapist gave him a trumpet toy and a harmonica to help satisfy his urge to mouth things and make lots of noise. Who knew that the most annoying toy in the world would be therapy for my son?  She also recommended we buy some noise makers for our house.  To use during "certain times"  meaning when I am feeling sane. We went to Target after therapy and picked out a harmonica (not so annoying) and a recorder, both in lime green.  

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Re adoption day


Why is this date special?  Because today we are the proud parents (again) to a special little Haitian boy now with his name legally changed and local county adoption decree (with 5 certified copies, I might add).  Soon he will have his US birth certificate too, it will be sent in the mail!  Court was very casual, held in the judges chambers.  It was just us, the judge, and Grandpa.  We were in and out very quickly with a picture or two snapped.  (I'll post some soon) I have to admit, I got a bit teary eyed while we were answering the judge.  E. was antsy and S. didn't want to sit for the entire eight minute process.  Then we had to go to the clerk's office to finish more paperwork and get the copies of the decree.  This is when E. went into his mean mode.  He likes to pick on people like me or his sisters when he doesn't like the way things are going.  That led to a fit being thrown in the middle of the crosswalk on the way to our car!  Oh my.  We are stuck with him forever now, it's in writing.  Seriously, we will love him unconditionally, for the rest of our lives.  

After reading my friend Sarah's blog about her wait for Isaac, I feel even more thankful for our newest member of our family.  Thank you Lord.  And please bring Isaac home soon so he can be with his family and friends who are waiting for him.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Day of School

L. and C. before L. caught the bus for Jr. High
Waiting anxiously for the bus
K. and C. at their new school
They had a good day but today was a better one.  They are making new friends and are getting comfortable with the rules and ways of the school room.