Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Amazing Me and My Amazing Sister

OK, so I know that I have been writing a good bit lately about Lizzie's limb differences, here and here.

I had not written about her limb differences in a while because, well, she is just so much more than her hands and feet and it really is such a non issue - most days.

As we were waiting for Lizzie, I began to collect books, books about adoption, mostly, but also, one very special book about kiddos who, like Lizzie, have something about them that makes them special, unique and beautiful!

Over the last 2 1/2 years, I have given her a few of the books about adoption for birthdays or Christmas gifts but I have not felt the need to give her the one very special book I have about limb differences...

until now.
So far, the questions have all been questions of innocent curiosity from children who wonder, what happened to Lizzie's hands. 

So far, Lizzie has been able to rise above the questions, answering them with the wisdom of one much older and strength of one who knows that she was wonderfully made and that God doesn't make mistakes, but last night something happened that made this, the time for this particular, wonderful book.


Amazing Me is all about amazing kiddos with all different kinds of limb differences and Lizzie loved it - as did Em.

However, last night, the thing that made this, the right time for this book was - Em.  My normally sweet and compassionate Em was frustrated and angry and lashed out at Lizzie in a way that was - just - not - like - her.   In her frustration, Em made a hurtful comment about her sister's toes and I reacted. 

I reacted out of love for Lizzie and out of disappointment in Em.

Hubby and I talked to Em and sent her to bed.

All night last night and all morning at Church I had a feeling, a nudge, a whisper in my ear that Em needed me.  She was going through something too and she needed to talk about it and know that she could talk about it - with me!

So today we talked and I shared with her what it was like sometimes to grow up with a brother who has hands and feet like her sisters!  Honestly y'all I had forgotten some of the feelings I had growing up. 

As a child, I loved my brother, fiercely, and would try my best to watch over him and my heart sobbed for him every time someone would tease him.  To this day, I have a very hard time forgiving some of the adults who, as kids, were ugly to him.  It made an impact on me, a big impact.  It is part of the reason I knew Lizzie was our daughter.  My heart would never be the same.

However, there were other times, times that I am not proud of and times that were few and far between, but times that were filled with frustration, anger and even jealousy. 

My brother was and is an incredible person but there were times that were hard and I was a child.  I have had to work a bit to forgive the me that was a child with feelings that were less than God like and this morning I realized that Em needed that same forgiveness and needed to know that I understood and that is was ok to talk to me about these feelings.

I helped her to understand that saying hurtful things to her sister was definitely NOT ok but her feelings were something that we could talk about and something that I hoped that I could help her with.

You see, my Em is wonderfully sweet, funny, compassionate, smart and just plain fun to hang with. 

However, Lizzie is little and cute, really cute and there are many times that people seem to look right past Em to notice Lizzie and there are times that Em notices their neglect and wonders why.

Em is a pretty great soccer player and can hold her own on the flag football field too, but most of the talk tends to revolve around her sister and how fast she is or tenacious she is, etc., cause she is little and cute and people just do not expect her fierceness on the field.  They stop and they notice and they tell Lizzie how great she is and I know they mean well but again, many times, Em goes mostly unnoticed.  I know that it has to make an impact.

So, while saying hurtful things to her sister will NOT EVER be tolerated, I know that Em needs someone to talk to who understands and she needs to know that we love her even when she has those feelings and she needs to be reminded sometimes of how uniquely made she is and that she is amazing too and that we are so very proud of her and how she loves - cause oh boy does she love! 


These girls are so close


and so bonded


and even though they sometimes argue


and don't always get along,


they LOVE each other


really LOVE each other


and I have no doubt that as they grow older, Lizzie will let any and all know just how she feels about being called cute for the umpteenth time and be more than happy to share the spotlight with her amazing sister cause y'all


they are BOTH my amazing daughters and I know that they will rely on each other, care for each other, defend each other and love each other through all the stupid comments - no matter who they come from - hehe!

To read more Sunday Snapshots, go here


Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - WEEK ONE!

Yes, I am happy to report that we have survived another "first week" of school! 

The mornings were early (I wanted to shoot my alarm clock) and the pace was hectic but there were very few tears from them or me!

By Friday, however, I was thinking that TGIF should forever be changed to TGIS (sleeping late Saturday)!

Have you ever dealt with a 5 year old who was used to sleeping until 10:00 some mornings and then all of a sudden she is being awakened at 6:30 (gulp) in the morning and being told that she has to brush her teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush her hair, get her shoes on, find her backpack, kiss her Momma and then run out the door to BEGIN her day!!! 

Yeah, you too??

Well, how about dealing with TWO 5 years olds who are used to sleeping until 10:00 some mornings and then all of a sudden they are being awakened at 6:30 (gulp) in the morning and being told that they have to brush their teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush their hair, get their shoes on, find their backpacks, kiss their Momma and then run out the door to BEGIN their day!!!

Hehe!
 
Re-entry!
 
Always hard!
 
So, anyway, we started the first day with a couple of smiling faces (thank you Lucky Charms)
 
 
and a book called The Kissing Hand
 
 
What a wonderful book and perfect for your little one's first day of school!!
 
The girls were so excited about their first day of "real" school and it showed!  Em was home schooled last year and while I loved it, she really wanted to go to a school with a playground!  Sigh! 
 
Lizzie still gets her speech and OT from school and they ROCK!
 
So, the girls are going to 5K this year but next year...
 
They are MINE!!!!  BWHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
 
I AM keeping one of my kiddos home this year.
 
Can you tell who???
 

 
That's right, sweet Caleb will finally get the Mommie time he has wanted for so long,
 
LOTS of Mommie time, 
 
and the best part...
 
I get LOTS of Caleb time!!!
 
 
I just love that boy!
 
So, the first day went well
 

 
really well
 


and the girls even earned some kuddos from their teacher!
 

Apparently Em is a "good listener." 
 
Go figure!!  Hehe!
 
Now, if you read my Sunday Snapshot last week, you will know what an incredibly brave and amazing girl my Lizzie is, especially when it comes to her hands and feet.
 
True to Lizzie style, she just happen to mention to me on Friday that several kids in her class had asked her what was wrong with her hands.
 
With a lump in my throat, I asked her what she had told them.
 
My incredible child just looked at me and said, "I just told them that I was born that way, that this is the way God made me." 
 
Then she simply smiled and shrugged her shoulders, those teeny tiny shoulders that bear too much of the weight of the world sometimes.
 
As I tried to remain calm and not make a big deal about it, I asked her if that was OK. 
 
I asked her if she felt like the kids were mean or just asking (cause you know the Momma bear might have to come out to play if any of those 5Ker's do anything to intentionally hurt my child), but my little Lizzie just said, "No, they were just asking!"

 
At that point, I told her what a cool kid she is and hugged her just a bit tighter and just a bit longer and said a silent prayer of thanks to God who allowed us to know and love this precious child.
 
All in all, it was a good start to what I hope will be a good year. 

Charlie has made the transition to Christian's school, relatively unscathed (there was one 7th grader that I thought might have to have a playdate with Momma bear but Charlie handled it). 

Christian is happy to once again see his friends (aka girlfriend) everyday again, and I do believe that Caleb has enjoyed seeing Momma everyday, all day, 24/7, all Momma, all the time - at least for now!! 
 
My babies are growing up

 
and I have learned to treasure every glance, every sticky kiss,


every sweet little hand in mine
 
 
and every single "I love you Mommie."
 
How was your first day??

To read more Sunday Snapshots, go here,


Sunday Snapshot

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NO WORDS!!!

I am left without words!!

Only tears!!!

Please go to Adeye's blog here and read about precious Liliana! 


The pictures are incredibly difficult to look at but she needs our help and she needs it NOW!!

This is a child who is 11 years old and weighs (oh my heart) 10 pounds!!!


This child has done nothing to deserve this,

nothing except being born an orphan, with Down Syndrome in a country that gives children with Down Syndrome, NO value! 

Please, please consider donating, passing along the blog link OR praying for the Lord to guide you in considering rescuing this child from her living hell!!!


PLEASE!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

But it is only a movie...

or is it? 

Sigh!

Lizzie is a fighter, a determined, brave, courageous, strong willed, hard headed fighter.  She rolls with the punches and like the Energi*er Bunny, just keeps on keeping on. 


Lizzie was listed as a "special needs" child because of her hands and feet.

Well, let me tell ya, she is special all right!!  Her hands and feet are beautifully made and as far as they go - she has NO need!

At VBS recently, a little girl who was playing with Lizzie noticed her hands and asked Lizzie what was wrong with them.  I was hovering standing near by and wanted with all my motherly might to jump right in and answer for my baby girl - but - I - waited - and I am glad I did.  My beautiful child simply looked at the other little girl and said, "there isn't anything wrong with them.  I was just born that way."  She then looked up at me and asked, "Right Momma?"
 
Right baby girl, so very, very right!

and then she just kept on keeping on!


The other night before bed, I was clipping the girls' finger nails when Em asked if I could clip her toe nails as well.  When I was done with Em, she looked at Lizzie's feet and said, "Wow, Liz, you don't have toe nails on 2 of your toes!" 

Lizzie looked down and surprised, said, "WOW, you are right Emmeline!" 

That sweet questioning face looked up and me and honestly y'all, all I could come up with was, "Well, that is 2 less toe nails that I have to clip!"

I held my breath for a moment and waited for a reaction.

In true Lizzie style, she just laughed and said, "Yeah!  That's right!  Cool!"

That's my girl!

She hopped into bed, ready for sweet dreams and happy cause Momma only had to clip 3 toe nails on her foot!

She just kept on keeping on!

However, there is one thing that was NOT listed as a "special need" for my Lizzie and that need is something that, every now and again, she struggles with - we struggle with. 

That need is something that she has a harder time just rolling with and it breaks my heart when I see her struggle - cause Lizzie just hardly ever struggles.

This need is a need of the heart and it is not always evident but it is always there.  We only see it every once in a while but when we do, the tears flow - from both of us and it normally surfaces when we watch movies.


Lizzie (like me) can be hard to watch movies with.  She does not like sad movies, me either, but she just does not want to watch any movie that has any part in it that is sad.  I do try and help her with this by not making her watch the movies that she thinks are sad but there are times when it is hard to get around.

Last night we watched Toy Story 3.  We had seen it last summer and I cried but Lizzie seemed unaffected so we watched it again, only this time, my baby girl was affected, very affected and that special need was so completely evident.  

Toward the end of the movie as Andy was going off to College, I looked next to me and there sat my very strong, very courageous baby girl with silent tears streaming down her face.

It - broke - my - heart!

Toy Story is all about abandonment and loss and it was just too much for my Lizzie. 

I was crying too but this kind of sadness from a 5 year old is tough. 

The good part is that once she starts crying, we talk, really talk and she knows that it is ok to be sad every now and again and that her momma is sad for her sometimes too and that together, we can handle the sadness and celebrate the happiness.

Cause that is how my Lizzie rolls!

The girl makes lemonade out of lemons and that is how I know that she will be ok - better than ok!  My baby girl is gonna rock this world and even though our happiness together came as a result of a great sadness, she knows that we are here for her - always.

So, we snuggled together all night last night and I held her a little closer and watched her sleep a little longer and prayed that the Lord would continue to comfort her heart and help that beautiful heart to heal. 

My Lizzie is strong and brave and courageous and has a huge heart and while that heart might need to heal, she has an amazing capacity to love and to show compassion and to laugh and to just keep on keeping on!




We will keep watching movies but we will also keep the conversation going and she will know that it is ok to feel that sadness and that we will love her through the happy and the sad - FOREVER!

To see more Sunday Snapshots, go here,


Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Cause again, my children leave me speechless!!!

video

Oh and apparently SHE is a HE!  So much for my internet, kitty gender guessing skills!  LOL! 

So, even though we are still trying to find her - I mean HIM - a good home, we need a name!!! 

You have to help us, otherwise Em is going to name him "Necklace!"

Guess it should be "wordy" Wednesday! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Peter

Do you remember Peter?

I wrote about Peter here.

I wrote about how this sweet young boy had sadly aged out - at 14 years of age.

I wrote about how this broke my heart for Peter and all of the 14 year old children who age out of the system at such a very young age. 

I wrote about how badly I want to see these kiddos find their forever families and...

I - asked - for - help!

I knew there was nothing anyone could do to change the fact that this sweet child would never have a forever family but there was something we could do,

Another advocate friend of mine, Marjorie, emailed and sugggested that we try to raise enough money to be able to send Peter a birthday present - the hand held gaming system that he had always wanted.

Something small in comparison, yes, but significant to him.

Significant to him in that he was able to get a birthday gift that he wanted so much and significant to him to know that there are people out there who care, truly care about him and you did...

Care - that is

Thanks to you, we were able to raise the money needed to send this child his gift and...




he loved it!!



More importantly, he knows that he is important, that he is thought of and prayed for!

Praise God, he is in a wonderful, loving group foster home and he will be able to remain there until he can take care of himself. 

It still won't be easy, however, as he ventures out into the world as an orphan but I pray that when times get tough, he might remember the one small gesture of love that was sent to him from a world away. 

I pray that the stigma of being an orphan in China might begin to change so that these precious children will have a chance at a brighter future in their home land!

Thank you to all who donated to this very special birthday gift.  Please pray for sweet Peter and all of the orphaned children of China who age out without ever knowing the love and security of a true family.

To see more Sunday Snapshots, please go here,


Sunday Snapshot

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What where they thinking...

when the grocery store people decided that giving 5 year old girls these leth*l we*pons...


was a good idea???

I mean, I have NO skin left on the backs of my heels!!!! 

Not to mention the fact that the items in each of their leth*l we*pons just HAD to be equal or I was living hard!  I think we even bought band aids (an item we did not need) just to keep it fair! 

Hey, maybe that is their evil plan! 

Curse you grocery store people!  Hehe!

Oh and that was the look I got when I told her that they had to walk in front of me from now on!!! 

Hey, it was that or use up all those unneeded band aids on my skinless heels!  Ouch!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

REALLY?????

So there I was just minding my own business, walking my dogs - you know the FOUR dogs and one FOSTER PUPPY we have!!

Yep, just a leisurely stroll around the block.

I wasn't looking for trouble...

but somehow...

trouble found me...

The 1 pound, scrawny, orange kitten kind of trouble!!!


The STRAY kitten kind of trouble!!!

REALLY?????

Sigh!!!

So after the Crocodile Hunter style rescue from Charlie and a neighbor friend, the kitten came home...

To 5 kids, 4 dogs, one foster puppy and one crazy cat!

Sigh!!!

She was scared, very scared and my first thought was, well we will keep her tonight and then in the morning, I will call around to the local vets offices and see if they know of a crazy kind hearted someone who might take in ferrel kittens,

and then this happened...


and I was waving the white flag!

She is skin and bones and a bit scraped up but thanks to some food and cream water, she is beginning to look like a real kitten!

I think she is a she (and please don't ask me how I know - trust me - you do NOT want to know - ewww) but I have no idea how old she is...

Cause I am the DOG lady for pete's sake - not the cat lady!!! 

When will these cats get this straight???

Or maybe these meddling compassionate kids of mine are secretly spreading cat food on our porch at night!!  UGH!

I mean even the kitten that we found last Halloween ( remember Boo ) who we thought was a stray but actually belonged to our neighbors down the street - has decided to hang here - all the time now!

So either our cat, Memow is a real "looker" or those pesky kids of mine are up to no good!!!  Heh!

So, we now have a foster puppy


and a foster kitty


Yep, you heard me right - FOSTER!!

I think if I say it enough times, I might actually believe it!!!

Do you feel sorry for me yet???

Hehe!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Happy Birthday

Well, it is my dear hubby's birthday today!!!

Yep, my Abby loving, anything 80's guru is 43 today.

He has a little less hair ( 5 kids, 4 dogs, one foster puppy, one crazy cat and one slightly OCD wife - heh ) but is just as handsome as the day we met.

We started the day with some homemade cards...


and homemade gifts, straight from hearts and secret, special stashes


and a few store bought ones as well


only after bacon and cinnamon rolls and hubby's best gift of all...

sleeping in!!!!

Have I mentioned before, just how much he likes to sleep???

I bet if I promised him that he could sleep until 12:00 every Saturday morning, I would never have to purchase a birthday gift for him again!!!  Hehe!!

Next it was off to my Mom's house for some yummy, JuJu fried chicken and

another nap - but only after...


CAKE!


Then after all that chicken and chocolate, we swam!



I think this is the first time hubby has been in the pool all summer!!!


and the kids loved it!



I remember as a kid, bugging my parents constantly to get in the pool with us and just loving it when they actually did!


It was a good day and I hope it was a good birthday for the love of my life!

Cause he is the love of my life

Always has been

Always will be!

Did I ever tell you that, without knowing it, we had the exact same thing engraved in our wedding bands???

"My Gift from God"

and he is most definitely - my wonderful gift from the Lord!

He loves his family, fiercly and works tirelessly to make us happy.


He and I are of one heart and share in what is important in life, even though he pretends that I bring him to it, kicking and screaming!

HA!

If it were up to this man, we would be living in a zoo!

Oh wait, we do!

Oh well, it's all his fault!!!  Hehe!

I love his silliness and I love his smarts.  I love his compassion and I love his adventurous soul (cause I have none).  I love his courage and I love his desicisiveness (cause I have NONE). 

I LOVE HIM!


Happy Birthday my love!!!

To join in on Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot go here


Sunday Snapshot


and read all about her beautiful new daughter!!