Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's Not Working

  We ordered 3 new curriculums and a video series to help with teaching the children Self-Government.  The curriculum is here, but we are still waiting on the video series.  After a few years of trying to do things on my own, Pete and I have realized that due to the amount of special needs in our home, we needed something where a lot of the leg work had been done for us.  I had been planning my own "lessons" to teach the children and generally flying by the seat of my pants, and that isn't working anymore.  So...we have Latter Day Learning's The Family School.  We have Spalding's The Writing Road To Reading.  We have Math U See...and we have Nicholeen Peck's Teaching Self Government Implementation Vidoes on their way.  Sounds great, right?!  It's not working.  We haven't even begun, really...but already it's not working.  Our family is what Nicholeen Peck would call, "in crisis."  When I can't reasonably expect my children to wake up at a reasonable hour, do their morning basics (make bed, say prayers, brush teeth, wash face and/or bathe, get dressed and tidy their room) and come to breakfast on time...it throws our day into immediate chaos.  I have kids coming to breakfast saying that their basics are done, who throw temper tantrums when upon checking, I exclaim "No they're not!", and then send them off to complete their basics.  They don't complete them however...they play, lay on the floor, throw things around...do nothing.  ARGHHHHH!  It's driving me batty!

  So...I had planned to start all of our new curriculum in January.  Guess what?  That's not happening.  I am having to learn to be okay with doing things when it's right for our family, instead of when everyone else is doing them.  It's frustrating, but it has to be that way.  My kids desperately need job training.  They desperately need to learn to govern themselves.  They need a vision for why they would want to govern themselves appropriately.  I often wonder if most parents ever realize how many things kids need to know how to do, before education can take place.  Every movie we own, except for church movies, has been put away in a box in the garage.  This has been my "go to" kid sitter when an important phone call comes in, or when I have a meeting in my home, and I need kiddos to sit quietly.  No more!  Pete has been slowly getting our giant back yard ready for the kids to play in it safely.  (We just had our gorgeous Mesquite trees chopped to the ground and the wood taken away, because they were dropping terrible thorns that would do through shoes.)  He has planted fruit trees and mapped out our garden, which we hope to get going in the Spring. I would LOVE for the children to be able to learn from our garden...to be able to work in it and watch it grow and eat from it!  There are so many cool things I'd like for them to learn...but we can't get past getting out of bed on time.   

  I am discouraged!  I need order!  I need a routine!  I need a schedule!  I need one that WORKS!  I'm planning another prayer walk....you know, when I take a walk and pray out loud, basically looking like a crazy person, but talking to my Heavenly Father, telling Him what I think I need, and then listening while He tells me what I really need.  Yeah...I need one of those!  I know He can tell me the answers that I need.  I just need to ask Him.

  Have you ever felt like you have so much on your mind that your head might just explode?!  That's me right now!  Everyone says, "Just get rid of the extra's you are doing, that you don't need to do anymore."  I don't have any extra's.  Okay...Facebook is my only extra.  But that's phasing out by itself, because I just don't care about it as much as I used to.  Everything else that takes up my time, is stuff that I have no choice about.  What's a girl to do?!  I desperately need to re-read my TJEd books.  I haven't read them in so long, that I hardly feel right calling this blog Ramblings of a TJEd Mom...because I'm not really a TJEd mom anymore.  I need to re-fresh my Leadership Education batteries.  I desperately need to learn Teaching Self Government like the back of my hand, so I can properly teach my children.  I need to establish what priveleges are for them.  Does that sound like the dumbest thing you've ever heard?!  I need to understand the 4 Basic Skills frontwards and backwards, so that when I'm engaging with my kids, I follow the steps properly.  I need to take time for my own education!  HA!  That makes me laugh.  Why??? Because I don't have any extra time for anything! 

  I need to make freezer meals!  I need to follow the menu's and shopping lists that I worked so hard to create!  I need to make green smoothie's for lunch everyday!  I need to make bread on a regular basis!  I need to use my crockpot for supper more often!  I need to figure out how to get my kids doing their own laundry! (At least the oldest 3.)  I need to read my scriptures daily.  I need to write on this blog more!  I need be inspired about my family!  Stay Tuned!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The World Just Made More Room For Heaven

So......the story of Ryan. Last Tuesday, the 20th...we were out and about as a family, starting on some Christmas shopping, and Pete and I were getting our Pertussis vaccinations to be ready to go get our baby in December. At 11:06 a.m. that morning, our adoption worker texted me "Today may be delivery day! :D" I texted back "Whoa! Is she in UT?" She told me she had just landed and was being
taken via ambulance to the hospital. At 11:56 a.m. I got another text that said "False labor...but maybe she will go soon. It's better to be prepared. At least she made it to UT." So they sent her home. I got a call from our worker close to 5 p.m. that day that said "She had an ultrasound, they are both fine...but....it's a boy!" *crickets chirping* I was afraid that she was going to tell us that because he was a boy, that they would be giving this "situation" to a family who had been waiting for a boy. But she said we could either adopt him...or be placed back on the "the list" for a girl. I said "Well...my family and I will have a prayer and call you back. She asked that we call her back soon, so that if she needed to notify another family, that Ryan would have a family ready for him when he was born. I hung up the phone...cried for about 5 minutes as I looked around the room at all the pink and green exploded EVERYWHERE, knowing that we had gotten rid of every boy thing we had...called my best friend Heather and asked for her prayers and then prayed with my family. Even before we prayed, Pete and I both said, almost at the same time..."This is our baby...are we really shallow enough to not take him because he's a boy?" Our simultaneous answer to that question was "No! Of course not!" All along we'd prayed that Heavenly Father would help us find "our baby", and here he was! It was meant to be! So...we both discussed that we knew Ryan was to be ours and that this meant Heavenly Father had decided that it wasn't Bryn's turn to come yet. For those of you who knew that I get a little picture in the back of my mind of the kiddos that are missing from our family...this whole situation would explain the fact that I kept seeing Brynleigh as looking like a completely different kiddo, for about the last month before he was born. I just shrugged it off like "Hmmm....that's kinda' nutty!" :D So, Ryan was born on the 21st. We were told that his birth mother had chosen not to meet us and so we shouldn't come til' Friday, because that would be the first day we could have access to him. (She left Friday morning.) Because Jace had staples that needed removing, Pete stayed here with the kiddo's so he could get him to that appointment, and I flew out with my dear friend, Heather on Friday morning.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Crooked Little Man

I haven't yet written about Wiggle's heart cath appt. on June 5th.  It was a day full of mixed emotions and one that was exhausting both mentally and physically.  Wiggle had a great team of nurses, doctors, child life specialists, etc.  That was all very reassuring for me!  The cardio that performed the procedure was really great, and I was very comfortable with him...so much so, that we will start taking Wiggle to see him now instead of having to drive so far to his other doctor.  So.....the long and the short of it all....
Wiggle's heart is wired funny.  His coronary arteries are both misshapen and his left one is particularly large.  His right coronary artery isn't even in the right spot and doesn't connect where it should.  It should be on the right side of his heart, and should connect to his right atrium.  His connects to his right pulmonary artery.  So his body has this weird whirlpool of blood going on, and has created all of these collateral blood vessels to adapt to the problem.  Because of Wiggle's funky plumbing...his left ventricle is dilated or too large.  But the good thing, is that he has good heart function and while his blood pressure is a little high...this works for him.  (That's why when we put him on Enalapril, it knocked him for a loop...it lowered his blood pressure and took the wind out of his sails, because his heart thrives on the little bit of high blood pressure he has going on.  So, the really GREAT news is that there is no reason to list him for a heart transplant right now.  The doc said that he will see us a month from the cath. appt. for an echo, and then probably every 6 months after that, to monitor his heart really well.  He said that he could have blocked off the pathway where the heart is pumping blood to the pulmonary artery, but that could cause a potential coronary heart attack and we don't want that.  So that's why he left it alone.  He has also put him on 1 baby aspirin everyday, to ward off a coronary heart attack too...because of his funky shaped coronaries.  If, at some point, he sees a reason to do something surgically (say, because his heart continues to dilate further), then he'll do that.  If it continues to dilate and surgery doesn't help or isn't an option...that's when he'd be listed for a heart transplant.

  So... he continues to be our "Crooked Little Boy" (based on the little nursery rhyme), or our broken little boy... because his little body does things it's own way!  For now...it's working okay.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ON my Mind

It's late.  I'm still awake.  Can't sleep.  I've got my baby girl on my mind.  Our whole family is poised to find her!  We talk about her multiple times a day.  We all feel the urgency to find her and bring her home!  Heavenly Father always works this way, with our family...when it comes to finding a missing kiddo!  He fills me with an urgency to find them and I go through a "nesting" period, similar to a birth mother who is awaiting the arrival of her baby.

  Her room is ready to go!  Since we aren't sure if she's already born and a little older, or if she's not born yet, I've washed every age of baby girl clothes, from zero to 24 months.  We've always said that we'd be willing and excited to adopt a baby up to the age of 18 months, and could be hearing about a baby girl, tomorrow, who is somewhere around a year old, African American and whose birth mother is no longer able to parent her.  We shall see what Heavenly Father has in store for our family!  Please keep us in your prayers!  Describing what it's like to wait for a missing part of your family, and to search everywhere for her, is really difficult.  It's somewhat like being pregnant, I'm sure...and yet it's nothing like it.  We don't know when she'll be here. We don't know how old she'll be, either.  We don't know what to get ready for.  We've been ready for a newborn, but are trying not to counsel the Lord in His decision of which sweet baby girl is meant to be ours.  We are just trying to have open hearts and minds and just praying that we will know our baby girl, when we hear about her.  Please add your prayers to ours!

  Wiggle Bug had his 3 month Cardiology appt. on Friday.  The doctor is concerned as to the reason why his heart is still so large.  He sees no explanation for it, and so he's ordered a Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization for Mr. Wiggle Bug.  They'll go in there with a camera, and take pictures of the heart to see if possible during his Open Heart Surgery (OHS), one or both coronary arteries were bumped somehow, which may have created scar tissue, partially blocking an artery and causing the decreased function in his heart.  I won't lie.  I'm nervous!  The Cardiologist dropped the words "heart transplant" about 6 months ago and decided we should try Wiggle Bug on Enalipril.  When that didn't help his heart any, and only decreased his quality of life (lots of naps, really moody and cranky, no increased heart function), he took him off of it.  Wiggles heart just has a mind of it's own and didn't respond to the Enalipril.  He's a medical miracle boy!  He amazes me with all that he goes through in his life, and how resilient and happy he is!  He's on a mission, that boy!  I'm tellin' ya'!  But now I have those words "Heart Transplant", looming in the back of my mind, with the knowledge that his heart function is still not good and that they don't know why!  So...I'm doing the only 2 things I know how to do:  1.  Pray!  2.  Learn about the heart, as much as I can!  (Okay, okay...there's a 3rd thing I'm doing...that would be eating chocolate and baking much more than I should!)  Between all the studying I'm doing about Wiggle Bug...and all the studying I'm doing about Ladybug (and all her gut issues), I should be earning a P.h.,d (or however you spell that), in Super Human Mommy Knowledge or something.  I still have SO much more to learn about!

     I am so grateful for the gals on my heart group on Facebook, who teach me so much everyday and who never make me feel like any of the questions I ask are stupid or silly.  They are a rock for me, and keep me from flying off the handle, with worry, and they help me learn and understand more all the time!  Whenever it is that we go up to get Baby Bug, I am definitely making time to meet as many of them as I can, somewhere!  I have found a kinship with them that transcends an internet chat group and has become such a strength for me!  Hugs to all the brave Heart Mama's out there who are such a wonderful support and example to me! I love em' all!

  Alas, I'm falling asleep now!  (Hearing me talk will do that to people...especially myself!)  I shall keep everyone posted about the goings on of our Rambling Castle, and of course, my handsome prince, and 5 wonderful lads and ladies!  May peace and joy attend us all!

The Lady Rambler

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Baaaaaaack!!!!

Whew!  I've got access to my email again, and I've gotten my blog back!  I thought I'd lost it forever, and that was a sad thought for me!  I don't write here often, but what I share is a journal of my life's experiences, and more importantly, of the experiences of my children and my family!  I am grateful to have it restored to me again!  Getting your email hacked, isn't cool!

  We had a great day of homeschooling today!  Today was day one of our Old Testament Timeline from www.timelinesetc.com  It's really cool, and the kids are excited about it!  I know we will learn a lot together this year!  They have this little chant or what they call History In Action, which puts an action, picture and saying, with each story!  It's a fun way for them to remember history! Today we covered, the creation, Adam and Eve, Enoch and Noah!  We made a trip to the public library, earlier this week, and the kids all picked out a few books they are interested in, so we just so happen to have some books about Giraffe's, Wolves and Chipmunk's, which will go along with our Noah's Ark studies!  Should be fun!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

And She Pondered These Things In Her Heart

  I have been filled to overflowing, by my experiences listening to, watching and participating in General Conference this weekend!  Oh how I love Conference!  It is a lifeline to heaven, for me!  I feel as though Heavenly Father has placed words into the minds and hearts of the speakers, which are directly for me and my little family!  As I thought of how these inspired words filled me...I immediately thought of Mary, Mother of Jesus.  I SO desire, to ponder on all these things and keep them in my heart, to be called up when life's situations have need of them!  I took pretty good notes, so that I can feast on them until the conference issue of the Ensign, comes out!

  This time, when I was writing my notes, I really tried to pay careful attention not just to the actual words that were said, but also to the promptings I felt from the Holy Ghost, about how those things apply specifically to our family!  It was a superb way of learning, for me!  It's late this evening, and I must get some shut eye while the babes slumber...but I will share my notes with you hopefully later this week.  Speaking of this week...if is Easter week!  I plan to have an amazingly inspirational week with our children!  Don't know yet, all that we will do...but I know that it will be blessed by our Heavenly Father, because I have such a strong desire for Him to sanctify the things we do and learn about this week!  I'll let you know how it goes! :0)

Friday, March 23, 2012


  I have decided that moving is difficult!  It's wonderful, but extremely burdensome!  My poor husband has exhausted himself moving everything from place to place and it makes me sad to see him so tired and worn out!  He is such a good man!  He does SO MUCH for me and the children!  Speaking of the children, they are some of the most patient individuals on the planet!  It is not very fun to wake up each morning, to more boxes that need unpacking and unloading.  They have handled this move with grace and sweetness!  They amaze me!

  Our new neighbors amaze me too!  I was told that from us on back down to the end of the street, on our side of the street, we are all members of the church!  Wow!  That's pretty cool and totally exciting to me!  I have been visited no less than 9 people/families who came to welcome us to the neighborhood and say "Hello!"  Totally amazing and completely awesome!  I am SO excited to be potentially living in the same kind of neighborhood that my parents live in...everyone knows everyone, watches out for one another, brings treats and flowers to say hello and genuinely wants to be friendly and kind!  This MY KIND OF NEIGHBORHOOD!  I am seriously excited about it! :0)

  I must say, that I feel a bit like a fish out of water!  I have always considered myself to be one who rolls with change pretty easily.  After all...there are no 2 days that are the same, when you are a homeschooling, special needs family of beautiful, adopted, medically fragile cuteness!  Change is our middle name around here.  But this move has happened slowly and without rhyme or reason, in lots of ways.  We have been without our library of books, for the past 3 months.  We have worked hard to clean and pack the home we just moved from, and have worked hard to clean and move into that home we just came to!  Exhausting work, I tell you!  I suppose all things happen for a reason, for example, I think Heavenly Father wanted to teach us to truly appreciate the great, classic works which adorn our bookshelves, and which we have not appreciated like we should!  Lesson learned, there!  So...now we find ourselves moving into new, uncharted territory again!

   I've prayed for simplicity and a clear understanding, as I embark to inspire greatness in our family!  I continuously pray for the wherewithal to engage in my own education, that I might be an example and that I might motivate the cause of freedom and virtue in our family!  I continuously pray that I won't completely screw my family up, the way so many naysayers apparently hope that I will!  (If only they knew how hurtful their words can be sometimes!)  I pray that we won't stand still, in our pursuit of a Leadership Education!  I pray that we will be moved by what we read, write, study, discuss and learn!  I pray, that the children will move through the proper phases of a good leadership education...that I will nurture them through that movement, and that they will come through their youth with a love for learning and work, and that they will still love me as their mother, in the process!  I pray that my precious husband, will have success in his sought for college education...that he can meet his aspirations head on, and feel righteous pride in his accomplishments!  I pray that he will know of my great love for him...that I will adequately express it to him daily, amidst the many things on my plate!  I pray that the children will express their great love to him also, and that he will know how important he is in their lives!  I pray to be humble and submissive, amidst the changes that are coming for us all!

  I want so badly, to leave the world at our doorstep!  The world is not for me and not for my family...and yet it still pulls at us in ways that are so subtle and sneaky!  If I'm being honest, it makes me just a bit angry!  I am really disappointed in what I see, when I take a look at the way the world is going right now (and has been going for quite some time!)  It is heart wrenching to me!  I want to move as far away from it as humanly possible!  I have said it before, and I'll say it again!  I feel such a pull toward simplicity!  I'm talking, living like the pioneers did...working hard to provide for basic needs...faith that could move mountains...none of the worldly distractions that so easily beset me...a very "less is more" way of life!   Their lives were SO difficult, in ways that we cannot fathom, and yet I know that they look down on us from Heaven, shocked at the many difficulties we deal with here, which did not exist during their time.  I want to have pioneer faith!

  I don't know why I get so easily distracted from my goals!  I am hard on myself, but with good reason!  There is so much I don't do like I should!  I have such a desire to be like Jesus Christ...to live and love as He did!  I want to move closer to Him!  I want to move my ideals and desires, into alignment with His desires for me!  I feel so inadequate!  I fall short daily!  I want to better understand His atoning sacrifice for me, that I can learn what it means to truly cast my burdens on Him!  I want to change my heart!  I want to let the Savior change my heart!  I don't want to stand still any longer!  We all know that when you stand still, you are only going backwards slowly!

  I've got a lot of praying to do!  (I pretty much have a lot of praying to do, all the time!) :0)  Satan likes to make me feel uneasy, discontent and doubtful about my abilities to perform my mission in this life; that of teaching and raising our children up righteously before the Lord!  I'd really like to make him a knuckle sandwich...with a sour pickle on the side!  I'd like him to move out of my way...THAT'S what I'd like!  :)

  I've been thinking lately, about living a more intentional life!  Being purposeful about all of the essentials that should be done, and making sure that those things have room to work in our lives!  I want to do something moving, inspiring and uplifting...or as Emma Smith would say, something extraordinary!  I think I'll move to my knees now, and tell Heavenly Father everything I just wrote!  Peace out! :)