Friday, May 30, 2008

National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month. Foster CareChurches around our nation, along with Family Life’s Hope for Orphans, Focus on the Family, and Shaohannah’s Hope are pra May 26-30 for the 500,000 children in our nation’s foster care system. Colorado has 14,000 children in foster care and that number includes the 775 children waiting for adoption.

One of the organizations I am involved with, Project 1.27 has sent out a schedule for prayer to all of the orphan ministries and partners here in Colorado. While it is already Thursday, I thought I would post it and encourage any of you reading this to pray as well. Pray,God,Smiley

Monday—The Word
Tuesday—The Workers
Wednesday—The Families (Birth families, foster families, adoptive families)
Thursday—The Children
Friday--The Church

There is also more information at Tonight, the women of our church will be gathering together for prayer. I am so thankful to be part of a church that cares about the fatherless. Take some time today to pray for these children and others who so desperately need the love and security of a forever family.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer Has Officially Begun

PhotobucketHere we are at Memorial Day weekend yet again, our official beginning of summer. Our neighborhood pool has opened and the daily trek to swim began this morning. Unfortunately, it is not quite the mid to upper 80 degrees that we grew accustomed to in Hawaii. As we went into the pool today it was a sweltering 59 degrees. Of course, the pool was warmer, but with the cool breeze we were all pretty chilly. Ellie was splashing and having fun, but her little lips were shivering and turning an interesting shade of blue. Needless to say, I got her out and warmed up. Let's hope we will see some warmer weather soon to go with our new-found summer freedom. My little water babies must swim!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Chapman's Littlest Cinderella

Just wanted to write to express my sadness and prayers for the tragic loss of little Maria Sue Chapman last night. I pray that her family is comforted by the immeasurable grace and mercy of our Lord. This video tells about the Chapmans and the song he wrote recently for Maria and Stevie Joy, their two youngest adopted daughters.

Tonight, she dances with her Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nearly There...

I feel a bit like the Little Blue Engine right now trying to make it up that last stretch of hill. We are now two days away from finishing the year of homeschooling. My kids have done really well and I am proud of them. For some reason, I have been a bit daunted by the fact that this is only year one of what will be years to come of this task. We haven't made any decisions beyond elementary school for the kids yet, but even that puts me into the double digits of schooling by the time we get Ellie that far. Hmmm... I am sure that it gets easier, right? It still boggles my mind how often my 2 boys seem to give me a bigger run for my money than a few hundred middle schoolers. Of course, I wasn't chasing a baby around in my classroom back then.

After school today, I got to spend the entire afternoon cooking. Normally, I really like to cook, but this was the result of our freezer get turned off yesterday afternoon unbeknown to us. The draining water out the bottom was our big clue today. So, with about 25 pounds of meat already beginning to thaw, I have been a busy gal. Tomorrow will be more of the same. We will be eating like kings for this next week. I am trying to go along with that old adage, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade..." Unfortunately, having been a vegetarian in the past for 6 years or so, meat isn't exactly my drink of choice. My family will be happy though and I will just keep offering food to the neighbors. So, if anybody is hungry...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First Steps

Ellie took her first steps yesterday... May 13. I was sitting with the boys doing Legos when she turned away from holding the couch and took two steps to Noah. We looked at each other in disbelief and then we all started screaming. Ellie was so excited that she took several more trips back and forth before tiring out. She still doesn't protect herself when she starts to fall, she just face plants. So, we have a long way to go, but it was a pretty big deal seeing her take those steps here at almost 20 months old. First Steps
We will begin working with a second physical therapist in the next month or so that will be focusing on her walking and progressing her through to running and manipulating different kids of terrain. This therapist will actually be coming to our home for therapy so that will be great for me! We will continue to see the original therapist at Children's Hospital as we try to get Ellie's foot position corrected. My biggest prayer on that subject right now is that we don't have to get the more advanced orthotics for Ellie... big bucks. She is definitely getting stronger, but those flat feet of hers need to arch up and line up correctly. We will continue with the current orthotics and doing her little exercises at home over the next few weeks to see what happens.
We continue to work through Ellie's attachment issues. Here we are about a month into our new plan. We have a long way to go, but I do feel like I have seen a few unexpected and pleasant moments of improvement. In the past week or so, she has been much more relaxed about crawling over to her daddy to give him a requested kiss or hug. She actually has done it with a giggle or a smile at least 3 or 4 times. Of course, she turns right back around to me, but perhaps the fact that she knows she will be able to come back to me is relaxing her in the thought of moving away from me. That aspect of the therapy seems to be showing some small results already. Others at church have also noticed a change in her with me... she is more snuggly with me or she seems more relaxed with me than before. I hope that is true and not just wishful thinking. The sooner she is secure in my permanence, the better for everyone. I will continue to update the blog on this issue as we see more prominent improvement, but as I have been starting to get the "How's it working?" questions, I thought I had better give the latest. Thanks for asking and for your continued prayers.
Sounds like nap-time is over....

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Photos from Hawaii

I have added another album of photos from our trip. I still have one more camera of photos to go through. We had such a great time and it is fun to look back at these pictures. I sure do have some cute kiddos.
Hawaii Part 2

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Well, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth in the past three weeks, but we did escape to paradise for a few weeks. We spent 16 days in Hawaii and had a fantastic time. We went to Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii and saw some pretty amazing sights. Snorkeling was great and the kids loved it. We raced with Dolphins on one of our boat rides, explored Pearl Harbor's Bowfin Submarine, Battleship Missouri and Arizona Memorial, snorkeled in one amazing spot after another, saw Saturn with its rings and moon as well as some other incredible constellations through telescopes atop Mauna Kea, swam with sea turtles and experienced Kiluea's volcanic activity. It was a trip to remember and the kids were really great. Ellie wasn't really any better with Milan, but she did take to the water like a fish. She actually throws herself off the side of the pool and dives under the water. She can't swim, but she thinks she can-- dangerous, but great in the sense that she has no fear of the water. She would say "Dunk," "Mahnee" (swimming), and "Fly" (translation = throw me up in the air and let me drop into and under the water). It was entertaining for most everyone at the pool. I was often stopped in the hotels and asked, "Is this the baby from the pool?"

We took close to 900 pictures (that is actually after editing), obviously I wont be posting them all, but I will add some over a few days. I really enjoyed taking pictures. It is hard to take bad pictures when the subject matter is so beautiful.

Hawaii Part 1

We have really been recovering from the jet lag slowly this week. It is only 4 hours difference, but we did a red-eye on the way home... not much sleeping. We have also had a busy few days since we have returned. I had planned on starting school again Monday, but we have had appointments for Ellie and have been fighting colds...airplanes, ugh! We will just extend our year a few days and give ourselves a few more days of recovery time. It just isn't worth the struggle. The boys do finish their enrichment classes this week for the summer. It will be nice to start cutting back on commitments for a few months. I am hoping that when fall rolls around and schedules amp up again, things will be a little better with Ellie. I guess I am not banking on it, but it would be really great.