the big catch up post

Okay, so you guys are too sweet.  I loved reading all you lovely comments today.  Oh man…I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but you are going to have to wait just a tad longer.  I promise that as soon as I am able, the cat will be let out of the bag.  I am so excited to share some wonderful news with you all.  But not just yet. I wish I could…but I can’t yet.  Darn it.

Nothing like a bit of suspense though, huh?

So instead of sharing some majorly exciting news with you, as I was hoping I would be able too, I figured I would give you all a good old catch up on life, love, and daily happenings around here.  Yeah, I know, very gripping stuff.

After almost two months of dragging, I feel like we are finally getting back into some kind of normal homeschooling routine.  Kinda sort of.  Oh my goodness gracious, but it has been so hard getting back into routine after more than four months of no school.  Just getting up at a reasonable hour in the morning has taken some major discipline for me.  Slacker.

But here we are, having a blast again. 

We have been studying the Egyptians.  Very interesting–even for me.  I can tell you that I am so thrilled that God chose to allow me to live in such a time as this, not that. And my children wholeheartedly agreed when they read that Egyptian kids wore next to nothing each day…and that public bath thing they had back then, well, let’s just say that our teeny, tiny little row house all of a sudden feels like a mansion to them.  Nothing like having the Egyptians to teach us a lesson or two in thankfulness.

This week we made pyramids with spaghetti and gum drops.

My kind of experiment.  Easy as pie.  Minimal mess.  No fuss.  Bring it on.

The kids loved it and ate way more gum drops than was necessary.  Of course.

How I just love my sweet students.

Our curriculum is working out well.  So far, so good.  Except for one thing.  My kids are so not into the Language Arts curriculum I chose.  It’s computer based and they find it so tedious.  Problem is that I am stumped as to what to try next.  Help me out here you homeschooling mamas.  Can anyone recommend a fabulous LA curriculum?  I’d love some advice.

Wow….so many of you commented on this photo in my last post.

Isn’t she just darling?

Yes, Hailee is standing.  She is pulling herself up to hold onto the coffee table, which is so fantastic.  Still not standing alone, although she will try and manage to stay upright for just a few seconds at a time.  The fact that she is trying is just so amazing.  Each little step forward in her development is such a sweet victory.  We rejoice.  I was actually looking through some pictures of my time in the Ukraine the other day and I could not believe how much Hailee has changed in not even five months. 

Her transformation leaves us speechless.

Does this even look like the same child?

I look at Hailee and am constantly reminded that there is hope for each and every child.  Even children like her–written off, locked away and completely forgotten about.  It amazes me what LOVE can do. 

While she is doing so very well, we are still concerned that she is not growing.  At all.  At a recent doctors appointment she still weighed in at 19 pounds.  How can an almost five and a half year old possibly weigh 19 pounds?  So not right. She seems to be stuck at that weight and will not budge off it, no matter how much we feed her. 

There does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel though.  There is a strong possibility that Hailee may have Celiac Disease, as so many of you suggested in this post.  One test has come back positive, and the other was ify.  So it’s on to the GI doctor we go in a few weeks time for more extensive testing.  It’s a quite a thing.  Part of me is praying that she does not have Celiac–all the diet changes for one family member will take some major adjusting.  But then there is another part of me that will be relieved to finally find out exactly why Hailee is not growing.  Whatever happens, I know God’s already got it all taken care of, and that is good enough for me.

This coming Tuesday will be Hailee’s much anticipated eye surgery.  The one where they are injecting Botox into her eyes to hopefully fix her horrible strabismus.  We’re obviously praying it works the first time, or else she will have to have it redone.  It’s heartbreaking watching her struggle day in and day out to get her eyes to align.  Poor baby.  We would so appreciate your prayers for a successful surgery on Tuesday. 

The Sure Steps that Hailee and Harper are wearing on their feet have been incredible.  Harper in particular has very low muscle tone (we call her our little jellyfish).  The braces have given her so much more support.  She is even standing for up to a minute on her own, completely unsupported.  Both girls have begun physical therapy to help them get more mobile.  Mmmmm….I have a feeling Miss Harper is going to keep us all on our toes once she finds her legs.  Watch out world!  She is so curious and even on the floor she gets into everything.  She is going to keep us all running.

One thing we learned super fast about Harper is that this girl is really smart.  She is like a little sponge.  She imitates so much of what we do and even tries to make the sounds we make.  You can almost see her brain ticking over as she tries new things daily.

She has recently decided that peek-a-boo is her best game ever.

She loves, loves, loves music and is the little singer in the family. Her name suits her perfectly. It’s the sweetest sound to listen too.  She is learning sign language and is even starting to show us the sign for more when she wants more food.  Which is very often, I’ll have you know.  The girl loves her food.  She thinks that American food is quite alright, thank you very much.  I have no doubt that Harper is going to learn, grow, and become so much in her life.  She’ll let her disability shine!

Goodness, we are so blessed to have these gorgeous little treasures in our lives.  Yes, I do agree with what so many of you commented here.  It is tiring having children who struggle in life.  Most days I totally fall into my bed at the end of the day.  BUT….I honestly don’t give the weariness much thought.  For me, even when I had one [typically developing] child I was beat at the end of the day.  Having Hailee and Harper has absolutely not made my life more busy or more tiring.  We just do it.  We try to live one day at a time and and savor their sweetness in that day.  Some days we fail miserably, others we get it right.

And about what will happen to them in their futures…truthfully, I can’t allow myself to think too far ahead.  I can’t.  I don’t know what will happen to them when they are adults.  I don’t know who will care for them when God calls me home.  I have no idea what their futures look like.  But I am positive of one thing—it is not my concern.  I believe in a God who does all things well.  I know HE holds their futures in HIS hands.  And I know He will reveal things to us as we journey along.  As much as I would love to have my life, and my families lives, all planned out for the next twenty or thirty years, I cannot do that. I cannot let my plans get in the way of God’s more wonderful plans. His Word commands me NOT to worry about tomorrow.  If He cares for the sparrow, He can care for me and my family too.  Loving my children to the best of my ability is my only concern for today.  God can worry about tomorrow on my behalf.  It’s just too stressful to try and figure it all out.

That is how we live our lives.  Sometimes we just have to get out of God’s way and allow HIM to lead and guide us.  My human flesh gets in the way too darn often.

Less of me and more of Him.  That’s what I desire above all else.

I did also have to laugh about my little “birds and bees” expression in my last post.  After one of you mentioned it I remembered that here in the US it usually refers to “the talk” that we have to have with our kids at some point (gotta love that).  Too funny.  No, Anthony was absolutely not having “the talk” with a stranger.  Sometimes I forget where I live and what expressions I should, or should not, use.  I am often putting my foot in my mouth here in my blog.  Like when I wrote “flip”, which is kind of like saying “Oh heck” or “Oh my goodness” in South Africa.  One reader thought I was being positively rude for using such a terribly bad word.  Oh dear.  I momentarily forgot that saying, “Flip, but I love chocolate,” is probably not the best way to say it in this country.  I totally laughed.

Or how about when I wrote a post about how my kids presented me with large amounts of “pee” in the bed one morning?  I was told that “pee” is offensive and that “wee” would be a far more suitable choice of word on my Christian blog.  Seriously, I kid you not. Who in the world knew? Clearly not me. The only difference to me is that one starts with a ‘p’ and the other with a ‘w’.

Yup, sometimes I forget that a word can be perfectly acceptable in one country, and horribly offensive in another.  Can’t please ’em all, huh?  I gave up trying a long time ago. Actually, I think people just need to lighten up a little and stop finding offense in every little thing.  There are far more important things in life to focus on, in my little opinion.

Anyway.

Time to say night night. 

Be blessed in ALL you do, friends.  Jesus Christ is alive and well and more than able to carry our burdens and lighten our loads.  Times are so tough, but He is the same yesterday, today and forever! He never changes. There truly is no one like our God.

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