Friday, February 21, 2014

...at night his song is with me

"By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life." (Psalm42:8).  

For years now I have heard songs in the night, always appropriate, always a relevant message.  Just a snippet, a few lines, heard over and over until I awaken and rush to write it down so I'll remember it in the morning. Sadly, the past year my heart has been distracted and wayward, left reeling, feeling alone both spiritually (God) and physically (friends)… Left wondering where God was and asking the age old question of "why, God?"  

A few friends and I are doing the Gideon bible study by Priscilla Shirer.  Last week at our study I specifically asked the women to pray for me because it had been so long since I heard Him in the night.    That I missed it so, that I NEEDED it.  I am blown away to state that over the past week, I am hearing Him again!!  I have received three songs in the night and they spot on!  


(‘Cause) All You've ever wanted, all You've ever wanted
All You've ever wanted was my heart

(All You've Ever Wanted--Casting Crown)


Oh - we bring the Kingdom come
Oh - with every act of love
Jesus help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come
(With Ever Act of Love--Jason Gray)


Hallelujah what a Savior

Jesus You are higher
My soul's deepest desire
Hallelujah You are Savior

(What a Savior--Laura Story)

I know I have a long way to go to regain the territory I gave up, but at least I'm moving forward again, I'm in the battle.

Do any of you experience these…visits?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Time4Learning review

 I've been wanting to try Time4Learning for quite a while now, but I kept putting it off.  A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to try Time4Learning free in exchange for a review.  That was an offer I couldn't pass up!

I initially signed all the kids up.  After exploring it a bit and letting Shaoey do a few lessons, I realized that for Connor (10th), Jacob (8th), Shaoey (2nd/3rd), and Grace (1st) it probably wasn't the best avenue for them.  We have used a literature based style for years and it works well for us  

Eliana (age 8, adopted last year) is a different story.  Eliana came home with a couple of known special needs--hydrocephalus and scoliosis.  After meeting her, we realized there were other significant special needs.  We have spent the past year doing testing and evaluations.  We have learned that she has cerebral atrophy, corpus callosum issues, auditory processing disorder, some sensory issues, and a few other suspected issues.  With these issues, a literature based style doesn't seem to be working.  Her listening/retaining/responding skills seem low even on good days when her bridge (callosum) is working well.  We've both been frustrated and seemed to be at a standstill.  

Enter Time4Learning.  When we traveled to SFCV and adopted Eliana, she took us to the computer room, turned on the computer, went to the internet--straight to her game site, and started playing.  That should have told me something.   I have Eliana working on kindergarden level skills.  She has been doing some abc lessons and math/pattern skills.   When we work with her face to face, she has to take in our language, transfer it to where it needs to go. With callosal issues and auditory processing disorder, the message gets bounced around many times before it gets to it's destination.  By the time it gets there, it is often distorted.  She then has to process it and form a response which gets bounced around on the way out…. She often freezes up when we ask questions and try to get responses from us.  Think fight or flight, blank…  She seems to be doing really well with Time4Learning and is less frustrated and more likely to complete the task--meaning forward progress!!

I am excited to continue with Time4Learning, excited to see what progress we can make.  The lessons are short and entertaining, with good prompts to help her know what to do next (ex. the arrow lights up when she needs to press it to continue).  There is also a quiz at the end of the lesson to help us evaluate if she's understanding the information.  I also read today that people have been able to use it on tablets and Kindle Fires.  I'm anxious to try that to allow her to work while we're working and possibly take it with us to some doctor appointments, etc.  

(The opinions in this review are mine and do not from Time4Learning.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CHRISTMAS SALE--One Day at Shepherds Field Children's Village coffee table book!!

I'm excited to share this book again
AND
it's on SALE!
One Day at Shephards Field Children's Village coffee table book!
This book is beyond fantastic. It is hardback, 11.5" x 9", and has high quality glossy pages with photos and narrative about the lives of the children and staff at SFCV.

Take a look inside and you'll see:

the children and the wide variety of special needs represented there

and an incredible photo journal of a day in the life of SFCV
Breakfast time

School time

There are many more amazing pages of life at SFCV---the buildings, playtime, mealtime, school time, napping, therapy, the medical clinic, bathing, etc. There's the arrival of new children and the adoption of others. And of course the precious CHILDREN--pages and pages of beautiful children. (The photos were mainly taken in the summer of 2009.)


As many of you know, sadly, there are children who will not be adopted, who will never know the love and care of their own family. When a child turns 14, they are no longer eligible to be adopted. What happens to them? Many older children/young adults are either turned out of an orphanage to fend for themselves or are put in an adult social welfare institution. This a more certain fate for the older orphan with special needs. SFCV is working to change that for the children they care for.




They are building a Vocational Center-- a place for these young people to learn a trade, to learn to care for themselves, to support themselves...to live a full life. There will be training rooms, small apartments, and even long term care for those that need it. It will truly be a life saver for many orphans. It will be 4 stories high. 

So how do you get one of these phenomenal books and bring hope to the orphan? This book is a limited edition. There are only 150 of them. For a donation of $50, you will receive one of these books and also have your name engraved on the sponsor plaque on the Vocational Center!

ALL proceeds from this book go directly to SFCV.

Just email me at troyandcharlene93@yahoo.com and I'll give you the payment information.
(Shipping & handling is $5, shipped media mail. You may choose another method if you prefer.)



In closing, this book is truly a treasure. Grace (known as Vira or ShuangShuang at SFCV) LOVES to look through it and see "her" China. It is beautifully done and a touching testimony to the love and care that the children get at SFCV.

Location:Broussard, LA

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Ultimate Healthy Living bundle!

I cannot wait to dig into this!
It's full of so much wonderful information and encouragement. 





86 ebooks--everything from natural living, real food cooking, natural beauty care, children's health--it's got it all!
+
1 interactive 12 week conference
+
9 free bonuses (worth over $150)
=
one AMAZING bundle!

All for $29.97



I'm so excited to try Time4Learning!

This came at the perfect time!  TingTing has many areas of difficulty--hydrocephalus, cerebral brain atrophy, thinning corpus callosum, and auditory processing disorder to name a few.   Homeschooling her has been very hit or miss as we try to figure out how to help her learn and remember things.  I've been looking at Time4Learning the past few weeks and was tickled to receive an email from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Check back in December!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Happy birthday, Gracie girl!

Our Grace is 7!  That sounds so much older than 6...  She is growing into such an amazing young lady--sweet, loving, cuddly, kind, and FULL of personality!  Grace and I did a photo shoot of sorts today.  I tried, but I just couldn't narrow it down anymore (trust me this isn't all of them!).  I hope you enjoy getting to know our Grace through these pictures.  They truly show what a precious girl she is to us.

We love you, Grace FuShuang!
The girls have a birthday tradition--a gigantic balloon of their choice.  







This one just makes my heart smile!


Love the personality in this one--Miss Confident!

The best sisters in the world.  They love each other so much; they can't bear to be apart.

Crazy girls!

Life is fun!





Birthday girl got to choose a new bike today.  We loved this one with longer handles, it helps her to not have to reach so far.  It works GREAT with pokey arm!








We had a WONDERFUL birthday party with our friends.  We celebrated Caroline and Grace's birthdays together.--2 very special young ladies!

What great friends!  




Thursday, September 12, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kids are suppose to feel pain!


(warning--graphic photo of her incisions farther down this post)

TingTing had 7 or so vials of blood drawn, then she had to do her pulmonary function test.  Part of that included an arterial blood gas baseline.  This involved the technician drawing blood from the artery in her wrist.  She spent about 3 minutes trying to get hit the artery on Ting's left wrist.  When that didn't work, she moved to the right wrist.  After a couple minutes, she hit it.  

TingTing did not cry, did not squirm, and did not need me to hold her AT ALL.  She sat there with her arm out.  Just sat there.

She didn't cry or fuss in the hospital. 

Today is day 4 post op and she only took 5 cc of Lortab at bedtime tonight. And she didn't really ask for it, just a simple statement that her back hurt just a little so I gave her a low dose to make sure she could sleep.

Think for a moment if your child had these things done.  Do you think he/she would cry? Need you to hold them down to get bloodwork? Lay there and let them cath her with no sound or movement and no one holding her down?

If so, why is it so brave of TingTing to not need someone?

The number of times we heard how brave she was, how tough she was, what a big girl she was...

She's not, well she may be, but more than likely this is due to 2 things:

1.  A learned response--It's not unusual for orphans to learn early on that it doesn't matter.  Crying doesn't elicit the response God created it to get.  Hey, I need someone.  No one comes.  They learn it's a waste of effort to cry.  It won't matter.

2.  It is also related to Sensory Integration Disorder (SID).  Some individuals don't register sensory input in a neurotypical fashion.  Some are hypersensitive to sensory input (loud noises, bright lights, touch, pain... send them into a tizzy).  Others are hyposensitive--they need more intense input to register what a neurotypical person registers with normal input.  This would include pain.   We did a neuro-reorganization evaluation the week before surgery and the therapist noted that she seems to have rather low response to pain.  This also shows up in being able to empathize with others.  Example when a cat has gone missing or we find a chicken dead, she smiles and laughs, and wants to keep talking about it all day.  If she can't feel pain, she can't empathize and respond appropriately.  If it doesn't hurt her, it doesn't hurt anyone.

So... all that to say.  Kids are suppose to feel pain.  It's not "normal" for them not to.   I feel God gave us pain to protect us from more serious damage.  We need to feel pain.

We've got occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, and our newest addition neuro-reorganization therapy going on to help TingTing become better regulated and function at her best.

There's so much more I want to share about TingTing, but I need to figure out how much to tell and what.... (I'd love advice on how you know how much to share about your child's issues and needs.)


Oh yeah, here's the photos I warned about:

This spine X-ray was done in December.  It had gotten SIGNIFICANTLY worse since then.  It was about 40 or so degrees here.  The most recent one was about 65 degrees curvature. (The main curve, there was a secondary above it, but it was smaller.)
Spine x-ray the day after surgery.  They believe they got it down to about 30 degrees and the upper curve is starting to straighten itself.
Here's her incision sites on Friday morning before they discharged us.


Here's a video of TingTing walking today.  Her right shoulder is so much lower... and we're noticing the leg length difference more.  When she takes a step with her left leg, she lifts her body up to where her right foot almost doesn't touch the ground.  You can't see it as much in this video... I'll try to get better tomorrow.

video