Thursday, June 30, 2011


We all go through different seasons... not the 4 physical ones that come every year, but rather seasons of friends, family members, hardships and joys.  There's many more, but they are personalized, depending on the person.  Last week, I took the kids to a barbeque picnic with their former school mates.  (We had pulled them out of the part time program in February).  This was to give the kids the chance to see their friends in a large group for {probably} the last time.  It didn't take long for me to realize that even after four short months, the relationships had drastically changed.  The older kids all found the one or two friends that they were really looking forward to seeing and I just ended up watching them for the time.  I actually felt that we were intruding on the school's picnic and wasn't totally sure we were welcome.  An odd feeling to be sure.
I felt that we were no longer part of the *community* of Stony Creek.  It was sad for me in a few ways.  One being, that unless I put the kids back in the program (which probably won't happen), that "family" feel is gone.  I am so thankful for the amazing friendships I have built with some moms over the years and I hope and pray we continue to be friends.  There are a few women who I have shared and opened so much of my heart with and I love them for it.  I hope my children continue to phone the friends they've made and that those friends call them up as well.  When we left the school, it wasn't my intent to drop all relationships but instead to keep close the ones we all had made.and build on them.  
I am in a season of pouring much of my energies into my four amazing children.  I am mothering them.  Teaching them.  Loving them.  Advocating for them.  Supporting and loving them with all my heart.  This is what God wants me to do, where He wants me to be and this is the season I'm in.


I'm kind of in a melancholy, sad mood this evening.

Sarah and I had a Play & Say group this morning.  It was essentially an hour of watching and interacting with her as she played with all kinds of toys.  It was an opportunity for the Speech Pathologist to observe her in a more comfortable and casual setting compared to the first assessment.  The SP did notice that Sarah's talking overall was much better than when they first saw her in May.  I did explain that I didn't feel the initial meeting gave Sarah a fair chance to show what she could say since the setting was new and strange and she has a real fear of medical facilities.  Thankfully, today Sarah was really chatty and we were given some good tools on how to work with her.  I worked really hard at not putting up the barrier walls that I so desperately wanted to build.  Walls that would harden my heart and close my ears to hear what they had to say.  I think I did okay.

I am certainly thankful for our healthcare system.  The resources that I've used (speech and home visits) are free.  I'm not having to pay out of pocket for them.  I guess it still hurts me inside that I *need* to use them.  I've heard all the well-wishers tell me that she'll do great, she'll benefit from it... all that good stuff.  I love and cherish the encouragement and prayers coming from everyone but my heart is so very sad.  The tears just seem to come so easily lately when I think of how far she has to come to *catch up*.  It is really hard to see other kids her age and even younger who don't have the delays that Sarah does.  To hear other two and three year old talk in 5-8 word sentences that are completely understandable is not only hard but it hurts me.  I'm the only one in Sarah's world that understands most (if not all) of what she says.  Doug and the kids can understand lots as well but we really have to watch for context when she speaks. 

I borrowed a book from my friend Karen, called Prayer Saturated Kids and I fear how my kids can be prayer saturated if I'm not.  If I don't model  true faith in God and trust Him, how can they?  Tonight I read the following:

"For various reasons, God sometimes doesn't answer our prayers in the way we've asked.  Perhaps the request is not within His will.  Other times we waver in our faith.  Other times our prayers are not answered immediately because our request is not within God's timing.  The bottom line is that no matter what happens, keep trusting God.  He is faithful."  Page 104, Prayer Saturated Kids

I know this to be true.  I know because I was brought up to know and believe it.  I guess when I was given this information and news, I felt let down.  This plethora of testing and assessments didn't fit into MY schedule or plan for Sarah.  When she was only 8 days old, we dedicated her to God.  Knowing that she was His child but ours to care for while she lives on earth.  That being said, I need to continue to work at accepting what He has laid out for her and her life.  I may not always like it but I have to do my best to work through it.  I'm far from that point.  I have lots of emotions to work through.  This just happens to be one of those tough days.   There's a small part of me that just feels like I'm alone in this and that no one understands.

Thank you for reading this and encouraging me.  I do my best to accept all the love and prayers that everyone gives me... I'll keep plugging through it and we'll be alright.


As far as my earliest memory goes, I have never liked eggs.  It is even written in my baby book by my mom that at 9 months old, I spat them out.  Today, I gave them one last chance.  There were more peppers than eggs in the mix which I thought would be ok.  Now I think it was just a waste of really good peppers.  I couldn't even swallow them.  I thought I could be grown up about it and all but no-go.  I love French toast, as long as it's cooked well.  Other than that and in baking, there's no way I can eat them.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Heart-Aversary

Six years ago today, my uncle was gifted with a new heart.  He was so very sick and was in desperate need of a miracle.  Praise God, he was granted a heart transplant.  I am so very thankful for his new lease on life and I know how much his family loves him.

Uncle Gerald, I love you so much.  You are one of the greatest, craziest and loving people I know.  Definitely one of  my "favorites"!  I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your life with your family!!  xoxoxox

In my happiness for them, I have sadness for me.  My mom didn't get the miracle.  She was eternally healed but it still hurts me inside.  Today I will smile for my aunt, uncle and cousins and yet, shed a few tears at the same time.  I won't go into all my feelings, today isn't about me or my Mom... I've posted endlessly about it... you can read about her (if you wish) in other posts.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Sarah!

36 things at 36 months
1. You joined our family on June 22, 2008.
2. I can't believe how much I love you more each day.
3. You are {finally} fully potty trained.
4. You aren't anywhere near sleeping through the night.
5. You have an incredible fear of medical facilities.  No sooner do we get in, than your tears start to fall and you sob "I wan' go home."
6. You are by far my littlest baby.  Not quite 25 pounds.
7. The majority of your diet consists of dry cereal, bananas, crackers, cookies, toast, and peanut butter.  I try to add more veggies, fruits and meat but you'll have nothing to do with it.  *sigh*
8. Your favorite movies are Bolt and Despicable Me.
9. Snuggling with daddy watching those movies is a nightly ritual for the two of you.
10. Your siblings are your favorite people.  If they aren't around, you wander the house looking for them and call their names.
11.  You love sleeping in bed with us.
12.  Going in the van is always exciting for you... a new adventure every time!
13.  Life would be perfect if you could spend your whole day "ou'thiiiide".  Such a cute little lisp you have. 
14.  You love dolls.  Dressing, undressing, feeding, walking, cuddling... you'll be a wonderful momma one day!
15.  You were named after you were born.  We hadn't picked one out beforehand. That was a first for us. 
16.  You are getting into things a lot more than you used to.
17.  The words "quiet", "mellow" and "easy going" are the best way to describe your personality.
18.  I heard "wuv you" for the first time a few days ago.
19.  You love to color and write.  I am amazed that you hold your pencil properly and can make the tiniest deliberate marks.  You always exclaim "I did a "E" (or "A" or "I")
20.  "Mine" is one of your favorite words as you clutch your prized possession (at that time) with such fervor.
21.  You love to help me clean with the broom or vacuum.
22.  Chocolate has a special place in your tummy!
23.  In addition to your immediate family, Grandma is one of your favorite people.
24.  Everything is proceeded by the words "I need a ________." (potty, bath, cookie, cup, bed... whatever)
25.  You love the camera and are always flashing a "cheese" smile at me.
26.  You are getting more and more adventuresome.  Things most kids do at two, you are doing now... I am thankful for the extra year of not worrying all the time.
27.  You still nurse a couple times a day.  I love that I've gone this long and have provided you with the best nourishment and extra calories that your tiny body needs, especially at night. This is important to me since you eat so little during the day!
28.  Coffee is one of your preferred beverages.  I have to watch out if I leave my mug lying around!
29.  Somehow you have managed to figure out my iPhone.  The other day, you actually called the house with it.
30.  You love Curious George.  I was so excited to go to The Party Place and buy all the goodies for your party!
31.  You love the park.  The swings are your favorite and the slides are a close second.  I feel like I still have to really watch you closely though... your balance isn't all that great yet.
32.  You are delighted when you get to go out with me alone and leave the big kids at home!
33.  You love to dress yourself.  Layers is important to you.  I've found you with pants, a dress, a tee shirt and hoodie on all at the same time.
34.  You love footwear.  Boots, shoes, sandals or slippers, it doesn't matter.  Also doesn't matter who they belong to.
35.  You have the ability to capture the heart of anyone around you.  
36.  Sweet Sarah, I love you.  You bring joy and happiness to my days.  You will always by my "little one" and I am so blessed to have you in my life.  I hope your birthday is full of fun, delights and surprises for you.  Have a wonderful birthday sweet girl of mine!

Thanks Kelly for the blog-lift!  :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

For a Few Moments

The girls were out biking, Joshua was at a friend's, Sarah was in bed and Doug had run out for something.... and for just a few moments, the house was quiet.  Very quiet.  I love the hustle and bustle that my family provides for this home during the day but I also take joy in the precious minutes of quiet.  The house was still and I enjoyed the peace.  And then everyone came home.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The River by brian doerksen

I heard this song in the van this evening.  Funny how certain songs play at just the right time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Two. More. Nights.

Doug left for a work related trip last week Thursday night (1:00 Friday morning actually).  Prior to that, he was at Elder's meetings for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.  So essentially, he hasn't been home since Monday, the 6th.  I am thankful for Face Time, emails, Skype and text messages.  Unfortunately, there's no touch with the technology we have.  I can't feel him hold me.  It just isn't the same.  So much has gone on since he's been gone.

- Andrea had an injured knee from a playground accident
- She then twisted/sprained her ankle two days later at my dad's
- Sarah fell off her bar-height chair... on her poor little head
- I received Sarah's assessment and had to deal with it on my own
- Sarah had an audiology test.  Did that on my own too.
- two garbage days on my own
- grocery shopping 
- lawn mowing the grass
- continuous bedtime routines
- chains have fallen off bikes
- kids are being transported to and from events
- endless loads of laundry
- meals, meals, meals

I can make it through the next couple days.  I think.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Follow Up

Our case worker, Wendy came over this morning to give us a more detailed report on Sarah's developmental screening.  It is nice to have it all in writing which is much better for my slightly muddled brain.  I like to *see* things on paper and be able to visualize it.  So here's the low down:

- Fine Motor (possible delay with skill level of 27-29 months)
- Language: Both Receptive & Expressive (probable delay with skill level 27-28 months)
- Gross Motor (probable delay with skill level 25 months)
- Auditory Attention & Memory (probable delay with skill level of 24 months)
- Visual Attention & Memory (probable delay with skill level of 18 months)
- Self Help (average with skill level of 31-32 months)
- Social (average with skill level of 39-40 months)

So what does this all mean?  It essentially means that Sarah has delays in most areas of development except for the last two.  We will register her for the Early Intervention Program at the local Health Unit.  This will include a "Play & Say" group which is a small group (2-4 kids) who will essentially play with the parents and two speech pathologists.  The pathologists will teach the parents how to *teach* the kids through play.  To take something as simple as playing but turn it into a learning opportunity. 

Wendy will also come to our house in a couple weeks and give me some tips and strategies on how to encourage the Auditory and Visual Memory since those are the two that are most confusing to me. 

Because I homeschool the kids, we declined further, more invasive testing and will not enroll her in a preschool.  I don't need Sarah to match up to other kindergarteners in 2 years... I can (and will) simply create a curriculum special to her needs when that time comes.  For now, I am looking at specific tools and ideas on how to encourage further development through her toys, surroundings and the people who are around her the most.  Wendy said I was actually one of the very few parents who are as eager to help their child.  Many parents want the system to fix their child and they simply can't do that.  Sarah doesn't need fixing... she's not broken.  She needs help and support filled with loving parents, siblings, family and friends.

That is the nuts and bolts of it all... the mechanical side of things.  And now for my heart....

I am coping.  It is really hard to hear that in so many areas, she is much younger than her actual age.  In many areas, I see her at the same level as my niece who was 2 in March.  As Sarah approaches 3 years old, she now has the mannerisms of a two year old.  Starting to assert her opinion, saying "no"... that kind of thing.  She was the easiest two year old in the world.  Compliant, easy going, cheerful and pleasant.  No "terrible twos" for us.  Now that the evaluations are done, we move on to the next step of working with her.  

Nothing really will change other than how we talk to her when we play.  To take the play to a level where she is learning new words, encouraged to talk and grow in different areas. 

I'm still feeling angry and raw at times.  I simply don't want to be doing this.   It's kind of like a grieving process and given time, I will be ready to handle what's been placed in in my lap. 

I don't even know how to pray about this.  It's not something that can or will get better overnight or with a dose of medicine.  She won't be *healed*.  So how am I supposed to talk to Him about this?  I feel alone.  Isolated.  In a world on my own.  It makes me sad today. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Confirmed what we already knew...

After a very quick, 15 minute audiology test, it was determined that there is NOTHING WRONG with Sarah's hearing in the speech spectrum measuring from 0-5000 hertz.  Now that doesn't mean we have other issues to deal with, it just means it's one less to be concerned about.  I will be thankful for this little glimpse of positive when I feel so much negative.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


The past two weeks have been crazy busy with appointments and such with Sarah.  With the busyness came a needy and clingy toddler.  Asking to be up, to "see" what I was doing and just wanting to be with me.  She was constantly pulling on my leg and it seemed she was always underfoot.  I have even tripped over her a few times.  I (guiltily) would stall off picking her up since there were dishes to clean, meals to make, a house to tidy, laundry to fold.... the list is miles long.  This afternoon as I was blogging in my room, I saw a tiny fuzzy head peek around the corner and a big grin shone behind the soother that was in Sarah's mouth.  Normally, she doesn't have them during the day but one must have been hiding in her toy basket or she's intentionally stashing them.  I lifted her up onto the big king sized bed that I was on and there we hung out for two hours.

Just me and her.  We dressed (and undressed) some dolls, played with geometric shapes and watched cartoons.  Good therapy for both of us. Even now, I am typing one handed as she's snuggled up against my chest and my arm is around her.  I like being needed.

Thoughts for Today

Not exactly a joyful day for me.  Feeling a little down and discouraged.  While at a little 45 minute program at church this morning, we wished a little girl a happy 3rd birthday.  I couldn't help but notice how *three* this little one looked and how much younger Sarah looks.  No one ever guesses that she's almost three years old... in fact, most people have a look of surprise when I tell them her age.  The comment that follows is usually "wow, she's small".  Yup.  I know.  Not many 3 year olds are tipping the scale at a mere 24.5 pounds.  Since Sarah's official diagnosis from the evaluation, I've been more keenly aware of some of Sarah's behaviors and it makes me a little sad. 

~ She wanders... at times aimlessly.  To me, that means she needs to be watched very carefully.  She has no real concept of boundaries or danger.  While at the park, she has to have someone watch her because she will just walk off an edge or step backwards and fall.  She doesn't have a sense of spacial awareness. 

~ She gazes at her surroundings.  I understand that it is a normal behavior for infants but not for three year olds.  Except mine.

~ She's not really steady on her feet.  Someone at the park casually mentioned that she appears dizzy.  She doesn't know any of Sarah's history but she pretty much got it right.  Hearing that from an innocent bystander was really tough. 

~ Another time someone asked, if in addition to her being small, she was behind in other areas of development.  The temptation to tell her that everything else was fine, was overwhelming.  But I admitted to it.  Yes.  She is behind in most areas including her physical size.

I'm trying to find the blessing in this small phase of her our lives.  I don't know what to do... I'm so overwhelmed right now.  Tomorrow we are attending a "Play and Say group.  We'll see what that is like...

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, June 4, 2011

One Little Heartbeat at a Time

I know many of many (most) of my readers will have seen this on my Facebook page and I apologize for the double post. A friend had posted this earlier and I love how it spoke to me. I feel like I've been run ragged off my feet as of late and to be reminded that I AM making a difference was really good for me.
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 3, 2011

300th Post

Not a whole lot of pomp and circumstance with it though.  Blogging has been an outlet of joy, anger, frustration, fear and love for me.  I share with my readers some of my deepest feelings.  It exposes me and forces me to be 100% honest. 
Thanks to all of you who read this blog and *hugs* to my faithful followers!  Thanks for laughing and crying with me in my writing. 

Romans 5:2b-4
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

40 Weeks

Let me begin by saying that I love books and I love to read.  I have bookshelves filled 2-3 layers deep of books.  I have no real interest in a Kindle because I love holding a book.  For a couple years now, I've been following the blog of Paige Beselt.  When she began writing this story, I was excited to catch the little sneak peeks that she inserted in her blog and I knew I'd want to read the whole book when it came out.  I was quite thrilled when her sister had brought a copy to church one night and I couldn't wait to get started.

This book is written like a journal of a young mom's experience and pain through miscarriage and then the joy of another pregnancy.  *Anna* is so open and transparent with her emotions and feelings that I couldn't help but imagine it was me she was talking about.  Her journal entries and writings are so honest and she opens herself in ways that the reader can't help but laugh and cry with her.

This story parallels my own experiences of losing babies to miscarriage and then the joy and even fear of a new pregnancy.

If you or someone you know has gone through the pain of miscarriage and the joy of pregnancy, I would definitely recommend this book to read.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Poor girl of mine

Sarah has come down with a bug of some sort.  Poor thing is so stuffed up, congested and coughing.  It sounds croup-like to me and I know there's not much to do about it.  Today was the first time in a few days that she actually ate.  Her voice is so pitiful and weak... it's almost sweet, but not really.  Amazingly though, she has done so well on the potty despite not feeling well. I'm so proud of her!  Everytime she goes, she asks me "Mom happy?"  Yes Honey, Mom is happy. 

Hoping she's on the finishing end of this cold and on the road to health again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Today it is about me

Last night as I was getting the house tidied up before nighttime, I found myself increasingly frustrated with the mess, spilled cups, clutter, toys... the works.  It wasn't until I headed to bed that I hadn't set time aside in the day for ME.  Usually that "me" time is on the treadmill which is perfectly ok and even enjoyed.  I'm doing something that doesn't involved the kids and is improving all areas of my heath (physical, emotional, mental).

This morning I woke up with the promise to myself that I would get a workout done.  I pushed myself an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill which I upped from 30 minutes to 40 and I have a goal of doing a consecutive 60 minutes eventually.  After a quick shower, I feel much better about myself and am much prepared to tackle what lies ahead of me today.

I need to make sure I set that time aside for me each and every day!


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