Friday, August 28, 2015

Blessings abound~ :o)

 Violet has been one of the best things in our lives. I'm a dog person. Sphynx cats are more dog like than cat like. She is such a blessing! 

 Yes she is quite spoiled, lots of toys! We make her an obstacle course!
She has a beautiful cat cage she sleeps in at night for now. Our house is so big we don't want to lose her! It is like the ones they use at cat shows. 

 She is incredibly smart. She can escape her cat cage! She squeezes through the doors that latch! So we had to put clips on it! LOL!!
When she gets out she saunters over to me!! 

 She won't sit with me while I am on the computer though! Maybe when she's older. She sits with me on my bed as I correct homeschool books, write letters and pay bills. She has a crinkle bag I found online that she likes to lay in. It sits next to me. When she isn't attacking it she sleeps in it!

 She has the saddest little cry when we have to cage her. :o) When we take her up north she will need to be caged for safety when she isn't in the trailer. She cries as soon as she hears my voice!

 She tolerates so much handling. She craves it! Even when they dress her in clothes from dolls that don't fit her right now and she trips and falls over! LOL! She takes it all in stride! 

And our favorite Kitty in the WHOLE WORLD!!
Miss Kitty wearing~ The hat of humility, The backpack of bearing one another, The watch of patience, The shoes of kindness, The gloves of compassion, The jacket of LOVE.
This is from "The put on chart" from Doorposts. I posted their link a few posts back. We have it in the bathroom on the wall straight ahead from the toilet, over the toilet paper holder- LOL! This way they read it daily! It has worked!
Acts 26: 12- 18 (NCV)
(Paul speaking to Agrippa)
 12 “One time the leading priests gave me permission and the power to go to Damascus. 13 On the way there, at noon, I saw a light from heaven. It was brighter than the sun and flashed all around me and those who were traveling with me. 14 We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language,[a] saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are only hurting yourself by fighting me.’ 15 I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 Stand up! I have chosen you to be my servant and my witness—you will tell people the things that you have seen and the things that I will show you. This is why I have come to you today. 17 I will keep you safe from your own people and also from the others. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn away from darkness to the light, away from the power of Satan and to God. Then their sins can be forgiven, and they can have a place with those people who have been made holy by believing in me.’

Monday, August 24, 2015

Welcome home Violet!

Acts 17:22(NCV)

Then Paul stood before the meeting of the Areopagus and said, “People of Athens, I can see you are very religious in all things. 23 As I was going through your city, I saw the objects you worship. I found an altar that had these words written on it: to a god who is not known. You worship a god that you don’t know, and this is the God I am telling you about! 24 The God who made the whole world and everything in it is the Lord of the land and the sky. He does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 This God is the One who gives life, breath, and everything else to people. He does not need any help from them; he has everything he needs. 26 God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live. 27 God wanted them to look for him and perhaps search all around for him and find him, though he is not far from any of us: 28 ‘By his power we live and move and exist.’ Some of your own poets have said: ‘For we are his children.’ 29 Since we are God’s children, you must not think that God is like something that people imagine or make from gold, silver, or rock. 30 In the past, people did not understand God, and he ignored this. But now, God tells all people in the world to change their hearts and lives. 31 God has set a day that he will judge all the world with fairness, by the man he chose long ago. And God has proved this to everyone by raising that man from the dead!”
32 When the people heard about Jesus being raised from the dead, some of them laughed. But others said, “We will hear more about this from you later.” 33 So Paul went away from them. 34 But some of the people believed Paul and joined him. Among those who believed was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and some others.


 I don't know if the pictures can convey how diminutive Violet is. 
She is absolutely tiny! She is 12 weeks now. The kids dressed her in 18" doll clothes.
                                     Isn't she beautiful?

 I told Kitty that Violet must only be allowed in my bed! LOL! So that is why Kitty is "hiding" her here! I was kidding of course.

 Her overwhelming cuteness brought out great creativity in Isaiah's photography! Her ears look "big" here but they are really tiny- about 1" tall! Her head is very tiny too. 
She is absolutely stunning!

 Silly Lysa shuts her eyes from the flash! Violet's paws are slightly smaller than a dime! 
We have to keep her from the boys and Mercy right now. She does not understand being handled roughly. She is very gentle! They could fall on her. Eventually she will learn and be faster than them!

 I can't even begin to tell you how perfect she is for our family! 
Our 120 pound dog Snow was dying to see her. He has fallen in love! LOL! He loves kitties and puppies! He's quite maternal! (altho he does not like alpha pups! LOL!) 
He kissed Violet and she hissed at him. She was firm but very gentle about it. He was not even phased, I'm not sure he realized she said don't! LOL! His tongue is nearly as long as she is!

 Kitty and Lysa are so in love with her! They decided they wanted to take her photos too! This is Kitty's very first photo! Fantastic if I may say!
Boys don't like tiny little kitties do they? ;o)

Lysa took this, her first photo! 
Beautiful profile of Isaiah and his new love!

Violet is very well socialized. The breeder did an amazing job. The kids can put her anywhere or pose her and she stays. 
We kiss her, and pet her ever so gently not wanting to break her! 

This afternoon Faith was having "buyers remorse"! LOL! She exclaimed "We don't even need a cat!" And then dad walked in with the crate. Faith pulled Violet out of the crate very gently, first and it was instant LOVE!! Crazy girl!! She is so happy! I think we may find Violet in Faith's bed here more than anywhere else!

 No, he doesn't LOVE his Violet does he? ;o)
She is so tiny she can squeeze through the child gates we have up for the boys!!!!

 She never tires of being handled!

 She is absolutely great fun to play with too! Silly girl!

I was calling Lysa from another room here, Lysa turned her head to hear me, Violet turned her head too! LOL! 

She fits into our schedule, our family, our lives like a warm cozy glove. 

We Thank God for the blessing of Violet! He could have given us animals only for food. But like He always does, He went further, He LOVES us so completely He gave us animals for companionship too! Thank You Lord!

Welcome home Violet!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

And its done!

My Super Duper Son in Love Dan returned to help Isaiah paint the garage. 
Isaiah read 2 manuals for the Wagner. I bought a smaller one before the larger one came out!! Thus I bought 2. This was years ago when I hoped that Tom would stain our garage at the lake. (It still hasn't been done)
Dan had never used a Wagner. But he's very mechanical and he can figure things out. 
First try they couldn't get it. Second try- Success. Then they showed Tom.

 Dan did what he could for us after a 10 hour day of work. Isaiah worked on it with him. The next day Isaiah and Tom finished.

                                                 It is done! Thank you guys!!!

 Darn neighbors lean their trash on our fence. (to the left) :o( The City doesn't seem to care.

Faith wants to be a Beautician. So big Sister let her work on her very thick curly hair. Faith thinks that her hair is curly. She found out Grace's is much curlier! LOL!

So that called for sitting on the back of the couch to braid??!!! I don't know why Grace didn't sit in a chair! :o)
Faith isn't as motivated now that she realizes there are so many textures of hair! But she'll learn. She's only 14. My sweet little baby cakes. :o) Grace was a great sport letting Faith fiddle with her hair before she got it braided again.

Darn cat breeder keeps calling my Violet- Avery?! :o(
She comes home on Sunday! This photo is about 3 weeks old. They did not send me a new one after her spay/weening.
The kids are so EXCITED!
I need to fill those litter boxes! LOL!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

You always speak to my heart Lord

We needed to fix the garage . After 37 years, paint just wasn't doing it after that length of time. I can't help Tom anymore because our group home gals MA and SP have so many needs. One of us must be with them at all times when they are home. And they can't be left alone in the house anymore. 

Then the boys and Mercy need attention. Even when in bed! ;o) Sometimes 3 of the older kids helped Tom. But they can't use an electric saw :o)

When I was raising the children who are now 20 - 39 years old, I never thought about them coming back to help us. I never thought we'd need help like this. In fact when you have a large family with special needs, you live day by day, leaning on the Lord, you don't expect a certain kind of future. You appreciate each day. How can you picture your future while you fight to keep Molly alive and comfortable, and baby Joy dies, our group home gal Susie dies after living with us 16 years, and then......... in the not far future your oldest birth child is killed in a car accident.

You just don't go there. You live on hope in the moment! God gives us hope. You lean hard with every ounce of your teeny tiny strength and LEEEEAN in HARD on God. 

So here we are now. Tom and I and our 11 at home children, and this is our future. Tom's and mine. 

And I wonder why none of the grown children raised here ever consider helping Tom. 

There was actually a time the first few adult children "helped". But it was what they thought we should do or what they thought we needed. And it was when they thought we should do it. Or they helped "if" they felt like it. Mostly they would just stop by at their convenience to visit when we were incredibly busy. (busy doing what they thought we shouldn't be doing) If I asked one to mow our tiny lawn after stopping by, he didn't have time. And then they became angry and spiteful about helping at all. Because we weren't grateful for the visits. 

Call me old fashioned but growing up we were raised to call first before you visit. I call my mom first before I go see her even now. And she lives alone. But she greatly appreciates that I do it. Often she tells me she's busy! LOL! I'm fine with that. :o) She tells me "Your busy too!" LOL! 

I had asked the adult children since their teen years to help my mom. Only Grace and Dan call her and help. Often she says she needs no help to them as well :o) but later tells me she's RAKING!!! So I call Grace and they go do it for her! LOL! 

When I left home as a young adult I respected that my parents home was no longer mine. I made a home. 

I did not want to ask Dan to help with the garage. (yeah a little prideful, I made sure I prayed about it) 

But Tom did ask Dan. And our precious son in law, our bonus gift from God helped Tom. He came every day after work when Tom needed him. Which is the only time we could do it as well. Tom, Dan and Isaiah. 

Tomorrow Dan and Isaiah are spray painting the garage with the Wagner. Isaiah has read the manual front to back and back to front. He is my instruction man. ;o)

Last night I finally finished our taxes. (2014) I'm super late this year. It was truly a celebration to finish!! I give God the Glory! Not because of how they turned out. I won't know till they are submitted. But He carried me through this entire extremely tiring job. Completing them is huge. 12 months of receipts in 2 boxes, (of course things are always missing) sorted into categories, and then last night I added and entered it into a log for our tax person. I cannot afford an accountant. I can't computerize everything because of my vision. PRAISE God I'm done! 

Between the garage, Jacob's surgery and the medical appointments for the kids we tried to squeeze in time to stay up north this summer. We have gone up for a few days but no time for anything other than mowing and clean up. Our electrician couldn't fit us in to hook us up. And we can't stay without electric. 

 Isaiah was fascinated with the wasp nests and insisted they be added here! They are on the garage of course.

I have to say my future has been heavily blessed! Even when I try to complain God answers with LOVE.
One day I was sad that I don't see my grandchildren from the adult children. While in prayer God "spoke" to my heart, saying "Who are Lysa and Kitty?" And I wept with JOY! Realizing how foolish I was. He had answered that prayer 13 years ago!

Later when telling the girls that story they both looked at me like "duh!" and said "we are your Grandchildren!". My beautiful girls are smarter than me!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The game of Life

 This game was bought in the mid 1980s. When the oldest children here could play it. They are now in their late 30s. (One turns 40 in 6 months- yikes!) It must not have taught them much about relationships; one of them who is 36 has been married several times and now lives with a 20 something boy friend and is having his baby. That's 5 children and 3 fathers, and I thought adoption was complicated.

But I digress.

This game has always been every ones favorite game. In the 80s I even played it! Best of all these 4, our last 4 blessings who can play it (since my LOVEs with special needs can't) enjoy it a lot too! 

 After these four (Isaiah not pictured- he's taking pictures! LOL!) are grown, the game will ceremoniously be thrown away. It is a miracle it has lasted this long! 

But we have 7 years yet. I savor each time they play. :o) 
I'd say we definitely got our money's worth with this game! And it was not a cheap game even back then! 
 Faith does not have to win to enjoy a good game! Isaiah was the winner tonight. 

While they played I made Sunday dinner. It is gluten free rice noodle macaroni and cheese. All organic. Butter and cheeses from cows fed grass with no antibiotics. Seriously it tastes amazing! I do add garlic and onion and often a veggie, here it is spinach.

There was a time when we made dinner the same day, right before we ate. But that was when I had enough older helpers to put things in the oven. Even with 2 ovens I can rarely prepare meals on the day we eat them. We have 6 ages 7-12, and one who is 20 plus our two group home gals who need to eat but can not help me.

Faith, Lysa, Kitty and Isaiah do help, but they also have school work, chores and athletics that take up their day. I make sure they have time to do them. So I am the chief cook, Tom is the bottle washer. I cook meals ahead of time in the evening. In the evening the little ones are in bed. Then extra large pots and pans can be used without worry of tripping over a little person. Mercy has food issues, she can't stop eating, so its good to cook while she sleeps. :o) 

I cook ahead at least 3 dinners, 3 lunches (soups) and a few snacks/muffins. I cook from scratch due to our paleo, primal, no grains, no sugar diet. The older 4 kids enjoy a few treats made with honey and maple syrup or coconut sugar. It is not that expensive. Foods that are pre-packaged end up costing us more than cooking this way.

In the picture above the girls are doing what they call "the taste test". Except they taste waaaay too much! LOL!! I've decided I'll just have to pass it off as their bed time snack! LOL!! 

Before bed tonight we set up their sewing project for tomorrow. Even Isaiah will be sewing. Around here "farmer boys" my age know how to sew and even crochet! Moving here from the big city I was very surprised! But now I think those moms were smart to teach the boys too! I'll take pictures so Isaiah can be in them! LOL! Of course my pictures suffer in quality! ;o)
We are starting our sewing with fleece. I sure wish we had fleece in my day!

After they hopped into bed. I couldn't get a picture it was too dark, but they drifted off to sleep reading "More than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell with their flashlights. (fantastic book by the way :o)
God is GOOD!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Missing my Grandma, letting go of memories

This Rooster cookie jar was my paternal Grandma's. I love seeing it. But it also makes me sad, I miss her. She died when my first born was 2. My daughter Angel adored her. It was mutual. Right now I am saving this for Kitty, Lysa or Isaiah.

 But we can't keep everything. Life goes on. Sadly Isaiah does not remember his big sister Angel because she died at age 28. But not before she held him and kissed him on visits before that day. He was 6 months old when she died. I miss her so much too. 
Change and loss are so hard.

 But I sure do adore this precious boy! Out of 4 birth children he and Angel are the most like me. Maybe that's why they put up with me. ;o) Tonight he wanted to eat some chili before bed. I had made it ahead for tomorrows dinner. I had to tell him no, because like me, he would get horrible heart burn from the tomato sauce. (which I inherited from my Dad!) Eating it at dinner tomorrow for him will mean only one Tums instead of 3! :o)

I have always fought to find room for these apple canisters. Their bodies are old, slightly chipped and pretty solid, but the lids are barely holding it together with tons of chips, cracks and breaks! So we took pictures to remember them and ceremoniously broke them to fit in the trash bag.

Space for 15 people, one cat and our dogs is at a premium here!

Last year after cleaning out the lake property and the house we donated 239 boxes of things, not  counting furniture and appliances!

Most likely the 3 kids won't take the Rooster. But there are things here they will take that remind them of me. So it only makes sense for me to let go of things that have only meaning for me. :o) The pictures make me just as happy and take up no space at all!

Tom found these pigeon eggs cleaning the gutters. I thought he was never going to do them this year:o( A small tree was growing in one gutter! I'm happy they are done! The kids studied the eggs. City Pigeons are not a protected species. Did you know that Pigeons EAT other bird's eggs and baby birds??!! I saw one rob a nest!! Grrrrr!!!